Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Got Liver? (Re-post)

This is a plea for help.
My dear friend and partner of almost ten years, Jesse Bannister, has been finally properly diagnosed with Nonalchoholic Steatohepatitis with Cirrhosis of the Liver meaning he will need a transplant.
He has been to many doctors in the last 2 years and not one has made a proper diagnosis till recently. He lost his job due to illness last November and tried to do real estate, became an agent, and then became too ill to work. Things came to a head when I finally ask him to go to the hospital after his 40th birthday, June 28th. That was in early July when he finally went to his sister's in another town and she took him the next day. I don't blame him for not going here, as we have a hospital with a notorious reputation.

The picture above is the one he chose for his real estate image. The picture below is the most current one. He told me he wants to live and has become very disciplined about his diet and already has lost almost 100 pounds. His goal wieght is 175 and he's at 198. He's has had an eating disorder all his life which along with genetics contributed to his condition.

So here's the plea.
Jesse, "Buck", needs a transplant. The doctor told him he had only a few weeks to live had he not gone for treatment.

Unfortunately, he cannot receive the transplant workup or be put on the transplant list unless he has some sort of health coverage such as Medicare and/or Medicaid or can show an ability to pay the costs of the workup and surgery.
Because the agencies are taking so long to make a determination we are requesting help from family, friends and their contacts. Besides having to raise money to insure his transplant workup gets done as soon as possible he needs to cover the several thousand dollars he already owes for his treatment. Since he has no income his care, treatment, and the cost of medicines have to be covered by family members or received on credit. Every day he goes without the workup and his name on the transplant list is a day that he may have missed an opportunity for a new liver.

Even with Medicare and/or Medicaid the out of pockets costs will be enormous. These will include things like immunosuppressive drugs, hotel expenses for family members to be close during the surgery and recovery, as well as hospital and doctor expenses not covered by the insurance.

You can learn more about Buck at his blog, Got Liver?
There is information there on how you can help financially if you would like to.
Thank you also for your kind thoughts and encouragement.

Link on Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis

Link to Cirrhosis

Thanks so much. me in the EE

Keith Olbermann come back against Bush and media in defense of Bill Clinton

Keith Olbermann comments on Bill Clinton's Fox News interview

A textbook definition of cowardice

From his article, (link also has video):

The Bush Administration did not try to get Osama bin Laden before 9/11.

The Bush Administration ignored all the evidence gathered by its predecessors.

The Bush Administration did not understand the Daily Briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in U.S."

The Bush Administration did not try.

Moreover, for the last five years one month and two weeks, the current administration, and in particular the President, has been given the greatest “pass” for incompetence and malfeasance in American history!

After five years of skirting even the most inarguable of facts—that he was president on 9/11 and he must bear some responsibility for his, and our, unreadiness, Mr. Bush has now moved, unmistakably and without conscience or shame, towards re-writing history, and attempting to make the responsibility, entirely Mr. Clinton’s.

Of course he is not honest enough to do that directly.

As with all the other nefariousness and slime of this, our worst presidency since James Buchanan, he is having it done for him, by proxy.

Thus, the sandbag effort by Fox News Friday afternoon.

Consider the timing: the very weekend the National Intelligence Estimate would be released and show the Iraq war to be the fraudulent failure it is—not a check on terror, but fertilizer for it.

The one thing that the current administration prides itself at, political manipulation, may well be it's undoing. Manipulation only seems to work for a while and in short doses and with those who are easily misled. Constant manipulation is difficult for anyone to accomplish successfully, it's not really part of who we are, though it may seem to be. Seeming is not being, is it? Not last time I did a reality check.

Peace to all.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Follow up to Lindsey Graham post below

Saw this at TruthOut original New York Times Editorial:

A Bad Bargain

Here is a way to measure how seriously President Bush was willing to compromise on the military tribunals bill: Less than an hour after an agreement was announced yesterday with three leading Republican senators, the White House was already laying a path to wiggle out of its one real concession.

