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Today In History
On July 8, 1909
1st pro baseball game (minor league) played under lights

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IF YOU’VE GOT QUESTIONS ABOUT SOLAR ENERGY ... Not all that long ago now President Barack Obama "announced that ... grants will be available for those wishing to do research in renewable energy ... such as wind [and] solar." The next day "German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG said ... it will acquire a 28 per cent stake in Archimede Solar Energy S.p.A. to expand its expertise in solar thermal power plants." Meanwhile, for mere mortals who just want to know more the OpenSolar blog in the San Francisco Bay Area has been expanding its resources for letting you "ask questions about solar technology and get personal answers from experienced solar professionals and installation owners." All this remains one big piece in the big new clean-energy future that lies ahead. You can check it out in depth at ABOUT OPEN SOLAR!

CAPITALISM, SOCIALISM AND DEMOCRACY IN USA TODAY .. my weekend with Mike and Eliot on TV  
Written by Dominic Berry  
Monday, 23 March 2009  

TORONTO, CANADA. Monday, March 23, 2009. At some points in the history of your own time you realize that if you keep taking the mass media seriously you will probably contract some dread disease. (In Canada of course our mass media are so modest that it is sometimes hard work just to find them on your radio dial or TV remote. But that’s another question.) Now that President Barack Obama has been in office just over two months, the US airwaves are suddenly rife with quite absurd things about the generally excellent job he is doing, in the midst of the many challenges of the new Great Recession of 2008–????. To even vaguely imply, e.g., that there are remotely sensible people abroad in the land who are somehow blaming the president for either the AIG bonus payments or the current economic troubles generally — or to imply that President Obama is somehow introducing "Leninism" into American government and politics — is nothing short of hysterically funny, and/or "laughing to keep from crying" at best. And so it was reassuring this past weekend to hear from a real if very rare and exotic US socialist democrat, Mike Davis of California, and a real capitalist democrat, Eliot Spitzer of New York, on PBS and CNN. Democracy in America, apparently, has not gone altogether crazy yet! (And with Canadian oil helping the stock markets soar, Fox Noise is just ... well, they are certifiably crazy, of course — and certainly not any kind of democrats, as everyone already knew.)

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 May 2009 )

IS THERE ANY WAY OBAMA CAN LOSE .. what will it mean for Canada if he wins?  
Written by the counterweights editors  
Friday, 24 October 2008  

The actual US election is now less than a dozen days away. And if you’re wondering how an Associated Press-GfK poll can show Barack Obama at 44% nationally, and John McCain at 43%, while at least "two other surveys put Obama ahead by 10 points or more," you are not alone. Polling guru John Zogby has urged that this AP survey is "not only an outlier, it’s just preposterous!" (Zogby’s own current results put Obama ahead 52%–42%.) At the same time, even Zogby (who seems to be saying the AP survey underestimates an expected "sizeable turnout of young people") also finally allows that in this election "anything can happen." Or, as Rosa Brooks has explained in the Los Angeles Times, for many Americans still "America, after all, has been led by white Anglo-Saxons for the last two-plus centuries and, for the last 40 years, mostly by Republicans. For that to change is almost unthinkable." Even so, it is apparently equally true enough that most polls do show Barack Obama with a comfortable lead at the moment. The conventional wisdom is that, barring some altogether dramatic unforseen development, he is probably going to become the first US President of African American descent. And what many of us in Canada are already thinking about is what does this mean for the true north, strong and free, under Prime Minister Stephen Harper?


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 November 2008 )

OBAMANOMICS IS THE RIGHT STUFF RIGHT NOW .. if only Obama can figure out how to sell it?  
Written by L. Frank Bunting  
Sunday, 24 August 2008  

"During my formative years," Barack Obama has told David Leonhardt of the New York Times, "there was still ideological competition between a social-democratic or even socialist agenda and a free-market, Milton Friedman agenda. I think it was natural for me to ask questions of both sides and maybe try to synthesize approaches." Mr. Leonhardt’s report on the new Obamanomics, on the eve of the Democratic Party Convention in Denver, suggests that the resulting synthesis just might be close enough for jazz to just what the doctored ordered, for the "broken" US and even global economies today. The trouble is that the synthesis remains for the most part buried in "a hodgepodge of position papers." The "biggest weak spot in his, and his party’s, economic agenda" is that Mr. Obama "still hasn’t quite figured out how to sell it" — simply and "elegantly" (in the old manner of Ronald Reagan). It may be that his new vice presidential running mate Joe Biden will be able to help. One way or another, something has to happen, soon. As Mr. Leonhardt also explains, "John McCain’s economic vision, as he has laid it out during the campaign, amounts to a slightly altred version of Republican orthodoxy, with tax cuts at the core" — that has done so much to create the current mess in the first place.


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Last Updated ( Friday, 24 October 2008 )

NEWS FROM WEST VIRGINIA .. Can Obama really do it .. and what will it mean for Canada if he does?
NAFTAGATE — DOES IT MATTER .. and does it all go back to Michael Wilson's private talk with CTV?
PAST VERSUS FUTURE .. Obamamania part deux now in motion .. what does it mean for true north?
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