I was volunteering at the Santa Cruz SPCA and took care of a pot-bellied pig once. It came up to me, wagging its tail, and liked to be scratched behind the ears. Just like a dog. I haven’t eaten red meat since that day. I miss it but I can’t eat it, especially pork.
Now watch this — an elephant painting a self-portrait:
Anyone reading this who still has any money anywhere other than federally insured bank accounts, this is another warning: you can lose money in a money market fund. And, of course, you can lose money in stocks. And people are realizing that you can lose money in real estate.
The REASON you get higher interest rates or other returns is because there is more RISK. This is not a time to have any money anywhere where there is any risk.
An 80-year-old church deacon was removed from the Smith Haven Mall yesterday in a wheelchair and arrested by police for refusing to remove a T-shirt protesting the Iraq War.
Police said that Don Zirkel, of Bethpage, was disturbing shoppers at the Lake Grove mall with his T-shirt, which had what they described as “graphic anti-war images.” Zirkel, a deacon at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Wyandanch, said his shirt had the death tolls of American military personnel and Iraqis – 4,000 and 1 million – and the words “Dead” and “Enough.” The shirt also has three blotches resembling blood splatters.
Arizona Sen. John McCain refused to apologize yesterday for his use of a racial slur to condemn the North Vietnamese prison guards who tortured and held him captive during the war.
“I hate the gooks,” McCain said yesterday in response to a question from reporters aboard his campaign bus. “I will hate them as long as I live.”
McCain, a former Navy pilot who spent five years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp, was questioned about the language because of a story last month in the Nation magazine reporting his continued use of the slur.
Since then, reports of McCain’s language have been circulating on Internet chat sites and e-mails among Asian Americans, many of whom find the the term offensive and inappropriate for an elected official.
[. . .] The word “gook” was first used in 1899 by American soldiers fighting Filipino insurgents. During the Korean War, the term was aimed at Koreans and Chinese. It was directed at the Vietnamese when Americans were fighting in Vietnam. It is now used as a slur toward any Asian or Pacific Islander.
Understandable on a personal level, but from a potential President?
Both Bush and Maliki have put all their chips on the attack on Basra:
Bush called the operation “a defining moment in the history of a free Iraq,” saying the government is fighting criminals there. “It was just a matter of time before the government was going to have to deal with it,” he said.
The president also hailed the operation as a sign of progress, emphasizing that the decision to mount the offensive was al-Maliki’s.
“It was his military planning; it was his causing the troops to go from point A to point B,” Bush said. “And it’s exactly what a lot of folks here in America were wondering whether or not Iraq would even be able to do it in the first place. And it’s happening.”
It’s tempting to say that Cheney ordered the attack when he was in Iraq a week or so ago, but that’s not certain. Some speculate that it was Maliki’s initiative and was intended partly in order to put the Bush administration on the spot.
If the attack had been immediately successful, that would have proved that the Iraqis are indeed independent now, and capable of standing on their own two feet. It wasn’t successful, however, and is requiring increasing amounts of American and British support. Bush’s statement that it was Maliki’s initiative would also make it possible to disavow the attack and blame Maliki, but that would destroy the Bush team’s overriding message — that the Iraqis are ready.
So does Bush try to walk back his claim that this was a defining moment? Or does he stick with it, and redefine the defining moment? Bush never walks anything back, so we must expect the latter. (I am assuming that Maliki’s military situation will not suddenly improve — that remains possible, though it doesn’t seem likely.)
So how will he redefine it? First, he can demonize Sadr and the Mehdi Army and use them as an excuse to devastate Basra — a scorched-earth policy. Second, he can use the new violence as proof that we need to attack Iran. Both Bush’s friends and his enemies are speculating about the latter (though the two courses are not mutually exclusive at all).
