Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quote of the Day

We are weary, weary of war. The trillions that will have gone to these two wars have helped to bankrupt us as a nation -- financially and morally.

Get Off Obama's Back ...second thoughts from Michael Moore

From Michael Moore:

Last night my wife asked me if I thought I was a little too hard on Obama in my letter yesterday congratulating him on his Nobel Prize. "No, I don't think so," I replied. I thought it was important to remind him he's now conducting the two wars he's inherited. "Yeah," she said, "but to tell him, 'Now earn it!'? Give the guy a break -- this is a great day for him and for all of us."

I went back and re-read what I had written. And I listened for far too long yesterday to the right wing hate machine who did what they could to crap all over Barack's big day. Did I -- and others on the left -- do the same?

read the rest here

Nobel Prize for Promises?

by: Howard Zinn, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

Nobel Peace Prize winners.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

I was dismayed when I heard Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize. A shock, really, to think that a president carrying on wars in two countries and launching military action in a third country (Pakistan), would be given a peace prize. But then I recalled that Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Kissinger had all received Nobel Peace Prizes. The Nobel Committee is famous for its superficial estimates and for its susceptibility to rhetoric and empty gestures, while ignoring blatant violations of world peace.

Yes, Wilson gets credit for the League of Nations - that ineffectual body which did nothing to prevent war. But he also bombarded the Mexican coast, sent troops to occupy Haiti and the Dominican Republic and brought the US into the slaughterhouse of Europe in the first World War - surely, among stupid and deadly wars, at the top of the list.

Sure, Theodore Roosevelt brokered a peace between Japan and Russia. But he was a lover of war, who participated in the US conquest of Cuba, pretending to liberate it from Spain while fastening US chains around that tiny island. And as president he presided over the bloody war to subjugate the Filipinos, even congratulating a US general who had just massacred 600 helpless villagers in the Phillipines. The Committee did not give the Nobel Prize to Mark Twain, who denounced Roosevelt and criticized the war, nor to William James, leader of the anti-imperialist league.

Oh yes, the Committee saw fit to give a peace prize to Henry Kissinger, because he signed the final agreement ending the war in Vietnam, of which he had been one of the architects. Kissinger, who obsequiously went along with Nixon's expansion of the war with the bombing of peasant villages in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Kissinger, who matches the definition of a war criminal very accurately, was given a peace prize!

People should not be given a peace prize on the basis of promises they have made (as with Obama, an eloquent maker of promises) but on the basis of actual accomplishments towards ending war. Obama has continued deadly, inhuman military action in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Nobel Peace Committee should retire, and turn over its huge funds to some international peace organization which is not awed by stardom and rhetoric, and which has some understanding of history.


Howard Zinn is a historian, playwright and social activist, and has received the Thomas Merton Award, the Eugene V. Debs Award, the Upton Sinclair Award and the Lannan Literary Award. He is perhaps best known for "A People's History of the United States."

Fidel Castro acha positiva escolha de Obama para Nobel da Paz

Ex-presidente cubano diz que premiação foi uma crítica à política genocida de outros presidentes americanos

HAVANA - O líder cubano Fidel Castro qualificou neste sábado, 10, de "positiva" a concessão do Prêmio Nobel da Paz ao presidente dos Estados Unidos, Barack Obama. Em um novo artigo de suas Reflexões divulgado pela imprensa oficial, o ex-presidente, de 83 anos, adverte que nem sempre compartilha as posições que outorgam o Nobel, mas que se vê "obrigado a reconhecer" que nestes momentos é "uma medida positiva".

read the rest here

Media Matters: Right again makes an anti-American ass of itself following Obama's Nobel win

October 09, 2009 9:50 pm ET

On Friday, the nation awoke to the news that the Nobel Peace Prize had been awarded to President Barack Obama. "I am both surprised and deeply humbled," Obama said that morning. "I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership...I will accept this award as a call to action."

But sadly, Obama's words failed to touch the hearts of some of the world's most esteemed and principled critics and commentators, all of whom have proven their love for America and her values time and again. I'm kidding of course.

read the rest of the article here

Obama as Nobelist, Obama as game-changer

Courtesy of Informed Comment

I was listening to National Public Radio on the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama, and they brought on some nonentity from one of Rupert Murdoch's faux "magazines," who delivered himself of the remark that when he heard the news, he broke out laughing. He laughed at Obama. He is being paid by the Aussie media monopolist, the billionaire bully, to laugh at Obama.

click here to read the entire article

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Daily WTF?

I ran across this handy 7 step process on how to move abroad on ehow:


Step 1

Compare the cost of living in that country to estimate how much you can afford to spend on housing if your company is not paying a per diem.

Step 2

Research areas in the city you are moving to. Contact a local real estate agent to find a home to rent or buy. Look for areas where other expats might live. If you don't secure housing in advance, then book a room in a hotel so you have a place to stay in the meantime.

