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
Saturday, December 31, 2005

Syria is Learning From Us!

President Bush has been known to boast a little bit, about how the Iraq
War has caused other countries in the Middle East to adopt a style of
government that is more like the one we have here in the United States.

A recent NYT article provides yet another example of this.

Syrian Critic Is Accused of Treason

By The New York Times
Published: January 1, 2006

LONDON, Dec. 31 - The Syrian Parliament called on the government on Saturday to indict former Vice President Abdel-Halim Khaddam on treason and corruption charges over his televised criticism of President Bashar al-Assad the day before.

In a meeting that was broadcast live, lawmakers excoriated Mr. Khaddam for insulting Syrian pride and accused him of corruption and treason. Even his decision to live in France since his forced resignation six months ago drew cries of betrayal.

So, a politician goes public with criticisms of the ruling elite.
The ruling elite immediately brand him a traitor and try to take him down.

See, they are getting to be just like us. Congratulations, Mr. Bush! Your tactics are are getting to be rather popular!
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

A Rather Telling Cartoon at Center for American Progress

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Iran and Petrodollars

Again, I ask, why are we demonizing Iran?
Every greenback carries with it the accumulated weight of two centuries of war, slavery, and ethnic cleansing of Native Americans. It is the flaccid script that has fueled 50 years of covert activities, coup d’etats, and third-world death-squads. It churns through the arteries of the empire to the furthest most extremities where torture and abuse are carried out beneath the tri-colored standard. It is strewn across the empire like the myriad gulags that now speckle the planet. It is the heart of the beast; a venom-pumping organ with arteries strung across the globe like the concertina-wire that surrounds Falluja, Samarra and Tal Afar.

In William R. Clark’s “Petrodollar Warfare; Dollars, Euros and the upcoming Iranian Oil Bourse”, Clark outlines the problems the dollar faces if Iran proceeds with its plan to use a euro-based oil trading exchange. The new Iranian bourse would compete head-on with the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and London’s International Petroleum Exchange IPE) giving international buyers an option of “buying a barrel of oil $60 on the NYMEX or IPE or 45 to 50 euros via the Iranian bourse.” Clark calls this the Federal Reserves “biggest nightmare” as it would precipitate a face-off between the dollar and the euro and would fundamentally change the dynamics in the world’s largest market.

The asymmetrical warfare that is approaching will put the greenback squarely in the crosshairs; the weal-link in America’s coat of mail.

Hugo Chavez knows this, as did Saddam; that’s why he switched to the euro 6 months before “Shock and Awe”. Now, Putin is trading oil in euros and Iran will open an oil bourse in petro-euros in March. For Iran, its actions are tantamount to a declaration of war. Already, America’s proxy Israel has threatened to attack in March. Is it merely coincidence that Iran’s oil bourse is scheduled to open at the same time?
[read it all]
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


Dawn has a post about 'rules' and Christmas giving. Being frugal is not about denying yourself fun, but about what gives you peace of mind. Some people find that 'things' give them peace of mind and expect that others should feel the same. The lesson she learned is more valuable than the gift.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


click pic for more
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Dr. Suess prints

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


I'm catching up on a few I want to read and thought that, for a change, instead of just putting them in my, I would link to them here. No I haven't read any of them yet so they are only suggestions not recommendations.

An Exponentially Expanding Future from Exponentially Shrinking Technology

Energy question may spell end of the good life for the West

Consumption and The Affect on Our Societies

Watch it crash: your health care, your pension, your house

The NYC subway-bus strike and the slow death of the American pension system

The Housing Market’s Last Gasp

Bushies Refusing to Diagnose Returning Soldiers With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Shock, awe and Hobbes have backfired on America's neocons

Politics of fear

Bush Impeachment Not Out of the Question

Big Labor's Big Secret

Popularising philosophy
Question marks

Precis of The creative mind: Myths and mechanisms

Argentine workers take control

Whiners On the Right
A new wave of campus PC

There. That should give me something to do for awhile. As if...
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Why are we Demonizing Iran?

Perhaps the same concern that the US held when it looked as if Iraq was considering trading oil in Euros (see The Euro Effect: The Real Reason for the War in Iraq) is the big reason Iran is in our invading spotlights.

This was announced quietly:
On March 23, 2006, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System will cease publication of the M3 monetary aggregate. The Board will also cease publishing the following components: large-denomination time deposits, repurchase agreements (RPs), and Eurodollars.

From Flogging the Simian, whose entire post you should go read right now:
In June 2004, Iran announced it was creating an oil bourse. The word "bourse" is a French word which means "exchange" and refers to an international market exchange where oil can be traded. Currently the only two oil bourses are in London and New York.

Should Iran's oil bourse be successful and sales be denominated in Euros, this will induce hedging of the Euro versus the dollar and fundamentally alter the prices of oil.

