Friday, October 30, 2009

Kill 'em

De mi hermano. Gracias.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The latest from Don Siegelman

"After the Department of Justice investigated itself and found itself "Not Guilty", Chairman John Conyers and Members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee told Attorney General Holder, in a letter of September 25, 2009, that the Department of Justice had done an inadequate job of reviewing government prosecutors misconduct in the Siegelman case.

Chairman Conyers and the Committee urged Eric Holder "…to ensure that fresh eyes, with no connection to the underlying case and no investment in any particular outcome, lead and conduct this crucial review!"

But to add insult to injury, President Obama has not replaced the Rove/Bush U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting me. Remember, her office indicted me during my reelection campaign, while her husband was my opponent's campaign manager!

Here's what one California observer had to say: "I called Eric Holder's office this morning. I went through the spiel about firing this particular, unethical, Bush DOJ holdover and replace her with someone who has honor and respects the concept of justice. I'm so sick of the tyranny of the minority in this country. How do we get President Obama to throw the scoundrels under the bus and stand up for righteousness?"

We are continuing to make progress, but we need your personal help! Please let the President know how you feel about getting rid of the Rove/Bush U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama and replacing her with an honest and ethical one! This very important, not only to me, but to everyone in our country who sees the absolute necessity of having honest prosecutors!

Please let the President know that you want the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, Leura Canary, immediately replaced and investigated for her actions in my case [phone: (202)456-1414; fax:(202)456-2416]. A phone call or hand written note would be greatly appreciated. It would also help a great deal if you sent it to your member of Congress and your two U.S. Senators.

If you want to contact the White House quickly and easily and let the President know how you feel about getting rid of the Rove/Bush prosecutors go to to send your message."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monty Python - Finland

Ah, a blast from the past. Why they don't sing about the cryaqualfs in the southern part of that fabulous land, is beyond me.

The Fix

My Dad sent this.
Why not?

The Fix

There recently was an article in the St. Petersburg Fl. Times. The Business Section asked readers for ideas on: "How Would You Fix the Economy?"
I think this guy nailed it!

Dear Mr. President,

Please find below my suggestion for fixing America 's economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the "Patriotic Retirement Plan":

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.

2) They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed.

It can't get any easier than that!!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress pay their taxes...

Mr. President, while you're at it, make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. I'll bet both programs would be fixed pronto!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Money Business

Sunday, October 25, 2009

For Which I am Thankful

Last night while unpacking more stuff in the basement, I ran across some writing I had done about... 3 years ago? It was good. Really. But I wouldn't ever take it anywhere. Story of my life.

How easy it is to complain. A couple weeks ago, or last weekend...? we went to Nu2U and I bought a bunch of clothes, including a brand new pair of Gramicci pants, tags still attached. And I yiped because I thought the cashier overcharged me on some item, when I saw the total. The FFM chastised me for not being thankful for the fact I had just paid about a quarter of what I would have paid for those pants retail (or what someone would have paid) and got more than just the pants. He was right, of course.

Depression is weird. Complacency is weird. They creep up, really, when a person isn't aware, and then suddenly- bang! There you are, depressed and complacent. The two go hand-in-hand for me. Stagnant life. Meds just kill the ability to feel it as quickly or acutely as one might otherwise. To some of us, that's the danger. Is this really me? Or some automaton, a walking zombie under
the spell of lifelessness?

So, I have been keenly aware of opportunities to be grateful very recently. For example, every morning when I wake up and can play fishing with the cat without worrying that our footsteps will bother someone downstairs.

And today I decided rather than bitch about Bill Gates and Microsoft (because already I have harped multiple times about how he uses his philanthropic gestures as a smokescreen for the ultimate power and control he exerts over those of us who are tied to computers), to put the word out abouta company that I haven't felt have screwed with me lately. I have used Priceline for travel arrangements for several years, and though I have tried other companies, I still like Priceline best. You can name your own price if you have the leisure to do so, and come up with some pretty sweet deals. I have secured rooms in 4-star hotels in downtown Denver for 60 bucks a night, for instance. And for the first time, this weekend I placed an order and got the wrong itinerary. Anticipating a row, because that's what one expects from company representatives anymore, since no one seems to really want to accommodate the price-paying customer these days, and because depression will creep in and make one pessimistic and bitter, I called Priceline. And I had a pleasant conversation with the man on the other end of the line, in which he immediately cancelled the wrong plans and refunded my money. I did have to go online to rebook, but that took all of 10 minutes. And I saved a little bit of cash the second time around.

