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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

25 December - Blogs I'm Following

47th Munich Security Conference 2011: Anders F...
47th Munich Security Conference 2011: Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General NATO, answers questions of the journalists. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister, spoken ...
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister, spoken at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos Municipality, Graubünden Canton on January 30, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Israel Yagur
Israel Yagur (Photo credit: Verbal Jam)
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denma...
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, captured during the session 'Europe's Purpose' at the Annual Meeting 2008 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 26, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
12:40 am MST

Tim Minchin – "White Wine in the Sun"

Batocchio at Vagabond Scholar - 11 minutes ago
The animated verison of a lovely Christmas song by a nonbeliever. Minchin can be very funny, but here's he's quite touching. (I was first introduced to this a year or so back through the Balloon Juice community, and reminded again of it through a recent Digby post.)

Are We Headed for Bedford Falls or Pottersville? (Or Are Many Already Trapped In Pottersville?)

If Lionel Barrymore's "Mr. Potter" were alive today he'd call himself a "job creator" and condemn George Bailey as a socialist. He'd be financing a fleet of lobbyists to get lower taxes on multi-millionaires like himself, overturn environmental laws, trample on workers' rights, and shred social safety nets. He'd fight any form of gun control. He'd want the citizens of Pottersville to be

Turkey resumes NATO ties with Israel: Prelinary steps towards cooperation against Syria?

Matt at The Coming Crisis - 2 hours ago
Turkey dropped its ban on cooperating with Israel as a third-nation NATO partner at the 28-member alliance meeting in Brussels on Dec. 4, in response to a reprimand from Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen that the ban had "created a lack of confidence among the partners." The same meeting approved the deployment of Patriots on the Turkish border with Syria. Turkey’s consent to effectively revive its strategic cooperation with Israel represents a major breakthrough for Binyamin Netanyahu. As he runs for reelection on Jan. 22, he is constantly accused by opposition leaders of br... more »

Merry Christmas: Just think of the Campaign to Fix the Debt as economy-wrecking former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's holiday gift to us all

KenInNY at DownWithTyranny! - 2 hours ago
*Even at the age of 125, our Alan never tires of public service.* *by Ken* As I've written here numerous times, even now I'm frequently fascinated by how similarly Howie and I have reacted to so many things in the (gasp) 50-plus years we've known each other. The other day it was a wonderful quote from economist Dean Baker which had independently charmed both of us. On the subject of the current oligarchs' crusade to inflict the "chained CPI" on us for calculating cost-of-living-based benefit increases, as a devious way to cut things like Social Security benefits without having to ... more »

Digby's 10th Blogiversary

Batocchio at Vagabond Scholar - 3 hours ago
The insightful and indefatigable Digby is celebrating her 10th blogiversary. As usual, she's running an end-of-the-year fundraiser, and re-running some of her greatest (and most relevant) hits. Head on over!

Calvin and Hobbes Prep Santa Ambush

Jay Allbritton at Jay Allbritton - 3 hours ago
Merry Christmas people.

Getting Rid of the Welfare State Is the Deadly Aim of the Deficit Fiscal Cliff Madness?

Unraveling the Welfare State By Noam Chomsky, Stuart A. Brown, Chris Gilson, European Politics and Policy 23 December 12 hat do you think the use of technocratic governments in Europe says about European democracy? There are two problems with it. First of all it shouldn’t happen, at least if anybody believes in democracy. Secondly, the policies that they’re following are just driving

Merry Christmas From The Northerntruthseeker

Northerntruthseeker at Northerntruthseeker - 4 hours ago
I want to wish all of my friends, and my readers, a happy and joyous Christmas. I will be spending the next few days with family, and may not be able to post up that many articles. In the meantime, take the time to again view the fine works by those who I think are the finest bloggers I know. You will not be disappointed. I will be back in a few days. There is so much going on in the world right now, and like I said, the upcoming year will indeed be a very rocky one for everyone. All the best to everyone, and to their families, and remember the true meaning of Christmas, whi... more »

South Africa's New Apartheid

Rocker at MSM Monitor - 4 hours ago
*No longer a race thing:** * * **"**18 years after white racist rule ended [there is]** **growing inequality** between a **white minority joined by a small black elite**while most blacks endure high unemployment and inadequate housing, health care, and **education**.... the **country’s governing party, the venerable African National Congress, [and] many of [its] senior members have joined a wealthy elite a world away** from the downtrodden **masses**.... The plight of **miners living in tin shacks while they produce the raw materials for luxury goods under dangerous conditions has put... more »

'Fixer' movement fights today's throw-away society one tinker session at a time

Matt at The Coming Crisis - 4 hours ago
Everything old is new again at the West Seattle Fixers Collective. From sewing machines to fans to lawn mowers, if it's broke, they'll try to fix it. "It's just a group of us that like to get together and help each other fix whatever we own," said Greg Kono, who runs the group, which meets on the first Thursday of every month. The concept started several years ago in the Netherlands, where people would come together about once a month, meet over coffee and bring in items they would like to have repaired. Members would learn how to fix the items or watch other volunteers who are han... more »

Assault-weapons ban no guarantee mass shootings would decrease, data shows

Matt at The Coming Crisis - 4 hours ago
Congress is poised to launch into a contentious debate next year over reinstating the assault-weapons ban. In the wake of the Connecticut elementary school massacre, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., already has vowed to introduce such a bill at the start of the session. President Obama is voicing support. But crime trends over the past few decades offer a mixed verdict on whether renewing the ban would reduce the kinds of mass shootings that have spurred calls for its re-enactment in the first place. Data published earlier this year showed that while the ban was in place, from 199... more »

