Saturday, April 28, 2007

Weekend thoughts

Notes on the nature of being spooked. I like being aware. I try to pay attention to the world I live in and I try to penetrate beneath the obvious in several areas. I read, I participate and occasionally I write here. The mind, or mine specifically, has always been my true companion. That should in no way be taken to diminish those of you who are my companions in this life we lead, but only to point out that my mind is the only companion that has been there since the beginning and excepting dementia, will be with me when I leave this earth. Regardless, I digress gratuitously. I am spooked deeply right now. The world as I experience it seems dangerously off kilter. It is my opinion that one of the fundamental rules of the universe is balance. Obviously balance beyond what we can perceive or likely hope to understand even in the next couple of generations, but balance nonetheless. I think this is why kids have such an innate sense of fairness, Buddha said move beyond the Ego and Rilke said pain is as necessary as joy to be able to experience life as a human. And the world as we perceive it, is terribly awfully destructively off balance. From the disappearing bees, to the dramatically ignored destruction of the ocean and the desperate state of most of the world’s human population, it seems to me that those who orchestrate these systems assumed something would happen before now to correct the excesses. Only nothing did. Israel invaded Lebanon and everyone watched. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are being killed and millions are dying from poverty everyone just watches. The leader of the free world is likely back on the sauce and everyone just watches. What creates that level of inertia? Who cares, the inertia isn’t the point. If there is balance somewhere and our systems are not reacting to current chaos, what happens? What happens next? So hopefully I grossly underestimate the elasticity of the universe and my current safe bubble will continue indefinitely…..but the whiskers are twitching and the cadence feels off. We will see.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Project Censored Media Democracy in Action

Project Censored Media Democracy in Action: "In debunking the official explanation of the collapse of the three WTC buildings, Jones cites the complete, rapid, and symmetrical collapse of the buildings; the horizontal explosions (squibs) evidenced in films of the collapses; the fact that the antenna dropped first in the North Tower, suggesting the use of explosives in the core columns; and the large pools of molten metal observed in the basement areas of both towers.

Jones also investigated the collapse of WTC 7, a forty-seven-story building that was not hit by planes, yet dropped in its own “footprint,” in the same manner as a controlled demolition. WTC 7 housed the U.S. Secret Service, the Department of Defense, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, the Internal Revenue Service Regional Council, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Many of the records from the Enron accounting scandal were destroyed when the building came down."

Project Censored Media Democracy in Action

Project Censored Media Democracy in Action: "Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown and Root) announced on January 24, 2006 that it had been awarded a $385 million contingency contract by the Department of Homeland Security to build detention camps in the United States.

According to a press release posted on the Halliburton website, “The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs. The contingency support contract provides for planning and, if required, initiation of specific engineering, construction and logistics support tasks to establish, operate and maintain one or more expansion facilities.”

What little coverage the announcement received focused on concerns about Halliburton’s reputation for overcharging U.S. taxpayers for substandard services.

Less attention was focused on the phrase “rapid development of new programs” or what type of programs might require a major expansion of detention centers, capable of holding 5,000 people each. Jamie Zuieback, spokeswoman for ICE, declined to elaborate on what these “new programs” might be."

Project Censored Media Democracy in Action

Project Censored Media Democracy in Action: "Several recent studies confirm fears that genetically modified (GM) foods damage human health. These studies were released as the World Trade Organization (WTO) moved toward upholding the ruling that the European Union has violated international trade rules by stopping importation of GM foods.

* Research by the Russian Academy of Sciences released in December 2005 found that more than half of the offspring of rats fed GM soy died within the first three weeks of life, six times as many as those born to mothers fed on non-modified soy. Six times as many offspring fed GM soy were also severely underweight.
* In November 2005, a private research institute in Australia, CSIRO Plant Industry, put a halt to further development of a GM pea cultivator when it was found to cause an immune response in laboratory mice.1
* In the summer of 2005, an Italian research team led by a cellular biologist at the University of Urbino published confirmation that absorption of GM soy by mice causes development of misshapen liver cells, as well as other cellular anomalies.
* In May of 2005 the review of a highly confidential and controversial Monsanto report on test results of corn modified with Monsanto MON863 was published in The Independent/UK.

