Saturday, August 13, 2011

Allen Ginsberg: ‘Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness’


image source

In America we ALL have the right to pursue the religion of our choice without being proscuted

I received this email recently and am sharing it with you because it contains an important message. Muslims in America are treated harshly. It’s not easy staying true to their faith surrounded by a generally hostile public.

While I don’t belong to any organized religion, I strongly believe that everyone is entitled to pursue God in their own fashion. Or not to. I recommend taking a 2-minute break and listening to this video. It’s well done, and reminds us we are all neighbors.

Thanks for the reminder Elizabeth!

“Hello Dave,
My Fellow American is a film project in the United States devoted to recognizing that Muslims are our neighbors. I am reaching out to you because you addressed the recent events in Oslo, Norway, in As It Stands and I am hoping you will share this message of tolerance with your readers. We’ve put together a 2 minute film that I believe you will be interested in sharing, watching, and discussing:

I would love it if you could post or tweet about this and share the video. If you can, please let me know. I am here if you have any questions. Thank you so much.”

Elizabeth Potter
Unity Productions Foundation

Watch out for ‘Grease devils’, spoilers don’t ruin films or stories, and crazed D.C. art critic strikes again at museum

Good Morning Humboldt County!

It’s that time again, when we tilt our cups of coffee and cruise through world of headlines. What a wacky world we live in. Watch out that a “grease devil” doesn’t get you!

"Grease Devil" panic grips rural Sri Lanka

Panic over nighttime assaults blamed on "grease devils" has struck across rural Sri Lanka, leading to the deaths of at least three people this week, prompting women to stay indoors and men to arm themselves, police and local media said. Historically, a "grease devil" was a thief who wore only underwear and covered his body in grease to make himself difficult to grab if chased. But lately, the "grease devil" has become a nighttime prowler who frightens and attacks women.   photo

Spoilers don't ruin stories or films?

If you are angry that someone spoiled the plot of a movie or revealed the ending of a book, don't be.

A new study by researchers from the University of California at San Diego shows spoilers may enhance enjoyment, even for suspense-driven story lines and film plots.


Crazed D.C. Art Critic Strikes Museum Again

Four months after she was arrested for trying to tear an $80 million Paul Gauguin painting off the wall of the National Gallery of Art, a Virginia woman returned to the museum last week and attacked a Henry Matisse oil, slamming it against the wall three times and damaging the 1919 work’s antique original frame, The Smoking Gun has learned.

According to police, Susan Burns, 53, last Friday afternoon entered the National Gallery and walked over to “The Plumed Hat,” a Matisse oil painting “valued at 2.5 million dollars.” She then “grabbed both sides of the frame holding said painting,” which measures 18 ¾" x 15".

She claimed in court, “I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.”

Time to walk on down the road…

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fighting gloomy times – economy in chaos and an old friend stricken with leukemia

Let’s give credit, where credit is due. Let’s see what the Tea Party will do for you!

I had to drive to Sacramento yesterday to take my wife to the airport. When I drove back home today, I left the radio off.

I took that opportunity to reflect on the last couple of weeks. Our country has been battered by dueling ideologies, and we’ve witnessed how a minority can control the majority.

So, it’s no wonder that Surveys show sharp rise in pessimism as lawmakers grapple with debt, economy .

On the personal side, I just found out yesterday that one of my oldest and dearest friends, Tom Holloway, has leukemia. He’s also my wife’s brother. I met Tom in my freshman year at Azusa College in 1964. I hardly knew he had a sister in those days. It wasn’t until years later, and after I got out of the Army, that the love bug bit Shirley and I. Tom lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Right now, he’s in a VA hospital in Washington D.C. getting chemo treatments 24 hours after he was diagnosed. His little sister, and my wife, Shirley has gone to be at his side.

Tom has other challenging physical ailments that complicate things. He’s 61 years-old, and nine months older than I am. Much to young for this to happen. Amid all the gloom and doom out there in the media, there was one ray of light…actually it was like a beacon to me.. researchers have found a way to cure leukemia by taking a person’s white blood cells and mixing them with a safe form of the HIV virus and infusing them back into the person! That was announced yesterday.

I realize that it’ll take a while to get on the market and to be available to someone like Tom. I like to think he will fight this disease off with what methods are currently available. Who knows? Maybe in several years he will get that magic infusion in the nick of time. Meanwhile my heart is heavy, but I intend to stay positive about Tom’s new battle.

Life is too short. I’m choosing not to let this lousy economy get me down. I’m also choosing to be positive about how things will turn out for Tom. It only makes sense. The alternative is to be bummed out, and to start thinking about Tom in the past tense. He deserves more than that from his old friend.

There’s not a thing I can do about the economy, or Tom’s situation. Once, that might have overwhelmed me. Now, I take life day-by-day with no expectations of a tomorrow. I’m learning how to make every hour count. I’m also making sure that all my friends and family know that I love them.

As It Stands, onward and upward…

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Statue of Liberty closed for a year, Gay caveman discovered, and man in carrot costume proposes marriage

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Good to see you here. Pull up a chair and have a cup of fresh brewed coffee with me. As usual, the world is full of interesting tidbits that pass for news. Let’s take a look at these three items. 

Statue of Liberty to close for yearlong repairs

The Statue of Liberty will close for a year at the end of October as it undergoes a $27.25 million renovation that will make the interior safer and more accessible, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced Wednesday.

Researchers believe a burial outside Prague from the Copper Age represents a different sexual orientation.

Researchers Unearth 'First Gay Caveman'

The first known "gay caveman" has been unearthed in a dig outside Prague, researchers believe. Archeological team members based their conclusion on the fact that the male body was interred in a ritualistic way reserved for females. "We know people from this period took funeral rites very seriously so it is highly unlikely that this positioning was a mistake," said the lead archaeologist. "Far more likely is that he was a man with a different sexual orientation—homosexual or transsexual," she added. The body dates to as long ago as 2900 BC, reports the Telegraph, and was buried with the head pointing east and surrounded by domestic jugs. Men at the time were buried facing west and surrounded by weapons and tools.

The reports say the proposal took him three weeks to plan and cost $15,000

Dressed as one of 48 dancing carrots, he proposes

If your girlfriend's favorite color is orange and you want to propose, maybe dressing yourself and 48 friends as giant carrots is the best way to get her to say yes.

According to Chinese news reports and photos posted online, that is what one love struck Chinese man did recently for China's Valentine's Day in the center of the eastern city of Qingdao.

Time to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

‘Have-nots’ worldwide are rebeling against governments

It’s happened throughout history. The masses rise up and destroy oppressive governments.

Remember the so-called “Arab Spring” this year when the common people rose up against dictators throughout the Middle East?

The common man revolted against decades of tyranny. What they’ve done has galvanized the rest of the watching world. Cries for freedom continue in countries like Syria and Libya. The Have’s and the Have-not’s reached critical mass and change is happening there.

It’s not pretty. It’s bloody in most cases. Sometimes peaceful protests work, and sometimes they don’t. The growing gap between the world’s wealthy minority and the increasingly disenfranchised citizens can be seen not just in the Middle East, but throughout Europe and the United States.

Now, we’re in the “Summer of Discontent” for the West.

As riots continued for a fourth day around the U.K., supporters of the controversial far-right group English Defense League (EDL) asked followers to stay away from alcohol when forming neighborhood watches.The irony is the EDL (who have caused cops plenty of grief in the past) want the rioting to stop and are ready to defend neighborhoods under assault from the radical element riding the riots.

Even the EDL realizes that what’s happening is hurting their economy more. For every person protesting the economy peacefully, five are taking advantage of the current unstable situation and are looting stores and burning cars and buildings. I suspect there’s a combination of those who are “have-not’s” and are sick and tired of going without everything from food to medical care, to just plain criminals.

It took the shooting of a man by the police to ignite the riots, now going into their fourth day. Behind that rage, citizens are scared as they see what’s happening to their crippled economy. Fear stalks their stock markets and the streets, as the desperate need for jobs increases.

Just like here in the U.S. People need jobs. We need manufacturing. We can’t keep going on like this. When companies like GE don’t pay a cent in taxes and are showing profits while the rest of America suffers, there’s something wrong. Profitable oil companies getting outlandish tax breaks and federal money are pushing people’s patience to the brink.

I mentioned a study in my first post this morning - The rich are different — and not in a good way, studies suggest that gives a chilling insight of what the majority of Americans are up against. Psychologist and social scientist Dacher Keltner says the rich’s life experiences makes them less empathetic, less altruistic, and generally more selfish.

In fact, he says, the philosophical battle over economics, taxes, debt ceilings and defaults that are now roiling the stock market is partly rooted in an upper class "ideology of self-interest." Can you say Tea Bagger? Is it any wonder that most Americans are angry that a richly-funded minority group has hijacked democracy at least once now (during the contrived debt ceiling crisis)?

The common man in America is watching helplessly as so-called “entitlements” get slashed and corporations become more influential. No surprise. Look at our current Supreme Corporate Court’s track record during the last few years. The common man is defenseless against the mega millions and power the wealthy wield to get their way.

There’s so many organizations packed with CEO’s and legislators I couldn’t list them all in a week. But I’ll give you a real good example this coming Sunday – “Meet ALEC: a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” in my As It Stands column in The Times-Standard. 

As It Stands, it took a revolution to establish our government for ALL OF THE PEOPLE. Let’s hope it won’t take another one to regain the rights we’ve all lost to the wealthy. 

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Japan tsunami broke huge chunks off an iceberg, halfway around the world

It's amazing that a tsunami could send a wave halfway around the world to tear off massive blocks of ice in Antarctica.

NASA says that the swells of water swarmed toward an ice shelf in Antarctica, 8,000 miles away. It took about 18 hours for the waves to reach Antarctica.

According to historical records, this particular piece of ice hadn't budged in at least 46 years before the tsunami came along. Photo - Chunks of ice - twice the surface area of Manhattan - break away from the Sulzberger Ice Shelf on March 16, 2011, following the Japan earthquake and resulting tsunami that occurred on March 11, 2011.                                                                         source

‘Haves’ show less empathy than ‘Have-nots’, bats on planes, and how music hijacked our brains

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Pull up a seat and have a cup of coffee, or tea, and check out what I have for you this morning. 

The rich are different — and not in a good way, studies suggest

“Psychologist and social scientist Dacher Keltner says the rich really are different, and not in a good way: Their life experience makes them less empathetic, less altruistic, and generally more selfish.

In fact, he says, the philosophical battle over economics, taxes, debt ceilings and defaults that are now roiling the stock market is partly rooted in an upper class "ideology of self-interest."

It's a bird ... no, it's a bat! On a plane!

Passengers on Atlanta-bound Delta flight 5121, operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines, had to duck and cover when an unidentified creature started flying around the cabin about 15 minutes after take-off early Friday.

A video taken by a passenger and posted on CNN shows what looks to be a bat or a bird taking several passes over the heads of passengers.

How music hijacked our brains

If you think about, there's no escape, really. Music holds humanity in a vise grip. Every culture you can think of has it, hears it and taps their feet to it.

So how did music first take hold? A new analysis proposes that music hijacked our ancestors' ability to hear and interpret the movements of fellow human beings.

That claim is at the heart of “Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man,” a new book by neurobiologist Mark Changizi.


Time to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Pox on both political parties in 2012 – clean sweep would be sweet

Politicians in Washington D.C. better get their acts together quickly. The American public has had enough of their infantile ideological posturing while the economy spirals down the drain. 

Members of Congress who face re-election in 2012 should be getting nervous. Very nervous. Just 24 percent of people in a new USA Today/Gallup poll said that most Members of Congress deserved to be re-elected while 67 percent said they did not.

That’s right. Among registered voters, the numbers were even worse. Just 21 percent said Members of Congress deserved re-election while 70 — yes, 70 — percent said they didn’t! There’s going to be a price to pay for holding the public hostage. I can’t wait to see the final result.      image

Drought stories in America: Imagine fighting a fire without water?

This drought America is suffering from, is causing chaos for people, animals, crops, and now even firemen.

Record-setting temperatures have been almost Biblical in the Midwest and eastern United States while the heat wave persists across the southern Plains and coastal Southeast, according to national forecasters.

Severe thunderstorms are expected to drench much of the Midwest and eastern United States today.

Shout Out To Ernie Branscomb: You’re a fireman Ernie. Can you imagine not having water to fight a fire? Has it ever happened to you?

Reflection on Survival Skills: most people would be surprised at what they would do to stay alive in a bad situation

I’ve heard many interesting survival stories about people beating the odds. I’m actually fascinated with the subject, and from time to time, I like to share people’s stories.

Here’s a good one: A 28-year-old preschool teacher, Pamela Salant, who survived three cold nights in the wild, using moss for a blanket and making a meal out of bugs and slugs until searchers finally found her. She told NBC News, "I didn’t realize I had it in me … I definitely surprised myself.”

Oh! The rest of the story: She fell 50 feet off a cliff and fractured her left tibia, and her leg was split open. She also sustained back injuries as she scooted to a nearby river in hopes of being found quickly.


Jackie O says Johnson killed Kennedy, Be Bopping in a Bufalino, and Tesla’s ‘Black Magic’ touring car

Secret tapes of Jacqueline Kennedy to be released soon

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Come on in and have a cup of coffee, or tea, with me. I’ve got a few stories that you may find interesting today. Enjoy:

Jackie Onassis claims Lyndon B. Johnson killed Kennedy

Secret tapes of Jackie Onassis expressing who she felt was behind her husband’s assassination will soon be released.The former first lady believes Lyndon B. Johnson was the mastermind behind her husband’s murder, but he didn’t act alone. According to the former first lady he was part of a bigger conspiracy. She became convinced that Johnson and several businessmen planned the shooting with Lee Harvey Oswald.

It was the former first lady’s wish to have the tapes released 50 years after her death, allegedly due to the fear of retaliation against her family. It has been 17 years since her death but her daughter, Caroline Kennedy, has agreed to release the recordings early.

ABC will air the tapes featuring the former first lady’s revelations and ABC’s executives claim the tapes to be “explosive.”

Have car will travel - Be Bopping around in the Bufalino

'Bufalino' by German industrial designer Cornelius Comanns is a small camper which is equipped to meet the basic needs of one person. the concept behind the project
is to offer absolute flexibility during periods of travel. the minimalist construction is based on the existing Piaggio APE 50 three wheeled light transport vehicle; a model chosen for its economic and fuel efficient benefits. However, the more complex structural components
such as the frame, the chassis, and engine are derived from the original Piaggio model. more photos

Nikola Tesla’s “Black Magic” Touring Car

Supported by the Pierce-Arrow Co. and General Electric in 1931, Nikola Tesla, inventor of the AC generator, took the gasoline engine from a new Pierce-Arrow and replaced it with an 80-horsepower AC electric motor with no external power source.

You would never have to recharge this vehicle. You would never have to pay 1¢ to any electrical company. Since the source of energy that powered Tesla’s electric car in 1931 was energy harvested from EM waves that is everywhere this type of electric car had unlimited range.

Tesla used an antenna to capture this free energy and he was able to drive for hours with no stopping whatsoever for a recharge. If he drove and ended up in the middle of nowhere he could stop and rest and continue on in a couple of hours or even days without ever having to worry about running out of power.

Time to walk on down the road…

Monday, August 8, 2011

Don’t you love neon signs? Here’s a gallery of them just for you:


GO TO THIS COOL SITE for more of these babies

Nightmare on Wall Street: welcome to reality Fanny and Freddie!

Today was the sixth-worst point decline for the Dow in the last 112 years…

The Vix, a measure of market volatility and fear among investors, shot up 50 percent. That was its steepest rise since February 2007…

 What will tomorrow bring? Will Freddie fail? Will Fanny wail?

Todays installment on this horror show:

Nightmare on Wall Street; Dow takes 635-point tumble after S&P downgrades US credit


Another sign of the times: Historic buildings commissioned during the Depression are disappearing


Are you aware of the steady loss of historic post offices in this country? Built as symbols of pride during the New Deal, these historic buildings are following the rest of this country’s crumbling infrastructure.

American pride has taken a public beating during the last two weeks. You may have noticed that the story of these disappearing historic sites has gone largely uncovered in the mainstream media.

According to the website Save The Post Office:

Fifteen of them have recently been put up for sale, and there are 35, as well as several pre-1933 buildings, on the closure lists released last week by the Postal Service.

The post office contains nine original wall murals in the lobby, commissioned by the Treasury Relief Arts Project. The oil paintings were done in 1937 by Ray Boynton, with the assistance of several local artists, and they depict agricultural scenes: plowing, sorting and harvesting grapes; irrigating orchards; meat and cheese packing; grain harvesting and feeding cows.

Also known as the Modesto Federal Building and the El Viejo, the building was always occupied by a post office, but in 1967 work on a new postal facility was completed and downtown Modesto was demoted from a main post office to station status.

It’s unlikely that the El Viejo is going to remain an active public building.  Non-profit groups, working through county officials, did express interest in buying the building, but the GSA decided to auction it to the highest bidder.

That’s the saddest part of the whole story.  The federal government built thousands of beautiful buildings during the early decades of the 20th century as part of the City Beautiful movement, and the New Deal put up over 1,100 during the depths of the Depression.  These buildings were intended to be a source of pride and they symbolized the power and prestige of the federal government.

The post office on 1125 I Street in Modesto, California, closed on June 3, 2011, and it’s been up for auction since June 9th.

You can follow the bidding today at GSA auctions page

UPDATE: The GSA has extended the auction again and again.  It's up to $777,000, and supposedly ending today, August 8, at 7:06 p.m., but they'll probably extend it again.

Wall Street rout, snore rooms for seniors, NBA to announce first Hispanic majority holder for a team

Image: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the opening bell

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Grab a cup of coffee and check out these headlines today. It’s another wild and wooly Monday as the earth turns..

Holy crap!! US stocks tumble as downgrade rattles investors 

Wall Street tumbled at Monday’s opening bell amid a rout in global stocks after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time.

That's it honey, I'll be in the snore room

Builders specializing in communities for “active seniors” over 55, such as PulteGroup’s Del Webb brand and D.R. Horton, are offering new home designs featuring snore rooms near the master bedroom for couples who can’t always catch a good night’s sleep together due to differing schedules, nocturnal habits or medical conditions.

Hawks to be sold, but stay in Atlanta

Alex Meruelo and the Atlanta Hawks are poised to make NBA history.

The Hawks have scheduled a news conference today to announce the team and Philips Arena are being sold to Meruelo, a person familiar with the deal said Sunday.

The son of Cuban immigrants is a California developer and pizza chain owner. He is expected to become the NBA’s first Hispanic majority owner.

Time to walk on down the road…

Sunday, August 7, 2011

As It Stands: Politics and pledges hold us all hostage

By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard

Posted: 08/07/2011 02:30:25 AM PDT

Once upon a time saying the Pledge of Allegiance wasn't a controversial issue. While growing up in the 1950s, I said it every morning in my classroom. Sometime during the 1960s, the Pledge of Allegiance disappeared from classrooms.

It's so politically incorrect today that generations of students have never heard about it. Progress? That's a matter of perception. A lot of people don't like making pledges of any kind. The commitment that comes with a pledge is inflexible and sometimes conflicts with common sense.

A pledge can be good or bad. It depends on the subject and how it's applied in everyday life. A pledge to quit smoking cigarettes would be a good one. A politician's pledge not to compromise is a bad one.

When Republican interest groups insist that presidential candidates take a pledge not to co-operate with anyone who doesn't agree with their demands, they short-circuit the democratic process that built this federal republic.

As the world looks on in stunned amazement at how polarized our political process has become, faith in the world's leading democratic bastion fades. Economists around the world are on the brink of declaring our economy a disaster. World markets suffer as inflexible pledges shackle political candidates to conservative ideology. We're seeing the result: chaos.

A simple statement around a popular principle -- keeping taxes low -- puts pressure on politicians to back that cause forever or risk losing possible supporters.

The oldest and most pernicious of these pledges was dreamed up by Grover Norquist, the leader of “Americans for Tax Reform.” He's managed to get 95 percent of all Republicans in Congress to pledge never to raise taxes for any reason.

Norquist's anti-tax the rich plan has superseded the representation the Republicans are supposed to provide for all their constituency, and has become a roadblock in negotiations. In a pledge outbreak, Republican candidates are pressured to take a slew of divisive pledges.

Recently, Ryan Hecker, a Tea Party activist who helped craft the 10-point Contract From America said he's withholding support from any GOP candidate who declines to take his pledge.

Another group, The Susan B. Anthony List, which supports anti-abortion advocacy, pressures GOP candidates to sign its “Pro-Life Presidential Leadership Pledge.”

Why are GOP candidates capitulating and conforming to pledges? Don't they realize they're being asked to slip on straitjackets that'll restrain their effectiveness? Signing denies them flexibility -- a must for any politician hoping to successfully negotiate with an opposing party. Like it or not, we do have two major political parties. Compromise is a must to pass legislation. We're not a dictatorship yet.

There are hopeful signs that not everyone is going down this primrose pledge path. Freshman Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told the Associated Press, “I think I've kind of supported enough pledges. I've restricted myself too much this Congress.”

One of Sarah Palin's conservative “Mama grizzlies” who signed Norquist's anti-tax pledge has decided she won't sign any more. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said, “I support the concepts in their pledges, but what matters most is my pledge to uphold the United States Constitution.”

The Republican Conference Chairman, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, also said, “My only pledge is to the United States of America.” I believe defying the political pressures to pledge projects strength. Those who do so will be rewarded and re-elected, because they demonstrate concern for all Americans, not just the pro-corporate wealthy.

A good example of how crazy some of these pledges are is the bizarre “Marriage Vow,” in which candidates agree to oppose same-sex marriage, reject Shariah law (Muslim law under the Koran) and pledge personal fidelity to their spouses. Sanity won out and this was changed after a public outcry.

These pledges should be looked upon as political poison, and not the cure for solving America's economic woes. Pledging to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution is the only promise required of a new president.

I'm still comfortable with the Pledge of Allegiance I recited as a child in school, and when I went into the United States Army in 1969. I still believe in America, despite what's currently happening to our political process in Congress. I still believe the majority should rule, as outlined in our Constitution, and not an extreme minority.

As It Stands, united we stand, and divided we fall. Sound familiar?

Websites carrying this column:

#1 American family values #2 Stop Smoking #3 Interceder/Tea Party #4 Political News Live #5 Hilham Overton Tennessee 38568 #6 Senator Kelly Ayotte News #7 Chewalla Tennessee 38393 #8 Dixon Springs Trousdale Tennessee 37057 #9 Security Forces for Hostile Environments

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...