Monthly Archives: September 2009

Kentucky football coach “not guilty” of practice-related death of 15 year old.

football-heatAlthough the coach was acquitted, his case finally sends a real message to those die hard coaches who think football practice in hot weather is some kind of opportunity to speed up the process of natural selection. The boy’s temperature was 109. Coach refuses to apologize. Says he’s interceding with Jesus Christ on behalf of the family. Jerk. Seems to me he had some sort of responsibility to make sure the kids are not falling out. Temp 109! come on. But football coaches whose teams win have a certain power over the community.

and here’s another issue:

Suppose your kid is in high school, and he’s having a hard time with an algebra problem. “You’re stupid!” his teacher yells at him, loudly enough for everybody else to hear. “You’re terrible at math! Solve the problem, or I’m kicking you out of this class.”

I bet you’d complain to the teacher, or maybe to the principal. And so would I. A teacher shouldn’t condemn his students for failing to grasp the material, which will only make it harder for them to learn later on. And he certainly shouldn’t humiliate them in front of their peers.

So why do we let athletic coaches do so?

The behavior of high school coaches is imitated by the players in their relations with other students, and is a root cause of some of the ugliness in high school society.

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SF Mayor Newsom moves to tax soda

I don’t think I’ve had more than two or three sodas since I suffered through a kidney stone a couple years back. And since I lost 40 pounds. I approve of Newsom’s initiative. It’s just a tax, not prohibition, and it’s avoidable. Obesity is a huge problem.

Calling soda the new tobacco, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will introduce legislation this fall that would charge a fee to retailers that sell sugary beverages.

Newsom would need voter approval to tax individual cans of soda and sugary juice, but only needs approval from the Board of Supervisors to levy a fee on retailers. His legislation would charge grocery stores like Safeway and big-box stores, but would not affect restaurants that serve sodas.

Newsom wouldn’t say how much the stores would have to pay or how the city would spend the fees. When he first floated the idea in 2007, he said the money would go to his Shape Up San Francisco exercise program and for media campaigns to discourage soda drinking.

The mayor said the city attorney’s office has warned him the city would likely be sued over the matter, but he said it is worth the risk to try to curb a leading cause of obesity and diabetes.

“We know we’ll be sued,” he said. “But I really believe this is important to do.”

Newsom said he was particularly motivated to move forward with the legislation by today’s release of a UCLA study showing a link between soda and obesity in California. Researchers found that adults who drink at least one soft drink a day are 27 percent more likely to be obese than those who don’t – and that soda consumption is fueling the state’s $41 billion annual obesity problem.

The study also found that 41 percent of children and 62 percent of teens drink at least one soda daily.

“Soda is cheap, sweet and irresistibly marketed to teens,” said Susan Babey, the study’s lead author. “Not enough teens know about the health and dietary risks of drinking huge quantities of what is essentially liquid sugar.”

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Insurers Spending $700K a Day to Kill Healthcare Reform

and how easily they manipulate the ignorant sheep/teabaggers into making idiots of themselves.
[lifted from Dkos; by mcjoan]

Wow, that could be providing a helluva lot of healthcare.

Washington, D.C. – A campaign finance watchdog’s analysis of insurance and HMO political contributions and lobbying expenses found the industries spent $126,430,438 over the first half of 2009 and $585,725,712 over the past two and a half years to influence public policy and elected officials. The group, Public Campaign Action Fund, found that in the first part of 2009, the industries were spending money at nearly a $700,000 a day clip to influence the political process and that the monthly pace of political spending this year has increased by nearly $400,000 over the average spent per month in the previous two years.

In addition to PAC contributions to our “public servants,” that’s funding 875 registered lobbyists for the insurance industry, and 920 for the HMOs. Which really is hardly a drop in the bucket for the industry, when you take into consideration their CEO compensation, which ranges from $3 million to $24 million.

Nice to know what our premiums are paying for, huh? We could cut out the middleman here. We could start giving all the money we’re spending on premiums directly to our representative and Senators. Maybe then they’d listen to us, the people who hired them, when it comes to vote.

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Will CNN stop sponsoring the egregious racist Republican assault on President Obama?

This is the most disgusting display of partisanship and racism in recent American history, and it is being sponsored by our media.

After giving Mark Williams, one of the leaders of the Tea Party movement, weeks of free publicity, CNN finally took the conservative activist to task on Monday, calling him out for describing President Barack Obama as a “racist-in-chief” and “an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug.”

Williams, who is vice-chairman of Our Country Deserves Better, the group organizing the Tea Parties, and whom CNN has described as “the showman” of the Tea Party organizers, defended the statements, which he made on his blog.

The blog posting in question appears to have been removed.

During a panel discussion on AC 360 Monday, host Anderson Cooper asked Williams: “Do you believe [the president is] Indonesian? Do you believe he’s a Muslim? Do you really believe he’s a welfare thug?”

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machinebeltsBrooklyn Union Argus, Jan. 15, 1878, p.1

John MEEHAN, nineteen years of age, of 183 North First street, was instantly killed this morning at Merrill’s blacksmith shop and foundry, South Eleventh and First streets. While on a stepladder shifting a trip hammer belt his apron caught in the belt and he was taken up to the ceiling and his brains were dashed out. Deceased’s employers say he was frequently warned not to wear his apron when shifting the belt.

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San Francisco’s Two Flood Mansions (and another in Atherton)

"New" Flood Mansion
Went to a wedding this weekend, at the Flood Mansion, 2222 Broadway, in Pacific Heights. But there is also an “old” Flood Mansion, on Nob Hill, at 1000 California.floodOldmansThis “old” Flood Mansion is now occupied by the Pacific Union Club.