South African Miners Strike

Rocker at MSM Monitor - 5 hours ago
*So the authorities opened fire????!!!! * "S. Africa death toll at 34; Striking miners vow to fight on" by Thomas Phakaneand Michelle Faul | Associated Press, August 18, 2012 MARIKANA, South Africa — Frantic wives searched for missing loved ones, President Jacob Zuma rushed home from a summit, and some miners vowed a fight to the death Friday as police announced a shocking casualty toll from the previous day’s *shooting by officers* of striking platinum miners: *34 dead* and 78 wounded. *Wives* of miners at the Lonmin platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg *took the place of dea... more »

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Way Way Up at Fort McMurray Adventures - 5 hours ago
While I find myself working over the holiday (with with some much-needed time booked off in the near year), the house is a bit brighter this holiday season with our little tree here. It comes courtesy of one of my tenants who asked if she could put one up. Not having much in the way of decorative skills myself, I had no problem with her request. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

Maybe the NRA's "Crazy Wayne" LaPierre wants us to call him "crazy" so we won't call him worse

KenInNY at DownWithTyranny! - 5 hours ago
*by Ken* From today's New York *Daily News*: *Wayne 'Call Me Crazy' LaPierre might just be**Psychiatrists say the NRA vice president specializes in fear and paranoia* BY ERIN DURKIN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Mental health experts recoiled at comments by NRA honcho Wayne LaPierre blaming violence on "lunatics" and "monsters" roaming the streets -- and touting more guns as a form of protection. The American Psychiatric Association and a number of leading researchers denounced the comments as offensive and inaccurate. "If it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our ... more »

Christmas in the Trenches

Karen Garcia at Sardonicky - 6 hours ago
It's Christmas, and time for 12,000,000 bloggers blogging to post their favorite holiday videos and songs. I hadn't heard "Christmas in the Trenches" by John McCutcheon in awhile, so I'll add it to the internet symphony here. The song is based on the series of spontaneous Christmas truces during the first year of World War I. British and German soldiers would regularly put down their arms, and engage in impromptu soccer matches, sing-alongs, picnics and gift exchanges. Although the Yuletide ceasefires continued for another year or two, by the time chemical weapons came into play, th... more »

Wired's Weird Propaganda and the Most Dangerous Man in the World

Nima Shirazi at Wide Asleep in America - 6 hours ago
Iranian Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani, Wired writer Robert Beckhusen The wizards of Wired's Danger Room blog have posted a year-end click-bait listicle identifying who they - Spencer Ackerman, David Axe, Nathan Shachtman, and Robert Beckhusen - believe to be "The 15 Most Dangerous People in the World." While Paul Broadwell starts the list for some strange reason, Obama's top

Christmas spirits

Libby Spencer at The Impolitic - 8 hours ago
With the all the mayhem going on, didn't really get into the Christmas spirit this year until just this afternoon when Mike Finnigan posted his rendition of a classic Christmas carol that he did for the TV show ER in the 90s. Which happened to be one of my favorite shows back then. I probably heard it live. He's such a great musician. Feel lucky to be internet friends with him. Meanwhile, if you're pining for a White Christmas and live somewhere where that's just not going to happen, then you can do what I do. Live vicariously through the twitpics. These days I'm just as hap... more »

Charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.

Penny at Penny for your thoughts - 8 hours ago
A Christmas Carol is flat out the best of the holiday movies, though I prefer the black and white over the coloured version. Sadly, the only clip I could find was the one below `You are fettered,'' said Scrooge, trembling. ``Tell me why?'' ``I wear the chain I forged in life,'' replied the Ghost. ``I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to *you*?'' Scrooge trembled more and more. ``Or would you know,'' pursued the Ghost, ``the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself... more »

Find room for God in fast-paced world, pope says on Christmas eve

Matt at The Coming Crisis - 8 hours ago
Pope Benedict, leading the world's Roman Catholics into Christmas, on Monday urged people to find room for God in their fast-paced lives filled with the latest technological gadgets. The 85-year-old pope, marking the eighth Christmas season of his pontificate, celebrated a solemn Christmas Eve mass in St Peter's Basilica, during which he appealed for a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and an end to the civil war in Syria. At the mass for some 10,000 people in the basilica and broadcast to millions of others on television, the pope wove his homily around the theme of God's plac... more »

Oklahoma to Northeast: Major Snowstorm on the Way

Matt at The Coming Crisis - 8 hours ago
All the ingredients are coming together for a major snowstorm to unfold Christmas Day and spread from the southern Plains to the eastern Great Lakes and Northeast. Far more potent than the snow event headed to the Northeast just in time for Christmas, this storm will unload windswept and burying snow on its northwestern flank. While snow will push through the Rockies--including Denver--into tonight, the worst of the snowstorm will take shape Christmas Day across the southern Plains. http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/major-multistate-snowstorm-com/3045354

Merry Christmas - 2012

leftdog at Buckdog - 8 hours ago
Merry Christmas - 2012 from 'Buckdog'! Here's wishing a wonderful and peace filled Christmas to all who drop by! I'll see you in a few days. All the Best! Leftdog Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Xhosa Cattle Killers

What Is Sustainable at What Is Sustainable - 8 hours ago
When the Dutch Afrikaners (Boers) invaded the Eastern Cape region of South Africa, the Xhosa tribe fought them long and hard. Beginning in 1779, eight bloody frontier wars were fought. In 1806, the British replaced the Afrikaners and continued the struggle to conquer Xhosa land. In 1853, a lung disease began killing off the Xhosa’s cattle herds. Problems worsened when a severe drought hit. Things started looking grim. Then, in 1856, after decades of terrible struggles and misfortunes, an 11-year old Xhosa girl named Nongqawuse had a vision. She communicated with spirits of the ... more »

Benjamin Fulford: The New World Order has been defeated but the Old World Order is still fighting

Obi-Wan Kabuki at AMERICAN KABUKI - 9 hours ago
* * *The New World Order has been defeated but the Old World Order is still fighting* Posted by Benjamin Fulford December 24, 2012 There are growing signs that the Bush/Nazi New World Order Nazi faction has been defeated, but that the Rockefellers and their allies in the Old World Order faction are still fighting to preserve their power. It has also now been confirmed that the new Japanese government headed by Shinzo Abe and the Liberal Democratic Party was put in place via a disguised military coup d’état, according to Japanese military intelligence sources. This implies the Roc... more »

"The Amazing Grace Christmas House"

noreply@blogger.com (CoyotePrime) at Running 'Cause I Can't Fly - 9 hours ago
The Amazing Grace Christmas House - Holdman Christmas - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mnk0KjWxgMA

The Far Right Demands The GOP Push The Economy Over The Cliff

DownWithTyranny at DownWithTyranny! - 9 hours ago
Polls universally show that most Americans will blame the congressional Republicans-- particularly Boehner for his incompetence and the teabaggers for their extremism-- if December 31 comes and goes and the U.S. slips down the fiscal slope. [An aside here, corporate news consumers across the globe have bought into the concept that going over the "Fiscal Cliff" is tantamount to a worldwide recession, which could actually become a self-fulfilling prophecy as people take actions based on the absurd assumptions from China to Europe.] The Republican strategy is two-fold: you have the f... more »

Clyde Bellecourt arrested at Idle No More in Minn.

brendanorrell@gmail.com at CENSORED NEWS - 10 hours ago
Clyde Bellecourt arrested  Idle No More Minneapolis Police Officer accusing Clyde Bellecourt of organizing the Idle No More Rally at the IDS tower in Minneapolis, MN moments  before his arrest after having a cup of coffee. Update: Bellecourt was charged with trespassing and appeared before a judge "We are here waiting for Clyde to be released at the Hennepin County Jail" 6 pm Press

A Look Into the Cardboard Soul of Steve Harper

The Mound of Sound at The Disaffected Lib - 10 hours ago
I think I understand Steve Harper's failure as a prime minister after reading parts of the transcript of his year-end interview with Global TV anchor, Dawna Friesen. Harper stated the obvious, that his priority is the Canadian economy although he didn't quite say, "*at the expense of anything and everything else*." The chilling part came when Harper discussed the future and fretted over 'getting it right instead of getting it wrong.' There seemed to be a profound timidity, perhaps outright insecurity, on Harper's part that may explain his glaring lack of vision. Rather than de... more »


Anon at aangirfan - 10 hours ago
Website for this image.... What might link the Sandy Hook shootings to Jo Lieberman? Joseph Lieberman is the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and he is a senator from Stamford, in Connecticutt, in New England. *Website for this image* * *There have been killings of civilians in Belgium, which have been linked to child sex orgies, called 'pink ballets'. On one occasion, there were random shootings in a supermarket. The killers, the Brabant Gang, reportedly worked for the US Defence Intelligence Agency. "There were several reports that the Brabant Gang was run by elemen... more »

Caption Contest: Xmas Edition

jurassicpork at Welcome Back to Pottersville - 10 hours ago
(Picture courtesy of faithful and loyal reader Stan Banos at the photo blog Reciprocity Failure.) Not included in Clement Moore's poem was the Christmas that Santa's pipe ignited over Finland when all eight reindeer farted at once. Sorry I haven't got more time for anything more than a half-assed caption but I figure if y'all are as busy as I am with the usual Johnny-Come-Lately last minute Xmas Eve rushing, you have even less time to read anything I'd write. I will say that I'm both heartened and mystified by a strange red box that arrived at my house toda... more »

The Work of a Nation

noreply@blogger.com (Roger Pielke, Jr.) at Roger Pielke Jr.'s Blog - 10 hours ago
Readers of this blog who have followed my discussions of innovation, productivity and economic growth will recognize two competing perspectives among economists on the role of innovation as a source of our current economic difficulties, neither of which I think adequately captures the innovation challenge facing the US economy. One of these competing views, represented by the work of Robert Gordon and most recently expressed in this weekend's WSJ, is that we have reached the end of innovation and productivity growth, and thus economic growth will slow to a crawl. Gordon writes tha... more »


skrashen at Schools Matter - 10 hours ago
Released on Friday just before Christmas: “Consortium Releases Technology Guidelines for Common Core Tests” http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation/2012/12/consortium_releases_techology_.html: A list of technological requirements (minimum and optimal) to implement common core. No mention of how much it will cost. But it will clearly cost a lot. And we are told that this is “an ongoing process” – in other words, the boondoggle will continue forever. Not an experiment done with a modest sample to see if it will work, but imposed on nearly the entire country. Please see our arti...more »

Yo! Kainai Nation!

noreply@blogger.com (fern hill) at DAMMIT JANET! - 11 hours ago
Beijing York has an excellent suggestion. The Kainai Nation of Alberta should demand that Harper relinquish his eagle feather. He's made it abundantly clear that he has no respect for indigenous people here or elsewhere, and his residential school apology was just political theatre for him. Remember in July 2011 when the Kainai Nation, aka Blood Tribe, gave the world the occasion for another glorious photo op? Let's hope the Kainai people are rethinking that about now. ADDED: From Kev, it seems the people may be doing exactly that.

