Friday, December 14, 2012
My younger kids have seen me cry before. When my close friend from college passed away earlier this year from cancer, the two littlest ones watch their daddy break down at the dinner table, Facebook having delivered that terrible news. Mercifully for me, they both hugged and held on, perhaps not knowing why.
Tonight they may see their dad cry again, once I get them home and safe in our living room. No parent can see the news coming out of Newtown Connecticut today and NOT want to sweep their kids up in a bear hug that lasts an eternity. To be sure, we want to comfort them if they are scared - but equally we want to be comforted by their little faces, warm breath, and young and naive zeal for the world around them. That passage of energy from young to old, child to parent, is the only salve that can hang upon our open wounds today. For no matter what the FBI or police turn up, no matter how many warnings of this were ignored, no matter how irrational our gun control laws continue to be, it is the warm th of their smiles that will save us all.
Rest in peace small ones. We can not know what you would have done in your lives, but we can be assured that your kisses, you hugs, your art projects, and your indomitable energy has already left its mark on the world around you. Your cruel passing can not take that from you, or those who love, and now mourn, in your wake.
Friday, December 7, 2012
Psychological research has demonstrated that in times of crisis, people respond most acutely to emotionally strong voices, Bail explains. The media industry has long understood this intuitively and featured dramatic, colorful and emotional figures because they’re more compelling to readers. We’ve all seen this “fringe effect,” as Bail dubs it, from the Tea Party to the birther movement.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Obama’s second term: Can liberals trust the president?
Saturday, November 3, 2012
It is remarkable to see the level to which Obama defenders have sunk. Let’s start with a basic problem – why is Obama in a tight race? Mitt Romney is more caricature than candidate, a horrifically cartoonish plutocrat whose campaign is staffed by people that allow secret tapings of obviously offensive statements. The Republican base finds Romney uninspiring, and Romney has been unable to provide one good reason to choose him except that he is not the incumbent. Yet, Barack Obama is in a dog fight with this clown. Why? It isn’t because a few critics are writing articles in places like Salon. The answer, if you look at the data, is thatBarack Obama has been a terrible President and an enemy to progressives. Unemployment is high. American household income since the recovery started in 2009 has dropped 5%. Poverty has increased substantially. Home equity – the main store of wealth for the middle class – has dropped by $5-7 trillion, in contrast to the increase in financial asset values held by Obama’s friends and donors. And this was done explicitly through Obama’s policies.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
We need to build a different model of politics, one in which people who want a different society are willing to actually bargain and back up their threats, rather than just aesthetically argue for shifts around the margin. The good news is that the changes we need to make are entirely doable. It will cost about $100 trillion over 20 years to move our world to an entirely sustainable energy system, and the net worth of the global top 1 percent is $103 trillion. We can do this. And the moments to let us make the changes we need are coming. There is endless good we can do, if enough of us are willing to show the courage that exists within every human being instead of the malevolence and desire for conformity that also exists within every heart.
Systems that can’t go on, don’t. The political elites, as much as they kick the can down the road, know this. The question we need to ask ourselves is, do we?
Monday, October 22, 2012
Six fixes for American democracy
I have been seriously, and heinously, amazed at all the work Republicans have done the last two years to disenfranchise Americans in order to get, and keep power. But the central question I have always had is WHY? Well The man behind the voter fraud myth may well have the answers.
Monday, October 1, 2012
Thursday, September 6, 2012
While I didn't watch her speech at the DNC last night - here in the DC area it was only broadcast on PBS which is not a good TV signal at our house - I read it in Salon this morning, and I hope you will too. Afterall, when was the last time you heard a Democrat, on national television, quoting Scripture?
“No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people”
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
REBLOG: The Five Reasons Why Romney/Ryan Must be Defeated in 2012 – And Why Conservatives Should Hope They Are.
Now, as I said, I have been just as likely to vote for Republicans in the past as I have been for Democrats, and just because I am focusing on the GOP doesn’t mean I couldn’t write a piece criticizing some of Obama’s policies. But that is the difference – my critique of Obama would be based on policy. I would be starting with an understanding that we begin with the same fact base, and that facts would be what drove the discussion. I would not be compelled to address fictions, lies and delusions before addressing policy differences. That is the sign of a party that wants to govern, even if I don’t always agree with the ways they want to exercise their governing authority.Read more here: The Five Reasons Why Romney/Ryan Must be Defeated in 2012 – And Why Conservatives Should Hope They Are.
Friday, August 31, 2012
On issue after issue, the wishes of most Americans are ignored or marginalized by the nation’s political and media elite. Views that are held by most Republicans – and in some cases even by most Tea Party members – are dismissed as “extreme” inside the Beltway. While 75 percent of most Americans and 76 percent of Tea Party supporters opposed Social Security cuts to balance the budget, leaders in both political parties were meeting to negotiate those cuts. (They were scuttled by a fallout between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner; similar cuts were being negotiated between Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Bill Clinton when the Monica Lewinsky scandal erupted.)
Most Americans want tighter control on US banks, and that’s considered politically impossible. They want much higher taxes for millionaires, which is also dismissed. Meanwhile, the nation continues to pursue policies that benefit the most unpopular institutions in the nation, according to that Gallup poll: big corporations, HMOs, and Wall Street banks. The only thing on Gallup’s list that’s more unpopular than these three institutions? Congress.
Read more at Salon: Ten ways Americans have lost their freedom
Monday, August 20, 2012
Talk About the South: Dayne Sherman's Blog: An Open Letter to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: Bobby, Can You Hear Me in the Bunker? By Dayne Sherman Talk About the South Column Published in the Hammond, Louisiana, Daily Star ...
Friday, August 17, 2012
Five ways privatization is ruining America
Friday, August 10, 2012
ConfirmationBias in the Republican Party - how granting the vote to all is taking it away from the military!
That, perhaps, is the most frustrating thing of all. And why? Because this isn’t just confirmation bias anymore. Confirmation bias means you miss some things, that you filter what you see. But this is different. This is willfully choosing to ignore a fact that disproves a particular belief you have. Hell, I wasn’t asking her to change her vote. I don’t even WANT her to change her vote! I just want her—and everyone—to argue from a place of logic, to recognize that we live in a world of grey, a world filled with agenda and spin and naked attempts at persuasion, a world that is actually trying to make us ignore the facts.
- Chasing Glenn Beck - We, the Sheeple....
Friday, July 20, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
It would be one thing if this group were pushing for long-term debt reduction and short-term economic relief. The centerpiece of President Obama's economic plan is the American Jobs Act, which calls for hundreds of billions in new stimulus, to jumpstart the economy. This would necessarily add to the deficit, but the gains from employing people—1 million additional workers, over the next year—would more than make up for the additional debt. Different sides might disagree about the best way to accomplish the long-term goal of reducing the debt, but focusing on short-term economic improvement is clearly the right thing to do.
Instead, these self-styled masters of consensus are entirely focused on reducing the deficit now. In the current economic environment—where demand is still lagging—this is a guarantee of disaster.
Read more here : The Beltway's Destructive Obsession with the Deficit
Monday, May 21, 2012
So here’s one of those pesky questions of legal consistency the U.S. Supreme Court is supposed to sort out regularly: Can the Obama Administration get a lawsuit quashed on, essentially, lack of standing due to lack of harm grounds, after getting enjoined from putting the NDAA indefinite detention provisions in effect for esentially the same assertion? What’s the catch you say? Well the federal judge who ruled on the NDAA case specifically cited the plaintiffs fears of indefinite detention as probable cause for success on the merits, and enjoined the NDAA until the action could proceed and be completed. Given that this action before the Supreme Court is essentially on the same question – albeit under a different piece of federal legislation – will they respect the District Court’s precedent, or will they throw more turmoil into the air to try and acquiesce to the Surveillance State?
Seems to me the NDAA injunction gives the Supreme’s an out to let the surveillance lawsuit proceed – if they have the stones to tell the DoJ enough’s enough.
In support of their motion, Plaintiffs assert that § 1021 already has impacted their associational and expressive activities–and would continue to impact them, and that § 1021 is vague to such an extent that it provokes fear that certain of their associational and expressive activities could subject them to indefinite or prolonged military detention.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
You see, as I mentioned in my last post, this blog was recently deleted from a blog roll. Never mind the fact that its presence on that site was specifically requested well over two years ago. The online community specialist managing the page (at the time) was eager to list it, glad for my input and seemed grateful for my participation. I always thought it was a rather arbitrary list, but it seemed like a work in progress and names were being added, not subtracted (at first). Recently and without warning, that inexplicably changed. Care to guess why?
I used the "n" word:
nipple.Read more at The Dinoia Family.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Tonight the world is a sadder place. My friend and former dorm mate Bruce (seen above in a poster that was done during the height of his chemo) is slowly and surely loosing his battle with melanoma. He fought the good fight, but his time among us here on Earth is now drawing to a close. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters. Raised a Reformed Jew, I have no doubt that God will soon welcome him home with that simple and powerful greeting "well done, good and faithful servant."
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Fifth: We need to make opportunity, not equality of results, our focus. That means supporting school choice, requiring job training for unemployment-benefit recipients, promoting English immersion and ending government subsidization of ever more expensive college tuition.
As yes, the panacea of equal opportunity. To use it means that first, you have to acknowledge that there is NOT equal opportunity in the U.S. right now - which many Republicans do not. Then second, to really give equal opportunity, you have to support a significant government infrastructure, because true, unfettered free market capitalism is all about RESTRAINING opportunity, since profit maximization by private actors is inherently diminished if EVERYONE has the same opportunity to make a buck.
Especially gauling is the required job training approach to welfare. We've actually had a requirement to get training and work in place since Bill Clinto was president, but that requirement is seriously hampered by lack of childcare that ins affordable, lack of effective transportation options in many ares of the country, and the lack of funding at the state level for the training programs themselves.
Oh, and equal opportunity won't put the economy on track, or get more people hired, or get more people educated. Only policies focused on equal outcomes do that, since outcomes mean dollars to spend in the economy. You can buy a house on opportunity.
But boy, it sure SOUNDS good!
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” Romney told CNN. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”
Really - what sort of safety net will be left if and when the federal programs that make it up are descimated to preserve the upper-income tax brackets tax cuts that are now a decade old. Really?
Sunday, January 15, 2012
"There are twelve different agencies that deal with exports. There are at least five different entities that deal with housing policy. Then there's my favorite example: the Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they're in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them in when they're in saltwater. And I hear it gets even more complicated once they're smoked."
On the Surface he is correct - both NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service share jurisdiction over SOME salmon in a single region of the U.S. Atlantic Salmon - which are currently to be found primarily in Maine - are co-managed by both agencies under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). But if you actually Google their respective websites, you will find that their actions are complementary, and not overlapping. You'll also find that a significant amount of the actual work is done by the state of Maine for both agencies.
Out west, pacific salmon are regulated by NOAA alone, under both the ESA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act (which regulated U.S. Commercial Marine Fishing since pacific salmon can still be commercially harvested). Having learned how hard comanagement was, the Interior Department deferred to NOAA for the ESA, thought they still work closely with the agency on many issues relating to pacific salmon. NOAA has "sole custody" of Magnuson actions, so there is no duplication or overlap there. Bottom line - just because GAO can find the same words describing programs in similar agencies, that doesn't mean there is duplication. Often, programs that sound the same on paper are working on different parts of the same issue.
GAO's work identified three themes at the foundation of DHS's challenges Leading and coordinating the homeland security enterprise; Implementing and integrating management functions for results; and Strategically managing risks and assessing homeland security efforts. This testimony contains no new recommendations.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Read more at Have the Super-Rich Seceded From the United States? | Truthout