Daily Archive: 08/09/2010

Aug 09 2010

Military Suicides at an All Time High

A recent Army report released showed the rate of suicides has been on a steady increase with this past June being the worst with 32 active and reserve soldiers taking their own lives either while still deployed or after their return home. This past Sunday on This Week , Christiane Amanpour interviewed Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the general in charge of the U.S. Army’s efforts to reduce the epidemic of suicide among U.S. soldiers.

Of course the true solution to suicide prevention for the troops is to bring them home, all of them.

Listen to her interview with Gen. Chiaelli about the report, its causes and the solutions for prevention. Transcript link is here

Aug 09 2010

Punting the Pundits

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Glenn Greenwald: Marriage and the role of the state

Ross Douthat uses his New York Times column today  to put what he undoubtedly considers to be the most intellectual and humane face on the case against marriage equality.  Without pointing to any concrete or empirical evidence, Douthat insists that lifelong heterosexual monogamy is objectively superior to all other forms of adult relationships:  such arrangements are the “ideal,”  he pronounces.  He argues that equal treatment of same-sex marriages by secular institutions will make it impossible, even as a matter of debate and teaching, to maintain the rightful place of heterosexual monogamy as superior:

   

The point of this ideal is not that other relationships have no value, or that only nuclear families can rear children successfully. Rather, it’s that lifelong heterosexual monogamy at its best can offer something distinctive and remarkable — a microcosm of civilization, and an organic connection between human generations — that makes it worthy of distinctive recognition and support. . . . .

   If this newer order completely vanquishes the older marital ideal, then gay marriage will become not only acceptable but morally necessary. . . . But if we just accept this shift, we’re giving up on one of the great ideas of Western civilization: the celebration of lifelong heterosexual monogamy as a unique and indispensable estate.  That ideal is still worth honoring, and still worth striving to preserve. And preserving it ultimately requires some public acknowledgment that heterosexual unions and gay relationships are different:  similar in emotional commitment, but distinct both in their challenges and their potential fruit.

   But based on Judge Walker’s logic — which suggests that any such distinction is bigoted and un-American — I don’t think a society that declares gay marriage to be a fundamental right will be capable of even entertaining this idea.

This argument is radically wrong, and its two principal errors nicely highlight why the case against marriage equality is so misguided.

Aug 09 2010

Monday Business Edition

America Goes Dark

By PAUL KRUGMAN, The New York Times

Published: August 8, 2010

(A) large part of our political class is showing its priorities: given the choice between asking the richest 2 percent or so of Americans to go back to paying the tax rates they paid during the Clinton-era boom, or allowing the nation’s foundations to crumble – literally in the case of roads, figuratively in the case of education – they’re choosing the latter.

But isn’t keeping taxes for the affluent low also a form of stimulus? Not so you’d notice. When we save a schoolteacher’s job, that unambiguously aids employment; when we give millionaires more money instead, there’s a good chance that most of that money will just sit idle.

The antigovernment campaign has always been phrased in terms of opposition to waste and fraud – to checks sent to welfare queens driving Cadillacs, to vast armies of bureaucrats uselessly pushing paper around. But those were myths, of course; there was never remotely as much waste and fraud as the right claimed. And now that the campaign has reached fruition, we’re seeing what was actually in the firing line: services that everyone except the very rich need, services that government must provide or nobody will, like lighted streets, drivable roads and decent schooling for the public as a whole.

Monday Business Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Business

1 BP spends $6.1 bln on Gulf spill response

AFP

57 mins ago

LONDON (AFP) – Energy giant BP said on Monday that it had spent 6.1 billion dollars so far in response to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and confirmed that the damaged well was no longer leaking.

“The cost of the response to date amounts to approximately 6.1 billion dollars (4.6 billion euros),” BP said in an official statement.

The costs include spill response, relief well drilling, the “static kill” and cementing of the ruptured well, grants to Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs.

Aug 09 2010

On this Day in History: August 9

On this day in 1974, one day after the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford is sworn in as president, making him the first man to assume the presidency upon his predecessor’s resignation. He was also the first non-elected vice president and non-elected president, which made his ascendance to the presidency all the more unique.

Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr.; July 14, 1913 – December 26, 2006) was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974. As the first person appointed to the vice-presidency under the terms of the 25th Amendment, when he became President upon Richard Nixon’s  resignation on August 9, 1974, he also became the only President of the United States who was elected neither President nor Vice-President.

Before ascending to the vice-presidency, Ford served nearly 25 years as Representative from Michigan’s 5th congressional district, eight of them as the Republican Minority Leader.

As President, Ford signed the Helsinki Accords, marking a move toward detente in the Cold War. With the conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam nine months into his presidency, US involvement in Vietnam essentially ended. Domestically, Ford presided over what was then the worst economy since the Great Depression, with growing inflation and a recession during his tenure. One of his more controversial acts was to grant a presidential pardon to President Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal. During Ford’s incumbency, foreign policy was characterized in procedural terms by the increased role Congress began to play, and by the corresponding curb on the powers of the President. In 1976, Ford narrowly defeated Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination, but ultimately lost the presidential election to Democrat Jimmy Carter.

Following his years as president, Ford remained active in the Republican Party. After experiencing health problems and being admitted to the hospital four times in 2006, Ford died in his home on December 26, 2006. He lived longer than any other U.S. president, dying at the age of 93 years and 165 days.

Aug 09 2010

On Electing More Democrats

This diary is nothing more than my opinion. If you are looking for links to follow, you might as well stop reading now.

We’ve all seen opinions expressed by those who are convinced that by electing more Democrats, the problem with advancing liberal (or ‘progressive’) legislation would be solved. Those opinions are typically based upon the procedural hurdle in Congress: 60 votes in the Senate to enact cloture and 218 votes in the House for a majority. I’ll call these folks the majority-first group. I suppose that if it were simply a matter of achieving said majority, their premise might be valid. The passage of PPACA (health insurance reform) is often cited as an example of ‘landmark’ legislation under this scenario, although it would be disingenuous to label the legislation as liberal or even progressive. How many times were we led to believe by the President, the Speaker of the House, and the Majority Leader in the senate that the PPACA legislation would include a hugely popular public option, only to see it stripped so that we could get a ‘majority’ to vote for the bill?

Aug 09 2010

Update w/POLL: Support Progressive Author and Historian- Paul Street!

Photobucket

Well, my first diary here, so please humor me, I will make errors!  This is a brief request to support a writer and historian who may be close to our own hearts in terms of real Progressive and Liberal politics. Some say he might be the next Howard Zinn.

The title of the book we’d be supporting is The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power.

Paul has written many articles his most recent dealing with Wikileaks and whistle blowers: Revealing Moments: Obama, WikiLeaks, the “Good War” Myth, and Silly Liberal Faith in the Emperor  

Aug 09 2010

Support Progressive Author and Historian- Paul Street!

Photobucket

Well, My first diary here, so please humor me, I will make errors!  This is a brief request to support a writer and historian who may be close to our own hearts in terms of real Progressive and Liberal politics. Some say he might be the next Howard Zinn.

The title of the book we’d be supporting is The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power.

Paul has written many articles his most recent dealing with Wikileaks and whistle blowers: Revealing Moments: Obama, WikiLeaks, the “Good War” Myth, and Silly Liberal Faith in the Emperor  

 

Aug 09 2010

Pique the Geek 20100808: Automobiles Then and Now, Part One: Overview

With the near release of the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt, both 100% electric driven automobiles, I thought that it would be appropriate to reflect on the history and technology of the automobile.  Actually, the Volt also has an internal combustion engine on board, but that engine runs a generator, so both of these cars are exclusively driven by electric motors.

The engine to generator concept is not at all new, as practically all big Diesel locomotives are driven that way.  There are significant advantages in using electric motors to propel vehicles, even if they are powered by on board generators.  We shall get to that in future.

Aug 09 2010

Too short to quote.

Greenspan, Rubin, and Herbert Hoover

Robert Reich

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Herbert Hoover’s disciples are making noises even as America moves closer towards a double dip recession

Aug 09 2010

Prime Time

Haven’t I told you TV has jumped the Shark?

Can it be time for Throwball again?  Cinncinati @ Dallas and the only interesting question about it is if Keith still has his gig.

Something, Something, Something… Dark Side.

Later-

Yahoo TV Listings

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