August 30, 2010 archive

DREAM Now Letters to Barack Obama: Lizbeth Mateo

Originally posted on Citizen Orange.

The “DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama” is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, have good moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service.  With broader comprehensive immigration reform stuck in partisan gridlock, the time is now for the White House and Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act!

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Lizbeth Mateo and I am undocumented. On May 17th, on the 56th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, I, along with Mohammad Abdollahi, Yahaira Carrillo and two others, became the first undocumented students to risk deportation by staging a sit-in inside Senator McCain’s office in Tucson, Arizona, to demand the immediate passage of the DREAM Act. As a result of that sit-in we were arrested, turned over to ICE, and we now face deportation

Open Machine


Tenacatita Clusterf*ck for Ex-Pats

Crossposted from

The US press hasn’t bothered with this, though The Vancouver Sun has given it two mentions, one this morning.

First let me explain a little Mexican remedial land usage for Ocean Front Properties… basically, they understandably don’t want foreign investors taking it all over, so it is nearly impossible to “own” coastal regions outright.

But there are ways: 30 year leases, or banks that hold title in trust for you.

The second issue with this particular piece of property is that it was an “ejido” – basically a communally held piece of property wrenched from the hands of exploitative rich ranchero owners who tried to keep the peasants from owning or using land.

Now this particular piece of property has been in question since 1991, when a developer purchased it from the widow of a former Jalisco state governor. There have been two previous mass evacuations before this one.

Portends started last summer when someone blocked the road, with no explanation, from the nearby village to the beach area.

Mass evacuation basically has happened again – Americans, Canadians, and European people who bought properties in good faith (deeds approved no less by the office of the President under Fox) have been run off their properties, along with the Mexican community that lived there, and flourished under the needs of the International Community. They not only appropriated the property; but have stolen the possessions on that property. They are tearing down homes and businesses.

I feel horrible for those people.


U.S. Economy Grinds To Halt… Again


Calling it “basically no more than five rectangular strips of paper,” Fed chairman Ben Bernanke illustrates how much “$200”

is actually worth.
Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic, Mutually Shared Illusion

WASHINGTON-The U.S. economy ceased to function this week after unexpected existential remarks by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke shocked Americans into realizing that money is, in fact, just a meaningless and intangible social construct.

What began as a routine report before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday ended with Bernanke passionately disavowing the entire concept of currency, and negating in an instant the very foundation of the world’s largest economy.

“Though raising interest rates is unlikely at the moment, the Fed will of course act appropriately if we…if we…” said Bernanke, who then paused for a moment, looked down at his prepared statement, and shook his head in utter disbelief. “You know what? It doesn’t matter. None of this-this so-called ‘money’-really matters at all.”

“It’s just an illusion,” a wide-eyed Bernanke added as he removed bills from his wallet and slowly spread them out before him. “Just look at it: Meaningless pieces of paper with numbers printed on them. Worthless.”

According to witnesses, Finance Committee members sat in thunderstruck silence for several moments until Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) finally shouted out, “Oh my God, he’s right. It’s all a mirage. All of it-the money, our whole economy-it’s all a lie!”


Recent US Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan

Recent American casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, as listed at the Washington Post.

Pfc. Bradley D. Rappuhn died at Zhari Kandahar, Afghanistan, August 8, 2010. He was 24 years old.

From the Lansing State Journal…

“He was supposed to come home in the end of July,” said his mother, Roxanne Rappuhn, 53, of Grand Ledge. “But they tacked 45 more days on.”

“If he were here right now, he’d be telling me to suck it up,” she said.

Spec. Faith R. Hinkley died in Baghdad August 7, 2010. She was 23 years old.

From the Denver Post…

Hinkley, who had been in her high school’s marching band, surprised her family after the first year of college at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs when she announced she had enlisted in the Army.

“She really couldn’t tell us what she did,” Orene Hinkley said. “She didn’t want us to worry about her.

Lance Cpl. Kevin M. Cornelius died in Helmand province, Afghanistan, August 7, 2010. He was 20 years old.

From the Ashtabula Star-Beacon…

One of Kevin’s favorite times was the bicycle trip he took in 2006, when he rode his bike from East Glacier, Mont. to Ashtabula, a distance of 1,975 miles.

Pfc. Vincent E. Gammone III died in Helmand Province, Afghanistam, August 7, 2010. He was 19 years old.

From the Murfreesboro (Tennessee) Daily News-Journal…

Gammone’s father, Vincent Gammone, II, suffers from multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with one another. West said when the older Gammone learned of his son’s death he “didn’t believe it was his son” at first. “Yesterday (Monday) it finally hit him.”

