Daily Archive: 10/12/2010

Oct 12 2010

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Record protests hit France in pensions showdown

by Roland Lloyd Parry, AFP

42 mins ago

PARIS (AFP) – More than a million French workers marched Tuesday in the biggest protest yet against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pensions reform, threatening to extend strikes disrupting trains, planes and refineries.

Students and school pupils joined the movement for the first time and staff in several sectors threatened to make the strikes open-ended, escalating the toughest battle of Sarkozy’s presidency, as the government dug in its heels.

“Sarko, you’re screwed, the young are on the streets,” chanted students as they marched beside trade unionists and their supporters on the fourth major nationwide demonstration against pension reform in just over a month.

Oct 12 2010

Another Opportunity for FAIL

BREAKING: Federal judge orders Obama admin. to stop DADT discharges immediately. Will Obama comply, or side with the bigots?

Posted by John Aravosis (DC) at 10/12/2010 02:49:00 PM

The President, who is himself a constitutional scholar, has been handed the golden opportunity to end DADT once and for all. A federal judge has now ruled that the gay ban is unconstitutional, and he has ordered the federal government to stop the discharges immediately. The President now has the power – given to him by a federal judge – to do the right thing, to do what he promised, to side with the civil rights community. All he has to do is not appeal, and DADT is over.

It’s a no-brainer. Even for this administration that is loathe to do anything bold, loathe to be seen as responsible for anything even slightly “controversial.” Well, now they have their out. It’s the judge’s fault. President Obama can simply choose not to appeal the case, to respect the judge’s decision, and DADT is over. It’s history.

Or the President can direct his Department of Justice to oppose the judge’s order, to appeal the case, and to defend DADT – to defend bigotry, to go down in history on the same side as those who chose to defend discrimination against another class of Americans earlier in the 20th century. It’s no longer up to Congress, it’s not longer “out of the President’s hands.”  It’s in Barack Obama’s hands. Will America’s first African-American president side with the bigots, or will he side with civil rights.  Will he act boldly, or will he choose the way of the coward?

Oct 12 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.

Rachel Maddow: The GOP’s Disturbing New Norm

Glen Greenwald: They hate us for our occupations

In 2004, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld commissioned a task force to study what causes Terrorism, and it concluded that “Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies”:  specifically, “American direct intervention in the Muslim world”  through our “one sided support in favor of Israel”; support for Islamic tyrannies in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia; and, most of all, “the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan” (the full report is here).  Now, a new, comprehensive study from Robert Pape, a University of Chicago political science professor and former Air Force lecturer, substantiates what is (a) already bleedingly obvious and (b) known to the U.S. Government for many years:  namely, that the prime cause of suicide bombings is not Hatred of Our Freedoms or Inherent Violence in Islamic Culture or a Desire for Worldwide Sharia Rule by Caliphate, but rather.  . . . foreign military occupations.

(emphasis mine)

Oct 12 2010

On This Day in History: October 12

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

October 12 is the 285th day of the year (286th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 80 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1810, Bavarian Crown Prince Louis, later King Louis I of Bavaria, marries Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to attend the festivities, held on the fields in front of the city gates. These famous public fields were named Theresienwiese-“Therese’s fields”-in honor of the crown princess; although locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the “Wies’n.” Horse races in the presence of the royal family concluded the popular event, celebrated in varying forms all across Bavaria.

Oktoberfest is a 16-18 day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world’s largest fair, with more than 5 million people attending every year. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modelled after the Munich event.

The Munich Oktoberfest, traditionally, takes place during the sixteen days up to and including the first Sunday in October. In 1994, the schedule was modified in response to German reunification so that if the first Sunday in October falls on the 1st or 2nd, then the festival will go on until October 3 (German Unity Day). Thus, the festival is now 17 days when the first Sunday is October 2 and 18 days when it is October 1. In 2010, the festival lasts until the first Monday in October, to mark the 200-year anniversary of the event. The festival is held in an area named the Theresienwiese (field, or meadow, of Therese), often called Wiesn for short, located near Munich’s centre.

Visitors eat huge amounts of traditional hearty fare such as Hendl (chicken), Schweinsbraten (roast pork), Schweinshaxe (ham hock), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Würstl (sausages) along with Brezn (Pretzel), Knödel (potato or bread dumplings), Kasspatzn (cheese noodles), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Sauerkraut or Blaukraut (red cabbage) along with such Bavarian delicacies as Obatzda (a spiced cheese-butter spread) and Weisswurst (a white sausage).

First hundred years

In the year 1811, an agricultural show was added to boost Bavarian agriculture. The horse race persisted until 1960, the agricultural show still exists and it is held every four years on the southern part of the festival grounds. In 1816, carnival booths appeared; the main prizes were silver, porcelain, and jewelry. The founding citizens of Munich assumed responsibility for festival management in 1819, and it was agreed that the Oktoberfest would become an annual event. Later, it was lengthened and the date pushed forward, the reason being that days are longer and warmer at the end of September.

