November 18, 2009 archive

Origins Of The Native American Flute

The clear origins of the Native American Flute date back several thousand millennia to flutes made of bone, to petroglyphs, and oral history. Unclear “origins” involve the Spanish Conquest insofar as the Spanish stealing the bamboo flute from Asia, and then introducing it to the Five Civilized Tribes. A Cheyenne Flute Maker relayed this to me. The idea goes, that the bamboo flute was made out of river cane by the Five Civilized Tribes after the Spanish “brought” the bamboo flute to the “New World.” Subsequently, river cane flutes then proceeded to be constructed out of cedar wood by the Plains Tribes; hence, its origins within this idea being called Asian – Spanish. However, the Cheyenne Flute Maker said that the tribes already possessed the flute prior to the invasion, and the Spanish may have introduced it to a few. That raises some questions, but the ultimate answer we shall see is one of mystery.


Experimenters Corner Energy Quest

What is a Babington burner?…

It burns just about anything.

Don’t want to burn stuff?  No problem.…

Here is another one.………

Low head hydro…

Want more?

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

Now with World and U.S. News.  53 Story Final.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Obama admits delay in closing Guantanamo


Wed Nov 18, 10:15 am ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama admitted for the first time on Wednesday that the United States would miss the January 2010 deadline he set for closing the “war on terror” prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The US leader also said Americans should not be “fearful” of the prospect that five men accused of masterminding the September 11, 2001 attacks will go on trial in New York City, a notion that has sparked vocal domestic opposition.

“Guantanamo — we had a specific deadline that was missed,” Obama told US-based NBC television, in one of a flurry of interviews he gave in Beijing as his Asia tour winds down.

Hopey Changiness.

Is This What Democrats Stand For?

Cross-posted at Daily Kos…  OpenLeft, and FDL.

Back in the 1960s, Time and Life had many subscribers.  These magazines dropped plenty of photos about the reality of war onto tens of millions of living room coffee tables across the country, every damn week.

And, Walter Cronkite made sure that Mr. and Mrs. America had a close-up view during the dinner hour.

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We don’t see that anymore.

Let’s take a look back.

And if any of these historic and recent photos are upsetting at all, it proves you are normal and that there is nothing wrong with you.

What Could Have Been

I was going through this post I did at Daily Kos to refresh my memory on condoms. But as I read it, I was struck by how current it still seems, and relevant to everything we’ve been discussing here lately.

Sorry, But the Democrats Have Failed Again

I’m literally sick to my stomach. I have been for a few days now. I know this will be unpopular among some here. But I don’t care. I see very few facing the reality of what has happened with the stimulus package, and the historical opportunity our Democratic leaders have just thrown down the drain.

Our country is at a crossroads. The kind Roosevelt faced when he entered office in 1932. It is a time for vision, boldness, and courageous leadership. What should have happened was the Democrats put together a big, unifying vision for the future – a Rebuilding America Act.

Like Kennedy’s call to put a man on the moon, this act should have inspired Americans to look forward again and see a better future through the clouds of our current crisis. It should have been both far reaching and immediate. ‘We will rebuild America and we will start now.’

It should have been almost entirely dedicated to converting and rebuilding our nations infrastructure. 800 thousand million dollars is a lot of money. We could have launched a massive plan to build high speed rail across the country. Build solar and wind farms. Build thousands of new, smaller schools to keep kids in their communities and allow parents to get involved in their children’s education.

A grand vision to mobilize millions of Americans to not just get out of our rut, but to actually create something better than we’ve known before. That’s what we could do with almost a trillion dollars.

Roubini: “The worst is yet to come”

Nouriel Roubini, one of the predictors of the economic catastrophe, along with most of the progressive netroots, appears to just be making a dour economic prediction. In fact, he is describing the transformation of American society.

Think the worst is over? Wrong. Conditions in the U.S. labor markets are awful and worsening. While the official unemployment rate is already 10.2% and another 200,000 jobs were lost in October, when you include discouraged workers and partially employed workers the figure is a whopping 17.5%.

So we can expect that job losses will continue until the end of 2010 at the earliest. In other words, if you are unemployed and looking for work and just waiting for the economy to turn the corner, you had better hunker down. All the economic numbers suggest this will take a while. The jobs just are not coming back.

The long-term picture for workers and families is even worse than current job loss numbers alone would suggest. Now as a way of sharing the pain, many firms are telling their workers to cut hours, take furloughs and accept lower wages. Specifically, that fall in hours worked is equivalent to another 3 million full time jobs lost on top of the 7.5 million jobs formally lost.

NY Daily

“The jobs just are not coming back.” That could be the theme slogan for the last 40 years. If we had had a big election back in 1973 on whether or not we wanted to move our manufacturing sector overseas, thereby decimating a huge chunk of the economy, and destroying millions of livelihoods and lives, how do you think that election would have turned out? I’m pretty sure the political careers of the people who even suggested it would have been over.

Yet, behind the scenes, through the lobbying work of international trade groups like the CFR and COC, that is exactly what our democratically elected representatives set out to accomplish.

And what they accomplished was nothing less than the transformation of American society. We went from having a thriving middle class, with an immense amount of common wealth, to a borderline third world state, common wealth looted, private wealth looted, public facilities starved and in shambles, society on the verge of collapse or, more accurately, balkanized into segments in varying degrees of prosperity and collapse.

It’s not a mystery. We were attacked. Our treasury looted, public policy turned against us on trade, manufacturing, taxes. The history is not secret. It has been chronicled in books and publications, in print and on the web.

But the liberal left never saw it coming. We were too busy with academic issues like prayer in schools or the ten commandments on the courthouse steps to notice that our country was being turned into a third world state. While we were waging our culture war, corporate America was quietly dismantling American society.  

Will Love …Or Rage… Save the Planet?



As the Senate gets to work delaying and watering down Climate Change legislation, all of course for the sake of the greed of their American and International Corporate Owners, I am spurred to ask…..what will do more to save the Planet, Love or Rage?

We are after all activists because of Love. We love the Planet and we love our fellow human beings, we love justice and we love equality, and that is why we fight.

Or is it perhaps that because when we look around at all the greed, at all the torture and war, at all the hatred and intolerance…..we are filled with Rage. Filled with rage at all of it, because the more we investigate, the more we learn, the more of our own ignorance we dispose of as our eyes open to how the world really works….and especially how it is really run, how can we feel anything but rage?

When we find that it is mostly greed that is causing the worlds problems, greed and incompetence and the willful ignorance and in some cases petty malice that are preventing us from traveling down the road to the progress, justice, and equality that we seek, how can any feeling human feel anything but rage?

Sometimes the rage even drowns out the love, overwhelms it and pushes it into the background. And in the worst cases, the rage can shove the love right out of peoples hearts and they become the rage, and love is a forgotten memory. Sadly, this is the process that can turn a well meaning love filled activist into exactly what we set out to fight against. Unfeeling except for the rage, too focused on the fight to remember what we one is fighting for.

On the other hand, and I suppose this is the real question, can love alone change the worldly mechanisms, aspirations, and nefarious greed of those who would deny justice and equality to all beings? Or is rage necessary to activate the activist?

In what balance is it most effective to hold these two forces of activism, as we try top change the world we love so, but that so enrages us?

I am the Homeless. Please help

Crossposted at Daily Kos

    Because of extenuating circumstances, I now find myself without housing. I will be leaving NY-19 (upstate NY) and goig back to New York City to be staying with friends for the time being, but I would like to solicit your help.

    Problems such as poverty, unemployment and homelessness seem distant and something that doesn’t hit as close to home until they become your problems. With that in mind, I would like to ask for your help in caring for societies less fortunate going into this holiday season, as many of us will nnot be sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner in our own homes with our own families. Many will be going without this Thanksgiving and during the upcoming holiday’s, now more than ever, and I now count myself among them. Therefore, if you can give to the less fortunate, I implore you to do so, but first I ask you to help others even less fortunate than I before I dare to ask you for anything for myself.

Please donate to if you can, anything you can give is very appreciated.

    As for myself, I will explain below the fold.

It’s more than just healthcare, its also the safety net at stake!

I’m angry and I’m scared with regards to what is happening these days.  Not just on healthcare, but also the safety net.  After reading Angrybird’s sad note on the foreclosure, my anger simply grew. How could we allow this?  Not just the homes, but the jobs and the insurance and the schools.  Yesterday I got into a heated argument with a long time friend, someone who now I know probably won’t speak to me. She’s a libertarian who simply had (to use her own words)”fuck ’em if they weren’t prepared, don’t take from me!” attitude. Maybe just as well.  But I’m not one to leave someone to the wolves.

Open Smile


Canadian Afghan Prisoner Torture Coverup {UpDated 2}

Last night I caught a report that by the timeline on the site seemed to be just breaking, today it may Break Wide Open and not be a pleasure for the Canadians nor any of the Military Forces, U.S. included, now occupying Afghanistan!

This was what I posted up last night:

Separation Is Merely an Illusion

Amy Walter’s column “It’s Still 1960 in Washington” rings true in many ways.   Designed to point out the stain of sexism and condescending attitudes Washington still holds within its its corridors of power, the piece also speaks to that which we have gained and have yet to gain regarding equality between the sexes. Certain assumptions have proved difficult to completely eradicate from our system and while the boldest and most visible offenders may have been banished from public sight into private secret, subtle suggestion and dog whistle have sprung up to replace them.  To be sure, we do not live in a post-sexist society (yet), though if one only considered the victories won and not the upcoming contests, it might be easy to be lulled to complacency.   At times we resemble the boxer, who having won a few key contests, rests back on his haunches, fails to stay in shape for his next match, and ends up losing it based on poor conditioning.      

Gloria Steniem wrote,

“Those of us who were taught the cheerful American notion that progress is linear and hierarchical may have had to learn with pain…that no worthwhile battle can be fought and won only once….the issues still repeat themselves in different ways and in constantly shifting arenas.”

This is, at its core, the fly in the ointment of many a Progressive and many an activist.   No single election, no single candidate, no single protest, no single idea, no single victory of any size is enough.   Whether you agree or disagree with the mission, The Crusades, after all, progressed easily enough at the beginning.   Spurred to action by the passionate appeals of a zealous Pope, highly trained and heavily skilled armies easily defeated Muslim forces.   After having secured the Holy Land and established outposts, Christian crusaders began to slowly but steadily trickle back home with time.   This left the soldiers who did remain in the coveted territories and manning the castle outposts vulnerable to Muslim attack.   In time, the crusader states won went back into the hands of the “infidels” and the process had no choice but to start all over again.   End of Crusade One.   Next, Crusade Two.          

Rust is the enemy of reform and as much as it would be tempting to swap war stories, no worthwhile conflict leaves any room for nostalgia.   The problem facing Feminism right now (or for that matter, any reform movement) is that many of the major forces at play haven’t recognized the generational shift and new challenges that are merely part of the progression of time.   Instead, they want to fight the newest enemy with obsolete strategies and obsolete weaponry.   Those who do recognize the problem, frequently young Feminists and young activists, end up being tokenized, patronized, or discounted.   These offenses have led to third-wavers forming their own organizations and groups, though in truth it would be far better if everyone was on the same page and not working at cross-purposes with each other.   In order to make change, one must be willing to make change within oneself, and those who encourage self-reflection, sad to say, often run the risk of taking a long walk off of a short plank.    

For years, the goal of feminism was to get reproductive rights out of the realm of “women’s issues” and into the category of “family issues.” And many have wondered if EMILY’s List, an organization dedicated solely to electing pro-choice Democratic women, has outlived its usefulness. After all, in an era that saw a woman come so close to being elected president, a women’s-only group can sound as outdated as the three-martini lunch. Yet it was striking that on an issue as central to the Democratic party ideology as this one, it was up to women to define and defend it.

Upon first reading this passage, I was afraid Walter was going to resort to the same argument which states that feminism and women’s-only groups are superfluous and outdated.   The need for them does persist, but aforementioned outdated thinking and antiquated strategy comprises the mission statements of far too many of them.   That which begins with good intentions drifts dangerous towards self-parody if group introspection is not prized and actively incorporated.  Many women’s rights groups could and probably have been fodder for The Onion and for good reason.   The second-wave feminism of the sixties and seventies advances the concerns of a relatively privileged group of now aging white middle class women and frequently doesn’t take into account currents trends and cultural evolution.   Furthermore, getting more than just reproductive rights transformed into the realm of family issues is what Feminism has attempted and frequently failed to do.   Even invoking the phrase “family issues” instantly conjures up maternal images of rocking babies to sleep and feeding small children.    

What needs to happen, unless it is forever perceived in the cultural imagination as a niche group with a relatively limited scope, is for Feminism’s goals to advance human rights.   To be sure, there are many activists, myself being only one, who are attempting to bring this to pass.   What we continue to struggle with, however, are cultural attitudes that lock men out of the process altogether by assuming that they will be meant to feel unwelcome in feminist circles or that taking an interest in the concerns of women is masculine and thus effeminate.   Along with this is a gross stereotype that portrays Feminism as shrill, exclusive, lacking an understanding of irony, and having no grasp of nuance or subtlety.   Though most Feminist thought does have a woman-centered emphasis for good reason, I as a man have been amazed at how much of conventional masculine gender roles and concerns I can observe even in the most strictly female construct.   It is that point in particular that makes me realize that our supposed separation from each other is a skillfully crafted illusion.  We must not be careful to not break the bonds of fidelity and common purpose that link us together, provided we are willing to constantly seek them and repair them.  Wear and tear is simply part of the game.

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