Thursday, November 24, 2011


Click here: North Carolina Teen Charged In Student's Dragging Death

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. -- A 16-year-old high school student in North Carolina is being charged with murder in the dragging death of another teenager.

Elizabeth City deputies say the student assaulted James Edward Holley Jr., pushed him out of a car and then drove away with the 17-year-old Holley hanging on the outside of the car by a seat belt. The car eventually crashed into a ditch.

Sheriff Randy Cartwright says deputies received a call just before 5 p.m. Sunday about a traffic accident southwest of Elizabeth City, which is in the northeast part of the state.

Horrible but familiar.  These stories of carjacked people being pulled out of their vehicles while still entangled in their seat belts by barbarous robbers, who then take the driver's seat and peel out on a mad careen, mangling their victims, have been around a long time.  Ever since they came out with seatbelt laws - & kids' car seats, air bags, etc. - (and yes, I am obedient), I've wondered if anyone was keeping track of the stats in which people came to grief because they were trammeled by these 'protective restraints'. 

Police Brutality Atrocities on the March

Baby dies, but story has twin with the absolute hosing of absolutely docile, sitting-in-by-Constitutional-rights protesters at U.C. Davis with pepper spray.

Have you ever seen pepper spray used on Dog, the Bounty Hunter?  The Dog Team only use it in ultra-dangerous situations, and reluctantly, then, partly because the awful stuff mists about in actual necessary hands-on apprehension of violent fugitives.  It's hard for those tough guys (who hav such decency that they usually water-douse the 'skip's' eyes before their own) to bear even second hand capsicum vapor.

Keeping that in mind, the U.C. Davis toxic hosing is at least every bit as vicious and painful as the brutalities inflicted on 60s civil rights protestors.  I've been bruised, dog-bit and water-blasted.  Burning is worse.  And pepper spray burning is a minor sting compared to tazering, and  major volt-injury can mess you up very cruelly in a host of ways for the rest of your life. 

Click here: Pregnant Seattle protester miscarries after being kicked, pepper sprayed

The Raw Story

By David Edwards  Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A woman who was pepper sprayed during during a raid on Occupy Seattle last week is blaming police after she miscarried Sunday.

Jennifer Fox, 19, told The Stranger that she had been with the Occupy protests since they started in Westlake Park. She said she was homeless and three months pregnant, but felt the need to join activists during their march last Tuesday.

“I was standing in the middle of the crowd when the police started moving in,” Fox recalled. “I was screaming, ‘I am pregnant, I am pregnant. Let me through. I am trying to get out.’”

She claimed that police hit her in the stomach twice before pepper spraying her. One officer struck her with his foot and another pushed his bicycle into her. It wasn’t clear if either of those incidents were intentional.

“Right before I turned, both cops lifted their pepper spray and sprayed me. My eyes puffed up and my eyes swelled shut,” Fox said.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer photographer Joshua Trujillo snapped a picture of Fox in apparent agony as another activist carried her to an ambulance.

Seattle fire department spokesman Kyle Moore told The Washington Post that a 19-year-old pregnant woman was among those that were examined by paramedics.

While doctors at Harborview Medical Center didn’t see any problems at the time, things took a turn for the worst Sunday.

“Everything was going okay until yesterday, when I started getting sick, cramps started, and I felt like I was going to pass out,” she explained.

When Fox arrived at the hospital, doctors told her that the baby had no heartbeat.

“They diagnosed that I was having a miscarriage. They said the damage was from the kick and that the pepper spray got to it [the fetus], too,” she said.

“I was worried about it [when I joined the protests], but I didn’t know it would be this bad. I didn’t know that a cop would murder a baby that’s not born yet… I am trying to get lawyers.”

The Scoville heat chart indicates that U.S. grade pepper spray is ten times more painful than the blistering hot habanero pepper, according to Scientific American. While law enforcement officials regularly claim that the spray is safe, researchers at the University of North Carolina and Duke University found that it could “produce adverse cardiac, respiratory, and neurologic effects, including arrhythmias and sudden death.”

Fox News host Megyn Kelly calls pepper spray ‘a food product’
 'Better than ketchup, keep kids warm without heating schools' is what I expect these hellions to say next!.

Repubs Un-Zombot for National Security Debate

Click here: Tonight’s CNN Debate Winner « The Thompsonian Times

I wrote:)

Tonight's show was rather a wow. Almost didn't watch it, since they all had become little more than set pieces of wind-up talking points dolls who would 'stay the course' by ignoring the questions given them to mindlessly repeat slams and slogans that would get rises out of the more Pavlovian Tea Party and neocon audience members.

What broke the brain-freeze ice, I wonder? Was it some eminence gris, a cabal of AEI and Heritage Foundation intellectuals; the Ghost of Nixon Past? They were THINKING and shining tonight! They had JUICE! They understood questions and answered them pretty darn intelligently - one has to admit, even when one disagreed with them.

Were the 12 unconstitutional archons of the soopadoopa Debt Committee exercising their little grey cells as well, or did they stick fingers in ears and butts in cement (as so many expected)?

