Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's Not Easy Being Hispanic Looking/Sounding and Living in America!

When will they come for you? Most Germans and Irish who came to America between 1840 and 1880 had no papers - hmmm. Guess if your name is Schultz or O'Malley and you live in Tucson - tomorrow - you will have to prove your great-great-grandparents entered US legally. Of course same applies if your name is Wong, or Savitch, or Jones, or... Living in America - James Brown -

American-Born Teen Deported After Failing to Wear a Seat Belt?

Nineteen-year-old Luis Alberto Delgado should have been wearing a seat belt: not only was his safety at sake, but failing to buckle up is illegal, and I know how many readers here feel about illegal acts. Normally, the offense is punishable by a fine of $25 to $50 in Texas, where Delgado and his older brother (the driver) were pulled over. However, in Delgado's case, it lead to a swift deportation, leaving him stranded in Mexico, unable to reenter the United states legally. Yet Delgado asserts that he is an American-born citizen. And he has the birth certificate, Texas ID, and Social Security card to prove it.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sen. Feingold to Supreme Court Nominee Kagan: Corporations Are Not People

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Feingold Opening Statement on the Nomination of Elena Kagan to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
“So my hope is that your diverse experiences, your thoughtfulness and openness, and your talent for consensus-building will allow you to see the long-term dangers to the Court and to the country of a decision like Citizens United – and enable you, if confirmed, to convince your colleagues to avoid making similar mistakes in the future.
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Constant War Grows Beasts - Ask An Afghan Woman

War is not the answer.
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The Beast Within

The beast is still alive.
The beast came alive when the angel died.
It’s been a long time.
The Taliban have gone, but the true beast is still alive.
The beast doesn’t read poems;
he doesn’t love the rain, but he drains my veins.
The beast is here.
The beast is near. The beast is real.
Ahh, the beast can be
an Afghan man who is still alive.
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Terrorist List Makers Nearly Always Get It Wrong!

I'd really like to know if there has ever been a police or security agency that has ever gotten its job done right and not just gotten into a numbers game to make themselves look good at accountability time or to serve their own agendas.

One positive outcome: This expose of security ineptitude ought to form the base of a good British comedy film or a fake-reality TV series.
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Peace campaigner, 85, classified by police as 'domestic extremist'

John Catt and his daughter were placed under surveillance at more than 80 lawful protests

Secret files have revealed how police have systematically documented their political activities, undermining official claims that only hardcore activists were placed under surveillance.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Art Patronage Meant to Buy Goodwill Get Out of Jail Free Card for BP - Fails!

BP, Shell, Exxon, Big Pharma firms all contribute to arts for several reasons: It tends to buy a get-out-of-jail free card from some potential critics who count on their money; it enables some board members feel good about being associated with otherwise scummy firms; some actually like and support the arts. Thankfully - it is harder to buy the get-out-of-jail free card because there are so many people connecting the dots!
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Galleries and museums face summer of protest over BP arts sponsorship

Prestigious institutions defend links with oil firm as artists and green activists plan action

‘Greenwash Guerrillas’ protest outside National Portrait Gallery

In a separate development, musicians including Lady Gaga, Korn, Disturbed, Godsmack, Creed, and the Backstreet Boys said they planned to boycott BP on their national tours this year.

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Slide offered to get on Berlin Subway - Wheeeeee

Who says Germans do not have a sense of fun!? Make commuting fun - why not!

Slides on the Tube - would you use them?

Commuters on the subway in Berlin were offered the choice of stairs, escalators or a giant slide to get down to the trains. I'm surprised how many actually chose the slide - although it does look fun!
Going Underground's Blog
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Profiteering Afghan Style: Pay off Taliban to ship goods to US soldiers that Taliban are killing and wounding?

Gee, what US General would allow that on his watch? And what Afghan President would turn a blind eye to that? And give support to the General who was looking the other way too?

One, two, three four what are we fighting for? The right to steal from US and endanger US soldiers? Is this all a bit crazy?

Supply chain corruption among Afghan truckers

The report pulls few punches: security for the US supply chain is mainly provided by warlords who compete with the Afghan central government for power and authority; the Highway Warlords run a protection racket; these funds, in turn, are a significant potential source of funding for the Taliban; the unaccountable supply chain security contractors are themselves fuelling corruption, with one company admitting that it pays $1,000 to $10,000 in monthly bribes to Afghan governors, police chiefs and local military units; there is no DoD oversight of the supply chain or the private security contractors;
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Seeta to Afghan Men - Listen Up! I am Human Too!

