Saturday, September 26, 2009

University of California Workers Strike as Faculty, Students Boycott Classes

One wonders why the UC kids are active and the CSU kids are so passive...

Seth Sandronsky, Truthout: "University of California faculty, students and workers rallied against state budget cuts and unfair labor practices at 10 campuses and five medical centers from San Diego to Davis on Thursday, September 24. As a boycott of classes to protest teachers' unpaid days off (furloughs) and students' double-digit fee increases unfolded across the state, members of the University Professional and Technical Employees-Communications Workers of America, Local 9119, AFL-CIO, staged a one-day strike."

Rio 2016!

South America has never hosted a Summer Olympics, but things may change on October 2 if Rio is announced the host city for the 2016 Olympics. Here is why the city is a top contender for the bid.
- courtesy of Made in Brasil

Friday, September 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation?
The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen?
Whence this creation has risen -- perhaps it formed itself,
or perhaps it did not.
The one who looks down on it, in the highest heaven, only he knows
or perhaps he does not know. ~ Rig Veda

A Nepali colleague of mine who currently is studying in Australia uses this in his signature line. It is powerful, and each time I get a message from him it gets me to thinking.

I have been really down the past few weeks, what with the state of the economy, the university, and the right wing nut case assault on Obama and anything he stands for… M & I sat out in our backyard enjoying the redwoods, and the evening, and talking about our next steps. He has a way of helping me snap out of my doldrums… I need to focus on how blessed this life is, even when its weird and wacky and things at work are pretty crappy.

The one who looks down on it, in the highest heaven, only he knows or perhaps he does not know.

That’s really it!

- Many thanks to Bal Chandra and big namaste backatcha!

Exchange Students Tackle Football, English In Oregon by Tom Goldman

I was based out of this town, fighting forest fires during the summer of 1976. I remember the community as the nicest bunch of folks.

Click the pic to make the jump to the NPR story.

National Call-in Day: No Timeline! No Exit Strategy! Stop the Funding!

National Call-in Day: No Timeline! No Exit Strategy! Stop the Funding!

Wednesday, September 30

To reach the Washington Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121

Congress is steps away from passing the $625.8 billion 2010 Defense Budget, which contains approximately $128.2 billion to conduct the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through September 2010.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Quote of the day

"If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it." Mary Engelbreit

Monday, September 21, 2009

There are things that one wants to do, yet can’t. There are things that one hopes to do, and will. - me

That is a thought I just had as I am sitting waiting for a presentation in the CalEPA Building today re: "The Plastic Vortex”, which so happens to be one of my favorite little things to know about and follow. I kind of am fascinated about the Gyre, in a way that reminds me of Wednesday Adams and Pugsly, when they are looking at topics with Uncle Fester… “scabs…”. It has that kind of a draw for me… I can a sure you that after the presentation, I am even more fascinated and horrified by the problem.

The lecture, talked about 4 R’s instead of the traditional 3:


Refuse (the new R)



I showed up characteristically early, and made a quick turn about the Chavez Plaza… our city looks particularly grand from here, even on a dreadfully hot day as today. I was working @ Butch & Nellie’s and listening to Radio UFOP. When I got here, I turned on my laptop, back from the dead, and got a message from my buddies Luis & Vitor in Rio inviting me for New Year’s… it took me all of 15 key strokes to think about…

I spent the morning working on stuff, and reorganizing my Portuguese class that I am doing via an old book I found, that travels with me everywhere .. today’s lesson is PAST SUBJEUNCTIVE, which means things like:

“Eu queira que você voltasse (I wanted you to come back)”

I need a lot of written practice, which hopefully will rub off on my spoken abilities… So while I was doing that, I remembered that I could listen to Radio UFOP… and then between the Curso de Português and the musica… a severe set of saudades set in and a little vozinho told me, don’t forget to ask Vitor & Luis if I can come to Rio for new year's… its a dream of mine. to have reveillon on Copacabana.

They answered back in the time it took me to drive to the parking structure from B&N’s and come to the auditorium and get set up…

Good friends… so file this reveillon idea under “There are things that one hopes to do, and will”

Eu vou!

