United States Supreme Court reviews Dee Cee’s ban on handguns

March 19, 2008

Reaffirming the Second Amendment does not mean we should not discuss the problems of violence in our culture or the tragedies and horrors that we have observed in our schools, streets and low income neighborhoods. As Americans, we are smart enough, creative enough and passionate enough to find compelling solutions that do not infringe upon our obligations and rights as Americans… and as prominent an important members of an international community.

Below, a trailer for a documentary on the Second Amendment:

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What can we do to turn around an economic downturn?

March 18, 2008

Below, Clip from Bloomberg News (November, 2007): David Tice, Fund Manager for Prudent Bear Fund said stock market would decline 50-60%.

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Next Steps

Over here in Europe, economies seem to be responding positively to a flat income tax. That’s the official story. We are told that when corporate profits are unburdened by heavy taxes, the money goes into things like employment, consumption and investment in innovation. In other words, the money keeps moving.

Russia went to a 13 percent flat tax on personal income in 2001 and some economists claim this facilitated the recovery of Russia’s economy without the help of the oil boom. Slovakia was the first to adopt a 19 percent flat tax on corporate and personal income. Romania followed with a 16 percent flat tax on corporate profit and personal income.

In the United States, the Republican and Democrat parties have not made any serious commitment to the concept of flat taxes. Jerry Brown (D) and Steve Forbes (R) were among the only presidential candidates (1992 campaigns) to forcefully advocate such a sweeping tax policy change. Generally speaking, Democrats and Republican seem to be stuck in a way of federal spending that only allows them to think about slightly raising and slightly lowering taxes.

The problem remains, however. How do we support and encourage small and medium size business start ups and growth in order to get the money moving again in now-vulnerable middle class circles? Getting American money moving again in the right places is one factor among several that are needed to turn around a global economic downturn.

Below, background noise for reading: David Gahan (of Depeche Mode), Kingdom:

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moby and me: last night, austin, democrats and degenerates

March 16, 2008

moby is writing a lot more these days. His new album, Last Night, is about to be released for sale. Several singles from Last Night are out there on the internet. Here’s some links…

Check out the moby singles samples here, here, here or here.

Ok, I feel bad that I haven’t written to moby in two weeks. I’m sorry, dude. Iarta-ma.

I’ve been a little busy.

I’m trying to work out something interesting for the Yahoo! advertising guy in Romania. His name is Mihai Fanache. Despite Mr. Fanache’s ADHD, he rocks for a 20-something entrepreneur. With the support of the mysterious Orlando Nicoara, he came a long way from being just another talented, hardcore young guy out of Targoviste.

Below: Lou Reed, A Walk On The Wild Side

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Last Night

Dude, do you feel irreversibly contaminated by your celebrity life?

I continue to ponder your interview statement… that celebrity is a “corrosive” institution?

What’s it like… not to be anchored to ordinary reality with a 9-5 job?

What’s it like… not have to put up with people you don’t like, eight hours Monday through Friday?

Do you lose basic social skills and sociable perspective?

For example, does your contempt for nuissiants (nuisances and insouciants) get so out of hand (for lack of having to interact with them)… so much so that you just fade them into the background noise?

Did you get crunk with the new dawgs at the disco, last night?

Perhaps, this is asking too much.
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Meditations on Bucuresti: haiku, reflections and observations

March 15, 2008

When I first visited Romania in 2000, I began writing haiku to capture my reflections and observations of Romania, Romanian life and the Romanian people. I continue to do so. Below is a small, assorted sampler from my growing collection of haiku, tentatively titled Meditations on Bucuresti.

I do not know why I ultimately stayed with the haiku form for this personal project. In fact, I would have preferred the Shakespearean sonnet- it would permit me more words. Perhaps, I believed the haiku would help me develop a sense of pith. If you have read my posts, however, you’ll have the impression that I still need to work on this.

And I would share the same conclusion with you.

Honestly, I don’t believe my haiku are masterful- nothing like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud. I consider myself a shabby apprentice of the art, producing uninspiring mediocrity. However, I aspire to become a master of both haiku and haiga (where haiku and visual art come together). This takes time and practice. And, maybe, many years.

