Archive for February, 2005

Bush Abroad

Posted in Media Watch on February 23, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333" color="#ffffff">As George W. Bush is traveling in Europe, I am reminded of an international trip that his Daddy made to the Republic of Panama, after </font><a href=""><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333" color="#0099ff">&quot;Operation Just Cause</font></a><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333" color="#ffffff"><font color="#0033ff"><font color="#0099ff">&quot;</font>.</font>  I'd like to draw a few parallels and contrasts.  Listening to </font><a href=",3228,SPM5170_URLaHR0cDovL3d3dy50YWdlc3NjaGF1LmRlL2V4cG9ydC9OSU1FWC8wLDE2NDYsT0lENDA4ODE4Ml9NT0QxLDAwLnhtbA==,00.html"><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333" color="#0099ff">NDR4 </font></a><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333" color="#ffffff">(North German Public Information Radio) I heard the report of the demonstrations against George W. during his visit in Brussels (and Germany as well).  Unfortunately, few mainstream American media sources reported on this issue.  During the summer of 1990 I was teaching in the Republic of Panama.  During this time, Daddy Bush made a PR stop to show the world the gratitude of the Panamanian people for <em>Operation Just Cause</em>.   To ensure a positive performance by the attendees of Daddy's speech, it was invitation only. (Does this remind you of someone's Presidential campaigning technique?)  Despite being invitation only (only wealthy people were invited), the speech did not take place, because the Mayor of Panama City could not finish her introduction due to the tear gas that was thrown.  Too bad!  I watched the speech live on a military channel, which simply went off the air, after it was apparent that things were not going well.  What type of democratic society cannot sustain critical discussion of it policies?  What kind of censored country are we living in?!</font></p>

Social Security Fact vs Fiction

Posted in Social Security Watch on February 21, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p><a href="">Paul Krugman's article</a>, <em>America's Senior Moment</em>, in the New York Review of Books clarifies some important misconceptions concerning Social Security.  One important issue to keep in mind is that current Social Security receipts fund current retirees.  If you divert any to private accounts, you will feel the pinch immediately.  So, privatizing is the surest way to kill Social Security.  An interesting misconception that privatizers like to float is that historically 16 earners supported 1 retiree, and during the projected crises 2 earners will support each retiree.  Although this fact is true, Social Security was able to run a surplus with 3 earners for every retired person, since the 1970's.</p><p /><p>Apparently <a href="">Roger Lowenstein</a> caught Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute doing a little fuzzy math with Social Security projections.  Whenever Social Security runs a surplus those figures become part of the federal budget and disappear.  Yet, whenever the system runs a deficit these figures are retained for justifying the crises.</p><p>If economic conditions exist to supprt private accounts profitably, then Social Security will remaim solvent.  Bush, keep your hands out of the cookie jar!</p>

Iraqi Elections

Posted in Media Watch on February 18, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p>So a mere $300 Billion to fund massive destruction, <a href="">tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis dead</a>, <a href="">around 1500 US military</a> and hundreds of the coalition-of-the-willing dead, and what has the US involvement wrought in Iraq?   Bringing about another religious state in the region?  At least the Iraqi people told Bush what they thought of his influence by voting for the US backed party of Iyad Allawi by a mere 14%, and supporting the Shiite, United Iraqi Alliance, by 48%.</p><p>There is a silver lining to this horrific quagmire.  According to Naomi Klein in her column &quot;<a href="">Getting the Purple Finger</a>&quot;, the platform of the United Iraqi Alliance calls for a time table for US withdrawal, calls for the state to provide all able Iraqis with jobs,  and to use oil wealth for economic development projects.  Sorry, Cheny you better pack up <a href="">Halliburton and find another counry to plunder</a>.  Hopefully, soon you won't have the US tax-payers' money to line your pockets with. </p>

Summers is criticized by other university presidents

Posted in Sexist pigs on February 15, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p>In their recent editorial, &quot;<a href="">Women and science: the real issue</a>&quot; John Hennessey, computer scientist and president of Stanford University,  Susan Hockfield neuroscientist and president of MIT, and Shirley Tilghman molecular geneticist and president of Princeton University criticized <a href="">Lawrence Summers sexist remarks</a> at a conference titled, &quot;Diversifying the Science and Engineering Workforce: Women, Underrepresented Minorities and their S. and E. careers&quot;.</p><p>Given the long-history of discriminatory treatment of women scientists, male-oriented research paradigms as chronicled brilliantly in &quot;<a href="">The Gendered Atom</a>&quot;, I guess it's easier to blame the victim and be done with it.  </p>

