Palestinians have been set-up?

I should have know. Israel has created the perfect storm for the Palestinians, yet again (remember the start of the first Intifada –Sharon at the Temple Mound). I said in my first diary….the Israelis provoke….the Palestinians respond. Palestinians should take more advise from Iran…they should learn to play chess.

What is the perfect storm I think the Palestinians are falling into: Ramadan.

Obviously, now that Bush wants some kind of legacy….”the creation of a Palestinian State” before he leaves office; he is now pushing and pressuring the Israelis like never before(he has not signed the 30 billion foreign aid bill yet and aipac is not happy)…..and Israelis don’t like it. They want war with Iran and Bush wants a Palestinian state….will they trade?

Israelis have not even gotten their missile defense $$$$, and of course now some some politicians (Netenyahu) are claiming: no pullout from West Bank, before they have their missile defense ready, (against Gaza militants rockets) right…ooooh, the tangle.


About two weeks ago the IDF killed 5 children in Gaza, not wounded…killed. (Yes, they always have a good excuse) but you don’t even hear about in the MSM….where do you find it, in the Israeli press….but then when the militants in Gaza respond, it’s all over the news 24/7: 60 IDF soldiers hurt! But elsewhere you learn most of the soldiers had shellshock as if only Israelis suffer shellshock, not acknowledging the Palestinians have lived with shellshock for over 40 years/multiple generations…..and what’s the biggest part of the storm that could really create a Palestinian meltdown:

IDF blocks West Bank Palestinians trying to reach Al-Aqsa Mosque
By The Associated Press

Hundreds of Palestinians thronged two major West Bank checkpoints, trying to reach Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque on the first Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, despite tight Israeli restrictions.

Israel Defense Forces troops turned back many of the West Bank faithful. Only men above the age of 45 and women above the age of 35, who had also obtained special permits, were allowed to enter Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque – the third holiest shrine of Islam – said police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby.

This year, the start of Ramadan, a month of fasting and religious observance, coincided with the Jewish New Year. As customary, Israel imposed a blanket closure on the West Bank during the Jewish holiday, barring virtually all Palestinians from entering Israel.

I HOPE I’M WRONG. I HOPE the Palestinians keep their cool.

…meanwhile….Israel invades Lebanon, AND Syria airspace flying through Turkey while Bushco and the Arab states are trying disparately to re-engage the Palestine/Israeli peace process. So why doesn’t Israeli just back off??

Well, there is some good news:

‘Rice trip must set conference’s agenda’

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit expressed hope Thursday that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s upcoming visit to the region will result in an agenda and location for a planned US-sponsored peace conference.

US President George W. Bush in July called for a new conference to break the deadlock in the Mideast peace process, but the lack of an official agenda, location and timing for the meeting has been a cause for concern in the region.

“We hope that we will have a clear idea over the American assessment of the situation and when and where the meeting will be held and what its agenda will be,” said Aboul Gheit about Rice’s visit, during a joint press conference with his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner.

Rice’s trip to the Israel and the Palestinian territories set for Sept. 19, will focus on urging Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to build on recent positive steps and lay the groundwork for the Mideast conference, tentatively scheduled for November, a spokesman for the State Department said Wednesday.

The meeting, however, has run into skepticism from Washington’s Arab allies who have noted that the lack of firm agenda risks turning the event into just an empty photo opportunity.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said Wednesday his country would probably not attend the conference if it did not tackle substantive issues, while Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak expressed his fears that the conference would amount to nothing if there was not proper preparation.

Aboul Gheit, for his part, warned of “adverse consequences” if the gathering failed to revive the peace process.

“If the meeting was held without achieving its goals of pushing forward the peace process to set up a Palestinian state, there will be adverse consequences,” he said.…

Hamas urges quiet from armed groups

Hamas government urged Gaza terrorists Thursday not to attack border crossings with Israel in order to ensure the flow of basic goods into Gaza during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“The government calls on the Palestinian factions to avoid shelling the crossing points, in the interest of our people, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, and to keep commercial traffic going and protect security and stability in Gaza,” the statement said.

The call by Hamas came shortly after a terrorist group in Gaza threatened to intensify rocket and mortar attacks on Israel during Ramadan, which began Thursday.

Al-Qaida commander slams Hamas for abandoning Jihad

An al-Qaida commander who escaped from a US prison in Afghanistan criticized Hamas in a new videotape Sunday and other Islamic groups that he said prioritized nationalism and electoral politics over Jihad, or holy war.

Hamas is focused on the creation of an independent Palestinian state rather than al-Qaida’s vision of a worldwide Muslim community ruled by Islamic law. Like al-Qaida, the Palestinian movement advocates violence to achieve its goal, but has also participated in elections alongside the moderate Fatah group.…

Hamas leader asks to meet with Abbas

The head of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, proposed Monday that he meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Saudi Arabia, Haniyeh’s office said.

Since Hamas’ forcible takeover of Gaza in June, Abbas has rebuffed repeated offers by the Islamic militants to resume contacts. Abbas has said Hamas must first apologize and withdraw its forces from Palestinian security posts in Gaza.


Haniyeh, who was deposed as prime minister by Abbas in June, proposed the meeting with Abbas in a phone call with Saudi Crown Prince Sultan Ibn Abdel Aziz, Haniyeh’s office said in a statement.

Abbas is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Haniyeh’s office said in the statement that Hamas is ready to “return to dialogue without conditions.” The statement described the factional fighting that preceded the Hamas takeover as a “disagreement among brothers.”…

And finally:

Senate letter presses Rice on Mideast

Two U.S. senators will urge Condoleezza Rice to press Arab nations to work for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are soliciting colleagues’ signatures for a letter to the U.S. secretary of state. The letter has the support of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

“Your ongoing efforts to work with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud are critical, but so is the support these efforts receive from those Arab countries,” the letter says.

It urges Rice to demand that Arab states take part in a November peace summit, recognize Israel, help fund Abbas, stop support for anti-Israel terrorism and incitement, end the Arab League boycott of Israel and pressure Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group, to recognize Israel and end its terrorism.…

Genocide & Intent Of The Infected Blankets

( – promoted by winter rabbit)

Plains Indian Smallpox

Indian genocide is a controversial subject on the internet and on this site. Genocide and Holocaust are words that are easy to throw around, often to grab a reader’s attention, but proving them is something else. What one group calls genocide, another group may call progress. This statement is used in the same context as the saying…one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

The argument for Indian genocide is based primarily on letters written by General Jeffery Amherst during the French and Indian War.Letters by General Amherst and Colonel Bouquet mentioning spreading smallpox to Indians does not mean that this was ever carried out.
Assumptions derived from letters and oral traditions are not proof of anything.

Crossposted at Progressive Historians

Those who condone the above statement must also believe that such indigenous tribes as the Mandan-Hidatsa are liars and incorrect in their oral histories, but what they cannot deny is the intent to commit genocide was in fact there (all bold print is mine).

(c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life designed to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part


By the second half of the century, many of the combatants in America’s wars of empire had the knowledge and technology to attempt biological warfare with the smallpox virus. Many also adhered to a code of ethics that did not constrain them from doing so. Seen in this light, the Amherst affair becomes not so much an aberration as part of a larger continuum in which accusations and discussions of biological warfare were common, and actual incidents may have occurred more frequently than scholars have previously acknowledged.

“Fort Pitt is in good State of Defense against all attempts from Savages,” Bouquet reported, but “Unluckily the small Pox has broken out in the Garrison.”3 By June 16, then, from sources unknown, smallpox had established itself at Fort Pitt. It is likely that Amherst knew of the situation by the end of June.

Bioterrorist Threats: Potential Agents and Theoretical Preparedness

Dr. John Bartlett filled in for Peter Jahrling of USAMRIID for a segment devoted to one of the likely potential bioterrorist agents, smallpox.[2] The use of this agent to intentionally cause human disease dates back to 1754 during the French and Indian War, when infected blankets were given to Native Americans as a “token of good fortune.”

American Indian Prophecies. Kurt Kaltreider, PH.D. pp. 66-67

In 1779, George Washington sent orders to General John Sullivan concerning the need to attack and destroy the Iroquois Nations.

“The immediate objects are total destruction of their settlements, and capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex possible -“

Washington was also an advocate of germ warfare, first introduced by Sir Jeffery Amherst after whom the town of Amherst, Massachusetts, and Amherst College are named. The idea of germ warfare with smallpox was suggested to Colonel Henry Bouquet, after which Colonel Bouquet wrote back:

“I will try to inoculate the [Indians] with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself. As it is pity to expose good men against then, I wish we could make use of the Spanish method, to hunt them with English dogs, supported by rangers and some light horse, who would, I think, effectually extirpate or remove the vermin.”

About 60 years later, Andrew Jackson took Colonel Bouquet’s advice in his war against the Seminoles. 


During the Seminole War the Federal Soldiers used germ warfare weapons, such as leaving small pox infected blankets for the Seminole to take and catch the disease.
  This was a tried and true tactic of warfare in the Americas. The British attempted this against Washington’s troops at Yorktown and Europeans used germ warfare against native Americans in New England. At Yorktown, the National Park Service explains the role of Slaves as germ warfare weapons in the plaque reproduced here. I guess the incentive for slaves was ‘you’re free if you go cause small pox among American forces … if you survive.’

The fact that Europeans brought the deadly diseases with them, through ship rats who found their way to the indigenous tribes for example, is well established.

Historical Viewpoints. “American Indians And European Diseases.” Alfred W. Crosby pp. 48-49

Whether plague or typhus, the disease went through the Indians like fire. Almost all the seventeenth-century writers say it killed nine of ten and even nineteen of twenty of the Indians it touched –

In short, one does not necessarily have to accept a 90 percent death rate for a given village or area to accept a 90 percent depopulation rate.

So, the European settlers (not all were vicious like this) and General Jeffery Amherst knew what smallpox and the deadly diseases were already doing:depopulating the indigenous people.

First Nation History. Daniel M. Paul

The following is an excellent example of their racist mentality in action. In July 1763, General Jeffery Amherst, the Commander-in-Chief of British forces in North America, sent a memo to Colonel Henry Bouquet, a Huguenot in the service of England, asking:

“Could it not be contrived to send the Smallpox among the disaffected Tribes of Indians?”

