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…

State of the Onion X

Art Link
Knot

Personal View

Born in the wrong body?
Bunch of crap
in my opinion
The one I have
is the only body
I was given
Nobody else has
the one I was
supposed to have

Born in the wrong culture
definitely
in the wrong time period
most likely
on the wrong planet
quite possibly
But it’s not like
I had a choice
in the matter

–Robyn Elaine Serven
–February 3, 2006

I know you have talent.  What sometimes is forgotten is that being practical is a talent.  I have a paucity for that sort of talent in many situations, though it turns out that I’m a pretty darn good cook.  馃檪 

Let your talent bloom.  You can share it here.  Encourage others to let it bloom inside them as well.

Won’t you share your words or art, your sounds or visions, your thoughts scientific or philosophic, the comedy or tragedy of your days, the stories of doing and making?  And be excellent to one another!

Midnight Cowboying – Candidatos venden ch谩charas para sobrevivir (English 2!)

We needed some Spanish around here. For Jeff and Armando:

Candidatos venden ch谩charas para sobrevivir

Ciudad de M茅xico – Tras un castigo presupuestal del IFE, debido a los excesos econ贸micos y pobreza en propuestas, las incomparablemente pat茅ticas campa帽as presidenciales han recurrido a un giro mercadot茅cnico sorprendente: la venta de un producto promocional que les permitir谩 generar los ingresos necesarios a sus campa帽as.

Durante un juego de la selecci贸n de f煤tbol, en el medio tiempo, sali贸 al aire el primer comercial de “PRI-merClean”, un detergente viscoso tricolor con el lema “Dale un Madrazo al Pasado”. El candidato pri铆sta aparec铆a sonriente, cantando con un tonito pegajoso: “隆No hay mancha tan fuerte, ni fango tan hondo, que no quite a fondo, nuevo PRI-merClean!”

Un par de amas de casa pisote贸 y arrastr贸 una playera hasta dejarla irreconocible. Con un chorro del atomizador, cay贸 m谩gicamente el polvo y revel贸 el reluciente estampado “Doy Todo por Tabasco”. Lo mismo sucedi贸 con un documento titulado “Gasto P煤blico”, cuyo total perdi贸 4 ceros al paso de la esponja; hasta una foto, que mostraba al candidato abrazado con Carlos Salinas y Hank Gonz谩lez, lo dej贸 solito al ser tallada con el detergente y un cepillo. Desde luego, las ventas fueron de varios millones s贸lo ese d铆a, principalmente en zonas residenciales.

Poco despu茅s, un programa de radio en el que se promov铆a un centro de “estudios de brujer铆a y curaci贸n sobrenatural” cambi贸 de narrador, aunque nadie se dio cuenta porque tambi茅n ten铆a un acento gracioso. “Querida amiga: As铆 ej, si ujted siente que sus estrategias no le funjionan, que no anda bien en el amor, o ejcucha pasos en la azotea, 隆seguramente le ejt谩n hajiendo un compl贸!” – y comenz贸 a promover el nuevo “Complotator”, un Kit semi profesional de espionaje /antiespionaje que permite plantar discretos micr贸fonos y microvideoc谩maras en la casa y la oficina, para monitorear en tiempo real las actividades y llamadas telef贸nicas de todos los presentes.

Poco despu茅s, L贸pez Obrador acept贸 que hab铆a sido su voz, pero asegur贸 que el programa fue editado por sus enemigos. Al cierre de la edici贸n, hab铆a filas de legisladores y gobernantes quej谩ndose porque el “Complotador” se agot贸.

Esa misma noche, en entrevista con L贸pez D贸riga, Felipe Calder贸n interrumpi贸 a su anfitri贸n para anunciar, “Hay muchos mexicanos que piensan que soy mocho… 隆Pero no es as铆!” Y pidi贸 que se revelara un equipo completo de vestimenta y accesorios para adultos, incluyendo: m谩scaras para mantener la identidad oculta, condones de “alta seguridad”, consoladores con pilas reciclables y econ贸micas, cinturones de castidad para mantener el “conservadurismo”, esposas y correas marca “La postura”, l谩tigos y guantes de cuero para aplicar la “Mano Dura” y varios tipos de lubricantes extra-amables “FiscaLube”. Inexplicablemente, a pesar de que es primavera, sus ventas no han mejorado.

———–

In where I rebel.

———–

The Boots of Midnight

I am waiting, as I always am, for the boots of midnight to pass. The ones that came for my neighbors, the ones that sent us into hiding, the ones that drove us into the ghetto. I am waiting for the boots of midnight to pass so I might sleep. For if I make a sound in the night, the boots will come for me.

Since the invaders have come, many of us who resisted have been driven to the underground. And when our absence was noted by the boots, they went for our families. So now they hide with us when the boots of midnight come to disappear our people in the night.

When we are finally liberated, and the crimes of the boots are exposed to the light of truth, I hope the warmth of the sun can remove my chills of hearing the stomps outside our hiding hole. Of how I almost smothered my mother with a pillow keeping her from crying when they grabbed my brother who was breaking curfew. Or her night of laments when she heard her brother had been shot that day.

But we will hide, and we will survive, because soon the world will realize what the boots have done to our people, and the truth shall set them, and us, free.

——-

I couldn’t decide where this story takes place, so I will let the poll decide.

——-

My Top 5 Favorite Things Today

1) How the Japanese Learn English
http://www.pizdaus.c…

2) LOLsecretz
http://lolsecretz.bl…

3) I now know what to do in K-Mart
http://www.gilaizen….

4) Who didn’t do this to their textbooks?
http://www.webpark.r…

5) What would you do?

Just that answer to get the ball rolling in the Open Thread

[poll id=”

52

“]

(Updated) Modernized Manifest Destiny, “Ontario pulls out of Caledonia talks”

(Correction: it was/is an American developer, not an American company. Plus, a new character)

I think this is a case in point of why the Neoconservative forces in the U.S. and in Canada de-affirmed the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Final update is at the end.

Manifest Destiny is a thing of the past, but its philosophy didn’t die with the forced relocations. The American company developer Henco attempted to encroach on Native lands in 2006, and I speculate that George W. Bush’s having signed NAFTA treaties which eroded some limits on U.S trade borders enabled Henco to proceed to Canada and attempt stealing Native soil from Six Nations. While it wears only a shadow in sound comparison to the Seige of Wounded Knee 1973, (I think it’s more so comparable now than before; however, I don’t have the expertise about treaties and prior circumstances in Canada to say how much more or less it is. There was a treaty violation here. I’m not sure it’s my place to say more in general) it bears valid comparison in the display of overt racism against the First Nations.

Krisztina Kun, a staff member at SFPIRG, and eyewitness to the standoff remarked that the blockade was characterized just as much by racial tension as it was by disputes over land ownership.
SOURCE
 

Crossposted at Progressive Historians

The American Developer Henco attempted to acquire land in Canada by deceptive means.

SIX NATIONS AREN’T GOING TO BACK DOWN
SOURCE
“Henco Industries, the developer that is squatting on our land, went to court and got an injunction. Judge David Marshall of the Ontario Provincial Court thought he had a fool proof plan to get rid of the people protesting Ontario’s persistent violation of Six Nations Territory. On March 16 (2006) he issued a strange convoluted order. He announced that at 2:00 on Wednesday, March 22nd, the Ontario Provincial Police OPP would come in. They would read the order to us. Anyone who didn’t leave immediately would be arrested and taken to the police station where they would be photographed, fingerprinted and released. He also ordered that anyone who returned would be charged and placed on probation for a year. The trouble is he seemed to have forgotten about due process and the honor of the Crown. He didn’t mention a hearing or a trial. Neither Ontario nor Henco was required to prove they owned the land in question. This may have something to do with the report that Judge Marshall and the Crown Prosecutor, Owen Young, both claim parts of our land themselves.”

So, in addition to Henco deceptively trying to steal Six Nations Territory; the Judge and Crown Prosecuter were as well. This led to a huge protest, where Six Nations came together to stand against the attempted theft of their land by Henco, Marshall, and Young.

In the present case, protest was triggered by the construction of a massive housing subdivision in Caledonia, the Douglas Creek Estates (Henco Industries), of which 10 out of a projected 600 houses have been built. A number of clan mothers and other traditional authorities, based in the confederacy, along with young leaders, sought to challenge a new reality that would seem to finalize a process of encroachment over one of several contested tracts. They called for an encampment on the land, a call accompanied by intense emotion among Indian people of all political persuasions; and many have responded, including warrior groups from reservations across the Northeast.
SOURCE

I heard the radio plea for help from the clan mothers by web surfing, relatively soon after it occurred. Their calls had the sense of urgency that stopped everything else if it was heard. That link was taken down; however, there’s a lot of video footage here:

The Autonomy & Solidarity website is produced and maintained by a network of anti-capitalists who believe that revolutionary transformation will come from the self organization of workers and oppressed people.

  The government knew that the Douglas Creek Estates (DCE) lands were contested when it allowed them to be sold. If the government had developed a comprehensive land claims settlement process and had negotiated in good faith with Six Nations from the start, this problem would never have taken the form it has.
People from Six Nations occupied the Douglas Creek Estates to stop a housing development from being built on contested land. Now that the situation has been escalated, non-natives on and off the Haldimand tract can best resolve this issue by pressuring the Canadian government to establish a fair and comprehensive settlement of all outstanding land claims with Six Nations.
SOURCE

I heard someone say on a video clip that I can’t find again, “The military took care of THEM then; let the military take care of THEM now,” or words to that effect. His racist remarks reminded me of the signs that used to say No Indians Allowed!

The following is no longer up on the web, either. Therefore, it really wasn’t about stealing land to build a Casino after the attempted encroachment and land theft. The reason I sat that, is companies like Henco use land for sacred or religious purposes.

SOURCE
Court rules in favour of casino project

Last updated Jun 23 2006 01:36 PM MDT
CBC News

A court ruling allows the Stoney Nakoda First Nation to begin construction of a casino and hotel west of Calgary.
The court ruling Wednesday has likely put an end to demonstrations by three elders of the band who claimed they owned the land, which they said was sacred and used for ceremonies.
Construction on the casino and hotel development was supposed to start last summer, but the elder women and their families refused to move for survey and construction workers.

Remember all the debates about NAFTA, the “North American Union,” NASCO, and all that fun stuff?

December 21, 2001
The National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) is pleased that HR 2299, the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002 recently signed by President Bush provides funding to establish the safety mandates now required for Mexican trucks to roll under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
SOURCE

Maybe all of that opened a door for Henco to walk onto Six Nations’ Territory.

The agreement will eventually eliminate tariffs currently imposed on US sales in Central America, open up the market for US goods and services and make investment easier.
While it is expected to have limited economic impact for the US, the Bush administration sees the pact as an important element in its mission to spread democracy and combat terror.
Along with the six new nations within Cafta – and the Nafta agreement with Canada and Mexico – the US currently has free-trade agreements with Australia, Chile, Singapore, Jordan and Israel.

SOURCE

To conclude, there’s just one element missing from “Modernized Manifest Destiny” in order for this to be complete: the suppressing and oppressive religious element.

Source

Evangelists divide Huichol communities, cause conflict

Thirteen families have recently moved into Emmanuel after being forcibly run out of the Huichol pueblo of Santa Catarina. Their story is increasingly common across Latin America, where Native pueblos have been targeted for conversion by evangelical sects -and are pushing back with force.

Consisting of a half-dozen small duplexes of brick and yellow stucco, Emmanuel was paid for by state authorities and project residents, with help from a church in nearby Zacatecas. Religious supporters from Minnesota and New York state have come south to help build the cement block church under construction.

The Religious Right, the present generation of philosophical Puritanical descent is still trying to convert, assimilate, and suppress the “savages” and the pagans in my view.
Remind me of the Religious Right’s intentions of philosophical Puritanical descent(Thankyou stormbear).

[Update]

Ontario pulls out of Caledonia talks

A violent confrontation last week in Caledonia, Ont., has prompted the Ontario to pull out of this week’s scheduled negotiations with Six Nations and the federal government.

“Ontario considers last week’s confrontation unacceptable,” Lars Eedy, spokesman for the provincial aboriginal affairs ministry, said Tuesday in a release. “Violence is never a solution to any dispute.”

Developer Sam Gualtieri was hospitalized with face and head injuries Sept. 13 after confronting a group of protesters in one of two houses on the Stirling Street subdivision he is building for his daughters.

I said the following in My Journey To Wounded Knee

I believe this is a core issue of the Siege of Wounded Knee 1973:


Self-defense Summary: Should the law punish those who use force to defend themselves against criminal acts?

To conclude, allow me to explain with an analogy from my personal experience. I had a lawnmower that I was proud of, because I bought it when I first bought my own house. But, one day I heard it being dragged off my back porch after hearing the chain loosened. I put down my book and looked on my back porch; it was gone. I ran to find it, imagining where the thief would have taken it. I found him pulling it in broad daylight down the street, while I was running. Now, I’m not foolish. I looked to see if he had any weapons or anything, deciding I could go for his knees first if he refused to return it. I yelled about 15 yards away from him after looking for possible witnesses, “Hey! You know, it’s funny…that looks exactly like the lawn mower that was just on my back porch.” “Oh, is it?” He said. He continued, “I think it is.” “You don’t mind if I take that back from you, now do you?” I angrily said. “Not at all,” he replied. I said, “I didn’t think so,” while I grabbed it back from him and stomped back home. Funny thing is, the police said I was foolish and they couldn’t do anything, since I got my lawnmower back. Did I have a right to do what I did? What if he had tried to come into my home and I used deadly force? I don’t own a weapon, but the kitchen is very close by.

So, the Neoconservative forces in the U.S. and in Canada who de-affirmed the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples severely “mind” when those Indigenous Peoples try to keep the land that was stolen and promised to be returned one aloof day. If they kept their promises today – there wouldn’t be these types of conflicts.

A double standard is operating. When the thirteen “United Colonies” fought for Independence even before the U.S. became a country from Great Britain, it was a fight for Independence, but when Indigenous Peoples fight and strive for theirs…it’s impeding progress, or hubris to that effect. 

I am not making a judgment as to what First Nations should do or should not have done; however, I would like to offer some general information based on some historical analysis. If one warrior had been present at the Sand Creek Massacre, I dare say it would not have been accurately reclassified from a “battle.” Everyone knows that Washita was a massacre; it just hasn’t been reclassified as such. Why? Because of the eleven warriors who defended themselves and their people, who weren’t normally at Black Kettle’s village (as the rationalization seems to go). So, the U.S. government continued to punish commit genocide against the American Indian until the last Massacre at Wounded Knee.

The feelings and actions were totally justified after the Sand Creek Massacre.

Dee Brown. “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.” p. 94:

“The white man has taken our country, killed all of our children. Now no peace. We want to go meet our families in the spirit land. We loved the whites until we found out they lied to us, and robbed us of what we had. We have raised the battle ax until death.”(1)

And, one thing they did not have then that is available now is instant communication. There is the internet, there are telephones, there are lobbying groups that lobby for American Indian vital issues. I am not pretending to have the answer, but what I do know are two things.

First, regardless of whether or not peaceful negations were strived for or defensive war was used, they were going to steal the land and exterminate them regardless.  Trusting was a great liability. Also, Geronimo considered surrendering a great mistake. Second, is if the answer is not found and implemented soon and very soon indeed, George W. Bush and the Neoconservative forces in the U.S. and in Canada who de-affirmed the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples are going to finish what Custer started in the sacred Black Hills.

When does it end?

“Judge denies Stay”
“Drilling to continue”

Powertech, a Canadian mining company, began drilling uranium exploratory wells in the Dewey Burdock area northwest of Edgemont a few weeks despite the approval of their permit being appealed in court.

Black Hills Announces Additional Texas Pipeline Acquisition

Rapid City, SD – Black Hills Energy, Inc., the integrated energy subsidiary of Black Hills Corporation today announced the purchase of the assets of the Kilgore to Houston Pipeline System from Equilon Pipeline Company, LLC. The pipeline will be operated by the Company’s Houston-based oil pipeline and transportation company, Black Hills Operating Company, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Black Hills Energy Resources, Inc.

The Kilgore pipeline transports crude oil from the Kilgore, TX region south to Houston, TX, which is the transfer point to connecting carriers via the Oiltanking Houston terminal facilities. The 10-inch pipeline is approximately 190 miles long and has a capacity of approximately 35,000 barrels per day for sweet and 23,000 barrels per day for sour type crude oil. In addition, the Kilgore system has approximately 400,000 barrels of crude oil storage at Kilgore and 375,000 barrels of storage at the Texoma Tank Farm located in Longview, TX. These storage facilities will eventually be interchangeable between the two tank farms.

Project OVERVIEW

The Keystone Oil Pipeline (Keystone) is a proposed 2,969 kilometre (1,845 mile) pipeline with an initial nominal capacity to transport approximately 435,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta, to U.S. Midwest markets at Wood River and Patoka, Illinois.

– snip –

The commercial commitments support the expansion of the Keystone Pipeline to a nominal capacity of approximately 590,000 barrels per day and will involve the construction of a 473-kilometre (294-mile) extension of the U.S. portion of the pipeline from the Nebraska/Kansas border to a hub near Cushing, Oklahoma. The expansion and extension target in-service date is fourth quarter 2010.

The total length of the proposed Keystone Pipeline is 1,845 miles (2,969 kilometres).
o Approximately 1,078 miles (1,735 kilometres) of new pipeline will be constructed in the U.S.
o The Canadian portion of the proposed project includes the construction of approximately 230 miles (370 kilometres) of new pipeline and the conversion of approximately 537 miles (864 kilometres) of existing TransCanada pipeline from natural gas to crude oil transmission.

When does it end?

Add to all of that the fact that theCanadian company has the legal right to condemn land for a crude-oil pipeline through the eastern part of the state (South Dakota in this case) – and presto!

Now you know why the Neoconservative forces in the U.S. and in Canada who de-affirmed the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples didn’t want to sign the Declaration.

If I remember correctly, “Vaulting ambition” was Macbeth’s downfall.

Macbeth’s castle. Hautboys and torches.

That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur

To prick the sides of my intent, but only

Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself

And falls on the other.

Enough said.

The Law, a rave

The Law is beautiful, the Law is cruel. It is self evident truths and inhumane oppression. What ever it is was brought home to me, last night, not by the Blood and Guts War which we never see, except in our dreams, but by an asshole who jumped in line and was cranked to go. 

With Greg Palast as his bible he was ready to go! He believed that he would stand and overcome. He was delusional. He was me, a fool, my questions in hand. Mentally ill? I don’t think so or else I am too. An activist ready and willing, stupid yes! Deluded? Aren’t we all. Our evils are perceived as our only choice. Here we are, the Alternative to what is now the Law. A Law which has let us down, kicked us to the curb (too many pulps for me) and left us all wondering whose law?

From Hammurabi to the Bill of Rights and on, whose laws are we talking about, the Laws of human progress? It’s not George Bush’s Laws not Betrayus’ Laws. It’s ours, the people, the ones who have to live in this world’s human rights. So screw the newly made up laws that legalize crimes against us all.

Why Do the Republicans Hate the Troops… and Puppies?

Appearing at The Jaundiced Eye, the Independent Bloggers’ Alliance, and My Left Wing.

Golden Retriever Puppy Wrapped in US Flag

As discussed here, Jim Webb’s bill would have mandated “dwell time” to give our exhausted troops a break. It stood a good chance of passing until Senator Warner did a 180 and withdrew his support. In the end only 6 Senate Republicans showed that they give a damn about the well-being of our fighting men and women.

Senate Republicans blocked a plan on Wednesday to give U.S. troops in Iraq more home leave, defeating a proposal widely seen as the Democrats’ best near-term chance to change President George W. Bush’s Iraq strategy.

The measure to give troops as much rest time at home as they spent on their most recent tour overseas needed 60 votes to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate; it received just 56 votes, with 44 against.

It had been offered by Sen. Jim Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran and former Navy secretary. The Democrat said U.S. troops are being “burned out” by repeated redeployments to Iraq, with tours of up to 15 months and less than a year off in between.

Axis of Evil The Junior Partner

(11 pm Time for new content. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Never ones to rest on their laurels of incompetence and failure the NEO-Con’s have set their sights on Syria deciding that it is now a Junior Member of the Axis of Evil while this is consistent with their vision of remaking the Middle East its how they are making the case for Syria’s inclusion that is interesting. As is their real goal which involves derailing the Six Party Talks on North Korea’s nuclear program.

As has been widely reported in the mainstream press on September 6 Israeli war planes made an incursion into Syrian airspace for reasons as yet unknown. But this hasn’t stopped the press or anyone else for that matter from speculating on exactly what happened even though both the Israeli and Syrian governments have never issued an Official Statement on the incident.

Was Israel’s attack aimed at testing Syria’s radar defenses? Did the air strike seek to disrupt arms shipments to Lebanon’s Hezbollah? Was it a dress rehearsal for a possible future strike on Iranian nuclear facilities?

Feeding the speculation, a familiar clutch of hawks in the administration of US President George W Bush appear to be suggesting that Israel’s apparent air strike targeted a joint North Korea-Syria nuclear venture.

“We know that both Iran and Syria have long cooperated with North Korea on ballistic-missile programs, and the prospect of cooperation on nuclear matters is not far-fetched.

  That’s a quote from an OP/ED written by John Bolton which appeared in the Wall Street Journal about a week before the incident took place. Considering just how difficult it is to develop a ballistic missile program considering the technology involved  the North Koreans have had some success in their quest for a delivery system. The actual test launches have met with limited success.

Here is North Korea’s statement over the speculation that they are providing Syria with assistance in developing a nuclear program.

It is groundlessly misleading,” said the North’s official Central News Agency, quoting an unnamed Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
“We already declared in October 2006 that we as a responsible nuclear state would prohibit nuclear proliferation altogether,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying, recalling the time Pyongyang tested its first nuclear device last year.

?? “Our words are never empty, and we do what we promise to do, and never do things we say we will not do,” the spokesperson said, pointing at The New York Times and other unidentified media outlets as being behind the allegations that Pyongyang is cooperating with Syria in nuclear proliferation.

  From Yonhap a Korean News Service I know this is a statement made by the North Korean government. That said it has always been a stated goal of theirs to have full diplomatic and economic relations with the United States. So why would they risk the complete collapse of the Six Party Talks by involving themselves in such a venture. Does the North have a relationship with Syria yes but that has always been for the transference of ballistic missile technologies.

Further statements like these just fuel ones paranoia about the NEO-Con’s and George Bush’s real goals concerning the Middle East.

Comments made by a US State Department official last Friday fanned the flames and bolstered the neo-conservative argument. Andrew Semmel, acting deputy assistant secretary of state for nuclear non-proliferation policy, told the Associated Press that the US believes Syria has a number of “secret suppliers” to obtain nuclear equipment as part of a covert program.

Fortunately there are those who willing to call it what it is.

Joseph Cirincione, director for nuclear policy at the Washington-based Center for American Progress, a liberal think-tank, has gone so far as to describe the story as “nonsense”.
Selective leaks are being used to play up the Syria-North Korea connection, he writes on the online site of the journal Foreign Policy.

“This appears to be the work of a small group of officials leaking cherry-picked, unvetted ‘intelligence’ to key reporters in order to promote a pre-existing political agenda. If this sounds like the run-up to the war with Iraq, then it should,” he writes.

Castro Sucks, And Chavez Does Too

There. I said it. Whatcha gonna do about it?

Ok, I’ll come clean. There was a meta war without me. I’m jealous.

And no, I am NOT an ADMIN-AL.

I am not an elephant either.

Some say I am not a man. But not to my face.

I/P, Schmie-P. MEMEMEMEMEMEME!

鈥nd Gosh Darn, People Like You

I was going to write something tonight on economic policy, and how a logical, moderate approach to the issue would put you to the left of today’s Democratic Party, but then I read Buhdy’s front page essay.

So instead, I’ll riff on some thoughts on what I see good about this blog. Folks sometimes focus on what they think they’re doing wrong, and ignore the things they actually are doing right.

So without further ado, some thoughts on why I feel good about this place:

– Your mission statement is excellent. Better than any I’ve seen on any other Liberal Blog.
– Your initial group of front page folks are fabulous.
– There is much less nitpicking over the small shit here than I’ve seen in many other places.
– Cosmic Debris posts here.
– You are making a good faith effort at being open and honest on, well, everything.
– It is fun to post here.
– You are loyal to your friends.
– Fuck George Bush.

How the hell did that last one get in here?

If you are able to build on the good things above, I honestly see no reason why this can’t become one of the preeminent liberal blogs on all the intertubes.

None whatsoever.

I invite anyone else to post their reasons why they like this place so far, just below.

Cheers.

How to fix education and eliminate drug use

For decades now, we’ve had a war on drugs. And, we’ve had a variety of programs to address the educational problems of this country – the latest is a complete mess called No Child Left Behind.  Perhaps we’ve been going about it all wrong….. perhaps I have a better idea….. perhaps it’s below the fold

Well, we’ve had a long war on drugs.  Long and expensive.  Millions of dollars spent. Millions of people in prison.  And, now…. it’s impossible to buy illicit drugs….  hmmm

and we’ve got No Child Left Behind…. yes, it’s the plan by the President who never got educated to fix our schools by sending money to corporations… hmmmm…. is our children learning?

What we need is 

War on Education!

That’s right, folks.  We’re going to wage war on education!  No more schools!  Anyone caught learning or teaching will be off to jail.  There’ll be lots of room, because…. we’re going to stop the drug war and introduce

No Child Leaves Drugs!

Yup.  We’ll start kids off with some alcohol, and test them annually to see if they’re ready to move on up to pot, cocaine, and heroin!  Right!  Tests!  We’ll make the drugs legal, and require kids to buy them from US Corporations.  Tax ’em, too.

oooooh!

/snark

Photo Essay and poem from Protest in St Paul Minnesota

(“…poor priorities are killing

infrastructure and civilians.”
– promoted by exmearden
)

Around 2000 persons met at the St Paul Cathedral on Saturday afternoon (September 15) to hear anti-war speeches from veterans and others before heading as a group to the Excel Energy Center, the site of the upcoming Republican National Convention. After reaching the Excel Energy Center, we walked to the State Capitol grounds where speakers continued the rally.

We had a message for anyone who continues funding the unjust war in Iraq and from the sign below you can see that we had a special message for Republicans.

I took pictures of the event, but rather than write a diary that summarizes the content of the speeches, I prefer to present the words to a poem that Katrina Plotz, its author, read at the Cathedral before the march. I will also provide some captions for a few of my images.

The mother in the image above has her daughter by her side and her son is in Iraq. The mother’s sign says “My son is not a small price to pay.”


The Time Magazine cover is from prior to the last presidential election. The teaser on the cover asks the question “Does the president that led us into Iraq know how to lead us out? George W Bush’s reelection hinges on the answer.” We know what the answer is….


Veterans, young and old, protested against the Bush administration policies.


Below is the poem:

Break Away

vehicles slowed by endless construction
on the surface of a highway
raised above a river
under weight and neglect
the foundation starts to shiver鈥
and shake
brake lights came too late
no escape in the wake of a man-made earthquake

Now a frantic search and rescue
for anyone alive
witnesses disbelieve
the scene before their eyes
victims whisper their goodbyes
camera flashes light the sky
sighs of relief
still beg the question
Why?

Same day, far away
near the Tigris and Euphrates
explosions detonate
among panic-stricken faces
sidewalks crack
bridges collapse
lungs trapped beneath concrete
heave and breathe their last

No one rushes to the rescue
on the streets plagued with danger
no savior for a people
occupied by strangers
no relief for their sighs
just grief in their eyes
no surprise
just anger
as they fight for their lives

Back in the states
leaders struggle to explain
shake heads and shrug shoulders
but refuse to blame
鈥淏ridges in America
aren鈥檛 supposed to fall,鈥
were the words of lawmaker
laced with shock and awe.

For war and occupation
they allocate billions
poor priorities are killing
infrastructure and civilians.

After four years of war
what lessons have we learned?
can we salvage any pieces
of the bridges we have burned?

In the aftermath of tragedy
we can鈥檛 reverse the damage
but the bandage of denial
doesn鈥檛 serve any advantage

We can鈥檛
force our will
with perpetual war
we can鈥檛 fix
what is broken
by breaking it more
we can鈥檛 claim
to be humane
while delaying an end
to a brutal occupation
can we honestly pretend
to value security
with overpasses crumbling
to celebrate democracy
with apathy abundant?

鈥淲ait and see鈥
is not the strategy we need
procrastination
won鈥檛 change the nation
we need money for human needs
not for guns
we can鈥檛 afford to fund wars
for corporate thugs
we can鈥檛 cross this bridge
when the time comes

The time is NOW
To make each other proud
From the streets yell it loud
Bring the troops home now!


Is it Too Late for Al Gore? Maybe Not

crossposted at Daily Kos and Truth & Progress

Is it too late for Al Gore to enter this year’s presidential race?

For those of us who are political junkies and are fervent supporters of our candidates (declared or not), we probably don’t have the ability to see the forest from the trees. As for the majority of voters out there in this massive country of ours, the longevity of Campaign 2008 seems to be getting on their nerves by a 2:1 margin

While political junkies have enjoyed the extended pre-season for Election 2008, most voters say that the debates and other campaign activities so far have been annoying and a waste of time.  A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 56% of Likely Voters hold that view while only 29% say the campaign so far has been interesting and informative.

Read below the fold as to why there may be hope for late entrants to this ‘War and Peace’ long of a presidential campaign.
 

A month ago, I wrote this diary — Was Al Gore Right About the 600-Day Campaign? — in which I analyzed a Pew Research Center survey with the below findings

These are the results of a survey (via the Chicago Tribune‘s ‘The Swamp’) released by the Pew Research Center a few days ago and here’s who thinks that presidential campaigns are too long: Most Americans – 52%; Men – 55%; People 65+ – 56%; Whites – 56%; College grads – 64%; People living in the Midwest – 57%; Suburbanites – 57%; Registered voters – 55%; Republicans – 61%; and Conservatives – 56%.

In the Rasmussen Reports survey released today, almost 3 in 4 voters favor a campaign not to last more than one year

In fact, 72% of voters would favor a proposal to shorten the Presidential campaign season so that no one could begin campaigning more than a year before election day.  Just 14% of Likely Voters are opposed and another 14% are not sure.

Consistent with this view, just 25% of voters nationwide believe that Fred Thompson hurt his campaign by skipping a New Hampshire debate and appearing on the Tonight Show to formally announce his candidacy.

What are some of the other findings in this survey?

* 77% of New Hampshire voters would not penalize Fred Thompson for entering the race too late.
* A solid majority (58%) think the “debates are boring.”
* Given that they are optimistic about their chances of winning in 2008, 37% of Democrats are happy with campaign events as they are “interesting and informative.”
* Only 19% of Republicans agree with the above assertion as the political climate favors the Democratic Party.

Earlier this year, Kos wrote a front page post in which he asserted that Al Gore could wait until late in the year to declare his candidacy.  To refresh your memory

One reason I’m not jumping aboard any 2008 bandwagons is that I’ll wait as long as necessary to see if Gore will jump in. That’s ultimately my guy this cycle.  And even though I don’t think he’ll run, he’s really got all the time in the world to make a final decision.

The (Nobel) prize will be announced in mid-October. So say Gore scores an Oscar and Nobel in the same year, he can announce in November and still become THE story in the primaries.  It’s not as if he’ll need the full year to get his name recognition up or make the case for his candidacy.  He would instantly raise gobs of cash (I’d bet on tens of millions in the first 24 hours) and become the media sensation of the winter.  He would instantly make hundreds of millions spent by his primary opponents obsolete.  Talent would flock to him, decimating the staffs of his opponents.

Heck, if done right, a serious “Draft Gore” movement could have the shell of an infrastructure in place for him to adopt.

But if the stars align properly, you never know.

So, what about those “stars” that Kos alluded to in February 2007?  Is there any alignment pattern that we can discern?  I’m no rocket scientist but I read a bit every now and then.


What About the Oscars?  You guessed it: a Gore Win!


And, how’d Gore Do at the Emmys?  Yep, another Win!

Is the Draft Gore movement making any headway?  You bet.  Well over 100,000 people have signed the online petition and there are chapters all over the country. See here and hereAmerica For Gore was recently launched by our very own MakeChessNotWar to coordinate online efforts by these various Gore Groups.  If there was no enthusiasm for Gore, how come he is leading all candidates in ‘The 2008 Bumper Sticker Primary?’  This is an unconventional method of keeping track of all campaign gear (bumper stickers, tshirts, buttons) sold for each candidate by an organization which is the largest online.  Earlier today, in what may be the first test of this movement, DKos diarist kimberlyweldon wrote this diary in which she states that 12,396 Sigs (Are Needed) by OCT 23 to get AL GORE on Michigan Ballot.  And unlike 2002, Gore hasn’t shut down these efforts in 2007.

As everyone here knows, politics is not a static phenomenon; rather, change is the rule than the exception.  I’m not sure what Kos’ thinking is today.  As far as I can tell, he hasn’t endorsed any candidate as yet whereas by Fall 2003, he’d already decided that either Howard Dean or Wes Clark would be the nominee.  Neither do I have any first-hand knowledge that Gore’s planning a late entry.  All I know is that Gore refuses to make a Shermanesque Statement.  And, for all the reasons Kos outlined above — almost 100% name recognition, ability to raise lots of money very quickly, attract quality campaign staff, create enormous buzz by winning an Oscar and an Emmy, and the like — I certainly think that given these two surveys in the past month where voters (by healthy margins) express their disdain for a long political campaign, it is conceivable that it would not be too late for Gore to declare his candidacy.

A “fresh face” — whose prescience about the Iraq Invasion many have not forgotten — in to reinvigorate interest in the 2008 Campaign?  I suspect a majority of voters would be receptive to exactly such a move by Al Gore.

[poll id=”

51

“]

Ending the War in the Senate

I have said previously that the House, and not the Senate, will be the body to end the war. My argument at the time was:

Just look at the last supplemental vote. In the Senate, Only 14 voted against the bill. Two of those Senators who voted no were Republicans, and they did not vote no because they wanted to end the war in Iraq. In other words, not even a quarter of the majority in that body considered taking a serious step to end the war.

I still think it’s more likely that ending the war in the House will be easier, but the numbers in the Senate from a seemingly insignificant vote this evening yield an interesting result.

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Look at the roll call of John McCain’s bullshit answer to the defeated Webb amendment. In this case, 55 were in favor of ending debate, and 45 against. The 45 noes interest me greatly:

NAYs —45
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Hagel (R-NE)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lincoln (D-AR)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Obama (D-IL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

This is not a list filled exclusively with anti-war liberals. There a very few indeed in the Senate today. Rather, this is a list of the mainstream Democrats in the senate, plus one independent who almost always votes with them and one anti-war Republican.

These Senators are enough to filibuster any war funding bill that does not include firm, enforceable, deadlines. If we can convince them all to commit to that, and it is a tall order, then we can end the war with the not spending power, as the framers intended.

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