February 2010 Archives

Sunday Night Chores

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Just thought I'd say "Hey!" while I wait for my laundry to dry. Just one last load to throw into the dry, then it's off to bed.
Tim F over at Balloon Juice is behaving poorly. I fear there maybe retaliatory action.
As it has been a while since I have done any serious thievery; here, without further too do:

Friday Blogaround

This was another interesting week. Let's see how the LC saw it.
- A Blog Around The Clock: may I have the envelope, please...
- archy gets published.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: King of the nuts.
- Bloggg: they spy.
- Dohiyi Mir: a crash of symbols.
- Echidne Of The Snakes: making a killing.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: a fifty-state strategy.
- Left Is Right: bits and pieces.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: Jeff 'n' Erin's EPIC wedding.
- Rook's Rant: an end and a beginning.
- rubber hose: Syria beckons.
- Scrutiny Hooligans: place your calls.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: FDR
- The Invisible Library: plotting away.
- The Yellow Something Something: Steve sums up the summit.
- WTF Is It Now?? birther control.
March on.
The madness is about to begin. And with it, usually the last major storm of the winter.

A New Age Is Upon Me

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The GirlFriend™ and I are splitting up. So, it will now be The Ex-GirlFriend™. After a brief explosion of anger and a bit of shouting, we settled down, and our breakup is, hopefully, going to be amicable. I do not have to move out quickly or any such thing. Also, there are financial entanglements that need to occur.

However, the most painful of moments is approaching; that of telling The Fuskers™. While I may have drifted away from The GirlFriend™ I have always seen him as my own son, even if he was not my flesh and blood.

In the end, it has been 12 years of ups and downs, of pain and anger, of joy and passion, and of happiness and ecstasy. I have come out the other side a better man for having know Gayle. That we drifted apart is regrettable, but I still would not change my past.

Of course, things are not the best financially for either of us, but I know for myself that I can survive. When I look at my past, what I have overcome, and what I have accomplished, I am certain I will be able to move on, regardless of my current indebtedness.

When You Are Bored

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Stranded at the Pittsburgh International Airport:



Too bad she had to keep an eye out for TSA agents.

Ah........ Hi.

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Yeah, I know. It has been a while. I suppose I could have simply done a quick post, something as simple as, well, you know; something. Or, maybe something. Or even something.

Whatever.

Anyway, here is a post to let you all know (if there are any yous) that I am still alive.

This Is Just Plain Cool!

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Political Contrarians Unite

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I just love me John Cole in the morning. He wakes up contrarily, and manifestly maintains that contrarian stance throughout the day.

Anyone want to take a wild guess how Americablog and others in the progressive blogosphere would have reacted if Obama and Rahm had passed a bill in the Senate that appealed to 12 Republicans? I can hear the screams. There would be ActBlue accounts by the dozens to primary Obama.

It just never stops. And if Rahm steps down, they'll just find someone else to act as the bogeyman.

I personally think John was never a conservative. He was always contrary. It is just that at the time of Bush and his push for war, John had failed to see he was a contrarian. Had he recognized this particular personal characteristic, he would have never sided with all the batshit crazies to begin with. Thankfully, he came late to this realization, and so when he made the switch, elevated himself to a higher standing in Blogstonia.

Also, I wanted it understood that I do not see his contrarian stance as a bad thing. He is strongly needed if the progressive side is to remain relevant and on task. Self-criticism is a necessary component of leadership. That is something that John's talent as a blogger accomplishes. Without self-criticism, or maybe a better word would be self-awareness, there is a tendency to drift away from the values and ideals that are needed in a time of turmoil and strife.

So, keep on being contrary, Mr. Cole. We need you.
Kevin Drum

He recounted all the grief he and his family went through while work on their kitchen renovation dragged on and on and on. "During that time, I had blood lust against my contractor," Inslee said. "Six months went by, and he was still arguing with the plumber. Eight months went by, and there were still wires hanging down everywhere, and he was having trouble with the building inspector."

But eventually, the job got done. "And now I love that kitchen," Inslee recalls saying. "I bake bread in that kitchen. My wife cooks great meals in that kitchen. The contractor's now a buddy of mine, and I've had beers with him in that kitchen."

Inslee looked at his colleagues and declared: "We've got to finish the kitchen." His point was that Americans won't experience any of the benefits of health-care reform until Congress puts a new system in place.

I called Inslee about his kitchen oration after Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) told me it was one of the turning points in calming Democrats' nerves. "Now," Wu says, "people run into him in the hallway, smile and say, 'Finish the kitchen.' "
I have to admit, this makes me feel hopeful. Why? I do not know. Still, it does do a fine job of pointing out how the emotions of the moment do not necessarily define the outcome of the moment.

Peace And Harmony

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Okay, no peace and harmony as of yet. But congratulations to the Saints for winning their first ever appearance in the Super Bowl.

Hey, Vikes, I hope you were taking notes.

Shallow Thought

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I understand there is an incredibly important social event happening today.

Yawn.

Hopefully it will alter our society in a positive, life affirming manner so that we can all live in peace and harmony.
Every so often some information comes to me via the internet that restores my faith in human kind. Today, it is by way of LGM: Mortality Rates Decline During Wars.

First, the mortality rates in question are national mortality rates. The authors of the report look at national death rates and see whether they rise, fall, or fail to change on average when the country is at war. They find a general decline. But this doesn't mean people aren't dying where war is happening. They are. The question is why this isn't resulting in a spike in mortality at the national level. Here's why:

a) Peacetime mortality rates are declining steadily around the globe. This is largely due to the revolution in child survival caused by immunization campaigns. So death rates are already falling, and the question is whether enough people get killed in today's conflicts to reverse that decline. They don't, because...

b) Wars are generally much smaller and more localized than previously, so a conflict breaking out in one province of a country, for example, doesn't necessarily reverse the already steady decline in peacetime mortality rates. At most, it may slow it a bit. (There are exceptions in the data - Rwanda in 1994, for instance.)

c) Today, when wars break out, an influx of humanitarian assistance arrives on the scene to increase life-saving interventions such as vaccinations against the kinds of diseases - malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory infections - that account for the massive death tolls in conflict zones, as well as significant numbers of preventable deaths in peacetime. These additional interventions offset the numbers being killed due to violence in buttressing the overall national survival rate, particularly for children under five. In some cases, they actually cause more people within the country to survive than might have been the case in the absence of the war.
So, despite the ongoing examples set by the Conservative/Republican/Tea Party faction of the human race, it seems we really are evolving.

Pure Holy Wow!

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Roger Ebert posted a link to this youtube by way of Twitter.



Simply amazing.

Cuchi, Cuchi, Cu!

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Master Wheaton has a post with a Charo youtube that is supposedly life changing. Unfortunately, that is simply not the case. What follows is life changing:



I will give Master Wheaton a break, considering his youth.

A Brief Moment In The Castle

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Me as I walk by the TV playing an updated version of a cartoon I grew up watching:
"George, George, George of the jungle....."
From the Fuskers™ bedroom:
"Watch out for that tree!"
Ah yes. The classics never go out of style.

Whisper

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While the Republican/Conservative movement has relied mostly on the megaphone style of political persuasion, I see the Whisper Campaign as a more effective style of political persuasion for the Democrats/Progressives. Let the Republicans blast away with the few megaphone mouths (Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, et. el.). The Democrats can simply walk softly and whisper quietly to individuals among the masses. You know, do the grassroots thing.

Granted, the Teabagger's movement was a type of grassroots in that the corporate/conservative elites were able to tap the anger of the intellectually ignorant; feeding them misinformation and out right lies. But it only created a squeaking wheel. It did not constitute any huge majority, or even a respectable minority. Instead, it brought together a whole bunch of crazy, that left a poor impression on the general population.

From what I can see, the Republican/Conservative grassroots movements have been an abysmal failure, easily falling short of fund raising as accomplished by comparable progressive movements. And in what is no doubt the greatest irony of all; the Republican/Conservative grassroots rely on funding from individuals comparable to their rich, liberal, villain De jour, George Soros, the man supposedly funding the entire progressive infrastructure.

I just can't help but see the Republican/conservative elites losing power. Not when their efforts include the manipulation of ignorant, intellectually lazy people. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of the human race is not ignorant. If it was, we would still be Neanderthals living a stone age existence.

Sigh. Yes, I understand Rush, Hannity, and Beck might exemplify the modern Neanderthals, but they really are still a minority.

Today's Shallow Thought

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Did not win the lottery. Still can not retire to the life of leisure I have always wanted to become accustomed.

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