Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Only Thing Catalans Hate More Than Real Madrid Is Time Magazine

Proponents of the long suffering Catalan independence movement are mad as hell at Time Magazine. Time unfortunately left out Catalonia when it listed the top ten countries in the world who aspire to be independent. Because of this oversight the Catalan independence blog Whispers From The US - Internationalization of Catalan Cause has started a letter writing campaign aimed at Time's editors. The hope is to educate people on an international level about the desires of millions of Catalans to form an independent and sovereign state.

There are more than 7.5 million Catalans today who speak the native and beloved Catalan language. Catalonia takes up most all of the Northeastern part of what is now considered Spain by ignorant American tourists and unwashed student backpackers. I often found it amusing when Americans planning a trip to Barcelona would study Spanish for months only to arrive in what they thought was Spain and find that the locals generally don't like to speak a foreign language like Spanish in Catalonia. Catalonia is generally considered to be the areas where the Catalan language is spoken in Northeastern part of the Iberian peninsula . Andorra and parts of southern France were once part of a Catalan empire also. These areas are generally referred to by Catalans as Països Catalans, or the Catalan countries.

When you talk of Dali, Picasso, Miro, Pau Casals, Antoni Gaudí, or even LA laker star Pau Gasol your talking about Catalans. If you called them Spanish I'm sure they'd not be happy about it. But it's a common mistake that Americans and others make. 

I am lucky to have made many Catalan friends over the years during several trips to Catalonia and a short period of living there. So I know they'd be please if you'd click here to use the form email and let Time magazine know they screwed up big time on this! Or you can also send  personal email to letters@time.com and tell the editor to check his facts when it comes to their uninformed and incomplete listings of who who among the  world's independence movements.

Here's some facts about Catalonia:

"Autonomous community (pop. 7,500,000) and historic region, northeastern Spain. It encompasses the provinces of Girona, Barcelona, Tarragona, and Lleida and covers an area of 12,399 sq mi (32,113 sq km). Its capital is Barcelona. The Pyrenees separate Catalonia from France; the Mediterranean Sea lies to the east. Its principal rivers, the Ter, Llobrégat, and Ebro, all run into the Mediterranean. Catalonia was one of Rome's first Spanish possessions. Occupied in the 5th century AD by the Goths, it was taken by the Moors in 712 and by Charlemagne in 795. After the unification of Spain (1469), Catalonia lost its centrality in Spanish affairs, and by the 17th century its conflict of interest with Castile-León led to the first of a series of separatist movements. Catalan nationalism became a serious force after 1876. In 1932 a compromise with the central government granted Catalonia autonomy; this was revoked with the 1939 Nationalist victory in the Spanish Civil War, and Francisco Franco's government adopted a repressive policy toward Catalan nationalism. The reestablishment of democratic rule after Franco's death again led to autonomy in 1979. Today it is the richest and most industrialized part of Spain." - Answers.com

There's Something Happening Here What It Is Isn't Exactly Clear Are Tunisia Egypt Lebanon And European Mostly Youth Driven Riots Just The Beginning?

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" - John F Kennedy



The recent uprisings in the Europe and the Middle East are youth based. Does this indicate that the youth of the world are finally fed up with the corruption, violation of their rights and dogma of the generations of leaders that they have grown up under.
 
In the internet generation revolutions can spread quickly. Evidence of this is  governments in Egypt, Iran, Tunisia and elsewhere moving to block twitter, facebook and youtube channels as one of their first actions to quell decent and communication between the protesters and the outside world.



Revolutions nowadays take place on facebook and twitter not via printed handbills from the revolutionary cell working in the basement. The bigger questions with the recent uprisings in Europe and more so in Tunisia and Egypt, is it the begining of something that will grow and spread perhaps worldwide. I think we are witnessing the beginnings of something that is going to be quite amazing. Whether it means good or ill for the United State depends on how compromised and guilty we are in the minds of the revolutionaries.



I fear that the United States will deservingly be framed as the cause rather then the solution to the problem. It's not hard to imagine, given the many years of absolutely stupid foreign policy blunders and war making by our government in our name. It's generally called "blow back". Our meddling, criminal behavior, war mongering, and violation of human rights in and outside our country will come home to roost. Our unfair treatment of the Palestinians visa vi Israel will not set well with the new leaders who sprout from the revolts in predominantly Muslim countries where the uprisings are now are taking place. A terrible beauty is born...


