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Thursday, March 31

Warrior Queens

The idea that women need to be protected and are somehow the weaker sex is so bizarre that once again only classical projection could explain it. Men, knowing they might well be the weaker ones but unable to accept the knowledge consciously, pin it outside themselves as if that will make it true. Some woman find themselves longing for the impossible to become possible in the form of an experiment whereby men could be tested for their ability to withstand childbirth.  They think they know what the results would be, given the alacrity with which so many men hop into bed on first getting the sniffles and begin moaning about their terrible illness. Absolutely nothing in actual experience points to any greater weakness on the part of females, but the idea has become so institutionalized that women, at least in the United States, are still prohibited from participating fully in some of the last activities to remain sacred solely to men: active combat and football.
     Not that women haven't tried, numerous times and on both counts. One of the more interesting attempts to me was actually conceived by a man, a British sergeant-major who had been wounded in the Sudan in 1898. He reasoned that mounted nurses would-be able to arrive faster on the scene than either the pedestrian stretcher-bearers or the horse-drawn ambulances. In London in1907 he began to put his plan into action, finding no small number of women enthusiastic to undertake training in first aid, riding (including some cavalry drill), signaling, and cap routine. They could be in the advance guard, so that if they themselves survived the attack, they would be ready to tend the wounded immediately. There equestrian training was overseen by The Blues, who discovered that many of "the girls" were already accomplished from many seasons on the hunt field. Despite their willingness and their skill, however, the women of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry were to find that their biggest battle would be fought against the men at home. One group of members having lunch in a Brighton restaurant were forced to sit at a screened-off table and to be escorted out a back entrance. Others found themselves booed in he streets, or even attacked by rock throwers who took them for suffragettes.
     They were thanked by being turned down for service in 1914.
 
     To me, one of the most admirable things about women is their fearlessness. It is something I always admire in anyone who displays it, and I have gotten pretty good at scenting out the real thing from the bluff, though nowhere near as good as any horse or dog. Many women don't have the need to pretend since they are made of the aforementioned perishables, they are not entirely untouchable.

For Terri

Than Almitra spoke, saying, "We would ask now of Death."

And he said:

You would know the secret of death.

But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;

And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?

Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

Kahlil Gibran -- The Prophet

The Gay Agenda

And for your viewing pleasure, this link to the Gay Agenda flash video was sent to me by a nice southern man who is a frequent reader of Blondesense. Don't watch it if you're a southern fundamentalist Christian because it makes fun of you and your feelings might be hurt... ah heck go ahead and watch it anyway.

May Terri Schiavo Rest in Peace with the Angels

Rant about Tom Delay here.

Tentative Whispers

The Fifteenth-Century Mystic Margery Kempe saw a man striking a horse, and as she stared the image dissolved. Its particles reformed and there before her was Christ being lashed, his blood flowing like tears.
     To blasphemously put her beloved Christ's face where before there was only a beast's  (only, certainly, the very least of his brethren)---this, as we have come to see, is rank sentimentality, woman's foolishness. We are supposed to be civilizing ourselves out of it, but here is one slight problem. That sentimentality, also known as compassion, is the one thing that has allowed human civilization to continue, for without it we would leave our children hungry in the streets and our babies tied to tables to learn (for science is civilization minus compassion) how long it takes them to expire from neglect. As the British critic Bridgid Brophy, who has the knack of seeing this clearly, has written: "Whenever people say "We mustn't be sentimental,' you can take it they are about to do something cruel. And if they add, 'We must be realistic,' they mean they are going to make money out of it."
     What other than some form of compassion, however admixed (always, always) with its opposite, can explain those women and children  who can do with a horse what no one else can do?
     Whippers, beaters, abusers, sadists, those whose compassion has suffered a fatal leak and left the bucket dry----all are found among the ranks of women who profess to love horses (just as women, those natural nurturers, actually kill children at a rate far greater than men do.) But here are just enough of the others----the deeply understanding, the quietly caring----among these women, too, coupled with too many stories of preternatural affection to be happenstance, that we must try again to comprehend the evidence.
     Maybe it is that the desire to be with horses and their warm breath and trusting natures is most basically the desire to feel love---profound, joyous, irreducible love----and especially that rare breed of it that one feels only for offspring. If in their dependent state domesticated horses are like children (and who are we to ignore the voices of those thousands of women who say they are?), then they must be triggering the finally inexplicable instincts that blind us to the particular shape of our charges----whether they are covered in brown hair or pink skin, or have our eyes or those of someone on another continent----and cause us to love them with a fierceness that is almost embarrassing. Because mothers do not choose to love their babies, as if they had considered the merits of their intelligence or beauty or potential and found them sufficient : they love them rather because biology has insisted they do, and what is in our cells goes deeper than what is in our minds. Why try to keep it secret that this love is so delicious that we crave it with as powerful a hunger as it is possible to feel without going mad.
     And maybe there is something else, too ( I assure you, there is always something else). I am attracted to horses, in particular, because they echo my own tentative whispers but do so in a bold ringing call; they speck with certainty of exactly those things we are most unsure of in ourselves. For the qualities that most define the equine species are the ones most suppressed currently in the human: raw sexuality, fear, open vulnerability and need, uncomplicated drive. They want only to live, which is to say to fulfill their biologically ordained needs (to feel safe, to commune with others of their kind, to move and play and create life). This reminds us of what we have forgotten about ourselves, and it is enough to make us want to cry. And enough, perhaps, to make tears stop.
     As if to show that it is all beyond the pithless ability of word to explain, the artists have taken up the flag. Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899) had at least one great painting in her, animated by an intensity of sensuous feeling ("Oh, those suggestive hindquarters...." in the words of one of today's many painters working the suggestive area of horse art) as well as an intensity of moral feeling. The painter of the monumental Horse Fair once did rely on words to explain what she thought about the animal that gave her her best subject:
 
               The horse is, like man, the most beautiful and the most miserable of creatures, only, in the case of man, it is vice or property that makes him ugly. He is responsible for his own decadence, while the horse is only a slave that the Creator has given to man, who abuses it out of his ingratitude and his worldly and egoistic poverty, until he becomes lower than the animal itself.
 
 

Primer For Those Of You Who Want To Run For Public Office:

"I was provided with additional input that was radically different from the truth. I assisted in furthering that version." -- Oliver North, 1994 candidate Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate

Interesting discussion happening

in the comments section of another post here at the blog. Join in the fun!

Adam and Eve, the creation story. What does it really mean for us?
Did God make us robots and then when Eve ate the forbidden fruit of knowlege and began to think for herself did God get mad at her and punish all mankind as it says in the bible?

What the apple mean? Why did God put the tree of knowledge right in the middle of the garden if he didn't want them to eat from it? Is God a big fat malicious tease? Or is it a metaphor for something else?

Perhaps early humans were having a bad hair day when they wrote this legend and wished that they didn't have to think so much. They felt the need to blame the burden of having free will on someone or something. Free will isn't easy to deal with, as we all know. We collide. Sometimes we do wish that God would stick his hand down out of the sky and stop bad people from doing bad stuff to others, but he doesn't. Damn that free will.

Before science, people believed that the earth was flat and that the sky was a rotating dome over the earth. Everything that happened to them which can now be explained as natural phenomena was attributed to God or the gods. It's very plain to see just by reading the bible. One minute people are slaughtering each other and the next minute God is sending a plague. Of course plague breaks out when there are dead bodies laying all over the place. They didn't know that back then. Even during the Black Plague in Europe, people weren't sure what caused it.

There are people alive today who take this all literally. They renounce science. They like to think of the bible as a rule book. Why? Well it probably goes back to earlier times, when it was just plain easier to blame everything on God rather than to think for one's self. But that's just my opinion.

Here are the comments

International Blog Comment Week

The Heretik says it's International Blog Comment Week. (Thanks to Rox, who says "Delurk Yourself")That means you have to shout out to bloggers on their comments. So give us a shout out at Blondesense. Give a shout out to many of the other fine bloggers on the blogroll. Shout at the Heretik too. Shout out to the All Spin Zone. There are many good posts there but one in particular struck me this morning. It seems that the powers that be who were hell bent on feeding one person are also hell bent on starving the poor. (A fine anti-christian tradition, I might add) I find it all so ironic since these same people are also rabid anti-abortionists who would force poor people to have babies, yet refuse to help feed them. And visit Crooks and Liars for a run down on all the wingnuts who have been booed and canned and vilified while you're shouting out. It's so refreshing to see that some people are not getting away with assholiness all the time.

Wednesday, March 30

STACKED

Yes that's the title of the new Fox TV show coming out this May. It stars Pamela Anderson as a woman who works at a bookstore. Once again, Fox comes up with good, solid, family values television for the masses.

Outcry

"FORT WORTH, Texas -- Each year, hundreds of students use the essay portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test to write about being abused, neglected or raped.

That's according to education officials, who say others write about being depressed, wanting to die or hurt themselves or others.

Such essays fall under the state's definition of an outcry, and school officials have a legal and ethical obligation to report the revelations to law-enforcement officials. Test graders who find such content label them an "outcry."

The information is sent to the Texas Education Agency, where student identification numbers are converted into names, and the essays faxed to district officials.

The law requires educators to notify the proper enforcement agency if a student discusses anything criminal, including child abuse, neglect and rape, or even the revelation that a child is bringing a weapon to school because he or she feels unsafe.

Texas labeled 688 essays "outcry" last year and 592 in 2003, a drop in the pool of more than a million essays.

The writing section of the three-year-old TAKS is designed to give students flexibility -- opening the door for personal essays.'''

And it isn't just grade school children who reveal being raped, abused, beaten, and depressed. College students do, too.

I wrote here not long ago that my students can't discuss a Supreme Court decision in class without discussing the protective orders that exist because of their actions against former girlfriends or the protective orders they have sought against former boyfriends.

Today one of my most promising students discussed the violence in her life. Can she live long enough to get through school, make her car payment, get her teaching certificate, see her children grown. Will this terrific woman live to our next class meeting?

I am not sure that what we teach in government class has any connection to the lives my students live. They really can't recognize the majesty of the U.S. Constitution when they are out on parole, or they are pregnant with a fatherless baby, or they are beaten regularly by men they fear, or they don't know who to call or if they should call the police on the neighbors who are abusing their children. One young woman asked me if she should leave her apartment when her boyfriend beat her, should she wait, sleep on it and call the next day? Should she leave the scene and go somewhere else to call?

As I am lecturing, droning on and on about the Texas Constitution of 1876 will they sit dissociatively, zoning out? How many times have a mistaken their blank stare for disinterest, when it may have been dissociative? They can't learn because they are living in an atmosphere that does not acknowledge that they can't study at home because it isn't safe, they don't have enough money to change their lives, and their problems are enormous.


NEW RULES

The culture of life applies to all life.
If you claim to be christian then act like it. Especially in public

No more hypocrisy. You cannot be selective about whose life you want to defend. All life is sacred in a culture of life.

The culture of life also covers lives of those who are not Americans. That includes the lives of innocent people being killed and tortured by American and coalition troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The culture of life also includes the genocide in Darfur.

The culture of life means no wars. Only in the event that our country was literally invaded by another country should we resort to using combat and weapons.

The culture of life also includes birth mothers and children who are already born just as much, if not more so than embryos. This means that birth moms and already born children need healthcare, affordable housing, a living wage, decent schools and a life free from poverty. No one should be poor in a democracy. No one should be forced to be born and then live in abject poverty. It makes baby Jesus cry.

A culture of life does not tolerate the death penalty. Thou shall not kill. (If you are a christian, then you believe in divine justice.)

The culture of life includes proper education. Well educated people take better care of themselves and others. Consolidating school districts will see to it that those in poor communities have greater opportunities and a better chance to rise up from their poverty. Those who will rise out of poverty have less chance of becoming involved in criminal activities. Less criminals equals less jails and less tax money spent on judges, guards, etc.( Jesus would have wanted us to help those who live on the fringes of society plus we have the added bonus of being less likely to be mugged.)

The culture of life means feeding the poor. Poor kids should get free breakfast and lunch in the schools. Hungry kids can't learn. Hungry kids do not always seek to better themselves. Hungry kids may turn to a life of crime. Everyone pays for crime. A culture of life does not tolerate an obese nation where some people are going to bed hungry!

The culture of life also includes the after life. End tax cuts to the wealthy to save their souls. Their camels won't fit through the eye of the needle if we keep enabling them to amass more wealth. Baby Jesus cries every time a rich person takes another tax cut or finds another loop hole therefore not pulling his weight in society and furthering himself from everlasting life.

The culture of life means if you are going to pull out all the stops and drag out your Christ on the Cross statue then you had better know what it means to be christian or shut the hell up:
Matthew: 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’


UPDATE: Copy The Beatitudes and hand them out to your christian friends as well. Sometimes they all need a little reminder.

WOMEN ARE THE DEVIL

The FBI had an opening for an assassin.
After all the background checks, interviews and testing were done there were three finalists.
Two men and a woman.
For the final test, the FBI agent took one of the men to a large metal door and handed him a gun.
"We must know that you will follow your instructions. No matter what the circumstances.
Inside the room you will find you wife sitting in a chair. Kill Her!
The man said, "You can't be serious, I could never shoot my wife."
The agent said, "Then you're not the man for the job."
Take your wife and go home.
The second man was given the same instructions. He took the gun and went into the room.
All was quiet for about 5 minutes.
The man came out with tears in his eyes, "I tried, but I just can't do it."
Finally, it was the woman's turn.
She was given the same instructions, to kill her husband.
She took the gun and went into the room.
Shots were heard.
Screaming, crashing, banging on the walls.
After a few minutes, all was quiet.
The door opened slowly and there stood the woman.
She wiped the sweat from her brow.
 
"This gun is loaded with blanks." She said. "I had to beat him to death with the chair."
 
Moral:  Women are evil. Don't mess with them.

Tuesday, March 29

Maybe THIS Is Why The Main Stream Media Won't Go Near The Gannon/Guckert Story

In Other Words, They're Afraid Of Getting Their Asses Shot Off.

Let's start with the assumption that Hunter Thompson was working on a book detailing the "...homosexual pedophile underground which permeates the MSM, Washington, DC, & BOTH political parties, a la the Franklin Coverup scandal of the 80's& 90's". (LINK)

Now let's assume also that he was "suicided". "...the semi-automatic Smith &Wesson 645 found next to Thompson's body was in an unusual condition. There was a spent shell casing, but although there were six bullets left in the gun's clip, there was no bullet in the firing chamber, as there should have been under normal circumstances." (LINK)

Then there's this:
Suiciding' Reporters

"The "suicide" deaths of Hunter Thompson, Gary Webb and J.H. Hatfield show that reporters who expose the criminal activities of our political elite risk their lives. They are on the front line of freedom. When they are killed, it means very bad things are in store for us.

"In the latest issue of "World Currency Review," veteran British intelligence analyst Christopher Story warns us to expect a tyranny in America worse than Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.

"Hunter Thompson was killed late last month. He was working on stories dealing with a homosexual callboy (or programmed sex slave?) ring in the Bush White House and the demolition of the World Trade Center." (LINK)

Finally, from Tomflocco.com:
Amber Alert on Capitol Hill

"Witness says abducted children--23 now dead--abused by 20-30 pedophile members of congress at child sex parties held at Embassy Row mansion where Secret Service-secured presidential limo was seen parked outside."


"Questions can also be raised as to whether Hunter Thompson’s death and the James Guckert-Jeff Gannon White House reporter scandal resulted in having Nelson taken out of circulation to intimidate or threaten him while also using the opportunity to search for criminal evidence--the kind which would place sitting and retired members of congress in severe legal jeopardy."

Read Flocco's entire article HERE.

Scared yet? Right now, I'm working on a list of mysterious deaths and "suicides". The list is going to stretch back at least 40 years.

Damned if you do and damned if you don't

A prime example and it couldn't have happened to a couple of better guys are the angry Terri Schiavo supporters who are sooooo pissed at jeb and george for not intervening to save Terri while the other angry people think that jeb and george overstepped their bounds by interfering with the judicial branch of the government and are pissed off too.

Who isn't mad at the bush brothers?

You give them a long enough rope and they were bound to hang themselves.

At the moment, the wingers are frantically trying to pull away from this mess. Don't let them. Read Paul Krugman today.
What we need - and we aren't seeing - is a firm stand by moderates against religious extremism. Some people ask, with justification, Where are the Democrats? But an even better question is, Where are the doctors fiercely defending their professional integrity? I think the American Medical Association disapproves of politicians who second-guess medical diagnoses based on video images - but the association's statement on the Schiavo case is so timid that it's hard to be sure.
And write letters. Keep this alive.

Does Bono Endorse Wolfowitz? Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

This is a very interesting development if it's true. It's from Newsmax so you have to take it with a grain of salt. The story says that Wolfowitz actually called Bono to get his take on solutions for reducing poverty and world hunger. Read it here.

As an aside, I found it rather amusing that there was an ad for a book called "The "Left Behind" Hoax... Are We Really Living in the "Last Days?" right there on Newsmax. I mean the Newsmax readers just revel in end times prophecy. Ironic isn't it? It's about time someone told these nuts to quit wasting their precious energies worrying about whether or not these are the end times.

My Momma Done Told Me

... all sorts of stuff and it's all coming back to me now. My daddy said a lot of things too that are coming back to me as well. Let's start with daddy.

Daddy liked to quote Shakespeare: "The Lady doth protest too much". He would say that when he knew that I was bending the truth by way of pleading my case a bit too much. "No daddy, I never ever kissed that boy. Ew. Yuk. Of course not. Oh my, yuk. I am not up to kissing yet, daddy." etc etc... By golly, he was right. A sure sign that someone has something to hide is when they keep pounding their agenda in your face.

Momma always told me that "A sure sign that your man is cheating on you is when he accuses you of cheating". By golly, she was right too. So often people with skeletons in their closets project their bones upon unsuspecting others. Case in point, that famous "liberal agenda" we are always hearing about from the conservatives... as if there is a liberal agenda. Liberal and agenda are oxymorons. And let's not forget the anti-homosexual agenda purveyed by the largest cabal of closeted and jealous homosexuals ever to run a country.

Now that I am a parent, I passed on some of my parents wisdom to my little one plus I added somethings. "Overcompensation is a sure sign of under compensation", "Boys who bully you are bullied at home", "Boys who have the biggest toys have the smallest peni". My Gawd, I sound like Stewart's mother on Mad TV... but my son knows me and my sick sense of humor. He also sees the grains of truth in my statements. In other words, don't trust the bullies and the braggarts. They feel bad about themselves.

My friend Billydoom likes to tell me sayings from the old country. Here's one I like, "If someone is bragging about his riches, give him some money". Yes, the braggers are usually broke. Secure people don't bother to talk about it, now do they?

Now let's think of all the things in the news and all the things that are not making the mainstream media which apply here.

Wake Up America!

Check it out:
DOES three make a trend? Kirgizstan has become the third post-Soviet republic in which disgruntled voters, unwilling to accept a fraudulent election, have taken matters into their own hands. On Thursday March 24th, Askar Akaev, president of the Central Asian republic for 15 years, was forced to flee the capital, Bishkek, after protesters took the government headquarters. A new government has been proclaimed, and now Kirgizstan’s “tulip revolution” joins Georgia’s “rose revolution” and Ukraine’s orange one. But Kirgizstan’s uprising has been more chaotic and violent than those other two, and unlike them it has no single leader. The future for the remote republic is clouded.

On Thursday, protests which had begun in the south of the country a few days earlier reached Bishkek, in the north. Demonstrators stormed the “White House”, the government headquarters, making their way past riot police who either melted away or joined the protesters. Mr Akaev was soon nowhere to be seen, and protestors and looters ransacked the building.

Monday, March 28

REPUBLICANS RIDE HONDA'S

By Bubba

I'm one of those old farts that you see in every town America, proudly astraddle the biggest Harley we can pay for, white beards flapping in the wind like the wings of an eagle. You might have to use your imagination a bit for that one. Bones creaking like the door hinges of a 55 chevy. Can we agree on that? But we always got our chest out, sometimes farther than our bellies. And we've always got that look in our eye. "This ain't no rice grinder son", it says.

Once in a while some kid on one of them japanese crotch rockets comes flying by me. I would tell him if he would slow down long enough, he just passed a whole car load of blondes flashing their boobs at him. Dumb ass kid. Now don't get me wrong I ain't so old I don't appreciate blondes flashing their tits, but who do you think is helping me pay for this American Thunder? Thats right, I got a good woman at home. She gave me three sons and put up with my bullshit for 23 years. I won't find no better than that, not in this life anyway. I know what you're thinking, "I've seen plenty of old farts riding them big old Hondas". I credit that to early stages of alzheimer's. They just forgot what's cool. Republicans . . .Why Harley? Cause it's American made. A legend of American craftsmanship. An icon of American values. Truth, Justice for all, liberty, and freedom. Which brings me to what this rant is really all about.

It's about my home and yours, America. As you might have guessed, I'm a tough old bird. But right now I've got tears in my eyes. Tears for Americas son's and daughter's off fighting and dying in a war built on a mountain of propaganda and bald-face lies. Tears for the many thousands who have died and lost loved one's as a result of America's military action in Iraq. An action that is unamerican and illegal. Why should one son die to defend a constitution that is being ripped to shreds here at home? With every social program under attack, what are they fighting for? Health care, child care, medicare, education, jobs, Veterans benefits. You name it folks, and if this satanic administration ain't cutting it, you don't need it. I've got one word for anybody who is still under the delusion that gwb is a christian . . . Liar! And a question . . . who did Jesus say was a liar and the father of lies? You can't lie for Jesus. You can't torture, piss on the Geneva Convention, and declare an illegal war for the good of America. Let America be the policeman of the world? But let her be a neighbor first.

FINANCIAL TIP OF THE DAY

If you happen to own a business and you need a manager, you want somebody with a lot of experience so that you won't have to do the job for them or have to hire a couple of assistants to help out. Go find yourself a single mom with a houseful of kids. She can run your company without even thinking about it----what's one more thing to her? Why anybody would hire a married man to run a business is beyond me.

And in other news

Compiled by missouri mule and blondesense
Another fine service by the blondes at blondesenseblog.com

The bushistas claim once again to know more about science than the scientists. From WaPo
A classified report by nuclear experts assembled by the National Academy of Sciences has challenged the decision by federal regulators to allow commercial nuclear facilities to store large quantities of radioactive spent fuel in pools of water.

The report concluded that the government does not fully understand the risks that a terrorist attack could pose to the pools and ought to expedite the removal of the fuel to dry storage casks that are more resilient to attack. The Bush administration has long defended the safety of the pools, and the nuclear industry has warned that moving large amounts of fuel to dry storage would be unnecessary and very expensive.
Well praise Jesus and pass the plate. We truly have brought American style Democracy to Iraq. It just makes ya proud, don't it? Let freedom soar! From Newsweek:
By many accounts, Custer Battles was a nightmare contractor in Iraq. The company's two principals, Mike Battles and Scott Custer, overcharged occupation authorities by millions of dollars, according to a complaint from two former employees. The firm double-billed for salaries and repainted the Iraqi Airways forklifts they found at Baghdad airport—which Custer Battles was contracted to secure—then leased them back to the U.S. government, the complaint says. In the fall of 2004, Deputy General Counsel Steven Shaw of the Air Force asked that the firm be banned from future U.S. contracts, saying Custer Battles had also "created sham companies, whereby [it] fraudulently increased profits by inflating its claimed costs."
Yet when the two whistle-blowers sued Custer Battles on behalf of the U.S. government—under a U.S. law intended to punish war profiteering and fraud—the Bush administration declined to take part. "The government has not lifted a finger to get back the $50 million Custer Battles defrauded it of," says Alan Grayson, a lawyer for the two whistle-blowers, Pete Baldwin and Robert Isakson
Quick, make up some fairy tale about god and cash in on the new religion craze! From the WSJ:
A splashy drama called "Book of Daniel" is in development at NBC, a unit of General Electric Co., while Viacom Inc.'s CBS is building a supernatural thriller around a character described as "a brilliant physicist with strong religious beliefs." News Corp .'s Fox, meanwhile, has "Briar + Graves," which the producers describe as "The X-Files" goes to church.
It's the television industry's answer to the cash-generating power of biblical stories put through a pop-culture spin cycle. Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ" was one of the top box-office hits last year, and Dan Brown's novel "The Da Vinci Code" has sold 25 million copies. Meanwhile, author Tim LaHaye's biblical "Left Behind" novels have racked up sales of some $650 million.
Now this story just won't die. New proof that the FBI did indeed help the Saudi's including OBL's relatives get out of the US right after 9/11 without being scrutinized. A NY Times article courtesy of Michael Moore:
The F.B.I. records show, for instance, that prominent Saudi citizens left the United States on several flights that had not been previously disclosed in public accounts, including a chartered flight from Providence, R.I., on Sept. 14, 2001, that included at least one member of the Saudi royal family, and three flights from Las Vegas between Sept. 19 and Sept. 24, also carrying members of the Saudi royal family. The government began reopening airspace on Sept. 13, but many flights remained grounded for days afterward.

The three Las Vegas flights, with a total of more than 100 passengers, ferried members of the Saudi royal family and staff members who had been staying at Caesar's Palace and the Four Seasons hotels. The group had tried unsuccessfully to charter flights back to Saudi Arabia between Sept. 13 and Sept. 17 because they said they feared for their safety as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks, the F.B.I. documents say.

STAMP OUT GOSSIP

My Best Friend's Mama's Sister's Hairdresser's Kuz'n Won't Like This a Bit...

A bunch of Hollywood celebrities have joined a new movement to ---- and it's almost too horrible to put the words on my beautiful screen----Stamp Out Gossip.

In these times of hyperpatriotism, this is bad news indeed. Gossip, here in the Don't Show Me State, like silly aprons and whining about our cable bill, is as American as it gets. Without it, we'd all wander around talking about the weather or, worse, one another's root canals or inflamed bunions.

Boring.

I'll tell you something else. Celebrities, most of whom are a bunch of Vicodin-addicted wife swappers, (that's what it said in the Star) have no business getting involved in causes. They just look silly. Just because one has great pipes (Babs Streisand) doesn't qualify one to do much of anything except lounge about the pool between bookings and ponder the wisdom of marrying a man who brags in public about shopping at Big Lots (Jim "Tan in a Bottle" Brolin)

It's very trendy to slam gossip these days, but let me be the first Brave American to stand up at the metaphorical water cooler, and say, "Hooey!"

Gossip is the very foundation upon which this great country was built. Who knows where we'd be if a certain G.W. hadn't sleep around in every little B&B on he eastern seaboard, wooden teeth soaking in a glass beside the bed?

Sure, gossip can be malicious and has been known to destroy lives and careers but, hey, nothing's perfect.

The Words Can Heal movement has been embraced by a bunch of politicians. I feel better already. And I'm certain Gary Condit--- y'all remember the adulterous poofy-haired louse---- must be breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Of course, there's really no reason for us gossipmongers to fret. I remember a years back when Oprah (who, I heard, may really be a man) had a show in which she explored the evils of gossip and pledged her own self to just stop it. Fast forward to the next day's episode when she's asking Nicole Kidman if it's true that Tom Cruise has webbed feet. So what happened to the Cruise/Kidmans anyway? They say they just didn't have enough time to spend with each other because they both have such busy film careers. Like that's a bad thing? One wonders when they managed to see their two adopted children, but then one doesn't want to sound judgmental. Oh, sure one does.

Nicole had bragged, right before the breakup, that they were "well past the seven-year itch" and that their marriage was super-solid in it's eleventh year. Of course, it was solidified in the way most of our are; By trotting around our naughty bits for all the world to see in a perfectly ghastly Stanley Kubrick movie. The Cruise/Kidmans sued the tabloids for saying they needed a sex therapist to coach them on those steamy scenes in Eyes Wide Shut and won the suit. But remember what my aunt Sadavee always said; "A bit dog hollers." I don't know what it means either, but it somehow feels appropriate here.

The good gossip news is that this puts Tommy boy back in the game. Men love to hate Tom Cruise, rolling their eyes and calmly calling him a girly man. Of course, this always come from men who haven't budged from their BarcaLoungers since the Atlanta Olympics.

When they're not making headlines getting divorced and bed-hopping (see Zeta-Jones, Catherine), celebrities are always getting on silly bandwagon for this or that and I suspect this stop-gossip foolery will have to run it's course.

We have celebs to thank for a distressing recent trend called the Lesser Boyfriend. This got started with Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt. She is the radiant Oscar winner who is paid (notice I didn't say "earns") $25 million per movie. He is the also-ran who latched on to Julia and immediately quit his day job on Law and Order, where he displayed the emotional range of, say, Joe Friday.

Other celebs followed suit. J-Lo dumped Puffy Combs for an unknown backup dancer, for instance, before finally coming to her senses and discovering just what my mama always told me" it's just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor one.

The lesser boyfriend? Thanks a lot, sister chicks.

This is a trend we don't need but will no doubt trickle down and splatter all over us like so much seagull poop. I envision a nation of newly empowered men who seize this chance to become the professional wind beneath our wings. Just sit there and look soulful while she picks up the check. Nice work, if you can get it, right?

Wrong. The lesser boyfriend is a terrible idea for the Julias and the Jennifers but it's a horrendously bad idea for the Amber Dawns and Misti Raes out here in the real world, where soul boy's gonna throw it in your face that he gave up his dream of becoming a professional wrasler and comic-strip artist just for you.

Of course, being a gossipmonger of the lowest order, I fed like plankton on the Big Breakup, when Julia woke up and realized she wanted somebody who could do more than anticipate the exact moment when her eight-bucks a bottle water was getting dangerously low in the glass.

Naturally, Bratt got married, like, six months after Julia dumped him and I'm looking at his bride and thinking; "Hell-O! You have long reddish brown hair and sausage lips. Get a clue, rebound girl."

I know, I know, what's the point Mule. The point is, we can't kick gossip to the curb. Why? Because it's fun.

Taking a pledge to never gossip, a measure supported by this new movement, is just plain scary. The thought that I could never again speculate to all my friends and neighbors about why my mailman shaving his legs is as depressing as back fat.

That said, I do believe it's important to set the record straight if you find out you've spread misinformation. The mailman's a triathlete, it turns out, and shaves his legs to cut down on the wind resistance when he's cycling.

Yeah, I believe that.

From the Letters to the Editor of this a.m.s Iowa City Press-Citizen:

Y'all kin find out what some Iowans (no, not Ohio) think about indoor rain forests, drilling in Alaska for oil and THESE IDEAS:

Time to rename U.S. departments

It may be time to change the names of federal government departments to reflect the New America:

• Department of Defense to Department of Preventive Wars

• State Department to Department of World Compliance

• Treasury Department to Department of Debt Management

• Department of Education to Department of Tests and Standards

• Department of Commerce to Department of Corporate Liberation

• Department of Labor to Department of Corporate Servitude

Also, some title changes appear to be in order:

• Office of the Vice President to Office of Chief Puppeteer

• Chief of Staff to Under Chief Puppeteer

• National Security Adviser to Spin Doctor for Neoconservative Ideology

New agencies also may be needed:

• Global Warming Denial

• Geneva Conventions Reinterpretation

• United Nations Charter and International Law Obfuscation

• Protection of Friendly Dictators

• Global Corporate Exploitation

While we're at it, considerations should be given to amending the U.S. Constitution: "Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to grant equal protection under the law for immoral minorities."

Sunday, March 27

Happy Easter and Birthdays in April

I learned some great lessons from you yesterday. I'll make a point not to go to church wearing my pj bottoms. I will not hide Easter eggs in automobile exhaust pipes. I will count all the Easter eggs before and after hiding them. I will do my best if I should ever be in a contest where you roll Easter eggs. Every Easter I will have Peeps on hand, unless of course Honey is expected to visit.

As of this past Friday night I have refused to return to the dark side of current events. Since it's sea turtle nesting season here and Mr. Pop is busy as hell, our lives are in the gentle spin cycle. For that reason, Friday night I was home alone. The news was all Schiavo, all the time. The news seemed to impose a heavy weight on anyone who watched. There were no instructions regarding where to carry this weight or how to get rid of it. After I got my shower and I was preparing for bed, I found myself in a funk. In desperation I turned the TV to the station that plays old sit-coms all the time. Murphy, my best canine friend, and I plopped down on the bed, let our brains take a break and laughed at the simple humor of days gone by. Okay, Murphy conked out and I did the laughing. It worked too. I could actually feel the stress and angst flow away into the night. Since that time I have limited how much of the news I'll watch. I take a quick peek into what's going on and then I have to shut it down. Nope, I will not carry the weight they hand out. I'm staying away from the dark side for a while because I need to do that. I need to pull away from all that is there and concentrate on the right now and right here. It's amazing how the brain will kick into another gear given the opportunity. The addiction to current events is somewhat difficult to cure, but I think that it's healthy to try.

Today, after the Easter Sunrise groups have left the beach, we're going over to the beach and walk in the surf. We'll look for shells, sea glass and if we're lucky we'll find a sea bean. Just us, the sunshine, and the Atlantic Ocean keeping one another company. Yeah, this is the same Atlantic Ocean that rushed right out of its boundaries and chomped up the beach along with landward surroundings last year. It wasn't the ocean's fault. The hurricanes of 2004 aggravated it until it fought back. There are still scars on the beach from the brutal attack, but much healing has occurred. The ocean and beach are ready to welcome back their friends, and I am very proud to be one of those friends.

I will not be on line for the next couple of days. The Easter Bunny dropped off a new computer and this old one will be going to the computer guru to have its files transferred to the new one. This comes at a perfect time for me because not being able to be on line will force/allow me to get some things accomplished here at home. I'll spend more time tending the plants, the house and my life. And, I will continue my venture away from the dark side of events. I'm so very tired of negativity and I so very much want to hunt, not for Easter eggs, but for the positive features of life. There has to be a balance. We all live X number of days and I've decided to try to add some sunshine to as many of those days as I can. Just like watching those old sit-coms, I'm stepping back to what makes me laugh and relax. I'm not selling out. I'm just closing the shop for a few days. Time for inventory you might say.

Birthdays in April

Before I close this post, I want to ask a favor. April is my birthday month and I want to share the fun. Is your birthday in April or is someone close to you having a birthday in April? If so, email me their name, first or first and last, or your pet name for that person and the date of their birthday. If you want to include something I can share about them, send that too. I want to wish each of these people a very happy birthday on their own special day. As soon as this post is on the screen I will post a comment with it and include my email address. If I have enough birthday candles, I might continue the birthday wishes into the coming months.

Gotta go now. I will miss you guys and I'll see you as soon as the new computer is fired up and ready to rock and roll. Until then, enjoy yourselves and please don't let the negatives consume you. You deserve so much better.

Until later,

patricia

Good Morning

This morning while we were eating the traditional Blonde family Easter breakfast of chocolate eggs while perusing the Newsday, we read this startling statement from a Vatican spokesman:
"The Vatican has to keep the appearance . . . that the pope is fully in command because everything in the Catholic Church depends on the active participation of one man. Everyone else's power derives from that one man. And if that one man is not actively doing something, then no one has the authority to do anything. Everything shuts down,"
Wow. Ponder that for a moment. I'll wait.

B-b-but who will translate God's wishes for the faithful?

President Bush comes to mind.
"Nooooooooooooooooo!" She cries, pushing away the newspaper, nervously playing with the foil egg wrappers, feeling the chocolate churning inside as a wave of nausea passes over her like an altar boy's dread when he finds himself alone in the sanctuary with the priest who touches him in bad places.

There was a picture of the back of the pope's head in Newsday too. The story opened with this:
It was a moving but also disturbing image: a meditative Pope John Paul II, shown only from the back or in profile, sitting alone in his private chapel Friday night.

Why, many viewers wondered, was the ailing, 84-year-old pontiff's face not shown during about 20 camera shots of him watching the Way of the Cross re-enactment across town?
Church watcher's and pundits conclusions were summed up in the article yet no one suggested that it might have been a stand-in Pope or a body double. The pope showed up at his window this morning to look out at the flock, yet was unable to speak. It appeared to be the real pope. Business as usual.

My girlfriend is visiting Italy for her 50th birthday in April. She wants to view the magnificent art at the Vatican. She will not be able to see the Sistine Chapel if the Pope passes away and they shut down Vatican City. She asks that we keep the Pope in our prayers that he may hang in there for a few more weeks. But of course, darling.

Saturday, March 26

Science was just a bunch of theory anyway. Right?

This just made my day. made my day.


Okay, We Give Up
From the April 2005 Issue of Scientific American.
Who said scientists had no sense' of humor?

There's no easy way to admit this. For years, helpful letter writers told us to stick to science. They pointed out that science and politics don't mix. They said we should be more balanced in our presentation of such issues as creationism, missile defense and global warming. We resisted their advice and pretended not to be stung by the accusations that the magazine should be renamed Unscientific American, or Scientific Unamerican, or even Unscientific Unamerican. But spring is in the air, and all of nature is turning over a new leaf, so there's no better time to say: you were right, and we were wrong.

In retrospect, this magazine's coverage of socalled evolution has been hideously one-sided. For decades, we published articles in every issue that endorsed the ideas of Charles Darwin and his cronies. True, the theory of common descent through natural selection has been called the unifying concept for all of biology and one of the greatest scientific ideas of all time, but that was no excuse to be fanatics about it.

Where were the answering articles presenting the powerful case for scientific creationism? Why were we so unwilling to suggest that dinosaurs lived 6,000 years ago or that a cataclysmic flood carved the Grand Canyon? Blame the scientists. They dazzled us with their fancy fossils, their radiocarbon dating and their tens of thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles. As editors, we had no business being persuaded by mountains of evidence.

Moreover, we shamefully mistreated the Intelligent Design (ID) theorists by lumping them in with creationists. Creationists believe that God designed all life, and that's a somewhat religious idea. But ID theorists think that at unspecified times some unnamed superpowerful entity designed life, or maybe just some species, or maybe just some of the stuff in cells. That's what makes ID a superior scientific theory: it doesn't get bogged down in details.

Good journalism values balance above all else. We owe it to our readers to present everybody's ideas equally and not to ignore or discredit theories simply because they lack scientifically credible arguments or facts. Nor should we succumb to the easy mistake of thinking that scientists understand their fields better than, say, U.S. senators or best-selling novelists do. Indeed, if politicians or special-interest groups say things that seem untrue or misleading, our duty as journalists is to quote them without comment or contradiction. To do otherwise would be elitist and therefore wrong. In that spirit, we will end the practice of expressing our own views in this space: an editorial page is no place for opinions.

Get ready for a new Scientific American. No more discussions of how science should inform policy. If the government commits blindly to building an anti-ICBM defense system that can't work as promised, that will waste tens of billions of taxpayers' dollars and imperil national security, you won't hear about it from us. If studies suggest that the administration's antipollution measures would actually increase the dangerous particulates that people breathe during the next two decades, that's not our concern. No more discussions of how policies affect science either so what if the budget for the National Science Foundation is slashed? This magazine will be dedicated purely to science, fair and balanced science, and not just the science that scientists say is science. And it will start on April Fools' Day.

Okay, We Give Up

MATT COLLINS
THE EDITORS editors@sciam.com
COPYRIGHT 2005 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, INC.

Has The Circus Left Town Yet?

Can the rest of us resume our lives and try not to feel so guilty about those that we "so callously" let die because we did not get the president, the governor, the congress, fake doctors and nurses in to testify that not enough was done to save the lives of our loved ones who have passed away? Is this supposed to be the new American thing now? Don't let anyone die under any circumstances? And if they do, at least know that you have inconvenienced millions of people enough to make their death worth it? Ridicule judges for only doing their jobs? Do they want us to block the parking lots of hospices across America and insist that each and every human life is sacred to such an extent that everyone will be kept on life support no matter what?

We are now officially playing God here in Murka. You don't even have to think anymore. The next thing you know, they'll be putting you in jail for not taking better care of yourself. You can bet your bippy that the next issue in congress will be to vote that there are no more judges.

How can I possibly visit the cemetary on easter? My mom, dad and brother are there. Should I be riddled with good old fashioned Catholic guilt? Did I let them all down by not getting congress involved in their health care? Was I a bad health care proxy for my parents? Is it a sin to sign a DNR? Am I going to hell? oh excuse me, this is hell. Or should I be mad that my country allowed them to die? They were denied their right to life! Maybe I should sue someone.

Lucky for dad, he died in time. Medicare said they would only pay for hospice for a certain length of time. If he didn't die soon enough, we'd have to take care of him by ourselves. We had been doing that with home hospice for 6 months. That information gave my mom an actual stroke, poor thing. Dad died, mom became partially incapacitated, well majorly incapacitated and legally blind from her stroke. I took care of her until she died in her sleep a year later. Now they want to make us all feel guilty?

Easter used to be the best holiday too. I'm Pissed Off Elizabeth today.

Easter Bunnies and Bonnets and Memories

Remember the feeling you had on Easter morning when you were a little kid? I remember one Easter in particular, my fifth one.

My mom always made my Easter dress. I would almost always have brand new shoes, a brand new little purse and if the money was good, I'd have a brand new Easter hat/bonnet too.

The Easter when I was five years old was one of the best. I had all the above stuff plus little white gloves, white socks with lace on them and brand new under pants with a little white lace on those too. Getting dressed for church was so exciting because everything was new. New, shiny, and oh so gorgeous to me. Man, I thought I was the queen of the world. My mom or dad took a picture of me that morning when I was all ready to leave for Sunday school. The Easter Bunny had left a big plush bunny for me. A great, wonderful, yellow plush bunny and he was mine. So there I stood on the sidewalk in Knoxville Tennessee holding the most magnificent bunny while clad in the most magnificent outfit. I was cruising at the top level that morning. What an Easter!

Funny the things you treasure as a kid. At Easter I treasured plush bunnies, and new clothes. I no longer have to wait until Easter to enjoy the fun of new clothes, but I do treasure plush bunnies today just as much as I did that Easter morning standing on the sidewalk in Knoxville Tennessee.

Okay now, it's your turn. Share an Easter memory with me and with all of us. Funny memories work, any kind of memory about a special Easter in your life.
Fill in the blank. It wouldn't be Easter without ________ ,

Friday, March 25

Bitchin'

by pissed off patricia

This seems to be introspective Friday. All over the usual fine sites on the net people are pouring out stuff from their thoughts like cleaning a closet. Let's get it all out there and see what we want to keep and what we want to toss in the trash. Some are tossing it all in the trash. I wonder what they plan to do next. I might try to do a little mental closet cleaning myself. Maybe I will, but I'm kind of tired.

