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Gender: Female
Hometown: Wisconsin
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 12:44 PM
Number of posts: 31,869

About Me

The most violent element in society is ignorance. Emma Goldman

Journal Archives

Ways to give for Hurricane Sandy (hint: not a can of Peas)

Personally I took $$$ from my household budget and sent donations online to Red Cross and Umcor (Methodist group that sent trained volunteers to help the Red Cross). I will likely donate to some local animal shelters as well. I feel fortunate to be able to help.

There is a big need and a mix of secular/religious groups that are helping with the relief effort. If a million people are able to give $10 to the Red Cross it obviously adds up. And does a whole lot more than Romney's cans of peas. Also, blood is needed. I know many folks are strapped for cash but a blood donation is something many can do without donating a penny.

Here is a great article from ABC News with some of the orgs that are involved in the effort:

If you aren't able to personally provide shelter and supplies to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, it doesn't mean you can't help at all. There are many organizations along the East Coast that are providing shelter, food and other supplies to victims of superstorm Sandy.

One way to help is by donating to the Red Cross. All donations will provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by the storm. To donate, visit www.redcross.org, call 800-Red-Cross or text the word "Redcross" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Nearly 100 Red Cross blood drives were canceled because of Sandy, so blood supplies are low in the areas affected the most. The Red Cross asks that those who can donate to schedule an appointment to give blood. The New York Blood Center is urging people to donate blood for those in the New York/New Jersey area. To donate, call 800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.

much more here: http://abcnews.go.com/US/hurricane-sandy-victims/story?id=17598687#.UJEaIYYieSo

Queens in particular took a big hit (flooding/fires):

Hurricane Preparedness for Pet Owners (xposted in Pets)

I hope it is ok to post in both forums - due to the number of states affected and predicted magnitude of this storm I thought I would put it here in general as well. My vet sent this out and encouraged us to share widely -

Hurricane Preparedness for Pet Owners

Dr. Ernie Ward

Having lived on the coast of North Carolina for the past 20 years, I’ve seen my fair share of hurricanes. Whenever hurricane warnings go out, pet owners begin to scramble. I’ve compiled a list of items and actions you should take to make sure you are pet-prepared if a “bad blow” should impact your home.
Use a pet carrier.

One of the most important pieces of equipment you can have during an evacuation or severe weather is a pet carrier. This is especially important when transporting small dogs and cats. Carriers are often required at many shelters and can serve as a safe space for a nervous pet. Be sure to label the carrier with your pet’s name, breed, sex, date of birth, your current address and contact numbers and any important medical information.

Make sure you have at least two weeks of your pet’s medications on hand ...

Much more here: http://www.drernieward.com/hurricane-preparedness-for-pet-owners/

MIRT - go give it a try!


It's a very interesting experience that will give you a new appreciation for what goes into running a board of this size. The admins are soliciting volunteers for the next session (it's usually 3 months) so if you are on-line a fair amount you may want to apply.

Ecuador Remembers Che Guevara -

Ecuador Remembers Che Guevara on the 45th Anniversary of his Assassination
2012.10.04 - 09:19:08 / web@radiorebelde.icrt.cu

Ecuador Remembers Che Guevara on the 45th Anniversary of his Assassination

HAVANA, Cuba.- Several activities, some of them presided over by Brigadier General (r) Harry Villegas (Pombo), a Cuban comrade in arms of Commander Ernesto Guevara, will honor the Heroic Guerrilla in Ecuador, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of his assassination.

Pombo, as Che referred to him on his campaign diaries in the Congo and Bolivia, will give a lecture at the Ecuadorian Culture Center in Quito on Friday, in which he will tell about his experiences during the years he shared with the legendary Latin American revolutionary, the Prensa Latina news agency reported on Wednesday.

Participating in the meeting will be writer Raul Perez, president of the Center; Jorge Rodriguez, Cuba’s ambassador to Ecuador; and Rosa Mireya Cardenas, secretary for Peoples, Social Movements and Citizen Participation of the host country.

A book on anecdotes of the years they fought together, entitled “Pombo, un hombre de la guerrilla del Che,” (Pombo, a Man of Che’s Guerilla) will also be presented in that South American nation ...

