Friday, June 30, 2006

Last Dance?

Tara Liloia DFA wrote on June 30, 2006 12:42 PM:

Blog for America is currently undergoing a server upgrade which will begin in approximately 20 minutes. Commenting will be disabled until Friday, July 7th. You can join the discussion at the Blog for America DFA-Link group:

Tom Bearse wrote on June 30, 2006 12:42 PM:

Carol, promoting campaign reform and universal health care, you remind me somewhat of Howard Dean. What did you think of his presidential candidacy and what do you think of his work as party chairman?

IndySteve wrote on June 30, 2006 12:45 PM:

Tara Liloia DFA wrote on June 30, 2006 12:42 PM:

Oh, no, one week downtime! May do us some good.
Could this mean, perchance, that we're getting long-anticipated blog software update?

MonicaSmith wrote on June 30, 2006 12:45 PM:

Tom Bearse wrote on June 30, 2006 12:39 PM

You're right. But, that's in part a consequence of a vacuum needing to be filled. The American public has been content to relinquish government to the special interest and failed to participate.The public needs to realize that if you don't participate and promote your interest, someone else is just waiting to pounce. If you don't stand up for yourself, other humans will take advantage.

Thankful2Thankful4Dean wrote on June 30, 2006 12:45 PM:

gosh, thanks for all the notice

hi Indy :-)

Carol Shea-Porter wrote on June 30, 2006 12:46 PM:

IndySteve wrote on June 30, 2006 12:40 PM:

anybody with 50 bucks can sign up to be on the ballot here. the state party's position xalls for neutrality in the primary.

however, the DCCC interfered with the primary process by stating that this election was too important to wait until after the primary. this infuriated nh voters of all political persuasions. the state newspapers (both conservative and moderate) attacked the DCCC for interfering and trying to choose the democratic candidate instead of allowing the voters to do so. our campaign has a great deal of support everywhere, and we're confident we will win the primary.

Carol Shea-Porter wrote on June 30, 2006 12:48 PM:

Tom Bearse wrote on June 30, 2006 12:42 PM:

i think he changed the face of american politics. i think he showed the power of the grass roots and the power of the internet to organize. i'm thrilled that he's head of the DNC.

MonicaSmith wrote on June 30, 2006 12:49 PM:

Tara Liloia DFA wrote on June 30, 2006 12:42 PM:

Great!!! Carol broke the blog!!!

dave in illinois wrote on June 30, 2006 12:50 PM:

Robin Williams ripping Limbaugh on Leno:

puddle*in*WV wrote on June 30, 2006 12:51 PM:

Well, then campers: don't forget HEP. You never get timed out there. . .


IndySteve wrote on June 30, 2006 12:52 PM:

Carol Shea-Porter wrote on June 30, 2006 12:46 PM:

Good, but watch your back! Sigh, the DCCC mucking around everywhere. Rahm Emmanuel came to fundraise for my opponent one month before the primary. The local and state Dems take sides (no neutrality) and basically try to shove Conservative Dems down our throats.

I found a progressive message with reasonable ideas and positions resonated with lots of independents and even Republicans much better than an issue-less say-nothing campaign.

rich^kolker wrote on June 30, 2006 12:52 PM:

Well, before we say goodbye to the old blog software, I'd like to thak Tara and all the administrators and contributors over the years. It has served us well. It is the software that put "blog" in the vocabulary of Presidential candidates.

The new software may be slicker and more flexible, but there's something to be said for good old one-thread.

See you all on the other side!

Marcia - wrote on June 30, 2006 12:53 PM:

Hi Indy, I still have that picture of us at the TBA conference two years ago. Glad you stood up to the party structure. We also have a problem in NH. If the party likes you, you are in like flynn. If are on your own fighting uphill and good luck to you. Marcia

MonicaSmith wrote on June 30, 2006 12:53 PM:

Just kidding Carol. We've been waiting for the new softwear for almost a year. IT'S JUST A COINCIDENCE!!!!!

Carol Shea-Porter wrote on June 30, 2006 12:54 PM:

IndySteve wrote on June 30, 2006 12:52 PM:

i think you're right. people want straight answers and they appreciate them--even if they don't always agree with you. i believe they will still vote for you if they know they can trust you and that you will tell them the truth.