Maybe we're all tired. Maybe we're all so damned tired from the freak show and emotions we've been exposed to this week. Maybe we're all feeling low because we have been reminded too often of our own mortality. People killing people and people being killed and one dead person trying to die for real. We have been told to write down how we want to die. That didn't lead us to a happy place, did it? We have been cluster-willing.

We have seen our government doing things that are so outrageous that we can barely comprehend the reality of the acts. Then there was, like I said, the freak show. The show should have been called, Lives Saved Here, even Dead Lives. When things become incomprehensible it's tough to function. Abnormal and insane events make it way difficult to keep a nice firm grip on reality. You feel your fingers slipping off a little more than ever before. You feel like you're in a maze and you're not even sure there is an exit, so you question if it's even worth going any farther. You know you will, but you question why you're doing it.

We are into a holiday weekend and no one is talking about it. No jokes about Peeps. No jokes about the Easter Bunny "coming". It's all gone and that's sad. We've been robbed. They took it all away this year, and I wonder how long it will be before we get it back. Maybe next year. But this year it's all messed up. The eggs can stay brown or white, who cares? For the first time in my life, I don't.

With part of my closet now cleared out, I've decided I'm too tired to fool with doing the rest. Looks to me like the deeper I go the more crap I find. Maybe I'll just toss it all back in there and leave it. WTF, I'll close the door and forget about it. Man, I sure do wish I could. It would be so much easier if we could all just close the door and forget about it, but let's not, because we can't afford to do that.


Another fine graphic from Earl.

The Will to Die

Why should any of us be required to defend our right to die by having a Living Will?

Who began this argument by assuming that all of us would want to continue to exist if we are in a persistent vegetative condition? I've asked this question before and I'll ask it again. Have you ever heard anyone say that they wanted to be kept on life support of any type for as long as they could? Maybe I'm off the beaten path here, but I have never heard anyone say that.

I mean think about it. We must defend our right to die so family members or the government won't force our other family members to bear the burden and expense of keeping our bodies alive long after our true life is gone. This is unreal. We are being told that if we don't have a Living Will we could very well be kept alive in some horrid condition. That's insane.

Yes, life is precious but we're all going to die one way or another. The fundamental idea of hanging on to what is basically a corpse is bizarre. To me it is comparable to having a loved one stuffed and kept like a deer head hanging on the wall. There is nothing there except the vessel of the person that once was.

When you visit nursing homes you see all sorts of people. Some are mentally spry but physically challenged. It's humane to help these people. But then there are others who are tied to the wheel chair and the face is blank. They appear to see nothing that happens in the hall or wherever they have been stationed for the day. Their mouth is agape and they wear a bib to catch the dripping saliva. The body, such as it is, is in the chair but the person is long gone. And, unless we have a living will, that could be us. Why? Well, they say no one wants to play god, and yes, that does include me. But wait just a second. Many people make these kind of decisions every day. If making life and death decisions is "playing god" then doctors do it every day when they remove a tumor or sew up a wound? No, they aren't playing god, they are doing what makes sense. And that's exactly what is missing from the right to live or die argument. There is no consideration for what makes sense. There is however an unhealthy selfishness on the part of a lot of human beings. Due to their selfishness, they are willing to keep even just the body of someone they love in a state of artificial life while at the same time turning a blind eye toward the indignity they are putting that person through. They keep them alive not because it is beneficial to their loved one, because it isn't. They keep them alive to avoid the pain of letting them go. They disregard the indignity of their act and instead hide from the pain the actual death would cause them to feel. That is selfish. True love is not selfish.

If anyone is "playing God", it may well be those who force life to continue even after death has occurred. When events that cause a human being to have no quality of life, rob them of their dignity and require them to be solely dependent on some type of artificial life system, the common sense assumption should be they would want to die unless their will states otherwise. So rather than require all of us to prove we would want to be allowed to die if we are in that condition, I believe those who would want to be kept alive should have to provide their own special Will of instructions. Why must we defend our right to die? Death is a part of life.

With the overwhelming requests for Living Will forms this past week, seems to me that most Americans are in agreement. They want to make sure they are not kept alive after they are basically dead. So again, why must we defend our right to die? Who is making the case against us?

If someone wants to be kept alive by artificial means as long as possible no matter how dire their physical and mental condition, require them to make their desires known and assume the rest of us have a will to die.

In the Handbasket to Hell, We Do Not Ride Alone

Since I get most of my inspiration for blog posts from the comments section here, as I have somehow caught Persistant Vegetative State Syndrome, PVSS, from paying attention to the MSM, mainstream media, I'd like to point you to Whiskey Bar, as per our very own Al Hill, commenter du jour, who likes to yell into the wind because it makes him feel better (same here, Al), where the erudite bartender, Billmon, explains his absense last year and the futility of blogging. It's a long but compelling read. I hear ya, Billmon!

Yes, progressive bloggers probably won't do anything major to change the world or influence the fascist media but I always say that we have each other to keep ourselves amused and sane while clutching each other's virtual hands and serving each other some snark and cocktails as we ride together, side by side, performing oral sex on each other, togther in the handbasket on its way to hell.

Somebody stop me. I'm going back to bed now.
Thank you for the graphic, Earl, you angel...

TGIF

By popular demand, Conspiracy Friday resumes.
Anything is possible at this point with these quacks running the country.

I have read many times that Cheney was at the control room running the show on 9/11 and supposedly ordering planes to be shot down, but I didn't know about Norman Mineta, whose testimony was stricken from the official 9/11 report.

This letter to Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta is long and there is a lot of subsequent reading to do. Was there a cover-up by our very own 9/11 Commission? Would anyone in our great nation deceive the people? Perish the thought. But keep reading. Stay informed. The truth is mixed up in there somewhere.

--------
More information
9/11 Commission Testimony -Norm Mineta
Ari Fleisher's press conference on 9/12/01 Very interesting
9/11 Timeline -Center for Cooperative Research - best timelines with articles to back it up. Page takes a while to load.
StandDown.net where was NORAD?
Memes.org dismantles NORAD press release
9/11 Timeline From the Wildnerness

We've Moved

But you really can't tell can you?
We are now at BlondesenseBlog.com

Oh wait, I have to find out how to get rid of that pesky banner.

In case you missed it

You can watch Jon Stewart's take on the media feeding tube frenzy right here at Crooks and Liars as well as United Left, featuring Jon Edwards on Fox and Friends.

We have Jon Edward's here at Fox. He is an expert on the afterlife. So Jon, what exactly is going on with Terri Schiavo's soul?
-----------

my country tisathee
sweet land of liverty
ah thee I sing
land where a father stide
land ah the pilgrim spride
from e-e-evry mountain slide
let freedom ring.

I hope I remembered the lyrics correctly.

Thursday, March 24

Why I love Spring

Living as we do on a farm in Missouri, we don't normally have the kind of take-no-prisoners winters that people like my sister Klondike Kate, way up in Alaska gets. Or my ole rodeo pal, Lindy does in Canada. But on the other hand San Diego it ain't!

All winter long I get snippets of news that makes me relatively glad to be living where I do. -60ยบ in Alaska, six feet of snow in Buffalo with a blizzard to come. We only had one ice storm this year and it only brought us to our knees for two days. All the same, it's still mighty chilly here in the Don't Show Me State.

Our ole stable hand, Jake Ring, who like most people born hereabout and brought up around horse farms, was pretty much as inured to cold as a ditch digger. He used to put on his long johns and insulated bib overalls on the day after Thanksgiving and didn't take them off for good until around Easter, and worked a solid eight to 12 hours a day outdoors whatever the weather, admittedly dressed like an Eskimo, his face the color of a beet, apart from the places that had turned blue. When it got down to -10, he might blow on his fingers and opine, "Might get a mite chilly tonight, think we should put the blanket's on the ponies?" But that was about it.

This may help to explain the desperation with which I start looking for signs of spring, however small and treacherous- after a winter of feeding the horses every morning dressed head to foot in layers of polar fleece and goose down, with icicles hanging from the horses mouth and nose. Lesson time, while we clutch the reins with fingers cramped and bloodless from the cold, searching, horse and rider alike, for places where ice hasn't make the ground a skating rink when we ride outside.

The sight of a bud on a tree, however premature, must have the same effect on us as the sight of shorebirds and the scent of land breezes did on a 16th-century sailor. We have learned over the years not to trust the melting of the snow, since freakier chit can replace it overnight as late as Easter, catching the country just as the road crews have run out of salt and sand and unlucky optimists have already removed their snow tires. Instead, we rely on the signs that don't lie, and just wait for them.

