Monday, August 24, 2009

Blue Dogs - bite the hand that feeds you at your own peril

H/T Tula Connell of FireDogLake:

Blue Dogs Bite, Unions Bite Back!:
Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA) General President Mike Sullivan:

The Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA), has decided to suspend all financial and intangible campaign activity in support of every political candidate until real health care reform is passed.

Not just "suspend all financial and intangible campaign activity" - but they are using the money well-saved to air a series of radio ads in in Montana, Iowa, North Dakota, and Arkansas. I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! The ads focus on Senators Chuck Grassley (IA), Max Baucus (MT), Kent Conrad (ND), and Blanche Lincoln (AR) - the last three supposedly allied to the Democratic Party.

And what cools my heart even more is to hear, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka has also warned the likes of Max Baucus and Kent Conrad (the Senate version of the Blue Dogs), and Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), Rick Boucher (D-VA) (both of them Blue Dogs) among others, that they are not going to get re-elected to Congress if they keep up their douche-baggery.

From Sam Stein at the Huffington Post:
Trumka's warning shots come at a time that the AFL-CIO is charting out a more aggressive campaign to target lawmakers who, as one official put it, "take labor's help but don't vote for labor's interests." Part of that process is to hold out the prospect of electoral consequences.

I am so happy to see progressives all over this country at last showing up the turds in Congress who are so happy to take our money at election time, but think we will forever put up with being sidelined when push comes to shove. And now that push has come to shove, if you do not vote for the progressive agenda, you will face your toughest ever re-election campaign, and that's a promise from this long-time (LEGAL) resident and soon-to-be citizen of these United States.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fantasy Dinner Party

Here's a tag my sis invited me to steal: Fantasy Dinner Party and so I am stealing (her dinner service idea, among other things - read on to find out what else I am stealing). All the following is assuming I will be allowed to be present in the room --> I don't need to eat with all these people, I just want to be free to interact with them, and listen and follow all the cross talk and everything.

The rules are:- you can invite anyone, living or dead- you have a table that seats eight, but as you are one, you can invite seven people- you have to explain why you'd invite them. And for bonus points:- what would you serve them for dinner?

The Guests:
Guest #1: Hypatia of Alexandria: A Greek scholar from Alexandria in Egypt, considered the first notable woman in mathematics, who also taught philosophy and astronomy. A woman who cultivated her mind, the first famous feminist (at least, as far as I am concerned), a mathematical genius. Murdered by a Christian mob, while defending the famous Library of Alexandria.

Guest #2:
Dr. Richard Dawkins: A contemporary scholar, quietly but VERY firmly atheist (*heh*), he is a British Ethologist, evolutionary biologist, popular science author, and was was formerly Professor for Public Understanding of Science at Oxford. Dawkins is an atheist, secular humanist, sceptic, scientific rationalist, (all like me) and supporter of the Brights movement (UNlike me). Although mischaracterized as "Darwin's Rottweiler," he is actually a very gentle and polite person - I love the way he can give someone such a hard time, and do it all poitely, without raising his voice. My hero for the current decade :)

Guest #3: Subrahmanya Chandrasekhar: One of my favorite Indian scientists and Nobel Laureates - Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. He was a Nobel laureate in physics along with William Alfred Fowler for their work in the theoretical structure and evolution of stars. I LOVES me some astronomy, at the dinner table or otherwise!

Guest #4:
Sir Terence David John Pratchett: My very very very very favoritest (if there is such a word) author, is an English novelist, known for his frequently comical work in the fantasy genre. He is best known for his popular and long-running Discworld series of comic fantasy novels. I love him even more for mixing in real science with his usual witty comments about Discworld's magic, in the "Science of Discworld" series. I have Part 1, and am looking for the rest of the series (hint, hint - brother and sister! *wink*).

Guest #5:
Sri K. V. Guruswami: My mother's oldest brother, an absolutely fascinating man. I managed to get him to write a bit about his childhood, growing up with so many younger siblings - he obliged, but then got busy planning my brother's marriage ceremony, and has not updated his blog at all. Mama, I may not have bugged you about that, but I am plenty bugged, I tell you. This is a very public plea from me to PLEASE re-start your entertaining and well-written vignettes. I think I would be absolutely fascinated to follow his conversations with my other guests, and his musical discussions, in particular, with my next guest.

Guest #6:
Smt M. S. Subbulakshmi: The golden voice. She needs no more introduction. The goddess of Carnatic music. She might be used to people being overawed in her presence, but I am sure my mama would get over the awe toot-sweet - there's no way he would pass up a chance to talk music with the woman who simply blew through the glass ceiling for Carnatic concert performances (amazingly enough, when she was young, only men could perform in public...can you believe it!).

Guest #7: My father (another guest I have stolen from sis), Sri S. Ramanathan. For the same reasons as
sis states.

Guest #8: My father's brother, Sri S Tarakesan. For the same reasons that my
cuz states :-)

And what the hell, as long as we are cheating, why not make this a table that seats 10?!

Guest #9: My mother, Mrs. Kalpagam Ramanathan. A very thoughtfully different person under all that humility and shrinking-violet-ishness. It would be lovely watching her hold her own against all my other illustrious guests, although MS might just make her tongue-tied with awe :-) I watch her make instant friends here with, literally, strangers off the street, that she meets while on her daily up to an hour-long walks, and wonder where in the world this person was hiding all these years. Maybe her siblings might know.

And finally, to round it all off,

Guest #10: My mother's sister, Gomathi Natarajan
. I have heard so much about her from my mother, about how feisty, no-nonsense she was, intelligent and not hiding it, keenly interested in the arts, wanting, but unable to follow her academic interests, but finding other ways of learning than traditional schooling... Wish I could have known her better before she died. But this is my fantasy, so everything I want, goes!

The Menu:
Each person's top two favorite dishes from their favorite cuisines - and a third dish to be a choice presented to the table at large, per person. Most certainly not cooked by me - and because Amma cooks everyday, she will get a chance to relax this time.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

More about this later... but I found this most thoughtful!

Teesu, "hint, hint!" *heheheh*

Inevitable Conflict