31 July 2009

Politics: FINALLY! House Votes to Restrict Wall Street Bonuses




WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 9:  Former Freddie Mac C...CEO Looking a Little Nervous...? WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 9: Former Freddie Mac CEO Richard Syron (L) adjusts his tie while testifying with former Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd (R), and fromer Fannie Mae CEO Harold Raines (C) before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during a hearing on "The Role of Fannie and Freddie Mac in the Financial Crisis" on Capitol Hill December 9, 2008 in Washington, DC. The hearing focused on the financial collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, their takeover by the federal government, and their role in the ongoing financial crisis.Image by Getty Images via Daylife

From Denny: This just in from the Friday afternoon news cycle... Congress knows the public is seriously ticked off about the greed on Wall Street. They took advantage of us from the TARP money that was supposed to keep them afloat and the economy from tanking as the conventional wisdom went. When I first heard of it when Bush was on his way out of office I knew it was the Republican's last parting shot of "screw over the public" yet one more time "because we can." So, they did.

All they did with the TARP money was bonus themselves and continue greedy unwise short-term vision business as usual. Big business is now feeing their customers into the poor house as a result of feeling free enough to play with taxpayer money. The big banks, even Royal Bank of Scotland who got money from two countries - United States AND United Kingdom - decided to use their bail-out money to enhance their profit bottom line for the quarter. They even publicly said they saw no reason to start lending out the money to the public they were given for that express purpose.

What was voted upon and passed in the House by a 235 - 135 margin just minutes ago was a measure to prohibit pay and bonus packages that encourage big risks by bankers and traders, the kind of risks that can take down the economy like a house of cheap cards.

Just yesterday these big banks have bonused over $1 million to over 5,000 employees with the public money of billions. Voters are outraged. Europe and other investors outside America have called for this kind of reform for decades. They thought it was unbridled greed a long time ago and advised Bush and Cheney to do something about it. Of course, Bush and Cheney foolishly refused. What did you expect? You put two greedy American former CEO's - Bush who had bankrupted no less than eight companies - in charge of the candy store with a country's treasury and you think they would not go wild? Come on. They now had something to trade for big bucks to keep them in power: public funds.

Get this: even though House Republicans are fully aware of voter outrage, they still chose to dance to their lobbyist masters and vote AGAINST the measure. Unbelievable. Their sorry excuse of a claim? They weakly offered up, "Severe restrictions should apply only to banks that accept government aid."

So just what is the legislation banning in regard to risky compensation? This will apply to any firm with $1 billion in assests. That would include bank holding companies, broker-dealers, credit unions, investment advisors, and mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Prospects in the Senate are uncertain for this bill. You might want to start haranguing your Senators into voting for this bill now. The Senate Banking Committee is expected to take up this bill in the coming weeks after recess. It will be part of broader bill overhauling financial regulations.

What suggestions did President Obama ask to be included in this bill?

* shareholders get a nonbinding vote on compensation packages.

* prohibit members of compensation committees from having financial ties to the company and its executives (you know like Bush and Cheney did to Haliburton and others)

Finally, Congress is bowing to public pressure to deal with corporate greed. This is a good first step. The Senate had better get on board and sail this measure right on through or there will be a rush to "throw the bums out" come election time, and, these are the midterm elections coming up this November. Use your vote wisely.




Royal Bank of Scotland, big business, Wall Street, Republican Party, Dick Cheney, United States, Bank, Troubled Asset Relief Program, Business, Fannie Mae, Barack Obama, Freddie Mac, politics, big business


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Libations Friday! 31 July 2009



Featured today: Cold coffee recipe, funny birthday quotes, original poem about how to conquer abuse in your life.

From Denny: Yesterday was my birthday so I thought I'd mellow out on the early AM posting today... :) (lame, I know!) Basically, I took yesterday off and am up early putting together today's post which usually takes some time just to load it into the online editor.

Anyway, at our house we celebrate birthdays all week long with more than gifts, flowers or chocolates. We celebrate with birthday jokes, quotes, or stories. We like to annoy the birthday person to the point they will never forget their birthday this year or any year! It also goes a long way to making a person feel loved and special to be reminded more than once we are glad they are sharing the planet with us.

Here are 9 birthday quotes which we find amusing. If you like to make your own greeting cards for birthdays some of these would be a great idea to include for a friend or loved one to make them smile!

birthday greetingImage by Kapil Karekar via Flickr


9 Funny Birthday Quotes

Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician. ~ Anonymous

The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything: the young know everything.” - Oscar Wilde

Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened. ~ Jennifer Yane

Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself. ~ Tom Wilson

A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age. - Robert Frost

I never forget my wife's birthday. It's usually the day after she reminds me about it. – Anonymous

Age is a number and mine is unlisted. - Anonymous

Last week the candle factory burned down. Everyone just stood around and sang, 'Happy Birthday.' - Steven Wright

People ask me what I'd most appreciate getting for my eighty-seventh birthday. I tell them, a paternity suit. - George Burns



Photo by nyki_m @ flickr

Creamy Espresso Coffee Ice Cream Cooler

Serves: 4

Birthdays in late July can be a bit*h! It's hot, steamy and people can get grumpy crowded together. Why not make everyone happy by cooling them down with this ice cream coffee cooler? Watch the birthday gifts roll in! :)

Ingredients:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup half and half

1 1/2 cups hot water

1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee (or leftover strong coffee)

4 standard scoops coffee ice cream

Directions:

Combine the chocolate chips, cream and half and half in the jar of a blender. Cover and puree until the mixture is smooth, about 2 - 3 minutes.

