Monday, February 28, 2011

"strange and new, exciting day indeed when the police are delivering bratwurst" to protesters

[...The Capitol building in Madison has been occupied by students and workers for more than ten days now. But at 11 PM the doors are locked, and if you're in, you're in, and if you're out, you're out. We were out. And so one of the protesters on the inside claimed that I was his intern in order to slip me through security. Once inside, I was amazed at what I saw: the building was packed with a cross section of the people of Madison, all demanding justice. There were students, teachers, firefighters, policemen, veterans, nurses, old hippies and young rebels in every corner and corridor of the building. There was a festive spirit in the air and a determined feeling that they were indeed making history. On my way out, I was actually "bro-ing down" with some cops…AT A PROTEST. Quite new for me. The police were union men themselves, and wholly supportive of the protesters, and I thought, "This is a strange and new, exciting day indeed when the police are delivering bratwurst to the students occupying the State Capitol and high-fiving The Nightwatchman...


I told them that I've been a proud union man for 22 years, as part of Musicians Local 47 in Los Angeles, and a Red Card carrying member of the IWW, and that for me this fight was personal, because my mom, Mary Morello, was a public high school teacher for almost three decades in Libertyville, Illinois. And while we never had much money, we always had enough food on the table and we had clothes on our backs because my mom was a union teacher. And if Governor Walker is going to attack the rights of people like my mom, then The Nightwatchman is coming for his ass.]
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/frostbite-and-freedom-tom-morello-on-the-battle-of-madison-20110225?page=1

The Nightwatchman

Barney "Straight Outta Compton" {Not Suitable for Work nor Nieces)

Rage Against the Machine: "Sleep Now in the Fire"

"Dreams Do Come True"



Found at Suburban Guerrilla

The Night Watchman: Uncensored "This Land"

Where is Zack?

NY Times Punked by Non-Union Scab

[Except the source, Rick Hahn, now admits that while he worked in union factories, he was never, you know, in a union per se. So why did the Diogenes of the Times, Mr. Sulzberger, believe he had found his honest union man? Because Hahn “described himself to a reporter as a ‘union guy.’”
And yes, Hahan/Hahn’s deception, intentional or accidental (and if you noticed the multiple spelling, yes, Mr. Sulzberger of the Times also got the guy’s name wrong) sat out there in the alleged newspaper of record for four days, during which nobody bothered to correct the sloppy, destructive reporting of the Family Heir. When they finally did, editors buried it inside.
‘Buried it inside’ is newspaper lingo, in case A.G. Sulzberger isn’t familiar with it.]ttp://foknewschannel.com/new-york-times-punkd-by-anti-union-plant/

other links added

Friday, February 25, 2011

Holy Family Basketball Coach Strikes and Kicks Student Athlete, With Video

Even though my great uncle Jack taught me to always kick a man after he goes down, probably not a good idea for a college basketball coach to do so with cameras running at practice.  At least the bastard coach lost his job.
http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/blog/the_dagger/post/Ugly-altercation-between-coach-player-leads-to-?urn=ncaab-325868

Cut Global Warming in Half

[The projected rise in global temperatures could be cut in half in coming years if world governments focused on reducing emissions of two harmful pollutants - black carbon and ground-level ozone, including methane - rather than carbon dioxide alone, according to a U.N. study released Wednesday...



Black carbon, a component of soot, is a threat to human health and is known to hasten the melting of snow. Ground-level ozone kills farm crops and also adversely affects health. Reducing the two, the study said, would improve health outcomes in the regions where they are implemented and "slow the rate of climate change within the first half of this century."


To reduce black carbon emissions, the study recommends placing a ban on open-field burning of agricultural waste, replacing industrial coke ovens with modern recovery ovens, introducing clean-burning biomass cook stoves for cooking and heating in developing countries and eliminating high-emitting vehicles.


The impact from reducing short-lived pollutants such as black carbon and ground-level ozone such as methane is more immediately felt. Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for years, so the effects of reducing the emissions take longer to register.


To reduce ground-level ozone, including methane, the study recommends upgrading wastewater treatment, controlling methane emissions from livestock and reducing gas emissions from long-distance pipelines.]
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/23/AR2011022306991.html

Search Engine Shenanigans

But in the last several months, one name turned up, with uncanny regularity, in the No. 1 spot for each and every term:

The company bested millions of sites — and not just in searches for dresses, bedding and area rugs. For months, it was consistently at or near the top in searches for “skinny jeans,” “home decor,” “comforter sets,” “furniture” and dozens of other words and phrases, from the blandly generic (“tablecloths”) to the strangely specific (“grommet top curtains”).

This striking performance lasted for months, most crucially through the holiday season, when there is a huge spike in online shopping. J. C. Penney even beat out the sites of manufacturers in searches for the products of those manufacturers. Type in “Samsonite carry on luggage,” for instance, and Penney for months was first on the list, ahead of Samsonite.com.

The New York Times asked an expert in online search, Doug Pierce of Blue Fountain Media in New York, to study this question, as well as Penney’s astoundingly strong search-term performance in recent months. What he found suggests that the digital age’s most mundane act, the Google search, often represents layer upon layer of intrigue. And the intrigue starts in the sprawling, subterranean world of “black hat” optimization, the dark art of raising the profile of a Web site with methods that Google considers tantamount to cheating.

Despite the cowboy outlaw connotations, black-hat services are not illegal, but trafficking in them risks the wrath of Google. The company draws a pretty thick line between techniques it considers deceptive and “white hat” approaches, which are offered by hundreds of consulting firms and are legitimate ways to increase a site’s visibility. Penney’s results were derived from methods on the wrong side of that line, says Mr. Pierce. He described the optimization as the most ambitious attempt to game Google’s search results that he has ever seen.

“Actually, it’s the most ambitious attempt I’ve ever heard of,” he said. “This whole thing just blew me away. Especially for such a major brand. You’d think they would have people around them that would know better.”]
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/business/13search.html?src=me&ref=business

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WI Protesters Need Water

http://www.americablog.com/2011/02/please-donate-wisc-demonstrators.html

Union Proud

ht



Found at the Agonist

Hungry School Children in the United States

Imagine that.  Hunger inhibits learning.

Poor, lazy bastards should shine shoes in grade school rather than the US institute the dread socialist scourge of free lunches in public schools for impoverished kids.

Let them eat nothing!

[This may be the land of plenty, but many children are going to school hungry, and teachers often give students food to help them make it until lunchtime, according to a national survey of 638 public teachers.


Two-thirds of these teachers, grades kindergarten through eighth, say they have students in their classes who regularly come to school hungry because they aren't getting enough to eat at home, and 63% of the teachers say the problem increased this past year.

"It's really telling to see how severe the problem is," says Bill Shore, founder and director of Share Our Strength, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger, which sponsored the survey. "It's not isolated to certain urban and rural areas, but it's really happening across the board."

The survey found:
•Almost all teachers believe breakfast is important for children's academic achievement and helps students concentrate better and learn more throughout the day.
•65% of teachers say many children rely on school meals as their primary source of nutrition.
•61% say they purchase food for their classrooms and spend an average of $25 a month. They also have helped kids sign up for free or reduced-priced meals (74% say they've done that) and referred students and parents to resources in the school (49%).

Stacey Frakes, who taught third, fourth and fifth grades at Madison (Fla.) County Central School and now works as an instructional coach for an elementary school, says sometimes kids would come to her class and put their heads on their desk and almost cry.

When she asked them what was wrong, they'd tell her they hadn't had any breakfast. She kept peanut butter crackers on hand to give them, and one time she gave a student her own lunch.

She says hungry students "couldn't focus at all. All they could think about was wanting food. They would ask, 'What time is lunch? Is it lunchtime yet?' "

It's hard to teach children when "they are thinking about their next good meal," Frakes says.]

"On the side of their oppressors there was power"

"Again I saw all the oppressions that are practiced under the sun. Look, the tears of the oppressed -- with no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power -- with no one to comfort them."

(You just have to love the synchronicity of this daily email bible verse fitting in with popular protests over all the world against those who would oppress us.) 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

WI State Capitol and Ian's Pizza

Wisconsin State Capitol
2 East Main Street
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 266-0484

Ian's Pizza on State
115 State Street, Madison, WI 53703
(608) 257-9248 ‎
ianspizza.com
(As of last word, closed to business except for orders for protesters.)

One Man Changed the World; Outrage Prompts Protest

Lest we forget so soon, the act of a single man, Mohamed Bouazizi, started the tide of popular uprising in the Mideast.

With his self immolation, he sparked the fire of popular uprising seeping across country after country in the formerly colonized Arab world.

In the United States, Midwest union members now protest for their right to collectively bargain, threatened by an autocratic "governor" who ginned up a budget crisis to accomplish his ideological goals.

The whole world watches, Governor Scott Walker. And we buy pizzas for protesters, on line and Facebook. Even Egyptians, absent Hosni Mubarek, support labor organizing in Madison.

Egyptian Supporter of WI Labor


Ian's Tote Board of Donation Origins

[It started with a young man who set himself on fire, acting out of desperation after police confiscated the fruits and vegetables he sold without a permit.

Mohamed Bouazizi was a 26-year-old university graduate without a steady job, trying to support his family. His self-immolation - which left him in intensive care, wrapped head to toe in white bandages - shocked the North African nation and sparked protests over unemployment that have led to at least three deaths.

For decades, Tunisia has promoted itself as an Arab world success story, a place where the economy is stronger than in neighboring countries, women's rights are respected, unrest is rare and European tourists can take stress-free vacations at beach resorts.

But the recent protests have exposed a side of Tunisia that the country has long tried to hide: the poverty of the countryside, poor job prospects for youths and seething resentment at the government of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who has ruled Tunisia with an iron fist since 1987.] http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/self-immolation-leads-to-massive-protests-in-tunisia-1.334934

Monday, February 21, 2011

Psalm 106:3

"Happy are those who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times."
Psalm 106:3

Workers in Amsterdam Support Tomato Pickers in Florida.

[Fair Food activists in New York have hooked up with their counterparts in Amsterdam and cities across The Netherlands to mobilize for next Sunday's huge march on Stop & Shop in Boston. The connection? Stop & Shop's Amsterdam-based parent company Ahold.

On Feb. 27th, there will be actions in Boston and Amsterdam, and in the weeks leading up to the actions, organizers in both cities have been consulting each other on everything from language to strategic tips to make the actions as powerful as possible.

Over the past couple of weeks, we've provided real-time updates from mobilization efforts here in the US, but today our mobilizing update is going international, with pictures from different cities around The Netherlands to get a taste of Fair Food organizing, Dutch-style!]
http://www.ciw-online.org/

Blake Griffin Jumps Over a Car!!!



Don't you feel sorry on some level for folk who fail to appreciate the advancements in sports as advancements in human evolution?

Dad, a 70's something ex high school basketball ref, bemoans the constant uncalled travelling violations in the NBA.

As 1 blessed by birth in Milwaukee WI in 1958, the two travelling calls called against Michael Jordan in his career of travelling to the basket made me giddy beyond belief.

Half empty? Half full? Who cares.

Could George Mikan jump over a car?

No!

Plus. you have to love the assist; the pass came from inside the car!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Solidarity: We Are All Cheeseheads Now

Solidarity: "Solidarity was the first non-communist party-controlled trade union in a Warsaw Pact country.[citation needed] In the 1980s it constituted a broad anti-bureaucratic social movement. The government attempted to destroy the union during the period of martial law in the early 1980s and several years of political repression, but in the end it was forced to start negotiating with the union.

The Round Table Talks between the government and the Solidarity-led opposition led to semi-free elections in 1989. By the end of August a Solidarity-led coalition government was formed and in December 1990 Wałęsa was elected President of Poland. Since then it has become a more traditional, liberal trade union."



"[U]ltimate sacrifice for Wisconsinites. They went for a weekend in Illinois."

Transcript from The Ed Schultz Show with John Nichols, writer form the Nation Magazine and 7th generation Wisconsinite:

[Nichols: Governor Walker is clearly cornered at this point. I can tell you as somebody who’s covered him for a long time. This man doesn’t want to be where he’s at. He would love to have a way out. That’s one of the reasons why the tea party is coming to town tomorrow. They’re going to rally here. They’re going to do that for a reason. And that is because they’re trying to shore the governor up.

They’re trying to scare him from backing down. The fact of the matter is these people are winning. On Thursday, these people are winning. On Thursday, they connected with the state Senate in such a powerful way that 14 Senators made the ultimate sacrifice for Wisconsinites. They went for a weekend in Illinois.

Now today, today they connected with the Assembly sufficiently that the Assembly adjourned action. These are victories each day and there’s simply no question. The power here right now is in the streets, not in the capital.

If these people stay out here, if they keep bringing these kinds of numbers to the street, I think that you’re going to get to some point where the governor has to back down.

Schultz: Has this, this national coverage that has now cast itself upon this protest, has this changed the dichotomy of it, knowing as far as the resolve is concerned that’s it’s almost as if now, they can’t back down?

[Nichols: Well, that is the great challenge. Look, Walker is cornered. He’s in a very tough position. You’ve seen the polls. You had a poll up showing a 51-43 split, there was one showing a two to one split.

Schultz: It did, but he said that he was not going to allow a few thousand protesters make decisions for three million Wisconsins tonight. What about that?

