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
Friday, September 30, 2005

Allowing our intuition freedom beyond, and unrestricted by imagination, is one incredible ever-expanding dimension of freedom.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, September 29, 2005

We're Gonna Live in the Trees

Guess what? I've spoken to Norm
We're gonna live in the trees
Dirty air will be transformed
We're gonna live in the trees

Renewable Energy Basics

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

To the Cronies go the Spoils by Gene Lyons

"Historically a pragmatic people resistant to abstract ideology, Americans want" actors" who resolve the nation’s problems, not thespians. Many are waking to the reality that a one-party Republican regime has left us stuck with a government of ideologues and cronies who, when things get tough, sound awfully like Marxist apparatchiks chanting the party line".

...) "The Bush administration’s fundamental problem is that it has substituted ideology for practicality and loyalty for competence at every turn. It’s running the country like a business, all right. Unfortunately, that business is Enron, combining fantastical theories and astonishing greed."

...) "Even worse than its reliance upon abstract ideology has been the White House’s remarkable inability to admit error. Partly due to its Republican-style political correctness, partly to the cult of personality surrounding Bush himself—his fabled 'gut instincts' were supposed to make up for his manifest intellectual shortcomings—the administration finds it almost impossible to adjust to altered circumstances. They’ve created their own reality all right. Alas, the rest of us have to live there, too."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Music Horizons on PBS

Thankee Elayne! Now if I only had a Ti-Vo.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wrath, in the name of a Vengeful God

Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'

The paper, published in the Journal of Religion and Society, a US academic journal, reports: “Many Americans agree that their churchgoing nation is an exceptional, God-blessed, shining city on the hill that stands as an impressive example for an increasingly sceptical world.
“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies. Mahablog's post; More Religion = More Violence?, explores the idea further asking, "Are we a screwy nation because of religion, or are we a religious nation because we are screwy?"

I tend to think that Christianity is often used as a form of social identification (as G. D. Frogsdong recently encountered) and as a means to validate ideas and actions that allow for overlooking simple humanity. If God is a vengeful God, then it's ok to be vengeful ourselves. It allows for whatever a prescribed religion states as sinful to be clouded in wrath without further thoughfulness. Screwy, indeed.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

And so he explains...

Senator Carl Levin's Senate Floor Statement on His Vote in Favor of the Confirmation of Judge John G. Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thank you John Conyers

John Conyers letter to the Park Service, questioning the procedures surrounding the arrest of the anti-war protesters. John Conyers blog, questiong the remaining insulation on the wheels of the GOP.
Me, questioning why we even have to question anymore but very happy someone of Conyer's stature is doing it.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Kneel Before The Meteorologist

by Mark Morford
"Can you imagine, after five years of bashing all the natural and finite sciences (and most of the arts and humanities, as a cute bonus), from stem cell research to evolutionary science to climate change to water quality to air pollution to turning the EPA into an impotent laughingstock, Bush has to actually sit his butt down and listen as some gul-dang scientist tells him he has to batten down the hatches and prepare his threadbare emergency teams to actually take care of -- ick -- poor people? He must despise it the way cats despise showers."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Things on my Mind

Levin to support Roberts' nomination to Supreme Court

Consumer sentiment and new homes both tumble, pointing to a slowdown in economic growth ahead.

"George W. Bush will go down in history as the president who fiddled while America lost its superpower status."
..."Compared to US budget and trade deficits, terrorists are a minor concern. The greatest danger that the US faces is the dollar's loss of reserve currency role. This would be an impoverishing event, one from which the US would not recover."
Paul Craig Roberts

Green Cities and the End of the Age of Oil
How to Build Eco-Cities

Economics in a Full World
"The global economy is now so large that society can no longer safely pretend it operates within a limitless ecosystem. Developing an economy that can be sustained within the finite biosphere requires new ways of thinking."

"Suppose...": Arguments for an Impeachment Resolution

A Small March for Me
, a Giant March for the Antiwar Movement

Flickr Photos tagged Cindy Sheehan

...and Brown really overstepped, no, make that 'stepped in it', when he made unfounded accusations to cover his lame the following report indicates:
"Conyers Releases Non-Partisan Congressional Research Service Report on Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Report Confirms that Louisiana Took Necessary and Timely Steps" .pdf file

Time for thinking is past, it's time to Connect and Collaborate
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Solar Tour Featuring Bob's House

Geez...we have a pResident who is now urging conservation. What's up with that? Oh...but funding Amtrak is out of the question and SUV tax breaks are still his claim to fame. More incentives for alternative energy development? Nah, it might cut into the potential oil profits that line his pocket and threaten his corporate war machine.

There are however, people who place as their personal priorities, experimentation with alternative forms of energy, and they are an inspiration. Bob is one. Through his endeavors I am aware of the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association.
They are highlighting The Michigan Solar Tour. As part of the Michigan Solar Tour sponsored by American Solar Energy Society's National Solar Tour, is the Washtenaw County Solar Tour which will be featuring Bob's house.

Bob has meticulously maintained a blog detailing the progress of his project, including things I would have never thought about, like simplified battery watering. He has some new information posted too that would be extremely helpful for anyone else experimenting with solar shingles. I'm sure he would also share what he's learned if asked specific questions. I'm sure I have a few, which I will be asking when I visit.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The Brainworks Test

Your Brain Usage Profile:

Auditory : 73%
Visual : 26%
Left : 35%
Right : 64%

Cyndy, you show a slight right-hemisphere dominance with a moderate preference for auditory processing, an unusual and somewhat paradoxical combination of characteristics.

You are drawn to a random and sometimes nonchalant synthesis of material. You learn as it seems important to a specific situation, and might even develop a resentment of others who attempt to direct your learning down a specific channel.

