Sunday, November 15, 2009

Apology for kids sent from Britain to colonies

This is a reminder of how capital, by way of the government (even in democracies), have exploited whites and non-whites alike. Millions of children still suffer worldwide working under terrible conditions while their government ignores their plight. The solution is not socialism but greater democracy; true democracy.

in reference to:

"Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized Monday to thousands of impoverished British children shipped to Australia in past centuries with the promise of a better life, only to suffer abuse and neglect thousands of miles from home. At a ceremony in the Australian capital of Canberra attended by tearful former child migrants, Rudd apologized for his country's role in the migration and extended condolences to the 7,000 survivors of the program who still live in Australia. "We are sorry," Rudd said. "Sorry that as children you were taken from your families and placed in institutions where so often you were abused. Sorry for the physical suffering, the emotional starvation and the cold absence of love, of tenderness, of care. Sorry for the tragedy — the absolute tragedy — of childhoods lost.""
- Apology for kids sent from Britain to colonies - Europe- (view on Google Sidewiki)

Transcript: 'State of the Union' (11-15-09): David Axelrod

Read the complete transcript of David Axelrod's appearance on CNN's 'State of the Union' (11-15-09). Except below:

KING: Let’s begin with the controversial decision to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other 9/11 alleged conspirators in the federal courts in New York City, just a short walk from the site of the twin towers collapsing. Many Republicans are criticizing this, but it’s not just Republicans. This is Jim Webb , Democratic senator from Virginia who says, “they do not belong in our country, they do not belong in our courts, and they do not belong in our prisons.” Why, David Axelrod, did the administration decide to take this step?

AXELROD: Well, I think for the same reason that Mayor Bloomberg and others felt strongly that we should.

We believe that these folks should be tried in New York City, as you say, near where their heinous acts were conducted, in full view in our court system, which we believe in.

We’ve had, you know, since 2001, have had 195 terrorism cases in the courts, and we’ve been successful 91 percent of the time. We’re very confident about these cases, and we believe this is the appropriate thing to do.

This is a judgment the attorney general made in concert with the secretary of defense. As you know, there were five other cases that were sent to military commissions, but we feel strongly that justice will be done here.

And frankly it’s been a long time in coming. A lot of these cases have been delayed for many, many years. And now, the people who suffered so much in that attack will get the justice they deserve.

KING: We will have later in the program the former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who of course was the mayor when the horrible tragedy of 9/11 took place. And he is among those who say, to him, this reflects returning to a pre-9/11 mentality of treating terrorism as a crime, not an act of war. How would you answer that?

AXELROD: You know, it is odd, because when the 20th 9/11 bomber was tried in Virginia, in a civilian court, and convicted, Mayor Giuliani testified in that case and he heralded the outcome. So he may have changed his view, but we haven’t changed ours.

KING: You mentioned this was the attorney general’s decision. How involved was the president of the United States?

AXELROD: Well, the president was informed of the attorney general’s decision and his reasoning for the decision. This was a decision for the attorney general to make, in concert with the secretary of defense. KING: It is a reminder bringing these terrorists to New York City for trial, alleged terrorists, a reminder of the controversy about Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. We are just now two months and one week away from this promise from the president of the United States.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Guantanamo will be closed no later than one year from now.


KING: If you talk, David Axelrod, to top officials at the Pentagon, top officials at the building you work at, in the White House, they say now it is a near impossibility that that deadline will be kept. When will Gitmo be closed?

AXELROD: We believe we are going to substantially meet the deadline. We may not hit it on the date, but we will close Guantanamo. And we are making good progress toward doing that.

KING: Any idea? Two months, four months, six months more?

AXELROD: I’m not going to put a deadline on it, John. But we are going to get it done. We are moving toward getting it done in all the different dimensions that are necessary to get it done. The president believes it is important to get it done and to end this chapter in our history. And we are going to get it done.

KING: Part of this chapter in our history is the 9/11 attacks, which, of course, were hatched in Afghanistan. And the president is closer to making this big decision he has to make about how many troops. When he makes that decision, will he lay out for the American people not only the rationale for the decision he has made, but an exit strategy for Afghanistan? If you travel the country as I do all the time, people keep saying, eight years later, how long is it going to take? How much is it going to cost? How many lives will be lost? Will the president give us an exit strategy?

AXELROD: Well, I think that is a concern. And it is obviously one of the factors the president is thinking through. We have been there for eight years; it is a long, long time. And we have to keep focused on what our purpose was in the first place. Our purpose was to disrupt and dismantle and destroy Al Qaeda. That remains our purpose.

But obviously we can not make an open-ended commitment. And we want to do this in a way that maximizes our efforts against Al Qaeda, but within the framework of bringing out troops home at some point. And the president has made that clear in all these discussions. There has to be a framework to this decision.

But we are getting close. It has been a good process.

Netanyahu Threatens to Retaliate if Palestinians Declare Statehood

The Israeli government would love to perpetuate apartheid indefinitely. As I've said many times, the Palestinians have to engage in peaceful, non-violent civil disobedience. Then they would get their state.

in reference to:

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to retaliate if Palestinians declare a unilateral state, saying such a move would unravel existing agreements with the Israelis. Netanyahu’s stern comments come the same day that a senior Palestinian official told Fox News they are considering a U.N. resolution to declare a Palestinian state. Palestinian officials had said Sunday they were preparing to ask the United Nations to endorse an independent state without Israel's consent because they were losing faith in the peace talks."
- Netanyahu Threatens to Retaliate if Palestinians Declare Statehood - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Lawyers Earn Fees From Law They Wrote

It's a nice racket the lawyers have rigged. They profit coming and going. They win we lose.

in reference to:

"Every lawsuit filed or even threatened under a California law aimed at electing more minorities to local offices — and all of the roughly $4.3 million from settlements so far — can be traced to just two people: a pair of attorneys who worked together writing the statute, The Associated Press has found. The law makes it easier for lawyers to sue and win financial judgments in cases arising from claims that minorities effectively were shut out of local elections, while shielding attorneys from liability if the claims are tossed out. The law was drafted mainly by Seattle law professor Joaquin Avila, with advice from lawyers including Robert Rubin, legal director for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. Avila, Rubin's committee and lawyers working with them have collected or billed local governments about $4.3 million in three cases that settled, and could reap more from two pending lawsuits. That's only a fraction of what might come. Dozens of cities and school boards have been warned they could be sued under the 2002 California Voting Rights Act."
- Jackpot: Lawyers Earn Fees From Law They Wrote - ABC News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Transcript: Meet The Press (11-15-09): Hillary Clinton

Secretary of State, Hillay Clinton, appeared on Meet the Press, along with Newt Gingrich and Al Sharpton. Complete transcript. Excerpt below:

GREGORY: Newt Gingrich -- conservative Republican, former House speaker -- why is this a vision that you support?

GINGRICH: Well, first of all, education is the number one factor in our future prosperity, it's the number one factor in national security and it's the number one factor in these young people having a decent future. I agree with Al Sharpton, this is the number one civil right of the 21st century.

So if you -- if the president has shown real leadership -- which he has. This is, a lot of places we fight. On this one he has said every parent should know whether the school's good. Every student should have transparency about a results. Every parent should have the right to choose a charter school. Now, I -- I would go further. I'd like to have a Pell Grant for K through 12. But this is a huge step for this president to take.

GREGORY: Can we just take a minute to explain how a charter school works?

GINGRICH: Well, Arne knows more than I do about this. But basically, a charter school operates within a framework of direct public funding but is allowed to be more innovative, have its own work rules, have its own model of activity, very often has a specialized focus. But do you want to expand on that for a second? Because you're the authority.

DUNCAN: I just want to say, as a country, we need more good schools. And good charter schools are a piece of the answer. Bad charter schools are a piece of the problem. But we've seen, in many historically underserved communities, charter schools being part of the answer, where students are getting great educations.

But as a country, our best schools are world class. We have a lot of schools in the middle. They're improving. What we have, though, is we have schools at the bottom where we're perpetuating poverty, we're perpetuating social failure. We have to stop doing that and we have to create options and opportunities for children and communities that have been underserved for far too long.

GREGORY: You want to pick up, though, on your opening thought.

GINGRICH: Yes. I -- I just want to give you one example that we all visited, because I think every American should understand there is no excuse for accepting failure. We visited the Mastery School in Philadelphia. The second most violent school in the city, 25th percentile in outcome. Three years ago the state became desperate, took over the school, turned it over to Mastery, which is a charter school system. Same building, same students.

