Thursday, October 15, 2009

Facial expressions run in the family

By Jacqui Hayes

Cosmos Online

SYDNEY: Do you look like your father when you're angry? Probably more than you'd imagined. Facial expressions may be inherited, Israeli researchers say.

According to scientists, every person has a set of facial expressions that is unique to them, a signature of their identity that remains stable over time. Stable patterns of facial expressions arise before a baby is six months old, but until now, scientists were unsure whether these patterns were learned or innate.

Click here to read the rest.


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Foreclosures keep soaring as unemployment remains main cause of housing woes

The number of households caught up in the foreclosure crisis rose more than 5 percent from summer to fall as a federal effort to assist struggling borrowers was overwhelmed by a flood of defaults among people who lost their jobs.

Click here to read the rest at the Chicago Tribune.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

AP sources: al-Qaida's Afghan head contacted Zazi

The airport shuttle driver accused of plotting a bombing in New York had contacts with al-Qaida that went nearly all the way to the top, to an Osama bin Laden confidant believed to be the terrorist group's leader in Afghanistan, U.S. intelligence officials told The Associated Press.

AP – FILE- This Tuesday, July 22, 2008 image taken from Pakistan's Geo TV shows Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, an Egyptian

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Dow Jones average closes above 10,000 for 1st time in more than a year

On the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, specialists Michael Scavone, left, and Michael Sollitto react as the Dow Jones industrial average crosses 10,000. (Richard Drew / Associated Press / October14)

Read the story here at the LA Times


The Freedom Journalism School – learn how to be a muckraker

Here’s something of interest for our local Humboldt bloggers. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an investigative reporter? Check out this program: 

By Peter Rothberg

The Nation -- Here's a great new idea worth supporting: The Freedom Journalism School -- a pioneering program to train a network of fifty new media muckrakers across the South.

A new project from the Institute for Southern Studies (ISS), the outfit that publishes Facing South, the South's leading online magazine, and Southern Exposure, an award-winning journal of politics and culture, the idea is to provide training for fifty bloggers and citizen journalists in investigative reporting skills in an effort to give them the tools they need to expose corruption and hold elected leaders accountable. Click here to read the rest.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Let’s hear it for politicians who don’t cheat on their spouses!

By Dave Stancliff

Why does anyone cheat on their spouse?

In particular, why do so many politicians cheat on their mates? Researchers who study societal trends agree that there are some common factors involved when politicians choose to cheat.

One of the things often mentioned is that politicians are generally risk taking types who are into gathering power. I can see that. Here are seven examples of American presidents that seem to fit that theory: Thomas Jefferson, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Bill Clinton.

Click here to read the rest of this article at ALL VOICES 

'Whole face of the mountain' fell in valley

The sights and sounds of rocks rolling down mountainsides are common but still captivating phenomena for the residents of the Nile Valley in central Washington state.

But a landslide over the weekend was more than the 1,500 people in the area have ever seen. "We just had the whole face of the mountain just pretty much come off," said Valerie Royster, manager of the Woodshed Restaurant, which sits just across the road from the edge of the landslide. Here’s the full story at CNN

Photo credit: Washington Department of Transportation

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Democrats scramble after warning after health insurers say overhaul will drive up premiums


WASHINGTON (AP) — Insurance companies aren't playing nice any more. Their dire message that health care legislation will drive up premiums for people who already have coverage comes as a warning shot at a crucial point in the debate and threatens President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.
Democrats and their allies scrambled on Monday to knock down a new industry-funded study forecasting that Senate legislation, over time, will add thousands of dollars to the cost of a typical policy. "Distorted and flawed," said White House spokeswoman Linda Douglass. "Fundamentally dishonest," said AARP's senior policy strategist, John Rother. "A hatchet job," said a spokesman for Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.
But the health insurance industry's top lobbyist in Washington stood her ground. In a call with reporters, Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, pointedly refused to rule out attack ads on TV featuring the study, though she said she believed the industry's concerns could be amicably addressed.

Click here to read the rest at the Chicago Tribune.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Paradigm for Today's Democrats? FDR's Response to the Plot to Overthrow Him

ALAN NASSER, professor emeritus of Political Economy and Philosophy at The Evergreen State College, wrote an article one year ago titled,A coup attempt against the United States.”

Nasser makes some observations that I didn’t touch on in my recent column – Was Roosevelt coup attempt inspiration for one against him?”

