January 14, 2008 archive

Across the great divide

I’m a lurker at heart, commenter, a non writer a visual left brain artist type, no wonk, no lawyer. I came to the net for some semblance of truth, and/or satisfaction or vague ideas of bringing reconciliation to the divide I saw between reality and what i was told was reality. The cooked up culture war being a symptom of nothing more then the manipulation of a vast and varied continent that long ago started a dream. A dream borne from discontent with an ‘inevitable’ Empire, by men (sorry for the sexist remark here) who while privileged had the vision to move this colony to self determination and a concept that has propelled the concept of governance to heights never before established. A dream that while always contained the seeds of human evil also had a thread of human possibilities. I just can’t get over the “We the People” part. It is the thread that hooks me and saves me from despair. Where is the “We the People” part? I cannot believe that technology and marketing can kill the impetus that started this organic process towards self governance.

The divides I see are not larger then the original intent, and while some will argue intent original was always divisive not progressive, I see it, it’s called human progress. I see it daily in peoples lives, not the distortions of the dream, but in the realization that something basic is wrong here. This essay is just a reminder that the divides we share, although polarizing and personal should not overshadow the united part. Not united by our silly politics  but united in progress. Lets move towards a destiny that is not defined by the forces of tyranny who assume the shape of our discontent and offer us strings of beads for our hard won birthrights. ‘We the people’ is now a global force not just our tallying of momentary gain personally, you me all of us face a reality we must shape beyond the great divide. Political reality is made by people who face fear and do not accept it. The only way out of our great divide is to remember that we the people determine reality. What do you want for the real world? If your answer is peace, prosperity, equity, justice, reach out and take it is there and you make it real.

I’m so old that the song that inspired this essay by The Band is not on You Tube. this sad version is it.


Four at Four

  1. It’s worse. The Washington Post reports Escalating ice loss found in Antarctica!

    Climatic changes appear to be destabilizing vast ice sheets of western Antarctica that had previously seemed relatively protected from global warming, researchers reported yesterday, raising the prospect of faster sea-level rise than current estimates…

    The new finding is important because the continent holds about 90 percent of Earth’s ice, and until now, large-scale ice loss there had been limited to the peninsula that juts out toward the tip of South America. In addition, researchers found that the rate of ice loss in the affected areas has accelerated over the past 10 years — as it has on most glaciers and ice sheets around the world.

    Without doubt, Antarctica as a whole is now losing ice yearly, and each year it’s losing more,” said Eric Rignot, lead author of a paper published online in the journal Nature Geoscience.

    Elsewhere in the Antarctic, according to The Guardian, Greenpeace chases away Japan’s whalers. “Greenpeace said yesterday it had chased Japanese whalers out of hunting grounds in the Southern Ocean, disrupting the planned slaughter of almost 1,000 whales.”

    Meanwhile the Bush administration continues to enable greenhouse gas emission, The Hill reports Waxman blasts EPA for missing deadline. “Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) is strongly criticizing the EPA’s failure to produce documents regarding its decision to reject California’s effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions.”

    And at the capitalist’s tool, The Independent reports World Bank pledges to save trees… then helps cut down Amazon forest. “The World Bank has emerged as one of the key backers behind an explosion of cattle ranching in the Amazon, which new research has identified as the greatest threat to the survival of the rainforest.”

  2. Update on America’s occupations . From Iraq, the Los Angeles Times reports Top Iraqi judge assassinated. “Seven gunmen in two cars blocked off a vehicle carrying Judge Amer Jawdat Al Naib, who sits on Iraq’s national appeals court, and sprayed it with machine-gun fire, killing both him and his driver, police said. The shooting happened in an area with two nearby Iraqi army checkpoints… Seven Iraqi policemen were killed and four others wounded today when they entered a booby-trapped house in Abarat Buhroz in northeastern Diyala province, police said.”

    From Afghanistan, The New York Times reports Blast at Kabul hotel heard for miles. “A thunderous explosion struck a Kabul luxury hotel frequented by foreigners on Monday, and the Taliban took responsibility, calling it a coordinated suicide attack. It was not immediately clear if there were casualties. The explosion struck the Serena Hotel, the only five-star hotel in Afghanistan and one that is popular among diplomats and is often used for conferences, around 6.15 p.m. local time and could be heard for up to two miles away across the city.”

  3. Here’s an aspect of drought and recession in the Southeast that I hadn’t thought about before. According to the Los Angeles Times, Drought is a hard time for horses. “In many parts of the United States, horse owners are struggling to feed their animals after a severe drought doubled — even tripled — the cost of hay. The drought has exacerbated a glut in the low end of the horse market, brought on by years of over-breeding and the recent economic downturn. Horses that once cost $500 are selling for $50.” An estimated 9 million horses were owned by Americans in 2005, “up from an estimate of 6 million horses in the mid-1990s… About 34% of horse owners have a household income of less than $50,000”.

  4. Lastly, The Guardian reports Tibet under strain as visitors surpass locals. “The number of tourists who visited Tibet last year soared by 60%, outnumbering the people who live there and putting further pressure on Tibet’s overwhelmed roads, palaces and monasteries. Four million tourists visited the thinly populated Himalayan region of 2.8 million people in 2007, China’s state news agency Xinhua reported yesterday. ‘This is the first time that the number of tourist arrivals exceeded the total population,’ said Matt Whitticase, of the Free Tibet Campaign. ‘Tourism is obviously a pillar of China’s western development strategy but it is putting unacceptable strains on Tibet’s fragile environment.'”

