Monday, May 30, 2011
This pic is the iconic and my forever favorite for Memorial Day. I had thought not to post it....it's become a bit cliche. But, it's classic, and it's necessary.
We should never forget the price our soldiers pay, lest we ask it of them too often.
Happy Memorial Day.
I found this great site by following Miles' blog lists. I would love for you to check it out. I must admit, I stole some of his stuff, for which I'm hugely thankful. But, it made me laugh. Irreverence at it's best!
Sunday, May 29, 2011
It is no secret that the Republican machine has targeted PBS as not only a "waste of American tax dollars but a biased and left leaning orgainazation". Well, it is likely difficult to define anything as such when "fox and friends" is the news source choice for republicans wanting to live in the party line. As most Americans, I occasionally watch news from a variety of sources - except the newspaper. In my town, it is a joke. Still, even still, I find that I typically receive the "headline" type of news -- 'if it bleeds, it leads' stuff. Real understanding and real news cannot be wrapped up in 2 minutes so the commercial can be played.
And, that my friends, is the diference between the network news organizations and PBS. The role of the network news in today's time is to enlighten a bit, entertain a bit, and sell product a lot. Okay, the purpose is to sell product. These are businesses, and like all business the goal is to create and maintain a happy customer. PBS has no real commercials. They have sponsors, of course. But, the sponsorship is in addition to the public money in the form of tax dollars and donations. The goal of PBS is not to sell product, it is to educate.
I realize this is all understood, and I'm probably simply telling you what you already know. I knew it too, and were it not for taking the moment to do a bit of searching for things about tornados, I would likely not have bothered going to the PBS page. I would be much the poorer for that. I have really enjoyed and come to better understand a great deal of the goings on in the world by these stories that aren't governed by needing to fit in between another advertisement for better living through chemicals and the fluff pieces that make everyone smile and believe all is well in the world.
So far tonight I've come to understand the role global warming does and does not play in the rash of tornados this year; the stability and lack there of in African countries; the reclaiming of blighted towns, and since I'm writing this before I've managed to see it all, who knows what's next. I also watched a neat short story told in first person by a veteran of WW2. I'm excited to actually learn about something with some depth.
Here is the link I am using: http://video.pbs.org/video/1954884553 but you could likely just use the pbs.org and go from there. It's truly a gold mine, and I feel much richer for my time spent there this today. -randy.
In my wanderings, I found myself reading this wonderful blog called "Jay in VA"
I love his attitude and his manner of being. He kept my interest and made me think and enjoy his stories and blog. I hope you will visit.
Jay made a post regarding taps. I again, encourage you to visit to read it. I am going to steal the words....did you know there are words? I didn't. Please see the whole post at the above link.
This link below will play the song.
Day is done,
gone the sun,
from the lakes
from the hills
from the sky,
all is well,
God is nigh.
Dims the sight,
And a star
gems the sky
Falls the night.
Thanks and praise,
For our days,
Neath the sun
Neath the stars
Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.
Not a lot to share with you today. You have found me eating my morning oatmeal....raisins and cinnamon, of course. I spent most of yesterday curled up with a book, the dog alternately up in my lap or on the floor....and if you think it's easy to read with a 65-lb dog in your lap, try it. It was warm, though.
Some time back I got into this epic by Terry Goodkind called The Sword of Truth series. I love these other world fantasies. It seems like the worse the life the better the hero. Don't we all need a hero? These books range from 350 to 1000 pages, and I'm starting the 6th of the series. So, it's had me enthralled for some time.
In the process of fighting the good fight, protagonist vs. antagonist, good vs. evil, I noticed that there were a whole load of little guys getting trampled. The evil portrayed upon the populace by the bad guy, the search for justice that just seemed to wind up causing multiple collateral damages.....and in the midst of it all is this populace that is most worried about crops, children, etc. The standard simple fare of living.
It made me think. Dictators ruling their people with an iron fist still, for the most part, allow them to live and be people. To a large extent, their lives aren't to the best they could be, but they are alive and living. I'm often wondering if these people, these little people who are stuck in the middle of these political nightmares, would simply prefer to be left alone to make their life as best as they can? Is riding to the rescue the best course? If the world does nothing when faced with tyranny is the populace more victimized or less?
I'm not advocating any sort of pacifism, so much as wondering at the cost of activism. When it all comes to the end, the little guy just wants to put beans on the table and feed/clothe/house/love his family and self. And, perhaps that can be translated to almost any issue: gay marriage is one that calls forth. Advocates can scream and holler, but when it comes to the end, people just want to live, love, and have a family. Where do these power mongers get off deciding other's lives for them? In a land of the "free", why is it even tolerated?
I say, sit down, shut up, and mind your own business. We'd do much better, I think, in the end.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Well, here is a cute guy to warm your hearts and other areas. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Friday, May 27, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
But, for the moment, let us imagine a world in which we had no fences to keep people out, no fences to keep them in. We held no religion of exclusion or of being "right" and therefore making other religions "wrong". Imagine a time we could love who we want, without someone hating us for loving another. Imagine the color of skin not being a point of fear, distrust, or even distaste, but a part of what makes one unique and beautiful. Imagine a world where love for your neighbor was not simply a catch phrase, but a way of life in which we really cared about people....and not just those people we can see, but those who live far away. Imagine a time where we didn't solve our conflicts with guns but with talk, with love, even agreeing to disagree and still love each other. Imagine a life that didn't need to be cut short so some dictator, president, or just a pompous bureaucrat wasn't flexing at the cost of a little one's life. Imagine....
We in America have been blessed, and perhaps cursed, to have lived without war on our shores.Maybe we are ignorant because the war torn live so far from us. Maybe we see our blessing and forget the cost out of simple expediency. Maybe war is simply an evil unavoidable in a world filled with people who court hate. But, imagine....
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Well, I had a good day yesterday. Got some clean up done, did some of the painting that I have to do, and managed to take care of the two beers I'd bought....I'll take care of the pizza tonight. I'm up, enjoying the morning as I look out my office windows; green grass vibrant in the spring joy-of-life, the birds flittering all about chirping about their territory, their aggression to invaders, their strength and their willingness to mate. ..... have you ever wondered that perhaps we should do things like animals? For instance, perhaps I'd do better if I could go stand in my front yard and yell at the top of my lungs: "This is my house. This is my house. You bad ones stay away. You bad ones stay away. Someone come have sex with me!" You have to wonder if it just wouldn't work better. Shoot, the way my life is going right now it couldn't work less than what I'm doing.
I found these two vids today and thought to share them. I hope you like these. The one is just a cute brother pair dancing. The second sort of talks about what we view as important. Enjoy.
Friday, May 20, 2011
I took a day off of work to try to get some house work done. Let's face it, I'm out of clothes and I can't find my kitchen counters.
But, another bonus of having a day off is I get to surf and look. This is a young star on the rise, for sure, and I found him through Milkboys and Skyclad Scribble. So, of course, visit them.
I was inrigued by this music for a couple of reasons: One, I've been working too much and not living. The song is all about living for today for tomarrow may not come. Laugh, love, play....and indeed in the background as he sings "I will die, but not today" we hear kids playing and laughing in the background. This says life to me, and was truly inspirational. It inspired me to post something today, if nothing more, and I'm smiling as I do this. Must be a great song.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
A couple pics to share with you. The first lands directly in the "awww" category, and the second in another category all together. When we look at the rights of individuals, they are truly rights, not things we have a difficult time getting our religion around. America is not governed by religion, but by a Constitution that states "all men are created equal". No where does it state that only those who are straight can be equal, or some are more equal than others, or you are only equal if you fall into this political group.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
When Scottie introduced me to the concept of "Net Neutrality" I had no idea what that meant, how it would effect me or the future of this internet. A great portion of that is layed out below. One of the things I think to be the most important part of this is the distribution of information. Look at the info coming out of Libya, Igaq, Egypt, Japan...and other examples I'm sure you could pull up. These are not the big publications and news organizations but people like you and me who see what is going on and want to tell the world. Look at the bias at Fox, and for that matter all news organizations that limit the stories and information they pass along for ideological and simple time/space considerations. If no internet, no info. It really comes down to the question of if a tree falls in the woods and no one sees it, did it fall - did it even exist? Did anyone care? And, yep, you guessed it, this has nothing to do with trees, per~se.
I have to tell you, Al Frankin was not one of my favoirite people. He seemed a bit too far to the left for me. But, he has repeatedly taken up the fight while others have sat on their duff and puff. Do I agree with him every time he opens his mouth? No, but then as I've said before, I find that I don't really agree with myself, even, given a bit of time. I thank Mr. Karr for calling this out. I'm glad someone cares.
Timothy Karr.Campaign Director, Free Press and SavetheInternet.com http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timothy-karr/al-franken-makes-senate-s_b_857978.html
Sen. Al Franken took to the Senate floor late Wednesday to call on his colleagues to reject a House effort to take away our most basic Net Neutrality freedoms.
Last month, a Republican-led House voted on a "resolution of disapproval" that would strip the FCC of any authority to safeguard freedom of speech and freedom of choice on the Internet.
The House vote was a mistake, Sen. Franken said in an impassioned speech before an empty chamber. He vowed to fight the resolution (H.J. Res. 37) when it's taken up by fellow senators.
Net Neutrality "is a fundamental design principle" put in place at the inception of the Internet to ensure that everyone had equal access to information online, and that the network would foster innovation and ideas.
"We want to preserve that," Franken said, adding that Net Neutrality rules ensure "that the Internet that we know and love does not become corrupted and altered by a small number of large corporations controlling the last free and open distribution channel we have in this country."
A Diverse Net Neutrality Movement
After his speech, Franken received 87,000 letters from Free Press activists (including 2,000 Minnesotans) opposing the House's effort to undo the FCC's open Internet rules.
"I am confident that as more Americans realize what is at stake here, that we will hear from more and more constituents who will ask us to protect them from a corporate takeover of the Internet," he said.
To stop H.J. Res. 37 in the Senate, we need at least 50 other senators to join Franken's defense of online rights.
Net Neutrality used to be a bipartisan issue that seemed obvious to everyone, Franken said, citing past support from Senate Republicans, presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and groups as diverse as the Christian Coalition, MoveOn.org and the Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Keeping the Internet's Most Basic Principle
"This is not a radical concept," Franken said yesterday, "but the House wants to change all of that and effectively turn control of the Internet over to a handful of very powerful corporations."
Franken gave credit to Net Neutrality opponents, "who have done a masterful job of manipulation the American public into believing that Net Neutrality is something that it is not."
"Net Neutrality is not about a 'government takeover of the Internet,'" he said. "That is 180 degrees opposite of the truth."
Franken was referring to a recent speech by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who said that the "new majority in the House is committed to using every tool at our disposal to fight a government takeover of the Internet."
Citizens United, Net Neutrality and Corporate Spin
Net Neutrality is the fundamental idea that we all should be able to connect to one another and all of the websites on the Internet... that our network provider should only provide us with a connection and get out of our way. Net Neutrality rules are a light regulatory touch to keep these freedoms in place.
This concept was baked into the Internet's DNA at its inception, and is the reason it grew to become a powerful engine of free speech, equal opportunity and economic innovation.
Despite that, Franken expressed concern about the power that corporations wield in Washington to spin such an obvious benefit into something sinister.
"We have always known that large corporations have the power to influence elections. And then last year, the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United took a situation that was already terrible and made it worse, much worse," he said.
"Now AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner and Comcast can spend unlimited amounts of money to support the candidate, candidates or campaigns that they care the most about, or to try to weaken or kill Net Neutrality."
Fighting Corporate Money with People Power
AT&T alone spent $15.3 million on campaign contributions in one year and employed more than 90 full-time lobbyists to influence Congress. Its contributions to PR firms like Arts & Labs, Astroturf front groups like Americans for Prosperity, and coin-operated think tanks like the Phoenix Center are designed to insulate legislators with a false sense of consensus regarding its policy objectives.
"How can American consumers stuck with rising cable, Internet and cell phone bills ever be expected to counter that type of lobbying power?" Franken asked.
Last year, as the FCC was deciding on the Net Neutrality rules now in question, more than two million Americans sent letters to Washington urging elected officials and the FCC "to stand with the public by protecting Net Neutrality once and for all."
As more Americans voice their concerns about this new threat to the Internet, we must make certain that our senators hear us before it's too late.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Sorry for the drought in my postings. I've been a bit down for a while, haven't had much to share. Nothing really wrong, but right now I'm not feeling too much that's really right either. So, I guess I'll just try to relax and wait for the moment to pass and for me to find my way again.
Here is a young man recent to the net waves. He's got a great voice, and he's a cute little bugger, too. Please watch for more to come from this one: Rolan Parke!