Nichols: Well, here’s the challenge Ed. You and I both know that we’re in a spin battle here. And the Walker folks are going to try and spin it that the kind of people, the Wisconites, you look at these people, who will come out on a cold night and stand for four or five hours in the cold, that these somehow are, they’re the bad players.

Now what we’ve got to do… what we need to do now is to get these people, get their voices heard. Make sure the best of America sees them and because this is no longer a Wisconsin fight. This is a national fight and the more that Americans see this fight and see Wisconsin, and signal that they’re on the side of the Wisconsites, I think they are more to win.]

Found at Crooks and Liars: http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/john-nichols-tea-party-coming-town-tomorro

MSNBC, The Ed Show: http://ed.msnbc.msn.com/

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Florida Follies: Accidental shootings continue

Gun owners, remember to never leave a round in the chamber as the life you save may include your own.

[When his girlfriend grabbed an antique gun during an argument, police say Rodney Lee Gilbert told her to go ahead and fire.

According to police, that's exactly what Kimberly Gustafson did. Now, Gilbert is dead, and Gustafson is behind bars...

Officers arriving said they found that Gilbert, 57, had been shot in the face.

He was taken to an area hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Police said they spoke to witnesses, who said Gilbert had been fighting with Gustafson over her drinking. During the argument, witnesses said Gustafson, 50, went into a bedroom, returning with an antique firearm....

But just as the confrontation was cooling, police say Gilbert stood up and told his girlfriend to "go ahead and shoot me." Witnesses told police Gilbert followed Gustafson into the hallway, telling her repeatedly to fire.]
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/os-woman-arrested-ocala-manslaughter-20110218,0,7984024.story

[BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- A 13-year-old girl was fatally shot in an accidental shooting in Brevard County Saturday night, according to deputies...

Family members told WFTV she wasn't even in the same room as the man who was handling the gun.
"It's just horrible, it's a horrible accident. I just don't know what to say besides it's horrible," said family member, Michelle Bass.

Investigators said the homeowner, Dusty Adkins, had been handling the gun when it went off.
"My brother was showing him the gun and it went off and went through the wall and hit the little girl in the back," said Adkins' brother, Daniel Adkins.]
http://www.wftv.com/news/26848222/detail.ht
ml


[A friend, who was arrested, was showing off a rifle when the two students were shot.

A Florida State University student was killed and another, from Tampa, wounded early this morning in an accidental shooting off campus.

Ashley Cowie, 20, of Orange Park, died from a rifle shot to the chest. The bullet passed through her and hit Keith Savino, 20, in the wrist, university spokeswoman Browning Brooks said in a news release.]
http://www2.tbo.com/content/2011/jan/09/092046/fsu-student-killed-in-accidental-shooting/

Wisconsin Cops for Labor




Check the Madison video with Cops for Labor actually getting cheered by bunches of progressive, socialist, pot smoking hippies.

Wait, Madison probably decriminalized pot. Wonder how pot heads got organized, probably showed up a day late but found ongoing protests.

Brings tear to my old, cynical eyes.

Support WI Progressive Bloggers; We have all become cheeseheads

[One of the things they tell you when you have any kind of activist training is how to do "the ask". That is, explain why your cause is worth contributing to, and asking for money. It's time to do that.

Tonight I'm going to ask you for money for two things. One is for the Wisconsin senators who have had the nerve to stand up to Scott Walker, and have gone so far as to leave the state to delay the fast-track voting on this bill. We need to keep good senators in place in Wisconsin, and it would be great if you could make a contribution to them on behalf of the Wisconsin bloggers who have been bringing you coverage of the events in Madison for the last three days (It feels like weeks to me, but it's only been three days). Go to the block on the right to make a secure contribution through ActBlue to the Wisconsin Senate Caucus. Or click here to go directly to our Wisconsin Blogger ActBlue Page.

Second - about those bloggers. There are a lot of blog sites in the state that have been working very hard this week to keep you up-to-date. The people at Uppity Wisconsin are part of that system. Our bandwidth has gone through the roof recently, and we really could use a little money to stay on-line. If you'd like to help support this sort of independent blogging, please make a small contribution. Think what we could do if we could afford things like a real video camera. Or gas. We try here to be supportive of progressive causes around the state, and a little cash would make it much easier to do that. Please click on the donate link at the top of the page, or just go here. We'd appreciate it, and it will help us stay Open For Business. Just like Scott Walker wants.]
http://uppitywis.org/blogarticle/ask

GA RepubliKKKan Against Choice

[Republicans took over the House after November's elections, making this year's legislative session the first time the party has run the show in both the House and Senate. When Democrats were in power, their leaders often avoided votes on controversial subjects, much to the dismay of many conservative lawmakers.

The abortion ban's chief sponsor, Republican Rep. Bobby Franklin, of Marietta, said he had hoped the new Republican majority would look more favorably on bills relating to conservative social issues.

Mr. Franklin said he believes the U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong in 1973's Roe. v. Wade case, which legalized abortion throughout the nation.

"From a practical standpoint, 32 years ago, someone whose life was terminated might have discovered a cure for cancer by now or some new invention that would make (Microsoft founder) Bill Gates look like a pauper," Mr. Franklin said.

The Republicans' refusal to embrace the bill highlights the juggling act the new GOP majority is wrestling with as it struggles to hold together its socially and fiscally conservatives wings.

"My concern about the unintended consequences of the bill is that it could have ramifications on women seeking fertility treatments," said Rep. Jill Chambers, R-Atlanta.

She said many women undergoing in vitro fertilization often have more than one embryo implanted at a time in the hopes of increasing the chances of carrying a child to term. Sometimes one or more of the embryos are aborted to prevent the mother from miscarrying the entire pregnancy. Ms. Chambers said she worried Mr. Franklin's bill would severely restrict in vitro pregnancies.]
http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2005/01/26/met_440966.shtml

"These Clowns Aren't Funny"

What Field wrote. Don't know where he found the picture.

As for me, used construction of "RepublicKKKan" in the past as satire meant to point out similarities from the radical conservatives of today with philosophies of Nathan Bedford Forrest and the John Birch Society.

Now with Governor 48.9 % and his ilk, they seek to re-order the entire social fabric of the United States to suit the lunatic billionaire fringe like the Koch brothers

Thus for me this has gone beyond satire, for writing snark about those who show themselves as public fools.

The time has come to organize, to find a union and contribute time and money.

Instead of sending email chain letters and in opposition to vast right wing email propaganda, write and call your elected representatives.

A progressives, we use facts and reason to form our policy, not anger and lies.

Truth and reason, we progressives shall ever only have such.

We all have become cheeseheads.

[
As the wingnuts in Washington keep calling for more cuts, the states are now preparing to pass on those cuts to their citizens. In "cheese country" the natives are restless, and hard working union workers stormed Madison today demanding justice. The republi-clown governor is threatening to end 50 years of collective bargaining which protects Wisconsin workers, and as I write this post there are some dumbocratic state legislatures from Wisconsin on the run. (As long as they don't go to Pittsburgh they should be fine.)

At some point during this debate folks are going to have to start looking at the "haves" and their sacrifices. The only folks making a sacrifice right now are "have- nots" and the hard working folks in the middle. Americans seem to know it, but you would never hear about it in the press.

The new demons for wingnuts are public sector employees, such as school teachers, police officers, health- care workers, and firefighters. According to wingnuts, it is their pension plans and onerous salaries that are holding us down. They are the reason America can't rise out of this recession.------Not a war that was never paid for, tax breaks and shelters to major corporations, and tax cuts for the very wealthy among us who do nothing towards reinvesting in the economy. Not "hyper-speculation" on Wall Street which...well, we all know that story by now.] http://field-negro.blogspot.com/2011/02/let-them-eat-cheese.html



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Governor 48.9%; Rick Scott

While some have described FL Governor Rick Scott as Governor Gollum or Voldemort--myself included--such metaphors, although excellent satire, do conceal the truth:

the SOB got elected with 48.9% of the freakin' vote and now claims a ferblushinger mandate.

Mandate?

Mandate my ass.

Since when does a not majority of people who bothered to vote constitute a mandate, especially in a mid-term election with lower voter turnout?

Insert inchoate howls of rage here.

On 7 Feb 2011, it seemed like hyperbole to even me to equate the coming NFL lockout with the eternal struggle of labor, continuing in the early 20th century with bloodshed to win collective bargaining rights.

Great Mother Jones' ghost, now the Republican Governors Association has their orcs killing public unions in WI, NJ, OH, FL, and while puling progressive pukes opine on how Obama has failed.

Have you failed to realize the effort to repeal the New Deal, Square Deal, the tides of history, as the last gasp of American capitalist empires seek to mutilate collective bargaining agreements in effect for decades?

Obama sucks except for the RepubliKKKan alternatives.

Uppity Wisconsin | Progressive News from the Cheddarsphere

Uppity Wisconsin | Progressive News from the Cheddarsphere

Cage the Elephant: "In One Ear"

Cage the Elephant: "Always Something" (Live)

Cage the Elephant: "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" (Live)

Prayer of the Day

"God our creator, to those who are hungry and thirsty, give food and drink. To those who are not hungry and thirsty, give a hunger and thirst for justice. Amen."
http://blog.sojo.net/

Computer Curmudgeon Cudgels Acronyms

Testify, my English loving brother, champion clarity of thought, speech, and writing.


Glynn Meek, Geezer Geek

[Texting -- goodbye English, we once loved you

Lots of comments have been made about the dangers of texting, as demonstrated by the statistics from the National Safety Council that 28% of accidents are caused by texting motorists, so I won't rehash these old arguments. Instead, let The Geezer Geek take a look at the catastrophic effect that ‘texting' has had on our culture (and I use THAT word with some reservation).

"hw r u?"

"whassup?"

"roflmao"

"me 2"

"ILU" (and can you imagine the wasted bandwidth that THIS particular one is going to take up on this "Hallmark Day" of February 14th?)

"wht r u up 2 2nite?"

Now, I realize that spelling and grammar are no longer requirements of any American public school, especially here in Texas where they only ‘teach to the TAKS test' anyhow, but this is the thin end of the wedge with regards to civilization. English is arguably the most powerful language on earth. Based on the confluence of multiple European language influences and accompanied by the bizarre spelling decisions of William Caxton, we have a multitude of nouns, verbs and adjectives suitable for every occasion, but do we use them? Do we use the language of Shakespeare, the vocabulary of Churchill or the creativity of Mark Twain? No we don't, not anymore.

We appear to have lost what little ability to actually spell and speak correctly that we ever had, and now we are reduced to supposedly humorous acronyms and abbreviations that are, all of a sudden, thought of as ‘modern speak'. Well, let us not forget that SNAFU and FUBAR and SWALK can be traced back some 70 years or more, so we are hardly the first generation to come up with this manner of communication and affront to the language ... but we are the first to abuse it so completely.

Bloggers are essentially frustrated authors with a genuine affection for the English language and so my views on this may seem extreme, but someone has to draw a line in the sand when it comes to language. I ranted a few weeks ago about ‘social networking' and its ANTIsocial networking connotations, and texting is merely an extension of this trend. It is apparent that people would nowadays much rather text someone than speak to them on the telephone, and this is losing the essential nature of human communication. Simplistically, there are three levels of interpersonal communication: writing to someone, speaking to them on the telephone or speaking to them face to face. One study alone from UCLA by Professor Albert Mehrabian, indicates that up to 93% of communication effectiveness is determined by nonverbal cues. While this study is frequently misinterepreted, we can ONLY get a complete understanding of what someone means if we are actually in the same place as them, looking them in the eye when we speak. The telephone at least gives us tonality and verbal feedback, but texting does nothing but cause confusion.

The early days of e-mail did LOTS of damage to personal and business relationships as people tried to be humorous in their e-mails, but were totally misinterpreted. Sarcasm only works if the recipient can see the twinkle in your eye or at least hear the lilt in your voice when you make the comment. Over time, e-mails have become more ubiquitous in their content as people at least tend to use full sentences and reasonably correct English, and so some of the initial ‘sting' has been taken out. However, when you get a text that says "whr r u?" it is open to so many misunderstandings, one hardly knows where to start? "Where are you (idiot)?" "Where are you (my love, I miss you)?" "Where are you (the house is burning down)?" "Where are you (I am waiting here with the client and he is mad because you are late)?" and a myriad of other meanings, all equally valid depending upon the recipient's state of mind at the time. There seems to be a competition as to who can produce the shortest text with the most misinterpretation options.

Let's conclude this rant by taking one final quick knock at Twitter. (I shall, of course, be devoting a whole, future blog to this particular miscreant) Now, with the wonderful, waste-of-time creation of a ‘tweet', one can not only bore and offend just the one person you previously texted, but you can bore and offend many people at the same time. It is possible to inform thousands of people of the fact that you are "goin 2 mall will b bck bi 7" and so long as you can restrict yourself to 140 characters, you can bore and offend the whole world! How can one fail to restrict oneself to 140 characters when "I 8 bfast @ 9" will be understood by all your recipients? Of course, those same undereducated recipients will be lost if you quote " ... we few, we happy few, we band of brothers". We may have gained a tweet, but we have lost our cultural soul.

Now, I realize that the ‘texting' boat has left the dock, and no amount of curmudgeonly complaining or Geezer Geek groans will bring it back, but can we at least commit to some simple rules?