In a small bowl stir the espresso into the hot water until dissolved. (Or skip this step if you have leftover strong coffee or just want to make fresh expresso.) Add the espresso to the chocolate mixture and mix until well blended, about 2 - 3 minutes.

Put covered blender jar in the refrigerator and chill until cold, about 1 hour.

At serving time blend the mixture for a short while, until frothy. Fill 4 glasses 3/4 full with coffee mixture and top with 1 scoop of coffee ice cream. Serve immediately.

Don't forget to laugh a lot and enjoy yourselves!



From Denny: Speaking of birthdays, I wrote a new birthday poem this week. Do you find around your birthday that there is all this good energy in the air? Mine feels so positive and peaceful. This time of year I always try to write some poetry, sometimes more. Well, this week something unexpected that reminded me of the past popped into my world.

Whenever I get a new follower signed on from Blogger (look in the sidebar) I check to see if they have a blog and I make sure I follow theirs too. You never know when you might learn something new from someone else and I sure don't want to miss anything. That, and I like to support my friends!

A new follower, a talented poetess by the name of Am I Dead, Yet? (her blog is the same) is the new follower. She is also a friend on HubPages. So, I read through several of her posts and landed on one on her birthday. She was wishing herself a happy birthday because she knew the abusers in her life sure wouldn't.

Actually, this act is a great idea to boost your self-esteem when in a negative situation. If you have to reaffirm yourself to your self, then do it. It's the right call to keep your spark alive in this world and to keep from getting completely burned out. Little by little this woman is discovering the smallest things you can do to survive and later thrive out of this bad environment.

I was struck by how much our childhoods had been so similiar: terrible abuse. She is still struggling with reconciling the garbage. Well, I did my time in hell, figured it out, healed myself and pushed forward into the light of a much happier life.

So, I thought I'd write a poem for her - to laud her as a person and a talent. Poets often write each other poems. Artists often paint each other paintings. Writers often riff off each other in answer. Maybe in your writing you could do the same for someone in your life.

This poem is also useful for others who have been abused and are struggling with their identity and to free themselves from a negative environment. People who have not experienced abuse and are struggling to understand what is going on inside the heads and hearts of friends and loved ones who have been abused, this poem is informative. You really can heal yourself; you really can dare to dream for a better life!

You Are Worthy Every Day!



Photo by soylentgreen23 @ flickr


Happy Birthday to a quiet beautiful soul
Who knows how to shout in the darkness
Wade through surging waters and come out dry
Huddles by her heart’s warm fire to revive
Carefully stepping out onto a new path
While nobody’s looking…



Photo by Rampant Gian @ flickr


Happy Birthday to a touchingly beautiful soul
Who knows not to be forced silent any more
Pushing back the mean-spirited into the abyss
She just climbed out of today, never return, ever
Swimming upstream against bullying naysayers
While everybody’s looking…



Photo by left-hand @ flickr


Happy Birthday to a growing lovely soul
Who knows she is in transition away from abuse
Casting off ugly words, crafting instead beautiful words
Building a creative foundation of new life
Unwinding, putting to the fire the mean parent tape
While the abusers shrink back in new found fear…



Photo by John-Morgan @ flickr

Happy Birthday to you as you win each day
Walking farther away each step from where you were
Hugging close the dream unfolding into new reality
Living the Love each new moment you create
The shackles of your mind unlock and fall down
While the world embraces one willing to be loved and love…



Photo by mark sebastian @ flickr


Happy Birthday to a sensitive poetess
Who can employ the past to be her servant
Swaying and dancing with exquisite words
Protecting her new path as fearsome weapons
To stun and confuse fools who no longer can stop her rise
Creation unveils “I am,” traveling moment to moment into infinite Beauty...



Denny Lyon
Copyright 27 July 2009
All Rights Reserved

For more information about how I experienced abuse and figured out how to heal from it - as well as people's reactions to the poem, go here on HubPages: Push Abuse Out of Your Life and Out of Your Head

Coffee Photo by once and future @ flickr



Photo by 1happysnapper Hugs to All @ flickr

Thanks for visiting, everyone! Have a great weekend and have some fun!

birthday quotes, poetry, Birthday, Coffee, denny lyon, Espresso, Greeting card, Happy Birthday, HubPages, Ice cream, Types of chocolate, Baking and Confections, abuse, healing, PTSD, trauma, funny birthday quotes, humor, flickr, beautiful photos


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Falling in love again: A poem about opening yourself up to love




Falling in love again: A poem about opening yourself up to love

by alekhouse @ HubPages

From Denny:

Since yesterday was my birthday I thought I'd mellow out on the early AM posting today... :)

Here's the comment I left on her page - What a beautiful piece, loved it! And such good encouragement to others to dare, one more time, in spite of feeling burned out emotionally, to love once again, discovering they can now rest in the loving. Thank you for the word treat! Blogging this on over to my poetry blog for everyone else to enjoy too! Thank you for writing it.

Writing, Arts, culture, Literature, Love, Relationships, Society and Culture

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30 July 2009

Joke: Cat Goes to Heaven

TOKYO - JANUARY 20:  A cat plays at Nekorobi c...Tokoyo Cat Cafe where for $10 customers can play with their favorite cat - Image by Getty Images via Daylife



From Denny: Found this over at Jokes.net, enjoy!

Cat Goes to Heaven

One day a cat dies of natural causes and goes to heaven. There he meets the Lord Himself. The Lord says to the cat, "You lived a good life and if there is any way I can make your stay in Heaven more comfortable, please let Me know." The cat thinks for a moment and says, "Lord, all my life I have lived with a poor family and had to sleep on a hard wooden floor." The Lord stops the cat and says, "Say no more," and a wonderful fluffy pillow appears.

A few days later, six mice are killed in a tragic farming accident and go to heaven. Again, there is the Lord there to great them with the same offer. The mice answer, "All of our lives we have been chased. We have had to run from cats, dogs and even women with brooms. Running, running, running; we're tired of running. Do you think we could have roller skates so we don't have to run anymore?" The Lord says, "Say no more," and fits each mouse with beautiful new roller skates.

About a week later the Lord stops by to see the cat and finds him snoozing on the pillow. The Lord gently wakes the cat and asks him, "How are things since you got here?"

The cat stretches and yawns and replies, "It is wonderful here. Better than I could have ever expected. And those 'Meals On Wheels' you've been sending by are the best!"



Cat, Roller skates, Heaven, Family, Pets, Lord, jokes, Humor

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Video: Hurricane Katrina Super Volunteers 4 Years Later and How Bush Policies Have Jacked Up the Cost of Living There

From Denny:

Quality People Who Are REAL Christians

Hey! It's my birthday and I get to put up a story dear to my heart, all the class act volunteers who came into Louisiana and helped - and are still helping - rebuild people's lives. These folks are super heroes! They have given so much hope to thousands of people in emergency need who were so stressed out because they had meager or no resources to rebuild.

Most of all, these people like the ones profiled here, are REAL Christians. They are out there "in the highways and the byways" doing for others.

Pretend PHONY Christians

They aren't screaming about abortion and how a woman has no right to make her own moral decision. They aren't out there promoting character assassination because they can't get their own way and bully people into doing what they want. They aren't out there judging others because they don't go to the same church or believe in Jesus or whatever other hateful venom.

Latest Toxic Politics Courtesy of the Republicans

The latest so-called Christian vitriol is claiming President Obama is not a real American because they think his birth state of Hawaii is not really an American state. It just keeps getting meaner and meaner with the right wing's version of Christian politics. They also do not address him properly as The President. They have their little snide code words for him. Sure sounds like disrespect for the office, folks! You can't have it both ways: one minute demanding respect for a Republican President but you don't have to respect a Democratic President.

Call Goodness For What It Is and Quit Twisting the Truth

So, when I see quality people heralded as what they truly are, people of good character, then I like to promote them. Goodness no longer needs to be promoted as evil and evil as if it were good, something the Bible teaches by the way. That is some twisted thinking of our Republican politics in America for years now.

Republican Government Created Long-Term Harmful Effects After Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav

What a lot of the nation doesn't know, because it hasn't been the interest of the national media, is just how hard that storm hit the average person's wallet since the storm. Most Americans are frustrated and worried for the past year to eighteen months because of new expenses like fuel and food costs, watching their income ebb and flow because of it. Particular to Louisiana since 29 August 2005 is that the big business insurance companies have had a field day with us on jacking up our expenses beyond the ability to pay.

The argument is that you shouldn't live in such low-lying areas. True. Of course, you can kiss your oil to make the fuel for your car goodbye as the entire population moves away from the coasts. Kiss goodbye your natural gas to heat your homes, hot water and cook your food. Kiss goodbye your seafood too. Kiss goodbye your ports to move your goods across the country and overseas. That's the reality.

How It Developed into Such a Mess Because of Republican Policies

What's happened, because of Republican policies, is that the insurance companies were allowed carte blanche to do what they will. The result of Bush tax rebates has been that the state had to raise taxes, so did the local parishes (counties) and then the cities followed suit. Because of the Republicans yelling and screaming about how the Democrats would tax you, they ended up throwing the taxes to the local levels. Of course, not without a parting shot to the middle class across America. Under Bush, a Republican, I paid $7,000 more a year in federal taxes because of how he manipulated the tax code to force the middle class to give more again to replace what the wealthy were told they no longer had to give as their portion as being an American.

There went my savings account allocated for emergencies and retirement. What people who don't know that don't live in a hurricane zone (just like I don't know what it's like to live in an earthquake zone) is that it costs easily $500 to $2,000 dollars every time you evacuate for a hurricane or have to hunker down for 10 days by "sheltering in place" at home. Two or three hurricanes a year and you can see how families are devastated.

Insurance Companies Taken Off the Leash to Run Wild

Then the insurance companies went up on homeowners' and car insurances to the tune of the highest in the nation. Homeowners' insurance and new property taxes take up almost 40% of what was once my modest house note before Hurricane Katrina. Don't even get me started on the cumulative effects of Hurricane Gustav afterward... :)

Shed Your Expenses

Of course, when your expenses go up you start shedding anything you consider a luxury like a second car, vacations, dining out, hair and nail salons (do it yourself; it's easy), the car wash, lawn service, the dry cleaners and anything else you can do less of or do without entirely. Not really hard for us because I know how to do the same services. The ride was nice while it lasted not having to do everything all the time as eventually you get an inflamed shoulder nerve like I did from too much work.

Bush Rezones Flood Map for Democratic Voting Areas of Louisiana

Bush's parting shot at the Louisiana middle class was to pander to the insurance companies and redraw the flood map to now include people whose homes have NEVER flooded or come near to it in my area. What did that mean? Well, try to the tune of an additional $5,000 a year for mandated flood insurance from the mortgage company. Sure, we found cheaper.

We also should be carrying just a $1,000 deductible for homeowners' insurance. Because of the insurance lobbyists demanding everyone in state be mandated to carry homeowners' insurance whether you want it or not, we now get a really pretty choice: extremely high deductibles or normal deductibles with outrageous prices.

So, that translates as now a $17,000 deductible for homeowners' insurance instead of a $1,000. I'm lucky; most people I know in the same modest sized house are paying a $23,000 to $28,000 deductible. What this basically translates into is that you are self-insuring. Most hurricane damage does not cost this much so you will be out of pocket for it. All the while you are forced by the Republican policies to pay for insurance that will never cover a thing. Talk about a scam.

So, enough of the educational rant about how national politics really can impact our daily lives... it was meant as an illustration so the concrete thinkers out there can see how their bad decisions play out when they don't care about anything more than screaming their rhetoric. This is real life, folks!

Enjoy the Video About People Helping People Who Fall Through the Cracks

You will really enjoy this video. What I liked is hearing it from their own lips about what it is to trust God and go out and do what you know God is calling you to do. They put their money, their lives, their welfare, their everything on the line to start up a Disaster Recovery Service. They are entirely dependent upon donations. These are some incredibly cool people!

If you are able to contribute to this endeavor and give a donation to them that would be great. You never know when these people may come to your neighborhood and help you and yours in the future. They are such a class act!

Video: Hurricane Katrina Super Volunteers




Hawaii, Democrats, Hurricane Gustav, Republican, Barack Obama, United States, Hurricane Katrina, Insurance, Republican Party, Meteorology

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29 July 2009

Video: Cat in the Sack



From Denny: This short video gives new meaning to pet boredom. What kind of a cat walks around the house with a paper sack on his head for fun? Well, this guy does; talk about strange. Time to roll out the pet psychiatrist and pay the deductible, folks!

Just click on the title link to take you there as Yahoo Video only provides links. Also, look for the video by this title of Cat in the Sack on the menu page.

Who Me? I didn't do it! Cat photo by chefranden @ flickr

Cat, funny pets, funny video, humor

Cheeky Quote Day! 29 July 2009



From Denny: I've started developing a second quotes blog, Dennys Funny Quotes. The blog is set up with lists of quotes as opposed to how I do commentary on Beautiful Illustrated Quotations that are quotes used more as meditations.

Dennys Funny Quotes has a good start; rest assured I will be adding much more and creating new lists. This new blog is my own place to get a grin when life gets too serious - so I thought I'd share with you too. Of course, I couldn't resist the visual pun on my last name: Lyon = roaring with laughter lion logo. In my sometimes cracked mind that's just one more thing to find funny. Life is hard enough; laugh your way through it!

Here are some of the grins I'm finding these days for you to enjoy. Hey! It's Wednesday and it's Hump Day of the Work Week and we all need some giggle fuel to keep us going to TGIF. That's short for Thank God It's Friday to my readers outside America - can you tell I lived internationally and am accustomed to explaining word choices and customs to those who are not familiar? :) Whenever I travel people are kind enough to explain their culture to me and how they do things in their country so I always try to "pay it forward" and do the same for others.

Quotes

"Twitter was invented by men. A woman would have chosen a higher character limit." - Anonymous

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." - Bill Cosby

“If you must have motivation, think of your paycheck on Friday.” Noel Coward

“True love is like a pair of socks: you gotta have two and they've gotta match.” - Groucho Marx

“I don't have a photograph, but you can have my footprints. They're upstairs in my socks.” - Groucho Marx

The title card of Groucho's successful show Yo...Image via Wikipedia



Groucho Marx's title card for his show

“When you're up to your nose in sh*t, keep your mouth shut.” - Anonymous (Trying to keep the GP rating here, folks...)

"If it weren't for women, men would still be wearing last week's socks.” - Cynthia Nelms

(Amazing how many "socks" quotes there are out there. Do people really wear socks anymore?)

"Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy." - Steven Wright

“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.” Woody Allen

"Love lasteth as long as the money endureth." - William Caxton



"The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post." - George Bernard Shaw

"Love is like the measles; we all have to go through it." - Jerome K. Jerome

"True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked." - Erich Segal

"Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, 'Where have I gone wrong?' Then a voice says to me, 'This is going to take more than one night.'"

"'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence?" - (understandable) Anonymous

"I take my wife everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back." - Henny Youngman



Woody Allen in The Moose

"Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution yet." - Mae West

"In life, it's not who you know that's important, it's how your wife found out." - Joey Adams

"Cosmetics is a boon to every woman, but a girl's best friend is still a nearsighted man." - Yoko Ono


"Have a great Wednesday and keep laughing; Friday is so close by you can smell the weekend perfume!" - Denny Lyon


Groucho Marx, George Bernard Shaw, the social poets, English language, Humor, Quotation, Recreation, Yoko Ono, Woody Allen, Arts, Quotations, Noël Coward, Erich Segal, Cheeky Quote Day, Dennys Funny Quotes, Denny Lyon, Quotations, Humor, Relationships, Society and Culture

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28 July 2009

Video: Economic Worst Is Over?

From Denny: The public wallet has yet to rally as fast as these big businesses. Unemployment is almost double digits, the economy is on life support propped up by bail outs which translates as coming from the wallets of the middle class who lost their jobs those same big businesses chose to send overseas. It isn't really very smart when a business takes jobs away from the very people who turn around and purchase their products, now is it? That's basically what has happened.

There is a significant need to get serious about regulating Wall Street and other robber baron big businesses in America. Until then, the average middle class investor will not trust them with their money. Until regulation is done, overseas investors won't have a healthy long-term confidence either.

Realistically, expect a correction in these rosy statistics.

"The stock market recently rallied to its best level all year, which is making investors hope that this could be a signal that the worst of the economic downturn is over. Karen Brown reports."


Watch CBS Videos Online

United States, economy, news

Video: Hillary Taking Charge

From Denny: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may not have been elected President but she sure got the next best thing: America's Chief Diplomat. The reality is that her personality is actually best suited to the job. She isn't flashy yet is a tenacious bulldog who can hang in there for the long term until a project is concluded.

She also isn't shy about standing up for what is right. On Meet The Press this past weekend she definitely laid down the law with Iran in no uncertain terms; I loved it!

"Secretary Of State, Hillary Clinton is laying down the law, not just with Iran and North Korea, but here in the U.S. As for foreign policy, Clinton is leading the charge. Kimberly Dozier reports."


Watch CBS Videos Online

Hillary Clinton, United States State Department, Iran

27 July 2009

Video: Uninsured America

From Denny: We all have been watching a lot of news like this from time to time, how the health care industry is decimating the average person's wallet. Now with job loss across the board from well-off to working class, well, it's everyone's problem: how to pay the bills when you have had a catastrophic illness in the family.

Here's one fact I found out recently: Did you know that a bone marrow test now costs $300,000? That's just for the test, folks! How much more for the transplant and the anti-rejection drugs and critical care?

With the baby boomer generation getting older, so does the cancer risk go up. Basic health care reform is more necessary than ever in order to not empty people's savings accounts and so parents can leave some kind of inheritance for their children beyond a mountain of health care debt.

"Millions of Americans are uninsured and another 25 million are underinsured. They may think they're covered, but don't realize their policy limitations. Michelle Miller reports."


Watch CBS Videos Online

health care costs, bone marrow test, video

This Weeks Roundup of Sunday Funnies - Cambridge Cop Arrests Obama



From Denny: Aww, C'mon, we all knew the late night show folks couldn't leave well enough alone! They just had to take jabs at the President and racism and fuel the controversary.

The Tonight Show

Conan O'Brien:
Obama says the conversation went well [between he and Cambridge police officer Sgt. Jim Crowley], but there was an awkward moment when the cop arrested Obama.

Late Show

David Letterman:
If we had wanted a president who looked good in pants, we'd have elected Hillary. You know what I mean?

The Daily Show

Jon Stewart:
I wasn't at the press conference last night. I also don't have all the facts, but I think it's fair to say Obama handled that question -- oh, what's the word I'm looking for? Stupidly.

Late Show

David Letterman:
Sunday will be a big day for Sarah Palin. That's the day she plans to go on her porch and wave goodbye to Russia. Goodbye, Russia.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Jimmy Kimmel:
It's being held up in the Senate by a group of conservative-leaning democrats called Blue Dogs. I never heard of this - they're called blue because they're from blue states and dogs because they roll over for the health care lobby.

Real Time With Bill Maher

Bill Maher:
Obama spoke with officer Crowley on the phone. He said he was a good man, a good policeman, and they could find some common ground. Although he did find it strange that at the end of their conversation Crowley demanded to see his birth certificate.

Clown Photo by Tansan @ flickr

26 July 2009

Video: What Made Wedding Video a Web Hit?

From Denny: From reporter Mike Taibbi he explains why this wedding video has taken the world by storm. This is also a good video for people who are still scratching their heads trying to figure out what all the fuss is about on this one video.

Video: Wedding Party Recreates Blissful Boogie for Today Show

From Denny: They are at it again for national TV! One of the ushers is now in a cast since the original wedding video and was still in the dance.

Poem: Kiss Me Soft



From Denny: From my friend Mystic Dave who wrote this love poem and placed it on his blog... he is such a great guy, always helpful to new bloggers like himself! This poem is a delight to read and would make great lyrics for a song. The man probably should have been a lyricist! At any rate, he is definitely a modern poet who writes in a simple yet profound style. Enjoy the read on this beautiful day when reading about the love one person has for another is icing on the cake!

Kiss Me Soft

I love the sunlight in your hair,

love the light that shimmers there.

I see the love in your bright eyes,

and i feel better when i cry.

Soft to touch and softer to kiss,

it's in your arms i find true bliss.

Velvet skin so warm to hold,

i love you after i've grown old,

you feel so good, feel so right.

I can close my eyes and see your shape,

from your love i can't escape.

Following through my dreams,

now i know what loving means.

At times i know i bring you down,

make you cry, at least make you frown.

I lose my mind, don't know why,

but it hurts when i make you cry.

So i'll kiss you soft, hold you tight,

before long it will be all right.

Our love is stronger than steel,

feels so good it makes me reel.

So, baby, hold me, kiss me soft,

So our love will never be lost.

Mystic Dave



This work by mysticdave is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

To visit Mystic Dave's blog, go here.

25 July 2009

Viral Video: Wedding Entrance Dance

From Denny: Enjoy this fun version of how to do your wedding day! It's gone viral on the web. This will make your day for the happiness quotient!

24 July 2009

Libations Friday! 24 July 2009




Featured today: A Louisiana coffee recipe in the form of a coffee shake for this hot summer and an original dream sequence poem.

From Denny: Around here the famous Louisiana coffee company is known as "CC's" - short for Community Coffee. You can use your favorite coffee for this shake too. I'm a big fan of CC's New Orleans Blend with Chickory (which tamps down the acid level). Try this super simple easy recipe for your lazy weekend, so refreshing after a long work week!



