October 26, 2008 archive

“Spreading The Wealth”!! That’s How This Country Grew!!!!

I was born in ’48 and grew up in the time after WWII and the rapid growth of not only a Great Economic Expansion but the Envy of the World to the American Worker and our Products and Services. We had the power and wealth hungry who tried to suppress but we also had intelligent business minds and workers willing to fight that brought about growing wages, safety in the work place, respect for the worker, and so much more, which gave respect and expansion to not only the employer but the companies, The company owners, the executives, the worker, and for those public companies shareholders were all reaping the rewards of that wealth sharing, that’s what built the strong and ever expanding middle class and helped some break out of that and join the upper crust of the wealthy. It was the Only Successful way a true capitalist society that can achieve and expand further. Decent expanding wages for a workers hard work and company dedication gives them the ability to purchase goods and services which in turn gives growth and prosperity to other companies and workers.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

45 stories, Business and Science to come.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 AP IMPACT: Security firms join Somali piracy fight

By KATHARINE HOURELD, Associated Press Writer

53 mins ago

NAIROBI, Kenya – Blackwater Worldwide and other private security firms – some with a reputation for being quick on the trigger in Iraq – are joining the battle against pirates plaguing one of the world’s most important shipping lanes off the coast of Somalia.

The growing interest among merchant fleets to hire their own firepower is encouraged by the U.S. Navy and represents a new and potential lucrative market for security firms scaling back operations in Iraq.

But some maritime organizations told The Associated Press that armed guards may increase the danger to ships’ crews or that overzealous contractors might accidentally fire on fishermen.

What Is Nancy Pelosi For, Anyway?

Duke has an essay over at The Sanctuary about Nancy Pelosi’s latest capitulation, this time on the subject of immigration.

According to the essay, Pelosi was talking about comprehensive immigration reform and decided to throw under the bus the idea of a real path to citizenship for many of the 12 million undocumented workers in this country.

The link in the essay to the LA Times article is not working, but here is the money quote:

…Pelosi also said Congress would have to tackle the politically sticky job of overhauling immigration laws in the new Congress, after a bipartisan measure collapsed last year.

The estimated 12 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally “are part of the U.S. economy. We cannot send them all home, and we cannot send them all to jail, so we have to address it,” Pelosi said.

Any solution would have to be bipartisan, she said, so it may require sacrificing some of Democrats’ past priorities, such as giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.

“Maybe there never is a path to citizenship if you came here illegally,” Pelosi said. “I would hope that there could be, but maybe there isn’t.”

As Duke states, the egregious policies of the Repubs have drawn Latino immigrants in waves to the Democratic Party.

Yet here we have Pelosi, once again, speaking of capitulation and calling it “bipartisanship.”

Café Discovery: Dutch history

The previous parts:

250 years of history

mathematics and science, philosophy and religion

Frank Anderson, Malcolm Smiley, William Reid, Hyman Ettlinger, George Birkhoff, E. H. Moore, H. A. Newton, Michel Chasles, Simeon Poisson, Joseph Lagrange, Leonhard Euler, Johan Bernoulli, Jacob Bernoulli, Gottfried Lebniz, Christiaan Huygens.  Fifteen generations of my mathematical ancestors.

Yes, there was a side trip to Pierre-Simon La Place and Jean d’Alembert that ended in a dead end.  And it is true that the leap from Lagrange to Euler is tenuous, what with Lagrange being pretty much self-educated in mathematics.  And it is also true that Huygens was more of an inventor, a maker of clocks and telescopes…and hence an astronomer.

Christiaan received a Master of the Liberal Arts degree from the University of Leiden in 1647 and a Doctor of Canon and Civil Law from Université d’Angers in 1655.  His advisors were Frans van Schooten and Jan Stampioen.

My Vision For America

Gosh darn it, the liberal media elite in this country is really makin’ it hard for me to communicate with the American people I love so much.  They twist my words about the danger of Russians invading Alaska, the dangers of William Ayers, the dangers of rollin’ out the red carpet for me at hockey games, blah, blah, blah.  So today I want to take my Vision For America directly to you, the real American people, without havin’ to worry about my words being made to look stupid.

