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summerschild

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Member since: Wed Feb 23, 2011, 04:11 PM
Number of posts: 408

Journal Archives

See comments #3,4,5 & 6


As of now there are 10 comments posted to the Consortium link. Some readers have drawn lines from the Nixon tapes to JFK's assassination. (As usual, one comment leads to another. Start with comment #3 for the others to have context.)

We've recycled far too many of our evil-doers.

Congress to Postal Service

http://livingnewdeal.berkeley.edu/congress-to-postal-service-drop-dead/

Congress to Postal Service: “Drop Dead!”
America’s historic post offices are unique in their variety and quality as well as in the public art that make them the People’s Art Gallery. Without the magnificent post offices built during the New Deal and before, Voorhees said, “there would be a distinct loss to the spiritual and patriotic relationship between the citizen and the government if its activities were carried on in bare warehouses without architectural significance or dignity and constructed as cheaply and as shoddily as the average speculative structure.”

The sell off and relocation of the post offices is the nightmare that Voorhees foresaw. Perhaps it is precisely to break that relationship between the citizen and government that our post offices are now regarded not as our shared legacy, but simply as surplus real estate to be liquidated.

Posted by summerschild | Fri Mar 8, 2013, 01:35 PM (0 replies)

Privatizers, profits, and plums

The Postal Service owns a veritable treasure in real estate, both historically significant buildings as well as suburban sites built for large processing centers. Most of the old inner city offices are on prime real estate; the large plants generally have valuable access to transportation routes (contrary to FarCenter's perception of postal activities, the "shipping company" aspects emanate from those rather than innercity facilities.) I would guess every large city has one or more significant buildings such as this article features.

Our city's beautiful old “Main Post Office”, was built on land donated to the city and forbidden for any use except by the citizens of Memphis. I haven't been in the offices featured in this article, but here, our most historic office went through numerous iterations over the past 25 years - from full scale PO to a customer box operation and carrier station. Then, we used it many years as a Postal training facility, then turned it over to the University of Memphis Law School, which uses it now.

Postal Service real estate is just another “plum” being picked by those who will profit from the Congressional quest to privatize the Postal Service. I had been wondering which "crony" would get this plum pudding. I finally found out who was connected to CBRE, the corporation contracted to sell off Postal holdings. I'm sure other cronies will get bargains after CBRE takes their cut. In fact, since CBRE also tells USPS what to sell, that group of profiteers are probably busy now placing their orders with CBRE:

http://livingnewdeal.berkeley.edu/congress-to-postal-service-drop-dead/

The fire sale of our post offices is accelerating while the media remain largely asleep at the wheel.
In July 2011, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) gave an exclusive contract to liquidate the public’s property to the giant commercial real estate firm C.B. Richard Ellis (CBRE), which also advises the Postal Service on which properties to sell.

It’s no surprise, then, that so many of the post offices listed for sale or already sold happen to be in expensive real estate markets like Santa Monica, Venice, Palo Alto and Berkeley in California; Greenwich, Connecticut; Towson and Bethesda in Maryland; Northfield, Minnesota; and New York City.

CBRE is effectively owned and chaired by Senator Dianne Feinstein’s husband, billionaire private equity financier Richard Blum. If you visit the CBRE website devoted to marketing postal properties you will find no distinction between superb, historic post offices and blandly utilitarian processing facilities or vacant lots. For CBRE, it’s all simply real estate thrown into the same lucrative bin. A listing on the National Register of Historic Places and the presence of art works created during the New Deal only serve as impediments to moving those properties quickly.

The USPS seems only too happy to help with removing those obstacles. To get around historic preservation rules, for example, the USPS claims that it is not actually closing and selling the historic buildings that it is, in fact, closing and selling, but is simply “relocating services.”
(Skip)
America’s historic post offices are unique in their variety and quality as well as in the public art that make them the People’s Art Gallery. Without the magnificent post offices built during the New Deal and before, Voorhees said, “there would be a distinct loss to the spiritual and patriotic relationship between the citizen and the government if its activities were carried on in bare warehouses without architectural significance or dignity and constructed as cheaply and as shoddily as the average speculative structure.”

The sell off and relocation of the post offices is the nightmare that Voorhees foresaw. Perhaps it is precisely to break that relationship between the citizen and government that our post offices are now regarded not as our shared legacy, but simply as surplus real estate to be liquidated.

For more on the loss of America’s post offices, why it is happening, and what you can do, visit http://www.savethepostoffice.com/
Posted by summerschild | Fri Mar 8, 2013, 01:13 PM (2 replies)

Great link!

I learn so much on DU!

