Posted by: L | August 24, 2007

Moving my blog….




where I will be blogging on







REVIEWS (that should be entertaining….)

AMAZON RANKINGS (this will be an interesting research project for me related to the theme of the book — which is about mass behavior and Amazon rankings are first and foremost indicators of mass behavior – they are promotional tools)

Meanwhile, as you can see, I am in the middle of moving this blog to

You can also reach it through,

The book blog should be up in a few days too — where I hope to post reviews, comments, and other things related.

My main blogging will now be at Mind-Body, (

Posted by: L | August 20, 2007

Ron Paul Revolution: mainstream support grows…

The Spin Factor has a piece about the growing support for Ron Paul — Bob Novak among others. The list of those sympathetic to a Paul candidacy now ranges from Andrew Sullivan to Jon Stewart to Pat Buchanan….

The MSM can flail around trying to conceal how grassroots the support for Paul is, but they’re not going to succeed.

Posted by: L | August 19, 2007

Cry, the beloved country…..

“But when the dawn will come, of our emancipation, from the fear of bondage and the bondage of fear, why, that is a secret.”
– Alan Paton, Cry, The Beloved Country, Chapter 35.


America’s at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.

.Claire Wolfe

Posted by: L | August 19, 2007

John Donne on the abomination of torture..

From an article in Harper’s on a sermon against torture in 1625 by poet, priest, and courtier, John Donne, via A Guy in the Pew:

“Recently I asked a clerical friend whether, considering the persistence of torture as a moral issue, he had thought of giving a sermon on the subject? He looked very uncomfortable and responded saying that his congregation was bipartisan and that he would be loathe to introduce a political issue as a sermon topic. It would fragment the congregation, he thought. Really?

I reject the notion that torture is a political issue of any sort. It is a great moral issue. And when those who have a clerical vocation fail to understand it and address it in those terms, they do their flock and themselves a great disservice.

Consider this John Donne sermon of 1625. It was delivered as his Easter Sunday sermon, which is important. Then as now, the Easter service drew the biggest crowd of the year. The Easter sermon was the minister’s minute in the spotlight—the moment when he would reach his greatest audience and make his reputation. And we know from John Donne’s correspondence, he was concerned about another audience: the king, his entourage and the courts. When Donne rose to deliver this sermon, torture was a heated “political” issue in England. Under the Stuart monarchs, the use of torture was viewed as a royal prerogative (how little things change). It was administered by judges, particularly by the national security court of seventeenth century England, the so-called Court of Star Chamber. John H. Langbein’s important book, Torture and the Law of Proof gives us very clear guidance into how torture was prescribed and used.

Over a series of centuries, the genius of the English law had been steadily to restrict and limit the use of torture, until at this point, under King James, it was controlled by the king’s judges and limited in practice through a series of special writs. Which is to say, legally it was far more constrained than it is today under an Executive Order issued by King James’s understudy in allegedly Divine Right governance, George W. Bush.

Donne delivered a direct blow against this system, the use to which it was put, and the suffering it caused. He makes no equivocations. And in the end he delivers his blows against even the king’s judges who administer the system. No one viewed Donne as a “political figure.” Indeed, owing to his Catholic background and sympathies, he eschewed court politics. Nor in the end was there anything “political” about the question of torture—it was an issue of ethics and of faith.”

Posted by: L | August 19, 2007

Financial Follies: Run on banks in LA….

From “Mobs, Messiahs and Markets” (with Bill Bonner):

“People will no longer care about the return ON their money….

Instead they will only want the return OF their money”:

Now here’s from this past Friday’s news:
“In Los Angeles, economic concerns hit close to home.

Anxious customers of Countrywide Bank jammed its phone lines, branches and website after the nation’s largest mortgage lender — which owns the bank — announced it was facing problems from a credit meltdown.

“Countrywide Financial Corp., the biggest home-loan company in the nation, sought Thursday to assure depositors and the financial industry that both it and its bank were fiscally stable,” wrote the LA Times Friday. “And federal regulators said they weren’t alarmed by the volume of withdrawals from the bank.”

“The rush to withdraw money — by depositors that included a former Los Angeles Kings star hockey player and an executive of a rival home-loan company — came a day after fears arose that Countrywide Financial could file for bankruptcy protection because of a worsening credit crunch stemming from the sub-prime mortgage meltdown,” the paper continued.

“At Countrywide Bank offices, in a scene rare since the U.S. savings-and-loan crisis ended in the early ’90s, so many people showed up to take out some or all of their money that in some cases they had to leave their names,” the Times added. “Bill Ashmore drove his Porsche Cayenne to Countrywide’s Laguna Niguel office and waited half an hour to cash out $500,000, which he then wired to an account at Bank of America.”

“It’s because of the fear of the bankruptcy,” Ashmore, president of Irvine’s Impac Mortgage Holdings, which escaped bankruptcy itself recently by shutting down virtually all its lending and laying off hundreds of employees told the paper. “It’s got my wife totally freaked out. I just don’t want to deal with it. I don’t care about losing 90 days’ interest, I don’t care if it’s FDIC-insured — I just want it out.”

More at Raw Story .

Posted by: L | August 18, 2007

Michelle Pfeiffer says the”m” word..

I’ve always liked Michelle Pfeiffer since I saw her in The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989).

Now I like her even better.

From NewsMax:


” Speaking of eternal youth, Michelle seems to have found it in real life.

She’s also hung onto something else that in Tinseltown is quite rare — her modesty.

It turns out that Pfeiffer passed on the starring role of the film “Basic Instinct.”

Why? Because she didn’t want to bare it all for the camera.

Had she taken the movie part, Pfeiffer would have played scheming seductress Catherine Tramell. Instead Sharon Stone took the risqué role and the rest is sordid cinematic history.

“I just couldn’t do that one, because of the sexual parts, the nudity. My father was still alive. I’m kind of prudish,” Pfeiffer is quoted as saying by Contactmusic.

The star adds, “I am not that uninhibited about my body. I’m modest.”


Modest? Modest? Prudish….and proud of it??

If we can’t rely any more on Hollywood stars to mouth meaningless drivel – whom are we going to turn to?

(Rhetorical question, of course, from anyone living within a 100 miles of the Beltway…)


The Free Online Dictionary says:


1. Having or showing a moderate estimation of one’s own talents, abilities, and value.

2. Having or proceeding from a disinclination to call attention to oneself; retiring or diffident. See Synonyms at shy1.

3. Observing conventional proprieties in speech, behavior, or dress.

4. Free from showiness or ostentation; unpretentious. See Synonyms at plain.

5. Moderate or limited in size, quantity, or range; not extreme.

Hmm. That’s a bit, well, modest. Let’s add a bit more:

Modest – as in, not letting every inch of your body parts hang out in public, no matter how pretty, no matter what someone’s paying you, and no matter how momentarily empowered you feel.

Modest — as in, not hogging all the limelight you can, bragging on yourself and stealing other people’s credit – especially unknown other people, who are not capable of hounding you in court about it….

Modest — as in, modest townhouse. That would be the opposite of, say, extravagant mansion in Greeenwich, Conn. bought with proceeds made from precarious leveraged bets on collateralized debt obligations with unsuspecting rich-but-dumb clients’ money…

At the end of a debt bubble extravaganza of Cecil B. De Mille proportions, modest would be a good word to make a come back…..on every front.

Posted by: L | August 18, 2007

Martin Marty on the soul and tradition…

Also heard on Bill Moyer, Martin Marty, the influential Protestant thinker and writer:

The soul is not a pilot on a ship

The soul is not a ghost in a machine.

The soul is the integrated vitality of an organism that is open to the future..

Thanks, Bill. You’re forgiven.


And I had to add this from an interview with Marty:

“I think my own development through the years, both spiritually and intellectually, is to keep one part of the soul or foot on the ground of a tradition and on the other you feel free to roam and find ways to integrate other experiences and deal with the other. And, in a sense, I try to propagate that notion. I mean, Gandhi was really steeped in his tradition, and he could take Jesus with him. And Martin Luther King was a black Baptist pastor, and he could take Gandhi’s non-violence into it. The Pope, John XXIII, you can’t get more Catholic, and he could take it right into the community of the Jews. Thomas Merton, the Catholic mystic, is talking to Buddhist and Hindu monks the day he dies; he doesn’t stop being Catholic, but he enriches there…..”

Posted by: L | August 18, 2007

Heard on Bill Moyer….

On Bill Moyer, Friday, August 17, in a discussion about Katrina :

If we’d only stop global warming…

People have the right to return to the city where they lived..

Poor people have as much right to live in dangerous places as the rich…..

We should have forgiven everyone’s mortgage debts….

Katrina opened the door and Al Gore walked in…..

I don’t want to live in a country where a $10,000 house is worth only ten thousand…

The people respected the tsunami, so they lived….

And the planet goes on….


OK. I couldn’t catch every word exactly.

What kind of meat grinder did these two pointyheads get their frontal lobes mixed up with?

I can’t say I don’t agree with some of it – especially Mike Tidwell’s analysis of the deterioration of infrastructure in the area and the predictability of what happened. And Melissa Harriss-Lacewell is an eloquent speaker. But there were just too many leaps in logic (here’s one criticism), circular arguments, and appeals to emotion that papered over shaky analysis. All couched in the polite jargon of our times in which nothing real ever gets said…

Posted by: L | August 18, 2007

Torture files: Padilla verdict in…

“The jury found Jose Padilla, the accused terrorist guilty. We should remember hiow the accusations were made and the evidence collected — and throw the verdict out:

“For nearly two years, Jose Padilla was denied all access to his lawyers, his family and the court system. The Bush administration claimed that he could be held without trial until the end of its “war on terror.” Allowing Padilla to talk to a lawyer or know that a court was considering his case, the government argued, would threaten national security. Meanwhile, the government was working to create a relationship of complete “dependency” between Padilla and his interrogators, who were busy trying to torture a confession out of him.

As court filings indicate, Padilla was allegedly subjected to sleep deprivation, stress positions and extreme temperatures. Worse, he was held without human contact, without a clock or even natural light — with no way to know how quickly or slowly time was passing. When he was removed from his cell to visit a dentist, goggles and earmuffs were placed on him. Psychologists have long reported that extreme sensory deprivation is one of the quickest ways to drive people mad — and make them willing to confess to anything….”

More at the Washingon Post.


There has to be an appeal on the Padilla verdict. Look, the government found him guilty long before it tried him. Verdict first and trial later. That’s Looking Glass justice.

It’s time to take away the nonsense book from which the Bush administration is reading its jurisprudence. Let’s give them the US constitution again.

Posted by: L | August 18, 2007

Melanie Morgan – week’s dumbest remark..

“You’d look great in a burqa,”

Melanie Morgan, who suggested that a New York Times editor be killed in a gaschamber for treason for reporting on the US government spying on Americans — to Naomi Wolf, on Chris Matthews Hardball, when Wolf suggested that the Iraq war had nothing to do with terrorism and more to do with the political agenda of the Bush administration and its desire to dismantle the constitution….

Tip to Naomi: In a crude forum, crude people win.

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