Tuesday, November 27, 2012


“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”

Albert Einstein

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The More Things Change

The more they stay the same. Here's a clever little mashup by The Daily Show:



On a similar note I noticed during his inaugural speech that for a Democrat he was doing a pretty good job of using terms, phrases, and sentiments that appeal to many Republicans. Which apparently something he's been doing for a while according to this video.

Uh Oh

What if the sub prime mortgage crisis is only the tip of the iceberg?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Turn the Page

As the mantle of leadership passes from one President to the next I think its appropriate to take a look back the accomplishments of the outgoing President. It is highly a overlooked fact that George W Bush did more to fight poverty and disease in Africa than any president before him. He should be commended for that.

Additionally he set aside more territorial waters as federal preserves than his predecessors. In fact all totaled he created the biggest marine sanctuary in the world. That's no small feat.

Additionally he made a concerted effort to reform the public education system in America and while it was not a smashing success he at least made the attempt and I don't think anybody else's grand plan would have done much better. He gets points for an earnest effort.


Not to mention the fact that after 9/11 nothing else blew up. You have to give him credit for that.

I must admit that I was not a fan of W's in the beginning. But once 9/11 happened I gave him a second chance. After that he pretty much had the goodwill of the vast majority of the world. Using that good will he pulled together a coalition and went into Afghanistan. It made sense. The enemy was being given safe haven there by an oppressive extremist government. Then a few weeks later he signed The Patriot Act into law and it all started going downhill from there. The invasions of privacy and the erosion of our civil liberties just kept coming. Then came the war in Iraq which I thought was strategically a really bad idea. Then the WMD's never appeared. Followed by Abu Ghraib, warrantless wiretapping, Guantanamo Bay, extraordinary rendition, and finally proof that the administration had signed off on the torturing of prisoners.

That last bit was for me impossible to swallow. For some reason our leaders decided that we should stop being the good guys and start using the tactics of the Viet Cong, the Khmer Rouge, The Soviet Union, and the SS.
By then we'd lost our credibility, our military was tied up in an elective war based on bad intel, our image was in shreds, the world's goodwill had been squandered and the American people were reduced to infantile partisan infighting. By then W had eroded my previously unshakable faith in the inherent goodness of America and tarnished our image abroad to the point that I went outside and took down the Stars and Stripes....

Continued

Chapter 44 Page 1

(previous)

and replaced it with The Betsy Ross Flag . Because to many our current flag was symbol of hubris, incompetence, and cruelty. Simply put we needed to get back to our foundations and rebrand ourselves.

Today we took a step in that direction. Today an African American man was sworn in as President of the United States of America in a former slave market.

Read into that what you will but to me its a step in the right direction towards rebuilding our image and gives us the opportunity to heal wounds both new and old.

Love Obama or hate him he's not an extension of the previous administration and he won't authorize the torture of anyone. That gives me some cause for hope.

Today the Stars and Stripes fly again. Don't make me regret it President Obama.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Jr Day

For a little over half my life I've always marked this day by either listening to or reading King's "I Have a Dream" speech. It occurs to me that tomorrow will be proof positive that his dream not only lives but is thriving. Its a pity that neither he nor his wife (who I met once) are around to see this particular fruit of their labor.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Of Note

Over at Outside the Beltway smart guy Dave Schuler and Dr Bernard Finel are debating the merits of pulling out of Iraq vs staying in.

Over at Pomomusings Rev. Adam Walker lays out a case for throwing out the bible when it comes to the issues surrounding gay rights. H/T TMV