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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in systemsthinker's LiveJournal:

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    Tuesday, August 28th, 2007
    10:23 am
    New Blog at SystemsThinker.com
    I now have a blog up and running at http://www.systemsthinker.com/blog/. Head on over there for more.
    Friday, November 10th, 2006
    8:38 pm
    Happiness Injection
    Our mental health professions try all sorts of things to bring people to a happier state. But it may be as simple as watching this a few times a day. Can you watch this and not be happy?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P6UU6m3cqk&mode=related&search=

    I really would prescribe this video like 3 or 4 times a day to hardened criminals, even if we have to use Clockwork Orange tactics to keep their eyes on it.
    Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006
    10:12 pm
    Personality Type Determines Politics?
    I don't agree totally with this study but it certainly raises a fascinating question, one that ties in completely with why I moved from big picture political activism to working more with individual and group coaching and consulting on a more focused scale. The jist of it is summarized at the end:

    "Whether anyone's feelings are hurt or not, the work suggests that personality and emotions play a bigger role in our political leanings than we think. All of us, liberal or conservative, feel as though we've reached our political opinions by carefully weighing the evidence and exercising our best judgment. But it could be that all of that careful reasoning is just after-the-fact self-justification. What if personality forms our political outlook, with reason coming along behind, rationalizing after the fact?

    It could be that whom we vote for has less to do with our judgments about tax policy or free trade or health care, and more with the personalities we've been stuck with since we were kids."

    http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1142722231554&call_pageid=970599119419

    Tie that conclusion in with my experience that a person's personality can, with proper techniques and development, become more fully balanced, and you have the picture of how we can escape our dogmatic unilateral tendencies to reach a more complete understanding that actually transcends BOTH conservative or liberal.

    Howard
    http://www.systemsthinker.com
    http://www.emergentassociates.com
    Tuesday, December 13th, 2005
    12:15 pm
    Lions Fans
    As my friend Craig said, watch out for the WMD's ... Wack Millen Decisions. Hilarious!

    http://img395.imageshack.us/img395/1410/millen5yy.png
    Sunday, September 18th, 2005
    2:36 am
    Friday, September 16th, 2005
    10:34 pm
    Saturday, April 9th, 2005
    3:25 pm
    Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005
    4:12 pm
    Sunday, February 27th, 2005
    11:55 pm
    Oscars Get it Right
    Wow. I think the Oscars got it almost totally correct tonight! Million Dollar Baby was the best movie this year and Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman deserved their Oscars. As much as I feel for Scorcese, I'm glad the voters didn't go for the sentimental vote but stuck with who was really best, Clint Eastwood. Of course, Jamie Foxx was favored, but that was a relief to see him get it since it would have been robbery otherwise. And then, I was thrilled to see Charlie Kaufmann's genius recognized for Eternal Sunshine, which was a little cherry on the sundae. I'm not sure exactly why I care so much about this stuff, but it sure made me glad to see all the right people win. Ah and then the hot fudge was getting to see Counting Crows play too, and Chris Rock rip on Bush till I fell off my couch laughing. All good!
    Thursday, January 20th, 2005
    9:25 pm
    Tyranny-Free 2007?!
    So I receive this article with the headline "Bush begins new term, vows to end tyranny" (thanks Tabby). I am SOOO excited! Who among us isn't tired of this tyranny. Finally it will end. It's about time. I can't wait because I'm sure by 2007 we'll be tyranny-free. I wonder what the Vegas odds are on this. Gandhi couldn't do it, nor could King...come to think of it nor could God himself apparently (at least not George's God...the one that runs all 3 branches of our government). But George is gonna do it. You know what's gonna rock? The first tyranny-free Spring Break! I'm there, who's with me?
    Tuesday, January 18th, 2005
    9:31 pm
    Monday, January 17th, 2005
    3:41 pm
    Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    There is something about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy that I find unbelievably powerful. I have been brought to flooding tears time and again watching documentaries about him and sometimes even just by looking at a picture of him giving a speech. I know that, though I always admired him and what he did, in my younger days I didn't really fully comprehend the power of what he did. But in the last few years that has changed. Here was a man that stood in the most dangerous situations, risking his life on a daily basis, to tell the truth about the injustice perpetrated on his people. Here was a man who had the vision to go beyond divisions by race, creed, socioeconomics or gender, and come to embrace all of humanity. Here was a man with the courage to stand in the midst of violent hatred and preach love. And here is a man who died doing it so that we in America could have a true symbol of the power of the human spirit. Of all the Americans who have national monuments and holidays attributed to them, perhaps none was as much a champion of the rights of all humans, and as much a representative of all of us, not just Americans. So I hope that today people will read something about his life and if possible, truly think for a few minutes about what this man did. How many of us could stand in those situations he did and have the faith and bravery to speak the truth, come what may, just because somebody had to do it?
    2:43 am
    Einstein Speaks
    "It is horrifying to realize that the poison of militarism and imperialism threatens to bring undesirable changes in the political attitude of the United States….What we see at work is not an expression of the sentiments of the American people; rather, it reflects the will of a powerful minority which uses its economic power to control the organs of political life." - Einstein on Peace, p. 343

    "I came to America because of the great, great freedom which I heard existed in this country. I made a mistake in selecting America as a land of freedom, a mistake I cannot repair in the balance of my lifetime." (Albert Einstein Quotes)

    "Members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population."

    "Under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights."

    "The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them."
    Thursday, January 6th, 2005
    6:03 pm
    Get Over It? Republican Hypocrisy
    Well what do you know. At least a few Democrats had a backbone today and challenged the electoral results from Ohio to force at least a public debate about the irregularities there. The Republicans' response? A predictable "Get Over It!"

    "There's a wise saying we've used in Florida the past four years that the other side would be wise to learn: Get over it," said Rep. Ric Keller (news, bio, voting record), R-Fla." - From this article

    One problem Rep. Keller. What does your party do when it loses? It does the same thing!

    Of course what do you expect from a party that insists slavery took place too long ago to consider its social influence in our country today, then turns around and calls itself the Party of Lincoln, invoking the man who helped end slavery oh so many years ago as still relevant!

    Then again, when Jesse Jackson raved about how there may have been irregularities a while back during the California recall election for governor and demanded investigations, Sean Hannity asked him if he would have demanded such investigations had the Democrats won. Jackson quickly responded "No".

    *rolls eyes* Once again, both of these parties desperately need a real challenge from some other parties. Thank you to David Cobb for tirelessly pushing this issue of fair elections in the last few weeks. Thank you to the Center for Voting and Democracy for pushing the issue of election reform all the time. And thanks to Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. for pointing out the shocking fact that American have no Constitutional right to vote!
    Wednesday, January 5th, 2005
    10:29 pm
    Fox Problem Solving
    The Fox 2 Problem Solvers are the folks who follow up on delinquent workers, companies that have screwed over people and others about whom they receive complaints. I'm thinking of calling them to complain about Fox itself. Imagine them up in Rupert Murdoch's grill!

    Take that Fox
    Saturday, December 25th, 2004
    5:28 am
    Prophecy and Warning
    "As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." - H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato
    Friday, December 24th, 2004
    10:34 pm
    Liberal Refugees
    CANADA BUSY SENDING BACK BUSH-DODGERS


    November 16, 2004 | Columbus Dispatch

    by Joe Blundo


    The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada

    has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols

    to stop the illegal immigration.


    The re-election of President Bush is prompting the exodus among

    left-leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray

    and agree with Bill O'Reilly of Fox News.


    Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of
    sociology professors, animal-rights activists and Unitarians crossing
    their fields at night.


    "I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood

    producer huddled in the barn," said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield,

    whose acreage borders North Dakota.


    The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry.


    "He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken.
    When I said I didn't have any, he left. Didn't even get a chance to
    show him my screenplay, eh?"


    In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher

    fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers

    that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields.


    "Not real effective," he said. "The liberals still got through, and


    Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk."


    Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals

    near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive

    them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves.


    "A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions," an


    Ontario border patrolman said. "I found one carload without a drop of

    drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet, though."


    When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often

    wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors

    have been circulating about the Bush administration establishing re-
    education camps in which liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer
    and watch NASCAR.


    In the days since the election, liberals have turned to sometimes-
    ingenious ways of crossing the border.


    Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap

    Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans

    disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began

    stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers.


    "If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show,

    we get suspicious about their age," an official said.


    Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are

    creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan

    Sarandon movies.


    "I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just
    can't support them," an Ottawa resident said. "How many art-history
    majors does one country need?"


    In an effort to ease tensions between the United States and Canada,

    Vice President Dick Cheney met with the Canadian ambassador and
    pledged that the administration would take steps to reassure liberals,
    a source close to Cheney said.


    "We're going to have some Peter, Paul & Mary concerts. And we might
    put some endangered species on postage stamps. The president is
    determined to reach out."


    Copyright © 2004, The Columbus Dispatch
    Thursday, December 23rd, 2004
    6:18 pm
    Rumsfeld=Superman?
    Pentagon Chief Increases Production Levels, Narrowly
    Avoids Catastrophic
    Temporal Anomaly


    Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld prepares to bend the
    fabric of
    space-time
    U.S. - In bold defiance of the fundamental laws that
    bind the universe
    together, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld today
    ordered the
    increased production of vehicle armor for U.S. troops
    in Iraq.

    Previously, Rumsfeld had said that the construction of
    armor and other
    protective gear was already proceeding as quickly as
    possible, based on
    the properties of matter and energy as they are
    currently known. In an
    appearance last week before U.S. troops preparing to
    deploy to Iraq, a
    soldier asked the Defense chief why troops were forced
    to scrounge for
    armor in Kuwaiti junkyards. Rumsfeld replied that the
    military was
    already providing armor as fast as possible, saying
    that "It's
    essentially a matter of physics, not a matter of
    money. It's a matter of
    production and the capability of doing it."

    Just days later, on Rumsfeld's orders, factories
    producing Humvee armor
    kits increased their production rate from 450 units
    per month to 550
    units per month, a 22% improvement over the maximum
    production rate
    physically possible.

    Scientists are baffled over how the Defense Secretary
    accomplished this
    feat without causing the universe to explode. "At a
    minimum, Rumsfeld
    must have suspended the law of conservation of matter,
    which states that
    matter cannot be created or destroyed," says Stephen
    Hawking, the
    Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge
    University and one of the
    world's most renowned physicists.




    Scientists are baffled over how Rumsfeld accomplished
    this without
    causing the universe to explode.



    Others speculated that Rumsfeld may have increased
    production using a
    perpetual motion device invented by the highly
    secretive Impossible Task
    Force. The Bush administration, however, has denied
    that the ITF even
    exists. "In this administration, we obey the First Law
    of
    Thermodynamics," President Bush has said.

    Another theory is that Rumsfeld increased production
    rates by traveling
    back in time and recalibrating the assembly lines to
    increase production
    rates for the past year or more. This theory could be
    tested by
    performing a carbon-dating procedure on Rumsfeld, but
    this is widely
    considered impractical.

    Although production levels have been improved,
    Rumsfeld said he did not
    know how long it would take to install armor on the
    Humvees currently in
    Iraq. Explaining his uncertainty, Rumsfeld cited the
    Heisenberg
    principle, a key concept in quantum physics which
    states that it is
    impossible to simultaneously know both the location
    and direction of
    movement of a Humvee.
    Saturday, December 18th, 2004
    7:12 pm
    American Overdose!
    What Are You, On Drugs?
    With so many Americans popping prescription meds, who
    needs nature and sex and exercise?

    By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

    Wednesday, December 8, 2004




    The odds are very good that you are on drugs.

    Right now. This minute. As I type this and as you read
    this and as false Texas dictators rise and sad empires
    crumble and as this mad bewildered world spins in its
    frantically careening orbit, there's a nearly 50/50
    chance that some sort of devious synthetic chemical
    manufactured by some massive and largely heartless
    corporation is coursing through your bloodstream and
    humping your brain stem and molesting your karma and
    kicking the crap out of your libido and chattering the
    teeth of your very bones.

    Maybe it's regulating your blood pressure. Maybe it's
    keeping your cholesterol in check. Maybe it's helping
    you sleep. Maybe it's helping you wake the hell up.
    Maybe it's opening your bronchial tubes. Maybe it's
    brightening your terminally bleak outlook.

    Maybe it's adjusting your hormone levels or
    controlling your urge to weep every minute or relaxing
    the blood vessels in your penis or cranking the
    serotonin to your brain or pumping carefully measured
    slugs of alprazolam or fluoxetine or sertraline or
    atorvastatin or esomeprazole or buspirone or
    venlafaxine or any number of substances with
    Latin-rooted jawbreaker names through your flesh in a
    bizarre dance of miraculous vaguely disturbing
    death-defying scientific wonder.

    Forty-four percent of all Americans. That's the latest
    number. Almost half us are popping at least one
    prescription drug and fully one in six are popping
    three or more, and the numbers are only increasing and
    this of course doesn't count alcohol or cigarettes or
    bad porn and it doesn't count the mad megadoses of
    jingoistic flag-waving God-slappin' fear -- which is,
    as evidenced by the last election, a stupendously
    popular FDA-approved drug in its own right. But that's
    another column.

    Have a teenager? She's probably on drugs, too. One in
    four of all teens are, according to new research. And
    we ain't talking pot or ecstasy or meth or fine
    cocaine or Bud Light or any of those
    oh-my-God-not-my-baby devil drugs that are so
    demonized by the government, but that by and large are
    no more (and are often far less) toxic and addictive
    and caustic than any of your average 8-buck-a-pop
    silver-bullet chemical bombs shot forth from the likes
    of Eli Lilly and Glaxo and Pfizer, et al. Ahh, irony.
    It's the American way.

    All of which means one of two things: either it's the
    goddamn finest time in history to be an American,
    living as we are in the age of incredible technology
    and miracle medicines and longer life expectancies and
    $5 coffee drinks and a happy synthetic chemical to
    match any sort of ache or pain or lump or rash or
    spiritual crisis you might be facing.

    Or it's the absolute worst, what with so many of us
    heavily drugged and over half of us massively obese
    and IQs dropping like stones and our overall quality
    of life deteriorating right under our noses and
    shockingly huge numbers of us actually finding Shania
    Twain somehow interesting. Which perspective is right
    for you? Ask your doctor.

    It's become so you can't crack a joke about Prozac or
    Xanax at a party without at least three or four faces
    suddenly going still and unsmiling and you're like,
    whoops, as you suddenly realize that you can, as you
    walk the streets of this fine and heavily narcotized
    nation, imagine at least one very expensive drug
    pumping through the time-ravaged body of nearly every
    other person you pass. It's a bit like knowing their
    secret fetish or favoritest dream or on which nether
    part they want to get a tattoo. Except totally
    different.

    And you might say, well, so what? So what if
    pharmaceuticals help us cope, relieve the pressure,
    help us survive this ugly and irritating world? Better
    living through chemistry, baby, so long as you don't
    mind the numbness and the glazed eyeballs and the
    heart palpitations and the lack of true feeling in
    your fingertips and the nightmares about snakes.
    Right?

    So long as you don't mind the slightly nauseating
    sense that you have lost some sort of vital and
    perhaps irreplaceable link to the animal world and the
    luminous organic planet. But, as Dubya says, who the
    hell cares about that crap when you got baseball and
    war and apple pie?

    Because here's the nasty truth: it's a highly toxic
    BushCo world right now and we've set it up so it's
    only getting worse, darker, more poisonous and
    unsettled and unsanitary. Maybe all our meds just help
    us maintain some sort of jittery and numbed balance,
    some sort of sad equilibrium. The BushCo doctrine
    dictates detachment, exploitation, abuse of every
    known ecological resource and profiteering from every
    known loophole and caring not a whit for nature and
    organic systems and balance? Hey, like nation, like
    body.

    But let's be fair. It must be said right here that
    many of these drugs indeed help an enormous number of
    people and restore lives and bring light where only
    darkness once reigned and far be it from me to
    begrudge anyone his or her chemical-assisted reprieve
    from genuine suffering.

    But here's the thing: it's still only a fraction. Only
    a small number of people whose doctors prescribe these
    meds like candy actually need them, and as for the
    rest there are these things called lifestyle change
    and dietary change and perspective change and even
    spiritual shift that can affect the overall health of
    your life like a goddamn miracle, like a thousand
    drugs combined, changes that millions simply refuse to
    undertake because, well, it's just too damn hard.

    We don't want to know. We don't want to understand
    deeper, complex natural systems. We want pills, not
    awareness. We want magic bullets, not true magic. We
    want to eat what we want and exercise not at all and
    pay no attention to our bodies and our quality of life
    and expect it all to work sufficiently well until we
    die at 90 and they forklift us into our
    refrigerator-size coffins. After all, we're Americans.
    We're not supposed to care.

    Nevertheless, it bears repeating: maybe what's lacking
    most in this society is a true and thoughtful and
    nuanced connection to and understanding of the natural
    systems, soil and sunlight and sustainability, lunar
    rhythms and whole food and maybe knowing where the
    hell your water really comes from. You think?

    Because the truth is, it's not all that hard to get
    informed. It's not all that hard to affect serious
    change in your life and eat better and kiss better and
    require less chemical crap in your bloodstream and
    slowly but surely reduce the need for medication in
    your life. It is far from impossible to clear out the
    toxins and flush the BushCo-endorsed crap and defy the
    demonic corporate pharmaceutical PR and reevaluate
    just how you tread this life. They just want you to
    think it is.
    Wednesday, December 15th, 2004
    10:24 pm
    Is THIS a violation of separation of church and state?
    Judge Wears Ten Commandments on Robe

    10 minutes ago

    By BOB JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A judge refused to delay a trial Tuesday when an attorney
    objected to his wearing a judicial robe with the Ten Commandments embroidered
    on the front in gold.

    Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan showed up Monday at his Covington County
    courtroom in southern Alabama wearing the robe. Attorneys who try cases at the
    courthouse said they had not seen him wearing it before. The commandments were
    described as being big enough to read by anyone near the judge.

    Attorney Riley Powell, defending a client charged with DUI, filed a motion
    objecting to the robe and asking that the case be continued. He said McKathan
    denied both motions.

    "I feel this creates a distraction that affects my client," Powell said.

    McKathan told The Associated Press that he believes the Ten Commandments
    represent the truth "and you can't divorce the law from the truth. ... The Ten
    Commandments can help a judge know the difference between right and wrong."

    He said he doesn't believe the commandments on his robe would have an adverse
    effect on jurors.

    "I had a choice of several sizes of letters. I purposely chose a size that
    would not be in anybody's face," he said.

    The case raised comparisons to former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who
    was removed from office in 2003 for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments
    monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery.

    Moore said Tuesday he supports McKathan's decision to wear the Ten
    Commandments robe.

    "I applaud Judge McKathan. It is time for our judiciary to recognize the
    moral basis of our law," Moore said.

    Powell said if he loses his case, he expects the judge's wearing of the Ten
    Commandments robe to be part of an appeal.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20041215/ap_on_re_us/ten_commandments_robe
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