What a small world we live in. It's not surprising that BP and Exxon were ticked at Chavez, but I had no idea of the association of the Heinz family with Chavez (maybe I should say "dis-association.)

And after the kidnapping coup in 2002, our very irreverent Reverend Pat Robertson said:

"Hugo Chavez thinks we're trying to assassinate him. I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."

...But why the Bush regime's hate, hate, HATE of the President of Venezuela?

...Reverend Pat wasn't coy about the answer: It's the oil.

"This is a dangerous enemy to our South controlling a huge pool of oil."
If we didn't kill Chavez, we'd have to do an "Iraq" on his nation. So the Reverend suggests:
"We don't need another $200 billion war….It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."


The reader comments (there were only 9 when I read them-only 1 negative 1percenter) on the article are also very good.

Chavez had every reason to distrust Bush and the U.S.
Posted by summerschild | Thu Mar 7, 2013, 11:30 AM (0 replies)

I don't believe the US had anything to do with his fatal illness, but

I can understand his distrust of Bush and the US, I'm afraid.

I haven't had time to fully research this work by John Pilger, but the first 40 minutes of this 1-1/2 hr documentary is about Venezuela and Chavez. It is quite riveting. I have an appointment now but later want to do some research on the National Endowment for Democracy, which is named in the film as providing some support for the 2002 coup against Chavez. It is a nonprofit funded through our government.

Pilger's interviews with some members of the "elite" class who hated Chavez (around 18:00) sure does sound like some of our annointed ones.


THE WAR ON DEMOCRACY
Posted by summerschild | Wed Mar 6, 2013, 02:06 PM (1 replies)

Great comments from Wisconsin voters on this article and on Walker!


I remain amazed that Walker won the recall.

I continue to wonder if he really did.

I'm retired Postal (with almost 33 years). For at least 25 of those years we lived with the

Republicans trying to privatize USPS. It didn't get much press, but it was relentless. Greed is only one motivator. Power is another.

I'm not sure how many employees they have right now but it was about 500,000 last time I saw a number - (second largest employer in the US). About 90% of Postal employees were union when I retired. So they want to bust the unions BAD. That, of course, is for political power.

Sorry if my post sounded "excited" in any kind of negative way against unions, because I fully support them.
Posted by summerschild | Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:33 PM (0 replies)

We've all known about the GOP's internal war


and I've been waiting for some clear signs on who is holding the power behind the Tea Party faction of that battle.

I'm placing my bet on the Koch brothers.

Posted by summerschild | Sun Feb 3, 2013, 01:45 PM (0 replies)

Ms. Geller popped into my mind the first time I read about the video by the American

Coptic Christian which defamed Muhammed. Yes, that same video the world later blamed for inflaming the Middle East and causing a dozen Muslim deaths after it was translated and sent to Egypt. I was reminded of it again in September when four Americans died at the hands of terrorists in Bengazi (although the GOP denied there was any connection at all to those deaths).

As I read the Village Voice article referenced in this OP, I was again reminded of Ms. Geller and all the questions I had at the time the video first surfaced. The captions are mine; the excerpts are from the article.


Opportunity By Any Name:
“In 2008, she published cartoons of Muhammad from a Danish newspaper. Her readership increased tenfold, she says, because when the cartoons made international headlines, her blog was one of the only websites to run them. It was also helped along because, a couple of times, she video-blogged while in a bikini.”


Obama Makes a Great Enemy:
“Geller, still largely unknown, was hungry for more. … She was firmly a part of the war against what she called an Islamic "world takeover." The only problem is, if you believe you're in a war—an actual war—it's easier when there's a visible enemy to fight.

Then a brown guy whose parents had the lack of foresight to name him Barack Hussein Obama ran for president of the United States. Geller finally had her enemy."


Profitable Untruths:
“We're talking now, of course, about the first time she won Worst Person in the World, when she published, but didn't herself write, an outlandish claim that Barack Obama was Malcolm X's love child.”


And More Untruths (Worth $) for Repeating:
“In October 2008, when it was all but a lock that America would have its first African-American president, Geller took to Atlas Shrugs. "Conventional" birth certificate birtherism had already started a year before, but no one expected what came next. One of her readers, a conspiracy theorist named Rudy Schultz, had conjured a new claim that Malcolm X had impregnated Ann Dunham, a white woman."

"She posted Schultz's ludicrous theory. …The theory took off nationally, and because of that post, she was thrust into the public eye when Olbermann named her Worst Person in the World. Geller's celebrity and readership jumped again.”

