Friday, January 16, 2009

Trool pen

You want to let the troll tell you what to talk about? Do it here.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hello, Hello, Hello

Is There Anybody Out There?!

I get it, everyone is busy and sick and completely bored by the blogosphere. The fight was won. Bushco and his criminal crew are gone in just a few short days. We are on to a new chapter in this country...a blissful new chapter of Peace and Love. [Pay no attention to the multiple wars and the economy in the crapper.]

There is nothing left to fight for. Right?


Dammit. We have more work to do than we did when we were fighting the criminality of the Bush Administration and the corrupt Republican Congress over these last 8 long fucking years.

Obama needs a movement.

And, the thing is, Obama recognizes this. Obama knows that he will not be able to implement any significant change unless the people are louder than the lobbyists. It is not enough to police the Democratic Congress and then bitch about it when they do wrong. This will not get us anywhere except for providing us a place to come and bitch and agree with each other. This is not what we need.

This is what is all about. It is also why Obama continues to send us a zillion emails. It is not about fundraising right now...we won. There will not be an election for President for four years. All of this communication with us is not for show - it is because Obama needs a movement. Without us screaming louder than the frickin' lobbyists the change will not happen.

There is also which is a division of This is the people's side of the Change movement. (Don't go to unless you want to jack-off; is the underwear manufacturer.)

The bottom line, even though we are tired and we are bored, we have work to do. I warned about the let-down and people seemed to agree with me that it would happen. I thought that it would have happened earlier and been over by now...but, I am thinking, the Holidays might have postponed it and might have added to it (family really is a pain in the ass.)

Consider this the pep-talk. (I can only give them, I have a hard time actually following them up with action - so I expect you all, my friends, to call me on it when I start whining...) We have work to do people. Our blog should be more active than it was while fighting the GOP. There are hearings to watch and policing of the Congress to do. Phone calls to make and letters to write. Volunteering to participate in. Movements to initiate. Media to watchdog.

Just nod if you can hear me - Is there anyone at home?

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?

Every so often there is an occurrence that reminds me that there is more good in this world than bad. Something happens that offers hope and helps me to feel like I really do live in a world community of people who want nothing more than Peace and Joy and Love - and Understanding.

Unfortunately, it is sometimes so much easier to find what is wrong in this world; to see the natural disasters and - worse - the man-made ones. It is easy to see only pain and destruction...but every so often there comes that moment that brings tears to my eyes and reminds me that we really are a Loving people; despite the endless crap, People Really are Good.

I had such a moment this morning.

I received "Obama's Call to Service" invitation. When I punched in my zip code to search for events in my area, I thought to myself, "what if no one signed up?"

Instead this is what popped up. Look at all of these events and read their descriptions. Feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, cleaning up is endless.

People are searching for direction on what they can do to help. People want to give. Even during this time when so many are suffering and so many do not know where their next rent check or mortgage payment or meal will come from, they are still ready to jump up and give of themselves.

Damn, I love it when my eyes are filled with these kinds of tears...

Find events here.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How it Happens

The other day, while reading online (you know what they say…) I saw a perfect example of how it happens. We all know what it is; it is the Internet’s version of the game of telephone and it is far worse.

Someone reads something, they interpret it, then they post their interpretation, someone reads their interpretation, links to it as gospel and the original piece of news is lost forever. The comments in the blog post that follow reflect the anger and disgust – or joy, happy, joy, joy – at the grand “news” that is conveyed. Unfortunately, we cannot always believe everything that we read on the Internet.

The other day I read this headline to my husband:

Land of the Free? As of February 10, 2009 it will be illegal to re-sell children's toys and clothing

My reaction, as was my husband’s, was WTF? How would we survive if it weren’t for thrift stores? And, there are millions more people like us. Not to mention that kids outgrow their clothing so quickly that in thrift stores/second hand stores/consignment shops the children’s clothing is quite often brand new or nearly new.

I investigated further. The blog post linked to this article:

New law restricts re-sale of kid's products

OK, “restricts” is better than “makes it illegal.” The article goes on to clarify,

A new law which takes effect next month requires testing for lead and other chemicals on any kid products made before February 10th.

Members of the Consumer Product Safety Commission tentatively agreed that clothing and toys made from natural materials like cotton and wood will be exempt.

Now I am starting to see a more clear picture of what is going on…testing for lead levels and other illegal chemicals…cotton and wood products exempt. This seems a little more reasonable. It still seems a tad excessive and I am still a little outraged at the restrictions, but it is sounding far more reasonable than the original headline. I investigate further – going directly to the source.

CPSC Clarifies Requirements of New Children’s Product Safety Laws Taking Effect in February
Guidance Intended for Resellers of Children’s Products, Thrift and Consignment Store

The new law requires that domestic manufacturers and importers certify that children’s products made after February 10 meet all the new safety standards and the lead ban. Sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.

