Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Custom chopping blocks

Happy to report that Green River Woods is now even more internet-famous (than previously ever imagined possible).

Visitors welcome in Pack Square this Saturday (and next) all day long for another Art in the Park.

For those knife-aficionados who may be wondering, what really makes my business unique is the focus on reclaimed material, as more times than not the wood available determines the piece. However my blocks are also always made from sustainably-harvested and kiln-dried, shop-acclimated large stock whenever possible (or desired) and with both a minimum of seams and minimal waste.

Most importantly, in addition to using large piece construction I use large wood biscuits in my joinery, only ever titebond iii superior fda-approved waterproof wood glue, and pre-treat each block generously with Boo's Block Mystery mineral oil. These things contribute to a product built to endure hard use for generations, be aesthetically-luxurious and affordable.

After 15 years building homes, doing custom cabinetry, extensive trim and finish carpentry and remodeling, I remain grateful to have my own business specializing in something I really love. If also–it just so happens–something I can consistently feel good about doing.

Blogger discounts always considered: GreenRiverWoods.Etsy.Com

Update: Nearly sold out! Thanks and see you next week, everyone.

Poor tea-baggers...

This is hilarious (we each bought one).

And Matt Taibbi's new article, "Tea and Crackers" is out:

Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it's going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I've concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They're full of shit. All of them. At the voter level, the Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending — only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits and spent the past two electoral cycles frothing not about spending but about John Kerry's medals and Barack Obama's Sixties associations. The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them. In fact, their lack of embarrassment when it comes to collecting government largesse is key to understanding what this movement is all about — and nowhere do we see that dynamic as clearly as here in Kentucky, where Rand Paul is barreling toward the Senate with the aid of conservative icons like Palin.

Early in his campaign, Dr. Paul, the son of the uncompromising libertarian hero Ron Paul, denounced Medicare as "socialized medicine." But this spring, when confronted with the idea of reducing Medicare payments to doctors like himself — half of his patients are on Medicare — he balked. This candidate, a man ostensibly so against government power in all its forms that he wants to gut the Americans With Disabilities Act and abolish the departments of Education and Energy, was unwilling to reduce his own government compensation, for a very logical reason. "Physicians," he said, "should be allowed to make a comfortable living."

Those of us who might have expected Paul's purist followers to abandon him in droves have been disappointed; Paul is now the clear favorite to win in November. Ha, ha, you thought we actually gave a shit about spending, joke's on you. That's because the Tea Party doesn't really care about issues — it's about something deep down and psychological, something that can't be answered by political compromise or fundamental changes in policy. At root, the Tea Party is nothing more than a them-versus-us thing. They know who they are, and they know who we are ("radical leftists" is the term they prefer), and they're coming for us on Election Day, no matter what we do — and, it would seem, no matter what their own leaders like Rand Paul do.

In the Tea Party narrative, victory at the polls means a new American revolution, one that will "take our country back" from everyone they disapprove of. But what they don't realize is, there's a catch: This is America, and we have an entrenched oligarchical system in place that insulates us all from any meaningful political change. The Tea Party today is being pitched in the media as this great threat to the GOP; in reality, the Tea Party is the GOP. What few elements of the movement aren't yet under the control of the Republican Party soon will be, and even if a few genuine Tea Party candidates sneak through, it's only a matter of time before the uprising as a whole gets castrated, just like every grass-roots movement does in this country. Its leaders will be bought off and sucked into the two-party bureaucracy, where its platform will be whittled down until the only things left are those that the GOP's campaign contributors want anyway: top-bracket tax breaks, free trade and financial deregulation.

The rest of it — the sweeping cuts to federal spending, the clampdown on bailouts, the rollback of Roe v. Wade — will die on the vine as one Tea Party leader after another gets seduced by the Republican Party and retrained for the revolutionary cause of voting down taxes for Goldman Sachs executives. It's all on display here in Kentucky, the unofficial capital of the Tea Party movement, where, ha, ha, the joke turns out to be on them: Rand Paul, their hero, is a fake....(the rest)

True stuff.

Update: As for the other side, I couldn't agree more with Thomas Geoghegan's, "Ten Things Dems Could Do To Win" in the September issue of The Nation.

Further to President Obama complaining about his base...Michael Moore has some wise suggestions.

Monday, September 27, 2010

BP Oil Spill Update

Update Again: No fucking shit.

Update: Researchers Found 40-Fold Increase in Carcinogenic Compounds in Gulf.

As the truth finally will out, and informed bloggers everywhere (this one included) scream "we told you so" the whole damn thing (with citations), as they say:

...As one of Lehr's fellow panelists, Ian MacDonald, put it: "5,000 barrels was not in the right ballpark, for whatever reason." MacDonald, a Florida State University oceanographer and one of the independent scientists who questioned the federal estimates early on, further noted that "It took a long time to catch up to reality."

