Daily Archive: 03/25/2011

Mar 25 2011

from firefly-dreaming 25.3.11

Essays Featured Friday the 25th of March~

Late Night Karaoke has ‘Bout to Get Fruit Punched Homie, mishima DJs

Six Brilliant Articles! from Six Different Places!! on Six Different Topics!!!

                Six Days a Week!!!    at Six in the Morning!!!!

Topsy-Turvy are slksfca‘s Friday Open Thoughts


In Memoriam: Elizabeth Taylor from TheMomCat

dsteffen has another Brilliant edition of How Regulation Came To Be this edition its The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

from Timbuk3: The 100 Greatest Rock Songs of All Time!

Tonight #96

My Little Town Translator reminisces about Arthur Holloway  

Mar 25 2011

Round of 16 Part 2

A good night for the underdogs, 3 out of 4.  Don’t complain to me about how they busted your brackets, I root, I don’t pool.

I plan on keeping the Men’s and Women’s tournaments separate and if I’m up to it there is Formula One Qualifying in Australia at 2 am (repeated midnight on Sunday with the race itself to follow at 2 am).

Who says we’re a political blog?

Last Night’s Results

Seed Team Record Score Seed Team Record Score Region
2 San Diego St. 35 – 3 67 3 *Connecticut 31 – 9 74 West
2 *Florida 31 – 7 83 3 BYU 34 – 5 74 Southeast
1 Duke 34 – 5 77 5 *Arizona 31 – 7 93 West
4 Wisconsin 26 – 9 54 8 *Butler 25 – 9 61 Southeast

Armando is convinced that there is no way Virginia Commonwealth can stand up against Florida State, but it’s just a 10 seed against an 11 and I don’t see any reason they shouldn’t stay lucky.

Did I mention I’m rooting for Richmond?

Current Matchups

Time Network Seed Team Record Seed Team Record Region
7:15 CBS 2 North Carolina 29 – 7 11 Marquette 23 – 14 East
7:27 TBS 1 Kansas 36 – 2 12 Richmond 29 – 7 Southwest
9:45 CBS 1 Ohio St. 35 – 2 4 Kentucky 33 – 8 East
9:57 TBS 10 Florida St. 25 – 10 11 Virginia Commonwealth 26 – 11 Southwest

Follow the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament on The Stars Hollow Gazette.

If you don’t like squeeky shoes you can look for alternate programming here-

For a more traditional bracket try CBS Sports.

Mar 25 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Deaths reported as demos held in Syrian cities

by Natacha Yazbeck, AFP

2 hrs 8 mins ago

DARAA, Syria (AFP) – Protesters took the streets in a number of Syrian cities Friday to demand major change, dismissing promises of reforms by the authorities as rights activists reported deaths in police shootings.

Demonstrations were reported in Damascus, Banias, Latakia, Hama, Dahel and Homs, and the southern town of Daraa, with videos purporting to be of the rallies surfacing on YouTube. The authenticity of the videos could not be verified.

Human rights activists said police fired on protesters in the southern village of Sanamen as they were heading to nearby Daraa, hub of the protests, for the funeral of two people killed earlier in the week during clashes with security forces.

Mar 25 2011

WWL Radio #102 An Unnatural Imbalance in all Things

Friday, March 11th at 6pm EST!

Listen live by clicking the link icon below:

Listen to The Wild Wild Left on internet talk radio

The call in number is 646-929-1264 to join the conversation!

The live chat link will go live around 5:45.. found at the bottom of the show page when you listen, or by clicking the link below. Chat will be monitored for comments and questions by the host.


Tip: In order to comment in chat, you must create a BTR account, its free and only takes seconds.

Miss the show? The podcasts are available at the link above, or at the Wild Wild Left

PhotobucketI make my return to the air on the edges of one of my own changes in my life’s path. Such is nature, such is life, yes?

There are natural disasters, natural courses that the human species must endure. So many of these stories I am playing catch-up on tonight illustrate the most unnatural disasters, imbalances cause purely by the idiocy and greed of men.

From preventing girls from mimicking breast-feeding, to our wars of imperialism and greed, to revisionist history attacking the US workforce to the complete utter disregard for logic in nuclear programs… its not going to take much to make the stones come tumbling down upon us.

My work, and your work here is not done, my friends, though others have done their share and now rest.

