|2 Dec 2004 @ 10:57, by jazzolog. Politics|
Beginning is not only a kind of action, it is also a frame of mind, a kind of work, an attitude, a consciousness.
Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood.
Bowing is a very serious practice. You should be prepared to bow, even in your last moment. Even though it is impossible to get ride of our self-centered desires, we have to do it. Our true nature wants us to.
Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851
Leutze, Emanuel Gottlieb
In this case, we need George Washington to be crossing into Delaware County, Ohio. I'm dashing off this entry I'm afraid, while considering I really should stay home from work today to research more thoroughly what's going on in my state currently. Let's see how I can order these events and stories for your convenience. More >
|26 Nov 2004 @ 18:05, by jazzolog. Politics|
When crows find a dying snake,
They behave as if they were eagles.
When I see myself as a victim,
I am hurt by trifling failures.
Learn to wish that everything should come to pass exactly as it does.
I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.
Hope In The Prison Of Despair
Evelyn de Morgan (1855-1919)
So much for happy Thanksgiving. But nobody ever said we can't give thanks sadly...or anxiously. Hysterically? Probably not to very good effect, eh?
OK, what am I talking about? I really was elated as we moved into the holiday, even though Judge Carr had turned down the Green and Libertarian parties' motion to a Federal Court to begin the recount early. Their point had been that waiting for Secretary of State Blackwell to certify the election, on a date I've seen given variously as December 3rd or 6th, would make completion of a recount impossible by December 13th, when the Electoral College convenes. [link] As Dan Tokaji explains Carr's decision, these minority candidates are highly unlikely to benefit in terms of new results; and since they're the plaintiffs, there's no reason to try to beat the deadline for Electoral College convention. Besides, Blackwell, dragging his feet and every other part of his Republican body, already had protested we can't have a REcount before the actual count is finished. He'd surely appeal a favorable verdict for the Greens and Libertarians. More >
|24 Nov 2004 @ 12:35, by swanny. Politics|
I wonder...? is it hard to be the boss of the wealthiest province in the country? It is perhaps hard to be a boss regardless, but in a province awash in resources, capital and money, it must be somewhat easier?
Policies have been enacted that have benefited the people or at least some of the people or perhaps the people that seem to count. The oil companies, the power companies, the pundits and politicians, the packing houses and all the spin offs have received their share and due of the provincial pie but what? Are perhaps some being overlooked or forgotten or are they perhaps just plain misunderstood?
It is perhaps not necessarily so much that the working poor and the disadvantaged etc etc want more than they are allotted but they, I would assure, certainly don't want less and yet less and less is what is transpiring and what they are getting.
Study after study seem to indicate that the gap between the rich and poor mysteriously seems to be widening even as the standards of life are increasing. The have nots have not though been receiving any less in number or amount but in the breakdown and workings of economics, that amounts to receiving less and less, due to purchasing power and real dollar value and due to inflation and the cost of living increases and the general profit taking of market forces. In short they are in fact receiving less and less by receiving the same and the disparity increases with and due to time.
Is this right ? Is it right not to adjust or index these amounts and programs to at least the rate of inflation and allow them to at least "retain" a state of decent impoverishment rather than sink further and further into despair and sometimes debt? It is bad enough from time to time to be poor and sick and ill and old or young but to on top of it become poorer and poorer day by day, minute by minute, as inflation and the cost of living continually eat away at ones meager means, savings and income seems inhumane and cruel. At least it seems so to me.
What does it appear to you?
|21 Nov 2004 @ 18:41, by ming. Politics|
The evidence of massive fraud in the U.S. election seems to be mounting from all sides. Now this one: 'Stinking Evidence' of Possible Election Fraud Found in Florida from CommonDreams. The story of some folks who try to get to look at the original signed voting records in various places in Florida.
Bev showed up bright and early the morning of Wednesday the 17th - well before the scheduled meeting - and discovered three of the elections officials in the Elections Warehouse standing over a table covered with what looked like poll tapes. When they saw Bev and her friends, Bev told me in a telephone interview less than an hour later, "They immediately shoved us out and slammed the door."
In a way, that was a blessing, because it led to the stinking evidence.
"On the porch was a garbage bag," Bev said, "and so I looked in it and, and lo and behold, there were public record tapes."
Thrown away. Discarded. Waiting to be hauled off.
"It was technically stinking, in fact," Bev added, "because what they had done was to have thrown some of their polling tapes, which are the official records of the election, into the garbage. These were the ones signed by the poll workers. These are something we had done an official public records request for."
When the elections officials inside realized that the people outside were going through the trash, they called the police and one came out to challenge Bev.
Kathleen Wynne, a www.blackboxvoting.org investigator, was there.
"We caught the whole thing on videotape," she said. "I don't think you'll ever see anything like this - Bev Harris having a tug of war with an election worker over a bag of garbage, and he held onto it and she pulled on it, and it split right open, spilling out those poll tapes. They were throwing away our democracy, and Bev wasn't going to let them do it."
As I was interviewing Bev just moments after the tussle, she had to get off the phone, because, "Two police cars just showed up."
She told me later in the day, in an on-air interview, that when the police arrived, "We all had a vigorous debate on the merits of my public records request."
The outcome of that debate was that they all went from the Elections Warehouse back to the Elections Office, to compare the original, November 2 dated and signed poll tapes with the November 15 printouts the Elections Office had submitted to the Secretary of State. A camera crew from www.votergate.tv met them there, as well.
And then things got even odder.
"We were sitting there comparing the real [signed, original] tapes with the [later printout] ones that were given us," Bev said, "and finding things missing and finding things not matching, when one of the elections employees took a bin full of things that looked like garbage - that looked like polling tapes, actually - and passed by and disappeared out the back of the building."
This provoked investigator Ellen Brodsky to walk outside and check the garbage of the Elections Office itself. Sure enough - more original, signed poll tapes, freshly trashed.
It is going to be really strange if some of this stuff doesn't end up blowing up really big. Bush might end up being sorry that he got elected, or whatever it was that he was. That same team of vote investigators there found that without exception all the cheating was in Bush's favor. More >
|19 Nov 2004 @ 10:51, by jazzolog. Politics|
I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
Excessive stress is involved in a wide variety of medical conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, ulcers, acid reflux disease, strokes, and many other illnesses. Though most of us have heard that deep breathing can help us relax in the midst of stressful situations, many of us do not really know how to breathe deeply. We do not really know how to breathe deeply. We do not know how to quiet our minds and emotions and release the unnecessary tension in our diaphragm, ribs, belly, and back that restricts our breathing. As a result, our efforts to deal with stress through deep breathing often result in shallow, fast breathing which tends to make us even more nervous, anxious, and tense than we already are.
Though it is extremely important to your breath and health to learn how to quiet your mind and emotions and to release unnecesarry tension in your breathing muscles, there is a simple breathing practice that you can use in the meantime to help you relax. In this approach, you simply emphasize and lengthen your exhalation. The long exhalation helps turn on your parasympathetic nervous system, your "relaxation response."
Using this technique, there's nothing to do except to make sure that your exhalation is longer than your inhalation. You don't have to count to do this. Just put your attention on your breathing as you exhale. Sense the air from your lungs going out slowly and gently through your nose. When you're finished exhaling, don't put your attention on the inhalation. In fact, don't make any kind of effort to inhale at all. Just wait for your inhalation to arise by itelf. Take several complete breaths in this way.
If, after several breaths, your exhalation still isn't longer than your inhalation, simply imagine that you are gently blowing out a single candle as you exhale slowly and effortlessly through pursed lips. Take several more breaths in this way, and you will soon find yourself beginning to relax. To deepen this relaxation, you can hum for several breaths.
Breathing in, breathing out, feeling resentful, feeling happy, being able to drop it, not being able to drop it, eating our food, brushing our teeth, walking, sitting---whatever we're doing could be done with one intention. That intention is that we want to wake up, we want to ripen our compassion, and we want to ripen our ability to let go, we want to realize our connection with all beings. Everything in our lives has the potential to wake us up or to put us to sleep. Allowing it to awaken us is up to us.
The photo is from the increasingly popular image site Sorry Everybody. [link] More >
| 18 Nov 2004 @ 18:58, by ming. Politics|
It is probably inevitable. The dollar is dropping, the euro is stronger than ever. The EU economy is growing. The rest of the world might not want to prop up the US economy forever. More countries are reconsidering using the dollar as their reserve currency. WorldChanging:
The International Monetary Fund might have to move some time in the next four years, according to Clyde Prestowitz, on the November 12, 2004 evening edition of public radio's Marketplace.
The development agency's charter dictates that it be located in the member country with the largest economy, and the IMF HQ has been in Washington, DC for nearly 60 years.
But the current U.S. federal deficit, as well as trade imbalances that have Americans consuming $600 billion more than they save or produce, may cause some international banks to reconsider their investments in the U.S., which could drop us down to second - or maybe further. Says Prestowitz:
We consider ourselves the unchallenged leader, the best ever, but the ground is really shifting beneath our feet...if one of the central banks of China, or Japan, or Korea, Taiwan or Singapore, decides that we're not such a hot investment anymore, the dollar will fall like a rock. In fact, some time in the next four years, the dollar is almost certain to drop by as much as 50% or even more against some key currencies...the E.U. is only a 10% drop away in the dollar's value from being the world's biggest economy, and Asia is on the march.
The U.S. will soon no longer have the highest per capita income or be the biggest market in the world for most products. It will no longer set all the standards. Our technological leadership will diminish.
Think about it. If we don't get our act together, it really won't take much to get those moving trucks rolling.
Some sources say the EU already is the world's biggest economy. I don't know where the numbers are. Anyway, now this nice article from Salon, Welcome to the New Cold War (click Free One Day Pass, if you're not a member).
A specter is haunting America, and it ain't the specter of communism (however much George W. Bush and company might like to describe it that way). Barely a decade after the definitive collapse of the Soviet bloc, the United States finds itself in a new cold war, one being fought simultaneously on economic, political and cultural fronts, and one it is by no means certain to win. The unipolar world of uncontested American hegemony that we were told to expect into the indefinite future has come to an end; it lasted just about long enough for us to scratch our heads and wonder what was happening next.
Yes, "Old Europe," to borrow Donald Rumsfeld's famous quip, is back, and it's looking pretty spry for its age. As Americans are finally beginning to notice, Europeans (or most of them, anyway) have reconstituted themselves into an enormous transnational superstate of 25 nations, 455 million people and an $11 trillion economy. This is, of course, the European Union, and its aims have become much broader and deeper than the stuff you've probably heard about, like allowing citizens to drive from Seville to Sicily without a passport, or to use the same anonymous-looking currency to buy a pint of Guinness in Cork and a glass of ouzo in Crete.
Any studies done recently of quality of life or on personal freedom consistently show a long list of mostly European countries at the top. The US is not in the top ten. That the U.S. is the biggest military power doesn't change that. On the contrary.
If the EU has no intention of confronting America's military supremacy, that, Rifkin and Reid would agree, is actually Europe's ace in the hole. Let the Americans pour endless billions in taxpayer dollars down the Pentagon's money sink, the Europeans reason. As they see it, the key to future peace and prosperity lies elsewhere, in constructing complex webs of social interaction and economic cooperation that will undermine nationalism and fundamentalism of all stripes. While the United States foots the bill for the intractable conflict in Iraq and piles up huge budget and trade deficits, Europe has spent money on other priorities. ...
The U.S. has fallen significantly behind the EU's Western European nations in infant mortality and life expectancy, despite spending more on healthcare per capita than any of them. (While 40 million Americans are uninsured, no one in Europe -- I repeat, not a single person -- lacks some form of healthcare coverage.)
European children are consistently better educated; the United States would rank ninth in the EU in reading, ninth in scientific literacy, and 13th in math. Twenty-two percent of American children grow up in poverty, which means that our country ranks 22nd out of the 23 industrialized nations, ahead of only Mexico and behind all 15 of the pre-2004 EU countries. What's more horrifying: the statistic itself or the fact that no American politician to the right of Dennis Kucinich would ever address it?
Perhaps more surprisingly, European business has not been strangled by the EU welfare state; in fact, quite the opposite is true. Europe has surpassed the United States in several high-tech and financial sectors, including wireless technology, grid computing and the insurance industry. The EU has a higher proportion of small businesses than the U.S., and their success rate is higher.
It is actually puzzling that EU can work so well. Huge bureaucracies everywhere, heavy taxation, and nobody really agrees on very much. The governments have lots of parties and rarely any unified direction. The populace usually isn't very happy with their governments, and complains about their countries a lot of the time. Lots of people in the EU countries aren't very happy with the whole EU thing, and have no great interest in being a super-state together with everybody else. Nobody's very sure what the EU's various bodies are doing.
But as the writer touches on, complex webs of relations and social interactions take place here. It is not so much about a unified direction that everybody's lining up behind. It is not about everybody agreeing. Rather, everybody's talking about everything all the time. Everything is something to have a dialogue about. Everything is to be discussed, and the outcome isn't clear in advance. It depends. And things happen based on those complex webs of relations, not necessarily based on orders from above.
And that's what makes the EU hugely different from the US. In the US things are much more simple. There are different sides that try to win, so they can decide what direction things go in. But there's hardly any public dialogue about anything. There's no culture of talking things over to find the right answers. There isn't much room for constructively having different opinions. You aren't taught to think that way, so only if you make a special effort will you make it there. You're typically for or against things.
People are probably more motivated in the U.S. More inclined to make a concerted effort to do something special, make a mark on the world. Where Europeans often are more cynical and less inclined to leave the fold. Except for in thought. Europeans overall tend to be much better informed about the world and prepared for discussing just about anything. But less inclined to personally and directly do anything about them.
But things don't only get done by personal inititative. Sometimes talk-first-and-act-later might be more effective than act-first-and-don't-think-too-much. A more complex networked inter-dependent society might do better than a simple top-down laissez-faire society. More >
|14 Nov 2004 @ 12:06, by jazzolog. Politics|
Like a dream,
Whatever I enjoy
Will become a memory;
The past is not revisited.
That moment you leap free of yourself, the wine of the friend, in all its brilliance and dazzle, is held out to you.
---Jalal Al-Din Rumi
Everything is true just as it is:
Why dislike it?
Why hate it?
Painting by Paul Charles Chocarne-Moreau (1855-1931): The Cunning Thief
So where are we on this Sunday? How are the Ohio Boards of Election proceeding and did Kerry's lawyers find anything? Various blogs are on fire with incidents and speculation, but the media is quiet---except an occasional report about the blogs. JohnKerry.com is virtually retired, with his concession speech being the most recent item.
David Cobb and Michael Bednarik (learn those names!) of the Green and Libertarian parties respectively issued a joint statement calling for a recount in Ohio. [link] They're well on the way to getting the fee together ($113,000) and Cobb said before the election that a Bush victory will ensure the Greens a major voice in the restructuring of the Democratic party. You're probably aware that they and Ralph Nader, of course, are demanding recounts in other states as well. At this point, I have not heard the Democrats have done so anywhere. More >
|12 Nov 2004 @ 18:49, by vaxen. Politics|
With the burning Bush in office and the Draft rumored to be comin round the mountain is it any wonder your young, AmeriKKKa, are committing to 'sui-cide?'
Too bad that their innate 'courage' and 'moral sense' has been so bludgeoned out of them that they cannot see alternatives. No, I do'nt mean turning the other cheek either!
As long as you are content to be dogs and cattle your so called leaders (Enslavers) will contimue to exploit and harness you to their own 'evil' ends without sanction.
Of course I do realise how you've been dumbed down and mind controlled through every form of 'mass media' bullshit available to you.
But, in my book, that is really no excuse as you've been warned all along, by citizens like me, who know, that you are being duped...
the proverbal 'lambs lead to the slaughter.' WAKE UP! You won't, though, and that is cause for great sorrow. More >
|7 Nov 2004 @ 20:27, by ov. Politics|
Kerry may have given up on challenging the theft of yet another election, and I am wondering if his function all along was as political strawman. Fortunately the citizens haven't given up even though the politicians have, and that is perhaps the most important lesson to be learned by this latest exercise in "government by the people for the people."
Bev Harris at www.blackboxvoting.com is continuing to gather evidence, and jumping through all the hoops set up by the Freedom of Information act to get vital public informtion. She needs money so if you have some to spare it's for a good cause.
Discrepencies between exit polls and final results are a major cause of concern. The biggest differences were in those districts that used paper ballots counted by optical scanning equipment (Diebold once again) and the percentages between the voters registered to a party, and the votes that were actually cast, were reversed.
"In Baker County, for example, with 12,887 registered voters, 69.3% of them Democrats and 24.3% of them Republicans, the vote was only 2,180 for Kerry and 7,738 for Bush, the opposite of what is seen everywhere else in the country where registered Democrats largely voted for Kerry. In Dixie County, with 4,988 registered voters, 77.5% of them Democrats and a mere 15% registered as Republicans, only 1,959 people voted for Kerry, but 4,433 voted for Bush."
Another area of concern is that the central computer for tabulating all the votes is a Windows based PC. A video clip at www.votergate.tv shows how easily the data file can be opened with an Excel spreadsheet and the data changed. (I know I'm a cynic but four years ago Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, was the lobbyist for Microsoft to Bush, and we know that the Microsoft monopoloy crisis was resolved, and I'd always thought that this was due to campaign contributions, but now I'm starting to wonder if it might have been software backdoors.)
The complete article by Thom Hartmann is posted below. More >
|5 Nov 2004 @ 05:27, by ming. Politics|
Great idea from BoingBoing:
MY MODEST PROPOSAL: THE U.S.A.R.
By C. B. Shapiro
I feel bad for the Red States.
Yes, they won the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court and most of the state houses. But they still can't have the country they really want because the last few Blue States won't roll over. So I am making a simple proposal:
Secession. Divorce. Splitsville.
Personally, I think we made a huge mistake not letting them go when we had the chance back in 1862. Well, no time like the present to correct an old mistake.
Then, they would finally be free to have the kind of society they've always wanted; church and state can be fused so they build the kind of theocracy they've dreamt of, with Jesus at the helm. Then the new USAR (United States of America Red) can ban books, repeal civil rights, persecute gays and have all the wars they like. They want prayer in schools? More power to them. They can ban abortion and post the Ten Commandments in every federal building in their country. Bring back slavery, if they want. We'll be free to live with our like-minded countrymen who believe in science, modernism, tolerance, religion as a personal choice, and truly want limited government intrusion in our personal lives. Why should each side be driven mad by the other any more, decade after decade?
Call the Culture War a tie and everyone go home.
Of course, we in the U.S.A.B. get the Gross Domestic Product, businesses and universities of California, New York, Massachussetts -- basically the whole Northeast and Northwest (plus Illinois and Michigan if they want to come along). They get Wal-Mart and Duke and most of the Nascar tracks. But they can feel free to import movies, TV shows, financial services, and defense technology. We'll import country music, bibles and Confederate flags.
The two countries will by necessity have open immigration policy: anyone who feels they are living in the wrong country can just move across the border, no questions asked.
Ultimately, why should I have to convince my fellow countrymen that Darwin may have had a point and that the word “liberal” is not equivalent to “godless communist?” And why should they be forced to live in a country with morally corrupt non-believers? I'll stay in the messy, free-thinking U.S.A.B. And to the U.S.A.R. I say…
God bless you all, and see you at the U.N
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