April 2, 2008 archive

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

The muses are ancient.  The inspirations for our stories were said to be born from them.  Muses of song and dance, or poetry and prose, of comedy and tragedy, of the inward and the outward.  In one version they are Calliope, Euterpe and Terpsichore, Erato and Clio, Thalia and Melpomene, Polyhymnia and Urania.

It has also been traditional to name a tenth muse.  Plato declared Sappho to be the tenth muse, the muse of women poets.  Others have been suggested throughout the centuries.  I don’t have a name for one, but I do think there should be a muse for the graphical arts.  And maybe there should be many more.

Please join us inside to celebrate our various muses…

Carnegie Study: Climate Requires Near-zero Emissions


Scientists at the Carnegie Institution have just completed a study that has concluded the only way to stabilize the climate is to reduce carbon emissions to a near-zero level:

In the study, to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, climate scientists Ken Caldeira and Damon Matthews used an Earth system model at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology to simulate the response of the Earth’s climate to different levels of carbon dioxide emission over the next 500 years. ~snip~

The scientists investigated how much climate changes as a result of each individual emission of carbon dioxide, and found that each increment of emission leads to another increment of warming.[…] With emissions set to zero in the simulations, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere slowly fell as carbon “sinks” such as the oceans and land vegetation absorbed the gas. Surprisingly, however, the model predicted that global temperatures would remain high for at least 500 years after carbon dioxide emissions ceased.

More below the jump…

Black Ops, Black Budgets, and Black Cats

There’s a fascinating article about black-ops programs squirrelled away in the science section of tomorrow’s New York Times.

The article is about a book titled I Could Tell You but Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me by Trevor Paglen.  The book’s subject is, nominally, the uniform patches worn by members of various black ops.  

Human Rights Crisis in Somalia

 (Docudharma is like a big ocean to me. I guess I’ll jump but I hope not to be devoured by any sharks!) cross- posted at Daily Kos.

The situation in Somalia has not been good for some time.

A baby born in Somalia will have a life expectancy of 48.4 years.

 There is little date to measure the full extent of Somalia’s poverty but in 1994 the UN Development Program ranked Somolia 165th out of 173 countries in terms of its Human Development Index.

According to the World Bank, health standards in Somalia before the 1991 were among the worst in the world. It was estimated that there was 1 doctor for every 20,000 people (in the United States it was 1 doctor for every 470 people), and 1 nurse for every 1,900 persons (in the United States it was 1 nurse for every 70 persons). Only 2 percent of births were attended by a health professional, whereas in the United States nearly 100 percent of births were so attended. In 1990 average life expectancy at birth was 46 years, the infant mortality was about 123 per 1,000 live births (in the United States it is 7 per 1,000). The adult literacy rate was 27 percent.


Buddhism is so cool. But….

Yes, it is. A very cool religion.

But there is a problem that we Americans need to explore as a Democratic nation founded on the principles of Separation of Church and State and Freedom of Religion..

How does Tibet survive politically in a modern world?

Should the spiritual leader of Buddhism be a political leader?

The Shunning of Ralph Nader

Original article by John V. Walsh via Counterpunch.com:

If you’re anti-war, are you considering Ralph for President?  McCain’s not anti-war, and HRC and BO have both voted to fund the Iraq Occupation.  Is Ralph the choice?

You are Told How to Think

I enjoy talking to people if I can detect an accent.  It means they most likely were not born here and have something I do too, the knowledge of life in another culture.  It makes for more interesting conversations.

I left AOL long ago when their system started gearing up to take over my entire computer.  They are far too lame for my tastes endorsing only what fattens their wallets or further locks you into their lame and limited internet.


Internet censorship.

Do Children Dream of Phallic Sheep?

Title with apologies to Phillip K. Dick.

All other apologies to ye who further enter, for, beyond possible prurient amusement, there is absolutely no political value to what’s below the fold.

But this is the day of the fool, a role I’ve chosen to play often.

Anyway, consider yourself warned.

Angel from Montgomery

I never learned to love Montgomery, but I loved people I knew there.  

There was a dark-haired beauty whose fighter pilot husband had been taken by the horror in Vietnam, a frightened single-mother completely lost in this world.  I could never reach her, but I loved her.

We weren’t teenagers but we danced to this tune…and it has always reminded me of her.

Through the Darkest of Nights: Testament IV

Every few days over the next several months I will be posting installments of a novel about life, death, war and politics in America since 9/11.  Through the Darkest of Nights is an intensely personal story of hope, reflection, determination, and redemption.  It is a testament to the progressive values we all believe in, have always defended, and always will defend no matter how long this darkness lasts.          

All installments are available for reading here on my page, and also here on Docudharma’s Fiction Page, where refuge from politicians, blogging overload, and one BushCo outrage after another can always be found.


Elizabeth Edwards Takes on McCain Again

Elizabeth Edwards knows who the real enemy is and what is at stake in this election.  While there are differences betweeen Obama’s and Clinton’s health care plan, both are far, far better than what John McCain has in store for us.

Last weekend, Elizabeth Edwards took on McCain:

Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former Democratic presidential contender John Edwards, said she and John McCain have one thing in common: “Neither one of us would be covered by his health policy.”

LA Times

McCain’s chief advisor attacked, and today Elizabeth smacked them both down at Think Progress

More, after the fold.  

(also in orange: http://www.dailykos.com/story/…  

“We Don’t Torture”

CommonDreams.org has a Great Offer for GrassRoots Action for those of us who aren’t seeking a Fascist Style Government but Love America the way it Should Be and Founding Fathers Sought.

As sensible human beings and American citizens, we all have a duty to prevent torture. Our leaders failed their duty – so now it’s up to us!

Help us build a grassroots movement against torture. With these activist stickers, you can declare, loud and proud: My America Doesn’t Torture!

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