Friday, January 29, 2010

Found Another $80 Billion That Could Go for Real Jobs

Just as we thought - with a little work 80 billion could not be spent on waste by the military and go for really building USA economic strength! 80 billion here and 80 billion there - pretty soon we're talking real money! Grin.

If You're Looking for Another $80 Billion in Savings...

Back in February, POGO presented five recommendations for increasing revenue and cutting costs and no fewer than three of them relate directly to security matters.

These three reforms — improving weapons acquisition, ensuring
resources for and implementing recommendations made by agency auditors,
and reducing the number of deployed nuclear warheads — could lead to
savings of up to $81.7 billion.

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ICE Better at Drug Arrests Than FBI, DEA, Local Police?

Not so, you say? Right you are but a good way for rogue ICE cops to thumb their noses at their boss and claim to just be doing their job - way better than those trained in narcotics. Too good to be true usually turns out to be just that and ICE will pay the piper sooner than later.

ICE Anti-Drug Bust Nets Nearly 500 Detainees

WASHINGTON – Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) today announced the detention of 476 people in nationwide raids targeting international drug traffickers in the United States, according to an EFE report published in La Opinion. The operation, nicknamed “Big Freeze Project,” is the largest ICE action to date targeting organized crime. Among those arrested and detained, according to ICE, are a number of high profile organized crime members with ties to drug trafficking cartels in Mexico, South America and Asia. Detainees will face state and federal charges ranging from distribution of narcotics to arms smuggling, falsification of documents, aggravated assault and obstruction of justice. Of those held, 366 are foreign nationals, and could face immediate deportation. An additional 41 people, however, were detained during the raids for violating immigration law.
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Afghanistan Who Will Write Its Destiny?

I hope that in reading these words and poems from the Afghan Women's Writing Project help you to understand that bombs and armies have impacts that we seldom actually see or hear of from someone on the ground and who will be there long after we have gone.

My Pen

You know the meaning of Please
Rewrite my destiny

You know the boy sitting alone in the street
No legs
No hands
No hopes
Nature forgot him
Rewrite his destiny

You saw our neighbor’s son
He doesn’t sleep at night
there is nothing to eat
He paints the face of cakes and cookies
Hangs them on the wall
Rewrite his destiny

Join us, be true, be honest
Write a new page
In humanity’s destiny
Promise, my pen
Promise me
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Rowing an ocean - is hard, smelly - not always fun.

All the more amazing that she is doing it and is still able to manage ironic humor about it, as well as wonder.
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Day 27 — The good, the bad, and the ugly

rowing an ocean. This is not just about easy, breezy days in the sun, gracefully cruising along the ocean
  • Think of your worst hair day, multiply that by ten, and expect to see that in the mirror every morning
  • Medical tape will become your new best friend as you play doctor and tape yourself back together every night
  • Winds may push you eastward, meaning those hard earned miles are now lost
  • And then, there is that one blister that seems to always want to remind you that its there
  • But I don’t need anyone to read this and come away feeling sorry for me – pity isn’t welcome here. For where there is a will, there is a way and I have been able to work with these opportunities to practice patience. I honestly would not trade this experience for the world and feel so lucky to be here, bad hair days and all.

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    Thursday, January 28, 2010

    Scare politics aside - vaccinations save lives of millions!

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    GAVI Alliance - Immunize Every
    Child's photostream

    Children in line for vaccines

    Children in line for vaccines by GAVI Alliance - Immunize Every Child
    BANGLADESH: Children queue to
    receive measles vaccinations

    Getting a shot

    Getting a shot by GAVI Alliance - Immunize Every Child
    INDONESIA: A health worker
    vaccinates a toddler against
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    State of our union? Depends on how well we work together

    As Obama spoke these words the cameras panned across Democratic and Republican legislators, their eyes fixed on the President. No one looked away. No one was twittering on his Blackberry. Because they all knew the President was speaking truth to power. And that is a rarity in the halls of Congress.

    State of the Union

    I thought Barack gave an incredible speech. During the closing section, it felt like you could hear a pin drop in the chamber.

    Unfortunately, too many of our citizens have lost faith that our biggest institutions - our corporations, our media, and yes, our government - still reflect these same values. Each of these institutions are full of honorable men and women doing important work that helps our country prosper. But each time a CEO rewards himself for failure, or a banker puts the rest of us at risk for his own selfish gain, people's doubts grow. Each time lobbyists game the system or politicians tear each other down instead of lifting this country up, we lose faith. The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates into silly arguments, and big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away.

    No wonder there's so much cynicism out there.

    No wonder there's so much disappointment.

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    Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    Why Is Sky Boycotting Afghanistan?

    The Winter of My Country

    Last night I asked the sky

    Hey why you are dry?

    Sky told me:

    I am angry with you and

    your countrymen

    They fight

    They kill

    They commit suicide

    They are cruel

    They love blood

    More than water

    So I am angry.

    I agree

    But women are not cruel

    And children are lovely

    They love the snow

    So Sky

    Dear Sky

    Please snow .

    I want to make a snow-girl

    I want to paint it in my writing.

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    Change and Hope: A Group Effort, Not a One Person Job

    Darfur, Gaza, Congo, Honduras, New Orleans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Toledo, El Segundo, Taos, Gallup, Seattle...

    This is the time, We are the people, Let's Work Together - Now!
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    Gaza Kids are calling for Obama' Change !!!!

    Gaza Kids are Calling For Obama
    The lyric writer :
    Dr. Akram Habeeb
    Prof. Assistant of American Literature in Gaza University
    Senior composer:
    Mr. Kalid Jouda, a teacher of English in Gaza
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    Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Day 24: Rowing the Atlantic

    Focus and purpose can be very freeing! Rowing for Water for all on the planet.
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    Today has been one of those days where time just floats on, as it should. Every hundred decisions I make on a daily basis on land has already been made being at sea as well as the thousands of little decisions over the length of this journey. There is no questioning what I will be doing, where I will be going – my sole responsibility is to keep on rowing.

    Katie Spotz enjoying the ocean

    In so many ways, I am a world away, but do not be too jealous of this simple life. Soon enough I will be stumbling my way through the “real world”, yearning to be the observant one yet again.

    And they wonder why I would ever want to row an ocean.

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    Monday, January 25, 2010

    One person, one vote and billions to buy them? Not!

    Corporations are not really people that writers of our Constitution and Bill of Rights had in mind when they protected free speech - it was to guarantee our right to free speech to overcome power that had been bought or handed down from father to son and not to women, indigenous people or Black-Americans.

    "Populism" is the most overused and misused word in the lexicon of commentary. But thanks to a reckless decision by Chief Justice John Roberts's Supreme Court and the greed of the nation's financial barons, we have reached a true populist moment in American politics.

    The Supreme Court's 5-to-4 decision last week giving American corporations the right to unlimited political spending was an astonishing display of judicial arrogance, overreach and unjustified activism.

    Supreme Court ruling calls for a populist revolt

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    Sunday, January 24, 2010

    In Capital Cases: Justice, Mercy and Humility Deficit Shortchanges Everyone

    Death row exonerations point to flaws in system

    By Alison Bath •
    • January 24, 2010

    Eight men have been found innocent of the crimes that put them on Louisiana's death row. All were exonerated before they were put to death and ultimately freed from prison.

    Nationwide, 139 people sentenced to death since 1973 subsequently have been found innocent and released from death row, according to data provided by the Washington D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center.

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    President Obama: You really need to listen to Afghans not in Kabul

    Afghanistan is not Vietnam but the types of mistakes are the same. Not checking and rechecking "intelligence" so you know you are not just being used to settle a private score. Really knowing the culture so you do not accomplish exactly the opposite of your goals. If you don't want a repeat of people clinging to helicopters as the last allied forces leave, you need to listen to stories like these.

    Ghosts before dawn


    On Wednesday I flew to Urgun in East Paktika to meet with some people at the US military base in order to try to get the other side of the story about this marauding Afghan commander employed by Special Operations Forces (SOF), who is apparently striking terror into the hearts of the local population down in one of Paktika's southern districts.

    “They need to analyse their reports. Do they realize that there could be issues of personal enmity or a land dispute influencing such reports? People who want revenge for whatever reason sometimes just go to Special Forces and tell them lies about people. The ANSF are sometimes corrupt but at least they know who is who here. They should do these searches. The people here have already been disappointed. We want peace, we want reconstruction. But these Americans are just insulting us”.
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    Sellouts in Afghanistan have already sold - next idea?

    Makes sense - those who wanted the money path or security path have already taken that path. So, let's see now... if you are an Afghan or Pakistan youth who wants to make a name for himself, to make a difference, to create a valued identity in a traditional manner - what do you do? Ah, you become a warrior and rebel - not a member of a regimented army but a warrior in your culture's tradition. But if there is no invader or imperialist, or corrupt ruler to rebel against - blank. Maybe we should just leave and take the corrupt officials we have put in power with us ya think?
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    The Downside to Bribing/Co-opting/Reconciling Whomever

    Well okay, so that’s really The Times saying that, but it’s nevertheless a widespread belief… including within the Karzai administration. The thing is… there is a long history of offering the Taliban jobs and bribes to join the government, at least since mid-2002 or so. And talking about negotiations in this way ignores two critical pieces of data:

  • Most of the insurgents who would be willing to join the government have already done so; and,
  • There is very little evidence that a lack of bribes or jobs is a primary reason why people choose to fight for the insurgents.
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    Thursday, January 21, 2010

    I Thought It Was a Dream But When I Woke, I Couldn’t Walk

    The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream - it was that this dream did not have to be dreamed again and again, and again.

    I Thought It Was a Dream But When I Woke, I Couldn’t Walk

    I asked my mom is it possible
    That my legs and my hands
    will grow again?
    No one
    No one
    No one answered me.
    Everyone, including the doctor, was silent.
    All were looking down
    As if they were stealing from me,
    As if they were criminals
    guilty of doing something bad to me.

    I looked the watch on my wrist, played with a ball.
    My shoes touched the ball.

    Suddenly the blast took all my happiness
    And its grimy smoke brought
    darkness into my life.

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    President, Congress, People... Listen Up! Work Together!

    Wilbert was a one man band but the song has it right - we have to work together to make it right!
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    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    Sheep are nice but reek havoc on Grizzly Bear Eco-system

    Baaaahd for the environment.

    Protect Yellowstone/Greater Rockies

    Tell the Department of Agriculture to halt its sheep-grazing program in the Centennial corridor.

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    Migrants Freedom Walk: Miami to DC

    Reminds me of Poor People's March following Dr. King's assassination in 1968. You go!
    Join four young people as they march 1,500 miles for immigrant rights
    photo courtesy trail2010

    On January 1, 2010, we embarked on a 1,500-mile walk from our home in Miami, FL, to Washington, D.C. We walk to share our stories, so that everyday Americans understand what it’s like for the millions of immigrants, especially young people, unable to fully participate in society. It’s time that our country come together to fix a failed system that keeps millions in the shadows, with no pathway to a better life.

    JOIN THE WALK AND SUPPORT THEM AND THEIR EFFORTS- emotionally and financially. This is an amazing group and these four represent hundreds of thousands that prove the immigration system as it currently stands, needs to be fixed.

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    Imagine Miami, or Manhattan skyline - offshore!

    Only humans could junk up the nest/home so badly. Take action to say - NO WAY!

    Tell the Obama administration to protect our seas from "ocean sprawl"

    As demand on ocean space grows, "marine spatial planning" identifies areas where industrial activities make sense and areas that should be safeguarded. Urge the Obama administration to adopt a strong framework for effective coastal and ocean planning that will protect, maintain and restore the health of our oceans (comments are due February 12th). Learn more about this issue »

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    Support International Women's Day!

    In USA, we have 90 years of women having the vote nationally - which means that there are a number of women alive today who when born - were born to a woman who could not vote. In short, support the day there is more work yet to be done to "level the playing field."

    International Women’s Day

    Since its inception, The Feminist Peace Network has encouraged women around the world to participate in International Women’s Day.

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