September 28, 2008 archive

New Pony!

For all of you who have been following the saga of my computationally challenged reality with barely stifled yawns, I have good news! The new season of Survivor has (apparently) started ………..and I have a brand new ‘puter/pony with which to ride out onto the purpled plains of the intertubeweb and do battle with the FOE wherever they may choose to skulk! So you can now switch from one non-interesting distraction to one that at least has better production values!

The new pony (as yet unnamed, suggestions are welcome!) is new and glossy and sleek and black


and best of all, cheap!!!

For you afficianados of inexpensive laptops it is a Compaq Presario CQ50-107nr, currently on sale at the Canton, NY Radio Shack.


Now all I have to do is get back to the broadband ranch and look out!

Many. MANY thanks to all those who stood on the front lines and pitched in as this epic battle of wills between a lowly mortal and the puter Gods played out!  

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 AP Investigation: Palin got zoning aid, gifts

By BRETT J. BLACKLEDGE, Associated Press Writer

2 hours, 12 minutes ago

WASILLA, Alaska – Though Sarah Palin depicts herself as a pit bull fighting good-old-boy politics, in her years as mayor she and her friends received special benefits more typical of small-town politics as usual, an Associated Press investigation shows.

When Palin needed to sell her house during her last year as Wasilla mayor, she got the city to sign off on a special zoning exception – and did so without keeping a promise to remove a potential fire hazard.

She gladly accepted gifts from merchants: A free “awesome facial” she raved about in a thank-you note to a spa. The “absolutely gorgeous flowers” she received from a welding supply store. Even fresh salmon to take home.

Café Discovery: money

Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters, ladies and gentleman, from 1953.  This was their first hit.  You may be more familiar with the cover versions by either Eddie Cochran (1959) or what’s his name…Elvis Presley (1956).

Life once again is dominated by, as Terry Pratchett called it, the “reflected-sound-of-underground-spirits”, aka echo-gnomics.  It always distresses me when life becomes all about the money.  But I live here and I live now.  And there is next to no market in the political arena for knowledge, justice, stewardship of the planet and other things that would interest me more.  Or any.  

Money-grubbing sucks.  Accumulation of money sucks the joy out of life.  But that’s just my opinion.

Eymology Online is my friend, but don’t blame them for my rewrites.

Great Lakes: Introduction

Physical Characteristics

The Great Lakes – Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario – span more than 750 miles from west to east and are an important part of the physical and cultural heritage of North America.  PhotobucketThe complexity and magnitude of the Great Lakes water system is difficult to grasp, even for those who live within the basin.

The lakes cover a total of 294,000 square miles and contain about 5,500 cubic miles of water.  The Great Lakes are the largest collection of fresh, surface water on earth, containing roughly 18 percent of the world supply. Only the polar ice caps contain more fresh water.   Although part of a single system, each lake is different.  

Palin’s Missioning Experience

Palin does not want to be mocked for her claim that she has foreign policy experience because she can see Russia from Alaska. To buttress her foreign policy resume, Palin explained to Couric that “we have trade missions back and forth” between Russia and Alaska. Some may interpret a governor saying “we” as meaning that Palin, similar to other governors, led trade missions overseas. Well, the “we” means that the State of Alaska has a history of grassroots diplomacy with Russia — only Palin stopped any diplomatic missions when she became Governor. The record also reflects that Palin has not traveled to Russia or even met any foreign heads of state until the other day. And, the “back and forth” must be related to some country other than Russia, which is not in the top 20 of trade partners with Alaska. To buttress her missioning claim, Palin then delivers the next mocking point, citing Putin’s need to fly over Alaska to reach DC as part of her national security credentials! OMG, people living near international airports start sending out your resumes for VP because I’m sure some foreign head of state flew over your head!  

seems to be an assumption that the majority of the electorate wants Patton for President.

McCain campaign on McCain:

"There was one man who was presidential tonight, that man was  John McCain."

Let's see … McCain never looked at Obama during the debate.

Not looking at your opponent is "presidential?"

This very much was the "don't talk to your enemies – don't look them in the eye" foreign policy expert practicing his "presidential" craft for a nationwide audience.

McCain campaign continues:

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Jefferson Airplane – Early Days

Somebody to Love

The line dividing good and evil

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

My first job out of college over 30 years ago was as a counselor in a residential program for chemically addicted teenagers. I had lived an extremely sheltered life as a “good girl” and trained to be a teacher. When I graduated, there were no teaching jobs available. This one came along, so I took it. I didn’t have to wait very long to learn I was in way over my head.

The kids in the program lived there for 6 months. During the first few weeks, we didn’t see their families at all. After that, they joined us once a week for family therapy groups.  I still remember one young man in the program who told me his story during those first few weeks. The abuse he had suffered at the hands of his mother was horrific. In some ways I dreaded meeting her. In other ways, I was anxious to do so and give her a piece of my mind.

I’ll never forget what happened when I finally got that opportunity. I interviewed her privately before the group session and heard her story. The terrible things she had done to her son paled in comparison to what had been done to her as a child. My heart broke as she cried with me and I realized that she had actually come a long way in her life and was trying to do her best as a mother.

McCain Fails Own Test

Last Thursday, both Barack Obama and campaign-suspended John McCain spoke at a session of the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting.  Some have already called John McCain’s comments “the height of hypocrisy.”  Reading McCain’s speech and considering John McCain’s spinning out of control flip-flopping on energy and global warming issues over the past year, it is hard to disagree with this evaluation.

Vets on McCain & Life On The Ledge

The following video ad was produced by veteran  inlookout and linked, in the replys, in an initial writeup posted at Vet Voice after the Debate.

John McCain Loves Cutting Veterans Health Benefits

Are politicians moving too slowly to accomplish too little?

Cross-posted from

From an article by John Browne at Asia Times:

Last week, US Treasury secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke faced congressional leaders with a reported forecast that we are “literally days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system”. Apparently, the politicians were stunned into a long silence.

If citizens across the country could glimpse the horror seen by the congressmen (of which we have long warned), then widespread panic would truly be the order of the day. In particular, people will be shocked to see how Paulson’s seemingly vast request to congress for some $1 trillion is utterly dwarfed by the likely problem.

Later in the article:

If the economy moves into a severe recession and then depression, default rates will explode. These, in turn, will cause stock markets to implode, as they did in 1929. In addition, the US dollar is likely to plummet, driving up the trade deficit in the longer term. Considering these factors, many of which the government prefers to hide, things look bad – very bad.

The thing is, most Americans seem to oppose any bailout of Wall Street whatsoever.  U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein was inundated with communications from constituents demanding that she vote against giving any of their tax dollars to Wall Street, according to the Kansas City Star:

Feinstein’s office has heard from about 50,000 constituents since Congress began considering a financial rescue plan about a week ago – and “only one of a thousand supports it – whatever it is,” the California Democrat said.

Lawmakers from both parties reported similar confusion and concern among constituents as they spent their Saturday painstakingly, and sometimes painfully, trying to craft a still-elusive compromise package.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell aimed to have a final plan ready by 6 p.m. Sunday, in time for the opening of markets around the world.

But House Republicans, whose objections derailed a deal reached last week, warned they did not want any rush to judgment.


The senator tends to side on most issues with Democratic liberals and moderates, but her feedback from home was similar to what conservatives were hearing. “People call us and say they’re really against bailing out fat-cats. That’s a big issue,” she said.

“We’ve heard from hundreds of people who say, ‘We pay our bills. Why can’t Wall Street pay theirs?’ ” said Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said his office had received 3,500 calls in recent days “and just 95 said they supported what we’ve done so far.”

Republicans have apparently been revolting against their own party’s dictator in the White House, seemingly out of a desire to finally look as though they oppose big government interference in the market system – earlier this month, the feds took lending giant Fannie Mae back under their control and also seized its counterpart, Freddie Mac.

Whether this is really the case is up for debate; it could all be a ploy to extend the financial crisis so as to force Democrats in Congress to cave in and write another blank check.  My gut, however, tells me there’s genuine fear that a bailout not crafted to give taxpayers at least partial ownership of the financial institutions in return for a bailout would create a massive backlash at the polls come November.

At any rate, once the bailout does go through (no matter what form it takes), shall it be enough?  According to at least one American economics writer and the foreign press, we’re already in the throes of an economic depression that began months ago.  Considering the massive U.S. debt already being passed on to an incalculable number of future generations, adding another trillion or so dollars to it doesn’t seem as though it’ll solve the problem we now face.

Docudharma Times Sunday September 28

Fraud Street That’s How The People See It

Anger At The Economic and  Ruling Classes

Means Only One Thing And Cake Isn’t It

Sunday’s Headlines:

Some on the right are joining a chorus of criticism over Sarah Palin

Revealed: secret Taliban peace bid

Beijing, we have lift-off

CIA ‘backed’ Irish battle against Brussels treaty

Austrians vote in early election

Foreigners farm for themselves in a hungry Africa

US destroyer watching hijacked ship off Somalia

Help for the Heavy at Ramadan

Scholars search for missing pages of Hebrew Bible

Ecuadoreans go to polls to vote on constitution

Breakthrough Reached in Negotiations on Bailout  



Published: September 27, 2008    

WASHINGTON – Congressional leaders and the Bush administration reached a tentative agreement early Sunday on what may become the largest financial bailout in American history, authorizing the Treasury to purchase $700 billion in troubled debt from ailing firms in an extraordinary intervention to prevent widespread economic collapse.

Officials said that Congressional staff members would work through the night to finalize the language of the agreement and draft a bill, and that the bill would be brought to the House floor for a vote on Monday.

Egyptian sheik’s outburst against Shiites roils Mideast

Sunni cleric Yusuf Qaradawi calls Shiites heretics trying to invade Sunni nations, tapping into anti-Iran anxieties. Shiites express dismay at the remarks amid Iraq war and efforts to forge unity.

 By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

9:56 PM PDT, September 27, 2008

CAIRO — A popular Sunni Muslim cleric with a television show and a website that churns out religious edicts and dieting tips agitated centuries-old animosities in the Islamic world recently by referring to Shiite Muslims as heretics seeking to invade Sunni societies.

The bitter, often bloody, divide between the two main branches of Islam has been an undercurrent since the 7th century, but Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi’s vitriol comes at a fragile time, when Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt are wary that the predominantly Shiite nations of Iraq and Iran could destabilize the region.



Anger at bailout turns on fat salaries for Wall Street execs


 By David Lightman | McClatchy Newspapers  

WASHINGTON – Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office has heard from about 50,000 constituents  since Congress began considering a financial rescue plan about a week ago – and “only one of a thousand supports it – whatever it is,” the California Democrat said.

Lawmakers from both parties reported similar confusion and concern among constituents as they spent their Saturday painstakingly, and sometimes painfully, trying to craft a still-elusive compromise package.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell aimed to have a final plan ready by 6 p.m. Sunday, in time for the opening of markets around the world.

When smalltown USA turned on ‘Fraud Street’

Americans have watched with horror as financial chaos has spread across the country, choking the economy and threatening to plunge the country into recession. Last week they turned their anger on the administration as it battled to put together a rescue package. Report by Paul Harris in Pennsylvania, Ruth Sunderland and Heather Stewart

Paul Harris in Pennsylvania, Ruth Sunderland and Heather Stewart

The Observer,

Sunday September 28 2008

It was the week that an angry Main Street finally fought back after a decade when the financial masters of Wall Street were seemingly invincible. As President George Bush looked straight into the television cameras last week and spelt out to the nation the economic peril facing America, the fury and fear were mounting in millions of homes.

‘Without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic,’ Bush warned. He sketched out a scenario of failing banks and plunging share prices which would savage retirement plans and put millions out of work. It was a terrifying scenario. Having waged two wars that are not yet over, Bush faced the final legacy of his tumultuous two-term period in office: the possible collapse of the American economy.

Load more