Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The camera’s transformative ability to elevate that one, quickly forgotten second in a strangers life beyond the un-noted common and create a meaningful, singular event with such a powerful story to tell of it constantly amazes me. One snap of the shutter and that instant is captured and static forever…but as static and unchanging as that moment may now be, the story it tells each viewer is as unique and various as they are themselves. And we take these miraculous little machines for granted – everybody has one. We're so enriched by this little commonplace technology, aren't we?

I ran across a story this morning about photographer Vivian Maier and the treasure trove of work she left behind after her death. She worked as a nanny, and in her free time would take her camera out and wander the city taking photo after photo. Amazingly she never saw many of those moments again - much of her work is still undeveloped film, as though she was moving so quickly from one moment to the next in others lives she never had time to savor and reflect upon the moments of her own. It’s a strange contrast between the artist herself and her own art, I thought. The work that has been recovered and viewed has been impressive enough to merit several exhibitions. I've included a link to the video I saw below.

The last shot, the little boy with his nose pressed against the window-glass between himself and the world outside…fearless but curious and a bit puzzled by what he sees looking back at him, made me immediately think of my own son and all his firsts, about how fiercely I want to preserve that innocence and wonder in him forever, just as Vivian did. I looked into her boys eyes while the news informed me of the latest school shooting, and bowed my head and cried. I don't want mine touched by the ugliness some of us carry, for reasons that are beyond me. I don’t want to see his sweetness turned to ash.

“Why, mama?”

I don’t know, baby. I just know I’m releasing you to a beautiful, savage world of infinite possibility, and I can’t keep you safe behind the glass much longer. Somehow I have to equip you to survive the horrors life brings long enough to appreciate the wonders it brings as well. With Gods help, I will do my best to make you strong and keep your heart open.

Thank you for your gifts Vivian Maier, and my prayers and heart go out to all those who have suffered loss and pain in the past weeks.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Cupcake? Maybe it's the pink/cream thing...?

I finished her last week using a bit of salvage I picked up from Leslie, and some game pieces I've been using to spell a word of some sort at my desk - I'm going to miss those four pieces. I'm bloody awful at Scrabble - I need all the help I can get. :)

I'm pretty pleased with my latest girl, but a friend of mine absolutely lost her lunch at the sight of her, lol. Her exact comment was "NOTHING like the beauty you create good GOD' *violent shudder*", followed by horrified remorse when she realized I actually WAS the one responsible for this little monstrosity. I start laughing every time I think about it. Ah well, can't please everyone, can you? I'll just have to settle for me, cuz I LIKE her!

I do fail to see the problem, tho. :) Wish I could come up with a name for her, but so far I've got nuthin'. Cupcake it will be, for the time being...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Peace, brave men and women of Ft. Hood, TX

We will not forget you, or the hurts of those you left behind.

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.
Crowned with lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, but the best is lost.

The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave.
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I swear I'm not trying to turn this into a political blog, but HONESTLY. I swear some of these people are just too stupid to talk. I spend a fair bit of time on cspan watching these folks in action, and researching info on the net because what is happening now politically is very important to me. Big stuff going on. And, I happen to have the time available to do that. Plus, I'm conscious - which is a fact some politicians seem to be betting against. For instance, this one:

I could not BELIEVE this guy had the stones to actually say this to his own constituents at his town meeting. Does he really think they're so dis-interested that they're not paying any attention at all?

(edit: I found a much better vid of the same gentleman, but it does look more like a political tool to me - an accurate tool, but a tool nonetheless. It is here:

I've never heard of this guy, but I think keeping track of him from here on out is pointless. But then again, who knows. Maybe he's our next Barney Frank, too (yayyyyy). Or Waxman. Who btw looks a lot like a vampire bat when the sunlight hits him just right:

But I digress.

I have listened to several proponents of this plan on tv saying things like 'we did NOT rush this bill, we have been debating this subject for the last two years' , or in one case 'the last 59 years'. Really? You have?

Following that line of logic - if you've been working on this for the last two years, and this gem was the cumulative result - why are we still paying you?

Let's imagine we're the CEO's of a business, and we asked our management to outline o lets say a health care plan, because we really, really need one. It takes them two years - or alternatively it takes them until a few weeks before the deadline to really get started on it. It happens, folks. But when they show up at the last meeting, the plan they present blows our business all to hell. And several smaller ones in the neighborhood. It would put us another $750,000,000.00 dollars into the red fairly quickly, and about a(nother) trillion down the road. Give or take, but who's counting. And worst of all, it doesn't address several systemic problems with our current plan.

But it's just the very, very best of the best of the best they could do.

