Archive for December 7th, 2008

Box City: Homelessness On The Rise

Event to spotlight plight of homeless

A few extra homeless will be sleeping on the streets of downtown Phoenix on Friday night.

Arizona Student Public Interest Research Group, in affiliation with students at Arizona State University, is hosting an overnight campout to raise awareness of hunger and homelessness.

The event will take place on First Friday from 9 p.m. until midnight in the Shade Garden outside Taylor Place, the student residential complex on the ASU Downtown campus.

The students plan to spend the night sleeping in makeshift box housing and sleeping bags, creating what they are a calling Box City.

In addition, those attending the First Friday art walk, will see students dressed to appear as part of the “homeless” community, carrying signs proclaiming “Keep Your Coins, We Want Change.”

The goal is to educate fellow students and the public about the growing plight of the homeless in the Phoenix area.

“With the way our economy is, services for the homeless and the working poor are going to grow in demand,” said event organizer and research group member Hugo Polanco. “Homelessness is not in the forefront of people’s minds but it’s a huge local issue.” Local acoustic band Valley Love will perform, donating 40 percent of proceeds from CDs sold at the event to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a charity that helps homeless and low-income families.

Blasé Bova, director of development at St. Vincent de Paul, will provide advice to students who want to help combat the problem of homelessness. Faith Glick, director of outreach at Stand Up for Kids, will offer insight on her experiences being homeless. Polanco, an ASU student who is volunteer coordinator for St. Vincent de Paul, is optimistic about the potential of the event and those involved.

“This is mostly geared toward college students, to tap into their energy and potential,” Polanco said. “(It’s) a local issue that we can get excited about and actually see change and results accomplished by it.”

In addition, the group hopes to create a network of interested young volunteers.

Miquette Reardon, president of Arizona Student PIRG at the downtown campus, admits that to get students involved PIRG had to refine the overnight campout.

“A lot of people said they didn’t want to come because it was going to be cold,” she said. “People who are homeless don’t have a choice in the weather. We’ve given them the option to come up until midnight . . . but we prefer that they stay.”

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Obama’s Meet The Press Interview: Discusses Economy, Auto Bailout, Iran, Foreign Policy, More (VIDEO)

Huffington Post |   December 6, 2008 06:49 PM


Obama discussed the importance of using the White House as a “bully pulpit” to encourage the youth of America to reach for the stars in the arts and sciences, and to remind people that the White House is “the people’s house”:

“Part of what we want to do is to open up the White House and remind people this is the people’s house,” Obama told NBC’s Tom Brokaw during a “Meet the Press” interview taped Saturday in Chicago.
“There is an incredible bully pulpit to be used when it comes to, for example, education: Yes, we’re going to have an education policy; yes, we’re going to be putting more money into school construction. But ultimately we want to talk about parents reading to their kids. We want to invite kids from local schools into the White House.”

The president-elect said his administration is interested in “elevating science once again, and having lectures in the White House where people are talking about traveling to the stars or breaking down atoms, inspiring our youth to get a sense of what discovery is all about.”

“Thinking about the diversity of our culture and inviting jazz musicians and classical musicians and poetry readings in the White House so that once again we appreciate this incredible tapestry that’s America,” he said.

“Historically, what has always brought us through hard times is that national character, that sense of optimism, that willingness to look forward, that sense that better days are ahead,” Obama said. “I think that our art and our culture, our science–you know, that’s the essence of what makes America special, and we want to project that as much as possible in the White House.”

***UPDATE*** 12/7 10:16AM

From AP:

President-elect Barack Obama said the economy seems destined to get worse before it gets better and he pledged a recovery plan “that is equal to the task ahead.”


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Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You (Johnny Depp)

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Undated file photos of former Marines Donald Ball from Valley City, Utah (left), and Dustin Heard from Knoxville, Tenn., provided by their defense attorneys. The two are among the five Blackwater contractors indicted in the 2007 shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians. (CBS/AP)

Undated file photos of former Marines Donald Ball from Valley City, Utah (left), and Dustin Heard from Knoxville, Tenn., provided by their defense attorneys. The two are among the five Blackwater contractors indicted in the 2007 shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians. (CBS/AP)

Blackwater Guards To Surrender In Utah

Five Indicted For 2007 Iraq Shooting Will Turn Themselves In To FBI 2,000 Miles From D.C., Presaging Venue Fight

(AP) Five indicted Blackwater Worldwide security guards plan to surrender to the FBI Monday in Salt Lake City, about 2,000 miles from the Washington courthouse where they were charged, a person close to the case said.

Such a move would be the opening salvo in what is shaping up to be a contentious legal fight before the guards can even get to trial. By surrendering in Utah, the home state of one of the guards, the men can argue for a trial there – a far more conservative, pro-gun venue than Washington.

The person described the decision to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the indictment against the men remains sealed.

The five guards, all military veterans, were indicted for their roles in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead. The shooting strained U.S. diplomacy and fueled anti-American sentiment abroad.

Steven McCool, a lawyer for Blackwater guard and former Marine Donald Ball, confirmed Sunday that his client would surrender in Utah. Ball is from West Valley City, Utah.


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SNL: Amy Poehler Returns As Hillary Clinton (VIDEO)

SNL: Amy Poehler’s Hillary Clinton On Secretary Of State Selection (VIDEO)

Huffington Post |   December 7, 2008 08:17 AM

She’s back!

To the delight of viewers, new-mom Amy Poehler returned to “Saturday Night Live,” reprising her role as Hillary Clinton to address her selection as Secretary of State

“Would you rather fix the economy or travel the globe? Point Hillary!”

She touched on leaving her Senate seat:
“It has been such an honor to serve you, the citizens of New York. Who am I kidding this is not my home state… Pack up the house in Chappaqua Bill! What’s that? We never unpacked? Even better!”

Darrell Hammond then stopped in as Bill Clinton. “You voted for change, but you ain’t never gonna change this.”

“Like the South, vampires and Britney Spears, we will rise again.”



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So How Bad Is It ?

Bureau of Labor Statistics: This is ‘one of the worst jobs reports’ ever.»

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employers slashed 533,000 jobs in November, “much higher than the 320,000 economists forecast.” BLS commission Keith Hall presented his report to the Joint Economic Committee this morning, and said that it was “one of the worst jobs reports” in the agency’s 124-year history:

HALL: If I were to characterize this jobs report I would say it’s very dismal jobs report. There’s very little in this report that’s positive. This is maybe one of the worst jobs reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics has ever produced.


HALL: Yes.

CUMMINGS: And how long has the Bureau been around?

HALL: 124 years.

CUMMINGS: 124 years. And so that means we’re sliding down the slippery slope fast.

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Reality Dissolves Mass Media Lies And Spin!

The Future Is Here..



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‘Why We Fight’ Director on the American Way of War


USA – The American Way of War

Eugene Jarecki on The American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril

why-we-fight-dvd-poster1The American way of war is usually a term used to think about sort of what America brought to war making that other countries hadnt done before, typically sort of mass production of equipment and weapons and logistics. And I sort of saw something evolve over our history that I thought was better represented by that term, the American way of war, which is really how America lost her way through war making, what war has done, the best of wars, the worst of wars, wars that seemed, quote, necessary and wars that seemed frivolous or sort of shadowy motives, like the one weve just experienced. The wars of all kinds, they guide America away from her founding principles, from basic standard norms of decency and humanity. And I think the American way of war is a sort of—is a very tragic way, in a sense, that needs now to be fixed, needs to be rescued. And thats where I think the public comes in so necessarily.

2051030973Perfect example. You know, the B-1 bomber has a piece of it made, a piece of the plane made, in every single US state. Now, why? I mean, thats not an efficient way to make a product. So, it must be serving some end. And the end, it turns out, that it serves is that the B-1 bomber was designed by its makers according to a process called political engineering, fancy word for distributing the contracts and subcontracts to build a given weapons system to as many states, as many congressional districts as possible, not lets make it as efficient as possible, but rather, lets put it in as many districts as possible, so that if this thing ever comes up for review, everybodys getting a piece of the action, everybodys in on it. And as a result, when, you know, the questions arise—Do we need the B-1 bomber? Do we need to be spending this money?—there is a constituency built in in Congress thats going to keep that thing going.

And what does that tell us? That tells us that—first of all, the defense sector is not alone in that. Every industry has their version of politically engineering Congress. But what it does is it puts the congressperson in a position of being a professional pleader to that corporation, that corporate interest, on behalf of them to the federal government. And it suborns, it really undermines the purity of their decision making. It produces some of the very tragic and wrong-headed decisions that weve seen in recent years.

Original article

Documentary: Why We Fight

The American Way of War – New Book By Eugene Jarecki

THE AMERICAN WAY OF WAR: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril. A new book by Eugene Jarecki.

‘Why We Fight’ Director on the American Way of War

Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki speaks with Truthdig’s Kasia Anderson about his new book, whether Obama can deliver, and why the U.S. is like Elvis.

Listen now

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