Is America Burning - a Forum To Discuss Issues

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Skyline - Houston, Texas

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Battiness, Ding-Bats and Bats in the Belfry


Worried checking in.

I'm sorry to have been absent so much of late. I've been very involved with family and am not through yet. My eldest, the Wild Child, has been undergoing a battery of tests (again), proposed surgery (again) and seeing numerous specialists (again) that requires transportation to various medical facilities all over this huge, sprawling city ( I HATE the traffic!), long waits and long drives to her residence in the country and back home in Houston. My services as chauffeur are required to transport a grandson back and forth from divorced mother and father for visits (more long drives). Daughter Jeannie elected to move from Nassau Bay to Dayton at Jo's farmette where she will live for a time with her brother who takes care of the farmette while Jo and Lloyd are working overseas. Sorting and packing her belongings to go to storage and to bring to the farmette was a three ring circus. But not a fun time. Son Terry is having extensive oral surgery that is not a fun time for him and I am called upon to spend time at the farmette to aid in his diet preparations (limited) and run errands. Grand daughter Patsy is scheduled for surgery and wants me to be there for aid and comfort and to run her household and children while she is incapacitated.

The aid of friends and neighbors was required to move Jeannie. I am not physically able to do much but drive the moving van and the minivan. Jeannie is strong but petite, suffers from severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands, has nerve and tendon damage to her left arm from an old injury and is thus somewhat handicapped. It is amazing how much stuff women can accumulate in a two bedroom apartment, how many boxes it takes to pack it and how many loads to move it. The move was complicated by the fact that the elevator died and EVERYTHING had to be hauled down three flights of stairs (6 half flights) to the vans in the parking lot. Two loads to the storage facility via the moving van and 4 loads in the minivan for the 100 mile round trip to the farmette was a hassle and used a terrific amount of gasoline and $$$. Not to mention the fact that Crazy David and teener Jason, who were supposed to follow me, got lost and required a considerable time re-establishing contact.

Aid from friends and her neighbors was a mixed blessing. Manual labor was absolutely essential but there was a price to pay. The main source of muscle and hauling labor was a friend from the old neighborhood whom we had known since his and Jeannie's teeny bopper days. A good friend that we love dearly but who drives us batty; his nickname of "Crazy David" is apt and well earned and he tends to make everyone around him crazy too. Another major source of help was the Paralegal down the hall who is a charming woman and who has been very good to Jeannie. However, she is a flaming alcoholic (after work) who, when in her cups, exhibits 1). a passionate crush on Crazy David and an aggressively burning desire to seduce him (David resists equally passionately), and 2). a tendency to become hostile at the drop of a hat, especially towards her teen aged son. Said teen aged son, an amiable soul to all others, reacts to his mother's hostility with extremely angry resentment and loud rebellion. Dealing with these ding-bat characters during the exhaustive labor and stress of moving made us a little crazy and batty too. Add to the mix Jeannie's 4 hysterical cats and a hyperactive pit bull dog, all of which were somewhat crazy also from the turmoil and disruption of their home. I iterate: it was not a fun time. My patience wore thin and Jeannie suffered repeated anxiety/panic attacks.

After the hullaballoo of moving was completed, I brought the Wild Child to my home in Houston to spend a few days. Her liver specialist said if she was still alive after the current prescribed treatments, she was to return to him in 6 months and perhaps then undergo the chemo therapy (different poison than that administered to cancer patients, but chemical poison nevertheless). She lives alone in the piney woods outside Houston. Being alone, depressed, seriously ill with the Sword of Damocles hanging over her head is not good for her so from time to time I bring her to spend time with me. Here we share movies, play on the computer and blog. I have helped her to start blogs of her own, which she is enjoying immensely. It is very uplifting to her morale. (Later, when she gets her blogs going, I will publish her urls and would appreciate anyone commenting on them. Yellow Rose found one on search and commented; Wild Child was ecstatic.)

My cat Sheba is a very quiet, well behaved cat who rarely meows. She will politely offer a few of her low calls to alert me that her food and water bowls need attention or that she desires a treat. She will not insist but wait patiently for me to comply. One night she began meowing insistently and following me around, quite out of character for her. Her unusual behavior puzzled me and the Wild Child. I'd meow back at her and she'd meow even more insistently. I noted that she kept returning to some storage boxes I had piled to return to storage. I put her on top of one, thinking she might want to investigate. She is very curious about anything out of the ordinary in my apartment. Once atop the boxes, she kept looking up and I realized that she had not been looking up at the boxes but at the ceiling.

For crying out loud! There on my ceiling was a small brown bat! My bedroom window does not have a screen but I had opened it a few inches to get fresh air and apparently the little creature had entered that way. The cat had smelled it or seen it and was meowing about it. It clung horizonally to the ceiling, very still, although it turned its little head to watch me. I exclaimed and went to get the broom to knock it down. I feared it might be diseased. Bats have rabies sometimes. I was loath to kill it but having no means for capture and release and fearing rabies, I thought killing the only option.

The Wild Child's incision line from her colon cancer surgery has herniated and causes her a great deal of pain and difficulty in arising from a seated position. However, when I exclaimed something about a bat and headed for the broom closet, she howled "Mother-f***er!!" and leaped up from the love seat with alacrity I had not thought possible. She began an agitated jittering, cussing and begging me, "No, Mommy, NO!"

I am aware that my daughters do not share my equanimity when dealing with nature's creatures, but even so I was surprised at her terror and distress. I was even more surprised when she darted from the apartment in her nighty, not even bothering to put on a robe, and fled to the elevators. She shocked and astounded our Security officer by screaming at him, "Do you have a gun? Come shoot it! Come shoot it!" The Security guard had no idea what she wanted him to shoot but advised, "Lady, I can't be shooting in this building." Learning of the cause for her hysteria, he went to the apartment of our in-residence Night Manager and alerted him.

The two men came to my apartment, the Night Manager armed with a towel and Wild Child fairly dancing in panic in the hallway screaming at me to come out.. The Night Manager is over 6' tall with arms like an orangutan so he simply reached up to pluck the bat from the ceiling with the towel. The men departed bearing the towel wrapped bat, chuckling about "Womens!" and Wild Child cautiously returned to the apartment where she lavished praise upon Sheba the Cat for her heroic diligence in noting an intruder. The family was regaled the next day with a horror story of the terrible creature invading our home. Wild Child wrote a note of appreciation to the Night Manager for "saving our lives". All over a tiny little bat.

The battiness of the humans I had dealt with during Jeannie's moving ordeal was far worse (to me) than the poor little flying mammal. People, including Wild Child's hysteria, drive me battier than animals do.

Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

"Battiness, Ding-Bats and Bats in the Belfry"
I gave Gadfly full admin privileges. What she does with it, is her decision. I can't help it if the woman is bat shit crazy!:)

As I read your litany of woe, one thing kept jumping out at me: "I'm needed for.....". That is at once, the highest compliement, and a curse of servitude. I can't even inagine driving in Houston. Try to look at the bright side. If by some bookkeeping error, you are sent to hell, you won't have to serve any time - you've already served it! My heart and prayers go out to you.

Crazy David......The you know any normal people?:)
LOL!! Hugs to you, and I wish you well!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008 11:49:00 PM

Blogger Worried American said...

Well, Thanks, TUA. I've always said that having a large family is both a great blessing and a great burden. For some reason the old adage holds true -
when it rains it pours" and that is certainly true when problems arise. Never singly, always in batches.

The Gadfly can be a tad independently squirrely at times but she and the Wild Child are fairly well matched about many things. One of my Wild Child's other nicknames is "Anut", which first came out in a note from a dyslexic relative meaning to spell "Aunt". The "Anut" was apt and stuck.

Monday, April 28, 2008 6:22:00 AM


Monday, April 21, 2008

Prayers of the Innocent


I don't know too much about the effectiveness of prayers, but from what I'm told, the prayers of the innocent and of the truly faithful rate higher than those of lesser beings. So- does the Pope's prayers rate high on the heavenly scale of one to ten because he is considered a truly faithful? Whose rates the highest - the child and his dog, the innocents of this world? Might be sacriligious but I'm betting on the kid and the doggie.
Blogger ThomasLB said...

I was pleasantly surprised by the Pope's visit. I appreciated that he met with victims of the sex abuse scandal and made a point of meeting with representatives of other faiths.

It would have been nice if he had said, "You know what? We were completely wrong about homosexuality and birth control. Sorry about that." But that's never going to happen.

A willingness to meet with people who disagree with him is a step in the right direction, and it's a step I didn't expect him to take.

Monday, April 21, 2008 4:50:00 PM

Gadfly: Thanks for stopping by, ThomasLB. It is not likely that the Church will reverse its position on homosexuality and birth control. The anti-birth control stance is strange to me. The infant death rate is horrible in poverty stricken groups, like the hispanics in the colonias outside major so. american cities. Yet the church teaches the faithful catholics that bc is a sin. I think bringinmg babies into the world to die of disease and starvation is the bigger sin.

Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

The PooP may be faithful, but then so was Hitler.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 4:52:00 AM


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Politics, Pulpits and Eulogies

Crossposted from The Future Was Yesterday . Cuss words edited a little so Worried won't have a cow.

Pulpit Politicking and Eulogies

Flags Are Placed At Arlington National Cemetery Graves

Politics From the Pulpit - brainwashing the faithful a la Bushco or routine military funeral eulogy?

It's been bruited about that more and more ministers are preaching politics from the pulpit. The Fundies are actively proselytizing the faithful to brainwash them into following the BushCo bull sh*t party line. I think it's a load of crap for them to mix God, Jesus, and politics but we know the Fundies want to become the religious power in the U.S. (and then the world) so they tap in to the millions of voter-christians. Onward Christian Soldiers the White House!

Friday's Houston Chronicle ran an article about the 100th soldier from the Houston area to die in Iraq:

By RENÉE C. LEE : Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
HUNTSVILLE — Army Sgt. Shaun Paul Tousha, the 100th service member from the Houston area to die in the Iraq war, was remembered Thursday for his love of being a soldier.

The lad got a good send-off from the city and community in Huntsville. Schoolchildren lined the streets with small American flags and there was standing room only at the funeral home chapel. He deserved every bit of the honor and respect offered him, as does every one of our military members who suffer, are maimed or die in the f**king, illegal wars Bush has gotten us into.

I would not take away one scintilla of honor from Sgt. Tousha or any other military person who die in service, but I get raging mad at the a$hat preachers who yap yap yap the Bush crap about "preserving our freedoms" and "protecting our country".

"Tousha, like thousands of Americans in military service, gave up his most valuable possession — his life — to protect his country, the Rev. Paul Corley told the standing-room-only crowd at the Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home chapel.

''He chose to lay down his life for his friends," Corley said. "When a man is willing to lay down his life for his friends, he has heart and conviction. That's why he loved being a soldier ... This was his way to preserve the freedoms of this country. "

This is the standard eulogy for a fallen warrior and may be a slim source of comfort to the bereaved and I would not rob them of what comfort they may derive from praising their loved one as a hero. He deserves all the praise he can get and his grieving family and friends deserve all the comfort they can get, damned little that it may be. (How in hell can there be comfort for losing a loved one?)

But dammit to hell, it pi$$es me to the max to hear anyone say that our men and women are dying for US and OUR COUNTRY as Bush asserts, when in reality they are dying or getting maimed for life for the greedy, blood sucking power hungry tyrants trying to corner the world's resources and rule the earth. In Bush's wars, they are dying for BushCo and Masters who are the ones threatening our freedoms and destroying our country.

I don't know what to say or how to raise hell about these preachers mouthing the Bush propaganda about "preserving our freedoms and protecting our country". They brainwash the community with that bull sh*t and people go away solemnly avowing "he died a hero to protect us". Well, he WAS a hero but not for the reasons the preacher lied about. But any bitching I do sounds like I'm putting him down which I would NEVER do!. Frustrates the hell out of me.

By DALE LEZON, ROSANNA RUIZ and DANE SCHILLER : Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Army Sgt. Shaun P. Tousha, 30, of Hull, became the 100th victim from the Houston area after an explosion in Iraq on Wednesday. Shaun's parents died some time ago, Chester Tousha said.

Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

"Crossposted from The Future Was Yesterday . Cuss words edited a little so Worried won't have a cow."

Chicken Shit!:) However, I did mention in in this post a few hours of language school wouldn't hurt either one of us!

Monday, April 21, 2008 3:45:00 AM

Blogger Worried American said...

Sometimes a little blue or purple prose conveys more feeling than proper language.

My religious daughter, Jo, when frustrated beyond measure or enraged will exclaim, "Ohhhh Peanut Butter!!"

Somehow it lacks the impact of my Wild Child's impassioned, "F**k a duck and screw a guinea!!" (which is merely a pale lavender compared to her deep purple and black expletives).

Monday, April 21, 2008 12:35:00 PM

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 17, 2008

U.S. Psyops - Dark History - Uncle Sam's "Nephews"

[WA: One of those "oldie but pertinent today" articles, worthy of repeat. The same tired, sick old game goes on and on and on... as the sleazy manipulators continue their dirty work.]

All of Uncle Sam’s nephews
Monday, June 19, 2006
Farooq Sulehria

What the effect of killing Abu Musab Al Zarqawi will be in the massive terrorist apparatus that has been created by the Bush-Blair invasion, one can only guess. The invasion was an enormous stimulant for terrorism, as was anticipated by Noam Chomsky.

Robert Coulondre, French ambassador to the Third Reich, met Adolf Hitler just before the outbreak of the Second World War. While boasting of the advantages he had recently obtained from Joseph Stalin, Hitler drew an ostentatious outlook of his future military triumph. In reply the French ambassador appealed to his ‘reason’ saying: “You are thinking of yourself as the victor but have you given thought to another possibility — that the victor may be Trotsky?” According to historian Issac Deutcher, on hearing this, Hitler jumped up (as if he “had been hit in the pit of the stomach”) and screamed that the threat of Trotsky’s victory was one more reason why France and Britain should not go to war against the Third Reich.

The conversation escaped Adolf Hitler’s well-guarded office and travelling across Atlantic reached Leon Trotsky, exiled leader of the Soviet Opposition. Soon to be hunted by Stalin, an isolated Trotsky might have felt elated at Hitler’s remarks but his comment did not betray any elation: “They are haunted by the spectre of revolution, and they give it a man’s name.”

Similarly, today the American Hitler and his British buddy, haunted by the spectre of resistance, give it a man’s name. First, the resistance was given the name of Uday Hussain and Qusay Hussain. In July 2003, when both these dreaded sons of Iraq’s dreaded dictator were killed in a shootout, we were told by President Bush: “Saddam Hussein’s sons were responsible for torture, for maiming innocent citizens, and for the murder of countless Iraqis. And now, more than ever, the Iraqis can know that the former regime is gone and is not coming back.”

To make sure that the regime didn’t come back the Americans even removed the Iraqi flags from the graves of Uday and Qusay Hussein. The resistance, however, did not stop. Now the resistance assumed the name Saddam Hussain. He was, for months, alleged to be leading his disgruntled Baathists from a hide out. One day, a force of 600 American soldiers captured Saddam Hussein, from Tikrit, hiding at the bottom of an 8-feet deep hole. On his capture, in a nationally televised address from the White House, President Bush said: “In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over. A hopeful day has arrived. All Iraqis can now come together and reject violence and build a new Iraq.” His “brave” defence minister made an even more candid statement: “Here was a man who was photographed hundreds of times shooting off rifles and showing how tough he was, and in fact he wasn’t very tough; he was cowering in a hole in the ground and had a pistol and didn’t use it and certainly did not put up any fight at all. In the last analysis, he seemed not terribly brave”. True, but the statement sounds bizarre when shot from Rumsfeld’s mouth. Also, Rumsfeld failed to mention that Saddam Hussain, besides rifles, also lent a photo session opportunity to Rumsfeld himself when he visited Saddam Hussain in Baghdad.

With Saddam Hussain in chains, resistance got even more fierce. Now it was given the name Abu Musaab al Zarqawi. Faced with a growing resistance compounded by domestic unpopularity of the war, the Bush administration needed a respite. A big catch could do. Hence Zarqawi. An elated President Bush declared: “Now Zarqawi has met his end and this violent man will never murder again.”

Let’s wait and resistance will get another man’s name. Osama bin Laden perhaps. But hold on for a moment. Every time, a terrorist spinning all the trouble is caught or killed, the western mainstream media go for the Second World War all over again. What is missing in empty TV talk shows and newspaper commentaries that follow every such catch is close links between the catch and Uncle Sam. From Saddam to Zarqawi, all were once Uncle Sam’s adopted nephews. Saddam Hussain and his Baathist gang was a useful contact in Iraq in 1960s when Iraq was seen by Washington as a country ready for embracing Moscow. It had the Arab world’s largest communist party. The bloody coup that removed Adbul Karim Kassim in 1963 led to the massacre of the communists in their thousands. The dirty job was done by Saddam Hussain and his gang and the lists were provided by the CIA. Later, when Tehran grew beard in 1979 it was Saddam Hussain who fought a US war against Iran for eight years.

[WA: The infamous "let's you and him fight" ploy, with weapons provided to both sides by the U.S. and others.]

The gassing of Kurds did not bother any conscience either at 10 Downing Street or at the White House. Nobody was concerned about the Kurds’ fate. A fateful meeting was held in 1990 at the presidential palace in Baghdad where Saddam misread US ambassador April Glaspie’s gestures and invaded “plucky little Kuwait”. Now he became a Hitler.

Similarly, the Tora Bora resident, before he became useless for the CIA, was hailed for his heroic adventures in Afghanistan. Ironically, in those days Uncle Sam was upset that Afghan women were shedding their burkas under Afghanistan’s “infidel” PDPA regime. Later, when Osama returned to Afghanistan on Taliban’s invitation, Uncle Sam again expressed a concern about the burka. This time, Uncle Sam was upset that the fundamentalist Taliban regime was imposing burka on Afghan women. (By the way, empire’s concern for dress is not new. When Europe colonised Africa, it wanted Africans to dress in order to embrace ‘civilisation’. These days, same European ex-empires want Muslim women to shed burka in order to embrace ‘civilisation’).

Interestingly, the Tora Bora resident has not yet been captured nor “smoked out”. May be it is the Laden-Bush business ties that have saved his neck so far. Had Zarqawi been a son of a business tycoon, he would most likely have survived. Even the war on terror chooses its victims on class basis. Alas. Zarqawi was a Jordanian who reached Afghanistan to participate in the US-sponsored Jihad. In those good old days, he was a mujahid like his boss Osama bin Laden. Many in Iraq, and elsewhere, believe he was part of a psyop helping the Iraq occupation by dividing the resistance on sectarian lines.

Even if he was not part of a psyop, Zarqawi objectively abetted the US occupation of Iraq. Alive or dead he does not matter, yet Uncle Sam made use of his life as well as death. After all, Uncle Sam does not adopt nephews for nothing. However, each time a nephew of Uncle Sam is born or killed, the Muslim world gets brutalised. Zarqawi in his life as well as in his death brutalised the Muslim world. The Muslim world ,therefore, can neither mourn nor celebrate his death.

The writer is a freelance journalist based in Sweden. Email:

Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

"did not bother any conscience"
First you must have one.....

The Bush war machine continues to roll nonstop. With the explicit permission of Speaker Moonbeam....

Friday, April 18, 2008 1:45:00 AM

Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

I'd never "steal" a friend away, nor is it even possible if they are real friends, which I know she is. I just want to borrow her Big Mouth once in a while is all!:)

I shall now go hide under the car....

Friday, April 18, 2008 1:52:00 AM

WA: Dan'l: No, no, Dear, I wasn't accusing you of stealing the Gadfly! Certainly the Gadfly may do exactly as she pleases ( and does!) and I am happy to have her use her Big Mouth anywhere and anytime she pleases (except she must cool the &%##@**(!# s a bit on IAB). You may come out from under the car now. It is perfectly safe, I assure you. :-)
P.S. LOL as usual.
Blogger Daniel said...

Hey, things are quiet on IAB of late! What's up over there?

Daniel and David are missing your contributions and great company. Has the election got you down? Are you in a concentration camp enjoying some waterboarding? Have you been rendered to some exotic location? Are you training with Al Queda? Has Bush offered you gals a position in his White House to quieten you down?

We await your advice!

Saturday, April 19, 2008 1:50:00 AM

Gadfly: Hey Guy(s), apologies to you and all our blogger friends. Thank goodness none of the above have happened, at least not yet. The Old Woman (Worried) has been very involved and busy with her huge family and I've been helping her with one of her involvements, so both of us have kinda been out of pocket for awhile. Moving her youngest daughter some 50+ miles from point A to point B has been a labor and hassle you don't even wanna hear about. Seems like we packed and hauled about a thousand loads but Worried claims it was only about half that many. :) We checked in a time or two but really too tired and busy to do much. BUT REMEMBER - NONE OF YOU ARE FORGOTTEN! WE'LL BE BACK !

Blogger Granny said...

I'm okay too - just a little bit of burnout plus computer slowness. And I've been busy lately.

We're all still around.

Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:34:00 PM

Blogger Worried American said...

I believe that all bloggers experience burnout from time to time, Granny. I certainly do. Sometimes I get so sick of politics and war and bad stuff I just want to delete the blogs and go work the clay (sculpt) and forget the world. You are missed but we understand and don't push you. I know you'll be back when ready.

Monday, April 21, 2008 12:45:00 PM


Thursday, April 10, 2008

One of Nature's Magnificent Wonders

Cross posted from Curious George

Biggest Animal on Earth - video url below photo


Clickl url below to view video:

Biggest Animal On Earth Ever. - The top video clips of the week are here

Beautiful video; spelling errors do not detract from great video. Enjoy! Curious George
Addition by Worried:

Blue Whale | Cetacean Fact Sheet | American Cetacean Society

ACS blue whale fact sheet - concise, scientifically reviewed basic information on the blue whale, including physical description, prey, range, and status, ... - 61k -

Size Comparisons:

Blue Whale comparrison chart

Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

When this computer (news, blogs, etc.) and the TV gets me too riled up, I do something that has so far proven foolproof:

I go build a birdhouse!!

I'm not kidding a bit. And yes, I have so many bird houses around that I give them away to local kids.:)

Nature....the forgotten tranquilizer.

Saturday, April 12, 2008 3:53:00 AM

Blogger Worried American said...

I am a nature lover and at times retreat to the beauties and wonders of this world just to keep my sanity. Then I get riled up thinking about how we are destroying so much of it. Ah me!

Thursday, April 17, 2008 12:16:00 AM


Trouble in Paradise or Computer Hell

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I am having computer hell at this time and may be off for awhile or sporadic in posting. I am certain that I have driven the 7 young people nuts at Technical Support and plan to call them again as soon as I have some sleep. I hope that 8 times plus my own efforts will be the charm. Every time we get one mess-up fixed, it either recurs or another pops up. I am exceedingly exasperated. One last option they offered me - send the tower back to the manufacturer for repairs there but I will be sans computer for 2 weeks or more. That is not an option I find desirable but may have to resort to it.

I notice that our sidebar has disappeared (on my end) even though all the entries are still on the template. Now what??

Blogger Granny said...

No sidebar here either. My computer is giving me problems too although replacing the mouse helped a little.

Takes forever to load and I get impatient.

Thursday, April 10, 2008 11:39:00 AM

Blogger Worried American said...

I hear that! First, my mouse died and I had to make re-runs to the store to get another with the correct plug for the UMB port. Then previous problems recurred in a cascade effect. I THINK they are corrected now (cross my fingers) but if not, the tower has to be sent off for special surgery and possible organ transplants. Plus Blogger/Google, the Dastardly Duo, are doing naughty things to my blogs to drive me insane.

I'll try to fix the sidebar but not today. I am exhausted. I have a lot of work to do on my other blogs and owe a little to ones on which I'm a team member.

PS: And this is a relatively new computer with only a few months usage on it!

Thursday, April 10, 2008 7:29:00 PM

Anonymous David G said...

Worried, I really am so sorry to hear about your recent sad loss. Mice are likable little critters and one can grow very attached to them.

I have a lot of mice on my farm. I'll send you one if you'd like. What color are you looking for?

In sympathy.

Friday, April 11, 2008 12:40:00 AM

Blogger Progressive Traditionalist said...

Hello, Worried.
The sidebar is at the bottom of the page. If you hit the 'End' button, it will take you directly to it.
There's probably a photo that was too wide for the template in there somewhere. That would be the most likely cause.
From what I can see, it looks like the Yahoo! news ticker is too wide. I can see where the frame lines up with the text.

Make a copy of your template as a backup, remove that ticker, then try it again. If it works, then that's the culprit.

I know a lot of people that have been having problems with IE.
Wondering what OS you're running.
With XP or later, you can disable all that stuff at startup, and it will automatically reload it if you really need it.
Go to Run on the Start Menu, and type in:

See what you've got.

Friday, April 11, 2008 7:58:00 AM

Blogger Progressive Traditionalist said...

It's not a Yahoo! ticker, it's a Ron Paul button.

If you need more help, e-mail me.

Friday, April 11, 2008 8:00:00 AM

Blogger Worried American said...

David G.; I appreciate your kind words and sympathy. I was rather fond of the mouse and admired its little red light reflecting off the brass desk lamp when I worked it.
I like white mice but really liked the black tailless (cordless) one I first bought to replace the dead one.
My cat is a black tailless Manx so I was predisposed to admire the black tailless mouse. However, it was not compatible with my computer so I went back to the white one with a tail.

PT: Thank you so much for dx. the ailment of the missing sidebar. That happened a lot when I was using IE as my primary browser so knew to look at the bottom. Since I've been using Mozilla Firefox it hasn't recurred. I am so hassled and stressed that I didn't even think to look at the bottom.

I shall correct the problem. I don't need Ron Paul's button. I like the old man but posted the button primarily as a protest against the other 3 candidates whom I do NOT like. ( I thought I had deleted the Yahoo ticker. Hmmm! Will delete that again/too).

This new computer that my daughter bought for me has factory installed Windows Vista. I tried to install my XP Pro but the machine wouldn't accept it, so I'm stuck with Vista. I had heard so much about incompatibilities with Vista but oddly enough the main problem I've had with that has been Windows' downloaded updates (according to the Technical Support for the computer! 8 times! Their own stuff is incompatible with their own new system??)

Thank you again, PT. You're a jewel.
Cheers -

Friday, April 11, 2008 2:07:00 PM

Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

I see everything on your side bar that I ever did. I think you girls are just scaring the hell out of your computers!:)

Saturday, April 12, 2008 4:00:00 AM

Blogger Worried American said...

Hmm! Maybe so!

Thursday, April 17, 2008 12:20:00 AM


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Howard Zinn on Civil Disobedience

A 1971 speech at Boston Commons by Howard Zinn. His speech referred to the Vietnam War but is applicable today to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and the proposed Iran War. The fiasco of the Iraq War reflects no lessons learned by our government from the Vietnam War except for ONE . That is, the effects of civil disobedience on wrongful government policies. Bush and his masters see quite plainly the dangers of civil disobedience to tyrannical power.

Therefore Bush et al pushed a gutless Congress into allowing the Hitleresque/Stalinesque passage of laws designed to criminalize civil disobedience. The "Decider" makes the decision to deem certain actions as illegal; "if you aren't with us, you are with the terrorists". Aiding and abetting the enemy, giving aid and comfort to the enemy equals treason. Being against the government's policies equals giving aid and comfort, aiding and abetting the enemy = equals dissent=dissent equals being with the terrorists = treason. Treason is punishable by death.

In fear of an uprising of civil disobedience as the American people got wise to their illegal machinations, BushCo anticipated a possible uprising a la Vietnam War and took steps to deal with it. Building huge Concentration Camps across the nation to house potential dissidents and passing laws giving the tyrants free rein to arrest citizens (NOT to house illegal immigrants as Bush stated) provided a means to quell disobedience - not to mention it made Halliburton and associates even richer through the contracts to build them..

Brainwashing our troops to believe that Bush's wars are just and that they are "protecting our homeland and freedoms" makes them more amenable to acting against their own people whom BushCo deems traitors. In addition, Bush has his praetorian guard to call upon if necessary - the Blackwater et al mercenaries. A trial run in New Orleans proved that the American people would not protest their usage.

Demonstrations today are quite small and largely ignored - except by law enforcement agencies who deal harshly with the participants. Even the wearing of tee shirts bearing anti-war anti-Bush slogans can get a citizen arrested or removed from public view. We may still rise up in civil disobedience, ofcourse, but we also may expect to be sternly dealt with by our government - and "sternly" may be an understatement. Being forewarned, are we as brave as our forefathers were who stood against the tyranny of the British crown, or like Patrick Henry who avowed, "give me liberty or give me death"?

But listen to Zinn's speech and see if you believe his message is applicable to today, as I do.

Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

A person I used to march with in the 70's (and partake of other pursuits) once said to me: "This is where congressional law is made. Fighting here in the street, fighting every Pig (old hippie term for Cops) who wants to stop those laws from being made."

His prose was chemically enhanced at the moment, but he spoke the truth, even if by accident. It's also said that every great Democracy has failed after 200 years or so. That does not mean we have to follow that "rule", does it?

The fight, like all fights for freedom, will be fought (or not) in the streets. The scariest question we will ever face will not be a complicated one concerning Democracy, but rather:

"How Bad Do We Wamt It?"

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:35:00 PM

Anonymous David G said...

What is really sad is that, if Zinn's speech is still applicable, it shows that America learned nothing from Vietnam. How can a nation's leadership be so dumb?

Then greed does tend to blind people!

Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:54:00 AM


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Empire or Humanity

This is part 1 of a series on American Empire. Succeeding posts will be published above. A companion post is published below with video.]


Empire or Humanity?

Tom Dispatch: With an occupying army waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan, with military bases and corporate bullying in every part of the world, there is hardly a question any more of the existence of an American Empire. Indeed, the once fervent denials have turned into a boastful, unashamed embrace of the idea.

posted April 01, 2008 3:53 pm

Tomgram: Howard Zinn, The End of Empire?

In Iraq, in Afghanistan, and at home, the position of the globe's "sole superpower" is visibly fraying. The country that was once proclaimed an "empire lite" has proven increasingly light-headed. The country once hailed as a power greater than that of imperial Rome or imperial Britain, a dominating force beyond anything ever seen on the planet, now can't seem to make a move in its own interest that isn't a disaster. The Iraq government's recent offensive in Basra is but the latest example with -- we can be sure -- more to come.
In the meantime, the fate of that empire, lite or otherwise, is the subject of Howard Zinn today at Tomdispatch, and of a new addition to his famed People's History of the United States. The new book represents a surprise breakthrough into cartoon format. It's a rollicking graphic history, illustrated by cartoonist Mike Konopacki, that takes us from the Indian Wars to the Iraqi "frontier" (with some striking autobiographical asides from Zinn's own life). It's called A People's History of American Empire. It's a gem and it's being published today.
In honor of publication day, Tomdispatch offers the equivalent of a little online extravaganza. Below, you can read Zinn's essay on how he first learned about the American Empire; and you can also click here for two special treats. You can view an animated video, using some of the book's art, with voiceover by none other than Viggo Mortensen. (Think of it as Lord of the Rings, Part IV: The American Mordor Chronicles.) Finally, if you look below the video on that same page, you'll see an autobiographical section of the new book, focusing on Zinn's early years. (Click on each illustration to view a single page of text.) Have fun. Tom

Empire or Humanity?

What the Classroom Didn't Teach Me About the American Empire
By Howard Zinn
With an occupying army waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan, with military bases and corporate bullying in every part of the world, there is hardly a question any more of the existence of an American Empire. Indeed, the once fervent denials have turned into a boastful, unashamed embrace of the idea.
However, the very idea that the United States was an empire did not occur to me until after I finished my work as a bombardier with the Eighth Air Force in the Second World War, and came home. Even as I began to have second thoughts about the purity of the "Good War," even after being horrified by Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even after rethinking my own bombing of towns in Europe, I still did not put all that together in the context of an American "Empire."
I was conscious, like everyone, of the British Empire and the other imperial powers of Europe, but the United States was not seen in the same way. When, after the war, I went to college under the G.I. Bill of Rights and took courses in U.S. history, I usually found a chapter in the history texts called "The Age of Imperialism." It invariably referred to the Spanish-American War of 1898 and the conquest of the Philippines that followed. It seemed that American imperialism lasted only a relatively few years. There was no overarching view of U.S. expansion that might lead to the idea of a more far-ranging empire -- or period of "imperialism."
I recall the classroom map (labeled "Western Expansion") which presented the march across the continent as a natural, almost biological phenomenon. That huge acquisition of land called "The Louisiana Purchase" hinted at nothing but vacant land acquired. There was no sense that this territory had been occupied by hundreds of Indian tribes which would have to be annihilated or forced from their homes -- what we now call "ethnic cleansing" -- so that whites could settle the land, and later railroads could crisscross it, presaging "civilization" and its brutal discontents.
Neither the discussions of "Jacksonian democracy" in history courses, nor the popular book by Arthur Schlesinger Jr., The Age of Jackson, told me about the "Trail of Tears," the deadly forced march of "the five civilized tribes" westward from Georgia and Alabama across the Mississippi, leaving 4,000 dead in their wake. No treatment of the Civil War mentioned the Sand Creek massacre of hundreds of Indian villagers in Colorado just as "emancipation" was proclaimed for black people by Lincoln's administration.
That classroom map also had a section to the south and west labeled "Mexican Cession." This was a handy euphemism for the aggressive war against Mexico in 1846 in which the United States seized half of that country's land, giving us California and the great Southwest. The term "Manifest Destiny," used at that time, soon of course became more universal. On the eve of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Washington Post saw beyond Cuba: "We are face to face with a strange destiny. The taste of Empire is in the mouth of the people even as the taste of blood in the jungle."
The violent march across the continent, and even the invasion of Cuba, appeared to be within a natural sphere of U.S. interest. After all, hadn't the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 declared the Western Hemisphere to be under our protection? But with hardly a pause after Cuba came the invasion of the Philippines, halfway around the world. The word "imperialism" now seemed a fitting one for U.S. actions. Indeed, that long, cruel war -- treated quickly and superficially in the history books -- gave rise to an Anti-Imperialist League, in which William James and Mark Twain were leading figures. But this was not something I learned in university either.
The "Sole Superpower" Comes into View
Reading outside the classroom, however, I began to fit the pieces of history into a larger mosaic. What at first had seemed like a purely passive foreign policy in the decade leading up to the First World War now appeared as a succession of violent interventions: the seizure of the Panama Canal zone from Colombia, a naval bombardment of the Mexican coast, the dispatch of the Marines to almost every country in Central America, occupying armies sent to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. As the much-decorated General Smedley Butler, who participated in many of those interventions, wrote later: "I was an errand boy for Wall Street."
At the very time I was learning this history -- the years after World War II -- the United States was becoming not just another imperial power, but the world's leading superpower. Determined to maintain and expand its monopoly on nuclear weapons, it was taking over remote islands in the Pacific, forcing the inhabitants to leave, and turning the islands into deadly playgrounds for more atomic tests.
In his memoir, No Place to Hide, Dr. David Bradley, who monitored radiation in those tests, described what was left behind as the testing teams went home: "[R]adioactivity, contamination, the wrecked island of Bikini and its sad-eyed patient exiles." The tests in the Pacific were followed, over the years, by more tests in the deserts of Utah and Nevada, more than a thousand tests in all.
When the war in Korea began in 1950, I was still studying history as a graduate student at Columbia University. Nothing in my classes prepared me to understand American policy in Asia. But I was reading I. F. Stone's Weekly. Stone was among the very few journalists who questioned the official justification for sending an army to Korea. It seemed clear to me then that it was not the invasion of South Korea by the North that prompted U.S. intervention, but the desire of the United States to have a firm foothold on the continent of Asia, especially now that the Communists were in power in China.
Years later, as the covert intervention in Vietnam grew into a massive and brutal military operation, the imperial designs of the United States became yet clearer to me. In 1967, I wrote a little book called Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal. By that time I was heavily involved in the movement against the war.
When I read the hundreds of pages of the Pentagon Papers entrusted to me by Daniel Ellsberg, what jumped out at me were the secret memos from the National Security Council. Explaining the U.S. interest in Southeast Asia, they spoke bluntly of the country's motives as a quest for "tin, rubber, oil."
Neither the desertions of soldiers in the Mexican War, nor the draft riots of the Civil War, not the anti-imperialist groups at the turn of the century, nor the strong opposition to World War I -- indeed no antiwar movement in the history of the nation reached the scale of the opposition to the war in Vietnam. At least part of that opposition rested on an understanding that more than Vietnam was at stake, that the brutal war in that tiny country was part of a grander imperial design.
Various interventions following the U.S. defeat in Vietnam seemed to reflect the desperate need of the still-reigning superpower -- even after the fall of its powerful rival, the Soviet Union -- to establish its dominance everywhere. Hence the invasion of Grenada in 1982, the bombing assault on Panama in 1989, the first Gulf war of 1991. Was George Bush Sr. heartsick over Saddam Hussein's seizure of Kuwait, or was he using that event as an opportunity to move U.S. power firmly into the coveted oil region of the Middle East? Given the history of the United States, given its obsession with Middle Eastern oil dating from Franklin Roosevelt's 1945 deal with King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, and the CIA's overthrow of the democratic Mossadeq government in Iran in 1953, it is not hard to decide that question.
Justifying Empire
The ruthless attacks of September 11th (as the official 9/11 Commission acknowledged) derived from fierce hatred of U.S. expansion in the Middle East and elsewhere. Even before that event, the Defense Department acknowledged, according to Chalmers Johnson's book The Sorrows of Empire, the existence of more than 700 American military bases outside of the United States.
Since that date, with the initiation of a "war on terrorism," many more bases have been established or expanded: in Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, the desert of Qatar, the Gulf of Oman, the Horn of Africa, and wherever else a compliant nation could be bribed or coerced.
When I was bombing cities in Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and France in the Second World War, the moral justification was so simple and clear as to be beyond discussion: We were saving the world from the evil of fascism. I was therefore startled to hear from a gunner on another crew -- what we had in common was that we both read books -- that he considered this "an imperialist war." Both sides, he said, were motivated by ambitions of control and conquest. We argued without resolving the issue. Ironically, tragically, not long after our discussion, this fellow was shot down and killed on a mission.
In wars, there is always a difference between the motives of the soldiers and the motives of the political leaders who send them into battle. My motive, like that of so many, was innocent of imperial ambition. It was to help defeat fascism and create a more decent world, free of aggression, militarism, and racism.
The motive of the U.S. establishment, understood by the aerial gunner I knew, was of a different nature. It was described early in 1941 by Henry Luce, multi-millionaire owner of Time, Life, and Fortune magazines, as the coming of "The American Century." The time had arrived, he said, for the United States "to exert upon the world the full impact of our influence, for such purposes as we see fit, and by such means as we see fit."
We can hardly ask for a more candid, blunter declaration of imperial design. It has been echoed in recent years by the intellectual handmaidens of the Bush administration, but with assurances that the motive of this "influence" is benign, that the "purposes" -- whether in Luce's formulation or more recent ones -- are noble, that this is an "imperialism lite." As George Bush said in his second inaugural address: "Spreading liberty around the world… is the calling of our time." The New York Times called that speech "striking for its idealism."
The American Empire has always been a bipartisan project -- Democrats and Republicans have taken turns extending it, extolling it, justifying it. President Woodrow Wilson told graduates of the Naval Academy in 1914 (the year he bombarded Mexico) that the U.S. used "her navy and her army... as the instruments of civilization, not as the instruments of aggression." And Bill Clinton, in 1992, told West Point graduates: "The values you learned here… will be able to spread throughout the country and throughout the world."
For the people of the United States, and indeed for people all over the world, those claims sooner or later are revealed to be false. The rhetoric, often persuasive on first hearing, soon becomes overwhelmed by horrors that can no longer be concealed: the bloody corpses of Iraq, the torn limbs of American GIs, the millions of families driven from their homes -- in the Middle East and in the Mississippi Delta.
Have not the justifications for empire, embedded in our culture, assaulting our good sense -- that war is necessary for security, that expansion is fundamental to civilization -- begun to lose their hold on our minds? Have we reached a point in history where we are ready to embrace a new way of living in the world, expanding not our military power, but our humanity?
Howard Zinn is the author of A People's History of the United States and Voices of a People's History of the United States, now being filmed for a major television documentary. His newest book is A People's History of American Empire, the story of America in the world, told in comics form, with Mike Konopacki and Paul Buhle in the American Empire Project book series. An animated video adapted from this essay with visuals from the comic book and voiceover by Viggo Mortensen, as well as a section of the book on Zinn's early life, can be viewed by clicking here. Zinn's website is
Copyright 2008 Howard Zinn
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Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

Whether good, bad, or awful, the irony of it all, is the whole empire was brought down by one man who we supposedly elected!!!

Saturday, April 05, 2008 11:04:00 PM

WA: He was elected the first time. The second time, he stole it.


[WA: Companion post to one above: "Empire or Humanity". I recommend watching the brief video. ]

A People's History of
American Empire
by Howard Zinn

Watch "Empire or Humanity? What the Classroom Didn't Teach Me about the American Empire," an animated video, based on Howard Zinn's new cartoon book, A People's History of American Empire, with voiceover by Viggo Mortensen, adapted from a Zinn essay posted at (To read the unabridged essay "Empire or Humanity?" go to

View "Growing Up Class-Conscious," an autobiographical section of Howard Zinn's new graphic history, A People's History of American Empire. (Click the thumbnails below to view pages from the book.)
Page 103 Page 104 Page 105 Page 109 Page 110 Page 111 Page 112 Page 113 Page 114
[WA: Thumbnails didn't come through. To view, click on url above ]

From A People's History of American Empire: A Graphic Adaptation by Howard Zinn, Mike Konopacki, and Paul Buhle. Copyright © 2008 by Howard Zinn, Mike Konopacki, and Paul Buhle. Reprinted by arrangement with Metropolitan Books, an imprint of Henry Holt and Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

Anonymous David G said...

Zinn tells it as it is. He should be read by every American that can read.

That America under the current leadership is trying to control the world is obvious to most people who take an interest in international affairs. That America must be stopped is self-evident.


P.S. My blog article called Saving America might be of interest to some.

Saturday, April 05, 2008 7:51:00 PM

WA: Thank you, Daniel/David G. I shall check it out. It is also evident that there is NO humanity in this empire-building. only greed and lust for power.
Blogger Progressive Traditionalist said...

Hello, Worried.
I'm looking through the pages of that book right now.
It looks really cool.
Reminds me of those graphic novels of the classics that I would read in late elementary- early junior high years. I would read those things to find out what a story was about to see if the book was worth reading.

I'm thinking I like Zinn.
Have you come across him before this?

Sunday, April 06, 2008 4:38:00 AM

Blogger Worried American said...

Hi, PT. Sorry for the delayed response. I killed my mouse, had to go buy a new one, the connection was incompatible with my UMB port, had to go exchange it. I HOPE all is well now.
I have come across Zinn's writing before. Mostly I like him also. I agree, he's pretty cool.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008 10:12:00 PM