mousemusings...multimedia, music, progressive politics, video, web design and general rants
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Oh Sh*t!

My first reaction.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Homeland Security?

I just have to ask what Homeland Security actually does. It obviously isn't securing the homeland. The Army Core of Engineers are not simply the decorative wallpaper that this administration thinks they are. When they recommend a project, leaving it half done is often worse than not having done a thing.
In 2001, FEMA warned that a hurricane striking New Orleans was one of the three most likely disasters in the U.S. But the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war.
New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars. (Much of the research here is from Nexis, which is why some articles aren't linked.)

In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain [ more ]
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Opposition Party?

Does this not f**ing tell them something??
Further down, in the same article, 39% favor withdrawal. Given more information, more real facts, I have no doubt this number will be climbing fast.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Soliciting Comments

Do we really want an FDA gynecologist who doesn't know which hole is which, dictating our usage of emergency contraception?

If it's an age argument that's holding back a decision, I think there are other OTC drugs not recommended for certain ages, like ummm, aspirin for instance. That's off the top of my head, but I know there are many others.
Unprecedented, yeah right.

Yes, we can bet all the anti-sex people are innundating the FDA with comments at this very moment. Theology is not within the domain of the FDA yet. Let them know we expect them to do their job. Because our emergency rooms, for some reason, are not equipped to deal with emergency contraception, especially for the poor, wouldn't it be prudent to equip women themselves with the resources and the decisions? I think we are smart enough to deal with it.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

It's Past Time

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Not So Intelligent Designs

The first time on record that household income has failed to increase
for five straight years

Pat Robertson: 'You're supposed to be nice to Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Methodists ... Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist.' Thanks Michael!

Twenty Things We Now Know
Four Years After 9/11

Dumping of US dollar could trigger 'economic September 11'
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Intelligent Designs

Christian Caper
~by Stew Albert

Pot Shots
Doing the Right Thing, Even If You are Fearful
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Camp Casey Blogs & Photos

Strength and inspiration. Touching and motivating. Power of unity.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Nurture, Nature, Crafting a New Society

Human Nature, an unscientific survey.
Dave Pollard asks, "If, because of cataclysmic war, disease, act of terrifying violence, economic collapse, or natural disaster, a large part of the planet, including the part where you live now, were to suffer a massive, gradual, and sustained collapse of infrastructure, law and order, what percentage of the population do you think would do each of the following:" The choices are on his page.

I know my answers were optimistic but I tend to think that in a crunch, humans are resourceful, helpful and that a good percentage of us are reasonable. I also believe that if the US were to leave Iraq immediately, stop the occupation and provide funding and expertise to fix what we broke (to put it mildly), the Iraqis are more than capable of crafting their own society, albeit not our vision of what we would like to see. How they rebuild is going to tell us a lot about ourselves and what we might do if faced with similar conditions.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Blogger Ate It.

There was a post here. There isn't now.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, August 29, 2005


The wind knocked down trees and power lines, smashed windows and sent roof tiles Flying in the historic French Quarter of the low-lying city.
I was listening to the news and someone reported the oil pipelines looked like 20 miles of Spaghetti.
This is a catastrophic Monster
I would expect that the pirate fish have been washed in with the storm surge and are looking for non-believers.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

When the Flying Spaghetti Monster Encounters a Bubble, Does it Pop?

I'm short on time today. I think it's penance.
Regardless, here, The WaPo pays homage to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, while Paul Krugman looks inside the bubble that Greenspan helped create. Americans make a living by selling each other houses, paid for with money borrowed from China.
My penance shouldn't be lengthy considering I'm debt free and I like Ragu.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Alternative Living Spaces: Life in a Yurt

Yes, I am absolutely serious. This article only makes me want to do it sooner than later.
So, what do you do if pursuing your art means you need to live on less?