What makes me so damn mad about Democrats . . .

Eric Whitney at Reality Pimp - 11 hours ago
These people leave me beside myself with anger because they are such liars about their desire to help the citizens of the United States. If they are sincere, they have a damn funny way of showing it. Just the other day Barack Obama made noises, after having solemnly promised through his surrogate Joe Biden not to touch Social Security, about how he is OK with cutting Social Security (see, that is exactly what this chained CPI indexing scheme he was talking about will do, it's a CUT), and then we saw Nancy Pelosi follow along with him, after she herself had come out against monkeyin... more »

A Happy Materialistic-free Christmas

Rufus News From Atlantis at News From Atlantis. - 11 hours ago
Christmas 2012 has been the focus of a concerted attack of disinformation, concerning the entire Christian faith, and the person of Saint Nicholas of Patara (Sanctus Nicolaus). The first part of the attack concentrates on the historical similarities between Jesus and pre-Christian figures, such as the Norse God, Odin, and the Roman deity, Mithras. Whereas Odinism does indeed pre-date Christianity, the (Persian) Cult of Mithras arose in Rome at around the same time as Christianity. It is fair to say that there are a number of similarities between Christianity and the Pagan religio... more »

A Reading for Christmas

Greg Mankiw at Greg Mankiw's Blog - 11 hours ago
My favorite Christmas-themed economics article is this one by Steve Landsburg. From 2004, but truly timeless.

Cultural studies teach concept of humanity

Roberto Rodriguez at Dr Cintli - 11 hours ago
Cultural studies teach concept of humanity by *Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez* Arizona Republic Dec. 24, 2012 "It is a persistent rule of governance that the more remote government officials are from the people governed, the more clueless they are about governing." Thus begins Doug MacEachern's anti-Mexican-American studies screed in *The Arizona Republic* ("Insidious Latino studies being revived at Tucson schools," Viewpoints, Dec. 16). His insight should apply not simply to government officials but to anyone who is both geographically removed from Tucson and who is also unfamiliar...more »

Merry Christmas!

noreply@blogger.com (CoyotePrime) at Running 'Cause I Can't Fly - 11 hours ago
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas! - CP

what i'm reading, children's books edition: # 1

laura k at wmtc - 12 hours ago
This is the first post in an occasional series about children's books. My plan is to intersperse children's books among my usual reading, and to write short reviews of several books for young people in one post. In each, I'll include one or two older books thought to be classics, and give an opinion on the question: Does this book hold up? Is it still relevant and accessible to children today? Would I suggest it to a young reader, or is there a contemporary equivalent that I'd choose instead? I'll also write about two other children's books that I recommend. * * * * *Still Classi... more »

Two firefighters die in ambush at blazing NY house

Rich Rifkin at Lexicon Daily - 12 hours ago
A strange, sad and scary story is being reported this morning about a house fire and the murder of two responding firefighters in Webster, NY.  A gunman ambushed four volunteer firefighters responding to an intense pre-dawn house fire Monday morning outside Rochester, N.Y., killing two and ending up dead himself, authorities said. Police used an armored vehicle to evacuate more than 30 nearby residents. The gunman fired at the firefighters when they arrived shortly after 5:30 a.m. at the blaze near the Lake Ontario shore in Webster, town Police Chief Gerald Pickering said. The ... more »

Holiday reading

Libby Spencer at The Impolitic - 12 hours ago
Wet, gray Christmas here in my little city. Perfect day to catch up on some lighter reading. Every year some undercover (or not quite undercover) journalist goes on the National Review's annual Carribean cruise where well-heeled cons take to the sea with the stars of the NRO. I never get tired of these stories. The mood on this year's cruise was bleak and angry. Worth a read in full, but this one graf summed up the crowd's mindset perfectly: “Their conception of what the country is about, they really were sure the country would reject Barack Obama,” he continued. “I do think it h... more »

Police and Crown do not act at direction of accused

James C Morton at Morton's Musings - 12 hours ago
R. v. Spackman, 2012 ONCA 905 makes clear that police and Crown do not act at direction of an accused: [108] The disclosure obligations of the Crown do *not* require the production of witnesses for discovery, for example by calling them as witnesses at a preliminary inquiry: *R. v. S.J.L.*, 2009 SCC 14, [2009] 1 S.C.R. 426, at para. 23; *R. v. Khela*, [1995] 4 S.C.R. 201, at para. 18. Nor does an accused have a constitutional right, as an incident of the right to make full answer and defence or otherwise, to an adequate police investigation of the crime with which she or he is cha... more »

The Dream of a Global Deal is Over

The Mound of Sound at The Disaffected Lib - 12 hours ago
Top German climate change scientists and advocates think it's pointless to continue the United Nation's annual climate change summits. *Several leading experts at internationally renowned institutes in Germany are demanding an end to the climate summit charade. It is time to begin confronting the reality of a warmer future rather than meekly insisting that global warming can be slowed without taking action to make that happen, they say.* *The period characterized by "the UN's clever management of expectations" is coming to an end, says Oliver Geden, a climate expert with the German ... more »

