Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Just the facts Ma'am"

Bummed from the website 'Dream World'

My Independent self is rearing its uncomfortable, probing head. Ok, in light of my previous posts, I probably should've posted an 'ick alert' but I'm tired. I want to write politics now. (can't help it, I'm drawn that way)

So as an Independent, AND as someone who was born and raised in the Netherlands where there are quite a number of parties that make up coalition cabinets (now now, gotta play nice no one's getting the whole piece of pie..)..the difference between the Democrats and Republicans are very nominal. Naturally, the extremism of the neoconservatives have widened that gap a bit but on the whole, both dems and reps pursue the same foreign intervention agenda in the interest of economics and yes..oil! Except the dems call it humanitarian intervention (like in Kosovo which was dumb, thank you Clinton).

If you are a 'truth seeker' and it is not too painful for you to see , do check out Fact Check, the organization set up by Walter Annenberg in 1994 with the goal to "to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state, and federal levels". Click on the fact check to inform yourself.

Quote from Jacques Ellul, famous author of Truth or Propaganda, the formation of the minds of men:

[This] sociological propaganda in the United States is a natural result of the fundamental elements of American life. In the beginning, the United States had to unify a disparate population that came from all the countries of Europe and had diverse traditions and tendencies. A way of rapid assimilation had to be found; that was the great political problem of the United States at the end of the nineteenth century. The solution was psychological standardization--that is, simply to use a way of life as the basis of unification and as an instrument of propaganda. In addition, this uniformity plays another decisive role--an economic role--in the life of the United States; it determines the extent of the American market. Mass production requires mass consumption, but there cannot be mass consumption without widespread identical views as to what the necessities of life are. One must be sure that the market will react rapidly and massively to a given proposal or suggestion. One therefore needs fundamental psychological unity on which advertising can play with certainty when manipulating public opinion. And in order for public opinion to respond, it must be convinced of the excellence of all that is "American." Thus conformity of life and conformity of thought are indissolubly linked.
(underlining linked by yours truly)

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

The continued staph saga

Friday afternoon, after conferring with Enigma (I have access to her hotline), I decided to go to the ER to get someone to look and most likely clean my staph infection. She was not impressed with the care I had gotten from my doctor's office so she urged me to go to the ER.

So we went to a nearby hospital which is practically set in the country (we live on the outskirts of Austin) but which had an excellent ER according to my neighbour friend who took the kids in. What a different experience it was from other times we've been in other ER's more closely or in town. (of wherever we lived) It was Friday afternoon 2pm-sh and there were only a few people. It felt peaceful and oh before I forget, there was a big big parking lot and parking was free! (have you ever had that headache to think about? "I hope I have enough money to pay for parking once we're done here..")

I got 'processed' and was in the ER section in the back in no time. My doctor was awesome. Dr. Grayson better live up to my high regards as I will be (hopefully) seeing him again this afternoon for a follow up. That was one of the things they did not do at my doctor's office; do a 48hr follow up every time to monitor the progress or lack thereof of the staph infection.

He was extremely friendly, and tried to put me at ease about the potential painfulness of the procedure without "promising anything". I told him I was a big girl and I understood that promises like that can never be made. See, the day before I had gone into my doctor's office where the physicians' assistant (my doc was booked) performed the drainage procedure. Naturally, the site on my elbow was extremely sore to the touch so let alone sticking a lidocaine filled needle in it! She had to 'poke' me three times and was very apologetic for hurting me. Then, of course, she drained it by squeezing and they bandaged it up and told me to change the bandage however many times needed. I was going to come back the next day.

The next day however, I went to the ER instead. So this doctor Grayson looked at how she'd done it and said, well, it's not done incorrectly ..BUT..from our experience, the incision with infections like this need to be made much bigger. (the 'much' being relative, my husband dearest who was fascinated by the procedure said, oh, he used a 15 scalpel like on Grey's Anatomy! Whatever....(I never look)

Soooo...I was very worried about another round of shots but as it turned out, he was so careful and knowledgable about how to do it, he showed an intern and made her do it as well. He told her what he was doing and why;
use this angle to insert and push very slowly, it decreases the amount of pain
warm the liquid to room temperature, it makes it less painful
He also rubbed on the spot after he was done.