So, as soj writes..."the Fed wants to stop printing the statistics of how many dollars are being held overseas precisely when those amounts may go down dramatically."
...) Of course most of the (US) saber-rattling is over Iran's nuclear program and the word "bourse" is never mentioned. But the IAEA has consistently stated that Iran is in full compliance with its regulations and the conditions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That doesn't negate Iran's political alignment and support for terrorism, but their nuclear energy program is hardly the threat it's made out to be.

All I can say is it hurts to think about and I hope what I'm thinking is completely wrong. I think I know better than to hope.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

2005 Person of the Year

Congressman John Conyers Jr.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Workplace Priorities

"Was Santa good to you?"
"What did you get for Christmas?"
If one more person asks me either of those questions, I may reply rather rudely.
I usually reply with "I don't do Christmas" which always brings on a host of other questions I don't feel like answering. As adults, are we seriously so selfish that we would continue to believe that Christmas is still all about 'getting'?
No one ever asks "What did you give for Christmas?".
One year, a co-worker, who has since left his earthly body behind, asked what I got for Christmas and I answered, 'nothing'. It so bothered him, that the next day he brought a gift of earrings in for me. I thought it was very sweet of him but it did bother me to think that our culture places our personal worth to be what we 'got' for Christmas as if we were children who didn't behave ourselves throughout the year. I know that one particular co-worker saw me as a child, and I would never have begrudged him the sense of duty he felt, however, when a person who is closer to my age asks me what I got, I bristle. Especially when they know enough about me to know that I long ago brushed aside the ritual.

Regardless of the above feelings, I would never ask anyone what they got for Christmas mainly because it is insensitive. I grew up around poor kids who didn't have dinner for Christmas, not to mention gifts. They are rude questions.

I only bristle a little when a co-worker asks, "How was your Christmas?" knowing damn well I worked. I usually grumble and say, "I worked", really wanting to add the words, "So you didn't have to". It would go right over their heads anyway, because by that time they are so busy telling me what they 'got' for Christmas, that I just don't bother. Yep, I'm grouchy and sometimes it gets really cold watching from the outside window, looking in.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The Currency of Scarcity

I've been wondering what drives us to be such indiscriminate consumers. Specifically, why my brother, when he was alive, seemed to think the world owed him everything. He never felt as if he had enough even though he lived in a country of abundance. Maybe that very abundance, if it's all you see, feeds into a scarcity mentality. Ultimately it was that scarcity mentality that took my brother's life. It always had to be faster and better. Faster, on a motorcycle, is deadly.

Fear feeds into the scarcity mentality. I feel it sometimes myself, especially when thinking of oil depletion. I'm very afraid of being cold, truth be told. I also feel a sense of scarcity being pushed upon me by politicians, namely Bush, in recent speeches about preserving our 'way of life', while at the same time destroying the American 'way of life' for many people, and while yet again, invoking the nonexistent 911/Iraq connection.


Go buy stuff. Preserve your 'way of life'. Pacify your outrage of the horrors of the Bush administration by digging yourselves deeper in debt. Pretty soon you won't have time to notice that your 'way of life' has been taken. Your constitution, internally, and the one this country was founded upon, have been stripped.

We can get Beyond Greed and Scarcity
If a society is afraid of scarcity, it will actually create an environment in which it manifests well-grounded reasons to live in fear of scarcity. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy!
Also, we have been living for a long time under the belief that we need to create scarcity to create value. Although that is valid in some material domains, we extrapolate it to other domains where it may not be valid. For example, there's nothing to prevent us from freely distributing information. The marginal cost of information today is practically nil. (well, maybe not quite yet) Nevertheless, we invent copyrights and patents in an attempt to keep it scarce.

...) The biggest issues that I believe humanity faces today are sustainability and the inequalities and breakdown in community, which create tensions that result in violence and wars. We can address both these issues with the same tool, by consciously creating currency systems that will enhance community and sustainability.
Significantly, we have witnessed in the past decades a clear re-awakening of the feminine archetype. It is reflected not only in the women's movement, in the dramatic increase in ecological concerns, or in new epistemologies reintegrating spirit and matter, but also in the technologies that enable us to replace hierarchies with networks (such as the Internet).
Add to these trends the fact that for the first time in human history we have available the production technologies to create unprecedented abundance. All this converges into an extraordinary opportunity to combine the hardware of our technologies of abundance and the software of archetypal shifts.

More articles on dysfunctions of money and currency alternatives.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, December 26, 2005

wintertime feast

your fingers
tapping softly on the laptop
echos of raindrops
singing reminders of
a steadfast summer rain
dressed in the disguise of
winter snowsuits
melted dissent written
into the pitter-pat of words
listened to by
darpa and me
drenching us daringly
with dexterity
a reconstituted constitution
for our dining pleasure
as we continue to eat
what we are served

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, December 25, 2005


is a Wildman

The power of shape shifting along with the experience of one's own death and resurrection are two key aspects of the classic shamanic experience. These two themes are essential to understanding the iconography of Christmas and will help to reveal a deep connection between Santa Claus and mushrooms. The question arises, if in fact Santa is connected to mushroom shamanism as it appears, then where and how has this knowledge remained hidden for so long? This is a simple question with a rather complex answer that involves the demonization and criminalization of mushroom shamanism over time.

