Saturday, April 2, 2011

Portlandia: Put A Bird On It

Morning Walk / Caminhada de hoje

Praça Coimbra

Igreja de São Francisco

view from our dining room table... the bars are a drag but you dry your socks on them


Friday, April 1, 2011

Via Truthout: Paul Krugman | Extensive Outsourcing Leads to Trouble

Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: "There's a new article in the March/April edition of the Washington Monthly making the point that the United States needs federal bureaucrats to manage spending, including spending on private contractors, and that understaffing the government - which we're doing already, and will do more of if the right gets its way - actually increases the deficit. I agree. 'In practice, cutting civil servants often means either adding private contractors or ... resorting to the belief that industries have a deep capacity to police themselves,' John Gravois writes."

Read the Article
If above link doesn't work, try this one:
Alternate Link

Via JMG: U.S. Senate Honors Elizabeth Taylor

The U.S. Senate has passed a Boxer/Feinstein-sponsored resolution honoring Elizabeth Taylor. It reads, in part:
Whereas Elizabeth Taylor used her fame to raise awareness and advocate for people affected by HIV/AIDS;
Whereas, at a time when HIV/AIDS was largely an unknown disease and those who were affected by HIV/AIDS were ostracized and shunned, Elizabeth Taylor called for and demonstrated compassion by publicly holding the hand of her friend and former costar, Rock Hudson, after he had announced that he had AIDS;
Whereas Elizabeth Taylor testified before Congress saying, “It is my hope that history will show that the American people and our leaders met the challenge of AIDS rationally and with all the resources at their disposal, for our sake and that of all humanity.”;
Whereas, in 1985, Elizabeth Taylor became the Founding National Chairman for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (commonly known as “amfAR”);
Whereas, in 1991, Elizabeth Taylor founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to provide direct support to those suffering from the disease;
Whereas the extensive efforts of Elizabeth Taylor have helped educate the public and lawmakers about the need for research, treatment, and compassion for those suffering from HIV/AIDS;
Resolved, That the Senate recognizes and honors the courageous, compassionate leadership and many professional accomplishments of Elizabeth Taylor; and offers its deepest condolences to her family.

reposted from Joe

Pôr do Sol / Sunset

out the front door - Igreja Rosario - pela porta da frente

garden wall / muro do jardim

Atualização da Casa de Zizinha ... a mesa chegou! / Casa de Zizinha update... the table arrived!

plastic has been banished to the patio

all made from repurposed lumber

E obrigado Jaime por trazendo a mesinha!

Via JMG: Crazy Eyes: Obama Wants You Poor

"I think that the agenda that we have seen - we know that sixty-three percent of all households have seen a major decline in their personal wealth, a decline in their personal income, and an increase in their debt level. That's all attributable directly to Barack Obama's principles. I don't think it's by accident we're seeing people struggling and we're seeing redistribution of wealth. I think Barack Obama is getting exactly the outcome that he hoped for.

"All of us, I think are perhaps giving the President too much credit thinking, well, he probably just doesn't understand that liberalism actually makes people poorer. I actually think that this is what the President wants. I believe that he wants to see redistribution of wealth because if you ever notice, the President seems to be angry and irritable and sarcastic about people who have succeeded in the United States and job creators. Those seem to be the two sectors that he most wants to punish." - Rep. Michele Bachmann, speaking on the radio show of Pat Robertson's lawyer, Jay Sekulow.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Photo Of The Day

Three weeks after the tsunami, Japanese rescue workers found a dog riding the floating roof of a house, miles out at sea. Video at the link.

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reposted from Joe

Resistance Is Futile - Via JMG

You will join the Apple Borg, my child.
According to ThinkGeek, the set "introduces children to the magic of Apple technology." There's an entire two-level Apple Store staffed by PLAYMOBIL™ associates, with tiny demo tables filled with minuscule Apple gear, software shelves, and even the kid's corner on the ground floor. Upstairs, there's a Genius Bar and a Keynote Theater staffed by a mini Steve Jobs figure. The Store is designed so that you can use your own iPhone 4 as Steve's screen in the theater, and there are simulated Keynote presentations available for download on the PLAYMOBIL™ website.
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reposted from Joe

Morning Walk / Caminhada de hoje - Vista do Novo Apartamento!

View from front door

Super Cidinha!
Oi Cidinha!

Via AMERICAblog:

Capitol Hill rally expecting 'thousands of Tea Party activists' had crowd of around 100

Earlier this week, we posted the press release from the national teabagger group about their big rally here in DC today:
Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest grassroots organization, today announced that it will hold its first “Continuing Revolution Rally” outside of the U.S. Capitol challenging Congress and the members it helped sweep into power to take swift action on the budget. Tea Party stars in Congress such as Reps. Mike Pence and Michele Bachmann will join thousands of Tea Party activists to send a message to the rest of Washington. Thursday’s rally is co-sponsored by Let Freedom Ring, the Institute for Liberty, and Smart Girl Politics.
Yep. All the big names in teabagging were combining forces to show members of Congress how powerful they are. Thousands were expected. It was going to be HUGE.

This morning, the Moonie Times, the favorite paper of DC right-wingers, piled on. The paper headlined news that the teabaggers were coming to DC -- not just coming, they were going to storm Capitol Hill.


It was a big bust. Pence and Bachmann were there. But, they weren't joined by "thousands of Tea Party activists." Not even close.

Think Progress
tweeted from the event:
About 100 people at today's "major" Tea Party rally #losingsteam
Over at DailyKos, Jed Lewison has a clip from FOX News, where they blamed the weather for the pathetic turnout. Seriously, the weather. I can report that it was cloudy and a little drizzly here in DC today. That's it. Jed notes:
Yeah, the weather really killed the rally. Just like the only reason the rallies were so big in Wisconsin was its gorgeous mid-winter weather (complete with sunny blue skies and palm trees!).

Or here's another thought: maybe the tea party fizzle has something to do with the fact that the tea party isn't popular anymore.
That probably won't stop them from getting excessive media coverage, especially on FOX. But, I bet a lot of people on Capitol Hill are a lot less worried about the teabaggers today than they were yesterday.

One more thing: as we noted over at AMERICAblog Gay, the teabaggers in the House have abandoned the pretense that they are focused on fiscal issues. The House Republicans are working to end DC's same-sex marriage law. They just can't quit their legislative gay-bashing. And, they'd rather go after the gays than create jobs.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Reposted from Huffington: The Republicans Lack the Seriousness to Govern

Bob Cesca

The Republicans Lack the Seriousness to Govern

Host of the Bob and Elvis Show
It seems obvious, but in order to be taken seriously, politicians have to be, you know, serious. Not just in terms of personality or behavior, but primarily in terms of policy and lawmaking.

The Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group - 20 Year Anniversary - January 2011


Reposted from JMG: Teabagger GOP Rep. Sean Duffy: I Can't Live On My Terrible Salary Of $174,000

Talking Points Memo reports that the GOP is furiously trying to scrub the net of the below video in which freshman Tea Party-backed GOP Rep. Sean Duffy (WI) complains about his annual salary of $174,000.
A day after TPM posted the video we obtained of Duffy talking about his salary at a Polk County town hall meeting earlier this year, the Polk County GOP contacted the video provider we used to host the video,, and demanded the video be taken down. The tape caused a stir for Duffy, a first-term conservative best known for his past as a reality TV show star on MTV's The Real World. Democrats flagged the comments about his taxpayer-funded salary (which is nearly three times the median income in Wisconsin) and criticisms began to flow Duffy's way.
Duffy, who has six kids, was endorsed for office by the Wisconsin hate group that pushed for a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

reposted from Joe

From the Chronicle of Higher Education: Watching the Tsunami Destroy Civilization

From the Chronicle of Higher Education, Wednesday, March 30, 2011. See
Watching the Tsunami Destroy Civilization

By Laurie Fendrich
Watching this video [see ] of the March 11th tsunami hit Japan takes a good five minutes, and the experience of watching it is a little gruesome-but only in a  conceptual way. Because much of it's shot from a moving helicopter, we get enough distance on the power of the wave to feel the strong illusion that we are detached observers with no stake in what's going on. The terror and horror that must have been felt by people on the ground is calmly replaced by our fascination and speculation. What will this wave grab next? Will it take that truck? Will that bridge go down with it?

Yet because we ought to know what these things do, we ought to watch it. Nature blithely takes down, in only a few minutes, whole cities that required centuries to build. Absorbing this knowledge without succumbing to depression requires a certain amount of stoicism. Marcus Aurelius put it well:
"Do not act as if you were going to live ten thousand years. Death hangs over you. While you live, while it is in your power, be good" (Meditations, Book Four).


Cheap Flights with subtitles

Via A amizade é uma das coisas mais importantes de nossas vidas


A amizade é uma das coisas mais importantes de nossas vidas

Seus amigos podem lhe trazer saúde, riqueza e felicidade - ou tirar tudo isso de você. Veja por que eles são ainda mais importantes do que você imagina.

por Camilla Costa
Por que fazemos amigos? - CAPA - Parte 1
Como a internet está mudando a amizade - CAPA - Parte 3
Em 1937, na Universidade Harvard, começou o maior estudo já realizado sobre a saúde humana. O projeto, que continua até hoje, acompanha milhares de pessoas. Voluntários de todas as idades e perfis, que têm sua vida analisada e passam por entrevistas e exames periódicos que tentam responder à pergunta "o que faz uma pessoa ser saudável?" A conclusão é surpreendente. O fator que mais influi no nível de saúde das pessoas não é a riqueza, a genética, a rotina nem a alimentação. São os amigos. "A única coisa que realmente importa é a sua aptidão social - as suas relações com outras pes-soas", diz o psiquiatra George Valliant, coordenador do estudo há 30 anos. Os amigos são o principal indicador de bem-estar na vida de alguém. Ter laços fortes de amizade aumenta nossa vida em até 10 anos e previne uma série de doenças. Pessoas com mais de 70 anos têm 22% mais chance de chegar aos 80 se mantiverem relações de amizade fortes e ativas - e ter amigos ajuda mais nisso do que ter contato com familiares. Existe até uma quantidade mínima de amigos para que você fique menos vulnerável a doenças, segundo pesquisadores da Universidade Duke. Quatro. Gente com menos de 4 amigos tem risco dobrado de doenças cardíacas. Isso acontece porque a ocitocina - lembra-se dela? -, aquele hormônio que estimula as interações entre as pessoas, age no corpo como um oposto da adrenalina. Enquanto a adrenalina aumenta o nível de estresse, a ocitocina reduz os batimentos cardíacos e a pressão sanguínea, o que diminui a probabilidade de ataques cardíacos e derrames. E pesquisas feitas nos EUA constataram que a ocitocina também aumenta os níveis no sangue de interleucina, componente do sistema imunológico que combate as infecções.

A letter from Dr Masaru Emoto...

To All People Around the World,

Please send your prayers of love and gratitude to water at the nuclear plants in Fukushima, Japan!
By the massive earthquakes of Magnitude 9 and surreal massive tsunamis, more than 10,000 people are still missing…even now… It has been 16 days already since the disaster happened. What makes it worse is that water at the reactors of Fukushima Nuclear Plants started to leak, and it’s contaminating the ocean, air and water molecule of surrounding areas.

Human wisdom has not been able to do much to solve the problem, but we are only trying to cool down the anger of radioactive materials in the reactors by discharging water to them.

Is there really nothing else to do?

I think there is. During over twenty year research of hado measuring and water crystal photographic technology, I have been witnessing that water can turn positive when it receives pure vibration of human prayer no matter how far away it is.

Energy formula of Albert Einstein, E=MC2 really means that Energy = number of people and the square of people’s consciousness.

Now is the time to understand the true meaning. Let us all join the prayer ceremony as fellow citizens of the planet earth. I would like to ask all people, not just in Japan, but all around the world to please help us to find a way out the crisis of this planet!!
The prayer procedure is as follows.

Day and Time:
March 31st, 2011 (Thursday)
12:00 noon in each time zone

Please say the following phrase:
“The water of Fukushima Nuclear Plant,
we are sorry to make you suffer.
Please forgive us. We thank you, and we love you.”

Please say it aloud or in your mind. Repeat it three times as you put your hands together in a prayer position. Please offer your sincere prayer.

Thank you very much from my heart.

With love and gratitude,
Masaru Emoto
Messenger of Water


Para pessoas de todo o Mundo:Português

Por favor, envie suas orações de amor e gratidão para a água nas usinas nucleares em Fukushima, no Japão!

Pela terremotos de magnitude 9 e surreal tsunamis maciça, mais de 10.000 pessoas ainda estão desaparecidas ... até agora ... Tem sido 16 dias desde o desastre já aconteceu. O pior é que a água nos reactores nucleares de Plantas Fukushima começou a vazar, e é a contaminação do mar, ar e da molécula de água das zonas circundantes.

A sabedoria humana não foi capaz de fazer muito para resolver o problema, mas estamos apenas tentando esfriar a ira de materiais radioativos nos reatores de descarga de água para eles.

Existe realmente nada para fazer?

Eu acho que existe. Durante mais de vinte anos de pesquisa e tecnologia de medição hado águas cristalinas fotográfica, tenho testemunhado que a água pode tornar-se positivo quando ele recebe a vibração pura de oração humanos, não importa o quão longe ele está.
Energia fórmula de Albert Einstein, E = MC2 significa realmente que a Energia = número de pessoas e da praça de consciência das pessoas.

