December 5, 2010 archive

Obama’s Massive Environmental Deregulation

From the Center for Public Integrity

The administration has awarded more than 179,000 “categorical exclusions” to stimulus projects funded by federal agencies, freeing those projects from review under the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. Coal-burning utilities like Westar Energy and Duke Energy, chemical manufacturer DuPont, and ethanol maker Didion Milling are among the firms with histories of serious environmental violations that have won blanket NEPA exemptions.

Some polluters reported their stimulus projects might cause “unknown environmental risks” or could “adversely affect” sensitive resources, the documents show. Others acknowledged they would produce hazardous air pollutants or toxic metals. Still others won stimulus money just weeks after settling major pollution cases. Yet nearly all got exemptions from full environmental analyses, the documents show.

The Center for Public Integrity found some “ironies” in the fine print, and Obama’s stooges made a few excuses, but IMHO the scale of this thing makes any kind of commentary more or less superfluous.

179,000 “categorical exclusions” from environmental regulations!

Everything’s Falling Apart: Moksha Revisited

Everything’s going to get worse in time, because as you know, it does!

We all fall apart in the end.

Everything falls apart, institutions, buildings, nations, it all crumbles.

I would rather say that the people who have hope in the future are the miserable people, because they’re like donkeys chasing carrots dangled before their noses from sticks attached to their collars.

And they pursue and they pursue in vain, always hoping that tomorrow will be the great thing. And therefore incapable of enjoying themselves today.

People who live for the future never get there, because when their plans mature, they are not there to enjoy them.

The whole idea you see is, everything’s falling apart! So don’t try and stop it!

When you’re falling off a precipice it doesn’t do you any good to hang on to a rock that’s falling with you!

This is another case of our completely wasting our energy, in trying to prevent the world from falling apart!

Don’t do it! And then you’ll be able to do something!


The brilliance and necessity of Julian Assange’s Wikileaks

Originally posted at

Bloggers like Bob Morris of Polizeros have pointed out that even some who are typically rebellious in their rhetoric are condemning Julian Assange (while there are people like Jonah Goldberg and Chuck Schumer calling for his head), so I think it’s worth pointing out how historically important Assange (and Wikileaks, of course) could be.  With the caveat that we have all yet to see the effects of what Wikileaks is doing, he has the potential to play two essential and complementary roles: radical anti-authoritarian and someone who makes it safe for others to voice similar opinions.

I am Assange

In the film “Spartacus,” after the Romans crush the slave revolt, they attempt to locate the rebel leader. Their task is made difficult because each of the defeated captives in the rebel army declares that he is Spartacus. (The Roman response was to crucify them all.)

Today, Julian Assange is the head of a global movement for transparency and accountability that has challenged the secrecy that lies at the core of malevolent state-sponsored actions. He has been denounced as a “terrorist,” harassed by legal investigations, and slandered by the servile “reporters” of the world’s commercial press.

We are witnessing an extraordinary act of heroism as the few hundred individuals of Wikileaks confront the might of states and corporations accustomed to using deadly force to work their will in the world. All that protects these brave people is the technological robustness of the global Internet and the force of world opinion. Assange may be killed or imprisoned, but Wikileaks will not be silenced, because there will always be another honest and courageous person to sustain the flame of freedom that Wikileaks has lit. There will always be another Assange.

Each of us has a choice to make. We can cower in fear under the “protection” of local governments and continue to serve the interests of amoral corporations whose activities have become indistinguishable from those of corrupt governments, or we can side with freedom and defend courageous individuals like Assange.

I declare proudly, with millions of others, I am Assange!

Sunday Morning Over Normal

PhotobucketWell, its been a week… and despite my initial fear of it being intolerable waiting, like everything else one endures on this journey called life, it just normalized. I managed to keep my boys as distracted and amused as I could. Homework was still done, errands were still run, meals were made, conversations held. It seems anything can be become quite normal, and that humans are very resilient. But in the quiet of the morning, staring here at this page, tomorrow lurks like the last bastion of hope and the ultimate crushing blow of despair.

He has, by the initial diagnosis, a fast growing stage three large cell carcinoma, a relatively rare lung cancer. It tends to slough off cells, and can spread by the bloodstream. But he reacted relatively well to the chemo and radiation he got, and if it has shrunk and not spread, he agreed to round two of chemo. Tomorrow we find out the results.

We had a nice fire in the fireplace last night, ate leftover corned beef on pumpernickel bread, watched “House” reruns, and worked on Jake’s Christmas list. Normal, normal, normal. We went over our AFLAC bill, trying to decide what to shed and what to keep, since his boss isn’t paying the freight on that anymore… hmm… how much can we pay AFLAC out of the AFLAC money, when they still owe us 2 AFLAC checks from a month or more ago?  Quack, quack. I’ve 4 ignored utility bills staring me down in my inbox every time I boot my email. Heh. I guess THAT part is normal.

I cannot imagine losing this man, this warrior this way. He pretty much raised me, I feel, because most of what I am, I became as a result of meeting him at 21. From the first instant I laid eyes on him, I knew. My instincts have always been amazingly prescient about “keepers and kindreds” in my life, but this was like a cosmic explosion of rightness.  The road has not always been smooth, but all relations take work. Our psyches are intertwined in ways no one would ever understand.

Who would I be without my anchor? Would I become harder, more self-reliant as he taught me, when I was still a floundering “victim” type? Would I become softer, more forgiving of others, and revert to a more “doormat” (as he liked to call it) state? He tends to be a loner, and I the social one.

Which leads me to the place of the real questions… it needn’t be tragedy that is the impetus of change… what would I really like to change about myself, and why am I not working toward that now?

Open Etta


A Modern Transcendentalist – maybe

“Some people feel like they don’t deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.” ~ Chris McCandless aka Alex Supertramp

I was first introduced to this story about a year ago. A co-worker and I were having a conversation about outdoors experiences and he said, “Did you know Chris McCandless?” As it turns out, Chris went to the same university as I and graduated a year before me. Chris was a history and anthropology major and unfortunately our paths never crossed – not in a physical sense, anyway.

I did not think much about it until I recently saw an independent documentary on PBS   The Call of the Wild by Ron Lamothe.  Lamothe lives in Concord, MA near Walden Pond. He is touched by the writings of Henry David Thoreau. Having been to Walden Pond myself, I can understand why. Walden Pond has been preserved to retain the setting that Thoreau inhabited when he shook all conventional materialism and shunned cultural norms to live a short portion of his life communing with nature.

Likewise, McCandless upon graduating college gave away the remainder of his college fund to a charity, left his belongings behind, and drove west.

“The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences.” – Chris McCandless aka Alex Supertramp

Obama Isn’t Weak, He’s a Traitor

Barry, Penny, and Michelle

In his column posted December 2, Paul Krugman describes Barack Obama’s apparent “moral collapse” and “a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction” in the White House, and by endorsing an interpretation of Obama’s ridiculous antics which is now so common that even the Obamabot hive at Daily Kos is buzzing with it, Prof. Krugman gets himself tangled up in a variety of mysteries.

The real question is what Mr. Obama and his inner circle are thinking. Do they really believe, after all this time, that gestures of appeasement to the G.O.P. will elicit a good-faith response?

What’s even more puzzling is the apparent indifference of the Obama team to the effect of such gestures on their supporters.

What a puzzle! What can Team Obama possibly be thinking?

But maintaining the theory that Obama is really a good-hearted klutz who trips all over himself while he’s trying to do the right thing now requires the addition of so many fantastical epicyles to keep it spinning that we should probably just junk it, and look for the star around which Obama and his satellites obviously revolve, and that star is the banks.

we need a new. approach.

“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? We know that he did not come through the door, the window, or the chimney. We also know that he could not have been concealed in the room, as there is no concealment possible. When, then, did he come?”

    Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four

cross posted at writing in the rAw, dKos, and firedoglake

Docudharma Times Sunday December 5

Sunday’s Headlines:

Giant panda breeding breakthrough in China


Mounting State Debts Stoke Fears of a Looming Crisis

Tension grows between Calif. Muslims, FBI after informant infiltrates mosque


Spain, the world capital of prostitution?

Grandson of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer wants Germany to end eurozone bailouts

Middle East

Covert war against Iran’s nuclear aims takes chilling turn

Egyptians vote in runoff elections


Chinese blamed for Google attack

Unveiled: Work by Anthony Burgess suppressed for years


UN calls for ceasefire in Congo to expedite vaccinations following polio outbreak

Ken Saro-Wiwa was framed, secret evidence shows

Latin America

SWAT team sent as Easter Islanders take land

Fed workers told: Stay away from those leaked cables

Directive notes the content ‘remains classified’; Columbia U. also warns future diplomats staff and news service reports

NEW YORK – With tens of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables still to be disclosed by WikiLeaks, the Obama administration has warned federal government employees, and even some future diplomats, that they must refrain from downloading or even linking to any.

“Classified information, whether or not already posted on public websites or disclosed to the media, remains classified, and must be treated as such by federal employees and contractors,” the Office of Management and Budget said in a notice sent out Friday.

The New York Times, which first reported the directive, was told by a White House official that it does not advise agencies to block WikiLeaks or other websites on government computer systems. Nor does it bar federal employees from reading news stories about the leaks.

Late Night Karaoke

Is this the end?

Or just a very quiet Saturday? Where have all the ponies gone?

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