Monday Afternoon and Evening Open Thread

Jeralyn noted this morning that President Obama submits a proposed budget to the Congress tomorrow.

Here's my question - who the hell does Obama think he is submitting proposals to the Congress? Doesn't he know he is infringing the separation of powers? Everyone knows a President has no power over the Congress. Right?

This is an Open Thread.

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  • 50th anniversary (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:00:49 AM EST
    Today of the sit-in at the Woolworth Counter in Greensboro, NC by 4 young blck college freshmen who wanted to be served at an all-white counter -an act that set off sit-ins all over the South to protest racial discrimination.

    A couple of weeks ago I visited the Smithsonian Musuem of American History - where part of the actual counter is on display.  That day, they had an black actor playing the part of a young man in 1960 who talked about the times, the event, and if the audience could really understand what it meant to be refused service in a diner because you were different.  

    The actor performed an experiment, which I got to take part in - he called three of us up from the small audience to sit on counter stools with our backs to everybody else.  Then he had the rest of the audience come up and stand right behind us - very close to us - and just stare at us (we could see them in the mirror behind the counter). Now, of course, they weren't shouting at us, threatening us, or grabbing at us, so it wasn't exactly the same as what those four boys experienced in 1960, but it was still a little intimidating sitting there, looking at a menu, with 30 people so close, we could literally feel their breath on our necks.

    The actor then asked us how we felt, and I honestly had to say, that I am of much weaker character - I could not sit there where I wasn't wanted and just stay there, when people would be screaming at me and trying to threaten and hurt me - even if I knew the cause was just.  It was scary.

    So, hat's off to David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, and Joseph McNeil on this 50th anniversary.  May more of us find strength in your act of courage.

    I'm shocked.... (none / 0) (#71)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:13:58 AM EST
    you, the one and only law and order worshipping jbindc,  tipping your hat to 4 cats with no respect for law & order?...:)

    I have my moments (none / 0) (#72)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:17:26 AM EST
    And this was for a good cause - not a protest to allow more violent criminals to be allowed to walk the streets.

    But I'm not allowed to talk about that anymore, lest I be accused of "chattering", so from here on in, I'm towing the party line.


    So we agree... (none / 0) (#73)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:20:10 AM EST
    some laws are truly made to be broken.  Happy to hear it:)

    With caveats (none / 0) (#74)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:31:43 AM EST
    Time, place, manner.

    I still think it's best to work within the system, since you may think some laws are dumb and choose to ignore those, while someone else may think other laws are dumb and will choose to ignore those.  You can't function when people are all over the place choosing which laws they will or won't obey - at least, that's where the role of the cops and prosecutors come in - because otherwise society collapses into complete chaos.  It.Doesn't.Work.

    I'll even give you this one.  I believe helmet and seat belt laws (for adults) are stupid and should be done away with.  But again - there's a caveat.  If we had no laws with regards to helmets, for example, and you, as a free adult, choose to ride your motorcycle without one, and get in an accident and actually survive (because death would be easier), then the government should not be responsible for paying your hospital bills for the next 50 years. You should be responsible for your own actions in that case (even though techincally, your decision does affect other innocent people - for example, it would probably affect your famiily and caregivers, and probably force them into financial ruin because of your selfishness - but that's another story).


    As these brave boys showed us... (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:23:38 AM EST
    society can't function when every law is obeyed either...thats just a different shade of "chaos" and resulting misery.

    DADT (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by CST on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:50:52 AM EST
    I'm kinda surprised no one has been talking about this at all.

    I guess baby steps are better than no steps at all.  Although this seems like a pretty big step to me:

    "Gates appeared Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. As a first step, he is expected to call for no longer discharging people whose sexual orientation is revealed by others."

    thread closed (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 08:16:23 PM EST
    it's going to be cleaned of insults and attacks.

    this is creepy (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 03:29:28 PM EST
    Terrorists 'plan attack on Britain with bombs INSIDE their bodies'

    you know, after I saw the Dark Knight I thought, how long till someone does this for real?  took longer than I thought.

    Well, I suppose we are gong to have full xray (none / 0) (#8)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 03:59:58 PM EST
    screenings now, to go to the logical extreme. Or perhaps some kind of "traveler's clearance",like a security clearance. Or just no more commercial aviation.

    I really love to travel. Wish I could see any good outcome.


    I hope the special lady... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 05:43:33 PM EST
    realizes just how much I care...I'm gonna be going through the airport rig-a-ma-roll 4 times in 10 day for the perfect vacation together...no easy task for a security hater.  Love conquers all.

    Though two of those will be domestic flights in Mexico, they gotta be more chill I would think...I'll be sure to report back with a compare and contrast of the latest security measures for my friends.