There's some hope here, even for a Marcy Kapture / Michael Moore fan like me. The candidates sounded like AMERICANS (ADULT Americans, too -not a lot of that around anymore!) Real debating that could usefully feed the Discussion instead of bullying, insatiable attempts to bend the Narrative to zombot partisan dogma.

Goodness, how those 'behind' stepped up - and often over the frontrunners. Bachmann amazed me: From glazed-eyed Stepford queen to sharp as a tack on MidEast strategy (and more!). How did THAT happen?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Domino Theory Resurrection

I wish our government would send a humanitarian mission to the San Gabriel Valley, the Monterey & Puente Hills, Cerritos, Glendale, etc. to free the army of Asian slaves... But that would be counterproductive to the grand progress made by the plutonomy for their model future:  You just might have to free the wageless workers from the mesoamericanos living in Xe-guarded moving van trailers working without protection on Gulf Coast toxic cleanups, to kidnapped Ukrainian 'human traffic' harlots, to media hopefuls carrot-and-sticked to working free for 'exposure', to 'wrong' religion -&/or ethnicity African little kids drudging like Cinderellas-sans-fairy-godmothers for abusive rich arms-&-porn foreign traders.

Click here: Obama: China Must Play By The Rules

CANBERRA, Australia — Signaling a determination to counter a rising China, President Barack Obama vowed Thursday to expand U.S. influence in the Asia-Pacific region and "project power and deter threats to peace" in that part of the world even as he reduces defense spending and winds down two wars.

"The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay," he declared in a speech to the Australian Parliament, sending an unmistakable message to Beijing.

Obama's bullish speech came several hours after announcing he would send military aircraft and up to 2,500 Marines to northern Australia for a training hub to help allies and protect American interests across Asia. He declared the U.S. is not afraid of China, by far the biggest and most powerful country in the region.

China immediately questioned the U.S. move and said it deserved further scrutiny.

Emphasizing that a U.S. presence in the Asia-Pacific region is a top priority of his administration, Obama stressed that any reductions in U.S. defense spending will not come at the expense of that goal.

"Let there be no doubt: in the Asia Pacific in the 21st century, the United States of America is all in," he said.

For Obama, Asia represents both a security challenge and an economic opportunity. Speaking in broad geopolitical terms, the president asserted: "With most of the world's nuclear powers and some half of humanity, Asia will largely define whether the century ahead will be marked by conflict or cooperation, needless suffering or human progress."

Virtually everything Obama is doing on his nine-day trip across the Asia-Pacific region has a Chinese subtext, underscoring a relationship that is at once cooperative and marked by tensions over currency, human rights and military might.

China's military spending has increased threefold since the 1990s to about $160 billion last year, and its military recently tested a new stealth jet fighter and launched its first aircraft carrier. A congressional advisory panel on Wednesday urged the White House and Congress to look more closely at China's military expansion and pressed for a tougher stance against what it called anticompetitive Chinese trade policies.

The expanded basing agreement with Australia is just one of several initiatives Obama has taken that is likely to set Beijing on edge at a tricky time. The U.S. is China's second largest trading partner, and the economies are deeply intertwined. Chinese leaders don't want the economy disrupted when global growth is shaky and they are preparing to transfer power to a new leadership next year.

Over the weekend while playing host to Chinese President Hu Jintao and other Pacific rim leaders at a summit in Hawaii, Obama said the U.S. would join a new regional free trade group that so far has excluded China. That added an economic dimension to what some Chinese commentators have called a new U.S. containment policy that features reinvigorated defense ties with nations along China's perimeter, from traditional allies Japan and the Philippines to former enemy Vietnam, all of whom are anxious about growing Chinese power.

China was immediately leery of the prospect of an expanded U.S. military presence in Australia. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said there should be discussion as to whether the plan was in line with the common interests of the international community.

Responding to questions at a news conference Wednesday with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Obama sought to downplay tension between the world powers. "The notion that we fear China is mistaken," he said.

Obama avoided a confrontational tone with China in his speech to the Australian parliament, praising Beijing as a partner in reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and preventing proliferation.

"We'll seek more opportunities for cooperation with Beijing, including greater communication between our militaries to promote understanding and avoid miscalculation," he said.

In a note of caution, however, he added: "We will do this, even as continue to speak candidly with Beijing about the importance of upholding international norms and respecting the universal human rights of the Chinese people."

With military bases and tens of thousands of troops in Japan and South Korea, the United States has maintained a significant military presence in Asia for decades. Australia lies about 5,500 miles south of China, and its northern shores would give the U.S. easier access to the South China Sea, a vital commercial route.

The plan outlined by Obama will allow the United States to keep a sustained force on Australian bases and position equipment and supplies there, giving the U.S. ability to train with allies in the region and respond more quickly to humanitarian or other crises. U.S. officials said the pact was not an attempt to create a permanent American military presence in Australia.

About 250 U.S. Marines will begin a rotation in northern Australia starting next year, with a full force of 2,500 military personnel staffing up over the next several years. The United States will bear the cost of the deployment and the troops will be shifted from other deployments around the world. Having ruled out military reductions in Asia and the Pacific, the Obama administration has three main areas where it could cut troop strength: Europe, the Middle East and the U.S.

