will brady's ruminations
is a relatively new artists' colony
[if it's not too soon
to call it that
] nestled on the edge
of 460 acres of pristine forest and wetlands | This property is, itself, surrounded by a couple of thousand acres of protected, undeveloped state and privately held lands, all inside Connecticut's Eight Mile River Watershed
~ currently under review for a National Park Service Wild and Scenic Rivers
Only four year in existence, the organization has nevertheless managed to attract a high-calibre group of painters, sculptors, composers and writers to the retreat-like setting | Six applicants are accepted for up to three months, and have come for different parts of
the globe | Visiting artists' works from past retreats are either scattered around the grounds or archived within the half dozen or so buildings that make up the campus |
Today, the founders of the organization that manages this retreat held an invitational open house for town residents, artists, and "alumni" from earlier retreats | This was to provide an opportunity to hear about the place and of its vision for the future |
See the rest of the story and more images from the visit at Stuff About Art
Milan's cat's have once more issued heirs!
| No sooner
did he find someone to accept a family that another mother breeds a brood | One of the kits has been asked for | No for the others to find homes | they are "free" as long as the adopter agrees to have the kits neutered/spayed and get
the necessary shots | Oh, and the adopting household must live nearby | I really don't want to hear from folks in Key Biscayne, Hong Kong, Brighton or Capetown | Not for adoption of cats, at any rate | So if you know someone close to where I live, give a ring back through my e-mail [upper right corner of the page, folks
SOCIAL SECURITY | USA
during election years ...perhaps we are asking the wrong questions
Our Senators and Congresswomen do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it |
You see, Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a special plan for themselves | So, many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan.
In more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it | After all, it is a great plan |
For all practical purposes their plan works like this:
When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die | Except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments | For example, former Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000.00 [that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand Dollars
], with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives | This is calculated on an average life span for each of those two Dignitaries |
Younger Dignitaries who retire at an early age, will receive much more during the rest of their lives |
Their cost for this excellent plan is $0.00. NADA....ZILCH....
This little perk they voted for themselves is free to them | You and I pick up the tab for this plan
| The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds |
"OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK"
From our own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into, -every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer)- we can expect to get an average of $1,000 per month after retirement | Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000 monthly benefits for 68 years and one (1) month to equal Senator Bill Bradley's benefits!
Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made |
That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen | Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us ... then sit back and watch how fast they would fix it |
If enough people read this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve |
thanks to Steve for sending this missive |
More on bio-diesel
| from the Crawford, Texas Lone Star Iconoclast
, a story on Willie Nelson's use of biodiesel in his vehicles | Quote the bard, Mr, Nelson:
"We don't have to be out there fighting wars all over the world," he told THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. "We can give a young couple a way to make a living on a 200-or 300-acre farm."
You can read the whole column at Nathan Diebenow's Rubber Cement Index
BRAIN FOOD + NEWS BLIPS
An assortment of sites that get the neurons firing | Doesn't matter whether you agree with the authors or not, so long as they get you thinking | Mixed in are a couple of news blips |
11th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Constitutional Rights
| According to an Associated Press release:
Fears of a terrorist attack are not sufficient reason for authorities to search people at a protest, a federal appeals court has ruled, saying Sept. 11 "cannot be the day liberty perished."
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously Friday that protesters may not be required to pass through metal detectors when they gather next month for a rally against a U.S. training academy for Latin American soldiers.
Authorities began using the metal detectors at the annual School of the Americas protest after the 2001 terrorist attacks, but the court found that practice to be unconstitutional.
"We cannot simply suspend or restrict civil liberties until the War of Terror is over, because the War on Terror is unlikely ever to be truly over," Judge Gerald Tjoflat wrote for the three-member court. "Sept. 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country."
Steve Kubby on the Bill of Rights
| have to thank Liz Michaels
, iconoclastic columnist and 2006 Senate candidate from Arizona for hosting this essay on the USA Bill of Rights | Makes quickly clear that it wasn't the established order who supported fighting for freedom against distant rulers | Now that our rulers are here amongst us, the call is even more important |
Enjoy the Draft
| A new website with the presidential twins displaying camo fashion gear | I don't know about you, but my guess is that no matter who gets in the White House, there will be a Draft initiated | Dubya might do it quicker | disclosure: Alright, this is a satire site, not actual "news" as yet
No Faith in the White House
| American Prospect
outlines why, based on his deeds, not his words, Dubya is no Christian in practice | A quote:
...Sin is crucial to Christianity. To be born again, a seeker must painfully acknowledge his or her innate sinfulness, and then turn away from it completely. And though today Bush is sober, he does not live and govern like a man who “walks” with God, using the Bible as a moral compass for his decision making. ...His steadfast unwillingness to fess up to a single error betrays a strikingly un-Christian lack of attention to the importance of self-criticism, the pervasiveness of sin, and the centrality of humility, repentance, and redemption Social Justice and the Political Struggle
| Omar Swartz' academically slanted essay encourages Americans "...to reject the limitations of much mainstream political thought, which are ...subversive to the noble American ideals of freedom, justice, and equality for all
." He seeks to "...encourage Americans to demand fundamental changes in the interests of a just political and economic system.