    I think if she did not already realize it (none / 0) (#40)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 11:28:13 PM EST
    that should do the convincing!

    Glad you will be reporting back. You are probably a good test case ;-)


    The comments (none / 0) (#11)
    by nycstray on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 04:05:06 PM EST
    on the first page are interesting. Could have been made by some jaded Americans  ;)

    So now they're gonna wanna ramp up the power of those xrays . . .


    You caught me (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 04:08:55 PM EST
    I am really Dan from Shropshire.

    lol!~ (none / 0) (#15)
    by nycstray on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 04:30:33 PM EST
    Yup, that one in particular {grin}

    It's like he read my mind! (none / 0) (#41)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 11:28:32 PM EST
    Sorry (none / 0) (#2)
    by lilburro on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 03:46:00 PM EST
    I know I brought this up in the other open thread, but is the Obama admin trying to cause panic (or at the very least some severe political mayhem)?

    As Yglesias says, unemployment forever?  Click for the chart.

    This (none / 0) (#36)
    by cal1942 on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 10:19:13 PM EST
    could be some gimmick to lower expectations.

    Like when the Bush administration would relase a projected budget deficit and then the "real" deficit would be lower.  Somehow the fact the actual deficit was awful got lost in the better than expected news.

    But, it seems to me that this may be a real projection.  I've felt for some time that unemployment would remain very high and that wages would continue to decline simply because we have nowhere to go and there seems no will whatever to tackle the myriad problems that are steadily chipping away our ability to actually produce and there's no will to tackle fiscal problems.  The only solutions that "serious" people are offering for fiscal problems is cutting public goods and cutting the safety net.  Of course those "solutions" only make the economy weaker. And the beat goes on.


    Movie observation: (none / 0) (#3)
    by observed on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 03:47:24 PM EST
    Want a good movie? Take a Philip K. Dick story or novel and film it. I can't think of any of the several Dick-based movies which were bad, and several are quite good.
    I'm watching Screamers II right  now, and it's several cuts above the typical sci-fi slasher/thriller movie, and all because it's based on a well-written story.
    I've always thought PKD was great, but my estimation only goes up over time.

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 08:39:57 PM EST
    became Blade Runner...One of the best scifi films ever made.

    I'm proud to say (none / 0) (#38)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 11:24:09 PM EST
    my late dad and I were two of the approximately 6 1/2 people who actually saw this movie when it first came out to theaters.  We were blown away.

    When I got my first VCR in my eager, trembling hands, the very first thing i rented was Blade Runner.  When it got to the point you could actually buy movies on VHS for less than a month's rent, it was the first movie I bought.

    Now I own the "director's cut" DVD package, which comes complete with a little silver origami unicorn.

    I've watched various versions a dozen times at least, and it still blows me away.

    As for the PKD novel-- never could get past the first 5 pages!


    I was so tired of Harrison Ford's (none / 0) (#56)
    by observed on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 06:02:18 AM EST
    shtick at that point that his presence made the movie worse for me. Now, my Harrison Ford hate is barely a nagging itch, and I like the movie better.
    Besides almost killing the science fiction movie genre, I hate Star Wars for giving us a male lead who is even more wooden than Charlton Heston.

    Uh, that must have been (none / 0) (#60)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 07:19:07 AM EST
    you and your dad two rows up and to the right.

    BR was actually scifi rather than Space Opera sci fi.

    But I loved the early Star Wars but you can't watch them without wondering just how far Ford had his tongue in cheek.


    Ford had his tongue (none / 0) (#75)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:07:25 AM EST
    implanted in his cheek.  I thought that was obvious and one of the things that made it such fun!

    BR was actually more "speculative fiction" than anything else, which all of the good science fiction was/is after it got past its very early rather technology-oriented stage.  Science fiction, after all!  "Sci fi" pretty much equates to space opera, which is cowboys and Indians in outer space.  That's what "Star Wars" was, and it pretty much wrung the best out of that genre.

    Back when BR came out, there was almost no movie science fiction/sci fi/speculative fiction of any kind.  One of my great regrets was that my dad died before "Star Wars" came out.

    Ever see TH1138?


    Never saw it, I think I'll see if there is a DVD (none / 0) (#109)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 04:56:20 PM EST

    I cut my teeth on the pulps... Amazing, Fantastic Adventures, Startling, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Weird Tales, etc... Graduated to Astounding, Galaxy, etc but retained a love for "space opera," huge tales of heroic struggles..

    I collect, having about 4000 back issues, including the first Buck Rogers...story..


    The biggest Startling Wonder (none / 0) (#110)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 05:11:54 PM EST
    pulp of the all: The WOT.

    I thought you enjoyed (none / 0) (#112)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 06:31:45 PM EST
    Yes, who forget Walter Meade (none / 0) (#113)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 07:15:53 PM EST
    another fat, wealthy member of the super-elite with his finger on the pulse of "the people" and ready to tell them what they REALLY think (whether they know it or not)

    I thought (none / 0) (#5)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 03:49:42 PM EST
    Paycheck sort of sucked.  and not a big fan of Next.

    I found Next exhilirating, despite (none / 0) (#7)
    by observed on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 03:57:18 PM EST
    all the Nic Cage-y badness.
    Paycheck---is that the one about time travel and the envelope of odds and ends with Ben Affleck?
    I think both of those movies are better than most current sci-fi---including Avatar. They're plot-driven, at least to some extent.
    Not great movies though, I'll agree.

    no argument about (none / 0) (#13)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 04:11:14 PM EST
    Avatar.  are you, like me, one of those rare beings who have not seen it.

    I watched some on download (none / 0) (#14)
    by observed on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 04:15:42 PM EST
    It's preachy, stupid and predictable.
    Also, Sam Worthington is a really hot human, but in blue---err, not so hot.

    football (none / 0) (#4)
    by jharp on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 03:48:06 PM EST

    I apologize to you for not recognizing your awesome pick on the Colts/Jets game.  Quite remarkable how well you nailed it. Right down to the the part about it might take some time for the Colts to get things to click.

    I was so pissed off about the Mass. election that I've stayed away from the internet.

    Who's your favorite commenter? (none / 0) (#6)
    by observed on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 03:54:29 PM EST
    I propose that TL should have a little poll/contest to determine the top commenter(s) here. The prize should be suitably huge, of course---maybe a free trip to Orangistan.
    I know my favorite won't win, just like I hate most of people's favorite movies.

    Would have to be secret ballot... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 05:46:23 PM EST
    observed...I've got too many favorites and wouldn't want to offend any by picking just one...I don't even know if I could pick just one, we'd need categories:)

    Best Libertarian who doesn't smoke (none / 0) (#23)
    by observed on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 05:49:31 PM EST
    dope? How's that for a category?

    Good luck... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 06:07:40 PM EST
    with that one dude:)

    Commenter who would make the best president?  Now there's a toughie...


    If nominated I will not run (none / 0) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 08:13:49 PM EST
    If elected I will not serve


    Sorry, the devil made me do it!


    WTS (none / 0) (#37)
    by cal1942 on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 10:23:12 PM EST
    I thought you were a southerner.

    Sir, or Madam as the case may be (none / 0) (#61)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 07:23:08 AM EST
    I am an American by birth....

    and a Southerner by the Grace of God.

    (That does not mean I like grits for breakfast.)


    So you quoted (none / 0) (#111)
    by cal1942 on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 05:18:45 PM EST
    William Tecumseh Sherman.

    It's the male gender.


    Who, indeed, BTD.. (none / 0) (#9)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 04:02:19 PM EST
    I'm sensing frustration and disgust with a layer of tragicomic snark on top...

    It's getting to be impossible to have a rational conversation about government or politics these days with too many people making up the rules as they go along.

    And even more people buying the made-up rules when it suits their purposes.

    And too many of them hold elective office, it seems.

    Maybe if the rest of us knew more, we could demand better, and call out the BS when we hear/see it.

    In a way, this just proves Obama's (none / 0) (#10)
    by observed on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 04:04:10 PM EST
    charisma: people want to protect him, no matter what he does.

    BS? (none / 0) (#45)
    by Matt v on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 12:04:02 AM EST
    Hmm. You mean there's a designated Baby Sitter for what's essentially become Congressional Calvinball?

    Well, he has no power to actually appropriate any (none / 0) (#16)
    by steviez314 on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 04:39:32 PM EST
    of that budget money.

    The Depressing News About Anti-Depressants (none / 0) (#17)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 05:03:28 PM EST
    Prozac ,prescribed after talking (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 05:30:28 PM EST
    to the guy with the Prozac clock and the Prozac calender for five minutes, made me feel like I had just taken some bad acid. So I started meditating more and reminding myself that feelings are like the weather.

    But I think the problem is, we're just a little TOO into "performance enhancers" (no time to heal..time is money and money is time!) in this society.


    Well, I don't try to draw medical (none / 0) (#18)
    by observed on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 05:11:42 PM EST
    conclusions based on popular articles, but even supporters have said they are hardly better than placebos.
    I thought cognitive-behavioral therapy was the gold-standard for treating mild to moderate depression, possibly with medication also.

