••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?)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Discovery, the world's most traveled spaceship, thundered into orbit for the final time Thursday, heading toward the International Space Station on a journey that marks the beginning of the end of the shuttle era.
LONDON (Reuters) – A specialist ice cream parlor plans to serve up breast milk ice cream and says people should think of it as an organic, free-range treat.

The breast milk concoction, called the "Baby Gaga," will be available from Friday at the Icecreamists restaurant in London's Covent Garden.

Icecreamists founder Matt O'Connor was confident his take on the "miracle of motherhood" and priced at a hefty 14 pounds ($23) a serving will go down a treat with the paying public.

The breast milk was provided by mothers who answered an advertisement on online mothers' forum Mumsnet.
see? we can do it, yes we can!

RUMIPAMBA, Ecuador (AFP) – She has no legal training, and doesn't speak the Spanish that dominates government in Quito but indigenous villager Maria Aguinda helped bring a landmark judgment against US oil giant Chevron for polluting the rain forest she calls home.

The diminutive grandmother whose modest home sits near marshes clogged for decades in sticky oil has been at the heart of the David-and-Goliath case, and spoke out after Chevron was slapped last week with a $9.5-billion fine, among the heaviest ever handed down for environmental damage.

"Before I die they have to pay me for the dead animals, and for what they did to the river, and the water and the earth," the 61-year-old Aguinda told AFP at her home in Rumipamba, a town in remote Orellana province where pollution caused by 30 years of oil drilling and petroleum accidents had become a sad fact of life.

Monday, 29 November 2010 11:40 by Betty Cauler

In following the saga of America's unemployment situation I've come across some pretty asinine statements by conservatives, not the least of which is the dumbfounded belief that the long-term unemployed are a bunch of “lazy, drug-addicted hobos.” But Charles Payne’s recent FOX News interview with Gregg Rosen, co-founder of the American 99ers Union, has to take top billing in terms of idiocy.

Mr. Rosen asked Mr. Payne: "When you have Americans out there who are losing their homes, can't feed their families, and in some cases are taking their own lives, if we go along with your line of reasoning, you are telling me that people would rather go hungry and homeless than get a job?"

Mr. Payne responded with: "If people are faced with going hungry or homeless, they will find a job, they will create a job, they will create opportunities, because guess what? When the first Americans landed here, there was nothing. Some of them froze to death, some resorted to cannibalism, but they made it, they created the greatest country in the world"

Asked his opinion after the interview, Mr. Rosen replied: “So, I guess if we follow the Fox recovery plan it won't be Turkey we will be dining on for Thanksgiving, rather we will be consuming our fellow 99ers. Of course that will solve the problem to a certain extent, as the 99ers won't go hungry for the holidays and there would be less of us (insert extreme sarcasm here)."

“lazy, drug-addicted hobos”? sounds like gaddafi.
November 17, 2010

Congressman responds to reports of job ads that read: ‘no unemployed candidates need apply’

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) sent a letter to U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Jacqueline Berrien to request an investigation into possible discrimination against the unemployed.

Congressman Johnson is responding to reports of job listings that explicitly exclude unemployed applicants. Some advertisements stated that applications “must be currently employed” to apply or stipulated that “no unemployed candidates will be considered at all.”

“Employer discrimination against unemployed job applicants is fundamentally wrong,” said Rep. Johnson, who represents parts of DeKalb, Rockdale and Gwinnett counties in eastern metropolitan Atlanta. “With unemployment at 9.6 percent and more than 15 million Americans out of work, this discrimination will only prolong the crisis.”

Posted by: Mitchell Hirsch on Nov 21, 2010

Responding to reports that some employers have been discriminating against unemployed workers in their hiring practices, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) has called for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to open an investigation. A letter from Rep. Johnson to EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien urging the investigation has been signed by 58 members of Congress.

The letter also requests that the EEOC issue a statement detailing how such a practice of discriminating against unemployed workers in hiring "could be illegal" and that employers who do discriminate against the unemployed may face disparate impact claims due to the higher proportion of minority workers being unemployed.

"If this trend of employers discriminating against the unemployed continues," the members of Congress say in the letter, "it will only prolong the unemployment crisis the United States is facing."

ya know, sometimes i wonder if we couldn't solve the whole affirmative action controversy by giving the preferences to whoever's most in need...?
A medical definition of scapegoating is:
"Process in which the mechanisms of projection or displacement are utilised in focusing feelings of aggression, hostility, frustration, etc., upon another individual or group; the amount of blame being unwarranted."
Scapegoating is a tactic often employed to characterize an entire group of individuals according to the unethical or immoral conduct of a small number of individuals belonging to that group, also known as guilt by association.

Scapegoated groups throughout history have included almost every imaginable group of people: genders, religions, people of different races or nations, people with different political beliefs, or people differing in behaviour from the majority. However, scapegoating may also be applied to organizations, such as governments, corporations, or various political groups.

Mobbing is a form of sociological scapegoating which occurs in the workplace.
Unwanted thoughts and feelings can be unconsciously projected onto another who becomes a scapegoat for one's own problems. This concept can be extended to projection by groups. In this case the chosen individual, or group, becomes the scapegoat for the group's problems. In psychopathology, projection is an especially commonly used defense mechanism in people with the following personality disorders:
The Bill: Gov. Scott Walker's proposal would prohibit collective bargaining by public sector workers for issues beyond wages, limit raises to a certain level without approval by public referendum, exempt employees from paying union dues and require unions to hold annual votes on whether they should remain in existence. Less controversial are calls for public workers to contribute more to their pension plans and pay higher health insurance premiums.

The Governor: Mr. Walker, a Republican, was elected in 2010 with 52 percent of the vote, replacing a Democrat.

The Legislature: Republicans hold majorities in both houses, but Senate Democrats have left the state to block a quorum and prevent a vote on the measure.

Projected Deficit: $3.6 billion over two years

Public Sector: 12.2 percent of state work force
The Bills: Democrats are protesting several bills put forward by Republican legislators, including measures that would prohibit making union membership a prerequisite for employment in the private sector and banning collective bargaining by public workers.

The Governor: Mitch Daniels, a Republican elected to a second term in 2008, has urged his party to abandon the union membership measure. He is not running for re-election, but he is considering a presidential bid.

The Legislature: Republicans hold majorities in both houses, but Democrats fled the capital to avoid the two-thirds attendance needed for a quorum in the House.

Projected Deficit: Estimates range from $300 million to $1.3 billion in the 2012 fiscal year.

Public Sector: 11.5 percent of state work force
The Bill: Senate Bill 5 would effectively end collective bargaining for state workers and allow hiring alternate workers during a strike. It would end binding arbitration, an option favored by the police and firemen, who are not allowed to strike.

The Governor: John Kasich, a Republican, defeated Ted Strickland, the Democratic incumbent, in 2010 with 49 percent of the vote.

The Legislature: Republicans hold majorities in both houses, and the Democratic minorities are too small to withhold a quorum.

Projected Deficit: $8 billion over two years

Public Sector: 12.7 percent of state work force
new jersey
There is, in fact, something astonishing about the ascent of Chris Christie, who is about as slick as sandpaper and who now admits that even he didn’t think he would beat Jon Corzine, the Democrat he unseated in 2009. Some critics have posited that Christie’s success in office represents merely the triumph of self-certainty over complexity, the yearning among voters for leaders who talk bluntly and with conviction. Yet it’s hard to see Christie getting so much traction if he were out there castigating, say, immigrants or Wall Street bankers. What makes Christie compelling to so many people isn’t simply plain talk or swagger, but also the fact that he has found the ideal adversary for this moment of economic vertigo. Ronald Reagan had his “welfare queens,” Rudy Giuliani had his criminals and “squeegee men,” and now Chris Christie has his sprawling and powerful public-sector unions — teachers, cops and firefighters who Christie says are driving up local taxes beyond what the citizenry can afford, while also demanding the kind of lifetime security that most private-sector workers have already lost.
and there's the key, the scapegoat divide-&-conquer wedge issue, framed thus:
you've lost your security,
why should you have to pay
to give them
what you
no longer have?

but maybe that's a good thing, because once we all lose it, we'll have to stop fighting each other and unite to get it back!

then again, when you think of all the vulnerable folk who will slip thru the cracks during the struggle, maybe it would be better to unite now!
Federal agencies continued reviewing shutdown plans Wednesday in anticipation of a possible closure of the federal government that could begin as early as next week.
BRUSSELS — Unable — or unwilling — to work together, bickering politicians have left unassuming Belgium without a fully functioning government for eight months, the longest for any nation in Europe since World War II.
does this mean we don't need it?

Monday, February 21, 2011

“You guys are evil,” he says with a laugh. “Canada’s the best country in the world. We go to the doctor and we don’t need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you’re broke because of medical bills. My bodyguard’s baby was premature, and now he has to pay for it. In Canada, if your baby’s premature, he stays in the hospital as long as he needs to, and then you go home.”
ok, he also made an anti-choice statement, but at least he admitted he's never "been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that...."

but he does know canada's health system.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Is A Battlefield
happy valentine's day!

We are young, heartache to heartache we stand
No promises, no demands
Love Is A Battlefield
We are strong, no one can tell us we're wrong
Searchin' our hearts for so long, both of us knowing
Love Is A Battlefield

You're beggin' me to go, you're makin' me stay
Why do you hurt me so bad?
It would help me to know
Do I stand in your way, or am I the best thing you've had?
Believe me, believe me, I can't tell you why
But I'm trapped by your love, and I'm chained to your side

We are young, heartache to heartache we stand
No promises, no demands
Love Is A Battlefield

We are strong, no one can tell us we're wrong
Searchin' our hearts for so long, both of us knowing
Love Is A Battlefield

We're losing control
Will you turn me away or touch me deep inside?
And before this gets old, will it still feel the same?
There's no way this will die
But if we get much closer, I could lose control
And if your heart surrenders, you'll need me to hold

We are young, heartache to heartache we stand
No promises, no demands
Love Is A Battlefield

We are strong, no one can tell us we're wrong
Searchin' our hearts for so long, both of us knowing
Love Is A Battlefield

Written by Mike Chapman & Holly Knight

Thursday, February 10, 2011

i glance at c-span's book tv schedule. what do i see?

Known and Unknown: A Memoir by Donald Rumsfeld

i have to laugh. in 2003 hart seely had a piece in slate called "The Poetry of D.H. Rumsfeld," featuring several of rummy's public utterances set as lines of verse.

most of them had themes related to the subject of knowing. epistemological poetry, one might say.

here's a sample:

The Unknown

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.

That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

—Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

one of those things he apparently didn't know he didn't know but should have known was how stupid it was to invade iraq. i think i heard mike scheuer say the invasion was a godsend to osama bin laden, or words similar to that.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Redemption Song
by Bob Marley (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981)

Old pirates, yes, they rob I
Sold I to the merchant ships
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit
But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the almighty
We forward in this generation
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs
Redemption songs

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy
'Cause none of them can stop the time
How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look? Ooh
Some say it's just a part of it
We've got to fullfil the book

Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever have
Redemption songs
Redemption songs
Redemption songs

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our mind
Woh, have no fear for atomic energy
'Cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time
How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say it's just a part of it
We've got to fullfill the book
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
'Cause all I ever had
Redemption songs
All I ever had
Redemption songs
These songs of freedom
Songs of freedom