CC's Coffee Banana Shake

Ingredients:

1 cup brewed and chilled Community Coffee's Louisiana Blend Coffee

2 medium-ripe bananas, sliced

1 pint good quality ice cream

3 tablespoons sugar

1 or 2 drops of almond flavoring

Directions:

Pour the coffee into a blender, then add the bananas, ice cream, sugar and almond flavoring. Cover and blend at high speed until thick and fluffy. Pour into chilled glasses. Serves 3 to 4 people.

On to the poetry section for this week...

From Denny: Those of you who read over at my quotes blog, Beautiful Illustrated Quotations, know I read some articles recently I found disturbing in their political vitriol. There is some seriously toxic stuff written without so much as a true fact to back up the rhetoric. It's pretty amazing how toxic and full of hate some people continue to choose to be, all in the name of identifying themselves as good Christians. Uh, do they read the same Bible I do? Last I checked, Jesus preached love and the digging out of our hearts all hatred for others.

Anyway, the recent event brought to mind a poem I wrote last year talking about toxic people. You know how it is; you get ready to go to sleep and go into a meditative state to process the day. Well, with that meditation I added a question prayer about how God views all this toxic squabbling on this planet. It wasn't long before I got an interesting answer. Of course, my spirit tends to be joyful and loves ironic humor and so, as God talks to us with our own private language, He framed the answer in my own personal code of humor. At first the dream was a bit disorienting and disconcerting as it felt like a smothering effect until I realized what was going on - and that I had the power to do something about what was happening.

When some other poet friends read this poem they thought it was a death and resurrection poem, something I never intended but hey! a cool extra double meaning works for me! What I intentionally wrote about - as this was written in the middle of the night upon getting this dream - was how life and toxic people throw dirt on us and its our job to dig our way out, knowing that we have helpers standing nearby, and, in the end, laugh at it all. Laughing off garbage seems to be a recurring theme for my writings.

I even created a little abstract drawing to go with the poem. The cheekbone area looks like a stairway. Dream sequences are such fun to draw! It's like "all bets are off" on the expected and you can insert the unexpected or unusual.



Flinging Dirt Drawing by Denny Lyon

Flinging Dirt

The muse guy smiled and beckoned
Directing my attention to a hill
Upon which I stood waiting

Suddenly huge mounds of dirt flew my way
Falling back surprised, fell down to the ground
The dirt filled the air, covering me quickly

Inside the dirt, perplexed, I blinked
The dirt was busy above, growing heavy
Groaned, stifled from the weight of it all

The dirt was not earthy and fresh or new
Smelling bad, stinking stale and worse it was
Deeper I sank, now a depression made a grave

Deeper into the earth I sank, the dirt mounded high
A shovel appeared, grabbed the smooth handle
Carved a space to sit and ponder dark, shovel propped

Why is this happening?
Why does this dirt smell so bad?
Why does no one notice this wrong?

Decided to fight, moving dirt behind
Determined, ascending faster than dirt above
Gratefully surfaced, peered up the narrow hole, light!

Climbed out onto the dirt, now highest mountain
The dirt throwers disappeared, evaporated, not known
Felt the sun on my face, warm, inviting, renewing

Looked around for trouble, looked long way down
At the bottom a long line of angels, tall, smiling
Approaching they all broke into cacophony applause

Who are you? I inquired
Why are you here? I continued
What is your purpose? I had to know

We are the Congratulations! Committee to greet you
We are here to assist your next decisions, eternally
Our purpose to walk by your side on your souls journey

I took it all in, delighted to meet them
They must have provided that shovel
Assuring my survival if only I would act

The dozen very tall men kindly bent down to my level
Dazzling smiles all, requesting how may they continue
I scratched my head, wiped the dirt off my face, shook my clothes

First things first, guys, I demanded, which way are the showers?
At that they all roared laughter, so loudly, it hurt my ears
Which way are the showers? They laughed and laughed more

One angel, raised his hand, laughing hard, sweeping right
My eyes looked up at his, tracking his directive to behold
Jesus Himself was laughing, waiting for me, clean towel in Hand


Denny Lyon
Copyright 12 July 2008
All Rights Reserved

Coffee Photo by once and future @ flickr

Have a great weekend, everyone; stay safe! Thanks for visiting!

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23 July 2009

Video: Obama's Prime Time News Conference Health Care Appeal

From Denny: President Obama makes his case for national health care reform of some kind, preferably by August, though it looks like that deadline is going to be pushed back to Labor Day in September or longer.

Americans continue to groan under the weight of a weak economy, now 20 million people have experienced home foreclosure, banks are still failing, health care costs are still high, and continued, though somewhat slowed, job loss. The problem is that it will take a good decade to develop new jobs to a sustainable level. Meanwhile, families are going broke trying to pay for health care that often is denied when it comes time for the insurance companies to pay out.

Did I say our economy is in a real mess because it went unattended for eight years by the previous Bush administration? :) Considering the freefall going on it's pretty amazing anyone with a rational mind would oppose health care of some kind.

The reality is that it is needed and we had better start with something basic for everyone so we can stop breaking the backs of the hospitals with the uninsured flooding the emergency rooms for standard sore throat, colds and flu care. Preventive care and education of how to handle basics at home is also required so we don't end up with a nation of hypochondriacs running to the doctor for every sniffle.

Amazing too that Congress thinks it's OK to waltz off on a holiday while the majority of America is groaning under the weight of rising costs from every angle: food, gas, local and state taxes as well as health care.


Barack Obama, Health care, Insurance, Health, Breaking News, Health Policy, Labor Day, United States




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Totally Ridiculous Comedy: Jacks Nightclub



Totally Ridiculous Comedy: Jacks Nightclub

By Denny Lyon @ HubPages

From Denny: "I like nonsense - it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope... and that enables you to laugh at all of life's realities." - Dr. Seuss

Wrote this recently as a raucous fast-paced ridiculous short story. It's really a silly very short story. Take a look and you will be amused!

Writing Exercise

Many times I will assign myself some kind of writing exercise to loosen up my mind to push it out of the usual day-to-day analytical mode of just plain dealing with life, you know, solving problems. You might need a break from everything you do, well, this is a great way to take a vacation without spending any money or leaving the house - how convenient! :)

Seriously though, writing like this is such a good idea to stretch your imagination, give you more ideas of what else you could write and most of all, no pressure of deadlines or expectations from yourself or others.

The idea is to forget most of what every writing teacher ever taught you. Sit down to the keyboard and start writing, literally, whatever silly thing comes to mind, the more ridiculous the better. Don't plan a thing; don't outline a plot, a theme, characters, nothing. It's strictly funny brain drivel!

The second idea to keep in mind as far as technique is to use a couple of "don'ts" like run-on sentences and cliches which usually are the kiss of death for a good write. But when it is a zany little romp like the short story here it actually is a fit!

Try your hand at this kind of writing exercise, have some fun, and then laugh your socks off at what comes out! The only rule? It has to be utterly and completely ridiculous!

Here's an excerpt from my world of the ridiculous:

"Jack jumped over the electric blue fox - who was hunting down the orange cat - who was preying upon the stupid cockroach that was having an identity crisis - and believed he was a popular dragonfly down at the local Irish pub - because he sang Irish songs everyone loved and wrote some damn good poetry.

The orange cat circled back to chase the identity crisis cockroach - who just knew he was really Irish in a former life - while the blue fox preened and bathed in the fast-paced lights of the nightclub – this fox enthusiastically embraced blue as the new fashion neutral - it was Jack who was looking for the weird alien orange cat that kept eluding him - who was stalking the brave Irish-singing cockroach determined to make it to Broadway.

The powerful-singing cockroach drowned out the elegant Irish pub-singing dragonfly - and soon the people customers complained about the strange odd noises blaring from the rising platform – it was two ants standing on a leaf singing opera - and more ants joined them from the audience singing 49 Bottles of Guinness Beer on the Wall and Get Down Tonight! – and soon the nightclub was jumping and bumping - and the people were dancing and squishing and splatting the friendly ants - who got the place hopping on a Saturday night in the first place."

For the rest of the story just click on the title link! Thanks for visiting!



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22 July 2009

Millions Watch Solar Eclipse: Awe and Fear



Featured: Solar eclipse highlights, NASA video of eclipse time-lapse photography, article on religious and astrological significance from India.

Updated 23 July 2009: Great NBC video about the eclipse and culture

Darkness falls in Asia during total eclipse, luring masses

From Denny: Here are a few excerpts from CNN about the huge event of today's solar eclipse. CNN even has a science explainer page with a moving diagram that explains a solar eclipse, worth the view, and link is at the bottom of this post.


Story highlights:

Event is longest of 21st century, astronomers predict it would last over 6 minutes
People in parts of Pacific Ocean, China and India able to get full view
Chinese city of Shanghai touted as one of the best spots to watch the eclipse



(CNN) -- The longest solar eclipse of the century cast a wide shadow for several minutes over Asia and the Pacific Ocean Wednesday, luring throngs of people outside to watch the spectacle.

Day turned into night, temperatures turned cooler in cities and villages teemed with amateur stargazers.

India

The total eclipse started in India on Wednesday morning and moved eastward across Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Vietnam, China and parts of the Pacific. Millions cast their eyes towards the heavens to catch a rare view of the sun's corona.

Total eclipses occur about twice a year as the moon passes between the Earth and the sun on the same plane as Earth's orbit. Wednesday's event lasted up to more than six minutes in some places.

In India, where an eclipse pits science against superstition, thousands took a dip in the Ganges River in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi to cleanse their souls, said Ajay Kumar Upadhyay, the district's most senior official.

China

It was sunny skies in Hong Kong for the eclipse, where students, parents and the elderly flooded a primary school to watch in the southern Chinese enclave.

The local astronomy society gave a presentation on how an eclipse happens and children climbed up ladders to look through two large telescopes on the school roof -- packed with skygazers -- to catch a glimpse of the moon moving across the sun.

Others looked through binoculars covered with solar filter paper or through a large rectangular block labeled "Large Solar Filter," where they could take pictures of the moon moving over the sun.

Astronomy enthusiast Louis Chung, 13, brought his teacher to the school to witness the eclipse.

"City folks wouldn't usually be able to see this. Nature is wonderful. It is awesome to know that nature can provide such spectacular sights," said Chung, a member of the Hong Kong Astronomical Society.

Hawaii, USA

Richard Binzel, an astronomer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the total eclipse will first be visible at sunrise in India and about four hours later just east of Hawaii. A partial eclipse will be visible as far south as northern Australia and as far north as Siberia, he said.

Cultural Traditions Surrounding Eclipse Events

In India, an eclipse is considered inauspicious. Women forbid pregnant daughters-in-law from going outside out of the belief that their children could be born with marks or birth defects. Some temples won't offer any prayers on the day of an eclipse -- such as the one next to the planetarium in Mumbai, which said it won't even light a stick of incense.

