as cousin cathi reminded me, 30,000-50,000 people die of influenza in this country every year
29 April 2009
28 April 2009
e-mail from one of my mother's cousins, to whom i clearly have nothing more to say:
i have absolutely no respect for Obama or any one who voted for him.The small minority as you call it shall get larger.It is not Obama per se for he has no leadership qualities ,all his agenda is coming from his left wing liberal base.The man has no leadership qualities .He has never ran a biz,managed anything or been a leader in anything.He sucked up to the right people who were looking for a smooth talking ,velvet tongue like Bill Clinton to carry out their agenda,and they found him.Having said that,I wouldnt have voted for him if he had been a card carryin right wing conservative .Why,simply put black people in this country cause most of the criminal acts except white collar crimes ,that are immoral,and a bunch of cry babies .I hear all about the race card every time something happens that is not in their best interest but they should be grateful that they were brought to this country as slaves for they and the off spring might still be wearing loin cloth and chasing their next meal with a hatchet-enuf said
don't you just love my people? it makes me understand headlines like this: "another deadly gunman 'severely disturbed' over obama's election" ---it also makes me very glad that cousin joe lives in new mexico and not next door
Posted by tomitron at 4/28/2009 07:29:00 AM
27 April 2009
When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year's emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans.
not only did they ridicule it, they killed it entirely--- what a lot of stupid people
Posted by tomitron at 4/27/2009 06:06:00 PM
25 April 2009
the bathhouse (c. 1925) renovation is showing results----new roofing, nice clean granite, but they gutted the interior and replaced every last bit of the exterior woodwork---only the stone walls remain from the historic building--- it will probably win an award from the urban design commission
Posted by tomitron at 4/25/2009 08:01:00 PM
eleven years old and this kid in dekalb county hangs himself in his closet, only ten days after another eleven year old in massachussetts did the same thing--- both because of bullying and homophobia---- this makes me very angry
Posted by tomitron at 4/25/2009 08:17:00 AM
24 April 2009
they're updating, as it were, the georgian terrace--- entrance into the hotel is now entirely through the new (c. 1990?) addition on the north side---the original front entrance is closed off, and a new restaurant is opening on the corner at ponce, where they've also added a second terrace entrance
Posted by tomitron at 4/24/2009 06:34:00 PM
from twelfth and midtown to turtles in clara meer--- and a lot of fishing--- one guy had a 5-gallon bucket with some nice bream in it---- and there are posted limits on fish size, for both large-mouth bass and bream--- i guess the conservancy is stocking the lake, plus it doesn't have as much nasty run-off as it used to----
and the metropolis pool is open again, improving the view for another season
Posted by tomitron at 4/24/2009 06:20:00 PM
23 April 2009
more proof of the right wing civil war---
on another show, he got so pissed at the rationalizations for torture that he started slamming his hand repeatedly on the desk and yelling: "We are America!I don't give a rat's ass if it helps. We are AMERICA! We do not fucking torture!!" and they didn't bleep him out--- it's past time we all were that pissed off--- excellent to see it coming out of fox "news"--- go get 'em, shep---
andrew has it right, talking about cliff may (with shep, ab0ve):
What he does not concede, because it might make his head explode, is that the administration he slavishly supported has made and will make torture more prevalent and more justified in every dictatorship on earth. And when these monsters are called to account, they will forever be able to say: America does it. And they will be impossible to refute. It is very hard to put a price on that loss of moral standing. But I'd say it renders the future much darker for humanity; and I'd say that someone soon will be tortured because America helped legitimize it.this brought to you by the hyperpatriot christianist republican party
Posted by tomitron at 4/23/2009 05:57:00 PM
22 April 2009
21 April 2009
the right wing blogs are all torn up as one or two of them start calling out the extremists----little green footballs is one that has come out that way----and he's apparently getting burned for it
Johnson is absolutely correct to voice his concerns about right-wing extremism. As a nearly lifelong member of the fundamentalist Christian community, an insider if you will, I've witnessed with disgust and dismay the kind of ignorance and extremism that Charles is referring to first hand. I could fill a book with all of the mean, arrogant, ignorant, bigoted, cruel, abusive and even frightening displays of evil malignancy that I've been forced to witness. I could fill another book with all of the times that I've seen cowardly, blinkered, apathetic, see-no-evil fundamentalists deliberately turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the garbage that is being spewed from their pulpits and promoted in their classrooms, to protect their personal reputations in the religious community and keep the peace.
Posted by tomitron at 4/21/2009 09:11:00 PM
one of the cranes at the atlantic was taken down today---when the other one comes down, i will not see a crane from my balcony for the first time since i moved in----there are still a couple more at twelfth and ptree, which i can't see from here, but they won't be up much longer----that'll be it for the cranes in midtown
Posted by tomitron at 4/21/2009 08:30:00 PM
19 April 2009
Everyone has heard that memories can be unreliable, but many of us don’t appreciate the extent to which that is true. It’s not the case that “real” memories are stored once and for all deep in the darkest recesses of the brain, and it’s just a matter of digging them up. False memories — conjured from any number of sources, from gradual embellishment to direct suggestion by others — seem precisely as vivid and real to us as accurate memories do. For a good reason: the brain uses the same tools to construct the memory from the available raw materials. A novel and a history book look the same on the printed page.
Posted by tomitron at 4/19/2009 01:06:00 PM
this doesn't explain every last bit of it, but it sure does explain a lot:
You know, there’s nothing more interesting than seeing a bunch of racists become confused and angry at a speech they’re not quite certain what he’s saying. It sounds right and then it doesn’t make sense. Which, let’s be very honest about what this is about. It’s not about bashing Democrats, it’s not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don’t know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks. And there is no way around that. And you know, you can tell these type of right wingers anything and they’ll believe it, except the truth. You tell them the truth and they become — it’s like showing Frankenstein’s monster fire. They become confused, and angry and highly volatile. That guy, causing them feelings they don’t know, because their limbic brain, we’ve discussed this before, the limbic brain inside a right-winger or Republican or conservative or your average white power activist, the limbic brain is much larger in their head space than in a reasonable person, and it’s pushing against the frontal lobe. So their synapses are misfiring.
Posted by tomitron at 4/19/2009 11:45:00 AM
what a stupid video---frank rich called it a creepy cross between "The Village of the Damned” and “A Chorus Line”, noting that "it is justice, not a storm, that is gathering."-----the homophobes are desperate even if they did win on prop 8---they just don't understand the difference between holding to a primitive belief system, which we may mock while not taking away their right to hold it, and imposing those primitive beliefs on the rest of a secular society
oh and this is the same outfit that thought "2M2M" was excellent shorthand for their campaign---
Posted by tomitron at 4/19/2009 10:54:00 AM
18 April 2009
17 April 2009
i've been seeing this poor guy ever since i started walking peachtree three years ago---most of the time i walk down his side of the street, unless the lights send me to the other side of the street---it is a very rare day that he is not in that spot---during the winter he would already have his sleeping bag rolled out when i would walk by on my way home---i tried to at least acknowledge his presence a couple of times, but it seemed to scare him, since he's clearly got some issues---not alcohol or drugs but probably schizo or something---i used to see the same poor crazy souls walking highland avenue when i lived over there, some of them for ten or twenty years running----next to child abuse, i think the way our society treats mental illness is our biggest shame
Posted by tomitron at 4/17/2009 07:13:00 PM
high-speed rail from atlanta to d.c., new orleans, and savannah!!!!! could it really happen?
President Barack Obama on Thursday outlined plans for a high-speed rail network he said would change the way Americans travel, drawing comparisons to the 1950s creation of the interstate highway system.
plus the epa is finally pushing to regulate greenhouse gases under the clean air act
The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases are a danger to public health and welfare. It is the first step to regulating pollution linked to climate change.
as w used to say, "elections have consequences," don't they?
Posted by tomitron at 4/17/2009 02:48:00 PM
16 April 2009
like nearly every other federal agency, the national park service was very nearly ruined by the last administration---following is some congressional testimony from a retired park superintendent who gives an excellent synopsis of what has happened
Viewing national parks as essentially “cash cows” for local and regional economies increasingly skews interpretation of law toward the notion that recreation and visitor use are as important, or even more important, than the protection of the resource. The mounting overwhelming attention that is placed on parks’ revenue-generating capabilities creates a dilemma that often threatens long-term ecological health and diffuses core resource protection duties at the macro scale in favor of smaller incremental reactions to a continual barrage of park development plans and mechanisms to increase visitor use scenarios that now seem to prevail more often than not. As a result of these trends, the role of environmental stewardship and carrying out core resource protection missions are being systematically diminished across the National Park System with increasing frequency—deferring instead to economic impacts to communities and special interest groups.These trends, along with recent attempts (and substantial expenditures of money) to contract-out, or outsource, certain work functions in the NPS have had a demoralizing effect on the workforce.It is time to return the NPS to a professional organization; driven by law, science and principled leadership. With this renewal will come the pride and enthusiasm of the NPS workforce that Americans have come to expect of those who protect and interpret the nation’s National Park System.
