They are heads of state and heads of household, angry protesters in the city square and sly iconoclasts in remote villages. With a fiery new energy, women are building schools, starting businesses, fighting corruption, harnessing new technologies and breaking down old prejudices. Whenever a woman or girl gains control of her destiny, the local standard of living goes up and the values of human rights spread. So this year, and every year, Newsweek and The Daily Beast will honor local heroes, and the growing network of powerful women who support their efforts.
This is the cover story from the Newsweek cover down the page. Great collage of all the women that you can roll over and read more about.ShareThis
Really Bad Reporting in Wisconsin: Who "Contributes" to Public Workers' Pensions?
by: David Cay Johnston | Tax.com | Op-Ed on Truth-out
When it comes to improving public understanding of tax policy, nothing has been more troubling than the deeply flawed coverage of the Wisconsin state employees' fight over collective bargaining.
Economic nonsense is being reported as fact in most of the news reports on the Wisconsin dispute, the product of a breakdown of skepticism among journalists multiplied by their lack of understanding of basic economic principles.
Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin' s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.
How can that be? Because the "contributions" consist of money that employees chose to take as deferred wages – as pensions when they retire – rather than take immediately in cash. The same is true with the health care plan. If this were not so a serious crime would be taking place, the gift of public funds rather than payment for services.
Thus, state workers are not being asked to simply "contribute more" to Wisconsin' s retirement system (or as the argument goes, "pay their fair share" of retirement costs as do employees in Wisconsin' s private sector who still have pensions and health insurance). They are being asked to accept a cut in their salaries so that the state of Wisconsin can use the money to fill the hole left by tax cuts and reduced audits of corporations in Wisconsin.
From Jim Wallis at HuffpoShareThis
1887: Anne Sullivan arrived at the home of young Helen Keller to begin to teach her to communicate
1911: Jean Harlow born
1913: Woman suffrage supporters marched in Washington, D.C., disrupting the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. Onlookers attacked while police stand by.
1996: Marguerite Duras diedShareThis
Ronald Reagan was President of the Screen Actors Guild from 1947-1952, 1959-1960.
During Reagan's presidencies and board terms, 1946 - 1960, were among the most vast and complicated in the Guild's history, including, in addition to the CSU strikes: the Guild's first entirely new contract since 1937; passage of the labor-weakening Taft-Hartley act; the House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings and the blacklist era; a severe decline in Hollywood film production, largely caused by both the exploding popularity of television and the 1948 "Paramount decree" which would bring an end to the "studio system"; the fall of mainland China to communism; the explosion of an atomic bomb by the Soviet Union; the Korean War; jurisdictional struggles over television; the MCA waiver; the Guild's first three strikes (1952-53, 1955, and 1960); the first residuals for filmed television programs; first residuals for films sold to television; and the creation of the pension and health plan.
Residuals, pensions, actor strikes and health care for actors all happened under Reagan.ShareThis
What's happenning in Wisconsin is our Cairo.
Breaking News. CNN is still calling all the protests this weekend, Union Protests. But wake up CNN and stop pushing the Right Wing propaganda. At the Concord, NH event yesterday, well fewer than 50% were union. Most of us were just plain old Americans.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Today I turned on A Prairie Home Companion for 2 minutes and loved what I heard. Garrison doing his little news update said something to the effect that "over in Wisconsin, Governor Mubarak.....". The audience went wild.
This is a funny from Huffpo
A Mumbai-bound IndiGo airlines flight was delayed nearly 2 hours at the Delhi airport on Friday morning after a passenger caused a ruckus over the fact that the plane's pilot was a woman, according to Indian news site IBN Live.
A fellow passenger told the IANS (Indo-Asian News Service):
First the flight was held up by a slight fog. Then, just when we were about to fly, the doors were opened again at around 9 as a middle-aged man seated a couple of seats away from me objected to a woman piloting the plane.
The man reportedly became jittery after the pilot came the intercom to deliver a regular flight announcement and was female.
The man started grumbling, saying "I don't want to die! She can't take care of the house, how will she take care of a plane?"
Flight attendants were called and ground staff came on board to escort the man off the plane with his luggage. The whole ordeal lasted roughly 40 minutes.
An airline spokesman responded that there was a "mentally unsound" passenger on the plane.
"...One of the proudest moments of public employee unionism was its part in the creation of the New York State Retirement System in 1920. At that time, the state of New York and its public employees joined together to ensure a dignified and economically viable old-age for its workers. Through-out the decades that followed an almost symbiotic tapestry was created - and repeatedly strengthened - which is simple to describe: employees opt for a public service career (not to become rich but) with an understanding that they can retire with a modest pension and health care coverage. Indeed, it is this historic covenant between the state and its government workers which is currently under vicious and unrelenting attack by right-wing ideologues, various media outlets and big business."