Beyond the formal sound count (not syllablic) structure of 5-7-5, good haiku is forceful. Good Haiku puts you there in the moment – and in the feeling. Perhaps, in the image. Haiku by the Japanese master, Basho, is often considered a forceful and popular example of haiku at its finest. Some of his haiku was joined with visual decoration (Bashon comes to mind) and represent some of the most beautiful haiga out there.

Hopefully, I will improve my art in time and, perhaps, you will join me in this journey, putting up with my mediocre work in progress. If, on the other hand, you can’t stand it, rate it poorly in the Buzzfuse widget and tell me to stop in the Buzzfuse comments. If I can’t take a hint, tell me in a direct and straight-forward manner and, theoretically, I shall relieve you of your suffering. [sheepish smile]

Below, a little Romanian folk Christmas Carol to cleanse the palette.

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inexplicable irony, 2007

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Beauty, truth, goodness

smiling on kissable lips.

Nothing in the kiss.

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Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Buzzfuse Blogosphere

March 13, 2008

Mostly Harmless

In my interest of seeing the Buzzfuse community become a Web 3.0 Community, I came up with a rough guide for how I could quickly evaluate four to eight Buzzfuse blogs that I personally check out daily in the 24 hours list.

Some Buzzfuse blogs that I visited today:

Andy Hadfield’s Cowboys and Engines

James Wolfaardt’s Happy Chicken Suicide Cult

Michele Randall’s Notes from “a TAMM creation”

Alexander Hay’s Wealthbuilding for Fun and Profit

Cardio Girl

Below, some background music (ATB, Long Way Home) for the reading…

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Hitchhiker’s Guide on the Buzzfuse Nebulae

As the buzzfused of us know, a maximum total rating for blogs is 10 stars within the Buzzfuse system. Here’s how I am rating your blog:
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Here’s Obama, there’s Obama…

March 12, 2008

Notes from a Patsak:

The key to victory was not who wins a few cherry-picked states that the Clinton campaign and the Media had told us were important. The key to understanding Obama’s victory is realizing that every vote and every voter matters.

Below… play the song, mentally replacing the word, llama with Obama…

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Hillary Clinton played a polite and fearsome card game

Some say Hillary was dealt a bad hand and that Obama was counting the cards. They say Barack even saw the deck, marked the aces, and dealt Hillary that bad hand.

Don’t believe a word they say. It’s all untrue. They just can’t handle the truth. It’s that simple.
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Buzzfuse: How to Make Better Pie (part three)

March 12, 2008

Notes from a Patsak:

It is in our nature to want to share things with each other. It is in us, a humanistic impulse to do things that allow us to integrate different knowledge, opinions, feelings, and ideas into a sustainable community. It’s up to you if you want to do something important here and now. If you do want to do something great, a new kind of social interaction can grow through Buzzfuse and around it. And, then, we have a sure thing – a sure thing that we can own, together.

Do you believe that the internet can save your soul? Or, at least our humanity?

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Recap of part one and two of my pie review

If you missed my first post about Buzzfuse (Try Pie. Try), go here. If you missed my second post (Delivery and Drive-thru Pie), go here.

After a little over a month of testing, I can honestly say that I like what Buzzfuse is about, what it’s doing, and where it is going. It is a groovey social mechanism for self-promotion- especially if you are a blogger, musician, photographer, etc. There’s a lot of potential in the Buzzfuse community, and things are going to get crazy soon as the word gets out that premium-member creators actually have a chance to bring home more than milk money from the earnings pool.

Buzzfuse supports content creators; it helps them market content and rewards creators for the rich content that brings content hunters. As such, Buzzfuse seems to be an ideal online business partner for the aspiring writer, photographer and musician. Buzzfuse has defined a very important niche for content creators and, hopefully, consumers are going to find they get a lot more out of Buzzfuse than other social media engines such as Digg and Stumbleupon.

The Buzzfuse service represents a meaningful innovation of social media; it provides a welcome alternative to the bad network marketing of online mlm and get rich schemes which push soul-less content at the media cafe. As such, it sets an important direction in the blogosphere just in time for newbies who are thinking about selling out their souls.

How to make Pie

You don’t have to start with an original idea. Just take a headline out of the news and chew on it.
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