May 23, 2011 archive

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This is an Open Thread

Nate Silver on Craigslist Primary Obama ad

14 hours agao, Nate Silver tweeted on the current Craigslist ad (NYC) for primarying Obama with an NPA (New Progressive Alliance) candidate.  —!/fivethirtyeight

“This must be a first: group of anti-Obama Democrats soliciting a presidential primary challenger on craigslist.”

(Here is a direct link to Democratic Candidate for President to replace Obama (USA))

(cross posted at and


It’s an Ill Wind

George Fox and the Miracle of the Manic Depressive

A couple weeks back I spotted a post on my meeting’s listserve, soliciting personal anecdotes from people of faith who have  disabilities.  I’ve long been willing to be vocal about having a chronic  illness.  This is partially to negate the still-potent stigma of  bipolar disorder, and partially to ensure that insurance companies cover  mental illness as they would any other medical condition needing  regular treatment.  Within a day, the editor contacted me back, eager to  inform me that he liked what I had written and that my story would be  published as part of a book he was compiling.  When released, it will be called Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability and Inclusion.  The book will be published by the Alban Institute.

Six In The Morning

Justice Department, SEC investigations often rely on companies’ internal probes

By David S. Hilzenrath, Monday, May 23

As the U.S. government steps up investigations of companies suspected of paying bribes overseas, law enforcement officials are leaving much of the detective work to the very corporations under suspicion.

The probes are so costly and wide-ranging that the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission often let the companies investigate themselves and then share the results.

The strategy is especially common in cases of foreign corruption but also extends to domestic investigations involving issues as varied as health-care fraud and shady accounting.

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.

Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck.

— Joss Whedon


Late Night Karaoke

Pique the Geek 20110522: Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is a new condition in our infectious disease panoply.  It has only been suspected since 1975, and only in 1978 was it suspected to transmitted by ticks.  The causative agent was not identified until 1981.  This piece is intended only to be a very basic survey of the condition and some of the controversies surrounding it, not a comprehensive dissertation.  There is a very good group at Dailykos called Lyme Disease Awareness with contributors who have more personal information than I do.  However, do not take anything you read in this piece or in the group in general as a substitute for competent medical advise and treatment.

Let us think about that for a minute.  Western medicine had recognized most all serious infectious diseases since the time of Herodotus!   Certainly some exceptions are present, such as syphilis, with seems to be a New World import to Europe and certain, very long latent period virus diseases that we are just now discovering.

Lyme Disease is different, though.  It is caused by a bacterial agent, a specific spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi, the species name from its discoverer, the brilliant Swiss-American biologist, Dr. Willy Burgdorfer.

Third Way Democrat Electoral Success!

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Oh… wait.

Spain’s Governing Party Suffers Heavy Losses

By RAPHAEL MINDER, The New York Times

Published: May 22, 2011

MADRID – The governing Socialist Party suffered heavy losses on Sunday in regional and municipal elections, even as tens of thousands of Spaniards calling themselves the “indignant” said they would pursue their protests to force an overhaul of the country’s political system.

Conceding defeat on Sunday night, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said that his Socialist Party had been understandably punished by voters for overseeing an economic crisis that had left Spain with a 21 percent jobless rate, more than twice the European average.

Mr. Zapatero, who has been in office since 2004, announced in April that he would not seek a third term, and the extent of the Socialists’ loss suggests that, even with a new leader, the party will struggle to hold on to power in the general election, expected next March.

Never mind.

Sunday Train: Fighting FUD on the first California HSR segment

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

Last week, I looked at the California Legislative Analyst Office promoting a policy of raiding the California High Speed Rail funds to build commuter rail systems in LA and San Francisco by issuing what at first blush seemed to be simply a grossly incompetent analysis of the risks of building the HSR project.

This week, I step back and take a broader view of why it would be idiotic to accept the LAO’s advice, as well as why it matters to people across the country, and not just the people of California who risk ongoing oil addiction of their intercity transport between Northern and Southern California.

Memories of an Artistic Watering Hole

Cross-posted at DailyKos.  

I have some fond memories to share. After reliving the experience of seeing The Dizzy Gillespie Dream Band, thoughts drummed up about another aspect of Lincoln Center. The nostalgia for a once famous bar that was across the street on 63rd and Amsterdam, a place where I once helped make the music and sang along for many years, came on strong.

Let me start out where Alvie Singer ended because it is a good way to set the stage. In the background during the final scene from Annie Hall you can see the concert hall where Dizzy Gillespie blew me away but in the foreground, the camera was set up in a bar and restaurant that was once called “O’Neals’ Baloon.”

The view is for you. I need no reminders of what O’Neils Balloon looked like and this in not a story about me.  Perhaps this is a story about a forgotten era that might just be making a comeback after of the success of the movie Black Swan. Well not really, more popularity and higher ticket prices can never take up the slack where the National Endowment for the Arts left off.

This is a story of a painting getting its act together and taking it on the road, a story of ballet at the barre and a recollection of times gone by. Just memories of a social gathering spot that was name “balloon” because it was illegal to call a bar a “saloon” in New York City. Those Blue Laws have been changed now. So much has changed now. So much has been forgotten.