Agora é a hora de entender o verdadeiro significado. Vamos todos juntar-se a cerimónia de oração, como cidadãos do planeta Terra. Eu gostaria de pedir a todas as pessoas, não apenas no Japão, mas em todo o mundo para agradar a nos ajudar a encontrar uma saída para a crise deste planeta!
O processo de oração é a seguinte.

Nome da cerimônia:
"Vamos mandar nossos pensamentos de amor e gratidão a toda a água nas plantas nuclear em Fukushima"

Dia e hora:
31 de marco de 2011 (quinta-feira)
12:00 horas em cada fuso horário

Por favor, diga a seguinte frase:
"A água da central nuclear de Fukushima, lamentamos a fazê-lo sofrer. Por favor, perdoe-nos. Agradecemos a você, e nós amamos você. "Por favor, diga isso em voz alta ou em sua mente. Repita três vezes como você colocar as mãos juntas em posição de oração. Por favor, oferecer sua oração sincera.

Muito obrigado de coração.

Com amor e gratidão,
Masaru Emoto
Mensageiro da Água

Via PDA: Defend the Dream

Dear Daniel,
Next Monday, April 4, marks the 43rd anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death.
King had travelled to Memphis, Tenn., to stand in solidarity with the striking black sanitary public works employees. And, he did so under the threat of death. Yet, he would not leave Memphis; King was committed to the striking workers and the principle of unity.
On April 4, 2011, the We Are One coalition (of which PDA is part) will unite the biggest labor unions and progressive groups in America for a day of protest and action that would have made Dr. King proud.
MLK profile"I look forward confidently to the day ... when we bring into full realization the American dream—a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few ..." — Martin Luther King Jr.
In states across the country, our fellow Americans have risen up like the striking workers did in Memphis. They are holding the front line in a war on average Americans like us, waged by corporate elites and their minions. If we lose, the American Dream will surely die.
Will you stand in solidarity with America's workers? Click here to find an event near you.
King gave his life in the hope that all Americans could achieve their dreams. On April 4, we are being called on to defend that dream. Find an event near you and stand in solidarity with America's workers and Martin Luther King Jr.
Tim Carpenter
PDA National Director
P.S. Please download and make copies of this flyer to hand out when you get there!

Via AmericaBlog: CNN: 47% view Tea Party unfavorably

And remarkably, this is the group the GOP is pandering to with its budget cutting mania. They have little choice. The GOP built the Teabaggers, the Teabaggers helped the GOP get elected, and now the GOP has no choice but to suck up to the extremists in its own party, lest they lose Teabagger votes in 2012. But by doing the Teabaggers' bidding, they alienate the middle. Fun fun fun. The Hill:
Out of the demographic groups polled, non-whites — a group that broke heavily for President Obama in 2008 —see the Tea Party in the worst light. Twenty-one percent said they view the group favorably, compared to 57 percent who have an unfavorable view.

Democrats disapprove of the Tea Party at a greater rate than Republicans approve of it. Seventy-one percent of Democrats see it unfavorably, while 61 percent of Republicans view it favorably.

Independents' opinions (31-48 unfavorable) generally match those of the public at large.


Via Americablog: Krugman: The only way govt. belt-tightening won't hurt growth is if consumers take on more debt

That's a rather stunning statement, isn't it? We're in an environment in which government cutback ("austerity" is the moral-sounding term for it) is being urged in the US, the UK and all across Europe. But if government slows spending, where will replacement spending come from?

The answer is in the headline: In the current jobless environment, the only way government belt-tightening can work is if households increase their debt.

And before you think this is some left-wing economist talking, the idea comes from the conservative UK government itself, from one of their reports arguing for government cutbacks. Amazing.

Paul Krugman brings us news of this deeply dishonest argument (my emphasis):
[I]n Britain, via Yves Smith, people have been digging into the details of the government forecast, and finding that it relies on the assumption that household debt will rise to new heights relative to income[.] ...

Why? Because the only way the economy can avoid taking a hit from government cuts is if private spending rises to fill the gap — and although you rarely hear the austerians admitting this, the only way that can happen is if people take on more debt. ...

All in all, it’s quite a spectacle. It would be funny, except that millions of people will suffer the cost of this folly.
The blog post contains a government-generated chart that documents that assumption; it shows "Projected ratio of household debt to income" rising, from 160% to 175% as the engine of this supposed new growth that austerity will somehow cause.

As I said, a deeply dishonest argument, yet you can hear it being made as we speak, for example, here. Krugman on the hypocrisy:
So we have the spectacle of a government that inveighs against the evils of debt pinning all its hopes on an assumption that over-indebted households will dig their hole even deeper.
It seems pretty clear that the headline statement, if true, is actually an argument that government cutbacks will contract the economy, not expand it. After all, which of us will increase our own debt if government cuts back its social services, its safety net? Very few, I think. A double-dip recession could be just as likely as economic expansion.

Not that any of this will stop the new "austerians" (as Krugman calls them), from pressing forward anyway — including, it seems, our Reagan-admiring current president. (For more about what austerity is doing to the UK, see this by Chris in Paris. Not pretty.)

Via AmericaBlog:

Very cool Russian photos of earth

Much more from Gizmodo (and h/t to HuffPost Hill)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Reposted from Alan Grayson:


Last night was a Grayson “double-header” on MSNBC. I defended the President against Republican attacks on “The Ed Show,” and I also joined MSNBC's Cenk Uygur to discuss Florida Governor Rick Scott's plan to drug-test public employees and welfare recipients, for the benefit of Scott’s own drug-testing company Solantic.

I've attached a full transcript of the interview below, and you can watch the video by clicking here.



CENK UYGUR: Joining me now is former Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson to answer some of those questions. That conflict of interest blows me away. He's got a company making millions of dollars from drug tests and he's pushing the drug tests all over Florida? I mean, should they investigate that? What should they do about that?
ALAN GRAYSON: Well, look, he spent $70 million to buy the office of governor in Florida. He wants a return on his money. He promised us that he would run state government like a business. What we didn't realize is he was going to run it like HIS business, like it's all his. And that's exactly what he has been doing. It's not only what you said. In addition to that, he wants to cut all state funding for health care clinics. There are 4 million people in Florida who can't afford to see a doctor when they're sick. They have to go to health care clinics. He's going to shut them all down so that they will be forced to go to Rick Scott's clinics.
CENK: I mean, it's beyond absurd. So, again, you know, let me turn to the prescription problem because that's a whole, another thing. Why does he not want to track these prescription drugs?
AG: Well you said it. Florida has nine times as much as the rest of the country combined. I think eight times as much is Rush Limbaugh alone. It's exactly what you said. I don't think he wants to take the heat from Rush Limbaugh.
CENK: You think it's just that simple? On Rush Limbaugh alone, he's like, let's leave these guys alone.
AG: Well look, all the right-wing leaders have catered to Rush Limbaugh for years and years. He says jump and they say how high. You're seeing that now with the governor of Florida.
CENK: Let's go back to the election for a second. There's a new poll out that says if the elections were held today, Rick Scott would actually lose by 19 points. That's a huge swing. So obviously the people of Florida, once that he got into power, and it didn't take long, we're like, whoa, that is not what we expected. So what did they expect and what did they get?
AG: Listen, this is somebody who made his fortune by cheating sick people. And the only reason why he got in in the first place is because Democrats in Florida, like Democrats all across the country, simply didn't vote in 2010. And it's like Ed Koch said in his last election. He said, “The voters have spoken, and now they will be punished for it.” And that's exactly what you are seeing in Florida. We're being punished for it. This is someone unfit to be governor; this is someone who is unfit for any job. My thinking was that he would get elected, he'd assume office and then he'd pardon himself and quit, but unfortunately he's doing far worse than that. He's using the state of Florida to stuff money in his own pocket, because he thinks the real problems facing Florida today, with 4 million people without health insurance, with 13% unemployment, the real problem in Florida is that Rick Scott doesn't have enough money, and he's dead set on doing something to correct that problem.
CENK: So final question for you. What can the people of Florida do about this? Now that they realize the scam he ran on them and you've seen they don't like him anymore, and they're like, whoa, I didn't know he would funnel all this business to his own companies, now run by his wife, what can they do about it?
AG: Look, it's a fundamental problem. The government is being run by a corrupt clique called the Republican Party of Florida. The last person in charge of the Republican Party of Florida was led away in chains and has been indicted. It's as if the state has been taken over by the mafia, that's how bad the Republican Party of Florida is. Unfortunately the governor himself appoints five of the nine members of the Florida's Ethics Commission. So you can be sure that all those republicans are going to do nothing about this. The only recourse we may have in the end is to storm the Bastille.
CENK: What if he says, hey you know what? Look, I'm going to make more money; this money is going to get funneled to my companies because I'm going to drug test everybody? I'm going to drug test you and your dog and all that money is going to get funneled to me. What are you going to do about it? What can we do about it?
AG: I'm just glad that Rick Scott's company doesn't do proctological examinations, because then we would all have to bend over and cough.
CENK: Congressman Grayson, you are definitely clear on the topic. We appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
Copyright 2011 by Daniel C. Orey All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.