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Please begin with an informative title:

I can't do the diary tonight. It's sad, and I have no excuse, I just can't do it.

But, I confess I do smile, thinking of the fine excuses John Belushi came up with, when HE could not do something he had hoped to, as I couldn't, tonight.

I ran outta gas. I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from outta town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake, a terrible flood, locust's. It wasn't my fault!! I swear to God!!
(Excerpt from here.)
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Please come in. You're invited to make yourself at home! Join us beneath the fleur de kos...


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

I can't comment on why I can't do the diary tonight ..., or make excuses, since I'm ultra-busy working on preparations for my sister's annual wreath-making Christmas party, an event that just leaves time for little else. (Yes, potty breaks, feeding, time for a little sleep, if permission is granted), but the party is a hit for a most noble reason. It isn't a passive party, it isn't a consumption party (though truly wonderful food and libations are available). It's a hit because it mobilizes the deeper creative abilities of the party-goers. Because they CREATE something beautiful and special at the party, something unique and unreproducable. Because their creativity is appreciated and applauded by the other party-guests. Because they can take the product(s) of their creativity home with them for decorative display. Or to work. Or to give to friends or acquaintances. Because they can (and are encouraged to!) bring their kids, to make wreaths of their own, utilizing their own novel creative abilities, setting standards for them, too, in what can be gratifying about parties, in how parties can ask something of the guests, creatively, with gratifications and rewards some have never experienced before. Shouldn't all parties be like that?! (Okay, granted, not the Republican party!)

If I had time to do a diary, I'd perhaps include a few pictures of wreaths from last year's party, but that would require time to format and re-size and tweak an upload an link pictures. That might be worth the time investment for wreaths like this one...


and this one ...

And these ...




If only I had that kind of time available ... ::wistful sigh::

One thing i've been hoping to write a diary about (but cannot tonight) ... is a quick insight, thanks to that immortal dickhead, Charlton Heston: Climate change deniers will start to change when you remove the ocean from their cold, dead asses ...

Another thing I am DYING to write about (SOME day! ::sigh:: ) is South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley’s colossal failure, as governor and as administrator of the public trust, to safeguard the financial information of South Carolina citizens and businesses. I want to write about it because of its value NATIONWIDE to make critical points about responsible governance, and the kind of problems that result when those ‘in charge’ (read, Republicans) could care less about governing, and about the governed, and the myriad problems they face as a consequence. 

If you have not been following the story (which has gotten some nationwide attention) the Social Security numbers and credit information of millions of South Carolina taxpayers (and businesses, too!) were compromised in a hacking incident which happened because the state maintained those records in antiquated computer systems without observing even minimal encryption practices.

Everything in Republican government in South Carolina is about securing re-election through artificially suppressed tax policies. (People do not matter. MONEY matters!) Clearly, if the state does not have to buy computers very often, or have to employ competent security personal or follow reasonable, responsible guidelines for data security, it’s easy to lower taxes. If the state has no accountability TO its citizens, it's easy to perpetually lower taxes. The lower the expectations, the easier it is to fail to perform and say, what do you expect? It's government!

Experts have stated that the problem with having our private and confidential data ‘out there,’ is that the threat of identity theft and financial compromise lasts a LIFETIME. And the fact that one is not currently a taxpayer does not mean one is safe. The social security numbers of tens of thousands of dependent children (even newborns in incubators) were compromised, as well. So threats to THEIR eventual credit will last for the duration of THEIR lives, too. Their credit can be permanently ruined before they ever fill out an application for a job, much less a loan.

And people who have filed a return here in recent years but have since moved to other states are just as much at risk as those still here. For the rest of their lives, too.

Yes, perhaps credit can be rehabilitated, eventually, with tireless and time/energy-intensive work and commitment, but though the state is utterly responsible for the exposure, the work, expense and responsibility for fixing it will fall individually on every individual, so sorry, tough luck, you're on your own, sucker. That burden is a 'tax' that benefits no one and no group, that you will pay in dollars, time and anxiety for the rest of your life, no way out, tough shit, fuck you.

Yes, it is possible to change one’s social security number, under certain fairly clearly defined circumstances, usually involving likelihood that the attack on one’s identity and credit is conducted by a single, distinctly identified individual. Of course, if the person or persons who ‘acquired’ this information just happen to decide to publish it in some fashion on the Internet (or some private hacker network) where the attacks might be conducted by dozens, if not thousands of others, then demonstrating one has been targeted by a specific hacker is much more problematic.

Here is what you have to show to obtain a newly assigned social security number:

You need to show proof that 1) you’ve suffered harm from someone misusing your ss# and 2) you’ve made all reasonable efforts to otherwise solve the problem i.e. credit report freezes, closing accounts and changing account numbers, etc.
(From here.)

Thus, you can't do it (usually) in a prophylactic sense (the harm will have to already have been done, for the most part), and it could require hundreds or thousands of hours of your time trying to FIX things to demonstrate compliance with item two ... not to mention the myriad hoops you'll have to jump through to reclaim your life and reconfigure all your accounts and loans and other life issues contingent on social security number (if you can ever even find them all). But, on the bright side, it's YOUR time and YOUR inconvenience, not Nikki Haley's, so ... no big deal, as far as she and the Republicans who blindly back her are concerned.

In some circles (at least in public), Republicans don’t seem very alarmed about this incident, feeling that at its worst, it will merely prove one of their favorite theses: government doesn’t work. Well, what I’d like to see (and I would diary this, if I could) is Democrats nationwide standing up and making clear to everyone that this is no failure of government. It is a failure of Republican-administered government! Very different, in this, the land of the institutionalized false equivalency.

I’d write about this tonight if I could - I think it is that important, AND that big an opportunity. But I just can’t.

I also wanted to write about the fact that, on Nov. 27, Sagittarius stole my horoscope!


Here is the text, which pertains to me far more than it does, Sagi, by my choice.

You will never want for creativity. Inside you exists a wonderful well of ideas you’ve toyed around with and also a deeper reservoir of ideas that have not even been born yet.
(I wonder, if the ideas have not been born yet, have they been ... conceived? And what is the difference, in the world of ideas, between being born and being conceived? Isn’t the conception of an idea also the birth of that idea? Just as well I can’t do the diary tonight, to get hung up on such questions! But I confess I do somewhat resent Sagittarius snaking my horoscope on that day. That’s not right. And someday, when I have time, I may write about it.)

Of course, tonight isn’t the only night when I can’t do the diary. I couldn’t do the diary on election night eve, either, even though I basically wrote it, then. I’m not going to be able to really share that, tonight, either, but if I had the kind of time required, here’s the kind of thing I would try to share, as I wrote it then:

We Win.

Yes, I know, the election is tomorrow. Yes, I know, we are trailing in some polls, in many contests. We may win a few of those, we may lose a few we’re leading at the moment. The presidency is not assured, the aftermath of the storm is just beginning, challenges abound.

But, even so, even amidst the uncertainty, we win.

‘How so, BeninSC?’

We win because of the great power of our compassion. We win because of the totality of our commitment. We win because the groundwork is in place for us to continue the battles, none of which will end regardless of the final numbers following this election.

Of course we are focused on the short term. But our dreams go well beyond that. We dream of a world in which our fellow human beings live in peace, free from oppression and discrimination, free from bullying and abuse, with great opportunity in education, in employment, in all creative pursuits. Where health care is assured, and no one goes ever goes hungry. Where people can form the relationships they want with those they love. Where the elderly need never fear they will wind up on the streets. Where our veterans are respected and appreciated.

Of course, the world we dream of won’t come without an enormous amount of work, and much of it may not be in our lifetime. The point is, the momentum is inexorably in that direction, even in the midst of setbacks and frustrations and disappointments. Because our resolve is stronger than theirs. Because our vision is more moral than theirs. Because the arc of history bends toward this justice, and we help advance that arc with every little step we take, with every vote, with every person we touch compassionately and lovingly.

Godspeed in your pre-election and Election Day endeavors, and every success to all of us, going forward.

Of course, looking back, it’s very nice to see that the presidential and Senatorial races turned out as well as they did. I feel very good about it, all in all, though, how good ... I’m just not going to be able to share tonight. Suffice it to say very good, indeed. And delighted I was right about our winning. We DID win, and we’ll continue to. Whether I’m able to write about it on a given evening or not.

And then there was Rachel Maddow's incredible show last night in which she described the hypocrisy and sheer political cowardice behind Republicans' latest (possibly short-term decisive :( ) manipulation to undermine women and the right to choose in Mississippi ... cowardice and madness personified ... Oh how I would wish to write about that!  But, alas, tonight, it's not to be. Doubt I'll even have opportunity to mention it. (Transcript not yet posted, but Crooks and Liars covered it.)

Though I was not able to watch sports today, due to other commitments, I noticed in news excerpts something that will upset some people in South Carolina. Lately I've seen quite a few people with this bumper sticker on their cars.


Notre Dame fans, I'm thinking, to have that kind of aversion to #2 ranked University of Alabama. Collegiate football has been big here for quite a few years, but this is the first time I can recall local fans expressing that degree of animosity toward another school, particularly a Southern school about to face a (much more distant, non-Southern) Catholic school for the national championship. Surely they're dismayed tonight, as 'Bama just beat the University of Georgia to secure their place in that game against Notre Dame.

If I had time (which I don't), and if I were a dKos science community diarist (which I'm not), I wouldn't miss writing about a remarkable comet coming to visit late next year from the Oort Cloud. Named C/2012 S1 ISON (rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?!), it is expected arrive in late November and remain visible into January of 2014, perhaps brighter than a full moon! Maybe someone will diary this, since I cannot.

Finally, the next time I DO do a diary (please, no do do jokes), I will explain why it is that Republicans govern so atrociously. Thanks to an intrepid crew of Japanese insight providers!

Here is where, were I to have been able to do the diary tonight, I would lead into tonight's comments, which would have been brilliantly compiled and formatted by the best in the business, Top Comments very own brillig!

Maybe next time!

I wasn't able to do the diary tonite either, but if I had, I'd have first included the disclaimer that lets everyone know where I stand on comment nominations.:

Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.

From brillig:
jpmassar brings news of Same-Gender marriage at West Point. Steveningen nearly cost me a monitor with this reply.
(Ed. note: how many Steveningens are there?)
From BeninSC:
Maple Jenny describes some of the challenges of being a teacher in today's world.

If you want a quality, human, humane, heart-filled comment, you can't do better than this one from wewantthetruth.

If I'd done the diary formatting, I'd then have added the Top Mojo for yesterday, November 30th, first comments and tip jars excluded. I'd as always thank mik for the mojo magic!
  1) Proceeeed, Congressmen. by Murphoney — 247
  2) Welcome Back, Fish by JekyllnHyde — 235
  3) {{{Fishgrease}}} Welcome back!!!! I so missed you! by mrsgoo — 205
  4) Cokie Roberts can bite me by anastasia p — 175
  5) We'll be respectfully disagreeing over... by Meteor Blades — 163
  6) Proceed: And. . . by 4CasandChlo — 159
  7) They will by Dallasdoc — 151
  8) Well, Joe is still missing the other half by eataTREE — 149
  9) I think the Democrats should just tell 'em... by markthshark — 142
10) God bless you! by Fishgrease — 132
11) Do you keep him in a bowl with water and a rock? by Dallasdoc — 126
12) Who could have predicted this would work? by Dallasdoc — 118
13) Actually, I was thinking something smells fishy. by Eileen B — 112
14) I think the first statement was more powerful.. by databob — 111
15) Did David Gergen say... by Dahankster — 111
16) It's sad that President Obama's greatest flaw by Snuffleupagus — 109
17) Cokie Roberts by bink — 108
18) California needs water by SQD35R — 108
19) Pentagon cuts should be part of the deal NOW by RJDixon74135 — 105
20) That was a righteous moment. by fou — 102
21) Or brains... or hearts... or a booming clue. by ontheleftcoast — 101
22) They should negotiate like I do with my kids... by Buckeye Nut Schell — 100
23) Thanks for the heads-up on Bob Cavnar. by Pluto — 98
24) The proverbial rock and a hard place, with a twist by confitesprit — 94
25) I am an old fart. by Illinois IRV — 94
26) Thanks, Blades by Fishgrease — 94
27) Thanks for this and YES ... by Richeroo — 94
28) I think we're seeing proof of this by smileycreek — 94
29) My favorite? by Adam B — 88
30) It has to be the release of the tape about by blue jersey mom — 88

Then lastly, if I'd done the diary formatting I'd have gotten the Top Pictures for yesterday, November 30th, and told you to click any image to be taken to the full comment. I'd thank jotter for the image magic!

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