December 2007 archive

Brattleboro, VT activists seek to arrest Bush & Cheney

Brattleboro, Vermont is in the heart of the Vermont impeachment movement. Brattleboro was one of the first five towns to pass the popular impeachment resolution and now activists want to take it to another level… if you can call it that.

According to Dave Gram of AP:

A group in Brattleboro is petitioning to put an item on a town meeting agenda in March that would make Bush and Vice President Cheney subject to arrest and indictment if they visit the southeastern Vermont community.

“This petition is as radical as the Declaration of Independence, and it draws on that tradition in claiming a universal jurisdiction when governments fail to do what they’re supposed to do,” said Kurt Daims, 54, a retired machinist leading the drive


The measure asks: “Shall the Selectboard instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution, and publish said indictment for consideration by other municipalities?”

Daims has been circulating documents that claim the community acquires a “universal jurisdiction” to take such steps “when governments breach their highest duties.”

“We have the full power to issue indictments, conduct trials, incarcerate offenders and do all other acts which Independent jurisdictions may of right do,” the statement says.

OK. I’m an impeachment advocate (and I live outside Brattleboro for that matter) but somebody please tell me why this is legally invalid and completely moronic. Here’s a response I got from Kurt Daims, the author of the resolution

Kurt’s words state that it does not need to necessarily have current legal standing. The Declaration of Independence had no legal standing in its time, yet it was essential, and effective.

To read more of what Kurt Daims wrote click here. Better yet, chime in at iBrattleboro.

I can’t wait to hear what Armando, edger, and andgarden have to say about this!

Iglesia ……………………………………… Episode 20

(Iglesia is a serialized novel, published on Tuesdays and Saturdays at midnight ET, you can read all of the episodes by clicking on the tag.)

Previous Episode

….and he hadn’t heard.

All he had heard was the pounding of his nearly exploding heart in his ears, all he had seen was the tunnel of red rage intense focused at the treatment of his beloved mother. It was not until he had killed the man….not until he heard the shot, not until he saw them dragging her away…

Barack Obama will change the system

I have been interested in politics for two years at most. I have only become a political geek as of the last few months. Over that time I have become convinced that we need real progressive change to lift up this country and make it great again. I have also become convinced that to do that we need real, systematic change. That can mean a lot of things but in this case I am talking about changing the way the political process works. To make a progressive America we need full public financing of elections for all elections. We need media reform that will restore balance and reason to the political debate in our country. We need a transparent government so the people can hold the politicians accountable. We need election reform to insure all political voices have a say and that everyone who wants to vote can vote. We need to reign in the power of corporate lobbyists.

In short we need to close all the loopholes that allow the rich and powerful in this country to have a larger say in democracy then average people.  I believe that out of all the candidates running Barack Obama is the one who will do the most to implement these systematic reforms.

Music of your Life

So hey, it’s time to do another one of these for your listening pleasure….

Tonight, I think we’ll take you from cradle to grave.

First things first:

whether you realize it or not……

it’s tough to be a baby!

Life continues below the fold……

Saturday Night Bike Blogging: Anyone Get a Bike for Christmas?

Anyone get a Bike for Christmas?

Could it do this?

This is a Transport Cycling Open Thread: if you didn’t get a bike for Christmas, and don’t cycle in the winter, share what your first cycle trip of the new year is likely to be.

Pony Party: Non-Binding, Non-Resolutionary, Non-Revolutionary um Goals

I am a little hesitant to make New Year’s resolutions. Can you tell? I am especially reluctant this year because it will likely be a tough year emotionally. Grandma is not doing well, my mother seems to think she is just basically running out of energy and has called me several times this year feeling at her wit’s end. I am planning on going home in January and my sense is that it won’t be a restful visit. My mother called today and said she thinks grandma is hanging on for my visit and after that she is very uncertain. Mom is not the overly dramatic type and interestingly, earlier this year she expressed to me that she was not ready for her to go and now she feels sad watching my grandma struggle so hard with fatigue and try so hard just to do routine things and is more ready to let her go. It doesn’t matter if your parents or grandparents are elderly and ill and running out of steam…. nobody entirely wants to let go. I am steeling myself for a sad visit.

A little sadness is good, I think. We spend so much time effort and energy into avoiding pain and sadness that when it hurts you perhaps it is more intense? Life is sad, that is the price we sometimes pay for living for being allowed to experience the wonders of the universe. Everything does not have a happy ending. Sometimes there are no clear cut resolutions and we don’t get that “closure” we seek probably because life and the universe is an endless wheel not a 30 minute sit com or an hour long family drama in which the main character just hug it out at the end. Packages are not always wrapped neatly in our world, we are not always as witty, articulate or as wise as we think we should be and loved ones who were once vibrant just lose that light. It is all at once so simple and very very complicated.

A few simple goals for myself this year. Get back on the exercise wagon, keep up with my housework in a more systemic way, learn to deal with my anger triggered by a few particular people at work who always seem to know how to get my inner goat, and accept that my grandma might just be ready to vacate the world soon whether we want her to or not.

What are your hopeful goals this year????

Remember…. hang out and chit chat but don’t rec pony party, when you are done here go read one of the excellent offerings on our recent and rec’d list.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Weak end to 2007 expected for carmakers


Sat Dec 29, 10:57 AM ET

DETROIT – Industry analysts are predicting a lackluster end to an already dismal year for automakers, likely the worst in nearly a decade.

Holiday discounts failed to bring consumers out of their funk, and December sales are expected to fall around 4 percent, which would bring the full-year total for U.S. auto sales to 16.1 million vehicles, the lowest volume since 1998.

Sales have been hurt by consumer anxiety over gas prices, the housing crunch and the overall weakening economy.

Industry watchers warn that the 2008 auto sales performance could be even weaker.

A Force More Powerful


Probably, no nation is rich enough to pay for both war and civilization.

We must make our choice; we cannot have both.

– Abraham Flexner  


War is a Racket.

– General Smedley Butler

The creative and inventive list of nonviolent peace strategies below is from the website A Force More Powerful:


There is also a game available; read about it here:



A few days ago a friend sent me this link, knowing my curmudgeonly bent.  

The Edge Annual Question – 2007


It’s a great site, and full of things to think about. Mostly Science based.

I know Compound F is familiar with it…

maybe other are too.  plf515 I’m guessing, Kurzweil is my first selection.…

and with recent inspiration from Fearless Leader…

and the early classic…

and most succinctly:

What is the basis for your optimism? (4.00 / 2)

“We can’t change the country. Let us change the subject.” Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses, by James Joyce(1922).  


by: oculus @ Mon Oct 08, 2007 at 15:47:57 PDT


optimism (4.00 / 2)

Reality is the result of war between two rival groups of progammers, so….Yell Louder!!!


by: buhdydharma @ Mon Oct 08, 2007 at 19:22:44 PDT


Me? Not so much.

In my search of DD, I found 33 comments with the word ‘optimism’, 13 with ‘optimist’, 51 with ‘optimistic’,  some of these comments included the word ‘not’.

Below is a sampling of some of the things written by a selection of the rest of the world’s best minds.  I haven’t read every one, so I just picked some whose names I recognized, then a couple of whom I had never heard.  (sorry, it’s still beaten into me).   Some are chosen just for their snark value. My sense so far is that many are optimistic about advances/improvements in their field, and then how maybe this translates into a better world.  Like I said, there’s lots there, so those of you who are looking for some rays of sunshine, take your time and browse.  Post if you find something you like.  I believe most are using a ‘soft’ definition of ‘optimism’, along the lines of ‘some things will get better’, contrast with ‘worst-case scenario’.

Tech Talk

I’ve been playing around with various content management systems looking for one that had both sidebars and the ability to enter raw html and javascripts into static pages.  It also had to have the ability for people to register and post their own bits of coding and development ideas.  

So on the same server as the e-zine demo I installed Geeklog.  The installation isn’t perfect, I’ll most likely be re-installing it but wanted to use this imperfect installation as an example to people.  Setting up a new CMS, blog, ad system can take time and you won’t always get it right.  Each server has their own security protocols and ways of arranging the information.  So don’t get discouraged if you have an issue.  Visit the user forums for your particular system, re-read the instructions on your host and try another installation.  Simply delete the existing one using your script installation tool on your server.  Then begin again.


The Economy is Now the #1 Issue for Voters from Both Parties

The Republicans can feel our pain! Finally, we have something emotional to share with them. Something that can bring us together as a nation. [They still don’t care about all the Iraqi citizens we killed by invading their nation; nor do they care much about the beautiful and ancient country that we destroyed.]

But they DO care about themselves and their pocketbooks. Hey, it’s a start.

And right on schedule. I predicted, starting in January and enduring throughout 2008, the Economy and its little sisters:  Health Care, Wages, and Inflation will become the topic of the year for everyday Americans. And not just for the middle class (who are now the “new poor,” of course). The pain will be felt most sharply by the upper-middle class, who are likely to tumble faster and further. This one transcends political affiliation.

I am not predicting an economic collapse in 2008. Believe me, there is much manipulation going on among the world’s central banks to keep the overall US economy stable — at least at the asset-value level (sans homeowner-type real estate). The plunge of the Dollar may actually level out a bit, despite the dismal reality-based fundamentals. And that will happen by design. The Plutocrats have some control over the economic buoyancy of the US — and they’ve got all their fingers in the dyke, standing firm to gain Republican electoral traction until after November 2008. Meanwhile, they continue to move all of their wealth offshore as fast as they can. But more on that another time…


Originally posted at Teacher’s Lounge

One of the reasons I put such a high value on commentary is that there are times when a comment or two can snap things back into focus…or at least remind us of another time and another focus that perhaps needs to be revisited.

At the end of this semester, besides being 60 years old, I will have been a teacher for 32 years.  I have taken it as an article of faith that what I have been doing is trying to find more and better ways of expound upon Truth.  I have told the same stories over and over again in a myriad different ways, looking for the light bulbs and trying to measure their luminosity.

Outside the classroom the world becomes my classroom and Truth is no longer restricted to learning mathematics or computer languages, but rather about life in general.  In particular I have focused on what goes on in the human brain.  The only one I happen to be able to experiment upon is my own, so there is bound to be bias in my sample.  But I have concentrated on the possible, not on the probable, so I’ve not considered that too much of a flaw.

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