Sunday, March 30, 2008


Begley's world's grown greener

Link to full article at
Years before Leonardo DiCaprio and Larry David were proudly driving Toyota Priuses to red-carpet events, Begley risked derision by taking public transportation to splashy movie premieres. If he had to drive, he took his electric car: In 1991 when his then-girlfriend Annette Bening won an Oscar nomination for "The Grifters," Begley drove her to the Shrine Auditorium in his electric car and then had to find an outlet to recharge it.

"She was a great sport about it," Begley, 58, remembers. "Maybe somewhere deep down she thought I was wacky."

Begley, known for his recurring roles on the TV series "St. Elsewhere," "Six Feet Under" and "Arrested Development," was in town recently to attend a local recycling promotion and talk about "Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life" ( Buy it Here ), a new book that offers dozens of cool, money-saving suggestions on greening your house and sparing the earth.
An amusing article with pointers to some important products and ideas.
- Frank

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6 Ways to Dine Out for Less

Link to article at
Wholesale restaurant food prices rose 7.4% in 2007, the largest increase in three decades, according to the National Restaurant Association, an industry group. That's even bigger than the jump consumers are seeing at the supermarket, where grocery prices have gone up 5.3%, per the Consumer Price Index.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008


There are side effects to financial medicine

Link to original article at
...Rosen predicts that when all is said and done, there could be as much as $1 trillion worth of losses in the financial system. He predicts that investors will bear 60 percent of the losses and the government could shoulder the rest.

What's in store

To pay for these losses, the government will have to raise taxes, sell more debt or both.

Near term, Rosen predicts that the Fed will have to keep cutting interest rates to prevent further weakness in housing and the economy. That will put further downward pressure on the dollar. A falling dollar will fuel inflation because imports, oil and other commodities will cost more.

Long term, the government will have to raise interest rates to entice foreigners to buy our debt. "The effect of all this is a recession and a lower living standard than we would have had without having had this mess," Rosen says. "This generation and the next generation will pay for this."

Leamer says he also worries about "the regulatory changes that will make it harder for Americans to get homes. The market was inappropriately lax. We're likely to flip in the other direction. There will be all sorts of restrictions" on who can buy a home.

But the biggest side effect, Leamer says "is the moral hazard" the government could be creating. When the government bails out stupid or risky behavior, it encourages the same kind of behavior.
Proving again the importance of at least literacy and intelligence testing before allowing crooks and liars to occupy the White House.
- Frank


Wednesday, March 05, 2008


How to abandon your God / Is it OK to switch religions, change denominations, even split from God entirely? Jesus says: Sure!

Tentative answer: Maybe you don't. Maybe it's not about abandoning God at all, and instead merely broadening your definition of the divine so as to encapsulate and swallow it all, every God, every dogma, every attempt to corner the market on belief and parse it and put it into cute little boxes and break us all up into angry tribes who stomp our feet and wave our little gilded books and launch screaming bloody wars over promised lands and chosen peoples and crucifixes and crusades and witches and pagans and gays.

In other words, maybe you abandon God by realizing it's all God, it's all divine, all hot, thrumming, vibrating connection in all places in all things at all times. And hence, to try and parse it and restrict it and beat it into submission and claim it for one people, one history, one country or church or authoritarian body, is actually the highest form of divine insult.

Or, you know, grand cosmic joke. Same thing, really.
Link to original article at

- Frank

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Washington Politicians Are Gutting America Like A Fish

George W. Bush has created the path for American fascism, he’s all but made the American Presidency and our Democratic system of governance a sham. He’s not alone, however. In addition to the neo-conservative movement, we’ve seen the rise of cowardice in Congress. Democrats and moderate Conservatives have failed to stand up for justice and the Constitution. In the view of Americans who actually give a damn, the two-party system has failed and Democrats and Republicans may as well be working together as they’ve allowed Bush to get away with murder, so-to-speak.
Since Bush was inaugurated, all of the problems with his administration have been under the microscope. The majority of the issues started as early as 2001 — illegal surveillance, international relations problems, above-the-law action. Other issues have arisen since then, including FEMA’s response to Katrina, politicization of the Justice Department, disenfranchising voters, and providing fat contracts to his friends in corporate America.

Despite the fact that many details of wrongdoing are coming to light, Democrats have been unable to do anything about the issues. Now it appears that they are going to cave on protecting American rights to defend themselves against invasive government and illegal corporate acts. Is there any good news to be had? Is the promise of hope and restoring faith in American government in our near future or is it all talk and no action as Hillary Clinton has said?
Link to full article

A depressing, but seemingly accurate summation of the current situation.
- Frank


Tuesday, March 04, 2008


US plotted to overthrow Hamas after election victory

Link to original article at The Guardian
The Bush administration, caught out by the rise of Hamas, embarked on a secret project for the armed overthrow of the Islamist government in Gaza, it emerged yesterday.

Vanity Fair reports in its April edition that President George Bush and the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, signed off on a plan for the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to remove the Hamas authorities in Gaza. The plan called for Washington's allies in the region to funnel arms and salaries to Fatah fighters who would lead a rising against Hamas.
Impeachment? Arrest? Nope, Just business as usual at Sleaze Central in Washington, D.C.!
- Frank


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