To honour the marriage of King Ludwig I and Therese of Bavaria, a parade took place for the first time in 1835. Since 1850, this has become a yearly event and an important component of the Oktoberfest. 8,000 people-mostly from Bavaria-in traditional costumes walk from Maximilian Street, through the centre of Munich, to the Oktoberfest. The march is led by the Münchner Kindl.

Since 1850, the statue of Bavaria has watched the Oktoberfest. This worldly Bavarian patron was first sketched by Leo von Klenze in a classic style and Ludwig Michael Schwanthaler romanticised and “Germanised” the draft; it was constructed by Johann Baptist Stiglmaier and Ferdinand von Miller.

In 1853, the Bavarian Ruhmeshalle was finished. In 1854, 3,000 residents of Munich succumbed to an epidemic of cholera, so the festival was cancelled. Also, in the year 1866, there was no Oktoberfest as Bavaria fought in the Austro-Prussian War. In 1870, the Franco-Prussian war was the reason for cancellation of the festival. In 1873, the festival was once more cancelled due to a cholera epidemic. In 1880, the electric light illuminated over 400 booths and tents (Albert Einstein helped install light bulbs in the Schottenhamel tent as an apprentice in his uncle’s electricity business in 1896). In 1881, booths selling bratwursts opened. Beer was first served in glass mugs in 1892.

At the end of the 19th century, a re-organization took place. Until then, there were games of skittles, large dance floors, and trees for climbing in the beer booths. They wanted more room for guests and musicians. The booths became beer halls.

In 1887, the Entry of the Oktoberfest Staff and Breweries took place for the first time. This event showcases the splendidly decorated horse teams of the breweries and the bands that play in the festival tents. This event always takes place on the first Saturday of the Oktoberfest and symbolises the official prelude to the Oktoberfest celebration

In the year 1910, Oktoberfest celebrated its 100th birthday. 120,000 litres of beer were poured. In 1913, the Braurosl was founded, which was the largest Oktoberfest beer tent of all time, with room for about 12,000 guests.

I have very fond memories of Oktoberfest. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Europe, do it in late September because this is a must see and experience.

Oct 12 2010

Morning Shinbun Tuesday October 12




Tuesday’s Headlines:

Brazil eyes microchips for forest management

USA

Offshore Wind Power Line Wins Praise, and Backing

Families, veterans call operation name on Arlington headstones propaganda move

Europe

Irish police find explosives and arms dump in blow to dissident republicans

Money speaks louder than hollow EU praise for Chinese activist

Middle East

Basra in southern Iraq has been transformed – thanks to oil

Iran apparently arrests son of woman sentenced to stoning, group says

Asia

Pakistan aid workers in row with US over Stars and Stripes ‘logo’

South Korea’s Lee expects Kim Jong-un to rule North Korea

Africa

Uganda customs impounds Museveni biography

African journalists tasked on climate change

Latin America

Chilean miners face struggle after rescue

Chile prepares for attempt to rescue 33 miners

An attempt to rescue 33 miners trapped underground in Chile will begin at midnight on Tuesday (0300 GMT), Mining Minister Laurence Golborne has said.  

The BBC  12 October 2010

A test of the steel rescue capsule was earlier carried out successfully, descending almost the whole way down a 622m (2,040ft) shaft, engineers said.

The men were trapped in the San Jose mine by a tunnel collapse on 5 August.

Correspondents say there is a sense of excitement on the surface, with the miners’ families counting the hours.

Journalists have flocked to the mine from all over the world to see the freed men emerge from their two-month ordeal.

Oct 12 2010

Not Just Foreclosures!

Do you want to buy the Brooklyn Bridge?

Special today just for you.

If there is one single simple message I want you to take away from my writing about this issue, IT’S NOT JUST FORECLOSURES!

Every transfer of real estate from a seller to a buyer involves a title search which includes little things like just what are the boundaries of the property AND WHO OWNS IT!

If you pay cash, who owns “your” property is perfectly clear (usually) but we don’t customarily hand over wheel barrows of bills or even cut a check.

Usually you purchase by financing and share your title with a bank which has the right to seize your property if you don’t make the payments specified in your contract.  You’ll also be expected to pay for “title insurance”.  This protects the bank’s investment if it is later discovered that the person who sold it to to you has about as much right to sell it as I have to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge (you set a hard bargain, how about just what you have in your pocket right now?).  You, on the other hand, won’t get much satisfaction from it.

Now if you don’t pay the bank they take your property and sell it.  That’s foreclosure.  But what if you are paying the bank and have a better offer come along?

Well, normally you could just pay the bank what you owe (including the penalties in the fine print that they use to make this difficult and expensive for you and profitable for them) and accept the money from the new purchaser and transfer the title.

You found a sucker who’s willing to buy the Brooklyn Bridge for more than you paid me?  Congratulations Gordon Gekko.  Greed is good.

On the other hand, what has happened if you have financed or re-financed in the last 10 years is that your title (even supposing I had a legitimate claim to the Brooklyn Bridge because it was built on and with the bones of my Viking Ancestors) has been sliced and diced into so many pieces that the banks can’t track it anymore.

You can’t sell your property because you don’t have clear title.

Anyone who buys property at the moment is no better than a rube who’d buy the Brooklyn Bridge if the price was right, and this is ALL property.  That there is a market at all is a testimony to how many rubes are born every minute.

Now me, I have the $6.45 you had in your pocket which I’ve already invested in a bottle of Night Train so I can sleep under my bridge.

Your government, Barack Hussein Obama and all his Washington Wall Street Wizard Advisors, think that if they can just keep you from peeking at that man behind the curtain you’ll always find a sucker to sell to, but the title insurance companies aren’t buying it.

Nor should you.

Oct 12 2010

The Downward Spiral of a Great Nation

I need not say more

Glen Greenwald: Collapsing Empire Watch

t’s easy to say and easy to document, but quite difficult to really internalize, that the United States is in the process of imperial collapse.  Every now and then, however, one encounters certain facts which compellingly and viscerally highlight how real that is.  Here’s the latest such fact, from a new study in Health Affairs by Columbia Health Policy Professors Peter A. Muennig and Sherry A. Glied (h/t):

   

In 1950, the United States was fifth among the leading industrialized nations with respect to female life expectancy at birth, surpassed only by Sweden, Norway, Australia, and the Netherlands.  The last available measure of female life expectancy had the United States ranked at forty-sixth in the world.  As of September 23, 2010, the United States ranked forty-ninth for both male and female life expectancy combined.

. . .

There is, however, some good news:  the U.S. is now in fifth place in total number of executions, behind only China, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and comfortably ahead of Yemen and Sudan, while there are two categories in which the U.S. has been and remains the undisputed champion of the world — this one and this one.

And the rich get richer one life at a time

Oct 12 2010

Barack Hussein Obama: Fierce Advocate!

Miami Thrice: DCCC to Gay Iraq Vet, "Your Money’s No Good Here"

By: Teddy Partridge Monday October 11, 2010 4:55 pm

Your money’s no good here, sir: seems to cover it. Anthony Woods was good enough to get sent to Harvard by the military, good enough to lead men in battle in Iraq, and good enough to admit to West Point. But his money’s no good to the Democrats who won’t repeal DADT. And the President who won’t issue a stop/loss order to suspend DADT discharges can’t even face Anthony Woods man-to-man.

Or perhaps this black gay man was unwelcome in NBA superstar Alonzo Mourning’s home.

Well, then – my money is no good either. I’ll give when I get Equal, too.

More posts by Teddy about today’s protests at the Barack Obama/Alonzo Mourning Miami Fundraiser.

Coverage from Americablog Gay-

Oct 12 2010

Prime Time

Mostly premiers on broadcast.  Let’s check our brackets shall we?  Yankees and Phillies sweep.  The Braves’ third string 2nd baseman has error problems and will sit, which is probably the best thing for both him and the team.  He’s not really the problem anyway, it’s that the Braves’ offense has sucked.  The Rangers can’t possibly prove what great choke artists they are tonight since they’re not playing until tomorrow.  The Braves could lose it all though on TBS.  Should the Rays and the Giants win against my expectations I just don’t think they pose any problems the Yankees and Phillies can’t solve in a 7 game series.

But it’s only sports folks, a diversion from the fact that the title to your house is fraudulent and all those Collateralized Mortgage Obligations and derivatives the banks are basing their balance sheets on worthless.

It’s not just foreclosures, it’s every piece of property in the United States and collectively they are the single largest asset in the entire world financial system.

Still, while we’re waiting for Armageddon at least we have 3rd rate entertainment to divert us from our imminent destruction.

Later-

Dave hosts Jim Parsons, Geoffrey Canada, Mark Ronson and the Business Intl. with Q-Tip and MNDR.  Jon has Johnny Knoxville (idiot), Stephen Robert Reich (which might be interesting, but he’s basically pitching his book).  Double down Alton, Tempura fry and Chicken fry.

BoondocksA Date With the Health Inspector.

Anyone getting Hub Network?  They’re featuring Laverne & Shirley and Adam West, Burt Ward Batman.

I don’t like your manners.

And I’m not crazy about yours. I didn’t ask to see you. I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners, I don’t like them myself. They are pretty bad. I grieve over them on long winter evenings. I don’t mind your ritzing me drinking your lunch out of a bottle. But don’t waste your time trying to cross-examine me.

There will come a time when you have a chance to do the right thing.

I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by.

Oct 12 2010

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 British hostage may have been killed by US grenade: Cameron

by Danny Kemp, AFP

29 mins ago

LONDON (AFP) – A British aid worker who died in an attempt to rescue her from her Taliban kidnappers in Afghanistan may have been killed by a grenade detonated by US troops, Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday.

Linda Norgrove, 36, was abducted on September 26 in eastern Afghanistan and killed in the failed US-led operation on Friday. British officials had earlier said she died when one of her captors blew up a suicide vest.

Cameron said an immediate investigation had been launched into Norgrove’s death but he defended the attempt to rescue her, saying that she had been in “grave danger” from the moment she was captured.