All U.S. troops are being withdrawn from Iraq by the end of this year, and a drawdown in Afghanistan is underway. But the Pentagon has said recently that the U.S. will maintain a major presence in the greater Middle East as a hedge against Iranian aggression and influence. A more likely area for troop reductions is Europe, although no decisions have been announced.

The debate over defense budgets is just one aspect of a broader political fight over fixing the nation's debt problem during a presidential election season. Already, the Pentagon is facing $450 billion in cuts over ten years, as part of a budget deal approved last summer. And if a special congressional committee can't agree on $1.2 trillion in more long-term cuts or Congress rejects its plan, then cuts of $1.2 trillion kick in, with half coming from defense.

Australia's Gillard said, "We are a region that is growing economically. But stability is important for economic growth, too." She said that "our alliance has been a bedrock of stability in our region."

Obama's visit is intended to show the tightness of that relationship and he hailed the long ties between the United States and Australia, two nations far away that have spilled blood together

"From the trenches of the First World War to the mountains of Afghanistan_Aussies and Americans have stood together, fought together and given their lives together in every single major conflict of the past hundred years. Every single one," he said.

Obama had a packed day-and-a-half in Australia, his first trip here as president after canceling two previous tries. After addressing Parliament, Obama was flying to the northern city of Darwin, where some of the Marines deploying to Australia next year will be based.
Associated Press writers Erica Werner and Rod McGuirk in Canberra and Robert Burns in Washington contributed to this report.

Civilization Jettisoned: Libraries Junked, But...   <   load to get other links.
By Lucas Kavner

Library Budget Cuts Threaten Community Services Across Country

This is part of our new ongoing series, Libraries in Crisis. To read more about the series, click here.

At the Gilpin County Public Library in Colorado, which serves a community of less than 6,000 people, a sign on the roadside advertises "Free coffee, internet, notary, phone, smiles, restrooms and ideas" to all who enter.

Indeed, all libraries, with their familiar rows of bookshelves and busy, helpful librarians, have remained reliably stable, as ubiquitous in towns throughout the U.S as the local firehouse or the post office. But it is perhaps this familiarity that makes the American library as an institution more vulnerable than ever, and has many wondering: What is in store for its future?

These days, the library's very existence is a question mark, and they face some of the steepest budget cuts in history. According to a Harris/Reader's Digest Poll from late 2010, nearly 40 percent of American mayors plan to reduce hours, shed employees or make other cutbacks in the coming months, while many county libraries have already eliminated branches entirely.

The South Branch Library in Evanston, Illinois, had been open since 1917. One Evanston resident, Barbara Lewis, told Patch that she had originally moved to the neighborhood only so she could walk to her local library. It closed last February.

In Dearborn, Michigan, one of four library branches was forced to close in September; an administrative librarian there said he didn't really believe it would close until it was actually happening. In Fenton-High Ridge, Missouri, they've lost 33 percent of library staff to attrition over the past five years, and a "self-checkout" system was recently put into place to control costs.

"Our interest income has also deteriorated, and that used to give us a bit of a cushion," said Pam Klipsch, the director of Missouri's Jefferson County Library system, which includes the Fenton-High Ridge branches. "We've been very hard hit by this whole recession, and we've had to cut back and cut back and cut back, so when staff leave us now, they just don't get replaced."

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently proposed a budget that would eliminate "268 currently vacant positions and lay off about 284 employees" from the library system. He was met by hundreds of protesters of all ages, including a group of fist-pumping pre-schoolers. The resulting "Save Chicago Public Libraries and Librarian Jobs" Facebook group now boasts over 2,000 members, but as of today the cuts are still looming.

In Detroit, public library officials, union members and commissioners have deadlocked in a battle over whether to close four of Detroit's 23 public library branches. Though Detroit's Public Library Commissioner, Russell Bellant, supports the closures, administrators and union officials are hanging on for dear life, hoping to save their libraries and the hundreds of jobs they stand to lose.

Though 91 percent of those surveyed for the same Harris Poll said that their local library "improves the quality of life" in their community, the institution remains under attack across the country and worldwide.

Who exactly is to blame, the communities or the libraries themselves? And what will be lost if the library fades into obsolescence?


Maureen Sullivan, president-elect of the American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library nonprofit in the world, said people don't realize how essential their local public library is until it's too late. When it comes to making budget decisions -- "Should we cut funds from the police department or the library?" -- local lawmakers are putting the library at the bottom of the totem poll, and state governments are not stepping in to save them.

"I hear people on a regular basis talking about how the library is the most trusted organization in the community and it being such a public good," Sullivan said. "But many people in our communities have simply taken the library for granted."

Marcia Warner, president of the Public Library Association, a division of the ALA, added that many citizens only start paying attention when libraries begin "cutting branches or cutting hours." Then suddenly they become aware of the problem.

"But it's too late then," Warner said.

