June 7, 2010
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Surrounded by the remnants of the demolished Gaza Strip and increasingly isolated by the blockade that prevents anyone from rebuilding their homes and their lives, Children of Gaza is a shocking, touching and uniquely intimate reflection on extraordinary courage in the face of great adversity.

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We Still Don’t Hear Him

April 3, 2010
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The New York Times

As the errors of a Center Right Presidency are compounded and reinforced almost daily,  the Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan slide further under the radar. And, as the casualties on both sides continue to mount, the parallels between these wars and the Vietnam war become ever clearer.
Obama may better than having John McCain and his tea party partner
in office but, on the critical issues, like war, I find it harder and harder to see the difference. {SEE:  Oil, Drilling For; filed under false promises…}

Bob Herbert’s commentary highlights the lasting relevance of Dr King’s remarks from fifty years ago….

April 3, 2010
Op-Ed Columnist

We Still Don’t Hear Him

The great man was moving with what seemed like great reluctance. He knew as he climbed from the car in Upper Manhattan that he was stepping into the maelstrom, that there were powerful people who would not react kindly to what he had to say.

“I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight,” said the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “because my conscience leaves me no other choice.”

This was on the evening of April 4, 1967, almost exactly 43 years ago. Dr. King told the more than 3,000 people who had crowded into Riverside Church that silence in the face of the horror that was taking place in Vietnam amounted to a “betrayal.”

He spoke of both the carnage in the war zone and the toll the war was taking here in the United States. The speech comes to mind now for two reasons: A Tavis Smiley documentary currently airing on PBS revisits the controversy set off by Dr. King’s indictment of “the madness of Vietnam.” And recent news reports show ever-increasing evidence that we have ensnared ourselves in a mad and tragic venture in Afghanistan.

Dr. King spoke of how, in Vietnam, the United States increased its commitment of troops “in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept, and without popular support.”

It’s strange, indeed, to read those words more than four decades later as we are increasing our commitment of troops in Afghanistan to fight in support of Hamid Karzai, who remains in power after an election that the world knows was riddled with fraud and whose government is one of the most corrupt and inept on the planet. (more…)

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Focus City of Dayton Cleanups on Neighborhoods

April 1, 2010
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This an email sent to FROC and Dayton City Commissioners and the Mayor
While I am in favor of all the efforts to clean up Main street,  I believe a much more critical  & urgent need is in Five Oaks itself. Take a drive down the alley between Fountain and Santa Clara…it looks like a garbage dump in some third world country. Also, I walked from my house on Manhattan down Richmond to the Post office and was completely disgusted by what I saw, trash everywhere. The brick  house on the corner of  Manhattan and Richmond has a parking pad full of trash. Drive from Richmond  unto Delaware toward Main Stand the scene is the same.
My neighborhood is in the worst shape I’ve ever seen as far as trash is concerned.

Two things are very  evident. 1/Many of my neighbors are absolute slobs.
And,  2/the city is falling flat on its face insofar as code enforcement is concerned.

Cleaning Main street may be important, but the truth is the neighborhood is what needs a focus far more than Main st.

Gary Staiger

Sarah says rELOAD…

April 1, 2010
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March 30, 2010
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More to come, soon. Rethinking the perspective and direction.

Stay tuned.

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City of Dayton Prostitution Hot Line

July 20, 2009
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Forwarded from CITY OF DAYTON …..

The Dayton Police Vice Unit has now established a hotline that individuals may use to report suspected prostitution activity.  The Vice detectives will act on the information accordingly, and it may lead to a letter being sent to the registered owner of a vehicle used by a suspected john or other action. In addition, the drug hotline can now accept complaints in Spanish.

333-VICE (8423)

We ask that you share this information at the neighborhood meetings and your newsletters, so the public is aware.  Please emphasize the importance of being specific with observed activity and descriptions.

The  Hotline should NOT take the place of calling the dispatch center [911] for crimes in progress.


July 14, 2009
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Here is the link to the video on youtube


Three years ago, people who live in the McCook Field neighborhood of Dayton Ohio learned that the former Chrysler Airtemp plant at Leo and Webster Streets, now owned by Behr, had leaked trichloroethylene (TCE), into the ground and that toxic vapor from the chemical was coming up into their houses at unsafe levels.  Over 400 homes have been tested for vapors and elevated TCE levels were found in more than half. Contamination levels as much as 650 times the official “action level” have been found. One school has been closed due to contamination. The USEPA says this is one of the worst contamination sites in the country and has made it a Superfund site.

Mitigation systems, which are a patch but not a fix for the problem, have been installed in many homes but the TCE plume continues to move through the groundwater causing levels under the homes to constantly change.  For that reason, all of the homes need to be periodically retested in order to insure that they are safe, something the USEPA has not yet agreed to do.

BVOCAL spokesperson Jerry Bowling says, “We want to tell our story and to encourage the USEPA to retest all of our homes on an ongoing basis until the problem is resolved.”

The Ohio Department of Health has found that TCE exposure is linked to kidney cancer, liver cancer, non Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and several other types of cancer including Hodgkin’s lymphoma and cervical cancer.  A cancer incidence study of the McCook Field area completed by the Ohio Department of Health in August 2008 found that for all cancer types, the neighborhood had a significantly higher than expected number of cancer cases and that for 4 types of cancer associated with TCE exposure; liver, non Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and cervical cancer, there were more observed cases in the area than would have been expected.

TCE exposure can also cause other health effects such as headaches, lung irritation, dizziness, coordination and concentration difficulties, skin rashes, nerve and immune system damage and damage to fetal development. Many of these problems have been reported by residents of the neighborhood.

Chrysler discovered the TCE contamination on its property in 1989 or 1990.  Almost 20 years later, the site is still not being cleaned up despite the severity of the contamination and the number of people affected.

Now that Chrysler has filed bankruptcy, it appears that it may try to completely walk away from it’s responsibilities to this neighborhood.  The BVOCAL group is working to make sure that doesn’t happen and that the USEPA does everything it can to protect this community.

BVOCAL can be reached at, bo68chev@att.net , 937-224-5058, 522 Herbert St., Dayton, OH 45404.


July 11, 2009

I love Bob Dylan’s music, or most of it anyway. I really do, in fact I’m listening to one his records [LP] right now as I write. .He sounds like the old Dylan [oh,crap, that’s right, he is the old Dylan].

Let me be clear. I’ve seen Dylan in concert before and a great singer he’s not, a  stylistic Icon, yes…great singer, no. And from what I hear from folks who had seen him even earlier, he wasn’t all that great [as a singer] back then either.

As the opening croak of Lay Lady Lay tried to crawl off the stage in center field at the Dayton  Dragon’s ballpark July 10th, there was a palpable sense of seat shifting, a rustling, heads joined together, whispering, a quite rumbling, groaning. I said to my companion, ” I know he’s not a great singer, but, what was that!!??” She shrugged her shoulder and said” I don’t know but it sounds really awful.”

According to Wikpedia Lay Lady Lay “was originally written for the soundtrack of the movie Midnight Cowboy, but wasn’t submitted in time to make the final cut. [2] (more…)

Time for Bank Rationalization [Gaurdian UK]

February 4, 2009
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Time for Bank Rationalization

By Dean Baker Guardian(UK)

February 2, 2009


Leaks in the media indicate that the banks are about to inhale another helping of taxpayer dollars. This round is likely to be considerably larger than the $350 billion that they swallowed in the bailout last October.

The leaks from Obama administration officials without names suggest that the money will provide a further subsidy to bank executives and shareholders and may not even resolve the banks’ financial crisis. In other words, the banks may yet come back for more.

The rumored plan is for the government to buy up hundreds of billions of dollars of bad debt from banks and place it in a “bad bank.” The bad bank would then resell these assets for whatever price it could get from private buyers.

The basic problem with this sort of plan is that it requires that the government overpay for the bad assets. If we just pay Citigroup, Bank of America, and the rest what their assets are worth, then they would be bankrupt. They have taken enormous losses on these assets. If they had to own up to their losses, it would wipe out the capital of many, if not most, of the banks in the country.

Recent estimates from Goldman Sachs and Nouriel Roubini put the cumulative losses to the banking system at around $2.0 trillion. There is a lot of room for guess work in such estimates, but there can be little doubt that this number is in the right neighborhood.

We are in the process of losing $8 trillion in housing bubble wealth. Most of this will be absorbed by homeowners, but if just 10 percent of this loss accrues to banks, that would be $800 billion. In addition, banks have lent $3 trillion to support a bubble in commercial real estate. If one third of these more speculative loans go bad, and half of that loss is incurred by banks, that gets us another $500 billion. Add in $200 billion each in losses on credit card debt, car loans, and small business loans, all of which are now far shakier because borrowers no longer have home equity as a backdrop, and you get to the $2 trillion neighborhood.