NO acronyms
NO spelling errors
NO sarcasm (hmmm...THIS one is going to be tough for me)
Probably not ... ah well, I give up ... "bfn, c u l8r"]

Nathan Bedford Forrest: Honoring THAT man in THAT state?

Nathan Bedford Forrest, scion of the slave holding south, terrorist, murderer, and the state of Mississippi wants to honor him with a license plate.

[In the latest racially charged incident in his home state, Haley Barbour on Tuesday drew fire when he refused to condemn a proposal honoring a Ku Klux Klan leader.

"I don't go around denouncing people. That's not going to happen," Barbour, who is considering a run for the White House in 2012, said when asked about the plate, the Associated Press reported. "I know there's not a chance it'll become law."] emphasis added but why bother when brain dead racists think this a good idea would never ever realize the utter preposterousness of the state of MS honoring that man on a state license plate.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49599.html#ixzz1E7X5VrzD

Why not honor John Wilkes "Sic Semper Tyranniss" Boothe him-freakin'-self?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

World Bank Sounds Alarm Over High Food Prices

[The World Bank has given a stark warning of the impact of the rising cost of food, saying an estimated 44 million people had been pushed into poverty since last summer by soaring commodity prices.

Robert Zoellick, the Bank's president, said food prices had risen by almost 30% in the past year and were within striking distance of the record levels reached during 2008.

"Global food prices are rising to dangerous levels and threaten tens of millions of poor people around the world," Zoellick said. "The price hike is already pushing millions of people into poverty, and putting stress on the most vulnerable, who spend more than half of their income on food."]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/feb/15/world-bank-warns-soaring-food-prices

Green Bay Packers Support WI Public Workers

Wisconsin workers are marching on the capital today to protest Governor Scott Walker's effort to crush their bargaining rights through the back door. Their newest ally? The Green Bay Packers, past and present, who signed a letter in support of the workers.
The statement reads:

"We know that it is teamwork on and off the field that makes the Packers and Wisconsin great. As a publicly owned team we wouldn't have been able to win the Super Bowl without the support of our fans.

"It is the same dedication of our public workers every day that makes Wisconsin run. They are the teachers, nurses and child care workers who take care of us and our families. But now in an unprecedented political attack Governor Walker is trying to take away their right to have a voice and bargain at work.

"The right to negotiate wages and benefits is a fundamental underpinning of our middle class. When workers join together it serves as a check on corporate power and helps ALL workers by raising community standards. Wisconsin's long standing tradition of allowing public sector workers to have a voice on the job has worked for the state since the 1930s. It has created greater consistency in the relationship between labor and management and a shared approach to public work.

"These public workers are Wisconsin's champions every single day and we urge the Governor and the State Legislature to not take away their rights."



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I'm gonna be really pissed."

"CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #329
I exercise regularly. I eat moderate amounts of healthy food. I make sure to get plenty of rest. I see my doctor once a year and my dentist twice a year. I floss every night. I've had chest x–rays, cardio stress tests, EKG's and colonoscopies. I see a psychologist and have a variety of hobbies to reduce stress. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't do drugs. I don't have crazy, reckless sex with strangers.

If Charlie Sheen outlives me, I'm gonna be really pissed."

"Follow Justice:" Deuteronomy 16:20

20 Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you.

Monday, February 14, 2011

"God is not a member of the North Lake Tea Party"

Don't worry loyal minions, yours truly has already castigated the unbeliever, pointed out not only does THE Lord God Almighty lead the lake County, FL, tea party, he also pilots, co-pilots, navigates and wields the bomb sights to rain down his Holy Hellfire upon such apostate agnostics, and atheists of the press.

[So perhaps it is those long years of being marginalized and ignored that produced the glassy-eyed rah-rah attitude that fit snugly with the jingoistic program drawn up by organizers. They pushed every emotional button within reach — recognize veterans, sing "God Bless America," get a pastor to assure them that God not only approves their mission, but is probably behind it.

Now, that last is a particularly slippery slope. When folks start believing that their political mission is ordained by God, bad things tend to happen. After all, the Bible's well-known advice on government was to give Caesar what he wanted and move on. In other words, earthly government is not the concern of the righteous person.

So let's be clear: God is not a member of the North Lake Tea Party. And infusing a political event with the notion that a divine being is pushing a particular political ideal is a special kind of evil manipulation which hopefully will merit a special punishment sometime later during eternity.

There were plenty of good, decent folks in the First Baptist Church on Monday, but there wasn't two thimbles full of independent thought, and that was precisely the way Rick Scott wanted it.

Which brings us to the single most-distressing slice of the rally: how far the governor of a big, influential state will go to set up a captivated audience of adoring fans. Scott is a wily one. He must know that he couldn't have unveiled a budget so poisoned with untruths to anyone actually familiar with state finance.] emphasis added
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/lake/os-lk-lauren-ritchie-tea-party-florid20110213,0,2128195.column

Cee Lo Green: "F*** You" (NSFW and nieces)

Happy Made Up Holiday Day

With the passing of mass marketing orgy known as Christmas, supposedly based on birth of a little baby in a humble manger transmogrified into bacchanalia of banality and conspicuous consumer consumption, and the greatest marketing spectacle in the world called the Super Bowl, we now have a day for men to disappoint their women for no matter how much they buy, it will never amount to enough.

You could always have gotten a bigger diamond, box of imported chocolate, and more elaborate feasts.>Fabian, please tell me gay guys don't fall for this crap.

"No romantic elements are present in the original early medieval biographies of either of these martyrs. By the time a Saint Valentine became linked to romance in the 14th century, distinctions between Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni were utterly lost.[12]"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Valentine's_Day#Historical_facts



Friday, February 11, 2011

Do Not Bury the Orlando Sentinel

But mourn instead the death of impact of daily papers on politics in FL.  All 16 major daily papers in FL endorsed Governor Voldemort's opponent, Alex Sink.

Odds of that happening? Roughly the odds of the sun rising in the west come dawn.

Still, less than 50 per cent of voters in FL voted for this fraud, this carnival huckster, fool, mountebank, charlatan, and poltroon.

Now the Teabagger brigade of white people rolling around in the Medicare paid for scooters will get what they voted for.

Good luck with that.

Moroons!

(Links and more sarcasm to follow.  Satyagraha in FL!)

Jimmy Cliff: "Viet Nam"




http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/01/29/the_worst_of_both_worlds

Egypt: "Freedom"

Something Happening in Egypt?

Rancid: "Salvation"

Rancid: "Ruby Soho"






Rancid: "Last 1 to Die"

John Prine: "Illegal Smile"

Starts @ 3 minute mark.

John Prine: "Please Don't Bury Me"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2mOkFwmfsk

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Slash and Post Operative Axl at the Super Bowl

Great to see Slash and post operative Asl at the greatest entertainment event in history of mankind, the Super Bowl.

