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A Message to Joe Biden

  • Posted on: 21 June 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

I received an email from the Barack Obama campaign this morning - specifically addressed as if it was from Vice President Joe Biden - asking if I'd be willing to send in $5 for a chance at a drawing to enable 5 people to have dinner with the President.

I had to decline.

As folks may realize from the two diaries currently on the Rec list by shannika and stonedoubt, jobs are a big issue right now; the economy as a whole, of course, is a huge issue. And if you read a little into stonedoubt's diary, you'll find a comment from me that explains my response to Joe indirectly: I'm closing my business.

Below the fold is the short, simple text of what I sent back. I realize it will never be seen by Vice President Biden, or the President. I know it will likely never be read by anyone in Congress or in a position to pass along my simple response.

Nonetheless, I felt better sending it. No histrionics, no propaganda - just a simple statement and plea.

Make the jump if you'd like to read it, and perhaps add your own comment.

Namaste.

 

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Maddow on the Republican Obstruction to Recovery: The Nation Recoils in Horror

  • Posted on: 21 June 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Two Maddow embeds - one below the fold. Both well worth watching and sharing. Today's Republican "leadership" is not what they proclaim themselves to be - and their actions (and inaction) speak louder than their words. And are horrifying to the average American, and to the American dream.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy.

 

And if you think that's not encouraging...It gets worse. Rachel breaks it down after the jump.

 

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Excellent video by Change to Win: "The End of the American Dream?"

  • Posted on: 18 June 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

This video was shown at Netroots Nation this morning. I only caught the last 2/3 of it online, but realized it was an effective overview of our current situation:

Please pass it around, and remember to thank the folks at Change to Win when you have a chance.

Thank you.

 

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Crown Prince of The Thieves Guild - Bank of America Hindered Federal Investigation

  • Posted on: 18 June 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Via the Huffington Post,

NEW YORK -- Bank of America, the largest U.S. bank by assets, "significantly hindered" a federal investigation into the firm's faulty foreclosure practices on potentially billions of dollars worth of taxpayer-backed loans, a federal auditor told an Arizona court.

The bank withheld key documents and data, prevented investigators from interviewing bank employees or asking certain questions, and was slow to provide information, according to a June 1 declaration by William W. Nixon, a fraud examiner and assistant regional inspector general for audit for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development inspector general's office.

Read the full story by Shahien Nasiripour.

The Bank of America has been playing a significant role in mortgage foreclosure fraud and obstructing investigations into their role in the whole mess.

They've become too big, and serve as a double-edged example of what happens when deregulation permits "too big to fail" behemoths to drive roughshod over our economic foundations.

Take your business elsewhere, if you can, when you can. Avoid servicing any members of the Thieves Guild, and call for re-regulating Wall Street and the banks.

Let's get our financial house in order by bringing order - and justice, accountability and due diligence - back to the forefront.

 

Hat-tip to lordrag of Delphi Forums for the heads-up.

 

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Arizona is burning.

  • Posted on: 11 June 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

For those who haven't heard anything about it yet, Arizona is burning.

From Seattle PI,

SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. (AP) — Smoke from a massive wildfire in eastern Arizona that has claimed more than 30 homes and forced nearly 10,000 people to flee has officials worried about serious health impacts to residents and firefighters as tiny particles of soot in the air reached "astronomical" levels.

Read more: Full article.

This is the second-largest fire in Arizona history (so far), according to the article. And it's not the only one currently ablaze in the state:

Firefighters are battling another major wildfire in far southeastern Arizona, also near the New Mexico line. The so-called Horseshoe Two blaze burned through 211 square miles or 135,000 acres of brush and timber since it started in early May. The fire has destroyed 23 structures but caused no serious injuries. It was 45 percent contained late Friday and fire officials hope to have it fully contained by late June.

Read more: Full Article.

I can't imagine what it would be like to speak of dealing with an ongoing natural disaster in terms of "months" before it could be contained or mitigated. Well...ok, strike that. There's similar scale concepts - tho far different types of impacts and longer durations - when looking at unnatural disasters like Fukushimasee also and even longer-term consequences when considering the impact of anthropomorphic climate disruption.1, 2

And yes, there are those who have wondered if the AZ wildfires are linked to climate disruption, and while they can't prove it, they can show earlier predictors that reinforce indications that it might/could be related - and that there would be more, bigger incidents yet to come.

Not a very reassuring thought, with all those billions currently being spent in order to cripple any attempt to directly admit to and deal with the problem from a national public policy perspective.

 

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Reunited: A lost dog reunites with it's family after six months lost and 1200 miles travelled

  • Posted on: 4 June 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

It's a great story: in November of 2010, a dog disappeared from his yard in Colorado. Six months later, he turns up in a shelter in California - 1200 miles away.

