always on, always in.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers for First-time Job Seekers



Tuesday, April 05, 2005

My Home Town


My Home Town
Originally uploaded by corps_kid.
This is my hometown, I don't have any family here anymore, everyone moved away. Kind of sad, I still miss it. Everyone once in a while I go back to see what it's like. It changes everytime.

Friday, March 11, 2005

I've got a new site

I've got a new site

I have a new site up and running at http://brokekid.net. I have been working with a developer and now the site is running smoothly aside from some tweaks and whatnot left to do. I am going to import all my posts from this site to the new one as well as write mainly to that site. I will be on here less and less. Please make the jump and follow me over.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Bush's Misplayed Hand

Bush's Misplayed Hand

American politics has been so corrupted by concepts such as "positioning" and "message discipline" that citizens don't get credit for their ability to decide issues on the merits. But when the public knows and cares a great deal about what's at stake, it is quite discerning about what's true and what's not.

That's why President Bush's troubles on Social Security cannot be explained by some alleged failure of the White House's usually impeccable communications operation. Conventional explanations fail because this is a battle over principle in which the facts matter.

So far the president has made at least four mistakes. He assumed he could convince the country that Social Security faces a crisis requiring urgent action. He thought he could accentuate the positive -- those "personal accounts" really do sound great -- without laying out what they would cost. He counted on getting good-government points by "facing up" to Social Security's long-term problems without proposing any hard steps to fix them. And he figured that some Democrats would fall his way simply because that's what has always happened before.

The "crisis" claim didn't fly because it wasn't true. The president himself has gotten more careful in how he speaks about the long-term shortfall, because the moment he notes that the Social Security trust fund does not run dry until somewhere between 2042 and 2052, the notion of a crisis goes up in smoke.

As for personal accounts, their more forthright advocates acknowledge that paying for them will require either substantial tax increases or borrowing on the order of $2 trillion. Bush has finessed this nasty detail, hoping that such brave Republican legislators as Sens. Lindsey Graham and Chuck Hagel would take the hit for delivering the bad news. The president could later claim success for the enactment of a "package" brought about through a secular version of immaculate conception. But if the president really believes in these accounts, why won't he step up and say how he'd pay for them?

...More

(via washingtonpost.com) |

Ex-Marine Says Public Version of Saddam Capture Fiction

Ex-Marine Says Public Version of Saddam Capture Fiction

A former U.S. Marine who participated in capturing ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said the public version of his capture was fabricated.

Ex-Sgt. Nadim Abou Rabeh, of Lebanese descent, was quoted in the Saudi daily al-Medina Wednesday as saying Saddam was actually captured Friday, Dec. 12, 2003, and not the day after, as announced by the U.S. Army.

"I was among the 20-man unit, including eight of Arab descent, who searched for Saddam for three days in the area of Dour near Tikrit, and we found him in a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as announced," Abou Rabeh said.

"We captured him after fierce resistance during which a Marine of Sudanese origin was killed," he said.

He said Saddam himself fired at them with a gun from the window of a room on the second floor. Then they shouted at him in Arabic: "You have to surrender. ... There is no point in resisting."

"Later on, a military production team fabricated the film of Saddam's capture in a hole, which was in fact a deserted well," Abou Rabeh said.

...More

(via wokr13.tv) |

Chicago may Get Wireless Access

Chicago may Get Wireless Access

Chicago would be empowered to build an $18 million wireless Internet access system across the city under an ordinance expected to be rushed through today's City Council meeting to beat Springfield to the punch.

"Instead of having to go to a Starbucks coffee or another upscale coffee or sandwich shop to get wireless access for your laptop, it could be available throughout the city. Any police investigator could immediately log onto the Internet and be in receipt of a mug shot or criminal history anyplace in the jurisdiction," said Finance Committee chairman Edward M. Burke (14th).

Chicago could either install its own Wi-Fi cellular devices on streetlights, traffic signals and public buildings across the city or entertain bids from private sector companies eager to do so in exchange for a hefty fee, Burke said.

"The city could . . . enter into an agreement to receive a percentage of the revenues that the operating company might receive from providing the service . . . This, in theory, could be quite a large source of revenue for a city that's already strapped," Burke said.

...More

(via suntimes.com) |

Chicago may Get Wireless Access

Chicago may Get Wireless Access

Chicago would be empowered to build an $18 million wireless Internet access system across the city under an ordinance expected to be rushed through today's City Council meeting to beat Springfield to the punch.

"Instead of having to go to a Starbucks coffee or another upscale coffee or sandwich shop to get wireless access for your laptop, it could be available throughout the city. Any police investigator could immediately log onto the Internet and be in receipt of a mug shot or criminal history anyplace in the jurisdiction," said Finance Committee chairman Edward M. Burke (14th).

Chicago could either install its own Wi-Fi cellular devices on streetlights, traffic signals and public buildings across the city or entertain bids from private sector companies eager to do so in exchange for a hefty fee, Burke said.

"The city could . . . enter into an agreement to receive a percentage of the revenues that the operating company might receive from providing the service . . . This, in theory, could be quite a large source of revenue for a city that's already strapped," Burke said.

...More

(via suntimes.com) |

George Bush Mashup

George Bush Mashup

Brilliant and hilarious speech mash-ups of George W. Bush set to classic melodies. These are gonna make your day. Six more tracks are available on The Party Party site. I have DJ Longbeard to thank for turning me onto this stuff. I'm privileged to be on the air at KUCI right before his show Synchronicity. It's chock full o' fun like this...dig in.

...More

(via 3hive.com) |

Wal-Mart Jobs and African-American Dreams

Wal-Mart Jobs and African-American Dreams

Throughout his life, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made vital connections between the struggle for civil rights, freedom, economic justice and equality. Dr. King's 1967 "Poor People's Campaign" was a heroic effort to bring all these issues together with a powerful call for family-supporting wages that could build ladders from poverty to prosperity.

It was the dogged pursuit of that vision that motivated sanitation workers in Memphis to fight for a living wage by forming a union. When Dr. King was assassinated, he was supporting those striking workers, whose quest for dignity was captured in their campaign slogan "I am a man."

Dr. King's lessons still resonate, with sometimes painful relevance today. As the automation of the 1960s swept away jobs and living standards, he decried workers being pressed into low-wage jobs with longer hours and no protections. Yet even Dr. King could hardly have imagined that such standards would become the business model for the world's largest employer: Wal-Mart.

With 1.2 million U.S. workers, Wal-Mart is reshaping the American workplace. Its Supercenters are being built where productive factories once stood, and middle-class workers are now competing for jobs as all-night cashiers, making a fraction of their former wages. The Wal-Mart model of low costs, underwritten by low wages, has cast a shadow on Dr. King's dreams of an American economy that provides stability and prosperity for all workers. Just as the Memphis sanitation workers were asked to work without dignity, so too are Wal-Mart's.

For all its resources, Wal-Mart shares little with its employees. The average salesclerk made $13,861 in 2001, nearly $800 below the federal poverty line for a family of three.

Less than half of Wal-Mart workers are enrolled in the company's health insurance plan. State after state has documented Wal-Mart workers' reliance on publicly-funded state health care plans for themselves and their children.

Wal-Mart stops at nothing to break the will of workers who seek to improve their lives by forming unions. When meatcutters in Jacksonville, Texas chose union representation, Wal-Mart eliminated the department and switched to pre-packaged meat. The company recently announced it would shut down an entire store in Canada rather than honor the newly formed union.

Finally, Wal-Mart imported $15 billion worth of Chinese products last year, a result of pressuring its suppliers for costs so low they can only be achieved in an environment where human rights are violated at will. Its insatiable demand for cheap labor has crushed local competitors and driven thousands of American jobs overseas, leaving nothing but, you guessed it, Wal-Mart jobs in their wake.

With more than 3,500 stores nationwide, the company has a voracious appetite for growth, and urban areas are one of the few places left to conquer...More

(via alternet.org) |

How The RIAA Does Math: Why You Might Be A $50 Million Felon

How The RIAA Does Math: Why You Might Be A $50 Million Felon

Yesterday, in discussing the odd case of a teen convicted under Arizona state laws for unauthorized copying, we wondered about some of the details -- including the $50 million claim pinned to the material on his hard drive in early versions of the AP story (later removed, for no clear reason). Luckily, we've got some answers. Slate takes a look at the $50 million and explains how the content industry does math to come up with such figures. The real answer is they basically make it up. They determine that each work can be valued somewhere between $750 and $30,000, even if they can all be downloaded legally for $1 a piece. It certainly seems a bit presumptuous to put such a high number on the value. However, this story gets even better. Ernest Miller takes a crack at the specific Arizona state law that tripped up this guy, and realizes it turns fair use copying into a felony. That's right. The details show that if you're simply ripping your own legally purchased CDs into MP3s for personal use or backup, you are breaking this particular law, and could reach the felony stage with as little as 1,000 songs -- even though fair use copying is legal. Of course, at $30,000 per song, that's only $30 million. To get up to $50 million, you'd need to rip 1,667 songs. If we assume an average album has... say... 12 songs, you'd just need to rip approximately 140 CDs to reach the $50 million felon mark. Not so hard. You might already be there.

...More

(via techdirt.com) |

Gov. Schweitzer Goes After Tax Cheats

Gov. Schweitzer Goes After Tax Cheats

In Montana:

Gov. Brian Schweitzer unveiled a plan Monday to crack down on cheating taxpayers that he said could mean an additional $20 million in tax collections for the state over two years.

The plan, some of which will require legislative approval for changes in laws, is aimed mostly at large multistate corporations, wealthy taxpayers and those out-of-state taxpayers making money from selling Montana property.

The proposal targets what the administration calls "abusive tax shelters and income shifting techniques" that some people and companies use to avoid paying what they should in Montana taxes.

"The long-term consequences of abusive tax shelters could be severely detrimental to Montana's economy," Schweitzer said in prepared remarks. "Montana's hardworking and law-abiding citizens do not deserve to be ripped off by high net worth individuals and multistate corporations who aren't playing by the rules."

Way to make taxes work for Montana Democrats.

...More

(via dailykos.com) |

Uganda Nabs 16-Foot-Long, Man-Eating Crocodile

Uganda Nabs 16-Foot-Long, Man-Eating Crocodile

A 5-meter-long (16 ft) crocodile said to have eaten more than 80 people has been caught alive in Uganda and transferred to a sanctuary, officials said Tuesday.

The giant beast -- weighing about a ton-- was captured by wildlife experts who spent three nights camping in the bush before locating their target.

Residents told local media the crocodile killed 83 people over the last two decades, mostly fishermen plying their trade on Lake Victoria off the shores of Bugiri district.

"Much as the residents of Luganga wanted to kill the reptile after our rangers had captured it, it is our responsibility to protect it by removing it from that area and keeping it in a safe place," Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) spokeswoman Lillian Nsubuga told Reuters.

The beast - reportedly more than 60 years old -- was trapped using ropes and transported by pick-up truck to Buwama crocodile farm west of the capital Kampala.

...More

(via reuters.com) |

Why are All Movies the Same Price?

Why are All Movies the Same Price?

Well, not the same price in all cases. Before 6 p.m. is cheaper, there are numerous dollar theaters, and not all films allow for discount coupons. Nonetheless a multiplex will charge the same ($9.50 in my case) for the number one movie and for a flop. Nor is the price more expensive for Saturday night, or during the summer when demand is higher. Can any economic model predict these results? Here are a few observations:

1. Theater owners are trying to maximize profit across all screens. Spillover demand, from people who can't get in to see their first choice, is a significant source of revenue. You don't want markets to clear on a screen-by-screen basis.

2. Low prices encourage queuing, which attracts the young and hardy. Those same customers are most likely to spread the virtues of movies by word of mouth. A theater might rather have a young customer than an old customer.

3. Lines for a popular film are one way of generating valuable publicity...More

(via marginalrevolution.com) |

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

What is Zopa?


What is Zopa?

According to the website, "Zopa is a place where creditworthy people who want to borrow money can get together with people who are happy to lend it to them. And because there's no middleman - the borrower just pays a 1% exchange fee to Zopa up front - both get a great deal."

What does that mean? Zopa is kind of like a peer to peer network for lending out YOUR money to average Joes that need money. You sign up with Zopa set the amount you wish to loan, at the percentage you wish to set and it will disperse the money across 50 borrowers to protect the lender, again this is YOU, from a defaulting borrower.

Is it a good idea? I'm not sure, but it is an interesting idea....More

(via zopa.com) |

Air2Water Dolphin - Water out of Thin Air!


Air2Water Dolphin - Water out of Thin Air!

This one's got both the whiz-bang and why-didn't-I-think-of-that factors. Plug it in, and water comes out. That's it. No lines to connect, no bottles to stick on top (spilling water all over the floor in the process). So where does the water come from? Somebody had the clever idea of combining a dehumidifier with a water purifier, so that instead of throwing out the pan of water sucked from the air, you can drink it. It may be a bit much for your kitchen at home, but it sounds perfect for every office cluttered up with huge water cooler bottles. It'll produce 20 liters of water a day in 70% humidity, which is about the amount that comes in one of those fat-ass 5 gallon bottles, but without the waste or transportation emissions.

...More

(via treehugger.com) |

Google Updates Desktop Search


Google Updates Desktop Search

I can't write a full review here (I'm on a Mac...), but tonight Google takes the beta off its Google Destkop Search (this link is to my initial coverage, including a lot of ramblings on the implications).

Taking off beta is no big deal, right?

Well, no. It's a pretty big deal, because Google is adding a couple of things in release 1.0 which 1/make a lot of sense, and 2/will stir up a pot o' press reaction, all of which will have some variant of this headline: "Google Plans End Run Around Microsoft."

In short, the new version of Google Desktop will include APIs for any Windows application developer, letting anyone plug their application into GDS (ie, iTunes, chat, or...MSFT Office, for example). Developers can access these APIs to do two things - one, to make sure their documents are indexed by GDS, and appear as searched by GDS in any way they care to. And second, to plug Google search, all of Google search, into their apps.

In short, if you are Windows developer, you can now plug Google (yup, all of Google search, not just desktop) into your application. Isn't integrated search what MSFT is promising with Longhorn? Why, yes it is. But that's two years out. This is ready now.

...More

(via battellemedia.com) |

I Just Got Used to 802.11g, now this? Get ready for 802.11s


I Just Got Used to 802.11g, now this? Get ready for 802.11s

There's 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11i, 802.11n, and a bunch of other IEEE wireless LAN standards you don't hear about much, but now Intel has introduced a proposal for 802.11s, which is reserved for mesh networking. Mesh networking has been around for years, but the basic idea is that instead of the current hub-and-spoke model of wireless communications, with every device connecting to a central access point, with mesh networking every device in the area acts as a repeater or router, relaying traffic for everyone else. Whenever you have mesh-enabled devices in close proximity to each other they automatically create a wireless mesh network, and traffic hops from device to device until it reaches the nearest Internet access point, reducing the need for central antennas, and improving wireless coverage. Intel's proposal is for interoperable standard for 802.11s that would be built on top of and be compatible with the current 802.11a/b/g standards and be designed so that nodes could automatically discover each other and form mesh networks, as well as for "Mesh Portals" that would be able to connect to regular 802.11 networks.

...More

(via engadget.com) |

Ohio Law would Regulate eBay Sellers

Ohio Law would Regulate eBay Sellers

Ohio residents selling goods on eBay would have to get a license and be bonded under a law set to go into effect May 2, although authors of the legislation vow to make changes before that date to exempt individuals.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the law, signed by Gov. Robert Taft on Feb. 1, was meant to insure that auctioneers were abiding by the established rules and regulations. The law, as written, requires Ohio residents who sell products online to get a state auction license.

Besides costing $200 and posting a $50,000 bond, the license requires a one-year apprenticeship to a licensed auctioneer, acting as a bid-caller in 12 auctions, attending an approved auction school, passing a written and oral exam. Failure to get a license could result in the seller being fined up to $1,000 and jailed for a maximum of 90 days.

The primary author of the legislation, State Sen. Larry Mumper, told the paper the legislature never intended it to apply to individuals selling items over eBay. But Mumper, while vowing changes, couldn't say exactly who would or would not be exempt from the license requirement under any changes in the pending law.

"It certainly will not apply to the casual seller on eBay, but might apply to anyone who sells a lot," he said. "If someone buys and sells on eBay on a regular basis as a type of business, then there is a need for regulation."

Kathy Greer, senior editor of UnRavel the Gavel, a newspaper covering the New England auction market, told the Plain Dealer that similar regulation efforts are under way in Tennessee and Illinois, but that past efforts have always either been withdrawn or left unenforced due to public outcry over the restrictions.

Hani Durzy, eBay spokesman, said the company has reviewed Ohio's law and is not concerned.

"We do not believe the law applies to people who sell items on eBay or to eBay itself," he told the paper.

...More

(via money.cnn.com) |

Teen Convicted For Unauthorized Content... But The Devil's In The Details

Teen Convicted For Unauthorized Content... But The Devil's In The Details

The Associated Press is reporting that a teenager in Arizona is the first person convicted under state laws for downloading unauthorized content online. Of course, it doesn't really matter that much that it's a first under state laws, rather than federal -- but the details of the case still raise some questions. First of all, almost all of the cases so far haven't been about downloading files, but unauthorized distribution of files -- which is a pretty important distinction. However, this article suggests it's for downloading. In fact, some versions of the AP piece go on to claim (without the slightest hint of a snicker) that the FBI found $50 million worth of music and movies on this kids hard drive -- though, it appears that the AP is pushing out changed copy without that $50 million line. Still, it makes you wonder where they came up with such a number. It would certainly be very difficult to defend. Also, the article buries in the final sentence that he was also selling the material he had downloaded. Just a second, here... Isn't the fact that he was selling unauthorized content the real story? He was a counterfeiter. That's a much bigger crime than just downloading some songs and movies for personal use. However, the AP ignores that point to blast out there the entertainment industry's favorite message: that somehow all of you folks downloading music and movies are going to get thrown in jail.

...More

(via techdirt.com) |

This Guy will Rile some Feathers

This Guy will Rile some Feathers

Great, let's pick a guy for the UN Ambassador position that is best known for his unilateral stances on international policy, for "sabotaging international treaties and alienating entire nations." Alternet had a great write-up on this guy.

Neoconservatives everywhere are breaking out the champagne. In a breath-taking victory for right-wing hawks, President George W. Bush has nominated a man best know for his die-hard unilateralism to become his next ambassador to the United Nations.

John Bolton is best known as one of the most confrontational, combative, and humorless figures within the administration, having earned his formidable reputation as the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security during Bush's first term.

''This is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse," said Heather Hamilton, vice president of programs for Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS) (formerly the World Federalist Association).

John Bolton, Hamilton says, is the ''Armageddon nominee,'' alluding to the words of former Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), who once admiringly described Bolton as ''the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon, if it should be my lot to be on hand for what is forecast to be the final battle between good and evil in this world."

Bolton began his career-long battle with evil under Ronald Reagan in the '80s, when – despite a notable lack of experience in developing countries – he was appointed to a series of posts in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The highlight of his Reagan years was, however, his tenure as one of then-Attorney General Edwin Meese's top aides, which he spent stonewalling the congressional investigation into the Justice Department's role in the Iran-Contra affair, as well as efforts by Sen. John Kerry to investigate drug- and gun-running operations of the Nicaraguan Contras.

His stellar performance gained him a promotion under Bush Senior to assistant secretary of state for international organizations, a post he held until 1993 when he joined first the right-wing Manhattan Institute and then the neoconservative-dominated American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

By the time former Secretary of State James Baker tapped him to serve as a senior member of George Bush's legal team in Florida after the 2000 election, Bolton had become senior vice president at AEI. By then Bolton had cemented his unilateralist credentials by advocating U.S. withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and railing against the grave threat posed to U.S. sovereignty by the United Nations and its Secretary-General Kofi Annan. At one point, Bolton suggested simply halting U.S. payments to the world body.

...the Army You Wish You Had

...the Army You Wish You Had

From the NY Times

The Pentagon's difficulties in shielding troops and their vehicles with armor have been far more extensive and intractable than officials have acknowledged, according to government officials, contractors and Defense Department records.

In the case of body armor, the Pentagon gave a contract for thousands of the ceramic plate inserts that make the vests bulletproof to a former Army researcher who had never mass-produced anything. He struggled for a year, then gave up entirely. At the same time, in shipping plates from other companies, the Army's equipment manager effectively reduced the armor's priority to the status of socks, a confidential report by the Army's inspector general shows. Some 10,000 plates were lost along the way, and the rest arrived late.

In all, with additional paperwork delays, the Defense Department took 167 days just to start getting the bulletproof vests to soldiers in Iraq once General Cody placed the order. But for thousands of soldiers, it took weeks and even months more, records show, at a time when the Iraqi insurgency was intensifying and American casualties were mounting.

By contrast, when the United States' allies in Iraq also realized they needed more bulletproof vests, they bypassed the Pentagon and ordered directly from a manufacturer in Michigan. They began getting armor in just 12 days.

The issue of whether American troops were adequately protected received wide attention in December, when an Army National Guard member complained to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that troops were scrounging for armor to fortify their Humvees and other vehicles. The Pentagon has maintained that it has moved steadfastly to protect all its troops in Iraq.

But an examination of the issues involving the protective shielding and other critical equipment shows how a supply problem seen as an emergency on the ground in Iraq was treated as a routine procurement matter back in Washington.

While all soldiers eventually received plates for their vests, the Army is still scrambling to find new materials to better protect the 10,000 Humvees in Iraq that were not built for combat conditions. They are re-enforced by simple steel plates that cannot withstand the increasingly potent explosives being used by the insurgents, according to contractors who are working to develop more sophisticated armor for the Army.

/

Monday, March 07, 2005

A Little Marley


A Little Marley

Bob Marley was already dying when he stood onstage in Pittsburgh that night, in September 1980. He had developed a malignant melanoma -- an incurable cancer, by this time -- that he had let progress unchecked, for reasons that he probably could not fathom at this hour. He was a man with no time, with a mission that no one in popular music had ever attempted before. In the past few years, he had managed to popularize reggae -- a music that had once sounded strange and foreign to many ears -- and to convey the truths of his troubled homeland, Jamaica, for a mass audience. Now he wanted to find ways to put across truths about people outside Jamaica and America, England and Europe. He wanted to speak for a world outside familiar borders -- a world his audience didn't yet know enough about.

He wouldn't see that dream fulfilled. He would be dead in a few months, his body sealed in a mausoleum back in that troubled homeland of his.

But something fascinating has happened since Bob Marley died twenty-four years ago: He has continued. It isn't simply that his records still sell in substantial numbers (though they do), it's that his mission might still have a chance. It isn't a simple mission. Marley wasn't singing about how peace could come easily to the world but rather about how hell on earth comes too easily to too many. He knew the conditions he was singing about. His songs weren't about theory or conjecture, or an easy distant compassion. His songs were his memories; he had lived with the wretched, he had seen the downpressors and those whom they pressed down, he had been shot at. It was his ability to describe all this in palpable and authentic ways that sustains his body of music unlike any other we've ever known.

Bob Marley made hell tuneful, like nobody before or since. That's what has kept him alive.

Robert Nesta Marley was born in a small rural Jamaican village called Nine Miles. His father was a white man, Capt. Norval Marley, a superintendent of lands for the British government, which had colonized Jamaica in the 1660s. Marley's mother, Cedella, was a young black woman, descended from the Cromantee tribe, who as slaves had staged the bloodiest uprisings in the island's plantation era. Capt. Marley seduced Cedella, age seventeen, promising her marriage, as he re-enacted an age-old scenario of white privilege over black service. When Cedella became pregnant, the captain kept his promise -- but left her the next day rather than face disinheritance.

The couple's only child arrived in the early part of 1945, as World War II neared its end. Nobody is certain of the exact date -- it was listed on Bob's passport as April 6th, but Cedella was sure it was two months earlier. It took her a long time to record the birth with the registrar; she was afraid, she later said, she'd get in trouble for having a child with a white man. While mixed-race couplings weren't rare, they also weren't welcome, and generally it was the child of these unions who bore the scorn. But Marley's mixed inheritance gave him a valuable perspective. Though he became increasingly devoted in his life to the cause of speaking to the black diaspora -- that population throughout the world that had been scattered or colonized as the result of the slave trade and imperialism -- he never expressed hatred for white people but rather hatred for one people's undeserved power to subjugate another people. Marley understood that the struggle for power might result in bloodshed, but he also maintained that if humankind failed to stand together, it would fail to stand at all.

In the 1950s, Cedella moved to Kingston -- the only place in Jamaica where any future of consequence could be realized. She and her son made their home in a government tenant yard, a crowded area where poor people lived, virtually all of them black. The yard they settled in, Trench Town, was made up of row upon row of cheap corrugated metal and tar-paper one-room shacks, generally with no plumbing. It was a place where your dreams might raise you or kill you, but you would have to live and act hard in either case. To Cedella's dismay, her son began to come into his own there -- to find a sense of community and purpose amid rough conditions and rough company, including the local street gangs. These gangs evolved soon enough into a faction called Rude Boys -- teenagers and young adults who dressed sharp, acted insolent and knew how to fight. Kingston hated the Rude Boys, and police and politicians had vowed to eradicate them.

It was in this setting of grim delimitation that Marley first found what would give his life purpose: Kingston's burgeoning and eccentric rhythm & blues scene. In the late 1940s, Jamaican youth had started to catch the fever of America's urban popular music -- in particular, the earthy and polyrhythmic dance and blues sounds of New Orleans. By the 1960s, Kingston was producing its own form of R&B: a taut, tricky and intense music in which rhythms shifted their accents to the offbeat -- almost an inversion of American rock & roll and funk. This new Jamaican music was, like American R&B, the long-term result of how black music survived and evolved as a means of maintaining community in unsympathetic lands. It was music that gave a displaced population a way to tell truths about their lives and a way of claiming victory over daily misery, or at least of finding a respite.

Jamaica's popular music -- from calypso to mento -- had always served as a means to spread stories, about neighbors' moral failures or the overlord society's duplicity. The commentary could be clever and merciless, and the music that Marley first began to play had the tempo to carry such sharp purposes. It was called ska (after its scratchboardlike rhythms), and just as R&B and rock & roll had been viewed in America as disruptive and immoral, Jamaica's politicians, ministers and newspapers looked upon ska as trash: a dangerous music from the ghetto that helped fuel the Rude Boys' violence. But the Rude Boys would soon receive an unexpected jolt of validation.

Cedella Marley was worried that her son had grown too comfortable with ghetto life and was too close to the Rude Boys. There were frequent fights, even stabbings, in the Trench Town streets and at ska dances.

...More

(via rollingstone.com) |

Santorum Seeks A Return to the Sweatshop Era

Santorum Seeks A Return to the Sweatshop Era

Nathan Newman dissects Sen. Rick Santorum's yearning for the past on labor and wage laws:

This is as low as it goes, as the GOP fights to expand sub-minimum wage sweatshops across the country. Pennsylvania's Rick Santorum is leading the charge for a GOP bill that would ostensibly raise the minimum wage by $1.10 per hour, but in reality would cut wages for millions of American workers and expand unregulated sweatshops across the country. As this Economic Policy Institute analysis details, the bill is a trojan horse for assaulting workers rights.

Licensing Sweatshops: While a $1.10 per hour minimum wage increase by itself would help 1.8 million workers, Santorum includes a poison bill exempting any business with revenues of $1 million or less from regulation -- raising the exemption from the current $500,000 level.

The upshot: while 1.2 million workers could qualify for a minimum wage increase, another 6.8 million workers, who work in companies with revenues between $500,000 and $1,000,000 per year, would lose their current minimum wage protection.

And an even larger number of businesses, those with revenues under $7 million, would be exempt from fines under a range of other safety, health, pension and other labor laws. Essentially, the realm of unregulated sweatshops would be expanded and legalized under Santorum's bill. . . .

Banning State Minimum Wage Laws . . .

With Santorum's bill as law, you would end up with a situation where small and even medium size restaurants and other businesses with tipped employees would be exempt from the federal minimum wage, and state governments would be barred from requiring employers to pay actual wages to tipped workers. Essentially, those workers could be hired for zero dollars and told they had to live only off tips, however little those were.

. . . Killing Overtime: It gets worse-- the 40-hour work week would be abolished and companies would not have to pay overtime if they cut hours the next week.

. . . Pounding Santorum and the GOP: If progressives miss the opportunity to smash this vote over the head of these rightwing politicians, they are truly brain-dead. While voters are closely divided on a range of social issues, even many normally Republican voters support raising the minimum wage. It's the best wedge issue in the progressive arsenal, and we get to skewer the GOP for hypocrisy on states rights.

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(via dailykos.com) | /

White House Approves Pass for Blogger

White House Approves Pass for Blogger

nother signal moment for bloggers is to occur this morning, when Garrett M. Graff, who writes a blog about the news media in Washington, is to be ushered into the White House briefing room to attend the daily press "gaggle."

Mr. Graff, 23, may be the first blogger in the short history of the medium to be granted a daily White House pass for the specific purpose of writing a blog, or Web log. A White House spokesman said yesterday that he believed Mr. Graff was the first blogger to be given credentials.

He is being given a press pass as the editor of FishbowlDC (www.mediabistro.com/fishbowldc), a blog that is published by Mediabistro.com, which offers networking and services for journalists.

Increasingly, bloggers are penetrating the preserves of the mainstream news media. They have secured seats on campaign planes, at political conventions and in presidential debates, and have become a driving force in news events themselves.

Mr. Graff said he was inspired to try to seek access to the White House by the controversy over James D. Guckert, who used the alias Jeff Gannon. Mr. Guckert was granted daily passes to White House briefings while writing for a Web site run by a Republican operative in Texas. The episode raised questions about who was a legitimate journalist and how access to the White House was granted.

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(via nytimes.com) | /

Bono May Make Short List for World Bank


Bono May Make Short List for World Bank

Treasury Secretary John Snow on Sunday would not rule out the idea of Irish singer Bono, an activist on debt relief and AIDS, making the short list of potential candidates to lead the World Bank even though an American is expected to get the job.

"He's somebody I admire. He does a lot of good in this world of economic development," Snow said.

"Most people know him as a rock star. He's in a way a rock star of the development world, too. He understands the give-and-take of development. He's a very pragmatic, effective and idealistic person," Snow said.

Snow is part of the Bush administration team working on finding a successor to James Wolfensohn, who is stepping down as head of the development bank on June 1.

Asked whether the Irish singer would make the short list of candidates that Snow is preparing for President Bush, the secretary said: "I am not going to review here all the candidates that are on the list. But I will attest to my admiration for Bono."

Bono toured Africa with Snow's predecessor, Paul O'Neill, who focused a lot of attention during his time at the Treasury on poverty and diseases such as AIDS in Africa.

Bono has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for international social justice efforts that include trying to persuade rich nations to relieve the debt of poor nations.

...More

(via ap.org) | /

Arizona Cardinals Running Back Swipes Laptop


Arizona Cardinals Running Back Swipes Laptop

So the day after getting signed to the Arizona Cardinals, running back Larry Lee Ned decided that the way to really, really party would be to swipe somebody?s Dell laptop after going through a security checkpoint at the airport in Phoenix (the laptop?s owner was still being screened). The cops ended up arresting him in possession of the laptop in a men?s room in Terminal 4, and the next day the Cards announced they were dropping him from the team. Wait a second, you just got signed to the Arizona Cardinals and you decide it?s a good idea to jeopardize your NFL career by stealing a laptop?

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(via engadget.com) |

Big 'Ol Monitor


Big 'Ol Monitor

You could use a free virtual desktop application to give yourself some more screen real estate ? or, you could go all uber-Matrix and outfit yourself with this 4 in 1 graphics card from Matrox. A member of the Parhelia LX line, the Matrox QID PCI LP comes with 128MB DDR RAM and is available in both AGP and PCI versions. It supports a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200 under Windows 2000 or XP. These multi-monitor cards already exist for the pro graphics market, but as far as we know this is first offering targeted to the lowly consumer.

...More

(via engadget.com) |

Sunday, March 06, 2005

An Amazing Story

An Amazing Story

The power of the web is an amazing thing. Check out this story:

[Promoted from the diaries by DavidNYC. My father is a Holocaust survivor - and my grandfather a victim of it - so I imagined this diary might have special meaning for me as I read it. But I could never have imagined the stunning conclusion. I insist that you read to the very end of this miraculous story.]

After writing my diary "A Promise to My Grandfather" yesterday, I received over 40 emails from all over the country (I am still getting some right now) from those that were also impacted by the Holocaust. I read each one of them and shed a tear for every word. Many thanked me for sharing the story of my grandfather, but I should thank all of them for their stories. It helped me see that I am not alone in my pain, but also to see that there is hope. Hope that there are those that want to fight the hate that is now forming and stop it before we repeat it.

However, there was one email from BettyG in San Rafael, California that moved me that it is taking me way too long to write this diary.

Here is my follow up with BettyG's email.

The original diary:

Last year at my grandfather's funeral, I made a promise to both him and myself that I would fight to the very end to prevent the evil that he had to endure in his life from happening again. Everyday when I look into the blue eyes of my daughter, the same blue eyes my grandfather had, I am reminded of that promise and know that it is not only a promise to him, but to her as well.

In the fall of 1943, after being captured by the Nazis in the Ukraine, my grandfather was sent to Auschwitz. At first, he was just one of many Soviet POWs held at the camp, but it was later discovered that he was Jewish, so he was removed from the Soviet soldiers and placed with the other European Jews. My grandfather never knew why he survived while others parished, but there was never a day that passed after liberation in 1945 that he thanked God for that gift of life.

My grandfather was able to get to England and then on to America to restart his life. He raised 5 children and later cherished his 22 grandchildren. He loved to work in his garden, even on the hottest of days. As a child, I always wondered why he wore long shirts even on those August days when it would easily be 100 degrees (even in the shade). When I was 9, I caught my grandfather shaving in the bathroom and that is when I saw it: His Camp Number - 58877241.

Not knowing any better, I asked him why he got such a "stupid tattoo". He told me that he really didn't want to get it and quickly tried to cover it with a towel. I followed him asking him, "Why don't you get it removed then?" He stop dead in the hallway and without turning around said "So I don't forget." We never discussed it again.

When he died last summer, I told myself that he was finally at peace. As I stood over his coffin with my wife, I reached down and took his arm in mine. I unbuttoned his sleeve and rolled it up. I looked at the number again - 58877241. My wife looked at me and asked "Why are you doing that?" All I could say was "So I don't forget." Right then I made my promise to him - Never again.

Now when I see the hate and bigotry that comes out of those that call them "Christians" or "Moral People", I know that this is how it began seven decades ago in Europe. It was too late, when people finally woke up, millions had been carted away in cattle cars to their deaths.

I don't want to see that here or anywhere else. I do not want there to be cattle cars filled with people that these hate mongers scream out against. I do not want to see gays, liberals, Mexicans, hippies, Hollywood Actors, or anyone else have to be tattooed with a number. No more 58877241s.

This summer, my family and I will be traveling to Auschwitz, so my children understand what there grandfather went through. I want my daughter to know why I see him in her eyes. And then everytime I look in her eyes I will see hope and love and not 58877241.

So to the Phelps and Coulters of the world, you are on notice, we will fight your hate because we will not have this happen again.

Here is BettyG's email-

amprather,

After reading your email, I was moved to tears because it reminded me of my grandfather, Ivan Feduleyev. He was also a soldier in the Red Army, captured in the Ukraine. He was taken to Auschwitz as a POW. At first his unit was held in a special part of the camp, but things changed when the guards heard from one of the officers that there were Jewish soldiers in the unit.

All of the soldiers were beaten for a few days as the guards demanded they identify the Jews. None of them would identify the Jewish troops. Finally, the Captain of the Guard decided that the only way to make them talk was to execute one of the soldiers. They brought the unit into a yard and lined the soldiers up for selection. They choose my grandfather. They hauled him in front of a firing squad. The Captain of the Guard again demanded that the Jews among them be identified. Then one of the soldiers came forward and identified himself as a Jew. The Captain grabbed him and hauled him away and stopped the execution. The troops never saw the soldier again.

[....]

My grandfather never forgot that soldier's name, he named his first son after him, Roman. The soldier's name was Roman Edemskoi.

[....]

Roman Edemskoi (58877241) was my grandfather.

I am traveling to San Rafael next week to talk to BettyG. If you don't think the Web is a powerful, earth-shattering tool, I hope you think differently.

To all that wrote me via email or posted a comment on the original diary, again thank you.

Update [2005-3-5 1:41:11 by amprather]: I want to thank everyone that has read and was moved by this, since this went in to the Most Recommend Section, my email has blown up from many of you and some journalists. This is causing some concerns, though, with Betty and I. We are starting to think that this is no longer our time to talk next week. Trust me, we want to share our meeting with everyone, but first we want to be able to talk to each other face to face in peace. Also we want the two families to talk, we don't want media hounds destroying what could be a beautiful time. Because of that, we ask that you continue to support Betty and I, but do not suffocate us. Trust me, DailyKos will be the first to hear about the meeting and the eventual news stories. Again Thank You for all of the kind words, they have moved me and Betty. God Bless all of you and I look forward to writing next week. Adam (amprather) [UPDATE2]Well, what I feared would happen, happened. There would be skeptics that would rather attack me for this diary. That is why I didn't at first want to share it. Well I did and my email account blew up. So I took down my link on my profile. Oddly, I still got emails after that. Then there were questions about the open casket. My grandfather was not a practicing Jew when I knew him. So his service took place at a funeral home. I am not Jewish, all five of my grandfather's daughters did not practice Judaism, so all of us grandchildren were not raised Jewish. So there. As for BettyG, I said I got an email from her. Up until then I knew nothing about her. If she was a blogger on DailyKos or not. She just wrote me. I asked my cousin and a friend that are bloggers on DailyKos, what I should do. I wanted to just delete the diary. But they told me to leave it up. My cousin came over to my place to help me write this and keep me calm. If people want to tear the story apart before I can put it all together. Then fine, do so. Believe the story or not. It's my life anyway. I guess I have learned the other side of a diary, it can cut you down too. I will reconsider if I want to post in the future if this is what I have to go through. For those of you that still like the story, again thank you, but now I am in real limbo here about going forward. -Adam ...More

(via dailykos.com) |

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Quiet Space


Quiet Space

The floatable jellyfish-like vessels project, by Usman Haque (the author of Sky Ear), drift around cities to create ephemeral zones of truly private space: an absence of phone calls, emails, access of GPS devices, TV broadcasts, wireless networks and other microwave emissions. They can also provide shielding from the gaze surveillance systems.

...More

(via unmediated.org) | /

Quality Shirts for Printing


Quality Shirts for Printing

We often get email from Preshrunk readers who are looking to do their own projects and want a high quality tee. Something nicer than a boxy old Hanes Beefy-T, but still relatively cheap. And while we used to be able to suggest American Apparel with a clear head, we really can't anymore.

Then we stumbled onto American Ringer, who has a really solid collection of vintage iron-on and blank tees.

...More

(via preshrunk.info) |

Cool Posters from ISO50


Cool Posters from ISO50

Cool prints and shirts from ISO50, check it out.

...More

(via iso50.com) |


Sharp's 24-Hour Kitchen Composter

It's not a pretty picture (look left), but it is a pretty cool product. A new system form the Sharp Corporation can dramatically reduce kitchen about 92% of your kitchen waste in just 24 hours. How? This energy-efficient composter breaks down and "digests" organic food waste at room temp with its proprietary Composting Bio Mix--a blend microbes and yeast cells, which conveniently also suppress odors while they work via Plasmacluster Ions that inactivate airborne mold and effectively clean the air in kitchen spaces.

...More

(via treehugger.com) |

Always-On Music Sharing via iTunes and the Web

Always-On Music Sharing via iTunes and the Web

accessTunes makes it easy to access your music anytime, anywhere. accessTunes starts sharing your iTunes Music Library as soon as you turn on your computer, making it available as a shared iTunes library on the local network, and accessible from anywhere in the world via the Web.

With accessTunes, you can listen to your roommate's music even if he doesn't have iTunes open, or listen to music from your home computer at work, even if you're on a PC.

...More

(via bainsware.com) | /

How To Find MP3's with Google

How To Find MP3's with Google

This How-To will teach you how to use google to find mp3s. This How-To
will be highly pragmatic and will focus on the hows and not the
wherefores of the various search strings. Written by my_haz

Update: added a few new tricks to the apache server section namely adding dates to the search string.

Note: Thanks to all the folks that have bookmarked this page and
sent me emails. If you like this tutorial i have another one that
you may be interested in if you ever woundered how to crack porn
sites. That one is under the name on_a_role_again but its me my_haz.

...More

(via geocities.com/my_haz_runs/) |

Tree Hugger Clothing


Tree Hugger Clothing

It doesn't matter that U.K.-based Howies clothes are really, really cool looking. (Well, ok, it does help. A lot. In fact, it's a big part of the reason why they're up here.) What's mostly important is the philosophy that these dudes bring to their business, which started out with four T-shirts many moons ago. Today Howies makes all kind of jeans, T-shirts, hoodies, and the like for the hipster outdoors set. Run by mountain bikers, skateboarders, and snowboarders (etc.), these are "low-impact" clothes (in terms of eco-footprint, that is) that you can really see yourself wearing everyday. Following, a few of our favorite lines from Howies thoughtful, totally cool, 100% TreeHugger-approved Web site:

We pledge to give 1% of our turnover or 10% of pre-tax profits (whichever is greater) to grass-root environmental and social projects.

Every product we make has passed the "The rocking chair test," when we are old and grey and sitting in our rocking chairs, we can look back on the company we created with a smile. That's why we go to the trouble of using the best quality materials to make sure our clothing lasts longer. The longer our products last the less impact they will have on the environment, and the bigger our smile will be.

We can't say that our products are fair trade because we are not convinced that there is a trusted set of guidelines to follow. That has meant we have to write our own guidelines. For a tiny company that is some undertaking. How do you measure the air quality in a factory? What chemicals are good? What chemicals are bad? How much overtime is allowed? How much holiday should be given? To these questions and more, we will go find the answers. Then we will make sure our factories follow our common sense guidelines.

We are always looking for new ways to try to tread more carefully.

...More

(via treehugger.com) |