Just as presents are placed under trees and exchanged during Winter Solstice (Christmas) there is a present waiting for you under the trees if you have the understanding of where to look and what exactly to look for.

These plants are very likely to have been instrumental in evolving human brain structure and chemical makeup and even consciousness to the point that remnants of the states achieved through their usage have remained as elements of what we call regular consciousness. We owe the advancement of consciousness and capacity for higher thinking to our plant allies. Still today the usage of these plants is beneficial to the mind in the extreme, thus we can recognize this recurring theme from the worldwide myths detailing the finding or receiving these gifts of the gods.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, December 23, 2005

So-called Patriots?

Here is a question for all the so-called patriots who support our

So the President thinks it is OK to circumvent judicial oversight, and
thinks it is OK to lead Congress around by a nose ring.
 Doesn't that completely defeat the purpose of checks and
balances -- one of the most important parts of the foundation of our
legal system?

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


click image to vote
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Speaking of Impeachment...

Referring to the previous post here: If you are mulling over the implications of the President's lies about the wiretaps, consider this: the fact that he lied about it shows that he knew it was wrong. And if you are teetering on the balance, not sure if impeachment is the way to go, check out this old film. It appears to be one of those ancient films that we all has to watch in Social Studies classes, like in the forth grade or something, back in the 60's.

The film is about "Despotism," showing that you have to look behind the "fine words" and understand the behavior of the leaders of a country, and the implications of those behaviors.

I mention this because, maybe, the people who made those films were on to something. Maybe it takes a video to get people to think. It certainly looks as though facts themselves are not sufficient.

HT: Quirky Outtakes.

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Blatant Deception, "Because We Value the Constitution"

I don't know why we are even having a discussion regarding even a slight twist of legality to the actions Bush took when he authorized spying on Americans. No legality to it. He knew it, he knows it, and he has to pay for his crimes.
Support John Conyers.

Ask your congress member to support his efforts.

Empty words from a speech Bush gave in 2004:
found at the site until they change it, of course. After that you can probably still find it here.

Bush: "there are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution." [ audio ]

Of course this was before the election.
New York Times Had Secret Surveillance Story Prior to 2004 'Election'
Censure Bush
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, December 19, 2005

Virgin Galactic

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The image was taken in polarized infrared light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 2, 2005, at a distance of approximately 1.7 million kilometers (1.1 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 119 degrees. The image scale is 104 kilometers (65 miles) per pixel.
Reflection of light off of moons like Enceladus (pictured) and the billions of small particles in Saturn's rings, gives the giant space orb an unusual glow, an effect highlighted in polarized light.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Listening To:

What a treat! I just listened to the podcast of the Bear Story as told by Sage of quirkynomads. The Bear visits while they were living in their yurt. You just have to listen. No spoilers from me.

quirkynomads is "The story of a family that said, "If the Republicans get any worse, we're moving to Canada." And then? They really did."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Tell Me More: On the Fine Art of Listening

...creative listeners are those who want you to be recklessly yourself, even at your very worst, even vituperative, bad-tempered. They are laughing and just delighted with any manifestation of yourself, bad or good. For true listeners know that if you are bad-tempered it does not mean that you are always so. They don't love you just when you are nice; they love all of you.

In order to learn to listen, here are some suggestions: Try to learn tranquility, to live in the present a part of the time every day. Sometimes say to yourself: "Now. What is happening now? This friend is talking. I am quiet. There is endless time. I hear it, every word." Then suddenly you begin to hear not only what people are saying, but what they are trying to say, and you sense the whole truth about them. And you sense existence, not piecemeal, not this object and that, but as a translucent whole.

Then watch your self-assertiveness. And give it up. try not to drink too many cocktails to give up that nervous pressure that feels like energy and wit but may be neither. And remember that it is not enough just to _will_ to listen to people. One must _really_ listen. Only then does the magic begin.

Sometimes people cannot listen because they think that unless they are talking, they are socially of no account. There are those women of an old-fashioned ballroom training that insists there must be unceasing vivacity and gyrations of talk. But this is really a strain on people.

No. We should all know this: that listening, not talking, is the gifted and great role, and the imaginative role. [ read more ] via Mark Dilley

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Deconstructing Reconstructionists, Redux

There has been a fair amount of interest in the Impeach Bush campaign. There've been two polls that I've seen. One, a Zogby poll, shows that 42% of Americans would support impeachment, if the President lied about the rationale for the Iraq war. Another, by Rassmussen, shows that 32% of Americans would support impeachment.

Obviously, most people are not paying attention.

It seems odd that only 42% would favor impeachment if the President lied to us about the rationale for the war. If that is not a high crime, I would like to know what would be a high crime.

Thanks to Mark Dilley for the sign.

Oh, and about the title, I would like for people to recall an old post, pertaining to connections between Bush, Diebold, and the Reconstructionist movement. That in itself is not grounds for impeachment, but it is scary as hell.

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

War on Christmas Becomes Bloody

Originally uploaded by paanta.

The absurdities astound me. Even Ann Arbor is not immune. I'm not sure how many brains were lost, or shall I say, consumed, but it's clear, things have changed. They are everywhere and no one is safe, even with Bubble Boy at the helm.
Read The Expose for the sordid details.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Mr. Fix-it

From Bush's last speech about Iraq:

As president, I'm responsible for the decision to go
into Iraq. And I'm also responsible for fixing what went wrong by
reforming our intelligence capabilities. And we're doing just that.

From :

Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through
military action, justified by the
conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were
being fixed around the policy.

So he is still trying to fix the intelligence, 3 ½ years

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Bill Moyers: In the Kingdom of the Half-Blind

As all Moyers addresses are, a must read. His eyes, ears and voice are incredibly precise, unlike most of what is currently passing for journalism.
I can imagine that one day the National Security Archive will turn up a document explaining how reporters waited outside the Garden of Eden to snap up Adam and Eve's account of what had happened inside, but never bothered to interview the snake.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bush: "I'm Responsible" -- Sort Of -- For War

Another by John Nichols that tells it like it is, something our pResident just can't seem to comprehend.
U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, who has been far more consistently right about this war than anyone in the administration, is correct when he says that there is more misery than glory in this military misadventure.

"The President now says he is responsible for the war in Iraq," Kucinich said, after listening to Bush's speech. "I agree with the President. He is responsible. He is responsible for attacking a nation that did not attack us. He is responsible for the 2,151 American troops killed in Iraq. He is responsible for the 15,881 US troops injured in the war. He is responsible for at least 30,000 Iraqi civilians killed since the start of the war. He is responsible for draining $250 billion from US taxpayers to pay for the war. And he is responsible for the failed reconstruction and for the continued occupation."

UPDATE: This link was left in the comments below by Dan, who personally subjected himself to Bush's speech. His ears must still be revolting, though I'm glad someone has the stomach for it. His take is certainly more of what I would expect from Bubble Boy; a tidy little admission of 'responsibility' to pacify some of the media with no solid comprehension of what 'responsibility' means and no admission to any mistake whatsoever. His warped sense of responsibility is something he takes pride in. It's disgusting.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Festival of Frugality #1

The best in frugality for the week. Spend your time reading this and you won't have time to spend recklessly. It's much more fun than shopping. Great tips, great blogs!
“How can you possibly live on $15,000 a year,” says someone who lives on $40,000 a year. “How can you possibly ask that question,” says someone who lives on $800 a year. Why do people have such a wide range of values for how much money they think is necessary to get by on?
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What Do You Leave for Santa?

Considering the latest news, we plan to leave milk, cookies, about 10 pounds of sweet feed, and a can of pepper spray. Heaven forbid, we can't allow Santa to get taken by zombies.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Last Verse

Now it is certain that there is no magic stone
there is no secret to be found.
One must go with the mind's winnowed learning,
no more than the child's handhold on a willow leaning over the lake
or on a sumac root at the edge of the bluff.

All ignorance is checked, all betrayals scratched.
The coat is hung on the peg, the cigar laid on beveled table's edge,
the cue chosen and chalked, the balls racked for the final break;
all cards have been drawn, all bets called,
the dice warm as blood in the palm shaken for the final cast;
the glove has been thrown on the ground, the last choice of weapons made,
a book for one poem, the poem for a line, a line for a word.

"Broken things are powerful," said Yeats,
but things about to break are stronger still.
The last shot from the brittle bow is the truest.
~Eugene McCarthy

It remains true that America has suffered from a lack of poetry in our politics, but it is surely also true that we have suffered from a slow disconnection with the best of our values and traditions. With McCarthy's death, that disconnect grows a little more severe, and America's circumstance a tad more perilous.
The Limits of Power
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The Public Man

He walks even in daylight with his arms outstretched.
Fishlike, he shies at shadows,
his own following him, nose to the ground,
like a blind bloodhound.

Grey mists float through the cavities of his skull,
he feeds the sterile steer, and cows of no desire,
on the mast of bitter grapes.
He shades his eyes against fireflies;
and his own life, which once burned bright,
is now yellow tallow.

His words rise like water twice used from the cistern pumps,
and then go out, in a wavery line, like beagles in search of rabbits.
Like a gull crying with a tired voice, he looks back often into the fog.

