Friday, November 30, 2007
This song is one of my all time favorites. Leonard Cohen at his best (of course he is always at his best, so that isn't saying much).
Update: Now it wants to post 8 friggin' times...5 hours after I hit the "post" button. Ugh.
I'm leaving the original video I wanted to post up, Cohen with Sonny Rollins, 'cause that one kicks ass as well.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Yesterday, the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross asked their latest president, Mark Everson, to resign. Everson's resignation was effective immediately.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Now this isn't something that happens to me every day, so I was at a loss for words. Apparently, the expression on my face told the kid that I did not hear him so he tried again, only much louder this time, "HI!"
Yep. He wasn't planning on leaving any time soon.
Then, from the stall next to me came a woman's voice, "Oh...my...God! GET HIM OUT OF HERE!" I assume this voice belonged to someone who must be obeyed, cause the eyeball disappeared in about a nanosecond. I heard the door open and close and suddenly I was able to breathe again.
After finishing up and washing my hands, I step out of the bathroom and who do I meet? My new blue-eyed toddler friend. He stood there looking up at me and decided to give it one more try.
This time I returned the greeting.
Here's to hoping your holiday weekend didn't start out as wierd as mine did.
I wish you all a happy, peek-a-boo free Thanksgiving.
Hmmm. Which candidate for Texas Attorney General said a year and a half ago that the 2006 escalation in gasoline prices was not a temporary up-tick and that the price at the pump would keep going up?
These mergers naturally decreased competition. That was their purpose. When competition decreases, robber baron monopoly power increases, and unless there is government price regulation, prices go up. It is a rule of economic power as old as time. Instead of a free market, we end up with a monopoly market and a robber baron economy. It wasn't an accident that we ended up here. It is the very reason for the mergers.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Their plans would also still allow the insurance companies to refuse to pay for medical procedures they deem too costly or unnecessary. In other words, the insurance companies would still be making the medical decisions -- not the doctors.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Joe Baca (California, 43rd);
Xavier Becerra (California, 31st);
Eliot Engel (New York, 17th);
Bob Filner (California, 51st);
Charles Gonzalez (Texas, 20th);
Grace Napolitano (California, 38th);
Solomon Ortiz (Texas, 27th);
Jim Ramstad (Minnesota, 3rd);
Silvestre Reyes (Texas, 16th);
Ciro Rodriguez (Texas, 23rd); and
John Tanner (Tennessee, 8th).
Sunday, November 18, 2007
With all the water problems that Texas is experiencing, and with the growing need for fresh water that Texas has, I would think that the state would be going out of its way to protect the valuable resource contained in this aquifer. But that does not seem to be the case.
In May of 2009, tons of toxic waste dredged from a 40-mile stretch of the Hudson River in New York, will be shipped to a dump site in Andrews county to be buried. (Andrews county is marked by the black dot on the map above. As you can see, it sits over the southern edge of the aquifer.) This waste is full of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
PCB's are known to cause lung and liver damage and are also carcinogens. General Electric is shipping the toxic waste to Texas, where it has hired a Dallas-based company, Waste Control Specialists, to do the actual burial. A spokesman for Waste Control Specialists says, "What gives this site a position of strength for this type of disposal is that it's sitting on a very solid, thick clay formation that holds the waste in place."
I would like to believe what he says, but I'm old enough to remember that the residents of Love Canal were assured they were building in a safe place too -- until one day they woke up to the fact they were living in one of the most toxic places in America. Are we going to wake up a few years from now to find our water has been poisoned with PCB's?
To make matters even worse, that's not the only kind of waste destined to be dumped in Andrews county. It will not be long before they also start dumping radioactive waste there. Wouldn't that be a fine addition to our water!
Cyrus Reed, a a lobbyist for the Sierra Club, says the state has not adequately studied just how suitable the site is for dumping. He says, "We believe if you're going to grant permits for additional waste to come in, you better make darn sure that none of this stuff ever reaches the aquifer below. We're not sure there's sufficient monitoring to make sure that doesn't happen."
I would go even further. Monitoring isn't going to do any good if those poisons do start leaking through to the aquifer. The only way to assure the safety of the water in the aquifer is to NOT DUMP TOXIC WASTE ON TOP OF IT! This whole idea is sheer insanity.
Lest any of you think this is just a West Texas and Panhandle problem, remember the little 3-person election that was just held out here creating a new water district? That was so millions of gallons of water from this same aquifer could be sold to other parts of Texas. This could well be your future drinking water that is being put in danger.
Once again, our state Republican leadership has put corporate dollars over the future health and safety of the citizens of Texas.
That's why I find it amazing that Bush is now demanding that Congress create another $80 billion of debt. He has already created more debt than any other American president ever has, and he still wants more. There seems to be no limit to his financial incompetence.
Congress is in the process of crafting a tax bill that would fix it so middle class taxpayers would not have to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) on their earnings. The AMT was created in 1969 to keep the rich from using loopholes to avoid paying any taxes at all. It was never meant to apply to the middle class.
But because of inflation in the last forty years, the AMT could hit some 20 million middle class taxpayers this year. Both Democrats and Republicans think this is unfair, and want to change the law to eliminate this burden on middle class taxpayers. Doing this would mean that about $80 billion less in taxes would be collected.
Democrats, in an effort to be financially responsible, want to make up this $80 billion by closing tax loopholes for the richest Americans. That only makes sense. Those who can afford it the most should pay their fair share of the tax burden.
But Bush and the Republicans cannot abide such a remedy. They have been cutting taxes for the richest Americans since they took office, and are not about to change that now. Of course, if the shortfall is not made up, the debt will increase and the burden will once again fall on the middle and working classes.
Republicans like to claim that Democrats are financially irresponsible, but in their zeal to protect their rich corporate buddies, it is the Republicans who are creating an ever larger financial burden for Americans. Someday, someone is going to have to pay this debt.
It is time to boot the Republican corporate lackeys out of office, and elect some financially responsible Democrats.