About the only thing that Senators John Warner, John McCain and Lindsey Graham had to show for their defiance was Mr. Bush's agreement to drop his insistence on allowing prosecutors of suspected terrorists to introduce classified evidence kept secret from the defendant. The White House agreed to abide by the rules of courts-martial, which bar secret evidence. (Although the administration's supporters continually claim this means giving classified information to terrorists, the rules actually provide for reviewing, editing and summarizing classified material. Evidence that cannot be safely declassified cannot be introduced.)

The deal does next to nothing to stop the president from reinterpreting the Geneva Conventions. While the White House agreed to a list of "grave breaches" of the conventions that could be prosecuted as war crimes, it stipulated that the president could decide on his own what actions might be a lesser breach of the Geneva Conventions and what interrogation techniques he considered permissible. It's not clear how much the public will ultimately learn about those decisions. They will be contained in an executive order that is supposed to be made public, but Mr. Hadley reiterated that specific interrogation techniques will remain secret.

Read all at link above.

So we thank Graham and company for their fine efforts, meaningless as they were, once again. However, I still in my heart of hearts hope for great things from Colin Powell.

me in the EE

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bush Family and Iran

An interesting read from Robert Parry who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek.

The Bushes & the Truth About Iran by Robert Parry
September 21, 2006

"Having gone through the diplomatic motions with Iran, George W. Bush is shifting toward a military option that carries severe risks for American soldiers in Iraq as well as for long-term U.S. interests around the world. Yet, despite this looming crisis, the Bush Family continues to withhold key historical facts about U.S.-Iranian relations.

Those historical facts – relating to Republican contacts with Iran’s Islamic regime more than a quarter century ago – are relevant today because an underlying theme in Bush’s rationale for war is that direct negotiations with Iran are pointless. But Bush’s own father may know otherwise.

The evidence is now persuasive that George H.W. Bush participated in negotiations with Iran’s radical regime in 1980, behind President Jimmy Carter’s back, with the goal of arranging for 52 American hostages to be released after Bush and Ronald Reagan were sworn in as Vice President and President, respectively.

In exchange, the Republicans agreed to let Iran obtain U.S.-manufactured military supplies through Israel. The Iranians kept their word, releasing the hostages immediately upon Reagan’s swearing-in on Jan. 20, 1981.

Over the next few years, the Republican-Israel-Iran weapons pipeline operated mostly in secret, only exploding into public view with the Iran-Contra scandal in late 1986. Even then, the Reagan-Bush team was able to limit congressional and other investigations, keeping the full history – and the 1980 chapter – hidden from the American people.

Upon taking office on Jan. 20, 2001, George W. Bush walled up the history even more by issuing an executive order blocking the scheduled declassification of records from the Reagan-Bush years. After 9/11, the younger George Bush added more bricks to the wall by giving Presidents, Vice Presidents and their heirs power over releasing documents."
Read all at link above.

The secrecy of documents has been reported in the news I've heard, but the in-depth analysis, well let's say, it's just not done. It's sort of like getting clues all the time, but no follow-up. These stories involve time and patience, something that is are in our society of fast food, fast fun, immmediate gratification. I'm as guilty as anyone. But I do have one principle in mind when I hear and see things: I'm not hearing and seeing the whole thing-- ever. Therefore, I'm always asking why. Thanks to all the people who live seeking out what is beneath the surface of events. So many of us do not know, but what is worse, so many of us don't know that we don't know and yet have such strong opinions about what we see and believe.

All these things cannot change what is true, WHAT IS. Thank goodness what "is" is not subject to that which seems to be. That is why you may have a peace that passeth understanding, even in the midst of chaos. It is not that you cannot see the seeming, or be aware of it and it's affects on those around you, but you are not subjected to it, or a victim of it, it having no undo influence on your inner peace.

me in the EE

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

UN Speeches

Transcript of Ahmadinajad's Speech

What afflicts humanity today is certainly not compatible with human dignity; the Almighty has not created human beings so that they could transgress against others and oppress them.

