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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Accreditation is a dream come true for Nevada State College

Chicago SAG Board Rep John Carter Brown endorses Art Lynch for reelection to the SAG National Board

Art Lynch is a true dyed-in-the-wool Unionist.  He always keeps the interests of Nevada members at the top of his agenda.
- John Carter Brown, National Board of Directors, Chicago.

A solid unionist, JCB's career spans coast to coast,  on the west coast, in California,  and in his adopted home of Chicago. He produces, directs and acts in  theatre, on film, as well as television, commercial and voice work.

Koch Brothers Republican Machine out to end public education

Angela Bullock shared a link.
I watched this investigative video about Koch brothers' assault on public education. Watch the video then take action. Call David Koch and tell him to stop funding school resegregation now. The video and his number are here:​ucation

The "failed stimulus" worked...

Rumblings of an economic recovery have given way to market volatility and the Fed's action on interest rates, which suggest economic sluggishness for years to come. Can Congress and the White House do anything to kick-start the economy? 

NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday spoke with  economist  Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University. Professor Stiglitz believes the stimulus worked, and the problems the Bush and Obama administrations faces was that the the full depth of the problem was greatly under estimated by all economist and experts both inside and outside the government. He sees recovery as much as a decade away without greatly increasing our debt and dynamic programs both from Washington and patriotic corporations. Unfortunately money is now international, so the patriotism that has helped the US in the past is not there among the wealthy and corporate America. 

The full extent of the forces that led to the economic collapse that we call the Great Recession are still building around the world and in the US. Numbers were underestimated by ten times, meaning that the government prepared for one tenth of what really hit. The banking crisis hit the Bush Administration by surprise and was dealt with quickly, some would say effectively, but with far greater long term damage than was estimated. Its effect on housing and manufacturing, most notably the automotive industry and its suppliers, were far reaching and impacted far more Americans than either administration admits.

Obama took the presidency deliberately under informed on the true debt and the extent of the crisis, so responses were calculated on underestimated needs. Republicans now use the "failure" as a reason cut any programs which have, in past recessions, proven effective in recovery, favoring deep government cuts, maintaining tax cuts to the wealthy and the failed theory of "trickle down" economics. Even President Reagan, who made the policy famous, had to abandon it and raise taxes, despite how he is remembered for the "no new taxes:" campaign rhetoric.

In a deep recession tax increases, getting either voluntary or mandatory help from the wealthy and manfucturing industry are essential. Neither is happening now or foreseen in the near future. Unfortunatly a pie in the sky distant future will not help.

Sunday Morning News and Views, Part III

How would you feel if you woke up this morning to find a full sized Blimp in your front yard? A 128-foot-long blimp that broke loose from its moorings at the Ohio State University airport in high winds has been found about two miles away in a backyard. Ohio state police spokesman Lt. Rudy Zupanc says the blimp was found by a homeowner in Worthington just after 7:30 a.m. this morning, more than seven hours after strong winds lifted it out the airfield in Columbus. There was no immediate word on the condition of the blimp.The state Highway Patrol says no one was aboard the Hangar 1 Vodka blimp when it broke loose and drifted eastward from the airfield. The blimp is on a tour of eastern and Midwest cities, according to the Hangar One Vodka website.

More than 150 years after a mining frenzy drew thousands of people west and made Virginia City a
wealthy boomtown, a mining company wants to resume digging for riches in the dusty hills southeast of Reno. But unlike the miners who used picks and shovels to chisel away at the underground pocket of silver and gold known as the Comstock Lode, the company's plans are for open pit mining. They aren't being met with open arms.  Some residents fear Virginia City's tourism economy is threatened by Comstock Mining Co.'s proposal to use earth-moving machinery to dig up truckloads of earth and process the loads to extract flecks of the minerals that have reached record prices.There is also a fear that the fragile infrastructure of one hundred to hundred and fifty year old wood supported caverns under the town may be damaged, causing subsidence and even a potential disaster. Company officials believe modern mining can coexist with history
and the tourist trade.

Gambling Money being hacked? By North Korea? North Korea has denied allegations by South Korea that it engaged in a hacking scheme to steal millions of dollars from online gaming sites. The North's Committee for Peaceful Unification of the Fatherlan said in a statement carried Sunday by the official Korean Central
News Agency that the allegations were an unacceptable provocation and were meant to sully North Korea's image overseas. Last week, South Korean police said they arrested five people who had collaborated with elite North Korean hackers in a ring that pocketed about $6 million over the past year and a half. South Korean authorities have also accused North Korea of mounting cyberattacks in the past few years. The North has also enied those charges.

At least four are dead, many other injured,  after a stage collapsed during a storm at the Indiana State Fair, where country act Sugarland was set to perform. Indiana State Police said the number of people hurt has risen to about 40, with their injuries ranging from minor to serious. The incident happened Saturday night at the fairgrounds in Indianapolis. Strong winds caused the stage rigging for the outdoor concert to collapse, trapping and injuring concert-goers shortly before 9 p.m. Witnesses say no one was performing at the time. The opening act had finished, and the crowd was waiting for Sugarland to take the stage. The collapse came as some fans were leaving to seek shelter. An evacuation had not yet been ordered. Fair officials canceled all activities today. The fair, which runs through Aug. 21, is expected to resume Monday with a service honoring the victims.

Pope Benedict XVI has marked the 70th anniversary of the death of a Polish Franciscan friar hailed as a martyr for volunteering to die in the place of another man at Auschwitz. Benedict said Maximilian Kolbe's heroic act set an example "amid the human drama of hatred, suffering and death." The pope was greeting Polish pilgrims after his Angelus prayer delivered Sunday from his summer residence near Rome.The German-born Benedict, who was forced to join the Hitler Youth, visited the Auschwitz concentration camp during a trip to Poland in 2006. Kolbe was sent to Auschwitz in 1941 after Nazi officials discovered he had been hiding Jews. He was canonized by Polish-born Pope John Paul II in 1982.