"Freedom" and Meatpacking Industry

Posted in Media Watch on February 13, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333" color="#ffffff">I made reference to the irony of Bush's wish to spread &quot;freedom&quot; throughout the world in my </font><a href=""><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333" color="#ffffff">Jan. 24th posting</font></a><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333" color="#ffffff">.  Additonal information has surfaced which was brought to my attention by the recent edition of The Nation magazine.  Human Right's Watch has issued a report entitled,  <em><a href="">Blood Sweat, and Fear, Workers' Rights in US Meat and Poultry Plants</a></em>.  </font></p><p><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333" color="#ffffff">Is this the &quot;freedom&quot; that Bush wishes to export to other countries?  Does Bush have a different definition of the word, freedom than we do?  Perhaps we should look up &quot;freedom&quot; in our Bushionary:</font></p><p><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333" color="#ffffff">Freedom : (Noun) the condition of large corporations being free; the powerof these corporations to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints.  The power to under-pay and exploit workers at will.</font></p><p><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333" color="#ffffff">Well, I guess that explains it.  But, do we really want to export this &quot;freedom&quot; to other countries?</font></p>

You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch!

Posted in Media Watch on February 11, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333">I find the Bush budget to be particularly outrageous, given his (hidden) budget priorities.  It seems that all the money is going to the defense industry, and coming out of the pockets of the poor and the environment.  He is cutting back on health-care for the poor, pell grants, EPA funding etc.</font></p><p><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333">Guess where Bush got his money?  Ok Ok, from his daddy!  But, where did George Sr. get <em>his</em> money?   From <em>his</em> daddy and oil.  Historically, the Bush family got their money as from the defence indistry (see </font><a href=""><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333"><em>American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush</em> </font></a><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333">by Kevin Phillips for details<em>)</em>.  According to </font><a href=""><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333">The Nation:</font></a><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333">  <font size="2">&quot; Phillips argues that the Walker and Bush families, along with other wealthy investment bankers, profited mightily from the rearmament efforts after the end of the First World War and were prominent members of the &quot;military-industrial complex,&quot;.  </font>Currently, George Sr. sits on none-other than the </font><a href=""><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333">Carlyle Group's Board</font></a><font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #333333"> of Directors.  Do we see a little conflict of interest? </font></p> <br /><a href="!.html#extended">Continue reading "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch!"</a>

That new-car smell!

Posted in Industry watch on February 5, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p>Buy <em><a href="">Deceit and Denial, the Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution</a></em> by Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner.</p><p><img height="62" hspace="5" src="" width="110" align="left" border="0" />According to <a href="">Jon Wiener</a> in his Nation article, the chemical industry is launching a campaign to discredit the authors of this book that chronicles the history of said industry covering up health risks associated its products, like tetraethyl lead and vinyl chloride.  The chemical, <a href="">tetraethyl lead</a> ,was introduced into gasoline to create leaded gas, despite numerous lead poisonings by workers exposed to it.  Although <a href="">vinyl chloride</a> was known to be a potent carcinogen, it was used as an aerosol propellant in products like hairspray until 1974.  Industry is still releasing 1 million pounds of vinyl chloride into the atmosphere every year by using it to create PVC pipes and car upholstery.  According to the EPA, <a href="">&quot;Air inside new cars may contain vinyl chloride at higher levels than detected in ambient air because vinyl chloride may outgas into the air from the new plastic parts&quot;.</a></p><p /><p>I can still picture the cigarette industry CEOs sitting at a table during Senate hearings on the health risks of tobacco, claiming one after the other (without so much as a smirk) that there were no known health risks associated with their products.</p>

The real crises is health care not Social Security!

Posted in Media Watch on February 2, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p><img height="108" hspace="5" src="" width="110" align="left" border="0" />As reported today on <a href="">National Public Radio</a> by <span class="byline"><a href="">Patricia Neighmond</a></span><noindex /></noindex />, a new study from Harvard University reports that the <strong>real </strong>economic crisis is <strong>health care</strong>.  The Harvard Study indicates that 50% of all personal bankruptcies are attributed to medical bills.  In George W. Bush's state-of-the-union address this evening <a href="">he is anticipated to address the Social Security &quot;crises&quot;</a>, rather than health care.</p><p>I bet he does not so much as acknowledge the real crisis so many Americans are struggling with.</p><h3 class="contenttitle" />