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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 45,148

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a sick joke...

The Houston Press reported that the sign was quickly brought to the restaurant’s attention and taken down within “10 minutes,” according to its manager, who identified himself as Kenneth. “Everyone makes mistakes. We completely deserved the backlash, and I can’t be mad at anyone but myself,” Kenneth told the Press.


George W. Bush: 'People Are Surprised I Can Even Read'

George W. Bush: 'People Are Surprised I Can Even Read'

(NEWSER) – George W. Bush took up painting after leaving the presidency, and now he's offered the Dallas Morning News a look at some of his work—specifically, paintings of two of his dogs, plus two paintings of his ranch. "People are surprised" by the new hobby, he says, adding, "Of course, some people are surprised I can even read." But that's OK, because he takes "great delight in busting stereotypes," he says. Why painting? "It’s a way to create," Bush says. "I enjoy creating. … You can express yourself in a way that’s unique." The tidbit comes as part of a longer interview in advance of his presidential center opening. (In other W news, he's a new grandpa.)


New Tom Tomorrow. Right. On. Target.

A Tax System Stacked Against the 99 Percent - By JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ

A Tax System Stacked Against the 99 Percent
New York Times’ “Opinionator” blog
Sunday, April 14th, 2013 9:36pm


...No one enjoys paying taxes, and yet all but the extreme libertarians agree, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, that taxes are the price we pay for civilized society. But in recent decades, the burden for paying that price has been distributed in increasingly unfair ways.

About 6 in 10 of us believe that the tax system is unfair — and they’re right: put simply, the very rich don’t pay their fair share. The richest 400 individual taxpayers, with an average income of more than $200 million, pay less than 20 percent of their income in taxes — far lower than mere millionaires, who pay about 25 percent of their income in taxes, and about the same as those earning a mere $200,000 to $500,000. And in 2009, 116 of the top 400 earners — almost a third — paid less than 15 percent of their income in taxes…

… What should shock and outrage us is that as the top 1 percent has grown extremely rich, the effective tax rates they pay have markedly decreased. Our tax system is much less progressive than it was for much of the 20th century. The top marginal income tax rate peaked at 94 percent during World War II and remained at 70 percent through the 1960s and 1970s; it is now 39.6 percent. Tax fairness has gotten much worse in the 30 years since the Reagan “revolution” of the 1980s…

the rest:

Riverbend: Populations don’t make history. Historians don’t write history. News networks do.

a snippet:

❖ Riverbend began blogging from Iraq in 2003, eventually fled to Syria, and went silent in 2007, leaving readers fearful for her safety. She has suddenly reappeared, though she advises her latest entry may be the final one.

Baghdad Burning

... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Ten Years On...


We’re learning that the leaders don’t make history. Populations don’t make history. Historians don’t write history. News networks do. The Foxes, and CNNs, and BBCs, and Jazeeras of the world make history. They twist and turn things to fit their own private agendas.

We’re learning that the masks are off. No one is ashamed of the hypocrisy anymore. You can be against one country (like Iran), but empowering them somewhere else (like in Iraq). You can claim to be against religious extremism (like in Afghanistan), but promoting religious extremism somewhere else (like in Iraq and Egypt and Syria).

Those who didn’t know it in 2003 are learning (much too late) that an occupation is not the portal to freedom and democracy. The occupiers do not have your best interests at heart.

We are learning that ignorance is the death of civilized societies and that everyone thinks their particular form of fanaticism is acceptable.


very informative (of course) entry:

Will GOP Bullies Have Their Way With Obama?



U.S. Incarceration Rate Is a National Disgrace

U.S. Incarceration Rate Is a National Disgrace

Over the past forty years the number of incarcerated people has increased 350 percent while population increased 33 percent, violent crimes rose 3 percent higher than 1980 while property crimes dropped from 496.1 per 1,000 in 1980 to 134.7 in 2008, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. This growth in incarceration rates is primarily attributed to changes in correctional policies that have been ruled by the Supreme Court, followed by the judiciary system, the Justice Department, and the prosecutors whose utility function for re-election by "being tough on crime," overrides national wellbeing.


Racial Consideration

There is a drastic disparity when comparing the race of inmates to the general population in the United States. There are 69.13 percent Whites, 12.32 percent Blacks, and 12.55 percent Hispanic but the inmate population is 34.72 percent White, 43.91 percent Black and 18.26 percent Hispanics. We believe this significant disparity is attributed to racism.


Sandy Hook parent pleads for stricter gun legislation in Obama's weekly address

Weekly Address: Sandy Hook Victim's Mother Calls for Commonsense Gun Responsibility Reforms


Sometimes, I close my eyes and all I can remember is that awful day waiting at the Sandy Hook Volunteer Firehouse for the boy who would never come home – the same firehouse that was home to Ben’s Tiger Scout Den 6. But other times, I feel Ben’s presence filling me with courage for what I have to do – for him and all the others taken from us so violently and too soon.


Russia Bans 18 Americans (incl: Yoo, Addington, Cheney) After Similar US Move (to ban 18 Russians)

Source: New York Times

Russia Bans 18 Americans After Similar US Move
Published: April 13, 2013 at 6:38 AM ET

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia on Saturday named 18 Americans banned from entering the country in response to Washington imposing sanctions on 18 Russians for alleged human rights violations.

The list released by the Foreign Ministry includes John Yoo, a former U.S. Justice Department official who wrote legal memos authorizing harsh interrogation techniques; David Addington, the chief of staff for former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney; and two former commanders of the Guantanamo Bay detention center: retired Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller and Adm. Jeffrey Harbeson.

The move came a day after the United States announced its sanctions under the Magnitsky Law, named for Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was arrested in 2008 for tax evasion after accusing Russian police officials of stealing $230 million in tax rebates. He died in prison the next year, allegedly after being beaten and denied medical treatment.

Neither Washington nor Moscow put high-ranking or politically prominent figures on their lists, perhaps aiming to limit the effect on U.S.-Russian relations that have deteriorated, despite President Barack Obama's initiative to "reset" relations with Moscow.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/04/13/world/europe/ap-eu-russia-us-sanctions.html?smid=tw-nytimesglobal&seid=auto&_r=0
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