Dr. Arpad Pusztai (see Censored 2001, Story #7), one of the few genuinely independent sci"

Project Censored Media Democracy in Action

Project Censored Media Democracy in Action: "“Let me make a generalized statement about a trend I see in the U.S. Congress that I find disturbing, that applies not only with respect to the Iranian situation but a number of others as well,” Cheney said. “I think we Americans sometimes make mistakes . . . There seems to be an assumption that somehow we know what’s best for everybody else and that we are going to use our economic clout to get everybody else to live the way we would like.”

Cheney was the chief executive of Halliburton Corporation at the time he uttered those words. It was Cheney who directed Halliburton toward aggressive business dealings with Iran—in violation of U.S. law—in the mid-1990s, which continued through 2005 and is the reason Iran has the capability to enrich weapons-grade uranium.
It was Halliburton’s secret sale of centrifuges to Iran that helped get the uranium enrichment program off the ground, according to a three-year investigation that includes interviews conducted with more than a dozen current and former Halliburton employees.

If the U.S. ends up engaged in a war with Iran in the future, Cheney and Halliburton will bear the brunt of the blame.
But this shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who has been following Halliburton’s business activities over the past decade. The company has a long, documented hi"

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Feministe » Sacrificing Women at the Altar of Fetus Fetishism: "I’m glad your wife is doing well and I’m sorry for the loss of your baby.
As a father of a 1 yr old baby girl, I value the life of my baby more than anything else on Earth. She is the most important thing there is, I would have to say equal to my own wife.. my baby is a part of me, she is my own blood, my offspring, she is genetically closer to me than my own wife. My baby girl will love me more as she is growing up than my own wife ever will.. the love between a daughter and father is, in my opinion, greater than between a husband and wife. Agree with me or not, that is my opinion.. and my baby girl is only 1 yr old. All she can say is “da da”, but I know she loves me and I love her infinitely so.. my wife, I love also infinitely so, but sometimes it’s rocky, sometimes it’s up and down and we aren’t always as close as we’d like to be, but I will always love my baby girl infinitely."
I am not against aborting if there is no possible alternative to saving the mother.. but if the child can be saved at the loss of the mother then I would choose the child. There is no logic to losing both, but it’s a risk worth taking, to take it as far as you took it should happen in every case, in my opinion.

Seriously hope this woman sees this and files for divorce.

this is fun

Thoughts Today

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Intelligence has nothing to do with wealth, according to a US study published Tuesday which found that people with below average smarts were just as wealthy as those with higher IQ scores.

Here is where the paper of record stands:

Tonight PBS is broadcasting ""Buying the War," Bill Moyers' devastating hour and a half long indictment of the US news media's complicity in helping sell Bush's invasion of Iraq.

You'd think, given the gravity of the issue and the status of Moyers, that the newspaper of record would review the program.

You'd be wrong.

And housing continues to look even scarier:

A few points.

1.) This number, well, sucks. Housing is not anywhere hear a bottom.

2.) All regions dropped. The smallest drop was 6.2% in the South. The Midwest had the largest drop of 10.9%.

3.) The total inventory available for sale increased 17.1% from year ago levels, increasing from 3,198,000 to 3,745,000. Current months available for sale inventory increased from 6.8% to 7.3%.

4.) There is further to do on the downside. While sales dropped, the median price increased from $213,600 in February to $217 in March. Seller's still haven't gotten the message that to move houses off the market they're going to have to lower prices.

5.) While weather was probably partially responsible, this drop is fundamental -- that is demand is weakening. Credit standards are tightening, consumers already have a ton of debt on their books and there are simply a ton of houses on the market to sell.

So go read some gossip, the world doesn't look very pretty.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

How the World Works -

How the World Works - "The environmental impact of the solid-state revolution in lighting will be enormous. Look at a map of the world based on satellite photographs taken at night and you will see that light emissions from the United States, in particular the east coast of the country, are far higher than from anywhere else. Most of this light is still produced by antiquated Edison-style incandescents. If every American household were to install energy-efficient lights in five of their most frequently-used fixtures -- the kitchen ceiling light, living room table and floor lamps, bathroom vanity, and outdoor porch lamp -- the resultant drop in energy consumption would keep more than one trillion pounds of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. That is equivalent to eliminating the pollution caused by more than eight million cars for an entire year, a $6 billion dollar savings for householders equivalent to the annual output of more than twenty power stations."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Broadsheet -

Broadsheet - "Reason #2: A reader just sent us a link to his column from last week (available to non-TimesSelect subscribers here), in which he focused his cross-hairs on violence and misogyny. He reasons, 'A close look at the patterns of murderous violence in the U.S. reveals some remarkable consistencies, wherever the individual atrocities may have occurred. In case after case, decade after decade, the killers have been shown to be young men riddled with shame and humiliation, often bitterly misogynistic and homophobic, who have decided that the way to assert their faltering sense of manhood and get the respect they have been denied is to go out and shoot somebody.' The case of Virginia Tech killer Cho Seung-Hui is only the most recent example of some of this. Cho 'was reported to have stalked female classmates and to have leaned under tables to take inappropriate photos of women. A former roommate told CNN that Mr. Cho once claimed to have seen 'promiscuity' when he looked into the eyes of a woman on campus,' Herbert writes.

He continues: 'Violence is commonly resorted to as the antidote to the disturbing emotions raised by the widespread hostility toward women in our society and the pathological fear of so many men that they aren't quite tough enough, masculine enough -- in short, that they might have homosexual tendencies.'"

Food - Supermarkets - Obesity - Nutrition - Calories - Farmers - Agriculture - New York Times

Food - Supermarkets - Obesity - Nutrition - Calories - Farmers - Agriculture - New York Times: "Doing so starts with the recognition that the “farm bill” is a misnomer; in truth, it is a food bill and so needs to be rewritten with the interests of eaters placed first. Yes, there are eaters who think it in their interest that food just be as cheap as possible, no matter how poor the quality. But there are many more who recognize the real cost of artificially cheap food — to their health, to the land, to the animals, to the public purse. At a minimum, these eaters want a bill that aligns agricultural policy with our public-health and environmental values, one with incentives to produce food cleanly, sustainably and humanely. Eaters want a bill that makes the most healthful calories in the supermarket competitive with the least healthful ones. Eaters want a bill that feeds schoolchildren fresh food from local farms rather than processed surplus commodities from far away. Enlightened eaters also recognize their dependence on farmers, which is why they would support a bill that guarantees the people who raise our food not subsidies but fair prices. Why? Because they prefer to live in a country that can still produce its own food and doesn’t hurt the world’s farmers by dumping its surplus crops on their markets."

Violence at home

Ten are dead in weekend violence | Inquirer | 04/23/2007: "Ten are dead in weekend violence
The slayings followed three forums Friday on how to stem the city's problem. The year's homicide count is 127.
By Jan Hefler
Inquirer Staff Writer
At least 10 people died over the weekend as bullets cut through several Philadelphia neighborhoods - including Center City, where homicides are rare - and at a barbecue in West Philadelphia. At least nine others were wounded in shootings or stabbings.

Despite the national spotlight on gun violence after the Virginia Tech massacre and at least three antiviolence conferences held in Philadelphia last week, the homicide toll climbed to 127, rising as the temperature hit the high 70s.

The Center City shooting - at 12th and Chestnut Streets - quickly resulted in an arrest. Investigations continued in the other cases."

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Daily Kos: George W. Bush Publicly Declares Disloyalty To United States

Daily Kos: George W. Bush Publicly Declares Disloyalty To United States: "WOLF BLITZER: So what's your bottom line? Do you believe, based on the reporting you did for this article, that the president of the United States is now aggressively plotting military action, a pre-emptive strike against Iran?