I like PRICELINE.COM. Hells, just opening up and looking at the pic of a puffy William Shatner pointing out the way to the best deal? That alone makes it worth the trip.

So, there it is, a gratis ad for a company I appreciate. I'm easy like Sunday morning.

Monday, October 19, 2009


It's that time of year, people, when I get really maudlin. You know, wistful and thinking about where I have been in life and where I might be going- or not- and then wondering sort of what it matters anyway and am I pleased enough where I am right now that if someone hit me in the face with an axe tomorrow, I would be OK with croaking?

I guess I am not alone. I went to see the Judge yesterday, and he was reclining in his recliner thinking pretty much the same- although with 50 more years than I behind him. And the FFM told me later on that Ebony had been "ruminating," to use the Judge's word, over similar, on the realization that she has been in LA now for two years.

So, she went to church to sing. I love to go to church to sing, too, and don't do it often enough probably, so bless you, girl, for getting up on a Sunday and doing it.

Instead, I went to the senior center here in town and helped serve brunch from 10:30-12:30. That's like my church, I told the FFM. And it is. I felt about 7K times better when I got there and started doing the community service thing. Yeah, I mean that I do that because I enjoy it, and I had been missing that element of civic life and feeling pretty selfish.

I read an article last week about the Student Senate here at UWYo voting against making community service a requirement. Yay! Jerbus, life is not necessarily a prison. Just get out and try helping other people on a regular basis because you want to. You may be pleasantly surprised. And for those of you who believe in karma, hell, it can only do you good.

p.s. I might have scammed the photo here. I think I am supposed to pay for it, but hey, it's no larger here than it is on the search site, so thanks, whoever.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What the Duck?!

Now to the BBC:

Allies push Israel for Gaza probe

Smoke billows from the Gaza Strip following Israeli air strikes, as seen from the southern town of Rafah on December 27, 2008
Hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed in the 22-day conflict last winter

Israel has come under pressure from its allies to investigate UN allegations of possible war crimes by its army during its Gaza offensive last winter.

Britain's UN envoy urged Israel to hold "full, credible and impartial" investigations, echoing similar calls from his US and French counterparts.

A report by a UN mission led by Richard Goldstone accused both Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes.

The UN Human Rights Council is set to discuss the report again later today.

The findings were originally presented by Mr Goldstone, a veteran South African judge and war crimes prosecutor, to the Council two weeks ago, but it decided to defer its response until March.

However it reconsidered because of anger among Palestinians that allegations in the report were being ignored.

Israel has rejected the Goldstone report as biased and favouring terrorism.

Western reaction

"We note that the Israeli Defence Force has already conducted and is continuing to conduct a number of investigations," said John Sawers, the British Ambassador to the UN.

Goldstone at the UN in Geneva, September 2009

"However, concerns remain... We urge the Israeli government to carry out full, credible and impartial investigations into the allegations," he added.

French Ambassador Gerard Araud urged both sides to initiate "independent inquiries in line with international standards."

The deputy US Ambassador, Alejandro Wolff, expressed serious concerns about the report - citing an "unbalanced focus on Israel" - but he repeated the US view that Israel should look into it.

"We take the allegations in the report seriously," he said. "Israel has the institutions and the ability to carry out serious investigations of these allegations and we encourage it to do so."

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged "credible" investigations by both sides into the conduct of the Gaza conflict "without delay".

Report's findings

The Goldstone report accuses Israel of using disproportionate force and deliberately harming civilians during the 22-day conflict which began on 27 December 2008.

Palestinian Hamas militants are accused of indiscriminate rocket fire at Israeli civilians.

The report urges the Security Council to refer allegations to the International Criminal Court if either side fails to investigate and prosecute suspects.

Israel has rejected the evidence, saying it has already investigated its troops' conduct, clearing most of the subjects of wrongdoing. Hamas has also denied committing war crimes.

"For those of us who seek to resume the peace process in the Middle East, debating the Goldstone in the Security Council is but a tale full of sound and fury, signifying nothing," said Israel's envoy to the UN, Gabriela Shalev.

