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Happy Labor Day! I want to tell you I’m laboring too, over a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Yes I am. Some short ribs on a slow cook in the oven slathered with sauce and pasta salad and corn relish melding in the fridge. It’s a quiet, fairly overcast day.

Yesterday the Bronco did good. We got into town for a whirlwind trip of groceries and hair cuttings and a new vacuum cleaner. Still much to be done, and of course the next disaster is no doubt lurking around a corner waiting to pounce. But as of now, things have calmed.

We have taped the entire Star Wars saga and are going to watch them in order. A novel idea doncha think?

I’m twittering a lot these days. Which means I haven’t devoted the time I usually do to blogging and blogs. So much fun on twitter with the retweets. I get sometimes a half-dozen new followers a day, and come across some funny stuff. It’s also fun to think you are actually talking to people you watch on TV. Why Sarah speaks, and Keith and Rachel and Colbert and ME chime in with tastefully snotty replies. It’s a hoot.

I don’t know how Martha Stewart does it, juggling all the stuff she does. Nor other Type A personalities who are driven. I’m not so driven. But you knew that.

One of the reasons why in some regions of planet earth, humans moved forward into more sophisticated modes of community, was based on whether they had indigenous animals suitable for domesticating. This allowed greater movement of peoples and their belongings but also allowed drudge work of farming to be handled by animals, freeing up our minds and hands to other creative pursuits.

A number of evolutionarily interested folks are looking at the changes we were thus able to make in our new “community” way of life as driving forward our bigger brains. In essence, perhaps gene mutation is one factor, but new ways of living push us forward as well. A new book lays this out and is worth a look at. Read a short review of The Artificial Ape: How Technology Changed the Course of Human Evolution.

A goodly number of folks would tell you that the Dems are about to suffer some mighty big losses come this November. Of course, if we become pessimistic and decide not to vote, then we will cause that to be true. That’s a self-fulfilling prophesy as they say. But Jim Kessler (who has some street cred here) has some ideas of why it need not be so. We need to find some optimism here, so do read.

One of many things that disgusts me about the average American voter is that they seem to have the attention span of a gnat. Everyone knows that you don’t recover from the ditch Bush and his evil band put us in, in a couple of years. Yet as much as Obama has cautioned that it will take years to recover, people are ready to throw him and Democrats out and usher in the party of NO simply because they are like two-year olds with no self-control. So the recession will drag on for more years than necessary. Remember FDR did not turn around the country in four years either, certainly not in two. Read Paul Krugman’s assessment.

There is a story at Killing the Buddha by Alane Mason. It’s about a gay friend, about death, dying, but most of all about faith and living. It is breathtakingly beautiful in its writing and in what it says. It is one of those pieces that make you gasp at the strange beauty of our humanity. It gives pause, it gives hope. You should just read it.

I still mourn Freddy Mercury, lead singer of Queen. He died of AIDS, back when everyone infected died of AIDS. He would have been 64. So many of our finest artists died in those early years. So many died, and were reviled and shrunk from as if breathing the same air they did was dangerous. We didn’t know better I guess, but still awful.

I remember being a lawyer and seeing deputies wear surgical gloves just to touch an inmate who was HIV positive. I recall a court clerk who scraped a pen used by an infected inmate into the garbage can with a piece of paper. I remember, and I am ashamed for those people and their ugly fears and callous behavior.

Grumpy Lion sends us over to Common Dreams to read a long essay by David Michael Green. I’m an American.  I live in a country – nay, an empire! – that insists on destroying itself. He echoes my thoughts, far more eloquently that I ever could. Read it and sigh. It is all too true I fear. And when you have finished reading, you will weep.

Have a good barbecue today folks and see ya tomorrow!