Do we, as CEO's of our company, give them a pat on the back and say O Good WORK boys your efforts are WELL worth what we pay you!

Or do we, as CEO's of our company, begin thinking we might need some new talent?

Are you sure that's the argument you want to make in your defense?

Really, lol?

Monday, July 13, 2009

words of wisdom

'I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the
government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.'
Thomas Jefferson

'My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.'
Thomas Jefferson

Friday, June 26, 2009

And true to form

Waxman added another 300 pages to the bill, at 3AM this morning. Shocking. Just as there were another 300 pages added AFTER being submitted and read by the various commissions earlier this week.

It's at about 1500 pages now. I *believe* that means that almost no-one who has seen this bill, or is about to vote on this bill, has actually read the bill. Again.

I read somewhere fairly recently the bill responsible for putting highways and byways down, across our entire country, was only 9 pages long. Interesting, no?

Here's an excerpt from Bruce Josten's letter to the House
(Executive Vice President Government Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

Despite opposition to this specific bill as currently crafted, the Chamber strongly supports comprehensive legislation to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases while providing for a strong American economy. The Chamber also supports negotiation of a global accord to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases as the best approach to tackling this global issue. The Chamber applauds the Obama administration for working toward a new international agreement.

The Chamber believes that domestic legislation should:

•Balance environmental objectives with the need for economic growth and job creation;
•Promote technology development and deployment;
•Reduce barriers to the development of climate-friendly energy sources;
•Promote energy efficiency; and
•Implement appropriate steps to address the international nature of global emissions.

(ok - I'm all for that)

H.R. 2454 would not achieve these goals. Specifically, the Chamber believes H.R. 2454 must be modified to take into account several important considerations:

Carbon-based fuels are and will remain for decades to come the backbone of the U.S. energy system. H.R. 2454 must do a better job of ensuring that cost effective and reliable renewable and alternative energy sources are developed and deployed to smooth a transition to a low-carbon energy future. The Chamber recommends adding a provision that would streamline the siting and permitting process that would help eliminate the “green tape” that now delays energy projects, even renewable ones.

International cooperation remains a major stumbling block to addressing global climate change. H.R. 2454 must be conditional on an international treaty that sets binding commitments for all major emitters - from both the developed and developing world - while ensuring that every nation retains the flexibility to attain those commitments however it chooses. Unconditional domestic legislation without an international agreement will remove any leverage U.S. negotiators have in international climate change negotiations, and would put domestic industries at a competitive disadvantage.

It is expected that the Ways and Means Committee manager’s amendment to H.R. 2454 will include tariffs on carbon-intensive imports. Such provisions should be rejected because they would likely be deemed to violate U.S. obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization and could spark a trade war...

•Dangerous provisions in H.R. 2454 that could lead to widespread lawsuit abuse should be removed or mitigated...

This legislation must equitably allocate credits to the refinery sector. Oil refineries bear a compliance obligation under H.R. 2454 for more than 40 percent of covered CO2 emissions - refiners’ own emissions plus the emissions generated when the fuels they refined are eventually burned by consumers - yet would receive only 2.25 percent of the allocations...

The renewable electricity standard (RES), along with many of the other mandates in the bill, will add costs and distort the workings of the carbon market the bill would establish. If the objective is to allow the market to work to find the lowest cost solutions, picking technology winners and losers like this bill does is not the way to go about it...

•The bill should include nuclear energy as an "other qualifying energy resource" in the RES. There is no good reason for keeping nuclear energy, an emissions-free energy source, out of the RES...

H.R. 2454 must be revised to fully and permanently protect America’s 27 million small businesses from being forced to comply with costly, burdensome New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gases...

•The legislation must fully and permanently preempt state and regional greenhouse gas programs. Delaying these programs for five years accomplishes very little...

•This bill will clearly have a cost, and while free allocations may keep some prices down, others will skyrocket. A May 2009 study released by the National Black Chamber of Commerce estimates annual drops in gross domestic product (GDP) of $170 billion in 2015, $350 billion in 2030, and $730 billion in 2050. More troubling is the effect on jobs, as the study concludes that 2.3 million to 3 million net jobs will be lost - a figure that accounts for all the "green" jobs created. Provisions should therefore be included in H.R. 2454 to safeguard against devastating economic losses...

•The derivatives provisions in H.R. 2454, which as written would hinder the ability of companies to use over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives to manage risks associated with day-to-day operations, should be removed...

•Remove Section 356 of Subtitle E which would impose a user fee on transactions cleared through derivatives clearing organizations (DCO). This transaction tax would adversely impact liquidity on U.S. futures exchanges, because it would fall disproportionately upon the market makers who provide liquidity to the exchanges through the frequency and speed of their transactions...

