November 24, 2008



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Perhaps you will remember last year's mention of Edward Tufte, the Galileo of Graphics, and the proliferation of graphical representations that have arisen from his work. Since we still find ourselves stranded in a creative desert, we are offering up the wonderful work of others in the area of infographics for your educationally enhanced entertainment.

Because one could get hopelessly lost on the Infopornographic website, we will start you out with a spectacular example of the representations that can be achieved in this area, and then direct you to scroll all the way down to the flags on this second string. To explore all by your onesie, just click one of those numbers in the boxes on top and scroll down any line-- you will have to wiggle your mouse a little to catch some of the displays. In any case, you will find more information than you will ever be able to digest. Careful it might be addictive.

Photo note: Kinda looks like a graph, doesn't it? As you can see, we aren't particularly inspired

More information about the clickie under digest

Posted by Dakota at 06:59 AM

November 19, 2008

How Does This Bailout Compare To Other Historic Big Budget Items


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Today we are taking the Lazy Girls' Route by presenting some fascinating facts which have been completely copied from the CNBC Research Department which is somewhat better staffed than our own:

If you are dumbfounded by the amount of money the federal government is pouring into the private sector to ease the nation's financial crisis, it's worth a look at how much Uncle Sam has spent on other major projects and historic events in the past, such as wars, bailouts and engineering marvels.

Thus far, only one item surpasses the $700 billion allocated to the government's main rescue fund, what's known as the Treasury Dept.'s TARP program. Other expenses and/or commitments, from Federal Reserve lending and guarantees to FDIC insurance fund losses to complex financial market mechanism, put the total cost at some $3.8 trillion (as of Oct. 23). Click ahead for a big-budget ride through time.

Watch the slideshow

Photo note: Well, it's green (and red), a little out of focus and one could make a comparison, if one were so inclined. To reiterate -lazy.

Posted by Dakota at 08:32 PM

November 17, 2008

Good Advice


we were
from the

the shift
in energetic


the bumper
of the car
in front
offered a

see above

to try
it out

we think
got it


at least
he sets
a good

Photo note: said bumper sticker

Posted by Dakota at 09:04 PM

November 13, 2008

The Spiritual Realignment


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All of us here at Dakota have been busy realigning. The energy switch in the ether has been palpable. You know, the switch from thinking about what you want , rather than what you don't want. A most difficult task, but quite rewarding, as evidenced by Obama's victory. Looks like enough of us put our conscious attention (followed by sufficient action) to imagining this change, and it happened.

Sadly, some of us here at Dakota are change aversive, and don't like feeling out of control. As a consequence, we have developed symptoms too numerous to mention -- the usual manifestations of somatized fear and grief, and, you may have noticed that our creative life went out the window too.

In spite of our difficulties, we find Obama is a wonderful model. We often conjure up the image of him holding up his hand to a disapproving crowd saying, "Don't boo, just vote" .

Obama spoke about his spiritual life in a 2004 interview with Cathleen Falsani:

OBAMA: .... I retain from my childhood and my experiences growing up a suspicion of dogma. And I'm not somebody who is always comfortable with language that implies I've got a monopoly on the truth, or that my faith is automatically transferable to others.

I'm a big believer in tolerance. I think that religion at it's best comes with a big dose of doubt. I'm suspicious of too much certainty in the pursuit of understanding just because I think people are limited in their understanding.

I think that, particularly as somebody who's now in the public realm and is a student of what brings people together and what drives them apart, there's an enormous amount of damage done around the world in the name of religion and certainty.

FALSANI: Do you pray often?

OBAMA: Uh, yeah, I guess I do.

Its' not formal, me getting on my knees. I think I have an ongoing conversation with God. I think throughout the day, I'm constantly asking myself questions about what I'm doing, why am I doing it.

One of the interesting things about being in public life is there are constantly these pressures being placed on you from different sides. To be effective, you have to be able to listen to a variety of points of view, synthesize viewpoints. You also have to know when to be just a strong advocate, and push back against certain people or views that you think aren't right or don't serve your constituents.

And so, the biggest challenge, I think, is always maintaining your moral compass. Those are the conversations I'm having internally. I'm measuring my actions against that inner voice that for me at least is audible, is active, it tells me where I think I'm on track and where I think I'm off track.

It's interesting particularly now after this election, comes with it a lot of celebrity. And I always think of politics as having two sides. There's a vanity aspect to politics, and then there's a substantive part of politics. Now you need some sizzle with the steak to be effective, but I think it's easy to get swept up in the vanity side of it, the desire to be liked and recognized and important. It's important for me throughout the day to measure and to take stock and to say, now, am I doing this because I think it's advantageous to me politically, or because I think it's the right thing to do? Am I doing this to get my name in the papers or am I doing this because it's necessary to accomplish my motives.

FALSANI: Checking for altruism?

OBAMA: Yeah. I mean, something like it.

Looking for, ... It's interesting, the most powerful political moments for me come when I feel like my actions are aligned with a certain truth. I can feel it. When I'm talking to a group and I'm saying something truthful, I can feel a power that comes out of those statements that is different than when I'm just being glib or clever.

FALSANI: What's that power? Is it the holy spirit? God?

OBAMA: Well, I think it's the power of the recognition of God, or the recognition of a larger truth that is being shared between me and an audience....

Alongside my own deep personal faith, I am a follower, as well, of our civic religion. I am a big believer in the separation of church and state. I am a big believer in our constitutional structure. I mean, I'm a law professor at the University of Chicago teaching constitutional law. I am a great admirer of our founding charter, and its resolve to prevent theocracies from forming, and its resolve to prevent disruptive strains of fundamentalism from taking root ion this country.

As I said before, in my own public policy, I'm very suspicious of religious certainty expressing itself in politics....

A standard line in my stump speech during this campaign is that my politics are informed by a belief that we're all connected.

Now isn't that refreshing? It's worth reading the whole thing if you have the attention span.

We know personally when we're aligning because sometimes a metaphorophoto appears (see above), or a friend emails a prayer of thanks, which we will include for those of you who know a little Hebrew.

Barack atah Illinois, Elohenu melech ha'olam,
hoo-ray p'ri ha-electoral landslide.

Photo note: Obama standing up for what he believes, in the midst of the corporatocracy, notice the light - a combo metaphorophoto/metamorphophoto

Posted by Dakota at 07:32 PM

November 07, 2008

Modern Love


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A passionate relationship generally begins with idealization. Mine did not. It wasn't love at first sight, though he certainly caught my fancy after that yummy speech at the DNC in 2004

In 2006 he began courting me in earnest. I have to admit, by then, I found myself spending time exploring a same sex relationship. It was never really all I wanted it to be. By 2007 both of them were making a serious play for me. He with sweet talk, and, well - he's a great dancer. She was fun for awhile too, but her faux hilarity wore thin. In the end she couldn't tolerate my ambivalence. She often became shrill when it looked like I was having trouble deciding between them. He waited, and flirted and stayed calm. Eventually he won my heart with his unfailing civility, his fine mind and his undaunted spirit. I became very attached to him.

By the time we were officially engaged on Tuesday, I was deeply in love. He made a moving and eloquent commitment to me, which touched me so that I couldn't stop crying. I was thrilled to finally have him in my life for certain.

We've only been engaged a few days, and I have begun to fear that our limerence period is over. We're headed into differentiation, and we haven't even moved in together. I don't really care for his friend, Rahm Emanuel, who's going to be hanging around a lot. He promised to tolerate marijuana, and now he's changed his mind. I'm going to watch his first press conference, in hopes that I can keep the flame alive. At least he doesn't leave his dirty laundry everywhere.

The trick of differentiation is neither abandoning or polarizing the relationship -- it's trying to learn from your loved one, accept and embrace the differences between you, and, in doing so, add to the richness of one's own experience. I'm willing to give it a try, but sustaining love is always harder than one imagines.

Photo note: beautiful roses, a bit past prime

Posted by Dakota at 05:57 PM

November 05, 2008

November 04, 2008



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a tranquil
to soothe
the nerves
while the

it to

Photo note: Blue heron against the waves

Posted by Dakota at 07:19 PM

November 03, 2008

Still On The Fence?


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For those of you who are still on the fence David Sedaris offers this pithy thought:

I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

Come on guys, all the prominent conservatives are flocking to Obama

You might try listening to your elders

As B.M., a reader from Talking Points Memo points out about Obama's infomercial "Obama can go on TV for 30 minutes and not mention John McCain even once. No way would the reverse be true."

Which brings us to the New Age and heavy duty channeling by Kathleen Long.

Barack Obama is of an energy unlike those of the Powers That Be, who exist in an "old boys' club." He speaks more in his silence and demeanor than those who are arrogant about their place in the history of the old order and their "wins" as members of that order. The thing about "winning" is that it means there must be a "loser" who is seen as diminished in the process. The new president will bring to the table the approach of uplifting the other into a place where all win.

The great divide within this country is based purely on the consciousness that espouses separation and decries equality, for in oneness and equality, one cannot know power over another. The time has come for the ending of the global consciousness that embraces the love of power, and the beginning of the one that
embraces the power of love. Know that Obama is NOT of a consciousness that has been around for a very long time in American history. His is not an energy of control but of empowerment. He is not of the mindset of separation consciousness, rather he is of a collective oneness. He must parade himself as a typical politician to a degree that will keep him in the race but he knows groundedness within the energy of his family--his wife and children. They hold him in the light he is. He puts on an act at times, playing the game that must be played. He is aware of this and it does not diminish him although at times he does find it difficult.

So who should one vote for in this election? Many have already chosen, others are still undecided, but in the end it is the collective consciousness that casts the vote. Stay tuned, stay aware and awake as you progress toward one of the greatest moments in the history of Earth, as she is birthing into the light of a new day.

Okay, okay, too lala for you? Take a look at this - if the world could vote look at who they'd vote for.

All of us here at Dakota are just trying to be helpful!

Photo note: American flag on the fence from the American flag series

Posted by Dakota at 08:57 AM