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FRIDAY NIGHT DOG BLOG – FRESH TAKES May 31, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in DOG BLOG -.
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We pass the familiar places on the daily walk, still the ambition is to achieve new takes with the familiar faces. A different angle can show a different relationship if not a new insight.
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MONEY FOR JAM May 30, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Peace, US Politics.
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Spending on the military is supposed to make people safer. Implicitly it presupposes a rationale of fear, violence, cowardice and domination. For example, the war of terror and the military occupation of Iraq has not made Americans safer, if anything the opposite. And yet that spending is increasing with little opposition or accountability. In perhaps the classic Catch 22, the resources allocated to budgetary oversight are insufficient. The US military budget is $515 billion with an addition $200 billion spent on the Iraq occupation and $16 billion on nuclear weapons.
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HUMAN UNDERSTANDING May 29, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Iraq Policy, US Politics.
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John Locke beat me to the essay by several years, but perhaps at least in one respect he needs some updating since decisions that result in the deaths of people have increased in magnitude. A compassionate understanding of consequences of decisions and actions, know that war is the last resort. The fact that Iraq was not a war of last resort says it’s advocates
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THE BIGGEST PROBLEM! May 28, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth.
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Economist, David Korten at CommonDreams asks what is the big picture? Planet Earth is threatened now like never before, he says, by three factors: Climate change and the environmental crisis, a consumption economy with no regard for environmental and human consequences, and political institutions that systematically deny human potential while enriching the few at the expense of the many.
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AN ELECTION TO LOSE May 27, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.
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Paul Krugman makes economics understandable since he writes well and understands the subject. When it comes to politics he is less convincing as he demonstrates in his article Divided they Stand, in The New York Times. On the face of things, much like politics really, this is somewhat surprising. I suppose that good political analysis might not be as dispassionate as economics might be, and should not be because economic policy impacts on people. Political analysis requires a consideration and investigation of motivations, which of course should be rational, but often do not seem to be, a principle that applies generally and not just to the citizens of Kansas.
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THE GLOBAL OIL CRISIS May 26, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth, Modern History.
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The problem it seems it not so much the elephant in the room, but the elephant in the china shop. According to The Independent, the price of oil would be $40 per barrel and not the record $135 per barrel recorded last week. Of course at $40 per barrel, oil would have appeared to be much higher than previously, and no doubt many would have been bemoaning the fact. The invasion and occupation, that noble yet criminal venture, according to the newspaper have cost $6 trillion dollars in higher energy prices – however much that might be.
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UNO WHAT? May 25, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth.
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The natural disasters that have befallen China and Burma have reached considerable magnitude in terms of lives and people made homeless. These will not be the last disasters faced by the world. The role that the Secretary-General of UN is significant, more so in Burma than China. Various ideologies have sought to downplay the role of the United Nations and of International Law.
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FRIDAY NIGHT DOG BLOG – TASTE TO THE FORE May 24, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in DOG BLOG -.
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Taste was the photo challenge topic this week. What Sasha and Dexter have chosen to eat might be mentioned in passing, but let us consider some metaphorical meaning.
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A CELEBRITY: WHO CARES? May 22, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics.
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Now I have not heard of this person, which is not surprising because I generally do not watch television or keep track of such matters. My take is that celebrity status, for any person and particularly a female one, is a form of abuse, however lucrative it may be. Germaine Greer would be better off, and she is now seventy years of age, if she had never been a celebrity, and instead of what she should have regarded as a respected and gifted individual.
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RUN CLINTON RUN May 22, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.
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As expected, Clinton won comprehensively in Kentucky in what might be described as one horse race (enough of the puns already), and Obama more significantly and more impressively won Oregon. Obama’s win in Oregon came as no surprise after he had addressed a crowd of 75,000 in Portland, where 15,000 people had been turned away. Clinton’s success followed the patterns set previously in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Just why poorer, less educated people support her remains a mystery to me, except in resignation and hopelessness.
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PEOPLE POWER EMERGES ? May 21, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in East Asia.
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While The New York Times does not call it people power, they report that many Chinese are offering independent assistance to the earthquake victims in Sichuan Province. Loss of control over the population is a fear for authoritarian governments in China and Burma.
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SHOOTING THE QUR’AN May 19, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Iraq Policy, US Politics.
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I have to say I was puzzled by the fact that a copy of the Qur’an was used for target practice by American Occupation soldiers in Iraq. Surely, I thought, they should be using Bibles. If not, why not? As The New York Times noted in its editorial entry standards have fallen for the “world’s best military”. Furthermore, following a honourable tradition of glossing the text, with its medieval legal and religious precedents, these members of the elite had taken to writing commentary on the various passages. Cultural awareness was not part of the Time’s appraisal either of the problems with and the mighty, all conquering, all consuming, military and the mighty eternal Empire.
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INVERTED TOTALITARIANISM May 19, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.
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Chalmers Johnson reviews Sheldon Woilin, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism,.
Critique the following. Is it true to events and the underlying processes, or are there better explanations?
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CATHOLIC EDUCATION! May 18, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics.
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The Pope is coming to Sydney for some reason, but if Larry Buttrose is to be believed it should be to make reparations and seek reconciliation for the violence perpetrated against generations of children. Time to walk the talk.
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FRIDAY NIGHT DOG BLOG – NUMBER 94 May 17, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in DOG BLOG -.
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This is the ninety-fourth dog blog, but who is counting. And we are on a number theme. Sasha and Dexter have identity numbers that can be read by microchip readers, since most people do have these they also have the old name, address and telephone number on their dog tags.
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DON’T EVER TALK May 16, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Peace.
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On its face this is a strange position for a politician to adopt, even more so a democratic politician. It would not be strange to R Cheney, for example, if his recent repudiation of the role of public opinion is taken as evidence of his frame of mind. The “don’t ever talk”proposition advanced by the President of the United States, since that is appeasement.
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END GAME, EXIT STRATEGY May 15, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.
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Unless something unexpected happens that denies rational calculation, the writing will be on the wall for Clinton after the primary voting on 20 May. The results are very predictable. If Washington is a guide, Oregon should go for Obama, and Kentucky, following Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia will give preference to Clinton.
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COUNTRY ROAD May 14, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.
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They are just folks in West Virginia, and they would like Clinton to be president, or at least those voting in the Democratic primary have supported her by an overwhelming margin. Clinton gained a 66.1% to Obama 26.7% overall, and the best results I could see for Obama were in Wheeling which Clinton won convincingly by 59% to 37%, At least there is no candidate sexism in West Virginia. Kool Aid and country songs maybe:
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SAVING BURMA May 14, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth, South West Asia.
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The earthquake in China and the cyclone in Burma are tragic events for the people involved, as they are a contrast in response. The BBC reports that the earthquake may have killed 12,000 people, but there is a major search and rescue operation under weigh. It is as they suggest, “Chaotic, yet organized”. As far as I know the Chinese have not refused international relief assistance and aid, whereas that is exactly what the Burmese Government has done. By delaying assistance they have effectively considerably worsened the situation. The scale of the disaster has clearly overwhelmed the national capacity to deal with it, and that could happen anywhere.
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OPINIONS, ATTITUDES AND RANTS May 14, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, Blogging in general.
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I have to admit I am ignorant about attitudes. I have never really got down to a bedrock understanding of how they develop and what they signify, except that I consider they are important in relations to other people. It is, I think, a common skill that people are able to pick up attitudes stated and implied, perhaps using different cues. My take, to misquote David Bohm is that attitudes are “frozen emotions”, as distinct from “frozen light”.
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