Town Hall Meeting

24 May 2017

In the Good News Department…

Filed under: — Al @ 12:30 pm

Democrats Just Flipped Seats In 2 Districts That Voted For Donald Trump | HuffPost

Two districts that voted for Donald Trump in last year’s presidential election selected Democrats for state legislature seats in New York and New Hampshire on Tuesday night.

In a Long Island, New York district that Trump won by 23 percent, Democrat Christine Pellegrino defeated Republican Thomas Gargiulo in the race for a seat in the New York State Assembly. Pellegrino served as a delegate for Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention last year, the local Patch reported.

The seat Pellegrino won on Tuesday had been held by Republican Joseph Saladino, who resigned earlier this year after being appointed to a local office. He had defeated his Democratic opponent in 2016 by 37 points. Prior to 2016, however, that same district voted twice for President Barack Obama, per Ballotpedia.

Democrats are also celebrating an upset in a New Hampshire district that Trump won by 7 points in November.

READ MORE HERE

-Thanks Topy for the link!

26 Apr 2017

House GOP Want Obamacare for Themselves

Filed under: — Al @ 3:34 pm

House GOP exempt themselves from their latest health care proposal. Similar to the rest of their policies, Republicans want to keep the good stuff for themselves and leave everyone else with nothing. Can we all just agree that health care shouldn’t be for profit?

Single Payer is Cheaper

-Thanks Topy for the link!

12 Feb 2017

Comic Book Super Villain President

Filed under: — Al @ 1:30 pm

Check out Mark Hamill’s reading of a real Trump tweet as his Joker voice.

Here is the original:

Now hear it read as the Joker, and the bizarre statement starts to make sense.

Thanks Rachel for the links!

16 Mar 2016

(Bernie v Hillary) v Trump

Filed under: — Al @ 1:30 pm

I’m starting to think if Bernie doesn’t win and its Hillary v Trump, that Trump wins.  Anyone know good neighborhoods in Vancouver??? She’s the type that makes people stay home and not vote. I admit I am a Bernie supporter and have been for a long time. I didn’t watch the whole thing it’s too painful, just the first couple minutes and then I skipped ahead past the stupid email thing. The funny thing is I found this video looking for Bernie’s position on the 1991 Gulf War, which I recommend watching.

I also like this article on who is a more “realistic” candidate, Hillary or Bernie.

This is titled “Hillary lying for 13 mins straight”

12 Dec 2014

Sony Hack Thoughts

Filed under: — Al @ 11:35 am

–UPDATE Jan 25, 2016 —-

Seems the hack caused little damage to their stock price as it is now $21.13, over a year later.

———————–

My biggest surprise is that something this awful hasn’t happened before.  Usually hackers steal data and try not to make a big deal out of it.  Here, they seem clearly interested in taking down the company.  Sony is doing a great job helping them by having terrible security practices, having seeming racist email conversations, and having odd salary choices.  So far, the data made public has included:

1. Internal email communications
2. Full Employee Records (SSN, offer letters, salary, etc)
3. Medical information, including what treatments were being given and how much they cost
4. Intellectual Property (soon to be released movies, scripts)

Some of the more sensational things are the conversations between the chair of Sony Amy Pascal and a powerful producer Scott Rudin. Some published emails show them making very racist comments about President Obama and condescending ones about Angelina Jolie. The innocent victims are all the current and former rank and file at Sony who now how to live with very private medical data online and/or their SSN forever.

Someone obviously wants Sony to go down and go down hard. No one knows who actually did it yet or how they did it. Sadly if Sony would have kept all this data separate at least they could have minimized the damage. Why have accounting data on the same subnet as your intellectual property? Its insane. I have a feeling their security department is either non-existent or not big enough for their network size.

As of today their stock is worth $20.74 today and was $21.63 the day the hack was made public on Nov 24. A couple questions linger for me: will Pascal get fired for her clearly racist remarks and will lawsuits from employees be allowed to go through the courts and how much the damages will be?

07 Jul 2014

Mayday!

Filed under: — Al @ 9:05 am

A call for help, because our democracy is dying. Check this out and see if it doesn’t inspire you to do something…

https://mayday.us/

03 Oct 2013

Humanitarian Intervention

Filed under: — Al @ 2:35 pm

I say that tongue-in-cheek, I’m not a big fan of “humanitarian intervention” which is usually just an excuse for more bombing of “the others.” Check out this short article, makes some great points.

