Archive for September, 2008

Interfaith dialog

Found this on Digg:

interfaith dialog

Funny, but fake. Believe it or not, there’s a site called Church Sign Generator where you can make these things up. Forgive me if I’m the last person on the internet to have heard of this.

Posted at 7pm on Sep 14, 2008 | 1 comment
Filed Under: Apropos of nothing

How racism works

What if John McCain were a former president of the Harvard Law Review? What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?

What if McCain were still married to the first woman he said “I do” to? What if Obama were the candidate who left his first wife after she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Michelle Obama were a wife who not only became addicted to pain killers, but acquired them illegally through her charitable organization? What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?

What if Obama were a member of the “Keating 5″? What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is

Posted at 2pm on Sep 14, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Religion & Society

Twitter Updates for 2008-09-13

  • Just took Maia, in a backpack, on her first hike up a mountain. She’s getting heavy. My back hurt. She had a great time. Great weather. #
  • Scary Palin article in NYT: “In Office, Palin Hired Friends and Hit Critics.” http://tinyurl.com/5zzk9r #
Posted at 11pm on Sep 13, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Apropos of nothing

Breaking News: McCain Ditches Palin, Announces New Running Mate

I bring exclusive footage of McCain’s new running mate discussing international affairs. Thank goodness Palin will no longer be around to embarrass us with her nonsensical claims that living close to Russia and building an oil pipeline give her foreign policy experience, or her complete cluelessness about the Bush Doctrine. Now we can have a real foreign policy wonk by McCain’s side — and she’s even younger and prettier than Palin, so republican voters are guaranteed to rally around and support her.

Posted at 6am on Sep 13, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Politics

Dick Cavett (and others) on Palin

Dick Cavett, brilliant as ever:

I wince and feel for her over the reports of how she is being tutored, guided and taught in marathon cram sessions of what might be called a crash course in Instant Experience 101. There’s something almost funny in the idea that she is being speedily stuffed, Strasbourg-goose-style, with knowledge she should have had before she was selected.

Instant Experience 101. That just about sums up the authenticity of Sarah Palin’s VP candidacy.

Despite the “Dick Cavett” title to this post, I can’t resist adding the following from Gail Collins:

Did you see her being interviewed by Charlie Gibson about foreign policy, trying to slither away from saying anything controversial and rewriting her own history whenever it suited her?

And

If you fire the governor’s chef and then charge the state a per diem for every night you sleep in your own house, does that make you an

Posted at 5am on Sep 13, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Politics

Can Offshore Drilling Really Make the U.S. Oil Independent?

John McCain says he plans to shake up Washington and to bring systemic change to the political system. And yet it’s hard to see how this can come about through perpetuating the blatant disregard for factual accuracy that has characterized the past eight years. I’m not talking about the McCain’s campaign of distortion and lying about Obama, or about the way in which they’ve misrepresented Sarah Palin’s record, but McCain’s absurd energy policy of “drill here, drill now.” While it’s reasonable to produce more oil domestically, it’s not reasonable to suggest that that measure would make a substantial difference to the US’s dependence on foreign oil.

This from Scientific American:

Kaufman [expert on world oil markets and director of Boston University's Center for Energy and Environmental Studies] dismisses as “nonsense” any promises that offshore drilling could make the U.S. “oil independent.” Even if it could somehow insulate itself from the ups and

Posted at 4am on Sep 13, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Politics

How to beat the TSA

So now we know, courtesy of a Canadian record executive, how terrorists can get off the terrorist watch list and infiltrate airplanes: they can just change their names. This from CBA, courtesy of BoingBoing:

“I was pulled aside in a room … and you have to wait your turn to finally be released,” Labbé said. “An hour, an hour and a half, two hours, whatever it is after. Once I was caught in Miami like that for six hours.

“It’s always the same questions, about if I’ve lost my passport, if I’ve been to Japan — I don’t know why Japan, but in their file it was something to do with Japan.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security wrote a letter to Labbé in 2004, saying he had been placed on their watch list after falling victim to identity theft. At the time, the department said there was no way for

Posted at 4am on Sep 13, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Apropos of nothing

Twitter Updates for 2008-09-12

  • Last episode, season one of Primeval. It’s not perfect but I’m a convert. Loved the beastie from the future. Great plot twists! #
  • My webhost (modwest) is soooo slow this morning. And it’s a day when I seem to have no patience… #
  • The writing about the 6 Elements is going well, and the research is fascinating. I love learning new things! #
  • Maia just pointed at a pic of Sarah Michelle Gellar and said “mama.” Again! Shrijnana’s pleased. #
  • Just Skyped with a friend in Australia. It’s Saturday there, so I was talking into the future. Spooky. And fun. Can’t wait to Skype Mars. #
Posted at 11pm on Sep 12, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Apropos of nothing

More lies from the McCain camp

As Krugman pointed out today, at least when Bush was lying in his election campaigns it tended to be about abstruse points regarding tax policy that it was hard to check up on. Whereas when McCain and his crew lie you just need to use Google or visit YouTube. The nonpartisan group Factcheck.org highlights for egregious examples of McCain’s complete disregard for truthfulness:

The McCain-Palin campaign has released a new TV ad that distorts quotes from the Obama campaign. It takes words out of context to make it sound as though the Democratic ticket is belittling Palin:

* The ad says “they said she was doing ‘what she was told.’ ” But the Obama adviser who’s being quoted didn’t accuse Palin of meekly following orders. What he actually said is that she made a false claim about Obama’s legislative record and added, “maybe that’s what she was told.”

