Pony Party: How to make a pickle glow – Part I

Light Emitting Pickle here to bring you the most recent open thread. First, a few words about Pickle Pony Parties:

Please do not recommend a Pony Party when you see one.  There will be another along in a few hours.

By popular demand, today’s Parties will describe how to get pickles to emit light. My 9 am slot will give details on the set-up. The 3 pm diary will then describe the electrifying process.

Okay, on to the details. You’ll need a pickle (of course!) and two ring stands and clamps (or something similar, because you need to suspend your pickle), and a variac. Make sure you have LOTS of paper towels handy. And I’d strongly recommend trying this in a well-ventilated area.

If you need to make your pickle torture device, check out these instructions. (No, I’m not Lori!)

Now you’re ready to make that pickle glow! For details, tune in at 3 pm (PDT)!

The King’s Dimwitted Son

I wrote this diary a little over a year ago under the name of shruticounseling for dkos. It is my favorite entry and I never felt like it was appropriate for that site but couldn’t find an appropriate home for it. It is more of an essay. As I have been reading this site for the last several days, it has come to mind that this is perhaps a more appropriate home for it. Only time wilt tell. Here it is.

In my view Nature has little patience with dynasties. Instead Nature favors a cyclical system of checks and balances in which power is given and then quickly taken away after its purpose is served. To accomplish this, the universe has a variety of instruments and programs for reestablishing dharma or right living/duty. One of the great programs Nature has at its disposal for correcting imbalances is called “the King’s dimwitted son”.

All archetypes or personality types exist for a reason and play specific roles in the evolutionary process of the human condition. To redistribute horded wealth and power, for instance, there is no better instrument than “the King’s dimwitted son.” The King himself in this case is a man of great stature and ability who comes from a long line of similar leaders among men. He typically has flourished even while surrounded by controversy and has overcome great challenges in order to provide his subjects with peace and prosperity. Even though his family has given generations of such men to the world, it is inevitable that even this noble line will give birth to a dimwit of hostile proportions.

The dimwitted son possesses none of the positive qualities of his father, the King. He has neither the raw ability nor the drive to become the man his father is. Sensing this painful truth lurking behind every event and interaction, the dimwitted son sets about portraying himself as a brave and noble hero despite all evidence to the contrary. He bullies all who attempt to tell him the truth. Even if this son somehow had some small talent for governing competently, the circumstances of his life will be sure to thwart cultivating these higher qualities. Due to the sheer wealth and power of the royal family, everything is handed to the dimwitted son throughout his young years. He is pampered in every possible way and saved from ever having to face the controversies or challenges that might have strengthened his character. Instead he is given cushy assignments he might be able to fulfill without embarrassing himself or his family. When he fails even at these, he is bailed out by the powers that be. The dimwitted son becomes a young man who believes he can do no wrong and that no matter what he decides to do, it will turn out great.

Deep inside the King’s dimwitted son knows his real nature and knows he will never measure up to the King. He resents his father and often senses his father’s shame in having sired such a son. Years pass by and in due course the dimwitted son eventually becomes the king. As could be expected, in the role of king the dimwitted son does what he does best. He fails. Meanwhile, after years of peace and prosperity, the monarchy itself has grown soft and the people selfish and entitled.

The dimwitted son cannot find within himself the discipline to be bothered by the monotony of governing so a smooth talking shadow comes to his rescue. The shadow constantly murmurs to the dimwitted son about what a great king he is and what a mark he will make on history. The dimwit is an easy target after all. He trusts the shadow implicitly and embraces his ideas. Having no real plans to govern himself, the dimwit allows the shadow to rule from the shadows in his stead. The shadow is dark, paranoid and destructive by nature. He sets up an elaborate structure of defenses to ensure his own security and prosperity and moves forward with dark plans of his own. The only real decisions the dimwit makes are ones that inevitably destroy his father’s kingdom. Destructive by nature, both the dimwit and the shadow thrive on breaking whatever or whoever crosses their path. They surround themselves with others with the same annihilative tendencies and go to work. The dimwitted son destroys the kingdom because he hates his father; the shadow destroys the kingdom because he hates humanity. The affects, however, are the same. The kingdom is changed so radically as to be almost unrecognizable.

No matter what are our specific views of God or nature, we can see that destructive work is an ever-present part of the system that all life exists in. Something is created, nurtured and eventually destroyed and absorbed back into the whole. The dimwitted son, in his way, is doing Nature’s work. By destructively bringing down the kingdom, disproportionate distributions of power and resources are eventually re-balanced so that a newly made kingdom can eventually rise up.

When a company, family, government, kingdom, religion or any other institution of human creation begins to hoard its resources and the people within it tend toward selfishness, laziness and a sense of entitlement, the personality profile of the King’s dimwitted son cannot be far behind. When he finally does rise to power, the bloated, unnatural system he rules will become fractured beyond repair for the dimwit is doing Nature’s work and it will support him with as many catastrophes as are necessary to perfect his destructive masterpiece.
In a perfect universe filled with checks and balances, the King’s dimwitted son is one of Nature’s most efficient “checks” as he can easily destroy hundreds of years of work in just a few short years. If you are living in such a system and see the dimwit steering you towards the abyss, it is time you came up with plan B as evolution is certainly taking you and yours in a new direction.

Ending the war vs. “pretending” to end the war

(bumped @1:30 – promoted by buhdydharma )

Despite some very heroic efforts in the Senate by Feingold, Dodd and to a degree Reid (and a few others) and the heroic efforts in the House by members of the “Out of Iraq caucus”, I think we are getting closer and closer to a point where it is looking like many Democrats are “acting like they want to end the war” as opposed to actually, truly, REALLY doing whatever they can to bring an end to this war. 

Smart politics?  Who really knows at this point.  Smart policy?  Hell no – not when we have found out that the US has been arming insurgents, the Bush administration is desperately trying to find a way to bomb Iran, al Qaeda and the Taliban are running free in Pakistan and the only signs of any success in Iraq are either due to sectarian cleansing or areas where local tribes have taken the lead without much assistance from our troops.  Oh yeah, more deaths and more potent attacks are happening every day, likely to lead to well over 1,000 more dead US troops before January 2009.

Last week saw two “real” votes with respect to Iraq.  The Reid-Feingold resolution calling for the funding of a withdrawal garnered only 29 votes, and Webb’s troop rest amendment, which did get every Democratic vote but still failed to get cloture.

Senator Clinton made the rounds yesterday, and wouldn’t “get into hypotheticals” when it came to a full withdrawal by 2012.  Now, on one hand, she says that she won’t vote for any more funding without a plan to “start bringing troops home”.  She also says that doesn’t know what she would inherit, but has anyone else noticed the bar getting moved more and more by the Democratic Presidential frontrunner?  I can understand not wanting to get pinned down into a position, but jeez – most of this country wanted the withdrawal to start this year, and most of the country doesn’t want us there anymore – let alone the Iraqis themselves.  If she won’t commit to a full withdrawal within 5 years, then how is that a different foreign policy from the current one?  To say that she wants to see the “start of a withdrawal” is very different from saying that there needs to be a timeline for a withdrawal or funding thought a date certain.

