Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ice















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Frozen in Time and slowly dripping Drip Drip

Public Policy, Education, Economics, Human Welfare Issues, Health Care

Continue on.....

157 comments:

dan said...

I received this invitation from Howard Dean to offer suggestions to Jim Webb on his Democratic response to the President's State of the Union speech. Picking up on where Cheryl and I left off on this thread, I submitted this:

"In President Bush's radio address last Saturday, referring to the high cost of health insurance, he implied that a major problem was that workers were opting for "overly expensive, gold plated plans". I find it very telling that this President who has never complained about the multi-million dollar *golden parachutes* given to some of the country's richest executives, is so bothered by the fact that a few workers actually have adequate health insurance coverage."

John G. said...

"A major problem was that workers were opting for "overly expensive, gold plated plans"."

What country does he live in?

Ga. is a strong republican state and the majority of workers do not have adequate coverage if any at all. The ones that do, unless they work for a major employer, pay upwards of 30% of their income for healthcare.
Another issue our state is dealing with is infrastructure (hospitals, trauma centers, Dr. offices, etc.) is already strained to the max. Leaders proposing UHC need to address this before they introduce 45 million plus new patients to the system.
Our public schools should also look into mandatory healthcare classes to prepare young people for life without Momma and Daddy's coverage.
They are the most at risk. When they finally get a part time job at minimum wage and are looking forward to getting out on their own, the furthest thing from their minds is healthcare. They are young, strong and invincible. If given a choice between a date with their first love and healthcare, they are going on the date. Statistically healthcare is the next step...and junior is going to need it to.

Nationally, are there more healthcare providers and hospitals? Or are there more insurance agents and insurance offices?
Welcome back Deb!

Cheryl said...

Well put Dan & John.
Bush's plan is wrong in more ways than I can count. I can't figure out how it helps anyone.

I did figure out what health insurance and mortgages have in common. Under Bush's plan, only people with mortgages should be able to have health insurance. A deduction is useless if your income is too low, or you can't itemize.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Very good news for the struggling workforce in Hawaii:

"He praised (Governor) Lingle for proposing a housing package that includes $150 million to create more affordable rental and for-sale housing units.

“Her housing request that she’s making is good, and I think that we will be looking seriously at what she’s requesting,” Souki said."


(I'm hoping my state's governor will follow suit.)

If you read the text of her State of the State speech on the 22nd, it sounds like Linda Lingle was moved to take drastic action on the workforce housing issue -- in large part because of negative articles written in major publications about Hawaii's new working homeless population.

From the Wall Street Journal

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Oops -- I meant to also include a link to that entire article from the Maui News about Hawaii lawmakers overall praise of Governor Lingle's State of the State address:
Maui lawmakers: Devil is in details

When I first read her speech the other day, I was also quite pleased with her proposals -- even though I don't live there. I just feel that the positive public policies (try to say that ten times fast) implemented in one part of the world will eventually positively impact all other parts of the world through the "domino effect".

I found it interesting, too, that she's involved in FIRST Robotics, since my landlord -- who is a mechanical engineer -- volunteers (teaching design, building, and testing of the robots) for that program at one of the local high schools after he gets out of work every day. It seems like he does it only in the wintertime and then each team enters its robot into competitions (I'm not sure if the competitions are regional or national).

Anyway, back to the original subject -- it sounds like Governor Lingle is improving with time. I hope Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray do also (They just started).

Cheryl said...

John Conyers has re-introduced HR 676, Medicare for all.

From http://www.house.gov/conyers/news_hr676_2.htm
Under HR 676, Medicare would be extended and improved so that all individuals residing in the United States would receive high quality and affordable health care services. They would receive all medically necessary services by the physicians of their choice, with no restrictions on what providers they could visit. If implemented, the United States National Health Insurance Act would cover primary care, dental, mental health, prescription drugs, and long term care.

Healthcare-NOW has a petition and action items.
http://www.healthcare-now.org/

dan said...

Cheryl, that bill needs to become law. It's just what the country needs.

Richard Yarnell said...

Before you jump on the Conyer's wagon, please consider the arguments in favor of rethinking the decisions that were made over 3 decades, beginning with the war years when tax advantages were granted to, now obsolete, employer based insurance, that are contained in the bill proposed by Dr. (Gov.) John Kitzhaber:

http://wecandobetter.org/dialog/documents/oregon_better_health_act

Cheryl said...

Richard,
I'm not sure what you are saying. What do you prefer about the Oregon plan over Medicare for everyone?

Here is some of what I like about Conyer's plan.

Health insurance should not be employment based. It puts individuals and small companies at a disadvantage. Many people stay in jobs they would like to leave just for the insurance.

The largest part of the waste in our system is the extistence of thousands of insurance companies. Doctor's have to hire extra people just to navigate the maze of different sets of paperwork, approvals, and approved care.

96 & 69.
Percentage of Medicare dollars that go to health care = 96%.
Percentage of average insurance company dollars that go to health care = 69%.
There are enormous savings to be had by removing the insurance companies.

Richard Yarnell said...

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to be anywhere near thorough. What the Oregon proposal does is to ditch the arbitrary distinctions between people who are now classed differently, and sometimes in contradictory ways, by three separate systems.

We're going to have one shot at getting this right. We can't afford to tinker around the edges. We need to get at the root of the problem.

I spoke with Kitzhaber about 6 months ago. I asked if he would ultimately support a system in which even vets were folded into the Medicare umbrella. He thought he would since it would make access easier for many. That means that the VA specialists would continue to specialize but vets who need only maintenance would have access to the system closer to home.

Sorry - too much going on.

Cheryl said...

Richard,
It sounds like we are in agreement in bringing everyone into Medicare.

The Oregon plan looks like as good a plan as a state can make on its own. The states can improve the situation, but we need a Federal plan to take care of the root causes of medical costs, the insurance companies.

When you have more time, let me know more about your thinking on the matter.

Richard Yarnell said...

I still don't have to be very detailed, but Kitzhaber has done it once already. By passing a state law that requires a Federal Waiver to allow it to spend Federal funds the way it wants to, Oregon becomes a model or test case. Other states will follow and the Federal Government, if still in Democratic hands, will too.

That is explicitly what he intends to do.

John G. said...

Here's a stretch,
What about true universal healthcare?
Any child or elderly person anywhere
In the "world" in need of healthcare, which can provide transportation to the U.S. is covered.
I am thinking of the baby from Iraq, which was treated in Atlanta courtesy of U.S. troops, perhaps, they started a trend...

christin m p in massachusetts said...

“…and it was chartered under the guise of deceit by an Act of Congress in 1913 -- December the 23rd 1913, when most members of the Congress had gone home for the holidays. The House of Representatives had passed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, but it was having difficulty getting out of the Senate, and most people had gone home.

(But one of the things that I used to make sure and check was when we had a recess in legislative circles, you want to make sure that you adjourn what is called “Sine Die without a date”.) The Senate had not adjourned Sine Die without a date -– it was still technically in session.

So you had three members of the Senate, according to the Senate journal, who were present on that day -- December the 23rd, 1913, and they passed the Federal Reserve Act in the Senate on a “unanimous consent voice vote”. There was no objection. Had there been one person there to object, and -– say, contest in the absence of a quorum, then it would not have passed.”
-- Dr. Larry Bates

Dr. Bates is a former bank CEO who taught for the Banking Administration Institute and the state college system of Tennessee. He is also a former member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, where he was Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Commerce.

Not Federal; No Reserves

christin m p in massachusetts said...

The American Monetary Institute's 2007 Monetary Reform Conference in Chicago will be held from September 27 - 30th:

http://www.monetary.org/2007%20conference%20announcement.htm

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Missed one letter in that address, so I'll try again.

The American Monetary Institute's 2007 Monetary Reform Conference in Chicago will be held from September 27th - 30th:

http://www.monetary.org/2007%20conference%20announcement.html

Richard Yarnell said...

This time, it's for real:

The Bush budget, all $2.x Trillion of it, specifically eliminates public funding for PBS and NPR. I haven't looked to see whether he leaves any money for NEA, NEH, or any of the other agencies that contribute to the greatness of a society.

Moveon is on the march. If you care at all to have at least one media outlet the shows some intention to remain objective, and if you believe that programming like Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, NOVA and the rest are of value, the I urge you to join the fracas. Here in Oregon, Oregon Public Broadcasting consistently has the highest listenership when compared to any other radio station in the State. This holds even into prime time hours. (Public TV does not hold the same position during primetime, though.)

There are periodic rumors about PBS funding being cut: this one isn't a rumor.

From MoveOn:

George W. Bush is trying—yet again—to slash funding for NPR and PBS. This week, Bush proposed a new budget with devastating cuts to public broadcasting.1 "Sesame Street" and other ad-free kids' shows are under the knife. So is the independent journalism our country needs.

Enough is enough. We've fought this fight before and won—but we can't afford the risk anymore. With the new Congress, we can make sure this never happens again. We need Congress to insulate NPR and PBS from the political winds.

We can make it happen if enough of us sign this petition: "Congress must save NPR and PBS once and for all. Congress should guarantee permanent funding and independence from partisan meddling." Clicking here will add your name to the petition:

http://civ.moveon.org/publicbroadcasting/o.pl?id=9861-664497-JmcLcQHrV1W5eXIxVHXaaw&t=3

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

That man and his owners are just vile. He is sure to try all kinds of crap before he is gone. Petition signed and link made.

Save PBS and NPR

dan said...

I received the same appeal from "Move On" earlier today and I also took action. Vile is too kind a word for this Administration.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Have any of you guys here at Bread Crusts already watched the final director's cut of this movie?

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4312730277175242198&q=America+Freedom+to+Fascism

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

It's an hour and 45 minutes long. You'll have to plan some time for it.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Hi Christopher :)
Earlier I received a comment from Stephen Zarlenga. I was very excited to hear from him, but now that I know Google alerts the organizations we write posts about, I'm probably going to choose my topics very carefully in the future. I guess even on the neutral internet (It's still neutral, isn't it?), somebody's always watching us. In this particular case, I don't mind because it's not a foe.

Before tonight, I had thought no one would be able to find our sites except the people who 'owned' or visited blogs where we leave comments. I’d better go review all the posts to see if I might need to delete any of them.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Google does NOT alert anyone or any organization that you write about.

The nature of links, search engines and site meters lets people and organizations look and find out on their own who may be writing about them. A search engine is not going to be %100 accurate and site meters can be blocked from reading data.

You can make your blog private and only viewable by invited guests with password access.

It is the technology that allowed Stephen Zarlenga to find your post by his own efforts. Google is just one player in that technology.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Google must have just started doing that, then. Even though I had first written about the AMI on the 5th, Mr. Zarlenga commented in my February 9th post. He says, "Dear Christin,
Google alerted us to your post. The American Monetary Institute has a member in Boston who is starting a local chapter..."


It looks like the American Monetary Institute doesn't have a blog (only the official web site), but obviously he had to register with Blogger in order to respond to my post. I'm still so honored that he took the time to write to me.

If you make a blog private, does that make it completely 'invisible' to anyone except invited guests? Like, would that make it so that the blog would no longer show up in search engines of any kind?

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

"Google alerted us to your post" is I think, just how he said it. He did a Google search using the available technology on the words "American Monetary Institute" and your post showed up. Try it yourself.

I don't know all the particulars of making a blog private. I would guess Blogger has info on that.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

No I guess because you linked to their site he just tracked back to you. Maybe Google has a site meter or it is just a function of the "Links to this post" feature or something like that.

Cheryl said...

Christin,
Good for you. Someone (besides your friends here) is interested in what you have to say. Ain't the internet great, everybody has a chance to be heard.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Thanks Cheryl,

I've had enough of watching one tiny group of useless cretins (wealthy "investors") doing NOTHING BUT HOBBIES their entire lives, all because they are so shiftless and gluttonous as to think they have the right to live ENTIRELY OFF OF OTHER PEOPLE'S LABOR.

I've also had it with watching the masses being psychologically "herded" into buying stuff they don't need -- especially when they are being manipulated into paying interest and fees on all of it. All to support those same lazy, greedy “investors”.

The only way I can see for us to truly have any power over our government (instead of the illusion of power), is to give control of our nation's money system BACK TO OUR GOVERNMENT through the Treasury Department -- and to do away with fractional reserve lending. Otherwise our country will be forced to continue paying interest to the private bankers who own the Fed. The financiers behind the Fed (and all the world's central banks) also are what's behind this war and every war throughout history, since war spending puts nations deeper in their debt. The most impoverished nations in the world can never hope to lift themselves up as long as every bit of their money is owed to the private central bankers for interest payments alone.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

If any of you had any doubts before that the central bankers are sociopathic, this article might change your view:
Bank of America Offering Credit Cards to Illegal Immigrants

Looks like we're going to have to submit to their "New World Order" whether we like it or not.

Richard Yarnell said...

I may be obtuse, but I don't understand why credit cards or other plastic would not be available to them. Most have families, bank accounts, and economic needs back in Mexico or wherever they come from.

Sociopathic seems over the top.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Caveat emptor is easily "ignored" when people are desperate to survive another week on low wages. Obviously, that desperation creates a situation of even worse poverty, but when someone is faced with the prospect of losing a job because they don't have the money for a necessary car repair, they don't have the luxury of thinking beyond that week. So that credit card can suddenly appear as a lifeline does to a drowning man.

When people go out and charge luxury items on their credit cards, it is their own fault that they end up in deep debt. So in those cases, I feel no sympathy for the suckers.

The reason why I consider it sociopathic to market credit cards to the immigrants is because there are no longer any usury laws, and it will be very easy for the financiers to snare those immigrants into accepting offers for credit cards with immorally high interest rates and fees. Based on the article, Bank of America is targeting immigrants here in the U.S. -- as the article says "illegal immigrants", and isn't referring to residents of their own home countries.

Since Americans are already so heavily burdened with debt, it looks like Bank of America needs new victims. The financiers apparently see the need to twist that wet towel at least one more time, so they can wring out every last drop of OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY...

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Also --
If you go to google video and watch the movie "AMERICA: Freedom to Fascism" -- especially the second half of it, you'll definitely see justification for applying the label of sociopaths to the financiers at the very top of the economic pyramid.

Just in case your computer still isn't set up to view videos, I want to try to explain in a new way why I have such deep disdain for particular members (not all, but most) of the wealthiest of the wealthy.

This is the only way I can think of to explain it, so that you might see what I see:

The financial backers, owners, and top-level managers of large corporations see workers as nothing more than "business capital" -- just as plantation owners once saw their slaves. They don't give one second of thought to calculating their workers' income to BASIC cost of living ratios. All they care about is that the idle NON-WORKERS -- that is, their MAJOR shareholders (who already have incredibly easy and carefree lives) get an ever-increasing return on investment.

The workers are often powerless to negotiate higher salaries, because in many cases they are already so broke that they're forced to take whatever is offered just to feed their families and keep their homes. The financiers who are clearly NOT the "best and brightest" as they would like the masses to be fooled into believing -- are simply parasites on the rest of society. No more intelligent than the average mobster, the international bankers' only "talent" is in their absence of any conscience. They know full well that they're impoverishing the most important members of society (workers), through slave wages and vulgar financial deceptions (fractional reserve lending with the accompanying tax on labor).

But there is yet another way that the current form (since 1913) of financier-worker relationship is destroying our world:

If I am to defend all workers, then technically I would have to defend George Bush -- correct? George Bush is actually a WORKER who has a JOB that he can't quit on a whim, even though he doesn't need the job for economic survival. Now I know that most people's automatic reaction to that statement is that they wish he would quit his job, because he sucks at it – right?

But does George Bush really suck at his job? That depends on whether you consider us to be his employers, or the financiers behind the central banks to be his employers.

I know that in an intelligently engineered world that is not run by a minority of extremely wealthy, conscience-free international financiers, WE would be George Bush's employers.

But since we live in a moronic world that IS run by a minority of extremely wealthy, concience-free international financiers, it is actually THE FINANCIERS who are George Bush's employers.

So to answer the question "Is George Bush a lousy employee?" -- The answer is NO.

To the financiers who are George Bush's TRUE employers (the ones who really hired him, and therefore the ones that he is beholden to), he is the absolute BEST employee they have ever had!

Donald Rumsfeld was also one of the financiers’ best employees of all time.

Colin Powell (who is of course an honest, decent man who was duped into "selling" the war to us) -- as an employee of the international bankers, reminds me of poor Woodrow Wilson after he realized he'd been duped into "selling" the Federal Reserve Act to Congress. President Wilson was deeply saddened by what he saw the central bankers doing to the American people and he grieved about it all the way till his death. Referring to his promotion of the Federal Reserve Act, he lamented, "I have unwittingly ruined my country."

Just look at how well Bush and Rumsfeld have defended the financiers' war in the Middle East. George Bush never was "the Decider" and he knows it. He didn't declare this war, he was just the mouthpiece. If the international war financiers told George Bush to call off this war, he'd do it without blinking. But they won't call it off, because they are determined to gain complete financial "cooperation" of the entire Middle East -- even if every last one of their pawns has to die for it.

One last thing about U.S. president as employee of the international banking community:

Bill Clinton was an obedient employee for them as well (NAFTA and Telecommunications Act, for just two examples). Clinton himself hinted at this when he referred to himself as a "virtual president".

By contrast, John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy both DEFIED the authority of the international bankers by working for ALL U.S. citizens (including citizens who had no voice) -– even though their father was one of the bankers' cronies.

deb said...

Hello fellow crustations!!!

I'm IN...back in the MATRIX.

Being unwired was actually a good learning experience for me as my life/being was intertwined with my online experience and being without allowed me to experience the "reality" that the majority of our fellow citizens experience.

Hopefully, Quinerius at IBM is the MAN and my pc doesn't experience any additional problems. (Hint, avoid the Geek Squad, as their limit to pc problem solving is what you probably already know how to do yourself and the solution to more serious problems is just to keep your pc indefinately.)

Richard, I glanced at the house...awesome!!!

Christin... Lady, you never cease to amaze me...your writing and research skills astound me. You have hit upon the roadblock to us being a democratic country, but keep in mind that wealth comes at people in many ways, Bill Gates' through invention, Barbara Striesand's through talent and work (perhaps a bit of luck), Robert Kennedy's through inheritance, et al. Many people are exceptionally wealthy and also work to be the "good guys".

Anyway, the solution is education...educate as many fellow citizens as you can to the "white collar crime" that is overriding our democracy, including the people who are unknowingly helping fund the crimes with their IRA's and investments. NPR and PBS are perhaps our greatest hopes as they do educate our neighbors... keep writing letters to the editor, and ask every politician that represents you to restore the fairness doctrine so that our media ceases and desists from being one sided in favor of capitalism without regulation.

Changing subjects: The American Monetary Institute has an RSS feed from Google that searches news and blogs for specific key words and they get the list daily in their inbox. I had one for specific keywords from news sources, but it gave me much more than I wanted so that the "delete" button got a workout. I will not reinstall it...I intend to keep the pc programs that are running to a minimum.

HI, Cheryl, Judy, JG and Dan.

Happy Valentines Day to all... one year ago today I learned of squab ;-)

Hope you all are having a romantic evening!!! Jeff's out of town so it's frozen lazagna with a wonderful fresh salad for me...but a guy who is working for me did give me a beautiful yellow rose this morning.

deb said...

OH SH*T..........HI CHRISTOPHER

Sorry for the slip :-(

XXXOOOXXXOOOXXXOOOXXXOOO

Hugs and Kisses to you for Valentines Day!

Richard Yarnell said...

That'll be enough of that!

Shameless.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Hi Deb,
Glad to finally have you back. I need to take a couple of weeks off from research on politics and economics, for the sake of my emotional health.

I feel that I can get some rest now that I've finally found exactly when and where our economic system (and therefore our political system) was so badly contorted.

Abolishing fractional reserve lending and returning to Lincoln's greenbacks will separate the swindlers from the people who came by their wealth honestly.

John G. said...

Welcome back Deb!


"OH SH*T..........HI CHRISTOPHER

Sorry for the slip :-(

XXXOOOXXXOOOXXXOOOXXXOOO"

That's why he wanted to say Aloha?
Don't do that SH*T again Deb...

Judy B. said...

Welcome back Deb....
Things seemed (to me) to slow down a bit on this blog while you were gone... While everyone here has become dear to my heart, I believe that you ar the heart and soul that makes it work best...

I wholeheartedly agree with you that everyone needs the best education available, and I work towards that end...
What encoumpasses a well rounded education sometimes leaves out the most obvious... How to live a well rounded, happy life... When we become "tuned into self" and live with integrity with soul, life has so much more meaning..
I wish the schools had a way to provide that, however it seems to be something that is learned along "THE WAY"...
Anyway, glad to have you back... looking forward to more interaction...

Judy B. said...

Welcome back Deb....
Things seemed (to me) to slow down a bit on this blog while you were gone... While everyone here has become dear to my heart, I believe that you ar the heart and soul that makes it work best...

I wholeheartedly agree with you that everyone needs the best education available, and I work towards that end...
What encoumpasses a well rounded education sometimes leaves out the most obvious... How to live a well rounded, happy life... When we become "tuned into self" and live with integrity with soul, life has so much more meaning..
I wish the schools had a way to provide that, however it seems to be something that is learned along "THE WAY"...
Anyway, glad to have you back... looking forward to more interaction...

dan said...

Welcome back Deb...I also missed you and the spark you supply to the blog. I haven't been fitting in much blogging time lately because of time pressures (and I'm the world's worst multi-tasker). I want to get caught up since Christin has posted volumes of research and Richard's house looks fascinating. I'd also like to hear about the demon that possessed your pc and how it was "exercised".

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Dan,

If you’re pressed for time, it isn’t necessary to go back to check the links. The following two part documentary will show what’s been blocking the efforts of Progressives.

I understand that (for now) we have no other choice than to continue to fight our uphill battle to put band-aid after band-aid on all the damage being done. I do appreciate those measures that have been taken by Progressive Democrats –- especially their efforts in defending and protecting workers’ rights and consumers’ rights, as well as their efforts to protect our environment, and to put an end to wars. However, Progressives will continue to swim upstream until we regain the power to allocate our nation's money supply to the areas where it is most needed.

By the time any of us here at this blog was born, that power to properly allocate our nation's money supply had already been stolen away from our government for decades (since 1913). Since then, the mainstream media has been forbidden from informing the general populous about this fact). Our country’s money supply IS NOT under the control of our government as most of us have been left to assume all our lives. Since 1913, it has been under the control of private investors from all over the world. It needs to be put back in the control of our government through the Treasury Department – as a fourth branch of government.

The following two-part documentary will sum up how control over our money supply was stolen away from our government, and why it is therefore completely impossible for us to control the way it is spent. Fortunately, at the end of Part 2, the practical solution of how to seemlessly transition back to Abraham Lincoln's very successful greenback system is put forth:

The Money Masters - Part 1 of 2
The Money Masters - Part 2 of 2

deb said...

Hi Judy and Dan. It's good to be back. The pc had a device driver problem that seemed to have a conflict with active x and my antivirus...anyway it caused a loop that would completely fill the memory in a very short time and then the bluescreen would appear. When I turned the machine off and back on windows wouldn't load. I really don't understand it all, but hopefully it is good to go now.

deb said...

That was wierd...hope it isn't my machine. When I typed my post I could only see posts up to the one from Dan. When I logged in and published then Christins post showed up. Also the date is showing that it is the 14th.

dan said...

Christin, thanks for the links...I'll really try to get to them soon.

Deb I hope the *weird thing* was just a "blogger" glitch.

I had similar pc troubles a little over a year ago. I down-loaded "service pack 2" and lost my machine for a few weeks. HP couldn't figure out how to fix the problem so they replaced the hard drive (I lost all my files).

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I have not switched anything yet and my dates are correct. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Cheryl said...

Democracy Now had some segments about vulture funds. I'd never heard of this before.

“Vulture fund” companies buy up the debt of poor countries at cheap prices, and then demand payments much higher than the original amount of the debt, often taking poor countries to court when they cannot afford to repay.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/15/1528209

Citing Democracy Now!/BBC Broadcast, Rep. John Conyers Confronts Bush and Demands Investigation of Vulture Funds

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/02/16/1548232

deb said...

First for me too Cheryl. I was so far behind on the blog that I am just getting to the links, thanks for the info.

I just don't get how most of us live our lives by not stepping over the line into what seems universally "wrong" while others don't seem to have any sort of conscience.

Here's what happens to those that point a finger at those that have no conscience and inform them of their errors:

Helen Thomas Moving Back After 46 Years Down Front

Richard Yarnell said...

I don't think Helen T has been demoted: she changed employers from UP to Hearst so she no longer represents one of the two senior agencies in the room. Even since the change, everyone defers to her - she is, by a lot, the oldest reporter in the room. She'll get her share of questions.

I doubt if any press secretary or President, for that matter, we dare snub her.

deb said...

Bush To Nominate Anti-Regulatory Industry Lobbyist To Head Consumer Protection Agency

"They're" still chipping away at it.

dan said...

Hey Deb, he fits the mold of all this President's appointees. He'll be appointed while Congress is in recess and then do the bidding of some very wealthy GOP donors.

dan said...

Here's a Jim Hightower report on how GWB staffs agencies.

deb said...

Profit For Some Or Care For All

My pc was down during an earlier conversation on healthcare. We (the US) has Medicare which I believe is the best direction to go. Once we had a nationalized program then we could tweak it.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Deb,
When I clicked on your link -- "Profit For Some Or Care For All", it just brought me back to this page.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Check out this excellent news story about a new local currency used in the Berkshires. It's perfectly legal and it has been incredibly successful at encouraging people to patronize the small businesses in their own local communities instead of relying so heavily on the major chain stores:

In an effort to resist globalization, a Mass. community mints its own money.

For anyone who can't watch videos on your computers, here are the links to three different local currency organizations, including the one referred to above. I'm not sure if there are any others in the U.S., as these are the only ones I've found so far. All three are in the Northeast -- one in Ithaca, NY; one in Southern Berkshire, MA; and one in Burlington, VT.

Ithaca Hours

Berk Shares, Inc.

Burlington Currency Project -- "Burlington Bread"

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Check out this excellent news story about a new local currency used in the Berkshires. It's perfectly legal and it has been incredibly successful at encouraging people to patronize the small businesses in their own local communities instead of relying so heavily on the major chain stores:

In an effort to resist globalization, a Mass. community mints its own money.

For anyone who can't watch videos on your computers, here are the links to three different local currency organizations, including the one referred to above. I'm not sure if there are any others in the U.S., as these are the only ones I've found so far. All three are in the Northeast -- one in Ithaca, NY; one in Southern Berkshire, MA; and one in Burlington, VT.

Ithaca Hours

Berk Shares, Inc.

Burlington Currency Project -- "Burlington Bread"

dan said...

Interesting story Christin. Who Knows, if the exchange rate on the dollar keeps slipping, China may require debt payment in Berk Shares rather than greenbacks.

Cheryl said...

I've seen stories like this every now and then. It's one way of promoting local businesses. Small cities that have tried it seem very enthusiastic.

deb said...

Here's the earlier link:

http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2007/02/27/profit_for_some_or_care_for_all.php

sorry

Christin, the local money is a great idea. Much has changed with durable goods in 10 years. Before that time only the big box stores had consistant access to goods from all over the world, mostly China, now even the Mom and Pop stores can be competitive with the box stores (it's ALL made in China). There is a small hardware store here in town that will order anything that I need and usually get it the next day, sometimes the price is less than what I'd pay at a chain store, and usually I find what I need in the store.

Cheryl said...

Our health care system at work;

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/27/AR2007022702116_pf.html

Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache Sunday. A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.

If his mother had been insured.

If his family had not lost its Medicaid.

If Medicaid dentists weren't so hard to find.

If his mother hadn't been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.

By the time Deamonte's own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain, doctors said. After two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the Prince George's County boy died.

deb said...

Cheryl, such a heartbreaking story. John Edwards is campaigning on a universal healthcare system. I will post a link to the story at his website, perhaps the child's death will help to prevent others like it.

Edwards is very serious about healthcare. For those of you with ideas and suggestions:

Contact John Edwards

christin m p in massachusetts said...

A year ago when we first started blogging at SSB, I remember having thought that John Edwards would be my first choice for U.S. president. But I had only soundbite information about any of the politicians' platforms or backgrounds back then.

More recently, I had been leaning slightly toward Barack Obama, whom I still believe is a decent, honest, and intelligent man. I was especially moved by one of his essays on Abraham Lincoln -- What I See in Lincoln's Eyes. But I think a lot of the reason Barack Obama appealed more to me than most of the other candidates is the same reason he appeals to a lot of other people -- that is, because he is not already heavily connected in Washington.

I also had been somewhat interested in Wes Clark, but -- like John Edwards -- he seems to still want to promote social welfare subsidies. I believe that all tax subsidies distort the economy whether they're doled out to the rich OR to the poor, thus creating runaway inflation that -- at the end of the money trail -- helps no one but the very wealthiest.

I've also strongly considered one candidate who is not a member of the Democratic Party, as political parties mean very little to me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4kxTkhwR_Q

But after watching the following February 22nd, 2007 video and listening to Dennis Kucinich tell the audience about his voting record and about his very common sense plans for what he'll do as U.S. president, I'm going to donate to his campaign. For me to send fifty dollars all at once would be tough, so I'm either going to set aside five dollars a month and then send the fifty dollars in January, or else I'll send ten dollar increments every two months.

Would the ten dollar increments do any good toward a presidential campaign, or would it be better to wait and send the $50 all at once?

Congressman Dennis Kucinich at AFSCME Carson City 2008

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Oops -- I got the first link wrong. Here's the correct link to Barack Obama's essay on Abraham Lincoln:
What I See in Lincoln's Eyes

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Hmmm... I just went to Wes Clark's blog and found a post there that has restored my interest in him. It was posted exactly one year ago today, on March 3rd, 2006. Although it wasn't written by General Clark himself, I'm assuming he approved it since it is still at the blog. Here is that post at WesPAC:
Alphabet Soup of Global Banking

deb said...

Thanks for the links Christin. Edwards has the look (which would satisfy our shallower fellow citizens) and would give us a socialized medical system. A national medical system is a necessity and would lift up people in poverty, prevent poverty for uninsured who are strickened with illness, (we've printed quite a bit on the topic and the list is long). Anyway, Edwards would make a very good President in many ways.

Kucinich is awesome. BTW, if you write to him he WILL read it. The country will not vote for him because he is a bleeding heart liberal (traits that I admire as I am one myself). Also, the country is too shallow to vote for a man who doesn't give the illusion of being able to be a warrior.

Obama and Clinton are very middle of the road and will appease corporations that shouldn't be catered to. I am not sure that either see that corporations must be regulated. Clinton is unelectable, and I for one don't want to see that race...it would be horrible and Monica's dress will be paraded on TV night and day, etc., etc. Obama is electable, and I believe would do a good job, but the issues that I believe in would stay in a sort of limbo and healthcare would be written so that the insurance companies remain in existance with some sort of Medicaid rider for the uninsured...unacceptable to me.

Ron Paul is a corporate libertarian. He gets his money from people in the oil business. I believe there is a fatal flaw in libertarianism, the theory of "survival of the fittest" doesn't work in capitalism because the cream that rises to the top will create regulations that help those particular individuals to survive better at the expense of everyone else. Yep, he gives a good speech about how the market is flawed, but follow his money, he will not stand up and regulate that market.

The other problem with libertarianism is that all people are not biologically, physically or mentally equal and I believe, that in a civil society, children, the aged, the infirm, etc. need not to starve on the streets. We are all one car wreck (et al) away from being dependent. In a very wealthy family the family would be able to care for that disabled member, but most families can't.

Which brings us to Wes Clark. He "gets" it. I, for one, would like to see him become President. he is centrist enough on the moral issues (the ones that are really nobody elses business, but are all the rage in our media) to appeal to the masses. He is a warrior, but would exhaust all diplomatic channels before expending one life in a battle. He is one of the smartest people on earth. Money isn't his god. He's seen how the populist countries have made it work so much better than we are making it work. Anyway, he is still my first choice and I hope that he throws his hat into the ring.

I will seriously campaign for whoever is the dem nominee, I just pray that it isn't Hillary.

Richard Yarnell said...

Experience is my primer concern:

Member of Congress for 10 years;
Ambassador to the UN
Secy of Energy
2 term Governor of a swing state (NM)

http://www.prospect.org/web/view-web.ww?id=12502

deb said...

Thanks Richard, I hadn't even heard he was in the race. I respect your opinion and will do my homework.

Christian, You said "I believe that all tax subsidies distort the economy whether they're doled out to the rich OR to the poor, thus creating runaway inflation that -- at the end of the money trail -- helps no one but the very wealthiest." If SS and Medicaid are removed from the "social welfare" formula the rest of the subsidies to the poor pale in comparison to our subsidies for energy (oil, coal, natural gas), big pharma, war profiteering companies, and even the "pork" anually doled out in the budget. Also, if corporations like Wal-Mart were regulated so that their employees don't need housing assistance or their employees children don't need Medicaid, then millions of workers would be lifted out of poverty and social welfare would become a very small portion of the budget.

dan said...

Deb, you always do your homework so your repeated championing of Wes Clark for president has my attention. I've been waiting to hear a little more from him.

You've also stated more than once that Hillary Clinton isn't electable. I know the *right* will brutalize her but they'll do the same to any Democratic candidate. Last election it was being said that Howard Dean wasn't electable so people went for the safe choice, John Kerry.

I guess I'm puzzled why you think Obama is electable and Hillary's not.

Richard, I also respect your opinion and I'll pay close attention to the campaign of Bill Richardson.

deb said...

Being from the deep south I know that the repub base will get out to the polls like never before to vote against Hillary, whereas those who are unsure of the repub party because of the Iraq debacle will just stay home and not vote (like many did in the 06 midterms). I believe that Hillary is the least likely to win against any repub. Did we not get tired of Monicagate the first time around? It will be replayed ad nauseum if Hillary is in the race.

Speaking of fair and balanced media...please write to media outlets that you read, watch and listen to and tell them that we want more information on Richardson, Edwards, and anyone else who is running for President.

I watched how the media has played out the last few elections and what I suspect is that the reason Hillary and Obama are getting so much media time is that the last six months of the election the TV is going to be all about the repub candidate all of the time. The media outlet can say "Oh, but we already gave plenty of air time to the dems". Politics is a sneaky game and as we all know a large portion of the media is in collusion...it takes regular people catching them and requesting they cease and desist.

dan said...

Deb, I'm not from the south so I'll just take your word that Hillary is well hated there (although I don't begin to understand why) but her husband is the country's most popular ex-pres. (AARP poll) and we could do a lot worse than putting that pair back in the White House.

deb said...

Our media was horrible to Hillary, most of it lies (stealing from the Whitehouse as they left), but those lies have never been corrected. I'd like to see the Clinton survey on a state by state basis.

In most media markets in the deep south every source is toward the fundamentalist right. The only way to discover reality is the net, and even then the surfer has to be questioning msm.

Speaking of which, a friend here has been tellling me of the connection between Obama and terrorists. He has read 2 different articles in USA Today and considers USA Today and CNN as media outlets that are above being affected by bias...sheesh.

Cheryl said...

I never understood the reaction to Hillary, but there is a deep running hatred of her. There doesn't seem to be any rational reason for it, she's just different.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I want to fill out this survey from MetroFuture. I could use some input from everyone here about the pros and cons of each of the three alternatives to the "Let It Be" scenario (what we'll face in this region if we continue our current growth practices). Here is the survey:
http://www.metrofuture.com/pcs.asp?frameheight=2100&link=https://www.communicationsmgr.com/PCS/PublicGUI/defaultcustom.aspx?pguid=fafd6e2f-0c36-46cc-b067-bf710e2f5591

Richard Yarnell said...

Rather than addressing Boston, about which I know next to nothing except that it's a very hard city to drive in, let me give a brief overview of the way the three county consortium called "Tri-met" or Metro has tried to work. Keep in mind that, until recently, we had a very strong statewide growth plan that was set up to protect farm and forest land from development by establishing "urban growth boundaries."

Metro, through a complex hearing process, reviews expansion needs in all three counties (Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington) and tries to adjust the boundary to accommodate growth during the succeeding 20 years. I think it's done on a five year cycle. People inside and outside the boundary can comment. My little hamlet stopped an expansion in our direction, but we had to do it in court and on the basis that Metro had not complied with the law.

The results in Portland have been generally good: existing, historical buildings have been rehabbed; growth has been up, not out; residential space has been given a place in otherwise commercial areas and vice versa so that more people can work near where they live. Metro operates Tri-met public transport. It continues to develop a light rail system that ties Gresham on the East, Hillsboro and Beaverton on the West to central Portland. They've just broken ground for a link to Clackamas and Oregon City and continue to try to include Vancouver WA and some of its suburbs to the system. (I'd much rather see them use a RUF (google "RUF Denmark") that would allow people living up to 10 miles from public transport, to use the system. As it is now, usually a single public transport route will draw people no more than 3-4 blocks from the tracks or bus route.

If something is not done to concentrate residential property, supporting service businesses and retail together with jobs so that people don't have to travel much to sleep, shop, and work, we'll all die in our cars, parked on a "freeway."

Of course the ultimate solution is to persuade everyone that we can't continue to grow; breed. And how many Billion Dollar tunnels (parking lots) can you afford to build?

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Hi Richard,

I'm glad my preoccupation with eradicating fractional reserve lending didn't scare you away for good. Although I still think it has to be done, I'm calmer about it now that I know we have some powerful legislators already working methodically at reforming the finance industry.

I like the description of the way your region has developed. That will definitely help shape my contribution to the survey.

When I attended one of MetroFuture's conferences back in September of last year, they had the guests/participants at each table (round tables, naturally) work together on what we thought would be a good growth scenario. Then they instructed each group -- each table -- to come up with a name that would sum up the growth scenario we had worked out. Our table came up with the name "DensCity" to describe our scenario.

Another group came up with something similar -- "A Propensity For Density Intensity". When that table's speaker described his group's growth scenario, he quipped that with such heavy focus on moving the population into the larger cities, they felt it was incumbent on them to come up with a second, counterbalancing name for their scenario called "Tentcity". Everyone laughed because we were all thinking that same thing...

I looked up "RUF Denmark", but after having read about it, I still can't get a clear mental image of the way it would operate. Can you describe it for me in detail?

I'm going to go back to the survey now to pore over the three alternatives, and perhaps add in suggestions based on the way you described your region.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

P.S. What you said about Billion Dollar tunnels is especially applicable here. We got screwed over by the San Francisco-based company Bechtel Corp. (Bechtel was also one of the no-bid contractors in Iraq AND the same company that botched a nuclear waste storage job next to your Columbia River). They went TWELVE BILLION dollars over budget on the Big Dig Tunnel project (their original estimate was two billion, bringing the total cost of the tunnel to more than FOURTEEN BILLION dollars) -- and it took them nine years to complete it! On top of that, after it was completed, major water leaks sprang all over it -- and worst of all, a woman was crushed to death last summer by a huge concrete ceiling tile that fell on her car while she was driving through the tunnel.

Bechtel also botched the job (building an orphanage) in Iraq. It looks like that is their modus operandi -- "double-dipping" by deliberately doing a haphazard job, and then charging taxpayers more to repair its own shoddy work!

The only reason Bechtel finally got dropped from the Iraq contract is because there was so much publicity at that time about their shoddy work here on the Big Dig.

Notice that all the other contractors in Iraq that have botched their "rebuilding" jobs (Parsons Corp., for one example) have NOT lost their contracts in Iraq. Instead, they are allowed to stay in Iraq and "double dip" by charging taxpayers to repair their own shoddy work.

Richard Yarnell said...

RUF starts with the fact that light rail, subways, even bus routes, serve very narrow corridors. People just aren't willing to walk very far to get on public transport. Add inclement weather, and you have either very few people using public transport or a very dense lattice of routes.

If those routes are buses, then the congestion and pollution rise. If it's subways or light rail, you have rights of way and a commensurate rise in the cost of infrastructure.

The solution, a la RUF, is to make it possible for riders to get themselves to the public system over much further distances. If RUF were installed to Oregon City, for example, about 10-12 miles away, I'd be able to use public transport.

The RUF track consists of a very substantial guidance rail that keeps the vehicle on the track, delivers electrical power to the all electric vehicles, and delivers the computer driven signal that coordinates all the traffic on the system. This track is light enough to be capable of being installed, relatively cheaply, above existing roads: no additional right of way need be purchased. It can also run on the ground - in Freeway medians, for example.

The plan is to have on/off ramps every 3-6 miles. The rider drives his own (see below) vehicle, that has been charged overnight, to the public system on existing streets. As the vehicle enters the gate onto the system, it is checked by computer to see that it is functioning properly. Once on the track, the vehicle is under control of redundant computer systems that synchronize its movement with other traffic and shunt it off at the proper destination ramp. The "driver" can use transit time to work, read, watch TV, etc. Average speed will be very high - about 60mph. Vehicles will run in packs of 10-12 each. They will be recharged while on the public track so that they will have nearly the same range (20-30 miles with current battery technology) at both ends of each trip.

The inventor expects vehicles to be owned by a) individuals, b) the operating system itself, and c) by rental companies. In addition to 2 person individual vehicles, he envisions the operating company to provide 16 passenger jitneys that are driven on ad hoc routes, put together as non-drivers call for service. These would charge a fee per ride much like buses do now except that riders would be picked up at their homes or, well, wherever they find themselves.

I expect that in the early months or years of operation, the majority of vehicles would be publicly owned and either rented to drivers or leased. As the system became familiar, and as it expands, I think more people would invest in these local travel vehicles. Hertz and Enterprise would have fleets of them - they're perfect for local travel from rental hubs at the airport and rail terminals.

I've corresponded with the inventor to inquire whether the vehicles could be made sturdy enough to sustain high speeds over long distances. His design parameters envision unlimited distances at speeds up to 95 mph. This makes it feasible to have a RUF track (pair) starting in Eugene on I-5 and terminating in Vancouver, BC. Small communities on that route would have a single on/off ramp; cities would doubtless have more elaborate circuits of track on the ground. The RUF site has one designed for Seattle (by UW) that begins in Edmonds, runs through Tacoma and then back up the penninsula to Bremerton. That one loop covers almost all of the city. The system designed for LA is a more traditional lattice using existing freeways as the primary routes.

As we know now, the average daily commute is around 30 miles. While these vehicles would be capable of doing that by themselves, even longer if re-charged at the destination, the high speed while on the rail would concentrate most trips there, leaving the streets relatively clear of traffic. In Portland, in order to cover the area between Gresham to Hillsboro/Beaverton and from Vancouver, WA to Oregon City and Tigard, would require about 60 miles of paired track all running on or over existing rights of way. Expansion to inter-city service could be done incrementally: first to Salem and Olympia and then to more distant destinations. A trip that now requires my driving 3.5 hours to Bremerton would take about 100 minutes, during which I could read, work the computer, etc. at the end of which I'd have about a 10 minute drive on surface streets to my Dad's house.

There's another important aspect other than the route: the schedule is infinitely flexible and entirely under control of the customer.

I've been trying to interest people here in helping to finish the engineering on street worthy vehicles. I think a small investment now would give the tri-county and the State, a great deal of leverage later and might even earn some royalties for it. Even if it replaced our existing light rail, the sacrifice of existing infrastructure wouldn't be great because that right of way is in the right place and could easily be converted to RUF track on the ground, the cheaper way of installing it.

The bottom line: to make public transport universally available, even in fairly dense population centers, RUF is an ideal solution because people get themselves to the public routes over much longer distances - miles instead of blocks.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Thanks Richard, I have a clear picture of it now. That system sounds excellent. Do you think things have changed sufficiently that something like that could be implemented in the near future? Why I ask this, is because I've read (possibly at this blog -- I'm not sure) that many years ago, electric streetcars and rails were dismantled by General Motors and Standard Oil (for obvious reasons).

What has changed today that will enable us to successfully bypass any attempts by oil company beneficiaries at hindering installation of an RUF transportation system?

Judy B. said...

Some random thoughts on monetary systems....

Keep in mind the Iranian Bourse..

Stock market has been slip-sliding lately... and my investments keep on providing me with all I need...

A few years ago I instituted a monetary system where I issues Elk Bucks that could be spent at Elk Meadows (where I live)... People could work and get paid in the Elk Bucks and they in turn could be spent on any of a number of workshops that I hosted, or for room, food, transporetation or any number of things that I could provide in return for their labor...

at the end of the week or month they could redeam their left over Elk Bucks for U.S. currency... It worked quite well for some people and not so well for others... In the same way that people could manage their own finances, they also manage their bartering...

Even when they got free classes in money management, prosperity consciousness, healthy living, people seemed to stay "stuck" where they were....

From that expewrience, I deducted the following...

No matter how much you think you are "helping" someone, it can come back to bite you...

There is a very fine line between support and interference...

It is all in the timing... ie when some one is "ready" to change, they will find a way; until they make their own decision, just love 'em and get out of the way...

Those attributes have also come in handy here on this blog....

Richard Yarnell said...

That's true. The streetcar system in LA and other places, was dismantled to make way for the automobile.

The one thing that's changed is public awareness.

I just helped elect a new commissioner to the Clackamas Board. She's a transportation specialist and very bright. It's taking a long time to undo all the prejudice that's built into her brain. But I'm making progress.

There is some justifiable reluctance to be first with a new system. Even though it's cheaper than light rail and makes logical sense, the risk of installing something that's not been used before is huge.

But if we convince consumers and they begin to ask why not, the politicians will follow. So study the system and its alternatives and start lobbying.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

See, here's another example of how the central bankers withhold money from projects that will benefit the masses, yet are only too eager to fund projects that they can profit from eternally.

The obvious reason they want to withhold funding for geothermal research, is because once a geothermal system is installed, there is no further profit to be extracted from its use.

Yet they are eager to fund ethanol and biodiesel production, because they can control the supplies, and therefore the prices -- and their profits from those biofuels will keep flowing in for the rest of their lives at least.

Will our current Congress be able (and willing) to stop this administration's plundering?

White House seeks to cut geothermal research funds

christin m p in massachusetts said...

"So both Aristotle and Plato noted the paramount principle - that the nature of money is a fiat of the law, an invention or creation of mankind. This principle, part of a lost science of money, must now be relearned in the 3rd Millennium in order to achieve the monetary reforms needed to move back from the brink of nuclear disaster, to move away from a future dominated by fraud and ugliness, toward a world of justice and beauty.

Significantly, the term “nomisma” is seldom found in early Greek texts. It’s in Herodotus in the 400s BC, but not again until Aristotle, over a hundred years later. This concept of money was probably suppressed in an ongoing struggle between oligarchic forces – a kind of “old Boy Network” relying on personal relations, arrayed against public money, and the developing, more democratic, public sphere of the Greek Polis, which introduced and controlled the nomisma payment mechanism. (LSM, Ch. 1)

This “private vs. public” battle for the control of the money power is part of a great ongoing social battle recurring throughout history to this day. This factor shapes the most important outcomes determining how well a money system works. A good system functions fairly; helping the society create values for living. A bad one obstructs the creation of values; places special privileges in the hands of some to the disadvantage of others, and promotes unfair concentrations of wealth and power, and disharmony and social strife.
"

deb said...

Enlightening quote Christin. Who wrote it?

deb said...

Can a group of "citizens" sue (class action) the media for their part in the lead up to war?

Iraq and the Media: A Critical Timeline

Richard Yarnell said...

It's hard to imagine on what basis you'd sue. The media, while supposedly our watchdogs, don't have a clearly defined role with respect to a single issue. If Bush was lying to us, it was also lying to the media. We can ask them to be better informed than we are, I doubt that we could prove they were negligent.

On the other hand, find out when your local stations' licenses are up for renewal (don't wait until they tell you they are). Then file a letter with the FCC explaining why the station failed to fulfill its public trust. This requires some homework. You're after the news department. You need to be able to show that they aired only one side of the argument: if they only gave token mention of one side, that counts if you are explicit; if you and your friends tried to get contrary views aired, that helps; if the station failed to air news about certain issues at all, that counts.

You won't win; the FCC will renew the license, but if you let the station know in advance that you're filing the complaint, and if you let the papers and other media know, that counts. It's a funning thing about adverse publicity. And if you can show a paper trail of trying to get the "other side" on the air via letters to the News director or the management, that really helps.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Deb,

Last night I found the most perfect source for informing the masses (even very young children -- as long as they have good reading comprehension skills) about how our inflationary, debt-based, fractional reserve central banking system works. Even though economics is a very dry subject, the author of this piece is obviously a creative sort -- as he wrote it in the form of a parable that any of us could easily relate to.

Another reason that I especially liked this one, is because it applies directly to the present day and -- unlike most information about economics -- it is written in plain English (so I didn't need to constantly look up the meanings of unfamiliar terms). At the top of the page there are little national flag icons for reading the parable in other languages as well. He offers translations of the story in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, and Polish. I almost made the mistake of saying Dutch instead of German, but then I remembered that the word "Deutsch" (pronounced "DOY-CH" I think) means "German" in the German language. Plus the icon is of Germany's flag, not the flag of the Netherlands.

The enlightening parable was written by a man from Canada named Louis Evan. Since Canada and the U.S. -- as well as most of the rest of the world -- are caught in that same world central banking debt trap, the creative story he wrote to explain it applies here in the U.S. as well. Here is the link to it:
The Money Myth Exploded: The financial enigma resolved — A debt-money system

deb said...

Thanks Richard, I saved your post in my files and fully intend to work on acting on those suggestions. It may be difficult to "prove" that our media is intentionally one-sided, but (like you said) getting evidence of it out in public domain is going to help.

The recent firing of the attorneys with indications that the orders to do so came from the Whitehouse is a prime example of the media looking the other way. Instead of being headline news there are a few op-ed pieces about it. If B. Clinton had done anything like this it would be front page headline news for months if not years.

Christin, There are many of us who have been trying to protect and shore up SS by raising the cap. It's an easy and doable solution, but hasn't gathered the momentum necessary to make it happen. If we can't even take this simple step I would have serious doubts about using the social credit system.

Thanks for posting the story. You are right that it simplifies "money", but I need to reread it when I get a chance...I'm not sure why, but I seem to have a difficult time understanding "money". It is one of those things like "string theory" that even when I think I can grasp what it's all about a new variable gets thrown in the mix and it all doesn't make sense again. Thanks for sharing.

dan said...

Christin, I think "The Money Myth Exploded" presents an incomplete and in it's simplicity, somewhat distorted explanation of the role of central banking in creating national debt. In short, I don't think it has anything to do with it.

National debt is caused when elected officials spend more money than they are willing to tax us for (a deficit). They have to borrow the short fall at what ever rates will attract investors. When the deficits are huge as they've been for the last six years, Americans don't buy enough savings bonds to cover it, so the debt is sold to other countries. Interest on the national debt is paid to bond holders, domestic and foreign, and to the S.S Trust Fund who's money has also been spent.

Central Banking does have a role in setting interest rates. In fact their main job is controlling inflation by balancing economic growth with inflation risks. They need to be independent so they can do their job without undo influence by politicians. In countries where the money supply is controlled directly by government, runaway inflation often results (wiping out the savings of its citizens and making retirement payments almost worthless.)

There maybe a better system of controlling the money supply that central banking but allowing politicians to print money at will is not the answer. And I don't believe blaming central banking for our economic problems is at all accurate.

Richard Yarnell said...

Debt has its role in almost any political jurisdiction. Therefore, National Debt inevitably will accrue.

In broad terms, there's good debt and bad.

Good debt are those bonded purchases of infrastructure. It's good because there is tangible (real) property to back it up and it's useful life equals or exceeds the term of the loans that enabled it's construction.

IMO, Bad Debt is that debt entered into to pay for operating expenses. In other words, the benefit achieved by borrowing is long past while the debt persists. It's like putting a meal on your credit card (if you don't pay the credit card bill in full when it arrives.)

Other debt falls somewhere in between. The debt we accrued to pay for WWII, it can be argued, was good debt even though much of what that debt paid for was used up during the war itself. On the other hand, the world would have been a far different place had we not entered the war, had we not produced war materiel for the allies, etc. In other words, one can argue that, until recently, we were still benefiting from the investment made in that war. I'll leave you to your own devices to assess the value of the present conflict and it's (probably) trillion dollar cost.

The cost of debt is directly related to the health of an economy. It's also related to the purpose for which money is borrowed. Most money, including your own mortgage, is borrowed at rates set through some kind of auction. (I've never borrowed money at the rate first offered.) The range of the auction is determined by the overall state of the economy, however.

Sorry, gotta go drive.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

If the central banking system is doing such a good job (cough), why then are so many finance industry professionals -- including bankers -- in favor of phasing out the Federal Reserve?

Why should any government pay any interest at all to private financiers when that government has the Constitutional right to issue its own currency?

Our country has only been run by the central banks for 93 years. And don't forget -- there was no income tax requirement before the Federal Reserve Act (Christmas of 1913 -- only three senators voted on it at 4 AM, when all the other members of the Senate had left for the holiday). Historically, this country had always been economically more successful when we were not controlled by the central banks.

Bill Still's The Money Masters videos provide a more comprehensive (less "simplistic") overview of the subject:

The Money Masters - Part 1 of 2

The Money Masters - Part 2 of 2

christin m p in massachusetts said...

From the cartoon gallery at the Michael Journal:

Compound-Interest

The-Lemon-Squeezer

The-Tap

The-Old-Basin

The-Running-Horses

Dribs-and-Drabs

The-Big-Banker

Swamp

dan said...

Christin, sorry about using the word "simplistic". It's offensive and didn't contribute to the dialog.

In my view, the alternative to a private central banking system, a public one, is frightening. I can't imagine any elected officials have the disipline to make unpopular decisions when needed. The tempting solution to fiscal problems is to just keep printing money. With politicians in charge, inflation
would run rampant.

Federal spending is in the hands of elected officials and look at the results. Your share of the national debt is $28,423.00 at the end of fiscal 2006.

Even if the central banking system was created in a shady fashion and even if private interests make money on the system, it does have the confidence of the international community that I don't think a govt. run sys. would enjoy.

Cheryl said...

Christin, I liked your comics, especially dribs-anddrabs, swamp. I don't know enough about the issue to have an opinion yet. I do think that we could have a better informed public if basic banking and financing were required in high school. Louisiana had a class called "Free Economics" that gave us an intro into how our economy works.

Judy B. said...

Christin... Monetary policy is not an easy subject to try at learn in a short period of time...

There is much economic theory, with many agreeing and disagreeing on the various points...

I have always been rather intrigued with the practical aspects of making money work for me, of for my city government when I was an elected official...

Just understanding the bonding capabilities, and how to get the money needed for the least cost, plus figuring our a method to repay the bonds (taxes, user fees, etc) was almost like getting a degree in economics... and that was just one, relatively simple process...

I admire your persistence in getting informed... I hope you will find time to attend some local government budget process and ask pertinent questions... I am sure you could find some monies being wasted, and I am also sure that you could use the process to add to your economic education...

deb said...

A bit off topic, but thought y'all would appreciate this:

Millionaire Gives Mansions to Homeless

Cheryl said...

Always nice to hear good news, Deb.

Cheryl said...

Alternet had a good post today.

Conservatives Cost a Lot of Money
http://www.alternet.org/story/49578/

excerpt:
"Regulations and benefits like healthcare and diplomacy exist not out of soft-hearted liberal guilt, but because taking care of matters before they get out of hand is cheaper, while hiding your head in the sand, clinging to us-and-them beliefs, and arming yourselves to the teeth is ever more expensive."

dan said...

Cheryl, thanks for posting that excellent article. I think we could all add some ideas to the "what costs more" list.

I really liked this: "..In Bleak House, Charles Dickens pointed out to a ruling class that was reluctant to assume the expenses of public sanitation that smallpox could not be excluded from the houses of the rich simply because the rich disdained the poor. That was a hundred and fifty years ago, and we are still having to point the same thing out today..." (nor will they escape the effects of global warming).

deb said...

Thought provoking threads, thanks y'all.

IMO, the term "Machiavellian" is a much more accurate word than "conservative" for the neocons and the "ruling class" that Dickens is referring to.

Definition from infoplease.com:

Mach•i•a•vel•li•an

Pronunciation: (mak"ē-u-vel'ē-un), [key]
—adj.
1. of, like, or befitting Machiavelli.
2. being or acting in accordance with the principles of government analyzed in Machiavelli's The Prince, in which political expediency is placed above morality and the use of craft and deceit to maintain the authority and carry out the policies of a ruler is described.
3. characterized by subtle or unscrupulous cunning, deception, expediency, or dishonesty: He resorted to Machiavellian tactics in order to get ahead.

deb said...

Who's Gorging and Who's Getting Roasted in the Economic Barbecue?

"The short answers are: (1) Income distribution is even more unequal that we thought; (2) The newest data suggest the trend toward greater inequality continues, with no signs of a reversal; (3) We all do better when we all do better."

deb said...

The little Saudi surprise: So it stings. Live with it.

" American officials said Thursday that they were caught off guard by remarks by the Saudi king condemning the American intervention in Iraq as "an illegal foreign occupation" and were seeking clarification."

Richard Yarnell said...

Sounds straight forward to me.

dan said...

"..Who's getting roasted...?". Here's a little more data.

deb said...

"The top 1 percent received 21.8 percent of all reported income in 2005, up significantly from 19.8 percent the year before and more than double their share of income in 1980. The peak was in 1928, when the top 1 percent reported 23.9 percent of all income."
(from the article linked by Dan)

Question: Are other conditions similar to 1928?

dan said...

Deb, I think there is another current condition that is similar to 1929: then it was rampant stock market speculation fueled by easy credit / now it's a housing bubble fueled by high risk loans. That along with the widening gap between the rich and poor that you mentioned make us more at risk for a crash. We did survive the bursting of the highly speculative *internet bubble* and I think we'll get through the collapse of the housing bubble. I think the soaring (unproductive) national debt is a bigger problem.

Here's a good essay on the crash of 1929.

Cheryl said...

"wage management initiative" - This is sick. From the Circuit City press release:

"The company has completed a wage management initiative that will result in the separation of approximately 3,400 store Associates. The separations, which are occurring today, focused on Associates who were paid well above the market-based salary range for their role. New Associates will be hired for these positions and compensated at the current market range for the job."

http://newsroom.circuitcity.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=235835

deb said...

Unionized businesses are the best answer, i.e. Costco. The 3,400 should pool their resources and start up some competition. Since big business has better buying power, the workers need to start their own in order to stay employed. A stock market/CEO driven business is not going to favor employees.

Cheryl said...

I agree that the employees need the protection of a union. This is one of the more blatant examples of this. But this layoff affected handfuls of people all over the country. It's unlikely that they could create any real competition to Circuit City.

This does need to be publicized to show what happens without union representation. Maybe Costco will consider expanding in some of the cities. I'd love it if they came here.

deb said...

Christin, Are you still around? Hope all is OK with you.

deb said...

"Call 1-866-338-1015 to talk to your Member of Congress or their Healthcare Legislative Assistant. We are looking for an additional 36 members of Congress to sign on today. Also check out our website and sign our petition today. We plan to take hundreds of thousands of petitions to Congress this month."

Single Payer MEDICARE for ALL HR 676

Cheryl said...

Deb,
One of my favorite groups. I can try, but don't hold your breath on Bonner.

Did you know that the trade agreement with Korea could affect our drug costs? It might make it illegal for insurance companies, medicare, etc to negotiate with drug companies for preferred prices. Bush has signed it, we need to stop Congress from ratifying it.

Cheryl said...

Transparency and Accountability in Security Contracting Act of 2007

Representative David Price (D – NC) has proposed legislation. The proposed act would clarify and coordinate the roles of the U.S. government, military and contracted personnel by requiring contractors to report on training of personnel, compelling U.S. military officers to issue rules of engagement for contractors, and mandating that contracts include these rules. Importantly, it would establish an office to coordinate communication and maintain a database of contractor operations.

David Price was our rep for a while. He's one of the good guys.

Send your reps a letter,
http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/c.jhKPIXPCIoE/b.2590179/k.C43E/Take_Action_Online/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=jhKPIXPCIoE&b=2590179&aid=8371&tr=y&auid=2534244

deb said...

Thanks Cheryl, I appreciate the heads' up on both of those. My Senators, Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr aren't going to listen or vote any way other than w and co. recommend. My D Congressman will hopefully sign on in support of the Price legislation. I feel certain he will agree with HR 1590 and I am seriously hoping that he will go for HR 676.

deb said...

Wolfowitz laid out terms for partner’s pay package

Cheryl said...

Just when people started saying that he was doing a good job, and wasn't such a bad guy after all.

dan said...

MAUREEN DOWD
"Wolfie in love is no less deceptive and bumbling than Wolfie at war."

deb said...

E-Mail Listed Possible G.O.P. Replacements for Attorneys

Richard Yarnell said...

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned KIVA as a worthy project to empower nearly poverty stricken entrepreneurs to begin or improve businesses.
Here's a charity (I learned about it through "MotleyFool").

The basics: take a playground merry-go-round like the ones we used to play on. Attach it to a submerged pump in a water well. Kids playing on the merry-go-round pump water into a tank (surplus water is put back down the well). The tank is raised 20 feet so that gravity provides enough pressure to deliver the water to a hydrant from which people can draw water that has been kept clean. Kids can pump up to 1400 liters an hour from a well up to 300 feet deep. 2 sides of the tank are rented for ads; 2 sides are reserved for health and welfare public notices. Proceeds are used for maintenance costs.

It's a 501(C)(3) non-profit so donations are deductible.

http://www.playpumps.org

dan said...

Richard, what a great project! (it almost sounds like one of your inventions). I found this PBS Frontline video about "play pumps".

Cheryl said...

Dan,
I thought you might be interested in this.

In Michigan, the Livingston Economic Council (LEC) is going to pay Angry Ann Coulter over $30,000 to come and speak at Cleary University this fall.

More info at
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/4/16/94758/2984

dan said...

Cheryl, thanks for the heads up. I'm afraid Ann Coulter will have a lot of fans in Livingston County. Many intolerant Mi residents who fled the metro Detroit area to escape integration ended up there. The invitation is shameful and an embarrassment to the state and I'll be sure to let the news media know how I feel.

deb said...

I watched a bit of the witch Coutler when she first came out, just to see what she was all about. It seemed obvious to me that she was a salesperson selling an agenda to make money...she knows that she is full of it. People "in the know" who are selling their souls anyway are the worst of "them".

dan said...

After careful research, I've found that there doesn't seem to be absolute proof that Coulter's a witch. The fact that she talks, walks, sounds, and even looks like one is not conclusive.

In any event, she's not due to speak in Michigan until Oct. and I suspect that with enough public outcry, that appearance may never take place.

John G. said...

I will post this here. I need some advice.
My daughter started chemotherapy for stage three b hodgkins lymphoma on monday. It wiped her out. Excruciating pain in her legs, she cannot sleep and is in a serious state of depression.
My mom came over yesterday and made her get up and go outside for fresh air. She feels better yet I am concerned about the depression.
Is it normal? What can I say or do when I have no experience in what she is going through? Should she be left by herself? I am hiring a nanny, what should I expect from the nanny?

Thanx all.

Cheryl said...

Depression is very common with a chronic illness, especially one so serious. It needs to be treated along with her other medical care.

Pain and fatigue can really get to you. It might help her to talk to others with the same problem. If you don't have anyone near, there are lots of internet forums for people to support each other.

If she's ready to hear the lighter side of chemo, Christopher had a link to Dr Leda's blog. I'll see if I can find it.

Cheryl said...

I found it.

http://spinningtumor.blogspot.com/

Take a look at it first. She's both witty and blunt about living with cancer and chemo.

Richard Yarnell said...

If you can, let her doctor know of your concerns.

I'd make sure your new nanny is qualified to make emergency judgments related to both the chemo and depression or, if she really is a nanny, that she's capable of taking instruction and willing to take responsibility of caring for a very sick kid.

Best wishes to you and your daughter.

deb said...

JG, The daughter, who has cancer, has very young twin boys, toddlers perhaps, right? You have a daughter that is 5 or 6, and another who is 18 or 19 (perhaps at college?)? If I am right, then the nanny is mostly for taking care of the toddlers because the chemo will make it difficult for your daughter to do so.

What I am getting at is that a job description can be anything that you need it to be. If you need someone to babysit, prepare meals, clean, run errands, as well as help your daughter as needed, then perhaps "temporary Mom" might be what you start looking for. It might sound like a daunting job, but your daughter will be able to contribute on most days.

Contacting some of the local churches and discussing your situation with ministers might help you find the person that you need. Looking for someone who wants to help others and could use a temporary job as opposed to looking for someone who just "needs" a job could be a way to look at hiring someone. I would consider someone with a great attitude about life to be an asset in this case as she might be able to stave off some of the depression your daughter is going through. Bringing strength and laughter into your home could be more important than having the house pristine.

Good luck with hiring help, and let us know how it turns out.

Here are some links I found searching for cancer and depression. I didn't have time to read them thoroughly, but perhaps there will be some insight that is helpful:

http://www.bymyside.com/overview.jsp

http://www.cancersurvivors.org/

http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk/Resourcessupport/Relationshipscommunication/Emotionaleffects/Depression

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/depression/patient/allpages/print

Cheryl said...

Isn't Star Wars dead yet?

House Panel Considers Cuts for Missile Defense

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/10/washington/10missile.html?_r=1&oref=slogin#

If you don't want to register with nytimes,
"Now the Democratic majority in Congress is moving toward budget cuts aimed at slowing the administration’s plans to break ground this year on one of the bases, in Poland. Representative Ellen O. Tauscher, a California Democrat who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the committee would approve “only prudent investments” in what she labeled “high-risk, immature programs” to shoot down long-range missiles, like the system advocated for Europe."

deb said...

Cheryl, if all of the government contractors who make billions off of defense contracts would just wise up and start lobbying Congress for money to build the RUF or similar systems ( here's one, and links to others) they would make the money that they are seeking and improve the world as a result. What is it that WMD seems to be the only option for these large manufacturing corporations?

deb said...

Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)

It’s Time to Restore Workers’ Freedom to Form Unions

Fair Labor Laws Would Benefit All Working Americans

deb said...

US Health System Ranks Last Compared to Other Countries: Studies

Cheryl said...

Deb, I saw that too. Spend more, get less. HR 676, expand Medicare and cover everyone.

Cheryl said...

As one of the commenters to this article noted, how many teachers have Bush bumper stickers on their cars?

"When one of Deborah Mayer’s elementary school students asked her on the eve of the Iraq war whether she would ever take part in a peace march, the veteran teacher recalls answering, “I honk for peace.”

Soon afterward, Mayer lost her job and her home in Indiana. She was out of work for nearly three years. And when she complained to federal courts that her free-speech rights had been violated, the courts replied, essentially, that as a public school teacher she didn’t have any."

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/14/1181/

deb said...

That is utter insanity. Promoting peace in schools is against the curriculum? Our courts are upholding a schools stance to fir a teacher for stating that they support peace? ...Sheesh...

christin m p in massachusetts said...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5420753830426590918&q=Historic+Aaron+Russo

deb said...

Christin, That video and the "Freedom to Fascism" movie scared me. It's also too much input for me right now.

What do you see as a potential solution?

deb said...

This quote from A. Lincoln was included in the "Freedom to Fascism" movie:

The government should create, issue and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the government and the buying power of consumers..... The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but it is the Government's greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles, the long-felt want for a uniform medium will be satisfied. The taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest, discounts and exchanges. The financing of all public enterprises, the maintenance of stable government and ordered progress, and the conduct of the Treasury will become matters of practical administration. The people can and will be furnished with a currency as safe as their own government. Money will cease to be the master and become the servant of humanity. Democracy will rise superior to the money power.
Abraham Lincoln, Senate document 23, page 91, 1865

deb said...

Sweet Home Alabama:

Ala. Terror Web Site Angers Activists

"Single-issue extremists often focus on issues that are important to all of us. However, they have no problem crossing the line between legal protest and ... illegal acts, to include even murder, to succeed in their goals," it read.

Meanwhile, deb is beating her head against the pc screen. Maybe this is part of the reason that AL spawns people who stand up and speak out (like me).

Richard Yarnell said...

I'd written about 5 pages of commentary on the money supply, inflation, interest, and other influences on the relationship of goods to the money that represents those goods, when it occurred to me that Wikipedia probably could do a better job.

Look up "inflation" there and promise to pursue most, if not all, of the footnotes.

Money is a necessity unless you're willing to carry a satchel full of things, some of which wiggle and make a mess, some of which are heavy, and some of which spoil, to trade. It's the government's job to try to keep the value of they currency reasonable stable. It is contrary to that goal for the government to arbitrarily print more money without good reason and without giving value in return - witness places like Italy before and during the war (II).

I think I agree with the Austrian: most inflation comes from the tendency of the government to print more money than it should - the amount of new money should roughly match the number of new goods produced, year over year.

deb said...

Thanks Richard, I have read your post a couple of times and really haven't had the time to read the wiki article.

I understand that the correlation of money to the problems of the world is an intricately woven spider web. But, money in itself is just an easy means of trade. It's the kakistocracy, to put it in a nutshell, that is so frustrating to me. After working so hard to put politicians in office who,I erroneoysly believed, would at the minimum get us out of Iraq and start the ball rolling toward sustainable, cleaner energy, I am currently frustrated at the power of money and the greed of those making the important decisions.

Richard Yarnell said...

But it isn't the money, it's some of the people who have lots of it.

On the other side of the coin are Gates, Gore, Google, Edwards, and so many others who do have money and who do good things with it.

If you think about it, money is such a more convenient form of barter than trying to trade eggs for a tractor, or beets for nails.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Deb,

That's a new word in my vocabulary now -- kakistocracy.

I'm sorry I went away for so long -- I guess I was starting to feel like a traitor, since I've become so enthusiastic about Congressman Ron Paul. I still believe as before that Dennis Kucinich is equally deserving of the office of U.S. president, but his campaign -- although healthy enough -- doesn't seem to have gained quite the momentum that Dr. Paul's campaign is gaining so far.

I do still intend to contribute to Dennis Kucinich's campaign, though, as I'm hoping he'll get enough campaign contributions to be able to broadcast his message to those voters who still only rely on the Corporatocracy for their 'news'.

As for former Congressman Mike Gravel, I'd like to see him back in the Senate doing what he did for U.S. soldiers and draftees in the '70's.

You asked what I see as a potential solution... Then I saw that on the next day you quoted Abraham Lincoln's solution to our corrupt, inflationary debt-money system. I'm so happy to know that Lincoln's monetary reform policy resonated with you, because I believe his solution (or one very much like it) is what's needed to get our rightful control over the policies of our elected officials away from the plutocrats who stole it from us.

If/when the U.S. economy tanks, probably the best short-term solution (band-aid) will be interest-free, tax-free alternative local currencies. But for the long-term, the American Monetary Act appears to be the ideal updated version of President Lincoln's monetary reform policy.

I hope it's okay for me to visit this blog sometimes -- even if I don't subscribe to any one particular political party. I do have to admit, though, I like the idea behind that new bipartisan (nonpartisan?) Unity'08 Party.

Cheryl said...

Christin, you are always welcome. I enjoy discussing topics with you.

I like the idea of the Unity party, but I'm afraid that it's turning out to be a party of corporationists from both sides. We need alternative parties to choose from. The Green Party looks promising, but who knows if they can stick with their convictions if they ever get any real power.

dan said...

Christin, if the litmus test for being welcome at Bread Crusts was agreement on every issue, it'd be a pretty boring blog. I'm sure we all have our own vision of what America should be and how best to get there.

Ron Paul gives some great speeches. The first time I heard him was on C-Span when they carried this speech
live.

Anyway , I hope you're doing well and that you'll check in often.

dan said...

Sorry, bad link.
Here's the speech.

deb said...

Hi Christin, good to hear from you. Please post anytime. This blog belongs to all of us, actually Marilynn I guess, but since she doesn't post then I guess we are the "owners".

Perhaps I should state that I don't see any effective solutions from Ron Paul. But, like Dan said, total agreement can be boring;-)

christin m p in massachusetts said...

http://21stcenturycicero.wordpress.com/war/roosevelt-knew-about-pearl-harbor-before-it-happened/

Cheryl said...

I've heard the theory before. I don't know if we'll ever be able to prove or disprove it. All the same, we should be entitled to know what our leaders have been up to, even the fairly good ones.

Christin, how has the mandadory health insurance been working out in Mass.

Richard Yarnell said...

In a response to an appeal from MoveOn to help the Senate during the promised Republican filibuster tonight, I have sent this letter to Wyden and Gordon Smith, both of Oregon. If you have the time and inclination, MoveOn has provided the tools to get faxes to the Senate at your direction.

To: Ron Wyden (D), Gordon Smith (R) (separately)
Subject Support Levin-Reed

What should be a reasoned debate on the Levin/Reed amendment later tonight, will apparently not happen given the announced Republican filibuster. What happened to the notion of the Senate as the "greatest debating body in the world?"

Consistent with the judgment of the American people, Senators Levin and Reed have co-sponsored an amendment intended to draw down our military presence in Iraq.

We've wasted lives, money, and our goodwill on an invasion, probably illegal under international law that has destabilized, not only Iraq, but the region. We've diverted attention away from al Queda and have allowed it to, with the Taliban, reconstitute itself as a stronger and more dangerous international threat.

We cannot allow a stubborn pair of men, mistaken and ill prepared at the outset, willfully to prolong this tragic error.

The time has come to refocus our mission in Iraq and free the resources we desperately need to confront al Queda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Senate must be allowed to debate this amendment. I hope that the debate will lead to an instruction to the President, who otherwise is intent on repeating mistakes at the expense of American lives, to redeploy the troops and to switch the American effort in Iraq to support of international diplomacy.

I am counting on your support for free and open debate and hope you will be persuaded to support the Levin-Reed amendment.

dan said...

That's a very fine letter Richard. Good work!

deb said...

Did ya'll notice the scant airtime the repub filibuster received? Remember the non-stop criticism on TV/radio/newspapers of the proposed Alito filibuster by dems?

After only 2 days the word is mum on the issue. The only news I found today comes from the World Socialist Website: Democrats halt Senate debate on Iraq war

"After 24 hours of desultory debate on Iraq war policy, the Democratic leadership caved in to the White House, effectively conceding that there will be no change in US policy in Iraq for as long as Bush has congressional Republican support to continue the present course."

Cheryl said...

The tiny amount of coverage on the fillibuster was pathetic. If it got mentioned, they would carry on about how it couldn't possibly do any good. And why are the Democrats wasting everyone's time with this?

No mention of the Republican hypocracy with their "nuclear option". No mention of the Republican obstructionism that led to the fillibuster. Just poor ole republican senators have to have an uncomfortable night for a democratic stunt.

Cheryl said...

Working for Change caught Condi telling the truth in an interview.

Would you consider a position in business or on Wall Street [after the end of the President's term?

I don't know what I'll do long-term. I'm a terrible long-term planner.

http://www.workingassetsblog.com/2007/07/dial_o_for_obvious_1.html

The full article continues;

"I was supposed to be a music major and concert pianist, and here I sit. I love serving on corporate boards, and I find American business and our corporations to be the engines of innovation for this country and, therefore, an engine of innovation for the world. One thing I've tried to do is to institutionalize the public-private partnership."

But then she goes back to the outrageous hypocracy.

"I'm a firm believer that unless America stands for the fact that every man, woman, and child deserves to live in a system that permits them a say in who governs them, that permits them to educate their boys and girls, to be free from the knock of the secret police at night—unless we stand for those very basic human rights, no one will."


http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_30/b4043101.htm

deb said...

Yep, the best snake oil sales people that corporate advertising could create are running the country, and the thing is, I don't think Condi even sees the truth. She's surrounded by people telling her what to say and do and reinforcing the faux reality.

Cheryl said...

Condi strikes me as someone who became an expert brown noser in order to get ahead. She knows what will please her superiors. If she doesn't know the truth, it's because she has been working hard at ignoring it.

Cheryl said...

Democracy Now has a disturbing piece about the outsourcing of our intelligence.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/26/1410253

"70% of the US Intelligence budget is allocated to private contractors"

"it was possible to reverse-engineer the national intelligence budget, which appears that we’re really spending about $60 billion on intelligence each year, and out of that, $42 billion is going to private corporations."

deb said...

Thanks Cheryl. I had no idea. Scary leanings toward "1984", in my opinion...only it is going to be a corporatocracy instead of any sort of accountable government in control.