Your right-hemispheric dominance provides a structure that is only loosely organized and one which processes entire swatches of reality, overlooking details. You are emotional in your reactions and perceptual more than logical in your approach, although you can impose structure and a language base when necessary.

Your auditory preference, on the other hand, implies that you process information sequentially and unidimensionally. This combination of right-brain and auditory modes creates conflict, as you want to process data more rapidly than your natural processes allow.

Your tendency to be creative and free-flowing is accompanied by sufficient ability to organize and be logical, allowing you a reasonable degree of success in a number of different endeavors. You take in information methodically and systematically which can then be synthesized rapidly. In this manner, you manage to function consistently well, although certainly less efficiently than you desire.

You prefer the abstract and are a theoretician at heart while retaining the ability to be practical. You find the symbolism in a great deal of what you encounter and are something of a "mystic."

With regards to your lifestyle, you have the mentality which would be good as a philosopher, writer, journalist, or instructor, or possibly as a systems designer or social worker. Perhaps most important is your ability to "listen to your inner voice" as a mode of skipping over unnecessary steps to achieve your goals.

Sounds about right.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


Provocation & Inspiration for Neo-Nomads: Dharma Bums, Wandering Poets, Psychonauts, Homeless Writers, Freelancers, Pilgrims, Car Dwellers, Hobos, Rebels, & Tramps.
I can't even begin to count the times I've visited Hobopoet only to be reminded of who I really am.
You can't compare yourself with others: if Nature has made you a bat you shouldn't try to be an ostrich. You consider yourself odd at times, you accuse yourself of taking a road different from most people. You have to unlearn that. Gaze into the fire, into the clouds, and as soon as the inner voices begin to speak, surrender to them, don't ask first whether its permitted or would please your teachers or father, or some god. You will ruin yourself if you do that.
--Hermann Hesse
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, September 26, 2005

Harmony and Proportion

"We shall therefore borrow all our Rules for the Finishing our Proportions, from the Musicians, who are the greatest Masters of this Sort of Numbers, and from those Things wherein Nature shows herself most excellent and compleat." Leon Battista Alberti (1407-1472)
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

What Are Numbers, Really?

What are numbers, really? If we grant that we are all born with a rudimentary number sense that is engraved in the very architecture of our brains by evolution, then clearly numbers should be viewed as a construction of our brains. However, contrary to many social constructs such as art and religion, number and arithmetic are not arbitrary mental constructions. Rather, they are tightly adapted to the external world. Whence this adaptation?
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

We Are the Majority Now

"The feeling of banging your head against the wall ended with this."

Joan Baez

Contrary to the majority of media reporting 'tens of thousands' of people attending the rally in DC, the figure would more correctfully be 'hundreds of thousands' of people. We have reached the tipping point. We have momentum. We are the majority now. Here is a video of the rally and march. linked at bottom of page

We got there early and had a chance to feel the crowd build. There was excitement, yet space for personal reflection. The attention given to the organization of the rally was quite evident. There were many different groups represented, with many different agendas, but there was a feeling of unity, a ripple that flowed through all, an understanding that what is happening in our country is unacceptable, that current leadership is incompetent and a recognition that in order to take this country back, 'people power' is vital.

It was stressed throughout the day that taking the message back to your communities would continue the momentum. Sharing video from local community peace marches is one avenue as Mark Dilley's video of the Ann Arbor Peace March illustrates. I've found that people who were not willing to talk a couple months ago are now happy to share thoughts. I've yet to talk to anyone who is happy with the way this leadership ignores people. I've also heard much disgust that Democrats are just as unresponsive, especially now that they have a door propped wide open for them to step in, oppose and even push articles of impeachment.

AfterDowningStreet is carrying the seeds of momentum. It's up to us to continue to spread them. Perhaps it's even up to us to engage in civil disobedience.
Monday's civil disobedience ran the gamut of Code Pinkers and Naderites, anarch-kids and feminist boob-flashers, along with some guys roaming around in prison garb, with Abu Ghraib hoods over their heads.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, September 23, 2005

Why March?

I would write more but I'm getting ready to attend the march in DC this weekend.
Why? Will it do any good?
March Madness has a good explanation of how I also see my related personal objectives : The more support the movement gets, the greater the chances are that the marches and other actions will ignite wider swaths of anti-war public opinion.
Some critics may complain that large marches and ritualized civil disobedience are stagnant tactics. In some respects they are. Yet mass demonstrations serve an important function, rallying the movement's base and serving as bellwethers of wider activity.

Those who contend that the energy of large-scale protests could be better directed elsewhere assume that national action and local action are somehow mutually exclusive. They fail to take into account how momentum builds on itself. For leading anti-war organizations, national mobilizations generate an influx of donors and activists. Groups like those that make up UFPJ’s coalition will leave Washington in a better position to organize teach-ins and counter-recruitment, prod action from public officials, and support anti-war veterans.

...) No doubt, conservatives will try to conjure pictures of flag-burning hippies to make the anti-war movement look like a marginal fringe instead of a legitimate political force. But those who direct their energy to worrying about such backlash rather than organizing to build a better mobilization make two mistakes:

First, they miss the lesson of John Kerry, who showed that the right-wing machine will do its best to demonize all opposition, and that no amount of tepid moderation will deter them.

And, second, they give too little credit to organizers in groups like UFPJ, Military Families Speak Out and Iraq Veterans Against the War, who rarely match the stereotypes

...) The more support the movement gets, the greater the chances are that the marches and other actions will ignite wider swaths of anti-war public opinion. In turn, more members of Congress will feel heat not just from the national Mall, but also from voters in their home districts. For a peace movement just re-emerging from the shadows, this would be a worthy contribution. [read it all]
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Intelligible Design

by Katha Pollitt
Let's say, for example, that the American Empire is just about over. Let's say China and India and other countries as well are set to surge ahead in science and technology, leaving reduced opportunities for upward mobility for the educated, while capital continues to roam the world in search of cheap labor, leaving a shattered working class. Let's say we really are becoming a society of fixed status: the have-nots, an anxious and defensive middle and what George W. Bush famously calls his base, the have-mores. What sort of shifts in culture and social structure would prepare us for this looming state of affairs? A resurgence of Christian fundamentalism would fill the bill nicely. more...

...A government that doesn't believe in government was a disaster waiting to happen.

That disaster was Katrina, and it's swept us a crucial political moment. It's as if we're being given something people rarely get: a chance to take a hard look at the future we are preparing for ourselves, an America that has used up its social and economic and intellectual capital and in which it's every man for himself, and every woman, too.

Is that the future we want? Because if we let this moment slip away, that is where we are heading.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Happy Birthday Leonard Cohen

The rain falls down on last year's man,
an hour has gone by
and he has not moved his hand.
But everything will happen if he only gives the word;
the lovers will rise up
and the mountains touch the ground.
But the skylight is like skin for a drum I'll never mend
and all the rain falls down amen
on the works of last year's man.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Debt Reduction

Dawn at Frugal for Life points to a new Carnival, the Carnival of Debt Reduction. Something that in these turbulent times, we should all be doing. Dawn's Frugal For Life, as I've pointed to before, is one of my favorite places to pick up money and earth saving tips.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Reality Check

If you're feeling like getting yourself smacked with a fistful of reality I recommend Fascism and Homeland Security.
I can think of a few people who might benefit from the impact. I'm looking for an icepak myself because seeing it all gathered in one place, knowing how little time it took us to get where we are, with no end in sight, makes my eyes sting and swell.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tons of British aid donated to help Hurricane Katrina victims to be BURNED by Americans

"This is the most appalling act of sickening senselessness while people starve."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Crystallize and Melt

Polarized light micrograph of Tetradecanol-1. This wax-like, organic substance melts at around 40°celcius and re-crystallizes in different forms. Magnification: 60 X.

Is this saying that the degree of warmth is what creates the balance?

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The Resistance to Poetry

A poem can't help but to be meaningful; it may speak as easily to one person as to a thousand. But especially when it has something urgent to say, a poem's power inheres less in its conclusions than in its propensity to resist them.

Poets fear wisdom. This is why great poems threaten to feel beside the point precisely when we want them to reflect our importance: language returns our attention not to confirm what we know but to suggest that we might be different from ourselves. We have only to write one poem to feel the possibility of never writing another. We have only to write the next poem to discover its inadequacy. To employ figurative language is to hear its implications slip away from us. To write in lines is to feel their control of intonation and stress beginning to waver. To discover one's true wildness is to feel the ghost of Callimachus bearing down. Still, these mechanisms of self-resistance are a gift, for without them we could not feel the wonder of poetry more than once. Nor could we rediscover our pleasure in the unintelligibility of the world. Imagine forgetting from second to second what we are for. Imagine a sense of vocation contingent on our need to remain unknown to ourselves. Rather than asking to be justified, poems ask us to exist.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, September 19, 2005

Organizer For Camp Casey NYC Arrested

While it still isn't clear to me, Cindy Sheehan may have also been arrested. Certainly her mike was muted. It was apparently a permitted event, though it is as this point still a question whether sound was included in the permit. Anti War,
Brad Blog, and the Village Voice all have slightly different accounts of the event timeline and subsequent arrest.
An eyewitness account can be found here including ongoing updates written by other eyewitnesses in the comments.

Cindy urged everyone to go to Washington DC on the 24th of September for a march on Washington. If that was considered the provocation for arrest, then we need to attend the Washington DC rally on Sept 24 in huge numbers, because, to me, the provocation is of a entirely different order, that of the government above the voice of the people, and it's way past time to call them on it.


Below are some headlines, articles of which I haven't yet read but have on good faith (thanks Rajiv!) are worthy of attention.

Bush Administration Paradox Explained

The Poor Shamed Us Into Seeing Them

Galloway's Frankness Invigorates, Shocks Americans

No Exit From the Danger Zone

A Shock To the System

Can America Ever Go Back?
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Listening to Habaneros

Okay...I have some..I guess I'll see what happens.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, September 18, 2005


A thought provoking article, The Poetic Basis of Mind written at Myth&Culture asks,
"...what do the lines do for you? How does your mind open in the day when the imaginal is allowed to play? What are at the edges of your imagination as the words drift in and out of your day, like the soft lapping waves of the sea itself?

Why is all this so important right now? Because we have choice to repeat, to mimic the dead ideas that are driving this country, or we can individually choose to mythopoeate our lives, our communities, our country. We can literally see the dead-end choices or we can imaginally “see-through” them. Hillman writes in Re-Visioning Psychology:

Simply to participate in events, or to suffer them strongly, or to accumulate a variety of them, does not differentiate or deepen one’s psychic capacity into what is often called a wise or an old soul. Events are not essential to the soul’s experiencing. It does not need many dreams or many loves or city lights. We have a record of great souls that have thrived in a monk’s cell, a prison, or a suburb [or in a housewife’s kitchen]. But there must be a vision of what is happening, deep ideas to create experience. Otherwise we have had the events without experiencing them, and the experience of what happened comes only later when we gain an idea of it – when it can be envisioned by an archetypal idea.