Klipsch, the Jefferson County Library system director, thinks a lot of people are confused about how libraries are actually funded, and that's part of a larger issue. "We get people who think all the books are donated by publishers and all the staff are volunteers," she said, laughing a little at the idea. "They have no idea we have to buy books and pay staff, and that librarians don't just sit around all day and occasionally put books back on a shelf."

But the library is serving multiple roles, especially during hard times. For those who cannot afford to sit at a coffee shop and buy a "four-dollar latte" to use their computer on somebody else's Wi-Fi, Warner says, the library provides "the whole shebang": a quiet location to work in private, a staff member willing to answer in-depth questions (about everything from applying for unemployment benefits to where one might learn more about beekeeping), and a meeting place for the community, not to mention those free film and book rentals and an increasingly long list of e-book and digital reading options.

According to the most recent Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study (PLFTAS), libraries and librarians provide essential services that are found scarcely anywhere else, especially to citizens who are struggling economically. Seventy percent of libraries indicated that their Internet services increased in 2010, and 65 percent report that they provide the only source of free public access to computers in their community. Eighty-one percent of Americans who have been "economically impacted" by the recession have a library card today, as supposed to 68 percent of Americans who have not been affected, according to a 2010 study from the Online Computer Library Center.

In Jefferson County, a new program eliminates overdue book fines in exchange for canned food donations. "We forgive the fines, and then provide cans to local food pantries," said library director Klipsch. "We have people who come in, they're literally living in their cars. We give them a safe place to park. It's going on three years and things are not getting any better."

Not only are libraries being used more than ever before, in more ways than ever, but modern librarians have also lengthened their reach, spanning the range of technological and social changes that have taken place in their field over the past ten years.


Erin Schreiner, who recently received her Masters in Library Science from Long Island University, with a concentration in rare books and special collections, doesn't think the general public realizes what services are provided by their local libraries these days. She believes that if more people were aware of these services, they might visit their local library more often.

When a friend of Schreiner's was looking to research some of her long-lost Jewish relatives in Calcutta, she started the same way most of us would, with a simple Google search, but she came up empty. Schreiner suggested that her friend head to the New York Public library, home to one of the most expansive Judaica collections in the world. There, she could consult a specialist trained in genealogical queries.

"My friend was like, 'I could just go do that? It's free?'" Schreiner remembers. "People don't realize that their library is this incredible provider of specific information. We shouldn't have to remind them."

The modern librarian is a social networking guru as well as a research specialist. Like many of us, they've grown up with Google and Wikipedia and every blog and online journal in existence, so they know how to navigate the online world, while also providing the services the library has always offered.

"Certain [librarians] used to be able to sit in a room and catalogue books and never have to interact with the public," said Schreiner. "But now if you're working in a library, you're expected to collaborate and be a part of a living organism, to help real people. There's a lot of focus now on the personal side of librarianship and helping people in a more specialized way."

Marilyn Johnson, author of "This Book is Overdue!," wrote that the modern librarian is indeed technologically savvy but also respects a patron's privacy -- and that distinction is important. "A profession dedicated to privacy in charge of our public computers? That's brilliant," she wrote in the LA Times last year. "[Librarians] represent the best civic value out there, an army of resourceful workers that can help us compete in the world."

Still, no matter how successful libraries are at serving their current purpose, it doesn't seem to matter, and they remain at risk. The country's largest circulating library, in Queens, N.Y., was named the best system in the U.S. by Library Journal in 2009, Johnson pointed out, yet its budget was due to shrink by a third. Since most libraries receive the majority of their funding from local and state governments, they remain at the mercy of a struggling economy and are looking at many other options.


What can libraries do?

Warner of the Public Library Association admitted that all local services are being threatened -- libraries aren't unique in that regard -- but library directors need to "toot their own horn" a bit more than they have been. She suggested that leaders step up in the community and let their voices be heard, embracing the library's essential role as a "community convener."

While most libraries are still funded locally, and others, like the Jefferson County Library system in Missouri, are levied by the voting public (if the value of appraised property goes up, the library "rolls back the levy" to compensate), Warner also recommends that libraries establish private foundations to offset budget cuts. ALA president-elect Sullivan points to these nonprofits as positive examples, and the ALA itself has received many generous donations from the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation, among others. A Rhode Island library received a $10,000 donation from Alec Baldwin after he read an article in the New York Times about its potential demise, and other volunteers have stepped in to keep libraries running.

Klipsch, director of the Jefferson County system, recently set up a private foundation so her branches could receive outside funding, but these things take time to initiate and get going, she said, and it could be a while before libraries reap the benefits of these funds.

"We're working on it, but in the meantime, we can't pretend that the cuts aren't affecting us. We have to be really up front, and we're trying to be. But everybody around here is hurting, so we need to take all the steps we can."

Indeed, libraries have the potential to be leaders at the forefront of this Age of Information, in addition to serving as community centers and book lenders and places where one can sit and spend a quiet afternoon. But without the necessary technological and staff-related improvements -- and the funds to implement them -- libraries, especially those in rural and suburban areas, will languish.

