The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

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If I Were a Carpenter, Not Really a Lady

Dick was having a bit of fun about female carpenters, so I thought I'd tell a bit of a vignette about that.

If I were a carpenter

Not really a lady

Would you marry me anyway?

Or call me crazy?

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a Dagblog Lateral Thinking Quiz

On my online journey the past two days to collect info for a sort of off-beat diary, I came across this Lateral Thinking Quiz.  I thought it might tickle some of you.  If I tell my results now, it will give at least one broad hint, so I'll keep quiet.  Because of that, you may want to avoid any comments generated so that you aren't influenced by others' experiences.

I will say, one question and its answer pretty much pissed me off, but even the joke skewering of it would give away the 'right' answer.  My comment would start, "I wanted to hit the test designers with _________."

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Uncut Flashmobs: Undermining the Power Structure Through Humor and Humiliation

The so-called ‘Father of the Egyptian Revolution’ was the shy and relatively unknown former peace activist now turned orchid-grower Gene Sharp.  Now 83, Sharp is slowing down, but is about to publish another book, and must marvel at the success his writings on nonviolent revolution and especially “From Dictatorship to Democracy,” which was used as an overarching guide to revolutions, both successful and failed, around the world, including Serbia, Myannmar, Burma, Tunisia, Egypt and different of the color and blossom revolutions.  A Wikileaks cable said a year ago that Syrian dissidents were training with Sharp’s work.

He has been the object of various smear campaigns by autocrats including Hugo Chavez and top Iranian officials, one of which included a cartoon video portraying Sharp as a CIA agent teaming up with John McCain and George Soros to overthrow Iran’s government. (grin)Sharp had studied Gandhi and Thoreau and subscribed to their notions that: (from the NYT)

”… power is not monolithic; that is, it does not derive from some intrinsic quality of those who are in power. For Sharp, political power, the power of any state - regardless of its particular structural organization - ultimately derives from the subjects of the state. His fundamental belief is that any power structure relies upon the subjects' obedience to the orders of the ruler(s). If subjects do not obey, leaders have no power.

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Two exceptional photojournalists are killed by rockets in Misrata

"It's an exceptionally sad day for the photojournalism community. Tim Hetherington, a British photojournalist and co-director of the documentary "Restrepo," and Chris Hondros, an American photojournalist with Getty Images, were killed by a rocket propelled grenade in Misrata. Two other photojournalists, Guy Martin and Michael Christopher Brown, were also injured, but less severely."

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Wiki-Cables Prove US Pressured UN in Defense of Israel

 

According to Foreign Policy Magazine, the recently released batch of cables lets us see how far the US used its considerable muscle to neutralize criticism of Israel over Operation Cast Lead, the 2008-2009 ‘war’ that left 1400 Palestinians, including women and children, and 13 Israelis dead.

An initial investigation commissioned by Ban Ki-Moon and headed by Ian Martin, a top UN ‘troubleshooter’, led to a 184-page report on nine incidents in which the IDF was alleged to have fired on UN personnel and installations, including a school in which three young Palestinians were seeking shelter, and were killed.  On May 5, 2009, the UN released a 28-page summary of the report which concluded that “"reckless disregard for the lives and safety" of civilians in the operation”, citing the school incident specifically.

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Democracy Now! Interviews the Author of ‘Hot’; Please Spend the Sixteen Minutes to Watch

Investigative reporter Mark Hertsgaard, author of the new book, Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth was on Democracy Now! On Friday.  He has been investigating climate change since the ‘90s, but was motivated to ramp up his reporting after he met with British government scientists in 2005.  They explained that we have already reached the tipping point at which even with no further CO2 added to the atmosphere, the earth would not stop heating further for at least another thirty years.

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The Shadow Budget: The Fed Enables the Biggest Gangsta-Heist Ever

                                                  

“The truth shall set you free.  But first it’s gonna piss you off.” – Dylan Ratigan

It’s understandable that we blog a lot about the budget fights in Congress, or the contents of Obama’s budget speech this week.  God knows it’s the only semi-serious subject on the the MSM’s radar.  Except among progressive bloggers, 'the crucial need for Deficit and Debt Control' as urgent right now has been written in stone already.  Even the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has weighed in and called it ‘the most serious threat to our National Security’, though he forgets to point out that our defense budget has doubled over the past ten years.  (Hillary Clinton concurs.)

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Oldies Music Video Friday Date Night

Grab your best real or imaginary sweetie, and spin us a tune.  The Big G may or may not shut down tonight; it’ll get fixed soon, and we hope no one suffers needlessly. 

 Embed hints: Grab the Old Embed code by right clicking on it.  In the comment box, either text or not, click Disable Rich Text.  Click a cursor wherever you want a smaller version of the video.  Change the values to 320 X 195 in both places.  Then click Enable Rich Text.  A pink box should be there; preview it, and it should be ready to save.

This was one of pop's favorites:

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SCOTUS Just Gouged the Establishment Clause; Obama Helped

                                   

Earlier this week in a 5-4 decision the High Court refused to overturn an Arizona law that allows taxpayers to receive a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit for their contributions to school scholarships even if they are for religious schools.  The credit allowed is up to $500 per person or $1000 per couple.  It has cost Arizona approximately $350 million since the law was enacted.

A central concern of the First Amendment was in James Madison’s word to prevent government to require taxpayers to "three pence of his property for the support of religion”.

In Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn Geoffrey Stone says that:

As the Supreme Court recognized more than forty years ago, as a general proposition the Establishment Clause prohibits government from using its "taxing and spending power... to favor one religion over another or to support religion in general." Thus, the Establishment Clause forbids government to fund churches to enable them to spread their religious beliefs or to award special tax credits to individuals to reimburse them for their contributions to religious organizations.”

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Thoughts From One of the 'Not-In' Ilk

(This was in comment to Destor's blog; kinda hated to muck up the sweet lines of his thread with it.)

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Reading through the comments on this thread, I’m struck by the prism everyone’s looking through is confined to the next Presidency.   ‘Can’t take a Repub’; ‘I won’t tell him I’m in until…’; ‘I’ll weigh the field, vote for the best’, and so on.

I reached the point of No Confidence awhile back over a couple big issues and now realize there’s no way on earth I’ll ever vote for Obama in 2012.  Actually, it’s freed me up quite a lot to be more committed to taking The Long View: not just considering the next cycle, the next President or Congress, but how to save the republic at all.

Not that anyone might give a fig about my thinking, but I thought I might write it anyway.  ;o)

The degree to which our federal electoral politics is captive to the present duopoly is staggering; the degree to which it’s now captive to the military-industrial-security state through the WOT and War on Drugs is disgusting.  And the degree to which it’s now captive to the 1%, 5%, whatever, at the top of the income and wealth pyramid is not only alarming, but dangerous.  The best writers are trying to get us to remember that this situation never stands; history shows us that, whether it’s changed through armed revolution (which I really fear for obvious reasons), or even what happened during the Gilded Age with labor strikes and violence leading to Progressivism and Teddy’s trust-busting and FDR’s and LBJ’s policy enactments to right some of the wrongs done by capitalism run amok.  Now the Second Gilded Age is here: with a vengeance.

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