May 08, 2016

Not "Ready for Hillary".


August 07, 2010

Here I Stand


Comment: The following speech was delivered by top of the class student Erica Goldson during the graduation ceremony at Coxsackie-Athens High School on June 25, 2010

Erica Goldson

There is a story of a young, but earnest Zen student who approached his teacher, and asked the Master, "If I work very hard and diligently, how long will it take for me to find Zen? The Master thought about this, then replied, "Ten years . ." The student then said, "But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast -- How long then?" Replied the Master, "Well, twenty years." "But, if I really, really work at it, how long then?" asked the student. "Thirty years," replied the Master. "But, I do not understand," said the disappointed student. "At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?" Replied the Master, "When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path."

This is the dilemma I've faced within the American education system. We are so focused on a goal, whether it be passing a test, or graduating as first in the class. However, in this way, we do not really learn. We do whatever it takes to achieve our original objective.

Some of you may be thinking, "Well, if you pass a test, or become valedictorian, didn't you learn something? Well, yes, you learned something, but not all that you could have. Perhaps, you only learned how to memorize names, places, and dates to later on forget in order to clear your mind for the next test. School is not all that it can be. Right now, it is a place for most people to determine that their goal is to get out as soon as possible.

Continue reading "Here I Stand" »

Stuy-Town tenants take home big win


Judge rules that they are entitled to be reimbursed for years of rent overcharges on apartments whose rents were unlawfully de-regulated; decision's impact on other properties is unclear.

Crain's New York
Theresa Agovino

Tenants of market-rate apartments at Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village won a significant victory on Thursday when a judge ruled that they are entitled to rebates for rent overcharges.

The ruling stems from a court decision last October, which said that the owners of the sprawling Manhattan residential complex were not entitled to deregulate rents while they were receiving a particular type of tax abatement. The court didn't rule on the issue of retroactive payments at the time.

Continue reading "Stuy-Town tenants take home big win" »

July 27, 2010

The Unwinnable War II: Didn't We Know All This Already?


The Atlantic
Andrew Sullivan

What do we really learn from the Wikileaks monster-doc-dump? I think the actual answer is: not much that we didn't already know. But it's extremely depressing - and rivetingly explicit - confirmation of what anyone with eyes and ears could have told you for years. We already know the following:

The notion that a professional military and especially police force can be constructed and trained by the West to advance the interests of a "national government" in Kabul within any time frame short of a few decades of colonialism is a fantasy.

We are fighting a war as much against the intelligence services of Pakistan as we are the Taliban. They are a seamless part of the same whole, and until Pakistan is transformed (about as likely as Afghanistan), we will be fighting with two hands tied behind our backs.

Continue reading "The Unwinnable War II: Didn't We Know All This Already?" »

May 15, 2010

Jon Stewart Clip

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

May 13, 2010

Stand By Me

March 01, 2009

Obama's War with the Right (& Media)


By Robert Parry
February 28, 2009

In a startling ambitious budget message, President Barack Obama has thrown down the gauntlet to the American Right not only by tying the current economic crisis to the recklessness of the past eight years under George W. Bush but by tracing it back further to the anti-regulatory, anti-labor and anti-government policies of Ronald Reagan.

“For the better part of three decades, a disproportionate share of the nation’s wealth has been accumulated by the very wealthy,” the 142-page budget message states. “Technological advances and growing global competition, while transforming whole industries -- and birthing new ones – has accentuated the trend toward rising inequality.”

Continue reading "Obama's War with the Right (& Media)" »

January 17, 2009

The worst of times: Bush's environmental legacy examined


With four days to go until president-elect Barack Obama takes is inaugurated, history is documenting George Bush's environmental record at home and abroad.
Suzanne Goldenberg

The document released by the White House to commemorate George Bush's exit from the most powerful job on the planet describes a president who spent much of the last eight years as a careful steward of the planet. "Throughout his administration, President Bush made protecting the environment for future generations a top priority," says the booklet, Highlights of Accomplishments and Results.

