Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Social Network of My Music

A (very incomplete) mapping of the social networks of many of the bands and artists on my iTunes. I attempted this for the purposes of work, I promise!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Church Closing - Red Bank Green


sad comments - just read please.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Is Economic Growth Good or Bad? NY Times columnist response...


Is Economic Growth Good or Bad?

Q. I am interested in your opinion concerning whether economic growth, which is universally hailed as a good thing, is sustainable into the infinite future. Also, is capitalism possible without treating the earth as an infinite resource and, at the same time, an infinite garbage dump? I have heard it said from businessmen that a business must grow or die. As the earth slowly but surely runs out of resources, how can businesses continue to grow? Must not the human race eventually stabilize its population at some number that reflects the ability of the sun and the earth to continuously renew those resources that the human race depends on? Will not that fact bring about the end of mining the earth for anything? How many people can the earth sustain in such a circumstance? Are there any politicians out there addressing these questions?

— Richard Cahall, Bend, Ore.

Nicholas Kristof: I’m a huge believer in the power of economic growth. Sure, it leads to pollution, climate change and other problems. But it also means that parents send their children to school and get them vaccinated, and then in turn birth rates drop. In addition, one of the great risk factors for civil wars and ethnic clashes — the most terrifying things I’ve ever seen — is economic stagnation. In 1998, when Indonesia’s economy collapsed, I saw mobs drag naked, headless corpses through the streets of East Java; that anarchy and drift to savagery was a consequence of the economic problems.

So, sure, we need smarter economic growth, and we have to be on the lookout for externalities, like economic growth that is based on poisoning the earth, water and air. But growth itself is a good thing, and almost anybody who has seen the brutal consequences of global poverty accepts that.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

G20 police 'used undercover men to incite crowds'

A British Member of Parliament claims he saw two undercover cops acting as agents provocateurs at the G20 demonstrations, attempting to get the crowd to riot. It was during one of the "kettling" sessions (this is a tactic used by UK cops wherein all protesters and bystanders are crammed into a physical space that is cordoned off indefinitely, and though the protesters are not charged with any offense, they are not allowed to leave, seek medical care, use toilets, etc). The men apparently threw missiles at the cops and tried to get others to do the same, then, after being accused of being provocateurs, flashed credentials at the police and passed through their lines.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

As recession deepens, more Americans go fishing

MEREDITH, New Hampshire (Reuters) – From his wooden fishing shack on Lake Winnipesaukee's thinning skin of ice, Mike MacDonald doesn't need to think twice about why more Americans are going "fishin'" in the deepening U.S. recession.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Comment on NY Times site

Reader comment on a David Brooks NY Times column. Silly, simple, yet probably more insightful than a bazillion experts.

"More likely, we'll crawl out of this recession and the liberals will say that it was because of progressive government and the conservatives will say that we would have gotten out of it faster if it weren't for all the government intervention. And we'll keep on arguing until the next cycle.

Kurt Vonnegut had it right when he called all the politicians "Persuasive Guessers". Let's be honest, the administration is winging it and we should hope that they're either brilliant or lucky."
-frank, dc

Friday, January 23, 2009

Oh how I miss the evil villainy days

Remember the days of Bush's administration making secret CIA prisons in other countries so they didn't have to follow Geneva laws? How adorable.

From a Washington Post analysis on Obama's orders yesterday, including an interesting behind-the-scenes on how the Wash Post disclosed the secret CIA program:

The CIA, which had taken the lead on counterterrorism operations worldwide, asked intelligence contacts around the globe to help its teams of covert operatives and clandestine military units identify, kill or capture terrorism suspects. They set up their first interrogation center in a compound walled off by black canvas at Bagram air base in Afghanistan, and more at tiny bases throughout that country, where detainees could be questioned outside military rules and the protocols of the Geneva Conventions, which lay out the standards for treatment of prisoners of war.

As the CIA recruited young case officers, polygraphers and medical personnel to work on interrogation teams, the agency's leaders asked its allies in Thailand and Eastern Europe to set up secret prisons where people such as Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh could be held in isolation and subjected to extreme sleep and sensory deprivation, waterboarding and sexual humiliation. These tactics are not permitted under military rules or the Geneva Conventions.

Eventually their worries reached a handful of reporters trying to confirm rumors of people who seemed to have disappeared: a Pakistani microbiologist spirited away in the dead of night in Indonesia. An Afghan prisoner frozen to death at a base code-named the Salt Pit. A German citizen who did not get back on his bus at a border crossing in Macedonia.

Front companies and fictitious people were used to hide a system of aircraft that carried terrorism suspects to "undisclosed locations" and to third countries under a little-known practice called rendition."


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Washington Post: "In Ohio Town, GM's Failure Isn't Academic"

Elsewhere in the country, the question of whether the government should bail out U.S. automakers unfolds as a debate over political principles, of free-market ideas and corporate responsibility.

But here in the Mahoning Valley, people wonder: If General Motors goes down, how will we get by?

The GM plant in Lordstown is one of the few pillars propping up the sagging Rust Belt economy in the small towns and cities in this area of northeastern Ohio. In Lordstown, the plant accounts for more than 70 percent of the tax base. It employs 4,250, paying people some of the best wages around, and sustains an additional 10,000 or so jobs in the companies that supply the GM plant. And as in other places where an auto plant is an economic engine, it's not just auto workers who are worried, but restaurateurs, bar owners, grocers and virtually every merchant in town.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Barack Obama, the Pragmatist

Article From "The Nation"

Gail Collins - The Dreaded Fairness Doctrine

"Researchers recently announced the results of a study about dogs and fairness that sheds new light on the auto industry bailout debate...

Gail Collins - The Dreaded Fairness Doctrine - Click here for the full article

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pray for Unity

Let's get away from politics for a second. Let's pray for the unity of the body of Christ, and pray for wisdom and guidance for those involved in the splitting of any denomination of the church. Does unity require splits like this? No clue... :

Conservatives Expected to Split Episcopal Church
Published: December 4, 2008
Conservatives disaffected over the ordination of an openly gay bishop are prepared to create a competing province.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Toby Keith Sings about the War on Christmas


Monday, November 24, 2008

Education as a "Weapon" in Pakistan

Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times chronicles a private program promoting education in Pakistan. Particularly eye-opening are the shoddy public schools and the stories of girls seen as threats because of their education. Also, people testify that the Taliban is less likely to infiltrate a village if the populace is educated.


Opinion | Nicholas D. Kristof

Books Not Bombs

While the U.S. government is fighting Islamic extremism in Pakistan with bombs, private donations are quietly financing a more important campaign: education.

Video below:


Friday, November 21, 2008


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

David Brooks: "The Former Middle Class"

At the beginning of every recession, there are people who see the downturn as an occasion for moral revival: Americans will learn to live without material extravagances. They’ll simplify their lives. They’ll rediscover what really matters: home, friends and family.

But recessions are about more than material deprivation. They’re also about fear and diminished expectations. The cultural consequences of recessions are rarely uplifting.