Friday, March 4, 2011

W/ Silvia Viva a Bandalheira!

Captain's Blog 04.03.2011 part 2

This afternoon, we went to Tudo Kilo, now our favorite lunch place on campus.  We were sitting at our table, and the nurse from the University health clinic came over to the table, and said hello. She appeared as a very severe, Nurse Ratched when I went to check in for my required medical interview when I started work.  Last night as we walked home, about 2 AM,  mind you, we turned the corner to Rua Alvarenga and ran in to a huge bloco… dancing, and singing and enjoying themselves… we of course not wanting to  be thought of as stuffy or out of step joined in for the last song… and danced with the nurse… to day she was all bubbly, and nice and left us saying,

“A gente não para trabalhar quando está chovendo ou quando temos sol. Então não vamos parar de dançar por causa de chuva ou do sol!”

This is why I so love this town, this university, this country, and my husband! Carnaval is a transformation… 

Via Coffee Party Movement:

‎"To get closer to a real figure, it's necessary to start peeking at other parts of the federal budget where so many other pots of security spending are squirreled away...There's a simple principle here. American taxpayers should know just what they are paying for." - Christopher Hellman at http://nationalpriorities.org/
 
www.cbsnews.com
The figure in the new budget proposal nobody in power wants you to notice

THE FLOBOTS THERE IS A WAR GOING ON FOR YOUR MIND

Captains Blog Stardate 04.03.2011

Last night was the first night of carnival. Silva; I marched in our silly group Bandalheira a real workout – M followed along… as we marched and met other blocos (other groups) one with giant puppets, another of elderly people (gatos e gatões = hot old people… really cute! reminded us of the red hat ladies), the mayor gave the keys to the city to the King & Queen of Carnival… then we marched down the hill, and disbanded… our group is really loved and respected... mainly because it is 39 yrs old and probably the most aerobic! hehehe... I went home changed clothes, and we went out and met João & Silvia… and others… we were home by 1am… now at work for awhile… the rest of the days are full of watching the other blocos and having fun dancing and drinking and talking with friends… Silva & I go out again on Sunday afternoon… we feel so welcomed here. People come up and hug us both and tell us how glad they are were here and got the jobs! The city is filling up, and the energy is really fun! We keep waking up each morning and still can’t believe how blessed and lucky we are to be here!

After carnival, we are going to buy a stove, refrigerator,, a table or two and a bed and move into our new apartment… hopefully they will have the internet hooked up by then…

Via Utne

City of Ruins

Walt Whitman's hometown is a Dickensian nightmare--and a warning for the rest
of America.


Read More >>

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Via SacBee:

Carnaval 2006 - Ouro Preto, MG (BANDALHEIRA)



Um Pé de Quê?

TX GOP wants to punish you dearly for hiring illegals, unless of course they're maids or gardeners, cuz Republicans need their perks

TX GOP wants to punish you dearly for hiring illegals, unless of course they're maids or gardeners, cuz Republicans need their perks

A wee bit hypocritical, and actually almost funny. Basically they're being forced to acknowledge the useful purpose a lot of undocumented aliens serve in our economy.

Amid a number of bills filed in Texas that address the issue of illegal immigration, one, proposed by Republican state Rep. Debbie Riddle, stands out.






As proposed, House Bill 1202 would create tough state punishments for those who "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly" hire an unauthorized immigrant. Violators could face up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

But it is an exception included in the bill that is drawing attention. Those who hire unauthorized immigrants would be in violation of the law -- unless they are hiring a maid, a lawn caretaker or another houseworker.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Via JMG: Union Workers Defend Their Rights As GOP Goose-Steps For Tea Party Billionaires

Via JMG: NEW YORK CITY: National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Joins Battle Against Walmart


As I've reported here for months, Walmart is engaged in a pitched battle with unions and city leaders in their attempt to bring an outlet to New York City. Today the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force came out against the retail giant.
“With the expansion of Wal-Mart stores comes the expansion of antiquated employment policies,” the Task Force said in a statement, “that provide little to no protections for, and at times even hostility toward, their LGBT employees.” The Task Force criticized Wal-Mart for denying employee benefits to same sex-partners and for failing to prohibit discrimination based on gender identify. By comparison, the group said two other chain stores with a strong presence in New York, Costco and Walgreens, did much better. “It may be a local debate for New York City, but Wal-Mart is a largest private employer in country,” said Rea Carey, the executive director of the Task Force. “To have Wal-Mart as a substantial employer there, and an employer that lacks these basic protections, then a lot of people who need work, who seek work, simply won’t feel comfortable.”
Walmart contends that it does treat its gay staffers fairly and points to the existence of its long-running LGBT employees group.


reposted from Joe

Via Jerry P. Becker:

******************************
From the St. Louis Dispatch, Wednesday, February 23, 2011. See http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/columns/bill-mcclellan/article_d3231999-58be-5a4b-8c72-ccfcdfc4cbe9.html?sms_ss=email&at_xt=4d6dc7411f2e1c4e,0
******************************
Bottled water in ... school teachers out

By Bill McClellan
 
The charming thing about life is its unexpectedness. Bottled water, for instance. How did anybody come up with that? And what did the boss say when the idea was first proposed?

"You want to do what, Jenkins?"

"I want to put water in bottles, sir."

"What would you do with these bottles of water, Jenkins?"

"We'd sell them, sir."

"Let me make sure I understand, Jenkins. You want to take water - regular, tasteless water, the kind you can get out of the tap - and you want to put that water into bottles and sell it."

"Yes, sir."

It makes no sense, but it worked. Bottled water now costs more than gasoline.

Ornamental oranges are even stranger. They look like real oranges, but they're inedible. Why would that be considered an improvement? How would you present that idea to your bosses?

Televised poker is another oddity. Why would anybody watch other people play cards?

But the strangest thing of all, the thing that years ago would have seemed inconceivable to me, is the denigration of teachers.

When I was a kid, teachers were the ultimate authority figures. They were thought of as cops, but smarter.

Although they were greatly respected, teachers did not make a lot of money. They were in the middle of the middle class. They made roughly what cops, electricians and factory workers made. In fact, most teachers worked summer jobs.

Of course, in those days, baseball players worked winter jobs. Here is a strange tidbit from my youth - my seventh-grade teacher worked at the local Sears store during the summer. Sammy Esposito, a player on the White Sox, worked at the same store in the winter.

Think about that - a baseball player and a seventh-grade teacher sharing a job.

Of course, ballplayers have zoomed up the economic ladder. The average salary for a major league player on opening day rosters last year was $3.3 million.

Teachers are still in the middle of the middle class.

Yet they have become whipping boys and girls. Incompetent, lazy, selfish and so on.

How did this happen? Well, they formed unions. But so did baseball players, and while the baseball players have seen their salaries soar, the teachers unions have only been able to keep teachers safely in the middle class.

Nevertheless, you'd think they were enemies of the state. They're demonized. You can see it happening right now in Wisconsin. The governor has declared war on public employee unions, and the most visible of these public employees are the teachers.

The crazy thing about it is, it's not a crazy strategy.

We are seeing a backlash against all public employees. Part of it is human nature. I understand that part. Public employees have pensions. Fewer and fewer of us in the private sector do. Also, public employees are less likely to be laid off in hard times. So employees in the private sector get jealous and angry. We're taxpayers, we say, as if public employees aren't.

Furthermore, we are in the midst of a financial crisis. Government is broke. Public employee pensions are a big part of this. Just look at St. Louis.

So sure, something has to be done. Reasonable people ought to be able to understand that.

But the animosity toward teachers, that's the part I don't get. They do important work. Vital work. They educate our children. That's a difficult job. In some schools, it's nearly an impossible job. Teachers are supposed to overcome all sorts of obstacles that are not of their doing - poverty, violence, the gangster culture, absent or neglectful parents.

I dare say most of us couldn't make it a week in many schools.

But it has become increasingly popular these days to scapegoat teachers. For that matter, I get lots of e-mail from people who refer derisively to "government schools." Government schools? Oh yes, what we used to call public schools.

I can remember when people took pride in public schools. In fact, public education was considered a hallmark of democracy.

Of course, those were different days. We had not yet thought of bottled water, ornamental oranges or televised poker. And we respected teachers.

