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The Three R's   

Posted by Mot - Jul 18, 2003 - 12:48pm
12 comments on this journal entry.

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Location: Bethany

Posted: Nov 8, 2012 - 10:26pm


What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria - op ed in NYT 9-11-2013

TORNADO by Dorothea Lasky

RP member melzabutch has some interesting pictures to use in his song comments...
The online disinhibition effect...

While online, some people self-disclose or act out more frequently or intensely than they would in person. This article explores six factors that interact with each other in creating this online disinhibition effect: dissociative anonymity, invisibility, asynchronicity, solipsistic introjection, dissociative imagination, and minimization of authority. Personality variables also will influence the extent of this disinhibition. Rather than thinking of disinhibition as the revealing of an underlying "true self," we can conceptualize it as a shift to a constellation within self-structure, involving clusters of affect and cognition that differ from the in-person constellation.

The GOP’s vagina monologue
By Dana Milbank
The Washington Post
March 2, 2012

When will Republicans stop their vagina monologue?

March is federally recognized as Women’s History Month, and Republicans have been celebrating the occasion in a most unusual style: with a burst of interest in women’s private parts...

Katy Perry's Nipples— They Say They Have Teeth And Wail Like the Wind (Pictures)

KATY Perry is doing the Lucy Pinder move. Pinder is the Page 3 stunna who for months on end refused to show her nipples. Speculation was rife that Pinder's nipples were covered in a light red down; had a face; had their own agent; were non-existent; were more talented than the rest of Pinder..? Katy Perry's career is heading the same way, although there is, as yet, no promise of the full nipple shot. In these pictures from Perry's California Gurl's video we, as ever, see not quite all of her naked body. Why no nipples? Do they have teeth? Do they have a stage fright-induced twitch? The guessing goes on. But for how long will the people wait?


Remembering Howard Zinn
by Noam Chomsky
Al Jazeera
January 27, 2012

Editor's note: Today, January 27, is the second anniversary of the death of Howard Zinn. An active participant in the Civil Rights movement, he was dismissed in 1963 from his position as a tenured professor at Spelman College in Atlanta after siding with black women students in the struggle against segregation. In 1967, he wrote one of the first, and most influential, books calling for an end to the war in Vietnam. A veteran of the US Army Air Force, he edited The Pentagon Papers, leaked by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, and was later designated a "high security risk" by the FBI...

Cambridge, Mass — It is not easy for me to write a few words about Howard Zinn, the great American activist and historian. He was a very close friend for 45 years. The families were very close too. His wife Roz, who died of cancer not long before, was also a marvellous person and close friend. Also sombre is the realisation that a whole generation seems to be disappearing, including several other old friends: Edward Said, Eqbal Ahmed and others, who were not only astute and productive scholars, but also dedicated and courageous militants, always on call when needed — which was constant. A combination that is essential if there is to be hope of decent survival.

Howard's remarkable life and work are summarised best in his own words. His primary concern, he explained, was "the countless small actions of unknown people" that lie at the roots of "those great moments" that enter the historical record — a record that will be profoundly misleading, and seriously disempowering, if it is torn from these roots as it passes through the filters of doctrine and dogma. His life was always closely intertwined with his writings and innumerable talks and interviews. It was devoted, selflessly, to empowerment of the unknown people who brought about great moments. That was true when he was an industrial worker and labour activist, and from the days, 50 years ago, when he was teaching at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, a black college that was open mostly to the small black elite...

National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property

U.S. Department of Defense, U. S. Army, and the U.S. General Services Administration: $7 million in equipment donated to States from IRAQ war

NASASP Headquarters, USA — Thanks to the collaborative efforts and ideas of members of Congress and officials from the U.S. Department of Defense, Logistics and Materiel Readiness, and the General Services Administration, NASASP has successfully returned more than $7 million in excess military equipment to our local governments and communities across the nation...

In Praise of Extremism
By Frank Rich
New York Magazine 
September 26, 2011

What good did bipartisanship ever do anybody?

That Obama has so long held to his faith that "there's not a liberal America and a conservative America, there's the United States of America," as he intoned in his glorious 2004 keynote at the Democratic convention, is in part because that's who he is. But it's also because he's all too susceptible to Washington Establishment groupthink (which is how he was seduced into the jobless Summers-Geithner "recovery" in the first place). From the moment Obama arrived at the White House, the Beltway elites have been coaxing him further down the politically suicidal path of appeasement and inertia even as his opponents geared up for war.

As these elites see it, Obama must always hold his fire because we are perennially just one step away from the nirvana of national unity, no matter how glaring the evidence to the contrary. A classic example was a David Brooks column headlined "The Grand Bargain Lives!" published on July 22 of this year and predicting an Obama-John Boehner mind meld on a far-reaching debt-reduction deal. That same day, embarrassingly enough, those negotiations collapsed, with Obama complaining that Boehner hadn't returned his calls and Boehner stating that "the deal was never reached, and was never really close." Brooks, who also flogged the unheeded Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission as "the only way to realistically fix this problem," has merely picked up where the Polonius of bipartisan Washington punditry, David Broder of the Washington Post, left off when he died in March. So beguiled was Broder after the "Gang of Fourteen" halted filibusters (temporarily) on judicial appointments that in 2007 he wrote that Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell had "forged a personal relationship of unusual trust," setting off a "powerful current toward consensus building" in the Senate.

This delusional faith in comity reached its apotheosis in the debt-ceiling showdown. With the reliable exception of Paul Krugman, who shuns Washington and calls centrism "the cult that is destroying America," almost every Establishment observer in our own time bought into the magical thinking that the radical Republicans would never go so far as to risk a default of the American government. Only when the tea-party cabal in the House took Washington hostage did it fully dawn on the Beltway gentry that the country was in danger. But even now, Obama keeps being urged to make nice with the rebels so that he can woo independents, who, we're constantly told, value bipartisanship every bit as much as the pundits do. The "all-important independent voters," as the "Lexington" columnist at The Economist recycled the conventional wisdom earlier this month, "are said to be looking for a president who defuses partisan tensions, rather than inflaming them." Said by whom? Mainly other Washington bloviators...

"Maybe it's time to have some provocative language in this country," Perry said at his maiden debate. It is time, and Obama is certainly capable of giving as good as he gets. The Washington hands who assume Perry and his constituency will self-destruct are as misguided as those who thought the conservative movement couldn't survive provocative language like the 1964 Goldwater mantra "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice." Extremism in defense of liberty may be a vice, but so is retreat in the face of extremism. The many who would have Obama surrender without a fight in 2012-whether Beltway wise men addicted to bipartisanship, vain and deluded third-party entrepreneurs, or White House strategists chasing phantom independents-are fiddling while America burns. If Obama succumbs to their siren call again, he will too.


Welcome to OCCUPY TOGETHER, a hub for all of the events springing up across the country in solidarity with Occupy Wall St. As we have followed the news on facebook, twitter, and the various live feeds across the internet, we felt compelled to build a site that would help spread the word as more protests organize across the country. We hope to provide people with information about events that are organizing, ongoing, and building across the U.S. as we, the 99%, take action against the greed and corruption of the 1%.

Here is a list of all the cities where the revolution arrives... just click on your city to see the exciting events...

 Palin does not perceive any rule of law...  Julian Assange has broken no laws with WikiLeaks... also the data was heavily redacted by major media, like The New York Times...  Palin understands neither laws nor journalism...  this is from Palin's Facebook, and it is scary stuff—

"First and foremost, what steps were taken to stop Wikileaks director Julian Assange from distributing this highly sensitive classified material especially after he had already published material not once but twice in the previous months? Assange is not a 'journalist,' any more than the 'editor' of al Qaeda's new English language magazine Inspire is a 'journalist.' He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?"

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Location: Bethany

Posted: Nov 6, 2012 - 8:46pm

Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)

Today, 13 November 2013, WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents. Significantly, the released text includes the negotiation positions and disagreements between all 12 prospective member states.

The coming drone attack on America
by Naomi Wolf
The Guardian
December 21, 2012

People often ask me, in terms of my argument about "ten steps" that mark the descent to a police state or closed society, at what stage we are. I am sorry to say that with the importation of what will be tens of thousands of dronesby both US military and by commercial interests, into US airspace, with a specific mandate to engage in surveillance and with the capacity for weaponization – which is due to begin in earnest at the start of the new year – it means that the police state is now officially here.

In February of this year, Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Actwith its provision to deploy fleets of drones domestically...

Was the Bush Administration Obsessed With Me? —By Michael Moore

The date was July 30, 2004. 'Fahrenheit 9/11' was already a huge hit in the United States. Just to give you an idea how huge, it had hit #1 at the box office, the only documentary to have ever accomplished this feat, and had made more on its opening weekend than 'Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.'

But it was no easy path to get there. Disney (which owned Miramax) was apoplectic when they saw the final cut. So they pulled the film from its theatrical schedule. Then they put a permanent block on its release, insuring no one would see it. But then the New York Times, in a front page story, reported that the real reason Disney hated 'Fahrenheit' was they were worried about the tax breaks it got in Jeb Bush's Florida for Disney World. This caused some embarrassment, so Disney then sold 'Fahrenheit' to the Weinstein Bros., who said they'd spend their own money to distribute it.

The release of the film caused concern at the White House, as this was the re-election year. They hired a pollster who told them the film might tip the election. That was enough for them to swing into action. Much of July was a nonstop barrage of attacks on me and the movie. But that just resulted in more tickets being sold.

Obama administration must account to Congress for targeted assassinations
by Dennis Kucinich
guardian uk
Friday 16 November 2012

According to news reports, President Obama maintains a list of alleged militants to be assassinated. Some are US citizens. None will get to plead his case. The president tells us to trust that this is all perfectly legal and constitutional, even though Congress is not allowed to see any legal justification. The weapon of choice in these assassinations: remote-controlled planes called drones.

The targeted killing of suspects by the United States is slowly and quietly becoming institutionalized as a permanent feature of the US counterterrorism strategy. Unless members of Congress begin to push back, such killings will continue – without any oversight, transparency or accountability. Victims of drone strikes – including US citizens – are secretly stripped of their right to due process and are arbitrarily deprived of their life, in violation of international human rights law.

This is from April 27, 2011—
Why Obama Gets Four More Years in White House — by Ralph Nader

The stars are aligned for Barack Obama's re-election in November 2012. He won't join Jimmy Carter to be the second Democrat in 120 years to lose a second term.

Five things are playing in Obama's favor.

Hurray for Health Reform
by Paul Krugman
The New York Times
March 19, 2012

It’s said that you can judge a man by the quality of his enemies. If the same principle applies to legislation, the Affordable Care Act — which was signed into law two years ago, but for the most part has yet to take effect — sits in a place of high honor.

Now, the act — known to its foes as Obamacare, and to the cognoscenti as ObamaRomneycare — isn’t easy to love, since it’s very much a compromise, dictated by the perceived political need to change existing coverage and challenge entrenched interests as little as possible. But the perfect is the enemy of the good; for all its imperfections, this reform would do an enormous amount of good. And one indicator of just how good it is comes from the apparent inability of its opponents to make an honest case against it.

To understand the lies, you first have to understand the truth. How would ObamaRomneycare change American health care?...

The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama
by Paul Glastris
The Washington Monthly
March/ April 2012

Measured in sheer legislative tonnage, what Obama got done in his first two years is stunning. Health care reform. The takeover and turnaround of the auto industry. The biggest economic stimulus in history. Sweeping new regulations of Wall Street. A tough new set of consumer protections on the credit card industry. A vast expansion of national service. Net neutrality. The greatest increase in wilderness protection in fifteen years. A revolutionary reform to student aid. Signing the New START treaty with Russia. The ending of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Even over the past year, when he was bogged down in budget fights with the Tea Party-controlled GOP House, Obama still managed to squeeze out a few domestic policy victories, including a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction deal and the most sweeping overhaul of food safety laws in more than seventy years. More impressively, on the foreign policy front he ended the war in Iraq, began the drawdown in Afghanistan, helped to oust Gaddafi in Libya and usher out Mubarak in Egypt, orchestrated new military and commercial alliances as a hedge against China, and tightened sanctions against Iran over its nukes.

Oh, and he shifted counterterrorism strategies to target Osama bin Laden and then ordered the risky raid that killed him.

That Obama has done all this while also steering the country out of what might have been a second Great Depression would seem to have made him already, just three years into his first term, a serious candidate for greatness...

by Amy Kroin
March 07, 2012

In 2008, President Obama spoke out against media consolidation and for more diverse ownership of radio and television stations. "Rules promoting the public interest and diversity in media ownership," he said, "are too important for the FCC to accept an agenda supported by the Washington special interests."

Right now those same special interests are winning out. Last year the FCC signed off on one of the largest media mergers in history, blessing the Comcast-NBC Universal deal. And now Obama’s FCC is on the verge of caving to industry lobbyists who want to remove one of the last remaining curbs to runaway media consolidation — the rule that prevents one company from owning broadcast stations and newspapers in the same market...

As anyone who’s ever landed on Boardwalk in a game of Monopoly knows, only those who control a market benefit from monopolies. The FCC’s rules will pave the way for even less community-centered reporting and more of the cookie-cutter fluff that passes for news these days.

And for FCC watchers, these proposals are likely to inspire a feeling of déjà vu: They are the same exact rule changes that former Chairman Kevin Martin offered in 2007 and that the public, Congress and a court subsequently rebuked. In 2011, a federal court of appeals threw out the 2007 effort to weaken the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule...

So what’s Obama up to in the midst of all this? He’s busy looking the other way.

 Tell the president to keep his commitment to fostering a more diverse media. It’s not too late for the FCC to reverse course.

Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2011
by Will Durst
San Francisco Chronicle
December 11, 2011

Okay. You can stop vibrating like a shaved poodle duct-taped to the foul pole at Wrigley during a night game in April. It's finally here. The 8th annual Top Ten Comedic News Stories of the Year. Veterans, please advise the newbies this list is NOT to be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of the Year. They are as different as 3 bean chili and those flannel pajamas with the feets in them. Like strip mining slag heaps and the director's cut of "Zookeeper." Wire-haired dwarf goats and metal flake stainless steel dinnerware.

Serious stuff? Oh my, yes, indeed, you betcha, there was plenty; truth be told— too many— grisly stories that impacted the US, the world and planet greater than these, but to be fair, no Kardashian references either. So, here we go with events that happened in the year of our Lord, 2011, that most lent themselves to mocking and scoffing and taunting. In amplish amounts...

And Congress' Rich Get Richer
By Paul Singer and Jennifer Yachnin
Roll Call Staff
Nov. 1, 2011, Midnight

Net Worth of Lawmakers Up 25 Percent in Two Years, Analysis Demonstrates

Members of Congress had a collective net worth of more than $2 billion in 2010, a nearly 25 percent increase over the 2008 total, according to a Roll Call analysis of Members' financial disclosure forms.

Nearly 90 percent of that increase is concentrated in the 50 richest Members of Congress.

Two years ago, Roll Call found that the minimum net worth of House Members was slightly more than $1 billion; Senators had a combined minimum worth of $651 million for a Congressional total of $1.65 billion. Roll Call calculates minimum net worth by adding the minimum values of all reported assets and subtracting the minimum values of all reported liabilities.

According to financial disclosure forms filed by Members of Congress this year, the minimum net worth in the House has jumped to $1.26 billion, and Senate net worth has climbed to at least $784 million, for a Congressional total of $2.04 billion...

Aug 9, 2012 — Continuing a practice that had been criticized when Nicolas Sarkozy was president, France has dismantled two camps of Roma in Lille. It's the first raid on a camp since Francois Hollande took office in May.

Thursday's camp raids came as 240 Roma - sometimes called gypsies - were deported from Lyon back to Romania.

notes from Wikipedia about the French Roma expulsion—

The French Roma repatriation is a programme initiated in July 2010 by the Government of France to repatriate thousands of Romanian and Bulgarian Roma as part of a crackdown on illegal camps in the country. Although Bulgarian and Romanian citizens have the right to enter France without a visa, due to their countries of origin being in the European Union, under French immigration rules they must have work or residency permits if they wish to stay longer than three months.

On 6 September, the president of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso gave a speech widely interpreted as a criticism of the French policy, warning EU governments to "steer clear of racism and xenophobia".

exonym — A name by which one people or social group refers to another and by which the group so named does not refer to itself.

data from Wikipedia — Romani people are known collectively in the Romani language as Romane or Rromane (depending on the dialect concerned) and also as Romany, Romanies, Romanis, Roma or Roms.

