Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rich Trumka Understands

"The class war has been on, except my class has been losing."

trumka2 This is one reason why I want to see this man run for president. Working class boy, manual laborer, college-educated, knows how to explain complicated ideas to everyday people, never forgot what it felt like to struggle to make a decent living for a family, and is on the side of the powerless. A powerful, charismatic leader with a down-to-earth demeanor and a sincere determination to break down the wall of the gated economic community, and understands how to deal with that community without being captured by it.

Those jumped-up pseudo-populists would never stand a chance.

And yes, I'm a union member, of the dreaded SEIU. I only wish the whole country could enjoy the benefits of being union workers, too.

Sick of It All

One day a hundred years from now or more, our descendants will look back on the Israeli treatment of Palestinians and of its own protesters, and will turn away in disgust. How amazing that the most horrendous acts of cruelty can be so completely expunged from the public consciousness before even surfacing. Almost as if it were 1939 again.

Disabled From The Neck Up

Megan McArdle is concern-trolling about the unfunded mandate that might be behind requiring parity in insurance for mental illnesses:
"Apparently, the administration has issued rules requiring parity for mental health treatment with other illnesses. They'll take effect July 1st. If you want to know why health insurance costs keep marching upward seemingly uncontrolled, this is why: mandating new benefits is always popular, and the government doesn't have to pay for them."
That's right. It's tough out there for an insurance company, what with all those record profits and sky-high CEO salaries. No, the government doesn't pay for those new mandates, Megan; those who pay the premiums do. But lest you think she's a heartless Randian sociopath, she assures you she has feelings:
"I am very sympathetic to the plight of the mentally ill. Unfortunately, most of the people who will tap the benefits are not severely ill people who need intensive care; they're people who are unhappy. Unhappiness is not a condition for which psychotherapy, or antidepressants, have been shown to be very effective. "
Granted, it was a very small, brief, and token assurance, though she did try. It's just that her Predict-O-Vision eyeballed all those undeserving benefit-tappers, and her Objectivism got the best of her. So here she is trying to refine her empathy:
"Update: Let me point out something which I thought was obvious--the private insurance market is not where you necessarily get insurance if you are severely mentally ill. Really severe mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, interferes with "normal life activities" like working or dating, and onset is typically in young adulthood. The more likely you are to have the social or financial resources with which to obtain private insurance, the less likely you are to have the kind of severe mental illness we're worrying about."
Let me just parse out this blockheaded, misinformed logic: what she is really saying is that mental illness can only be considered genuine if it is totally disabling, and if that's the case, why, you'd be one of those "lucky duckies" entitled to some other free lunch---say, SSI, or Social Security Disability, or, Medicaid, and you wouldn't really need private insurance, because the rich and employed don't get schizophrenia.

This is like saying that the only people who have real illnesses are those with physically disabling conditions, and they wouldn't really need private insurance because the safety net would take care of them, too. And what the hell does one's economic status have to do with whether one is likely to have severe mental problems? She is assuming here that mental illness divests one of all social networks and sources of income. Christ, Megan. If that's your idea of being "very sympathetic", I'm sure the local animal shelter can use your talents in the euthanasia room. This is the "unfunded mandate" that's got her knickers in a twist:
"About 140 million Americans in more than 450,000 employer plans will benefit from improved coverage, according to the administration.

Included among the rules that will take effect July 1 are:

□ Health plans for employers with more than 50 workers cannot charge a higher co-pay or deductible for treatment for mental health or substance abuse than for a visit to the doctor or medical specialist. There also is no separate deductible.

□ The plans cannot set restrictions on the number of visits or hospital days for mental-health and substance-abuse problems that are different than those for medical problems.

□ The plans must offer out-of-network benefits for mental-health and substance-abuse treatments as they do medical and surgical treatments.

However, the act does not require that a group health plan provide benefits for mental health and substance abuse. It also does not apply to issuers who sell health-insurance policies to employers with 50 or fewer employees or who sell health-insurance policies to individuals."
Yep, that's scary all right, but not nearly as scary as what passes for humanity in the pages of The Atlantic these days.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Farewell, Howard

Thanks to Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice for the notice:
" Howard Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist who was an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam and whose books, such as "A People's History of the United States," inspired young and old to rethink the way textbooks present the American experience, died today in Santa Monica, Calif, where he was traveling. He was 87.

His daughter, Myla Kabat-Zinn of Lexington, said he suffered a heart attack."
During a lifetime of tiny men and moral midgets, Howard was a magnificent soul from youth. But even if he had not accomplished one thing but this, he would have still been a greater asset to our country than any of our elected politicians of the last 45 years.

Before Apple Was The Seed

As the tech crowd waits with breathless expectation over the announcement of Apple's new tablet, I want to throw in a plug for an amazing little netbook that has been around in beta form since last year, and is undergoing continual refinement. I've had my eye on this since before it came out, and think I will be buying it soon:

The Touchbook by Always Innovating.

A combination netbook and removable magnetic tablet, this little wonder uses the same kind of power as your cell phone:
"The Touch Book uses an innovative ARM processor from Texas Instruments that delivers the power of a traditional desktop computer but uses a fraction of the energy.

Like a cellphone, it is always-on, so there is no need to reboot each time. And without noisy fans and disk drives, it's completely silent, so it won't intrude on your inner space."
It runs for around 10 hours without charge, uses open sourcing and is modifiable, and the tablet can be removed from the keyboard as a stand-alone. It's $299 to buy the tablet alone, and $399 for the whole system. There is ongoing refinement that customers can tap into and download as upgrades are made. Personally, I think it's elegant and revolutionary, and would much rather put my money into real, customer-engaged entrepreneurship than into Apple's now massive (and expensive) industrial structure.

Update: A gander at the live blog on the Great Unveiling over at the New York Times reveals nothing that the Touchbook hadn't already got me excited about. Apple apps? I don't have any Apple devices now, so I have no investment in the subculture. It's a shame, though, that a tiny company like Always Innovating can't compete against such free advertising.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Great Moments in Revisionist Pecksniffery

Hitler was a liberal.

And dirty hippies are going to grind us under their jackboots.

PD*28959947 That explains why Henry Ford, General Motors, the American investment banking community, Standard Oil, and the Bush family patriarch Prescott Bush, all supported Hitler's rise to power and did ongoing business with Nazi Germany, along with Germany's own big business corporations.

Because everyone knows how big business gravitates toward a philosophy that despises it. Rock on, revisionaries!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Ignorant Cracker Defense

Via Josh Marshall, we find the Lt. Governor of South Carolina, who is running for the Governor's office, dog-whistling to his fellow trailer trash:
"GREENVILLE - Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has compared giving people government assistance to "feeding stray animals."

Bauer, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor, made his remarks during a town hall meeting in Fountain Inn that included state lawmakers and about 115 residents.

"My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better," Bauer said."
Not only was his grandmother uneducated, it's clear she insured he stayed that way, too. This is his understanding of "welfare":
"He said government hasn't made requirements to make those receiving aid be more responsible.

"They can continue to have more and more kids, and the reward is there's more and more money in it for them."

Instead, he said, the government should place incentives in its welfare programs, such as providing child care so parents can work or receive education so they can break the welfare cycle.

Government continues to reward bad behavior by giving money to people who "don't have to do a thing," he said."
You see, this man lives in the Reaganesque world of welfare queens and lazy chicken-eating Negroes, so he missed 1996, when Clinton's welfare reform created the Temporary Aid to Needy Families program, which places limits on lifetime receipts of benefits, and requires parents to work or go to school in exchange for what benefits they receive. And since that program is highly individualistic by state, he must be unaware of his own state's requirements, which requires work and/or school, and which limit the receipt of aid to 60 months in an entire lifetime. Extensions of aid beyond the stated limit are only granted to heads of households who are disabled or caring for a disabled person, who are under 18 and still in high school,who are not themselves recipients of TANF or are caring for abandoned children, or who have no reasonable access to transportation or child care. Failing to comply with extension criteria means immediate termination of the case. Yet this lying sack goes boldly on with his lies, taking swipes as children who,through no fault of their own, must seek school lunch aid to ensure some nutritional adequacy in their diets:
"Later in his speech, Bauer said, "I can show you a bar graph where free and reduced lunch has the worst test scores in the state of South Carolina," adding, "You show me the school that has the highest free and reduced lunch, and I'll show you the worst test scores, folks. It's there, period."
share12If there are poor test scores. it could have something to do with his state's atrocious poverty rate, which, even before the great recession, was growing steadily. As early as August 2005, S. Carolina had an overall poverty rate of 15.7%, and a rate of 22.1% for its children, making it 12th highest among the 50 states. Of course, it would help if all these stray animals had jobs, but Bauer's state is currently showing a 20% unemployment rate for African-Americans, in a state that is 28.5% black. I guess they could bring back the sharecropper model and put all those school-lunch-eating little bastards to work. That's the kind of solution I have a feeling Mr. Bauer would find eminently satisfying. After all, he has plenty of cash. And he has no dearth of brazenness:
"Bauer said he shouldn't have used the "stray animals" reference. However, he said he knows his comments are politically incorrect, and he does not feel that he needs to apologize."
Fine work, Republicans. More of him and the Crackerbaggers will be ready to start up the lynch mobs again.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Story Of Corporate Personhood

The arrival of corporate (juridical) personhood was not signaled in the actual court opinion, but the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Santa Clara County v Southern Pacific Railroad Company in 1886 made manifest the Court's unanimous assumption that corporations were protected under the 14th Amendment, in particular the clause that gave full rights to human slaves.

The county sought to be reimbursed for years of unpaid taxes, and was upheld in its quest by both local and state supreme courts. The Railroad appealed these losses to the U.S. Supreme Court, using a law that had been passed to enable freed slaves to get around the injustices of Southern courts. But even before the Court ruled, it agreed that it would not be looking at whether the Equal Protection clause applied to the Railroad, simply because it was understood amongst all the justices that the 14th Amendment did apply to corporations. Thus, although the decision did not specifically lay out the precedence for corporate personhood, the concept was inherent in the reasoning underlying it, and was cited by later Justices when referencing the concept. Here is Hugo Black in 1938:
"Four years later, in 1886, this Court in the case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394 , 6 S.Ct. 1132, decided for the first time that the word 'person' in the amendment did in some instances include corporations. A secret purpose on the part of the members of the committee, even if such be the fact, however, would not be sufficient to justify any such construction. The history of the amendment proves that the people were told that its purpose was to protect weak and helpless human beings and were not told that it was intended to remove corporations in any fashion from the control of state governments. The Fourteenth Amendment followed the freedom of a race from slavery. Jusice Swayne said in the Slaughter Houses Cases, supra, that: 'By 'any person' was meant all persons within the jurisdiction of the State. No distinction is intimated on account of race or color.' Corporations have neither race nor color. He knew the amendment was intended to protect the life, liberty, and property of human beings."
Now Glenn Greenwald is fielding comments that confuse what is Constitutional with what is ideologically acceptable, and in the course of it, has pointed out that the "liberal" dissenting justices do not quarrel with the concept of corporate personhood, and their dissent is not based on any rejection of it. He warns his commenters:
"Those same name-calling accusations were made frequently by commenters last night about those who think the First Amendment actually means what it says and can't be violated in the name of good results ("your absolutism and legalistic purity ignores the real-world problem of corporate influence"). The "rule of law," however, means that if the Constitution or other laws bar X, then X is not allowed regardless of how many good outcomes can be achieved by X. That was true for the "crisis" of Terrorism, and it's just as true for the crisis of corporate influence over our political process. Whatever solutions are to be found for either problem, they cannot be ones that the Constitution explicitly prohibits. That's what "the rule of law" means."
marshallThe problem with this line of thinking is that it assumes that the Constitution protects corporations based on their personhood. Greenwald himself seems to indicate this concept could be debatable ("But what isn't reasonable is to pretend that the 4 dissenting judges endorsed the idea that corporations have no First Amendment rights or that money restrictions don't burden free speech rights. All 9 justices rejected those views. Again, that doesn't mean those views are wrong...") but his remarks above also seem to buy into the view that it isn't.

Brown v Board of Education proved that prior interpretations--precedents!--once ruled Constitutional could be reversed, and it wasn't the only decision to do so. This Court is the same body, after all, that looked blandly upon slavery in its heyday and pronounced it constitutional. If we know anything about this third branch of our government, it's that it is as malleable to changing mores as the other two, and nothing that comes out of its machinery is infallible. Let's hope this ugly perversion of what was clearly meant to be a human right is someday made right.

Let's Have a Big Hand...

I am continually amazed by the creativity and artistry of the AT&T Global "hands" ads.

They are done by a huge agency, BBDO, which is in turn the subsidiary of an even larger holding company, Omnicom Group. When I first began seeing the ads I thought they were computer-generated, until I looked closer and could actually detect the tiny lines and folds of the human hands beneath the paint.

leopard hands
These are living paintings, trompe l'oeil taken to an organic extreme, and every time I see a new one, like the one now in February's Bon Appetit, I get as excited as a little kid. The artist, Guido Daniele, seems to channel the drafstmanship of his ancestor Da Vinci. There is real soul in, for instance, this elephant rendering:

Elephant Hand Art

He does elephants particularly well:

elephant hands

But he's gifted with birds, too:

swan hand

Friday, January 22, 2010

Excising the Troublemakers

Greenwald lays out the Obama administration's long day's journey into the nightmare created by the Bush adminstration during the '00s:
Today, The New York Times' Charlie Savage reports:
The Obama administration has decided to continue to imprison without trials nearly 50 detainees at the Guantánamo Bay military prison in Cuba because a high-level task force has concluded that they are too difficult to prosecute but too dangerous to release, an administration official said on Thursday.
...Once that rationale is accepted, it necessarily applies not only to past detainees but future ones as well: the administration is claiming the power to imprison whomever it wants without charges whenever it believes that -- even in the face of the horrendously broad "material support for terrorism" laws the Congress has enacted -- it cannot prove in any tribunal that the individual has actually done anything wrong. They are simply decreed by presidential fiat to be "too dangerous to release." Perhaps worst of all, it converts what was once a leading prong in the radical Bush/Cheney assault on the Constitution -- the Presidential power to indefinitely imprison people without charges -- into complete bipartisan consensus, permanently removed from the realm of establishment controversy.

There are roughly 200 prisoners left at the camp, which means roughly 25% will be held without any charges at all. Using the administration's perverse multi-tiered justice system, the rest will either be tried in a real court, sent to a military commission or released...The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the Military Commissions Act unconstitutionally denied the right of habeas corpus to Guantanamo detainees -- a principle the Obama administration has vigorously resisted when it comes to Bagram detainees -- but mere habeas corpus review does not come close to a real trial, which the Bill of Rights guarantees to all "persons" (not only "Americans") before the State can keep them locked in a cage.
This definition of "persons" has certainly seen plenty of plasticity in the last couple days. Perhaps since the Supreme Court has stretched forth its hand to shelter corporations under its wing by virtue of their "personhood", it may also choose to re-vist the definition as it applies to living beings. If the Obama Justice Department can get a ruling excluding actual humans from the definition, the destruction of the Constitution will be complete, and these troubling complaints will be put to rest along with their authors.

Nice work.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Laughs Just Keep Coming

Because we don’t already live in a plutocracy brazen enough to satisfy the company men at the Supreme Court, we now have this, a decision rendered in part in favor of Citizens United over the FEC—and Bush’s FEC at that. CU didn't want to have to release the names of its donors in order to smear Hilary Clinton with the release of a propaganda film just before the primary. While the court agreed that CU needed to disclose its donors, it went further and gave the whole oligarchy a belated Christmas present:
Erin Miller:
Justice Kennedy writes for the Court...Reversed in part, affirmed in part, and remanded...Austin v. Mich is overruled...And so is the part of McConnell v. FEC that upheld the restrictions on independent corporate expenditures...In dissent, or partial dissent is Stevens, joined by Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Breyer...Thomas also filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part...The Court does uphold the disclosure requirements for organizations like Citizens United...Justice Stevens' partial dissent is 90 pages...The majority opinion by Justice Kennedy is 57 pages

Tom Goldstein:
Much will depend on the wording, but today's decision is a small revolution in campaign finance law...The Court's decision overturns the previously settled distinction between corporate and individual expenditures in American elections...We will link to the opinions as soon as they are available...The decision presumably applies equally to state and local elections, given that the Court recognizes a First Amendment right...And the ruling almost certainly applies to both corporate and union treasury funds.
Zachary Roth writes at TPM that the concept of personhood for corporations is at the heart of the ruling. Basically, this means that because Constitutional rights are granted to those who are legal persons, and because corporations are considered to have legal personhood, their right to buy off the electorate via a saturation campaign funded by bottomless coffers fed mostly by contributers who have no control over where their money is going has been deemed by these 5 lackies as a right to free speech. This, coming out of a political philosophy that has striven for years to ensure actual human beings are allowed no Constitutional rights, and a court where 4 of the 5 justices actually dissented from giving those rights to untried men. Can I tell you how deeply I have loathed this legal precedent, which has withstood the test of time and, since it was first conceived, has caused untold misery to untold numbers of real live persons? Well, the floodgates are open now, and let the games begin! The risible part of all this is how the unions get tagged along with corporations, as though the AFL-CIO could match blows with Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil, or ING.

Yes, it’s been an amusing week, alright. I wonder when some wise guy will come up with a Fouth Amendment defense to fend off the Freedom of Information Act?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


This nails it:
"As Darcy Burner put it yesterday: "Perhaps if the Democratic base doesn't show up to elect Coakley, party leadership should consider *trying to appeal* to the base." There's a reason it's called "the base" -- it's because it's the foundation of the party -- and, as the Republicans never forget, there is a serious cost to ignoring or spurning them.

As I note in my NYT contribution today, the reasons for the Democrats' failings generally -- and the Scott Brown victory specifically -- are complex, and shouldn't be simplified in order to declare vindication for pre-existing beliefs (Obama loyalists: it was all about Coakley!; right-wing Democrats: it's all the Left's fault!; Republicans: it's a rejection of liberalism!). But whatever else is true, the Left, as usual, has very little power, both within the Party and in general. Blaming them for the Democrats' failings is about as rational as the 2006 attempt to blame them for the collapsing Iraq War. The Left is many things; "dominant within the Democratic Party and our political discourse" is not one of them."
There's one other thing to weigh, as well: the Left's timidity. Only today, when a friend suggested she was ready to create a third party, I responded that the Dems could be turned around:
"Third parties diffuse our energy and reduce the chances of a win. What the teabaggers are doing is working to take over local Republican machines. This is what progressives should be doing with the Democratic party. We could call ourselves the "Black Cat" Democrats, after the anarchist symbol "No War but Class War"."
This was met with a resigned defeatism, implying that any attempt to re-make the Dems would be a futile effort. This is what we're up against. But why shouldn't we fight windmills? Why should we circle the wagons and just keep on keeping company with only others who think like us? When did a third party EVER result in a viable candidate (and I say that as someone who spent the first 2 decades of my voting life voting for 3rd parties). If we tried to establish a 3rd party, wouldn't we run up against the very same forces that would be arrayed against us inside the party, except that we would have about zero chance of gaining allies wlling to abandon it? Staying in the party and seeking to gently persuade the incumbents in hopes of gaining their cooperation would only waste our time. Staying in the party and making our voices heard, getting confrontational, and demanding a cost for our support, would get their attention and allow potential allies to remain "loyal" in a comfortably familiar milieu.

And FUCK the local kingmakers. They aren't God on the throne, and the only reason they think they are, is that no one challenges the idea.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

One Word...


Enough with the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth.


Just shut the fuck up and do some goddamn work.

American Psycho

Spell_IIThis story was broken by Scott Horton at his Harper's blog (in anticipation of publication) yesterday morning, picked up by Yglesias the same day, and systematically spread across the liberal web spectrum:
" evidence now emerging may entangle Obama’s young administration with crimes that occurred during the George W. Bush presidency, evidence that suggests the current administration failed to investigate seriously—and may even have continued—a cover-up of the possible homicides of three prisoners at Guantánamo in 2006.

Late in the evening on June 9 that year, three prisoners at Guantánamo died suddenly and violently...

None of the men had been charged with a crime, though all three had been engaged in hunger strikes to protest the conditions of their imprisonment. They were being held in a cell block, known as Alpha Block, reserved for particularly troublesome or high-value prisoners.

As news of the deaths emerged the following day, the camp quickly went into lockdown. The authorities ordered nearly all the reporters at Guantánamo to leave and those en route to turn back. The commander at Guantánamo, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, then declared the deaths “suicides.” In an unusual move, he also used the announcement to attack the dead men. “I believe this was not an act of desperation,” he said, “but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.”

Two years later, the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which has primary investigative jurisdiction within the naval base, issued a report supporting the account originally advanced by Harris, now a vice-admiral in command of the Sixth Fleet...

The NCIS report was carefully cross-referenced and deciphered by students and faculty at the law school of Seton Hall University in New Jersey, and their findings, released in November 2009, made clear why the Pentagon had been unwilling to make its conclusions public. The official story of the prisoners’ deaths was full of unacknowledged contradictions, and the centerpiece of the report—a reconstruction of the events—was simply unbelievable."

Yet a Google search of the story reveals almost no establishment press reports on this important piece. The NY Times buried it in "US News" so deeply you can't even find it once you leave the page it's on. The silence is so astounding that even the conservative-leaning Sully remarked on it. In the best American Gothic tradition, we continue to lock up our dirty secrets in the attic, and Aunt Edith at the Times and Brother Billy at the Post make sure the neighbors don't find out.

To read the entire 136 page report on which Horton based his story, click here. Maybe Eric Holder can now put his resources where his mouth used to be.

Monday, January 18, 2010

In Memory of Reverend King

I remember this:


Once upon a time even hate and ignorance was not enough to deter our leaders from doing what was right.

IOKIYAR for Health Insurance

David at Crooks and Liars writes that political clown car passengers Mitch McConnell, William Kristol, and Charles Krauthammer are predicting national Democratic health care reform will get its comeuppance in Massachusetts:
"The voters are aware it's a national referendum on the health care bill and Obama big government liberal programs."
Too bad they forgot that it was a Republican who gave MA its current insurance company welfare program, the same Republican many in his party are already expecting to be the presidential frontrunner in 2012. I wonder how he will explain his big government liberal program to the clown car?

Sunday, January 17, 2010


to the template are still in progress. Clueless me had no idea Haloscan was evolving into a paid service via Echo, so even though I get no to few comments, I was still taken aback when they disappeared from the posts. Oh well, back to Blogger commenting.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

David Brooks Fixes Haiti

Amidst a voluminous body of work known mostly for its scrupulous cluelessness, this essay really must rise to the top of the junk heap. Who else would shift into finger-wagging gear during a crisis so epically tragic, and who else would be so undeterred by his own smug ignorance? Please people. How does he keep his job?

Helping Haiti

Madison Smartt Bell has traveled in and written about Haiti for 15 years, with tremendous discernment and empathy. In Mine of Stones, a piece that ran in the January 2004 Harper's just before Jean-Paul Aristede was unseated in a coup supported by the Bush administration, he wrote:
"I always wanted to do this or that when I came to Haiti, but I had learned that completely different things might ensue; it was necessary to accept those transformations, for a too stubborn insistence on one's own program-tet bef, as Haitian Kreyol succinctly has it, "bull head"-can be almost suicidal here. Better to yield up my own will and let the spirits lead. That was the main thing Haiti had taught me, and it was also a point that most of American officialdom seemed to miss."
I'm not sure what the spirits had in mind for Haiti on January 12, 2010, but what has to be done now is pretty clear, especially since it appears another quake occurred last night measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale, just 37 miles from Port-au-Prince.  Many quarters have been  supplying the names of relief agencies that need  funds, including my own employer, and when I got home from work last evening I found a heart-wrenching flyer in my mailbox from a neighbor up the street whose family in Haiti has not been found or heard from since the quake.  These are the agencies that Bell recommends:
The Lambi Fund of Haiti
Partners in Health
Near and dear to my own heart is Doctors Without Borders. Their own website states:
"We are not providing water right now, but when we do, we will need to establish some water sources that are accessible and not contaminated. As a second step we will need to think about other strategies, perhaps drilling boreholes or water treatment - maybe treating salt water since it is by the ocean."
Anyone with those particular skills and resources could be of untold value to the rescue effort right now. International Action is there.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bringing It Down A Few Dozen Decibels

It's not as if things haven't been happening, God knows, but after a lengthy vacation, I returned to work and have been digging myself out of a work hole ever since.  So even though no one reads this blog anymore (thanks to my intermittent posting and indifference to blog-whoring) I still feel the need to explain that right now I'm neck deep in other things, and want to put this up as an antidote to some of the silliness and tragedy of recent weeks.  We can all use a quiet village to relax in:

It makes a nice ringtone, too.