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Nov 15, 2011

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Los Angeles, CA

Hiroshima & Nagasaki no one was ever tried for the horrif...

Incredibly raw story by Chris Hedges; This is the article that brought this to my attention. http://www.smirkin ruthandrews10/4481 6/from-a-refugee-c amp-to-the-olympic s-unreal-story On this day in 1945 the United States demonstrated that it was as morally bankrupt as the Nazi machine it had recently vanquished and the Soviet regime with which it was allied. Over Hiroshima, and three days later over Nagasaki, it exploded an atomic device that was the most efficient weapon of genocide in human history. The blast killed tens of thousands of men, women and children. It was an act of mass annihilation that was strategically and militarily indefensible. The Japanese had been on the verge of surrender. Hiroshima and Nagasaki had no military significance. It was a war crime for which no one was ever tried. The explosions, which marked the culmination of three centuries of physics, signaled the ascendancy of the technician and scientist as our most potent agents of death. “In World War II Auschwitz and Hiroshima showed that progress through technology has escalated man’s destructive impulses into more precise and incredibly more devastating form,” Bruno Bettelheim said. “The concentration camps with their gas chambers, the first atomic bomb … confronted us with the stark reality of overwhelming death, not so much one’s own—this each of us has to face sooner or later, and however uneasily, most of us manage not to be overpowered by our fear of it—but the unnecessary and untimely death of millions. … Progress not only failed to preserve life but it deprived millions of their lives more effectively than had ever been possible before. Whether we choose to recognize it or not, after the second World War Auschwitz and Hiroshima became monuments to the incredible devastation man and technology together bring about.” The atomic blasts, ignited in large part to send a message to the Soviet Union, were a reminder that science is morally neutral. Science and technology serve the ambitions of humankind. And few in the sciences look beyond the narrow tasks handed to them by corporations or government. They employ their dark arts, often blind to the consequences, to cement into place systems of security and surveillance, as well as systems of environmental destruction, that will result in collective enslavement and mass extermination. As we veer toward environmental collapse we will have to pit ourselves against many of these experts, scientists and technicians whose loyalty is to institutions that profit from exploitation and death. Finish reading the article here! http://www.truthdi the_science_of_gen ocide_20120806/  (Aug 8, 2012 | post #1)

Los Angeles, CA

Unemployment Process Job-By-Job - Bill Boyarsky & Truthdi...

http://www.truthdi job_by_job_2012071 1/ The effort to reduce unemployment is a grueling plant-by-plant, job-by-job process conducted by those seeking work, business people and local officials operating far from the media spotlight and simplistic rhetoric of the political campaign. Progress is measured in what amounts to inches—a job gained or a small plant coming to town. A manufacturer of campers for heavy trucks keeping up with trends by producing travel trailers light enough to be towed by small SUVs is a move that could save and even add jobs, but it’s not a story hot enough for cable TV and that medium’s obsession with the latest political chatter. Yet these small stories give a more realistic look at the difficulty of dropping the national unemployment rate below its present 8.2 percent. The Antelope Valley is a suburban area north of Los Angeles on the western tip of the Mojave Desert. The area, where the demographics are remarkably similar to portions of the Midwest, has been hit by all aspects of the Great Recession. The aerospace industry, which once provided a wealth of jobs, has dwindled. The housing bust forced families out of foreclosed homes, sometimes into homelessness. All this struck with devastating financial and psychological suddenness in a place that tends to be conservative, and where evangelical Christians have a strong presence among people unprepared for such a blow. “I have lived through recessions before, but nothing like this,” said Vern Lawson, economic development director of the area’s largest city, Lancaster. I had stopped by the city hall to find out what it was doing about unemployment. Lancaster, a city of 156,000, has an unemployment rate of slightly more than 15 percent, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s down from 20 percent in 2010. “I think we hit bottom and are coming back,” Lawson said. In a grim sense, the collapse of the residential housing market has helped. Houses are more affordable now, either for purchase or rent, and workers can earn a lower wage and still “have a very nice home,” Lawson said. This is an area where Lockheed once employed more than 18,000, currently down to about 6,500. Now Lawson, City Manager Mark Bozigian, Mayor R. Rex Parris and other officials considered it a huge victory that Morton Manufacturing, which makes bolts for aircraft engines, moved to Lancaster from another suburb after the city found land for a bigger plant. It will employ 300, and support 1,200 more jobs from suppliers and businesses patronized by the workers. To orchestrate the move, Lawson had to visit Morton often, work with property owners and real estate agents to assemble the land, get the City Council to build roads, and be available 24 hours a day in case something went wrong. (To continue reading click on the link on the top of the page)  (Jul 13, 2012 | post #1)

Los Angeles, CA

Five Hypocrites and One Bad Plan

http://www.truthdi five_hypocrites_an d_one_bad_plan_201 20329/ By Robert Scheer The Supreme Court is so full of it. The entire institution, as well as its sanctimonious judges themselves, reeks of a time-honored hypocrisy steeped in the arrogance that justice is served by unaccountable elitism. My problem is not with the Republicans who dominate the court questioning the obviously flawed individual mandate for the purchasing of private-sector health insurance but rather with their zeal to limit federal power only when it threatens to help the most vulnerable. The laughter noted in the court transcription that greeted the prospect of millions of the uninsured suddenly being deprived of already extended protection under the now threatened law was unconscionable. The Republican justices seem determined to strike down not only the mandate but also the entire package of accompanying health care rights because of the likelihood that, without an individual mandate, tax revenue will be needed to extend insurance coverage to those who cannot afford it. The conservative justices, in their eagerness to reject all of this much needed reform, offer the deeply cynical justification that a new Congress will easily come up with a better plan—despite decades of congressional failure to address what is arguably the nation’s most pressing issue. In their passion to embarrass this president, the self-proclaimed constitutional purists on the court went so far as to equate a mandate to obtain health care coverage with an unconstitutional deprivation of freedom; to make the connection they cited the spirit of a document that once condoned slavery. To read the rest of the article click here! http://www.truthdi five_hypocrites_an d_one_bad_plan_201 20329/  (Mar 29, 2012 | post #1)

Los Angeles, CA

Occupy Draws Strength From the Powerless

There is a recipe for breaking popular movements. I watched it play out over five years in the war in El Salvador. I now see these familiar patterns in the assault against the Occupy movement. It goes like this. Physically eradicate the insurgents’ logistical base of operations to disrupt communication and organization. Dry up financial and material support. Create rival organizations—the group Stand for Oakland seems to be one of these attempts—to discredit and purge the rebel leadership. Infiltrate the movement to foster internal divisions and rivalries, a tactic carried out consciously, or perhaps unconsciously, by an anonymous West Coast group known as OLAASM—Occupy Los Angeles Anti Social Media. Provoke the movement—or front groups acting in the name of the movement—to carry out actions such as vandalism and physical confrontations with the police that alienate the wider populace from the insurgency. Invent atrocities and repugnant acts supposedly carried out by the movement and plant these stories in the media. Finally, offer up a political alternative. In the war in El Salvador it was Jose Napoleon Duarte. For the Occupy movement it is someone like Van Jones. And use this “reformist” to co-opt the language of the movement and promise to promote the movement’s core aims through the electoral process. Counterinsurgency campaigns, although they involve arms and weapons, are primarily about, in the old cliché, hearts and minds. And the tactics employed by our intelligence operatives abroad are not dissimilar to those employed by our intelligence operatives at home. These operatives are, in fact, often the same people. The state has expended external resources to break the movement. It is reasonable to assume it has expended internal resources to break the movement. The security and surveillance state has a vast arsenal and array of tools at its disposal. It operates in secret. It dissembles and lies. It hides behind phony organizations and individuals who use false histories and false names. It has millions of dollars to spend, the capacity to deny not only its activities but also its existence. Its physical assets honeycomb the country. It can wiretap, eavesdrop and monitor every form of communication. It can hire informants, send in clandestine agents, recruit members within the movement by offering legal immunity, churn out a steady stream of divisive propaganda and amass huge databases and clandestine operations centers. And it is authorized to use deadly force. How do we fight back? We do not have the tools or the wealth of the state. We cannot beat it at its own game. We cannot ferret out infiltrators. The legal system is almost always on the state’s side. If we attempt to replicate the elaborate security apparatus of our oppressors, even on a small scale, we will unleash widespread paranoia and fracture the movement. If we retreat into anonymity, hiding behind masks, then we provide an opening for agents provocateurs who deny their identities while disrupting the movement. If we fight pitched battles in the streets we give authorities an excuse to fire their weapons. All we have, as Vaclav Havel writes, is our own powerlessness. And that powerlessness is our strength. The survival of the movement depends on embracing this powerlessness. It depends on two of our most important assets—utter and complete transparency and a rigid adherence to nonviolence, including respect for private property. This permits us, as Havel puts it in his 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless,” to live in truth. And by living in truth we expose a corrupt corporate state that perpetrates lies and lives in deceit.  (Feb 13, 2012 | post #1)

Miami-Beach, FL

Do you approve of Robert Parcher as City Clerk?

Vote against city ordinances that will ban prop 215  (Feb 13, 2012 | post #1)

Miami-Beach, FL

Do you approve of Matti Herrera Bower as Mayor?

No bueno  (Feb 13, 2012 | post #1)

Palm Springs, CA

Prom Dress

At it's where I go to get my wife and daughters their dresses. They have free shipping as well very fast and great service!  (Jan 26, 2012 | post #2)

Palm Springs, CA

Prom Dress 2012 Design- Formal Dress Shops

Prom is just around the corner. Luckily, Formal Dress Shops is here to save your big night. Their wide selection of spectacular dresses and gowns will exceed your expectations. Their gorgeous designs are unparalleled, and you can rest assured that you will find the perfect option within your budget. They have a wide selection of dresses under $100 as well as many other options with your desire to save money in mind. Visit Formal Dress Shops online, and see what all the hype is about. Formal Dress Shop’s online store is easy to use, and you’ll be sure to find the dress of your dreams. Shop by color, or take a look at the recommended prom dresses for this year. Their selection is always in style and keeping up with the latest fashions. Are you a real woman with curves? No problem, Formal Dress Shops has a wide selection of plus size looks. All women deserve beautiful formal wear options. The last thing you want to happen on prom night is to be wearing the same dress as another girl. Formal Dress Shops has a huge inventory of unique looks, so you can be certain that your look will be one of a kind. Besides high quality and beautiful dresses, Formal Dress Shops has a commitment to customer service. They are available to answer any questions that you might have 24/7, 365 days per year. Customers can also enjoy free standard shipping on every order. Make sure to follow Formal Dress Shops on Twitter, and like them on Facebook to receive the latest news and offers from the store. When you shop with Formal Dress Shops, you will see that they are different. Beautiful dresses, fast and free shipping, and a commitment to quality are just some of the attributes that sets them apart. More Info about the Company: Formal Dress Shop is your Online Store for Prom & Evening Gowns, Short & Cocktails Dresses, Formal & Plus Sizes are also Available for any Dress and Much more! Get Discounts Today! Visit our Website at FormalDressShops.c om  (Jan 23, 2012 | post #1)

Los Angeles, CA

Prom Dress!

Do you dream of being the belle of the ball but can’t afford the perfect look you covet for that special occasion? Stop dreaming and start living. Shop Formal Dress Shops online and find gorgeous dresses at affordable prices everyday. Turn heads without breaking the bank. Formal Dress Shops has an extensive collection of beautiful dresses and gowns in every color. Did you ever think you could find a beautiful dress for under $100? Formal Dress Shops is the place. Be amazed with what they have to offer. Formal Dress Shops knows style, and they are committed to offering high quality fashions for every girl’s taste. Prom is just around the corner, and Formal Dress Shops wants to make sure that you are ready. Shop early for the big day and get huge style for small prices. Formal Dress Shops also has a great selection of plus size dresses for real women with curves. Be amazed by the intricate craftsmanship of their unique designs. Prom is one of those extraordinary times in life when it is all about the dress. Let your look be all about Formal Dress Shops, and rest assured that you are going to stand out. Besides high quality and beautiful dresses, Formal Dress Shops has a commitment to customer service. They are available to answer any questions that you might have 24/7, 365 days per year. Customers can also enjoy free standard shipping on every order. Make sure to follow Formal Dress Shops on Twitter, and Like them on Facebook to receive the latest news and offers from the store. When you shop with Formal Dress Shops, you will see that they are different. Beautiful dresses, fast and free shipping, and a commitment to quality are just some of the attributes that sets them apart.  (Jan 20, 2012 | post #1)

Palm Springs, FL

Should I sell my antique jewles?

I was thinking about selling my antique jewelry and had some information in mind that I could use? Are these good tips? Please let me know! Know the trends of the time If the piece’s design reflects what was vogue at the time it was created, it likely will hold higher value. But following the popular aesthetic isn’t enough: The piece should employ the trends of the time in a tasteful way. A quality design will never go out of style. Determine the stone’s quality If the piece features a custom cut stone, how clean are the lines of the stone, and how well does it fit into the setting? In a quality setting, the stone will fit snugly. When you survey the stone’s outer appearance, remember that a high-quality cut means that light will move through the top of the stone and back through the top. If available, check documentation from the Gemological Institute of America, which grades a stone or gem on cut, clarity, color and carat. Watch for wear Noticeable scratches or flaws in a stone decrease its value significantly, and so does tarnish or wear on a setting or band. A safe bet is to stick with jewelry in very good or good vintage condition — classifications that denote jewelry of wearable quality with only slight discoloration or visible wear. Look for signatures A piece that includes a signature or is a certified designer piece will generally have a higher value. Knowing what designers were in vogue during the piece’s period will go a long way. Tiffany and Carier are names to watch for in Art Deco jewelry, while Carlo Giuliano is a quality choice for Victorian pieces. Go with the wow factor Jewelry with a unique design or stunning stonework catches your eye for a reason. The ‘wow factor’ won’t just make your piece steal the spotlight at a dinner party; it will also set it apart from the crowd should you decide to sell it. http://DiamondEsta  (Jan 12, 2012 | post #1)

Los Angeles, CA

How to tell Great Ruby from Bad Ruby 101

It’s no wonder ancient civilizations from India to China and beyond viewed the ruby as the king of all gemstones: The ruby’s rich, luxurious color evokes love, passion and power more than any other stone, and its healing powers are central to myths the world over. And because the ruby is one of the rarest of all stones, finding one with exceptional color and cut is a true wonder to behold. Diamond & Estate Trust's ruby collection: From left, a 2.21-carat no heat round ruby; a 2.75-carat no heat oval ruby; and a magificent 3.75-carat no heat round ruby. If wonderment is what you’re after, look no further than our collection of stunning rubies. Unlike many rubies, which are heat-treated to achieve the highly coveted pigeon blood color, these three rubies from the Diamond & Estate Trust collection possess regal dark-red hues and range from 2.21 carats to a luxurious 3.75, which is truly magnificent considering rubies are generally the smallest of the precious gems. The first is a 2.21 carat no heat ruby in round shape, the second a 2.75 carat no heat ruby in an oval shape, and the third is an astounding 3.75 carat no heat ruby in a round shape. Whether a round or oval ruby suits your aesthetic, consider one of these stones as a centerpiece for a jaw-dropping ring or a powerful bracelet, which Diamond & Estate Trust can set in a custom piece. Rubies have been a focal point of jewelry for centuries, wildly popular among Victorian designers and during the Art Deco period as eye-catching accent stones. Since then, the ruby has maintained its extravagance and high value, with the darkest hue, pigeon’s blood, the most coveted. The most expensive ruby ever sold was an 8.3-carat Burmese gem —at $3.63 million, that’s $425,000 per carat! Recognizing the ruby’s historical significance and beauty, the Smithsonian houses the magnificent 23.1-carat Carmen Lucia Ruby mined in Burma in the 1930s. Above: A vintage 18K gold Cartier ring with a 1.5-carat round ruby and diamond accents (left), and a vintage 5.19-carat pigeon’s blood ruby ring flanked by round diamonds, both available from Diamond & Estate Trust. Cultural icons such as Elizabeth Taylor and Fergie, the Duchess of York, have long chosen ruby rings as symbols of love and luxury. And Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was known for wearing a 17.68-carat ruby ring that sold for $290,000 in 1996. Want to channel the style of these icons? The Diamond & Estate Trust collection features an exquisite 18K gold Cartier ruby ring with a 1.5-carat round ruby and 1.75 carats of diamond accents. This 1980s designer piece has French hallmarks and all the signatures of Cartier elegance. For a more modern ruby look, our 5.19 carat pigeon’s blood oval ruby ring is truly a stunner. It’s not everyday we come across a pigeon’s blood ruby as massive and rich as the one in this vintage 5.19 carat ruby ring. The oval ruby is flanked by two round diamonds and bears a striking resemblance to Jessica Simpson’s ruby engagement ring. Visit this link for more great information on gems and jewelry. http://DiamondEsta  (Jan 4, 2012 | post #1)