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Barbara Lewis:

Virtually Speaking tonight

Virtually Speaking Live 6pm pacific 9pm eastern
Avedon Carol and Vast Left talk about “Left-side Obama criticism in the wake of his same-sex marriage statements;”

Vastleft’s chance encounter with Elizabeth Warren;  ‘Public-Private Partnerships’ and the London “drought”
Follow @VastLeft @Avedon_says Listen Live and later on BTR

Tom Morello

My hero Tom Morello will be on Moyers this weekend:

Songs of social protest — music and the quest for justice — have long been intertwined, and the troubadours of troubling times — Guthrie, Seeger, Baez, Dylan, and Springsteen among them — have become famous for their dedication to both. Now we can add a name to the ranks of those who lift their voices for social and economic justice: Tom Morello.


Morello, who will be Bill’s guest on Moyers & Company this weekend (check local listings), is the Harvard-educated guitarist who dabbled in politics, then chose rock music to make a difference. He played guitar for the popular band he co-founded — Rage Against the Machine — and then for Audioslave. Rolling Stone chose his album “World Wide Rebel Songs” as one of the best of 2011, and named him one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.


As likely to be spotted at a grass-roots rally as he would at a concert hall, Morello was in Madison, Wisconsin last year, braving bitter winter weather to sing on the steps on the state capitol in support of public service workers. Morello defended their collective bargaining rights against Republican Governor Scott Walker.


He was in New York City at the May Day demonstrations, an honorary commander of a battalion of musicians they called the “Occupy Guitarmy.” That same night, Harry Belafonte presented Morello with the Officers’ Award from the Sidney Hillman Foundation, honoring his “advocacy for and support of working people across the world.”

Aimee Copeland…..

This is such a tragic story. It is hard for me to write about it.

I lived in Carroll County in West Georgia, not only during my college years, but in my young adult life up to middle age. It is a beautiful place and I studied Geology and Earth Science at “West College.” I walked the area with my professors as well as with my archeology friends to learn all the ancient stuff. I also took a six pack to relax in its nature, too.  The vegetation is lush and thick, a fairy land. From the time I moved there from Atlanta in 1978 until I left in 1997, playing in the many creeks, rivers and reservoirs was just warm weather fun. Jumping rocks and rope swings to hit the cool water was a natural pastime. Sitting in rapid pools on Snake Creek was my jacuzzi when I had a hard week at the restaurant. But, even in the fall and winter, walking the woods was such a treat and there are plenty places to walk.

Aimee Copeland, obviously, loves the area as much as I do. She did the same fun playing as (I hope) many students at UWG have enjoyed for years. She is a graduate student at UWG Humanistic Psychology Department.  But, an accident on a home made zipline on the Little Tallapoosa River changed all that. She fell and hit something and her wound, at some point, was infected with Aeromonas hydrophila, a flesh eating bacteria.

Her bio from the the College:

Aimee is a masters student here at University of West Georgia Psychology. It is a program that attracts students who are seeking a psychology with heart. With Maslow’s Humanistic Psychology as our foundation, we explore existential-phenomenological and transpersonal, amongst other, approaches to understanding the human experience.  Aimee was attracted to this program because she sees psyche and spirit as inseparable.  She feels that psychology divorced from spirituality is “reductionistic,” and is missing the greater Unity of Existence; that humans are not things or objects, yet rather are an inseparable part of the Web of Life.  We are no different that the leaf which has no separate existence from the tree, from the ecosystem, and from the totality of Existence itself- whatever you may call it (i.e. God, Gaia, All, Cosmos.)

She has lost a leg. She is fighting. Aimee has also lost her fingers.

I don’t know if this is a water quality issue or not. I lived next to and swam in the Little Tallapoosa River for years.But, I bet it is a water issue.

I love her idea about nature and the humans. I have felt that way for a long time, but, I bet she could articulate it better than I could.

Good speed, Aimee….

Liberal arts

Is good for you! Despite snide comments from wingnuts and other wage slaves, a liberal arts education trains you in critical thinking.

Debtors prison

I could be wrong, but I think this law may be unconstitutional. I think it’s pretty settled case law that they have to prove you owe the money – but then again, the world’s turning upside down, so who knows?

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has approved legislation making it easier for debt collectors to go after defaulting consumers and small businesses.
Brewer signed House Bill 2664 into law today. The measure allows collection agencies to use final billing statements as a basis to show amounts owed and interest rates as they seek court judgments and wage garnishments.


The bill was favored by debt collectors, which buy delinquent accounts from banks and credit card companies for pennies on the dollar, but receive only minimal information from those sources. It can be difficult and expensive for the collection companies to get additional information on the defaulting consumers and business owners.


Debt collectors’ business model depends on them collecting money from the account holders whose information they buy. The new state law makes it easier on them if they can obtain final billing statements from the banks and credit card issuers.

Basically, they make shit up. But so much for law and order in Arizona!

Ode to the oligarchs

Long Dead Kings:

Bon appetit

Don’t eat Gulf seafood:

A new study has concluded that the FDA severely underrated the risk of contaminants in seafood following the BP oil spill of 2010, according to Environmental Health Perspectives (via Alternet).

The report, conducted by non-governmental scientists, says that 53 percent of Gulf shrimp samples tested revealed “levels above concern” of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Some cases showed carcinogenic levels up to 10,000 times more than what is considered safe.

This leaves pregnant women, children and big seafood eaters at risk to develop issues stemming from the consumption of these chemicals. Prenatal exposure to PAHs has been shown to lower IQs and increase the risk of asthma, heart malformations and low birth weight.

The researchers at the Natural Resources Defense Council also included internal FDA emails — procured using the Freedom of Information Act — that showed a concerted effort to downplay the effects of the contaminants. Emails also showed decisions to ignore alarms raised by FDA staff concerning this issue.

The report calls on the FDA to update their current risk assessment of seafood.

In response, the FDA says that setting higher protective health measures will “do more harm than good,” since people would have to remove more food from their home than necessary. Both the NRDC and Alternet have noted that there was no scientific backing provided for this claim.

Yep

What Lance said.

Jerry Brown

Adapts to circumstance like a cockroach. Now, I’ll point out here that California governors have so many limits on budgeting and tax increases that he may literally have no other option.

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