When the CPSIA was signed into law on August 14, 2008, it became unlawful to sell recalled products.

While this might be slightly inconvenient for consignment shops and thrift stores, that they have to confirm that the toys that they are reselling have not been recalled and they have to confirm that their products do not have excessive amounts of lead in them, it seems perfectly reasonable and it is a far cry from the original headline.

This was such a clear example to me of how it happens on the ‘Nets. How the rumors get started and how easy that it is for misunderstandings to occur and tempers to flare. While reading some of the comments following the two posts, the first, inflammatory one at Newsvine and the second, less severe one at KVUE (an “actual” news source) I was struck at how easy it is to cement in someone’s mind a misconception.

The commentors were furious, one going so far as to put out a call for massive civil disobedience. I was heartened to read some more tempered comments, including someone telling the original poster that he should research his information a little more before posting such an inflammatory headline – but the damage had already been done.

Now there is a counter movement against this regulation. The law, as I understand it, was fairly well thought out and supported by environmental organizations and consumer safety advocates. It makes sense to me – don’t sell shit that has been recalled or has enough lead in it to poison our children. Straight forward and reasonable - especially when we remember the outrage when the toys with lead in them were discovered; the law was an outgrowth of this lack of oversight. However, the inflammatory headlines and BS flowing around the Intertubes has created public outrage and ignorance.

And this is how it happens.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Truthout Web-A-Thon

I am a fan of Truthout. I think that independent journalists and websites like Truthout are one of the reasons that we were able to win the 2006 midterms and the 2008 Elections.

For the past several weeks I have been receiving fairly desperate emails asking for donations. Apparently Truthout is in really dire straights and at risk of having to lay people off.

They are a non-profit 501 C3 organization, which means that every penny donated is tax deductible.

If you have a couple of extra bucks, please donate. And, for the cash poor among us, please help to spread the word.

Email from Truthout, below the fold.

Monday 12 January 2009

Like all other organizations, we are challenged by the current economic disaster. We are fighting to save jobs and maintain services. Some readers will have cash to spare, others will not. We understand. If you do have some funding you can contribute, we think this project is worth it. Thank you in advance.

Just click this link for our electronic donation options:

You can also donate by check, made payable to:
P.O. Box 231278
Encinitas, CA 92023

Or donate by phone:

*REMEMBER: You can select a monthly plan to provide us with automatic, recurring support. Please sign up for whatever you can afford.

Truthout is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, independent news source, so your contributions are completely tax deductible.

LOW INCOME READERS: Don't send cash. Just help us by spreading the word!

If you are an active donor, THANK YOU!

Truthout is free to all. Donations are strictly voluntary. If you stop receiving our newsletters, notify at once.

Thanks again!

Marc Ash, Executive Director -
t r u t h o u t

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Stuff Journos (&Pols) Like

Reading this list - it's no wonder journalists and politicians get along and interbreed.
Journalists like dating each other because only fellow journalists understand the phrase: “Not tonight dear, I’m on deadline.”Or, "I have a vote" or "I have a lobbyist meeting." -id.

Attempts to date people outside of the newsroom who cannot name gubernatorial candidates, have a limited vocabulary and who don’t know who Hunter S. Thompson is will only lead to a return to dating journalists.

Of course I cut the previous paragraph:
Journalists’ code of ethics forbid being in bed with sources but the code says nothing about being in bed with fellow journalists.

Right. Look at Washington and say that again with a straight face.

Anyway, it's highly interesting. Love to the BoingBoing.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Small, Petty and Never Disappointing

Bush, the ever mean-spirited petulant frat boy, didn't disappoint us as he prepares to leave office.

When I first heard that there was someone else staying at the Blair House, and therefore, President-Elect Obama, and his family would have to find other accommodations if they wanted the kids to start school on time, I thought who in the hell is more important than the President-Elect? It turns out there was plenty of room to accommodate the Obama family until Bush hastily invited former Australian Prime Minister John Howard to stay a little longer, leaving the Obamas and their sizable security detail to check into the Hay Adams, at taxpayer expense.

How does someone that small and petty, oh never mind.

h/t Arianna Huffington

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Patriot Games

The Army has come up with an innovative way to increase the number of recruits. Open a 14,000 square foot, $13 million dollar video arcade at the Franklin Mills mall in Philadelphia.

At the Army Arcade Experience, as it is called, you can spend your hours killing simulated humans and enjoying the thrill of the hunt, whether you are in a full-scale simulated AH-64 Apache, Longbow helicopter, an armed Humvee or a Black Hawk copter with M4 carbine assault rifles.

The new Army Arcade Experience also has 22 recruiters ready to sign 'em up. If successful, more will be coming to cities where recruitment is low. Our tax dollars at work.

War is the absolute worst endeavor humans can undertake, and these monsters have come up with a way to glorify it and make it 'fun.'

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