*********************************************

Unions do more than fight for pay, pensions

*******************************
From the Chicago Sun Times, Tuesday, March 2, 2011. See http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/4083538-452/unions-do-more-than-fight-for-pay-pensions.html
*******************************
Unions do more than fight for pay, pensions
By Robert Bruno

The intense debate unfolding in Midwestern state legislatures and, more loudly, outside of their marble chambers is not about fiscal sanity. As real as soaring state budget deficits are, the central issue bringing thousands of spirited Americans to Wisconsin is an assault on collective bargaining.

If Gov. Scott Walker had simply accepted the state workers' union concessions on health care and pension contributions, the once proud heartland of progressive politics would not today be the site of a working-class upsurge. Who could have imagined a few weeks ago such a grass-roots uproar over something of which most Americans know very little and have too little appreciation?

Collective bargaining in the private sector has been the law of the land since it was enshrined in the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. The law protects the collective rights of most private-sector workers to act as a group to negotiate in good faith and secure decent wages, benefits, and working conditions. Since the 1950s all but 10 states have adopted some form of collective bargaining rights for public-sector works.

The right to have a legitimate say in how your labor is treated is not a union right, but rather, a human right that belongs to all workers.

Wages and benefits are unquestionably the core issues that animate the collective bargaining process, and union workers - whether from the private or public sector - are better rewarded for their work than unorganized employees. But what is rarely addressed in nearly all of the popular stories and rhetoric about collective bargaining is that it is a very dynamic and flexible tool for problem solving. We hear about the rancor over health care and pension payments for union workers, but never a word is uttered about the way that collective bargaining can be used to restructure work, increase efficiency or design productivity enhancements.

For example, in the early 1980s New York City and the Sanitation Workers Union negotiated a productivity bargaining agreement that reduced truck crew size from three to two and included a shift bonus for crew workers. Reducing the crew size created the incentive to adopt cost-saving equipment improvements (such as automated side-loading trash containers and the standardization of trash bins) and rules for how work would get done (such as the requirement that bins be placed at curbside). The agreement introduced measures that substantially reduced the amount of labor that was required to do sanitation pickup and disposal.

Nor is there any mention of how collective bargaining can identify training needs, integrate socio-technical systems, reduce turnover, lower workplace tensions or create a mechanism for joint problem-solving. Collective bargaining serves both employees and employers by providing a means to raise shared interests, lower production and service costs, reach out to consumers and taxpayers, improve product quality and services, and when necessary, reduce labor costs. Collective bargaining can work so effectively that it can even keep public bodies from financial insolvency.

Despite Walker's misguided call to withdraw bargaining rights from state employees on the grounds that it somehow shares responsibility for the state's fiscal crisis, the truth is that the citizens of Wisconsin have already "benefitted" from the process. It was through collective bargaining that the state employee unions agreed to pony up more for health care and pension benefits. They did so without strikes, service disruptions, public rallies or sit-ins.

In Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and in thousands of municipalities across this country, the collective bargaining process has worked creatively to address not just well-funded but underfunded pensions, not just teacher retention but teacher evaluations, and not just job security but job retrenchment.

Collective bargaining is not always easy, pretty, logical, or without abuse, but neither employers nor workers have ever found a more effective and democratic way to promote the interests of multiple constituencies.
---------------------------------
Robert Bruno is a professor of labor and employment relations at the University of Illinois.
***************************************************

Today's random fotos

A day filled with a morning walk,  increased movemento with people coming to  Carnaval, work at CEAD, a huge rainstorm... and I mean HUGE!... going to the  place that sold us the wifi dohicky attachment thingys that don't work (we began this "dialogue" with them on sabado... ) Ending with coffee no Chocolate... trying the keys we had made (one works, the  other doesn't... so back we go tomorrow).

I am convinced that everyone in Brasil desperately lonely for conversation... that is why things break, don't work, you have to return  many times... so people can practice speaking the world's most beautiful language... sigh... if this keeps up, I'll loose my accent in just a few weeks!


:Front door to our apartment... we move in after carnival



a rather strange giant doll thing looming over the Praça Tiradentes

Heloisa simply refused to let me take her picture!

M took this of me


Its gunna be great...

