Monthly Archives: January 2007

Why do Republicans hate minimum wage workers?

US Senate Republicans block minimum wage hike | Bonds News | Reuters.com

U.S. Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a Democratic bill to increase the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade, demanding it first include small-business tax relief.

Democrats fell short of the 60 needed to end debate and go to passage of the House-passed measure, which would raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour from $5.15 per hour over two years.

Republicans demanded tax breaks be added to the legislation to help small business cover the proposed pay hike for millions of America’s lowest paid workers. Senate Democratic leaders have indicated they would be willing to go along with some sort of tax relief if necessary to win approval.

Here’s the list for 2008, of those minimum wage haters up for re-election:

* Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
* Wayne Allard (R-CO)
* Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
* Thad Cochran (R-MS)
* John Cornyn (R-TX)
* Larry Craig (R-ID)
* Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)
* Pete Domenici (R-NM)
* Michael Enzi (R-WY)
* Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
* Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
* James Inhofe (R-OK)
* Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
* Pat Roberts (R-KS)
* Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
* Gordon Smith (R-OR)
* Ted Stevens (R-AK)
* John Sununu (R-NH)

Oh, for all you Dems running against them in 2008, here are the questions to ask them:

“Do you have such disdain for hard-working Americans that you want to pile all your amendments on this? Why don’t you just hold your amendments until other pieces of legislation? Why this volume of amendments on just the issue to try and raise the minimum wage? What is it about it that drives you Republicans crazy? What is it? Something. Something! What is the price that the workers have to pay to get an increase? What is it about working men and women that you find so offensive?” — Sen. Edward Kennedy

Satya

“When the practitioner is firmly established in the practice of the truth, his words become so potent that whatever he says comes to realization.” — yoga sutras

“The first yama, ahimsa, concerns love, and the second, satya, concerns truth. Satya gives us our first experience of a paradox in yoga. We begin the practice of satya with considerable will and attention as we work hard to speak the truth and live the truth. Every conversation, every mundane activity invites our scrutiny: are we being truthful in thought, word and deed? Over time, though, the successful application of will and attention actually strips us of our need for both. Initially, we experience satya as having to do with concrete events and words. Either we kept a commitment, or we did not. Little by little we notice, and then drop, our old habits of embellishment, obfuscation, minimization, self-aggrandizement,omission, rationalization, and exaggeration. ”

“At first, then, satya is practiced from the outside in. Eventually, however, we become fully established in the practice of truth — so much so that we begin to live satya from the inside out. As the layers of falsehood fall away, an intimacy develops with our own truth. Ultimately, our truth becomes all there is. Truth becomes our essence and reality, our deepest desire, and the air that we breathe.” — Rolf Gates, Mediations from the Mat

The philosophical meaning of the word ‘Satya’ is “unchangeable”, “that which has no distortion”, “that which is beyond distinctions of time, space, and person”, “that which pervades the universe in all its constancy”. — Wikipedia

This sounds very much like Tao to me.

Overcoming Bias: Outside the Laboratory

Overcoming Bias: Outside the Laboratory
As Richard Feynman put it:

“If we look at a glass closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflections in the glass, and our imaginations adds the atoms. The glass is a distillation of the Earth’s rocks, and in its composition we see the secret of the universe’s age, and the evolution of the stars. What strange array of chemicals are there in the wine? How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization: all life is fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering, as did Louis Pasteur, the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts — physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on — remember that Nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure: drink it and forget it all!”

Shit

And it’s only going to get worse.

Two more goddamn years.

Twenty-one U.S. troops killed in costly day in Iraq | News One | Reuters.com

U.S. forces had one of their costliest days in Iraq on Saturday when 21 troops 25 troops were killed, including 13 in a helicopter and five in a clash in a Shi’ite holy city the U.S. military said was triggered by militiamen.

The battle at a government building in Kerbala was the bloodiest for U.S. troops in the Shi’ite south in two years and occurred as President George W. Bush presses leaders of the Shi’ite majority to crack down on militias from their community.

Hours after reporting three deaths in separate incidents and the loss of all 13 passengers and crew aboard a Blackhawk transport helicopter, the U.S. military said five soldiers were killed and three wounded in the Kerbala clash.

If only.

Rolling Stone : Pork's Dirty Secret

And my husband wonders why I dislike eating pork. Ew. The whole article is just sickening.

Factory farms gotta go.

Heck, I may even give up bacon and ham for good.

UPDATE:

Yeah, I just checked, and those were Smithfield bacon crumbles in the fridge.

Tossed and never, ever to be bought again.

Rolling Stone : Pork’s Dirty Secret: The nation’s top hog producer is also one of America’s worst polluters

Smithfield’s pigs live by the hundreds or thousands in warehouse-like barns, in rows of wall-to-wall pens. Sows are artificially inseminated and fed and delivered of their piglets in cages so small they cannot turn around. Forty fully grown 250-pound male hogs often occupy a pen the size of a tiny apartment. They trample each other to death. There is no sunlight, straw, fresh air or earth. The floors are slatted to allow excrement to fall into a catchment pit under the pens, but many things besides excrement can wind up in the pits: afterbirths, piglets accidentally crushed by their mothers, old batteries, broken bottles of insecticide, antibiotic syringes, stillborn pigs — anything small enough to fit through the foot-wide pipes that drain the pits. The pipes remain closed until enough sewage accumulates in the pits to create good expulsion pressure; then the pipes are opened and everything bursts out into a large holding pond.

Great Spirit

“Oh Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds, I come to you as one of your many children. I need your strength and your wisdom. Make me strong not to be superior to my brother, but to be able to fight my greatest enemy: Myself.” — Chief Dan George, Coast Salish, 1899-1981

“A spiritual retreat is medicine for soul starvation” — David Cooper, Silence, Simplicity, and Solitude

“Imagine what can happen when I stop. When I rest in a sense of trust. When I cease my incessant chatter and finally listen. Then I hear the music of my soul, the truth of nature, the insight available only to those who let their bodies become a conduit for spiritual understanding.” — Carmen Renee Berry, Coming Home to Your Body

“I learn by going where I have to go.” — Theodore Roethke

“The truth is we are all so very, very vulnerable. Life is as it is. We don’t even have control over the health of our children. The only thing we can control is our attitude. We have the choice of life or death, love or fear, in each moment. And we bear the responsibility for that choice in each moment. Nowhere is this more apparent than when we embark on a regular yoga practice. We set out to be better ourselves, only to find legions of reasons to break our commitment to our health. We say it is too difficult to make the hard choice today. And yet the obstacles in our path are the path. Every time we stretch beyond our resistance and our fear, we make a choice for life. And every time we choose life, we find that fear loses its grip on us. We all know more than we think we do, and we are stronger than we believe ourselves to be. We come to our mats, and to our lives, to learn by going where we have to go.” — Rolf Gates, Meditations from the Mat

Operation….

Sigh. My father-in-law will have to have his leg amputated above the knee next week. While I know this is necessary to avoid any further infection from his leg, which has no circulation right now, it’s still going to be very hard for him to take. My hubby is going to Tucson this weekend to be with his dad before the surgery.

It’s hard to watch his parents begin to fail. I went through it with my folks, but somehow, this is harder. Wanting to be there and support someone else is almost more difficult than having to go through it myself. Seeing all those emotions playing out in someone you love is very hard. You want to help and be supportive, but really, you know they just have to go through it. It’s interesting that those I know who have lost a relative lately just kind of said, “For what?” when I mentioned sending them a card. And really, that’s how it is. It’s nice to know other people do care, but it doesn’t lighten the load of those feelings.

All there really is to do is be as supportive of him and his family as I can be, and do whatever can be done for them. But it won’t feel like enough.

Ahimsa


The hand with a wheel on the palm symbolizes the Jain Vow of Ahimsa, meaning non-violence. The word in the middle is “ahimsa.” The wheel represents the dharmacakra, to halt the cycle of reincarnation through relentless pursuit of truth.

When nonviolence in speech, thought, and action is established, one’s aggressive nature is relinquished and others abandon hostility in one’s presence. — Yoga Sutras

“The first yama — ahimsa, or nonharming, which asks us to embrace nonviolence at the level of speech, thought, and action — is a profound and radical concept that is truly the cornerstone of yoga as a way of life.”

Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable, and lightness has a call that’s hard to hear. — Indigo Girls

“”Lightness has a call that’s hard to hear,” but each time we choose to hear it, the call becomes a little clearer. We spend our days badgered by voices that tell us to judge others {and ourselves – Donna}, fear others, harm others, or harm ourselves. But we are not obligated to listen to those voices, or even to take responsibility for them. They may be where we come from, but they are not where we are going. There is another voice, a voice that shines. Ahimsa is the practice of listening to that voice of lightness, cultivating that voice, trusting the voice, acting upon that voice.” — Rolf Gates, Meditations from the Mat