...Like any craft, any art, any poetry, one must study many things in order to see past the obvious, the literal, the mundane. One must develop a tolerance for ambiguity, because it is only in the ambiguous that we can get a vision of the total truth of a matter, the total experience of an archetype.

To live ambiguously is a frightening but necessary component in the poetic basis of mind. It requires an abandonment of the illusion of safety, the fixed land masses of C.S. Lewis’ brilliant book, Perelandra. It requires instead, a fluidity of thought that carries over to one’s life. This type of life requires courage and determination and a resilience. It requires standing against all those who dismiss the imaginal as fake, lies, useless, nothing. It requires a true commitment to the art of living by living through art."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Why Can't We Have People Who Tell It Like It Is in the US?

Chavez criticizes Bush on Iraq at U.N. summit
World leaders at the summit had been asked to speak for five minutes, but Chavez ran long, and when the presiding diplomat passed him a note saying his time was up, he threw it on the floor. He said if Bush could speak for 20 minutes, so could he.

When he finally stopped, he got what observers said was the loudest applause of the summit.
Read what he had to say

What the hell are the Democrats waiting for?
Does Someone Have to Crash the Poker Party?? (LA Times reg req)
In poker, one must have courage: the courage to bet, to back one's convictions, one's intuitions, one's understanding. There can be no victory without courage. The successful player must be willing to wager on likelihoods. Should he wait for absolutely risk-free certainty, he will win nothing, regardless of the cards he is dealt.

For example, take a player who has never acted with initiative — he has never raised, merely called. Now, at the end of the evening, he is dealt a royal flush. The hand, per se, is unbeatable, but the passive player has never acted aggressively; his current bet (on the sure thing) will signal to the other players that his hand is unbeatable, and they will fold.

His patient, passive quest for certainty has won nothing.

The Democrats, similarly, in their quest for a strategy that would alienate no voters, have given away the store, and they have given away the country.

...) The Democrats are anteing away their time at the table. They may be bold and risk defeat, or be passive and ensure it.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Rolling Stones

Even if it is linked on every blog....
click title to play (wmp)
(M. Jagger/K. Richards)
You call yourself a Christian
I think that you're a hypocrite
You say you are a patriot
I think that you're a crock of shit
And listen now, the gasoline
I drink it every day
But it's getting very pricey
And who is going to pay
How come you're so wrong
My sweet neo con.... Yeah
It's liberty for all
'Cause democracy's our style
Unless you are against us
Then it's prison without trial
But one thing that is certain
Life is good at Haliburton
If you're really so astute
You should invest at Brown & Root.... Yeah
How come you're so wrong
My sweet neo con
If you turn out right
I'll eat my hat tonight
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah....
It's getting very scary
Yes, I'm frightened out of my wits
There's bombers in my bedroom
Yeah and it's giving me the shits
We must have lots more bases
To protect us from our foes
Who needs these foolish friendships
We're going it alone
How come you're so wrong
My sweet neo con
Where's the money gone
In the Pentagon
Yeah ha ha ha
Yeah, well, well
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...
Neo con
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

What If it Works?

Working Without Bosses
If you read the post I entered just prior to this you may have been thinking 'no way!, we have to have the hierarchy, people need to be controlled.' Granted, maybe some do. They are ones who don't want to think for themselves and are always harping on 'personal responsibility' yet not actually subscribing to the practice...I say cool, let them all move to South Carolina.

For those who need evidence that cooperation, empathy, collaboration and sense of community are good for business, read this.
Women are playing a major role in the revolutionary Argentine workers' initiative of taking over factories that have been abandoned by their owners, and in so doing, rescuing jobs and salaries that seemed to have been lost forever.

...) The "recovered" factories are organised as cooperatives, with statutes and licences to operate.

Legal permission to take over their operation was obtained by presenting viability studies to the courts handling the corresponding bankruptcy proceedings, or by applying to provincial legislatures to request their expropriation.

The salaries drawn by the workers are called "returns". Everyone earns the same wages, which are divvied up in accordance with the income taken in that month. Decisions are adopted by majority vote in regularly scheduled assemblies.

...) through successful organisation and a series of appeals to the courts, the women were able to get the factory back up and running normally.

In the interim, three factory workers became pregnant and gave birth, and the other women raised funds to cover their medical expenses and maternity leaves.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

What if?

In The Death of Imagination and Debate, Ted Mitchell asks, "What is it within us that causes this right/left dichotomy? Let us consider only the social aspects for the moment and leave out economics."

We clearly differ in our comfort level with uncertainty. For example, in medicine, pretty much everything is a grey area. In engineering, things tend to be more black and white.

But the comfort level for uncertainty is only one part of the issue and does not explain the degree of social polarization. One level deeper leads us to the topic of imagination. The reason that people "see" in black and white or grey has to do primarily with how much imagination we exercise in problem solving. Perhaps the key is one more refinement beyond imagination, that part of it which applies to people, which you could call empathy.

On the right, we have far too little imagination and empathy for someone in different circumstances than one's own. Those on the social left interpret this as selfish and evil, but it is quite possibly the unconscious result of simply not being able to do the requisite mental and emotional gymnastics - not being able to walk a mile in another's shoes.

On the left, exercising too much imagination can result in losing sight of reality in a paralysing picture of "what-ifs". The social right gets frustrated by perceived indecision and lack of focus for the issue at hand.

I found it interesting that he first broke the social aspects into different occupations. I was thinking yesterday of my tendency to picture what-if's. I like to play with ideas and to be able make any type of progress, one has to accept risks, and uncertainty. I suppose I never quite saw engineering as a rigid black and white field but after reading what he's written I can see it. Engineering culture tends to be top-down and is often focused around rigid manufacturing rules and policies. Could that be why we are lacking in innovation?

