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20100130

20100128

Musing from the edge


A much better movie than New Moon, if you ask me.

But then again, it is doubtful that New Moon will find a place on the 15 best vampire movies of all time. Or the top 70 vampire movies of all time, for that matter. Actually, the jury is still out as to whether New Moon qualifies as a Vampire movie, but I digress...

Where was I?

Ah, yes, Let the Right one In...

Need I say it? No one does Swedish romantic horror like...the Swedes.

The movie has a great subplot about standing up to bullies...and the price of standing up to bullies in an environment where bullies rule the world.

And, no, the bullies are not the vampires in this movie.

Bullies are alas only too humans.

You know who they are. And you know what they do...

In Columbia ("Sometimes I am God, if I say a man dies, he dies that same day." - Pablo Escobar), in the former Soviet Union, or contemporary Russia, in the United Sates of America, and all the world over...

Bullism has no borders and no ideologies. While bullies commonly speak the language of borders and ideologies (jingoism, fanaticism, fear-mongering, rankism, blame-shifting), bullies' only true motive is power and domination - borders and ideologies are just only so many tools to them, contrivances that change and evolve to serve their needs according to the times and the circumstances.

Which takes me to this inspiring post on madmikesamerica, the "uptown version," today.

This drink is for you Lazersedge.


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20100127

State Of The Union Drinking Game 2010

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Here it goes:
(The credit goes to Alex Leo at the Huffington Post)


The post comes with the following disclaimer:
"The Huffington Post in no way encourages binge drinking. This is the comedy section. If you actually drank as much as we suggested you would die, so do not do that."

Oh, Pooh!


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20100126

Can you feel the excitement?

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The State of the Union Address for 2010 is slated to start tomorrow at 9 p.m. Eastern Time and 6 p.m. Pacific Time.


"What grand and noble vision might Obama declare that would be much greater than the sum of all egos? What journey to what destination could he set forth that would cause all of us to release our hold on our special interests (and their hold on us) and spontaneously enroll us so that at the end of our lives we will be as satisfied and proud as Ken Cox and his fellow NASA engineers are to have been part of the Apollo missions?"


Holding my breath . . .
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Here is looking at you, kiddo!

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That's the thing about the deficit, it doesn't matter...until it matters. And then it doesn't matter.

Or is that the other way around? I don't recall. Does it matter?



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20100125

So you're wondering what else John Edwards could've done...

...to embarass his family?

Two words:

Sex tape.

I can't believe I was actually for this guy once...
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Backhanded compliment of the day

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"The progressive wing of the Democratic Party has been everything that the reactionary wing of the Republican Party has not: open-minded, pragmatic and respectful of the views of others."
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20100124

We've got Death Star

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Or that easy?



Get yours, while supplies last.




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20100122

Huh. A bright side?

What a week. Call it the Shock Doctrine in reverse: The Massachusetts election and yesterday's Supreme Court ruling may force the Democrats to move to the left to ensure their political survival. They're now faced with a choice they clearly didn't want: forcefully reject the corporate agenda, or risk losing to opponents who can attract an unlimited flow of corporate dollars.


...the Supreme Court's ruling that corporate campaign contributions could not be limited because corporations are "persons." Don't try to understand the tortured logic, since this decision was clearly as cravenly political as Bush v. Gore. "Persons"? Here's my test for "personhood": Every person I know has had their heart broken at least once, then spent the night listening to sentimental songs. The only tune that moves corporations is that Motown classic, "Money."

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20100121

Thought for the day

There are no illegitimate children. There are only illegitimate parents.


-Edna Gladney, via Anita Loos
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20100120

A thought-provoking comedy

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"And so we reached, on the verge of giving up, the end of our
comedy. Like you, I would like to get home, but I'd like to
apologize to those who wanted more and those who wanted less.


Those who got what they came for... deserve it."


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Meet the new boss


Same as the old boss?



What a difference 24 months make...


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20100119

Stormy Weather


The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for the South Los Angeles, Long Beach and Whittier areas.


Radar shows heavy rain falling in Long Beach, with the storm moving in at 35 mph to the northeast. At 1:03 pm (local time) the tornado warning was extended to Orange County.


If in mobile homes or vehicles...evacuate them and get inside a substantial shelter. If no shelter is available...lie flat in the nearest ditch or other low spot and cover your head with your hands.
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The mystery is how REO Speedwagon are considered rock stars

"Solve a rock-star mystery with REO Speedwagon!"

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20100118

I For One Welcome Our New Robotic Empress

As is my wont, I've been sitting in the back, quietly paying attention to or ignoring the friendly chatter around the bar, as mood dictates. I must say I'm disgusted by events, frustrated and even angered. I've learned to hold my tongue when I'm angry, so I haven't been saying as much about politics and current events even at my favorite coffee shop.

Still, the fact I'm not talking much doesn't mean I'm not paying attention. It does mean that I'm more likely to post some light-hearted picture of a beautiful android space babe than a pithy, well thought-out essay on what's gone wrong and how to fix it. Right now, I'm of the opinion that our government is a tangled wreck, and that the best solution might be to recruit a bunch of beautiful android space babes to run it. It seems a safe bet they'd be more rational, logical, competent, and compassionate than the current crop of ass-hats piloting this country into oblivion.
And for those of us who might prefer leadership from androids of both sexes, don't worry: some assembly is required, but we're covered. (Both pictures above from this enjoyable post) The fact is, if we don't see real change from our leaders, and soon, we'll be going the way of... May I buy the bot a drink? (above via Pygalgia)
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20100116

Palin Prepares for The Show



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Honest Gibbs

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It's the truth
It's actual

Everything is satisfactual:

Please don't throw me into that briar patch


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Why do so many people distrust the government?





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Nothing Has Changed Except for "Goodbye Moyers, Hello Bush Institute" (STOP THE MADNESS!)


From my fellow blogger, R.J. Sigmund, I learn that it's "Goodbye Moyers, Hello Bush Institute." Actually, I heard it in a few other places too, but his sources are excellent. It's a deep game, folks. Read on.

Tell PBS: Don't abandon hard-hitting journalism. Click here to sign FAIR's petition.

Remember how important it was that Bill Moyers' programs existed in order to explain what happened to us (US) over a year ago (September 2008)? Here he interviews Gretchen Morgenson and Floyd Norris from The New York Times' financial pages (and further exposes Alan Greenspan as a fraud of the first order). (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

Two of the hardest-hitting shows on public television - Now and the Bill Moyers' Journal - will be going off the air in April, as FAIR reported last month (Action Alert, December 15, 2009). The two shows stand out as examples of what PBS public affairs programs should be: unflinching independent journalism and analysis. The shows have covered poverty, war and media consolidation - not to mention serious discussions of subjects taboo elsewhere, like the case for impeaching George W. Bush.

PBS has offered very little explanation of what will replace these shows, saying only that they will announce changes sometime this month. But one line-up change many PBS viewers will see this February is the addition of Ideas in Action - a show produced by the George W. Bush Institute, part of the new presidential library in Dallas.

According to Danny Shea (Huffington Post, 12/22/09), the institute's executive director, James Glassman, will host the show; though not distributed by PBS, it's scheduled to appear on many public TV stations. Shea reported that the first episode would be "a discussion on pay for performance in education."

Glassman, a longtime fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, is perhaps best known for his remarkably optimistic - and wrong - book Dow 36,000. He also regularly penned op-eds for major U.S. newspapers that pushed views and policies that would directly benefit sponsors of his online news site, TechCentralStation.com (Extra!, 3-4/05).

Such conservative, corporate-friendly programming is hardly new on PBS, which has long aired shows hosted by conservatives (McLaughlin Group, Think Tank With Ben Wattenberg, Tony Brown's Journal) as well as corporate-oriented programs (Nightly Business Report, CEO Exchange, Wall Street Week With Fortune).

Under Bush CPB chair Ken Tomlinson, PBS launched the Journal Editorial Report, a program that featured the Wall Street Journal's right-wing editorial board and was supposed to be a "balance" to Now - although unlike the Editorial Report, Now frequently had guests whose views differed from those of the show's producers (Extra! Update, 6/05).

With Now and the Moyers Journal going off the air, and at least one new public television offering produced by the Bush Institute, what will PBS offer viewers in the way of new, hard-hitting programming? Please join FAIR and thousands of signatories to our petition in demanding that the shows that replace Now and the Moyers Journal provide the same kind of critical, uncompromised journalism viewers deserve - and that live up to the mission of public broadcasting.

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Bad news for PBS viewers: Now and the Bill Moyers Journal will be taken off the air in April 2010. Both programs stood out as all-too-rare examples of the hard-hitting, independent programming that should thrive on public television - which is why PBS should replace these programs with similarly thoughtful shows that continue this tradition.

In late November Bill Moyers, who was also the original host of Now when it launched in 2002, announced that he would be stepping down from his Journal program, which first aired in 1972 and has been running in its current incarnation since 2007. The decision to cancel Now appears to rest with PBS, which has issued only a limited explanation, stating that the cancellation is part of the "review and reinvention of the news and public affairs genre on PBS," and is intended to help "revitalize public media in the context of today's rapidly changing communications environment."

As PBS ombud Michael Getler wrote (12/4/09): "I find the one and only PBS public statement thus far about the ending of these programs to be puzzling; unresponsive to dedicated viewers and to the high-profile role for public affairs junkies that these broadcasts have played for years on public television. There is no real explanation of why Now, in particular, is ending or what, if anything, will replace both programs."

Getler added: "Indeed, one can easily understand how the combination of these two particular programs being taken off the air simultaneously could be seen, certainly by many dedicated viewers, as signaling a move away from hard-hitting, controversial programs."

The mission of PBS, as set forth by the Carnegie Commission of 1967, is to "provide a voice for groups in the community that may otherwise be unheard," to serve as "a forum for controversy and debate," and broadcast programs that "help us see America whole, in all its diversity."

FAIR has documented over the years how PBS has failed to live up to that promise (Extra! Update, 6/05; Extra!, 3-4/95).

Two shows that did - and which aired, in many places, together on Friday evenings - will soon be gone. What replaces those programs will be a test of its commitment to the very foundations of public broadcasting itself.

The Journal, for example, offered in April 2007 a powerful review of mainstream media malfeasance in the run-up to the Iraq War. The show has featured probing discussions and reports on media consolidation, torture, race, the economy and much more. Now has amassed a similar record, with in-depth reports on the recession, health issues and Wall Street.

PBS says it will announce its plans for replacement programs in January. But there's no reason why the public should wait. Please join FAIR in sending a message to PBS: In an era of cable news chatter, public television stood out for carrying two programs committed to uncompromising, unflinching journalism. If PBS is not going to continue to carry these shows, then it should develop new programming that will be just as tough and independent.

Sign on to the petition here, and spread the word to your friends and family.


Get busy, folks. This might be the most important thing you do this year.

Suzan
_________________
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20100115

MILITARY ARRIVES IN HAITI: PROGRESSIVES FURIOUS!

The president has ordered 3500 soldiers of the Army's 82d Airborne Division and 2000 U.S. Marines to Haiti, along with various civilian support units. Upon hearing the news some "progressives" are demanding their immediate withdrawal claiming Haiti is just like Vietnam and troops will soon be bogged down in another endless occupation. Several disaffected former C.I.A. officers and disgraced army generals are saying that the deployment is doomed to failure and that Haiti was not really devastated by an earthquake. The "progressives" claim they are bitterly disappointed in the president and vow to work for the election of "she who must not be named" by campaigning against him. They are calling the U.S. rescue effort Obamahait......:-) :-)

Cross posted at MadMikesAmerica...
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20100113

You shouldn't have left me, you see!

Je fais rien que des bêtises;
Des bêtises quand mes yeux pleurent



Bebe Lilly - Les Bêtises (Lyrics)
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Monkey Business

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Russia's Cosmonautics Academy is considering sending a monkey to the Red Planet.

Estimates for the length of the journey to Mars vary depending on the type of mission envisioned.



The European Space Agency says its proposal for a round-trip mission would take 520 days, or about a year and a half.



The Institute said robots would accompany the first primate to Mars to feed the monkey.



And look to his needs...




I know what you think. But the mission calls specifically for a "monkey."

I looked it up: there are 264 known extant monkey species - represented in two of the three groupings of simian primates (the third group being the 21 species of apes) . . .



. . . orangutans need not apply.



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The Unreliability of the Media Assuring America's Ignorant Citizens Look Forward Fondly to their Trip to the Poorhouse

As I view the carnage emitted from the financial and emotional fallout of the Meltdown of 2008, one thought occurs to me (again and again) in attempting to explain the wholly unexplainable nonoutrage of (and almost unbelievable acceptance by) the lower classes, who will ultimately be responsible for paying off the victors (swindlers) and living with the consequences of their actions in much-reduced circumstances (forever):

How else can the upper classes and their lawyers and financiers (and the reason I mention lawyers and financiers specifically is that this group comprises some of the smartest people I know and I haven't heard a word from them en masse or individually about how outraged they are) continue to go on as before if they don't do everything in their power to stop the real victims (the ones stuck with the bill) from comprehending what has really occurred, and then even more evisceratingly, making them believe that if they just "keep the faith" in the fairies of the "free market" a little while longer that they also will end up with (largely undeserved) riches - all of this springing from that hallowed concept of American Exceptionalism which explains why actions that would bring one result (mainly negative) in any other country will bring a completely different result (positive) in the magical territory of the USA?
So, is this the well-known secret, surfacing at the top-level cocktail parties, guaranteeing the survival of the upper classes (after this turmoil subsides)? If this situation continues to develop without violence on the part of the real victims we'll see how Americans sidestepped the fate of the Roman Empire: better PR.

P.S., I hope you are already aware that Politico is a Rovian if not Rove-sponsored, johnny-come-lately Rethuglican dirty trick on a still gullible blogworld, which pretends to give some inside info to the deserving.

And P.P.S., if you think the powers-that-be didn't see this coming a very long time ago . . . just continue to clap your hands real loud(ly). The George Washington blog expands on these topics here.

Glenn Greenwald documents the historical and continuing "Fundamental Unreliability of America's Media," which reports in 150-decibel, show-stopping tones lost children, mad gunmen and celebrity fuckups, which leads logically to the low-key, nonreporting of actual news sure to ultimately damage irreversibly your financial future such as, for one new item, the coming announcement to direct money into the Treasury market by forcing the conversion of 401K's/retirement savings into annuities in order to bail out the Fed (and Federal government) in "Converting 401k and IRA Funds Into "Steady Payment Streams." Read all about it by clicking on the above links. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

Forcing people into Treasuries as an "annuity" is exactly what Social Security allegedly is. Except that Treasury stole the money that was collected in FICA taxes and spent it!
Guess what? They'll do that here too - you're going to "invest" in Treasuries which of course are effectively a CALL option on the future taxing ability of the government.
The problem is that with an aging population and the immigrant problem (illegal immigrants that is), along with offshoring, the aggregate wage base will drop and thus this is the most dangerous investment of all!

And you had thought you had lost enough of your savings (not to mention your mind) already? Heads up!

Consider the record of the American media over the last two weeks alone. Justin Elliott of TPM documents how an absolute falsehood about the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing -- that Abdulmuttab purchased a "one-way ticket" to the U.S., when it was actually a round-trip ticket - has been repeated far and wide by U.S. media outlets as fact. Two weeks ago, Elliott similarly documented how an equally false claim from ABC News - that two of the Al Qaeda leaders behind that airliner attack had been released from Guantanamo - became entrenched as fact in media reports (at most, it is one of them, not two). This week, Dan Froomkin chronicles how completely discredited claims about Guantanamo recidivism rates continue to be uncritically "reported" by The New York Times and then inserted into our debates as fact.
As I documented two weeks ago, government claims about which "top Al Qeada fighters" were killed by our airstrikes turn out to be untrue far more often then true, yet are always mindlessly featured by our media, ensuring little questioning of those actions; at least two of the three Top Terrorists claimed to have been killed by our airstrikes in Yemen -- and possibly all three -- are quite likely alive. As Greg Sargent writes, one of the most provocative and inflammatory claims of the trashy Halperin/Heilmann gossip book - that Bill Clinton told Ted Kennedy that Obama would have been "getting us coffee" just a couple years earlier - is not only completely unsourced (like virtually every one of their sleazy claims), but also "paraphrased."
Aside from falsity, what do all of these deceitful reports have in common? They're all the by-product of granting anonymity to people and then repeating what they claim as fact, protected by their journalist-guaranteed anonymity from any and all accountability for their falsehoods. It's exactly the same process that caused our leading media outlets to tell Americans about Iraq's massive WMD program and Al Qaeda connections; Jessica Lynch's heroic firefight with inhumane Iraqi devils and her "rescue" by our Marines; Pat Tillman's death at the hands of Al Qaeda monsters; and government tests that "confirmed" the presence of bentonite in the anthrax used to attack the U.S., which meant it was likely that Saddam was behind the attacks.
Unjustified anonymity -- especially when mindlessly repeating what shielded government sources claim in secret -- is the single greatest enabler of false and deceitful "reporting." Despite its unbroken record of producing lies, it will never stop, because agreeing to it is how "journalists" end up being selected as favored message-carrying servants for the powerful. This falsehood-producing method isn't ancillary to American journalism but central to it; the book which is occupying the attention of America's political and media class is based exclusively on unattributed, shielded sources, and that seems to bother one of them.
. . . None of the falsehoods documented here will ever lead to any accountability, because the identity of the falsehood-producers will be shielded by their loyal journalist-servants, and the journalists themselves will simply claim that they wrote what they did because their hidden sources told them to. That's not only the effect, but the intent, of the central method of American journalism: to disseminate outright falsehoods to the American public and ensure that neither the liars nor their loyal message-carriers ever face any consequences or even reputational loss. Anonymity is so common that "reporters" barely even bother any longer to explain why it's justified, notwithstanding numerous policies of media outlets requiring exactly that explanation. As the use of anonymity has escalated rapidly, so, too, has the pervasiveness of outright falsehoods and the inherent unreliability of much of what the American media "reports." Lying is so much easier - and thus so much more common - when you get to do it while remaining hidden.

And about that new scam revolving around how your last savings/401K's will bailout the bailouters: . . . . . . . .
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20100111

Lost Constellations


'A donut umbrella will never line up with the eye of the storm.'

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Was that a football game or...

.... a basketball game? 51-45?

That does it!!!!! I am going to boycott all Packer games for the rest of the Season!!!!

Maybe settle in and watch my second 'sport passion'..... Professional Ice Fishing!



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20100110

It is your destiny

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Join the DLC...


Where else are you going to go?


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20100109

White Man's Burden

White man's burden?

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A fourth "Caption This Photo"

(It's my nephew, BTW, on his eighth birthday)



"Do you mind?"
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20100107

This is a six year old boy who was killed coming home from school. The woman is his mother.

*

"Look beyond the nationalist cant used to justify war. Look beyond the seduction of the weapons and the pornography of violence. Look beyond Barack Obama’s ridiculous rhetoric about finishing the job or fighting terror. Focus on the evil of war. War begins by calling for the annihilation of the others but ends ultimately in self-annihilation. It corrupts souls and mutilates bodies. It destroys homes and villages and murders children on their way to school. It grinds into the dirt all that is tender and beautiful and sacred. It empowers human deformities—warlords, Shiite death squads, Sunni insurgents, the Taliban, al-Qaida and our own killers—who can speak only in the despicable language of force. War is a scourge. It is a plague. It is industrial murder. And before you support war, especially the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, look into the hollow eyes of the men, women and children who know it."

Chris Hedges

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20100105

It takes a Pillage

This is my sister.

One of these afternoons she will come into the Wulfshead asking for a job. She will want to tend bar among other things, perhaps dance a little bit up on the stage. She is an experienced topless dancer in such well known San Francisco clubs as Big Al's and The Condor, where Carol Doda became a star. And I can vouch for her character. I hope you can give her a job.

Actually, this is Nomi Prins, an author, who has written a stellar book on the Wall Street financial debacle. She is an expert on the field having once been much lower than any Broadway topless dancer, a managing director of Goldman Sachs.

Her book is called, "It Takes a Pillage," and enters into the netherworld of SIVs (structured investment vehicles) and CDOs (collateralized debt obligations) among other exotic securities. Would you ever buy something called a "structured investment vehicle," which Michael Milken actually invented with his junk bond scam long ago? Today's versions (notice the plural) having merely been updated, and collateralized with disastrous subprime mortgages and other assets.

Yes, she takes us into that neverland where air becomes money. That is what Wall Street does best. Convert nothing into riches with complicated SIVs. Reading her book can at times become decidedly creepy for here we are in this abstract world which makes no sense to anybody but those with a talent for such self-serving abstractions. Those who know how to game the mere promise of money into huge fortunes.

If you are looking for a dissection of this strange world which may yet ruin us - at the moment it doesn't appear as if anyone in government is seriously constraining these people (or am I wrong?) - then this is your read. One which is spookier than anything by Stephen King.

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20100104

THE FUNNIEST THING I HAVE HEARD ALL DAY

Pat Buchanan, Republican Consultant, MSNBC, commenting on Brit Hume's nonsense:

Christianity is the most forgiving and tolerant of all religions
....

When I heard this I laughed out loud.....again and again and again....

Cross posted at MadMikesAmerica
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Good god, yes

Just found this quote, it's from an article about two-and-a-half weeks ago, but I think it should be shared:
“People are frustrated because we have done our part,” she said. “We put these people in the position to make change and they’re not doing it.”

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20100101

Happy New Year Jin!



We must have a beginner's mind, free from possessing anything, a mind that knows everything is in flowing change. Nothing exists but momentarily in its present form and color. One thing flows into another and cannot be grasped. Before the rain stops we hear a bird. Even under the heavy snow we see snowdrops.

---Shunryu Suzuki

And I would answer you...that to prepare the future is only to found the present...for the sole true invention is to decipher the present under its incoherent aspects and its contradictory language....You do not have to foresee the future, but to allow it....

---Antoine de Saint-Exupery

What else is there to say? We end in joy.

---Theodore Roethke

And of course to the whole Wulfshead clientele and staff of universally distinguished personage. Special thanks to jin though, for offering her blog-only special box of sweetmeats, which we ordered and she shipped to us. We've finished off nearly every crumb saving 2 scones, an apricot and a chocolate chip (each a meal in itself), for this morning. I'm astonished at the slight quantity of sugar used in the jecstatic concoctions---and almost no pornography at all!
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