The Romani are an ethnic group living mostly in Europe, who have been traced genetically to a group migrating from the northwestern Indian Subcontinent about 1500 years ago. Romani are widely known in the English-speaking world by the exonym "Gypsies" (or Gipsies).

During World War II, the Nazis and the Ustaša embarked on a systematic genocide of the Romani, a process known in Romani as the Porajmos. Romanies were marked for extermination and sentenced to forced labor and imprisonment in concentration camps.
They were often killed on sight, especially by the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) on the Eastern Front. The total number of victims has been variously estimated at between 220,000 to 1,500,000; even the lowest number would make the Porajmos one of the largest mass murders in history.



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Location: Bethany

Posted: Nov 6, 2012 - 8:46pm

Wikimania and the First Amendment— by Ralph Nader

As Cong. Ron Paul said on the House floor, why is the hostility directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our government's failure to protect classified information? He asked his colleagues which events caused more deaths, "Lying us into war, or the release of the Wikileaks papers?"

Over-reaction by the Obama administration could lead to censoring the Internet, undermining Secretary Clinton's Internet Freedom initiative, which criticized China's controls and lauded hacktivism in that country, and divert attention from the massive over classification of documents by the Executive Branch. 

A full throttle attack on Wikileaks is what the government distracters want in order to take away the spotlight of the disclosures on their misdeeds, their waste and their construction of an authoritarian corporate state.

U.S. military unveils heat ray weapon: ‘You’re gonna feel it’
by Paul Koring
The Globe and Mail
March 14, 2012

In the ‘War of the Worlds’ the Martians used them to incinerate pesky humans more than a century ago.

The Pentagon plans are more modest: crowd control of pesky humans.

Still, after more than a century, the ‘heat ray’ has made the leap from fiction to reality with the U.S. military demonstrating the so-called ‘goodbye effect’ of directing electromagnetic waves at people.

It delivers sudden, unbearable heat, like the invisible wave when a hot oven door is opened but far more powerful – an intense, enveloping but non-lethal blast.

“You're not gonna see it, you're not gonna hear it, you're not gonna smell it: you're gonna feel it,” said Marine Colonel Tracy Taffola, at the public unveiling of the quaintly-dubbed Active Denial System at the U.S. Marines base near Quantico, south of Washington, D.C.

From a kilometre away, the invisible, high-energy, beam, concentrated (just like the Martians did) by a big concave mirror mounted atop a military vehicle can blast a crowd. Instantly, everyone wants to be somewhere else. They flee. Hence the “goodbye effect.”...

Al Gore with Sean Parker at SXSW: 'Occupy democracy!'

by Daniel Terdiman
March 12, 2012 

AUSTIN, Texas—Former U.S. vice president Al Gore and Facebook's founding president Sean Parker argued passionately today that online communities must use the powerful tools at their disposal to save American democracy...

"Our democracy has been hacked," Gore began. "It no longer works to serve the best interests of the people of this country."...

The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)
by James Bamford
March 16, 2012

The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as “the principle,” marriage to multiple wives.

Today Bluffdale is home to one of the nation’s largest sects of polygamists, the Apostolic United Brethren, with upwards of 9,000 members. The brethren’s complex includes a chapel, a school, a sports field, and an archive. Membership has doubled since 1978—and the number of plural marriages has tripled—so the sect has recently been looking for ways to purchase more land and expand throughout the town.

But new pioneers have quietly begun moving into the area, secretive outsiders who say little and keep to themselves. Like the pious polygamists, they are focused on deciphering cryptic messages that only they have the power to understand. Just off Beef Hollow Road, less than a mile from brethren headquarters, thousands of hard-hatted construction workers in sweat-soaked T-shirts are laying the groundwork for the newcomers’ own temple and archive, a massive complex so large that it necessitated expanding the town’s boundaries. Once built, it will be more than five times the size of the US Capitol.

Rather than Bibles, prophets, and worshippers, this temple will be filled with servers, computer intelligence experts, and armed guards. And instead of listening for words flowing down from heaven, these newcomers will be secretly capturing, storing, and analyzing vast quantities of words and images hurtling through the world’s telecommunications networks. In the little town of Bluffdale, Big Love and Big Brother have become uneasy neighbors...

How Big a Deal is H.R. 347, That “Criminalizing Protest” Bill?
by Gabe Rottman
American Civil Liberties Union
March 11, 2012

Recent days have seen significant concern about an unassuming bill with an unassuming name: the "Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011." The bill, H.R. 347, has been variously described as making the First Amendment illegal or criminalizing the Occupy protests.

The truth is more mundane, but the issues raised are still of major significance for the First Amendment...

An Executive Power to Kill?
by David Cole
The New York Review of Books
March 6, 2012

The President of the United States can order the killing of US citizens, far from any battlefield, without charges, a trial, or any form of advance judicial approval. That’s what Attorney General Eric Holder told a group of students at Northwestern Law School yesterday, in a much anticipated speech. The Constitution requires the government to obtain a judicial warrant based on probable cause before it can search your backpack or attach a GPS tracking device to your car, but not, according to Holder, before it kills you...

The extent of the change is reflected by the fact that no president has previously asserted the power to order the killing of an American citizen far from the battlefield. If you are inclined to trust Obama with such power, what about the next administration? Or the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Russia, or China? In international law, what the United States does is often a precedent (or pretext) for others, and we will not have a monopoly on drone killing for long.

So how does President Obama, the constitutional law professor who has vowed to fight terrorism within the constraints of both domestic and international law, justify such a dramatic taking of life without judicial process? It is not illegal or even controversial, of course, to shoot to kill enemy soldiers on a battlefield in wartime. An American citizen who chooses to fight for the other side takes the risk that he will be targeted along with his fellow enemy soldiers...

We have long recognized that those charged with law enforcement or security are at risk of overestimating their own certainty, and have therefore required that the government obtain a warrant from an independent judge before conducting a search, unless there is not time to do so. If we require such process even for the search of a backpack, shouldn’t we demand at least as much before the President orders the non-battlefield killing of a human being?

The NDAA: a clear and present danger to American liberty
Naomi Wolf
The Guardian
March 1, 2012

Yes, the worst things you may have heard about the National Defense Authorization Act, which has formally ended 254 years of democracy in the United States of America, and driven a stake through the heart of the bill of rights, are all really true. The act passed with large margins in both the House and the Senate on the last day of last year – even as tens of thousands of Americans were frantically begging their representatives to secure Americans' habeas corpus rights in the final version...

Overstated? Let's be clear: the NDAA grants the president the power to kidnap any American anywhere in the United States and hold him or her in prison forever without trial. The president's own signing statement, incredibly, confirmed that he had that power. As I have been warning since 2006: there is not a country on the planet that you can name that has ever set in place a system of torture, and of detention without trial, for an "other", supposedly external threat that did not end up using it pretty quickly on its own citizens...

As former Reagan official, now Ron Paul supporter, Bruce Fein points out, on 1 March, we won't just lose the bill of rights; we will lose due process altogether. We will be back at the place where we were, in terms of legal tradition, before the signing of the Magna Carta – when kings could throw people in prison at will, to rot there forever. If we had cared more about what was being done to brown people with Muslim names on a Cuban coastline, and raised our voices louder against their having been held without charge for years, or against their being tried in kangaroo courts called military tribunals, we might now be safer now from a new law mandating for us also the threat of abduction and fear of perpetual incarceration...

Are we becoming a police state? Five things that have civil liberties advocates nervous
by Sal Gentile
December 7, 2011

Is our Constitution under siege?...

Here are five issues that are especially worrisome to civil liberties watchdogs...

Seymour Hersh: Propaganda Used Ahead of Iraq War Is Now Being Reused over Iran's Nuke Program
Democracy Now!
November 21, 2011

But you mentioned Iraq. It's just this-almost the same sort of-I don't know if you want to call it a "psychosis," but it's some sort of a fantasy land being built up here, as it was with Iraq, the same sort of-no lessons learned, obviously. Look, I have been reporting about Iran, and I could tell you that since '04, under George Bush, and particularly the Vice President, Mr. Cheney, we were-Cheney was particularly concerned there were secret facilities for building a weapon, which are much different than the enrichment. We have enrichment in Iran. They've acknowledged it. They have inspectors there. There are cameras there, etc. This is all-Iran's a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Nobody is accusing them of any cheating. In fact, the latest report that everybody's so agog about also says that, once again, we find no evidence that Iran has diverted any uranium that it's enriching. And it's also enriching essentially at very low levels for peaceful purposes, so they say, 3.8 percent. And so, there is a small percentage being enriched to 20 percent for medical use, but that's quite small, also under cameras, under inspection.