Can they survive this current economy, with so much -- and so many lawmakers -- against them?

"This country is where it is today because of our heritage -- and the library has had a whole range of cultural and educational effects," Sullivan said. But if funding continues to decrease, "we really have to think about what the lasting ramifications will be."

Sez I: Totally and desperately on board with saving libraries -and BOOKS, too, but there's something huuuuuuuuuge that needs to be budget-cut:  Totally wasteful, massively costly, unneeded 'makeovers' - like H&G Network's renovs, these are also usually less functional / user-friendly / safe, and are really UGLY.  But the important thing for the politician-Cof C bunch (local, and, in Californicatia, by-the-rules-of-the-State-giving-back-revenues-they-commandeered-from-the-locals) is that they (1) get to give pain to the people (taxpayers) who actually use and work in and most need the libraries, and (b) make a big killin' in gimme-aggrandizement land by giving the job -and a place with them on the big bronze glory-be-to-we entry plaque - to their favorite crony contractors... So often foreigners employing foreigners, legal or (our business-friendly community will of course give you and all your relatives amnesty, and will never be so un-multicultural as to question if you might be a multigenrational debt-slave back in the Old Country, with your employer taking all you have and making you crib with other slaves in your 'job-creator's garage/basement/warehouse/whorehouse, etc.) otherwiseAmnestia!  Your opportunity (and debt to us!) Work hard for us, become a citizen:  If you promise to vote for us, you won't have to go back 'home' and eat rats and bamboo.  Then your citizen kids can be just like ours, with no jobs available outside of crime and cannon fodder.

That's the way it is, now (and has been for decades):  But those revenues could have been and could be used for genuine public and environmental services and improvements.  Wotta concept!    

Republican Debates:Hottest Reality?

Colleen O'Connor at the La Jolla Patch wrote:

Opinion: Why Republican Debates are the Hottest Reality TV Shows Around

The recession, unemployment and the mere fact that the Republican presidential candidates are standup thinkers—are reasons you need to watch the debates.

Who knew?

The Republican Presidential Primary debates are so popular that news outlets are scrambling to add even more, according to The New York Times.

Thus far, there have been eleven televised debates—with ten more scheduled. This doesn’t count the Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich sit-downs, or the serialized radio and TV interviews with each candidate. The settings have ranged from sedate round table Q&As to live-audience booing and applause.

Every corporate or educational sponsor knows that the fastest way to improve your brand is to hitch it to a rising star—be it pop, literary, or political—and a big, television audience.

Thus, college campuses, presidential libraries, network studios, newspapers, and even social networking sites are keen to sponsor the GOP debates. For whatever reason, the GOP debates have proven popular.

Thus far, they have produced surprisingly large audiences, some fun news cycles, and, dare I say it, democracy as reality TV.

The latest CNBC “all economics forum” produced the best results yet. Some actual information, some humor, some human and serious push-back moments, and a huge audience share for the cable news network—3.3 million viewers.

CNBC trumped the other cable news channels. Omitting the networks’ Olympic coverage and the O.J. Simpson civil trial, the debate garnered the networks’ highest ratings since 1997, according to the NYT's Media Decoder blog.

The first GOP debate, sponsored by Fox News, understandably, has drawn the largest audience thus far—6.1 million.

But it is the strength of the repeat viewership of these nearly two dozen debates that has many asking “WHY?”

Several answers appear obvious.

No matter one’s political persuasion, these debates make for great television. Someone goes off script. The audience chimes in with boos or applause. The moderators take the hit—because the only group less popular than politicians is the press. And what results is, yes, democracy as reality TV.

Furthermore, the Republican candidates have gone from small-minded attacks against each other (CNN) and armchair brotherhood talks (Gingrich and Cain) to serious, standup thinking. They have “upped their game” from hairstyles, tie colors and put-downs to some intelligent, consequential thinking.

More seriously, the debates occur at a time when the country is lurching for leadership. Increasing unemployment, never-ending wars, fear, and uncertainty make for highly motivated “study-up” time. Viewers and voters want to choose wisely.

In addition, the split in the Republican Party between moderate vs. Tea Party, and cultural vs. economic purity, is compelling—and imbued with great and genuine passion. The differences between the Republicans and the Democrats is even broader and, arguably, even more passionate.

The history of these American divides is long, contentious and serious. The original rift and failure—the Articles of Confederation—almost caused us to become 13 nations instead of one. That issue, as today, remains states’ rights vs. a centralized government.

Who has or should have the ultimate authority? The founding fathers simply finessed the problem when they drafted the U.S. Constitution. Resultant generations did the same—compromise—even as the country expanded from east to west coast, from Canada to Mexico. Compromise always won over disunion—until the 1860s.

It took a civil war and over 600,000 Americans dead to resolve the question in favor of the central government, but the fight—and the debate—remains. That is why the GOP debates are so fascinating. All the changes that the victorious Union forced on the Confederacy are under attack—albeit updated. The Federal Reserve, the states’ rights to decide about health care, education, vaccines, illegal immigration, border security, the environment, aid to the poor, etc.

