Encouraging and Supporting the Resurgence of Liberalism in the U.S.A.
Pete, Rest in Peace
To My Old Brown Earth - Pete Seeger
TO MY OLD BROWN EARTH To my old brown earth And to my old blue sky I'll now give these last few molecules of "I." And you who sing, And you who stand nearby, I do charge you not to cry. Guard well our human chain, Watch well you keep it strong, As long as sun will shine. And this our home, Keep pure and sweet and green, For now I'm yours And you are also mine. Words and Music by Pete Seeger (1958) (c) 1964 (renewed) by Stormking Music Inc.
Amazing Autistic Girl
Little Girl With Autism Has an Amazing Voice
Emma was born with autism and has spent her entire life being unable to communicate with others… but God blessed her with an amazing voice, allowing her to speak through her amazing voice. You HAVE to listen to her perform the Whitney Houston classic “One Moment in Time.”
Thomas Paine's version of "you didn't build that":
"Separate an individual from society,and give him an island or a continent to possess,and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end,in all cases,that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore,of personal property,beyond what a man's own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice,of gratitude,and of civilization,a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came"
Submitted by Leah
We may have once believed that the darkest days were behind us, and that slow and steady progress for middle-class workers would continue to be made. But greed and good sense are forever in competition. Gains made in our country's progressive years are, a century later, once again in serious jeopardy. 1. The Commons: A Toll Gate in the Grand Canyon
Our enormous, humongous trade deficit hurts our economy; our budget deficit right now doesn’t. What would the result be if people were more worried about the trade deficit than the budget deficit? Fixing the trade deficit would mean more jobs, higher wages and a much, much better economy. It would also mean the wealthiest have less power over the rest of us.
“I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A”, “B”, “C”, and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislature who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.” Barry Goldwater “Wonder what he would think of Santorum, and the Tea party congressmen and congresswomen.” The O’Leary
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil … is for good men to do nothing.~~ — Edmond Burke
I Have A Dream Speech
Martin Luther King Speech, August 28, 1963
Diana: 'I have listened and watched video clips of this speech many times. I used to show it to my students and play a recording of the entire speech in January of every school year. We would discuss it afterward and the children were always very moved. It is one of my favorite memories of my entire teaching career.' The O'Leary: 'You know, most cite the phrase about the dream King had, but the entire speech is exquisite. It was probably the greatest that any Americans have ever heard. One must listen to it in its entirety to grasp the eloquence of it, to grasp the genius of the man. It was appropriate that he spoke it under the gaze of Lincoln. Every time I see and hear it, I cry buckets of tears. He was our finest orator, statesman, revolutionary, and national hero. He was, is our Gandhi. No wonder he was murdered.'
A trade union building being seized in Simferopol, Ukraine. Stanislav Krasilnikov/ITAR-TASS/ZUMA
Following up on the previous post, if you do want to fret about Ukraine, I have just the thing for you. I’m going to tell you how this will all unfold:
Vladimir Putin will do something belligerent. (Already done.)
Republicans will demand that we show strength in the face of Putin’s provocation. Whatever it is that we’re doing, we should do more.
President Obama will denounce whatever it is that Putin does. But regardless of how unequivocal his condemnation is, Bill Kristol will insist that he’s failing to support the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people.
Journalists will write a variety of thumbsuckers pointing out that our options are extremely limited, what with Ukraine being 5,000 miles away and all.
John McCain will appear on a bunch of Sunday chat shows to bemoan the fact that Obama is weak and no one fears America anymore.
Having written all the “options are limited” thumbsuckers, journalists and columnists will follow McCain’s lead and start declaring that the crisis in Ukraine is the greatest foreign policy test of Obama’s presidency. It will thus supplant Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iran, and North Korea for this honor.
In spite of all the trees felled and words spoken about this, nobody will have any good ideas about what kind of action might actually make a difference. There will be scattered calls to impose a few sanctions here and there, introduce a ban on Russian vodka imports, convene NATO, demand a UN Security Council vote, etc. None of this will have any material effect.
Obama will continue to denounce Putin. Perhaps he will convene NATO. For their part, Republicans will continue to insist that he’s showing weakness and needs to get serious.
This will all continue for a while.
In the end, it will all settle down into a stalemate, with Russia having thrown its weight around in its near abroad—just like it always has—and the West not having the leverage to do much about it.
Actually, there’s no telling about #11. Maybe Ukraine will choose (or have foisted on them) a pro-Russian leader that Putin is happy with. Maybe east and west will split apart. Maybe a nominally pro-Western leader will emerge. Who knows? What we do know is that (a) the United States will play only a modest role in all this, and (b) conservative hawks will continue to think that if only we’d done just a little bit more, Putin would have blinked and Ukraine would be free.
Aid is distributed at the Yarmouk camp in Damascus, where the UN says people have been reduced to eating animal feed. Since the photograph was taken, aid has ceased to be delivered because of security concerns
It is a scene of unimaginable desolation – a crowd of men, women and children stretching as far as the eye can see into the war-devastated landscape of Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria. This was the queue for aid at a UNRWA distribution point in the capital, Damascus, on 31 January. The UN relief agency has distributed more than 7,000 food parcels in the Palestinian camp, home to about 160,000 people, since 18 January. The UN has reported infant malnutrition in the community, which has been reduced to eating animal feed. As of this week, all aid distributions have been suspended because of security concerns. Chris Gunness, a spokesperson, said UNRWA had received assurances that a deal allowing humanitarian access to Yarmouk would be implemented as soon as possible. He said: “They have suffered enough.”
t is a vision of unimaginable desolation: a crowd of men, women and children stretching as far as the eye can see into the war-devastated landscape of Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus.A photograph released on Wednesday by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, shows the scene when thousands of desperate Palestinians trapped inside the camp on the edge of the Syrian capital emerged to besiege aid workers attempting to distribute food parcels.
More than 18,000 people are existing under blockade inside Yarmouk, enduring acute shortages of food, medicines and other essentials. Much of the camp has been destroyed by shelling, and attempts to deliver aid to those inside have been hampered by continued fighting in Syria‘s three-year-old civil war.
United Nations workers have delivered about 7,000 food parcels over recent weeks, following negotiations between the Syrian government, rebel forces and Palestinian factions within the camp. The most recent delivery, of 450 parcels, was on Wednesday. The UN acknowledges that the level of aid is a “drop in the ocean”.
Yarmouk has been cut off since last July. Many residents are now weak and severely malnourished, as well as being exposed to the risk of disease, or death and injury from fighting.
Filippo Grandi, the head of UNRWA, described the camp as a ghost town after visiting this week. “The devastation is unbelievable. There is not one single building that I have seen that is not an empty shell by now. They’re all blackened by smoke,” he told reporters.
He said he was even more shocked by the camp’s residents, who flooded towards aid distribution points. “It’s like the appearance of ghosts. These are people who have not been out of there, that have been trapped in there not only without food, medicines, clean water – all the basics – but also probably completely subjected to fear because there was fierce fighting … They can hardly speak. I tried to speak to many of them, and they all tell the same stories of complete deprivation.”
The distribution point is a “no-man’s land”, overlooked by sniper positions, between a Syrian government-controlled checkpoint and the camp’s interior. “What about those who cannot come [to the distribution point]?” said Grandi. “I’m pretty sure there are many people who have never received assistance in the last month because they are too weak, or maybe elderly, or unaccompanied children.”
As well as about 18,000 registered Palestinian refugees, there is an unknown number of other residents trapped inside Yarmouk. UNRWA’s food parcels – which include tinned meat, rice and lentils – can feed a family of up to eight people for 10 days.
The agency is warning that the degradation of conditions inside the camp could lead to the spread of disease. There have been reports of mothers dying in childbirth, and families surviving on animal feed, according to a spokesman. The UN has sent in 10,000 doses of polio vaccine in the past month.
The UN security council adopted a resolution last week calling on all parties in Syria to take steps to facilitate the efforts of the UN and other humanitarian agencies to provide relief to civilians, “including by promptly facilitating safe and unhindered humanitarian access to populations in need of assistance in all areas under their control.”
However, said Grandi, the situation on the ground was “very messy, very localised, a lot of local dynamics at play”. Each distribution required “very complex negotiations with a lot of different groups”.
Yarmouk camp, about five miles from the centre of Damascus, was home to more than 100,000 registered Palestinian refugees before the war. Many have fled to other areas of Syria, or abroad. Some have made their way to Gaza.
According to figures released by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Wednesday, about 3,300 people have been killed in fighting in Syria since the start of this year. It said that 70 opposition fighters were killed in a government attack on a rebel-held area south of Damascus at dawn on Wednesday, with dozens more reported missing. The state news agency Sana put the number killed at 175.
Syria’s civil conflict has claimed more than 100,000 lives since 2011 and has forced about 6 million people from their homes.
UNRWA said 12 of its workers had been killed in Syria since the war began almost three years ago, and another 20 had gone missing.