Saturday, December 17, 2005

WTO Protests in Hong Kong

police:reporters:demonstrators = 50:20:30
Originally uploaded by 1of@kind.

BBC - Nine hundred anti-WTO protesters are "rounded up" in Hong Kong after the worst unrest there for 16 years.

Indy Media - Mass protests meet WTO in Hong Kong

saturday reads

Human Rights Watch - Landmark Torture Ban Undercut

Glenn Greenwald - Bush's unchecked Executive power v. the Founding principles of the U.S.

Digby - If The President Does It It's Not Illegal

The General - She is a hottie, dammit

Sadly, No! - Oh, the Things You Can Learn from Reading NewsMax

The Heretik - It's All About Yoo

The Kippies

Voting is now open for The Kippies over at The Poor Man. Vote for your favorite wingnuts in these catagories:

Chickenhawk of the Year

The Fluffy

The Purple Teardrop with Clutched Pearls cluster

The Soggy Biscuit Award

Wank of the Year

The Coveted Palme d’Hair

Friday, December 16, 2005

2006 SXSW

The 2006 SXSW lineup so far:

The Adored, Annie, Arctic Monkeys, Belle and Sebastian, The BellRays, Be Your Own Pet, Blockhead, The Boy Least Likely To, The Brokedown, Calexico, Neko Case, Cat Power, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clor, Jason Collett, The Cribs, Cuff the Duke, Jamie Cullum, Dashboard Confessional, Death In Vegas, Death Vessel, Dengue Fever, Destroyer, Die! Die! Die!, Dirty Pretty Things, Jorge Drexler, Dr. Spock, The Duke Spirit, The Earlies, Echo & the Bunnymen, Editors, The Eighteenth Day Of May, Elbow, Empire Dogs, Erase Errata, Faker, Flogging Molly, Forward Russia, Giant Sand, Gogol Bordello, Jose Gonzalez, The Go! Team, Headphones, The Hellacopters, Clarence Frogman Henry, The Juan Maclean, Kaki King, Kalas, k-os, Sharron Kraus & Christian Kiefer, Lady Sovereign, The Like, Los De Abajo, Luminous Orange, Barbara Lynn, The Magic Numbers, Magnolia Electric Company, Serena Maneesh, Mates of State, The Morning After Girls, The Most Serene Republic, Mystery Jets, My Summer as a Salvation Soldier, Neon Blonde, Nickel Creek, No things, Of Montreal, Beth Orton, Peaches, The Plimsouls, Robert Pollard, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Saves the Day, The Secret Machines, Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives, Tarantula A.D., Susan Tedeschi, Towers of London, KT Tunstall, Two Gallants, Tom Verlaine, Vetiver, The Whigs, Witch, Wolfmother.

friday random ten

Photo by Ryan McManus

friday random ten:

"Patch My Heart" - The Mad Lads
"Monster" - Hazard County Girls
"Lone Wolf" - The Motards
"You're No Rock N' Roll Fun" - Sleater-Kinney
"Organic Beauty" - Govinda
"Talkin' at the Texaco" - Larry McMurty
"Freakshow" - Ani DiFranco
"Where It's At" - Beck
"The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" - The Pogues
"Pleasure and Pain" - Steve Jones

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Where the preznit ain't

Dan Froomkin

Here's a problem with following the president around all day long: Sometimes the story is where he's not.

Reporting that President Bush steered clear of the White House's own Conference on Aging yesterday -- making him the first president ever to do so -- fell to the regional newspapers and NPR, not the big guys.

It turns out that had Bush attended, he would have been facing a very hostile audience.

So instead, Bush held a photo-op with a hand-picked group of seniors at a swanky retirement home -- and it was well covered by the usual suspects.


Susan Jaffe writes in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "Robert Binstock, professor of aging, health and society at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, said President Bush's absence was a snub. It didn't help matters that Bush made time Tuesday to visit a retirement community in a Washington suburb.

" 'That he went to speak about Medicare in Virginia today, instead of an assembly of delegates from all over the country indicates that he's afraid to speak in anything but a controlled environment,' Binstock said during a session on improving the Medicare program, which provides health care for 43 million older and disabled Americans.

"Also this year, the rules have changed for delegates, so they cannot debate resolutions.

quote of the day

“I’m not anti-Bush; I’m anti-Bush behavior,” Mortensen told Progressive magazine. “In other words, I’m against cheating, greed, cruelty, racism, imperialism, religious fundamentalism, treason, and the seemingly limitless capacity for hypocrisy shown by Bush and his administration.”

Viggo Mortensen

Out of Reach 2005

Yesterday, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released Out of Reach 2005, its annual report calculating the hourly wage that someone must earn - working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year - to be able to afford rent and utilities in the private local housing market in every state, metropolitan area and county in the country.

This year’s national Housing Wage is $15.78 an hour, up from $15.37 an hour in 2004. This is more than three times the federal minimum wage, further highlighting the difference between what people earn and what people are expected to pay for housing in the United States.

With FEMA’s hotel/motel subsidy program for hurricane evacuees scheduled to end sometime within the next several weeks, the report highlights the difficulties displaced families, along with millions of other low income families, face in their search for safe housing that they can afford.

“The disparity between what people earn and what even modest rental housing costs grows larger each year,” said Sheila Crowley, President of NLIHC. “This is the housing market in which millions of low wage workers and elderly or disabled people must try to find safe and decent homes. Now tens of thousands of displaced people from the Gulf Coast have joined them in this competition for scarce housing that they can afford. And FEMA wonders why evacuees are still in hotels.”

With a housing-related fuel and utilities increase of more than 13% in the last year responsible for much of the increase in renter housing costs, the situation is grim. For the first time, NLIHC’s data shows that a full-time worker at minimum wage cannot afford a one-bedroom apartment anywhere in country, further illustrating the dire situation that denies many a right to adequate housing.

Out of Reach 2005 calculates the number of full-time wage earners a household needs in order to afford the Fair Market Rent in any area of the country. Nationally, a family with two full-time workers earning federal minimum wage would make just $21,424, significantly less than the $32,822 annually they would need to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment.

Austin-Round Rock, TX
In Austin-Round Rock, TX, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $804. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities, without paying more than 30% of income on housing, a household must earn $2,680 monthly or $32,160 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $15.46.

In Austin-Round Rock, TX, a minimum wage worker earns an hourly wage of $5.15. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment, a minimum wage earner must work 120 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or, a household must include 3.0 minimum wage earner(s) working 40 hours per week year-round in order to make the two bedroom FMR affordable.

In Austin-Round Rock, TX, the estimated mean (average) wage for a renter is $13.92 an hour. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment at this wage, a renter must work 44 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or, working 40 hours per week year-round, a household must include 1.1 worker(s) earning the mean renter wage in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable.

Monthly Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for an individual are $579 in Austin-Round Rock, TX MSA *. If SSI represents an individual's sole source of income, $174 in monthly rent is affordable, while the FMR for a one-bedroom is $658.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Iraq: 1,000 Days Of War

From Shock and Awe to a country torn between insurrection and democracy

It has been the strangest war. A thousand days ago, on 20 March 2003, the US and British armies started a campaign which ended a few weeks later with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

It seemed so easy. President George Bush announced that the war was over. The American mission had been accomplished. Months passed before Washington and London realised that the war had not finished. In fact it was only just beginning. Of the 18,000 US servicemen killed or wounded in Iraq, 94 per cent have been killed or wounded since the fall of Baghdad.

There is no sign that the election for the 275-member Iraqi parliament this Thursday will end the fighting. The Sunni Arabs, the core of the insurrection, will vote for the first time, but there is no talk of a ceasefire. A leaflet issued by one resistance group in Baghdad yesterday encouraged its followers to vote but warned: "The fighting will continue with the infidels and their followers."

The war in numbers
$204.4billion The cost to the US of the war so far. The UK's bill up until March 2005 was £3.1 billion

2,339 Allied troops killed

0 Number of WMDs found

66 journalists killed in Iraq. Journalists killed during Vietnam war: 63

5 foreign civilians kidnapped per month

183,000 British and American troops are still in action in Iraq. There are 162,000 US troops and 8,000 British with 13,000 from other nations

90 Daily attacks by insurgents in Nov '05. In Jun '03: 8

82 percent Iraqis who are "strongly opposed" to presence of coalition troops.

Neander Dolls vs. Boston Massacre

Neander Dolls vs. Boston Massacre

The Sin City Rollergirls take on the Boston Derby Dames in their opening bout of their first season this Saturday, December 17,sup>th.

Neander Dolls
Boston Massacre

Saturday, December 17, 2005.

Las Vegas Roller hockey Rink, 953 Commercial Center

Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

Doors open at 7pm, bout at 8pm.

Please visit the Sin City Rollergirls website for more info.

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Dominion Derby Girls

Dominion Derby Girls exhibition bout-2

The new flat track Dominion Derby Girls are throwing a party and mini-bout this Wednesday, December 14th.

The Disco Death Dolls take on the Burlesque Brawlers.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005.

Granby Theater

Tickets are only $6.

Party starts at 7pm, exhibition bout at 10pm.

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