Docudharma Times Monday August 30

Monday’s Headlines:

Hurricane Katrina after five years: a symbolic funeral but anger lives on


Environmental groups face their future in climate-change debate

Small businesses win bigger share of federal contracts


Many migrant workers in UK are modern-day slaves, say investigators

The workers united: The strike that shook the Kremlin

Middle East

Israeli actors refuse to take the stage in settlement theatre

Abbas puts onus for talks on Israel


Muslim states vow $1bn Pakistan aid

Bank of Japan takes stimulus steps


How moderate Muslims in Africa view NYC mosque debate

In Egypt, more people call for civil instead of religious marriage

Latin America

Chile miners speak to loved ones for first time

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

An Opened Mind XIII

I had an immense advantage over many others dealing with the problem in as much as I had no fixed ideas derived from long-established practice to control and bias my mind, and did not suffer from the general belief that whatever is, is right.

— Henry Bessemer

The Dark Side of Redworld

An Ocean of Blood

A drip of blood

from one perspective

unless its yours

or mine

It falls on the ground

in the highest places

in the villages of Nepal

where blood runs cold

it trickles down

the mountainside

through far Kashmir

into Afghanistan

staining the banks of the streams

that carve the hidden valleys

and splash into the rivers

staining them too with the blood

of guilty and the innocent alike

ever downward through

the desert of Iraq

There are other mountains

in Bosnia and Kosovo

where the blood also spilled

running eastward perhaps

through the valleys of Chechnya

and further on to color red

the desert of Uzbekistan

Blood also spilled in the jungles

of the Congo and Rwanda

and the oil plains of Nigeria

flowing into the rivers

ever onward

’til the rivers ran red

Here too the blood

eventually sank into the deserts

of Eritrea and Darfur

and the bazaars

of the Sudan and Somalia

The desert is stained

with blood

The bloody fist of oppression

squeezes the life

out of the jungle of Myanmar

and the farms of Zimbabwe

The mountains

of Peru and Columbia

add more than their share

The Big Muddy is stained

as it passes by what

used to be the Big Easy

but it’s sure not easy anymore

and the rivers run red with blood

carrying it to the ocean

an ocean of blood

bathing our world

Our home is built

on the blood of others

yet still we add more

or stand by watching it run

Our home is sinking

as the blood-tainted

ocean rises

The blood will consume

us all in the end

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–December 26, 2005

Late Night Karaoke

Sunday Train: Can Trains Help Win the Day in Australia?

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

It seems as if many people have been paying more attention to the Beckapalooza in DC … and the whole furor had me initially confused, as originally I thought it was something to do with Beck the Mongolian Chop Squad

But last weekend, there was an election in Australia, and on the night it seemed like it could be the closest in Australian history. As the week went on, that proved to be the case. And I got to thinking, listening to the various independents that hold the balance of power, that there could well be an unlikely working partnership available, where trains could help delivered a progressive governing majority on the most improbable of foundations.

NB: the grassfire in a dry lake bed shot that I use on occasion is in fact from Australia, suffering what has been characterized as a long running drought, but what seems more likely to be a secular shift to a dryer climate.

Pique the Geek 20100829: Automobiles, Part III. How to Keep Everything Going at Once

We have talked about how engines work in the past couple of installments of this series, and now need to bring together some important engineering factors.  We have talked about intake strokes, compression strokes, and others, but only very superficially touched on how everything comes together.

For an engine to work properly, everything has to be coordinated.  For simplicity, we will consider a conventional four stroke, gasoline powered automobile engine.  Diesel engines are in some aspects simpler, and will be covered concomitantly.

Remember, an engine has to do all of the things about which we have discussed, completely synchronized, and EVERY time.  For an engine rotating at, say, 4000 times per minute, this can be a daunting task.

The Revenge of Main Street

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

– Abraham Lincoln

 Wall Street has a problem.

 You see Wall Street functions much like Las Vegas. Their immense wealth depends on the continuing myth that their games aren’t rigged, and the willful denial of reality by the suckers.

  Just like Vegas, no one wants to talk about the money they lost playing the stock market. Instead, all you here about is how everyone is getting rich at the blackjack table. If you aren’t getting obscenely wealthy betting on interest rate spreads then there must be something wrong with you.

 In reality, the reason why you lost money is because the game is rigged. The House always wins in the end. The suckers are the ones who think there are rules. Like Wall Street, Vegas exists to separate you from your money.

 Wall Street may seem all powerful, but like Vegas it has an Achilles Heel – if the people don’t feed the beast it will starve.

 If the greed of The House gets to extreme, and the rigging of the games becomes too obvious to ignore, people will stop gambling at the casinos and in the stock market. The House goes broke.

 That tipping point, where the willful denial of Main Street starts to break down because the game rigging is so blatant, may have finally been reached.