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Campus Chatter – November 18, 2012

November 18, 2012

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Campus Chatter – November 18, 2012

Today in history, greetings, and social banter here. (More)

The old St. Peter’s Basilica was consecrated today (326). Also, legend holds that William Tell shot an apple off his son’s head (1307), 10,000 people died and 72 villages in the Netherlands were destroyed when a seawall at the Zuiderzee dike broke in the Sint-Elisabethsvloed (1421), Christopher Columbus sighted Puerto Rico (1493), the new St. Peter’s Basilica was consecrated (1626), Mark Twain’s The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County was published in the New York Saturday Press (1865), U.S. and Canadian railroads implemented five standard time zones (1883), the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty granted the U.S. exclusive control of the Panama Canal Zone (1903), Latvia declared independence (1918), the Disney short film Steamboat Willie was released (1928), the Grand Banks Earthquake broke 12 transatlantic telegraph cables and triggered a tsunami that flooded the Burin Peninsula (1929), members elected John L. Lewis the first president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (1938), the first push-button phone went into service (1963), Jim Jones led his Peoples Temple cult in a mass murder-suicide in Guyana (1978), and 12 people died when Texas A&M’s annual ‘Aggie Bonfire’ collapsed during construction (1999). And the United Kingdom’s Local Government Act repealed the anti-LGBT Section 28 (2003).

Good morning! ::hugggggs::

34 Responses to “Campus Chatter – November 18, 2012”

  1. NCrissieB Says:

    Yesterday on Campus

    Morning FeatureThe Victory Lab, Part III: Who Voted, and Why? (Non-Cynical Saturday)
    Campus QuestionIs the Black Friday strike and boycott of Walmart having an effect?

    Today on Campus

    Morning Feature20/20 Hindsight? (Ask Ms. Crissie)
    Furthermore! – Winning Progressive with Weekend Reading
    Noontime News at noon
    Campus Question at 6pm ET
    Evening Focus at 7pm ET – Silly Sunday: L’Affaire Petraeus
    Our Earth at 8pm ET – Eco News Roundup

  2. Jim W Says:

    Good morning. Sunny and Clear this week. Highs in the 50s. Perfect weather for the demonstrations. Keystone XL today at 3:00pm.

    • winterbanyan Says:

      I take it you’re going to a demonstration, Jim? Or are you following it. It’s certainly time to get out the placards again. :)

    • NCrissieB Says:

      If you attend today’s Keystone XL demonstration, Jim, please tell us about it tomorrow in Things We Did This Week? :)

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      • Jim W Says:

        Sorry I feel old today. Swim this morning. Dinner in the dining room with 200 friends. Seven course meal with Lamb, Flounder with Crab, and Chicken. Practice Pool this afternoon. Also do bulletin board announcement for next Mondays UU Fellowship meeting.

  3. Norbrook Says:

    Good morning! It’s currently 21 degrees and foggy. Supposedly, the sky is clear, but it’s hard to tell what with all the fog. I have a short work week ahead. Depending on weather and condition of car, I’ll be spending Thanksgiving at my sister’s. It’ll be nice for once to have a road trip that does not involve having teeth pulled or drilled. :lol:

    • winterbanyan Says:

      I’m glad you’ll be spending Thanksgiving with your sister. There’s nothing less inspiring than a holiday alone. Even better that you don’t have to fit the dentist in. :D

    • NCrissieB Says:

      This …

      Supposedly, the sky is clear, but it’s hard to tell what with all the fog.

      … should be posted on the wall of every meteorologist’s office. :lol:

      I hope you get to enjoy Thanksgiving with your sister … and that she doesn’t invite her new friend … your dentist…. ;-)

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      • Norbrook Says:

        The reason I said depending on the condition of the car, is that it’s going into the garage for its winter service and annual inspection. Hopefully, nothing gets found that needs … parts.

  4. winterbanyan Says:

    It should be of concern to all of us that while 58% of America’s workers would like to be unionized, only 8% are in the private sector. Over the last 20 years, anti union activities by corporations have increased significantly, many of their actions illegal. Weak labor laws and enforcement have aided the erosion.

    It has become standard practice for workers to be subjected by corporations to threats, interrogation, harassment, surveillance, and retaliation for supporting a union. An analysis of the 1999-2003 data on NLRB election campaigns finds that:

    63%of employers interrogate workers in mandatory one-on-one meetings with their supervisors about support for the union;
    54% of employers threaten workers in such meetings;
    57% of employers threaten to close the worksite;
    47% of employers threaten to cut wages and benefits; and
    34% of employers fire workers.