His call is not limited to Amercians. "...Social justice ...embraces an equitable distribution of ...resources, including nutrition, shelter, health care, and education. These resources [are] public goods so the ultimate aim of the state is to ensure that all people enjoy access to these goods.
Don't be thrown off by lengthy discourse and higbrow vocabulary | Swartz raises some important questions if we are to acheive social justice |
Oil company land grab accelerated under Dubya
| Not that is is a surprise, the Cheney/ENRON secret energy policy stays on course as natural resources owned by you and me is given away so oil execs can wallow in profits before the economy goes bust | The Denver Post provides an update on permits given out
SO... WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I'd like to hear your comments
about the site | I know I have readers, but don't have a clue about your thoughts or reactions to what you have seen here |
So just amble on down to the COMMENTS section and drop a few words; or e-mail me at will.brady-AT-gmail.com [I figure you know the drill here but if you don't there is a direct e-mail box that'll open up on the right of this screen]
This is a personal site; I'm not asking for anything other than feedback | I'm pretty resilient | If you don't like what you find, don't be shy | I'm not gonna start a flame war or anything | Just want to know what people think | Though if you don't like something, give some reason why | Gives me some idea of what you find interesting or not |
Thanks ~ Will
"The world will soon start to run out of
conventionally produced, cheap oil"
Humans have consumed almost a trillion barrels of oil [that's 42 trillion gallons], or about half of the earth's total supply; ...a devastating global pertroleum crisis will begin not when we have pumped the last barrel out of the ground but when we reach the halfway point, because at that moment, for the first time in history, the line representing supply will fall through the line representing demand; ...we will probably pass that point within the current decade, if we haven't passed it already; the various well-established laws of economics are about to assert themselves, with disastrous repercussions for almost everything
"Civilization as we know it will come to an end some time in the century
unless we can find a way to live without fossil fuels"
The raw costs of oil continue to soar
| The troubling thing to all of this, as it appears from here, is that those in our nation's leadership positions continue to make decisions with their heads deep in the sand | We cannot afford to have planning be conducted as if things will always remain the same | I'm not even faulting anyone here | No pointing fingers, not much anyway |
But leadership should lead
not follow the same course of action | We've known about global warming for over 20 years | We've known at least that long that the supplies of underground petrol reserves are finite
as well as wasteful | Jim Kunsteler notes that, come the days of reconciling the gross disparity between lack of planning and acting as is change never happens, there will be a lot of folks asking "why didn't you do something
"? | And the leaders of the nation [and the world] shall be held accountable for their inactions | Yet the failure to pursue other directions for energy production speaks to a monumental lack of vision, not only on leadership's part, but on the citizenry as a whole | We don't need all the crap that gets foisted upon us as necessities | We don't need to drive 15 mpg vehicles to go pick up a video to watch | We need to plan for the future | Something quarterly profits watchers are woefully inept at doing | And we need to make ouurselves personally accountable to make things change |
Nothing unfriendly meant by the sign
and folks who've known me a long time also know the origins of "posted" signs on my property | More specifically, on the part of the land where the raw materials for the firewood piles are stored |
You see, some years back, there was a week where i thought the size of the wood pile was receding and I was right | Didn't learn of it until one day I came home and found almost half my stock pile was missing! | In anger, I began hauling it all across the road, 4 and 6 foot sections of rock maple, mind you [that's heavy, folks] and tossing them over the other side of an embankment | This put them closer to the house, but much farther away that where I was accustomed to using the mechanical splitter |
Anyway, in the midst of this, along comes this guy in an old, beat up pick up truck, smiles at me and starts backing up next to the wood that remains | "How ya doing
?" he beams | To which I responded, "Well I was fine until I came home and found half my wood pile had been ripped off
Well, this guy rears back ~ startled, begins talking real fast "....town road crew said I could... I only took one piece!!! ...as I was driving up last time I saw this BIG white pick-up truck driving away with a full load and I thought...
| I was so angry I wanted this guy out of might sight as soon as possible, and he was perceptive enough to want to leave |
See, I rarely get angry, people round here know that I'm a real laid back kind of guy | So when I do lose my temper, folks don't really know what to expect |
I was pissed to lose probably two cords of wood in practically no time | But I did what I had to afterwards | Ran up to Agway and bought all the posted signs they had on the rack | Made a couple of phone calls, haven't had a problem since |
I don't mind supporting fuel assistance efforts, just not when it comes directly from my supply without forenotice | But ever since that day, folks ask now and again about the ghost pick-up truck, hauling away that wood |
NEW ON MADBOOK
Virtual Reality Psychosis
is not a brand new phenomenon | But making use of VR technology in order to learn how and what other people experience is a application only newly considered | I talk about this and the importance of expanding the iea of multiculturalism beyond physically discernible indicators |
Under the category "Drug Wars
" [though I may change this] is a blurb about AdBusters
' discussion forum site "Prozac Spotlight
" | Ultimately, it's not about the famous Eli Lilly Corp's
cash crop, as much as it is about people dialoguing about mental illness, "treatment" and the difference between that and care of others | Visit the site, show AdBuster's it has a readership |
Not on Madbook, though perhaps it should be
is MindFreedom's list of news articles on the Bush Administration efforts to "screen" all Americans for "mental illness"
| While the whole scenario makes me think of the Sondheim play Anyone Can Whistle
, for some reason, the fact that it is being played out has much darker implications than when Lee Remick and Angela Lansbury performed this comic operetta on Broadway in 1964 |
Credit:  The "flying brain" was borrowed from MindFreedom.org, one of the planet's oldest continuously operating human rights coaltions combatting psychiatric terrorism |  Thanks to Jason King for making note of the Adbuster's website |
About Anyone Can Whistle "A surrealistic satire, Anyone Can Whistle proclaims the sanity of madness as well as the virtue of nonconformity. The mayoress, played by Angela Lansbury in the original production, is constantly escorted by four dancing chorus boys who provide plenty of glitter to cover up the lack of sincerity in her patronizing addresses to the townspeople | The link provided here gives you more detail |
Some Dark mental meanderings
 A preview of Alex Jones' American Dictator
proably won't help you decide who to vote for come November 2nd |
 Stu Savory's 18 October link-filled enrty about How W manipulates the US elections
process | Basically along the same subject line, eh? |
Don't bother to ask for Dubya's record on protection of Civil Rights
| So say six of the seven Commission members to the U S Commission on Civil Rights, who have refused to officially release a report completed for October 12th distribution |
The report is available on the Commission's website | That is, if you have cable modem or DSL [we don't where I live] | It's only available in pdf format, but at 181 pages, using dial up, it's a tall order getting it | I can't imagine trying it with an older computer |
The US Commission on Civil Rights website
has the complete draft report, Redefining Rights in America
, The Bush Administration's Record, 2001-2004 | That is, if some other branch of government
doesn't block it |
The drafters of the report have publically stated the following:
Washington, DC - In an assessment of the civil rights record of the Bush administration, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a draft report that concludes the administration has failed to exhibit leadership or define a clear focus, relegating civil rights to a low priority.
The report, Redefining Rights in America-The Civil Rights Record of the George W. Bush Administration, 2001-2004, analyzes scores of policy reports, scholarly papers, briefs and executive orders to chart the administration's responses to a broad spectrum of civil rights issues. Similar criteria have guided evaluations of previous administrations, including the civil rights review on former President Clinton released in 2000.
Some highlights of the report include:
Voting Rights: The Bush administration did not provide leadership to ensure timely passage and swift implementation of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. As a result, Congress did not appropriate funds for election reform until almost two years into the administration.
Equal Educational Opportunity: The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) does not sufficiently address unequal education, a major barrier to closing the achievement gap between minority and white students.
Affirmative Action: Instead of promoting affirmative action in federal contracting and education, the administration promotes "race neutral alternatives," in many instances not applicable and in others not overly effective at maintaining diversity.
Environmental Justice: EPA has taken few actions to ensure disparate impact of minority communities to environmental contamination.
Racial Profiling: The administration responded to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by instituting regulations that facilitate profiling rather than prevent it. Immigrants and visitors from Arab and Middle Eastern countries were subjected to increased scrutiny, including interviews, registration, and in some cases removal.
DIRECTIONS FOR PUBLIC AWARENESS
The text may be blurred on your screen | To correct this, click on the essay/layout itself to see the image full-sized | If you use Internet Explorer, the image may be farther down on this page |
Lowell Weicker former senator of and governor from Connecticut, issued a challenge to the polity [that's you, the general public] that warrants due consideration before, during and after this coming election season | It was written to citizens of Connecticut, but it applies to any and every one who votes, anywhere, at any time |
And let's not forget one other important element | As citizens, our responsibilities in the democratic process do not end once we've voted our guy or gal into office | That's the easy part | Each of us have a responsibility, a social obligation, actually, to: keep abreast of the comings and goings of government; to keep our representatives aware of, and informed about our positions; and to let it go it it if there are times when those legislators look out for the greater good of society instead of what might be popular amongst the pundits, hacks and spin meisters on the airwaves and in the media |
for the technically curious: I've dressed it up with some typographic flourishes |This was set in Adobe Pagemaker; then I hit "print screen" and played around with it a little more in Adobe Photoshop |