January 9, 2011 archive

The I Got Nuthin Files. Both Sides’ Violent Rhetoric?

The Main Stream Media – in lockstep with the “fairness doctrine” (suddenly in popularity again) are talking about the violence of the extreme left and the extreme right.  About the “nuts” on the left and the patriotic gunrights advocates of the right.  

How many people were shot on the jeering other side in the huge anti-war marches in Chicago.

Umm – let me think.   None.

How many people were violent in those marches?

Umm – well the police occasionally.  And to be fair – some bottles were tossed.  In most of the marches I attended families with children in strollers attended – and there was no violence at all on our side.

Did these wild crowds in their frenzied madness tie up traffic for an hour or so?

Yes but to be fair it was more like two hours.  

Were any motorists attacked?


How many people throughout the world during those marches carried guns and used them?

Hmm.  I don’t think any used them.  But, of course, in the interests of fairness perhaps some carried weapons.

Sputter sputter — but flags were burned.

Yes, they were and there was some amusing and on-target theatre also going on.

How is Iraq doing now?

We’ve pretty much ruined it in sanctioned and targeted bombing of the population.  Smart bombs you know.  But lots of people are making money – the governing class, of course.  In 2010 according to the UN, over 140,000 refugees fled to Syria and Jordan, et al.  And thousands more in prior years.  Over a million are internally displaced.  Of course, we musn’t forget that a statue was toppled and Sadam was eliminated.  So – there’s that.

What about Falujah?

We destroyed it for its own good.

But we’ve secured oil for ourselves in any event.

No, not really.  I believe for instance other nations such as China are buying that oil.  And they didn’t have to go to war – smart people.

Why aren’t there any marches now?

The American people are dispirited by a government that is not interested in them, yet takes away their money for the upper classes. And let’s face it – huge numbers in the world came out and no one paid any attention to us before so…. Oh — plus we’re scared now.  

I got nuthin.

Language Wounds in Unpredictable Ways

Last week, a friend invited me out to dinner.  Also present was one of her friends, who happened to be hearing-impaired.  Throughout the whole of the evening, I found it very interesting to observe two forms of communication going on simultaneously—one that I heard and another that I saw visually by way of American Sign Language.  As is true with spoken language, there are instances in sign languages when illustrating a particular idea proves difficult or beyond the speaker’s level of expertise.  It is at this point that a creative communicator will often formulate his or her own signs to be understood.

Book review: James J. O’Donnell’s The Ruin of the Roman Empire

This is a book review about James J. O’Donnell’s recent volume on the 6th-century Roman Empire — it deals of course with the issue of “why did Rome fall?”  O’Donnell’s writing is amusing and makes interesting comparisons between the Emperor Justinian and George W. Bush, in that they both set the stage for the future ruin of their respective empires.  This was published previously at DailyKos.com — but I’ve decided to bring it back to Docudharma, especially since youse guys have decided to stick around!  

After The Shooting The Shadow

I woke up this morning with a profound sadness.

The worst part of yesterday’s shootings seems to me to be the death of the 9-year old girl.  She was apparently at the Congresswoman’s political event at the Safeway because she had been elected to an elementary school student council.  She might have been inspired to meet an actual Congresswoman.

All of the deaths and the many serious injuries lie like a heavy brick on my heart.

The many analyses of why these shootings happened began too soon for me.  They started immediately after the echo of the last bullet was drowned out by the agony of the victims and the Medevac helicopters.  They  continue today with renewed force.  And increased monotony.  They will ebb and flow for the next few days. It’s not necessary to enumerate these here.  There are many different ideas but the central idea seems to that there is something very wrong, and that’s what caused this to happen.

We have come to expect from these discussions the fixing of blame and righteous recrimination and finger pointing.  And also the scrubbing of web pages and the editing of previous statements and the making of pronouncements.  The reactions are all terribly predictable. I don’t expect anyone who did not actually pull the trigger to take any responsibility for these deaths and injuries.  And I expect that the actual shooter to have a defense as well.  This prepares a fertile ground for continued blame and justification.  And arguments.  And shouting.  And more of the same.  And more violence.

This brings me directly to the Shadow.  My Shadow.  Jung’s definition and explanation might be relevant, but what I am drawn to this morning is far less academic.  I’m drawn to how Loughner lives inside me.  My internal Loughner.  Or put another way, the aspects of my personhood that I dislike, that I am afraid of, that I have shunned and hidden, that I do not reveal, that I keep secret.  I am drawn to the aspects of myself that I consider horrid and ugly and deformed and despicable.  This morning I find that these weigh heavy on my chest. I think this is what today requires my attention.

For example, I ask, where in me does the deranged, incoherent, violent Loughner live?  Where in me is a person who writes such bizarre Youtubes?  Where in me is the person who carries and uses a concealed weapon so devastatingly?  So coldly?  Where is my seething but covert anger at apparent authority?  Where is my belief in illusory, mysterious, demented magical thinking nonsense?  And where does my persistent blaming of others for all of my pain reside?

These are hard questions.  It is very hard to look at this ugliness.  But my view is that this is what needs attention.  Today.  It needs to be looked at.  And it needs to be acknowledged.  And even harder, it needs to be honored for why it is there and what it has done for me.

I would like us to ask ourselves these tough questions and to begin to attend to them. Otherwise, I fear, embarking on an impersonal, academic analysis of yesterday’s tragedy might amount to our again disowning our ugliness, our pushing it into the darkness, and our unintentionally creating the conditions that will surely make it happen again.


simulposted at The Dream Antilles    

Something else to worry about

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Bumble Bees In U.S. Suffer Sharp Decline, Joining Countless Other Species Disappearing Worldwide

Travis Walter Donovan, The Huffington Post

1/4/11, 01:26 PM

Honey bees have long been known to be in decline, suffering from the enigmatic colony collapse disorder, and the latest research on U.S. bumble bees only exacerbates concerns over future food production, as bees are responsible for pollinating 90 percent of the world’s commercial plants, from fruits and vegetables to coffee and cotton.

Unfortunately, insects aren’t the only creatures suffering drastic losses to their populations. Tigers could be extinct in 12 years if efforts to protect their habitats and prevent poaching aren’t increased. A recent study across three continents showed snakes to be in rapid decline due to climate change. Overfishing and changing weather patterns have left 12 of the world’s 17 species of penguins experiencing steep losses in numbers. A recent World Wildlife Fund report found that all animals in the tropics have declined by 60 percent since 1970, with everything from gorillas to fish thinning out.

Honey laundering: The sour side of nature’s golden sweetener

JESSICA LEEDER – Global Food Reporter, Globe and Mail

Jan. 06, 2011 2:07PM EST

What consumers don’t know is that honey doesn’t usually come straight – or pure – from the hive. Giant steel drums of honey bound for grocery store shelves and the food processors that crank out your cereal are in constant flow through the global market. Most honey comes from China, where beekeepers are notorious for keeping their bees healthy with antibiotics banned in North America because they seep into honey and contaminate it; packers there learn to mask the acrid notes of poor quality product by mixing in sugar or corn-based syrups to fake good taste.

None of this is on the label. Rarely will a jar of honey say “Made in China.” Instead, Chinese honey sold in North America is more likely to be stamped as Indonesian, Malaysian or Taiwanese, due to a growing multimillion dollar laundering system designed to keep the endless supply of cheap and often contaminated Chinese honey moving into the U.S., where tariffs have been implemented to staunch the flow and protect its own struggling industry.

While many of the executives are still at large, U.S. investigators arrested four honey brokers in the U.S. who are Chinese or Taiwanese nationals with connections to ALW. All have plead guilty; three have been sentenced to a range of jail terms and deportation proceedings are continuing. The fourth is scheduled for sentencing in Seattle this week.

Mr. Adee, the beekeeper, said he’s been attending talks in Washington to convey who the targets of honey laundering probes should really be.

“It’s kind of like they’re running a car-stealing ring,” he said. “You catch the guy stealing the car and put him out of business. But the guy that’s laundering, the chop shop or the packer, he just finds another supplier,” he said, adding: “I think it’s going to keep getting worse until we catch a couple of big ones, give them a little jail time.”

Human Time Bombs

6 dead. 13 wounded. A disturbed individual who loves “We the Living” a virulently anti-communist manifesto, as well as “Mein Kampf,” Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto,” and parrots Glenn Beck’s obsession with a Gold Standard.

A Nation fed and bred on fear since before 9/11, a Nation in which the siege mentality extends far past the “with us or against us” vitriol extended to Countries we have invaded, but within our shores against one another.

If you recall, I attended a Tea Party in Brighton Michigan, as an activist and reporter for the Left. I saw first hand the violent and divisive vitriol that rippled out from the stage, inciting the people to almost a blood lust fervor.

If you recall, as well, the pages of Wild, Wild, Left and its affiliated radio show have spoken often about human time bombs as a result of the conditions in this Country. Gottlieb and I have spoken and written extensively on the subject for several years, pretty much as sole voices on the topic. Sadly… our predictions have proven true time and again.

I will not, cannot, in good faith point blame solely at Sarah Palin’s cross-hair poster, nor the violent imagery and allegory painted daily by the extremists of the Right on Fox News as directly responsible for this tragedy. I can and do, however, blame them for the promotion of Politicians who have pushed this country into an increasingly militaristic and fascist direction, one that enables bigotry, one that crushes the economy of the many for the profit of the few, one that glorifies our Unjust Wars of Aggression and as such, cause the deaths of millions of people across the Globe.

It is left to me to repaint the broader Political climate that creates these human time bombs, and while tragic, and my heart goes out to all those effected with love and empathy, remind this community that far more people die every hour both at home and abroad because of that climate.

The one I feed.

A brilliant insight into incentive motivation, learning, and habits.  

Via I.M. Nobody:

 An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me…It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, pride and superiority. The other wolf stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside of you and every other person too.”

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied…”The one I feed.”

Six In The Morning

To Bad Those Who Incite Will Never Take Responsibility  

In Attack’s Wake, Political Repercussions

TUCSON – Representative Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, and 18 others were shot Saturday morning when a gunman opened fire outside a supermarket where Ms. Giffords was meeting with constituents.

Six of the victims died, among them John M. Roll, the chief judge for the United States District Court for Arizona, and a 9-year-old girl, the Pima County sheriff, Clarence W. Dupnik, said.

Ms. Giffords, 40, whom the authorities called the target of the attack, was said to be in very critical condition at the University Medical Center in Tucson, where she was operated on by a team of neurosurgeons.

Late Night Karaoke

Sarah Palin Aimed the Gun That Shot Gabrielle Giffords


Sarah Palin aimed the gun that shot Gabrielle Giffords. Does it really matter who pulled the trigger?


But the New York Times and the rest of the corporate media are busily pretending that the problem is politics in general, and under the Times’ headline…

In Attack’s Wake, Political Repercussions

…paragraph after paragraph unfurls without ever mentioning Sarah Palin or the Tea Party.

No Job, Broke, Worn Out, Sick, Tired, Fed Up, Hungry?

Economy looking dismal? You’re running low on hope? Motivation next to non-existent? Job market worse? Bills piling up on you? Collection agents hounding you? They repo’d your car and wall street took your house? You’ve had it with sleeping on the sidewalk? Your dealer won’t front you anymore?

You know in your heart that your impoverishment is all your own fault for being too lazy and shiftless to even pick up the phone, don’t you? Ask any television anchor or politician or any other self help guru and they’ll all tell you that.

But there is one solution left you haven’t tried yet, or you wouldn’t be wallowing in that pit of self pity.

Before you jump, try out your last resort, the one option that has been time and time again historically proven to always work, every time! Without fail!

Bend over, pull up your socks, grab your bootstraps, and get yourself some…

It’s the American Dream!

Open Thread: Shall We Dance?