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Obama Care in 4 Minutes

Nancy Randolph's story is our story. It could happen to anyone.

Nancy Randolph's story is our story. It could happen to anyone. That's why we need healthcare reform including a public option that keeps insurance companies honest, lowers costs, and improves service. You and I know that. Nancy Randolph and the people of Maine know that.

Why Haven't Any Wall Street Tycoons Been Sent to the Slammer?

Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers: "More than a year into the gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression, millions of Americans have seen their home values and retirement savings plunge and their jobs evaporate. What they haven't seen are any Wall Street tycoons forced to swap their multi-million dollar jobs and custom-made suits for dishwashing and prison stripes. There are plenty of civil and class-action lawsuits from aggrieved investors angered by the losses in their mortgage bonds, hedge funds or pensions. Regulators have stepped up their vigilance after the fact. But to date, no captain of finance tied to the crisis has walked the plank."

Barack Obama Ready to Slash US Nuclear Arsenal

Julian Borger, The Guardian UK: "Barack Obama has demanded the Pentagon conduct a radical review of US nuclear weapons doctrine to prepare the way for deep cuts in the country's arsenal, the Guardian can reveal. Obama has rejected the Pentagon's first draft of the 'nuclear posture review' as being too timid, and has called for a range of more far-reaching options consistent with his goal of eventually abolishing nuclear weapons altogether, according to European officials."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Quotes of the Day

“To be afraid is to behave as if the truth were not true.”

- Bayard Rustin

“If the society today allows wrong to go unchallenged, the impression is created that those wrongs have the approval of the majority.”

- Barbara Jordan

“A right delayed is a right denied.”

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”

- Thomas Jefferson

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

- Margaret Mead

Courtesy of the Dallas Principles

"Still ticked off at the Federal government doling out trillions to save Wall Street from its own screwups? You're not alone. You have every right to's Review (excerpt)
September 22, 2009 Book Release

"Still ticked off at the Federal government doling out trillions to save Wall Street from its own screwups? You're not alone. You have every right to know exactly how the financial disasters of 2008 happened, why the government leapt so quickly to lavish the reckless perpetrators with cheap loans and subsidies that may never be repaid, and what must be done to ensure it never happens again.

In It Takes a Pillage, former Wall Street insider turned muckraking journalist Nomi Prins argues vehemently and convincingly that the current crisis has almost nothing to do with subprime mortgages and everything to do with a financial system that rewards people who move money instead of people who make things, operates outside of the media's gaze, is sheltered from governmental supervision, and uses leverage to turn risky deals into insanely risky deals.

You'll find out how the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington enabled and encouraged the disastrous behavior of large investment banks. You'll meet the Pillage People: the men who funneled trillions of dollars directly to the banks and the executives whose companies drained the American economy. You'll learn which of the Federal Pillage Triumvirate pirated the biggest part of a $10.7 trillion bounty—Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, or Timothy Geithner. You'll decide which private-sector pillager took the biggest share of spoils—Bank of America head Ken Lewis in his unholy alliance with former Merrill Lynch chief exec John Thain, who extracted $225 billion from the public; former AIG exec Joseph Cassano, who banked $315 million, leading the division that nearly drowned AIG before it hooked a $182 billion federal life raft; or Robert Rubin, whose public- and private-sector decisions decimated financial restraint and landed Citigroup in a $388 billion hole.

Prins also takes you on a harrowing tour of the Wall Street mind-set, in which making money is a game and colossal paychecks are a way of keeping score—and getting a huge bonus after churning out fabricated securities and taking out the entire world economy might be the biggest win of all.

The scariest part is that for all the trillions that have been spent or committed to the bloated stalwarts of Wall Street, our economic system remains in disarray. Prins demonstrates that this failure stems from flaws not in these institutions, but in the banking system itself. She shows how irresponsible deregulation whetted both individual and institutional appetites for short-term gain, and produced an addiction to greed and power that still rules the markets even after nearly destroying them."

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