September 21, 2010 archive

Paying College Athletes Sounds Simple Enough at First

I thought I’d never find myself even halfway agreeing with Charles Barkley.  Much of what he says is so self-serving and childish that it doesn’t merit a response.  However, after admitting that he took money from agents in college, he then proposed that college athletes be given small stipends to prevent being unduly influenced.  Barkley’s argument confronts the elephant in the room.    

Sunday Train: Crowding Out vs Crowding In and Transport

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

I was reading a Grist article critical of the most recent MIT report promoting nuclear power, and one of the arguments made got me thinking about transport:

Another critical omission in the MIT analysis is the fact that large commitments to nuclear construction tends to crowd out alternatives. The financial and managerial resources of the utility are concentrated on bringing these large complex plants online. Policies that reduce demand or promote alternatives are seen as a threat to the viability of the large nuclear project. My analysis of France and the U.S. bears this out. [emphasis in the original]

This got me thinking, because Crowding Out versus Crowding In is an important issue to face when looking for Oil-Independent Tranport in pursuit of Economic Independent for the US.

Australia ends practical ban on transfolk in military

Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston has issued an order ending a policy which, while not explicitly banning transfolk from serving, accomplished doing so in practice.

Houston called for all leaders to

manage ADF transgender personnel with fairness, respect and dignity … and existing medical review provisions; and ensure all personnel are not subjects to unacceptable behaviour



still waiting….

Going on now… (in the Senate), sorta

DREAM Act … ?

A vote on the legislation, which could happen Tuesday, would clear the way for a floor debate in the Senate about it. read more

DADT Repeal … ?

In another blow to the bill, Obama’s pick to lead the Marine Corps told a Senate panel on Tuesday that he worried that changing the policy would serve as a “distraction” to Marines fighting in Afghanistan.

“My primary concern with proposed repeal is the potential disruption to cohesion that may be caused by significant change during a period of extended combat operations,” Gen. James Amos said in a written statement provided to the panel for his confirmation hearing.

But wait… there’s more… things we’re still waiting for…


Dr Aafia Siddiqui will be sentenced on Thursday 23rd September 2010, at 9am. The hearing will be held in Judge Berman’s court at 500 Pearl Street in Manhattan, New York. Protesters in the UK will mark this with a 24 hour vigil from the eve of her sentencing.

Wait. Who ? ? ?

Open Candle


We Will Be Watching: Victory for the DREAM Act

Originally posted at Citizen Orange.

The fate of almost a million lives could be decided in the next six hours.  As a voter, as a millenial, as a migrant, as a Guatemalan, I’m writing to say that I will be watching along with the vast majority of those who will determine the future of the United States of America. 

If you already haven’t heard already, Harry Reid is going to offer the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act up as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.  The Senate is scheduled to vote on taking up the Act tomorrow at 2:15 p.m.  If you haven’t called you’re Senator yet in the support of the DREAM Act please do so now by calling:


It is imperative that you focus on these Senators.  If you’ve called already, call again.  If you’ve called again, ask five friends to do the same.  If you’ve done all that, here are some more actions you can take.

Docudharma Times Tuesday September 21

Tuesdday’s Headlines:

Children of al-Qaeda in Iraq pay for sins of their fathers

Why We Need a New Green Revolution to Stop Hunger


Short of Repeal, G.O.P. Will Chip at Health Law

BP to share spill cleanup tools with industry


Mayor who fell foul of Kremlin flees Moscow

Roma Campaign Isolates Leader in Europe and France

Middle East

Hamas ready to accept 1967 borders for Palestinian state

The specter of the one-state solution


Thai colors bleed a complicated mosaic

North Korea names date for leadership summit


Women in Egypt get hi-tech aid to beat sex harassment

Sudan rejects foreign intervention ahead of referendum

Latin America

Tell us what to write, Mexican paper pleads with drugs gangs

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

An Opened Mind XXIX

Anthropology demands the open-mindedness with which one must look and listen, record in astonishment and wonder that which one would not have been able to guess.

– Margaret Mead

Trapping the Demon

Emerson or Thoreau?

I am not

devoid of feelings.

I can be

hurt by words.

I can feel

anger at slights.

A stick swung

at someone else

will still hurt

if I am

the one stricken.