And the conflicts have taken on more urgency, as the states feel their economies buckle under increased federal mandates—often unaccompanied by any additional funds.

Thus far, no one in American can complain that they are unrepresented. The Democrats have President Obama and the Republicans have a whole smorgasbord of candidates from whom to choose.

Everyone should watch and cheer the GOP primary debates as they represent the “loyal opposition” side of democracy: i.e., the right to dissent, disagree and demand change.

And, everyone should watch and cheer the GOP vs. Democrats general election debates.

Just saying. Time to “study up.”


And I replied (redundant* to this blog, but... )

'No one's unrepresented'??? Obama's a Trojan Horse. AIG bankrolled him. He does essentially everything the neocons want and gets away with it because the Far Unbalanced Network zombots are pushbuttoned to mewl what a lefty radical he is. I don't understand this pandemic of blind idiocy. Before drugs and mass psychological programming had taken over society, the Soviets countered our scorn of totalitarian one-party government by saying we has a one-and-a-half party system. Now it's so much less! All a big FAKE (more obviously than those masking-tape-and-plastic-wrap Kumtag Desert 'mysterious structures') - and we're buying it when we have no money left and 'employers' who only offer no-wage jobs. Daft as his pronouncements sometimes get, Gore Vidal is right in saying we have only one party, the BANK Party.

Who represents pacifists? No one. Who represents those who want an economy based on the production and fair exchange of actual useful goods instead of stock market gambling and money manipulation? No one. What politicians truly in power are TRULY against: Petrochemical and nuke dependence? NAFTA/our goods being made /jobs taken by foreigners? The juggernaut fascism of eminent domain, 'private mandates', the military-industrial complex and other forms of pouring both our rights and tax money into the hands of private contractors? Marketing obscenity, waste, greed and brutality? Lobbies /the buying of pols and 'legal outcomes'? Etc. Who's really for what 'right to life', 'right to privacy' and protection of the helpless/voiceless, 'the family' and the environment ought all to really imply? NO ONE. They're played as hot buttons and hot potatoes -and as stupidly as possible- to bemuse voters by politicians and pundits who NEVER WANT THESE PROBLEMS SOLVED, only money thrown at them and rights surrendered to them.

* Then, I watched the Republican debates until it was obvious they were redundant - and I have only so much taste for comedies of horror.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Afghanistan's Untapped Mineral Riches

My only comment is oblique, this time:  I remember an insider-type saying the real reason for WWI (and a lot of events since) was jockeying for dominance of the unparalleled mineral riches of the Dead Sea.  Maybe kinda Larouche or 'a-albionics' conspiracy-theory-generated.  Anyway, the alleged reason for 'The Great Game' jockeying over Afghanistan has always been that that land - which looks so all-mineral that one would think the natives must eat dust and rocks and snow because what else is there!? - is the key/pass from Central Asia to the sea.  But maybe those (true-life, usually, really, quite scientific) types who provided the models for Rudyard Kipling, Jules Verne, Talbot Mundy, John Buchan, etc. to spin wild & woolly spy adventures really discerned the rocks of desire long ago...
Click here: Riches in the Midst of War - Marketing, News, and Educational Communications

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters < Real name of Quaker ~ Elizabeth Elliot Series author Irene Allen.  That's a mystery series built on deep Christian discipleship and conscience shown by the elderly reluctant-non-pro-detective heroine.  The last book was in 1998; unfortunately none since.  This last, Quaker Indictment, used fiction to dramatize the hideous your-tax-dollars-at-work industry of mass murder and multi-millenial plutonium toxicity from Washington State's Hanford plant.  The name Irene Allen is on the 'Net mostly as a litigant name '...vs. the United States', in regard to Nevada nuclear tests.   Hmm.  She wrote: 

Some geologists are heroes.

That was the thought that came to my mind when I read of what Afghan geologists had done during the long and difficult time the Taliban had run their country.

Even without real hope they might ever do geology again, but with fears about what might happen at any time to the reports of previous geological mapping work, the Afghan geologists took the records home to preserve them. When the dust of the American invasion had settled and the Afghan government had been restored, the local geologists brought back the reports.

The records were the starting point for the effort in recent years to explore Afghanistan for mineral resources using fully modern methods. The results have astonished geologists because the riches of the war-torn country are so great.

As the New York Times reported this summer, many geologists now working in Afghanistan feel they are “in the midst of one of the great discoveries of their careers.”

From estimates of what’s under the ground, both at depth and near the surface, Afghanistan may contain nearly $1 trillion worth of minerals. Along the Pashtun area in the south there is gold; in western Afghanistan there is apparently abundant lithium; and elsewhere there are major deposits of copper, iron, cobalt and rare metals like niobium.

As a student, I studied mineral resources intensively. The richest of those here in the U.S. were mined out in the 1800s and early 1900s. There is a cycle in such matters, and the richest deposits are – at least generally – the first discovered and mined. But Afghanistan stands today where the U.S. did long ago, so it’s no surprise that Afghan mineral wealth is likely quite high.

But a $1 trillion bonanza is greater than this geologist would have guessed.

