Monthly Archives: April 2008

The kids are all right — no wait, all left….

Pew Research Center: Gen Dems: The Party’s Advantage Among Young Voters Widens

Trends in the opinions of America’s youngest voters are often a barometer of shifting political winds. And that appears to be the case in 2008. The current generation of young voters, who came of age during the George W. Bush years, is leading the way in giving the Democrats a wide advantage in party identification, just as the previous generation of young people who grew up in the Reagan years — Generation X — fueled the Republican surge of the mid-1990’s.

In surveys conducted between October 2007 and March 2008, 58% of voters under age 30 identified or leaned toward the Democratic Party, compared with 33% who identified or leaned toward the GOP. The Democratic Party’s current lead in party identification among young voters has more than doubled since the 2004 campaign, from 11 points to 25 points.

In fact, the Democrats’ advantage among the young is now so broad-based that younger men as well as younger women favor the Democrats over the GOP — making their age category the only one in the electorate in which men are significantly more inclined to self-identify as Democrats rather than as Republicans. Use the interactive tool to track generational differences in party affiliation over time.

While more women voters in every age group affiliate with the Democratic Party rather than the GOP, the gap is particularly striking among young women voters; more than twice as many women voters under age 30 identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party as favor the Republican Party (63% vs. 28%).

What Hoff says

Indeed.

Hoffmania! | All That’s Left! Liberal News & Free Speech

I don’t mind my president enjoying arugula.
I don’t care if he or she is smarter than the room.
I kinda like the idea of a president with big brains.

I’ll never have a beer with my president.
I don’t want to have a beer with my president.
I don’t want my president having a beer with me.
I want my president to have better things to do.

I want my president to be the brightest, the smartest, the most imaginative, the classiest, the best person we can muster. I’ll take them as big and as brainy as they can get.

I’m sick of stupid presidents.
I’m sicker of presidents who pretend to be stupider than they really are.
I’m sick of presidents who try too hard not to be presidential.

I want a president I can be proud of.

I like the idea of a president who has worked directly with the streets.
I like the idea of that person having been there.
I can live with them enjoying arugula today.

I want a goddamn president.
Not a bowling buddy.
Not a drinking buddy.
Not a hunting buddy.
Not a poker buddy.
Not someone who will put on figurative pair of overalls to show how folksy they are.
I want a president.

It’s a white collar job.
They will travel in limos.
They will travel the world.
They will meet with foreign heads of state.
They better not embarrass us by acting stupid.

This person will be my employee.
This person will be representing me on the world stage.
This person better make me look good for what I’m paying them.
This person better work their ass off.

I want a president.
I don’t think it’s asking too much.

Stop treating us like your buddy.
Start treating us with respect.

Bravery

I feel my Roxie girl starting to slip away from me. Tonight, she couldn’t keep her food down, poor girl. Yet she is still so strong and brave, doesn’t let her pain keep her from being her loving self. So much to learn from her…

We’ll keep her comfortable and let go when it’s time. Brave girl…

The Uncarved Block

Know the masculine, but keep to the feminine:
and become a watershed to the world.
If you embrace the world, the Tao will never leave you
and you become as a little child.
Know the white, yet keep to the black: be a model for the world.
If you are a model for the world, the Tao inside you will strengthen
and you will return whole to your eternal beginning.
Know the honorable, but do not shun the disgraced:
embracing the world as it is.
If you embrace the world with compassion,
then your virtue will return you to the Uncarved Block.
The block of wood is carved into utensils by carving void into the wood.
The Master uses the utensils, yet prefers to keep to the block
because of its limitless possibilities.
Great works do not involve discarding substance.

Roots

The heavy is the root of the light.
The unmoved is the source of all movement.
Thus the Master travels all day without leaving home.
However splendid the views,
she stays serenely in herself.
Why should the lord of the country flit about like a fool?
If you let yourself be blown to and fro,
you lose touch with your root.
If you let restlessness move you,
you lose touch with who you are.

— Tao Te Ching, 26

Right, who was eating cake with Dubya?

McCain, in Lower Ninth Ward, Blasts Bush Katrina Response | The Trail | washingtonpost.com

Touring the Lower Ninth Ward this morning, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blasted the Bush administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina and vowed to respond differently if elected president.

“Never again, never again will a disaster of this nature be handled in the terrible and disgraceful way that it was handled,” McCain told reporters after walking a few blocks through the still-devastated area.

Creativity (Repost)

Change and risk-taking are normal aspects of the creative process. They are the lubricants that keep the wheels in motion. A creative act is not necessarily something that has never been done; it is something you haven’t done before. — Margaret Mead

“The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.”
— Julia Cameron

“We are the yin and the yang of the creative process.”
— Cynthia Weil

“Imitation is at least 50 percent of the creative process”
— Jamie Buckingham

“Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.”
— Bill Moyers

“Of all the qualities in your being, that which is most god-like is creativity” – Pir Ilayat Vilayat Khan

“It moves me when anybody is just wandering through life, sleepwalking, and then wakes up. It’s like the caterpillar to butterfly thing – the chrysalis. It’s just so moving because they’re not going to go to their grave with a slipping down life.” — Lili Taylor

I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?” — Chuang Tzu

“I embrace emerging experience.
I participate in discovery.
I am a butterfly.
I am not a butterfly collector.
I want the experience of the butterfly.”

— William Stafford

“The butterfly’s attractiveness derives not only from colors and symmetry: deeper motives contribute to it. We would not think them so beautiful if they did not fly, or if they flew straight and briskly like bees, or if they stung, or above all if they did not enact the perturbing mystery of metamorphosis: the latter assumes in our eyes the value of a badly decoded message, a symbol, a sign.”
— Primo Levi

I’ve always been fascinated with the process of change. I remember as a kid doing things like letting berries ferment in water, literally turning water into wine. I didn’t drink it, just enjoyed the process of it and the smell. I would bury things in the yard to see what happened to them, play with the moss that grew in the fountain. I was fascinated by things like my dad’s compost pile, seeing yard clippings change into fertilizer. I loved it when ice formed in the fountain and I could take it out in big sheets. I love watching the changes in my garden, watching plants grow, seeing the little chrysalis form when the caterpillars who munch holes in my passion flowers are ready to change to gulf fritillaries.

I suppose I come to the creative process the same way. I’m not too worried about the results, I just enjoy trying different techniques and materials and playing around with them to see what happens. I admire and appreciate artists who aren’t afraid to do something different, and I think that is ultimately why we consider an artist great – because they create their own unique approach. I was trying to show a friend why I love impressionistic art the other day, with the bright colors and the way the impressionist uses dark and light color contrasts to create movement in a painting. He seemed surprised I knew so much about art. But I would say I know about the art I enjoy, and try to figure out why I enjoy it. My husband is a fabulous art critic, something I didn’t know until I started asking him what he thought about my art. He always mentions something I didn’t even consciously realize I was doing, which is great.

So change and art go together naturally for me. But the risk to show myself through my art – ah, now there is the challenge…

I guess we should all just inherit our millions, like Cindy

Yeah, I want to be a rich woman so my husband can sponge off me too, like John does off Cindy, and all my rich friends could give him money so he can help them keep oppressing women and minorities. How will we ever get rich so our husbands can just travel around the country spouting inane idiocies?

McCain opposes equal pay bill in Senate

“I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what’s being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems,” the expected GOP presidential nominee told reporters. “This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system.”

The bill sought to counteract a Supreme Court decision limiting how long workers can wait before suing for pay discrimination.

It is named for Lilly Ledbetter, a supervisor at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s plant in Gadsden, Ala., who sued for pay discrimination just before retiring after a 19-year career there. By the time she retired, Ledbetter made $6,500 less than the lowest-paid male supervisor and claimed earlier decisions by supervisors kept her from making more.

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 last year to throw out her complaint, saying she had waited too long to sue.

Democrats criticized McCain for opposing the bill.

“Senator McCain has yet again fallen in line with President Bush while middle-class families are falling by the wayside,” Clinton said in a statement following the vote. “Women are earning less, but Senator McCain is offering more of the same.”

Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen Finney said: “At a time when American families are struggling to keep their homes and jobs while paying more for everything from gasoline to groceries, how on Earth would anyone who thinks they can lead our country also think it’s acceptable to oppose equal pay for America’s mothers, wives and daughters?”

McCain stated his opposition to the bill as he campaigned in rural eastern Kentucky, where poverty is worse among women than men. The Arizona senator said he was familiar with the disparity but that there are better ways to help women find better paying jobs.

“They need the education and training, particularly since more and more women are heads of their households, as much or more than anybody else,” McCain said. “And it’s hard for them to leave their families when they don’t have somebody to take care of them.

“It’s a vicious cycle that’s affecting women, particularly in a part of the country like this, where mining is the mainstay; traditionally, women have not gone into that line of work, to say the least,” he said.

I'm not sure giving them time off is a good idea

They might just have decided it was a nice reward…

11 students suspended for banana prank – UPI.com

ZION, Ill., April 23 (UPI) — A Zion, Ill., high school has suspended 11 seniors involved in a prank that featured a student in a gorilla costume chasing banana-clad seniors in the hallways.

Zion-Benton Township High School handed seven-day suspensions to the costumed students, who phoned in sick before the stunt and wore pantyhose over their heads to conceal their identities during the prank, the Waukegan (Ill.) News-Sun reported Wednesday.

Some of the students said the school overreacted with the harsh punishment.

“What’s funnier than a gorilla chasing bananas through a school? Nothing,” said Andrew Leinonen, the prank’s mastermind and the student who dressed as a gorilla. “It was a harmless prank.”

However, others said they were just thankful the school decided not to bar them from prom and graduation.

“We think this is a just punishment,” said Brendon Epker, one of the students who dressed as bananas. “We broke rules we shouldn’t have broken.”

Sad Statistics

Inmate Count in U.S. Dwarfs Other Nations’ – New York Times

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes — from writing bad checks to using drugs — that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.

Criminologists and legal scholars in other industrialized nations say they are mystified and appalled by the number and length of American prison sentences.

The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College London.

China, which is four times more populous than the United States, is a distant second, with 1.6 million people in prison. That number excludes hundreds of thousands of people held in administrative detention, most of them in China’s extrajudicial system of re-education through labor, which often singles out political activists who have not committed crimes.

San Marino, with a population of about 30,000, is at the end of the long list of 218 countries compiled by the center. It has a single prisoner.

The United States comes in first, too, on a more meaningful list from the prison studies center, the one ranked in order of the incarceration rates. It has 751 people in prison or jail for every 100,000 in population. If you count only adults, one in 100 Americans is locked up.

The only other major industrialized nation that even comes close is Russia, with 627 prisoners for every 100,000 people. The others have much lower rates. England’s rate is 151; Germany’s is 88; and Japan’s is 63.

The median among all nations is about 125, roughly a sixth of the American rate.