He got the particular lab results from my doctor's office and said, even though they gave you the right amount for what this lab report shows, you really should have twice the dose of what you're taking. So the long and short of it was, I should have been looked at so they could've figured that out themselves.

[ICK alert]

So husband dearest got to play doctor by changing my dressing, and the long thin strip of medicated gauze they put in there (a FOOT long! my husband exclaimed, yuk, gives me goosebumps just writing it yech) anyhow, a bit came out and there went the goosebumps up and down my back and head YUK!

so today, the gauze kinda fell down and a longer part came out..YUK again! Of course, they're going to take the whole (rest!) thing out this afternoon and I'll have to go over the whole procedure again..shees..

Now my biggest problem is the meds. It always agreed with my stomach, no problem there. But..I cannot swallow pills so I have the liquid version. Well, twice the dose of something you've already taken for over a week?? Normally by the end of an antibiotic 'routine' for other ailments, I'm totally done and cannot take it anymore. I'm going to ask for the IV treatment instead. I could not handle taking the whole, new dose and it almost came back out if you know what I mean..

So that is my big worry; will they give it to me because there is a.b.s.o.l.u.t.e.l.y. no way in hell I can take anything orally.

And that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I've rested as much as possible and as much as my husband is a good tag teamer, he did not get a relaxing weekend to decompress from work so the taking care part for which the details are not important to him (cut something of, if a part falls down, it stays down unless I point out to him he 'might want to pick that up'..slob!!) Anyhoo..he's having to do a lot and I'm being practical. The kids need me plain and simple.
They've bickered more, the youngest one is out of sorts as I've practically quarantained myself in terms of 'no hugs and kisses'.. and we're a very affectionate family. Oh yea, and I guess my husband would like to play doctor 'his way' too (hehe)

I have started to get visibly better, but I know I'm not done yet.
To be continued..


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman tribute-rest in peace my moses 1925-2008

Check out Paul Newman's biography. Paul and his wife Joanne Newman dedicated their lives to giving to charity with his organic product line "Newmans' Own". It is still successful. They also have their own non-profit camps. A classy actor from a classier time in Hollywood. He DEFINITELY did not fail to communicate.
A Paul Newman tribute


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Staph, the infection


Well crap. Last week, I thought I had just a freaky potential brown recluse spider bite so since that spot hurt and was kinda swollen, I decided to go to the doctor. They biopsed (-eed?) 'the spot' (it's on my elbow)and said, oh, we'll have the results in three to five days. Well, freaking out about a potential brown recluse spider bite, I had not heard anything all day Monday so I called and the verdict was; staph. Well, MSRA. I'm not going to link to it it's 'icky' and aside from being icky and painful as hell, it's apparently 'going around'. Many people have been coming into our doctor's office thinking they have some bug bite of sorts only to find out they have indeed MSRA. Naturally, I did a quick search and had a mini-freak out (more people die of 'it' than of aids) but the doctor's office assured me I was going to be just fine. (it's part of the medical vernacular..'just fine')

They/I got to it early and after almost a full week, nothing had changed other than the swelling going down a bit. I say a bit, it's all relative you know. So yesterday I decided I had enough (and would be almost out of the meds they gave me so I called for an appointment today figuring they had to drain it. NEVER YOU MIND that I asked for it on MONDAY!! I got the response, nah, just take your medicine and if it gets worse just call us. Well, I mentioned this to Utah Savage in a comment, 'we' ought to really listen to our own selves right?? I should've pushed for it but better late than never. The draining part was p.r.e.t.t.y. painful. Holy cow, at least when I birthed my youngest, there indeed was a hormone to cover that pain (at least the memory of it, it was mostly fear on my part), there's no hormone covering pain otherwise.

"Are you allergic to licadaine?" You mean the stuff they use at the dentist? "Yes". Oh no. Ok.. well...l.i.t.t.l.e. did I know..

lica(co?)daine is supposed to numb the spot but because I have that infection, it hurt so much I almost cried. I started to think about that one nurse in pre-birthing class saying "moan away, moaning helps with the pain, I even got my husband to moan when he was in a lot of pain in the hospital, it works!"

I almost moaned. Three separate spots from one very long needled lico/cadaine. Yikes. After it was sorta kinda numbed, she started , what was that term? Not scalping but they use that small scalpel thingy. Well, she 'dug deep' as she said and not being one to leave the patient in the dark, she gave me a description to always remember; "you know, it's kind of like a honeycomb in there so I have to dig in different places". Sweet! Tell me more.

And inspite of the 'numbing', it really hurt at times and I thought I was good with pain! Well, tummy aches and ehem, 'womanly' pain stuff you know, I can grin and bear it, just take meds and not move. Then she started to push to drain the lymphatic fluid and that was loverly too. It actually reminded me when I had my adrenal gland removed (long story) in Saudi Arabia and after the operation they did not put a drainage 'thingy' in my wound so it got infected and likewise, they had to squeeze the living daylights out of my side. So I guess, come to think of it, it's all relative. THAT one I did so moan for..sheesh.

So after the procedure, the put this, I call it anyway, a worm version of a stocking tube like in my elbow to let the whole thing drain. My neighbour friend across the street was all interested as she's capable of handling 'blood and guts' and she even changed the bandage on me (I had been draining quite a bit).

Anyhow, I got myself a whole bunch of chewable, immunity supporting stuff; multi vitamin, omega three, vit B boost and will try to think happy healthy thoughts. And take my additional medicine of course. I have high hopes that since the stuff is draining, that that should start clearing the infection at a better rate.

Did you know how much you use your elbow? I bet you don't.

Ah well, so much for gardening.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bush invites McCain, Obama to discuss bailout

Bush invites McCain, Obama to discuss bailout

"WASHINGTON - Democrats won a key concession from the White House on legislation to bail out the financial industry on Wednesday, then sought to scale back the $700 billion price tag, as Republican presidential nominee John McCain inserted himself into high-stakes negotiations on the rescue.

President Bush invited McCain and Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, along with congressional leaders, to a White House meeting Thursday to discuss the bailout."

You gotta be fucking kidding me right?? The Republicans are trying to cover their tracks so now Bush wants/needs to drag Obama into this with whatever ploy or potential threat or blackmail? I'm smelling something and it ain't rotten eggs..

I'm totally disgusted! I got 32 words of my own for Bush and Paulson et al but I am a mom and other than saying fuck you, I can't really go further than that!
You unbelievable piece of works. I hope the everyday man and woman don't fall for this crap!


Wanda Sykes Hall baby...

I saw part of this on the Huffington Post but here is a longer version. Wanda on Leno..I'm not up that late..enjoy!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lessons about the Constitution


(cross posted on Uncommon Sense)

If you, like me, know so little really about the American constitution, then the only way you can wrap your brain around it is in reference to something. How does it apply and how does it apply today. Why has their been such a great concern by Democrats, Libertarians and Independents alike about the dismantling, or 'fidgeting' of the Constitution and Constitution law?

What? No mention of Republicans? I would like to think that those Republicans who would call themselves truly conservative (but not neoconservative) would not vote Republican anymore or either become Independents or Libertarians. Sure there might be some for Obama but I have no doubt the numbers are negligable. And for this discussion irrelevant anyway.

What discussion am I talking about then? Well, how does one learn about the Constitution? Should it be by rote like in school where you learn it, memorize the parts and have to pass a test? I would suggest to old and new comers to these 'lessons' about the Constitution which you will find on this site that it is all by exploring how it is being abused and undermined. Nothing gets a discussion fired up and going when one has to quote and interpret the Constitution and let's not forget the Amendments.

A book I highly recommend through which to indirectly learn about the Constitution and its Amendments is the latest book by Project Censored. Their 'Censored 2008'- the top 25 censored stories of 2006-07, covers materials that indirectly deal with the constitution and the basic 'mission statement' of this country. Let me give you some chapter topics and I will let you investigate, this book is found online and in the library so there's no excuse in not knowing how to get the information. Here goes;

(bummed from A Spork in the Drawer)

*No Habeus Corpus for "any person" (that's a biggie 'cause any person does not mean just terrorists but could VERY easily be interpreted to be you, who's an activist rounded up like what happened at the RNC..you're one step away from being branded)

*Bush moves towards martial law (do I need to say more?)