Via Truthout: How the Rich Soaked the Rest of Us


Wednesday 2 March 2011

How the Rich Soaked the Rest of Us
Richard D. Wolff, Truthout: "Over the last half-century, the richest Americans have shifted the burden of the federal individual income tax off themselves and onto everybody else. The three convenient and accurate Wikipedia graphs below show the details. The first graph compares the official tax rates paid by the top and bottom income earners. Note especially that from the end of the Second World War into the early 1960s, the highest income earners paid a tax rate over 90 percent for many years. Today, the top earners pay a rate of only 35 percent. Note, also, how the gap between the rates paid by the richest and the poorest has narrowed. If we take into account the many loopholes the rich can and do use far more than the poor, the gap narrows even more."

Read the Article

Two from Utne:

The Gaia Theory
Gets Some Respect


Gaia theory is no longer looked down upon by many scientists--in fact, it has slowly become downright respectable.

Read More>>



The Good Green Blimp

Engineers are finding hope for greener skies in an unlikely place: the airship.

Read More >>

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The President's Speech

Via JMG: Former Sen. Larry "Wide Stance" Craig Is Trolling Halls Of Congress As A Lobbyist


Now that his two year post-Senate "cooling off" period is over, totally not gay toe-tapper Larry Craig is once again trolling the halls of Congress, but this time it's as a lobbyist.
Craig's firm, New West Strategies, wouldn't actually confirm lobbying was now part of his portfolio. "I didn't say that," said Mike Ware, a principle at New West, adding, with emphasis, that "the cooling off period IS over." But the mere spotting of Craig back on the Hill was enough to raise alarms from those good-government groups who see danger in the coercive influence former members can have on old colleagues. "This is sort of the way of Washington right now. It is not the exception to the rule but more or less a rule itself," said Dave Levinthal, Communications Director at the Center for Responsive Politics. "When you get out of federal office you think about how you can cash in that experience you gained from working in the public sector by going into the private sector."
Former members of the House and Capitol Hill senior staffers are only required to wait one year before that revolving door grants their corporate clients access to the very legislation their new emissaries once authored. According to the above-linked story, so far this year 90 former members of Congress and former Hill staffers have already registered as lobbyists.


reposted from Joe

California Forward: How to Move Government Closer to the People - Sign our Petition



Daniel,

Tomorrow, students across the country will stand in solidarity in USSA and SLAP's Day to Defend Public Education and Workers!  In state houses nationwide, politicians have tried balancing budgets on the backs of working students and families... and we're fighting back!

Are you involved in a local action?  Click here to let us know!  Check out our March 2 map to see how many grassroots, student actions are taking place all over the country and be sure to let us know if you don't see yours!
But our fight doesn't end at state houses.  The federal government needs to do more to invest in higher education, not make draconian cuts to programs like the Pell Grant and TRIO.  So tomorrow, let your Senators know that we need a government that prioritizes students!
  • Call (202) 224-3121 for the Senate switchboard operator and ask for one of your Senators.
  • Tell her or his office that you are a student constituent and urge their support for a federal budget that invests in higher education!  See a sample call-in script below:
"Hello, my name is _____ and I am a student at _____ (campus) and with the United States Student Association.  I am a Pell Grant/ TRIO/ SEOG recipient and constituent concerned about the cuts in HR 1 to student aid.

Pell/ TRIO/ SEOG is a vital component to my student aid. I'm among the tens of thousands of students who may not be able to complete college if these cuts are made (optional: tell them why Pell/ TRIO/ SEOG is important to you).

Please do not cut student aid. Thank you for your time."

Also, be sure to help spread the word about March 2 by:
Tomorrow, don't miss the incredible opportunity to join your fellow students in standing up for public education and workers!

In solidarity,

Lindsay McCluskey, USSA President
Support the fight for access to higher education. Donate to the cause today!
Follow USSA!

Via Jerry Becker's List: Ravitch: 'A moment of national insanity'

****************************
From the Washington Post / The Answer Sheet [A School Survival Guide for Parents (And Everyone Else], March 1, 2011. See http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/diane-ravitch/ravitch-a-moment-of-national-i.html
****************************
Ravitch: 'A moment of national insanity'

By Valerie Strauss

--------------------------------
This was written by education historian Diane Ravitch [http://www.dianeravitch.com/] for her Bridging Differences blog [http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/], which she co-authors with Deborah Meier on the Education Week website. Ravitch and Meier exchange letters about what matters most in education. Ravitch, a research professor at New York University, is the author of the bestselling "The Death and Life of the Great American School System," [http://www.amazon.com/Death-Great-American-School-System/dp/0465014917] an important critique of the flaws in the modern school reform movement.
--------------------------------
Dear Deborah,

I'm beginning to think we are living in a moment of national insanity. On the one hand, we hear pious exhortations about education reform, endlessly uttered by our leaders in high political office, corporate suites, foundations, and the media. President Obama says we have to "out-educate" the rest of the world to "win the future."

Yet the reality on the ground suggests that the corporate reform movement --- embraced by so many of those same leaders, including the president --- will set American education back, by how many years or decades is anyone's guess. Sometimes I think we are hurtling back a century or more, to the age of the Robber Barons [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robber_baron_%28industrialist%29] and the great corporate trusts.

Consider a few events of the past week:

In Detroit, the school system will reduce its deficit by closing half the city's public schools and placing students into classes of 60 [http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/michelle-rhee/rhees-new-initiative-not-all-a.html]. These are among the poorest and lowest performing students in the nation. Parents and teachers should be rioting in the streets of Detroit, along with everyone who cares about these children and our future. This is an outrage.

The school board of Providence, Rhode Island, sent notice to all of its teachers that they could be terminated at year's end to address its deficit [http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/teachers/providences-gambit-all-teacher.html]. Most will be retained, but now the board has maximum flexibility to choose which ones. At the same time, Providence's leaders are humiliating every teacher, breaking the bonds of trust that are essential for the culture of a good school. Will anyone hold these reckless, heedless, unprofessional "leaders" in Rhode Island to account?

And the business leaders in Idaho have a plan to lay off 770 teachers and replace them with online learning. Do they know there is no evidence for the efficacy of virtual learning? I don't think they care. For them, this is just a cost-cutting measure. And it's other people's children who will get this bargain basement training, not their own.
If more was needed to strip away the mask of "reform," consider the deafening silence of the corporate school reformers in response to these events. A few, like Joe Williams of  Democrats for  Education Reform [http://www.dfer.org/], surprised their confreres (and me) by siding with the teachers of Wisconsin.

Most, however, complained that public employees are overpaid, have unnecessarily rich benefits, and need a comeuppance. All those who wrote such articles enjoy comfortable upper-middle class lives; do they want to reduce teachers to penury? Some circulated spurious claims that Wisconsin's schools were dreadful, because only one-third of eighth-graders were proficient on National Assessment of Educational Progress reading in 2009 [http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/]; I assume they don't realize that "proficient" on NAEP is far higher than proficient on state tests and is equivalent to an 'A.'

I was disappointed when my friend Rick Hess, who blogs for Education Week [http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rick_hess_straight_up/2011/02/i_stand_with_governor_walker.html], expressed his support for Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker ("I Stand with Governor Walker") and noted in another post that the average salary of a Milwaukee public school teacher is $56,500. I wonder what the average salary is for professionals at the American Enterprise Institute [http://www.aei.org/], where Rick does his thinking and writing. I'm sure it's far more than what teachers earn, and that the working conditions are pleasanter, the stress level lower, and the responsibilities fewer.

The corporate reformers have done a good job of persuading the media that our public schools are failing because they are overrun by bad teachers, and these bad teachers have lifetime tenure because of their powerful unions. (See the corporate reform film, "Waiting for Superman" - http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/guest-bloggers/what-superman-got-wrong-point.html). I'm sorry to say that Race to the Top [http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/guest-bloggers/what-superman-got-wrong-point.html], Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and the Gates Foundation [http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/teachers/bill-gates-troubling-involveme.html] have stirred up a frenzy of anti-teacher sentiment that hurts even our very best teachers, by their much-publicized search for "bad teachers."
National Board Certified Teachers [http://www.nbpts.org/] are organizing a march on Wadhington this July to fight back against the vilification of their profession. Their website is  http://www.saveourschoolsmarch.org./

In the wake of the attacks on teachers and public schools this past year, the haters of teachers feel respectable as they write their venomous diatribes and post them widely. When I recently defended teachers and their right to bargain collectively on CNN.com [http://articles.cnn.com/2011-02-20/opinion/ravitch.teachers.blamed_1_bad-teachers-public-employee-unions-test-scores?_s=PM:OPINION], I was startled by the raw expressions of rage in the thousands of comments that poured in.

