March 30, 2008 archive

Midnight Thought on Living Energy Independence (30 March)

Excerpted from Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence,

in the Burning the Midnight Oil blog-within-a-blog, hosted by kos,

though to the best of my knowledge he doesn’t know it.

I just recently discussed Tiny Houses as one extreme end of a range of a more sustainable approach to housing. And, because they strike me as really cool, the examples I focused on where the kind of Tiny Houses that can be picked up, put on a trailer, and hauled around, like an old fashioned Shepherd’s Wagon, except with inside plumbing, excellent insulation, and 11 foot ceilings in the main living space.

Mind you, I always thought that the old-fashioned Shepherd’s Wagon was kind of cool, so add all those “except for’s”, and its no surprise I thought these were cool.

However, just as cool in their own way are the Tiny Houses intended to be built from modular parts on a foundation on site. And as a one-time Mother Earth News reader (back when it was more of a back to the land for dirty stinking hippies magazine), I was interested when the Tiny House Blog mentioned that the post-80’s yuppified “Mother Earth News” has been recently focusing heavily on SIP’s, or Structural Insulated Panels.

Love in the Time of Torture – the March 19 Demonstrations

We’ve become embarrassed to speak of it, but love is what it’s all about: love of country, justice, peace, humanity…and love of one’s fellow Americans – one’s fellow protesters.  In contemplating my most recent experience demonstrating against the war in Washington DC, that’s what comes to me, the overwhelming love I feel for those who care enough to stand up and be counted.  

My son Daniel and I flew out of Atlanta late on Tuesday, the 18th so I could get in a full day of work.  As we approached our hotel in DC my phone rang.  It was Victory Coffee.  She explained that she had brought a friend and that they’d be in McPherson Square at 7:30 in the morning.  Daniel and I settled in to try and get a good night’s rest but could hardly sleep for the anticipation.

The alarm went off at 6:00 AM.  I got up, showered, and jumped into my best protest Levis with my gen-u-ine Ben Masel ‘Impeach Cheney First’ button and my ‘No Blood for Oil’ button and then fiddled with cameras and batteries and whatnot while Daniel got himself ready.  I carefully laid out the IGTNT flyers and bags that snackdoodle had mailed me the previous week.  I had promised to find people to hand these out at the protest as a way of honoring America’s dead in the Iraq war.  I got the flyers divided into roughly equal stacks, placed them in the bags, stacked them neatly on top of the TeeVee and promptly went off without them.  We were in McPherson Square by the time I realized my mistake.  


Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

1 Hayden: Pakistan border poses danger

By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer

34 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – The situation in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan where al-Qaida has established a safe haven presents a “clear and present danger” to the West, the CIA director said Sunday.

Michael Hayden cited the belief by intelligence agencies that Osama bin Laden is hiding there in arguing that the U.S. has an interest in targeting the border region. If there were another terrorist attack against Americans, Hayden said, it would most certainly originate from that region.

“It’s very clear to us that al-Qaida has been able for the past 18 months or so to establish a safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border area that they have not enjoyed before, and that they’re bringing in operatives into the region for training,” he said.

Top Commenters @ Docudharma

h/t ek hornbeck for the numerical inspiration

Below are the members of the Docudharma 1000+ Comments club.   What a fine group it is!  Like a council of elders.   There were a few surprises in here. One of which is ME (the lurker) showing up in the list.   I also thought buhdy would be the comment king, but he took 2nd in # of comments and 3rd in the Avg. comments category.  kj, who joined in November, way later than most everyone else, made the top 5 and was 2nd in terms of Avg. Comm/Day.  Five of the top 20 joined on our Launch date – 9/12/07.  That will be a special blogiversary!  I’m not surprised to see the Wise Women of DD: pf8, RiaD, kj, NPK, 73rd v, ucc, Robyn, NL, Shaharazade, Alma, tahoebasha3, and KrisC.  Beautiful Sisters all!

I’ve learned (and laughed) a lot from everyone on the list. Thanks & Congrats!

UDPATE:  And if you’re not on the list, I don’t want anyone to feel left out here.  All participants are valued on this blog. (including lurkers!)    

Name# of Comm*Avg. Comm/ Day**Comment
pfiore8733533 First Comment aptly titled “holy moly
buhdydharma563825 Daily Kos top commenter of 2006 (17,235 comments) places a distant second here. lol!  
RiaD***408420 User #411. Dial RiaD for info – our DD historian.  Also renowned for posting the 100,000th comment here.  RiaDarlin!  We miss you!  
Edger345419 Just edged out kj for 4th place
kj344626Her avg. comments/day put her in 2nd place -more than buhdy!
Armando255211Despite his prolonged absence near the top of the list
nightprowlkitty2549 11 
73rd virgin2526 11Her first (virgin) comment (I kid you not) ooooooooooooohhhh…. aaaaaaaaahhhhh…
nocatz***228311currently outranked by 2 cats!  lol!
ek hornbeck17518 Himself a prolific commenter at the GOS (very close to 25,000), recently celebrated his 3rd Kosiversary.   Cheers ek!
On The Bus11905I joined DKos in Nov. ’04. In 3+ years I made only 869 comments. Yay, for delurking!
Turkana10565Would be a lot higher if not for his gig at The Left Coaster. Is Soto back yet?

*Data as of 3/29/08, 8 PM Pacific Time.

**The total number of comments, divided by the number of days since joining =  Avg. Comments/Day.    

***Joined on 9/12/07 – our official launch date.  

Honorable Mentions:  

masslass at 991

breathingstill, moneysmith, pico and OPOL are all in  the 800s.

Café Discovery

The time has almost come.  By next week it will have passed.

While I should be performing other tasks and thinking about other things, my mind keeps wandering back to the fact that I was born 60 years ago on Thursday.  The number addict in me observes that 60 = 22 * 3 * 5 is a special number.  But we all knew that, didn’t we?

Sixty minutes in an hour, so a minute is minute (small).  And a second is called a second because it is 1/602 part of an hour…second power.  Magic number…as is 360 (=  23 * 32 * 5) …perhaps because it can be divided so well into equal pieces in so many ways.  Anyway, the Sumerians thought a sexagesimal system was cool…and that gave us our timekeeping strategy and the way we measure angles.  Who knew…until much later, that 60 was also the number of elements in the smallest non-abelian simple group?

One could go back further than the Sumerians and discover that the Chinese use a calendar with a cycle of sixty years…the Jia-Zi system.  

each year within the 60-year cycle being named with two symbols, the first being base-10 (called Tian-Gan, ??  or heavenly stems) and the second symbol being base 12 (called Di-Zhi, ??  or earthly branches).

60 is the least common multiple of 12 and 10, of course.

Magic numbers are scarce, until you actively look for them.  Then you discover that all integers are magic.  

    Proof: Let x be the smallest non-magic positive number. If x exists, x would be special…and so x would be magic from some perspective or other. If no such x exists, then all postive integers are magic by induction.

Sort of.  Not a real proof, of course.  The term “magic number” has not been defined here…as I purposely intended.

But I digress…

“Stop Loss” Military and Military Family Perspective

PhotobucketThe reviews you should be reading and listening to, from Military Personal and Family members Of. The ones, small numbers they are, who are actually sacrificing and understand the meanings some of these movies are trying to bring out, that the greater majority, the civilian population, really need to be explained to. Especially in these conflicts they do little to nothing as a sacrifice, most important not wanting to pony up the cost of these Wars of Choice and the Huge longterm Costs of!

Stop Loss:

Retention policy of keeping solders in the military past their contractual obligation


every little girl

dreams of

growing majestic


every little boy

dreams of

growing heroic

every mother

dreams of her son

growing kind

every father

dreams of his daughter

growing free

no one dreams

of never growing

or those that do

surely choose

not to dream at all

Do people really change?

I hear alot of talk on blogs that centers on trying to figure out how to change people. Its not so much psychobabble as it is trying to figure out how we can get people to open their eyes and see things differently. But its also about trying to figure out how we can get people to make the kind of changes in their lives that will save the planet, reduce consumption, vote for the right person, protest unjust wars and policies, etc.

Today I’m going back to square one and asking whether or not this is possible…do people really change? Those of you who know a bit about my story might find that a strange question coming from me. I was raised mostly in East Texas in a family/community that is extremely right-wing fundamentalist christian. And up until I started openly asking questions in my 20’s, I bought it all. So if I’m any example, of course people can change…and alot!

But the question for me is not so much did I change, but did I find what was there in the first place. This might seem like a distinction without a difference to some, but I think its extremely important when we think about how we approach the goal of trying to increase the ranks of people who are willing to stand up and fight for the causes we espouse.

Maliki’s Wild Surge

This is a second diary (first here) in my attempt to understand the most farcical aspect of the current battle in Basra: Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki’s vow that he will personally stay in Basra until order is restored, and the Sadrists surrender their weapons.  Maliki originally laid down a 3-day deadline for the surrender of weapons — and then extended it to 10 days when the first deadline fell flat.  And he is still — rather hilariously — in Basra.

One of the reasons Maliki made his strange vow was, apparently, because earlier in the week Sadr asked Maliki to leave Basra as a way to reduce tensions.  It appears Maliki is taking lessons from Bush: the single best way to get Bush to do something is to tell him that doing the opposite would “reduce tensions.”  

America and Iran are Allies in Iraq. Muqtada Al Sadr is defeating both.

Muqtada Al Sadr

Muqtada Al Sadr is poised to become the Simon Bolivar, of Iraq….

He is winning handily and defeating the alleged Militas of the government who are defecting to him and side stepping the ridiculous attempts to bomb him by the insane American forces who only know how to kill and torture civilians.

He is a nationalist…a enemy of American corporations and Iranian interests….as well as corrupt Shiites who are backed by IRan

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Leslie Gore

It’s my Party

John McCain, Indian Agent


The justification for Public Law 93-531 passed by Congress in 1974 was that the Navajo-Hopi land dispute is so serious that 10,000 Navajos near Big Mountain, Arizona, must be relocated, forcibly if necessary. It would be the largest forced relocation of U.S. citizens since the relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

But tradition-minded Navajo and Hopi claim there never was a land dispute. They say the dispute was invented to get the Navajos and their livestock off mineral-rich land in the Hopi reservation so it could be developed by mining companies such as Peabody Coal and Kerr-McGee.

Load more