Nob Hill: winners and losers in 1906

Nob Hill: winners and losers in 1906

The “Old” was built by silver baron James C. Flood, in 1885, of Connecticut brownstone brought “round the Horn” at great peril and expense. It is one of the two buildings (along with the Fairmont Hotel) on Nob Hill to have survived the 1906 earthquake and fire, though both were gutted. In 1912, Flood’s son, James L., began construction of the “new” mansion on Pacific Heights. The “Old” ‘James C.” Flood Mansion was refurbished under the direction of Willis Polk and is now the Pacific Union Club.
Not so lucky were the Big Four of the Union Pacific Railroad (see map): Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, Collis P. Huntington and Charles Crocker… their mansions were all destroyed. The Stanford Court, Mark Hopkins Hotel, Huntington Park, and the Grace Cathedral, respectively, occupy those sites.
The “new” “James L.” mansion, on Broadway, was donated to the Catholic Order of the Sacred Heart and is operated as a wedding/party venue and school.

There was once a third and even more extravagant Flood Mansion, called Linden Towers, in Menlo Park (now Atherton), not far from the “farm” of Nob Hill neighbor Leland Stanford. The neighbors called it “The White Castle.”

Linden Towers

Linden Towers

Situated on 600 acres, this marvel (or monstrosity, depending on your viewpoint), was built in 1878, and was undoubtedly the most opulent home in America. The residence was torn down in 1926 after the death of James L. Flood. The ornate furnishings were sold at auction, and are of some interest to architectural salvagers and collectors.

58. Robida, A. LA VIELLE FRANCE: NORMANDIE, BRETAGNE, TOURAINE & PROVENCE. Four volume set. 160 full page lithographs (40 per volume) plus text illustrations & designs by Robida. Bookplate of Flood Mansion, Menlo Park. Librairie Illustree, Circa 1890. Gold decorated grey cloth bindings. 4to, Over 1200 pgs. Shaken, rubbed, inner hinges cracked. Good. $2500.00

The glory of these books is fine illustration & handsomely produced lithographs. Text in French.

Linden Towers gate, Middlefield at Linden Road, Atherton

Linden Towers gate, Middlefield at Linden Road, Atherton

The only remaining structure is the long brick wall and gate along the bay side of Middlefield Road. The property was subdivided in 1938.


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The Bush years: an economic disaster

moneybushThe very rich got richer and the rest of us paid for it. Classic Republican success.

Thursday’s annual Census Bureau report on income, poverty and access to health care-the Bureau’s principal report card on the well-being of average Americans-closes the books on the economic record of George W. Bush.

It’s not a record many Republicans are likely to point to with pride.

On every major measurement, the Census Bureau report shows that the country lost ground during Bush’s two terms. While Bush was in office, the median household income declined, poverty increased, childhood poverty increased even more, and the number of Americans without health insurance spiked. By contrast, the country’s condition improved on each of those measures during Bill Clinton’s two terms, often substantially.

The Census’ final report card on Bush’s record presents an intriguing backdrop to today’s economic debate. Bush built his economic strategy around tax cuts, passing large reductions both in 2001 and 2003. Congressional Republicans are insisting that a similar agenda focused on tax cuts offers better prospects of reviving the economy than President Obama’s combination of some tax cuts with heavy government spending. But the bleak economic results from Bush’s two terms, tarnish, to put it mildly, the idea that tax cuts represent an economic silver bullet.

Consider first the median income. When Bill Clinton left office after 2000, the median income-the income line around which half of households come in above, and half fall below-stood at $52,500 (measured in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars). When Bush left office after 2008, the median income had fallen to $50,303. That’s a decline of 4.2 per cent.

That leaves Bush with the dubious distinction of becoming the only president in recent history to preside over an income decline through two presidential terms…

the summary page on the economic experience of average Americans under the past two presidents would look like this:
Under Clinton, the median income increased 14 per cent. Under Bush it declined 4.2 per cent.

Under Clinton the total number of Americans in poverty declined 16.9 per cent; under Bush it increased 26.1 per cent.

Under Clinton the number of children in poverty declined 24.2 per cent; under Bush it increased by 21.4 per cent.

Under Clinton, the number of Americans without health insurance, remained essentially even (down six-tenths of one per cent); under Bush it increased by 20.6 per cent.

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Sorry, but these people ARE assholes. Big….flaming…assholes.

Apologies Schmapologies. Call him a liar, and apologize. Keep your kids from hearing him, and apologize…give it up, assholes.

Texas school district apologizes for snubbing Obama speech

ARLINGTON, Texas — Arlington Superintendent Jerry McCullough issued a statement Friday apologizing for how the district handled President Obama’s live speech on Tuesday.

The decision not to show the speech live to school children became particularly controversial after it became known that the district had previous plans to bus about 500 fifth-graders to attend an event with former President George W. Bush. The event, which is scheduled later this month at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, will be an announcement about a volunteer initiative for the 2011 Super Bowl.

“In retrospect, I can see how the district’s decisions concerning these two events could be seen as favoring one event over another,” McCullough said in his written statement. He later said, “I apologize that my decisions on behalf of the district have disappointed or hurt people.”
Obama’s speech caused controversy when some parents and political pundits were upset and worried that Obama would push his agenda onto America’s youth. Some other Texas school districts, including Aledo, Grapevine-Colleyville and Eagle Mountain-Saginaw, also decided not to show the speech live.

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Cat Ambush video

This one is even funnier.

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