By causing war and conflict, some are fast expanding their domination, accumulating greater wealth and usurping all the resources, while others endure the resulting poverty, suffering and misery.

Some seek to rule the world relying on weapons and threats, while others live in perpetual insecurity and danger.

Some occupy the homeland of others, thousands of kilometers away from their borders, interfere in their affairs and control their oil and other resources and strategic routes, while others are bombarded daily in their own homes; their children murdered in the streets and
alleys of their own country and their homes reduced to rubble.

Hugo Chavez calls Bush 'Devil'

Chavez Address to UN Transcript

Speaking through an interpreter, Chavez called on nations
to rise up against what he called America's hegemony. He

even had some recommended reading for his colleagues:
Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest
for Global

"It's an excellent book to help us understand what's been happening in the world throughout the 20th century," Chavez said, "and what's happening now."

Transcript of Bush's Speech
To the people of Syria, your land is home to a great people with a proud tradition of learning and commerce. Today, your rulers have allowed your country to become a crossroad for terrorism.

In your midst, Hamas and Hezbollah are working to destabilize the region, and your government is turning your country into a tool of Iran. This is increasing your country's isolation from the world.

Your government must choose a better way forward by ending its support for terror and living at peace with your neighbors and opening the way to a better life for you and your families.

Ted Turner: Iraq war among history's "dumbest"

By Daniel Trotta (Reuters)

The U.S. invasion of Iraq was among the "dumbest moves of all time" that ranks with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and the German invasion of Russia, billionaire philanthropist Ted Turner said on Tuesday.

The founder of CNN and unabashed internationalist also defended the right of Iran to have nuclear weapons and the effectiveness of the United Nations and, in a jocular mood, advocated banning men from elective office worldwide in a Reuters Newsmaker appearance.

Alternately combative and humorous, Turner spoke nine years after his pledge to donate $1 billion to the United Nations over 10 years and on the same day President Bush addressed the U.N. General Assembly a mile away.

The U.S. invasion of Iraq has caused "incalculable damage" that will take 20 years to overcome "if we just act reasonably intelligently."

The article goes on to say:

One way to reduce such dangers in the world would be to leave women in charge, said the former husband of Jane Fonda.

"Men should be barred from public office for 100 years in every part of the world. ... It would be a much kinder, gentler, more intelligently run world. The men have had millions of years where we've been running things. We've screwed it up hopelessly. Let's give it to the women."

In the meantime, the United Nations represents the best hope, Turner said.

me in the EE

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fire Rainbow

This was sent via email by a friend:


This is a real photograph of an atmospheric phenomenon known as a circumhorizon(tal) arc, the example shown above was captured on camera as it hung for about an hour across a several-hundred square mile area of sky above northern Idaho (near the Washington border) on 3 June 2006.

In general, a circumhorizontal arc (or "fire rainbow") appears when the sun is high in the sky (i.e., higher than 58° above the horizon), and its light passes through diaphanous, high-altitude cirrus clouds made up of hexagonal plate crystals. Sunlight entering the crystals' vertical side faces and leaving through their bottom faces is refracted (as through a prism) and separated into an array of visible colors. When the plate crystals in cirrus clouds are aligned optimally (i.e., with their faces parallel to the ground), the resulting display is a brilliant spectrum of colors reminiscent of a rainbow.

From: Urban Legend Reference Pages
They have great links and another picture.

This one I've seen more than once: Sundog, parhelia, mock suns. I called them "Trinity of light, Circle of love." Not knowing the name at the time. The sun is in the middle between two small rainbows. My first sighting was in Prescott Valley, Arizona. My artist friend Yvonne called them sundogs.

me in the EE

No "War on Terror" ( But you knew that... didn't you?)

I have spoken for a long time about this insanity called the "War on Terror." So, once again, it's nice to see others speaking about this, others who are much more learned on the details of these matters. Here's a great article I saw at TruthOut first. The Original is here.