"If Israel is asked to take further risks for peace, the international community must recognise our right to self-defence," she added.

Israeli military action destroyed thousands of homes, hundreds of factories and 80 official buildings in Gaza.

Palestinians and human rights groups say more than 1,400 people were killed in the violence between 27 December 2008 and 16 January 2009, more than half of them civilians.

Israel puts the number of deaths at 1,166 - fewer than 300 of them civilians. Three Israeli civilians and 10 Israeli soldiers were also killed.

How come these guys get to investigate themselves, yet they still expect us to support them? Maybe it's just time to acknowledge that Israel will never grow up and give them a good spanking. (Sorry, all my Jewish friends, but really, I'd love if someone could and would counter my claim; I'd shut up.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pay for School

New laws could bring choices for loans, aid

Daily Northwestern, Northwestern U.

October 13, 2009

Aaron Beswick, a SESP senior graduating this winter, barely has time to celebrate his graduation before he has to worry about repaying $32,000 in student loans.

But new federal government initiatives plan to ease burdens like Beswick’s with direct loans in which students borrow money straight from the government rather than bank lenders. The Income Based Repayment Plan allows for monthly payments based on a family’s individual income. Students eligible for this plan include those whose loan debt is high in relation to family income and size, and who participate in the Federal Family Education Loan or the Direct Loan, according to the Federal Student Aid Web site.

For students like Beswick, who plans to be a social worker, the program can provide benefits with its 10-year public service loan forgiveness. In this area of Income Based Repayment, a student who works in public service for 10 years may have his or her loan canceled if all monthly payments are made.

“It sounds like a wonderful and beautiful option,” Beswick said. “The one thing that makes it sound scary is not missing a payment. I’m not sure that the work I want to do is well-paying.”

Brian Drabik, associate director of Northwestern’s undergraduate financial aid office, wrote in an e-mail that students should only apply for the Income Based Repayment Plan when encountering problems with payment because paying loans faster doesn’t acquire as much interest.

The federal government is in the process of passing direct-lending legislation, which may remove private banks from federal lending programs. The House of Representatives has passed this legislation, and universities including NU are waiting for the Senate decision.


And when will the cost of a postsecondary education become reasonable- or at least rise only with the annual COL in this country...?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Rep. Alan Grayson: Republicans Probably Wish There Were a Nobel Prize for Fear

Thursday, October 8, 2009

In the meantime...

OK, one of these days soon I will have time to get on here and yap about the Republican Treason Incidents, but for today, I will leave you with this fabulous picture taken by friend Sandi who was up in the Range yesterday afternoon and into the evening.

Oh, yeah, it's snowing here in town today, too.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Mi hermano

is writing and blogging again:

white rocks cliff

leftover raindrops

falling from boughs

of hemlock and beech

the roar of the stream

the water cycle —

a few of its faces

a massive white pine

older than old

rises straight as an arrow

how many travelers

have marveled at the sight

of this ancient one?

after climbing over wet rocks

i came to a flat spot

where i drank from

the bottle in my pack

and watched mist drift by

—a few faces forgotten before

at the junction

with the long trail

that stretches border-to-border

i met a group of four

weary-looking travelers

they seemed surprised to see me

walking through

a gate of birches

i saw too many scratches

on their smooth paper skin

why feel the need

to leave oneself behind?

i stopped to eat

my apple along the way

when i am hungry

i eat

when i am tired

i sleep

climbing steady for a while

looking at shelf fungus

the woods opening up

i thought i heard voices

on two occasions

perhaps it was the trees

near the top

pushing through red spruce

i stopped to write

leaning my staff against a tree

i crushed a moth

which fell to the ground

picking it gently up

to say i was sorry

i was happy to see

its wings flutter

as it flew a short distance

— now the cold will get it

a shrine of smooth stones

stacked atop each other

and in the branches of trees

as though spirits were here

i chose not to add

mine to a pile

at the summit

of white rocks cliff

ragged clouds above

valley below touched with fire

of changing leaves

nothing but cold wind between

and on the way down

hiking quickly along

cold, hungry, and tired

i kept forgetting

to embrace the forest

that was embracing me

30 september 2009

wallingford, vt

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cool geography!

Check this out and see how you do: