Crystal Ball Gazing

Well, a no-fly zone has been instituted over Libya. It may be too little, too late. I guess there is no way to know at this point.

I don’t know if it was the right thing to do or not, but I do know that doing nothing was unacceptable. Somehow we have to make it clear to petty dictators that murdering your massive opposition is not acceptable, no matter how many paid henchmen you can pay.

There is nothing clear about whether it will succeed or not–the no-fly zone I mean. Andrew Sullivan directs us to Marc Lynch and his views which I think are well worth reading. All depends, in his view, as to whether or not we can succeed and do so quickly. The stakes are high. Bahrain and Yemen are both now engaged in severe crackdowns against rebels in their nations. A quick success in Libya could give them pause. Otherwise, the cries for freedom may be muffled once again.

Some good news in Wisconsin. A judge there has placed a temporary restraining order against the Govenator’s new union busting bill. A full hearing will be held, to determine the legality of the sleazy trick the GOP attempted by violating the “open records” law. There is some reason apparently to think that the judge might be inclined to the union side of the equation.

Lest we forget, the GOP of course is claiming that union benefit packages, including pensions are grossly unfair and bloated. All the while they claim this, not a one of them refuses their own pension plans gifted to them by taxpayers. Steven King (R-IA), oinker from Iowa, claims his is “slim pickins”, while the FACTS seem to suggest just the opposite. Like health care, which they are also again, and which they also receive from the taxpayers. Me thinks King, et.al. speak with forked tongues.

Did you know that in the three areas of the US that carry the english version of Al-Jazeera, it gets quite high ratings? Did you know that every time cable networks start to talk about putting them on the regular cable news lineup, the conservatives go bat shit crazy? Political Irony suggests, I guess we don’t have freedom of speech here unless it agrees with what corporate-owned media likes.

As many of you know, the Dalai Lama has been the political and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people for many years. He has been in exile since 1959. Recently he signaled his intent to step down as political leader, feeling that the Tibetan people should be able to rule themselves. They don’t like the idea, and apparently do not intend to amend their constitution to make that possible. I guess it means that the Dalai Lama is doing something right. It’s hard to think of any leader that the people wish to remain in office in this world today. Maybe we should take a look.

A book you might want to take a look at, called the Sufi’s Garden.

The Sufi’s Garland
by Manav Sachdeva Maasoom
Published by: ROMAN Books
Publication date: 25th March 2011
Price: $24.95 (Hardcover)
104 pp, 6-1/8 x 9-1/4″
ISBN: 978-93-80040-02-8

A small excerpt:

I went outside to see
if God’s voice
was disturbing anybody

I think I’m going to inquire about getting it for review. It looks simply divine. [h/t 3quarksdaily]

I bet you forgot, that you used to memorize things. If you are old as me anyway, which is older than most trees, but not quite as old as the Jurassic. See, we used to memorize things like phone numbers and addresses. And we don’t have to do that any more, so we are beginning to lose our abilities to remember stuff. I can tell you that is true because I dare not send the Contrarian to the store to pick up five things without writing them down. Actually, make that three things.

Anyway, there is a new book out that helps you remember what you never knew, or something like that. How to remember stuff. Moonwalking with Einstein: the Art and Science of Remembering Everything. Read a review of it here.

Okay, you got enough information to make you  the hit of the party tonight. Have at it.

All Snugged UP

Okay, it wasn’t actually THAT bad. To be honest, we don’t really know how much snow we got. All the places where we measure were clean of snow. It blew THAT hard. There are places where there are a couple of inches, and then drifts that are two feet high. I’m guessing we got about 4-5 inches.

Still, we are most assuredly snowed in. Which is okay sort of. I mean we got food, and wood. We don’t have any special treats for Superbowl Sunday.

I can’t go shopping til whenever, because when we get out we have to get a new alternator first. And there is plenty of snow in the forecast, though amounts are still up in the air–“up in the air”– get it? And after about four days in the twenties, it’s going back to single digits and subzero at night.

February can go suck an egg.

***

I don’t like much I’m reading in the news so far. Just a few snippets minus the links. Rand Paul is trying to suck money from his supporters with a baseless fear about the US signing a treaty that will strip all private gun ownership. This with the UN. It’s all nonsense as even the NRA admits, yet Paul will scare a lot of folks into sending him money.  What a jerk.

A woman tried to mail a puppy in a two-day priority mail box. Puppy discovered and saved. Woman crazy and should be locked up.

Anderson Cooper assaulted in Cairo as pro-Mubarak forces are sent out to engage violently with the anti-government forces. Meanwhile of course the wackos continue to claim that the “pro-al Qaeda Muslim Brotherhood” has as its first priority to attack Israel.

Within hours of the faked up anti-planned parenthood video, websites and marches are set up and ready to go. Does anyone smell a rat here? All the usual right-wing groups are signed up.

I’m not sure I want to read any more news.

***

Steven Benen does a good analysis of Glenn Beck’s latest insanity. Turkey, a republic since 1928, is in fact a dictatorship according to Beckian land. He posits that China will take New Zealand and all kinds of other squirrelly nonsense. Beck has lost some 1/3 of his followers and seems desperate. Thus the claims get even more insane. Read the analysis and link to the embedded video to see the wacko in action. Followers are being told to “store up food.” Oh and PS: read the comments which are hilarious: “It’s like taking Jack Benny seriously as Hamlet.” Too funny.

***

El Baradei, thought by many to be a likely head of an interim government in Egypt, is well thought of by most of the moderates and liberals. Of course that means he is an enemy of the far right. Both Gingrich (who cares), and John McCain (who cares even less) have warned on Fox Crap that El Baradei is a secret radical and an enemy of the US. What a crock. El Baradei, you will remember, raised the ire of the neo-cons back in the day when he told the truth about Iraq and made their “dangerous” Iraq proofs all the harder.

***
It seems the media is more fun than ever these days. Billo the Clown, touter of “fair and balanced” made it quite clear, that when one “knows” fair and balanced, one knows “not fair and balanced.” And Al-Jazeera is not fair and balanced, and if Alan Colmes suggests they are, well Billo just screams him down. I think that Billo just felt a jab of guilt, don’t you?

***

Reagan’s Solicitor General, and now Harvard professor, Charles Fried says that the new Health Care Law is surely constitutional. This pissed off Orin Hatch to no end, but I’m guessing Fried is a bit more knowledgeable than Hatch. A video of his testimony at Truthout.

***

The call it “Fox Geezer syndrome” and more and more people are complaining about it. It seems that our elderly, left with nothing to do, are turning to Fox and Beck and well, becoming conspiracy fanatics. When they kids call or visit, they are met with endless diatribes about Obama, and the left, to the point that such conversations must be avoided. Funny, but sad it in a way too, because many reporting this are conservatives themselves, and find their parents descent into Fox madness quite disconcerting.

Also, Beck’s numbers have fallen by 1.5 million, and Fox’s median age is, get this: 65! Retirees with nothing to do, sit and watch this crap show all day and night and are the elderly zombie generation. Unreal isn’t it?

***

But another reason why fundamentalist beliefs and rational politics don’t mix. Mikey Huckabee is against the Palestinians having a homeland of their own. Forget of course that it was their homeland long before “God gave it to Israel.” No, Huck believes in the biblical history that suggests that Israel gets all of the promised land. It begs the question that if Huck runs for president, he’s gonna have to explain if he is a biblical apocalyptic believer. If so, I’m thinking he has disqualified himself from the job. Scary crap.