    Placebos (none / 0) (#35)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 09:42:29 PM EST
    People have to understand though that the placebo effect is a TRUE effect.  I know that many of the anti-depressants are horrors for their side effects and their cost.  However, Prozac has a long half-life and little if any discontinuation syndrome.  If a person is depressed and is told that Prozac can help them, and therefore it does, I'm not sure of the harm....when generic Prozac is under $5/month.

    I wouldn't recommend that anyone pay more than $5/month for a placebo effect.


    Except for the people (none / 0) (#39)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 11:26:20 PM EST
    who become obsessively suicidal when they start taking it.  A small minority, but very real, and there's no way to tell if you might be one of them.  Happened to a friend of mine, and it did not go away.

    Hmmm, I thought it was difficult (none / 0) (#57)
    by observed on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 06:43:41 AM EST
    to discontinue Prozac. I have had several friends on it, but I can't remember whether I read about these problems or they told me.

    You may be thinking of Paxil, (none / 0) (#59)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 06:52:46 AM EST
    which is very hard to get off of; we have a friend who had a terrible time and it took what seemed like forever.

    Does anyone know (none / 0) (#20)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 05:38:35 PM EST
    if it ever came out whether that Army shrink who killed all those people on that base was on any medication at the time?

    OT, thanks for the Henry Miller rec. (none / 0) (#25)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 07:37:32 PM EST
    Gonna pick up Black Spring tomorrow, I think. I'm so oddly read, grew up a theatre kid reading and watching plays, prose seemed such a waste of words. Read some Miller, the usual suspects in his body of work, but not this. I did go through a serious John Fante phase a few years ago, love his sparse little autobiographical novels. Couldn't bring myself to see the film version of ASK THE DUST. Maybe someday.

    I did Celexa for awhile, btw (none / 0) (#26)
    by Dadler on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 07:47:20 PM EST
    The "new generation" Prozac, supposedly without the side effects, including sexual (which it didn't, it might as well have just drilled a huge hold through my crotch, it was gone baby gone.

    Interestingly, though, I had a very quick, and obvious, placebo effect within days of starting to take it, and I just knew, I could tell, and I told my shrink, it was all from feeling like, okay, at least you're trying to do something about it. I'm the mind-body/psychosomatic disciple. I cured myself, basically, of fibromyalgia by reading the work of Dr. John Sarno, and coming to understand the mind-body nature of my condition(s). The power of the brain, and mostly the subconscious brain. That's what it's really about.


    Im going to look into (none / 0) (#30)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 08:18:17 PM EST
    this Sarno guy. Which one would you recommend first?

    Im glad you're doing better, homeboy.


    Read the Divided Mind (none / 0) (#62)
    by Dadler on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 07:26:34 AM EST
    It's his newest.  Really takes his stuff to the next level.  You can almost work backwards with his stuff to see his development with it.  Healing Back Pain is what I read first, and what really got me cured, so maybe that would be best, but I would've read Divided Mind first if it were around.

    The old guy is a true genius, been working and healing people at NYC Medical Center for decades.


    It's always a let down when (none / 0) (#28)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 07:55:12 PM EST
    it's a writer you really like, in my experience.

    The Tailor Shop piece is the best thing in there by far, though you may disagree. It certainly pushed all my buttons. Of course alot of it is where you are in time and space (physical and psychic) when you read something like that that strikes you.

    There's a lot of stream-of-consciousness, experimental stuff in the book that, imo, is very hit-and-miss, but I always give 'The Devil at Large' big props for not being afraid to step out into thin air. Hope you enjoy it.


    Sade is coming out with a new album (none / 0) (#27)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 07:54:31 PM EST
    Feb. 9.  I am very excited.

    One of the sexiest voices (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 08:21:25 PM EST
    in history, if I may be so bold.

    She sounds the way that Rosseau painting with eve and the serpent, looks.


    Re Haiti - hunger and thirst (none / 0) (#33)
    by oldpro on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 08:49:01 PM EST
    issues aren't getting much better...riots, gangs, the strong muscling out the weaker folks 'in line' and in some cases creating such an uproar that the providers just drive off with undelivered supplies.

    One thought that occurred to me:  are they doing flyovers (planes/helicopters) to drop assistance in more remote/inaccessible areas?  Sprinkle it around in smaller amounts so that more individuals could collect and carry for themselves and immediate family.

    Problem with the men (none / 0) (#34)
    by nycstray on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 09:40:40 PM EST
    they are muscling in and taking supplies to sell. Aid groups have started passing out vouchers to women, elderly, disabled. Working better. Men can pick up for a voucher person, but when women etc are in control, the aid goes to family and neighbors to be used.

    I think it was Wyclef Jean that had a prob with the aid drops. Degrading, like feeding animals. He has a point since that leaves the aid free to be swarmed . . .  tough call :(


    Not a tough call for me when (none / 0) (#52)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:11:50 AM EST
    people are so desperately hungry and thirsty.  Leave them that way long enough and animals they will become.



    Problem with drops (none / 0) (#42)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 11:31:10 PM EST
    is you risk dropping on people, and you get just as nasty food riots, only there's nobody at all there to try to stop them.  It's a little bit like Predator strikes, frankly-- safer for the troops, but the people on the ground not so much.

    I heard on CNN at least some of the distribution effort, maybe the U.N.'s, now has a rule that only women will be given the supplies because the women largely behave themselves, and they do share it around.


    Women are better with (none / 0) (#44)
    by hairspray on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 11:44:00 PM EST
    micro credit too.  Maybe it is time to let women run a few places like Haiti. They can't do worse.

    That seems to be what (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 12:44:13 AM EST
    objective evidence would indicate.  I do like men, they have their place (heh), but an awful lot of the world's nastier problems seem to be caused by the aggression of straight men.  I've long thought that the military would be far better off with all women and gay men.  It'd be a great fighting force, but only against the enemy, not each other, as we seem to have too often for comfort now.

    That's a joke, but only sort of.  I'm half serious.

    (Love ya, guys, but...)


    I'm right there with ya (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by nycstray on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 12:50:33 AM EST
    (Love ya, guys, but...)

    It's 'interesting' that the aid groups moved this way based on past evidence. And the same with micro loans. And both are world wide evidence . . . .

    I had a love hate relationship with history when I was in school as a kid. I found it fascinating, but couldn't understand the repeat mistakes. Still can't.


    "Maybe it is time (none / 0) (#46)
    by Matt v on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 12:41:20 AM EST
    to let women run a few places like Haiti."

     Why do I feel that this is stunningly insulting to all women on a number of levels?



    Could you explain why you feel (none / 0) (#48)
    by nycstray on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 12:44:39 AM EST
    that way? And include the "number of levels" . . .

    Sure. (none / 0) (#50)
    by Matt v on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:39:21 AM EST
     For one, it fairly drips of smug, sickeningly unconscious paternalism.

     For another, it more than suggests that women are a resource to be called upon only as a last resort in completely FUBAR situations in hells well away from your own doorstep.

     Is that really all women are good for? I mean besides being everyday tools, useful for taking care of the practical side of life and thus allowing men the freedom to pursue whatever they wish?

    I don't think so.


    Methinks you miss the point (none / 0) (#54)
    by nycstray on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:17:36 AM EST
    we shouldn't be called upon as a last resort. We should have been there since the beginning. If we were treated equal that is . . .

    We don't do the practical side of life to allow everyday tools like men to do what they please . . .  if we didn't do the practical, who would?

    We know what we are good for, it seems men do too. They just can't handle it.  ;)


    I agree completely, (none / 0) (#65)
    by Matt v on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 07:57:42 AM EST
    as you will realize if you re-read my post.

    As a woman I can't say that I am the least (none / 0) (#118)
    by hairspray on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:43:32 PM EST
    bit paternalistic.  Empowering maybe, not paternalistic. Haiti, Germany, U.S. any of the other countries would do.  I mentioned Haiti because that country would take a super human person without a monumental ego to tackle.  Of course it would be a Haitian woman who would be the leader. As for your last sentence I am not sure I understand your point.  Of course women are used and are tools, but they are kept in menials roles in almost all societies.  It is time for women to get the chance to prove that they are head and shoulders above their "better haves" in running complex organisims.

    Plans to revise NCLB (none / 0) (#43)
    by Manuel on Mon Feb 01, 2010 at 11:34:56 PM EST
    Here is a summary of the emerging details.  Probably no one is going to get everyting they wanted but improvements look like a possibility.  

    Will this go better than health care? Will the Republicans go along?  Will the funding overhaul be an improvement?  Brace for more charter schools.  The career track also sounds worrisome.  With the outlook for unemployment at high level for several years we are looking at the possibility for a lost generation of poor and minority youth.

    Many students who prepare for college (none / 0) (#63)
    by itscookin on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 07:28:18 AM EST
    in high school never go or only complete a year or so. Those students end up with a good basic high school education, but no marketable skills. Rather than splitting the kids into two tracks, all students should have the opportunity to attend a school that has both a strong academic and a career program. Many of our newer vocational/technical high schools offer students a strong academic program that will prepare them for a top tier college and at the same time prepare them for an entry level job in fields that are growing. Both of my children were strong students, chose our local technical high school instead of the more traditional high school, went on to good colleges, and now work in fields related to the career track they chose in high school. Most students would thrive in that environment, but old attitudes about "vocational training" die hard, and many parents won't even discuss sending their kids down that path.

