Friday, September 30, 2011

Soldier who hoped to teach in S Lake Tahoe dies in Afghanistan

I can't believe how 1984 this is.  You try to get to a good posit ion in life but you have to try harder because your family isn't wealthy and when u lose the rich man's game, it's worse for all. WELCOME TO TERRA GOP!
Take back Wall Street
Take back our nation.

Up To 30% of Online Reviews are Fake

Faking positive online reviews has been an industry I'm guessing at least since eBay started the recording "customer" satisfaction.  Come on.  No one talks like that in real life. And now online supposedly voluntary reviews are being investigated, reported by Business Week. (See link at end of this post.) I'd almost guess that places like Yelp etc wouldn't even have a business model except for purchased reviews, and I am always suspicious of gushing approval.  I also find mechanics w/ gushing reviews tend to try to push extra work on you to pad their bills. Really, for local biz I'd rather use a phone book where I know the ad copy is purchased.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bill Press: A Flat Tax is Unfair and UnBiblical

On The Ed Show last night, Bill Press pointed out a very important argument against the flat tax, the one that was made in the Bible.

Over and over the Bible points out that those who get more from life, the economy, or if you want to think of it religiously, from God have an obligation to give more back.

But now Republicans are calling over and over for a flat tax, an action they wouldn't dare do if we had half the quality press we need.  Too many pundits will just repeat over and over again what Republicans say, trying to keep on the good side of the wealthy people paying their wages.

The Bible is all for the big wage earners paying a higher rate of taxes.  It praises generosity in the wealthy, and considers their lot to look out for poorer people.

Remember how Jesus warned that it was easier for a camel to go through the "Eye of a Needle" than for a rich man to get into heaven?   There was some discussion whether there was, in Jesus' days, a small gate called "The eye of the Needle" in which a camel would have to crawl on its knees to make its way through, but pastors I consider more honest said, no, that's about an actual needle.

In fact, the Christian religion actually demands that the wealthy to let go of their love of money, to divest of it, at least in  a committed spirit which would require constant charity inspired giving that would tend to reduce one's ability to grow great wealthy or to become a Bill O' Reilly who is worried about a 50% tax on the immense amount of wealth he makes telling lies on FOX News.

Applying a graduated tax on citizens is also a matter of common sense.  Forcing poor families to pay higher taxes removes their chance to buy a house, create a stable future for their family, and for you, because who is going to buy your home if the tax burden is increased on working and middle class families?

It has been shown that the ability to purchase a home and make some progress in life makes people more dependable and less likely to commit violence.  Many of the rioters in Britain this summer get (or got) no or low rent housing from the government.  That free housing did not keep people calm.  If more of the poor young people had come from a family who owned a house themselves, they would likely have been less willing to burn down someone else's home.

There have been many crazy tax changes.  During the 80s Reagan's new tax plan eased out the personal interest deduction.  Most working class families couldn't get rid of the debt though wealthy Republicans swore it would be easy to do so.  Coupled with Congress' refusal to force credit companies to restrict the interest they charge their captives  .. er .. "customers" many families never were able to pay off that debt, and that is one of the reason we are having huge numbers of bankruptcy cases flooding our courts.

Even if the wealthy want to pretend they can put more tax burden onto the working class, it won't work.   Unequal societies are inherently unstable and can turn over and dump anyone into the muck at any time.

See video linked here for Heidi Harris's complaint that poor people don't have to pay taxes at the same rate as wealthy people and "horrors, the earned income credit means that some poor people don't pay any federal income tax at al"l.  Bill Press's response was my inspiration for this post.  I just thought the Biblical message needed to be explained a little further to help people deal with a perverted idea of what the Christian religion teaches.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Is GOP Playing Belgium to China's Germany For Illegal Campaign Donations?

Autumn Colors Lake Crabtree NC 0469
Somehow Bad News is Always Worse As the Days Grow Shorter
But fall color helps keep the spirits up.
Picture is used with Creative Commons license via Flickr's native placement and attribution coding. Rollover for name of photographer, or click on it to go to original site

Reading an article on the Solyndra collapse, I sense there is a possibility that China undercut an amazing American chance to create better solar cells.

Republicans say": Welcome.

World wide trade is good. but at the expense of a better system created by Americans?


And instead of warning Americans, Republicans are using the incident to attack the president. As usual they are waging a phony political battle to try to unseat the one person who has the best chance to help our nation escape a Europe-like melt down.

After all is Rick "no social security" Perry or Mitt "jobs destroyer" Romney going to do that for us?

