November 18, 2011 archive

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This Week In The Dream Antilles



The Old Fruteria, Tulum

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this courier from the swift completion of his appointed rounds.

Right. But when it comes to the Weekly Digest and your Bloguero, things happen. Clumsy, annoying things. Things that could easily derail this essay. Things like somehow deleting every shred of the final draft of this post before it was saved. Stupid, aggravating things. Things that make this a painful, unnecessary re-write from scratch. Things that make your Bloguero wonder whether the All Knowing Universe is trying to tell him in a special secret code not to post this essay.  But even that paranoid wondering will not stop your Bloguero. No. Not now. Nor will it stop him from doing his crazy, eccentric, aerobic Happy Dance. Nothing can stop that. Not today. Not now.

What’s the dance all about?  Thank you for asking.

Your Bloguero received via email about an hour ago the proofs for his new novella, Tulum.  The cover.  The inside of the book.  The whole thing.  All of it. That started the Happy Dance.  Why?  Why indeed.  Because that means that the very last, the final step in evicting this book from its large, dusty, cluttered corner office in your Bloguero’s mind and sending it to live elsewhere, in your Kindle or bookcase, is finally at hand. After a long five years. Let your Bloguero repeat that for emphasis. Your Bloguero has arrived at the very last, the final step in the production of this novella. And very soon, to your Bloguero’s utter relief and delight, it will be out of his head and living elsewhere.

This weekend in a hyper-caffeinated, vigilant, extremely focused, narrow, tunnel vision way your Bloguero will read every single letter of the 197-page document with a blue pencil in his hand, ferreting out the problems, finding them all (he truly hopes) and fixing each of them.  Some problems, particularly the written evidence of your Bloguero’s infelicities and shortcomings as a writer, will, of course, have to remain. Your Bloguero’s limitations come with the territory. He’s the last one who can recognize or fix them. But the orthographic and typographical issues?  Those are much more visible to your Bloguero. Your Bloguero will root these out and mercilessly extirpate them. He hopes. Bring on the French Roast. Bring on the chamber music. Take the phone off the hook. Bring on the withering gaze and stare.

Maybe Tulum will be available before Christmas. Your Bloguero doesn’t know. He does know that the task at hand will be completed by the end of the weekend. No matter what. No excuses.

That having been said, is your Bloguero now going to turn today’s weekly digest into a crass, commercial plea filled with hype, distortions, and outright lies stating that you simply must buy this book? Or else? Hardly. Your Bloguero isn’t like that. Well, at least he’s not like that today. He’ll be satisfied today if you go to “Tulum: The Novella’s” Facebook page and click “like” so that you’ll be informed of when this book is finally available through the usual commercial channels. He’s not demanding your money today. Not today.

Yes, your Bloguero would love to sell thousands of copies of this novella, and yes, he’d like your help in making that happen. When it’s out and available there will be plenty of time for his sales spiel.It will likely come masquerading as a weekly digest. He can’t help that.

In the meanwhile, please join your Bloguero in the Happy Dance. Cue the loud music. Roll up that rug.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest. Sometimes, like now and for several of the past weeks, it isn’t actually a digest of essays posted at The Dream Antilles. For that you have to visit The Dream Antilles


cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 63 The Day After The Day Of Action

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at


The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉

“I don’t know how to fix this but I know it’s wrong.” ~ Unknown Author

Occupy Wall Street NYC now has a web site for its General Assembly  with up dates and information. Very informative and user friendly. It has information about events, a bulletin board, groups and minutes of the GA meetings.

NYC General Assembly #OccupyWallStreet

Keith Olbermann comprehensively reported on the #OWS Day of Action in NYC and around the country

OWS-inspired activism

by Glenn Greenwald

It was only a matter of time before a coordinated police crackdown was imposed to end the Occupy encampments. Law enforcement officials and policy-makers in America know full well that serious protests – and more – are inevitable given the economic tumult and suffering the U.S. has seen over the last three years (and will continue to see for the foreseeable future). A country cannot radically reduce quality-of-life expectations, devote itself to the interests of its super-rich, and all but eliminate its middle class without triggering sustained citizen fury.

The reason the U.S. has para-militarized its police forces is precisely to control this type of domestic unrest, and it’s simply impossible to imagine its not being deployed in full against a growing protest movement aimed at grossly and corruptly unequal resource distribution. As Madeleine Albright said when arguing for U.S. military intervention in the Balkans: “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” That’s obviously how governors, big-city Mayors and Police Chiefs feel about the stockpiles of assault rifles, SWAT gear, hi-tech helicopters, and the coming-soon drone technology lavished on them in the wake of the post/9-11 Security State explosion, to say nothing of the enormous federal law enforcement apparatus that, more than anything else, resembles a standing army which is increasingly directed inward.

Once again Kevin Gosztola at FDL provided a running commentary with videos and pictures of the day events which began at 7 AM EDT:

Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Massive Day of Action to Shut Down Wall Street

Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: ‘Occupy the Subways’ & Brooklyn Bridge March Unfolds


Crusader Rabbit, Crusader vs. the State of Texas- Episode 7 of 15

On This Day In History November 18

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

November 18 is the 322nd day of the year (323rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 43 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1883, the Railroads create the first time zones At exactly noon on this day, American and Canadian railroads begin using four continental time zones to end the confusion of dealing with thousands of local times. The bold move was emblematic of the power shared by the railroad companies.

The need for continental time zones stemmed directly from the problems of moving passengers and freight over the thousands of miles of rail line that covered North America by the 1880s. Since human beings had first begun keeping track of time, they set their clocks to the local movement of the sun. Even as late as the 1880s, most towns in the U.S. had their own local time, generally based on “high noon,” or the time when the sun was at its highest point in the sky. As railroads began to shrink the travel time between cities from days or months to mere hours, however, these local times became a scheduling nightmare. Railroad timetables in major cities listed dozens of different arrival and departure times for the same train, each linked to a different local time zone.

Timekeeping on the American railroads in the mid 19th century was somewhat confused. Each railroad used its own standard time, usually based on the local time of its headquarters or most important terminus, and the railroad’s train schedules were published using its own time. Some major railroad junctions served by several different railroads had a separate clock for each railroad, each showing a different time; the main station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for example, kept six different times.

Charles F. Dowd proposed a system of one-hour standard time zones for American railroads about 1863, although he published nothing on the matter at that time and did not consult railroad officials until 1869. In 1870, he proposed four ideal time zones (having north-south borders), the first centered on Washington, D.C., but by 1872 the first was centered 75 W of Greenwich, with geographic borders (for example, sections of the Appalachian Mountains). Dowd’s system was never accepted by American railroads. Instead, U.S. and Canadian railroads implemented a version proposed by William F. Allen, the editor of the Traveler’s Official Railway Guide. The borders of its time zones ran through railroad stations, often in major cities. For example, the border between its Eastern and Central time zones ran through Detroit, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Charleston. It was inaugurated on Sunday, November 18, 1883, also called “The Day of Two Noons”, when each railroad station clock was reset as standard-time noon was reached within each time zone. The zones were named Intercolonial, Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific. Within one year, 85% of all cities with populations over 10,000, about 200 cities, were using standard time. A notable exception was Detroit (which is about half-way between the meridians of eastern time and central time), which kept local time until 1900, then tried Central Standard Time, local mean time, and Eastern Standard Time before a May 1915 ordinance settled on EST and was ratified by popular vote in August 1916. The confusion of times came to an end when Standard zone time was formally adopted by the U.S. Congress on March 19, 1918, in the Standard Time Act.

Congressional Game of Chicken: Super Committee Offers Human Sacrifice

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The deadline for the bicameral Super Committee to come up with a deal on deficit reduction is a week away. While many American’s don’t think that the committee will meet the deadline thus triggering large mandated budget cuts to defense and entitlements, we have President Obama warning the committee not to “cheat” by changing the law so that those cuts, particularly to the Defense, would not go into effect should the committee fail. Meanwhile, the committee’s Democratic members are proposing a $2.3 trillion tax-and-cut proposal “that includes $400 billion in Medicare and Medicaid reductions,” but only if Republicans compromise by putting new tax revenues on the table that in the end would only amount to $350 billion in new tax revenue.

The other really unacceptable proposal that the Democrats have put on the table to get the Republicans to agree to a paltry $350 billion in tax revenues, is making the Bush/Obama tax cuts permanent, even though the White House has said that President Obama would veto any bill that made those cuts permanent. Perhaps they are counting on Obama doing his usual last minute capitulation and he would sign the bill.

The Democrats are scrambling to try to make this look like a good deal but it’s not. Letting the Bush/Obama tax cuts expire would solve more of the deficit problem than anything that this committee or Congress has proposed by increasing tax revenues $1 trillion over the next 10 years. To their credit though, the Democrats have rejected the Republican offer that would cut all the tax rates across the board by 20%, lowering the top tax bracket to 27% from 35% assuming the Bush tax cuts would be extended. This would reduce tax revenues by $200 billion in just one year.

This is a muddled mess that is not really a crisis at all and in the long run won’t create any jobs but deepen the economic crisis that has been created by the burst of the housing bubble, job killing foreign trade agreements, unfair tax codes and the lack of banking regulation.

John Aravosis at AMERICAblog nails what has exacerbated much of problem: the Democrats negotiating techniques, or rather, the lack of them. The Republicans negotiate while the Democrats come to the table and offer their bottom line, so there is nowhere to go but to cave to Republican demands:

Note how the Republicans are still skewing their proposals towards large budget cuts and little tax increases, whereas the Democrats are offering 50-50 budget cuts and tax increases. That means that if both parties make concessions as they move to the “middle” – which is highly unlikely, the Dems will cave while the Rs will stay put – the “middle” will be a point at which there are more budget cuts than tax increases. Why? Because the Democrats, as always, are making their final offer – half tax increases, half budget cuts – first, so there’s nowhere to go but down.

This had been the Democratic approach since 2006 when the party gained control of both houses of Congress. It’s no wonder that voters are disgusted with both parties and that the Democrats lost the House in 2010. By gutting our social safety networks to protect the wealthy and appease the Republicans, the Democrats could well lose more in 2012 if they don’t start listening to the demands of the American people.

h/t to DCblogger at Corrente

What’s Cooking: Turkey Technology

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Republished from November 23, 2010 for obvious timely reasons.

I never went to cooking school or took home economics in high school, I was too busy blowing up the attic with my chemistry set. I did like to eat and eat stuff that tasted good and looked pretty, plus my mother couldn’t cook to save her life let alone mine and Pop’s, that was her mother’s venue. So I watched learned and innovated. I also read cook books and found that cooking and baking where like chemistry and physics. I know, this is Translator’s territory, but I do have a degree in biochemistry.

Cooking a turkey is not as easy as the directions on the Butterball wrapping looks. My daughter, who is the other cook in the house (makes the greatest breads, soups and stews) is in charge of the Turkey for the big day. Since we have a house full of family and friends, there are four, yeah that many, 13 to 15 pound gobblers that get cooked in the one of the two ovens of the Viking in the kitchen and outside on the covered grill that doubles as an oven on these occasions. Her guru is Alton Brown, he of Good Eats on the Food Network. This is the method she has used with rave reviews. Alton’s Roast Turkey recipe follows below the fold. You don’t have to brine, the daughter doesn’t and you can vary the herbs, the results are the same, perfection. My daughter rubs very soft butter under the skin and places whole sage leaves under the skin in a decorative pattern, wraps the other herbs in cheese cloth and tucks it in the cavity. If you prefer, or are kosher, canola oil works, too.

Bon Appetite and Happy Thanksgiving

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

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

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

–George Bernard Shaw

Impression 2

Late Night Karaoke