I envision an America with a much smaller government that doesn’t get in the way of our patriotic spirit.  To cut the size of government, I propose eliminating a bunch of states that aren’t carrying their weight in the ol’ patriotism department.  States like California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Vermont are no-brainers – they’re out.  This election will be a test for some states that are unsure of their patriotism and they better think REAL HARD about whom to vote for if they want to remain in this great country of ours.  I’m watching you, Pennsylvania!  Also Virginia, Nevada, Michigan, New Hampshire, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Montana.

Organized crime style harassment levelled against Cindy Sheehan

Original post here:

The past few weeks have been a little strange at Cindy for Congress and, I guess the things that have been happening could just be coincidences, or a run of bad luck, but the climate for the possibility of campaign hanky-panky certainly exists.

Campaigns have been compromised since the beginning of campaign history, but these days with legal warrantless wiretapping and political party conventions sponsored by AT&T and the constant call of “all hail to my political party” and obeisance to the banksters above what’s good for our nation, maybe what’s been happening on my campaign isn’t coincidental or “Mercury retrograde,” or whatever.

Starting with the necessity of “changing a light bulb” (bugging my phone) in my hotel phone at the DNC (brought to you by AT&T) while I was out of the room, Cindy for Congress has had an increasing number of attacks. Two weeks ago, we were begged by organizers of a “radical” music festival called “We the People(Sheeple)” forbade me from speaking after having begged me to be there. An article in LA Beat said that the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigoso was involved in the decision to silence my voice. Not only did we go down to L.A. at our own expense, but also we took an entire day of valuable campaign time to do so.

The past week, though, has been incredibly trying. First of all we had to file a restraining order against a former volunteer whom, with hindsight, we now know was probably spying on us for the Pelosi camp. After we let this person go, his emails to us became increasingly hostile and threatening. After that happened, the tail lights in our campaign-mobile were busted out (the campaign mobile that has Cindy for Congress signs all over it and pictures of it were in an AP story.

Towards the end of the week, four young men walked into our office and they were acting quite suspiciously as they pretended to be registering to vote. One of our interns was helping them when I heard her yell: “No! Stop!” I heard an awful noise and ran out of my office to see the young men run off. They had grabbed one of our computers (leaving a jar of donations on the front desk) and beat our intern over the head when she tried to stop them. Our front windows are almost totally covered with signs and posters and it would be hard to see what we have from the street…we did, thankfully, recover the computer which has sensitive material on it and we are even more thankful that Somer is okay. (She’s tough like her boss).

After several days of harassment, I got home late one night to discover a jury summons in my mailbox. I have been summoned to jury duty the week of, you guessed it, the elections!

The final (and in my opinion worse) weird thing happened on Saturday night. We had scheduled a group of “robo” calls to go out today (Monday, Oct 13). At 10:30 Saturday night, we started getting phone calls and emails blasting us for sending out the calls at 10:30 on a Saturday night, which is not only illegal, but extremely annoying. The company had approached us to donate 10,000 calls to us and then was charging us a small fee for the rest of the calls. 38,000 early/absentee voters received this call and my office has been overwhelmed with angry voters who won’t be voting for me now and some of the good will that we have been building here in San Francisco for the last year went down the drain in just a few minutes. Was it just a “glitch” in the system, as the owner of the robo-call company claims, or overt sabotage of the campaign? Isn’t it sad that we have to be paranoid about all of this? To be sure, our office is in a rough part of town, but the frequency of the harassment is certainly intensifying.

The stakes are high and I have a feeling “they” won’t stop at anything to assure that the tyranny of incumbency continues.

Clubbed On The Head With Reality

In the final talk in Real News CEO Paul Jay’s series of interviews with activist political scientist and historian Howard Zinn, we’re led to the conclusion that there is a silver lining, as Buhdy and others here have also noted, in the twin dark clouds of the culture of militarism and the financial collapse that eight years of Bushism and many more years of bankrupt imperialist ideology exemplified by both the Democratic and Republican parties have finally brought the American Empire to, that the combination of financial and war crises have finally created an opportunity for real change:

In the final segment of our interview with Howard Zinn we explore the idea of the United States as a source of freedom and democracy in the world.

Prof. Zinn outlines the long history in the US of linking military pursuits with the cause of freedom and democracy, a marriage which Prof. Zinn believes is still used due to inappropriate historical education.

Zinn believes that it is time to drop war altogether as a practice and begin the hard but fruitful transition to an economy based on domestic improvement rather than military dominance. He finishes by adding that education is most affective when coinciding with a changing reality and that the combination of the financial crisis and the military crisis are creating such a scenario.

October 26, 2008 – about 7 minutes

Democracy and militarism

Howard Zinn: The financial and war crisis have created an opportunity for real change

On finding “home”

I remember in the midst of the 2004 Democratic Convention, hearing Barack Obama speak for the first time. And like most of America, I was intrigued…who IS this guy? So a few months later when I saw his book, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, I decided to read it.

In it, I found the journey of a young man with a Black African father and White American mother trying to find out where he belonged in the world. It was pretty hard-hitting and gut-wrenching at times. Here’s a short passage from when Barack was in high school as an illustration.

Following this logic, the only thing you could choose as your own was withdrawal into a smaller and smaller coil of rage, until being black meant only the knowledge of your own powerlessness, of your own defeat. And the final irony: Should you refuse this defeat and lash out at your captors, they would have a name for that too, a name that could cage you just as good. Paranoid. Militant. Violent. N#####r.

The exploration of his identity continued from there and eventually through his journey to Africa to learn what he could about his father and his Kenyan family.  

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Leonard Cohen:  Songs from a Room

The Old Revolution

Docudharma Times Sunday October 26

The Guns Of August

The Knives Of October

Sunday’s Headlines:

U.S. considers sending special ops to Afghanistan

Landmark case gives hope to thousands held in slavery

Life and death a matter of cash withdrawals in Zimbabwe’s crumbling hospitals

Thousands stuck in camps of no return

China’s threatened elephants turn into killers

Europe’s secret plan to boost GM crop production

Spain stirs its civil war ghosts

Israel’s ruling party calls for election as coalition talks fail

Mexico hunts prosecutor’s killers

Spending Stalls and Businesses Slash U.S. Jobs


Published: October 25, 2008

As the financial crisis crimps demand for American goods and services, the workers who produce them are losing their jobs by the tens of thousands.

Layoffs have arrived in force, like a wrenching second act in the unfolding crisis. In just the last two weeks, the list of companies announcing their intention to cut workers has read like a Who’s Who of corporate America: Merck, Yahoo, General Electric, Xerox, Pratt & Whitney, Goldman Sachs, Whirlpool, Bank of America, Alcoa, Coca-Cola, the Detroit automakers and nearly all the airlines.

Financial Meltdown Worsens Food Crisis

As Global Prices Soar, More People Go Hungry

By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Stephanie McCrummen

Washington Post Foreign Service

Sunday, October 26, 2008; Page A01

SHANGHAI — As shock waves from the credit crisis began to spread around the world last month, China scrambled to protect itself. Among the most extreme measures it took was to impose new export taxes to keep critical supplies such as grains and fertilizer from leaving the country.About 5,700 miles away, in Nairobi, farmer Stephen Muchiri is suffering the consequences.

It’s planting season now, but he can afford to sow amaranthus and haricot beans on only half of the 10 acres he owns because the cost of the fertilizer he needs has shot up nearly $50 a bag in a matter of weeks.



Campaign Finance Gets New Scrutiny

Obama’s Take Raises Questions About Web

By Matthew Mosk

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, October 26, 2008; Page A01

Sen. Barack Obama’s record-breaking $150 million fundraising performance in September has for the first time prompted questions about whether presidential candidates should be permitted to collect huge sums of money through faceless credit card transactions over the Internet.

Lawyers for both the Republican and Democratic parties have asked the Federal Election Commission to examine the issue, pointing to dozens of examples of what they say are lax screening procedures by the presidential campaigns that permitted donors using false names or stolen credit cards to make contributions.

Reality’s Liberal Bias: Most Americans NOT racist

Neither are most of us isolationists, expansionists, or completely unaware of our footprint on this globe. We do need, however, leadership that can tap into the altruistic nature most of us seem to possess…

A large majority of Americans feel that US foreign policy should at times serve altruistic purposes independent of US national interests. Americans also feel that US foreign policy should be oriented to the global interest not just the national interest and are highly responsive to arguments that serving the global interest ultimately serves the national interest. Americans show substantial concern for global conditions in a wide range of areas.

cross posted at Daily Kos

Heavy Music for the Midnight Hour

Hello, boys and girls.  Here, in the midnight hour, when other heads are sleeping, let’s get down to some heavy sounds.

Heavy fuel if you wanna run cool.

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