So much madness on the loose. So many districts firing teachers and closing schools. So many legislators slashing education budgets while refusing to raise taxes on millionaires or allowing taxes on the wealthiest expire as they layoff teachers.

What do we hear from the corporate reformers? Merit pay. Really? Bonuses for some, layoffs for others? Fire teachers with low value-added scores? Ah, more teaching to the test, more narrowing the curriculum.

Nothing to improve education. Just "innovation" (i.e., no evidence) and "disruption" (I.e., firing the whole staff, closing the school).

Our schools remain subject to a failed federal accountability system. We are packing children into crowded classrooms, ignoring the growing levels of child poverty (the United States now leads all advanced nations in infant mortality, according to Charles Blow in The New York Times - http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/26/opinion/26blow.html?_r=1), and putting fear into the hearts of our nation's teachers. Who will want to teach? How does any of this improve schools or benefit children? Do you understand it? I don't.

Diane

Via truthout: The Liberal Media Strikes Again


Tuesday 1 March 2011

William Rivers Pitt | The Liberal Media Strikes Again
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "If I hear one more person talk about the 'liberal media' in America, I will probably vomit on them. It was a stupid and ridiculous thing to say last week - take a long look at which mega-corporations own which news networks, and you won't find a 'liberal' entity anywhere on the list - but the events in Wisconsin have further underscored the absurdity of the statement."

Read the Article

A Room with a View

I really like how folks can keep working here when outside a huge lighting and thunder storm is delivering buckets of rain.  

I really like how when you want a bus... it never comes, or it seems to wait forever, but if I stand in the window of CEAD watching the storm 3 of them pass by below.

I really like how it is nice outside until you are waiting for someone to go to lunch and as soon as everyone is ready buckets of rain dump on you so you get wet as you run to the bus stop.

I like how no one thinks this is silly.

I really love it here... as wet as I am today.






Pics are from our temporary apartment window… we came home after lunch and a few errands as we have a 7pm meeting tonight on campus.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Captains Blog 28.02.2011

Another great day… after just a week here, we both can’t even think about Sacramento… people here are so nice.  The toilet in our apartment is having problems, and it overflowed this morning…
We came home and everything was cleaned, and a cake was sitting on our kitchen table (bolo de fuba)…

The university is giving us a semester with a reduced work load to allow us to get things together and learn about how things are done.  Tonight we went back to campus in a driving rain storm and met the other teachers in the pedagogy program.  I ended up with three students who live in Mata de São João in Bahia… needless to say, I look forward to visiting them… 

We took the bus marked Praça, got off at the bottom of the Rua Direta… since it was raining hard, its creates a real spectacle… the rain flowing out the canudos in the street and the torrents of water flowing down the paralelepípedos makes a wonder noise… right now the banners are out and the lights were on... lindo demais!

Then we walked home u the Rua São José to the Largo de Rosário (near our new apartment) stopped to buy  pão and then up Rua Alvarenga, which by that time was the Rio Alvarenga… 

M made soup and is watching a novela while I take my turn at the internet… 

Tomorrow our wifi thingy you stick in the computer should be working…

We both agree, that we have never been this happy (or tired)…

Bandalheira - Carnaval em Ouro Preto



Via Truthout: Left Behind? American Youth and the Global Fight for Democracy


Monday 28 February 2011

Henry A. Giroux | Left Behind? American Youth and the Global Fight for Democracy
Henry A. Giroux, Truthout: "Signaling a generational crisis that is global in scope, young people have sent a message to the world that they refuse to live any longer under repressive political regimes sustained by a morally bankrupt neoliberal world... Underlying these youth protests in various countries are a set of conditions that reflect differing economic and political contexts. Yet, at the same time many of these nations share a disdain for young people and a not too hidden willingness to take advantage of any youth who are deemed valuable, leaving the rest to be increasingly viewed as troublemakers and subject to a growing apparatus of discipline and control."

Read the Article

Via Campaign for America's Future: Beyond Wisconsin. The March 10 Jobs Summit.