A Chinese news agency says the country's first aircraft carrier has ended its initial sea trials.China News Service says the former Soviet carrier completed the five-day trials and returned to the northeastern port of Dalian on Sunday. Vessels had been barred from entering a small section of the sea off Dalian until Sunday evening.China started the low-key trials on Wednesday amid concerns among its neighbors about its growing military strength and increasingly assertive claims to disputed territory. China says the carrier is intended for research and training. China has spent the better part of a decade refurbishing the vessel after it was towed from Ukraine in 1998, minus its engines, weaponry and navigation systems.

While the first in the nation presidential nominating event remains over six months away, the state with that claim held a much watched event yesterday...a straw poll. It might be a preview of the months ahead in the GOP presidential race. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who just got into the race, and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, fresh off an Iowa straw poll victory, are competing for attention Sunday as their campaign schedules put them at the same event. Both have the backing of tea partyers and evangelical conservatives. Both already are making big plays for those two important constituencies in Iowa. Perry is making his first campaign visit to Iowa since nnouncing his candidacy Saturday in South Carolina. Bachmann is reveling in her first-place finish in the test vote Saturday that proved her campaign has the organizational skills and volunteer network needed to compete strongly in the state's caucuses next winter. this is not a skate for BachmanMinnisotta. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is dropping out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Front runner Mitt Romney did not campaign in Iowa. Pawlenty told supporters on a conference call Sunday morning that he would announce on ABC's "This Week" that he was ending his campaign after a disappointing finish in the Iowa straw poll on Saturday.

The poll was a test of organizational strength and popularity in the state whose caucuses lead off the GOP nomination fight. Pawlenty had struggled to gain traction in Iowa, a state he had said he must win, after laying the groundwork for a campaign for nearly two years.He's been eclipsed in polls in recent months by his Minnesota rival, Rep. Michele Bachmann.

 Norwegian police say the man who has confessed to killing 69 people at an island youth camp has been
brought back to the crime scene. Police say they took Anders Behring Breivik back to Utoya island
on Saturday for a reconstruction of the July 22 terror attacks, when Breivik shot the victims dead on the island and killed eight further people in central Oslo with a bomb. Breivik's lawyer has said he has admitted to the terror attacks, but denies criminal guilt because he believes the massacre was necessary to save Norway and Europe from Muslims and punish politicians who have embraced multiculturalism.

Hundreds of gay, lesbian, transgender people are marching with supporters in a southern Nepal town to
demand equal rights under a new constitution the country is in the process of writing. The estimated 500 demonstrators danced, chanted slogans and marched around Narayanghat, a town about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of the capital of Katmandu on Sunday, which is also Nepal's traditional festival of Gaijatra.  The gay community has been holding demonstrations on the festival day in the capital, but it was the first time that activists have organized a rally outside the capital. Gay rights activists and parliament member Sunil Pant said their main aim was to spread their campaign outside the capital city.

Sunday Morning News and Views, Part II

in 2003 two robots began what was to be a three month long exploration of the surface of Mars. The Mars Rover Spirit conked out in May, 8 years after it was suppose to die, but its twin, the rover Opportunity, is still functioning and has just arrived at a spot NASA has dubbed Spirit Point.  Opportunity is studying what may be a form of rock that does not exist on earth, and a terrain unlike anything on this earth.

Fifty years ago yesterday, construction began on one of the starkest landmarks of the Cold War: the Berlin Wall.

Libyan rebels have reached the important port city of  Zawiyah, where they are engaged in fierce clashes with government forces. Zawiyah is the site of Libya's sole remaining refinery and its on the road to Tunisia. If the rebels hold it, they will control the port, the refinery and one of Libya's main roads. There remains heavy fighting, although rebel flags are flying over key buildings and in the main square.

How can you feed starving people without feeding an insurgency as well? That is one of the challenges the Obama administration faces in providing aid to Somalia. The U.S. has been helping African Union troops battling the Islamist Al Shabaab militia in Somalia -- but now that Somalis are facing famine in addition to civil conflict, U.S. policymakers are scrambling to save lives without further fueling the conflict.

Anti-immigrant feelings are not limited to the United States and most certainly are somewhat tame here compared to some other countries. Economic turmoil in Greece is spurring resentment against the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants there. Eighty percent of Europe's illegal immigrants are in the country. 

In the 1890s, when Argentina was sparsely populated, Baron Maurice de Hirsch, a German-Jewish philanthropist who envisioned a Jewish homeland in the Americas, began buying up farmland. He then brought over thousands of Jews fleeing czarist pogroms in Russia. They built towns in several provinces, complete with synagogues, yeshivas, cooperatives and other Jewish institutions. Today, though, there are few Jews left -- just a handful of aging descendants of the original refugees, who are trying to keep synagogues and schools open. But It appears to be only a matter of time before they shut their doors forever.  

Less than two months into her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman won Saturday's Iowa Straw poll. Nearly 17-thousand voters waited in long lines to cast their ballots on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames. Bachman won what is considered to be a bellwether event and one measure of a Presidential candidate's strength. Romney congratulated Bachman. Meanwhile Texas Governor Rick Perry declared yesterday that he's entering the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Governor Perry spoke at the Red State Gathering conference in Charleston, South Carolina. He gathered a record number of straw poll write in votes at the Iowa event.

Most of the talk about the global economy has been very gloomy of late -- and with good reason. But there are a few silver linings in the dark clouds. All is not dark in our economy. The dollar has been falling relative to other currencies. That makes buying imports more expensive in the U.S. But it also means exports are more competitive. That could be good news for U.S. manufacturers.