Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Photo essay on the Haight Ashbury experience in the 60’s & 70’s

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A long, long time ago… you Mother would know…

Photos VIA Google images

The joke now is on the critics of the president’s foreign policy


In one gloriously mistimed editorial, written just ahead and in ignorance of the raid on Abbottabad, Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, mocked Mr Obama for “leading from behind”. All the Republicans had to do, argued Mr Kristol, was to nominate “a real leader: a workhorse not a show horse; a steady hand not a flip-flopper; a profile in courage not in cleverness; a competent man or woman with strength and confidence in defense of liberty at home and abroad.”

A wise man once said, “He who laughs last…laughs last!”

Grow your very own Sangre de Grado - Dragon’s Blood Tree

Now wouldn’t this be a handy addition to your back yard? I don’t know how big they get, but they sure have a lot of healing properties. If you’d like to know more about the Dragon’s Blood Tree click on link below:

Main Preparation Method: undiluted resin is taken internally (in small amount of juice/water) or applied topically.
Main Actions (in order):
wound healer, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, antihemorrhagic (reduces bleeding)

Main Uses:

To stop bleeding and to seal, and heal wounds, burns, cuts, tooth extractions.
For herpes virus ulcers (taken internally and applied topically).
For skin fungi, rashes, and dermatitis.
For insect bites, poison ivy and other itchy or allergic skin reactions.
For stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, dysentery and diarrhea.
Properties/Actions Documented by Research:
Anesthetic, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antidysenteric, antifungal, antihemorrhagic (reduces bleeding), antileukemic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antitumorous, antiviral, neurasthenic (reduces nerve pain), wound healer.
Other Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
Analgesic (pain-reliever), anticancerous, anti-itch, antiulcerous, astringent, and a blood cleanser.

Saturday morning musings…pass the sugar please

It’s Saturday and a busy day lies ahead for me. Here’s some of the news items that caught my eye while slurping my coffee and getting my caffeine fix this morning:
Achoo! Allergies to keep getting worse  the 2011 spring allergy season is shaping up to be a miserable one, with pollen levels reaching record highs, thanks to heavy winter snows, early spring rains, and an early spring warm-up. photo source


Man trains for marathon eating nothing but McDonald's 

Remember the guy who trained for a marathon in Los Angeles this past March by eating nothing by McDonald’s food for 30 days straight? Joe D’Amico (left) of Palatine, Ill., explains what the hell he was thinking in an interview with WSCR radio in Chicago on Wednesday.





South Korea's "kiss apple" for better breath, dating pleasure

In South Korea, home of kimchi and other pungent, garlicky food, having fresh breath for life's big moments -- such as a kiss -- is a major concern.

Speaking of apples, I’m going to grab one and head on down the road…

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Lakers lose key Game #3 against the Mavs tonight…ouch!


I’m trying to come up with inspirational quotes for my Lakers (as a fan for over 44 years I feel a certain ownership), but it’ll take a lot more than talk to save this best of seven series.

One more loss to the Mavs…and it’s time to go home. Time to ride off into the sunset with no three-peat. No storybook ending for Phil Jackson in his last year as a coach. The game was close up till the end, until the Mavs did the clutch thing. Peja producing 11 4th quarter points proved to be too much.

Dallas stands on the threshold of moving on to the Western Conference Finals. Pau Gasol just couldn’t rise for the big event. The story (according to the Orange County Register) is his girlfriend broke up with him two weeks ago and he’s been mooning ever since. To add some real drama to it, the story says Kobe’s wife instigated the breakup and Pau and Kobe had words. Since they they reportedly haven’t talked. It shows.Two strangers passing in the night instead of two basketball pros passing the ball to each other.

I can’t help bemoaning the irony of the timing of these events. Why now? It completely destroyed the chemistry of the team. It especially dismantled the successful pick-and-roll that Kobe and Pau had going prior to all of this madness. Without that chemistry, the Lakers have turned into mere mortals. A team that was on the brink of history – another three-peat – fell short for many reasons. This little squabble is certainly one of them.

Would it have helped if Ron Artest wouldn’t have been suspended for this game? I doubt it. The basketball world is shifting. New powers are rising from the West. New young guns have arrived in town and are looking for their place in history. Dallas, Oklahoma, and Memphis. All bit players for decades on now on center stage. Once only punching bags for the powerhouses like the Lakers, the Houston Rockets, and the Spurs, their time has come.

I remain a loyal Laker fan and will continue to hope they win at least one game in this series. They have one more chance. If they win then they would have two more chances to win, and could make history as the first team ever to come from behind in a 3-0 to win a series. Imagine that? I sure like to. Go Lakers!

Good Luck Paul! Beatles legend ready for 3rd try at matrimony

Beatles legend Paul McCartney and his girlfriend of four years, Nancy Shevell, are engaged to be married.

McCartney's previous marriage to Heather Mills ended in divorce after 4 years and resulted in a reported $48 million settlement. His first wife, Linda, died of cancer in 1998 after 29 years of marriage.

Hopefully the third time around will work out for Paul and he’ll spend the rest of his life in wedded bliss. Like so many others, I admire the Beatles as a group, but Paul has always been one of the most talented in my humble opinion. Cheerio!

It’s hard to believe it’s been 41 years since this photo was taken…

bucket loader 001I was a combat engineer in Vietnam in 1970. Most of the time I did mine sweeping, but there were times my license to drive bucket loaders and earthmovers came in handy when another unit needed a temporary fill-in.

It was a nice break – being able to operate a vehicle - from humping mine detectors for miles every day.

This was taken at Bien Hoa sometime between April and May. I was 19-years old and when I look at myself here it’s like looking at a stranger.

Those were strange days in a strange land that transformed us all to some degree. Some of us lost our humanity. Some of us never came home. Some of us still see ghosts at certain times of the year.If only I could convey my feelings like a grand master on the canvas of life, I would share the madness of war so future generations understood there are no winners…only survivors!

So what is the answer to all of these questions? Anybody?

Cartoon by John Sherffius -

VIA Association of American Editorial Cartoonists

The Music Scene: Stevie Nicks Releases Solo CD After 10 Years

All I can say is….enjoy!

Fleetwood Mac songstress Stevie Nicks talks about her new album "In Your Dreams," her first solo disc since 2001's "Trouble In Shangri-La."

Fleetwood Mac is one of my all-time favorite groups, and I’ve always enjoyed Stevie Nicks’ work.

Woman awakens from surgery speaking in foreign accent

Dentist working on patient

As medical oddities go, this incident stands out: A lifelong resident of Oregon went to the dentist for surgery and awakened from sedation speaking in a British, or somewhat-British, accent. 
The 56-year-old woman appeared Thursday on NBC’s "Today," answering questions in what this MSNBC story describes as “an odd mixture of Irish, Scottish and northern British, with perhaps a dash of Australian and South African for good measure.”

Story Here

Faster than a bullet or speeding train: not Superman, but JetMan!

Image: Yves Rossy

HUALAPAI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz."JetMan" has soared over the Swiss Alps and rocketed above the English Channel and early today he was given permission to soar over his next target — the Grand Canyon.

Swiss daredevil Yves Rossy was wasting no time, preparing to fly in the next few hours after the Federal Aviation Administration approved plans to use Arizona's scenic wonder as a backdrop for his first U.S. flight in a jet-propelled wing suit.

Story Here

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Washington State bans coal tar sealants made from cancer-causing industrial waste

Image: Coal tar sealant applied in testToxic ingredients turning up in water, house dust, researchers say

Washington state has become the first in the nation to ban toxic asphalt sealants made from cancer-causing industrial waste that have been spread over vast swaths of the nation’s cities and suburbs. Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire signed the measure today, making Washington the largest government to ban or restrict coal tar asphalt sealants. Last month, Prior Lake, Minn., joined a growing number of local governments to ban them. The Washington state legislation and Doggett’s drive for a nationwide ban flowed from studies by the U.S. Geological Survey, which showed that components of the toxic sealants are increasing in many waterways, while levels of most pollutants are declining.

Story Here.

Blogger's obituary was his last post

Being the pragmatic sort, writer Derek K. Miller asked that his last story be published on his blog when he died. It was. On Wednesday, after a four-year battle with cancer, the 41-year-old husband and father's self-penned obituary, titled "The last post," made its appearance and went viral:

Here it is. I'm dead, and this is my last post to my blog. In advance, I asked that once my body finally shut down from the punishments of my cancer, then my family and friends publish this prepared message I wrote — the first part of the process of turning this from an active website to an archive.

If you knew me at all in real life, you probably heard the news already from another source, but however you found out, consider this a confirmation: I was born on June 30, 1969 in Vancouver, Canada, and I died in Burnaby on May 3, 2011, age 41, of complications from stage 4 metastatic colorectal cancer. We all knew this was coming.

That includes my family and friends, and my parents Hilkka and Juergen Karl. My daughters Lauren, age 11, and Marina, who's 13, have known as much as we could tell them since I first found I had cancer. It's become part of their lives, alas.

Miller, of Burnaby, British Columbia, wasn't one to mince words. Those who battle diseases like cancer usually don't, quickly losing any euphemisms about the impact of the illness once it takes hold and starts to ravage the body, and sometimes the mind.

In Miller's case, his mind — and his writing — stayed quite clear until the end.

His father told The Province newspaper in Vancouver, in a story published Thursday, that his son was "proud of his blog and now it is his legacy. It connects him to the world, and to his family, forever. We were there for him, but Derek was comfortable sharing his thoughts with a worldwide community."

Visits to Miller's blog, ThePenMachine, Twitter and Flickr "were so heavy that, despite his planning, those Internet sites kept crashing," noted the newspaper.

In his online bio, Miller talked about the magazines and newspapers he'd written for, and said he started his website in 2000. The last entry in his bio is this: "Late in 2010, I discovered that my cancer is terminal. I expect it will probably kill me sometime in 2011 or early 2012."

But it is not the last entry about his life. That comes in his final posting, and in his words to his wife, Airdrie, and to his daughters:

The world, indeed the whole universe, is a beautiful, astonishing, wondrous place. There is always more to find out. I don't look back and regret anything, and I hope my family can find a way to do the same.

What is true is that I loved them. Lauren and Marina, as you mature and become yourselves over the years, know that I loved you and did my best to be a good father.

Airdrie, you were my best friend and my closest connection. I don't know what we'd have been like without each other, but I think the world would be a poorer place. I loved you deeply, I loved you, I loved you, I loved you.

Story Here

Reason #1 for why I hate Lobbyists–they’ll work for the devil if the price is right!

Alarmed by lawmakers' demands to cut off billions of dollars of U.S. aid after bin Laden was found living in a Pakistani safe house for six years, President Asif Ali Zardari has ordered a full-court press to quell mounting accusations that it helped the al Qaida leader avoid capture.

So Pakistan is paying some unscrupulous US lobbyists to deny it helped bin Laden! It’s enough to make me puke. We’ve been poring billions into Pakistan with the understanding that they were our allies in the search for bin Laden. Pakistan chumped us once, and now they’re going for number two hoping that GREED will pave the way to our lawmaker’s hearts and all will be forgiven.

What gall! Leading this travesty is Mark Siegel, a partner in the Washington lobbying firm of Locke Lord Strategies — which is paid $75,000 a month by the Pakistani government to lie,cheat, or whatever they require. It’ll be interesting to see which senator suddenly sees the light and sides with the Pakistan Dream Team of Locke Lord Strategies, and goes along with the claims that they didn’t know what was happening in their own back yard.

Don’t hesitate to add this lowlife law firm to your shit list of lobbyists without scruples or morals.

Cartoon Via SodaHead

Oh look honey! A dead racoon on the road, we eat tonight!

Freegans" and Others Eating More Roadkill

You didn't read the title wrong. It may or may not come as a surprise to you, but people are eating road kill. More road kill. And many of them are doing it partly as an act of conservationism. Many road kill connoisseurs are part of an underground food/consumption movement, known as "freegans," which has been around for a while. Their practices and rules are surprisingly well-established, and in many states regulated by law.

From Food Safety News:

The practice of eating road kill is part of a waste-not, want-not philosophy that drives other people, some of them previously vegans, to scavenge meat ...

People who eat road kill might be hunters who know their way around a dead animal, or people who call themselves freegans, and are used to eating from unregulated sources, like Dumpsters. Some practitioners have written how-to guides, such as the zine quoted in Sandor Ellix Katz's book The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements

Story Here

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gloom and doom….my Lakers lose again…series is in doubt

It’s hard to watch as a devoted Laker fan, but I’m afraid there’s a changing of the guard going on in the Western Conference.The #1 Seed Spurs got booted out in the first round, and Dallas has taken the Laker home court advantage away in dramatic fashion tonight.

I’m really not sure the Lakers have what it takes to return the favor when the series shifts back to Dallas Friday night. The Dallas little men were the story with the shortest guy on the court torching the Lakers in the 4th period. I won’t even mention the little twirps name. He comes off the bench for Dallas though and just had a career night.

The hope of winning 3 championships in a row again are fading. Darkness sets in with long odds like shadows. Can the Lakers foil fate? Can they turn back their grim play and re-emerge as the Once and Future Champion! As a fan I say…anything is possible in the NBA Playoffs! Go Lakers!

image source

As It Stands Reader Profiles: Rick St. Charles, actor and more

I’ve been meaning to profile readers for some time now. When Rick stopped by and liked what he saw here the other day I thought it would be nice to share his blog with you.

After checking out Rick's Acting Demo, please visit REMOTE CONTROL GRANDPA to see pictures, trailers, cast & crew, synopsis and more on this award-wining mirth-filled movie starring Rick St. Charles.

Some readers may recognize Rick from his films, commercials, voice overs for TV and radio projects, and live theatre performances. 

Wacky Wednesday Redue: treat your eyes to some visual candy


GO HERE TO SEE THE ABOVE IN FLASH VISUALS – You can manipulate them (some designs shown above) by clicking on the image and using your cursor to have all kinds of fun while they continually move..and move…and…

World War II bomb found in backyard of Riverside home

Riverside World War 11 bomb

I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but this photo appears to be upside down, or the photographer stood on his head while taking the shot.

Workers cleaning the backyard of an empty house Tuesday in Riverside made an unlikely discovery: a World War II-era aerial bomb.

The rusty bomb was found in the 5600 block of Magnolia Avenue, prompting bomb squad officers to seal the area while they inspected the device, according to the Riverside Police Department.

Police described the bomb as "inert" and said it was unclear how long it had been abandoned at the residence or how it got there.

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. James Dana at (951) 351-6024. Story source

Photo: Bomb found in backyard. Credit: Riverside Police Department

Just another wacky Wednesday…

Slurping that first cup of Java in the morning is a pleasure while I scan the news headlines:

Here’s one story that isn’t a breaking headline but I thought it was amusing :German mayor rescues man trapped in women's prison.

Saul of the Cubacigar Company Repairs The Largest Cigar IN The World

Cuban, breaking own record, rolls longest cigar

A Cuban cigar roller broke his own record on Tuesday by rolling the world's longest cigar, a monster smoke that stretched 268 feet 4 inches (81.8 metres), or most of the length of a football field.

An Austrian deacon is making a special offer at his local supermarkets -- free spiritual guidance and counseling when you pick up your groceries

Deacon offers holy guidance at supermarket

A New Zealand man struggling with depression cut off his own finger, cooked it with vegetables and ate it, doctors reported in the latest issue of medical journal Australasian Psychiatry. It’s only the eighth identified case of self-cannibalization, and is particularly rare because of the patient’s lack of severe psychosis, the article abstract says.

Talking dog doesn't get any bacon

If I were this dog I’d bite my tormentors!

Speaking of bacon, I’m getting hungry. I think it’s time for breakfast.

See ya down the road…

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Me and my dirty mind…bad Dave!

I know my grandchildren all love the magical powers of the anthropomorphic carrots and cauliflowers in Veggie Tales. Imagine my surprise when I ran across this cookie cutter and it looked like…well, you know what it bears a striking resemblance to. Something my grandchildren probably shouldn’t be playing with. Then again, maybe it’s just me and my dirty mind!

Luise Valdes: Glass houses are out – ‘casa de karton’s are in

Artist Luise Valdes collected a lot of unwanted cardboard boxes for his latest installation ‘casa de karton’
or cardboard house.
The project is a life-size recreation of Valdes’ apartment using cardboard tape and
lots of white paint. all the objects in the apartment are made from old boxes that have been cut-out and
assembled into the form with a sketch-like outline for smaller details. all the boxes are whitewashed to
give the space a surreal quality of a drawing that has come to life. Take a tour of the rest of his cardboard creations here.

Partisan political hacks take on bin Laden’s death…

 You didn’t think the wack jobs in America were going to give President Obama his due for the operation that took out America’s #1 enemy did you?

Sarah Palin, in another paid speaking engagement, thanked President Bush for catching Osama bin Laden! And get this; the audience actually applauded! No mention of President Obama’s role in the operation was made.

Bush was totally unaware of what was happening (just like when he was president) and Palin gives him the credit! Really? He had 8 years and couldn’t do the job.

Wow! If that’s not scary, I don’t know what is. Apparently everyone in that building that clapped, live in the same Greed Only Party (GOP) fantasy and believe Bush should be canonized as a Conservative saint. How he killed Osama would be his first miracle on the way to sainthood!

Palin may be leading the charge for the stupid and uniformed, but there’s other’s out there doing their best to ignore facts and realities that don’t fit into their narrow world views.

Alex Jones, a radio personality out of Austin, who gives voice to the 9/11 Truth Movement and runs the Web site, sent out a Web headline that screamed, “Red Alert. Inside Sources: Bin Laden Corpse Has Been on Ice for Nearly a Decade” I wish someone besides Jones could be the voice of the 9/11 Truthers, because I can’t simply write them off. Jones as a front man discredits their real concerns.

Take this this claim about bin Laden’s frozen corpse; doesn’t that sound just a little silly to you? What would be the benefit of freezing bin Laden’s body? Perhaps someone could explain that one to me.

And let’s not forget Cindy Sheehan. Her response to bin Ladens death:

“I am sorry, but if you believe the newest death of OBL, you’re stupid,” Sheehan wrote. “Just think to yourself — they paraded Saddam’s dead sons around to prove they were dead — why do you suppose they hastily buried this version of OBL at sea? This lying, murderous Empire can only exist with your brainwashed consent — just put your flags away and THINK!”

There’s one mad lady who never got over her son’s death. I hope she finds peace some day.

If you want to find Bin Laden death conspiracy theories – and apparently they’re already hatching–it seems to me the pertinent question to ask is, who has a deep emotional motivation to question the fact that Bin Laden is actually dead? So I would tend to look first to Al Qaeda supporters, etc, instead of birthers. Their too busy trying to regroup after their lies have been exposed on national TV by the President. This will be interesting to watch and I’m interested in what others think.

I will also add that I don’t know enough about 9/11 Truthers to guess what they will do in this situation. I have to admit that they’ve poised one question that I (as a former combat engineer in  the Nam) think is worth discussing: how the twin towers really came down. Days after it happened, and after I saw the films, I told everyone who would listen that it was a “controlled demolition” and I knew exactly what it took to do it. Not everyone who believes in unpopular theories is crazy.

Frankly, I expect Obama’s enemies in the Senate and House are hunkering down right now and working on a plan to negate Obama’s coup against Al Qaeda, and somehow turn things around in a negative way. Anyone who thinks they will be cooperative now and compromise on issues – out of a renewed source of patriotism – is dreaming. When it comes down to politics in this country, we’ve set the bar for a broken political system struggling to survive in the 21st century.   

As It Stands, now that the “Big bad wolf” is dead, it’s time for all of our political piggy’s to pull their snouts out of their partisan troughs and pay attention to stabilizing our economy.  

Photo source

Morning musings: bin Laden’s death may trigger PTSD for some, Lakers lose close game 1, and the ultimate pay toilet

Lakers fumble and tumble in 96-94 loss to Dallas in Game 1My Lakers couldn’t hold 16-point lead, couldn’t hang onto the ball late in game, and gave away home-court advantage for the second straight series with an opening loss. Kobe Bryant scores 36 but misses final shot

Bin Laden's death may reignite PTSD for some- Some may feel a sense of relief, while for others it can trigger old feelings of fear, anxiety, experts say. It also appears the Obama Administration has suspected the Pakistani regime of lying about Osama’s whereabouts for some time now. The question is, are we going to stop pumping millions of dollars into Pakistan now that we have proof they were playing us for chumps? Just to wrap this morning’s musings I found the ultimate pay toilet…

A new standard for toilets is coming out, but can people afford them?

Kitchen and bath company Kohler has come out with a new toilet that it touts will set "a new standard of excellence in the bathroom." (Because that's what we're all striving for in the bathroom, right?)

The "Numi" has a luxury car-worthy list of amenities, among them: a motion-activated lid and seat, deodorizer, feet warming, music and "advanced bidet functionality." (Don't ask.) Oh, and if you forget to flush before you leave the bathroom, there's a REMOTE CONTROL.

Not included: The engineering team required to fix it when it breaks. Source

Monday, May 2, 2011

Obama haters dazed and confused: first birthers are discredited and then the president runs sucessful op that kills Osama bin Laden

Sorry Obama haters.

I’ve been watching all the celebrations from New York City to Washington D.C. this morning and was struck by how many people were really happy that Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy Seals and CIA paramilitary members, and that their president was so decisive.

As I watched the American flags wave from windows and in crowds of jubilant people, I couldn’t help but think about the Obama haters.

This is a dark time for them. The whole Republican Party nearly turned to jello when the news broke. The last thing they needed was for Americans to be proud of their president’s actions! Politically, he’s golden right now. Obama is going to score more points with the American public for his decisive actions in locating and killing bin Laden, than he did after getting the Noble Prize (which many questioned).

I imagine Donald Trump is having a worse than usual hair day. Don’t be surprised when he recovers – gets his ferret that passes for a hairpiece on straight - and comes back with more idiocy to try to discredit this whole operation. I expect something along the lines of:

The whole thing was a hoax to get Obama re-elected. I have detectives working right now that are telling me that it was a poorly disguised manikin that slid into the sea off that aircraft carrier and that Osama bin Laden is laughing his beard off in a Norwegian spa even as we speak!”

You know the Birthers will recover enough to ask for Osama bin Laden’s death certificate as soon as the celebrations die down. That’s to be expected because they just hate having a Liberal black president. Facts are never going to slow down that rabid group of racists and outright crazed conspiracy theorists.

It’s already happening. From the Washington Post National Online:

Slate’s David Weigel points to this comment from the Facebook page of anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in 2004 while serving in Iraq: “I am sorry, but if you believe the newest death of OBL, you're stupid. Just think to yourself--they paraded Saddam’s dead sons around to prove they were dead--why do you suppose they hastily buried this version of OBL at sea?” Weigel believes this is the beginning of a larger trend he tentatively calls “Deatherism.”

Allow me to clarify my position on President Obama. I don’t care if he gets re-elected or not. I’m certainly not going to be voting for him. Still, I think he did a great job getting America’s #1 enemy, and that’s something his predecessor George Bush couldn’t do in eight years. It’s took Obama two-and-half years. His critics are going to have a hard time discrediting him as “indecisive” after this.

We’ll experience a national honeymoon from all of our woes for a few days as Americans proudly proclaim justice has been served. Everyone, but the Obama haters, are giddy with something to be unified over. Patriotism peeks out from behind the polarized political party’s as the nations leaders stumble over themselves to be somehow attached to this memorable moment.

As It Stands, Enjoy it. It’s been a long time since this many Americans have all been on the same page!        

photo source

Now that’s a bunny hop: Rabbit dressage set to take the world by storm

On the hop: Snoopy is the star of the Jena Kaninhop club Spring in his step: James easily clears another jump while training with his Jena- based Kaninhop club

That rabbits like to hop is hardly a secret. But now European rabbit enthusiasts have harnessed their bunnies' natural talents to create a new spectator sport... rabbit showjumping.

Invented in Sweden in the early Eighties, Kaninhop involves bunnies bouncing their way around courses consisting of several small jumps of varying height and length.

Snoopy (top left photo), a black-and-white bunny from the German city of Jena, is the star of the local Kaninhop club - and he makes spends his days leaping over all manner of barricades, jumps and rails. 

'Snoopy can jump 60 centimeters (about 2 feet) high,' proud Claudia Fehlen, the 23-year-old founder of the Jena bunny hopping club, told Der Spiegel.

'And he has done well in tournaments. He came in second once, and third another time.

Read more:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama bin Laden dies in hail of American gunfire, his body is recovered for proof


Osama bin Laden, whose al-Qaida terrorist organization killed more than 3,000 people in the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001, is dead, U.S. President Barack Obama dramatically announced Sunday night.

 Full story  Graphics from BoingBoing

As It Stands: UFE: Dreaming of economic equality

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 05/01/2011 02:40:20 AM PDT

Once upon a time, some wealthy people in the Kingdom got together and said, “We need to be fair and share.” It was a beautiful kingdom stretching from sea to sea, a marvel and example of what a country should be.

A fantasy? Perhaps not. Let me introduce you to “United for a Fair Economy (UFE),” a national, independent, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Their goal is to close the growing wealth divide, to change the rules that tilt tax benefits toward the wealthy, and to spotlight the role of race in economic inequality.

Their mission is to raise awareness that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart. Talk about taking on “Mission Impossible.” The members of UFE believe in their vision of a global society where prosperity is shared.

 This is certainly a noble vision where corporations don't dominate our economy or the content of our mass culture. In their version of a better world, values, not profits alone, will guide economic decisions. But who are “they?” These visionaries? These Ivory Tower dreamers?

”They” are a collection of wealthy (you read that right) people who want to raise taxes on rich people like themselves. As strange as that may sound, it's on the level. To learn more about them, go to the website

Let me tell you about one of the members of UFE. His name is Eric Schoenberg. He inherited money and has a healthy portfolio from his days as an investment banker. Currently, he teaches a business class at Columbia University. Not exactly some kook who wants to endorse a social upheaval.

Schoenberg recently told AP that his income is usually “north of half a million a year.” He had a rough year last year and only made $200,000. His federal income tax bill was a little over $2,000. “I simply point out to people, 'Do you think this is reasonable, that someone in my circumstances should only be paying 1 percent of their income in tax?” he asked reporters.

Now that tax day has come and gone, both Democrats and Republicans are calling for tax laws to be changed. The whole issue will be campaign fodder for the 2012 presidential election as the two parties get entrenched in their ideological foxholes.

The Republicans have made their position clear when it comes to rich people paying more taxes. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, remarked that nothing stopped rich people who wanted to write checks to the IRS from doing so.

Technically he's right, but obviously he missed the entire point.

Schoenberg asked, “Are we going to let people volunteer to build the road system? Are you going to let them volunteer to pay for education?”

Enter UFE. Can they make a difference? Our politicians are polarized by partisan politics and neither side shows signs of cooperating on meaningful issues.

Is the private sector set to become America's savior? Will financial equality settle upon the land and values replace greed if enough wealthy people help UFE and other nonprofits with the same idea? Is there actually a chance of racial equality in earning power? Will America's roads be repaired and education restored as priority number one in the land?

Sounds like a dream, eh? What are the chances groups like UFE will make a difference? It's hard for me to imagine generations of greed defeated by values in our society today. That's a sad statement to make, and I would love to be wrong and see a real shift in equality, both financially and racially, in the future.

As It Stands, Dom Helder Camara once said, “When we are dreaming alone, it is only a dream. When we are dreaming with others, it is the beginning of reality.”


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