March 7, 2008 archive

What are you reading?

Once again the usual list – I’ve been busy with my non-Kos life….

If you like to trade books, try BookMooch.

cfk has bookflurries on Weds. nights

pico has literature for kossacks on Tues. nights, but it’s on hiatus

What are you reading? is crossposted to docudharma

If you have ideas for future weeks, let me know (one idea from last week is Fiction vs. nonfiction, but not this week….

Statistical models: Theory and practice by David Freedman.  Delves into the details of models, without getting overly mathematical.  

Alexander Hamilton  by Ron Chernow.  Impressive (as is the subject)

The Art of Mathematics by Bela Belobas.  Interesting, easily stated math problems. For slow solving.

Biplots by Gower and Hand.  Fascinating multivariate technique.  An upcoming diary (maybe Sunday) will feature them.

 The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson.  In 1854, London suffered an epidemic of cholera, and thousands of people died – often in a few hours or days.  This is the story of that epidemic and of John Snow, who figured out what was causing it.  But it’s more – it’s not just the story of what happened, but how it happened and why.  Fascinating.

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson  I’m reading this, for the third time.  One hell of a read. War, sex, love, codes, math, treasure hunting, business…. Stephenson has a lot to say, and he says it very well.  

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…

POTUS-A Taxing Job (Snark)

Some people claim that holding the office of the President of the United States of America ages a person at the rate of 3-to-1.

Norris, an ardent supporter of Mike Huckabee, told reporters he believes serving as president accelerates the aging process 3-to-1.

Even with all of the bike riding, brush clearing, and extensive vacations the toll on bush has been obvious. Here is a photo of him in 2000:


For a recent photo, and I know, who wants to take another look at his criminal mug, but bear with me, hop in a barrel and follow me over the fa-a-a-a-alls…


So, now we’ve truly experienced the Texas Prima-Caucus, where one could realistically choose to vote for candidate Blueberry Cheesecake in the morning, then turn around and caucus for candidate Rhubarb-Apple Turnover in the evening and, after viewing the results, I have decided… the Texas two-step is a sham travesty of mythic proportions.

After all, its WAY TOO SIMPLE.

Next time…

Warning: Candidate Diary

The title is the first warning.

Here’s the second: I need to rant a bit about something Clinton said today. That might not be kosher here, but I need to get this off my chest. If you’d rather not hear what I have to say, there are plenty of other great essays and comments to read, so I hope you’ll take advantage of all the other talent here.

writing in the raw: Chewing Raw Simultaneity in Tracyville

I’m always at choice.  It’s the only rule I can count on and I have come to accept with 42 years of reluctance.  At this point in my life I choose to ponder Iraq daily or even hourly because the country that I have been born into has done things to Iraq that deeply conflict with the laws that my soul knows and understands.  All aboard the Iraq War train.  I wish I was standing on the platform though like a citizen of France maybe or a citizen of any other country that didn’t invade Iraq in my lifetime, and just taking all this in from that distance.  I wish that lightening had not struck my train.

temporary spring

invisible air

gathers itself

blasting awake


sleeping snow bound

in winter burial grounds

wrapped, like a papoose,



gauze-gray days

until the damned

frozen sunlight

melts me down

to bare ground

i’m uncovered

me, scorched and screaming

it’s spring

time to be agitated


forget death

take a breath

i am unsure of this


clear and bright

its warmth, a cold bite,

unsettles me

in a way

winter never does

Midnight Thought on Living Energy Independence

Excerpted from Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence, in the Burning the Midnight Oil blog on the Daily Kos.

Looking ahead … say, two decades ahead, to 2030 … where could we be in terms of a sustainable energy system?

We could, of course, have large scale wind farms scattered across the Dakotas, parts of Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, parts of Texas, Illinois through to western Ohio, through the western parts of California, Oregon, Washington, and the list goes on.

We could have large scale concentrated solar power farms scattered across the Southwest, ranging from Texas to California.

We could have large scale ocean and/or tidal power, as well as offshore windpower, off all three coasts as well as windpower all across Lake Erie and in the shallower portions of the other Great Lakes and Lake Champlain.

This does the left no good.

Looks like Moulitsas still can’t let go of the paranoid “Clinton darkened Obama in her ad” conspiracy theory.

Look, I dislike Hillary Clinton as much as any true Progressive, but this has got to stop.  There are plenty of things the senator says and does in this campaign that are worthy of criticism, but engaging in this sort of unsubstantiated speculation and attack really only hurts two things: Obama’s campaign, and Left Blogsylvania.

It hurts Obama’s campaign because it makes his followers and, by association, the candidate himself, look like they’re hiding behind his race.  Similarly, it hurts Left Blogsylvania because it makes us look like a bunch of delusional kooks who probably haven’t been laid in ages (if ever) and from whom candidates can’t distance themselves fast enough.  Substantive posts like this one end up being ignored or marginalized, because of the association with what is perceived to be a group of utter loons.

I respectfully advise Markos Moulitsas and his band of bloggers to please give it a rest.  Dig up what you can on Clinton; Lord only knows she deserves it.  But don’t let your zeal for exposing her overtake common sense and better judgment.  Or sanity.  Especially sanity.

Your Song/Mountain Song

I was thinking today how ironic it is that I am a Contributing Editor to one of the best blogs in the universe and yet my neighbor who has been published hundreds of times in traditional media forms has no concept of what a blogger does or is.  I decided not to even try to explain, not yet.  But she liked that I was connected to the Cindy Sheehan event and understood that it must have taken some organizing skills and tact to pull off.  That’s a good start.  

Since my interest in writing is mainly on the artistic front, here is a freebie, these are lines I’ve been thinking about in no particular order.  So feel free to rework them into your own order, I’m a big fan of cross-editing and remixes.

They see me comin’

intrinsically challenged and oft aloft

like syrup saturday’s heavenly happening

Tell me what to buy just to suffer you

I’d do anything just to suffer you

mufflephone gets agroexpressive again

counting tempos in one point forever

like marriage

like this

here I’ll show you

timecarved lingering silhouettes sounding

on Moses and scraping like bark into history’s discordia

all hail sixstring leadfoot sparechange bucketsouls

which organic properties consumed you this evening

can I protect the horizon

can I salvage nature

or is this another pipe dream


I worked hard

took care of things

I worked hard

took care of things

no real reasoning

don’t suffer fools

don’t suffer fools or wooden nickles

single haired brush

microcosms in subtexts linked with html

with no promise of tomorrow

being there in cinnamon root and vanilla bean patience

music was the first MMORPG

landscapes flowing in temporary view

just like you

just like you

can you hack life without convenience?

can you stack a cord of wood tonight?

put up the hay when it’s 98 degrees?

find the least disturbing path?

consider your weight upon the land?

protect the water that runs through?

your spice is new

on my first chew

so warm and earthlike

oh god

My copy of Photoshop is possessed; is yours?

I am getting rather tired of the accusations going back-and-forth whether the pristinely white Clinton Family has distorted an image of Obama to make him appear ‘black enough’ to fear being in your child’s bedroom at three o’clock in the morning, or some such nonsense.  

Obviously, the Clinton Family would never in a million years put their own psychopathic need for power over the will of the people, the principles of the Democratic Party, and the Principles that the Junior Senator espouses with such passion on the campaign trail….

I think I have identified the problem.  It appears that the Obama campaign is using their influence with the people at Adobe!  If i am not mistaken, a copy of photoshop is also being used by the Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and representative Ellison in his office in Minneapolis.  clearly, Americe is under attack, and Adobe is giving aide and comfort to the enemies…

For example, when I open my favorite picture of what’s-her-name:


I see this:


The bastards! how audacious!

Adobe! delete my fucking account and fix my fucking software, dammit!!!

god bless America, Chelsea Clinton, Bill’s penis, and the Junior Senator from New York!

KBR, Half a Billion Dollars in Payroll Taxes, Not Paid!!!!

During work today I caught the following on NPR’s Here and Now which comes out of Boston, and while it was a real nice, and comfortable, bright sunny day, My Freaking Rage Level Hit Sky High!!!


The Boston Globe reports today that the largest war contractor in Iraq is skirting hundreds of millions of dollars in US taxes by setting up shell companies in the Cayman Islands. The Globe found that Texas-based Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) may have avoided half a billion dollars in payroll taxes by hiring employees through foreign subsidiaries. But those subsidiaries are nothing more than an address, with no phone, fax or offices. The Boston Globe’s Foreign Affairs correspondent, Farrah Stockman, went to the Cayman Islands to investigate.

You can click here to bring up the audio of the show in Real Player. This is the whole hour show, but the report above is the first report and only takes the first 10min. or so.

In the discussion Ms Stockman states they Estimated the loss of payment at some $500million a year!

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