Meanwhile, contrary to White House assertions that "the vast majority of the oil is gone," MacDonald warned that more than 50 percent of the oil remains in the Gulf of Mexico in the form of "highly durable material" that is now buried along the coast and on the sea floor....

Graham and Reilly both acknowledged that they still don't understand why government officials were so wrong, and for so long. Graham generally raised the issue of "deference to the industry." Reilly recalled a scribble on a NOAA white board during the early days of the spill indicating that officials immediately realized the leak could be much bigger...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Russ Feingold: A genuine progressive who needs your help

Russ Feingold could use a little Progressive help right now (and more importantly, deserves it).

The facts about Obama's stimulus

Success is harder to measure than failure in soundbites...but the evidence is there. Of course it should have been bigger.

Smaller government meaning only larger corporate power and all...just look at the real impact of Bush's tax cuts...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Obama's Presidency thus far

It could have been worse.

Update: And it could of course be much better, if Democrats were to follow Alan Grayson's example and grow a fucking pair:

Maurice Blanchot's birthday

(September 22, 1907-February 20, 2003)

Some suggested reading, re: Kafka, and infinite more...

The Steinbeck Award

...goes to a well-deserving Michael Moore.

Also, as informed people have been saying ever since they learned to blog ten years ago, further strong evidence shows the vast majority of Americans are actually Progressives. NO SHIT:
Without knowing which country they were picking, 92 percent of respondents said they'd rather live in a country with Sweden's wealth distribution.

Who's the terrorist minority fringe threat now, Mr. Rupert Murdoch? Maybe ask the blogosphere's most recent debate-loser, Jeffrey Goldberg.

More here.

50 years of epic legal wrangling, +10 pages in the NYTimes Mag

Elif Batuman on Kafka's Last Trial. Quite a fascinating read.

David Marquand

Causes one to wonder how this positive view of 'Republicanism' would apply in the US:

...there are certain philosophical and rhetorical themes in the republican tradition which are very powerful.

One of them is suspicion of arbitrary power. Quentin Skinner makes this point very strongly; and his writings have had a great deal of influence on me, particularly his Liberty before Liberalism. Skinner says, in effect, that what Isaiah Berlin calls ‘negative freedom’ is crucial, but that freedom from arbitrary power, from domination, is equally important. That is an immensely fertile notion and of course it doesn’t just apply to political power. It applies just as much to economic power. A classic example is the unaccountable power of the banks and hedge funds that procured the crash of 2008-9. So that’s one vitally important and highly relevant strand in republicanism.

The second aspect of the republican tradition which is still hugely relevant to British society here and now is its emphasis on republican self-respect as contrasted with monarchical servility. British political culture is still saturated with servility: look at the Honours Lists, with their Commanderships, Dameships and Orders of a non-existent empire. The themes that crop up in Milton’s later prose writings, when he was trying desperately to stop the return of the monarchy, still resonate strongly with me. One of his targets was what he called ‘bowing and cringing’. Well, you can find plenty of bowing and cringing in present-day Britain.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I certainly agree with the commenter over at some place called NPR, who says:
The 'consulatant' that was on the Diane Reem Show, and the photoshop enhanced image (the larger fish definitely had brightness and a glow added. Even the rocks look better for the other fish!) Courtesy of AquaBounty Technologies, are all FISHY to me.

I also think that for whatever (mostly doomed) publicity if may be worth, we should keep fighting the big corporate push for a monopoly on genetic salmon. In the context of such issues, with so many unknown long-term potential variables, the FDA remains a mostly ignorant and cruel joke inflicted on hundreds of millions of Americans, pretending to regulate over a $1 trillion worth of consumer goods with barely a couple billion budget (itself mostly a reward for not insisting on real or long-term science, or performing their own independent testing, bucking the corporate tide or creating unwanted politics, thereby joining the EPA in cancering us all with essentially untested cocktails of "trade secret" chemical compounds, growth hormones, etc...only in America!). The fact is that in the absence of any regulatory agency with anything even resembling proper funding, incentive or teeth, money talks louder than actual science. All that much easier, one supposes, when there isn't even any science to begin with:

"If you tried to publish this information in a peer-reviewed journal, it would be rejected," said Anne Kapuscinski, a professor at Dartmouth College and an international expert on the safety of genetically modified organisms.

She said that AquaBounty's application was built on "overly simplistic claims" and that the FDA had not thoroughly analyzed the impact of a modified salmon if it escaped into the ocean.

"There are always human errors or equipment failures, and you have to analyze what would happen under those circumstances," Kapuscinski said.

Ron Stotish, the chief executive of AquaBounty, said his company had spent $60 million and 10 years developing and studying the AquAdvantage salmon. "The data we supplied adequately supports our application," he said. "Any fair-minded person would find this to be fairly complete."

Several public speakers argued that the FDA's approval process is not designed to handle the complexities of genetically engineered organisms. The agency is treating the application for AquAdvantage salmon as if it were a new veterinary drug, which means that the deliberations are taking place behind closed doors and that AquaBounty can say much of the research and other supporting data it supplies to the agency is confidential.

The pending decision is being carefully tracked by biotechnology companies that have invested millions of dollars in developing other genetically modified food animals and are next in line behind AquaBounty, waiting for the FDA to act on their requests for approval. The U.S. already permits genetically modified plants, such as corn and soybean.

More here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


It was only a matter of time, as they say...

Pretty hilarious.

The 50-State Progressive Strategy

This blog donates time and money to genuine Progressive individuals only, through such groups as ActBlue, Bold Progressives or PCCC, and not to the Democratic Campaign Committee or fake pussy sell-out Democrats like God-awful quarterback Heath Shuler, who vote with the Oppressive party anyway. I submit that anyone not doing likewise is frankly at this point in political time unworthy of their many unearned civic privileges.

Meanwhile, Good riddance Larry Corporate Summers. It's a fact that men are genetically dumber, anyway...NO MORE RUBINITES!!!

Matt -

Have you watched cable news lately? The Tea Baggers are everywhere!

The Tea Party is news because they've won a few upset primaries -- but let's be honest -- that's not the only reason they're getting wall-to-wall coverage. Honestly, that weirdly racist tinge makes for good TV. Bizarre, wide-eyed accusations of the President and hilariously misspelled signs demanding an English-only country will drive up news ratings. I don't mind, though. People should know about these extremists.

But the best-kept secret of 2010 is that progressives have won primaries up and down the ballot all across the country -- way more than Tea Party. That's right -- Progressive challengers have beat out fabled "Mama Grizzlies" in state after state.

Just this week, progressive champion Ann McLane Kuster won a landslide victory in New Hampshire. Earlier this year, progressives won big upset victories in Pennsylvania with Joe Sestak, in North Carolina with Elaine Marshall and in Kentucky with Jack Conway -- and that's just in U.S. Senate races.

But DFA doesn't just support Senate candidates. We support progressives up and down the ballot in all 50 states. In fact, 67 percent of all DFA-endorsed candidates won their primaries this year. 67 percent! That's a great record and we couldn't do it without you. We depend on small contributions from DFA members to make it happen.

Contribute $10 right now and keep beating the Tea Party this November.

With the 2010 Democratic primaries over, just take a look at the work we did together this season:

* 43 primary endorsements
o 15 federal
o 28 non-federal
* 67.4 percent of endorsed candidates won their primaries
o 60 percent of federal candidates won
o 71.4 percent of non-federal candidates won

We didn't just endorse candidates who we were sure-things or had big names, either. We endorsed local candidates like Toni Preckwinkle in Chicago. She was a reformer running against a corrupt incumbent for Cook County Board President. It was a tough fight, but she ran a grassroots campaign and scored a landslide win in the primary.

We endorsed winning candidates in tough primaries in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Nevada and a whole lot of other states. That's the DFA strategy at work -- electing progressive in primaries across the country to take our country back with people-powered campaigns.

The DFA Strategy worked for progressives in the primaries -- Contribute $10 now to finish the job in November.

Can't get enough? Here's a few more numbers from 2010 primaries. We endorsed four U.S. Senate candidates, 11 U.S. House candidates, three gubernatorial candidates, four candidates running for other statewide office, 16 candidates for State House or State Senate, and five candidates for county or municipal offices -- across 24 states.

That's 43 candidates total -- 29 wins -- and we couldn't have done it without you.

Now that the primary season is over, all the focus is on winning in November and finishing the job. We must defeat Tea Party Republicans everywhere and we can't do it without your support.

Contribute $10 today and beat the Tea Baggers in November.

Come November 3, the only reason the Tea Party should be on TV is for losing a lot of elections.

Working together, we're going to make that happen. Thank you for everything you do to move America forward.


Arshad Hasan, Executive Director
Democracy for America

Friday, September 17, 2010

Elizabeth Warren


More cause for genuine excitement elsewhere (and why).

Counters, slabs & trim

Black walnut stumps and live edge slab bar tops, wormy ambrosia hardwood maple countertops and backsplash, live edge hemlock and cedar trim, all stain grade, hand-rubbed tung oil (Waterlox) finish.

(composting toilet w/graywater system)

Saturday, September 04, 2010

defending Modernism

A charitable review of Josipovici, of which I approve. In literary arguments I am often more inclined to come down on the side of defending Modernism (in the sense Josipovici somewhat vaguely sees it), while feeling no contradiction in defending much of "Postmodern" philosophy (as the most faithful readers of Modernism) just as hard.

Update: Much more, from a genuine literary blogger, here.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Solar Stimulus

Bill McKibben on Letterman last night...close to my heart as I continue to help build a solar-powered perma-culture farm near Tennessee, etc.