Sunday, February 24, 2008

Eggplant's Urgency

(Link in picture here)

Those who surrender freedom for security deserve neither.
Benjamin Franklin

Our idiot in chief is alleging that if we don't grant telecommunication companies total immunity from any litigation regarding illegal wiretapping, we're all going to die. Plenty of discussion regarding the reality of the situation is online. The American Civil Liberties Union has some remarks.

Eggplant continues, "Their goal is to bring destruction to our shores that will make Sept. 11 pale by comparison."

Eggplant just loves fear. Having zero leadership, fear mongering is the means to maintain control. For a taste of leadership, consider JFK during the moment this nation came the closest to the brink, the Cuban Missile Crisis. If Eggplant had been in office then, game over. Quoting the vegetable, "At this moment, somewhere in the world terrorists are planning new attacks on our country."

The reader can find plenty of content. This post calls attention to the fact that the RNC is running television advertisements about it to apply pressure on Congress to give him his way. I won't repeat what has been posted profusely, but the spat is about skirting accountability and denying citizens civil liberties specified in the constitution. It is about power, not security.



UPDATE: I was talking on the phone (mathematician friend in Kansas), so the sound was turned down, but one of these ads came on the television. It was not the ad above, but had the same content. Then the ad zeroed in on Congresswoman Giffords, with her photograph, phone number, clearly asking viewers to pressure her to approve Eggplant's request.

Anti-Functionalist Rant

At a fictitious metropolis, three entities working together, Club, Pass, and Community College have obtained a $2.3 M DOL grant to train twelve people in the college’s ANUS (Accomplish Nothing Under Success) certification program. Started in 2003, the program teaches students how to succeed in lucrative positions without producing results.

"There is great demand for these skills," said Wesley Mouch, Club Vice-President, "Many employers require people who can fill this role effectively."

"Companies can’t get enough," said College Senior Executive Vice-President Simi Raykitin, "It will be impossible to saturate."

The $2.3 M will be paid to Pass, who will track the students and pay College $1.6 M, enough to train twelve students (including administrative overhead). Raykitin hopes to ramp enrollment to forty by offering courses to the public. The certification requires two years of full time study. Applicants should have 12th grade English skills and two or more years of management experience.

"Being a professional grade ANUS is not as easy as you think," said one student, "We spend a semester learning how to take credit for stuff we had nothing to do with, like a drop in gas prices, a business expansion into new space, or a housing boom. After the course, you see politicians in a whole new light. Reagan got credit for the collapse of the Soviet Union, and Clinton got credit for the economic expansion in the 90s. It’s amazing what you can take credit for once you know how."

In addition to taking credit for results one did not produce, the program shows how to create the illusion of results even when none occur. In one example, "doc spinning," one produces surveys, assessments, brochures, strategic plans, flyers, and newsletters. These can be built into the subject of many meetings and presented at luncheons as accomplishments. An instructor commented, "You don’t even have to write the document. You can pay consultants to do it."

In the program one learns the ANUS Semantic Matrix of Meaning. Most people operate as if nothing means nothing, problematic for those who accomplish nothing. The task is to frame the discourse to where nothing can mean anything while simultaneously pushing towards anything meaning nothing. When both are achieved, anything can mean anything, a framework perfectly designed to perpetuate satisfaction in a situation where nothing occurs.

Accomplishment for which credit can be taken is helpful, but accomplishment for which credit cannot be taken is highly problematic. The former accomplishment occurs inside the "circle of acknowledgement" while the latter does not and must be eradicated. In its first three years, Club has successfully shut down all agencies outside its circle of acknowledgment. Mouch is very pleased, "If a company hires someone, or a business sells more product this year, we get credit for all of it, and nothing is our fault."

While the metropolis contends with a $12 M budget shortfall, taxpayer funded (over 60 percent) Club’s $4 M budget has a surplus. Club VP’s Major, Mouch, Shelf, Wetson, Sneed, Milche, and Mason are currently choosing where the organization should travel this year. When asked why it was necessary to visit a town’s resorts and restaurants and not just research the information, a Club spokesman said, "Research and phone calls are not sufficient."

Club is considering the French Riviera or Fiji to deepen its understanding of the attraction and how metropolis might use such practices.

"We’re delighted with the ANUS program," Raykitin said, "It’s hard to find people who can produce absolutely nothing in high paying positions."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Other Meltdown

Unfortunately, Hillary learned little from the "come to Jesus" meeting I speculated took place before the last debate. I waited for more information to trickle in before posting.

In Ohio today, Hillary Clinton opened fire on Barack Obama about a couple of mailings, one on health care and the other on NAFTA. She invoked the name that makes Satan nervous, Karl Rove.

"I have to express my deep disappointment that he is continuing to send false and discredited mailings," Clinton said, "He says one thing in his speeches and then he turns around and does this."

It gets worse, "Shame on you, Barack Obama."

I want to throw up. Does she not see how this lands in the listening of the nation? The debate in Ohio is going to be a circus helping no one and harming individuals TBD, Clinton perhaps most of all.

What the reader must understand is that the mailings have been out for weeks. FactCheck posted about the mailing on February 4th. That's over two weeks ago. They are not new. Her response is. She is blasting him for something no worse than she has done, and we're not going to know this?

As took place in the debate, Clinton and Obama have some wrangling about health insurance involving a situation with poor families. She is willing to garnish wages. He is not. Both arguments have valid points. The other mailer calls her to account about her support for NAFTA.

She did support NAFTA and has spoken in favor of it on many occasions.

Oh, the humanity! The smart move is a positive, clean campaign through the 4th and a gracious, supportive resignation speech unifying the Democratic party behind its nominee. Dammit. Okay, Liza's take and my fears are realized. What she did today plasters the front pages of the Sunday papers and all of America is going to look for the fire beneath her smoke and find an anemic objection to language not the slightest more objectionable than her own mailings.

Whatever minuscule slivers remained of the possibility of the two running together just evaporated.

Obama crossed no line. He didn't plagiarize and we know it. His literature complies with established practice and the game BOTH campaigns are playing, and we know it. In New Hampshire she used a misleading mailer about him on abortion. In Wisconsin, she hit him with a misleading mailer about health care. Now she cries foul? I am running out of sympathy. If she thinks she is the superior candidate then she needs to say that and support her assertion. She is not a better president because she has a beef with a mailing no different from her own material.

On the contrary, how she has run her campaign suggests pathetic leadership, flawed vision, weak organizational skills, terrible planning, poor decision making, and questionable ethics. Give her a shot of concentrated evil to replace "questionable ethics" with "distilled malice" and she's no different from who is in the White House today.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Independent Candidate Derek Tidball

Tucson, Arizona. I met with Arizona Independent CD-8 candidate Derek Tidball this afternoon for a beer and some dialog. Since he requested the meeting, I told him I had no agenda and that the conversation could be whatever he wished. His main objective for speaking with me did not involve the blog, telling me about himself, his campaign, or asking for my support. He met with me out of the desire to learn about higher education and the training of adults.

Oh, twist my arm. I delivered the semester course in higher education finance in twenty minutes. Some of it he already knew. Then he inquired about SAIAT, training the already employed, and the implementation of an employee development resources center, something few understand. Derek got it, and he tied it to the modularized training of military units as they require real time fast response customized training in the heat of developing circumstances.

As an Independent, Derek Tidball is no Jay Quick. Sharply dressed, well groomed, and carrying himself with dignity and confidence, he is putting himself before room after room, group after group, discussing issue after issue. Tonight he addressed the Drinking Liberally group. As I left, they were in the thick of it regarding immigration, guest worker programs, and the 12 million already here. In other words, Independent Derek Tidball is campaigning. Throughout all of it, he assimilates every conversation, listens, learns, and integrates. I know an information sponge when I meet one. He is going to get his signatures. He will be part of the debates.

Derek's roots lack the wealth and elite education of Gabrielle Giffords. The subject of Tim Bee's educational attainment has come up. Derek does have a boatload of military training and combat experience with the 101st Airborne in Afghanistan. He is now pursuing his bachelor's degree. I have a lot of experience watching minds work. In terms of cerebral horsepower, authenticity, and spine, Derek is behind none of his opponents.

As the Independent candidate, Derek's odds of a victory are extremely remote, and I am not suggesting he will become the next Congressman for Arizona's Eighth Congressional District. What I am saying is that he is going places and deserves to, a respectable and honorable candidate who loves his country. He will stand with the other two before triple digit audiences and television cameras. He will get his time.

He will not have his opponents' money, infrastructure, television spots, or slam dunk votes of the party faithful. He will however, have a sharp and informed intellect, the wisdom that comes from the humility to listen and learn, and a voice during the campaign. I am glad he is running and as a fellow Independent, I salute and respect his campaign and firmly believe that it will make a significant contribution to the election.

Derek will be listening to his opponents. They make a mistake if they do not listen to him.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Checkmate

Tucson, Arizona. Special thanks to Casey, a relatively new blogger with a particular awareness some readers here might find interesting, for writing a complimentary piece about this place today. Younger than me by almost ten years, Casey is the older end of the omnivores. Take a look at his place and you can tell.

Bill Clinton has all but declared the conditional end to Hillary's bid for the nomination, stating that if she does not win in both Texas AND Ohio, it's over. I don't have the context around his remarks, but I had a reaction to the following excerpt: If she wins in Texas and Ohio I think she will be the nominee. If you don't deliver for her then I don't think she can. It's all on you.

To be fair, I don't know tone of voice or the prior sentence, but if there is any meaning in the direction that somehow Texas and Ohio are responsible for this nomination, what a crock. Maybe he's just explaining that circumstances have put the two states in a particular position, which is accurate. When someone shows up at your door borderline mortally wounded if not mortally wounded, and says "It's all on you" now wait a minute. Maybe they need you to save their butt. You are not responsible for creating the circumstance.

Elaborating on some content from a comment of mine at the last thread:

Some politicians like to criticize opponents who have not run organizations or businesses, "They've never been a CEO or executive."

The fact is candidates are the CEO's of their campaigns. Watching the business of the campaign (and it is very much a business, a difficult one) tells much about a candidate. I have been won over by candidates due to the professionalism, the ethics, and the people of the campaign organizations they created. A certain Arizona Congresswoman comes to mind. People like Rodd, Ron, Daniel, Katherine, Jennifer, Todd, Sarah, don't support jerks. They just don't.

If you compare the campaigns of Obama and Clinton, there is no comparison. While not perfect, Obama has run a very good campaign. That takes skill. The governor of Wisconsin commented on the Obama machinery at work in his Wisconsin over the past week. Anyone thinking Obama is winning on rhetoric has no clue, none, what it takes to win an election. A massive network of staff extending outward to a sea of volunteers braving heat, cold, hostility, and other challenges must come together. Most of the meetings are not on television.

Clinton's campaign has been a fiasco, making huge blunders and missteps that are no one's fault but her own. They continue to make mistakes. Competing factions argue about both strategy and tactics. They failed scenario planning 101 with the whole lot caught stupefied with pants around their ankles after Iowa. What was the "lose Iowa" scenario plan? They didn't have one. What was the "not locked up on 2/5" plan? They didn't have one.

Now in THIS election they attack inspiration and hope! As her campaign implodes before our eyes, she professes she has solutions and is the one who can get things done? I can't win elections, but I can solve health care and education?! The icing on the cake and beyond comprehension: I will fight to change the game so I can win without the popular vote.


Apparently neither of the Clintons nor the well paid staff on her campaign grasp what the message is doing across the country.

Still, Obama must defend against the vitriol and pay attention on all fronts including email blasts, push polls, radio, television, and speeches. As Liza notes, she will throw and heave anything she can find in the hopes that something, anything, can draw blood. If I were Obama, I would be well informed by 1992. Senior Bush threw everything at Bill. James Carville was a master at returning fire.

My advice for Obama at the Thursday night debate in Texas: The context is decisive. Surround the petty digs with a larger picture that illuminates the digs as digs. You are the bigger person. BE IT. When asked what you have accomplished as a senator, as a lawyer, as a father, as anything damn thing she can think of, have solid answers. Embrace the accusation that you lack substance and have it for dinner. She's hitting you on speeches. Hit her on solutions. What solutions?

After she says what we have all heard over and over again, acknowledge common goals and aims. Then note with eloquence and a solid but not arrogant wisdom: Her ideas reflect 20th century thinking. The country and the planet require 21st century thinking, and that is what you are. The time has come to turn a tired, tired, page and bring fresh ideas, ideas that include respecting the will of the people, to Washington.

CHECKMATE.

Post Wisconsin Potpourri

Tucson, Arizona. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Rice University have created the darkest material ever made by man. A scientist who asked that his name be withheld, asserted that only thing darker would be the soul of the Bush administration, "This is the darkest that a physical entity can get. To go any darker requires transcending physical reality and looking at the likes of Dick Cheney."

The material is like a roach motel for light. What goes in does not come out.

Speaking of roaches, the Arizona Daily Star has a piece today noting that the city is facing a severe revenue shortage and needs to reduce costs. They could save over a million if they cut TREO's funding levels. I would propose 55%. City Manager Mike Hein could then write the city council and declare that TREO's board approved the funding cut, but that the agency's performance would improve.

Improve from what?

Returning to utter darkness, individuals calling for the impeachment of Dick Cheney can express their views to Giffords chief of staff Maura Policelli tonight at 7 PM at the city Ward 6 Office, 3202 E 1st St. Leave the guns at home.

Speaking of CD-8, Independent Candidate Derek Tidball (last I heard) is planning to attend Drinking Liberally tomorrow night at the Shanty, 6 - 9 PM. I am going to skip the meeting I usually attend that night to meet some of the DL crowd and also Derek. Those who have time may want to drop in and meet the third candidate in the race. I will be wearing my x4mr certified blogger badge.

The Teamsters have endorsed Barack Obama, and Texas now leans in his direction. The Fat Lady is warming up back stage. She sings in just under two weeks. Hillary has a choice between the high road of a graceful bow out or the painful desperation and denial with continued shrill shelling. If she is not careful, she's going to torch re-election possibilities, period. Barring something really ugly, any damage over the next two weeks can heal. What she does to herself after the 4th can last. I consider it amazing that the announcers are saying her campaign thinks the attacks helped because the 17% Wisconsin loss was smaller than the 25+ percent losses earlier.

I have a completely different read. I think she went into Wisconsin down about 7 or so (pick your poll) and the inane allegation and transparent desperation slipped her another ten percent. Many news sites and Sirocco have some good information on how Obama is cementing his base and seriously eating into hers.

The super ticket where the two pair up is now toast about as black as the stuff the researchers created.

Her campaign's behavior continues to disgust, surprising neither Liza or myself as they try to game the system for a delegate victory over the will of the voters, which ratchets up the outrage in the bars and coffee houses. Actions of this sort quickly inflict permanent damage, and she is on a course that will lose her more than the nomination.

McCain knows who he will be facing. He is not aware that he is going to be trounced. Wisconsin pretty much torpedoed the meltdown scenario. Minus a fluke, Obama wins Texas and Ohio is a draw. Super delegates are not going to mess this up.

The blue tsunami remains plausible.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Face of Death


Special thanks to Casey for calling my attention to this montage (full size here) of Eggplant made with the faces of soldiers killed in Iraq. The particularly unsettling image made me nauseas. Every face is a life cut short, most of them never reaching legal drinking age. On a better planet, Eggplant, Cheney, and Rove would be tried for treason.

Then we could hand Dick and Bush over to an international tribunal to face charges for crimes against humanity.

A Woman Drowning

March 4th can get here as quickly as it chooses, for the next two weeks will be nauseating as we watch the Clinton campaign drown. The reader can easily find content regarding the latest gulp, an effort to accuse Barack Obama of plagiarism over similarities between a speech he recently gave and one given by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Obama and Patrick are friends. They met and discussed the content. Patrick told Obama not to cite him. Appealing to weakness instead of strength, falsehood instead of truth, the Clintons cement the image of what they have become. The GOP must be salivating. If the meltdown occurs, McCain can beat this woman.

The bigger person would run a clean campaign and let the chips fall where they may. Not Hillary. For the next two weeks we will see her poke at her opponent, trying to find muck that can stick. The accusation evaporates the instant one learns of the friendship between Patrick and Obama and that the speech was discussed in advance.

Huffington Post has a fairly good take on the development.

It's a speech, not a dissertation. She attacks not a candidate, but a movement. One does not defeat a movement with petty jabs. One only defeats a movement with a superior movement. In that conversation, she's got nothing, and we can tell.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Eleven Great Films Few Have Seen

Angel Heart Bill Cosby had a cow when Lisa Bonet slaughtered a chicken and had out of the box sex with Nine 1/2 Weeks Mickey Rourke in this spooky black magic voodoo thriller. Not for kids or people with a thing about chickens, Alan Parker's disturbing film takes the viewer on a trip with an unforgettable ending. Fantastic sequences we initially consider dreams are anything but illusions.



The Ice Storm Most people know about Ang Lee for directing the homophobe irritating Brokeback Mountain. Years earlier Lee directed a unique film forecasting the success of many including Elijah Wood, Tobey Maguire, Katie Holmes, and Christina Ricci. The established talent of Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, and Sigourney Weaver just nail the piece to produce a scathing portrayal of the spiritual bankruptcy of 1970's America that led to the backlash of the "moral" majority. Weaver and Kline are lovers cheating on their spouses. Kline starts to talk in bed. Weaver turns to him, "You're boring me. I already have a husband."

The Fog of War Errol Morris made waves and film history with the incredible documentary, The Thin Blue Line that demonstrated the wrongful conviction of Randall Adams by a corrupt Texas justice system and made it into The 50 Greatest Documentaries. The documentary led to the release of Adams.

Morris engages in first rate dialog with former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara whose remorse drives him to share his gained knowledge and wisdom regarding war, conflict, and diplomacy. Discussing WWII, Korea, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Vietnam, McNamara's words could not be more relevant to the current travesties taking place. Everyone elected to Congress should be required to see this film prior to taking oath. In fact, they should have to pass a test.

Speaking of films everyone elected to Congress should see, The Corporation explores the history of the development of legally organizing a group of individuals on a mission to make money with full legal rights and no legal responsibility. Say what? The concept seems to make sense upon initial inspection but deeper analysis shows we have unleashed monsters that will kill us and our children if it helps their bottom line. If they can get away with it, they will take over governments, corrupt politicians, craft legislation favoring their own interests at the expense of everyone else, buy elections, falsify evidence, and even control the presidency to where the nation invades other countries to secure lucrative contracts leading to record profits for themselves and record deficits for the nation.

Through the lens of psychological profiling, they examine the behavior of corporations.

True Romance Tony Scott, brother of the famous Ridley Scott, has used his brother's stature to venture into unexplored territory, producing the exquisite The Hunger that features one of the most remarkable opening scenes of any film ever produced. True Romance features compelling and interesting scenes one can watch a hundred times, such as the trailer scene with Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper, or Patricia Arquette getting primeval bloody with James Gandalfini prior to his Soprano fame. My favorite is the delicious confrontation between Christian Slater and Gary Oldman in the bar. Cinematic poetry.

The Song Of Bernadette (Left - The Real Bernadette Soubirous. Right - Jennifer Jones playing Bernadette in the film) No film slammed your humble blogger like this one, because it simply defies any explanations available. Not only the story, but the story behind the story, and the story behind the writing of the story, and the story behind the film, all transcend what passes for normal. An absolute MUST SEE for true Christians. I remain unable to process this event. On Thursday, February 11, 1858 at about 9 AM in the Basque region of Southern France, a very weak and sickly girl living in abject poverty sets out with her sisters for firewood. She sees something. What unfolds defies physics, but it occurred. The film is 100 percent true. The deeply spiritual with developed souls will find it profoundly moving. For those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe in God, no explanation is possible. Have tissue. I used half a box and bought books on the event.

About as far from the prior film as possible, Shadow of the Vampire stars William Dafoe as the best vampire to ever appear on screen, getting under the viewer's skin as a truly creepy creature whose very being makes one squirm. Based on the making of the 1922 classic FW Murnau's Nosferatu about Bram Stoker's classic book, it is a movie about the making of a movie using not an actor, but a real vampire. John Malkovich is also perfect as the director. The monster's body language and expressions really denote something no longer human, "I don't think you need the writer anymore."

The film completely freaked my parents. I'm not allowed to show them films anymore.

Laurel Canyon A Lisa Cholodenko gem starring Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale as an engaged couple stretching boundaries and exploring new terrain while staying in a bohemian house on the famous Laurel Canyon Road in Los Angeles. The film is meant to capture the Joni Mitchell 60s energy of lives lived without boundaries or obligations. The tension between freedom and fidelity just drips off the screen, and the steaming pool scene alone makes the entire film worth watching. Terrific.

Scenes from A Marriage
Warning - this is an Ingmar Bergman film, the one who made Autumn Sonata, Fanny and Alexander, Cries and Whispers, Serpent's Egg, and of course the famous The Seventh Seal where the main character plays a game of chess with Death. The films that crawl into your head and stay. Not for the superficial, those with the perception to grasp what is happening in Scenes will experience a piece that cuts to the bone and proceeds to marrow without slowing down.



Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? I'm nobody's houseboy now! Set at Dartmouth, Ernest Lehman's production of Edward Albee's Broadway hit created material far ahead of its time, using the electricity between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor to create an unparalleled masterpiece in cinema. The film captured five Oscars, handing one to Taylor for Best Actress and Sandy Dennis for Supporting Actress. Pre-dating it by 15 years, the film squares My Dinner with Andre, another extraordinary work.

A Hallmark production, The Russell Girl just aired a couple weeks ago. I bought the film at once. My first post about it reflected the grasp of a single viewing. Watching it again produced an infinitely richer experience and shifts the focus from Sarah Russell (Amber Tamblyn), a guilt crippled young woman dying of leukemia, to Lorraine Morrisey (Jennifer Ehle), a resentment crippled woman whose hatred is eating her from the inside out. Ehle's performance is SPECTACULAR. Those needing shootouts, sex, and car chases will hate the film, and those lacking sufficient distinctions will find it painfully slow. I find nothing more moving or rewarding than personal transformation along vectors only accessible in human conversation.

It simply does not get better than being a course leader causing the growth and development of what it is to be human. Watching Lorraine's transformation was delightful and touching. Some results cannot be purchased with money. The price tag can consist of agony, profound suffering, and the alienation of loved ones for years. In some circumstances one must pay most dearly for the ability to say "Eighty nine cents."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Meltdown vs Possibility

The Boston Globe has a piece where Howard Wolfson of the Clinton campaign comes right out and declares that if Obama wins the majority vote, Clinton will do everything possible to wrestle the nomination away from the the will of the Democratic party voters.

Clinton advisers rejected the notion that the candidate -- and the party -- would be badly wounded in the general election if the nominee were essentially selected by a group of party insiders.

Read that three times, four times, five times. The above statement is high octane Independent repellent. Speaking as an Independent, the Clinton campaign can F itself.

Barack Obama now out raises Hillary Clinton by two to one. Our struggling population does not part with its money lightly. Small donations from those who have little to spare stream into the Obama campaign. Rumors are escalating that both Al Gore and John Edwards are merely choosing when, not if, to endorse Obama. Can you get either endorsing her?! Increasing numbers of super delegates formally solid behind Clinton are starting to ask deep questions.

Our comprehension lags the depth and breadth of this phenomenon. Some on the McCain campaign have voiced concern about facing Obama, feeling a spiritual conflict about attacking something they are not sure they understand. (Hillary has no spiritual conflict.) Rumors are that one top McCain official will resign at once if Obama wins the Democratic nomination, willing to work on a campaign against Clinton, but unwilling to work on one against Obama.

Cigar Man observed that Navigator and I are "functionalists" who believe good prevails over evil, that competence wins over the inept. I (and Navigator I would presume) have been around the block to have seen plenty of tragedy, but Cigar Man is right. I do have a certain deeply seated conviction that we move forward, not backward. The 2000 election, straight from the depths of Hell and signed by Satan himself, put soulless self-serving demons into the White House at unspeakable loss of life, money, good will, reputation, world standing, economic well being, quality of life, and future prospects.

Forces beyond my comprehension have created a possibility the status quo is seeking to undermine. The Clintons of 2008 have thrown their own souls under the bus, mocking inspiration and possibility sixteen years after Bill Clinton blasted Bush for mocking "vision." Bush dismissed Clinton's "vision thing." Hillary dismisses Obama's "possibility thing."

I feel 1992 all over again, only five times more shrill with a lot more blood, a lot more tears, and infinitely more at stake. In 1992, we were in a stuffy room wanting fresh air. In 2008, we are drowning.

Can either Clinton or McCain pick nits with Obama? Who checks the weather before leaping out of a burning building?

Perhaps Hillary Clinton will come out with a statement correcting Wolfson about her disregard for the will of the voters in her party. May someone ask Senator Clinton the point blank question. Will she execute the meltdown scenario? Does she truly believe she has the right to work the machine to steal a nomination in the face of overwhelming support for her opponent? Hillary Clinton needs to clarify her position. If indeed she confirms Wolfson, she cements my condemnation of her candidacy and all who support it.

If you want to see everything ugly and hideous about this nation, watch the venom rising up to defeat a phenomenon delivered not from Satan, but from the top, one that offers promise, possibility, inspiration, and a chance for peace, sustainability, equity, and the development of people towards a better world. Of course Obama is an imperfect human being like the rest of us, but inspired and inspiring, he is in touch with something that comes from a place higher than a human being. With less experience, Abraham Lincoln, a senator from Illinois, the greatest president in the history of this nation, faced the only mess greater than the one in front of us. He saved the country and emancipated the slaves. The time has come for Barack Obama, another senator from Illinois, to do the same. With our support, yes, he can.

Vote for Democracy

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Comprehensive Exams

(British sailor Ellen MacArthur after world record solo sail around the world) Tucson, Arizona. The University of Arizona informed your humble blogger that he sailed through the three comprehensive final exams for the PhD in higher education. They also let me know that my program of study has been formally approved by the graduate college.

The Research Design class (more a meeting than a class) is a blast. We meet in a board room around a table. Restricted to a small number of PhD students and co-led by two professors, it is insect free x4mr heaven.

I love my dissertation and actually get excited sitting down with the data sets. Yeah I know: geek.

Worlds and Realities







Tucson, Arizona. I had a terrific evening last night among GOP candidates and supporters, enjoying intelligent dialog with highly informed people truly committed to the well being of our local community, our state, and our nation. I was so engaged in conversation I never made it to the humidor to grab a cigar. I finally got to meet Sonoran Alliance blogger OVD, who like my father, is one of those Christians who actually pays attention to the teachings of Christ. True Christians understand that Jesus Christ is not about hating the different and screwing the poor. A Christian that pays attention to the teachings of Christ?

Imagine.

Ray Carroll was there for awhile and I had the opportunity to speak with him briefly. He is part of the solution, not the problem. A discussion about the Pima County Board of Supervisors would remove all doubt that a certain blogger is indeed Independent. In that group, a red tsunami is fine with me. However, new blue is on the horizon. It's time for a certain supervisor who says she's about workforce development to take a hike.

She and the Mayor can go to PCC for high tech training.

Jesus.

Vic of course was there the entire evening, but no Framer. Frank Antoneri showed up later on, and he has the zeal of a sports fan for the meltdown scenario. Frank is eager to enjoy a good meat lovers pizza with some beer as the Democrats ram Hillary down the throat of a party screaming for another candidate.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Three Levels of Integrity

My mention of The Landmark Forum in the last post resulted in a thread where Navigator asked me to present the three levels of integrity. Landmark Education does a better job of explaining their programs, so go to their place if you want more information about them.

Regarding the three levels of integrity as I was trained by my mentor (a different program with different licensing but related material).

Level One Integrity: Doing what one says one will Do.
Level Two Integrity: Honoring one's Word as oneself.
Level Three Integrity: World sees one as one's Word.

Each is an absolute prerequisite for the next. Forget about level two until the first is completely handled. Without the first two cemented, to even think about the third is ludicrous. Few operate at the third level.

A full grasp requires substantial training and development. I will explain.

The first is the easiest to understand. You make and keep promises with extraordinary rigor and immediately take action when the inevitable and rarer than you think change in circumstances eliminates the possibility of keeping a commitment. Speech acts exist to manage the conversation effectively.

Speech Acts: Request, Promise, Accept, Decline, Revoke, Demand, Invite, Assert, Promise to Promise.

Every time a person says s/he will be home by four, will call or send an email, will get back to you by Thursday, run 5 miles three times a week, whatever, a promise is made.

Accept a Request, and you've made a Promise. At the first level, you keep it, period. Yes, circumstances shift. When they do, one cannot communicate fast enough to Revoke and make a second Promise that can be kept. If it is not possible to Promise immediately, Promise to Promise when it becomes possible. If someone makes a request you know you will not do, Decline at once. That you explain or make an excuse is neither relevant nor necessary.

I can't tell you how many bitch fests I have cut off with, "Do you have a request?"

"Bitch gripe moan, waah, waah, ..."
"Do you have a request?"
(Pause.)
"Fix my computer so it networks okay."
"I will have it fixed by tomorrow night."

No, a broken promise with a great excuse does not equal a kept promise.

The second (Landmark graduates will understand) level is a WAY OF BEING. To operate at the second level, one must have the mindset that one is indeed one's word as identity. You honor your word as yourself. Your word is what you are, NOT your thoughts and feelings.

You SAY you are going to run 5 miles MWF at 6 AM. When the alarm goes off, and your thoughts and feelngs say "Stay in bed" they are irrelevant. You said you were going to run, so you will. There is nothing to think about. When I was completely disintegrating in front of God and everybody trying to lead LDP Group 7, getting torn to shreds by Errol, do you think my thoughts and feelings or what I wanted is what kept me at the front of that room? My thoughts screamed, "You're worthless." My feelings were sheer terror. I wanted to die. My word said I would be trained to lead the LDP.

At the second level, you ARE what you say.

Operating at the second level, people think a little more about what they say.

People can go sideways in this conversation. We talk about this for half a day - several hours. It is not a piece of cake to fully comprehend. A guy once told me he operated at the second level of integrity and I broke out laughing, "No you don't, not even remotely, not even the first level. What time did you get here?"
"A little after four."
"When did we say we would meet?"
"Oh come on! What's a few minutes?"
"The difference between making and breaking a promise."

He got all offended, "That's not reasonable."
"Reason's got nothing to do with it."

Operating at the second level requires substantial maturity in the distinctions.

The third level of integrity involves what the rest of the world sees in the person. How does the person show up in the world? Operate at the second level over time, and the world starts to get that you indeed are what you say.

Ghandi BECAME freedom for India. Nelson Mandela BECAME the end of apartheid. Martin Luther King BECAME his dream. They cannot do this if they are what they are except when it's difficult or they have a tummy ache or it gets scary or dangerous. The world cannot get that you are freedom for India if you only are when you get to sleep in.

The three levels of integrity is an advanced conversation. I just stuck your toe in the water. If you want to see something incredible, buy a small notebook and make it an appendage. Keep of log of all committed speaking. The first promise that goes on page one:

I promise to record every speech act I make into this notebook and review it every day to record the outcome of each one.

I went to Landmark's web site just for fun, and the video offers some terrific material. I highly encourage you to go to the "See it in action" part. You get to see real course leaders including Zaffron (occurs vs is). "The context is decisive" is also well done. I used $45 in "Something Else." I forgot all about the cathedral example. Those people are course leaders, the real deal. I am talking about something infinitely beyond teaching. For practical reasons, the videos are almost all course leader speaking. In the real course, participants talk a LOT more than the videos suggest. Also, the videos are very neat and tidy.

In the real deal, the room is less well dressed and way less happy. When it starts, the course leader speaks into a group containing the scared, nervous, defiant, angry, uptight, EVERYTHING. That's why the course is so difficult to lead. If you have what it takes to lead a Forum, there is no course beyond you. To lead anything, just learn the content and you're there.

District Dominoes

Tucson, Arizona. Anyone paying the slightest attention to the political blogs knows that Arizona CD-3 John Shadegg is throwing in the towel. Republicans are resigning/not running again by the dozens. In the Senate they might be setting a record with half of those up for re-election having announced they will not run. Stuffing Cheney pigs at the expense of poor children and the middle class must get old. The "I made a fortune for Halliburton, Blackwater, and Pfizer" trophy just doesn't bring that soul closer to God.

The resignation sends ripples throughout the political formulas, a domino effect showing that the GOP, despite the possible nomination fiasco the Democrats may inflict on themselves, is in serious trouble. Now the Republicans must devote resources to reclaim an open CD-3 seat (best bet), unseat Harry Mitchell in CD-5 (next priority), or help Tim Bee face Gabrielle Giffords in CD-8 (futility).

Shadegg's resignation offers terrific news for Mitchell, deflecting cross-hairs from his forehead to an empty chair in terms of both opposing candidates and money. The other blogs have said plenty, so I will not duplicate. Sonoran Alliance (link to the right) posted Shadegg's press release. I close with the following observation:

With Dick Cheney no longer in office and a recession ridden populace broken and ruined, what's a pig stuffer to do? Our nation desperately needs a tsunami, a political enema, an hour of gargling Listerine and serious flossing. All of Congress should attend The Landmark Forum to complete their pasts and declare their futures.

They can skip Tuesday night.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Regional Water Authority

Tucson, Arizona. One of the reasons Southern Arizona lacks the ability to fully compete with other regions is that it allows self-serving yahoos to manipulate the government to serve themselves. They love using the word "regional."

The City Council abdicated economic development, handing it to the Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities and a lying stealing roach with his band of "bohemians for a transmission plant" that fly to Portland and Madagascar to discuss cloth over great food and drink.

Next, they abdicated transportation with the Regional Transportation Authority, which hasn't already started to back peddle on what it can do for what. The RTA isn't about anyone making any money.

What else can we screw up? Surely there is another train wreck we can hand to the overpaid overdressed banquet crowd. We live in the desert!

Let's create the Tucson Regional Water Authority! TRWA. Screw Tucson Water and nuke any accountability for sensible water planning. We don't need no stinking water in Tucson, Arizona! Let's rake in some cash. Surely a nationwide search could find a lying, stealing suit with the character credentials to destroy the decent and promote the inept and inefficient. How about Buford Smell? Buford wears a suit and gets city funds to renovate bankrupt convenience stores into Pay Day Loan centers. He then gets economic development agencies to pay his rent. Smell inhales cash. He buys his cars at the right dealership and contributes most handsomely to local candidates.

He'd fit right in. Buford Smell for CEO of the Tucson Regional Water Authority.

Up next: The Tucson Regional Education Authority, TREA. Get the government out of education. Why does Linda need a subsidy to train those kids? If TUSD were doing something worthwhile, they could be self-sustaining. Buford's brother, Joe, knows a lot about education and training. He sat through a class once. If we toss Linda, stop funding education, and put Joe Smell in charge, we save all that money we waste subsidizing our schools.

Who cares about the kids that can't pay $14K/year to attend first grade? The families that can't manage $168,000 over twelve whole years just don't have any commitment to their own children or any sense of accountability or responsibility.

WATER. A train wreck coming soon. Think another zero on that monthly bill for those of you well inside city limits. For the most recently built homes, like Sahuarita, think a notice that provides a date. After that date, the faucet is dry. Try selling the place now.

I do not exaggerate. You have two years. You might have five. You do not have ten. Details will unfold. If your house was built in the last few years, check your water rights to the gnat's ass. The developers, in the deeds, intentionally transferred the responsibility for the train wreck to the homeowners.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Obama Sweeps Four States

Barack Obama continued the escalation of his momentum and his credibility this weekend with a complete and commanding sweep of the Washington, Nebraska, Louisiana, and Maine primaries. The results are cause for panic in the Clinton camp. We are not talking about narrow victories by single digit percentages. We are talking about complete blowouts beyond double digits. In Nebraska, bastion of African American sentiment and hot bed of liberal politics, Obama prevailed by a landslide exceeding two to one. In Maine, another seething state of racial discontent, Obama won by 19%. Such margins do not represent accidents or idle aberrations. Such margins do not even represent an election. We are witnessing a movement.

Louisiana: Obama 57% Clinton 36%
Maine: Obama 59% Clinton 40%
Nebraska: Obama 68% Clinton 32%
Washington: Obama 68% Clinton 31%

Obama's fund raising is accelerating. Hillary Clinton has borrowed $5 million to help her keep pace. He is raising that amount in less than two days.

Readers interested in more content and substance are encouraged to read his 64 page Blueprint for Change.

The Barack Obama web site on a few issues:

The Economy
Education
Health Care
Homeland Security
Iraq

Hillary Clinton announced the replacement of her campaign manager today.

The Meltdown Scenario

This blog has posted several times about the still very real possibility of a blue tsunami where the GOP suffers a crushing defeat in November so extensive and devastating that a new party must rise from ashes of the one that got torched. Will it happen? I don't know.

Another possibility about as terrifying for the Democrats has also emerged as a distinct possibility that could in fact occur, a complete blue meltdown trying to nominate its candidate for president. Several bloggers including Thinkright and Framer have written as has Frank Rich in this morning's New York Times about the Democratic super delegates.

Barack Obama’s impressive victories this weekend continue to point to a surging Democratic voice for his nomination against the wishes of the more established candidate backed by the more traditional blue machinery. Obama’s surge shines a bright light on the Clinton engine and reveals nothing pretty. Any nasty Clinton antics to squash the rising star damage her ability to win in November.

Conservative George Will today even declared what is becoming increasingly obvious. If the Democrats nominate Barack Obama, they win the election. The choice is a no brainer for the reasons he states. As happens so often in life, the obvious can be impossible to see for the person standing in the middle. Obama’s strength is gaining. Clinton’s is declining. He out raised her almost three to one last month. She has had to borrow $5 million to keep fighting him.

While it remains possible that somehow the public will shift and start pouring support in Hillary’s direction and Obama’s strength fizzles, I am starting to doubt this will occur. If it does, okay. If she wins the nomination with the support and enthusiasm of the party, I don my clothespin and vote for her in November.


If Obama gets the nod, without question it will be due to the support and love of the people backing the candidate and his message. McCain will take history as the first white candidate to lose the presidency to an African American. I respect McCain and attach no negatives to that distinction.

The meltdown scenario involves the Democratic party leadership and the Clintons putting personal preference, ego, or any other self-serving agenda before the will of the voters, forcing a Clinton nomination in spite of public outcry for Obama. If this is done, the outrage will be unprecedented.

Regardless of what the McCain hating lunatics like Dobson, Coulter, and the rest of the increasingly irrelevant homophobic, abstinence obsessed goons think, McCain won fair and square running a clean campaign with integrity. The GOP bifurcation is of little concern. Eventually the tantrums will die down.

The Obama Clinton bifurcation, if allowed to occur in the brutality of overthrowing the will of the people, could produce a civil war tearing the Democrats to pieces. For the sake of the country, the delicate delegates had better search their souls and search deep. If the people of the party want Hillary, so be it. If they want Obama, SAME THING. If they make the mistake of thwarting what is right for the sake of another agenda, they will get their just desserts, and being responsible for resulting storm will haunt them the rest of their lives.

If Hillary loves the people as much as she claims, she will respect their voice, even if it says, "Thanks but no thanks."

Friday, February 08, 2008

An End and a Beginning

Tucson, Arizona. Apologies for the long post. Cigar Man and I had a chat recently. I finally know who he is. He clarified a lot. I don't foresee any future posts on SAIAT. Navigator - this is the final post.

The Southern Arizona Institute of Advanced Technology was incorporated in October 2000 with the support of individuals like Bob Hagan, Bob Breault, Steve Peters, Laura DeNinno, and other SATC "high tech" proponents who love to talk cloth and schmooze. Build it and they will come.

No one came, of course. Well, develop technology! Laura DeNinno proclaimed, "Whoever has the people gets the companies and the jobs."

SATC did a survey. Companies needed training. SAIAT put together web development programs. PCC put together a fancy optics program for "impossible to saturate" optics positions. No one enrolled.

With no understanding of education or what worker development services employers were truly willing to pay for, they created the place. We were told the help the "Plastics Cluster." We talked to plastics firms, optics firms, aerospace, software companies. Anybody want anything? Nope.

The Tech Park! I went there. What I am going to offer three PhD’d geniuses working to create a nuclear laser? Another team of five had fancy sound detectors that can bulls-eye the location of a shooter within inches from a thousand yards away. Another group had an unmanned plane the size of toaster with fancy optical equipment that can detect heat signatures a mile away. Move out to the Tech Park, Matt. They’ll be beating on the door with training requests you can refer to the community college.

Think about that for a minute. High technology advocates wanted me to find students to refer to the community college. I speak the truth.

I slashed costs, redesigned the organization, changed our name (from the sacred "technology" to "training"), and restored viability at dramatically reduced funding. I expanded flexibility to create a state of the art modularized employee development resource center. A month later (December 2004) Cigar Man contacted me, "You’re dead. You might have year, maybe two. You do not have four."

In 2006, after two years of successful operations, the Mayor and Supervisor Bronson endorsed the "Business Convergence Center" and praised us. Various development agencies would move into our facility. However, TREO wanted our funding. We infuriated them by requesting they not take it. They took even more, reversed their position, and shut us down.

The clues were there. I will never forget a 2002 conversation regarding the "Train to Gain" program that would take totally unskilled workers and train them in information technology (how to install programs, use Office, print). Phase Two would teach them Java Programming and Application Development.

The above context sheds the facts in a far more illuminating light.

Summer 1999: BHP shuts down the copper mine and smelter in San Manuel, Arizona, laying off 2600 workers.
September 1999: Art Eckstrom hires laid-off Matt to help One Stop Centers assist laid-off BHP employees.
Fall 1999: The City of Tucson and Pima County launch a High Tech High Wage Program (HTHW) to train under-employed Tucsonans in electronics. PCC provides training at premium pricing, making a fortune. Over 90 percent of the students fail at once.
Spring 2000: Matt designs and delivers the Math Skills Enhancement Program to potential HTHW participants. Failure rates plummet, and HTHW becomes viable.
October 2000: SAIAT is incorporated with Glenn Perry as Executive Director.
March 2001: Matt joins SAIAT as Director of Technical Education.
March 2001: Bill Samardak joins SAIAT as Director of Computer Education.
July 2001: SAIAT becomes an Authorized Sun Microsystems Education Center
February 2002: Matt becomes a Sun Certified Java Programmer
Summer 2002: SAIAT delivers programs including Telecommunications, Plastics, Solaris, Java, Soldering, Math Skills Enhancement, MCSE, and others with funding from multiple sources including the City, County, DOL, TANF, WIA, RYA, H1B and others.
September 2002: State Representative Carol Somers loses the GOP primary for District 26.
November 2002: Carol Somers becomes the Chair of the SAIAT Board of Directors.
December 2002: Bill Samardak resigns from SAIAT. Matt is promoted to Director of Education.
June 2003: Glenn Perry resigns. Matt becomes Acting Director.
July 2003: SAIAT FY 2004 funding is cut from $1.1M to $250K. Pima County severs financial ties with SAIAT and stops paying its $20K+ /month facility lease.
FY 2004: SAIAT loses $351K as Matt reorganizes the institute to serve employers, not individual students. He fractures training, certification, and development events (including meetings) to modular components based on OOP principles. It works.
July 2004: Matt addresses the Pima County Economic Development Council.
August 2004: SAIAT FY 2005 funding increased to $300K, infuriating other agencies.
December 2004: An unidentified individual "Cigar Man" declares SAIAT is doomed regardless of performance or results. He advises, "Craft an exit." Matt enters the PhD program in Higher Education.
FY 2005: SAIAT realizes a net gain of $55K.
September 2005: Matt is promoted to Executive Director of SAIAT.
FY 2006: SAIAT funding is slashed $67,500.
FY 2006: Despite the funding cut, SAIAT posts a gain of $22K. Customers praise SAIAT operations. Participant volume in a vast array of customized employee development programs exceeds 10,000 employees per year. Raytheon Acknowledgment.
September 2006: TREO voices support of SAIAT at its annual luncheon and obtains Mayor Walkup’s and Supervisor Bronson’s support for a Business Convergence Center at the SAIAT facility.
Early October 2006: TREO proposes SAIAT provide space, office supplies, office equipment, and assume the job training grant support responsibilities. SAIAT agrees.
Late October 2006: TREO suggests a $92.5K slash in SAIAT’s funding. Matt counters with a $47.5 reduction. TREO agrees.
October 29, 2006: In light of the increased work load, SAIAT Board Members Rich McKinney and David Beveridge refuse to approve the counter. The Board agrees to request funding remain at $242.5K.
November 2006: TREO cuts SAIAT funding by $132.5K, a 55% reduction.
November 7, 2006: TREO CEO Joe Snell writes County Administrator Huckelberry asserting the SAIAT board approved the 55% reduction in funding.
November 2006: SAIAT begins losing over $10K per month.
November 2006: SAIAT Board Members Rich McKinney and David Beveridge, members of Consulting Firm Solutus Partners, suggest SAIAT staff receive kick backs for SAIAT referrals to Solutus Partners. Matt declines.
November 2006: SAIAT Board member and Solutus Partner Rich McKinney contacts SAIAT employees to request contact information for SAIAT instructors and subject matter experts. This is declined.
December 2006: SAIAT Board Member and Solutus Partner Bill Galis resigns from the SAIAT Board.
January 3, 2006: SAIAT hires Carol Somers. She resigns from the SAIAT Board to join staff.
January 2006: Bill Galis signs a contract between Solutus Partners and TREO to provide consulting services. No disclosure is provided to SAIAT.
January 2006: Solutus Partners and TREO meet regularly.
February 15, 2007: SAIAT Board Members and Solutus Partners Rich McKinney and Dave Beveridge call for the immediate termination of the Executive Director with Rich McKinney to step in as his replacement. SAIAT Board Chair Vaughn Croft announces he will resign immediately if this occurs. It doesn't. Minutes
February 28, 2007: TREO instructs SAIAT staff to refer consulting business to Solutus Partners. Agenda Item #5
March 2, 2007: Vaughn Croft learns of the Solutus/TREO contract for the same outreach services designated in the SAIAT/TREO contract. By email Croft requests Solutus write a letter regarding a conflict of interest. Solutus does not respond. Croft sends follow up emails. There is no response.
March 9, 2007: Solutus Partner Rich McKinney emails TREO Vice-President Lee Smith asking for direction.
March 18, 2007: TREO Vice-President Lee Smith declares to Croft that no conflict of interest exists.
March 20, 2007: SAIAT legal council Pat Farrell declares there is a conflict of interest.
March 23, 2007: Dave Beveridge resigns from SAIAT Board.
March 25, 2007: Rich McKinney resigns from SAIAT Board.
May 15, 2007: Matt resigns as SAIAT Director.
Summer 2007: TREO cuts SAIAT FY 2008 funding to zero.
July 7, 2007: "Something Else" is published.
December 2007: SAIAT Operations close. The Solutus web site goes down. Solutus is removed from the TREO web site.
January 2008: Tucson Citizen reporter Teya Vitu is instructed to prepare a story on SAIAT and its closure. The High Tech guys say it didn’t promote the development of high tech companies. The Mayor says companies can just go to PCC. Teya chooses to kill the story.

Arizona’s rank in the United States in support for Education: 50

The journey from beginning to end happens by itself. The journey from end to beginning does not.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Twenty First Century Education



Thanks to Michael Bryan for posting this video. I stole the embed code outright. I don't think he'll be upset.

I'm up late working on a paper due Friday. I have never worked so hard on a single paper. Something Else was a lot of work, but on an effort per page, this sets a new record. I'll post a link to it as a pdf. Those having any interest can have a taste of what I REALLY do.

By the way, the paper is about education.

The title: Students as Resources: The Influence of State Appropriations on Public Higher Education Pricing Policies

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tsunami Tuesday AM - Making History

Tucson, Arizona. Your humble blogger froze his blogger butt this AM to collect signatures for his Congresswoman and get a pulse on the AM voter turnout. Leading indicators suggest the blue tsunami I forecast and desire. Now, I worked a poll at Wilmot and Speedway, which rests at the upper end of LD 28 and lower end of LD 26. I fruitfully collected signatures and from the addresses could tell I was on Gabrielle's turf. Lots of 2nd Street, 3rd Street, Rosewood, and other blue terrain. Present at the poll: a Barack Obama volunteer greeting voters and handing out stickers, a Barbara LaWall volunteer collecting signatures, and your humble blogger in his Giffords for Congress T-shirt and x4mr certified blogger badge, neither of which anyone saw because it was flipping freezing and both were concealed under my Mt. Everest coat.


What voters did see were the stickers shown prominently placed on said coat.

Democrats turned out in droves, probably four out of five. Even more interesting were the GOP voters that turned up. They did not look happy. Most interesting of all were several Republicans who approached us and confessed, "We can't sign your petitions because we are officially Republicans, but in our hearts we are Republicans no more. You can't have our signature, but you have our vote in November."

The hatred for the Bush administration is universal except for a small number of extremely angry right wingers, one of whom yelled at us when we asked if he was a registered democrat. The guy was young and filled with rage, "NO!! Am I breaking up your union meeting?!"

We said nothing in response. The Obama volunteer, a young, bright African American student at the university, the LaWall volunteer, and I just looked at each other. After the hate-monger left, we asked, "Who is he angry with?"

At least at this poll, both Giffords and Obama have cause to smile. Many of the Democrats eagerly signed the petitions and spoke quite favorably with the Obama volunteer, taking Obama stickers. Still, one could sense some Hillary sentiment.

The 2008 election, like Sunday's Super Bowl, will be one for the history books. The Super Bowl broke all ratings records and provided one of the best games ever seen. The brutal corruption, incompetence, and utter disregard for the welfare of this nation on the part of an evil administration that serves itself and its friends at extraordinary cost in both dollars and blood has brought this nation to the edge of a cliff.

We must nuke the GOP to oblivion. Show them no mercy, for they have none for us. That which is worthy will rise from the ashes.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Nightmare Unfolding

Tucson, Arizona. Regarding the mental health holocaust in our military, a meltdown as poorly recognized as the impending recession that will cripple this country, Mending Mutiliated Minds discusses EMDR and the treatment available.
Ninety Minutes documents the suicide epidemic.
Collateral Damage shows that veterans can crack in ways that take others with them.

Home of the Brave portrays with brutal accuracy what we are doing to our military. No language can capture my rage regarding the greedy demonic exploitation of patriotism for profit. In the service of war profiteers seeking personal gain at the expense of all others, our fine young men and women find themselves facing the mutilation of their bodies, their minds, and their lives.

Truth finds a way. It operates far more slowly than the just and moral desire, but it has a way of applying time and pressure. The power of truth is that it is true. It takes energy to support a lie. The truth just is.

CBS News took the lead in November and had another piece a few days ago. Just today, CNN broke a story that continues to add to the growing recognition of an accelerating epidemic. The truth finds a way.

In 50 years (assuming someone is still alive), Bush will have the esteem currently bestowed upon Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin, Mussolini, and Caligula.

On second thought, I take that back. Any survivors remaining on the planet in fifty years will have far more respect for the above despots than for an arrogant puppet so ignorant he believes his decisions are his own.


SOMETHING ELSE