In Chinese tradition, there is a story about a heavenly dog eating the sun. As the story goes, people would make noise to scare off the dog and rescue the sun, said Bill Yeung, president of the Hong Kong Astronomical Society.

"In ancient China, we shared the same impression with our Indian friends that a solar eclipse was not a good thing," he told CNN.

Updated 23 July 2009 - Great NBC video about the eclipse and culture:



From Denny: NASA's view of an eclipse time-lapse photography



From Denny: Here is an interesting article from the Hindu religious perspective from a writer in India.

Lunar Eclipse Explainer page at CNN :

Religious Significance and Astrological Effects: "This Solar Eclipse has special significance as the Solar Eclipse happening on 22 July, 2009 is the first Solar Eclipse in this new Hindu year and also falls in the holy month of Sravan. Eclipse time is also considered very auspicious for spiritual practices. Hindu Temples except some Shiva Temples remain closed during the Eclipse and open only after proper rituals are performed to get rid of the ill effects of the Surya Grahan."

Written by Anamika S @ HubPages


Photo from China TV



22 July 2009, China, India, lunar eclipse, Eclipse, Pacific Ocean, Hong Kong, Astronomy, Solar eclipse, China and India, Hawaii

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Cheeky Quote Day! 22 July 2009



Funny Quotes about unemployment and jobs from the Quote Garden.

Clown Photo by Tanzan @ flickr

From Denny: When the world is in chaos, the economy is confused and your 401K is now a 201K and descending, you just have to laugh about it all! Over at the Quote Garden site, bless their industrious little souls, they actually had a category for unemployment and another one for jobs quotes. I managed to cull out the lighter ones, enjoy!

We pretend to work because they pretend to pay us. ~ Author Unknown

It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose your own. ~ President Harry S. Truman

Unemployment is capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden. ~ Orson Scott Card

The trouble with unemployment is that the minute you wake up in the morning you're on the job. ~ Slappy White

Cessation of work is not accompanied by cessation of expenses. ~ Cato the Elder

An "acceptable" level of unemployment means that the government economist to whom it is acceptable still has a job. ~ Author Unknown

Unemployment diminishes people. Leisure enlarges them. ~ Mason Cooley
(Hmmm… is this guy telling us that now is a great time to lose weight???)

We believe that if men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work. ~ President John F. Kennedy
(Will someone please send this quote to the Republicans?)

When I quit working, I lost all sense of identity in about fifteen minutes. ~ Paige Rense

What is the good of being a genius if you cannot use it as an excuse for being unemployed? ~ Gerald Barzan

The number one sign you have nothing to do at work: The 4th Division of Paperclips has overrun the Pushpin Infantry and General White-Out has called for a new skirmish. ~ Fred Barling, "Humorscope"

Find a job you like and you add five days to every week. ~ H. Jackson Browne

Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties. ~ Doug Larson

Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work. ~ Robert Orben

If a train station is where the train stops, what's a work station? ~ Author Unknown

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. ~ John G. Pollard

Many people quit looking for work when they find a job. ~ Author Unknown

A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.D., or Ph.D. Unfortunately, they don't have a J.O.B. ~ "Fats" Domino

Monday is a lame way to spend 1/7 of your life. ~ Author Unknown

Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats. ~ Howard Aiken

A Mission Statement is a dense slab of words that a large organization produces when it needs to establish that its workers are not just sitting around downloading Internet porn. ~ Dave Barry

The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play. ~ Arnold Toynbee

The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form. ~ Stanley J. Randall

Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so. ~ Douglas Adams

I have never liked working. To me a job is an invasion of privacy. ~ Danny McGoorty

Researchers at Harvard say that taking a power nap for an hour in the afternoon can totally refresh you. They say that by the time you wake up you'll feel so good, you'll be able to start looking for a new job. ~ Jay Leno

I've met a few people in my time who were enthusiastic about hard work. And it was just my luck that all of them happened to be men I was working for at the time. ~ Bill Gold

A baseball game is twice as much fun if you're seeing it on the company's time. ~ William C. Feather

Law of the Alibi: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire. ~ Author Unknown

An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field. ~ Niels Bohr

You're no good unless you are a good assistant; and if you are, you're too good to be an assistant. ~ Martin H. Fischer

People who work sitting down get paid more than people who work standing up. ~ Ogden Nash

Commuter - one who spends his life
In riding to and from his wife;
A man who shaves and takes a train,
And then rides back to shave again.
~ E.B. White, "The Commuter," Poems and Sketches, 1982

The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get into the office. ~ Robert Frost

The difference between a job and a career is the difference between forty and sixty hours a week. ~ Robert Frost

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. ~ C. Northcote Parkinson, 1958

A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer. ~ Dean Acheson
(Otherwise known as C.Y.A)

What is it that you like doing? If you don't like it, get out of it, because you'll be lousy at it. ~ Lee Iacocca

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important. ~ Bertrand Russell

What the world really needs is more love and less paper work. ~ Pearl Bailey

Retired is being twice tired, I've thought
First tired of working,
Then tired of not.
~ Richard Armour

Statistics indicate that, as a result of overwork, modern executives are dropping like flies on the nation's golf courses. ~ Ira Wallach

I think my idea of retirement might be to one day work a 40-hour week. ~ Vince McMahon

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day. ~ Robert Frost

The best time to start thinking about your retirement is before the boss does. ~ Author Unknown

Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they're looking for ideas. ~ Paula Poundstone

If you don't like your job you don't strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American way. ~ Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

(Let's see: half-assed pay = half-assed work or the old proverb: If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.)


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