Saturday, March 24, 2007

Open Thread

I'm about to turn in for the night--I need to get to church a bit early because I'm scheduled to do one of the readings. I don't know if Subway was planning to send me a Sunday post, but if he does, it's possible that I won't have a chance to post it until later in the day.

Thank you to Linda*in*SFNM for the heads-up:

In case you all didn't get to see Keith Olbermann's coverage of Al Gore's visit to Capitol Hill, Al has posted it on his blog.

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Bill Maher on the outing of Valerie Plame

REAL patriots don't out CIA operatives
Valerie Plame was the CIA's operational officer in charge of counter-proliferation. Which means, she tracked loose nukes. So when Bush said, as he once did, that his absolute number one priority was preventing terrorists from getting loose nukes? Okay, that's what she worked on. That's what she devoted her life to, staying under cover for 20 years. Maintaining two identities every g*ddamn day. This is extraordinary service to your country! Valerie Plame was the kind of real-life secret agent George Bush dreams of being, when he's not too busy pretending to be a cowboy or a fighter pilot!

Click here for the video of Maher's "New Rules" segment, which ended with the new rule that traitors don't get to question his patriotism, and here for the rest of the transcript of that segment.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Dean on the Passage of the Iraq Supplemental Bill

Via the DNC blog, Howard Dean's remarks on the passage of the Iraq Supplemental Bill...

"Last November the American people demanded a new direction in Iraq, and that is exactly what the Democrats offered today. President Bush's open-ended commitment to a failed Iraq policy is not good enough for our brave men and women fighting in Iraq. Democrats will continue to wholeheartedly support our troops by providing the resources to keep them safe and get them home, holding this Administration accountable, and demanding that Iraqis take responsibility for their own country.

“President Bush’s decision to stifle the essential debate on our course in Iraq by threatening to veto this bill stands solidly against the will of the American people, and is an insult to the brave men and women serving in Iraq. It is time for Republicans to put partisanship aside and join our Democratic leadership in fighting for the new direction in Iraq. It’s what our troops deserve and what the American people have demanded.”
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A "domesticated" blogosphere?

Big day at work today, and I should actually try to get in early, but I wanted to make sure I pointed out this essay by Nonpartisan at My Left Wing. It, in turn, refers to an op-ed piece written by former ("A-list") blogger Billmon way back in September of 2004. It ends with this...

To be sure, there are still plenty of bloggers out there putting the 1st Amendment through its paces, their only compensation the satisfaction of speaking the truth to power. But it’s going to become more difficult for those voices to reach a broad audience. If the mainstream media are true to past form, they will treat the A-list blogs — commercialized, domesticated — as if they are the entire blogosphere, while studiously ignoring the more eccentric, subversive currents swirling deeper down. Not the most glorious ending for a would-be revolution, but also not a surprising one. Bloggers aren’t the first, and won’t be the last, rebellious critics to try to storm the castle, only to be invited to come inside and make themselves at home.

(Could someone else please announce the new thread? Thanks.--Renee)

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Edwards to continue campaign

I imagine most people have heard by this point that John and Elizabeth Edwards held a press conference today to announce that her breast cancer had returned, but that the campaign will continue.

Mrs. Edwards has been one of her husband’s closest confidantes in both of his presidential campaigns. A former bankruptcy lawyer, who often spends hours a day on the Internet, she is among the campaign’s chief advisers.

Through her book, “Saving Graces,” she wrote about the loss she felt after their son, Wade, was killed in a car accident in 1996. At age 48 and 50 she had two more children, saying it was the only way to bring joy back into their home for her, her husband and their daughter, Cate.

During the 2004 presidential race, Mrs. Edwards became a fixture on the campaign trail. She often would be dispatched to blue-collar settings, hardly stereotypical audiences for a political spouse. Her military upbringing, she once said, made her perfectly suited for a life on the road.
There is a discussion thread at the Edwards campaign site here.

Light a candle for Elizabeth Edwards

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Al Gore's global warming testimony

Here's the video of today's testimony, via You Tube.

If you have other links, please share them in the comments and I'll add them to the post.

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Wednesday Open Thread

Denise passed along this link with the outcome to the recent hearings in Alachua.

New/recent posts at the Independent Bloggers' Alliance:

Cool Hand Rosenberg
Field Negro 101
Camp David Nudist Resort
From Edward R. Murrow to Katie Couric: The Devolution of Television News
In which I get really pissed off at pz myers
Daniel Tammet on Asperger's and "fitting in"

If you'd like to be added as a poster at the IBA, drop me an e-mail at ohiorenee(at)

A link to check out--Polar Bear SOS

And at My Left Wing: The Wizard of Kos

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dennis Kucinich urges conversation about impeachment

I saw the link to this video a couple days ago, I guess. I didn't finally decide to watch it until Maryscott O'Connor promoted it to the front page at My Left Wing, with these words

(Kucinich may not be the most convincing messenger we have to send out to middle America; then again, what the f*ck do I know about Middle America, anyway? Maybe this earnest little man, in his earnest, soft-spoken way, can reach those people who turn away at the first sound of the strident, shrieking, raging voices like mine...

Sadly, I think that his voice doesn't reach people at all. If it does, it comes filtered through the multi-millionaire media (hat tip to skippy) which "helpfully" provides the context by saying something about his "longshot bid" for the presidency.

So I guess I've been a bit cowed from even mentioning Kucinich, because I would need to brace for the inevitable derisive comments on some sites. Or, with Dean people, the topic of that deal he made with Edwards in 2004 in Iowa.

But, then I watched the video I included at the top of this post (transcript here). He's saying things that need to be said. Heck, at the beginning of the video, he says things that *I* have said, sitting at this very computer.

My fellow Americans. We are in an interesting condition in this country, where we are told to take impeachment off the table, and keep on the table a U.S. military attack against Iran.

I ask that you watch the video and/or read the transcript, and focus on the message rather than the messenger. And after you check out what Rep. Kucinich has to say about this moment in our nation's history, take a look at the tone of Bush's recent refusal to have his staff testify under oath. This is a man who is daring Congress to impeach him.

This isn't about supporting Dennis Kucinich's campaign. This is about drawing attention to someone who is saying something important, and adding our voices to his.

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Happy Birthday, jc!

Use this thread to post your birthday messages to jc.

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Today, Today, Today!!

Equinox Means "Equal Night"

Translated literally, equinox means "equal night." Because the sun is positioned above the equator, day and night are about equal in length all over the world during the equinoxes.

Far from being an arbitrary indicator of the changing seasons, March 20 (March 21 in some years) is significant for astronomical reasons. On March 20, 2007, at precisely 8:07 P.M. EDT (March 21, 00:07 Universal Time), the Sun will cross directly over the Earth's equator. This moment is known as the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. (Vernal means Spring.)

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Open Thread

Looking for a Cute Overload picture to post, and I remembered I had this from listener:

listener's live-in grandcat, Emma, is TEN (56 in people years) and still able to tussle!

There are a few new posts at the Independent Bloggers' Alliance. I've added a feed to that blog in the right sidebar here, but the feed always seems to be a couple posts behind what's actually up on that site.

Anyway, how is everybody doing this evening? I've had enough rain for a while, thank you.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Meeting the "Other Reality" Face to Face (part two)

Walking to a sandwich shop for both warmth and food, my family talked about what we had just witnessed. Raw anger and hatred directed squarely at us. It was frightening and startling, something new for us as white middle class Americans. We had done nothing in our estimation to warrant such a response, something like what recipients of hate crimes and prejudices experience.

As we ate our chips and subs, three burly leather jacket men with eagles on their backs sat by the window. We instinctively wanted to cover our small peace buttons. We talked about how mean-spirited it was. In our minds, we bunched them in to a group of fat, bald headed, uneducated, middle age, white men who believe all the propaganda of the Bush regime.

We had taken in their anger, intensified it and sent it right back to them while they sat with their backs to us drinking their coffee.

The day before we had a training on civil disobedience taught by the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq.

We had taken the non violence pledge including:
-We will be open and respectful toward each person we encounter
-We will not use violence, verbal or physical toward any person, especially those who we disagree
-We believe all people hold at least one truth to which we can connect.

Yikes that last one was hard for us to stomach! I had taken my adult children to a worship service at the National Cathedral last night to help to "spread the light of Christ’s peace to our world."

Later as we waited in line for our plane tickets to return to Chicago, a large bearded man with an eagle on his leather jacket rolled his luggage past us. I couldn't help but say out-loud, "Dear God, please do not make me sit next to that man!"

Bob in his protective mode said, "If you do, do NOT talk about the antiwar rally!"

Our family had been scattered throughout the plan and as I walked down the aisle, my empty seat was waiting, right next to eagleman. Testing, testing, remember my training, Each of us has a truth to which I can relate----

I had to just listen and learn to understand his "alternate reality". That was my challenge; to step into this man’s reality.

I told him I had just visited my daughter in a very cold DC. He proceeded to tell me how cold he had been while participating in an "anti-anti" war rally. I listened and kept my mouth shut.

What motivates us to be activists? What could possibly propel this man to travel by himself from southern IL to go to DC and harass antiwar protesters? So I listened. He said he traveled to DC to protect the Viet Nam war memorial from the peace activists. (I did have to interject that they would never harm it). Why would he believe such a thing? Listen, listen to understand why he transferred his anger and suspicion to us.

