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- 1,020,167 hits
- Robert Zemeckis’ FORREST GUMP and American Culture and Memory
- STUDENTS KEEPING THEIR OWN SCHOOLS CLEAN--TAIWAN
- Blockbusting history: Forrest Gump as a powerful medium of American cultural memory
- What is the meaning behind the song 'To Sir With Love' by Lulu?
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- A WORLD OF PRETENDERS: Partial Review of the Filipino Novel, THE PRETENDERS by F. Sionil Jose
- Why is Dodge City (KS) becoming the Teen Suicide Capital of the USA in 2018?
Monthly Archives: January 2010
NO MORE IMPUNITY FOR BLACKWATER AND XE!!!!! USA MUST COME CLEAN AND GET RID OF ALL MERCENARIES IN ARMED FORCES NOW!!!!!!
I’d like to ask American Veterans Against the War
to support the victims of the public square massacre by Blackwater. Until now Blackwater has had total impunity in the United States. Please speak out and get your loved ones—especially concerned Americans to speak out now.
The following points come from an interview on DEMOCRACY NOW yesterday. It concerns the famous BLACKWATER MASSACRE in a public square in Iraq—it was the case that forced Blackwater to change its name to Xe.
I just saw the video clip of a Maryland corporation running for Congress. The spoof shows MURRAY HILL INC. telling us Americans in the Wake of One of the Worst USA SUPREME COURT DECISIONS in 200 years that Corporations are ready to officially take their seats in the Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House.
Murray Hill Inc. tells us Americans, it is time that corporations take their rightful place in America. This includes corporations, such as FOX News and General Motors, are ready to move permanently into the Legislative and Executive offices ASAP:
The Murray Hill Inc. speaks for Corporate World, Inc. and promises a Brave New World of Corporate Certainty, like ENRON accounting skills, and other great financial skills, like the Lehman Brothers. The video states to America (and the world).
“It’s a new day, until now, corporations influence politics with high paid lobbyist and backroom deals, however, as much as a corporation can give to politicians, we could never be absolutely sure they would do our bidding. But today, thanks to an enlightened Supreme Court, corporations now have all the rights the founding fathers meant for us. It’s our democracy, we bought it, we paid for it, we’re going to keep it, that’s why MHI is taking democracy’s next step, running for Congress. The way we see it, Corporate America has been the driving force behind congress for years, but now it’s time we got behind the wheel ourselves. MHI will bring enlightened self interest and corporate accounting to government to put business first. It is a vision for the future we can all be proud of. Now that democracy is for sale, MHI is offering top dollar. Vote MHI for Congress, for the best democracy money can buy.”
See the Murray Hill Website for more background.
I ask, “Well, let’s put up some NGO’s for office against the Great Corporations of the World?”
You see, I have been trying to get Americans interested in Pirate Campaigns for congress and the presidency for a number of years, now.
I think it is time, i.e. 2010,–very high time to do it! Don’t you?
What is a Pirate Campaign? Well, it simply means that the party will take over where other parties are not functioning well in Cyberspace governance and societyand will put up great candidates simultaneously for office in several places. It has worked in Sweden, German and in the European Union Parliament in the last 10 months.
Those pirate parties in Europe are not quite as humanitarian as I would like to see in most pirate campaigns, but that could change due to the high unemployment and suffering in the USA over the past decade. Utah residents are already setting an example, by recruiting their best candidate online
Here is the premise for the Utah citizen’s recruitment.
“Many Utahns are concerned that Congressman Jim Matheson has sold out every progressive constituency to corporate interests. The Citizens’ Candidate is about taking our political system out of the hands of corporations and putting citizens back in control. The candidate elected through answering a Craigslist ad will always remember he or she is accountable to the public interest. Progressive Congressional Representative wanted to represent the people of Utah’s 2nd district in the United States House of Representatives. Must have solid moral values and a resistance to selling out to corporate interests. Eligible candidate should have a strong commitment to defending fundamental human rights over corporate profits.”