In short, it looks like there is enough mineral wealth in Afghanistan it could alter both the war and the way of life in the impoverished nation where the gross domestic product is only about $12 billion. If investment materializes to exploit the mineral wealth, jobs in mining could employ many men currently involved in the war, U.S. officials speculate.

“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus said to the New York Times. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think the potential is hugely significant.”

The ore was discovered because the U.S. Geological Survey and some others went to work in 2006 using modern methods of exploration throughout the country. In the old days, geologists used to travel by Jeep (or even on foot and horseback) to outcrops. The accepted technique was to knock off pieces of rock with a hammer and inspect what you had in your hand. The approach still works, but it’s obviously labor intensive and slow.

If you want to rapidly explore a whole country these days, the way to do it is by air. So the Americans flew over Afghanistan with sophisticated gravity measurement devices. The results were highly encouraging. In 2007, the geologists again flew over the country, this time with devices that offer three-dimensional information about mineral concentrations.

The results were “astonishing” to the geologists who saw the data. The story even recently merited a piece in the prestigious journal Science, so impressive is the tale of mineral exploration and discovery.

There seems little doubt that Afghanistan is sitting on wealth that could dwarf the opium trade and what money reaches the war torn country from outside aid. But it remains to be seen how the wealth from the Earth is exploited and used.

Afghanistan is not a developed country with infrastructure or environmental controls. Mining can ruin countryside and destroy water resources if it’s unregulated. And, to complicate matters, the government in the country has had trouble with corruption. Indeed, last year the minister of mines stood accused of accepting a $30 million bribe in connection with giving rights to China to develop a copper mine. (The good news is that the official is no longer in office.)

But still, the challenges of wealth rather than chronic poverty could be a fine change of pace of a nation in need of some good news.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Salute, Curmugeon!,0,5496226.story

By Dennis McLellan Los Angeles Times Staff Writer 9:50 a.m. CDT, November 5, 2011
Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

Too long to copy, but a good'n.

Ayn Rand's Satanic Thelemicism Suffusing the Tea Party?