"There is no War on Terror" by Richard Dreyfuss

President George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney and the entire Republican election team are scrambling to make their so-called war on terror the focus of the next seven weeks. As in 2002 and 2004, they’re counting on their ability to scare Americans with the al-Qaida bogeyman. And while the trauma of 9/11 has begun to dissipate and American voters seem less susceptible than ever to the scare tactics used by the White House, for the past five years the Democrats have been singularly unable to develop an effective counter to the Bush administration on terrorism. So, for that reason, here are 10 important facts about terrorism that opponents of President Bush should understand.

Part of what follows is derived from a series of some two dozen interviews I conducted over the summer with leading U.S. counterterrorism officials, many of whom served in top posts during the Bush administration. Not all of them agree with each other, nor with all of my conclusions, which can be found in the Sept. 21 issue of Rolling Stone . But most of them served on the front lines of the so-called "war on terror." If U.S. counterterrorism efforts were run by these officials, instead of Bush and Cheney, those efforts would look radically different than they do today.

The article goes into detail on these topics:

I. The threat of terrorism is wildly exaggerated.
II. Al-Qaida barely exists at all as a threat.
III. There is no Terrorist International.
IV. Iraq will not, and could not, fall to al-Qaida.
V. The Taliban is not al-Qaida.
VI. Neither Iran nor Syria sponsor anti-U.S. terrorism.*
VII. It is not a “war.”
VIII. There were never any al-Qaida sleeper cells in the United States.
IX. Vulnerabilities are not threats.
X. No one is in charge.

*See article about the Canadian citizen, Syrian-born Maher Arar, that the US sent to Syria to be tortured because of suspected al-Qaida links which turned out to be false. Sent to a secret prison which until recently the White House denied having, denied the practice of rendition and the practice of torture. Lies, lies, and more lies. Mr Arar's case was dismissed by an American court, but this ruling has been appealed.

"I have waited a long time to have my name cleared. I was tortured and lost a year of my life. I will never be the same," Arar said. "The United States must take responsibility for what it did to me and must stop destroying more innocent lives with its unlawful actions."

Sad days for the (un-as in not)United States, indeed. Lawlessness by the lawless, while too many people cheer on the false bravado of an administration that is pure politics with no regard for, or gross misinterpretation of great ideals and ideas that are the foundation of our country and the basis of world-wide agreements.

Yet, all is well, really, for those who choose peace this day. Remember, record their deeds, as they have chosen responsibility in your name, hold those in positions of responsibility responsible, and go about your day living your concepts of truth to the best of your response-- ability.

me in the EE

Monday, September 18, 2006

Willie Nelson Arrested in St. Martin Parish

Wille Nelson and his band caught with a pound and a half of weed and some mushrooms by Louisiana State trooper.

A country music legend famous for the song, "On the Road Again" found trouble on the road in south Louisiana. Willie Nelson's tour bus was pulled over Monday morning on I-10 in St. Martin Parish and now the 73-year-old singer faces misdemeanor drug charges.

A trooper pulled over a gold tour bus near Breaux Bridge. He ordered a search of the vehicle after talking to the driver.

During the search, investigators report finding one and a half pounds of marijuana and two-tenths of a pound of mushrooms on the bus. It wasn't until later that police realized the bus belonged to Willie Nelson.
Good to see some folks living their dreams. Legalise the stuff, really.

Related article by Bill Maher: On the Rope Again

me in the EE

Friday, September 15, 2006

Lindsey Graham takes a stand

It's good to see a South Carolina Senator, Lindsey Graham take a stand for sanity in these insane times. Our President seems to love torture and tough action although it has never been proven effective and may be illegal in a court of law if evidence is based on it. More legal wranglings that this administration is fond of getting into, not liking laws created by wiser men who saw these potential problems. Take for instance the writers and signers of the Constitution!

It's also good to see Colin Powell speak out on this matter. In a letter to John McCain who sponsored a no-torture bill to which Bush had to add one of over 700 sighing statements, he said, "The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism..."

Now that may be a nominee for the understatement of the year but at least he's saying something and my hope is that he will redeem himself after his nightmarish WMD proclamations in deference to White House pressure (?), and become a great leader. I believe he can be.

Mr Bush responded: "It is very important for the American people to understand that in order to protect this country, we must be able to interrogate people who have information about future attacks."

This may be true but he's not saying everything he means, as usual. It would be more important for this country's protection that we be led by competent, restrained, and thoughtful men and women, who are not apt to lead us into unending wars and the deterioration of our Constitution. Also, why does he think that the American people don't understand what needs to be done in order to protect our country? My, we are a patient lot.

Senator Lindsey Graham said, "We are not going to win the war by killing every terrorist with a bomb or bullet," according to Bloomberg News. "You win the war by persuading those people in the Mideast to reject terrorism." Mr. Graham is an authority on military law. He also expressed concerns for our troops if and when captured by enemy forces how they might be treated.

Mr Graham was also the one of the main driving forces in the waste of time and money in the Clinton sex-scandal impeachment process.

I heard this on npr this morning on the route and then saw it here:

Senate Panel Defies Bush on Detainee Bill by David Stout
The New York Times

Let's hope people are watching these events and are ready to use their power at the ballet box, and free speech while we have it!

Other news of interest:
Ten Big News Stories You Aren't Hearing

IAEA Protests "Erroneous" US Report on Iran

Are Political Blogs Swinging Elections?

Moazzam Begg: From Pakistan to Guantanamo
Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg has published a memoir called Enemy Combatant. Begg says he was arrested in Pakistan without ever being charged with a crime, beaten and psychologically tortured at prison camps in Afghanistan and kept in isolation for nearly two years at Guantanamo Bay.

me in the EE

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The World is too much with us; late and soon


The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; 10
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

William Wordsworth 1806.

Wordsworth was a defining member of the English Romantic Movement. Like other Romantics, Wordsworth’s personality and poetry were deeply influenced by his love of nature, especially by the sights and scenes of the Lake Country, in which he spent most of his mature life. A profoundly earnest and sincere thinker, he displayed a high seriousness tempered with tenderness and a love of simplicity.

I have written music to two Wordsworth poems, "She was a Phantom of Delight" and "Daffodils." You can hear them at my dmusic sight.

me in the EE

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

House of Ill Repute

On npr this morning:

House of Ill Repute by Robert Reich

"The number of registered lobbyists in Washington has ballooned to the point there are over 60 of them for every single member of Congress. They spent $2.4 billion last year. What do you think the lobbyists bought with that money?

A lot of it was for earmarks, obviously -- specific morsels of bacon designed to pay off some big donors back home. Most folks back home don't see a penny of it. It goes into the pockets of conduits like Jack Abramoff. And taxpayers foot the bill for all the earmarks for every specially-favored interest all over the country. Ten years ago there were about 3,000 earmarks. Last year there were over 14,000, costing taxpayers over $47 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service."

To show voters they've at least done something, the House leadership is set to require by House rules that legislation containing earmarks list members of Congress who sponsored them. But that’s not reform. That’s advertising. There’s no mystery about who sponsors what earmark. Just look at whose district the earmarked money will go to.

Read all at link above.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Evading Reality

We should remember the warning of Ayn Rand: "We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality."

Slipped His Moorings by Charley Reese

"The two most dangerous leaders in the world are George W. Bush and North Korea's Kim Jong Il. The lights seem to be out upstairs in both men. Neither man can see the world as it really exists.

I wish to stress that. It's not a question of having a difference of opinion. Rational people can easily disagree on what is the right policy. When people see things that are not there, however, reasoning and debate are useless. It's like a demented person who believes someone is hiding in the trunk of the car. No amount of explanation will convince that person otherwise.

For the president to compare Osama bin Laden, a crank with maybe a thousand followers scattered around the globe, with Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin is preposterous, absurd, and even laughable. To suggest bin Laden could take over Iraq is even more so. We have 140,000 troops, a Navy, and an Air Force, and we can't "take over" Iraq. How in the name of heaven could bin Laden do it with no soldiers at all? He is, after all, a Sunni with only a small following among Sunnis, and the majority in Iraq is Shi'ite."

Read all at link above.

What motivates George Bush and company to say what they do, to do what they do?

If everyone says and does from a foundation of how they see their inner self and their relation to what appears to be out there in the world, we can understand the principles, ideals, ideas, illusions, beliefs, assumptions that give rise to our words and actions. Where there is conflict within one's idea of one's self there is usually that same conflict projected outward in the world, however unconciously. With so much destructive power one would hope that our leaders would have a good grasp of their psychological makeup in order to avoid injury to themselves and others.

One would also hope that in a free society, and a responsible society, that it's members would rein in those who are so readily willing to drag the entire society into years of conflict where the enemy could be anywhere and anyone.

In order to be "great" in the world, one must be at peace with himself and with that world, project that inward peace out into the world. This is how one serves humanity, by serving with compassion and peace. Warmongers, who would achieve greatness through conflict are only fighting themselves...unless we join them in their illusion of war which then becomes our illusion.

me in the EE

Monday, September 11, 2006

Wisconsin Marriage Amendment

My home state will vote this fall on their "Marriage" Amendment. Saw this article at Raw Story.

Just Say No Katie McKy - Raw Story Columnist

There's a fight scheduled in Wisconsin on November 7th, 2006. On that day, we Wisconsinites will square off, Left versus Right, decency versus tradition. We will decide if all citizens are equal, or if some citizens are more equal than others. Yeah, we're going to vote on a marriage amendment...and more. Here's the amendment:

"Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."

In the Left corner, looking cool in blue, is Mike Tate. Tate is the campaign manager for Fair Wisconsin.

Tate says, "I've always felt that this is a state where everyone gets a fair shake. This is too important to not become involved. If you'd told me 2 years ago that this is what I'd be doing, I wouldn't have believed you, but I believe that it's the civil rights fight of my generation."

As Tate is straight, young, and male, it might not seem to be his fight, but he knows something about Wisconsin history, which leads to the historical context.

"There's a strong Libertarian streak in Wisconsin. People make sure that government isn't inhibiting people from living their lives. Over 20 percent of Wisconsin has been represented by an openly gay representative. Steve Gunderson and Tammy Baldwin were both reelected as gay people. A lot don't know anyone that's gay and they might be uncomfortable with gay people, but they still believe that everyone deserves a fair shake and if you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve a good life in our state."
Read all at link above.

More links:

A Fair Wisconsin Votes No

South Carolina Equality Coalition

Another 9/11 Anniversary

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing, would suffice to solve most of the world's problems...” ~M.K.Gandhi

September 11th marks more than one anniversary.
100 years ago to the day, Mohandas Gandhi made an
historic speech. On September 11th 1906, he launched his non-violence movement.

The Meaning of God

There is an indefinable mysterious Power that pervades everything.
I feel It, though I do not see It.
It is this unseen Power which makes Itself felt and yet defies all proof,
because It is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses.
It transcends the senses....
That informing Power or Spirit is God....
For I can see that in the midst of death life persists, in the midst of untruth, truth persists, in the midst of darkness light persists.
Hence I gather that God is Life, Truth, Light. He is love.
He is supreme good.
But he is no God who merely satisfies the intellect
If He ever does.
God to be God must rule the heart and transform it.

– M. K. Gandhi
(Young India, October 11, 1928)

Gandhi Institute for Non-violence

Read what other newspapers around the world are saying about the US response to 9/11 attacks and the state of world terrorism today.

Two interesting stories today on npr:

Anchor Lisa Mullins speaks with Afghanistan expert Barnett Rubin about the resurgent Taliban five years after the September 11th attacks.

Today is the one-hundredth anniversary of the launching of Mahatma Gandhi's non-violence movement in South Africa. The World's Jeb Sharp explores the relevance of non-violent tactics in an age of terrorism.

Here's to that day when war will be a thing of the past. And the accepted way will be non-violent, even in reaction to terror. In that day we will seek to end what causes terrorism instead of only seeking to destroy terrorists wherein we only continue the seemingly endless cycle of violence and hate and fear. We will choose peace. Choose peace for yourself today.

Prayer of Jeshua ben Josef

Therefore, precious friend, choose this one day to be at perfect peace
Bless all that you see and see it as being within you
Look out upon the innocence of the world
And Bless it with the radiance of Christ
You are as you are created to be and cannot be apart from your Creator
And your Creator is but love
Therefore you are the thought of love in form
Peace be unto you always.

"This Hole in the Ground" by Keith Olbermann

me in the EE

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Two Excellent Anti-war Articles

I am and always have been anti-war. I don't know any more than most people about war's history and reasons. It pleases me to find articles that support anti-war views, many by people with greater knowledge of the whys and wherefores of that which offends me on a very deep level.

Here are two that, for no other reason, I'm linking to for myself and for anyone inerested in seeing more than what the national main stream media offers about our current woeful warring ways:

The Law of Opposites by Rep. Ron Paul

Everyone is aware of the Law of Unintended Consequences. Most members of Congress understand that government actions can have unintended consequences, yet few quit voting for government "solutions" – always hoping there won't be any particular unintended consequences this time. They keep hoping there will be less harmful complications from the "solution" that they currently support. Economics teaches that for every government action to solve an economic problem, others are created. The same unwanted results occur with foreign policy meddling.

The Law of Opposites is just a variation of the Law of Unintended Consequences. When we attempt to achieve a certain goal – like, "make the world safe for democracy," a grandiose scheme of World War I – one can be sure the world will become less safe and less democratic regardless of the motivation.

War-Mongering America Terrorizes the World by Howard Zinn
Beyond the futility of armed force, and ultimately more important, is the fact that war in our time inevitably results in the indiscriminate killing of large numbers of people. To put it more bluntly, war is terrorism. That is why a "war on terrorism" is a contradiction in terms. Wars waged by nations, whether by the United States or Israel, are a hundred times more deadly for innocent people than the attacks by terrorists, vicious as they are.

Here's hoping that our 'kick-their-ass" policies in dealing with perceived enemies will give way to the seldom practiced but often proclaimed "love thy enemy," purportedly first uttered by that religious philosophical radical extremist: Jesus*, who when asked why he couldn't work for change within the Jewish religion said, "One does not put new wine in old wine skins."

hmmm........ what a funny dude!!

*not the name he went by, by the way...but who cares...it's not in his name anything, any. thing. at. all...it's in "his", truth's , WHAT IS's IDENTITY.....IDENTITY. Change "in his name" to "in his identity" then you GET IT. Whatsoever you do to the least of these you do unto me.

me and JC, one/all in the EE

Feingold to the Rescue

A while back I heard a story on npr about how Arlen Spector, once outraged by Bush's secret domestic spying program, was putting up a good show about standing up to the White House, like he's done before but then later caves-in. I was wondering what became of all this as the latest I heard was of course Spector had caved-in again and actually did a complete turn-around and was going to push legislation retro-actively exonerating the President for any illegalities concerning this matter and allow the warrantless spying to continue unmonitored by either Congress or the FISA court.

Enter my hero, Russ Feingold.

Russ Feingold Stands Up Again by Dave Lindorff

"It looked like this atrocity of Specter’s was going to pass into law, but Sen. Feingold, with the help of, not Democrats, but three Republican senators he rounded up who still respect the Bill of Rights and rule of law, managed to fend it off by way of a filibuster threat.

Feingold deserves all of our thanks for this move--so uncharacteristic of his feckless Democratic colleagues, who continue to cower at the thought of an attack by Karl Rove and his media minions.

The amazing thing is that when Feingold introduced a censure motion against Bush late last year, his approval rating among Democrats and among the general population soared--a clear indication that he has the political positions that American voters are looking for. It is likely that Feingold’s numbers will jump again as news of his latest action in the Senate spreads. And yet most Democrats in Congress still remain supine when it comes to standing up to the Bush administration."
Mr Feingold, Wisconsin, Democratic Senator, has my continued admiration and support. He's from my home state and that makes me smile! Too few politicians are in his league. Let's hope for great things from this genuine American Statesman. My partner Buck has a blog called South Carolina for Feingold. Since he's been ill it's been neglected, but I'm leaving a link to it on the sidebar.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bush Aims to Kill War Crimes Act

The US War Crimes Act of 1996 makes it a felony to commit grave violations of the Geneva Conventions. The Washington Post recently reported that the Bush administration is quietly circulating draft legislation to eliminate crucial parts of the War Crimes Act. Observers on The Hill say the Administration plans to slip it through Congress this fall while there still is a guaranteed Republican majority--perhaps as part of the military appropriations bill, the proposals for Guantánamo tribunals or a new catch-all "anti-terrorism" package. Why are they doing it, and how can they be stopped?

This is from an article titled:
Bush Aims to Kill War Crimes Act by Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith

A link to a previous post here.

And another here in which I write about the story on npr being completely overshadowed by the London Terrorist Arrests.

Who's winning in the" War on Terror?" It ain't you.

Here's a list of the ten biggest war profiteers other than the biggest one, Haliburton, from an article at Alternet by Charlie Cray:

The 10 Most Brazen War Profiteers

Halliburton has become synonymous with war profiteering, but there are lots of other greedy fingers in the pie. We name names on 10 of the worst.

The history of American war profiteering is rife with egregious examples of incompetence, fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement, bribery and misconduct. As war historian Stuart Brandes has suggested, each new war is infected with new forms of war profiteering. Iraq is no exception. From criminal mismanagement of Iraq's oil revenues to armed private security contractors operating with virtual impunity, this war has created opportunities for an appalling amount of corruption. What follows is a list of some of the worst Iraq war profiteers who have bilked American taxpayers and undermined the military's mission.

No. 1 and No. 2: CACI and Titan
No. 3: Bechtel: precast profits
No. 4: Aegis Defense Services
No. 5: Custer Battles
No. 6: General Dynamics
No. 7: Nour USA Ltd.
No. 8, No. 9 and No. 10: Chevron, ExxonMobil and the Petro-imperialists

Should war profiteering be criminal? Would you profit financially from war? Do you?

Peace to all in all ways, always.

me in the EE

On the Route

I have heard the 4th movement, Adagietto, from Mahler's Fifth, a few times recently on npr. It almost makes me want to stop and bathe in the glory of the sound. How profound and yet simple and breathtaking. Speaking to the very depths of my soul, every emotion, every pain and joy. I would say it speaks as does Brahms in his most sublime, and also as does Dvorak's song that was previously mentioned here at EE. Of course there are many other pieces of music that are in this class. The very best of Classical Music, in my opinion.

From Wikipedia:

The Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler was written in 1901 and 1902 mostly during the summer months at Mahler's cottage at Maiernigg. It is arguably the most well known Mahler symphony to the general public.

The musical canvas and emotional scope of the work is huge. Herbert von Karajan said once that when you hear Mahler's Fifth, “you forget that time has passed. A great performance of the Fifth is a transforming experience. The fantastic finale almost forces you to hold your breath.” After its premiere, Mahler is reported to have said, “Nobody understood it. I wish I could conduct the first performance fifty years after my death.”

Another link HERE.
And listen to a sample here.

Also the Constellations easily seen in the Eastern and NE Sky at 5:oo am, in order from the NE to E, are: Cassiopeia, Perseus, Auriga, Taurus, and Orion. It's great to see some old favorites again. Check the sidebar for links to Constellations.

me in the EE