While reading about the Maine senate race in the NYT this morning, I came across a link to a super PAC named icPurple that supports Angus King.
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Yes, I’m spending too much time on facebook. Why? Well, it’ so easy. One waits for comments on your posts, posts on your comments, comments on your comments, and finds some posts, some comments, interesting even if you don’t comment back. It’s one gigantic blog where everyone is posting and commenting at the same time. The stream of information is sweeping by at an alarming rate. A hot topic one day disappears into the next. It’s information overload! But fun. Still, is it largely a waste of time? Not necessarily.
It can be a channel into interesting topics. Sam Harris has a FB page which I looked into and found an interesting two hour long debate between Harris and Shermer on one side and Chopra and Houston on the other. Juan Cole has a page. And Barney Frank. Then there’s Karen Armstrong with her Charter for Compassion. Countless others. Too much of course, and how does one pick and chose?
The net result is I ignore this blog. Not that I don’t have enough to do besides facebook. The Norway UU church keeps me busy. The stewardship campaign is beginning and there’s hardly anyone to run it. A flurry of emails amongst Chris Davis, Kathi Pewitt, Deborah Crump, Richard Beal, and me, plus a couple of phone calls from Chris to me, finally resolved a date for our kickoff meeting: April 16th from 5:30pm to 7pm. And then there’s all the church’s financial stuff with me as treasurer. Then there’s OUR financial stuff.
Enough for now. I’ve got to think about food and interact with Cynthia regarding the food, plus check our provisions.
Oh, but I’m reading an interesting philosophical book by James P. Carse, “Breakfast at the Victory: The mysticism of ordinary experience”. Fascinating but difficult. The need for silence. The heading for the sixth chapter is one of my favorites. It’s from the Rig Veda X:129:
Then even nothingness was not, nor existence.
There was no air then, nor the heavens beyond it.
What covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping?
Was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed?
Then there was neither death nor immortality,
nor was there then the touch of night and day.
The One breathed windlessly and self-sustaining.
There was that One then, and there was no other.
In the beginning desire descended upon it —
that was the primal seed, born of the mind.
The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom
know that which is kin to that which is not.
But, after all, who knows, and who can say
whence it all came, and how creation happened?
The gods themselves are later than creation,
so who knows truely whence it has arisen?
Whence all creating had its origin,
he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,
he who surveys it all from highest heaven,
he knows — or maybe even he does not know.
Now I gotta go.
I’ve been following Robert Reich’s blog in recent days. He’s the incredibly short but friendly and articulate guy who once was Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor. You can see him every so often as a political commentator on various TV pundit shows.
Bob’s post for today, Friday, December 5, 2008, is captioned Shall We Call it a Depression Now? Here’s the final paragraph from that post:
Two things are needed: First, the massive Treasury bailout of the financial industry must be redirected toward Main Street — loans to small businesses, distressed homeowners, and individuals who are still good credit risks. Second, a stimulus package must be enacted right away. It needs to be more than $600 billion — which is 4 percent of the national product. It should be focused on job creation in the United States — infrastructure projects as well as services. Construction jobs are critical but so are elder care, hospital, child care, welfare, and countless other services that are getting clobbered. Service businesses accounted for two-thirds of the job cuts in November, meaning that the weakness in labor markets has shifted from the goods-producing sector of the economy to the far larger services sector.
I’d say he is right on with that. Reich is right! Not politically to the right, but simply right. The over half a million jobs lost in November should be enough to wake up even the most far right wing nut in the U.S. Congress.
But will it? There are still obstructionists in the Republican party. They’d rather have the whole country go down the tubes in order to embarrass Obama and have a chance for some votes come next elections.
Barney Frank is right too. Do we want an unmitigated disaster on our hands by not bailing out the auto companies? No. We’re forced to bail them out at this point, or the country really really goes over a cliff.
Hey, just my opinion. Of course I could be wrong. Any other opinions or alternatives out there?
UPDATE: Here’s an interesting little blogginheads debate between two guys, Mickey Kaus and Robert Wright. One is for the bailout of the big three autos, Kaus, while Wright is against it.
AKM is an acronym for AkMuckraker which is a name choice for the author of the great blog from Alaska called Mudflats with the subtitle Tiptoeing Through the Muck of Alaskan Politics. AKM has a very interesting new post, Troopergate’s Strange Bedfellows. Well, worth checking out, including perusing the over 200 responses so far. Will be interesting to see what happens up there on October 10.
I find I’m hooked. Hooked on the Web. It’s just so easy to keep clicking and clacking, going here and there, looking at this, reading that. Lots of good stuff online. And blogging takes up much of this time, if one wants to do it right, and, yes, have fun in doing it. But in this surfing and blogging I’ve found books to read and gone ahead and ordered them. But when can I read them? Not while I’m online, not while I’m blogging and surfing and clicking and clacking. ðŸ™„
So, I’ve got to take a break. Try to rejoin the real world for a while, read my books, do non-online things.
So, thanks fellow bloggers for looking at this blog and for your many great comments. I’ll be back later, after I’ve detoxed a bit. ðŸ˜†
It has no definite focus, but has spent a lot of time on politics, to be sure. Still, I’m interested in other things: music, philosophy, religion, science, and last but not least humor. Personal things, like diaries, photos, and accounts of vacations, are also here.
So, why do I do it?
I have maybe a few loyal readers and even fewer who comment. I do want comments very badly. Why? Because it tells me people have read something I wrote. Maybe if I got nasty comments I’d be unhappy, but at least there’d be comments. I hope I could handle with grace, humor and/or politeness the comments that disagree with me or are nasty. But I just haven’t had many of those, if any.
C’mon guys, insult me! ðŸ˜†
It’s true, I’m an old guy. Maybe a lot of would be commenters write off this blog because of my age. What’s that old coot talking about? Oh well, not much I can do about that.
Incidentally, a subject I’ve always been fascinated with is consciousness.
What is consciousness? Where is it? I feel a new post about this coming on……
ðŸ™„ OH, how boring! some of you may be thinking, but what can I do, I’m fascinated by the subject.
OK, over and out.
The Talking Points Memo (TPM) by Josh Marshall has now become a blog portal with a full news section. (I’ve got TPM listed under ALTERNATIVE MEDIA in my right sidebar.) TPM has always been my favorite political blog, outside of the unbeatable Juan Cole, and now it’s got this great new format. Links to reports on TPMmuckraker, Election Central and TPMCafe with descriptions now appear on TPM making it a blog portal. The news section is great. In fact there are a bunch of red hot stories there right now, e.g., another GOP hypocrite — Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) exposed by Larry Flynt. It seems his phone number is on the D.C. Madam’s list.
The problem with keeping up a successful blog is that one has to do an entry every day or readers forget to come back to you. I found this out through early experiments at IC, where traffic fell off dramatically if I missed days, even weekends. Most journalists, analysts and academics don’t have time to blog daily, and therefore don’t blog.
This reminds me of my own problem with this blog, not that I’m a journalist, analyst or academic. I’ve started again to make a post every day, after a lapse for a few weeks there, in the hopes I might improve traffic here a little, not necessarily to catch a virus though, LOL.
Getting back to Juan and his new group blog, he’s got a lot of Middle East experts on the new blog with info on Iran and Afghanistan in addition to Iraq and the Isreali-Palestinian crises. Even though “Global Affairs” is in the title, it appears to have its focus on the Middle East. Here’s a good way to get educated but of course it all takes time, time, and more time.
Riverbend has been blogging from Baghdad since 2003 and is finally leaving. Baghdad Burning is her blog title and she describes her blog thusly: Girl Blog from Iraq… let’s talk war, politics and occupation. Her subtitle is … I’ll meet you ’round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend… I particularly like that little poem. Here’s hoping she and her family can get out safely and find a place to stay.