Saturday, December 29, 2007

Action Point with Cynthia Black 12-30-2007: The Reference Shelf

Today's article and item links:

  • Campaign Issue 2008: Iowa Saturated by Political Ads:

    One week before Iowa kicks off the presidential nomination contest, the campaigns are spending three times as much money flooding the airwaves and the Internet as candidates did in 2004, hoping to sway the huge number of undecided voters after months of on-the-ground appeals. And: Latest Polls Show Democrats in Dead Heat in Iowa: Similar to polls released last week, the latest Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll shows the Democratic contest between Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois to be neck-and-neck in New Hampshire, but in Iowa they are in a locked into a three-way tie with former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina.

  • Fun, Snarky, Weird & Cool: Hello, Your Plants are Calling!: I kid you not:

    Botanicalls allows plants to place phone calls for human help. When a plant on the Botanicalls network needs water, it can call a person and ask for exactly what it needs. When people phone the plants, the plants orient callers to their habits and characteristics.

  • ENVIRONMENT: EPA Prepares to Provide Documents on California Greenhouse Gas Decision:

    The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday signaled it is prepared to comply with a congressional request for all documents — including communications with the White House — concerning its decision to block California from imposing limits on greenhouse gases.

  • MUST READ: The Path to a National Popular Vote: another excellent piece from David Sirota:

    Right now, many are frustrated about Iowa and New Hampshire voters having such oversized influence in Americas presidential elections. In a few months, as the general election campaign unfolds, we will be similarly frustrated about Ohio and Florida. Who arbitrarily gave this handful of states the disproportionate power to determine our national political path?

  • "I Just Want to Tear Out My Hair" UPDATES: The Torture Tape Cover-Up: How High Does It Go? and SIEGELMAN PURGE:

    On January 10, we are asking friends and supporters of Gov. Siegelman to flex their muscles and focus the House and Senate's attention on the outrageous events that have occurred in the Political Prosecution of Gov. Siegelman;

  • INTERNATIONAL: Police abandoned security posts before Bhutto assassination:

    Police abandoned their security posts shortly before Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's assassination Thursday, according to a journalist present at the time, and unanswerable questions remain about the cause of her death, because an autopsy was never performed.

  • Blogs I Like: ATHEIST REVOLUTION: No comment.

  • Speaking Of Torture: Psychologist: Gitmo detainee to be released is 'broken into pieces': "

    In some very restrictive regimes, and Guantánamo Bay will fall into that category, the environments are actually designed to break people down," said Ogloff. "There's no long term goal of rehabilitating people or having them return to the community. So the issues that the individual faces is, in fact, being broken into pieces and having to really be put back together."

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Action Point with Cynthia Black 12-23-2007: The Reference Shelf

Today's article and item links:

  • ELECTION INTEGRITY: Pima County Election Integrity Trial Home: Attorney Michael Bryan posts this latest development:

    Judge Michael Miller has issued his ruling granting the plaintiffs access to the final databases for the 2006 Primary and General elections, but denying without prejudice wider access to all database files for the election in the possession of Pima County until and unless they are able to demonstrate the wider access will not compromise election security. This means that the mid-year RTA election and the backups made during the multi-day process of counting ballots remain out of reach for now.
  • Campaign Issue 2008: Phoenix furniture store becomes center of immigration debate: Thanks to Nativists, racists and yes, average concerned moderates, this year the Immigration of workers who seem to be mostly Hispanic will likely come to be the wedge issue “gays” were for Republicans in 2004. In Phoenix Arizona a living tableaux of the polarized biases on both sides plays out weekly. Stay tuned to Action Point for updates:

    Salvador Reza started bringing protesters here to pressure the store's owner to stop paying off-duty Maricopa County sheriff's deputies to patrol his parking lot. Sheriff's deputies, some of whom are trained as immigration officers, are a special affront to the Hispanic community that surrounds the furniture store. Reza said the off-duty deputies have arrested and deported 65 illegal immigrants in the area so far.
  • ENVIRONMENT: A website I am so far enjoying, routinely presents products wedding international modern design with sustainability. Along those lines a recent French development reflects not only French whimsy but health and green practicality. Oh, were Americans such cultural funlovers:

    Parisians curious about the quality of the air they're breathing will soon be able to get their daily fill by looking to the sky. A balloon that's been floating above the city's André-Citroën park since 1999 will be modified by its creators, Aérophile, to monitor the level of air pollution on an hourly basis starting in early 2008.

    And there's also some Good News: Japan Halts Humpback Hunt:

    Giving in to U.S. pressure and worldwide criticism, Japan's government on Friday announced a whaling fleet now in the Southern Ocean for its annual hunt will not kill the threatened species as originally planned. The fleet will, however, kill some 935 minke whales, a smaller, more plentiful species, and 50 fin whales (ed- *sigh*).
  • BIG MEDIA: The FCC Vote: from The Bill Moyers Journal and it is just one of many decrying the FCC's decision to ignore the majority of Americans desires for multi-cultural ownership in lieu of a multi-ownership culture! The question is, what are we going to do about it?

