April 21, 2011 archive

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We paid our dues, where’s our change?

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Full Lyrics

Dear Mr. President we honor you today sir

Each of us brought you $5,000

It takes a lot of Benjamins to run a campaign

I paid my dues, where’s our change?

We’ll vote for you in 2012, yes that’s true

Look at the Republicans — what else can we do?

Even though we don’t know if we’ll retain our liberties

In what you seem content to call a free society

Yes it’s true that Terry Jones is legally free

To burn a people’s holy book in shameful effigy

But at another location in this country

Alone in a 6×12 cell sits Bradley

23 hours a day (and) night

The 5th and 8th Amendments say this kind of thing ain’t right

We paid our dues, where’s our change?

(h/t emptywheel)

(Massive h/t TheMomCat)


Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

So much goes over Beltway Access Bloggers heads that it’s genuinely hard to determine if they are morons or liars (with moron being the more charitable choice).

I find that a fitting introduction to Greg Sargent’s current piece.

New Washington Post/ABC News polling released this morning is unequivocal: There is strong across the board support for Obama’s policy preferences on the deficit.

And yet, in what appears to be an emerging pattern, that support is not matched by general approval of Obama’s handling of fiscal matters.

The poll finds that 72 percent overall, and 68 percent of independents, support hiking taxes on those over $250,000. Even 54 percent of Republicans support this.

Meanwhile, 65 percent say Medicare should remain as it is today and should not be transformed into a voucher program. Only 34 percent favor changing the program.

A solid majority, 59 percent, also supports a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts to reduce the deficit – the Dem approach – versus only 36 percent who support only cuts.

But only 39 percent approve of Obama’s handling of the deficit, versus 58 percent who disapprove. That’s better, but only marginally so, than the GOP’s 33-64 spread on the same question. And more say the GOP is taking a stronger leadership role than Obama, 45-40. This matches yesterday’s McClatchy poll, which found the same disconnect.

Either voters don’t know what Obama’s proposals are; or they do, but the GOP’s success in creating generalized anxiety about Dem overspending continues to dominate; or perhaps all views of Obama are colored by unease about the economy. Whatever the cause, closing this disconnect – translating support for Obama’s policies into confidence in his economic and fiscal leadership – is perhaps Obama’s central political challenge.

Zing!  Obama’s central political challenge is that people know he’s a liar.  He should stop lying.

Update: (h/t Think Progress)

Agreement to Fund Gulf Coast Restoration Projects

This is just breaking within the past hour or so.

Below is the press release from the ‘Restore the Gulf.gov’ site along with the initial draft agreement.

Still looking at the news articles just coming online.

The Weaving – Our Philosophy

For the vast majority of human history, the human understanding of higher consciousness or, “God,” has developed in geographical and cultural pockets. Each of these cultures acting as both the filter into which the Universal Consciousness has poured and as the vessel that has received and thus formed or shaped their particular understanding of it, each in its own unique way. Each culture or civilization developed it’s own interpretation of what the Universal Consciousness meant, what “God” looked like, what must be done to please “God,” and perhaps most importantly what displeased their version of God enough to cause them to make war on other cultures and civilizations…..who of course had their own unique (and relatively speaking, “true”) interpretation of the Universal Consciousness.

The Truth of Universal Consciousness is…The Truth. It is what it is.

Regardless of ANY human or cultural or religious interpretation. No human culture or religion or set of beliefs is The Truth. The Truth of Universal Consciousness existed long before humans evolved. EVERY human interpretation of Universal Consciousness is subjective. While it is possible for individual humans to experience (to the best of their limited capacity as humans) The Truth of Universal Consciousness, it is literally impossible for any human to communicate…let alone codify into a religion or set of beliefs the entirety of The Truth of Universal Consciousness.

We simply do not have the tools of communication to do so. In part this is a result of humans being only a small part, a subsection, of Universal Consciousness. A small part of a great whole can simply not communicate the entirety of a great whole that it is part of…especially to other small parts of the great whole.

In that sense….everything you know is wrong. And everything I know, and everything the religious leaders of the world know, etc. Wrong not because the details, the parts, of  The Truth of Universal Consciousness we do know of and communicate are wrong, but because we simply cannot know, to the point of communicating them “accurately,” the whole of Universal Consciousness.

Perhaps (I use the word perhaps because, after all, everything I know is wrong!) the best we small, human parts of the whole can do is to combine all of the knowledge and communication skills that have developed in these small pockets of cultures, traditions and belief systems throughout the course of human history. Taking the “best” parts, the parts that ring truest to a cross-section of humans, the thoughts and beliefs and traditions from each culture, each subset of the whole of The Truth of Universal Consciousness and weaving them together into a new agreed upon whole.

Because slowly and suddenly, the planet has begun to shrink. Previously when pockets of culture began to rub up against each other, there were great wars to determine whose version of The Truth of Universal Consciousness was “best” or “right.”

When in reality….it was all the same Truth, all emanating from the same Source. Humans, we must constantly remind ourselves, have no say, no vote in what the The Truth of Universal Consciousness actually IS. We can only interpret it. And we can only interpret it subjectively, from our very small viewpoint, as a very small part of the Universe. The Truth of Universal Consciousness is…The Truth. It is what it is. The differences we have are the human and cultural filters it poured through and the shape of the vessel that contained and thus shaped it. Now, on a planet that is in the process of shrinking into a single village, with instant communication between the farthest reaches of the earth, all of the historical shapes and filters that developed independently are known. To all those who wish to know.

All of the basic information of all of the spiritual cultures that was once hidden, occulted or arcane is now available. (Dependent, as has always been the case, on one’s individual development and thus one’s ability to comprehend it.) Literally hundreds of once hidden spiritual Truths, originating in literally hundreds of cultures  are now known. (If not completely understood.)

This has removed certainty. It has removed, among thinking people, people not blinded by Dogma or Fundamentalism, the idea that any one version of The Truth of Universal Consciousness is the only Truth. It is far, far easier to be certain that what you have been taught in your culture is THE Truth….if you are not exposed to other Truths, that others also believe with complete certainty.

The removal of certainty in any dogma is a good thing, overall, if we truly value Truth. It is a necessary step in human development. But it has also left a void. A void of the common beliefs which once held cultures and societies together, united by common beliefs, and common goals for humanity….and perhaps most importantly a void of morality. While cultures, religions and even nations have had a common purpose that unified them, and thus enabled them to put the ego of the individual aside and achieve truly wondrous things…the new Global Village has no shared common purpose to unite them. No shared vision for humanity as a whole and thus no formally shared morality, no agreed upon sense of “right and wrong.”

Historically we have had no method to even discuss, let alone agree upon, a new morality (an agreed upon code of action) for ALL of the inhabitants of the Global Village. We have been separated geographically, culturally and most importantly we have been separated by lexicon. Now the internet is giving us a method, a forum for all of humanity to interact, to discover and solidify the basic commonalities of all humans. Not through the filter of the edicts of a church. Not through the policies or pronouncements of politicians or diplomats. But through direct human to human communication. Communication between equals. We are slowly but suddenly developing a common lexicon, a mutual communication of ideas. And a way to compare and evaluate Truth.

Morality is a word fraught with danger, as the whole of human history shows. Enforced, dogmatic morality is responsible for the vast majority of the horrors humans have imposed on each other. Agreed upon morality leads to a common set of beliefs and actions….which leads to a common purpose, which leads to the possibility of a world that is based on cooperation (as has been true within individual cultures) not on the chaos of competition, ie, “every man/tribe for himself.”

The Human Race is still in a deadly competition, still killing each other to try to determine whose version of The Truth of Universal Consciousness is “correct.” Huge percentages of human resources, blood, and energy are still siphoned off from the potential of humanity to “win” this battle. It is not working. It is a battle that cannot be won, because humans cannot determine The Truth of Universal Consciousness.

The Truth of Universal Consciousness cannot be known, achieved or implemented to a greater degree on the Planet by killing everyone who disagrees with your version of The Truth of Universal Consciousness.

The Truth of Universal Consciousness can, perhaps, be known, achieved and implemented to a greater degree on the Planet through the cooperation of humans to take the best of all the traditions, cultures, and belief systems and weaving them together into a new agreed upon understanding of The Truth of Universal Consciousness, leading to a new common purpose (such as saving the Planet and future generations from the devastation of Climate Change, for instance) and a new, despite the dangers inherent in the concept…. agreed upon morality. Agreed upon by the people of the Planet, not the vested elites.

Thus leading to an entirely new kind of world, a world based on cooperation not competition. A world wherein all of humanity shares an organically developed common purpose, that still values the dignity of the individual, that allows us to stop devoting our resources and energy to killing each other and the Planet.

This is….perhaps….the next step in human evolution. A step that not only brings into a being a better Planet, a better humanity, but that also brings us one step closer to truly understanding, and acting in harmony with, The Truth of Universal Consciousness.

It’s Your Move

I am gong to very honest with all of you. It’s your choice whether this site continues. I need to know what the community wants to do. Commenting and content have been sparse, except for a few devoted members and I appreciate and thank them for their work.

When I stepped in here in January, the site was already in decline and had been since last June. I suppose there are factors that have gone into that dynamic, I wouldn’t know, since my last comment here was on June 6th. I didn’t read anything here until I was told about buhdy’s diary in November and I didn’t comment until the site was transfered to me. The offer was made to keep the “lights on” for those whom had vested so much time and energy into writing, reading and comments, for those whom wanted to stay, for those to whom this was “home”.

My original intent was to remain in the background after the essay letting you all know that the site would stay active. That might have been a better idea than I thought. So except for the daily Stars Hollow Gazette Review and the occasional administrative duties, I will no longer be posting here. You all know where to find me and I will be still reading the essays and the comments.

This is about you and what you want to happen to Docudharma.  

Truth, The Real Public Option

Around the same time that the health care reform act was being hotly debated, several months back, I wrote extensively about my own experiences.  I’ve struggled with chronic illness the whole of my life, and so not having health insurance was not exactly any bargaining chip for me.  The no-insurance option shouldn’t have to be anyone’s experience, yet this is still true for many I know.  Many people my age (thirty) and younger who have had to endure extended periods of unemployment due to the economy must depend on benevolent parents, should they be young enough, or instead beg for whatever available government coverage can be achieved.  At worst, they must make do with no coverage, hoping and praying that they don’t get seriously sick.  My sister is a prime example of the risk you take when you don’t have health insurance.  An injury, followed in rapid succession by an illness, required extensive care, depleting what little savings she had and leaving her in debt.  She always worked somewhere, but only managed to find jobs in the service industry, low-wage endeavors that did not provide insurance to employees.      

Six In The Morning

Bahrain’s secret terror

Desperate emails speak of ‘genocide’ as doctors who have treated injured protesters are rounded up

By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor Thursday, 21 April 2011

The intimidation and detention of doctors treating dying and injured pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain is revealed today in a series of chilling emails obtained by The Independent.

At least 32 doctors, including surgeons, physicians, paediatricians and obstetricians, have been arrested and detained by Bahrain’s police in the last month in a campaign of intimidation that runs directly counter to the Geneva Convention guaranteeing medical care to people wounded in conflict. Doctors around the world have expressed their shock and outrage.


Life with Feathers

Elite Brilliance!

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The DCCC’s Bad Ad Team

By: David Dayen

Tuesday April 19, 2011 12:59 pm

Why would you play this funny? Why give the message that old people are worthy of derision, essentially because they’re old? This looks like a really bad Super Bowl spot when the issue discussed is deadly serious. Republicans are claiming that the ad represents “scare tactics” but no, I could show you scare tactics. A closeup of a senior’s hand as she struggles in the last throes of life and then pulling out to reveal she’s laying on the middle of the sidewalk as white men in suits ignore her, that’s scare tactics. This looks like a GoDaddy ad.

Furthermore, it gets progressively worse. The lemonade stand shot is fine, but then you have the lawnmower riding played for laughs, with the jerk owner of the lawn telling the old man that he missed a spot. Still generally on point, but discordant; why is the focus on basically getting amusement out of the old man’s condition with the walker? And then there’s the strange third segment. When the bachelorettes come to the door, I have no idea what’s going on. The old guy is dressed like a firefighter, and given that the women are all screaming, it’s just as plausible at first glance that he’s moonlighting as a firefighter. Indeed that’s a concern in a world without Medicare; the elderly will extend their working days to keep a hold on their employer-provided health insurance. Only a few seconds later do you figure out that he’s a stripper, and are again told to laugh at the old man’s expense.

Even if this ad were funny, which it isn’t, the subject of the comedy is completely misplaced. Would an old person watching this and seeing people their age held up for ridicule have a better opinion of Democrats?

But, you might say, they got the facts out. It says right there that Republicans voted to end Medicare. Who cares? The narrative of the story is generally a light one, where old people have to work demeaning jobs and we derive pleasure from that spectacle.

Obviously, one ad isn’t going to change people’s views on the subject; it isn’t going to change much of anything. But it strikes me as a missed opportunity to clarify the record. An ad that said “Republicans voted to end Medicare” over and over for 30 seconds would do the job better and you wouldn’t have to hire a septuagenarian who’s comfortable in a feather boa. In fact, I know it does, because the DNC ran that ad back in 2009.

So in addition to having contributions go to save the most conservative Blue Dogs in the most conservative districts in their re-election efforts, DCCC donors just paid for this, where the party takes a winning issue and inexplicably lampoons it.

So it was all about the oil

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette


Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq

By Paul Bignell, The Independent

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The minutes of a series of meetings between ministers and senior oil executives are at odds with the public denials of self-interest from oil companies and Western governments at the time.

The documents were not offered as evidence in the ongoing Chilcot Inquiry into the UK’s involvement in the Iraq war. In March 2003, just before Britain went to war, Shell denounced reports that it had held talks with Downing Street about Iraqi oil as “highly inaccurate”. BP denied that it had any “strategic interest” in Iraq, while Tony Blair described “the oil conspiracy theory” as “the most absurd”.

The papers show that Lady Symons agreed to lobby the Bush administration on BP’s behalf because the oil giant feared it was being “locked out” of deals that Washington was quietly striking with US, French and Russian governments and their energy firms.

Minutes of a meeting with BP, Shell and BG (formerly British Gas) on 31 October 2002 read: “Baroness Symons agreed that it would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way if the UK had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the US government throughout the crisis.”

The minister then promised to “report back to the companies before Christmas” on her lobbying efforts.

The Foreign Office invited BP in on 6 November 2002 to talk about opportunities in Iraq “post regime change”. Its minutes state: “Iraq is the big oil prospect. BP is desperate to get in there and anxious that political deals should not deny them the opportunity.”

War Crimes

To initiate a war of aggression is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

Accessory After The Fact

An accessory after the fact is often not considered an accomplice but is treated as a separate offender. Such an offender is one who harbours, protects, or assists a person who has already committed an offense or is charged with committing an offense. – Encyclopedia Brittanica

(h/t emptywheel)

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

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

To rid ourselves of our shadows-who we are-we must step into either total light or total darkness.

–Jeremy Preston Johnson

Fixing the Holes

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