Saturday, January 21, 2006 

Cleveland Red Light / Speeding Camera Locations

The following is a list of where cameras have been installed throughout Cleveland to catch motorists speeding or running red lights.

Shaker Boulevard at Shaker Square

West Boulevard at Euclid Avenue

Shaker Boulevard and East 116th Street

West Boulevard at Interstate 90 ramp

Chester Avenue at East 71st Street

East 55th Street and Carnegie Avenue

East 131st Street at Harvard Avenue

Carnegie Avenue at East 30th Street

Cedar Avenue at Murray Hill Road

Grayton Road at Interstate 480 ramp

Euclid Avenue at Mayfield Road

Warren Road at Interstate 90 ramp

Prospect Avenue at East 40th Street

East 116th Street at Union Avenue

West 117th Street at Interstate 90 ramp

Pearl Road at Biddulph Road

Carnegie Avenue at East 100th Street

Carnegie Avenue at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Memphis Avenue at Fulton Road

Lake Shore Boulevard at East 159th Street

St. Clair Avenue at London Road

Speed Only

Clifton Boulevards between West 110th and Westh 104th streets

Chester Avenue between East 55th and East 40th streets

Woodland Avenue between East 66th and 71st streets

West Boulevard between Interstate 90 ramp and Madison Avenue

Broadway between Interstate 90 ramp and Madison Avenue

Broadway between Harvard and Miles avenues

Lee Road between Tarkington Avenue and Interstate 480 ramp

Via NewsNet5



More Iran Speculation / Energy Security - Peak Oil

New articles at The Energy Bulletin

First - Chris Cook (EB author posting at AsiaTimes) says the Iran crisis is not due to the proposed Oil Bourse but is driven by the the same old reason: the US need for energy security. It is probabaly a little bit of both and it makes sense that if one is even thinking of invading Iran - you better due it before they get the nukes. Anyways, interesting article.

Second - "What They Don't Want You to Know About the Coming Oil Crisis". A well rounded and straight forward article -
We have allowed oil to become vital to virtually everything we do. Ninety per cent of all our transportation, whether by land, air or sea, is fuelled by oil. Ninety-five per cent of all goods in shops involve the use of oil. Ninety-five per cent of all our food products require oil use. Just to farm a single cow and deliver it to market requires six barrels of oil, enough to drive a car from New York to Los Angeles. The world consumes more than 80 million barrels of oil a day, 29 billion barrels a year, at the time of writing. This figure is rising fast, as it has done for decades. The almost universal expectation is that it will keep doing so for years to come. The US government assumes that global demand will grow to around 120 million barrels a day, 43 billion barrels a year, by 2025. Few question the feasibility of this requirement, or the oil industry's ability to meet it.

They should, because the oil industry won't come close to producing 120 million barrels a day; nor, for reasons that I will discuss later, is there any prospect of the shortfall being taken up by gas. In other words, the most basic of the foundations of our assumptions of future economic wellbeing is rotten. Our society is in a state of collective denial that has no precedent in history, in terms of its scale and implications....
Read this article. It is a good one and while you are at the Energy Bulletin check out the Peak Oil Primer. The Energy Bullet1n is just a good site to poke around in.

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Freedom FROM Religion - Jefferson

Jefferson believed in freedom from religion. Here is Jefferson in his own words:

The affectionate sentiments of esteem & approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful & zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more & more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from presenting even occasional performances of devotion presented indeed legally where an Executive is the legal head of a national church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.]Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed) Thomas Jefferson

The letter (to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802) was the subject of intense scrutiny by Jefferson, and he consulted a couple of New England politicians to assure that his words would not offend while still conveying his message: it was not the place of the Congress or the Executive to do anything that might be misconstrued as the establishment of religion.

From also available at The Library of Congress.

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Friday, January 20, 2006 

Full Text of Bin Ladin Speech

Why is this guy still alive? We can get Saddam (who didn't attack us, nor help Al Qaeda) in what - 6 months and this guy kills 3000 Americans and is still free and alive - flaunting it 4 years later. WTF? And when is this administration going to take care of our soldiers and get them the proper equipment? or at least stop penalizing them for purchasing the body armor themselves? No wonder moral is down. I mean, I don't like this adminstration one bit, but I wish they would have some success - it is just too hard for this country to have so many failures all caused by one inept and selfish government.

Full Text Via BBC

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Iceland to Ban Petroleum by 2050

The Icelandic government has passed legislation requiring all vehicles operate on renewable energy fuels by 2050. Iceland's topographical features have benefited its green tech movement; volcanoes that formed the island nation long ago formed rivers which power hydroelectric plants and still heat underground water sources used to heat homes.

Here's how it works: Electrodes split the water into hydrogen and oxygen molecules. Hydrogen electrons pass through a conductor that creates the current to power an electric engine.

Hydrogen fuel now costs two to three times as much as gasoline, but gets up to three times the mileage of gas, making the overall cost about the same.

As an added benefit, there are no carbon emissions — only water vapor.

In the capital, Reykjavik, they are already testing three hydrogen-powered electric buses. The drivers are impressed.

"I like these buses better because with hydrogen you get no pollution," said bus driver Rognvaldur Jonatanlson.

By the middle of this century, all Icelanders will be required to run their cars only on hydrogen fuel, meaning no more gasoline.

"If we make hydrogen and use that as a fuel for transportation then we can run the whole society on our own local renewable energy sources," said Marie Maack of the Hydrogen Research Project.

Icelanders say they're committed to showing the world that by making fuel from water, it is possible to kick the oil habit.
Via ABCNews and Philoneist

Thursday, January 19, 2006 

Liberty Increases Security

From the Scientific American essay "Murdercide: Science unravels the myth of suicide bombers"
Another method [of reducing terrorism], says Princeton University economist Alan B. Krueger, is to increase the civil liberties of the countries that breed terrorist groups. In an analysis of State Department data on terrorism, Krueger discovered that "countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which have spawned relatively many terrorists, are economically well off yet lacking in civil liberties. Poor countries with a tradition of protecting civil liberties are unlikely to spawn suicide terrorists. Evidently, the freedom to assemble and protest peacefully without interference from the government goes a long way to providing an alternative to terrorism.
Blogger John Quarterman is absolutely right when he states:
"Not only does curtailing civil liberties not assist much in the short term with catching terrorists, in the long term it actually breeds terrorists. After all, terrorism isn't about religion, or poverty, or even nationalism: it is about politics. The politics of civil liberties."
Via Schneier on Security

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Pentagon Spying at 8 Colleges

Antiwar Protests on 8 Campuses Appear on Pentagon List of 'Threats' to National Security

By KELLY FIELD (Chronicle of Higher Education)

The 400-page list, which was obtained by NBC News, includes information on 1,500 "threats" to national security that occurred over a recent 10-month period, and characterizes them as either "credible" or "not credible."

The campus protests, all of which were aimed at military recruiters, occurred at New York University (twice), the State University of New York at Albany (twice), Southern Connecticut State University, City College of the City University of New York, the University of California campuses at Berkeley and at Santa Cruz, an unspecified campus of the University of Wisconsin, and "a New Jersey university." Only one of the events, the protest at Santa Cruz, was cited as a "credible threat."

Snehal A. Shingavi, a Ph.D. candidate in English who participated in the Berkeley protest, said he was surprised to learn that his actions were considered a threat. The demonstration drew only 20 students, he said, and was, by protest standards, quite tame.

“It just shows how far off base the Department of Defense is with respect to what are genuine threats,” said Mr. Shingavi, a member of Berkeley’s Stop the War Coalition. “That student activists protesting war are seen as a threat to national security is patently laughable.”

Kermit L. Hall, president of SUNY-Albany and a constitutional scholar, said he was “disappointed” that the Defense Department had not at least notified the university that a protest on its campus was on the list. The failure to do so, he said, shows “no regard for our independence or autonomy as a higher-education institution.”

A Pentagon spokesman denied reports that the department was spying on college students, but confirmed that the department maintains a database of “unfiltered” threat information, known as Talon.

Run by a Pentagon office called Counterintelligence Field Activity, the database contains “dots” of information provided by law-enforcement, intelligence, and security agencies and from “concerned citizens,” the spokesman said. “The idea is that a trained analyst can look at the threat and see, Is it verifiable? Is it connectable?, so we can connect the dots before the next major attack occurs.”

To at least one former Army intelligence officer, however, the Defense Department’s actions look like history repeating itself. Christopher H. Pyle, a politics professor at Mount Holyoke College who blew the whistle on the Defense Department for monitoring antiwar and civil-rights protests during the 1960s, said students have been asking him what risks they take in protesting.

“I think this could inhibit people in their exercise of their protest rights,” he said.

Several members of Congress have written to Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld to voice their concerns about the database.

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Aiding and Abetting in the Illegal Practice of Midwifery

How horrible that this helpful profession is under attack. I wonder what the status is in Ohio - ‘supervision’, ‘collaborative’ or something else?

Help Change Midwifery Legislation!

California midwifery legislation says that all midwives must practice under the supervision of an obstetrician, but it is currently impossible to comply because obstetricians are threatened with losing their malpractice insurance if they supervise midwives. In reality midwifes are all unable to comply with this law. The medical board is aware of this, but so far has not attempted to enforce the supervision issue. They are now starting to enforce this law with a Californian licensed midwife, Constance Rock. Why signing this petition is so urgent is that if during the medical board hearing (on January 23rd!) Constance Rock is charged with “aiding and abetting in the illegal practice of midwifery” it could set the precedent for all midwifes to have this current ineffective law enforced. Ultimately the outcome could be that all midwifes would lose the right to practice midwifery legally.

What midwifes currently have are 'collaborative relationships' with obstetricians. This means that if a midwife has a concern about one of their clients they consult with, or refer their clients to see the obstetrician. Then, together in collaboration decide the best plan for care. If a clients develops a complication in labor, the obstetrician is on call and midwifes can transfer their clients into the care of the obstetrician in the hospital. This model has worked well it just needs to be worded differently in legislation.

There is work being done by our state midwifery organization to change the ‘supervision’ wording in our legislation to ‘collaborative’, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Please sign this petition letting our U.S. senators know how important changing this legislation is. By signing the petition you are in agreement that the legislations NEEDS to be changed so all women, children and families have the choice to receive the one-on-one attention and care that midwifery provides.

Sign Here.

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Poll shows Brown beating DeWine

A new Zogby Poll released through The Wall Street Journal today, showed Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-Avon) continuing to lead incumbent Republican Senator Mike DeWine in the race this year for the United States Senate.

The online Zogby poll, conducted in early January, has Brown beating DeWine 41.3% to 37%.

A November Columbus Dispatch poll of Ohio voters showed Brown leading Mike DeWine 35% to 31%.

"Voters are demanding change from the wrong-headed trade policies that have lead Ohio down the wrong path," said Dan Lucas, a Brown spokesperson. "It's also clear that working families want details about how candidates are going to bring about that change."

Brown is the leading candidate in the Democratic primary against Indian Hill attorney Paul Hackett. An internal poll conducted by the Feldman Group in early December showed Brown leading Hackett 51% to 22%.
I am suspicious of polls since the last election but, this doesn't look bad. Of course, Online polling seems like it could easily be skewed due to the limited community and the Columbus Dispatch had parts of RON polling well. Also, I think it is still a little early - Brown started with great name recognition and Hackett is just starting to build it outside his district and the internet. It may be too much too make up. If anyone can do it Hackett can though. I wish DeWine looked weaker - it is still to close for me.

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Diagram of where American Tax Dollars Go

Death and Taxes: A visual look at where your tax dollars go.

Most people are unaware of how much of their taxes fund our military, and those aware are often misinformed. Well here it is. Laid out, easy to read and compare. With data straight from the White House.

I hope this makes people think and ask questions.

Why do we spend more on jets than we do on public housing?
Why is the Endowment for the Arts so small?
Whats with all this foreign military financing?

Im sure you can come up with numerous questions of your own. Unfortunately i dont have any answers. Our leaders do. Your president, his cabinet and your congress person have these answers. Ask them for the answers or better yet, demand them.


Ohio Senate Bill 82

Callahan's Cleveland Diary covers Senate Bill 82
Ohio Senate Bill 82, which would void employee residency requirements created by voters in hundreds of municipalities, is up for a vote in the House of Representatives today.

It will pass despite the fact that it's almost certainly unconstitutional (see the "Comment" in the Legislative Service Commission's analysis). It will pass despite the overwhelming opposition of Ohio municipalities of all sizes. It will pass, because Republicans don't really give a crap about preserving the rights of local communities against centralized government power, and too many Democrats have promised their votes to the police and firefighter unions in exchange for campaign support.
In the long run, this can't be good for anyone - not even the city employees who desire it.



Vatican says 'Intelligent Design' is Not Science and Creates Confusion.

They got that right.
The Vatican newspaper has published an article saying "intelligent design" is not science and that teaching it alongside evolutionary theory in school classrooms only creates confusion.

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Abramoff charged clients 25K to meet with Bush

Via the Texas Observer:
The Pimping of the President: Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist Billing Clients for Face Time with G.W. Bush

...Four months after he took the oath of office in 2001, President George W. Bush was the attraction, and the White House the venue, for a fundraiser organized by the alleged perpetrator of the largest billing fraud in the history of corporate lobbying. In May 2001, Jack Abramoff's lobbying client book was worth $4.1 million in annual billing for the Greenberg Traurig law firm. He was a friend of Bush advisor Karl Rove. He was a Bush "Pioneer," delivering at least $100,000 in bundled contributions to the 2000 campaign. He had just concluded his work on the Bush Transition Team as an advisor to the Department of the Interior. He had sent his personal assistant Susan Ralston to the White House to work as Rove's personal assistant. He was a close friend, advisor, and high-dollar fundraiser for the most powerful man in Congress, Tom DeLay. Abramoff was so closely tied to the Bush Administration that he could, and did, charge two of his clients $25,000 for a White House lunch date and a meeting with the President.
More thoughts at DailyKos.

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Bush delivers for Osama Bin Ladin

I thought this was clever and rang true when I read it in someones comment section...

Osama Bin Ladin wanted the US troops out of Saudi Arabia...BAM, Bush delivers.

Osama Bin Ladin wanted his enemy Saddam out of power....BAM, Bush delivers.

Osama Bin Ladin wanted to make this a war about religion and prove we hate muslims...BAM, Bush delivers with state-approved torture of innocent men, women and children.

Osama Bin Ladin wanted to turn secular Iraq into a theocracy that reduces rights for Islamic women....BAM, Bush delivers.

Osama Bin Ladin "hates us for our freedoms"...BAM, Bush delivers and takes them away himself.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 

US torture a conscience policy choice - Human Rights Watch

Another group weighs in on the United States illegal, immoral and counter- productive use of torture.
Human Rights Watch slams US 'torture' in annual report
...The New York-based monitor said the US strategy, as well as fuelling terrorist recruitment, had hampered Washington's ability to pressure other countries into respecting international law.

"Fighting terrorism is central to the human rights cause," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "But using illegal tactics against alleged terrorists is both wrong and counterproductive."

...In its critique of US policy, Human Rights Watch dismissed the argument that cases of abusive interrogation could be put down to a small number of "bad apples" in the military when they were clearly "a conscious policy choice" by senior US government officials.

Roth said evidence of that deliberate policy included the threat by
President George W. Bush to veto a bill opposing "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment," and moves by Vice President Dick Cheney to exempt the Central Intelligence Agency from the law.

"Responsibility for the use of torture and mistreatment can no longer credibly be passed off to misadventures by low-ranking soldiers on the nightshift," said Roth.

"The Bush administration must appoint a special prosecutor to examine these abuses, and Congress should set up an independent, bipartisan panel to investigate," he added.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 

52% Americans, 29% Republicans support impeachment

Well, I guess - that's how many Republicans actually value thier country more than their political party. Or maybe it's how many Republicans respect the constitution? or maybe Fox just didn't tell them what to think yet.
By a margin of 52 to 43 percent, citizens want Congress to impeach President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval, according to a new poll commissioned by, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of Pres. Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003...
"The American people are not buying Bush's outrageous claim that he has the power to wiretap American citizens without a warrant. Americans believe terrorism can be fought without turning our own government into Big Brother," said co-founder Bob Fertik in a statement...

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Iran Oil Bourse will accelerate the fall of the American Empire

Very nice article that goes hand in hand with "Empire of Debt" - talks about the reasons for going into Iraq and how it relates to the US economy. Great Stuff.
The Proposed Iranian Oil Bourse by Krassimir Petrov
..The Iranian government has finally developed the ultimate “nuclear” weapon that can swiftly destroy the financial system underpinning the American Empire. That weapon is the Iranian Oil Bourse slated to open in March 2006. It will be based on a euro-oil-trading mechanism that naturally implies payment for oil in Euro. In economic terms, this represents a much greater threat to the hegemony of the dollar than Saddam’s, because it will allow anyone willing either to buy or to sell oil for Euro to transact on the exchange, thus circumventing the U.S. dollar altogether. If so, then it is likely that almost everyone will eagerly adopt this euro oil system: the Europeans..., The Chinese..., The Japanese..., The Russians..., and the Arab nations...
Only the British will find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
Check it out at: The Energy Bulletin.
Also read CSMonitors less dramatic take on it - "Iran's Oil Gambit".

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By end of century, Billions will die due to climate change

Environment in crisis: 'We are past the point of no return'
The world and human society face disaster to a worse extent, and on a faster timescale, than almost anybody realises, he believes. He writes: " Before this century is over, billions of us will die, and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable."
Well, I guess, I'll just hope he's wrong.

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Monday, January 16, 2006 

Paul Hackett says GOP has been taken over by religious fanatics

"The Republican Party has been hijacked by religious fanatics, who are out of touch with mainstream America. Think of the recent comments by Pat Robertson - a religious fanatic by any measure - that the United States should assassinate a democratically elected leader in Venezuela, and that Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment because Sharon wished to trade land for peace."

"Since the Republican Party has been utterly unable to stand for something positive, they have created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, and have pandered to religious fanatics not to vote for something they believe in, but to vote against their fellow Americans with whom they disagree. Those among us who would use religion and politics to divide rather than unite Americans should be ashamed."

That is a refreshingly bold and honest statement. Read more at AmericaBlog.


Atheists & Christians in America

Interesting diary about one atheist, her visits to numerous christian bulletin boards and what she finds out...
A Waste of Time? You Decide.
I went to multiple xtian boards trying to see if discussion between the two camps produces anything of value. In this case, by 'value' I mean an understanding can be reached, ideas exchanged and preconceived notions validated or annihilated... Click here for her findings.


Shadowy Torture Unit with Military Using Fake Names - Task Force 6-26

Documents tie shadowy US unit to inmate abuse case
By Will Dunham
Thu Jan 12, 9:36 PM ET

Newly released military documents show U.S. Army investigators closed a probe into allegations an Iraqi detainee had been abused by a shadowy military task force after its members used fake names and asserted that key computer files had been lost.

The documents shed light on Task Force 6-26, a special operations unit, and confirmed the existence of a secret military "Special Access Program" associated with it, ACLU lawyer Amrit Singh said on Thursday.

The documents were released by the Army to the American Civil Liberties Union under court order through the Freedom of Information Act. They were the latest files to provide details of the numerous investigations carried out by the Army into allegations of detainee abuse in Iraq.

A June 2005 document by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command in Iraq described its investigation into suspected abuse of a detainee captured in January 2004 by Task Force 6-26 in Tikrit, deposed President Saddam Hussein's hometown. His name was redacted, but he was mentioned as the son of a Saddam bodyguard.

The man was taken to Baghdad international airport, documents stated. The United States maintains a prison there for "high-value" detainees.

He told Army investigators that U.S. personnel forced him one night to remove his clothes, walk into walls with a box over his head connected to a rope around his neck, punched him in the spinal area until he fainted, placed him in front of an air conditioner while cold water was poured on him, and kicked him in the stomach until he vomited, the documents stated.


Investigators could not find the personnel involved or the man's medical files, and the case was closed, the files stated. A memo listed the suspected offenses as "aggravated assault, cruelty and maltreatment."

"The only names identified by this investigation were determined to be fake names utilized by the capturing soldiers," the memo stated. "6-26 also had a major computer malfunction which resulted in them losing 70 percent of their files; therefore they can't find the cases we need to review."

The memo said the investigation should not be reopened. "Hell, even if we reopened it we wouldn't get anymore information than we already have," the memo stated.

Singh said previous documents indicated Task Force 6-26 was linked to other instances of detainee abuse in Iraq.

"This document suggests that Task Force 6-26 was part of a larger, clandestine program that we think may have links with high-ranking officials, because obviously someone high up had the authority to put this program in place," Singh said in a telephone interview.

Army spokesman Paul Boyce said the Army had taken allegations of detainee abuse "extremely seriously."

"The Army has gone to great extent in travel, interviews, documentation and concern to make sure that each and every allegation was thoroughly reviewed, thoroughly examined and, when appropriate, acted upon either through nonjudicial or judicial punishment," Boyce said.

A document stated Army investigators were not able to fully investigate suspects and witnesses because they were involved in the Special Access Program and due to the classified nature of their work.

The task force is stationed out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the document said. The base houses the Army Special Operations Command.


Lead Poisoning from Candy

Sophie was diagnosed with an elevated lead level at her 2 year check up. It was scary, although everyone - including the doctors, thought it was most likely caused by her desire to eat dirt. Dirt eating is an aquired taste, usually preferred by 12-18 month olds. I was told that Cleveland, the Heights and East Cleveland have very contaminated soil. It is winter and she is over 2 now - so she doesn't really eat dirt anymore and during her last visit to the Dr. her lead levels were way down. Thank Goodness. But, while I was learning about effects and causes of lead poisoning I was surprised to learn how much contamination we live with. Here is an article about Candy causing Lead Poisoning in children.
A recent study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that certain candies from Mexico imported to the United States contain lead levels almost as high as those found in paint.

California has traced 15 percent of its lead-poisoning cases to candy.
For them to call it lead poisoning, those kids had to have very high levels of lead in their systems which could lead to mental/social problems. Very sad.

More info on how this could happen at Huffington Post "Free Trade in Candy" by Carl Pope.


Arggh - Politics and Friendships

I am at this point in life where I am just honest (maybe blunt). I used to be able to disagree with people about political philosophies but since the Bush Administration and probably more accurately the child torture allegations - I can't really even stand to talk to someone who is a proud republican (see "Ignorance is No Excuse").

Heck, I have a hard time talking to known democrats. Is it that those of us, who actively read political blogs and are news junkies of one sort or another, come from a different place than those who are satisfied with the nightly news? This different informational background just usually ends up making me feel like an oddball. I enjoy blogging because I feel the people who read my diaries are interested in seeking the information and it is a great way to get "it" out of my system. When you feel uncomfortable talking about the issues that concern our country with your neighbor - something is wrong and wrong on multiple levels. :-)

When placed in a position to talk politics - I usually make the decision to stay quiet - to repress the feeling to shout at the top of my lungs "What is going on!" Sometimes, I can shove my emotions into that pit in my stomach and keep them there until I get off a little comment or fact but if I am not careful I just end up rattling off my thoughts on the bad direction that our country is taking. But - Let's face it, people don't care. America is a nation of small talk. It is easy and requires zero personal risk. It drives me crazy. Maybe I am being too hard on people, maybe I need to not care as much - but I do - so it can be hard or at least uncomfortable at times.

End of my whiny post. :-)

Sunday, January 15, 2006 

Selling Hope to Win Elections (Hackett/Brown race)

In my exchanges with RedHorse (Psychobilly Democrat) and George (Brewed Fresh Daily) over the "Can't we all just get along" diary. An interesting topic was hit upon. I think we were all trying to say something similiar about the current direction of the democratic campaign process . The way I worded it was "How do you sell hope?" Redhorse said something along the lines of "people are looking for relief, they need hope" George said something like "constituents want to be engaged". I think we are all looking for the same thing from our candidates - but we just don't know how to describe it in a precise manner. Maybe we even disagree when it comes down to the details - that is why it is so hard to accurately verbalize?

As a voter, what would be best way for a candidate to "sell hope to /give relief to /engage" you?

In Ohio, I think the main prospect for hope is the creation of new jobs. I am also interested in the progress health care reform and renewable energy could bring to Ohio. My husband tends to think relief comes in the form in getting rid of the corrupt establishment and moving far away from the Bush policies. These are decent ideas but - how do you sell them without boring the voters or making them think "I'll believe it when I see it"? These are not new issues and when put into campaign speeches, I suspect it is difficult to make them sound fresh and engaging. If you read any of Hackett, Brown or Dewine's ideas about them, they all seem dry. If thinking about the implications of these issues and how they relate to the larger picture is philosophical fluff. How does the candidate sell hope/relief/become engaging? Are we basically left to personal charisma?

Brown has a lifetime of working for the issues and a deep dedication to the people of Ohio. The very fact that Hackett does NOT have a history or a record makes him appealing. Just by being himself, he is fresh, he is change, even if the majority of his beliefs seem to be similiar to Browns (without the Congressional fights). I believe this may win him the race but I also believe that this is how we ended up with Bush (plus a little cheating). It is hard to judge a candidate without a record (risky too) and even though I enjoy Hackett, I cannot say he is better or worse than Brown. Just different. I do want to win though. So, I'm not firmly putting my foot in either camp until we get a little farther down the road. I think we are lucky to have either of them, they both have great strengths and if leveraged effectively against the Dewine campaign - both are easy winners. If not, they both lose.

What would be the best way to leverage these strengths?


Why the Left is Right - Liberal Quotes

Military justice is to justice what military music is to music.
-- Groucho Marx

Beware when you fight a dragon, lest you become a dragon.
-- Friedrich Nietzsche

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitible.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

From the book The Best Liberal Quotes Ever - Why the Left is Right.

Off to a birthday party today. I'll post a little more later. Have a great Sunday.