  • MUST READ: Fear, Loathing & the Crisis of Confidence: another excellent piece from David Sirota:

    Just a few weeks ago, Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University released a little-noticed study showing that one-third of Americans now "believe in a broad smorgasbord of conspiracy theories" revolving around government complicity in everything from the 9/11 attacks to the Kennedy assassination. The same survey last year found that "anger against the federal government is at record levels."
    It would be easy to chalk up these troubling findings to the unending propaganda of fear. America has been experiencing the searing blast of politicized terror warnings and breaking news graphics for the better part of six years now, and populations living under such constant government and media shock treatment can go a wee bit berserk.
    But while many of these conspiracy theories are offensive and factually unsupported, the underlying paranoia and loathing are not surprising, and the feelings are not motivated merely by a fear of the next bogeyman around the corner. The sentiments are symptoms of a deep crisis of confidence in our public institutions — a crisis that is a predictable reaction to a government that now all but admits it breaks laws, hides information and disregards the public.
  • INCOMING Meets THE ANDREW MYERS FILE (aka police over-reactions in a post 911 World): FBI prepares vast database of biometrics:

    Digital images of faces, fingerprints and palm patterns are already flowing into FBI systems in a climate-controlled, secure basement here. Next month, the FBI intends to award a 10-year contract that would significantly expand the amount and kinds of biometric information it receives. And in the coming years, law enforcement authorities around the world will be able to rely on iris patterns, face-shape data, scars and perhaps even the unique ways people walk and talk, to solve crimes and identify criminals and terrorists. SNIP The increasing use of biometrics for identification is raising questions about the ability of Americans to avoid unwanted scrutiny. It is drawing criticism from those who worry that people's bodies will become de facto national identification cards. Critics say that such government initiatives should not proceed without proof that the technology really can pick a criminal out of a crowd.
  • "I Just Want to Tear Out My Hair" NEWS UPDATE: CIA COVER-UP OF TORTURE TAPES, JAMIE LEIGH JONES CONTRACTOR RAPE, SIEGELMAN PURGE including these unbelievable Siegelman video files.

  • JOE ARPAIO WATCH: I never did find out who paid for the weird contest sting he ran in the fall (I'll update that for you next week) but this at least should keep you "amused" Inhumanity Has a Price: Corpses, a flesh-eating virus, the most-sued sheriff in America. Lawsuits against Joe Arpaio have cost us $41 million, so far:

    Maricopa County law enforcement violated the constitutional rights of this newspaper's readers in October. Using secret grand jury subpoenas, County Attorney Andrew Thomas sought records that would reveal the identity of anyone who'd looked at New Times online in the past four years. When the paper's leaders revealed the grand jury probe in a cover story, sheriff's deputies arrested them.

    Little wonder Arizona spends half its budget on education but still ends up in the bottom three nationally for educational scoring. Joe is sucking it up to pay for his weird-ass stings to keep the PR machine humming-- as long as Idjit news writers keep touting him as "tough" the Idjits from the educational system that can't tell any better (i.e. can't think critically) will keep putting him in office.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Action Point with Cynthia Black 12-16-2007: The Reference Shelf

Today's article and item links:

As a central villain in the famous book “Barbarians at the Gate, Henry Kravis has become one of the world’s richest mavens of private equity—the Wall Street sector that buys up companies, breaks them apart and sells their assets. In 2006, Kravis made $450 million, or more per hour ($51,000) than the average American household makes in a year. Incredibly, his wealth puts him right within the average for executives in this largely unregulated industry that oversees about $400 billion in annual business.”

  • ENVIRONMENT: Amory Lovins: We must win the oil endgame: from TED, an amazing website of 21st century thinkers: “Energy guru Amory Lovins lays out his plan for weaning the US off oil and revitalizing the economy in the process. It's the subject of his book Winning the Oil Endgame, and he makes it sound fairly simple: On one hand, the deadly risks of continued dependency, and on the other, some win-win solutions.” Be sitting when you listen.

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Jailworthy Rove: Connecting More DOJ Dots...

Some things are easier to show than explain, so just watch this video to catch up on how the President's recently "resigned" advisor -- new high-priced consultant darling to the Punditocracy (mostly Faux News) was then and is now, a criminal worthy of jail.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Action Point with Cynthia Black 12-09-2007: The Reference Shelf

Today's article and item links:

  • ELECTION INTEGRITY: Pima County Election Integrity Trial Home: Attorney Michael Bryan's blog, from where you can read his first-hand reporting on a trial that could turn out to be “The People's Elections” trial of the year (at least)! He has some good suggestions as well: "Consider giving the cost of one tank of gas to fuel a Democratic take-over.”
  • ENVIRONMENT: Last week Action Point's own environmentally conscious “Compacter” Sandy Clark reported from his home of Springfield Missouri (he's a contributor to both the SBJ and the Springfield News Leader) on “localvorism” which you found very appealing. Following up on his invitation to check out his contributions to the paper, I came across this response from a less-than supportive columnist from the “dark side”. Funny isn't it, how regardless where you live, their winger “locals” sound just like ours?
    You get the idea of who these folks are. They're the save-the-planet gang. Many of them believe a looming food crisis will hit about 2020 when the entire food distribution system will collapse due to energy shortages. Truthfully, between their pessimistic outlook on the future and their bleak options for a good meal, I don't see how they muster enough enthusiasm to get out of bed in the morning.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

December 05, 2007 IRAN Links

Today's IRAN Links and as usual, without comment.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

December 04, 2007 IRAN Links

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Action Point with Cynthia Black 12-02-2007: The Reference Shelf

Today's article and item links:

  • The Campaign Frame: Sex, Lies and Crooked Guys: Jeffrey Feldman takes on Rudy's woes.

  • IRAN: IRAN Links: Thirteen links to Iran-related discussions, research papers, facts, opinion and commentary.

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

December 02, 2007 IRAN Links

Today's IRAN Links and as usual, without comment.

Other Resources

News Articles

Hat tip: The Mainstream Media Project