Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday cat blogging!

Shocking Tea Party racism and other nastiness:

I just thought this was funny:

Maybe it has to do with the way all these tea-baggers carry on. I kind of want to ask this question of many of them! :-)

Today's headline

Yeah, this one REALLY caught my attention:

Why the Politicians with the Most Dangerous, Wrong Ideas Are Probably Going to Win the Congress

It's depressing. It really is. The situation, I mean. The article is illuminating so do click through and read it. It's not very long.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Update on the gulf

It's from an email Sojourners sent out today:

We're seeing the ripple effects of the oil spill and the cessation of fishing activities right through the economy. I think we’re still on the ascending end of this. I wish I could report things are abating. On so many levels, it’s actually more of a struggle now.

- Iray Nabatoff, director of the Community Center of St. Bernard, a Second Harvest partner, said requests for food, clothing, assistance information, and computer laboratory sessions continue to rise. (Source: RNS/The Times-Picayune)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

That church-state issue

Here's something I just found:

Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?

Sandra Day O'Connor

I don't know when she said it. It does rather prompt me to ask her why, then, did she vote to hand the presidency to George W. Bush.

Definitely the quote of the day

This one:

This is a real important election. It's more important than the one that got Barack and me elected, it literally is.

-- Joe Biden, Vice President, speaking at a fundraiser in New York City, on the Nov. 2 midterm elections

Don't stay home from the polls, folks. Even if you're discouraged and disappointed. Please remember that it will be so much worse if the Republicans get a majority in one or both houses of Congress.

(The quotation is from Time Magazine.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Could be...



Can't this country get a break?

-- Imogen Wall, U.N. spokeswoman, at a clinic in L'Estère, Haiti, as a cholera outbreak hits the country; the disease has killed 259 people, and more than 3,000 have been infected

(From Time Magazine Quotes of the Day)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday art blogging

Artist: Odilon Redon
Image from Wikimedia Commons

A headline that caught my eye

Here it is:

For Your Doorknocking: Eight False Things The Public “Knows”

Just some fact clarifications that are worth reading about as the election nears.

Here's a sample:

7) [False belief:] Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is "going broke," people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.

Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.

There are more.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I guess I can still be shocked:

I've always known, of course, that Fox News has a strong right-wing take on things and that it shills for the Republican Party. I had no idea, however, that they would stoop to such blatant and quite sickening bigotry. And I guess I didn't realize that our society has lost even the veneer that the public expression of such blatant bigotry is unacceptable.

Here's a headline for you

It's a brief open letter by Michael Moore:

If Only NPR Had Fired Juan Williams for the Right Reasons

In case you're not familiar with the story, Williams (who's a conservative African-American) said he gets nervous when he sees Muslims at the airport. Here's a point Michael Moore made about that:

Here's something else that I'd sincerely love to talk about with you: what do you think when you see rich middle-aged white men talking on TV about how they get nervous around African Americans on the street? And then they explain that we can't let political correctness stop us from talking about black-on-white crime?

Let's do give this some thought.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday cat blogging!


Here's your humdinger of a headline today:

GOP Candidate Hartzler Wants "Government To Leave Us Alone" Yet Has Taken $774,325 in Federal Subsidies

Here's something Vicky Hartzler said in an interviews:

My husband and I are small business owners. We sell farm equipment, we have three stores. I was a teacher for several years, was a state rep for six years, a wife and a mom. We just want the government to leave us alone here in Missouri’s 4th.

And now read this:

The problem with Hartzler’s self-righteous invocation for the government to “leave us alone,” is that it has done anything but that with her farm business. According to data collected by the Environmental Working Group, Hartzler and her husband’s farm outside Harrisonville, Missouri, has “received $774,325 in federal subsidies from 1995 to 2009."

That strikes me as a lot of money. And, maybe it's appropriate; I don't know. It's just that accepting it is not at all consistent with wanting to be left alone by governement.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Me too:

In case you need some background on this, please go here.

Amusing, actually:

Quote of the day

Here's where I say, "No shit":

We're a bunch of wusses.

-- Ed Rendell, Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, saying members of his party should call more attention to their achievements and ideals, rather than "running from" them

(This one is from Time Magazine.)

Here's a headline for you

Are we surprised, people?

The NAACP Exposes Ties Between Tea Party and Racist Extremist Groups

Here's part of what it says:

The Tea Party movement has links to white supremacists, anti-immigration groups, "birthers" and other "extremists," according to a report released by the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The 94 page report, entitled
Tea Party Nationalism (.pdf), investigates six national organizations "at the core" of the Tea Party: FreedomWorks Tea Party, 1776 Tea Party, Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Patriots, ResistNet, and the Tea Party Express.
The Tea Party movement has not just provided a platform for racists and others to express their views, the report also found that white supremacist groups have been using Tea Party events to recruit new members.
"We know the majority of Tea Party supporters are sincere, principled people of good will," said President of the NAACP, Benjamin Todd Jealous. "I hope the leadership and members of the Tea Party movement will read this report and take additional steps to distance themselves from those Tea Party leaders who espouse racist ideas, advocate violence, or are formally affiliated with white supremacist organizations."

"The danger is not that the majority of Tea Party members share their views," Jealous added, "but that left unchecked, these extremists might indirectly influence the direction of the Tea Party and therefore the direction of our country: moving it backward and not forward."

It's all a bit sickening, as far as I'm concerned.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quote of the day

Another one from Time Magazine:

These most recent deaths are a reminder that all Americans have to work harder to overcome bigotry and hatred.

-- Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, via a video on YouTube titled "It Gets Better," which is designed to give support to gay teenagers who suffer from bullying

It's going to take more than supportive videos; it's going to take serious action by those in authority. It's going to take zero tolerance for bullying in all institutions in which it takes place.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This is excellent:

Quote of the day

This is from Time Magazine:

I had a kind of inner voice that told me, 'Keep searching, keep searching, don't give up.'

-- Sebastian Pinera, Chilean President, speaking to British Prime Minister David Cameron and Queen Elizabeth II, on his determination to rescue the 33 miners

I consider this to be both admirable and inspiring.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just gotta pass this on; sorry:


This is very moving and very, very courageous:

He has persevered in pursuing the goals of democracy and constitutional government and has set aside anger even toward those who persecute him.

-- A statement from 100-plus Chinese dissidents regarding Nobel Peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo, as China's Communist Party elite began its annual meeting

(From the Time Magazine Quotes of the Day)


God, this is sad:

People really don’t care if politicians attack each other with untrue stories. They figure if you don’t want to get hurt, you shouldn’t have filed for office. They figure whatever happens to us, our lives will be better than theirs.

- Bill Clinton

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday art blogging

Artist: Paul Cézanne

The headline to beat them all

This, of course, is very true:

We are Facing the Greatest Threat to Humanity: Only Fundamental Change Can Save Us

This shouldn't be shocking, really. You know it. I know it. The movers and shakers of our world are in profound denial about it.

Here is one very powerful paragraph:

Unlimited growth assumes unlimited resources, and this is the genesis of the crisis. Quite simply, to feed the increasing demands of our consumer based system, humans have seen nature as a great resource for our personal convenience and profit, not as a living ecosystem from which all life springs. So we have built our economic and development policies based on a human-centric model and assumed either that nature would never fail to provide or that, where it does fail, technology will save the day.

And here is another:

The natural world also needs its own legal framework, what South African environmental lawyer Cormac Culllinen calls “wild law.” The quest is a body of law that recognizes the inherent rights of the environment, other species and water itself outside of their usefulness to humans. A wild law is a law to regulate human behaviour in order to protect the integrity of the earth and all species on it. It requires a change in the human relationship with the natural world from one of exploitation to one of democracy with other beings. If we are members of the earth’s community, then our rights must be balanced against those of plants, animals, rivers and ecosystems. In a world governed by wild law, the destructive, human-centred exploitation of the natural world would be unlawful. Humans would be prohibited from deliberately destroying functioning ecosystems or driving other species to extinction.

Will we "get it" in time?

Frankly, I'm pessimistic.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Something important about science

You know, I really don't think this is understood by the anti-science folks out there:

Science is the process of trying to understand the nature of reality. And it's a fundamental of science that we believe reality exists, instead of having it be a human construct or all a matter of relative point of view. There isn't another side of the story in science. There are the right and wrong answers, and you do a better or worse job of understanding that reality, but we do believe reality is there. That's fundamental to what we're doing.

-- Lucy Jones, Newsweek, Oct. 15, 2007

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday cat blogging!


It's a CNN Quick Vote:

Should marijuana be decriminalized in the United States?

Yes - 73%

No - 27%

Quote of the week

It's from Sojourners:

For hatred is corrosive of a person’s wisdom and conscience; the mentality of enmity can poison a nation’s spirit, instigate brutal life-and-death struggles, destroy a society’s tolerance and humanity. I hope therefore … to counter the hostility of the regime with the best of intentions, and defuse hate with love.

- Liu Xiaobo, a literature professor, essayist, and dissident, awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Where we are headed

This is one of the Time Magazine Quotes of the Day:

Even with modest U.N. projections ... by 2030, humanity will need the capacity of two Earths to absorb CO2 waste and keep up with natural-resource consumption.

-- A statement by the World Wildlife Fund on carbon pollution and the projected overuse of the Earth's natural resources

It looks as if, as a species, we are simply not willing to change in order to save ourselves. Maybe, for some reason, we just can't.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Saving ourselves

I would assert that we really really need to remember this. All of us:

One thing to remember is to talk to the animals. If you do, they will talk back to you. But if you don't talk to the animals, they won't talk back to you, then you won't understand, and when you don't understand you will fear and when you fear you will destroy the animals, and if you destroy the animals, you will destroy yourself.

-- Chief Dan George

Remember when it was okay to talk about "public interest" and "public responsibility"?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oh, good grief

Just look:

I'm not sure I would trust a guy who had had sexual relations with an intern.

-- Rand Paul, U.S. Senate candidate in Kentucky, responding to former President Clinton's criticism of Paul's promises to repeal college-loan programs and financial-institution regulation

As my mother used to say, "What does that have to do with the price of eggs in Bulgaria?"

So, Mr. Paul can't argue the issue, then, can he? There's nothing much cheaper than an ad hominem attack. Aside from that, it's old news. Very, very old news. Does he then mean that we can't trust Republicans who're likewise guilty of sexual misconduct? (There's quite a list.)

The above quotation of the day is from Time Magazine.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Not much demand for George Bush

Anybody think this is suprising?

Republicans, who paid electoral costs in 2006 and 2008 for Bush's unpopularity, are hardly clamoring for the 43rd president to join them on the campaign trail. After all, an Associated Press-GfK poll last month found 55 percent of all Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Bush and 51 percent blame him for the economic crisis that began on his watch.

While he enjoys popularity with base conservatives, Bush is not necessarily an in-demand figure for candidates trying to fault President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats for the economic mess.
Republican strategists are quick to say they respect the former president but add they are not begging him to join candidates at rallies.

Bill Clinton, on the other hand, is very much sought after.

Just something to think about.

You can read the rest of the article right here.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Friday, October 08, 2010

Friday cat blogging!

Quote of the day

From Time Magazine:

The Afghan civilians used to think of this anniversary as a day that they got their freedom from a cruel government. But day by day...the people have stopped believing that.

-- Mohammad Saber Fahim, Afghan journalist, on the 9th anniversary of the start of US-led strikes in Afghanistan

So are we paying attention here? I wonder if we even care.

Headline of the day

Merciful heavens! Just look:

I Was a Professor at the Horribly Corrupt American University of Iraq... Until the Neocons Fired Me

Here's the subtitle:

Horror stories from the graft-ridden American University of Iraq campus in Kurdistan

The article is a bit on the long side but, if you have time to read it, you'll find that it's an eye-opener. (Our tax dollars at work. Sheesh.)

So much for winning hearts and minds...

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Right, like this is a surprise ---

The following, I mean:

At a candidate forum sponsored by a group of local Republicans, O'Donnell blamed her campaign's recent troubles on unfair coverage in the "liberal media."

It's from a CNN article you can find right here.

Some of the comments over there are priceless, by the way.

CNN Quickvote of the Day

This is very interesting, actually:

How do you feel about gays and lesbians being able to marry legally?

Favor - 61%

Oppose - 39%

True, the people who responded here were self selecting. Still, I see this as a hopeful sign.

Quote of the week

From Sojourners:

There's nothing more radical, nothing more revolutionary, nothing more subversive against injustice and oppression than the Bible. If you want to keep people subjugated, the last thing you place in their hands is a Bible.

- Desmond Tutu, in September 2008. Archbishop Tutu ended his public career today at 79 years old.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Appropriate quip

This one, I mean:

That's all right, all of you know who I am.

-- President Obama, after the presidential seal fell off his lectern during a speech at Fortune magazine's Most Powerful Women summit

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Firefighters refuse to fight a fire

Please, please watch this:

I've never seen Cenk this worked up before but I sympathize. When I first learned of this situation early this morning I felt utterly sick. I couldn't believe it was happening here - in the United States of America. You can't tell me that any of the Founding Fathers would have just stood there while someone's house burned down.

By the way, I saw the owner being interviewed on another program and he said that he forgot to send in his $75 this year.

Oh, I'm sorry but it's funny!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sunday art blogging

Artist: Heinrich Wilhelm Trübner

A headline that caught my attention

Here you go:

And here are the specific failings referred to:

1. Our Prison System
2. Industrial Meat Production
3. The Institutionalized and Isolated Elderly
4. The Environment

It's a short article. I encourage you to click through and read it.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Something about national spending priorities

More and more I am becoming devastatedly concerned about the national climate regarding education. Take a look, please, at an article entitled "Teacher Layoffs and War" by the editors of Rethinking Schools . Here's a brief excerpt:

[The] juxtaposition of robust war spending and inadequate support for education highlights the moral bankruptcy of political and economic leaders who seem to find endless piles of money to kill people abroad but not much to educate them at home. And, of course, the relationship is plain: The more dollars spent on war, the fewer available for human needs—whether alternative energy, food stamps, in-home elder care, public libraries, or keeping teachers in their classrooms.

The fact that our schools being decimated by state and local budget cuts is not considered an emergency ought to spark outrage. Goldman Sachs is evidently “too big to fail,” but not our public schools.

It is an outrage. Please, let's all work on getting the word out.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Friday cat blogging!

Adopt-a-shelter-dog month

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Happy October, everyone.

Here's something from an ASPCA email I got this morning:

October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, and that means it’s time to pay tribute to all things canine and get more homeless pups into forever homes. To get the party started, we’ve prepared a special section on devoted to the lovable, loyal shelter pooch. Whether you’re an experienced dog guardian or are thinking about adopting in the future, this is the place to celebrate and find answers to all your questions about shelter dogs.

I say this regularly here: there are so many wonderful dogs out there who are languishing in shelters for lack of homes. Won't you consider sharing your life and your love with one of them? Chances are that the dog who becomes your companion will give far more to you than you give to him or her.

The Million Jobs March

I'd like to call your attention to an article by Michael Moore entitled "Progressives March to Washington for Jobs, Justice and Education on Saturday". Here's part of what it says:

On October 2, 2010, the people of America will come together in Washington, DC, to denounce the cynical politics of distraction and division, and rally around real solutions for our country's problems. Under the banner of "One Nation, Working Together," a broad and diverse coalition will march together: for jobs, quality education and justice. We are marching for all Americans.

The creation of jobs, and most importantly, a living wage, are especially urgent. Jobs are what we need to speed relief and offer opportunity and dignity to working families. Among organizers, the demonstration has already picked up a telling nickname: The Million Jobs March.

You know, for the life of me I don't understand why businesses that ship jobs overseas aren't considered egregiously unpatriotic in this country. I've felt this way for a long time now. If someone can explain this to me, do feel free.

The headline I've been waiting for

I've admired Rabbi Michael Lerner for a long time now. Here's the title of a recent article (originally published in Tikkun):

Obama (and Biden) Have No Clue About What’s Bothering Their Political Base

Take a look at this excerpt:

President Obama is now traveling the country seeking to rebuild the enthusiasm he generated in 2008, and seems clueless as to why it is not there. And the Democrats who followed his lead seem similarly clueless. They imagine that we, their political base, must have had unreasonable expectations that somehow a Democratic majority in Congress and a Democratic president could overcome the Republican party of “no” and the powerful institutional constraints built up over many decades. So they try to explain to us why they failed to pass the legislation that we, their political base, would have wanted.

It’s easier for them to believe that their liberal and progressive base is naïve than to acknowledge that we are not alienated for their failure to pass appropriate legislation, but for their failure to fight for such legislation. And our upset with Obama is not that he didn’t accomplish what he couldn’t accomplish, but that he didn’t do the one thing he could do: consistently speak the truth, tell us and the country what was really happening in the corridors of power and what the constraints are that he was facing.

It’s one thing to make compromises after you’ve struggled for something you believe in, another to make the compromises without ever trying.

Finally someone has put words (precise and focused words) to the deep disappointment I've been experiencing.

Thank you, Rabbi.