Glen Coulthard: "#idlenomore in historical context"

Boris at The Galloping Beaver - 13 hours ago
Very serious game.  With respect to the emergent #IdleNoMore movement, although many of the conditions that compelled the state to undertake the most expensive public inquiry in Canadian history are still in place, a couple of important ones are not. The first condition that appears to be absent is the perceived threat of political violence that was present in the years leading to the

2 Rochester-area firefighters shot dead in ambush: Police chief says shooter had apparently set a trap for first responders

Matt at The Coming Crisis - 13 hours ago
Two firefighters were shot to death and two others were wounded in an apparent trap at the scene of a house fire near Rochester, N.Y., today. One shooter opened fire on the first firefighters to arrive, Webster police Chief Gerald Pickering said at a press conference. "It does appear that it was a trap that was set for first responders." He wouldn't speculate on whether the shooter had any relationship to any members of the police or fire departments that might have prompted the shootings. "There was some pursuit on foot," and the shooter was found outside the home on the north sid... more »

2012: The Year That "Idiocracy" Moments Broke the Scale, Part 1

KenInNY at DownWithTyranny! - 13 hours ago
*2012 was the year of the memorable "Idiocracy moment" when a Republican presidential candidate couldn't count to 3.* *by Noah* One of my favorite films of all time is Mike Judge’s *Idiocracy*. Is it a great film, strictly speaking? No. Does it hold more truths about the sad state of our society than any ten other films? Absolutely! It is the world that I see around me. The *Idiocracy* world that Judge depicts takes place 500 years in the future, but if you stream or rent the movie, you might find yourself swearing that Judge either made the movie back in 1512 and imagined our pr... more »

British Columbia' Climate Change Scourge - the Mountain Pine Beetle

The Mound of Sound at The Disaffected Lib - 13 hours ago
A paper published in *Nature Geoscience* explores the lasting impacts that the mountain pine beetle infestation, fueled by global warming, will have on the province and, potentially, forests across North America. Here's the abstract: *The present mountain pine beetle infestation in forests in British Columbia ranks among the largest ecological disturbances recorded in Canada so far. These recent outbreaks are thought to have been favoured by large-scale climatic shifts, and may foreshadow outbreaks of a similar magnitude in North American forests over the coming decades. The ass... more »

Frank Lloyd Wright: “Man the Enlightened Being"

Peter Cresswell at Not PC - 13 hours ago
*Architect Frank Lloyd Wright liked to send out **his poetic Christmas message every year extolling “man the enlightened being”** . So do I.* *“The herd disappears and reappears," says Wright's message, "but the sovereignty of the individual persists." What better time of year to reflect on that. **[Note that by the word ‘Democracy’ Wrighsimply means Freedom.]* [image: _Quote] Literature tells about man. Architecture presents him. The Architecture that our man of Democracy needs and prophesies is bound to be different from that of the common or conditioned man of any other socia... more »

A Modest Victory in the Struggle Against Academic Fecklessness

Daniel Nexon at Duck of Minerva - 13 hours ago
The URI administration has issued a new statement: What to make of this? On the one hand, I don’t think anybody will buy the claim that (1) Erik is at fault for “not making clear that he was speaking solely as an individual” and (2) that this failure provided the “rationale for our original statement.” Continue reading

Stop "Recycling" With Radioactive Materials

Majia's Blog at Majia's Blog - 13 hours ago
Tell DOE: "Recycling" with radioactive materials is NOT acceptable!The Department of Energy (DOE) is considering a plan to allow radioactively-contaminated metal from nuclear weapons facilities to be “recycled.” This would allow this toxic metal to be mixed with clean recycled metal and enter into normal commerce—where it could be turned into anything from your next pants zipper to baby toys. *Act below to stop this outrage*! Follow this link to see more and help resist this outrage http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5502/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=12406

GMO Salmon: Frankenstein Fish

Majia's Blog at Majia's Blog - 13 hours ago
Engineered Fish Moves a Step Closer to Approval The New York Times 12/22/2012 A2 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/22/business/gene-altered-fish-moves-closer-to-federal-approval.html?nl=todaysheadlines&adxnnl=1&emc=edit_th_20121222&adxnnlx=1356285808-kcOITk6oIuPH5wzwSrDRuQ[Excerpted] The Food and Drug Administration said it had concluded that the salmon would have “no significant impact” on the environment. The agency also said the salmon was “as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon.” While the agency’s draft environmental assessment will be open to public comment for 60 days... more »

Idle No More Flash Mob Round Dance Revolution Spreads!

brendanorrell@gmail.com at CENSORED NEWS - 13 hours ago
Missolula, Montana! MORE Idle No More Photos and Videos http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/12/idle-no-more-thousands-round-dance-for.html Published on Dec 24, 2012 Southgate Mall will never EVER be the same again after what happened there today. Before we started singing, I just handed my camera and whoever took the camera is who recorded. Thanks to my cameraman Bruce would bitched out

Ugo Bardi: Climate change: Confessions of a Peak Oiler

Jim at Desdemona Despair - 14 hours ago
[image: Prof. Ugo Bardi, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Firenze. www.unifi.it]By Ugo Bardi 13 December 2012 In 2003, I attended my first conference on peak oil, in Paris. Everything was new for me: the subject, the people, the ideas. It was there that I could meet for the first time those larger than life figures of ASPO, the association for the study of peak oil. I met Colin Campbell, Jean Laherrere, Kenneth Deffeyes, Ali Morteza Samsam Bakthiari, and many others. It was one of those experiences that mark one for life. In Paris, I learned a lot about oil dep... more »

American GunNut Strikes Again

The Mound of Sound at The Disaffected Lib - 14 hours ago
This time it happened in Webster, New York. Volunteer firefighters responding to a house fire were ambushed. Two of the firefighters were shot and killed. Gunman later found dead, apparent suicide.

