••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.
—Thomas Jefferson
i know that was originally about slavery, but i suspect it applies to other things too, like torture and killing unarmed civilians.
according to wikipedia, world wind energy production doubles every 3 years, solar every 2 years. if it's possible to maintain that pace, al gore might not be too far off the mark in saying we could convert to 100% renewables in 10 years. it may be closer to 14 years, but that ain't too bad, is it?
Van Jones is an American treasure.

He is quite simply one of the few Americans in recent years to have generated powerful new ideas that are creating more jobs here.

He wrote the national bestseller, "The Green Collar Economy," which provided the definitive blueprint for retooling American industry to create pathways out of poverty and generate a national economic recovery. He was a driving force behind passage of the 2007 Green Jobs Act. In fact, Van's ideas have helped lead to the creation of tens of thousands of jobs across the industrial Midwest and throughout the nation's decaying urban and rural areas.

Van Jones also may be the most misunderstood man in America.

He resigned from the White House last year after some sought to discredit him for missteps, such as political statements made years ago.
frack you!

i can't believe on c-span today i heard a congressman on the house floor praise the safety of hydraulic fracturing only one day after i saw this story on democracy now!

people in 34 states from colorado to eastern pennsylvania can strike a match and make water from their kitchen faucets burst into flame thanks to this technology for getting oil and natural gas from the ground.

and get this:
the 2005 energy bill, which was pushed through Congress by Dick Cheney, exempted the oil and natural gas industries from the Safe Drinking Water Act.

WASHINGTON – Sales of new homes plunged to a record low in January, underscoring the formidable challenges facing the housing industry as it tries to recover from the worst slump in decades.

Monday, February 22, 2010

if you're thinking of punishing congress

first, remember what happened last time. in 1994 voters punished them for failing to pass a national health plan. they punished them by voting in a gop majority. nobody in dc dared even talk about universal health care for the next 15 years.

2nd, in case you haven't noticed, the house of representatives has passed a lot of legislation. the gridlock is only in the senate. it's in the senate for two reasons: a) the senate's rules (such as the filibuster) make it possible and b) the gop is determined to make the dems fail, because doing so got them the majority in '94.

3rd, you'll be cutting your nose to spite your face. of the 40 richest nations in the world, we're the only one without universal health care, yet it costs us more per person than in any of the other 39. way more. that's money we could be spending on other things: we could go out more often, take better vacations, buy nicer clothes and cars and houses, and save more for retirement.

speaking of vacations, how come we get just two paid weeks of it each year, while a typical european gets 4 or more weeks?

it all ties together. don't think it doesn't.

i don't get it!

ok, i admit it: the cons have left me clueless.

saturday at the cpac convention, glenn beck gave a stirring rendition of the new colossus, the emma lazarus sonnet engraved on a tablet inside the pedestal of the statue of liberty.

not just the oft-quoted ending. he recited the whole 14 lines.

he messed up a few times, inserting a couple extra words and changing another, but on the whole it was a good read, capturing the essence of the piece.

the audience cheered.

so what i don't get is, if conservatives love that poem, how come they hate immigrants?

i know, i know: they say they don't hate immigrants, just illegal immigration.

yeah, right. if that's it, why do they support keeping it hard to get in and stay legally? surely you don't believe folk prefer to risk their lives, health, and freedom rather than follow the law. we make them wait years to get a visa then make it hard to renew it after they get here. those are the real reasons for illegal entry and overstays.

if you want to cut illegal immigration, just let in anybody who passes a criminal background check and carries no contraband or contagious disease.

and if you don't want them taking jobs away from our citizens, just raise the minimum wage to a living wage, keep it there with an annual cost of living adjustment, and ENFORCE it so employers won't be able to hire anybody at substandard pay.

The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
what's good about scott brown's win...

...is that it ends the illusion that the dems had 60 votes. or should i say delusion?

they never had 60 votes. we should've known they couldn't count on lieberman or landrieu or ben nelson when push came to shove.

in fact a lot of dems are far more independent than all those self-proclaimed gop "mavericks" and "rogues" and "rebels" even claim to be.

think about it: which party votes in lock step more often?

the gops claim they're the bipartisan party. what's their evidence? why, the fact that some dems almost always vote with them, while the dem side of the issue usually gets only dem votes.

i know it's hard to believe anyone actually swallows that argument, but it appears that more than a few not only don't choke on it but digest it and incorporate it into their belief systems.

that's the quality of deep thought that makes politics so frustrating for so many.

the same kind of uncritical thinking last august fooled a lot of folk into believing a majority opposed a public option just because protesters dominated town hall meetings. in actual fact, national polls two months later in october showed 57% favor the public option.

what they never thought of is that those halls only hold a few hundred people out of nearly 700,000 in a congressional district.

hardly a majority.

just another illusion.

more smoke and mirrors.

to paraphrase evan bayh:
i don't like the way this game is going, so i'm picking up my marbles and going home, and if you don't do the same, i hope you lose!
and the press calls this guy a moderate....

i wish we could just pass bayh by, but, of course, if you buy his bull, you'll give him a bye.

1. Be grateful – Some study participants were asked to write letters of gratitude to people who had helped them in some way. The study found that these people reported a lasting increase in happiness – over weeks and even months – after implementing the habit. What's even more surprising: Sending the letter is not necessary. Even when people wrote letters but never delivered them to the addressee, they still reported feeling better afterwards.

2. Be optimistic – Another practice that seems to help is optimistic thinking. Study participants were asked to visualize an ideal future – for example, living with a loving and supportive partner, or finding a job that was fulfilling – and describe the image in a journal entry. After doing this for a few weeks, these people too reported increased feelings of well-being.

3. Count your blessings – People who practice writing down three good things that have happened to them every week show significant boosts in happiness, studies have found. It seems the act of focusing on the positive helps people remember reasons to be glad.

4. Use your strengths – Another study asked people to identify their greatest strengths, and then to try to use these strengths in new ways. For example, someone who says they have a good sense of humor could try telling jokes to lighten up business meetings or cheer up sad friends. This habit, too, seems to heighten happiness.

5. Commit acts of kindness – It turns out helping others also helps ourselves. People who donate time or money to charity, or who altruistically assist people in need, report improvements in their own happiness.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

i thought i was commenting on one article i read at abc's site, but somehow i actually posted here.

oh, well.

here's what i wrote:
first, to me tea party seems to have more in common with lewis carroll's mad tea party than boston's.

2nd, idea that "fighting among parties and their followers intensified as a result of the supreme court hearing of Robert Bork" looks like post hoc fallacy [look it up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc]. why don't you say anti-bork fight was first intensification of fighting, caused by what preceded it?

3rd, all the rancor and snarkiness lately is not really new or unique. watch prime minister questions on c-span or check out adams-jefferson campaign in 1800.

4th, what's going on is just the latest power play. gops want to beat dems any way they can. they can't find a monica lewinsky this time, so they use fear and ignorance. what else is new? and who cares anyway?

5th, fox=666, applying gematria [the hebrew system of giving words numerical values that originated around the time the book of revelation was written] to our alphabet. if you don't know about 666, try revelation chapter 13.

6th, civilization is at stake, and the power-hungry continue to contend. right or wrong, they want what they want, and they'll keep trying to get it, no matter the cost....

Thursday, February 04, 2010

uh-oh! she's back!

"We were astonished when we saw the results of the patient's scan and that he was able to correctly answer the questions that were asked by simply changing his thoughts," said Dr Adrian Owen, ­assistant director of the Medical Research Council's cognition and brain sciences unit at ­Cambridge University.
more links
oh! i thought they meant like in BOSTON tea party, but it's the other one...

As the meeting wound down, I helped myself to a couple of tasty brownies from the snack table and slipped out the back door. There were, however, a few questions I wish I would have broken out of fly-on-the-wall mode and asked: Where was all this righteous anger about careless government spending when the last administration was merrily handing out $600 billion in tax cuts for the super-rich that sent the deficit skyrocketing? Where was all this fear of big government and Constitutional watch-dogging when the Patriot Act was passed and the government started monitoring every American citizen’s phone calls and emails and web traffic? Where was the rage when President George W. Bush reserved the right to arrest any American at any time for any reason and hold him or her without charge indefinitely, when habeas corpus was suspended, when torturing prisoners became just how we roll, and when hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars were dumped into the bottomless money pit of two wars? Where were the Tea Parties when all that was going on?

Just to be clear: The Tea Partiers I met aren’t bad people, they are not overtly racist, and they sincerely believe there is something patriotic in their kicking-and-screaming resistance to the Obama agenda. Therein lies the appeal, because we can all agree we are being screwed. It’s the question of who is doing the screwing that breaks us off into different tribes. I tend to blame the corporate oligarchy, Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. The Tea Party is pretty sure it’s ACORN.

Still, in their own way they are inclusive, the big tent party of American anger. The incoherence of that anger only broadens its appeal—like Obama’s “change” mantra in reverse, it’s a mirrorball that can reflect whatever you project onto it. But when you get right down to it, the Tea Party crowd is just a lot of embittered old white people that watch too much Fox News. They take great comfort in the easy moral narratives the network peddles: that it’s us versus them, there are good guys and there are bad guys and never the twain shall meet, that America is special and can do whatever the fuck it wants because God is on our side. They feed on the manufactured outrage and non-troversey that every news cycle seems to bring because it dovetails nicely with the sublimated anger and fear of their own lives. They are at war and have been for years, they are overextended and under water, they are certain the game is being rigged against them and the terrorists are holding a gun to their heads. For them, the 2008 presidential election still isn’t over—not by a long shot.
also, palin staying course for nashville tea party nation convention and more links.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Dating back to the time he worked in the Clinton administration, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has developed an almost notorious reputation in Washington for being a brash personality with a penchant for profanity-laced diatribes. Conversely, his intense nature, in addition to his sharp mind, are what many attribute to his success and effectiveness as a Washington power player. But a remark he made recently in a closed-door meeting attended by White House aides and leaders of liberal special-interest groups has irked many, prompting him to issue an apology.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Emanuel, exasperated upon learning that liberal special-interest groups were planning to run ads against conservative Democrats not supportive of health care reform, blasted the plan as "f------ retarded" over the summer. Naturally, some outrage ensued after Emanuel's words came to light, with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin taking to her Facebook page to call on President Obama to fire him for what she saw as the equivalent of a racial slur.

Palin, whose son Trig is afflicted with Down syndrome, said she was informed of Emanuel's comment by a fellow parent of a special-needs child and pleaded with the president to "show decency" to the political process by "eliminating" the Chicago native from his inner circle.

In a post titled "Are You Capable of Decency, Rahm Emanuel?," Palin wrote, "Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the 'N-word' or other such inappropriate language, Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities — and the people who love them — is unacceptable," adding, "it's heartbreaking."

A Politico story today reports that an administration official informed them that Emanuel had already reached out to Special Olympics chairman and CEO Tim Shriver, who recently launched a campaign to end the use of "the R word."

"Rahm called Tim Shriver Wednesday to apologize and the apology was accepted," the unnamed official said.

Emanuel, who once mailed a dead fish to a former coworker he disliked, has not offered any apology to the liberals his slur was aimed at, and it's highly doubtful that he ever will.
yes, well, tho perhaps sarah bellum didn't notice, even smart folk often show bias against those they think act stupidly. i wonder if she'd've spoken up if the comment came from a right-winger.

emanuel, it should be noted, is not known to have called anyone a "retard." he is only alleged to have called some liberals' plans "retarded," and that's a significant difference.

speaking of palin, i recently heard her described as "george bush in drag." is that homophobic?
The US is being accused of killing dozens of civilians in a record twelve drone attacks last month. The Pakistani newspaper The News is reporting the US botched ten of the attacks, killing 123 civilians and just three al-Qaeda leaders—a ratio of forty-one to one.
what's going on? what the hell is going on?

we're supposed to be the good guys!

aren't we?