Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March, 2009

Mexico, March 27th, 2009

Posted by Charles II on March 28, 2009

Translation at Narconews from an item in Por Esto:

NO to Intervention

Posted by Kristin Bricker – March 26, 2009 at 7:06 pm by Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Mexico City. March 25, 2009

Mrs. Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
Government of the United States of America

Esteemed Mrs. Clinton:

From our point of view, the problems of insecurity and violence in our country have arisen from the prevailing corruption and impunity, and because there hasn’t been economic growth for 26 years and millions of youths have been marginalized from education and haven’t had work opportunities.

You surely know that all of this began when a group of about 30 traffickers of influence and corrupt politicians, using the cover of so-called neoliberal economic policies, took control of the Mexican State, as well as a good part of national and so-called public goods. And these policies of pillaging that has enriched a minority in an exaggerated and obscene manner, in a way that has not occurred in any other part of the world, has condemned the Mexican people to exile and survival.

That is why we believe that it is an error to want to confront the problems of insecurity and violence with only an iron fist, with soldiers, with prisons, with tougher laws, and with stiffer penalties. The solution to the scourge of criminality lies in rescuing the State, in changing the current economic model, and in guaranteeing the people better living and working conditions. It can’t be forgotten that peace and tranquility are fruits of justice.



Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Legitimate President of Mexico

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

UPS Does It By Bike (In Oregon And Hawaii, Anyway)

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 28, 2009

UPS Delivery By Bike! Salem, Oregon from nwduffer on Vimeo.

UPS trucks typically deliver between one hundred and one hundred fifty packages per day. When the United Parcel Service started its holiday-season bike-delivery program in New Hampshire, Maine, California, Washington, Oregon, and Tennessee a few months ago (after a pilot run in New Hampshire and Maine in 2007), they expected that each rider would deliver between twenty-five and fifty packages. However, at least one rider in the Salem, Oregon area, Tina Brubaker, got nearly sixty packages delivered on her first day and can do nearly a hundred on a good day. A UPS truck drops off packages at her garage, which serves as a mini-hub where she goes to pick up more packages (and to change into dry clothes if it’s been raining, as it tends to do in Portland in the winter). Seems to be a pretty efficient system!

UPS also tried it in Hawaii, using bikes to deliver packages to three military bases on Oahu. UPS delivery person Tyrone Bellamy finds he can make seventy-five stops a day, which approaches the number of stops a truck can make at a fraction of the cost. (He’s also lost several pants sizes in the bargain, becoming quite trim and fit.)

I suspect that deliveries by bike would work well in high-density downtown areas, where truck parking is often problematic. My main concern is that the bike trailer should have a topper that can be locked down so as to make its contents less tempting to thieves.

Posted in bicycling, environment, Good Things, sustainability | 4 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on March 27, 2009

“Yes, I’m in a basket. And your point is?”

Alexander Friday Cat Blogging 03-27-09

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Mexico, March 26th 2009

Posted by Charles II on March 27, 2009

I have been too busy to do a proper job of reporting on Mexico, where there are many interesting developments. But here’s a story of historical importance.

Former president Luis Echeverria is found innocent of the mass murder of student demonstrators in the Plaza of Three Cultures in Tlatelolco.

Echeverria was a CIA asset and the shooting was almost certainly done in collusion with the US, although I would guess for purely domestic (Mexican) reasons.

This is a significant development, because it lends further credence that civilian deaths can be imposed with impunity in the current civil war.

Posted in history, Mexico | 5 Comments »

Republicans In Disarray!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 27, 2009

Here’s something that you will never see on most evening TV news shows, or in most of the places where most Americans get their news — a story of Republicans in disarray:

-House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) objected to an abbreviated alternative budget “blueprint” released today — but were told by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) they needed to back the plan, according to several Republican sources.

The argument, which reflects a growing rift in GOP leadership, underscores the trouble the minority party has in mounting unified opposition to President Obama’s $3.7 trillion FY2010 budget proposal.


The 19-page document, prepared by Pence’s office, was distributed two days after President Obama criticized Republicans for trashing his detail-crammed 142-page budget outline without producing a credible alternative.

“In his egocentric rush to get on camera, Mike Pence threw the rest of the Conference under the bus, specifically Paul Ryan, whose staff has been working night and day for weeks to develop a substantive budget plan,” said a GOP aide heavily involved in budget strategy.

“I hope his camera time was gratifying enough to justify erasing the weeks of hard work by dozens of Republicans to put forth serious ideas,” the person added.

