February 17, 2008 archive

Loan shark finance for the post-modern age. w/poll

Derek Wall, via his blog.

USDA recalls 143 million pounds of beef


The USDA has recalled 143 million pounds of beef produced from a Chino, CA slaughterhouse, making this the largest beef recall in the U.S.:

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Sunday recalled 143 million pounds of frozen beef from a Southern California slaughterhouse that is being investigated for mistreating cattle.

More below the fold…

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Chicago (Transit Authority)

Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon (Make Me Smile)

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 80 die in bombing at Afghan dog fight

By ALLAUDDIN KHAN, Associated Press Writer

2 hours, 21 minutes ago

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – A suicide bombing at an outdoor dog fighting competition killed 80 people and wounded scores on Sunday, an Afghan governor said. It appeared to be the deadliest terror attack in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

A prominent militia commander who stood up against the Taliban was killed in the attack and officials said he may have been the target.

Several hundred people, including Afghan militia leaders, had gathered to watch the competition on the western edge of the southern city of Kandahar. Witnesses reported gunfire from bodyguards after the blast but it was not immediately clear how many of the casualties might have been caused by bullets.

Banner Contest ll

From News Corpse:


The Banner Contest continues as voluminous cheers and huzzahs spread throughout the land!

This is a long term project so there is no rush on submissions, take your time and create something beautiful, if you are so inclined. The idea that seems to be popular is to have a few different banners and rotate them. I like that idea, especially because it means that there is ALWAYS a banner contest going on! Whenever you come up with something fabulous, either publish an essay or just e-mail it to us. The main thing is to stimulate our creativity and creation.  

Let the Sacrificing Begin

Note: This essay is crossposted from BlueRage and was first published before the actual presentation of the budget to Congress.  We’ve had some time to see what it contains and we’ve already heard that it is pretty much DOA.  It’s a lame-duck’s final quack with nothing for anyone.  The issue, “guns or butter,” is not going away and will only heat up as crunch time for the budget approaches this summer.  So..The Post:

It’s time to show our “support for the troops.”  The guns or butter debate will heat up in Congress over the budget for next year.  It seems that in order to support our 600 BILLION dollar defense budget, we face cuts in so-called “entitlements.”  The choice will become clear that we at home, through cuts in the social services that support US, will be asked to sacrifice so that our military will continue to be the biggest, baddest, and most expensive in the world. American Progress reports:

Bounce and Balance

Nightprowlkitty put up an essay the other day A Personal View — Discontent that perfectly captured a long-standing inner distress I have about where I find myself in this world-wide maze of destruction, circa 2008. Time has sped up, the pace of information has sped up and… “I’m getting older, too.” @;-)

As NPK so well described in her essay, I don’t want to react to the news of these events. I want to respond, I want to work from where I am with what tools are available now. I don’t have a million dollars, I don’t have 14 or even one university degree. What I do have is a mind that works- most days- and a telephone and internet connection.

First up, I want find a connection between the disasters and a healing force. It doesn’t have to be the connection, it just has to be a connection. And the more connections, the better.  Once the connections are established, stories are probably next. A few years ago I wrote for a small county newspaper. There’s nothing like a personal story to bring home an outrage, and if the story is coupled with a way for nearly anyone to participate in a solution, well, that’s is a way to respond, not simply react. That’s where my telephone connection comes in handy. And post a story or two? That’s where the internet connection comes into play.

So, bottom line, for me: for every outrage, I want to find a place that is working to ease the disaster to focus my attention and limited funds.  A way to keep balance… if I’m going to bounce from these outrages, I want to bounce against a healing force.

Don’t know if that makes sense, I’m still sorting it out.  🙂 But I do know that “Many hands make light work.” I can make a dent, even it it’s only *ripple.

*Edger’s the go-to-guy on “Ripples.”  

Acting to end the war: Why it’s ‘worth it’

They discoed in DC and dressed as dogs in Austin to add a lighter touch to the serious issue of ending the war and occupation of Iraq.

Iraq Moratorium #6 had a serious and somber side as well.  In Madison, three were arrested in a shopping mall (right) where they held a solemn vigil honoring the dead and calling for an end to the war and occupation, and names of the dead Iraqis and dead US soldiers were read aloud.

