Friday, March 31, 2006

Thursday, March 30, 2006

One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop

Phil*from*Iowa. wrote on March 30, 2006 06:50 PM:


that is why Jain holy men wear no clothes so as not to damage the souls of the lice that inhabit their loins

I not sure why American laws should follow that religion either (lol)

a rat is a dog is a boy?


Demetrius wrote on March 30, 2006 06:52 PM:

"fred from Or wrote on March 30, 2006 05:21 PM:

What is true is that men who don't, or won't, do the heavy lifting in a pregnancy or child-rearing, are most likely to be pro-abortion "pro-choice," rather than be obliged to offer support. "

I'd be interested in seeing the research that supports this.

Phil*from*Iowa. wrote on March 30, 2006 06:55 PM:

now look what I have done

a mob of naked Jain holy men have assembled on the street outside my house


Polar bears drown as ice shelf melts

Copyright © 2003 Donald Bradshaw

Will Iredale

SCIENTISTS have for the first time found evidence that polar bears are drowning because climate change is melting the Arctic ice shelf.
The researchers were startled to find bears having to swim up to 60 miles across open sea to find food. They are being forced into the long voyages because the ice floes from which they feed are melting, becoming smaller and drifting farther apart.

Although polar bears are strong swimmers, they are adapted for swimming close to the shore. Their sea journeys leave them them vulnerable to exhaustion, hypothermia or being swamped by waves.

According to the new research, four bear carcases were found floating in one month in a single patch of sea off the north coast of Alaska, where average summer temperatures have increased by 2-3C degrees since 1950s.

The scientists believe such drownings are becoming widespread across the Arctic, an inevitable consequence of the doubling in the past 20 years of the proportion of polar bears having to swim in open seas.

“Mortalities due to offshore swimming may be a relatively important and unaccounted source of natural mortality given the energetic demands placed on individual bears engaged in long-distance swimming,” says the research led by Dr Charles Monnett, marine ecologist at the American government’s Minerals Management Service. “Drowning-related deaths of polar bears may increase in the future if the observed trend of regression of pack ice continues.”

More: click title

Hat tip to The O C

Three Leaders. Who's afraid? Click picture for larger version. Take in the look on his face. . .


CHICHEN ITZA, MEXICO: Mexican President Vicente Fox (L), his US counterpart George W. Bush (C) and the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper climb the Kukulkan pyramid during a tour at the archaeological area of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan State, Mexico, 30 March 2006. The thorny issue of immigration will likely dominate the agenda as the three leaders gather for a two-day summit at this heavily guarded resort town

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Area: Gramercy Park
Floors: 22
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Property Type: Rental Property
Pets Policy: Pets Allowed
Roof Deck: Yes
Laundry: Yes
Dishwasher: Yes
Doorman: Yes
Elevator: Yes
Available: imm
Rent: $3,420

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Oh it takes a worried man, sing a worried song
Takes a worried man, come sing a little worried song
Well it takes a worried man to sing a worried song
I’m worried now, won’t be worried long

I went down to the riverside and I laid me down to sleep
Went down to the riverside, laid me down to sleep, lord
A-well I went down to the riverside, laid me down to sleep
When I woke up there were shackles on both-a my feet
Hit it!

It takes a worried man, to sing a worried song
It takes a worried man (come) to sing a worried song
Yeah, it takes a worried man, yeah, to sing a worried song
I’m worried now but I won’t be worried long
Worry for me!


I said, judge (judge) judge, what’s a-gonna be my fine?
I said, judge (judge) judge (judge) tell me what’s gonna be my fine?
I said, judge (judge) judge (judge) tell me what’s gonna be my fine?
He said, twenty-one years (oh) on that old rock island line

Oh well it takes a worried man, to sing a worried song
Takes a worried man, to sing a worried song
Yeah, it takes a worried man, to sing a worried song
I’m worried now, but I won’t be worried long
Sing it one more time!

It takes a worried man, to sing a worried song
It takes a worried man, to sing a worried song, my lord
It takes a worried man, to sing a worried song
I’m worried now, but I won’t be worried long


"My experience leads me to believe that love IS increasing."

The Dalai Lama Answers

The Dalai Lama said all the questions fall under the last one. If we have true compassion, our children will be educated, we will care for the earth, and for those who "have not".

He asked the group:

Do you think loving on the planet is increasing or staying the same?

His own response was,

"My experience leads me to believe that love IS increasing."

He shared a practice with the group that will increase loving and compassion in the world, and asked everyone attending to go home and share it with as many people as possible.

