The Watering Hole January 24… Compilation

‘Mr. Bill’ …  petroglyph, Pony Hills, New Mexico

Following along on the theme of communication, it continues to amaze me the capability we enjoy to communicate thoughts, photographs and general knowledge through present day technology. Nearly instantaneous sharing of data nearly everywhere, it is not without it’s side effects. Cyber bullying, car crashes and people walking into fountains;  Corporate Consumption Culture, Inc.  is succeeding beyond it’s wildest dreams. It has convinced a large portion of society that it must be in communication at all times, even if it has nothing to say. For a person to feel that watching a movie on their cell phone is more important than paying attention to where they are and what they are doing is very sad, not to mention dangerous.  Myself, out of idle curiosity, I’d like to know the topic of the text conversation the woman who took a header into the fountain was engaged in.

TIA, Total Information Awareness, was the pet project of John Poindexter, disgraced National Security Adviser under Ronald Reagan, a convicted but never punished felon:

They have found a way to compile and store data on everyone and everything, and make the citizenry pay for it. Through your cell phone, internet and cable fees. We saw how fast the telecom industry caved to the “Defense Department” following passage of the Patriot Act. Hell, before it was even passed.

Most new electronic gadgets now come with an embedded GPS chip. For a fee, it can be activated so that you can find out where you are. ‘Big Brother’ will not pay a fee to find out where you are, or if it does you the taxpayer will pay it.

If an individual chooses not to have this level of communication, they are in essence penalized or at the very least disadvantaged. Job opportunities, banking, bill paying, shopping… all become much slower, if even possible, if one tries to use cash, checks, or more traditional means of commerce.

The dumbing down of America continues at a brisk pace, and is being compiled. History will delete anything that doesn’t have the potential to turn a profit.

This is our Daily Open Thread. Your comments on this or any related, unrelated or irrelevant topics are welcome!

Sunday Roast: Rebooting the American Dream, Chapter 8

Chapter Eight of Thom Hartmann’s book, Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country, is called “They Will Steal It!”

This week, Thom discusses democracy, the military, and the draft/public service.  Some excerpts:

On democracy:

In the middle of our discussion about the United States and its unfortunate military adventures abroad, Dick [Gregory] dropped on me the most profound comment I’ve ever heard about foreign policy and human nature: “I don’t know why America always thinks she has to run all around the world forcing people to take our way of governance at the barrel of a gun,” he said. He paused for a sip of wine, and then added with a sly grin, “When you’ve got something really good, you don’t have to force it on people. They will steal it!

On the military:

Jefferson was […] morally offended by the idea of an army that people would join only because they were too poor to afford an education and a job. For such people he wanted universal free public education, including free college tuition, which he brought into being when he founded the University of Virginia.

In a June 1813 letter to his old friend (and future president) James Monroe, he wrote:

It is more a subject of joy that we have so few of the desperate characters which compose modern regular armies. But it proves more forcibly the necessity of obliging every citizen to be a soldier; this was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free State. Where there is no oppression there will be no pauper hirelings.

On the draft/public service:

…We should institute a universal draft, with a strong public service option—from planting trees to assisting in schools to helping in hospitals—easily and readily available for those young people who don’t want to go into the military.

The result will be a generation of citizens who feel more bonded with and committed to their nation, who have experienced the critical developmental stage of a “rite of passage” into adulthood, and who have experienced more of America and the world than just their own neighborhood.

We can’t bomb people into embracing democracy; we’re already the biggest dog on the block, so we shouldn’t have to spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined to prove it; and if we’re going to pick fights with other countries, EVERYONE should have a fair chance of losing a child to that war.

This is our daily open thread — Discuss!

38 years after Roe v. Wade



Thirty-eight years ago today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of a woman’s right to make decisions and choices regarding her own body, health, and family.  Since then, anti-choicers have bombarded us with their various and sundry objections.

Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, has a piece on Huffington Post regarding the current attacks on Roe v. Wade.  I’m highlighting one particular section here.

[A] bill introduced by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) would strip Planned Parenthood of all Title X family planning funding, which has provided family planning and other preventive services to millions of low-income women since 1970. If that happens, millions of women who rely on Planned Parenthood for their primary and preventive health care — including annual exams, lifesaving cancer screenings, contraception visits, and testing and treatment for STDs — would lose access to their main source of basic preventive health care and their connection to a high-quality health care provider.

That’s right folks, Mike Pence would literally like to throw the baby out with the bath water, in order to prevent any access to abortion services.  Not only would the affected women — mainly poor women — no longer have access to abortions, they would no longer have access to birth control and necessary OB/GYN health screenings by professional health care providers.

But hey, none of that matters, as long as we can assure that there are more and more unwanted babies brought into the world, so Pence and his ilk can then ignore their needs, and FSM knows we’ve been missing the abortion wards.  For profit medicine must be totally psyched about that inevitability.

The best way to insure fewer abortions, Mike Pence et al, is to TRUST WOMEN.  Trust us with our own bodies, with our ability to make decisions regarding birth control and family size, with our need to obtain quality health care services, even if we’re poor, because believe it or not, we don’t want to die early of breast or cervical cancer and leave our children to be cared for by the likes of you.

Basically, we’re not asking you to trust women, we’re demanding that you do so, and while you’re at it, just mind your own damned business.

The Watering Hole – January 20 – Earth Rise

On December 24, 1968 a picture taken from Moon orbit revealed to humanity a view of the home planet. This is the motherland that can insure the survival of Terran intelligence.Homo sapiens may well be extinct and forgotten after the next 3 billion years.

Earth Rise‘ was a photo of opportunity taken during the Apollo 8 mission. It epitomized the scope of American technology and the spirit of the time. I played a minor part in the testing of the launch computer which was shed as so much trash during the early parts of the mission.

Which is most interesting is the banter that was exchanged as the picture was being taken:

Borman: Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! Here’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty.
Anders: Hey, don’t take that, it’s not scheduled.
Borman: (laughing) You got a color film, Jim?
Anders: Hand me that roll of color quick, will you…

Here is that photo:

This single image made me realize that ours is actually an insignificant planet with limited resources and that we must preserve it for those who follow during our short tenure as individuals, nations and a species..

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to add your thoughts on this, or any other topic that comes to mind.
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Air Force Academy, Prayer Breakfasts and The Family

Air Force Academy Taps Member of “Lord’s Army” to Speak at National Prayer Luncheon

During the first two weeks of February, military bases and schools across the country will join dozens of other organizations in holding annual “prayer breakfasts” and luncheons in coordination with the controversial National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC

This has long been part of The Family’s agenda. These self-proclaimed “christians” have infiltrated the halls of power around the globe, using “prayer breakfasts.” Not satisfied with wooing politicians, they have encroached into various militaries.

The great question is, will there come a point when those “christians” in our military feel duty-bound to follow “christ” instead of the Commander in Chief? I believe the answer is “Yes.” There will be a mutiny in our military. The severity and extent is unknowable. Hopefully, it won’t be a Dr. Strangelove scenario.