Saturday, March 3, 2012

Our Native American Immigrant Roots 1 

Sylvia Mitchell Lynch bore and raised her children Bernard, Rose Iva, and Patricia Ann in Lily, South Dakota. Their father Leo Louis Lynch came from German and Irish stock. 

Sylvia was born in 1905, of the same stock. Nothing surprising about that. The great German and Irish immigrations occurred during the 19th century. Sylvia fell in love with Leo Lynch when she was 14. Oglala Lakota Sioux blood ran through her veins as well, with some French thrown in for spice. I am not surprised, remembering Grandma. Lily is smack dab in the middle of ancient Sioux land, so no surprises there either. 

Sylvia's father Emerson Mitchell was half Oglala Lakota Sioux. A handsome man with a sunny personality, Emerson delighted in playing the fiddle on the front porch of the farmhouse during parties he dreamed up. My mother Rose said that "everyone loved Pa." Sylvia, my grandmother, did not play the fiddle but she played a sweet harmonica.

Many terrible events devastated the Sioux, and yet they remain. We come from them. It's easy to learn more about the Sioux. The two most important books in their 20th Century history are Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown, was made into a movie


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Newt Gingrich may have sunk to a new low, but the commenter here sure does him one better

Newt Gingrich's overtly racist comments during this election season reach new lows in uncivil discourse. Between Gingrich and Santorum, the US electorate is getting far more information than it needs about the sick slimy underbelly of the Republican Party.


At his Field Negro blog, Wayne Bennett accuses Newt Gingrich of fearmongering in his attack on President Obama for apologizing to Afghans for the inadvertent burning of the Quran. Such talk only fuels anti-Muslim sentiments, Bennett says.
What Newt did today was low even by his lousy standards.
He hastily called a news conference to politicize the deaths of two American soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan. Newt used the killing of those poor soldiers to score cheap political brownie points with his base.

And here's our commenter, Mr. Friedo Watermellow

Newt is right on target.
Wayne Bennet your mentallity isn't American what so ever.
You like Obama because he's black and that's the only reason, unless your a total moron.
Your kind see the glass half empty.
We Americans have the greatest country on Earth because we worked hard for it, unlike you and Obama we don't have the beggar mentallity and we don't have to appologize to every nation that doesn't like our policies.
The terrorist used the Koran to make notes in for other terrorist and this POS president appologizes to these low life terrorist.

And here is my reply:

Friedo Watermello, your racist white supremacist views tell us all we need to know about how hard you work. After all, it was you white guys who had slaves build the White House.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


On Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 5:52 PM, Jennifer Van Bergen  wrote:
I know how terrible tooth infections can be and you have been suffering from an infection in ALL of the top ones?! And must have them ALL pulled? AND a hurt (?) ankle. Terrible, terrible you have to go through all this, but at least you will get these things taken care of and will heal.
Funny what you say about being decrepit and over-committed. I may have mentioned to you what Matt said during the trip, since our health problems made very loud appearances in us both. He said he thought that instead of looking for property for 12GI, maybe we should look for a nursing home.
Haha.  Handi want both a cooperative living space and our own space, which we quite adequately fill, as long as it has a workshop :)  We could have a nursing home with wood and metal shop, a printing and publishing operation, communal kitchen, auditorium, and comfy individual units.  I have drawn several plans.  My most recent creation is a snail house.  People are afraid to have me draw it. *snicker*
Also, funny because when I first read that phrase (decrepit, etc.), I thought you meant everyone on the list (to which you didn't post)! And maybe you are unwittingly correct! At least exhausted and over-committed. 
There's something about you that I love very much, Deb, and always have and have never told you. I really love your innocent perspicaciousness. You're so smart (in ways I'm not) and strong in ways I really admire, but you're also sweet and innocent at the same time. Your Midwest (sounds like Minnesota to me) accent emphasizes this, altho I felt it before I ever heard your voice (and if someone just heard you and hadn't discussed with you or read your words, they might mistake you for something less, because you sound so young and innocent).
I am so deeply touched by what you said about me.
Good ideas for 12Gen and the church. Funny, too, cuz Matt also said we ought to establish it as a religion! Then he moved onto "why not a cult"? LOL!
As you may know, that's how scientology started.  Rather, I propose a religion based upon human values, human rights, and human aspirations.
I told you, didn't I, about my brilliant promotional idea? To write a book of clues. Or a treasure map for people to follow. Or a code for readers to break. 
One thing we discussed was whether this might make it so popular, it would get out of control.
Anyway, would you please post something on the 12GI ning site about your idea? There are a few people on there who have NO clue what archetypes work is, but they joined for some reason, so ....  Actually, come to think of it, maybe I should just go ahead and subscribe some people to the 12GI yahoogroup (letting them know in advance so they can object if they really need to). That way, if you (or someone else) posted a suggestion or subject of discussion, others might even be inspired to respond. Who knows?! 
There's a vacuum in the center of the world right now - a black hole - that is sucking everything into it, all people of conscience and intelligence and wit, all goodness and will power, all inspiration, all love. What is to become of us?
I am frightened by this trend.  I am also heartened to have found so many sisters and brothers.
Peace and love,

Monday, February 6, 2012

Two Cheers for the Endangered Species Act

by Olivia LaRosa, February 5, 2012

I wish to make certain that it is clear to you that I was completely in love with the Endangered Species Act since its passage when I was a young mother. I thought I knew what the Endangered Species Act meant. I saw it as a means to protect our critical biosystems.  I see a biosystem as a natural long-term self-perpetuating synergy among the lifeforms who share an area.

The ESA meant of course, that if a species' population begins to decline to dangerous levels, scientists were alerted that something was not well in that biosystem. Thus alerted, they could investigate the biome for harmful agents that might hurt humans, other animals, plants and microbes in the system.

It turns out that I was in error.

The Endangered Species Act has been turned into a political football. Right-wingers, who seem to think that everything belongs to them unless proven otherwise, mock the process by pretending that it is about the critter  named in ESA documents rather than that critter's entire habitat. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

On Scaling Back the Confirmation Wars
Olivia's comment: These battles seem to have begun in earnest during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Robert Bork, a right-wing authoritarian fanatic. People with such narrow minds do not belong in high government posts. Since then the Republicans have turned confirmations into a blood sport. What their actions say is that: when we are in control, we can appoint any old nutcase we want. Plus, no matter who is in control, our job is to make sure that effective leaders will not be appointed.   Therefore, it's a trifecta! * As a right-wing politician, you have another trifecta!  You can pander to your corporate masters, score cheap political points with your base, and enhance your argument that government does not work by making it unworkable.
George W. Bush after 911:
Bushism Audio Gallery
Funny Audio Clips of Classic Bushisms
"You know, I was campaigning in Chicago and somebody asked me, is there ever any time where the budget might have to go into deficit? I said only if we were at war or had a national emergency or were in recession.  Little did I realize we'd get the trifecta." —President George W. Bush, Charlotte, North Carolina, Feb. 27, 2002
(If audio clip does not play automatically, click here to listen)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Case Holdings That Make Me Mad

by Olivia LaRosa 2/3/2012

From's Weekly Summary of Opinions: Civil Procedure, Week of 1/31/2012 - 2/3/2012

Banks Ripping Us Off in Yet Another Way

United States Ninth Circuit, 02/01/2012 
GECCMC 2005-C1 Plummer Street Office L.P. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 10-56219 
In a suit alleging breach of lease agreements that the defendant bank assumed after it purchased a failed bank's assets and liabilities from the FDIC pursuant to the terms of a written purchase and assumption agreement, the district court's grant of the bank's motion to dismiss is affirmed, where under federal common law, the plaintiff lacked standing to bring suit under the agreement because it was not an intended third-party beneficiary of the agreement. Read more...

Where was her attorney, AWOL, ffs? WTF! Plus, turning down an offer in compromise is not supposed to affect the final outcome in a suit such as this.

In a wrongful termination suit that the plaintiff lost and after which the defendant filed a memorandum of costs, the trial court's order denying the plaintiff's motion to tax those costs is affirmed, where the costs were properly calculated and awarded in all respects, and Code of Civil Procedure section 998(c) gives the trial court the discretion to award expert fees to the defendant, regardless of whose witness the expert is, if the plaintiff fails to obtain a more favorable judgment or award after rejecting an offer to compromise. Read more...

A legally protected entity claims stupidity and wins...

California Court of Appeal, 02/02/2012 
Lewow v. Surfside III Condominium Owners' Ass'n, Inc., No. B230595 
In a case in which judgment was entered in favor of a condominium association on a complaint for failure to perform its duties, against a plaintiff who subsequently filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the trial court's award of attorney's fees to the association is affirmed, where: 1) although the motion for fees was not timely filed, there was good cause for the delay, as it was understandable that the association was mistaken on the complex and debatable issue of whether the bankruptcy stay tolled the limitations period; and 2) although the trial court's articulated rationale for granting the fees was erroneous, its acceptance of the association's tolling argument was tantamount to a finding of good cause based on mistake. Read more... 

Company goes bankrupt to avoid paying legally contracted wages

United States Fourth Circuit, 02/02/2012 
Gentry v. Siegel, No. 10-2418 
In bankruptcy proceedings in which former employees of the debtor filed claims for unpaid overtime wages, the district court's judgment affirming the bankruptcy court's denial of a Rule 9014 motion and its refusal to allow the claimants to pursue class actions is affirmed, where: 1) the bankruptcy court was within its discretion to rule that the bankruptcy process would provide a process superior to the class action process for resolving the claims of former employees; 2) notice of the bankruptcy process to the named claimants was not constitutionally deficient; and 3) with respect to unnamed claimants, the named claimants lacked standing to challenge the notice. Read more...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We Knew Ward Connerly was a Liar; He is also a Thief

Affirmative-Action Foe Is Facing Allegations of Financial Misdeeds

WASHINGTON — Ward Connerly, the black businessman who has been the face of the movement to end affirmative action for nearly two decades, is facing accusations from a prominent former ally that he has mismanaged — and exploited for his own benefit — donations to that cause made by fellow conservatives.
Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Ward Connerly


Fabrizio Costantini for The New York Times
Jennifer Gratz
Moreover, a group Mr. Connerly founded to advance government policies that are race and gender neutral, the Sacramento-basedAmerican Civil Rights Institute, is under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and by the attorney general of California, according to documents and interviews.
Mr. Connerly has faced accusations of profiteering before, as supporters of affirmative action highlighted his salary in an effort to discredit his cause. But this time, the allegations are more detailed and come from another significant movement figure: Jennifer Gratz, the named plaintiff in a landmark 2003 Supreme Court case that struck down a race-based admissions policy at the University of Michigan.
After she won that case, Mr. Connerly hired Ms. Gratz to conduct research and run campaigns supporting anti-affirmative action ballot initiatives. She resigned last September and, through her lawyer, sent the group’s board a five-page letter, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times.
“For years, Ms. Gratz was aware of the allegations that Mr. Connerly received excessive compensation,” it said. “She presumed that the issue was politically motivated and raised solely by opponents of the organization’s mission. It has come to her attention, however, that there may be some merit to the allegations of financial impropriety.”
Interviewed by phone and e-mail, Mr. Connerly, 72, acknowledged that his group had had financial difficulties, but said its board had not responded to the letter because “90 percent” of it was false. He portrayed Ms. Gratz as a “disgruntled former employee” trying to “besmirch me personally” because she wanted to replace him.
The letter was written by Ms. Gratz’s lawyer, Robert N. Driscoll, a former deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights in the administration of George W. Bush. In a statement, through him, she said: “I thought it was important to make sure all board members were aware of what was going on even if doing so was unfortunate, sad and uncomfortable and even though it meant that I had to resign from a position within a cause that I will always hold near and dear.”
The dispute is alarming allies.
“I’m sorry to hear this because I’m a great admirer of both of them,” said Roger Clegg, the president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, which also opposes affirmative action. “She is a courageous, smart person — and Ward is also a courageous, smart person.”
A businessman and a former University of California regent, Mr. Connerly rose to fame in 1996 as the backer of a successful ballot initiative barring public institutions in California from taking race or gender into account. He later founded the institute and a related advocacy group and continued to call for “colorblind government” in matters like contracting and college admissions.
Ms. Gratz’s letter alleges a series of financial irregularities, starting with Mr. Connerly’s pay.
Late last summer, the institute belatedly filed disclosure forms for tax years ending in June20082009, and 2010. (The I.R.S. that summer had revoked the tax-exempt status of its related advocacy group for failing to file such forms.) They showed that his annual pay was between $1.2 million and $1.5 million each year — more than half its revenue.
Because charitable donations are tax deductible, according to I.R.S. rules no employee may get excessive compensation. Two other nonprofit groups opposing affirmative action, the Center for Equal Opportunity and the Center for Individual Rights, pay their leaders about $144,000 and $250,000, respectively.
Mr. Connerly said that “every penny which I receive is directly related to our mission,” and that he used some of his salary to pay others for research and legal work. He also said the group had reduced his pay to $850,000.
One reason Mr. Connerly has been a particularly effective advocate is that he is black. Mr. Clegg said there were “few people who can do or would do what he does,” adding that it is hard to set a salary on a job that requires enduring racially charged name-calling from fellow blacks.
A major financial supporter is the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. Its president, Michael W. Grebe, said he was “very comfortable” that its donations to Mr. Connerly’s group were “being spent for public education programs.”
“He’s very effective,” Mr. Grebe said.
Ms. Gratz’s letter contends that the group has been “in financial crisis since March 2010” in part because of Mr. Connerly’s salary and legal fees related to the tax investigations, and has “ceased almost entirely” doing projects furthering its mission since June 2011.
Her letter also says the group has had trouble making payroll and “knowingly” under-reported what it paid employees on payroll tax forms — “irregularities” that “partly result from disruptions in revenue” but that “also appear to be designed to facilitate Mr. Connerly’s high salary.”
Mr. Connerly denied such allegations as “speculation and conjecture,” saying Ms. Gratz was not privy to administrative details. He also said educational activities by him and his group were “instrumental” in passing an anti-affirmative action initiative in Arizona in November 2010, and in laying the groundwork for a vote on a similar measure in Oklahoma set for fall 2012.
Ms. Gratz’s letter said five of the group’s eight employees “are family members” or have “personal or nonprofessional relationships with Mr. Connerly,” and raised questions about its “contracts for services and leases.”
For example, the letter said, the group contracted with a former longtime employee of Mr. Connerly’s profit-making firm to create a report on Oklahoma, for up to 120 hours at $60 an hour; it “consisted mainly of printouts from Wikipedia.”
While the letter did not explain its reference to “leases,” the group’s recent tax filings show that its rent tripled, to just under $70,000, after it moved to a different building about four years ago. Records show a group employee purchased the building in February 2008 for about $444,000.
Mr. Connerly said hiring people he knew was appropriate, given his group’s “controversial” mission. He also said he had instructed the employee to find new offices because they needed more room, and he approved the arrangement she had made.
Despite his salary, Mr. Connerly acknowledged that he had had financial difficulties; public records show that in 2010 and 2011, several hundred thousand dollars in liens for unpaid taxes were leveled against him. He said he was working on paying what he owed. In addition, a disclosure form filed with the IRS says the institute discovered last year that Mr. Connerly had submitted “unsubstantiated” business expenses from his credit card and cellphone bills. He had paid back $10,000 as of September, but still owed about $24,000.
Ms. Gratz was once Mr. Connerly’s defender. In 2008, when anti-affirmative action initiatives were on the ballot in Colorado and Nebraska, a liberal group ran ads portraying him as supporting such measures so he could pocket “nonprofit slush funds.”
Ms. Gratz made a video denouncing the ads as character assassination. But, her letter said, she subsequently realized that Mr. Connerly’s group had “not been adequate stewards of the resources the donors entrusted to the organization,” adding that she “will cooperate with any government investigation.”
Kitty Bennett contributed research.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The eurozone’s three deadly sins: by Stephen King...not THAT Stephen King! Silly!

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights.

so, please read this article at the link above!

This comment by Killerfish tickled me:

Stephen King is correct that QE by the ECB would help but he is also correct that it won't solve the crisis. He simply highlights how far the EU is from a solution to this problem and by 'solution' I mean something that puts the EU back on a sustainable growth path. The main concern should be that the only solution is either a period of hyper inflation to wipe out nominal debts or huge losses for investors as asset prices are allowed to fall naturally. 

Also, don't forget that once the EU has got back on track there is always the question of how the US gets its debts under control before treasury investors revolt.

OMG these freaking cords Chapter One

by Olivia LaRosa 1/31/2012

I am a cyborg. OMG these freaking cords!
I have to charge my goldarn cellphone every night. Nevertheless, it will fail halfway through the next day, round about 1PM.
This cellphone is a state-of-the-art Samsung Galaxy Captivate Android touchpad, an alleged geek-a-rama.
Only two weeks after delivery of my baby android, ATT sent me a message with a nine-page instruction sheet attached. I was ordered to upgrade my baby phone without delay.
Well, I had other priorities at the time. I had not allocated the time to engage in extensive maintenance of my brand-new phone.
Last month, I had put out the fires in my life, and attempted to upgrade from Android 2.1 to Android 2.2.
Let me tell you, honey…
I went to the ATT website and learned that I should visit the local ATT store. They would take care of me.
So, I took the phone to an ATT store. After I waited for 45 minutes, the kid told me I had to go to the warranty store in Walnut Creek.
I waited another hour at the ATT warranty store. The kid told me I had to upgrade to Android 2.1 to Android 2.2 before they would service my state-of-the-art phone. I said, “I just bought this phone. I don’t want to spend five hours performing an upgrade that you should have done.”
He shrugged.
The links at ATT website are devilishly hard to find. Then after you find them, the “upgrade” and “download” links lead to 404Land.
I next wasted an hour at the Samsung site. Resorting to search engines was useless.
In the meanwhile, my phone:
  • hangs me up right after I dial a call
  • goes black in the middle of every act I perform on it
  • never alerts me when I receive calls or messages
  • dies halfway through the day
  • I am just getting started…
I am considering my next move.
Suggestions are welcome.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Another "Capitalism in Crisis" article

Capitalism in Crisis: The Code That Forms a Bar to Harmony

Financial Times

My comment:

I see nothing here that convinces me that anyone is willing to halt the corporate takeover of civil society. If it were true that cutting taxes created jobs, we should be rolling in them by now.

In the USA, marginal rates have come down from their 91% high during the Eisenhower administration to 35% now for earned income. For capital gains the rates are even lower.

An efficient market can never exist. Government policies inevitably and always redistribute income.  Those of us in the 99% see clearly that incomes have redistributed upward to ridiculous levels. No one can justify paying CEOs millions of dollars a year for eliminating jobs and concocting nefarious schemes for avoiding their obligation to society. Privatization is nothing more or less than the systematic looting of the public goods our parents and grandparents paid for with their tax dollars.

We are mad as hell and we aren't going to take it any more.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

America’s Unlevel Field-Krugman

My comments on:

America’s Unlevel Field

Paul Krugman

Mitt is just regurgitating right-wing mythology that was discredited decades ago. The Right does not believe that it does anything to create a level playing field. That rhetoric is just pablum for the true-believers. 

You will notice that most Right-wingers cannot have a rational discussion of the issues because everything they say is nothing more than a parroting of talking points. You can never have a conversation with them. 

There seems to be a mistaken notion that memorizing some batty phrases is the same as thoughtful discourse.

There seems to be another mistaken notion that you have to have some kind of blind allegiance to your political party. This blind allegiance means that you are moral because you don't need any proof of their true intent. 

Religious people claim not to require proof for their faith. Fine.

But politics is not religion. You can change your opinions based on facts and logic and still not condemn yourself to eternal damnation. I did. You can do it too.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bailouts will always be needed to fix capitalism's flaws

Romney is wrong to oppose auto bailout

Really? Steven Rattner, Obama's "car czar" administered the auto firm bailouts. Rattner is telling the truth.

See the comments! Holy cow!
This is one of the most appaling (sic) pieces I've ever read.
Bail-outs will always be needed to fix capitalism’s flaws

Lest we needed another reminder, Thursday’s announcement that the Italian automaker Fiat had achieved the final performance target in its alliance with Chrysler underscored once more the remarkable success of the rescue of the American automobile industry.

No capitalist (and I consider myself to be a full-throated one) likes the notion of government intervening in the private sector. But we must recognise the rare moments when deviations from this principle are not only to be tolerated, but welcomed.

As the events of the past three years demonstrate, General Motors and Chrysler were such an undeniable exception. At the end of 2008, the entire auto sector was on the brink of total collapse, a near casualty of the financial crisis, oscillating oil prices, uneconomic labour agreements and poor management. General Motors alone lost $30bn in that single year.

Due to courageous decisions by both former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, the industry is now thriving. US sales of autos and light trucks rose last year by 10.3 per cent to 12.8m, compared to 10.4m in 2009.

Read the original entire article here: 
Romney is wrong to oppose auto bailout

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Republican Attacks Have Racist Undertones -

Republican Attacks Have Racist Undertones -

'via Blog this'

Many commenters are working really hard to deny the hard evidence of race-hate in the Republican Party. My right-wing relatives send me malicious mendacious racist smears all the time.
The most recent was a rant based on a fictional incident claiming Obama had done something that did not "support the troops." It was headed:

What do we have to do to get this n***** out of office?

In case you don't yet get it, people find this term derogatory dehumanizing racism.