The Practice

Spend 5 minutes at the beginning of each day remembering we all want the same thing (to be happy and loved) and we are all connected.
Spend 5 minutes cherishing yourself and others. Let go of judgments. Breathe in cherishing yourself, and breathe out cherishing others. If the faces of people you are having difficulty with appear, cherish them as well.
During the day extend that attitude to everyone you meet - we are all the same, and I cherish myself and you [do it with the grocery store clerk, the client, your family, coworkers, everyone you meet.].
Stay in the practice, no matter what happens.

Please pass this along, if you are so inclined.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Friday, March 24, 2006

Photo Credit: AP Photo

The King speaks. . .

Bush signed the bill with fanfare at a White House ceremony March 9, calling it ''a piece of legislation that's vital to win the war on terror and to protect the American people." But after the reporters and guests had left, the White House quietly issued a ''signing statement," an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law.

In the statement, Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."

Bush wrote: ''The executive branch shall construe the provisions . . . that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch . . . in a manner consistent with the president's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information . . . "

The statement represented the latest in a string of high-profile instances in which Bush has cited his constitutional authority to bypass a law.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Le Faux Fox

Thankful to Thankful. . . .

Just gotta love New York City. . .

March 23, 2006
A Coyote Leads a Crowd on a Central Park Marathon

A coyote's romp in Central Park ended yesterday with a tranquilizer dart and a nap, but only after a messy breakfast (hold the feathers), a dip in a chilly pond and a sprint past a skating rink-turned-movie set.

There was also a final chase that had all the elements of a Road Runner cartoon, with the added spectacle of television news helicopters hovering overhead, trailing the coyote and the out-of-breath posse of police officers, park officials and reporters trailing it.

The coyote's pursuers joked that it even tried to turn itself in. It was hunting for a place to sleep it off after being hit by a single tranquilizer dart, and that place was a Fire Department dispatching station next to the Central Park station house overlooking the 79th Street transverse.

The coyote — named Hal by his captors, who said he was about a year old — woke up in a cage on the bed of a pickup truck carrying him out of the park. The city's parks commissioner, Adrian Benepe, wasted no time in declaring that Central Park's 843 acres were once again a coyote-free zone.

This was a couple of hours after Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had delivered some one-liners at Hal's expense. "Are New Yorkers in danger?" the mayor asked at a breakfast at the New York Public Library. "This is New York, and I would suggest that the coyote may have more problems than the rest of us."

Where Hal came from remained a mystery. Mr. Benepe said that he had probably been driven out of Westchester County. Older coyotes do that to young males at this time of the year, wildlife specialists said.

He speculated that Hal had made it down to the Bronx and trotted into Manhattan across a railroad bridge at Spuyten Duyvil—"the narrowest, safest crossing," he said.

But Mr. Benepe said it was also possible that Hal had dog paddled his way through the water beneath the railroad bridge. From there, he said, Hal probably meandered down the West Side to 72nd Street, where Riverside Park ends. And then, Mr. Benepe said, he turned left.

That was news to people in the neighborhood. "I see a lot of things pass this way," said Ralph Mascolo, a doorman at an apartment building on 72nd Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, "but never a coyote."

Maybe he took the crosstown bus. Laura Simon, the field director for the urban wildlife program of the Humane Society of the United States, suggested that he might have hitched a ride, though she was thinking of a garbage truck. "Sometimes animals appear in the strangest places," she said, adding that the mashed-up contents of a garbage truck would have been a tasty dinner for a hungry Hal, and obviously Hal had managed not to get mashed up himself.

However he got to the park, Hal apparently hung out there for several days. Sara Hobel, the director of the city's Urban Park Rangers, said he was first described as a hyena by someone who called from a taxi on the 66th Street transverse. That was over the weekend.

Ms. Hobel's boss, Mr. Benepe, mentioned a later report from a late-night dog walker who saw "something," maybe a wolf or a coyote.

By Tuesday, Ms. Hobel was thinking it was 1999 all over again, the last time a coyote was known to have been on the loose in Central Park — Otis, who now resides in the Queens Zoo. Someone from the Central Park Conservancy, the nonprofit group that runs the park, spotted Hal in the Hallett Nature Sanctuary, four acres of boulders and grass within sprinting distance of the Wollman Rink, the carousel and, if you are Mr. Benepe, your office.

Mr. Benepe went right over, as did Ms. Hobel. Soon the police joined the hunt for Hal, who by then had been named for the nature sanctuary.

Hal had "established a route" around the sanctuary, Ms. Hobel said. But around dinnertime on Tuesday — dinnertime for people if not for Hal — he made a daring escape, scrambling over an eight-foot-high fence and blasting by Ms. Hobel.

The search was called off Tuesday night. When it resumed early yesterday, a crew working on a movie called "August Rush" was busy at the Wollman Rink, just across a path from the Hallett sanctuary. Suzanne Kelly, from the film's wardrobe crew, saw Hal "going after this lady's dog." A small dog, a Westie, she said.

Hal "looked hungry, I thought," she said. "That's what I was worried about."

The posse chasing Hal cornered him by the Heckscher Ballfields, but he got away again. Hal retreated to the sanctuary, where a pile of feathers suggested that he had made a meal of a bird, probably a pigeon, Mr. Benepe said. After a quick swim across the sanctuary's duck pond, he sprinted past the rink, where an actress in a wig was doing figure eights.

The officers with the tranquilizer guns could not keep up with Hal. Ms. Hobel was confident he would resurface in the Ramble, and he did. And they got their coyote.

Mr. Benepe, said that the next event in Hal's young life was an examination by Dr. Mary Martin, the interim executive director of Animal Care and Control of New York City, a nonprofit group that runs the city's animal shelters, and Dr. Njeri Cruse, its medical director.

The examination confirmed that Hal was a he. It also showed that Hal had "nice clean teeth," Mr. Benepe said. And that Hal was coming to.

Mr. Benepe said the plan was for a wildlife rehabilitator to take Hal out of the city and, after some rest and relaxation, release him in a more coyote-friendly habitat.

Sewell Chan, Janon Fisher and Colin Moynihan contributed reporting for this article.

Hooda thunkit???

Robert Cammaroto, who was in charge of issuing federal security directives to airlines in 2001, said the Federal Aviation Administration could have moved its just-under-three dozen armed federal air marshals from foreign to domestic flights, tightened security checkpoints and directed flight crews to resist rather than cooperate with hijackers. And he said most of these steps could have been ordered by FAA within a matter of hours and remained in effect indefinitely.

In 2001, ``we believed airplane bombings would not involve suicide,'' Cammaroto told a U.S. District Court jury which must decide whether Moussaoui is executed or imprisoned for life.

But defense attorney Gerald Zerkin got Cammaroto to concede that the FAA was aware before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that terrorists had considered flying a plane into the Eiffel Tower in Paris and that he was aware of al-Qaida suicide missions on land and sea. Cammaroto said he didn't know if al-Qaida's suicide attacks would be extended to civil aviation.


"By the time a CIA briefer gave President Bush the Aug. 6, 2001, President's Daily Brief headlined ‘Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US,’ the president had seen a stream of alarming reports on al Qaeda's intentions. So had Vice President Cheney and Bush's top national security team, according to newly declassified information released yesterday by the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks…In April and May 2001, for example, the intelligence community headlined some of those reports ‘Bin Laden planning multiple operations,’ ‘Bin Laden network's plans advancing’ and ‘Bin Laden threats are real.’" (Washington Post, 4/14/04)

Clearly, the warnings were urgent. But it was a direct threat on the life of the President that apparently led to the PDB request. President Bush noted: "I asked for the briefing. There had been a lot of threat intelligence from overseas. Part of it had to do with Genoa, that I had to attend."

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice mentioned the Genoa G-8 Summit twice during her testimony before the 9/11 Commission but without offering any details. During today's hearings 9/11 Commissioner Ben-Veniste referred to the Genoa warnings and to air defense preparations based on those warnings, which included restricting air space.

During his press conference the President said that if he had had "an inkling" that people would hijack planes into buildings he would have moved "heaven and earth" to prevent it. However, the public record strongly suggests that the President had far more than inkling. In fact, it was just such a threat that the President says led him to request the August 6th PDB.

Note these press reports: July 2000, US intelligence reports another spike in warnings related to the July 20-22 G-8 summit in Genoa, Italy. The reports include specific threats discovered by the head of Russia's Federal Bodyguard Service that al-Qaeda will try to kill Bush as he attends the summit. [CNN, 3/02] The reports are taken so seriously that Bush stays overnight on an aircraft carrier offshore, and other world leaders stay on a luxury ship. [CNN, 7/18/01]

Jonquils are blooming in Union Square

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

another fool

And the fool on the hill sees the world going round. . . clicky

"I understand how some Americans have had their confidence shaken," President Bush said yesterday in Cleveland. "Others look at the violence they see each night on their television screens, and they wonder how I can remain so optimistic about the prospects of success in Iraq. They wonder what I see that they don't."

Bush tried to explain. But in the end, what he provided was yet another example of what others see -- and he doesn't.

That would be reality.

The best Bush could do was tell the story of Tall Afar, a city in northern Iraq. "The example of Tall Afar gives me confidence in our strategy," he said. Tall Afar, he said, was once "a key base of operations for al Qaeda and is today a free city that gives reason for hope for a free Iraq."

The Washington Post provided some reality checks by a reporter there.

Peter Baker, working with "a Washington Post employee in Iraq," writes this morning: "Reports from the streets of Tall Afar, half a world away, offer a more complex story. U.S. forces last fall did drive out radicals who had brutalized the mid-size city near the Syrian border. But lately, residents say, the city has taken another dark turn. 'The armed men are fewer,' Nassir Sebti, 42, an air-conditioning mechanic, told a Washington Post interviewer Monday, 'but the assassinations between Sunni and Shiites have increased.' "

As Baker writes, even Bush's success stories "seem to come with asterisks. The administration hailed the election of a new democratic parliament last year, but the new body has so far proved incapable of forming a government for more than three months. U.S. forces have trained more Iraqi security troops, but the only unit judged capable of acting fully independently of U.S. assistance no longer can.

Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.
* * * *
A few decades later, Block followed up with more surveys, looking again at personality, and this time at politics, too. The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.
The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests. The girls were still outgoing, but the young men tended to turn a little introspective.
* * * *
Similar work by John T. Jost of Stanford and colleagues in 2003 drew a political backlash. The researchers reviewed 44 years worth of studies into the psychology of conservatism, and concluded that people who are dogmatic, fearful, intolerant of ambiguity and uncertainty, and who crave order and structure are more likely to gravitate to conservatism.

Monday, March 20, 2006

President Bush and senior officials argued Sunday that their strategy was working despite escalating violence

When asked why he thought there was a pony, the little boy said: With this much shit, there's GOT to be a pony in here somewhere!!

Prayers, light, good vibes please ~~ New round of Chemo begins today.

TIMELINE: Three Years Of War In Iraq

Today marks the three-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. ThinkProgress has created a timeline that tells the story of the Iraq war over the past 36 months.

Prior to the war, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claimed the Iraq war might last “five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that.” But as the war has intensified and escalated into a “long, hard slog,” some of the critical details have faded from our memories.

The timeline catalogues the key events, quotes and pictures of the war. Check it out and spread the word. And make sure to tell us what we missed in the comments section.

~~ click on title for whole story with live links ~~

Bush Cut Funds for Autism Study

Click title for story ~~

Hat tip to Demetrius and Edwin ♥s

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The thing most worrisome about the situation now, is that discrimination based on sect has become so commonplace. For the average educated Iraqi in Baghdad, there is still scorn for all the Sunni/Shia talk. Sadly though, people are being pushed into claiming to be this or that because political parties are promoting it with every speech and every newspaper- the whole ‘us’ / ‘them’. We read constantly about how ‘We Sunnis should unite with our Shia brothers…’ or how ‘We Shia should forgive our Sunni brothers…’ (note how us Sunni and Shia sisters don’t really fit into either equation at this point). Politicians and religious figures seem to forget at the end of the day that we’re all simply Iraqis.

And what role are the occupiers playing in all of this? It’s very convenient for them, I believe. It’s all very good if Iraqis are abducting and killing each other- then they can be the neutral foreign party trying to promote peace and understanding between people who, up until the occupation, were very peaceful and understanding.

[ ]

No. I think she's missed the F*ckUp factor. The occupiers are simply incompetent boobs who had no idear what they we doing as they planned it, acted on the planning, and are sitting in the middle of the mess they created.. . .

Gee, it's good to be back home again. . . .

Thinking today, as I drove, how glad I was to be going home last week, and how glad I was to be coming home today. And how lucky I am that both are absolutely true . . .

Friday, March 17, 2006

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bass Cheek Chowder

"The cheeks of a largemouth bass can be quite sizable and are known as the fish's "filet mignon" by those in the know." The chervil should be added at the last moment to get the benefit of its delicate anise flavor. This soup is best made a day or two ahead.

1 C chicken stock
2 potatoes, diced
1/2 tsp. tarragon
1 tsp. paprika
salt & pepper
2 onions, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 C dry white wine
2 C milk
1/4 C butter
1 C largemouth bass cheeks (other fish cheeks can be used)
1 C light cream
pinch cayenne pepper
chopped fresh chervil
In a large soup pot, heat chicken stock, potatoes, tarragon, paprika, salt & pepper.
Melt butter in a skillet, and lightly sauté bass cheeks (or sole or scallops), onion, celery, and bacon. Add to stock mixture. Stir in wine and simmer until potatoes are cooked. Do not boil. Add milk and cream slowly, stirring constantly; do not boil or it will curdle. Add cayenne. Garnish with chervil.

Easy come, easy go.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Oh boy, has Spring ever arrived!!

First Peeper heard tonight. Just one. But there, and clear and loud. It will grow and grow and not diminish until mid-June. Glorious: nature doing what nature does. As Paine would say: sex sex sex, lol!

This little critter is about an inch long. . .

Monday, March 13, 2006

Ah, Spring, the first girl. . . .

Today, I saw my first Coltsfoot.

Later, it will look like this.