why think seperately?
life and death:
look at spirit
how it fuses with earth
giving it new life
why are you so busy
with this or that or good or bad
pay attention to how things blend
why talk about all
the known and the unknown
see how the unknown merges into the known
We went on an expotition to find flowers.
The Greenway (aka our driveway) is looking a bit less green.
Bog Road, looking south.
The Bog, looking north.
Chalmers the gnome watches leaves fall on our path to school.
Our southern exposure finally getting a little sunlight.
A Whole Half A Decade
Somehow, this kid is 5 today.
A Lovely Day
And back to Jeffersonville for dinner and a crescent.
Whatever Happened To Saturday Night?
We Stand United Against You
Jackson, the Justice Department said residents had told its investigators that officers policing protest sites on Tuesday in Ferguson were seen wearing "I am Darren Wilson" bracelets.
The letter said the bracelets had "upset and agitated" people and "reinforce the very 'us versus them' mentality that many residents of Ferguson believe exists."
I understand there's a certain esprit de corps amongst cops--makes total sense--but who was the fucking marketing genius who thought up the idea of having them visibly stand in a way that the larger community would see less than positively? It's a puzzle why people in Ferguson think the police might be a little biased...
Live Your Life As Light
One hopes this is done many places:
October 2, 2014 marks the 145th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth. Schools over the United States will be reading the Grandfather Gandhi “Live Your Life as Light” Pledge over morning announcements to celebrate his contributions to the world.
Educator tools and whatnot at the link.
Let's Call The Whole Thing Off
Another call for a new constitution:
What systemic changes would take place under this new, more sensible, and decidedly just Constitution?
It would limit the number of terms a representative or senator could serve, so as to introduce fresh blood from a pool of more visible talent. (Does 12 years sound reasonable?) It would not allow ex-congressmen to trade on their insider connections for at least five years–which might then produce fewer power-engrossing lawyer-politicians and more–let’s be really optimistic here–systems engineer- or bioethicist-politicians, i.e., problem solvers with a useful trade to fall back on after public service.
Next, let’s reform the debased Supreme Court by reducing tenure from life to 10 years. (Honestly, who’s not tired of Scalia?)
This is the thing. We all know the solution to our sorest problem. Let’s spell out what everyone’s saying, but voters, en masse, have failed to press for hard enough. It’s all the friggin’ campaign contributions. No more fundraising. Period.
I'm on board. Sounds like a decent outline of a more modern frame of government for a continental, monied nation. Which is why this will most likely never be signed, let alone ratified, even in the strange chance a convention actually happened.
But hey, let's dream. That's the only way to ever make something happen. I wonder if we're really that much different than the nascent USA in 1786 under the Articles, when unanimity was required to make anything happen nationally.
Anyway, I like term-limiting Congress. 2 for Senators sounds great. What about 4 for Reps, with 3-year terms, just to get out of the box? And 10 years for SCOTUS would be okay, I guess, but I'd be more for 2 terms with automatic renomination and reconfirmation, or just 20 years straight up.
And how about taking a page from the CSA with 1 presidential term pegged at 6 years? No more re-election battles, longer time to fight with a Congress that has greater rotation and different midterms, if not completely eliminated. And maybe it will keep the Southern states around, just for nostalgia.
Speaking of which, Convention would give us a great opportunity to reasses whether or not we want to all stick together. Maybe we could agree to split up amicably. We can work out the issues of army bases and Federal land and whatnot, shake hands and walk away. But anyway...
PS--I'll spare you my typical backlinkages on calls for convention. If you're drunk and bored and care, start here.
In the realm of internet slang, the word this, rather than simply standing in for nouns or noun phrases, has stepped up to replace longer descriptions or discussions. This, when posted with a link to an article, video, song, or the like, can take on meanings as varied as "You should watch this thing I just posted because it’s really great," "This song represents me," or "I totally agree with this article and your life will be better after having read it." This is supremely vague and can morph to fill numerous purposes, though people tend to use this to indicate that they like, relate to, or agree with the thing they’re referencing. Sometimes people will caption these sorts of links with the standalone "THIS," or the extended "This is everything." Whether they use one word or three, people feel that the link or the excerpt they’ve posted is powerful enough to do the talking for them.
The history of this used in this particular context is relatively short. Know Your Meme dates it to sometime shortly before 2009, when a user on Yahoo! Answers posted a question asking why people write "this" under quoted forum posts, suggesting that this usage, as of 2009, was widespread enough to be noticed, but not so common as to be universally understood. Sometimes this appears preceded by a caret (^this), and sometimes it appears in all caps followed by a period (THIS.). This started out in forums and social media posts, and then made its way to the heavily trafficked pages of sites like Gawker.
Follow The Cigar Smoke, Find The White Privilege There
A member of the 1491s speaks out after a little white lady cries when confronted with actual NDNs:
I’m a big dude—6’1”, and a lotta meat on the bones. But a blonde little wisp of a girl completely freaked me out as I waited in line for the bathroom. “Is that shirt supposed to be funny?” she asked motioning to my satirical “Caucasians” T-shirt. And then she said, “I’ll fucking cut you.” Actually, she didn’t scare me so much as the wannabe linebackers standing behind her who looked like they wanted to make good on her threat.
On one level, I get it. I’m walking around with an ironic T-shirt on, being a Native in the middle of FedEx Field with a camera crew from “The Daily Show” nearby. But amid the jeers, mocking and threats, did I cry, and accuse them of ambush? No, because I knew what I was getting myself into. It’s “The Daily Show.” I know the format. More than that though, I didn’t back down or break down because I knew in my heart and conscience I was doing the right thing, as silly as the method may have been.
I think back to the tailgate: the man blowing cigar smoke in my face, the man who mockingly yelled, “Thanks for letting us use your name!”, the group who yelled at us to “go the fuck home,” the little waif who threatened to cut me, the dude who blew the train horn on his truck as I walked by the hood. I think of all of that, and I think back to O’Dell crying and trying desperately to get out of the room full of calm Natives. I thought she was crying because she was caught unawares and was afraid. But I realized that was her defense mechanism, and that by overly dramatizing her experience, she continued to trivialize ours. It was privilege in action. And as I realized these things, something else became incredibly clear: She knew she was wrong.
It's so hard to be a Washington Epithets fan today.
PS--This brought to mind the Oregon baker sobbing about having to make a cake for lesbians. Similar sort of privilege.
In line at Costco, Sam delared that he would shoot me and eat me, so I asked who would cook his dinner? He said, "nobody, because I will eat the whole entire universe!"
Then I told him about this:
Hungry Mungry sat at supper,
Took his knife and spoon and fork,
Ate a bowl of mushroom soup, ate a slice of roasted pork,
Ate a dozen stewed tomatoes, twenty-seven deviled eggs,
Fifteen shrimps, nine bakes potatoes,
Thirty-two fried chicken legs,
A shank of lamb, a boiled ham,
Two bowls of grits, some black-eye peas,
Four chocolate shakes, eight angel cakes,
Nine custard pies with Muenster cheese,
Ten pots of tea, and after he,
Had eaten all that he was able,
He poured some broth on the tablecloth
And ate the kitchen table.
His parents said, "Oh Hungry Mungry, stop these silly jokes."
Mungry opened up his mouth, and "Gulp," he ate his folks.
And then he went and ate his house, all the bricks and wood,
And then he ate up all the people in the neighborhood.
Up came twenty angry policeman shouting, "Stop and cease."
Mungry opened his mouth and "Gulp," he ate the police.
Soldiers came with tanks and guns.
Said Mungry, "They can't harm me."
He just smiled and licked his lips and ate the U.S. Army.
The President sent all his bombers--Mungry still was calm,
Put his head back, gulped the planes, and gobbled up the bomb.
He ate his town and ate the city--ate and ate and--
And then he said, "I think I'll eat the whole United States."
And so he ate Chicago first and munched the Water Tower,
And then he chewed on Pittsburgh but he found it rather sour.
He ate New York and Tennessee, and all of Boston town,
Then drank the Mississippi River just to wash it down.
And when he'd eaten every state, each puppy, boy and girl
He wiped his mouth upon his sleeve and went to eat the world.
He ate the Egypt pyramids and every church in Rome,
And all the grass in Africa and all in ice in Nome.
He ate each hill in green Brazil and then to make things worse
He decided for dessert he'd eat the universe.
He started with the moon and stars and soon as he was done
He gulped the clouds, he sipped the wind and gobbled up the sun.
Then sitting there in the cold dark air,
He started to nibble his feet,
Then his legs, then his hips
Then his neck, then his lips
Till he sat there just gnashin' his teeth
'Cause nothin' was nothin' was
Nothin' was nothin' was
Nothin' was left to eat.
'cause Shel Silverstein was already on my mind.
Stupid Is As Seditious Does
"Without justice, what kind of God are we worshipping?"
Rabbis and others struggle with Rosh Hashanah After Gaza.
This is clearly about Sadie:
Where did you get such a dirty face,My darling dirty-faced child?I got it from crawling along in the dirtAnd biting two buttons off Jeremy’s shirt.I got it from chewing the roots of a roseAnd digging for clams in the yard with my nose.I got it from peeking into a dark caveAnd painting myself like a Navajo brave.I got it from playing with coal in the binAnd signing my name in cement with my chin.I got if from rolling around on the rugAnd giving the horrible dog a big hug.I got it from finding a lost silver mineAnd eating sweet blackberries right off the vine.I got it from ice cream and wrestling and tearsAnd from having more fun than you’ve had in years.
You Didn't Think Martians Would Use Lasers, Did You?
I'm Too Poor To Even Pay Attention To This Chart
I hear rich people built lots of nice stuff during the Gilded Age.
The First Amendments To Be
Oh lookie what happened on September 25, 1789:
The Senate proceeded to consider the message from the House of Representatives of the 24th, with amendments to the amendments of the Senate to "Articles to be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the constitution of the United States;" and,
Resolved, That the Senate do concur in the amendments proposed by the House of Representatives to the amendments of the Senate.
Took over 2 years to ratify the Bill of Rights (um...1st through 10th), not to mention over 200 years to ratify the Compensation Amendment (27th). I think they're still a bit misunderstood to this day, especially that one about Militas.
Oddly enough, methinks Tenthers are still smarting about Ike's application of the Second in Little Rock on this date in 1957...
I'd Write About Caffeine Kills Productivity, But I Need More Coffee
Well, shit: I'm just going through withdrawal all day long?
I'd Write About Clicktivism, But It Sounds Like A Lot Of Work
I'm Gonna Have About 30 Kids
Down Bog Road.
C exhorts Zoey to follow us.
I Will Never Doubt Kirk Cameron Again
It turns out that I was wrong and Kirk Cameron was right. Evolution should be able to produce a crocoduck.
And it did.
Hemant Mehta pointed out on his blog that a paleontologist Paul Sereno described the recently-rediscovered Spinosaurus aegyptiacus as “a chimera — half duck, half crocodile.” See Science magazine for more details.
And so I will admit it. I was wrong about the crocoduck – just as Kirk Cameron was wrong about evolution.
This just proves that science knows nothing, so evolution can be easily dismissed.
Bucket hat retired, warm hat returns for season. Not a long throwback: this was from Boyz Week in February, when Ericka and Sadie were in PDX.
And Here I Thought The Rule Of Law And Integrity Of Elections Was So Important To Conservatives
A loser says what?
“I’ve got a big smile on my face now, and I think I have for several hours. I can’t wipe it off because this was really an effort to put me out of business, I mean, the government was trying to lock me up for between 10 and 16 months and a federal judge said no,” D’Souza said Tuesday night on Fox News’ “The Kelly File.” “My own country tried to put me away and the court said no.”
“If I was locked up, I would not have been able to make a film in the election year, 2016,” he said. “Now I can do my work, I can continue to write books, continue to function.”
Oh no, his own country tried to enforce the law and asked that he suffer mild consequences, which another part of his own country reduced! And I hear tell he admitted his crime whilst his right to due process was protected.
Anyway, I'm pretty sure nobody was trying to silence D'Felon. The free market already did that.
McTeagle's Endless Poetic Invention
Behold, the majestic power of what is surely his greatest work:
Can I have fifty pounds to mend the shed?
I'm right on my uppers.
I can pay you back
When this postal order comes from Australia.
Hope the bladder trouble's getting better.
No True Scotsman Votes For Union
It's almost like Edward Longshanks has returned:
The debate over Scotland's future fizzled amid a bitter war of words Sunday, with Scottish leader Alex Salmond claiming his countrymen were "tricked" into rejecting independence in a referendum, and Britain's three main political parties bickering over how to take political reform forward.
Salmond, Scotland's outgoing independence leader, accused politicians in London of reneging on their promises to hand more power to Scots in a rare cross-party pact that he said played a crucial role in swinging the votes in favor of union in Thursday's vote.
I blame the tricksy blancmanges.
Transcending Gender On TV
My old Colby prof, Jenny Boylan, writes of transitions:
[T]he question of what kind of families transgender people create is central to the most highly anticipated television show of the fall season, Jill Soloway’s Transparent (on which I served as a paid consultant). The pilot is available for free online now; the whole series is downloadable as of Friday from Amazon. There’s been a lot of buzz around the show, in part because Amazon seems to be taking the Netflix model one step further, in launching an online-only series that has the kind of sophistication and edge we’re more familiar seeing from the likes of HBO.
2014 has been a remarkable year of progress for transgender people. But one question that seems to still linger is the one at the heart of Transparent. What kind of messages are sent to children when they see their parents change gender? As one well-meaning friend said to me, back during the days of transition, “Who’s going to teach your son to mow the lawn and throw a football? Who’s going to teach your son how to be a man?”
What our family has learned, over the last 14 years, is that love transcends gender. And it is the love that our sons have received from both parents and from each other, that has made them who they are.
Transparent--starring Jeffrey Tambor--is on our Amazon Instant Video watchlist.
It Takes Money To Move Money To Make Money
Remember when American corporations built actual stuff?
CEOs claim that America’s burdensome 35 percent corporate tax rate forces them to be creative, and in absence of fundamental tax reform, they must reluctantly renounce their corporate citizenship to stay competitive with their overseas counterparts. First of all, in actuality, corporate taxes are not much of a burden; thanks to all the loopholes and credits, corporations pay on average a 12.6 percent tax rate, according to a 2013 Government Accountability Office paper. Second, by that logic, if I think a bank vault unfairly denies me access to lots of money, I should be allowed to use creative strategies to bust it open.
In reality, corporations’ reasons to invert have nothing to do with staying competitive, as USC law professor Ed Kleinbard explained in a recent paper. It’s merely about preventing the unintended consequences of one gimmick, by loading up on another gimmick.
You see, multinational corporations have more than $2 trillion parked offshore, money that was either earned through foreign subsidiaries, or from a series of tax-sheltering strategies. That money, in theory, cannot be transferred to their American operations – in particular, to reward executives and shareholders – without paying a tax. Corporations therefore defer repatriating these profits, and the money remains “trapped” overseas, although the bulk of it is actually invested in things like Treasury bonds, earning modest interest amid the tax avoidance.
Corporations first tried to deal with this through public whining, claiming that they could not reinvest in America without bringing this money home tax-free. In 2004, Congressapproved a tax amnesty on offshore cash, but the $300 billion repatriated did not go to investment or growth, but mostly to stock buybacks and dividends to goose share prices.
The 2004 amnesty led corporations to assume that they could simply stockpile money out of the U.S., and beg Congress for another reprieve. But Congress, incredibly, learned a lesson, and never allowed repatriation again.
So inversions became a second option for trying to unlock overseas cash. Once corporations establish a headquarters offshore, they can basically funnel money into it to avoid taxes, in a number of ways. They can make loans from the offshore cash into their new foreign parent company, “hopscotching” the U.S. tax system. They can strip earningsfrom their domestic operations and, through accounting tricks, pretend they were earned overseas, again passing them along to the foreign parent. They can spin out their assets to a shell company built in a tax haven (known as a “spinversion”) to facilitate the earnings stripping and hopscotch loans.
In all cases, the goal is to get as much money into the lowest tax treatment as possible. And it won’t surprise you to know that Wall Street, which facilitates all these mergers,makes a tidy profit in the exchange, nearly a billion dollars in the past three years.
Say what you will about the Fed, at least they actually make money. Maybe they could print some and give it to the rest of us so we can use gimmicks to make more, thus stimulating our personal economies.
Let's Talk Beliefs
"White noise, Black noise."
So much for us. So much for the flags we boredInto planets dry as chalk, for the tin cans we filled with fireAnd rode like cowboys into all we tried to tame. Listen:The dark we've only ever imagined now audible, thrumming,Marbled with static like gristly meat. A chorus of engines churns.Silence taunts: a dare. Everything that disappearsDisappears as if returning somewhere.
Tracy K. Smith.
Speaking Of Space Travel
A couple interesting short items:
- Burka - Indian Mission to Mars Outsourced to U.S.
- Engadget - NVIDIA's new GPU proves moon landing truthers wrong.
Welcome To The Club
Go, go, Mangalyaan!
India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) probe was captured by the Red Planet's gravity around 10:11 p.m. EDT Tuesday (Sept. 23; 0211 GMT and 7:41 a.m. Indian Standard Time on Wednesday, Sept. 24), making India's space agency just the fourth entity — after the United States, the European Space Agency and the former Soviet Union — to successfully place a spacecraft in Mars orbit.
The MOM probe, which is named Mangalyaan (Sanskrit for "Mars Craft"), executed a 24-minute orbital insertion burn Tuesday night, ending a 10-month space journey that began with the spacecraft's launch on Nov. 5, 2013.
It's been a groovy trip. Glad to have India in the interplanetary exploration club.
Last To Die
By Danusha Laméris:
Every language must have a word for this. A wordour grandmothers uttered under their breathas they pinned the whites, soaked in lemon,hung them to dry in the sun, or peeled potatoes,dropping the discarded skins into a bowl.Our sons will return next month, insha’Allah.Insha’Allah this war will end, soon. Insha’Allahthe rice will be enough to last through winter.How lightly we learn to hold hope,as if it were an animal that could turn aroundand bite your hand. And still we carry itthe way a mother would, carefully,from one day to the next.
I learned about it in Israel/Palestine. Still find myself saying the word from time to time...
Being Che Guevara
Better Than A Hobby Lobby Get Out Of Jail Free Card
Actor Kevin Sorbo on Tuesday asserted that the National Football League (NFL) could not be expected to hold anyone accountable for mistakes in handling domestic violence scandals as longs as the White House was not held responsible for the terrorist attacks in Benghazi.
I also cannot be expected to obey traffic laws until somebody finds some evidence that Obama somehow fucked up in #Bangeezer.
Trash The Planet
Around 400,000 people marched through Manhattan yesterday to send a message to world leaders regarding the dire consequences of climate change, and the urgent, desperate necessity of enacting sweeping reforms to stop it. It appears at least 150,000 of those people tossed away their paper Starbucks cups.
Of course, I jested about other types of waste...
A Narrow Electorate Is A Sacred Electorate