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Dear Men

Just one time, look. I am also human.
You are not Allah’s only creation.
Look, I can work and study.
Look, I am not for sale
Look, I am not in the world to be under your direction
I am not an object made to bend to your will.
I am human, and I breathe as you do
I want to marry by my choice, not yours.
I know you never want to see a woman in a higher position than you
But you should remember that
Women can support their country and people
They can be prosecutors, they can be police
They can fight against crimes.
Instead, because of men, women are the main victims of crime.
Why can’t you accept us?

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

28th Amendment to US Constitution - Access to Broadband?

The 1st Amendment guarantees the right to free speech, assembly, free press, and ability to petition government for redress of grievances. Do we need a 28th Amendment making access to broadband a basic right so the 1st still makes sensein light of today's communication and information highways?
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One nation, online

The push to make broadband access a civil right

It may seem strange to put the technology that brought us Facebook in the august category where we place voting, or trial by jury. But increasingly, activists, analysts, and government officials are arguing that Internet access has become so essential to participation in society — to finding jobs and housing, to civic engagement, even to health — that it should be seen as a right, a basic prerogative of all citizens. And in cases where people don’t have access, whether because they can’t afford it or the infrastructure is not in place, the government should have the power — and perhaps the duty — to fix that.

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Mr. President and US Senate: Stand with Refugee Children!

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Urge President Obama to Take Action for Children's Rights

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child protects children. Only two nations in the world have yet to join the global community in ratifying this agreement: Somalia and the United States. Urge President Obama and Congress to ratify the convention without delay.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Reading This Might Help Prevent the Next Big Spill

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Gulf oil spill: A hole in the world

The Deepwater Horizon disaster is not just an industrial accident – it is a violent wound inflicted on the Earth itself. In this special report from the Gulf coast, a leading author and activist shows how it lays bare the hubris at the heart of capitalism

Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein

The most positive possible outcome of this disaster would be not only an acceleration of renewable energy sources like wind, but a full embrace of the precautionary principle in science. The mirror opposite of Hayward's "If you knew you could not fail" credo, the precautionary principle holds that "when an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health" we tread carefully, as if failure were possible, even likely. Perhaps we can even get Hayward a new desk plaque to contemplate as he signs compensation cheques. "You act like you know, but you don't know."

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why is it that Republicans Love to Hate Public Broadcasting?

12 members of Congress want to dump the less than 10% of public broadcasting funds that still come from tax dollars. Guess they think that giving Murdock and his Fox Network a license to broadcast lies is not a bad use of our tax dollars. Oh, but that would mean they actually knew what they were doing besides carrying water and oil for BP and Fox - silly me.
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To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit Federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting after fiscal year 2012.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nina Would Know What to Sing About Arizona!

Strange fruit drying/dying/lying in the sand of Arizona...

We Got Thunder and Heavy Bellied Sky

Where is Nina Simone when you need her? Arizona needs her.

When four young black girls were killed in the Baptist church bombing in 1963, the story goes Nina Simone locked herself in her room and said she wanted to build her own gun.

In her book I Got Thunder – Lashonda Barnett who interviewed Simone, says her then husband dissuaded Simone telling her “Music is your weapon.” Four hours later she emerged with Mississippi Goddamn.

Can’t you see it
Can’t you feel it
It’s all in the air

Lord have mercy on this land of mine
We all gonna get it in due time
I don’t belong here
I don’t belong there
I’ve even stopped believing in prayer

Arizona Goddam.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Faux "We care" Journalism

The New York Times means well but is playing out an old media pattern that ends up driving general public concern from high to "Who cares? Big deal 500 barrels of oil is not 500 million - get real!" I had students document a number of environmental disasters in the mid- 1970s and how they played out in the press. 6-16 weeks of intense coverage that broadened to almost every like incident they could find. Then a drift into background and no reporting on ongoing problems. The pubic assumes if no news; no problem. That's big reason why nothing has ever been done to make shipping and drilling of oil safe. Big oil stays with influencing legislators and no news equals no problem - until the next cycle of high interest and cooling off - because - how's this connect to my gas powered mower, sidewalk blow dryer (grin), lawn edger...?
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Oil Spills Into Salt Lake City Creek
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A leaked pipeline sent oil spilling into a Salt Lake City creek, coating geese and ducks and closing a park, officials said Saturday as they started a cleanup effort expected to last weeks.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A leaked pipeline sent oil spilling into a Salt Lake City creek, coating geese and ducks and closing a park, officials said Saturday as they started a cleanup effort expected to last weeks.
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Traveling this summer? Check Destination for Dengue Fever

Even Key West Florida has seen doubling of cases in last year. The Devil's disease is also known as Breakbone Fever. Nasty and can be fatal if not treated in more than 20% of cases.
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Global burden of dengue

The incidence of dengue has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades. Some 2.5 billion people – two fifths of the world's population – are now at risk from dengue. WHO currently estimates there may be 50 million dengue infections worldwide every year.
The disease is now endemic in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, South-east Asia and the Western Pacific.
The spread of dengue
mosquito vectors
urban species Aedes aegypti
Aedes aegypti; adult female mosquito taking a blood meal on human skin.
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oil and Nuclear Safety: Who Do You Trust?

US agents fronting for US nuclear firms pressures India to free firms from liability - anyone remember Bhopal! These guys will kill us all with their blind greed!
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Government dilutes nuclear bill under U.S. pressure

No liability for foreign suppliers even if guilty of negligence

On March 8 and April 1, The Hindu reported how the U.S. nuclear industry was upset with 17(b) and wanted it deleted for fear it would “open the door to more lawsuits.” The government has now obliged the American side by getting rid of this sub-clause entirely.

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BP _ No Free Press Allowed in BP Land - err - Florida Beach

Sorry - WHO IS IN CHARGE AROUND HERE! Keep one cell open in Guantanamo for BP CEO - he is the terrorist we ought to worry about!
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BP Slammed for Barring Press
A reporter and photographer from The Daily News of New York were told by a BP contractor they could not access a public beach on Grand Isle, La.
CBS News says one of its news crews was threatened with arrest for trying to film a public beach where oil had washed ashore.
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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

American Patriot Wannabe-Terrorists At It Again

Makes me wonder how much spin for spin's sake and all the shrill right and left political posing contributes to creating an environment that grows wannabes like these.
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Man With Napalm Bomb is Latest Oath Keeper to Face Trial

Posted in 'Patriot' Groups, Extremist Crime by Larry Keller on June 9, 2010

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes keeps insisting his year-old organization is composed of nothing more than patriotic, Constitution-loving Americans who aren’t a threat to anybody.
Matthew Fairfield, a suburban Cleveland man who has been sitting in jail since April in lieu of $1 million bail as he awaits trial on 54 criminal counts related to his alleged storing of a live napalm bomb at his suburban Cleveland, Ohio, home
Georgia Oath Keeper was busted for allegedly plotting to take control of a Madisonville, Tenn., courthouse and place two dozen federal, state and local officials under citizen’s arrest.
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Israel OKs Mountain Dew and Fritos for Gaza - Still no to cement, wood, bricks...

Blockades can weird - Monty Python considering remake of Life of Brian as Life of a Blockade List Maker.

Another one for the Twilight Zone: Israel "eases embargo" to allow snack food (but not concrete, wheelchairs, musical instruments, fishing rope...)

Here's the list of prohibited items from Gisha, the Israeli Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, which includes cement, plaster, tar, wood, glass containers, dried fruit, coriander, fishing rods, nets, rope, size A4 paper, sewing machines, toys, fresh meat, cattle, chicks, newspapers, musical instruments, writing implements.
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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Struggle for peace and democracy in Israel

The more years and decades of non-peace will add only more frustration and room for the crazies to unduly influence politics in Israel, Palestine and the Middle East. When will my Israeli and Palestinian friends have a chance for the peace they desire?
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Israeli Arab MKs face growing wave of death threats

Group calling itself Pulsa Denura casts death curse against MK Ahmed Tibi, who received threatening phone calls a day earlier; colleague Talab al-Sana also subjected to death threats.

Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi

Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi on Monday received a threatening letter, apparently from far-rightists, claiming that he had only "180 days to live" and that his death would be "sudden and cruel".

The letter from a group dubbing itself "Pulsa Denura" was the second death threat received by the United Arab List MK in the last two days. The group's name derives from the Aramaic phrase 'whip of fire', a death curse far-rightists have in the past issued against former prime ministers, Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon.

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