November 15, 2008 archive

Tyra Banks Confronts Racism Against Native Americans

Tyra Banks:

As Native Americans, I know, as they have been telling us, that there are a lot of stereotypes, um, what are some of the stereotypes that you constantly hear about?

Acts speak louder than words


The Palestinian residents of Al Sheikh Jarrah staging a sit-in in front of the Al Kurd house in Al Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

49 Stories.  Now with U.S. News.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Election spurs ‘hundreds’ of race threats, crimes


26 mins ago

Cross burnings. Schoolchildren chanting “Assassinate Obama.” Black figures hung from nooses. Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.

Incidents around the country referring to President-elect Barack Obama are dampening the postelection glow of racial progress and harmony, highlighting the stubborn racism that remains in America.

From California to Maine, police have documented a range of alleged crimes, from vandalism and vague threats to at least one physical attack. Insults and taunts have been delivered by adults, college students and second-graders.

what should I call myself?

I just got a new degree in July; it’s a mouthful, Post-baccalaureate certificate in Complementary Therapies and Healing Practices-Health Coaching track, but we were theoretically training to be “health coaches” The problem is this new profession already seems to be gelling into something different than what we were trained to do. Though I have some entrepreneurial impulses, I did not feel up to doing a business plan during election season. So I did some preliminary looking at working for someone else, and health coaching at larger companies that would hire usually involves the company identifying who is a health risk and then having the health coach cheerlead (or nag) the employee to quit smoking, lose weight or whatever  over the phone in order to save the company money. This could still benefit the employee, but it is not exactly what I was taught.

Shortly before I finished the degree, I wrote an article (below the fold) I hoped to get in a local publication. They did not use it, but it explains what felt I learned how to do. And even then I had misgivings about our title, but what would I use instead?

Obesity Epidemic is Bad News for Economic Recovery

You think this is harsh and OTT? Dr Donal O’Shea, a famed Irish endocrinologist and Director of the Weight Management Clinic at St Columcille’s Hospital in Loughlinstown, said in a conference in Dublin last week that

“pouring funding into cardiology, cancer and dementia without tackling the obesity epidemic that is fueling these conditions would be a disaster.”

His take on obesity (about 24 minutes long, scroll down to the tenth video) is a sober approach to combating it. “Worldwide, obesity is the driver of a range life-threatening “lifestyles” diseases”, he notes. The British Medical Journal puts it bluntly: “The driving force for the increasing prevalence of obesity in populations is the increasingly obesogenic environment rather than any pathology in individuals”.

Getting it

In the midst of the swirling changes occurring in the larger world, there is a little (pleasant) tornado of change moving through mine. A change that for some reason, seems to preclude sleep! Which is by way of saying that I am not the sharpest artichoke in the tool box right now. (Hmm artichoke in a tool box? See what I mean???) So as I shuffled through my mental e-mail from my muse on what to write today…it all seemed like spam, now….I want a bigger penis as much as the next guy or gal, but that doesn’t seem like a meaty enough topic to write about for a prestidigitous blog like Docudharma.

So I was relieved when, as I was doing my morning surf meditation I can across not only a topic that was worthy of my spiny yet delicious with a nice mayo and lemon pepper sauce green attention, but worthy of all of ours, worthy of the whole worlds. Plus(!) it is already practically written because there is not much more to add, either to the original quote, or to the analysis of it provided by SusanG over at the Great Orange Sasquatch Satan. (Damn I need a nap!)

So with out any adieu….but with massive hat tips and gratitude to SusanG and apologies for my own laziness…


Shoshana Zuboff, author of The Support Economy and former Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, writing in Businessweek:

This column is dedicated to the top managers of American business whose policies and practices helped ensure Barack Obama’s victory. The mandate for change that sounded across this country is not limited to our new President and Congress. That bell also tolls for you. Obama’s triumph was ignited in part by your failure to understand and respect your own consumers, customers, employees, and end users. The despair that fueled America’s yearning for change and hope grew to maturity in your garden.

   Millions of Americans heard President-elect Obama painfully recall his sense of frustration, powerlessness, and outrage when his mother’s health insurer refused to cover her cancer treatments. Worse still, every one of them knew exactly how he felt. That long-simmering indignation is by now the defining experience of every consumer of health care, mortgages, insurance, travel, and financial services-the list goes on.

   Obama was elected not only because many Americans feel betrayed and abandoned by their government but because those feelings finally converged with their sense of betrayal at the hands of Corporate America. Their experiences as consumers and as citizens joined to create a wave of revolt against the status quo-as occurred in the American Revolution. Be wary of those who counsel business as usual. This post-election period is a turning point for the business community. It demands an attitude of sober reappraisal and a disposition toward fundamental reinvention. If you don’t do it, someone else will.

That, my friends….is getting it. Let us hope that she is not alone, and let us hope that others speak out as forcefully and honestly!

Let’s Fight Hate

cross posted from The Dream Antilles


In the continuing post Prop 8 fall out, the Mormon Church is ramping up its attacks on gay people, slurring gay people and even accusing them of domestic terrorism. The campaign of hate continues to rage, just as it simultaneously continues to claim that it is a victim of attacks.  Let’s fight back.

I know.  The Mormon Church denies that this was ever a campaign of hate.  There I pointed that out.  In a wonderful circumlocution, the Church even denies that its work on Prop 8 is anti-gay.  No, it’s about being “pro- marriage,” they say.

Jump with me across the broom.

Hmmmm I can haz ideaz now?

