October 10, 2011 archive

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Please join us later tonight for the National League Championship: Game 2 between the Cardinals and the Brewers with pithy commentary by ek hornbeck and un bon mot par moi, maybe even in English.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

Occupy Wall Street Monday 10.10.11

They Hate Us Because We Bring Freedom

UN Report On Government Torture In Afghanistan:

KABUL, Afghanistan – Suspects are hung by their hands, beaten with cables, and in some cases their genitals are twisted until they lose consciousness in detention facilities run by the Afghan intelligence service and the Afghan national police, according to a study released Monday by the United Nations here.

At War

The report provides a devastating picture of the abuses committed by arms of the Afghanistan government as the American-led foreign forces here are moving to wind down their presence after a decade of war. The abuses were uncovered even as American and other Western trainers and mentors had been working closely with the ministries overseeing the detention facilities and funded their operations.

Read the rest here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10…

Thank you Mr Bush! Thank you too, Mr Obama. And a big shout out to freedom lovers the world over.  

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 23

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

OccupyWallStreet

The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉

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

Fellow blogger and one of the long term under-/unemployed, Jesse LaGrega, participated in ABC’s “This Week with Christiane Amanpour”. He not only held his own with the Village pundits, he left George Will speechless and shreds out of touch elitist Peggy Noonan.

From Scarecrow at FDL:

Bill McKibben at Occupy Wall Street rally 10/8/2011

(Transcript is in Scarecrow’s article)

It sounds like a Wiccan cleansing or Christian exorcism. 🙂

On This Day In History October 10

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

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

October 10 is the 283rd day of the year (284th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 82 days remaining until the end of the year.

On October 10, 1935, George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess premieres on Broadway.

Porgy and Bess is an opera, first performed in 1935, with music by George Gershwin, libretto by DuBose Heyward, and lyrics by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward. It was based on DuBose Heyward’s novel Porgy and the play of the same name which he co-wrote with his wife Dorothy Heyward. All three works deal with African American life in the fictitious Catfish Row (based on the real-life Rainbow Row) in Charleston, South Carolina, in the early 1920s.

Originally conceived by Gershwin as an “American folk opera”, Porgy and Bess premiered in New York in the fall of 1935 and featured an entire cast of classically trained African-American singers-a daring and visionary artistic choice at the time. Gershwin chose African American Eva Jessye as the choral director for the opera. Incorporating a wealth of blues and jazz idioms into the classical art form of opera, Gershwin considered it his finest work.

The work was not widely accepted in the United States as a legitimate opera until 1976, when the Houston Grand Opera production of Gershwin’s complete score established it as an artistic triumph. Nine years later the Metropolitan Opera gave their first performance of the work. This production was also broadcast as part of the ongoing Saturday afternoon live Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts. The work is now considered part of the standard operatic repertoire and is regularly performed internationally. Despite this success, the opera has been controversial; some critics from the outset have considered it a racist portrayal of African Americans.

Summertime” is by far the best-known piece from the work, and countless interpretations of this and other individual numbers have also been recorded and performed. The second best-known number is “It Ain’t Necessarily So“. The opera is admired for Gershwin’s innovative synthesis of European orchestral techniques with American jazz and folk music idioms.

Porgy and Bess tells the story of Porgy, a disabled black beggar living in the slums of Charleston, South Carolina. It deals with his attempts to rescue Bess from the clutches of Crown, her violent and possessive lover, and Sportin’ Life, the drug dealer. Where the earlier novel and stage-play differ, the opera generally follows the stage-play.

The Porgy and Bess original cast recording was included by the National Recording Preservation Board in the Library of Congress, National Recording Registry in 2003. The board selects songs on an annual basis that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

On July 14, 1993, the United States Postal Service recognized the opera’s cultural significance by issuing a commemorative 29-cent postage stamp, and in 2001 Porgy and Bess was proclaimed the official opera of the State of South Carolina.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

–Coco Chanel



Oil and Water 3

Late Night Karaoke

Cartnoon

Hare We Go

GOP War On Voting

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Back in August, columnist Ari Berman wrote an article in Rolling Stone about the GOP war minorities, elderly, students and  the poor who traditionally vote Democratic, by passing state laws that make it increasing difficult, not just register to vote but to actually suppress voting:

As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election, Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008. Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots. “What has happened this year is the most significant setback to voting rights in this country in a century,” says Judith Browne-Dianis, who monitors barriers to voting as co-director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C.

On Sunday the Brennan Center for Justice released it’s study that these new laws will disenfranchise at least 5 million votes in 2012.

These new restrictions fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities. This wave of changes may sharply tilt the political terrain for the 2012 election. Based on the Brennan Center’s analysis of the 19 laws and two executive actions that passed in 14 states, it is clear that:

   These new laws could make it significantly harder for more than five million eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.

   The states that have already cut back on voting rights will provide 171 electoral votes in 2012 – 63 percent of the 270 needed to win the presidency.

