Thursday, December 31, 2009

First Night 2009

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I will be drumming tonight at Vets Memorial (Downtown Columbus) at an event called First Night in a group called MDOFE. Come drum and dance the new year in at First Night!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Project Censored

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The 25 most censored news stories from 2009 has been posted. Here is the link.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ohio State Government On The Verge Of Collapse

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This from Jim Siegel from The Columbus Dispatch

It took Ohio lawmakers more than two months of grueling debate to figure out how to deal with an $851 million budget shortfall.

Some wonder what will happen in 18 months, when the deficit is a few billion dollars or more.

The latest budget debate "shows how divergent the various views are in how we should address the problems of the state," said Joel Potts, executive director of the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors' Association.

Balanced against a desire to keep taxes low is the reality that many Ohioans are in crisis and need help, while social services are being slashed, he said.

"If we're in a crisis, we need to start acting like we're in a crisis. I'm not so sure we're there," Potts said.

Gov. Ted Strickland and state lawmakers recently solved the short-term budget problem, but as Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, told his colleagues while doing his best Bachman-Turner Overdrive impression: "B-b-baby, you ain't seen nothin' yet."

Estimates of the state's structural deficit for the 2012-13 budget range from $4 billion to $9 billion.

"Anybody who says they know what the 2012 and '13 number is, is just wrong at some level," said David Ellis, the assistant state budget director. "There are many things that are yet to be identified."

Whatever the correct number, it's big.

The fiscal-year 2011 budget, which begins July 1, is balanced with about $3.5 billion in one-time state and federal funding. That includes $426 million from the latest budget fix, which delayed a 4.2 percent income-tax cut until Jan. 1, 2011.

"Mature people on both sides of the aisle have got to get serious," Seitz said. "We can't come waltzing in the day before a budget is passed and say: 'I know, let's cut state government from 24 agencies to 10 tomorrow.' "

Under the state constitution, Ohio's budget must be balanced at the end of each year, and dealing with a shortfall largely boils down to reducing spending or increasing revenue.

Ohio leaders are working without a safety net. The state's rainy-day fund was depleted to fill a budget hole last year, and lawmakers waived the requirement that the budget end the fiscal year on June 30 with at least a half-percent cushion.

So far, the governor, House speaker and Senate president have not said specifically what they will do to address the situation.

The only provision added to the budget fix that even remotely addressed long-term spending was construction-law changes for three university projects, added at the urging of Senate Republicans.

Supporters expect that it will save up to 30 percent on building costs. But even if fully implemented, Ellis said, it will save little to nothing in general tax spending because it's likely that much of the savings would just be spent on additional projects.

Sen. Timothy J. Grendell, R-Chesterland, called the construction pilot program "a thimble to hold back a tsunami."

"There were many suggestions of how to deal with this, but unfortunately, we weren't able to get there today," he said prior to passage of the budget fix this month.

Grendell and House Republicans have pushed for a plan that would consolidate state government from 24 agencies to 11. They say it could save $1 billion a year and eliminate 11,000 government workers.

But a recent analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Service Commission did not estimate the savings, and it projected cost increases in the short term. Ellis doubts much would be saved because 85 percent of state spending goes directly to local services, including schools.

"Can you maybe save a few positions here and there? Sure, but most of the money goes out the door to support services to Ohioans," he said.

Other cost-saving ideas include sentencing changes designed to reduce Ohio's prison population, but the tough-on-crime factions in both parties have struggled to find an agreement. Republicans also have pushed for studies of more privatization of government services and a four-day workweek, along with performance audits to study agencies' efficiency.

Strickland has talked about the possibility of selling state assets but is most hopeful that he can help persuade federal lawmakers to approve another round of stimulus funding.

"But that's not all I'm doing," he said. "We are not passive about looking forward. We are committed to scrutinizing everything we think we can do."

Strickland said he is willing to engage in a serious discussion with Republicans about future budgets.

"But (they say) 'We're going to reorganize government and downsize 11,000 employees' without being specific as to how they're going to do that, what functions will be eliminated and how they're going to continue to carry out the essential services that people expect from government."

Dispatch Senior Editor Joe Hallett contributed to this story.