The LA Times article does not come out and say that China is playing economic warfare games, it just notes that as Solyndra was trying to gain a workable market share with a superior product suddenly the Chinese started dropping the price of their inferior flat solar panels until Solyndra really had no choice other than to give up the fight when they couldn't get another large loan from the government.

So, if anything, the Republicans shouldn't be blaming the Obama administration for lending money to Solyndra, (which was backed by both Democratic donors and Republican donors), but for giving up too early.

But, still it is unknown how far the Chinese would go in cutting prices and it was likely to be unfathomable what the outcome could be. The government may have done the best thing after all.

The best way to know whether if Solyndra was a victim of an economic act of war is to see if China now raises the price of their flat, less efficient, solar panels. If they do, I think we have our answer, and we should do something about it.

Tarriffs? Fund companies making cheaper solar panels in the US?

Don't bother asking the GOP leaders though. They have their little story all set up.

For those of you uncertain of how China can give illegal donations check out the Citizen's United decisions which allow corporations and others to give unidentified donations. That's how. You think the govt of China is going to tell us how they are waging war on our economy?? Republicans love the unidentified corporate donations, so they're likely to love Chinese participation in their campaigns. Now wonder they have no problem with Citizens United while they promote the bipartisan Solyndra as a Democratic problem. That's so

I tell you that I don't worry about a little Crony Capitalism though I don't think you can call the Solyndra loans by that name since people donating to both Republicans and Democrats were heavy investors in the company. What I fear more is Crony Fascism, the kind of deals I see coming out of the GOP and China.

And BTW, China, I am no longer so sanguine that you want to buy our baseball team out here in Los Angeles if you are going to play economic warfare on our green energy companies.

You can read a report on Solyndra's history at the LA Times which does not hint of any suspicion of economic warfare at: Solyndra's collapse is a tale of too much dazzle.

Census: 28,000 same-sex couples in California say they are married, regardless of the law

I'm a married heterosexual, but take that haters! See Mercury News:

Economists Say Obama's Jobs Plan Would Prevent Double Dip Recession

So I guess GOP is determined to block it since they favor your hide being sold to the highest bidders in 2013. See BW:

Rand (send your donations here, Koch Bros) Paul blocks national pipeline safety bill

Rand Paul still keeps a glowing "send $$ here, Koch Bros." sign on his chest as he blocks a bill that would call for higher safety standards for our nation's pipelines. The Chronicle explains that regulations in CA, home of the horrific San Bruno blast, exceed national standards, but the block endangers people even in Paul's home state of Kentucky, and why breaking the "block" would be prohibitive to such polititions: All in all a fine piece of reporting by the Chronicle writer. Some pundits say we need to get away from political divisions, but what we really need is good reporting that explains the realities of politics.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 : UC Berkeley GOP student bake sale is mean-spirited

Johnson makes a good point. IE, if your ancestors were likely to have been selling other people's ancestors just 150 years ago, don't be thinking that you have anything to teach people about equality.  And whatever this group says, the unequal bake sales trying to get white males angry about their lot in life have been around for decades.  It's not about Gov. Brown's current legislation.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mexico AG Blames Drug Lords for Mexico's Violence

A woman as pimped up as Sarah Palin stands on a stage and castrates Mexican drug lords for massive upscale of murder since her government took office and the SanDiego paper obligingly just reprints her words in one of the most obsequious articles I have ever read even in the US mainstream press.
It is known that violence skyrocketed after her government's rise to power, because drug selling gangs were allied with his political rival a relatively liberal politician whose realized that drug exportation to the US fed many people in the nation where the US pushed down wages to slave labor rates.
Even highly respected organizations have admitted that US anti drug policy pushes up the number of murders in Mexico as well.  Even the r/w Mexican president has acknowleged the same.  But now he and his team is back in full kill mode with this article, which is meant to allow them to kill more poor people who have to take the jobs from the drug lords because most jobs pay minimum in Mexico and that won't even house, clothe, and feed your family.  Death happy Republicans love it and the San DiegoTribune stands ready to cover up the blame for their murderous policies.

Elizabeth Warren is the Smartest Person in the Room

Copyright Case Could Turn Into a Judicial Cluster Bomb for Media Groups

A couple of posts down I wrote about a case in which a poster was embroiled in a fight over the use of copyrighted material.

The copyright plaintiff, Righthaven, is a limited liability corporation and lost its case since it didn't hold the actual copyright.

The judge in the case awarded the defendent c. $35,000 in lawyers fees which Righthaven says it won't pay, and will declare bankruptcy instead.

But an analysis says that it might be provable that Righthaven was set up by its creators, Stephens Media, and MediaNews Group plus some single names (I will link to the article I'm referencing so you can get those if you want) knowing it was all a bit of a scam,  and not wanting to put their own assets at risk, which would mean that they themselves can be sued for the fees.

I don't know much about Stephens Media, having avoided the Las Vegas paper, so I couldn't get tainted with a thought that Righthaven could sue me for, but I have admired some of the work that MediaNews has done.

Weirdly though they claimed that vigorously defending their material from copying would make them a more effective news system, since Righthaven's start up, it seems to me that their reporting has taken a serious dive in quality.

It's like the flatlining of news quality at the New York Times since they started their pay wall. Krugman's the only writer there who is even trying anymore. I wonder if the NYT is looking to catch Wall Street Journal readers with small brains and deep pockets.

Logically, making more money should make news teams better, but that's not what we are seeing.

Meanwhile The Washington Post keeps rolling along with some of the best reporting and still being offered freely on the web.

Media groups behind Righthaven could get hit with some bad judgements. Could it make them go back to superior reporting?

Maybe not, but the passing of news is an important function, one now apparently backed by a US District Court (in which most constitutional decisions are resolved according to one report on CA's trial to overturn Proposition 8).

The right to be informed looks to be winning.

I hope this continues, and a lot of people hope that Righthaven doesn't.

This post is a summary of and comment on a report at TechDirt

If Righthaven Declares Bankruptcy, Expect Lawyers To Go After Stephens Media, Media News, And Righthaven Principals

Also recommended:

Righthaven Defendant Moves To Strip Firm’s Assets

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to Boycott Georgia

Information on businesses based in Georgia is available on the Internet.

Wikipedia has some listed, but I don't think it's very complete.

If you know more Georgia businesses, why not add them there.

Google also brings up more sources of information like: 13 Georgia companies on 2009 Fortune 500 list Which lists biggies like Coca Cola, The Home Depot, United Parcel Service, Delta Airlines, AFLAC, Genuine Parts, etc. (Besides 13 companies on the Fortune 500 they also list 16 from the Fortune 1000.)

An search brings up more articles that can be sources.

I do suggest boycotting businesses in Georgia.

Business owners and leaders make many decisions on which candidates to back in their part of the world and how many resources to put into backing them.

Too many times they chose to go with the candidate that will give them tax breaks, or who indulges in crony capitalism.

Another way that businesses can get better governance is to promote a quality news system, but by not doing so they gain power because their money in politics is the main factor in all kinds of races.

Does anyone even have a chance to know anything about all those judges we're supposed to be voting for every few years?

Meanwhile businesses ignore the racism and the urge to kill in the populace around them while they make pathetic ads trying to prove to people that the world will be perfect if they just buy the products their companies sell.

This really needs to stop.

Business leaders need to stop promoting the hucksters in government and become responsible members of society.

Evidence found that Medical Marijuana facillities supress crime

Climate Change Responsible For Early Fall of Satellite

Video: The Extinction of the Rich Imminent?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hewlett-Packard CEO may be ousted, replaced with Whitman

Apparently, Meg Whitman needs a new CEO spot from which she can try for a GOP Treasury Sect. or or CA governorship position. By 2014 th the 2nd act the big biz move is needed, the EBay buying Skype or HP going to China (which Apple did do well, unlike Fiorina at HP). Then MSM can tout MS Whitman as a winner instead of a loser)

Iran frees American hikers

Finally free See LA Times:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Judge to Release Tapes of Prop 8 Trial

  Sharing a news story.  Despite a decision by Former Chief District Judge Walker, to keep Video tapes of proceedings of Proposition 8 trial secret, the new judge heading the trail will release the tapes citing the fact that transcripts of the proceedings have already been released which show the weakness of the Pro Proposition arguments.  The right are desperate to hide the idiocy of their reasoning since they tend to make the Gay haters look about as reasonable as Michelle Bachmann with her claim that a woman told her that a HPV innoculation induced mental retardation into her daughter.  BTW, I'm guessing that ''woman's' first name was "Marcus".

In China Elites Get Special Uncontaminated Food

But in the US most of our food comes from China now. We have no promise that food we get from China is safe.  Yet Cold War-like LA Times article ignores reality.  They should have kept their good reporters, instead of firing them in favor of cheaper ones. LA Times - In China, what you eat tells who you are

Lawyer wants US Marshals to seize copyright troll's bank account

Copyright bully Righthaven which was searching out articles reprinted on blogs from the Las Vegas News Review and other papers may be closed down after losing court case. Company often charged even small time bloggers with no advertising tens of thousands of dollars (from other reports I've read in the past year and charged both Sharron Angle and the Democratic party of Nevada $150k for copyright infringement also according to other reports. You can read at link how they may have met their match in court, and could lose their business. Could such a huge loss so early in the development of such seek and sue efforts, put an end to the whole model which was beginning to take off?

