Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ballot Initiative

From Consumer Watchdog, in California, where single payer was insufficiently supported by Democrats who claimed to support it (when the governor was ready to veto), voters now attempt to get an initiative on the ballot regulating their state's ever-climbing health insurance company premiums.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I Am Spartacus

The famous line I remembered when I briefly googled to see what Anonymous was up to on yet another Friday.

This Anonymous was reported by boston.com as hacking the website of an international prison contractor and replacing the corporation's page with a "a hip-hop homage devoted to former death row inmate Mumia Abu Jamal" and in asserted protest against the "prison industrial complex."

This Anonymous was reported by CBC news in Canada as hacking the Ontario police chief's site in asserted protest against the Canadian federal government's proposed "internet suveillance bill."

This Anonymous posted a video calling elections corruption, in this case, against the Paul campaign, and seemingly by the Romney campaign.

This Anonymous posted the following video addressing American military service people:

More on Anonymous on Friday here and here.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Photographer: Jonathan B. Morgan
The Federal Trade Commission building
as seen from 6th St., NW, in Washington D.C.

In another Friday cyberspace hit now called "FFF" for "FuckFBIFriday," Anonymous took down the website of the Federal Trade Commission along with several affiliated websites, leaving a message to the U.S. government and other world leaders on the dangers posed by the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA.

Raw Story reports that ACTA is supported by the FTC, "which essentially extends often-criticized provisions of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act to numerous foreign nations."
“You really want to empower copyright holders to demand that users who violate IP rights (with no legal process) have their Internet connections terminated?” they [Anonymous] asked. “You really want to allow a country with an oppressive Internet censorship regime to demand under the treaty that an ISP in another country remove site content?”
At the hacked website Friday morning, Anonymous described ACTA as far worse than SOPA (or the Stop Online Piracy Act) which applies only to the United States (and is presently "hibernating" according to RT).   “ACTA will further spread the contagion of stricter copyright enforcement worldwide, at the expense of our essential liberties and basic freedoms of speech, expression and privacy,” reports RT on the message content“ACTA is a downright shitty act. We must kill it. With fire.”  RT writes that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit internet advocacy group that also opposes ACTA and SOPA agrees that the dangers posed by ACTA are as serious as Anonymous asserts.

The US, EU, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the UAE and Canada are all currently negotiation the verbiage of the ACTA. Attacking the cloak of secrecy that has masked public perception of the bill so far, Anonymous says “It raises substantial questions of governmental transparency as well as democratic accountability, with participating leaders deliberately bypassing their constituents by participating in this shady, backroom process.”
“Because ACTA is an international agreement binding under the general principles of international law, national legislatures would be unable to change domestic copyright law if they eventually feel the ACTA regulations to be too strict. A country would have to literally withdraw from the treaty first, a historical rarity,”explains Anonymous.
Anonymous also objected to FCC's poor enforcement of the Do Not Call Registry and Google's new data sharing plan effective March 1st.

Below an Anonymous ACTA Announcement:

Last Friday, Anonymous took down the C.I.A.'s website.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hey Hey Hey

Michael Franti and Spearhead on WNRN 91.9 FM in Virginia.


Courtesy of the AtlanticWire.Com
"Mr. Spray and Run" on the loose at Occupy Wall Street

Remember the OWS women corraled and pepper sprayed at close range by NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna?  Who was lampooned thus by John Stewart?  Well, two of the demonstrators are sueing "the city, Bologna, the police department, and other unidentified officers," stating (among other things, I guess) that the City failed to train police officers properly." 

According to Reuters,
Bologna was docked 10 vacation days for "using pepper spray outside of department guidelines," police said in October.
The Manhattan district attorney's office opened an investigation into his conduct but has not released any results. A spokeswoman for the office declined to comment on Monday.
Aymen Aboushi, the lawyer for the two women, said he waited several months for the investigation to conclude before filing the suit.
"We've given them more than enough time to follow up on this," he said.
A spokeswoman for the city's law department said in an e-mail on Monday that the city had not received a copy of the lawsuit but would review it upon its arrival.

What goes around comes around, Tony.

Friday, February 10, 2012


It's Time

It’s time, people of China! It’s time.
The Square belongs to everyone.
With your own two feet
It’s time to head to the Square and make your choice.

It’s time, people of China! It’s time.
A song belongs to everyone.
From your own throat
It’s time to voice the song in your heart.

It’s time, people of China! It’s time.
China belongs to everyone.
Of your own will
It’s time to choose what China shall be.

- Zhu Yufu, translated by A.E. Clark

Courtesy of Uncut - Free Speech On The Frontline

Zhu Yufu is a Chinese dissident poet.  Mr. Yufu was arrested in April, 2011 and charged in January, 2012 with crimes relating to subversion for writing and publishing this poem online.  The Guardian reports today via Reuters in Beijing that he has been convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison.  'References to a "square" might evoke memories among many Chinese people of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, though the poem did not mention it or the 1989 pro-democracy protests.  Prosecutors also cited text messages that he sent using Skype. There was no suggestion that the online chat service helped police to collect evidence.'

- o.s.r.

* Photo credit:  Courtesy of Enduring America, posted by Scott Lucas 2/20/2011, Police Take Away A Protester In Shanghai.

Easy Snack

courtesy of wikipedia
photographer: Marian Szengel
banana tree showing fruit and inflorescence

banana and assorted condiments


1-3 teaspoons, depending on number of condiments
optional plate, depending on how messy it gets
paper towel or napkin


condiment of choice such as chocolate, peanut butter, or nutella


1.  peel your banana.

2.  open your condiment of choice and scoop out a tablespoon. (or just open your chocolate bar and break off a piece of chocolate.)

serve on plate with condiments.  enjoy with a glass of non-fat milk!

courtesy of Kronke Ranch
hazel nuts growing
nutella is made with hazelnuts


add other pieces of fruit or raw vegetable on the plate, such as strawberries or slices of apple or carrot. 

you can also serve with the fruit or vegetable slices dashed with a bit of peanut butter or nutella in lieu of the teaspoons.

additional thoughts

a quick and delicious snack that nourishes your sweet tooth, while providing real energy and nutrition. 

consider this as an alternative to pastry as that fast breakfast treat with kick before you run out the door. 

easy to serve children!  and while getting picky eaters to down fruits and vegetables.

if you are especially keen on the chocolate part, more here

if you didn't know (some) chocolate was good for you, see this John Robbins article on Chocolate's Startling Health Benefits

- o.s.r.

Timed Out

RT reports that Anonymous has taken down the CIA website.  Time Magazine reports it too.
Sure enough, as of 4:16pm ET on Friday, the CIA.gov website isn’t loading. RT.com reports that the site was initially taken down around 3:10pm ET.
Anonymous has recently claimed takedowns of sites belonging to the Boston Police Department, the FBI, the DOJ, the U.S. Copyright Office and two of Brazil’s largest banks.
The group also recently intercepted a conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard, which entailed cybercrime investigators discussing Anonymous’activities.
An Anonymous youtube on the NDAA bill signed:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


The late great American poet, Oscar Brown Jr. in Children Of Children ..

High and Low

I searched high and low for news on the California single payer legislation - SB 810 - that 4 Democratic state senators chickened out on (while toting the names of people like Cesar Chavez on their websites - who is completely disgraced by their legislative antics).

No surprise;  another photographed as best of friends with Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa who tossed Occupy Los Angeles out.  Why should single payer be any different?

According to The Union (serving Western Nevada County in California - but more informative than any national or California state-wide news source):
Nan Brasmer, President of the California Alliance for Retired Americans, stated: “This is a very sad day for seniors and all Californians. With millions of us uninsured or underinsured, SB 810 offered the only solution to our skyrocketing health care costs while covering everyone. And the added bonus is that it would save the State billions of dollars once implemented, at a time when essential programs for seniors are being slashed and out of pocket costs for health care have gone through the roof. We will continue to fight for single payer in the legislature and at the ballot box."
SB 810 would create a new California Healthcare System to provide health insurance for all Californians, replacing the private insurance providers. Critics claim that such as system, often referred to as “single payer,” would be too costly. “Not true,” said Dr. Henry L. Abrons, President of PNHP California. “Currently the U.S. spends twice as much as any other country on health care. We have plenty of money in the system, enough to insure 100% of us; we just need to spend it more wisely.” He continued, “The best way to save money is to take the private insurers out of the system. They are responsible for 30% of each healthcare dollar being lost to pay for exorbitant CEO salaries, lobbyists, sales and marketing, administration and shareholder profit. Medicare's overhead by contrast is only 3%. Californians would still be free to seek services from any medical provider in the private sector -- only the financing would change. The difference is that that everyone in California would be fully covered.”
According to yurbud, at Democratic Underground, all four targeted democratic senators continued to cop out and abstain, with 2 more democratic state senators joining them in their cowardice - Calderon and Correa.

yurbu adds:
Sadly, California Democratic legislators did exactly what I predicted in my letter to them:
As you know, previous bills passed both chambers only to be vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger, but with a Democrat as governor, there is a real chance that this could become law.
If a handful of Democratic senators block this historic opportunity, it will make a lot of us wonder if you guys actually care about average people or only do bold legislation when you know you have a business owned governor who can be depended on to veto it.
 Our government has become so corrupt at all levels even state legislators can't do what would be wildly popular and make them national heroes for fear of losing campaign donations and likely high paying jobs when they leave office as lobbyists, CEO's, and do-nothing board members. 
The state party needs to do something about this, and it needs to get on the governor's desk before he leaves office. 
Maybe instead of punishing the bad guys, we need to reward the good: donate to the state senators who voted for it and especially to the author of the bill, Mark Leno.
 The only other newspaper willing to stand up for healthcare for all (on a quick google search) is The Ocean Beach in California (for freaks, uppity women, and politicos) where it is astutely noted, "In Canada, the only way to see a doctor is to call one up and make an appointment."

Courtesy of wikiHow
How to hear through walls

As noted in another article at the website, one of the senators, Juan Vargas of the San Diego area, is funded by health insurance and pharmaceutical companies donating $140,000. to his congressional campaign.  Miriam Raftery at East County Magazine also writes:
To win his State Senate race over fellow Democrat Mary Salas, the California-based watchdog group Campaign for Consumer Rights reported that the insurance industry bankrolled front-groups which have collectively spent at least $1.46 million to defeat Salas and elect Vargas.
Last year, 7 million out of California’s 37 million residents were uninsured. Fewer insurers were offering health insurance and premiums have risen sharply. SB 810 seeks to address those issues.
“California is being overrun by out-of-control health care costs, which have a significant impact on families, businesses and the state budget,” says Senator Leno (D-San Francisco), author of the bill. “Health care premiums in the last few years have grown five times faster than our economy.”
SB 810 would create a public-private partnership to guarantee that every Californian would be entitled to medical, dental, vision, hospitalization and prescription drug benefits, while retaining freedom to choose their own doctors and hospitals. Far from losing benefits, most Californians would have access to far more healthcare coverage than at present.
To tell you the truth, I am also perplexed as to why Tuesday isn't front page news on PNHP?

Well thanks be to those underground posters with glass to the wall.  As even the website for the California State Legislature did not publish the two new detractors to the cause of defeating health care for all (in the event that possibility begins to rear its head once again).

What, not proud?  Aren't these state senators boasting about this achievement on their websites?  How they defeated a bill for single payer?  Right next to the photos of Cesar Chavez or the photo ops of themselves with teachers and elementary school students?

After all this has accomplished for their constituents' futures?

* boolian picture credit:  courtesy of sourcecon.com