Monday, September 30

A reminder: It's the last day of Zeptember, so celebrate now. In case you forgot, don't worry; Rocktober starts tomorrow.
Someone in the U.S. government is keeping the peace activists from flying. Who? We're not telling.

Friday, September 27

MIND THE GAP: Income inequality is getting worse.

The most affluent fifth of the population received half of all household income last year, up from 45 percent in 1985. The poorest fifth received 3.5 percent of total household income, down from 4 percent in 1985. Average income for the top 5 percent of households rose by $1,000 last year, to $260,464, but the average declined or stayed about the same for most other income brackets.

Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal research institute, said, "The census data show that income inequality either set a record in 2001 or tied for the highest level on record."
(NYT: user name: opensewer; password: iswatching.)
Looks like we do have proof of Iraq's illegal weapons program. Because we gave them the goods to get it going.

Thursday, September 26

The Wal-Mart Menace: In court, the nation's biggest company has scruples as low as its prices.
Amidst all the bitching-moaning-cynicism that goes on here at Opensewer, we are incredibly happy to link to the MacArthur Fellows Program, a $500,000-each no-strings-attached award given to 24 recipients. What is the impetus for this, you might ask? Well, in their words, "...the new class of MacArthur Fellows serves as a reminder of the importance of the creative individual in American society." Bravo. Read more about it here, with an overview of recipients here.

Wednesday, September 25

I just found Think Deeply, a website that contains news, features and discussion about philosophy, spirituality and discovery. A great starting place is Where is Happiness?, by Think Deeply editor, Steve Taylor. If you want more, check out their news page.
We don't have to worry about the Italians. They're not a dangerous people, they're just a nation of opera singers.

--Franklin D. Roosevelt on his Reelection Campaign, trying to get the Big City Ethnic Vote.

50 years or so ago, the Italians experienced extreme prejudice. Today, Italians are loved and emulated with restaurants like The Olive Garden ("Benvenuto! When You're Here, You're Family!") and Buca di Beppo ("A Smithsonian of Italiana!"). So all you Middle Eastern people out there don't you worry: in 50 years you'll have your own stereotypical restaurant and the Americans will love you just as much!

Tuesday, September 24

“There is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by … corporations. The power of all corporations ought to be limited in this respect. The growing wealth acquired by them never fails to be a source of abuses.” - James Madison, often called the author of the American Constitution

Saturday, September 21

Slide Show Saturday. Quick blurb here, or start slide show here.

Friday, September 20

Cartoon Friday.
"As democracy is perfected, the office of the president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach in their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
-H.L. Menchken (1880-1956) American Writer

Thursday, September 19

Wednesday, September 18

Socially conservative churches grew faster than more moderate or liberal churches in the 1990’s, says a recent report (NYT; user: opensewer; password: iswatching). This surprises me, since most people I know prefer to have religion with “no strings attached”—i.e., “give me God, but not all of that moral accountability, please.” Hmmm… Why do I have the feeling that the organization that performed the survey does not have it in their best interest to report the opposite result? Just thinking out loud here…
Yesterday the Conference Board released their proposed reforms to corporate compensation practices.
Today's horoscope courtesy of The Village Voice. For no reason at all, except that I feel like it.

Tuesday, September 17

"There are religious groups -- the Jehovah's Witness, I believe -- who think it's a sin to have a blood transfusion. Well, what if the president for some reason decided to listen to them, instead of to the Catholics, which is the group he really listens to in making his decisions about embryonic stem cell research?"

- Christopher Reeve, Blaming the Catholic Church and President Bush for Research Obstruction
Dear Jason,

I miss a lot more than the Huletts.

I miss:

The cables singing over my head, pellets raining down on my hardhat.
Crunching taconite under squealing wheels.
The men.
The haulage cable rising up as the grip locks. Walking them down the line.
Drifting into the next spot.
Watching the carp chasing the minnows as the snubs tighten.
Chews.
Cigar smoke.
Having money in the bank.

Unfettered American manhood.
Albert Cincerelli seventy-two years old working with broken ribs.
Sam Grippi.
Slamming one load and five empties into three loads to get 'em going with the larry car dumping on the fly.

Hot July nights.
Cold November mornings and Steve Massi - with shirt open half way.
Red waterfalls in the January snow - flushing rivets.
Screeching spring seagulls.
Andy "Rats" Roskovitch in the morning.
Lyons and Sulin. John Palo.
Ed Burke.
Franko Perry getting the cars moving when nobody else could - one arm ballet.

Uncle Joe Barbato's hands after gripping his whole career.

War stories from the veterans.

Good days pardner - make no mistake.
Never had better work - never made better money.

Youth.

Thanks,
Brad

Monday, September 16

... the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace ... It [invading Iraq, toppling Sadam] is clearly a decision that is motivated by George W. Bush’s desire to please the arms and oil industries in the United States of America.

Nelson Mandela on the United States. Ouch, but so true.

Thursday, September 12

If our government is "of the people, by the people, for the people," shouldn't our government be accountable to the people? Shouldn't there be major on-going investigations into what happened a year ago? Do not the lost lives demand an inquiry in to why it was all able to happen? Ted Rall can be an insensitive guy sometimes, but he also asks some valuable questions.
To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists.

Ari Fleischer, Shrub's spokeperson. And don't forget his other warning soon after 9/11/1: Watch what you say.

The Village Voice's Alisa Solomon writes an incredible article, What We Lost In The Fire, about Shrub's assault on the Constitution. Read it all here.

Wednesday, September 11

Today, we encourage you to remember with your soul and not with your eyes glued to a television set.

Tuesday, September 10

If there's any logic at work in the White House -- a dubious proposition -- it might be a recycled version of the "madman" policies adopted by the Nixon administration. Nixon seemed to think that he could intimidate Hanoi if they thought him capable of anything. Such wildness might appeal to Bush, whose personal history -- from decades of drunkenness and shady business bailouts to political cronyism and a stolen election -- appears to have taught him that he can get away with anything. From an article by Todd Gitlin of Columbia University titled, How To Squander Moral Capital.

Sunday, September 8

Yes, and following up on Jason's blog below, Gandhi believed one of the seven deadly sins was business without morality. The other six can be found here.

Saturday, September 7

Following up some comments I made late last year on predatory lending, I bring you this New York Times article, wherein Citigroup actually seems to be admitting fault. Thank you, Enron and WorldCom, for creating an environment, however fleeting it may be, of corporate repentance.
Hmmm... F.C.C. Weighs a Sharp Easing of Size Limits on Big Media. This can't be anything but bad news. (NYT; user: opensewer; password: iswatching.)

Friday, September 6

An Overview of Changes to Legal Rights. Have a great weekend and stay out of trouble.
Connie Chung digging deep? Producing real news? Well, she scared someone with this piece.

Thursday, September 5

Let us all thank GM and Ford for letting us know we don't actually want vehicles which will not destroy the environment.
The American soul has always harbored a deep desire to help people build better lives for themselves and their children. We have always understood that our own well-being depends on the well-being of our fellow inhabitants of this planet Earth. -Colin Powell at the Earth Summit.

Yeah, right, Colin. That's such a load considering it is reported that he spent more time at the Earth Summit talking about Iraq than the environment.

Wednesday, September 4

Some ad designers are paid to be persuasive. Some ad designers are paid to be deceptive. All too often, web banner designers are paid to be both. The good folks at Valley of the Geeks created a bunch of fake banner ads that they think are a little closer to the truth. (via WebWord)
Mexican schoolchildren carried U.S.-donated desks across the border after Mexican customs officials refused to issue an import permit for the furniture to enter the country by truck. Bittersweet, or just sad?
Following-up John’s thread from Monday: Google has been blocked in China.

Tuesday, September 3

"For every fatal shooting, there were roughly three non-fatal shootings. And, folks, this is unacceptable in America. It's just unacceptable. And we're going to do something about it."—Philadelphia, May 14, 2001.
Ladies and gentleman, our president.

Monday, September 2

If you are a web-searchin', article loving kind of internet user, chances are you make heavy use of Google, and perhaps even the very useful Google toolbar. But the number one search engine online has at least one very vocal critic who is questioning Google's use of cookies and what he calls their "un-democratic" page ranking system.