One way to cut expenses is to find alternative living situations. One that's gaining popularity is the yurt. A yurt is a glorified tent. It's a form a traditional housing in Mongolia. In the U.S., most yurts have wood latticework walls covered in canvas or canvas-like material, a center dome with wood beams radiating out from the dome to the lattice walls. People live in yurts from Alaska to Arizona and here's why.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Did Robertson say Chavez Should Be Nailed to a Cross?

In Venezuela over 80 percent of the population lives below the poverty level. Before Chavez, most of the poor had never seen a doctor or dentist. Their children never went to school, since they could not afford the annual fees. The market "adjustments" of the 1980s and 1990s only made things worse, cutting social spending and eliminating subsidies in consumer goods. Successive Administrations did nothing about the rampant corruption and nothing about the growing gap between rich and poor, the growing malnutrition and desperation.
Far from ruining the country, here are some of the good things the Chavez government has accomplished
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Bush's legacy

"Fortunately, after years of effort and expectations in Iraq, an Islamic
state has come to power and the constitution has been established on the basis of Islamic precepts".

I wonder if he can accomplish something similar in the US?
Accountability? No accountability.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, August 26, 2005

Who'll mind the mainframes?

Few students are learning to run decidedly unsexy, but vital, systems
Big companies still love mainframes. Unlike desktop PCs, these machines are designed to deliver near-perfect reliability. They can be repaired or upgraded while still running, and their software is vastly more stable and reliable than that found on desktop machines. In addition, mainframes use massive data channels that let them process immense amounts of information. This makes them perfect for banks, airlines, or any organization that must track millions of transactions.

Another strength of mainframes is ''virtualization," the ability of one large machine to act like hundreds of small computers. ''You can run multiple workloads and multiple applications together on the same box, sharing resources," said IBM mainframe marketing director Mike Bliss. For instance, mainframes can run the popular Linux operating system as well as any desktop machine.

I would add that space and power requirements involved in maintaining a server farm is another reason mainframes are not going to die. If you ever wanted to drive a muscle car from the 60's, this one uses very little fuel.

The article also states: "But with few colleges offering mainframe courses, most young people aren't prepared for the complexity of mainframes. ''Very rarely do you see a new hire that's directly out of college," he said."

True, I haven't seen a college course for mainframes, but the complexity is overstated. It would take very little for a young student with a background in computer science to get up to speed.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Slimy George

My porch light attracts some strange creatures. Occasionally when I come home late at night there is a bug quite similar to the one pictured, except slightly larger, who has seen fit to terrorize me by attaching himself to my screendoor. When I see him, I dig into my glovebox, pull out my flashlight, and go inside through a different door. Before I left on my trip I described him to a couple friends and they laughed because I was afraid of a bug.

I was reading Discover magazine whilst on my trip and found his picture inside. What I saw made me even more afraid. His name is George W. Bush! He is a slime mold beetle. What a fitting name. My friends aren't laughing now. They know a visit by Slimy George W. Bush, in either form, would be an act of terrorism.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


It isn't something I have the capability of doing myself (yet?), though it's always been a dream, but watching Bob put this into motion and succeed is nothing short of elation for me. Congratulations Bob! I hope you jumpstarted a movement.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

It's Time to Make the Iraq War Personal

by Ralph Nader
who must have been listening to these lyrics:
"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in"
-Leonard Cohen
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Power of Zero

Spontaneous wandering,
flowing into nothing
yet listening
to the steps along the way
creates a full circle

tangential, associative
woven mindfully into
A powerful read
of rich meandering and poverty of heart.

Corpus Callosum adds up the many ways we are robbing the cradle. Listen, wander and weep.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Feral Scholar

Must read, think and then act!
Stan Goff writes:
There are three things that occur to me as being related, and I make no promise to describe that relation in any depth… only to suggest some connections and solicit more collective wisdom.

(1) The UFPJ/ANSWER decision to conduct a joint action on September 24th.
(2) The role of in Cindy Sheehan’s action in Crawford, TX.
(3) Tom Hayden’s proposed “exit strategy” from Iraq.