SEYMOUR HERSH: The word I hear is 'messianic.' He thinks, as I wrote, that he's the only one now who will have the courage to do it. He's politically free. I don't think he's overwhelmingly concerned about the '06 elections, congressional elections. I think he really thinks he has a chance, and this is going to be his mission.

'Again, the White House Web site records that on March 3, Bush told a Los Angeles audience, 'God loves you, and I love you. And you can count on both of us as a powerful message that people who wonder about their future can hear.' After mentioning himself in the same breath with God, Bush then topped himself when the Lancaster New Era reported on July 16 that in a private meeting with an Amish group in Lancaster County, he told them, 'I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.' The White House has denied the statement.'"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Unknown News

Unknown News: "The newspaper said it had obtained 328 pages of classified documents that showed foreign agents had infiltrated Osama bin Laden's network and were carefully tracking its moves. One document prepared in January 2001 was entitled 'Plan to hijack an aircraft by Islamic radicals', and said the operation had been discussed in Kabul at the start of 2000 by al Qaeda, Taliban and Chechen militants.

The hijack was meant to happen between March and September 2000 but the planners put it back 'because of differences of opinion, particularly over the date, objective and participants,' Le Monde said, citing the report.

The attacks on U.S. cities that eventually took place on Sept. 11, 2001 killed almost 3,000 people.

The 100 unsexiest men 2007: 70-61 - Rec Room - The Phoenix

The 100 unsexiest men 2007: 70-61 - Rec Room - The Phoenix:
Mullet king

When we put the lead vocalist of turdy rockers Nickelback on the list last year, we didn’t think his fans would come out in force to defend him quite like they did. Seriously? People actually think this dude is attractive? He looks like a lion crossbred with a chicken."

Capitol offenders

No Senate delegation has served the Unsexy constituency with such distinction as the moon-faced windbag Edward Kennedy and the high-haired highbrow John Kerry. What the hell happens when you get sworn in from New England? The judge administers the oath . . . and then whacks you in the head with the ugly stick?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees? - Independent Online Edition > Wildlife

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees? - Independent Online Edition > Wildlife: "No one knows why it is happening. Theories involving mites, pesticides, global warming and GM crops have been proposed, but all have drawbacks.

German research has long shown that bees' behaviour changes near power lines.

Now a limited study at Landau University has found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn, who carried it out, said this could provide a 'hint' to a possible cause.

Dr George Carlo, who headed a massive study by the US government and mobile phone industry of hazards from mobiles in the Nineties, said: 'I am convinced the possibility is real.'"

Thursday, April 12, 2007

In Memoriam

I have lots of authors who have guided me through life, Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five was the first time I was able to read between the lines and see a different story. I ended up reading almost everything he ever wrote, including the speech he gave at my best friends college commencement. Thank you Mr. Vonnegut, Thank you.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

New awesome song

O.A.R. Heard The World Lyrics

I just heard the world, is breaking down into bits again.
Tell me what am i to do?
And you just want me to stay, here.
So i'm just gonna stay, here.

Home, the last resort.
Build a castle with an iron door.
Lock the window, pull the shades, the hazed out sun won't help anyway.

If the world is crumbling down, I don't wanna be alone.
NO, locked up in this place.

I heard the world up, late night.
Holding my breath tight, trying to keep my head on right.
There's a chill in the air, nobody could care.
How you're caught up in the fight of your life.

Fear, is holding me here.
The television got me seeing unclear.
Bravery, my neighbor, moved away.
Cause I don't need to be courageous today.
If the world was crumbling down, I don't wanna be alone.
NO, locked up in this place.

I heard the world up, late night.
Holding my breath tight, trying to keep my head on right.
There's a chill in the air, nobody could care.
How you're caught up in the fight of your life.

I heard the world up, late night.
Holding my breath tight, trying to keep my head on right.
There's a chill in the air, nobody could care.
How you're caught up in the fight of your life.

Nothing's gonna save me.
I'm hanging from the nearest tree.
Nothing's gonna save me.
I'm hanging from the nearest tree.

I heard the world up, late night.
Holding my breath tight, trying to keep my head on right.
There's a chill in the air, nobody could care.
How you're caught up in the fight of your life.

I heard the world up, late night.
Holding my breath tight, trying to keep my head on right.
There's a chill in the air, nobody could care.
How you're caught up in the fight of your life.

I heard the world up, late night.
Holding my breath tight, trying to keep my head on right.
There's a chill in the air, nobody could care.
How you're caught up in the fight of your life.

I heard the world up, late night.
Holding my breath tight, trying to keep my head on right.
There's a chill in the air, nobody could care.
How you're caught up in the fight of your life.

World up, late night
World up, late night
World up, late night
World up, late night
World up, late night
World up, late night
World up, late night
World up, late night | News Wires | News Wires: "Google Earth allows those who have downloaded its free software to focus on satellite images and maps of most of the world. When users scan over the Darfur region, where the United Nations estimates that more than 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced in four years of carnage, Google Inc. hopes to attract their gaze with icons.

The icons represent destroyed villages with flames and refugee camps with tents. When users zoom in to a level of magnification that keeps most of Darfur on a computer screen, the icons seem to indicate that much of the region is on fire. Clicking on flame icons will open windows with the village's name and statistics on the extent of destruction.

Google enhanced the resolution for certain areas of the region so that users can zoom in to see the burnt remnants of houses. Google says it will periodically update the images.

The online maps of the region also include an icon that links to a presentation by the Holocaust museum on the crisis in the region with photos, video, historical background and testimony on atrocities.

Sara Bloomfield, the museum's director, said museum staff members had approached Google about the project as they sought ways to highlight what they believe is genocide to many people who remain unaware. In Google Earth, which the company says has been downloaded by 200 million people worldwide, they found an ideal medium.

"This is like the world's biggest bulletin board," Bloomfield said.


Monday, April 09, 2007


I just had a mouse run over my foot at work. So gross. Took like ten people to find it and bring it outside.

Daily Kos: John Edwards and the New Populism

Daily Kos: John Edwards and the New Populism: "I won’t bother feeding you all the stats showing that income inequality is a problem; even conservatives—the honest ones, anyway—now accept it as fact. There’s a terrible gap between not only rich and poor but also super rich and everyone else. Virginia Senator Jim Webb, a prominent New Populist, recently smuggled some truth onto the Wall Street Journal's op-ed page.

The most important--and unfortunately the least debated--issue in politics today is our society's steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America's top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people. The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes."

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Welcome to your Theocracy...

How Pat Robertson's law school is changing America. - By Dahlia Lithwick - Slate Magazine: "oodling is an improbable character for a political scandal. She's the mirror opposite of that other Monica—the silly, saucy minx who felled Bill Clinton. A 1995 graduate of an evangelical Christian school, Messiah College, and a 1999 graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent University School of Law (this seems to be her Web page), Goodling's chief claim to professional fame appears to have been loyalty to the president and to the process of reshaping the Justice Department in his image (and thus, His image). A former career official there told the Washington Post that Goodling 'forced many very talented, career people out of main Justice so she could replace them with junior people that were either loyal to the administration or would score her some points.' And as she rose at Justice, according to a former classmate, Goodling 'developed a very positive reputation for people coming from Christian schools into Washington looking for employment in government.'"

Friday, April 06, 2007

Let’s Die Together

Let’s Die Together: "When suicide-positive cultures meet the Internet, those inhibitions that do exist are weakened. The spread of Internet communications makes it easy for suicide seekers, radical Islamists, pedophiles, and other fringe groups to meet online, away from the prying eyes of parents, spouses, and the police. Once online, it is easy for such groups to attract new members from the free-floating population of lonely, curious, or dissatisfied souls who exist in all times and places, and in all cultures. Instead of spending their time in prayer, or listening to sad music, or reading novels, or knitting, or taking care of too many cats, vulnerable and unstable members of society are socialized into virtual communities whose shared vocabulary and values become an antidote to loneliness, even as they propel their members toward death."

I normally like to focus on the good and powerful effects of the democratization of information that is the Internet. It is important to remember that almost everything is a double-edged sword.

Tops and Bottoms

What is ‘gay’?

I n The History of Sexuality, a multivolume work published in the 1970s and ’80s, Michel Foucault proposed his famous thesis that Western academic, medical, and political discourse of the 18th and 19th centuries had produced the idea of the homosexual as a deviant type: In Western society, homosexuality changed from being a behavior (what you do) to an identity (who you are).

In the Middle East, however, homosexual behavior remained just that—an act, not an orientation. That is not to say that Middle Eastern men who had sex with other men were freely tolerated. But they were not automatically labeled deviant. The taxonomy revolved around the roles of top and bottom, with little stigma attaching to the top. “‘Sexuality’ is distinguished not between ‘homosexual’ and ‘heterosexual’ but between taking pleasure and submitting to someone (being used for pleasure),” the sociologist Stephen O. Murray explains in the 1997 compilation Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, History, and Literature. Being a bottom was shameful because it meant playing a woman’s role. A bottom was not locked into his inferior status, however; he could, and was expected to, leave the role behind as he grew older. “There may be a man, and he likes boys. The Saudis just look at this as, ‘He doesn’t like football,’” Dave, a gay American teacher who first moved to Saudi Arabia in 1978, told me. “It’s assumed that he is, as it were, the dominant partner, playing the man’s role, and there is no shame attached to it.” Nor is the dominant partner considered gay.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

this makes me physically ill

Ford CEO paid $39.1 million in 2006 - Automotive - "Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Co.’s new president and chief executive officer, received compensation valued at $39.1 million during his four months on the job last year, according to an analysis of a federal regulatory filing made Thursday.

Mulally succeeded Bill Ford as CEO of the Dearborn, Mich.-based company on Sept. 1.

The nation’s second-biggest automaker lost $12.7 billion in 2006, the largest loss in its 103-year history, largely due to a massive restructuring plan undertaken amid a withering assault from Asian automakers that have taken an increasing share of the U.S. auto market."

So Fcuking Scary!

Glenn Greenwald - Salon: "More than any other candidate, Giuliani exudes those authoritarian traits, which is what accounts for his unparalleled popularity as a candidate, including among the extremist base of the GOP. And it's why they can't stand McCain even though his views are actually more doctrinally 'conservative' than Giuliani's -- because McCain doesn't seem to hate liberals viscerally enough and seems to believe in some (very minimal) limits and restraints on what the Leader can do.

Rudy Giuliani -- the leading Republican candidate for President -- has made two of the most extraordinary statements of any major presidential candidate in a long time. In a rational world, this would be a major scandal and Democratic (and the other Republican) candidates would be rushing to make their views clear on these matters. But the revelation that Giuliani believes in process-less imprisonment (and that Romney can only decide once his lawyers are done debating it) provoked virtually no attention (but hey, those first-quarter fundraising numbers sure were interesting!).

Despite the fact that the media is only recently acknowledging it, we have had a serious Constitutional crisis in this country for the last six years as a result of a President who literally embraces a theory that vests him with the power to ignore the law. That crisis never really materialized because the submissive Congress acquiesced to the concept of President as monarch -- the Republican-led Congress (often with the passive acceptance of Democrats) chose to do nothing when the array of presidential lawbreaking was discovered (other than pass laws retroactively legalizing the lawbreaking). For that reason, it is actually unknown what the Bush administration would really do if Congress (or the courts) sought to impose genuine limits on the President's will even in areas where those branches have unquestioned authority to act -- would the White House accept those limits or proclaim them to be invalid (because they impermissibly interfere with the President's "inherent powers") and ignore them? But here Giuliani is, making expressly clear what he would do in such a situation. Nothing can limit his powers, including express provisions of the Constitution regarding war-making. That seems worthy of some note, at least.

