November 10, 2011 archive

Nov 10

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Nov 10

Nov 10 Update Again

The day after Kristallnacht my boss tells me to essentially mind my own business when someone comes in to talk with either of my two co-workers.  More to the story but I am 56, come with extensive experience in the industry and I seldom forget to put on deoderant.  Co-workers however are still stuck in jr high school.

It has been a hostile workplace but outside of the boundaries of conventional PC.  Guess I am screwed again.  Yup, this is the military-industrial complex place stuck in yesterday’s technology, complete with lofty sounding mission statements and ethically correct business buzzwords.   The reality though, third world 1970’s equipment, a rule system written by Khafka/Pavlov or maybe BF Skinner himself.

Nov 10

The winningest coach in college football history

Penn State’s self-inflicted disgrace is multiplying by the hour.  Anally raping 10-year olds in the locker room shower is horrifying beyond its mere criminal dimensions.  Sandusky deviously procured his child victims through his very own “charitable foundation for at-risk youths.”  Now we hear as yet unsubstantiated rumors that children may have been fetched and pimped out for some big money donors.   In any case, the cover-up by Paterno and scads and scads of other well-paid stewards of high stakes college football higher learning is likewise disturbing beyond any criminality that may obtain, and yet Paterno, who thanks to the long-delayed revelations is now the “winningest” coach in college football, is indignant at his treatment by the University.  

Almost unbelievably, Penn students rioted upon hearing news of Paterno’s firing by the Board of Trustees, thus issuing an unequivocal statement about their own deranged values as the nation’s next generation of leaders, intellectuals, role models, well-paid administrators.  The older, wiser, more politically astute Board of Trustees issued a not-so-carefully-worded statement indicating that they fired the university president Spanier and Paterno “in the best interests of the university.”  “In the best interests of university,” they repeated.  Yes, they emphasized their own afflicted motives as emotionless, conflicted agents eyeing the bottom line.  This is what it means to be a “winner,” Deacon.

This is our society in a nutshell, rotten through and through.  Based on these events, the entire football program at Penn State should be shut down indefinitely, as its particular incentives quite evidently disorder normal thinking and disrupt acceptable behavior across the entire swath of society it intersects.

“In the best interests of the university,” Penn State needs a l-o-o-o-ng time-out, while somebody draws some chalk on the board.

Nov 10

From Occupy Wall Street to Occupy the Neighborhoods

The Occupy movement has done something amazing, getting Americans to start questioning our economic divides. It’s created spaces for people to come together, voice their discontents and dreams, creatively challenge destructive greed. It’s created powerful political theater, engaged community, an alternative to silence and powerlessness.  

Nov 10

Issues

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Stephen haz them.

Nov 10

And you thought the storm was over.

Of the houses in my neighborhood the one which was perhaps the worst hit was flanked by 2 large Oaks.  They lost several limbs and detached some of the wires, though not evidently the electrical connection because when power was restored you could see smoke from their chimney and furnaces to not work at all without power.

Since it is unoccupied at the moment and not affecting service to the other homes it was understandably low on the priority list.

So yesterday the contractors for the Electric Company came and started clearing the debris, a job they were not particularly fussy about and in addition to the branches on the ground did some pruning with the Cherry Picker.

When I say not particularly fussy I mean that they sent several large chunks of wood bouncing off my utility lines and even when this was mentioned to them politely seemed rather indifferent to the potential consequences.

These did not manifest instantly, but soon enough I lost my dial tone and shortly after that my DSL.  I can’t say the phone company is unsympathetic to my plight since I’ve been unable to find a single human on their help line, just several robots telling me my problem has been noted and they get to it as soon as they can.

Monday, 8 pm at the latest.

And while I have hopes it might be fixed before that, it is also a holiday weekend.  Occasionally the DSL and Internet lights on my modem turn green and during those spells I’m trying to be as productive as I can manage under the circumstances, but it’s not very.

TheMomCat will attempt to keep the plates spinning, but it would be a great help if she didn’t have to do that and provide content too.  I’m hoping you’ll find ways to make your own fun.

As for Formula One, I’ll try and remember to amuse you with Max Mosley’s judgement against Rupert and Nigel and News of the World when my connection gets stabilized.

Nov 10

Cartnoon

ek hornbeck is experiencing connectivity issues thanks to the crew from the Connecticut power company that was trimming tree branches away from power lines and knocked out his home phone and internet connection. Here’s hoping the telephone company gets to him today.

