Tag: That Group

TBC: Morning Musing 10.8.14

Today I have 2 articles for your perusal.

First up is an interview with Noam Chomsky. It covers a variety of issues and is long but well worth the read:

Chomsky: U.S. Spawned a Fundamentalist Frankenstein in the Mideast

For decades now, Noam Chomsky has been widely regarded as the most important intellectual alive (linguist, philosopher, social and political critic) and the leading US dissident since the Vietnam War. Chomsky has published over 100 books and thousands of articles and essays, and is the recipient of dozens of honorary doctorate degrees by some of the world’s greatest academic institutions. His latest book, Masters of Mankind: Essays and Lectures, 1969-2013, has just been published by Haymarket Books. On the occasion of the release of his last book, Chomsky gave an exclusive and wide-ranging interview to C.J. Polychroniou for Truthout, parts of which will also appear in The Sunday Eleftherotypia, a major national Greek newspaper.

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TBC: Morning Musing 10.6.14

For this Monday, I give you a few articles that I read over the weekend.

First, an excellent Op-Ed call out of the Catholic Church and their rampant hypocrisy:

The Church’s Gay Obsession

Their moralizing is selective, bigoted and very sad. It’s also self-defeating, because it’s souring many American Catholics, a majority of whom approve of same-sex marriage, and because the workers who’ve been exiled were often exemplars of charity, mercy and other virtues as central to Catholicism as any guidelines for sex. But their hearts didn’t matter. It was all about their loins. Will the church ever get away from that?

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The Breakfast Club (Family)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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ek is visiting family. He’ll be back next week with TechSci Thursday

This Day in History

Mohandes Gandhi born; President Woodrow Wilson suffers stroke; Thurgood Marshall sworn in as US Supreme Court justice; Rock Hudson dies; Peanuts comic strip debut.

Breakfast Tunes

TBC: Morning Musing 10.1.14

I read this last weekend and it was an interesting article, but it was also a piece of beautiful writing. Enjoy!

Intelligent People All Have One Thing In Common: They Stay Up Later Than You

There’s an electricity in the moon. A pulse, a magic, an energy. A bewitching entrancement unlike that of the sun.

The moon is for things unseen, things done in the shadows and beneath the fog. Under bridges and beneath bed sheets – it’s for wild hearts and unconcerned minds. It’s where plans are made in dark alleyways and secrets revealed under the soft haze of light coming through the cracks of closed shutters.

It’s when fugitives escape and kids run away. It’s when girls lose their virginities on torn leather seats and boys get into trouble. It’s when the suffering take their lives and the lonely seek comfort.

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The Breakfast Club (Freedom)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Breakfast Tunes

TBC: Morning Musing 9.29.14

So, I posted this short rant on my Facebook wall yesterday and I thought it might be a decent discussion piece:

only humans could be arrogant enough to think that we could destroy or damage large parts of earth’s ecosystems and natural defenses and not manage to change the earth detrimentally. we have paved over, removed, and added things to the land, air, and water, which, even when naturally occurring, do not occur at the rates and levels we have contributed to them.

the earth may have had natural rhythms and periods of warming and cooling, but that’s when left alone with what earth had on its own. what we’ve done to it over the past couple centuries in the name of making our lives easier and some of us richer, cannot – absolutely cannot – have not had any effect. i don’t need any friggin graphs, charts, or studies to tell me that. i just need to not be stupid to know it.

only humans could be arrogant and stupid enough to believe that all we’ve done to it would not make a detrimental difference in the earth’s well being. arrogant and stupid, that about sums us up.

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The Breakfast Club (Deja Vu All Over Again)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

JFK and Nixon participate in TV’s first presidential debate; Cuba ends Mariel boatlift; Composer George Gershwin, poet T.S. Eliot and tennis star Serena Williams born; ‘West Side Story’ hits Broadway

Breakfast Tunes

TBC: Morning Musing 9.24.14

Ok, I’m sick right now, so I’m going pretty light on this one. I can’t believe I missed it when it was written some 13 odd years ago, but it’s well worth the read as it’s still pertinent. Yeah yeah, I know it’s the Onion, but it’s right on the mark!

God Angrily Clarifies ‘Don’t Kill’ Rule

NEW YORK-Responding to recent events on Earth, God, the omniscient creator-deity worshipped by billions of followers of various faiths for more than 6,000 years, angrily clarified His longtime stance against humans killing each other Monday.

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The Breakfast Club (Autumn in the North)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Richard Nixon gives his ‘Checkers’ speech; Rome’s Augustus Caesar born; Lewis and Clark finish trek to America’s West; Psychologist Sigmund Freud dies; Musicians Ray Charles and Bruce Springsteen born.

Autumn arrived in the Northern Hemisphere last night at 10:29 PM EDT.

During both the vernal and autumnal equinox, day and night are balanced to nearly 12 hours each all over the world.

Instead of a tilt away from or toward the sun, the Earth’s axis of rotation is perpendicular to the line connecting the centers of the Earth and the sun during an equinox.

Daylight in the Northern Hemisphere continues to gradually diminish until the winter solstice, which occurs on Dec. 21, 2014. The opposite occurs in the Southern Hemisphere, where daylight continues to grow longer.

How King Arthur Pendragon will be Celebrating at Stonehenge

Druid leader King Arthur Uther Pendragon is preparing to celebrate one of his favorite events of the year at Stonehenge – the autumn equinox.

Arthur, the leader of the druids and self-declared reincarnation of King Arthur, explained the rituals and meaning behind the equinoxes – the lesser known dates in the druid calendar after the summer and winter solstices. [..]

“We’ll be leading the festivities and ceremonies at Stonehenge. English Heritage will allow us in just before dawn and we’ll get into the centre circle, then myself and one of the arch druids will be leading the ceremony in the centre circle.

“After the centre circle I’ll be doing my own ceremony over by the heel stone where we’ll have drummers and pipers and poetry, dance, and so on. One of the things about the Druid tradition is it’s a celebration. What we tend to do at Stonehenge is to celebrate whatever we’ve set up for, which is the turning of the wheel.”

Druids celebrating the equinox have a similar prayer for all major events. They will call to the four quarters to ask for peace: “We’ll say ‘is there peace in the east?’ and the response would be ‘there is peace in the east’. Then we’ll go around to the south, west and north, then we’ll turn inwards and say is there peace or let there be peace throughout the whole world.”

The group will then have a celebration, with poetry, dance and music. In ancient times, the equinox would signify the start of winter. People would begin stocking up on food.

Fall Begins Monday: Equinox Myth Debunked

Referring to the equinox as being a time of equal day and night is a convenient oversimplification. For one thing, it treats night as simply the time the sun is beneath the horizon, and completely ignores twilight. If the sun were nothing more than a point of light in the sky, and if the Earth lacked an atmosphere, then at the time of an equinox, the sun would indeed spend one half of its path above the horizon and one half below.

But in reality, atmospheric refraction raises the sun’s disc by more than its own apparent diameter while it is rising or setting. Thus, when the sun looks like a reddish-orange ball just sitting on the horizon, it’s really an optical illusion. It is actually completely below the horizon.

In addition to refraction hastening sunrise and delaying sunset, there is another factor that makes daylight longer than night at an equinox: Sunrise and sunset are defined as the times when the first or last speck of the sun’s upper or lower limbs – not the center of the disc – are visible above the horizon. [..]

Certain astronomical myths die hard. One of these is that the entire Arctic region experiences six months of daylight and six months of darkness. Often, “night” is simply defined by the moment when the sun is beneath the horizon, as if twilight didn’t exist. This fallacy is repeated in innumerable geography textbooks, as well as travel articles and guides.

But twilight illuminates the sky to some extent whenever the sun’s upper rim is less than 18 degrees below the horizon. This marks the limit of astronomical twilight, when the sky is indeed totally dark from horizon to horizon.

The gifts of the autumnal equinox

Most of us have very mixed feelings about the autumnal equinox. We all understand the way it can (quite literally) darken one’s spirits. That’s especially true in a place like Vermont, where summers are breathtakingly beautiful and dispiritingly short. Everywhere, however, the autumnal equinox reminds us that another summer has past, the natural world is growing quiescent (or dying), and we are older. There is less sunlight. Less warmth. No blueberries.

Soon that ultimate bacchanal of death will be here, Halloween.

And what follows Halloween? The gray morass we call November. That’s usually the month when I finally get around to raking the trillions of leaves that have swooned (starving) to their death in my yard. Some are still phantasmagorically beautiful. All are annoying when they stick to the tines of my rake.

For the next three months, the days will continue to shrink and the nights will grow very, very long. There will be days in the not too distant future when it will feel here in Lincoln that the sun is falling behind the ridgeline to the west a little after lunch.

Have I depressed you enough?

But here’s the strange and wonderful reality that marks this time of the year: It actually feeds the soul’s need to cocoon. To nest. To hunker down after the zeal and sheer busyness of summer. I love those first fires I build in the woodstove – the aroma, the warmth, the luminescent little blaze through the palladium glass windows. I love collapsing on the floor in the den in the waning light of a Sunday afternoon and reading – often with a cat on my back. (Occasionally, as a matter of fact, with a 17-pound cat on my back.) I love the permission that short days and long nights give me to watch DVDs of two-decade old episodes of “Seinfeld.” [..]

The truth is, I really don’t mind the autumn. For the first time in months, we can savor the sluggishness that all of us, once in a while, crave. After all, in a mere 90 days – 13 weeks – the days once more will begin growing longer.

Breakfast Tunes

Polly Bergen 1930 – 2014

TBC: Morning Musing 9.22.14

So, in honor of the worldwide marches yesterday, I give you a few of my weekend reading on Climate Change.

First, a WaPo editorial urging action:

A climate for change: America should not wait while the world warms

FOR MORE than a century, scientists have understood the basic physics of the greenhouse effect. For decades, they’ve realized humans can affect the climate by burning coal, oil and gas. But the country’s leaders remain divided on the need to curb greenhouse emissions, let alone how to do it.

Among mainstream scientists, this paralysis is mind-boggling.

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The Breakfast Club (What Doesn’t Kill You)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

A pivotal battle in the American Revolution; President James Garfield dies; Bruno Hauptmann arrested in the Lindbergh baby case; Unabomber’s manifesto published; ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ premieres.

Scotland Rejects Independence From Britain in a Close Vote

Voters in Scotland rejected independence from Britain in a referendum that had threatened to break up the 307-year union between them, according to projections by the BBC and Sky News early Friday.

Before dawn after a night of counting that showed a steady trend in favor of maintaining the union, Nicola Sturgeon, the deputy head of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, effectively conceded defeat for the “yes” campaign that had pressed for secession. [..]

With 26 of 32 voting districts reporting, there were 1,397,077 votes, or 54.2 percent, against independence, and 1,176,952, or 45.7 percent, in favor.

Breakfast Tunes

TBC: Morning Musing 9.17.14

I have one really good article on an idea that Utah put into effect a few years ago that is working. Now if we can only get more places to jump on this bandwagon…

Home Free?

In 2005, Utah set out to fix a problem that’s often thought of as unfixable: chronic homelessness. The state had almost two thousand chronically homeless people. Most of them had mental-health or substance-abuse issues, or both. At the time, the standard approach was to try to make homeless people “housing ready”: first, you got people into shelters or halfway houses and put them into treatment; only when they made progress could they get a chance at permanent housing. Utah, though, embraced a different strategy, called Housing First: it started by just giving the homeless homes.

(snip)

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