Step 3

Figure out how you will get around. If your company isn't providing a car, then you will have to either buy one there or learn about the public transportation system. Some driving conditions abroad will be harder to adjust to, such as driving on the left side of the road, so you may opt for public transportation.

Step 4

Start learning the language if you don't know it. Check your local community center for details on language courses. If you don't have time to do this before you leave, book a language immersion course in the country you are moving to. Many overseas universities and language centers offer these for new arrivals.

Step 5

Find out about immigration requirements. Some countries have strict laws. You may need to get special papers or meet financial requirements before you can enter the country. Apply for any necessary visas and fill in any forms you need. Your company may help with this process.

Step 6

Put your house on the market or cancel your tenant agreement. Hire a company that specializes in overseas moves. If you want to leave most of your belongings in the U.S., arrange for long-term storage.

Step 7

Buy travel tickets and pack your suitcases. You need enough clothes and cosmetics to keep you going until the ship arrives with your belongings. This can take several weeks.

Oh snap! its so easy! Just go out and learn that language, put your house on the (in this market?) and move your stuff over seas. Oh yeah, and the visas... eeeeeeseee! Hmmm... I think they think New Mexico is overseas...

Quote ofthe day...

Email from Pres. Obama

Daniel --

This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I'd been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.

To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize -- men and women who've inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

But I also know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.

That is why I've said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. These challenges won't all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it's recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.

This award -- and the call to action that comes with it -- does not belong simply to me or my administration; it belongs to all people around the world who have fought for justice and for peace. And most of all, it belongs to you, the men and women of America, who have dared to hope and have worked so hard to make our world a little better.

So today we humbly recommit to the important work that we've begun together. I'm grateful that you've stood with me thus far, and I'm honored to continue our vital work in the years to come.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

From Huffington:

It would be hard to think of a more electrifying and deserved recipient of this year's Nobel Peace prize than President Obama. Obama is the fourth American president to win the Nobel prize. His predecessors are Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Jimmy Carter.

Obviously, the award is based on the hope that Obama will achieve real progress in advancing diplomacy rather than confrontation around the globe. To some degree, he already has. American relations with Europe are vastly improved. He is focusing on global warming. Negotiations are underway with Iran. So are nuclear arms reductions talks with Russia. Leading conservatives such as George Shultz are calling for immediately ending sanctions on Cuba and restoring relations with it, as was emphasized at a New American Foundation event on the presidential Sequoia yacht hosted by Steve Clemons in Washington, D.C. last night.

In short, the moment is ripe for real change. So Obama needs to do more. Obviously, it would be utopian to expect that he can solve the world's ills overnight. But in foreign, as opposed to domestic, policy, Obama can seek to avoid the kind of bickering and squabbling that has dragged down health care. The fact is that the Nobel committee had handed him a unique opportunity. His acceptance speech in Oslo will offer him a golden chance to set forward a more sweeping and comprehensive vision of what his administration and America can do to advance peace. Obama should use the occasion to focus on the most volatile and dangerous region in the world, the Middle East.

This may be the biggest speech of Obama's presidency. Obama's prestige will never be higher. And the world will be listening. Obama needs to speak to it.

Obama for Peace: Turn Hope into Action

Barack Obama Wins the Nobel Peace Prize!

From Buzz:

Breaking and Outstanding: President Barack Obama Wins the Nobel Peace Prize


Nobel Prize Committee on Soon-to-be Nobel Laureate, Barack Obama: The announcement noted the special importance the committee attached to President Obama's vision of a world without nuclear weapons. “Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play,” the committee said.

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation.

The stunning choice made Obama the third sitting U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize and shocked Nobel observers because Obama took office less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline. Obama's name had been mentioned in speculation before the award but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president.

President Barack Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision designed to build momentum behind his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.

Click here for the rest of the article

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Interactive Jesus Painting

Interactive Jesus Painting - Fixed.

Quote of the Day

"If the President had a BLT yesterday, the Republicans would try to ban bacon."
Make sure you watch The Ellen DeGeneres show on Friday, October 9th.
Judy Shepard will be dropping by to chat with Ellen about her NY Times best-selling book, The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed.


State mostly fails to measure up in health care
By Bobby Caina Calvan

Californians may lead healthier lives than most Americans, but the state's record on health care is mostly mediocre or dismal, according to a study released today that provides a state-by-state snapshot of health care in this country. - Read More

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment

From Daily Kos

Keith Olbermann has done some great stuff in the past, but he is burning the house down with this extended Special Comment on Healthcare Reform. It is tragic, it is raw; the intense, personal emotional honesty this newscaster shares with his viewers is nothing short of riveting. If you haven’t seen it yet, this is something you are going to want to watch from heart rending start to sobering finish. Discussion and other info in Adam Green and CityLightsLover's diaries.

Here's part 1 (see below for links to the other parts)

UK Healthcare: My colleague Vicki forwarded this from her friend Elaine who got it from her friend Everlyn

From Vicki

-----Original Message-----
From: Elaine
Subject: FW: the bright side

My friend Everlyn Nicodemus gave me permission to forward this letter. You
may forward it too if you like, especially if you have friends in the US who
are not in the choir. Everlyn lives in Edinburgh and is Tanzanian with
Swedish citizenship, not UK. Her health problems were severe before moving
to the UK. I asked her if she were getting adequate health care in Scotland.
This is her reply.

-----Original Message-----
From: everlyn
Subject: the bright side

Dear Elaine,

As you know Scotland has just like the rest of Britain the NHS, the National
Health Service. So visits to the family doctor are free. And so are
medicines with exception of a £14 fee every four months for those under 65
who can afford it. From next year everything connected to health care will
be free for everybody in Scotland, just as Scottish students do not need to
pay university fees like they do in the rest of the country.

In Belgium, where I benefitted from a health insurance based on an agreement
with the Swedish social insurance, I nevertheless had to pay a good part of
the costs. It put economic burden upon psychological burden, which it is a
relief to be spared. I feel Scottish healthcare is the best and most human
on this planet.

So, yes, the ambulance did arrive. And the paramedics did attend me, and
they functioned as psychotherapists, calming me, as I refused to let them
take me to hospital for fear of another medical mishap. And that was for
free as well. Instead they phoned a doctor to come to my home, and he duly
turned up with his medical knapsack. And also that was free, not to mention
that he sent a report to my GP, who made his secretary phone me for an

People here cannot understand the American attacks upon the British NHS
or the vicious campaign against Obama wanting a good health care and
insurance for all Americans. That's things that make us mystified about
America to say the least. I think Europeans and the rest of the world are
trying very hard in these days to find out what is America.

Stay strong my dear friend! We shall overcome!!!



OBS Edinburgh has now the biggest regular African film festival in Europe.
If you visit and you
will see what they are showing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Olimpíadas 2016: Escolas públicas vão intensificar estudos em inglês

Olimpíadas 2016
Escolas públicas vão intensificar estudos em inglês

O prefeito do Rio, Eduardo Paes, e a secretária Municipal de Educação, Claudia Costin, lançam amanhã, na Escola Municipal República do Peru, no Méier, às 10h, o projeto Rio Criança Global, que vai intensificar o ensino de inglês nas escolas da rede municipal desde a alfabetização.

Leia o restante do artigo aqui

From a discussion Pepsi vs Coke om JMG I posted the following

I detest Coke... here’s why. In the early 80's I was a math teacher in Guatemala. For some reason the dictatorship allowed the film Gandhi to play. Mind you this was the time of death squads, and bombings. If you even mentioned the word... union... you, your family, and most probably your neighbors would be disappeared...after a bit of torture, most often your body was dumped in the Pacific or a live volcano. The minimum wage was something like 65 cents a day... the Coca Cola bottling franchise for most of Central America was in Guatemala City. Due to the dire circumstances of water at the time, and the "happy" propaganda that Coke spews... you were often forced to drink coke, as the water was unsafe to drink. They workers were paid 10 cents less a day than was required. The film taught them that they could protest peacefully, so the workers brought in their entire families, locked the doors and began to clean and paint and restore the factory to gleaming cleanliness and waited. Over a period of months a number of us began writing letters, first to the ambassador, then the coke company in the states, then our senators… as was the case at the time, there was an almost complete blackout of what was going on in Central America. When the news began to leak out,,, they capitulated and agreed to pay minimum wage…. It took a few months, and people endangered their lives sneaking food in to factory. I can’t stand that happy Santa or Polar bear Coke crap at Xmas time… this taught me to really think about where shit I buy comes from… To this day, I’d rather go a week with out bananas before buying a Chiquita, and I refuse Coke always…

In Amparo, Sao Paulo there is an obscure little botique cola sold... my family, knowing that I refuse to drink anything for m the USA while abroad (guarana is by far superior anyway) bought a couple of liters of this once... fabulous. I like the Cuba over the USA motif...

follow the rest of the rants

Quote of the day

Courtesy of EMS

America Falling: Longtime Dominance in Education Erodes

courtesy of JERRY-P-BECKER-BIG-L List

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, Monday, October 5, 2009. See
America Falling: Longtime Dominance in Education Erodes

By Karin Fischer


Henry T. Yang, a prominent engineer, is one of a half-dozen American academics and entrepreneurs who sit on an international panel that advises Singapore's government on its higher-education and research efforts. At its last meeting, the group reviewed plans for a new public university, the country's fourth.

