March 5, 2008 archive

Be Radical

As many of us here at Docudharma try to find ways to change the trajectory of our system both outside and inside the political system, we often run into roadblocks that get in our way of feeling successful. What can we do on a daily basis to create the kind of radical change we’re looking for?

I think one of the things that gets in the way of a truly progressive movement is that we keep thinking we have to change everything that’s wrong with the world. That usually means we get stuck with having to change what others are doing. Sometimes we can have an impact on that, but its an uphill battle for sure. And when others aren’t interested in changing, we feel frustrated. Mahatma Gandhi, on the other hand, challenged us to “be the change we want to see in the world.” I believe that’s where our power lies…in ourselves.

Another thing that I think gets in our way is that we can feel small and powerless to actually have any impact. We get trapped into feeling like we can’t alter the course of history with our small efforts and then get immobilized to do anything at all. That’s why I added another of Gandhi’s quotes as my sig line. I need a constant reminder that:

Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it.

Finally, I think that we often get impatient. And its understandable why. There are lives in the balance. But if we look at history, we learn that the kind of change that we need now takes time. That’s not a call to complacency, but to sustained efforts with patience. I think that’s what Ruben Alvez was trying to say in this quote about hope:

So, let us plant dates, even though we who plant them will never eat them. We must live by the love of what we will never see.

This is the secret of discipline. Such disciplined love is what has given saints, revolutionaries, and martyrs the courage to die for the future they envision; they make their own bodies the seed of their highest hope.

Buffalo Slaughter in Montana

(At the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma)


Where are the Buffalo? Gone

The Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. How can you buy or sell the sky? The warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. Yet we do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water. How can you buy them from us? Every part of this earth is sacred to my people.

We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother but his enemy and when he has conquered it he moves on. He leaves his fathers’ graves and his children’s birthright is forgotten.

If only those words weren’t so relevant today.

King George W. Bush Endorses John W. McCain for President

Last night, John W. McCain wrapped up the Republic nomination for President by winning enough delegates in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island to put him over the necessary number (1,191) needed to for the 2008 Presidential election.  

Today, at the White House, Presnit George W. Bush endorsed John W. McCain.

From CNN:

President Bush endorsed Sen. John McCain for president on Wednesday, saying the presumptive Republican nominee has the “character, courage and perseverance” to lead the country.

McCain thanked the president for his support and the work he has done in the Oval Office.

“I appreciate his endorsement, and I appreciate his service to our country,” said McCain, adding that he wanted Bush at his side as much as possible on the campaign trail.

“Whatever he wants me to do, I want him to win,” Bush said, who was challenged by McCain for the GOP nomination in 2000. But he said the 2008 run for the Oval Office was not his battle.

“It’s not about me. I’ve done my bit,” Bush said.

Addressing the calls for change in the presidential campaign, Bush said McCain would be steadfast to one of his administration’s policies.

“He’s not gonna change when it comes to taking on the enemy,” Bush said of the senator from Arizona.

Protecting the American people was the No. 1 job of a president and McCain understood that, Bush said.

“He’s gonna be a president who will bring determination to defeat an enemy,” Bush said.

Four at Four

  1. On behalf of the Supreme Court of the United States, the Decider would like you to meet your next president.

    The New York Times reports McCain wins Bush’s endorsement.

    A triumphant Senator John McCain on Wednesday received the political blessing of a man with whom he once feuded bitterly, President Bush, and said he would welcome the president’s campaigning on his behalf. “I’m honored and humbled,” Mr. McCain said outside the White House, declaring that he felt both “respect and affection” for Mr. Bush.

    The senator emphasized that he would welcome Mr. Bush’s personal appearances by his side “in keeping with the president’s heavy schedule.” For the moment, at least, his comments dispelled any impression that Mr. McCain would prefer that Mr. Bush, whose ratings have been slumping, keep his distance.

    The Los Angeles Times adds that Bush gaves McCain veep advice. “When the two were asked about one of the crucial decisions facing McCain — the choice of a running mate — Bush referred to his own selection of Dick Cheney, who had run the search for qualified candidates after Bush had locked up the GOP nomination. He joked that McCain should ‘be careful who he names to be head of his selection committee.’ Regardless of the choice, the president said, ‘people don’t vote for vice presidents,’ but for the candidate who will sit in the Oval Office.”

  2. The Associated Press is reporting that More FBI privacy violations have been confirmed. “The FBI improperly used national security letters in 2006 to obtain personal data on Americans during terror and spy investigations, Director Robert Mueller… told the Senate Judiciary Committee” today. Muller offered no additional details, but said that a forthcoming report “will identify issues similar to those in the report issued last March”. That report found “the FBI demanded personal data on people from banks, telephone and Internet providers and credit bureaus without official authorization and in non-emergency circumstances between 2003 and 2005.”

  3. The Guardian reports Moses was stoned when he set Ten Commandments, researcher claims. “According to Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, psychedelic drugs formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times. Writing in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy, he says concoctions based on the bark of the acacia tree, frequently mentioned in the Old Testament, contain the same molecules as those found in plants from which the powerful Amazonian hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca is prepared. ‘The thunder, lightning and blaring of a trumpet which the Book of Exodus says emanated from Mount Sinai could just have been the imaginings of a people in an altered state of awareness,’ writes Shanon. ‘In advanced forms of ayahuasca inebriation, the seeing of light is accompanied by profound religious and spiritual feelings.'” Certainly would give a new meaning to burning bush.

  4. The New York Times reports Gary Gygax, game pioneer, dies at 69. “Gary Gygax, a pioneer of the imagination who transported a fantasy realm of wizards, goblins and elves onto millions of kitchen tables around the world through the game he helped create, Dungeons & Dragons, died Tuesday at his home in Lake Geneva, Wis. He was 69… As co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, the seminal role-playing game introduced in 1974, Mr. Gygax wielded a cultural influence far broader than his relatively narrow fame among hard-core game enthusiasts.”

    The Pioneer Press reports that Gaming enthusiasts mourning a role model. “‘Another giant has fallen,’ murmured Nick Postiglione. It wasn’t a hill giant, fire giant or storm giant he was talking about. Nobody had whipped out their Hammer of Thunderbolts. ‘How many guys change the fundamental nature of gaming? Now he’s gone,’ said Postiglione, vice president of The Source Comics & Games in Falcon Heights.”

    Paul La Farge wrote a decent overview of Dungeons & Dragons, Gygax and his career for Believer in September 2006 called “Destroy All Monsters“. It’s worth your time to read.

Brent Larkin whines about Dennis Kucinich’s victory in the Ohio primary.

Brent Larkin pretends to manage the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper. He and most of the upper-level staff have had it in for the Progressive Democrat ever since the Muny Light battle in the 1970s, when the banks and newspapers were pressuring then-mayor Dennis Kucinich to sell the municipal power company to a privately-owned rival. He refused, and the banks retaliated by sending Cleveland into default on its debts. The business interests decided to punish the mayor by trying to remove him from office via recall election. That effort failed, but Kucinich was voted out in the next regular election cycle. But rather than remain in political oblivion, Kucinich came back and has since gone on to become the Ohio 10th Congressional District’s representative.

The Plain Dealer helped get a DINO by the name of Joe Cimperman to run against Kucinich this year in the primary. The problem was that three other candidates also decided to get in on the action. So despite having roughly $500,000 to $1,000,000 on hand, Cimperman lost. It didn’t help that Cimperman ran a fundamentally stupid campaign, which argued that a sitting elected official shouldn’t waste taxpayer time and money running for another political office. Why is this stupid? Cimperman is currently a sitting elected official — on Cleveland City Council. He also doesn’t even live in the district.

Anyway, this morning Larkin posted a whinefest on following Kucinich’s victory in the primary last night.  So I made a video to go along with the audio file.  Enjoy.

The Vampire Elite… h/t jessical

okay. that’s it. just the new and best name for these cock blood suckers:::



Dems and Medical Marijuana: Harkin v Michigan, IL

xpost at kos

While 1500 delegates to the Michigan Democratic State Convention were approving, by acclamation, a resolution supporting legal access to cannabis as medication (On Monday, an Initiative was approved for the Statewide November Ballot), Iowa Senator Tom Harkin replied to letter from a constituent/patient with hyperbole that would make even a Republican White House Drug Czar blush.

Meawhile, the Illinois Senate’s Health Committee holds a hearing today on a State Medical Marijuana bill. Action link

A Deal with the Devil in Texas

I knew the race last night in Texas was going to be close, and I was watching the returns like any other political junkie when I noticed something odd. There is a dude north of San Antonio by the name of Gene Kelly. No, not the dancer, but people vote for him like he is. He is the ultimate glory candidate, never campaigns and usually does well enough to force costly run offs, just ask Barbara Ann Radnofsky. He cost her six figures in funds before she could face off in the general.

While it is his right to run, after that last debacle, and Gene Kelly’s other fiasco runs, Democrats in Texas knew better to vote for him. It’s a vote for Republicans. Anywho, we had a nice battle between Noriega and McMurrary on tap as well. So when I saw the spikes in Kelly, I started to notice a trend.

Let’s take a look, and see what you decide.

writing in the raw: you. yeah. YOU.

Let’s get the terms straight.

THEY::: those who want to exploit the masses expressly and exclusively for their own self-interests.

YOU::: the one they have believing this is about somebody else: the foreclosures. the job loss. the fascism.  

Ya, you betcha, we gotta protest in St. Paul, hey!

Ya, you betcha, end the war now!

They claim it’s a traditional Minnesota antiwar chant. Ya, sure, you betcha, you don’t t’ink it is?

One t’ing we know for sure:  Plans are well underway to protest at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul on Sept. 1-4.

A big Labor Day march on Sept. 1 will kick things off. Folks are biking there from Madison, and walking from Chicago. Details:

Watching “Power Lunch” on CNBC @ the Doctor’s office

Just a short observation… as I take a break from sorting through my clothes. And I ask myself: now why isn’t getting rid of clothes as easy as analyzing oh I don’t know… the economy, for instance?

Pony Party, random madness

Ok, so I’m not loving my custom widget.  I’ll do better before the tourney rolls around.  Here is one option for online brackets…they’re probably not postable here, but we could start a group and link to them.  Looks like the ‘group’ will just be me and ucc anyways….

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