Saturday, March 03, 2007

Open Thread

Demetrius has done a few designs in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

On a related note, some of you might enjoy this page of Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers.

Having done the shameless self-promotion at the top of the post, I think I'll assuage a bit of that guilt by linking to jc's newer graphics blogs (which I keep forgetting to do).


And puddle has a Tanner update at pyzch.

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The Centrist Blogosphere?

In the comments at the Independent Bloggers' Alliance, Maryscott O'Connor wrote:

I just got off the phone with a reporter from Salon; the interview lasted half an hour, and it was almost all about the BBB, my feeling that they have been assimilated into the Establishment, sold out, et cetera. Can’t WAIT to read THAT piece; what do you think the reaction in the Centrist Blogosphere will be to that?

“Centrist Blogosphere,” what do you think of that? I’m fucking tired of calling them even “left-leaning.” Because they’re not.
Note to readers: for Maryscott, BBB stands for "Big Boys of Blogging" rather than "Big Bad Blog.

I added:

I just *know* we can do better than that. I asked Demetrius, and off the top of his head, he said, “Assimilated Blogosphere?”

I’ve got it–Borgosphere!

(I know–still needs work.)
It will be interesting to see how the article turns out. I'm always wary of the spin any media outlet might decide to apply, but if done right, it would be nice to see that wider recognition that "Daily Kos" does not equal "the lefty blogosphere".

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Why is the I-Conn giving the Dem radio address?

TeddySanFran's blog entry at Give 'Em Hell, Harry:

Lieberman to Give Democrats' Radio Response: WHY??

Good question. If you're signed up at that blog, you can add your $.02 here.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Happy Birthday, Russ Feingold!

Just getting this birthday greeting in under the wire--Eastern time, anyway. But I didn't know until I saw this post at Crooks and Liars that today is Russ Feingold's birthday.

Happy birthday to one of our favorite patriotic Americans!

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Friday night links

Yay--it's the weekend! And it was *sunny* out when I was leaving work.

Spring really is going to come again, isn't it?

Some links...

Send Bush packing, says Rocky
At rally, he says there's never been a better case for impeachment

The Untold Story of Dissenting Soldiers

Bush and Cheney as National Security Failures

At Booman: Can Obama Create a New Coalition? Standard disclaimer: I do *not* have a candidate I'm excited about at this point, but there's some good stuff in this post. Like this...

All along the way, though, we suffered indignities at the hands of people from The New Republic, 'left-leaning' columnists at the Washington Post, New York Times, Time, Newsweek, and elsewhere. We were disparaged by Clinonistas like Begala and Carville on a constant basis. The argument was consistent. The Netroots was too stridenty anti-war and populist and would do real damage to the Democrats if allowed to have too much influence. For this reason, our huge successes in November were quickly spun as the doing of Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer alone. They chose to focus on the few social conservatives that were elected in Indiana or North Carolina, rather than our sweep of New Hampshire, new progressive Senators Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders, the upset victories of Jerry McNerney and professor Dave Loeback, etc.

And click the picture below for my most recent post at the Independent Bloggers' Alliance.

Update: In the comments, floridagal directs us to this post at
"Governor Dean Blasts Coulter’s Slur, Calls on GOP Presidential Candidates to Denounce It"

During her presentation at CPAC, political pundit Ann Coulter used the word “faggot” to describe a Democratic presidential candidate. DNC Chairman Howard Dean today condemned her remarks and called on the Republican presidential contenders to denounce them.

And she also points us to this journal entry at Democratic Underground:
The GOP's "controlled controversy"...outrageous enough to make us angry. Deliberate.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Talk amongst yourselves. . . .

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A word of hope from Bishop Gene

Crossposted at the Independent Bloggers' Alliance

In the past week or so, I've been watching for any word from Bishop Gene Robinson in response to the communique that came our of the recent meeting of the Anglican primates in Tanzania. This evening, I learned that he has written this in response to a plea he received for a "word of hope"...

Let’s remember that, for now, nothing has changed. The Episcopal Church has been bold in its inclusion of us, “risking its life” for us in dramatic ways over these last few years. Not perfect, but bold. Just because The Episcopal Church has been invited to subvert its own polity and become a Church ruled by bishops-only, a Church that is willing to sacrifice the lives and ministries and dignity of its gay and lesbian members on the altar of unity, does not mean that we are going to choose to do it. That is yet to be determined. Let’s not abandon hope simply because that is possible. The Primates have the right to make requests of us (nevermind the threatening tone of those requests). We do not have to accede to those requests in exactly the terms in which they are made.

Nothing is surprising in this development. None of us thought this issue was settled, did we? None of us expected our detractors to stop their efforts – whether their goals be genuinely about the authority of scripture and its playing out in our lives as Christians, or whether those goals have more to do with power and money and influence. (BOTH are represented in the actions taken.) We are fighting a larger battle here. As you have heard me say before, we are engaged in the beginning of the end of patriarchy. Did any of us believe that such a battle would be won without resistance? Did any of us believe there would be no more bumps in the road? Did any of us foresee smooth sailing into the future?

We still have countless allies. We are not engaged in this struggle alone. There are countless heterosexual members of this Church who now “get it.” They have heard our stories, felt our pain and taken up our cause as their own. There are countless heterosexual families who have joined The Episcopal Church (they are numerous in my own diocese) because they want to raise their children in such an inclusive Church. There are countless lgbt people who have come to our churches for the comfort and solace and grounding in Christ that we offer – and we dare not lose hope or momentum for them as well as ourselves.

Read the rest here. I don't really have any thoughts of my own to add, but am happy to hear from Bishop Gene. As I was searching for a word *from* him, Google searches yielded more than a few words written *about* him. I admire his strength and am thankful that he has the strong faith needed to carry him through times like these.

Also, click here for a transcript of Bishop Katharine's podcast this morning, and here for additional thoughts from Bishop Gene.

And I just gotta add, there is something about seeing that man's smile that just makes me feel a little better about the world. Thank you for that, +Gene.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Thankful's brother, Rene, passed tonight at six p.m.

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To know him was to love him

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Rene ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

28 July 1953 - 27 Feb 2007
~ ~ ~
One of his requests is to have this played at the visitation.
True Colors
Cyndi Lauper
You with the sad eyes
don't be discouraged
oh I realize
it's hard to take courage
in a world full of people
you can lose sight of it all
and the darkness inside you
can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
shining through
I see your true colors
and that's why I love you
so don't be afraid to let them show
your true colors
true colors are beautiful
like a rainbow
Show me a smile then
don't be unhappy, can't remember
when I last saw you laughing
if this world makes you crazy
and you've taken all you can bear
you call me up
because you know I'll be there
I can't remember when I last saw you laugh.
And I'll see your true colors
shining through
I see your true colors
and that's why I love you
so don't be afraid to let them show
your true colors,
true colors are beautiful
like a rainbow
~ ~ ~

A class act till the very end . A man of great courage who did it his way.

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Alachua "Shocker"? I wish

Charlie posted a link to this article in the comments of the previous thread...

Alachua Shocker: Every challenger in city elections is disqualified

All three Alachua City Commission candidates making bids to run against the incumbents in the upcoming Alachua city elections were disqualified today, Feb. 26. This means that the incumbents, Mayor Jean Calderwood and City Commissioner Bonnie Burgess, have no opponents, and, therefore, no election will be held.
Click here to read the rest. Sadly, I don't find that particulary shocking. Much the way the Bush administration's violations of everything our country is supposed to stand for no longer shock me. At a certain point, how do you avoid just becoming numb?

But that's probably what they want, so I guess we have to resist, somehow.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Again with the banner

Yeah, I've changed the banner again. But at least it's not a full-blown case of otter madness like I had before Christmas. See, I've even kept Howard up there. And added Gore.

And a couple other critters that make me smile.

I was checking out various blogs this evening, and thought, dang, I'm tired of the 2008 election already. And every other political story out there. And the stuff going on in the Episcopal church. And the bickering between and among blogs.

It was this, or color my hair again.

This is easier to undo. ;)

But let's all make sure we keep some healthy balance in our lives--remembering to take care of ourselves, and each other.

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Mama-to-be puddle

Just saw this at pyzch

puddle is walking around doing that nesting thing that is an 18 hour warning but we had a foot more of heavy snow that is hard to move and I finally got through the 5 foot drifts to the silage and still have my feeding to do as well as helping Barbara if she needs it, so I may not be back for a few hours.

Phil Specht
Sun, 02/25/07
10:53 am
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An Inconvenient Truth wins the Oscar

W00t! An Inconvenient Truth wins the Oscar for best documentary.

Sunday, Gore used the Oscar win not to further his political career but to boost his campaign to find solutions for global warming and other environmental problems.

"My fellow Americans," Gore said to laughter from the crowd. "People all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis. It's not a political issue, it's a moral issue. We have everything we need to get started with the possible will to act. That's a renewable resource. Let's renew it."
"It is the overriding world challenge of our time," Gore said. "I really hope the decision by the academy to honor the work by director Davis Guggenheim and these producers will convince people who did not go see it before to see the movie and learn about the climate crisis and become a part of the solution."
You can see the video of his acceptance speech at Crooks and Liars, as well as Melissa Etheridge's performance of "I Need to Wake Up", which won the Oscar for Best Song.

That statue is going to look great in the Oval Office...

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cat herding

Crossposted at the Independent Bloggers' Alliance

"Cat herding" video

Booman posts "What are we trying to do?"
As I see it, Daily Kos and Jerome Armstrong have not articulated a goal that has any synergy with my goals. We still have a huge amount of common interests. But I am primarily interested in shifting the debate to the left, while they seem to be interested in boxing in the netroots into traditionally acceptable parameters of debate.

I don't think that will do. It might bring us a result that they don't want (a Hillary presidency), but it won't fundamentally alter the assumptions and myths that made both Bushism and the invasion of Iraq possible. Are we going to gain something from Iraq or are we just going to end it so we fight another war on another day?

To summarize: goal one was to elect a Democratic congress. Goal two is to turn the Democratic Party into a progressive party. That means primaries. That means changing what is considered as the political fringe...which means changing the political center. The fight against Republicans required a lot of Democratic unity. But those days are over now. Now the battle is for the soul of the Democratic Party. And that means that it is the furthest thing from a waste of time to take on Ellen Tauscher and oppose Hillary Clinton.

Anyone that doesn't get that does seem to be missing the point, or selling out.
I don't think we're ever going to speak with one voice. To get that to happen would require a lot more cat herding than many of us are comfortable with. And when someone decides that one goal is all-important, sometimes they feel inclined to attack people they see as being "in their way". But those people are often working toward what *they* consider to be the most important goal right now.

There is no one goal that unites most of us right now. As the 2008 election gets closer, there is likely to be even more animosity. If we let that happen. We can always choose otherwise.

Me? I think it's important that everyone gets a chance to speak and be heard. The so-called netroots are not monolithic. Maybe some people would like to pretend that we are, so that we can be a powerful "special interest group" that candidates will try to cater to. But wishing doesn't make it so. I guess one way to *appear* united in pursuit of one goal would be to make sure that those who disagree don't have access to the microphone. Or find other ways to silence or marginalize them. In my mind, those are not acceptable options.

P.S. Here's a link to the post about the Independent Bloggers' Alliance that Maryscott frontpaged at My Left Wing, in case anyone would like to weigh in and contribute to the discussion there.

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The Fractal Heartbeat of Community

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It took 34 years, but this week my dream of a lifetime came true. Back before even ConSec was born, I hoped this time would arrive with all my heart, and at last it has arrived.

Back in 1973 a friend of mine stopped by with something called a 'Bio-feedback' unit. It was slightly larger than what was then a portable cassette player with wires and electrodes connected. The concept behind it was that in meditation, your brain produces Alpha waves that promote relaxation. So while hooked up to the electrodes, if your brain produced an Alpha wave the device would register it with a 'click.'

After spendng a half hour hooked up to this new thingie, I made it click 4 times, and I said to my friend, "Rather than making the machine clicks when you produce the right wave, you'll need to eventually have a unit that teaches you how to 'click' it. And when that happens you'll have Heaven on Earth."

The unit I spoke of way back then, is arriving in the mail from The Netherlands in a couple of weeks with complete instructions on how to operate it even in a clinical setting. Right now, I feel like I've been accepted into the Jedi Academy or the Green Lantern Corps.

Frankly I owe it in large measure to the community that opened their hearts in what was probably my darkest hour.

Thank you one and all.
Here are some Sunday music samples from Yaatri

Subway Serenade

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