Saturday, January 8, 2011

Via True Majority: Light a Candle / Rep. Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords


Dear Daniel,

Tragedy in Arizona

Rep Giffords
Support Rep. Giffords and and all the victims by joining our vigil online.

add your voice

Today in Tucson, someone shot at the heart of American democracy. While we don't know all the details of today's terrible tragedy in Arizona, we do know that Rep. Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords was shot while serving her constituents. Six others lost their lives, including a nine-year-old girl and U.S. District Judge John Roll.1

What will happen to those who are wounded or what may come next, we don't yet know. But we do know that our USAction/TrueMajority family stands with the families of the victims in Arizona.

Local members are on their way to vigils in Tuscon and Phoenix this evening. And you can join our virtual candlelight vigil to share support, prayers, sympathy and wishes for recovery and peace with Rep. Giffords, Judge Roll and all the victims and their families. Take a moment to light a candle and leave a note here:

Linda Brown, the director of our local affiliate the Arizona Advocacy Network, will personally deliver all your comments in the next few days.

I can't imagine my family being shaken by a tragedy like this one. But I know I would draw strength from you and the rest of our community. Please, join me in standing with our friends in Arizona by joining this online vigil tonight.

- Jeff

Jeff Blum
Executive Director
1 -

MSNBC - STOP THE GUN TALK - On Gabrielle Giffords Shooting - Arizona

Via JMG: Here's a list of famous right-wingers assassinated by American leftists:

Via JMG: This Is The Shooter

From an undated photo on the Arizona Daily Star: "Jared Loughner, a volunteer, stands in the background during the Tucson Festival of Books." (I cropped out the main subject of the photo.)

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Dupnik Conf.mp4

ViaJMG: Sarah Palin's Rifle Crosshairs Targeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords For Elimination

JMG said, "The mainstream media MUST DEMAND a response from Palin over this. I screamed my fucking head off about this map last year for just this reason."

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: BREAKING: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) Shot In Head, At Least Four Others Dead In Tucson Supermarket Massacre

Teaparty folks have a lot ot answer for right now...

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head today at an event she was staging at a supermarket in her home district in Tucson, Arizona. Conflicting reports say that twelve others were shot. The shooter is in custody and no motive is yet known. I'll update this post as details emerge.

UPDATE: Progressive websites are already pointing out that Giffords was among the 12 members of the U.S. House targeted for defeat with Sarah Palin's now-infamous "rifle crosshairs" election map. Giffords' Tea Party opponent Jesse Kelly picked up on that and held target practice with his supporters using a "fully automatic M16."

UPDATE II: CNN is reporting that Giffords has been pronounced dead. At least six others have now been reported killed.

UPDATE III: Conflicting reports. MSNBC is now saying that Giffords in undergoing surgery and is in grave condition.

posted by Joe


Arizona congresswoman shot in Tucson

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot in the head and an unknown number of others were wounded Saturday when an assailant opened fire in an area where the lawmaker was meeting with constituents in Tucson, congressional officials said.

Via Huffington: Zombie Economics and Just Deserts: Why the Right Is Winning the Economic Debate

Eric Schoenberg

Zombie Economics and Just Deserts: Why the Right Is Winning the Economic Debate

Associate Director, Center for Decision Sciences, Columbia Business School
Democrats have completely failed to link higher taxes on the wealthy to populist anger at those who prospered while driving the economy into a ditch. They need to challenge the claim that unfettered markets create just deserts.

Lawrence O'Donnell - Roseanne Barr for President - via JMG

Via JMG: New Yorker Cartoons, Literally

From the new site that provides literal captions to the New Yorker's famously obtuse cartoons, thereby making them actually funny.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Sarah Palin's Alaska Not Renewed

There will be no season two for Sarah Palin's Alaska. According to Entertainment Weekly, ratings are not necessarily the reason. Instead, it may be that the network would be forced to offer equal time to other 2012 presidential candidates should Palin follow through on her threat to run. Which seems all the more likely with this decision.

reposted from Joe

Rachel Maddow- Obama makes centrist statement with Daley selection

Via JMG: The Hipster Huckleberry Finn

"Jim was monstrous proud about it, and he got so he wouldn't hardly notice the other hipsters. Hipsters would come miles to hear Jim tell about it, and he was more looked up to than any hipster in that country. Strange hipsters would stand with their mouths open and look him all over, same as if he was a wonder. Hipsters is always talking about witches in the dark by the kitchen fire; but whenever one was talking and letting on to know all about such things, Jim would happen in and say, 'Hm! What you know 'bout witches?' and that hipster was corked up and had to take a back seat." - An excerpt from The Hipster Huckleberry Finn, which substitutes "hipster" wherever the n-word appears in the original.

(Via - Gothamist)

reposted from Joe

Friday, January 7, 2011

Three from Truthout:

William Rivers Pitt | This Is Going to Suck
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "The American people were treated on Thursday to a (mostly) full and complete reading of the Constitution of the United States from the floor of the House of Representatives. The performance was proposed and organized by the new Republican majority in that chamber for the purpose – according to them, anyway – of announcing that America is about to start going back to being America again. There's an irony in this, insofar as they chose to skip the constitutional parts about African–Americans not really being people. That portion of the document is a vital part of our shared history, so yeah, leave it to the GOP to snip, redact and edit our founding document, even if it's just in a bit of political theater."
Read the Article

Truthout Report on Military "Spirituality Test" Featured by Keith Olbermann (Video)
Truthout's reporting on the Army's so–called "spiritual fitness" test was featured on Thursday by MSNBC host Keith Olbermann on Countdown. Mikey Weinstein, president and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, discussed Jason Leopold's report detailing the forced spiritual testing of over 800,000 uniformed soldiers as part of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program.
Watch the Video

New in Brief: Gates Outlines Plan to Cut Military Spending, and More …
As federal officials tighten the purse strings on military expenditures, the Pentagon says it will reduce $78 billion in program spending and reduce the Army and Marine Corps by 70,000 personnel; US imposes sanctions on defeated ivory coast president; House GOP kills global warming committee; Puerto Rico and DC lose House voting rights; Facebook could go public by April 2012; Discovery and Catholic Church team up for exorcism series.
Read the Article

Via SacBee:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ouro Preto with Oregon

Via JMG: Photo Of The Day - Solar Eclipse

The Boston Globe's Big Picture blog has a great series of photos of Tuesday's solar eclipse. The above image was taken by a telescope on a low-orbit satellite.

RELATED: The Big Picture has been named to Regator's Top Ten Blogs Of 2010. And so has this here website thingy.

reposted from Joe

Two from Truthout:

Robert Reich | The Shameful Attack on Public Employees
Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog: "In 1968, 1,300 sanitation workers in Memphis went on strike. The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to support them. That was where he lost his life. Eventually Memphis heard the grievances of its sanitation workers. And in subsequent years millions of public employees across the nation have benefited from the job protections they've earned. But now the right is going after public employees. Public servants are convenient scapegoats."
Read the Article

Paul Krugman | Figuring Out What a Dollar Is Worth
Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: "There's a lot to be said about the recent attack by conservatives on the Federal Reserve, though none of it is good. Representative Ron Paul of Texas will head the committee that oversees the Fed when Republicans take over the House this month. That can't be good; this is the same Mr. Paul who has in the past supported dismantling the entire Federal Reserve system."
Read the Article  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Alan Grayson Tells Democrats Where They Went Wrong

Via truthout: Court Rejects One Challenge to Gay Marriage Ruling, Passes on Another

Mike Ludwig, Truthout: "A federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected one challenge to a federal judge's ruling that declared California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, and the three-judge panel decided to ask the California Supreme Court to consider the legitimacy of a separate challenge to the historic ruling. The appeals court rejected a motion to intervene on behalf of Proposition 8 proponents filed by clerks from California's Imperial County. The county clerks are involved in issuing marriage license, but the appeals court ruled the clerks do not have the authority to intervene."

Read the Article

Via SacBee: Wily La Niña goes on a romp

The return of clear skies this week is a reminder of what a California winter is supposed to be: a lot of sunshine and placid blue skies, with a few wet storms in between.

Instead, an unusual La Niña pattern in the Pacific Ocean gave us a December to remember: one soaking storm after another, a double-deep snowpack, and pretty much unrelenting cloudy weather in between.
The big question now: What will this crazy La Niña do next?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cell Phone Funnies...

Tall Order: the Sun came Out today...

Sunset on the Ponderodsa...

Via JMG: Quote Of The Day - Cindy Sheehan

"Joining the US military should never be an option for the socially conscious while our troops are being used as corporate tools for profit, or hired assassins for imperial expansion. Soldiers are called: 'Bullet sponges,' by their superiors and "dumb animals" by Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state.

"While soldiers are dehumanised and treated like dirt, they are taught to dehumanise 'the other', and treat them as less than dirt. It is a vicious cycle, and the way to stop a vicious cycle is to denounce and reject it, not openly participate.

"I want to bang my head against a wall when another young gay person commits suicide as a result despicable bullying, yet people within the same community have fought hard for the right to openly join the biggest bully ever! Don’t go, don’t kill!" - Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan.

reposted from Joe

Monday, January 3, 2011

Via JMG: What Climate Change?

Gothamist notes that a whole lot of weather records were broken in NYC last year. We had two of the six worst blizzards in city history, saw the warmest spring and hottest summer ever, and even got slammed by a couple of tornadoes. What climate change?

reposted from Joe

Via SacBee:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Via JMG: Quote Of The Day - Stephen Colbert


reposted from Joe

Via Truthout: Running Out of Engineers

A.D. McKenzie, Inter Press Service: "As Brazil looks ahead to hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, the country is struggling to line up the technical workers necessary for these projects, officials say.... Brazil is not alone in this situation. Shortage of engineers in both developed and developing countries is a growing concern as it threatens national progress, says a report published by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Agency."

Read the Article

7 Billion, National Geographic Magazine

Via SacBee:

Via Jerry P. Becker: Can't import the "Finnish approach" - cultural roots

Received from Stefan Turnau, Sunday, January 2, 2011 in response to the posting on "Shanghai Schools' Approach Pushes Students to Top of Tests" on January 1st, 2011. You might want to take a look at where what follows can be found plus a great deal more, due to Nigel Bispham who is a deputy head teacher from Cornwall who visits Finland to discover why the country scored so well on the international OECD PISA assessments.
Can't import the "Finnish approach" - cultural roots

I'm afraid the "Finnish approach" can't be exported wholesale to any other cultural context.

A by no means exhaustive list of aspects that make the Finnish approach work (in my short experience as a Brit who's lived here in Helsinki for 7 years and has a daughter in primary education at the moment):
1. Finns have a deep and lasting respect for the teaching profession and education in general, people aspire to be teachers!
2. Parents respect the job teachers do and let them do it (they are not well paid but they enjoy high status). The government lets teachers get on with teaching,
3. Parents are reminded several times a year to come into the school anytime to observe lessons or any other part of the school day.
4. Teachers at all levels hold master's degree qualifications in pedagogy and are left to get on with it without too many restrictions.
5. All facilities are in good repair and teaching aids are plentiful (with little damage from arson and vandalism because kids are generally protective of their schools and use the playground areas after school).
6. Active after school clubs from everything from art to athletics etc.
7. Short and sweet school days (e.g. 8-9 year olds 9 till 1/2pm).
8. Small class sizes (20-25).
9. Many kids have an early sense of self reliance from looking after themselves in the afternoons.
10. Kids here also get to roam free, expend a lot of energy, climb trees and skin their knees.
11. And so on.....

I think I can sum it up by relating a somewhat minor bugbear I do have with the Finnish Ed System and it is that my daughter's favourite expression is "Teacher!" to put her parents right!

I think if you ask any Finnish school kid who the 10-15 most important people are in their lives, there is a good chance that their teacher will figure in there for many? How about in the UK, top 100?
I think the things that CAN be imported are ideas that allow a refocusing away from testing and performance by giving teachers more autonomy, a focus on quality rather then quantity of teaching, higher level academic teacher training qualifications, improving the status of teaching as a profession.

I'm afraid the "Chinese approach", very different but equally successful, cannot be imported for the same reason.

Copyright 2011 by Daniel C. Orey All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.