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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
Number of posts: 53,475

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"The only woman in the world to have seen both Steve Jobs and Bob Dylan naked"


Joan Baez: Singer, activist, peacenik, lover, legend

For more than 50 years, Baez has been a central figure in the cultural and political life of the United States. A singer, an activist, a peacenik, a beauty, a lover (of some iconic men, it must be said). She is far too self-aware to utter the phrase “been there, done that”, but if she ever did, no one would take issue. Name a significant date in American politics since the early 1960s and she will either know the characters involved or have been involved in some way herself. “Oh Lou, I knew Lou,’’ she says casually when the name of the late Lou Reed comes up.

“I didn’t know him until we ended up doing a show together in Prague. I bumped into him as he was wandering around in the hotel lobby and I said to him, ‘Come for dinner with us Lou’, and so he did. He grumbled all the way to the restaurant because we decided to walk there. I knew then what we had adopted, but by then it was too late.”


The mention of Dylan provokes a solitary note of reserve as Baez looks back on her life. Famously, she and Dylan were lovers in the early 1960s, when she smoothed a path for him around the folk clubs of New England and New York – a debt he later repaid by snubbing her on the UK tour famously captured in DA Pennebaker’s 1967 film documentary Don’t Look Back. Dylan later apologised for the way he treated Baez. The nature of their relationship has been the subject of much gossip through the years.

Are they still in touch? She smiles. “No one is ever in touch with Bob Dylan.”

Black on Black Crime is one of those important issues ...

Black on Black Crime is one of those important issues for White people that somehow only comes up when a White person kills a Black person.

Police shoot 12-year-old carrying toy gun. But it's not racial profiling-- I'm sure that happens to white kids all the time too.

Next up on Fox News: Our panel discusses whether the solution to black-on-black crime is a return to slavery.


Legaleze argument regarding Obama immigration move. Any experts here?

The issue is a perceived difference between Reagan's EO on immigration and Obama's. Here's the argument:

The biggest difference between RWR's EO and BHO's from a process point of view, is that RWR's tweaked the Simpson-Marzoli act, just passed by congress, to allow spouses of legalized immigrants legalized by that law to also stay.

BHO offered "immigration immunity" to hundreds of thousands without such constraints because there wasn't a law in place. Ergo, BHO "created a new law" vs. "tweaked an existing law."

Feed the birds? Dos and Don’ts of Feeder Placement


Finding the perfect location for a bird feeder is a balancing act between getting the views you want and birds’ safety. Where do you watch birds from? Your patio? A kitchen window? The living room? You can start by limiting the possible area by deciding on a focus zone in the yard.

Next you need to check for known dangers to eliminate unsafe locations within that zone. Ornithologists estimate that millions of birds are killed each year by hitting windows. Window strike mortalities can be reduced by moving your feeders to within 3 feet of the window or greater than 30 feet away.

When feeders are close to a window, a bird leaving the feeder cannot gain enough momentum to do harm if it strikes the window. If feeders are more than 30 feet from a window, the birds are less likely to perceive windows as a pathway to other parts of your yard. Some ideas for safe locations including hanging a feeder at the corner of a house from the eaves, making it visible from a corner window, or from two sides of the house. Other people a fix a feeder directly to a window.

Another strategy is to place the feeder beyond the 30 foot danger zone. This might mean choosing a location across the yard from a house. Some people opt to create a special bird watching area tucked into a corner of their yard with a blinded seating area. This space might be in a secret grove, near a special bench, or behind a potting shed. Use the map below to see where in your yard is beyond the danger zone.

Report: Scott Walker preparing to launch presidential bid next year


In the clearest terms yet, Gov. Scott Walker and his key advisers have begun detailing his plans to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.


“I think there’s going to be a hunger for a leader who can actually get things done,” Walker said. He also told U.S. News & World Report in an interview Thursday that his wife and two sons, Matt and Alex, are supportive of a White House bid in 2016.


During his re-election campaign, Walker distanced himself from speculation about a possible 2016 presidential bid, saying he planned to serve a full four-year term if re-elected.

During his election night victory speech, Walker repeatedly drew sharp distinctions between Wisconsin and Washington.