Reading a link in the article linked above the case gets even more exciting.  The judge found that though a man actually did a cut and paste from information from the Las Vegas paper, it was deemed "Fair Use"  possibly because it was pasted into a forum post from which the copier would have had no way to earn money from the placement.

So this is exciting news for those who want to share what's happening with their peers, and possibly bad news for those who want to lock knowledge and news up in a safe so all people will hear are the politicians.

Monday, September 19, 2011

For Califorians: Dan Walters Can Speak Truth to Power if he can smack Dems in the process.

Yeah we should overhaul high paying boards (though we asked for them when we termed out legislators, but there should be balance.  Boards don't work enough for their 6 figure salaries,  but "token" wages are crap). We need full time boards. They. work full time and get paid full time, none of this 5 meetings a year or token payment crap.  Those Californians who have Unemployment Insurance issues need full time represeqntation not advocates who collect $$ for nothing of "token salaries".  The Sacramento Bee : Dan Walters: An overhaul of California boards is long overdue

Alec Baldwin Boycotts Emmys After FOX cancels phone hacking skit

Sharing a news story. So if another tabloid can be trusted that's why Baldwin wasn't at the Emmys, if in fact he wasn't.  I didn't watch.  The Daily Mail then went on about Mr. B's daughter' s Twitter scandal (a sad non started _probably pushed by low lifes) and his new girlfriend.  If the Mail can be trusted then FOX cannot. Don't we have some kind of board to look into this?  Okay maybe it's better we don't.  Murdoch's crew would likely take over that to, like they took over the #1 seat. in the DC press corps. (or is that corpse?)

DADT Ends Tuesday

It's the end for discrimination based on sexual orientation.  Helicopter beany anyone?  See: Army Times Mobile

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ron Paul's 2008 Campaign Manager Died in 2008 Without Health Insuance

Though Ron Paul did not say "let him die" in reply to Wolf Blitzer's question if a 30 year old uninsured man should be left without care if he should face a serious medical problem (people in the crowd did indicate the man should die) he did exactly that in 2008 as his campaign manager got sick without medical insurance and died shortly after Paul quit the race.

What is worse; the campaign manager had raised over $19 million for Paul's run for the presidency during one quarter of a year's accounting, but the candidate didn't shell out the extra money for insurance for a middle aged man who needed more expensive plan for pre-existing conditions.

Many of the reports say the man couldn't get insurance, but I'm sure that he could for the right price. (And one report notes that it was a lack of affordable insurance, not insurance per se.) Instead the manager left his mother with $400k bill for a failed attempt to save his life during a bout of pneumonia.

Paul's campaign staff says that the candidate held a money raiser to help the mother with the hospital bills, but one of my sources says they were only able to raise $50k. I am pretty sure that with up-front money people generally get better care and therefore a puny postmortem fund raising, not only did not pay the bill, but likely failed to get him the best care in the first place. Also, as many have noted, if Paul and the campaign manager's friends didn't raise the money then you and others in the end paid for the man's treatment through higher medical prices for everyone.

And remember this was a man responsible for getting Mr. Paul $19 million dollars in one quarter. Heartless hardly covers Mr. Paul's ideas on libertarian medicine.

See: Truthout:
  Uninsured by Ron Paul, His 2008 Campaign Manager Died Owing $400,000 for Medical Care

Times   Paul’s false bargain on health care

NPR plays this like it's an affirmation of Ron Paul's strength of character that he let his aide die instead of breaking down and giving the man health insurance (though it wasn't Ron Paul that died), but I am linking to it because it shows that the campaign finance aide got Mr. Paul $19m in one quarter, yet Mr. Scrooge McDuck wouldn't even provide medical insurance for him. See: Dead Ron Paul Aide Fit Uninsured Scenario From Tea Party Debate

Friday, September 16, 2011

Israel to Approve Settlements Built Without Compensation on Private Palestinian Lands

Rick Perry Turned Over Teacher Retirement Funds to Political Cronies

In another example of what appears to be quid pro quo, activity between the Texas Governor and some of his campaign contributors.   See Mother Jones: How Rick Perry Put Teacher Retirement Money in His Cronies' Hands

JK Rowling To Participate in Phone Hacking Investigation #Murdochgate

Apparently the wizarding author believes her phone was also hacked. Too bad magic wands are only make-believe.  It would be a lot more satisfying to turn one or more Murdoch men into ferrets (a fate they certainly deserve). See article from The Guardian:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ron Paul Calls For Charity Hospitals For Uninsured Patients. Tea Party Crowd Calls for Death

With more Tea Party power they both should get their wish because Charity Hospitals should be better known as Death Hospitals. And even the Upper Middle Class could face a greater threat of death if they get sick because chickens for medicine and Charity tended hospitals are not a good system for rapid medical advances.