    Additionally firing one worker gets the anti-union message to about 395 others.

    There is an interesting report here with a lot of great links to explore the issues and how they are playing out.

    After reading this, I no longer wonder that our union friends are feeling tepid toward the Democratic Party. After we get through the fiscal “cliff” “slope” or whatever, this is an issue that is going to require our attention. The adverse effect on hardworking Americans is huge.

    Hugggs and good morning!

    • LI Mike Says:

      Agree, Winter. Democrats have been too tepid fighting the ant-union forces.

    • NCrissieB Says:

      I agree that we Democrats must stand in solidarity with hardworking Americans who want to organize to protect themselves from abuse and exploitation in the workplace. I hope all BPI faculty, staff, students, and visitors will click the panel in our left column and join the Black Friday protest effort.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      • addisnana Says:

        Do I stand with the unions and others protesting Walmart? Absolutely. I don’t go anywhere near any stores on black Friday or that entire weekend. The petition ask me to take action at a Walmart near me.

        I signed something at Working Americans in solidarity. I’d buy a button that said “I support Walmart employees right to unionize” and go into the store as a customer and maybe buy toothpaste but not that weekend.

    • Gardener Says:

      Correct, as usual…….. As far as I know, the UMWA made no endorsement in the presidential race, precisely because of this. EFCA was first under the bus, after they’d supported BHO in 2008. Not saying I agree with the non-endorsement, mind you, but that’s the way it is…….

      Peace, G

  5. LI Mike Says:

    Good Morning,

    I caught up with the local news yesterday, reading a couple of back issues of the Southampton Press got me current with post-superstorm Sandy issues. Juxtaposing those articles and columns with the NYT’s continuing articles about the devastation in NYC gives excellent insight into class and race in this country.

    Southampton and East Hampton Towns: The big issue, other than burying electrical wires rather than stringing them above ground, has to do barrier beach protection. Southampton Town is proposing a $25,000,000 fund to replenish beaches so that the uber wealthy (doesn’t say it in the article, but that is the effect) can rest assured that no drop of sand will go ungathered to protect their ocean-front homes. Interesting guest columns and letters to ed point out that in the end, mother nature on steroids (climate change) will have its way.

    Far Rockaway: I’m guessing that the eastern most point of Far Rockaway is about 60 miles from where I live. In yesterday’s NYT they point out the culture and class issues arising from the 2 sides of NYC. The working class and poor who reside in Far Rockaway and the non-poor who are volunteering. What the NYT is saying is that the poor are beginning to resent the volunteers as paternalistic do-gooders who constantly make bad assumptions about their (the poor peoples) lives. For example, a volunteer asked a little girl when she last ate; the father, offended, asked the volunteer how the heck he thought he treated his child. Many other examples cited in the article.

    Me: I think we are doomed out here. We’re starting to see this weird weather and global warming is only starting to kick the avg temp up less than a degree. We will not halt temperature rise soon enough to save Eastern LI. I pray that I am wrong.

    • winterbanyan Says:

      I hope you’re wrong, too, Mike. And if you didn’t have so many family and friends locally, I’d suggest moving to your condo here, except that it’s going to suffer the same slings and arrows of an aroused Mother Nature. :(

      I’ve been hearing about the class-based problems. Ripples and offenses are getting to the level of occasionally poking up on the news elsewhere.

      Current science says that even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, we’d be unable to stop the train: 500 years to settle back down from this.

      I’m not sure it’s doom, but it’s going to be a huge, huge challenge. Currently scientists and urban planners are working together to develop mitigation plans for communities that are/will be affected. Planning for the inescapable makes sense to me.

      • winterbanyan Says:

        P.S. Beach renourishment is common here in FL after hurricanes. The question becomes should all the state’s taxpayers pay to protect the property of the wealthy few with beachfront homes. We have the argument every time.

        I think we’re going to need to face the fact that eventually dredging and replacing sand at huge expense is no longer going to protect anyone. At best it’s a temporary measure…until the next storm. Our coastlines are on the move, like it or not.

    • NCrissieB Says:

      While President Obama has led huge strides on energy efficiency, spurring the growth of renewable energy sources, and reducing our nation’s CO2 emissions to 1990 levels, I agree that it’s likely too late to halt climate change. Continued efforts like those over the past four years may slow the change, but we must make natural disaster mitigation a major planning focus at the local, regional, and federal levels. We can’t prevent storms like Sandy, but we can be better prepared for them.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • Norbrook Says:

      As has been pointed out, climate change is a reality, and it’ll take a long time to reverse the rise in CO2 even if we were to stop emitting today. About 4 years ago, I was reading a study done by the state about the rise in sea levels and impacts. I wish I still had the link, but most of the severely damaged areas in Sandy happen to be … right where the study said they’d be.

      One of the challenges ahead, besides “disaster hardening” our infrastructure, is that people need to stop building on areas that are prone to disasters. I’ve gotten to the point where I have little sympathy for someone who has built a house on the ocean shore, and a storm destroys it. Seriously, what did they think would happen?

  6. Gardener Says:

    Good frosty morning!

    We have blue skies, bright sunshine, and 32 degrees. Sowed some lettuce in the greenhouse yesterday. The late season lettuce out there looks great! We’ve been having high temperatures in the 50′s, and it’s very nice when the sun shines. PW did some more weeding. We’re expecting company monday, and want the place to look nice!

    Union meeting this morning, won’t be attending church….. Gonna carpool with Harley Rich, meet him about 9-ish at their house. Hope all is well!

    Best, G

    • NCrissieB Says:

      Ahh, the ol’ “spruce up for guests” plan. I should probably think about that at some point, in case I ever have guests…. ;-)

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • winterbanyan Says:

      Sounds like a great day ahead, Gardener. :) Tomorrow sounds even better. I’m envious. I’d like to join y’all for coffee and a tour of that cold frame. :)

      Have a great day!

      • Gardener Says:

        You can be here in spirit. I’m hoping she’ll take some photos and post here! What a shame that the garden is winding down. There’s still stuff to eat out there, but not like in summer. Heavy Metal Girl and I were on our own yesterday, had broccoli side shoots about 2 hours from garden to plate, mmmmm………

  7. Gardener Says:

    Side note: I’m sure many of you have seen the sad story in the news about the UP train hitting a flatbed truck in Texas and the resulting death and injuries. I caught a brief piece of a national news program last night, and the reporter rather breathlessly, IMO, announced that the train brakes had, at some point, been in emergency. Also the the train speed in that 70 MPH territory was a bit over 60 MPH……

    At 60 MPH, given the whistle board at the prescribed 1/4 mile from the crossing, they’d of been to the crossing in 15 seconds or less, after the whistle board. Even if the train brakes had been placed in emergency AT the whistle board, in my judgement and experience, the train AT BEST would’ve slowed mebbe 1 or 2 MPH, if that…… Would depend on the type of train, etc. I am guessing it was an intermodal, but that’s just a guess. I feel sorry for the crew, and the victims…..

    Just so you know.

    • winterbanyan Says:

      Thanks for the info, Gardener. A great many people have no concept of how hard it is to stop even a slow-moving train. Or even how fast they may be moving, because they look so big.

      My heart goes out to all the victims and crew, too, and a plea: stay the heck off railroad crossings, especially if the lights are flashing, whether or not you can see a train. A wise rule is to always stop, look, listen.

      Although I gotta admit that the deep sound made my a train somehow doesn’t seem to register with the brain. I remember a night when the only thing that saved me was a car stopped at an uncontrolled crossing. Evidently the driver ahead of me had see the headlight down the line. By the time I got there, I couldn’t see a dang thing and wondered why they were stopped. Then I saw a flash of light between the wheels of the train from a building the other side. Only then did I hear that deep, deep rumbling…and wondered how the hell I’d failed to notice it.

    • NCrissieB Says:

      Our thoughts go out to everyone involved. Thank you for the insight, Gardener.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  8. addisnana Says:

    Good Morning. I made it to my cousins in St. Louis yesterday. Last night was trivia night for Trailnet, a non-profit organization that promotes safe walking and cycling in the St. Louis area. Our table came in second. It was a fun fundraiser. Each table brought their own food. Ten categories of questions, each with ten questions. The emcee asked the questions and they appeared on a screen behind him as well. Wide array of fun trivia and it helped that we had a 12 year old at our table who knew about Justin Beiber and stuff that left the rest of the table clueless.

    • NCrissieB Says:

      That sounds like a fun evening, addisnana. :) I’m glad y’all did so well … and good job drafting that 12-year-old to handle the youth pop culture questions! ;-)

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    • winterbanyan Says:

      Sounds like a really fun evening, addisnana. :) Good job, especially getting the 12 yr old.