January 21, 2013 archive

OMIGOD! Had I Known Obama Would Mention Seneca Falls I Would Have Listened

Seneca Falls is the small hamlet in update New York where activists held the first women’s rights convention in July 1848. Activists Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Frederick Douglass were among the 300 people who spent two days discussing ways to promote women’s equality.


Actually the women’s suffrage movement was initiated with a meeting of 5 women in a church.  The building is only a shell now and the “park” [Women’s Rights National Park] gets few visitors.  There is little to see unless you have some idea of the significance of what you are looking at.

Best,  Terry

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Our regular featured content-

And these featured articles-

Write more and often.  This is an Open Thread.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

“Keep the Faith,” says Joe Biden to those concerned about Global Warming

What faith is that, Joe?  Isn’t this like the preacher inveighing against sin while immersed in corruption and degradation?

If you aren’t despairing of the future, you can’t be sentient.

Will the U.S. Surpass Saudi Arabia in Oil Production?

Recent news reports said yes, based on the Executive Summary of a big international report by the International Energy Agency.

And that’s just oil.  Does anybody need to know about fracking natural gas that is giving firewater a whole new meaning?  Natural gas may be more harmful to the environment without the new technology than even coal mining because escaping methane is a vastly more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.

Here’s what’s clear: While we debate and ponder the consequences, global energy consumption continues to grow exponentially.


Meanwhile purported environmentalists pushing environment-damaging, high cost, sometime [intermittent] power fight tooth and nail against baseload renewable power that is vastly more potent and cheaper than all other sources combined.

Compare the hottest hour of the hottest day in Death Valley to the potency of a run-of-the-mill supervolcano like Yellowstone that could potentially exterminate human life in North America.  Which would you say likely is the more powerful?

Our leading revered environmentalists would rather see a whole gawddam forest be burnt down along with the woodland critters and a few firefighters and waft tons of CO2 and toxins into the atmosphere rather than gather the kindling and generate power with biomass rather than coal because the former is natural somehow.

One of the ultimate clean power plants is in Iceland where a trash burning facility adds heat to the tepid waters of a warm spring in the tiny, isolated hamlet of Husavik to squeeze out 3MW of power from such sources.  The plant is currently undergoing modernization after it was bought by an Aussie company pushing advanced geothermal technology around the world for deriving power from low temperature geothermal waters.

But that’s not good enough for our megathinking environmentalists who prefer to drill many miles deep into the bowels of the earth for more power at enormous cost beyond the limits of current technology.

Mother Earth is a most bounteous lady but she can be turned into a mass killer beyond compare by mere mortals when her simple rules are ignored.

Who says we are an intelligent species?

Best,  Terry



On This Day In History January 21

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.

January 21 is the 21st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 344 days remaining until the end of the year (345 in leap years).

On this day in 1911, the first Monte Carlo Rally takes place.

The Monte Carlo Rally (officially Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo) is a rallying event organised each year by the Automobile Club de Monaco who also organises the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and the Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique . The rally takes place along the French Riviera in the Principality of Monaco and southeast France.

From its inception in 1911 by Prince Albert I, this rally, under difficult and demanding conditions, was an important means of testing the latest improvements and innovations to automobiles. Winning the rally gave the car a great deal of credibility and publicity. The 1966 event was the most controversial in the history of the Rally. The first four finishers driving three Mini-Coopers, Timo Makinen, Rauno Aaltonen and Paddy Hopkirk, and Roger Clark‘s 4th-placed Ford Cortina “were excluded for having iodine vapour, single filament bulbs in their standard headlamps instead of double-filament dipping bulbs.”  This elevated Pauli Toivonen (Citroen ID) into first place overall. The controversy that followed damaged the credibility of the event. The headline in Motor Sport: “The Monte Carlo Fiasco.”

From 1973 to 2008 the rally was held in January as the first event of the FIA World Rally Championship, but since 2009 it has been the opening round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) programme. As recently as 1991, competitors were able to choose their starting points from approximately five venues roughly equidistant from Monte Carlo (one of Monaco’s administrative areas) itself. With often varying conditions at each starting point, typically comprising dry tarmac, wet tarmac, snow, and ice, sometimes all in a single stage of the rally. This places a big emphasis on tyre choices, as a driver has to balance the need for grip on ice and snow with the need for grip on dry tarmac. For the driver, this is often a difficult choice as the tyres that work well on snow and ice normally perform badly on dry tarmac.

The Automobile Club de Monaco confirmed on 19 July 2010 that the 79th Monte-Carlo Rally would form the opening round of the new Intercontinental Rally Challenge season. To mark the centenary event, the Automobile Club de Monaco have also confirmed that Glasgow, Barcelona, Warsaw and Marrakesh has been selected as start points for the rally.

When Fed Presidents start talking like Communists…

Dallas, we have a problem.

How to Cut Megabanks Down to Size


Published: January 19, 2013

On Wednesday, in a speech in Washington, Mr. (Richard W.) Fisher (the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas) laid out a compelling proposal for shrinking financial giants in order to protect taxpayers. He suggested that megabanks be chopped into pieces, so that no one of them could endanger the financial system if it ran into trouble.

Why? Mr. Fisher argued that megabanks not only threaten taxpayers with bailouts, but that their continuing failure to lend is also thwarting the Fed’s efforts to jump-start the economy by keeping interest rates low. “I submit that these institutions, as a result of their privileged status, exact an unfair tax upon the American people,” he told his audience. “Moreover, they interfere with the transmission of monetary policy and inhibit the advancement of our nation’s economic prosperity.”

Smaller institutions, by contrast, have continued to lend in the post-crisis years, especially to the kinds of modest-size businesses that create so many jobs across the country. According to figures compiled by Mr. Fisher’s colleagues at the Dallas Fed, community banks – defined as those with no more than $10 billion in assets – hold less than one-fifth of the nation’s banking assets. Nevertheless, they hold more than half of the industry’s small-business loans.

There are roughly 5,600 commercial banking institutions in the country, Mr. Fisher noted. Some 5,500 of them are community banks. While these organizations account for 98.6 percent of all banks, they hold only 12 percent of total industry assets. They are routinely allowed to fail if they get into trouble. Few of them did during the crisis.

Contrast these figures with those of the nation’s 12 largest banks, whose assets range from $250 billion to $2.3 trillion. They account for 0.2 percent of all banks but hold 69 percent of industry assets. These are the banks that enjoy all the perquisites of the federal safety net: significantly lower borrowing costs and a taxpayer backstop, for example.

Understanding that it will be a tough battle to break up the megabanks, Mr. Fisher suggests that in the meantime, only commercial banking operations receive protection from the federal safety net in the form of federal deposit insurance. An institution’s other activities – securities trading, insurance operations and real estate, for example – should fall outside any backstop. Furthermore, he recommends that these banks require customers and trading partners to sign an agreement stating that they understand the business they are conducting is not covered by any federal protection or guarantees. That would begin to reduce the perception that all of these institutions’ counterparties would be protected in a disaster.

Revisiting the Mountaintop

I am an activist for my people.  As I have grown older, I have more likely performed my activism with my words, which is the tool I have had at hand.

Sometimes I am repetitive.  I am a teacher.  Some lessons are hard.  That’s a clue to the fact that they are important.  Important lessons need to be taught more than once, again and again, time and again, using different words, approaching the issue from different points of view.  That’s what I do.  Some of you claim that I do it “ad nauseam.”  It’s your nausea, not mine.

Many of you know me as the transsexual woman (or whatever you call me…I’m sure that it is not favorable in many instances).  Some of you know me as an artist or a poet.  Some of you see the teacher in me.  Or the glbt activist and PFLAG parent.  I am all of these.  I am a human being.

I was born in a place and time.  I have absorbed the life lessons presented to me since then.  I am still learning.

I’ve tried to pass on what I have learned.  I continue to make that effort, in whatever new venues are available, wherever I can find an opened eye or ear.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Burning 2

Late Night Karaoke

Archetypal Lance

Oprah’s interview with Lance Armstrong was really kind of fun for me to watch. Armstrong is typifies the kind of attitude that all graspers and hustlers have. I’m sure we’ve each known this type of person both male and female. Cold, calculating, assertive, in control. These are the people that run our world, for the most part. Yes, there are noble people who succeed and do well and contribute and keep the world from falling some dark star. It much of our culture is gamed, fixed, how cheating is consistently rewarded and whistle-blowing punished.

In sports cheating is a bit harder than the rest of society but it happens. People get caught more in sports because it really doesn’t matter that much. I mean who cares if doping is common in big-time bicycle racing or baseball? For a fan the game is the same either way. But if Lance Armstrongs populate the hall of Congress, the Pentagon, the CIA, Wall Street, advertising and public relations and so on we suffer. I’ve seen it everywhere I’ve been in Washington big-time and small-time.

Is this new in human history? No, of course not. It’s a question now of balance-do we care enough about society to assert some contrary values to simply winning. WE often talk about “winners” and “losers” not about morality. Morality is essential to keeping society functioning and the more we fall away from some minimal standards of morality the less well society can function. We are voting with our values-every time we cheer torturers on TV getting information out of “bad guys” (meaning people who are a member of the group called “them”) we are making a statement about our values and, maintaining a moral atmosphere where the end always justifies the means.

Without a close examination of our values we cannot hope to solve any of our collective problems. Without a committing to some kind of value system we can’t easily maintain any kind of social system. These values do not have to be rigid and they don’t have to be throwbacks to the morality practiced by a ancient herding people in the Middle East or people who invaded the subcontinent of Asia.

We can come together and gather pieces of our broken conceptual frameworks and build something new. In fact, I’m convinced that we’ll do it-my only concern is will we be able to do it before the darkness gets to thick.

Guns are US International

Excellent hypocracy here.  As the gun debate/social engineering project forges on here in the US an international arms bazarre takes place in Jordan.


Throwball American Conference Championship: Ravens @ Patsies

The American Conference Championship is an entirely different ball of wax.  Here you don’t have two teams that are mostly unremarkably objectionable, no better or worse than most, instead you have two positively hateful ones and the question is which evil is lesser?

Fundamentally the Carrion Crows and the Patsies are guilty of the same offense, robbing their host communities to fund huge empty white elephant eyesores that are basically unusable except for 8 days a year to the tune of hundreds of millions.

In the one case the thief, Art Modell, was not quite as successful as Robert Kraft and lost everything except his team contracts and The Bank ($314 million) and in fairness Kraft was able to raise the $420 million for Gillette privately, though it is not in any sense funded by his personal fortune any more than all those architectural monstrosities with Trump plastered on them.

And, if you like rooting for winners, the Ravens don’t even have a suspicion of victory today.  Unless Brady and about half the other Patsie players are suddenly stuck by mysterious illness and injury this is about as close to a sure thing as you get in Throwball.

Nope, as we head into the break week before the Super Bowl the question will be if the creaky old Patsies can stave off the new kids on the block ‘9ers and whether you should even be watching Throwball at all.

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