Monday, August 15, 2011
Ah, late summer in coastal Maine.
That little chill in the evening that whispers "got your wood in yet?" Rolling fields are green, smothered with loosestrife and goldenrod waving and tansy and black eyed susan and queen anne's lace, the late afternoon light takes on the golden hue, and it's harvest time.
Walked the stony beach, skipped stones over the wake waves for an hour, felt like a kid again, well, a whole lot younger anyway. Timeless, in fact. That's what Maine does for me, I feel timeless here. A two sided coin for sure. A fabulous place, but as someone once told me, Maine is also "the end of the line". .. Serenely gorgeous, rich with visual space, an idyllic spot to while away an afternoon picking your way along a rockstrewn beach, spread your body over big flat monster slab of stone and just soak up the sounds and sun. Maine lives in the core of me somewhere, forever bringing me back to my first summer here decades ago when I didn't speak to a living soul for three weeks, just wandered the woods picking berries, talking to the ghosts, and skinny dipping, a mermaid amidst the floating seaweed and cold waters of the bay. Heaven on earth.
Ok. There are so many things on my desktop that have accumulated over the last weeks I think I'll just throw them out there willy nilly with links and if you're interested, have at it. Let's start with the fun stuff.
Above is a picture of an edible item the size of a small car I took recently at a local Thai takeout place. Can you guess what it is?
" It’s a sweet drug that plays with fire." What is it? Reverie. That's right, sort of daydreaming, and it's powerful stuff. Check it out here.
And a Second Recession?? BAH! sez Kenneth Rogoff. What we are in the midst of the The Second Great Contraction (The Great Depression being the first such within the recent century.) Read this bril guy's analysis here and be affirmed in your intuition that this is indeed something different and is not going to go away. Thank God there are still folks smart and honest enough to tell it like it is.
And if the prospect of a lost decade (whatever that is?) scares you, put a little perspective on the financial thing in view of the Massive Solar Storm (courtesy International Business Times, an interesting site) looming before us. To quote my heroine CJ Craig, It's the fall that's gonna kill ya.
And what about all the folks who can't find a job? Don't you just love the way the BBC manages to tell us what our own press is reluctant to print? Here's one Rick- Rack Perry oughta read afore he goes braggin about all those (shitty "new") jobs in Texas. Because the truth is, The search for a new job is likely to result in a worse-paid one than before, according to research.
"Inequality in the US is more extreme than it has been in almost a century - and the gap between the super-rich and the poor and middle class people has widened drastically over the last 30 years." So sayeth Al Jazeera. But how did this happen? Check out the link to Fault Lines' program here and be informed.
Every time I hear that feckin meme repeated by some ardent Me-Firster (did I coin that term?) about the poor causing the financial crisis cause they took on more mortgage debt than they could manage I want to ralph. And Simon Johnson, on this wonderful website that is just chockablock with intelligent commentary, is here to back me up when he asks Did the Poor Cause [this mess]? You can guess what the answer is, but his explanation is lucid and readable. I admit to a small crush on Simon Johnson for a couple of years now, he is always a breath of fresh air, and this site, well, add it to your weekly reads as it's always on topic and good for reorienting your moral compass to a more worthy north.
Jeffrey Sachs is one of those commenters, always interesting, and one who has moved steadily left over the years, from my POV anyway. Daring enough to write about America's Class struggle, that taboo subject, and insisted that America is on a collision course with itself, Why? Well this one's worth a read as well.
Steve Breyman at Counterpunch has some useful tips on helping to avoid nuclear meltdowns here by saving energy (unplug that tv!), and some stats on energy saving stuff that's easier than you might think. Yes, you too can actually make a diff if you get some pals to do it too.
Rumor has it Michelle Bachman favors Robert E. Lee's take on slavery, that it's beneficial for slaves. How psychopaths with law degrees manage to take center stage in politics is a neverending source of amazement to the rest of us.
Joe Stiglitz, who should have been head guy on Obama's econ team and wasn't even in the room feels sure Western Capitalism is ready for last rites (preceded one hopes by a heartfelt confession: bless me, father , it's been since the eighties since....). To wit:
Just a few years ago, a powerful ideology – the belief in free and unfettered markets – brought the world to the brink of ruin. Even in its hey-day, from the early 1980’s until 2007, American-style deregulated capitalism brought greater material well-being only to the very richest in the richest country of the world. Indeed, over the course of this ideology’s 30-year ascendance, most Americans saw their incomes decline or stagnate year after year.
Stiglitz asks, What now? Read him above.
Last question du jour..
Memory slipping? Try a little memorize the lyrics therapy. Slap on the album and sing along. It'll cheer you up. A cloying whine of the sort my ex in laws habitually employ works here. And if you don't have the album, maybe that's what's wrong witchoo.
Subterranean Homesick Blues, by Bob Dylan (from the album, Bringin it all Back Home -- you can buy the tune here from the man himself)
Did Russia really just dump 18 billion in US Treasuries?? That's a LOT! Why would they do that?
and that's a jackfruit up on top there... tastes of melon they say...