The video shows the reunion.

People and their pets often form a unique bond. For some, it's companionship. For others, work. Still others, it's a bit of both. In many ways, a pet can become an essential helper and family member. An unexpected loss can be very hard to deal with...and an unexpected reunion can be one of life's little miracles.

Hat-tip Life with Dogs.

 

Schadenfreude: Foreclosing on the Foreclosers - Biting Bank of America in the Assets

  • Posted on: 4 June 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

For anyone wondering what a good example of schadenfreude may be: this is. From the Daily Kos diary by Unit Zero, which first brought the story to my attention:

Warren and Maureen Nyerges purchased a house from Bank of America for cash, never getting nor needing a Mortgage. BoA in its infinite wisdom screwed up and issued a foreclosure through their attorney. The Nyerges fought and sued the bank, finally winning a judgment after a year and a half of legal wrangling. The Collier County Judge ordered the bank to pay the Nyerges legal fees of $2,534 for the "error". Five months later the bank had still not paid the judgment, so the Nyerges had their attorney do what the bank would have done, seize their assets.

This is one of the few times that one might interchange the term "schadenfreude" with "justice."

 

Bank of America, one of the crown princes of the Thieves Guild, has a habit of foreclosing on the wrong properties.

 

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Elementary Geometry: The Food Pyramid buried in favor of "MyPlate"

  • Posted on: 4 June 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

On Thursday, June 3, the U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled its new symbol of balanced nutrition, called MyPlate. It replaced the outdated Food Pyramid that has been with us in one form or another since 1992. From a column by William Neuman, published on the New York Times website on May 27 - before the official unveiling - we can get an idea of some of the reasoning behind the new imagery:

It consists of four colored sections, for fruits, vegetables, grains and protein, according to several people who have been briefed on the change. Beside the plate is a smaller circle for dairy, suggesting a glass of low-fat milk or perhaps a yogurt cup.

Few nutritionists will mourn the passing of the pyramid, which, while instantly recognized by millions of American school kids, parents and consumers, was derided by nutritionists as too confusing and deeply flawed because it did not distinguish clearly between healthy foods like whole grains and fish and less healthy choices like white bread and bacon.

In a piece by Dallas Duncan of The Gainesville Times entitled Clean dinner plate replaces food pyramid: Experts weigh in on government's new dietary guidelines, published a day following the official unveiling, we learn a few more things about MyPlate:

The image advises people to eat smaller portions, reduce sodium intake, drink water and low-fat or fat-free milk and increase intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

"This is a lot more user-friendly," Hall County Schools Nutrition Coordinator Jennifer Teems said. "It's easy for kids to look at and say, ‘This is what should be on my plate.'"

Teems said the only thing she would change on MyPlate was to feature pictures of food.

"It is not perfect of course, because it doesn't handle mixed foods, but it is better than the pyramid," Crawley said. "I wish it gave a size for the plate. Most dinner plates are huge now and may result in overeating."

Everyone's tastes are different, so the new image may or may not be palatable to some, but most appear to agree that it's a definite improvement over the Food Pyramid...and, in particular, the most recent incarnation of the pyramid, which was called MyPyramid.

You can go check out the new symbol and nutrition guidelines at ChooseMyPlate.gov.

 

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When George done good: Celebrating Rosa Parks, and her work toward a more perfect union

  • Posted on: 29 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

I'm not a fan of George W. Bush or his two terms as President. He wasn't the primary culprit for those dark times, but he was - and remains - the figurehead.

But he, himself, was not the utter failure that his party and cronies were; he did some good. One example: his commemoration of Rosa Parks. To the Wiki:

On October 30, 2005, President George W. Bush issued a proclamation ordering that all flags on U.S. public areas both within the country and abroad be flown at half-staff on the day of Parks' funeral.

Metro Transit in King County, Washington placed posters and stickers dedicating the first forward-facing seat of all its buses in Parks' memory shortly after her death,[53] and the American Public Transportation Association declared December 1, 2005, the 50th anniversary of her arrest, to be a "National Transit Tribute to Rosa Parks Day".[54] On that anniversary, President George W. Bush signed Pub.L. 109-116 , directing that a statue of Parks be placed in the United States Capitol's National Statuary Hall. In signing the resolution directing the Joint Commission on the Library to do so, the President stated:

By placing her statue in the heart of the nation's Capitol, we commemorate her work for a more perfect union, and we commit ourselves to continue to struggle for justice for every American.[55]

Rosa Parks died of natural causes at the age of 92 on October 24, 2005, about 7:00 pm EDT; she lived in Detroit.

 

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Memorial Day Weekend

  • Posted on: 28 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

What is this holiday weekend of which you speak? Ah - Memorial Day! Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it:

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 30 in 2011). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates men and women who died while in military service to the United States.1 First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War,2 it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

Memorial Day often marks the start of the summer vacation season, and Labor Day its end.

Began as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the civil war, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events such as the Indianapolis 500 (since 1911) and the Coca-Cola 600 (since 1960) auto races.3

Race cars and soldiers, and remembrance of those who we've lost, regardless.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, folks.

 

Intelligence Breakdown: The Controversy Surrounding pre-9/11 Orders to Stop Tracking bin Laden

  • Posted on: 23 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

An interesting story recently appeared on Truthout, titled Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden. Specifically, the story by Jeffrey Kaye intimates that

Ques­tions about what in­tel­lig­ence agen­cies knew or didn't know about al-Qaeda ac­tivit­ies go back some years, most pro­minent­ly in the con­trover­sy over the ex­ist­ence of a joint US Speci­al For­ces Com­mand and De­fen­se In­tel­lig­ence Agen­cy (DIA) data min­ing ef­fort known as "Able Dang­er."

What hasn't been dis­cus­sed is a Sep­temb­er 2008 De­part­ment of De­fen­se (DoD) in­spec­tor gener­al (IG) re­port, sum­mariz­ing an in­ves­tiga­tion made in re­spon­se to an ac­cusa­tion by a Joint For­ces In­tel­lig­ence Com­mand (JFIC) whistleb­low­er, which in­dicated that a sen­ior JFIC com­mand­er had hal­ted ac­tions track­ing Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11.

Here's where the story gets interesting:

Earlier this year, a blogger, Susie Dow, who has been following the story of Kirk von Ackermann , a US Army contractor in Iraq who disappeared on the road between Tikrit and Kirkuk in October 2003, asserted that von Ackermann had earlier belonged to JFIC's Asymmetric Threat Division.

According to Truthout, the Asymmetric Threat Division was known within the Department of Defense primarily by its DoD designation, DO5.

The Truthout piece also goes on to mention Susie's work with ePluribus Media, specifically the piece she wrote, with Stephen Reich, entitled One Missing, One Dead; An Iraq Contractor in the Fog of War.

The potential implications are damning.

Susie Dow has also recently posted about the Truthout piece, now front-paged here. Check it out.

 

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The Eve of Destruction...Paging Harold Camping.

  • Posted on: 21 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

 

OK - so, now that the Rapture has come and gone, has anyone seen Harold Camping, or are the rumors true that all that's been found of Harold so far is a spittle-encrusted note that reads:

If you are reading this, you have been found wanting and left behind. - H.C.

Ideally, I'd like it if he took Pat, Rush, Sean and a few others with him...not to some other worldly paradise, of course, but instead to hide on some tiny island somewhere in the Caribbean...

While folks are sorting out whether or not the Rapture occurred and if they've been found wanting or not, here's a tune to entertain those folks still waiting for the "appointed time" to come. Enjoy!

 

Happy Rapturing, everyone. See ya on the flip side...

 

BTW - has anyone bothered to point out Matthew 24:36?

 

 

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Excerpted and Reprinted: Rudy Jaafar -- "Time for Arab History to Follow its Course"

  • Posted on: 20 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Originally posted 2008-05-25 11:08:38 -0400, this piece appears to relate to the current happenings in and around the Middle East at this time. In light of the recent speech by President Obama, I thought it would be good to resurrect and ask folks to read through. -- GH

Crossposted to DailyKos and Docudharma.

What follows is an excerpt reprinted from the piece Danse Macabre 03: The Return of Ja(a)far [Donald Rumsfeld], which was published by ePluribus Media in December 2006.

With all the back-and-forth rumbles about Iraq, Iran, peak oil, the "long war" and such, I thought a reprint of this particular section would be enlightening. It briefly review a paper written by Rudy Jaafar regarding that author's perspective and commentary about the US role in the determination of the social and political future of the Middle East.

I strongly urge people to read the original piece by Rudy Jaafar in its entirety, and request that people add -- in comments -- any additional insights or references that could help educate the public about the regions cultures and history.

Timothy Ray Brown - first man in history to be cured of AIDS?

  • Posted on: 17 May 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Just a quick note: according to a piece by Stephen C. Webster on Raw Replay, Timothy Ray Brown may be the first patient in history to be cured of AIDS.

There's a video at the link, from the May 17th broadcast of CBS San Francisco.

The cure was apparently effected through a bone marrow transplant from a donor who was genetically immune to HIV - a rare trait.

Doctors aren't sure how the bone marrow transplant itself triggered the body's elimination of the virus proper.

 

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