Thankful2Thankful4Dean wrote on June 30, 2006 12:54 PM:

hi puddle :-) will try to stop by there later today. was just driving through here after having coffee w/ Donna and before backtracking to get some papers I left at Cath's. ::sigh::

Carol - thankful to you for blogging here today. Best of everything to you... Dean on!

puddle*in*WV wrote on June 30, 2006 12:54 PM:

Hi Thankful! (Whose dog walks on water!)

IndySteve wrote on June 30, 2006 12:55 PM:

Great to "see" you! I still have the Washington Post photo of us at TBA on my frig!!

puddle*in*WV wrote on June 30, 2006 12:56 PM:

rich ~~ "

MonicaSmith wrote on June 30, 2006 12:56 PM:

So, who's going to get the last comment?

Thankful2Thankful4Dean wrote on June 30, 2006 12:57 PM:

puddle*in*WV wrote on June 30, 2006 12:54 PM:

LOL. yep

Carol Shea-Porter wrote on June 30, 2006 12:57 PM:

thank you everybody for your great questions!

if you like what you've heard/read, i would be grateful if you go to my website and make a donation. this will be used to help us pay for media so that my fellow new hampshire voters will hear our message of hope. thanks again, everyone. i've really enjoyed it.

IndySteve wrote on June 30, 2006 12:57 PM:

Gosh, I find myself getting wistful at losing our familiar blog!! Hi, Thankful, Rich, Puddle, let's stay together after the change!

rdorgan wrote on June 30, 2006 12:58 PM:

rich^kolker wrote on June 30, 2006 12:52 PM:


See you all on the other side!


Rich -

Since we all MATTER, does that mean on the other side we'll be ANTI-MATTER ? lol

puddle*in*WV wrote on June 30, 2006 12:59 PM:

Gosh, now I think I'm gonna cry! I have loved this place since January of 2004. Dun been courted here, and all. . .

Plus friends, and fun, and sorrow, and helping, and hoping, and, and, and. . . .

Just soooooooooo MUCH!!

IndySteve wrote on June 30, 2006 12:59 PM:

Bye, Carol. Good luck. Stay strong. Speak out and don't ever appear to be a "politician"!

yes, folks, money is important even with the grassroots. You just have to get on the radio and possibly TV if you expect to reach as many as possible.

MonicaSmith wrote on June 30, 2006 12:59 PM:

The End--The Beginning

Thankful2Thankful4Dean wrote on June 30, 2006 12:59 PM:

occasionally I get asked about the thankful name... from long ago...

Posted by John in CU at April 13, 2004 11:34 AM

Yes, I noticed that too :-) some asked for positive characteristics, and when someone offered it was jumped on. Not to worry, I also noticed some positive reactions to OldActivist's post - and over the course of the morning anticipate the feedback to generally even out.

Another interesting dynamic I've witnessed by reading over time is that there are folks who used to argue vehemently and are now having really neat conversations. Debate is good when let to run its course.

Anyway, I invite you to join me in trying a different approach to the negative voices. Appreciate them! Sure some are here just to distract and divide, many others are working through change and expressing heartfelt questions and feelings, and some will never budge on this issue. That's ok, that's good, we can choose to scroll.

Maybe more than just a little crazy here, but I enjoy it thoroughly, and read with the image of a family dinner conversation taking place.
Now, lest anyone think I'm sitting here taking happy pills and wearing rose-colored glasses - bear with me as I pour my exhausted heart out - I am out and out afraid. This admin. scares the bejeebus out of me. My kids are of draftable age sooner than later. Our civil rights are evaporating, our jobs are disappearing, insurance and health-care are increasingly unavailable, our education system has been mandated to aim for the minimum rather than have high standards and teach all kids to reach and work towards a goal, our nation's standing in the world has been greatly diminished, the value of the dollar is plummeting, 'they' are proposing to curtail the federal courts, and we can't be sure our votes will be counted accurately come November..... I don't sleep much of late.

And yet, I have hope. It's not for desperation and despair that I am here and believe in DFA - it's because this wildly diverse and wonderful group comes together and brainstorms, questions, argues, and takes ACTION. I am deeply thankful to and thankful for Howard Dean.


Posted by: Thankful2Thankful4Dean at April 13, 2004 12:48 PM

rich^kolker wrote on June 30, 2006 12:59 PM:

It's not where you say it, it's what you say...

rich^kolker wrote on June 30, 2006 01:00 PM:

Somebody actually gets to be last!

