February 17, 2007

“Bloom where you are planted”? Not always the best analogy

What if you start with a different biological analogy, by viewing yourself as a spore, rather than a flowering plant? Spores can survive not just extremes in temperature and such, but even high doses of radiation.

They do this while remaining dormant. Then, when conditions are right, they lose their protective coat and take off.


“Bloom when and where it’s right to plant yourself. Until then, be safe and survive.”

TXU chickens out on debate

After accusing Environmental Defense over misleading ads about its plan for more coal-fired electric power plants, TXU got hoist by its own petard when ED regional head Jim Marston said, in essence, “You’re right.” Sending letters back and forth isn’t too productive, so let’s have a live debate.

TXU said, uhhh, no thanks.

February 16, 2007

Gay-bashing not enough for Warren Chisum

Now, it’s evolution as a product of Kabbalah and Pharaisees

Chism, one of the biggest rectal irritants in the Texas Legislature, used House operations to recycle bilge from a Georgia state representative, Ben Bridges, which said:
Indisputable evidence – long hidden but now available to everyone – demonstrates conclusively that so-called ‘secular evolution science’ is the Big Bang, 15-billion-year, alternate 'creation scenario' of the Pharisee Religion.

Bridges also had a link to a website describing Albert Einstein and Carl Sagan as “Kabbalists.”

Chism next “spun” what he had did as nothing but a “courtesy” to Bridges.

We know that he lies on any red-meat social issue before the Lege. What’s different this time?

Steve and Tommy just won’t give up on The Preserve

They filed a new zoning application Feb. 12.

Don’t worry, Steve, I’ll find a way to keep you afraid of me from 200 miles away. Besides, without Namon running flack for you, you’re dead in the water already.

February 15, 2007

If you want to see what’s up in Far South Lancaster:

The Examiner’s website is here.

Why John Amaechi’s “coming out” IS important

Even if there is an element of “sensationalism,” or at least of book marketing, behind it, that doesn’t diminish its importance.

He’s the first former NBA player to disclose that he’s gay, first of all.

Second, within the small ring of former male professional athletes who have announced they are gay, he’s the first black athlete I can recall, even if being British keeps him from being “African-American.”

Third, aside from the blocking and tackling of the NFL, the small court, the type of uniforms, the small team size, etc., all make NBA athletes, in many ways, the most intimately connected team players, in my opinion.

Fourth, and to get down to brass tacks, speaking of African-Americans: The NBA has the largest percentage of such athletes of any American professional sports.

To generalize, but not to stereotype, blacks, especially black men, seem to have the biggest problems/issues/hang-ups with homosexuality of any ethnic group. Witness the problems with gay sex on the “down low” among black men.

Also witness the hugely homophobic reaction of a former black NBA player like Tim Hardaway.

So, sorry to those who think this isn’t a big deal, including those who have told me that —

You’re wrong. Sadly.

February 14, 2007

OS X frustration watch: screensavers

I can’t run any of my National Park DVD screensavers from my Finley-Holiday DVDs on OS X. It doesn’t even recognize them, and when I click on them, it wants to launch Classic.

This much “discontinuity” between operations software, if it weren’t real, would sound like something coming out of Redmond, Wash., and I know all you unskeptical Mac addicts know who lives there.

Valentine’s Day thoughts on love, relationships and singlehood

I’m going to start by throwing out my idea of what intimate love involves, what its basis is.

I think it includes trust, nurturing emotional sharing and literacy in that, communication in general, emotional and psychological honesty, intrapersonal and interpersonal integrity, growth of each individual and growth together as lovers, sharing in all the things I just mentioned, a certain degree of common values, world viewpoints, ideas, and ideals, and touching, sensuality and more in the way of various types of physical affection.

It is not lust, infatuation or falling in love.

Now, all that said, being single is not all it’s cracked up to be. Especially for men. From a purely utilitarian point, being married adds several years to the average man’s life.

That said, in turn, regular readers and friends may recognize (closer friends should recognize) that for much of my life, being and staying single was not usually a conscious choice. To the degree the choice itself was conscious, the reasons why I was choosing singleness were unconscious ones, including fear of perpetuating old childhood family dysfunctions, fear for my own emotional and psychological safety (I learned at a very young age the safety value of being alone), and even deeper reasons that are more personal and not being shared here. These “drives” weren’t conscious.

So, at the age of 43 and no relationships of more than one year, I have what I call “past history,” and that other people might, or have, called “old baggage.” (To the degree I’m not only conscious of it but conscious of and working on its past causes, it isn’t “old baggage,” just as the degree to which I’m aware of a need and desire for more emotional depth isn’t “old baggage” either.)

Besides, without trying to be terminally single or terminally unique, I know who I am looking for, as far as a general “profile” of common emotional personality, and common interests, values, etc. And my “match list” isn’t the broadest in the world.

Now, back to the main theme of this post. I recognize that to continually be in, or trying to continue to develop, a good love relationship, with that giving and receiving I mentioned above, involves some degree of mental, emotional and psychological work. I don’t have a problem with that, and am ready to do that work, should I get the opportunity to do so. That said, I guess I’m a bit wary if someone heavily stresses the “work” of a relationship, especially fairly early, or even pre-relationship.

To me, a job and career analogy perfectly describes my thoughts. There’s the old cliché that says, “Find what you like to do and you won’t have to work.” While it’s idealistic, it certainly has a fair-sized grain of truth.

So, , if you can find who to do be yourself with, it shouldn’t be so much work, either. Yes, a relationship is more complicated than a job. But, a relationship, or even the idea of one, can be overcomplicated, too, I say from my somewhat limited experience.

In conclusion, consider this a personals ad on my own personal site. Click the link to my profile near the top right, if you’re interested. I’m reasonably ready, and looking, to share myself and be myself with the right person.

I’m asking. For more on asking, see this post.

Good attitudes, good works, in Far South Lancaster schools

Far South Lancaster High School students did well in local-area competition for the National Day of History program. In fact, several had projects or papers specifically on civil rights issues, such as the Little Rock Nine who integrated Central High, and another entitled “Mama Don’t Like Them Klan Boys.”

February 13, 2007

Bernie Sanders: the “socialist” who really isn’t

And isn’t even close

Leave it to Ted Rall to get to the heart of the matter.
Even Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-described socialist, went along with the Republocratic mob. Sanders serves as yet another hollow symbol of the system's supposed openness to unorthodox politics. Sanders plays a socialist on TV, but he also voted for a Bush-backed resolution supporting the troops as they invaded Iraq.
He has neither joined the Socialist Party nor promoted socialist views.

A real socialist would do things, beyond Iraq, or even possibly winding down the Afghanistan war, would do things like:
1. Get a COLA on the minimum wage bill. (I can’t believe even the Green Party, in its call to support this legislation, missed out, before the new Congress started, on issuing the call for a COLA.
2. Go beyond current calls to ease check-off unionization drives, to giving unions more say over corporate pension fund investments, union reps more opportunities to sit on corporate boards of directors, etc.
3. Actually say more than he has about NAFTA, WTO, etc.

February 12, 2007

Biggest birthday day of the year?

Two birthdays, neither likely to be uncritically celebrated in Far South Lancaster

The first, of course, is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

(It is my personal conviction, both as a Lincoln buff and a dedicated amateur historian, that April 12, 1865, is the worst day in American history. Far, far worse than 9/11; worse, indeed than Pearl Harbor.

His death, and the bumbling, arrogant incompetence of Andrew Johnson, wrecked Reconstruction and removed the would-be elder statesman of the Republican Party to guide Grant from 1869 onward, assuming that he would have been elected to follow Lincoln.)

The second controversial birthday?

The favorite “friend” of many fundamentalists, one Charles Darwin.

Why is physical evolution so much more offensive than the idea of cultural or social evolution?

February 11, 2007

YouTube/Google censors atheist?

So much for Google’s legendary open-mindedness. Is Google actually afraid of something?

Sorry, Hillary, you can’t lie your way out of your Iraq war vote of 2002

Here’s your link to Sen. Hillary Clinton supporting “with conviction” Bush’s desire to use force against Iraq.

My take is that, ultimately, she is hoist by Bill's petard.

Would Bill have done what W did? Possibly. He had contingency plans drawn up back in 1998, right? And was ready to use them, right?
In 1998, the United States also changed its underlying policy toward Iraq from containment to regime change and began to examine options to effect such a change, including support for Iraqi opposition leaders within the country and abroad.

Hillary couldn't have been ignorant of that.

So, there’s only so far she can go toward trying to look like a real liberal on this issue.

That said, here's a link to her complete Senate floor speech of Oct. 10, 2002, supporting the use of force.

One quote:
So it is with conviction that I support this resolution as being in the best interests of our nation. (Emphasis added.)

She then, after her previous schwaffling on unilateral action vs. seeking the U.N. resolution, etc., makes clear after this point, that if push comes to shove, she supports unilateral action after all, in my opinion.
If we try and fail to get a resolution that simply, but forcefully, calls for Saddam's compliance with unlimited inspections, those who oppose even that will be in an indefensible position.

She later claims that’s not what she means:
My vote is not, however, a vote for any new doctrine of pre-emption, or for unilateralism, or for the arrogance of American power or purpose.

What’s the difference between pre-emption and an ultimatum that’s designed to push buttons? Not much.

She then says she is comfortable with Bush’s efforts:
President Bush's speech in Cincinnati and the changes in policy that have come forth since the Administration began broaching this issue some weeks ago have made my vote easier.

Nice try, Hillary.

I WILL vote Green if you’re nominated. With conviction.