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silverweb's Journal - Archives
Posted by silverweb in General Discussion
Thu Sep 29th 2011, 04:16 PM
(Cross post from California forum)

Dr. Ami Bera is once again challenging Dan Lungren for his congressional seat representing the (new) 7th District.

This time, he's got a real chance to win it. I'm not in his district, but I volunteered for him last time, donated to his campaign (because Lungren has got to go!), and have had several conversations with him. He's a good man and a fighter for what's right. If you can, please consider donating to his campaign.

Email received today from the Bera for Congress campaign:

We are over halfway to our goal of having 150 individual grassroots donors contributing to our campaign in just 5 days. We know we can reach that goal because of you. Working together we will create a grassroots movement that brings new representation to California's 7th Congressional District.

Please join our movement by donating $10, $25, $50 or any amount.

By reaching our goal of 150 individual donations by the September 30 reporting deadline, we’ll have received over 1,500 contributions from individuals this year. To put this number into perspective, Dan Lungren has had about 200 contributions from individuals this entire year. In fact, during that same period, Dan Lungren's campaign has accepted over 100 contributions from special interests including Big Oil, Wall Street and the Health Insurance industry. We know who is driving Dan Lungren’s campaign, let’s send a clear and resounding message that ours is being driven “by the people, for the people.”

That is why your donation of $10, $25, $50, or any amount, means so much to me.

We have only one day left until the reporting deadline and we need 67 more individual contributions before we close the books on the 3rd quarter. Thanks to you, I know we will meet our goal, and win this election.

And if you’ve already given, please forward this email to 5 of your friends and ask them to join our campaign.

Be well,

Ami Bera MD FACP
Candidate for the United States House of Representatives
California's New 7th Congressional District
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Posted by silverweb in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Dec 23rd 2009, 05:54 PM
Sen. Barbara Boxer - progressive leader.
That's called negotiated compromise. It's how things get done.

Senator Boxer is one of the best friends progressives have in the Senate on many fronts. She's been a consistent fighter for liberal causes her entire career, and has earned a great deal of power to do good at this point, i.e. as chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee.

We need her in the Senate, and any Democrat who disparages her because she understands the necessity of compromise in order to make progress is a reactionary, malignant fool -- as bad for liberal progress as the teabaggers are for the "conservatives."

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Posted by silverweb in Pets Group
Tue Aug 18th 2009, 08:50 PM
This afternoon, our long-time friend and companion, Mischief, left us. She left behind the pain of her tumor and all the physical restrictions of her old age. She would have been 18 this October.

My daughter, who was just a little girl when we got Mischief as a 3-month-old kitten, couldn't be here, but I held our old friend until the very last and told her we loved her. I told her that she could soon again be chasing those quick little canyon lizards that she loved to catch and then turn loose in the house when she was younger.

During the last couple of years, Mischief mothered Sable, Izzy, and Sudi into their young adulthood, was entertained by their kittenish antics, and enjoyed lounging in the sun with them.

We will never forget her.



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Posted by silverweb in Editorials & Other Articles
Fri Mar 06th 2009, 03:22 PM
re "going Galt" and the fallacy of the Libertarian premise.
Rand did idealize her industrial giants and attributed to them a rigid moral code that included hard work, persistence, native genius, innovation -- and above all, honesty and integrity. Everything they did was based on what they saw as the sanctity of fair trade and their motto was, "value for value."

Rand's modern devotees ignore the differences between Rand's heroic characters and attribute their virtues to high-level business people in general today -- many of whom, as we all know by now, live by one code and for one purpose only: profit above all else.

Today's heroes of the Libertarian sheep do not care how their profit is obtained, as long as it keeps getting higher and higher, and their methods certainly do not require the ethics and stoic honesty of a Hank Reardon.

The entire argument of Libertarians today is based on the premise that business leaders are honest and that all will be well in the world if we just leave them alone and let them do what they want however they want -- and that is a false premise.

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Posted by silverweb in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Feb 25th 2009, 11:52 AM
Deregulation: FDA ignored complaints --5 dead, hundreds sick
And how many more companies like this are there that just haven't come to light yet?

This is what deregulation has brought us.

My main beef with laissez-faire capitalism is that it is based on the premise that successful businesses are by definition ethical and supremely competent, that the "free market" would quickly put them out of business if they were not. That premise is false and the last 8 years have conclusively proven it.

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Posted by silverweb in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Feb 21st 2009, 07:25 PM
Caring about the high-tech world.
I'm your age. I have a 4-year-old computer, which is supplied by my company (because I work from home via internet), and a basic camera/cell phone. That's it.

I use:

Networking pages. In a very limited and focused way.

Skype. For outgoing phone calls that would be more costly by cell phone.

On-line photo albums.

On-line calendar and email reminders.

I do not blog or use Twitter. No need or interest.

A notebook computer is at the top of my wish list so I can travel more and take work with me, and not be limited by scheduled vacation days.

Having a computer also has eliminated the need for multiple other electronic devices. I do not have:
-Television, radio, CD/DVD players. Need eliminated by computer.
-Landline telephone. Need eliminated by cell phone and internet.
-Clocks/watches/alarms. Need eliminated by cell phone and computer.
-Car. Need eliminated by city living.

I love that technology has nearly eliminated my need/use of paper.
-I write one check a month for the rent because that's what the landlord wants; bills are otherwise paid on line.

- Only 3 elderly relatives get dead-tree greeting cards because of their limited computer access/appreciation; everyone else gets e-cards.

- I don't buy newspapers or magazines; all the information I want/need is available on line.

My one paper "need" is books. I like to read in bed at night and a real book in my hands is part of that experience; however, I do buy most of them used.

Computer technology has changed our world and the way we interact, communicate, and do business. I do think this is, for the most part, pretty fantastic.

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Posted by silverweb in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Dec 07th 2008, 01:50 PM
Re: "Obama's picks too brainy"
Just maybe there really do exist highly intelligent, highly educated people who also have good temperament, natural common sense, strong ethical grounding, a thirst for genuine justice, and real compassion for humanity.

Just maybe Barack Obama is one of these spectacularly competent people and is picking others with the same ineffable qualities.

I'm sick and tired of these flaming bloody idiots who insist on locking people into broad categories and slapping labels their limited, unnatural groupings.

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Posted by silverweb in Editorials & Other Articles
Sat Dec 06th 2008, 01:38 PM
On spiritual experimentation.
Everyone has some kind of personal spiritual quest. Even by denying the existence of a spiritual realm at all, they're assigning answers to their search for meaning.

I have little patience with dogma or ritual, and while there's a good deal of commonality and value in the basics of all paths I've studied, I back away the moment one of them gets dogmatic and/or authoritarian.

Unlike my more detached approach, Sobel apparently threw himself enthusiastically and wholeheartedly into each step of his quest. What an adventuresome fellow and what an incredible view he must have now in retrospect!

Whether the concept of the divine is a who (god/dess, gods), or a what ("The Force" or Nature), or a self-deluding dream, it's still a quest we each have to handle in our own way and our own time.

"God is a mountain and all paths lead to the top."

Sobel's memoir sounds like it will very entertainingly echo the experiences of many who have taken a winding, exploratory, tortuous route up the mountain. I look forward to reading it.

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Posted by silverweb in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu Sep 11th 2008, 09:06 PM
...Donald Rumsfeld is to peace?

...Rudy Guiliani is to marital fidelity?

I want a more creative, dramatic analogy.

Ideas?

FINAL NOTE:
SEE MY EXPLANATION AND THANK YOU TO YOU ALL ... POST #38.


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Posted by silverweb in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Sep 03rd 2008, 03:14 AM
They're really trying to bring the whole election back down to "God, guns, and gays."

They FAIL on Iraq and Afghanistan.

They FAIL on foreign relations.

They FAIL on veterans' issues.

They FAIL on jobs and the economy.

They FAIL on the environment.

They FAIL on domestic infrastructure.

They FAIL on health care.

They FAIL on science and education.

They FAIL on every issue that matters to the vast majority of the American people.

Therefore, they MUST bring the focus back to the same old microcosm of divisive issues: abortion, homophobia, gun rights, and the supremacy of evangelical Christianity.

Today's GOP -- busy blowing up the future and rebuilding that bridge back to the nowhere of the Dark Ages.

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Posted by silverweb in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Feb 09th 2008, 04:52 PM
I am a citizen, NOT a "consumer."
I absolutely and actively despise being referred to as a "consumer" or a "human resource."

Back in the early 70's, when the term "client" was just creeping into the language of health care as a replacement for "patient," I was repeatedly scolded by supervisory types for bluntly refusing to use the term.

But the marketers have been a mile ahead of us all the way. Television was originally seen by big business as a marketing tool and that's well documented. Anyone who ever looks at a magazine these days knows the "articles" contained therein are merely the bait to get you hooked into the advertising.

