BILL PERKINS, a Democratic state senator who represents Harlem, has introduced legislation that would ban eating in the New York City subway system and fine first-time violators $250 (twice that for repeat offenders). [...]
It’s far from clear that the proposed ban would be enforceable, or would do enough to overcome cutbacks in cleaning stations and tracks. Worse, the claim that noshing leads to litter and filth harks back to racial and class stereotypes from the Victorian era. In those days, social reformers tried to crack down on working-class public eaters and food vendors — many of whom were immigrants — by linking them to squalor, disease and shame.
To 19th-century guardians of public morality, the newfangled habit of eating outside the home was a menace to body and soul. The oyster stalls of downtown Manhattan were an assault on the family values of the dinner table. The “hot-corn girls” who sold their wares on the streets were no better than prostitutes. Public eating was a gateway sin that led to drinking and debauchery.
“Eating in public may beget a certain freedom of manner and nonchalance in little ladies and gentlemen,” Putnam’s magazine warned in 1853, “but we fear the practice is not calculated to promote the health either of the mind or the body.” For children, the magazine hinted darkly, eating in public was worse than unhealthy — it was bad for their morals.
We've come to expect finger-wagging nanny-state daddy-knows-best over-reaching from Mayor Bloomberg. You can't smoke in parks anymore, food stamps may soon no longer buy you a soda, New York City has maybe half a dozen decent nightclubs left due to noise complaints, the list goes on.
But a Democrat in the Senate putting on his French maid's outfit and joining the fun? What, is the good Senator worried that the body he serves in might, entirely by accident and not by design, be seen as having any practical use to man or beast?
Displaying a marked frustration with the troublesome reapportionment process, State Senator John Sampson (Brooklyn) today called for Governor Andrew Cuomo to veto the proposed lines being pushed by the legislature’s redistricting process.
Sampson said that after 15 years in the legislature, he has seen enough of this charade. In a telephone interview, he suggested: “in the future, there ought to be an independent panel or a non-partisan commission, empowered to deal with redistricting and the overall reapportionment process”. He claims that unless this is done, we will be right back here doing this dance again. He also said that should the lines end up being drawn by federal judges then so be it. He thinks those lines would probably be fairer than the ones being proposed anyway. “Every census we come right back to square one and voters must be tired of this by now”. read more »
Damn, he's pretty good! BB King gets President Obama singing Sweet Home Chicago:
Now if we can just get Bill Clinton accompanying on the sax!
Don't know if President Carter could sing or not, but Obama singing Sweet Home Chicago does remind me of an old claymation film, Jimmy the C:
From the WSJ:
After three years of heated debate, the Park Slope Food Coop is at last ready for a vote.
That is, a vote on if, in fact, there should be a vote at all.
Next month, the 15,500-plus member cooperative will decide whether to hold a referendum on what may be the most controversial issue in its nearly 40-year history: a boycott of products made in Israel. [...]
An artist and filmmaker who goes by the name Hima B began the push for the co-op to join the global Israeli boycott movement known as BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions). She and others in support of BDS believe economic pressure will lead to an end to what they view as an apartheid system against Palestinians.
Lobbying against a referendum is a group that has coined itself "More Hummus Please." To them, the BDS movement is misguided, discriminatory and smacks of anti-Semitism.
"I oppose BDS in general but I particularly oppose it for the food co-op because they are trying to impose a political point of view on an entire population that didn't get together for the sake of supporting political causes, but got together to save on food," said "More Hummus Please" founder Barbara Mazor, a 23-year member of the co-op and Orthodox Jew.
Ms. Mazor thinks even having a referendum on the issue would legitimize a position that itself is discriminatory.
I'm not personally a member of the co-op, so my opinions on the matter will probably hold little sway on the debate. I would posit, however, that an effort that smacks all too closely of Deutsche, kauft nicht beim Juden really has no place in Gotham. It's all very well and good to be critical of the Israeli government's at times deeply misguided and unfair policies towards that country's Arab minority, not to mention the Arab population of the occupied Cisjordanian territories; that's what freedom of speech is all about, which we have here and most places in this world do not.
But if we entertain, for the sake of argument, the idea of the co-op de-shelving Israeli products - presumably including those from Israel proper - consumer speech, which is what purchasing decisions at the end of the day amount to, will be curtailed. If Ms. Mazor wants to buy, say, Sabra hummus (actually made in Queens, but no matter) at the co-op where she invests her time and her dollars, that should be her choice. Equally, Ms. Hima B has the right to choose not to buy Israeli products, if that is what she wishes. Anything else strikes this blogger at least as deeply illiberal.
