Peers for the Poor

I don’t think Oprah, Bill Cosby or anyone at Harvard, Princeton, USC, Stanford, or anyone making a salary can say one thing to the walking poor nor do they have, IMHO, a right to paint statistics they didn’t gather, nor dare the scorn they shake toward the congregation of prisoners and the utterly poor, nor those alone.

So long before dirt on the streets are the lies that put it there.

For the poor, Oprah, Bill Cosby and anyone at Harvard, Princeton, USC, Stanford, and anyone making a salary can speak only to their peers.

Why do we blog?

Frank wrote that the blackbirds were condensing, and chattering, and comfortable. It was a time of year. But why the effort and why a blog?

Without a good explanation but condensing my heart, I spent the night searching for the link, a pundit incising that blogs will always stack and stack but our stories will redeem us, the most precious thing, the gift no one can bring but us, that view that afternoon when lifting over the ridge, when curved around a building on that busy sidewalk, when nuzzled along that shoulder that keeps her smile, when all this breath collects what we wish and what we give away. Asking why we post our blogs, it must be for justice and knowing its grip, and it must be for beauty.

The notion of politics

Some like the fist and will enjoy the blow from a fist they love. I’ve never understood it. A fuller thing cannot fit pain and will not give it. A fuller thing cannot fit war.

Is love or loyalty not worth keeping? Count the days these were your prize. Count your treasure.

We provide our love to less than love deserves. And give our loyalty to fools.

About Online Privacy

Keeping records? What about it? The horse has left the barn. Many are overcome. There’s now too many records. Some already have given up. Some already have abandoned their privacy. Many have created new persona. As if they say, “Why worry? When an avatar breaks, only an avatar remains.”

A few are worried.
Michael Geist reminds us that the two pillars of privacy are 1) Notice and 2) Consent. His authoritative legal analysis shows these pillars are falling.

The Information Commissioner of the British Parliament, Richard Thomas, warns us that he is not being trite about how easily we are stumbling into Big Brother, where data and surveillance becomes our government.

Twenty-five years ago at a computer conference in Vancouver I asked that “information sovereignty” be part of the computer revolution. I was promoting a video-text version of online medical records; damn old fashioned! But still we have not demanded a society that is capable of protecting us.

Domain is at stake.
We cannot forget sovereignty.
Over centuries we learned to repel intrusion. First its violence, then its arrogance, then second our safe living and finally our pride. We earned our privacy in order to respect ourselves.

Of course I am an avatar. My avatar. And I am a protected person too. All are belong us.

In Kaila Colbin’s post at the VortexDNA blog, she clearly asserts, In ‘Privacy vs Trust’, Trust Wins.

We Can Do

Sometimes things don’t go after all,
from bad to worse. Some years muscatel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.

Sheenagh Pugh

At the end of Ramadan

Story at The Times:

“Last week a 29-page letter to the Pope was issued from a galaxy of 138 Muslim leaders designed to refute [exclusive religious dominance, and hoping that Christians and Muslims] might respect each other.

“It pleaded for better understanding between Christians and Muslims, based on a shared monotheism and the affinity between the Bible and the Koran. Both contained commandments to love a single god and to love one’s neighbor.

“…because “the future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians”.

Beneath Belief

Sex and God. Someday we’ll couple how deeply these two words mingle. And unwind how far these two words reach into our world, Evangelicals and Republicans notwithstanding.

Evangelicals and Republicans notwithstanding, we know the people of Utah express a vigorous interest in God.

And, of course, the people of Utah rank at the top searching for Sex.

Utah and/or Salt Lake City also rank tops in the nation in searches for “pornography,” “naked girls,” “striptease,” “topless,” “nude,” “strip poker,” “lingerie,” “blonde” and “brunette.”

Though this story about Utah’s great interest in Sex offers unapologetic and inventive explanations, the story fails to confront or examine broad and dominant factors.

In my post of March 2007, these were the top nations using Google to search for Sex (in blue) and God.

1. Pakistan
2. Egypt
3. India
4. Viet Nam
5. Morocco
6. Turkey
7. Iran
8. Saudi Arabia
9. Indonesia
10. Croatia

Check it out at Google Trends.

In one’s own place

Howard Nemerov
via wood s lot

To be a giant and keep quiet about it,
To stay in one’s own place;
To stand for the constant presence of process
And always to seem the same;
To be steady as a rock and always trembling,
Having the hard appearance of death
With the soft, fluent nature of growth,
One’s Being deceptively armored,
One’s Becoming deceptively vulnerable;
To be so tough, and take the light so well,
Freely providing forbidden knowledge
Of so many things about heaven and earth
For which we should otherwise have no word-
Poems or people are rarely so lovely,
And even when they have great qualities
They tend to tell you rather than exemplify
What they believe themselves to be about,
While from the moving silence of trees,
Whether in storm or calm, in leaf and naked,
Night or day, we draw conclusions of our own,
Sustaining and unnoticed as our breath,
And perilous also-though there has never been
A critical tree-about the nature of things.

Tree GardenThe tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.

Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all.

But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.

William Blake, 1799, The Letters

Elect Jefferson!


Steps along the way
belong to where I’m going,
where I’ve been,
and all before me.
This is Free,
my Family shows,
Generations prove,
Anchors tie,
Law prevails,
and trails teach
your first greeting
and my best gift
is our day.

Now’s the time

Authoritarianism is a word we must learn.

My first thought about “Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches

There’s much labor in John Dean’s “Broken Government” and he’s telling good research. Our job now is to display our discoveries with each other, with John Dean, and enjoy a better world.