    That is really too bad. When (none / 0) (#119)
    by hairspray on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:50:21 PM EST
    we loftily sent our manufacturing base overseas we also shut the doors on mechanical education and that includes mechanical engineering.  My son couldn't find a master's degree in ME when he was looking a few years back.  Now that we understand we must rebuild our manufacturing capacity, we need to elevate that path again.  Interestingly my son now has an ME job working for an alternative energy research and development company. He is doing design work for these new mechanisms, control work with programable logic and other stuff like that which part of the core of mechanical engineering.

    Birthday dinner (none / 0) (#51)
    by caseyOR on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:43:50 AM EST
    Yesterday ( Sunday) was my birthday. To celebrate friends and I went to dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant called Lauro Kitchen  in the SE part of town. And I have to say it was fabulous.

     It's relatively small (seats 54), and simply decorated. The menu changes seasonally. We had, of course, the winter menu. I chose the roast pork loin with spicy plum sauce, sauteed organic greens and roasted yam medallions. OMG! The pork was perfectly cooked, a little pink in the middle. The plum was spicy without being hot, and was perfect with the pork.

    Other entree choices at my table included braised lamb shank (I had a taste. First time I have ever eaten lamb. Interesting flavor), a tagine chicken with couscous and vegies and currants, and a "daube au Provencal" which is beef braised in red wine with olives. All of this was also great. As is typical in Portland, all the food is locally sourced.

    And the service was informed, attentive and non-intrusive. Just the way I like it.

    It was a great dinner, with great friends. A happy birthday was had by me.

    Happy B-Day Casey... (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:11:06 AM EST
    the first taste of lamb is a great present...I find it to be the most flavorful meat..if you liked the shank what till you try a rack of lamb!

    And when you're ready for the lamb big leagues...find a real=deal Lebanese restaraunt and try the kibbeh nayeh.


    Yayyyy! Happy Birthday! I'm (none / 0) (#53)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:17:05 AM EST
    emailing my favorite neice who lives in Portland.  No doubt she would echo your fine report on Lauro Kitchen...yum...makes my mouth water just to read your post!

    Newfoundland Premier (none / 0) (#55)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 05:30:50 AM EST
    Crickets. (none / 0) (#81)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:11:55 AM EST
    Chirp chirp.

    Duh! (none / 0) (#85)
    by kdog on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:16:03 AM EST
    Stupid me didn't even get the intended sick burn of socialized medicine...I just though Wile was concerned about the dude...lol.

    I am happy he (none / 0) (#124)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 03:09:02 PM EST
    didn't have to wait his turn and use the Canadian system.  May as well get it nipped in the bud and taken care  of early rather than have to wait until it is bad.  Too bad his constituents don't have that choice.

    neither (none / 0) (#125)
    by CST on Wed Feb 03, 2010 at 03:24:28 PM EST
    do those in this country without insurance.  I'd rather wait in line than wait for a heart attack to get the needed surgery.

    Thats it (none / 0) (#107)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 03:13:28 PM EST
    Im convinced we have the best health care system in the world now.

    having used canadas (none / 0) (#108)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 04:25:50 PM EST
    system I suspect what that show most is that he can afford to not wait his turn.  which is not a terrible as it has been portrayed.  in most cases.

    This won't play well in Peoria (none / 0) (#64)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 07:53:11 AM EST
    Obama's budget proposes to roll back the middle class tax cut he promised to keep.  Now, I get that times are tough, but this is not going to make people happy.

    Grappling to contain record deficits, President Barack Obama is seeking to end a middle-class tax break he once said would be permanent.

    The $3.8 trillion budget request rolled out by the White House on Monday would renew the Making Work Pay tax credit for fiscal 2011, but then would have it sunset.

    That's a switch from last year, when Obama's budget called for making the tax credit permanent.

    The cut costs the federal government about $63 billion in annual revenue while putting up to $400 in the pockets of workers making less than $95,000. It was approved for the first time in last year's $787 billion stimulus package.

    Illinois primary today (none / 0) (#66)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 08:01:16 AM EST
    oscar nominations (none / 0) (#69)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 09:06:05 AM EST
    I know we talked about this before, (none / 0) (#77)
    by observed on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:31:15 AM EST
    but wow---in several decades of movie watching I've never seen anything like the District 9 phenomenon. If you go to Netflix, you'll see that a small minority of viewers think , like me, that D9 is among the worst movies ever made. In fact, I think it could fairly occupy all 10 slots of a worst ten list.
    I'm just flabbergasted at the raves its gotten.
    Oh well.

    same here (none / 0) (#78)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:36:59 AM EST
    I dont remember such a disparity of opinion.
    District 9 is not racist.  it is a brilliant allegory for racism.  it makes the aliens "less than" a group of people who are "less than" another group of people.  its simply brilliant.

    and I am glad it is getting some recognition after all the ridiculous charges and reviews.


    also (none / 0) (#79)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 10:43:30 AM EST
    my co workers and I are in disagreement about the positive aspects of the possibility that this nomination could get a sequel.  
    we are all major fans of the film.  I like the idea.
    they are not so sure and think that a sequel would be ruined by someone like Michael Bay.  sadly they are probably right.
    but IF the same director with the same vision did it I would love to know what happened to those characters.
    it could make for a very cerebral alien invasion if they do come back.

