April 4, 2011 archive

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This is an Open Thread

Psychology of Activism: 2011

There is a general consensus that the left is not in good shape.  Indeed, we are outspent, outgunned, out-broadcast, outvoted, at every turn.  We can easily point to vast corporate wealth, unfair election laws, sellout leaders, and a hostile media, to explain our plight.  Indeed, there is truth to all this.  So what else is new?  Some go further and blame it on an ignorant and brainwashed public.  But frankly, that’s a shuck, even if it contains grains of truth.  After all, how did WE let it get that way.

Certainly there is comfort in blaming the masses for being too stupid to realize the wisdom of our solutions.  But such is cold comfort.  Better to examine ourselves, work out what it is that WE need to do, to mobilize those benighted masses.  But I believe that self-examination has to go beyond our programs, our battle cries, our bold solutions.  I believe it requires examining HOW we think, HOW we plan, HOW we understand our world,  It requires examining some of our most basic assumptions.


Rebel Rabbit

S02E09: Overturning EPA

cross-posted from Main Street Insider

A couple weeks ago, we looked at new regulations on greenhouse gases (GHG’s)¬†being imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This week’s episode focuses on a bill proposed as a response to these new regulations by House Republicans who oppose the EPA’s efforts. Contrary to what the title of the bill would suggest, this proposal has absolutely nothing to do with taxes. In fact, aside from the title, the word “tax” does not appear once in the text of the bill. The actual language of the bill shows that the real intent is to strip the EPA of power in the area of GHG’s and leave any decision making to Congress.

It should be noted that the EPA has been regulating air pollutants for over 40 years (just missed the 40th anniversary last December). Though regulating GHG’s is new, thanks to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that declared GHG’s to be air pollutants, this type of EPA authority has been the status quo for a long time.

Six In The Morning

UN staff flee Abidjan amid warnings of ‘bloodbath’

Troops loyal to Ivory Coast’s recognised President-elect prepare for ‘final push’

By Daniel Howden, Africa Correspondent Monday, 4 April 2011

The United Nations has started to evacuate its staff from Abidjan ahead of a bloody final battle for Ivory Coast’s commercial capital that is expected to start today.

Laurent Gbagbo, who has refused international appeals to stand down after losing an election last year, has ordered his supporters into the streets to form a “human shield” around him while the forces of Alassane Ouattara, the President-elect, have been massing on the outskirts of the city.

“We are in the last kilometre of a marathon, the last step, which is always the toughest,” UN spokesman Hamadun Tour√© told The Independent by telephone from Abidjan.

Need a Reason for “We Are One” today-60min’s Report

AFL-CIO blog site about rallies-link in graphic

If you thought you didn’t have a reason to participate in the April 4th “We Are One” {face book page link} rallies around the country this report will certainly plant that needed seed as they continue trying to destroy what America once was building successfully, through it’s workers!

6omin. 3 April 2011, if you missed this it’s a must watch and or read!  

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.

We need–and should encourage and honor–not only discoverers of facts hitherto unknown but explorers of ideas and rethinkers of values.

–Walter Moberly

Early Spring 2

Tarok Kolache, Afghanistan

Tarok Kolache

An Afghan man rides near a field, Friday, April 1, 2011, in the village of Tarok Kolache in the Arghandab River Valley of Afghanistan. Village elders and coalition forces held a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday for a mosque, the first completed structure in a massive joint reconstruction effort by Tarok Kolache landowners and International Security Assistance Forces since the village was destroyed in October 2010 in an effort to rid it of insurgents. (Photo by: ISAF Regional Command (South)

Late Night Karaoke

More on The Town (movie)–Claire is her own worst enemy:

Please note:  This essay is cross-posted from imdb.com (Internet Movie Database, but it’s also posted on firefly-dreaming.com.

At the end of last month, I managed to obtain a copy of the regular DVD version of The Town from our local public library, and I watched it for the third time this week. As much as Doug and his crew really are not nice guys, and Fergie and his bodyguard, Rusty, are quite vicious, I began to think that Claire is her own worst enemy.

Claire seems like a total phony, with her constant pasted-on smile, her pretentiousness, and her always playing “the babe”. Hey…if I were a guy, I’d keep my distance from her, because I think she’s undoubtedly a real bitch who cloaks her bitchery in a mantle of totally fake charm and charisma, pretending to be an all-out fun gal to have around. Scratch that surface, and I’d be the first to bet that Claire is rotten to the core underneath it all despite the fact that she seems so “normal”, spontaneous, communicative, gentle, serene, smiling, sunny, interesting and interested. Not surprisingly, when her idyll turned bad around the edges, she ends up crying a lot, and I find myself thinking; aha….that’s what Claire gets for taking up with a career criminal and a wanted fugitive and then lying to the Feds about her and Doug’s romantic relationship.

So, Doug and “Jem” broke into some guy’s apartment in the housing project, beat the hell out of him and permanently crippled him for supposedly having thrown bottles at Doug’s Lady Claire, who’d been stupid enough to walk through a rough and tough housing project at night in the first place (Claire obviously has no sense, or she would’ve realized that no woman in her right mind would take a short cut through a tough housing project alone at night.), and then Doug shot and killed his and Jem’s crime boss, Fergie the Florist and his bodyguard, Rusty, all in revenge for trying to hurt, or threatening to kill Claire, and partly out of revenge for the death of Doug’s mother, who “Fergie” the Florist  got addicted to drugs to shut her up, and she ultimately committed suicide, although Doug’s father doesn’t tell him that when he visits him in prison.   My, my how touching! Lady Claire must feel flattered that she’s got criminals Doug and “Jem” rushing to her defense. Imho, Claire should’ve known from the beginning that she was flirting with serious trouble when she took up with and continued to date Doug MacRay.  

Other Thoughts about the movie “The Town”

Please note:  This essay is cross-posted from firefly-dreaming.com.

The Town Pictures, Images and Photos

As everybody knows, I wrote about the movie The Town, which is based on Chuck Hogan’s thriller novel, Prince of Thieves earlier here on firefly.  There are important differences between the movie and the book on which it is based, and, as I also pointed out, I felt that the book was a great deal better than the film, although I never elaborated on any of the reasons why.

The Town (movie):

Please note:  This essay is cross-posted from firefly-dreaming.com

Based on Chuck Hogan’s novel Prince of Thieves, this movie is about four young men who are lifelong residents of Boston’s Charlestown section, or Townies, as the denizens of the area call themselves.  Although Charlestown is a predominantly working-class Irish-Catholic area, it has become more gentrified in the past 20-30 years, and the denizens of the area often refer to the gentry as “Toonies”.  The four men; Doug MacRay, Albert Magloan (Gloansy), James Caughlin (“Jem”), and Desmond Elden (Dez), pride themselves on robbing banks and armored cars, getting what they want, and coming away clean.  However, one sunny day, when they decide to rob a bank in Cambridge’s Harvard Square, this bank robbery goes wrong, the attractive woman who’s the manager of the bank ends up being forced to open the bank’s safe at gun point, taken hostage and blinddfolded by the four men,  who’ve donned all-black outfits and Hallowe’en masks, and an assistant manger ends up being badly beaten and seriously injured, within inches of his life.

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