More here: http://www.radiorebelde.cu/english/news/ecuador-remembers-che-guevara-on-the-45th-anniversary-of-his-assassination-20121004/



Are We a Nation of Line-Cutters, or Are We the Line?

Please forgive me if this has already been posted - did a search and could not find it. This is nearly 2 weeks old from Esquire, take a look and I think you'll agree it's very much worth a minute of your time -

The Water-Park Scandal and Two Americas in the Raw: Are We a Nation of Line-Cutters, or Are We the Line?
By Tom Junod

9/5 at 1:44PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A few days ago, I took my daughter to the big water park in Marietta, Georgia, just outside Atlanta. It's called Whitewater, and I take her there every year, on Labor Day weekend, at the end of summer. I take her there not just for the "rides," which in most cases aren't really rides at all, but slides that combine water and gravity in varying proportions, and so pack a pretty elemental wallop.

I take her for the lines.

See, you have to wait in line when you go to Whitewater — or, for that matter, any other water park. It's like Disney that way, or any of the other big amusement parks that traffic in the ability to wring screams from even the most jaded customers. The distinctive thing about waiting in line at Whitewater, however, is that you have to wait in line without any clothes on. You have to wait in line wet and semi-naked, in close proximity to hundreds of other wet and semi-naked people. That's why the lines at Whitewater are not simply preludes to the Whitewater experience, not simply inconveniences to be endured before you go down a big blue slide that calls itself a "flume": The lines at Whitewater are the experience. They're a vision not just of democracy in action but democracy unveiled, a glimpse of what the last line is going to look like, when all is revealed, and we're waiting for our interview with Saint Peter.

And let me tell you, it ain't pretty ... <snip>

... It sounds like an innovative answer to the problem that everybody faces at an amusement park, and one perfectly in keeping with the approaches currently in place at airports and even on some crowded American highways — perfectly in keeping with the two-tiering of America. You can pay for one level of access, or you can pay for another. If you have the means, you can even pay for freedom. There's only one problem: Cutting the line is cheating, and everyone knows it. Children know it most acutely, know it in their bones, and so when they've been waiting on a line for a half-hour and a family sporting yellow plastic Flash Passes on their wrists walks up and steps in front of them, they can't help asking why that family has been permitted the privilege of perpetrating what looks like an obvious injustice. And then you have to explain not just that they paid for it but that you haven't paid enough — that the $100 or so that you've ponied up was just enough to teach your children that they are second- or third-class citizens ...

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/whitewater-flash-pass-12403562#ixzz26klV5UQK

Chicago Teachers are Fighting for all of Us

The teachers' fight in Chicago is part of a larger struggle to save public education.
September 12, 2012

The 26,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union are leading the fight for our schools (CTU)The 26,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union are leading the fight for our schools (CTU)

FOR TOO many years, public school teachers and their unions have had to endure a bipartisan attack on their rights, their working conditions, even their competence and commitment--all in the name of what's supposedly "best for the children."

In Chicago this week, teachers have taken a stand for what's really best for children--fully funded public schools and qualified, well-compensated educators to teach them. The 26,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) are saying "no" to the smears against educators, "no" to the neglect of public schools, "no" to transforming education into a business venture.

Their courage and determination has won them widespread sympathy and support, according to public opinion polls. Though it isn't always represented in the corporate media, with their cozy relationships with city officials, the spirit of solidarity with the teachers is palpable to anyone who has walked the picket lines with teachers or joined the massive rallies that now paint downtown Chicago CTU red on a constant basis.

In this sense, the Chicago teachers strike represents another in a series of upheavals that have crystallized the bitterness with a system ruled by the 1 percent--from last year's occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol building in defense of union rights, to the Occupy Wall Street movement that spread from New York City around the country, to the angry anti-racist protests this year over the murder of Trayvon Martin.

While these struggles may have different sources and aims, they are tied together in fundamental ways. They represent a new resistance to the status quo, where corporate power reigns supreme, and where political leaders try to divert the blame while making working people sacrifice ...