In Our best route to prosperity and social harmony , Jay Walljasper examines Richard Florida's (The Flight of the Creative Class) ideas. Florida's recommendations are below:

* Tap the creative abilities of everyone
Florida counsels that people in every sector of the economy should be offered chances to use their creativity in their jobs, and that savvy leaders will understand their next million-dollar idea may come from the clean-up crew rather than the marketing department. Upgrades in working conditions and pay, however, will be necessary in most organizations to bring out the staff’s creativity.

* Invest in creative infrastructure
Creativity doesn’t just sprout from barren ground. It depends on regular fertilization in the form of generous spending on basic research, technological innovation, higher education, arts and culture.

* Educate for the creative age
Too many schools today are training students for yesterday’s jobs. Stimulating creativity in a broad range of subjects needs to be at the core of every kid’s education.

* Nurture creative cities
The Internet, it was predicted, would be the death knell of cities. With everyone online, we would no longer need to congregate in these crowded relics of the industrial age. But cities are actually more important than ever as incubators of creativity because they offer opportunities for spontaneous face-to-face contact and older districts where warehouses and offices can be rented for cheap. Florida suggests the next wave of the creative revolution might sweep into many older cities that have been bypassed so far.

* Create open and secure societies
Places that welcome new and different people also welcome new and innovative ideas. Florida points to Canada’s concept of a mosaic society, where immigrants keep their own identity while actively participating in the nation’s economy and culture, as a promising model for the future.

It all makes perfect sense to me, but to someone accustomed to working in a rigid manufacturing environment who has no input, whose ideas would never be listened to, and is someone probably quite innovative in their own lifeskills simply by necessity, Florida's scenario may seem like the impossible dream. I guess it could be perceived as delegating responsibility and development to the people who are actually doing the job. What a disincentive to do a job well, eh? Almost like providing education to those who can't afford it, or like sharing the wealth through higher taxes for corporations, we just don't do that here. Bad business.

People may say that we lack feeling, that we give no response, but what they are really saying is that we do not get emotionally involved, which is what they want us to become.

We always have, if we are aware of it, the option of standing back and going into the silent emptiness of our true nature. If we don’t take this option, then we get swallowed up by the world and all the meaningless activity, and thus miss the plot entirely.

We are also in danger of becoming prisoners in the Great American Lockdown
what happens when trucking companies go belly up from gas prices, when truckers can no longer afford fuel, and when their axles break because interstates are in dis-repair as a result of the prices or shortages of the petroleum needed to build roads? What happens when the housing bubble bursts, when massive unemployment engulfs the nation, and when hundreds of thousands or millions of people must walk away from their mortgaged homes? Add to this, the likely crashing of the U.S. dollar and the certainty of more natural disasters. Anarchy may not even approach the description of such a scenario. Enter FEMA’s mandate and machinery, thanks to Blackwater, to maintain order.

What if? What if....all we need to do is to refuse to recognize their power over us -- no, to recognize that they have no power over us.?

The day I recognised that my parents had no power over me, was the day I began to imagine 'what-if's, it was the day I accepted that uncertainty had one up on rigidity. I was no longer in Lockdown. I echo, let the avalanche come!
There is no superpower, the power is the people, imagination, not complicity is where freedom lives.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, September 15, 2005

This Looks Like Fun!

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Abstraction and Ambiguity in the Lyrics of Leonard Cohen

Cohen allows the individual listener some interpretive freeplay. His lyrics, rather than dictating what they mean allow the listener to to look to themselves for what the song 'means'-however idiosyncratic the interpretation. We should extend this wisdom to the way in which we write and read poetry. What the poet 'means', or intends, should not be of primary concern to our enjoyment of the work. Surface meaning, if present at all, can be a disadvantage, as it spells itself out so well that we don't want to look any further. It ties us down to a limited surface meaning and hinders our imaginative and creative powers as a reader. In such an instance the poem becomes didactic: it does not allow our mind to become part of the creative process that all enjoyment of art requires.

...what I remember, more even than the mellifluous and elegant presence (the most articulate writer I've ever met), was his stillness: beneath the words, deeper than that figure in black walking around a pine tree in near-snow after midnight, was someone else, lost in meditation.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Homeland Absurdity

It seems like forever and a day since I opened the collaborative/experimental Orifice for HomelandAbsurdity. There are some good links in the Consumer Resources section, and some good submissions, however, the site needs to be upgraded because it is being innundated with spam. The moderation is becoming more time-consuming than I care to deal with. If you'd like to mine links from it, now is the time. I will keep it up for another week or two and then I plan to wipe it.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Court says flag pledge violates Constitution

"The court concludes that it is bound by the Ninth Circuit's previous determination that the school district's policy with regard to the pledge is an unconstitutional violation of the children's right to be free from a coercive requirement to affirm God."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


A new Google Inc. specialty search engine sifts through the Internet's millions of frequently updated personal journals, a long-anticipated development expected to help propel "blogging" into the cultural mainstream.

The new tool, unveiled Wednesday at, focuses exclusively on the material contained in the journals known as Web logs, or "blogs."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Kucinich Introduces Legislation to Create Cabinet Level Department of Peace And Nonviolence

The bill already has 57 original co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.
The legislation, first introduced in the 107th Congress, embodies a broad-based approach to peaceful and non-violent conflict resolution at both domestic and international levels. The Department of Peace and Nonviolence would serve to promote non-violence as an organizing principle in our society, and help to create the conditions for a more peaceful world.

