October 7, 2010 archive

“Inside Job” the Movie!!

This is goin to be short, it just hit my in box so I wanted to pass it on.

Inside Job Trailer

{There are a few other clips at the Movie site}

Open Jerry


Grandmother: “Bring gladness”

{as promised to dharmasyd}

Okay, enough with the doom and gloom for me, for a little bit at least. (Snap out of it, LL!!)

Sanjay Khanna at YES! Magazine writes “Stories That Light Up The Dark, The experiences of our ancestors offer us wisdom for surviving today’s crises. “:

In August 2008, at 91 years old, my grandmother participated in the first official Khanna family reunion, which my aunt organized and held at her and my uncle’s Mill Valley home.

I was feeling depressed at that family reunion. When you spend most of your time writing and researching on climate change scenarios and the downward direction of the economy, it’s easy to be overwhelmed.

One afternoon, I sat down with my grandmother when almost everyone else was on an excursion.

She saw straight through my unhappiness. She peered into me, smiled calmly, and said two words: “Bring gladness.”

In spite of the specter of rising seas, increased drought, human displacement, and inundated cities prognosticated by climate scientists, I needed to find ways to inspire gladness in myself and other people. It’s that simple.

Now I hope the inner strength I witnessed in my grandmother remains a seed within me. As times grow more difficult, I pray that her ability to heal mind and body is a quality I can develop and call on.

The changes wrought by peak oil, climate disruption, and economic instability will affect all of us. Yet, those who gather strength from stories of beauty, courage, love, kindness, generosity, and good will can, in a social environment of growing uneasiness, store and spread the seeds of human welfare.


Pomo Indian Woman Gathering Seeds, 1924 by Edward S. Curtis source

Green Campaigns to Watch: Jeremy Karpen for Illinois Assembly

Jeremy Karpen is running for Illinois State Assembly in the 39th District, which covers Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood. Karpen first ran against incumbent Toni Berrios, the daughter of gambling lobbyist and Chicago Democratic machine insider Joseph Berrios, in 2008, earning 21% of the vote despite being massively outspent. This year, Karpen's strong grassroots campaign and commitment to clean, progressive politics have earned him endorsements from Independent Voters of Illinois, Chicago Progressive Democrats of America, and the Chicago Tribune.

In endorsing Karpen, the Chicago Chapter of Progressive Democrats of America called him “an advocate for single payer health care” and proclaimed that he would be “the progressive voice in the Illinois General Assembly”.

The Chicago Sun-Times endorsed Karpen over Berrios in 2008, but the Chicago Tribune endorsement was unexpected, since the Tribune had previously sided with Berrios. This year, the Tribune called Berrios a “loyal soldier siding with entrenched power in Springfield” and agreed with Karpen's statement that his election would “shake the foundation of the political machine”. The Huffington Post reported on the game-changing endorsement:

“'This one would be a big story, being able to win against the daughter of Joe Berrios, who is a symbol of the Democratic machine and everything that is wrong with the machine,' Karpen said.
In 2008, Karpen won 21 percent of the vote against Berrios in the same race. This time around, though, he's raised more money, organized more volunteers and is co-ordinating his campaign with Green Party candidates for governor and U.S. Senate.
And with the endorsement from the Tribune, the unlikely Green Party candidate is heading into October with momentum at his back.”

Jeremy Karpen works as a therapist with at-risk boys and their families. He described his motivation for running in an interview with HuffPost Chicago: “Rather than being a janitor cleaning up the failings of the state, I'd like to be working on a legislative level, so when you give a referral to a family, you're making sure there actually is a mental health clinic, there is a hospital you can go to.” Karpen's platform calls for affordable housing, fully-funded schools, single-payer health care, affordable housing, and cleaning up Illinois' notoriously dirty politics. His campaign is funded entirely from individual contributions, while his opponent is busy shaking down her father's cronies and corporate interests. From the Huffington Post:

“Berrios has over $100,000 in her campaign coffers, donated from pharmaceutical PACs (she's the chair of the Biotech Committee), downtown lawyers (many of whom lobby her father about property taxes at the Board of Review), and a massive contribution from Joe Berrios himself. Karpen sends email blasts trying to scrounge up enough for his next mailer.”

A Green win against a corporate-sponsored Chicago machine insider would be a win for all progressives. Karpen needs money to get his message to voters and pull off an upset. Learn more about Jeremy Karpen's campaign and how you can help.

(Updated) One Last Bankers Gift from the Senate

Cross-posted at Progressive Blue.

Update: Obama Will Not Sign Bill Seen As Cover For Bank Foreclosures. Apparently a pocket veto.

This is almost comical. If you are a member of the “enthusiasm gap,” have watched the Democrats represent the bankers over constituents and  get the felling that Nancy Pelosi’s recent call for federal probe on mortgage lenders was nothing more than a letter to be forgotten on November third, here’s a little verification for you.  

Apparently another great letter writer, Patrick Leahy who wrote so many sternly written letters to the Bush administration but never got around to a subpoena, is capable of taking action. After claiming “constituents” called him and pressed to have the “Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act”  pushed through, he got right on it.

The Senate doesn’t seem partisan once they hear their master’s voice. Not a Democratic filibuster for a bill meant to protect bank and mortgage processors from liability, not the Democratic majority voting down “out of state electronic notarization,” but a banker’s bill that passed in the Senate by unanimous consent on the day before they all went back to their states so they can tell constituents how Democrats represent the Middle Class.  

This “debate free” bill quietly zoomed through the Senate.

The bill, passed without public debate in a way that even surprised its main sponsor, Republican Representative Robert Aderholt, requires courts to accept as valid document notarizations made out of state, making it harder to challenge the authenticity of foreclosure and other legal documents.

The timing raised eyebrows, coming during a rising furor over improper affidavits and other filings in foreclosure actions by large mortgage processors such as GMAC, JPMorgan and Bank of America.

Questions about improper notarizations have figured prominently in challenges to the validity of these court documents, and led to widespread halts of foreclosure proceedings.

The Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner had a few thoughts about timing.  

Docudharma Times Thursday October 7

Thursday’s Headlines:

US and Afghan governments make contact with Haqqani insurgents

Civil Justice, Military Injustice


Foreign Firms Hoping to Ride US Rail Boom

Midnight grocery runs part of the grim new reality


Hungarians battle to hold back toxic sludge spill from Danube

News alert: Adrià has made cantaloupe caviar

Middle East

Israeli leadership in disarray before Yom Kippur war

Stronger Hezbollah Emboldened for Fights Ahead


Explorers in India find something almost unheard of: a new language

Afghan war moves deeper into Pakistan


Alarm over surge in rhino poaching

Archbishop Desmond Tutu end public career at 79

Latin America

Buenos Aires, Metropolis of the Zeitgeist

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

You don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note.¬†

–Doug Floyd

Beams of Light

Late Night Karaoke

On Why Voting Matters, Or, Could You Outrun The Toxic Red Flood?

It is about a week before early voting begins for a bunch of us around the country, and that means this may be one of the last times I have to convince you that, frustrated progressive or not, you better get your butt to a ballot box or a mail-in envelope this November, because it really does mater.

Now I could give you a bunch of “what ifs” to make my point, or I could remind you how we spent all summer watching oil gush into the Gulf, and how that came to be…but, instead, it’s “Even More Current Event Day”, and we’re going to visit Hungary for a extremely real-world reminder of what can go wrong when the environmental cops are considered just too much of a burden by the environmental robbers-and if today’s story doesn’t scare you to death, I don’t know what will.

It ain’t Texas, but we will surely visit a Red River Valley…and you surely won’t like what you’re gonna see.

Post Election Priorities and Tactics

Less than a month to go before we find out just how much the Democratic party’s perennial cluelessness on how to fight back against the political terrorism of the Right has cost them electorally.

And right after that is, of course, the absolute best time to apply Citizen Pressure on the pols. As always, the more united and organized (always a relative term w libs/dems) we can be, the more pressure we can apply. But part of that is picking the issues and tactics that will be most effective to push on.

The wider the issue’s appeal, the more oomph we can get in the form of phone calls and e-mails. The better the framing/hook/tactics we can come up with, the more participation we will attract.

So this is, for tortured souls like me who just can’t quit observing and participating in the Soap Opera of American Politics, the time to be reading the tea leaves and brainstorming.

What issues will get the most traction?

What is the most efficient tactic to exploit those issues for over all change?

Conversely, what approach should we take to revitalize issues that are being ignored, marginalized and are falling through the cracks?

This is the age of short attention span and marketing, how do we grab and hold our “audience” (pols and populace) and either convince, bludgeon, or shame them into action that moves us forward?