April 7, 2008 archive

Pony Party, NHL Playoff Countdown

Updated (3x): “The Flame of Discord” Doused in Paris

From The Press Association:

Protesters have forced police to extinguish the Olympic torch amid heavy demonstrations as it set off across Paris.

Officers in jogging gear who had been escorting the flame put it out and took it on a bus, apparently to get it away from the protesters.

The flame, which started out at the Eiffel Tower amid tight security, was being carried down a road next to the Seine near demonstrators carrying Tibetan flags when the relay was stopped.

Sky News has footage of the security guarding the torch, including the police on rollerblades:

New Markos @ Newsweek

Markos has a new piece up at Newsweek, the first one since November 26, 2007.

For the intro and some instant analysis, join me below the fold.

Docudharma Times Monday April 7

This is my mistake. Let me make it good

I raised the wall, and I will be the one to knock it down

Monday’s Headlines: ‘Soft money’ battle brewing : Three Days of Fire Still Seared in Witnesses’ Minds:  Olympic spirit comes to Britain: Is the food still Italian if the chef is a foreigner?: Farms raided as Mugabe incites racial tension: Darfur women still face rape risk: Sri Lankan minister among dozen killed in suicide blast at marathon:  War reporter Jon Swain pays tribute to Dith Pran: Clashes in Egypt strike stand-off: Rift widens between Iraq’s Shiites:  


Another Test for Habeas Corpus

One of the dismal hallmarks of the Bush administration’s conduct of the war on terror has been its obsession with avoiding outside scrutiny of its actions, including by the federal courts. In particular, it has attacked habeas corpus, the guarantee that prisoners can challenge their confinement before a judge. The administration is doing so again in an important Supreme Court case concerning the habeas rights of American citizens held abroad. The justices should rule that the detainees have a right to review by a United States court.

Through the Darkest of Nights: Testament V

     Every few days over the next several months I will be posting installments of a novel about life, death, war and politics in America since 9/11.  Through the Darkest of Nights is a story of hope, reflection, determination, and redemption.  It is a testament to the progressive values we all believe in, have always defended, and always will defend no matter how long this darkness lasts.          

    All installments are available for reading here on my page, and also here on Docudharma’s Fiction Page, where refuge from politicians, blogging overload, and one BushCo outrage after another can always be found.


Muse in the Morning

Art Link

Landscape of the Mind

The Candy-colored Clown

In my dreams

the eagle transforms

into the dove of peace

every soul is sparked

by precious pieces

of Martin and Coretta

their essence permeates

the landscape

of my mind

fairness prevails

people are kind

nice caring helpful

human warmth flows

toward everyone

through everything

replenishing the fabric

of this mortal coil

There’s always fair weather

where justice reigns

the justice that Martin

saw from the mountain top

Then I awake

let out a gasp

and cry out

in despair

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–February 17, 2006

Please join us inside to celebrate our various muses…

Benjamin Franklin and America Today

BenFranklinoval2 lett

As we know, much of the Constitution has been suspended, as has Habeas Corpus.

Most recently, the First Amendment has virtually been destroyed. Details are here:


This means that American citizens have lost Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, and Freedom of Religion.

Yesterday I asked “What would Jefferson and Franklin do?” – say? think? regarding these perilous times in a diary called “You Can’t Be Serious”. Some respondents posted pictures of frogs, cake, horse faces and nose picking to demonstrate their cheer and suggested that we all need a good laugh, some entertainment. Some cherry-picked quotes to prove that Franklin, and Jefferson were really jolly sorts.

We are taught to remember these inventors as kite-flyer and gentleman farmer, so some of that is true. But a further look afield yields riches.

Franklin considered the suspension of rights and values very carefully. What he had to say about that is in Franklin’s own essay, below the fold. As you read it, you will see now closely his times were like our own. (Emphasis is added by me re Habeas Corpus, freedom of speech and freedom of religion.)

Eric Larsen tells us of the dangers we face in this magnificent three-part essay – with which, I think, the Framers would agree.


Your Congresscritter can be contacted here http://www.congress.org/

If you love America, there is nothing to laugh about, and every reason to get busy saving Liberty.

“A Republic – if you can keep it”

~ Ben Franklin

What Would Benjamin Franklin Do?

As you may know, the First Amendment of the Constitution has virtually been suspended. Among other things, this means that Americans no longer have Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion.

Yesterday I asked “What would Jefferson and Franklin do?” regarding these perilous times in an essay, “You Can’t Be Serious”.

Some respondents presented cherry-picked quotes to demonstrate that Franklin, and Jefferson, were really jolly sorts. But, as is so often the case with quickly provided internet responses,  they didn’t do their homework.


The Weapon of Young Gods #18: Gauchoholica Uber Alles!

Neena has been talking up a storm, going on for a while now about politics, religion, life, death, and the universe, but I can’t really keep up with her, since the alcohol’s sort of slowed every reflex I have. Except, so far, the impulse that keeps me from looking completely stupid, but I’m not so sure how long that one can hold out either, mostly because of her weirdly hypnotic eyes. She has no pupils; her eyes are simply two enormous black orbs in the middle of a dark-chocolate face unframed by the luscious blue-black tresses currently held back in a ponytail.  I’m trying to imagine what she’d look like with it all let down when she starts in on the massive curfew we’re all currently violating with extreme prejudice.

Previous Episode

7 minutes

Have you got 7 minutes to think about the world being a better place?

viðrar vel til loftárása

Words and music by sigur rós

Contextual Icelandic-to-English translation via senyxx (Czech Republic):

I let myself flow onwards

I swim through my mind back and forth

My soul still sings

the song we once wrote


We once had a dream

We had everything

We rode to the end of the world

We rode on searching

We climbed skyscrapers

But they were all destroyed

The peace is gone now

I lack balance, I fall down

Still, I let myself flow onwards

I swim through my mind

but I always come back

to the same place

There is nothing left to say

This is for the best

God will provide a day

for us


Isn’t the fact that we do love more important to us as human beings than who we love?

Pony Party, NHL Playoff Countdown

May One – Rerun/Recycled

Reminder more or less that May 1 is the International Worker’s Day and early American labor rights protesters initiated it. It’s an American tradition – not a Communist tradition. And it’s a pagan tradition from the dawn of time.

I hope you all had a great May Day. As I post this it’s still May 1 from the CDT zone westward. For those who saw the original post, you can just skip it or get refreshed. For those who haven’t seen it, it has some interesting background on the history of the day.

Herewith, a recycled essay:

May 1.

A lot of Americans have apparently been brainwashed during their formative years. Especially the crowd over at the site that shall not be named. The vast majority associate the first day of the month of May as a Soviet Communist celebration day. Then again a sizable number of Uhmericans think Saddam Hussein was complicit in the 9/11 atrocities. Oh, and the wiretapping started after 9/11 and not like late February or early March of 2001.

May first was a holiday before there was a May. It’s a cross-quarter day. That means it falls about halfway between a solstice and an equinox. Back before keyboards, laser mice and high-speed internet connections people used to notice these things. The only thing that emitted light, besides fire, was in the sky. You can check out the sky anytime. Just click here. Cool, huh? And you didn’t have to let go of your mouse to do it.

So back in the days of stone knives and bearskins, and I’m not talking about the Star Trek episode where Spock and McCoy have to build a time-machine thingie with 1930s tech, or even the dark ages of eight bit processors, RAM limits of 65536 bytes and machine code, I’m talking real stone and real bear. Hell, sabre-tooth tiger and wooly mammoth times. Back when chipped flint was high-tech. In the time of neo-pagans (not to be confused with the neopaganists of today).

Together with the solstices and equinoxes (Yule, Ostara, Midsummer, and Mabon), these form the eight solar holidays in the neopagan wheel of the year. They are often celebrated on the evening before the listed date, since traditionally the new day was considered to begin at sunset rather than at midnight.

Festival name Date Sun’s Position

Samhain 1 Nov (alt. 5-10 Nov) ? 15° ?

Imbolc 2 Feb (alt. 2-7 Feb) ? 15° ?

Beltane 1 May (alt. 4-10 May) ? 15° ?

Lughnasadh 1 Aug (alt. 3-10 Aug) ? 15° ?

There are Christian and secular holidays that correspond roughly with each of these four, and some argue that historically they originated as adaptations of the pagan holidays, although the matter is not agreed upon. The corresponding holidays are:

   * St.Brigids Day (1 Feb), Groundhog Day (2 Feb), and Candlemas (2 or 15 Feb)

   * Walpurgis Night (30 Apr) and May Day (1 May)

   * Lammas (1 Aug)

   * Halloween (31 Oct), All Saints (1 Nov), and All Souls’ Day (2 Nov)

Groundhog Day is celebrated in North America. It is said that if a groundhog comes out of his hole on 2 February and sees his shadow (that is, if the weather is good), there will be six more weeks of winter. February 2nd marks the end of the short days of winter. Because average temperatures lag behind day length by several weeks, it is (hopefully) the beginning of the end of winter cold.

It’s been Groundhog Day in Iraq for five years now. But who’s counting?

There’s more:

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