Ciudad adornada con muchas luces de navidad

José Luis Ávila Herrera at FotoFrontera - 14 hours ago
[image: Ciudad adornada con luces de navidad] *CODIGO HTML PARA PONER ESTA IMAGEN EN SU BLOG* (Un click para seleccionar, Control C para copiar y Control V para pegar) [image: Imagenes Gratis para Navidad y Año Nuevo 2013] Por favor visite nuestra página oficial: www.fotofrontera.com

Lindas esferas de colores

José Luis Ávila Herrera at FotoFrontera - 14 hours ago
[image: Esferas de Colores] *CODIGO HTML PARA PONER ESTA IMAGEN EN SU BLOG* (Un click para seleccionar, Control C para copiar y Control V para pegar) [image: Imagenes Gratis para Navidad y Año Nuevo 2013] Por favor visite nuestra página oficial: www.fotofrontera.com

Happy Holidays!

James C Morton at Morton's Musings - 14 hours ago

Truth Militia Radio with John Friend

John Friend at John Friend's Blog - 14 hours ago
I just finished the *tenth edition of Truth Militia Radio with John Friend*. My guest Daryl Bradford Smith of *www.iamthewitness.com* and I discussed the history of his website and the books you can download there, the history of private central banking and related financial matters. You can download the entire program *here* or subscribe to Truth Militia Radio via iTunes *here*. Apologies for the technical difficulties! Thanks for tuning in and Merry Christmas everyone!

Arms Race Update - Christmas Edition - China Rising

The Mound of Sound at The Disaffected Lib - 14 hours ago
It's hard to know just how much America spends on its military but it is certainly upwards of $700-billion annually. It's even tougher figuring out just how much the second-biggest spender, China, is pumping into its military. The Chinese claim it's about $100-billion, others peg it at $160-billion, it could be even more. Yet comparing Chinese military spending with American military outlays really is comparing apples and oranges. For, while the United States does outspend China several times over, it's how that money is spent that actually favours China. Washington seeks to m... more »

Mujer vestida de santa claus

José Luis Ávila Herrera at FotoFrontera - 14 hours ago
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Santa claus con su reno en navidad

José Luis Ávila Herrera at FotoFrontera - 14 hours ago
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Galletita de chocolate con dulces

José Luis Ávila Herrera at FotoFrontera - 14 hours ago
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Graph of the Day: Average Level of Fine Particulate Matter in Asia Air Pollution, 1993-2010

Jim at Desdemona Despair - 14 hours ago
[image: Average Level of Fine Particulate Matter in Asia Air Pollution, 1993-2010. Improvements in air quality improvements in Asian cities that were visible in the last decade have stalled and the levels of fine particulate matter (PM10), the most important air pollutant in terms of health impact, are back to pre-2000 levels and still climbing in many of the cities in Asia. Clean Air Asia, 2012] By Cornie Huizenga Hong Kong, December 5, 2012. Improvements in air quality improvements in Asian cities that were visible in the last decade have stalled and the levels of fine particula... more »

Kiribati’s desperate plea for action on global warming

Jim at Desdemona Despair - 14 hours ago
[image: Teuga Patolo stands in king-tide waters that surround her neighbour's house on Kiribati. A three-year study by Australia's CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology suggests the Pacific's small island states can expect rising sea levels, more heavy rainfall events, more very hot days and more cyclones. Rodney Dekker / Oxfam] TARAWA, 22 December 2012 (Pina/Rnzi) – The Commonwealth Secretary-General has appealed to governments of developed countries to travel to Kiribati to witness the country's vulnerability to climate change impacts. Kamalesh Sharma most recently visited Kiribati la... more »

Pinos de navidad en la nieve

José Luis Ávila Herrera at FotoFrontera - 14 hours ago
[image: Feliz Navidad] *CODIGO HTML PARA PONER ESTA IMAGEN EN SU BLOG* (Un click para seleccionar, Control C para copiar y Control V para pegar) [image: Imagenes Gratis para Navidad y Año Nuevo 2013] Por favor visite nuestra página oficial: www.fotofrontera.com

Regalos para esta navidad

José Luis Ávila Herrera at FotoFrontera - 14 hours ago
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Velas Decorativas para la cena de navidad

José Luis Ávila Herrera at FotoFrontera - 14 hours ago
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Mildly Cranky Monday Blogging

Jonathan Bernstein at A plain blog about politics - 14 hours ago
The basic, underlying fact of the fiscal cliff negotiations is, well, what you learn in high school civics: the eventual solution will need to pass the House, the Senate, and be signed by the president. Given a Republican House and a Democratic president, that means (1) that the Senate is mostly irrelevant (hey, someone tell Jonathan Weisman at the New York Times), and (2) that it really doesn't matter whether a GOP-only or conservative-only bill can get through the House (hey, someone tell Nate Silver at the New York Times). And going back a bit: the other underlying fact is that ... more »

Your 2012 climate change scorecard

Jim at Desdemona Despair - 14 hours ago
[image: American League vs. National League baseball scoreboard. Mike Pick / flickr.com]By Philip Bump 21 December 2012 As our friends at 350.org like to remind us, climate change really comes down to math. Put *x* amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, see *y*degrees of warming. Our goal — meaning, our goal as an evolved, aware species that would rather not be plagued by droughts and megastorms and constant flooding and armed conflict — is to reduce how much carbon dioxide we’re putting into the atmosphere each year instead of continually increasing the amount. We’re not... more »

Imagenes de Navidad con muñeco de Nieve

José Luis Ávila Herrera at FotoFrontera - 14 hours ago
[image: Imagenes de Navidad] *CODIGO HTML PARA PONER ESTA IMAGEN EN SU BLOG* (Un click para seleccionar, Control C para copiar y Control V para pegar) [image: Imagenes Gratis para Navidad y Año Nuevo 2013] Por favor visite nuestra página oficial: www.fotofrontera.com

Esferas y regalos de navidad color dorado

José Luis Ávila Herrera at FotoFrontera - 15 hours ago
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La navidad de Bugs bony con sus amigos

José Luis Ávila Herrera at FotoFrontera - 15 hours ago
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For some cities, Doomsday is real

Jim at Desdemona Despair - 15 hours ago
[image: Two Mumbais: Condos and shantytowns. nymag.com] By Emma Whitford 20 December 2012 Despite the hysteria, it’s safe to say that tomorrow's Mayan Doomsday will end up as nothing but the latest apocalyptic hype. But even after December 21, Earth will hardly be in the clear. While we may have dodged one gigantic, irreversible blow to humanity (for now, at least), various cities across the globe will continue to face actual existential threats to their survival. Perhaps sooner than we’d like to think. Increasingly, we humans are living an urban existence. The 2012 "Future Pro... more »

It's a winter wonderland here...

Adrienne at Adrienne's Corner - 15 hours ago
*in time for Christmas.*

Adornos para arbol de navidad

José Luis Ávila Herrera at FotoFrontera - 15 hours ago
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Abraham Ben Judea at Abraham says - 15 hours ago
------------------------------ 18 December 2012 *Israeli Diplomatic Crime* Boaz Guttman: Not only Pollard in 1985 Israeli Embassy in US Diplomatic Mail used for criminal acts. Attached are the unredacted versions. You can publish my US NYC Telephone (212-561-5170) also my email (bg10[at]bezeqint.net). My US Telepone is also in my site 4Law.co.il in the about page. ------------------------------ Boaz Guttman sends: The Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C. has a diplomatic mail channel. This channel is not only used for regular working than also for criminal crimes commited by th... more »

River relics in central U.S. surface as drought drops water levels

Jim at Desdemona Despair - 15 hours ago
[image: The drought revealed this WWII minesweeper, seen here on 28 November 2012 on the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri. Colby Buchanan, US Coast Guard, via AP] By Jim Salter 23 December 2012 ST. LOUIS (AP) – From sunken steamboats to a millennium-old map engraved in rock, the drought-drained rivers of the nation's midsection are offering a rare and fleeting glimpse into years gone by. Lack of rain has left many rivers at low levels unseen for decades, creating problems for river commerce and recreation and raising concerns about water supplies and hydropower if the ... more »

U.S. lists 2 ice seal species as threatened, including ringed seals, which are prey of polar bears

Jim at Desdemona Despair - 15 hours ago
[image: In this 30 April 2001 file photo provided by Brendan P. Kelly, a ringed seal looks out of a snow cave on the ice off of Barrow, Alaska. Ringed seals, the main prey of polar bears, and bearded seals in the Arctic Ocean will be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced, Friday, 21 December 2012. Brendan P. Kelly / Associated Press] ANCHORAGE, Alaska, 21 December 2012 (AP) – Two types of ice seals joined polar bears Friday on the list of species threatened by the loss of sea ice, which scientists say r... more »

Imágenes navideñas, postales y tarjetas para compartir.

José Luis Ávila Herrera at FotoFrontera - 15 hours ago
Haga usted click aquí o sobre el collage para ver todas las imágenes Por favor visite nuestra página oficial: www.fotofrontera.com

India's triumph: Sonali Mukherjee, acid attack victim, goes on TV game show and becomes millionaire

Matt at The Coming Crisis - 15 hours ago
When Sonali Mukherjee spurned the advances of three of her fellow students, they responded by melting her face with acid. But rather than hide herself away, the 27-year-old applied to appear on India's most-watched TV quiz show - and walked away a millionaire. "If you can stare at a picture of a pretty woman then you can look at my burnt face too," Mukherjee tells AFP in her tiny home in the capital New Delhi. "It's very easy for victims of acid attacks to swallow poison but I made the choice to stand up and scream and shout against the violence." The recent gang-rape of a univer... more »

The Year of Arguing Crazily!

bob somerby at the daily howler - 15 hours ago
*MONDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2012* *And the tone-challenged land of the swells:* Who was Nancy Lanza? We’ll recommend this lengthy profile from yesterday’s Washington Post. Last week, we were stunned by the uninformed tripe which appeared at one liberal outpost concerning this question. Because it’s Christmas Eve, we aren’t going to link or even name names! But the world isn’t served when we liberals give ourselves over to “imagining” about the dead, especially when we keep noting the fact that we don’t have any real idea what we’re talking about. Yesterday, we thought the Post provided... more »