Domestically, the Department would be responsible for developing policies to address issues such as: domestic violence, gang violence, child abuse, violence in schools, hate crimes, racial violence and mistreatment of the elderly. The Department would have an Office of Peace Education that would work with educators in elementary, secondary and universities in the development and implementation of curricula to instruct students in nonviolent conflict resolution skills. In addition, a Peace Academy, modeled after the military service academies, would be established to provide instruction in peace education and offer opportunities for graduates to serve in programs dedicated to domestic or international nonviolent conflict resolution.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Deep Lake Institute's Fall 2005 Learning Series

L. Hunter Lovins
Infusing Natural Capitalism into Education
Thursday, October 13, 7:30-9:30pm
158 Natural Resources Building, Michigan State University, Lansing (FREE!)

L. Hunter Lovins is the co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, co-author of Natural Capitalism and has championed sustainable development for over 30 years. She is the co-creator of the Natural Capitalism concept and has been named one of four people from North America to serve as a delegate to the United Nations Preparatory Conference for Europe and North America for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. She is also a Commissioner in the State of the World Forum’s Commission on Globalization.

During this free lecture at Michigan State University, L. Hunter Lovins will explore how to infuse Natural Capitalism’s core ideas – profitability, environmental awareness and social responsibility – into current business education. This evening is not only for students or teachers! If you’re an entrepreneur, run your own business or work in any field, learn how to be part of the paradigm shift from capitalism to natural capitalism.


Jeanne Achterberg
Imagery and Healing: Science and the Imagination

Saturday, October 22, 9am – 5pm
MCHC Auditorium, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Ann Arbor

Dr. Achterberg is the author of Imagery in Healing: Shamanism and Modern Medicine, critically acclaimed as a classic in the field of mind/body medicine. One of the pre-eminent researchers and contributors in the field of imagery and healing, she was featured in Time magazine as one of the six innovators of alternative and complementary medicine for the coming century.

Imagery is the communication mechanism between perception, emotion and physical change, and therefore the bridge between the body and mind. The imagination is the vehicle by which mental processes reach deep into the cellular structures, actually altering their DNA. An impressive body of clinical research now supports the use of imagery for many mental disorders.

[ more info ]
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Teens may increasingly consider pot a treatment for serious illness, not a toy

Bucking dire predictions by anti-drug warriors, the 10 states that approved medical marijuana laws over the last decade have experienced sharp declines in cannabis use among teenagers, according to a new study by a marijuana advocacy group.

California has seen usage among ninth-graders drop 47% since 1996, the year the state became the nation’s first to legalize medical marijuana.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Washington D.C. Green Festival

Washington D.C., Sept. 24-25
More than inspirational speakers, the Green Festival seeks to create a multi-dimensional experience for attendees including networking, green technology demonstrations and ways to meet people in your community.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

I Hope That...

Gloria Steinem
Hard times have made me realise that hope might be the most American of qualities, the reason why many immigrants come here and our best export by far. When I've lived in other countries, it's what I've been most homesick for. After all, unless we make a place in our imaginations for what could be, there's not much point in believing in anything. You might say I'm a hopeaholic.

...I had the good luck of missing school until I was 12 or so. My parents thought that seeing the country from a trailer or caravan was as educational as a classroom, so I escaped the discouragement that, especially in my generation, came with it. I wasn't taught that boys and girls were practically different species, that America was "discovered" when the first white guy set foot on it, or that Europe deserved more space in my textbooks than Asia and Africa combined. I didn't even learn that people at the top were smarter than people at the bottom.

[ more ]

... So hope is contagious. With that in mind, I offer you a few of my hopes from early and late in life.

I hope we learn that whatever is done to children, they are likely to do to soc-iety. If we can raise even one generation without violence, we have no idea what might be possible on Spaceship Earth.

I hope that spirituality overwhelms religion. I say this because spirituality links, religion ranks; spirituality sees God in all living things, religion rations out God to some more than others; spirituality celebrates life, religion celebrates life after death.

I hope we choose self-authority over hierarchy. We will have to, because the purpose of the latter is to undermine the former.

I hope we learn that the end doesn't justify the means; on the contrary, the means create the ends.

I hope that racism is finally seen as a fiction invented to justify the taking over of land and power. This remains true whether its objects are Africans or Arabs, Jews or the Kwei/San people.

I hope the female half of the world takes back control of the means of reproduction: our own bodies. After all, women are in the original secondary spot because some men wanted to control reproduction, establish paternity and ownership of children and force the bearing of more workers, more soldiers. That's how we got into this mess. Reversing it is the only way to get out.

I hope that men break out of the masculine prison that: a) justifies males dominating females; b) separates men from the full circle of their human qualities; and c) cons the many men at the bottom into endangering their lives to protect the few men at the top.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, September 12, 2005

Emotions and Thoughts in the Creative Process

Some people walk away from creative endeavours when they're feeling emotional, or by taking a break and getting some distance. Others use their art to process challenging emotional experiences; pouring their heart out into their work or using it as a cathartic experience.
..."Many of the artists described highly creative times when they are responding to strong emotions and want to express them through their art — transduce them from one form of energy to another.

...Sometimes I hear people say that they'll get to their creative project, their creative dream, as soon as things "calm down" in their life. And yet it's the creative process itself that's usually the most effective at bringing about the calmness of mind and emotional stillness that we crave.

...When we feel, we begin to be alive. When we express a feeling, we share with the rest of the world that we are alive. When we express a feeling through music, we invite the rest of the world to share in our experience of the feeling, and to be alive with us.