The most unsettling topic that he brought up was that Bush family patriarch, Prescott Bush, was among the group of conspirators against Roosevelt.

Photo: General Smedley Butler

From the article: 

Thus, fascist tendencies gestating deep within the culture of the U.S. ruling class were effectively left to develop unhindered by mass political mobilization.

Might this grisly episode have important implications for our understanding of the current political moment? One may be inclined to think so on the basis of the fact that one of the architects of the plot was one Prescott Bush, grandfather of George W. Bush. Bush, along with many other big businessmen, had maintained friendly relations in 1933 and 1934 with the new German government of Chancellor Adolf Hitler, and was designated to form for his class conspirators a working relationship with that government.”

Later in the article Nasser sums up Prescott Bush’s legacy:

“…the implications of this unsettling piece of history for contemporary politics run deeper than many –especially soi disant “oppositional” liberals- would like to think.

There is the temptation to point triumphantly to George W. Bush’s commitment to the irrelevance of the Constitution, his corresponding contempt for hitherto taken-for-granted fundamental human rights, his Hobbesian notion of unbridled sovereignty, his militarized notion of political power - there is the temptation to regard these fascist elements as the most significant contemporary remnant of the 1934 conspiracy.”

  Among some of the interesting feedback from readers of my column was the criticism that I didn’t talk about the Bush family connection in the plot. It was like they wanted blood. The intent of my column was not to polarize people. I made sure to make no references to any political party or ideology that would turn readers off.

I let the reader’s come to their own conclusions. If they wanted to investigate further into the whole Roosevelt coup attempt, they were welcome too. One reader – pegging me as a liberal by insinuation, commented that if someone from the “Right” wrote my column, people would jump all over that person. How can I really respond to that anger?

I just want people to see the strikingly similar historical comparisons to FDR’s and Obama’s first year in office. I mentioned a current article by NewsMax columnist, John L. Perry, because it showed that some people think a coup against Obama may be necessary to stop him.

Even Perry’s part about finding a “patriotic general” to lead the coup was ripped from the pages of 1933-34 when the conspirators enlisted General Butler.

We can, and should, learn from history. I’m not saying that there’s a legitimate organized attempt to overthrow Obama (like you, I’d be the last to know about that).

 I’m saying we have to look at what is motivating people today with their raging, raw rhetoric, ramping up at numerous public meetings in the last six months. Loaded rifles at town hall gatherings, and NRA Shooting targets with Obama’s image on them, aren’t good things.

The thing I see is an anger that could easily lead to Obama’s assassination when you look at how some are categorizing him like he’s the devil or Adolf Hitler. The FBI is having trouble keeping up with the hate groups and the lunatic fringe that are calling for Obama’s ouster – dead or alive.

Here’s what I know for sure. A majority of Americans voted for Obama and that’s why he’s president. The Republicans lost, and the party is floundering around trying to find a new identity that will take them in a new direction, and make them a viable party again.

The message I want to get out is that all this ideological warfare among the two major political parties is destroying our democracy. Congress is more like ancient Rome’s coliseum – a spectacle for the masses, with nothing good coming from it.  

The losers are the common man and his family. The country’s poor and uninsured. The homeless population. No one in Congress – or any other political position – seems likely to stop the damn bickering!

As It Stands, will someone please tell me if there is any hope that the paralyzed political system we’re stuck with can be fixed?  

Was Roosevelt coup attempt inspiration for one against Obama?

Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 10/11/2009 01:27:21 AM PDT

In the summer of 1933, newly elected president Franklin D. Roosevelt started national programs to get people working again. He had no idea that some of the richest people in the country plotted to overthrow his government. His plans appeared to be a massive redistribution of their wealth to the poor, which shook the wealthy conspirators to the core. What to do?

Their answer: launch a military coup d'etat. Get rid of Roosevelt and form another government. A Fascist government. America's super wealthy, the most famous names of the time, gathered secretly and worked out a plan to seize power. Leading officers from the Morgan and Du Pont empires put together a coup that hinged on getting someone popular with the military on their side.

Click here to read the rest.

IMAGE ABOVE: Credit Franklin D. Roosevelt Heritage Center 2006

IMAGE BELOW: Credit Google Images – NOTE – Similarities to today’s Conservatives…especially the “Spend! Spend! Spend!” part in the lower left corner.

Like I said, 'Putting Up A Fence Is A Declaration of Fear'

Justice for J6 Rally. Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Less than 200 attended the right-wing event. I asked the question are we overreacting to J6...