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Brain Crushing Republican Bullshit Filled Blood Sucking Corporate Sellout Attempt To Repeal HeathCare

Right wingers tell nation's middle class to go fuck themselves when it comes to health care. When lying becomes a way of life.... your officially a Republican or you've entered the land of delusion to the point where you think up is down and yes is no and Sara Palin makes sense. But your probably okay if when you hear Palin or John Boehner talk you have an uncontrollable feeling of wanting to go to the bathroom and vomit you guts out, take a aspirin and go to bed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Muhammad Ali

Happy Birthday Muhammad. Thank you for the courage you demonstrated by refusing to be drafted and protesting the Viet Nam War, and never being bitter about it. Thank you for standing up for your convictions, and thank you for knocking out Sonny Liston, because I won $20 bucks on that fight in 1964.


"float like a butterfly sting like a bee".

Palin Likes Running Off Her All American God Fearing Trailer Trash Mouth


She still doesn't get it.

A New York Times reader comments on a story about Palin's speech in response to the Arizona shootings:
"It's not "blood libel" if one correctly points out Palin's past allusions to violence, the sneering touting of a gun culture as being the utter definition of a real American and the symbols of that culture being superimposed on political targets by her - including Gabby Giffords.
She wants it both ways.
When the entire persona she projects is wrapped up in the condescending nastiness she deeply represents and someone finally goes off, she rejects being linked to it on any intellectual level. It's just the act of a lone crazy gunman.
Sorry, Sarah. No hall pass for you. You've got your freedom of speech and your followers, now live in the world you have helped create. Sure, it's not pretty and you don't like being "tarred" - but there are a lot of unarmed people in this country who don't want to be shot because of what they think or who they are. I think you call them liberals."
"calm down it's only a surveyor's mark"
.

Massive Off Shore Tax Evasion By US Corporations?

Will International Banking whistle blower Rudolf Elmer blow the cover on massive off shore tax evasion by US individuals and corporations?
"A former Swiss private banker handed over data on hundreds of offshore bank account holders to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a news conference on Monday. Rudolf Elmer once headed the office of Julius Baer in the Cayman Islands until he was fired by the bank in 2002. He is scheduled to go on trial in Switzerland on Wednesday for breaching bank secrecy. Elmer handed Assange the data at a news conference at a media club in London."
 Here's the press conference:

 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Republican Pol's Proposal To Outlaw Guns Within 1000 Feet Of Elected Officials Should Be Expanded To Include Everyone

Just like a wimpy rightwing politician to try and make it a federal crime to have a gun within 1000 feet of any elected official. Hey buddy how about the rest of us? We're the ones that are more likely to get plugged by some gun nut because you won't do anything to stop the uncontrolled spread of handguns, assault weapons, or extended magazines, like the one use in the Arizona shooting spree. Yeah it's great for you and your fellow crony politician's butts, but how about the common folk out here on the real urban battlefield.

Go home and lock yourself in the house, and contemplate that real men don't need a gun.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tom Delay To Star On Dancing With The Bars

In recognition of today's news that former House Majority Leader Tom Delay has been sentenced to 3 years in prison.  From a my blog post of September 28th, 2005.


Calling All Weasels!

  “Raise your glass to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the uncounted heads
Let’s think of the wavering millions
Who need leaders but get gamblers instead”
Jagger/Richard


Who can be really surprised by the indictment of house majority leader Tom Delay by a Texas grand jury today? Not me or, I suspect, lots of other “salt of the earth” folks he’s had bent over backwards for years. The "hammer" as he is lovingly called by his bottom feeding supporters calls it all a pinko plot. You can tell this guy is a “weasel” five minutes into any one of his sound bites. This guy is the same Tom Delay who tried to cook the house ethics committee rules to allow ex felons to have their convictions ignored when it came time to determine whether they should be booted out of the congress for committing felonious acts. At least for the ones that get caught.

His Delayness” joins the number of GOP “leaders” who ethics or competence has been brought into question recently most notably Republican Tom Frist the Senate Majority Leader who's suspected of pulling the same thing that sent Martha Stewart to jail for insider trading. The question has to be asked how did this Delay become the majority leader of the United States House of Representatives in the first place? Common sense should tell anyone that his power is for sale to the highest bidder in most cases. Maybe this prostitution of one’s self plays well in the lone star state but it shouldn’t be tolerated coming from officers of our federal government. Many of his contemporaries in the government apparently fear his wrath should they stand up to him and call for his long overdo kicking to the curb. That is unfortunate indeed.

So what did this right wing “wacko” do to get such a bad reputation. Let me list the ways? Here are the “dirty dozen” as provided by Alternet.org.

