May 21, 2011 archive

Diary #1

Competition by Randall Enos, Cagle Cartoons, Buy this cartoon

This Week In The Dream Antilles

First things first:

Your Bloguero is still here.  So apparently are you.  You might have wished that you and/or your Bloguero would disappear or be somewhere more celestial today, but, alas, there’s bad news, here’s that old keyboard, and the screen, and the chair, and the rest of it.  (Warning of coming cliché). Same thing, different day.  And that pesky weekly Digest.  (Warning of coming cliché). It’s déjà vu all over again.

Lest you think your Bloguero thought there was any chance at all that he would not be here, you’d be sorely mistaken.  How, your Bloguero wants to know, could the world end in May, 2011, when the Mayan Calendar extends into 2012?  And (Warning of coming insult) how could anybody think that even the end of that venerable calendar would mean the actual end of the world?   Your Bloguero has it on good authority that there is an actual, physical day after the “last date” in the calendar  (Warning of coming insulting cliché).  You can take this to the bank.  Nobody, your Bloguero is beginning again to fulminate, is leaving  Earth until its inhabitants, and that would include your Bloguero and you, dear reader, clean up their extensive, unremitting, toxic mess.

The idea that there is escape makes your Bloguero (Warning of coming unusual word) “splenetic”.  Your Bloguero’s friends at Merriam Webster put it this way:

marked by bad temper, malevolence, or spite

(Warning of coming colloquialism) That would be your Bloguero to a T.  And why, you might inquire, is your Bloguero in such pique?  Your Bloguero will make believe you didn’t ask that particular question.  You, he is sure, do not want to read the 900-page list of what might be called humankind’s “toxic messes” that need immediate, focused attention, rather than this (Warning of coming cliché) “dog ate my homework” scenario where it’s ok just to (Warning of coming cliché) close the door, turn out the lights, and go home (as if this weren’t your planetary home).  Your Bloguero wishes to point out that the planet deserves more.  A lot more.

The Dream Antilles was relatively quiet this week.  Nothing was posted after Sunday.  Your Bloguero found himself enmeshed in terrestrial and extraterrestrial concerns.  No, he is not going to discuss them here.

Visualizing That Tightrope is so much fun.  Your Bloguero put a photo of Philippe Petit crossing a wire between the tops of the World Trade Towers in1974 with the greatest video of “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae.  This is just a wonderful music video, and Janelle Monae is a Goddess.  Your Bloguero hopes you will check it out.

Your Bloguero broke his usual silence about local, legal issues to post two pieces.  The November Judicial Race In Columbia County focuses on the fact that the electorate has no clue what goes on in the Columbia County Courthouse in Hudson, New York, and your Bloguero’s view that this ignorance is a huge problem.  And Enough. A Plea To Abolish New York’s Town Courts” looks at the enormous waste and duplication statewide in local, Justice of the Peace courts that really in your Bloguero’s opinion should be closed down.  It’s a topic that has emerged time and time again for four decades.  Oddly, those who are concerned about deficits and taxes find this multi-million dollar boondoggle invisible.  (Irony Warning: maybe they see it and just ignore it? (Warning of coming cliche)  Ya think?).

And finally, por que estamas hasta la madre, Demonstrations Called for June  10 in Ciudad Juarez announces that Javier Sicilia and the movement will be marching and demonstrating in Juarez on June 10.  (Warning of coming cliché).  Be there or be square.

Finally, your Bloguero notes that this Digest was once a weekly feature.  Last week’s was supposedly the last of that series of Digests.  But just like the end of the world, some things continue regardless of what anyone may predict about them.  Or wish for.  Your Bloguero, though, needs encouragement.  You don’t need to send him money (though you could click the the Donation Box at the Dream Antilles).  He’d be happy if after you read this Digest you just clicked the “tip jar” in the comments.  That way he’d know that you visited.  Hasta pronto.


Sylvester and Tweety MysteriesSomething Fishy Around Here, Episode 5, Part 1

Six In The Morning

Al-Qaida eyed oil tankers as bombing targets

Bin Laden documents show the idea had reached group’s upper echelons


  Osama bin Laden’s personal files revealed a brazen idea to hijack oil tankers and blow them up at sea last summer, creating explosions he hoped would rattle the world’s economy and send oil prices skyrocketing, the U.S. said Friday.

The newly disclosed plot showed that while bin Laden was always scheming for the next big strike that would kill thousands of Americans, he also believed a relatively simpler attack on the oil industry could create a worldwide panic that would hurt Westerners every time they gassed up their cars.

Late Night Karaoke

A Rapture Free Zone

Limits to growth: Implementing the crash program 39 years later

Thirty nine years ago (1972), the extremely prescient Limits to Growth was published, basically arguing that the Earth’s finite resources, e.g., food, water, air, etc., created a natural limit or “carrying capacity” to sustainable human populations.  At or near the limits of carrying capacity, population growth must cease, or any growth that occurred would have to depend on concomitant increases in efficiency of resource utilization, rather than in quantitative resource usage, in order for the population to be sustainable into the foreseeable future.  The consequences of exceeding carrying capacity were articulated long ago:

What most frequently meets our view (and occasions complaint), is our teeming population: our numbers are burdensome to the world, which can hardly supply us from its natural elements; our wants grow more and more keen, and our complaints more bitter in all mouths, whilst Nature fails in affording us her usual sustenance.  In very deed, pestilence, and famine, and wars, and earthquakes have to be regarded as a remedy for nations, as the means of pruning the luxuriance of the human race.

-Tertullian (De Anima)

I love that quote, not just for the Four Horsemen and the equation of “human luxuriance” with the relief of apocalypse, but also the acute observations about wants growing more keen and complaints more bitter, which aptly describes the effects of activating the endocrine stress axis.

What did it cost to kill Osama bin Laden?

Kabul Kids
Photocredit: Mark Knobil

The Perfect Drink: The Last Word Cocktail

Cross Posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The world is suppose to end today. I would guess we’ll find out sooner or later but as one late night comedian said, “it would be a shame if we only lived three weeks longer than Osama bin Laden”.

So in case the world ends sometime tomorrow, or even if it doesn’t, Rachel Maddow has a drink that will bring some cheer called the “Last Word” from the Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle, WA where the drink was “reborn”.

Equal parts:


   fresh lime juice

   maraschino liqueur (Rachel recommends Luxardo brand)

   green Chartreuse

Shake well with ice for longer than you think you need to, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The Last Call: The Last Word

Get your Black Eyed Susans on here – ek

Four More Years

Cross Posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

No. Not for Obama, for the Patriot Act without amendment or debate. Just when I thought my level of disgust for Barack Obama and Congress could not get any lower, they reach into the pit to continue to trash our freedoms in the name of security. Ben Franklin was right, these so called leaders deserve neither freedom or security.

Barack Obama’s Broken Promise on the Patriot Act, With Effects that Linger On

posted 2nd August 2010 in Barack Obama, Election 2008, Homeland Insecurity, Liberty, Politics by Jim Cook

Barack Obama official campaign position paper, 2008 (pdf):

   Revise the PATRIOT Act.

Barack Obama believes that we must provide law enforcement the tools it needs to investigate, disrupt, and capture terrorists, but he also believes we need real oversight to avoid jeopardizing the rights and ideals of all Americans. There is no reason we cannot fight terrorism while maintaining our civil liberties. Unfortunately, the current administration has abused the powers given to it by the PATRIOT Act. A March 2007 Justice Department audit found the FBI improperly and, in some cases, illegally used the PATRIOT Act to secretly obtain personal information about American citizens. As president, Barack Obama would revisit the PATRIOT Act to ensure that there is real and robust oversight of tools like National Security Letters, sneak-and-peek searches, and the use of the material witness provision.

President Barack Obama, October 2009: writes and sends amendments to Senate Republicans on the Judiciary Committee that successfully remove civil liberties protections from a bill to reauthorize the Patriot Act.

President Barack Obama, February 27 2010: signs a reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act into law without revision.

From David Dayen at FDL

Leadership Makes Deal to Extend Patriot Act Provisions for Four Years

Congressional leaders in both parties made a deal to extend three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act for four more years with little debate. Earlier this year, the same provisions – roving wiretaps, court-approved access to business records, and “lone wolf” provisions allowing surveillance on foreign citizens without connections to terrorists – were extended for 90 days.

   The deal between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner calls for a vote before May 27, when parts of the current act expire, according to officials in both parties who spoke on condition of anonymity. The idea is to pass the extension with as little debate as possible to avoid a protracted and familiar argument over the expanded power the law gives to the government.

   Support for the extension was unclear. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., wanted tighter restrictions on the government’s power and may seek to amend it. In the House, members of the freshman class elected on promises of making government smaller were skeptical.

   “I still have some concerns, and at this point I’m leaning against (voting for) it,” said one, Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.

Now more than ever, we need access to the crucial authorities in the Patriot Act,” Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I don’t think that democracy would dictate avoiding, but engaging with that argument about civil liberties and the so-called war on terror

Not just a hoax, a liar.

Random Japan



The defense ministry said that the number of sorties flown by the ASDF “to intercept foreign aircraft flying near Japanese airspace” surged by 29 percent in 2010.

Ten Japanese tourists were injured when their sightseeing bus hit a wall in Seoul.

After the Japanese Embassy in France lodged a complaint with a local TV station for airing a program that mocked the March 11 disaster, the network responded by saying that its show “criticizes anything and is not a news program.”

The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith has set up a scholarship fund for “two Japanese students who want to study abroad but face financial difficulties because of the [March 11] disaster.”

Three North Koreans who had been granted asylum at a Japanese consulate in northeastern China were given permission by Beijing to leave for Japan.

Two mountain climbers died in an avalanche on Mt. Shirouma in Nagano Prefecture, but nine others escaped with their lives.

During a visit to Tokyo, the Dalai Lama warned that a “cultural genocide is taking place” inside Tibet.

A meeting of environment ministers from Japan, China and South Korea was held in Busan to discuss bird flu, yellow sandstorms and the need “to promote information-sharing” during extreme natural disasters.

Talk about dumb luck: it is now believed that the hydrogen explosion at the no. 4 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on March 15 might have helped prevent a meltdown “by causing a flow of water into the pool the rods are stored in.”

The Japan Business Federation announced that 80 percent of its members plan to enact some type of energy-saving program to meet government power-consumption reduction targets by this summer.

The government has also pitched in by extending its “Cool Biz” promotion for office workers to wear casual clothes by two months.

Live Feed Of Spain Protests

Live Streaming by Ustream.TV

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Hacktivist collective Anonymous is streaming live footage of a self-styled ‘revolution’ in Spain, as protesters camped out in Madrid’s main square accuse authorities and media of playing down a week of demonstrations across the country.

Support for the Spanish protestors remains vocal on Internet outlets such as Twitter, with Anonymous streaming live footage of the sit-in occupying the Spanish capital’s Puerta del Sol on its AnonOps blog.

Led by two anarchist groups, Democracia Real Ya! and Juventud Sin Futuro, demonstrators have occupied the square since Sunday, and have now installed themselves under makeshift tarpaulin shelters.

Demonstrators accuse mainstream media outlets in Spain of ignoring the protests, which appear to have swelled to epic proportions.

Read more:…

Popular Culture (Music) 20110520: The First Edition

I am assuming that tomorrow will not be the end of the world, as the Camping followers believe, so did not write about The Who for the last time tonight.  This piece proves the point that I do not always write about things that I really like.  This was not really a bad band, but in my opinion were not that important creatively.  Some, perhaps many, will beg to differ me, and that is fine.  I do not really dislike them, but they would not make it into my “stranded on a desert isle” box of music.

They actually had quite a few hits that charted well, a TeeVee show, and of course laid the groundwork for the later solo career of Kenny Rogers.  He moved towards country and out of rock later, and this post only includes treatment of The First Edition material.

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