Bouquet replied: “I will try to inoculate the Indians with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself.”

General Jeffery Amherst and those settlers who thought likewise must have asked themselves some very disturbing questions –

Siege of Fort Pitt

(Wikipedia source, read accordingly)

Bouquet agreed, writing to Amherst on 13 July 1763: “I will try to inoculate the bastards with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself.” Amherst responded favorably on 16 July 1763: “You will do well to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets, as well as every other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race.”[2]

As it turned out, however, officers at the besieged Fort Pitt had already attempted to do what Amherst and Bouquet were still discussing.

Maybe they asked, “How can we help speed the process?”

General Amherst and Germ Warfare. Bernhard Knollenberg:


Public Health Issues in Disaster Preparedness: Focus on Bioterrorism. By Lloyd F. Novick:….

Query and Replies: Indians and Smallpox(8 posts)

I have been reviewing the documents in the latest volume of

The Papers of Henry Bouquet which has many interesting texts

on relations with various Native American tribes, and on frontier

warfare. A number of the texts deal with the decision to use

small pox as a deliberate form of germ warfare against the

Indians in the 1760s. I recall much coverage of the decimation

of the Indians by disease during the Columbus anniversaries,

but I am not familiar with the historiography on the deliberate

use of smallpox or other diseases as a weapon–or indeed the

historiography on the origins of germ warfare in general.

Would any of you be able to inform me of sources on this subject?

Thanks in advance. Elizabeth M. Nuxoll. The Papers of Robert Morris

Queens College, CUNY

Smallpox Blankets in History and Legend. Adrienne Mayor:


The Europeans wanted land, gold, silver, coal (in the future), and slave labor.

Since using the indigenous people’s inability to cure themselves of the onslaught of disease didn’t work as well as they wished it would have worked –

A People & A Nation. 4th Edition. p.38

In the pursuit of their conversions, the Jesuits sought to undermine the authority of the villiage shamans (the traditional religious leaders) and to gain the confidence of leaders who could influence others. The Black Robes used a variety of weapons to attain the desired end. Trained in rhetoric, they won admirers by their eloquence. Seemingly immune to smallpox, they explained epidemics among the Native Americans as God’s punishment for sin, their arguments aided by the ineffectiveness of the shaman’s traditional remedies for illness against that deadly disease.

  – perhaps they hoped that death would solve all of their “problems.”


See the reason of my bemusement is that I am a full blooded Oneida “Indian” (I will use that term for simplicity’s sake although “First nations is our prefferred term). For us first nations our heritage and being is well documented and it is imperative to have been listed on a government listing of Indians called the Dawles Rolls?

That the ones of us they couldn’t kill with smallpox infected blankets they packed away on a reservation, robbed of our traditions, language and land.

Colorado professor fabricates Native history – Sunday, June 18, 2006

He (Ward Churchill) then pawned his lies to other scholars.

First, the army wasn’t even posted around our villages at the time Churchill claims. And no proof exists, orally or in text, to show blankets came from a hospital.

But our tribal people have long said the spread of smallpox was intentional.

I recently talked with Gerard Baker, a Mandan-Hidatsa and leading oral historian for our tribes. Baker, park superintendent at Mount Rushmore, is a fluent Hidatsa speaker and comes from a traditional family. He’s also lived and worked at many of our historical village sites along the Missouri.

Baker has talked with tribal elders and spent countless hours looking at the journals of the fur traders. He’s convinced traders deliberately spread smallpox to eliminate us as middlemen in the trade network.

Shawnee History

Only an informer saved the garrison at Detroit, but Forts Niagara and Pitt were surrounded and isolated. In desperation, Amherst wrote the commander at Fort Pitt, Captain Simeon Ecuyer, suggesting he deliberately attempt to infect the Shawnee, Delaware, and Mingo besieging his fort with gifts of smallpox-infected blankets and handkerchiefs. Ecuyer took this as an order and did exactly that.
It proved particularly effective because the Ohio tribes had little immunity having missed the 1757-58 epidemic among the French allies contracted during the capture of Fort William Henry (New York). The Shawnee were fighting the Cherokee in Tennessee at the time, and they carried the disease to them, and then the Shawnee living with the Creek Confederacy. From there it spread to the Chickasaw and Choctaw, and finally the entire southeast. Before it had run its course, the epidemic had killed thousands, including British colonists.

To end this, history is written by the victors and one of the “victor’s” techniques for hiding truth is hiding evidence, as it was in the case of theSand Creek Massacre.

Furthermore, to say “Assumptions derived from letters and oral traditions are not proof of anything” is calling those indigenous people who tell those oral traditions liars. So, I’m grateful for artists who have something to add to this “debate” (the following video does not specifically mention infected blankets).


Stories of disease-infected blankets deliberately given to Native Americans surfaced after the first European contact and continue to circulate. The vitality of the “smallpox blanket” story is ensured by documented examples of germ warfare but also by its resonance with the classical Nessus shirt and other poison-garment/deliberate-contamination themes. The moral tension embedded in such tales derives from ambiguous definitions of the Other and boundaries of ethical behavior toward enemies.

Apologists for the Genocide attribute the majority of deaths to the introduction of disease epidemics such as smallpox and measles by unknowing Europeans.

PONY PARTY… may the horse be with you

Several years ago, Golf Digest
gave the odds of an amateur getting
a hole-in-one as 1 in 12,750

As Bill in Portland Maine would say :::::: swoosh :::::::

Blind Woman Hits Historic Hole-In-One
Miracle Shot Believed To Be First By Totally Blind Female

(CBS/AP) LEHIGHTON, Pa. Sheila Drummond didn’t need to see her hole-in-one. She heard it. Drummond, blinded by diabetes 26 years ago, experienced the highlight of her golfing career Sunday, recording an ace on the 144-yard, par-3 fourth hole at Mahoning Valley Country Club.

Drummond is a member of the board of directors of the United States Blind Golfers Association (USGBA), and the organization believes she is the first totally blind female to record a hole-in-one.

“We’ve looked everywhere, and haven’t been able to find anyone else,” she said.

Drummond took up golf about 15 years ago, and three years later qualified as the first female member of the USGBA. She carries a 48 handicap.

she musta had a good caddy… did somebody say CADDY????

Now, top that buckaroos!

. . . go ahead, play, talk, and be excellent to each other. oh and whatever you do, DO NOT push the recommend button for Pony Party cause this is all about you (so you can even do some essay pimping and whoring here, really go ahead)…  we don’t want to take up space on the recommended essay list…

Friday Philosophy: The Closet

The Closet is a scary place, filled with gremlins and goblins and things that go bump in the night.  I lived there until I was 44.  Or maybe I didn’t.

Maybe it’s all a matter of point of view.

Recently I have been expressing my displeasure about people talking about “self-loathing, in the closet gays.”  Sure, they have couched it in terms of Republicans, but political party doesn’t change the adjectives which have been used.  They still hurt.

They still have displayed how much little understanding there is of people who are different in fundamental ways from others.

So do the gay jokes.  Or rather, the anti-gay jokes.  My ears don’t hear any difference.

When I was small, there were no gay people.  They didn’t exist.  Gender was inflexible.

Then there was the bogeyman.  This creature would steal children and rape them.  And everyone knew he was homosexual.  At least that’s what we were told as children, regardless of our sex.  And here I was, unsure about who I really was.  Was I going to grow up to be a bogeyman?

In junior high and high school, they were queers.  And I lost some friends because it was not okay to be friends with queers.  And I lost respect for who I was, since I knew that I was all of those things my friends rejected:  a cry-baby, a sissy, and a wimp.  If there was any word for a useless male, it described me.  Except queer.  I was adamantly not queer.

Except maybe I was.  However much I didn’t want it to be so, I kept wondering if maybe I was.  Maybe my thoughts meant that.  I insisted to myself it was actions, not thoughts that mattered.

When I first went to college, I learned what a life could be…and that I didn’t have that sort of life.  I tried to end it.  But I didn’t loathe who I was.  Hating one’s life is not the same as hating one’s being.  I liked me.  It’s just that I was positive that nobody else did.  And it was obvious that if people knew my secrets, they would like me even less.  So why should I go on?

When I fled to the Haight, I discovered that the free love people were not as open to people being different as it had been portrayed…or maybe that was “as I imagined.”  Maybe it was all a fantasy.  My life, though filled with incredible adventures, was not pleasing to me.  I was oh, so lonely.  Being asexual didn’t help.

And then one day I wasn’t asexual any more.  And someone didn’t tell me that I should go away. 

Fear does incredibly harmful things to all of us and to the people around us.  I was afraid of being alone.  Finding someone we care about and trying to hang on for dear life is something that regretfully many of us do.  Except I don’t really regret it.  I’m who I am now because of what happened in my past.

In my case I got someone pregnant.  At least I assumed it was me (it was hippie days) and seeing my daughter as an adult, nobody in their right mind would think us not related.

So I committed for the long haul…at least 18 years, I figured.  I got married.  And I tried as best I knew how to adapt to that life.  I didn’t loathe my life.  I was doing my duty, the best I knew how.  Happiness was for other people.

And one day, when she was in 4th grade, I discovered that my daughter liked girls…that she was probably going to grow up to be a lesbian.  And I was okay with that…except maybe somewhat jealous.  And through the years she became comfortable with herself.  And that was good.  And I was proud.

For me, I had been bending my gender a little through the years, but I was still too frightened to act.

Here’s a question.  At what point did I enter The Closet?  Was it rather not actually the case that while I was trying to live my life, a closet was being built around me?  Do people really think that someone like me chose to be in a closet?  Was it me who chose to be hidden or society which wanted me hid?

On September 30, I will have been out for the past 15 years.  Just like I did not really choose to be in a closet, I didn’t really choose to be an openly lesbian transsexual woman.  I chose to remain a professor at a public university in Arkansas.  And I chose to have my sex reassigned.  Everything else that happened about me being out was beyond my control.

I wrote something in a comment the other day:

Coming out has a lot to do with coming to grips with the knowledge that one was different from others in ways that at one time one didn’t even know it was possible to be.  When I grew up, there were no gay people.  They didn’t exist.  Then they became the boogie man.  Then they became queers.  Then they became gays and lesbians because my daughter is a lesbian.  And all alongside that were the uncertainty of whether or not that was ever going to be me.

Coming out isn’t when you cross that boundary, but when you turn around to look back at the other people.

Maybe this means something.  Maybe more understanding will occur.  One can hope.

When Confidence Stumbles

(enjoyed this piece, and good reading for Sunday… – promoted by pfiore8)

The past few weeks there have been lots of discussions about the dissatisfaction with the Democrats. We elected them to do a job and the damn well should have done it. Nope, they dumped us over board and left us afloat and we’re pissed. Now we are trying to figure out what to do next.

In keeping with that theory, I wrote something back in the spring of 2006 for my personal blog, that came back to remind me of how we have two choices: give up or swim.

So I’m offering the parable of the Tuolumne River…at flood stage: 13,200 cfs for 17 miles – Class V from start to finish. Swimming or not…real time…

For comparison: this picture is of the Upper Klamath at Class IV. And yes I’m in the front of the boat…on the right side as you’re looking at the pic!

Being somewhat clumsy creatures – humans are that way – we stumble over many things. Most of these stumbling blocks are inside of us. Many times we end up with the proverbial skinned knees…but these are on our souls or minds.

The What Ifs….
We do something and stumble – then we invariably beat ourselves up:
~What if I was stronger physically?
~What if I was smarter?
~What if I had more stamina?
~What if I was younger?
~What if…..?

I’ve been struggling with balance in my life and keep looking for answers that don’t really exist. This morning I sit for a few minutes and type this diary – later I will probably punish myself emotionally for not focusing on work.
~What if I could concentrate better?
~What if I didn’t feel the need to share these insights?
~What if I am just lazy?

What started this current bout?
My husband and I went whitewater rafting last weekend. This is a sport that pushes my adrenaline level and is something we do together. It is a passion that keeps us going back time after time. We regularly push the envelope of our comfort zone…and skill level. Last weekend was two different rivers – and two different results.

Saturday was a sunny and pleasant day. A big water rapid to start the day within 10 minutes of starting. Even the most experienced rafters have been known to ‘swim’ the rapid….and we did! We laughed and had a good time about our short swim and getting hauled back into boats like oversized fish! The balance of the day was good water, complicated rapids, and yet it was fun.

Sunday started as a sunny comfortable day. The river is one of the more challenging in the State of CA under the best of circumstances. Spring rafting means big water ~ and even more challenging. The water was extremely high – about 1/3 higher than even the biggest they usually run. Well ~ okay ~ that’s what we do.

The rapids were extremely large. Rapids larger than even the river guides were used to this time of year. At the most complicated rapid – a ‘falls’ – we got into some trouble but managed to finish the section with no spills or flips! Woo Hoo – success! Oops – not quite. 3 of the 5 boats flipped! Well we went to pick up swimmers and flipped – #4 in the water. By the end of the day all 5 boats had flipped at least once.

The swim time (in very secure life vests and helmets and wetsuits…for the worriers!) was pretty long and more intense than expected. A couple of minutes of swimming the rapids ~ and we were back in the boats. Okay…no worries. A huge adrenaline rush and bigger adrenaline crash….!

Okay ~ back to the boats ~ then lunch time. The day was sunny and we partially peeled wet suits to feel the sun on our swimsuit covered skin!

The day had another adventure….another swim late in the day…just as intense as the first one…4 out of 5 boats flipped. The adrenaline crash wasn’t nearly as bad this time.

So….what’s the big deal. Swimming rapids is something experienced rafters do…not happily but we do it! Swimming rapids is part of the risks that goes with big water. Saturday was fun…Sunday was intense. A week of analyzing this has left me with some conclusions.

~ Muscle size doesn’t matter here ~
It might have helped but some muscle-bound firemen flipped and swam as well.

~ Experience helps ~
During the time on the river we remained calm and didn’t panic.
A lot tired ~ but doing what was needed to finish the river run.

~ Stamina: verdict is out ~
Others, including the guides, looked totally exhausted by the end of the day. So maybe it wasn’t just me…and this is my biggest stumbling block.

~ Pushing the envelope isn’t the same has ripping it apart! ~
Sometimes it is life’s lesson ~ be careful what you ask for. We wanted big water…we got HUGE water! Okay I’ll be a little more conservative next time!

~Stumbling and climbing back up~
The experience has left me with a bruise or two on the body and a super-sized bruise on my confidence. My husband, and probably others, have the same bruised confidence. No matter ~ the reasonable side of my brain says “you done good!” but the emotional side questions. In 3 weeks I’ll be back on the water for 6 days. It will be good to get me water ‘grounding’ again. And in the meantime…I’ll do a few more minutes of exercise each day…just cause it won’t hurt to be more fit!

For me the moral of the story:
We had our butts kicked in 2000 and 2004
We kicked some back in 2006
We are getting dumped out of the boat by the incumbents in 2007…but we’re still swimming
We are tired but persevering
We can keep swimming no matter how big the water…and come out the other end of the river as winners.

I don’t know exactly how to fight this battle of the incumbents but I’m still swimming. I’m still going to call and email and blog and rant to my friends. So, in addition to yelling louder when we are on dry ground, we need to paddle and swim harder when in the water!

Keeping Swimming!

[poll id=”




Hey, why am I the only one yelling?

Bob Fertik stopped yelling.

David Swanson stopped yelling.

Buhdy stopped yelling.

OPOL stopped yelling

Sheehan and Yearwood are yelling about the war.

Should I stop yelling too or YELL LOUDER!!!!!?

All politics is cosmic

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
  – John Donne, Meditation XVII

We the People  of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
  – Constitution of the United States of America

We’re all in this together.
  – High School Musical

Rene Descartes really fucked things up. Here we had the Taoists and even the Christians – the ones who really “got it,” anyway – spreading the word that, really, there is nothing that separates us, that we are all, in fact, one, and that, by extension, our fates are inextricably bound up.

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me . . . Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  – Jesus Christ, Matthew 25

Wow. Docudharma.

Leave it to buhdy to come up with a slick handle like that. It packs so much into it, I’ve got a karmic brain freeze: the logos and the ethos, the yin and the yang, the left brain and the right, the concrete and the cosmic.

Awesome. Tall order.

But, geez, the supporting cast here is definitely up to it. I feel like a Little Leaguer who’s snuck into the 1927 Yankees’ locker room. Holy crap – that’s Armando’s spot, over there. Ooooh – here’s where ek parks his cleats. And check this out – melvin and pinche used these towels!

So – what to write, what to write? Something “original” – ha!; as if that  were possible, truly. Maybe we’re a few monkeys and typewriters short still, but c’mon – what hasn’t been said already? I mean, really?

Wellll . . .

I guess what occurs to me in this vaguely Eastern milieu, grounded in gritty Western-style “democratic politics,” is this:

All politics is cosmic.

I mean, think about it: Why do people even do politics, anyway? What’s the point? Couldn’t we all just live in caves, and come out whenever we needed to kill something to eat? Isn’t that why God invented TiVo? And indoor plumbing?

Ah, yes, but too many caves and too much indoor plumbing, and suddenly people start rubbing up against each other. And unless I like all that rubbing,

Maybe – but somewhere back during that Ascent of Man, some Phi Beta Kaveman figured out that, huh, maybe it’d be better if Gork went after the mammoth and I stayed closer to home to build in an outdoor barbecue. Then, when Gork got back after a hard day at the tundra, I could let Gork use the barbecue, and he could share some of his mammoth with me.

Next thing you know, Gork has decided he doesn’t want to share any of his mammoth with me, and he’s pissed because he says I don’t have any mammoth to eat  only because I planned poorly. So now I can’t cook any mammoth meat, but

Bush’s Prime Directive

(cross-posted at DK… )

I have seen the light.  Everything he says makes perfect sense.  Really.  You just have to unnerstand, ya hear?

If you wrap your mind around the Prime Directive of:

  Accumulate money for family and friends at any and all costs. can then understand the cornerstones of his overarching action plan:

  1. Control oil, as much as possible, which long term requires that you maintain:

  2. regional (mideast) military domination presence within close striking distance of anyone who dare assert any actual sovereignty over it which will enable the fringe benefit of:

  3. enriching the military industrial complex management base which in turn requires:

  4. consolidation of powers in the US to fend off pesky libruls that catch on to the plan and dare notice the plight of most of the people in the US.

The largest economy in the world (US) is and has been based on petroleum.  Every sector spends money to buy petroleum products.

Controleum the Petroleum, and you will own the money spigot.

When you can wrap your mind around the fact that his presidency is really nothing more than the juiciest money grab opportunity in the history of humanity, you can understand that he will say anything… truth, morality, empathy, compassion, climate be damned.  He and his cohorts will simply contradict themselves and deny they ever said things right after they watch themselves say on a replay!

  * He’ll use fear (WMDs! terrorism! they’ll follow the troops back here! I
  don’t know about Google Maps, they can’t!).

  * He’ll exploit hope (we’re makin’ progress! just another six months!)

  * He’ll cite God (in whom his belief is another pure charade, I mean, c’mon,
  Jesus would’ve bombed Eye-rack too, right?)

  * He’ll use and abuse the concept of patriotism and treason.

  * He’ll silence and sequester away critics (habeus corpus, sschmaybeus

  * He’ll ensure the demand stays pegged (tax writeoff on a Hummer, anyone?
  C’mon, it’s good for the economy! Global warming?? BAH!, CAFE
  standards?? That’ll hurt my cash flow the economy!)

He’ll say and do ANYTHING to make sure everyone stays in line long enough for the full frontal assault on the US Treasury to accomplish its cleanout mission leaving nothing but promissory notes to foreign governments and bond holders.

He’ll even act really, really, really stupid. 

And we’ve all fallen for it.

No shame.  No empathy.  No morals.  His only god is money.

Absolutely nothing else matters:

  * Not 3700 plus American families devastated by the death of fathers,
  mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters… dismissed as ‘sacrifice
  for the country’ (actually the Boner called it a “small sacrifice”)

  * Not tens of thousands of other families learning how to cope with and
  support severely wounded mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and

  * Not hundreds of thousands of Iraqi families wiped out, devastated,
  scattered like bits of paper blowing around in a strong wind..
  * Not the reputation of our country in the world.

  * Not the other 99.95% of US citizens who will have been left holding this
  flaming bag of dog shit deficit.

  * Not even one of the most historic cities in the country, nor millions of
  its residents (hey, we can let the insurance companies ‘just say no,
  too! whoopee!)

  * Not the principles on which our once-great nation was founded.

They’re laughing all the way to the fucking bank… no, not one of “ours,” he emptied those out too…

Four at Four

This is an OPEN THREAD, but it also features four stories in the news at 4 o’clock. It’s like trying to dunk a donut by grasping it by the ears.

  1. Bush and Abu RishaThe headline of the The Independent today reads: FATAL ATTRACTION — “Last week: George Bush flew into Iraq to meet Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, leader of Anbar province. This week: General David Petraeus told the US Congress how Anbar was a model for Iraq. Yesterday: Abu Risha was assassinated by bombers in Anbar.” From the story, “Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha and two of his bodyguards were killed either by a roadside bomb or by explosives placed in his car by a guard, near to his home in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, the Iraqi province held up by the American political and military leadership as a model for the rest of Iraq. ¶ His killing is a serious blow to… Bush and the US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, who have both portrayed the US success in Anbar, once the heart of the Sunni rebellion against US forces, as a sign that victory was attainable across Iraq.” The Washington Post gives news of the Abu Risha assassination equal billing to Bush’s televised speech. According to the Post, “Bush, during a visit to Anbar last week, met with Abu Risha and said the province suggested ‘what the future of Iraq can look like.’ Abu Risha was regarded by Americans as a rare leader willing to stand defiantly alongside U.S. forces, while able to both cajole and intimidate his fellow Sunnis into agreement.” The headline for The New York Times? Bush Says Success Allows Gradual Troop Cuts. The NYT places their story about the assassination beneath Bush’s propaganda speech, which according to the Times “Iraqi and American officials were caught off guard by the assassination, which came just hours before Mr. Bush addressed the American people about his plans for Iraq… In his speech, Mr. Bush acknowledged the killing.” The front pages of the three newspapers are shown below the fold.

  2. The International Herald Tribune reports that cracks now appear in allied coalition in Afghanistan. “The coalition established to stabilize Afghanistan after the ouster of the Taliban by U.S. forces in 2001 is weakening as countries fighting in the volatile south criticize the lack of military support from other NATO allies, defense officials said Thursday. ¶ Britain, Canada and the Netherlands face crucial decisions on whether to renew their commitments in the increasingly violent region where the Dutch contingent now commands alliance forces fighting a growing resurgence by Taliban and Al Qaeda forces. ¶ The intensifying debate in Europe comes as disarray in Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party following the resignation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to interrupt and perhaps end the Japanese naval force’s six-year participation in Afghanistan.” Plus DW-World is reporting that EU’s Afghan training mission hampered by fresh troubles and “Brigadier General Friedrich Eichele is returning to Germany just months after he was appointed to head the EU training mission in Afghanistan.”

  3. According to BBC News, the US chief scientist has told the BBC that climate change is now a fact. “Professor John Marburger, who advises President Bush, said it was more than 90% certain that greenhouse gas emissions from mankind are to blame. The Earth may become ‘unliveable’ without cuts in CO2 output, he said, but he labelled targets for curbing temperature rise as ‘arbitrary’… ¶ There may still be some members of the White House team who are not completely convinced about climate change…” He’s told the BBC, but will he tell Bush? More importantly will Cheney let him and will Bush even care? While the Bush administration is slowly waking from its global warming denial, Spiegel Online investigates what will become of Tuvalu’s climate refugees? “International legal experts are discovering climate change law, and the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is a case in point: The Polynesian archipelago is doomed to disappear beneath the ocean. Now lawyers are asking what sort of rights citizens have when their homeland no longer exists… ¶ Environmentalists have long worried about the fate of this tiny Pacific state. Now, however, international legal experts have also taken up the topic of its imminent demise. A nation’s ‘territorial integrity’ is one of the paramount legal principles. It’s unprecedented, however, for a country to completely lose its territory without the use of military force… ¶ Since it joined the United Nations in 2000, the island nation has managed to place its concerns high on the organization’s agenda. Its efforts seem to have borne fruit: Tuvalu is now regarded as a prime example of just how much damage climate change can do to a country.”

  4. News from the Los Angeles Times today that after a long delay, Japan launches their lunar orbiter. “Taking advantage of a lull in rainy weather, the Kaguya orbiter lifted off from Tanegashima island in southern Japan, propelled by a domestically built H-2A solid-fuel rocket. Its 21-day trip to the moon begins a yearlong mission that Japan’s civilian space agency, known as JAXA, is promoting as the most significant lunar expedition since America’s Apollo program of the 1960s and early ’70s.” The Guardian reports that “the successful launch of the 55bn yen Kaguya was greeted with relief among space officials. The agency was forced to cancel the planned launch of another lunar probe in 2004 after repeated mechanical and financial setbacks.” America should have never abandoned the Moon in the first place.

A little more below the fold…

Here are the front pages for the newspapers mentioned in the first story. Click on each newspaper thumbnail to enlarge.


Sources: The Independent, The Newseum for August 14, 2007.

So, what else is happening?

Free Beer and Everybody Gets Laid

(Xposted at DK, as a cheap PR tactic)

This Dinette set could be yours!


A full set of Encyclopedia Brittanica!

But don’t order yet! We will also send you six steak knives!

How about not going down in history as abetting a war crime and ethnic cleansing?

How about keeping your frikking jobs?

Hey Congress….HEY AMERICA!!!

What is it going to take?

Really….what can WE do to help? What is it going to take to stop the killing? How can we who, ya know …..CARE…. about all the frikkin DEAD PEOPLE convince you to stop this shit?

Yes, yes, I know….this is a repetitive exercise, it has been diaried before. We have all said the same things, brought up the same points, Yelled the same invective time and time again. It is tiresome and tiring and there really is nothing NEW to say….The only problem is….PEOPLE ARE STILL DYING!

In droves.

While you twiddle your thumbs and kiss Bush’s ass.

So….what will it take? You take money from lobbyists, from the MIC….how bout if we double it? Really, we are good for the dough.

Because when it comes down to it, there aren’t that many of you to bribe! Just some Bush Dogs and the few Republicans is all it will take to END THE WAR. There are a BUNCH of good Dem Congressfolk and Senators who are just as pissed and impatient as we are, it is really just a few of you that are holding up all the “The War Is Over!” parties ….and all the praise that could be yours, if you just come out and state publicly that YOU are the Hero who is going to change h/is/er vote and be The One to End The War.

We can make this happen, just let us know your price.

We consider it a small price to pay.

For you Democrats…if it is your jobs you are worried about, how about this….we will donate to your campaign and even work to get you re-elected…ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS STOP THE WAR….and I guarantee you will have folks falling all over you to thank you and we will even try to get your names in the history books and shit.

We have tried appealing to logic, compassion, financial considerations, political realities, the polling data….you name it, we have tried to use it to get you to stop the occupation. So far….no luck. So let’s try appealing to your base instincts.

Really, I mean it, we can do this.

All YOU have to do is not fund the war and I promise….Free Beer and Everybody Gets Laid.

Call me.

Fred Thompson Can’t Remember His Shiavo Law & Order Episode

Poor Grandpa Fred, he has no idea where he is or what he is doing. Thank god that trophy wife of his helps pull his puppet strings all day, or he might just sit in a chair all day demanding more go-carts on his pancakes. But now that they have trotted the zombie remains of Ronald Reagan out on the road and into the public sphere, let the gaffes begin!

Today Grandpa Fred was in Florida, where he signed autographs, and unfortunately talked to the cameras.

Thompson gives no opinion on Schiavo

THE VILLAGES, Fla. – Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson gave no opinion Thursday when asked about efforts by President Bush and Congress to keep Terri Schiavo alive, saying he does not remember details of the right-to-die case that stirred national debate.

Thompson was asked in an interview for Bay News 9’s “Political Connections” program whether he thought Congress’ intervention to save the life of the brain-damaged woman two years ago was appropriate.

“I can’t pass judgment on it. I know that good people were doing what they thought was best,” Thompson said. “That’s going back in history. I don’t remember the details of it.”

Just one big problem with this not remember the case stuff:

“Law & Order”
Age of Innocence

Original Air Date:
12 October 2005 (Season 16, Episode 4)

Plot Outline:
The bombing death of a husband set to remove the feeding tube of his wife, who’s in a persistent vegetative state, focuses the investigation on the protesters.

Fred Dalton Thompson  …  D.A. Arthur Branch

So, not only can he not remember the details of the Terri Schiavo in real life, he can’t remember when he tried the case on TV.

Poor Grandpa, maybe it’s time just to call it a day before you show just how bad your memory has gotten. Or how stupid you are. Because there are people out there with photographic memories with access to Google, and your gaffes will be remembered as the comedy gold they are.

Friday fun around the webs

To accompany the release of the Red List, a few videos of what we
stiil have left of the web of life. Some you’ve seen before.

You need to watch this first one very intently to catch the surprise.

Before I forget, I wanted to point everyone to emPivot. It is a site
and community about specifically green videos, which are lost in the
shuffle at Youtube, etc. Note that it is not a rah rah site but a
resource site: you can find the denialist film The Great Golbal
Warming Swindle
there, and a comprehensive debunking of it:
Scam of the ‘Great Global Waming Swindle’.

Here’s an octopus with a novel trick for confusing predators:

Those seem to call for an encore from the octopus’ cousin, the amazing
flamboyant cuttlefish:

En garde!

Some of you have certainly seen this one. But it’s worth posting again
anyway. This is how you give a talk, folks. Hit the  gray expando rectangle
at lower right for a large screen view:

I’ve been spending a lot of time here: Your Guide to the World’s
Hoofed Mammals

This place is just unbelievable. You want to talk website design? Have a
look at Greenovia, a Romanian landscaping company. Check out the
detail on the leaves.

Have a nice weekend. Don’t sweat the small stuff, but don’t forget
the small stuff.
It all starts at home.

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