Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Won't Get Fooled Again

John McCain is attempting to extend the 9/11 panic, you remember, the one where we gave away our civil liberties and adopted a perpetual state of panic and fear? He wants to postpone the debate scheduled for September 26th with Barack Obama to focus on resolving the financial crisis and leave the campaigning behind for a while.
If I had been at the helm, say chairing the Commerce Committee "that oversights every part of our economy." I might want to avoid having a debate on the topic too but leadership is facing the issues not side-stepping them. Of course if McCain had an actual VP caliber running mate, that person could continue to drive the campaign and contribute to the solution rather than draining resources trying to get her up to speed for the second spot in world leadership. It's only in the cartoons that "Hold everything!" works, not for the President (or any other serious leadership position).
Seriously, the feds are prepared to dive in (with our money!) and save Wall Street but if we let our government fail, who will dive in to save it?
How about we leave behind the Henny-penny 'The Sky is Falling' approach and NOT put rational thinking on hold to deal with this financial crisis?
We need to be here:
We do not need to return here:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The real difference between liberals and conservatives

Jonathan Haidt presents this talk, from the TED Conference. It's just under 20 minutes long and he lays out the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices.

1. Harm/Care

2. Fairness/reciprocity

3. Ingroup/loyalty

4. Authority/respect

5. Purity/sanctity

The center of his thesis is that political leanings are determined by where people fall on a major personality trait known as openness to experience

"Open individuals have an affinity for liberal, progressive, left-wing political views, whereas closed individuals prefer conservative, traditional, right-wing views." (R. R. McCrea, 1996)

In order to progress through our current political season, perhaps we all can benefit from the realization that both perspectives are necessary. Since we have been swinging towards the conservative for the last eight years, perhaps its time the balance shifts, how ever temporarily, towards the liberal to balance out the equation. 

He includes the following quote from a Buddhist visionary:

"If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between "for" and "against" is the mind's worst disease." Sent-ts'an, c. 700 C.E.

He then juxtaposes it with this:

"You're either with us or against us in the fight against terror." George Bush, Nov. 2001

Then he asks if we aren't also guilty of falling into the trap of being for or against.

Think about it...

Back in the saddle!

Rode with  the sweetie on Friday, 13 miles.
Afterwards, I was pretty sore.
Not short or slow enough I thought.
Rode the Monkey with my crew last night, 20 miles.
I bailed early and afterwards I felt great.
It was longer and faster.
Perhaps next week I'll park the commuter.
35 lbs. of steel on balloons makes for a soft ride
16 lbs. of carbon on rubber bands makes for a fast ride.
Today maybe I'll do an errand run.
It'll be a recovery ride so perhaps...
I can do the full Thursday ride.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's time for Obama to refocus

So there you are riding a sweet line, single track swooping through the beautiful woods of Minneapolis' Theodore Wirth Park. Knobbies caressing mother natures' gentle curves rolling out before you. It's easy to forget your worries and just keep rolling. 

MORC does a fantastic job (MOCA partners on this one too) of laying out single track that tickles the landscape, draws out the smoothest path. 

Then you suddenly get jerked back to reality with a challenge that requires your full attention.

The first time you see such an obstacle your eyes are drawn to the potential failure points. You can't take your eyes off the terrain that will dine on your tender flesh and leave you with the fleeting vision of your knees passing over your no longer moving handlebars.

Turns out that  your full attention isn't enough. You need to know where to focus your full attention. It's not on the logs laying across what had been such a sweet, smooth path only a curve ago. No, your eyes need to stay on the smooth track that will carry you over the disruption.

You may even enjoy pausing on the other side to see how true the line really was on the approach. Now that you are over it you may notice that the downslope that you couldn't see (so you weren't worried about it) was the most dramatic part and you simply leaned back and rode it down.

So what does this all have to do with Obama? Well it had been a pretty smooth ride up until the announcement that Palin had joined the competition. Just like the log pile dressed with planks, this was a big disruption to the Obama candidacy and suddenly the excitement was all about this new feature on the trail to the White House.

When we step back and take a look at this disruption, we see why McCain selected the beauty queen; she is just a younger, more attractive George Bush! Just a simple country bumpkin but better than Bush since she has oratory skill and a cuter smirk. So the Republican platform is that the leadership doesn't actually have to have a clue, (he can't figure out email and she hasn't thought about Iraq...) they just have to come across like someone you'd run into at the grocery store. With this comfort level established they figure, and lots of conservatives are swallowing hook, line and sinker, you will put them in office. Who wouldn't want their buddy in the White House? 

So it's time we divert our eyes from the beauty queen and focus on that clear line that will carry us over this diversion.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I had a hearing (Dr. Appt.) about my case this morning and got some good news! 
The Judge granted me early release, commuting my sentence to time served.
He did, however, make it clear that I am still on probation (Physical Therapy) and could be tossed back in the slammer with additional time to serve if I don't toe the line (ride like a sissy).
So who's up for a slow, short ride with someone guaranteed to have more fun doing it than you?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nice pair!


I rode on Sunday

Two days later my shoulder

Was the best it’s been


Didn’t think I should

Sweetie said “How was last time?”

She is my beacon


So tonight I rode

Cocky perhaps but oh my

This biking thing’s good!


Meditation Yes!

Wheels, gears, pavement sooth me so

I am addicted


Not the hard road ride

Just a spin on the Monkey

Velo orgasm!


Haiku too!

Many choices now

Some hard, some not so much so

Control’s not mine now


Fitness sets the stage

It’s something I can control

Employment, well no


Waiting can be hard

I can always take action

Choices careful now


Go or not, do we?

Tea leaves unavailable

Gut wrenched, how to know?


Plans are all laid out

Cash too, wheels set in motion

Roll dice, take the risk?


But is it a risk?

Skills? Check! Experience? Check

Isn’t if, just when


Life isn’t a noun

Life is an action, a verb

Do it! Not have it!


Confidence survives

Actions pave the way ahead

All will be just fine

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I did it and I'm not sorry

The last time I rode my bike was July 28.
July 29th was the beginning of the end.
Banned from riding for two months.
The bike was lonely.
I could hear it sobbing every time I went into the garage.
The road bike is set up on the trainer so it gets a 
short fix every few days.
But not the Monkey, it just hangs in the garage.
Sobbing and sniffling.
On Sunday I went for a ride.
A short, slow ride.
Sort of what Jonathan Vaughters was expecting
Without the Bermuda shorts.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Elitist Juxtaposition

I'm not planning on turning this into a political blog but with the looming election the conservative agenda is really pissing me off it's on my mind... So my newsreader drops these headlines in front of me: “It's GOP's world; elitists just live in it” This piece talks about the salt of the earth connection the new Republican Party is presenting. It dismisses the eloquence of the other party as a representation of intellectualism, which is just another term for elitism. Elitists, you know those folks that have those fancy college degrees and have way more money than us normal Joes, are the real cause for all our problems. It goes on to underscore that “...John McCain and Sarah Palin are your kind of people.”
Next up was this headline:
This piece compares Cindy McCain to Jacqueline Kennedy with respect to her fashion sense and her impact on political fashions. Turns out that just one of the outfits she wore has an estimated value of $313,000.00. Another way to compare it’s value is to say it is greater than 150% of the median home value in 2008 in these United States of America.
My kind of people my ass!
The value of my home, everything in it and all the vehicles parked or hanging in the garage is still less than that one single outfit. Let me make it clear; I don’t begrudge anyone for their wealth but when one of your outfits costs more than all my worldly possessions I don't think you have much chance of understanding the dilemma I face trying to decide between groceries and health insurance this month.
So here’s how I decode the Republican platform:
We’re all equal but some are more equal than others. Sound familiar?

Monday, September 1, 2008

What is Freedom anyway?

Seems the RNC fear machine is working over time... Thank god we are safe from the Earth Activist Training Permaculture Demonstration Bus since there will be less shopping if people start thinking sustainability. What is it about the conservative mentality that dictates if it's out of their mainstream it's wrong needs to be stopped? Isn't the foundation of freedom letting folks you don't agree with have their say? In fact, isn't the whole fucking point of our democracy letting diverse perspectives have the talking stick? We don't learn from the people that think like us; we learn from those who don't. If we silence those with a different point of view we become more ignorant and engage in little more than intellectual masturbation; enjoyable at the moment but it produces no legacy. It's the diversity of our intellectual gene pool that assures our survival and is the source for the creativity required for our survival. Do yourself a favor and listen to someone you don't agree with. They may not change your mind but it might change your life. For the better.