HERE....THERE....NOWHERE....

Singing like a caged bird

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Here....


Ever thought of where you are and where you want to be in the future?
Would you like to have an email time capsule sent to you in the future? Well here is an opportunity to project where you will be or want to be and have your words come back to haunt you. The exercise in what you want the future to say back to you might be quite revealing. Thanks to my friend Chris downunder for this link.

There....


Sunday is International Freedom of the Press Day. I don't think most of us appreciate the degree of freedom we have here in the USA. Nor how tenuous this freedom is. Nor that some other countries, Canada for example, are considered more free!(slow link but give a try) Nor the risks that journalists are exposed to. Each year Reporters Without Borders raises funds to help imprisoned journalist by publishing a photo album. For just 8 euros you can own a beautiful collection of photos by some of the leading world photographers.

Nowhere....


Sometimes wonder why progress in Human Rights is going virtually Nowhere? How about the old foxes guarding the hen house adage? The extent of the problem is shockingly more than you would imagine! And the trend is in the wrong direction. Also, check out the complete list for our "friends" in the war on terror. I think we might be a tad short-sighted in dealing with this issue!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Here....


Well, it is almost tax day. Got my taxes done with one day to spare. On the way to work I became enraged....no not road rage! Corporate rage! I was listening to NPR list the major companies that pay no tax. If Enron or 60% of other corps paid just $1 in federal income tax, then my tax bill would be 1,800,000% higher than each of theirs...yes that is 1.8 million percent. But since these tax dead beats do not pay any taxes, the calculations require dividing by zero which is infinity. Therefore my taxes are infinitely higher than Enrons and thousands of other tax cheating corps. Robert Reich (don't you just love to hear his voice) tells us one reason for this insanity. His voice is also one of "Reason"

There....


Yesterday as I listened to the 9/11 hearings and their scathing indictment of the FBI, all I could think of was how this incredibly ineffective agency should be the poster boy for what is wrong with all government at all levels. Anyone who has worked in the civil service can tell you the horror stories, and I am sure could relate to the tale of woe that was being spewed at the hearings. All the symptoms of bad government were laid bare: Reform plans not enacted, unqualified staff, noncommunication between the various "silos" within agencies, political/ideological interference, understaffing, underfunding, non-wave-making-inertia-loving managers, etc. How can we expect anything different?...for decades the civil service and public servants have been under assault...Castigated as do-nothing, know-nothings....over paid, bureaucratic nit wits....the easy scapegoat of every demagogue. Sure government is not efficient but the answer is to replace a poor quality component and improve its efficiency...not attack, attack, attack. The result is the "best and the brightest" have left public service...driven out by frustration. Ask anyone in public service of how it is a thankless job. For years I was ashamed to tell people I was a bureaucrat. But I endured because I knew the good things that government does, and the need for good government. This is what citizens should be demanding...good government, effective, forward thinking, flexible, dynamic, improving, quality public service. Does government make a difference? You bet it does! Take your pick, which of the following is not important: counter-intelligence, preventing terrorism, protecting health, ensuring safe food supplies, catching tax cheats, exposing stock fraud, educating our children, providing social security, protecting the environment or reducing crime? Which of these topics is not a major concern of the public today? Why aren't citizens demanding good government? What we need is a good government movement similar to the turn of the century activists like Teddy Roosevelt. He was a Republican....is this where Sen. John McCain can help bring some sanity back to our politics? Why can't we elect statesmen/women who put the country and the welfare of its people ahead of partisan politics? Is this the sentiment that Howard Dean tapped into?

Nowhere....


Hey, according to the London Science Museum, I got a bisexual brain! What sex is your brain?

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Here....


A new play opens in Queens tomorrow, AUDIT. An interesting way to look at one's life. Conjures up all kinds of rambling questions. What are we worth? What features and attributes are valued by society? And by ourselves? How would I do in a life audit? Wonder what my bottom line would be? And you? God as a bean counter? Know anyone who uses the Enron, Tyco, World Comm approach for life auditing? Would life's "Options" be expensed? Might be a good way to live life's journey....as if leaving a paper trail to be added up somewhere, somehow by someone.


There....


Want to own a real Irish Pub? The price may be more reasonable than you think.

Nowhere....



What's in a name? Maybe more than you can imagine. Check out this name.

I think this sentence is right on the money:

"However, it is difficult for you to materialize your ideals because of a restless, unsettled feeling which causes you never to know just what it is that you should be working toward, and the very intensity of your nature makes systematic concentration and application a challenge. You can have intensely contrasting feelings toward people, either you are fiercely loyal or extremely intolerant."

Here....



Jen Chapin, daughter of Harry Chapin, has a new album out, Linger. I liked her dad's activism as well as his storytelling style of music like this or this or this. And she is following her dad's activist footsteps. Inner city schoolteacher's gotta have my respect. Kinda like her music too.

There....


Today is the birthday of William Wordsworth. Unlike here, the spring in the UK is abloomin. When I read this poem I think of the fields of daff's in Lancashire or the Pembrokeshire coast surrounding the St. David's cathedral.

DAFFODILS

I wander'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company!
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Nowhere....


Nowhere lady, Condi Rice, is nowhere to be found apologizing for the failure of the government to protect its citizens. Nowhere do I have any faith in her motives. Hell Chevron oil even named an oil tanker after her. Now for cruel treatment of such an upstanding member of Dubya's cabinet...check out Oliphants take on dear Condi.