Three years later, they're in the 86th percentile. And as one young man said to us, an 11th grader -- everyone in the 11th grade plans to go to college in this inner city, poor neighborhood. And one man said -- young man said to us, in the old school he fought because he was expected to. Now he doesn't fight, because it's not tolerated.

So there's no violence and real achievement. Every parent in the country should demand that their child be in a school of that caliber and that the change be now, not in five or 10 years.

GREGORY: Al Sharpton, why is this a vision you support?

SHARPTON: You know, I -- I was challenged by James Mtume, who's a music icon and talk show host, on why I and National Action Network, our group, was not dealing with education. It was a civil rights issue. When he showed me the data -- 55 percent of blacks get a diploma, 58 percent of Latinos, 78 percent of whites -- I looked at this achievement gap, which was almost identical to a 1954 when I was born, the year of Brown vs. Board of Education, and I said, "How are we ignoring this?"

Then, when I looked at the broader data, that we were -- in 1970, we were like 30 as a country, now we're 15 percent of the people in the world that is dealing with graduates. We are going backwards in a technological age as a country, and in my community we're getting inexperienced teachers, unequal education.

So if this means that we have to come together and make alliances to deal with the fact that almost half of the young people in my community are not even getting a high school diploma, I think the president is right.

Transcript: 'This Week' (11-15-09): Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani

Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani appeared on ABC's 'This Week' (11-15-09). Read the complete transcript. Excerpt below:

STEPHANOPOULOS: And as you're in Singapore, you and the President are facing really his toughest decision yet on Afghanistan. And on his way over when he stopped in Elmendorf Air Force Base, President Obama made this commitment to the troops and the country. Listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATESTEPHANOPOULOS: We'll give you the strategy and the clear mission you deserve. We'll give you the equipment and support that you need to get the job done. And that includes public support back home. That is a promise that I make to you.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Now that is a tough promise to keep. History shows that the public won't support a war for very long if they're not convinced that the goal is worthy. But also, and probably more important, that the war can be won. How can you convince the country that this war can be won?

CLINTON: Well I think the President said it very well in talking to some of the brave young men and women in uniform when he stopped at Elmendorf.

What he's been doing in the last weeks is testing every single assumption, asking for evidence, asking for dissenting opinions. I mean, he has conducted an extraordinary effort to make sure that the decision he makes is rooted in his best judgment as to what is in the national security interest of the United States. And I believe that's a case that can be made to the American people. I have no doubt about that. Now, look, I understand that there will be people who are maybe critical or unconvinced or not persuaded. But I think the majority of Americans will know that this president has gone the extra mile, in fact, more than that to make sure that whatever decision he makes is in the best interest of our country, that it is aimed at making our country more secure and supporting our men and women in uniform as they fulfill the mission.

U.N.: 1 Billion Worldwide Face Starvation

Think about it: One billion human beings face starvation. It is a sign of where this world is headed. It is the consequence of the global economic system that was touted as being so great for so long. It was never great for the vast majority of the world's population. But it was great for big business, and especially the financiers and Wall St.

The United Nations launched an online appeal for individual donations to fight hunger as donor nations tackle an economic crisis and, for the first time in history, more than 1 billion face starvation worldwide.

[...]The 1 billion number is about 100 million more than last year, the World Food Programme said. To meet the needs, the agency said it has to raise U.S. $6.7 billion. Donations to date stand at U.S. $2.9 billion.

Chinese Officials Told To Dump Mistresses

Maybe we ought to try this in the U.S.

in reference to:

"Chinese officials are being told to dump their mistresses, avoid hostess bars, and shun extravagances as part of the Communist party's efforts to clamp down on the corruption that is threatening its rule and sullying its reputation. The language of the new morality push, one of countless such campaigns informally under way, is surprisingly bold, often cutting through the bureaucratese to make a clear link between moral lassitude and corruption. One statistic trotted out at a recent speech to bureaucrats: 95 percent of officials investigated for corruption were found to be keeping mistresses. "It's just not possible to keep a mistress on your salary because maintaining this sort of extravagant lifestyle requires a large amount of cash money," Qi Peiwen, a party discipline enforcer, told officials in southern China."
- Chinese Officials Told To Dump Mistresses (view on Google Sidewiki)

SNL Spoof Video: Biden on Obama Indecisiveness (11-14-09)

This Saturday Night Live (SNL) video has VP Joe Biden lamenting his lack of access to President Obama and how he will be more decisive (on Afghanistan, Health care, the economy) while Barack is away and he takes over: