Open

20090930

A New America





The Honduran Model!

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20090929

Happy who as Ulysses








Happy he who like Ulysses has returned successful from his travels,
Or like he who sought the Golden Fleece,
Then returned, wise to the world,
Live amongst his family to the end of his age!
---Joachim du Bellay

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Days of open hand

The gentleman knows I cannot possibly answer THAT -- even if I knew the answer, sir.

Why, no, I suppose not... No harm in asking Madame Rosinka, sir...



Or failing that, and closer to home, there is always the strange little fellow by the fireside.

Actually...I did take it upon myself to submit the gentleman's question to his attention.

He seemed quite amused by it. And quite pleased -- a little bit too eager, if you ask me, sir.

No, he didn't say anything. He just pulled out some cards and laid out three of them for me on the counter, sir.

The cards are till right there.

His kind is fond of bothersome practical joke, so I wouldn't read too much into it.

The first card is The Changeling, sir. And, ah, it is reversed.



The first card in a layout such as this one traditionally stands for the past. It indicates what has happened to affect the gentleman's question.

The card in the middle typically stands for the present and is supposed to represent what is affecting the gentleman's question.



Why, yes, it is a Fire Drake, sir.

No, I am not familiar with that particular deck.

The gentleman is right, the last card is about the future. A Selkie, sir.



I don't know.

The gentleman does realize that I have no idea what any of those cards mean, doesn't he?

Maybe the gentleman can ask around. Or try his luck online.


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Where Does Nausicaa Go?





The daughter of Alcinous, king of the Phaeacians. When Odysseus shipwrecked on Alcinous' island, Scheria, he was found by Nausicaa. She received him with elegance and great hospitality and brought him to her father's palace. She is one of the most charming figures in the Odyssey.

Or is she this one?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wSba9hwCaU
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20090928

And now for something a bit frivolous

-
Never enough chocolate?

May I suggest a shot of Gianduia Cioccolato e Grappa?



Gianduia Crema Cioccolato e Grappa is deliciously sweet and chocolatey. It's a cream liqueur based on an old Piemontese recipe that uses chocolate, milk, cream, and hazelnuts, with a grappa base.

3/10 Gianduia Cioccolato e Grappa
3/10 Brandy
2/10 crema cacao
2/10 caffè espresso

Shake.

Do not strain.


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20090924

untitled

There once was a Princess journeyed through time

There once was a Princess journeyed through time
faces were endless filled with strife and crime
she kept focus ahead forged on moved up
a familiar at her side soulmate super intelligent pup
swore this would be the last the best incarnation of them all
but now has slightly faltered a loosened grasp trying not to fall
Not known as easily approachable and a sucker she never did make
her soul enjoyed the giving her mates perfected the take
saw the good in every man no matter how deeply it dwelt
each one did wear her down until like shyte she mostly felt
get back up dust back off turn into a tough bitch again
then fall prey to fiendish 2-legged creatures referred to as men

Bottoms up!

Why sir thou has an awfully nice bottom by the way.

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20090920

What would Obama Girl do?

I wouldn't know, sir.


It's hard to tell:




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20090918

20090917

But Seriously, Folks . . .

-
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) outlines Health Plan:
This is our moment in history. We cannot let this opportunity pass..."


Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.Dakota.):
"Colleagues from both sides of the aisle will have ample
opportunity to further improve this already quality proposal...”

It is 10:00 p.m. Do you know where your congressmen are?


Wulfshead Wulfshead Wulfshead
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20090916

One can but wonder . . .

-

. . . where does all the crazy talk get started?

I wonder...


...sounds like a chapter of The Da Vinci Code...


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20090915

THE PROGENY OF GLENN BECK: WATCH AS DUMBERS EMBRACE A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW

It's a fact that a small part of America is dumb, really, really dumb. As a matter of fact their ignorance is so extreme it is time to give them a real moniker. So, from this day forward they shall be known to all as "Dumbers." They are the blind followers of the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Blubberbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and etc. They are the "got miners" who reject the notion of helping those who are not as blessed. They are Christians all, and bigots to boot. Intolerance is their battle cry, and hatred marks their mission. Here is an example of their Christian love:



Cross posted at MadMikesAmerica
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My hallucinations are endless


"All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name."
---Andre Breton
-

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An incredible coincidence...

Recently we went to visit friends in Plymouth Massachusetts. They took us to visit The National Monument to the Forefathers. The statue stands 81 feet tall. It's quite impressive. Imagine my delight when I took a picture of it and some trick of light or water caused this to show up on it...



When I first saw the picture I was intrigued. Everything I read about lens flash, etc. didn't seem to apply to the environment that the picture was taken in. The sky was overcast with no sun, there was no flash and it wasn't raining. Of course I have since discovered that it was most likely chromatic aberration, but regardless of what caused it, I think it's interesting.

Here is a close up....beautiful isn't it?



I always appreciate the hidden beauty in things and this picture was like receiving a small gift.
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20090914

Fair and Balanced

"Not all criticism of Barack Obama is racist."
Toby Harnden, the Washington DC based US editor of the Daily Telegraph, has got a point:
"Calling critics of Obama racist...can all too easily be a way of trying to make all criticism of Obama a kind of hate speech."
The Torygraph is right, you know, "that’s no way of conducting a free and open debate."

It is important to try and remain fair and balanced and proceed in those things with caution.

Take the Jolly Nigger, for instance:


These old cast iron black theme banks date back to around the turn of the century, c.1900.

At specialized auctions you can pay for such bank in the range of £75-150 in the UK. They are more popular in the US.


Were they racist back then? Are they racist today?

And what of this picture of Obama?


Racist or not?

Hmm...what do you think? Hard to tell. It would depend, I suppose, on the context and on the motives of the people who use it, wouldn't it?

Of the two pictures below, while the one on the left could possibly be construed as racist in its intent, the one on the right might not:



As neither might this one:


Or that one:


It all depends on the subtext captions, you see.

A proper knowledge of the facts might clue one in as to what constitute or does not constitute racism.

Like the Rorschach test, or the TAT (Thematic Apperception Test), the interpretation of what some of those pictures mean can be unduly influenced by what people project onto ambiguous images.

Avoid hasty conclusions.

The following picture is a good example:


Just a bunch of college kids having fun on Halloween, the caption says.

See?

It's all a matter of perspective...


Context is everything...




Let us all sing along with Rush Limbaugh now---all in good spirit, of course:



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20090912

Education is just scandalous!

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Back to School Event
Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009

The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.

I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.

I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.
Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."

So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.

Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.

Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.

Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.

And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.

We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.

Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork. I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in. So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse. But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.

Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.

Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.

I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.

And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.

Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.

That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.

I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things. But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try. That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.

No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.

And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.

The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best. It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.

So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?

Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

Lifting yourself up when everyone seems to be kicking you down. Loving yourself enough to care about your future. He has two daughters whose future he cares about so I do think he does care about our nation's children as well. He put stuff in there about God bless and how great it is being patriotic for our country. But does that appease the right wing? Apparently not!
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20090911

Subversive Art


"Hmmm, now about that art o the Wulfshead walls.... "

Jazzo.......

Speaking of which.....

This portrait of Sidney Franklin, "el nino de la sinagoga," renowned American bullfighter, and friend of my father's and Hemingway, may be coming to a bookstore soon near you. Where it may be put on display on an easel or wall. (Unfortunately, the original painting, which was quite large, no longer exists. My father didn't like it and cut it in half, painting over each half. Thanks to Town and Country, though, we have a photograph of it, from which this reproduction was taken.)

Now, what subversive clues are hidden away here? Notice the red.... That does not mean Red States folks, but you know what..... And this crowd all fought fascists during the Spanish Civil War......

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20090909

Kirk at The Crypt

Appologies for not dropping in lately - been gratefully busy restoring a historic New Orleans hotel.

I'm not wearing my political hat either but I'm shamelessly promoting the extended appearance of the musical force of nature known as Roland Kirk at my blogosphere club The KingCake Crypt. (We of course run a full service bar.) The recordings from Al Haig's latest appearance are also available.

I am blessed at The Crypt with a fine and learned group of musicologists of the first degree, their contributions and discourse in the comments make my job a joy and my club exceedlingly hip.

Be welcome when you wish a musical fix and be sure I'll return to the Wulfshead for fine drink and conversation on a regular basis.
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20090906

The Right Claims A Big One




In a victory for Republicans and the Obama administration’s conservative critics, Van Jones resigned as the White House’s environmental jobs “czar” on Saturday.

Controversy over Mr. Jones’s past comments and affiliations has slowly escalated over several weeks, erupting on Friday with calls for his resignation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/us/politics/06vanjones.html?_r=1&th&emc=th
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20090903

The Storm


I sat on a rock near the sea. A ship had just put out from shore a fun sail: an imperceptible dot had appeared on the horizon and was gradually approaching, growing rapidly, pushed on by the squall. The storm was going to begin its onslaughts and already the sky was darkening, turning into a blackness almost as hideous as a man's heart.
— Comte de Lautréamont, The Songs of Maldoror [trans. Alexis Lykiard]
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20090901

But seriously now


Ten honest things? And the gentlesimian is asking me?

Uh...you are actually serious about this, aren't you?


In truth, there is nothing I could tell the gentlesimian that she doesn't already know.

Like, you know... There'll be days like this:


And then...

[leaning over] ...there'll be days like those:


Especially here at The Wulfshead, Ma'am.

The former helps to take the latter with a grain of salt.

Speaking figuratively, of course. I wouldn't want this to be taken the wrong way---the part about the salt---the fairy folk, Ma'am, they do not care much for it.

You know...

Like that little fellow over there by the fireplace. [Whispering] You'll only see him if he wants you to.

Or the Blue Fairy.

The Blue Fairy says it's an old superstition---the salt, that is. And so is the Bible---I mean, the stories claiming that the Bible and Christian religious symbols are a ward against fairies. The Blue Fairy says that it is a rumor propagated by the Christian Church to "demonize" the old folklores and replace them with its own dogma. She once told Pinocchio that lies are easily recognized because there are two kinds: "There are lies with short legs and lies with long noses."

Yes, well, I am not exactly sure what she meant precisely by that, either.

The Fae is famous for their cryptic statements.

Raggedy Ann, Ma'am...she doesn't believe in fairies. She thinks they're silly.

She told me that everybody knows that it's not Pinocchio's nose that grows long.


She says that Pinocchio is a Tuscan word meaning "pine nut."


The standard Italian term is pinolo, a compound of Italian pino meaning "pine" and occhio meaning "eye."

If you ask me, Ma'am, way too much attention has been paid to Pinocchio's nose.

"It's not one's outward appearance that matters, it's what's inside you," isn't it what people say, Ma'am?



Ambiguity can be the road to clarity. But only if you pay attention.

But I am wasting the gentlesimian's time. Surely the gentlesimian didn't come all the way here, to speak with such as me.

The gentlesimian should walk around The Wulfshead, mingle with some of the people here, and ask around.

I am sure that among the lot of them the patrons should have no problem thinking of seven blogs or more to which they feel the Honest Scrap award ought to be passed on.

*´¨)
¸.·´¸.·´¨) ¸.·-> Sometimes the greatest journey is the distance between people.
(¸.·´ (¸.·´
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FOR DOG LOVERS ONLY.......










I am a serious dog lover. While cruising the internets for fun stuff to reproduce on Friday's Dog Day I came across this touching little tale. I thought it worthy of sharing over a drink or two...









Dear God, please send me somebody who'll care!
I'm tired of running, I'm sick with despair.
My body is aching, it's so racked with pain,
and dear God I pray, as I run in the rain.
That someone will love me and give me a home,
a warm cozy bed and a big juicy bone.

My last owner tied me all day in the yard
Sometimes with no water, and god that was hard.
So I chewed my leash, and God I ran away.
To rummage in garbage and live as a stray.
But now God, I'm tired and hungry and cold,
and I'm so afraid that I'll never grow old.

They've chased me with sticks and hit me with stones,
while I run the streets just looking for bones!
I'm not really bad, God, please help if you can,
or I have become just a "Victim of Man!"
I'm wormy dear God and I'm ridden with fleas,
and all that I want is an Owner to please!

If you find one for me God, I'll try to be good,
and I won't chew their shoes, and I'll do as I should.
I'll love them, protect them and try to obey....
when they tell me to sit, to lie down or to stay!
I don't think I'll make it too long on my own,
cause I'm getting so weak and I'm so all alone.

Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry,
cause I'm so afraid God, that I'm gonna die.
And I've got so much love and devotion to give,
that I should be given a new chance to Live!
So dear God, please answer my prayer,
and send me someone who will REALLY care..

That is, Dear God, if YOU'RE REALLY there!

Author Unknown....
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