Click here: Ayn Rand’s Atheists are Crashing the Tea Party

FrumForum November 4th, 2011 at 2:45 pm by Gary Weiss ( info on his forthcoming book Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul ):
Commenter hisgirlfriday //  wrote, on Nov 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm, first quoting commenter zephae:

~~~~~' is downright wrong (and offensive) to claim that you can’t have morality, strong families, and a sense of social responsibility without a belief in the Judeo-Christian religion. In fact, I don’t see what good the abdication of responsibility at the center of Christianity does for society at large. In fact, atheism says absolutely nothing on any of the issues you raised, which isn’t surprising for a self-contained intellectual position.'~~~~~

I agree with you that you do not have to subscribe to the Judeo-Christian religion (Or Islam because that is an Abrahamic faith as well) to have morality, strong families or a sense of social responsibility.

Outside of the religious doctrine though, there is such a thing as Judeo-Christian values that emphasize honoring your parents, parents providing for their children, and neighbors treating each other as they would want to be treated. It is these values (and I am not even claiming Judeo-Christians have a monopoly on these values but merely refer to them as Judeo-Christian because that’s how they manifested in Western civilization) that provide the prosperity, peace and stability that make democratic republican civilization possible.

However, I don’t think Ayn Rand has been accurately characterized by her opponents by simply lumping her in with atheists who may or may not be hostile to Judeo-Christian values. Rand would be more correctly characterized instead as an antiChristian or a Satanist. Rather than “do unto others as you’d have them do unto you,” Rand espouses the philosophy of “do what thou wilt.” Rather than preach self-sacrifice for the greater community in connection with the past sacrifices of the People of Israel or Jesus on the cross, Rand preaches that sacrifice itself is immoral.

If Rand worships anything beside herself, it is Moloch, the golden calf that provides immediate gratification to its selfish followers willing to sacrifice their (or their nation’s) children’s future rather than sacrifice anything themselves.

Those who care deeply about Judeo-Christian values are put in something of an impossible place by our current political alignment in this country. Pro-life Republicans obviously see the Democrats as the Moloch worshippers with the abortion issue as just the latest form of child sacrifice to rear its ugly head in human history. Social justice-seeking Democrats meanwhile see the Republican Party as the worse Moloch worshippers for being more concerned about selfishly gathering up tax cuts and lavish benefits for themselves now with no concern for the sacrifice their children are making to pay for it in terms of a massive amount of national debt, military service in endless wars and the lack of adequate education, economic opportunity, healthcare, and environmental stewardship.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Giant Asteroid Coming Close This Coming Tuesday

Satanist-infested rocketry nuts at Devil's Gate - a.k.a the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, tell us there's no chance it'll harm us this time at least, so why not trust them/NASA as we've trusted them with Not Putting Their Research to Bad Use Like Weapons, safe disposal of rocket fuel and such, and using our tax dollars for maximum humanitarian needs with maximum economic efficiency.  Don't we all want to be trusting souls?  Especially with people who use sliderules and do math in their heads and can speak with such self-assurance as to declare absolutes about vast moving astronomical objects in future events?

Ever hear of Chaos Theory?  If you don't believe it now... If you live longer, you will

I'm not worried.  Worry has no good use except in the very short term to prompt some practical strategies regarding the thing in question.  If a big-ass asteroid hits our planet (or even moon), or throws things awry on them onnaconna gravitatonal pull or cosmic rays or sompin... Well, if we survive, we'll probably soon wish we hadn't.  NOTHIN WE CAN DO ABOUT IT (forget those sci-fis wherein we're saved by rocketry; that's a cometload of BS hitting the oscellator of reality.)  As the guy who managed to get his innocent 'best friend' sent to jail for his own crimes explained, 'What can I say, Judge Judy: SHIT HAPPENS!'       

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Even the Teeps Can't Qwell Pol's Pet Pork Projects

Go to ( archives of the sadly moribund of late) & especially
and get the MASSIVELY SUCKING YOUR TAX DOLLARS to pay for a destructive and wildly hypocritical white-elephant unneeded project - WHILE THE WHITTIER NARROWS DAM ITSELF IS FALLING APART AND NOTHING IS BEING DONE ABOUT THAT - lowdown on what the 'Discovery Center' is all about - including the board's decision to head the project with a professional contractor whose proven record as dirty crony appointed politician includes another really expensive failure of another 'discovery center'.  Don't think the talk of private funding now includes returning the vast fortune you paid for or will better protect your public spaces.

And have you sadly noted how many things around your community are being 'renovated and improved' by old revenue-alloted decisions or new 'Stimulus' money that didn't need fixing, while the things that need fixing are still going unfixed?  Is the school or city hall or athletic field getting a cosmetic makeover while the cracks in the bridges are widening and the walkways are hedged with  filthy debris and broken glass?  Are the libraries and police services getting new gadget$ while laying off workers and cutting pensions and operating hours?

Cherchez les CRONIES! 

San Gabriel River Discovery Center sheds lawsuit, begins fundraising for Whittier Narrows center

By Steve Scauzillo, Staff Writer Posted: 10/28/2011 04:16:37 PM PDT
SOUTH EL MONTE - The San Gabriel River Discovery Center board last week settled a lawsuit brought by an opposition group, paving the way for a major fundraising campaign and possible construction of the nature center by late 2012.

By settling with the Friends of the Whittier Narrows Natural Area, the joint-powers board overseeing the proposed $22 million, 14,000-square-foot nature and water museum at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area was able to finalize the project's environmental impact report, according to the San Gabriel River Discovery Center Authority.

The opposition group agreed to drop an appeal of its lawsuit, which claimed the environmental report was insufficient. That petition was initially dismissed by a Superior Court judge in March. The Discovery Center Authority in turn agreed to waive recovery of about $10,142 in court costs, authority officials said.

The agreement did not change the environmental report or the plans for the project, said sources close to the project.

"One reason we decided not to pursue the suit was why spend more of our dollars when we don't think (the project) will go anywhere?" said Jim Odling, leader of the Friends group, which sent out a press release saying the project is "on its deathbed."

"There is public opposition to it, and they can't raise the money," Odling said Tuesday.

However, the authority board, made up of water and park officials, said the project is moving into a
new fundraising phase and is far from over.

The authority so far has $9.8 million for the project, but it still needs another $12 million before the education center can be built, said Jane Beesley, the interim executive officer of the San Gabriel River Discovery Center Authority..

"In order to move forward to the next step, it needs an infusion of cash," Beesley said.

The authority board last week transferred about $98,000 from its budget to a newly created San Gabriel River Discovery Center Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization as defined by the federal tax code, Beesley said.

The foundation then hired NPO Solutions, a Studio City-based consultant, to form a fundraising board and ramp up a massive campaign. The foundation is paying NPO $80,000, Beesley said. NPO Solutions lists several Pasadena-area clients on its website, including the Pasadena Symphony, Sequoyah School and Pacific Clinics.

The foundation will be soliciting cash from corporations, private foundations and individuals interested in education, water and environmental issues.

"They (the Friends group) may think they've killed the project. But the project is not dead. It will be moving forward," Beesley said Tuesday.

The project absorbed a huge blow this spring when the State Parks Department denied the authority's application for a $7 million grant.

Last year, the Gabrielino Band of Mission Indians came out in opposition to the project.

Opponents want to preserve the 2,000-square-foot nature center on the site, at 1000 N. Durfee Ave. They say the Discovery Center is too large, would destroy local habitat, and would become a monument to water districts and other governmental bureaucracies.

Odling's group took a new tack, asking the authority last week if it will agree to renovate the nature center.

Storm: Death, Destruction, Misery, Millions Without Power - AGAIN

Click here: Northeast Snowstorm Leaves Millions Without Power

Because, for more than a century of obvious need ignored, of valuing war and irresponsible slapdash profiteering over lives, safety, beauty, rights of ownership and sheer common sense, we still have an exposed power grid, now the obivious and supremely ideal target of seriously inimical human forces as well as that of an increasingly roiling, hostile meteorology.