Daily Archive: 06/06/2011

Jun 06 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Syria says 120 police killed, activists see mutiny

AFP

32 mins ago

DAMASCUS (AFP) – One hundred and twenty policemen were killed by “armed gangs” in northwest Syria, state television said on Monday, as the authorities warned of a firm response.

Activists who spoke to AFP in Cyprus disputed the official account, speaking instead of a mutiny in the town of Jisrash Shugur, where security forces had been carrying out operations for three days.

“The armed groups are committing a real massacre. They have mutilated bodies and thrown others into the Assi river,” the state broadcaster said. “They have burned government buildings.”

Jun 06 2011

Manic Monday

Special Bonus Video-

Lyrics below.

Jun 06 2011

The Elephants in the Room

Now don’t get me wrong, I like Wikipedia from an anarcho-syndicalist standpoint and because I find it presents a fairly accurate consensus view (though not one I necessarily agree with) most of the time.  It’s a very good source for pop culture.  To me the downsides are it’s poorly organized (too much subdivision) and badly indexed (built in search sucks) as well as incomplete in critical parts.  Why no entry for Aqua Duck?

Now we’re all familiar by this point with Sarah Palin’s original flub on Paul Revere-

Frankly, I’m frequently wrong and when confronted by a mistake of this type my general instinct is to say- “I’m sorry, I misspoke.” even when doing so totally invalidates the point I was trying to make.  You know, like H.W. and September 7th-

This is Pearl Harbor Day. Forty-seven years ago to this very day, we were hit and hit hard at Pearl Harbor.

Bush addressing the American Legion in Louisville, Kentucky (7 September 1988).  Love to have a copy of the whole thing, but my Google isn’t up to it.

Remarks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana

1992-08-17

Thank you all so much. I’m proud to be back with you. This time I’ll remember Pearl Harbor Day, too.

Since that one’s from the H.W. library you can hardly deny it happened.

Sarah has instead decided to double down-

Now the legions of Sarah fans have decided to rewrite history, which is nothing new for Republicans (did I mention I can’t find a transcript of that 1988 speech to the Louisville, Kentucky, American Legion?).  So you don’t have to click through on the LGF links here are the direct links to the discussion pages.

Jun 06 2011

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.

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

Peter A. Diamond: When a Nobel Prize Isn’t Enough

LAST October, I won the Nobel Prize in economics for my work on unemployment and the labor market. But I am unqualified to serve on the board of the Federal Reserve – at least according to the Republican senators who have blocked my nomination. How can this be?

The easy answer is to point to shortcomings in our confirmation process and to partisan polarization in Washington. The more troubling answer, though, points to a fundamental misunderstanding: a failure to recognize that analysis of unemployment is crucial to conducting monetary policy.

In April 2010, President Obama nominated me to be one of the seven governors of the Fed. He renominated me in September, and again in January, after Senate Republicans blocked a floor vote on my confirmation. When the Senate Banking Committee took up my nomination in July and again in November,  three Republican senators voted for me each time. But the third time around, the Republicans on the committee voted in lockstep against my appointment, making it extremely unlikely that the opposition to a full Senate vote can be overcome. It is time for me to withdraw, as I plan to inform the White House.

Paul Krugman: Vouchercare Is Not Medicare

What’s in a name? A lot, the National Republican Congressional Committee obviously believes. Last week, the committee sent a letter demanding that a TV station stop running an ad declaring that the House Republican budget plan would “end Medicare.” This, the letter insisted, was a false claim: the plan would simply install a “new, sustainable version of Medicare.”

But Comcast, the station’s owner, rejected the demand – and rightly so. For Republicans are indeed seeking to dismantle Medicare as we know it, replacing it with a much worse program.

I’m seeing many attempts to shout down anyone making this obvious point, and not just from Republican politicians. For some reason, many commentators seem to believe that accurately describing what the G.O.P. is actually proposing amounts to demagoguery. But there’s nothing demagogic about telling the truth.

Robert Reich: Why Washington Isn’t Doing Squat About Jobs and Wages

The silence is deafening. While the rest of the nation is heading back toward a double dip, Washington continues to obsess about future budget deficits. Why?