Join Wild Wild Left Radio every Friday at 6pm EST, via Blog Talk Radio, with Hostess and Producer Diane Gee to guide you through Current Events taken from a Wildly Left Prospective….  her Joplinesque voice speaking straight from the heart about the real-life implications of the Political and the Class War on everyday American Citizens like you.

Controversy? We face it. Cutting Edge? We step over it. Revolutions start with information, and The Wild Wild Left Radio brings you the best in information and op/eds from a position that others on the Left fear to tread…. all with a grain shaker of irreverent humor.

WWL Radio: Bringing you “out there where the buses don’t run” LEFT perspective with interviews, op/eds and straight talk since January of 2009!

Mar 25 2011

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is 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.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”

New York Times Editorial: Let Them Eat Cutbacks

Food stamps are part of the social safety net, but they work more as the ultimate ground-level crutch for Americans staggering against poverty. During the recession, food stamps were an important factor in helping an estimated 4.5 million Americans stave off the official poverty (no more than $21,756 annually for a family of four) that engulfed nearly 16 percent of the nation. The stamps are win-win: $9 in fast economic stimulus for every $5 spent on food for a hungry family.

Sad wonder, then, that cuts in food stamps are the latest proposal heading for the House Republicans’ budgetary chopping block. An attempt to set them back at the levels of 2007 – and cost a family of four $59 out of their $294 monthly allotment – is part of welfare “reform” legislation being proposed by leaders of the powerful Republican Study Committee. This group, embraced by two-thirds of the House majority, is the conservative engine driving much of the deficit-slashing mania to extremes.

Paul Krugman: The Austerity Delusion

Portugal’s government has just fallen in a dispute over austerity proposals. Irish bond yields have topped 10 percent for the first time. And the British government has just marked its economic forecast down and its deficit forecast up.

What do these events have in common? They’re all evidence that slashing spending in the face of high unemployment is a mistake. Austerity advocates predicted that spending cuts would bring quick dividends in the form of rising confidence, and that there would be few, if any, adverse effects on growth and jobs; but they were wrong.

It’s too bad, then, that these days you’re not considered serious in Washington unless you profess allegiance to the same doctrine that’s failing so dismally in Europe.

Eugene Robinson: Dazed and confused by the Libyan mandate

Is it just me? Am I the only one who’s utterly confused about the rationale, goals, tactics and strategy of the U.S.-led military intervention in Libya?

Thought not.

I call it a U.S.-led operation because, people, let’s be real. Without U.S. diplomatic leadership, there would have been no U.N. Security Council resolution. Without U.S. military leadership, there would have been no coordinated shock-and-awe attack to put dictator Moammar Gaddafi’s rampaging forces back on their heels. On Thursday, after days of bickering, we heard a grand announcement that NATO will take command of at least part of the operation. Don’t believe it. The United States will be functionally in charge, and thus on the hook, until this ends.

So what the hell are we doing? I realize that President Obama and his advisers have answered this question many times, but I feel it’s necessary to keep asking until the answers begin to make sense.

Mar 25 2011

On This Day in History March 25

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

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

March 25 is the 84th day of the year (85th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 281 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in history, two tragic fires occurred in New York City. In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire claimed 146 lives and 79 years later, in 1990, the Happy Land fire killed 87 people, the most deadly fire in the city since 1911.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city of New York and resulted in the fourth highest loss of life from an industrial accident in U.S. history. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers, who either died from the fire or jumped to their deaths. Most of the victims were recent immigrant Jewish women aged sixteen to twenty-three. Many of the workers could not escape the burning building because the managers had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits. People jumped from the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors. The fire led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards and helped spur the growth of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, which fought for better working conditions for sweatshop workers.

The factory was located in the Asch Building, at 29 Washington Place, now known as the Brown Building, which has been designated a National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark.


The Triangle Waist Company factory occupied the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors of the Asch Building on the northwest corner of Greene Street and Washington Place, just to the east of Washington Square Park, in the Greenwich Village area of New York City. Under the ownership of Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, the factory produced women’s blouses, known as “shirtwaists.” The factory normally employed about 500 workers, mostly young immigrant women, who worked nine hours a day on weekdays plus seven hours on Saturdays.

As the workday was ending on the afternoon of Saturday, March 25, 1911, a fire flared up at approximately 4:45 PM in a scrap bin under one of the cutter’s tables at the northeast corner of the eighth floor. Both owners of the factory were in attendance and had invited their children to the factory on that afternoon. The Fire Marshal concluded that the likely cause of the fire was the disposal of an unextinguished match or cigarette butt in the scrap bin, which held two months’ worth of accumulated cuttings by the time of the fire. Although smoking was banned in the factory, cutters were known to sneak cigarettes, exhaling the smoke through their lapels to avoid detection. A New York Times article suggested that the fire may have been started by the engines running the sewing machines, while The Insurance Monitor, a leading industry journal, suggested that the epidemic of fires among shirtwaist manufacturers was “fairly saturated with moral hazard.” No one suggested arson.

A bookkeeper on the eighth floor was able to warn employees on the tenth floor via telephone, but there was no audible alarm and no way to contact staff on the ninth floor. According to survivor Yetta Lubitz, the first warning of the fire on the ninth floor arrived at the same time as the fire itself. Although the floor had a number of exits – two freight elevators, a fire escape, and stairways down to Greene Street and Washington Place – flames prevented workers from descending the Greene Street stairway, and the door to the Washington Place stairway was locked to prevent theft. The foreman who held the stairway door key had already escaped by another route. Dozens of employees escaped the fire by going up the Greene Street stairway to the roof. Other survivors were able to jam themselves into the elevators while they continued to operate.

Within three minutes, the Greene Street stairway became unusable in both directions. Terrified employees crowded onto the single exterior fire escape, a flimsy and poorly-anchored iron structure which may have been broken before the fire. It soon twisted and collapsed from the heat and overload, spilling victims nearly 100 feet (30 m) to their deaths on the concrete pavement below. Elevator operators Joseph Zito and Gaspar Mortillalo saved many lives by traveling three times up to the ninth floor for passengers, but Mortillalo was eventually forced to give up when the rails of his elevator buckled under the heat. Some victims pried the elevator doors open and jumped down the empty shaft. The weight of these bodies made it impossible for Zito to make another attempt.

The remainder waited until smoke and fire overcame them. The fire department arrived quickly but was unable to stop the flames, as there were no ladders available that could reach beyond the sixth floor. The fallen bodies and falling victims also made it difficult for the fire department to approach the building.

The Happy Land fire was an arson fire which killed 87 people trapped in an unlicensed social club called “Happy Land” (at 1959 Southern Boulevard) in the West Farms section of The Bronx, New York, on March 25, 1990. Most of the victims were ethnic Hondurans celebrating Carnival. Unemployed Cuban refugee Julio Gonzalez, whose former girlfriend was employed at the club, was arrested shortly after and ultimately convicted of arson and murder.

The Incident

Before the blaze, Happy Land was ordered closed for building code violations in November 1988. Violations included no fire exits, alarms or sprinkler system. No follow-up by the fire department was documented.

The evening of the fire, Gonzalez had argued with his former girlfriend, Lydia Feliciano, a coat check girl at the club, urging her to quit. She claimed that she had had enough of him and wanted nothing to do with him anymore. Gonzalez tried to fight back into the club but was ejected by the bouncer. He was heard to scream drunken threats in the process. Gonzalez was enraged, not just because of losing Lydia, but also because he had recently lost his job at a lamp factory, was impoverished, and had virtually no companions. Gonzalez returned to the establishment with a plastic container of gasoline which he found on the ground and had filled at a gas station. He spread the fuel on the only staircase into the club. Two matches were then used to ignite the gasoline.

The fire exits had been blocked to prevent people from entering without paying the cover charge. In the panic that ensued, a few people escaped by breaking a metal gate over one door.

Gonzalez then returned home, took off his gasoline-soaked clothes and fell asleep. He was arrested the following afternoon after authorities interviewed Lydia Feliciano and learned of the previous night’s argument. Once advised of his rights, he admitted to starting the blaze. A psychological examination found him to be not responsible due to mental illness or defect; but the jury, after deliberation, found him to be criminally responsible.

Found guilty on August 19, 1991, of 87 counts of arson and 87 counts of murder, Gonzalez was charged with 174 counts of murder- two for each victim he was sentence maximum of 25 years. It was the most substantial prison term ever imposed in the state of New York. He will be eligible for parole in March 2015.

The building that housed Happy Land club was managed in part by Jay Weiss, at the time the husband of actress Kathleen Turner. The New Yorker quoted Turner saying that “the fire was unfortunate but could have happened at a McDonald’s.” The building’s owner, Alex DiLorenzo, and leaseholders Weiss and Morris Jaffe, were found not criminally responsible, since they had tried to close the club and evict the tenant.

Mar 25 2011

Six In The Morning

Nato takes over Libya no-fly zone

Nato says it has agreed to take over responsibility from the US for enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya.

The BBC  25 March 2011

Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said talks would continue on giving Nato a “broader responsibility”, with a decision possible in the coming days.

There have been differences of opinion about whether attacks on ground troops should form part of the action.

British jets have launched missiles at Libyan armoured vehicles near Ajdabiya during a sixth night of allied raids.

The UK government said Tornado aircraft fired missiles at Libyan military units close to the town, where there has been fierce fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi.

Mar 25 2011

Taking Back America: Assault on the Constitution by Obama

Does anyone recognize this man?

Obama said the United States can effectively fight al-Qaida and its affiliates, “but we must do so with an abiding confidence in the rule of law and due process, in checks and balances and accountability.”

“We must never — ever — turn our back on its enduring principles for expedience sake,” he said.

Speaking in Washington’s National Archives building, where the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence are kept, Obama said the United States must continue to see those documents as the “foundation of liberty and justice in this country, and a light that shines for all who seek freedom, fairness, equality and dignity around the world.”

That was President Barack Obama less than two years ago. My how this man has shed his skin and aligned himself with all the policies he condemned.

Rights Are Curtailed for Terror Suspects

New rules allow investigators to hold domestic-terror suspects longer than others without giving them a Miranda warning, significantly expanding exceptions to the instructions that have governed the handling of criminal suspects for more than four decades.


A Federal Bureau of Investigation memorandum reviewed by The Wall Street Journal says the policy applies to “exceptional cases” where investigators “conclude that continued unwarned interrogation is necessary to collect valuable and timely intelligence not related to any immediate threat.” Such action would need prior approval from FBI supervisors and Justice Department lawyers, according to the memo, which was issued in December but not made public.

Some bloggers with more legal background than I have (which is not much) are questioning the authority of the DOJ to change Miranda rights without legislation or a Supreme Court ruling.

From Jeralyn Merritt at Talk Left:

The remedy for a Miranda violation is suppression of the statements, and any evidence derived from them, at the trial of the person who made them. Other defendants ordinarily wouldn’t have standing to challenge the statements at their trial, since it wasn’t their rights that were violated. But, what if there’s a policy that intentionally flouts Miranda? Is that a due process violation like outrageous government misconduct that could be raised by defendants against whom the statements were offered even if they weren’t the person whose Miranda rights were withheld?

At emptywheel, bmaz has this to say:

This type of move has been afoot for almost a year, with Eric Holder proposing it in a string of Sunday morning talk shows on May 9, 2010 and, subsequently, based on Holder’s request for Congressional action to limit Miranda in claimed terrorism cases, Representative Adam Smith proposed such legislation on July 31, 2010. Despite the howling of the usual suspects such as Lindsay Graham, Joe Lieberman, etc. the thought of such legislation died in the face of bi-partisan opposition from a wide range of legislators who actually understood Constitutional separation of powers and judicial authority. They knew the proposed legislation flew in the face of both concepts. And they were quite correct.

It was bad enough for the Obama Administration, headed by the supposed and so called “Constitutional scholar” Barack Obama, to propose inappropriate and unconstitutional legislation to restrict criminal suspects’ Constitution based Miranda rights, but it is an egregious step beyond to simply arrogate to themselves the unitary and unilateral power to do it by DOJ memorandum fiat.

(emphasis mine)

And the final word from Glenn Greenwald at Salon:

The right here is established by the Supreme Court as guaranteed by the Constitution, and the specific right in question — not to have pre-Miranda statements admissible in court — is one the administration cannot change and does not purport to. But the guidelines long in place for reading a detainee his rights were vital to preserving the Miranda framework — for preventing abusive interrogations and coerced statements — and it is this protection which the Obama DOJ is seriously diluting with such a permissive and discretionary standard.

Worse, the administration tried but failed to convince Congress to modify it with legislation. But, as we well know, nothing deters a President’s will: so they just went ahead and did it on their own. The very same political faction that spent the last decade decrying assertions of unconstrained executive power and the ignoring of Congressional will in the area of civil liberties is now its enthusiastic champion.

When it comes to debates between Left and Right over the Constitution and due process, Miranda has always been viewed as one of the key defining issues. Richard Nixon was obsessed with demonizing the Warren Court for providing too many rights to the accused, and his attacks on Miranda were part of a decades-long war by the American Right on the constitutional liberties established over the last half-century. With a swoop of a pen — more than 9 years removed from the 9/11 attacks — Barack Obama has done more to erode Miranda than any right-wing politician could have dreamed of achieving.

What they said.

Mar 25 2011

DocuDharma Digest

Regular Features-

Featured Essays for March 24, 2011-


Mar 25 2011

Under The Radar: More Outrageous and Stupid

The outrageous onslaught against workers, women and our intelligence continues.

I love Blue Texan at FDL but he is demeaning Trolls

From Think Progress with a h/t to Jon Walker at FDL

  • Buried Provision In House GOP Bill Would Cut Off Food Stamps To Entire Families If One Member Strikes

       Much of the bill is based upon verifying that those who receive food stamps benefits are meeting the federal requirements for doing so. However, one section buried deep within the bill adds a startling new requirement. The bill, if passed, would actually cut off all food stamp benefits to any family where one adult member is engaging in a strike against an employer


    The bill also includes a provision that would exempt households from losing eligibility, “if the household was eligible immediately prior to such strike, however, such family unit shall not receive an increased allotment as the result of a decrease in the income of the striking member or members of the household.”

      Yet removing entire families from eligibility while a single adult family member is striking would have a chilling effect on workers who are considering going on strike for better wages, benefits, or working conditions – something that is especially alarming in light of the fact that unions are one of the fundamental building blocks of the middle class that allow people to earn wages that keep them off food stamps.

The assault on women continues now targeting minorities and immigrants in Arizona and Wisconsin.

h/t to the Wonk Room for the first article.

  • Despite His ‘Pro-Life’ Crusade, Scott Walker Goes After Pregnant Immigrant Women

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has been criticized for going after students, teachers, seniors, and poor people in his attempt to balance the state budget without raising taxes or fees.

    ThinkProgress recently reported that Walker is also proposing to repeal Wisconsin’s Contraceptive Equity Law that requires insurance companies to cover prescription birth control. It turns out that while Walker wants to deny women the right to plan their future, he also wants to prevent undocumented women who are already pregnant from accessing prenatal care.

  • Arizona House approves ban on abortions for race or gender

    By David Scwartz

    PHOENIX (Reuters) – The Arizona House of Representatives on Wednesday approved controversial legislation that would make the state the first in the nation to ban abortions conducted due to the race or gender of the fetus.

    The bill approved in the House by a vote of 35-20 now goes to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican. Brewer has not said if she will sign it into law.

From Sarah Babbage at The American Prospect

  • Another Blow to Midwest Workers

    Yesterday, the Republican-controlled Michigan Legislature passed a bill that sets a dangerous precedent for jobless workers and continues Midwest governments’ assault on the vulnerable middle class. While the bill would continue extended unemployment insurance for those already unemployed, it cuts the time new claimants can receive benefits — from 26 weeks to 20. This would make it the first state to go below the national standard of 26 weeks.

Can Maine recall their elected state officials?

If they can, they should. LePage is just too stupid and offensive for words plus he has lousy taste in “decor”. From Think Progress

  • Maine Gov. Paul LePage Orders Labor History Mural Removed From State Offices

    Maine Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage (R) has ordered the removal of a 36-foot mural depicting Maine’s labor history from the lobby of the state’s Department of Labor offices, claiming they received “some complaints” from business owners. The Governor has also directed that eight conference rooms named after labor leaders – including Cesar Chavez – be renamed “after mountains, counties or something.”

    The directive comes amidst rising tensions between the LePage Administration and organized labor over the governor’s support for a right-to-work bill and efforts to roll back the state’s child labor laws.

    While the state’s AFL-CIO called the removal “mean-spirited”, a spokesman for the governor has said that the removal was not meant to “antagonize” labor, but rather to correct the office’s “one-sided decor.”

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