The most important task over the next month – at least from where I am standing – is to use the momentum created by the Cindy Sheehan breakthrough at Crawford to ramp up the largest possible demonstration against the war for September 24th in Washington DC. Psuedo-leftist “exit strategies,” blaming Republicans for the war (instead of the entire dominant class), or trying to turn this into a recruiting opportunity for small leftist sects, are obstacles to this process. Turning this war into a political liability will do more for every form of resistance to imperialism in every location around the world, as well as the internal colonies of the US, than all the policy fights or all of the pristinely perfect left-maximalist programs in the world.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

New drug reverses effects of sleep deprivation on brain

Nope, it's not Modafinil..
This new drug would be a breakthrough in helping shift workers, health professionals, military personnel and others who must function at top performance in spite of sleep deficits.

The drug, known as an ampakine, is designed to target AMPA receptors that are located throughout the brain. These receptors are part of the cellular communication process that involves the neurotransmitter glutamate. The drug prolongs the action of glutamate, allowing more effective communication. Because the drug acts differently from caffeine and other stimulants, it does not seem to result in side effects such as hyperactivity, distorted thinking or extended wakefulness.

"It's possible that ampakines could also be used to enhance other cognitive deficits, such as occur in Alzheimer's disease, after a stroke or other forms of dementia," Deadwyler said.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Small Collection of the Lunatic's Quotations

Read those and remember this one:
"It's clear from the teachings of the Koran and also from the history of Islam that it's anything but peaceful,"

I have to question what teachings Robertson is following.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Pat Robertson calls for assassination of Hugo Chavez

I really just don't have the words.

Who elected Pat Robertson as ANYTHING? His god status had better be reduced to complete and total invisibility and I don't ever want to hear his voice again.
If anything happens to Chavez we can be certain of many things and the first would be of the evil we will bow and cater to.
Spreading democracy my ass! Democracy doesn't seem to exist.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Congratulations to Dennis Kucinich and Elizabeth Harper

The next time Rep. Dennis Kucinich runs for office, the Democrat won't be able to celebrate bachelorhood.

Kucinich, who's single status made headlines during his long-shot 2004 presidential campaign, married Elizabeth Harper on Sunday before about 250 guests outside City Hall, where he once worked as mayor.

"It was a lovely ceremony, and the congressman really wanted to do this in the heart of Cleveland," said his spokesman, Doug Gordon. [ more photos here ]

I like the image I have of her as First Lady.
UPDATE: Get to know more about Elizabeth Harper Kucinich through 3 video interviews with her. Imagine her as first lady. I think you'll also like the image.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, August 22, 2005

Democrats Split Over Position on Iraq War (WP)

"Democrats say a long-standing rift in the party over the Iraq war has grown increasingly raw in recent days, as stay-the-course elected leaders who voted for the war three years ago confront rising impatience from activists and strategists who want to challenge President Bush aggressively to withdraw troops."

It's time to make that rift a clean break.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday Mixture

An Interview with Tom Hayden
The People Must Demand Peace


A little bit of Farm History:
Follow Me Here has a Farmers Almanac and Bruce Eisner has The Farm, Intentional Community and Memories of a Monday Night Class

I ran across the complete transcription of the book Monday Night Class
Someone went to a lot of work to transcribe the book. Odd that they didn't include the title of the book and they got his last name wrong.(Gaskin, Gaskell, I wonder if he cares?) Maybe in 1966 it didn't have a title. I have a copy of the third printing which was revised in March 1971 with a copyright of Book Farm, 1970
My copy only says it was written by Stephen. No last name, but we knew who taught Monday Night Class.


What's Your Thinking Style?

Your Dominant Thinking Style: Visioning

You are very insightful and tend to make decisions based on your insights.
You focus on how things should be - even if you haven't worked out the details.

An idealist, thinking of the future helps you guide your path.
You tend to give others long-term direction and momentum.

Your Secondary Thinking Style: Exploring

You thrive on the unknown and unpredictable. Novelty is your middle name.
You are a challenger. You tend to challenge common assumptions and beliefs.

An expert inventor and problem solver, you approach everything from new angles.
You show people how to question their models of the world.

Flickr Tag Fight

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz



breathing waves of silent words
tasting the scent of windblown hair
as it dusts the shores in moonlight
we listen to the color of song
weeping a stanza of mystery
stroked thickly
upon a rumpled canvas

transparency seeping
lost in a crevice
rhythmically revealing unexplored landscapes
a universe exposed
on the rim of a new planet

we knew newness

Imagine, whispers no thing,
the being of one
with the presence of another

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Headline on WorldNetDaily:

'Left of left' in Congress writes Bush on Sheehan
John Conyers, Barbara Lee plus 3 dozen Democrats urge president to meet Cindy

Among other well-known names who co-signed the letter are Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, Jerrold Nadler of New York, and Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters of California.

John Conyers: "The president has been filmed bicycling around the neighborhood and he has personally attested to spending time fishing and attending little-league baseball games. ... Keep in mind, also, that White House press secretary Scott McClellan recently proclaimed about the president's vacation in Crawford, that 'Spending time outside Washington gives the president a fresh perspective of what's on the minds of the American people. It's a time, really, for him to shed the coat and tie and meet with folks out in the heartland and hear what's on their minds.' Possibly, you may have to actually talk to people to find out what's on their mind."

Not a bad article. There are some good links in it too. When I first saw the headline I expected there would be some lefty bashing but I think it makes those "Left of Left" look downright admirable. Perhaps some of the lefty values are finally becoming the mainstream values and attempts at defining derogatory labels such as "Left" or even "Liberal" will be seen for the hateful propaganda they are.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, August 20, 2005 A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments - The Living Desert

Yes, this will be in my links too, but it screamed to be featured here. Everything about this site is delicious.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, August 19, 2005

Protest is Patriotism

Protest is Patriotism is based in Ann Arbor MI but wishes to serve everyone in the protest movement. We serve as a place for local groups to sell bus tickets, post articles, run news letters and organize. Our goal is to increase turn out at national protests. We help run busses, organize housing, rides and medics. We network with local and national groups on many progressive issues. We do back or side with any other group; we simply wish to get as many people as possible to and from protests safely.

Buy your bus ticket online Round trip from Ann Arbor
or, for $3.00 less, which could be enough to make a decent protest sign,
By Mail
Clicking on the link with the bus at the top of my sidebar will also take you here once this post scrolls down. Make your plans now for Septemebr 24th!
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Uh Oh!

Will Mark Morford singlehandedly bring down the largest adult goods store you now know exists? I want to think he's right when he says: "Sex toys, like much of the porn biz in general, have gone mainstream. They have been normalized. There is no more guilt. There is no more fear and uptight sexual dread and nonsensical, ignorant cries of who, pray who, will save the children. There is only titillation and tingling skin and the big, wide grins of satisfied customers."

For some reason, when I try to wave my Hitachi magic wand to see into the future, all I see is someone wearing a shirt that says 'sex toy police' wrestling it from me.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

For Ass Clown

In the comments of this post Ass Clown wrote:
I seem to be an "intraverted intuitive" according to psychology. I get the gist of 'complex systems' and I especially like emergence, but on the other hand I often can't follow details and frequently get spaced out so essentially my point is "who cares?" It just is.

I find I'm having an especially hard time getting myself back to into blogging mode since I've returned from my trip. The post referenced above was written before I left and instead of responding in the comments, I suppose responding in a new post is as good a way as any to get back into blogging mode. I don't expect that Ass Clown will return to read it, but it is something that's been on my mind.

Who Cares? It just is.

Ass Clown actually has good company. In this article, Why great minds can't grasp consciousness, David Chalmers says something similar:

Just accept it.
According to Chalmers, the subjective nature of consciousness prevents it from being explained in terms of simpler components, a method used to great success in other areas of science. He believes that unlike most of the physical world, which can be broken down into individual atoms, or organisms, which can be understood in terms of cells, consciousness is an irreducible aspect of the universe, like space and time and mass.

Susan Greenfield disagrees:
"It's the last resort, because what can you possibly do with that idea? You can't prove it or disprove it, and you can't test it. It doesn't offer an explanation, or any enlightenment, or any answers about why people feel the way they feel."

For Greenfield, a conscious experience occurs when a stimulus -- either external, like a sensation, or internal, like a thought or a memory -- triggers a chain reaction within the brain. Like in an earthquake, each conscious experience has an epicenter, and ripples from that epicenter travels across the brain, recruiting neurons as they go.

Mind and consciousness are connected in Greenfield's theory because the strength of a conscious experience is determined by the mind and the strength of its existing neuronal connections -- connections forged from past experiences.

For me it's like looking at an unassembled puzzle. Sometimes I can walk past it and say, "it just is" and other times I'm compelled to open the box and play with the pieces. The puzzle of consciousness, the ultimate complex system, layers of ideas, sparks and connections, intuition. Linear thought is tedious and almost boring for me. Attention occasionally scatters into clarity when I least expect it.

Who cares?

Anyone who finds scattered patterns fascinating. Technology, innovation, creativity, all are furthered by ideas that come from somewhere. Even if we can't find where that 'somewhere' is, by playing with the pieces, not dismissing them, we can possibly find a way to enhance and colorize them. Bruce Eisner cares and often has some great resources on his page.

I care because I want to find that sense of place. I want to understand where my strengths come from and use them well. When the scattered pieces are a part of you, you want to put them together. Sometimes they lead to a bigger puzzle. It's never boring, though often it's frustrating enough to stand back and say, 'it just is'. Standing back is often quite useful. How many time have you awakened after a nights sleep and known the answer to that elusive problem that was bothering you? It happens to me regularly. (especially with those tedious linear problems)

Innovation, new technology, alternatives to our wasteful living habits, and efficiency also need to find where the pieces fit and put them together creatively. Learning how we know what we know and acting on that buried knowledge are ways we can become better humans.

It's understood that "it just is" is an integral piece of the whole, but it can never be the whole. Human nature doesn't allow for complete serenity.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Music and Emotion

A link to this very short NYT article about Music and Emotion was in my mailbox. (thanks Frank!)
The topic was on my mind today so it's quite timely. My time is limited at the moment, but, reading it immediately tripped a memory of Craig telling me if he took Prozac or Paxil, music gradually became flat and not worth listening to, therefore the drug wasn't worth taking to him. I've heard that very same description from others. I thought it might make an interesting discussion. Has anyone else experienced a loss of musical emotion after taking an anti-depressant?
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Survival in the Desert

For me it's more like thriving in the desert. I had a great trip and I'm back home adjusting to the lack of sunlight and an excess of humidity. I'll be back to more regular blogging in a day or so. I have some photos on my flickr page if you're interested.

Cindy Sheehan is quite obviously contending with some toasty weather conditions as well as some testy wingnuts. Crawford is not unlike desert climate if I recall correctly. I am happy to see support for her growing by the hour.

Ask this guy how tough it is to spend time in the desert sun.

Four days with a broken hip!

survived 4 days in the desert
Jones is recovering from a broken hip and leg suffered when he was thrown off a horse on a ranch near Cotton City Saturday. Leslie crawled slowly through the desert for four days, surviving on rainwater he collected in his cowboy hat and thoughts of his wife and daughter, he said.

Through the years, Jones has seen and heard of people who survive extraordinary circumstances. He remembered hearing about a climber in Utah who was pinned by a 1,000-pound boulder for five days and eventually amputated his own arm.

He never imagined he would be a survivor himself.

Jones’ journey on the ranch was filled with uncertainty and fear. He never knew if each night out in the desert would be his last and his worst fear came true several times — encounters with rattlesnakes.

Let's hope Cindy's encounters with snakes soon find them slithering back to their holes.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


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