Each night he holds his stone head between his hands
while his elbows sink into the tabletop.
~Eugene McCarthy
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


What does 'feeling you're not in a bubble' actually feel like?
It must look an awful lot like this.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Square Peg in a Round House

I have periodically linked to an interview with Bill Coperthwaite. The link changes periodically. Here is a new link of the same wonderful old interview. Now there is a wonderful new interview with him at titled, Square peg in a round house: Yurt evangelist, 75, still spreads his gospel of self-sufficiency

What a man to learn from! I could place him on my list of 'fathers I would liked to have grown up learning from', in addition to my own wonderful dad of course.

"Coperthwaite not only lives in a yurt, a housing form conceived by nomadic Mongols on the steppes of Central Asia 2,500 years ago, but he has made it a cornerstone of his working life. He once built and lived in a yurt where the Harvard Graduate School of Education library stands today. He is founder and director of the Yurt Foundation, a nonprofit research institute he operates from his outpost. He has spent much of his time teaching others to construct the circular dwellings, and his pupils have built structures ranging from a public health center in northeastern India to a backyard playhouse at a Montessori school in Austin, Texas.

"The main thrust of my work is not simple living, not yurt design, not social change, although each of these is important and receives large blocks of my time," he reflects in his book. ''But they are not central. My central concern is encouraging people to seek, to experiment, to plan, to create, and to dream. If enough people do this we will find a better way."

His thoughts and research are presented in "A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity" (Chelsea Green, 2003).
Maybe I'll have to learn from him that way. Sigh..

Thanks to All Things Maine for the link, who btw, also has another link to an annotated guide of works by another of my fantasy fathers.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, December 12, 2005

Eugene McCarthy's Lyrical Politics

written by John Nichols (a must read)

"Eugene McCarthy and his followers put their feet to the treadle in 1967 and 1968, challenged the men of distance years, betting on the inadvertence of a poet-senator, and changing the course of their party and their nation. For a moment, all too brief, they found a common ground between poetry and politics -- and they inspired a nation, or at least a few of its more adventurous states, to take a leap of faith.

Whose foot is on the treadle
That turns the burning stars
Has spun the world half way round
Since last I called
Come down, come down.

That stars that in September
Looked through the mournful rain
Now set their sight again
Upon a world half night, half light

Men of distant years have said
That much depends on change of seasons
On solstices and equinox
And they have given reasons.

I disagree.
Too much turns on inadvertence
On what seems to be
An accident of hand and knee
A chance sunrise
A glance of eyes
~Eugene McCarthy

The poet is gone now. But something of him lingers, on a shelf of finer books than we have much right to expect of a politician and in the memory of a campaign more lyrical than all but the luckiest of of us have since experienced."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Advances in Medicine or Government Monoploy?

In a hearing due to start today before an administrative law judge at the Drug Enforcement Administration, professor Lyle Craker and his supporters will argue for a DEA license to grow the research drugs. It is the climax of a decades-long effort to expand research into marijuana and controlled drugs and of Craker's almost five-year effort to become a competing marijuana grower.

In his suit against the DEA for a license to grow marijuana, Craker has backing from 38 members of Congress, the two senators from Massachusetts, numerous medical societies and even Grover Norquist, the president of the conservative Americans for Tax Reform.

...for the first time the government's monopoly on research marijuana is under serious legal challenge. The effort is being spearheaded by a group that wants to produce medicines from currently illegal psychedelic drugs and by a professor at the University of Massachusetts who has agreed to grow marijuana for the group if the government lets him.

Marijuana, or cannabis, is now listed as a Schedule I drug -- with no medicinal use -- under the Controlled Substances Act. Its use was initially restricted in 1937 and eliminated from medicinal practice in 1942. On its Web site, the DEA lists marijuana as the most frequently abused illicit drug in America.

...Since the 1970s, however, researchers have found potential uses for marijuana, or its active ingredient THC, in relieving nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and to help with appetite loss in AIDS patients. A synthetic form of marijuana's active ingredient has been made into a prescription drug, Marinol.

Doblin said there are potentially many other medicinal uses of marijuana, including the treatment of multiple sclerosis and AIDS-related neuropathy. He also said researchers believe that if they can perfect a method of "vaporizing" marijuana -- allowing it to be inhaled rather than smoked -- it would be easier to administer as medicine.

If Marinol, the synthetic form of marijuana has already been approved and marketed as a prescription drug, albeit, one that has to be swallowed which can be problematic for some patients, I would say a medical need has already been established. Studies have been done. I would also say the government has a monopoly on marijuana for purely monetary reasons and wants to allow pharmaceutical companies to cash in. I'm weary of government/corporate monopolies. Damn weary.

Oh..and just in case you're interested...the side effects of Marinol are absolutely devastating. No wonder marijuana is illegal. Use and sale of it surely validate the war on drugs and the high cost we, as taxpayers incur. One of our major social programs, the prison systems, are full of people who would grow, use and sell such a subversive, clearly dangerous drug in it's natural form of a seed bearing plant. I love squandering my taxes on this type of law enforcement, don't you?