  1. We each are the authority of opinion.
  2. We’re certain about our opinion.
  3. A better opinion is certain.
  4. Thus our Democracy.

I look forward to the day we learn to agree. Sometimes I’d settle for just one sentence, with or without truth, where we can agree!

An election is a good start. We will go forward, building our prosperity, adjudicating with forbearance, yes. And we will be new, and good – living finely with our good ideas and our good Nation. Thus our America!

Our frontier is this: “Come together“.

Chris Pirillo’s mom has a blog

Clearly Chris Pirillo may have encouraged his mother to start her own blog, Judy’s Thoughts. Fer sure, he convinced her to use Lockergnome’s not-so-clear font. Oh, you didn’t know Pirillo had a mom?

On another note, Charles Knight at AltSearchEngines discovered a new site.

Amy at“Once in a while a new alternative search engine comes along that is so surprising, so dramatically different, so awesome, that it jolts you out of your chair and renews your confidence in the struggle of the ‘Alts’ vs. the Majors. This is not one of them.”

Funny. The Urban Dictionary defines Pinkle as “anything involving a lack of common sense”.

Frankly I think is a cute tweak for kids, personalizing the screen with no more pretension than blackle, and I’m all for it. And October is pink, for breast cancer awareness and breast cancer myths.

Chafing to see you

A small brown mareThere’s a small brown mare around the corner. Her paddock is a wire condo not larger than a living room. Usually she’s out with a cow on 4 acres but is often corralled.

At first my Springer Spaniel Lucky Lord Barkeley [huge pic] would tooth the wire and just bark and bark until I hated him. After each visit, Lucky has slowly become happy if he can spin in a circle. jump for a ball, poop nearby, and prove once and for all that dogs are better.

This mare is a tender thing. At first she wouldn’t let my hand near the wire. And one day she let me knuckle her nose. Another day, I rubbed that horsey nose, then her ear, and she turned away and back again. We’re now important friends.

These days when we round the corner where she sees us, Lucky always takes me there now, she lifts off the ground and waits by the wire for our small hello.

The last filet mignon

During an exquisite day, today the air is still and warm and ideal, we were sitting on the porch stairs telling stories, stories about slow-cooked tenderloin stew, the dogs were devouring the bones, when I remembered Mustard’s Grill in Napa County. [flash site]

We whooped in agreement that we are fools until we buy a motor home and park it permanently behind Mustard’s kitchen door.

Mustard's Grill, Napa County, CaliforniaWhen I tasted the first morsel of Mustard’s filet mignon I said, “Oh shit.” My friends looked worried and one volunteered to call the waiter.

No need for the waiter. Be calm. I quickly reported that the steak was excellent.

I told my guests the problem: “For the rest of my life every steak I will ever taste will be a disappointment.

My friends on the porch agreed that Mustard’s can do that.

There was a flavor note in the mashed potato. It was a quiet note, a Mozart ding-a-ling that was sometimes high up in the fluffed potato snow or deeply receded in the tuber’s cellar. Aggressively tasting dollops of potato has no social grace and isn’t tolerated even in Napa’s wine country where everyone is rimming glasses with their nose. I was forced to ask the waiter. There’s a hint of horseradish in the mash, he said.

For years I’ve added a spoon of radish or horseradish with the cream and butter. Try it. But try carefully, with different brands and different roots that you find at the Asian grocery.

Google has snippets of the Mustard’s cookbook here. The blurb is all true.

Chef-owner Cindy Pawlcyn put down her roots in Napa over 15 years ago, bringing her midwestern sensibility and flair for reinventing American food to the valley. With its ranch house feel, roadhouse welcome, mustard fields and vineyards as a backdrop, and dash of whimsy, Mustards Grill offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience.

The daring of a worthwhile Bishop

Clicking Links can be the new Plucking Strings.
Sometimes revelation, sometimes music.

Below is a long snippet. I hope it’s not too laborious, because there’s fun here, delightful pondering and provocative thinking, if merely for the wonder.


Daring to gazeOne of the things about having used computers for a long time is that your records go back a long way. In particular, because I have been using Ecco, on and off, for nearly fifteen years now, I have some very strange conversations archived in it, which turn up whenever I sort through the contacts list to remove dead people.

Hugh Montefiore is dead now — he was once the Bishop of Birmingham; and so is Enoch Powell, who was, in chronological order, successful as a scholar, soldier, politican, and villain.

But I cannot really remove either while snippets like this are still in my contact book: it is from a phone conversation with Montefiore on 16 August 1994. Powell had just published a book urging that the first gospel to be written was that of Matthew (he appended his own translation) and that it had been produced in Rome in about 100AD and in its original form contained no crucifixion. Powell was an excellent Greek scholar but these ideas are generally regarded as lunatic.

This is what Montefiore told me.

[Powell] told me when we talked after Hartlebury Castle that he had been pondering this for a long time. I have always regarded him as having the sweet reasonableness of the insane ever since I got him to speak at Great St Mary’s, when he was health minister, and he said he would only speak on the Athanasian Creed, and he produced a very calvinistic sermon, saying of course God expects considerable wastage. From the minister of health, it was rather rum.

As for the idea that Jesus was never crucified by the Romans, but stoned by the Jews for blasphemy, and never buried nor resurrected because his body was devoured by animals, the bishop said this:

I don’t actually think that it can be called a heresy, really; just an inaccurate speculation. According to Christian doctrine, he died at the hands of sinners, and even with the best will in the world, you couldn’t call a gerbil a sinner.

That is the sort of bishop with whom conversation is worthwhile.



A country, after all, is not something you build as the pharaohs built the pyramids, and then leave standing there to defy eternity. A country is something that is built every day. – Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada