Daily Archive: 02/02/2014

Feb 02 2014

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: A Non-Capitalist Response to the SOTU by UnaSpenser

Author’s Note: Hi everybody! Welcome to a participatory diary. That’s right, participatory. I’m offering this up as an exercise for everyone to try. The original text is  an explanation of the exercise and why I’m suggesting it, followed by a couple of examples. Then, it’s up to you to complete the diary. Add comments with your own examples and I’ll build out the diary with your content. Let’s see what the whole feels like when we make an attempt to respond to the State of the Union address together. When we make a conscious effort to dig into the principles we find buried in the speech and compare them to the principles we would like to live by, how aligned do they feel?

We’ve heard a lot of responses this week to President Obama’s State of the Union Address. What I find persistently frustrating with any US political speech the lack of unpacking the “capitalist”, “democratic” and “American Way” framework. Or rather, the lack of establishing the principles behind what is being said to see whether it’s fits with the principles and values that we hold.

I have not framed this diary as an “anti-capitalist” one. I am suggesting that regardless of how you feel about capitalism, you might find it useful to analyze what another capitalist is saying by setting aside the supposed common ground of capitalism and searching for what values are reflected in what is being said. Capitalism isn’t a value. It’s a type of economic system. When we identify as a capitalist, however, we probably attach a value system to that identity. What I’m wondering here is whether everyone attaches the same value system. Do you even know if the speaker has the same value system as you?

I am someone who gets frustrated when people try to make decisions or solve problems together without establishing their shared principles. “Capitalism” is not a principle. Principles are about values and beliefs. They are guides to how we behave, how we treat one another. You could claim to be a capitalist and believe that everyone has a right to food and shelter. You could claim to be a capitalist and believe that food and shelter are not rights, they must be “earned.” Those are mutually exclusive principles which two different people are claiming as part of the capitalist construct. If they simply greet each other as capitalists, it is possible for them to think they are aligned when they are not. This opens the door for misunderstanding, at best, and deception, manipulation and oppression, at worst.

Is that happening in this speech? The answer to that and the places where we feel it is happening may be different for each person. Hence, the participatory nature of this diary. What feels unaligned for me may feel aligned for you and vice versa. But, perhaps, we’ll find some common threads of values that we would like to see underpinning our governance and social life. Perhaps ….

Feb 02 2014

Rant of the Week: Jon Stewart: State of the Union

Jon Stewart: State of the Union

President Obama uses lessons learned from passive-aggressive Jewish mothers in his 2014 State of the Union address.

The 2014 State of the Union – Republicans Respond

Joe Biden does his thing, and Republican politicians react to President Obama’s State of the Union talking points.  

Band of Blockers

Republicans uninterested in bipartisanship decry President Obama’s lack of bipartisanship, and one Congressman gives a NY1 reporter the traditional Staten Island goodbye.

Feb 02 2014

Puppy Bowl X

If you’ve been a faithful reader you’ll know this site was an early adopter of the animal excitement and pageantry that is the Puppy Bowl experience.  Starting at 3 pm Zap2It is listing 3 two hour installments on Animal Planet as “New”- First and Goal, Going for 2, and Third & Long to be repeated at 9 pm with an additional repeat of First and Goal at 3 am.  I think it’s highly likely this is just a marketing ploy and it’s the same 2 hours on continuous repeat as it’s been in previous years.

Meep the Cockatiel will be back as ‘tweeter'(@MeepTheBird) but the Hedgehog Cheerleaders have been replaced by Penguins.  The National Anthem will be accompanied by a Police Dog Escort.  ‘Lil Bub’ the “‘perma-kitten’ dwarf cat” is added as a commentator and there is a new Puppy Bowl Fantasy League on the official Puppy Bowl web site.

Bissell Kitty Halftime

The featured performer this year is ‘Keyboard Cat’ who will be covering Bruno Mars’ Locked Out of Heaven about which Rolling Stone Magazine had this to say-

On the other halftime show with Bruno Mars – or the other Bruno Mars – they added Red Hot Chili Peppers just last week, because they were feeling the heat when we announced that Keyboard Cat was going to be on.