What are the possible side effects of dronabinol? (Marinol)

Symptoms of a dronabinol overdose include drowsiness, euphoria, disorientation, redness of the eyes, dryness of the mouth, a fast heart rate, memory loss, slurred speech, and poor coordination.

• Stop taking dronabinol and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives).

• Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take dronabinol and talk to your doctor if you experience
· drowsiness or dizziness;
· nausea or vomiting;
· memory loss;
· confusion, hallucinations, abnormal thinking, or intoxication;
· headache;
· anxiety or nervousness; or
· irregular or fast heartbeat.

• Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Impeach Bush sign

Impeach Bush sign
Originally uploaded by Joseph j7uy5.

Stolen directly from Joe's flickr page. We had a nice walk in the snow. Seeing 13 signs in such a small area of town is encouraging. This is not a form of anonymous protest. If we could cover over half the US with signs like this I wonder if the message would finally get through.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Kucinich wants Iraqi vote on withdrawal

From time to time, we hear various politicians refer to Iraq as "sovereign," a word that generally is taken to mean that the people of Iraq control their own political process. But recent events suggest that the sovereignty is nominal:
Kucinich wants Iraqi vote on withdrawal

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, wants the Iraqis to decide whether the United States military should be withdrawn from Iraq.

"Congressman Kucinich believes that Iraq, as a free nation and a blossoming democracy, should have the right of self determination," said his spokesman Doug Gordon.

Kucinich is working on a resolution to be introduced on the floor of Congress "soon" that would make it the sense of Congress that the United States would support an Iraqi referendum on the future of the U.S. occupation of the country.

Kucinich "strongly believes that the Iraqi people cannot fully be free until decision made about their future are made in Baghdad and not Washington," said Gordon.

Kucinich waged an unsuccessful campaign for the presidency in 2004, in part based on his opposition to the war.

According to recent polls, some 80 percent of Iraqis oppose the U.S. occupation. Officially the U.S. military is in Iraq at the invitation of Iraq's interim government.

A February poll conducted by the U.S. military in urban areas found that 71 percent of Iraqis oppose the presence of coalition forces in Iraq.

A January 2005 poll conducted by Abu Dhabi TV/Zogby International showed that 82 percent of Sunni Arabs and 69 percent of Shiite Arabs favor the withdrawal of U.S. troops either immediately or once an elected government is in place.

- United Press International
We also hear a lot about how there are so many different factions in Iraq, that nobody can agree on anything. Yet, the poll indicates that they do agree on one thing: they want us out. Many people in the USA believe that if US troops left now, the situation in Iraq would erupt into chaos. In fact, though, nobody knows what would happen. The authors of this blog* do not pretend to know what would happen. They do, however, think people should stop presenting arguments in the form of "if we do X, then Y will happen," when it is perfectly obvious to everyone that nobody really knows what would happen. Arguments like that aren't going to convince anyone of anything.

We do not know what would happen, but we do know that the impressions conveyed in the media, as fed to the media by the politicians in the USA, are inaccurate. So we probably should not base any major decisions on those impressions. Instead, we should look to whatever reliable, replicable observations are available.

Repeated polls in Iraq, by different organizations, show the same results: they want us out. If the majority of the Iraqi people want the US out, then perhaps they do not think that the country will fall apart if the troops leave. And maybe the citizens of Iraqi are in a better position than we are, to guess about the future of their own country.

It would seem that if we have to make a major decision based upon a guess, we should go with the guess made by the people who are in the best position to do so. That would not be anyone here in the USA.

* Actually, we can't check with Andy, since he is on vacation. With luck, he's connected with that woman in Traverse City and is out on the ski slopes. Or something.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Ranger Cookies

No these aren't Christmas cookies or even holiday cookies. They are the only cookie I ever bake anymore. My mom passed the recipe to me and I just passed it on to my daughter who will try to improve it by playing around with the butter and shortening requirements. There is something to be said for baking cookies when it's cold and snowy outside. Opening a toasty oven and letting the heat blast you while exchanging baking sheets is a nice winter ritual. Curling up later with munchies and Ranger Cookies is even nicer.

Ranger Cookies

Bake at 375 (preheated) 8-10 minutes
1/2 C shortening
1 stick of butter
1 C brown sugar
1 C white sugar
2 eggs

the following ingredients mixed:
1 1/2 C unbleached flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

blend the following in order given:
2 C quick cooking oatmeal
2 C Wheaties (measured from the box, not crushed like I did one year which made inedible cookies)
6 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped pecan pieces or 'chips'
3 1/2 oz coconut

Bake & Enjoy!
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, December 09, 2005

Baby Bush Toys

Now, in time for Christmas!
Buy your average child the toys that helped shape the mind of our president.

click image for a larger selection

Buy today! Buy while there is still a slight chance your child might have presidential aspirations.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Living in a Yurt

You lived in a yurt?
Excuse me if I take awhile before I post again. I have a feeling I'll get a little lost wandering around this blog. Even if I don't wander around much there, it will send me off on other weird searches I'm sure.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Rollercoaster Rebellion

There are many reasons for not allowing yourself to ride the holiday (or anyday) rollercoaster of debt. A little over a year ago I wrote 'Marketing Coolness'. Now it seems that I wasn't that far off. Liberals painted as heathens for not spending money, imagine that!
I rode that rollercoaster once and did not enjoy the ride. I have much more fun living within my means, being debt free and reducing my footprint on this planet by living light. It's a satisfying rebellion.