A Brief History of White People: Part 1



Excuse me, that title should read a brief non-factual, totally opinionated and not very flattering history of White People. That, however, seemed a little less catchy.  But indeed, this is MY history of white folks. These are some of the factoids and impressions I have received throughout my life about White People, factoids and impressions that have shaped my understanding of this world. Factoids and impressions that may or may not be 100% accurate or true, but quite a few (but by no means all) of which were taught to me as ‘history’…..by White People. Factoids and impressions, thus, that are not completely veritable. Factoids and impressions that are definitely chockablock with irony and snark.  I have been on a lifelong quest to understand this crazy mixed up world…and I like to think, outside of the context of who is on my side or who I should root for or defend. Perhaps part of my value as an observer and commenter on these issues is that I have not been as indoctrinated into our current society quite as completely as most folks….but have also lived in it my whole life, and so have a different, if skewed, perspective.

Stew of the Day

Nothing special, just the urge to scribble out something of modest interest as I sit this morning on my dharma bum.  A conversation, an article worth reading, some stereotypical liberal thoughts on recent events.  A short divertissement, half a can of diet pepsi, part of a chocolate chip cookie.

The translated transcript is here


Link to the original video.


Foot of snow, plow truck refuses to go into 4 wheel drive, snowblower pull starter dutifully fails to retract starting rope.  Is there a full moon?

Pony Party: Pigs in Space!

Top o’the mornin’ to ya!

What better way to start your Monday than with some flying swine?

Clinton on MTP

This has not been a good couple of days for someone trying to decide which Dem to back in the primaries.  Senator Obama has come out with a less-than-progressive stimulus package to stave off the impending recession.  Krugman critiques it here — hestal has a diary on Krugman here.

I was pondering Krugman’s column last night, and looking at other articles on Obama’s stimulus ideas . . . not encouraging.  I was also reflecting on something Clinton said on Meet the Press on Sunday.  That’s what I want to focus on, here.

Pony Party, NFL Round-up

Docudharma Times Monday January 14

This is an Open Thread: Ted has cleared the Tubes

Monday’s Headlines: Clinton and Obama Spar Over Remark About Dr. King: A Dark Addiction: Bush urges Arab allies to confront Iran, ‘the world’s leading sponsor of state terror’: Kenyan police ‘had shoot-to-kill policy’: Relatives of victims of Beslan siege go on trial

As primaries play out, whole world tunes in

By Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan

The Washington Post

LONDON – John Mbugua, 56, a taxi driver in Mombasa, Kenya, woke himself at 3 a.m. the day of the Iowa caucuses and flipped on CNN. He said he watched for hours, not understanding precisely what or where Iowa was but thrilled about the victory of Barack Obama, the first U.S. presidential contender with Kenyan roots.

“I have never been interested in the elections before,” said Mbugua, who also got up at 4 a.m. to watch the New Hampshire primary results. “But now everybody is watching. Everybody feels that Kenya has a stake in the outcome of the U.S. election.”

From Mombasa’s sandy shores on the Indian Ocean to the hot tubs of Reykjavik, Iceland, the U.S. primaries are creating unprecedented interest and excitement in a global audience that normally doesn’t tune in until the general election in November.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

The muses are ancient.  The inspirations for our stories were said to be born from them.  Muses of song and dance, or poetry and prose, of comedy and tragedy, of the inward and the outward.  In one version they are Calliope, Euterpe and Terpsichore, Erato and Clio, Thalia and Melpomene, Polyhymnia and Urania.

It has also been traditional to name a tenth muse.  Plato declared Sappho to be the tenth muse, the muse of women poets.  Others have been suggested throughout the centuries.  I don’t have a name for one, but I do think there should be a muse for the graphical arts.  And maybe there should be many more.

Please join us inside to celebrate our various muses…

The Stars Hollow Gazette

I had mostly passed on a topic after finding my next masterpiece of character assassination (pre-Whore, you can comment now, but it future promotes at 10 am and that’s early enough), but I have my readership that streams The Stars Hollow Gazette and was diligently poking at my insomnia when I ran a check on my fictional self that turned it up as the seventh hit in a Google search.

I’m not sure what that means.

I am now more famous as a member of DocuDharma than I am for Naked dKos w/Poll?

It’s all very odd.

The Ombudsman Speaks

Now I’ve long since given up on the Gray Lady as an overpriced whore, but I’ll not presume to speak for all progressives.  It’s possible you have some lingering attachment or hope for redemption of a fallen angel and I’d be a heartless Scrooge indeed to encourage you to read this-

He May Be Unwelcome, but We’ll Survive

By CLARK HOYT, The Public Editor, The New York Times

Published: January 13, 2008

Kristol’s first column joined the pack in its first paragraph and wrote off Hillary Clinton with finality the day before she won the New Hampshire primary. He also misattributed a quotation that had to be corrected.

This is a decision I would not have made. But it is not the end of the world.

So why does Kristol have a job again?  Nepotism.

Clark Hoyt admits right up front that Billy Boy was selected to redress an ancient dispute between Arthur Ochs Sulzberger and John Oakes over hiring William Safire and not Irving Kristol, Billy Boyz dad.

Clark Hoyt thinks “Sulzberger and Rosenthal made a mistake.”  Out of “over 700” reactions to William Kristol’s appointment only a single one is supportive.  Sulzberger said he was surprised.

About Kristol’s assertion that his new employers should face federal prosecution A. M. Rosenthal said Kristol’s comment was “a heavy accusation that put him in a category other than a journalist.”  

But what gets me is this-

I agree with their effort to address an Op-Ed lineup that, until Kristol came aboard, was at least six liberals against one conservative who isn’t always all that conservative.


They are all Villagers.  And so are you Clark.

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