*Immigrant roundups to gain cheap labour for US corporate giants

*Impunity for US war criminals

*Terror Act against animal rights activists

Abuses and encroachment abound but you won't see it if you don't read the stories and have your handy dandy Constitution/Amendments reference by your side.

Ben Bagdikian

Media ownership is pretty monopolized and Ben Bagdikian shows that from 50 companies in 1983, only 5 big corporations own the media. Who is going to report on all these constitutional abuses? Not the media.

Yes, the lessons about the Constitution can be found here on this site (referring to Uncommon Sense), or on quite a few alternative websites for which I hope we can make a blogroll pretty soon. (As I should here on my own) Alternative media and citizen journalism through blogs with their own opinion pieces have picked up where the media left off. If you want to learn about the Constitution, these days, you're better off learning about the issues that challenge them. And courtesy of the last 8 years (although it started covertly much longer ago) , we have plenty of materials.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

"What a beastly girl", and other weekend happenings

Finally, we could not get out of a playdate I had postponed for so long. Our youngest, five year old has a girl in her class who wanted her to come over and this Saturday it was finally happening. Well, never again. We've known her and her mother for a few years now through shared activities and school. She's a very spoiled, selfish and rude little thing for which the blame cannot be put on her of course, but the way she is being (not) raised. I know she knows how to behave at school because her teacher doesn't let her get away with anything. You see, in the Montessori system, kids are grouped in a class according developmental stage so the Primary years/class has kids ages 3-6. And grace and courtesy are two of those buzzwords that Montessori kids get drilled into them. Every class is considered a 'community' and each child has a 'job' in their community as they learn from very early on that they need to take care of their 'environment' (the classroom community and the other children).

Well, the mother of this girl is actually very nice and smart to boot but her lack of any re-direction of 'the girls' behaviour is just shocking and appalling! Now every time I see her behave inappropriately (for her age) when her mom's around after pickup, I keep hearing that line from the Willy Wonka movie; "what a beastly girl!"

Veruca Salt song from Willy Wonka

So 'mom' wants to have another playdate but this mom absolutely does not! I had a talk with my daughter as we left their house and of course she was defensive of her little 'friend' (who behaved anything but, the world evolves around her you see and mom and dad just cater to her). However, I do think that she understand the difference between how this girl behaves at school versus at home. I told her I was glad that she made better choices and behaved better but I was sooo pissed off that I also told her that her friends' behaviour was atrocious and UNACCEPTABLE!

I continued to explain to her how one behaves when you receive a guest and what it means to be a 'host'. (you know, hosting 101; asking what the other person would like to do, share toys cause if you don't want to share them, you put them away, giving someone first choices with toys if there are two of them etc- plain courteous behaviour)

She does have an older brother and he was actually in my son's class and he was a jerk at that time. So when our daughter had a birthday party at our community pool in May and I knew that boy was coming too, I told my son to just behave and be a host to him inspite of their past. Well of course, afterwards my son told me he still kicked him in the groin in the water when he tried to beat him at something.. it is very telling. Mom and dad are nice, kids are competitive and not nice. (I can call them all kinds of things but I am trying to write this out of my system and not get re-wound up![g])

I'm not going into the whole story of what this girl did because that just turns into a drama story, trust me, there is no correction or teaching these kids the right way to behave other than saying passively, well, could you not let Rebecca have a turn? (after Rebecca picked out a toy to play with when ms thing was doing something else and then of course she had to have it..good lord)

Dr. Laura, I have a dilemma! I hate confrontations and my avoidance with this family has just worked fine these past years. They live far away and they have their kids in all kinds of activities so hey, schedule never worked. But now the mom wants to push for more playdates because they are really for 'ms thing' who does not have any friends. My daughter apparently is a social butterfly who plays with everyone on the school playground so she really does not 'need' this friendship. Still, I do not want to hurt this mom's feelings but I do need to start saying 'no' to any request for playdates. Or so my husband said. I told him, you cannot just say 'no' to a woman and not expect a question like 'why'? But I'll have to deal with it. I'll just have to figure out a way to break the news to her. Oh dear..sigh.