I think the sharing of feeling through various forms of creativity is the strongest tool we have for communicating and fostering change. Creative humor, Abbie Hoffman inspired antics, textures of turbulent jazz, and somber words all have the strength to inspire free thought, social interaction and cohesiveness. Somehow I think we can do better than FOX news.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Rays of Sunshine in the New Mexico Sky
reflecting the sparkling iris
of sapphire melancholy eyes
shadows stroke a silent diffusion
within the blue longing of
a distant horizon

the color of lost light
trapped in the purest sea
like an indigo mesa
blended seamlessly into
clear desert sky

broken delightfully
by dancing rays of sunshine
warm amber peeking through rare clouds
tracing outlines of hope
into the footprints
grounded in the blanched sand below
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Let Us Pray (Sorry Mr. pResident, you just don't walk the talk)

I think I wasn't the only one to hear "Let Us Pray" come from the insincere mouth of this pResident just a few too many times. Leadership of a country does not mean the only skill you need is a voice trained like that of a beloved church pastor.
Prayers (like vacations) are the default mode for this president who knows how to chuckle and bow the head in the midst of disaster but not, when it counts, how to govern or to command. If you feel the prickly heat of politics, summon a hymn to make it go away; make accountability seem a blasphemy. [ read on ]
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Walking in Eberwhite

Walking in Eberwhite

hand in hand with my thoughts
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

People sense president's soulless sensibility

by Marianne Williamson
If enough Americans are beginning to wake up and face the awful fact that our country's basic functioning has become infected by a soulless sensibility, then perhaps the suffering on the Gulf Coast will not have been in vain.

Regarding the abysmal response of our government to the hurricane's aftermath, there is a lot of talk right now about accountability. Some argue we should have the discussion today, while others argue that that discussion should wait for a more propitious time.

But there is a danger in waiting, for a governmental status quo has talent for co-opting criticism as long as it can buy enough time. Passions cool; memories become revised and faded.

Six months after a disaster, the government appoints an independent commission to find out what really happened but by the time the commission releases its final report, there is never much sense that too many people are listening. The people are exhausted by then; they're trying their best to move on.

And the status quo knows this; that's part of its game. Do whatever you want; act horrified and remorseful for a minute whenever too much suffering results as a part of your actions; then put off the accountability conversation until people are too tired to care anymore.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, September 10, 2005

9/11 And The Sport of God

by Bill Moyers
Absolutely a MUST READ. I understand so much more after reading this. In fact, I plan to print it, read and re-read it and bash my head again and again in an attempt to grasp what we can do to stop the upward spiral of fundamentalism from suffocating my free soul and the free soul of this country.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Backpack generates power from walking

Humping along just under 85 pounds (38 kg) of weight in the backpack can produce up to 7 watts of electricity, Lawrence Rome and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania report.

This is more than enough electricity to simultaneously power an MP3 music player, a personal digital assistant, night vision goggles, a handheld global positioning satellite navigation device, and a mobile telephone.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, September 09, 2005

Well Well...

Embattled FEMA Chief Removed from Hurricane Relief Efforts
See what public outrage can do?? Now we have another Chief and his administration to remove, beginning Sept 24.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Physician who told Cheney to go F*ck Himself Lost his Home in Katrina, Detained, Cuffed by Cheney's M-16-carrying Goons

Dr. Ben Marble, a young emergency room physician who plays in alternative rock bands and does art on the side, needs our help. Since he was the one who told Dick Cheney to "go fuck yourself" on Sept. 8, that's the least we can do.

Marble is a complex guy, to say the least. Some of the lyrics he writes can be considered harsh by some – personally what I've heard is very much on target - but he has a softer side as an organizer of breast cancer fund-raisers, not to mention an ER doctor.

When he, like thousands of others, lost his home due to Hurricane Katrina last week, it was the single most traumatic week of his life. That led to his Sept. 8 confrontation with the man who best represents the worst of the most callous, heartless, shittiest administration in U.S. history. [read on]

Video on ebay has been removed, WHY?, and the link to the auction from Ben Marble's Hurricane photos page redirects to Looks to me like he's still being 'Cheneyed' with.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Accountability Now!

Many things happening the coming week which could foster change if we can make them popular enough. Apathy, distraction, inattention, and media complicity are still weighing us down. Get the word out. Talk. Get your ride lined up to DC for Sept 24th. I'll be there and it would be great to have my little voice swimming in a massive sea of other little voices personifying the second hurricane that will bring this administration to accountability.

Excerpts from The Popularity of Peace and Presidents
On September 11, this Sunday, in Washington, D.C., the Pentagon (with funding help from a number of media outlets) and the promise that Troops to Be Kept 'Sterile,' Limited to Preregistered (how American!), will promote the same lies yet again, with a march and a concert attempting to paint the war on Iraq as an appropriate response to the 9-11 attacks. On the same day, a group of hurricane victims plans to establish on public ground in DC a protest encampment called "Bushville," which brings us full circle: victims of the more recent disaster are now protesting the deceitful prolongation and exacerbation of the earlier one.

On September 14, next Wednesday, two events will occur in DC that may generate less notice but offer greater hope, I think, than anything else on the radar screen. One is the House International Relations Committee meeting to vote on a Resolution of Inquiry into Bush's lies about the reasons for war. The second is Congressman Dennis Kucinich's re-introduction of a bill to create a Department of Peace.

On September 15, next Thursday, Democrats and a few brave Republicans will stretch to the limits their willingness to speak truth to power. Lynn Woolsey, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus, will hold a hearing on how to bring the troops home.

It will be interesting to see where the opinion polls move after the coming week of activities, all of which are, however, prelude to a massive mobilization against the war on September 24 in Washington.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Who are they and what is attracting them?
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


sinking inside the arms
of my daydreams

afraid to move
as if my dreams will break

I'd whisper
but my dreams leave me breathless

thinking thoughts
of nothing
and everything
and of
simply being
inside the daydreams
of my arms
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

On my to-do/to-read/to-buy list

Tom Robbins at Borders on Liberty Friday 7pm
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Being Poor

They were warned. Why didn't they leave?

How often can they indulge in some of the 29 Healthiest Foods on the Planet?
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

EMS & Hurricane Katrina

A personal account of Katrina experiences from paramedics who had been attending an EMS conference in New Orleans at the time. I know there is much to be learned from the aftermath, and listening to personal experiences, opposed to media that has been banned from reporting the news or photographing the devastation, is the only way we're going to improve anything. If we can't even understand the following concept (in bold, below) then we are in deep trouble:
our sinking feeling (along with the sinking City) was correct. Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up, jumped out of his patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, "Get off the fucking freeway". A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water.

Once again, at gunpoint, we were forced off the freeway. All the law enforcement agencies appeared threatened when we congregated or congealed into groups of 20 or more. In every congregation of "victims" they saw "mob" or "riot". We felt safety in numbers. Our "we must stay together" was impossible because the agencies would force us into small atomized groups. [ read it ]
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Not worrying her beautiful mind

Barbara (Bush) chuckled as she said: "So many of the people here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.

These are people so much better at inflicting pain than feeling it, so much better at taking things apart than putting them together, so much better at defending "intelligent design" as a theology than practicing it as a policy.

As Brian Gurney, a listener from California, noted: "You can't govern if you don't believe in government." But you sure can make a buck, and take care of your brother, your campaign manager, and your vice president's company
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

ten crayons
outside the box
arranged with care
onto a canvas of crumpled paper
found in an old pocket of childhood dreams
hidden within his toybox of time

a crayon for each of her fingers
each tracing a separate crease of wisdom
coloring possibility
and slanted rays of sunshine
warming toes hidden beneath hairy strands of soft grass
yet grounded like the spine of a sturdy oak
painted with flexible uncertainty
by strong playful hands
each finger touches a different color
of unwritten hues
as the crumpled paper begins to come alive
within the freedom of childish abandon
on a desktop of shared understanding
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Meanwhile, back home, before the news...

Ladies and Gentlemen...Mr. Leonard Cohen a 40 year old documentary of Leonard Cohen and his poetry in particular, was filmed in Montreal and was the perfect way for me to begin my escapade into Montreal and the Film Festival. The film was paired with This Beggar's Description which took me to the depths of understanding and the wonder of encountering one of Montreal's most eccentric street people. (and there were many)

On the Schizophrenia Daily News Blog I found a short review from the Montreal Gazette with a sentence from Phil, the man whose story was featured, "I realize that I'm exposing myself to the world, but in the process I've purged myself from so much that I have been hiding all these years."
His struggles and the struggles of his family was documented with loving care by his brother, the director. Phil had been heavily influenced by Leonard Cohen and I was struck by the brilliance of his poetry and similarities with Cohen. I'm left sadly pondering how such deep brilliance will swallow one person and lift another. The scene of Phil and Leonard Cohen sitting together on a park bench, bottles tipped, one filled with tomato juice and the other filled with beer, demonstrates humorously what a small line it is that separates the two.

The Montreal Mirror has a summary of a few of the films I saw, including Neil, which had a far more twisted plot than the initial film description led me to believe. I was expecting it to be good, but I wasn't expecting conspiracy, shady government plots, astral projection, and a underlying love thread. Now I expect to see this film featured at the Michigan Theater.

Naked is also a film that simply must hit the US.
Disrobe for dissent, calendars for causes, nudes against nukes. A new phenomenon with old roots is gaining momentum -- busting out, peeling off, and hanging loose, all around the globe. From Europe to Australia, people of all ages are stripping off their clothes to send messages via the media. Naked documents the increasing use of nudity to affirm their values, to fight for their beliefs, or simply to protest others, From anti-war protestors in California to nudist cyclists in North Carolina and breast cancer survivors in Calgary, Naked reveals the political reasons beneath the very personal act of taking it all off.
I spoke with the director Mary Bissell after the film and she was concerned the nudity in it was too much for the US. I don't think that concern is warranted and I hope Ann Arbor Film Festival will welcome the documentary because the message is important. The "Calendars for Cancer" segment, featuring women who were fighting breast cancer, tastefully baring their bodies, made me cry. Nudity attracts attention. Attention is what dissent aims for. Awareness doesn't just happen without attention.

The film Greenhouse Effect reminded me of myself as a teen, though I didn't know anyone as young, sweet and caring as Mute. The story made me realize that things are always and never changing.

This trip was the pinnacle of a class I took. Now, to finalize it, I have to write reviews. The other films I saw are below, much for my own reference and reminders.

Still Life
Coca: The Dove from Chechyna
To Die in San Hilario
Looking for the Lost Voice
On That Day
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


Originally uploaded by Cyndy.
I really haven't been hiding the past few days, and I do apologize to anyone who may have been worried about my whereabouts. Before I left, I was intently listening to the horrors and the incompetencies revealed about the leadership of the US, but couldn't find words.

I just returned from the Montreal World Film Festival where I did hide my ears and my thoughts from disturbing and horrifying news and gave my attention to something completely different. Of course, I did lean my choices heavily toward political films, which there seemed to be an abundance of.

I did take an afternoon to trek up Mount Royal where I found the hideaway pictured and shot the panorama of the city pictured in the previous post. There are a few more photos on my flickr page; ornate churches, and other whims.

Once I get my thoughts together, I plan to highlight a few films that grabbed my attention but I also need to turn my thoughts back to the horrors in this country. We can't continue to allow inhumane people to keep the keys to the vehicles.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Montreal (view from Mount Royal)

click for larger image
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


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