Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Down, But Not Out

I should be forthcoming and say what happened to me last Friday. I had a slip and fall on the ice, which caused me to fall from standing, to the ground at full force. I hit my head so hard I am actually surprised I am alive.
It took a couple of days for symptoms to show, but I am now dealing with post-concussion syndrome. To add to it, one of my horses conked me with her bony head in the exact spot on Tuesday. So twice hit.

I have not spent much time online because I am not sure if I am always making sense and I also have myself a doozie of a headache, along with light sensitivity.

There is nothing to do except allow time to heal my brain. I cannot completely stop working because I have living beings which need care.  Mark is in his busy season, so he can only do so much for me. How the choices we make in life can affect us in ways we never consider.

Anyway, I am not doing much blog visits or always responding when someone makes a comment. Hopefully this will resolve itself quickly. I would be unhappy to have chronic headache.

I have packed more problems into the past three years then I experienced in all the rest of my life. I think I need to take better care.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Buffalo Beast

I don't think this has made it to the usual news sources, but it is on progressive radio. What a schmuck. The Koch brothers have given a great deal of financial backing to Governor Scott Walker. They are also a major source of financing for the Tea Party. This is humorous, even though it is also deplorable. I'll enjoy the humor for now.

click here

The website is getting a lot of hits and is shutting down. Here is a link to the Huffington Post.

Scott Walker Punked

Edited to add:  There is a back story here. Within this bill is a provision for Walker to be able to sell the public utilities, without opening it to bidding, to anyone he chooses for any amount he chooses. Koch Industries is in the energy business.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Howard's Wisdom

Poor Howard is exhausted. He has been confined to the house during the snow storm and therefore he has endured my lecturing about history and civics and constitutionality. He has been pummeled with my sharp criticism of Barack Obama and the weak-kneed Democrats. I have battered his tender ears with diatribes against the uninformed populace of America. He knows of solidarity and of 14 Democrats who have a spine.
By day three he collapsed in utter despair and said all he really wants out of life is a comfy bed and a biscuit. He may be onto something.....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wallowing in Winter

 Winter came back.

I'm tending my garden, making soup. It seems the thing to do when it is snowing and blowing outside. I have been distracted and distressed over the past few days. I am worried about my country. I really am.
All I can do is try to tamp down the anxiety and carry on. I do not possess the keys to the asylum so I am unable to confine the lunatics. So I'll eat a cookie.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Maybe Not

Tunisia. Egypt. Bahrain. Yemen. Libya. Madison.

Yes, Madison, WI. This is getting little to no attention from the mainstream media, but there is a protest happening in Madison that I believe is the spark we have been waiting for to motivate and mobilize the working people of America. And I believe the wonder of what happened in Tunisia and Egypt lit the flame in mid-America last week.

The newly elected Republican governor, Scott Walker, announced on Friday that he was going to unilaterally suspend collective bargaining for public employees, as well as a pay cut (including benefits) of about 20%. In essence, the governor is going about busting a union.
Governor Walker threatened to call out the National Guard if the people rallied, which they did, in large numbers. John Nichols, a writer for The Nation, lives in Madison and reported yesterday that upward of 20,000 came out and marched onto the Capital. 30,000 are there today. 
The state Democrats walked out of the chamber in protest of the vote, leaving the Republicans without a quorum. The State Police have been ordered to bring them back. I just heard that two Republicans have gone missing as well. If true, two who don't want to vote on this bill. It is also reported that the Democrats have left the state.

Finally. I knew it had to happen, but I did not know what would be the catalyst. I believe, I ardently hope, this is it. Carl Rove is happily saying the less union members, the less union dues in the coffers for elections. Bust the unions, pit the people against one another and beat the working person into the ground. I think some people went to bed Thursday night thinking they were members of the Tea Party and woke up Friday knowing they are members of the working class.

Victor Juhasz Image
Mean time, Wall Street paid themselves 135 billion in 2010. The Federal Reserve is optimistically expecting economic growth of 4% this year, but joblessness to stay where it is. In other words, Wall Street will share in even greater gluttony, while everyone else has to take it in the shorts. Home foreclosures continue to rise.  As our President said in regard to what is happening in Madison, the working people need to adjust to the new economic reality. The people of Madison are saying, maybe not.

We are on our own. We don't have the politicians, we have ourselves. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Be Still My Pounding Heart

We will be 29 F today. This is the Minnesota version of spring. I am almost giddy. Be glad you can't see that, it is a scary, scary sight.

So, in about three months we will go from this........
to this.
We never discuss in polite company what happens in between. It is slimy, dirty and it sucks tendons.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Denmark, Medicare........Soup

I think it's in the Second Amendment. 
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then does knowledge. 
Charles Darwin

My American friend who has lived a dozen or so years in Denmark wrote today on her blog moments of perfect clarity of the rise of conservative political thinking in Denmark. I was so surprised and alarmed by this that I have thought about it throughout the day. Denmark? Really?

In my thinking I remembered the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Basically a study that concluded that people who perform at a lower standard overestimate their own abilities and cannot discern the difference when shown evidence of higher performing results on the same task.

This is brief synopsis from the study:

"The skills needed to produce logically sound arguments, for instance, are the same skills that are necessary to recognize when a logically sound argument has been made. Thus, if people lack the skills to produce correct answers, they are also cursed with an inability to know when their answers, or anyone else's, are right or wrong. They cannot recognize their responses as mistaken, or other people's responses as superior to their own."

This is why the old women at a Tea Party rally holding a sign exclaiming "Keep Government Out of My Medicare" does not and will not understand the disconnect in that statement. This is why there are no arguments that can be made which will convince adherents of our strange political right there is tremendous hypocrisy in anti-government rhetoric coming from people whom have made a career of government. The inability to believe a birth certificate which states a US birth, or a decades old membership in a church may preclude being a Muslim, or not recognizing a very pro-business administration operating before their very eyes while crying out about anti-business policy. A preconceived belief will override reality every time. I have, in my unintellectual way, simply said "you can't argue with stupid". This is not to imply intellectual inferiority, as my PhD neighbor is proof, but rather a lack of, in my opinion, curiosity and holding onto beliefs which are not rooted in fact.

Which leads me back to Denmark. The US is not the patent holder on this effect, so it stands to reason that it is in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, et al. The difference will be, will the Danish people recognize what is happening and react before there is a toehold in the political system? The liberal establishment in the United States viewed the radical right and religious right as outside the mainstream, and they were, but a slow, steady crawl into the consciousness of people who were open to the mindset moved it into the forefront of American politics and therefore American society. The result is where we are now.

I have faith. I must, as I want to believe in the Scandinavian democratic vision of a benevolent and civil society.

Lest you think I have spent all morning ruminating over the politics of Denmark, here is my soup-of-the-day. I have been renamed the Soup Goddess. You may address me as Her Soupiness.

Lentil & Sausage Soup

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cardinals & Of Course, Soup

Mr. Cardinal had moved into the dogwood condo.
 Male cardinals are easy prey for the eagles and hawks in the winter. Their flaming plumage makes them highly visible against the bright white winter background, so they find hiding places for the daytime. He has moved into the dogwoods outside my kitchen door. I do enjoy watching him hop around during the day. I feel a sympathy for him, as I also feel confined by the wintery weather. Of course, there is not something waiting to eat me if I stick my neck out.
 I had a lentil and sausage soup in mind for lunch, then I realized there was asparagus in the refrigerator which was not going to last. It became soup. Since it will be another subzero day tomorrow it will be lentils and sausage then.
I have been in the middle of the February Funk. I think everyone who lives in a cold climate knows what I'm speaking of. All I can think is "enough, already." I deeply wish this to be our last stretch of below zero weather. *sigh*

Two more months. Then we get mud.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wine. Women. And Opinions

Take the time, have a cup.

Take the time. I took the advice, took the time and had a leisurely lunch in an old neighborhood standby in Saint Paul, St. Anthony Park to be exact. One of those elegant city neighborhoods which are used as a wide shot in a movie scene. A college and seminary neighborhood. Muffuletta has been there for as long as I can remember.

A long lunch with people I know and yet don't really know at all. The internet has introduced me to some interesting people whom have become part of my loosely knit circle. We spent hours, this group of four opinionated women of a certain age, laughing and opining our way through the cold afternoon. People I met online. Years ago.

We once had a vibrant and often contentious Midwest horse talk forum, a place that became our local watering hole where we would gather and talk about the issues of the day, whether it be politics or horse training. A group of us were about the same age and close to one another in philosophy, leading to our beginning a habit of occasionally meeting for lunch. 

After time, the forum lost its steam, another started but never really got the same energy, we scattered; me to the blogland, some to Face Book, others, who knows. Then somehow, we reconnected and found ourselves sitting at a table in an old restaurant, falling into the rhythm of laughter and opinions. Years had gone by, yet anyone looking at our table would believe us old near and dear friends. I suppose in a way we are. We spent a lot of time together, just not in the same room.

We will do it again. Because it was fun.