At any rate, we attended a nice birthday party yesterday and I helped my neighbour selling her home made (lampwork) jewelry friday night so the weekend was not all bad. [s]

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Humpday post

Am going through a bit of an anxious episode but am working on it while life goes on; taking kids to school, watching them play outside, attending a class information evening at my son's school..you know..same old same old..
One of the things he will be doing this school year is get classical guitar lessons. He's not that excited about it but apparently the Austin Classical Guitar society has regular performances on Sunday so we'll take him to wet his appetite. His teacher posts the weekly lesson on Youtube and this is one of his posts (but this is not him!)

flashback city for 'us' of a certain age; Bohemian Rhapsody by Edgar Cruz..bravo Edgar!!


perhaps this song is more appropriate for this week, ha! (no wonder I always liked this song when I was a little girl..haHA!)

ok ok.. for those who think that's too 'much'..how about this one?It's kinda a swinging version of 'what good is it all'.. well, kinda..haHA! What? Pfff..it's been taken off Youtube due to terms of use violation..cha.. those Squirel Nut Zippers..sigh. (alas, no "In the Afterlife"..)

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Hurricane Ike dud for Austin TX

A boarded up home sits along the beach as Hurricane Ike approaches Friday, Sept. 12, 2008 in Galveston, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip - AP)
Nearly 3M people without power as Ike hits

"The unfortunate truth is we're going to have to go in ... and put our people in the tough situation to save people who did not choose wisely. We'll probably do the largest search-and-rescue operation that's ever been conducted in the state of Texas," said Andrew Barlow, spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry.

Sadly, Galveston became ground zero at 2:10am if I remember correctly, and once again, some 100.000 people decided to play russian roulette with mother nature. I hope no one perishes during the rescue mission. Galveston is really a hurricane barrier of sorts and like New Orleans, really no place to build a city. However, the state of Texas and the city of Houston (where people evacuated, some people visiting family who live here on our street) were well prepared and I'm sure that most of you with cable will be or have been following the developments and will know more than me.

For us here in Austin it will be business as usual, I do not expect any great winds or even rain (we were so hoping). It is very overcast which is a nice reprieve from all that sunshine. Today is also family day and we'll just be doing the regular family activities.

Check out this cool Harris County rain gauge map where the brunt of Hurricane Ike was felt; Harris County Rain Gauge

I probably will be 'out' for the weekend. See you on Monday as I'm contemplating another blog change. Not necessarily the 'personal' one I was talking about , but consolidating the round table and austin permie one. I liked the responses I got on greening the desert and thought perhaps I ought to just put these two together..
have a safe weekend guys.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Greening the Desert

I'm a 'permie' (permaculture practitioner) and it's all about the soil. There is a social and political component to permaculture, but this for now gives you an idea of some of the principles involved. Permaculture got started in Australia and was pioneered by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. I'll be posting more about this as there's too much to tell. This is Geoff Lawton talking about greening the desert. Follow the 'greening the desert' link for transcript.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Strange thought to wake up to..

I slept very restlessly last night. I kept having these intense dreams and then waking up. I'm processing 'stuff' but also just plain did not sleep well. I took something the night before that made me actually sleep through the night and for me, that's practically unheard of; sleeping uninterrupted for more than 8.5 (!!) hours.. wow. Normally, if/when not taking anything I can wake up after either 3 or 4 or so -sh hours, either by myself or my 5 yr old is coming to our bed and I heave ho her right back to her own. Lately she's been sleeping so much better, I'm not though. Haven't for years.

At any rate, the meds I took (not a sleeping med) the night before and the night before that just help me so much that I have glimpses of what I and my brain would be like on more than 7hrs of sleep. Can you dig it? I sure can.

Still, did not want to take it last night and get 'used' to it. So after 4.5hrs I woke up. James woke up several times as well which is unusual for him as he's the big,deep sleeper in the family. It was work related of course. He's going to Washington DC for the week for work.

One of the things I had in my head when I woke up one of the few times last night was this and I'll just put it out there;

Fear of dying is not fear of dying but fear of living.

