Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Talkin' bout a Revolution

Tracy Chapman

Sweet music with a sweet message, just seems to fit in with what is going on.

Just some facts .....

Read the Rolling Stones Palin Fact check

THE MYTH: "She's fought oil companies." — John McCain, introducing Palin

THE FACTS: Collected $13,000 in campaign contributions from oil and gas lobbyists, including Exxon, BP, Shell and Chevron. BP was a sponsor of her inaugural ball.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Big bad speech?

Here are excerpts of the big bad Pelosi speech, said to have made today's bailout vote fail.....

"When was the last time someone asked you for $700 billion? It is a number that is staggering, but tells us only the costs of the Bush administration's failed economic policies — policies built on budgetary recklessness, on an anything-goes mentality, with no regulation, no supervision, and no discipline in the system."

"Democrats believe in the free market, which can and does create jobs, wealth, and capital, but left to its own devices it has created chaos."

"Democrats insisted that legislation responding to this crisis must protect the American people and Main Street from the meltdown on Wall Street. The American people did not decide to dangerously weaken our regulatory and oversight policies. They did not make unwise and risky financial deals. They did not jeopardise the economic security of the nation. And they must not pay the cost of this emergency recovery and stabilisation bill."

"Today we will act to avert this crisis, but informed by our experience of the past eight years with the failed economic leadership … We choose a different path. In the new year, with a new Congress and a new president, we will break free with a failed past and take America in a new direction to a better future."

Sorry, but these are the words that stopped this whole bailout bill from passing?
I think this speech is nothing more than stating the obvious. Bush reckless failed policies..... have these people been paying attention at all the last 8 years?

Caption this!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Alien Crop Circle?

An Ohio farmer wants you to get lost in Sarah Palin's head, as he created a corn maze in her image.
Perhaps visitors can find the answers to the questions Palin is unable to answer reporters?

Gondoliers in Venice for Obama

And now for something completely different.....

Saturday, September 27, 2008

bailing, bailing

WaPo published this article, addressing the Situation of the bailout:

"The director of the Congressional Budget Office said yesterday that the proposed Wall Street bailout could actually worsen the current financial crisis. In a recent interview, Peter Orszag explained using the following example: Suppose a company has Asset X, whose value is recorded on the books as $100. Because of the current economic decline, Asset X's real value has dropped to $50. If the company takes part in the government bailout and sells Asset X for $50, the company has to report a $50 loss on its books. On a scale of millions of dollars, such write-downs could ruin a company.

Such companies "look solvent today only because it's kind of hidden," Orszag said. "They actually are insolvent" already, he said. Orszag said, "The key question is: What are we buying and what are we paying for it?"

Then, there is the paperwork cost of the bailout.

The budget office "expects that the administrative costs of operating the program could amount to a few billion dollars per year, as long as the government held all or most of the purchased assets," he testified, without defining what he meant by "a few."
So, the bailout will require a few billion in administrative costs- hmmm I do not remember President Bush mentioning this in his recent address, and I've not read it anywhere else.
Oh well we can just tack on the $2 billion to the $700 billion, and add it to the $480 deficit, and the $9.8 trillion dollar Ntl. debt. We did not want our retirement accounts anyway.... Pass the Prozac please.

Friday, September 26, 2008

For What it's Worth

For What It's Worth ~ According to John McCain we are winning the war in Iraq.

The Debate.
It's not like I watch to help me decide.
I decided long ago the republican regime is an awful bunch who have some evil empirical mindset that allows them to break laws, violate the constitution, ignore the Geneva conventions, and have special prisons in far & remote corners of the world in order to break laws, trash the planet, exploit the resources, and violate human rights.
It's been torture.

It's no joke, and they top off the quagmire of war with a total financial breakdown.

Yes, this has been hell, and there really is nothing to debate. In fact it is laughable that this country is struggling to decide on how to vote. I honestly can't name ONE good thing this administration has done, but I can name a long list of things done wrong or illegally. At some point an activist friend talked with me about *fuck-up fatigue*- that so many atrocities were happening at such a fast pace, you could barely process one, before the next thing came along.

While the president stands before us saying we must work together, he says nothing of how his administration let this happen.
Who's driving this bus anyway. If the economy is to fail it should happen while he is still in office, and before the election,
this did not just happen, it happened because those who are supposed to be in charge are too busy with indictments, and war funding, and more of the same with lies.

Bush's speech about the economy is a rerun of the "mushroom cloud" speech he gave to get us into the Iraq illegal occupation.
Why should I believe anything this guy says?
Notice it is always urgent, and too complex to explain?

Bush should have long ago been Impeached. I am still in favor of bringing him up for impeachment just to keep him out of further trouble till 1-20-2009-- his last day in office.

Of course McCain lost the debate. He's telling us we are winning in Iraq, and it's wrong to talk to people and practice diplomacy. While he smirked and laughed during a damned serious list of problems, he lied saying how he cares for Veterans, while having voted no for the funding for benefits. He would have us build Nuclear power plants & we could just kill ourselves with toxic waste from that.

Argh! What's to argue here?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Awful News from Oregon

Trees like these on George Fox Campus are meant to represent life & a positive presence of nature.
Instead one of these trees was used to hang a hateful display.

I am sorry to report there was an awful incident at George Fox College. a small Quaker college outside Portland, Oregon.
A commercially produced, cardboard cutout of Sen. Barack Obama, was found hanged in effigy Tuesday morning, the Oregonian reports. The life-size reproduction was found hanging by fishing wire from a tree with a sign taped to the front that read, "Act Six reject," referring to a scholarship program that caters to low-income students from Portland.

If you are at all familiar with the Quaker community, you would know they are peaceful & nonviolent people- so whoever did this knew it would be exceptionally offensive.

Fortunately, a custodial crew at the 1,800-student university found the Obama likeness hanging by fishing wire from a tree at 7 a.m. Tuesday and tore it down before students arrived for classes. Thankfully, there are no pictures in the media for us to have to emblazoned in our minds.

But the tone of the display brought underlying political and racial conflicts to the surface in a historic election involving the first Black presidential candidate from a major party. University leaders are planning a series of forums for students to discuss the issue.

On Wednesday, school officials addressed the incident before a packed auditorium. President Robert Baker said. " What I've learned is we still have work to do."

The university and police continue to investigate who was responsible for the incident, the Secret Service & FBI have been notified, and are conducting investigations.

But the tone of the display brought underlying political and racial conflicts to the surface in a historic election involving the first Black presidential candidate from a major party. University leaders are planning a series of forums for students to discuss the issue.

"Immediately, it was disgust and outrage, but that has waned off to understanding," said a George Fox sophomore. "Now I see not much can be done about what happened, but we can get through it together. Now there's a lot more hope."

Here we are in a BLUE State, where a historic crowd of 75,000 gathered in Portland, to hear Obama speak.
Support in this State is strong for Obama, at least on the Western Side, the major population centers of Oregon.

I want to say this is one bad apple, who is demented enough to spend their time creating a display of hate.
Whoever did this has to live with themselves, & carry the karma.

In true Quaker form, best to not hold contempt for this person, but to carry on. Stay on the path of peace.
Best we see the light, shine it bright, so brightly all can see, we are better off with unity & diversity.

* A variety of news sources were used for this info The Oregonian, ABC news

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

President Obama's Speech

OOOh! Not only does Obama reiterate the economic plan he's been saying all along. Furthermore Obama opened it up for questions from the press. He is not unclear or evasive.
Downright Presidential

Who needs Debates, just run political ads......

Sarah Louise has an Interview


Transcript of the Interview:
My comments in this color

Sarah Palin: My understanding is Rick Davis recused him-self from the dealings of the firm. I don't know how long ago, a year or two ago that he's not benefiting from that. And you know, - I would hope that's the case.

Katie Couric: But he still has a stake in the company so isn't that a conflict of interest?

Palin: Again, my understanding is that he re-cused him-self from the dealings with Freddie and Fannie, any lobbying efforts on his part there. And I would hope that's the case because, as John McCain has been sayin', and as I've on a much more local level been also rallying against is the undue influence of lobbyists in public policy decisions bein' made.

>>>Yes, it IS a conflict of interest.

Next, Couric asked about the $700 billion government bailout of bad debt - and whether she supports it.

Palin: I'm ill about the position that America is in and that we have to look at a $700 billion bailout. At the same time we know that inaction is not an option. And as Sen. McCain has said unless this nearly trillion dollar bailout is what it may end up to be, unless there are amendments in Paulson's proposal, really I don't believe that Americans are going to support this and we will not support this. The interesting thing in the last couple a days that I have seen is that Americans are waiting to see what John McCain will do on this proposal. They're not waiting to see what Barack Obama is going to do. Is he going to do this and see what way the political wind's blowing? They're waiting to see if John McCain will be able to see these amendments implemented in Paulson's proposal.

Couric: Why do you say that? Why are they waiting for John McCain and not Barack Obama?

>>>> Because Barack Obama has publicly and clearly stated what his views about the economy are.We don't have to wait, we already KNOW. Also he has stated them again at a press conference, in case you missed them before. These are the SAME stands and policies he's said all along, not just making things up as he goes, or needing to suspend his campaign in order to think up a response.

Palin: He's got the track record of the leadership qualities and the pragmatism that's needed at a crisis time like this.

Couric: But polls have shown that Sen. Obama has actually gotten a boost as a result of this latest crisis, with more people feeling that he can handle the situation better than John McCain.

Palin: I'm not lookin' at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are gonna' to be able to go back and look at track records and see who's more apt to just be talkin' about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who's actually done it?

>>> You may not be lookin' Sarah, but truth be known, pragmatic John McCain has openly stated he does not know much about the economy.

Couric: If this doesn't pass, do you think there's a risk of another Great Depression?

Palin: Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on. Not necessarily this, as it's been proposed, has to pass or we're going to find ourselves in another Great Depression. But, there has got to be action taken - bipartisan effort - Congress not pointin' fingers at this point, at one another but finding the solution to this, taking action, and bein' serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed.

Couric: Would you support a moratorium on foreclosures to help average Americans keep their homes?