Buying Used Just Could Turn Out to be the Next New Thing.

Why trudge up that track wondering what you are going to buy for someone who has everything? They really don't want it, whatever it is. I don't have everything, but I don't want it. Sliding down the track of realization that you just spent needlessly is simply not thrilling. I often spend months deciding if what I'm considering purchasing is a need or a want. I find I just don't need much.

I don't want to be a woman in red, although these Women in Red wear the color well. They are models who are disembarking from their ride of horrors and share tips for getting your own feet on the ground.
Contrary to popular misconception, thrift and tightwaddery are not about deprivation and poverty. They are about living within your means and making the most of the money you have. Sure, your neighbors might not be great fans of your lifestyle, and your family may ask "what's wrong with you" but that's okay. What's "wrong" is that you have little or no debt, fully-paid bills, 0% interest on your credit cards, money in the bank and food and other supplies well stocked for your needs. Sounds pretty nice, doesn't it? Okay, okay, idealism aside, having to tightwad isn't much fun, but being able to do it well can be a source of honest pride. And there are some shifts in your thinking that can make it a lot easier to stick to.

I love Evelyn's thoughts here:
... I examined the word "broke" turning it like a river-smoothed stone (as in: "I'm broke"). At last I got to the crux in my journal:

I say, "I'm tired of being broke!" But have I asked myself: "Are you willing and ready to be whole?"
The context of her post was related to the fact that she was allowing herslf to spend a little extravagantly on food. Sometimes being broke is part of being whole.

We live in an Economy Driven by Debt.


Rollercoasters belong at a carnival, however, sometimes you'll find the Carnivals come to the rollercoasters instead. Another satisfying rebellion.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Why is the President's younger brother, Neil, touring with the leader of the Moonies?

If that little headline and link don't make you cringe, you must not know who Moon is. Dave at Shining Light in Dark Corners has written a very nice overview about the Bush Alliance with Sun Myung Moon.

Unrelated to Moon, but not unrelated to the rich Bozo's who have taken this country hostage; also found at Shining Light in Dark Corners, is this little tidbit...

"An analysis released by a Democratic senator found that Vice President Dick Cheney's Halliburton stock options have risen 3,281 percent in the last year, RAW STORY can reveal. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) asserts that Cheney's options -- worth $241,498 a year ago -- are now valued at more than $8 million. The former CEO of the oil and gas services juggernaut, Cheney has pledged to give proceeds to charity."

Charity my ass Mr. Cheney! Pay it back to the people of the US and to the people of Iraq!
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Something To Think About

Diebold Variations

This was found at Diebold Variations. There's more.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Monday, December 05, 2005

Oil Change

A Campaign to Reduce Our Dependency on Oil

Oil addiction. It saps America's economic strength, pollutes our environment, and jeopardizes national security. We need to break that addiction. Breaking that addiction begins with the choices we make as individuals. Instead of oil dependence, let's choose OIL CHANGE!

The Participate community includes actors, filmmakers, issue experts, moviegoers, and activists from all over the world. They write blogs, share ideas, sign petitions, recruit new members, organize discussion groups, and take direct action. They are Participants in improving their lives, homes, schools, communities, and the world. The Participate community is you and people like you—it thrives on your ideas, your passion, and your actions.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

No Thing

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, December 03, 2005

About The Human Mirror

This is from an article in the Wahington Post:

[...] At the black console on the second floor of the American Visionary Art Museum, he tries to align his face with a grid that stares back at him from behind the glass-enclosed front of the machine, which looks like a minimalist version of a mall photo booth.

He clicks a mouse and a screen shows a grainy black-and-white picture of the 30-year-old student, who has olive skin, a long, rounded nose, large eyes and a full mouth.

Within seconds, the machine morphs his image, projecting color photos of how Hawthorne, who considers himself white, would look if he were Asian, black, Hispanic, East Indian and Middle Eastern. Hawthorne, a fine-arts major at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va., says he sees a bit of himself in each picture.

That's exactly what SoHo artist Nancy Burson was going for. [...]

The machine, the artist said, is based on one philosophy: that the similarities between people of various races far outweigh the differences. To Burson, who is white, there aren't different races, just one -- the human race, she said. The best way to show that, she thought, would be to give people the chance to manipulate their ethnicity and see themselves differently, even if only momentarily. [...]

"Somebody [recently] said to me, 'There's no gene for race.' And I said: 'What? Why don't we know that? Why isn't this information out there?' I thought the information was so huge and I still do, and I don't think people understand that." [...]

It is true: there is no gene for race, and no definable set of genes, either. Race is a social construct, not a biological one. It is an important concept for people to understand.

At first, I thought the exercise was pointless. How can a work of art get people to understand a subtle scientific concept? Then I realized that the point of the artist, probably, is not so much to get people to understand, as to get them to think about it.

In my perpetually-sophomoric opinion, art is not about creating beauty. The world has lots of beautiful things already. If you want more beuatiful things, go plant some flowers or something. It does not take an artist to do that.

Art is a form of communication. Sometimes, what is communicated is not a fact, but a question. Sometimes the purpose is not even to ask a question, but to prompt others to ask their own questions.


UPDATE: Science Fiction is like art. It influences people to ask questions, even if it is not "good literature."


UPDATE #2: Do not fear art; nor fear the questions:

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Little Boy Hero

Read how George W. Bush became captive to the fictional story he created for himself.
I wonder what might happen if Paul Newman were to talk to him now and explain to him, 'it was only a movie'.
As I listened to excerpts of his speech all I could think was "grow up!"
Rev. Bill McGinnis writes so well what I heard as I listened too.

This is the idea, the story they are trying to live out:

"There are some really bad people - evil beyond hope - who hate us because we are good. And they want to hurt us any way they can, even with nuclear weapons and chemicals and cutting off our heads with a knife. They are so bad, they cannot possibly be changed; and they cannot be dealt with, because they refuse to obey any civilized rules. So we must kill them all in order to protect ourselves. We cannot stop killing them until they are about 95% completely destroyed. Then we can stop killing them ourselves, and turn the job over to the Local People, who will be well-enough trained by then to finish up. We are encountering some problems, but if we are strong, and stay the course, we can overcome all difficulties. Eventually, victory will be ours, and the world will be saved from these evil people. And then, at last, the Local People will be tossing flowers and dancing in the streets. 'Free at Last! Free at last! Hallelujah, we're free at last!' they will sing. And we will all live happily ever after, with Democracy, and American flags, and freedom to worship (or not) as we choose, and unregulated free-trade Capitalism, and private investment, and excellent profits, and privatization of everything,, and retirement savings accounts, and education for everyone, and security for Israel, and reconstruction contracts, and freedom for women, and lots of oil forever." [ read it all ]
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Participation in Crafting Secret Energy Policy

Will someone please clue me in on what exactly is the legal definition of 'participate' ?
Last week, the Republican staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee suggested that the executives did not mislead the committee because whatever they did with the task force did not meet the legal definition of "participate."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, December 02, 2005

From the Transcript:

Sen. John Warner's Press Conference on Iraqi Media
But I want to step back and talk just a minute about what I said yesterday, because I stand by those statements of my concern about any actions that could undermine the credibility of our great nation and indeed the profession of journalism.

Now, they're confronted with a serious problem over there in Iraq -- I've now finished my sixth visit just two months ago -- and that is disinformation. An enormous amount of information is being fed the Iraqi press, both written and television, that is just plain factually wrong.

Well, my... who happens to be looking at the information being fed our press right here in the US? Is that also considered a serious problem?
Perhaps the facts regarding both manifestations of propaganda need to be investigated.
For some more background speculation and concerns regarding the Lincoln Alliance, and their possible manipulations in the US, read this older Billmon post. Don't stop there.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Listening To....

Gender Differences and Cognitive Abilities

I've missed some of the show and will listen again once the archives are up.
Right now, I will say the studies are interesting and the fact that the differences are measurable will help improve teaching methods. I'm very glad to see this research being pursued despite the tendency to deny it exists.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Cinema Real

CBC presents a documentary film festival Dec 1-6.
The documentary Naked, directed by Mary Bissell, aired last night and will be repeated Dec 6. I saw this film at the Montreal Film Festival earlier in the year.
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.

There were some very moving segments in this documentary, all tastefully filmed with some wonderful insight into this form of dissent.

Here is a listing of the other documentaries airing this week.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The More Things Change....

"What is the great Amercican sin? Extravagance? Vice? Graft? No; it is a kind of half-humorous, good-natured indifference, a lack of "concentrated indignation" as my English friend calls it, which allows extravagance and vice to flourish. Trace most of our ills to their source, and it is found that they exist by virtue of an easy-going, fatalistic indifference which dislikes to have its comfort disturbed.... The most shameless greed, the most sickening industrial atrocities, the most appalling public scandals are exposed, but a half-cynical and wholly indifferent public passes them by with hardly a shrug of the shoulders; and they are lost in the medley of events. This is the great American sin." - - - Joseph Fort Newman, Atlantic Monthly, October 1922

via Left is Right where I also found Tis the Season to be Broke by Robert Reich
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


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