But of course you won’t likely see this story anywhere else but here or in The Politico, because it reflects badly on Republicans and GOP unity (or lack of same). The media’s preferred stance is that it is always the Democrats, not the Republicans, that are in disarray.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, 111th Congress, budget, Congress, President Obama, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Silly Republicans, wrong way to go about it, WTF? | 1 Comment »

Missing news

Posted by Charles II on March 26, 2009

Here’s one you won’t hear about in the corporate media (From DN):

The US and Israel are being accused of killing up to thirty-nine people in a bombing attack in Sudan this past January. According to reports, US or Israeli forces allegedly attacked a convoy of seventeen trucks suspected of carrying weapons intended for smuggling into the Gaza Strip. A Sudanese government minister confirmed the strike, saying a “major power” carried it out.

(emphasis added)

Posted in israel | Comments Off on Missing news

Pulte & Del Webb: Homes from hell

Posted by Charles II on March 26, 2009

Via commenter Jo6Pac, this interesting piece from James Parks at the AFL-CIO blog:

A Pulte Homes executive got a special delivery this morning, when 50 angry workers and supporters dropped lemons in front of him at a state board meeting. The workers and homeowners in three western states say buyers should beware before they purchase a home built by Pulte or its subsidiaries.

…nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents to a survey of owners of homes built by Pulte and its Del Webb subsidiary reported their homes had construction defects. …based on surveys of 872 Pulte and Del Webb homeowners from Nevada, Arizona and California. According to the report, another 43 percent of respondents reported they would not buy another Pulte or Del Webb home.

The homeowners claimed defects with nearly every aspect of home construction: foundation, roofing, electrical, stucco, air conditioning, windows, plumbing, drywall, painting among others. Click here to read the full report….

The survey results are not surprising, says John Smirk, business manager for IUPAT District Council 15.

Workers tell us they are pressured to complete homes very fast. They work through breaks, lack adequate drinking water and safety equipment. Also, many workers report that they are not paid correctly for their work and morale is low.

Weak unions => crappy quality.

Posted in financial crisis, unions | Comments Off on Pulte & Del Webb: Homes from hell

The cost of poverty: years lost, talent lost. And it is hurting us all.

Posted by Charles II on March 26, 2009

Every time I listen to the Conservadems talk about how they’re being the guardians of bipartisanship, I want to smack them. They are literally killing people with their $#%^ing bipartisanship. We know that 16,000 Americans die every year from lack of medical insurance. Many more die young. And the potential talent locked in millions of children is either wasted or directed into crime. To get a sense for how poverty destroys, look at this article on a study in Wales, a homogeneous population covered by National Health Care and with a centralized school system, so really the only variable is income:

Poverty alone costs people 7 or 8 years of life.

“In the area in which the Warner family live a woman can expect to live for 76.2 years and a man 72.4 years,” she said.

“Whilst this is not the lowest life expectancy in Wales, it is nonetheless significantly lower than in other areas.

“Even within Rhondda Cynon Taf itself the life expectancy in one of the least deprived wards, Llantwit Fadre, is 83 for women and 79.2 for men.

And kids?

But he [Professor David Egan] warned that nearly 70% of young people in the area would not get the qualifications normally associated with future success.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in financial crisis, poverty, Wales | 1 Comment »

Roubini, Richardson: Give Credit To Geithner’s Plan

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 26, 2009

Surprise! Doctor Doom actually likes most of the Geithner Plan:

For the economy to be viable, the financial system must be healthy. For this to occur, the system needs to be cleansed of its poorly performing loans and so-called toxic securities backed by loans. This way, once creditworthy institutions and individuals come to the market looking for capital to borrow, financial firms will be in a position to lend them money.

Secretary Timothy Geithner’s new toxic asset plan is a serious step in the right direction in that it creates a public-private partnership to buy the troubled assets of financial firms – in other words, to do the necessary cleansing. Up until now, with all the government bailouts, the financial system has been barely treading water. With this plan, it will still be a hard swim, but, at least, there is a path to shore.

Posted in bailout, banking, economy | 16 Comments »

About That Two-Day Delay

Posted by MEC on March 25, 2009

The press corpse is so concerned about President Obama waiting two whole days before making a public statement about the AIG bonuses that he was even asked about it during last night’s press conference.

How many days was it before George W. Bush visited New York after nearly 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center? And how many reporters asked him why it took so long?

I guess such things are only important when a Democrat is in the White House.

Posted in beat the press | 1 Comment »

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