Is America Burning - a Forum To Discuss Issues

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Skyline - Houston, Texas

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Global Warming

A local politically active friend sent me these two articles today, both from The Independent, with this comment:

"My Grandson said Bush won't believe in global warming till Air Force One, with him on it, crashes in a blizzard in the desert."

One is about the breakup of the huge glacier in the Canadian Arctic. The other is a warning, from a scientific viewpoint, about global warning.

My friend wonders, as so I, if anyone is listening. The time may already passed to turn it around.



This site has too many links to post on the blog. Peruse at your leisure and check out what interests you. Articles and videos.


One more Christmas Story Before the Holidays are over.

My eldest, the Wild Child, is recuperating from colon resection surgery for cancer and has not yet been approved for travel by her surgeon. However, children and Christmas are very important to our family. The Wild Child's RV on the river isn't large enough to host her chapter of the Thundering Horde, so she opted to go to her younger son's home for the event. When the Wild Child is determined, neither surgeons, hell nor high water will deter her. Upon orders from his mother, her son Franklin drove the distance to carefully chauffeur her to his home. All the children were asleep by the time of her arrival.

Christmas morning, Franklin beat on the boys' bedroom door and shouted that Santa had come! The boys were instantly awake and bolted for the living room, little 3 year old Donovan in their wake, his small body twisting from side to side and his elbows pumping as he ran as fast as he could. A few feet from the tree, he fell to his knees and slid the rest of the way (how do little kids DO that?). His eyes sparkling in awe and ecstasy, he looked around to share that moment with his parents and siblings, and he spied his beloved Nana sitting on the couch. Toys, gifts and the magnificient tree forgotten, he screamed, "Nana!" and dashed to her.

Throwing his little arms around her neck and bouncing up and down in joy, he yelled over and over, "My Nana's here! Santa brought my Nana! Santa brought my Nana!"

The unconditional love of a child is one of the most precious gifts of life, and Donovan's love was the best Christmas gift of all to the Wild Child.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Ding! Dong! Saddam Hussein Is Dead!

Saddam Hussein Executed
Deposed Iraqi leader hanged in Baghdad
Warning, graphic video: Saddam's final moments
Saddam's body flown to hometown
A tyrant's legacy
More on Saddam
Newsweek: Timeline of Saddam's rise & fall
Video obituary

He's Dead Clutching a Quran and refusing a hood, Saddam Hussein went to the gallows before sunrise Saturday, executed by vengeful countrymen after a quarter-century of remorseless brutality that killed countless thousands and led Iraq into disastrous wars against the United States and Iran....More

Victory for Net Neutrality - Update

" In a striking victory for Internet freedom advocates, AT&T officials agreed on Thursday night to adhere to strict Network Neutrality conditions if allowed to complete their proposed $85 billion merger with BellSouth.

The phone company filed a " letter of commitment" with the Federal Communications Commission in which it promises to observe Net Neutrality principles for at least 24 months. Now it's left to Congress to follow the FCC's lead and make Net Neutrality permanent under the law."

You can read the rest of the article from Truthout here. When I tried to access the original, it showed a "404" error code (whatever that is). You may have better luck. In any event, it's time for letters to Congress.

Save the Net!!


And while we're on the subject of victories, I just spotted this at Alternet. It's a partial list of our victories in 2006. Some I knew about, some came as a surprise. I had no idea, for example, that Bechtel had left its San Francisco home or that Halliburton was pressured into moving its annual meeting from Texas to Oklahoma.

Some of the triumphs are small, some larger, but they all add up and show that when we work together, we can make a difference.

Happy New Year - we have at least a few things to celebrate.




Bush, Neocons, and international affiliates plan, as the New Roman Empire and corporate rich dominions, to gobble up the earth like a big, resource rich pie. The common man will be their labor force under stringent conditions. Already our middle class is sinking, the poor grow ever poorer, and foreign immigrants are exploited as virtual slave labor.





It is up to us, the citizens of our nation, to take back our country, by ACTIVELY working to that end. Griping doesn't do it. We must constantly maintain a barrage of emails and letters to Washington to the collaborators and compromisers that the people will take it NO MORE! Those that can, join marches. Demonstrate (peacefully, ofcourse). Let our Democrats know not to be Republicans in Democrats clothing, as many of them are already.

If we do not, we are lost. Our children and grand children are lost. Bush will be working hard to complete the Neocons plans these next couple of years, and once completed, there will be no hope. Conditions are already in place for him to declare Martial Law in response to a real or manufactured emergency and take control of the citizens. The threats to us are real, not just Wingnut hyperbole. Our future depends on what we do this next year.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

This About Sums Up the Last 6 Years

I'm not sure if we can ever recover from the last six years. We're lost more of our young men and women in Iraq than the total killed on 9/11. We've lost our credibility and alienated many of our staunchest allies. We're engaged in an illegal war based on lies and instead of looking for a way to end it, we're proposing to send off more of our finest to die. We've made a mockery of the Geneva Convention and our own Constitution and said "it's all necessary to safeguard our freedom and spread democracy. The ends justify the means".

Does any sane person still believe these decisions were justifiable?

William Rivers Pitt writing in Truthout today:

A Sentinel in Time
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Columnist

Thursday 28 December 2006

The calendar pages of our collective history are dotted with a gloomy constellation of days marked in blood, in woe, and in regret. The assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy; that last, hurried helicopter flight from that last rooftop on that last day of our time in Vietnam; the day four lifeless little bodies were pulled from the rubble of a bombed church in Birmingham; the December morning when Pearl Harbor was transformed into a graveyard etched in infamy, the September morning when we all watched those proud Towers in Manhattan crumble and fall - these moments, and the others of like kind too vast in number to name, defined us and transformed us even as they left their scars.

Sometimes, when such a grim milestone passes, we can say to ourselves, yes, it was this terrible day that revealed and released the strength, courage and perseverance which came, in time, to define that moment. We can, with deserved pride, glory in the memory of our passage through those crucibles, confident in the hard-won knowledge that we all have the capacity to overcome any trial, and that surpassing good can be forged in the fires of sorrow and pain.

Too often, however, we come to remember a day of darkness as bereft, with empty hands and hollowed hearts, deprived of the chance or ability to do more than bow our heads and wish it could have been, somehow, different. It requires a long passage of time, in most instances, to allow the cold realities of such days to sink in, and to absorb the brutal totality of consequences we have been burdened to endure in the aftermath. Some moments linger, haunting us, seemingly beyond redemption or solace.

Worst of all, such days breed more days to match or surpass them. The wretched offspring of one malignant moment are birthed into our future, where they wait like deep chasms in a darkened road. Like Booth's bullet, they cut a swath through time itself, and no matter our efforts or exertions, we never seem quite able to reach a place where we are free from their damned and damnable power to do us harm.

On the twentieth day of this coming new year, we will mark the sixth anniversary of the moment George W. Bush stood before Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, raised his right hand into a bitter wind, and swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

This, in the fullness of time, may well stand as such a day. Everything we have endured these last six years - the death, the horror, the fear, the anger - was born that afternoon in Washington, DC. We have already suffered myriad consequences because of it - the shame of Abu Ghraib; the lingering fear of blue skies and airplanes; the ebb tide of freedom as rights become privileges too easily withheld, the bottomless sorrow stitched into nearly three thousand folded American flags while taps played to the wind - and it is a bleak certainty that further suffering born on that day lies in wait.

Consider some other anniversaries we will mark in this new year.

February 5th will be the fourth anniversary of Colin Powell's presentation before the United Nations, in which he stated without equivocation that Saddam Hussein possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction that could easily be delivered to terrorists for use against us. The invasion and occupation of Iraq, and all the bloody calamities to follow, became an inevitability on this day. It was not so much the presentation itself that sealed the deal - much of which was and remains laughably transparent - but Powell himself. Wreathed in the fawning adulation of the media establishment, the myth of his rectitude carried the day, thus damning untold thousands to death, suffering, and pain.

March 19th will likewise be the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, of "Shock and Awe," and of the moment a match was put to the fuse. Beyond the blood already spilled because of this day - blood like an ocean - is the carnage yet to come. Before much of this new year is gone, the only people still talking about "winning" in Iraq will be that small cadre of wretches who created this anniversary in the first place, whose monochromatic ideologies exploded an inescapable quagmire that will be generational in its impact upon us all.

May 1st will be the fourth anniversary of the day President Bush stood before an assembled gathering of servicemen and women on the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln to gleefully declare, under a bright banner reading "Mission Accomplished," that victory in Iraq had been achieved. Little needs to be said here, because the obvious grossness of some moments requires no further elaboration, except this: Of the nearly three thousand soldiers killed in Iraq, and the nearly 47,000 soldiers wounded in Iraq, only the barest fraction fell before the first of May 2003. All the rest have come in the long days, weeks, months, and years since that bright banner was unfurled.

December 17th will be the second anniversary of Bush's public confirmation that he had indeed authorized the National Security Agency to tap the telephones of countless American citizens - said taps having been undertaken without warrants. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, a law requiring these warrants to protect citizens against undue governmental intrusion, was discarded out of hand through these actions. Despite the fact that almost no requests for FISA warrants have ever been denied, and that the parameters for obtaining these warrants are so broad that they can be obtained even after the surveillance is underway, Bush and his people deemed the FISA requirements too restrictive. On this anniversary, we mark the moment when a president placed himself above the law by fiat and suffered no consequences - the moment when each and every one of us stepped deeper into the doomed, imprisoned shadow of Winston Smith.

These are but a small sampling of the moments, days, decisions, and consequences unleashed on January 20, 2001. Freighted with deadly potential, each of these was born that day, and each has itself become a singularity, a creator of mayhem and strife in its own right. As that first moment poisoned the potential of so many tomorrows, so now do these. The bomb that kills a child in Baghdad creates the father whose revenge will be gained by another's senseless death. The official lie that goes unchallenged clears a path for the deadlier lies to follow. A deliberate chip in the walls defending our rights is the perfect spot to lay in the pry bar, until the chip becomes a hole through which tyranny may pass with stunning ease.

Thus, the anniversaries of woe are compounded; consequences spawned by consequences, and a future once defined by hope is transformed into a territory of dread.

Yet, in spite of all the horrors arrayed before us, even as our uncertain future whispers its omens of grief from an unfathomable darkness, there is a simple and unassailable truth standing sentinel against despair. We are that truth - all of us, every one. We are a defiant counterweight that can tip the scales of history. The wellspring of limitless possibility and potential that is humanity's astonishing birthright bestows upon each of us the means to be the alchemists of o?r own fate.

You are the bulwark, as this new year approaches: a defining line between the possible and the inevitable. The terrible moments of our past reach out to define our future, to create new anniversaries of mourning from the old. Only your will can keep this beast at bay. If you choose to, if you summon the courage and strength and perseverance that have served us well so many times before, the momentum of that cold January day and all the days that followed will be checked.

You are stronger than history, if you choose to be so. The future is yours to create, if you choose to do so. The moments to come are yours. Let nothing and no one steal them from you. Guard them with your life, because that is exactly what they are


Pascua Lama - Chile

According to Snopes, the petition below is based on fact.

I did a little searching myself and couldn't find much beyond the Snopes reference and this from Mining Watch Canada. I found many copies of the same petition on various blogs dating back to late 2005. It's news to me but a local friend emailed the petition to me today and I'm reprinting it here for your information.

In the Valle de San Felix, the purest water in Chile runs from 2 rivers, fed by 2 glaciers.

Water is a most precious resource, and wars will be fought for it.

Indigenous farmers use the water, there is no unemployment, and they provide the second largest source of income for the area.

Under the glaciers has been found a huge deposit of gold, silver and other minerals. To get at these, it would be necessary to break, to destroy the glaciers - something never conceived of in the history of the world - and to make 2 huge holes, each as big as a whole mountain, one for extraction and one for the mine's rubbish tip.

The project is called PASCUA LAMA. The company is called Barrick Gold.

The operation is planned by a multi-national company, one of whose members is George Bush Senior.

The Chilean Government has approved the project to start this year, 2006.

The only reason it hasn't started yet is because the farmers have got a temporary stay of execution.

If they destroy the glaciers, they will not just destroy the source of especially pure water, but they will permanently contaminate the 2 rivers so they will never again be fit for human or animal consumption because of the use of cyanide and sulphuric acid in the extraction process.

Every last gram of gold will go abroad to the multinational company and not one will be left with the people whose land it is. They will only be left with the poisoned water and the resulting illnesses.

The farmers have been fighting a long time for their land, but have been forbidden to make a TV appeal by a ban from the Ministry of the Interior.

Their only hope now of putting brakes on this project is to get help from international justice.

The world must know what is happening in Chile. The only place to start changing the world is from here.

We ask you to circulate this message amongst your friends in the following way.

Please copy this text, paste it into a new email adding your signature and send it to everyone in your address book. Please, will the 100th person to receive and sign the petition, send it to to be forwarded to the Chilean Government.

No to Pascua Lama Open-cast mine in the Andean Cordillera on the Chilean-Argentine frontier.

We ask the Chilean Government not to authorize the Pascua Lama project to protect the whole of 3 glaciers, the purity of the water of the San Felix Valley and El Transito, the quality of the agricultural land of the region of Atacama, the quality of life of the Diaguita people and of the whole population of the region.

Signature, City, Country

Anyone else know more about it than I?


Most Outrageous Right Wing Garbage

The title originally said "right wing rhetoric" but I felt that was being too generous. Let's call it what it is - unadulterated crap.

From Media Matters (and reprinted by Alternet as well), here is their selection of eleven most ridiculous statements from the so-called media of 2006.

We could probably each write our own list and never duplicate each other.

(Anybody have any ideas about our sidebar? I don't have a clue).


On My ****** List!!

I have endeavored to have some peace in my life by taking a break from national issues until after the New Year (and maybe longer!). I've used the free time for pleasure - updating and creating on some of my personal and private blogs, cleaning out some of my file folders and other housekeeping chores. I like pictures and download quite a few to my blogs. IE doesn't do so well but Mozilla Firefox is usually reliable for downloading and editing, but IE is better for researching.

Aside from the normal Blogger foul-ups, all has gone fairly well. Until tonight. Tonight Blogger, Google, my browsers and Compaq all conspired against me. Browsers and Compaq deny it, but they get blamed anyway, caught up in the conspiracy theory.

Blogger outdid itself on popping up that aggravating "Cookie Functionality is Disabled" messsage and refusing to allow me to get back to my dashboards. It doesn't matter that I have been on the blogs for hours, freely accessing them; all of a sudden it decides the cookie functionality is disabled. Usually I can get past it by clicking on the big BLOGGER in the header but sometimes I have to X out to my desktop and start over. My cookies and java script have been set EXACTLY according to blogger's diagram and has been so ever since I started blogging. I have rechecked it numerous times and even re-set it right back where it was, but nothing changes. Blocking me several times a night is annoying but as many times as it did it tonight is infuriating.

Blogger also messed up repeatedly on publishing posts. Annoying but again, infuriating when it messes up republishing my blog after I've been on a template. It will start, then pop up the ERROR message and I have to try republishing again, always afriad my blog will go into the outer Blogosphere. It also refused me to preview a number of times by making that non-musical "doop" sound, so I couldn't see how my changes were doing before republishing.

I am finished with the sidebar changes to "Is America Burning" and don't dare touch anything else lest I mess it up. Everyone saw the changes and I was pleased with the outcome. Then tonight, no sidebar. Found it at the bottom where Blogger had pushed it . Instead of mine and Granny's and Gadfly's little pictures, Blogger had put a little white square with a red X in it and printed "photobucket ...etc" so that it extended into the text space, thereby preventing it from displaying at the top where it belonged. And I don't know how to fix it. I tried deleting the urls and redoing them but had the same results. No Granny, Worried, nor Gadfly and the sidebar firmly at the bottom.

When I wanted to download pictures, on IE Blogger would make that "doop" sound when I'd click on the "add image" button. So, to Mozilla, old faithful as far as pictures are concerned (Little else). On Mozilla, clicking on the "add image" button resulted in Blogger or Google presenting me with a page stating that I had to sign in to my Google account in order to use my Blogger features. ??? I am NOT on Beta and do NOT have a Blogger/Google account! Google refuses to honor my old account and refuses to accept my Gmail google info. After fruitless battles , I had to X out to desktop and start over each time and FINALLY would get to the page to up/down load pictures.

This is merely a partial list of Blogger/Google offenses tonight. It would take too much room to gripe about all of them. In 8 1/2 hours I completed about 2 hours of work and am just partially up to date on my blogs. At this rate, I might be caught up by March. Fie on Blogger's brave New World and fie on their merger with Google.

Addendum: On Mozilla, Blogger has moved half of the sidebar to the top and left the other half at the bottom. It does't show the little white square with a red X in it for Contributers pictures; it merely prints our names and in red Photbucket - video and Image... but NO pictures. On every blog i checked, where I had posted pictures in the sidebar o in the header above or beside Blog Description, just the same mess as above. For days the pictures were just fine. Now this!

Does ANYONE know what I can do to fix this? Deleting and reposting the urls didn't work. Ofcourse it is useless to even try to ask Blogger. Blogger said to use photobucket, which I did. So why this? All my work shot to heck!

WTF?? My profile pic is just an empty frame with My Photo printed in it. And my spinning Taz is gone from my sidebar with blue letters saying Photobucket video and image Posting. He has been spinning like crazy ever since you helped me do the sidebar. Foul words and obscenities!!! Gadfly.


..Different Species..................................

..Same Species..................

Stock Photo: Skulls from a mass grave of Khmer Rouge victims in Choeung Ek aka the Killing Fields near Phnom
We have a choice.

What have we chosen?

Choose PEACE for all of our same species and the different species with whom we share this planet.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Airlines Lost Your Luggage??

Tell 'em to check Houston garbage dumpster.
Lost luggage found behind Houston pet store
Authorities investigating how, why airline baggage wound up in trash bin.

Luggage found in dumpsterDec. 27: The FBI is investigating how dozens of bags from several different airlines ended up in a dumpster near Houston. KPRC's Stephen Dean reports.
NBC News Channel

HOUSTON - Authorities were trying to figure out Tuesday how dozens of pieces of luggage belonging to air travelers ended up in a trash bin behind a Houston pet store.
FBI special agent Rolando Munoz said 68 pieces of luggage from various international flights were discovered. He said the luggage was turned over to Continental Airlines to sort out.
The bags belonged to travelers at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, said Sgt. Dana Wolfe, a spokeswoman for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, which first responded to the luggage report. She said tags on the bags showed some of the travelers were going to or from London and Dubai.

The Houston Police Department is handling the case, Munoz and Wolfe said. A Houston police spokesman had no additional details Tuesday night.
Mary Clark, a spokeswoman for Continental, said she didn’t know if the contents of the bags were stolen.
“We’re going to be investigating and the authorities are going to be investigating,” she said, adding that the airline was working with other carriers to match the bags with lost luggage claims. She did not have the names of the other airlines involved.
The owners of the pet store found the luggage.

© 2006 The Associated Press.

Farewell to our 38th President

Gerald Ford, 1913-2006
Analysis: Stevens is Ford's most important legacy
A timeline of Ford's life
Video: The Ford presidency

WA: The press liked to poke fun at Ford's clumsiness, but don't we wish we had one as comparatively honest now (compared to the present president).


One of the few Republican votes I've ever cast. I thought he deserved his own shot at the office. We've had far worse Presidents and he was a decent human being.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Christmas Tale

My daughter, Jo, has 4 small grandchildren who firmly believe in the existence of Santa Claus and all the attendant tales about him. One Christmas Eve the four were wildly excited , each feeding from the energy of the others until they could not contain themselves. All parental and grandparental efforts failed to get the little ones settled down to sleep.

My son, Terry, lives with Jo and Lloyd, and Terry happened to have a complete Santa Claus suit. He donned the costume, made a makeshift toy bag of a sheet gathered at the 4 corners and twisted around. He filled the bag with pillows and boxes to give it bulk and slipped out the side door. Jo parted the drapes and opened a window, at which signal Terry gave a hearty, "Ho! Ho! Ho!"

Shocked into silence, the little ones gasped with indrawn breath, their eyes round and wide, and immediately stampeded to the window to look out. On the moonlit lawn they saw Santa turn away and begin walking down the driveway toward the street.

"He's leaving! He's leaving!" the little ones wailed in anguish. As one they rushed to their beds, pleading with their grandmother to ask Santa to come back. "See, tell him we're in bed! We're asleep! Tell him, Grandma!" They drew the covers up to their chins, and as as they continued their pleas, covered up their heads. "Tell him we're asleep. Tell him to come back!" Grandma promised to see what she could do but they had to be alseep before Santa would come.

Not a single whisper nor giggle emanated from the rooms and soon the children were truly sound asleep. The next morning Josh arose first, yawning and rubbing his eyes as he staggered sleepily down the hall to the family room. When he beheld the mountain of gifts and the shiny bicycles around the tree, he was instantly wide awake and shouted, "He DID come back! Santa did come back!" and ran to awaken his sister and cousins.
Ofcourse the usual pandemonium ensued.

The children were even more convinced of the reality of Santa Claus and solemnly advised their playmates to always be in bed at bedtime on Christmas Eve, or Santa would leave. Grandma Jo was a hero for talking Santa into giving them a second chance.

As children grow up it is rather sad to see them lose that innocent faith. I think the adults enjoy it as much as the children do.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Joy To The World

Happy Holidays To All(excerpt)

If I were the King of the world

Tell you what I'd do

I'd throw away the cars and the bars and the wars

And make sweet love to you.

{Refrain} Joy to the world

All the boys and girls, now

Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea

Joy to you and me.

["Joy to the World"; Three Dog Night, 1970s]

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Greetings From Worried

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Holiday Greetings

I don't often cross post because my two blogs are so different. This is an exception because I wrote my holiday post on "granny" and some of it is about peace.

The rest is my typical family chatter. At the very end is a link to an inoffensive greeting to all of you.

Click on the title and save me typing all that code. Thank you.

I can't remember for sure when I started posting over here but it must be pretty close to a year now. I know "granny" came first because that's where WA found me and issued the invitation to join her.

Fun isn't quite the right word considering the topics that come up with great regularity but I've enjoyed meeting all of you online. I've learned so much and hope I've helped some of you as well.

If you celebrate Christmas, have a great one. If you celebrate one of the other winter holidays, the same. To the rest, enjoy the long weekend.


Countdown to Christmas

We're on the countdown to Christmas Eve. Everyone will be too busy with last minute everythings to blog or read blogs. It is a time for peace and joy, so no more politics, war, crazy-making issues. And no more posts except our Christmas card to be posted tomorrow, the 23rd.

One last post: People aren't so different after all, even "enemies".

The Christmas Truce of 1914 -

From Other Guides
Peace In No Man's Land
Elsewhere On The Web
The Christmas Truce
Although the popular memory of World War One is normally one of horrific casualties and 'wasted' life, the conflict does have tales of comradeship and peace. One of the most remarkable, and heavily mythologised, events concerns the 'Christmas Truce' of 1914, in which the soldiers of the Western Front laid down their arms on Christmas Day and met in No Man's Land, exchanging food and cigarettes, as well as playing football. The cessation of violence was entirely unofficial and there had been no prior discussion: troops acted spontaneously from goodwill, not orders. Not only did this truce actually happen, but the event was more widespread than commonly portrayed.
There are many accounts of the Christmas truce, the most famous of which concern the meeting of British and German forces; however, French and Belgium troops also took part. The unofficial nature of the truce meant that there was no one single cause or origin; some narratives tell of British troops hearing their German counterparts singing Christmas carols and joining in, while Frank Richards, a private in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, told of how both sides erected signs wishing the other a 'Merry Christmas'. From these small starts some men crossed the lines with their hands up, and troops from the opposing side went to meet them. By the time officers realised what was happening the initial meetings had been made, and most commanders either turned a blind eye or happily joined in.
The fraternisation lasted, in many areas, for the whole of Christmas day. Food and supplies were exchanged on a one to one basis, while in some areas men borrowed tools and equipment from the enemy, in order to quickly improve their own living conditions. Many games of football were played using whatever would suffice for a ball, while bodies that had become trapped within No Man's Land were buried.
Most modern retellings of the Truce finish with the soldiers returning to their trenches and then fighting again the next day, but in many areas the peace lasted much longer. Frank Richard's account explained how both sides refrained from shooting at each other the next day, until the British troops were relieved and they left the front line. In other areas the goodwill lasted for several weeks, bringing a halt to opportunistic sniping, before the bloody conflict once again resumed.
The Frank Richards material comes from the December 2000 edition of BBC History Magazine.

For one soldier's personal narrative, see:

Peace, and keep family close.

What Do the Troops Want?

Thursday, December 21, 2006



More of all this and MORE* just because he is too stupid to admit he is WRONG? Because he is so pig headed that he is determined to "stand tall" and "stay the course" no matter the cost? Because he wants to go down in history as the War President and as the founder of the New Roman Empire? Because he wants to bring to fruition his and the Neocons dream of a Theocratic Corporate Fascist state? Is that what he wants?

*MORE: Other costs of war - terrible human costs besides grief and pain - I cannot publish on this blog. I will not. War is not the dramatic, romaticized, heroic saga that we see in the movies. It is not clean, flag draped coffins, medals and uplifting sermons about heroism and sacrifice. War is destruction, horrible injuries to human beings, blood and torn bodies, agony, shock, and lasting psychological damage for the survivors.

After considerable self debate, I have decided to publish a few of these human costs on an unused blog. I do not do it to titilliate the thrill seeker (which I don't think our readers are) nor for the shock value, although the photos are graphic and shocking in the extreme. I do it to demonstrate the nasty, vicious, horrific side of war that our troops experience. I do it so the home folks will know exactly what Bush is asking of our sons and daughters when he demands more to be sent to the hell of war. I wish I could send them to Bush, the Neocons in their lovely suits and safe lives, and all the beauracrats and politicians that kow tow to Bush and back him on this "more troops" agenda. Not that they would care, as long as they are safe, happy and rich. You know the drill, the complacent, fat-headed, "you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs". These aren't eggs; they are human beings.

Warning: Do not access this site to view if you are sensitive. During my many decades in the medical profession I have witnessed and cared for my fellow humans who suffered all types of injuries to fragile human flesh, and yet I cried aloud and even vomited into my wastebasket upon seeing some of these images on the internet. Just remember, our children, the sons and daughters of America, see this sort of thing in real life, not images on a computer screen. It is understandable why so many suffer from PTSD. I warned you.

Add on from Gadfly. This was a heckuva eyeopener with my morning coffee. Listen, you guys and gals, Worried was dead dog serious about her warning. Don't check out that link at breakfast or before you start your day. It'll ruin it. If you check it out at night, better make sure your supper is well settled or you're liable to lose it. Ye gods, Worried, that's the most awful mess I ever saw in my life. I was expecting nice little bullet holes or something like we see on TV. Sheesh! I won't be able to eat all day. Puh-uuuke!! That's what war is really like?

GF: 6:20 A.M.

Yes, we need to reminded of the actual cost of this obscenity. All our young men and women as well as the many thousands of lives lost by innocent civilians.

Ann 6:50 a.m.

WA: Believe it or not, I have seen worse than these, so much worse that I wouldn't download them. And people wonder why I get so emotional about these wars and rant and rave so. It is reason to rant and rave.

Sage Advice for This Generation

"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience…therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring." :
Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950
[WA: Especially when a corrupt government passes corrupt laws in order to achieve or maintain greater power and subjugate the citizens]

="Some explanations of a crime are not explanations: they’re part of the crime.":
Olavo de Cavarlho

"It would be some time before I fully realized that the United States sees little need for diplomacy. Power is enough. Only the weak rely on diplomacy ... The Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States." :
Boutros Boutros-Ghali

="And so long as they were at war, their power was preserved, but when they had attained empire they fell, for of the arts of peace they knew nothing, and had never engaged in any employment higher than war."
Aristotle, Politics [Re: the Roman Empire]

Excerpted from Information Clearing House

WA:Bush and the Neocons have aspirations for the United States to be the New Roman Empire. Pax Americana. They have forgotten history, and fools who forget history are doomed to repeat it. We have become the most powerful nation on earth, like the Roman Empire in its day. We control many of the nations of the world today, not by conquest as did the Roman Empire but no less surely as they bear our yoke and feel our boot against their necks.

Even now, we feel doom looming over our heads as Bush and cohorts "stay the course" and continue their efforts for power.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

More Troops? Didn't He Get the Message?

We've been pouring sand down this rathole since 2002. We had lost before we ever started. Now he wants more and more of our kids to die.

This is an exit strategy?

From Truthout today.

It Can't Be Won Militarily; So, Send More Troops?
By W. Patrick Lang and Ray McGovern
t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributors

Wednesday 20 December 2006

As Robert Gates takes the helm at the Pentagon this week, he can be in no doubt that Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush remain determined to stay the course in Iraq (without using those words) for the next two years. What Gates probably does not realize is that the US military is about to commit hara-kiri.

The media are abuzz with trial balloons leaking word that President George W. Bush is about to approve a "surge" in US troop strength in Iraq by tens of thousands. At the same time, surge advocate Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC), just back from a brief visit to the Green Zone with fellow surgers John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), has warned that "the amount of troops will make no difference" if Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki avoids taking "bold" moves. The three pretend to be unaware that the most important move for which they pressed - breaking with radical Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr - would amount to political suicide for Maliki.

Incoming Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who owes his position to the popular revolt in November against the war, has said he can "go along" with a surge, but only for two to three months and only as part of a broader strategy to bring combat forces home by early 2008. Meanwhile, says Reid, Democrats will "give the military anything they want."

Is it conceivable that Reid doesn't know that this is about the next two years - not months? Former Army vice chief of staff General Jack Keane, one of the anointed retired generals who have Bush's ear, is urging him to send 30,000 to 40,000 more troops and has already dismissed the possibility of a time-frame shorter than one and a half years. Egged on by "full-speed-ahead" Cheney, Bush is determined that the war not be lost while he is president. But events are fast overtaking White House preferences and moving toward denouement well before two more years are up.

Perhaps it was not quite the way he meant it, but Bush has gotten one thing right; there will indeed be no "graceful exit." And that goes in spades, if he sends still more troops to the quagmire.


Let's send more troops to Iraq so we can pull our troops out of Iraq. A generation from now, our grandchildren will have difficulty writing history papers on this oxymoronic debate on how to surge/withdraw our troops into/from the quagmire in Iraq. Historians will have just as much trouble, especially those given to Tolstoy's theory that history is ruled by an inexorable determinism in which the free choice of major historical figures plays a minimal role. Tolstoy died before events put into perspective the legacy of Tsar Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat [Decider] of All the Russias, and his Vice President/Èminence grise, Rasputin.

Judging from President Bush's behavior in recent weeks, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that he may be no more stable than Nicholas II. And if retired colonel Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell's top aide at the State Department, is right in saying that Bush still has the "vice president whispering in his ear every moment," we have an unhappy but apt historical analogy.

But, you protest, the generals most intimately involved in Iraq - John Abizaid and George Casey - and Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker have made no secret of their strong reservations about sending large numbers of additional troops. And, if the Washington Post is to be believed, so have the Joint Chiefs. That may be correct; it is also irrelevant. As was the case in the Vietnam War, our top generals have long since morphed into careerists and politicians. Sadly, they have become accustomed to looking up for the next reward - and not down at the troops who bear the brunt of their acquiescence in political/military decisions that make no sense.

But what about Senators Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy - and Colin Powell, and even Donald Rumsfeld, all of whom have spoken out in recent days against a sizable surge in troop strength in Iraq? Not a problem. The Cheney/Bush team is the sole "decider."

This does not mean that Defense Secretary Robert Gates should renege on his promise to visit the troops in Iraq and hear the generals out. It does mean that by the time he gets there, the generals probably will already be "with the program," as they say. Just as they "never asked for more troops" at earlier stages of the war, they are likely to be instant devotees of a surge, once they smell the breezes coming from the White House. As for Gates, whatever input he has will almost certainly be dwarfed by Cheney's. And taking issue with "deciders" has never been Gates's strong suit.

Stalingrad on the Tigris

Whether Robert Gates realizes it or not (but the generals should), once an "all or nothing" offensive like the "surge" contemplated has begun, there is no turning back. It will be "victory" over the insurgents and the Shia militias or palpable defeat, recognizable by all in Iraq and across the world.

Any conceivable surge would not turn the tide - would not even slow it. We should have learned that last summer, when the dispatch of seven thousand US troops to reinforce Baghdad brought a fierce "counter-surge" - and the highest number of casualties since the Pentagon began issuing quarterly reports in 2005. Those who believe still more troops will bring "victory" are living in a dangerous dream-world and need to wake up.

A major buildup would commit the US Army and Marine Corps to decisive combat in which there would be no more strategic reserves to be sent to the front. As Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway pointed out on Monday, "If you commit your reserve for something other than a decisive win, or to stave off defeat, then you have essentially shot your bolt."

It would be a matter of win, or die in the attempt. In that situation, everyone in uniform on the ground would commit every ounce of their being to achieving "victory," and few measures would be shrunk from.

Analogies come to mind: Stalingrad, the Bulge, Dien Bien Phu, the Battle of Algiers. It would be total war, with the likelihood of all the excesses and mass casualties that come with total war. To take up such a strategy and force our armed forces into it would be nothing short of immoral, in view of predictable troop losses and the huge number of Iraqis who would meet violent injury and death. And for what? If adopted, the surge strategy will turn out to be something we will spend a generation living down.

Granny says: And finally, a Senator with a little sense (even with the "R" after his name )

Senator Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) spoke for many of us last Thursday on the Senate floor:

I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that anymore.

Yesterday, when George Stephanopoulos asked Smith what he meant by "criminal," he replied:

I said it. You can use any adjective you want, George. But I have long believed in a military context - when you do the same thing over and over again, without a clear strategy for victory, at the expense of your young people in arms, that is dereliction. That is deeply immoral.


W. Patrick Lang is a retired Army colonel who served with Special Forces in Vietnam, as a professor at West Point, and as defense intelligence officer for the Middle East. Ray McGovern was also an Army infantry/intelligence officer before his 27-year career as a CIA analyst. Both are with Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

An earlier version of this article appeared on


Bush Wants More Toy Soldiers to Break

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Now What?

Have you noticed Blogger's change to our dashboard? Not only new sign in page, but this :

Blogger We're out of Beta! See what's new.
beta (with a red X through it

Yet all their propaganda is the same and still goes through Google. Have they had so many complaints that they are trying to fake us out by claiming they're out of Beta? When really it's the same old "new and improved" hassle?


Off subject, but WELCOME BACK PT!! You have been missed in the blog circles! It is good to see your PT back in the comment sections. WA

Updated Sidebar

Look what Worried American, Gadfly, and their trusty crew of helpers did.

I take no credit; I do well to update my blogroll and I never have figured out how to add a banner or "button".

The map shows a few visitors we don't recognize from South America and Africa. I checked our brand new sitemeter for recent visits but that map didn't show them.

Welcome, whoever you are and we'd love to hear from you in the comment box.


WA: Gadfly and I want to thank JuBlu, Marty, and the others we bugged unmercifully with our frequent cries of "HELP!!" and long suffering, patient Granny for her uncomplaining tolerance of my frustrated howls and hissy fits during our ordeal of "fixing" Gadfly's blog template and updating mine and Granny's.

GF: Worried might have howled and had hissy fits but everyone was spared my reactions. I think Worried is still in shock from the roasting her ears got and if Granny had heard me, she and Worried would have teamed up to kick me off the blog. Sheesh, I never dreamed it could get so complicated and Worried says we just barely got a toe in the water. No more for me. My blog will stay just like it is.

But I sure do thank everyone for their help and patience.


No Child Left Behind - Update

I sat in a 6th grade special ed classroom yesterday listening to how well my middle girl was doing. She's working at 4th grade level.

Believe me, I'm thrilled with that.

They're testing her at 6th for the standardized tests just as they have done every year for both girls.

I have yelled so much about this studpidity I'm hoarse.

This came in my mail from Yellow Dog Granny today.


>Subject: A Must Read for Educators!
>>No Child Left Behind": the football version.
>>All teams must make the state playoffs and all must win the championship.
>>If a team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until
>>they are the champions, and coaches will be held accountable. If after
>>years they have not won the championship, their footballs and equipment
>>be taken away until they do win the championship. All kids will be
>>to have the same football skills at the same time, even if they do not
>>the same conditions or opportunities to practice on their own. No
>>exceptions will be made for lack of interest in football, lack of desire
>>perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities of themselves
>>their parents. All kids will play football at a proficient level.
>>Talented players will be asked to workout on their own, without
>>This policy is because the coaches will be using all their instructional
>>time with the athletes who aren't interested in football, have limited
>>athletic ability, or whose parents don't like football. Games will be
>>played year-around, but statistics will only be kept in the 4th, 8th and
>>11th game.
>>This version will create a New Age of Sports, where every school is
>>to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimum
>>goals. If no child gets ahead, then no child is left behind. If parents
>>not like this new law, they are encouraged to vote for vouchers and
>>private schools that can screen out the non-athletes and prevent their
>>children from having to go to school with bad football players. Seems
>>a flawless plan.


This just came in from Worried American. It's much too good to languish in the comment box.



I no longer have children in school but fought battles against stupid rules when I did. Now I have great-grands in school and see their parents still engaged in the wars.

In spite of what the morons who come up with these rules think, not all people learn at the same level or capacity. We are the same basic human model but there ARE differences in us and our brains process data differently. Some have differences that make learning more difficult, such as brain birth defects that slow us,plus ADHD, Dyslexia, Irlene Syndrome, etc.. Some people's brains learn through visual input, others through auditory means, some through both.

Two of my daughters were dyslexic back in the day of "social promotions" and nothing was done to address their problems; the school just kept promoting them even though they were behind grade level (it is difficult to learn when your brain processes words and numbers bass-ackwards. Polite conferences were fruitless; only when I finally went onto the school like a biting sow did my girls get help. Several of my great-grands are hyperactive attention deficit (all are on drugs for the disorder, at the schools' insistence). The younger ones receive special tutoring but at grade level; the school's solution for the older one, who also suffers from Irlene Syndrome, was to put him in Special Education classes, which puts him behind grade level with his peers and even though he is above average in intelligence. After an acrimonious conference, the school did offer tutoring one day a week - for spelling!

Children with learning difficulties all too often fall through the cracks. Too many quit school as soon as they get old enough. Even the most dedicated teachers have a hard time meeting the needs of 25 to 30 children of differing capabilities. Either the slow ones get left behind or the advanced ones are held back and maybe - maybe - the average ones get a proper education.


Monday, December 18, 2006


It's finally official. She's on our sidebar as a contributor.

Many thanks to The Blogger Formerly Known As for doing this for me. I was afraid I'd mess it up or jinx us.

Gadfly, you're legal.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Time Magazine - Person of the Year

That would be us .

All of us.



Some folks aren't pleased, namely Russell Shaw who writes for Huffington.

He named several people he thought were better suited and one piece of technology, the cell phone camera.

He listed a number of choices and asked for a vote. 18% of us liked the selection, 37% of us didn't care (who gives a cow chip was the phrasing). The rest was split.

I can see his point; on the other hand, it was nice to bask in the glow of recognition even when I'm sharing it with zillions of others and even though by tomorrow it will be yesterday's news.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Enemy....

One of my favorite cartoons was Walt Kelly's Possum character Pogo and the strip he and his animal friends inhabited. I'm sure that Granny well remembers Pogo.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to:
navigation, search

Pogo as drawn by Walt Kelly.....................................................

Pogo was the title of a long running (1948-75) daily comic strip
created by Walt Kelly, as well as the name of its principal
character. Set in the Georgia section of the Okefenokee Swamp,
Pogo often engaged in social and political satire through the
adventures of the strip's funny animals....

Kelly's creativity earned him a Reuben Award in 1951.

(excerpts from Wikipedia)

An amusing fact: Suspicious and paranoid J.Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI for far too long, was convinced that Kelly's cartoons bore subversive messages and had his agents waste time attempting to "decode" the non-existent "secret" messages.

We have met the enemy...."

Pogo strip from Earth Day, 1971.Copyright 1971, 2005 OGPI

Probably the most famous Pogo quotation is "we have met the enemy and he is us." More than any other words written by Kelly, it perfectly sums up his attitude towards the foibles of mankind and the nature of the human condition.

The quote, a rephrasing of a message sent in 1813 from US Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry to Army General William Henry Harrison after The Battle of Lake Erie stating "We have met the enemy, and they are ours," first appeared in a lengthier form in A Word To The Fore, the foreword of the book The Pogo Papers. ...

"Specializations and markings of individuals everywhere abound in such profusion that major idiosyncrasies can be properly ascribed to the mass. Traces of nobility, gentleness and courage persist in all people, do what we will to stamp out the trend. So, too, do those characteristics which are ugly. ...

"There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blast on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us.


The finalized version of the quotation appeared in a 1970 anti-pollution poster for Earth Day, ....(above right)

Since then the quote has been used on various cartoons and posters and addressing different isssues, as well as take-offs on the quote.

(excerpts from Wikipedia)
Walt Kelly died in 1975, long before the Chimperor declared himself the Imperial Decider, so did not draw the cartoon below. Kelly is properly credited for the quote.

The enemy thus identified, one way to defeat him is according to Granny's post below. And we are also the enemy if we practise do-nothings.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Impeachment Petition

Opinions are certainly mixed on impeachment, aren't they.

Here, from, is a call to action from an organization which leaves no doubt where it stands.

Personal: Thanks to all of you who are checking over on granny for updates. Your caring means so much to me and it's difficult to write the same thing twice.

Let's Gather Signatures on Impeachment Weekend

It's impeachment weekend - let's gather signatures on our impeachment petition:
click here

Last weekend we organized over 60 successful impeachment events around the country, thanks to your outstanding efforts.

Even FOX News noticed! On Monday, our own David Swanson and former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman went into the lion's den to argue for impeachment on Hannity & Colmes:
and here

We're having an impact - Bush's polls are dropping to record lows near 30%. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 when his approval fell to 24%.

But we're not waiting for Bush beat Nixon in a race to the bottom. Congressional Democrats should begin impeachment hearings right after they complete their 100 hour agenda in early January.

If you haven't already, please sign our Ten Reasons to Impeach Bush and Cheney Petition online:
and here

Then print this PDF version of our petition, make copies, and collect signatures from friends and neighbors.

One good place to collect names is right in front of your Representative's office, if there is passing foot traffic. You should bring a big sign so your Representative (and staff) can't miss it. Other good locations are busy malls, libraries, and post offices. Be creative! You can also go door-to-door in your neighborhood and bring your petition to work or church.

Collect and submit names anytime, but especially on Impeachment Weekend, December 16-17, 2006.

If you'd prefer to collect petitions with a group, join your local Impeachment Committee:
and here
or help us organize one:
and here


Collecting Petitions on the Street

It's not easy to get the attention of passing strangers, so here is the 5-second pitch we use as passersby come into earshot:

"Would you sign our petition to impeach Bush and Cheney?"

If they agree, you hand them the clipboard and they sign, and while they are signing you can say:

"We will deliver this petition to our Congressman, Joe Blow. You can have even more impact if you send an email to him directly, so if you don't mind we will email you with the link to our online petition. And if you have a few extra minutes right now, we have paper so you can send a handwritten letter, which is the best of all - and we'll deliver it personally.

Thank you so much for your support!"


Beacons of Light

In these seemingly dark days of storm and stress, when virtually all the media is full of dangers, heartaches, misery, scandal, and man's worst characteristics made manifest, the bad news becomes overwhelming. Fear, scandal, bad news sells papers and draws viewers . Drowning in the cesspool, many people either withdraw and ignore the state of affairs, or surrender to hopelssness and helplessness, believing that there is no way to change things.

The rare news of goodness, decency, courage and strength is a welcome beacon of light and reminds us that there is Hope for mankind after all. When it appears that evil is overpowering, it is an inspiration to remember that good surrounds us. Good just doesn't get much press.

The following two posts about ordinary people as Heroes are uplifting.
Definition of a Hero - #1
Websters: (a) a person of distinguished valor or fortitude
Colin exemplifies the definition of a Hero.

Discovering the possibilities.
"In July of 2004 a tragedy occurred in which I dove into a mountain stream and shattered my C4 vertebrae. The journey since that day has been a tremendous challenge but the light of my soul has proven to be stronger than any conflict in life I might face."
Colin's blog traces his journey to find and create a meaningful, satisfying life for himself after a devastating physical injury that leaves him paralyzed at the very onset of his adult life. His bravery, fortitude and determined outlook is a tribute to the power of the human spirit and an inspiration to each of us.

His blog begins with a 12 photo slide show, followed by a link to more albums. His blog text begins below the slide show. To trace his journey for the past times it is best to scroll to the bottom and read it from the bottom up, although his first post at the top is revealing. On the left sidebar under "Links" is one to" My Website".

I have worked at the Texas Institute for Research and Rehabilitation in the Houston Medical Center and have seen first hand the utter desolation, despair and crushing grief people experience when suddenly faced with such a devastating loss and destruction of their lives as they knew it. Those who can overcome the negative aspects and meet the challenges of a completely different life are a testament to humankind's strength of will and spirit. It gives us Hope. Colin is a Hero.
Definition of a Hero -# 2
Websters: (b) a person admired for his (or her) noble deeds or qualities
Ms. Eva Rowe earns the honor of Hero, a term used all too loosely these days.WA
The donation by BP to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston was part of a settlement between the London-based oil company and the daughter of two workers killed in the blast, which also injured 170 people.
"That these donations are made in the memory of all who lost their lives, that makes a difference," said Eva Rowe, who last month settled her lawsuit against BP for the deaths of James Rowe, 48, and Linda Rowe, 47, of Hornbeck, La.
It was one of a series of BP donations, which could total $38 million, as part of the settlement. Rowe said she hopes the donations will give meaning to the deaths of the victims.

December 15, 2006
One of the definitions of a true hero....
BP donates $12.5 million to hospital burn unit
GALVESTON — Anger and frustration still linger for Roger Rodriguez about his son’s death at the BP PLC refinery explosion. Today, those feelings were mixed with gratitude and hope after the 15 people killed in the Texas City explosion were honored with a $12.5 million donation to the hospital burn unit that treated the most critically injured by the blast

….The donation by BP to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston was part of a settlement between the London-based oil company and the daughter of two workers killed in the blast, which also injured 170 people….”That these donations are made in the memory of all who lost their lives, that makes a difference,” said Eva Rowe, who last month settled her lawsuit against BP for the deaths of James Rowe, 48, and Linda Rowe, 47, of Hornbeck, La. It was one of a series of BP donations, which could total $38 million, as part of the settlement. Rowe said she hopes the donations will give meaning to the deaths of the victims. more.


If we examine our hearts and minds on the deepest level with absolute honesty, how many of us could be as compassionate, generous and even heroic to sacrifice such a great sum to benefit others, a sum that could mean a lifetime of ease for a woman of modest means? WA

When America Is Burning..... is time for sturm und drang. It is too bad that there is so much talk and so little do among the citizenry. We need MORE sturm und drang as our nation sinks to an all time low.

It is true that we need a break now and then lest all the bad news overwhelm us, but we must never weaken nor give up. The future of our country and of our progeny depends on what we do now.

Enough Sturm und Drang for a While

At least from me. WA and Gadfly are free to both Sturm and Drang.

I just picked this up over at Jay Lassiter's site.

What Dear Abby would say to the Shrub if she were asked.



Well, We Coulda Told You That!!

The Christian Right Goes Back to Bible Boot Camp
By Alexander Zaitchik, AlterNet. Posted December 4, 2006.
After a study revealed that less than 10 percent of evangelicals were Bible literate, James Dobson's Focus on the Family is desperately taking a two-day multimedia Bible boot camp on the road, selling "truth" for $179 a seat.

It's been a rough season for the Christian right. Even for an eschatological movement, these are dark days. First came former Deputy Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives David Kuo's public admission that evangelicals were often derided as "nuts" and "goofy" within the inner sanctums of the Bush administration. Then, weeks before losing their shotgun seat in the 109th Congress, the booming voice of the National Association of Evangelicals, Ted Haggard, was silenced in a scandal involving a gay hooker, massage oils, methamphetamine, and a string of Denver hotel rooms booked under false names. [WA: a hypocrite who publically professed one standard and privately practised the opposite; a hypocrite, liar and deceiver].

But even before all that hit the fundamentalist fan, the movement was contending with a quieter, more systemic crisis: functional Biblical illiteracy among the flock. That's right, religious conservatives aren't so religious, after all. click here for complete article

WA: As Gadfly would snort derisively, "No s**t, Sherlock!" All of us out here who profess different religious beliefs or no religious beliefs at all could have told them that a long time ago. It was obvious even to those who had little or no Biblical knowledge that that bunch was a hypocritical batch of screwballs.

I have posted here before that the Fundies/Evangelicals/Religious Right/Christian Reconstructionists/et al did NOT follow Jesus' teachings. The very word "Christian" means "a follower of Christ" and their beliefs and policies denied the name. Jesus did Not teach that being "saved" meant that thereafter you could sin with impunity, that you should hate your brother, persecute your brother, execute your brothers and sisters for failure to conform to your ideals, subjugate your sisters, seek power and dominion and glory (as they do by trying to establish a world theocracy). They do NOT know their Bible.

So Brother Dobson, in his infinite wisdom, is going to hold these little 2 day seminars to enlighten the faithful. I'm sure that a whole 2 days will make Biblical scholars of each of them. And sold out events at $179.00 a seat will incidentally deposit a nice sum in Bro. Dobson's coffers. And everyone will leave wrapped in the rosy glow of righteousness , touchy-feely holiness and a better-than-thou (of the unwashed masses) superiority.

I wonder if Bro. Dobson will include this lesson:

" Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. ' (Mt 7:16-19)

Shall they do a little self examination and ask themselves: "Do our Biblical interpretations follow the teachings of Christ? Have our fruits been good or evil? Is somebody starting to chop (hew) at our trees?"

This blog is not meant to be a religious forum, but when dealing with a religion that is so closely intertwined with our government and politics, it is necessary to interject religious subjects and links.

And puhleeze! just because Granny and I are Christians, do NOT judge us by those misguided folks, the majority of whom are basically good, decent, sincere believers who have been deceived and led astray by their leaders who teach a perverted doctrine.

After a Brief Respite, We Plunge Back Into the Cesspool

Good to Know: Who's Who in the Dem Party

People Party vs. Money Party: Who's Who Among the Democrats
By David Sirota, AlterNet. Posted December 4, 2006.

A list of the Democrats who are going to lead the fight for health care, fair trade and labor issues in the New Congress and the Democrats who will fight them.

The fact that our nation's politics is divided not between Democrats and Republicans but between the People Party and the Money Party is obvious to anyone who looks at the political system honestly (which is to say, not most journalists or Washington political hacks). Calls for "bipartisanship" and faux "centrism" that has nothing to do with the actual center of American public opinion are most often moves to prevent the political debate from analyzing the People vs. Money divide that actually fuels our politics. We already have plenty of "bipartisanship" -- Republicans and a faction of Democrats who regularly join hands to** screw over the vast majority of Americans**.
We know that there are some Dems who are Repubs in Dems clothing. Link here for complete article and list of Dems pro-people and pro-rich elite(corporations). WA

Thursday, December 14, 2006

More Irrefutable "Logic" from O'Reilly

Here, from Media Matters today is that expert on the family, Bill O'Reilly, "discussing" gay parenting and trashing anyone who doesn't agree.

In other words, his mind is made up, let's not confuse him with the facts.


Gadfly: Gotcha!

Check your profile! :-)

Readers not familiar with the Gadfly, check out her comment on "How Do You Balance Humanitarianism ...." (below) and note her photo in the comment section. Then click on her name to access her page.
I think the new photo suits her better. LOL.

Stuff happens when you are Team Members on each other's blogs.


Gadfly signing in:

This is Worried, normally (unless she's in a bad mood). An angel of lovingness, compassion, kindness, generosity, and mercy. Just don't piss her off.

This is Worried when she reads her "newsies". That's why her kids don't like her activism stuff. They think it's bad for her health.

This might piss her off.
Gotcha, Worried!!

Gadfly signing off.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Update on Child Murders

Killings put Gaza on edge
GAZA CITY - Leaders of the Fatah Party accused gunmen ofdeliberately ambushing and killing the three young sons of asenior Palestinian intelligence officer, an attack that threatenedto escalate fighting between rival factions.
By Richard Boudreaux.

Gadfly signing in: It raises questions that no one faction claims responsibility for the child murders. Are they shamed to have murdered children and don't want to lose support, or did the rival faction not do it? Do we join the wing nuts and scream conspiracy? Or, as Worried says, be realistic and check out history.

Worried is feeling better and on the computer, ofcourse. But she's letting me mind the blog while she catches up on other stuff. Not that there is much to mind.

Monday, December 11, 2006


This will get Worried on a rant, the way she feels about kids.

Is this the opening of an Iraqi-style sectarian-political division? Divide and conquer. Palestine suffers enough from domination and attacks by Israel without having to endure internal strife. Just who were the child killers?

Palestinian intel officer’s 3 kids gunned down
Unprecedented attack in crowded Gaza street on family of Fatah loyalist

Updated: 57 minutes ago
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Three young children of a senior Palestinian intelligence officer were killed Monday in a drive-by shooting in a street crowded with schoolchildren, an unprecedented attack that could ignite widespread factional fighting.

Gunmen pumped dozens of bullets into a car carrying the children of intelligence officer Baha Balousheh, a loyalist of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement. A decade ago, Balousheh was a lead interrogator in a crackdown on the now-ruling Islamic militant Hamas movement.

Three of Balousheh’s children, ranging in age from six to 10, were killed, along with an adult, hospital officials said. Four more people were wounded in the attack in Palestine Street, lined with nine schools. Baha Balousheh was not in the area.

The car was riddled with at least 30 bullets. Its seats, schoolbags and a small plastic bag with a sandwich in it were spattered with blood.

Dozens of Fatah supporters tried to close the street, shouting: “God help us take revenge against the killers.”

Terrified children:
As the shots rang out, children dropped to the ground or fled screaming.
“I was walking with my young brother, Wael, who is 9, and we just crossed the street in order to take him to the school when shooting took place,” said 12-year-old Fadwa Nabulsi, still shaken by the bloody scene.

“We saw fire coming from one car. We started screaming and children started running. I was crying, and I lost Wael for about half an hour. Then I found him hiding in a felafel shop. I’m trying to find my father to take us back home,” she said.

Anxious scene:
Dozens of Palestinian police in the area were trying to calm the children and help them locate their parents. Hundreds of anxious parents rushed to Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital to get word on their children.

Gaza has been plagued by factional violence in the past, with dozens killed and hundreds wounded. However, Monday’s attack targeting children was unprecedented, and was likely to trigger widespread confrontations at a time when the lines between Hamas and Fatah have hardened.

Earlier this month, Abbas announced that talks on forming a unity government between Hamas and Fatah have broken down. Earlier this week, he raised the possibility of calling early elections, drawing angry protests by Hamas which said he does not have the authority to dissolve the Hamas-dominated parliament.

© 2006 The Associated Press.

If you want to start a war, you can (1) bomb an ancient holy mosque like was done in Iraq, or (2) murder a bunch of innocent children. Both actions guarantee public rage. GF