September 26, 2010 archive

An Odd Thing Happened Last Night

We had one of our “summer parties” – usually it’s a one or two blocks of neighbors who are invited to an evening party outside.  Lots of kids – and a big screen with plenty of entertainment for them.  Last night it was a pixar film.  It was cool, so the kids were cuddled up in blankets on the grass watching the screen – many of them were laying on blankets as well as watching, and sitting next to their parents also wrapped up.  This neighborhood has large, rolling yards so parties can easily accommodate plenty of families.

We all bring food and drink – and there is always more than enough food. It is truly a groaning table.  Plenty of good cooks around here.  It was a great party as usual.  There are usually 4 or 5 in this neighborhood thru summer, early fall.

Here’s the thing:  no one talked politics.  I wandered around to the tables and sat in the grass with the kids and some parents.  And did not hear one word about politics.  I missed last summer but in 2008 a truck driver told me he had continuing dreams about bush.  Mostly he was hanging around in his truck and the driver was trying to figure out what he was doing there.  Sometimes he woke him up and asked him if he wanted a beer.  Really silly stuff but the guy was going nuts.  No one liked bush or Republican policies at these parties and there was always plenty of grumbling – and though it took awhile, the grumbling finally got around to the constant wars.

But last night – nada.  Nothing.  Talk of school, families, money tightening – but no word about Obama and others.  We are a Democratic suburb, though I have to admit I’m more to the left than most.  So it was surprising since there is so much going on that will be affecting us.  Moreover, even the teas weren’t mentioned.  And since finding out that a deal was about to be cut between Clinton and Newt – well – there it is.  Probably plenty going on behind our backs and it ain’t good.  Wars, torture, constant propaganda from the teas (as they are called) – though we know who’s pulling their strings.  The puppet masters may well lose control.  They can leave the country easily so what does it matter to them.  

Have you ever noticed among your friends, acquaintances that it is the crazy ones that have the energy. And, of course, they always know they are right.  What is it like never to have second thoughts, to mull over what may be the right move?  People I know like that do not have high blood pressure like wussy Xanthe.  That seems to be going on now on a macro scale.

I think my neighbors are turning inward and trying to figure out how to survive with a government that is not much interested in them, except when voting time comes around.  Since there seems to be no anger, only a kind of lassitude – it may be a lull while most of us are trying to figure out what to do.  Maybe there is nothing to do.  Maybe we have to turn away in order to survive and keep sane.

For my part, I have to stop blogging for awhile – Truly, I’m getting physically ill.  I want to write an entertainment diary and then leave off for a bit.  What’s the point?  I have to stay healthy – no one out there really seems to care about Medicare for instance.  And my son is now unemployed – so I am terrified about him getting sick.  

I am in a lousy, foggy funk.  I want to survive but can I do it alone.  Does it matter what I want.  Or do the tyrants win out as usual. We have no leader(s) – think about it – we really have no leaders in Washington at any rate.  It has occured to me lately that the only reason we had some “good times” is because the elites needed us and we had leaders who were in the past emphathetic to working class Americans  – but now with outsourcing and the media giving a free hand to the crazies with no discernable politicians in Washington that understand our needs –  it may be time to let go.  They are living in their own world – cosseted and blind.

Lull before the storm or we’re only being sensible by taking care of ourselves and each other in small groups?  I dunno – all I know is we are tired.  

Adak: The Next Silicon Valley

(Cross-posted from The Free Speech Zone)


“We make GSM look like a wireless access point. We make it that simple,” describes one of the project’s three founders, Glenn Edens.

The technology starts with the “they-said-it-couldn’t-be-done” open source software, OpenBTS. OpenBTS is built on Linux and distributed via the AGPLv3 license. When used with a software-defined radio such as the Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP), it presents a GSM air interface (“Um”) to any standard GSM cell phone, with no modification whatsoever required of the phone. It uses open source Asterisk VoIP software as the PBX to connect calls, though it can be used with other soft switches, too. (More stats in a minute that I promise will blow away your inner network engineer.)…

A difficult civics question:

This short diary is a simple “report” on the results of the product of this discussion held earlier:…

Given where we are today, how to sell people on civics?  Is it possible to sell enough of them at this time to make the difference?

I don’t know, but today I’m asking that question and am very curious to hear the responses.

Open Lenny


Docudharma Times Sunday September 26

Sunday’s Headlines:

Barak says West Bank settlement deal has ’50-50′ chance

‘My happy days at school with North Korea’s future leader’


Walking away with less

Washington state wrestles with tax-the-rich ballot measure


Gypsy circus is next on France’s expulsion list

Russia hails Prince Michael, the Royal Family member with Tsarist blood in his veins

Middle East

Official doubts scale of Yemen’s campaign against al Qaeda

In Arabian Desert, a Sustainable City Rises


North Korean elite secretly jostle for the reins of power

India sprints to save Games reputation


Egypt and Thirsty Neighbors Are at Odds Over Nile

Latin America

The former guerrilla set to be the world’s most powerful woman

Late Night Karaoke

The Sound of Wealth Inequality

The Sound of Wealth Inequality

Being Grown Up is for Kids


I could come up with all sorts of rationalizations but I choose no longer to spend my energy on rationalizations.

Rationalizations … ok, I’ll use the new health insurance laws as an example.

My sister will receive desperately needed health care she otherwise could never have gotten.  I don’t mean my legal family sister, btw.  I mean my human sister.  As in the expansive sense of all my brothers and sisters in this world.

And my brother will have it worse than he had before, these new laws will probably literally kill him.

And I could rationalize my sister’s need away.  That’s what I mean by no longer choosing to spend my energy on rationalization.