July 26, 2008 archive

What a drag it is growing old…..

Michael Philip Jagger was born in Dartford, Kent on 26th July 1943. When he was 4 he met Keith Richards until they went into secondary schools and lost touch. But one day in 1960 they accidentally met on the Dartford train line and both realised that they had an interest in rock n roll combined with blues. Between 1960-1962 The Rolling Stones formed. It comprised of Mick on lead vocal and harmonica, Keith Richards on guitar, Bill Wyman on bass, Charlie Watts on drums and Brian Jones on guitar.  Link

Join me below as the UK commemorates this grand event……

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Housing rescue bill heads to Bush for signature

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer

1 hour, 28 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Congress passed the most significant housing legislation in decades Saturday, offering help to struggling homeowners and seeking to stabilize a troubled housing market that has dragged down the economy.

President Bush will sign it quickly, the White House said, despite reservations over $3.9 billion in the bill that would aid neighborhoods devastated by the housing crisis buy and fix up foreclosed properties.

The bill, approved 72-13 in a rare weekend session in the Senate, would give the government power to throw a financial lifeline to the ailing mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They back or own $5 trillion in mortgages, or nearly half the nation’s total. The rescue plan is intended to prevent the two pillars of the home loan market from failing and causing broader market turmoil, while strengthening oversight of their operations.

You’re Not Invited To My Pity Party

I am visually impaired, what the state of Texas considers blind, but with a small field of vision that to most people means I am not really blind.  This was the result of an act of violence committed against me by a sociopath.  A person who believed themselves entitled to their anger, their grievances, their hurts and most of all entitled to live a life based on the false assumption that nothing and no one besides themselves counted above their own self absorption.  I have nothing to do with such people these days, something that is actually easier to do in real life than here.

Being a tough cookie I fully expected that I would surmount this, newest, obstacle.  What I didn’t know was that my very way of thinking had to readjust in order to make the changes required for making a life under these very new circumstances.  Being tough just frankly was not enough.  I was going to need to find in myself something more than courage and a stubborn insistence on moving forward.

There was no aspect to my life that was not impacted and I came to understand that only the choices I made would determine whether the outcome was good or bad.

I had wonderful help, I was fortunate to be a Texan with the full support of the Texas Commission For the Blind to face all these changed circumstances.  My first hurdle was simply mobility, getting around in a world I suddenly could not see very much of.  That turned out to be a three year long training exercise before I was fully confident of my ability to go where I wanted to go when I wanted on my own terms.  But I got there.

The second life altering change I had to make was to acknowledge all those messy emotions that go along with such a life changing experience.  My first caseworker with the Commission read me like an open book, a disconcerting thing that blind people do and I suspect the reason people are so afraid of us.  She insisted to me that I must grieve what I had lost and I must acknowledge those feelings or I would ultimately undo all the other work I was being so successful at.  Her suggestion to me was that I set a timer for five minutes, be private and have my pity party and then when the bell goes off be done with it for a while.  It was the best advice I have ever gotten in my life.

There are some things that need to be addressed to be successful at it.  The main one to me was the stunning realization that I didn’t have more than five minutes worth of original material.  Any longer and I was repeating myself and wasting good time I could be using for a better purpose.  The other was realizing that it was a whole lot like expecting to smoke pot and get something done.  You can, provided you decide before you get high what you’re going to do and how you’re going to get started.  Then you can just do it and not blow your buzz.  Same thing with a pity party, be prepared and then be busy.  The healing comes along in reverse proportion to losing your buzz, it builds rather than decreases.

My caseworker’s point was that any one dimensional solution to a multi dimensional problem is destined to fail.  No one thing that I did, no service that was provided to me by the Commission helped me to survive being blinded; it took many things all working together.

I did not “get over” being blinded, although I can say that there are people in world insensitive enough to actually say and apparently mean such a thing.  What I did do though was get with, embrace and accept the new reality that is my life.  

My feelings about that are addressed, privately, in a pity party.  What that does for me is allow me to go forward in action and make choices that are not directed by those feelings.  They get their hearing and they certainly can be a factor, but they damn sure don’t run the show and for that I am truly grateful.

Do I lack patience with people who won’t deal with their feelings privately and use and embrace them instead of inflicting them on the wider world?  In a word-YES.  It doesn’t need to be done like that and it doesn’t actually work as well that way.

So, please folks would you leave me off the invitation list for your pity party.

John McCain’s Summer of Love American Style

In 1967, John McCain was shot out of the North Vietnamese sky, crash landed in a lake, taken prisoner, and held in captivity for … 41 years, so far.

No one can dismiss the unimaginable agony of enduring six years in an enemy prisoner of war camp. It is surely a brutal experience both physically and mentally. It is the sort of experience that never leaves you and, indeed, it seems never to have left John McCain. His entire post-POW frame of reference is shaped by what he went through, and also by what he missed as a consequence of his incarceration.

The Zen Dictator Speaks





Pelosi’s Panhandling

Original article via counterpunch.com, which is subheaded “An Exchange.”

Louisiana Environmental Disaster: Where Are the MSM?

Back in 1988 when the Exxon Valdez ran aground, I can recall at least a few weeks of steady coverage by both the three major networks and cable news (just CNN at the time) of the disaster, its environmental impact, and efforts to clean it up.

But the fuel oil spill that happened in Louisiana earlier this week proves to be a much larger disaster with farther-reaching consequences–yet for some news briefs I’ve seen on NBC Nightly News and a couple of cable channels, there hasn’t been the major coverage it should be getting. Why aren’t the MSM taking it seriously?

And scorpiorising says,

it is somewhat shocking to me, given the size of the spill and its potential impact on fragile wetlands, that there isn’t more help coming to help wildlife, and to help with cleanup.

Pony Party: Your Morning Art

Usually by the time I discover an artist they have already been hot and are now considered “so yesterday”, I hope that is not the case with Walton Ford. What can I say I am not hip or cutting edge.

Somebody with more artistic training that I would be able to explain in detail the way he takes a particular style that is subversive without mocking the actual genre.

Real News: Iraq Events Moving Out Of US Control

July 21, 2008, 8 min 46 sec: Iraq events moving out of US control

Sabah al-Nasseri: Washington cannot dictate politics in Iraq

Sabah al-Nasseri: “They are instrumentalizing the internal resistance within the Iraqi Parliament, within the Iraqi societies, against the United States, against the presence of US troops in Iraq, and so on, to actually negotiate new deals concerning securities agreement, oil agreement, etcetera, by saying, “Look, we cannot signs all of these kind of agreements. Otherwise we’ll commit political suicide.”

Born in Basra, Iraq, Sabah al-Nasseri is Professor of Political Science (Middle East Politics) at York University, Toronto. Prior to that he was a Lecturer of Political Science at the J.W. Goethe University, Frankfurt. Currently he is working on an article, “Understanding Iraq.”

Docudharma Times Saturday July 26

He’s Not Sure

If He

Agrees With

This Policy Or


Maybe What

Day It Is

Makes A Difference

Saturday’s Headlines:

McCain sharpens attack on Obama

Serbia: Radovan Karadzic arrest bolsters pro-western president

The Sarajevo legacy

Poverty pushing people into Hamas militia

Little expat sympathy for Michelle Palmer and Vince Acors, Dubai’s ‘sex on the beach’ pair

‘Sudanese planes bombed village as President undertook Darfur peace mission’

Elections push democracy in Africa to doorstep of death  

Taliban exploit sectarian rift in siege of Shiites in Pakistan enclave

Indian Government Expected to Revive Economic Reform After Confidence Vote

Cuba’s youth: restless but not often political

Meet Cuba’s best-known Generation Y blogger

Yoani Sanchez won the Spanish equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, but her government wouldn’t allow her to leave the country to receive it.

By Sara Miller Llana

from the July 25, 2008 edition

Havana –  Blogger Yoani Sanchez had just found out that she had won an 2008 Ortega y Gasset award – essentially the Pulitzer prize of Spanish journalism – and she was nervous. Would Cuban officials give her the exit visa to fly to Madrid and accept the prize for digital journalism?

At a cafe in Havana, as she talked about the origins of her blog and the risks she takes chronicling daily life in Cuba, she seemed distracted. No wonder; at that moment her husband was standing in a line at a government office seeking instructions on the proper visa protocol.

Ms. Sanchez’s no-nonsense – and often contentious – slices of life that she posts on her blog Generación Y (www.desdecuba.com/generationy/) have suddenly catapulted her into the world spotlight.

AIDS Funding Binds Longevity of Millions to U.S.

pen-Ended Commitment of Money Is Implied

By David Brown

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, July 26, 2008; Page A01

President Bush plans to sign a bill next week that commits the United States to spending about $40 billion over the next five years to fight AIDS overseas, a major expansion of what many consider his most successful foreign policy initiative.

The legislation also extends an implicit pledge that has little precedent in the history of U.S. foreign assistance: to continue purchasing lifesaving drugs for millions of individual people in developing indefinite period of time. countries for an indefinite period of time.


California Bars Restaurant Use of Trans Fats


Published: July 26, 2008

LOS ANGELES – California, a national trendsetter in all matters edible, became the first state to ban trans fats in restaurants when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill Friday to phase out their use.

Under the new law, trans fats, long linked to health problems, must be excised from restaurant products beginning in 2010, and from all retail baked goods by 2011. Packaged foods will be exempt.

New York City adopted a similar ban in 2006 – it became fully effective on July 1 – and Philadelphia, Stamford, Conn., and Montgomery County, Md., have done so as well.

The ‘surge’ Working?? Take 1,2,3………..

All that’s needed is for something to happen to rile the ‘mahdi’ army and the ceasefire will end, as well as some Iraqi leader to demand “America tear down these Walls!” and the Real Purposes for the ‘surge’, i.e. Escalation, will be no more!

Words Matter – Anatomy and Genesis of a Winning Argument

There was this great essay the other day by Diane W: Code Talking White Trash & Exploitation Capitalism that is a must read for some uplifting real life political action.

Her framing used in the discussion was extremely interesting to me, as Diane NAILED it.  Here's some analysis of her framing from a comment I posted on her essay:

Initial Analysis 

There is NOT economic parity nor economic equal chance in this country. I have studied the actual demographics. The middle class is gone, honey, and 90% of the wealth in this country is now in 1% of the hands. There are no jobs. All these divisionary tactics keep us blaming eachother instead of the real problem. Greed. The haves and the have-nots.

  • Fairness
  • Opportunity
  • Community/Empathy

I'll give you American Axle as an example. Those hard-working factory people, men and women who may have given as much as 30 years of their lives working their butts off, just took a 50% pay cut. Now the houses and student loans and their lifestyles had reflected a certain base pay, a pay no longer available to them. What happens to the broader market when all those people are foreclosed upon, because the money is no longer there? Are you going to yell “bootstraps” at all these workers?

  • Fairness
  • Opportunity
  • Community/Empathy

When there are no jobs, neighborhoods die, stores close, people move away, schools have no tax-base. In the meantime GM exec's make 100 times what the factory workers who actually do the work make, and they send those jobs to goddamned Vietnam. Opportunity Empathy This is a class war. Husbands can't support their families, women have to work, kids have to become latch-key kids… Thats whats wrong with America!

A solution: No darling, at one time Lee Iaccoca took NO salary for a few years, probably cashed in one of his Lears to survive it, to keep his company up and running, to make sure workers could afford the cars they made. 

  • Responsibility
  • Accountability
  • Empathy 

The PROBLEM isn't those people, the problem is the greed of the rich.

This conversation is OVER.

I love the conclusion. It's a done deal. 

This is also interesting because it flies in the face of Lakoffian (is that a word?) frame construction… Values first, then metaphor…It pulls the metaphor first, the illustration of the values.

I think this is the way that frames should be built. Once you have the illustrations, you deconstruct them pull out the values and improve and expand upon the illustrations that are similarly well understood and emotive.

I really love this, Diane. It has taught me a lot. I usually demonize Iococca because of the Pinto and accountability and responsibility, but you've tapped into the nostalgia and base assumptions that were in play during his success.

It's great.



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