Ramblings from a relocated and under-employed Southeastern Kentuckian. Liberal politics, art, music, movies, books,sports, games, whatever else strikes my fancy....Sad and strange the days that are no more...
Saturday, November 29, 2008
John Prine's "Paradise" | Saturday Video For Mountain Top Removal Mining
..And other rapers of the land, you know who they are. John Prine's song Paradise was about where he grew up. It can also easily apply to the greed and destruction of Mountaintop removal mining. The burying of streams and hollows.
This video is worth seeing just for the old images and the views of mining destruction. Just picture all that earth and rock dumped into neighboring streams and valleys.
Note: I'm not against coal mining. At least till a better source of energy presents itself as a viable alternative. I just want them to get it without being "Mister Peabody's coal train" over and over:
"Then the coal company came with the world's largest shovels and they tortured the timber and they stripped all the land Well they dug for the coal till the land was forsaken Then we wrote it all down as the progress of man
And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away" -John Prine
I've Blogged a bit less the past few days partly because I've been trying out the online game World of Warcraft. I could see it becoming an addiction, but.. but..I..Must...continue...Blogging!! ARGH! Meeeeanwhile, here's a nice pic of a few super-giant star systems. Only 7500 light years away.
"..This Hubble image shows a pair of massive stars, WR 25 and Tr16-244, located within the open cluster Trumpler 16. This cluster is embedded within the Carina Nebula, an immense cauldron of gas and dust that lies approximately 7500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Carina, the Keel. WR 25 is the brightest, situated near the centre of the image. The neighbouring Tr16-244 is the third brightest, just to the upper left of WR 25. The second brightest, to the left of WR 25, is a low mass star located much closer to Earth than the Carina Nebula.." Image: NASA, ESA and Jesús Maíz Apellániz (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Spain)
I bet that's the first time those names have been seen together.
Some quick notes to log on, and a video and poem. How's that for a combination? Not a lot of good going on in the world at the moment. There are good things happening all the time that we don't hear about.. and as they say, "there's that". The saddest weird story(so far) of the season is the Wal Mart worker who was trampled to death by shoppers this morning(no I'm not making that up).
I've had a pretty good Thanksgiving all in all. Lot's to eat and drink. Lot's to be thankful for. Obviously, not much Blogging done in the last few days, and I was even off today. BUT, I managed to get all the outside Christmas decorations up in the last few days. Pretty good for a lazy agnostic don't you think?
I love the Christmas season but for me it's more a celebration with the ancients and the pagans(Winter Solstice) as it is with the christian aspect of it.
We watched my favorite old Christmas Carol video tonight with Alistair Sim as Scrooge(the colorized version). Here's one scene with "Ignorance" and Want":
And here's William Blake with a somewhat related declaration from The Four Zoas:
"..It is an easy thing to laugh at wrathful elements, To hear the dog howl at the wintry door, the ox in the slaughter house moan; To see a god on every wind and a blessing on every blast; To hear sounds of love in the thunder storm that destroys our enemies' house; To rejoice in the blight that covers his field, and the sickness that cuts off his children, While our olive and vine sing and laugh round our door, and our children bring fruits and flowers.
Then the groan and the dolor are quite forgotten, and the slave grinding at the mill, And the captive in chains, and the poor in the prison, and the soldier in the field When the shatter'd bone hath laid him groaning among the happier dead.
It is an easy thing to rejoice in the tents of prosperity: Thus could I sing and thus rejoice: but it is not so with me. -William Blake
I wanted to post this. It's raw footage(Thanks to HUFFPO) of the soon-to-be-First Family giving out food. It's photo-op of course, but it's also more than that. it should inspire at least a few people to give some time and money to their communities. Also among other things it's interesting to watch the interchange between the whole Obama family and some of the poorest of the poor.
From the(as always) far to rational mind of Left i.
$25 billion to save (maybe) the American automobile industry? "Unthinkable" according to many, if not most, in Washington and on the airwaves.$57 billionto continue the wars against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan through 2009? Also "unthinkable," although in a different sense of the word. Unthinkable in that no one in Washington (outside of Dennis Kucinich and a handful of others) will give it a second (or even a first) thought. Nor will they give much, if any, thought, to the overall war budget of $581 billion. Challenging that is also "unthinkable."
If Gates is staying as Sec. of "Defense" then I'm assuming that P.E. Obama feels he has all the time in the world to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Remember them?
When you have a what's basically been a criminal cartel as head of the US government for eight years you get what we're dealing with. Before he's forced out dubya is running a federal fire sale for corporate sharks.
Anyone who's had their heart broken will get this song. Years ago during a break up with my then girlfriend my heart was broken over the phone. I drove about 90 miles through a bad winter storm to see her, and afterwards lived for months on drugs, cigarettes, despair, and bad poetry..
CIA | Judge, Jury, Executioners and Liars in Drug War
Today's "things there will be no justice for": We know that the CIA loves torture, assassination, black ops, secret International prison sites. We suspect that they love murder, drug running for clients and assorted other sleazy activities. Now we find that they've covered up and lied about their fun in Peru in the late 90's and early 00's, and maybe still.
Veronica Bowers and daughter, Charity killed in plane downed by CIA and Peruvian military Photo: Salon
CIA Withheld Details On Downing, IG Says Washington Post
An internalCIAprobe has concluded that agency officials deliberately misled Congress, theWhite Houseand federal prosecutors about key details of the 2001 downing of an airplane carrying U.S. missionaries in Peru, according to a senior lawmaker who called yesterday for a new criminal inquiry into the case. The agency's inspector general said CIA officers repeatedly ignored rules of engagement in a joint U.S.-Peruvian campaign to halt airborne drug smugglers, resulting in the downing of at least 10 other aircraft without proper warnings. Afterward, CIA managers concealed the problems from lawmakers and theJustice Department, the agency watchdog said.."
I really liked the line: "Resulting in the downing of at least 10 other aircraft without proper warnings". This of course means we can calculate; If they say they shot down "at least 10 other aircraft", that means at least twenty planes were shot down without warning, and with no judge or jury, ot worry, about who else were on those planes. Todays episode of: Sons-A-Bitches who'll receive no justice.
At current market valuations (GM is worth less than Mattel) the Chinese government can afford to buy GM with petty cash. Even a hundred billion $ would barely dent China's more than $2t in currency reserves. For nobody in the world would buying GM and (while they are at it) Chrysler make more sense than for the Chinese. Overlap? What overlap? They would gain instant access to the world's markets with accepted brands, and proven technology.
The Bush administration isembeddingtheir foot soldiers inside the government in order to sabotage any Obama initiatives while at the same time terminating federal employees who they assume would be supportive of the new administration.
This Just In! Lieberman Keeps Homeland Seat | Democrats Still Can't Find Spines!
Holy Crap! I just wanna know, do our Senate Democrats have meetings where they discuss the best way to look like spineless pussies? Or is it an actual condition of being a Senate Democrat? Just asking. Oh look, it looks like they've found a spine:
I dropped my home computer off at the computer doctor this morning to have it cleaned of a nasty affliction(anti virus pro 2009). That means my Blogging will have to be from work for the next few days so it may be even more sporadic than the last few days. Sorry Beaulah... On the good side once they get it cleaned I'm having them set up wireless at my house so we can get the laptop connected, YAY!!!
------------ The discussion is now between liberals and the so-called "centrists." Arguing with people who think Obama is a secret Muslim communist and the Earth is only 6000 years old is pointless. It's like debating a small child or more accurately, a male labrador retriever. No matter what you say, he'll continue to hump your leg, knowing with certainty that if he just humps long enough, your shoes will bear puppies. All you get out of it is a sticky leg.
I'm Back | I Still Don't Like Mondays | Anti Virus Pro 2009 Sucks
I haven't had a chance to post at the old online journal here for a few days. I know, I know, it's an earth shaking loss to my Netroots, and my thousands of...well anyway my hundreds, actually dozens, okay, okay, my three fans! We had some weekend company, lots of assorted other chores, and I got some god-awful computer virus on my home computer. It's called Anti Virus Pro 2009 and it's a nasty one. Tried everything and couldn't get rid of it. I guess I'll have to call in a professional and I dread hearing what that's going to cost. Oh, and the Kentucky men's basketball and football teams both sucked over the weekend. On the other hand the womens volleyball won. YAY! So talk amongst yourselves(crickets chirping) and I should be back later.
I don't know..I try to believe, and I hope that Barack Obama is what many say, and what most of us hope. That he REALLY will be a transitional figure. I hope he will actually be what we desperately need right now or at least at Jan. 20th. A personality and morality that can bring us back from the Bush abyss. Oh, and I don't think he has a lot of time.
I watched the news tonight and it is grim. George W. Bush is still sitting in the White House throwing out more and more money to corporate cronies. They're looting America while President-Elect Obama talks bipartisan.
I'm a cynic and Barack Obama is a politician so we'll see. I'm also becoming worried that what he can do for the economy, health care, Iraq, the environment, energy, and the hundred other things that are being attacked or ignored will be to late.
We'll see and I hope for the best but I'm worried that we're nearing desperate times.
Michael Moore | To My Conservative Brothers And Sisters
TO MY CONSERVATIVE BROTHERS AND SISTERS
"..Here is our Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives: Dear Conservatives and Republicans, I, and my fellow signatories, hereby make these promises to you: 1. We will always respect you for your conservative beliefs. We will never, ever, call you "unpatriotic" simply because you disagree with us. In fact, we encourage you to dissent and disagree with us. 2. We will let you marry whomever you want, even when some of us consider your behavior to be "different" or "immoral." Who you marry is none of our business. Love and be in love -- it's a wonderful gift. 3. We will not spend your grandchildren's money on our personal whims or to enrich our friends. It's your checkbook, too, and we will balance it for you. 4. When we soon bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq, we will bring your sons and daughters home, too. They deserve to live. We promise never to send your kids off to war based on either a mistake or a lie. 5. When we make America the last Western democracy to have universal health coverage, and all Americans are able to get help when they fall ill, we promise that you, too, will be able to see a doctor, regardless of your ability to pay. And when stem cell research delivers treatments and cures for diseases that affect you and your loved ones, we'll make sure those advances are available to you and your family, too.
Voters Overwhemingly Reject Government Lies on Marijuana
Sanity slowly spreads across America. Despite the Fed and their war on a sizable portion of their constituents
--- Pot Wins in a Landslide: A Thundering Rejection of America's Longest War
"On Tuesday, largely under the radar of the pundits and political chattering classes, voters dealt what may be a fatal blow to America's longest-running and least-discussed war -- the war on marijuana.
Michigan voters made their state the 13th to allow the medical use of marijuana by a whopping 63 percent to 37 percent, the largest margin ever for a medical marijuana initiative. And by 65 percent to 35 percent, Massachusetts voters decriminalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, replacing arrests, legal fees, court appearances, the possibility of jail and a lifelong criminal record with a $100 fine, much like a traffic ticket, that can be paid through the mail.
What makes these results so amazing is that they followed the most intensive anti-marijuana campaign by federal officials since the days of "Reefer Madness." Marijuana arrests have been setting all-time records year after year, reaching the point where one American is arrested on marijuana charges every 36 seconds. More Americans are arrested each year for marijuana possession -- not sales or trafficking, just possession -- than for all violent crimes combined.
And the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, with “drug czar” John Walters at the helm, has led a hysterical anti-marijuana propaganda campaign. During Walters' tenure, ONDCP has released at least 127 separate anti-marijuana TV, radio and print ads, at a cost of hundreds of millions of tax dollars, plus 34 press releases focused mainly on marijuana, while no fewer than 50 reports from ONDCP and other federal agencies focused on the alleged evils of marijuana or touted anti-marijuana campaigns.
Walters himself campaigned personally in Michigan against the medical marijuana initiative, calling it an "abomination" and claiming yet again that there is no evidence that marijuana has medical value -- an assertion flatly contradicted by at least four published clinical trials in just the last two years.
In Massachusetts, the state's political and law enforcement establishment lined up solidly against the marijuana decriminalization initiative, including both Republican and Democratic politicians and all 11 district attorneys -- several of whom actually admitted to having smoked marijuana. They warned of rampant drug abuse and crime should the measure pass, simply ignoring the fact that no such thing has happened in the 11 other states (including California, Ohio and New York) that have had similar laws for years.
Voters were having none of it, giving a thumping rejection to government officials’ lies and hysteria in both states. Americans have taken a hard look at our national war on marijuana and rejected it for the cruel, counterproductive disaster thatit is"
-- The Mini Depression and the Maximum-Strength Remedy
"..The real problem is on the demand side of the economy.
Consumers won't or can't borrow because they're at the end of their ropes. Their incomes are dropping (one of the most sobering statistics in Friday's jobs report was the continued erosion of real median earnings), they're deeply in debt, and they're afraid of losing their jobs.
Introductory economic courses explain that aggregate demand is made up of four things, expressed as C+I+G+exports. C is consumers. Consumers are cutting back on everything other than necessities. Because their spending accounts for 70 percent of the nation's economic activity and is the flywheel for the rest of the economy, the precipitous drop in consumer spending is causing the rest of the economy to shut down.
I is investment. Absent consumer spending, businesses are not going to invest.
Exports won't help much because the of the rest of the world is sliding into deep recession, too. (And as foreigners -- as well as Americans -- put their savings in dollars for safe keeping, the value of the dollar will likely continue to rise relative to other currencies. That, in turn, makes everything we might sell to the rest of the world more expensive.)
That leaves G, which, of course, is government. Government is the spender of last resort. Government spending lifted America out of the Great Depression. It may be the only instrument we have for lifting America out of the Mini Depression. Even Fed Chair Ben Bernanke is now calling for a sizable government stimulus. He knows that monetary policy won't work if there's inadequate demand.
So the crucial questions become (1) how much will the government have to spend to get the economy back on track? and (2) what sort of spending will have the biggest impact on jobs and incomes?
The answer to the first question is "a lot." Given the magnitude of the mess and the amount of underutilized capacity in the economy-- people who are or will soon be unemployed, those who are underemployed, factories shuttered, offices empty, trucks and containers idled -- government may have to spend $600 or $700 billion next year to reverse the downward cycle we're in.
The answer to the second question is mostly "infrastructure" -- repairing roads and bridges, levees and ports; investing in light rail, electrical grids, new sources of energy, more energy conservation. Even conservative economists like Harvard's Martin Feldstein are calling for government to stimulate the economy through infrastructure spending. Infrastructure projects like these pack a double-whammy: they create lots of jobs, and they make the economy work better in the future. (Important qualification: To do this correctly and avoid pork, the federal government will need to have a capital budget that lists infrastructure projects in order of priority of public need.)
Government should also spend on health care and child care. These expenditures are also double whammies: they, too, create lots of jobs, and they fulfill vital public needs.."
"..Here is where Barack Obama and the civil rights leaders of old are joined -- in a shocking, almost certifiable faith in humanity, something that subsequent generations lost. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. may have led African Americans out of segregation, and he may have cured incalculable numbers of white racists, but more than all that, he believed that the lion's share of the population of this country would not support the rights of thugs to pummel people who just wanted to cross a bridge. King believed in white people, and when I was a younger, more callow man, that belief made me suck my teeth. I saw it as weakness and cowardice, a lack of faith in his own. But it was the opposite. King's belief in white people was the ultimate show of strength: He was willing to give his life on a bet that they were no different from the people who lived next door.."
Back From the Mountains | My CD of the Week | Amy MacDonald
I'm Back surfers! I went to the mountains yesterday, and got back this evening. Took the laptop but there's no Internets there, much less the wireless. I've been without the 'Nets for two days(shudder). Fall foliage was past it's prime but still gorgeous. No pics but I'm supposed to get another decent camera for Christmas(fingers crossed). On the trip down and back I listened mostly to Amy MacDonald's "This is the Life". I've already posted "Mr Rock & Roll" from it. It's got some more good tunes on it. Give it a listen if you get the chance. Here's the title song.
I may be back y'all. I have to go get my Internets fix.
I've taken off work today and tomorrow(Got that new leave time!) to get some chores done inside and out before the rain and cold weather get here.
It's just a gorgeous day outside here in central Kentucky. I managed to get quite a bit done around the yard. A few things are; I got all the potted perennials I've been saving all summer in pots by the driveway put in the ground, and the whole yard mowed one last time before winter. I wore my leather yard gloves so the PHN wasn't that big a deal.
We really need A LOT off rain here badly. Two or three inches over a few days at least. There's some coming in tonight but only a half inch or so at most.
Well aaaanyway, I'm taking a break now, and while I do I'll be checking up on the America of Barack Obama as President elect. I saw a bit of The Today Show this morning and they were nearly gushing over Obama and his family, which is fantastic. It feels so good to know that DUUH-bya is almost gone. I hope the Nets and everyone's watching to see what kind of evil these thugs do while they're still in the White House.
Well while I'm resting I'll Blog a bit. Here's a short clip; The ending of my favorite old western "oater" with Alan Ladd as "Shane". Here Shane has realized he's a fighter, not a farmer and he's riding to town to save Joey's dad from the "evil" gunslinger played by the menacing Jack Palance:
The video quality isn't great but full screen it and it's not to bad. I'll be back.
I may have had the easiest voting experience of any Blogger in America. I got there about 7:15AM and there were only 3 people in line ahead of me. In just a few minutes I gave the little old lady my ID and signed in. I had a choice of optical scan or electronic(I chose the O.S.). I'm sure I didn't vote straight ticket because there were councel seats etc where they didn't give a party affiliation. But anyway I voted and was out of there within 10 minutes. Sacre bleu! For a real nightmare look at the line to vote in this video shot at Penn State University at 7:00AM:
I swear if I have to see little Johnie McCain ranting about winning and waving his stubby arms in the air while that creep Joe Lieberman smirks in the background I'm going to hurl something at the screen. As for now I'm back to work...
Just a quick log on before bed to note the passing, as I'm sure you've already heard, of Barack Obama's grandmother Madelyn Dunham. She and his grandfather helped raise Obama. It's sad she won't get to see if her grandson makes it to become the 44th President of the United States tomorrow.
The Dunhams with Barack Obama's mother Stanley Ann
Over 6 million votes will not be counted this election. Decidedly within the closer margin of error of many national polls. Why? How? Read Greg Palast and be afraid.
How McCain Could Win
"It's November 5 and the nation is in shock. Media blame it on the "Bradley effect": Americans supposedly turned into Klansmen inside the voting booth, and Barack Obama turned up with 6 million votes less than calculated from the exit polls. Florida came in for McCain and so did Indiana. Colorado, despite the Democrats' Rocky Mountain high after the Denver convention, stayed surprisingly Red. New Mexico, a state where Anglos are a minority, went McCain by 300 votes, as did Virginia..."
"...Here's an ugly little secret about American democracy: We don't count all the votes. In 2004, based on the data from the US Elections Assistance Commission, 3,006,080 votes were not counted: "spoiled," unreadable and blank ballots; "provisional" ballots rejected; mail-in ballots disqualified.
This Tuesday, it will be worse. Much worse..."
"...In 2004, I and other investigators wrote, long before Election Day, "Ohio's stolen." We were deadly right.
It's happening again. For six years, the Democratic Party has been snoozing through a quiet, brilliantly executed Republican operation to block, stop and purge voters by the millions. As New Mexico voting rights attorney John Boyd put it, "I don't think the Democrats get it. All these new rules and games are turning voting into an obstacle course that could flip the vote to the GOP in half a dozen states."
Karl Rove once said, "We have elections like those run in countries where the guys in charge are, you know, colonels in mirrored glasses." He wasn't complaining; he was boasting..."