Republicans don’t want to do anything about jobs and wages. They’re so intent on unseating Obama they’d like the economy to remain in the dumps through Election Day. They also see the lousy economy as an opportunity to sell Americans their big lie that government spending is the culprit – and jobs will return if spending is cut and government shrinks.

Democrats, meanwhile, don’t want to admit the recovery has stalled.  They worry such talk will further undermine consumer confidence or spook the bond market. They don’t want to head into the election year sounding downbeat. And they don’t think they have the votes for anything that will have much effect before Election Day anyway.

Max Eternity: Dr. Cornel West: Greetings From a 21st-Century Prophet

“There is a price to pay for speaking the truth. There is a bigger price for living a lie.”

-Dr. Cornel West

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Can America’s collective economics inform who we are as a people, whereby, through obsessive bean-counting, we sculpt our destiny, tacitly sanctioning the stripping of basic dignity from fellow citizens, the erosion of civil liberties, the evisceration of public education policies, of the arts and humanities, bankrupting entire communities, tarnishing longstanding values of the populace and its self-image, thus ultimately destroying all that was once valuable to society?

For even after the world swooned from the megahype of England’s latest royal wedding and the hip, hip, hurrah of President Obama’s ordered assassination of Osama bin Laden, a cornucopia of catastrophic socioeconomic horrors – in addition to America’s continued unpreparedness for natural disaster – still face this nation: endless war, long-term unemployment, swelling prison populations and multiple years of record-breaking home foreclosures.

Joe Conason: Playing With Default

The current puppet play in Congress, where Republicans sponsored a bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling only because they wanted to vote it down, would be funny, if only they weren’t risking economic disaster. Unfortunately they’re not joking, as they push the country closer and closer to a potentially ruinous default.

If the showdown over debt and spending between the House majority and the White House isn’t resolved before the first week of August, the federal government will no longer be able to send out Social Security checks, run Veterans Administration hospitals, pay Medicare costs or operate the national park system, to mention just a few significant items. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers would be furloughed without pay, and millions of seniors would stop spending money, slamming an economy that already seems stalled.

But the consequences of that unprecedented situation would reverberate around the world, as nearly every expert, from the top bond trader, Mohamed El-Rian, to former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan, has warned.

Dana Milbank: Hubris and humility: Sarah Palin and Robert Gates on tour

“It’s not about me,” Sarah Palin said as she rode a bus emblazoned with her name in three-foot letters. “It’s not a publicity-seeking tour,” she told her Fox News interviewer, as the cameras rolled.

It was, rather, “about highlighting the great things about America.” Such as: Donald Trump’s digs at Trump Tower and Fox News headquarters in New York, both stops on her “One Nation” bus tour.

Actually, there is a tour underway that highlights the great things about America, but it isn’t Palin’s. It’s the farewell tour of Robert Gates, defense secretary to presidents George W. Bush and Obama, whose work over the past 41 / 2 years has dramatically improved the state of the U.S. military. While Palin played cat-and-mouse with the press corps on Interstate 95, Gates set off on a tour of Asia and Europe, where he is receiving the gratitude of soldiers and the acclaim of allies.

E. J. Dionne, Jr. Romney’s flawed view of freedom

The bales of hay were stacked strategically in the hope that they’d make it into the television screen. The sturdy white barn nearby provided an image worthy of a Christmas card, the symbol of a solid, calm, industrious and confident country. The slogan behind the candidate, “Believe in America,” did not invite debate.

Whatever the punditocracy may have made of Mitt Romney’s formal announcement of his presidential candidacy last week, we could all give the guy credit for trying to reassure us that not everything in politics has changed.

In an age of media flying circuses where you never know who is running for president and who is just trying to boost book sales and speaking fees, Romney did it the old-fashioned way. He really, really wants to be president, and he offered pretty pictures to encourage us to watch him saying so. It was the venerable liturgy of our civil religion.

Jun 06 2011

Monday Business Edition

Monday Business Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Business

1 Japan’s TEPCO shares down 28% to record-low

by Miwa Suzuki,AFP

2 hrs 38 mins ago

TOKYO (AFP) – Shares in Japan’s TEPCO lost more than a quarter of their value Monday following a media report that the operator of the country’s tsunami-hit nuclear plant would log a $7 billion loss in fiscal 2011.