American gun use is out of control. Shouldn’t the world intervene?

“There have been fewer than 20 terror-related deaths on American soil since 9/11 and about 364,000 deaths caused by privately owned firearms.”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/21/american-gun-out-control-porter

09 Dec 2011

Descriptive “Map” of New Jersey

Filed under: — Al @ 8:22 pm

Zoom in to see all the specifics. Every state should get one of these!

New Jersey Map - by Joe Steinfield

AP article here on the artist and the reaction.

Thanks G for the link!

28 Jul 2011

21st Century Fascism

Filed under: — Al @ 4:13 pm

The horrific bombings and murders in Norway are abhorrent. The issues underneath the headlines are pretty upsetting too. Just some basic facts: the suspect is Andrew Breivik, he wrote a 1500 page manifesto which apparently includes anti-immigrant, pro-Christian, take-back-the-government opinions on European life. Lots of hatred toward Muslims and Marxists is in there as well. Glenn Greenwald has made very good points about several prominent newspapers first reporting the bombing was done by Muslims. Then once they found out it was a white Christian, they stopped using the term terrorism! Beyond that, some prominent news media are saying he was just copying Al Qaeda, as though they invented terrorism for crying out loud. It’s amazing to sit back and watch the prism through which current events are filtered through.

Another point that I want to add is this isn’t just a one in a million crackpot, it is an ideology that is getting more and more mainstream in Europe and America. Thankfully it’s still in the deep minority, but it is getting some credibility in the US. It’s roots are in fascism from the 20th century. It’s the superior race stuff, the corporations are our friend stuff, the hatred of anything public/government. Just a reminder, because rose colored glasses make “The West” seem holy and great, that fascism was invented by “The West.” In fact, when people now use the term “Islamic Fascism” its like a slap in the face to Muslims because they were victims of Mussolini and Hitler, especially the Northern Africa nations like Libya and Morocco.

My main point is that we all must follow the law of universality: that we must apply the rules equally to all. If politically motivated murder is not terrorism when it’s a white person, then its not terrorism when it’s anyone else. If you want to condemn all Muslims for 9/11, then you must condemn all Christians for the Norway bombings.

27 Apr 2011

Why the U.S. is Destroying its Education System

Filed under: — Al @ 10:56 am

Chris Hedges writes another great article, this one about America’s schools and their teachers. He talks about how hedge funds have gotten really interested in schools once charter schools came about. And how hard it is to get good people to want to become teachers when they are treated so badly and paid so poorly and micromanaged every step of the way.

“Teachers, their unions under attack, are becoming as replaceable as minimum-wage employees at Burger King. We spurn real teachers–those with the capacity to inspire children to think, those who help the young discover their gifts and potential–and replace them with instructors who teach to narrow, standardized tests. These instructors obey. They teach children to obey. And that is the point.”

“It is better to be at odds with the whole world than, being one, to be at odds with myself,” Socrates said.

“What brings us meaning and worth as human beings is our ability to stand up and pit ourselves against injustice and the vast, moral indifference of the universe. Once justice perishes, as Kant knew, life loses all meaning. Those who meekly obey laws and rules imposed from the outside–including religious laws–are not moral human beings. The fulfillment of an imposed law is morally neutral. The truly educated make their own wills serve the higher call of justice, empathy and reason. Socrates made the same argument when he said it is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong.”

Read the entire article here

24 Mar 2011

The Future of Newspapers

Filed under: — Al @ 6:39 pm

Check out this excellent testimony and discussion about the future of newspapers held in Congress May 6, 2009. Arianna Huffington made some terrible statements in this panel, including something to the effect of “Rupert Murdoch has some great ideas about the future of newspapers.” Sigh. It sheds some light on her recent decision to put the liar/distorter/race baiter Andrew Breitbart on the front page of her famous aggregator of news, the Huffington Post. If you don’t have time to watch the whole thing, at least watch David Simon’s initial remarks which occurs between minutes 38 and 48. Simon is the creator of the all time great show “The Wire.”

25 Jan 2011

Taco Bell “Beef” Allegedly Has lots of “Binders” and “Filler”

Filed under: — Al @ 4:41 pm

The fast food chain Taco Bell was sued in federal court today for using the word beef to describe their meat when it contains other things called “binders” and “fillers.” The claim is Taco Bell does this to gain a competitive advantage over other restaurants who serve 100% beef because it’s cheaper to serve something that is, say 60% beef. The lawsuit says they shouldn’t be allowed to call it beef, but should they be allowed to sell this to the public at all?!!

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/health/fl-taco-bell-suit-20110124,0,6513275.story

09 Dec 2010

Bernie Sanders’ Great Speech on Tax Cuts

Filed under: — Al @ 1:34 pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5OtB298fHY

Definitely worth watching the whole thing because it’s nice to see someone passionately speak for working people. Some points he makes…Purported concern for deficit and debt, yet willing to give $700 billion in tax breaks to top 2% of Americans over 10 years….Estate tax deal gives all the benefit to the top 0.3% of Americans….Everything America consumes is made in China, our 51st state…The debt and deficit only matter when poor people are involved, apparently…so it goes.

03 Nov 2010

Post Election Analysis

Filed under: — Al @ 5:07 pm

Oddly I think I’m more pissed off California Prop 19 (Legalize It!) failed than anything because that would have had a direct and pretty immediate positive impact on all of us by shrinking the prisons. Here is a good analysis on what happened by Glenn Greenwald who is an excellent writer and thinker.

Pundit sloth: Blaming the left
By Glenn Greenwald

Ten minutes was the absolute maximum I could endure of any one television news outlet last night without having to switch channels in the futile search for something more bearable, but almost every time I had MNSBC on, there was Lawrence O’Donnell trying to blame “the Left” and “liberalism” for the Democrats’ political woes. Alan Grayson’s loss was proof that outspoken liberalism fails. Blanche Lincoln’s loss was the fault of the Left for mounting a serious primary challenge against her. Russ Feingold’s defeat proved that voters reject liberalism in favor of conservatism, etc. etc. It sounded as though he was reading from some crusty script jointly prepared in 1995 by The New Republic, Lanny Davis and the DLC.

There are so many obvious reasons why this “analysis” is false: Grayson represents a highly conservative district that hadn’t been Democratic for decades before he won in 2008 and he made serious mistakes during the campaign; Lincoln was behind the GOP challenger by more than 20 points back in January, before Bill Halter even announced his candidacy; Feingold was far from a conventional liberal, having repeatedly opposed his own party on multiple issues, and he ran in a
state saddled with a Democratic governor who was unpopular in the extreme. Beyond that, numerous liberals who were alleged to be in serious electoral trouble kept their seats: Barney Frank, John Dingell, Rush Holt, Raul Grijalva, and many others. But there’s one glaring, steadfastly ignored fact destroying O’Donnell’s attempt — which is merely the standard pundit storyline that has been baking for months and will now be served en masse — to blame The Left and declare liberalism dead. It’s this little inconvenient fact:

Read the Rest Here

I only have this video to add, maybe this explains it all better. All you wacky liberals “HAVE MEDDLED WITH THE PRIMAL FORCES OF NATURE…AND YOU…WILL…ATONE!”

Network is such a good film, despite its not so subtle way of making Arabs seems scary. It’s funny because I can see Howard Beale (the one being yelled at) as Pelosi or Obama at the end of election day yesterday, and I can also see him as a Tea Bagger upstart like Rand Paul the day he is sworn in.

24 Sep 2010

Of/By/4

Filed under: — Al @ 4:35 pm

Check out Larry Lessig’s TED talk about American problems and a solution. One such example is obesity, and one of it’s main causes: the artist formerly known as high fructose corn syrup. He talks about how corruption and the flood of money in politics have directly led to the corn abundance in America. Prices of vegetables between 1997 and 2000, went up 17%, while a coke has gone down 35%! He then moves into the financial collapse and the BP oil disaster. He goes on to explain how, why, and what we can do about all of it.

A video used to be embedded here but the service that it was hosted on has shut down.

He includes a quote from President Abraham Lincoln in 1864:

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

15 Sep 2010

Another Sign We Live in 1984

Filed under: — Al @ 10:52 am

Doublespeak lives and it’s as strong as ever…

(emphasis added)
“The makers of high fructose corn syrup want to sweeten its image with a new name: corn sugar. The Corn Refiners Association applied Tuesday to the federal government for permission to use the name on food labels.”

“Renaming products has succeeded before. For example, low eurcic acid rapeseed oil became much more popular after becoming “canola oil” in 1988. Prunes tried to shed a stodgy image by becoming “dried plums” in 2000.”

“”I found (high fructose corn syrup) in things that you would never think needed it, or should have it,” said Leib, 36. “I found it in jars of pickles, in English muffins and bread. Why do we need extra sweeteners?””

“The average American ate 35.7 pounds of high fructose corn syrup last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s down 21 percent from 45.4 pounds 10 years before.”

“They’re not saying this is a healthy vitamin, or health product,” he said. “They’re just trying to move away from the negative associations.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100914/ap_on_bi_ge/us_corn_syrup_image

27 Jan 2010

Howard Zinn Died Today

Filed under: — Al @ 5:34 pm

I am a better, more informed person for having read his book A People’s History of The United States: 1492-present. My sadness is impossible to describe, America lost an important man today. Having this happen after the Haiti earthquake, the Supreme Court decision, and the Left starting to realize Obama is a conservative leader, it’s getting to be a bit much to handle. Zinn helped me see America for what it really is, and I’m not going to turn away just because it’s still ugly. I’m going to keep learning and keep fighting.

Howard Zinn is A Hero

04 Jan 2010

2009: Year in Review

Filed under: — Al @ 11:35 am

From the Inauguration, to Newspapers crumbling, to the Peace Prize, to Democrats. 2010 really is the Year of the Tiger!

Goodbye to 2009, Hello to 2010: Year of the Tiger

By ALEXANDER COCKBURN of Counter Punch

Once again hands are raised in stupefaction. How could they have missed him – meaning in this case Umar Abdulmutallab the Nigerian bomber on that flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. Why, his own father – one of the most powerful bankers in Africa – gave the US embassy in Lagos a warning! He was on the US master computer list of potential terrorists but never made it on to the watch list.

The Truthers reject the obvious answers – caution, bureaucratic inertia, buck-passing, turf fights – and say it was a plot. Obama joins Bush and Cheney in the big conspiracy. It won’t be long before David Griffin rushes out a book on the affair.

Personally, I’m not at all dismayed at evidence that intelligence gathering networks are flawed, that bureaucrats pass the buck. Hyper-efficiency in these matters indicates we have arrived at the perfect police state.

Of course there is room for common sense and elementary vigilance. In the case of the Virginia Tech killer there was plenty of evidence that Cho Seung-hui was a time bomb waiting to explode. Students talked about him as a possible shooter and refused to take classes with him. His essays so disturbed one of his teachers with their violent ravings that she arranged a secret signal in case she needed security during her tutorials.

And then was there was proof positive that the time bomb had exploded and the mass murder session began in the engineering building, the police state proved all too human in actual performance. The police cowered behind their cruisers until Cho Seung-hui finished off the last batch of his 32 victims, then killed himself. Then the police bravely rushed in and started sticking their guns in the faces of the traumatised students, screaming at them to freeze or be shot.

Read the rest here

01 Dec 2009

Salvation Army Checks Immigration Status

Filed under: — Al @ 3:38 pm

Apparently some “charity” organizations have their limits! Children who are not in the U.S. legally are apparently deemed unworthy of toys. This includes the famous Salvation Army, among many others, according to a Houston Chronicle report. These charities check the “papers” before giving their help. In this time of giving, I suggest picking a charity that doesn’t discriminate. What a culture we have in the U.S!

Some toy drives check immigration status
By Jeannie Kever – Houston Chronicle

HOUSTON — They don’t claim to know who’s been naughty or nice, but some Houston charities are asking whether children are in the country legally before giving them toys.

In a year when more families than ever have asked for help, several programs providing Christmas gifts for needy children require at least one member of the household to be a U.S. citizen. Others ask for proof of income or rely on churches and schools to suggest recipients.

The Salvation Army and a charity affiliated with the Houston Fire Department are among those that consider immigration status, asking for birth certificates or Social Security cards for the children.

Read the rest here

22 Sep 2009

This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land

Filed under: — Al @ 10:27 am

Sing along! This song is so good and so important, its great to see Pete Seeger had a chance to sing it during the inauguration of Obama. You can see in the video George Lucas singing along! For those of you that don’t know, it was written in 1940 by Woodie Guthrie as a response to the song “God Bless America.”

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