Calling for a general strike by shoppers is probably asking a bit much these days, since so many people have been sucked into the marketing matrix. However, limiting our shopping to needs and resisting the siren call to "consume" on demand is a potent way of preserving our humanity.

Our society has gradually transitioned our definition of "freedom" from one of civil and human rights to one of consumer choices.

Someone I know even sent me little sermon via email a while back about how she went shopping and was dazzled by the array of choices that "could only exist in the wonderful, free country of America." There was so much wrong with her little speech that I didn't even bother responding -- let alone mention the constant barrage of psychological warfare (advertising) that turns borderline impulsive wants into screaming needs and free people into wage/debt slaves.

Notice to the corporate world:

I am an educated, aware, active citizen; I am not a "consumer" and buying your shit is not my "job."

I am a skilled worker who trades a portion of my time/skill for pay (you may call me "personnel"); I am not a commodity or "human resource" and I owe you nothing beyond what the job requires.

Deal with it.

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Posted by silverweb in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Jan 30th 2008, 11:07 PM
Idealism-vs-Pragmatism--the real difference between Obama and Clinton.
Lays out the differences between Obama and Clinton starkly and simply.

I also like very much what Craig Crawford said on Olbermann the other night. Basically (and I paraphrase as accurately as possible), he said that the Democratic primary has now been distilled down to a choice between idealism and pragmatism.

The Obama approach is, "If it's right, it works."

The Clinton approach is, "If it works, it's right."

The Clinton approach sounds much too much like "might makes right" and a continuation of BushCorp's current method of using executive orders, secrecy, and "it's legal if I say it is" to force reTHUG policies.

Granted, I think Clinton would certainly do more good than harm, but the whole concept of an imperial presidency is wrong and I think she'd push it to the limit.

Obama promises transparent and participatory government.

Clinton has strongly implied continued secrecy, power brokering, and rule by executive order.

Now we, The American People, have to decide which approach we want and vote accordingly.
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Posted by silverweb in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Jan 12th 2008, 04:29 AM
"Universal Access to Human Knowledge" -- organized!
I've just discovered the _Internet Archive_, which "is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public."

The archivists aspire to nothing less than "universal access to human knowledge."

They've got scanned books, video of old TV shows and movies, voice and music audio files, software, and educational resources -- and they've only been at it since 1996.

I've just registered and am already lost in the virtual corridors of this incredible and growing maze of fascination. If I disappear for days at a time, you'll know where to look for me.

Come _check it out!_

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Posted by silverweb in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sun Nov 18th 2007, 02:32 PM
Obama, hope, and taking back our future.
And I'm hoping that you soon see that even more than national-level experience, we need new ideas and new blood -- someone with intelligence, heart, and guts in equal measure, not more of _this_ (though it's a very funny and enjoyable animation).

What we don't need is more of the same-old-same-old. If I may share for a moment...

My daughter is a university senior in California and is an area campus coordinator for Obama. She spends her weekends campaigning in Nevada. She'll also be spending her winter break plus an additional 2-week leave of absence from school campaigning in Iowa right before the primary.

My son's an Army veteran, a Ph.D. candidate, and a teacher -- and he's campaigning for Obama; he actually thought he was a Republican until he spent time in Europe and Central America.

I'm not saying this to brag, but to establish that they're both very intelligent, responsible, aware, and astute young adults.

They believe Obama is our best hope and the way I see it, this is their future at stake.

I, too, believe Obama is our very best choice to reunite and galvanize the country to face the severe challenges we have ahead.

I believe that he can best inspire and generate a desperately needed sense of hope, as well as restore the respect and friendship we once knew in the world.

Electing Barack Obama is our chance to help take back the future that BushCorp has been stealing from us all.


GObama!

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Posted by silverweb in Environment/Energy
Fri Nov 16th 2007, 09:01 PM
"What percentage of GW is caused by humans?"--- not that it matters....
I agree completely with Kestrel.

Whether we're responsible for 5% or 95% isn't the point. The point is that this is the only home we've got and we're duty bound to take care of it, protect it, and preserve it for future generations.

What we're doing to the Earth is criminal, and I don't mean just global warming. We've poisoned land, water, and air. We've descimated huge swaths of the environment without the slightest care that in many respects it's irreparable and irreplaceable.

And what we do to the planet, we do to ourselves and all other life on the planet.

What percent of Global Warming is our fault? It doesn't matter in the least.

We still have to change our ways -- or die. And it just may already be too late.

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