Saturday, December 3, 2011

Via David Mixner: "Think Progress": Five Things Newt Gingrich Doesn't Want You To Know About Him


Now that Newt is doing so well in the polls the time has come to get to know him better. Actually with his checkered career and 'take no prisoners' approach to politics the list could go on to "100 Things Newt Gingrich.. ." What is clear as we understand him more is that this man really doesn't believe the rules of civilized politics apply to him. Zaid Jilani for "Think Progress" has done an article listing ten items but I have extracted only five here. Click here to see all ten.

1. DESPITE BATTLING THE “SECULAR SOCIALIST” AGENDA, GINGRICH CHEATED ON HIS WIVES SEVERAL TIMES: One of Gingrich’s main themes in his columns and speeches over the past few years has been the need to stop the “secular socialist” takeover of America, which he blames for the demise of the family. Yet he had several of these affairs while attacking President Bill Clinton for his own. He justified his hypocrisy to his second wife once, telling her, “It doesn’t matter what I do.”

2. WHILE DEMONIZING GOVERNMENT LARGESS, GINGRICH POURED MORE FEDERAL MONEY INTO HIS DISTRICT THAN ALMOST ANY OTHER: The politics of the mid-1990′s was marked by the right’s attempt to decimate the social safety net. As Gingrich waged his campaign to destroy unemployment insurance and aid for needy families, he made his own district the recipient of huge amounts of federal aid. Under Gingrich, his district in Cobb County, GA received more “federal subsidies than any suburban county in the country, with two exceptions: Arlington Virginia, effectively part of the Federal Government, and Brevard County Florida, the home of the Kennedy Space Center.”

3. IN 2007, GINGRICH BACKED CAP-AND-TRADE, THEN FLIP-FLOPPED TWO YEARS LATER: Talking to PBS just four years ago, Gingrich said, “I think if you have mandatory caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, then there’s a package that’s very, very good. And frankly, it’s something I would strongly support.” He even cut an ad with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) warning of the dangers of climate change. Just two years later, Gingrich ended all of his green advocacy in favor pandering to far-right views on the environment. “Imposing stunningly high taxes on an economy in the middle of a recession is fundamentally wrong. … [A]rtificially capping their economy is the wrong approach,” he said in testimony before Congress.

4. GINGRICH BLAMED THE MASSACRES AT COLUMBINE AND VIRGINIA TECH ON “LIBERALISM”: Showing that his cynicism knows no bounds, Gingrich blamed “the liberal academic elite, the liberal political elite” for the Columbine shootings in Littleton, CO. He followed the same script after the massacre at Virginia Tech, saying liberalism is responsible for the “dehumanization” that led to the killings.

5. GINGRICH WANTED THE RICH TO DECIDE WHEN THEIR OWN TAX CUTS WOULD END: During last winter’s debate over extending the Bush tax cuts, Gingrich said that we should “have the business leadership of the country describe the number” of months that the cuts for the wealthiest should last.

Via JMG: BUZZFEED: 45 Images From 2011

And the 2011 recap race is off and running with today's Buzzfeed recap of 45 images from the year. Lots of great stuff there.

reposted from Joe

Today's WTF?:

Via ThinkProgress: Former Chase Banker Admits His Bank Pushed Minorities Into Subprime Mortgage Loans


One of the most pernicious practices in which the nation’ biggest banks engaged during the lead up to the financial crisis was pushing minority borrowers into subprime loans, even when many of them qualified for prime loans. Wells Fargo had perhaps the most horrifying practices in this department, calling the subprime loans that they pushed in poor, black neighborhoods “ghetto loans.”

This rampant predatory lending helped inflate the housing bubble; a Center for American Progress investigation actually found huge racial disparities in lending at the big banks that wound up getting bailed out, with minority borrowers far more likely to receive high-priced loans.