Thankful2Thankful4Dean wrote on June 30, 2006 01:00 PM:

Indy - will do.

♥'s all

Thankful2Thankful4Dean wrote on June 30, 2006 01:01 PM:

somehow lasties donesn't matter. some respect and courtesy would have been appreciated though.

puddle*in*WV wrote on June 30, 2006 01:01 PM:

Indy ~~ you bet!! Deaniacs are always together! (even if they're not *here* ~~ Free Spirit came to the play and had dinner with us in Greensboro a couple of weeks ago).

Thankful2Thankful4Dean wrote on June 30, 2006 01:01 PM:

on a mmore positive note...

Kindness is free


night bloggie.

IndySteve wrote on June 30, 2006 01:03 PM:

Puddle, your story is inspiring to all soulmates everywhere!

Thankful2Thankful4Dean wrote on June 30, 2006 01:04 PM:

and remember, the bat has but $5,000 to go...


rich^kolker wrote on June 30, 2006 01:04 PM:

...and the beat goes on...

Happy July 2nd.

Lenny in Iowa wrote on June 30, 2006 01:05 PM:

au revoir Simone!

puddle*in*WV wrote on June 30, 2006 01:05 PM:

Beautiful, Thankful.

Sooooooooooo THANKFUL for you!

♥s and ♥s and ♥s

IndySteve wrote on June 30, 2006 01:05 PM:

Good night, David. Good night, Chet.

Mike*in*Raleigh*NC wrote on June 30, 2006 01:06 PM:

The Last hurrah? maybe?

puddle*in*WV wrote on June 30, 2006 01:07 PM:

"Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are."
Back to Top

"Au revoir, Pee Wee"

puddle*in*WV wrote on June 30, 2006 01:07 PM:

"Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are."

Some days, you just *need* cute ~~

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sometimes She just takes your breath away. . . .

Been blue all morning. After the last post, falling into something like despair.

And then. As if by magic.

I went to the window to see if the water was clear enough for me to gather, and on the bridge, framed by my window, and reframed by the trees was a Great Blue Heron! I stood literally transfixed for five minutes watching it. Finally, I shifted a little, and it flew, in all its glory, away.
Not quite as good as sharing morning coffee, but under the circumstances, how could I take it as anything but a very personal, and huge, blessing?

blue blue blue

It's beautiful here this morning. Cool and bright. And yet I am so sad. Discouraged.
Ravages from my beloved river. And not the river's fault: we put the damned bridge in, the river is only trying to cope. I'd had such high hopes in moving here: to change my life so that I did less damage, was more invisible to Mother. And I look at the mess across the road, and up-river from the bridge and my heart is near to breaking. If we removed the bridge right now, this minute, it would still take Mother millennia to repair what we've done. If we had thousands and thousands of $, we could help some, but just *some* ~~

And the damage just since this land was subdivided. The slash from the original road molders under banks of blackberries, as does the additional slash from putting in the electrical lines. Survivors of the original logging, the Hemlocks are dying. While we didn't cause the Woolly Adelgid, we seem unable to stop it.

Yes. I know. The road would have been built had I not come. And the electric poles would have gone in had I not come. And the bridge would have been built without me, had I not come. And the Woolly Adelgid, that absurd bug disguised as a piece of lint would still be ravaging my beloved Hemlocks.

And yet I think with what joy I came. How carefully I built (no heavy equipment to compress roots, carefully sculpting the house around trees. Earning indeed my local rep as that "crazy tree lady" ~~ and how proud I was of that, lol! ). How eagerly I scouted out the new flowers, trees, leaves, bugs, snakes that came to my living space among the trees. The Great Blue Heron who kept me company several times for morning coffee, the pair of Mallards near the spring inlet after a flood, just looking for a quiet spot to rest, The Beautiful Ludmilla, a spicebush swallowtail, who consented to be my pet for a week, performing her mating dance on the green speckled lid of my cook pot. No wonder I named it What Joy Farm. But now, excepting Ludmilla's beautiful get, none seen here for long.

I have no answer. If I have failed, as hard as I've tried to do no harm, what then of those who don't even care? Who just see the whole earth as "stuff" to be used up by them, as their God-given right?

Sorry for the downer. Pray for the river banks, pray for the Hemlocks, pray for us all.

"Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river

has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then

will you find that money cannot be eaten."

White Cloud, Talatawi Tribe

Dost grant me, hedgehog?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The water is as low as it's going to get without some help from big engined mechanical things. The culverts in the bridge are fully clogged with dead trees, brush, and riverrock. The whole of it is now channeled through the hole in my road at the south end of the bridge. The noise of the water is now merely pretty, no longer unbearable, and my front door is open again. The muddy brown has turned to a jade green and glows.

The small winged things have been rejoicing in the morning's sunshine: the Phoebes, the Spicebush Swallowtails, the dragon- and damselflies, the gossip bees and many more ~~ the air is aglitter with them.

PUERTO PLATA, Dominican Republic -- A slow tourist season has hurt the T-shirt and coconut milk vendors in this scenic beach town, but it hasn't put a dent in the body business.

Evidence of the sex trade is everywhere as men in shorts and sandals duck into rent-by-the-hour "love motels" with Dominican women in bright dresses.

"There is always a demand for sex," said one Dominican prostitute as she lounged at one of the town's waterfront bars. "Men will always pay for it, especially in here ... where they can get anything they want at a discount."

Indeed, the Dominican Republic is one of the biggest sex tourism destinations in the world, thanks in part to Internet sites that extol the country as a "single man's paradise."

When Christopher Columbus sailed into the bay here in 1493, the sun's reflection on the ocean made the water dazzle like silver coins, so he called it Port Silver. Nowadays, Puerto Plata still dazzles millions of vacationers looking for turquoise reefs and palm-strewn white sand beaches.

But this sunny vacation mecca has a dark side: The area's thriving commercial sex industry has given it one of the highest HIV rates of any region in the country, according to the World Bank.

The tourism boom didn't hit this island nation until the 1990s, when resorts gobbled up miles of virgin beachfront property. Today, men looking for local action can choose from customized love vacations that include room, board, 20 alcohol drinks a day and the company of one or more local women.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Love in a time of flood. . . .

Just came in from putting shingles stored under the porch up onto the porch. These are the only ones that survived Hurricane Isabel, September 18, 2003. They'd gotten caught in bundles and tarps, and other debris. They were hunted down, bundle and single after that flood. They came from the roof of my mother's house in Bountiful. My brothers saved the best when they reroofed. They are hand-split redwood shingles. I carted them home from Utah after my mother died. Isabel got most of them. I still have enough, I think to finish the front of the Fairydiddle Mystery House.

You may surmise that this is turning out to be quite a flood. And you'd be right. I've never seen water like this that wasn't associated with a hurricane. There's a clump of trees and brush caught in the culverts of the bridge causing the water to flow to either side. Not often can I get a sense of how deeply the bridge is underwater, but from the backup and drop, I'd estimate that the water is three or four feet higher than the bridge.

It's now covering the last of the terrace (what Isabel didn't destroy) and in six or so inches will be under the front porch. Time, I thought to rescue the shingles again. I moved the car up the hill night before last, and am glad I did. Though water is only half over the driveway, I wouldn't be able to back into the river to turn, and when I back up the hill, I always end up in the ditch!

By way of comparison, the Isabel flooding only came up to my second step (above which are five more),so the living room is in no danger. And I never even lost electricity during Isabel. My main worry? I'm going to run out of both cigarettes and coffee. . .

Meanwhile, I'm being entertained by the sheer force and beauty of Mother, angry. Hope she doesn't get more so. . .

(No. This isn't a picture of my flood. But it could easily be.)


Adrenalin Mother,
with your dress of comets
and shoes of swift bird wings
and shadow of jumping fish,
thank you for touching,
understanding and loving my life.
Without you, I am dead.

Richard Brautigan

I love writing poetry but it's taken time, like a difficult courtship that leads to a good marriage, for us to get to know each other. I wrote poetry for seven years to learn how to write a sentence because I really wanted to write novels and I figured that I couldn't write a novel until I could write a sentence. I used poetry as a lover but I never made her my old lady. . . . I tried to write poetry that would get at some of the hard things in my life that needed talking about but those things you can only tell your old lady.
Brautigan, Richard. "Old Lady." The San Francisco Poets. Ed. David Meltzer. New York: Ballantine Books, 1971. 293-294.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Poor guy. . . .

Peepers have been out since March 14. Tonight I hear two, still going at it. These guys must be the unluckiest fellas around. Suppose they have bad breath?

NO, NAY, NEVER. . . .


As I was driving home from the grocery store in Greensboro, North Carolina, I saw this car in front of me: a shiny red SUV. On the left bumper, screwed in, was a metal Marine shield. On the other side, higher up, on the paint, was this:

And it made me very very happy.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Torture: Now Part of Our National Character

I pledge allegiance
Beating; punching with fists; use of truncheons; kicking; slamming against walls;
to the flag
stretching or suspension (to tear ligaments or muscles to cause asphyxia); external electric shocks;
of the United States of America, forcing prisoners to abase and to urinate on themselves; forced masturbation;
and to the Republic for which it stands, forced renunciation of religion; false confessions or accusations; applying urine and feces to prisoners;
One Nation
making verbal threats to a prisoner and his family; denigration of a prisoner's religion; force-feeding;
Under God induced hypothermia and exposure to extreme heat; dietary manipulation; use of sedatives; extreme sleep deprivation;
Indivisible mock executions; water immersion; "water-boarding"; obstruction of the prisoner's airway; chest compression;
With Liberty and Justice for all thermal burning; rape; dog bites; sexual abuse; forcing a prisoner to watch the abuse or torture of a loved one.

{italicized portions are a direct quote from "interrogation techniques reliably documented at U.S. detention centers in Guantanamo or Afghanistan, compiled by medical ethicist, Stephen Miles, in a forthcoming book, "Oath Betrayed." His sources are 35,000 pages of FOIAed government documents or credible witness testimony"}

posted by
Screwy Hoolie at 12:07 AM 2 comments

There's a hard rain coming. . .

The spots on his lungs where the old (cancer) spots used to be are fungus spots. That is what this fungus does: attacks compromised spots/areas. The cultures have been sent to "Dr. Fungus" in Texas for advice on treatment. Pray, and pray, and pray, please. . . .

Saturday, June 24, 2006

There's a storm across the valley, clouds are rolling in,

the afternoon is heavy on your shoulders.

There's a truck out on the four lane, a mile or more away,

the whining of his wheels just makes it colder.

He's an hour away from riding on your prayers up in the sky

and ten days on the road are barely gone.

There's a fire softly burning, supper's on the stove,

but it's the light in your eyes that makes him warm.

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

Sometimes this old farm feels like a long lost friend.

Yes, and hey, it's good to be back home again.

There's all the news to tell him, how's you spend your time,

and what's the latest thing the neighbors say?

And your mother called last Friday, "Sunshine" made her cry

and you felt the baby move just yesterday.

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

Sometimes this old farm feels like a long lost friend.

Yes, and hey, it's good to be back home again.

Oh, the time that I can lay this tired old body down,

and feel your fingers feather soft upon me.

The kisses that I live for, the love that lights my way,

the happiness that living with you brings me.

It's the sweetest thing I know of, just spending time with

It's the little things that make a house a home.

Like a fire softly burning and supper on the stove,

the light in your eyes that makes me warm.

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

Sometimes this old farm feels like a long lost friend.

Yes, and hey, it's good to be back home again.

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

Sometimes this old farm feels like a long lost friend.

Yes, and hey, it's good to be back home again.

I said hey, it's good to be back home again.

Words and music by john denver

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I know today is the day that should have been Tanner's transplant. It isn't. When I got back to the computer today, and got updated, discovered it's been put on hold while they go fungus (they hope) hunting. Just now, my heart is hurting. A lot. Please pray if you can.

I'll be with you on MidSummer's Eve

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Opening Tonight!

Break a toe, Sweetie!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Heading down to Greensboro. . .

Traveling mercies, please. . .

Captions, anyone?

Thanks listener! (via HEP)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Thank you, thank you, thank you

The insurance company has approved the transplant!!

Hold on to your hats for the next 11 days!!

And thank you all, again, and again, and again.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Another big thanks to Screwy. Read the commentary here

With thanks to Scrutiny Hooligans

Bright, bright sunshiny day. . .

I can see clearly now the rain has gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's going to be a bright, bright sunshiny day
It's going to be a bright, bright sunshiny day

I think I can make it now the pain has gone
And all of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I've been praying for
It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day

Look all around
There's nothing but blue skies
Look straight ahead nothing but blue skies
I think I can make it now the pain has gone
And all of the bad feelings have disappeared
I can see clearly now the rain has gone
It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day

Norway's future Queen ( and King: the one that brung her)

Crown Princess Mette-Marit

No good reason except that I'm half Norwegian, and I think she's gorgeous. And we need gorgeous to keep us alive. . . .

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Down to the River to Pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way !

O sisters let's go down,
Let's go down, come on down,
O sisters let's go down,
Down in the river to pray.

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the robe and crown
Good Lord, show me the way !

O brothers let's go down,
Let's go down, come on down,
Come on brothers let's go down,
Down in the river to pray.

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way !

O fathers let's go down,
Let's go down, come on down,
O fathers let's go down,
Down in the river to pray.

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the robe and crown
Good Lord, show me the way !

O mothers let's go down,
Let's go down, don't you want to go down,
Come on mothers let's go down,
Down in the river to pray.

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way !

O sinners let's go down,
Let's go down, come on down,
O sinners let's go down,
Down in the river to pray.

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the robe and crown
Good Lord, show me the way !

On this sweet quiet Saturday morning in the mountains. . . .

Come the men with mowers.

They are my part-time neighbors up the hill. Nice men. Turkey hunters mostly. They seem to miss their lawns when they're here, so bring their mowers from the city, and mow the sides and middle of our little dirt road.

Gotta love 'em.

(The above is *not* a picture of any of my neighbors, but certainly reflects the joy of certain men with mowers. . . .)

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Shakespeare Primer for Those Who Must Deal with Parrots. . . .

Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth.

Thou froward clay-brained codpiece!

Thy sin's not accidental, but a trade.

Thou spleeny unchin-snouted popinjay!

[Thou] small grey coated gnat.

False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

You are a shallow cowardly hind, and you lie.

[Thy] kiss is comfortless as frozen water to a starved snake.

[Thine] forward voice, now, is to speak well of [thine] friend; [thine] backward voice is to utter foul speeches and to detract.

Thou wouldst eat thy dead vomit up,
And howl'st to find it.

Thou wilt be as valiant as the wrathful dove, or most magnanimous mouse.

Thou tottering rough-hewn canker-blossom!

Thou weedy fool-born flap-dragon!

Come, you are a tedious fool.

Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty
To make thy riches pleasant.

essentially a natural coward without instinct.

Many thanks to Pangloss


I woke up late because of the clouds
and your side of the bed was empty.
No note on the kitchen table
just an empty wine bottle on its side;
a remnant of last night.

I walked out into the mist
but you'd taken the rowboat.
You had left the island.

It was too dark and too quiet.
I couldn't tell if it had already rained
or if that was still to come.

I walked down to the water and sat on the dock
listening to the waves lap the pier,
waiting for the rain
or the sun.

~~ listener

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I woke up early this morning to the news that Al-Zarqawi is dead. And I felt relieved. I did not feel "joyous" as one right wing-nut suggested that we should all feel. This is why.

Al-Zarqawi is dead. And it is very good that he is gone. He was a monster. He was a brilliant monster; he was an evil monster; but he was our monster.

We knew who he was, and where he was, and we chose to let him go, three times, before the War on the Iraqis, because we needed at least one link between Iraq and al-Qaida. That he was in the part of Iraq that we controlled was deemed not to matter. The Pentagon itself wanted to take him out all three times, and was prevented all three times by the pReznit's Office.

So his death is a victory of sorts. Likely he won't be replaced by anyone as brilliant or as evil. Still, wouldn't one have to ask if the blood of the seven hundred human beings estimated to have died at his hand after the pReznit refused to go get him for political reasons, is not that blood as much on our hands as on his?

Update: more on al-Zarqawi and GWB from Maha

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Torture: It’s the New Black
Posted by Jim Macdonald

Do y’all remember a year ago, when Sen. McCain (R-Arizona) sponsored a ban on torture by making the Army follow its own field manual? Well, some clever buggers have figured out how to get around that. They’re re-writing the field manual to remove Geneva.

O, happy day!

As the LA Times reports:

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet of the Geneva Convention that explicitly bans “humiliating and degrading treatment,” according to knowledgeable military officials, a step that would mark a further, potentially permanent, shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards.

The decision could culminate a lengthy debate within the Defense Department but will not become final until the Pentagon makes new guidelines public, a step that has been delayed. However, the State Department fiercely opposes the military’s decision to exclude Geneva Convention protections and has been pushing for the Pentagon and White House to reconsider, the Defense Department officials acknowledged.

The article goes on to say:

… the exclusion of the Geneva provisions may make it more difficult for the administration to portray such incidents [as Abu Ghraib and Haditha] as aberrations. And it undercuts contentions that U.S. forces follow the strictest, most broadly accepted standards when fighting wars.

“The rest of the world is completely convinced that we are busy torturing people,” said Oona A. Hathaway, an expert in international law at Yale Law School. “Whether that is true or not, the fact we keep refusing to provide these protections in our formal directives puts a lot of fuel on the fire.”

To call this short-sighted, un-American, morally repugnant, and just plain stupid, understates the stituation. Has anyone thought of the implications for our own captured troops in another war, in another place, ten or twenty years from now, if our foe of that moment decides to follow our own field manual?

The move to restore U.S. adherence to Article 3 [of the Geneva Conventions] was opposed by officials from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office and by the Pentagon’s intelligence arm, government sources said. David S. Addington, Cheney’s chief of staff, and Stephen A. Cambone, Defense undersecretary for intelligence, said it would restrict the United States’ ability to question detainees.

Well, yes. The purpose of Article 3 is to restrict the abilities of belligerants to question detainees. What did they think it was for?

There's more, read it. . .

Fiona 3

Fiona 2

Fiona 1

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

In serious need of some kickass angels!

June 06, 2006 at 02:43 PM MDT

HI everyone...
A lot has gone on in the last week as we prepare for Tanner to have a liver transplant. I am just too exhausted emotionally to relay all the information right now...hopefully another day.
I don't usually ask people to pray specifically for things. But right now we need you. I just got off the phone with the transplant cooridnators and I got the first hint that our insurance may be less than thrilled to pay for a transplant for someone who has "cancer with history of metastatic disease." (as they put it) I can't tell you the level of stress I feel having to worry about stuff like that in addition to everything else we're going through. It had never really crossed my mind that our insurance might deny a transplant for Tanner.
If things continue to go smoothly, his transplant will be sometime between June 20-22.
If everyone who reads this will PLEASE PLEASE pray for our insurance company to approve Tanner's transplant and approve it QUICKLY.
Thanks, and lots of Love...Megan

But the good news is (clicky)

Forty years ago today, Robert Kennedy delivered his famous "Ripple of Hope" speech.

"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

Thanks Aldon!

Just because. . . .


Monday, June 05, 2006

The Scarlet Tanager

We'd hiked in,
early summer,
through the sparse woods,
deep and far,
a long walk,
and we were tired.

Found the creek
tumbling and dribbling
over huge boulders
forming small pools
beneath smaller falls.

Climbed the creek
a small way
and settled in as strangers
on sun warmed stone
amid filtered perfectly green light.

Almost before our breath was evened
a small splash below us
a small twittering:
And a most glorious burst
of red amidst all the green woods
and gray stone.

The most scarlet ever seen,
the most vermilion ever created.
Luminous, burning, bright!
All in the body of one small bird,

That moment, the moment of truth,
of stillness
of joy
has illuminated all that has followed.

There needs be
in every life,
soon or late.

~~ Julie Li

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Fishing For Meaning

A poem to a father
song for a daughter's Magic Day
and a tribute to a boat mate brother
with an ink print smeared by a tear
(don't think I didn't see).

Family means so much
for what they share,
for they are there when you dare
to spread your wings and fall;
their laughter only stings
'til you laugh too.
But I lift my eyes to the hills
to gain guidance
lost in backwater maze of wandering purpose
after loss
the hills guide.

They demand a gaze
upward off the water
and define
God's Country.

~~ Phil Specht

Oh, Joy!!

Tanner has finished round five. After round four, his lungs were clear (his doctor said in all her years of working with children with Heptoblastoma, she had never seen a baby with more Metastases in their lungs than Tanner had, so this is beyond miracles!).

They now had three choices: continue with just Chemo, liver resection, or liver transplant. They have decided on the transplant. His father has volunteered, and so far it is looking good. Last step it to make sure his father's liver (they only take a part) is the correct size and the vessels are correct for transplant.

The transplant is (roughly) scheduled for June 20th, so please keep on with those prayers, vibes, good wishes, and light coming.

And thank you all for the love you have shown. Your caring has been beyond rubies. A pearl of great price, indeed.