January 9, 2010 archive


jeffroby has written several essays since coming to Docudharma that I think ought to have their own tag.  If what he’s writing about had its own unique tag, I’d tag this essay under it.  But I can’t even come up with a properly descriptive word so to hell with you all!  Stop nagging me!

Times have changed.  What worked back then won’t work now.  Or rather, anything at all will work if the ground we stand upon is firm.

I’ve seen that building a movement on quicksand isn’t a very good idea.  So no thank you to that!

See, I wish I could stand upon the lofty mountain of moral superiority and loftily challenge The Coalition of the Comfortable in a supremely lofty fashion.

Unfortunately, I am still in the process of extricating myself from that Coalition (thus the quicksand analogy), so my house is too glassy for that.

So much of my activism has been and no doubt will be, this process of extrication from the conditioning I have been unable to avoid but which I am now aware of and opposed to.

Buhdy’s essays on this ought to be under this unnamed tag as well, come to think of it, at least his “coalition” stuff.

Isn’t it an action to really dig deep to see what the ground is upon which you stand?

In the I-Ching there is the hexagram of “The Well.”  I could write books and books upon that one hexagram, but will limit myself to what I think is pertinent to this essay:

… there are … prerequisites for a satisfactory political or social organization of mankind.  We must go down to the very foundations of life.  For any merely superficial ordering of life that leaves its deepest needs unsatisfied is as ineffectual as if no attempt at order had ever been made. …

Being comfortable also means not going “down to the very foundations of life” and thus will not withstand the strong forces one will encounter as an activist that work from the opposition to shatter our solidarity.

I guess I’m saying politely that I would need something really powerful and deep to hold to when I inevitably hate my closest allies because of my own vain, antisocial and thin-skinned nature.

So that’s my grail in a way — oh, I’m not asking for perfection in this quest, but something I can agree upon with my allies that will withstand any temporary disagreements or distrust.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Portugal MPs approve gay marriage

by Anne Le Coz, AFP

Fri Jan 8, 3:21 pm ET

LISBON (AFP) – Portugal’s parliament Friday approved plans to legalise gay marriage, less than three decades after revoking the country’s ban on homosexuality, but rejected proposals to allow same sex couples to adopt.

The bill passed with limited public controversy in what has traditionally been one of Europe’s most socially conservative countries.

After less than three hours’ debate, Friday’s parliamentary vote went mainly along party lines, with the left-wing majority backing the measure proposed by Prime Minister Jose Socrates and the right-wing opposition voting against.

This Week In Health and Fitness

Welcome to this week’s Health and Fitness.

A spoon, a spoon, what’s the difference? It’s a spoon. Well, in medicine, as in baking, it’s a big difference. The teaspoon and tablespoon that came with that dinner set aren’t accurate measures. When a prescription says a teaspoon, it means 5 ml, a tablespoon is 15 ml, not more not less. The reason is that too much or too little is bad for you and can be dangerous. Most over the counter cough and cold remedies come with a measured cap as a cup. If you get prescribe liquid medication, ask the pharmacist for a measured cup or spoon so you get the correct amount of medication. This especially important with children, as the article from the NYT notes, most over doses are medication errors. So just as in baking where you use a measuring spoon so the cake rises as it bakes, use a measured spoon or cup to take liquid medication.

Spooning Up the Wrong Dose

Many people still use kitchen spoons to measure a dose of liquid medication. Now new research shows that the size of the spoon influences our ability to estimate the right dose – and most of the time, we get it wrong.

A 1992 study of dosing errors reported to poison control centers found that failing to distinguish between teaspoons and tablespoons was a major cause for overdosing of cough and cold medicines and liquid acetaminophen. Although too much cough medicine is typically not a major health worry, many liquid medications contain acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. Acetaminophen overdose is a major health concern and can lead to serious illness, liver failure and even death. And while small dosing errors may not seem like a major concern, excessive doses can add up and make it relatively easy to exceed the recommended daily limit, now four grams.

Researchers at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab have conducted several studies showing how large plate size, oversize ice-cream bowls and wide-rimmed drinking glasses can lead to overindulgence of foods and beverages. Given that so many parents use kitchen spoons to dispense liquid medication, the researchers decided to study how the size of a spoon influenced the amount of medication poured.

As is now custom, I’ll try to include the more interesting and pertinent articles that will help the community awareness of their health and bodies. This essay will not be posted anywhere else due to constraints on my time. Please feel free to make suggestions for improvement and ask questions, I’ll answer as best I can.

This an Open Thread

Reality Check: We Are Not Nice

The American Empire and it’s destruction would have continued no matter who won the election.

If McCain or Clinton had won it could have easily been worse…in a way. But in a way it is worse (at least to me) in other ways to have the candidate who won in part because of his opposition to Iraq and his credentials as a Constitutional scholar amping up the Empire instead of ramping it down.

But that is besides the point for now. For now let’s leave the Players out and just look at the Game.

We are killing people in and occupying two countries, while having a huge force of CIA, Blackwater and other covert assets fighting in Pakistan. We are assassinating both ‘enemy combatants’ and civilians with drones and Tomahawks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia and who knows where else. Our covert army, and make no mistake it is an army operates with impunity any where in the world to kidnap and assassinate lower profile targets under the radar.

And we are doing this…allegedly…. to keep people from attacking and killing us.

We have killed or are responsible for the killing of between 100,000 and one million people…innocents who did NOTHING to harm us….in Iraq, an untold number (because we refuse to tell anyone) in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and we only relatively recently dismantled (If you believe the CIA, which apparently fairly routinely lies to Congress) a worldwide Torture Network with torture bases in at least ten different countries, and the civilian deaths and atrocities attributable to our Empire are piling like…well…bodies.

And we are doing this…allegedly…. to keep people from attacking and killing us.

Fashion Tidbit

I hate the word “tidbit.”  I don’t know why I used it in my title.  Must be going mad.

Most of you may not know I have been perusing the fashion blogs and am now hooked on their whimsical reportage.

I tend to go first to Blogdorf Goodman because I like both the blog and the blogroll.

Ended up at Kingdom of Style, where I found the perfect fashion statement for Docudharmaniacs.

Mystic Pony Boots!

pony boots

Alas, this is the biggest pic I could make in photobucket, but if you hit this link, there’s a bigger picture.

The boots are $30.00 and can be found at The Sportsmans Guide.

From the outdoor experts come these puddle-jumping Misty Pony Rubber Boots. Get your wet, sloppy chores done in half the time and with a smile on your face! Make it easy, especially when you get your pair here for LESS!

Long-lasting Itasca quality:

   * Waterproof rubber uppers for durability

   * Rubber outsole for high-traction grip

   * Removable, polyester-lined EVA insole for comfort

   * Moisture-wicking polyester lining

   * Adjustable side strap. Approx. 13 1/4″h., 18 ozs. each.

Sadly, I do not see these gems in sizes for men.  Hopefully that will change one day.

Open Eyes


Speaking truth to power

By Kathy Kelly

January 8, 2010

There’s a phrase originating with the peace activism of the American Quaker movement: “Speak Truth to Power.” One can hardly speak more directly to power than addressing the Presidential Administration of the United States. This past October, students at Islamabad’s Islamic International University had a message for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. One student summed up many of her colleagues’ frustration. “We don’t need America,” she said. “Things were better before they came here.”

The students were mourning loss of life at their University where, a week earlier, two suicide bombers walked onto the campus wearing explosive devices and left seven students dead and dozens of others seriously injured. Since the spring of 2009, under pressure from U.S. leaders to “do more” to dislodge militant Taliban groups, the Pakistani government has been waging military offensives throughout the northwest of the country. These bombing attacks have displaced millions and the Pakistani government has apparently given open permission for similar attacks by unmanned U.S. aerial drones.

Every week, Pakistani militant groups have launched a new retaliatory atrocity in Pakistan, killing hundreds more civilians in markets, schools, government buildings, mosques and sports facilities. Who can blame the student who believed that her family and friends were better off before the U.S. began insisting that Pakistan cooperate with U.S. military goals in the region?

Method of activism pt. 2 — practicum

continued from part 1

No, these affairs did not grip all of American society.  Most people tried to go about their daily lives.  But these matters gripped the activists, and the activists were in motion, and the activists set the tone.  Not that we were better people.  Social motion allowed us to try different tactics and see what worked.  Decisions were thrust upon us whether we wanted them or not.

We HAD to address:

What kind of society should America be?

participatory democracy


social democracy




humane capitalism

back to the farm?

Stupid arguments.  Loud arguments.  Smart arguments.  Old wheels dragged out and re-invented, new wheels imagined.

Afghanistan and Global Dominance

Rather than post an intro that would nothing more than a repetitive summary, I’ll leave it to you to listen to how the MIC and the empire will end…

The end of an epoch in 2008-2009, and the beginnings of a new one in 2010:

Real News Network – January 7, 2010

Afghanistan and global dominance Pt2

F. William Engdahl: New regional cooperation that challenges US dominance is good for the world

Part one of this is here: Afghanist- yemen- omalia- bama, & Good Intelligence

Appeal to authority

So yesterday I wrote what I still consider to be an entirely uncontroversial post unless you happen to be a graduate of a particular college that I pointed out as being third rate and mediocre.

I’ll say at the start what I’m sincerely disappointed in is that nobody remarked on my clever turn of phrase substituting “credible course” for “credible source”, but as with most of my jokes the important part is that they amuse me.

But some also missed my more populist point which I’ll repeat because of new news.

The new news is this-

Jonathan Gruber, professor at MIT, far from being an independent expert on Health Insurance economics, is simply a well paid shill for Rahm Emanuel and the Obama Administration.

For those not so proud of their ignorance that they refuse to click links see-

This is exactly the same behavior we saw from the Bush Administration with Armstrong Williams and Military "Experts".

Late Night: Color Me Gruber

By: Gregg Levine Friday January 8, 2010 8:02 pm

Remember, back in November, when everyone inside the Beltway was all a-twitter (in both senses of the phrase) about how Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, was making practically every White House staffer read an Atlantic article by Ron Brownstein? That piece, touting what FDL’s own Jon Walker called “free market economagic,” relied heavily on the work of Jonathan Gruber-then billed as “a leading health economist at MIT,” now well-understood to be a super-remunerated contractor in the employ of several parts of the Obama Administration.

It’s hinky on its face, for sure, but what really gets me is the broad similarities this has to the way the Bush Administration worked the press during the last decade. Cheney would authorize a leak about a possible terror plot, a link to an alleged state-sponsor of terrorism, the use for some assortment of aluminum tubes, or the provenance of some copper casings, and then you would see these items reported in all the right, respectable places. Then, Dick Cheney, or Condi Rice, or any of host of other Bush White House proxies would go on the Sunday shows and warn us that the threats had to be real-after all, it was right there in the New York Times and/or Washington Post.

Judy Miller anyone?  Bueller?

Hopey changiness.

Now I’ll not call MIT third rate but I will repeat this point-

“Most professors I’ve met are self centered ignorant assholes even about their own subject and unworthy of accreditation by any measure.”

And my populist message is this-

People lie all the time.  Even “Experts”.  Why are you fucking falling for the fallacy of appeal to authority?

Time to wake up and smell the glove.

Docudharma Times Saturday January 9

Saturday’s Headlines:

China’s lobbying efforts yield new influence, openness on Capitol Hill

Ted Turner and Native Americans in row over fate of Yellowstone Bison

Courts Whittle Spending Limits in Election Law

Wrongly imprisoned, Donald Gates adjusts to freedom after 28 years

Fault line that allows al-Qa’ida to flourish in Yemen

Iran opposition leader Mehdi Karoubi escapes mob bullets after mourning victims

Paris licks its candy columns back into shape

Iceland says ‘Can’t pay, won’t pay’ – and it is right

Reds ready to rumble in Thailand

Afghanistan parliament mulls Karzai cabinet nominees

Jailed but not forgotten: Birtukan Mideksa, Ethiopia’s most famous prisoner

Emanuel Adebayor on Togo football team bus ambushed by Angola gunmen

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

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