Do you think a medical researcher is going to wake up one morning feel hungry for chicken and therefore go invent a cure for cancer? It takes years to develop and test anything like that. Who sends the researcher the chickens in advance?
In fact, in the days when the Tea Party candidates say they yearn for where medicine was paid for in chickens, eggs, and house painting, medicine advanced much more slowly, and a much greater percentage of patients died because a chicken based economic model is not a medium for funding medical research.

Oh wait, you mean that wealthy Tea Party candidates should get the reward of all of the rest of us paying amazing amounts of money for medical research that we can't afford, because how do you chickenize the price of heart attack rescue and care?

So hundreds of millions of millions, maybe billions of dollars come out of the pockets of ordinary people to go into research, but that's only for Ron Paul, Daddy Warbucks, and other multi millionaires because under their plans people paying in chickens and painting houses could maybe afford to pay for a nose bleed, but not much else.

To really go libertarian, all that medical research is going to have to stop, because the funding comes from our taxes which Ron Paul now calls theft. So there won't be research even for the likes of Paul, and Warbucks. Medicine doesn't advance well under the chicken monetary system.

Think of how poorly it developed through the early 20th century, all the while women died in childbirth, men of heart attacks, everyone of diseases that swept through communities.

I have a family story of an epidemic, no make that two, that swept through Denver in the early 20th century when the town was hit by twin epidemics of smallpox and diphtheria. My grandmother's family of birth caught smallpox one after the other. The first to sicken, one of the girls, was taken to the smallpox hospital for "proper care". But the nurses were working two hospitals and traveling between them and, unfortunately, the other hospital was for treating diphtheria. Of course, the nurses were also putting themselves and their families at risk by treating anyone, but they did it for a few dollars and because no one else would.

Working thus they succeeded in transferring the germs between the two hospitals and keeping up a nearly perfect record of killing every patient that entered either building. In my grandmother's family no one went to the hospital after their daughter/sister died even though nearly every member was ill, and in many cases in epidemics the extra effort of caring for family members was often enough to wear down the health of the caregiver who would then become to weak to fight off the disease. I don't know how my family managed it, but I did go search out that part of the family tree and confirmed that one of those who would have been my great aunt did die in a smallpox epidemic. I guess the good news was that no one else died near that time so they must have survived.

Charity Hospitals though have never been known for much quality care. Ron Paul called them Christian hospitals, apparently since much of the country doesn't believe you can ever question anything coming from the Christian Church, because no Christian would ever lie or steal or set up a shoddy medical system for poor people, though that tends to be what results from any charity based medicine.

 Charity hospitals have long been known as dangerous and odious places, but hey "Are there no workhouses, Are there no prisons?" right, Dr. Paul? As a matter of fact, the more I hear from Doctor Ron (I, me, mine) Paul. the uglier his plans look.

I'm amazed a his ravenous greed upon hearing him declare that taxing him steals from his pocket as he drives on public streets and highways, and went to schools that likely had some financing from the government, and as he is protected by the police that patrol the streets at night an army that keeps other nations from even considering coming here to enslave us, and, BTW, lives in the Imperial City (DC), taking a government wage.

He should lead the way, and go back home, to practice chicken based medicine, just like he's telling us to do, and stop taking money out of our pockets!

Part of this analysis relies on a video I viewed recently in which Ron Paul said that in the past that people used chickens or house painting to pay off their doctors.  I know a Nevada lady said similar things in the 2010  Senate primary and lost that race based on her statements, but I am sure it was Ron Paul saying it in the video that I viewed.  It makes me wonder why Mr Paul doesn't face the same accountability as the Nevada woman did for similar statements, but then again this is Ron (fucking) Paul, Dudes.   The press worships at his feet.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

LA Times - Afghan insurgents attack U.S. Embassy

Dear Insurgents: Striking your own country, your own people on tenth anniversary of 911 is pathetic .

Are Wandering #Obama Backers Coming Home?

Ben Smith writes that Obama droppers who had changed their minds about the president after supporting him in the 2008 elections are back in the fold. Other former Obama supporters called switchers are more comfortable voting Republican, but fear the Tea Party. Could the Mad Hatters drive them back to the Democrat? See Politico Survey: Obama 'switchers' lean right, fear Tea Party

American Hikers Jailed in #Iran May Be Freed Soon

GOP Lawyers Block TV Cameras in Same Sex Marriage Case

Monday, September 12, 2011

BART to Restrict Free Press? Murderous Cops Meet Slippery Slope

The BART regime reminds me so much of the Bushies that I halfway expect them to invade a Middle Eastern transit system for regime change and botch the job badly while outsourcing billions of $$ of reconstruction and troop provisioning to political allies.

For CC Times (mobile style) report see:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

#Subprime #Mortgages Were the #JimCrow of the 1st Decade of New Millenium

The Jim Crow of the first decade of the new millenium was the targeting of minorities for sub prime loans which happened across the nation as noted in many national reports though the Sacramento Bee only talks about the effect on California's Central Valley area.  This stole much more from minorities than from white people as they were specifically targeted. So much mainstream news will admit.  But now the GOP is using old fashioned Jim Crow and seeking to keep minorities and the poor from voting in 2012 so they can block Barack Obama from his 2nd, more powerful term.  To help the GOP Allow the wealthy to bend the rules to steal from you again, do nothing.  The system is already set up.  Otherwise defeat Jim Crow against struggling families and minorities in general and get all necessary IDs for voting, keep clean, because many states are banning former inmates from voting entirely (check out your state's requirements before you give up) .  Do what you can to reclaim your voting rights or the wealthy will continue their electoral battles to push minorities and the rest of the working class (that means you lower middle class  families and I) into virtual slavery.  This is how it happens.  The wealthy are allowed by Congress to rip you off.  See;  The Sacramento Bee : Housing bust hit blacks, Latinos hardest for their hand wringing, but lack of solutions but lack of effective solutions.

Alaska's Oil Pipeline at Risk of Major Spill Into Ocean at Valdez?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hens Coming Home to Roost Eh #Israel re: #egypt #gaza

Poor Israel tried to treat her closest allies as the bathmats she always considered them to be, refusing to apologize to Turkey for killing 9 of their people and killing Egyptian security personnel. (Just days ago Egypt had credible cause to shoot first and ask questions later when they thought private security guards with weapons were terrorists) but they didn't. 
Because you treat your friends as early 19th century chattel, and because your allied dictatorship buddies are falling you need to walk with more gentle footsteps, Dudes.  Even the US is figuring out that you are not the democracy you pretend to be.   To see a report from The Guardian on the removal of the IL ambassador to Egypt see:
I do usually go to Haaretz for more info but it's clear that the IL propaganda squads have taken control even of that paper today.

GOP Moves to Block New Safety Reforms On Pipelines

Along Corniche Area, Doha, Qatar... with City Center far back
Another Waterfront. This one's in Quatar.
Nice, but I hope they don't have dangerous pipelines lurking there, too.
Picture used via Creative Commons license. Rollover to see photographer's name. Click to go to original site.

Isn't it funny how we were just talking about the San Bruno fire yesterday, and then it is learned that Congressional GOP members want to block new legislation that would help ensure our pipelines are safe? Actually, no it's not. As regulators started drawing up new safety measures, I'm sure that PG&E called up every Congress member they could think of to whine and complain, and promise to donate to his or her campaign if he or she DID SOMETHING TO STOP NEW REGULATIONS! And so we have a GOP measure to make inspections and other safety measures less likely. I'd like anyone who votes for that package to go to San Bruno and explain their actions to the survivors. You owe them at least that. Read GOP gas pipeline bill would block safety reforms

Can the Post Office Compete or is the Internet Destroying it?

The New York Times published an article on Labor Day claiming that the stodgy old US Postal Service is failing and comparing it to UPS and Federal Express. From what I'm reading the Times article seemed to claim that the old government service was, of course, failing because it wasn't agile and reactive. UPS and Federal Express had much lower employee costs, the report claim, but two other analyses found the truth to be somewhat different. The problems are solvable, the Internet isn't the real problem, and UPS and FedEx are not more efficient. I recommend watching the video above and and the article linked below. It is disturbing that the New York Times seems to bending to the right and framing their articles as if they all have to pass muster with Darrel Issa. And in fact, Congressman Issa is even mentioned in one report as trying to get the Postal Service shut down. (To be replaced with a system that uses a lot of mail carts that weirdly tell passing pedestrians "Warning, you are too close! Step away from the mail!"?) More info on the Postal System's problems and solutions (and about the original report) at Targeting the Post Office.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Another Tragic September Anniversary

San Bruno Fire
Iconic San Francisco Waterfront
and the smoke arising from another September tragedy

Last year's natural gas transit line explosion could have been avoided if an inspection had been made in any of the 55 years in which the pipe that failed had been sitting beneath the unsuspecting feet of a residential community.

The picture above is used via Creative Commons license using Flickr's native placement and attribution coding. Rollover for photographer's name. Click to go to original site, see different sizes.

September 9th 2011 marks the one year anniversary of the failure of a 24 inch PG&E gas transit line and the resulting explosion which destroyed a neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay area town called San Bruno, and killed 8 members of its community. I've found an account that seems to describe what happened. I've been keeping up as well as I can with little time, and a conversation between a KALW reporter Holly Kernan and Bay Citizen journalist John Updike seems to confirm what I'd picked up and adds to that knowledge. They discuss the tragedy (both of September 9, 2010 and the many years before when, with just a little effort, PG&E could have discovered and fixed the section that failed last year). See: One year after the San Bruno pipeline disaster

Interrogation Techniques Banned Since N Ireland Conflict Used in Iraq by British Forces

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rupert Murdoch Wants To Take Over Your Children's Education

Hear (on video above) or read how Rupert Murdoch plans to take over the public school systems and turn your kids into right wing ideologues, by turning their education over to his own hand picked propaganda crew. They intend to grab more than the right to spy on them (on hold for now) and actually mean to replace the classroom teacher so they can preach their veiled racist and classist screed to your kids through Internet School, mandated by your communities. Yes, Murdoch's people actually intend for their programs to replace public schools, and those pesky union teachers that have tender hearts and believe that the Civil Rights era was a good thing. (The script at Democracy Now does not mention a planned propaganda program, but since this is a Murdoch plan I'm assuming.)
Much of homeschooling educational materials tend to have a religious bent and promote right wing ideas, but there are problems with the system. Parents may not properly push Creationism and other ideas the right likes. And sometimes school systems step in if the children's schooling is insufficient or incomplete. What a drag.
So Murdoch's folk have the brilliant idea of creating an Internet version of Home Schooling controlled by his people. They could cover the basics while inserting right wing ideas. And it will be government school so it can't be deemed "bad" by the authorities. Think of how many teachers you can replace with one Nurse Ratched lecturing your child and an automated testing system so the school "board" can make sure your child "knows" that Charles Darwin recanted his belief in Evolution on his deathbed (and other lies Creationists tell).
The whole Internet School plan reeks of Soviet style education, but it will make it possible to block liberals or even centrists from the classroom because one teacher can be virtually cloned by the thousands. And how are kids going to learn how to get along with other To read the specific portion about putting public school online, click on the "read" link above and then search for "Murdoch" which will take you to a point close to where journalist Juan Gonzalez begins to talk to Diane Ravitch (assistant secretary of education and counselor to Education Secretary Lamar Alexander under President George H. W. Bush and appointed to the National Assessment Governing Board under President Clinton). In the video, the part about institutionalized Internet schooling planned by Murdoch is near the end.

Proposition 8 Returns to the California Supreme Court #prop8 #lgbt #calif #ca

At least two judges. have changed since their last decision on the measure but will it be enough? Sharing a news story

Monday, September 5, 2011

Republican Candidates Turn On Each Other

The possible reality that GOP candidates are beating up on each other is no reason to stop digging up the truth on all of them, since MSM has been transmitting all their lies about Obama with as much vigor as their fat cat sponsors can afford, butvwe can learn from what they say about each other.  And we can use those truths to attack each and every one of them.  See:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Ed Show: Marco Rubio Says Americans Aren't As Good As They Used to Be

LA Marathon Creator Offers 1.2 Billion (Mostly Chinese) Dollars For LA Dodgers

This Is My Town
The View From Dodger Stadium
Around sunset some sights are even more exciting, in fact a few years ago the city and developers were trying to drive the team out of the location so it could be made into high priced homes. (Don't tell Burke and his partners.  We don't want to give them any ideas).

Picture above is used with a Creative Commons' license via Flickr's native placement and attribution coding. Rollover picture to see photographer's id, click on it to go to original location and view other sizes.

Bill Burke, husband of former LA County Supervisor Yvonne Braithwaithe Burke, and the man credited with creating the LA Marathon, has put forward an offer of $1.2 B backed by money from entities described as owned by the Chinese government.

McCourt has not actually put the team up for sale and who knows what he and his buddies at FOX will do about this offer which is good for 21 days.   (Though FOX no longer owns the team, it seems that they have so many connections with the McCourts and their vanity project/piggy bank team that it seems, to my eyes anyway, that FOX sold it to the Boston couple assuming and getting special deals built right in.  In fact, I think it is only MLB that has stopped Frank from signing TV broadcasting rights away to Murdoch's company for years to come.)

(And what is with Dodger games only being broadcast on the AM band for radio.  Who has an AM radio anymore?  You have to go sit in the car to listen to the game? My IPod has an FM station, but the current owner of the Dodgers can't be bothered to come into the 21st Century.)

Author of the LA Times article Frank McCourt gets offer: The Reds are coming? informs us that the deal would make the Dodgers the first MLB team owned by an African American, which would be good, but he is not so pleased with the money coming from groups with ties to the Chinese government.

I'm not that afraid of the Asian money, especially if Mr. Burke has the control. And if they will promise us to use an FM radio station to broadcast the games, I'll be estatic.

Besides, look at the alternative. The McCourts and Murdoch lunching off our local team possibly for years to come.

Chilean Air Force Plane Has Crashed Try to Land at Juan Fernandez Island

21 people may have been lost after aircraft disappeared after a couple attempts to land at strip on the islands made famous by novel "Robinson Carusoe" by Daniel Dafoe (which is. based loosely on an actual histore of a pirate marooned by his people and rescue by another crew of renegades according to book The Republic of Pirates by journalist and author Colin Woodward).  Passengers on the flight included those helping the area recover from last year's massive quake and resultant Tsunami and a news crew reporting on the recovery effort.

Friday, September 2, 2011

GOP Austerity Measures Working As Hiring Drops To Zero._

Austerity thy name is unemployment.  We have had 9 months now of GOP control and the economy that was once recovering is now declining again.  If people vote for Republicans again they are stupid or racists.

7.1 magnitude quake strikes off Alaska

Big quake, and I can't find news at ADN.  Do they close up at night it was the quake too close?   Local Tsunami warning.  Good Luck AK.

Gaza flotilla report leaked to NYT Early. Why? In Gratitude For All The Puff and Bias?

I'm wondering if the NYT got a leaked copy of the UN report on the attack on the May 31, 2010 attack of a Turkish ship was a partial present for their constant pro-Israel bias is as important as the pro Israel bias now also shown by the UN. How can a raid be "defensive" if the forces start shooting before they even board a ship?"

Thursday, September 1, 2011

WashingtonPost Agrees Paul Ryan Plan Reduces Medicare Support to c. 30% of Senior Needs

Glenn Kessler who used to follow Condie Rice around writing puff pieces writes that Joe Biden is wrong.
Kessler says that the Ryan plan does not end Medicare, only Medicare as we know it (you know, the one that saves your life without requiring you to sell everything you own in your most health-fragile years).

I can't see the supposed Pinnochio noses on my phone, bit they don't matter especially if assigned by Kessler who appears to be hedging his bets to make sure he can get a gig with News Corporation after the Murdoch clan drives every else out of business.

The fact is that Ryan's plan reduces Govt aid for Medicare to 30% from 70% is not to be sneezed at when you realize that the elder years are the times when the great illnesses are mostly fought.

And, as Ryan promotes his plan, his cronies in the GOP are promoting tax cuts for billionaires, and media folks like Glenn Kessler cover for them. But it's an easily understood quid pro quo if journalists aren't practicing methods once only found in undemocratic societies and the novel "1984", in other words "Double Speak".

Kessler also asserts that the Ryan plan won't hurt anyone currently over 55, but don't be mistaken the GOP want to kill off the Boomer generation and the following ones that kept the US from promoting eternal war until the Bush administration was able to generate enough fear after their failure to keep Americans safe on 911. After all we can't vote if we're dead.

So the Ryan plan is a great way to make the next generation jealous.  I know bloggers I admire who vow to vote for any plan and any candidate that promotes one that will take Medicare from those over 55 if seniors vote to take it from them.  Lack of empathy from the elderly will return the same against them. Count on it.

And apparently the only way to stop Ryan's Medicare take down and the other plans the GOP has is to vote Republicans out of office at every level.  I'm sorry to sound so partisan, but from the US House of Representatives to state governments Republicans have shown themselves to be ready to hand the nation to a wealthy oligarchic crew.  We could be the next India and we see how effective they are at anything, even fighting terrorism.  In the 2008 Mumbai attacks some of the first to be killed were top anti-terrorism officials.

 See WP: