The Minnesota Grizzly Bear

Roaring about life since 2009

corruption in D.C.? well duh

It took a whole study to figure this out?  Good gods, everyone knows that famous quote which has been beaten to death regarding politics – “Power corrupts.”  The problem with Democrats is that their ideology makes it so much easier to become powerful by believing that the government has the power to fix and legislate every little problem and facet of American life.  If, on the other hand, you believe in a limited sphere of government intervention and action, restraint is the word of the day.  You have less ability to make these deals because you have less power, and if you want to get elected again, you have to prove you talk the talk and walk the limited government walk.  Here’s the article from CATO:

There is a new study from a couple of academics at the University of Michigan, who found significant relationships between lobbying and bailout money, as well as a greater chance of getting bailouts depending on a bank’s ties with either the Federal Reserve or key members of Congress. Hopefully, people across America will draw the obvious conclusion and realize that big government is inherently corrupting[.]

University of Michigan Study Confirms Link between Financial Bailout and Corruption

Like I said before in a previous post, Obama is a classic product of the corrupt Chicago Democratic Machine.  Bribes, kickbacks, coercison and spin is the name of the game.  Don’t believe me?  For another fun one about the Healthcare fiasco,  look at what the Dems had to do to drum up (bribe?) enough support in Nebraska!

Nelson also won several other concessions, most notably a commitment from the federal government to fully fund his state’s expanded Medicaid population. All states get full federal assistance for the first three years of the bill — but Nebraska would be the only state getting full assistance afterward. One Democratic official put the cost to the federal government at $45 million over a decade.

Nelson Accused of Selling Vote on Health Bill for Nebraska Pay-Off

Come on guys, this isn’t compromise and debate, this is railroading a gigantic and detrimental piece of legislation through before anyone has any idea what the hell it is and who will really benefit.  Voting under the cover of darkness is hardly the sunshine Obama promised on the campaign trail.  But to be fair, he also said we would immediately withdraw from Afghanistan.

Ah, was that one of the dozens of banks that failed by any chance?

Have it good,

-Mike

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December 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Asa-ku

I admit, I’m an amateur poetry-lover and few do it better than the Japanese.  While I was reserching Shinto on SacredTexts.com, I came across this book a few months ago and actually printed the whole thing out and guerrilla-bound it.  Which is basically a 3-hole punch and some yarn, haha.  Take a look, there’s some artful use of language even in those translations.

I took to reading a few pages every night before bed, and was struck by how much could be contained in so little space.  Kind of a linguistic minimalism, ala Joy Division or John Cage in music.  Even though Germanic languages are a  bad fit for syllable-based poetry, I tried my hand at writing some shortrune-poems in the Haiku style, trying to use a rune as the subject instead of a season, as is the usual Japanese custom.  Here are a few of my attempts at “Asaku” in the 5-7-5 syllable structure.  Most of them were written on tour last June 2009, while we were driving through the Arizona desert at night.

When our gods return

need-fires leap high and bright

Forge our loyalty

 

Sun sinks down and dies

mistletoe hangs its shamed head

a loss so divine

 

rough rock is worn smooth

our lives ebbing and flowing

in waters of wyrd

 

Poets burning blaze

fed by honey from above

’round the fire, enthralled

 

Golden mead drips down

feed our eternal hunger

until sunset, live

 

Angry jotuns blood

washes away all Order

food for growing grass

 

Alone on a hill

one-eye hangs through the cold night

captures blood-stained runes

 

Coldest flakes drift down

roads become death and danger

Hail grows and gives life

 

Have it good,

-Mike

December 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Still waiting for that card…

Here’s a great live video of Tom Waits celebrating the holidays Minnesota-style, singing “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis.”  Enjoy!

Happy Holidays and Good Yule!

-Mike

December 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

sleep + memory = cool

Oh great, now I have more proof that sleep is good and that one of my favorite passages in the Havamal makes even more sense than I gave it credit for.  I’ve been working on living by this one and the ones about drinking, it’s kind of hard…there’s just so much to do in a day. 

23.
The unwise man is awake all night,
and ponders everything over;
when morning comes he is weary in mind,
and all is a burden as ever.

Havamal (Bray Trans.)

I’ve been making it a habit to stay up for at least two days at a time over the last few months just to work on things, whether it be music, bass, songwriting, computer stuff, reading, homework or whatever.  But maybe it wasn’t worth it, according to this study.  I know for a fact that a lot of people I know, musicians and artists and other creative types, pull hours just as weird as mine either by choice or by necessity.  Just remember that sleep is apparently a boon to creativity.  Cool.  Thanks, Havamal!

Sleep, it turns out, is imperative for coming to new insights and being able to see new creative solutions to old problems because while you sleep, your mind can discover hidden or novel connections between seemingly random pieces of information. This process not only helps you find the meaning in what you have learned, but by forging connections among differing pieces of information, the odds that a creative idea or insight will surface increases.

If you keep toiling over a problem you can easily wind up with tunnel vision that keeps you from finding an appropriate solution. Sleep removes the blinders and helps “reset” your brain to look at things from a different perspective, which is crucial to creativity.

One could come to the conclusion that sleeping is essential for wisdom, since most knowledge or information alone, without meaning or context, is useless. But by discovering the relationships between bits of information, it can help you can make better decisions in the future.

“Sleeping on it” may indeed be the most practical solution when you’re faced with a tricky problem.

Sounds During Sleep Can Boost Your Memory

 

Have it good,

-Mike

December 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

‘copyright criminals’ on PBS

Well I know what I’m doing January 19th.  Since I’ve been consumed by all things copyright lately, I’m definitely very curious about this documentary’s take on the subject of sampling.

This documentary traces the rise of hip-hop from the urban streets of New York to its current status as a multibillion-dollar industry.

As artists find ever more inventive ways to insert old influences into new material, this documentary asks a critical question, on behalf of an entire creative community: Can you own a sound?

Copyright Criminals To Air Jan. 19 On PBS

An excellent question sir!  So mark your calendars now for Jan 19th before you kill so many brain cells over the holidays that you forget about it.  Seriously.  I’ve been there.

Have it good,

-Mike

December 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

infamous Auschwitz sign stolen

I just really wonder about people when I read stories like this.  Good gods, the damn thing is 90 pounds. 

The infamous iron sign bearing the Nazis’ cynical slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” that spanned the main entrance to the former Auschwitz death camp was stolen before dawn Friday, Polish police said.

The heavy 5-meter-long (16-foot-long), 40-kilogram (90-pound) iron sign at the former Nazi death camp in southern Poland where more than 1 million people died during World War II was unscrewed on one side and torn off on the other, police spokeswoman Katarzyna Padlo said.

Polish police: Auschwitz ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ sign stolen from memorial site

Just because you worked to steal that sign doesn’t make it free, dude. 

Have it good,

-Mike

December 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Happy Bill of Rights Day!

Well you learn something new every day, because I had no idea there was a whole day dedicated to the Bill of Rights!  Apparently that day is today, December 15!  Hooray!  CATO Institute just keeps on giving, I found out about it here, and the article is also a brief summary of the first ten amendments.

So go on, give it a look here – Charters of Freedom.

So which Amendment is your personal “favorite?”  Which one could you do without?  I think I’m torn between I and II, but the intense resurgence of attention given to the 10 Amendment is pretty refreshing.

Have it good,

-Mike

p.s.- I ❤ the Onion.  Third Amendment Rights Group Celebrates Another Successful Year

December 15, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Speechless

I found both of these articles today and just linking to both illustrates a more profound point that I could possibly explain myself.

Scrooge pay czar tightens screws on midlevel employees

Federal Salaries Explode

Well that’s just great.  Limit private pay and jack up Federal pay, as if the latter isn’t outrageously bloated already.  It’s almost as if they’re trying to say something about where their priorities lie.  Is there an economics textbook anywhere within 20 miles of Washington, D.C.?  One not co-written by Marx, Mao, Keynes, Stalin and Obama?

Have it good,

-Mike

December 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

How’s the President doing? Well let me tell you…

I got a call this morning from Rasmussen Reports, and being the opinionated and dutiful citizen I am, I said my peace in their 15 minute telephone survey.  It was kind of fun actually, knowing my opinion was being counted.  I think the final result is here, and I’m proud to be a part of the group who Strongly Disapproves of the job President Obama is doing.

I got questions on Obama’s overall approval rating, whether I was conservative/Republican, a series on offshore drilling (which I don’t know too much about, but to which state’s rights is my default answer), healthcare and its effect on prices and quality of healthcare, and a few other assorted topics mentioned below.

I was surprised by the lack of any questions about global warming or this Climategate fiasco.  Here’s a good primer on Climatgate and climate change overall posted by a writer from the CATO institute today.  It’s a much more complex issue than these absolutist pundits are screaming about.  I personally believe that the climate change is primarily a natural occurence, and any human impact is negligible and hardly catastrophic.  Does that make me any less of an environmentalist?  Of course not, I still believe in the principles of responsibility, conservation, stewardship and property rights.

One of the best questions was the series of 3 about Obama’s ethical behavior and whether he is more or less ethical than previous presidents.  Obviously I answered less ethical than previous presidents, because you’re not anything in Chicago unless you’re part of the Democratic corruption machine.  Obama’s a smooth operator though, I have to give him that. 

Moral of the Story: If you ever get a call about a public opinion survey, don’t hang up, it’s actually pretty fun! 

Have it good, GO NAVY!

-Mike

December 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Evolution + Shopping?

My gods, if this was required reading for all men and women we could finally achieve world peace!  Score one for behavioral science!

The two approaches to how we used to obtain food mirrors how we shop in modern times, the study believes.

He said women would spend hours trying to find the right outfit, present or object, because they had in the past spent ages trying to find the best quality and health giving foods.

Men on the other hand, decided in advance what animal they wanted to kill and then went looking for it. Once it was found – and killed – they returned home.

Shopping styles of men and women all down to evolution, claim scientists

I think that makes perfect sense, I can’t stand being in a Target for an hour when a certain female only had two things on her list…arararghagrhagr!!  In, out, done.  It should be that easy.

Have it good,

-Mike

December 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 3 Comments