What does the gay community do when faced with religious oppression? Why, make a musical of course!
Folks, this is a good one.
Shrimp anyone? Or are you too busy getting your wife stoned?
This is a response I gave to the flickr.com comments from a picture posted by clfhcks
What's interesting is how the commentaries jump to conclusions about what he meant by 'BULL SHIT.'
From the page: "You guys fighting like a bunch of middle-school girls over a guy with your ad hominem diatribes, with the exception of wquatman. Not one of these comments are asking what these guys mean by their flag.
Folks, regardless of what that answer is, we need to pull together to support them not only while they are in harm's way, but when they return. Driving around with a yellow ribbon and attempting to slap down anyone who disagrees with your worldview does not serve our brave men and women in the least.
These guys are hurting. For every dead soldier there are 10 like this one who have returned with obvious wounds like this or not so obvious wounds. Stop this senseless bickering and give your support where it's needed as in veteran's benefits or just someone for these guys to talk to.
Honor the warrior, not the war"
UPDATE: Guess what happened when I tried to vote this morning?....
People laughed out loud upon hearing the audio tape of Quebec comedian Marc-Antoine Audette talking to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as he pretended to be Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France.
But now, coming as it did just before the election, Palin's obliviousness during the prank phone call cannot be overlooked. If she is that easily duped by some joker obviously dropping clues to let her off the hook, then what does this reveal about her judgment and political street smarts? Reasonable observers can only conclude that she's naïve, easily manipulated and not even close to being ready for prime time.
Palin's heart may be in the right place, but her head is in the Alaskan clouds. Inattention to detail and gullibility are not exactly qualities that help the vice president do a good job. In 2008, at least, Palin simply represents too much of a threat to national security for voters to let her get any closer to Washington that she already is. --updoc1011
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The officer who led the army's Delta Force mission to kill Osama bin Laden after 9/11 reveals what really happened in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, when the al-Qaeda leader narrowly escaped. Scott Pelley reports.
Sept. 26, 2008
To the Editor, Tyler Paper
Alexander Hamilton must have been one of the first human beings to read Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, the "free market Bible"; we don't know, nor do we know how many times he read it from it's publication in 1776 until Hamilton was sworn in as the first Secretary of the Treasury in 1789. That he believed in the principle of the free market is, however certain and in successfully promoting the establishment of the First Bank of the United States as a private enterprise with private bankers in charge of the nation's commerce and money supply he started the great American capitalistic juggernaut, the envy of the world. The world may not be so admiring of late.
Neither Hamilton's wisdom nor Adam Smith's has been questioned by those in charge of the American government except for Andrew Jackson who "sued for a divorce" between the American government and the Second Bank of the United States and was granted the same. Jackson was a populist President and believed the government should not show favoritism to the rich to make them richer at the expense of the common people.
Perhaps the time has come to question both Hamilton's and Smith's wisdom of free trade, free markets, supply-side economics, Reaganomics, deregulation, privatization, trickle down economics, Laissez-faire, or whatever label one wishes to use to describe the present economic system of the United States where the bottom line displaces the view to do the moral thing in all circumstances.
The truth is the free market shouldn't be allowed to be "free", that is, free from doing the right thing. Those who ask the masses to trust them to be alert to the "welfare" of the People should never be trusted. When it comes to making money, no one can be trusted to place the common good above personal interest. Our times are characterized by
the claim that it is best to turn business loose, trust them to always do the right thing, everyone will benefit! Everyone will get a piece of the pie! No! That's a lie!
Human nature being what it is, individuals, businesses, banks, all human endeavors must have requirements to do the right thing. Rules must be made and enforced. The reluctance of the American people to make this requirement of their politicians and of commerce has now brought the entire world to the brink of financial disaster not to mention the potential suffering of our own People.
The hard learned lessons of the other "great depression" have apparently be lost and the resulting complex safeguards have been steadily dismantled replaced with a spend now; pay later mentality. The present bailout talk describes the "tax payer" as picking up the tab. Not so. The government just prints the money and no one pays more or less in taxes as a result of trillion dollar wars or trillion dollar bailouts. The idea of fusing paper, ink, and thin air to create billions upon billions of dollars with value is absurd and is as offensive to hard working people as the cooked books of ENRON.
The free market era is over. Working class Americans paid dearly. Perhaps the government should now focus on it's Constitutional duties of watching out for the welfare of it's People.