The stock was also hit by a reported comment by Tokyo Stock Exchange president Atsushi Saito that Tokyo Electric Power Co. should file for bankruptcy protection, a move that could hit shareholders hard.

TEPCO stock fell to 206 yen mid-morning, down 80 yen or 28.0 percent from Friday, the maximum loss allowed for one trading day. It closed a shade better at 207 yen, down 79 yen or 27.62 percent.

Jun 06 2011

On This Day In History June 6

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.

Click on image to enlarge

June 6 is the 157th day of the year (158th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 208 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1933, eager motorists park their automobiles on the grounds of Park-In Theaters, the first-ever drive-in movie theater, located on Crescent Boulevard in Camden, New Jersey.

History

The drive-in theater was the creation of Camden, New Jersey, chemical company magnate Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr., whose family owned and operated the R.M. Hollingshead Corporation chemical plant in Camden. In 1932, Hollingshead conducted outdoor theater tests in his driveway at 212 Thomas Avenue in Riverton. After nailing a screen to trees in his backyard, he set a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his car and put a radio behind the screen, testing different sound levels with his car windows down and up. Blocks under vehicles in the driveway enabled him to determine the size and spacing of ramps so all automobiles could have a clear view of the screen. Following these experiments, he applied August 6, 1932, for a patent of his invention, and he was given U.S. Patent 1,909,537 on May 16, 1933. That patent was declared invalid 17 years later by the Delaware District Court.

Hollingshead’s drive-in opened in New Jersey June 6, 1933, on Admiral Wilson Boulevard at the Airport Circle in Pennsauken, a short distance from Cooper River Park. It offered 500 slots and a 40 by 50 ft (12 by 15 m) screen. He advertised his drive-in theater with the slogan, “The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are.” (The first film shown was the Adolphe Menjou film Wife Beware.) The facility only operated three years, but during that time the concept caught on in other states. The April 15, 1934, opening of Shankweiler’s Auto Park in Orefield, Pennsylvania, was followed by Galveston’s Drive-In Short Reel Theater (July 5, 1934), the Pico in Los Angeles (September 9, 1934) and the Weymouth Drive-In Theatre in Weymouth, Massachusetts (May 6, 1936). In 1937, three more opened in Ohio, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with another 12 during 1938 and 1939 in California, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Texas and Virginia. Michigan’s first drive-in was the Eastside, which opened May 26, 1938, in Harper Woods near Detroit.

Early drive-in theaters had to deal with noise pollution issues. The original Hollingshead drive-in had speakers installed on the tower itself which caused a sound delay affecting patrons at the rear of the drive-in’s field. Attempts at outdoor speakers next to the vehicle did not produce satisfactory results. In 1941, RCA introduced in-car speakers with individual volume controls which solved the noise pollution issue and provided satisfactory sound to drive-in patrons.

Jun 06 2011

Six In The Morning

Steeper Afghanistan pullout is raised as option

Some officials say move is justified by rising cost of war, death of bin Laden

By David E. Sanger, Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker

President Obama’s national security team is contemplating troop reductions in Afghanistan that would be steeper than those discussed even a few weeks ago, with some officials arguing that such a change is justified by the rising cost of the war and the death of Osama bin Laden, which they called new “strategic considerations.”

These new considerations, along with a desire to find new ways to press the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, to get more of his forces to take the lead, are combining to create a counterweight to an approach favored by the departing secretary of defense, Robert M. Gates, and top military commanders in the field. They want gradual cuts that would keep American forces at a much higher combat strength well into next year, senior administration officials said.




Monday’s Headlines:

Muslim women’s group launches ‘jihad against violence’

Blockbusters of cinema’s arthouse

German bean sprouts identified as E.coli source

The shooting of Hamza, the shaming of the Assads

‘Only a matter of time’ before Gaddafi falls

Jun 06 2011

DocuDharma Digest

Regular Features-

Featured Essays for June 5, 2011-

DocuDharma

Jun 06 2011

Immigrants For Sale

Prisons for profits, with our tax dollars

Immigrants For Sale

Immigrants are for sale in this country. Sold to private prison corporations who are locking them up for obscene profits!

Here are the top 3 things YOU need to know about the Private Prison money scheme:

The victims: Private prisons don’t care about who they lock up. At a rate of $200 per immigrant a night at their prisons, this is a money making scheme that destroys families and lives.

The players: CCA (Corrections Corporation of America), The Geo Group and Management and Training corporations-combined these private prisons currently profit more than $5 billion a year.

The money: These private prisons have spent over $20 million lobbying state legislators to make sure they get state anti-immigrant laws approved and ensure access to more immigrant inmates.

Exposing The Immigrants For Sale Scheme

Georgia is the latest state to pass an anti-immigrant bill like SB1070, with Governor Deal having signed it on Friday. Georgia is ALSO home to the largest private prison in the country.

It’s hardly a secret that private prison corporations like Corrections Corporation of America and The GEO group, along with right-wing lobbying group ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and a few pocketed state legislators like Russell Pearce in Arizona, have been at it-deliberately promoting and designing laws aimed at incarcerating immigrants and turning the prison system into an incredibly lucrative business.

Just last year the private prison industry secured close to $5 billion through state and government elicited contracts of which an increasing percentage is attributed to migrant detention facilities and bed spaces. An NPR report outlined how CCA aims to translate the anti-immigrant rhetoric and political void into a long-lasting cash drive-believing that immigrants will provide a fresh influx of ‘guests’ in their less then onerous ‘hotel’ cells. Even worse, CCA founder Tomas Beasly once called his scheme ‘more profitable’ than selling burgers or cars-a clear indication that any sense of justice in the prison industry will be forever trumped by cash flows and profit margins.

It is clear that for CCA, along with the GEO Group and Management and Training, immigrants are a product-one that is for sale to the highest vendor. They view locked-up immigrants as the next big share jump, stock option, bonus incentive, or any other motive that tickles their multi-billion dollar fancy. They have no shame admitting so-every year the private prison industry gets together for a major convention to essentially design strategies that will fill the more then 150,000 bed spaces they currently own.

Recall For AZ Russell Pearce Gains Momentum: 18K Signatures – Twice What Is Needed

We’ve been tracking the recall campaign against Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, author of SB1070, because he insisted on playing his nativist fiddle in the Senate while Arizona’s economy burned to the ground. It probably hasn’t helped that he’s become belligerent whenever anyone brings up his role in the Fiesta Bowl scandal, either.

Of course, Greta Van Susteren knew better than to ask Pearce any such tough questions last night on her Fox show. She mostly lobbed out the news of the day – the fact that the people leading the recall had filed more than twice what they needed, some 18,000 signatures – and let him swing away.

But Pearce looked scared, and he should be:

In a celebratory display of unprecedented organization, a bipartisan group of activists poured into the Arizona secretary of state’s office yesterday with more than 18,300 signatures to demand the recall of State Senate president Russell Pearce. The filing of the petitions marked the culmination of a campaign that has defied expectations, and a watershed moment for the beleaguered state. Once the state and Maricopa County recorders verify the legal requirement of 7,756 signatures from the traditionally conservative and Mormon-founded Mesa district, Pearce, who is considered by many as the de facto governor and motivating force behind the state’s notorious blitz of extremist policies on education, health, guns and immigration, will become the first State Senate president in American history to be recalled.

h/t Crooks & Liars

Jun 06 2011

Pique the Geek 20110605: Misconceptions about Science

This week we shall explore misconceptions about science generally, and then take a few specific cases for further examination.  There are a few concepts that are essential to understand about what makes science work, and why it is the best tool that we have to understand the natural world, and to use science to improve the human condition.

There are two fundamental large scale misconceptions about science, and we shall treat them first.  Then there are an almost unlimited supply of what I call false science, meaning that scientific terms and logic based on incorrect premises are used in attempts by those who actually know better to influence people.  The fundamental misconceptions are sort of to be expected from folks who are not educated in science, but he false science is used by nefarious persons to influence those not versed in real science, usually for a monetary or a social goal or goals.  Please let us explore.

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