Just Another Day at the Races

Morning!

There is a new post over at Walking in the Shadows should you be interested. I’m keeping more of the religious stuff there rather than here, unless I think that the posting is of interest to all. This latest one, is I guess, but I posted it there anyway.

I’m back to using Foxfire Mozilla again, and finding it works fantastic. The issues I had with it and my blog are gone, as well as my reader issues. On top of that, it solved problems that were so bad on FB and Twitter, that they were getting virtually unusable for me. So hurrah!

Don’t know how much time you had to devote to the OneNation Rally this weekend. I had precious little, but I gleaned a few things: Fox gave it a lot of notice, figuring I assume that they could spin it in either direction. A big crowd = tons of progressives unhappy with Obama, or a small crowd = the progressive movement is puny.

So far, I can get no reliable numbers, but most seem to think that the crowd was smaller than the teabagger picnic. In any case, the pictures are dramatically different. Teabagger rally = old and white, while OneNation = all ages and diverse ethnicity.

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New definitions of “ugly American” are emerging as we find out how actual military doctors from the US of A, conducted human experiments on Nicaraguans during the 40′s. All that talk about Hitler mind you was going on at the time. I just can’t think of why so many folks in other countries hate us, can you?

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Head over to MotherJones in general and peruse. They have article after article on who gives the money, what groups give the money, what candidates are spending the most, where they get their money, who they defend on Congress and so forth. There are probably 8-10 articles in all. Worth your time to take a look.

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A really not-to-be-missed post by Paul Krugman on the insidious and blatant take-over of the GOP by a very few ultra-rich families, including our own favorite Foxy Noise. No pretence here, just power grabbing. And the ones who are being duped? The poor teabaggers of course.

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Sharron Angle is one of those alleged humans who just amaze you that they can walk upright. I mean the woman has the brain of a slug. Sad to say, Harry is so despised, that she still manages to hang on in the race. But really, just how much ineptitude can Nevadans tolerate before they bite the big ugly and vote for Reid? She’s caught on tape trying to talk fellow teabagger candidate Scott Ashijian to back out.  Nothing terribly wrong here, just amusing, as she touts O’Donnell and Scott from Alaska as people she thinks are “real.”
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There’s a new book about Beck, by Dana Milbank. It might well be worth the purchase. Milbank documents how Beck uses his favorite boy Hitler to attack everyone. This time it’s Gore and the UN. Oh, I’m gonna try to get this gem! Read more from Milbank here.
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Chris Guillebeau is a blogger and self-styled non-conformist. Read about his take on life and whatever in this 3quarksdaily interview. You can visit his blog here. He has visited 151 countries in his quest to visit them all. Lots of strategies to living your life your way.
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Why do we like art? No, not like. Why does our heart soar, our breathing change, our pupils enlarge, why do we lose track of time? All this when something hits us deeply? Why are we captivated by a story? A song? Why did we and do we spend time, energy and money on that which is fiction? We wouldn’t do it unless there was some evolutionary benefit you know.
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What’s Up? 07/22/10

Well the firestorm on the Sherrod case continues. We hear that Fox is beside itself, being all put upon by the entire WORLD. I mean, they didn’t do a darn thing wrong, and it’s the filthy liberal media that is making up stories against them.

How sad.

Not having done a thing of course means that O’Reilly, trying to be “big about it” has offered an apology to Ms. Sherrod for not doing anything wrong. He then manages to slam her again, and of course defend Fox. So I guess we are to conclude that he was technically wrong, but morally right? Billo the Clown at his best.

Shephard Smith, also from Fox, was not so kind to his own network, blasting Fox for running the story without investigating the video, and claiming that his segment refused to engage in the story because of they “do not trust the source,” namely Breitbart and his scummy site.

But if you read nothing more on this story, don’t miss Keith Olbermann’s scathing utterly devastating commentary on the whole affair. Returning abruptly from his vacation just to speak on this issue, he puts all of us to shame. He condemns all, without exception, and points to the fact that today, the right is busily making the racists the victims and the victims the true racists. Quite a turn of events.

What seems to be a cry in unison, is the demand by the left en mass to stop kowtowing and  running scared from the right wing lie machine. Stand up! Stop trying to ignore and placate the right. They are not interested in any concept of fairness or truth. They want to rule and they are about almost any means to do so. They have declared that any election they don’t win is illegitimate. They are no longer into democracy or representative government. They are about tyranny of the One Party Rule. And they have the nerve to call the left fascist!

The right is so schizophrenic that one part never knows what the other is doing. On the one hand they are always criticizing Obama for “destroying religion (meaning of course Christianity) in Merika, while on the other Newt Slippery Gingrich is saying no to mosque’s at Ground Zero because Saudi Arabia doesn’t have churches there. Love the lack of logic. Or is Newt saying that we no longer care about being a “bastion” of religious freedom? Dopes like him seldom think beyond the last word out of their mouths.

“Lunar Apatite with Terrestrial Volatile Abundances.” Yeah, bet you know what that means? Sure ya do. Okay, it means that (hold onto your socks if ya gotta ‘em) the moon is full of H2O. Yessiree Bob. It’s called Lunar “dew” (imagine Louis Black saying that–DOOOOO). The fine article alluded to will be in Nature’s July 22 issue, should you be so inclined to read all the specifics. This was all discovered last fall, and I’m at a loss how we have survived not knowing about this until NOW. Anyway, they have found even more that is different that the dew variety. That seems important to me. I figure it’s important because they finish by saying: “we must now re-evaluate the volatile inventories of the moon, relative to the Earth.”  See? That sounds quite important. Inventories? Cheeky moon scientists!

I can usually find something even weirder if I try. So, I have.

There is a world called possibilian. Okay. Digest that. And a neuro-scientist writer who writes about life in the space between what is and what if. Got that? Possibilianism celebrates the breath of our ignorance. Kinda like there is way more chit we don’t know than do, so let’s play. Or like the universe is so vast that anything that could happen has happened somewhere. (My personal favorite, since somewhere me and Johnny Depp are having wild sex in whipped cream!) Anyway, this Eagleman dude sounds like a real hoot to have at a party. The site is called “Killing the Buddha” and bears more watching I think.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt like the poor relative when it comes to archaeology. Seems all the good stuff is somewhere else. The Pyramids, early human bones, caveman paintings, you know what I mean. But we can toot our Merikan horns a bit, since things are hoppin’ in Cincinnati, Ohio of all places. (See, doesn’t that help make you feel better after LeBron left Ohioans?). Seems we have a 2,000 year old “wooden” Stonehenge. Ours is called Moorehead Circle. :P So there you British with your royalty and castles and and  stuff. We got somethin’ too!

So, that’s all ya need to know today. You can return to your normal life.

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What’s Up? 07/12/10

It was a so-so weekend. Rained some, didn’t rain some. Watched the soccer final which was awfully boring.

Last night we had a bit of a treat. We located (I think on the science channel) a rerun of the old Cosmos series with Carl Sagan. Carl was one of those heroes of mine. It was weird and fun to see how much astronomy and astrophysics has progressed. Still, he had a wonderful way of explaining difficult subjects that was understandable.

This first piece is scary for sure. More and more people are starting to think that if the stars align correctly, Sarah Palin might be unstoppable. Shudder, and get your passport ready. One person argued, (it might have been Andrew Sullivan–the link is embedded in the link I’m giving you) that she can use the “that woman is an idiot” to her benefit. After all, she can say, look what the so-called intellectuals have done–two wars, a nearly destroyed economy. Maybe just plain old average people like me can do a better job. The National Interest gives a scenario. As I said, keep you passport close at hand.

If you are interested in wisdom as perhaps an abstract entity, then you might want to take a look at the review of Stephen S. Hall’s new book, Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience. Professor of philosophy, A. C. Grayling gives his opinion in an excellent review. More and more science claims to be on the verge of telling us why we are the way we are in every respect. More and more we are, it seems, at the mercy of much that we have little control over.

Along a similar vein, The Chronicle looks at the issue of whether there is a basic instinct for fairness in the human person. Reflecting on how anger seems often triggered by claims of unfairness, it is an interesting proposition. Are we fair minded from birth? Hint: the research involved capuchin monkeys and cucumbers! Now that ought to heighten the anticipation! And they did some tests on humans too!

The first official execution in this country was for an alleged traitor. The second and third were Quakers who had not left as banishing Massachusetts had ordered them to do. (We hadn’t yet got to “freedom of religion” of course). A morbid subject perhaps, but Last Words of the Executed by Robert K. Elder, documents something important that we might learn a great deal from. Read the review at the NYTimes Review of Books.

—“What time is it? I wish you’d hurry up, I want to get to hell in time for dinner.” (John Owens (AKA Bill Booth), executed for murder in Wyoming on March 5, 1886).

When asked where he wanted to be buried, Charles Birger, convicted murderer executed in Illinois on April 19, 1928, joked: “A Catholic cemetery because that’s the last place the devil would look for a Jew.”

Our country is at based in some part on the belief that an informed citizenry will ultimately make the best choice. Given that we have the ability to acquire knowledge better than ever before, many of us wonder why we seem determined to make the worst choices over and over again. The GOP has become expert at exploiting the “know-nothing” by design mentality of their followers. They are first to prove that lies do work.  We might get some answers from political scientists who say recent studies show that people, even when exposed to truth, cling to the misinformation they want to believe in. This is so far the must read of the day.

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What’s Up? 07/05/10

Oh it was a scrumptious July 4! The Contrarian, bless his dear heart, taped both the semi and finals of Wimbledon, and we watched it on Friday and Sunday nights. My hero won!

Well, as you know, I have several, but pound for pound, if I could transpose Johnny Depp’s head onto Rafa’s body, I’d be in some kinda heaven. Not that Rafa or Johnny have to complain about their opposite features, but together, I don’t think a woman could live without swooning.

A beautiful two matches, and a chance to hear a little from an old favorite, Bjorn Borg as well. On the the Open where Rafa will have a tougher time with the speed of those cement like courts.

I would have liked a Federer-Nadal final cuz I always like to see Neanderthal boy lose, to my sexy Spaniard.

Well, okay, digging head from the clouds and returning to the mundane world of reality. Sigh…

Yesterday we have grilled steaks and pasta salad. The crowning glory was a corn salsa I threw together. It was simply divine. I’ll give you the basics:

Corn Salsa
the corn from 3 ears, cut off and sauteed in some olive oil until charred a bit
Throw in a bowl and add:
1 jalapeno, finely diced (or other hot pepper as you like)
1 rib of celery finally chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/2 cup red onion (or scallions if you prefer)
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat leave parsley or cilantro as you like
juice of one lime
salt and pepper
Drizzle of olive oil to coat
Mix and eat. Great at room temperature.
(feel free to substitute other veggies like carrots, zucchini, radishes, whatever)

 

It would be best if you not miss out on Vodka’s take on the news. I  promise you, it’s always unique. Strip clubs seem to be taking a beating on many fronts (and backs). BP refused their claim of lost wages due to loss of customers along the Gulf coast. And then there is Michael Steele’s attempt to woo GOP’ers into contributions by showing them some free jiggles. It’s a tough economy so it seems.

Speaking of limes, I thought you might like this refreshing new take on coleslaw, which can get soooo mundane sometimes. It’s all cilantro-y and chili peppery and, sounds perfect for those summer grilling adventures. Easy side to make with some real inventiveness. Thanks to Epicurious!

Okay, so this is long, and depressing, but frankly, my little cutsie blurbs do not lead to your being critically informed. This post does. The link was broken so I’ve sent you to the main site, and go to Government Isn’t the Problem, by Evert Cilliers (aka Adam Ash), dated today. Read it, all of it.

Perhaps no brain is as fascinating to me as the sociopath or psychopath as they used to be called. Neuroscientist Jim Fallon, has been looking at them from a genetic point of view. This is the third of three parts and the other two can be accessed though links part way through part 3. A really interesting look. Are we victims of people who have no choice?

Think you know how America got it’s name? Maybe you do, and maybe you don’t. Follow the link and find out.

We are all victims of our urges. None of us are successful all of the time in invoking will power to subdue them. Scientific American gives us so real advice on how we might do better, whether it be avoiding chocolate to excess, beer, or shoes.

All is not gloom and doom. Elizabeth Kaeton has a doozy of a post on Queen Liz’s latest letter to us in Merika. Seems, our revolution has been revoked, and we are back in. Be grateful that I gave you a toy to play with. This will not happen often, since I’m about serious business here most days.

And that is enough for now. Have a great day. It’s crappy rain here, and for the foreseeable future into infinity. Iowa is startin’ to be a real drag. House smells like wet fur. I’m tempted to make them all stay out anyway. I need to nap.

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What’s Up? 07/02/10

It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep does for a person, especially one who is sadly having to give up on the idea that middle age is any more much of a descriptive phrase. Still, I think I can push old age to 75 doncha think?

I slept good last night, which is commendable and all around right, since the nights are so conducive to it–being both dark and cool.

I often get up in the night, around 12:30 am or so, and sit up with a glass of wine and watch the goings on in the meadow. Most of it revolves around the escapades of the cats. The dogs tend to lay outside to keep cool, and the cats rather saunter and swagger around like they own the place.

They tend to rush in and out, much as the Mad Hatter, stopping to splay out on the floor and take a quick bath before heading back out for more late night entertainment. It’s a rather glorious time of quiet reflective peace. I often write in my head at that time, my creative juices are all bubbly.

So, I’m ready to lay back, open the reader and see what’s going on. Oh and I should tell ya, I’m fallin’ in love with “Despicable Me” promos. I haven’t felt such a pull at my heart since that adorable little garbage dude in that other flick. Wall-E was it?

I don’t know much about architecture which certainly qualifies me for an opinion. I know what I like (love in the case of Art Deco), and what I don’t. Anyway, a bunch of snooty “experts” collected by Vanity Fair, for whatever reason, has named the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (that’s in Spain as I just learned) wins! The work of one Frank Gehry. They have a slide show where you can see his other stuff. This will all turn up on Jeopardy sooner or later, so it’s wise to at least know this stuff. In a word–the dude doesn’t like 90° angles, but he does like every other kind. Actually, I may have to do a full piece on this. One admirer broke into tears on visiting the Guggenheim, but I truly tell you, this stuff is simply awful!

I nearly lost my lunch on that lunacy, and I’m still woozy, but press on.

Things get definitely worse when you read this article in Prospect, claiming that the internet is rewiring our brains, and not for the better. Lots of neuro scientificy stuff here. I’m not sure whether I should be scared or insulted. I did find this quote from the Spectator from 1889 on the “Intellectual Effects of Electricity” to be mildly amusing:

 All men are compelled to think of all things, at the same time, on imperfect information, and with too little interval for reflection.

Little did they know of the spread of information!

We do seem a bit artsy today. I have read part of an art book, so I am superiorly qualified on this one. It seems, we are told, that the “new” art of today can be summed up in this self-promoting, self-defending mode:

 I know that the art I’m creating may seem silly, even stupid, or that it might have been done before, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t serious.

It would appear that batshit crazy has invaded the world of art as well as politics these days. I think the number of us who are certifiably sane is dwindling. No slideshow here, I guess they were mindful of my sensitive stomach.

Speaking of teabaggers, Sharron Angle is single-handedly making HarryReid’s chances of re-election look positively grand. The DailyKos has all the scoop on her latest inanities via “interview.” She is simply astoundingly stupid. She can expect a lifetime of Christmas cards from Harry I’m sure.

DCap has a rogue’s gallery of GOP remarks about how unemployment benefits are dangerous because people get used to them, and get too lazy to find work. Disgusting, callous, cold-hearted. That’s what they are, and they deserve our approbation. Shame on them and their psychologically distorted view of human beings.

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