The right wing billionaires financing the assault on public servants in the states are hoping to fan resentments among voters struggling in this recession. They want people worried about losing their jobs and pensions to resent public workers who still have jobs and benefits.
But instead of dividing the workers, the people of Wisconsin are uniting and fighting back. And polls show 60 percent of Wisconsinites support the fight for rights and fairness.
Most Americans know the real solution: jobs for all -- raising wages and benefits, while growth and jobs increase revenues and bring budgets into balance. This past weekend, tens of thousands rallied at all 50 statehouses to deliver that message and defend our civil servants.
On March 10, let's take it to the next level and get back on offense. Come to the "The Summit On Jobs & America's Future," and we'll reset the terms of the national debate over our economic future.
Like Wisconsin Gov. Walker, conservatives in Washington are demanding painful cuts in services and programs affecting the middle class, children and the poor.
And just like in Wisconsin and other states, Americans are challenging right-wing austerity. The people are demanding investment that will put people to work, and balanced budgets through growth and progressive taxes.
At "The Summit On Jobs & America's Future," leaders, thinkers and organizers will put the spotlight on the big and bold action America needs so we can build an economy where economic opportunity, decent wages, and good jobs once again support a prosperous middle-class.
Not on the feeble measures the pundits deem reasonable. Not on the austerity agenda conservatives are trying to force down our throats.
And not sacrificing the last bastion of the middle-class: America's unions.
Powerful speakers including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Keith Ellison, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, green jobs visionary Van Jones, Wisconsin protest leader from Citizen Action Robert Kraig, social justice champion Angela Glover Blackwell and leading pollster Celinda Lake will wake up Washington and force the focus back on what America is really looking for.
Americans aren't looking for more austerity. They have enough of it right now.
Americans aren't scapegoating unions. They're mad at Wall Street for wrecking the economy.
Americans want solutions to the immediate jobs crisis and plans to take control of our economic future.
Tens of thousands in Wisconsin are standing up, fighting back and taking control of their economic future. The next step is to come to Washington and take control of the national debate.
Join us, and help wake up Washington.
Sincerely,
Roger Hickey, Co-director
Campaign for America's Future

Via Peace Action West

For the cost of keeping 1 soldier in Afghanistan for 1 year, we could build 20 schools.

Would you rather invest in peaceful alternatives to war?

 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Three from Truthout:


Sunday 27 February 2011

Wisconsin: Health Care, Democracy and the Middle Class Are At Stake
Jeff Leys, Truthout: "Walker's - and the Republicans' - initiative will undermine worker rights and ... the health care of the 1.1 million Wisconsin residents who rely upon Medicaid. He proudly proclaims: 'Wisconsin is open for business.' Yet a healthy business climate requires a middle class that will be destroyed by his union busting. A healthy business climate requires that workers have access to decent health care, for themselves and their families... As my mom directed me from her hospital bed: Go to Madison. The heart of Wisconsin depends on you."

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Rallies for Labor, in Wisconsin and Beyond
Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Timothy Williams, The New York Times News Service: "With booming chants of 'This will not stand!' at least 70,000 demonstrators flooded the square around the Wisconsin Capitol on Saturday in what the authorities here called the largest protest yet in nearly two weeks of demonstrations. It was a call heard in sympathy protests that drew thousands of demonstrators to state capitals and other cities from Albany to the West Coast. The protesters were rallying against a proposal by Wisconsin’s new Republican governor, Scott Walker, that would strip the state’s public employee unions of nearly all their bargaining power."

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Oscar Night: A Clenched Fist on Every Lapel
Michael R. Miller, Filmmaker's Diary: "Sunday evening, February 27, hundreds of millions of movie fans will watch the 83rd annual Academy Awards. These viewers may not be aware of a fact that merits particular attention this year, as Wisconson's public sector employees stand up for their rights: every presenter and almost every recipient on the Oscar broadcast belongs to a labor organization. Every musician in the pit, every camera operator, every cable puller - everyone involved carries a union card!"
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Caminhada de hoje - Daily Walk

Kind of a lazy day... walked down to downtown for lunch, up to the praça and back... picked up our keys and came home...











Plague on  side of the house we are renting an apartment in
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