Keyboard Cat is the second of that nick, the original ‘Fatso’ Keyboard Cat having sadly passed over the Rainbow Bridge in 1987.

The show will open with a kitty parachuting into the Stadium, include over 30 kitties, feature a domino cascade, and the big finish is a pyramid of 30 cats (and you know how hard they are to herd).

Over 66 puppies will be competing this year, 13 of whom had the chance to participate in a special training camp with Michelle, Bo, and Sunny Obama (also in Politico).

This year the Puppy Bowl faces two new rivals– the Kitten Bowl on Hallmark and the Fish Bowl on National Geographic WILD, but at 12.4 Million viewers the Puppy Bowl is the clear leader.

Feb 02 2014

Puppy Bowl X

If you’ve been a faithful reader you’ll know this site was an early adopter of the animal excitement and pageantry that is the Puppy Bowl experience.  Starting at 3 pm Zap2It is listing 3 two hour installments on Animal Planet as “New”- First and Goal, Going for 2, and Third & Long to be repeated at 9 pm with an additional repeat of First and Goal at 3 am.  I think it’s highly likely this is just a marketing ploy and it’s the same 2 hours on continuous repeat as it’s been in previous years.

Meep the Cockatiel will be back as ‘tweeter'(@MeepTheBird) but the Hedgehog Cheerleaders have been replaced by Penguins.  The National Anthem will be accompanied by a Police Dog Escort.  ‘Lil Bub’ the “‘perma-kitten’ dwarf cat” is added as a commentator and there is a new Puppy Bowl Fantasy League on the official Puppy Bowl web site.

Bissell Kitty Halftime

The featured performer this year is ‘Keyboard Cat’ who will be covering Bruno Mars’ Locked Out of Heaven abot which Rolling Stone Magazine had this to say-

On the other halftime show with Bruno Mars – or the other Bruno Mars – they added Red Hot Chili Peppers just last week, because they were feeling the heat when we announced that Keyboard Cat was going to be on.

Keyboard Cat is the second of that nick, the original ‘Fatso’ Keyboard Cat having sadly passed over the Rainbow Bridge in 1987.

The show will open with a kitty parachuting into the Stadium, include over 30 kitties, feature a domino cascade, and the big finish is a pyramid of 30 cats (and you know how hard they are to herd).

Over 66 puppies will be competing this year, 13 of whom had the chance to participate in a special training camp with Michelle, Bo, and Sunny Obama (also in Politico).

This year the Puppy Bowl faces two new rivals– the Kitten Bowl on Hallmark and the Fish Bowl on National Geographic WILD, but at 12.4 Million viewers the Puppy Bowl is the clear leader.

Feb 02 2014

On This Day In History February 2

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.

February 2 is the 33rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 332 days remaining until the end of the year (333 in leap years).

On this day in 1925, dog sleds reach Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, inspiring the Iditarod race.

During the 1925 serum run to Nome, also known as the “Great Race of Mercy,” 20 mushers and about 150 sled dogs relayed diphtheria antitoxin 674 miles (1,085 km) by dog sled across the U.S. territory of Alaska in a record-breaking five and a half days, saving the small city of Nome and the surrounding communities from an incipient epidemic. Both the mushers and their dogs were portrayed as heroes in the newly popular medium of radio, and received headline coverage in newspapers across the United States. Balto, the lead sled dog on the final stretch into Nome, became the most famous canine celebrity of the era after Rin Tin Tin, and his statue is a popular tourist attraction in New York City’s Central Park. The publicity also helped spur an inoculation campaign in the U.S. that dramatically reduced the threat of the disease.

The sled dog was the primary means of transportation and communication in subarctic communities around the world, and the race became both the last great hurrah and the most famous event in the history of mushing, before first aircraft in the 1930s and then the snowmobile in the 1960s drove the dog sled almost into extinction. The resurgence of recreational mushing in Alaska since the 1970s is a direct result of the tremendous popularity of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which honors the history of dog mushing with many traditions that commemorate the serum run.