Palin: That's something that John McCain and I have both been discussing - whether that um ... is part of the solution or not. You know, it's going to be a multi-faceted solution that has to be found here.

Couric: So you haven't decided whether you'll support it or not?

Palin: I have not.

>>> What are you waiting for?

Couric: What are the pros and cons of it do you think?

Palin: Oh, well, some decisions that have been made poorly should not be rewarded, of course.

Couric: By consumers, you're saying?

Palin: Consumers - and those who were predator lenders also. That's, you know, that has to be considered also. But again, it's got to be a comprehensive, long-term solution found ... for this problem that America is facin' today. As I say, we are gettin' into crisis mode here.

Couric: You've said, quote, "John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business." Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more examples of his leading the charge for more oversight?

Palin: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie - that, that's paramount. That's more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.

Couric: But he's been in Congress for 26 years. He's been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.

Palin: He's also known as the maverick though, takin' shots from his own party, and certainly takin' shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he's been talkin' about - the need to reform government.

Couric: But can you give me any other concrete examples? Because I know you've said Barack Obama is a lot of talk and no action. Can you give me any other examples in his 26 years of John McCain truly taking a stand on this?

Palin: I can give you examples of things that John McCain has done, that has shown his foresight, his pragmatism, and his leadership abilities. And that is what America needs today.

Couric: I'm just going to ask you one more time - not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.

Palin: I'll try to find ya' some and I'll bring em' to ya'.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Things are looking Up, no Down....

It's sure been a roller coaster ride. Last Monday was Black Monday, where stocks dropped to their lowest point ever, but by Friday they had recouped the loss. But by the following Monday, the Dow closed down 372 points, eliminating Friday's gain.
With all this chaos, global investors are fleeing the dollar.
Ahhh but fear not! The oil tycoons can rest easy because oil prices spiked more than $25 a barrel, before falling back to settle at $120.02- up $16.37 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That shattered the previous record for a one day jump in crude oil:$10.75. Whew! I was worried that the Oil Tycoons might suffer a loss in their record breaking historic profit margins. The upper crust should not be made to suffer. Take the McCain family, for instance, with a fleet of 13 vehicles, and 7+ estates, these folks will have to muddle through these hard times. I lie awake at night worrying about their fate.
The 15 nation Euro us up $1.48- it' s largest single day move against the dollar since the European currency began in 1999. The British pound is way up, as is the Japanese yen.
The price of gold soared.

The current GNP chart. We need a fix cause' it's going down.
We shall see if Paulson pulls off this magic act. A former Wall Street high roller himself, he wants total immunity to do whatever has to be done to get the finances/economy back in order.
It IS a circus of sorts... Ladies & Gentleman...allow me full immunity to do whatever I deem necessary as long as there are no legal repercussions or oversight.
Maybe the best news in all this is that it IS an election year. Any Congressional Mad Hatter willing to write a Carte Blanche check to Paulson is very likely to get the boot in the next election.

Oh! In this difficult time, President Bush knows many Americans are wondering about the security of their finances. The White House web site assures us that every American should know that the Federal Government continues to enforce laws and regulations protecting your money. Through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, every savings account, checking account, and certificate of deposit is insured by the Federal Government for up to $100,000. The FDIC has been in existence for 75 years, and no one has ever lost a penny on an insured deposit. This will not change.*

*Unless the government totally screws up, and in a panic gives out corporate welfare, sucking the reserves dry, and leaving the country in Bankruptcy with additional bad debt.
(Ok I made this addendum up, but they really should add it, don't you think??)

So that's all for my recap of the topsy turvy world under the Regime of George Bush.
By the way, if the government is serious about bailouts, check out the people living in the post Ike hurricane zone in Texas.

Immunity? BIG RED FLAG!!!!!

                                                                                                                                WHAT ME WORRY?

Not just immunity~ but retroactive immunity.  Yes, the Treasury would like us to sign off on giving total immunity to itself.

For one, this would make Paulson, "dictator of our economy" immune from any sort of legal review “by any court of law or any administrative agency,” over whatever actions he takes on this matter. 

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency. (Section 8 of the bailout).

The administration’s draft law also would preclude court review of steps Paulson might take, something that could be used to mask previous illegal activity.

“The Treasury’s ability to, without oversight, determine (that) a financial institution (is) an agent of the government seems like it could be used to serve several purposes, including limiting the potential liabilities of an institution or its executives,” he wrote in a note to investors late Sunday. He plans to retain Wall Street firms as advisors to decide just how to cut deals to value and mop up Wall Street's dubious paper. There are to be no limits on executive compensation for the firms that get relief, and no equity share for the government in exchange for this massive infusion of capital. Both Obama and McCain have opposed the provision denying any judicial review of decisions made by Paulson. The fox watching the proverbial (financial) henhouse.

Smartass remark ahead...
That would rid us of that potential extra cost of executive jail time.

Otherwise, they wouldn’t be writing their enabling legislation to avoid that.

Complete authority, no accountability ~ The Bush Mode of Operation.

But seriously-- if the first thing they come up with is legal immunity, then we have got to say no. If covering their asses legally is the first item on the financial crisis agenda, while they are also discussing giving bailout billions to banks OUTSIDE the US, then you can't help but think they themselves are about to embark on shady dealings that they themselves are either unsure of, or know are illegal. It would not surprise me that an insider, such as Paulson, is quite aware that some of the practices that got these businesses into this crisis are potentially illegal.

If you dig further, it is common practice for high finance companies to give out billions in bonus money to their employees. Lehman gave out $8.7 billion last year, in bonus money, now they are filing for bankruptcy. How much perk money did Bear & Stearns, AIG & Fanny & Freddy toss around (squander)? We should not be picking up those tabs, and we should have full disclosure. Immunity should be OFF THE TABLE.

We've had enough unregulated, shady dealings in the world of banking & high finance.

The last thing we want to do is add this free for all immunity for the Bush administration to fuck things up more, and be able to shrug & walk away.

Cash for Trash
Published: September 21, 2008

"Some skeptics are calling Henry Paulson’s $700 billion rescue plan for the U.S. financial system “cash for trash.” Others are calling the proposed legislation the Authorization for Use of Financial Force, after the Authorization for Use of Military Force, the infamous bill that gave the Bush administration the green light to invade Ira

There’s justice in the gibes. Everyone agrees that something major must be done. But Mr. Paulson is demanding extraordinary power for himself — and for his successor — to deploy taxpayers’ money on behalf of a plan that, as far as I can see, doesn’t make sense.

Some are saying that we should simply trust Mr. Paulson, because he’s a smart guy who knows what he’s doing. But that’s only half true: he is a smart guy, but what, exactly, in the experience of the past year and a half — a period during which Mr. Paulson repeatedly declared the financial crisis “contained,” and then offered a series of unsuccessful fixes — justifies the belief that he knows what he’s doing? He’s making it up as he goes along, just like the rest of us.

The plan calls for the federal government to buy up $700 billion worth of troubled assets, mainly mortgage-backed securities. How does this resolve the crisis?
It will be crippled by inadequate capital unless the federal government hugely overpays for the assets it buys, giving financial firms — and their stockholders and executives — a giant windfall at taxpayer expense. Did I mention that I’m not happy with this plan?

But Mr. Paulson insists that he wants a “clean” plan. “Clean,” in this context, means a taxpayer-financed bailout with no strings attached — no quid pro quo on the part of those being bailed out. Why is that a good thing? Add to this the fact that Mr. Paulson is also demanding dictatorial authority, plus immunity from review “by any court of law or any administrative agency,” and this adds up to an unacceptable proposal.

I’m aware that Congress is under enormous pressure to agree to the Paulson plan in the next few days, with at most a few modifications that make it slightly less bad. Basically, after having spent a year and a half telling everyone that things were under control, the Bush administration says that the sky is falling, and that to save the world we have to do exactly what it says now now now.

But I’d urge Congress to pause for a minute, take a deep breath, and try to seriously rework the structure of the plan, making it a plan that addresses the real problem. Don’t let yourself be railroaded — if this plan goes through in anything like its current form, we’ll all be very sorry in the not-too-distant future.

Huff PO writes this:
But one cannot overstate this: Section 8 is a singularly transformative sentence of economic policy. It transfers a significant amount of power to the Executive Branch, while walling off any avenue for oversight, and offering no guarantees in return. And if the Democrats end up content with winning a few slight concessions, they risk not putting a stop-payment on the real "blank check" - the one in which they allow the erosion of their own powers.

Over in the Senate, Christopher Dodd has proposed a bailout legislation of his own, which critically calls for "an oversight board that not only includes the chairman of the Federal Reserve and the SEC, but congressionally appointed, non-governmental officials" and would require the President to appoint an "independent inspector general to investigate the Treasury asset program." In Dodd's legislation, Section 8 is effectively stripped from the bill.

Nevertheless, the fact that Section 8 of the Paulson plan seems to strike few as a de facto dealbreaker can and should astound. The failure of Congress to hold the line on this point would be truly embarrassing. But if we make it through this week with nobody in the press specifically informing the public about the implications of this single sentence - in the middle of a complicated bill, in the middle of a complicated time - then right there, you have the single largest media failure of this year.

We can't preach to the choir & shout out against this amongst ourselves, in the blogosphere.
Please rant, rave & rattle cages in Congress. Tell them NO to this nonsense.
If deregulation got us into this mess- total immunity will not get us out of it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Homeless Vote

Bob Dylan~ Like a Rolling Stone

Of all the voters whose voices need to be heard, here is a demographic group we don't much hear MSM cover- the homeless. Lots of people wind up homeless because of medical expenses. So many families in the US are just a paycheck or two from homelessness, and they are the ones who have most at stake. It's not a case of "when you got nothin' you 've got nothin' to lose". Those voters who have been abused and neglected by the Bush administration, have a real stake in these elections. Too many people have been left with 'no direction home'-- while the corporations are getting billions in Corporate Welfare. Law students hit the streets to help the homeless get registered to vote.

A Word from President Obama

Don't just fire one guy

Insanity Prevails (High Finance in the USA)

In another breathtaking display of government idiocy, the Heads of the Treasury Department & Federal Reserve began discussions on Thursday with congressional spineless puppets on what could become the biggest financial blunder in U.S. history. The proposal could result in the most direct abuser of taxpayer funds, so far in the financial crisis that Fed and Treasury officials say it is the worst they have ever allowed to happen.

Senior aides and lawmakers said the goal was to complete the shady deal legislation by the end of next week, when Congress is scheduled to get the hell out of D.C to adjourn for vacation.

Call it what you will- cooked books • administrative failure • the final betrayal and disregard of we the people. The fat cat rich government wants to bail out the fat cat financial risk players.

The mammoth bailout $700 billion bucks, is a bad idea on thin ice. The Government is saying trust us to have unfettered authority to manage this- and the $ can even go to foreign banks--it's not even limited to US based banks or financial institutions!

This is the People's money. If they want to do bailouts, then pony up money for proper care of Vets, Seniors, Health Care, Infrastructure, Ya know People things. Bailing out funky corporations means they can act irresponsibly, demand there be no regulation, then come begging for bailout money? If there is going to be a big long line of banks needing bailouts, than those at the front of the line will get big bucks, those at the end of the line....
Who is scrutinizing their spending that helped get them in this catastrophic crunch?

I don't the Feds- especially the Bush administration to handle such Historic blunder and desperate attempt to fix this mess. Please excuse me for pointing out the obvious, but I can't help but notice all of Bush's historic events are built around monumental failures. Add this one to the list.

I am no financial poobah.
The 2008 U.S GDP= $14.3 trillion
Ntl Debt= $9.6 trillion
Deficit= $400 billion
War=$556 billion
Bailouts= $600 billion
More Bailouts= $700 billion (additional, for this week, anyway)

So I will say we should flood the House & Senate with calls to say NO to more bailouts. Make that Hell No!

Perhaps Billy Preston said it best, in this Dave Matthews rendition- this is my mathematical conclusion

Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'
You gotta have somethin'
If you wanna be with me
Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'
You gotta have somethin'
If you wanna be with me

I'm not tryin' to be your hero
'Cause that zero is too cold for me, Brrr
I'm not tryin' to be your highness
'Cause that minus is too low to see, yeah

Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'
And I'm not stuffin'
Believe you me
Don't you remember I told ya
I'm a soldier in the war on poverty, yeah
Yes, I am

[Instrumental Interlude]

Saturday, September 20, 2008




And that was before it was hit by 4 hurricanes in a row.

Haiti has a life expectancy age of 50's and a literacy rate of 53%.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has endured four storms -- Hanna, Gustav, Fay, and Ike -- over the past month.

Flooding overwhelms Haiti. Please note in the following video (no sound) there are two items:

• Graphic photo segment with flood deceased
• At the end, there is a number to send donations to-- I do not know of this organization & recommend sticking with the International Red Cross~Earmarked for Haiti hurricane relief.

Much of the water remained, in some areas, and the city was unreachable by car or truck, as roads were flooded and bridges had collapsed.

Haitians 'screaming for help' after storms
"We need to send food and water and primary needs," said Jean-Pierre Gueatou, executive director of the Haitian Red Cross. "The other things, they will come later."

People trudged through city streets that were covered in murky brown water thigh-deep and higher in some places. Some residents camped out on their roofs, their clothing and blankets hung over the sides of buildings.

Drinking water is the biggest problem. "That water that everybody's been wading in -- now for days -- is contaminated with dead carcasses of animals, and cadavers of people.

The Guardian U.K. reports:
Aid agencies today warned of severe outbreaks of disease in Haiti as thousands of people remained in squalid, cramped shelters after the country was hit by three hurricanes and a tropical storm. Many areas are still without any clean water supplies. The storms brought down bridges, cutting off all roads leading in to the town making the only access by helicopter and boat.

Charlie Rowley, of Oxfam, said victims were having to endure appalling conditions.

"The situation is really dire, especially in the shelters where ... hundreds of people [are] in a very small area without any sanitation facilities," he said. "It's very dirty and the [aid] organisations are doing their best to build as quickly as possible the sanitation conditions to be able to avoid a public health crisis." Many of those who fled to the roofs of their houses to escape rising floodwaters remain there, surviving by collecting rainwater in buckets and saucepans.
Others are using whatever water they can find to live on, sparking fears of disease.

"Everything is under dirt," he said. "The people had stores, the people that did commerce, they all have to start at zero now, and they're in great despair. They've almost given up hope."

Haiti had already seen rioting over rising food and commodity prices before the storms struck.

Heavy rains, winds and mudslides have devastated Haiti's crops, worsening its already dire food situation. UN peacekeeping troops have been deployed to keep order at deliveries of food aid.

Thomas Joseph Wills, the mayor of Cabaret, another badly affected town, said people needed "every kind of help imaginable — clothes, shelter, food, shoes".

I am currently trying to get my workplace to do something major, either site wide or company wide to help Haiti.
They are in an excellent position to help- as they have ships, and actually own a peninsula in Haiti they use for a port of call for tourists. I know they helped Mexico a few years ago, after Cozumel was hit hard by a hurricane, Haiti was seriously struggling before the storms hit, and is so impoverished, it requires help from outside the country.
That top photo haunts me.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I'd like to thank the academy, and all my loyal readers. Really though, I have been given nice awards from fellow bloggers, and up till now have been working on an somewhat ancient computer that simply would not cooperate to post them where they belong on the sidebar.

So I am taking a moment to thank you folks & give these lovely awards a front & center Hurrah!
It's nice to have some appreciation & encouragement to write & be a part of the blogosphere.
They come with the responsibility to also Award others~ so I shall.
Again, sorry for the slow response, I'm blaming technology!

I give recognition to the Diva & DK @ Redheaded Wisdom please do swing by their blogs & enjoy.

Diva's Journey's with Jood

DK ~ Redheaded Wisdom

Arte & Pico Award

Progressive Patriot

And the winners are.......... (drumroll please)

Arte & Pico Award


Progressive Patriot Award

Border Explorer

Dadas Dally


The rules for this award are as follows:

(1) Put the logo on your blog

(2) Add a link to the person who awarded you

(3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs

(4) Add links to those blogs on yours

(5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

Dusty~ It's my right to be Left of Center

DK ~ Redheaded Wisdom

Christopher From the Left

Fuzzy Math

I'm entirely confused. Can someone please explain the current economic situation going on in the US right now?

Here is what I know:

The Feds have given out more than $600 billion in the past year — to bail out, or help bail out, some of the biggest names in American finance.

On Wednesday, the central bank took the unprecedented step of asking the Treasury Department to sell debt on behalf of the Fed. The first of those auctions raised $40 billion, and two more to raise an additional $60 billion are scheduled for Thursday.

Stimulus checks totaling $168 billion, sent to Americans earlier this year to bolster the economy, will have an impact on the budget deficit. For the budget year ending Sept. 30, it's expected to hit $400 billion, the second highest on record and more than double last year's deficit of $161.5 billion.

The Bush administration is projecting that the deficit for the new budget year, which begins Oct. 1, will surge to an all-time high of $482 billion. And that estimate doesn't include any costs for bailing out Fannie and Freddie ~$200 billion dollars.
(Info attributed to Martin Crutsinger- Economics Writer)

Here is what baffles me:

The Feds just paid $89 billion to save AIG's ass, and now own 79.9 % of the company. So are they opening the door to having all the debts gone bad to the Fed's, actually the US taxpayers, who now own 79.9%, the same amount in liability???

$600 billion in the last few months
$400 billion budget deficit 9/30/08
Next year's deficit will be $482 + $200 billion in bail out $, SO FAR
Plus the National debt $9.6 trillion
The Iraq war $$$ is not actually in the budget? $554 billion

When I look at these numbers, I come up with *bankrupt*.

Maybe some mathematician, or magician can explain it to me, please!

I just have to coin a phrase here.... this seems like "Fuzzy Math" a term used in the debates by one George W. Bush

HP ~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Hewlett-Packard is an industry making changes. Get a load of their current business moves:

The Good:

HP and EDS today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement under which HP will purchase EDS at a price $13.9 billion. EDS, a $22 billion-plus global technology services, outsourcing and consulting leader that pioneered the IT outsourcing industry.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of calendar year 2008 and to more than double HP's services revenue, which amounted to $16.6 billion in fiscal 2007.

The Bad:
Although that press release sounded like such a wonderful, happy economical success story, 24,600 HP employees will lose their jobs. Hey! The purchase price of $13.9 billion had to come from somewhere!

The Ugly:
EDS does all kinds of private contracting for data management. Here is a sampling of the industries EDS serves:

• The Military
• Homeland Security
• Revenue & Tax
• Banking
• Capital Markets
• Aerospace & Defense
• Medical & Health Insurance

You get the gist. It would appear EDS, and now Hewlett Packard are in bed with the government. If the Government outsources their IT items to the new conglomerate, it could potentially hold all the info of importance, maybe even assist in warrantless wiretapping, IT overstepping, and improper sharing of information that is supposed to be confidential. With IT hands in the pie of finances, health information, etc, there could be some over the top kind/illegal networking for entities like Homeland Security. I'm just saying the information age sharing business has it's down sides too. Stranger things have happened.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Wiki defines the term "apologist" is colloquially applied in a general manner to include groups and individuals systematically promoting causes, justifying orthodoxies, or denying certain events, even of crimes. Apologists have been characterized as being deceptive, or "whitewashing" their cause, primarily through omission of negative facts (selective perception) and exaggeration of positive ones, techniques of classical rhetoric.

I was asked to look up this word today, and found it to be a sign of the times.
I'll throw in another interesting word to be fair & balanced:

Defenestration is the act of throwing someone or something out of a window. The term was coined around the time of an incident in Prague Castle in the year of 1618. The word comes from the Latin de (from; out of) and fenestra (window or opening).

Defenestrate the apologist agenda.

Throw the rhetoric out the window!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Anchorage Alaska Has Something to say...

Anchorage Alaska Has Something to say...

"This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned. The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by. And even those that didn’t honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at the huge crowd that was growing by the minute. This just doesn’t happen here.
~ Progressive Alaska

Then, the infamous Eddie Burke showed up. He tried to talk to the media, and was instantly surrounded by a group of 20 people who started shouting O-BA-MA so loud he couldn’t be heard. Then passing cars started honking in a rhythmic pattern of 3, like the Obama chant, while the crowd cheered, hooted and waved their signs high."
~Alaska Real

Mudflats writes:
o, as I jettisoned myself from the jaws of the ‘Drill Baby Drill’ crowd and toward the mystery rally at the library, I felt a bit apprehensive. I’d been disappointed before by the turnout at other rallies. Basically, in Anchorage, if you can get 25 people to show up at an event, it’s a success. So, I thought to myself, if we can actually get 100 people there that aren’t sent by Eddie Burke, we’ll be doing good. A real statement will have been made. I confess, I still had a mental image of 15 demonstrators surrounded by hundreds of menacing “socialist baby-killing maggot” haters.

It’s a good thing I wasn’t tailgating when I saw the crowd in front of the library or I would have ended up in somebody’s trunk. When I got there, about 20 minutes early, the line of sign wavers stretched the full length of the library grounds, along the edge of the road, 6 or 7 people deep! I could hardly find a place to park. I nabbed one of the last spots in the library lot, and as I got out of the car and started walking, people seemed to join in from every direction, carrying signs.

Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage. The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators). This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned. The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by. And even those that didn’t honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at the huge crowd that was growing by the minute. This just doesn’t happen here.

Mudflats blog

Progressive Alaska Blog

Alaska Real blog
*Hat tip to Enigma @ Watergate Summer for posting links to these blogs

Wonderful Essay about the election

*Eve Ensler, the American playwright, performer, feminist and activist best known for "The Vagina Monologues", wrote the following about Sarah Palin*.

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice.

Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about ,Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice
was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our
minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke.

In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity. Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic,
the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, "It was a task from God."

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not. She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air. Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private
right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world, or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or investour money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, "Drill Drill Drill." I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?

Eve Ensler
September 5, 2008

Ms. Ensler said so eloquently, all of the thoughts I've had about Palin. There are Grand Canyon sized differences of philosophy that can not be reconciled or justified.

SNL Nails It

Tine Fey & Amy Poehler give award winning performances

NBC has it blocked on You Tube, but you can click on this link to go to the SNL official webiste, to see the Palin/Clinton parody.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Takin' the time

To smell the Roses, Amaranth & enjoy the local Rose Gardens
Celebrating my birthday~ 1/2 Century !!!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008


Is it just me, or does this flag lapel pin look like it has a dollar sign attached?
Who would wear such a thing?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pulling Out for Palin

You have to admit, the ridiculous factor in this election is over the top. The pro abstinence Vice Presidential candidate who eloped when pregnant, steps into the National arena as a wildcard, not vetted, VP pick, and before she could begin to comment on her political platform/beliefs, announced her unwed daughter was pregnant. We should step back and allow her privacy, while Palin would legislate anti-abortion laws that would make such private decisions for the rest of the country. Not exactly a smooth intro, but it just keeps going--

What exactly does a Vice President DO?

The obvious answer to this question, is to accept the candidacy, and proceed to tell half truths in front of 40 million witness/viewers. All the press could do was lavish praise of what a spunky little gal this is and how she's energized the party. Before she was on the ticket, McCain was struggling to get a crowd at all for his speeches... now he can get 10,000, although not the 84,000 Obama had attending his acceptance speech.

The RNC had a whole lot of empty seats. I can't help but think lots of Republicans thought his choice was bad- McCain himself announcing the VP choice would be terribly important because of his age and health- picks a vastly inexperienced candidate with no Foreign relations experience whatsoever.
This dynamic dundering duo has duped the public into their sideshow of snappy lines that are shallow on substance. We hear slams, rhetoric, and McCain inviting us to *Fight with Him*.... is he really referring to that 100 year war he was talking about, and if we choose to NOT fight with him , will he impose a military draft? So while we know the names of Palin's kids, one heading off to Iraq, one heading off to a shotgun wedding, leaving the rest of the kids to care for the special needs baby, McCain & Palin head off on their campaign tour, repeating the snappy lines that only tell half the story.
Palin said "Thanks but no Thanks to the Bridge to Nowhere Money"-- but kept the money & used it for other things.
While Gramps McCain waves his fist saying he will stop pork barrel spenders in their tracks, Palin got the most pork barrel monies of all the States in the US.... a per capita bonanza for Alaska. So Palin's only political experience is in direct conflict with McCain's no pork barrel spending mandate.

While Palin prattled on about her family & Hockey Mom/PTA resume- all that time wasted as we are left not knowing where they Stand on Torture, Gitmo, the Iraq War, the Economy, the Mortgage Crisis, and the $9.5 trillion dollar national debt.

I fear that I know the answers to those questions.
We should all pull out for Palin.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pitbulls, Pigs & Stinky Fish....

Pitbulls, Pigs & Stinky Fish.....
Must be a presidential election year ~

"You can put lipstick on a pig," he said to an outbreak of laughter, shouts and raucous applause from his audience, clearly drawing a connection to Palin's joke. "It's still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still going to stink after eight years."

McCain's campaign immediately organized a telephone conference call in response and called on Obama to apologize for calling Palin a pig. Obama's campaign said he wasn't referring to Palin; he had been talking about McCain immediately before the lipstick comment.

Spill Baby Spill!

I was at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA) website, getting updated on what is happening with Hurricane Ike, and came across this information....

Month-long Response Continues for New Orleans Oil Spill
New Orleans, LA 2008-Jul-23 Broken Barge Removal
On July 23, 2008, a tanker and barge collided near downtown New Orleans, LA, resulting in a spill of over 9000 barrels (380,000) gallons of #6 fuel oil. The incident occurred at approximately 0130 local time. The barge was reported "ripped in half," discharging its entire contents. Coast Guard, Louisiana State and NOAA responders are on-scene.

Tue, 26 Aug 2008 20:31:46 EDT
On 23 July, 2008, a collision resulted in more than 420,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil being spilled into the Mississippi River when a barge struck a tanker and sank. More than 2,000 responders from many organizations, including NOAA, have been working on cleanup efforts for the last month. The barge has been salvaged, and most of the affected river (100 miles) has been cleaned up. However, more than 10 miles of stranded oil remains, and cleanup efforts have been complicated by a 6-foot drop in the river level. Conventional flushing is not effective (even with hot water and relatively high pressure), because the stranded oil is “high and dry.” The current challenge is to find the right cleanup technique.

In any case, many hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil were dumped into the waters of the Mississippi River. A month later, they were still trying to clean up, when along came Hurricane Gustav. There are no clean up updates posted after the hurricaine, as the crude oil spill was probably spread throughout the region & waterway in storm surge waters.

This is a photo of an oil stained levee.
The point of mentioning this spill, is while the RNC had crowds chanting Drill Baby Drill, there are serious issues that need to be addressed with drilling.

Off shore drilling is full of peril, and especially the drilling they want to do- on the West Coast (Alaska, Washington State , Oregon & California) is in the "Ring-of-Fire", The Pacific Ring of Fire is an area of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions encircling the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a 40,000 km horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements. The Ring of Fire has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes. Ninety percent of the world's earthquakes and 80% of the world's largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.

Oil drilling is dangerous, sloppy, and if the drilling itself goes well, the movement of oil in tankers has been a series of huge spills with grave consequences to the Oceanic habitat & health, as well as the wildlife it supports.
It is a part of our overall Planetary health too. It is our job to take care of this planet we call home.
Drilling in earthquake zones makes no sense. Continuing on the path of oil dependence makes no sense, give we now know the greenhouse effect, and the SCIENCE that documents the changes.
VP candidate Sarah Palin says a federal government decision to protect the polar bear will cripple energy (oil) development offshore. As a result, she is suing (May 2008) the Bush administration, which ruled the polar bear is endangered and needs protection.

Governor Palin would also like to bring open-cast coal mining to Alaska's Brooks Range Mountains, an act of environmental vandalism in the eyes of many.

The Palin administration has allowed Chevron to triple the amount of toxic waste it pours into the waters of Cook Inlet. This, even though the number of Beluga whales in the bay has collapsed from 1,300 to 350 – the point of extinction – because of pollution and increased ship traffic.

While Palin smiles and introduces herself as a benign "Hockey Mom", she is really a foe of the environment.

She is OK with letting the Polar Bear go Extinct, by fighting the Endangered Species protection that would guard the habitat essential for the bear's survival.

If you want to read more about how Scientists & Environmentalist groups fought to list the Polar bear as endangered, how the listing was stalled, allowing the government to proceed with an auction for oil and gas leases in the Alaska's Chukchi Sea, an area of key habitat for polar bears. (Scroll down to U.S. endangered species legislation).

Oil wells don't necessarily end well.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

About Community Organizers

The Republicans had their heyday digging in to discredit Community Organizers.
Palin said "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities."

As you might have guessed, community organizers are angry about the insulting remarks.

"Organizers described themselves as the antidote to big money lobbyists who wield so much influence. They talked about helping powerless people join forces to demand better schools and safer streets, often by working through churches. If people in (government) office were doing their jobs, perhaps we wouldn't need community organizers".
"I don't like seeing the really hard work that goes on in really poor communities being demeaned by cheap politicians", said Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.


Bob Marley~ Get up Stand up

These remarks are a slice of the republican mindset. People working together for a common cause, good of the neighborhood or community is a highlight of humanity. After all, each community is a part of the larger global community.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead ~ US anthropologist (1901 - 1978)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mother Nature

Sometimes Mother Nature just takes the upper hand, and puts us in our place. I was reading about Hurricane Ike, currently a Category 4 hurricane.

From NOAA:





I don't wish ill to the planet or people, but I must admit, there is a part of me that hopes they evacuate Guantanamo Prison safely, and Mother Nature cleansed the planet of this horrible place ~ Close the book on this remote prison. Is it wrong for me to wish Nature would do what humans have failed to do?