Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Justice Breyer does show them how wrong they are...
These cases consider the longstanding efforts of two local school boards to integrate their public schools. The school board plans before us resemble many others adopted in the last 50 years by primary and secondary schools throughout the Nation. All of those plans represent local efforts to bring about the kind of racially integrated education that Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U. S. 483 (1954), long ago promised -- efforts that this Court has repeatedly required, permitted, and encouraged local authorities to undertake. This Court has recognized that the public interests at stake in such cases are "compelling." We have approved of "narrowly tailored" plans that are no less race-conscious than the plans before us. And we have understood that the Constitution permits local communities to adopt desegregation plans even where it does not require them to do so.
The plurality pays inadequate attention to this law, to past opinions' rationales, their language, and the contexts in which they arise. As a result, it reverses course and reaches the wrong conclusion. In doing so, it distorts precedent, it misapplies the relevant constitutional principles, it announces legal rules that will obstruct efforts by state and local governments to deal effectively with the growing resegregation of public schools, it threatens to substitute for present calm a disruptive round of racerelated litigation, and it undermines Brown's promise of integrated primary and secondary education that local communities have sought to make a reality. This cannot be justified in the name of the Equal Protection Clause.
And again Stevens:
The Court has changed significantly since it decided School Comm. of Boston in 1968. It was then more faithful to Brown and more respectful of our precedent than it is today. It is my firm conviction that no Member of the Court that I joined in 1975 would have agreed with today's decision.
Also see Justice Stevens dissent in the recent free speech case. He said: "the current climate surrounding the war on drugs 'is reminiscent of the opinion that supported the nationwide ban on alcohol consumption when I was a student." He goes on..."While alcoholic beverages are now regarded as ordinary articles of commerce, their use was then condemned with the same moral fervor that now supports the war on drugs,"
In a New York Times editorial in today's paper, I just read about an unfortunate controversy that shows how controversial a kiss can be, especially when it's in a high school yearbook. The article describes how a Newark high school yearbook staff blacked out a kiss between two male students, and how the Superintendent of the Newark schools ordered the ink-out.
She was quoted as saying that the picture was "suggestive" and "fairly illicit." She did not have the yearbook staff blackout any other photos of heterosexual couples kissing. Upon questioning, Maria Bolden, the super, stated that she had not known about the other kissing photos, and if she had, would have had them blacked out also. That is not the point.
The gay student was quoted as feeling "hurt and embarrassed" by the action, which, in my thinking, was more than a misunderstanding, as Ms. Bolden claimed. In 2007, in a free society and public school system, one would hope for more enlightened thinking. Although, sometimes a kiss is not just a kiss, or so it seems.
I just love Keith.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
i spoke with beverly aka rubee (at right, you can call her either name) and she shared her story with me... she's a risk taker with a fiercely independent streak. just what hoboken needs to nurture, especially in this newly developed part of town (where condos continue to take over, let's hope this neighborhood keeps its character).
cashing in her IRA with almost no business experience, she wrote a plan and launched rubee's closet with a love of fashion, style and creativity. beverly created her own line of tie-dyed tee-shirts in high school and sold them to friends. she grew up with a love for hand sewing, often buying vintage pieces of clothes and sewing on details, fabrics and more to revive the item, creating something new. she later studied at the school of visual arts in the city and worked as a photographer.
in 2004, she starting selling clothes out of her apartment. then in may 04, she rented space upstairs in the monroe center with other artists... and finally, in april 2007, she moved into the current street level space.
check out my recent purchases... (you can shop online or go visit rubee's yourself, you won't be disappointed!)
The Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont issued subpoenas today for the White House and the V.P.'s Office for documents related to the warrantless eavesdropping program. Also named in the subpoenas were the Justice Department and the National Security Council.
"Our attempts to obtain information through testimony of administration witnesses have been met with a consistent pattern of evasion and misdirection," Leahy said in his cover letters for the subpoenas. "There is no legitimate argument for withholding the requested materials from this committee."
The subpoenas come in light of James Comey's testimony reported all over the blogosphere and much stalling by the White House on providing the Judiciary committee with information. Today Patrick Leahy is my hero.
She shows what a fool and hateful person Anne Coulter is...it is worth the watch and listen. And because she cannot leave well enough alone, she goads Mrs. Edwards into REALLY confronting her. The conservative crowd behind her actually cheers for Mrs. Edwards. Any network that still puts this hatemonger on on is also engaging in the "language of hate."
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Henry Waxman who is the Chair of the Government Oversight Committee wrote a letter today to White House Counsel Fred Fielding outlining the White House and the Office of the Vice President has "flaunted multiple requirements for protecting classified information." In the letter Waxman disputes the claim by Dana Perino that the Office of the Vice President and the President are complying with all rules and regulations; the only part of the Executive Order not being followed is the "small portion" of the Oversight Responsibilities of the Information Security Office at the National Archives (the infamous - the office of the VP is not part of the executive branch).
Waxman disputes this claim in his letter dated today. He states numerous times the White House has been "dangerously inadequate" with respect to "security violations, corrective action following breaches and physically securing classified information."
The letter highlights include:
White House security officers blocked from inspecting the West Wing. The National Archives is not the only agency ensuring that White House officials comply with the requirements for protecting classified information. The White House Security Office (WHSO) also shares this responsibility. Waxman reports today that WHSO employees “have been blocked from conducting inspections in the West Wing of the White House, where most of the President’s most senior advisors work.”
Karl Rove has had his security clearance renewed. Karl Rove has admitted that he publicly disclosed Valerie Plame’s status as a CIA officer. Under guidelines issued by President Bush in 2005, the “deliberate or negligent disclosure” of classified information can be a “disqualifying” condition to receive security clearance. Yet Waxman reports that Rove has had his security clearance renewed “and not altered in any respect.”
White House ignored security breaches, condoned mismanagement. Management at White House Security Office has been unwilling to “take actions that could embarrass White House officials,” a practice “condoned” by the White House, Waxman writes. For example, the office repeatedly ignored security breaches that were reported by the Secret Service or CIA agents, such as when a “White House official left classified materials unattended in a hotel room.” As a result, there was “plummeting morale among White House security officers,” half of whom quit last year.
Waxman says if the White House does not respond and grant interviews as the Oversight Committee has been trying to arrange he will bring a motion to subpoena by June 28.
See this Daily Show video about DICK. At the five minute mark see Cheney using executive privilege to shield from revealing information.
Monday, June 25, 2007
i wondered why the packaging intrigued me as much or more than the product itself, and then i remembered beer frame, one of my favorite zines from the nineties. this zine, created by paul lukas, was a journal of inconspicuous consumption where he reviewed products by "deconstructing the details of consumer culture -- details that are either so weird or obscure that we'd never see them, or so ubiquitous that we've essentially stopped seeing them. this can mean anything from a bizarre canned good, like sauerkraut juice, to a beautifully designed light-industrial object that we've always taken for granted, like the Brannock Device (that gizmo they use to measure your shoe size)."
OptOutPrescreen.com - opt out of pre-approved credit card and insurance offers online or by phone: 1-888-5-OPTOUT.
EcoLogical Mail Coalition - helps businesses stop mail addressed to former employees.
Native Forest Network's Guide - five easy steps to stop junk mail.
The Supreme Court Again Sides Against the People (three times) 5-4 with Breyer, Stevens, Ginsberg and Souter Dissenting in All Three
I found a better link to the video.
See Lara Logan discuss the incident and the trouble she had actually publishing the story. See it on Crooks and liars. She then answers a question on the coverage of the war that is a lesson to any journalist now covering Iraq or our government in any capacity. She is a credit to journalism. Some of the images are shocking, but the story ends well and her "lecture" to journalists and Americans is worth every second.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
hurrah hurrah! elizabeth edwards did it... she spoke out to support same-sex marriage and even acknowledged that her view is at odds with her husband's conflicted view. (he supports civil unions but hasn't openly supported gay marriage.) she spoke today, at a kickoff event, for san francisco's gay pride parade.
Friday, June 22, 2007
i love R A C H E L !! she's the reason why i get outta bed somedays. listen to her recent conspiracy theory...