Delay Raises Corporate Cash for TRMPAC:

DeLay is embroiled in a scandal in Texas for his active participation in illegally funneling corporate funds to assist state political campaigns. DeLay's political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), is under criminal investigation for using corporate money to finance Texas campaigns. DeLay has tried to distance himself from the group, but documents show DeLay "personally forwarded at least one large check" to the group and was "in direct contact with lobbyists for some of the nation's largest companies" on TRMPAC's behalf. [Source: NYT, 3/10/05; Salon, 10/04/04]

Delay Bribes Congressman to Vote for Medicare:

DeLay has admitted offering to endorse Sen. Nick Smith's (R-Mich.) son Brad, who was running for Congress at the time, in exchange for Smith's "yea" vote on the Medicare bill. His actions violated House rules and earned DeLay a "public admonishment" from the Ethics Committee. Smith originally alleged – and then retracted after pressure from House leaders – that DeLay also offered a $100,000 bribe for his vote. DeLay extended the role call on the Medicare bill for nearly three hours in order "to avoid an embarrassing loss." [Slate, 10/1/04; WP, 10/1/04]

Delay Uses Taxpayer Money for Partisan Stunt:

The House ethics panel rebuked DeLay for using government resources to help locate a private plane he thought was carrying Texas Democratic legislators. DeLay was trying to force the legislators back to the capitol so he could push through his "bitterly disputed congressional redistricting." The ethics report cited House rules that bar members from taking "any official action on the basis of the partisan affiliation...of the individuals involved" and said DeLay's behavior raised "serious concerns under such "standards of conduct." [WP, 10/7/04]

Delay Pays for Golf Tournaments with Cash Meant for Kids:

DeLay used a children's charity, Celebrations for Children Inc., as cover for collecting soft money from anonymous interest groups, some of which was used for "dinners, a golf tournament, a rock concert, Broadway tickets and other fundraising events" at the Republican convention in New York. Because the money was supposedly for charity, companies wishing to curry favor with DeLay were able to do so without revealing themselves as campaign donors. Federal laws governing tax-exempt charities allow no more than an insubstantial portion of a group's revenue to be spent on activities other than the charity's main stated purpose. [CBS, 11/14/03; WP, 3/24/04]

Delay Promises 'Seat At Table' for Donor:

In one of its three public rebukes, the House Ethics Committee cited the belief on the part of executives at an energy company, Westar Energy Inc., that a $56,500 contribution to a political action committee associated with DeLay would get them a "seat at the table" where key energy legislation was being drafted. DeLay also participated in Westar's golf fundraiser at The Homestead resort in the summer of 2002, " just as the House-Senate conference on major energy legislation ... was about to get underway." [WP, 10/7/04]

Delay Takes Money from Texas Prison Company with Legislation Pending:

DeLay took a $100,000 check from a private prison company: The Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) – at a fundraiser for his children's charity, the DeLay Foundation for Kids. CCA – whose 20-year history has been "fraught with malfeasance, mismanagement, and abuse" – was part of an ongoing lobby for a bill that would privatize up to half of Texas's jails. DeLay is known for wielding major influence over the Republican-led legislature that will decide on the matter. [Knight Ridder, 11/30/04; Texas Observer, 6/6/03]
Delay Blocks Legislation for Partisan Vendetta:

In 1999, DeLay received a "private rebuke" for threatening retaliation against the Electronic Industries Association when the trade group named a Democrat to head its Washington operation. To punish the group, DeLay stopped two uncontroversial trade bills that would have benefited the EIA and told the association it would lose all GOP access unless it hired a Republican instead. The group still hired the Democrat, but a little later, the EIA quietly hired a former House Republican staff member who promptly showed up at a fundraiser for DeLay's ARMPAC. [Texas Observer, 2/4/00; Slate, 12/5/98]

Delay Takes Shady Donations for Legal Defense Fund:

The list of recent donors to DeLay's legal defense fund includes two lawmakers placed on the House Ethics Committee this year (they replaced conservatives who were purged for being critical of DeLay), and corporations implicated in DeLay's alleged fundraising violations. Corporate donors include Bacardi U.S.A., the rum maker that has also been indicted in the Texas investigation, and Reliant Energy, "another major contributor to a Texas political action committee formed by Mr. DeLay that is the focus of the criminal inquiry." In December, DeLay was forced to return funds from registered lobbyists because those contributions violated House ethics rules. [NYT, 3/13/05; Time, 3/13/05]

Delay Leaves Ethics Behind On European Vacation:

DeLay enjoyed a luxurious vacation at the Four Seasons Hotel in London in mid-2000, paid for by an Indian tribe and a gambling services company, both of which opposed gambling legislation DeLay voted against two months later. The payment was funneled through lobbyist Jack Abramoff, best known for teaming up with right-wing religious fundamentalist Ralph Reed to close down a Texas casino operated by the Tigua Indians in 2002, then persuading the tribe to pay the two of them $4.2 million to lobby Washington lawmakers, including DeLay, to reopen it. According to expense accounts obtained by the Journal, Abramoff financed DeLay and DeLay's staff's stay at the Four Seasons hotel to the tune of $4,285.35. The total reimbursement for expenses in London was $13,318.50. [WP, 3/12/05; Raw Story, 2/25/05; WP, 9/29/04]

Delay Leaves House Rules Behind on Asian Vacation:

DeLay accepted an expense-paid trip to South Korea which, in direct violation of House rules, was paid for by a South Korean lobbying group. The Korea-U.S. Exchange Council, a group registered with the Foreign Agents Registration Act, was created with help from DeLay's former chief of staff. The cost to send DeLay, his wife and three of his lawmaker friends to Seoul for three days was $106,921, the fourth largest cost for any single trip taken by lawmakers between January 2000 and September 2004. [WP, 3/10/05]

Delay Kicks Ethics out of House:

DeLay and his allies in the House have sought to cripple the House Ethics Committee. The committee, which rebuked DeLay three times last year, was purged of its most "responsible" members last month and is currently "paralyzed" by a proposed rules change that "would prevent the committee from launching any investigation without the support of at least one Republican-a restriction designed to protect the majority leader." [WP, 2/5/05; WP, 10/7/04; Time, 3/13/05]

Delay Tries to Change Rules to Protect Power:

DeLay was the driving force behind the decision by House leaders to abandon an 11-year-old party rule that "required leaders to step aside temporarily if indicted." The idea was dropped only after rank-and-file lawmakers complained "the party was sending the wrong message." [NYT, 11/18/04; WP, 3/11/05]

This kind of behavior should not be tolerated no matter what political party or politician's sewer district it oozes up from. The President and Republicans leaders (who are not pending indictments themselves) should show some backbone and call for Delay to resign his seat in the congress now! He’s an embarrassment to the country and the institutions of government he is supposedly sworn to uphold and protect.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

No Country For Old Men Sheriff Expresses Anger At Arizona Gun Lobby

I'm starting to like the Sheriff of Pima County, Arizona Clarence Dupnik for his real life experienced based opinions about the shooting in Arizona yesterday.  He has apparently struck a cord with many others too, given there's a Clarence Dupnik is my hero page on facebook already.  He reminds me of the aging sheriff in the Coen brothers movie No Country for Old Men, with his, what's the world coming to attitude.

He's not afraid to say he's angry about the general state of affairs in the State of Arizona and with America in general when it comes to guns being made readily available especially to unbalanced individuals, who maybe susceptible to hate speech, and violent political rhetoric.

He also infers that dangerous mentally ill people who are allowed to walk the streets today should probably be institutionalized as they once were "when he was a young cop on the beat". A topic that certainly has some validity when we see the repeated episodes of certifiable mentally ill individual's involvement in a mass killing of the month somewhere in America. Also I have some empathy gained from my personal observations of the mentally ill gained while working as a municipal court clerk for over 25 years.

It could be argued that many mentally ill, homeless and other lost souls would be better served in a structured institutionalized setting instead of on the street struggling with their demons. Driven by the voices in their head and not willing or sane enough to take the medications needed to maintain lucidity or basic sanity.

But well meaning civil libertarians in the 1960's got the barn door open on the issue and it would be probably impossible to close now. The theory was that they did not need to be institutionalized only medicated and then turned lose to be serviced by community mental health clinics because they "were not a potential harm to others or themselves", if they simply took their psychotropic  medication.

But I regress.  Here is some of what the good sheriff thinks...
"Well, I think that when the rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates, and to try to inflame the public on a daily basis, twenty-four hours a day seven days a week has impact on people, especially (those) who are unbalanced personalities to begin with..”
The ironic aspect of the sheriff's comments are that many tea party sympathizers are probably, in reality, in the unbalanced gun nuts category. Maybe the exact point he's also trying to make. You can see the relevant parts of his press conference in the video via C-SPAN. 


Saturday, January 08, 2011

Your NRA At Work

Now we will have the requisite two weeks of commentary from the CNN's and MSNBC's on "how could a nut like this guy ever get a gun anyway", before we return to doing absolutely nothing about it because of politicians to stupidly redneck, in love with guns or afraid of the NRA to do anything meaningful about it.