December 24, 2007 archive

Invisible Stuff


Pax, Libby and Me

I have posted pictures of my little sweetie Pax here before. But just in case you haven’t seen them, here she is.

Pax is a one year old teacup shih tzu and weighs in at just about 4 pounds. I brought her home just about a year ago, which was six months after I’d had to say goodbye to my buddy Henry the beagle.

Four at Four

Some news and afternoon open thread.

  1. The Guardian reports Cheney accused of blocking Californian bid to cut car fumes. “The US vice-president, Dick Cheney, was behind a controversial decision to block California’s attempt to impose tough emission limits on car manufacturers, according to insiders at the government Environmental Protection Agency. Staff at the agency, which announced last week that California’s proposed limits were redundant, said the agency’s chief went against their expert advice after car executives met Cheney, and a Chrysler executive delivered a letter to the EPA saying why the state should not be allowed to regulate greenhouse gases.”

  2. The Washington Post reports Bush administration ignored warnings about using on mercenaries in Iraq.

    The U.S. government disregarded numerous warnings over the past two years about the risks of using Blackwater Worldwide and other private security firms in Iraq, expanding their presence even after a series of shooting incidents showed that the firms were operating with little regulation or oversight, according to government officials, private security firms and documents.

    The warnings were conveyed in letters and memorandums from defense and legal experts and in high-level discussions between U.S. and Iraqi officials. They reflected growing concern about the lack of control over the tens of thousands of private guards in Iraq, the largest private security force ever employed by the United States in wartime.

    Neither the Pentagon nor the State Department took substantive action to regulate private security companies until Blackwater guards opened fire Sept. 16 at a Baghdad traffic circle, killing 17 Iraqi civilians and provoking protests over the role of security contractors in Iraq.

  3. According to The Hill, Kean says CIA is parsing words on interrogation tapes. “Former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean (R), a co-chairman of the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, criticized the CIA Monday for impeding the panel’s work. Kean said CIA tapes that showed interrogations of suspected terrorists should have been turned over to the panel, adding that they fell under a blanket request for information from the intelligence agency. The CIA has since destroyed the tapes, a move that has caused great controversy and criticism from both parties.”

  4. The Associated Press reports Big rise in those behind on credit card bills. “Americans are falling behind on their credit-card payments at an alarming rate, sending delinquencies and defaults surging by double-digit percentages in the past year and prompting warnings of worse to come. Experts say the problem is partly a byproduct of the subprime-mortgage crisis and could spell more trouble ahead for an already sputtering economy… Until recently, credit-card default rates had been running close to record lows… The value of credit-card accounts at least 30 days late jumped 26 percent to $17.3 billion in October from a year earlier…”

A story about the Military-Industrial-Santa-Complex lurks below the fold.

Santa Baby, let’s talk

(Cross-posted at Daily Kos)

Santa, honey, last year you left a wonderful CD for me, a two-disc set, “The Very Best of Eartha Kitt,” which includes not one, but two, versions of “Santa, Baby.” Now Santa, you know Eartha had something to say, sort of a “let’s get real talk,” so leave a little time for a chat as you sweep by for cookies and milk tonight.

An honest chat. It doesn’t have to be long. I know you’re busy. I’ll be truthful and I’ll keep it short, I promise. (I’m too mature for sweet. We’ll let it go at that.)

I’ve thought long and hard about this gift business, and I almost sent word for you to skip my house this year. We give too much business, anyway, to the corporate lords. But something stopped me from mentally telegraphing that message to you.

Happy Winter Solstice Everyone


Throughout history people have celebrated the time of the Winter Solstice.  The days are getting longer and the Sun has returned.  

reading in the raw… The Night Before Christmas

narrated by pfiore8

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

here it is… Clement Clarke Moore’s The Night Before Christmas


Personal Goals for 2008

About a month ago, I posted these words:

1. You can post 100 links to DocuD in a day

2. You can raise 20,000 dollars for Winter Rabbit in a week.

3. You can help a family get reunited.

4. You can fund a small community project in your home town.

5. You can tell 100 people about reducing their Carbon output this weekend.

6. You can host an Online Blogger’s Symposium with Guest Speakers.

7. You can decide the Veteran’s deserve another voice right now.

Let’s see how we did below the fold:

LCE: Market vs. Government, vs. Government and Market Institutions

The is a Lazy Comment Essay, where I copy a comment from elsewhere as a short essay.

This comment is in response to a comment thread in the diary on the European Tribune – LQD : Towards an Institutionalist Political Economy – a Manifesto.

ChrisCook says:

Re: LQD : Metaphysics

I believe that the problem is Metaphysical. The assumptions that underpin conventional Economics bear no relation to reality as we know it.

They are distorted in a way designed to suit the beneficiaries of the value flows that result from the surreal financial structures that comprise our current Economy.

linca replies:

Re: LQD : Metaphysics

I think one of their point is that not only money is important, and that economics, as a social science, needs to look beyond money, as it is not the only means of social exchange – that is basically the basic axiom of current economics, that are way to much based on econometrics.

The vote, the christmas gift, the exchange of drink rounds, are also important means of economical interaction, but are denied by the modern economics influenced thinking.

My Lazy Comment Essay, after the Fold.

Some call me Jesus

NOTE:  Reading Kid Oakland’s beautiful diary yesterday (which is still on the rec list at dkos as I write this) made me think of this diary originally posted September 3rd, 2006.  Given the timeliness I hope you will forgive the repost.  ~ OPOL

Some call me Jesus…

Others call me Yeshua, others the Son of Man.  By any name I am who I am.

Lately it has come to my attention that I have been swiftboated by a gang of lowly sinners who march under the banner of the Christian Right.  They have obfuscated my teachings and associated my name with the terrible sins of war profiteering, torture, and the dropping of bombs on innocents and children.  And those are just the beginnings of their transgressions.  With your permission, I would like to take this opportunity to set a few things straight.

DISCLAIMER:  Please forgive my hubris.  No offense is intended to anyone’s religion, or lack thereof – just a little creative channeling of the Blessed Redeemer on a Sunday morning (actually, just a few things I’ve been wanting to get off my chest re: the ‘Religious Right’).  Any heresy or error included herein is my own.  I don’t really speak for the Creator – or his family.  Oh, and apologies to pastordan for veering recklessly into his territory.  ~ OPOL  🙂  

(more below the fold…)

HONORING THE FALLEN: US Military KIA, Iraq – December 2007

This isn’t a few days past the end of the month, as we all know. The coming day is the Holiday that seems to have run amuck, no longer celebrating the birth of Christ, even for Christians, except in words only and going through the motions.

It’s become more of a grab fest of materialistic riches and buying frency starting with Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, which somehow also has lost it’s meaning, from the wew morning hours right through the evening hours of the Eve. And now, with the political primaries so close, for the coming elections, a Spirit of anything but The Birth and Teachings of Christ has developed, while his name is bandied about by those seeking political office!

But one thing has stayed consistant these last few years, because of a failure of our Countries Policies and it’s Arrogance, wether Christmas is celebrated or not, there will be tens of thousands of Empty Chairs at the dinner tables, and family gatherings, on the Eve of and on the Day of ‘The Birth of Christ’, a savior to some, a prophet to some, or non-existant to others!

The words of Jesus on his birthday

Since tonight we celebrate the birth of Jesus, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of the things he stood for during his life. I no longer consider myself a christian, but it’s not for lack of trying. I went to church at least 3 times a week growing up, attended a christian high school and college, and finally got my master’s degree at a seminary. So sometimes I feel like I’ve heard just about everything there is to say about Jesus.

But a theology professor of mine at the seminary used to talk regularly about how christians today focus on Jesus’ birth and death – but don’t talk much about his life in between the two. That’s why Christmas is probably the biggest holiday of the year and its also why they LOVED the movie “The Passion of the Christ.”

The life of Jesus is where he presented challenges to all of us in showing us how we can live in a way that truly does transform the world. In our power-driven consumer society – those messages go right to the heart of what’s wrong with our culture and ask us to live another way.

I also had a professor in college who took his bible and cut out all the verses (old and new testament) that were instructions for us to care for the poor, the widowed and the children. He would hold up that bible in class and show us that there was not much left after all that was taken out in order to make the point that today, we tend to miss the central message.  

And So This Is Christmas…

The Betrayal Is Complete: Permanent Occupation Of Iraq

If you ever doubted it…

…this should resolve the question once and for all: We are on our own.

Asked about her “greatest mistake,” Pelosi said Why don’t you tell me? ‘Cause I think we’re doing just great.” Remember when Georgie stumbled over a similar question and couldn’t recall any mistakes? It seems Our Only President is not the only one so afflicted.

The hand-off…

“Principles” for Permanent Iraqi Presence:

A “democratic Iraq” here means the Shiite-led Iraqi government. The current political arrangement will receive U.S. military protection against coups or any other internal subversion. That’s something the Iraqi government wants desperately: not only is it massively unpopular, even among Iraqi Shiites, but the increasing U.S.-Sunni security cooperation strikes the Shiite government — with some justification — as a recipe for a future coup.

In other words, we’re staying in Iraq to defend George Bush’s ass, and his puppet Nouri al-Maliki against all enemies, foreign and domestic. What will the presidential candidates say about this?


And So This Is Christmas… and what have you done?

Cross posted at OOIBC, Edgeing, and dKos

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