Illiberality aside, it's certainly not the case that the boycott advocates are themselves unfamiliar with having their choices and actions curtailed. I'm referring specifically to the decision by the New York City Gay and Lesbian Community Center to decline to host a 2011 event for something called, a trifle disingenuously as far as I'm concerned, 'Israeli Apartheid Week'. The Center argued, to simplify somewhat, that this event did not cohere with its stated mission,
"The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center provides a home for the birth, nurture and celebration of our organizations, institutions and culture; cares for our individuals and groups in need; educates the public and our community; and empowers our individuals and groups to achieve their fullest potential."
The event organizers (affiliated with the same "BDS" movement arguing for the Park Slope Israel boycott), needless to say, were none too pleased at what they regarded as an infringement of, wait for it, their freedom of speech.
Precisely what they would very much like to take away from Ms. Mazor and the members of the Park Slope co-op. Funny how that works, isn't it?
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Okay parenting is tough and my son is a tough kid to raise. But there are moments when you just realize you're doing it right and tonight was one of them.
Jacob used to like a show called "Peep and the Big Wide World," which featured "Quack," a pompous blue duck (who looked more like an eggplant), "Cheep," a rather bitchy (if I may use that word talking about a kid's show) red robin, and Peep, a small yellow chick. The whole thing is narrated by Joan Cusack, which of course makes me continually think of Addams Family Values.
Hell here's a sample, which includes their friend "Beaver Boy," which I admit always makes me laugh a bit:
Today is the first day of my son's "February Vacation." Yeah, they don't just get President's Day off, they get a whole week. Back in my day...well, that's another story. I did have to drag him into my work (all too often what I have to do with him when he has off) but I made sure we spent most of the day together. Chinese Food (at one of my favorites outside of Chinatown, Great Szechuan in Murray Hill area of Manhattan), a long walk in Prospect Park (including a stop at the Audubon Center), tried a new pizza place (South Brooklyn Pizza in Park Slope, GREAT pizza but $4 a slice!!! I usually go for $1 pizza at midnight coming home late from work), then relaxing on the couch watching Curious George (used to be one of his favorites, though not so much anymore).
The Curious George episode had something about chickens laying eggs. I made a reference to ducks and my son asked if ducks laid eggs. I said yes, the females do. He then referred to the show "Peep," saying, "Quack is a male...Chirp is a female...and I don't know about Peep."
I agreed that they don't make Peep's gender clear, unlike Quack and Chirp.
Jacob thought about it then said, "Maybe Peep is transgender."
I nearly burst out laughing, but suppressed it, simply saying, "maybe." Boy was I proud. To him it would be totally natural for Peep to be transgendered.
Of course this is mostly thanks to his mother, who is a Karate instructor at the Center for Anti-Violence Education, a dojo that is open only to women and transgendered (wrote about it a couple of times on Daily Kos), and every Thursday (a day I work late...and often have that $1 pizza for a midnight dinner) he stays in the childcare room at the dojo. So he has met transgendered folks and interacted with them in an open and comfortable setting.
Gotta say, tonight I feel pretty good as a parent! We really can teach our kids good things.
I'll finish off once again (for those who missed it!) with my son doing the elements song:
(after all...we are trying to get that video to go viral!)
This is belated...Feb. 12 was my birthday...AND it was Lincoln's Birthday...AND it was Darwin's birthday. Usually I have diaries covering Lincoln and Darwin on that day. I missed it this year. Between submitting a scientific paper around the same time and celebrating my step-daughter's birthday (one day later!) and Valentine's day, my usual diaries for Lincoln and Darwin lapsed.
Bottom line is Lincoln and Darwin (born on the very same day) were the most kick ass and influential folks of the 19th Century.
Right Wingers try to denigrate the both of them but they remain two of the most important people in history and for good reason.
Here I discuss Lincoln and the Civil War. I was born in Arkansas (borderline South) and raised in Southern California (siding with the Confederacy against the North, supported by Northern California). But I cannot understand ANY sympathy ANYONE could have for the slave holding Confederacy right now in the 21st century. The Confederacy was awful, even if the motivation of many of its combatants was noble. Here I present my view on the Civil War and on Lincoln in a historical context. read more »
It’s not nice to call people names. Period. And yet sometimes you could; and even maybe sometimes you should: especially when their blandness and sterility negatively affect the lives of millions they are supposed to be representing in the corridors of power. Let’s take a look at the State Legislature’s Black and Hispanic Caucus.
In a recent column I told you all that the first black person elected to the state legislature was in 1917.That was arguably one hundred and forty years after the body was created. I also told you that some 20 years later the first Puerto Rican (Hispanic) was elected. Today there are 150 seats in the Assembly, and 62 in the Senate (possibly going up to 63 in the next redistricting phase). Over seventy-five per cent of the state representatives in New York are white (Caucasian). Most of the whites are males. Most of the white males are in denial relative to issues around empowerment, racism, inclusion and power-sharing. read more »
Of course I am caught up in the current Linsanity which has overtaken the sports world. What do you expect? After all, I did write a column on the New York Knickerbockers (Knicks) last Christmas, where I predicted that the Knicks will soon become the NBA Champions. Go dig it up from my archives. I based this prediction on the arrival of both Tyson Chandler (the perfect fit to anchor the Knicks defense) and the play of a healthy Baron Davis at point guard (not Jeremy Lin’s emergence). We all knew that the two building blocks (Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony) were already in place.
I also told the world that rookie Iman Schumpert was a solid player. In my mind, I felt that the final pieces to finishing this 38 year old puzzle, came down to finding (or developing) a driving, dishing, creative and fearless point guard: one who could consistently nail a jumper with the shot-clock winding down. And as much as Chauncey Billups had tremendous utility, letting him go to make room for Chandler was the best decision management made in the off season. read more »
The Mormons have this little habit of baptizing dead Jews. Without ANYONE'S consent. This is considered a HUGE presumption and HUGELY insulting by most Jews. But now we learn that they went so far as to baptize Simon Wiesenthal's parents as well as Elie Wiesel and members of his family. Of course they are apologizing now and claiming it was the work of one rogue individual, but given that this was a deliberate policy such apologies and claims strike me as complete bullshit.
From BBC news:
Jews Asher and Rosa Rapp Wiesenthal were baptised in proxy ceremonies in the US states of Arizona and Utah in January, records show.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spokesman Michael Purdy said the Church' s leaders "sincerely regret" the actions of "an individual member".
The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced the news.
"We are outraged that such insensitive actions continue in the Mormon temples," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, a spokesman at the centre... read more »
Happy Valentine's Day to All Consenting Adults in Love From Google:
My son has always had an affinity for music, though sometimes that affinity has taken strange and unexpected turns. Most recently he happened to notice something I was reminding myself of after Clint Eastwood's Superbowl ad (I was listening to the theme song to Kelly's Heroes) and he IMMEDIATELY loved it and wanted to learn the lyrics.
Many of these songs he for awhile picked up the lyrics (where there are lyrics and even if in a language none of us knew). Partly I just love the variety. And many are things that he helped me discover.
Highlights of my son's musical tastes over the years (Pokemon songs NOT included!)
Kodo Drummers of Japan "Iromori" and "Lion": (<1-2 years old)
Okay...now one of his VERY first songs to actually sing (he couldn't do the words yet, but he got the tune) was...well, this: (<1-2 years old)
5 6 7 8's "Woo Hoo": (<1-2 years old) He was VERY into this every time a Vonage commercial came on, and ultimately got us interested in Vonage (which we finally switched to recently after MetTel screwed us three months in a row).
Afia Mala (Royal Princess of Togo) singing Segne: (2-3 years old)
More Below! read more »
I am often asked by those who are politically sick and tired of being sick and tired, what can be done to effectuate real change in the politics, at all three levels of government (federal, state, city/local). There are no easy answers. One thing I do know is that politics must never become a spectator sport. People of goodwill and strong ideals must participate in the process, no matter who else isn’t.
Recently, I was part of a small group which met to discuss the 2012 and 2013 election cycles. The discussion did not focus on any singular level or branch of government; nor did it focus on any specific race. After the discussions, I gave a lot of thought to action. You see it’s easy to sit around and pontificate. It’s even cool (somewhat) to gather in esoteric groups and theorize. Talk is cheap. It’s action that brings about change more so than posturing and the selling of woof-tickets. read more »
THIS IS REALLY SAD; THIS IS REALLY BAD: JUMPING INTO NEW YORK’S REAPPORTIONMENT/ REDISTRICTING DEBATE (Part two of two).