Is this what America really wants?

Or is this Walker's only real qualification?

Stephen Colbert announces the end of world hunger!

I live in a pretty rural area, and have very limited internet choices. Why is that?


MAILING IT IN: Senator RoJo and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Post Office

UppityWisconsin takes on the Very Serious Republican (VSR) plan to destroy the USPS.


Now, how have the VSRs sought to pry the post office from the grasp of the tens of millions of us who rely upon it almost daily? The Republican brain trust (I'm being ironic: it's neither brainy nor trustworthy) came up with a brilliant, if unorthodox scheme: Force the post office within a decade to pre-fund $55 billion – 75 years' worth – of retired-employee health benefits, a demand made of no other institution in America. Any business that thought this was an affordable necessity within its own shop would soon be out of business. But it's not too excessive a mandate to force upon a government service. Not at all. Just like that, the postal service – which up until the VSRs passed that law in 2006 was running a profit – began running deficits. Then, the VSRs demanded that the post office stop asking for federal aid to balance its suddenly out-of-balance budgets, even though the post office has been making pretty good progress overall in digesting the VSR retirement “poison pill.” In fact, the postal service is nearly $8 billion ahead of schedule in making those payments, and is now asking Congress to let it take back enough to meet this year's $5.5 billion deficit.

But allowing that would ruin the VSRs' excellent scheme. And just to make sure it doesn't happen, the VSRs have appointed one of their most dubious members in Congress to oversee the process: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Ron Johnson), yet another Wisconsin embarrassment. In January, when the new GOP-controlled Senate takes hold, Johnson is slated to become chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversees the US Postal Service and all other federal employees – who, by the way, have been suffering through years of little or zero pay increases.

Not only is RoJo extremely unlikely to back the postal service's request to spend its earnings more sensibly, like other businesses are free to do, he's indicated he's interested in undertaking additional destructive moves against America's most venerable public institution. Johnson has been quoted as saying the Postal Service should go through bankruptcy – you know, like the City of Detroit. That process would when completed produce a much smaller, private postal corporation that would no longer be an enterprise agency within government. Because, as every VSR knows, while government should run like a business, it shouldn't try to run a business. And cost-effectively delivering the mail to every resident of the USA is, according to Republicans, a mere business, not a fundamental mission of good government. But try sending the equivalent of a First Class letter anywhere in the country via UPS or FedEx for less than half a buck, and see how far it gets.

As in Detroit, this RoJo-inspired bankruptcy proceeding could allow a new, totally private postal operation to get rid of nettlesome contracts with suppliers and also all of its newly privatized employees. And that could include huge grab-backs of promises made to those employees in collective bargaining agreements – just as happened in Detroit. Stuff like, oh, you know, pensions and health care benefits. In the Republican scheme of things, management's bosses giveth, and they taketh away, and at their total whim, because “union bosses” are, well, just too bossy.

R&D Cost Estimates: MSF Response to Tufts CSDD Study on Cost to Develop a New Drug


“The pharmaceutical industry-supported Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development claims it costs US$2.56 billion to develop a new drug today; but if you believe that, you probably also believe the earth is flat.

“GlaxoSmithKline’s CEO Andrew Witty himself says the figure of a billion dollars to develop a drug is a myth; this is used by the industry to justify exorbitant prices. We need to ask ourselves, if the CEO of a top pharmaceutical company says it’s a myth that it costs a billion dollars to develop a drug, can we really take this new figure 2.56 billion seriously?

“We know from past studies and the experience of non-profit drug developers that a new drug can be developed for just a fraction of the cost the Tufts report suggests. The cost of developing products is variable, but experience shows that new drugs can be developed for as little as $50 million, or up to $186 million if you take failure into account, which the pharmaceutical industry certainly does—these figures are nowhere near what the industry claims is the cost.

“Today nearly half of R&D spending is paid for by the taxpayer or by philanthropy, and that figure continues to rise as governments do more and more to make up for the pharmaceutical industry’s R&D shortcomings. Not only do taxpayers pay for a very large percentage of industry R&D, they are in fact paying twice because they then get hit with high prices for the drugs themselves.
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