It gladdened my heart to see the 2 play "Sweet Child of Mine,"  like back in the Citrus Bowl Use Your Illusion day, putting aside their differences and anger and regrets and sexual tension between them, realizing no matter how far apart they go musically or in time and space or gender roles, life for a time inextricably linked their disparate geniuses.

Having just read a list of  "10 bands that shook the world," the performance cemented my faith in G 'N' R' as 1 of top 10 rock bands of all time even though realizing lists are like souls; every human has 1, and the premise of this list basically absurd as music shook the world before the invention of the electric amplifier.

Surely some people saw Beethoven as the musical bad boy of his time.  God himself invented the blues and planted it in the racism and soil of the Mississippi Delta, maybe helped by the Devil at the crossroads like in the book of Job and Robert Johnson lore, with Satan striding through cotton fields instead of down heavenly roads.

Also, don't confine my choice of the word gender above to male/female stereotypes because, as Vonnegut wrote in Slaughter House 5, it takes 7 of 12 human genders for 2 human beings to mate in any way

So let us celebrate Axl's surgery choice and Slash's ridiculous caricature of himself with that tacky toff top hat, for their performance did "take me away to that special place," and made me long for the late 80's.

As for the rest of the performers, maybe my nieces will identify them for me.

Also, the surgery helped Axl's voice, making it sound more masculine.

Peace!

The things I  do for my blog, watching the halftime circus again so my to friends who failed to see it could get my jokes above, (Slash starts at about 2:31 into clip)

Please, will somebody identify Will I Am allegedly head pea of the Black Eyed variety?  Where  did Sam I AM go?  "Boom, Boom, Pow," yes, that will rank among greatest ballads of all time.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Isaiah 58: "loose the chains of injustice"

My college career resumed in the early 1980's at THE University of Central Florida. Resuming my politcal science studies led to the American politics class of Mark Stern

His comments in some lectures taught me tons about Judaism and the Old Testament, mainly the Jewish tradition came first in espousing the worth of the individual, even the poor, widows and orphans.

By forgiving debts every seven years, allowing widows to glean in the fields, promoting kindness to foreigners in Jewish lands, and other examples, the Jewish nation showed a sense of social justice for the first historical time on earth.

So thus did a lad raised in a Lutheran household by christian parents going to church in his matching shorts, coat, clip-on tie, and hat learn later the Bible part 1 had more than the angry old white dude with a beard in the sky and Psalms.

So Sunday past when my friend read the Old Testament lesson from Isaiah 58, memories came back on how my life led make back to church, to the Gospels and minor prophets like Amos.

So for family, friends, naysayers and nabobs who think me too liberal, you may have rightly judged.  Nevetheless, the bible supports social justice with words like these:

[5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;]

Socialism, because the Bible told me so.

God bless you, Mark Stern.

Reagan: Killer, Coward, Con-man

Could not write it better myself.

[You're not going to like this. You shouldn't speak ill of the dead. But in this case, someone's got to.

On the 100th Anniversary of Ronald Reagan's birth, as we suffer a week of Reagan-kitcheria and pukey paeans, let us remember:

Reagan was a con-man. Reagan was a coward. Reagan was a killer.

In 1987, I found myself stuck in a crappy little town in Nicaragua named Chaguitillo. The people were kind enough, though hungry, except for one surly young man. His wife had just died of tuberculosis.

People don't die of TB if they get some antibiotics. But Ronald Reagan, big-hearted guy that he was, had put a lock-down embargo on medicine to Nicaragua because he didn't like the government that the people there had elected.

Ronnie grinned and cracked jokes while the young woman's lungs filled up and she stopped breathing. Reagan flashed that B-movie grin while they buried the mother of three.

And when Hezbollah terrorists struck and murdered hundreds of American marines in their sleep in Lebanon, the TV warrior ran away like a whipped dog — then turned around and invaded Grenada. That little Club Med war was a murderous PR stunt so Ronnie could hold parades for gunning down Cubans building an airport.

I remember Nancy, a skull and crossbones prancing around in designer dresses, some of the "gifts" that flowed to the Reagans — from hats to million-dollar homes — from cronies well compensated with government loot. It used to be called bribery.

And all the while, Grandpa grinned, the grandfather who bleated on about "family values" but didn't bother to see his own grandchildren.

The New York Times, in its canned obit, wrote that Reagan projected, "faith in small town America" and "old-time values."

"Values" my ass. It was union-busting and a declaration of war on the poor and anyone who couldn't buy designer dresses. It was the New Meanness, bringing starvation back to America so that every millionaire could get another million.

"Small town" values? From the movie star of the Pacific Palisades, the Malibu mogul? I want to throw up.

And all the while, in the White House basement, as his brain boiled away, Reagan's last conscious act was to condone a coup d'état against our elected Congress. Reagan's Defense Secretary Casper the Ghost Weinberger with the crazed Colonel, Ollie North, plotted to give guns to the Monster of the Mideast, Ayatolla Khomeini.

Reagan's boys called Jimmy Carter a weanie and a wuss although Carter wouldn't give an inch to the Ayatollah. Reagan, with that film-fantasy tough-guy con in front of cameras, went begging like a coward cockroach to Khomeini, pleading on bended knee for the release of our hostages.

Ollie North flew into Iran with a birthday cake for the maniac mullah — no kidding — in the shape of a key. The key to Ronnie's heart.

Then the Reagan roaches mixed their cowardice with crime: taking cash from the hostage-takers to buy guns for the "contras" — the drug-runners of Nicaragua posing as freedom fighters.

I remember as a student in Berkeley the words screeching out of the bullhorn, "The Governor of the State of California, Ronald Reagan, hereby orders this demonstration to disperse" — and then came the teargas and the truncheons. And all the while, that fang-hiding grin from the Gipper.


In Chaguitillo, all night long, the farmers stayed awake to guard their kids from attack from Reagan's Contra terrorists. The farmers weren't even Sandinistas, those 'Commies' that our cracked-brained President told us were 'only a 48-hour drive from Texas.' What the hell would they want with Texas, anyway?

Nevertheless, the farmers, and their families, were Ronnie's targets.

In the deserted darkness of Chaguitillo, a TV blared. Weirdly, it was that third-rate gangster movie, "Brother Rat." Starring Ronald Reagan.

Well, mis amigos, your kids can sleep easy tonight. The Rat is dead.

All week you're going to hear about how Reagan restored America's sense of patriotism - as if heartless slaughter, Club Med wars and making racism respectable are patriotic . (When they said "small town values" you know the color of the town, don't you?).

I wonder if the Reaganauts can recognize any of the weapons they sold the mullahs when they see students gunned down in Teheran.

I do plan a memorial, for the victims, not the victimizer.

Please join me in commemorating the ill star that brought us a celluloid cowboy on his movie-set horsey by lighting a candle for a mom from Chaguitillo.

******

This obituary was originally published in The London Observer on Reagan's death in 2004.

The author received close to 150 death threats and suggestions for acrobatic acts of intercourse with beasts and relatives.

Therefore, we have reserved a special email, deaththreat@gregpalast.com just for your next threats.

Sign up for Greg Palast's investigative reports at www.GregPalast.com.]
http://www.gregpalast.com/reagan-killer-coward-con-man/
emphasis addded

Monday, February 7, 2011

Packers Win!!! Let the Lockout Begin!

To even type that when NFL has gotten more profitable than ever, during Super Bowl week, with the owners causing it by tearing up the CBA amounts to absolute insanity.

Lest any stray reader think this just a sports matter, consider it as perfect example of union busting, perfect because this leads to early deaths of union members in a "game" they collectively bargained to play professionally.

Yes, blessed by birth in Milwaukee circa 1958, I revel in victory of the Green Bay Packers in the greatest marketing event in the world, a small market team owned by community members.

Insert inchoate howl of rage here.

Links to follow when my fury subsides, but leave aside professional football players and consider the roll call of college kids murdered by competetiveness, macho egos institutionalized in so called institutions of higher learning: Eric Plancher at THE University of Central Florida, casualties at FSU and UF in pre seson workouts, 13 University of Iowa fgootball players ending up in the emergency room this year facing possible organ failure after sadistic workouts designed to make boys into men and "win the fourth quarter.".

So the impending lockout by billionaire owners of NFL teams of their employees provides a perfect pitch for we fans to tell the morally deficient we do not want our heroes sacrificed for our bread and circuses.

Roger Goodell, hold an open vote for the owners on the 18 game season. Let those who favor it wash the metaphorical blood off their hands in public, damn youse!!!

Check the links in dailyKos piece: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2011/2/6/940677/-NFL-lockout:-No-more-football-in-2011.

Let me quote from a quoted passage: [According to Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes SportsMoney, "The NFL has never been more profitable by our count with the average team earning $33 million in 2009 in operating profit (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) thanks to huge incomes for teams like the Cowboys, Patriots and Redskins."] http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2011/2/6/940677/-NFL-lockout:-No-more-football-in-2011

Note depreciation above because that involves depreciating monies paid as salary on players' contracts just like capital depreciation of a factory built by a company.

Owners get their cake, eat it too, get public $ for venues, and still want bigger damn slices of the cake.

Scumbags.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Webster#Post-football_life

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_traumatic_encephalopathy

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just Went to Virtual Versailles

And I like it. Google has done something actually worthwhile. From Reina Sofia Madrid to Versailles to the Smithsonian, the most precious art of the world lives on the intertubes.

My collection so far: http://goo.gl/8WEVs

This just in, Generalissimo Francisco Franco and Ronald Reagan are Still Dead

This just in, Generalissimo Francisco Franco and Ronald Reagan are Still Dead

100th birthday of Ronald Ragunz my ass.

He's dead, people! Dead and moldering in his grave, and the myth should rest, interred with him.

He raised taxes eleven times.

His wife consulted astrologers to set his schedule, and somewhere in the Old Testament God commands death for witches.

Oh, just listen to Gil Scott Heron as his words work best for me.




Orlando Sentinel Embarrasses Itself

Greedy damn union busting scabs.

Green Bay, WI, Owns the Green Bay Packers

...They are one of over 112,000 people to own stock in the most unusual franchise in the world's richest sports league.

The share, by any normal yardstick, is the lousiest investment imaginable. It does qualify you to buy an "I Own a Piece of the Pack" T-shirt, but by statute, no dividend can ever be paid on them. They are not traded on any public market, and cannot be sold except back to the Packers for a fraction of the original price. If the team were ever wound up (admittedly a prospect as unlikely as a snow storm in Tahiti), the proceeds would go to charity. And last but not least, being a shareholder gets you nowhere near a season ticket.

But sound financial judgement has never been the distinguishing hallmark of a sports fan. To the delirium of a small (and presently glacial) city in northern Wisconsin, the joy of Wisconsin exiles like the Wests and the quiet satisfaction of gridiron neutrals everywhere, the Packers are off to the Super Bowl...

But the most remarkable thing of all about the Green Bay Packers is that they are the property not of some billionaire owner, but of the fans themselves – more than 112,000 at the last count, and including my travel agent and her husband.

Such an arrangement is far from uncommon in Europe: think Real Madrid or Barcelona with their socios, the clubs of Germany's Bundesliga or a handful of lower division Football League clubs like Brentford (not to mention FC United of Manchester.)

But in all major league US sport, the Packers are unique – and community ownership has bred an extraordinary bond between fans and team. "There's an emotional attachment," says Mac West, "a sense of incredible pride that we play on the same field as Chicago, New York or Dallas."

Naturally, the Wests don't have season tickets. Few do. Every Packers home game since 1960 has been sold out, and the waiting list now exceeds the 73,000 capacity at Lambeau Field. So rarely do season tickets become available that applicants from the 1960s are only now starting to get them. Tickets are passed down the generations like family heirlooms; frequently they have been the thorniest issue in Wisconsin divorce suits...

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/others/american-football-a-smallcity-clubs-unique-affair-with-its-fans-2203619.html

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fox "News" Uses King James Bible to Blame Barry 'Bama

["Those who wait on the Lord will soar on wings like eagles, and they will run and not be weary, and they will walk and not faint," the president said during a speech to several thousand people at the breakfast.

But the actual passage, from Isaiah 40:31, states: "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Somewhat ironically, while Fox Nation appears to be positioning themselves as the arbiters of authentic Christianity, they seem unfamiliar with the fact that there is more than one version of the Bible.

Obama was quoting from the New International Version, while Fox Nation was pointing to the King James Version to "debunk" him.

This would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.]
http://mediamatters.org/blog/201102040006

Causes of the French Revolution Resemble Current US Economy

Costly involvement in foreign wars for decades. Check.

More regressive tax structure over decades of Republican rule, cutting top tier income tax rate, raising Social Security withholding rates while keeping a $100,000 limit on the amount taxed. Check.

Almost complete disregard by elites of the commonweal of the United States. Check.

Oh, we deserve the obscene compensation and stratospheric bonuses prattle those with the most income failing to ask themselves the basic question whether they could make so much money absent the government regulations and legal framework which prevents the hoi polloifrom storming their Madison Avenue pentouses.