What you have is, in those days, in '04, '05, '06, '07, even until the end of their term in office, Cheney kept on having the Joint Special Operations Force Command, JSOC-they would send teams inside Iran. They would work with various dissident groups-the Azeris, the Kurds, even Jundallah, which is a very fanatic Sunni opposition group-and they would do everything they could to try and find evidence of an undeclared underground facility. We monitored everything. We have incredible surveillance. In those days, what we did then, we can even do better now. And some of the stuff is very technical, very classified, but I can tell you, there's not much you can do in Iran right now without us finding out something about it. They found nothing. Nothing. No evidence of any weaponization. In other words, no evidence of a facility to build the bomb. They have facilities to enrich, but not separate facilities for building a bomb. This is simply a fact. We haven't found it, if it does exist. It's still a fantasy. We still want to think-many people do think-it does...

Supreme Court Sees Shades of 1984 in Unchecked GPS Tracking
by David Cravets
November 8, 2011
WASHINGTON — A number of Supreme Court justices invoked the specter of Big Brother while hearing arguments Tuesday over whether the police may secretly attach GPS devices on Americans' cars without getting a probable-cause warrant.

While many justices said the concept was unsettling, the high court gave no clear indication on how it will rule in what is arguably one of the biggest Fourth Amendment cases in the computer age. The Obama administration maintains that Americans have no privacy rights when it comes to their movements in public...

Commentary: The Patriot Act, cyber-edition
by Zachary Katznelson
American Civil Liberties Union
October 23, 2011

Cybersecurity is the new buzzword in Washington, capturing a wide range of potential responses to internet-related threats both real and imagined. Congress is starting to play a role, considering legislation that purports to make cyberspace more secure. But many of the solutions being offered echo those of the deeply flawed Patriot Act, enacted ten years ago this month.

Just as the Patriot Act swept aside long-standing constitutional protections against government prying into private lives, current cybersecurity proposals threaten to expand the government's ability to collect personal information - even when there is no indication that the people targeted have been involved in any wrongdoing.

Over the past decade, we have learned that such policies fail on two fronts: they are largely ineffective and they violate civil liberties...

A virtual secret state: the military-industrial complex 2.0
by Barrett Brown
The Guardian
October 9, 2011

The "free market" competition for contracts that would otherwise bring gains is corrupted by the industry's thorough overlap with its state customers. Former Department of Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff joined the board of directors of contractor BAE Systems ahead of that firm being awarded a $270m contract last week, followed by another US Army contract for $67m; before bringing on the well-connected ex-secretary, the firm was becoming notorious for losing such crucial business.

A glance at the boards and executive listings of similar firms, replete with former military officers and government officials, reveals the revolving door that connects potential clients with a state customer for which money is no object, such money being taxed from an electorate too distracted by other offenses to notice. Of course, America's penchant for overspending on defense would be more defensible if it received what it paid for. The revelations regarding the failure of Halliburton, Mantech and other state-intertwined contractors to provide invoiced services to troops have been so endless as almost to be discounted, rather than add to the popular outrage.

This familiar tendency on the part of the US government to spend money it doesn't have on things it doesn't get is now directed at developing procedures it shouldn't use...

by treating its own citizenry as the leading threat to its security, it loses the loyalty of those who respect truth and the rule of law.

It is interesting that you refer specifically to the "Clinton era" as though concerns for gun restrictions were unfounded during Billy Clinton's presidency...  are you familiar with The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act signed by Bill Clinton?  In several ways, it made it so that gun ownership became illegal for people who were never even charged with a felony...  the tragedy that happened to James Brady was the rationale then, just as the tragedy that happened to Gabrielle Giffords is now...
in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, it is called "thoughtcrime"—

The Thought Police of Orwell and their pursuit of thoughtcrime were based on the methods used by the totalitarian states and competing ideologies of the 20th century. It also had much to do with, as Orwell called it, the "power of facing unpleasant facts", and his willingness to criticize prevailing ideas which brought him into conflict with others and their "smelly little orthodoxies".

The term "Thought Police", by extension, has come to refer to real or perceived enforcement of ideological correctness in any modern or historical contexts.

The movie Minority Report directed by Steven Spielberg also touches on the idea of "thoughtcrime"...

the Bill of Rights was added as the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority...  we have guns to protect ourselves from much more than just criminals... 

Facebook's Proposed Privacy Plan Puts Users at Great Risk

by Al Franken, U.S. Senator, Minnesota

In January, Facebook made a troubling announcement that it plans to allow third-party developers to request access to the home addresses and phone numbers of users. Despite Facebook's insistence that it will protect its users, I believe this policy will place users at great risk. That's why I wrote a letter with Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging him to stop plans for this new third party access to personal data. Armed with nothing more than a Facebook user's phone number and home address, anyone with an Internet connection and a few dollars can obtain personal information they should never have access to, including a user's date of birth, e-mail address, or estimated income. In fact, by using this information, an identity thief could get almost all of the data he would need to apply for a loan or a credit card in the name of an unsuspecting Facebook user.


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Location: Bethany

Posted: Nov 6, 2012 - 8:46pm

Welfare Limits Left Poor Adrift as Recession Hit
by Jason DeParle
The New York Times
April 7, 2012

PHOENIX — Perhaps no law in the past generation has drawn more praise than the drive to “end welfare as we know it,” which joined the late-’90s economic boom to send caseloads plunging, employment rates rising and officials of both parties hailing the virtues of tough love.

But the distress of the last four years has added a cautionary postscript: much as overlooked critics of the restrictions once warned, a program that built its reputation when times were good offered little help when jobs disappeared. Despite the worst economy in decades, the cash welfare rolls have barely budged.

Faced with flat federal financing and rising need, Arizona is one of 16 states that have cut their welfare caseloads further since the start of the recession — in its case, by half. Even as it turned away the needy, Arizona spent most of its federal welfare dollars on other programs, using permissive rules to plug state budget gaps.

The poor people who were dropped from cash assistance here, mostly single mothers, talk with surprising openness about the desperate, and sometimes illegal, ways they make ends meet. They have sold food stamps, sold blood, skipped meals, shoplifted, doubled up with friends, scavenged trash bins for bottles and cans and returned to relationships with violent partners — all with children in tow...

The Legacy of 'Welfare Reform' and a Poverty of Ideas
by Charles P. Pierce
April 9, 2012

All during the Clinton years, when "welfare reform" was all the rage in both parties, and both parties had adopted the "welfare dependency" frame into which conservatives had been squeezing any social-welfare program roughly since half-past the Irish Famine, DeParle — along with Katherine Boo of The Washington Post — was the go-to source if you wanted to know what consequences the grand designs of all these think-tank cowboys and opportunistic pols were having on the people most directly affected by them. Not that his reporting had any real effect on the policies that were adopted. Bill Clinton needed to shore up his right flank and reformed the federal welfare system into non-existence in 1996. (Dick Morris, it was said, took someone's toe out of his mouth and cheered.) There was the usual howling from the weepy Left, which was ignored as it always is, and there were some warnings, from people who actually knew what they were talking about The numbers of people trimmed off the welfare rolls to measure the success of the policy meant that the several states would go utterly wild in doing so and, as a result, the policy inevitably would cause untold pain and misery in those areas of society left outside that crude metric. But there was a tech boom, and a housing bubble, so everybody cheered the great bipartisan success of welfare reform. In fact, on the campaign trail this year, both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum — and have I mentioned recently what a colossal dick he is? — have claimed personal credit for the epochal achievement in American politics...

A note here about Bill Clinton. We love him around here. He has more ideas on more serious issues than any two people alive. He is preternaturally disposed to look for solutions even if he has to reach out to people who spent a flat decade looking for his head on a plate. He held off the armies of the militant Right as well as anyone could. He's as tough as he is smart. But "welfare reform" has turned out to be a lemon; outside of repealing Glass-Steagall, it's probably the biggest of his presidency. It always was an illusion, its "success" completely dependent on a very unlikely proposition that a boom economy was permanent. There were people who told him that at the time, and not merely Peter Edelman, who quit because he saw what was coming, and not merely Daniel Patrick Moynihan, whom nobody ever called a bleeding heart...