   Of the 12 likely battleground states, as assessed by an August Los Angeles Times analysis of Gallup polling, five have already cut back on voting rights (and may pass additional restrictive legislation), and two more are currently considering new restrictions.

States have changed their laws so rapidly that no single analysis has assessed the overall impact of such moves. Although it is too early to quantify how the changes will impact voter turnout, they will be a hindrance to many voters at a time when the United States continues to turn out less than two thirds of its eligible citizens in presidential elections and less than half in midterm elections.

This study is the first comprehensive roundup of all state legislative action thus far in 2011 on voting rights, focusing on new laws as well as state legislation that has not yet passed or that failed. This snapshot may soon be incomplete: the second halves of some state legislative sessions have begun.

So far, 34 states have passed such laws.

Mr. Berman sat down for a discussion on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman and ProPublica reporter Lois Beckett who co-wrote, “The Hidden Hands in Redistricting: Corporations and Other Powerful Interests,” about how money is helping re-shape Congressional districts along partisan lines, a practice known as gerrymandering.:

Question: Where is the Obama Justice Department that should be challenging these laws as they relate to the 14th Amendment and the voting rights act?

Pique the Geek 20111009: All about Soap

Before we start, here is an important public service message brought to you by Translator.  There is a fraudulent email going around asking that gmail users verify their accounts by the end to the month to avoid suspension.  This is a fraud!  If you get an email from Gmail@carrierzone.com, do not respond and delete it.

We take something as mundane as soap way too much for granted.  It is not an exaggeration to say that soap has saved more lives over its history than modern medicine has over its history.  Of course, soap has a much longer history than modern medicine, but soap is still essential as a medical adjunct.

The actual origin of soap is lost in prehistory.  I suspect that the first soap like materials were plant saponins, and we shall get to them in just a bit.  Before we get into the nuts and bolts of soap (and by extension detergents), it is important to understand just how these materials work.  At first it does not seem to make a whole lot of sense, but as we continue I promise one of those “Aha!” moments.  Ready to get going?  I am!

#OWS: Mark banks to market or no more bailouts.

Want to see Blankfein’s head on a metaphorical pike?  Want accountability?  Justice?

Photobucket

It’s called “mark-to-market” accounting.

Listen to Ilargi:  

It’s perfectly defensible for a government to lend money to a bank in trouble that is important to its economy, in order to try and save. However, it borders on criminal negligence, if it isn’t outright criminal behavior, to lend that money without being perfectly aware of what assets that bank holds.

A bank could have 100 times more debt than it receives in bail-out money. But we wouldn’t know about that today, we’re not allowed to know. Both the US (FASB 157) and the European Union (IFRS 9) have accounting (non-)principles in place that say it’s perfectly alright for a financial institution to hold assets in its books at 100 cents on the dollar that have a market value of 70% of that, or 50%, or even 5%. It has therefore no obligation to reveal even to its shareholders what its true financial situation is.

Fraudulent accounting is why banks pass stress tests with flying colors then implode weeks later.  We’re dumping money into black holes.  If the banks want to take our money, they have to mark all their assets to market value.  Mark-to-fantasy accounting is, as Ilargi says, “criminal.”  And a total waste of taxpayer funded bailout money, a never-ending money pit.

Mark-to-market is instant karma.

…a bank should never ever be allowed to sit on its debt and mark it to fantasy and then also receive funding from our governments, whether in bail-outs, hand-outs, loans, special facilities’ windows at our central banks, or any other sort of funding, nothing of the kind.

We need to tell our politicians that they can no longer give even one single penny of ours to any institution that hasn’t marked all of its assets to market. No exceptions.

Let the sun shine on these blood-sucking freaks.  It couldn’t happen to nicer people.

MinistryofTruth on ABC News with Amanpour this a.m.!!!

Ministry of Truth has been very busy since his blockbuster responses to a Fox News-TV reporter of earlier this past week.

MoT a/k/a Jesse LaGreca’s appearance on Fox News has been circulating all over the place – yet, Fox News didn’t show it.  LOL!  He’s also been busy with videos and appearances since then, such as Al Jazeera, PCCC, a Japanese News Network and several others.

This morning, I caught MoT on ABC News, with Christiane Amanpour.  Her guests were:  George Will, Matthew Doubt, Peggy Noonan and Donna Brazile.  Such a line-up!!!!

The video may be seen here.

The intro commercial is long, but bear with it – it’s worth it.  Jesse LaGreca (MoT) fielded questions from Amanpour and the self-righteous most smug of guests, George Will, with aplomb, IMV.  When questioned about the core issue, Jesse stated that the Occupy Wall Street movement was about economic justice, social rights and social justice.  He was unwaivering in his excellent responses and was calm in doing so.  When Christiane Amanpour broached the subject of party, Jesse responded:  

What I find amusing, it that now people are looking to us to solve the political problems, and they should.  But I’m not going to support one party or the other. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, but I will encourage you to be a voter.

Here is the transcript: