Sunday, March 26, 2006

Green Thread

This is the green thread.

120 comments:

Judy B. said...

How about if we use this thread to post web sites... I don't always go visit a site when it is first posted and then have trouble finding it after all the comments..

Judy B. said...

Here is my first site to share on this thread:
http://www.solari.com/

dan said...

Judy,
I like your idea of posting links on this thread. I've also had trouble finding some site that I wanted to return to.
I took a quick look at Solari. Their mission is a bit confusing so I'll need to take more time at the site later.

Judy B. said...

I agree dan.. I am just finding my way aroound solari.. it was recommended by a blogger on my hometown newspaper...
one link/thread? on the website is "Mapping The Real Deal: Banking Local"
Interesting read about what we are really doing with our money when we bank/support large corporate banking institutions..
I will read and think about it more, but I am really thinking about changing to a hometown bank.

Marilynn M said...

Great idea. We don't always have time to go check out the links. I like the idea of finding them all in one spot more or less.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Now here is a link for entertainment purposes. I stumbled across it this afternoon. It seems to be a post your own video site and you can wander around and check out different videos. YOUTUBE.COM

dan said...

Nice change of pace...some young people having fun making video.

deb said...

Here are some of the links I have bookmarked

The Republican Nemesis

A speech by former CIA Jim Marcinkowski

The Iranian Oil Bourse

Wikipedia Propaganda

Wikipedia Spin

A Moral Economy by Fred Block

Rep. Louise Slaughter's Report

Judy B. said...

Thanks degb for posting all of those links...

dan said...

Thanks Deb. You picked some terrific links to re-post.

dan said...

I think this link is worth posting on this thread for easy reference. It was one of my favorate articles from the Anomymous Liberal that Christopher posted on a different thread. It discusses what's wrong with MSM and is followed up with some relevent comments including a 70 yr. old quote from Aldous Huxley.

A Game Without Referees

deb said...

Clint Curtis Testimony

This is a repost as the other link has quit working.

deb said...

US and UK forces establish 'enduring bases' in Iraq

dan said...

This essay on the anti-war movement was posted on Alter Net by Scott Ritter.

Some observations and advice from Scott Ritter

dan said...

Re: Permanent bases in Iraq
Thanks Debbie. You're posting some very interesting links today. Establishing permanent bases in Iraq might very well have been the neocons motive all along.

deb said...

"Nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become victims of the darkness."

William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

dan said...

What a terrific and timely quote! Americans take their way of life for granted and don't seem to notice that it's slipping away before their barely-opened eyes.

Marilynn M said...

I found this interesting.

http://www.dkosopedia.com/wiki/Republican_Sex_Scandals

Especially the one about GW Bush.

Richard Yarnell said...

Curious:

While part of the article's title remains, there is no content!

Somebody doesn't have a sense of humor?

ry

dan said...

Marilynn whatever you enjoyed at that site is gone now.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Here is a link to Mark Fiore's cartoon's home page. Seeing Deb list it on the immigration topic reminded me to transfer it as one of my favorites from my old browser which I have had to pay an extra $11 for in the last 4 months as part of my phone company conversion, which makes for $50 a month for internet access. I plan to ditch it once The Carlyle Group phone company is up and running, but they are starting to piss me off. Still no home page, my nurseries website is locked. I can't build a new one because their website service isn't up yet and I just got my bill yesterday and after saying repeatedly the price would stay the same it went up $4.

Mark Fiore

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I can still see the whole Republican Sex Scandal page. If you can't here is what is listed under Bush.

George W. Bush; Republican president, accused in a criminal complaint and lawsuit of raping Margie Schoedinger, who was later suicided. Accused by Tammy Phillips, a former stripper quoted in the National Enquirer in 2000 saying she had an affair with Bush that had ended in 1999.

Richard Yarnell said...

If all you say is true, a quiet letter to the AG with a copy to the Carlisle Group should get you relief:

It appears they are not providing you with services for which you are paying; if you have something in writing that says the promise not to raise the rates, that's fraud; and if they gave you a date certain on which you would have full services but you've had to maintain a second service for any legitimate access reason, they should have to pay you for that too.

ry

Richard Yarnell said...

Oh, and if you can document all of that and there's a "forum" on your new service, post a copy of what you send to the AG there. You'll get one of two things, maybe both:

1) You'll get support from others in the same boat;

2) When the manager of your ISP sees it, he will stumble over himself to get things fixed and to make things right for you.

Karen M said...

Sallies students' prank video sparks uproar
Scenes of Padua students signing petition to end women's suffrage linger on Web

The video chronicles senior Will Albino's effort to enlist Padua girls to sign his petition to revoke women's voting rights.


full article and the video

deb said...