If you keeping fucking with the theories behind democracy, the way elected officials who are shallow, spineless, ruthless, power-hungry and egotistical (democrats and republicans) do, then expect one day to have an “Arab-spring” (political revolt) right here in the good old US of Amnesia. When will we ever learn?
There are those who seem to think an Arab-spring can never happen here, since the traditional institutions which are so embedded in the polity, offer some type of protection and buffer from the frustrations of most voters. They are wrong. They also believe that the implied power(s) of the federal, state and city/local governments (security forces, militias, executive branches of government, plus the legal system, etcetera) will always guarantee stability and compliance. They are wrong again.
The Tea-Party movement is about frustration within the political system. The Occupation Wall-Street movement extends this frustration to the banking/financial system. Dwindling voter-participation all over the country is also about overall frustration with our so-called democratic system; which is in fact an unfinished democracy. read more »
The Susan G Komen Foundation, under the blind guidance of their right wing extremist VP, Karen Handel, and the Bush Administration official Ari Fleisher, really screwed up by politicizing their message. Their biggest strength has always been their ability to appeal across the political spectrum. By taking a clear swerve to right wing extremism, thy have within a matter of days destroyed their support base and it could be years before they recover.
I got an email this morning from friend and blogger Sidnora, a LONG TIME supporter and activist for the Komen Foundation. From what I can tell, her response is typical of what Komen has created for itself. I am quoting by permission:
Dear friends and supporters,
Breast cancer has no politics.
For more than a decade, I have been known as an active supporter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. This commitment arose from deeply emotional personal events. I have solicited sponsorship from you for my annual participation in their Race for the Cure, and many of you have responded with great generosity. Over the years, we raised over $10,000 dollars intended for breast cancer research, screening and treatment.
While doing this, I was aware that the founder and CEO of Komen, Nancy Brinker, is a prominent Republican and Bush Administration appointee. I am an outspoken Democrat, but I always felt that this was a cause that transcended ideology, and willingly put my partisanship aside in the interest of pursuing a greater good together. I have no regrets for having made that effort, and I don't think you should, either. We can be reasonably sure that, on the whole, we did good, not harm.
Breast cancer has no politics.
What many of you may not know is that I have a far longer history with Planned Parenthood. As a teenage college student with little money or privacy, I had my first gynecological exam and received my first contraceptive prescription from Planned Parenthood. It was free and confidential, and I was treated with respect. For enabling me to make the transition to womanhood with confidence about my health and my future, I will always be grateful to them. 45 years later, they continue to pursue their mission, providing millions of women, mostly young and poor or uninsured, with a full range of women's health services. I wholeheartedly support that mission.
In light of the Komen Foundation's recent decision to defund Planned Parenthood, its obviously political motivation, and their clumsy and disingenuous attempts at managing the nationwide public outrage that followed, I find that can no longer associate myself with them. I make this decision despite the fact that Komen has reversed themselves and will continue to fund Planned Parenthood, at least for now. Revelations about the hiring of Karen Handel, former gubernatorial candidate from Georgia and avowed enemy of Planned Parenthood, and the involvement in that hiring by Ari Fleischer, George W. Bush's press secretary, have destroyed my trust in them. They also directly conflict with my commitment to the advancement of women's health.
Breast cancer has no politics.
I plan to continue that commitment, and will be researching to find a breast cancer organization that I can support with confidence. It is essential that my efforts, and your contributions, will be put to our intended purpose and no other. I will keep you informed of my progress, and I hope you will continue to support my advocacy. If you would like to discuss this decision with me in greater detail, I would welcome that. Feel free to contact me.
Breast cancer has no politics.
What is key here is the fact that this isn't a fight between right and left. This is a battle to stop the deliberate politicizing of breast cancer by right wing fanatics. This is a battle to prevent right wing fanatics from destroying the effectiveness of the Komen Foundation in the name of a right wing agenda. Keep in mind these are the same right wing fanatics who oppose science and research funding at every opportunity, so Komen is allying itself with the very people who hurt scientific funding year after year. The Komen Foundation HIRED A BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL in preparation for this policy. They were deliberately politicizing their agenda. The reaction was not a leftist reaction, it was a reaction against politicizing breast cancer. read more »
NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is filing a lawsuit against the top predatory banks for deceptive and fraudulent practices. From the press release:
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today filed a lawsuit against several of the nation’s largest banks charging that the creation and use of a private national mortgage electronic registry system known as MERS has resulted in a wide range of deceptive and fraudulent foreclosure filings in New York state and federal courts, harming homeowners and undermining the integrity of the judicial foreclosure process. The lawsuit asserts that employees and agents of Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, acting as "MERS certifying officers," have repeatedly submitted court documents containing false and misleading information that made it appear that the foreclosing party had the authority to bring a case when in fact it may not have. The lawsuit names JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Bank of America, N.A., Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as well as Virginia-based MERSCORP, Inc. and its subsidiary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.
The lawsuit further asserts that the MERS System has effectively eliminated homeowners' and the public's ability to track property transfers through the traditional public records system. Instead, this information is now stored only in a private database – which is plagued with inaccuracies and errors – over which MERS and its financial institution members exercise sole control. Additional defendants include BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP, Chase Home Finance LLC, EMC Mortgage Corporation, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc.
“The banks created the MERS system as an end-run around the property recording system, to facilitate the rapid securitization and sale of mortgages. Once the mortgages went sour, these same banks brought foreclosure proceedings en masse based on deceptive and fraudulent court submissions, seeking to take homes away from people with little regard for basic legal requirements or the rule of law,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Our action demonstrates that there is one set of rules for all – no matter how big or powerful the institution may be – and that those rules will be enforced vigorously. Only through real accountability for the illegal and deceptive conduct in the foreclosure crisis will there be justice for New York’s homeowners.” ...
The lawsuit specifically charges that the defendants have engaged in the following fraudulent and deceptive practices:
MERS has filed over 13,000 foreclosure actions against New York homeowners listing itself as the plaintiff, but in many instances, MERS lacked the legal authority to foreclose and did not own or hold the promissory note, despite saying otherwise in court submissions.
MERS certifying officers, including employees and agents of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, have repeatedly executed and submitted in court legal documents purporting to assign the mortgage and/or note to the foreclosing party. These documents contain numerous defects, including affirmative misrepresentations of fact, which render them false, deceptive, and/or invalid. These assignments were often automatically generated and "robosigned" by individuals who did not review the underlying property ownership records, confirm the documents’ accuracy, or even read the documents. These false and defective assignments often masked gaps in the chain of title and the foreclosing party's inability to establish its authority to foreclose, and as a result have misled homeowners and the courts.
MERS' indiscriminate use of non-employee "certifying officers" to execute vital legal documents has confused, misled, and deceived homeowners and the courts and made it difficult to ascertain whether a party actually has the right to foreclose. MERS certifying officers have regularly executed and submitted in court mortgage assignments and other legal documents on behalf of MERS without disclosing that they are not MERS employees, but instead are employed by other entities, such as the mortgage servicer filing the case or its counsel. The signature line just indicates that the individual is an "Assistant Secretary," "Vice President," or other officer of MERS. Indeed, these documents often purport to assign the mortgage to the certifying officer's own employer. Moreover, as a result of the defendants' failure to track the designation of certifying officers and the scope of their authority to act, individuals have executed legal documents on behalf of MERS, such as mortgage assignments and loan modifications, when they were either not designated as a MERS certifying officer at the time or were not authorized to execute documents on behalf of MERS with respect to the subject loan.
MERS and its members have deceived and misled borrowers about the importance and ramifications of MERS' role with respect to their loan by providing inadequate disclosures.
The MERS System is riddled with inaccuracies which make it difficult to verify the chain of title for a loan or the current note-holder, and creates confusion among stakeholders who rely on the information. In addition, as a result of these inaccuracies, MERS has filed mortgage satisfactions against the wrong property.
Let me just say hooray for Scheiderman. This has been a LOOONG time coming. It is WAY past time to hold these banks accountable for their criminal activities.
Let me just say hooray for Scheiderman. This is way overdue. These banks have been screwing middle and working class Americans for years now and I am glad somenoe is doing something about it.
Mere days after the Susan Komen Foundation (the originators of the Walk for the Cure and the pink ribbons) shot itself in the foot by publicly taking on a right wing agenda against Planned Parenthood's providing breast cancer testing to underserved women and against valuable stem cell research, thus putting Republican extremism in front of actually curing cancer, the following film is being released:
This film exposes the relatively corrupt and ineffective ways the Komen Foundation goes about raising money. This film was coming out anyway...the Komen Foundation just happened to boost the attention it's getting by becoming so right wing even Michael Bloomberg took them to task and raised money for Planned Parenthood in response. The PR nightmare for Komen is all thanks to their relatively new senior vice-president for public policy, Karen Handel, a right wing Republican and former gubernatorial candidate from Georgia.
Now I once participated in one of their walks. I also have done actual cancer research and was for awhile paid off an Army breast cancer research grant. I think the Komen Foundation has funded some good research, but it seems greed and a corporate mentality may have gotten in the way of their original goals. And now that they have sided with right wing Republicans (some of the most anti-science, anti-research people in America), it seems they have abandoned all but the pretense of trying to help find a cure for breast cancer. Pity.
UPDATE: Here is an excellent response from a breast cancer survivor to the Komen Foundation re: their recent politicizing of breast cancer:
For those who want to help find a cure, I recommend donating to Planned Parenthood (who provide cancer screening to thousands of women with no other healthcare options, thus saving lives) or to the American Cancer Society (which provides a great deal of funding for basic research into cancer and cures).
Come September 2013, state senator Eric Adams (20SD/Brooklyn) will be a candidate in the primary election, seeking the democrat’s nomination for Brooklyn’s Borough Presidency. A win in the primary will give him at least a ninety-nine per cent chance of winning the general election; since in Brooklyn, democrats have a minimum five to one edge in registration, over all other political parties combined. Adam’s will be attempting to make history, by being the first black person (male or female) elected to that office.
Back in 2001, Jeanette Gadson -a former state assembly member- attempted the same feat. She failed. Ms. Gadson was also a former deputy boro-prez, serving under Howard Golden. She is now deceased. Marty Markowitz won the democrat’s primary that year, and went on to win the general election in a convincing manner.
I have had many credible sources tell me for quite some time now that Adams was going to seek the boro-prez position after Marty Markowitz is term-limited in 2013. In a phone conversation with Adams yesterday, he stated that right now he is first seeking re-election to his senate seat this year; then once he is successful, he will announce a run for the Brooklyn borough presidency sometime before Christmas 2012. He believes his chances of success are very high. I concur.
Most likely, I will eventually endorse Eric Adams for this position; since ostensibly, the only other candidates I was interested in supporting for this job are not going to run (Lori Knipel and Yvonne Graham). Right now there is only one other declared candidate. I can truly say that in my estimation, Eric Adams is the best person for this position right now. This is a man who has made many personal sacrifices for public service and community development. This is a man who on principle stood up with the forces that tried to defend term-limits in 2008; a man who as a police officer openly and publicly spoke out against police-misconduct. He is an exceptionally courageous individual; a man who has survived physical and professional threats.
Eric Adams is a person who has stood up for progressive values and marched for human rights. He is a political-activist par excellence. He is a civil-rights champion. He is inclusive. He works with people of all races and from all walks of life. As much as he is now an elected insider (state senator), he knows the streets better. He is as much at ease in the”hoods“as he is in the corridors of power; not too many elected officials can make this claim: as we elect more elites and bourgeois-types to office every year. read more »
A couple of years ago, while my brother and I were spending time with our sick mother, my kids were bored, though understood the importance of what we were doing. My son and step-daughter both saw it as the most boring trip to California we ever made. I agree, but we had to fight to break our mother out of a corrupt healthcare scam cycle where she was shuttled from one facility to another based ONLY on how much they could get from her insurance and Medicare and not on what her care required. But that is another story. Bottom line from that is if you have an elderly family member, get help finding the right care from them and DON'T TRUST the care facilities AT ALL. And if you need help out in California, I have the name of the person you need because he helped us starting on that trip.
But I diverge. My kids were bored. So my son, Jacob, started singing what was then his favorite song: Tom Lehrer's Elements Song (later on his favorite music was Woodie Guthrie songs...now it's all Pokemon). And my step-daughter filmed it with her phone (HA...that beats the Star Trek communicators...they didn't have a camera in those) and posted it on YouTube:
A Government/Private Sector Job Creation Partnership Proposal
Republicans, tea partiers and other rightwing ideologues are against raising taxes on those with incomes exceeding $200,000, who they have re-branded as "Job Creators", because such action would allegedly discourage them from creating jobs. However, near record low taxation of upper income individuals and corporations has not motivated these job creators to actually create jobs (at least in this country), as official unemployment (8.5 percent in December 2011) and true unemployment (15.2 percent in December 2011) remain catastrophically high.
Even in boom times full employment has been elusive, as millions are always out of work or underemployed, regardless of the nation's prosperity level. This is why we need a comprehensive jobs program, not a mere crisis Band-Aid, to put America back to work permanently and approach what should be any just society's ultimate economic goal; providing jobs for all who want them. read more »