At times like this it would be nice if the U.S. had a two-party system. It would be even nicer if the Bush policy had collapsed during a hotly-contested Presidential campaign, because in that case the candidates of the opposing party could loudly point out that the “defining moment”, like the rest of Bush’s Iraq policy, has been a disaster. But if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
Why should you join a union? I’ve been looking around online for info and arguments to help make the case, and here is a compilation of some of them. (Each link means the following info is from a different website.) Cause trouble where you work – print this out and stick it on bulletin boards around the workplace when no one is looking. Union Workers Have Better Health Care and Pensions
Union workers are more likely than their nonunion counterparts to covered by health care and receive pension benefits, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. In March 2007, 78 percent of union workers in the private sector had jobs with employer-provided health insurance, compared with only 49 percent of nonunion workers. Union workers also are more likely to have retirement and short-term disability benefits. Dignity: The presence of a union means employees must be treated fairly by their employer, and that you have a voice and vote in important decisions that effect you.
Power: An employee has little power and almost no way to improve wages, benefits, or working conditions. Collective Bargaining balances the power that an employer has over its employees even in a “Team” or high performance work environment.
Protection: Without a union there is no due process at work. Unions provide a grievance & arbitration procedure which ensures fairness for all employees. Here are five good reasons to join your co-workers in uniting to form a union:
# 1 – Working together, union members have the strength to win better wages, affordable health care, a secure retirement, and safer workplaces.
# 2 – The “union advantage” is substantial. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, union members are much more likely to have health benefits and pensions.
# 3 – For people of color and women workers, the union impact is even greater. Women workers who are union members earn nearly $9,000 a year more than their non-union counterparts. For African-American workers, the union differential is also about $9,000, and for Latino workers the yearly advantage is more than $11,000.
# 4 – In addition to helping workers win better wages and benefits, unions help all workers by giving working families a stronger voice in our communities, in the political arena, and in the global economy.
# 5 – By joining together, we can build the strength to hold elected officials accountable, stop the “race to the bottom” by employers who cut wages and benefits in favor of bigger profits, and win improvements such as affordable, quality health care for all. Union members earn better wages and benefits than workers who aren’t union members. On average, union workers’ wages are 30 percent higher than their nonunion counterparts. While only 14 percent of nonunion workers have guaranteed pensions, fully 68 percent of union workers do. More than 97 percent of union workers have jobs that provide health insurance benefits, but only 85 percent of nonunion workers do. Unions help employers create a more stable, productive workforce–where workers have a say in improving their jobs. Unions are making a difference. With most of the economic benefits of our economy going to corporate America, working people are using the power of collective action to get their fair share.
Workers never got anything without uniting for it.
* The 40-hour workweek
* The 8-hour workday
* Sick Leave
* Paid Vacation
* Employer-paid health insurance
* Safety and health protections
* Grievance procedure for wrongful discharge and discipline
* Fairness in promotions
* Higher wages
Just think of what you and your coworkers may be able to win if you had a union contract.
And, finally, Income for the Wealthiest Is off the Charts.
Over the past several years, Neil Bush, the younger brother of President George W. Bush and the son of former President George H.W. Bush, has made several international trips of behalf of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s assorted enterprises. In late February, Bush called on Paraguay’s president while in the country as a guest of a business federation founded by the Rev. Moon.
Hillary’s meeting with Richard Scaife, perhaps the slimiest of the Republican media lords (and the one who most enthusiastically promoted fact-free smears of Bill Clinton) makes one suspect that the rumors are true, and that she has decided that, while she can’t win the Democratic nomination, at least she can hurt Obama badly enough that he can’t win, leaving Clinton a clear shot in 2012.
You know — “The worse, the better”. (Though based on what she and her beloved husband have been saying, it’s by no means certain that she is bothered by the prospect of a McCain Presidency.)
Someone has to convince that Clintons that it’s now or never for her. If neither she nor Obama is elected President this year, it will be time for us to look for someone new. If a broad range of Democrats tell her that she’ll cut her own throat if she sabotages Obama, maybe she’ll decide to retire with a little dignity left. And one doubts that Bill Clinton wants the destruction of Barack Obama and the election of John McCain to be his legacy.
If Clinton plays scorched earth politics against Obama now, she should know that the rest of us will play it against her four years from now. James Carville should have his mouth washed out with soap.
I saw a honeybee this weekend. A week before that i saw two. That’s it.
It’s flower season in California. Usually we would be swarming with bees. So far this year I have seen three honeybees.
How about you? Seen any bees?