For the full article see the Chronicle of Higher Education, Monday, October 5, 2009:

Good Folks that Needs our Support

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The threat to democracy is still very real, in particular because the corporate media is biased against governmental intervention. Obama may have won at the polls, but the media -- owned by large Wall Street Corporations -- is framing the radical redistribution of money to the wealthy and the Wall Street gambling crooks as an issue of "free markets" vs. "socialism."

What that translates to, in reality, is no risk super-wealth for a few, with welfare paid to them if they lose any of their millions -- or in the case of the financial "titans," billions of dollars.

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What we have in the corporate media is a "frame" -- as George Lakoff calls it --of "free market" bias, when what they mean is "free market" losses and risk for the middle class and poor, and no-risk fixed-market welfare subsidies for the rich to subsidize their gambling debts with our economy.

Glenn Beck was recently talking about a new Civil War on cable television.

After all, the big media is owned by big corporations -- and they still think that, for the most part, an unregulated free market is part of the solution, because they are big players in that disastrous Wall Street casino. Of course, this mythical "free market" is just -- for the most part -- a bunch of river boat gamblers who have crashed our ship of state into a bridge and blame the governnment for building the bridge in the first place, as we all sink to the bottom.

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Read The Full Review >>>

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

EDTE 18: Mathematical Practices across Cultures

I am hoping all my CSUS peeps download and post this flyer everywhere!

Its time for Prof. Orey me to engage in some shameless self promotion and get this course to run next semester!

This message about safe sects from Clo...

Puns intended...

1. The roundest knight at king Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.
He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island,
but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whisky maker,
but he loved her still.

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because
it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder
and got a little behind in his work.

6. No matter how much you push the envelope,
it'll still be stationery.

7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road
and was cited for littering.

8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in
Linoleum Blownapart.

9. Two silk worms had a race.
They ended up in a tie.

10. Time flies like an arrow.
Fruit flies like a banana.

11. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall.
The police are looking into it.

12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

13. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway.
One hat said to the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a

14. I wondered why the baseball kep t getting bigger.
Then it hit me.

15. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the

16. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital.
When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was,
a nurse said, 'No change yet.'

17. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

19. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was
a small medium at large.

20. The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now
a seasoned veteran.

21. A backward poet writes inverse.

22. In democracy it's your vote that counts.
In feudalism it's your count that votes.

23. When cannibals ate a missionary,
they got a taste of religion.

24. Don't join dangerous cults:
Practice safe sects!

More Companies Leave The Chamber Over Its Denial Of Climate Change Science

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The day after...

My horoscope says I should write something today. (CANCER (June 22-July 22) – Today is an 8 – Work on any writing project, maybe even a letter to your mother. Does she have e-mail? That could work. )

Funny,as M & I are working on a redo of a book chapter that is being reissued for a text at UEM.

Being an ever obedient slave to all things metaphysical, it’s best if I do not argue. Besides, sitting here listening to KCRW on a cool Sunday afternoon is just the right remedy for the ressaca I have from last night’s Bohemian Village annual Oktoberfest at the Afghari residence.

I feel particularly good about it, as this year, I didn’t argue at all with the annoying republican neighbor who last year came up to Milton & I and told us that he gave us permission to live together, but gay marriage was just plane wrong. I got into a heated argument… This year, he came up to me and gave me a razor blade, in hopes hat I would use it took off my Obama sticker. The idiot doesn’t know that it’s magnetic, and that I take it off and on all the time. Right now it’s stuck the dryer, but I will now put it back on. It’s amazing how fascist republicans feel they have the right to go about telling their neighbors what they can and cannot do, and then preach to us about less government. I took the razor blade, as I was looking for one the other day to do some paint scrapping about the ponderosa. Though I was tempted to give it back to him and suggest he use it on his wrists when we all get healthcare reform…

The party was great fun as it is always more like a Brazilian party, gradually intoxicated adults, gradually sugar induced rowdiness of the kids, and fun group of neighbors. Today the tamale lady’s kids came to the door and we bought our tamales and I noticed some folks standing in front of the house across the street. They have been hoping to buy the house for a few years but the owner is being a pill. I guess its going on auction tomorrow. The owner bought a place in Fair Oaks just at the down turn and hasn’t been able to sell it. The couple has a daughter about 5 blocks form here, and is looking forward to being closer, and she is an avid gardener… woo hoo! Things are a movi’n on Yellowstone finally, now if jobs could start to appear it would great…

Today’s Sunday paper has an editorial about how the state may try and sell the CSU to a private university system… gawd help us all.

Ok off to email Dot.

Gracias a La Vida de Mercedes Sosa!

Courtesy of JMG

JMG states: Of course they'll say they just "accidentally" left the decimal off the real number, 14.9M.


Will CSU's motto someday be: 'I am a Phoenix'?

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