October 2007 archive

Pony Party, Good Samhain

The Veil Is Getting Thin

As I went out walking this fall afternoon,
I heard a wisper wispering.
I heard a wisper wispering,
Upon this fine fall day…

As I went out walking this fall afternoon,
I heard a laugh a’laughing.
I heard a laugh a’laughing,
Upon this fine fall day…

I heard this wisper and I wondered,
I heard this laugh and then I knew.
The time is getting near my friends,
The time that I hold dear my friends,
The veil is getting thin my friends,
And strange things will pass through.

…anonymously authored poem from this website

About that Novel.

let’s review the rules. Here’s how it works: the president makes decisions. He’s the Decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put ’em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know – fiction!

Because really, what incentive do these people have to answer your questions, after all? I mean, nothing satisfies you.

kredwyn is so totally doing that Novel in a month marathon thing and we should all be encouraging her and anyone else brave enough to attempt it, but that’s not what I’m here to talk to you about.

I want to talk about Media Complicity.

Why I’m NOT Endorsing a Candidate for President

I think we can all agree that any nominee of the Democratic Party is going to be more receptive to progressive initiatives, make better appointments and nominations, and run the Executive Branch more competently than any Republican.

What I am far more concerned about is-

  • The Continuing Occupation of Iraq
  • The Erosion of our Constitutional Liberties
  • The Congenital Criminal Corruption in D.C.

The solution to these concerns is not in the White House, but at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue- in the halls of Congress.

Through both Republican and Democratic administrations over the last 30 years the level of incestuous self absorption by the Beltway Bozo Pandering Pundit Political Media Elite, the Fatheaded Sissies and Whiny Bloviators, the Arrogant Asskissing Acceptors of Access, the So-Called “Serious People” with their Mindless Masturbatory Illusions of Self Importance and Constant Cacophony of Condescending Calumny and Lies has increased to levels not seen since the Gilded Age.

Like gilding their Inflated Pompous Balloon Egos are micrometers thick.  They need a good prick, and I am one.

I think we need to be devoting our time and energy to producing a dominant Democratic majority in Congress and within that a Powerful Progressive Caucus.

Anything else is not going to produce the results we want.  Primary, primary, primary.  Punish the Media with your eyeballs, emails, and money.  Not a dime to the Corporate Enablers, sit on your ass and vote with your wallet.

Or indulge yourself in the amorphous meanderings of your particular cult of personality, whatever.

Wishing for a strong man (or woman) on a white horse is delusional dreaming.  Working with others to produce a profound change in direction is quite something else and one or two elections and lucky breaks won’t do anything but delay the damage and I’m so very tired of being the little Dutch boy with my fingers in the dike.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 US State Dept in furor over reported Blackwater immunity deal
by Sylvie Lanteaume, AFP
1 hour, 28 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A top US legislator demanded information Tuesday over reports that the State Department offered immunity to Blackwater employees in the wake of a Baghdad shooting that left 17 civilians dead.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden called on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to explain whether the private security group, which protects US diplomats in Baghdad under a contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars, had been offered protection from prosecution when the State Department investigated the September 16 shooting.

On Tuesday US media reported that the Blackwater guards were promised immunity during the department’s inquiry.

2 U.S. to tighten rules for Iraq contractors
By Andrew Gray and Randall Mikkelsen, Reuters
2 hours, 31 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon and U.S. State Department have agreed to tighten rules governing private security contractors in Iraq, giving a greater oversight role to the U.S. military, officials said on Tuesday.

The proposed changes emerged from a review triggered by a shooting incident in Baghdad last month in which security guards from U.S. security firm Blackwater, working for the State Department, are accused of having killed 17 Iraqis.

Efforts to prosecute guards involved in the incident could be complicated by a grant of limited immunity offered by State Department investigators, U.S. officials also said on Tuesday.

3 Immunity deals ‘routine’ for contractors
By LARA JAKES JORDAN and MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writers
3 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – Limited immunity has been routinely offered to private security contractors involved in shootings in Iraq, State Department officials said Tuesday, denying such actions jeopardized criminal prosecution of Blackwater USA guards accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack declined to discuss specifics of the agency’s role in the investigation, but said any immunity deals should not stop the Justice Department from prosecuting.

“It’s up to the investigators and prosecutors to determine what kind of case they have … and ultimately whether to bring prosecution,” McCormack told reporters.

Losing the fight on Iran

It seems the propaganda and fear-mongering is working. According to a Zogby poll published yesterday,

A majority of likely voters – 52% – would support a U.S. military strike to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, and 53% believe it is likely that the U.S. will be involved in a military strike against Iran before the next presidential election, a new Zogby America telephone poll shows.” [my emph.]

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

The muses are ancient.  The inspirations for our stories were said to be born from them.  Muses of song and dance, or poetry and prose, of comedy and tragedy, of the inward and the outward.  In one version they are Calliope, Euterpe and Terpsichore, Erato and Clio, Thalia and Melpomene, Polyhymnia and Urania.

It has also been traditional to name a tenth muse.  Plato declared Sappho to be the tenth muse, the muse of women poets.  Others have been suggested throughout the centuries.  I don’t have a name for one, but I do think there should be a muse for the graphical arts.  And maybe there should be many more.

Please join us inside to celebrate our various muses…

Fuck this “debate”

So everyone with a blog or a newspaper is writing about the “debate” held tonight by the Democratic candidates for their party’s nomination for President.  But I’m not.  I didn’t watch it.  Sure, I was at work while it was going on, and could not have done so.  But I have been home for several of them, and proudly ignored them.  Because the “debates” are a sham, about little of substance, and won’t make much of a difference anyway.

We can all remember the vast attention paid to the Presidential debates in 2004, as well as many of them previous.  But the “victories” of Kerry over Bush in the debates then did not matter, and no matter how much we venerate the “You, sir, are no Jack Kennedy” moments of debates, debate results don’t matter much, except for in a single area.  The Swift Boat ads trumped whatever success from the debates Kerry had.

The only way that debates matter, particularly in the primaries, is that it can help determine not who any of us will vote for, but who gets major financial supporters.  Because you can blow it by having a terrible debate performance, and the money will not go to a candidate who has blown it.  And you can maybe pick up some money from a surprisingly strong debate showing; Mike Huckabee has finally seen an uptick in donations after repeated “strong” performances in the eyes of the press.

Anybody Feel the Earthquake?

I know there are at least a few Bay Area dwellers ’round here.

USGS says 5.6 with an epicenter at alum rock (just north of San Jose).  See link for past week’s activity also.

My story:

I’m in Marin sitting in my rocking recliner with rocking foot stool and petting the dog.

I don’t feel a thing.

Mrs. Night Owl, who is sitting next to me in her four on the floor comfy chair, is just about to say again what an idiot Tweety is when all of a sudden she asks if I feel the place shaking.

I say no, and go back to petting the dog.

I guess I have an earthquake absorbing recliner.

Talk with Local Farmer Raises Questions about Joe Bruno’s Consulting Firm

So I went looking for pumpkins today.  There is a nice farm a mile or two away that offers hay rides and pumpkin picking.  The farmer was very nice, he had moved here from out west and was trying his best at agri-tourism.  His farm is rather large, he rents acreage out to other farmers and grows his own veggies, corn, pumpkins etc.

One year the farmer decided he’d like to add a snow tube ride in the winter months to help him pay the mortgage.  He did his research and on the government’s website found that snow tubing was a certified agri-tourism business.  Enter Joe Bruno’s local thug, the existing town supervisor, Herrington.  Herrington also runs a large farm and has done his best to squeeze out other farmers, then sell their land to corporations like Wal*Mart.

George Bush: Best. Democratic strategist. EVER.

Remember back before the congressional elections last November? Remember how so many well-wishing rightwing pundits were so full of concern that they offered all kinds of advice to the Democrats about what they needed to do in order to appeal to the American electorate?

Remember how utterly, fantastically wrong all of those concern trolls were? Yeah. What a shock.

It can be safely said that the November 2006 elections clearly demonstrated that whatever a Republic advises Democrats to do “for their own good,” or “for the good of the country,” Democrats should do exactly the opposite.

Iglesia…………..Episode Six


(Last weeks episode)

Chapter Two

His young hard, coffee colored body was covered in a gleam of light sweat as he ran. Lungs pumping, legs pistoning up and down, his arms thrusting out for balance or pulling in to put on a burst of speed. Inside, the blazing star of raw youth burned and powered him. He didn’t notice that he felt no separation from the jungle. Running through jungles was what young men were made to do. It was one of their less destructive evolutionary functions.

He wore just shorts and sneakers and his sneakers created the drumbeat he ran to and his heart matched it.

The world he lived in then usually had three colors, blue green and brown. But when he was running there were only green and brown, of course there were hundreds of shades of green under the canopy of the jungle…and several different colors of brown, from tree trunks to the shifting colors of the dirt on the game tracks that he ran, as well as the different shades of brown of the many small rivers and streams he jumped over like ….NOW… or waded quickly through on his journey avoiding as much of the jungles bio-diveristy as he could. Then out into the sunlight for a quick dip in the pool that the village worked on keeping clear of predators…. and on good days, Mom’s banana pancakes before school.

A Time to Remember: Samhain

Samhain (pronounced Sow-in or Sahm-hayn), known most popularly as Halloween, marks the end of the third and final harvest, is a day to commune with and remember the dead, and is a celebration of the eternal cycle of reincarnation.
Samhain is the most coveted Sabbat by many Pagan traditions.

A little background on Pagan holidays. The Sun marks the year at four clear points called the Quarter Days – in the Northern Hemisphere. These days: Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, and Autumnal Equinox. The Celts divided the year in to eight by inserting the four Cross Quarter Days at October 31st (Samhain), February 1st (Imbolc), May 1st (Beltane) and August 1st (Lughnasad). These points are roughly half the number of days between the Solstices and the Equinoxes. Each of these days is considered a sabbat. A sabbat is a holy days among Celtic Pagans.

Pagans believe in both a Goddess and a God. The focus of most pagans is on the Goddess and she was found in trinity in the Celtic world. As a Virgin, we first see her at Imbolc as Bride. She has a Mother aspect, both Beltane and Lughnasad – times of fertility and harvest. It is here at Samhain that we meet the Goddess in Her third aspect, one that causes the most problems for many of us: the Crone.

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