    Well, I don't know enough about (none / 0) (#82)
    by observed on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:13:40 AM EST
    Africa to judge this, but several people wrote that the movie was blatantly racist towards Nigerians in particular.
    I'm not sure how displaying overt racism is allegorical. I do understand now that there are many in jokes about South African culture and history which no outsider will get. I don't see how that makes D9 a better movie for me though.
    As far as the allegory about the aliens, the director's heavy hand  makes 1950's social realism look like a walk in the park in May.
    I also don't know what you mean by ridiculous charges and reviews, though. The only published reviews I read were very positive.

    Glad you liked it. I'll grant that it might have had a precious kernel of originality, although I couldn't detect it.


    What do you think about the new 10 (none / 0) (#80)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:03:00 AM EST
    noms for Best Picture system? To me, just looking at the longer list made me less interested in any of the films. I think any meaning it ever had just gets diluted.

    I dont understand this attitude (none / 0) (#83)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:15:17 AM EST
    there is still only one winner.  all the expanded field does is recognize the work of more people.
    its good for the people.  its good for the industry.
    I dont get it.

    I'll look at it that way instead (none / 0) (#95)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:18:12 PM EST
    Really, it was just my gut reaction upon being hit with a list of ten. I don't even see ten movies in a theater in a year. I used to at least have a shot at seeing all the nominated movies in a theater, now there is no way.

    it was really (none / 0) (#96)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:21:39 PM EST
    as much a response to the increase in the number of releases I think as much as anything.
    I have only seen four of the nominees.  everyone will be updating their netflix lists as a result of the announcements today.

    my only complaint this year (none / 0) (#98)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:37:50 PM EST
    is that Watchmen was ignored.  but I am not surprised.

    Watchmen was interesting, but (none / 0) (#100)
    by observed on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:45:03 PM EST
    honestly I thought the graphics and effects of Sky Captain and the world of Tomorrow were better for the genre. That was a beautiful film---too bad it was so dumb.

    that would be the problem (none / 0) (#101)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:52:26 PM EST
    with that and sadly most scifi.  it was dumb.
    I thought the only contribution of that movie was that it explained where the Iron Giant came from.

    watchmen was not dumb.  it was very very smart.  to smart apparently.
    it was made to look seedy and some people must have thought it was not intentional.  
    it was brilliant. the best movie of the year and the best superhero movie and soundtrack evah.


    Have you watched Sunshine? (none / 0) (#103)
    by observed on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:23:55 PM EST
    That was the movie about the journey to the sun from a couple years ago.
    Forget about the last part of the movie, which really reeked: I thought up until they resurrected Event Horizon, it was the best sci-fi movie for quite a while. The space drama was gripping and realistic, and the shots of the sun were fantastic! I'm told they hired physicists to make the discussions and portrayal of the sun realistic (with the exception of the part about the sun dying, of course).

    I just finished watching Screamers 2, which I"d been watching in dribbles over the last couple days. Definitely a superior sci-fi slasher movie.


    Sunshine (5.00 / 0) (#104)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:25:10 PM EST
    goes on my netflix list.  the other one has been there for a while.

    PKD's excellence comes through. (none / 0) (#105)
    by observed on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:36:19 PM EST
    I think I read that story, ages ago; the plot in the movie had many familiar elements.
    I wonder if Dick read any Stanislaw Lem. The Screamers idea has some similarities to 1950's fiction of Lem; for example, Invincible.
    Man, I wish they would turn Invincible, Eden or Fiasco into a movie! If you haven't read Fiasco (a late Lem work---might have a different title in another translation) I recommend it.

    Screamers gives some support (none / 0) (#106)
    by observed on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:40:09 PM EST
    to my theory about why sci-fi movies are so bad, generally. I think it's because the scripts are written by people who don't know any sci-fi.
    There's nothing special about the acting, sets or effects of Screamers 2, but because of PKD, its' pretty good.
    The original Star Wars is another example: as 1930's pulp fiction that script wouldn't even have been noticed. To see garbage like that in 1977, when there was so much excellent REAL science fiction to film, was a travesty.
    And the original Star Trek used some great sci-fi authors, so Shatner's hamminess was hardly even an issue.