The Book on Barack
by Hendrik Hertzberg
The New Yorker
for the October 3, 2011 issue

...Suskind, without stanching the flow of his tale, is able to elucidate how it came to pass that the Reagan-through-Bush II reign of financial deregulation, along with cybernetic chicanery, defective and incomprehensible financial "products," and banking greed unmoored from social, personal, and fiduciary responsibility, created a monstrous "debt machine" that turbocharged inequality of wealth, inflated bubbles, diverted talent and investment from making things to making bets, bilked millions on the edge to enrich thousands on the heights, and ended—if it ended—by pushing the poor, the middle class, and the real economy into the abyss.

"Confidence Men" offers support for some of today's standard progressive gripes about the President, and for a few of the conservative ones. Obama was green, and not just environmentally. He had no managerial experience, while his only Washington experience was two active years in the Senate—and it showed, at least inside the West Wing. He made Rahm Emanuel his chief of staff instead of Tom Daschle, who, besides engineering quicker passage for a better health-care bill, might have tamed the policymaking chaos of raging staff egos and Presidential reticence. For the highest economic posts Obama picked Geithner and Summers, who were implicated in the deregulatory status quo and wary of fundamental reform—Team B, Suskind calls them—while passing over Team A, the heterodox skeptics, such as Paul Volcker and Austan Goolsbee, who had guided him through the campaign, when his prescience about the coming crisis and his sureness when it struck had sealed his November victory. Team B underestimated the severity of the economic debacle. For that reason—and also to woo conservative congressional Democrats and, futilely, Republicans—Obama's stimulus proposal was too small and too larded with relatively ineffectual tax cuts. Had he demanded more but still got only what he ended up with, he might have received more credit for forestalling a depression and less blame for the feebleness of the jobless "recovery." Chronically, within the White House and on Capitol Hill, he sought consensus as a starting point—the tranquillity of resolution without the catharsis of conflict.

"On the way to his inauguration, Obama got word that Republicans in the House had committed, as a bloc, to oppose his stimulus plan," Suskind writes. A few pages later, he describes the newly sworn-in President as "a man with little experience wielding power but the fastest of learners." The fastest? Not always. Obama took the oath of office determined to change the way things were done in Washington, by which he meant a turn toward civility, comity, coöperation, and mutual respect—honest debate and earnest, public-spirited compromise. He did not grasp how profoundly the transformation of the Republican Party into a disciplined, nearly monolithic agent of radical reaction and ruthless obstruction—a transformation that has only accelerated since that day—had changed things already. Perhaps he did not wish to grasp it. In recent weeks, though, he has surprised disdainful opponents and dispirited supporters alike with the passion and firmness of his drive for urgent job spending, responsible debt reduction, and equitable taxation. A President may learn more from the frustrations of power than from the wielding of it. But in this President's case the learning has been perilously slow.

The Hidden Hands in Redistricting: Corporations and Other Powerful Interests
by Olga Pierce, Jeff Larson and Lois Beckett
Sep. 23, 2011

Their names suggest selfless dedication to democracy. Fair Districts Mass. Protect Your Vote. The Center for a Better New Jersey. And their stated goals are unarguable: In the partisan fight to redraw congressional districts, states should stick to the principle of one person, one vote.

But a ProPublica investigation has found that these groups and others are being quietly bankrolled by corporations, unions and other special interests. Their main interest in the once-a-decade political fight over redistricting is not to help voters in the communities they claim to represent but mainly to improve the prospects of their political allies or to harm their enemies...


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Location: Bethany

Posted: Nov 2, 2012 - 10:04pm

The Who song called "Won't Get Fooled Again" is playing right now...  it is from the album Who's Next...  think of it in the context of 1971, when the album was released... the album promotes rebellion against authority... "Meet the new boss— the same as the old boss"... oh, the optimism of youth that "we won't get fooled again..." hey— at least the young generation of Baby Boomers ended the draft, got the Civil Rights Act of 1964, created Medicare, gave women the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and created "women's liberation"... etc...

in 1971, young people were drafted in the USA to serve in an optional and unnecessary war in Vietnam... the 1960's had gradually fomented the civil unrest that was a conglomerate of reactions to many forms of institutional injustice... the USA had a president who eventually had to resign from office for being a criminal...

the cover of the album demonstrates the band's lack of respect for institutional authority... this is a brilliant historical album, and I hope the young folks today get the message— question authority rather than automatically worship it...

In "Baba O'Riley" by The Who, them there teenagers are all wasted...  life is grand for the young...  sigh...  this whole album is magnificent...

think of it in the context of 1971, when the album was released... the album promotes rebellion against authority... "Meet the new boss— the same as the old boss"... oh, the optimism of youth that "we won't get fooled again..." hey— at least the young generation of Baby Boomers ended the draft, got the Civil Rights Act of 1964, created Medicare, gave women the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and created "women's liberation"... etc...

in 1971, young people were drafted in the USA to serve in an optional and unnecessary war in Vietnam... the 1960's had gradually fomented the civil unrest that was a conglomerate of reactions to many forms of institutional injustice... the USA had a president who eventually had to resign from office for being a criminal...  the cover of the album demonstrates the band's lack of respect for institutional authority... this is a brilliant historical album, and I hope the young folks today get the message— question authority rather than automatically worship it...

Janelle Monáe - American R&B and soul musician, composer and record producer

"I feel like I have a responsibility to my community and other young girls to help redefine what it looks like to be a woman. I don't believe in men's wear or women's wear, I just like what I like. And I think we should just be respected for being an individual.... I've been in Vogue, now, and different publications, which is cool, because I think that it just shows a different perspective of how women can dress."
—Monáe, on her image and artistic freedom

Janelle Monáe Robinson (born December 1, 1985) is an American R&B and soul musician, composer and record producer signed to Wondaland Art Society, Bad Boy Records and Atlantic Records. After making a mark with her first unofficial EP, The Audition, Monáe debuted with a conceptual EP, Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase). The EP had a modest commercial impact, peaking at No. 115 on the Billboard charts in the United States.

In 2010, Janelle Monáe released her debut studio album, The ArchAndroid, a concept album sequel to her first EP; it was released by Bad Boy Records. This album received acclaim from critics and garnered a nomination for Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 53rd Grammy Awards. The song "Tightrope" was also nominated for Best Urban/Alternative Performance at the same ceremony. This album was also more successful commercially, officially reaching the number 17 spot on the Billboard Charts.

Her success has also garnered her six Grammy nominations. In March 2012, "We Are Young", the song by the band fun. on which Monáe makes a guest appearance, reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, her first appearance in the US Top 10. In August 2012, Monáe was chosen as the newest addition to the CoverGirl spokeswomen lineup. On September 10, 2013, Monáe released her second studio album, The Electric Lady, to critical acclaim. Boston City Council named October 16, 2013 "Janelle Monae Day" in the city of Boston in recognition of her artistry and social leadership.


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Location: Bethany

Posted: Nov 2, 2012 - 10:00pm

The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud (1900)


Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists. Their independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s, in spite of harsh opposition from the conventional art community in France. The name of the style derives from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise), which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satiric review published in the Parisian newspaper Le Charivari.

Impressionist painting characteristics include—

Relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes
Open composition
Emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time)
Common, ordinary subject matter
Inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience
Unusual visual angles

The development of Impressionism in the visual arts was soon followed by analogous styles in other media that became known as Impressionist music and Impressionist literature...

B. F. Skinner (1904–1990) — Behavioral Analysis, Social Service, Educational Reform

The failure of his teaching machine to become as common as automobiles and televisions was Skinner's most bitter disappointment as a social inventor. He fervently believed that the survival of American culture depended upon a revolution in education. With population growth threatening to overwhelm the ability of people to avoid catastrophic wars and ecological disasters, only a technology of teaching incorporating behavioral science could properly educate a citizenry capable of effectively coping with an enveloping ominous world.

Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971) was Skinner's last and most controversial social statement. He attacked what he believed were the fictions of individual freedom and autonomous man. Every person was under the control of his or her evolutionary, cultural, and immediate operant or behavioral contingencies. What was needed was not only a frank admission of this reality, but the application of the science of behavioral analysis to social problems–most importantly to the obvious failure of U.S. schools. But the critics and the public read the word beyond in the book title as in place of and were enraged. Skinner made the cover of Time with the inscription, "B. F. Skinner Says We Can't Afford Freedom." He was bewildered by the firestorm of criticism and spent his remaining years answering critics and defending behavioral analysis. He never quite understood the historical entrenchment of treasured American values such as freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, the alternative road for American schools that Skinner, a great and provocative thinker-inventor, devised remains an important contribution to the field of education.

"In spite of or in defiance of the whole of existence he wills to be himself with it, to take it along, almost defying his torment. For to hope in the possibility of help, not to speak of help by virtue of the absurd, that for God all things are possible — no, that he will not do. And as for seeking help from any other — no, that he will not do for all the world; rather than seek help he would prefer to be himself — with all the tortures of hell, if so it must be."  —Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death

Civil Disobedience (Originally published as "Resistance to Civil Government")

While Walden can be applied to almost anyone's life, "Civil Disobedience" is like a venerated architectural landmark: it is preserved and admired, and sometimes visited, but for most of us there are not many occasions when it can actually be used. Still, although seldom mentioned without references to Gandhi or King, "Civil Disobedience" has more history than many suspect. In the 1940's it was read by the Danish resistance, in the 1950's it was cherished by those who opposed McCarthyism, in the 1960's it was influential in the struggle against South African apartheid, and in the 1970's it was discovered by a new generation of anti-war activists. The lesson learned from all this experience is that Thoreau's ideas really do work, just as he imagined they would.

"If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law." —Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, 1849


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Location: Bethany

Posted: Nov 2, 2012 - 9:16pm

Woody Guthrie at 100: the return of a pariah
Billy Bragg in Tulsa, Oklahoma
The Guardian
July 12, 2012

The construction team that kept hammering away all night outside my hotel window in downtown Tulsa are gone by the morning, the fierce glare of the Oklahoma summer forcing them into the shade to rest. A few blocks away there are streets full of empty buildings, signs that the oil boom of the past decade is long past. Tulsa sure could do with some regeneration.

Woody Guthrie was born not far from here 100 years ago, and as people all over the world celebrate his life and work this weekend, Oklahoma has still to come to terms with the legacy of its wayward son. In this conservative midwest state, Woody's work is still viewed through the prism of the McCarthy era, when the state department accused folk singers of "un-American activities".

However, it's not what Woody did in the 1940s that still riles people in these parts. It's what his followers did in the 60s that made Woody a pariah in his home state. For Woody was the original singer-songwriter, the first to use his voice not just to entertain, but to ask why people should remain dirt poor in a country as rich as the US.

It was Woody's words that prompted the young Robert Zimmerman to leave his home in the Iron Range of Minnesota and head for New York. Changing his name to Bob Dylan and singing as if he came from the red dirt of Oklahoma, he inspired a generation of articulate young Americans to unleash a torrent of criticism against the complacency of their unequal society. The fact that Woody was a hero to that generation of long-haired freaks ensured that he and his songs would remain largely unsung in Oklahoma.

Yet perceptions change. In the 1990s Woody's daughter, Nora Guthrie, began a labour of love, gathering up all her father's papers and creating the Woody Guthrie Archive in New York City. The man who emerged from the countless boxes of songs, prose and drawings was a much more complex figure than the Dust Bowl balladeer of legend...

Actually, requiring kids to say the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional... freedom of religion is in the U.S. Constitution, and nowhere does it say citizens are required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, which was written by a Christian Socialist named Francis Bellamy in 1892 and was not adopted by Congress until 1942, with the words "under God" not added until 1954...

141 and More Things Jehovah's Witnesses Can't Do

12. Say the Pledge of Allegiance

The 1984 National Organ Transplant Act under enforcement...  interesting...

The Rosenbaum Kidney Trafficking Gang
by Nancy Scheper-Hughes
December 3, 2011

On October 27, 2011 Levy Itzhak Rosenbaum, 60, a portly, sometimes risqué, "self-described" kidney matchmaker, pleaded guilty in a Trenton, NJ federal courtroom to three counts of acquiring, brokering and transferring for "valuable consideration" organs from the bodies of poor Israelis trafficked into the US to service the transplant needs of New Jersey residents, and an additional count of conspiring to do the same.

The Rosenbaum case was the first prosecution of organs trafficking under NOTA, the 1984 National Organ Transplant Act that established altruism as the principle underlying organs sharing among US citizens, whether from living related or deceased donors. Rosenbaum admitted that his modus operandi was to recruit (through extensive networking) local kidney patients willing to pay $140,000 for whom he would arrange kidney sellers from among ethnic minority and new immigrants, mostly Eastern Europeans, to Israel who were paid $10,000 to undergo nephrectomy (kidney removal) in one of several hospitals from NYC to Baltimore willing to harvest and transplant the foreign kidney into the bodies of Rosenbaum's clients...


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Location: Bethany

Posted: Nov 2, 2012 - 8:44pm

Are Millennials the Screwed Generation?
by Joel Kotkin
The Daily Beast
July 16, 2012

Today’s youth, both here and abroad, have been screwed by their parents’ fiscal profligacy and economic mismanagement. Neil Howe, a leading generational theorist, cites the “greed, shortsightedness, and blind partisanship” of the boomers, of whom he is one, for having “brought the global economy to its knees.”

How has this generation been screwed? Let’s count the ways, starting with the economy. No generation has suffered more from the Great Recession than the young. Median net worth of people under 35, according to the U.S. Census, fell 37 percent between 2005 and 2010; those over 65 took only a 13 percent hit...

ALEC BALDWIN Chases Down Photog

Alec Baldwin and wife Hilaria leave their East village penthouse with daughter Carmen on Thursday.


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Location: Bethany

Posted: Oct 22, 2012 - 10:46pm

America’s Drones Are Homeward Bound
by Col. Ann Wright
July 17, 2012

Americans have been protesting and getting arrested at U.S. drone bases and research institutions for years, and some members of Congress are starting to respond to the pressure.

But it’s not that drones are being used to extrajudicially execute people, including Americans, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia that has U.S. lawmakers concerned. Rather it’s the possible and probable violation of Americans’ privacy in the United States by unlawful drone surveillance that has caught the attention of legislators.

Rep. Jeff Landry, R-La., says “there is distrust amongst the people who have come and discussed this issue with me about our government. It’s raising alarm with the American public.” Based on those discussions, Landry has placed a provision in a defense spending bill that would prohibit information gathered by drones without a warrant from being used as evidence in court.

Two other legislators, Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced identical bills to bar any government agency from using a drone without a warrant to “gather evidence or other information pertaining to criminal conduct or conduct in violation of a regulation.”

No one in Congress, however, has introduced legislation requiring the government to provide to a neutral judge evidence of a criminal act committed by a person to be targeted for assassination by a drone, or allowing such a person the right to defend himself against the U.S. government’s allegations...

The WikiLeaks GiFiles: Stratfor Predicts Huge Oil Profits from Attack on Iran
by Anissa Haddadi
International Business Times
February 27, 2012

According to the email, sent on November 13, 2011, supporters of an Israeli-led attack are Russia, India and Saudi Arabia, while the EU and China stand against such plans, mainly for economic reasons.

"Not many people know that Russia is one of Israel's largest military partners and India is Israel's largest client. If a direct conflict between Iran and Israel erupts, Russia and Saudi Arabia will gain the advantages on oil increasing prices. On the other hand, China and Europe are expected to lose from an oil crisis as a result of a conflict," the email says.

Farnham said that an attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities would last only 48 hours and be so devastating it would lead to regime change.

"Based on Israeli plans, the attack on Iran will last only 48 hours but will be so destructive that Iran will be unable to retaliate or recover and the government will fall. It is hard to believe that Hamas or Hezbollah will try to get involved in this conflict," Farham wrote...


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Location: Bethany

Posted: Oct 22, 2012 - 10:36pm

Here's some help— these are by Leo Notenboom... he has the pizzaz... if you don't know of him, I recommend surfing his site, and subscribing to "Ask Leo!"