Yes, he is a Vet and served in Viet Nam. He is a marine and "they are my brothers forever." He counseled returning serviceman. " There is too much head trauma,…The veterans hospital mistreats veterans and knows of at least 3 hospitals that do."

Yes—I was hearing a truth I could relate to. But, why did he feel such anger and why was he so protective of the Viet Nam memorial? I asked him if has had a reunion with the marines that he had served with. He paused and I looked sideways at him from my airplane seat.

His eyes teared over. "No, I haven't. You see they gave us all new M16 rifles. We didn't know they were no good, defective. The bullets would get stuck in the barrel from the mud and moisture of the swamps, but I liked my old M 14 so I had kept mine. We were sent into a big battle (and stated the name of it). We lost over a thousand marines that day. My marine buddies.

And all that was left of them was the names on that granite wall.

It was displaced anger and I feel someone has taken advantage of it, but I can understand him a little more.

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Meeting the "Other Reality" Face to Face (part one)

See Youtube March on the Pentagon Protest

On March 17th 2007, the number of antiwar rallies that I have attended against the Iraq War out numbered the ones I attended against the Viet Nam War. For this event, I traveled to DC with my husband, my 20-year old son to meet up with my daughter who lives there. We hoped to join up with our friends from out hometown.

Dressed for the freezing weather, we lumbered from the metro line down the Washington DC mall with our peace signs folded inside our backpacks. We could hear competing bullhorns alternating between angry outbursts and songs. The closer we came to the Viet Nam Memorial the crowds increased with characters much different from all past protests. Metal studded, black leather jackets with an open winged eagle on the back covered the rotund middle-aged figures. Each carried one or two US Flags on skinny wooden sticks. They milled around as if they were protecting "their" territory. Bleachers, stands and gates surrounded the memorial so we moved quickly on knowing this was not the time to show my peace loving son the granite wall with thousands of names.

We approached my favorite memorial, the Lincoln Monument, but the commotion of thousands of people distracted me from even looking in to see the giant sitting man. Advice—be sure to follow directions given to you when attending a peace rally.

We could see there was a fence separating us from "our people" friendly, kooky, skinny vegetarians. We asked the overwhelmed policeman where to go and he directed us to the left. WRONG—we later found out the gait was only a half block to the right. We progressed slowly through the crowd of angry leathered flag-wavers. We tried to ignore signs like, PEACE SUCKS, TRAITORS and THERE NOT HERE (do they really believe that propaganda?). Where are our people? Our peace sign, still folded inside our bag, did not give us away to this crowd. My typically talkative children walked big-eyed following their Dad. We knew our way to safety was to run between the police, cross the street and step on the friendly turf on the far side. Police-sticked men could not slow us. As we ran across the street we could hear, "traitor-b!tch" shouted at us. I suddenly understood the police were there to protect us!

On the other side it was a completely different world. A river of people, 20 flowed between the leather-clad row and us. The sound of can drums, shouts of "Peace Now" and "NO MORE WAR" almost drowned out the shouters across the street. Numb from cold and fear, we decided we could best support the peace movement by staying on the grassy bank and cheering on the marchers while holding our "Pray for Peace, Act for Peace" sign.

We actually enjoyed ourselves, reading the creative signs and poising for pictures as people read our sign. We shouted back "Now" when asked when do you want peace?

The "anti-antis" continued to shout at the marchers, "Faggot", "Mother F**ers" giving the finger and adding. "We hate you". The young protesters sang back, "We love YOU" repeating it again and again. The green leprechaun for peace ignored the man spewing hate directly in her face.

After an hour the marchers had all crossed the bridge and we once again were facing the "anti-antis" hate group. You could feel the anger move in waves across the street with the policeman buffering the tide. I felt as if we need to outlast them, or at least hold our ground. Eventually they moved down the hill for a warmer place. They either got cold or they became bored of us as we just stood quietly with the "Pray for Peace" banner.


Open Thread

I wanted a new thread up so that Kimmy's birthday thread could be just for birthday wishes. So, here's an open thread.

If you haven't checked out the Independent Bloggers' Alliance for a while, there are a number of new posters there. A lot of the posts don't have comments, except from another contributor to that blog. For myself, I've kept blogs for years where most posts don't receive any comments, but this is the first time I've tried to nurture a baby *group* blog. Anyway, if you have time, please stop by the IBA blog, and if you see a topic that catches your attention, maybe you can leave a quick comment. Thanks. :)

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Happy Birthday, Kimmy!

I was getting ready to log off for the night, but then I saw that it was Kimmy's birthday.

Happy birthday, Kimmy! Hope you're doing well, and enjoying a great birthday with that gorgeous family of yours!

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