Saturday, January 31, 2009

Arrogance and Greed

From President Obama's weekly message:

"Last year Congress passed a plan to rescue the financial system. While the package helped avoid a financial collapse, many are frustrated by the results -- and rightfully so. Too often taxpayer dollars have been spent without transparency or accountability. Banks have been extended a hand, but homeowners, students, and small businesses that need loans have been left to fend on their own.

And adding to this outrage, we learned this week that even as they petitioned for taxpayer assistance, Wall Street firms shamefully paid out nearly $20 billion in bonuses for 2008. While I'm committed to doing what it takes to maintain the flow of credit, the American people will not excuse or tolerate such arrogance and greed. The road to recovery demands that we all act responsibly, from Main Street to Washington to Wall Street."

The entire message can be found here.

Crazy week for a crazy lady

Wow. What a bizarre, hectic, strange week for crazy lady. School started, and her first class was Tuesday night. The last time crazy lady was in a full size classroom, she was teaching psychology and women's studies at UCLA. Her brain is fighting the role switch from "professor" to "student," but she is enjoying herself. She forgot what it was like to sit back, listen, and challenge ideas. The corporate world is not a "thinking person's world." The Bank was a kiss-ass, pandering, unethical pit of people who were more concerned with their wallets, and less concerned with the world-at-large. A bit harsh? The current finance crisis is partially due to Bank's fear that "others" would discover their mismanagement of funds and data. How many times was crazy lady told, "don't throw senior management under the bus," when she discovered that money didn't reconcile, and account activity was untraceable? Too many. Crazy lady's favorite incident was when she learned that the Bank's human resources department would "manually tweak" the final reports, before sending them to the Board of Directors. The explanation was interesting: "We don't have time to fix the data, it's easier to fix the numbers." Hmmmm...instead of fixing problems, the Bank spent countless hours and dollars hiding the issues. Unfortunately, it's too bad that so many people have lost their homes and jobs, thanks (in part) to the Bank's fear and incompetence.
Ah yes, crazy lady's corporate ethics class is going to be fun! The class is taught by a decrepit law professor who was an adviser to Carter and Clinton. Only 7 people risked the snow and ice to attend the first day. He immediately dropped the folks who did not brave the weather. It's a required class for business and law students, and crazy lady was surprised at the professor's distaste for the no-show students. She was also surprised at her companion students' reactions- they laughed. Sigh. Compassion, anyone? The weather was miserable this week:
Although crazy lady was able to spend quality time in the law library:
I, of course, spent most of the week waiting for crazy lady:
In between her classes, she attended various events on campus. Crazy lady has a long standing interest in cults, and she was thrilled that Erin Prophet was reading from her book at the Harvard Coop. An interesting, frightening and passionate novel. Erin Prophet is a fascinating writer.
Well, back to waiting for crazy lady to return. She is busily preparing for her Boskone reading, and finishing the final edits on her new young adult fantasy series (scheduled for a May release). Borders is slowly going out of business, and they have stopped carrying many science fiction, fantasy and horror novels this year. I guess Amazon's world domination continues...crazy lady worries too much, but I only care that she spends time with me.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Me and my froggy

Ha! And crazy lady thought they were her stuffed animals...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama!

The speech:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King

I Have a Dream - Address at March on Washington

August 28, 1963. Washington, D.C.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. [Applause]

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Snow Play

Crazy lady returned from her long weekend of "SF, Fantasy, Horror, Sex, Humor, Chocolate!" and took me for a long walk in the snow. Woo hoo! Check out my booty shot and snowy "beard" in the pictures.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Waiting for Crazy Lady

Crazy lady has kept me waiting all weekend because of this:

She's having a wonderful time reading from her new book, and playing with like-minded geeks. I (of course) am sulking.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Better than chicken

In crazy lady's never ending quest to introduce me to cats, she tried to give me some background on her history with those evil ones. She discovered some old pictures of a delicious looking grey tabby she calls "Aschkey" (born on crazy lady's birthday and named after her favorite dance hall in Berkeley):
She also showed me pictures of Agent Orange, the "studly" (her words, not mine) tempting morsel she kidnapped from an abusive neighbor:
She claims they are not fat, just furry. Hah! I can tell that the orange demon has muscle:
But the grey tidbit is definitely fat. The wicked mistress might have short, stubby legs and a teeny, tiny head-- but check out the plump body.
Oooooo...watta body...better than chicken...crazy lady told me to "behave," and showed me a very old, very grainy picture of the family Maltese, Nicholas:
A little furry and small, but perhaps he would have made a good playmate.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lazy Sunday Morning

Another snow storm whipped into the Boston area last night, and crazy lady doesn't want to leave the warm comfort of her bed. So, she brought her computer, books and homework to bed this morning. She even let me lounge with her, for a short while.
It's a rare treat to jump on her bed and watch crazy lady try and read legal texts on corporate ethics. The silly professor assigned homework BEFORE school even started! Who cares if he is some bigwig law professor who used to advise the Supreme Court? Crazy lady is suddenly realizing that Haar-vaard is going to be a lot of work. Duh. Maybe I should rename her "crazy dum-dum?"
At least she is enjoying the reading. Crazy lady firmly believes that people need to constantly learn and challenge themselves, as they get older. It's the only way to keep those little gray brain cells active.
In between her reading & writing, crazy lady has been spending some time perusing various web sites. Remember Popeye, the paralyzed dog?
Well, he has a new wheel chair! You can watch him practice his new wheels here. He's a smart dude, just like all of us Formosan dogs from Taiwan. Crazy lady really hopes that foster mama Judy is feeling better. Judy is rarely sick or injured, and back injuries truly stink.

Finally, aren't these puppies adorable?
Judy introduced crazy lady to JW, a med school student who adopted a heartworm positive dog named Tinkerbell. Like myself, Tinkerbell had to take shots and remain quiet for over a month, while she healed from those malicious, heart-loving worms. JW has started a new blog, GND Dogs. Please take a moment and learn more about her mission to, "help former street puppies (Novaya and Chocolate) find loving homes" in Grenada.

Stay safe and warm this snowy Sunday!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sugar the Protector

As you know, my favorite Cambridge spot is the window ledge. We live near the top of a high rise unit, overlooking the Boston highways, parks, Bunker Hill, harbors and Charles River. I can sit and ponder the meaning of life. I never bark, but occasionally growl at the feral cats living across the street. There's not much of a view, right below our building:
Last night, I barked. My hair stood up, I growled, and showed my fierce teeth. Crazy lady was so startled that it took her some time to crawl out of bed and look outside the window. What was I looking at, to cause a fierce reaction? There were 2 men trying to break into the buildings across the street. When they couldn't get into the buildings, they started to vandalize the trucks and cars. Crazy lady called the police. They came and caught one man, but another got away. When the police asked crazy lady, "how did you notice the men?" she replied, "my dog alerted me to danger, high up in our apartment."


Crazy lady was very proud of me. She gave me extra chicken. She also took me for a long walk in the snow this morning. I was moving so fast that the pictures were a total blur:
I finally stopped attacking the snow drifts, and crazy lady was able to get one good beauty shot:
Happy New Year!