As you noticed in my previous post my going down memory lane, I will be starting up another blog to facilitate putting my thoughts and more indepth memories and thoughts on so as to separate the 'political me' and the more 'introspective personal me'. Sometime this week. I need to process, I need to put all manner of thoughts and feelings that I have not 'taken care off' in the last 20 plus years after leaving home (literally, emigrated the heck out of there) out there without concern that those of you who come to visit will put up their hands and say "XNAY XNAY TMI!!" (too much information)

One has friends where one can just shoot the breeze, and friends who you share your deeper thoughts with without fear of rejection or indifference.

I'm sure 'ya'll' have your own stuff and situations so whether you, at whatever point, come over to the other site or not doesn't matter. It's optional, it's just one other side of me. It's foremost personal stuff that I need to express. I know most people put only their personal feelings/emotions/trials and tribulations on their blog but I'd be bored with that myself. One blog for one part of me. A separation of the personal and the political. At least for the 'audience' at large.

What does that remind you off?[s]


Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Osterley Times: Biden: The Republican silence was deafening.

My 'bloody brilliant Kel' sure knows where to find them! I hereby sprinkle him with what little authority I have as 'honorary American' 'cause he sure as hell stands up as one! (might be a dubious acknowledgment for Kel but I trust he knows I mean well)

check out Biden's response to the Republican convention (video) and just tell Kell how brilliant he is. It 'is', after all (I believe) a 'British' originated word..ahem..

The Osterley Times: Biden: The Republican silence was deafening.

I'm A Promenader!

As much as this is the most British spectacle of 'britishness', you'll find all manners of flags represented from all over continental Europe. Note the Dutch flag!

The Royal Albert Hall, Last Night of the Proms

McCain might be a "Georgian", but I'm a "Promenader." I'm really an anglophile who somehow, should've ended up emigrating to England as opposed to Canada. It was one of those fork in the roads that to this day makes me wonder; did I make the right choice?

I will talk about by life's journey at a later point, perhaps even in a separate blog as this blog has really been an outlet for my political opinions etc.

I moved away from the Netherlands on a very rainy Monday morning, September 24th 1984. My mom drove me to the Hague as the Canadian embassy was lax in sending me the visa I needed (requested months prior, idiots) plus my passport that they had requested for the visa so I could board my flight in Amsterdam Airport to Montreal Canada where I was going to go for a one year employment as a nanny.

flying over Holland

The Saturday prior, I did what I had done for years; I watched the last two hours of the Last Night of the Proms. The last two hours are/were (?) always televised and the first two hours broadcast were broadcast on the radio. I borrowed a friends' radio who could receive the BBC so I could tape, with my tape recorder, the whole thing.

I will explain more in full when I make some changes as suggested by a dear friend.

For now I will tell you that the opening number of the 1984 Last Night of the Proms, performed as always at the Royal Albert Hall, conducted by the scottish director James Laughran (unusual as it was always considered a "British" thing but JL was conductor of the BBC Scottish orchestra so hey, some british connection there)..

White Cliffs of Dover

I keep digressing. The opening number performed then is one of those pieces that make my eyes swell up with tears, my heart and being cry, and my mind to be filled with images of England; landscapes, and for some weird reason..the white cliffs of Dover. Don't ask. I'm not an overly sentimental person (perhaps only deep inside), and I've never ever seen the white cliffs of Dover. One things' for sure, I need to write. Music equals images equals bits and snippets of 'stories'..

If ANYONE can ever somehow send me a video of that 1984 Last Night of the Proms performance which includes Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Serenade to Music", which had the most beautiful, tenderest rendition..I would be very thankful. Youtube does not have it. I have not found it. The BBC never could oblige either..I've tried. Does anyone have any leads for me?

For now, this is what I found. Not a whole orchestral piece but one with violin and piano and about 15 voices. It is still a beautiful rendition they do a wonderful job.
Thank You Hirowaki.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Important; Next Week Conference in Andover MA - Plan Prosecution of Bush, Cheney, Et Al!

Conference: Join Us in Andover, Mass., to Plan Prosecution of Bush, Cheney, Et Al!

September 13 – 14, 2008 Andover, Massachusetts

Registration details available at: http://war-crimes.info

From Opening Statement of The Chief Prosecutor, Supreme Justice Robert H. Jackson, at Nuremberg.

"The same disaster has now happened twice in forty years, in Viet Nam and Iraq. It must never happen again. As at Nuremberg, we need to take steps to insure that leaders will never do it again."

Some of the attendees next weekend;

Lawrence Velvel
Lawrence R. Velvel, Dean of the Massachusetts School of Law
Joshua Dratel,

written by Joshua Dratel

Esq. Christopher Pyle, Mount Holyoke College Philippe Sands, University College London (on crimes of torture and abusive behaviour)

Amy Bartholomew from my alma mater Carleton University Ottawa Canada
Amy Bartholomew, Carleton College Jordan Paust, University of Houston Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army and author of "Dissent (talking about preemptive war and aggressive war
Vincent Bugliosi, former prosecutor and author of "Prosecuting George W. Bush For Murder"Panel Discussion And Subsequent Audience Participation On:"The Torture Team: The Actions of Bush Administration Lawyers, Their Criminal Liabilities, And Potential Disbarment." Speakers: Ben Davis, University of Toledo Joshua Dratel, Esq. Barbara Olshansky, Stanford Law School Philippe Sands, University College

Check out the rest of the very interesting and worthwhile supporting panel discussions and participants

These are people who mean business. This would be a great precursor to what could happen if and when Obama/Biden get elected into office.

Joe Biden apparently mentioned the following last week;
Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden said yesterday that he and running mate Barack Obama could pursue criminal charges against the Bush administration if they are elected in November.

Biden's comments, first reported by ABC news, attracted little notice on a day dominated by the drama surrounding his Republican counterpart, Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

But his statements represent the Democrats' strongest vow so far this year to investigate alleged misdeeds committed during the Bush years.

"If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued," Biden said during a campaign event in Deerfield Beach, Florida, according to ABC.

"[N]ot out of vengeance, not out of retribution," he added, "out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president -- no one is above the law."

Obama sounded a similar note in April, vowing that if elected, he would ask his attorney general to initiate a prompt review of Bush-era actions to distinguish between possible "genuine crimes" and "really bad policies".

"[I]f crimes have been committed, they should be investigated," Obama told the Philadelphia Daily News. "You're also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, because I think we've got too many problems we've got to solve."

Congressional Democrats have issued a flurry of subpoenas this year to senior Bush administration aides as part of a broad inquiry into the authorisation of torturous interrogation tactics used at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

Three veterans of the Bush White House have been held in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to respond to subpoenas: former counsel Harriet Miers, former political adviser Karl Rove, and current chief of staff Josh Bolten. The contempt battle is currently before a federal court.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Patrick Cockburn: White House strategy is to help McCain win in November

Patrick Cockburn: White House strategy is to help McCain win in November

Big HAT TIP to Kel from The Osterly Times This time, I copied and pasted the whole post. Do follow the title link AND Kel as he has a number of very insightful posts with naturally links that only can be found in a non-American newspaper;

"I spoke yesterday about how, in the past, the Republicans have used military campaigns abroad to win elections, even if it meant undermining peace in Vietnam or freeing American hostages in Iran.

And how Vladimir Putin is convinced that the US was behind Saakashvili's decision to invade South Ossetia was, in part, to help John McCain win the November election.

Well, today Patrick Cockburn, one of the few journalists who remains on the ground in Iraq, claims that the handing back of Anbar province is being done for the exact same cynical reasons."

The hand- over by the US military of control of Anbar province, once the heartland of the Sunni rebellion, to Iraqi forces is a case in point. The US will keep 25,000 American soldiers in Anbar, so the extent to which the Iraqi government will really take over is debatable.


Much of what the White House is now doing is done to help the Republicans in the presidential election. The aim is to give the impression that Iraq has finally come right for the US and victory is finally in its grasp. The surge is promoted as the strategy by which the tide was turned and it is true that the Sunni uprising against the US occupation has largely ended.

But it has done so for reasons that have little to do with the surge or American actions of any kind. Crucial to the success of the government against the Mahdi Army has been the support of Iran. It is they who arranged for the Shia militiamen to go home.

It takes real cheek for Mr Bush to claim yesterday that "Anbar is no longer lost to al-Qa'ida" since during the last presidential election in 2004, he was claiming that the media was exaggerating the success of the insurgents.

"There is an astonishing amount of gall to Bush now claiming that Anbar has been saved when he has previously insisted that the media were exaggerating what was happening there.

But, by claiming to hand it back to the Iraqis - whilst retaining 25,000 troops there and doing no such thing - Bush can only have one aim. To help McCain claim that the surge is working and advise against moving out too quickly."

So says Kel. He's one of my favourite bloggers and a relentless blogger at that.

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Monday, September 01, 2008


Update; Amy Goodman her producers have since been released;

ST. PAUL--Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have all been released from police custody in St. Paul following their illegal arrest by Minneapolis Police on Monday afternoon.

All three were violently manhandled by law enforcement officers. Abdel Kouddous was slammed against a wall and the ground, leaving his arms scraped and bloodied. He sustained other injuries to his chest and back. Salazar’s violent arrest by baton-wielding officers, during which she was slammed to the ground while yelling, “I’m Press! Press!,” resulted in her nose bleeding, as well as causing facial pain. Goodman’s arm was violently yanked by police as she was arrested

Amy Goodman, one of the few very visible activist journalists who do not cater to the mainstream media moguls, is worth any little bit you can do to try to help her. Pass on the news and let's get Amy and her producers out!!

Amy Goodman, NOT making trouble..


Last week however, ABC's Assa Eslocker was on the phone, investigating lobbyists and the DNC when he got pushed on the street by a Denver cop and then on the street was told he was impeding traffic and got arrested. Watch the video here (you'll have to endure a brief commercial but this arrest was such a blatant abuse of power, stick with it pls)

Make no mistakes, the Democrats too are guilty of allowing heavy handed police tactics. After 9/11, it became illegal to protest where once you could and democratic activities have been very much curtailed. When people think of a police state, they think of Russia, but you know..changing things a little a time turns a country into a police state. They would not change things overnight. Make no mistake, it is not just rhetorical clap trap to say that your rights have been severely diminished. It's just one of those uncomfortable truths!

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Of fender benders and front yard puttering

[bump-dent in the 'mommy car']

This labour day weekend went differently than planned. For starters, after picking up the kids from school on Friday, I got into my first fender bender. Alas, I was not the 'bumpee' but the 'bumper' as I thought the person in front of me was moving and about to turn and she obviously wasn't. To make a long story short; she was one of those hesitant drivers (or just plain slow-urr) and I thought we were all part of a flow.
No mas, this lady was so startled I thought she was injured (and never you mind, we have great Geico insurance, I was really worried she was hurt) but phew..she wasn't. Her 20sh daughter was very kind and understanding and we were all exchanging numbers and insurance info and the daughter quickly canceled the police (lest I had to pay a fine since really they only needed my insurance info).. so all's well that ends well. I get to live another day in the country without getting booted.

OK,ok..I know it wasn't a felony but as a green card holder, you better take care. One felony and you're out! Luckily for me I'd be sent back to Canada, but still. Just think of Daniel Bowman's story;

A British immigrant in the U.S. for 25 years is facing deportation.

Daniel Bowman sits in jail for what he calls a bad mistake he made in May 1994, when he, at age 20, and another man stole a car radio from a woman in Newport News.

He pleaded guilty, served five years probation, and has not been in trouble since.

But his past came back to haunt the 35-year-old on July 30, when he tried to renew his green card. After an hour wait, an officer took him away in handcuffs.

and gee..there is another thing; "His lawyer says there’s such a backlog of cases that Bowman could wait up to a year before he’s seen by a judge."

This labour day dh went out 'very early (6sh) to start clearing the many weeds that have sprung up and were neglected and scooped out two rosemary bushes out of a dilapitated bed and garlic chives and two oregano bushes out of another. Hence this afternoon I was busy digging and putting in the 'old' and the new in my front bed. I had bought a bunch of sedums and agaves, aloe Saturday morning so I was busy doing my relaxing and 'puttering'.

However, four plus hours of being outside in this 100F heat,even in the shade just zonks you so I'm headin' to bed..hopefully soon.

About 30 minutes ago, Maria came by and took a cluster of garlic chives 'cause I just had too much. Apparently she's got quite a few plants to share and give away so I'll be doing some more 'puttering'. The big backyard is beckoning...

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