September 2, 2010 archive

A small parable

There once was a man who tied me to a railroad track and chuckled, evilly as he departed, that there was nothing I could do to stop him, and that a train was going to run over me in a most gruesome way.

As I lie there, thinking of my own demise, another man came, and told me that he wanted in his heart of hearts to save me from that gruesome demise, but it would only be possible for him to save me if I supported his election with a donation, because he would have to be the Sheriff in order to be authorized to cut the Offical Handcuffs the bandit used to bind me to the tracks.

“There’s a $20 in my pocket, I gasped, desperately.  Take it, get elected, but for god’s sake, get back here and save me, please!

Some time passed, and it was a hot sunny day, and I realized that before the train was going to run over me and realize my intended gruesome demise, I would die of thirst and wouldn’t feel the pain of the railroad wheels cutting my frail body in three pieces.

As my vision blurred from thirst and hunger, and just as I was about to go under forever, the second man returned, with a shiny gold star on his shirt.

“Here,” he said, lowering a bottle to my face and splashing it with clear, cold water out of a canteen.  I slurped eagerly at the wet salvation.  “I also brought some food,” he said.  “Slowly, slowly,” he admonished me as my teeth gnashed at the sandwich he held up to my face, as my hands were tied to my sides and I could only move my fingers a millimeter or two.  “You are going to need your strength”.

“Thank God!” I yelled.  “Now, untie me, and we can both get out of here before the train arrives or the Evil Man returns!”

Actually, Yes – I Do Want the Republicans to Win

We’ve tried plan B. That was the elite blogger pipe dream about electing better Democrats. That plan failed because there is no criteria for determining, especially in this Vaudeville act we call American elections, who is really better.

When it is the system itself that corrupts, it really doesn’t matter who you elect. Does it?

So plan B has failed. Got that? It failed. It will continue to fail. No criteria. No money to compete with those who purchase our politicians daily. No money or system to organize a counter-offensive to those who buy our politicians.

Did you read the New Yorker piece on the Koch brothers? The part about them alone spending more than 100 million dollars to shape American politics? That’s just two people. There are thousands of them. Not all on their scale of course. But the money is ridiculous.

We are not going to buy our government back. We can’t afford it.

So before we talk about plan C, can we at least have the fortitude to admit that plan B has failed? That we cannot elect “better Democrats” because even if they are saints, the system will not allow their sainthood?

One of the super big arguments the Democratic loyalists love to spit out is that Republicans are so much worse. To that I say prove it.

We just had two big election that changed parties and what do we have to show for it?

  • The same national security state inc. that was in power under Bush is still in power.
  • The same corrupt economic establishment that was in power under Bush is in power now.
  • The same entrenched corporate interests are still corrupting the very regulatory agencies assigned to police those interests.
  • The same judicial establishment, from all the same Ivy League law schools that was in power under Bush is still in power now.

    The only thing that has substantially changed with Obama and the Democratic Congress is the label. It’s as though they removed the Pepsi label and just stuck on a Coke label. It’s still, fundamentally, the exact same carbonated syrup beverage.

    Yes, I know there are some issues that the Dems are clearly better on. But those issues never have anything to do with money. Supporting civil rights doesn’t hurt Goldman Sachs’ bottom line. Does it?

  • The Week in Editorial Cartoons – Of Kings and Wingnut Clowns, with Special Comment

    Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

    John Sherffius

    John Sherffius, (Boulder Daily Camera)

    When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, “Oh shut up” I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining. — Glenn Beck


    Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny.  He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives.  He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy. — Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    THE LONGEST WALK 3 (Reversing Diabetes)(Updated Route & Edited)

    (Printed with permission)

    THE LONGEST WALK 3 (Reversing Diabetes) Feb 14 – July 8, 2011

    In less than 6 months we will embark on another historic journey — an event so great and much needed for all of America!

    This is a 5,000+ mile Walk Across America to bring awareness of the devastating effects of diabetes and how it can be reversed by changing our entire diet and lifestyle! This disease is at epidemic levels across America, and throughout Indian Country.

