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Luminous Animal

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Gender: Do not display
Current location: San Francisco
Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2003, 02:06 PM
Number of posts: 27,310

Journal Archives

President Correa on Assange in a recent interview.

(Also a link to my old thread with other updates from Ecuador, etc. because it won't kick to the first page anymore.http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002835642)

In Rio de Janeiro, in exclusive interview to Página/12 (Argentina), Carta Maior (Brazil), and La Jornada de México (México):

"We have not a vassal's soul":

“Assange wants to go to Ecuador to continue fulfilling his mission for freedom of expression without limits, because our country is a peaceful territory committed to justice and truth”

Correa also dismissed today that the Assange asylum-situation would cause tensions with the UK. He added:

"It is the last we would wish, but we are not going to ask permission to no country for us to take our sovereign decisions"
If any in Ecuador “would have done to anyone a hundredth part of what they have done to Assange we would be called despots and oppressors"

And this is the full paragraph with President Rafael Correa's statements in Rio de Janeiro, referred to the asylum requested by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. President Correa explains, "What the analysis of the asylum application consists of":

"Ecuador defends the right to life, one has to see if there is danger of death. Ecuador supports the right to due process, must see if so has been the case. Ecuador rejects the persecution of a political nature attacking the political rights of individuals. Must see if there is any breach or violation in this regard. That is the analysis"

Posted by Luminous Animal | Sun Jul 1, 2012, 12:31 PM (44 replies)

By the way, that ret. soldier that you are citing was a Bush speechwriter,

cofounder of the vile Red State website, and currently the VP of communications of the right wing think tank, Texas Public Policy Foundation, which is, in part, funded by the Koch Brothers.

Posted by Luminous Animal | Sat Jun 2, 2012, 08:42 PM (0 replies)

Hippie Capitalism: How An Impoverished U.S. City Is Building An Economy On Co-ops


“There’s not a lot of help coming from the federal government, or the state government,” says the city’s Green Party mayor, Gayle McLaughlin. “So we’re kind of on our own.” Two years ago, she went all the way to Spain in search of another economic model that might reinvigorate her city, once the locus of bustling shipyards that produced hundreds of boats for battle during World War II.


“I found that the values of people in Mondragon were very much in line with the values that we were putting forward as part of our political movement in Richmond: standing for equity, standing for justice, standing for community empowerment,” McLaughlin says. And so she brought the idea back to California and hired what is probably the only official municipal worker co-op consultant in the country. As of January, the first co-op born from this campaign, the aptly named Liberty Ship Café, is up and running, with plans for new bike shop, bakery, urban agriculture, and solar installation co-ops on the way.

Posted by Luminous Animal | Sat Jun 2, 2012, 07:31 PM (1 replies)

The Mondragon Corporation employing 83,000 people in 256 co-ops

The MONDRAGON Corporation is a corporation and federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque region of Spain. Founded in the town of Mondragón in 1956, its origin is linked to the activity of a modest technical college and a small workshop producing paraffin heaters. Currently it is the seventh largest Spanish company in terms of asset turnover and the leading business group in the Basque Country. At the end of 2010 it was providing employment for 83,859 people working in 256 companies in four areas of activity: Finance, Industry, Retail and Knowledge. The MONDRAGON Co-operatives operate in accordance with a business model based on People and the Sovereignty of Labour, which has made it possible to develop highly participative companies rooted in solidarity, with a strong social dimension but without neglecting business excellence. The Co-operatives are owned by their worker-members and power is based on the principle of one person, one vote.

Posted by Luminous Animal | Sat Jun 2, 2012, 07:28 PM (0 replies)

All military-age males in a strike zone are combatants...

On Monday, the New York times reported that "Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent."

Glenn Greenwald reports:
"The media now knows that "militant" is a term of official propaganda, yet still use it for America's drone victims"

Early this morning, the U.S. fired a missile from a drone in northwest Pakistan — its first since the NYT story – and killed two people. Here’s how The Washington Post is now touting the article about this attack on its online front page:

Readers who click on that story are greeted by an Associated Press story bearing this headline:

There is, as usual, no indication that these media outlets have any idea whatsoever about who was killed in these strikes. All they know is that “officials” (whether American or Pakistani) told them that they were “militants,” so they blindly repeat that as fact. They “report” this not only without having the slightest idea whether it’s true, but worse, with the full knowledge that the word “militant” is being aggressively distorted by deceitful U.S. government propaganda that defines the term to mean: any “military-age males” whom we kill (the use of the phrase “suspected militants” in the body of the article suffers the same infirmity).

Posted by Luminous Animal | Sat Jun 2, 2012, 11:42 AM (110 replies)

It appears that you are right (link to a much more in depth article)...

Shell is pulling out while BP is committing and it looks like got more favorable treatment. So, Shell stops FOR NOW, keeps its reps in Libya and seeks similar flexibility with the NOC that BP received.


It was not to be. In 2008, Shell began to shoot 3D seismic in Area 89, the following year drilling six wells with an investment of $95 million, while paying NOC $103 million for permit rights. In December 2010 it was reported that the first gas had been found. At the time, an official with Shell Exploration and Production Libya, Nureffin Wafati said further exploration wells were necessary to establish if the reserves were commercial. Shortly afterwards, Brinded visited NOC in Tripoli for talks, the details of which were never made public.

Later Shell said that the results were disappointing and did not justify further investment. There was speculation that the find was of insufficient magnitude to generate a profitable supply contract to Brega, let alone to underwrite the construction of a state-of-the-art LNG plant.


Given that Area 89 was not going to produce the feedstock for the existing Brega facility, rejuvenated or not, the figures for Shell no longer added up. What could have been a multi-billion coup was turning into wormwood. If, as Shell has indicated, the NOC has been less flexible with the Anglo-Dutch major in renegotiating than it appears to have been with BP, then Shell’s departure may be seen as inevitable. BP also has its Ghadames blocks where there is heightened expectation of fresh highly commercial reserves.

However Shell has not apparently abandoned Libya for ever. Dow Jones yesterday reported an internal Shell email as telling employees: “This is not a country exit, and a Shell Representative Office will remain in Libya.”
Posted by Luminous Animal | Fri Jun 1, 2012, 04:11 PM (1 replies)

Ack! For some reason, the entire body of my post disappeared!

So you can get off the floor and stop laughing now.

It started out with something like this...

"But even if I were to feed subpar food to my family, I couldn't do it for $1.50 per meal per person."

Then I presented a comparison of Safeway prices in the city to Safeway prices in the suburbs. It took me about 2 hours to research and write my post and I will have to stay an hour later at work to make up for it. (One of the hours was during my lunchtime.)

I am actually so frustrated right now I could cry that all of that is lost.

I chose Safeway because I don't have a car and there is one two blocks from my house so, if I were to shop at a commercial grocer, Safeway would be have to be the one. Grocery store prices in the city are 10% - 25% higher than in the suburbs.

There is the civic center farmers market (often cheaper than Safeway) that sells commercially produced food and is on the subway line but it is only open on Wednesday afternoons during my work hours. The only other farmers market on the subway line that is open on the weekend is sooooo expensive that I will only shop there if I am looking for a specific specialty item.

I also talked about things that I would have to give up in order to eat as healthful a diet as possible while still sticking to the cheapest items. I'd have to give up things like bread, corn, tofu, soy milk, soy beans, etc.

I also talked about my daughter's gargantuan appetite.

Oh well, I can't get it back and at least you got a good laugh and an opportunity to mock someone.

Posted by Luminous Animal | Thu May 17, 2012, 07:58 PM (0 replies)

Actually, we will still be an overwhelmingly white country. 74% in fact...

Non-Hispanic whites @ 46%
Hispanic whites @ 28%

Hispanic whites are people like Carmen Diaz, Emilio Estevez, Andy Garcia, Christina Aguilera, etc.

Who are white Hispanics? They are white people who trace their origins to Spain (often via other countries in the Spanish-speaking world) just as Italian Americans are white people who trace theirs to Italy. Some are descended from Spanish missionaries who were present on the continent long before the United States was formed. (At one point in our history, we distinguished between lighter “European” Italians and swarthier “Mediterranean” ones, but that distinction is long in our past, just as the distinction between white Hispanics and the rest of the majority will surely fall by the wayside before 2050.)


Posted by Luminous Animal | Thu May 17, 2012, 03:13 PM (1 replies)

The worst eighth-grade math teacher in New York City

It's difficult to simply pull four paragraphs to really understand what is going on here so the article is well worth reading in full.

The title of the piece accurately reports that Ms Abbott is rated the worst teacher in NYC based on the ludicrously inaccurate teacher rating system. The article is explains how she ended up with that humiliating and public title.

She is leaving teaching.


Using a statistical technique called value-added modeling, the Teacher Data Reports compare how students are predicted to perform on the state ELA and math tests, based on their prior year’s performance, with their actual performance. Teachers whose students do better than predicted are said to have “added value”; those whose students do worse than predicted are “subtracting value.” By definition, about half of all teachers will add value, and the other half will not.

Carolyn Abbott was, in one respect, a victim of her own success. After a year in her classroom, her seventh-grade students scored at the 98th percentile of New York City students on the 2009 state test. As eighth-graders, they were predicted to score at the 97th percentile on the 2010 state test. However, their actual performance was at the 89th percentile of students across the city. That shortfall—the difference between the 97th percentile and the 89th percentile—placed Abbott near the very bottom of the 1,300 eighth-grade mathematics teachers in New York City.

How could this happen? Anderson is an unusual school, as the students are often several years ahead of their nominal grade level. The material covered on the state eighth-grade math exam is taught in the fifth or sixth grade at Anderson. “I don’t teach the curriculum they’re being tested on,” Abbott explained. “It feels like I’m being graded on somebody else’s work.”

The math that she teaches is more advanced, culminating in high-school level algebra and a different and more challenging test, New York State’s Regents exam in Integrated Algebra. To receive a high school diploma in the state of New York, students must demonstrate mastery of the New York State learning standards in mathematics by receiving a score of 65 or higher on the Regents exam. In 2010-11, nearly 300,000 students across the state of New York took the Integrated Algebra Regents exam; most of the 73 percent who passed the exam with a score of 65 or higher were tenth-graders.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Tue May 15, 2012, 07:25 PM (21 replies)

Shedding light on Toni Morrison's characterization of Clinton as "our first black President."

Because nearly everyone gets it wrong.

First, her own explanation in 2008:

Do you regret referring to Bill Clinton as the first black President? --Justin Dews, Cambridge, Mass.

--People misunderstood that phrase. I was deploring the way in which President Clinton was being treated, vis-à-vis the sex scandal that was surrounding him. I said he was being treated like a black on the street, already guilty, already a perp. I have no idea what his real instincts are, in terms of race. (Emphasis mine).


The original from 1998:

In a quite baffling and frustrating manner, it was not a "story" but a compilation of revelations and commentary which shied away from the meaning of its own material. In spite of myriad "titles" ("The President in Crisis", what the public has been given is dangerously close to a story of no story at all. One of the problems in locating it is the absence of a coherent sphere of enunciation. There seems to be no appropriate language in which or platform of discourse from which to pursue it. This absence of clear language has imploded into a surfeit of contradictory languages. The parsing and equivocal terminology of law is laced with titillation. Raw comedy is spiked with Cotton Mather homilies. The precision of a coroner's vocabulary mocks passionate debates on morality. Radiant sermons are forced to dance with vile headlines. From deep within this conflagration of tony, occasionally insightful, arch, pompous, mournful, supercilious, generous, salivating verbalism, the single consistent sound to emerge is a howl of revulsion.

But revulsion against what? What is being violated, ruptured, defiled? The bedroom? The Oval Office? The voting booth? The fourth grade? Marriage vows? The flag? Whatever answer is given, underneath the national embarrassment churns a disquiet turned to dread and now anger.

African-American men seemed to understand it right away. Years ago, in the middle of the Whitewater investigation, one heard the first murmurs: white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black President. Blacker than any actual black person who could ever be elected in our children's lifetime. After all, Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas. And when virtually all the African-American Clinton appointees began, one by one, to disappear, when the President's body, his privacy, his unpoliced sexuality became the focus of the persecution, when he was metaphorically seized and bodysearched, who could gainsay these black men who knew whereof they spoke? The message was clear "No matter how smart you are, how hard you work, how much coin you earn for us, we will put you in your place or put you out of the place you have somehow, albeit with our permission, achieved. You will be fired from your job, sent away in disgrace, and--who knows?--maybe sentenced and jailed to boot. In short, unless you do as we say (i.e., assimilate at once), your expletives belong to us." (Emphasis mine.)

While it is true that Clinton had huge support from the African American community, Morrison wasn't claiming that Clinton was the first black President based on his policies but rather, she was commenting on his victimization from the elite in DC and the consistent slap-downs directed towards his "uppity" self.

Posted by Luminous Animal | Mon May 14, 2012, 11:04 PM (9 replies)
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