First there are the migrating birds that stop by our 1 acre lake, right out my back door- a good sign that Mother Nature is getting ready to relent. The vast numbers of little yellow and black birds and larger Red-Breast Robins who presumably been spending the winter in Florida or South America. We are not what you can call bird watchers, so we don't know their names, but my two-year-old grandson meets them with whoops of joy, and together he and I scatter birdseed in their honor. There are also some male wild turkeys doing their mating dace (at least we assume that it's about mating) on our lawn, stately shuffle for which they puff themselves up to huge size, none of which seems to impress the females much, and the Canadian Geese. I always ask them if they wintered with my ole pal Lindy, and they sometimes answer back. They too have stories to tell.

Above all, we watch the horses. During the winter they grow a thick coat, ranging from the very modest and sleek one of my dressage horse, Tango, to that of the Paint, Hula Girl. Skipper W. Spring, who resembles a bear, if you can imagine a bear with kind eyes and hooves. The horses can't read the calendar in the barn, but they don't need to: All of a sudden they start to shed, producing huge piles of hair with every brushing, as if their normal selves were re-emerging day by day. They move more briskly, too, and paw impatiently at he sheets of ice that still sometimes cover their paddocks in early spring. They realize it will very soon be green with delicious grass. The farrier, always a good judge of weather, thinks it will soon be time to take off their snowball pads (these prevent the buildup of snow in their hooves, which can leave a horse teetering around dangerously, like a woman in her first pair of Joan Crawford high heels) and forego the borium studs they wear on their shoes to prevent slipping on the ice.

In the barn and the tack room, preparations are in hand for a new season- checklists are used to make sure everything's ready for the new foals, the horse trailer is ready just in case we make it to a Team Penning. Or as we had to last spring, a late night trip to the University Vet Hospital when one of our mares almost died while delivering a huge foal.

Show boots that have not been worn since last fall are unzipped from boot bags and polished. Layer by layer the winter clothing comes off, to be carefully bundled and sent off for cleaning and repair.

Of course, we all know that there's going to be a period of what the Russians call "rasputitsa," the thick mud of the thaw, which can pull the horses' shoes off and lame them badly as they try to pull their feet out of it, but after which, all of a sudden, everything starts to turn green and the ground firms up enough for them to canter and jump again.

One morning we're riding out and hear the confused noise of the frogs- a sure sign that warm weather is coming, and the horses recognize it too.

They are putting on muscle again, their coats are beginning to resume a glossy sheen. Tango seems to be half the size he was in midwinter now that the thick coat is gone and in the morning their nostrils quiver eagerly, taking in the smell of new grass and scents long suppressed by the cold. They glance at the little birds perched on the fence rails of their paddocks with approval, and relish a mild day in the sun without their blankets and winter coats.

I am lucky enough to have an indoor riding arena, so the horses get a chance to trot and canter through the winter, but it isn't the same as being outdoors, for them or for us. Most of them don't mind the ring, but Skipper dislikes it deeply, which he signifies by an ill-tempered, grumpy attitude, rare for him, and a occasional sideway kick with which he apparently hopes to bring the whole barn down. Now as the ground begins to soften, Skipper cheers up considerably, no more exercising in the ring, and his step becomes light and springy again. Little flowers are beginning to push their way through the crust of snow. Skipper likes the feel of being outdoors, the stretch of a good, uphill gallop, and the sight of our resident pair of hawks, with whom he has a nodding relationship, as one aristocrat to another.

For the horses, as for us, every spring is a miracle, a kind of rebirth. But we won't be in Church come Sunday morning. For us, it's take off the storm windows, put up the screens; say goodbye to the sweaters and insulated boots and gloves and hello to summer clothing and sunblock and bring out the fly spray. With the horses, it's goodbye to slipping and sliding over rutted, hard ground. Goodbye to frozen paddocks and end-of-winter hay, hello to fresh green grass; goodbye to growing stiff in the cold, and hello again to the adventure of getting into the trailer and going off on a trail ride or to compete at big events, with lots of new horses to meet, and excitement in the air......

You can tell all that by the expression in their eyes, by the way they swing their heads to look at all the wonders around them after the monochrome dreariness of winter, by the occasional good-natured buck and the eagerness to get out onto the land and go, hooves thundering, nostrils snorting, ears flickering at every sound. Even Jake, old as he is (at 30 a horse is the equivalent of a 100-year-old human), seems to have dropped 10 years. I know how he feels.

Two new souls have now joined us since I began this post- A filly and a horse colt. Both decided to make their way into this world on the same night. I can see them both now from my office, with Mom's close by. The little filly is running circles around the little guy, and playing a mock game of tag. They weren't even here a week ago and now they both fly around like Smarty Jones on the way to the finish line. Haven't got around to naming them yet, so any suggestion? I'll consider them.

No I won't go to church on Sunday morning. I have my own, thank you very much.

Another quote of the week

"The case is full of great ironies. A large part of Terri's hospice costs are paid by Medicaid, a program that the administration and conservatives in Congress would sharply reduce. Some of her other expenses have been covered by the million-dollar proceeds of a malpractice suit - the kind of suit that President Bush has fought to scale back."

- NPR commentator Daniel Schorr.

Heh

I've never seen it, but there is a TV show called "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". I heard of it when the company that remodeled my house last year proudly boasted that they do work for that particular television show. In today's Newsday there are pictures of a nice man and his kids who were lucky enough to have their "tiny 800-foot cottage" extremely made over because his young wife had died and he had 3 small boys to raise alone in that shoebox of a home because no one on Long Island is expected to have to live in such a tiny house in this day and age. I think my house is a tiny bit larger than that and somehow we have survived here for 24 years, thank Jaysus.

The article goes on about how great this is and there are pictures of women in the neighborhood there to check out Ty Pennington the host of the show who is supposedly cute, but I think he acts like a jerk on the Sears commercials, and it makes you filled with joy that this poor family finally has a whopping 2,400 sq. feet in which to sprawl across the former potato fields of Long Island where there is the largest incidence of breast cancer in the US. The home improvement company even threw in a fishing boat named after their deceased matriarch. Very touching.

Here's the catch. The house at 800 sq feet was taxed at $3,200/yr (how do you like them apples, those of you who live elsewhere and pay third of that for a big house with actual land? I pay twice that.) and now that the house has been improved, their taxes will skyrocket to $11,500/yr. yikes!

Will he have to sell the fishing boat to pay the taxes?
Would they have to sell the house and move to a place with cheaper taxes?
The realtor says that the house went from a value of $375,000 to $825,000.
Of course that assumes that someone would want to pay that much money for a house in a $400,000 neighborhood. I wouldn't. You always want to buy the worst house in a good neighborhood.

PS. The homeowner is a Suffolk County police officer. Nevermind. They are very well paid. Very. Probably not moving.

I am.

A Holy Thursday Reflection


"Right To Life" and "Christian" Protesters outside Woodside Hospice.

Hmmm. Is that Christ on the cross I see in the above photo?
Did not Jesus suffer and die on the cross so that we may have everlasting life?
...that we may not fear death anymore?
...that all our sins are forgiven?

Did Jesus not ride on a donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday knowing full well that he would be arrested and then face his execution? Did he not know that scourging at the pillar was part of the deal?

Jesus didn't have to go to Jerusalem that warm sunny Sunday where he was welcomed by his followers who waved palms. He could have gone somewhere else and lived a nice long life, got married, had kids... Alas, he followed his Father's will even though at one point He told his Father that it would be okay if the cup of suffering would be taken away from him. He was human. It wasn't easy for his mother, Mary Magdalen and his disciples to see him suffer and die, but they had faith in what he had taught them. Their faith brought them through that terrible time. They prayed, they wept and mourned as any human beings would do when someone they loved was about to go home to the heavenly Father. They had hope.

So what is up with the faith and hope of today's Christians?
Would Jesus recognize them?

Maureen Dowd Scores A Run For the Home Team, and No Steroids are Involved

(NYTIMES LINK)

One more time, Ms Dowd nails it.
If you read only one editorial today, please read "DeLay, Deny and Demagogue"

Here's a taste of what you'll read:
"The president, who couldn't be dragged outdoors to talk about the more than a hundred thousand people who died in the horrific tsunami, was willing to be dragged out of bed to sign a bill about one woman his base had fixated on."

See? What did I tell you?

Bitchin'

by pissed off patricia

From the NY Times (LINK)

Remember yesterday when Jeb spoke of a new doctor who was now involved in the Schiavo case? This doctor, Dr. Cheshire, had determined that Schiavo had been "misdiagnosed". Well, here's how the doctor is described in the Times today.

"Dr. Cheshire is the director of a laboratory at the Mayo Clinic branch in Jacksonville that deals with unconscious reflexes like digestion, and the director of biotech ethics at the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, a nonprofit group founded by "more than a dozen leading Christian bioethicists," in the words of its Web site."

I am so freakin' surprised that the fine doctor is a member of a "Christian" group. I'm sure you are as well.