More here: http://socialistworker.org/2012/09/12/teachers-fight-for-all-of-us

Something good from Texas

at least I'm hoping that's what y'all will see when Julian Castro speaks at the democratic convention tonight. He is our rising star and very popular mayor of San Antonio. Be sure to tune in or set your DVR for 10:00 EST tonight. Details in this article:

(CBS News) CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Democratic National Convention officially gets started Tuesday with a keynote address from San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and a speech by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Here's a look at what to expect from the festivities, which will be streamed live on CBSNews.com.

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro's keynote address, 10 p.m. ET

Castro, 37, is in his second term as mayor of the nation's seventh-largest city after easily winning re-election in 2011 with nearly 82 percent of the vote. The Obama campaign notes that his life story in many ways mirrors President Obama's: He and his identical twin brother Joaquin Castro came from modest beginnings and relied on scholarships, grants and loans to attend Stanford University and then Harvard Law School.

A senior campaign official told CBS News that Castro's keynote address will share that personal story "and reflect on the things we need to do as a country to create more Julian Castros, more Barack Obamas to ensure that every young person across this country can achieve their dreams."

Castro's star is rising within the Democratic party at the same time that Democrats are starting to see potential to turn Texas into a blue state, due to the growing Hispanic community. While Texas is for now a solidly Republican state when it comes to presidential politics, the Hispanic community will play a key role in swing states like Colorado and Nevada this year ...


The austerity arrives ..

and if people think this is an isolated incident I've got a fine bridge to sell them ...

Scranton, Pa., slashes workers' pay to minimum wage

By Patrick Rizzo

Unions representing civil servants in the city of Scranton, Pa., are girding for battle after the mayor announced recently that he would be cutting pay for police, firefighters, garbage collectors and other public workers to minimum wage.

The unions' attorney, Thomas Jennings, told the Scranton Times-Tribune Tuesday that they would be filing a lawsuit against Mayor Chris Doherty in federal court under the Fair Labor Standards Act accusing the city of failing to pay wages on time and failing to pay overtime.

The lawsuit will be among several legal actions the unions may take after Doherty made the announcement last Friday that the city's 398 workers would be paid $7.25 an hour because the city was running out of money.

The Times-Tribune, quoting City Business Manager Ryan McGowan, reported that as of Monday the city had $133,000 in cash, but owed $3.4 million in vendor bills. One of those bills was health insurance, McGowan said.

Jennings said the unions also will again ask a local judge to hold Doherty in contempt of court for violating a judge's order to pay workers their full wages.

More here - http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/10/12659748-scranton-pa-slashes-workers-pay-to-minimum-wage

(cross-posted in GD with a similar article - in which I'm getting ripped for suggesting that *gasp* someone raise some taxes ... how ever will the rich folk live?)

Mayor abruptly slashes wages to minimum for Scranton City Workers

And for any of you holding on to your middle class pretensions and thinking it can't happen to you - think again. Here's the story -

Scranton mayor slashes pay for all city workers—including police and firefighters—to minimum wage
By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News | The Lookout – 4 hrs ago

Doherty (AP)

Cash-strapped Scranton, Pa., has slashed pay for all city employees—including police and firefighters—to minimum wage, sparking furor among unions that now say they plan to sue in federal court.

A lawyer representing three unions told Scranton's Times-Tribune he will file several motions, including one to hold Mayor Chris Doherty in contempt of court for violating a judge's order to pay full wages.

The lawyer, Thomas Jennings, said he also expects to file a pair federal lawsuits on behalf of the unions—International Association of Firefighters Local 60, the Fraternal Order of Police E.B. Jermyn Lodge 2 and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 2305—alleging the city failed to pay proper wages and overtime, and cut benefits for disabled police and firefighters without a proper hearing.

"Pick a law," Jennings told the Times-Tribune. "They violated it."

Last week, Doherty abruptly cut pay for all 398 city employees to $7.25 per hour, saying it was the only way to keep Scranton solvent ...

More here: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/scranton-minimum-wage-city-police-firemen-140229063.html

Here is a copy of the story on MSNBC as well: http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/10/12659748-scranton-pa-slashes-workers-pay-to-minimum-wage
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