In a nutshell the bill would increase mile per gallon standards required by car producers, from 27.7 currently, to about 35 mpg by 2020. Incidentally, in Europe, cars on average get 40 mpg, compared with 20.4 mpg for U.S. cars. So all we are attempting to do is not even reach the European level of fuel efficiency within the next 12 years . . . not that ambitious.
However, it is apparently too ambitious for some. The bill is currently being debated in congress, with amendments being proposed by Senators Pryor, Bond and Levin that would potentially weaken the, already modest, CAFE standards in the bill. Disgracefully, two of those CAFE weakening Senators are Democrats! The notion that economic interests trump environmental, health, and national security concerns is apparently a bi-partisan position.
When it comes to CAFE standards, the unwillingness on the part of the public and politicians to make even the most conservative sacrifices for the common good is disheartening, at best. A crude cost-benefit analysis on increasing CAFE standards is revealing.
Lets assume the predictions regarding global warming are true, or even that there is a 10% chance that they are true. To sum up those predictions, the environmental costs are enormous! On the one hand we have total global devastation.
What could we do to dramatically reduce the likelihood of global devastation? Simply drive certain cars that are no less capable, safe or comfortable. Doing so would not only reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, but also reduce our dependency on foreign sources of oil, reduce transportation costs and improve air quality. What more motivation do we need to improve CAFE standards????
The bill passed the Senate last night, without amendments. The CAFE standards would increase to 35 mpg, which although modest, is a victory nonetheless. The bill goes to the House next week and is ecpected to pass in its current form!
Dick Cheney is beyond the rule of law. He is proving it. He engages in activities we used to read about in communist Russia, Cuba or Saddam's regime. This is startling. Cheney has resisted the routine oversight of his office's handling of classified information. Please read this article.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
My mom used to take us, me, my brother and sister, there, when I was real young, like 8 or 9. Somewhere around that age when things just went slower. And you had more time to pay attention to the little world that was yours. The place was a semi-restaurant, slightly ice-cream parlor, kinda bar. I really am vague on what it was.
Anyway, we would head on in, and there was a friendly owner who used to always seem happy to see us. But I don’t remember him so well. What I do recall is the arcade game…kung-fu. That, to this day, is the stuff of Fogarty family lore. It had two possible options, red team or blue team. You would come together on a mat, and a fat old Asian ref would simply say, with a baritone voice: “Begin.” Whoever won the match would be rewarded with “red (or blue) team wins.”
We used to play that great game every time. It was so much fun that the ice cream became almost a secondary motive for going to the Roadrunner. But stepping into that cool, dark, and slightly mysterious place on a scorching summer day was heavenly. Whether it was for ice cream or kung-fu.
The answer is that loss of biodiversity affects humans in so many unpredictable ways that we can't even pretend to fully understand it. Nevertheless, we try to understand it and, not surprisingly, the outlook is bleak. Here are a few examples:
First, as we have all heard by now, I hope, bees pollinate a large portion of our food supply. For over a decade, as a result of the decline of wild bee populations, many farmers use commercially released bees to pollinate their crops. Without those bees available, its not clear exactly how we would pollinate food.
Second, birds help in the process of decomposition, pollination and seed dispersal. Most birds eat large amounts of insects, which may affect plant species survival. In fact, biologists attribute the loss of carrier pigeons to a substantial increase in Lyme disease. Didn't see that one coming, did you?
Finally, fish provide an incredibly rich source of food, economic industry and recreational enjoyment. The current biological consensus is that fish species, that is, ALL currently fished species will experience a TOTAL population collapse by 2048 if current trends continue! That bit of news is....troubling, to say the least.
It sure makes you hope we, humans, know what we are doing.
The U.S. Military announced the deaths of fourteen U.S. soldiers raising the total of U.S. casualties to 3545 and 68 this month. The deadliest attack came in a roadside bomb killing five U.S. solders and four iraqis.
The AP reports:
Four other U.S. soldiers were killed and one was wounded Wednesday when their convoy was struck by a roadside bomb in a western neighborhood in the capital, the military said separately. Southwest of Baghdad, two U.S. soldiers were killed and four were wounded Wednesday when explosions struck near their vehicle, according to a statement earlier in the day. Two Marines also were killed Wednesday while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, west of Baghdad, the military said.
The Iraq Body Count is up to 72,165 civilians in Iraq killed since the beginning of the war. Of course this number is only the countable civilians, who knows how large this number really is? In other news on Iraq a new survey ranks the nation as the world's 2nd most unstable nation. Afghanistan placed eighth.
And a story I have been reluctant to tell, the wife of a missing soldier in Iraq is facing deportation. Yaderlin Jiminez is the wife of Army Spec. Alex Jimenez, who has been missing since his unit was attacked by insurgents in Iraq on May 12. Mr. Jiminez had petitioned for a green card for his wife, Yaderlin, whom he married in 2004. These two grew up a mile from me in Lawrence, Massachusetts a city struggling from the industrial revolution's escape from the northeast to Latin America and China. Yaderlin came to Lawrence from the Dominican Republic and married Alex, a citizen here whose roots are tied also to the Dominican Republic. Senators Edward Kennedy and Kerry have come to her aid.
How more tragic a story can they tell? Her husband missing in Iraq, most likely kidnapped, tortured and killed and now the Department of Homeland Security begins deportation proceedings.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
For the second time Bush vetoed legislation to expand federal funding for stem cell research. This is a popular idea (if it can pass this Congress it has to be). Think Progress says: to win some political cover Bush will issue an executive order to increase research in "regenerative medicine." But, it appears to be largely symbolic. The NY times reports: there is no money attached and scientists were instantly skeptical.
The picture to the right is just a dream, a dream of a better day.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
this work was part of a show at galeria GOBA, a wonderful, cozy gallery housed in the right angle picture framing shop at 320 washington street in hoboken. right angle and GOBA promote the local art community while providing professional framing services. friendly, helpful and artistically inspired staff advised me on framing two pieces, see below.
This has just been reported in the mainstream media, but this video is from March 2007. Democracy Now! is a service to the public dialogue like no other.
This may be the most important movie made in the last five years. It shows that the Corporation is THE most dangerous element in our society and compares the Corporation to a psychopath. Run and see this movie. Of course you will be depressed for months afterwards.
Monday, June 18, 2007
The "Y" morphed into a "V" and then back into a "Y." Jacob Urena, 6, of School 25 in Paterson was doing his writing class homework assignment at the YMCA's after-school program. It was lucky that his pencil had an eraser, which he used frequently to correct mistakes pointed out by his teenage tutor.
Jacob was one of eight students being helped with homework by a group of high school students who volunteer their time to earn community service credits. Jacob was being assisted by Ruby Polano, 15, a sophomore from HARP Academy. His assignment was to print the letter "Y" and draw a picture of something that starts with it, like a yo-yo or yak. But first he had to master the formation of the letter. Jacob said he would rather skip the homework part of the after-school program to participate in arts and crafts, swimming or practicing on computers. But that's not an option. Homework comes first, then play time.
Community service is only a requirement at some of the city's career-oriented academies.
A friend turned me onto this site Current TV. It is both a network and a video website. And is democracy in action. Anyone can make a video and try and air it on the network. Here is a video called Homo No Mo that is both liberating and sad. And this one Fake Iraq is preposterous, absurd and wow.
It seems to be non-partisan and is a great vehicle for those trying to gain exposure or show a certain viewpoint. Thirty percent of the viewership create videos for the network, are voted on and then aired. The network is the brainchild of a Vice President and former Presidential candidate, you guessed it Al Gore and business partner Joel Hyatt. After the 2000 Presidential election Gore and his business partner wanted to create a conventional cable network, but were disenchanted with the current networks. The plan evolved into a viewer generated network. Gore said of the network: "The new network would not have political leanings, but would serve as an "independent voice" for a target audience of people between 18 and 34 "who want to learn about the world in a voice they recognize and a view they recognize as their own." Other reports said that Gore hoped that the channel would help change the tide of "consolidation and conglomeratization" of the media by leading the change to "democratization." The news network was said to be a combination between CNN, MTV, and blipverts." I don't know what blipverts is, because well it is out of my demographic I guess.
More than anything the network is a blend of the internet and TV. Check it out.