Karen...excellent investigative reporting...did you say you are going to be a journalist? If so hurry up and get that degree...the country needs you more now than ever;)) That article and video certainly helps a person understand how there are good people that don't "get it" due to lack of education.

Christopher, meet the Carlyle Group. Ergo, SNAFU

dan said...

Karen, good job on that report. I felt bad for the girls on camera who seemed to be distracted by the camera and not paying attention to the question.

dan said...

I'm posting a link to a film that was shown at the Sundance. Be forewarned it contains some crude language and is extremely disrespectful of Americans and the choises we've been making. I didn't time it but it may be 15 minutes long.

Ha Ha Ha America

Karen M said...

Deb, I hope I'll be able to have some sort of career in writing, so that's always a possibility. I got the link from a friend of mine in Scotland who had it on her blog (personal). Blogs rule.

Dan, I love the Ha Ha Ha America video. Sent it to the friend. She'll get a kick out of it.

deb said...

Karen, This video was posted on the original threads...but, in case you missed it:

Pirates and Emperors

dan said...

Karen, I'm glad your enjoyed the video (Ha Ha Ha America). It's sad to think that the U.S. is now being ridiculed. I'm sure that respect for America is at an all time low under this Administration.

I feel like my generation (baby boomers) owes yours an apology. We've had ample opportunity to confront and solve the major issues of our times. Now it appears like we'll be passing along all the problems and massive debt besides. Your generation deserves much better.

Debbie, I'm glad you posted "Pirates and Emperors" again. I must have missed it the first time.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I have been busy and avoiding doing my taxes. The HaHaHa America video made some great points and was worth watching but I could not help notice the background of the city shots in China, if it was actually filmed in China. The landscape and environment was so grey and boxy. The architecture was sterile in form but seemed to be covered in a layer of filth. The pollution practically puffed out smoke from my computer.

They may be laughing now but they will be gagging, choking and coughing very soon if they don't find a way to deal with the mess that 1.3 billion people (was it?) are going to generate.

dan said...

Your right Christopher, they're already gagging and choking. This is just one paragraph from a long article detailing China's growing polution crisis.

"The air is not much better. “If I work in your Beijing, I would shorten my life at least five years,” Zhu Rongji told city officials when he was prime minister in 1999. According to the World Bank, China has 16 of the world's 20 most polluted cities. Estimates suggest that 300,000 people a year die prematurely from respiratory diseases."

There's no shortage of problems that both countries need to address.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Yes Christopher,
It's a far cry from the beautiful scenery of South Maui. I checked the link for Painter Charlie Nalepa at your tropicalembellishments blog. If his paintings are a realistic depiction of the natural landscape there, I can see why people call it paradise. Two of my favorites are his painting called Maui Sunset and the one of Sugar Beach.

By the way, your blog site with all the literature and art, photographs of nature, and performing arts stuff provides a much-needed antidote for the dismal realities of day-to-day existence. Thank you for that.

Cheryl V said...

Steve Forbes: “When We Have The Confrontation” With Iran, “The Price of Oil Will Come Down”

The video link is here:
http://thinkprogress.org/2006/04/17/forbes-iran-oil-prices/

deb said...

Good post Cheryl. I just don't get how these people think..."let's destroy another country and possibly start WWIII so Americans can have lower gas prices, which will only be temporary, btw, since the world is running out of oil". How can supposedly smart and definately rich people think destroying Iran is a viable solution? This HAS to be stopped!!!

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Here is the latest post from Anonymous Liberal. I'd like to think I nudged him a bit into writing this. Deb I think it is something you will like and will want to use to help stop the drive to a war on Iran.

Anonymous Liberal

dan said...

Christopher, I commend you on your comments on the previous AL post (your nudge). You made some persuasive observations. Very well done!

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Thanks Dan. I truly do wonder what happened to the notion of Duck and Cover. At one point we expected and were prepared for loss of life and property on a massive scale and dealt with it. Now this same scenario is used to scare the crap out of people and manipulate them politically.

9/11 was dramatic and horrible but way more than 3000 people die every year from other single causes like traffic accidents, murders?, cancer ect. About 1000 people died in Katrina and the property damage must dwarf 9/11 yet that is already forgotten and didn't engage the president at any point.

I really think the terrorism issue is completely blown out of proportion and is used like a cudgel to beat the American public over the head.

deb said...

Thanks for the link Christopher and of course I will do what I can to spread the info. Even thinking about destroying yet another country is almost more than I can comprehend...hopefully enough people will decide that enough is enough and scream at Congress until they put a stop to this.

I've always wondered why people seem so afraid of the things that they are never going to die from and so nonchalant about the things that really do kill people. I mean something like a snake people are terrified of and they kill maybe 4 people in the US every year, then the same people will take serious risks while driving a car which killed 42,636 in 04.

I suppose that educating people on how to prioritize their fears would be a good idea.

dan said...

This drumbeat about the need and urgency for the U.S. to attack Iran is just more hypocrisy from the same crowd who "masterminded" our Iraq policy. Genn Greenwald's latest post on "Unclaimed Territory" talks about why China is getting such different treatment than Iran.

Iran and China

deb said...

Exactly Dan!!! If China and Iran really are tight it makes you wonder what China would do if w bombs Iran.

I've wondered if it was only me that has had a problem with communist China being our bank. I do believe that we should diplomatically work with China, yet, at the same time encourage them to improve their human rights stance.

As far as us borrowing so much from them, and buying so much from them it just isn't good for us and probably will empower China to continue on their same course.

Maybe I just need to go vote for the next American Idol;))

dan said...

This Administrations desperate need for Chinese cash is effecting our foreign policy as much as our relience on foreign oil has. Both needs are making us a weaker country and neither situation is being addressed. We desperatly need some enlightened leadership in Washington.

Judy B. said...

Deb... Priortising our fears...
What a good idea...
If the media would only do a series aboout the number of deaths/injuries from everyday situations, like falling off a ladder, car wrecks, even being struck by lightning.. we might get people to raise their consciousness to things that they have in their control to manage. As it is, people spend a great deal of time in fear and worrying needlessly about things that seldom, if ever happen...

Judy B. said...

As for the China/Iran question.. reread the Iranian Bourse...
There is so much in that document that explains what is going on better than anything else that I have read..

Judy B. said...

Public Citizen website has an interesting blog:
http://www.cleanupwashington.org/blog/

Cheryl V said...

Judy,
The further you go in that blog, the more depressing it gets. So much money in government.

I grew up in Louisiana. I know we have a reputation for corruption, but as I learn more about the rest of the country, I wonder if we are just more realistic. There are two unwritten laws of politcs there:

1. Assume all politicians are corrupt & pick the one that has the good sense to realize that it is in his best interest to do a reasonably good job while he lines his pockets.

2. If a politician gets caught with his hands in the cookie jar, it means either he has gotten too greedy, or he is too stupid to do it right. Either way, he has to go.

Judy B. said...

Speaking of money... it appears that we are in a class war. Oprah had a show on it yeaterdsay with the son of one of the J&J dynasty... He is going against the grain and has ether made a movie/or written a book about it.
I tuned in late and didn't get the particulars but if anyone can enlighten me on the title, I would like to see/read it.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Judy,
I went to Google and keyed in: Oprah Winfrey Show April 2006 Johnson & Johnson heir, and was able to find the link to answer your question. I'm especially interested in anything which exposes the sociopathy of nearly all (there are rare exceptions) of the extreme rich.

My disdain for them stems from the fact that so many masses of people have had to work themselves to early graves just for a few indolent, gluttonous, wastes-of-life to have private jets, dozens of vacation homes, trophy wives and mistresses, personal servants, fleets of sports cars and luxury vehicles, ad infinitum.

I have long been disgusted with the particular group of extreme rich who have made their fortunes without regard to the suffering they cause. I've read it more than once before that criminologists and sociologists consider the narcissistic personality disorder in most "persons" of extreme wealth to be on the same order as that found in serial killers. I don't doubt it one bit.

Anyway, here is that link:

http://www.oprah.com/tows/slide/200604/20060421/slide_20060421_350_108.jhtml

dan said...

Christin, there may be some of the extremely rich people who are as despicable as you describe but I'm I'm not willing to presume most are like that. I think it's more likely that there's bad apples at every income level. The super rich may not have contact with our working poor, and therefore not be sensitive to their problems. I like to think most people are *good* unless they prove otherwise.

dan said...

I just watched a terrific video called "Independent Media In A Time Of War". Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, gives specific examples of how MSM is often just a propaganda outlet for powerful interests (as Debbie has been telling us for months). It's 29 min. in broadband or there are transcripts at this link.

Independent Media????

deb said...

Dan, That film is so heartbreaking. I could not watch it all. To know that my tax dollars are paying to kill, cripple and main people is too much to bear. Maybe, the small amount that I do will at least be a drop in the bucket to end this mess.

deb said...

Christina, Here are those super wealthy Marie Antoinette's:
Estate tax

April 25, 2006

Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy Expose Stealth Campaign of Super-Wealthy to Repeal Federal Estate Tax

Report Identifies 18 Families Behind Multimillion-Dollar Deceptive Lobbying Campaign

And Dan, You are right that all the rich are not greedy...but the ones that are sure can wreak havoc on the world.

"Paul Newman, actor and founder of Newman’s Own food company, agreed in a separate statement: “For those of us lucky enough to be born in this country and to have flourished here, the estate tax is a reasonable and appropriate way to return something to the common good. I’m proud to be among those supporting preservation of this tax, which is one of the fairest taxes we have."

John G. said...

Deb, Judy,
do not mean to change the subject...Hope you find this as interesting as we are...stay tuned.

http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/watchtheskies/universe_objects.html

This difficult measurement pushes the instrument to performance limits that were not anticipated in its design," said team member Dr. S. Harvey Moseley, instrument scientist for Spitzer. "We have worked very hard to rule out other sources for the signal we observed."

John G. said...

If that does not work try this...totally cool stuff!


http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/home/index.html

deb said...

Fascinating JG...thanks

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Deb,
It is exactly those few clans, along with all the greasy, bloated CEO's, and a rapidly proliferating swarm of real estate extortionists -- that I was referring to. I've had it with their puppeteering and exploitation of laborers by way of slave wage payments, and of the middle class through an unfair tax burden, deceptive advertising, and price gouging. They absolutely must be brought out from behind the curtain of "corporation". And tax laws must start being changed now.

As for entertainers, I don't ordinarily think of them as being part of that group. Since professional actors, musicians, comedians, fiction writers, etc. must produce just like the rest of us, I feel that they pull their own weight in the world, and that their wealth is simply a by-product of their talent and efforts. I wouldn't want to live in a world without their gifts.

What you told us about Paul Newman, makes me want to try more of his products. He has always come across in interviews as being a very down-to-earth good soul. I always sensed an inherent goodness in his wife Joanne Woodward as well.

dan said...

Christin, you certainly didn't offend me and many of us use this site to do some venting. Please keep speaking your mind. You're among friends here.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Dan,
Thanks so much for the moral support. Your words were very comforting. I really do need to take time to cool down before I write, though, or at least take the time out to proof read. I've noticed that I make major errors when I'm upset, because my mind is racing so much faster than I can key the words in.

deb said...

Maybe we won't have to impeach the lot of them...I'm thinking they'll all be convicted by Nov.

and they went down in a burning ring of fire....

Perhaps then we can actually regulate corporate capitalism, restore the middle class, and have a GREAT COUNTRY again:-)

dan said...

Maybe they'll all end up in Fulsom Prison.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Good one, Dan (LOL)

dan said...

Steven Colbert (Comedy Central) spoke at the recent White House Coorrespondents Dinner. His speech made quite a splash and is all over the internet. Here's a link to the video in two parts.

Colbert Praises Bush..well sort of

deb said...

I've not been a fan of Colbert, as his style isn't appealing to me. That said, I am extremely proud of what he did at the Reporter's function. He said things that those same reporters have been working to avoid for 5 years, he stood up in front of the prez and told it like it is. He has risked quite a bit to speak out and say things that have needed said.

Cheryl V said...

I can't wait to find out who booked Colbert. George & Laura looked pretty grim. There have been a few comments about lack of respect for the office. What did they expect him to do? He was hilarious, and Helen Thomas was great in the clip.

Karen M said...

charging companies for broadband services they offer us?

From what I can understand, it's basically meaning that they'd tax, say, google to use what they're paying for already (the broadband to allow users to access the site; the more you have, the more users can access).

The Times goes on to note that if the cable and telephone companies got their way, "[it] would be a financial windfall for Internet service providers, but a disaster for users, who could find their Web browsing influenced by whichever sites paid their service provider the most money."

links aren't working!
http://alternet.org/blogs/peek/35728/

Richard Yarnell said...

The crux of the ATT/Cingular and other transmission company initiatives is to change the way traffic is handled. Because Verison, ATT, and other web carriers want to get into the content market, they want to be able to give their own traffic priority over other traffic. That is not how the web works now.

Companies with deep pockets would pay a premium to make sure their material was delivered and delivered first.

Now, when a message or a file hits the net, it is delivered on a basis equal with any other message.

Far from eliminating Spam, the priority system would make sure you got spam from people who paid a premium. Small groups, individuals, all the elements, like this one, that make the internet the great levelling medium it is, will get lost in the clutter.

ry

Karen M said...

First Thread after Terrorist Attacks
(iffy on how good it is)

Second
(I'm reading -- it's really good)

Third

Fourth

In case those don't work, stole from the bottom of this page --

http://www.google.com/googlegroups/archive_announce_20.html

Cheryl V said...

www.savetheinternet.com is pushing a drive to keep the internet open.

Marilynn M said...

Looks like we are going to have a really big sex scandal. It even includes the Watergate. I wonder what they are going to name it?

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/4/28/94455/5569

Marilynn M said...

Have any of you went to Google typed in asshole and hit "feeling lucky'?

dan said...

I did now! :)

deb said...

Marilynn...I didn't yet cause I'm laughing so much from the thought of it. How does one figure out to do that? (lol) I just checked the blog before I turn in and you made my night already...OK...going to google...

Wow, that is a telling film. I would just love to see them all get what they deserve.

dan said...

Cluck and Awe

Judy B. said...

Here is an interesting article about illegal drugs, Meth in particular, and the complicity of the legal drug makers.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/interviews/suo.html

christin m p in massachusetts said...

It appears that having no conscience is a pre-requisite for running a pharmaceutical company.

christin m p in massachusetts said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
christin m p in massachusetts said...

I want so much for our government and our corporations to be cleaned up, so that I can feel confident of a bright future for our country and our world. I used to be fascinated with all the wonderful possibilities for the future, a lot like our young friend John from Georgia (Hi John :)) ). But it seems like our lives will be on hold until we overhaul all of our systems of power. Is there another country out there that has a government/economic system which doesn't leave one feeling forever cynical?

deb said...

Christin, I believe that by exposing what is happening we will collectively stand up and say "enough". I hope that we do it by electing enough progressive politicians in 06. The country has a long climb just to get back to where we were in 00, and of course, the war cannot be undone even if we pulled out in 07.

Getting the information out to the public does work: The Power of the Press: Congress Takes Back Tax Breaks for Big Oil. The blogging community can take plenty of credit for encouraging the media to print/show the stories that matter.

There are countries doing it better, but because they are, it is hard to immigrate to them. My #1 pick would be New Zealand and then most of northern EU and Canada. However, we (i.e. American voters) really are the only ones who can fix this mess, which affects the entire world.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I just saw a piece on Hugo Chavez on the CBS Evening News earlier this evening. It made me want to move to Venezuela. At the end of the piece they said they were going to continue their story tomorrow evening (Sun. May 21, 2006 -- 6:30pm Eastern Time), but this time it would be about his "dark side".

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Even within this country, though, there seems to be such a major disparity in quality of life from one state or region to another. For example, for many years here in Massachusetts we had all these high tech workers making huge salaries. This ultimately was our state's undoing. When all the layoffs came in the early 2000's, a lot of the techies decided to get into real estate "investing"; they bought those programs sold by Robert Kiyosaki, Russ Whitney, Carleton Sheets, et al. (My landlord and a lot of his friends were among them.) Since the very highly paid tech workers had no concept of the wages and salaries that much of the rest of the population was making, they thought nothing of buying rental properties and immediately doubling and even tripling rents on the tenants, and buying single-family properties to immediately "flip" them for huge profits. These practices were further fueled by the record low interest rates.

The American Dream is no longer possible in Massachusetts. Huge numbers of our working residents have been driven out by the obscene cost of housing, and they're still leaving in droves. A modest three-bedroom house with a small yard in this area (Middlesex County) costs between $400,000 and $500,000. And the further east you go toward Boston, the worse it gets.

Obviously, most young families and new college graduates cannot afford those home prices, so our state has suffered a net loss of more than 100,000 working residents. (We actually lost far greater numbers of workers than that, but it was offset by a huge gain in numbers of illegal immigrants. And, like Marilynn said in one of the other threads, they have a vastly different standard of living than we do, so they can live on a lot less. They always carpool in very basic older cars, they overcrowd their apartments and houses with a lot of working adults, they eat very low-cost foods, and they pool all their incomes.)

A lot of the employers that didn't leave the country, have moved to other states too. The inflated property values and taxes drove their costs so high that they couldn't afford to do business here any more.

Recently, Fox 25 News did a survey where they asked former residents of our state how happy they were in their new home states (I don't know how the news station located the respondents). Very high percentages reported that they now had bigger and better homes, better jobs, a better overall quality of life, and that they never want to come back here.

My brother and sister-in-law both have to work more than forty hours per week just to get by -- their mortgage is so ridiculously high. My sister also has to work overtime every single week without a break, because property taxes and utilities are so high.

The outlook here is dismal. Even if I can't move to another country, I at least have to get out of this godforsaken state.

I know this is off-topic, since it isn't about politics. But I just had to tell you guys how hopeless it feels to live in this region. It eats away at me every day.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Thanks for the good news Deb. I guess we just have to stay right on top of our politicians and our media until we eventually get back the wealth that we've earned. The more the corporate overlords try to take from us, the more ascetic I become -- I detest them so much that it gives me great satisfaction to give them less and less of my money, even if it means going without any extras.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Never mind, now I just read the worst news yet on the Blue Thread. Yep, gotta get the hell out of the U.S.:(

deb said...

Don't leave Chrisitn...be the change!

I was searching for a great quote that inspires us to stay involved and work to change the current political situation...however, I ran across this and *had* to share:

The word politics is derived from the word poly meaning many and ticks meaning blood sucking parasites ~ Adrian Hilton

deb said...

I'm lost in political quote land...

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. ~ P.J. O'Rourke

We've got a real irony here... We have politicians selling access to something we all own — our government. And then we have broadcasters selling access to something we all own — our airwaves. It's a terrible system. ~ Newton Minow, former Federal Communications Commission chairman (2000)

We mistakenly quoted Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison calling for accountability from top White House aides Libby and Rove by saying, 'Something needs to be said that is a clear message that the rule of law is intact and the standards for perjury and obstruction of justice are not gray.' In fact, when Senator Hutchison made the remarks, she was calling for accountability from President Clinton in 1999. More recently, in regard to accountability for Libby and Rove, she referred to perjury as a 'technicality.' We regret any confusion caused by our error. ~ Ironictimes.com

Administration Unveils Planned Response to Flu Pandemic
Will bomb Iran.~Ironictimes.com

Hope you all have a delightful Sunday!

deb said...

More GREAT news: In open split with Bush, top US conservative calls for independent movement

Cheryl V said...

Christin,
I understand how frustrating it can get. Sometimes I feel like it will never get any better. I hear people from other parts of the country get optimistic about politics, then I get stuck in traffic behind yet another W bumper sticker.

All the same, it will get better. There have been a lot of progresses in the past that seemed impossible for a while. This one will too. Hang in there.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Reading that article about the Supreme Court makes me wonder -- Are our Supreme Court justices bought and paid for too? It's our money, and we are the employers of our "representatives", no? What is the reasoning behind the judges' decision? All this corruption sickens me so much that it gets clearer and clearer to me what my Dad was trying to get across to my Mom when he turned his back on the corporate world while we were still very small children. Back then, she thought he threw away a good opportunity, but during the past few years, she herself has become disgusted with people of that ilk.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I'm very happy, though, to read that the Evangelical Conservatives are just as fed up with all the corporate prostitutes as we are. Even if they aren't voting for all the same people that we are, at least they won't continue to vote for our captors.

dan said...

Debbie, that's great news about a spilt emerging in the Republican base. The GOP catered to a group narrow minded, intolerant people and deserve to have that same group turn on them.

dan said...

Update: Ned Lamont vs Joe Lieberman

Joe's Gotta Go

Richard Yarnell said...

Cristin asks whether the supremes are bought and paid for:

I know my conservative father is not bought and paid for. We have fundamental philosophical difference, he and I. Even though he believes passionately that people are responsible for themselves and that most people will perform better if they are challenged, he does realize circumstance can intervene and he gives to charities that respond to disasters. He also gave generously of his time and expertise, serving on various farm boards, school boards, and with service oriented social clubs - the Lions club.

Reasonable people can disagree honestly about the interpretation of our Constitution. It was, after all, a compromise document to be begin with. We can't ask Ben or Tom, or John how we should read their work when confronted by 5 hour coast to coast travel, combustion that send acid rain across many states, and the many other technological and social revolutions that have occurred over the last couple of centuries.

One of the reaons I say that our Supremes are probably less likely to be bought and paid for is their lifetime tenure, adequate salary, immense authority, and their notoriety. And the proof is that Ms O'Connor, Mr Warren, and so many others have not performed as their sponsors imagined they would when they were first appointed.

ry

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I've been searching the net for possible solutions to both the social security shortfall and the immigration dilemma, and here's what I found:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/05/business/05immigration.html?ex=1270353600&en=78c87ac4641dc383&ei=5090&partner=kmarx

dan said...

Christin, that was very informative. I was unaware that immigrants (legal and illegal) were bolstering S.S. to that extent.

Richard Yarnell said...

There is an argument being made that it's unethical to boot folks out, legal or illegal, without refunding the contributions they've made.

It's one thing for them to make contributions and to leave them behind voluntarily and another for the US to deport them leaving them with no recourse or hope of ever collecting the benefit.

If they were to become citizens sometime in the future, as so many did the last time amnesty was declared, they became eligible for the benefits even though the contributions were made before they had proper work permits.

The legal argument is that they're being stripped of the benefit and contributions without due process.

I'm not sure how I feel about it since the contributions were made to presumably fraudulent SSN's.

dan said...

I hate to post this disturbing article but I think it's going to be widely discussed so we need to be aware....from the USA Today:

The "Monster" in The Closet

deb said...

A link to an article published in Britain exposing an active investigation into "Fake News" stories produced by the administration and corporations.

dan said...

Good link Debbie. I'm encouraged that a couple non-profits, "Center for Media and Democracy" and "Free Press" exposed the misuse of VNRs. Also that the public outcry stirred the FCC to investigate. But what a shame that story got so little attention in American media.

deb said...

The Patroit Act is being used to search library records: "The government was telling Congress that it didn't use the Patriot Act against libraries and that no one's rights had been violated," he said. "I felt that I just could not be part of this fraud being foisted on our nation. We had to defend our patrons and ourselves, and so ... we filed a lawsuit challenging the government's power to demand these records without a court order."

From the American Library Association

deb said...

Juicy stuff on the truth told by Enron Traders

dan said...

I would hope those two stories get some media coverage and American citizens (the victims) react with some outrage.

dan said...

Here's the latest on electronic voting:
Who's Counting?

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Why can't we have our individual voting records stored in a system that each of us can verify -- something like our credit scores? That way, we could erase any doubt as to who won. I don't understand why anyone would want to keep their voting record a secret anyway. It looks to me like most people are proud of who they vote for -- they seem to want to shout it from the rooftops. And everyone makes wrong choices sometimes -- voting is no exception.

Someone let me know if there's something I'm overlooking in stating this.

Richard Yarnell said...

It depends on what's in the voting record.

The secret ballot is the only way to assure that there is no way a strong candidate or government can bring to bear economic pressure or intimidation on an individual voter. So maintaining a secret ballot is supremely important.

I don't know about other states, but I can find out who has or has not voted in my precinct since ballots signatures are verified daily during the voting period. This is useful in deciding how to use my canvassing time but has a small danger if a party used the information to discourage those who had not voted to refrain from doing so.

Finally, although it make complicate the process of fudging the vote, making it possible for individual voters to check how their vote is recorded doesn't mean the final count won't be manipulated. There are a whole lot of lines of code between your vote and the tally at the end of the process.

We should not permit computer driven voting processes to exist. It's not worth the risk and the risk is very real.

ry

Cheryl V said...

The best voting method that I've seen so far is the optical scan. They give you a piece of paper & you mark your votes. The sheet gets scanned into a counting machine, and securely stored in case a manual recount is needed.

One other benefit is that the scanning machine can do a little error checking. If you do something like vote for two candidates, it spits the ballot back out to you so you can try again.

dan said...

Cheryl, I love the error check feature on the optical scaning machines. Some ballots have a high rate of "spoiled ballots" due to a confusing layout. The error check results in a much higher percent of ballots being counted.

Cheryl V said...

Alabama primaries were Tuesday. The good news is that my county changed from old paper-less electronic machines to optical scans. The bad news is that I lost the entertainment watching panicked volunteers try to remember how to set the maching to the democratic ballot.

The results were about as expected. The ten commandments judge got 33% of the vote for govenor.

The white supremist running as a democrat got 43% of the vote for attorney general.

Marriage is now safe in Alabama. It passed with 80% of the vote.

deb said...

Sheeesh...80%...maybe we SHOULD all move to the blue states and secede. Judy and I talked about that sometime back...she had told me that it actually has been considered on the west coast;)

Thanks for the update Cheryl.

Richard Yarnell said...

Given who is now President, I think secession is dangerous. Most of the nucular armament is stored in the mid-west. We wouldn't stand a chance.

ry

Judy B. said...

Considering that the prevailing winds blow from West to East, I am not too concerned about nucular fallout...
consider what we have out West...
A couple of big mountain ranges separating us from the rest of the country... Some of the most spectacular farm land in the whole world, Great water supplies... Pacific fisheries, hundreds of thousand of acres of rangeland, several international airports, ditto for seaports... amazing technology, spectacular recreational areas, the entertainment capital of the world, raw resources (trees, mining)... and the list goes on and on...
And most of all, a wonderful independent spirit that makes me wonder why we haven't been more proactive in favor of regional governance...

Richard Yarnell said...

I think you missed the point:

Bush has been known to destroy something in order to protect it. If he's got the planes, bombs and missiles, it's not the radiation I'd be worried about.

But you're right, the prevailing winds might carry the fallout to the White House or wherever Cheney goes to hide.

ry

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I'm still trying to figure out which Democratic candidate I want for governor. Do I go with Christopher Gabrieli -- a wealthy, yet apparently honest businessman who loves our state, has already done a lot of good things for our ordinary citizens, and thankfully has no intentions of using the office as a stepping stone to becoming U.S. president?

Or do I go with Clintonite Deval Patrick, who I have a strong feeling would have an excellent shot at becoming our first black U.S. president? Unfair or not, it's a fact of life that whoever wins the office of U.S. president, has actually won a popularity contest. A lot of people trust anyone who seems familiar to them. Deval Patrick looks like and has the voice of Tiger Woods, and he's said to have the charisma of Jack and Bobby Kennedy.

I really want to work for Gabrieli's election. But I'm wondering if we should give Deval Patrick the chance to gain experience here that he can use to run for president. Of course he hasn't said he has his sights set that high, but you can just tell he does.

Richard Yarnell said...

FWIW, I like to see people work their way up to the job. Clinton served his apprenticeship on the legal side of things, then Governor, the President.

Legislative experience is a plus, too.

Let 'em duke it out on merit, not a pretty face.

ry

christin m p in massachusetts said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
christin m p in massachusetts said...

Yeah, that makes sense to me too. Deval Patrick's following (mostly of liberal women) is being called a cult of personality. I'm not sure if that's really fair, but it doesn't matter to me either way. I like what I'm hearing from candidate Gabrieli. Besides, he's already done so much good for our state.

In an email I received from his office, he listed seven things he was committed to getting done for the people of Massachusetts. Here are two that I found to be especially significant:

# Conduct a top-to-bottom performance review of every major state program

I will make state government more efficient by developing specific goals and benchmarks for every major state program. By setting a high standard for each program and making it public, government will have a much harder time avoiding accountability. Each performance review will be evaluated to assess effectiveness and address potential inefficiencies. This data will be available to the public in the form of a spending statement so you actually know where your tax dollars are going, and you know how well the state programs those dollars fund are actually performing.


# Hold regular town hall meetings in every region of the state

On-the-record, public meetings with residents will allow for the accessibility that our current administration is lacking. Photo ops are great ways for politicians to get the coverage they want, but useless for getting voters the answers they want.

deb said...

OK Christian...I am very jealous!!! I want to be able to choose between 2 GOOD candidates instead of choosing the lesser of two evils...sigh;)

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Deb, we do have a third Democrat in the race too, but he is already our attorney general. To put it kindly, he is just too laissez-faire. He only goes after high profile cases. If a lower level worker is cheated out of his week's wages -- oh well... Don't bother going to Attorney General Tom Reilly about it, because the "little guys" are on their own. Why on Earth would I trust him as governor, when he doesn't do the job he has now?

We have another candidate -- Christy Mihos -- who decided to run as an Independent, because he was pissed off that he didn't get the endorsement of the Republican Party. He owns a chain of convenience stores called Christy's Markets. He can't be taken very seriously, as all he has to talk about is how much of his fortune his wife spends on her wardrobe (God, how juvenile...). The only purpose he might serve is to take a few votes away from Republican candidate Kerry Healey. Let's hope he doesn't take some away from the two good Dems as well.

Before Democrat Chris Gabrieli entered, I had been leaning toward Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey (I didn't have a clear picture of Deval Patrick yet, and the other two candidates we were a definite NO). As you probably already know, Mitt's never here where he belongs, as he is everywhere else in the country campaigning for the presidency. He's also trying to distance himself politically from ultra-liberal Massachusetts. There was never a feeling that he cared about the people of our state -- we were nothing to him but a launch pad to higher office. He always brings to mind that old saying: "Don't let the screen door hit you on your way out."

Kerry Healey's already doing a decent job while he's away -- a definite improvement over him. But I expect more transparency and accessibility from our government. And so far, the only one offering those prerequites is Gabrieli. So, he's the one for me.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Perhaps my expectations for what governors should or should not do, are unrealistic. What would you all think about someone wanting to become governor of your state just to get the experience to run for president? I understand that they need to get their "practice" somewhere, but I think a governor should be focused entirely on his/her state.

dan said...

I posted this on the purple thread in error. I'll see if I can delete it there.

Christin, I understand your concern, since modern presidential campaigns last a couple years, you'd be stuck with a governor missing in action for extended periods of time. However, if you exclude anyone who might have presidential ambitions from consideration for your vote for governor, or representative for that matter, you might pass over some very good candidates. I suspect that most congressmen and governors eventually get frustrated over the limits on their ability to affect policy and would aspire to be president if they thought it was a possibility. If you suspect that a candidate has no real interest in the welfare of your state, then I understand completely why you would not vote for them.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Dan, thanks for helping me sort out my thoughts on this subject. I was afraid I was applying a double standard in being angry about Mitt Romney using our state to build his resume, while at the same time being at least tentatively willing to give Deval Patrick that very same opportunity.

I think the difference is not that one is a Republican and the other is a Democrat, but that Mitt Romney came from the outside -- literally and figuratively, as if in an attempt to convert us; while Deval Patrick already has deep roots here, and sympathizes politically with the majority of people here.

With the information I have so far, I still feel that the moderate Democratic candidate -- Chris Gabrieli -- will do the most to improve the lot of most of the people of our state.