2004-05-31T14:43:00-04:00

Quick Admin Note

I broke down and shelled out for haloscan pro commenting (a whole $12). It’s up and running, and should take care of those pesky post length problems (among other issues with the freebie, I hope).

Monday, May 31st, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

2004-05-31T11:58:00-04:00

I MUST Have This Book

And I will. I got a Border’s gift card from my son for Mother’s Day, and it’s burning a hole in my pocket. My son knows me well. Books, baby.

This is the book, “Sex, Time & Power” by Leonard Shlain. I’ve read his two other books: “Art and Physics”, and “The Alphabet vs. the Goddess”. If you’ve never even skimmed one of Shlain’s books, you missed a magical read.

His most recent has me ready to go to the bookstore TODAY.

From the blurb: “Women taught men about time and the men used this knowledge to become the planet’s most fearsome predator. Unfortunately, they also discovered that they were mortal. Men, then invented religions to soften the certainty of death. Subsequently, they belatedly grasped the function of sex. The possibility of achieving a kind of immortality through heirs drove men to construct patriarchal cultures whose purpose was to control women’s reproductive choices.”

Cultural anthropology and the field’s analysts have had me a captive reader for years. If you’re in a reading mood on this day of mementos mori, you can’t go wrong reading about how we modern day homo sapiens sapiens got to our “exalted” place on the Happy Planet. You could also read some Gregory Bateson or Humberto Maturana. I was going to post a link to the Bateson site, but it appears not to be on-line. Weird. More later.

Monday, May 31st, 2004 by Kate Storm |
Category: Uncategorized

2004-05-31T09:19:00-04:00

I See Dumb People

When I take the time to reflect on how we’ve gotten where we’ve gotten as a nation (and I’m not just talking about Iraq, here), it all comes back to basic human stupidity and Karl Marx’s “opiated masses”. You’re reading this blog because you somehow wandered in from someplace else on the web – either reading Kate, Doc, or my ranting on another blog, or perhaps from a Google search while you were trying to make sense of this insane time in which we live.

So, kudos, consider yourself part of the “intelligencia”. Because most of your bretheren in American live in the Idiot Trapâ„¢.

Monday, May 31st, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

2004-05-31T09:06:00-04:00

Physician, Heal Thyself

Classic Josh.

The president’s actions, if not his words, concede that Iraq has become the geopolitical equivalent of a botched surgery — botched through some mix of the misdiagnosis of the original malady and the incompetence of the surgeon. Achieving the original goal of the surgery is now close to an afterthought. The effort is confined to closing up as quickly as possible and preventing the patient from dying on the table. And now the ‘doctor’, pressed for time and desperate for insight, stands over the patient with a scalpel in one hand and the other hurriedly leafing through a first year anatomy text book.

Monday, May 31st, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

2004-05-30T23:04:00-04:00

Comfortable

“Look, I’m not griping, because life in a bubble is pretty comfortable.” – George W. Bush

God help us all.

Monday, May 31st, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

2004-05-30T20:03:00-04:00

A Tale Told by an Idiot

(about? near? because of? Still sounds right!)

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more: it is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

(Wm. Shakespeare – Macbeth)

At Yahoo News (from Reuters): Bush Keeps Saddam Gun at White House

From the article: “The magazine [Time] quoted a visitor who had been shown the gun, which is kept in a small study off the Oval Office where Bush displays memorabilia. It is the same room where former President Bill Clinton had some of his encounters with former intern Monica Lewinsky.”

My first thought upon reading was “Boys and their toys…Ha. Bill had Monica in the study, and Dubya’s got Saddam’s pistol in there.” My next thought was to wonder about the trophy cases of chickenhawks. Finally, I thought, How pathetic.

Poets and playwrights have never failed me in my hours of need. This excerpt from Robert Frost’s “Lesson for Today” rings like thunder when thinking of tin gods and demigogs of this year and yesteryears immemorial.

(Frost is addressing the scholars of the Middle Ages)

One age is like another for the soul.

I’m telling you. – You haven’t said a thing,

Unless I put it in your mouth to say.

I’m having the whole argument my way -

But in your favor – please to tell your king -

In having granted you all ages shine

With equal darkness, yours as dark as mine.

I’m liberal. – You, you aristocrat,

Won’t know exactly what I mean by that.

I mean so altruistically moral

I never take my own side in a quarrel.

I’d lay my hand on his hand on his staff,

Lean back and have my confidential laugh,

And tell him I had read his epitaph.

Monday, May 31st, 2004 by Kate Storm |
Category: Uncategorized

2004-05-30T13:54:00-04:00

Memorial Day:

A Chronicle of Life and Death on the Happy Planet

(…and you don’t look so good yourself!)

“I hold your doctrine of ‘memento mori’.

And were an epitaph to be my story

I’d have a short one ready for my own.

I would have written of me on my stone:

I had a lover’s quarrel with the world”

Robert Frost – The Lesson for Today

I’m really a loud and cranky curmudgeon about “holidays” that celebrate militarism on our Happy Planet. I think it reinforces poisonous memes in children, who later go on to kill or be killed when governments wage war on other governments via the people who live in the land. At my age I’m not likely to have any other take on the subject. And I will never apologize for my worldview. My fury at the continuing malarky about the necessity of war grows exponentially.

For this “Memorial Day” I’m recommending some potent reading. The Robert Frost poem linked above is the first. Next you can read Mark Twain’s 1901 address to the Anti-Imperialist League of New York: To the Person Sitting in Darkness; and finally try out a piece akin to the Twain address, but written this week (May 2004)about the myth of the “Good War”: D(isinformation) Day: 60 Years is Enough

In the end I’d prefer “Memorial Day” to be a day when human beings living the USofA remember the waste of life, resources and time that goes into so-called “good wars”, and to personally vow that no government will ever dupe them again into thinking there can EVER be such a thing as a “good war”. This is my memento mori for today, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

Sunday, May 30th, 2004 by Kate Storm |
Category: Uncategorized

2004-05-30T09:04:00-04:00

King of Shreds and Patches

Whew. Excerpt:

Today, the worst type of a so-called Third World dictator is an angel compared to George Bush. No wonder that 50 (fifty) former American diplomats have written to warn him about the effect of his policies. According to them, such policies are losing friends for America.

Today, George Bush encourages Israel to disregard international law, respect for human rights and to carry out acts of genocide. At least other American Presidents tried to bring about peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Today, George Bush says that the prisoners at the Guantanamo base are not regular prisoners of war but “illegal combatants.” They are also said not to be on United States soil so the laws of the United States do not apply to them. Consequently, Bush has the right to hold them forever at the Base and under constant torture.

Far from winning his so-called war on terror, George Bush rather continues to stoke up the fires that forge terrorists around the world.

George W. Bush, this “king of shreds and patches” (apologies to Shakespeare’s Hamlet), has become the biggest terrorist of all time.

(No…it’s not from the New York Times or Washington Post…still…)

Sunday, May 30th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

2004-05-29T20:08:00-04:00

How to Make the Chalabi Story Go Away?

Yes, gentle reader, you know the answer. Totally bypass the guy who was supposedly in charge of the interim Iraqi government selection. Appoint Chalabi 2.0 to the post.

Selected musings on Iyad Allawi:

The “WMD’s can be operational in 45 minutes” claim? That was Allawi.

Tomorrow’s headlines: The handover that became a shambles: ten U-turns on the road to ‘peace’

Iraqi Money Flows — By Brody Mullins, Roll Call (or, Money Talks and Bullshit Walks.) (You have to scroll down the page a bit to find it.)

Sunday, May 30th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized

2004-05-28T15:26:00-04:00

Spin City

Are you shiite-ing me? I see why they waited until a Friday afternoon on a holiday weekend to drop this bomb.

May 28 – Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans hailed today’s personal income report: “One year ago today, President Bush signed landmark tax relief that laid the groundwork for America’s economic recovery. Today’s strong personal income numbers — the largest monthly increase in six months — is more proof it’s working. Over the last year, take home pay has grown at a faster rate than the averages of the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s. As businesses become more confident, jobs are being created. And as jobs are being created, American workers have more money to care for their families, buy a new home or plan for the future. Alternative proposals to raise taxes would stymie this progress and hurt our workers. President Bush and I are committed to seeing every American worker succeed.â€

Think Secy. Evans would crow about my 2% raise this year? When you factor in the increase in my health insurance deductions, my family’s spendable income is down by nearly $75 per month.

Lyin’ asshats.

How many people do you know who are taking home substantially more this year than last year? Guess we’re running with the wrong crowd.

Update, 6/1/04, 12:15PM: And now I guess we know which crowd Don Evans runs with, and why his buddies have seen “strong personal income numbers“. If my last name was Yates, I guess my numbers would be up, too…

WASHINGTON – A single New Mexico family and a dozen big oil companies, including one once headed by Commerce Secretary Don Evans, now control one-quarter of all federal lands leased for oil and gas development in the continental United States despite a law intended to prevent such concentration, federal records show.

Friday, May 28th, 2004 by Richard Blair |
Category: Uncategorized
Next Page »