A BIG difference.

Other Senate Democrats are resigned to “trying to chip away support” from other republicans, however there is no mention of what exactly they will tie to the $200 Billion that is currently being requested by Bush.  No hard timeline?  No month to month funding?  No additional benchmarks?  What exactly will they do here?  If you take some of the quotes, it doesn’t look too promising:

They are no longer entertaining the kind of compromise measures that some Democrats had proposed this month as an attempt to woo Republican defectors, and they said they would instead seek opportunities to hold votes that would more starkly contrast Republican support for the president with Democrats’ demands for withdrawal.

“The Republican leadership and the White House is getting them all to march in line,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, who ranks third in the party leadership. “But it is marching further and further away from where America is. We just keep at it. It’s all we can do.”

Actually, Chuck, it is not ALL you can do.  The funding for Iraq is not included in regular budgets.  You can at least require that funds be part of the regular budget to show just how far out of whack the actual budget numbers are from the rosy projections.  OR, you can NOT pass a funding bill.  Or you can pass a funding bill that will only fund for a few months.  There are many, many things that can be done other than to hold symbolic votes.  What you ARE doing is pretending that you are doing all you can in order to try and convince more of America to vote for Democrats next year.  And that isn’t nearly enough.

Symbolism doesn’t mean much to families of fallen soldiers or families of those who have crippling injuries from their service (and lack of proper armor, equipment and rest).

Over in the House of Representatives, there is a similar view that things just aren’t going to change much, despite the overwhelming view of Americans and over 70 members of the Out of Iraq Caucus:

During today’s meeting, the progressive caucus, chaired by Representatives Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee, once again called for Congress not to approve further funding for the war without a timetable for withdrawal. But the members did not come across as fired up to make such a measure happen. Nor did they threaten to break with Pelosi if legislation of this sort was not offered by the House leadership. They remain antiwar–but they came across as unsure what to do about it.

There is similar frustration by Rep. Maxine Waters and Rep. Steven Cohen as well:

“It is one of the worst times to ever be in the Congress of the United States,” complained California’s Maxine Waters. “We look incapable of doing what the public wants us to do.” A downbeat Waters also said that “even though members of Congress were elected on a platform to get us out of Iraq, they have prioritized getting along instead of following their heart and intellect.”

Steven Cohen, a freshmen House democrat from Tennessee who has steadfastly opposed the war, didn’t point fingers at his Democratic colleagues but nonetheless shared Water’s frustration: “I think our Speaker [Nancy Pelosi] is a good leader, but maybe the leadership would be stronger if there was hope in the Senate to get the votes.”

Now, things are much tougher to get done in the Senate, but here is a situation where Speaker Pelosi can set the tone by bringing some bold measures to the floor in the House.  If it is true that “there is a new Congress in town” as she said months ago, then it would be nice to actually see something other than more toothless bills and “recommendations” that will certainly be ignored.

As this excellent OpEd by Bennet Kelley notes, it is time that the Democratic Leadership realizes that it has to take the reins here and drive the debate and the situation with respect to Congress’ role in Iraq – even moreso when there is no plan or any desire to do anything more than pass this disaster off to the next Congress and administration:

Congress must face the reality that, while they have provided deference to the Commander-in-Chief’s prerogative to plot military strategy, it has a duty to act when the Commander-in-Chief has no strategy at all or remains in a state of denial. The Democrats have given the president ample time and resources to demonstrate that we are on a path to success in Iraq. The reality is that, after losing more soldiers during the first six months of the surge than during the entire first year of the war, we are no closer to success than before.


The Democrats should reach out to Republicans to see if a veto and filibuster would prove compromise can be reached. If the Republicans continue to prefer slogans over strategy and false optimism over results, the Democrats have a duty to the people who put them in power and the families of our troops to hold firm and even refuse funding if necessary. Democrats must remember that, now that they are in power, it is not just Republicans that voters will hold accountable for Iraq in November.

I think this is key – and it goes against the “all we can do” lies of Senator Schumer.  If the Democrats hold strong with a specific bill that passes without a veto proof majority, they will still have done their part.  It is then incumbent on the republicans and Mister Bush to determine whether they want to end the funding or continue the occupation on the Democrats’ terms.

This is exactly where the Democratic Party was back when the funding bill was being discussed in April and May.  They caved then, and things got markedly worse.  The same options are available, yet, contrary to their belief, the climate is even more in their favor to do something strong and let the republicans vote against funding with real conditions.

That would be doing all they can.  Not pretending that they are doing all they can.

Helping Hand False Prosthesis

When an individual is in distress, common advice is for him or her to reach out for help, to seek solace and resiliency in groups, and to keep a positive outlook.  These things are uttered as if they are ingredients in a recipe to a better life.  Bake them in the right proportions, and the dish that is created is a sure success.

Reality, though, is very different.  And perhaps shockingly, those who espouse progressive values – sometimes the most vocal – act in identical ways and with the same callous disregard – by offering phony offers of assistance.

The real message is the same: take care of yourself.  It can’t be that bad.  God helps those who help themselves.  God never gives you more than you can handle. I wish I could help you, but…. Here’s a number to call for a homeless shelter in my area – maybe they can tell you where you can find help wherever you are.  You need to learn how to beg.  You need to humble yourself.  It doesn’t matter what you think you need; I know what you need. There must be something wrong with you if you can’t get a job.

Care to disagree?

Please do.  Please give examples of how you directly help and engage with someone you have identified as needing help with something basic to remain compatible with life: homeless, jobless, abused, destitute, ill, injured, ostracized.

It’s very personal to me.  I am the one who has been placed in an untenable position.  Who can’t compete for jobs.  Who has desperately needed a real hand.  And who has been repeatedly and violently victimized by every single person who offered “help”.  One person is an aberrancy.  Two people is a concern.  Every person is a norm.

I have been ridiculed, humiliated, ostracized, judged, condemned, used as an object, defrauded, attacked, defamed, stalked, and robbed.  All the while trying to deal with a life turned upside down, stripped, without a future, without any reality of being able to change any fundamental part of it without help.

It’s always been terribly hard for me to ask for it, and the lesson learned is that it’s harmful and devastating to to so.

Hypocrisy is right here in progressive land.  It is indistinguishable to anyone who is oppressed, depressed – who is in great need.

Voyeurism and sensationalism is used by both the left and the right wings.

Ad hominem attacks are still the common currency.

And they are effective.  They kill real people.

The next time you are ready to spout platitudes of false hope, reel in that prosthetic hand that drops like a salamander’s tail, and either be honest in your true refusal to help, or do the real and genuine thing.

People in need don’t want your tears – they want jobs, and safe housing and a way to get to work and healthy food to eat. And a true friend wouldn’t hurt, either.