•Remove provisions in H.R. 2454 applying the Davis-Bacon Act, a law that in no way furthers the United States’ ability to reduce climate emissions, and would result in diminished competition, shutting out many qualified minority, small, and non-union businesses from the entire market...

...The Chamber remains committed to working with Congress to achieve meaningful climate change legislation that provides a stable and growing economy, and promotes the development of needed new sources of energy and technologies across a range of industries.

Contact your Reps here:http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Talking Out Loud

Senators Murray and Cantwell,

At a cost of an estimated $10 trillion dollars by 2035, the Waxman-Markey Bill will impact every taxpayer in higher utility bills, the cost of food and clothing, rising gas costs, and loss of employment. For most of us the cost of living is a very real expense, and makes a very real impact on our household budgets. We, by the way, are forced to cope within those budgets. They are finite and we cannot ‘invent’ a new source of income to magically balance them. This is the biggest tax increase I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, and the fact that it comes with such incredible job loss is appalling. Every industry in America depends on energy, and every one of those higher costs will be passed on to the consumer. We know that. Simply denying that the laws of economics exist is not a real argument, and the CBO’s ‘snapshot’ of only the early years of the costs of this bill is really just a half-truth – or a lie - in support of the bill, isn’t it. The really big hit comes down the road during years the recent assessment by the CBO doesn’t bother to recognize , and during years I might add that many more of us will be retired and even less able to afford it.

On page 781 of this bill, taxpayers are ‘volunteered’ to finance those job losses with unemployment benefits, and then again to finance schooling in governmentally specified 'green jobs'. Estimates on those job losses are up to 1,450,000 in some reports and this is in addition to the hardship we’ll already be suffering. What else is in this bill, that by Friday will have more last minute amendments added to its 1000+ pages that no one reads? More RAT boards? More laws circumvented or put into place without our knowledge – or our vote? More of our money dedicated to support more special interest groups and campaign contributors? Anybody bother to read it this time, or do you think we just don’t care? Or is it that we just don’t count? I care. And I can count. And I expect you to do the same thing.

Transparency ‘after it’s been spent’, ‘eventually’, or whenever it’s more expedient and or is just too late is not transparency. It’s duplicity. I know the difference, and I’m not alone in that.

Any positive impact is more than offset by the tremendous costs that will again fall on American taxpayers to absorb. The cost of converting to these ‘green energy’ sources is enormous – Congress should devote their energies to cutting down THOSE costs, and stop assuming we’d just love to pay for another half-baked plan that essentially takes more money away from our families, kneecaps American business and industry, and effectively passes every one of those costs right back to me.

All of the above will have a significant impact on our GDP – it’s unavoidable. While We the People (or ‘taxpayers’, as we’re so often referred to) attempt to compensate for rising costs by using less and less energy and buying fewer and fewer products – production of those same products will inevitably decline. The cost of providing those supplies will increase, because there has not been sufficient effort put into making green energy cost effective, or even accessing our own fuel instead of importing it. It’s put off over and over and over again. Meanwhile, We the People continue to subsidize other countries that use the money for - what? Good works and charity? Hardly. Drill here and do it faster , thank you.

Supply and demand is a fact, not a myth. 'Pay-Go' is the myth. Our businesses will have to leave, or fold, or pass on the cost - our farmers will suffer, and we will become more dependent on outside sources for those same supplies instead of supporting our own. Don’t deny the reality, because the rest of us aren’t going to. We won’t be able to. We will come face to face with it every time we turn on a light, get in the car, make a purchase, or cancel a vacation. Airlines, automobiles, food, light – come on. Stop denying reality and face facts.

Will there be penalties and taxes imposed on product imported from other countries as well, or is just America’s businesses and taxpayers that will be penalized? Of course not. Do the right thing, the harder thing, and put some effort into research that will decrease the costs of ‘going green’. Make it financially feasible for our business and industry, and make this affordable for America. I’d love to be green, I really would – but I am disgusted by the lack of any intelligent effort put into doing so. Stop assuming you can just take more of our money because it’s just so much easier. Let’s remember that our politicians are supposed to represent the People and their interests. Not the special interest groups, not the biggest campaign contributors – the People. Protect OUR future. Stop treating the taxpayers like an inexhaustible line of credit. We are NOT the government’s personal bank.

I can’t for the life of me come up with one good reason why I should have to even make that point, can you?

