January 27th, 2010

The positivity blog and Mozart

It’s all too easy to focus on the bad and ugly and deceit in the world. But let’s never forget the other side.

Mozart’s Top 3 Tips for Making Your Own Kind of Music (this links to the full post)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart seemed to live a pretty fast and quick life. He started writing his own music when he was just four years old. When he was six he played violin to the emperor of Austria. At 14 he wrote music for Milan Opera. As an adult he worked at a furious pace. By the end of his life he had written over 600 pieces of music. A life that ended early, just before his 36′th birthday.

  1. “I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.”
  2. “One must not make oneself cheap here – that is a cardinal point – or else one is done. Whoever is most impertinent has the best chance.”
  3. “When I am travelling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that ideas flow best and most abundantly.”

Thanks Elena.

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January 27th, 2010

To not forget

Today, after 112 hours, the reading of 102.000 names of people who were transported through the Nazi deportation camp Westerbork in my country and then onwards by cattle train to the extermination camps in Poland came to an end with the last name on the memorial, Heinrich Zysmanowicz.

The youngest reader was 11, the oldest 80. A few by telephone from the US and Israël.

Let us not ever forget the evil that can be created and nourished by hatred. Let us not forget what administrations can do if they know too much (is that why they are called “administrations”?); the round up of Jews in WWII was ultra efficient in my country because of the wonderfully complete and precise record keeping.

January 27th, 2010

I’m embarassed by President Obama

Does Obama really think that he can freeze all of the Federal Budgets that deal with what used to be called “the commons” while he and his minions continue to funnel money to the corporations that work for DOD? What have I missed? It’s time to get a life and give them what for!

Glen Greenwald’s take is worth a read – though I think he’s a Johnny-come-lately; folks have been complaining about the DOD budget since Eisenhower – hell, even President/ General Eisenhower seemed like he was a bit nervous when he spoke of it upon leaving office. Folks like those at The War Resistors League and CDI have been pointing out that when we pay our taxes close to $0.50 on the dollar go towards military spending, in all its bizarre permutations (can you say bankers?).

Have a nice day!

January 25th, 2010

The execution

Hassan al-Majeed, alias Ali Chemicali, has been hanged today. The was the guy ordering poison gas attacks on the kurds, killing mostly women and children (not that that last fact matters). I will confess this is a tough one to have an opinion. Lets just say I cannot condemn the ones who cheer his execution. I can’t believe I wrote that.

January 24th, 2010

The legality of the invasion

After years of stalling, my administration finally caved in a few months ago and “allowed” a commission of wise men to investigate how we were led into the Iraq war.

Quick reminder: when the US started the 2nd Iraq war, we were asked to join the coalition. The administration cowardly refused to send our boys and girls in, but supported the invasion by mouth. The actual words were “we do not provide any military support, but do support the Iraq invasion politically. As soon as the “mission was completed”, read Saddam was pushed out of the way, our military did go in for “peacekeeping”, in the Basra area.

Last week, the commission produced its final report and concluded the principal argument to support the war (Iraq not acting according to the U.N. resolutions) was not enough juridical basis. One member insisted on stating that other reasons beyond i.e. self-defence might indeed condone going to war, but this argument was always firmly rejected by the administration.

The administration was not amused and after two days of serious political tensions issued a statement that “in hindsight, with the knowledge of today, another decision might have been taken”. A statement that was quickly dismissed by Davids, the commissions chairman, stating there were absolutely no new insights revealed to the administration by his commission.

This week, the same process is going on in the U.K., who did go in with the U.S. military. The Guardian:

Tony Blair’s decision to take Britain to war in Iraq was illegal, the Foreign Office’s former chief legal adviser will tell the Chilcot inquiry this week.

The Observer has been told that Sir Michael Wood, who was the FO’s most senior lawyer, is ready to reveal that, in the run-up to war, he was of the opinion that the conflict would have been unlawful without a second UN resolution. This will provide an explosive backdrop to the former prime minister’s appearance before the inquiry on Friday.

Don’t hold your breath: I very, very much doubt this will have any political consequences. The best we can hope is things will be done a tiny bit smarter in the future.

January 23rd, 2010

Stop Loss sucks

Search that on Google (or some other engine).

January 23rd, 2010

Goodbye To 2009

Waving Goodbye To 2009

Yea, I’ve got it. Still haven’t done anything with it except verify it works with Yoh-There once or twice.

January 19th, 2010
January 2nd, 2010

The banks (too big to fail huh?)

Let’s go viral on this one