Jena: The South, Politics And Race

In today’s NYTimes, Krugman writes:

Last Thursday there was a huge march in Jena, La., to protest the harsh and unequal treatment of six black students arrested in the beating of a white classmate. Students who hung nooses to warn blacks not to sit under a “white” tree were suspended for three days; on the other hand, the students accused in the beating were initially charged with second-degree attempted murder.

. . . Many press accounts of the march have a tone of amazement. Scenes like those in Jena, the stories seemed to imply, belonged in the 1960s, not the 21st century. The headline on the New York Times report, “Protest in Louisiana Case Echoes the Civil Rights Era,” was fairly typical. But the reality is that things haven’t changed nearly as much as people think. Racial tension, especially in the South, has never gone away, and has never stopped being important. And race remains one of the defining factors in modern American politics.

Consider voting in last year’s Congressional elections. Republicans, as President Bush conceded, received a “thumping,” with almost every major demographic group turning against them. The one big exception was Southern whites, 62 percent of whom voted Republican in House races. . . .

Indeed. I wrote about this back in December 2004. I want to reprint what I wrote then.

From Clinton to Lincoln: About Winning the “South”

by Armando

Sun Dec 19, 2004 at 10:52:14 AM PDT

Daily Kos at its best is a place where Democrats (centrists, progressives and undefined) and other progressives can think about and discuss difficult issues in an open, creative and intelligent manner. A wonderful recent example is Aerthern’s latest installment of Understanding the South. This diary, as all in the series were, is wonderfully written, factually supported and well argued. The discussions generated were intelligent, vigorous and respectful. The conclusions drawn, in my opinion, were wrong. My view is best expressed in The Lessons of Lincoln. On the flip I’ll explain part of why I think so, based on my personal experiences and observations.

Aethern writes:

Our Strategy for Southern Success must begin with an understanding of Southern Culture. I am a native North Carolinian, my Tar Heel roots going back to the early 19th century, and my family was split pretty evenly during this past election. There was my country grandmother (her town, Bear Grass, has a population of around 200) who responded with a hearty “Hell No!” when someone asked her if she was voting for Bush. There’s my step-father, a man who loves both NASCAR AND fine wines, who was the first person I knew to sport a Kerry bumper sticker. Then, of course, there’s my uncle, a “sports minister” at a huge Charlotte Baptist Church who helped with Bush’s campaign. And there’s my father, a Rush Limbaugh fan who loves few things more than railing against “bleeding heart liberals” (political discussions with him are like walking blindfolded through a minefield with snow-shoes on). His father (my grandpop) is an old-school yellow dog democrat who can barely stomach the fact that his son is a registered Republican.

Even with all that political diversity, my family is very southern, and we have a deep and enduring love for our home state and for the South in general. People who are not from the South tend to be somewhat perplexed by the fierce regionalism of this part of the country, and too often tie it to racism, bigotry, and all the demons of the Old Confederacy. The truth is that it’s just not that simple. There are, unfortunately, many racists here, and certainly they are often more outspoken than in other regions, but that does not extend to saying that white southerners are racist by nature.

I guess this is true as far as it goes. But I think, politically, it misses the simple point, that race drives the White South politically.  and when devising a winning political strategy, ignoring this basic point leads to unwise choices.

For example, Aethern writes:

Now–and let me be exceedingly clear on this–competing in the South does NOT mean catering or compromising with racism, ignorance, or bigotry, or selling out our positions. In fact, it means just the opposite. By becoming competitive in the South, we can fight those evils much more than we can by writing off the entire region. All it takes is for candidates to understand the aspects of Southern culture which are positive and seperate from racism and bigotry, and to appeal to those aspects, essentially creating our own positive wedge issue.

This simply is disproved by the evidence. It is precisely the appeal to the baser aspects of Southern culture that have led the GOP to ascendancy. It has been the Democratic fight for our Values that have led to the Party’s demise in the South. Aethern writes of a conversation with Don, who I understood to be African-American, and how African-Americans are feeling abandoned by the Dem Party. Aethern doesn’t connect that the abandoned feeling springs from the move to shore up the Dem standing with the larger cultural “South.” That in fact, this comment argues against her analysis. I believe that what we need to do is in fact turn away from conscious appeal to the South and appeal to our values, highlight the GOP’s extremisim and hatemongering, and build a coalition against the GOP formula that wins the South and “values” voters.

What do I know about it you may well ask. Am I a “son of the South?” No, I am a first generation Cuban-American, born in New Orleans, raised in a rural agricultural stretch of Florida on the southern shores of Lake Okeechobee, Pahokee, Florida a small town of 6000 souls, is where I grew up, went to public school and first experienced the South and the issues of race.

Pahokee had and has a population that is about half African-American, 30% White, 15% Hispanic, mostly Cuban.  Before 1960, Pahokee and the surrounding communities were the “Winter Vegetable Capital of the World” (I kid you not–the Bank of Pahokee, sadly now a SunTrust branch, had this slogan written on its checks).  Castro and the embargo changed that.  One of the world’s largest sugar mills was built in Pahokee in 1962.  My dad, who took my mom and brothers out of Cuba in late 1961, came there to work in a business Cuban refugees knew–the sugar business. This place became my home. I was less than a year old.

Pahokee had segregated schools, despite Brown v. Board of Ed. (“all deliberate speed” was pretty deliberate in Pahokee), until 1970. But the Democratic candidate in 1968–Hubert Humphrey–came to Pahokee in 1968, landed a helicopter on the high school football field, and brought Lorne Greene, for a campaign rally. It was exciting. I don’t remember if Humphrey spoke about civil rights or values or Vietnam. I was 6.

When I started my third grade year at Pahokee Elementary School in 1970, a significant change occurred. There were almost no black children in my second grade class. My third grade class was mostly black. Some of this was due to the inclusion of the black children in our now-integrated school. Some of this was due to the fact that most white parents pulled their kids out of the public school and put them in the new all white private school that opened in the neighboring town, which had also integrated its public schools.

In the fifth grade, I started intermediate school at the old black elementary school, East Lake, “across the tracks” (and yes, literally, the black section of town, referred to as N__r Town by white Pahokeeans, was on the other side of railroad tracks). My white neighborhood was a short walk to East Lake, so I walked to school–no bussing for me. In the sixth grade, one day I was taking my usual route to school and noticed that the streets were unusually empty. I arrived and found myself to be the only “white” (my consciousness had not yet absorbed that I wasn’t white) student in the school–there had been a race riot the night before–a white man had shot a well respected black man dead in a personal dispute. The police had released the white man, who claimed self defense. A riot had ensued. School was closed for the week. I walked back home and by then the streets had regained activity and I was chased out of the neighborhood with calls of “cracker” and thrown rocks bouncing around me. I was 11 years old.

Life goes on. Time passes and I made many friends of all races. I was athletically inclined and played sports throughout high school, generally the teams were nearly all black–the basketball team was all black except me. These were my best friends. Good kids, smart kids. After high school, some went to college on athletic scholarships and made good lives for themselves. Most ended up in jail or dead. My white friends went to work or college and made good lives for themselves. Was this a race issue? Yes, it was. A complicated issue, but race was at its heart.