Published on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 by The Wiscasset Newspaper
by Christopher Cooper
Remember the Communists? The Red Menace? You young people won't of course, because as I sit here Monday night writing this sorrowful recitation Public Television is furnishing me with a gleaming, glowing, grand video hagiography of Ronald Reagan, by which I understand that The Great Communicator defeated those evil, dangerous threats to the American Way Of Life through toughness, resolve and horsemanship. Communists were before your time and you may be forgiven for worrying more and properly about our current threat to The American Way Of Life, International Terrorism.
But if you do recall those decades, you remember we, the self-proclaimed Greatest Nation On Earth, with the most modern, powerful weapons at our disposal, and the bravest soldiers and the smartest generals and the benevolent will of Great God Almighty watching over us and guiding us, nevertheless lived in fear of them-those Communists. We were bigger and we were better, and we were scared, but we were also bold and belligerent and self-assured. But deep down inside, we were scared.
But though Nikita Khrushchev (a fat, bald, loud, funny Communist) or Chairman Mao (a goofy little Communist from China-Red China), or even Fidel Castro or Ho Chi Minh (secondary or subservient Communists we sometimes called 'puppets', but of whom we were also fundamentally afraid, yet contemptuous), while any or all of these might wish to annihilate us with atomic bombs or multi-million-man armies that would march across the Pacific and into the living rooms of good, TV-watching, barbecuing Americans, there was one glorious weapon, of immeasurable power and undeniable goodness that would render us triumphant: our economic system.
Capitalism! This, they beat into us all through high school, was what made us great. Maybe the Soviet Union and even Red China could build big chemical rockets and equip them with nuclear warheads. But they could never build as many or update their design as frequently or keep them as shiny and oiled and pretty as ours because those nations labored under the handicap of the government ownership of the means of production. Communists (and to a somewhat lesser but still disturbing degree, Socialists) believed that factories and farms were owned by the citizens collectively, through the agency of government. In America, by contrast, our teachers assured us, individuals started, owned and ran the machinery that made us great.
And, in doing so, each of us who might choose to start a business, build a factory, create jobs, add to the Gross National Product, had a chance to become comfortable, secure, and if everything worked just right, even rich. We might also, of course, make bad decisions and go bankrupt, but that didn't often happen, my teachers told me. This was the Land Of Opportunity and only the lazy, those who would not apply themselves, work hard, get their hands dirty, would fail to prosper. Persons who failed to prosper might end up on welfare. (Years later, Bill Clinton promised to 'end welfare as we know it', and pretty much did, so now life might be just a bit rougher even for those lazy misfits lacking sufficient ambition.) That was the deal, and most people most of the time believed it was a good one.
But time passed. Conditions, I guess, changed. In 1979 Congress took pity on the Chrysler Corporation, the smallest of America's three giant automobile manufacturers, and provided an infusion of half a billion dollars or so to help those good folks over a rough spot in their road. Then, after being freed from some troublesome government regulations in the early 1980s, America's savings and loan institutions went into the real estate business in a bad way, and began imploding suddenly and publicly. Neil Bush, son of a president and brother of the current officeholder, ruined an institution called Silverado Savings And Loan. When the federal government stepped in to rescue that one institution alone, it set back the taxpayers more than a billion dollars. Taken all together, this episode, known as 'The Savings And Loan Debacle', cost us about 124 billion dollars. More or less.
These were memorable and costly government interventions, but each time we were assured that the cost was well borne because the institution or industry was 'Too Big To Fail.' That is, if Chrysler stopped making cars or Neil Bush's bank went under due to its own bad business ethics, moral turpitude or criminal stupidity, we, the individual taxpayers and wage earners of America, wouldn't like the result. So government dabbled in the business of 'bailouts'. But, except for a few excursions into total ownership (such as, for instance, the taxpayers' assumption of the insurance exposure of nuclear power plants which the private insurance companies consider too risky to insure), the washing of corporate wounds in the salve of our money has been limited to a crisis every decade or so, and as time has passed even the very numbers have seemed to diminish-only five hundred million for Chrysler?
But now, in the space of a single summer, Federal Reserve Chairman Benjamin Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have, one concludes, gone over to the enemy. No longer proper Capitalists, trusting in The Miracle Of The Free Market, they've been casting cash at pretty much any old mortgage company that lent all its money to crack house entrepreneurs or took the company bank account to Vegas. Oh, they got tough with Lehman Brothers, but only after pledging seventy billion to an outfit called AIG-the American Insurance Group. I sleep better now, knowing a giant insurance company has been rescued.
Merrill-Lynch may have been saved by the Bank Of America (concentration of capital no longer an issue) and Bear-Stearns was swallowed by JP Morgan-Chase, but tonight my computer crackles with news that Morgan-Stanley and Goldman-Sachs are panicky. Fortunately, if theoretically reluctantly, government will ride to the rescue not of single entities any longer, but now comprehensively to lift out of the mire any struggling member of the 'Financial Services Industry.'
