Log in

No account? Create an account
And I close my eyes and tighten up my brain
20 most recent entries

Date:2009-02-11 21:48
Subject:Get em Jon!

I love it when Jon Stewart exposes the hypocrisy of Bill-o!

Oh just go and die somewhere Dick Cheney and take your rightful place at the foot of Satan.

3 comments | post a comment

Date:2008-12-23 18:57
Subject:Science journal update

It's funny and scary to me when celebrities and entertainers are viewed as knowledgeable or even see themselves as having the requisite knowledge to speak with authority about subject areas that they have no business talking about. Recently looking to subject myself to some intellectual BDSM I went to conservative entertainer Rush Limbaughs website. He was talking about how all this snow and cold weather proves that Global Warming is a farce created by 'Scientists with agendas'.
What instantly reveals his ignorance on this subject is the idea that global warming is actually the Earth getting "real hot" or something. I think it is actually a poor term for what is actually climate change. And the warming part is the average global temperature of the Earth rising a few degrees. The important word there is 'average' this means that over 365 days the average temp. is going to rise. Not anything that is necessarily going to stop winter. What a lot of people -especially those who feel they only need to get their education from conservative talk radio- don't understand is that a lot of ecological niches and systems are actually quite sensitive to small changes in things like temperature, salinity, fecal count, pH, etc. For example, most people would think of Siberia as a pretty rugged place- you would have to be rugged to survive in it. But it is actually a pretty fragile ecosystem. what I mean by fragile too is slightly different than the common usage we are used to. A lot of these places are fragile as in they don't have a lot of tolerance for abrupt changes in the above mentioned variables. For thousands of years, roughly, the same stuff has been happening to Siberia year in- year out and the flora and fauna that inhabit it have adapted to these variables being within a certain range. The way we have changed these variables relative to natural Earth changes, are too much too fast for many ecosystems. Therefore climate change is a far more appropriate term. We can change the climate, water, etc all around us and we probably won't go extinct and life will go on- but it is possible that the changes we incur are unknown and we will have to adapt to them and we might not enjoy the changes. Our society and agriculture is built upon these areas getting this much rain, fertile topsoil her but not here, this farmland isn't submerged, etc. Then in a (relative to Earth) short amount of time it doesn't rain here, but rather there, the topsoil is gone from here, this farmland that was once very fertile and profitable is now under water, etc.
I think there is a lot of confusion about the exact nature of climate change and many of our politicians and entertainers don't understand it and some of them actually DON'T want you to understand it because then sacrifices would have to be made and sacrifices are best left for future generations I guess.

I am excited about Obama's picks for top science and scientific advisory posts. I am excited about a return to empiricism when it comes to matters of science. Who said it?... Mother Nature is Biology, Chemistry and Physics and she always bats last and she always bats 1000. Real scientists understand this. I am hopeful for data-driven empirical policy choices.

One of my favorite radio shows is "RadioLab" out of NY's public radio. I subscribe to the podcast. The show structure is much like "This American Life but the weekly themes always revolve around current issues in science, current research or mysteries of science. Last night I was listening to an older one that I hadn't listened to yet. It was about life and Humans creating life. One of the stories was about this woman with 2 sons. She found out she needed a kidney transplant- so the doctors tested her family for possible donors. They came back and told her; "Did you know your sons are not related to you? Are they adopted?" She said "No I remember quite well giving birth to them!" At first they thought maybe there was a mix-up at the hospital but they shared their Dad's DNA- he was their biological father so obviously they were his kids. Anyways her doctor said "ok- lets approach this logically- let's assume you aren't lying and you gave birth to these kids- but you don't share DNA. They do share DNA with their father....how can this be?" She realized she had tested only the mother's blood cells. She ended up testing various parts of her... Thyroid, liver, skin, saliva etc. It gave her the answer.
The answer chilled me. I was laying in bed and it actually made me scared in a way.

Their Mother was a Chimera. That is what medical science terms it. A Chimera. Apparently in utero- she had a twin sister. The 2 ova merged within this window of time of about a day where they otherwise would be conjoined twins. So what happened was the 2 ova merged and one of them claimed the blood, one of them claimed the brain, one of them claimed the digestive tract etc. This twin sister that was "part" of her had "claimed" the blood so when the doctors tested it they were actually testing this other person! She was the biological mother of these kids. I could barely get my mind around this. Then I began to imagine what it would be like to know that someone else lived inside of you- their blood, their pancreas. They asked her if she felt another presence, another soul. she said she had always felt this sadness. It all kinda freaked me out and now I want to be tested. I am not sure I will get it out of my mind until I'm tested. Crazy- just crazy. Freakin' Chimeras! I used to fight them in Dungeons and Dragons!
anyways it was part of this larger piece they were talking about how scientists can now merge eggs and implant them and produce chimeras. They did it with a sheep and a goat- they call it a Geep. They were saying how they could do it with a human and a chimp if they wanted to. That made me think- it also made me sad because I imagined this sad creature- part human part chimp- out of place in this world- shunned by human society and unwelcome in chimp communities...left to wonder as it gazed out over a vast sky.

4 comments | post a comment

Date:2008-11-07 22:38


post a comment

Date:2008-11-05 13:15
Subject:still drunk on Obama-wine.

McCain's concession speech showed real class. It gave me more hope than Obama's victory speech in a way. Perhaps it is the death rattle of the past 8 years politics of fear and mean-spiritedness that I think the Bush Administration characterized. Perhaps those people will get swept away with a bad memory and the Republican party will move away from the anti-intellectual "scare the rednecks" position it has taken in the past and move more into the honorable areas that were characterized by Krauthammer, Buckley, Brooks.

I'm happy for science today. And happy for Pragmatism. I'm happy for thoughtfulness of course over "shooting from the hip cowboy" mentality that only seems to work in movies- not when running a country.

In 2000 I felt like the democratic process had been cheated and I felt robbed. In 2004 I felt betrayed by my own countryfolk and on the outside. Today I feel cautiously hopeful.

post a comment

Date:2008-11-03 19:34
Subject:My new year's day will be 1/20/09!

As they used to say in Chicago during the hey-day of the Daly Democratic machine...
Vote Early and Vote Often friends!

I think I wrote about this years ago when Bush wanted to keep his tax-cuts even though we were fighting 2 wars. I'm pretty sure that this is the only war we've fought where we didn't raise taxes. This is our war- yet my niece and her kids are going to be paying for it. I know we wouldn't be able to pay for the war simply on tax revenue- hence War-bonds but I think it would give us pause and maybe hold our government a little more accountable about the way it has spent our money on this war, i.e. no-bid contracts to cronies, money simply disappearing, Iraq banking it's oil money etc.

Here is an election eve goodie from my friend Tommy F. (especially for you Remy)

And I'll finish by saying that no matter who wins I'm sure glad Bush is out of here soon. I won't be as upset if McCain wins, though, I think McCain sold a bit too much of his soul to get this far. I don't believe he is the "maverick" he used to be. I don't think he is the same McCain that he brings up in his stump speeches. I also like what Friedman says at the end of the article: Please don't vote for the guy you'd like to have a beer with. Vote for the guy you want on your side when you're trying to refinance.

Vote for ( )

Here’s what strikes me this election eve: I can’t remember a presidential campaign that was so disconnected from the actual challenges of governing that will confront the winner the morning after. When this election campaign began two years ago, the big issue was how and for how long do we continue nation-building in Iraq. As the campaign comes to a close, the big issue is how and at what sacrifice do we do nation-building in America.

Unfortunately, you’d barely know that from the presidential debates. Watching them in the context of the meltdown of the financial system was like watching a game show where the two contestants were kept off-stage in a soundproof booth and brought out to address the audience without knowing the context.

Since the last debate, John McCain and Barack Obama have unveiled broad ideas about how to restore the nation’s financial health. But they continue to suggest that this will be largely pain-free. McCain says giving everyone a tax cut will save the day; Obama tells us only the rich will have to pay to help us out of this hole. Neither is true.

We are all going to have to pay, because this meltdown comes in the context of what has been “perhaps the greatest wealth transfer since the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917,” says Michael Mandelbaum, author of “Democracy’s Good Name.” “It is not a wealth transfer from rich to poor that the Bush administration will be remembered for. It is a wealth transfer from the future to the present.”

Never has one generation spent so much of its children’s wealth in such a short period of time with so little to show for it as in the Bush years. Under George W. Bush, America has foisted onto future generations a huge financial burden to finance our current tax cuts, wars and now bailouts. Just paying off those debts will require significant sacrifices. But when you add the destruction of wealth that has taken place in the last two months in the markets, and the need for more bailouts, you understand why this is not going to be a painless recovery.

The Bush team leaves us with another debt — one to Mother Nature. We have added tons more CO2 into the atmosphere these last eight years, without any mitigation effort. As a result, slowing down climate change in the next eight years is going to require even bigger changes and investments in how we use energy.

Given that Times columnists are not allowed to “formally” endorse candidates and given that the context of this election has changed so much from the policy positions the candidates started with, all I can suggest is that you vote for the candidate with these character traits:

First, we need a president who can speak English and deconstruct and navigate complex issues so Americans can make informed choices. We have paid an enormous price for having a president who could not explain and reassure us during this financial meltdown. We wasted a huge amount of time pretending that we could punish Wall Street without punishing Main Street — when, in fact, they are intricately intertwined.

A major money market fund — Reserve Primary — failed in September because the extra interest it offered customers derived, in part, from the $785 million in high-yielding Lehman Brothers commercial paper and notes it was holding. Depositors who told their congressmen to just let that greedy Lehman Brothers fail were shocked to discover this meant that their own money market would be frozen. No, we don’t need a president defending greed on Wall Street, but we do need one who can explain that we are all in the same boat, that a leak at one end can sink everyone and that while we must regulate, we don’t want to kill risk-taking and the rewards that go with that — which are essential to growing our economy.

Second, we need a president who can energize, inspire and hold the country together during what will be a very stressful recovery. We have to climb out of this financial crisis at a time when the baby boomers are about to retire and going to need their Social Security and eventually Medicare. We are all going to be paying the government more and getting less until we grow out of this hole.

Third, we need a president who can rally the world to our side. We cannot get out of this crisis unless China starts consuming more and unless Europe keeps lowering interest rates. Everyone is interconnected, and everyone is still looking to America to lead.

So, bottom line: Please do not vote for the candidate you most want to have a beer with (unless it’s to get stone cold drunk so you don’t have to think about this mess we’re in). Vote for the person you’d most like at your side when you ask your bank manager for an extension on your mortgage.

Vote for the candidate you think has the smarts, temperament and inspirational capacity to unify the country and steer our ship through what could be the rockiest shoals our generation has ever known. Your kids will thank you.

post a comment

Date:2008-10-29 21:55
Subject:Sweet sweet stuff...!

thanks malleypa...

post a comment

Date:2008-10-28 10:17

My new favorite quote for the week:

"The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done."
-George Carlin

Also I find it refreshing that Alan Greenspan had the cojones to say "Whelp, I fucked up" So rare in Washington these days. I always liked Al. Can you imagine after he gets out of office Vice President Prick Cheney saying that he had erred. Ha!

The NY times had an interesting link regarding the U.S. V. Senator Ted Stevens. It was all the DOJ's evidence. I was reading some of the emails back and forth between Stevens and Allen and some others. Man- these guys can barely form a cogent sentence! So many spelling and grammatical errors! (I realize that was a run-on sentence)
One guy used "Right" when he meant "Write" Oy vay! These people are in power roles too! Scary. It just reinforces the fact that it isn't how many Grammar Rodeo trophies you have on your bookshelf but who you know and who owes you favors. Sad.

1 comment | post a comment

Date:2008-10-22 18:21

He is a poor patriot whose patriotism does not enable him to understand how all men everywhere feel about their altars and their hearthstones, their flag and their fatherland. ~Harry Emerson Fosdick

Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. ~Albert Einstein, The World As I See It, 1934

To him in whom love dwells, the whole world is but one family. ~Buddha

It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind. ~Voltaire

Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism - how passionately I hate them! ~Albert Einstein

Do not... regard the critics as questionable patriots. What were Washington and Jefferson and Adams but profound critics of the colonial status quo? ~Adlai Stevenson

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.-samuel Johnson

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.- Sinclair Lewis

Obama is slowly gaining a lead on McCain and the election is coming soon- This means it's time to question people's patriotism and to take on the mantle of deciding who is pro-American and who is Anti-American.

Michele Bachmann has apparently been appointed by God to decide...

She just oozes crazy right wing extremist- look at her eyes sweet jesus! I bet she has posters up in her room of Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, etc

I like how Chris Mathews calmly and succinctly asks her questions that, by their very nature, reveal how silly what she is spewing is. She's an idiot and has no business being in any position of power or responsibility

Then you have Sarah Palin talking about the "Real America" which apparently being an urban dweller I don't live in...

She is another person who has no business being in any position of power or responsibility. But she is conservative and pro-life therefore her qualifications aren't even considered to many. The just want to know she will appoint judges who will overturn Roe V. Wade. It's akin to saying I have trained this monkey here, that when presented with a big red "No Abortion" button and a big red "Abortion" button they will always press the "No Abortion" button. Then you say "Ok monkey- you can now make other choices and decisions that affect me"
Lunacy- and scary- it really scares me to think of Palin as the President. It should scare you too.

My favorite quote above is the Samuel Johnson one... "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel"

I don't believe McCain is a scoundrel. But I think the majority of Americans (Real and Unreal) are sick of the Republican party using this tactic as a last refuge when they have nothing else to go on. Call the guy a socialist, un-american, Muslim- It has no foundation. It belittles the very people they claim to "love being around".

I really wish Obama was an Arab and a Muslim- it would serve a lot of people right who would corrupt our government with religion- to be on the other side of the fence when the people in power are of a different faith. I don't really want to speak or get into higher power(s) because my point is that I've always believed that the affairs of humans could be governed by humans. Perhaps if a Muslim was in power they would understand this better. I was reading an article today about Samuel Clemens and he once said after being told that America was a Christian nation by Andrew Carnegie; "Well, Mr. Carnegie, so is Hell" I like that.

There was more I wanted to say but I have stuff to do and the evening is wearing...
I wish election day was today. I'm sick of this shit.

1 comment | post a comment

Date:2008-10-15 22:14
Subject:"He's not an Arab... He's a decent family man" Oh John...

This cracked me up. Serves the republicans right that after years of push-polling and whisper campaigns it is coming back to bite them in the ass. They've created an ignorant hillbilly monster...
I do feel kinda bad for McCain- he's gotten screwed on both ends by these types of dirty tactics. First on the receiving end of Karl Rove's push-polling in Carolina in 2000 when Rove had them believing he fostered illegitimate children and now he has to deal with crazy ignorant..."provincial folk" we'll say

post a comment

Date:2008-10-11 13:50
Subject:Palin's kind of Patriotism

I couldn't have said it better! I don't mind paying taxes and when people (conservatives mostly) bitch about paying taxes I try to find some common ground because while I really don't mind paying taxes I absolutely hate governement waste- I think we could have a lot more for each citizen in this country if we got rid of a lot of stuff like no-bid contracts to cronies or huge inflated military spending. I wish we could designate a portion of our taxes to the programs we want to support. Instead most of my taxes go to service our debt because most politicians find raising taxes to be unpopular.

Palin’s Kind of Patriotism

Criticizing Sarah Palin is truly shooting fish in a barrel. But given the huge attention she is getting, you can’t just ignore what she has to say. And there was one thing she said in the debate with Joe Biden that really sticks in my craw. It was when she turned to Biden and declared: “You said recently that higher taxes or asking for higher taxes or paying higher taxes is patriotic. In the middle class of America, which is where Todd and I have been all of our lives, that’s not patriotic.”

What an awful statement. Palin defended the government’s $700 billion rescue plan. She defended the surge in Iraq, where her own son is now serving. She defended sending more troops to Afghanistan. And yet, at the same time, she declared that Americans who pay their fair share of taxes to support all those government-led endeavors should not be considered patriotic.

I only wish she had been asked: “Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq? Who is going to pay for the bailout you endorsed? If it isn’t from tax revenues, there are only two ways to pay for those big projects — printing more money or borrowing more money. Do you think borrowing money from China is more patriotic than raising it in taxes from Americans?” That is not putting America first. That is selling America first.

Sorry, I grew up in a very middle-class family in a very middle-class suburb of Minneapolis, and my parents taught me that paying taxes, while certainly no fun, was how we paid for the police and the Army, our public universities and local schools, scientific research and Medicare for the elderly. No one said it better than Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.”

I can understand someone saying that the government has no business bailing out the financial system, but I can’t understand someone arguing that we should do that but not pay for it with taxes. I can understand someone saying we have no business in Iraq, but I can’t understand someone who advocates staying in Iraq until “victory” declaring that paying taxes to fund that is not patriotic.

How in the world can conservative commentators write with a straight face that this woman should be vice president of the United States? Do these people understand what serious trouble our country is in right now?

We are in the middle of an economic perfect storm, and we don’t know how much worse it’s going to get. People all over the world are hoarding cash, and no bank feels that it can fully trust anyone it is doing business with anywhere in the world. Did you notice that the government of Iceland just seized the country’s second-largest bank and today is begging Russia for a $5 billion loan to stave off “national bankruptcy.” What does that say? It tells you that financial globalization has gone so much farther and faster than regulatory institutions could govern it. Our crisis could bankrupt Iceland! Who knew?

And we have not yet even felt the full economic brunt here. I fear we may be at that moment just before the tsunami hits — when the birds take flight and the insects stop chirping because their acute senses can feel what is coming before humans can. At this moment, only good governance can save us. I am not sure that this crisis will end without every government in every major economy guaranteeing the creditworthiness of every financial institution it regulates. That may be the only way to get lending going again. Organizing something that big and complex will take some really smart governance and seasoned leadership.

Whether or not I agree with John McCain, he is of presidential timber. But putting the country in the position where a total novice like Sarah Palin could be asked to steer us through possibly the most serious economic crisis of our lives is flat out reckless. It is the opposite of conservative.

And please don’t tell me she will hire smart advisers. What happens when her two smartest advisers disagree?

And please also don’t tell me she is an “energy expert.” She is an energy expert exactly the same way the king of Saudi Arabia is an energy expert — by accident of residence. Palin happens to be governor of the Saudi Arabia of America — Alaska — and the only energy expertise she has is the same as the king of Saudi Arabia’s. It’s about how the windfall profits from the oil in their respective kingdoms should be divided between the oil companies and the people.

At least the king of Saudi Arabia, in advocating “drill baby drill,” is serving his country’s interests — by prolonging America’s dependence on oil. My problem with Palin is that she is also serving his country’s interests — by prolonging America’s dependence on oil. That’s not patriotic. Patriotic is offering a plan to build our economy — not by tax cuts or punching more holes in the ground, but by empowering more Americans to work in productive and innovative jobs. If Palin has that kind of a plan, I haven’t heard it.

3 comments | post a comment

Date:2008-10-10 15:37
Subject:The Great Rock-n-Roll Swindle

Fleet Foxes were sweet last night. Great show. The acoustics were great for his voice. Later there was a John Lennon Birthday Celebration at Founders Brewery. Good Beer and good bands covering good Lennon songs. All in all a great Rock-n-Roll night!

here are some youtube vids of some of my personal favorites for anyone who hasn't checked them out yet...
and a great cover of one of their songs...

This is a fan video that's kinda boring but I love this song and all the live footage was shitty...

2 comments | post a comment

Date:2008-09-30 14:12

The IT guy at my new job is named Sy.
I keep thinking it is Sy Snoodles who played
The space keyboard in the Jabba the Hutt Band.
I expect to walk by his office and see a little blue
Elephantine guy mashin his keyboard with fat little
Blue fingers.

1 comment | post a comment

Date:2008-09-25 21:08
Subject:partisan fun

This is for Malley after his hilarious: "Sarah Palin... Another bush we can't trust!"

"Governor Palin has 5 kids... another sign the Republicans don't know when to pull out!"
-Bill Maher

1 comment | post a comment

Date:2008-09-19 15:03
Subject:saw this today

"what we have in this country is socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor.”

-Martin Luther King

1 comment | post a comment

Date:2008-09-17 18:34

So maybe you saw me on TV today. I was hauled out of the AIG world headquarters in handcuffs. You see I figured as a shareholder I was allowed to eat in the lunchroom and use some of the other facilities. Guess not.

1 comment | post a comment

Date:2008-09-13 10:10

In general I'm against "Voting tests" or stuff like that. It's a slippery slope- but one inevitable evil that stems from the fact of barrier-free voting is that candidates know most people aren't going to educate themselves and so they can put any image on the TV or pretty much just flat out lie. And even when other independent analysts, experts and organizations easily refute these lies, they are already so disseminated and hyped up that a good portion of the population simply believes them.

Now I'll just say up-front that I'm biased. I like Obama. I won't be as upset if McCain wins as I was with the Shrub winning. But I want Obama to win. I also realize that all politicians lie. We seem to be partly to blame for this. We don't always want to hear reality. Can you imagine if a candidate actually told us like it is. I think these days too, we see this general "We're great simply because we're Americans." There isn't any talk of a struggle to be great or the eternal vigilance that Jefferson spoke of. It's the dangerous thinking of being on "God's side" that doesn't permit any critical self-examination.

Anyways this is kind of rambly loose-jointed post where all I really wanted to say was that every one should be required to read factcheck.org before they vote. Again I tend to shy away from excessive voting requirements but it really is a good non-partisan, non-profit site dedicated to reducing the level of confusion and deception in American politics.

It's funny some of the straight up bullshit stories coming off the campaign trail these days- it's really a new low and it's so sad. You see them say stuff and within a click or two you see that it is complete and utter bullshit! Don't any of these people have any sense of shame anymore!

One thing that is interesting to note is when Palin was making fun of Obama's community organizing. Doesn't she realize that without community organizing she might not be able to run for VP let alone vote?!?! The Women's Suffrage movement was pretty community driven if I remember my history right. Most movements that ultimately better a group of people usually start out at the community level- Civil Rights, Boston Tea-Party, etc. So to disparage or make fun of community organizing seems somewhat ignorant and elitist.

Thanks-for reading this

4 comments | post a comment

Date:2008-09-11 20:32
Subject:American Culture

There's really a TV show called "Hole in the Wall"?!?!?!?

This is what American culture has come to?!?!?

Normally my TV shows are watched courtesy of Netflix and Hulu.com. I had left the tv on when I rushed out the door this evening to go to the gym. when I returned it was just beginning... the announcer just says "HOLE IN THE WALL!" Then he actually explains it! Like you can't get the gist of it in .01 seconds!

We're doomed.

Is Skynet online yet? It deserves to win.

That brings me to another thing-
Has anyone been watching "Terminator- Sarah Connor Chronicles"? I watched all the episodes (10) in a few days on hulu. I can't tell if I like it because it is a fairly decent Sci-Fi program or I'm just obsessed with Summer Glau's character; the "good" terminator- a combat (pleasure?) model. There is a pretty good sub-plot going where we don't know her model- she seems pretty advanced. I always did like the Terminator canon. What sucks is that I'm all caught up so now I have to wait to watch it on TV like some kinda peasant.

4 comments | post a comment

Date:2008-09-08 20:57
Subject:Oh my

So I finally got around to scanning some old yearbook photos of myself....

6 comments | post a comment

Date:2008-09-05 00:19
Subject:Gotta love it!


Gotta love the hypocrisy!

post a comment

Date:2008-09-03 20:41

R.I.P. Snowman! You're "East Bound and Down" now brother! Just put that hammer down and give'er Hell!

post a comment

my journal