(Okay, timeout while I put my pet snark back in her cage.)

If you watched Hardball with Chris Matthews last night you had to enjoy the hell out of that tape of DeLay that Chris played. Then we had Pat Robertson exploding all the hell over the place. He about did a Zell Miller. Of course after that you turned off the TV, because for the gazillionth time, the guy who wrote the book that the chick read to the Atlanta murderer was on. I refuse to even type the name of the book or the author's name because I'm so damned sick of hearing about all of this. Just like so many other things that are happening now, there's something about it that's all weird, sick and just plain stinks!

Those people gathered outside the building where Schiavo now resides remind me of a group of vultures. They are doing nothing more than using her to feed their need for attention. And they sure as hell are getting it, aren't they? They are doing all these choreographed stunts to draw attention to themselves, not to Schiavo. They are opportunistic. What possible good does it do for Schiavo if they get arrested? If they really believed in the power of prayer why wouldn't they be praying instead of walking around with Styrofoam cups of water when they know damned well they aren't going to be allowed inside the building?

If they think all their acts and stunts are going to work to recruit people to become Christians, I would imagine that they are having about as much luck with their recruitment as the US military is with theirs.

Wednesday, March 23

Army Expects Recruiting to Slump Further

If you have a son or daughter, a grandkid or anyone you love who is of recruitment age, you had better read this. See, they have this new idea. They are going to appeal to your patriotism in order to get you to push your kids to join up. Beware!
Also they are raising the maximum age for recruits in the Guard from 34 to 39 years old.

There is more. Read here.
The Things They Carried: Reflections on War Coverage


This is absolutely a report that the whole country should read. It's comments by reporters who have been to Iraq and what they thought of the way news got back to us. Don't begin to read it if you haven't got a few minutes, because once you start, you will read the entire piece.

We Are Number One! woo hoo!

From the article America Rules:
The World Health Organization has released a study that verifies the United States is the undisputed champion in mental illness*, dominating various pathologies ranging from anxiety to depression to poor impulse control. We easily vanquished underachieving Old Europe in post-traumatic stress syndrome, bipolar disorder, and bulimia nervosa. Additionally, our magnificent land trounced the supposedly productive Asian countries in both senility and agoraphobia, while coasting past Africa in pediatric hyperactivity. In fact, there would have been a gold medal sweep for America if Ukraine had not cheated by submitting doctored urine to edge us out in substance abuse.
The author goes on of course to pin most of the mental illness on right wingers. He isn't really that far off though because they are some of most enfranchised victims I have ever witnessed on earth. Give them everything they want and they are still paranoid and angry. Gosh, they act like there is a liberal agenda. (singing theme to the Twilight Zone)

The author doesn't think all wingers are nuts:
" Just because right wingers believe the greeting “Happy Holidays” constitutes a threat to their personal liberty does not necessarily mean that every single one of them is cracked."
No, of course not. They are just hyper-sensitive what with all the crazy liberals running the country into the ground and all.

I Know It's A Little Early For The 'Quote of the Week' But Here It Is Anyway:

"Time to face the unpleasant truth: President George W. Bush is a traitor to his country. So are the brain-dead puppets he controls with so much despotic ease."

If you want to read the rest of a fine essay by Doug Thompson, click here.

The Florida Bush

Jeb bush just announced that he has had a famed neurologist view the videos of Schiavo and look at her, but not examine her. This doctor says she has been misdiagnosed. Jeb seems to think this doctor's opinion should save the day.
I'll get more info as soon as I can. I can't remember all I heard because there was so much to take in at one time.

Why Does God Hate Caribou?

Drill for oil and screw Alaska's wildlife? Why, sure, all part of the imminent Rapture!
by Mark Morford Read it here.

Native Nazi?

Check this out. The native American, goth kid who shot 10 in Minnesota belonged to this bulletin board cached at google.

It's the Fear, Baby. The Fear.

Yesterday, after reading more about the shooting in Minnesota, I decided to watch Bowling for Columbine again. I also watched the extras on the DVD which included a speech Michael Moore gave to people in Denver a year after the movie was released. He mentioned how the cops were afraid to enter Columbine HS long after the shooting stopped while people were bleeding to death inside... How parents of missing children were tackled by the cops when they tried to enter the school long after the shooting stopped. Then the parents stopped trying to get into the school to find their kids out of fear of the cops tackling them. Moore didn't include these points in the movie because he didn't want to hurt the people of Littleton at that time. After just reading the alarming article that my colleague Patricia posted just below about people being allowed to shoot each other in self defense in Florida, the whole experience of yesterday's DVD watching came home to me like a giant wake up call.

Americans are more afraid of each other like no where else in an industrialized country. It's the fear, baby. That is why we are so fucked up and why we shoot each other more than any other people in an industrialized country anywhere... for nothing. It's bizarre. White men have been afraid since they first arrived here. Even now, with the neocons in power and the conservatives having a field day owning the media and our lives, they are still afraid. Nothing can stop the fear. You can hand them the world and they'd still be afraid.

They pass on this fear to at least half of the country. Their religion is based on fear. Their politics are based on fear. Their foreign policy is based on fear. The second amendment is based on fear. The opression of blacks and women is based on fear. The white man cannot abide the fact that perhaps they are not the master race or gender. (who needs to be the best all time but the mentally ill?) The whole world to them is one big battle of good vs evil. It became quite clear to many of us when bush started using words like "evil doers" and "infinite justice" after 9/11. That alarmed me more than the planes crashing into the towers. Hey, you can deal with terrorists. You can find out what's bugging them. It's usually some sort of gross injustice that can be solved. But what the hell is bugging the president of the supposed greatest country in the world? Guilt? Fear? What is he afraid of? Is he afraid of his power being ripped from his greedy, selfish claws?

Sure, I'm scared but not scared of the same things as my fellow Americans. I'm afraid of their fear and where it will lead. Will this turn into another Rwanda? Darfur? They cannot look at themselves. They must always blame someone else. This country is a giant mental case in need of a giant dose of prozak or a good smack across the face as my mother would say.

We have no more guns, violent movies, violent games, broken homes, unemployment, poverty, minorities, violent history, or less prayer than any other industrialized nation yet we kill each other in such numbers that it's absolutely embarrassing. We are no worse in any of those areas!

Last night I watched an HBO film about the genocide in Rwanda in '94: Sometimes in April. I had no idea. God help us. White European men originally pitted people against each other for no good reason. Then the roles reversed. It was evil. How did they arouse such fear? Radio. Can you imagine? They scared the hell out of people and caused them to kill their neighbors for being of a different tribe. They couldn't even tell by looking at each other who was from what tribe. They had to show an ID card. Then they would shoot their neighbor in cold blood. These were not jungle people as we may have pictured it 11 years ago. It looked like any American suburb in Rwanda, yet they were so afraid of their neighbor that not even the fact that they belonged to the same catholic parish could not contain their hatred.

I can't get the man I met in Arizona out of my mind. The one who was proudly packing a pistol and told me "Welcome to the real America" after he found out that we were from New York, where we are not allowed to pack heat.

Welcome, indeed.

Watch 'Bowling For Columbine' again if you can and see if you can catch 'Sometimes in April' on HBO.

A Must Must Read

G.D. Frogsdong wrote a most disturbing yet compelling piece today about the stench in DC. What a masterful writer he is. Here's a morsel:
"I don't know what drove me on. The stronger that hellish odor, the more stubborn I became. When I reached the Capitol steps, Barney Frank came running out of the building. I grabbed him by the arm before he could get away, "What is it?" I yelled at him, frantic. "What the hell is that smell?"

He tore himself from my grasp and staggered down the stairs. "I couldn't take it anymore. I tried, I really tried," he hollered back, "Kucinich is the last Democrat who could take it, but he won't last long. Let me go! I have to go! I can't take it anymore!"

He lurched off down the street. I noticed the tears in his suit then, as if some clawed creature had ripped at him suddenly, four long tears down the back of his jacket.

I was scared, there's no doubt of that."

Don't Give Me That Look!

PB Post (Link)
Gun bill could mean Shoot first, ask later.

"Florida could wind up back in the Wild West, with people shooting first and asking questions later under a proposal that could pass the Senate today, critics of the bill warned."

Yes sirree, we here in Florida are all for preserving life and we'll shoot you to prove it.

Sounds like pretty soon we can shoot at you and if you don't get out of the way of our bullet before it gets to you, too bad. Guess which association is behind and pushing this bullets flying circle-fuck?

"Tell people to be very, very careful out there. ... Don't shrug the wrong way, don't give people the wrong look because it could be considered as threatening."

Ah well, that's going to be difficult. My facial expressions tell you exactly what I'm thinking. Sounds like it's burka time for me.