"If only" – went the near-universal response from green organisations. They see the Bush years as a concerted assault, from the administration's undermining of the science on climate change to its dismantling of environmental safeguards to its support for mining and oil interests.

"He has undone decades if not a century of progress on the environment," said Josh Dorner, a spokesman for the Sierra Club, one of America's largest environmental groups.

"The Bush administration has introduced this pervasive rot into the federal government which has undermined the rule of law, undermined science, undermined basic competence and rendered government agencies unable to do their most basic function even if they wanted to. We're excited just to push the reset button."

Continue reading "The worst of times: Bush's environmental legacy examined" »

Bush's Final Approval Rating: 22 Percent


(CBS) President Bush will leave office as one of the most unpopular departing presidents in history, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll showing Mr. Bush's final approval rating at 22 percent.

Seventy-three percent say they disapprove of the way Mr. Bush has handled his job as president over the last eight years.

Mr. Bush's final approval rating is the lowest final rating for an outgoing president since Gallup began asking about presidential approval more than 70 years ago.

Continue reading "Bush's Final Approval Rating: 22 Percent" »

December 21, 2008

Shoe Hurled at Bush Flies Off Turkish Maker’s Shelves


By Mark Bentley

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- The shoe hurled at President George W. Bush has sent sales soaring at the Turkish maker as orders pour in from Iraq, the U.S. and Iran.

The brown, thick-soled “Model 271” may soon be renamed “The Bush Shoe” or “Bye-Bye Bush,” Ramazan Baydan, who owns the Istanbul-based producer Baydan Ayakkabicilik San. & Tic., said in a telephone interview today.

“We’ve been selling these shoes for years but, thanks to Bush, orders are flying in like crazy,” he said. “We’ve even hired an agency to look at television advertising.”

Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi hurled a pair at Bush at a news conference in Baghdad on Dec. 14. Both shoes missed the president after he ducked. The journalist was jailed and is seeking a pardon from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Baydan has received orders for 300,000 pairs of the shoes since the attack, more than four times the number his company sold each year since the model was introduced in 1999. The company plans to employ 100 more staff to meet demand, he said.

“Model 271” is exported to markets including Iraq, Iran, Syria and Egypt. Customers in Iraq ordered 120,000 pairs this week and some Iraqis offered to set up distribution companies for the shoe, Baydan said.

Baydan has received a request for 4,000 pairs from a company called Davidson, based in Maryland. He declined to provide further details.

December 16, 2008

He Fought the Wars and the Wars Won


The American Conservative-What George W. Bush loved best about his job was being a war president. Playing war, that is, as opposed to making war like a grown-up. Remember him strutting onto that carrier in his little flight jacket? You never saw Eisenhower, a real general, playing out his martial fantasies this way. You can take the drink out of the drunk, but you can’t take the swagger out of a fool.

Continue reading "He Fought the Wars and the Wars Won " »

December 15, 2008

Iraq shoe protest; 'Will there be socks-only photo opportunities?'


Copycat attacks almost inevitable following journalist's insult

Julian Borger, diplomatic correspondent

George Bush didn't need a primer on Middle Eastern culture to know he was being insulted. Having a pair of shoes lobbed at you and having to cower behind a lectern does not look particularly presidential anywhere.

Bush's humiliation was all the greater because his fellow VIP, Nuri al-Maliki, looked entirely nonchalant, smiling wryly as the Great Decider ducked. If Maliki were not such a staunch ally, you might have thought he had been in on it.

And in case there was any room for doubt, the assailant, an Iraqi television journalist called Muntadar al-Zeidi, shouted: "This is a farewell kiss, you dog." His shoes have been confiscated but he is fast becoming a hero of the Arab world and beyond. A crowd gathered in Saddam City to shout: "Bush, Bush, listen well: Two shoes on your head." After eight years of careful stage management by the White House press staff, this will be how Bush is remembered in many parts of the world.

The shoe man showed a keen sense of historical irony. When Saddam's statue came down in Baghdad more than five years ago the crowd took off their shoes to slap it in a memorable display of utter contempt. It meant Saddam was not deserving of normal human dignity. In Bush's case, the shoes have come flying even before he leaves office.

There are now serious implications for security at future press conferences and public events, as copy-cat attacks are almost inevitable. Will the press and public now have to hand in their shoes before being allowed in the presence of a visiting dignitary? Will there be socks-only photo-opps? As he approaches his last month in office, George Bush is once more taking us into uncharted territory.

December 06, 2008

The Dear Leader


November 15, 2008

Another Humiliation


WASHINGTON, Nov 14 (Reuters - U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said on Friday recapitalizing banks is the most effective use of a $700 billion financial bailout war chest, but acknowledged the U.S. reputation is tarnished as a result of the financial crisis that has spread around the world.

"We have in many ways humiliated ourselves as a nation with some of the problems that have taken place here," Paulson said in an interview with CNBC television.

November 13, 2008

Thank you, George Bush

A U.S. Army honor guard held 14 flags during a group burial at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington,Va., Frida, for 14 troops who died in an August helicopter crash in Iraq. (Lawrence Jackson/Associated Press)

November 01, 2008

The Bush gang's parting gift: a final,frantic looting of public wealth


The US bail-out amounts to a strings-free, public-funded windfall for big business. Welcome to no-risk capitalism

Naomi Klein
The Guardian

In the final days of the election many Republicans seem to have given up the fight for power. But don't be fooled: that doesn't mean they are relaxing. If you want to see real Republican elbow grease, check out the energy going into chucking great chunks of the $700bn bail-out out the door. At a recent Senate banking committee hearing, the Republican Bob Corker was fixated on this task, and with a clear deadline in mind: inauguration. "How much of it do you think may be actually spent by January 20 or so?" Corker asked Neel Kashkari, the 35-year-old former banker in charge of the bail-out.

When European colonialists realised that they had no choice but to hand over power to the indigenous citizens, they would often turn their attention to stripping the local treasury of its gold and grabbing valuable livestock. If they were really nasty, like the Portuguese in Mozambique in the mid-1970s, they poured concrete down the elevator shafts.

Nothing so barbaric for the Bush gang. Rather than open plunder, it prefers bureaucratic instruments, such as "distressed asset" auctions and the "equity purchase program". But make no mistake: the goal is the same as it was for the defeated Portuguese - a final, frantic looting of the public wealth before they hand over the keys to the safe.

Continue reading "The Bush gang's parting gift: a final,frantic looting of public wealth" »

October 29, 2008

How these gibbering numbskulls came to dominate Washington


The degradation of intelligence and learning in American politics results from a series of interlocking tragedies

George Monbiot
The Guardian

How was it allowed to happen? How did politics in the US come to be dominated by people who make a virtue out of ignorance? Was it charity that has permitted mankind's closest living relative to spend two terms as president? How did Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle and other such gibbering numbskulls get to where they are? How could Republican rallies in 2008 be drowned out by screaming ignoramuses insisting that Barack Obama was a Muslim and a terrorist?

Like most people on my side of the Atlantic, I have for many years been mystified by American politics. The US has the world's best universities and attracts the world's finest minds. It dominates discoveries in science and medicine. Its wealth and power depend on the application of knowledge. Yet, uniquely among the developed nations (with the possible exception of Australia), learning is a grave political disadvantage.

Continue reading "How these gibbering numbskulls came to dominate Washington" »

October 28, 2008

Obama is the better choice


Financial Times
October 26 2008

US presidential elections involve a fabulous expense of time, effort and money. Doubtless it is all too much – but, by the end, nobody can complain that the candidates have been too little scrutinised. We have learnt a lot about Barack Obama and John McCain during this campaign. In our view, it is enough to be confident that Mr Obama is the right choice.

At the outset, we were not so confident. Mr Obama is inexperienced. His policies are a blend of good, not so good and downright bad. Since the election will strengthen Democratic control of Congress, a case can be made for returning a Republican to the White House: divided government has a better record in the United States than government united under either party.

So this ought to have been a close call. With a week remaining before the election, we cannot feel that it is.

Continue reading "Obama is the better choice" »