Sometimes they do the right thing.

Florida to restore felons' civil rights - Yahoo! News: "Crist has made it clear since before he was governor that he was in favor of making it easier for felons who have done their time to vote. He pushed the measure forcefully, and rejected McCollum's assertion that it was welcoming the worst of the worst back into society too easily.

After someone has served their time, Crist said they should get their rights back as a matter of justice.

Still, Crist's plan was a compromise, carving out murderers and other violent felons who would still have to either go before the board for a hearing or at least be subject to review.

Florida is one of three states — the others are Kentucky and Virginia — that still deprive felons of civil rights for life. Most other states automatically restore felons' rights when they complete their sentences, probation or parole.

A recent federal lawsuit challenged Florida's rights ban on "

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

No where to go, nothing to say

As part of the surveillance, the retailer last year had a long-haired employee infiltrate an anti-Wal-Mart group to determine if it planned protests at the company's annual meeting, according to Bruce Gabbard, the fired security worker, the Journal said.

The company also deployed cutting-edge monitoring systems made by a supplier to the Defense Department that allowed it to capture and record the actions of anyone connected to its global computer network, the Journal said.

I work for a corporation. I have for my entire post college career. I enjoy my work and the compensation received, but it gets hard to reconcile as these stories keep growing. Best Buy firing people not for performance, but because they made too much. Hershey outsourcing to Mexico, not because they aren't profitable here, but because they can be "more" profitable there. I hated Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and most other economists that I read because they never dealt with the public good as a necessary function of any economy. Now it seems, the little detail is becoming more irrelevant and the proletariat less powerful even as their standard fo living rises. The bees are dying, the oceans are collapsing and we see no difference. Global warming at least makes itself seen on a daily or yearly basis, but really, what will it take for the people to fight back against a system stacked against them?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Circuit City's harsh layoffs give glimpse of a new world - Yahoo! News

Circuit City's harsh layoffs give glimpse of a new world - Yahoo! News: "All of this makes for an interesting business model. But it raises troubling questions about the direction of the American economy and society. Among them:

•Is this politically sustainable? Read through Circuit City's statement about the layoffs, and one can almost detect a sense of glee at its job cuts. This kind of treatment of employees, combined with growing disparities of wealth, increase the chances of a potent political backlash that will result in overly rigid labor laws, punitive tax rates on the wealthy and trade protectionism.

•Will the 'service economy' result in the death of service? Many consumers might be comfortable buying high-end goods and services online. But others might want a knowledgeable salesperson, who might become a rarity in today's rush to cut wages."

Monday, April 02, 2007

Feminism Benefits Us All (Shakesville)

Feminism Benefits Us All (Shakesville): "One of the greatest bulwarks against men accepting the feminist movement is that they seem to think that women gaining power must necessarily dilute their own exclusive powers and status. But in so holding onto this erroneous notion, they forget that they themselves are powerless in the face of the corporate plutocracy that now weighs down so heavily upon all of us. If they could get their heads around the fact that they too are powerless and insignificant and ignored, they would stop trying to beat up on the kids they perceive to be weaker and instead acknowledge their own weakness, ally themselves with them, and move forward with them in a new movement that would grant greater freedoms for all of us. It shouldn’t be about trying to maintain some illusory advantage over others. It should be about trying to create concrete advantages for all of us." / Markets / UK - Europe tops US in stock market value / Markets / UK - Europe tops US in stock market value: "Europe has eclipsed the US in stock market value for the first time since the first world war in another sign of the slipping of the global dominance of American capital markets.

Europe’s 24 stockmarkets, including Russia and emerging Europe, saw their capitalisation rise to $15,720bn (€11,819bn) at the end of last week, according to Thomson Financial data. That exceeded the $15,640bn market value of the US.

The rise of the euro against the dollar, growth of east European markets such as Russia and stock market outperformance spurred by improving profitability have seen Europe close a long-held gap with the US. Ian Harnett at Absolute Strategy Research, who identified the move, said this marked a “seismic shift” in markets."