Friday, January 11, 2008

mikal is not in philly...

...and that’s why I’m finally closing down this blog and starting a new one.

Check out my new effort,

Friday, December 28, 2007

Busy as a beaver

Actually, I’ve been much less busy than a beaver. Things slowed down a day or two before Christmas, and we settled in here on Lake Chatauqua for our first Christmas at home since 2003.

Our friends Paul and Saideh came from Indianapolis, with their three-year-old son Connor. Paul and I were out walking along the lake when suddenly we came across this amazing construction of out-of-control beaver activity. I had watched the beavers all summer and fall, even saw them swimming from time to time, and noticed their lodge, which was snug against the shore. Then winter set in and I made fewer trips to the edge of the lake, so I didn’t notice this taking place.

The size of this lodge is amazing, as is the fact that it’s not anchored to the shore. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but it’s about 25 feet long, and most of the trees used are at least five to six inches in diameter.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

But is this ideology infallible?

Seems our right-wing holy father has weighed in on global warming. From the Daily Mail in the U.K.:

“Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology.”

I wouldn’t think the Catholic church would want to raise the question about beliefs being based on firm evidence and dubious ideology.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Supporting our troops, Bu$hco style

I don’t know how I missed this story for over a month. I read about it in News of the Weird that column of silly stories that appears in alternative newspapers with items like criminals who turn themselves into the police. But this story is not weird: it’ standard operating procedure for the warmongers who are running our country.

Seems a unit of the Minnesota National Guard returned from Iraq in October after serving the longest deployment of any unit, 22 months. Their tour of duty was extended so they could be part of the “surge.” When some of them applied for educational benefits, they were denied because they had only served 729 days. The requirement to receive full educational benefits is 730 days.

Minnesota’s congressional delegation has called the Secretary of the Army on the carpet for this, but nearly a month later, it remains unfixed. These fucking assholes who run (ruin) our country probably hope people will forget about it eventually and the story will go away.

Support our troops, indeed. The best way to support our troops is to throw Bush into the brig.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A troublesome endorsement for Hillary

From my friend in Indianapolis, Brian Howey of the Howey Political Report comes this news:

“U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton's national poll numbers are beginning to erode as College Republicans praised her Iraq War Resolution vote and plan to demonstrate that prior to a speech tonight by U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh in Warwick, R.I. ‘I would like to welcome presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign to Rhode Island and thank her not only for the vote she cast in 2002 that authorized the war in Iraq, but also for her recent commitment to keep combat troops in Iraq to fight al Qaeda if she is elected president next year,’ said College Repubican Ryan Bilodeau in the Washington Times.”

I’ve been saying it all along. This woman should not be our next president.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Graphic G.O.P.

This poster speaks for itself. It and two others were designed by Rich Silverstein, and are available at the Huffington Post. You can go there and print them out. I intend to plaster them on telephone poles and wherever else seems apropos.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The quadrant of dread

I did an uncharacteristic, impetuous thing last night. I attended a new-agey workshop here in Carbondale on the topic of Abundance.

It wasn’t that I’ve been experiencing a lack of abundance in my own life. I’ve been completely amazed by our good fortune over the last couple of years. It was more a nagging feeling that it might be illusory, that it could disappear at any moment if I didn’t guard it more carefully.

At the workshop, the presenter created a two-dimensional map that charted time, from past to future on one axis, and power on the other. The power of course, ranged from positive to negative.

This created four quadrants. In the upper left, towards the past and positive in its power, was nostalgia. One needs to be careful not to get mired in nostalgia for the past, but the quadrant can be a source of positive direction. In the lower right-hand corner, towards the future, and negative in the effects of its power, is the quadrant of dread.

I loved the image. I know I spend a lot of time living here in the quadrant of dread. “What if I lose my job?” “What if George Bush declares a dictatorship?” “What if the real estate market continues in free fall?”

The upshot is if you dwell in the quadrant of dread, you’ll probably start making plans for all the what-if scenarios, and turn them into self-fulfilling prophecies. I learned that one should adopt a new language, a way of rephrasing: “I am not my job. My job is me.”

It’s subtle and it’s new-agey, but by golly, it’s my new mantra.