January 26, 2010 archive

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 No respite for Haiti amid fresh aftershocks

by Daphne Benoit, AFP

1 hr 53 mins ago

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Two new aftershocks rattled weary Haitians Tuesday, as top US officials defended the huge American military-led aid operation from criticisms of being too heavy-handed.

“We just can’t get used to these quakes. Each aftershock is terrifying and everyone is afraid,” trader Edison Constant said after the aftershocks struck in quick succession around dawn, two weeks after the quake.

“I hid under my bed,” added iron merchant Julien Louis, exhausted by a stream of some 50 aftershocks since the devastating 7.0-magnitude quake on January 12.

Training Tuesday: The Numbers You Need To Win Your Election – Part 1

originally posted by Mitch Malasky at Sum of Change

This week’s Training Tuesday post revolves around a repeated mantra from Kendra-Sue Derby, this week’s trainer- It’s All About The Numbers.  Before you start worrying about anything else in your campaign, you have to know how many votes you need to win.  This seems relatively self-evident, but it is a number that often goes overlooked.

The Definition of Insanity

The System is broken.

It has been broken for quite some time and during that quite some time, just about everything within the political conventional wisdom has tried to attempt to fix it. Just about everything has been tried to fix it for the Ruling Class and for some reason, stuff like deregulating how you can rob people on Wall St and allowing the Ruling Class to pay little or no taxes does seem to work….for them. Making the system work better for the rich that comprise 1% of the population seems to be fairly easy.

You just shift the burden on to the poor and middle class and everyone is happy. The government is happy because the rich stop hassling them, and the rich are happy because they get richer.

So that quick and easy fix only leaves only 99% of people unhappy, which is where we are now.

With 99% of The People (factoring in margin of error) ready to throw the bums who can’t govern effectively for 99% of The People out of office.

Yes that’s right, not only can the modern Republican not effectively govern the country for 99% of the people, the last few years have shown that the Democrats can’t either. And the last year of a Dem in the WH, the Dems with 60 seats and a huge majority in the House has proven beyond a shadow of the doubt one simple fact.

Under the current broken system, America is ungovernable. And an ungovernable country is in a state of chaos…..and decline.

A fact which the two Partys simply cannot afford to acknowledge. Until they are forced to.

Which will happen in a year, when The People throw yet another batch of Pols out of office and elect a new batch…..who will also not be able to govern the country….and who will then be promptly thrown out of office, and a new batch of incompetents with no imagination or solutions will be voted in. Rinse. Repeat.

The winner of this game will be the Party or Pol who comes up with something new.

Fuck politics. I’m adopting a dog@!!!!!!!!!!

… meet Bobby

Open Mind


My own brother robbed me. Please help.

Crossposted at Daily Kos

Three weeks ago my own brother robbed me of every cent I had left and kicked me out into the street.

    I just landed a job with an up and coming start up Progressive Political organization, but the job does not officially begin to pay until the end of February. I will be working on several of their projects as an opposition researcher, writer and reporter, among other things. This is the break that I have been waiting for. They have provided me with a laptop and cell phone, which is why I am able to write now. This helps a great deal, but it does not replace the money that my brother has stolen from me.

    So I turn now to you, dearest friends, who are more family to me than my only flesh and blood, in the hopes that you can help me out until this job starts up for me, because my only brother just stole from me the last few dollars I had to my name.

If you are able to, please make a donation to the link below.


    A full explanation and more below the fold.

Quickie Fiction Updates for People Who’d Care, Part II

Back when this site was primarily bitching about a Republican president, Budhy was nice enough to let me blog the first draft of a novel here. Other people (including someone who evidently now hates me) were also nice enough to comment with tips & constructive criticism, and things were super-groovy from about Jan. 2008 to June 2009. Then the rot set in.

Somewhere Between Two Hypocrises Lies the Truth

I recently came across, through a YouTube video, a rather unique French public service announcement.  It encouraged heterosexual men to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS by using a condom before engaging in sexual contact.  Predictable enough subject for a PSA, one might think, but the video’s concept was both amusing and novel.  While the American mind would likely appreciate the humor, it would also deem it too graphic to be aired on network television and probably cable as well.  American liberalism has, I realize, a long standing Francophone tradition, just as American conservative thought has an equally lengthy history of criticizing it, so my point is not to cater directly to either camp.  Somewhere between the two is something close to the truth and as such I seek to find it.

To get to my point, in France, sex is everywhere, and yet attitudes towards sexuality in one’s personal life are often more traditional than in the United States.  While on the continent, one often encounters nudity on billboards, street signs, and shop windows while out and about, but the attitude of most residents is that the body is a natural entity, as are public depictions of it without the benefit of clothes to disguise the objectionable parts.  To us, of course, the only truly socially acceptable manner of presentation regarding the unveiled human body is in the art gallery and even then some people have been known to register their visible discomfort.  Furthermore, we deem nudity or frank depictions of nudity in any form to often only be granted as a privilege based on reaching a certain age and with it some perceived degree of maturity, believing that children and minors ought not to be exposed to its supposedly corrupting influences until the age where they can make an informed decision whether or not to partake.  Put that way, it sounds almost as though nudity is some health hazard, like smoking or consuming too much alcohol.  Still, for all the energy we expend spinning out cautionary tales and guilt-laden commandments, one would think we ought to expect more for our efforts.        

Worm motility versus temperature.

I haven’t run an experiment in some time, and I’ve been missing it.  Until recently.  My almost-eight-year-old nephew had an assignment to do a science experiment, about which he could care less.  To him, he just wants to play four-square with ever-changing and intangible rules that make him ever-the-winner, and he could frankly give a flying fortune about disinterested research.

Naturally, the concerned adults in the room got carried away with the tuitional idea of cause and consequence on their own, somewhat but not entirely independently of the young Padawan learner’s needs.  


Docudharma Times Tuesday January 26

Tuesday’s Headlines:

In Haiti, U.S. troops embrace a new role

Tim Burton to head Cannes film festival jury

An Investigator Presses to Uncover Bailout Abuse

For Md. couple, dream of adopting Haitian orphan comes true

Sri Lankan election: explosions obstruct voters in Tamil city

Dalai Lama’s envoys arrive in China for new talks

Calais wants to be ‘part of England’ for Olympics

German politics set for shake-up as cancer forces Red Oskar to quit

‘Chemical Ali’, the killer of 5,000 Kurds, is executed

Mohamed Ali Harrath, Islamic TV chief, is held over terror claims

Venezuelans protest censorship of popular TV channel

From Who I Was, To Who I Am

From Who I Was, To Who I Am by Kevin Adams

Individual Artistry

           Paint splashes all across the board. Vibrant shades of red and yellow pour over the pure white walls, creating a massive whirlpool of color spilling all about the floor.  To some this image is unsettling, the purity of the whitewashed sanctum ruined; but to others the room has become something much more than just four walls and a ceiling, for it has become a work of art.

I am an artist; the canvas upon which I paint, however, is not a solid.  My whitewashed room; my masterpiece is inside.  Constantly crafting, molding and creating, we are all artists of the mind.  The clay we sculpt is the ideas of others, always being molded, recreated, and improved to fit ones personality.  The paints we use are made up of life’s experiences, its truths and untruths.  The dark tones of betrayal, the bright pigments of joy all color the regions inside of us.

The artist’s work is never done.  Our portraits lack stasis and are ever changing.  Through life, through death, through all, our work never remains stationary.  Colors are added and mixed, the clay touched up in areas and completely rearranged in others, but the work is always our own.  As life goes on, these works of art grow and develop into an individual, changed and rearranged by the world around them.  I am an artist.  We are all artists of the mind, constantly changing our masterpieces, constantly developing as individuals.

Goodnight, but not Goodbye

           Gliding, almost flying, in circles around the frozen lake, my soul smiles.  The calm, chilled air breezing across my skin erases all worry from my mind.  On the ice there is no drama, no pain, no confusion; all the loud colors of life drain from vision, leaving only the purest, truest feeling of joy streaming from my eyes.

           Glancing down I see my fallen friends, my worn warriors that have meant so much.  Covered in blood stains and bruises, tears and tears, they are shadows of their former selves. While no longer the shiny and clean entities of the past, their magic and power still hold true.  Each crack, each scar, tells a different tale.  They speak of epic battles of wit and power, speed and of strength.  Night after night they hide me from the weight of the world, transporting me to paradise.

           But tonight, they sing their final ballad.  Tonight, the beauteous steel, pumping in majestic harmony with my body, plays a magnificent song. Tonight the magic lives.  Tomorrow, they shall hang their laces for good, and be replaced by the shiny, clean entities of the future.  A new novel, ready to be written, the blank pages begging for words.  The stories of old, however, will never be lost. Tonight, as they sing their final ballad, all is well.  My soul will forever smile with enamored memories of fallen friends; the magic will never die.

Clouds and Concrete

           The wind rushes through his hair.  He closes his eyes and smiles.  Suddenly the air pushes him off balance and he tips over, staring death in the face, only to be saved by another calm breeze blowing the opposite direction.  As if watched by a guardian angel, he has managed to yet again escape his imminent defeat, for luck is always on his side.  In his mind he is invincible and has no infirmities.

           As I observe from below, he rides above on the clouds, sliding through life without a worry in the world.  The fluffy white paradise upon which he floats glides off into the distance and the thunderstorm begins yet again pouring over my head.  Memories flood into my mind as I pain for a life like his.  My feet drag upon the concrete, leaving craters with every step, for I was once like him.  Knocked off my holy chariot I have fallen to reality and become a pariah.  I long for the simplicity of the carelessness my brother enjoys.

           The dark hair upon my head is pressed down by the rains of life, while his blonde mane shimmers in the sunlight of blissful unawareness.  I watch and wish for a life like his, but I also worry, for I know how it shall end.  Like me, the day will come when he shall meet his finish.  An obstacle that need be overcome will look in his eyes and laugh, as he simply waits for it to move from his path.  He shall fall from his holy chariot down to the earth, and like me, journey on the concrete, having finally realized he is not invincible.  I watch, wait, and worry, for the day he will fall.

A Grown Man

           Cold and covered in blood, an infant opens his eyes for the very first time; the constant darkness he has always known has been replaced with a bright and complex new reality.  From the very moment this newborn takes his first breath his incipient body begins to grow.  Destination unknown, he begins to transform, slowly, into a man.  Through the years he shall learn to become a man; he shall grow up.

           The process of growing up is a complicated mess of emotions and experiences, each changing the man that is to walk out into the world upon his eighteenth birthday.  He learns to feel; finding and discovering love, only to have it torn away, thus teaching him heartache.  He watches those around him, seeing their plunders and successes, comparing their lives with his, predicting for some their futures, and in others seeing his own.   He listens to those wiser than he. He crafts his opinions. He crafts his morals. He crafts his character.

           With his arsenal of knowledge, he is ready.  Throughout time he has learned many lessons, some painless, others pain-full.  He is a result of the world around him, those who taught him, those who tested him.  He has grown into a man.

Reprinted in full from Kevin’s blog.  

Hello All,

So I got my Vignettes back today and wasn’t exactly satisfied with my grade. I recieved a 72%. I just thought I’d post them up here (new page up top) and get some feedback from some other readers. Thank you.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Squiggle Time

(Click on image for larger view)

Another graphic inside…

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