Epidemic

The only doctor in Nome and the surrounding communities was Curtis Welch, who was supported by four nurses at the 24-bed Maynard Columbus Hospital. In the summer of 1924, his supply of 80,000 units of diphtheria antitoxin (from 1918) expired, but the order he placed with the health commissioner in Juneau did not arrive before the port closed.

Shortly after the departure of the last ship of the year, the Alameda,[when?] a two-year-old Alaska Native from the nearby village of Holy Cross became the first to display symptoms of diphtheria. Welch diagnosed it as tonsillitis, dismissing diphtheria because no one else in the child’s family or village showed signs of the disease, which is extremely contagious and can survive for weeks outside the body. The child died the next morning, and an abnormally large number of cases of tonsillitis were diagnosed through December, including another fatality on December 28, which is rare. The child’s mother refused to allow an autopsy. Two more Alaska Native children died, and on January 20 the first case of diphtheria was diagnosed in three-year-old Bill Barnett, who had the characteristic grayish lesions on his throat and in his nasal membranes. Welch did not administer the antitoxin, because he was worried the expired batch might weaken the boy, who died the next day.

On January 21, seven-year-old Bessie Stanley was diagnosed in the late stages of the disease, and was injected with 6,000 units of antitoxin. She died later that day. The same evening, Welch called Mayor George Maynard, and arranged an emergency town council meeting. Welch announced he needed at least one million units to stave off an epidemic. The council immediately implemented a quarantine, and Emily Morgan was appointed Quarantine Nurse.

On January 22, 1925, Welch sent a radio telegram via the Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System and alerted all major towns in Alaska including the governor in Juneau of the public health risk. A second to the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington, D.C. read:

“An epidemic of diphtheria is almost inevitable here STOP I am in urgent need of one million units of diphtheria antitoxin STOP Mail is only form of transportation STOP I have made application to Commissioner of Health of the Territories for antitoxin already STOP There are about 3000 white natives in the district”

Wings versus paws

At the January 24 meeting of the board of health superintendent Mark Summers of the Hammon Consolidated Gold Fields proposed a dogsled relay, using two fast teams. One would start at Nenana and the other at Nome, and they would meet at Nulato. His employee, the Norwegian Leonhard Seppala, was the obvious and only choice for the 630-mile (1,014 km) round trip from Nome to Nulato and back. He had previously made the run from Nome to Nulato in a record-breaking four days, won the All-Alaska Sweepstakes three times, and had become something of a legend for his athletic ability and rapport with his Siberian huskies. His lead dog Togo was equally famous for his leadership, intelligence, and ability to sense danger.

Mayor Maynard proposed flying the antitoxin by aircraft. In February 1924, the first winter aircraft flight in Alaska had been conducted between Fairbanks and McGrath by Carl Eielson, who flew a reliable De Havilland DH-4 issued by the U.S. Post Office on 8 experimental trips. The longest flight was only 260 miles (420 km), the worst conditions were – 10 F (- 23 C) which required so much winter clothing that the plane was almost unflyable, and the plane made several crash landings.

Aftermath

The death toll is officially listed as either 5, 6, or 7, but Welch later estimated there were probably at least 100 additional cases among “the Eskimo camps outside the city. The Natives have a habit of burying their children without reporting the death.” Forty-three new cases were diagnosed in 1926, but they were easily managed with the fresh supply of serum. (Salisbury, 2003, footnotes on page 235 and 243)

All participants received letters of commendation from President Calvin Coolidge, and the Senate stopped work to recognize the event. Each musher during the first relay received a gold medal from the H. K. Mulford company, and the territory awarded them each USD $25. Poems and letters from children poured in, and spontaneous fund raising campaigns sprang up around the country.

Gunnar Kaasen and his team became celebrities and toured the West Coast from February 1925 to February 1926, and even starred in a 30-minute film entitled Balto’s Race to Nome. A statue of Balto by Frederick Roth was unveiled in New York City’s Central Park during a visit on December 15, 1925. Balto and the other dogs became part of a sideshow and lived in horrible conditions until they were rescued by George Kimble and fund raising campaign by the children of Cleveland, Ohio. On March 19, 1927, Balto received a hero’s welcome as they arrived at their permanent home at the Cleveland Zoo. Because of age, Balto was euthanised on March 14, 1933 at the age of 14. He was mounted and placed on display in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Feb 02 2014

Groundhog Day

What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?

That about sums it up for me.

Ned?  Ned Ryerson?!

You like boats, but not the ocean. You go to a lake in summer with your family up in the mountains. There’s a long wooden dock and a boathouse with boards missing from the roof, and a place you used to crawl underneath to be alone. You’re a sucker for French poetry and rhinestones. You’re very generous. You’re kind to strangers and children, and when you stand in the snow you look like an angel.

How are you doing this?

I told you. I wake up every day, right here, right in Punxsutawney, and it’s always February 2nd, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

How appropriate

It’s the Mind

Feb 02 2014

Groundhog Day

What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?

That about sums it up for me.

Ned?  Ned Ryerson?!

You like boats, but not the ocean. You go to a lake in summer with your family up in the mountains. There’s a long wooden dock and a boathouse with boards missing from the roof, and a place you used to crawl underneath to be alone. You’re a sucker for French poetry and rhinestones. You’re very generous. You’re kind to strangers and children, and when you stand in the snow you look like an angel.

How are you doing this?

I told you. I wake up every day, right here, right in Punxsutawney, and it’s always February 2nd, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

How appropriate

It’s the Mind

Feb 02 2014

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

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”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guest on this Sunday’s “This Week” is House Budget Committee Chair Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI.

The roundtable guests are Democratic strategist and ABC News Contributor Donna Brazile; ABC News Political Analyst Matthew Dowd, Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol, Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times Columnist Paul Krugman; and Republican strategist and ABC Contributor Ana Navarro.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA); President Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough; former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani (R); and New Jersey State Assembly Transportation Committee, John Wisniewski (D).

His panel guests are David Gergen of Harvard University; Michael Gerson on the Washington Post; Kimberly Stassel of the Wall Street Journal; and Democratic strategist Bob Shrum.

Meet the Press with David Gregory: This guests on MTP are White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC); New York TimesAlan Schwarz; and New Jersey State Assembly Transportation Committee, John Wisniewski (D).

The roundtable guests are National Review Editor Rich Lowry; Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs; PBS NewsHour‘s Co-Anchor and Managing Editor Gwen Ifill; Presidential Historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin; and NBC’s Chuck Todd.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Jake Tapper interviews President Barack Obama and Ms. Crowley interviews Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA).

Her panel guests are former Congressman Artur Davis; CNN Senior Political Analyst Ron Brownstein; and former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn.

Feb 02 2014

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Thailand elections: Politics of crisis

 

By Peter Shadbolt, for CNN

February 2, 2014 — Updated 0531 GMT


A state of emergency, streets paralyzed with protesters, the fatal shooting of a leading pro-government activist and an election campaign teetering on chaos may not sound like the script from a rising Southeast Asian economic powerhouse.

But for Thailand — which manages to combine economic success and political mayhem in equal measure — this weekend’s elections are just another page in an eight-year struggle between supporters and opponents of Thaksin Shinawatra.




Sunday’s Headlines:

Thailand: hundreds of polling stations closed, but voting begins peacefully

Lebanon simmers by Syria’s side: Terror attacks drag Lebanese communities into neighbour’s civil war

Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party vows to contest May elections

African Union unites against ICC trials

Decriminalizing marijuana: Could Mexico City be next to light up?

Feb 02 2014

What We Learned This Week

Steve Kornacki’s guests share the things they learned this week.

Share with us what you have learned this week.