Monday, January 31, 2011

Magnificent Century reading on Hard Work Hour with Douglas Douglas

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What a reading. Gosh, I get chills. Seriously, this reading of "The Magnificent Century" by Thomas Costain is by turns inspirational and Pythonesque. Try it with some KPOO-FM, 89.5 in San Francisco or on the web. N'est Pa?

Hard Work Hour

A lively roundtable of current events and literature babel. Apr 16 2010

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ohio is in trouble, but...

Ohio is in trouble, but good people are in the mix, including my sister who, well, she says it right here:

"... My home state of Arizona is falling prey to unreasonable, senseless and hateful speech and acts. Recently, a congresswoman was shot along several other people including a nine year old. Giving myself to reflection and deep thought, I identified blind hatred towards my opposition and had to make an honest change in my thinking pattern. I had to confront my own thinking first and align it to my true passion. I believe that we can turn things around, I believe that there are many of us who are willing to stand for what is right. First, and foremost, I challenge each and everyone of you to take a check up from the neck up and obliterate hate from your mental patterns. Wherever you are, wherever you go respond with reason and peace, regardless of the hate directed at you or at the situation. Stand with me in this effort to spread reason and true love for all our brothers and sisters. May they be Democrats or Republicans. I will stand firm till my death. May our good Creator bless us all with the wisdom necessary to turn things right."

Wow. Is it just me? I am getting Ghandi chills.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Council of Europe

The Council of Europe is an organization of European countries first organized in 1949 with ten members (Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom). Now they are numbering 47 and no country has entered the EU without first running this gauntlet. This week they are in the  news for their announcement that a current Prime Minister of Kosovo has a history of illegal organ transplant trafficking.

Golden Gate park started out as an unmanageable stretch of sand dunes, squatters, and argumentative citizens, and as a future public space was labeled as "an impossible task" by Central Park creative giant Frederick Olmstead. But today GG park is an jewel in the SF rec and park crown. Epic for its museums, gardens and large open spaces, GGP is one of the most popular and heavily used public parks in the country. But it is in California. Does this mean there is no money to run it? SF P &R manages much more than just massive GGP, including Candlestick Park, and several community gardens, including Hayes Valley Farm. If you have never seen a freeway destroyed by an earthquake morph into a place of beauty and civic pride click here for more.

Virgina Wolfe's birthday 1898

Writer's Almanac poem from GK is a poem called Tuesday 9:30 AM

Rioting in Egypt
2 hung in Iran for broadcasting YouTube videos of protests
Revolution in Tunisia
Ivory Coast chocolate boycott
Council of Europe points the finger at Kosovo PM for organ trafficking

Gotta go find some good news...CYA

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Flu as an anxiety catalyst

I have been mad at my mom for as long as I can remember for her being timid. I thought she chose it and I caught it from her. Been scared all my life about just about everything. I'm past 50 now and it looks like this is the way I'm going to stay. Got quite a lot of little tricks to get through things. Speaking in public and skydiving are great exercises to help manage the day to day nonsense fears. Good habits can make up for much of the rest. But I struggle a lot with forgiveness. My dad's been gone now for a few years. Not much sense in it, but I think I do blame the both of them. Him and his silent rage and her and her silent fear. I think I got some money from them and a roof and stuff, but for the things you need to live, courage, curiosity, forgiveness, patience and the like, well, I have had to make that stuff up as I've gone along.

But I forget, as a child will, that his parents had parents too. And them their's, and on and on. Each lot makes up it's own rules.

For my mom's mom, it must have been rough. She was having her first child just as the flu was ravaging the world, since war killing looked like it wouldn't do the job. It must have been terrible to have a young child and worry about her with so much death and misery about. This was Venice in the early days. Abbot Kinney was still planting eucalyptus trees and figuring out the canals. And just maybe my mom's mom kinda passed on her worry to her daughter. Like a gift. "Here, Janey, something for you. A misery that I can not bear. A worry factory for you. Crank it up everyday till you forget it's even there. And feast on all the horrible things that might be. Let that be your fruit and pastry. Have Fear, and Misery, and Harrowing Tales for friends and masters."

"The Fastest Indian" gave me some of these thoughts. To the director, Roger Donaldson, I give my thanks. He wrote and had the lead character speak of the anxiety his mother had for him during that flu time in New Zealand, and it reminded me of my mom.

Citizens United :: Dedicated to restoring our government to citizen control.

Today is the anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court case. Yet another reason for us to be ever vigilant. Now you may know: I am a HUGE proponent of our court system. I did not support the forces rallying against the court in the aftermath of the 2000 presidential election. I see the courts as one of our best hopes for protection from the abuses of power. The courts are a tool, our tool, but they do need our help.

I have not yet studied the Citizens United enough to understand the decision. Every single time I have delved into a case, I end up respecting the decision of the jurists.

So help me out. If you have an opinion or a summary of the case, I would love to hear it.

CMDR19 out

Some coverage on NPR:

Citizens United :: Dedicated to restoring our government to citizen control.

Another modest solution for education

Mr. Weisenber says that it is the students and not the schools that need work. Let's see what he says about THESE students, who were poisoned at school. Are they victims of a crime or bad school policies?

There are lots of different solutions to our - generally violent - most dramatic education problems. And we are solving them, one family at a time. This is quickly showing the stratification of our society which makes India look like a melting pot of cobb salad.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

KUSF is gone!

Wow. Like we need another buzz kill...

90.3 FM has brought so much cool music and bands and cultural diversity to our lives that I won't even try to list it here. Looks like we brought more up from LA than we realized...

The University of San Francisco has sold KUSF-FM and booted all the DJs. The community has lost a tremendous resource and San Francisco has become a little bit colder. Please God, tell me that Charlie Cross's phone has not stopped ringing this morning.

Links below.

Cmdr out

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Day Yesterday Is An Old Day Now

If you don't know Jethro Tull, the line may be new to you, but it is old, too, now. I am such a left-coaster: I rarely read the NYT, and I just learned about the Observer.
Anyway today it is blasts from both.

Rex Reed wrote a nice wrap on the year eulogizing dead people I hear little of and now wish for more.;f=27;t=13445
(although the link above is not a fan's page exactly)

And in NYT: turns out I was right about horoscopes:

and lots of other stuff.

Free University San Francisco extends a French experiment that has been playing out for two centuries.

Lang Lang and Hugo Chavez are not co-producers, but seem to be like-minded about linking music and education. See this weekend in San Francisco and the last ten years in Venezuela for details.

More from me later. Peace and Love and Big Tolerant Consciousness Out

Friday, January 14, 2011

Student athletes?

Today's Tavis had a blast from George Johnson about college football player Cam Newton. Now I have a total of 3 minutes of research into this story (George's blast), but I am very sensitive to the issue, as I think all of us should be. This is an education question.

Just what are student athletes for, anyway?

Are they just entertainers-in-training, risking their bodies in the pursuit of more physical injury to pursue a high-paying sports job?

Or are they something more than that?

I encourage all the young people around me to become STUDENT athletes. Classes first, sports after. When the game is over, or the injury occurs, then what? Then you put your education to work and join society in a deeper way, anchored by a firmer foundation built on discipline and long-term planning.

Much more on this later. C out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Livin' on the Edge?

I don't know if it is a good sign or not. I am hearing lyrics I have never noticed. The one that jumped out today is Aerosmith's "Livin' on the Edge" as a social commentary.

If chicken little tells you that the sky is fallin'
Even if it was would would you still come crawlin'
Back again?
I bet you would my friend
Again & again & again & again

Just resonated for some reason. Something about spectatorial behavior. Always watching. I see the flags at half staff for the shootings in Arizona, and all the talk shows this Sunday were about Arizona in large part. I even heard that Congressional meetings were suspended for the week early on, but that has since apparently been rescinded. Anyway, the talk is good. We should be talking a lot. It is all that can get us moving and keep our spirits up. But like Ted said, "...jeez, I couple of people..." All for now. Gotta go. Go talk to someone about something in the news.