"So you kind of indirectly started birtherism even though you weren't the one peddling it," I say. "Kind of, right?"
Geller looks at me, smiles coyly, and nods."


The Tea Party Loves to Hate With Geller:
"It (the Tea Party) was just organic. People got up and said: 'No. No way.' And it didn't have a leadership," Geller says. "I kinda liked that about the Tea Party. Because weak people need a strong leader. Strong people don't need a strong leader."


Geller Attacks Ground Zero:
"Geller got gigs blogging for other sites. Fox News loved her. Halfway through Obama's presidency, her blog was fielding 200,000 unique visitors a month. And then plans for the Cordoba House, an Islamic community center since renamed Park51, were announced. Geller seized her opportunity."

"I thought it was deeply humiliating, wildly offensive. I didn't say they couldn't build it," she says. "I appealed to them not to build it."

“Top Republicans such as Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, John McCain, and Sarah Palin spoke out against the community center, which also had a mosque. Geller teamed with Spencer and other Southern Poverty Law Center–certified hate groups to denounce the $100 million project. She went as far as to say the "Ground Zero Mega-Mosque"—as she liked to call it—was a "victory mosque."

“It earned Geller her second Worst Person in the World award. Olbermann said Geller's rhetoric helped stoke a paranoia that resulted in, among other things, a national spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes and a mosque firebombing in Jacksonville."

"That November, she traveled to Sherman Oaks, California, to receive the Annie Taylor Award for Courage from the ultra-conservative, anti-Muslim David Horowitz Freedom Center. Spencer himself presented her with the award. "You have to understand that we're in a war," Geller said in her acceptance speech. "We are at war now. It's not coming. It's not around the corner. We're at war now. The Ground Zero Mosque is the second wave of the 9/11 attack."


Geller & Friends Inspire Hate in Norway:
“Eight months later, Anders Behring Breivik ignited a bomb in Oslo, Norway. He killed eight people. A few hours later, dressed as a police officer, he traveled to a children's summer camp. He pulled out a gun and slaughtered 69 teenagers."

"Breivik wrote a manifesto in which he stated the purpose of the killings: to prevent a Muslim takeover. He quoted from Geller's Atlas Shrugs. He also cited Spencer, her partner, dozens of times by name."


Obama Changes Game – Profits Slip:
“The president had just won re-election in a landslide. The Tea Party, doomed by the rise of flawed presidential candidates such as Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann, and "Rapey Republican" congressional candidates Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, was on life support. Park51 was still on schedule to open steps away from Ground Zero.

News outlets distanced themselves from Geller. Even Fox News, which had supported her views for years, recently backed away. In a segment on Happening Now, anchor Jenna Lee said Geller's transit ads used "controversial language so inflammatory, we're not going to show it to you."

"You don't think you're inciting hatred?" I ask her. "No," she answers quickly."

Geller Fans the Flames in Gaza:
“A week ago, the New York Post covered the Gaza conflict by showing a full front-page photo of young Hamas men on motorcycles dragging a suspected Israeli spy through the streets of Gaza City. "Savages!" the headline read.”

“Spencer, on Geller's sister blog, jihadwatch.org, posted about it. New York Post admits Pamela Geller is right," he wrote. "Palestinian jihadists are savages."



When that video first came out, I seriously wondered if Geller had something to do with its funding or distribution. Today I continue to wonder if she did. Or do you think she just used the opportunity of the video to further profit from her hate mongering?
Posted by summerschild | Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:09 PM (0 replies)

It's another GOP shell game.

They intend to lie that keeping the Bush cuts for lower wage earners is a GOP goal = GOP heroes

while bashing dems for protecting Medicare/Medicaid (the "takers" in their dictionary) = DEMS villans

The spin has become more obvious this past week as a few republicans (pretending to be moderate) have had the "courage" to step out and be "responsible" by acknowledging tax cuts for the 98% are necessary AND SO ARE MEDICARE CUTS.

Just listen to Bob Corker today. Or Lindsay Graham:
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/02/graham-i-think-were-going-over-the-cliff/
CNN) – Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was blunt in his assessment Sunday of where negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff are headed. "I think we're going over the cliff," he said.
"It's pretty clear to me they've made a political calculation," the South Carolina senator said on CBS' "Face the Nation," calling the administration's initial proposal offered Thursday "a joke" when it comes to entitlement reform. Graham, like other Republicans, has said he's willing to accept new tax revenue, but only if it comes with significant changes to entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.



They haven't had a change of heart. They just intend to shift the blame onto Obama if he refuses their deal and we go over the cliff.
Posted by summerschild | Sun Dec 2, 2012, 01:34 PM (0 replies)
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