Australia: Fire at Wundowie fanned by strong winds, "under control"

Matt at The Coming Crisis - 15 hours ago
Fire authorities say a blaze that is burning near Wundowie, north east of Perth, is now under control, after jumping containment lines. The fire, which started yesterday, was fanned by strong winds and hot conditions. It was burning on land north of Coates Road and heading towards Kingia Road. A resident says flames were licking at his fence line and came to within 8 metres of his house, which was too close for comfort. At one point, a number of houses in the area were under threat. http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/15706762/fire-at-wundowie-flares-out-of-control/

New Zealand: Police confirm spy drone purchase

Matt at The Coming Crisis - 15 hours ago
Police have confirmed to 3 News they have purchased a spy drone or unmanned aerial vehicle for use in criminal investigations. They say at this stage the technology, used in war zones such as Gaza and Afghanistan, is only being trialled here. Greg O’Connor of the Police Association says it is an innovative breakthrough for the force. “It’s smarter, it’s cheaper, it’s more efficient,” he says. “Why wouldn’t police use it?” Police initially refused to talk to 3 News about their potential use of drones, but more details were released after a complaint was submitted to the ombudsman. ... more »

Housekeeping and Merry Christmas

Jonathan Bernstein at A plain blog about politics - 16 hours ago
Merry Christmas to all those celebrating the holiday. And for the rest of us, a very happy Rickey Henderson's birthday tomorrow. I've always thought that Oakland Tech should be named in his honor, but I hadn't realized how many famous people went there -- not just Ron Dellums, but also (assuming wikipedia is correct) Clint Eastwood, Huey P. Newton, Ted Lange, and Frank Oz. Okay, granted, only a handful of people think Ted Lange is important, but still. Also Rod McKuen, but I'm guessing he has fewer fans than Ted Lange. I'd still name it after Henderson, but I suppose I could see arg... more »

the 'Pompeii' of Japan: Scientists unearth body of 6th century Japanese 'warrior' who was buried by molten ash 'as he tried to calm wrath of erupting volcano'

Lynsey at The Coming Crisis - 16 hours ago
The remains of a 1,400-year-old Japanese warrior wearing body armour has been found by archaeologists at a site known as the 'Pompeii of Japan'. The body of the sixth-century Kofun-period man had been buried by hot ash from an erupting volcano and as a result has been well preserved. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2250023/Pompeii-Japan-Scientists-unearth-body-6th-century-Japanese-warrior-buried-molten-ash.html


New Orleans Ladder at New Orleans Ladder - 16 hours ago
*Saints paving way, laying foundation for brighter future * *High winds to jeopardize Christmas Eve bonfires* *Owen Courreges: How the Americans stole Christmas — from New Orleans! ~Uptown Messenger* *How money stalled negotiations over Orleans jail consent decree ~Tom Gogola, The Lens** * *Michoud Gets More Deep Space Work ~NOLA DEFENDER* *Clean-oyster debate on tap once again* *Roots of Music's Marching Crusaders to the Rose Parade ~WWOZ* *Charmaine Neville Band @ Snug Harbor** *

FOOLED ABOUT SCHOOLS: How we would have reported those test scores!

bob somerby at the daily howler - 16 hours ago
*MONDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2012* *Also, conclusions and cautions:* We’ll admit it: We remain fascinated by the reporting of the latest international test scores. For our money, American students did surprising well on last year’s international tests—especially given the decade of disparagement aimed at American schools in the mainstream press. We think those new scores are surprisingly good. But in the Washington Post and the New York Times, gloom and doom still drove the reporting. So too in the Associated Press, where familiar old scripting prevailed. (For part 1 of last week's five-... more »

Meanwhile, Just Below the Surface, Canadian Discontent Builds

The Mound of Sound at The Disaffected Lib - 17 hours ago
Canadians are quietly simmering. A poll finds a majority of Canadians now support grassroots protests as a vehicle to force political action. *The majority of respondents said they supported grassroots protests, including the Occupy movement and the British Columbia referendum against the harmonized sales tax. People are looking at other methods of political participation beyond conventional parties, said Environics pollster Keith Neuman, in an interview discussing the poll on Canadian values conducted jointly with the University of Alberta.* *Also, when it comes to taxes, the p... more »

Reinstate David Muritu

Phil at A Very Public Sociologist - 17 hours ago
What do you call an employer that circumvents long-established disciplinary procedures and sacks the branch secretary of its recognised trade union on the last day before the seasonal break? There are many unpleasant names that spring to mind, but because it's Christmas I'll use this employer's official title: Halesowen College. I reproduce below the statement supporting the reinstatement of UCU branch secretary, David Muritu. It is my understanding that this is just the beginning. Entirely coincidentally, of course, three more active members of the union are facing disciplinaries.... more »

NATO: Killing Christians. Russia's Syrian presence "problematic" ?

Penny at Penny for your thoughts - 17 hours ago
*UPDATED. SCROLL DOWN*.... And much more. Sadly. First a bit of a rant. It’s Christmas time. Peace on Earth and Good will towards all of mankind If only. If only. If only. Sigh... I’ll come back to that First. Syria. The birth of Christ. The plight of the Christians in Syria. They are threatened. Most definitely! But, not by their government. Not by their leader *Instead the Christians of Syria are threatened by the NATO/Israeli backed mercs* Let us all read together. At this time of love for our fellow man......? Whilst the Christians of the West sit silent as their brethren are being ... more »

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