Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Good Night Moon"

Waning Gibbous
88% of Full
Sunday, February 20, 2011
(At Midnight, US Central time, as viewed from the Northern Hemisphere)
Illuminated Fraction: 0.868
2.9 days after full moon

A very small number of human beings with political power, namely the Republicans in the USA House and Senate, are diluted about the Climate Crisis.

In less than 40 years. 

Two generations. 

Our Earth won't resemble the digital pictures and otherwise records will leave as comparison.

It is NOT a 'belief system.' 

It is scientific and verifible fact.

Quibbling about birth control and population control seems so hideous and ridiculous. 

Planet Earth 'unrecognisable' by 2050 (click title to entry - thank you)

12:42 PM Monday Feb 21, 2011

A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an "unrecognisable" world by 2050, warned researchers at a major US science conference.
The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, "with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia," said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.
To feed all those mouths, "we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000," said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
"By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognisable" if current trends continue, Clay said....

Former Governor Jennifer Granholm has joined the "Meet the Press" round table. I enjoyed it.

She and her husband are also enjoying new lives.  I think Cal-Berkeley have a couple of wonderful professors.  A sincere addition to their university's expertise.

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and her husband will each teach two classes at the University of California-Berkeley in 2011 as part of a combined $300,000 deal, according to documents released by the school in response to a Michigan Capitol Confidential freedom of information request.
In an Aug. 12 letter sent to Granholm and her husband Dan Mulhern announcing the appointments, Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher Edley Jr. wrote: “We propose that each of you teach two courses or seminars per year, and have active affiliations with one or more policy research centers.”
Edley added: “In addition, University policies will permit you to devote substantial time to outside consulting or other compensated activity, as well as your summers.”...

What is going to happen if she is once again the focus of a potential Supreme Court nominee?  Does the USA have the guts to increase the ladies on the Court to four?  We can dream, can't we?  Thomas spending time in partisanship and not recusing himself and now Scalia is mentoring the Tea Baggers.

The Distortion of the Constitution  (click here)
Robert Reich
Feb 20, 2011 2:09PM
The third part of the Republican strategy is being played out in the Supreme Court. It has politicized the Court more than at any time in recent memory.

Last year a majority of the justices determined that corporations have a right under the First Amendment to provide unlimited amounts of money to political candidates. Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission is among the most patently political and legally grotesque decisions of our highest court – ranking right up there with Bush vs. Gore and Dred Scott.

Among those who voted in the affirmative were Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. Both have become active strategists in the Republican party.

A month ago, for example, Antonin Scalia met in a closed-door session with Michele Bachman’s Tea Party caucus – something no justice concerned about maintaining the appearance of impartiality would ever have done.

Both Thomas and Scalia have participated in political retreats organized and hosted by multi-billionaire financier Charles Koch, a major contributor to the Tea Party and other conservative organizations, and a crusader for ending all limits on money in politics....

We have come a long way from these economic indicators of 2009.

Current US recession (click here) is severe using all type of economic indicators. Shap falls in wealth, in private consumption, in residencial investments, in equity prices or high increase in unemployement and in government consumption. Compared with another historical crisis, present US recessions is worst than median of previous recessions, it’s clear. 

In recent months, the 'tea leaf reading' of these indicators have been mixed and unclear.  There is a lot going on in the USA.  If one accepts the dynamics 'at work' on the USA economy are complex, including the collapse not just of an economy but of the corruption that existed within it, then the indicators are going to be 'odd.'


The traditional indicators should be scrutinized to the relevence of actually assessing the recovery of the USA economy.  We have noted from many sectors 'the reporting' of how the economy is picking up.  Those reports are mostly 'from the street' and 'local experience.' 

The housing and construction indicators are worthless.  These markets are saturated from the housing bubble and commercial property is becoming more and more worthless.  Housing is beginning to take on a positive movement in value 'as an investment,' but in the majority of USA markets there was a 'net loss' by most homeowners, hence the foreclosures and personal bankruptcies.

One of the inticators ignored by most economists is the turbulence created by irresponsible political pandering and the 'chronic campaign.'  It does not add to a clear path for the country nor the recovery.  When newly elected officials are all too willing to play politics with 'real issues' of budget and spending without taking 'the legislative process' seriously it will impact any economic predictions.  There is a lot of uncertainty with the bizarre political agenda currently of the USA House of Representatives.

It is for that reason there has to be a clear delineation between the issues of budget, deficit and debt.  There has to be a clear separation of entitlements and their remedy and the current budget of the USA. 