One former banker for Chase — James Theckston — told the New York Times’ Nick Kristof that not only did his bank push minority borrowers into higher-priced loans, but senior executives then tried to cover up the racial disparity in their banks’ lending:
One memory particularly troubles Theckston. He says that some account executives earned a commission seven times higher from subprime loans, rather than prime mortgages. So they looked for less savvy borrowers — those with less education, without previous mortgage experience, or without fluent English — and nudged them toward subprime loans.
These less savvy borrowers were disproportionately blacks and Latinos, he said, and they ended up paying a higher rate so that they were more likely to lose their homes. Senior executives seemed aware of this racial mismatch, he recalled, and frantically tried to cover it up.
“The bigwigs of the corporations knew this, but they figured we’re going to make billions out of it, so who cares? The government is going to bail us out. And the problem loans will be out of here, maybe even overseas,” Theckston explained.

Via NYT: When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable?

"The disappointment and disillusionment with President Clinton are widespread." —Bob Herbert, New York Times, 1993  
If we trace liberal disappointment with President Obama to its origins, to try to pinpoint the moment when his crestfallen supporters realized that this was Not Change They Could Believe In, the souring probably began on December 17, 2008, when Obama announced that conservative Evangelical pastor Rick Warren would speak at his inauguration. “Abominable,” fumed John Aravosis on AmericaBlog. “Obama’s ‘inclusiveness’ mantra always seems to head only in one direction—an excuse to scorn progressives and embrace the Right,” seethed Salon’s Glenn Greenwald. On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow rode the story almost nightly: “I think the problem is getting larger for Barack Obama.” Negative 34 days into the start of the Obama presidency, the honeymoon was over.
Since then, the liberal gloom has only deepened, as Obama compromise alternated with Obama failure. Liberals speak of Obama in unceasingly despairing terms. “I’m exhausted [from] defending you,” one supporter confessed to Obama at a town-hall meeting last year.

“We are all incredibly frustrated,” Justin Ruben, MoveOn’s executive director, told the Washington Post in September. “I’m disappointed in Obama,” complained Steve Jobs, according to Walter Isaacson’s new biography. The assessments appear equally morose among the most left-wing and the most moderate of Obama’s supporters, among opinion leaders and rank-and-file voters. In early 2004, Democrats, by a 25-point margin, described themselves as “more enthusiastic than usual about voting.” At the beginning of 2008, the margin had shot up to over 60 percentage points. Now as many Democrats say they’re less enthusiastic about voting as say they’re more enthusiastic.

The cultural enthusiasm sparked by Obama’s candidacy drained away almost immediately after his election. All the passion now lies with the critics, and it is hard to find a liberal willing to muster any stronger support than halfhearted murmuring about the tough situation Obama inherited, or vague hope that maybe in a second term he can really start doing things. (“I’m like everybody, I want more action,” an apologetic Chris Rock said earlier this month. “I believe wholeheartedly if he’s back in, he’s going to do some gangsta shit.”) Obama has already given up on any hope of running a positive reelection campaign and is girding up for a grim slog of lesser-of-two-evils-ism.
Why are liberals so desperately unhappy with the Obama presidency?

Our Christmas Tree - Ouro Preto 2011 // Nossa Árvore de Natal - Ouro Preto 2011

UFOP com a Escola - Quinta Feira - UFOP

Spider web // Teia da aranha

Friday, December 2, 2011

Found this on a random google for Sacramento:


Sacramento é um município brasileiro do estado de Minas Gerais, na microrregião de Araxá. Localiza-se a uma latitude 19º51'55" sul e a uma longitude 47º26'24" oeste, estando a uma altitude de 832 metros. Sua população estimada em 2005 era de 22.000 habitantes. Possui uma área de 3080,44 km². A densidade demográfica é de 7,08 hab/km².

Seus limites são os municípios de Perdizes a norte, Araxá e Tapira a nordeste, São Roque de Minas e Delfinópolis a sudeste, Ibiraci a sul, os paulistas Pedregulho e Rifaina a sudoeste, Conquista e Uberaba a oeste e Nova Ponte e Santa Juliana a noroeste.

Musician Jackson Browne: ‘Occupy’ having ‘a real effect’ on politics

JACKSON BROWNE People's Mic @ Occupy Wall Streeet "CASINO NATION" Zuccotti Park 12/1/11

Via JMG: Gingrich Soars In Latest Polls

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Senate Passes Defense Funding Act

Yesterday the Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act without any infamous DOMA repeal attachment. Virtually every national hate group has been raising money on the falsehood that Sen. Dianne Feinstein would insert the repeal of DOMA into the bill.

The version already passed by the House also does not include a DOMA repeal. Instead it contains anti-gay amendments banning the military from allowing same-sex weddings, among other things.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network reports:
“SLDN is pleased the Senate has taken a responsible path and passed its National Defense Authorization Act without harmful language included by the House that is really nothing more than an assault on our nation’s senior military leaders and rank-and-file service members, who are implementing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' successfully. The House version represents a partisan political attempt to interject the same-sex marriage debate and other unrelated social issues into the NDAA where they have no place. At SLDN, we urge the leadership to appoint conferees who will see this stunt for what it is and reject this language in conference."
Also not included in either version of the bill was a repeal of the military's ban on sodomy, another issue loudly predicted by hate groups in their daily fundraising emails. Yesterday the Family Research Council asked its followers to pray that gay sex remains technically illegal in the military.
May God give Rep. Akin and other conservative leaders sufficient support to prevent the evil intended and to advance faith, safety and moral stability among our troops (1 Sam 2:2-9; 1 Chr 12:33-34; Ps 11:3; Ec 4:9-12; Heb 11:33-34).

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Philip Glass Addresses OWS

After the conclusion of his opera Satyagraha, last night minimalist composer Philip Glass exited Lincoln Center to address a gathered crowd of Occupy Wall Street protesters. OWS stressed that they were not there to specifically diss Glass' opera. Instead the protest was directed "at a certain disparity between its lofty moral message and the machinery of corporate arts funding." (I should note that Lincoln Center recently remodeled after a $100M gift from oil baron David Koch.) Also addressing the crowd was rock legend Lou Reed, who was there with his wife Laurie Anderson. (Tipped by JMG reader Will)

Two from Bizzaro Blog: Hours of Fun!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Finding Oregon

Finding Oregon from Uncage the Soul Productions on Vimeo.

Via Beyond the Chron:Book Review Thursday

Why Nonviolent Resistance Beats Armed Struggles in Seeking Regime Change

Recent regime changes in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and other Mideast nations raise the question of whether nonviolent resistance is more effective than armed combat in winning revolutionary struggles. Historically, the iconic revolutions of the Left – the Russian Revolution, Mao’s success in China, Castro’s victory in Cuba – all required military action. And the most recent examples of nonviolent resistance – the Iranian revolution and the “people power” overthrow of Marcos in the Phillipines – did not turn out as those taking to the streets hoped. Yet after reading Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan’s Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict, the strategic advantages of nonviolent campaigns appear beyond dispute. The book offers a detailed analysis of why revolutionary struggles succeed or fail, even creating statistical models to prove their arguments. By identifying the criteria that most often determine outcomes of revolutionary struggles, the book also helps us understand which regime change movements will likely achieve their goals. [more]->

Via Beyond the Chron: Occupy Movement’s New Threat: Media Election Coverage


Occupy Movement’s New Threat: Media Election Coverage

I was rapidly changing channels on the exercise machine trying to follow news coverage of the Bloomberg News’ revelation that the federal bank bailout was not the $700 million publicly discussed (via TARP), but was instead a secret $7.7 trillion. But all of the television news shows, including allegedly “progressive” MSNBC were talking about Herman Cain’s mistress, and then went on to discussing Newt Gingrich. Cain never had a chance to be the Republican nominee, and was on a downward spiral even before the latest revelations. Yet his situation completely eclipsed the dramatic expose of how the 1% gets government money free of the normal controls of a democratic nation. Welcome to Campaign 2012, and the Occupy movement’s new media world. [more]->

Via JMG: White House Observes World AIDS Day

Via The Modern World:

Worst Nativity Sets

Morning Walk // Caminhada de hoje - in between pancadas

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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gyalwang Karmapa Writes for Scientific Journal, Outlining Vision of "Environmental Buddhism"

Gyalwang Karmapa Writes for Scientific Journal, Outlining Vision of "Environmental Buddhism"

November 18, 2011

Conservation Biology, the most influential scientific journal in its field, has invited His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa to contribute an article outlining his vision of "Environmental Buddhism." Entitled "Walking the Path of Environmental Buddhism through Compassion and Emptiness," the article explores His Holiness' personal reasons for becoming an environmentalist, offers a masterful explanation of the overlap between Buddhist philosophy and environmental ideology, and ends with a call to action to protect the environment.

"As I grew up and began studying Buddhist philosophy and teachings," His Holiness explained, "I discovered great harmony between Buddhism and the environmental movement. The emphasis on biological diversity, including ecosystems—in particular, the understanding that animate and inanimate beings are parts of a whole—resonates closely with Buddhism's emphasis on interdependence."

The article goes on to present Buddhist concepts of compassion and emptiness as they relate to environmental activism. It suggests ways they could serve to support the journal's mainly scientific readers in their own work to conserve the biological diversity of our planet.

In this article, which will appear in the journal's December 2011 issue, the Gyalwang Karmapa displays his characteristic merging of action for the benefit of society with the cultivation of inner qualities that can render that action sustainable. "For society to successfully address the environmental challenges of the 21st century," he wrote, "we have to connect these challenges to the individual choices people face on a daily basis. We cannot simply address the political and scientific aspects of problems such as climate change, intensive extraction of natural resources, deforestation, and wildlife trade. We must also address the social and cultural aspects of these problems by awakening human values and creating a movement for compassion, so that our very motivation in becoming environmentalists is to benefit other living beings."

The article can be read in full online. It can also be downloaded here as a PDF from, the website devoted to His Holiness' environmental protection programmes.
The Gyalwang Karmapa was invited to contribute this article for inclusion in this distinguished journal's 25th-anniversary edition. A highly respected and widely cited journal, Conservation Biology publishes groundbreaking papers and is instrumental in defining the key issues contributing to the science and practice of conserving Earth's biological diversity. The invitation to contribute to the journal's 25th edition was extended to His Holiness the Karmapa in recognition of his role as young religious leader with a global reach who can not only influence and inspire others, but who has also demonstrated his own commitment to take action on environmental issues.

Via JMG: AFA's "Naughty Or Nice" Retailers

If you don't say "Christmas," it's boycott time.

reposted from Joe

UK: Two Million Strike Over Pension Cuts

An estimated two million public employees are striking across Britain today in a 24-hour protest over pension cuts. Affected agencies include health care, schools, police and fire protection.

reposted from Joe

Beagle Freedom Project - Second Rescue - June 8, 2011

Via ॐ Blue Buddha Quote Collective:

Be someone who listens, and you will be heard.
Be someone who cares, and you will be loved.
Be someone who gives, and you will be blessed.
Be someone who comforts, and you will know peace.
Be someone who genuinely seeks to understand, and you will be wise.
Be someone kind, someone considerate, and you will be admired.
Be someone who values truth, and you will be respected.
Be someone who takes action, and you will move life forward.
Be someone who lifts others higher, and your life will be rich.
Be someone filled with gratitude, and there will be no end to the things for which you'll be thankful.
Be someone who lives with joy, with purpose, as your own light brightly shines.
Be in every moment, the special someone you are truly meant to be.
Ralph Marston

Via Think Progress:


Via Utne: Aspirations for Peace

Aspirations for Peace

Offering your best intentions for the world right now.

Read More >>
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.