The quote above is from a site I found referencing what I myself always thought of as the covenant. It's how my mom explained to me the reasons some people elected to go into teaching or government jobs. You see, I knew those jobs paid and still pay relative crap compared with other college educated professionals. My mom said we owe them just as we owe our veterans.
I am not a teacher or government employee. Never have been. My aforementioned mother worked for the state going on 25 years before her retirement. She gets a pension check each month that is less than her social security. It barely helps but it's better than nothing.
My brother and sister-in-law are two of those who worked 9 months a year helping to mold the minds of the next generations of leaders. They each spent 35 - 40 years helping students go on to be professionals in high paying careers. Neither of them ever earned six figures in their teaching jobs. But in retirement they are comfortable and having a ball. Jealous I am, but I always understood the choice they made and the promise we all made to them.
Republicans and their wealthy friends are desperate to pay lower taxes so they can leave even larger legacies to their unborn great grand kids. So what do they do? The same trick the kings and dictators of the middle east have used for decades and the people have finally figured out. They ignore the age old promises and they use scapegoats.
The kings used Israel and religion as scapegoats and distractions to keep the poor poor. There was also a German dictator in the last century who pushed this tactic to the limits in his quest for world dominance. Now the GOP(Grand Old Pricks) are trying to divide and conquer by using teachers, government employees and unions as scapegoats. They want you to believe that the recession and lack of a recovery is entirely the fault of those three groups. And Americans being the suckers they are, well Americans are falling for it.ShareThis
The real reason for public finance crisis
If you want to know why we have budget deficits all over, look no further than the roaring success of corporate tax avoidance
Nothing better shows corporate control over the government than Washington's basic response to the current economic crisis. First, we had "the rescue", then "the recovery". Trillions in public money flowed to the biggest US banks, insurance companies, etc. That "bailed" them out (is it just me or is there a suggestion of criminality in that phrase?), while we waited for benefits to "trickle down" to the rest of us.
As usual, the "trickle-down" part has not happened. Large corporations and their investors kept the government's money for themselves; their profits and stock market "recovered" nicely. We get unemployment, home-foreclosures, job benefit cuts and growing job insecurity. As the crisis hits states and cities, politicians avoid raising corporate taxes in favour of cutting government services and jobs – witness Wisconsin, etc.ShareThis
A must read Op-Ed by George Lakoff, the word expert who has been fighting the GOP use of framing for many years. This is just a small snippet from a much longer article that all should read.
In conservative family life, the strict father rules. Fathers and husbands should have control over reproduction; hence, parental and spousal notification laws and opposition to abortion. In conservative religion, God is seen as the strict father, the Lord, who rewards and punishes according to individual responsibility in following his Biblical word.
Above all, the authority of conservatism itself must be maintained. The country should be ruled by conservative values, and progressive values are seen as evil. Science should have authority over the market, and so the science of global warming and evolution must be denied. Facts that are inconsistent with the authority of conservatism must be ignored or denied or explained away. To protect and extend conservative values themselves, the devil's own means can be used against conservatism's immoral enemies, whether lies, intimidation, torture or even death, say, for women's doctors.
Read the rest: http://www.truth-out.org/what-conservatives-really-want67907ShareThis
They had some sort of fight in an Apple store at the mall. The older brother shot the younger brother in the head and a couple of days later he died.
Yeah, yeah, I know. This has nothing to do with the kid having a gun in his hands. I bet it's really the iPad that is at fault.
I'm sure the poor, stupid parents are real glad that "guns don't kill".ShareThis
Perfect example of so much that is wrong.
My wife is getting wonderful care at a great hospital. Everyone from doctors to the LPNs and techs have been professional, kind and highly skilled.
So, the surgeon, who is an incredible trauma orthopod, he said he wanted to keep Dian through at least Thursday. She had a total hip replacement at 6 PM Monday. Due to her size and perhaps that he doesn't trust her to be good, he wants her to have 2 full days of therapy. She also feels she won't be ready to come home until Thursday.
But the all powerful insurance company says 2 days for a hip, period. The coordinator who's job it is to pass all the good news said, if she is not ready to go home on Wednesday then she'd have to go to a rehab facility. Most people would just follow the insurance company medicine no matter what their physician feels is best for them.
We took care of things another way and Dian will be there until Thursday but we know who and what to ask.
Great system, ain't it?