The conditions or responsibilities for the Citizen’s Candidate include:
“-Stopping catastrophic climate change
-Giving all Americans access to healthcare
-Protecting and reinstating the rights of workers and unions
-Granting equal rights to LGBT people
-Defending the rights of immigrants to basic human dignity and a US foreign policy that allows them to make a living in their home country
-Ending imperialistic wars of aggression
Travel is required between Washington, DC and Utah. Employee is expected to meet with supervisors (Utah voters) regularly and publicly. This is a salaried position with a two year contract beginning January, 2011. Selection process will occur over most of 2010.
-Be at least 25 years old
-Be a US citizen for at least 7 years
-Be a resident of Utah
-Commitment to transparency
-Honesty, integrity, courage”
Interestingly, Utah, where the Citizen Candidate is being selected and drafted into office. is where Robert Redford has lived for decades.
Redford told Americans how a candidate should run for office over 4 centuries ago in another spoof (a political spoof) called THE CANDIDATE. Bill McKay, the political talking-head played by Redford, looks into the camera and tells viewers and real candidates to NOT IGNORE THE ISSUES.”
McKay stated to the American viewer, “In the beginning—I think it’s important to note what subjects we haven’t discussed. We’ve completely ignored the fact that this is a society divided by fear, hatred and violence. And until we talk about just what this society really is, then I don’t know how we’re going to change it. For example, we haven’t discussed the rock that destroys our cities. We have all the resources we need to check it, and we don’t use them. And we haven’t discussed why not. We haven’t discussed race in this country. We haven’t discussed poverty. In short, we haven’t discussed any of the sicknesses that may yet send this country up in flames. And we better do it. We’d better get it out in the open and confront it, before it’s too late.”
In short, REAL CANDIDATES need to stop ignoring the facts and needs of the electorate.
This why many leading online- and statewide-citizen organizers in Utah explain their efforts as follows in 2009-2010, “This is really a grass-roots initiative that was an experiment. It has been an experiment the whole way through. It grew out of the realization over 2009 that Jim Matheson and a lot of the Blue dog Democrats were really doing more harm than good, that they were causing more of a problem with our system than the Republicans, actually, and that we needed to replace them. But all of our influential progressive politicians here in Utah, weren’t willing to run against him because of the political risk. So, we were searching for a candidate, and it was somewhat out of frustration that I put a help wanted ad on Craigslist, with the whole job description, requirements, and what we wanted out of people. So that is kind of where it grew out of, and then we pulled together this Progressive Coalition… .”
REAL CANDIDATES NEED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
An alternative to corporate institutions officially taking over the White House, the Senate, The House, your Governor’s office, etc. in 2010 would be to put great NGOs with great names and histories up across from the MURRAY HILL INCs of America in 2010.
How about putting Doctors Without Borders up against Dr. Pepper in Texas?
What about Habitat for Humanity against Coca Cola in Georgia?
Why not imagine Human Rights Watch over Citibank in New York State?
Surely, Amnesty International could whoop up on genetically-modified Monsanto in Missouri?
Anyway, AMERICANS, DON’T EVER AGAIN ALLOW 5 poor decision makers on the Supreme Court decide your next President (Senator, Representative, or Governor) like they did so arbitrarily in December 2000, i.e. when 5 misguided judges mistakenly picked the wrong victor for U.S. president. What a disaster that was?
We need to not just write letters, WE NEED TO ADDRESS REAL ISSUES AND REAL SOLUTIONS.
Don’t you think that is “the key?”
Become active! Get a real functioning Constitution and Country in 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHY IS WASHINGTON IN SLOW MOTION?
By Kevin Anthony Stoda, Candidate of U.S. Senator from Kansas 2010
Let’s start counting the ways that Washington, D.C. is either sleepwalking through history or running the clock back on progress or simply existing in slow motion:
(A) The British parliament is currently appropriately investigating the crimes leading up to Tony Blair’s insistence that the UK must make war on Iraq in 2003. Tony Blair is having to answer for all the world to see. Why isn’t this being done in the USA?
(B) Meanwhile, despite overspending, bad spending, and horrible military management of resources over the last decade[s], Barack Obama has announced in his most recent State of the Union Address that the DOD is still America’s sacred cow, i.e. no foreseeable burden-sharing by the military budget managers over the next 5 years in paying off the huge debt that American banks and wars have caused over the past presidential and senatorial terms. Why is this sacred cow to remain untouched?
(C) In his recent State of the Union Address, Obama also stated that the US would build many more coal and nuclear powered plants at a time when he is supposedly committed to oversee Americans reducing their production of Greenhouse producing gases. The Germans, South Koreans, and even the Chinese will surpass America’s development of alternative energy-related technologies if the USA does not stop turning the clock back on progress. Germany’s clean technological focus has already made that part of its economy a great “economic weapon”. Many East Asian nations are going to copy and follow Germany’s every moves. Why isn’t the USA out front in developing and using this “economic weapon”? Why build nuclear power plants when we can build and produce safer and cleaner energy technologies already cheaper than the Germans due to our weak dollar?
(D) In that same State of the Union Address, Obama said that along with building and developing new rail systems and technologies for mass transit and transport nationwide, he wanted to rebuild the highway system in the USA. Woah!! Let’s only build more roads if the trains can’t get there. Build the train system first. I dream of a train system that load American cars on and off in 2 minutes. Such a system makes sense for the greatest portions of American where dense populations can be served by trains and less densely populated corners could load and unload cars, trucks and trailers in minutes. Why not focus instead of wasting too much money on more roads?
(E) What a waste of time we have seen in the health care system over the last two years! America needs universal coverage. Washington (1) has no reason not to allow portability of health care coverage indefinitely and (2) certainly has complete support from the American public to allow for a no-preexisting condition in all health care contracts. WHY THE DELAY? Both the executive branch and congress have the ability to pass those two changes as of YESTERDAY. Once we get this ball rolling, what can stop the movement?
(F) America needs several major Amendments to the US Constitution. The Supreme court guaranteed that need ten days ago when our USA Supreme Court unexpectedly allowed unlimited contributions by the wealthiest peoples and corporations around the globe. Why do not Senators and Congressmen meet TODAY and get the Amendment passed to stop unlimited campaign spending etc. IN 2010 and send the Amendment off to states for the approval it needs ASAP. (Why not support the bill that Rep. Donna Edwards has already suggested?)
In all these cases, Washington, D.C., the official seat of power in America, has started 2010 behind the curve. There are so many more areas that we need to have legislatures and American activists work on now and in the coming decade.
American citizens need to take over.
What are your suggestions for things that the executive and legislative branches need to be getting done in 2010?
Send me suggestions at this web site. I will share them and take your ideas more seriously than current U.S. Senators would.
NOTE: KAS is running an online campaign again this year, He encourages others to get online and maybe America can actually turn the tables on the money monsters by running on a shoestring and winning congressional or senatorial seats this year. (Why do we need congressmen and senators doing fundraising 2 to 3 days of every week instead of empowering you?)
This week a U.S. Court granted a German family from Hessen the right to asylum in the USA. The family had fled Germany two years ago under threat of jailing and separation of parents from their children in the name of a school law that undermines the freedom of
The Washington Post noted Tuesday, “The decision clears the way for Uwe Romeike (roh-MY-kee), his wife and five children to stay in Morristown, Tenn., where they have been living since 2008. Romeike says his family was persecuted for their evangelical Christian beliefs and for homeschooling their children in Germany, where school attendance is compulsory. When the Romeikes wouldn’t comply with repeated orders to send the children to school, police came to their home one October morning in 2006 and took the children to school. German state constitutions require children to attend public or private schools and parents can face fines or prison time if they don’t comply.”
I had written about the issue of homeschooling in Germany—NICHT ERLAUBT [NOT ALLOWED]—a year ago. I have sometimes wondered since if my advocacy for allowing homeschooling here was one reason that my wife’s visa here was denied twice in the past year.
You see, there is a lot of bullying in German schools and it has carried over to administrations of civil servants in Germany and firms, too. I reported on one mobbing case with tax officials in an article earlier today.
On German radio yesterday and today, I have heard discussions on the U.S. court’s decision supporting the claim of the Romeikes to take asylum in the USA. The discussants noted that the claim to homeschooling was tied to the Romeike family’s desire for religious guidance in education and the right of parents to raise their children in a less consumerist and competitive environment. In short, there is too much peer pressure verging on bullying in some schools. The Romeike’s wanted their children to be able to stand up to those pressures in society and become more like their parents, i.e. with their religious preferences being passed on to their children. In order to do this, they felt the need to incubate (educate) their brood longer within the household than German school laws allow.
LIKE a Psycho Thriller MOVIE: 4 CIVIL SERVANTS OF THE GERMAN IRS WERE JUDGED PSYCHOLOGICALLY UNSOUND AFTER DOING THEIR JOBS TOO WELL
There have been attempts to stop whistle blowing under the Bush and Obama governments in recent years. However, Hessen (a state in Germany) has an anti-whistle blowing policy of bullying in place that compares with Communist China. Is reform in site for Civil Servants and others in Hessen?
Last summer 2009, while I was struggling with injustices against my wife’s visa application which resulted from the lack of whistle-blowing culture among the civil servants in the Integration Office in Wiesbaden, all the newspapers were reporting a case of criminality and bullying of another group of civil servants in the same state of Hessen.
In that case from last summer, known as the Hessen Tax-Collector Affair, four amazingly diligent civil servants working for the Finance Ministry (i.e. U.S.’s federal Internal Revenue Service counterpart) were treated as insane by others until they were forced to leave their work. Each had been responsible of collecting hundreds of millions of dollars in back taxes from various German firms and individuals.
Moreover, each of the 4 civil servants became victims of what German’s call “mobbing” or bullying. The 4 were actually guilty of recovering too much tax money. (Who instigated the mobbing? Why? How was it carried out? Why did these people who instigated the mobbing and mislabeling of civil servants could get away of the crime?)
For this extra-effort beyond the call of duty, these 4 Finance Ministry officials in Hessen were harassed by other civil servants in and out of their ministry until a single Psychiatrist, known as Psychiatrist H. in the media, declared each of them mentally unfit to work as civil servants.
These 4 victims of the lower and unfair [kangaroo] courtroom’s justice in Hessen originally lost their jobs–and in German society today, one who is declared mentally unstable has little chance of new employment. The youngest among the four was in his 30s.
SYSTEMATIC ISSUE IN HESSEN AND GERMAN SOCIETY
To me, if the episode had happened to a single employee, I would have considered the whole affair simply a scandal. However, the fact that it happened to four employees fairly simultaneously leads me to think that the bullying among the civil servant system in Germany is systematic—or at least out of control.
Almost a week before international Holocaust Recognition Day (today January 27), the German newspaper, DIE ZEIT, ran a three article series on how Turkish Germans and Turkish peoples in Germany see the Holocaust and Holocaust education in Germany. One of the articles included a lengthy review of an opinion poll exclusively of Turkish Germans and Turkish peoples in Germany.
This article was called “Was geht uns das an?” (“How does that [the Holocaust] relate to Us?”) and was found in the hard copy of DIE ZEIT on the 21st of January 2010. Interestingly, the online version of a similar article from that same date is
entitled “Divided Memory: German-Turks and the Holocaust” (“Geteilte Erinnerung: Deutschtuerken und der Holokaust”)
What is interesting to me in reading both stories is that DIE ZEIT editors who had produced the poll, which was carried out in German schools and at actual Holocaust sites in Germany over this past year, had had a pre-poll hypothesis that German-Turks or Turkish-Germans would think and respond in their replies statistically differently than the masses of the German population might. Considering that Turkish peoples have made up the largest non-ethnic-German population in the Federal Republic of Germany for most of my entire life (more than 4 decades), I was very surprised that this had been DIE ZEIT writers and editors expectations for their German cohabitants in Europe: i.e. the Turks.
One survey question asked the following: When you see photos of the starving Jews in the Concentration Camps [of the Nazis during the Holocaust], how do you respond? The responses were as follows:
-74% Above all, compassion.
-27% Only very little compassion as I had nothing to do with it.
-23% Above all, a disgust with the Germans.
-7% I don’t know or No Answer.
I was riding on a series of trains through Bavaria during a light snowstorm today. As I rode–and then ran through–the central terminals in Nurnberg, Wurzburg, and Aschaffenburg on my way back to Wiesbaden this below zero day in history January 2010, I took time to read through Khaled Hosseini’s THE KITE RUNNER, set primarily in pre-9-11 Afghanistan.
I started my journey westward from near the Czech Republic from one of the U.S. Military [Grafenwoehr] Bases in Bavaria and marveled at how the connections to Afghanistan were so evident around me in these particular hills of the Upper Palatinate. In just a few months, locally stationed American volunteers by the thousands are going to leave the snow country of Germany—a place of relative security globally—in order to expand American presence in snowy Afghanistan (and even into Pakistan in terms of indirect and direct U.S. military moneys, drones, and forces.)
I had picked up the book, THE KITE RUNNER, on base in Vilseck and was pleased that American soldiers and their families were familiarizing themselves with Hosseini’s Afghanistan by introducing themselves to the complex history of 20th century Afghanistan. Like Hosseini many American soldiers and their families are writers and poets, too.
[Blood ties is a major theme in THE KITE RUNNER.] Here is an example of one Army mom’s prayer for her offspring and blood.
God bless my son
As he falls to sleep,
I pray this night the peace to keep.
When he wakes to start the day
I pray that love will lead the way.
If there’s danger
And if there’s strife,
Please send Angels to guard his life.
Keep him safe and free from fear,
Bless my soldier and keep him near.
Until he’s home, Until he’s safe
Bring peace to our hearts
And strength to our faith.
The inconsistency — or hypocrisy, as some call it — has irked Democrats, who claim that their plan will pay for itself with higher taxes and spending cuts and cite the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office for support. By contrast, when Republicans controlled the House, Senate and White House in 2003, they overcame Democratic opposition to add a deficit-financed prescription drug benefit to Medicare.
KEITH OLBERMAN SAID IT RIGHT, & We see “Worst Media Coverage on the newest Supreme Court DECISION in USA ever”
I have certainly seen a lot of progressives on the horn today about the HORRIBLE SUPREME COURT DECISION yesterday to allow unlimited spending by special interest groups, businesses, lobbyists, in all American elections forever.
Common caused responded correctly, “Moments ago, in a stunning decision, the Roberts Court opened the floodgates to out-of-control corporate and union spending in elections. This wrong-headed ruling doesn’t just disrupt the way elections work. It poses a direct and immediate threat to the vibrancy of our democracy. An already corrupt system that makes it hard for citizens to have a voice could become a chaotic free-for-all in which ordinary people’s voices will be permanently drowned out of the electoral process. Only a popular uprising in response to this decision can save the day. “
However, with Haiti all over the news, the momentous story of Supreme court’s activism in changing American democracy has been ignored by too many USA media giants and small-town wannabee media conglomerates.
“Nearly a dozen family members of mine are veterans. Over half of those have served in the Middle East and Afghanistan. They are not made safer by the continued existance of Guantanamo–as they are called up to serve again and again in areas of danger.” Kevin Stoda.
Sign the petition!!!
Guantanamo is known the world over as a place where people have been abused and tortured. Many of the egregious techniques that shocked the international community – stripping and hooding detainees, blaring music non-stop at ear-shattering levels, “stress positions,” and waterboarding – have been used there.
It has been one year since President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order calling for the closure of the prison at GuantanamoBay. Today, 20 veterans are on Capitol Hill, representing over 2000 veterans who have signed the letter telling Congress to follow through and support President Obama’s call to close the detention center at Guantanamo as a matter of national security. But the right wing led by Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman continue to play the old game of politics and fear. It’s time for us to stand up and finish what President Obama has started. Stand with our veterans to demand the closing of Guantanamo. Continue reading