Perhaps you’ve heard of the recent tragedy on Wall Street? Or possibly the recession? The People are reeling: they’ve suffered huge monetary losses it’s taken them years to accumulate, they’re losing jobs and income, businesses and homes, funding for schools and parks and community services. Virtually every state is operating in deficit, with the exception of four or five. Yet amazingly, the worker bees in DC are busily figuring out how to spend more money they don’t have, and raise taxes to finance it via a country already in pain. Health care benefits and charitable donation’s, cost of living increases and penalties for our businesses. What the hell are you thinking? Why aren’t you screaming ‘NO, this does harm to the People I represent’? Who do you represent? Is it us? It can’t be – if it were and our interests and needs were being put first, I don’t think we’d be in the tragic state we’re in. We got here because someone else is being represented. The new ‘big business’ of special interest leaps to mind. I’m just dying to know why ACORN gets a cut out of every escrow deal – which bill did that get snuck into, out of curiousity? You remember the Fair Housing Act, and what a whopping success that was too, right? Was that the one?

My community will be watching the votes on this bill, and all the bills to come. We’ll be keeping an eye on the Census Bureau as well. I find myself very interested in this new intrusion, and the DOJ’s changes to our state election laws on the basis that requiring a social security number is somehow ‘discriminatory’, and the countless other defilements I see being put in place. We’re feeling pretty motivated to pay attention, as we have been most lax. We are angry, Senators. And we are hurt. We’re being abused. We’d be most appreciative of your representation, and your efforts to stop our country being destroyed from the inside. Or we will obviously find someone that will. We can climb our rooftops in the night, too. And I most certainly will.


Kim Veldt

Long , isn't it. I had a lot to say. They'd better listen up too, because I meant every word and I'm not done yet. Check this out:

Pronunciation:\du̇-ˈpli-sə-tē also dyu̇-\
Inflected Form(s):plural du·plic·i·ties
Etymology:Middle English duplicite, from Middle French, from Late Latin duplicitat-, duplicitas, from Latin duplex
Date:15th century
1: contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action ; especially : the belying of one's true intentions by deceptive words or action
2: the quality or state of being double or twofold
3: the technically incorrect use of two or more distinct items (as claims, charges, or defenses) in a single legal action

Is there anyone out there who thinks the Fair Housing Act was a stellar decision? Who gifted us with that idiocy? The Carter administration. It took years - but it caught up in the end, just like the Waxman bill will. It not only hurt the folks it was designed to help, it damn near took the whole country out. You NEED to pay attention and start fighting for your country. What is it going to take? We're BANKRUPT , people - what the hell is wrong with our government? The solution is raise our taxes some more so they can keep on spending? Really? Are you going to suck that up too?

We have been so incredibly complacent it's criminal. We did not watch, and when we did manage to surface from our own immediate concerns we gave them permission - saying 'well - we knew they were lying the minute they opened their mouths , right? What else is new?' This is on us, and we've created a cannibal.

Get your blog on , ladies. You know who you are, I've spoken with so many of you. Pay attention and start making your voice heard in DC before you're too broken to cry anymore and of no consequence anyway. Insist on being a vote that matters. Communicate your concerns and anger too. TALK OUT LOUD. If you do NOT do that , and continue in apathy and silence - there will be no change. You'll disappear along with your country and the right and privileges you take for granted. It MATTERS, girls. Stop relying on people to make decisions on your behalf that so obviously don't care, or just aren't bright enough to do the job. You can't afford to be lazy and not take responsibility. You must have noticed by now that does us no favors.

There's an old saying that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and there are people are using that to their advantage. And our elected politicians are the ones enabling them. It's not that they don't have the time to read the bill's , it's really that they just don't care. What we don't know won't hurt them , right? Ask yourselves what they get in return, and then ask yourself why you would vote them back in for more of this crap.

You put them in and you can take them out. Do it. I swear to God I will. I fully expect to have to do it more than once because they're pretty optimistic. And they have every right to be, all things considered. But that's MY kid's future on the line as well as what's left of mine, and I want him to grow up in the same country I once had. I will NOT have it. I will NOT. It's glaringly obvious that we have not demanded nearly enough of our representatives , and by not doing so failed ourselves and our children miserably. I'll be continuing to talk out loud and long in many more letters to my reps.

Stop watching the endless coverage on Senator Sanford, and Perez, and Ed, and Iran and Farrah and Michael and start actively looking for the really important things that are happening right now, right here. Spend the time online - and it does take time. I cried for the mothers in Iran. I wish their children had fought smarter instead of dying in the streets for their vote. But we must pay attention at home. Cry for your own vote. Or your own lack of a voice.

If you'd like to locate your representatives , and I hope you do , look them up here: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/