People, this is no industry. It's a shell game. This is not a bailout; it is an unraveling. You and I are being sold out, blatantly, publicly, and with the cooperation and collusion of the press and Congress. Was it a bad thing, that idea Karl Marx and Fred Engels hatched for the people to collectively own truck factories and potato farms? Maybe it was. But it's a far, far worse idea that we should put up our savings to buy discredited institutions that exist primarily to shuffle and reshuffle money in the interest of ever-greater, ever-shakier and more precariously-propped-up profits.
Do you know what a 'credit default swap' is? No, of course you don't; neither do I; neither do most members of Congress. Can you define 'mortgage-backed securities' or 'collateralized debt obligations'? I didn't think so. Well, you're buying a slug of 'em. Seven hundred billion dollars worth, they tell me. But it 'might top a trillion.' Sure. OK. Whatever. How'd the Red Sox do last night? Of course the press has whored itself out to megabusiness; we know that. And, as ever, Congress is startled and agitated but will, as always of late, go along with whatever gross deal Bush and the bankers and the moguls and the morons of Wall Street cobble together. But are any of my neighbors angry about this? Will we stand for it? Will we accept that it's for our own good?
I just popped up the Population Clock on my computer here Monday night just shy of midnight, and found the estimated number of persons with whom I share these United States stands at 305,229,725. If the burden were to be borne equally across the population, each of us would be assessed $2293 dollars as our share of the seven hundred billion. A family of four would be debited $9173. But you and I, fellow laborer, will inevitably pay much more because so many will pay nothing. Remember those tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires we all thought were such a good idea just a few years ago when we still reveled in the satisfaction that, however low we might have fallen or yet fall, we were still, one and all Capitalists, and what benefited the wealthy would trickle down to us as the marketplace worked its magic and business, free of burdensome regulation, rolled gloriously onward.
So Dick Cheney got his tax breaks and his trillion dollar war, and now his buddies who screwed up, lost, corrupted, twisted, misused, tainted or pissed away every decent dollar they were entrusted to handle will slide out the back door with their salaries and stock options, and any worthwhile thing the next president might have done for us or our country or the world will be hostage to the inevitability of paying the vig on the loan we're going to take out to make this terrible deal go down. Because we don't have the money. There is no seven hundred billion at hand. We'll borrow it. From the Chinese. The (still) Red Chinese.
So we'll raise the cash and we'll put aside our principles and we'll put a good face on it, won't we? John (The Maverick) McCain wants a bit more oversight in the future (too little and too late, you shallow dotard), and Barack (The Great Compromiser) Obama will vote for the bailout as long as it's attached to 'an overall plan.' Make of that endorsement what you will. Congress will posture, then Congress will approve, and you will pay. And your children unto the seventh generation. They're even calling it a 'rescue', as though an innocent animal or person was being saved from cold or fear or hunger or maltreatment. These men in suits will bugger the language as well as the law.
What are we getting for our money? 'Devalued Assets.' Houses nobody else will buy. Bad paper. Failed institutions. Worthless instruments. Crap, waste, detritus, byproduct, junk, trash, nothing you need, nothing you want, nothing that will do any of us any good. I'm going to use a bad word now, and if you don't like vulgar language, I'd suggest you put this journal down right now and go mow the lawn. And I'm counting on my editor to stand by me today and fight for my right, my duty to speak plainly and forcefully if crudely when I am compelled to discuss what pretty much everybody agrees is the worst mess this country has been in since the Great Depression.
My mother used this expression, and in the thirty-seven years since she died and in the nearly fifty-nine years I've lived in this marvelous Capitalist wonderland and paid my taxes and been screwed by insurance companies and given numerous banks their per centages and worked as many jobs as required to close the hole and hold firm the door against the wolf of cold and the terrors of hunger and despair, I've not heard a better description of the plan being put together today, tonight, this week, by the men who rule America. We are getting, as mom used to say, 'shit and shoved in it.'
Be careful with your credit cards. Nobody believes you're too big to fail.
Mr. Cooper has no investments, owns just one home, and, in the vernacular of his peculiar little Maine village, 'doesn't give a rat's ass' how many millionaires and billionaires and CEOs and traders suffer for their stupidity and greed and malfeasance. Readers wishing to try to correct his fallacious thinking may send advice and counsel to email@example.com.
This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from http://www.papercut.biz/emailStripper.htm
This series of e-mails were exchanged recently starting with the argument about who has the best qualifications to be president with my good friend Dave Collins jumping albeit reluctantly into the fray. What started out as a discussion of lawyers vs. business leaders ended with Dave suggesting who really is running the show in the good ol' USA: It's not the democrats, republicans, lawyers and certainly not the people. If that were true, we'd be out of Iraq today. We are no longer referred to as citizens. We are repeatedly referred to as 'the average consumer' in the media and our leaders. I submit that we are but cattle just as cows are fed grain to produce our McDonald's Big Macs. Just as the 'average consumer' is fed our microwave dinners along with cars, toasters and 401K's to produce yachts and vacation homes and the best boarding schools for the offspring of the top 1%. Only during election time are we ever called citizens. Elections are an illusion disguised as our contribution to democracy. The Democratic and Republican parties are just ranch hands for the corporations and the people who run them. Don't believe me? Follow the money that's being sucked out of the taxpayer's coffers to bail out the ruling class as the American electorate cattle allow themselves to be polarized and constantly at each other's throats, blaming one another for the threats posed by the other over ridiculous issues that are born out of fear. We the people? United we stand? One nation, indivisible? Give me a break. We are being manipulated like marionettes and we even think it was our idea to dance.
An e-mail from Cousin Quinn:
Just had a great idea sweep over my thoughts. forget the Veterans Memorial-- let's all be able to sign a slab of concrete in the middle of downtown with our names on it and then everyone for all eternity will know we were here! Saves money --could cost money -- to be given to the donation of whatever-- but at least it would take care of everyone that has to have their name on something-- seems that is all important in this city.
Can't wait to sign Quinn Dahlstrom -- militant. or misconception Dahlstrom.
Have a great day-- I just did
This is a talk given by the daughter of the famous Leakey family. She argues from the evolutionary anthropologist point of view that we are at a precipice in species survival where business as usual will lead to a dead end in the tree of life. It's too bad followers of the Christian and Muslim faiths will not (and cannot) hear it, for they have painted themselves into a corner with their belief system. All of humanity dealing with this issue is paramount to our survival as a species.
Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one
Forget wiping out, I would have had a heart attack a quarter into this video if I were on that board.
A product of a combination of the wind and the pull of our moon's gravity. Surfing is the only sport where one that comes close to interacting directly with the forces of Nature. But I don't have to explain that to any surfer. This is the appeal, I think. My friend Blais (Blaze) and his friends held surfing with reverence. He had a bumper sticker on his car that read, "There's nothing a day of surfing can't cure."
One of the misconceptions about peak oil is that we are going to run out of oil. Far from it. What's happening is that it is getting harder and harder to get to. Not only that, it is getting heavier and sourer. Gone are the days where you can poke a hole in the ground in your back yard and hear rumbling and whoosh! What's keeping our voracious appetite satisfied is demonstrated here in this video.
"These shots are from my camera. Andy took many many more. These pics are from our Hill Country Adventure at the Titus Ranch in Mason, TX. Thanks to John Chatfield for sharing his Charity Auction cupon." --Frances
Hill Country Adventure
I should be posting my pictures as soon as I get time to do so. --Andy
Stopping the War Machine: Military Recruiters Must Be Confronted
By Ron Kovic -Truthdig Posted May 30, 2008
We must use every means of creative, nonviolent resistance to stop
military recruitment across the country.
As a former United States Marine Corps sergeant who was shot and
paralyzed from my mid-chest down during my second tour of duty in
Vietnam on Jan. 20, 1968, I am sending my complete support and
admiration to all those now involved in the courageous struggle to stop
military recruitment in Berkeley and across the country.
Not since the Vietnam War protests of the late 1960s has there been a
cause more just than the one you are now engaged in. Who knows better
the deep immorality and deception of military recruiters than those of
us who, decades ago, entered those same recruiting offices with our
fathers, believing in our hearts that we were being told the truth --
only to discover later we had been deceived and terribly betrayed?
Many of us paid for that deceit with our lives, years of suffering and
bodies and minds that were never the same again. If only someone had
warned us, if only someone had had the courage to speak out against the
madness that we were being led into, if only someone could have
protected us from the recruiters whose only wish was to make their
quota, send us to boot camp and hide from us the dark secret of the
nightmare which awaited us all.
Over the past five years, I have watched in horror the mirror image of
another Vietnam unfolding in Iraq. So many similarities, so many things
said that remind me of that war 30 years ago which left me paralyzed and
confined to a wheelchair for life.
Refusing to learn from the lessons of Vietnam, our government continues
to pursue a policy of deception, distortion, manipulation and denial,
doing everything it can to hide from the American people their true
intentions and agenda in Iraq. As we pass the fifth anniversary of the
start of this tragic and senseless war, I cannot help but think of the
young men and women who have been wounded, nearly 30,000, flooding
Walter Reed, Bethesda, Brooke Army Medical Center and veterans hospitals
all across our country.
Paraplegics, amputees, burn victims, the blinded, shocked and stunned,
brain-damaged and psychologically stressed, a whole new generation of
severely maimed men and women who were not even born when I came home
wounded to the Bronx Veterans Hospital in New York in 1968.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which afflicted so many of us
after Vietnam, is just now beginning to appear among soldiers recently
returned from the current war. For some the agony and suffering, the
sleepless nights, anxiety attacks and awful bouts of insomnia,
alienation, anger and rage will last for decades -- if not their whole
They will be trapped in a permanent nightmare of that war, of killing
another man, a child, watching a friend die ... fighting against an
enemy that can never be seen, while at any moment someone, a child, a
woman, an old man -- anyone -- might kill them.
These traumas return home with us and we carry them, sometimes hidden,
for agonizing decades. They deeply impact our daily lives, and the lives
closest to us. To kill another human being, to take another life out of
this world with one pull of a trigger, is something that never leaves you.
It is as if a part of you dies with that person. If you choose to keep
on living, there may be a healing, and even hope and happiness again,
but that scar and memory and sorrow will be with you forever. Why did
the recruiters never mention these things? This was never in the slick
pamphlets they gave us.
Some of these veterans are showing up at homeless shelters around our
country, while others have begun to courageously speak out against the
senselessness and insanity of this war and to demand answers from the
leaders who sent them there.
During the 2004 Democratic National Convention, returning soldiers
formed a group called Iraq Veterans Against the War, just as we had
marched in Miami in August of 1972 as Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
Still others have refused deployment to Iraq, gone to Canada and begun
resisting this immoral and illegal war.
Like many other Americans, I have seen them on television or at the
local veterans hospitals, but for the most part, they remain hidden like
the flag-draped caskets of our dead returned to Dover Air Force Base in
the dark of night, as this administration continues to pursue a policy
of censorship, tightly controlling the images coming out of that war and
rarely allowing the human cost of its policy to be seen.
Many of us promised ourselves long ago that we would never allow what
happened to us in Vietnam to happen again. We had an obligation, a
responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, as human beings, to raise our
voices in protest.
We could never forget the hospitals, the intensive-care wards, the
wounded all around us fighting for their lives, those long and painful
years after we came home, those lonely nights. There were lives to save
on both sides, young men and women who would be disfigured and maimed,
mothers and fathers who would lose their sons and daughters, wives and
other loved ones who would suffer for decades to come if we did not do
everything we could to stop the momentum of this madness.
Mario Savio once said,
"There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious,
makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part, you can't even
passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears
and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you've
got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run
it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free the machine will
be prevented from working at all."
It is time to stop the war machine. It is time for bold and daring
action on the part of us all. Precious lives are at stake, both American
and Iraqi, and military recruiters must be confronted at every turn, in
every high school, every campus, every recruiting office, on every
street corner, in every town and city across America. In no uncertain
terms we must make it clear to them that by their actions they represent
a threat to our community, to our children and all that we cherish.
We must explain to them that condemning our young men and women to
their death, setting them up to be horribly maimed, and psychologically
damaged in a senseless and immoral war, is wrong and unpatriotic and
will not be tolerated by Berkeley -- or, for that matter, any town or
city in the United States.
The days of deceiving, manipulating and victimizing our young people are
over. We have had enough, and I strongly encourage all of you to use
every means of creative, nonviolent civil disobedience to stop military
recruitment all across our country.
I stand with you in this important and courageous fight, and I am
confident your actions in the days ahead will inspire countless others
across our country to do everything they can to end this deeply immoral
and illegal war.
(Note: This statement represents portions of several essays and writings
I have done over the past five years. -- R.K.)
See more stories tagged with:
Kovic was born in Ladysmith, Wis., and grew up in Massapequa, N.Y. His
autobiography, "Born on the Fourth of July," was adapted as an Academy
Award-winning film directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Cruise as
Kovic. Kovic received a Golden Globe for his screenplay adaptation of
Kovic is an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq.
vvawnet mailing list
Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc.
Fighting for veterans, peace and justice since 1967
Folks, the supercollider in Cern, Switzerland... and France, is about to be fired up. This will no doubt produce a breakthrough as significant as Einstein's famous E=mc2. What they expect to find is a fundamental constituent of matter called the Higgs boson, which is a theoretical particle or field that has been postulated to explain why matter has mass. Watch the videos to learn more about what and why this is an important thing to do...
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