Any change, if necessary 'in perspective of economic recovery, in the entitlements of the USA is completely separate legislation, should not be attached to any budget or spending measure and treated with the respect and reverence it deserves.  These are the lives Americans, their Golden Years and a huge 'stable base' of the USA economy.  The entitlements deserve separate debate, serious reflection and 'proven' need and outcomes.

So, in the future I would expect the country's dialogue to address the economy, the USA budget, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as completely separate subjects, otherwise, there is no use in a dialogue of deception.  Now is there?
Thu Feb 17, 2011
10:06am EST
WASHINGTON Feb 17 (Reuters) - A drop in building permits (click title to entry - thank you) and a soft labor market held back the U.S. economic recovery in January, according to a private group's index of economic indicators, released on Thursday.
The Conference Board's measure of leading indicators rose 0.1 percent to 112.3 in January, following a downwardly revised 0.8 percent gain in December.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.2 percent rise for January....

Libyan city falls to anti-goverment forces (click here - thank you)

It would appear Libya is on its way to liberation.

4:26 PM Monday Feb 21, 2011

Libya's second largest city, Benghazi, has fallen to anti-government forces after a crack army unit defected to the opposition and clashes spread to the capital, Tripoli, residents and news reports say.

The raging uprising against Muammar Gaddafi appears to be seriously threatening the Middle East's longest ruling dictator's 42-year grip on power day breaks.

Gaddafi's youngest son, Saif Gadhafi, seemed to acknowledge in a rambling speech on state-run television that Benghazi and the nearby eastern city of Baida were no longer under government control....

Was the 'democracy, freedom and peace movement' in the Middle East 'due to happen?' Or, was President Obama instrumental in its incubation?

A Bahraini anti-government protester (click title to entry - thank you) prays at the Pearl roundabout in Manama, Bahrain, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011. Reading in Arabic says " No dialogue until the regime falls". Bahrain's opposition leaders gathered Sunday to examine offers for talks by Bahrain's rulers after nearly a week of protests and deadly clashes that have sharply divided the strategic Gulf nation. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Granted this is a poll from 2009 and supposedly President Obama lost ground in his popularity in the Middle East, but, consider this...

...would the populous throughout the Middle East believe they were 'safe enough' to carry out their protests if they knew a hostile USA would seek military retribution on the behalf of the current regimes in power in these countries?

I think not.

President Obama is withdrawing from Iraq.  Seeks to end corruption, which Egypt is notorious for,...

...Egypt is a state where corruption (click here)  is widely viewed as systemic, which is also why the crowd gets aggressive trying to buy up the subsidized bread. Cheap state bread can be resold, often for double the original price.... Afghanistan and is fighting the oppressive regime of the Taliban.

I remind, this unrest in the Middle East was begun by the 'ideals' of young men, the very young men that sometimes seek violence against others to resolve their anger.  The cry of the young men was met with support by their female counter-parts, whom find economic survival very difficult when they are alone in the world.  I believe there is a strong female component to this movement.  But, there was also a rise in female martyrs under the Bush White House.

I believe President Obama has 'made the world' safer for 'the young people' of the Middle East to give their voice a life of its own.  Whether he is given credit for this 'peace and freedom movement' or not; it cannot be denied that the USA under the Obama Administration has a far less threatening face to the people.  They do not see Western retaliation or support for anything less than freedom.  That is important.  Very important if we are to believe every human life has the right to be free and make personal choices.

Denying the Taliban control of the social cultural content and government, while allowing their voice in participation, gives great hope to the women of the Middle East.  When the USA first moved into Afghanistan following September 11, 2001 we witnessed a great deal of social upheaval when the men shaved their beard and women oopened beauty parlors and books were returned to the shelves of their university.  The 'tone' of the USA toward this 'peace and democracy' movement is just as important as the movement itself and today the USA is not viewed by these movements as supportive of the regimes or a threat to change.

Turkey plays growing political role in Middle East  (click here)

By Christopher Torchia
 February 19, 2011

The call was a sign of Turkey's growing confidence and stature in the Middle East and beyond. Hobbled by economic and political chaos just a decade ago, Turkey is increasingly taking on the role of regional model, mediator and leader, with a solid economy and an evolving democracy. It has sought to balance many of the forces that shape, and shake, the region: The East and the West, Israel and Iran, religion and secularism.

As elections approach in June, results of a new Associated Press-GfK poll suggest that Turkey's government will pursue a path of relative pragmatism, despite fears of the influence of Islam on the state....