    We will hold community talks along the way about reversing diabetes, and heart disease. We will be advocating for major changes in our eating habits, while promoting beneficial exercise programs. Our goal will be to REVERSE DIABETES AND RAISE THE CONSCIOUS OF AMERICA THAT WE MUST HALT THE WORST DIET IN THE WORLD! Along both routes we will be launching a CLEAN UP MOTHER EARTH campaign, picking up trash along both routes!!

    DREAM Now Letters to Barack Obama: Saad Nabeel

    Originally posted on Citizen Orange.

    The “DREAM Now Series: Letters to Barack Obama” is a social media campaign that launched Monday, July 19, to underscore the urgent need to pass the DREAM Act. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, S. 729, would help tens of thousands of young people, American in all but paperwork, to earn legal status, provided they graduate from U.S. high schools, have good moral character, and complete either two years of college or military service.  With broader comprehensive immigration reform stuck in partisan gridlock, the time is now for the White House and Congress to step up and pass the DREAM Act!

    Dear Mr. President,

    My name is Saad Nabeel and I am writing to you from Bangladesh. Prior to my arrival in this nation, I lived in the United States for 15 years. My parents brought me to America at age three. It is the only home I know. I used to attend the University of Texas at Arlington with a full scholarship in Electrical Engineering. Through no fault of my own I was forced to leave my home, friends, possessions, and most importantly, my education behind.

    November 3rd 2009 is a day I will never forget. My mother called me and told me that my father had been detained by ICE and that we needed to leave immediately to Canada to seek refugee status. Being an only child, I had to take care of my mother and go with her.

    Open Cards


    Another Oil Rig Explosion in the Gulf

    According to CNN:

    An oil rig has exploded 80 miles off the coast of Louisiana, with 12 people overboard and one missing, the Coast Guard said Thursday morning.

    Rescue attempts are underway for at least 12 people, Coast Guard spokesman John Edwards told CNN. 13 people were on board the rig total, Edwards said, noting 12 have been accounted for, but one person was missing.

    The accident took place 80 miles off the coast of Louisiana on the Vermilion Oil rig 380, which is owned by Houston-based Mariner Energy.

    The Coast Guard has multiple helicopters, an airplane and several Coast Guard cutters en route. It’s unknown if there are any injuries.


    On Political Fans and the Fringers

    Crossposted from that wild-left-fringe blog’o mine The Wild Wild Left

    I am Fringer. I want an American Socialist Revolution in my time. Ideally, a World Revolution. I am fringe enough that even with the absolute certainty that my desires will likely never come to fruition does not make the fires of my desire burn even slightly less intensely. I am WAY out there.

    In fact, I would seriously postulate that I am an extraterrestrial being, but I have evidence to the contrary: You never see bags under those huge alien eyes – and my human weaknesses are too telling in that way.

    Life and gravity have not been kind to my all too human packaging.

    I feel that a true desire for justice, for all that is good and right has an event horizon; a gravity that once you commit to it, will not allow one to back away from the position. Once you see that light, that is really all that exists. You are part of the singularity.

    Budhydharma wrote a brilliant sermon (fiery as a sermon, anyway) in which he asks, “Do YOU Want The Republicans To Win?” The frightening title would infer trying to make people cling back to their partisan politics, to renew their support for Democrats. That was not his whole story, though. He accomplished that in some, while maintaining that the Dems themselves are doing nothing to stop it. His idea is to “push” the Dems to do better. The comment thread was the best part, inspirational to me.

    I honed my analogy from last night, from the pages of WWL, where we have been discussing the same issues, just from a Fringe-Left position. The last 4 or 5 essays all have been in part, or in full, about the process of actual change in this country. Let me expand my thoughts. (and use the Red Sox, rather than the Tigers – I hear it will make a more compelling argument 🙂

    You cannot get a Red Sox fan EVER to like the Yankees…. but you can get a Baseball fan to get REALLY pissed at the Owners for locking out the League.

    We need to change the very basis of the conversation.