A stone thrown

at someone else

will do me damage

if me it strikes.

I can and do

feel outrage

when any group

is disparaged



This place

is not immune.

Where is the honor

in attacking

a Phelps of Topeka

for bigotry

if we practice

the moral equivalent

in this virtual realm?

Where is

the high ground?

Where is

our center?

Is the tent

in this place

too small

to contain

people like me?

Where is

your outrage?

Where is

your anger?

What is

your response?

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–December 8, 2005


The Nation of Refugees

Haiti, September 22, 2010…

With 1.3 million displaced people in 1,300 camps, homelessness is the new normal here.

Some of the residents of those 1300 tent-cities have been writing letters to humanitarian organizations through letter-boxes set up by the International Organization for Migration.

I don’t have work, my tarp is torn, the rain panics me, my house was crushed, I don’t have money to feed my family, I would really love it if you would help me,” wrote Marie Jean Jean.

M te konn renmen lapli, says a child in a tent. “I used to love the rain.” But now…

Rain means that the floor on which he sleeps turns to mud. Rain now means sometimes standing up all night long in fear of floods.

Pakistan, September 22, 2010

The outside world cannot foot the entire bill for Pakistan’s recovery from devastating floods and the Pakistani government must do more, US special envoy Richard Holbrooke said on Monday.

The day after world donors raised aid pledges to almost two billion dollars, Holbrooke said the eventual cost of the monsoon disaster could run into the “tens of billions of dollars.”

The same article mentions that now 12 million people in Pakistan need “emergency food aid.”

About 105,000 kids younger than 5 are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition over the next six months, UNICEF estimates.

“You’re seeing children who were probably very close to the brink of being malnourished, and the emergency has just pushed them over the edge,” says Erin Boyd, a UNICEF emergency nutritionist working in southern Pakistan. “There’s just not the capacity to treat this level of severe acute malnutrition.”

So many children were already on the brink of severe malnutrition before the floods, and I guess their parents always hoped for a better tomorrow, but now what can they really hope for?

A jobless father of five who lost his house in Pakistan’s floods killed himself by setting himself on fire in front of the prime minister’s house, relatives and officials said.

Mohammad Akram, 30, doused himself before scores of people in front of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s family residence in the eastern city of Multan Sunday. Mohammad Asif, Akram’s brother, said he had been looking for a job for several months.

“We had a mud-brick house which was washed away by the floods and now we are homeless.”

Late Night Karaoke

The “Recession” is Over? WTF

Wait a second, forget the money shit.  What about sanity let alone love, peace and universal harmony.  Does media have to confine all of us to these lower spiritual realms or attempt to tell us what we must think all the fascist frigging time.

Lady GaGa comes to Portland Maine.

I’m actually an open minded guy but if my fourth grandchild is a girl this is prohibited material.…

Boston wants to ban sugary drinks and there was something about masterbating witches or some other junior high school dribble.  No wonder I don’t pay attention.

My Apocalyptic horse has thrush.  I suppose I could ride the blue eyed steed

Financial Reform and Elizabeth Warren

The Challenge Elizabeth Faces  Fourteenth banker

Dodd-Frank establishes that the purpose of the Bureau is to implement and enforce Federal consumer financial law to ensure that markets for consumer financial products are fair, transparent, and competitive. Which raises the question, if all it is to do is enforce existing law, what has been going on all this time? Dilorenzo addresses that in great depth. A lot of the problem is that the enforcement of the existing law was not a priority of the various regulators that are currently extant. Consumer protections were always secondary. In many cases, consumer protection was viewed as being in conflict with the primary legislative purposes. Two of those legislative purposes have been to keep financial institutions safe and sound and to make home ownership cheap and easy. To accomplish these purposes, a regulator may have determined that banks should have nice fat profits and that credit should be liberal and easily obtained. Well, for a long time the regulators accomplished both of those purposes. However, it was at great expense. Dilorenzo identifies in his paper what some of that expense was. It can be summed up as lasting harm to vulnerable populations who have had their wealth and credit ravaged, predatory profits by many unscrupulous lenders, and of course the damage to financial institution safety and soundness that required the bailout of the entire system, at great taxpayer expense. Then you can add to those the large numbers of unemployed and the damage to general business conditions and the security of all citizens.

So that should be easy to fix, no?