If you still have access to the account, then rather than closing it you should immediately change your password and every other bit of information stored as part of the account that could be used as account password recovery information by the hackers. You must assume that the hackers will have read all of that and perhaps changed some of it and that they are prepared to perform an account recovery to re-hack your account at any time.

Here's more great stuff from Leo—

What are your Lost Hotmail Account and Password Recovery Options...

Very strange title...  "contract" means "to shrink away from"...

Contract from America — Organized by the Tea Party Patriots

as opposed to this—

"Something Has Started": Michael Moore on the Occupy Wall St. Protests That Could Spark a Movement
Democracy Now!
September 28, 2011

Oscar-winning filmmaker, best-selling author,and provocateur laureate Michael Moore joins us for the hour. One of the world's most acclaimed - and notorious - independent filmmakers and rabble-rousers, his documentary films include Roger and Me; Bowling for Columbine for which he won the Academy Award, Fahrenheit 9/11, SICKO; and Capitalism: A Love Story. In the first part of our interview, Moore talks about the growing "Occupy Wall Street" protests in Lower Manhattan, which he visited on Monday night. "This is literally an uprising of people who have had it," Moore says. "It has already started to spread across the country in other cities. It will continue to spread. ... It will be tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of people ... Their work ahead is not as difficult as other movements in the past ... The majority of Americans are really upset at Wall Street ... So you have already got an army of Americans who are just waiting for somebody to do something, and something has started."


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Location: Bethany

Posted: Oct 22, 2012 - 10:36pm

Welcome to the Medicare Eligibility Tool

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers Medicare, the nation's largest health insurance program, which covers nearly 40 million Americans. Medicare is a Health Insurance Program for people age 65 or older, some disabled people under age 65, and people of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant).


SUDEP often occurs during sleep, in bed, and as an un-witnessed event. Although seizure-related cardio-respiratory dysfunctions are considered as likely causes of death, the mechanisms of SUDEP remain largely unverified. Data from a recent review of video-EEG-recorded cases of SUDEP revealed that the death is mostly triggered by generalized tonic clonic seizures (GTCS). These GTCS typically cause suppression of brain electrical activity or “electrical shutdown of the brain” (medically termed postictal generalized EEG suppression or PGES for short).


Share your rate increase story with us!

You can help us promote stronger rate review laws in your state right now by sharing your story. We know insurers have been in the business of raising rates for years - straining those that purchase insurance on their own like the self-employed and small businesses. It's time your state does something about it.

How much did your health insurance company raise rates this year? 10 percent? 20 percent? We've even heard 59% in California. Share your story below so we can put an end to unjustified rate increases.

Stories form the backbone of our work and help us explain to lawmakers the need for stronger state laws that bring transparency and oversight to the process of setting health insurance rates. Share your story below and forward this to family and friends.

Here is data about sleep from a fantastic website hosted by one of the best medical facilities in the USA—

NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center

Improving Sleep
For people who have problems falling asleep and staying asleep, some simple measures may be helpful:


  • Make sure the sleeping environment is quiet and dark
  • Use the bed only to sleep
  • Go to bed only when sleepy
  • Get out of bed every day at the same time
  • Do NOT take naps
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages within 6 hours of going to sleep
  • Exercise daily but do not exercise shortly before going to sleep

Mindfulness therapy is no fad, experts say

Of all fields of medicine, psychology seems especially prone to fads. Freudian dream analysis, recovered memory therapy, eye movement desensitization for trauma - lots of once-hot psychological theories and treatments eventually fizzled.

Now along comes mindfulness therapy, a meditation-based treatment with foundations in Buddhism and yoga that's taking off in private practices and university psychology departments across the country.

Coital cephalalgia

Also known as "sexual headaches", coital cephalalgia is a rare type of severe headache that occurs at the base of the skull before orgasm during sexual activity, including masturbation. A pressor response to exercise has been suggested as a mechanism.

The pain usually moves from the base of the skull through the head towards the frontal lobes. Extremely severe and sharp pain behind the eyes is also a symptom. The headaches usually have an immediate onset, with some gradually worsening during intercourse and others (referred to as "explosive headaches") occurring almost instantaneously at the moment of orgasm. These headaches typically last for a few minutes to a few hours, although it is possible for such headaches to last up to a few days...

Up to 40 percent of all people who have experienced a TIA will go on to have an actual stroke. Most studies show that nearly half of all strokes occur within the first 2 days after a TIA.

What are the symptoms of a TIA?

The symptoms of a TIA and stroke are basically the same. Someone having a TIA or stroke may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

•Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, leg, especially on one side of the body

•Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding

•Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

•Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

If you have any of these symptoms or see them in someone else, even for a short time, call 911 or have someone take you to the hospital immediately. Treatment can be more helpful if given quickly. Stroke strikes FAST. You should too!

Family Guidelines | Borderline Personality Disorder
DNA Robot Kills Cancer Cells
by Alla Katsnelson of Nature magazine
Scientific American
February 16, 2012

DNA origami, a technique for making structures from DNA, may be more than just a cool design concept. It can also be used to build devices that can seek out and destroy living cells. 
View a "DNA Origami" Slide Show.

The nanorobots, as the researchers call them, use a similar system to cells in the immune system to engage with receptors on the outside of cells.

"We call it a nanorobot because it is capable of some robotic tasks," says Ido Bachelet, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, and one of the authors of the study, which is published in the February 17 issue of Science. Once the device recognizes a cell, he explains, it automatically changes its shape and delivers its cargo...

CDC Warns Untreatable Gonorrhea is On the Way
by Jason Koebler
U.S. News and World Report
February 14, 2012

Gonorrhea, one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States, is increasingly showing resistance to one of the last known effective antibiotic treatments, leading researchers from the Centers for Disease Control to "sound the alarm" about potentially untreatable forms of the disease.

"During the past three years, the wily gonococcus has become less susceptible to our last line of antimicrobial defense, threatening our ability to cure gonorrhea," Gail Bolan, director of the CDC's sexually transmitted disease prevention program, wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine last week...


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Location: Bethany

Posted: Oct 22, 2012 - 10:36pm

This is just a little bit south of Augusta, Georgia...

President Barack Obama announced $8.3 billion in loan guarantees on Tuesday to build the first U.S. nuclear power plant in nearly three decades in a move designed to help advance climate legislation in Congress.

and, of course—

ATLANTA - Georgia Power still plans to increase rates next year to finance two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle despite billions of dollars in federal loan guarantees announced Tuesday by the Obama administration.

It is interesting to note that this will be close to Fort Gordon, and not far from the Savannah River Site, which is where all the big nuclear bombs are made for the USA...  the new nuclear power plants will be built with the one in existence already, Plant Vogtle, which is in Burke County...  as of 2000, the population of Burke County was 22,243—  all inbred...

Study Highlights Hidden Dangers In Everyday Products — Even The "Green" Ones
by Amy Westervelt
March 8, 2012

A first-of-its-kind, peer-reviewed study published in Environmental Health Perspectives today reveals an alarming number of unlabeled chemicals of concern in commonly used household and personal care products. The study was funded by Silent Spring Institute, which had 213 consumer products (in 50 categories) independently tested by Battelle Labs in Ohio for 66 specific chemicals associated with either endocrine disruption or asthma.

The study included both conventional products, such as Windex original glass cleaner and Irish Spring deodorant soap, as well as “alternative” products marketed as containing safer ingredients than their conventional counterparts, such as Seventh Generation Free and Clear natural glass and surface cleaner and Tom’s of Maine natural moisturizing body bar. Lab tests detected 55 chemicals of concern–including parabens, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), antimicrobials, cyclosiloxanes, glycol ethers, and fragrances–in the conventional product samples tested and also found 41 concerning chemical compounds in all but 11 alternative products. Very few of these chemicals were included on product labels...

NRC Vogtle Reactor Approval Should Blow Lid Off Nuclear Finance Scam
by Gregg Levine
February 10, 2012

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Thursday vote to approve the combined construction and operating license application (COLA) for Southern Company's Plant Vogtle cleared the way for adding two AP1000 nuclear reactors to the two existing units near Augusta, Georgia, but it should also shine a light on the elaborate shell game that masquerades as nuclear-powered electrical generation.

Coming almost exactly two years after the Obama administration granted the project $8.33 billion in federal loan guarantees, the NRC's OK for the project did not signal a groundbreaking at Vogtle. Thanks to a redefinition of what constitutes construction, drafted under a former NRC commissioner who now works for the nuclear industry, Southern started building on the site long before the AP1000 reactor design was finally approved by the NRC last December. And foundations were poured into the Georgia earth before environmental impact surveys were even required to be filed. So, Thursday's move did not actually start construction, but it did start the roulette wheel turning on a massive financial gamble where Southern Company is pretty much assured of winning, and US taxpayers and Georgia utility customers are guaranteed to lose.

How much those Americans who don't happen to own a power company will lose is an issue of some question—a question that the Department of Energy and Southern Company is making very hard to answer...

cut from Genesis - Carpet Crawlers — 12-10—

The Carpet Crawlers

There is lambswool under my naked feet
The wool is soft and warm
Gives off some kind of heat
A salamander scurries into flame to be destroyed
Imaginary creatures are trapped in birth
On celluloid

The fleas cling to the golden fleece
Hoping they'll find peace
Each thought and gesture are caught in celluloid
There's no hiding in memory
There's no room to avoid

The crawlers cover the floor
In the red ochre corridor
For my second sight of people
They've more life's blood than before
They're moving in time
To a heavy wooden door
Where the needle's eye is winking
Closing on the poor
The carpet crawlers heed their callers
You gotta get in to get out

There's only one direction
In the faces that I see
And it's upward to the ceiling
Where the chamber's said to be
Like the forest fight for sunlight
That takes root in every tree
They are pulled up by a magnet
Believing they're free

Mild-mannered Supermen
Are held in kryptonite
And the wise and foolish virgins giggle
With there bodies glowing bright
And through the door a harvest feast
Is lit by candle light
It's the bottom of a staircase
That spirals out of sight

The porcelain mannequin with shattered skin
Fears attack
And the eager pack lift up their pitchers
That carry all they lack
The liquid has congealed
Which has seeped out through the crack
And the tickler takes his stickler back

Very interesting and vivid song about a flashback... 

here's what someone else said—

My Interpretation:
childhood, as if some kind of observation of innocence, an infant. then the idea of conception sperm heading toward an egg, then the comparison to all of us, the puny masses, the fleas. our motivations that we don't understand, we just go to where we're called. we don't even know where we're going. and that's life. if we came from somewhere else...we came here...and we go somewhere, and the thought is that there's a point to it. perhaps a reason we put ourselves through this life that the poor and holy are barred from participating in because they don't have what we have...a requirement to be tested by this life and all if offers which can be the truth, or a distraction all based on our motivation. do we heed the call or do we see things for what they are? We have to live this life, we have to play this game. We have to get in, to get out. And our expectation, heaven all of that, still a misunderstanding just like every other thing we think motivates us, as we are just innocent stupid miniscule things, life trying to live, just like any other life. Just like we watch the crawlers..we are the crawlers, there's always a larger scale that looks down upon us just as we do these carpet crawlers. There's a parallel between us all, and even God, or whatever there is, is linked to us by this on some relative level. The human condition is the condition of existence and all things that exist suffer through something. The strong are weak to something, the wise and the naive alike both have something they dont know or don't know they don't have. And do we even want to go up the corridor? There is something more there, but all we know is at the first step, to go above is to leave behind all we know, and how lonely it must be...
Flag grimjackon September 06, 2013

and another—

I once heard an interesting theory that this song was about conception. The carpet crawlers are sperm, the red ochre corridor is the vagina, needle's winking eye is perhaps the opening of the vagina or cervix, only one direction is towards the waiting egg, the spiral staircase is the fallopian tube, the porcelain manquin is maybe the egg itself and, the clincher, 'You've got to get in to get out'!
Personally I don't believe a word of it but I thought it was worth sharing ;-)
Flaggedproggieon October 30, 2012



JOHN T. UNGER came from a family that had been well known in Hades—a small town on the Mississippi River—for several generations...

"My father," he said, "is by far the richest man in the world."...

"The richer a fella is, the better I like him." There was a look of passionate frankness upon his dark face. "I visited the Schnlitzer-Murphys last Easter. Vivian Schnlitzer-Murphy had rubies as big as hen's eggs, and sapphires that were like globes with lights inside them—"

"I love jewels," agreed Percy enthusiastically. "Of course I wouldn't want any one at school to know about it, but I've got quite a collection myself I used to collect them instead of stamps."

"And diamonds," continued John eagerly. "The Schnlitzer-Murphys had diamonds as big as walnuts—"

"That's nothing." Percy had leaned forward and dropped his voice to a low whisper. "That's nothing at all. My father has a diamond bigger than the Ritz-Carlton Hotel."...

Afterward John remembered that first night as a daze of many colors, of quick sensory impressions, of music soft as a voice in love, and of the beauty of things, lights and shadows, and motions and faces. There was a whitehaired man who stood drinking a many-hued cordial from a crystal thimble set on a golden stem. There was a girl with a flowery face, dressed like Titania with braided sapphires in her hair. There was a room where the solid, soft gold of the walls yielded to the pressure of his hand, and a room that was like a platonic conception of the ultimate prism—ceiling, floor, and all, it was lined with an unbroken mass of diamonds, diamonds of every size and shape, until, lit with tall violet lamps in the corners, it dazzled the eyes with a whiteness that could be compared only with itself, beyond human wish or dream...

That, John perceived after a time, was the thread running through his sentences. Prometheus Enriched was calling to witness forgotten sacrifices, forgotten rituals, prayers obsolete before the birth of Christ. For a while his discourse took the form of reminding God of this gift or that which Divinity had deigned to accept from men—great churches if he would rescue cities from the plague, gifts of myrrh and gold, of human lives and beautiful women and captive armies, of children and queens, of beasts of the forest and field, sheep and goats, harvests and cities, whole conquered lands that had been offered up in lust or blood for His appeasal, buying a meed's worth of alleviation from the Divine wrath—and now he, Braddock Washington, Emperor of Diamonds, king and priest of the age of gold, arbiter of splendor and luxury, would offer up a treasure such as princes before him had never dreamed of, offer it up not in suppliance, but in pride.

He would give to God, he continued, getting down to specifications, the greatest diamond in the world. This diamond would be cut with many more thousand facets than there were leaves on a tree, and yet the whole diamond would be shaped with the perfection of a stone no bigger than a fly. Many men would work upon it for many years. It would be set in a great dome of beaten gold, wonderfully carved and equipped with gates of opal and crusted sapphire. In the middle would be hollowed out a chapel presided over by an altar of iridescent, decomposing, ever-changing radium which would burn out the eyes of any worshipper who lifted up his head from prayer—and on this altar there would be slain for the amusement of the Divine Benefactor any victim He should choose, even though it should be the greatest and most powerful man alive.

In return he asked only a simple thing, a thing that for God would be absurdly easy—only that matters should be as they were yesterday at this hour and that they should so remain. So very simple! Let but the heavens open, swallowing these men and their aeroplanes—and then close again. Let him have his slaves once more, restored to life and well.

There was no one else with whom he had ever needed to treat or bargain.

He doubted only whether he had made his bribe big enough. God had His price, of course. God was made in man's image, so it had been said: He must have His price. And the price would be rare—no cathedral whose building consumed many years, no pyramid constructed by ten thousand workmen, would be like this cathedral, this pyramid.

He paused here. That was his proposition. Everything would be up to specifications and there was nothing vulgar in his assertion that it would be cheap at the price. He implied that Providence could take it or leave it.

As he approached the end his sentences became broken, became short and uncertain, and his body seemed tense, seemed strained to catch the slightest pressure or whisper of life in the spaces around him. His hair had turned gradually white as he talked, and now he lifted his head high to the heavens like a prophet of old—magnificently mad...

"It was a dream," said John quietly. "Everybody's youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness."

"How pleasant then to be insane!"

"So I'm told," said John gloomily. "I don't know any longer. At any rate, let us love for a while, for a year or so, you and me. That's a form of divine drunkenness that we can all try. There are only diamonds in the whole world, diamonds and perhaps the shabby gift of disillusion. Well, I have that last and I will make the usual nothing of it." He shivered. "Turn up your coat collar, little girl, the night's full of chill and you'll get pneumonia. His was a great sin who first invented consciousness. Let us lose it for a few hours."

So wrapping himself in his blanket he fell off to sleep.