One of the most frustrating aspects of the recent election and the general long term warfare of confronting weird ass republican myths is the way you actually have to listen to them as if they are based on fact and respond in kind. After about the three hundredth time of hearing for example the “Obama is a Muslim” meme or “Obama is a communist” concern what I actually wanted to say was: Are you fucking stupid, illiterate, have you read a book or newspaper in the last twenty years,do you actually ever have your own fucking thoughts or ideas or does that proposition just scare you so much you would rather not make the effort and rent a  damaged brain with all the other stupid fucks who say that same shit. And Jesus H Christ people actually ask me why I haven’t become a citizen yet. I mean I am of very average intelligence and often think my homeland is populated by the blandly average people and you want to know why I am hesitating to join land of the blatantly intellectually lazy?

But I didn’t do any of that. Nope. Partially because Hey it doesn’t win them over and partially because I knew I was not operating from a position of intellectual superiority but chatting with people who had a complete and absolute lack of curiosity about most of the universe. If we really do have massive economic realignment they are going to be shocked, surprised and act like a rabid mob.

Chris Hedges argues that the divide is actually between not Red vs Blue but between being literate and post literate and you can read the article  here.

He notes….

There are over 42 million American adults, 20 percent of whom hold high school diplomas, who cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level. Nearly a third of the nation’s population is illiterate or barely literate. And their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year. But even those who are supposedly literate retreat in huge numbers into this image-based existence. A third of high school graduates, along with 42 percent of college graduates, never read a book after they finish school. Eighty percent of the families in the United States last year did not buy a book.

I admit he doesn’t cite his statistics but if one agrees with the premise the idea that one does or does not have some form of “education” doesn’t have a significant impact. My grandparents both had a grade six and grade eight education respectively. They were infused will notions about how reading made one a better person, that one had a vague obligation to know a few things. And I imagine reading must have been a nice escape for say my grandfather who worked a shitty and dangerous job oiling the equipment at a steel plant that no longer exists. Nor did he complain about it. Compared to losing the family farm and then working on it for the new owner it must have seemed not all that bad. Compared to fighting in tanks in Africa, it must have seemed reasonable. He wasn’t much of a talker about that experience but told my grandmother that they were “death tins.”

As a result political campaigns reflect a certain vacant quality…

Political leaders in our post-literate society no longer need to be competent, sincere or honest. They only need to appear to have these qualities. Most of all they need a story, a narrative. The reality of the narrative is irrelevant. It can be completely at odds with the facts.

Youtube President

From President-Elect Obama today:

Docudharma Times Saturday November 15

World Leaders Ignore Bush

Too Bad Its 8 Years Too Late  

Saturday’s Headlines:

Ten days after the poll, and Saturday Night Live star’s Senate fight still too close to call

China trying to force 6-months pregnant woman to abort

Sri Lanka army ‘takes Tiger base’

Attacks leave Gaza ceasefire near collapse

Chronic malnutrition in Gaza blamed on Israel

Ads take over St Mark’s Square

Melting pot cracks as Muslims reject Christian names in France

Over 250,000 displaced as sexual violence erupts in DRC

Kenya taps into Brazil’s ethanol expertise

The Maya world, in miniature

Experts See Security Risks in Downturn

Global Financial Crisis May Fuel Instability and Weaken U.S. Defenses

By Joby Warrick

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, November 15, 2008; Page A01

Intelligence officials are warning that the deepening global financial crisis could weaken fragile governments in the world’s most dangerous areas and undermine the ability of the United States and its allies to respond to a new wave of security threats.

U.S. government officials and private analysts say the economic turmoil has heightened the short-term risk of a terrorist attack, as radical groups probe for weakening border protections and new gaps in defenses. A protracted financial crisis could threaten the survival of friendly regimes from Pakistan to the Middle East while forcing Western nations to cut spending on defense, intelligence and foreign aid, the sources said.

As Summit Starts, Emerging Nations Weigh New Clout

Brazil, China, India Step Up In Diplomatic Power Shift

By Anthony Faiola and Glenn Kessler

Washington Post Staff Writers

Saturday, November 15, 2008; Page A01

When world leaders gathered last night for a White House dinner on the eve of a major economic summit, the faces around the table were not just those of the Europeans and Japanese who normally mix in the highest circles of diplomacy. This time, heads of state from the across the developing world, from China to Brazil to India, had a seat at the table.Their inclusion in this weekend’s talks on the global financial crisis marks a historic power shift. The summit is being seen as a model of what high-level diplomacy will look like in the future, with emerging giants gaining a voice in a club that long included only the richest of nations. But at a time when China maintains the world’s largest cash reserves and the United States is going deep into debt, the definition of rich has changed.



Tech Industry, Long Insulated, Feels a Slump


Published: November 14, 2008

The technology industry, which resisted the economy’s growing weakness over the last year as customers kept buying laptops and iPhones, has finally succumbed to the slowdown.

In the span of just a few weeks, orders for both business and consumer tech products have collapsed, and technology companies have begun laying off workers. The plunge is so severe that some executives are comparing it with the dot-com bust in 2000, when hundreds of companies disappeared and Silicon Valley lost nearly a fifth of its jobs.

October “was like turning a switch,” said Robert Barbera, chief economist at the Investment Technology Group, a research and trading firm. “Everything pretty much shut down.”

Random Japan

The foreigners in our midst

Illustration by Emi Yokoyama

The foreigners in our midst

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry reported that the number of international marriages in Japan skyrocketed to 44,700 in 2006 from 27,700 in 2005.

During the same period, the number of international divorces rose from 7,990 to 17,100.

After receiving reports that forged passports were being used to buy keitai, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a seminar for cellphone shop employees on how to spot fake IDs.

The labor ministry said that the number of foreigners seeking help at government-run job centers recently doubled, while the number of Japanese jobseekers has remained constant.

Pony Party: Playing Hooky

It’s a Perfect Day

by Superchick

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