There's no safety net. The state's rainy-day fund was used to fill a budget hole last year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

HOME The Making Of Easter Island

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I got a chance to watch HOME on DVD this weekend. Here is a snippet about Easter Island

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Church Of Apathy

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I found this site called church of

Look Out Disneyland, Here Comes Realityland

Kids love to believe in fairy tales. Ask somebody under the age of eight what they want to be when they grow up, and they’ll likely say Fairy princess, wizard, mermaid, baseball player, doctor, or something else lying somewhere on the fringe of the reality scale between unlikely and completely impossible.

This is because kids are stupid.

Intelligence is accumulated through real life experience, so naturally young people don’t have much. Children depend on their parents to protect and shape their impressionable minds for the better during their formative years, yet instead of teaching them how the world really works, we allow their heads to be crammed full of fantasy and unbridled, unrealistic optimism for a future that could only exist in the mushroom induced delirium of the caged Indonesian teenager who received a second helping of fish head soup twenty years ago on the other side of the planet for hallucinating it in the first place, and so we set them up for a rude, traumatic awakening in their future.

Like a friend who would leave a drunken buddy to the mercy of a brothel full of card sharps and whores, we allow such abuse of our children, and we give the Disney Corporation a pretty steady flow of pretty pennies to dole it out. Why? because stupid kids whose stupid adult parents let them be brainwashed by Mickey Mouse grow up to be stupid adults who have stupid kids their own lack of accumulated intelligence prevents them from providing the resources they would need to escape the borders of dum-dumville.

There will be no such nonsense in Realityland, the non-amusement park I intend to build someday. In Realityland there won't be any teenagers dolled up as Snow White or Prince Charming making ten dollars an hour to walk around taking pictures and promoting false hopes. Instead, balding, irritable men and flabby, middle-aged women with practical haircuts dressed in sweatpants will roam the grounds introducing themselves to the children as their future spouses, or reasonable facsimiles thereof.

3-D theatrical encounters featuring Michael Jackson, Indiana Jones or the Little Mermaid will not be offered in Realityland – rather, two 90 minute long training seminars on the subjects of sexual harassment and corporate proprietary laws will be mandatory for all children entering the park to simulate the mind-numbing boredom of their future workplace. In addition, all youngsters participating in the motor car attraction stipulated on all tickets as a pre-requisite to exiting the park will be started simultaneously in bunches of ten to pre-create the drudgery of the thousands of daily commutes they’ll eventually make on our nation’s smoggy, congested highways.

Also, replacing Disneyland’s best known and least accurately representative attraction, the “It’s a Small World” gondola ride, Realityland will feature it’s own more realistic equivalent, “It’s a Sad World”, where children will be exposed to recreations of some of the world’s most miserable places during a gut-wrenchingly slow 30 minute boat tour showcasing starving, disease ridden orphans in Africa, browbeaten sweatshop workers in Southern Asia, the crime and drug infested ghettos of Rio, and the sheer hell of present day Baghdad, all set to a soundtrack that apprises them of the culpability of their government’s foreign policy and the complicity of their own glutinous lifestyles.

As far as merchandise is concerned, t-shirts, snow globes, personalized license plates and other inane tchotchkes will not be available in Realityland. Instead, rubber bracelets imprinted with the phrase, “Don’t Get Your Hopes Up” will be handed out free of charge to all patrons as they exit as lifelong reminders not to expect much from their sure to be dreary, generic existences.

Of course, I can’t say your day at Realityland will be cheap, but the investment in your kid’s future will be well worth it, and I can virtually guarantee they’ll never beg you to come back.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mold Making For PMC

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Occasionally I make something that takes so long to cut out that I don't want to do it again for awhile. That is when it is a good idea to take the piece and make a mold from it. This is a two part mold making compound that is mixed together and formed around the piece. Next we will be putting PMC into the mold and carefully extracting the original piece. Then we will fire on a stove burner or torch; turning the (PMC) clay into Fine Silver. The second piece will shrink slightly. This is truly a modern day equivalent to alchemy!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Doomer Art

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One of our moderators on LATOC forum is an artist. Her name is Pat Turner. This graphite drawing is from a series called Messages From The End.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bank Eated Friday

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Every Friday on LATOC there is a discussion about how many banks will be seized by FDIC. We call every Friday Bank Eated Friday! I couldn't pass up this wonderful ad. Just in time for Christmas...or in Ben's case Hanuka. This morning I heard that 7 banks closed yesterday. When this happens the FDIC agents arrive at 5:00pm and by Monday the bank is eated by another bank

Friday, December 18, 2009

Use Cash

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There is a movement to put the banks in their place. It is called Use Cash.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Urban Thinkers Part One

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This is part one of a 3 part talk about urban thinkers by James Howard Kunstler. It was suggested on the forum (Clusterfuck Nation) that someone take Jim's weekly podcast to a whole new level by making it into a YouTube. Great idea to have a slideshow about the places and people Jim talks about. Unfortunately transforming all the podcasts would be cumbersome. Equivalent in my opinion to a semester credit in college for an architecture student for instance.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Phoenix Recycling

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On State Route 37 near Thurston Ohio is this abandoned Recycling Building. You have to wonder what happened that would warrant losing such a place. Perhaps it was no longer cost effective for folks to recycle. Perhaps like the mythical Phoenix, recycling will rise again.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


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Our kitty is cold! She does not want to go outside. Nesta spent most of the afternoon curled up in a blanket.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Share The Road

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Today I see these new signs. I don't know how much they cost. They are every 500 ft. or so. I am already supposed to share the road. Where is stick man??? Obviously we have way too much money to spend here in Clintonville! My first response to this sign is that if I am looking at the pretty new sign I am probably already running over a biker. But...they didn't consult me on how to spend the city's money.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Twilight Of An Age

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I follow John Michael Greer's weekly blog The Arch Druid Report. Here he is in a YouTube

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Peak Oil Shrink

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I got to say that many of us have a difficult time after we come to an understanding about the reality of peak oil. For those of us who need a shrink from time to time, it is refreshing to know that there is a blog about Peak Oil Blues composed of psychoanalysts and psychologists who are totally knowledgeable about this reality. Check out Kathy McMahons blog.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dubai Collapse In Pictures

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This morning on the peak oil site I see a link to the collapse of Dubai through a photo journal from The New York Times.
A picture is worth a thousand words they a slide show must be worth at least a million! I hope you readers don't have your pension caught up in this mess.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pet Food Politics

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I am reading Marion Nestle's book about the Pet Food industry. The 2007 Menu pet food recall was the largest FOOD recall in history. She believes as I do that it signals a larger and deeper problem in our whole food safety system.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Story Of Cap And Trade

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From the maker of The Story Of Stuff

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Motorized Bar Stool

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This story just gets better and better.

MARCH 31–In a law enforcement first, Ohio cops this month arrested a man for drunk driving on a motorized bar stool. That’s right, a motorized bar stool, which can be seen below in a police evidence photo. According to cops, Kile Wygle, 28, crashed his bar stool near his Newark home earlier this month and called 911 due to his injuries. When an officer arrived and asked Wygle what happened, he answered, “I wrecked my bar stool.”

According to a Newark Police Division report, a copy of which you’ll find here, Wygle’s homemade ride is powered by a Briggs & Stratton lawnmower engine. Wygle noted that the bar stool could hit nearly 40 miles per hour, but that he was only going 20 when he wiped out late in the afternoon on March 4 (a witness told police that he spotted someone driving a “strange motorized machine” before the crash).

A plastered Wygle, who failed a series of field sobriety tests, was charged with DUI and driving with a suspended license, both misdemeanors. His bar stool was not impounded. (Read more.)

B.S. Report–I don’t understand–if you’re not allowed to drink on a bar stool, where can you drink these days? So the guy admits to having a beer or two (or fifteen!), he’s still sitting on the sacredly protected throne of a drunk–his very own bar stool.

You mean you lose the legal protection of a bar stool simply because it’s buzzing around city streets between 20-40 miles-per-hour? Watch yourself you drunkards–you can now be 86′d from your own bar stool! What a world

So this morning 9 months later they are auctioning this thing off for back child support. I am guessing that this is not the end of this story

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's Bad You Know

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One of my all time favorites. It pretty much sums up everything these days.