This $2 trillion loss compares with bank capital of just $1.4 trillion, a large portion of which is rapidly disappearing “goodwill.” In other words, the losses to the banking system will almost certainly vastly exceed its capital. This is why the banks need to tap our wallets.

If we go the bad bank route and pay too much for bad assets, then taxpayers are effectively subsidizing bank shareholders, who would otherwise be wiped out, and bank executives, who would otherwise be looking at big pay cuts or unemployment.

But it gets even worse. There is no reason to think that the bad bank route will be sufficient for resolving the banks problems, at least not in Round I, because they may not come clean with all their bad assets.

It is important to remember that these banks are run by people who could not see an $8 trillion housing bubble. It is likely that they still don’t know the full seriousness of their problems. (The same can be said of Treasury Secretary Tim Geitthner and National Economic Advisor Larry Summers, the bad bank’s designers.)

Many of their loans have not yet gone bad. For example, underwater mortgages that are still current. The bad news on these loans will come when homeowners have to make short sales, which could leave banks with losses of $100k, or more, per loan. This means that the “bad bank” created under this plan will have to be an ongoing business, handing out more taxpayer dollars for the banks’ junk over the next several years.

There is a simple alternative, which can be called “bank rationalization” in order to avoid the “n” word. Under this scenario, the government would take possession of insolvent banks. This is not interference with the market, it is the market. Bankrupt banks go out of business, but due to their importance to the economy, we can’t let them be tied up in bankruptcy proceedings for years.

Dealing with the matter all at once can both allow for a quicker fix to the financial system and also ensure fairer treatment of bank creditors. First, the shareholders of bankrupt institutions must be forced to eat their losses. However, we may not want to honor all the debts of the banks at 100 cents on the dollar, which has been current practice.

While the government has guaranteed most deposits, it has not guaranteed the bonds and commercial paper of the banks, nor their commitments on credit default swaps (CDS) and other derivative instruments. If it takes possession of all the bankrupt banks at once, it can apply a uniform policy. For example, it could honor bonds at 90 cents on the dollar or only pay off full CDS obligations to those who actually own the bond that was being insured against default.

To force banks to own up to insolvency, bank rationalization can apply punitive terms to banks that fail subsequently and allow their creditors to hold bank executives personally liable for their losses. Such rules would lead to more truth telling from our bankers.

In short, bank rationalization is both much fairer and better for the economy than the bad bank plan. If only the people who missed the housing bubble can be forced to recognize this fact.

Afghan War: A Time of Great Discontent Looming: Obama’s Wars

January 7, 2009
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The true measure of a man is what he does with the promises
he makes. During last years presidential race I remained
skeptical about all of the candidates. Heard it, seen it
 before. Would Obama be a further disappointment as well?
His unwavering& uncritical support for Israel and a
willingness to escalate the US military involvement  in
Afghanistan have particularly troubled me. It really sounds
simplistic, but really, war is NOT the answer. In today's
NY Times the columnist  Bob Herbert writes about The Afghan
Quagmire [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/06/opinion/06herbert.html?th&emc=th]
and, on the Huffington Post, Tom Hayden offers an even
broader perspective.Will Obama piss of theprogressive/populist/left
base that helped put him in office? I hope not. At the same
time we cannot simply sit back and not be critical of
looming errors in judgment that could derail a much broader
agenda of hope and change.

Afghan War: A Time of Great Discontent Looming: Obama's Wars
By Tom Hayden
January 6, 2009


On January 21, President Barack Obama will take
personal responsibility for the wars in Afghanistan and
Pakistan launched under President Bush. The Afghan-
Pakistan war is uniquely Democratic in origin, however.
Since John Kerry's 2004 campaign, hawkish Democratic
security and political consultants have asserted that
Afghanistan is a good and necessary war in comparison
with Iraq which they label a diversionary one.

This argument has allowed Democrats to be critical of
the Iraq War without diminishing their standing as
hawks who will employ force to hunt down Al Qaeda. As a
result, the rank-and-file base of the Democratic Party,
and public opinion in general, remains divided and
confused over Afghanistan. As a result, opponents of
the Afghanistan escalation remain at the margins
politically for now, although backed by a healthy
public skepticism given the Iraq experience. (more…)

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