January 3, 2011 archive

Germans call a Spade a Spade, So…….

Why can’t we!

Reading this sounds pretty damn familiar, 21st century amerika, but not quite as blatant yet, or is it.

Actually they use two very descriptive leads to the story, and they should know, first:

Right-Wing Extremism

Is the lead then we get to the meat.

Let Prisoners Keep Their Cellphones

The prevailing assumption is that prison walls are supposed to prevent prisoners from interacting with the free world, including their families. And that there’s something about that that’s protective of society. So communication by prisoners with the outside world is generally forbidden.  This is the case for each of the 2 million prisoners in the US.  Computers are banned.  Phone calls are close to impossible: talking on the phone system provided by the prison can bankrupt those who receive prisoners’ collect calls (collect calls are frequently required and cost $1 per minute or more).  Visits are tightly regulated as to duration and frequency and behavior.  Furloughs are extremely rare if available at all.  And all cellphones are banned.  This prevailing idea is easily encapsulated: if you’re locked up, you’re supposed to be isolated as completely and thoroughly as possible from whatever might be on the other side of the walls.  No matter what.

Does this make any sense?  Or put another way, is there a real reason why prisoners shouldn’t be given full access to cellphones and smart phones while they are incarcerated?

A Life’s Work Speaks Louder than a Million Words

As we often lament, every minority or marginalized group can be easily stigmatized,  slandered, or reduced by what is not factually correct.  How one personally deals with it is a matter of individual preference; I would not dictate terms to anyone if I could.  Tactics may differ, but the response does not.  Sometimes, despite our best attempts, as the context changes, we wait our turn to be vociferous opponents as well as allies.  We live in an age that has good reason to be cynical, but we often go too far, applying it heavily to everything, particularly that which we take offense.  Passion is not at fault here, but the volatility of debate is.    

Six In The Morning

Throwing Good Money After Bad

Demise of Iraqi water park illustrates limitations, abuse of U.S. funding program

BAGHDAD – In thespring of 2008, Gen. David H. Petraeus decided he had spent enough time gazing from his helicopter at an empty and desolate lake on the banks of the Tigris River. He ordered the lake refilled and turned into a water park for all of Baghdad to enjoy.

The military doctrine behind the project holds that cash can be as effective as bullets. Under Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq at the time, that principle gained unprecedented emphasis, and it has become a cornerstone of the war effort in Afghanistan, now under Petraeus’s command.

Late Night Karaoke

Brickmaker, Kabul, 2010

Brickmaker, Kabul, 2010

Why the rich get richer and poor get poorer

  It’s probably the oldest question in capitalism.

Make no mistake, there are a myriad of reasons why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and only a few apply to any one instance. That doesn’t prevent generalization from being made. The defenders of the status quo explain it as thus:

 The rich get richer and the poor get poorer because the rich learn to become stewards of the talents given to them. The poor have squandered their talents and are not given more.

 Clean and simple. The poor are poor because they’ve brought it upon themselves. The rich are just better than you. Case closed. It’s a very convenient philosophy if you’re rich.

 In reality there is only one reason for the growing wealth disparity that applies to practically every instance, and it isn’t because one group is better, or smarter, or more amoral than another group.

 It’s not a hidden secret. Everyone is aware of it, but few understand it as well as they think they do.

Good Morning and Welcome to Docudharma 2.0

I imagine many of you have been wondering what’s been happening and who was going to take the reins from buhdydharma. Wonder no longer. It’s me.

I’ll have help since managing two web sites is quite time consuming and I have a three dimensional life that demands attention once in a while. I’ll be pretty much in the background, relying on all the wonderful diaries that you write.

Everything here will remain pretty much the same. The name, banner and FAQ will not change. In other words

Passion, politics, poetry, prose and ponies. Silliness, snark and a serious effort to frame the future. A river of words, thought, philosophy and action that nourishes and transforms the political cultural and social landscape through which it passes. That is the spirit behind this “place”.

In practice…write whatever the hell you want! There are no rigid restrictions here, it is a salon and a laboratory and a place to create a new reality. A reality based on compassion, empathy and caring for the people and the planet, while acknowledging the harsh realities of the world we live in and the difficulty of the tasks ahead. The complexities of greed, corruption and the petty politics of ‘human nature’ in the face of climate crisis and seven billion souls…will not be overcome by black and white solutions or electoral processes, but by becoming the change we wish to see and helping others to do the same. Not through top down enforcement, but through people working together, a model of cooperation, not competition.

In other words…Hey Kids! Let’s put on an evolution! This is a place for each of us to do our 1/seven billionth of that together, and hopefully speed the process of change along through a synergy of our ideas, intentions and actions. Now let’s get out there and change the world!

by buhdydharma

Pique the Geek 20110102: The Rare Earth Elements Part II of II

Happy New Year to everyone!  I hope that 2011 will find you well and prosperous.  Last week we began to examine the so called Rare Earth Elements, which turn out to have lots of uses, many of them to do, oddly, with optics in diverse ways.  This week we shall finish up the series about them.

I reluctantly admit that I did not take as much time as necessary for the piece last week, mostly because even I did not understand just how important these elements are, both from a modern technological standpoint and also from an historical one for chemistry becoming a modern, “hard”, science.  First we shall look into some history, then finish up the elements themselves.

Camelot Speaks

Camelot is not for everybody.  There is this esoteric blend of spirituality coupled with decades of sci-fi movies you have not seen yet or perhaps something you would instantly peg as new age cult nonsense from the long gone sixties hippie culture.  Accepting as fact “we” have a base on the planet Mars.  Wondering about the solar eruptions of 2012, or the real origins of the pyramids on the plains of Giza.  Pondering the real control structures which indeed rule the planet.  Why sex and it’s deviations rule the media, why media is retarded/evil.  What purpose is served by 147 deep underground survivalist military bases and why are “they” holding back the 100 years worth of advanced super technology that would have fixed the BP Oil leak.

We are supposed to decide.  We are supposed to elect to fix it ourselves and as nasty as it sounds we are supposed to cull our own numbers to save the planet or “they” will do it for “us”.

OK, as far out as that sounds I do submit that it lies on a higher plane that the “debate” over Sarah Palin vs  Gattica Matrix Orwellian sci-fi Running Man They Live dystopia world.  We still have however a large population percentage whose elevator stops at Lady GaGa and that other myriad of other diversionary, distractionary and divisionary bullshit social engineering crap which divides us from realizing our true Godlike selves.  Yup, WE are God.  Each and every one of us.  What is that song, What if God was one of us.  Well, we are but none of us know it, we didn’t believe it, we didn’t practice the Yoda Jedi meditations or truely think all of us are in this mess together.

To me at least it’s credible.  33 sociopathic assholes rule the planet and these sociopaths think they are doing their best for the entire human race.  Normal people would not understand that if they did not have/attract multiple sociopathic personalities and or considered themselves like I do a fucking familial magnet for such things.  You, bless you do not have to ponder such things and reject the entire history of what you thought was truth, Apple Pie and the right and true way.