Crusader Rabbit Crusade 1 Episode 01

Crusader Rabbit

Nov 10

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 55

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

OccupyWallStreet

The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza ­čśë

“I don’t know how to fix this but I know it’s wrong.” ~ Unknown Author

Occupy Wall Street NYC now has a web site for its General Assembly  with up dates and information. Very informative and user friendly. It has information about events, a bulletin board, groups and minutes of the GA meetings.

NYC General Assembly #OccupyWallStreet

Crosby Nash Occupy Wall Street 11.8.11 Teach Your Children.

Occupy Wall Street protesters pass through Newark on way to Washington

NEWARK – Twenty-two protesters planning to walk 240 miles to Washington, D.C., hiked through Newark on Broad Street about 6 p.m. tonight bearing backpacks, dish soap and American flags.

These mobile Occupy Wall Street protesters hoped to gather supporters as they walk through New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland, on their way to Washington for a protest planned for Nov. 23.

That’s the date for a congressional committee to decide whether to support President Obama’s extension of Bush-era tax cuts.

Nov 10

Drill baby, drill.

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

So the International Energy Agency (not exactly a cabal of communists) is out with their new report on Energy Policy and Global Warming.

The news is grim.  Unless we drastically change direction in the next 5 years there will be climate change on a scale not seen since the Younger Dryas (those who would reject the analogy would be well advised to consider that this “Ice Age” was caused by an influx of fresh glacial water disrupting ocean currents due to… wait for it… Global Warming) 12,000 years ago.

The burning issue of energy cannot wait for economic good times

Carbon emissions are rising by record amounts, stoked by political inaction and fossil fuel subsidies. We are almost out of time to douse the climate change crisis

Damian Carrington, The Guardian

Wednesday 9 November 2011 05.02 EST

The IEA predict a temperature rise of 3.5C if current energy policies around the world are delivered but no more. That means a future world of mass migration, severe water shortages and England having the summer climate of Morocco today. If those policies fail to materialise, the IEA predicts 6C. That’s Armageddon: large parts of the planet uninhabitable and the risk of runaway warming threatening the rest.



With the economies of developed nations stagnant, some are pleading poverty as an excuse for inaction. But, says the IEA, “delaying action is a false economy”. It states that avoiding $1 of energy investment before 2020 will require $4.30 to compensate after that date.

If money needs to be saved, start with the $409bn gifted to the fossil fuel industry in 2010 in subsidies. The G20 backed this idea in 2009 but has yet to deliver. The subsidies do not enable the impoverished to access energy: just 8% of the subsidies reach the world’s poorest 20% of people. Renewable energy, the only truly sustainable source of power, received just $66bn of support last year, and even the IEA thinks this will rise to no more than $180bn by 2035.

Fossil Fuels Got Six Times More Aid Than Clean Energy, IEA Says

By Ben Sills, Bloomberg News

Nov 9, 2011 5:00 AM ET

Fossil-fuel consumers worldwide received about six times more state subsidies last year than were given to the renewable-energy industry, according to the chief adviser to oil-importing nations.



G-20 nations spent $160 billion supporting the production and consumption of fossil fuels last year, led by Saudi Arabia’s outlay of $44 billion, the IEA said in its World Energy Outlook published today. Iran spent the most overall, shelling out $81 billion to support fuel sales.

While governments argue their policies are designed to help the poorest members of society, they generally fail to meet that goal, the IEA said. Just 8 percent of subsidies reached the poorest 20 percent of each country’s population last year.

“Fossil-fuel subsidies as presently constituted tend to be regressive, disproportionately benefitting higher income groups that can afford higher levels of fuel consumption,” the report said. “Social welfare programs are a more effective and less distortionary way of helping the poor than energy subsidies.”

World headed for irreversible climate change in five years, IEA warns

If fossil fuel infrastructure is not rapidly changed, the world will ‘lose for ever’ the chance to avoid dangerous climate change

Fiona Harvey, Environment Correspondent, The Guardian

Wednesday 9 November 2011 05.01 EST

The world is likely to build so many new fossil-fuelled power stations, energy-guzzling factories and inefficient buildings in the next five years that it will become impossible to hold global warming to safe levels, and the last chance of combating dangerous climate change will be “lost for ever”, according to the most thorough analysis yet of world energy infrastructure.



The central problem is that most of the industrial infrastructure already in existence around the world – the fossil-fuelled power stations, the emissions-spewing factories, the inefficient transport and buildings – are already contributing to the current high level of emissions, and will continue to do so for decades to come. Carbon dioxide, once released into the atmosphere, stays there and continues to have a warming effect for about a century, and industrial infrastructure is built to have a useful life of several decades at least.