Send the children home during severe weather in Madison, Wisconsin. (click here for 12 hour loop - thank you)

February 21, 2011
UNISYS Enhanced Infrared Satellite of USA.

The leadership within the demonstrators in Wisconsin have to have contingency plans to maintain their presence, but, do it responsibly.

Take the children home while realizing the Democratic Senators doing their work out of state are 'holding the line' on the abuse of Governor Walker.

Temperature  ::  32.4 °F
Feels Like 23 °F
Conditions  ::  Overcast

Fox News Barbara Bush Health care is a right (How the Democrats could 'bust' the lies of Murdoch.)

The Democrats have to realize 'the prejudice' against many of the issues they hold dear to their hearts are for political fodder and can be viewed as generational.  In the recent past, Ms. Barbara Bush is making her mark for social reform.  I like it.  Why aren't the Democrats referring to these wonderful young women, including Megan McCain, when they hear the bigotry of the Right Wing seeking votes in a manner unbecoming their young people?  The future belongs to the generations that come after the 'old, white men' in the Legislature and power structure of the RNC.

Barbara Bush, unlike her father, George, supports same-sex marriages (click title to entry - thank you)
February 1, 2011 
..."I'm Barbara Bush, and I'm a New Yorker for marriage equality," she says in the short video released Tuesday. "New York is about fairness and equality, and everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love. Join us."...
And the Bushes are not invisible, yet, from the Democratic point of view it would seem as though they are.  There was an absolutely charming interview of Former President George H. W. Bush and Former First Lady Barbara Bush recently whereby they were interviewed by their granddaughter.  Who best to carry out that interview except 'an insider.'

Barbara Bush on George H.W. Bush crying: ‘You could be Speaker of the House’ (click here)

Laura Donovan

Former President George H.W. Bush lost composure and cried when he recited an old love letter to wife Barbara during an interview with granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager on Monday, reports MSNBC.
“As children, my sister and I were delighted to find boxes of love letters in both sets of my grandparents’ houses,” Bush Hager said, adding that her grandparents George H.W. and Barbara have been writing each other love letters for years.
During the interview, George H.W. choked up as he read a particular letter from 1994, which was after almost 50 years of marriage.
“Will you marry me? Whoops. I forgot you did that 49 years ago today,” George H.W. said. “I was very happy on that day in 1945, but I’m even happier today. You give me joy that few men know. I’ve climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband,” Bush said, his voice cracking. “Mom used to tell me, ‘Now George, don’t walk ahead.’”
“You never listened to your mother,” Barbara said....

The Senior Years of marriage can be a point of joy for the family to enjoy.  This was definately a moment to remember with the Bushes.  Very well done.  Very touching.  Thank you.

The Democrats should not be preceived as hating anyone and should be having dialogues that endear 'sweet and decent' people to their consituencies as well.

Here again, Zakaria was 'on his game.' (At title to entry - "Muslim Brotherhood Speaks Out On Egypt.")

Military pardons soldier who turned protester  (click here)

Cairo - The Higher Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces, now in control of the country, said Saturday it had pardoned a soldier who defected to join protesters during the recent popular uprising.
The military said Major Ahmed Shoman was pardoned because the army “believes in the noble purpose behind the January 25
revolution,” despite his actions having gone “against the laws and charters ruling this institution.”
Shoman spoke to Arab media during the protests in Tahrir Square, which served as the hub of Cairo's anti-government protests, saying he wanted to protect the people, not the regime....

Again, I have to agree with the program content of "GPS" when stated "The Muslim Brotherhood" is more or less 'in transition' of what the sterotype of "Radical Islamists" is in the USA.

If one admits the Murbarak regime was oppressive, then one also has to make the statement that the 'so called radicals' are not really all that radical if they are demanding freedom, human rights and democracy.  Of course, it has always been debateable that the "Brotherhood" would actually allow democracy as the Egyptian people are envisioning it, but, the Brotherhood took a very deliberate 'back seat' to the demonstrators.  While they supported the movement, they did not come out to deceive anyone as to the beginnings of the current democracy movement.  And let's face it, would the Muslim Brotherhood actually be expected to be marching along side an Egyptian soldier?

The current movement in Egypt and the Middle East will bring these groups to prominence.  There is no doubt about it and they will even move into the political structure with quite possibly powerful seats of government.  But, will the people of Egypt actually seek these groups as their answer knowing they could end up worse than when they started? 

The people of the Middle East are also not alone.  Beside 'The West" hoping for the best, there are international voices, such as Mr. ElBaradei, positioned in the dialogue to insure peace is a directive of the new democracy.  Currently, Omar Suleiman seems to be far less offensive to the people of Egypt.  There is no displacement of a 'peaceful' Egypt in the current transition.  So, the alarm is hardly real.

The Muslim Brotherhood are not foolish and illiterate.  They are educated people seeking change in Egypt.  We have to trust the people of Egypt and its current leadership to insure 'peace' is a high priority when the transition is complete. 

This is not time for 'scardy cats' from the political Right to begin to rattle their sabors.  There is simply no reason to believe democracy is adverse to Egyptian's peace movement.

Israel is right there and The Six Day War was no joke.

Latest update 02:19 21.02.11

The lighter side of the uprising (click here)

Whether in conversations, texts or e-mails, jokes are part and parcel of the Egyptian revolution.

By Amira Hass
...Some 20 years ago, I learned from Gazans that their neighbors, the Egyptians, "always make up jokes." That was a partial response to the question of why the Gazans themselves always know how to make themselves and others laugh with some sort of amusing witticism concerning their terrible situation. And when does one know that the awful situation has become even worse? When the supply of jokes runs out....

The Republicans analogizing that Egypt was come to the USA in Wisconsin is completely stupid. Sorry. I don't like saying that by the way.

Protesters in Benghazi demonstrate against Colonel Gaddafi.  (click title to entry - thank you.)

Do the Republicans actually believe 'the freedom and democracy movement' in the Middle East has a direct correlation with the demonstrations in Wisconsin?

I mean really.

The Republicans could not be more "W"rong in drawing those analogies.

The demonstrators in Wisconsin are seeking 'fairness' and a 'dialogue' with an abusive Governor and Republican majority, while the demonstrators in the Middle East are only at their beginnings of demanding such luxury as having unions, equality of representation in government and constitutions that reflect those priorities.

I wish American politicians were so stupid in their analogies.  But, then again when one looks at their primaries, it is understandable why they say such things.  But, they really shouldn't.  The circumstances in the Middle East are highly dynamic and dangerous.  There are profoundly brave people at the heart of these movements that are putting their lives on the line for the freedom and democracy of present and future generations.

The demonstrators in Wisconsin are seeking 'fairness' while they reflect on the new costs their medical insurance and pensions may cost them. 

Why is the Wisconsin Governor Walker abusive?  Because the deficit has been corruptly manipulated to CREATE a deficity. He has included issues unrelated to the budget to achieve 'election campaign promises.'  He is playing politicks with the livelihoods of real people and their families.  And realizing Wisconsin's faux budget deficit is becoming a national stage, it looks all to 'set up' to be respectable.

Egypt to Wisconsin?  Give me a break.  Not even close.

Bravo, Mr. Soros. (At title to entry - "George Soros' £65m gift to human rights charity>"

FAREED ZAKARIA, (click here for transcript) HOST: This is GPS, THE GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria....
...We have a great show for you, an exclusive conversation with George Soros, the multi-billionaire speculator, activist, thinker. He has spent decades working to spread open societies around the world. We'll talk about the events in Middle East, the fate of the U.S. economy, euro crises, and also what he thinks about the attacks on him personally from the right....

Fareed Zakaria has an absolutely billiant program today.  At the top of the hour Mr. George Soros was featured to discuss his perspective on many subjects.  While I agreed with most of his statements, especially the one which stated, (my words, not his) "Becks program is simply a distraction to the Puppet Master at FOX..

He could not be more correct.  Every program, no matter the time of day or the anchor always has the same political context. when viewing FOX.  The 'newsy' part of the day is simply setting the stage for the opinionators.  As Mr. Soros stated, (My words, not his) "This is not News Corp.  It is George Orwell's News-Speak."

Exactly right.  And what a better way to hide that but to accuse others without a massive media empire of exactly the abuses of Murdoch. 

I did disagree with Mr. Soros assessment of the President's actions in regard to the banks and the agenda.  I believe it is far too early to actually determine that the Senate Democrats and the President have surrendered to the incompetents in the House.  I don't realistically believe that is going to occur.

And as far as nationalizing the banks.  That was distasteful to everyone in the country.  Yes, there was an equity gap, but, look what the investment banks did.  They literally took their money and ran.  They completely disregarded the damage to the American economy.  While the bailouts were proceeding, the majority of Americans believed that 'rescue mission' was going to prevent and stop any economic deterioration of the USA.  If the President had not nationlized the banks during that time, we would still be searching for repayment of the monies without any reason for them to respect the people of the USA at all.

So, while I understand Mr. Soros distaste of it all, I completely understand why President Obama deemed it necessary.

Mr. Soros needs to be in the media more frequently as his good works should be as well.  Perhaps Keith Olbermann will find a frequent visit by Mr. Soros to the Al Gore Network a good idea.

On "Meet the Press" Senator Lindsay Graham never spoke to the issue, but, only the campaign of Scott Walker.

I want to thank Senator Durbin for stating clearly that the President is taking the advise of his bi-partisan commission on the deficit while preparing his budget for 2011.

Somehow, the topics of entitlements and annual budgets is all rolled into one for the convenience of politicking for the Republicans.  It just goes to show the Republicans have no real ideas for solving problems, but, simply seek election rhetoric at the cost of solving the nation's problems.

Senator Graham's only defense of Walker in Wisconsin was a campaign flyer that stated he wanted reform for collective bargaining. 

A campaign flyer?

You know the Republicans are about as two faced as they come.  They, including Graham, will condemn the President for living up to his campaign promises and uphold any Republican for doing the same thing. 

During the health care debate, which lasted more than a year, the Republicans were chronically beating the dead horse that the people of America didn't want health reform.  Yet, when it came to their own party and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act only six percent of the country wanted it repealed.  What was the reply of the Republicans to that?  Oh, well, it would seem as though that was their campaign promise.

What is being touted as reform in Wisconsin is actually abuse of power.  I am also proud of the Democrats that remain out of state to prevent a quorum.  Tell me the Republicans would not do the same thing, IF, they thought of it if the tables were reversed.  Being out of state IS being 'at work.'  This action by the Wisconsin Democratic Senators is as difficult, if not more so, as the demonstrations outside and inside the capital building.

If Walker wants to sincerely GOVERN and not DICTATE, then we would have called a summit / conference with the unions to actually reform areas of collective bargaining where QUALITY ASSURANCE conflicts with past union administrations and their contracts.  Walker needs to govern and not simply abuse the power of his office by tacking on exploitive language to a budget proposal.  The 'union busting' language in the budget has NOTHING to do with cost savings. 

With obvious violations of the public trust by Governor Walker, there needs to be an investigation to the tax cuts, whom they benefit and why exactly they were pursued in order to drive UP the deficit and allow attacks on the unions.

I remind, at this point in economic recovery in the USA, no matter the State, to remove disposable income from the Middle Class is to cause economic decline and quite possibly reversal of the progress being made.

I believe the statement by President Obama was, "We all need to get in the boat at the same time." 

Quite correct.  But, for Republicans this is the Democratic Waterloo and all the prospective candidates for 2012 have hung their hat on this issue in Wisconsin.  THAT, was an extremely poor decision.  By siding with Walker, the potential Republican candidates for POTUS in 2012 have turned their backs on the Middle Class.  Not the unions.  The Middle Class.  But, then when one realizes how completely bizarre and deceptive Republican primaires are, this is par for the course.

I want to Howard Kurtz in his coverage of the Lara Logan assault and media harassment of this female journalist.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: (click title for transcript - thank you) With the constant churn of criticism directed at journalists, it's also easy to forget how some of them go to dangerous places and risk their lives. The latest reminder, an unspeakable assault against Lara Logan by a Cairo mob that left the CBS correspondent hospitalized. Is this kind of reporting simply more dangerous for female correspondents? Is it getting too much attention? And why on earth are some loudmouths mocking her?...

Video of Kurtz and his panel (click here)

Mr. Kurtz I have finally witnessed the defense of women's rights in journalism which upholds not just their dignity, equality, but, their ambitions. 

I thank you a great deal.  You and your well spoken panel were outstanding this morning. 

Great job everyone.

It's Sunday Night

The All-American Rejects - Move Along

"Move Along" by The All-American Rejects

Go ahead as you waste your days with thinking
When you fall everyone stands
Another day and you've had your fill of sinking
With the life held in your
Hands are shaking cold
These hands are meant to hold

Speak to me, when all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through
Move along
Move along

So a day when you've lost yourself completely
Could be a night when your life ends
Such a heart that will lead you to deceiving
All the pain held in your
Hands are shaking cold
Your hands are mine to hold

Speak to me, when all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through
Move along
(Go on, go on, go on, go on)

When everything is wrong, we move along
(Go on, go on, go on, go on)
When everything is wrong, we move along
Along, along, along

When all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through

When all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through

When all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through

(Go on, go on, go on, go o
Right back what is wrong
We move along
[fade out]