December 22, 2007 archive

Happiness is…

I’m on my way to the train station to pick up my dutchman. and he has presents for me!!!

i’m happy. i’m sure i can infect others with my happiness. so here’s a sappy, sentimental, love-drenched short short short essay just about being happy.

you can laugh at me. go ahead. curse out George Bush. get riled over dopey democrats… talk politics.

i’m going to talk about how cute my dutchman is… and how excited i am to see all of my family. for us, Christmas will start tonight and go through Tuesday!!!!!!!

hey… we’re all getting together to go out for dinner tonight. NO DISHES… no fuss. no muss.

and Christmas is my birthday and i love my birthday… i’ll be 53 (well, somebody has to be 53) and look forward to another 53 years…

i’m listening to Christmas music (Gloria Stefan… fabulous btw)…

hahahahahahaha… life is great.

Member Requests

Thank you all for your continued involvement with Docudharma. OTB noted that Docudharma is currently ranked #51 on America Street’s list of Top 100 Bloggers.  We wouldn’t be there without you.

OTB and the gang are working on ways to make the site run smoother and be more powerful.  In addition the SoapBlox people are planning some more upgrades that I think will be beneficial to the community. So this begs the question:

What Do Our Members Want?

Do you like special features on other sites?  If so please tell us.

Do you have a concept that hasn’t been tried before?  Tell us that too.

Have a crazed conspiracy allegation?  Send those to circularfile@docudharma.com 🙂

Ready…Begin!

While you do that I’ll just post some links:

PBWH | NAN | MMW

 

Saturday Night Bike Blogging: Freedom versus Bikeways

Yesterday, I did something different …

… I decided that I would Take the Long Way Home

… as that Tom Waite{NB} lyric says at the beginning:

Well I stumbled in the darkness

I’m lost and alone

Though I said I’d go before us

And show the way back home

There a light up ahead

I can’t hold onto her arm

Forgive me pretty baby but I always take the long way home

{NB. No, that is not Tom Waite singing the song. Good eye!}

Now, I wasn’t literally lost. What I did was decide that, with four days off coming up, I could take the long way home, which ought to be very pretty this time of year. Instead of going down the county highway to turn left onto the township highway to turn right onto the main county highway that goes straight to my (current) home town …

… I decided to turn right to go past the Quarry, then cross the state route to go along the Lake road then the bike trail that runs to my home town.

And I was glad I did, because it was a terrible route, and I set me thinking about bikeways versus freedom to ride.

Pony Party: Tragically Hip

The Tragically Hip are a bit of an institution in Canuckistan. They are also an interesting example of a band who while they tour in the US  and Europe seemed to have made a conscious decision to remain firmly based in their Canadian roots. The prevailing wisdom for many Canadian artists used to be that in order to make it big on had to bust in on the gigantic American market. The hip are an example of a band that has sold well enough in Canada that making it big in the US has never been a requirement. They have even performed for Queen Elizabeth II, and while Canadians are no longer royalists, they have great affection for it and the fact that they did perform for her is a mark of essential Canadianess. Many of their song lyric reference specific Canadian events, history, and geography. In Canada they play in huge arena in the US they tend to play small clubs. Most Canadians of a certain age ( mine) know most of the lyrics to their songs.

Wheat Kings is about a man named David Milgaard who was wrongly convicted of rape and murder. The whole affair shone a very unpleasant light on the Canadian justice system. It was a light that sorely needed shining and many people bring it up when discussing whether the death penalty has a place in Canada.

I have no idea who the guys are in this video montage but I spent many a summer camping in Algonquin Park and the song Three Pistols references

a brilliant Canadian painter named Tom Thompson. He was a part of the Group of Seven influential painters in the 1900’s to the 1920’s who are now considered icons.

Another favorite is Fifty Mission Cap, a song about Bill Barilko who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He scored the winning goal who scored the winning goal in the 1951 Stanley Cup and then disappeared on a fishing trip that year. His body was found the next year the Leafs won the cup in 1962.

Although this video is several years old it gives you an idea of how big they are in Canada, and Gordon Downie, the lead singer is a bit of an eccentric.

Excuses

I turned in my grades at 3:45pm on Wednesday afternoon.  I had 45 minutes to spare.  Some years I have less than that.

The truth is I generally run out of motivation to grade prior to actually having to do the grading.  In some respects, the lack of interest some of my students display drains me of the motivation I think I should have.  As much as we would like to have students who think that they should give maximum effort in each of their classes, that’s very often not the case.

I gave three incompletes this past semester.  That’s three more than I usually do.  I will do just about anything to avoid giving an incomplete.  I think I’ve mentioned before my hatred of paperwork.

Originally posted as part of Teacher’s Lounge

And I Say To Myself….

It is a bright and beautiful day. The sun shines down and its life giving light feeds the grasses and plants and makes them grow. It rained a bit recently and the ground is still moist. The bougainvillea is flowering ad the mango and avocado trees are taking a winter holiday before pushing forth new life, new seeds, new fruit. Light miraculously transforms into green life every second of every day and the animals and fish and humans eat that life, that light and are sustained.

There are children playing and laughing, there is bright musica playing across the street, the bass line held by a thumping good tuba.

There is food in the cupboard and the roof barely leaks.

Around the world on this bright and beautiful day, kittens are being born, and puppies and baby giraffes and lemurs and tigers and ponies. Right now…at this very second, two young people have just found their first love together and are looking into each others eyes and can see nothing else.

Unionists Condemn HRC’s Latest Smear

Todays’ Huffington Post has a timely report by Marc Cooper on the push-back by AFSCME members against their union’s sleazy attempt to smear both Barack Obama and John Edwards on Hillary Clinton’s behalf.

Unionists Slam “Hypocritical” Leaders for Anti-Obama Mailer

Union members in Illinois and Iowa are denouncing their national leaders as hypocrites for sending out a deceptive campaign mailer aimed this week at Barack Obama. They are livid that the political arm of their 1.4 million member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) financed a mailer to Iowa voters slamming Obama for opposing individual health care mandates – the same sort of mandates long opposed by the union.

“This is definitely hypocritical, absolutely,” said Carter Woodruff, an activist with Iowa AFSCME and a former official of the union state council. “It’s a desperate attempt to attack [Obama] for unfounded reasons. It’s a shame they stooped so low.”

The union’s direct mail flyer was written in a disguised manner that suggested it came from the John Edwards campaign and not from AFSCME and it slapped Obama for taking what it called “the timid way out, offering yet another band-aid solution.”

AFSCME’s national leadership endorsed Hillary Clinton last October and is expected to spend millions on her behalf if she wins the nomination.

—snip—

Hillary Clinton has recently targeted Obama’s rejection of universal health care mandates claiming that it would leave 15 million Americans un-insured. Mandates, of the sort supported by Clinton, would require every American family to purchase a health care plan with subsidies offered to those with lower incomes. Obama, by contrast, has argued that the problem with health insurance is precisely that it is unaffordable and that mandates would only aggravate the problem.

The Edwards campaign, which shares the Clinton position on health care mandates, nevertheless denounced the AFSCME mailer as unprecedented in its deception. “There have been a lot of misleading tactics and tricks in the last few weeks, but we’ve just never seen anything like this before,” said Edwards’ Iowa state director Jennifer O’Malley Dillon in a statement. “Either they are trying to trick people, or they’ve realized that on health care, John Edwards is the candidate who speaks honestly about what it really costs and what will be required to have truly universal coverage.”

McEntee’s office did not reply to requests to respond to today’s denunciation by the Illinois and Iowa members.

Linky:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

(Probably will post this at Planet Orange, too…masochist that I am.)

I don’t like to infect the DD karma with this sort of political pollution, but this one is worth reading.

Personally, I’m backing Edwards and Obama (in that order), since Al Gore has let me (many of us) down by not running.

If Edwards should win the Democratic nomination (a longshot), Obama as his VP would be a no-brainer.

If Obama should win the Dem nomination (increasingly likely)–and assuming Edwards wouldn’t want to run again for VP–I hope Obama asks Sen. Jim Webb to be his running mate.  That would shut up the one-mantra (“Experience”) nay-sayers, cuz Webb has been made the Dems’ key spokesman on all things military on the basis of his experience.

 

Pony Party: Eggs!

I love eggs. Fried, scrambled, boiled, mushed up with mayo and onion for an egg sand which, omelets, frittatas, quiche, huevos rancheros. I never met an egg I did not like. They are good for any meal. I admit I have never had green eggs and ham nor have I tried to fry one on the pavement on a hot day.

I am pretty neutral on Gordon Ramsey. But men who cook are awesome… I was always intrigued by a fella who was willing to cook a meal for me. But if you cook me eggs…. well… I will leave it to the imagination.

Remember…. don’t rec pony party… we’re here to play….

The Two Giants of Truthtelling, One on One

Just in case there may be one or two folks who missed this discussion.

Bill Moyers talks with MSNBC host Keith Olbermann

December 14, 2007

Click on pic or Click Here

Welcome to George W. Bush’s America

An Icelandic woman’s memorable visit.

(h/t The Reaction, via Sott)

Docudharma Times Saturday Dec.22

This is an Open Thread: Our Door Is Always Open

9/11 Panel Study Finds That C.I.A. Withheld Tapes: FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics: Romney backpedals on statements – again: Ruthless, shadowy – and a U.S. ally: U.S. convoys struggle to adjust to policy change

USA

9/11 Panel Study Finds That C.I.A. Withheld Tapes

WASHINGTON – A review of classified documents by former members of the Sept. 11 commission shows that the panel made repeated and detailed requests to the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 and 2004 for documents and other information about the interrogation of operatives of Al Qaeda, and were told by a top C.I.A. official that the agency had “produced or made available for review” everything that had been requested.

The review was conducted earlier this month after the disclosure that in November 2005, the C.I.A. destroyed videotapes documenting the interrogations of two Qaeda operatives.

FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics

$1 Billion Project to Include Images of Irises and Faces

CLARKSBURG, W. Va. — The FBI is embarking on a $1 billion effort to build the world’s largest computer database of peoples’ physical characteristics, a project that would give the government unprecedented abilities to identify individuals in the United States and abroad.

Digital images of faces, fingerprints and palm patterns are already flowing into FBI systems in a climate-controlled, secure basement here. Next month, the FBI intends to award a 10-year contract that would significantly expand the amount and kinds of biometric information it receives. And in the coming years, law enforcement authorities around the world will be able to rely on iris patterns, face-shape data, scars and perhaps even the unique ways people walk and talk, to solve crimes and identify criminals and terrorists. The FBI will also retain, upon request by employers, the fingerprints of employees who have undergone criminal background checks so the employers can be notified if employees have brushes with the law.

I’ve been “Rescued” on Kos

Well, despite your gallant efforts, Don’t give him my regards .  .  . Give him my respect did not quite break through the dueling Edwards, Obama, Impeachment, “We’re all doomed by giant rocks” diaries for a recommendation.  However, “Ranger” NYC in exile was kind enough to rescue it on tonight’s “Open Thread and Diary Rescue.”

Apologies for the short essay, and thank you again for your kind welcome to this site.

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