Yet, despite intensifying warnings from scientists over the past two decades, the new infrastructure even now being built is constructed along the same lines as the old, which means that there is a “lock-in” effect – high-carbon infrastructure built today or in the next five years will contribute as much to the stock of emissions in the atmosphere as previous generations.

U.S. to Open New Areas to Offshore Drilling

By JOHN M. BRODER, The New York Times

Published: November 8, 2011

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration on Tuesday announced its proposed five-year plan for offshore oil drilling, which calls for opening new areas in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska but bars development along the East and West Coasts.



The plan, which is subject to months of public hearings and possible revisions, expands the areas in the Gulf of Mexico that are now under development, including some near Florida that have been off limits. It will also make available broader parts of the Arctic Ocean off the North Slope of Alaska and in the Cook Inlet off the state’s southern shore.



Environmental advocates responded vehemently to the new plan, which they said put sensitive coastlines, waters and fisheries at risk in Alaska and in the gulf.

“Last year’s disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was supposed to be a wake-up call about the dangers of offshore drilling,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “But it looks like President Obama hit the snooze button and slept right through it.”

Several groups pointed out the difficulties of dealing with a potential spill in the Arctic, where the nearest Coast Guard facility is almost 1,000 miles away.

David J. Hayes, the deputy interior secretary, acknowledged that the infrastructure did not now exist to prevent or respond to a major spill in the Arctic. Mr. Hayes said a response could be compromised by inclement weather, a lack of deep harbors, a shortage of appropriate vessels and inadequate oil transportation resources.



Frances Beinecke, the president of Natural Resources Defense Council and a member of the panel Mr. Obama named to investigate the BP spill, said approving new drilling without adequate safety measures was a “reckless gamble.”

“The president’s oil spill commission put forth a game plan to improve the industry’s safety, but it has yet to be realized,” Ms. Beinecke said in a statement. “Congress has failed to pass a single law to better protect workers or the environment. Industry has not invested sufficiently in developing the technologies needed to prevent future disasters. And the government still needs additional resources and science in order to effectively police an industry that so desperately needs it.”

Nov 10

West Side Story Event: the Big 50th-year Anniversary National Re-release

(cross-posted from firefly-dreaming.com)

Greetings to everybody here on Docudharma!

As you know, last night was the big event that I’d been looking forward to;  the big 50th-year Anniversary national re-release of my all-time favorite film, West Side Story!   The event was a Fathom Events affair, and the film had been restored and reprinted in HD (High Definition).  I had bought tickets for me and a friend of mine, online through Fandango, printed them at home through my computer, put both printed-out tickets for the event safely in an envelope, labeled the envelope for the TCM (Turner Classic Movies) West Side Story event, and then tacked it on my make-shirt bulletin board, which consists of a folding wooden door that was originally going to be used for another storage closet some years ago, which never materialized, and still gets used as a bulletin board to this day.  

Shortly after 5:00 in the evening, as pre-arranged, my friend and I met downstairs in the lobby of our building, and drove over to the Regal Fenway 13 and RPX stadium movie Theatre.   The evening rush-hour traffic on the way over there, as usual, was horrible, especially at the overpass near the building where my friend and I both live, and the general vicinity of the Boston University Bridge (which is still undergoing re-construction, but is almost finished, thank Heavens), as well as in the general vicinity of the movie theatre, but, since we’d left in plenty of time to make the 7:00 show, we had lots of time, and there was no need for me to get uptight and worry about not making it in time for the event, as we drove and inched our way along with the other cars in the traffic.  I generally try to avoid driving during the morning and evening rush-hours in our area, because it gets so nasty at those hours around our neck of the woods, but if I absolutely have to, I make sure to allow lots of time, in case of a major, major delay, such as an accident, etc.

I made it with my car and ourselves (our egos intact), and managed to find a meter on the street  where the old Star Market (now Shaws), where I used to go shopping years ago when I was in college and lived within walking distance of the market.  I had brought lots of quarters for the meters, because like Somerville, Cambridge and Brookline, the meters are now in affect until 8:00 p. m.  A rather stupid policy, imho, because town and city officials are clearly out to make more money, but what can I say.  I just  put 2 hours worth of quarters in the meter and then we walked around a bit, before going to the theatre.  We’d left Brickbottom shortly after five, and then timed it when we got there;  it had taken us roughly three-quarters of an hour to get there, thanks for the bungled-up horror show that passes for the evening rush-hour in our area.  Whew!  We made it!  

Nov 10

On Punishing The Job Creators, Or, “The Poor Have It So Good Today”

You know what the problem is with America?

The poor don’t get just how great they have it.

I’ve been hearing this a lot lately; the basic thrust of the discussion is that all those cars, TVs, DVD players, refrigerators, and stoves that have found their way into the homes of the economic underclass are proof there’s really no such thing as “poor” in America.

If they were truly poor, the argument goes, well…think recycled corn.

And if the poor want things to get better, let ’em pull themselves up by their own bootstraps – and if they can’t, then let ’em rot, because that’s the best thing for the economy.

But I don’t buy all that, and by the time we’re done today, I hope to have given you a whole new perspective on how jobs get created in this country.

Nov 10

On this Day In History November 10

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

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.

November 10 is the 314th day of the year (315th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 51 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1975, the 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board.

SS Edmund Fitzgerald (nicknamed “Mighty Fitz,” “The Fitz,” or “The Big Fitz”) was an American Great Lakes freighter launched on June 8, 1958. At the time of its launching, it was one of the first boats to be at or near maximum “St Lawrence Seaway Size” which was 730 feet (220 m) long and 75 feet (23 m) wide. From its launching in 1958 until 1971 the Fitzgerald continued to be one of the largest boats on the Great Lakes.

Final voyage and wreck

Fitzgerald left Superior, Wisconsin on the afternoon of Sunday, November 9, 1975 under the command of Captain Ernest M. McSorley. It was en route to the steel mill on Zug Island, near Detroit, Michigan, with a full cargo of taconite. A second freighter under the command of Captain Jesse B. “Bernie” Cooper, Arthur M. Anderson, destined for Gary, Indiana out of Two Harbors, Minnesota, joined up with Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald, being the faster ship, took the lead while Anderson trailed not far behind. The weather forecast was not unusual for November and called for a storm to pass over eastern Lake Superior and small craft warnings.

Crossing Lake Superior at about 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph), the boats encountered a massive winter storm, reporting winds in excess of 50 knots (93 km/h; 58 mph) with gusts up to 86.9 knots (160.9 km/h; 100.0 mph) and waves as high as 35 feet (11 m). Visibility was poor due to heavy snow.  The Weather Bureau upgraded the forecast to gale warnings. The freighters altered their courses northward, seeking shelter along the Canadian coast. Later, they would cross to Whitefish Bay to approach the locks.When the storm became intense, the Soo Locks at Sault Ste. Marie were closed.

Late in the afternoon of Monday, November 10, sustained winds of 50 knots were observed across eastern Lake Superior. Anderson was struck by a 75-knot (139 km/h; 86 mph) hurricane-force gust. At 3:30 pm, Captain McSorley radioed the Anderson to report that she was taking on water and had top-side damage including that the Fitzgerald was suffering a list, and had lost two vent covers and some railings. Two of the Fitzgerald’s six bilge pumps were running continuously to discharge shipped water.

At about 3:50 pm, McSorley called the Anderson to report that his radar was not working and he asked the Anderson to keep them in sight while he checked his ship down so that the Anderson could close the gap between them. Fitzgerald was ahead of Anderson at the time, effectively blind; therefore, she slowed to come within 10 miles (16 km) range so she could receive radar guidance from the other ship. For a time the Anderson directed the Fitzgerald toward the relative safety of Whitefish Bay. McSorley contacted the U.S. Coast Guard station in Grand Marais, Michigan after 4:00 pm and then hailed any ships in the Whitefish Point area to inquire if the Whitefish Point light and navigational radio beacon were operational. Captain Cedric Woodard of the Avafors answered that both the light and radio direction beacon were out at that moment. Around 5:30 pm, Woodward called the Fitzgerald again to report that the Whitefish point light was back on but not the radio beacon. When McSorley replied to the Avafors, he commented, “We’re in a big sea. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”

The last communication from the doomed ship came at approximately 7:10 pm, when Anderson notified Fitzgerald of an upbound ship and asked how it was doing. McSorley reported, “We are holding our own.” A few minutes later, it apparently sank; no distress signal was received. Ten minutes later Anderson could neither raise Fitzgerald by radio, nor detect it on radar. At 8:32 pm, Anderson was finally able to convince the U. S. Coast Guard that the Fitzgerald had gone missing. Up until that time, the Coast Guard was looking for a 16 foot outboard lost in the area. The United States Coast Guard finally took Captain Cooper of the Anderson seriously shortly after 8:30 pm. The Coast Guard then asked the Anderson to turn around and look for survivors.

The Edmund Fitzgerald now lies under 530 feet of water, broken in two sections. On July 4, 1995, the ship’s bell was recovered from the wreck, and a replica, engraved with the names of the crew members who perished in this tragedy, was left in its place. The original bell is on display at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point in Michigan.

The Witch of November I am a sailor. Blessed Be

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