June 29, 2008 archive

Café Discovery: Power

The other day I ventured into an essay.  God forbid that I read an essay here.

Dude, I read almost all of the essays here.  Telling me I should just not read them I think misses the point of the whole exercise.

And I observed something written by someone trying to write about identity politics, someone with whom I have had extreme disagreements about the exact same subject in the past.  I might have actually read the whole thing through at once, but I got trapped pretty close to the beginning because, like he has a habit of doing, the author assumed a power-over position.  So I stopped before finishing to address it.  

He didn’t intend to do so.  At least I’ll give him that benefit of the doubt.  The power-over position is so natural to some folks that they assume it without a thought most of the time.  In what I thought was a crude attempt at humor, he decided that the alternative to use to the set of men and women, out of all the words available to him, was “hermaphrodites.”

I made a cultural faux pas at that point.  I assumed a position of equality in order to point out that he was invoking his power and presumed to try to educate him about his choice of words.  He spent the rest of our discussion trying to deny me that position of equality, to reassert his manhood and restore order in the universe.

Mind you, this is only my view, from the position as a member of a traditionally powerless group.

To keep and bear arms.


Having read the Heller decision, in its’ entirety, I now attempt comment. There are several things which could be said which I will omit, and thank another writer for addressing. This in deference to brevity and because I cannot catch every single mistake, now can I?


For those that feel the need.

Can we?

Right here, right now, there is no other place I want to be

Right here, right now, watching the

world wake up from history

I saw the decade in, when it seemed

the world could change at the blink of an eye

And if anything

then there’s your sign of the times

I found a couple of requests in my in-box this morning to please write an essay.

Maybe it’s cause I pony nearly everyone…I dunno (^.^)

but see… the thing is… I DO understand & agree with points in almost every post…

Soooo….Honoured, I am…. I’ll try, take a stab at it anyway.

Because I care.

Progressives and Racism

Back when I was first invited to take this spot on Sunday mornings it was because I had started a weekly series titled Blog Voices This Week wherein I tried to summarize interesting information I had found in the diversosphere. I eventually wandered into other territory on Sunday mornings, but this week I’m going to go back to those roots and pull some long quotes from a couple of the people who have alot to say about progressives and racism.

The two people I’ll be quoting are Donna from The Silence of our Friends (that blog title is powerful and tells you alot about what Donna has to say) and Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican.

First, a little background. The diaries I’m going to quote were posted in February/March 2007. They were sparked initially by some things Glenn Greenwald said in Awkward Discussions of Race and Obama.

It is always preferable to have views and sentiments — even ugly ones — aired out in the open rather than forcing them into hiding through suppression. And part of the reason people intently run away from discussions of race…is because it is too easy to unwittingly run afoul of various unwritten speech rules, thereby triggering accusations of bigotry. That practice has the effect of keeping people silent, which in turn has the effect of reinforcing the appearance that nobody thinks about race (which is why nobody discusses it), which in turn prevents a constructive discussion of hidden and unwarranted premises.

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Olive branches?

All from 1960 – 1965:

Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs:  Stay

Who is John McCain?

The free ride that John McCain is getting from the mainstream media continues.  McCain has been around so long that the cozy relationship that he’s built with the media for many years is turning out to provide a super-Teflon coating for the candidate of 2008.  The flip flops, back-flips, miss-statements, and outright deceptions go uncovered by reporters eager to curry favor with the candidate.

The Nation magazine this week does a brilliant job of first acknowledging McCain’s likability, then his blatant pandering, and lying.  It’s both common knowledge and unspoken criticism that the candidate McCain of 2000 is vastly different than the candidate of 2008.  Eric Alterman and George Zornick sum it up succinctly below the fold:

The End Of The World: Across America Cruising Dies

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

It’s another sign of the End of the World. The NY Times writes the obituary for summertime teenage cruising:

For car-loving American teenagers, this is turning out to be the summer the cruising died.

Kevin Ballschmiede, 16, pined for his 1999 Dodge Ram – “my pride and joy” – the other night as he hung out in a parking lot in this town outside Chicago. Given that filling the 26-gallon tank can now cost more than $100, he had left it at home and caught a ride.

From coast to coast, American teenagers appear to be driving less this summer. Police officers who keep watch on weekend cruising zones say fewer youths are spending their time driving around in circles, with more of them hanging out in parking lots, malls or movie theaters.

The price spike in gasoline, to an average of $4.07 a gallon for regular unleaded, is so recent that government statistics do not yet capture the teenage-driving trend. But the figures show that overall demand for gasoline is dropping. In dozens of interviews, teenagers and their parents said the price of gasoline was forcing hard choices on them.

Mumblings and Ramblings

Once thing I always wondered about the expression “going to hell in a hand basket” is well wouldn’t the basket burn up and if the ride is long wouldn’t you want a bigger one?

Saying the left is organized is a bit like saying “anybody can be president in America”, the game is rigged but we like to pretend it isn’t. In darker moments, I think the right will always be deluded dancing to a frantic tune and the left will be too busy having a food fight to notice that the roof caved in, the levees broke, and the oxygen in the air disappeared and middle America will be demanding that the “end times” be made into a reality show with really good looking participants. The organized right isn’t really interested in educating and teaching one another which is why they can march like humanoid tin soldiers to the most ridiculous tunes and make it seem and after thought.

On the left people actually want to try and understand one another from an individual and group identity point of view which is why they sputter into verbal cage fighting at times.

Good people will disagree and good people will act like jerks to one another because while we might all admire Gandhi and other peaceful mentors: we aren’t. What is that old cliché: it is easier to ask forgiveness that permission. The problem is we end up assuming others will forgive us when we should have asked for permission and suddenly everybody has a scorecard, a list, a legitimate list, whereas on the right if you inadvertently fuck over or hurt somebody you used to like God is going to take care of it in the end so why worry?

And if we are all going to hell in a hand basket despite noble efforts we might want to think about we we go there with, the next door neighbor who invokes a slur to explain how he got a good deal on a car, or somebody who decided to stumble like a happy drunk after a dream everybody said was silly and unattainable?

George “Global Warming Denier” Carlin !?!

This video is the rage among the Global Warming denial sect, as they pass it around and post it with great glee following Carlin’s death. Their RIP is a celebration that George was one of theirs.

You got people around you.

The country’s full of them right now, people walking around all day long, every minute of the day, worried about everything …

the greatest arrogance of them all, Save the Planet.  …

I’m getting tired of this shit.

Celebrate George “Global Warming Denier” Carlin!

Hold on a second now …  

It’s A Party, I’ll Say Your Mama if I Want To, Your Mama if I Want To,

Your Mama if I Want To,

You would say Your Mama Too, If it Happened to YOU!

Conflict is inevitable

Conflict develops because we are dealing with people’s lives, jobs, children, pride, self-concept, ego and sense of mission or purpose

Early indicators of conflict can be recognized

There are strategies for resolution that are available and DO work

Although inevitable, conflict can be minimized, diverted and/or resolved

Oh really?  Who is the know it all that sez so?  I say to them

Your Mama!

Your mama is so dumb, she came here and posted jokes about herself.

NO!  Mama would never!  Mama knows stuff!  She is pretty smart.  Sometimes she is a bit stubborn, though….  Here is what she said:

She said, “Your Mama is so dumb, I found her peaking over a glass wall to see what was on the other side.”

So, what you are telling me is that sometimes poor communication and the seeking of power causes a person to not see the obvious, right through the clear and open glass?

YEP!  Sometimes!

Well, Your brother is so hairy, BIGFOOT is taking HIS picture!

Don’t be ‘dissing my brother!  Just because he disagrees with YOU personally, regardless of the issue!  Why if you could see his body language here on this blog, you would know that he is much more sincere than you might think he is from reading what he typed.


Docudharma Times Sunday June 29

Invading Iraq

On The 7/11 Plan

Sunday’s Headlines:

Occupation Plan for Iraq Faulted in Army History  

Shadow of war looms as Israel flexes its muscle

West Bank torturers funded by Britain

Tutu urges Zimbabwe intervention

Rights group: Post-election violence in Zimbabwe  

Scores hurt in S. Korea beef protests

Pakistan launches anti-Taliban crackdown

Blood money: the MPs cashing in on Zimbabwe’s misery

Traffic incident gives insight into Russia’s corrupt legal system

Artist Daniel Lezama, Mexico’s provocateur

Troops welcomed home as Australia quits Iraq

Barbara McMahon in Sydney

The Observer,

Sunday June 29, 2008

Australian soldiers who served in Iraq were given a rousing reception by about 10,000 people yesterday at a ‘welcome home’ parade in Brisbane that marked the country’s withdrawal from combat operations.

Well-wishers waved flags and banners and cheered as some 700 troops, many only recently returned from the war zone, marched through the streets in desert camouflage uniforms with an army band playing ‘Waltzing Matilda’. The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, was among a host of dignitaries who paid tribute at the ceremony, described as Australia’s biggest military homecoming parade since the Second World War.

Nigerian conflicts tighten oil bottleneck

An increasingly bold rebel campaign has slashed the country’s output, rattling world markets and underscoring their vulnerability.

By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

June 29, 2008

WASHINGTON — Amid surging demand for oil, a severe bottleneck has developed in production of high-quality West African crude, alarming world leaders and demonstrating a new vulnerability in fragile oil markets.

With production declining elsewhere, consumer nations had been looking hopefully toward Nigeria. But rebels who have waged an increasingly bold campaign in the oil-rich Niger Delta have slashed the country’s output in their most recent attacks.

The deepening disruptions in Nigeria represent a “huge hole in world oil markets,” said Daniel Yergin, a top oil expert and chairman of the Cambridge Energy Research Associates consulting firm, who warns of an increasingly crisis-prone oil economy.


A New Political Geography

Role Reversals in Virginias Reflect National Shifts

By Alec MacGillis

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, June 29, 2008; Page A01  

When Sen. Barack Obama chose the Nissan Pavilion in the outer suburbs of Northern Virginia to kick off his general-election campaign, one of the 10,000 supporters there was David Bruzas, who recently moved to the fastest-growing part of a state that is moving rapidly away from its Republican past.

“Being in this area has made me a lot more politically in tune with what’s going on,” said Bruzas, 27, a systems engineer from Illinois who moved to Fairfax County to work for Cisco Systems in 2005. “And I identify with Obama.”

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