    The Owners of the League set the rules, the prices, the schedule, the ads, everything. They make bazillions off the trade. These, the richest of the Game, get subsidized by we the fan’s tax dollars – to build larger shrines to them, larger so they can charge more, and fill more seats while so doing. Welfare for the rich, tax-fueled stadiums, and tax breaks for building them in our cities.

    The Players? Oh, yes, they are the pampered and well paid whores that enable the process. It doesn’t matter one bit if they wear a Yankee uniform, or a Red Sox one. They can change teams as easily as underwear.

    You, the fan? Are nothing but an easily played means for more revenue. Back your Team! Show your Pride! Pay for the newest arena! Hate the other Team! Pay through the ass to watch what is still theater, meaningless team-less theater… brought to you by your Owners.

    Do I need to point out the obvious analogy to our Political process?  

    Tony Blair is Certifiably Nuts

    I just listened to this interview and can now say what many, me included, have thought all along, not only about him but as to our own previous administration, he’s certifiably crazy! I mean that in the so called World View, especially of righteousness, he just spoke. What’s going on has Nothing to do with any religious ideology but does for those who want to use that as their excuse, boy do they got some splanin to do at the pearly gates. He seems to Not Understand that humans going into others countries and Destroying Them as that Kills and Maims Tens of Thousands plus and Millions of Refugees is Not going to create Rage and Hatred, not only in those countries but from others on the planet. He and like are beyond nuts, Way Beyond!!

    Docudharma Times Thursday September 2

    Thursday’s Headlines:

    Earl’s gusts grow to 140 mph, aims at East

    Stephen Hawking says universe not created by God


    As U.S. deaths in Afghanistan rise, military families grow critical

    Tesco’s US operation accused of bullying staff


    Will Russia’s Bloggers Survive Censorship Push?

    Focus on Holocaust led to suspension, says Jewish teacher

    Middle East

    Obama’s high-stakes gamble on peace deal that eluded predecessors

    The trickiest issue in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks


    Throw these infidels in jail

    Mourners targeted in Lahore


    Unions reject govt’s revised wage offer

    Deadly riots in Mozambique over rising prices

    Latin America

    Felipe Calderon marks four years of reform efforts stymied by Mexico drug war

    Muse in the Morning

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
    Muse in the Morning

    An Opened Mind XVI

    The outward freedom that we shall attain will only be in exact proportion to the inward freedom to which we may have grown at a given moment. And if this is a correct view of freedom, our chief energy must be concentrated on achieving reform from within.

    – Mahatma Gandhi

    Design #3


    Words are labels

    Without words

    we cannot


    Labels for people


    There is Us

    There is Them

    If our Us

    becomes too small

    we feel afraid

    lonely, unloved

    Some react

    by pointing out

    some other label:

    At least I’m not one of Them

    Being Not Them

    people feel like part

    of a larger Us

    Down this path is bigotry

    All the Us/Thems

    Put together divide us

    each into our own

    separate little box

    Is this isolating

    leading to depression

    thoughts of suicide

    or is it empowering?

    Us/Them is actually

    Me/Everyone Else

    but that is

    the same for everyone

    just individual



    all around

    –Robyn Elaine Serven

    –October 26, 2005

    On Avoiding Blame, Part One, Or, Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Drill No Evil.

    I am one of those people who will actually watch those boring, boring, hearings on C-SPAN that most of us flip right on past while watching TV, and this past week I’ve been watching one of the longer events the channel broadcasts…but it’s been far from boring.

    The Coast Guard and what used to be the MMS were in Houston looking into what caused the Gulf oil spill and they’re taking testimony from representatives of the involved parties…and let me tell you, this is more than just an accident inquiry-it’s also a warm-up for the lawsuits that are surely going to follow.

    We’ve had dozens of trial attorneys basically conducting a deposition process, witnesses who can teach a master course in “plausible unawareability”©, BP employees who have taken the Fifth and refused to testify at all, and, overseeing the entire process, a retired Federal District Court Judge and a Coast Guard Captain who might very well be on the way to trading his eagles for stars one day soon.

    Do you really believe all those “we’ll make it right” BP commercials?

    If you watch this hearing, that impression may well change.

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