But wait.. The budget axes among my readers may say, she should go home tomorrow and Hamp can skip work another day to take care of his wife. She should go home and save all that wasted hospitalization cost.
My lovely wife slipped on the ice left over from all the snow that Creeper sent our way this year. Snapped that hip bone so it no longer connects to the leg bone. She did it Friday on the way out and then went and did her errands. She tried to convince me for two nights that not being able to walk on her leg didn't mean it was broken. We were at the ER at 8am today and knew the details by 9.
Tomorrow she ends her life of easy airport screenings and gets a shiny new ceramic hip. She's looking forward to her first pat down.
I needless to say, will be scarce around this place for a little bit as I play woman and do my 40 hours at the office and 30 more at home cooking and cleaning and stuff.ShareThis
Ain't America and our independence just wonderful?
It seems that it's always about cost. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-10/nyse-symbol-of-u-s-capitalism-lost-out-as-investors-sought-lower-costs.html
The New York Stock Exchange, the symbol of American capitalism for more than a century, may merge with a German rival after losing ground to smaller competitors.
NYSE Euronext, the owner of the NYSE, is negotiating to be acquired by Deutsche Boerse AG with equity valued at $10 billion after its market share dwindled to 23 percent from 80 percent in the past six years. The new company will be the biggest exchange owner, handling equities worth $15 trillion and 40 percent of the U.S. options market.ShareThis
I just took the Jeopardy online test. When they mentioned it on the show last month I thought it would be a hoot to try.
It was fun and I'm glad I did it but dang if those questions don't come at you fast. There are still two more for those in different time zones. http://www.jeopardy.com/onlinetests/adult/tutorials/
So, apparently, Obama has backtracked on urging Mubarek to leave.
At the same Munich meeting on Saturday, Frank G. Wisner, the former ambassadorPresident Obama sent to Cairo to negotiate with Mr. Mubarak, suggested that the United States should not rush to push Mr. Mubarak out the door. He said Mr. Mubarak had a “critical” role to play through the end of his presidential term in September.ShareThis
Yep. The false god Ronald Reagan, actually raised taxes 11 times! NPR had a great pirce the other day which you can listen to at this link http://www.nhpr.org/ronald-reagans-legacy-clouds-tax-record .
Reagan's entire legacy of the super tax and programs cutter came from his first year. He did cut like crazy including things like mental health which threw so many homeless on the streets, but. They cut so deep that he eventually had to raise taxes 11 times to keep the country functioning.
Over at Think Progress I found a wonderful breakdown of other things the "conservatives" would not want their supporters to know about their idol.
1. Reagan was a serial tax raiser.
2. Reagan nearly tripled the federal budget deficit.
3. Unemployment soared after Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts.
4. Reagan grew the size of the federal government tremendously.
5. Reagan did little to fight a woman’s right to chose.
6. Reagan was a “bellicose peacenik.”
7. Reagan gave amnesty to 3 million undocumented immigrants.
8. Reagan illegally funneled weapons to Iran.
9. Reagan vetoed a comprehensive anti-Apartheid act.
10. Reagan helped create the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden.
Really a great article that goes in depth about each point. http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/05/reagan-centennial/
Why am I posting this or concerned with his legacy? Because it shows once again how conservatives lie and change history in order to suit their purpose. Their purpose is to keep their corporations and family trust funds raking in more dough in order to satisfy the shopping needs of unborn generations of conservatives to come.
So-called conservatives do and say what ever is necessary to convince the average American that they have your interests at heart. They do and say anything to get votes.ShareThis
This raped, dead girl is your sister - Read this story and imagine you’re reading about your sister – because you are: A 14-year-old Bangladeshi girl allegedly raped by a much older cousin has died after being publicly flogged for adultery, media reports said. Hena Begum was sentenced to receive 100 lashes by a village council made up of elders and Muslim clerics [...] [Peter Daou]
ed. Peter Daou has strong feelings about Women's rights. Over at the complete post he ends with this line..
I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it: the wholesale oppression of women is the single greatest travesty of our time. Each of the victims is your sister and my sister, not a statistic, not a stranger, but a fellow human with hopes, dreams and feelings. It shatters me that anyone has to experience what Hena went through. We MUST find a way to stop it.
View out an upstairs window over our porch. The first mound of snow is the 3 foot pile on the roof. The iciclesare among the smallest on the house but it's hard to see in this pic, the ones on the right are about 4 inches deep and in three rows. At the other end of the house we have 10 footers. http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh146/NewHampster/Winter%202011/IMG_20110202_154348.jpgShareThis