They marched in Detroit, held street corner vigils from California to Vermont to send the message that the people want to end this bloody mess and bring the troops home. More than 100 events were “officially” listed on the Iraq Moratorium website, and many others simply acted locally without signing on.

Reports of Friday’s actions are beginning to come in, and are being posted on the website, many with photos and videos.  Visit IraqMoratorium.org to check them out.

Is it worth it?  Here’s what one street-corner vigil participant in Norwich CT reports:

…About that time a car pulled up along side of us and a young man clad in a kind of sports jersey came out. We weren’t sure what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised when he reached out to shake our hands and thank us for exercising the right that his fellow marines were in Iraq for. He said he was a marine and due to head over there for the first time very soon. He appreciated what we were doing.

We explained to him that we were not against the soldiers but against the war that the administration had placed them in. We asked him to convey to his fellow marines once he was in Iraq that we support them wholeheartedly, but we want them home and ready to actually defend our nation should a real threat occur. I truly got the feeling that he did not believe in the war, but as a marine he was going to do his duty. He was truly a respectful young man, and I only wished I could somehow keep him from going, from having to experience the horrors of war that would change him. I only wish this war was over now.

If ever I had a moment of doubt about the value of this Moratorium, tonight made it perfectly clear. For all those people who sit on the sidelines not wanting or caring to speak out, we do. That one marine understood that the US Constitution has been fought for longer than we have lived to give us the right to speak, to stand vigil, to oppose what our government is doing and that we might make the difference for him and his fellow marines, but only if we stand up and speak out.

I too, am a Brainwashed Hypocrite

Last night Mr. 9 year old requested “Underworld: Evolution” as the family movie.  What can I say, boys his age, Werewolves and Vampires? I glanced at the R rating, as he popped in with “Mom, its like a Van Helsing movie, I know all about the Dracula legends.”

What 9 year old boy wouldn’t totally dig this monster?

We rolled eyes and agreed to it, knowing full well the B status flick for which we were in store… a Flying Laura Croft with fangs.

I’m not a big fan of him seeing people kill people, in both video games or movies, but hell, mythical creatures? Orcs, aliens, etc?

Not really a big deal.  He sees it unflinchingly, yet gets teary eyed that in every Western “Why do they always have to kill the horses?”

Dogs***t, horse*hi*, bulls*i* and Bush*h*t

Cross posted from Sancho Press to Docudharma. Docudharma members can join Sancho Press and help the troops and veterans. http://sanchopress.com/. Sancho Press members can join Docudharma and help with political issues. https://www.docudharma.com/.

Horseshit, bullshit and Bushshit below the fold. If not commenting, please provide tips so I know if anybody is reading this shit. Contributions to any category are welcomed and can be submitted using the email on my profile. Thanks.


First time he was out when it was below freezing

(click to enlarge)

“Gwad dwam wit, my fwucking twongue is stwuck”

“I don’t swim in your toilet, so don’t pee in my…”

On January 12, 2008, I posted a piece titled Smarter Parts: Improving Efficient Energy Use and Demand? that touched upon an experimental program sponsored out of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The essence of the program was to create a home energy system that could respond to changing prices and peak demand loads by dialing back energy consumption. The system would be accessible via the internet so homeowners could make changes in absentia. An update to the story included another article indicating that in 2009, California regulators may have direct access to homeowner thermostats via radio-controlled devices in new or substantially modified houses and buildings to manage electricity shortages — a plan cooked up by the California Energy Commission (CEC).

I opened a discussion thread for the piece in a few places, including several Delphi forums. In one thread,1 some energy and water efficiency ideas came up. One in particular spawned the short poll that you’re about to see. Please read on, and take the poll; results will be published at the end of next week and included in another piece that I will cross-post in all areas where this appears.

Unlearning to not speak

Have you ever felt like a “prisoner of words?”

It took me over 30 years to learn to speak with my own voice. Before that time, I did what others thought I should do and said what others thought I should say. My life belonged to them, not me. This poem by Marge Piercy captures what that feels like.

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