October 3rd, 2007

Chris Keeley

Survey: Rates for Foster Care Inadequate

 Survey: Rates for Foster Care Inadequate

Filed at 7:47 a.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Most states reimburse foster parents significantly less than the actual cost of raising a foster child, complicating the task of finding good homes for children who need them, according to a first-of-its-kind survey.

The survey analyzed regional living expenses and calculated on a state-by-state basis the minimum cost of adequately raising a foster child. Only Arizona and the District of Columbia pay foster parents more than this minimum amount, according the survey.

To adequately cover the cost of rearing a foster child, base payments in 28 states would need to be raised at least 50 percent, and five states -- Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin -- would need to more than double their current base rates, according to report. It was compiled by the University of Maryland School of Social Work, the National Foster Parent Association, and Children's Rights, a New York-based advocacy group, for release Wednesday.

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Chris Keeley

Naomi Klein on remaking people by shocking them into obediance

Naomi Klein on remaking people by shocking them into obediance
The Thought Kitchen has a short video made by Alfonso Cuaron, who directed Children of Men, about the ideas in Naomi Klein's new book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.
Picture 11-8 Naomi Klein has just published a controversial best seller entitled The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. In it she defines shock doctrine as “the use of public disorientation following massive collective shocks—wars, terrorist attacks, natural disasters—to push through highly unpopular economic shock therapy.”

The metaphor of “shock” is important because her thesis stems from a contention that what works on a person also works on a nation. Think 9/11 and fear-induced politics that have eroded some of the fundamentals of what we knew as American democracy. To peer into her thinking, check out the short film by Alfonso Cuaron, who made Y Tu Mama Tambien and Children of Men. Klein was hoping he’d send her a quote for the book jacket, but instead he assembled a team of artists and this short film. Sweet indeed.

Link 

http://blog.nau.com/2007/10/01/the-shock-doctrine/
Chris Keeley

Mr. Prince Goes to Washington: Blackwater Founder Testifies Before Congress

Mr. Prince Goes to Washington: Blackwater Founder Testifies Before Congress

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/03/1349239

Erik Prince, the founder and chairman of Blackwater USA, testified the before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform amid a public firestorm over the role of private military firms operating in Iraq and a string of probes into Blackwater's conduct. We play excerpts of the hearing and speak with Jeremy Scahill, author of "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army." [includes rush transcript - partial]

 


Mr. Prince goes to Washington. That's right, Erik Prince, the founder and chairman of Blackwater USA, testified before Congress on Tuesday in his first extended public appearance.

Prince was called before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform amid a public firestorm over the role of private military firms operating in Iraq and a string of probes into Blackwater's conduct.

Blackwater has come under heavy scrutiny since an attack last month in Baghdad in which between 11 and 28 Iraqis were killed. Although the incident triggered Tuesday's hearing, the committee agreed not to discuss specifics of the incident following a Justice Department request that it wait until an FBI investigation is concluded.

California Democrat Henry Waxman chaired the hearing. His staff produced a scathing report on Monday detailing Blackwater's activities in Iraq. In his opening remarks, Waxman summarized some of the report's findings.

 

  • Rep. Henry Waxman (D - CA), the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

     

During Tuesday's hearing, Blackwater chief executive Erik Prince was questioned repeatedly about the killing of civilians in Iraq.

 

  • Rep. Danny Davis (D - IL) questioning Erik Prince.

     

Committee Republicans defended Blackwater during the hearing and argued that private security firms are a necessary part of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

  • Rep. Patrick McHenry (D - NC) questioning Erik Prince.

     

The issue of the privatization of war was raised by several Committee Democrats.

 

  • Rep. Diane Watson (D - CA) questioning Erik Prince.

     

Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times bestseller, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army." He attended Tuesday's hearing. He joins us from Washington DC.

 

  • Jeremy Scahill, independent journalist, Democracy Now! correspondent, author of "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army."

AMY GOODMAN: Mr. Prince goes to

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Chris Keeley

Richard Prince

Richard Prince

NYC///INSTITUTIONALIZED///A PRINCE AMONG MEN…

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Here at Supertouch, we don’t usually dip too deeply into the whole uptown museum scene, but RICHARD PRINCE’s amazing retrospective, “Spiritual America,” that opened this Friday at the Guggenheim Museum is one of the city’s best shows in years. Cutting his teeth in the art world in the early 80’s alongside such like-minded contemporaries as Jeff Koons and Cindy Sherman, his controversial use of appropriated imagery and readymades earned him widespread notoriety and ultimately great fame in the real art world. Moving through many distinct series and modes of construction throughout the subsequent decades, Prince’s art became more traditional and organic as reflected in his later series of photos and paintings. The unifying element throughout these disparate bodies of work, however, was his constant exploration of the American soul in all its lowbrow glory, particularly when it was reflected in the mirror of automobile culture. Spanning the length of the artist’s career, the aptly-titled “Spiritual America” assembles an incredible array of visual greatest-hits from his iconic MoPar readymade sculpture “American Prayer,” to his acclaimed “Nurse” series (which provided the artwork for Sonic Youth’s 2004 “Sonic Nurse” LP), in the always-inspiring setting of the Guggenheim spiral. HAVE A LOOK:

Additional photos by Diana Hong

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Chris Keeley

http://www.slacker.com/?sid=prog:712

 
http://www.slacker.com/?sid=prog:712

Slacker.com has created a streaming net radio show of punk songs to go along with Spin magazine's October issue, "1977: The Year Punk Exploded!"
Picture 6-31 The Spin Punk station consists of handpicked songs representing the most influential punk music spanning three decades and is the musical counterpart to Spin's punk coverage. The issue includes an article chronicling the rise of punk, explosive interviews with the Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten and the Clash's Mick Jones, a definitive timeline of punk in 1977, and much more.
 
Chris Keeley

Two Knights and a Dragon

Two Knights and a Dragon
*Uri Avnery*

*6.10.07*

* *

*                                    Two Knights and a Dragon*

* *

*THERE ARE books that change people's consciousness and change history.
Some tell a story, like Harriet Beech Stowe's 1851 "Uncle Tom's Cabin",
which gave a huge impetus to the campaign for the abolition of slavery.
Others take the form of a political treatise, like Theodor Herzl's "Der
Judenstaat", which gave birth to the Zionist movement. Or they can be
scientific in nature, like Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species",
which changed the way humanity sees itself. And perhaps political
satire, too, can shake the world, like "1984" by George Orwell.*

*  *

*The impact of these books was amplified by their timing. They appeared
exactly at the right time, when a large public was ready to absorb their
message.*

* *

*It may well turn out that the book by the two professors, John
Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy",
is just such a book.*

* *

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