Current Events

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OK, I see another new version of WordPress has become available, Version 3.3.

According to Matt Mullenweg, [this] “latest and greatest WordPress includes a new drag-and-drop uploader, hover menus for the navigation, a new toolbar, improved co-editing support, and a new Tumblr importer.”

Sigh. In my post yesterday I couldn’t get the tags to work. So what new lost features will 3.3 bring? Oh, why be so cynical? It’ll probably work like a charm!

So after I post this, I’ll see if I can pull off the upgrade without destroying my current features.

Note added Dec. 17: This all worked out just fine.

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Two and a half months since I entered “Cynthia’s Ashes”. Though I still mourn for her, why not bring this blog back to life?

I had an interesting weekend. I drove to Cambridge, Mass., on Saturday, the 10th to visit a new friend I made on Match dot com. (Yes, I’m playing the “dating sites”) She lives in Cambridge Cohousing and is one of the founders back in 1998. Fortunately, old friends from the Arlington Street Church in Boston live not far from the Cohousing and they had a room available for me to use overnight on Saturday.

I met my new friend about 5pm on Saturday, not knowing what to expect, even though we had exchanged a few good emails and I had liked very much her profile and photo on Match dot com. But she turned out to be extremely personable and we got along just fine.

We chatted for a while first in her apartment over wine and delicious celery/anchovies (I should have taken a second) and got to know each other almost right away. Very compatible attitudes toward the world and toward each other. Then we went to a great restaurant in Harvard Square, the Casablanca. She drove there in her car and found a nice place to park not far from the restaurant and the Loeb Drama Center.

After more good conversation and delicious food (I couldn’t finish mine so she suggested a doggy bag which worked out just fine for my supper at home last night) we walked to the Loeb Drama Center, less than five minutes from the restaurant, for the performance of the highly praised musical documentary/comedy Three Pianos. The Loeb was packed and the performances by the three characters and their ever shifting pianos was fascinating and hilarious throughout.

Wine (free) was passed out several times during the evening consistent with the goings on on stage, the Schubertiad which was acted out by the three characters. The Schubertiad was a group of friends of Franz Schubert who would drink, make merry, but most of all make and create music. The action of the three consisted in going through each of the 24 songs in Schubert’s famous Winterreise. It was both hilarious and instructive the way they did it: they had to assume the audience didn’t know German and also they gave us a lot of history while the amusing revelry continued and the songs were played and described. My date and I thoroughly enjoyed all of this.

She dropped me off at my car parked by her place and I drove to my friends’ place with the key one of them had given me earlier. I parked my car safely in their driveway and early Sunday morning I drove directly to the Norway UU church in Norway, Maine, in time for choir practice (well, I had to stop several times for food and bathroom).

A great time was had by all!!

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This comment appeared among those commenting on Perry’s Bad Night by Gail Collins. I thought it describes pretty accurately what could happen to America. Thank you Dave from North Strabane, PA.

Herman Cain (and most all Republicans) want to get rid of the EPA. All the Candidates seem to want to get rid of the evil government. The Norquist and Ron Paul cheerleaders who want to destroy government or “drown it in the bathtub” are the real anti-American traitors. Read the Constitution. It begins, “We, the People” In a nation of we the people, with a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, if you hate government then you hate the people. You hate Americans, and, by extension, you hate America. Without a government to defend our legitimate role in this society, we become merely subjects to the unchecked power of wealthy individuals and corporations. Without government there is no way to block their power and they can act with impunity; they can exploit us, pollute our air and water, cheat us, steal whatever they want,and we’d be powerless to stop them. To destroy government is the ultimate act of democratic suicide.
Recommended by 218 Readers at 7:45am EST

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It’s one week until Alzheimer’s Action Day. Get your purple on! Get ideas at www.alz.org/wam and get inspired by the flash mob that took place at the Seattle Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Gogol Bordello agrees. Y’all should start wearin purple NOW!

Start wearin purple!

I watched it last night and was impressed with his strong delivery and the high resonant pitch of his voice. Quite an oration. He seemed to be saying something too, not enough to fill the economic hole we’re in, but sufficient to create 1.9 million jobs according to Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. His hair might not be on fire, but it’s definitely smoking according to Paul Krugman. Oh I know, he’s done a lot of bad things like not closing Gitmo, not approving the new EPA standards, and many more: see Drew Westen’s NYT article What Happened to Obama?. Of course the Republicans won’t pass his Jobs bill, but at least he seems to be going down fighting. Let’s be optimistic and hope that his efforts might at least keep the senate from going Republican in 2012. Fat chance?

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The NYT this morning has a scathing editorial on the pettiness of John Boehner’s refusal to allow Obama to make his jobs speech on Wednesday, Sept. 7, and they accuse Obama of caving once again by agreeing to give his speech on the following day. I think I agree that Obama caved yet again, but then I find the following reader’s comment:

Really? This delay, even seen as a concession to a request, however churlish, from another elected representative of considerable stature (i.e., the Speaker of the House) is seen as “caving” or some sort of sign of weakness? Was Lincoln’s willingness to wait patiently to meet with General George B. McClellan, the general-in-chief of the Union Army at the early stages of the Civil War (and, later, his Democratic rival for re-election as President) also “caving” or weakness?

What has happened to the notion that it is the stronger, more mature, and more self-possessed individual and leader who can overlook – much less ignore – such pettiness and posturing, keeping his (or her) eye on the more important issues and goals of good governance and the communication of one’s vision and plans for the same?

Or are virtues such as patience, restraint, and forbearance (yes, even towards the small, the petty, and, dare I say it, “those who hate you”) of no value and are no longer desired in our leaders, much less our President and Commander-in-Chief?

OK, this is all well and good. Clearly, Lincoln showed forbearance and maturity and became one of our very greatest presidents. But look what Obama is up against:

I don’t know how true this is, but on The Ed Show (granted hardly an unbiased source) it was said that the Obama people sent the request early in the morning, and that Boehner hesitated in replying to the President, until after Rush Limbaugh went on the air and on the warpath and publicly berated Boehner for not turning down the President’s request immediately. It seems the Republicans in office are so beholden (again, if this is true) to such non-elected personalities as Limbaugh, Beck and Grover Norquist that they cannot act independently on their own. In fact, if you include the astroturf groups such as The Club for Growth and Freedomworks, it seems elected Republicans are no better than lemmings marching to the drumbeat of corporate-funded advocacy groups and media individuals.Not to let Obama off the hook, because he backed down again, but the Republican have no intention of showing respect for the office of the President as long as their leadership-in-fact is a bunch of astroturf groups and rich individuals, especially Rush Limbaugh. I can’t believe so many poor and middle-class individuals are taken in by a rich man who flaunts a golden microphone, and how many politicians, including the one who is second in the line to the presidency, are beholden to him.

Is this equivalent to what Lincoln was up against? It may have been worse in Lincoln’s time but at least then there was no instant media to excite the masses.

The first quote was by William Gabriel of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the second was by r5169 of Midwestern U.S.A.

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Especially these House Republicans, or should I say Repuglicans? Eric Cantor is the number one worst person of the Repuglican world. This outburst of mine here was prompted by reading this DialyKos article: Obama to call for transportation reauthorization without cuts.

The article points out that Obama will be joined by representatives of two organizations that are very rarely on the same side, namely, the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This still probably won’t be enough to satisfy that creep Cantor because his only objective is to defeat Obama.

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It’s about time I added a new post. I’m not on Facebook much any more so I’ve got no excuse. Of course there are other things in life besides blogs and Facebook. But what got me started this morning, the day when the hurricane Irene is supposed to arrive, is the state of politics in this country. One would think I would have more personal concerns at my age, like wife dying, a recent CHF attack, loneliness, erratic sleep, etc., but reading Nicholas Kristof’s recent Op-Ed Did We Drop the Ball on Unemployment? and then readers’ comments on his blog On the Ground finally set me off this dreary pre-Irene Sunday morning. Here’s the reader’s comment that did it:

The jobs issue is accurately described and if anything, understated. Democrats and Obama have been cowed by the undereducated blithering idiots who now lead the GOP, in the pay of the people who brought down the world economy through fraud and greed.

It is time to hold bankers and the Tea Party accountable for their harm — and that starts with the likes of Perry and Boehner and Cantor — may the lord preserve us from another Texas politician, educated in Texas, elected by the undereducated Texans, and obedient to the worst of the wealthiest.

I love that phrase “undereducated blithering idiots who now lead the GOP“. Thank you Scott Allen of Kailua, Oahu, HI. Took the words right out of my mouth.

Actually, as “2e” points out in her comment it’s the people who voted them in who are the real undereducated blithering idiots!

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Methodius has an excellent post on the false neutrality shown by much of the media. His post, False Neutrality, links to an Egyptian blog coming from one of the few locations in Cairo with an internet connection. There are also quotes from “one of the most lucid and clear eye-witness accounts of what was happening in Egypt at Robert Fisk: Secular and devout. Rich and poor. They marched together with one goal – The Independent.

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