    One theory I heard (none / 0) (#84)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:15:36 AM EST
    Was that because of so many foreign and indie films getting nominated in recent years - films that a very small number of the American viewing public had seen or even heard of - that viewership of the Oscars was way down.  According to this theory, including 10 films for Best Picture, would allow more "big-name" films the chance to be nominated, which would translate into more people tuning in to watch.

    that is not the reason (none / 0) (#86)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:22:19 AM EST
    it is exactly the opposite.  it allows indie and other films that would not otherwise have been nominated to get exposure and press.
    for example, District 9, Up, A Serious Man and An Education.

    otherwise (none / 0) (#87)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:25:54 AM EST
    the nominees this year would have been Avatar, Inglourious Basterds, Up In The Air, Precious and the Hurt Locker

    Ah (none / 0) (#88)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:29:18 AM EST
    Well, haven't seen any of them anyway, so I probably still won't watch!  :)

    its like film credits (none / 0) (#89)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 11:30:12 AM EST
    its not required

    What is Inglourious Bastards (none / 0) (#91)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 12:46:43 PM EST
    doing in there? To me, it was basically Hogan's Heroes with profanity and brutality.

    I have a feeling theres'a lot more arm twisting and lobbying going on behind the scenes in the selection process than people realize.


    you know how it works? (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:06:51 PM EST
    if you are a member you get a copy of the film.  then you vote.  I know several members.
    whose arm would you twist.
    Inglorious Basterds was a good movie.
    not the best of the year but better than Avatar.

    To each his own (none / 0) (#93)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:14:00 PM EST
    Sounds like slim pickins' these year, is my take.

    Havnt caught the Avatar wave yet. Im sure I'll see it when my kids rent it; though I have such a prejudice at this point towards these over-hyped, high-tech juggernauts, that I may have to do some arm twisting on my self in order to give it my full attention.


    Hey, at least Avatar (none / 0) (#94)
    by observed on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:14:38 PM EST
    didn't have Kevin Costner as the white guy.

    A (nitrous oxide addicted) (none / 0) (#99)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:38:35 PM EST
    Dennis Hopper as the heavy? And Isabella Rosellini as the blue girl into being tied trees and shot with rayguns.

    Sen Webb is angry! (none / 0) (#97)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 01:33:52 PM EST
    Seems lobbyists still have lots of pull in our government (shocking, I know)


    WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon recommended Monday moving an aircraft carrier from Virginia to Florida, angering Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., who questions whether a retired admiral who lobbies for Jacksonville exerted unfair influence on the decision.
    Retired admiral Robert Natter, who is also a paid adviser for the Navy, said he had nothing to do with the recommendation that the Navy move the carrier. The recommendation, part of a long-range strategy review, says moving the carrier to Mayport, Fla., will limit the risk that a terrorist attack, natural disaster or accident could cripple the eastern carrier fleet, which is based in Norfolk,Va. The review maps out threats the Pentagon anticipates and its plans to meet them.

    RETIRED OFFICERS: Colo. firm employs the most
    MENTOR PROGRAM: Gates orders review

    Webb, a former secretary of the Navy, has questioned whether Natter met with officials who took part in the Pentagon's strategy review. In December, Webb wrote a letter to the Pentagon asking about Natter's role in the carrier decision and cited a Nov. 18 USA TODAY report that cited Senate lobbying records that showed Natter received $1.5 million as a lobbyist for Florida from 2004 to 2006 on base-closing decisions. The Pentagon has not yet answered Webb's letter, according to Jessica Smith, a spokeswoman for Webb.

    Webb said Monday that moving a carrier to Mayport made no financial sense and that the proposal "was not a done deal." He has said the move could cost up to $1 billion.

    Paging kdog (none / 0) (#102)
    by jbindc on Tue Feb 02, 2010 at 02:18:58 PM EST
    Saw this story and thought of you immediately....

    KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) -- It was a Zinger of a theft in Tennessee.

       It also included cupcakes, Twinkies and other snack cakes from the Merita Bread Company.

       The Kingsport Times-News cites a report from the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office in reporting 34-year-old James M. Denoon and 18-year-old Anthony Stout were found hiding under a truck at the bakery late Friday night.

       The deputies found about $300 worth of stolen snack cakes stacked on the ground nearby.

       Finding the accused thieves was easy: The deputies only had to follow their footprints. There was more than an inch of snow on the ground by Friday night.

       Denoon and Stout were charged with theft under $500 and two counts of auto burglary. It was not immediately clear if they had attorneys.

    The last time I did that (none / 0) (#149)
    by jondee on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 04:17:20 PM EST
    I was banned from the Shriners Circus for life.

    Avoid the concession stand beer.