April 23, 2013 archive

Apr 23

Lies Your Government Tells You – And How They Do It

During the Deep Water Horizon spill, Obama put BP in charge of hiding the huge extent of the destruction, they poured in this toxic corexit stuff, and that made the spill much much worse.

This year alone 10% of the manatees in the Gulf have died.

People in the area are having skin lesions and other problems.

Other parts of his body, however, seem to be in perpetual disrepair. Dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, bloody stools and cognitive issues surface intermittently, painful reminders of the toxic assault he and untold others endured following the April 2010 explosion on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

From Huffpo

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

Several government agencies and BP together hired a public relations firm together to tell lies about the spill to the public, and that same firm – then call Pier System, now  called Witt O’Brians, has been put in charge of lying about the Arkansas tar sands spill.

The criminals are firmly in charge.  

Apr 23

On This Day In History April 23

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.

April 23 is the 113th day of the year (114th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 252 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1564, William Shakespeare born.

According to tradition, the great English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare is born in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1564. It is impossible to be certain the exact day on which he was born, but church records show that he was baptized on April 26, and three days was a customary amount of time to wait before baptizing a newborn. Shakespeare’s date of death is conclusively known, however: it was April 23, 1616. He was 52 years old and had retired to Stratford three years before.

Shakespeare’s father was probably a common tradesman. He became an alderman and bailiff in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Shakespeare was baptized in the town on April 26, 1564. At age 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, and the couple had a daughter in 1583 and twins in 1585. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died 11 years later, and Anne Shakespeare outlived her husband, dying in 1623. Nothing is known of the period between the birth of the twins and Shakespeare’s emergence as a playwright in London in the early 1590s, but unfounded stories have him stealing deer, joining a group of traveling players, becoming a schoolteacher, or serving as a soldier in the Low Countries.

Sometime later, Shakespeare set off for London to become an actor and by 1592 was well established in London’s theatrical world as both a performer and a playwright. The first reference to Shakespeare as a London playwright came in 1592, when a fellow dramatist, Robert Greene, wrote derogatorily of him on his deathbed. His earliest plays, including The Comedy of Errors and The Taming of the Shrew, were written in the early 1590s. Later in the decade, he wrote tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet (1594-1595) and comedies including The Merchant of Venice (1596-1597). His greatest tragedies were written after 1600, including Hamlet (1600-01), Othello (1604-05), King Lear (1605-06), and Macbeth (1605-1606).

Shakespeare died in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1616. Today, nearly 400 years later, his plays are performed and read more often and in more nations than ever before. In a million words written over 20 years, he captured the full range of human emotions and conflicts with a precision that remains sharp today. As his great contemporary

   

Apr 23

Cartnoon

Apr 23

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning


Red Neon

Apr 23

Late Night Karaoke

Apr 23

Asked and Answered

Will Social Security Be Unchained? Attacking the Serious People

Dean Baker

Al Jazeera English, April 15, 2013

President Obama’s efforts to appease Washington’s Serious People ran into serious obstacles last week. Responding to the cries of the Washington deficit hawks, President Obama proposed cutting Social Security by adopting a different measure of the rate of inflation for the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

This measure would gradually reduce the value of benefits through time. By age 75 retirees would see a benefit that is roughly 3 percent less than under current law. This is a much bigger hit to the income of the typical retiree than the tax increases at the end of last year were to the income of most of the wealthy people.



Why is a Democratic president trying to cut Social Security in response to a crisis created by a combination of Wall Street greed and Washington corruption and incompetence?

Chained CPI Helps Fund Corporate Tax Breaks and Trickle Down

By: masaccio, Firedog Lake

Friday April 19, 2013 10:49 am

Jack Lew, the Treasury Secretary and former head of the Office of Management and Budget, testified before the Senate Budget Committee recently. His written testimony explains the priorities set by President Bipartisan, Barack Obama, who seems to think he was elected on the long-term Republican promise to balance the budget.

Lew tells us that Obama’s budget is based on his Grand Bargain offers to Speaker Boehner that couldn’t garner any Republican backing. Lew doesn’t explain why that should be a starting point for further capitulations. Lew mentions such balanced ideas as the Chained CPI. That’s the part where we slash at Social Security and raise taxes on the middle class by raising income tax brackets less than inflation. Lew explains the reason for this assault on the 99%: “The chained CPI is a more accurate measure of inflation in that it does a better job of reflecting the substitution of goods in response to relative price changes.” That is a lie.

The CPI is supposed to measure how much it costs to maintain your lifestyle. The Chained CPI measures the decline in your standard of living as you change your protein intake from an occasional piece of beef to Alpo. Lew thinks that’s not a problem because it’s all protein. And it’s not a problem for the administration’s rich clients, whose life-style is utterly unaffected by inflation. For the 99%, the Chained CPI assumes that you are just as happy with canned catfood as you were with fresh salmon.

Lew’s headline number is $580 billion in tax hikes. It dwarfs the impact of cutting Social Security, which is $130 billion. At the same time, we are increasing taxes by $100 billion by raising the brackets more slowly than actual inflation. So, we have an actual $680 billion in increased revenues. Let’s see what we do with those. You probably think it has something to do with helping the middle class, as Lew claims in the section labeled “Strengthening the Middle Class by Investing in the U.S. Economy”. That translates to More Trickle Down From President Bipartisan. He wants to increase funding for US agencies to promote trade, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the new NAFTAs, and will hurt even worse as we watch corporations erode our sovereignty. Then we recycle the money back to corporations that shift foreign production back to the US. We paid them to leave, through deductions available for moving out (which supposedly will be repealed), and now we pay them to return. But that’s not all the corporations won. Take a look at the budget, pp. 7-35, where you can see all the money going to corporations on its way to trickling into the pockets of the rich.



Let’s just skip the tax increases on the middle class and the destruction of their retirement benefits. Why do Lew and Obama think balance is a good thing? Did the people on Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid cause the Great Crash? Did they reap billions of dollars in benefits from the Reagan/Bush/Obama tax rate cuts? Did they steal from pension plans or from stock and commodities brokerage accounts? Did they manipulate LIBOR for their personal benefit? Did they launder money for drug cartels and terrorists? Did they need Get Out Of Jail Free cards from the fake prosecutors at the Department of Justice? Did anyone in the entire country vote for this guy thinking “Oh good, at last someone will make the tough decision to cut my Social Security and give the money to the rich and their corporations?”

Apr 23

In Memoriam: Richie Havens 1941 – 2013

Folk singer and guitarist Richie Havens passed away this morning from a sudden heart attack . He was 72.

Havens, widely admired for his briskly rhythmic guitar style and richly textured voice, became a part of history for serving as the opening performer at the Woodstock festival in 1969.

Havens transfixed the crowd at the start of that storied weekend. In a way, he had to. He was asked by the organizers to extend his set to nearly three hours to kill time since most of the other performers hadn’t yet reached the site, due to the choking crowds. Havens’ subsequent improvisation on the spiritual “Motherless Child” – threaded with his own inspired vamp of “Freedom” – become one of the festival’s signature sounds.

Havens’ reputation as a live performer earned him widespread notice. His Woodstock appearance proved to be a major turning point in his career. As the festival’s first performer, he held the crowd for nearly three hours (in part because he was told to perform a lengthy set because many artists were delayed in reaching the festival location), and was called back for several encores. Having run out of tunes, he improvised a song based on the old spiritual “Motherless Child” that became “Freedom”. The subsequent Woodstock movie release helped Havens reach a worldwide audience. He also appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival in late August 1969. [..]

Increasingly, Havens devoted his energies to educating young people about ecological issues. In the mid-1970s, he co-founded the Northwind Undersea Institute, an oceanographic children’s museum on City Island in the Bronx. That, in turn, led to the creation of The Natural Guard, an organization Richie describes as “a way of helping kids learn that they can have a hands-on role in affecting the environment. Children study the land, water, and air in their own communities and see how they can make positive changes from something as simple as planting a garden in an abandoned lot.

Richie passed away on Earth Day.

May the Goddess guide him on his journey to the Summerlands. May his family and and friends and all the world find Peace.

Freedom at Woodstock 1969

Blessed Be. The Wheel Turns

Apr 23

Throwaway Women

El Salvador Will Not Allow Lifesaving Abortion For Young Mother

http://www.thefrisky.com/2013-…

Die, woman, die.  The orphan you leave behind doesn’t need a murderess who would abort a brainless fetus.  

What would the world do for politicians if all brainless fetuses were aborted?

In Nicaragua the dashing, heroic, incestuous dictator Daniel Ortega, beloved by many liberals, will never be investigated for his crimes because he is after all a dashing, heroic dictator.

To appease the Nicaraguan church hierarchy, the incestuous, beloved dictator made the law against abortion absolute so the prelates wouldn’t concern themselves so with crimes against the people.

While there is much to celebrate among the younger generation in America, the rising intolerance for abortion is most assuredly not one of them. Men have never had anything to fear from the fix women can get into unless they give a damn about their mothers, wives, daughters and other females.

I have wondered if the rise of the so-called hispanic population and reverence for coathanger medicine are coincidental or a show of cause and effect.

Regardless of all other considerations, this is a horrendous retreat from common decency, commonsense and respect for individual rights IMO.  

It is abortion that converted me from a Catholic to a true believer in the Vikings’ religion.  Where else on the planet can one find a religion that decrees women goddesses are fully equal with male gods?  I frankly rebelled at thinking Viking males were sensitive souls but who can figure all the contradictions in life?  My Viking-Cherokee bride of nearly half a century has me confused too but then all women do that.  I am only a mere male. We are all dumber than whale blubber because we can only think with the gray stuff.

Best,  Terry