Posted at 6pm on Sep 12, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Politics

McCain, Palin, and truthfulness

Manjughosha must be smiling on me today, because my writing’s going well despite extreme tiredness induced by an almost-two-year-old wanting milk at 4:30AM. Anyway, that leaves time before dinner for a quick McCain/Palin round-up.

Paul Krugman has a sterling piece today in the Times called “Blizzard of Lies,” detailing some of the many deceptions the the shameless McCain team is employing:

Did you hear about how Barack Obama wants to have sex education in kindergarten, and called Sarah Palin a pig? Did you hear about how Ms. Palin told Congress, “Thanks, but no thanks” when it wanted to buy Alaska a Bridge to Nowhere?

These stories have two things in common: they’re all claims recently made by the McCain campaign — and they’re all out-and-out lies.

Dishonesty is nothing new in politics. I spent much of 2000 — my first year at The Times — trying to alert readers to the blatant dishonesty of

Posted at 4pm on Sep 12, 2008 | 3 comments
Filed Under: Politics

Lottery tickets and poverty

There’s a fascinating interview with George Loewenstein over at Sci-Am describing a very elegant experiment that shows how a sense of poverty prompts people to buy lottery tickets:

We randomly assigned subjects to either feel relatively poor or relatively rich by having them complete demographic questions that included an item on annual income. The group made to feel poor was asked to provide its income on a scale that began at “less than $100,000″ and went up from there, ensuring that most respondents would be in the lowest income tier. The group made to feel subjectively wealthier was asked to report income on a scale that began with “less than $10,000″ and increased in $10,000 increments, leading most respondents to be in a middle tier. The group made to feel poor purchased twice as many lottery tickets (an average of 1.27) than those made to feel relatively wealthier (0.67 tickets, on

Posted at 8am on Sep 12, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Religion & Society

Twitter Updates for 2008-09-11

  • Reading Le Carre’s “Mission Song”. So far I’m loving it. Fantastic writer. #
  • What do the French call French toast? Just “toast”? #
  • Putting the a/c away. I guess summer is over. #
Posted at 11pm on Sep 11, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Apropos of nothing

The Heart Sutra, by Karuna Carpenter

The other week I signed up to the Feedblitz for the FWBO News site (Feedblitz sends me a post daily if there have been new posts in the blog). I’m glad I did, otherwise I might not have come across the gem below:

If you want to subscribe to the FWBO News feedblitz feed, look in the right sidebar under “FWBO news delivered.”

Posted at 12pm on Sep 10, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Meditation & practice

Twitter Updates for 2008-09-09

  • @Dassini Can’t find a way to post a comment on yer blog. It seems you have to have a Blogger/Google/etc account, none of which I have. Shame #
  • @Dassini I’ve seen other blogger sites with extra comment options. Is there some setting you can tweak? #
  • @freebuddhist Yeah, I know. I’m just not interested in registering somewhere so I can comment on a blog. #
  • @freebuddhist Nope. And again I’m not going to sign up for a Wordpress blog or AIM so I can comment on a blog. #
Posted at 11pm on Sep 9, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Apropos of nothing

Tom Toles on McCain

This just about sums it up for me:

cartoon

Posted at 7pm on Sep 9, 2008 | 1 comment
Filed Under: Apropos of nothing

Wordless Wednesday: Boys fishing in Lake Awassa, Ethiopia

Boys fishing at Awassa

Posted at 6pm on Sep 9, 2008 | 18 comments
Filed Under: Wordless Wednesday
Tags: , ,

Twitter Updates for 2008-09-08

  • Great retreat with Ratnaguna. The man really knows his Pala.n.dukas. (Wee Pali joke there) #
  • Just saw a hummingbird in the front garden. #
Posted at 11pm on Sep 8, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Apropos of nothing

Twitter Updates for 2008-09-07

  • Slept for 12 hours last night. #
  • @tejananda Ah, but you get to sleep in your own bed! #
Posted at 11pm on Sep 7, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Apropos of nothing

Frank Rich on McCain’s decision-making

But Rich is even better on what his first executive decision — choosing Sarah Palin — says about his leadership:

His speed-dating of Palin reaffirmed a more dangerous personality tic that has dogged his entire career. His decision-making process is impetuous and, in its Bush-like preference for gut instinct over facts, potentially reckless.

As The New York Times reported last Tuesday, Palin was sloppily vetted, at best. McCain operatives and some of their press surrogates responded to this revelation by trying to discredit The Times article. After all, The Washington Post had cited McCain aides (including his campaign manager, Rick Davis) last weekend to assure us that Palin had a “full vetting process.” She had been subjected to “an F.B.I. background check,” we were told, and “the McCain camp had reviewed everything it could find on her.”

The Times had it right. The McCain campaign’s claims of a “full

Posted at 1pm on Sep 7, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Apropos of nothing

Frank Rich on Sarah Palin

I was disappointed that Frank Rich’s column last week had been written too early to contain his analysis of McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as Vice Presidential nominee, but it was worth the wait:

Most of the rest of the biography supplied by her and the McCain camp is fiction.

She didn’t say “no thanks” to the “Bridge to Nowhere” until after Congress had already abandoned it but given Alaska a blank check for $223 million in taxpayers’ money anyway. Far from rejecting federal pork, she hired lobbyists to secure her town a disproportionate share of earmarks ($1,000 per resident in 2002, 20 times the per capita average in other states). Though McCain claimed “she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities,” she has never issued a single command as head of the Alaska National Guard. As for her “executive experience”

Posted at 1pm on Sep 7, 2008 | no comments
Filed Under: Apropos of nothing

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