[Louis XVI ascended to the throne amidst a financial crisis; the nation was nearing bankruptcy and outlays outpaced income.[6] This was because of France’s financial obligations stemming from involvement in the Seven Years War and its participation in the American Revolutionary War.[7] In May 1776, finance minister Turgot was dismissed, after he failed to enact much needed reforms. The next year, Jacques Necker, a foreigner, was appointed Comptroller-General of Finance. He could not be made an official minister because he was a Protestant.[8] Necker realized that the country's tax system, which was perceived as quite regressive, subjected the lower classes to a heavy burden;[8] while numerous exemptions existed for the nobility and clergy.[9] He argued that the country could not be taxed higher, that tax exemptions for the nobility and clergy must be reduced, and proposed that borrowing more money would solve the country's fiscal shortages.]


[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_revolution#Financial_crisis

World Food Prices Highest in 21 Years

Have the corporate masters of Earth forgotten the lessons of the French Revolution: Egalitie, Fraternity, and bread for the masses?

[World food prices have hit their highest level on record in January, the United Nations has said.

It said on Thursday that its Food and Agriculture Organisation Food Price Index rose for the seventh month in a row to reach 231, topping the peak of 224.1 last seen in June 2008.

It is the highest level the index has reached since records began in 1990.

"The new figures clearly show that the upward pressure on world food prices is not abating. These high prices are likely to persist in the months to come," said Abdolreza Abbassian, an economist for FAO, which is based in Rome.

Rising food prices have been cited among the driving forces behind the recent popular revolts in north Africa, including the uprising in Egypt and the toppling of Tunisia's long-time president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.] http://english.aljazeera.net/news/2011/02/20112442413591195.html

Thursday, February 3, 2011

NRA: Murder Incorporated

Why does it take Al Freakin' Jazeera to tell the truth in the good old US of A?

Absent the insane lobbying and marketing of firearms by the National Rifle Association, my country would not have the flood of firearms fomenting violence and murder, the idiots and insane armed and ready to jump up and end the life of fellow humans as Matthew Manolas.

[There is simply no understanding the prevalence of gun violence in America - as evidenced by the recent attempted assassination of a congresswoman during a mass shooting - without discussing the nefarious role played by the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Once an organisation primarily concerned with the education and training of sportsmen, in a coup that came to be known as the Cincinnati Revolt in 1977, hardliners took over the leadership and believed that any gun regulation would take us down a slippery slope to Khmer Rougism.

In the years since, unlike the US in the wake of the 1968 assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy - or for that matter Australia after the Port Arthur Massacre - the response to senseless gun violence has been to discuss everything from the rhetoric on our airwaves to the weather outside.

But any public conversations regarding restricting who has access to guns has been considered verboten (although, thankfully, this time some cracks are beginning to show).

This is largely because the NRA's duping its own members, which we'll discuss below, and coming to the realisation that the real money was in actually protecting the rights of gun manufacturers, which we'll discuss in Part II of this series.

If the NRA leadership is not radical, they certainly see the benefit in playing radicals on TV in order to enrich their financial benefactors who produce and sell the weaponry of death.

In the 1990s, in a climate of fear and paranoia that produced the Oklahoma City bombing, they were all too happy to refer to the government authority that tries to enforce gun laws, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms (ATF), as "jack-booted thugs". This led former president George H.W. Bush to resign his membership.

They then decided to up the ante by accusing former president Bill Clinton of murder and saying he "had blood on his hands" - all for the crime of supporting background checks at gun shows - which is among the many legislative proposals to reduce gun violence that they have repeatedly blocked.

Others include a ban on high-capacity magazines, banning sales to those on terrorist watch lists, and fully funding the aforementioned ATF (think about the latter when they say they want to "strengthen existing gun laws" after each new tragedy)...

This may be why in a piece last year for the Washington Post, columnist Dana Milbank, in referring to the NRA, titled a piece on this subject, "Terrorists who want to buy guns have friends on Capitol Hill".

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the most recent tragedy in Arizona, a who's who of conservatives has come out in favour of at least reopening a discussion of passing some of the above measures (as well as others not mentioned here), from former vice president Dick Cheney to senior GOP senator Richard Lugar, former republican National Committee Communications Director Cliff May to ultra-conservative Oklahoma senator Tom Coburn...

Most of these gun restrictions also happen to be supported by the vast majority of those unknown anti-gun crusaders: gun owners and NRA members.

In a poll conducted by republican wordsmith Frank Luntz just over a year ago, 69% of NRA members supported closing the gun-show loophole that allows people to buy guns without the hassle of a background check, while an overwhelming 82% backed closing the terrorist gap.

In other more recent polls, a whopping 9% of Americans supported the right to carry a concealed weapon without a permit - which thankfully only exists in Arizona and two other states - and 93% of gun owners "supported requiring federal agencies to share information about suspected dangerous persons or terrorists to prevent them from buying guns."] emphasis added
http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/01/20111241084358958.html

Do we have democracy in the US of A? Hell no, we have a "representative" republic.

"Democracy don't rule the world.
You better get that through your head.
This world is ruled by violence.
But I guess that's better off left unsaid."









Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Coming Food Riots

[Food riots, geopolitical tensions, global inflation and increasing hunger among the planet's poorest people are the likely effects of a new surge in world food prices, which have hit an all-time high according to the United Nations.

The UN's index of food prices – an international basket comprising wheat, corn, dairy produce, meat and sugar – stands at its highest since the index started in 1990, surpassing even the peaks seen during the 2008 food crisis, which prompted civil disturbances from Mexico to Indonesia.

"We are entering danger territory," said the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's chief economist, Abdolreza Abbassian.

...Speculation, too, may be part of the crisis, as investors climb on to the rising food-price bandwagon.

...The interplay of rising fuel prices, the growing use of biofuels, bad weather and soaring futures markets drove up the price of food dramatically in 2008, prompting violent protests in Mexico, Indonesia, Egypt, Cameroon and Haiti. Last year's spike was provoked mainly by the freakish weather conditions in Russia and Ukraine, but one of the underlying trends is the growing and changing appetites of east Asia.] emphasis added
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/the-coming-hunger-record-food-prices-put-world-in-danger-says-un-2177220.html

US Stalinists Say Eat Less Pizza

Try prying the pizza from my cold dead hand after my heart attack.


[As the nation’s obesity crisis continues unabated, federal regulators on Monday issued their bluntest nutrition advice to date: drink water instead of sugary drinks like soda, fill your plate with fruits and vegetables and cut down on processed foods filled with sodium, fat or sugar.



More important, perhaps, the government told Americans, “Enjoy your food, but eat less.” Many Americans eat too many calories every day, expanding their waistlines and imperiling their health.
While the recommendations may seem obvious, it is nonetheless considered major progress for federal regulators, who have long skirted the issue, wary of the powerful food lobby. (The 112-page report even subtly suggests that people eat less pizza and dessert.)]  emphasis addded