Posted by tomitron at 4/16/2009 09:09:00 PM
this is a piece by our former regional ethnographer, tony paredes, with an ethnographer's look at obama---really great---the link is to a newsletter through which one must burrow to find his article, but it's worth it
Something doesn’t set quite right in calling Barack Obama “the nation’s first African-American president.” Actually, it is anthropological errancy. It fails the Boasian challenge of uncoupling “race” and “culture.” Sure, Obama is the first “person of color” elected president of the United States of America. The closest to that before President Obama was Herbert Hoover’s Kaw Indian Vice President (1929-1933), Charles Curtis. Indeed, Barack Obama succeeds a presidential line-up of the “whitest of the white.” All were of northwestern European descent. Collectively, Obama’s predecessors were primarily of Anglo-Saxon origin, spiced with a healthy dollop of Celtic ancestry and a dash or two of German and Dutch as well. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of the first forty-three presidents were blue-eyed (Google it, dear reader), something made startlingly clear to me on viewing an exhibition of presidential portraits.he understands rednecks, too
Posted by tomitron at 4/16/2009 08:58:00 PM
15 April 2009
Unless it rains today, thousands of average people will stand up across the land, declare their mad-as-hell-ness. Look for folks to holler for lower estate taxes and a replacement for Sarbanes-Oxley. They will put on three-cornered hats, wave "don't tread on me" flags, and imagine that they are channeling the spirit of Tom Paine as they do their part to ease the troubles of the economy's winners. And Fox News, which plans to cover the tea parties, will no doubt hail this plastic populism as the realest kind of social uprising, a movement that is the rightful expression of this year's discontents.
i like the line about doing their part "to ease the troubles of the economy's winners"---that's what's so pathetic about the whole thing---
Posted by tomitron at 4/15/2009 07:48:00 AM
14 April 2009
13 April 2009
it's the politics of fail for the republicans:
- The Republican Party really is hoping that the United States fails. Often. So much so that we crawl back to the Republicans and beg them to take over the government in 2010 and 2012.
- Because the Republican Party wants the United States to fail, the Republican Party has a vested interest in causing the United States to fail. This perverse incentive can be seen working itself out in the way that Republican talking heads and thought leaders like Limbaugh and Gingrich bet against the United States, predicting our failure before all the facts are in. Limbaugh in particular clearly savors the thought of American failure.
- The Republican Party's leaders are irresponsible. Politics is supposed end at the water's edge. For Republicans like Limbaugh and Gingrich to go on the radio or television and demonstrate that they are hoping for a hostage rescue to fail so they can exploit that failure for political gain is a clear demonstration that the Republican Party and its leaders are unfit to serve as the leaders of our country.
Posted by tomitron at 4/13/2009 05:46:00 PM
12 April 2009
that i was not born in somalia---a political system in chaos and per capita annual income at $600---given the choice between the marginal existence of a nomadic herder, like a large portion of the population, or the big money to be gained by piracy on the high seas, it's little wonder that pirates are becoming somalia's elite---the cia's description below of the somalian economy reminds one of the value of good government and a well-ordered society, in spite of what libertarians claim---sure, you might could survive that way, but why would you want to?
Despite the lack of effective national governance, Somalia has maintained a healthy informal economy, largely based on livestock, remittance/money transfer companies, and telecommunications. Agriculture is the most important sector, with livestock normally accounting for about 40% of GDP and about 65% of export earnings. Nomads and semi-pastoralists, who are dependent upon livestock for their livelihood, make up a large portion of the population. Livestock, hides, fish, charcoal, and bananas are Somalia's principal exports, while sugar, sorghum, corn, qat, and machined goods are the principal imports. Somalia's small industrial sector, based on the processing of agricultural products, has largely been looted and sold as scrap metal. Somalia's service sector also has grown. Telecommunication firms provide wireless services in most major cities and offer the lowest international call rates on the continent. In the absence of a formal banking sector, money transfer/remittance services have sprouted throughout the country, handling roughly $2 billion in remittances annually. Mogadishu's main market offers a variety of goods from food to the newest electronic gadgets. Hotels continue to operate and are supported with private-security militias. Somalia's arrears to the IMF continued to grow in 2008. Statistics on Somalia's GDP, growth, per capita income, and inflation should be viewed skeptically.
Posted by tomitron at 4/12/2009 03:44:00 PM
i knew about the the supposed connection between the germanic goddess oestre and the christians' easter---but did the venerable bede make it all up?
Imagine the irony in making up a goddess myth, which becomes linked with the "greatest story ever told," and simultaneously serves as a mecca of commerce for Hershey's, hat makers and basket weavers.
Posted by tomitron at 4/12/2009 11:22:00 AM
11 April 2009
09 April 2009
In China, an old custom is to plant an Empress Tree when a baby girl is born. The fast-growing tree matures when she does. When she is eligible for marriage the tree is cut down and carved into wooden articles for her dowry. Carving the wood of Paulownia is an art form in Japan and China. In legend, it is said that the Phoenix will only land on the Empress Tree and only when a good ruler is in power.
of course, over here, it's an invasive species
Posted by tomitron at 4/09/2009 06:20:00 PM
it's almost finished and the sidewalk is finally open again----nice mix of finishes once you get past the idea that the upper part is all dryvit or whatever---better mix of materials at street level----e.g., iridescent-tile panels at the sixth street end and mirrored pilasters along the w. ptree side
Posted by tomitron at 4/09/2009 04:52:00 PM
Flip this around and you see what the theocon right actually believes: that society has no interest in the welfare of its gay citizens, and an abiding interest in ensuring that they remain unequal, feel unequal and suffer the consequences of a culture where family and commitment and fidelity are non-existent. And they write this within living memory of an appalling and devastating plague. This is how the social right is responding to our times, and to put it personally, my life and the lives and deaths of countless others. One day, they will understand the callousness and bitterness and willful ignorance they currently represent. As civilized society leaves them increasingly behind.there are plenty that will never understand, but i almost don't care anymore---they're just pathetic
Posted by tomitron at 4/09/2009 02:15:00 PM
08 April 2009
in 2002, this was still on display at cuba's museum of the revolution in havana, which is in the former presidential palace--- choice propaganda from twenty years ago, it was stuck back in a narrow hallway off to the side somewhere--- that's george the elder, of course, and reagan---i'm not sure who the third character is----"rincon" means corner or retreat or nest or something like that
Posted by tomitron at 4/08/2009 08:24:00 PM
another online news source for the state---gonso, or georgia online news service---a lot of people you already know from the loaf and what not----john sugg, eleanor ringel, etc.----nice, since the ajc is so worthless and all the squabbling and bankruptcy seems to be doing a number on creative loafing----
Posted by tomitron at 4/08/2009 05:29:00 PM
07 April 2009
i watched a little of that fat-ass preacher rick warren on larry king, but couldn't stand more than a minute or two----turns out he doesn't mind lying about what he really thinks about the homos
Posted by tomitron at 4/07/2009 06:55:00 PM
It's a proud day in Vermont, which today became the fourth state -- following Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa -- to allow same-sex couples to marry. In a historic vote, the Legislature overrode the governor's veto of a bill that allows the couples to marry.
it will drive the homophobes nuts that this was done by the legislature and not the courts, thereby depriving them of one of their major talking points, i.e., all those goddam judges "legislating from the bench" and trying to force the queers down our throats, so to speak---
and also today the district of columbia city council voted to recognize same-sex marriages from outside the district----watch how fast some congressional republican introduces a bill to eliminate that----but i think the war is close to being won, even if the battles aren't all over----what they need to do now is overturn that miserable "defense of marriage act," for the signing of which a part of me will always hold clinton in contempt
and i still can't believe iowa
Posted by tomitron at 4/07/2009 05:38:00 PM
06 April 2009
05 April 2009
what a stupid bunch of people---stupid, stupid, stupid---not only did they not fund a transportation bill, they refused to give MARTA the right to spend money that it collects in fulton and dekalb----there is a 1% sales tax for MARTA in those counties, but from the beginning the agency has been hamstrung by a requirement that no more than 50% can be spent on operations---and this by a legislature that has never given MARTA one thin dime----now we may have no trains on weekends----
Posted by tomitron at 4/05/2009 08:35:00 PM
i don't have a particular problem with suicide, but all this other killing is messed up
Jesus christ, this whole country is drowning in its own blood. We take a day off — the Sabbath — and there are another half-dozen gruesome murders or murder-suicides.
Posted by tomitron at 4/05/2009 07:48:00 PM
03 April 2009
Marriage equality came to the heartland a few minutes ago. The court found unanimously that the ban on marriage for a small minority of citizens violated Iowa's constitution.
update: check out the dailybeast on the subject----
Posted by tomitron at 4/03/2009 12:50:00 PM
"This is a defining moment, and there is overwhelming empathy with folks who are scared to death about the direction this country is going," Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) told POLITICO. "All of a sudden, you have the president taking over General Motors, the president taking over the financial industry and now the health care industry? I think there will be even a larger outcry coming from our constituents at the ballot box next time."yeah, and that outcry was last november ---
Posted by tomitron at 4/03/2009 08:43:00 AM
02 April 2009
plum orchard is probably the most amazing thing on the island---built in 1898, 20,000 sq. ft., wonderfully intact, with things like original tiffany lighting in the music room, stenciled burlap and painted paper covering walls, some reproduced but a lot of it original---and some of the best bathrooms that i've seen----
Posted by tomitron at 4/02/2009 10:33:00 PM
back from cumberland island----saw some things i hadn't before, including first african-baptist church where jfk jr. was married, with its weird little altar---we were looking at a bunch of "resources," as we call old buildings and stuff----some are tough to do anything with, including this chimney at a place called rayfield at the north end of the island---it's all that's left of a large community of slaves----unfortunately it's now in a designated wilderness area and any work to stabilize it is deemed "construction," which is prohibited in a wilderness area----
Posted by tomitron at 4/02/2009 09:40:00 PM