September 15th, 2008

gentle waterfall

Good Morning!



Jeff and Jan grow tomatoes, all varieties of tomatoes, so I have been eating tomatoes, real ones, not the little, tasteless rocks from the store, but real ones with taste, color and texture. 

(Oh, dear.  Has Sarah Palin ruined the word "real" for each of us?  I thought I was real.   I like the word real, which leads to reel and all sorts of lovely springing ins and outs and fantasies.)

Anyway, each tomato is a fine wine, each with its own aroma, taste, battering and flattering of the tongue, and lingering aftertaste.  I have a plate of them right here sitting next to me.  I would love to paint them.  None are just round or pear-shaped.  They have character, color, reds, yellows, greens that are ripe, speckles like eggs.  I am delight!!

Tomato Heaven is mine!!



Book Cover

Aerial Wolf Hunting


I kept avoiding watching this video about aerial wolf-hunting, and now that I've watched it, I'm glad I did. It is essential to see what Palin supports. When, many years ago, I read the book Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat, I learned that wolves, as they say in this video, have true family values. They are monogamous, family oriented and intelligent. (Oh, maybe that last word doesn't suggest those who are espousing family values with no clue as to what it might actually mean.)

The movie, Never Cry Wolf, again made it clear that wolves kill and eat what they need by cullingl the weak from the herds of moose and caribou. The results mean each species is stronger. Do watch this. It is beautifully done. I give you the short version and the long one, though I suggest you watch the long one. It is worth the time.










Here is a ten minute version which is also key to watch.


heart's desire

A Love Poem



Yes, it is that time, a little lightness to balance the dark.   I don't think it gets any sweeter than this.


Maybe Very Happy

by Jack Gilbert



After she died he was seized
by a great curiosity about what
it was like for her. Not that he
doubted how much she loved him.
But he knew there must have been
some things she had not liked.
So he went to her closest friend
and asked what she complained of.
"It's all right," he had to keep
saying, "I really won't mind."
Until the friend finally gave in.
"She said sometimes you made a noise
drinking your tea if it was very hot."



"Maybe Very Happy" by Jack Gilbert from Refusing Heaven. © Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. 



 



Book Cover

Thomas Merton -



Words to remember as we flow through these next few weeks until November 4th, and, after, too.



The tactic of nonviolence is a tactic of love that seeks the salvation and redemption of the opponent, not [our opponent's] castigation, humiliation, and defeat. A pretended nonviolence that seeks to defeat and humiliate the adversary by spiritual instead of physical attack is little more than a confession of weakness. True nonviolence is totally different from this, and much more difficult. It strives to operate without hatred, without hostility, and without resentment. It works without aggression, taking the side of the good that it is able to find already present in the adversary. This may be easy to talk about in theory. It is not easy in practice, especially when the adversary is aroused to a bitter and violent defense of an injustice which [the adversary] believes to be just. We must therefore be careful how we talk about our opponents, and still more careful how we regulate our differences with our collaborators. It is possible for the bitterest arguments, the most virulent hatreds, to arise among those who are supposed to be working together for the noblest of causes.


Thomas Merton. Conjectures of A Guilty Bystander (New York: Doubleday, Inc., 1966): 73-74
barack obama

thoughts -



In reading the New Yorker today, I wonder why Sarah Palin and John McCain think they can get away with lies.   I also wonder about any church one would attend that says fine, just lie.

Barack Obama does have an impressive legislative record in Illinois and in Washingon.  Barack Obama wrote his books.  McCain's books are the ones that have been "authored."   I suspect Palin doesn't know the truth on that one and just reads the words she is told to read, but she should know what she seeks in earmarks or special-interest spending.

This is from the WSJ today, hardly a liberal rag.  


 
 
  

Palin's Project List
Totals $453 Million

 
By LAURA MECKLER and JOHN R. WILKE
September 15, 2008; Page A5

Last week, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain said his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, hadn't sought earmarks or special-interest spending from Congress, presenting her as a fiscal conservative. But state records show Gov. Palin has asked U.S. taxpayers to fund $453 million in specific Alaska projects over the past two years.

These projects include more than $130 million in federal funds that would benefit Alaska's fishing industry and an additional $9 million to help Alaska oil companies. She also has sought $4.5 million to upgrade an airport on a Bering Sea island that has a year-round population of less than 100.




Sen. McCain has made the battle against earmarks and wasteful spending a centerpiece of his campaign. He has never sought earmarks for his state of Arizona and vows to veto pork-barrel spending bills that come to his desk as president, saying these projects should go through normal budget review. And he derides the argument that states often make: that they're funding important projects.

"If they're worthy projects they can be authorized and appropriated in a New York minute," he explained on his campaign bus earlier this year, before Gov. Palin joined the ticket. "If they're worthy projects I know they'd be funded."

During an appearance Friday on ABC's "The View," Sen. McCain said Gov. Palin shared his views, and hasn't sought congressional earmarks. "Not as governor she hasn't," he said.

In fact, in the current fiscal year, she is seeking $197 million for 31 projects, the records show. In the prior year, her first year in office, she sought $256 million for dozens more projects ranging from research on rockfish and harbor-seal genetics to rural sanitation and obesity prevention. By comparison, her predecessor, Gov. Frank Murkowski, sought more than $350 million in his last year in office.

The McCain campaign said Sunday that Gov. Palin's overall record is one of fiscal discipline. "Her record is cutting the number of earmark requests from the previous administration sizably," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds, and she has vetoed wasteful state spending.

As for Sen. McCain's televised comments on Friday, Mr. Bounds added, "If he gave viewers a mistaken impression, it certainly wasn't intentional."

In an interview with ABC News on Friday, Gov. Palin herself suggested she no longer seeks earmarks for her state. "The abuse of earmarks, it's un-American, it's undemocratic, and it's not going to be accepted in a McCain-Palin administration. Earmark abuse will stop."   (and yet she does seek earrmarks for her state - how can she say she doesn't and how can she say she would do any different at the federal level.  If the religious folks are the ones supporting her, they should really look at her out and out lies and then check the ten commandments.)

When pressed about her record as governor, she said: "We have drastically, drastically reduced our earmark request since I came into office. This is what I've been telling Alaskans for these years that I've been in office, is no more."

Alaska's success with earmarks is due in part to the power of Sen. Ted Stevens, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee. The state's earmark requests stand out in part because its state government is among the wealthiest in the U.S. Flush with oil and gas royalties, it doesn't impose income or sales taxes. In fact, money flows the other way: Every man, woman and child this year got a check for $3,200.

The McCain campaign has also come under fire for saying on the stump and in TV ads that Gov. Palin killed the controversial "Bridge to Nowhere," a $223 million earmark linking the mainland to a sparsely populated island. In fact, she supported the project initially and killed it after it was widely criticized and Congress allowed the state to use the funds for other projects.

On the campaign trail, Gov. Palin has repeatedly attacked Sen. Obama on earmarks. "Our opponent has requested nearly one billion dollars in earmarks in three years. That's about a million for every working day," she said at a rally in Albuquerque, N.M.

Sen. Barack Obama requested a total of $860 million in earmarks in his Senate years, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense. That doesn't include $78 million for projects that were national in scope and had been requested by many lawmakers. Sen. Obama halted all earmark requests in fiscal 2009.

It is difficult to compare Sen. Obama's earmark record with Gov. Palin's -- their states differ in size, for instance, and the two candidates play different roles in the process. But using the same calculation that the McCain campaign uses, the total amount of earmarked dollars divided by the number of working days while each held office (assuming a five-day workweek, every week, for both), Gov. Palin sought $980,000 per workday, compared with roughly $893,000 for Sen. Obama.

Mr. Bounds, the McCain campaign spokesman, called this an "apples and oranges comparison" because Sen. Obama sought more than Gov. Palin and because she cut earmark requests.



barack obama

from the BBC news -



We worry about the trustworthiness of the news we receive.  Here is a fascinating article on the topic from the BBC.


Warning sounded on web's future

By Pallab Ghosh
Science correspondent, BBC News
Giant magnet at Cern, AFP/Getty
Some feared firing up the LHC would doom the Earth

The internet needs a way to help people separate rumour from real science, says the creator of the World Wide Web.

Talking to BBC News Sir Tim Berners-Lee said he was increasingly worried about the way the web has been used to spread disinformation.

Sir Tim spoke prior to the unveiling of a Foundation he has co-created that aims to make the web truly worldwide.

It will also look at ways to help people decide if sites are trustworthy and reliable sources of information.

Future proof

Sir Tim talked to the BBC in the week in which Cern, where he did his pioneering work on the web, turned on the Large Hadron Collider for the first time.

The use of the web to spread fears that flicking the switch on the LHC could create a Black Hole that could swallow up the Earth particularly concerned him, he said. In a similar vein was the spread of rumours that the MMR vaccine given to children in Britain was harmful.

Sir Tim told BBC News that there needed to be new systems that would give websites a label for trustworthiness once they had been proved reliable sources.

"On the web the thinking of cults can spread very rapidly and suddenly a cult which was 12 people who had some deep personal issues suddenly find a formula which is very believable," he said. "A sort of conspiracy theory of sorts and which you can imagine spreading to thousands of people and being deeply damaging."

Sir Tim and colleagues at the World Wide Web consortium had looked at simple ways of branding websites - but concluded that a whole variety of different mechanisms was needed.

Tim Berners-Lee (AFP/Getty)
Sir Tim wants to help get the web to people who are cut off from it.

"I'm not a fan of giving a website a simple number like an IQ rating because like people they can vary in all kinds of different ways," he said. "So I'd be interested in different organisations labelling websites in different ways".

Sir Tim spoke to the BBC to publicise the launch of his World Wide Web Foundation which aims to improve the web's accessibility.

Alongside this role it will aim to make it easier for people to get online. Currently only 20% of the world's population have access to the web

"Has it been designed by the West for the West?" asked Sir Tim.

"Has it been designed for the executive and the teenager in the modern city with a smart phone in their pocket? If you are in a rural community do you need a different kind of web with different kinds of facilities?"

Creative medium

The Web Foundation will also explore ways to make the web more mobile-phone friendly. That would increase its use in Africa and other poor parts of the world where there are few computers but plenty of handsets.

The Foundation will also look at how the benefits of the web can be taken to those who cannot read or write.

"We're talking about the evolution of the web," he said. "Perhaps by using gestures or pointing. When something is such a creative medium as the web, the limits to it are our imagination".

The Foundation will also look at concerns that the web has become less democratic, and its use influenced too much by large corporations and vested interests.

"I think that question is very important and may be settled in the next few years," said Sir Tim.

"One of the things I always remain concerned about is that that medium remains neutral," he said.

"It's not just where I go to decide where to buy my shoes which is the commercial incentive - it's where I go to decide who I'm going to trust to vote," he said.

"It's where I go maybe to decide what sort of religion I'm going to belong to or not belong to; it's where I go to decide what is actual scientific truth - what I'm actually going to go along with and what is bunkum".