What is the significance of my story? This could be a story about a Northern town as well. And I’m sure it is. But these conditions, these circumstances, these problems, they did not begin in 1960, 1954 or 1896; they began in the South–with slavery. That is why these problems, the problems of race, are a uniquely Southern story–a story that dominates the politics of the South to this day.

And this failure to accept this story as a national and regional disgrace, to fail to understand the indelible stain that this history places on the country, is central to understanding our 30 years of political failure in the South. The problem is not strictly a Southern one. But it is there where our political fortunes are most abject.

In an earlier diary I argued that Lincoln in 1860 is the guide for us. But, strictly speaking, this approach is not aimed at [all] of America, but rather is aimed at that part of America that is not radical, anti-science, anti-gay, or enamoured of the Radical Right Wing Agenda. Sure, this strategy would alienate a part of America. Coincidently, it will alienate a good part of the South. But, like Lincoln in 1860, I believe that Dems must present a stark choice for voters–in our case, the reactionary radicalism of the Right vs. the sensible enlightened policies of the Democrats.

Why will this strategy not work in the South? To put it plainly, the South has not worked through or accepted its past. For nearly 140 years, different forms of apologists have fought to alter history: the “Lost Cause” brigade is the archtype, that sought to innoble a war to protect the institution of slavery–a mythology still not fully beaten back; the creation of the Marble Man, Robert E. Lee, as a National Hero, a neat trick for a man who committed treason; the misleading historiography of Reconstruction; Birth of a Nation’s mythologyzing ode to the KKK; Gone With Wind; Daughters of the Confederacy; State’s Rights; Nascar Dads; the Silent Majority; Law and Order platforms; and yes “values”–are all, in different ways, attempts to deflect and deny the critical issue: race and our disgraceful history.

Are White Southerners, as a group, bad folks? Of course not. They are human. As many Southerners here rightly point out, racism is a national problem. I worked for the David Dinkins Reelection campaign in 1993. Both in ’93 and in ’89 a lot of Democrats didn’t vote for Dinkins. Was it conscious racism? Mostly no, but it was racism nonetheless. These Dems were quicker to think Dinkins stupid, lazy, incompetent. But, these are regions we do win in and will win in. We do not and cannot in the South. Not without relinquishing our values.

My brother lives in Atlanta and is married to a wonderful woman from Montgomery, Alabama. I’ve spent a lot of time with them in both Atlanta and Montgomery, where I met many wonderful, cultured, intelligent and educated people. I remember in particular the good people of Montgomery, Alabama, my sister in law’s family and their friends–a highlight was spending a good deal of time with Scottie Fitzgerald, a family friend. Surely these folks are not demons? They are not. But they do not face their history, our country’s history, and how this history’s stain is upon all we do. They accept the new myths–the “values” divide, the myth of the radical left. They see a discussion of race as an attack on Southern culture. These are good people–but they cannot be convinced, not now, not yet. The Peculiar Institution and its 140 years of reverberations still impede us. In short, we cannot win here with our values.

So we are left with these stark choices–abandon our values or build a winning strategy with those who can accept and embrace our values. I believe the only choice is to win with our values, to win without the South, as Lincoln did in 1860. And this does not mean a Civil War or even a civil war. We are not their choice, but neither are we so abhorrent. And that is progress.

Pony Party: Monday NFL Roundup (with poem!!)

Arizona 23 Baltimore 26
San Diego 24 Green Bay 31
Indiannopolis 30 Houston 24
Minnesota 10 Kansas City 13
Buffalo 7 New England 38
Miami 28 NY Jets 31
Detroit 21 Philadelphia 56
San Francisco 16 Pittsburgh 37
St Louis 3 Tampa Bay 24
Jacksonville 23 Denver 14
Cleveland 24 Oakland 26
Cincinnati 21 Seattle 24
Carolina 27 Atlanta 20
NY Giants 24 Washington 17
Dallas _34 Chicago _10

Tennessee @ New Orleans, 8:30 edt (ESPN)

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, 
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
  To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
  And still more, later flowers for the bees,
  Until they think warm days will never cease, 
    For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
  Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
  Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; 
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
  Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
  Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
  Steady thy laden head across a brook; 
  Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
  Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
  Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, 
  And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
  Among the river sallows, borne aloft
  Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; 
  Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
  The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
  And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

~John Keats

Please dont feed the ponies!!!

Without further ado, the floor is yours…
~73v, over and out

Bury My Heart In Mother Earth [Updated & Updated]

Now that Native Alaska Villages will probably have to relocate, because the ice is melting underneath them,I have no words at this point, only tears.

Emily Dickinson – I measure every grief…

There’s grief of want, and grief of cold,–

A sort they call ‘despair,’

There’s banishment from native eyes,

In sight of native air.

[Update #2]:

I want to respond to all the beautiful comments, I just can’t think right now. I came home from work sick and need to take care of myself. I’ll remember this moment though, etched in my memory forever…of where I was and what I was doing when just before the tipping point was by and large unavoidable and highly likely to be totally breached in the near future – and it already has been breached
“on parts of the world – in particular Africa, Asian river deltas, low-lying islands and the Arctic.” My god, am I reading that right?

I’m choosing love over fear

Mitakuye Oyasin

Crossposted at Progressive Historians

Al Gore:

‘I have become very impatient with my own tendency to put a finger to the political winds and proceed cautiously. The voice of caution whispers persuasively in the ear of every politician …. But … the integrity of the environment is not just another issue to be used in political games for popularity, votes, or attention. And the time has long since come to take more political risks — and endure much more political criticism — by proposing tougher, more effective solutions and fighting hard for their enactment.'”

I once thought this might be too extreme and there’s a picture of something very sacred to me that’s mine, and you’re not supposed to photograph such things in my beliefs. Well, what would my relatives the Inuit want me to do?

Global Warming: From “If” to “When” (Video)

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

Maya Angelou

The love for the land and the earth is what my personal philosophy is based upon. I see and feel earth as my mother, grandmother, and my very soul. I think she is dying and may purify herself, and when China’s rare river dolphin became extinct; I think she died a little more. 

Also, as the birds die, I think she will continue to die too.

To me water is her blood, which is drying up.

One third of the planet will be desert by the year 2100, say climate experts in the most dire warning yet of the effects of global warming

And I believe her heart is somewhere at her center.

It seems like a strange analogy, since this analogy places much of her blood on her skin, or would it be contained by the ozone (emphasis mine)?

How could a prediction of more rain lead to worries about less water?

As global climate change gets worse and worse, we’re going to see more of this precipitation fall as rain. That will run off right away. That means winter runoff is going to grow. We’re going to get more runoff in the winter periods, which is precisely the time we don’t want it. We don’t want a lot of winter runoff, because that’s when we get the worst flooding and the worst damages from floods. At the same time what that means is that less of the snowpack is going to be available to run off in the spring and the summer. And so runoff in the spring and the summer is going to decrease. We’re going to get less runoff at the time of the year when we need it the most. This is the worst of both possible worlds.

To me, that and this make us part of her –

The Gaia Theory

The theory asserts that living organisms and their inorganic surroundings have evolved together as a single living system that greatly affects the chemistry and conditions of Earth’s surface.

and everything else, too.

I let science explain “how;” I just wanted to share my beliefs about “why.”

This truth (emphasis mine):

Miller: A ‘new world’ to claim – the Arctic

Recent news reports state that global warming and the shrinking Arctic ice caps are opening sea lanes, making islands accessible and causing the international community to engage in a new race to acquire this ”new world.” Conflicts have already arisen over shipping, islands, fish, minerals and oil that are now becoming exploitable.

Governments are even now engaged in asserting sovereignty over these assets. Canada, Denmark and the United States are already involved in disputes over these issues.
For example, Canada and Denmark have sent diplomats and warships to plant flags on Hans Island near Greenland. In 1984, Denmark’s Minister for Greenland Affairs raised the Danish flag on the island, buried a bottle of brandy, and left a note that said ”Welcome to the Danish Island.” Canada was not amused by this assertion of Danish sovereignty.

makes me feel powerless, even with the letters and petitions I’ve signed. So, all I have left to offer –

Al Gore:

When people have an adequate amount of power–political, economic, and spiritual power–they naturally choose to live in a clean environment, a balanced environment with clean air and clean water, an abundance of life.

is a prayer that has meant a great deal to me, as well as one I wrote myself while contemplating the first prayer. If you would prefer to not read them, this diary is through.

While I admit these are my beliefs, those that don’t share them may find reading them in this context more reasonable:


CAMPBELL: That would be a mistake in the reading of the symbol. That is reading the words in terms of prose instead of in terms of poetry, reading the metaphor in terms of the denotation instead of the connotation.

MOYERS: And poetry gets to the unseen reality.

CAMPBELL: That which is beyond even the concept of reality, that which transcends all thought. The myth puts you there all the time, gives you a line to connect with that mystery which you are (Campbell, 1988:57).

I will give a summary before they are read, because what makes sense to me doesn’t necessarily make sense to others in these areas. More specifically this summary is: the archetypal symbols of the sun and rain still possibly containing hidden answers and solutions to climate disintegration, the fact we’re causing Global Warming, how we’re all in this together, characteristics of great leaders from many areas that I feel are needed to address the environmental crisis we are now in, the corollary of what nations do when they are in the midst of extreme social and economic difficulties to the land and to others, and hoping peace will triumph through it all. If you would prefer to not read them, this diary is through.

*(note: “presidents and vice-presidents” in the last section refers to past ones still living and politically active)

ED McGAA, Eagle Man’s prayer from “Earth Prayers from Around the World.” p.119.

“Ho. Wiyopeyata ouye, power of the setting sun.

We call on you. Have pity on us that the people may live.

Wakinyan, thunder beings of the black west, we call on you.

You are the source of both the power to live and of destruction,

Who ride the back of minne wichoni, the life-giving rains.

For long years, the way of the people has been

Weak and there has been fear.

Many have said that the red road would disappear and that the

Six powers of Wanka Tanka would turn their faces from us.

It is true that many of the old ways have been lost.

But just as the life-giving rains restore the earth after the drought,

So your power will restore the Way and give it new life.

We ask this not only for the red people but for all the

People that they might live.

In ignorance and carelessness they have walked upon

Ina Maka, our Mother.

They did not understand that they are part of all beings,

The four-legged, the winged, the grandfather rock,

The tree people, and our star brothers.

Now the earth and all our relations are crying out.

They cry for the help of all people.”

I wrote this last fall before this came out,

Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies.
The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents.

and things keep getting worse –

A “New World” to Claim – The Arctic By Robert J. Miller

Recent news reports state that global warming and the shrinking Arctic icecaps are opening new sea lanes and making barren islands suddenly very valuable.  In fact, the international community might experience a new race of exploration, conquest and acquisition for this “new world” – these newly available lands and sea routes.  Conflicts could arise over shipping lanes, islands, fish stocks, minerals and oil that are now becoming accessible and commercially exploitable.

which is largely why I feel the need to post it now.

“O Spirit of the One, called by many names…

The nations upon Ina Maka, our Mother are dying.

We are poisoning her blood, collapsing her veins, and

Mortally wounding Her with mass weapons of war.

The time is coming when has come and our Mother will be is harmed beyond the power to heal Her.

That Ina Maka and all the nations upon her might live…

I call on the ghosts of George Washington, Samuel Adams,

Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Gandhi, Jesus, Buddha, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., Correta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Wovoka, Odin, Yehovashah,Grandfather Fools Crow, His Horse is Crazy, Geronimo, and any benevolent spirit anyone so chooses –

Destroy the rising exterimination and genocide…

Massacred Ghost Dancers at Wounded Knee:

Replace it with respect, freedom, unity, and peace…

(Close Moxtaveto’s, or Black Kettle’s death. Maybe 1/4 mile)

Protect our Peaceful Warriors from all lies and all harm.

Protect our congressman, senators, military officials, high-ranking officers, authors, journalists, artists, policeman, fireman, teachers, scientists, professors, presidents, vice-presidents, and political candidates who stand with Wambli, the Eagle and the symbol of freedom for the United States of America.

May Wambli give wisdom and power to them.

May Tskele, the Night Eagle protect and

Shield them from all harm.

Show us the power of truth and unconditional love –

That earth be might saved and that the people might live.”

Mitakuye Oyasin

(All my relations)


‘Too late to avoid global warming,’ say scientists

‘Too late to avoid global warming,’ say scientists

A rise of two degrees centigrade in global temperatures – the point considered to be the threshold for catastrophic climate change which will expose millions to drought, hunger and flooding – is now “very unlikely” to be avoided, the world’s leading climate scientists said yesterday.

The latest study from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) put the inevitability of drastic global warming in the starkest terms yet, stating that major impacts on parts of the world – in particular Africa, Asian river deltas, low-lying islands and the Arctic – are unavoidable and the focus must be on adapting life to survive the most devastating changes.

Calling Al Gore: Catastrophic warming now unavoidable.

Fighting Faux

Since so many essayists and commenters are interested in the activities and consequences of people espousing ideology of false patriotism, dominionism, fundamentalism and other -isms, I thought I’d play with the principles a bit and explore what can be done to counteract the effects.

The framework of a preferred paradigm that I’m using is that of embracing the classic virtues. Don’t remember them?  You’re not alone.

But along with rediscovering our shared history, we might do worse than to rediscover and revisit the classic virtues.

A caveat for those of you who aren’t familiar with my posts:  I am very dyslexic, myopic, and arthritic.  I re-read my posts and most often continue to edit them for wrong words, poor grammar and unclear sentences after I post. I appreciate it when readers point our errors, and I do my best to make posts works-in-progress which reflect commenters’ participation and contributions.

There are many scholarly texts which outline characteristics of cults and attributes of members. This isn’t a post to regurgitate or criticize those foundational works.

Essentially, the things that most people look to cults to fill are factors of socialization:

Clear rules of membership
Delineation of US and OTHERS
Reward system for compliance
Punishment and threat of shunning/ostracism for noncompliance
Clear normative values

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News THE TOP STORY

And the only one-

1 US says Iran smuggling missiles to Iraq
By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press Writer
59 minutes ago

BAGHDAD – The U.S. military accused Iran on Sunday of smuggling surface-to-air missiles and other advanced weapons into Iraq for use against American troops. The new allegations came as Iraqi leaders condemned the latest U.S. detention of an Iranian in northern Iraq, saying the man was in their country on official business.

Military spokesman Rear Adm. Mark Fox said U.S. troops were continuing to find Iranian-supplied weaponry including the Misagh 1, a portable surface-to-air missile that uses an infrared guidance system.

Other advanced Iranian weaponry found in Iraq includes the RPG-29 rocket-propelled grenade, 240 mm rockets and armor-piercing roadside bombs known as explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, Fox said.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

2 United Auto Workers threaten strike
52 minutes ago

DETROIT – The United Auto Workers set a deadline of Monday morning to strike General Motors Corp. if a new contract isn’t reached, even as the two sides continued bargaining late Sunday night, according to a local union Web site.

A local UAW official said earlier Sunday that negotiators have wrapped up work on most issues and were determining how much money GM must put into a trust fund for retiree health care that will be managed by the UAW. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are private.

The health care fund – known as a Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association, or VEBA – would be a groundbreaking change for the auto industry and has been the major issue in this year’s negotiations. GM has around $51 billion in unfunded retiree health care costs but the company isn’t required to put the full amount into the VEBA. The UAW and GM have been wrangling over how much GM should put in and how much can be paid in cash or in stock.

3 China seizes on Mattel apology to emphasize safety
1 hour, 1 minute ago

BEIJING (Reuters) – China highlighted Mattel’s apology over its recall of huge numbers of toys on Monday to press Beijing’s claim that its exports are generally safe and foreign politicians and media have unfairly hyped quality scares.

Before those recalls, a spate of complaints involving unsafe Chinese products ranging from other toys and seafood to toothpaste that entered EU and U.S. markets prompted calls on both sides of the Atlantic for stricter scrutiny of made-in-China goods.

Thomas Debrowski, executive vice president of worldwide operations for toymaker Mattel Inc, apologized on Friday following recalls of about 21 million Chinese-made toys over five weeks. The recalls stoked U.S. complaints that lax Chinese quality controls threatened foreign consumers.

4 Myanmar monks’ protest gathers steam
34 minutes ago

YANGON (AFP) – Thousands of monks were expected to march in Myanmar’s main city Yangon on Monday, piling the pressure on its military junta after a weekend that saw the biggest show of dissent in nearly two decades.

Some 20,000 people, half of them monks, thronged the rainswept streets here Sunday chanting prayers and shouting slogans, while other rallies took place across the country.

About 150 nuns joined the rallies for the first time since clergy members began marching one week ago.

5 Blackwater denies smuggling weapons to Iraq
Sun Sep 23, 8:20 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US military contractor Blackwater USA rejected Saturday allegations that it had been shipping unlicensed automatic weapons and military equipment to Iraq.

Blackwater’s denial came as the security firm has been embroiled in controversy over a fatal shooting incident in Baghdad last Sunday that resulted in the deaths of 10 people.

“Allegations that Blackwater was in any way associated or complicit in unlawful arms activities are baseless,” Blackwater, which guards US embassy officials in Iraq, said in a statement.

6 Scientists: Brain injuries from war worse than thought
By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
Updated 2h 13m ago

Scientists trying to understand traumatic brain injury from bomb blasts are finding the wound more insidious than they once thought.

They find that even when there are no outward signs of injury from the blast, cells deep within the brain can be altered, their metabolism changed, causing them to die, says Geoff Ling, an advance-research scientist with the Pentagon.

The new findings are the result of blast experiments in recent years on animals, followed by microscopic examination of brain tissue. The findings could mean that the number of brain-injured soldiers and Marines – many of whom appear unhurt after exposure to a blast – may be far greater than reported, says Ibolja Cernak, a scientist with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

7 Brzezinski: U.S. in danger of ‘stampeding’ to war with Iran
updated 3 hours, 25 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski likened U.S. officials’ saber rattling about Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions to similar bellicose statements made before the start of the Iraq war.

“I think the administration, the president and the vice president particularly, are trying to hype the atmosphere, and that is reminiscent of what preceded the war in Iraq,” Brzezinski told CNN’s “Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer” on Sunday.

In October 2002, five months before Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was toppled for what the United States said was his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, President Bush said, “Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”

From Yahoo News Most Popular, Most Recommended

8 Bush to ask 195 billion to fund Iraq, Afgan wars: report
Sun Sep 23, 10:15 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The White House will ask Congress next week to approve another massive spending measure for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan totaling nearly 200 billion dollars, The Los Angeles Times reported on its website late Saturday.

Citing unnamed Pentagon officials, the newspaper said if President George W. Bush’s spending request is approved, 2008 will be the most expensive year of the Iraq war.

US war costs have continued to grow because of the additional combat forces sent to Iraq this year and because of efforts to quickly ramp up production of new equipment, such as mine-resistant trucks, the report said.

9 Beaked whales focus of Navy sonar study
By AUDREY McAVOY, Associated Press Writer
Sun Sep 23, 9:19 PM ET

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Robin Baird’s research team members stare at the horizon for hours, searching for rarely seen beaked whales.

The small, gray marine mammals have been at the center of the dispute over the Navy’s use of high intensity sonar ever since several washed ashore with bleeding around their brains and ears during naval exercises in the Bahamas seven years ago.

“They appear to be the most susceptible group of cetaceans to impacts from Navy sonars,” said Baird, a marine biologist based in Olympia, Wash., whose team recently spent three weeks off Hawaii’s Big Island studying whales.

From Yahoo News Most Popular, Most Viewed

10 Why Stuff Stinks: Secret Sniffed Out
Dave Mosher, LiveScience Staff Writer, LiveScience.com
Sun Sep 23, 10:10 AM ET

Our noses can quickly distinguish a pleasant smell and a stench, but until now the chemical cues that help us make such decisions had not been understood.

Researchers have found that heavier, more spread-out molecules tend to smell worse than lighter, more compact molecules, although exceptions to the rule exist. The finding can be used to predict how good or bad a molecule smells before anyone takes a whiff of it.

Rehan Khan, a neuroscientist at the University of California in Berkeley, thinks evolution selected for pleasantness of smell as a gut reaction to guide us through our environments.

11 Afghan president reaches out to Taliban

By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 32 minutes ago

UNITED NATIONS – Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Sunday his government is working very hard on peace talks with the Taliban that would draw the insurgents and their supporters “back to the fold.”

Karzai said the government and an independent national commission have been trying to bring back those Taliban supporters who are not part of al-Qaida and were “forced or found in a position to leave Afghanistan or to pick up guns.”

“It is extremely important that this process will go on,” he told reporters after a high-level meeting of 24 of the country’s supporters and neighbors, which he co-chaired with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

From Yahoo News World

12 Iraqi PM fears for nation’s sovereignty
By JOHN DANISZEWSKI and TAREK EL-TABLAWY, Associated Press Writers
2 hours, 12 minutes ago

NEW YORK – Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki walked a fine line Sunday: confronting his American backers over what he sees as violations of Iraq’s sovereignty while stressing that his relations are rock solid with the country on whose support he still relies.

“Success is shared,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press, referring to his deeply intertwined partnership with President Bush and the U.S. government. “God forbid, failure is also shared.”

In a half-hour talk conducted in his Manhattan hotel suite, the 57-year-old politician from Iraq’s Shiite heartland said it is unacceptable that U.S. security contractors would kill Iraqi civilians, a reference to a Sept. 16 shooting incident involving company Blackwater USA that left at least 11 Iraqis dead.

13 Ruling party picks Fukuda to lead Japan
By Linda Sieg, Reuters
Sun Sep 23, 7:03 AM ET

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s ruling party on Sunday picked Yasuo Fukuda, an advocate of warmer ties with Asian neighbors, to be the next prime minister, but the 71-year-old lawmaker faces a likely policy deadlock in a divided parliament.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rallied behind Fukuda, who is seen as a competent moderate, hoping he can bring stability and stave off calls for an early election after a year of scandal and missteps that ended in the sudden resignation of Shinzo Abe.

The bespectacled Fukuda, almost overcome with emotion, bowed to applause from LDP lawmakers and officials when the result of the vote was announced at the party’s Tokyo headquarters.

14 Anti-Musharraf protesters clash with Pakistan police
55 minutes ago

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Scores of Pakistani Islamists scuffled with riot police and pelted them with stones on Monday in a new protest against President Pervez Musharraf’s plan to win another term in office.

The clashes erupted as police stopped activists from Pakistan’s main coalition of religious parties, the Muttahida-Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), or United Action Front, from getting to the Supreme Court in Islamabad.

Around two dozen protesters were arrested and dragged into police vans by riot police wearing helmets and carrying shields and batons, an AFP reporter said.

From Yahoo News U.S. News

15 Cheney mulled luring Iran into war with Israel: report
2 hours, 41 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Vice President Richard Cheney has considered provoking an exchange of military strikes between Iran and Israel in order to give the United States a pretext to attack Iran, Newsweek magazine reported in its Monday issue.

But the weekly said the steady departure of neoconservatives from the administration over the past two years had helped tilt the balance away from war.

One official who pushed a particularly hawkish line on Iran was David Wurmser, who had served since 2003 as Cheney’s Middle East adviser, the report said.

16 Confidence in dollar sags in wake of Fed rate cut
by Rob Lever, AFP
Sun Sep 23, 8:17 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The dollar’s weakness and the euro’s rise to record highs have raised questions about confidence in the US currency following a surprising Federal Reserve half-point rate cut, analysts say.

Some are concerned that the dollar’s woes may prompt central banks to cash in their greenbacks, provoking a further downward spiral for the world’s largest reserve currency.

The Fed’s surprisingly large half-point cut in the federal funds rate to 4.75 percent Tuesday prompted some expected selling of the dollar. But it also caused unexpected weakness on the bond market by heightening fears about inflation. Gold meanwhile surged in another sign of concern about the US currency.

17 Tales from a Minnesota Toilet
Sun Sep 23, 6:35 AM ET

It’s only been three weeks since a bathroom sting operation made U.S. Sen. Larry Craig a household name, but already Royal Zeno is sick of talking about it. “I don’t know nothing about what goes on in no bathrooms,” he says whenever asked about the infamous stall where the Republican senator from Idaho was arrested. Unfortunately for Zeno, it doesn’t look like the talk will stop anytime soon, as the shoeshine shop he’s run for the last 45 years adjoins the newest tourist attraction Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has to offer.

Since the Craig scandal first made headlines Aug. 27, the airport has been fielding requests for directions to the men’s room in question. “I get the question daily,” says Barb, a newsstand employee who declined to give her last name per her manager’s request. “Normally they just want to know where it is,” she says, “but one guy asked me to take a picture for him. It really has become quite the spectacle.” Although men and women both show interest in the bathroom, Barb says, it’s mostly the men who work up the nerve to ask for directions. “By the food court, next to the lottery stand,” she tells them without batting an eyelash.

From Yahoo News Politics

18 Turkmen leader seeks to warm US relations
by Anton Lomov, AFP
11 minutes ago

ASHGABAT (AFP) – The head of the energy-rich Central Asian state of Turkmenistan is to meet US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this week as hopes mount for a fresh start in relations.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov flew to the United States on Sunday and was to meet Rice during the week, as well as address the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, officials said.

The mainly desert ex-Soviet state is regarded as a crucial piece in a wider power struggle as it holds roughly the 10th largest gas reserves in the world and borders both Afghanistan and US foe Iran.

19 Fla. Dems reaffirm early primary date
By RASHA MADKOUR, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 1 minute ago

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – The Florida Democratic Party is sticking to its primary date – and printed bumper stickers to prove it.

State party leaders formally announced on Sunday their plans to move ahead with a Jan. 29 primary, despite the national leadership’s threatened sanctions.

The Democratic National Committee has said it will strip the Sunshine State of its 210 nominating convention delegates if it doesn’t abide by the party-set calendar, which forbids most states from holding primary contests before Feb. 5. The exceptions are Iowa on Jan. 14, Nevada on Jan. 19, New Hampshire on Jan. 22 and South Carolina on Jan. 29.

From Yahoo News Business

20 Investors eye elevated inflation signs
By MADLEN READ, AP Business Writer
Sun Sep 23, 5:42 PM ET

NEW YORK – Last Tuesday, Wall Street got exactly what it was angling for: a half-point reduction in interest rates. Now it wants to make sure rates will stay low.

This week, investors will be looking for signs that inflation is under control. If prices accelerate, the Federal Reserve may bump rates back up. The market is also hoping that readings on durable goods demand, the housing market and consumer spending power will show that the economy isn’t heading for recession.

The risk of inflation is why the Fed didn’t cut rates for four years. Last week, it finally lowered the target fed funds rate by half a percentage point “to forestall some of the adverse effects on the broader economy” of recent housing, credit and stock market turmoil, and “to promote moderate growth over time.” The Fed added, “it will continue to monitor inflation developments carefully,” however.

21 Housing, confidence data in focus
By Simon Falush, Reuters
1 hour, 17 minutes ago

LONDON (Reuters) – After a hefty cut in interest rates and the dollar’s plunge to new record lows against a surging euro, investors will closely watch data for clues on how seriously problems in credit markets are affecting the real economy.

An ailing property market and weaker consumer confidence may herald signs that the credit crunch stemming from problems in the subprime mortgage market may be dragging the economy down making more interest rate cuts a near-certainty.

Consumer confidence data on Tuesday is forecast to show a slight fall in August from the previous month while existing home sales are also forecast to be down slightly.

From Yahoo News Science

22 Scientists hopeful despite climate signs
Sun Sep 23, 7:31 PM ET

WASHINGTON – Climate scientist Michael Mann runs down the list of bad global warming news: The world is spewing greenhouse gases at a faster rate. Summer Arctic sea ice is at record lows. The ice sheets in Greenland and West Antarctica are melting quicker than expected.

Is he the doomsayer global warming skeptics have called him?

Mann laughs. This Penn State University professor – and many other climate scientists – are sunny optimists. Hope blooms in the hottest of greenhouses.

Climate scientists say mankind is on the path for soaring temperatures that will melt polar ice sheets, raise seas to dangerous levels, and trigger mass extinctions. But they say the most catastrophic of consequences can and will be avoided.

They have hope. So should you, Mann said.

23 Deal will speed cuts in greenhouse gas
By CHARMAINE NORONHA, Associated Press Writer
Sat Sep 22, 9:10 PM ET

TORONTO – Governments of almost 200 countries have agreed to speed the elimination of a major greenhouse gas that depletes ozone, U.N. and Canadian officials said Saturday, describing a deal they said was a significant step toward fighting global warming.

The agreement reached Friday night will accelerate a treaty to freeze and phase out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) which are used in home appliances, some refrigerators, hair sprays and air conditioners, said Nick Nuttall, spokesman for the United Nations Environment Program.

“With this plan of an accelerated freeze and accelerated phase-out, we could have potentially significant benefits arising in terms of combating climate change and ozone loss,” Nuttall said. “It’s a remarkable change in how we view the issue of climate change.”

24 Federal report shows sea turtle declines
By BEN EVANS, Associated Press Writer
Sat Sep 22, 1:22 PM ET

WASHINGTON – After encouraging gains in the 1990s, populations of loggerhead sea turtles are now dropping, primarily because of commercial fishing, according to a federal review.

The report stops short of recommending upgrading the federally threatened species to “endangered” status. But scientists and environmentalists say it should serve as a wake-up call about the future of loggerheads, which can grow to more than 300 pounds and are believed to be one of the oldest species.

“We are very concerned,” said Mark Dodd, a wildlife biologist for the state of Georgia. In 2006, the state counted the third lowest loggerhead nesting total since daily monitoring began in 1989.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
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…

State of the Onion X

(We return to our regularly scheduled series after a brief hiatus Friday to honor the Moratorium, so for people playing at home, the previous piece of this series was last Thursday.)

Art Link

Uncommon Wisdom

“Gender is ENTIRELY a social construct”
How easily is my existence denied
my experience dismissed
squashed like a bug
my motivations questioned
in front of everybody

How different are
testosterone and estrogen?
I know

–Robyn Elaine Serven
–March 7, 2006

I know you have talent.  What sometimes is forgotten is that being practical is a talent.  I have a paucity for that sort of talent in many situations, though it turns out that I’m a pretty darn good cook.  🙂 

Let your talent bloom.  You can share it here.  Encourage others to let it bloom inside them as well.

Won’t you share your words or art, your sounds or visions, your thoughts scientific or philosophic, the comedy or tragedy of your days, the stories of doing and making?  And be excellent to one another!

Suggested Improvements for America…

Suggested Improvements for America in No Specific Order

When it comes right down to it all we have are our thoughts:

1. American television needs to modernize and by that I mean it needs to get away from entertainment and into filling needs.  Ex: An Employment Channel – it would list jobs available in different cities, explore union issues, explain apprenticeship programs and promote job fairs.  Ex 2. The Real Estate Channel – it would list real estate real time and give quick tours of the select properties, explain the ins and outs of home ownership in various regions, explore public and private home ownership programs, etc.

1a. Mandatory Free Air Time for Candidates – the time could be used in ads, campaign infomercials, one on one discussions with other candidates, interviews etc. Each candidate is given the same amount of airtime on any stations they choose.

2. Late Night Delivery Vans for College Towns – they would sell beer, condoms, tampons, smokes and snacks.

3. State Worker Dorms – save the environment and a few lives each day in your  State Capitol.  State Workers must live in the dorms 5 days a week.  :P~

4. Republican Detainment Centers – in order to save us all from non-stop verbal abuse and pathological incompetence on a grand scale each town will convert a defunct Magnet School Campus into a republican detainment center.

5. Resort Reclamation – Resorts of all sorts do not add to the bottom line of local economies, in fact they often are a drain on local economies, push taxes higher, ruin the local ecology and increase traffic 24 hours a day 7 days a week for the area surrounding the resort.  Every year for the next 10 years every resort in America must turn over 15% of it’s properties for lower income families to live in. 

6. Disposable Socks – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, who wants to wash socks?  Time for biodegradable disposable socks America!

7. Solar Jiffy Pop – Just leave it in the sun for 3 minutes and ya got fresh popcorn minus the toxic butter flavoring.

8. America’s Walk of Shame – a sidewalk paved with the mugshots of Enron Officials, Crooked Attorney Generals, Impeached Presidents etc.  That way ya could at least stomp on ’em.

9. Drive Thru Liposuction Windows at Every McDonald’s. No explanation required.

10. Abolishment of College Fraternities – all they do is teach you how to cheat and manipulate.

11. National Picnic Day – Everyone goes to the park for a barbecue.

12. TieDye the Moon – this would effect people other than Americans but all we’d need is a giant paintball gun.

13. Gag The Hollywood “Liberals” – gags should be handed out to the following:
Jane Fonda, Alec Baldwin, George Clooney, Susan Sarandon, Martin Sheen

14. Hippy Retirement Homes – just like Chong proposed.

15. Breezeways Between City Buildings – to reduce pedestrian traffic on the street level

16. Make Dianetics Illegal – ’nuff said

17. Eliminate School Boards – instead allow department heads to act as a school board.  They know the students, the teachers and what is needed.

18. Business Incubator Zones – free rent for new businesses for 2 years, shipping areas, show rooms, conference areas, etc. Some cities have them but each town should look into doing this.

19. Local Produce Only – if a supermarket wants to do business in your town, demand that they buy only local, organic produce.  Supplementing off-season produce with other sources is fine.

20. Importer Price Controls – if a product is imported for x dollars the importer is only allowed to charge up to 2x dollars here in the states.

Ok, I’m tired, going to bed.  Add your own to the list and I’ll check them when I get up. Sex and hugs and rock-n-roll.

My 9/11 Theory Vol.2: 9/11 Changed Everything

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

After all before 9/11 you had to count like this

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 12 etc.

That sucked.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If you are thinking that this sequence of numbers is somehow significant…..then it is.

Load more