December 2007 archive

This is me just foolin’ around. (Updated)

I’ve acquired some new tools and I am struggling to come up to speed with them.  I’ve only begun the learning process but here’s the first video project I’ve been able to complete.  It has issues so please forgive its shortcomings.  Bigger and better things are coming (I hope).  Any pointers from the pros are most welcome.

Update:  I smoothed out some of the transitions.  Thanks for the feedback.

Aggregating: a year in a life

We get older.  As we do, it sometimes seems regrettable that we may be running out of time to say what we have to say…need to say…and do what we have to do.  So much effort in life is spent trying to support having the time to do what we deem important, that it often seems that the important stuff doesn’t get done.

There isn’t enough time.

Then, of course, there is the fact that what we may deem important to do to improve the world around us is not something others will see the importance of.  We are each doomed to practice our own brand of insanity.  Or not.

My life has been full of Or not moments.  I may have chosen Or not too many times.  Or not.

In the last quarter of my life there were times when I did not choose Or not.  The Observer in me recorded the words.  I spent much of the past year sharing some of them.

Now available in Orange

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

Today’s Top Story!

Why would I kid?

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 R.I.P. to Court TV, hello to truTV

By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer

1 hour, 1 minute ago

NEW YORK – Court TV, R.I.P. The network that burst into public consciousness with the O.J. Simpson trial and other big-name courtroom dramas in the 1990s becomes part of television history Tuesday, renamed truTV to emphasize its prime-time action programming.

Besides the name, there won’t be many immediate changes to what Court TV has become. The six remaining hours of legal-oriented material during the day will remain, labeled “In Session.”

The Tuesday premiere of “Ocean Force Huntington Beach O.C.” typifies the network’s direction. The series follows lifeguards on a busy California beach, emphasizing heart-pounding rescues rather than hours spent ogling hot bodies.

That’s about as far from swearing in a witness as you can get, but Court TV’s viewers are used to the disconnect.

Cynical?  Moi?  I welcome our new insect overlords.

You might think the news below the fold is more tru.


Family Polling Over Xmas?

We are all beautiful people, with so much to give…..

Wait, that is Al Green…I think. My mind is still mush after traveling, let me try again…

We are all politically minded folks here and I assume that at least some of us are able to talk politics with our close and extended families. And since we are coming out of the biggest family gathering of the year, I would love to hear YOUR families views on the big issues of the day.

I was able to ask the fam two clear questions before they were distracted by shiny new toys and various other fattening and/or inebriating distractions. The brief results are below the fold…

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Loving Spoonful

What a day for a Daydream

Pretty Bird Woman House at over $80K! THANK YOU and HAPPY NEW YEAR

This is a diary by AndyT, cross posted from Big Orange and the Pretty Bird Woman House blog.

The Gray Lady

There has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over the coming ascension of Bill Kristol to the august pages of The New York Times.  I’m afraid to say that I mostly agree with Andy Rosenthal (as reported by Editor and Publisher, h/t Atrios), I don’t understand what the fuss is all about.  After all, “We have views on our op-ed page that are as hawkish or more so than Bill”.

If you expect The New York Times  to be a progressive voice championing the values of the “community” they supposedly serve, the citizens of the Metropolitan New York area, they do; but that “community” may not have exactly the demographics you think.  The Gray Lady stands for the truth of the informed insider, the justice of the powerful and connected, and the Wall Street Way.

They are mired in the media madness that traps most of the dead tree dying dinosaurs.  Confronted with their own inevitable extinction as organs of influence they are in denial of the retreat of the ice age, doomed to suffocate under the tangled fur of the web of deceit and lies they have peddled over the last 20 years.

There was a time I’d read 4 or more newspapers a day, The Courant, The Times, The News, and The Stars Hollow Shopper, and consider myself informed.  More than that I’d read the supermarket glossies- Time, Newsweek, and U.S News and World Report.  WCBS Newsradio 88 with traffic and weather together at 8, 18, 28, 38, 48, and 58 minutes past the hour (WINS was first in the format, but not clear channel).

The only ones who survive are WCBS (did I mention traffic and weather together?) and The Stars Hollow Shopper (♥ me some coupons).

The disconnect in the plain reality that my own two eyes show me every single day and the dusty dirty gray tissues stained with blood and other less identifiable and honorable fluids that pile up in our landfills as pristine and unread as the day it was delivered on your doorstep, useful as a stop or for wrapping fish or lining litter boxes and bird cages; has led me to more productive pursuits.

Earlier (but not in the new media of record thank goodness) I mourned the passing of these shambling shadows of former greatness, these future fossils of folly and hubris; now I ignore them as irrelevant when I don’t hunt them for sport.

Peeling the Onion

Lately I’ve been reflecting a bit about my own journey to understand and undo racism in my life. I was steeped in it – growing up mostly in east Texas where the lines dividing “us and them” were drawn clearly and never crossed. I remember a few years ago I pulled out my old high school year book. I grew up in a small town (about 20,000 at the time) and we had two high schools – one white and one black. As I looked at my yearbook I was stunned to see that there were black students who went to my “white” school. It shames me to no end that I NEVER SAW them.

But don’t worry, my plan is not to take you step by step through this long journey I continue to be on, but simply to talk a bit about the fact that it is a journey. I think the classic metaphor of peeling an onion one layer at a time is very apt in this instance.


3901 with Today and Tomorrow till Month Ends

Sadly since posting this on the 24th, for Christmas Eve, there have been four more confirmed Deaths of American Military Personal in Iraq!

I was hoping that I wouldn’t find a need to Update that original post after the month of December ends!

But I will with a heavy heart!

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Curved Air

Melinda (More or Less)

Docudharma Times Sunday Dec.30

This is an Open Thread: Cheese Burgers

Headlines For Sunday December 30: Tapes by C.I.A. Lived and Died to Save Image: Sorting Truth From Campaign Fiction: Surge in Off-Roading Stirs Dust and Debate in West: Far from case closed in Pakistan

Teenage son to take on Benazir Bhutto’s legacy

BENAZIR BHUTTO’S 19-year-old son Bilawal will be thrust into a dangerous spotlight today as Pakistan’s most powerful political dynasty prepares to pass the baton to the next generation.

Bilawal, a first-year undergraduate at Oxford University, is the heir to a blood-soaked legacy. He lost his mother to an assassin on Thursday; his uncles both died in suspicious circumstances; and his grandfather, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was hanged in 1979 after being deposed from power.

Last night Britain’s foreign office confirmed that Benazir Bhutto met David Miliband, the foreign secretary, shortly before she returned to Pakistan from exile in October and warned him of a plot against her life. Bhutto and Miliband had spoken regularly on the telephone since that meeting and her concerns about her safety were passed on to the Pakistani authorities.


Tapes by C.I.A. Lived and Died to Save Image

WASHINGTON – If Abu Zubaydah, a senior operative of Al Qaeda, died in American hands, Central Intelligence Agency officers pursuing the terrorist group knew that much of the world would believe they had killed him.

So in the spring of 2002, even as the intelligence officers flew in a surgeon from Johns Hopkins Hospital to treat Abu Zubaydah, who had been shot three times during his capture in Pakistan, they set up video cameras to record his every moment: asleep in his cell, having his bandages changed, being interrogated.

In fact, current and former intelligence officials say, the agency’s every action in the prolonged drama of the interrogation videotapes was prompted in part by worry about how its conduct might be perceived – by Congress, by prosecutors, by the American public and by Muslims worldwide.

“You cannot work after you turn 65”

As many of you know, I am currently on vacation in the Philippines — a working vacation of sorts, if you count life work, in that I have met for the first time my five stepchildren, two stepgrandchildren, father-in-law, the sole remaining sib of my wife’s whom I had not met in the States, and about 150 other relations whom my wife has absolved me of the need to keep straight.  (I’ll meet them when they visit — which I’m told they all will, if they can help it.)

I also met my wife’s friend, principal of the school that my stepkids attend, which is evidently (having been chosen because of how much my wife values education) among the best in Pampanga.  (That is the province containing Clark Air Base, which — until Mt. Pinatubo erupted after having waited until the Cold War was safely over — was along with Subic Bay the major U.S. base in the region.)  The friend is turning 60, so competent that the school’s owner has begged her to stay, but is going to emigrate to the U.S. instead.  After all, she said, you’re supposed to retire at 60.

Oh really, I said, and after some stupid blundering on my part it came out that you were supposed to retire by 60 but had to retire after 65.  “Had to” as in “cannot legally work.”  Cannot take jobs away from the younger people who need them.  I had lawyer’s questions about how truly true this was — what if you are self-employed, I don’t think I thought to ask, but there were others, and from both her and my wife the answer was firm.  Cannot work.  You lived on savings, on the support of your family, on the kindness of charity — or not at all.

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