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Posted by: Helen Philpot | December 16, 2008

If the shoe fits

Well, I would have written sooner but I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to type more than a sentence or two.  Oh my goodness but did any of you see the incident with the Iraqi journalist, Muntathar al Zaidi, throwing his shoes at Georgie Boy?  I gotta believe there are millions of us who have wanted to do that very same thing.  It’s too bad Zaidi didn’t hit his intended target because he just might have knocked some sense into that thick Bush skull.  Not to mention the lucrative Nike contract that surely would have followed.

Eventually I did stop laughing, however, because after the initial reaction wore off, I started paying attention to the gravity of the situation.  In truth, it is not funny at all.  Offering someone the “sole of your shoe” is considered a grave insult in the Arab world.

But even more sobering is what  Zaidi said as he threw the shoes: “This is a farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.” And after he was knocked to the ground he continued saying, “Killer of Iraqis, killer of children.”

OK. I am not thinking it is all that funny anymore. How about you?

But the way Bush reacted is probably the best example of why our 43rd President should be run out of town on a rail. After the shoe incident, Bush tried to laugh it all off by saying, “It didn’t bother me, and if you want the facts it was a size 10 shoe he threw at me.”

Well it should bother him, at least a little bit.  He is indeed responsible for thousands of widows and orphans. His orders to war did indeed result in the deaths of children.  Now look.  I understand that war is hell and unintended casualties are going to happen no matter how hard we try to avoid them. But this isn’t the first time Bush has displayed an apparent “carefree” attitude towards his presidency.

Three months after the World Trade Center went down, Bush was quoted as saying, “It’s been a fabulous year for Laura and me.” And in a more recent interview last month, he summed up his entire presidency as “a fabulous experience”.

Fabulous? Really? Not so much for the rest of us.

Maybe it’s just me, but when you are President during war time, you probably shouldn’t act like you are enjoying it quite so much.   Maybe more time pondering the consequences of your actions and less time feeling fabulous…

Folks, let me apologize in advance because I feel a big rant coming on. I can’t contain myself any longer. This moron of a soon to be past-President is a disgrace and a stain on the reputation of the United States of America. No that’s not good enough yet. I’m feeling like one of those Dixie Chicks and I think I need to say some more. George Bush is an asshole and a real son of a bitch. And yes, I did meet Barbara Bush once and I am not taking that statement back.

I am making a request of future generations:  The next time a village loses its idiot, please don’t elect him or her President.  Thank you.

There, I feel a better… but only slightly.

My apologies to all you good people out there who stopped by to read what I have to say. You probably deserved better than that last little rant. But I am glad you stopped by and I do hope you will again. I mean it. Really.

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  3. Amen Greytdog and Alaska Pi!! You two are great Americans, thoughtful and intelligent and know what the heck is going on. No robotic neo-con bus supporter can stand a chance against you! It’s so funny how nut cases like Nunya swallow all of Bush’s lies and go along with all his failed policies and then accuse OTHERS of drinking the Kool Aid. Quite silly. But only goes to show what I’ve suspected all along. Anyone who still supports Bush after all this is crazy and/or mentally deficient in some way.


  4. Nunya said-

    “If any of you had any idea of the total picture, you would shut you mouths and thank your lucky stars that we have been safe since 2001. ”
    Hon- Greytdog is kinder than I am.

    If you mean by a total-picture the narrow fear-based cowering-in-the-corner our outgoing President and his cronies have hoped to put and keep us in , the good and great work your father and mine did in WWII becomes a waste. They fought for a broader cause.

    If you feel safe-since-2001 because all the blood shed has been off American soil ,you have missed the importance of the loss of respect we have suffered all across the globe and the anger we have fired up towards us- worldwide. Being alive within our shores does not equate as safety…
    Respect for the Office ( the work and duty of…) of the President resounds throughout this blog .Read carefully here before you shoot your mouth off again…
    Specific holders of that Office have met all expectations we can humanly hold of another human. Mr Bush has not. He has debased the Office and as such commands no respect as a holder of that Office.

    My father struggled mightily with the notion that our governmant and, particularly, the President could lie to us – as the years in Viet Nam and Cambodia unfolded.
    He is , to this day, the ONLY person I know who publicly announced his own shame for voting for Mr Nixon.
    My dad is an everyday hero – he has worked hard all his life to learn and grow and never swept unpleasant facts under the rug… he has always made himself put that which hurt or disgusted him on on the “to-be-repaired” shelf of his heart. He gets round to facing more “total” pictures than most folks ever do…
    He’s frail and cranky sometimes now but I hear that old and clear voice of his everytime he gets off on the damage Mr Bush has done to America and Americans…
    Dad lost his blind patriotism years and years ago…
    What supplanted it is a deep, rich love and appreciation of what the best we can be is…
    It is NOT Mr Bush’s phony and dangerous Bush Doctrine!


  5. Nunya
    Thank you for coming and playing. You misunderstand something about the comments made here – WE respect the office the President of the United States. We abhor the fact that George W Bush DOES NOT respect the Office which he holds nor does he respect this great nation, the citizens thereof, or have any regard for the place of respect this country once held throughout the world. For the last 8 years, we have watched with disbelief, dismay, and disgust as the Bush Administration, and his embedded cronies (have you ever heard of “burrowing”? – it’s when nonqualified political appointees are given lifelong jobs in our government – appointees with no interest in, understanding of, or belief in what makes this a great country) have eviscerated the Constitution of the United States (a most important document by the way – it’s the LAW of the Land – the country your father valiantly defended in WWII), used terrorist tactics (not all terrorist activity is bombing or military attacks – there is such a thing called mental terrorism – it’s the ongoing psychological warfare of this administration) against its own citizens – illegal and warrantless wiretapping, blatant disregard of civil rights, the use and acceptance of torture, loss of habeus corpus, and so on. (try reading a book on Constitutional Law – you’ll be amazed at what this Bush Administration did to destroy our Constitution). And speaking of 2001, please don’t gloss over the fact that the Clinton administration briefed the Bushies including a memo that read “Bin Laden to Attack US” and the Bushies ignored it completely. This man and his administration did not make this country safer – he just sent over 4000 easy targets to Afghanistan and Iraq. Don’t agree? Then go read Joe Galloway – about whom it has been written:General H. Norman Schwarzkopf has called Joseph L. Galloway, a military columnist for McClatchy Newspapers, “The finest combat correspondent of our generation — a soldier’s reporter and a soldier’s friend.” (ever hear of the boy “We Were Soldiers Once.. . and Young” – he co-wrote that) Joe’s commentaries on the squandering of lives and resources by this Bush Administration is nothing less than an indictment of the thoughtless and blind patriotism that you so proudly display. Go get educated on the real values this country stands for – then come back and we’ll talk.


  6. My father was a WWII vet and though we disagreed from time to time on political issues, he taught me one thing – to respect the President of this great country. I just wonder how many of you really have facts and research to back your comments. Or did you simply listen to the main stream media and drink the kool-aid. If any of you had any idea of the total picture, you would shut you mouths and thank your lucky stars that we have been safe since 2001. The next 4 years will be very interesting as his holiness gives away our country and your freedom. Hang on to your butts – it might just be all you have left when he and his cronies are done. Good luck and shame on all of you!


  7. “I understand that war is hell and unintended casualties are going to happen no matter how hard we try to avoid them. But this isn’t the first time Bush has displayed an apparent “carefree” attitude towards his presidency”
    You will never understand war is hell till you experience it.
    This dog /mongrel / muslim puke blames President Bush for the deaths of women and children but turns his face away in the name of a cowardly god to the thousands of murders every year in its name.
    They blow up innocent people thinking they go to heaven and screw 70 virgins, wow that’s some reason isnt’t it? Moral too right? I mean what other reason is their to live or die but sex right? And you think they have the right to disgrace your president which has put an end to 99% of the killings in that country. Just where are your values? Should we just sit on our laurels and let the genocide continue ? People blame Bush for everything even the weather! When was the last time you prayed to our God to give strength and wisdom to our president? Never? Nah its too easy to let him fall down then we christians can kick him and spit on him and when no one is looking take a giant shit on him too.
    Grow up! you bleed for the enemy
    and curse your own. Shame be on you.


  8. Amen sister, you said it best! This is the best blog post I have read.


  9. Scientists believe they have isolated the cause of Christianity.

    The Christian Gene



  10. Troutay:

    You are right.

    After mentioning our parish troubles, I made the mistake of searching the Strib news site for community comments on them. I was sure I’d find salve for my soul, and found only salt for my wounds.

    Must remember that What’s-His-Name & Co. are narrow-minded pharisees. And nut jobs. Thanks for the reminder. It helped me lower my blood pressure.


  11. Greytdog:

    In my book, the word “catholic” still means “universal.” We’re the original Big Tent. And you are welcome in it — you and your doggies and your bleeding heart AND the rabble you’ve roused.


  12. Welllll, actually I’m not Catholic – considering BOTH parents were ordained ministers. But being raised overseas, the best schools were the Catholic or Anglican schools. So elementary/middle school was Catholic, first three years of HS were Anglican, senior year Catholic. (I know both styles of the Nicene Creed) – then off to a church-affiliated private liberal arts college where 99% of the faculty knew my folks and family (talk about pressure – still surprised I wasn’t accidentally ordained) thus dooming me to a life as an unchurched, left-progressive, bleeding heart, rabble rouser (and canine physical therapist). I can discourse on Descartes while rehabbing doggies with dysplasia. bwahahaha.


  13. My undergraduate degree is from DePaul U. I was raised Catholic by a spiritual rebel and a heirarchical belieiver. I no longer consider myself spiritually a Catholic, just culturally.
    One thing both the High school I attended for 2 yearsand as well as DePaul did well was treating religions as a social and historical subject open to rational study. I learned to respect not only christianity, but other religions as well.


  14. Tine:

    You are actually asking “why” about a priest?
    A male priest?

    Nuff said. He is a nut job.


  15. Troutay: Thanks for the vote of confidence. The community is trying to hold itself together and continue its work in a new location, but that stick of dynamite did some damage. A lot of folks are spiritually homeless now; that big old church is nearly empty on Sundays; and the human services programs have suffered.

    It makes one wonder what the h*ll What’s-His-Name was hoping to accomplish besides a show of power. I fear he will have to answer for it someday…in this life or the next.

    As for the snow…I don’t mind it, since I telecommute. My 2 little kids love it too. But I do feel for all the folks who have to brave the elements. It sure is North-Pole-ish around here right now!


  16. Tine:

    I know what and who you mean. “Naughty” parrish indeed! Good for you guys!

    35W Southbound was a disaster this a.m. I think I was crawling at 5 miles an hour.
    And Tine? We are supposed to get more snow!!!


  17. Troutay: A couple of days ago you asked, “How many old catholics post here anyway? Greydog,
    Pi, me, charles, who else??”

    Me. (*raises hand*) I don’t comment as often as the rest of you, but I’m here every day, reading and learning. 8 years of Catholic gradeschool, right here in MN, + 4 years of Catholic university. The latter was at Notre Dame, the only Catholic school I know of that takes the Catholic tradition of intellectual freedom seriously. My time there turned me into the bleeding-heart hippie-Catholic liberal-democrat I am today. I’m still a card-carrying member of a “naughty” local parish under which Bishop What’s-His-Name just exploded a stick of dynamite.

    Yes, black ice! It’s treacherous. I nearly spun out on Crosstown yesterday morning.

    Keep safe and warm, all!


  18. Elsie:

    Whats a “washer tournament”?
    We do alot of that here, except that it is always during the winter. Ice fishing contests are popular.


  19. Troutay,
    Texans honor their mosquitoes with a festival every year in the town of Clute, TX. In 2009, the “Great Texas Mosquito Festival” will be held on July 23-25. It features a carnival, cook-off, arts & crafts, contests, food vendors, Texas country music concerts, senior bingo, dodge ball tournament, horseshoe tournament, washer tournament, exhibits, local entertainment, Radio Disney entertainment and much more. http://www.mosquitofestival.com

    That’s gettin’ kinda ridiculous, but it just goes to show that Texans will use just about any kind of excuse to have a good time.


  20. Jean:

    Mosquitos up here have been known to carry whole children off in one fell swoop.

    We have special Mosquito units that carry swatters like police do nightsticks. And yes, some have West “Vile” Virus.


  21. I give up…. Jean. Just remember that to turn OFF the tagging of the text, use the same letter, preceded by a backslash.

    /b within angle brackets


  22. Jean, thanks for the info on Mohammed. I truly wish that IF religion is ever to be taught in the schools, our students will study ALL the major religions of the world, not just the Bible. Texas allows study of the Bible upon request of a certain number of high school students. Overall, I enthusiastically support separation of church and state.

    Troutay–glad you are safe. Bad news for Houston is that it usually takes my husband an hour to get to work just because of traffic itself. But the streets are rarely frozen, much less covered in black ice.

    So, let’s see….beautiful Minnesota and winter blizzards? Or, swampy humid Houston in the summer, mild winters, and year-round traffic issues?!

    I used to think that our Texas mosquitoes were something special until I was tormented by Indiana mosquitoes up in Goshen, IN. Truly, the Land o’Goshen squeeters are something to behold!


  23. third time’s a charm?

    * text text text *

    (Omitting the asterisks and spaces)


  24. trying again here Jean….. (It read my tags):

    Text text text text

    (Omit the spaces though.)


  25. Jean:
    Tags surrounding text must have a beginning and an ending. So, if you start text as bold, you *turn off* the bold at a point. Like this:

    This would be bold text.

    The turn OFF tag is the same as the turn on, but with a backslash ( / ).

    Hope this helps. You are now learning basic hyptertext mark-up language (HTML)!

    Δ Maven


  26. I envy you your weather Greydog and TampaBill.

    It took over an hour to get to work. 10 accidents on 3 major roads. Black ice is evil.


  27. I think your comment about Bush was mean spirited and callous. More to the point – you could not have been more correct.


  28. Jean- Thanks for the history. I enjoyed the typeface too even though it was not the way you wish. Aloha back to you… Ann


  29. Morning fellow wedgies! To those in the frozen lands up North and West, my warmest greetings to y’all. here in balmy FL, we are being warned of a cold wave heading this way. . .temps are expected to dip into the high 40s for one night before shooting back up into the 80s for Christmas Day. And Alaska Pi, the weatherman here told us to bundle up in light jackets for Christmas Eve cuz the temps may get as low as 70 that night. bwahahaha. What a jerk. Most folks will be breaking out their turtlenecks and longjohns for those temps. I do miss that crisp, cold air of winter though – despite having lived in this semi-tropical land of Mickey for over a decade, I miss my change of seasons. Here we have three – Flu, Mosquito, Hurricane. People tell me that FL gets winter too – but I just don’t think one week of weather in the 60s counts as a season. Take care everyone! Be safe out there if you have to drive ~ stay warm!


  30. Minnesota: home of the second tundra and the frozen chosen.

    Its cold outside but baby, I’m having a tropical heat wave. Yeah, getting older does have some advantages, especially this time of year.

    I do not want to go outside though. But I have to start the car and its a work day after all.

    Good morning to you all. Stay warm, drive safely, and watch out for those crazies on the freeways.
    Dress warm, bring your cell phone, and don’t grip the steering wheel too hard or you will stick that way.


  31. Dear Whirled Peas,

    I checked out the link you gave me for italics and bold and tried it. As you can see, it only worked for me in turning ON the italics, and then it wouldn’t turn OFF! Same with bold.

    Ah well, back to the drawing board. Like me, this computer stuff is a work in progress.

    Thank you all the same.




  32. Dear Helen and Margaret,

    Gee, all this crowd here is keeping you so busy baking pies and cakes, brewing tea and coffee, that perhaps you haven’t had time to post! (Like me with my family, maybe. But I need to take a break from time to time to get off my feet!) We are all grown-ups here. What say we bring our own pies and cakes to share?

    Continuing my little saga about the biography of Mohammed:

    The descendants of the Quarish tribe in Mecca, Saudi Arabia were the priests in Mohammed’s time. The aristocratic members of that tribe managed the civil affairs of Mecca. This was the exact same social structure as the Zoroastrians of Persia had. Two warring factions divided the Quarish tribe at the beginning of the sixth century AD.

    Abdallah was the grandson or grandnephew of one of those factions. His wife, Amina, was also of Quarish descent. Abdallah went on a trading caravan and died in Medina.

    Mohammed (c. 570-632 AD) was born in Mecca. His father was Abdallah and died before Mohammed was born. His mother Amina died when he was six. Although he had a distinguished lineage, his inheritance consisted of a house, one female slave, five camels and a flock of goats. Tradition says his grandfather and an uncle, Abu Talib, raised him. Certainly his early life was one of hardship. Literacy was not important in those days, so he was never taught to read and write.

    At about age twelve, Abu Talib took Mohammed on a caravan to Syria. He mingled with many of the Jews and Christians in the population there. There was also a large contingent of Jews and Christians in Mecca and Medina. He was attracted to the monotheistic aspects of both religions and the moral convictions of Christians. He could see the merit of those religions as contained in their Holy Books. He was dismayed at the idolatry and tribal warfare that he felt contributed to the disunity of his people.

    (I think it is interesting that this event occurred in Mohammed’s life at about age twelve.

    Jesus’ parents had taken him at about age 12 with them to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. Didn’t Mary and Joseph ‘misplace’ Jesus for three days and then found him talking with the elders in the temple? Isn’t the age for Bar Mitzvah and Confirmation at about age 12? Isn’t that the usual age when young people start asking questions, examining the aspects of life and beginning to think for themselves?)

    At age twenty-five, Mohammed married the matron, Khadija, a wealthy noble widow fifteen years his senior. He became involved in her merchant enterprises. It was apparently a happy marriage for the next twenty-six years. She bore him two sons who died in infancy and also his beloved daughter Fatima, who survived to adulthood. His marriage to Khadija was monogamous, a rarity in those times. Her wealth made it possible for him to have the leisure to contemplate the essence of man and his own destiny.

    (Not much is known of Jesus’ life from about age twelve until thirty when he began his ministry. It is not known whether he was literate or not. He personally left no written documents.)

    Mohammed and his family would spend time in a cave near Mecca in prayer, meditation and fasting during Ramadan, the holy month. He was alone in the cave when the angel Gabriel appeared to him in a vision informing him that he, Mohammed, was the messenger or messiah from Allah as foretold in scriptures. Further, Gabriel told him the Koran, or Qur’an, was the book of his people as it existed in heaven and the angel would dictate it to Mohammed.

    He continued to have many such visions, often at unexpected times. He would go into a trance like state. There has been some speculation that he had epilepsy. A number of leaders in history have had epilepsy including Julius Caesar and possibly Napoleon. But there is no evidence that Mohammed had Grand Mal seizures. Recently there has been a report of a form of epilepsy in which the person slips into unconsciousness and experiences an intense spiritual state not unlike an ‘out of body or near death experience’. One can only speculate on how and why Mohammed had his visions.

    When he awoke, he had an amanuensis (scribe) write down, word for word, what Gabriel had told him. Unlike the Jewish and Christian Bibles that are ascribed to many different prophets and disciples, the Koran is attributed to one man alone, Mohammed.

    With Khadija’s encouragement, he began to publicly preach his message. The Quarish tribe tolerated him as demented. He gathered a modest following until he went to the Kaaba and railed against idolatry. He considered the Kaaba a form of fetishism and thoroughly condemned the followers of all the ancient paganism.

    The pilgrims to the Kaaba were taken aback and the Quarish tribe was put off by the threat to the revenues brought in by the faithful. His conversion of slaves was especially offensive to the aristocratic Quarish. The struggle was on. Occasionally, the conflicts grew to be violent. Once, Mohammed was chased through the streets and stones thrown at him bloodied his legs.

    (This is not unlike Jesus’ experience of going after the ‘money changers’ outside the Temple. Only Jesus was caught and severely punished! Today, than offense would probably be considered a minor misdemeanor and only warrant a slap on the wrist or a modest fine. But you know the story of the authority wielded by both the hierarchy of the Temple, the Scribes and Pharisees, and especially the occupying Romans. Thousands of Christians were either crucified or fed to the lions. I don’t know if they indulged in water boarding.)

    People have been expounding on the history of both Jesus and Mohammed for centuries. I just did it again! The point here for me is that the great religions of the world have far more in common than the nit-picking silly little differences.

    It all has to do with the various stages of development of individual human beings and the ongoing progression of civilization.




  33. Happy Solstice and holidays to all-

    I can share a dog story; it explains why I never hang my candy cane cookies on the tree anymore.

    I have made candy cane cookies for 50 years: with my mom, then with my daughters, now my daughters “drive by” and pick up some for their condos. Anyway, about 10 years ago, I made the cookies and hung them on the tree, as usual. My sister was visiting, and we left her dog Sadie and my dog Gypsy at the house while all of us went out to dinner. (you know what’s coming) We arrived home and called the dogs…no dogs. Walking into the living room, we saw the tree on the floor- many ornaments smashed or scattered on the floor. Looking closer, we discovered…no cookies. The dogs had eaten them all.

    These two loveable dogs are now in dog heaven- I could tell the story abou my daughter’s dog Burrito, who decided( the first year she had him/brought him over for Christmas) to “mark” the tree…

    Stay warm and dry, all of you posters-


  34. Oh dear Elsie-
    I didn’t mean to give you the shivers.
    My son tells me the UP of Michigan and the Dakotas get colder than we do here oft times.

    The only time I was through Texas was on my way home after a trip to the US Virgin Islands and it was 28 degrees in your Dallas- Fort Worth airport area. I will never forget that.
    St Croix and St John were unbelievably beautiful and the people there warm and interesting and I was miserable the entire time!
    I mean- what kind of place does not dip below 72 at NIGHT? In December, no less!

    I ran right outside the airport in Dallas-Fort Worth- right past all the bundled up folks coming in and finally got cooled off. Probably good it was pre-TSA or I’d have been detained and questioned about erratic behavior…


  35. I got chilly today wearing the wrong clothes. It was in the upper 70s yesterday, but in the 40s with a wind today. Low tonight in the 30s, then 40s tomorrow and on into a warming trend into the mid-70s later in the week.

    I just cannot comprehend MINUS-ANY-FRICKING-THING!!! I must be a delicate hothouse flower.

    Y’all take care in all that bitter cold. Just remember that there really are some Texans in this world who think the barest amount of snow is a REALLY big deal! Just 6 INCHES would be a blizzard-worth where some us live!


  36. Whirled-
    Is this the butterfly effect you referred to?


    Wow- popped in to say Happy New Year’s Eve from Alaska and the place is full of happy dogs and mouthwatering pie recipes and Santa-is-a woman??!
    I know it’s not the accepted eve of the new year… but tomorrow we will have a teenyweeney bit more of daylight. And a bit more the day after… And…Yee haw!

    My puppers are not very happy tonight. Wind chill of -20(brrr…) always means super short walks. My aged who-knowz-what-it is a champion speed-piddler in such weather… even the feisty mostly-weatherproof lil shiba didn’t argue tonight about not getting to check all his pee-mail around the neighborhood…

    Off to make hot tea…
    I don’t think I can take any more revelations about folks I thought I knew…


  37. “I think Santa Claus is a woman….” Yes, indeed, now THAT explains things!


  38. Just received this from a friend of my mom’s – thought I’d share it with you all:

    I think Santa Claus is a woman….

    I hate to be the one to defy sacred myth, but I believe he’s a she. Think about it. Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing, social deal, and I have a tough time believing a guy could possibly pull it all off!

    For starters, the vast majority of men don’t even think about selecting gifts until Christmas Eve. Once at the mall, they always seem surprised to find only Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and mood rings left on the shelves. On this count alone, I’m convinced Santa is a woman. Surely, if he were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find a rotating musical Chia Pet under the tree, still in the bag.

    Another problem for a he-Santa would be getting there. First of all, there would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted and strapped on to the rear bumper of the sleigh amid wide-eyed, desperate claims that buck season had been extended. Blitzen’s rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist. Even if the male Santa DID have reindeer, he’d still have transportation problems because he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions.

    Other reasons why Santa can’t possibly be a man:

    Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet. Men would feel their masculinity is threatened…having to be seen with all those elves. Men don’t answer their mail. Men would refuse to allow their physique to be describe even in jest as anything remotely resembling a “bowlful of jelly.” Men aren’t interested in stockings unless somebody’s wearing them, and having to do the “Ho! Ho! Ho!” thing would seriously inhibit their ability to pick up women.

    Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment. I can buy the fact that other mythical holiday characters are men…. Father Time shows up once a year unshaven and looking ominous – definite guy. Cupid flies around carrying weapons.

    Uncle Sam is a politician who likes to point fingers. Any one of these individuals could pass the testosterone screening test – but not Santa. Not a chance!


  39. Elsie – I’ve often thought my dogs should be renamed to Hoover, Eureka, and Dyson.


  40. Greytdog, of all the references you could make about your dog, it’s funny to me that you used “chunky monkeys”.

    I couldn’t come up with any better name for our SPCA-adopted female Corgi than “Punkin”. Yeah, I know, it’s pretty bad. But I call her A LOT of things, including “Punkie Brewster”, and, all the words I can think of that rhyme with Punkie: Hunky Punkie, Chunky Punkie, Chunky Monkey, and any other combination thereof.

    I was thinking that your Beau the Greyhound wouldn’t have had any food out in his bowl if Punkin watched him leave it to run back-and-forth into the kitchen to look for his dessert. She’s like the previous Corgi we had, Foxy, in that she has no “off” switch as far as the food bowl goes. In fact, a better name for them both might have been “Hoover”.


  41. Psychedelikat – we’re gonna hold you to that recipe!!!
    And if anyone has a good recipe for fluffy biscuits. . .well, I’d be ever so grateful!


  42. Maven, thanks! I actually braved the cold today…layered up with 4 tops, one heavy sweater, 3 scarves (including one of those fuzzy ones that’s hollow and you can put over your head), a hat, one pair of gloves and mittens over them, three pairs of socks, some footless tights and jeans tucked inside my snow boots.

    It’s amazing I was able to maneuver around! But even with all those layers, my thighs are still stinging, and my big toes are still kinda sore.

    I came home and drank some hot chocolate and made some hot vegetable soup! One of these days I’ll post a cool recipe for some crock pot bread. Very moist and yummy.

    And, yes. I, too, am a Catholic. Although I never spent any time in Catholic school, my father spent his entire boyhood attending and, believe me, I’ve heard stories!


  43. We have a rule at the house – each dog gets “dessert” after dinner. That way we don’t have chunky monkeys lazing around (not including the person on the couch). . . anyway, arrived home early from work one day with a new treat for the pups. Since it was a few hours until dinner, I went ahead and “broke” the rule by giving each a taste. Come dinnertime. . . and Beau the greyhound takes a bite of dinner, runs into the kitchen for dessert.. . .runs back to dinner bowl, take another bite of dinner. . .runs back into the kitchen for dessert! Doughhead did that for his entire meal. . . only after the last bite did he get dessert. . .but oh he was soooo hopeful! Gotta love ‘em – they keep you laughing and on your toes.


  44. thank you thank you Greydog! I really needed a break (I make all my own prezzies so it takes time)
    and you made me laugh!

    My black lab Boy Floyd (gone and terribly missed)
    was being baby sat by my husband’s boss, He never misbehaved at home, but they spoiled him terribly.
    He stole a pie, a stick of butter, and then left his sickness on their carpet. But! They felt soooo sorry for him that they got him dog biscuits.


  45. I don’t know how you keep up with all these comments!

    I just gave you an award…check it out!


  46. Judith, thanks for the recipe (and the caveat for dog owners). . . I once fostered a greyhound – a tall greyhound who snitched a full block of swiss cheese from the kitchen counter. My significant other is a swiss cheese and triscuit fan. . .and had left the cheese out. . . Big Tall dog is counter surfing and BINGO! Wins the prize. SO comes back to kitchen, starts plowing through the refrig thinking the cheese had been put away (who moved my cheese?) and amid the grumbling noises, Big Tall prances through the living room with block of cheese in his mouth. I grabbed the cheese, inspected it – not a single bite taken. Some teeth marks, that’s all. So I stealthily slivered off the teeth marks and call out to SO: “Here’s your cheese!” SO comes in – followed by Big Dog – inspects the cheese, sees a couple of teeth marks I missed. . .and now wants to conduct a CSI investigation to find the culprit! We have laughed about Big Tall and the cheese ever since. (Big Tall now lives in Northern Virginia)


  47. My crucifix stories reappeared…I feel very strange. Anyway, Troutay, I am not a Catholic, never was…I just thought they had the coolest stuff as a late teen, into my early twenties. I also found it very interesting at the time to approach things in an iconoclastic approach…and found it amusing to either play with symbols or expectations. It was an interesting time of searching, alcoholism, drug abuse and a lot of deep introspection…mostly I was suffering from an undiagnosed deep depression.

    I also understand the symbolism behind having this Minister being asked by Obama to do his thing at the inauguration…both the symbolism of what this ‘Minister” represents as well as the symbolism behind asking him to be there. I think that the homosexual is one of the last groups that as a society we haven’t accepted that it is wrong to discriminate against…but I feel a lot of the other hatreds are not gone, we just don’t talk about it. You can’t say you hate (insert ethnic group or slur) and be accepted as a rational person, same as being against women, or whatever…but an aspect of groups is having another group to hate, to pull everyone together.

    The gays are okay as a target, we hate them not because of their color or their sex or…but because they do something which we state is morally incorrect. Never mind that you are talking about differences in biology here. It is a social eugenics and the economy sucks and the world is exploding at an international level, and we, as a nation is losing any control or respect on the global stage but goddamit we can still hate and control the faggots.

    Shaking my head…I think as a country, as a society, as individuals…we need to look at ourselves, how we treat ourselves, our families, our neighbors and quit worrying about the other shit. That and perhaps recognize the amount of control we have been under in what is more blatantly becoming evidence of ‘class war’…like it was pointed look at Madoff, like the movie quote stated…”Follow the money”.

    See who is really hurting us as a nation…gays or uncontrolled greed?

    Well….and ‘reality’ programs on tv.


  48. troutay? I’m an “old Catholic” too. 12 years of Catholic school in Chicago, 1960-1972. (See my 12/20/08 post around 3:30 pm and you’ll see I still have many memories!)

    Psychedelikat? sorry for the minus-7 degree temperature today in Chicago. We don’t usually go sub-zero in December. Have a piece of pie and some really hot tea or coffee and try to stay warm.

    Δ Maven


  49. Ok, I’m really late with the pie recipe, but here it is.

    Of course, you could just take your favorite pecan pie recipe and change the nuts and the flavoring. If you reverse-engineer this recipe, you get my favorite pecan pie. A 3rd variation uses pecans, bourbon and a cup of chocolate chips in the bottom.


    1 pie shell, raw, chilled – fit into either 9” pie plate or 12” shallow tart pan with removable bottom
    1-½ cups hazelnuts (filberts)
    3 whole eggs
    1 cup white granulated sugar
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, melted
    1 cup dark corn syrup (Karo)
    1 tablespoon Irish whiskey

    Use your favorite pie crust, roll it out and fit it into whatever pan you’re going to use. Prick holes all over the bottom and let it chill in the fridge.

    Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Put the nuts in a single layer in a rimmed sheet pan and toast them in the oven til they smell good and the skins come off fairly easily. Dump them into a large clean towel and rub them around so most of the skins come off. Some skin will remain firmly welded to the nuts; leave it alone, it won’t bother anybody. Put the cleaned nuts aside and spend some time cleaning up flyaway nut skin. This is a lot easier if you have a dog. If you have a tall dog, even the counters will be cleaned for you and don’t turn your back on the nuts, either. Corgi owners will still have to wipe the counter surface, but the nuts will be safe.

    Put the now cool nuts in the pie shell. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

    In a bowl, mix the eggs lightly. Stir in all the remaining ingredients. Pour this mixture over the nuts in the pie shell.

    Bake a 9” pie for 15 minutes or the 12” tart for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.

    Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes longer. Test by jiggling the pan slightly – when it’s ready to come out, the edges will be a little puffed, but the center 2 inches will still move a little. This will cook from the retained heat after you take it out of the oven. If you wait until the whole pie is solid, it will overcook by the time it’s cool.

    So, having shoveled the driveway snow hump for the third time in 3 days, I’ve put a little liquor in my coffee and it’s back to making sock heels. Happy Merry to everybody and good pie!


  50. I suggest that everyone who can send a shoe or two to W. Let him know how we ALL feel about him.



  51. Hello to everybody !
    You have right. The american politic for the last 10-15 years made a grate inconvenience (disservice) to you.
    You are not beloved in the world.
    But I love you, Margaret and Helen.


  52. Alaska Pi wrote: “I’m not sure where my suh-ward is these days… rusting in it’s sheath somewhere?
    After the grumbles die down I pick up the rocks and try to build another raised garden bed in my DMZ…”

    Not to get all spiritual (oy!) but it sounds as if you’ve turned your sword into a plowshare. . . as I’ve grown older and hopefully but probably not wiser, I’ve discovered that picking your battles is often a better strategy. When it comes to the big picture, I try to “break it down” into smaller pictures to see where I really can make a difference – I can’t feed the world but I can make sure that I feed at least one family in my community; I can’t save every homeless pet, but I can help save one; I can’t ensure heating oil for every senior citizen, but I can make sure at least one senior citizen won’t feel the cold; and so on. And that gives me the energy and the strength to stand up for the things that need a point person, a line of strength, a fullblown commitment – like, in my case, working against state-sanctioned discrimination, working for transparency in government, working in whatever way possible to create a fully democratic society in which all people are created and treated equal.


  53. Dang

    I wish you all lived next door so we could rant a bit, have tea or coffee and just watch the snow fall.
    (all 24 hours of it)


  54. crispycritter19 said-
    “I however think he should’ve stepped in dogshit before he threw it at W!”
    I don’t think it would have stuck to all the blood he has had to walk through… but I love the picture!

    greytdog said:
    ” all of us. We’ve all been so focused on “change” but we’ve forgotten than change starts from within. So if we’re still seeing the world in “us vs them” “republicans vs democrats” “conservatives vs liberals” then can we really advance change? ”

    Yup- this shoe-fits- thingy here includes all of us. Not only looking at what shoe fits but where the feet in the shoes really are.
    This change we have all been looking forward to will end up being one of those moves to another neighborhood and realizing we brought our old selves, dirty laundry, with us if we don’t watch out!

    troutay and Proud- I left out all the messy bits which led to my personal armed truce. I fell down lots of wells galloping round the countryside on my high horse, banged myself up pretty good.What did Helen say , in a recent soiree here. about youth not looking backward?

    The last 8 years having sorely tried that truce…
    some of the old grumbling gets started up on one side or other and I run to the other side and run up a flag of warning and try to lob some rocks across the DMZ and holler out “Aw, shut the hell up!”
    My arthritic hands and poor eyesight preclude letting fly any arrows- I might stick someone else with them. I’m not sure where my suh-ward is these days… rusting in it’s sheath somewhere?
    After the grumbles die down I pick up the rocks and try to build another raised garden bed in my DMZ…
    You do that everyday Proud- that you help feed and clothe and soothe your neighbors and troutay -you do that everyday you offer true sanctuary to lost children…


  55. So I’ve been reading the various online articles concerning scumbag Madoff – and the trickle down effect of his scam. And frankly, in the light of this particular ponzi scheme, the brouhaha over Warren seems. . .very very small. For instance, various organizations dedicated to helping juvenile offenders with mental illness, food programs dedicated to helping senior citizens, literacy programs, food banks, heating oil programs, and the list goes on and on. . .were generously funded by philanthropic foundations who had entrust and trusted Madoff. And now these foundations have been bilked, scammed, etc. Some folks think – so what? It’s just the rich getting their payback. But it’s not. These are good people who felt themselves blessed and wanted to use their money to give back – unnoticed, unheralded. And now are having to let programs throughout this country know that they cannot be funded. So kids will go without healthcare, seniors will go without heating oil and medications, literacy programs will close their doors, much needed improvements to housing will be stopped, arts programs, music programs, the list goes on and on. . .and we’re bitching about a man delivering a prayer? So I’ve been looking at some of the programs being heavily hit by Madoff’s avarice and greed. . .and added those programs to my small list of charities. You think Madoff’s scam only affected the Jewish community? Think again. It’s affected all of us – perhaps more so than the wall street mess. And certainly more so than Obama’s prayer partner.


  56. CERTAINLY NO NEED TO APOLOGIZE-I’m sure your comments reflect the thoughts of the majority of Americans.
    I however think he should’ve stepped in dogshit before he threw it at W!


  57. I have been busy the last few day dealing with our impending storms here. We have 8 inches of snow on the ground right now. Yuck! So I have been trying to catch up on recent posts this morning.

    I have to say that it is evident to me that most of you are much smarter than I am! LOL That said, I have to read your posts and ponder them. As I do at times have to read the post twice and then I have to let it settle in my brain and look at at the refractions and angles.

    This morning this post by gretdog hit the bullseye and is what I was trying to say in a previous post to Anne.

    “But all of us. We’ve all been so focused on “change” but we’ve forgotten than change starts from within. So if we’re still seeing the world in “us vs them” “republicans vs democrats” “conservatives vs liberals” then can we really advance change? If I treat Warren as less than, if I treat Warren the way he treats GLBT Americans, am I any different?”

    I certainly do not agree with Mr. Warren or his dogma and often times feel that he and others preach the way they do because they are motivated by fear. Fear of the unknown about many things. Obviously they fear their own sexuality when they attack the GLBT community. This makes me pause and really pity them because as a supposed leader and preacher of Gods word they really only have one viewpoint and when it is based on fear they never grow nor do the people who follow them. Seems to me he is a failure at his job.

    If you only associate with like minded people you never grow and learn. No different for me or Mr. Warren. You can’t change anything if you turn your back and say I am mad and this is to hard.

    I’m not saying I have never done this, because I have, but if it is something that is very important to me I stay and at least make my stand and convictions be known that is all we can do in the long run. IMHO.

    I have an Aunt that I adore and she always reminds me if all else fails Kill them with kindness. You know this is hard to do but very effective.

    So just some of the rambling thoughts that have been rolling around in my brain this morning! That I need another pot of coffee!


  58. Bush’s response to the shoe throwing was very telling. He actually said he “didn’t know what the guys beef was”!!! Hello, that might be the problem in a nutshell!


  59. And for his last official criminal act Cheney will re-write history.



  60. Alaska Pi wrote:
    “developing a easy-to-remember shorthand symbol for what got us here we WILL forget how we made this mess”

    Not if we use this for a symbol “GREED”

    There is an excellent discourse on the Warren subject by Elizabeth Keaton that is worth reading



  61. From Politico’s forum on the Warren pick:
    Darrell M. West, Vice President, Governance Studies, Brookings:

    It doesn’t matter that Rick Warren is giving the inaugural invocation. What matters is HOW he gives that invocation. If the pastor turns the moment into an opportunity to proselytize and convey his personal religious views, that would be inappropriate for the occasion. Religious leaders of any faith need to recognize that the inauguration is for all the people, not a single sect. They should be welcoming and inclusive in their remarks, and be non-dogmatic in the words they express. President-Elect Obama is going to need the help of people of all religious faiths.

    Okay this makes sense to me. Of course, you have to take into account that I have been slurping cough syrup laced with codeine for my bronchitis and periodically sipping on single-malt scotch laced tea for the last 72 hours. . . so most things make sense to me at this point :) In addition my brain is a bit addled from bouncing between Dean Koontz reads and watching rachel Maddow with sidetrips to Jumanji. . .


  62. Alaska Pi – thank you for sharing that most wondrous of peace with us.
    “a stern admonition to look sharply at Plato’s tale of Thales who, apparently, tumbled into a well while watching and contemplating the starry heavens.”

    that is an admonition we should all heed. Contemplating the starry heavens is a wonderful thing to do – good for the soul. But if we only keep our eyes on heaven (and our place therein) we are all in danger of falling into a well. . . perhaps Warren should re-read Thales. . . okay that was snarky. a bit. maybe. nope. But not just Warren. Not just the Pharisees. But all of us. We’ve all been so focused on “change” but we’ve forgotten than change starts from within. So if we’re still seeing the world in “us vs them” “republicans vs democrats” “conservatives vs liberals” then can we really advance change? If I treat Warren as less than, if I treat Warren the way he treats GLBT Americans, am I any different?


  63. Alaska:

    That was so pure and simple. And so so beautiful.
    I am still on some journey to try to find that inner peace and contentment with my life. But I can gain from your experiences and add them to my life.

    Thank you


  64. I already have the book, “The God Delusion,” and have read part of it. It’s interesting, but I have yet to finish it because it is still in Texas in a box while I am here in Chicago getting ready to freeze my butt off.


  65. troutay-

    I was one of the lucky kids and have tried to pay-it-forward with my son and the kids in need of food and safety that he brought home. I “had an adult like this when I was growing up.”
    My dear devout dad released me from all things Catholic on the eve of my long put-off confirmation. We talked a long time. I don’t remember what he said now. That in itself is weird as I can remember most of what he said to me when I was a kid almost verbatim. I just remember that the contracted world I was in expanded immediately to the true horizons it possesses.
    My dear ma took a bit longer but finally made a ceremony of giving me her Bible, a copy of Plato’s Collected Dialogues, and a stern admonition to look sharply at Plato’s tale of Thales who, apparently, tumbled into a well while watching and contemplating the starry heavens.

    whirled said- “that’s how I find myself here and now.”
    I’m going to poke around some and look at the perspectives you speak of- thank you!
    I do ok , myself, here in this armed truce place.

    At whatever point, about 25 years ago, that I sheathed my sword ( here: suh-ward ) and fell off my last high horse, I realized I was both the besieger and besiegee and had inflicted many nasty festering wounds upon myself. Try as I might- dumping out my pack, emptying my pocket ( heart) there was no God there to heal me.

    I have worked hard to learn and grow and spend most of my time in my own DMZ now. It’s not a scorched earth place- things grow here.

    The urge to find a full peace came with the birth of my grand daughter. I went to Maine for her blessing day- the day the family formally welcomed her . Her other gran is an Episcopalian minister and did the blessing. Her godfather came from Spain, her godmother from DC, four generations of her blood family came from all over America.

    My beautiful son and his beautiful wife openly offered their beautiful child into the membership of our assembly that day…since then I’ve been thinking about the membership thingy.. a lot.

    My family gardens. We all do. My son built a huge raised bed and we planted a perennial garden for the baby… from all the generations present that day. She plays in that garden now- has put stone angels round the edges- plants her own lil annuals. She can name the grand, grander, grandests who planted her garden…

    There is peace there.

    ALL children , American, Iraqi, Afghani- all deserve that place of peace and membership…that is the full peace I desire.


  66. “(repeated ad infinitum in round)
    What’s the adage – kill ‘em with love. ”
    Ah… that makes sense. Me too, I hope everyone goes, turns their backs, raises a shoe ans sings…
    Or some combination thereof.
    And, please, take me too, in your pocket (heart) – I will sing too!


  67. Oh I love that saying ” a pox on. . . ” Seems to have more “oomph” than the old standby of “eff” off. Of course not too many people know what a pox is or anything, but it’s still fun to say.

    Alaska Pi – I thought about writing “we Shall Overcome” – but since Warren is a “modern” evangelical (bwahahaha) then singing “They Will Know We are Christians. . .” seemed more. . . pointed. . . The chorus of that song is:
    “They will know we are Christians by our love
    by our love” (repeated ad infinitum in round)
    What’s the adage – kill ‘em with love. I think all the folks who receive an invite and are disgusted by Warren’s “choice” should show up – and enact a nonviolent, peaceful protest – perhaps a Sing In and/or a Shoe Raising. . .


  68. no. georgee deserves far more. he is an empty man who cares only about himself and MAYBE his family. oh, i am sure he cares about his damn dogs. he says he cares about america. the evidence says only for HIS people. his amerika. a collection of rich republikan assholes who have put us in the worst situation in decades. a pox on him, his family, and those who brung him.


  69. Charles:

    You sound like my cousins out there in Oregon.
    Its a great state. I used to love to go to the Omni
    Museum and walk through the big heart.

    I can still hear it beating if I sit very quietly.

    How many old catholics post here anyway? Greydog,
    Pi, me, charles, who else??


  70. ” Then stick your fingers in your ears, sing They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love, or better yet, bring along a shoe and hold it up as soon as he intones, “Heavenly Father”. . . .then enjoy the rest of this most historical moment.”

    YES! Yes, to what Greytdog said…!
    Hold those shoes up and sing…!
    If you choose “We Shall Overcome…”
    don’t forget the verses “We are not afraid” and “We’ll walk hand in hand , someday”!

    There are a whole gob of us out here who will never get an invite. Take us in your pockets (hearts ) and leave the flaps up so we can see and hear too!


  71. “Nuns scare the hell out of me…what about you??”

    Nope. Never scared me. Went to Catholic schools most of my elementary/middle school years. . . I liked the nuns – we had several who were Belgian and sweet as could be. One was my piano teacher who used my lesson time to catch a nap. . .I’d play nice soothing music to keep her asleep. She’d bring chocolate chip cookies to lesson too!


  72. I can’t live without your wisdom, insight and humor. Keep it coming as long as you are happy doing it.

    Love you. Merry Christmas.


  73. Whilst lounging on my sick bed, I pondered the dilemma appearing to many of my GLBT friends concerning the Obama inauguration . Now personally speaking, I would definitely run over my next door Republican neighbor in exchange for an invite. . . so to those folks who have received an invite and plan to return them as a form of protest. . .are you fricking crazy? This is what my grandma would call “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” Don’t like the pick of Warren as invocator (is that a word) or Chief Pharisee? Then stick your fingers in your ears, sing They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love, or better yet, bring along a shoe and hold it up as soon as he intones, “Heavenly Father”. . . .then enjoy the rest of this most historical moment.
    Okay gotta go. My dogs are licking their empty bowls – most plaintive licking I’ve ever heard


  74. Part 2 – The Virus of Faith



  75. On Google video:

    The God Delusion – Part 1



  76. For those of you interested in memetics,

    Try Richard Dawkins’s book, “The God Delusion”. He is a British evolutionary biologist. He goes into memetics somewhat in depth. It is a fairly new but promising concept




  77. Dear Alaska Pi,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    Time permitting, I have read many of your comments. You are delightfully erudite!




  78. Troutay…Portland, Oregon. We have some great microbrewry’s out here, as well as Guiness, there are some great microbrew stouts. Didn’t realize My Catholic paraphernelia stories would warrent being removed, especially after some of the hatred from various trolls…but I realize that not everyone enjoys my dry sense of humor. Even if they were from 20 years ago or so. If it received such a negative reaction online, you can imagine the looks I got in real life in the late eighties :-)


  79. Dear Whirled Peas,

    Thank you for the link about italics et al. Next time, I’ll check it out.

    And congratulations on your ‘Eureka’ moment. It is a good feeling to know you are master of your own destiny.




  80. Pi,
    The deadliest in the situation you are questioning here is forgetting to go back and check whether one’s foundations really hold up this particular edifice…

    Blue-red county election maps may tell some of the story – cities and higher cost of living tends to be blue, country and evangelical tends to be red. People may really be voting for their own perceived best interests. If your job will never be outsourced, your rent is cheap, you hate tattoos, hate ‘liberal immoral’ Hollywood, hate rap music, and all your family/friends/workmates, culture and community is red, who wants the hassle of being blue? All that research, fact checking, swimming upstream stuff for minimal personal gain, just to be “right”…

    Plus, to be honest, I’m having a heckuva time getting a reasonable debate going with ANY conservative anymore. Ah, the good old days – colorful conservative characters like Seixion, Paul Deignan, Habu, Tadowe, Ian from Political Teen, Steve at The Daou Report, Garbanzo, Goldstein.. all are gone – either into hiding or a life of shame I guess. And the better conservative blogs have either shrunk, gone away or don’t take contrary opinions anymore. Sigh.

    Anyways, big winter storm coming… and I can’t get the stupid old generator started. I may be gone for a few days if the power goes out…


  81. Ahhhh, being raised Catholic as some other wedgies, I’ll join in some reminiscing….

    When I was growing up, I remember:

    Limbo was escaped because my parents baptised me *quickly* but Purgatory was a constant threat. (We were too young and our misdeeds didn’t warrant the whole fire-and-brimstone going-to-hell threats.)

    Nuns in rubber-soled shoes that could carry them noiselessly and rapidly to whichever part of a classroom was misbehaving. Though some of them wore, like, 4 foot long rosaries on their belts which made subtle clacking sounds when they moved. To this day, I cannot stand the sound of *beads*.

    Kneeling for hours in Church, either at Mass or for Stations of the Cross at Eastertime. And I always wondered that the same kneeling was used as *punishment* in the classroom (often accompanied with holding a stack of books). Guess the nuns didn’t get the incongruity of it.

    And here’s a seasonal one: The last 4 or 5 pews in our Church during Christmas Midnight Mass always smelled like the tavern on our corner.

    (Sorry that was off topic. Just hoping to add a little levity.)

    Δ Maven


  82. Charles: where do you live that you go into a pub and get a stout?

    A sponge of vinegar!

    too too funny!


  83. Pi:

    I think many of us had a really rough childhood. I wonder that we didn’t become bullies or eternal victims. I think we learned very early that
    compassion and tolerance were the only way we could survive. And the vow that we would never treat another as we had been treated.

    My kids have friends that have lived with us for long periods of time. They know where the refrigerator is, they know there will always be a space for them at the table, and they know my door will always be open.
    sometimes they have taken advantage of that but later, when older, they have given back what they were given. I can only hope that when they have families of their own, they practice what we have, that sometimes kids need someone else to be there for them. And somewhere else to go.

    I wish I had an adult like this when I was growing up.


  84. Thank youi Greytdog for finding:

    “Zakaria: Not quite — what the shoe-throwing incident also reminded us of — and this is something that Americans often forget — is that whatever the gains in Iraq recently — and they are undeniable and real — the costs for Iraqis have been huge.

    We focus on the costs to America — hundreds of billions of dollars spent, more than four thousand American lives lost there.

    But the costs to the Iraqis have been staggering”

    While it is likely true that Mr Muntathar al Zaidi would have been executed on the spot under Saddam for this act , I am hoping the current Iraqi government will show a measured mercy to him in light of the terrible costs they have all suffered.


  85. Wow! What a great reflection on that event! I too couldn’t stop laughing for a while…sobering about what he said though!


  86. “Hahaha Charles!

    I went as a pregnant nun one year for halloween.
    (being an ex catholic, I felt I could make fun of my old religion).”

    Oh- troutay! LOL.
    I wish I had the irreverence contained in this act of yours.
    The nuns WERE pregnant, you know. Pregnant with all the hopes and dreams they had for us.
    I only remember one who really knew what she was looking at when she looked at me…
    Her eyes were kind and her voice firm…she didn’t smack my hand with the ruler when I spoke up- she did smack the desk beside my hand though.
    I think she is the one who was behind allowing me a solitary desk by the window…whether to create distance from the other kids so they would not “catch” the questions I had or to allow me to roam outside the window since I was already lost,I have never figured out.


  87. From The Moderate Voice:http://themoderatevoice.com/

    Fareed Zakaria, on the other hand, sees the incident as an indication of the slow and painful, but distinctive forward movement of Iraq as a free and open nation. In a recent interview with CNN, Zakaria stated,

    CNN: Do you think the shoe-throwing incident shows that Iraq is becoming an open society?

    Fareed Zakaria: Yes, and President Bush was right that it represents a huge advance in freedom in the Middle East. There is quite simply no other Arab country in which that scene could have taken place.

    And Iraq has, in other ways, become a reasonably open and democratic society — though still a long way from a liberal democracy as we would define it.

    CNN: So not a big deal — just fodder for late-night comics?

    Zakaria: Not quite — what the shoe-throwing incident also reminded us of — and this is something that Americans often forget — is that whatever the gains in Iraq recently — and they are undeniable and real — the costs for Iraqis have been huge.

    We focus on the costs to America — hundreds of billions of dollars spent, more than four thousand American lives lost there.

    But the costs to the Iraqis have been staggering

    2.5 million Iraqis — 10 percent of the population — have left the country, and only a few are trickling back. Another 2 million have been displaced from their homes. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed and wounded — and that may be underreported.

    Maybe in the long run, if Iraq becomes a more decent society, these costs will fade into memory and the benefits will endure. But for now, as Muntadhar al-Zaidi’s actions showed — it is the costs that remain front and center in the Iraq consciousness.

    With approval ratings for the war in Iraq at all time lows, it is unlikely that the costs will fade from any memories, US or Iraqi, any times soon. But as CNN personality and blogger Jack Cafferty noted, further backing Zakaria and Bush’s perspectives,

    And whether you agree with the war in Iraq or not, it probably saved this man’s life. If he had thrown his shoes while Saddam was in power he likely would have been executed on the spot.


  88. My mottos:
    Be the person your dog thinks you are (treat people with the dignity and respect you wish to be treated)
    Wag More, Bark Less (don’t worry be happy. . .don’t sweat the small stuff. . .it’s all small stuff)
    When you begin to think world revolves around you. . .clean out the cat box.


  89. Alaska Pi Δ,

    My inner being is purely based on a mixture of Fractal Geometry and ‘The Butterfly Effect’. I realized I couldn’t find anything ‘outside’ myself that wasn’t ‘inside’ first. Add in ‘The Law of Attraction’ and some Zen Buddhism and that’s how I find myself here and now.

    Δ ~ PEACE

    PS: I’d link definitions to all these perspectives but my comment would get caught in moderation. Maybe Matt can unblock multiple link posts? (at least for Wedgies)


  90. sorry for the multiple typos on that last post…


  91. Thanks…then I might tell the story how almost twenty years ago on my birthday a friend gave me a huge lead crucifix which was plate with bronxe…it was about 6: long (never learned whatever happened to this one)…and we went to a very ‘posh’ bar, I slapped it on the bar and ordered a stout for myself and a sponge of vinegar for my friend. I had several patrons get upset with me, I explained that it was a scripturally sound request and my friend went off that they had no idea what my spiritual beliefs might be so they had no basis to judge…Okay, at the time I was a philosophy major with no spiritual beliefs…

    Merry Christmas and good shoe throwing to all!


  92. Hahaha Charles!

    I went as a pregnant nun one year for halloween.
    (being an ex catholic, I felt I could make fun of my old religion).

    The responses from people were totally weird. They were either furious with me, being catholic themselves, or old altar boys that wanted me to spank them.

    I did not make fun (overtly) of any religion for a long time after that.

    It wasn’t you Greydog, it was my daughter.

    I am going to bed. to hell with the holidays!


  93. “Nuns scare the hell out of me…what about you??”

    Never having been Catholic, nuns don’t scare me at all…I used to have a wind-up nun that shot sparks out of it’s mouth, I think it was called “Nunzilla” and I do have a solid Mexican silver nun’s rosary from the 20s that is pretty cool…part of my youth that I still have when I collected Catholic paraphernalia. I used to wear it around My neck when I went out to clubs to hear hardcore/alternative bands…I would dangle it from the Jesus and Mary chain so the Jesus would be on top of the Guiness in My pint adn “walk” him across the top of the stout about 1/2 way and then let go of the chain so He sank to the bottom and then exclaim loudly “Dammit, I used to be able to do this before I got these damned holes in My feet”.

    I was a strange “child” :-)


  94. Oh troutay- get better!!!
    Whirled- now we know what that glow which surrounds you- real even in this virtual parlour -is…the sign of a person who has forged an essential peace with themselves and their circumstance.
    I can see and feel it -even as an AA-accidental atheist. It is real. As one who has forged but an armed truce with myself , please forgive me for basking in your warmth. I’m hoping to find a place of full peace someday…maybe some time spent in the company of peace will lend me ideas to get there…?
    Jean- thank you- yet again, for your provision of perspective.

    freD said:
    “I’m not a memeticist, or a meme expert, let alone an advocate of that theory. But I’ve known that the majority of people are easily manipulated and used by the ruthlessly self-serving who are compelled and smart enough to do so, ever since I was forced to watch Nazi concentration camp movies back in high school. ”


    Looking at the brief overview of memetics on wiki site, I am reminded of the phlogiston period in physics/chemistry thought. Will have to track down some of the reading cited to see if any of it makes sense or is another merely valiant effort to get hold of a piece of knowledge gone awry…

    That being said, I have occupied a similar questing point -though it grew from the McCarthy era witch hunts and bomb-shelter building days of my childhood.


    “…I was saying that susceptibility to ‘memetic manipulation’ (or whatever you want to call it) depended on the degree of tribalism, reward dependance (or agreeableness), intelligence, and/or the surrounding ‘life environment’ of the host.”

    I think this is a generally valid approach to understanding some of our human vulnerability to manipulation. It addresses so much of what the Machiavellian types make use of… amongst other things.


    “But this theory was thrown a bit out of wack when it came out that regular bloggers and commenters on political blogs, liberal and conservative, were MBTI-testing most often as type INTJ, which is known as the most independent-minded of all the MBTI types, and one of the most intelligent and rational as well. How does an independent-minded type get sucked into believing stuff like “the current mortgage crisis stems from pressure applied from the Community Revitalization Act” without question? …or that Obama was an ‘Islamic racist anti-Jewish socialist megalomaniac’?”

    Now- I agree, as an INTJ myself, this is where it gets messy again.

    Most of the journey to address what you question here has been my own intensely personal quest of the last 4 decades. I have picked up bits and pieces along the way but cannot begin to say what the whatness and howness TRULY is…
    A couple of my bits and pieces…

    I think the value placed on “independent-minded”, “intelligent” and “rational” here is of the ideal nature of Plato’s forms- that which we aspire to in purest form.

    We have come to assume that these qualities piled together will somehow automatically result in sensible thought or, in the language of the MBTI, yield an Architect who will build truly beautiful things.

    In my experience, I’m raising my own “me-too” hand here, incomplete or improper training and /or inattention to details of various sorts result in Architects who build faulty bridges, towers, etc. – unstable in and of themselves and/or unsuitable for the environment they truly occupy.

    Constant attendance to the “setup” is required to avoid mistakes… I hear some voices here who are pretty good at that. Establishing criteria for judgment and checking back for correspondence -explicitly- is boring but ultimately one of the most valuable tools we can get hold of.

    One of the hardest things I deal with behind a hardware store counter is adherence to the use of this tool. Folks come in in a panic or merely in a hurry and want “the answer” to their problem. Often we spend some effort on defining the problem so we both understand it’s name.Then I spend some effort trying to get them to tell me their criteria for judgment- permanent repair, temporary repair, cheapest, best ?..and to tell me how they weight those criterion in relation to each other. Most sort out their own expectations well enough that I can help them gather up what they need or send them to the right tradesmen for larger help. ( I’m skipping right on by the obnoxious folks who clearly establish their criteria as – it must not cost more than $1.00, it must last forever, and it must fix all my problems.- those folks live in an alternate universe. )

    Inattention to details of various sorts can come from various places. The deadliest in the situation you are questioning here is forgetting to go back and check whether one’s foundations really hold up this particular edifice…

    Those who ” get sucked into believing stuff like “the current mortgage crisis stems from pressure applied from the Community Revitalization Act” without question…” have gotten lazy somewhere along the way. It is awfully easy , under pressure, to give into we-don’t-have-to-reinvent-the-wheel-everytime thing and forgo necessary evaluations of causal relationships by drawing seemingly straight lines from the FIRST/originating change we see/saw pop up on the horizon- here the CRA.

    The largest danger in this behavior is the next step… by ignoring the complexity of the mortgage crisis AND developing a easy-to-remember shorthand symbol for what got us here we WILL forget how we made this mess.Perhaps even before we even figure out all the whys and hows…

    Political Amazon here has repeatedly pointed to informal logical fallacies folks use as devices of style- part of improper training and a whole ‘nother angle…

    In the spirit of the shoe-throwing here, I think we ought to throw a bunch at ourselves, our whole-of-America selves, virtually and metaphorically. We, too many of us, bought the BS and are still buying it. The package was pretty and seemed cheap- and you could have a beer with the shop manager… But we’ll be paying to fix the damage it caused for longer than we will live.


  95. Sorry Troutay – but really I did wash my hands – and I haven’t baked any pies since being sick. . . try Zicam. . .I’ve heard it works okay. Or Tamiflu? None worked for me – but they might for you…sorry.
    Good luck flying on Wednesday.
    The bad thing about being sick is that the world keeps revolving and there is no time off – this morning without fail, the muttskis let me know that walkies were still the correct way to start the day. Thank god it’s not freezing in Florida (yet). The pups are fed, the cats have snacked, and I am going back to bed. BTW, been having dreams of cobbler. . . juicy peach cobbler….


  96. Greydog:

    I think I caught your cold. Did you wash your hands before eating the pie?

    Dang. I am supposed to fly to Arizona on Wed. This is going to be a real treat.


  97. Aloha Jean,

    Here are the instructions to format text in the comment section. Some work, some don’t, according to the site you may be on. They are mostly universal but do have some slight differences, again according to website.

    Good Luck ~ See LINK.

    Bold, Underline, Italics, Strike Through:
    Bold = Bolded
    Underline = Underlined
    Italics = Italics
    Strike Through = Strike

    *Note: since there is no preview here at M&H, I cannot tell what this will look like until I publish it. If it doesn’t look like it’s supposed to, this site might not support that command, at least not in the syntax I supplied.

    PEACE ~ Δ


  98. Dear Helen and Margaret,

    Taking a break from cookin’. It’s nice to sit down!

    Is there anybody out there who can explain to me how to transfer italics, bold, and underlines into the comments here? I don’t know how.

    I have read the comments of S from Lebanon – the Middle East with a great deal of interest. A refreshing perspective. He/you are quite eloquent in English. You and others around the world who are bi- or multi-lingual put most Americans to shame. Learn another language and you learn so much fascinating things about other people.

    We are all products of geography and/or climate. (Or maybe victims?) Our cultures and religious traditions are often determined by these factors. I am definitely a product of the American culture of Judeo-Christian tradition. Most of it is unconscious. It is just there! We know quite a bit about the biography of Jesus but next to nothing about Mohammed. I would like to share some of my personal experiences later, along with some rather extensive research into the peoples of the Middle East. I invite you, S, to correct me from your perspective or add to it. OK?

    Justinian, the absolute monarch of the great Byzantine Empire died in 565 AD. Five years later a relatively poor family in the Arabian Peninsula welcomed a boy who would have a remarkable destiny. His country was three quarters desert. The few inhabitants of the country were nomadic tribes. Who would have imagined that within a century these people would vanquish Persia, most of the Byzantine Empire, Egypt, much of North Africa, most of Spain and some of Southern France.

    This boy, Mohammed or Muhammad, and his followers would succeed in converting and having control over a great portion of the Mediterranean. The medieval world would be seriously altered by this phenomenon.

    The Saudi Arabian Peninsula is the largest in the world. It is for the most part a continuation of the Sahara Desert that runs all the way to the Gobi Desert in Asia. The Peninsula is a vast, high plateau with most of its cities along the western coast. The Queen of Sheba who visited King Solomon in 950 BC purportedly came from this region.

    There is evidence that caravan a mile long with a thousand camels carried on trade with Egypt and perhaps India as early as 2743 BC. Inland trade routes stretched along north to Syria. For centuries this commerce converged once a year for a huge trade fair near MECCA, forty-eight miles from the Red Sea.

    Five-sixth of the population was comprised of nomadic Bedouins. These autonomous tribes or clans were each ruled by a sheik. The Greeks called the Arabic nomads ‘SARACENS’. The people moved their flocks of sheep from one pasture patch to another. They loved their fast horses, wine made from dates, and women; in that order. But the camel was their most important staple.

    They were FIERCELY loyal to each one’s own clan. They considered ‘RAZZIAS’, raids for plunder, a normal and legitimate form of taxation against competing tribes on what each tribe considered ITS own private desert.

    Their women were extolled in eloquent poems for their astonishing beauty. Unfortunately, that beauty faded quickly in the harsh, dry desert climate. The word Arab means “arid”. A little girl of age seven or eight was sold into marriage. She was only one of many wives. Her purpose was to produce warrior sons. A father could bury his infant daughter at birth if he so wished. When her beauty was gone the rest of her life was devoted to menial drudgery.

    Because of the hot desert heat, ALL the Semitic people, men and women, wore long robes and head coverings to protect themselves from the sun. They also often covered their noses from the blowing sand. The clothing became the traditional mode of dress. Some Muslim or Moslem women still wear similar attire called a ‘CHADOR’ or ‘BURKA’ as a sign of modesty in their religion.

    The ancient Arabic religion was of a myriad of lesser gods or spirits, ‘JINNI’. The Genie in the bottle of ‘Arabian Nights’ lore. Some of the gods were good and others, mischief-makers. The ancient Arabs worshipped holy stones and occasionally offered human sacrifice.

    (Remember when the Patriarch Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac? Some sources say that Abraham had a total of eight sons. After Sarah died, Abraham lived to be 175. He was buried with Sarah in the Cave of Machpelah, located in Hebron, Jordan. This is south-southwest of Jerusalem. It is still a place of veneration.)

    The sacred Black Stone of the KAABA in the Sacred Mosque, ‘MASJID AL-HAREM, in Mecca was and is the focal point of their religion. Kaaba is the same word as the English “cube”. (This Mosque could be compared to the Christian St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican in Rome.)

    The Kaaba is rectangular in shape of formidable dimensions: forty feet long, thirty-five feet wide and fifty feet tall. The Black Stone, seven inches in diameter, is fixed in the southeast corner of the Kaaba. It is placed about five feet from the earth, just the right height for being kissed. Worn down through centuries of veneration, it is oval in shape and dark red in color.

    The Arabs believe the Black Stone was sent down from heaven by the angels. It is quite possible that it was a meteorite. They believe the Kaaba has been built and rebuilt ten times; first by the angels, second by Adam and third by Adam’s son, Seth.

    According to the Old Testament of the Jewish and Christian Bibles and later the Muslim or Moslem holy book, the Koran, three angels visited Abraham and announced that he and his wife Sarah would have a son. Both Abraham and Sarah were elderly and were quite surprised when Isaac was conceived. Abraham had also had an older son, Ishmael, by Agar, an Egyptian bonds-woman. The progeny of Isaac became the Hebrew people. Sarah drove Agar and Ishmael out into the desert. Ishmael’s descendants became the Arabian people.

    The Arabians believe that Abraham and Ishmael completed the rebuilding of the Kaaba. Skipping to the seventh rebuilding, it was done by QUSAY, the chief of the QUARISH tribe. In Mohammed’s time, 605, the Quarish leaders rebuilt it for the eighth time. Muslims or Moslems rebuilt it in 681 and 696 for the ninth and tenth times. It stands today from those dates. Several idols were represented in the Kaaba in pre-Islamic times, the principal one being ALLAH, (God).

    More later- – –




  99. Nuns scare the hell out of me…what about you??


  100. “Trouble” already mentioned this e-card (white house Xmas) above, but, I can’t decide which is worse, the fact that our tax dollars are paying to have it produced or that the leader of the free world took the time to participate! And since he did take time to participate that at no point did he pull the plug. Keep this guy away from the big red button.



  101. The shoe thrower expressed what many are feeling, and made a symbolic gesture.

    Later the Ambassador to Iraq said “The reporters actions were reprehensible”

    a lady in the audience replied ” What about George Bush’s actions?”

    Reprehensible is too nice a word.

    That reporter is a national hero.
    He deserves a lecture & to be set free.

    The thrown shoe that made it across the world!

    We should all send a shoe to the White House
    Bush deserves a befitting send off.


  102. Donna,

    Thank you for your consideration. It helps to know that some people really do listen.



  103. Whirled Peas loved your link to the traditional marriage…and I agree, tangents do happen here, as the comment section is more like a forum.

    Just hanging out in Helen’s kitchen, eating pie, drinking tea and chatting…

    Well, just home from work, checked in and now off to my evening, everyone have a great night.


  104. Whirled Peas, I respect your religious views. They make a lot of sense to me. In my past, I was comfortable in the Methodist church in which I was reared, then my husband and I spent many years in Presbyterian churches. I’m not active in church now after our last efforts at memberships in a couple of nearby Methodist churches and not feeling “at home” there.

    Just this evening, my 20-year old daughter brought home a “gift card” from her favorite restaurant that someone had left in a stack near the entrance doors. It claims that it is a gift card that is “redeemable for forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation when presented in person at the foot of the cross. No one else can redeem this gift card for you. Card redeemable anywhere, anytime. Offer does not expire.”

    Then it quotes Romans 6:23, saying “For the wages of sin is death, but the FREE GIFT of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    Boy, was she HOT about this marketing strategy for God. Absolutely seething, while at the same time, she is non-religious…She’s a believer, but she just doesn’t accept organized religion at this point in her life. Her dad and I told her to let it go, that it was somebody’s idea to get the public’s attention. And, see how well it worked on her! But she reacted so angrily that this diminishes respect for God, to market God like a commodity.

    It’s such a coincidence for you to write this tonight, and then for my daughter to bring home, and rail against, this card tonight, too.

    Thanks for the George Carlin tape. I’ll share that with her later tonight when I get a chance. It will give us a lot to talk about, I bet!

    See, you are just about as handy as a pocket on a shirt. (Old family expression)


  105. debinOhio wrote:
    Believe me it is just far easier to believe their is no God & to get on with my life which is what I have done along with my gay son & my straight son. My husband still believes but I think it is getting harder for him to understand that if there is a God then why do people who are “different” have to suffer under his name.

    Check out this website:A comfort zone



  106. do not know what I would do w/o your website…….common sense, straight talk, I love it!


  107. Ooops,

    George speaks for me!



  108. Elise,

    I usually keep my religion to myself but I’ve been wanting to tell that story since “The Reason for the Season” thread. I’ve always believed in God but as I matured (high school), all the ‘rules’ didn’t seem logical to me. Especially if the greatest gift ‘we’ were given was Free Will while God is ALL forgiving. That’s my basis for God, LOGIC. We live in a physical world of ’cause and effect’. In other words, if humans weren’t wanted, we would not exist. To me, that means someone or something wanted us to be here. As well everything else; war, peace, love, hate, etc… all the opposites in this world of light and dark, black and white, on and off. These things don’t exist in the spiritual realm and neither does physical love, probably the number one reason we were created. Gay or straight, Spirit wants us to love one another and work out our differences here, so we can return with only love and appreciation for our Creator. “If you love something, set it free…” I think you know what I mean.

    Anyway George speaks for me!



  109. To S. from Lebanon,

    Thanks so much for giving all of us a viewpoiint from the other side of the world. It is enormously valuable.

    I’ve heard, and I would like to ask you if you think this is true, that many people in the Middle East believe that America (perhaps with the help of Israel?) is intent on taking over land/countries in the Middle East. I’m sorry to be so ignorant of the current of thought, but I wanted to get your opinion.

    For what purpose do you think America is giving Israel so much money? The rationalization that is given to us (in the U.S.) via education and the media is that Israel needs to defend itself from its neighbors, who question its right to exist and want to return the land to the Palestinians. (I’m not addressing whether or not Israel SHOULD have been located there following WWII, just what people perceive the current intentions are.)

    Do you think a grab for more land or power is being made (or in the works)?

    Please help me understand this better.


  110. K2inSR said
    “We are so way off target here (shoes, not Rick Warren, but what the h…).”
    No we’re not… we’ve been throwing a lot of virtual verbal shoes at this Warren creature…


  111. Whirled Peas…You are getting downright chatty today, aren’t ya?! :>) Thank you so much for sharing your background experiences. I have a few instances in my life where things got really clear for me, too. It is wonderful to have some clarity after a lot of murkiness.

    Anyway, you go on, and keep on keeping on, and keep finding those interesting video tidbits to share, too. I bet Helen appreciates them, too. This is a “learning place” for me, and I try to absorb what I can, when I can.


  112. K2inSR,

    sometimes you just have to go where the tread takes ya. Without a daily post from M&H, staying on topic can be tough.

    But in the spirit of shoes…

    …how about this guy?



  113. We are so way off target here (shoes, not Rick Warren, but what the h…). To Alaska Pi: Your idea of going to the inauguration, if invited of course, but turning your back on Rick Warren and facing the crowd is absolutely brilliant. I’m going to borrow it and pass it on to friends who are attending.

    Rick Warren is not a moderate. Or as someone said in recent days (can’t remember who), he’s just Jerry Fallwell in a Hawaiian shirt. He’s not just against gay marriage, he is homophobic. He puts the LGBT community in the same class as pedophiles, polygamists, and any other kind of straight pervert he can think of. Even his supposed work supporting AIDS is for AIDS in Africa, where he can spread his religion, not here at home.

    It’s ironic that separate but equal is still acceptable for the LGBT community, in a country that just elected Barack Obama. Rachel Maddow did a segment on last night’s show that is right on point: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#28304233.

    Indeed, what was the Obama team thinking? What makes them think that ultra-rightwing religious fanatics, who didn’t vote for him anyway, are going to change their minds? Couldn’t the Obama team find anyone else from the religious community who isn’t on record as a homophobe? There were dozens, if not hundreds, of churches in Calfiornia that came out against Proposition 8, so why someone who so vigorously supported Proposition 8?

    Unfortunately, there are still two minority groups that are fair game for discrimination and derision: the LGBT community and atheists. If Rick Warren were a Holocaust denier or even Jeremiah Wright, the bellows of protest would be heard around the world. As it is ….


  114. This is from an Iraqi student’s blog.


    I found this blog shortly after she started it and have been following it since. Just reading about the many times they have had to repair their house after bombs have exploded nearby makes me think of her every time a bomb goes off in Mosul. She’s been through so much and still manages to go to school and study. We take so many thing for granted here.


  115. Jacy, if you can find a good internet cafe, try that. Your library should have free internet, also. If you can, head on over to my blog and read how my husband and I live on $1000 a month in disability and nothing else. Freecycle, craigslist, etc. are your friends. I’ve had great luck with freecycle, and people often post canned and non-perishables on there to give away. There’s lots of free stuff out there if you know where to look. Find a computer soon, and use it to find the resources and (gasp!) yes, the foodbanks, if necessary. I’ve done it, and I’ve seen people who retired from jobs do it, too. Times are tough, but if you can find some wiggle room, you’ll make it.

    Best of luck in your job search.

    Look up the blog “Holy Crap, I’m Poor!”


  116. Elise / Greytdog Δ,

    you are obviously welcome. I’m glad when I can contribute to a discussion without having to say anything. :)

    I just can’t stomach hypocrisy. The bible and most who follow it (religiously, pun intended) make me sick. I’m a recovering Catholic and after years of being ‘mad’ at God, ‘He’ spoke directly to me (BTW, I was stone cold sober at work at the time).

    First ‘He’ asked why I was so mad at ‘Him’. I said “All I ever wanted was to get closer to Him and know His ways, but I was taught that I had to go thru ‘the clergy’ (or some other Holier than thou ‘representatives’) in order to understand what He wanted of His followers”. My problem was that those bible-thumpers didn’t seem to be practicing what they preach. Their exclusionary practices seemed to be in direct conflict with what Jesus wanted us to know and practice in our daily lives. I said “If I have to follow the instructions of these hypocrites to get to You, You can find someone else to worship You. Well HE told me straight away: “Do NOT hold the actions of the actions of humans against ME. I’ve got nothing to do with their interpretation of My Will. If you ever want to talk to Me or you are in need of My Guidance, look inside your own heart and talk directly to Me.”

    I broke down and cried on the spot as a huge weight had just been lifted off me. The rest of the day was a blur as I was giddy with excitement that I could finally re-connect to the Love the supports us all.

    When I got home, I needed to lie down after such an overwhelming day and quickly dozed off. That’s when I had a dream that I saw Heaven. It was extraordinarily beautiful, as one would expect, and I proceeded (in the dream) to try to locate all my friends so I could show them what I’d found. That’s when I woke up, feeling like I was floating 4 inches above my mattress. I’ve never had a doubt since.

    To Jacy,

    let me add my best wishes (and yes prayers) to the chorus. Good luck in whatever direction your life goes now. May your new adventures be more fulfilling and, at the very least, let you afford a computer at home. ;)


    PEACE ~ I mean it. Really!


  117. Breaking news on cnn.com with a link to http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20247953,00.html?xid=rss-topheadlines

    “Sherry Johnston, the mother of Levi Johnston – the 18-year-old who is the father of Bristol Palin’s soon-to-be-born baby – was charged with six felony counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance, Alaska’s Anchorage Daily News reported Friday.”

    Someone far wiser than I am could compare the sadness of a life coming into this world in the midst of bad choices and instability vs a desire for marriage by mature-thinking, serious minded, loving couples who happen to be of the same sex.


  118. Marriage has, indeed, been redefined since Loving v. Virginia (That’s one, Sarah!). Just in the case of divorce and alimony, it has only been in the last twenty years that men were starting to win custody of children. Usually, it was a given that the mothers got the children as they were more “nuturing”, regardless if she beat her kids or not. Now, that bias has been greatly diminished, and I think it is all the better for it. The point to make, and we can’t seem to make it enough, is that marriage is a CIVIL contract. The church doesn’t issue marriage licenses, the state does. Why are the religious people birthing bovines over a purely civil issue? As the statement goes, “If you don’t like Gay Marriage, don’t have one!”


  119. About the Rick Warren issue. I have a gay son & I am just not even sure yet what to think of Obama extending this bone to Warren. On one hand if those of us in the LGTB/PFLAG movement don’t talk to or work with people like Warren how can we ever get them to understand LGBT people? On the other hand, I really dislike for the most part what Warren has to say.

    I used to go to a church that just worshipped Rick Warren & James Dobson (you know the rest of the people so I won’t name them too). Once I found out my son was gay I just can’t go back to organized religion even those who are inclusive to LGBT people. I know that it probably sounds incredibly stupid but all I can hear in my head is what the religious right spout off about those churches – that they change the scripture around to suit their wants/needs. Now I know that is what the born again/evangelicals, etc. do too.

    Believe me it is just far easier to believe their is no God & to get on with my life which is what I have done along with my gay son & my straight son. My husband still believes but I think it is getting harder for him to understand that if there is a God then why do people who are “different” have to suffer under his name.

    I am hoping that Obama knows what he is doing & I am going to trust him for now. We’ll just have to keep watching him.


  120. Yeah we do redefine marriage all the time. Case in point: remember the excessive nineties? Remember all those cutsie tootsie doggy boutiques that sprung up and had little wedding chapels in them? Remember those weird stories about chihuahuas all decked out in designer finery for their wedding. . . omigod. enough to make me puke. But the point is – if society can “accept” marriage between two chihuahuas as being okeydokey – then what’s the big brouhaha with same-sex marriage??? (my apologies to the GLBTs – I am NOT comparing you to chihuahuas.)


  121. Actually, we redefine marriage all the time. The most recent redefinition was within my adult lifetime – it took until the early 70s for the last states to stop defining marriage as between one man and one woman of the same race only. The age of consent still varies from state to state, as far as I know.

    5000 years, my pink pudenda!


  122. Whirled Peas at 12:56

    “With that in mind, I give you this link:
    Traditional marriage, Bible-style”

    Wow. Very interesting! You are just A WEALTH of interesting info, Mr. Dude. :>)


  123. Whirled Peas – thanks for the link. Prop 8 Cali wasn’t the only state-sanctioned discrimination amendment – Florida also passed a state-sanctioned discrimination amendment. . . the irony? Folks in favor of Prop 8 and Florida’s Amendment 2 would be the first to be outraged if the divorce laws were abolished. but honestly, if a person wants to strengthen marriage, should the first thing be to make it damn hard to divorce?


  124. freD-

    Good question; one which may not have an easy answer. I’ve thought that one reason might be the need to find a scapegoat, an easy answer that absolves the rest of us of responsibility…


  125. Jacy-

    Good luck, best wishes for a quick, short job hunt.

    I agree with you. My problem with Warren and his lik is not their beliefs, although I personally find them abhorrent (as does my church), but that they want to incorporate them into law. I feel the religious right can marry whomever they want to in their own churches, but they should not have the right to cement them into law.

    I hope the CA Supreme Court strikes down Prop 8-


  126. I’m not a memeticist, or a meme expert, let alone an advocate of that theory. But I’ve known that the majority of people are easily manipulated and used by the ruthlessly self-serving who are compelled and smart enough to do so, ever since I was forced to watch Nazi concentration camp movies back in high school.

    Recently, I was saying that susceptibility to ‘memetic manipulation’ (or whatever you want to call it) depended on the degree of tribalism, reward dependance (or agreeableness), intelligence, and/or the surrounding ‘life environment’ of the host. But this theory was thrown a bit out of wack when it came out that regular bloggers and commenters on political blogs, liberal and conservative, were MBTI-testing most often as type INTJ, which is known as the most independent-minded of all the MBTI types, and one of the most intelligent and rational as well. How does an independent-minded type get sucked into believing stuff like “the current mortgage crisis stems from pressure applied from the Community Revitalization Act” without question? …or that Obama was an ‘Islamic racist anti-Jewish socialist megalomaniac’?


  127. The Warren invitation is really hard for me to deal with. I am choosing to think that it is a gesture to the religious right, to try and reach out and show the administration really is for everyone. But then Warren preaches a doctrine that excludes.

    I think Warren was selected to extend a hand of inclusion to the religious right, but also to divide them. Now some (old timers) are grousing that Warren accepted- and they come across as mean-spirited.

    Obama has been clear- as has Warren- that they do not agree on all moral issues. And there will be other religious leaders at the Inaugaration-


  128. George Bush is an enormous national asshole. But my friend contradicts me and calls him a global asshole. It’s hard to decide which is better term, and neither is eloquent but both are accurate.

    Your rant was from the heart and well deserved.

    Thank you for this one and all that you write. I don’t visit enough, I’ll be coming back for more.


  129. “The first person to throw a punch is the first person to run out of ideas.”


  130. Just ducking in to see what’s up here at M&H. What a wonderful group you people are. I proud to consider myself a ‘Wedgie’.

    Every regular here probably already knows that I might not have a lot to say so I let others do my talking for me.

    With that in mind, I give you this link:

    ;) Traditional marriage, Bible-style

    *Note: I believe in God, I just don’t worship a book (I don’t care how ‘good’ it is).

    Equal Rights for ALL ~ Δ ~ PEACE


  131. Jacy – here I was all feeling sniffy and sorry. . .for myself. Good luck. What a tough situation. Hoping the very best for you and yours now and always. Come back soon – this rocking chair right here is reserved for Jacy – and we’ll keep the pie a baking for you.

    S in Lebanon – one of my closest friends in in the Israeli AF. Now he was absolutely furious when the word came to stand down and let the Americans handle Israel’s security during the Gulf War – ya know when the scuds were pounding Tel Aviv. I think the Israeli-Palestinian issue is more complex than we can realize – and of course with everyone putting their 2 cents in, nothing gets accomplished. There are warhawks in every culture that fanatically believe the answer comes from the barrel of a gun. I don’t have any answers – just lots of questions and lots of sorrow.


  132. Mirror Man- Thank you for exposing this asshat more thoroughly- and in public. The stupidity in his remarks –
    ” I’m opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. ” and
    “…reason why is because we all have biological predispositions. I’m naturally inclined…”-

    show -A)-a 2 dimensional view of history, implicit in some notion that marraige has been defined MERELY as between a man and woman for 5000 years… Many lives have been lived which have fleshed out a much broader and rich notion of what marraige can be said to be.Incest and pedophilia have NO place in those ideals but same sex marraige fits ALL the best of what humans call out of themselves in making partnerships for life.
    B)- a limited understanding of the possible import of studies showing a biological difference in gays and lesbians . He reduces the idea to inclination/predispostion- something he seems to think one can avoid through “healthy living”
    pfffttt- Junk brain on good science…


  133. Jacy I am so sorry! I just hate hearing this news. Wishing only the best for you and that you find a new job quickly.

    I volunteer at our local food bank every week and have unfortunately watched the lines get longer it just breaks my heart.

    Please check in via the library if you can, like Elsie suggested!

    I have to say the rest of you are making my mind work today. The perspective of the middle east from S from Lebanon and from Anne and others are making me very introspective today.

    Off to get supplies incase we do get the storm they are predicting this weekend.

    Everyone take care.


  134. Just doing my part.


  135. Whoa!!!

    I didn’t need to read this!!!!

    More from Rick Warren:



  136. MirrorMan! three words: I love you!


  137. God Jacy!! I can only wish you, your fanily, and the all those who are going through what Jacy is all the love, support, and patience you can get. I hope that by next Christmas, Hanuka, and/or Eid -hopefully even beofre that-the USA and the rest of the world will have weathered the economic storm and look back upon this year as a bump in the road.
    Wishing you all that you wish upon yourself and your loved ones
    take good care


  138. yowza. Well, one reason I come here is to be educated. Thanks, MirrorMan

    I will say that one of the great things about the people on this blog (with the exception of the trolls) is that they are able to disagree in a courteous, respectful, and informative way. I very much appreciate that and I particularly appreciate Anne and MM’s thoughts today.


  139. Jacy-I second all of Elsie’s wishes…! Come back and let us know what’s up…


  140. Donna, sorry to butcher up your post, but you stated: ‘To me, he is saying “I don’t agree with you on certain issues, some of which are very important, but I want to try to bring people together.” “If it was a raging anti-Semite, I would be horrified.”
    Here are a few choice words from Rick:

    RICK WARREN: But the issue to me is, I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.
    STEVEN WALDMAN: Do you think, though, that they are equivalent to having gays getting married?
    RICK WARREN: Oh I do. …
    So, letting gay people marry the person they love is the same as incest, pedophilia, and bigamy. Thanks, Rick. And here I thought I was marrying the love of my life! Who knew?
    Dateline, ABC, 12-19-2008
    CURRY: If science finds that this is biological, that people are born gay, would you change your position?
    WARREN: No, and the reason why is because we all have biological predispositions. I’m naturally inclined to have sex with every beautiful woman I see. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
    So Rick is saying that even though they might find incontrovertible proof that people are BORN this way, it’s still wrong!!! Why?
    He may cloak his opinions in biblical righteousness, but that makes him no less a bigot or a homophobe. His appearance is a disgrace, especially because the “bone” they threw the LGBT community? Letting a gay marching band in the parade! No address of the issues, no other acknowledgement, but yeah, you can perform for me! Pardon me, but I don’t think that counts for much!


  141. Jacy, so sorry about your job. Hope that things go well for you in spite of that setback and that you have a good holiday anyway, and that you get settled back into a new position with a stronger company soon. Check back in here as soon as you can, and let us hear from you. A friend of mine uses her library to do emails; maybe that might tide YOU over, too? Good luck to you. I feel so sad for you losing your job todayl If it works for you, then please accept this in the way I intend it: God bless you and yours as you move into the next phase of your life here.


  142. So, there are two ways to look at this.
    1. It is an insult to GLTG people and he (Obama) should make some sort of ice breaking gesture.

    2. Remember the “Art of War”? Know thy enemy.
    Perhaps it is better to put this pastor up there in front of everyone to bless this new administration. It is better to keep your enemies close so you know what they are up to.


  143. Hey GD,
    yes I understand all that. I also had a feeling you knew they were not Arab, and as you can see I mentioned that twice in my post (that you knew). you addressed Lane and said:

    “So you’ll have Sunnis in Iraq who are related or connected to the Sunnis in Pakistan, Ubekistan, etc. and tribal loyalties run generations deep.”

    I just wanted to point out that if you wanted to “keep an eye on that area”, Iraqi sunnis should be left out. Not bcz they’re Arab and I personally cant stand the idea of their country being war-torn anymore (not that I can stand the idea for anyone else), but just because after Bush waged/fortified a war against Afghanistan and Iraq almost at the same time, people think that the Muslims in these two countries are related tribally, familially, or even through Al Quaeda.

    About Israel..
    I am well-aware that there are people out there who are pro-peace. One cannot but respect Raz’s (and the rest of the Shministim members/followers) stance and..well..yes suffering!!! But the fact remians that the Israeli policy in the middle East has been exteremely aggressive, and the money that the US pours into the IDF army alone raises many questions for us Arabs-not to mention its neverending supply of weaponry. We remain hopeful for a peaceful co-existence, but why would Israel back down if it’s so strong and has the strongest country in the world backing it up? Also, when teh July 2006 war happened in Lebanon, teh AMerican stance on it was OUTRAGEOUSLY ARROGANT AND CONDESCENDING. I quote the bitch Rice (excuse my use of the word quote): “This is the Birth of the new Middle East”…and she continued on about it may being a difficult labor…bla bla bla..meaning that the US and Israel were planning to cut up and divide the Middle East just like the English and French Sikes and Picot did after world war I. The Arab passivity coupled with the Arab leader’s lack of concern for their ppl, compounded by the the impending danger made many analysts in the Arab world rethink the American support for Israel. Just do the numbers: $1,200 per capita per month from US taxpayers’ money to Israel. Multiply that by the population of Israel: 7,200,000. That means approximately 104 billion dollars yearly to Israel. SO is it really supporting Israel or exploting it to do its dirty business in the Middle East? Yes it may be a win-win situation for both, but who’s incurring more losses. And what, to the US, is worth that much per year? Some say that it is the temporary convergence of the New Con hopes with the Zioniest hopes (and I use temporary because in teh end their interests will conflict if that theroy is true…and that is the Middle East’s biggest nightmare) that was at its hight during the Bush administration.

    And in that sense, I dont think Obama’s any different, eve if he would like to be.


  144. Anne said
    “Leaders of the gay rights organizations who fought hard to elect Barack Obama are turning down their invitations to the inauguration because it is too painful to here the invocations from a man who does not believe that gay people have the right to membership in his church. ”

    The pain contained here is almost overwhelming me.

    I think the LONG established religious benediction/invocation thingy came from some notion of dragging our collective butts to the podium and one by one saying yup-we-agree-you-are-our-new-prez.
    Some butts are sorrier than others and this gent is pretty sorry.
    I would hope those who are turning down inaugural invitations reconsider and go. I would hope they turn their backs -as a bloc- when he speaks.
    They would be facing all of those around them… they would be the real face of the many Americans he excludes.
    They would be a shining example of the folly of pretending so many of our neighbors don’t exist.
    AND put those ,so inclined, on notice that they have NOT been invited “to spray the bushes around the tent” !!

    Off subject-How do people like this guy end up with their OWN churches? Is this the real loss with the rise of anyone-can-setup-a-church? No more good-guy oversight thingy somewhere which reins in the creeps?
    Please- any answers should be whispered so we don’t wake up colorful rags again…


  145. Greytdog:

    But if religious inclusion is the goal of the PE Inaugural team, then I’d like to see a whole pantheon of religious leaders up there – from wiccan to wesleyan. . . . but with the Warren pick, it seems to me that the goal is inclusion of only ONE group – the evangelicals and more a nod to the political/secular power they may hold in the future. Shrewd political move? Mayhaps.

    In my struggle to wrap my mind around this issue, my mind went to why not include different religious views for the invocation also. I don’t know why we have always had a benediction or innovacation other than it is more than likely because of an elected officials personal choice. I would personally like to see that if we don’t include all religions then none at all but it is not my decision.

    Anne I understand to an extent how you feel but I think it is very sad to let one person ruin the enjoyment of this historic event. I also think it is an opportunity to teach and if these people are not there than the opportunity is missed.

    Like Donna my reaction may not be rational but that is what my gut keeps telling me.

    “Please remember that the inauguration is supposed to be in part a celebration of the victory that we all won. I want a refund.”

    If you really mean “all” then this seems to contradict that statement.

    Personally for me the victory will be a President who will help make sure your rights are protected and guaranteed and move this country out of the quagmire we are sinking in.

    I will not gauge his next 4 years on this one choice.

    Just my humble (maybe misguided) opinion.


  146. A more reasoned voice for some: Andrew Sullivan
    19 Dec 2008 12:40 pm
    Taking Yes For An Answer http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/
    Scroll down past the YouTube thingy for Sullivan’s take on the Warren invitation.

    Okay. . . toddling off to bed again. Had to let the doggies go romping, now we’re all gonna pile into bed together and snore.


  147. I don’t want a refund – but I do want a more clearer explanation than “We can disagree without being disagreeable”. And for rethugs out there chortling about how the blush of the honeymoon is over for the Obama supporters – fergitaboutit. We supported Obama because he is not afraid of being held accountable – and he expects his supporters to be thinkers and doers, not lemmings. I am resigned to the idea that a) an invocation & benediction will be part of a secular political event, and 2) that the person giving the invocation was most likely picked because of his theological differences to Obama, and 3) that this invite does not give evangelicals a free pass to spray the bushes around the tent.


  148. Anne–I don’t in any way dispute what you are saying.


  149. Donna:

    There are and have been large populations of anti-semites in the nation and the world. Wrong does not become acceptable just because many people are wrong. Please remember that the inauguration is supposed to be in part a celebration of the victory that we all won. I want a refund.



  150. Anne–believe me, I’m clear that my reaction isn’t exactly rational. But so long as PE Obama makes clear his disagreement with Warren on the issue (and my understanding is that he has), then I really am ok about it. To me, he is saying “I don’t agree with you on certain issues, some of which are very important, but I want to try to bring people together.”

    Now, are there lines to be drawn, even under this analysis? Of course. If it was a raging anti-Semite, I would be horrified. But the possible difference (and maybe I am rationalizing) is that Warren’s views are those of a very large segment of this country and right now there is a deep divide that needs to be healed. I believe in my heart that having Obama in office will cause many to re-think their attitudes about race. I certainly hope so. And I think that his ability to include people, even if he disagrees with them, is part of what will cause that to happen.

    Again, please don’t think I’m not troubled by this or by my own waffling. I am. It’s just the way I come down about the one invitation, when considered in the context of the appointment of an openly gay woman to his cabinet and the inclusion of a GL group in the inauguration activities.


  151. I meant too painful to hear the invocation…


  152. Change:

    Warren excludes gay people from his church. Many gay supporters of Barack Obama will now feel very uncomfortable at the inauguration. Leaders of the gay rights organizations who fought hard to elect Barack Obama are turning down their invitations to the inauguration because it is too painful to here the invocations from a man who does not believe that gay people have the right to membership in his church. This is wrong. This is shameful. This is exclusion disguised by a warped wrapper of tolerance for the intolerant. It hurts. It is shameful.



  153. I agree carrotplease with
    ” But then Warren preaches a doctrine that excludes.

    My brain can’t handle this kind of twisting. ”
    The ONLY part I can get my mind round is that our reality truly includes far too many who exclude far too many others…aghhhh!


  154. Donna:

    If you are gay, you can attend services at Warren’s church, but you can not become a member. Are you sure you are ok with this invitation?



  155. So Sorry jacy….The invocation choice—not appealing to many but I am not riled up as I hope for the best and have a wait&see attitude.


  156. JuneauJoe-

    “One of the reasons I went to Alaska was to see the Northern Lights. I leave town and then they show up? No Fair! ”
    I don’t think we will be having a party without you neighbor. Aurora forecast for low to moderate activity ( when we see them ) now coincides with weather forecast for mostly cloudy.
    Oh well- there is always January… when the lights” march ” across the sky, instead of “dance”( pulse)…
    Let me add another welcome to having your voice here. When you said
    “pffffffffffft…some ppl think im a dreamer, I think it only makes sense that when we respect each other’s autonomy, we force each other to be independent and grow to be stronger as nations and more open. It applies to people to! ”

    are you referring to the problems with the occupation and/ or colonization mindset which has a patronizing parental tone to it-in word and deed? The perils of that mindset are many-Greytdog has come back and outlined some for the occupiers/colonizers…The perils for the occupied/colonized are can be terrible-starting with finding themselves refugee children in their own home.
    That being said , what is it that we can allow ourselves – as a larger human community -to do when some place/nation/whatever gets wildly outta whack?

    Americans- or at least most of us-, right now, are struggling with the loss of face we have suffered in the global community in the last 8 years. We do have those yet who are quite happily giving the middle finger to the broader world and saying it is our sovereign business
    but our standing matters to most of us..From some notion of behaving well in public?

    From another angle-I think Mr Muntathar al Zaidi committed a minor crime and the place it grew from should demand great compassion from those who pass judgment. What IS it we can do -outside his physical community- to plead for reasoned mercy in the disposition of his case?


  157. Maybe it’s the dram of Scotch in the Earl Grey, (probably not, but that’s my excuse & I’m sticking to it), but having a hard time wrapping my head around this whole invocation thing. It strikes me as very strange – strange that any incoming President feels the need to include a religious act (and make no mistake, an invocation is religious) into a secular event – and no one is objecting or finding it at odds with our separation of church/state edicts. Now I come from a religious/theological family, so invocations/benedictions, etc are part and parcel of my being. But if religious inclusion is the goal of the PE Inaugural team, then I’d like to see a whole pantheon of religious leaders up there – from wiccan to wesleyan. . . . but with the Warren pick, it seems to me that the goal is inclusion of only ONE group – the evangelicals and more a nod to the political/secular power they may hold in the future. Shrewd political move? Mayhaps.


  158. hey wedgies,
    this might be my last post for a while. just got word my company is closing it’s doors today! and since i don’t have internet at home, i don’t know when i’ll be checking back in. so love and pie for you all, especially margaret and helen. this blog has filled my days with enlightenment,education, and great, great joy!!!!!
    thanks for the wonderful words and the pie!


  159. The Warren invitation is really hard for me to deal with. I am choosing to think that it is a gesture to the religious right, to try and reach out and show the administration really is for everyone. But then Warren preaches a doctrine that excludes.

    My brain can’t handle this kind of twisting.

    Oh well… since I’m not religious, it’s not like the choice of who speaks the invocation was ever going to make me giddy with glee anyway.


  160. Has anyone read “Why Jesus Christ Would Never Ever Vote Republican?”

    It should be required reading for everyone over the age of eighteen.

    See my blog for a review. Its available through Amazon.com


  161. To S in Lebanon – my contention wasn’t that the ‘stans were Arabic, but that tribal/cultural/ties are usually more prevalent than not – and not understanding how those ties create/impact geography/politics often leads the Western World into stupid acts. This is from MSU one of the few universities in the US that in the 70s was acutely aware of these connections. . .this is simplified overview of what westerners refer to as “asia” http://asia.msu.edu/region2.htm
    Okay back to the Nyquil and Dean Koontz. . . nothing like a hacking cough, tea and Glenlivit, and a thriller novel to make the day seem merrier and bright. . .


  162. One question between coughing fits: Why do we need to have an invocation or a benediction at what is essentially a secular event? Doesn’t this come under the heading of separation of church and state? And if inclusiveness is the goal, why not bring in a Native American Shaman?


  163. Checking back. Braved the cold and made sure my mailbox is still standing this morning.

    Charles, With you on this weird weather! I am hoping the ice storm and winds bypass us all!

    Donna your post pretty much says how I feel. I have been debating the Rick Warren issue and my take is, if you say you want to be all inclusive as you are now the leader of all of the United States then this is another way to reach across the aisle as it were.

    I do understand how the Gay community would be upset and dismayed over this, but sometimes you cannot break through ignorance by ignoring a whole segment of our population, you have to lead by example to get people to see and hear.

    I will say this PE Obama keeps us on or toes and our minds working. I have chosen not to second guess what is going on right now and just wait until he is sworn in and what direction our country will take then.


  164. I certainly consider myself a strong advocate for GLBT rights. However, I am not bothered by the invitation. I do view it as a deliberate effort to bring people who have been at odds together on at least something–in hopes that they can then move closer on the things that separate them.

    I also view it as an indication of how big a person our PE is. Warren sandbagged him during the “debate” with McCain. No question about that. But PE Obama isn’t being vindictive–he’s rising abover that.

    To me, in light of the other efforts that our new President is making on behalf of the GLBT community, I’m ok with it.

    Believe me–I am not suggesting that anyone who disagrees with me is wrong. I completely see the other perspective here. Perhaps I am just so overpoweringly happy that the Bush ugliness is coming to a close and that the dirty tricks and meanspiritedness and dishonesty didn’t work that I’m seeing everything through rose-colored glasses.


  165. That type of ‘ministering’ reminds me of the ones that popped up in the nineties…”God wants you to be wealthy” messages. Forget brotherly love or helping others…it’s all about ME!!!

    Well…as Jimmy Swaggart showed us it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.

    Anyway, we are looking at 6-10: snowfall followed with freezing rain, this after a week of snow, ice, cold rain and goes into next week…not a big deal but not an often occurence in Portland, if we get snow fall it’s 2″ at the most usually. I don’t care, I can drive in it, just hate most of the others out there and hard on my fiance who is a dog groomer and this is usually her busiest time of the year. Between the economy and the weather, she has taken a beating this month.

    Also have noticed a lot more burglaries this last month or so…well, that is my rambling for the morning, look forward to checking in tonight after work…and I agree with the earlier posts about areas to watch and I think with the global recession a lot of Africa is going to be ‘interesting’ as money is focused on domestic situations for Europe and the US.


  166. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/nation/6172963.html It’s not over ’til the fat lady sings, and Franken’s only behind by 2 votes right now:

    “Sen. Norm Coleman saw his lead over Al Franken in Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race dwindle to just two votes Thursday. Meanwhile, a key court ruling put hundreds of improperly rejected ballots in play and promised the recount would drag into the new year.”


  167. Another POV about Warren delivering the Invocation:


    I personally am struggling with this “invitation”. On one hand, I can understand Obama’s reasoning – of opening the “tent” – but how do you do that when one inclusion means exclusion to another? Doesn’t that sort of close the tent? My issue with Warren is that he likes to tout himself as the new generation evangelical – somehow different from the Bakkers, the Falwells, etc. Granted he doesn’t cry at the drop of a dollar like the Bakkers, but he still comes across as a bit swarmy to me. I read his Purpose books – psychobabble couched in scripture. Woo Hoo. Nothing new there. Don’t worry be happy god loves you and so does barney because jesus told me so. Okay. And this makes me a better person, how? A better Christian, how? There is just something very jarring to see this rich fat cat take to a pulpit in a megachurch and proclaim allegiance and understanding and compassion with the so-called downtrodden. Seems he spends more time being the Apostle Dr Phil than actually ministering. I understand the disgust of the GLBT community at the invitation to Warren – advocating state-sanctioned discrimination under the guise Christian brotherhood is beyond disgusting. . . but attempting to be America’s Pastor while working actively against the human rights of all Americans is hypocritical and not, IMO, Christian.


  168. Pardon the tangential nature of this comment, but I need to say this. President-elect Barack Obama is asking for some flying shoes from the gay community. This gentleman from Houston said it well and concisely:

    Barack Obama’s choice of the Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the presidential inauguration is as if Lyndon B. Johnson had selected a pastoral proponent of racial segregation to deliver the invocation in 1965.

    The struggle for gay rights is the civil rights movement of this generation, and Mr. Warren, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, is a regressive defender of continued inequality.

    President-elect Obama’s decision is not a laudable exercise of political compromise; it is a reprehensible act of moral appeasement.

    David R. Dow
    Houston, Dec. 18, 2008


  169. Morning all:

    Alaska Pi I went and looked at the Northern lights.
    We get them here too but not on that level. How absolutely beautiful!

    Thanks for the pick me up this morning!


  170. Alaska Pi,

    One of the reasons I went to Alaska was to see the Northern Lights. I leave town and then they show up? No Fair! Hope the clouds break so you could see them. I was in a village from Jan – May but didn’t see the lights there either.

    Happy Holidays everyone, whatever form your holiday takes.


  171. Ann and Whirled Peas…thank you for welcoming me here:) You guys seem to be just as big on hospitality as we Arabs are! smiles to all of you

    GD…about the ‘stans. None of them are Arab nations or are related to Arab lineage or heritage. They are religiously mixed, with Afghanistan being predominantly Muslim. So depsite the centrality of “The Tribe” in their socialization (mostly in rural areas of course), they are not connected to those in the Arab world (and do not speak Arabic- which u probably know). Now you will definitely find a FEW people in the ‘stans (and Turkey and Iran) who learned Arabic for the sake of understanding the Koran, but in terms of genetic lineage we are not related.

    The connection, if any, between Sunni Iraqis and Sunni Afghanis was born as a result of a common enemy- the US- and is restricted to those fighting/resisting the occupation. Now you may have known most of this, but there’s no need to worry about tribal connections with Iraqis. ACTUALLY, why worry about any problem related to that area? Let’s all just leave the ‘stans alone, and let their governments take care of terrorists, WHICH THEY CAN if the rest of the world stops debilitating them, and we’ll enjoy a more peaceful world. yes their loyalties are primarily tied to their tribes, but there definitely are governments running those countries. pffffffffffft…some ppl think im a dreamer, I think it only makes sense that when we respect each other’s autonomy, we force each other to be independent and grow to be stronger as nations and more open. It applies to people to!

    alright back to my nerdiness:) You know I was never a tea fan, but I’m making myself a cup now!


  172. Good morning, M & H fans,

    Just reading through some of the excellent posts here. M & H attract a nice crowd!

    CO almost native: in reference to your comment below (and please make no mistake, we are generally kindred spirits):

    “I think there is plenty of outrage; I also think that our country can either expend energy convicting Bush et al of treason (no time for impeachment, as they are out of office soon)or spend the same energy rebuilding America.”

    I understand that rebuilding America is important, but rebuilding America also means rebuilding our credibility and part of rebuilding our credibility means that we must once again stand for the Rule of Law and hold criminal wrongdoers accountable. BushCo are not only guilty of treason; they are guilty of war crimes. No less.
    Any human being worth his/her salt is capable of multi-tasking; there is no reason why we cannot rebuild our country AND hold the wrongdoers accountable.
    We simply must do so if for no other reason than that if we do not, they will hunker down with their wrongdoing ilk, bide their time, and wait to come into power once again. Believe me, if that happens again, they will take no prisoners. These people are amoral and conscience-less. They are literally sociopaths.
    Those of us who were there at the time saw exactly this happen with Iran-Contra. Bad as I-C was, its dimensions were nothing like what has happened during the past eight years to our own Constitution … as well as the devastation we continue to inflict on Iraq, have exacerbated in Afghanistan and the instability that the illegal and immoral conduct of our unworthy leaders has inflicted on international institutions everywhere. But those in I-C who should have been held accountable (and who had not already been pardoned by Bush I … who was also in it up to his neck) were allowed to continue along their merry ways after the Dems took the Presidency in 1992 and all investigations were discontinued. All of these creatures resurfaced once again as part of the Project for a New American Century (“PNAC”) and all deliberately acted against our country’s best interests. Think John Negroponte, Elliot Abrams and there is a long, long list of others.
    We simply cannot afford to have the same thing happen again. And, if we do not follow through and hold them accountable, it will.


  173. Greytdog (and Whirled and all)- these were for you to see too- Haven’t been able to get the dance with poor Mickey Mouse and K Harris as your Florida holiday fare out of my mind, Greytdog…
    I tracked this from aurora forecast page-which I’m still watching in hopes our skies here will stay clear long enough for us to be within the event horizon. With my slow internet connection the video is choppy for ME but I hope YOU can see the lights in all their spendor…


  174. Reminds me that there are some great disparities in this country- my well does not freeze but it does sometimes smell like a swamp; we bio-pur it to drink it,sort of 3rd World. Meanwhile a friend in a wealthy northern suburb mentioned that THE WHOLE TOWN was to be made internet accessible. In her liberal environment she grew conservative; whereas living in the Bible belt and ex-urban south Florida I stayed liberal. Thankful for this blog;wish we had better water here,though no dangerous snow storms only the occasional hurricane.


  175. Greytdog get better! I am a nyquil gal. I just take it until the crud is gone. Hang in there!


  176. Morning all!

    I have been trying to keep up but with the snow storm that hit yesterday we spent most of the day helping people get their cars out of ditches in front of our house. Idiots drive to fast for this weather. I have to go out in a bit and see if our mail box survived the night.

    Will be spending the day preparing for the next storm we may get tomorrow. They are saying an ice storm with possible 70 mile an hour winds! I won’t tell you what I am saying.

    As we live in the country this means getting the pump house ready and supplies set.

    Jacy and others that have been lurking and now posting, thank you for your kind words and love reading your take on things.

    Grabbing a piece of pie before I go bundle up and hit the cold outdoors.


  177. Greytdog said:
    “Alaska Pi and freD – repeated enough, rumor doesn’t necessarily become fact but becomes widely accepted as fact.”
    Greytdog- I’m jealous. When I have a cold my thinking gets as muddy as my sinuses! You are as sharp as usual.

    think you missed a piece o the action while resting though…

    freD-our ,wonderous wordsmith ,had dropped a word I had never seen in an earlier post
    I asked-
    “I never heard/read the word memetic before.
    Don’t quite understand the discussion ,at the Wiki site, about memetics in general. Here, are you using it as culturally transmitted- therefore accepted without inspection?”
    and the fact v “fact ” thingy flowed from there.
    I am especially interested in how humans come to KNOW anything (we’ll skip right on by the question of whether we really do -come to know- that is…) and transmit knowledge culturally.

    Your morning discussion here about tribal v national is a piece of it. This memetics idea seems to be a whole different perspective- or attempt to get perspective from a different angle -of things we have already figured out.
    Here’s to getting completely well- soon.


  178. Just a small nugget before I wander back to my sick bed. . . metaphorically speaking.
    We have tribes in this country too – (not referring to Native Americans – although that’s a whole ‘nother topic) only we call them football fans.
    For instance – I know LOTS of Buckeyes who never attended or graduated from Ohio State, but come football season – oh my. Same with folks here in Florida – never even set foot on UF campus, but boy and howdy they are Gators. Other tribes include bigger tribes like the Steelers or the Packers or what have you. It cracks me up to hear folks say “we won” or “we claughtered (insert rival here)”…and invariably I have to ask “we? I don’t recall seeing you on the field”. . . now that’s snarky!!!! My reward for pointing out this inconsistency? Usually a full body tackle with a face plant included. Sigh.


  179. Good morning, wedgies. Thanks for providing my “one stop shopping” for my daily news fix.

    Very interesting comments you made regarding tribal connections

    “Folks identify themselves by tribe first, country second”

    Food (pie) for thought. Hope the doggies let you get some rest. I can relate as I’m off to feed all the other critters at the barn now that the doggies are taken care of.


  180. Alaska Pi and freD – repeated enough, rumor doesn’t necessarily become fact but becomes widely accepted as fact. For instance – the Palin quote “I can see Russia from my house” is not a real Palin quote but a Tina Fey take off on Palin’s claim of foreign policy experience because of Alaska’s proximity to the Russian landmass. (I think she remarked that from an island in Alaska you can see Russia) But everyone ran with the Fey quote – because it nicely boiled down Palin’s ineptitude and lack of knowledge. (and it was funny-sad)
    Thanks to CO Native for signing the letter. I find it remarkably refreshing and reassuring when a younger generation looks at their world and says NO. NO MORE. I find it intensely gratifying when a younger generation stands up and says PEACE HERE PEACE NOW. It makes me realize that the world in all its fragility grows some good kids with courage, with heart, with conviction.


  181. Taube, my apologies for being snarky. Can we lay the blame on my congestion which has seeped into the brain?

    Lane – on Pakistan. Keep an eye on that area – but not just Pakistan. All the ‘stans. What we have to remember is that it is not nationalism that binds folks together in that part of the world – but tribal connections. And those tribes are spread across that area. They’ve been fighting each other for centuries. So you’ll have Sunnis in Iraq who are related or connected to the Sunnis in Pakistan, Ubekistan, etc. and tribal loyalties run generations deep. Folks identify themselves by tribe first, country second. And I think that’s what causes us to get embroiled into these inter-tribal disputes – we approach the problem from a national pov while ignoring the heavyduty chains of the tribe and cultural belief. If folks think religion is the tie that binds over there – they’re wrong. What’s the saying – blood runs deeper than water or something?


  182. Way to go – totally agree with you. Bush is devoid of a soul thats why he needed a soul thrown at his head. Even that wont wake him up. Sociopaths do not feel pain or show empathy.


  183. Ok, I’m talking to myself again…’G nite, all.


  184. Greytdog-

    Signed the letter:)


  185. #

    I’m back (snort, hack hack) Elsie – took your advice and watched the videos. . . and went back and watched some more. Thanks! Totally awesome. I love a cappella done right. Those guys looked like they were enjoying themselves -I know I did!

    (sipping tea) also went and looked at pics of the snowstorm aftermath out west. Yikes. Hope y’all are keeping warm and toasty and safe. If anyone is going sledding. . . kawabunga baby!!!

    One hint: a dash of Glenlivet in Earl Grey tea is QUITE warming.


    We had thundersnow in Denver today, a rare but not uncommon occurrence. Growling thunder, then corn snow- all over in 20 minutes. We sen this storm on to the Midwest.

    hot tea+ honey+ squeeze of lemon+ bourbon
    (not quite a cure, but it works)

    And my husband ate the last pie of pecan pie in the frig, so I came here for more (lol)


  186. “Where is the outrage? Where are the demands that these arrogant American bastards be held accountable? Was it their plan all along to so damage this country–financially, economically–that we would not have the time, money or inclination to come after them and make them answer for these crimes? To allow Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, etal multiple opportunities to re-write history and negate their devastating impact on this nation and others?”


    I think there is plenty of outrage; I also think that our country can either expend energy convicting Bush et al of treason (no time for impeachment, as they are out of office soon)or spend the same energy rebuilding America.

    There will be plenty of commissions to report on all the wrong doings, just like the Senate Armed Services Committee; and I hope Obama, Biden and the Congress will restore the separation of powers, all individual rights, reduce the authority of the executive office back to its rightful position.

    That will be our revenge: repudiation of the Bush years.


  187. Alaska Pi,

    For a second there I thought I was looking at one of those in-utero fetus pictures….

    I bet the lights are amazing to see in person.


  188. I’m in the central time zone, so I’m slipping out of Helen’s parlor to go hit the sack As usual, I enjoyed the pie and the company today. Hope no trolls sneak in overnight. But, if they do, I’m sure the community here will look out for things and clean up any messes before Helen returns!


  189. Thank you, Alaska Pi Δ. That video of the aurora lights is spectacular. Maybe one day I will travel up there to see the lights in person!


  190. Hey everyone…
    You have all been bringing pie and music and tea here..
    I’ve brought some lights to finish up our holiday decorating…
    They really do look best when you lay in the snow and watch but they ought to twinkle here in Helen and Margaret’s parlour pretty well.


  191. HAHAHA I so wanted to be that shoe thrower too! Right on!


  192. The same men’s group that Whirled Peas posted a link to at 1:59 pm today have a recording session on video at this youtube link, where they do an amazing rendition of the National Anthem. It’s definitely worth a look and a listen. I can’t get enough of it!


  193. Helen, if you liked the shoe thing, this Bush family Christmas video will keep you laughing (or shaking your head in disbelief) for hours:

    Talk about bad timing. Look — isn’t that an economic crisis?


  194. freD said:
    “Grains of truth…becomes THE REAL REASON … when actual truths are usually a lot more complex”
    Thank you… was what I thought in context you used memetic and content of ct’s posts.
    Hmmm, another way of looking at how we live in ideas. Cool.

    Oh- and I think you may rest assured that there are WAAAAYYY more than a few grains of truth in the evidence which has piled up that Mr Bush is NOT “a man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius” before he became “too liberal”. The ground under your feet is pretty dang solid there…


  195. Alaska Pi Δ said:
    Here, are you using it as culturally transmitted- therefore accepted without inspection?

    Yes – in the sense that a rumor becomes ‘fact’ just because everybody else in the tribe is repeating it. Grains of truth, (such as the “Community Revitalization Act”) becomes THE REAL REASON (for the worldwide economic crisis), when actual truths are usually a lot more complex:


    But what the hell do I know? Maybe George Bush really was “a man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius” before he became “too liberal”.


  196. greytdog,

    Pakistan is the place I’m watching — filling up with al Queda and Taliban, unstable govt (Musharoff got the boot after surviving 8 or 9 assassination attempts, al Zardari’s wife was assassinated about a year ago), and nukes on top of that.

    If al Queda and the Taliban get ahold of those we’re ALL in a lot of trouble.


  197. Like you at first I thought this was pretty funny and long overdue, but the reality of it is the good old USA has done a terrible wong to the people of this country and two shoes hardly makes a dent in bringing them justice….we could all rant on this one…


  198. The man is just stupid. And delusional. Listening to him speak always pisses me off.


  199. mitzvah- 613 commandments in the Torah.Sometimes translated as “good deeds”(my mother used to receive death threats for her support of shalom ashav-peace now back in the day-80’s &90’s….sign the petition folks.We need change in this world.


  200. while I absolutely have shoe envy, because who wouldn’t want to throw a shoe or ten at that fool? however, the situation becomes seriously unfunny you realize that journalist is facing years of imprisonment just for doing something I’ve been wanting to do since he was elected governor of Texas. not cool.


  201. I just wanted to pop in and say I’ve been reading this blog for several months now and I so love it! I was reading it to my mom during all the election stuff (and YAY! for the outcome) and my mom and I would laugh and then do more research because we were so inspired. You (Margaret and Helen and all of you vigilant and intelligent AND funny posters) have given us more ammo than all the newspaper articles in the world to make our voices heard in our mostly apathetic family.

    Thank you all! Smooches and pie to everyone!

    It’s great to be educated, enlightened and entertained all at the same time. Oh, and I forgot, sometimes APPALLED. But as long as I have enough to drink, posters like UAW will continue to entertain the pants off me. And because they do, they will have to look at my naked, old and saggy butt for all eternity.

    It’s a fate worse than, um, Palin.

    So, hello to all of you! And I really like the Wedgie Brigade. Even though as another poster mentioned, it sounds painful and humiliating until you taste the crust.

    Happy Whatever to you all!


  202. Hi Helen,

    You can’t insult an idiot bu I’m glad the man got it out.



  203. Taube

    beautiful babies by the way.
    I can see why you might need sleep though.


  204. Taube

    Its ok. You have a right to say what you like here.

    None of us here really know each other. We could all be axe murderers for all we know.

    I do not think Taube was trying to be rude. I think she/he was just making a statement.


  205. For everyone, especially S in Lebanon – not every Israeli is anti-Arab, and not every American Zionist believes in Israel right or wrong. As we expect from our own country, America, we American Zionists also expect the same from Israel – we believe peace to be a mizvat – we want dialogue, we want peace. And we want to stop the violence so that our children and our children’s children can grow together in understanding without fear. This is from Sojourner’s – a call to metaphorical arms – because the pen is often mightier than the sword and because sometimes it take more courage to be for peace than to be in war.

    Support Israeli Conscientious Objectors — Free the Shministim
    by Howard Zinn 12-03-2008

    I’ve been thinking a lot about courage. See that fresh-faced, bold young woman on the right? Her name is Raz Bar-David Varon. She’s an 18-year-old Israeli who just graduated from 12th grade. And as I write this, she’s sitting in jail in Tel Aviv because she refuses to join the Israeli army.

    In my day we called them the “refuseniks,” and here in the U.S. they’re “conscientious objectors.” In Israel, they’re still in high school and they are the Shministim. Get used to that word because I’m going to ask you to know it, to say it, to use it. You see, Raz Bar-David Varon and another dozen or so Shministim have asked us in the U.S. for our help, and this is one request we shouldn’t refuse.

    The Shministim — all about ages 17, 18, 19 and in the 12th grade — are taking a stand. They believe in a better, more peaceful future for themselves and for Israelis and Palestinians, and they are refusing to join the Israeli army. They’re in jail, holding strong against immense pressure from family, friends, and the Israeli government. They need our support and they need it today.

    They have asked people like us to let the Israeli government know we are watching and that we support their courage. They’re hoping to receive hundreds of thousands of postcards to be delivered to the Israeli Ministry of Defense on December 18th, when they will hold a huge rally and press conference. They’re hoping to stand strong on the steps of this majestic building — and on the steps of history — representing not only the thousands of refusers who came before them, not only the many young people to whom they are an example of a better world, but also to represent us. They have asked you, me, and every person who strives for peace to be on those steps with them, on that day. I will be there.

    Will you join me? It’s simple. Sign a letter now. And don’t stop there — ask your loved ones to join you. During this season of giving, signing a letter is the least we can give to the courageous among us.

    Raz is a Shministit. Raz is Courage. And with our support of her, you and I are Shministim too.

    Now go sign that letter.



  206. Taube – well that would certainly explain Shrub’s complete look of “huh?”
    As for the swipe at Laura – what’s that got to do with anything? For all we know, you’re a mass murderer in an alternative universe.


  207. I once heard it said of Bush Sr., on the night Jr. was conceived: “He was shooting blanks that night.”

    32 more days until the murderers leave the White House! (How come so many people still don’t know that Laura Bush ran a stop sign and killed a classmate when she was a teen-ager?)


  208. “Why is it that ctoddrobbins drops by …
    Methinks he’s sneaking pie.”

    Methinks you are right freD…

    I never heard/read the word memetic before.
    Don’t quite understand the discussion ,at the Wiki site, about memetics in general. Here, are you using it as culturally transmitted- therefore accepted without inspection?
    Oh Greytdog-
    Sick…Yudge. Do take care!


  209. For another voice of reason and clarity (must be a cousin of Margaret & Helen’s), see Joe Galloway:


    http://tinyurl.com/3uezcz (if this link works, I hope)

    Title of Article – Commentary: Bush makes a farewell tour. Good riddance
    About Joe Galloway:General H. Norman Schwarzkopf has called Joseph L. Galloway, a military columnist for McClatchy Newspapers, “The finest combat correspondent of our generation — a soldier’s reporter and a soldier’s friend.”

    Galloway is the co-author, with Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, of “We Were Soldiers Once … and Young,” a story of the first large-scale ground battle of the Vietnam War. The book was made into a movie of the same name. Galloway was portrayed in the movie by actor Barry Pepper.


  210. Madoff needs a good mizvat in the tush


  211. India/Pakistan have been interesting for some time – but way off the American radar. Keep your eye on Indonesia and parts of SE Asia – not so much for the rising tide of the Taliban, but because we’ve pretty much squandered any sort of “control” of the South American despots and have our sights set elsewhere. Africa is too confusing for most Americans but we can sort of understand India only because that’s who we talk with when our ‘puters act out. Seriously though, our foreign policy makers and movers tend to see the 3rd world as yet another democratic conquest. . . but it’s only because we don’t want to admit we are the last great Imperialistic nation. Most businesses have ties into India, pakistan, and bangladesh so they are lucrative economic markets – cheap labor and all. We may eventually return our sights to South America, but right now all we want from that area is the vacation real estate of Belize and Costa Rica. So much for fair trade


  212. Okay…I know this is aways from shoes but it has to deal with an area close to Iraq.


    After Political Amazon’s great posts about the Clinton’s ties to India…wondering how this might play out. India/Pakistan is going to be an interesting situation for years to come.

    I return you now back to your traditional pie and tea.


  213. ha. here in fla our motto for a while was “who knew jeb was the smart one.”

    waiting to exhale…


  214. Greytdog I want to make sure that you take proper care of yourself since I was hospitalized last month for bronchitis..(.I think the MD’s in Palm Beach County are trying to kill me!)The CORRECT antibiotic may be needed along with the music and ofcourse a big wedge of pie.Also,need to agree about Madoff…scumbag. His son just purchased a multimillion $ home, my mother informed me;charities are caput, an 80 year old lady has nothing,etc BUT he could pay 10 million to bail himself out of the pokey…go figure-what could he have spent the money on? Welcome S. and Jacy- I don’t contribute much,but I am learning alot and I love to be here at Margaret& Helen’s for the entertainment and the pie and more…Ann


  215. I’m back (snort, hack hack) Elsie – took your advice and watched the videos. . . and went back and watched some more. Thanks! Totally awesome. I love a cappella done right. Those guys looked like they were enjoying themselves -I know I did!

    (sipping tea) also went and looked at pics of the snowstorm aftermath out west. Yikes. Hope y’all are keeping warm and toasty and safe. If anyone is going sledding. . . kawabunga baby!!!

    One hint: a dash of Glenlivet in Earl Grey tea is QUITE warming.


  216. Greydog:

    Lots of tea. Lots and lots of nice hot tea.


  217. “Listen to/watch”


  218. Hey, Greytdog, I’m so sorry you are under the weather. I triple-dog-dare you (from “A Christmas Story”) to click on that link posted up the way by Whirled Peas that says HAPPY HOLIDAYS. Listen/watch to the singing dudes, click on some other nearby youtube links with these guys, and I PROMISE that the music, and maybe a cup of hot tea, will make you feel a little better. I hope.


  219. Thanks for posting the HAPPY HOLIDAYS link, Whirled Peas. We, too, are getting the new cd by the Straight No Chaser a capella group. Excellent music. Love it.


  220. S from Lebanon,

    I meant to say this yesterday after seeing you show up with those brilliant comments. Always good to have an intelligent outside perspective. Come by any time! I/we mean it. Really.

    As a matter of fact, M&H or Matt, can we get a separate page for S frm Leb? ;)

    PEACE ~ Δ


  221. We’re wedgies cuz we love the pies of truth that Margaret and Helen dish up. Of course it could be because we’ve all been given a wedgie by the Bush admin. . .

    Home early from work. Nasty nasty head cold now into bronchitis. Arrgghh. Dogs think I am barking, so they bark back. How nice. . . not. Noisy noisy. But at least it gives me some background “music” as I peruse the ‘net and listen to the news. Lordy lordy seems that Madoff’s crimes know no end. What a scumbag.


  222. Aww thanks Jacy!!!Are you new here too? I’d like to welcome you myself!

    I stumbled upon this blog yesterday:) Really appreciate how welcoming you guys are!! and Helen… she’s on the money!! Described the reaction of every person I know. I really worry for Muntathar though…He’s NOT in good hands.


  223. Ahhhhhhhhhh!! I feel so brainless now..hahahahaha

    makes a lotta sense…thanks Jacy:) God I just read what I wrote above..seriously it’s not even 11 pm here and I cant put two coherent thoughts together and say what I wanted to say: Thank you GD and Whirled Peas:)


  224. also S, I would like to welcome you. Your voice turningup here the other day was marvalous! i thought you had some very wise words for all of us.


  225. S from Lebanon…
    I think the answer to your question is two-fold.
    first i believe it is because of the wedge of pie you receive here at Helens and second because of the delta symbol and what it means. or at least that is my take on it from reading ALL the posts


  226. Oh and GD and whirled peas I watched the video and read the report. I hope these ppl can get Bush & Co. proscuted!!


  227. Whirled peas… thank you for such a wonderful welcome! that was an AWSOME video! i am an avid music lover and always get excited when i find a new artist. Thanks for turning me on to them… i ordered the cd.


  228. uuhhhhhhhm..May I ask why you guys wanna call yourselves wedgies? ..last I heard that’s a really painful embarrassing experience :S


  229. More cowbell. Hell, all you heard was the cow bell!

    I remember this skit! Too funny


  230. troutay,

    Have you met his brother…
    Bruce Dickinson of ‘More Cowbell’?
    ;) ~ Δ


  231. Whirled:

    I just met your friend Ed Glosser.

    He’s quite a guy!


  232. Hi jacy,

    You are welcome. We’re building quite a crowd of ‘Wedgies’ aroud here. It’s nice to be appreciated.


    ~ Δ ~




  234. “Methinks he’s sneaking pie.” LOL!
    I just have to say, To Helen & Margaret, THANK YOU! I come here every week day (at work) and have found that it feels like home here.
    To greytdog, proud, whirled peas, charles, elsie, troutay and the lot of you here, I find you all fasinating! Your posts are some of the best! I find myself enlightend and educated. Thankyou!
    because I too am outraged by bush and his cronies and believe he should have been punished along time ago. I am grateful to all here for voicing my outrage so much more elequintely (sp.) than i ever could. Let me just some it all up by saying “This is the best pie EVER!”


  235. Why is it that ctoddrobbins drops by to:

    1. Post a bunch of obsolete and debunked uberconservative ideological memetic gibberish

    2. Gets a few refreshers on why said ideological memetic gibberish is obsolete and debunked

    3. Never follows up to try and refute anything?

    Methinks he’s sneaking pie.


  236. It’s hard to disagree with you when you’re right, y’know.


  237. President Truman said it best “The buck stops here”.

    The President of the US is ultimately responsible for
    the policy of the US.
    He lied to us about the war, the fact that they did have knowledge about pending attacks in the uS, Plamegate and a large number of other things that have happened on his watch in the last 8 years.

    He is the worst and he is lucky that only a shoe was thrown at him. I hope and pray that he will one day be held responsible for his actions.


  238. Great rant! I feel much better after reading it. Jan. 20 can’t get here soon enough for me. What a relief it will be to not be embarrassed to be an American anymore.

    Margeret and Helen, I hope that you and yours have a wonderful holiday. I look forward to reading your blog as we move towards the Inauguration. Oh Happy Day!


  239. Whoops, “one thing” sorry have frozen fingers this morning.


  240. Pies for all.

    Cow Pies for Trolls

    and the pie of your choice for everyone else.

    Snowing like crazy here in WA State. Not too bad as long as the idiots stay off the road. One tihing people around here need to learn is that 4 wheel drive does not mean 4 wheel stop on ice.


  241. I know that the majority have not support Bush & that is 1 reason that Obama has been elected….Troutay wrote”I have to tell myself many times that even though I am one voice, my voice and your voices can be loud enough for the rest of the world to hear” ….YES! But then too- Such A feeling of powerlessness in our Democracy just is so damn incongruent.


  242. Good morning, wedgies. Just have to add my thank you to Greytdog for beautiful comment on your rural uncle (5:02 on 12/17). I live in a rural area (NW VA) and know admirable people like that. Some voted Republican, some Democrat, all work hard and are good neighbors both locally and globally.


  243. I marched with CodePink when many people were asking Bush & Co to wait for the United Nations before they went into Iraq. The outcome is history. Maybe I have lost faith, or maybe I just think that no matter what we do or how we feel, Bush & C. will do what they want and no one will do anything.

    I have to tell myself many times that even though I am one, my voice and your voices can be loud enough for the rest of the world to hear. But, we have to join together to make that loud enough.

    Alaska Pi: Work is good. I have gotten flowers, a tin full of fancy popcorn, fruit salad, cookies, cake and some apple strudle (sp). Yes, I need the extra padding for the winter so I don’t care about any diets.



  244. Molly Ivins on torture:
    “Get your minds around it. Our country is guilty of torture. To quote myself once more: ‘What are you going to do about this? It’s your country, your money, your government. You own this country, you run it, you are the board of directors. They are doing this in your name. The people we elected to public office do what you want them to. Perhaps you should get in touch with them’.”

    Retired schoolteacher here. Active in on the ground politics.

    People do contact their reps and senators about this subject. There are a lot of reps and senators who want do not support this Administration’s torture policy, but as you may have noticed, this Administration is more Absolute Monarchy than anything else. They pay attention only to themselves and their blinkered perspective. They absolve themselves beforehand and some of them even hide behind biblical cloth for their actions. Not having a conscience also helps amazingly. Hence Cheney can sit for an interview and admit to torture. This old crap about last minute foreknowledge of an upcoming terror attack excusing the torture of an informant in order to save the population is way off base. Said informant can hold out for whatever scant amount of time is left inasmuch as the point of the torture is not to kill him – only almost – but to extract information.

    This Administration is simply blood-thirsty, thats all. And yes they should somehow some way be brought before a court and prosecuted. Very soon they will once again be private citizens unable to clothe themselves in some sort of Executive Privilege that they cooked up.

    Margaret and Helen, you are the greatest! Keep up the good work in the New Year and way beyond!


  245. Morning all!

    Well it is snowing like crazy here this morning so I will be staying in and wrapping presents and doing chores. Weird weather for Western Washington!

    I posted yesterday about how I feel about the Bush/Cheney war crimes debacle. I really feel we need to push back on this issue!

    I keep wondering if other countries will take matters into their own hands and push to bring charges in the international arena.

    What a mess!


  246. Waving good morning to the Wedgies!!!

    It’s going to be 75* here in Alabama today. Where is Autumn/Winter??? Ack! Looks like another Christmas in shorts and t-shirts.

    Okay, gotta say it…why are we sending so much money abroad when we have people here who need food, clothing and shelter? I just don’t understand it.

    Anyone else watch Rachel Maddow? She had Sen (or Rep whatever) Levin on last night talking about Cheney admitting to torture. Dear Goddess, can we get an admin with some balls to indict the Bushies?

    Off to work. The good thing about working for PetSmart is playing all day with the doggies. It’s like having pet therapy for work. Woohoo!

    Hugs to the Wedgies!


  247. Our country is guilty of torture to the point of murder, all done in our name as Americans.

    “Get your minds around it. Our country is guilty of torture.” Molly Ivins


    “Cheney’s Confession Should Lead to Criminal Investigation of Bush’s Torture Policies”


    Monday Dec. 15, 2008 09:30 EST


    “Senate report links Bush to detainee homicides; media yawns”

    “…The policies which the Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously concludes were authorized by Bush, Rumsfeld and several other top Bush officials did not merely lead to “abuse” and humiliating treatment, but are directly — and unquestionably — responsible for numerous detainee murders. Many of those deaths caused by abusive treatment have been formally characterized as “homicides” by autopsies performed in Iraq and Afghanistan…”

    “These are murders and war crimes in every sense of the word. That the highest level Bush officials and the President himself are responsible for the policies that spawned these crimes against humanity have been long known to anyone paying minimal attention, but now we have a bipartisan Senate Report — signed by the presidential nominee of Bush’s own political party — that directly assigns culpability for these war crimes to the President and his policies. It’s nothing less than a formal declaration from the Senate that the President and his top aides are war criminals. ”

    Where is the outrage? Where are the demands that these arrogant American bastards be held accountable? Was it their plan all along to so damage this country–financially, economically–that we would not have the time, money or inclination to come after them and make them answer for these crimes? To allow Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, etal multiple opportunities to re-write history and negate their devastating impact on this nation and others?

    I just don’t get it. Is this yet another result of the mind-numbing exhaustion brought on by 8 years of criminally bad governing? Are we just too tired to demand better from our “leaders”?

    Where is the spirit of our forefathers who wrote:
    “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    When do we take back our Constitution from those Bush administration bastards who have spit on it and tortured and murdered others in our name as American citizens? And when does retribution hit the Bushies? Who brings it on, how, and when?


  248. Morning breeze off the icefields, here today, is nippy but not bone-chilling.
    Here’s hoping troutay’s drive to work was safe.

    Ah Elsie-
    We are needing the dollop of spine-stiffeners you are serving up with early morning cocoa these days! Thank you.
    Linda Fecher , AnnΔ , & Maven Δ-
    Within your remarks is one of the threads I think America needs to pull out of the tangled pile of tattered what-we-want-to-be and follow to it’s end.
    If we cannot conclude this dark chapter with dignity and truth we shall surely teach our children and grandchildren disdain for much more than leaders.
    Finding language and action to spur folks to work as partisans of American renewal is important . Finding a neutral patch to quiet the BI-partisan roar we have deafened ourselves with is a toughie…
    It has worked to the advantage of Mr Bush and the neo-con idealogues that we ALL bought the BS that we are so divided we must walk on eggshells not to burst our fragile bonds.
    Americans can be damn tough when they get their collective wits sorted out…
    Let’s roll.


  249. http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/12/17/spitzer/index.html

    “Dick Cheney went on ABC News on Monday night, where he was treated with oozing (i.e., typical) respect by correspondent Jonathan Karl, and literally admitted, brazenly and unapologetically, to committing war crimes; blithely justified the atrocities that were committed as part of our attack on Iraq; and glorified the whole slew of illegal surveillance programs he ordered. And that’s how most of the world outside of the U.S. (accurately) perceives Cheney’s comments — as a brazen admission of responsibility for many of the world’s worst crimes of the last decade…

    “…What’s most striking is not that we have zero intention of prosecuting the serious crimes committed by our leading establishment figures. It’s that we don’t even recognize them as crimes — or even serious transgressions — at all. To the contrary, we still demand that those who are culpable be treated as dignified, respectable, serious and inherently good leaders. Real outrage is never generated by the crimes and outrages they have undertaken, but only when they are not given their proper respectful due as leading American elites.”

    Molly Ivins on torture:
    “Get your minds around it. Our country is guilty of torture. To quote myself once more: ‘What are you going to do about this? It’s your country, your money, your government. You own this country, you run it, you are the board of directors. They are doing this in your name. The people we elected to public office do what you want them to. Perhaps you should get in touch with them’.” http://www.codepink4peace.org/article.php?list=type&type=24


  250. …whoops…. forgot the most important part:



  251. Almost Native CO said (re Cheney, Bush acts): “…a public condemnation may be all we will get.”

    I will settle for that. It would at least show the WORLD that we not only recognize when our leaders make mistakes, we ACT upon it.

    We should NOT rewrite the history of the last eight years and sweep the wrongs under the rug. Whether that be through reflective analysis, journalism, or published studies/opinion, it’s time to remove the rose-colored glasses and own up to the mess we’re in and the folks who got us here. The buck stops with George W. Bush.


  252. Linda you are entitled to feel anger;alot of us are angry.When I click to go online I see a cartoon of Obama dancing for some affordable mortgage co.I hope that we can have a President that our country will be proud of…Dissent is a great thing but raising children in a climate of such great disdain for leaders is not.It is too bad nothing was done officially in spite of so much outrage because it would appear that we condone the abuse of the office.


  253. Thanks Whirled Peas for posting the correct link on the WaPo article.

    Okay kids – I’m off to work. See ya later.


  254. Good morning GD and S.

    I have to be to work early anyway and since the winter weather has made driving any distance a royal pain, I get up at 4:30 a.m.

    But from my window (I sit in a sort of large atrium with plants and such) the world looks beautiful.


  255. S from Lebanon

    This should be the LINK ~ For a Last Hurrah, Protesters Give Bush the Boot



  256. RANT ON! You have every right to do so and I totally agree about EVERYTHING you said. WAR=DEATH….period! And that alone is sad enough, but what saddens me most is that Bush and his thugs will NOT pay for their crimes. They will walk away from these past eight years, fatter, dumber and filthy freakin rich. Those bastards lied about everything under the sun, they took our rights from us, they bankrupted our country, they condoned torture, they thumbed their noses at the justice system, pushed through secret “midnight bills”, and undermined our national security by waging two illegal wars!! And all this at the expense of countless human lives. I lost a part of hope when Nixon was pardoned, and I never quite recovered from that low blow, until now. Because when Bush walks away scott free……I’m not losing hope, I’m getting pissed, real pissed! And I truly think there will be enough of us really pissed off people to demand he and his thugs pay for their crimes.


  257. “We are unable to locate the page you requested.
    The page may have moved or may no longer be available”..Greytdog, could you be kind enough tp post it here?


  258. Hi S from Lebanon. I’m an early riser because I have dogs that demand their morning walkies. . . regardless of weather, illness, or the desire for me to sleep in …just once. And since each dog has their own physical issue, I can’t walk them together – so it’s a real treat to spend the early AM hours walking walking walking….oh well. Keeps me healthy and gets the day going and allows me time to read newspapers and articles online before heading off to work.
    Dana Milbank in WaPo this AM has this article concerning a “shoe festival” in DC


    Milbank often disparages protestors and such so there is an underlying sense of contempt in the article. But still, overall, fun to read.


  259. ***American internal and international affairs. MISSING WORD TYPO


  260. Since we’re on the topic of the US giving away taxpayers’ money, wouldn’t it only be sensible that the US stops paying $1,200 per month per capita to the Israeli government? It’s just a suggestion, after all I am not an American and in no position to rally for internal and international affairs. But since the Bush administration and its ignorant followers were arrogant enough to impose the kind of politics it thinks the rest of the world should adopt and implement under such names as OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, I thought a minor suggestion would not compare to the pompous SAVIOR attitude some people have. Plus, it’s not like I have an entire army behind me:p
    Morning Troutay, Greytdog!! It’s 2:30 pm here…but you’re early risers aren’t you?


  261. Oh good – seems the night watch managed to rout the trolls. Either that, or UAW is sleeping it off. . .

    On impeachment – the Dems pulled that off the table because impeachment is a very divisive movement. But as we all know, impeachment is considered appropriate only for sex scandals, not treason. Now Bob Wexler, a rep from Florida, has been pushing for impeachment – and apparently the American people aren’t too concerned about the divisiveness of charging Bush & Co. with high crimes against the state as Wexler’s petition continues to garner signatures. I suspect, however, that given the economic crisis, the healthcare crisis, the crumbling infrastructure, etc. most people would see impeachment as a partisan move rather than a national rebuke of Bush. And without a majority of seats in Congress, Dems would not be able to impeach Bush. But isn’t it funny – sad how het up Repubs and some Dems get over Clinton with his inability to keep wee willie winkie hidden but have no problem with Bush & Co. gutting the Constitution, legalizing torture, cooking intelligence books, and giving away billions of our dollars to financial friends with benefits?


  262. Waving good morning to the wedgies.

    Alaska Pi, I think its colder here than there. I dread going out this morning to go to work. Its pretty though. Snow Snow and more Snow.

    Margaret and Helen. Could you set something up so people could put their recipes there? I am trying to wade through all the posts to find some recipes that were posted.

    Its quiet this morning. The night crew must not have had too many trolls to deal with.

    ta folks.


  263. Whirled-
    “Glenn Greenwald on Bill Moyers Journal

    *with transcript and audio only download for those with slower connections.” was a good read -thank you.
    Mr Greenwald’s remarks were especially meaningful to me- in relation to our situation here in Alaska- with the gov. Folks are wanting to let the lies go because we have so many pressing issues to deal with right now. I have a very hard time with the idea of having someone who is untrustworthy and sneaky at the helm and pretending we can all just get along to progress- alaska-forward -you-know(or whatever stupid thing it is she says about progress).
    Mr Bush is leaving office with far weightier stains .We are all smeared by them… We can count ourselves on the road to recovery in that we made the voting thingy work to change the bodies we hired to do our work in DC. We do have enormous work to do to sort out our tattered ole country- jobs,economy,infrastructure… the list is endless. We must also do something meaningful to reel in politicians who exempt themselves from the rule of law. Commissions or indictments- it IS part of rebuilding our most basic infrastructure.The rule of law is the glue that holds us all together.


  264. A reason given for going back on the initial agreement signed in 2000 to ‘join’ the ICC and stepping away in 2002 (interesting date, don’t you think?).


    The ICC is supposed to be the court of ‘last resort’…it is voluntary to be a member nation but not being a member is something we have in common with North Korea :-)


  265. Thank you grandma Katie for welcoming me here and Elsie for the websites!


  266. “Yes, I would like to see some like Cheney serve time- but a public condemnation may be all we will get. Otherwise, all of our energy will be spent on public trials- instead of rebuilding our infrastructure, creating jobs, undoing Bush’s last minute orders- like allowing weapons in national parks, repairing our relationships with other countries…the list goes on and on.”



  267. This week’s Newsweek has a long article on Thomas Tamm, the federal lawyer who blew the whistle on Bush’s highly illegal, surveillance program that spied on ordinary American citizens. While I understand why the Iraqi reporter insulted Bush by throwing his shoe, we should be appalled, insulted and horrified by the stripping of individual rights, the usurping of congressional powers, the creation of an all-powerful presidency by Bush, Cheney, and his denizens.

    UAW Tradesman and his ilk can defend Bush all they want- but they need to understand the ramifications of what his administration has done to our country.

    I think there will be commissions, besides the one just completed that condemned the Pentagon, and Bush/Cheney for the incompetence of handling of the Iraq War- the corruption, the waste of billions of dollars, the lack of planning; I hope Congress appoints independent commissions, and gets on with the business of rebuilding our country. They and Obama- and all of us- have a lot to do.

    Yes, I would like to see some like Cheney serve time- but a public condemnation may be all we will get. Otherwise, all of our energy will be spent on public trials- instead of rebuilding our infrastructure, creating jobs, undoing Bush’s last minute orders- like allowing weapons in national parks, repairing our relationships with other countries…the list goes on and on.


  268. AnnΔ-
    Well- whatever I thought I was remembering may be of the overheard in the grocery-market line variety.Took a peek at the Constitution … Crimes eligible for impeachment by Congress are NOT defined explicitly.
    However- it IS explicit that a conviction issuing from a Congressional trial SHALL NOT result in MORE than a removal from office and ‘disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor,Trust or Profit under the United States;but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Judgment, and Punishment ,according to Law.”
    As Mr Bush is due to leave office the Congressional impeachment thingy-if it could have reached the crimes we think (and Elsie dug up) he did- is past it’s sell-by date. As you and Whirled noted there are (no ) reasons for that.
    Remedies now have to come from some other start…


  269. Right now I’m watching Glenn Greenwald on Bill Moyers Journal

    *with transcript and audio only download for those with slower connections.



  270. pursued-sp


  271. APΔ,

    It’s what I do. I’m a linker. Plus when others know what I do, we have more to talk about.

    PEACE ~ Δ


  272. Wow Elsie that is really strong…Thanks.. looks like I lost my wedgie for a bit. Anyway so howcome this was not persued?


  273. Whirled-
    Thank you for “You can get MSNBC transcripts here” !!!!!
    We are getting rather spoiled with all the kindnesses you show so many of us here. Thank you again.


  274. I basically told myself the same thing that you wrote, WhirledPeas…but I would hope for more…so perhaps it is due to legal technicalities as Alaska Pi suggests. Just sorry something was not done about those people at the WhiteHouse aways back. Ann Δ


  275. From sourcewatch.org

    Ramsey Clark’s Articles of Impeachment

    * Former Attorney GeneralRamsey Clark’s Articles of Impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and Attorney General John David Ashcroft:

    1. Seizing power to wage wars of aggression in defiance of the U.S. Constitution, the U.N. Charter and the rule of law; carrying out a massive assault on and occupation of Iraq, a country that was not threatening the United States, resulting in the death and maiming of tens of thousands of Iraqis, and hundreds of U.S. G.I.s.
    2. Lying to the people of the U.S., to Congress, and to the U.N., providing false and deceptive rationales for war.
    3. Authorizing, ordering and condoning direct attacks on civilians, civilian facilities and locations where civilian casualties were unavoidable.
    4. Threatening the independence and sovereignty of Iraq by belligerently changing its government by force and assaulting Iraq in a war of aggression.
    5. Authorizing, ordering and condoning assassinations, summary executions, kidnappings, secret and other illegal detentions of individuals, torture and physical and psychological coercion of prisoners to obtain false statements concerning acts and intentions of governments and individuals and violating within the United States, and by authorizing U.S. forces and agents elsewhere, the rights of individuals under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
    6. Making, ordering and condoning false statements and propaganda about the conduct of foreign governments and individuals and acts by U.S. government personnel; manipulating the media and foreign governments with false information; concealing information vital to public discussion and informed judgment concerning acts, intentions and possession, or efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction in order to falsely create a climate of fear and destroy opposition to U.S. wars of aggression and first strike attacks.
    7. Violations and subversions of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, both a part of the “Supreme Law of the land” under Article VI, paragraph 2, of the Constitution, in an attempt to commit with impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes in wars and threats of aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and others and usurping powers of the United Nations and the peoples of its nations by bribery, coercion and other corrupt acts and by rejecting treaties, committing treaty violations, and frustrating compliance with treaties in order to destroy any means by which international law and institutions can prevent, affect, or adjudicate the exercise of U.S. military and economic power against the international community.
    8. Acting to strip United States citizens of their constitutional and human rights, ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to counsel, without charge, and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the Executive of a citizen as an “enemy combatant.”
    9. Ordering indefinite detention of non-citizens in the United States and elsewhere, and without charge, at the discretionary designation of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Defense.
    10. Ordering and authorizing the Attorney General to override judicial orders of release of detainees under INS jurisdiction, even where the judicial officer after full hearing determines a detainee is wrongfully held by the government.
    11. Authorizing secret military tribunals and summary execution of persons who are not citizens who are designated solely at the discretion of the Executive who acts as indicting official, prosecutor and as the only avenue of appellate relief.
    12. Refusing to provide public disclosure of the identities and locations of persons who have been arrested, detained and imprisoned by the U.S. government in the United States, including in response to Congressional inquiry.
    13. Use of secret arrests of persons within the United States and elsewhere and denial of the right to public trials.
    14. Authorizing the monitoring of confidential attorney-client privileged communications by the government, even in the absence of a court order and even where an incarcerated person has not been charged with a crime.
    15. Ordering and authorizing the seizure of assets of persons in the United States, prior to hearing or trial, for lawful or innocent association with any entity that at the discretionary designation of the Executive has been deemed “terrorist.”
    16. Institutionalization of racial and religious profiling and authorization of domestic spying by federal law enforcement on persons based on their engagement in noncriminal religious and political activity.
    17. Refusal to provide information and records necessary and appropriate for the constitutional right of legislative oversight of executive functions.
    18. Rejecting treaties protective of peace and human rights and abrogation of the obligations of the United States under, and withdrawal from, international treaties and obligations without consent of the legislative branch, and including termination of the ABM treaty between the United States and Russia, and rescission of the authorizing signature from the Treaty of Rome which served as the basis for the International Criminal Court.


  276. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=The_case_for_impeachment_of_President_George_W._Bush

    Here’s another site…


  277. http://www.impeachbush.tv/impeach/offenses.html

    There’s a lot to read here. I haven’t waded through it, but it might be a start for answering some basic questions. I cannot verify the veracity of the authors of this web site. It’s just one place of the web that might be interesting to take a look at. I love the title…


  278. “…why impeachment was not pursued earlier… Can someone explain or give an opinion…appreciate it—AnnΔ”

    I’m just spit-ballin’ here but could to be that the Dem leadership are all spineless doormats?

    Just guessin’


  279. AnnΔ
    I’m hoping someone will pop in for pie who knows more too.
    My memory being almost as reliable as my incresingly tottery pins , I can’t be sure but somewhere or other I remember – Nixon times?- that impeachment for a president has to do with “ordinary crimes”. Impeachment is but an indictment. We got treated to the folly of the Clinton impeachment/indictment for lying under oath- an “ordinary crime” and the subsequent grandstanding congressional hand-slap forgiveness routine. The Nixon impeachment hearings were truer to the intent of the idea- though the Clinton fiasco was legit technically. I do not know what remedy we have for crimes OF office.


  280. APΔ,

    You can get MSNBC transcripts here. Tuesday’s has not been posted yet. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3719710/
    *scroll down for Countdown.



  281. I watched “the wrong 1″ April 10…I have wondered for sometime why impeachment was not pursued earlier… Can someone explain or give an opinion…appreciate it—AnnΔ


  282. Sorry APΔ,

    wrong one. Let me get back to you.



  283. Alaska Pi Δ,

    Transcript Turley / Countdown

    ~ Δ ~


  284. Maven Δ-
    I do not have TV nor an internet connection which supports much video. Do you know if the text of that show is rolling around anywhere?
    Malfeasance in office – is that a way to go at it differently?
    Political Amazon? You out there? Is war crimes gig the only remedy available?


  285. Juneau Joe-
    Have fun on your holiday!
    We will try to clean things up before you get back.


  286. Like a few other responders, I saw the Olberman show Tuesday night. The suggestion that Cheney et.al. be charged with war crimes caused me to ponder.

    I almost think we HAVE to do it. Consider the cost of such an undertaking a downpayment on the price of re-establishing the global reputation of the US.

    Δ Maven

    (Oh, and I usually don’t respond to trolls, but wanted to let UAW Tradesman know that I think using his organization’s name in his *alias* is inappropriate. Better to just go by Tradesman.)


  287. Hi Folks, I see some idiots showed up. I am in OR and the internet is terrible so I can not spend much time talking to the fools.

    Bush is trying to say, he is Mr. Wonderful when he clearly is an idiot who needs to GO! BUSH STARTED SOME EXPENSIVE WARS and put them on credit cards! We have no idea how much has been spent or what the future obligation will be.

    BUSH IS THE DEFINITION OF INEPTNESS! I could spend my time making the case but the internet has only worked for 5 minutes at a time.

    If I remember right, Clinton was impreached for something: WAS IT STARTING A WAR on lies, Or was it Stripping the constitution, or was it bankrupting the country – I forget. It had to have been a big deal though.


  288. Greytdog- apologies for the spello of your name.
    We gotta get this place tidied up! I’m getting trollie spello gookies on me!


  289. Bush To Shoe Bomber: Bring It On!



  290. Deacon Blue said-
    “On the one hand, I feel that Bush got what he deserved…a direct challenge and insult without being assassinated or harmed.

    On the other hand, I don’t advocate for the attempted assault of any world leader, regardless of how much an idiot and jackass he/she is and no matter how non-lethal the instrument of assault.”

    I have similar feelings but do NOT feel conflicted. In technical terms , Mr Muntathar al Zaidi committed assault. In our country that has a legal definition .(I have no clue what assault means in Iraqi law) Assaulting a VIP, theoretically , ought to “count” more.
    There is no question about the fact of the act.
    There are many questions about the treatment of this gent in custody and ,to me, there are many questions about what will happen to him next.
    I think we need to know more about Iraqi law. It is very worrying that there are stories that this gent was beaten in custody.
    In THIS country, Mr Muntathar al Zaidi’s state of mind would enter into any decision about his punishment.
    If he made a purposeful decision to chuck a well-deserved insult at Mr Bush and accepted the outcome, whatever it may be, he will have already surrendered himself to the consequences of his actions. The important thing would to try to make sure he does not suffer beyond his transgression.
    If this man was overcome with emotion in the face of Mr Bush’s failure to grasp the enormity of suffering the Prez’ policies have brought on Iraqi people, compassion for his pain should rule the verdict of punishment and once again he must not suffer beyond his transgression.
    Gretdog, Charles, et al-

    I hate to say this but trying to talk sense to someone who starts drinking beer before noon is a wasted effort. The thing would be to call a cab and make sure the gent gets home safely to sleep it off.
    If he barfs up sour beer we will NEVER get it outta the rug and Helen will know we were getting out of control here again…


  291. Brava Donna!!!!
    You will make Margaret and Helen very proud. :-)


  292. Donna, I get your point. UAW Tradesman may well be a troll – but at least he’s not typing in tongues. Now Dylan, on the other hand, is a troll looking for attention in all the wrong places. Dylan bubbe, head back under your bridge and wait for the billy goat.

    For folks who might like a visual take on the shoe toss: http://tinyurl.com/3wwur3
    Editorial cartoon by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune


  293. Folks, folks, folks. Why are you paying attention to UAW? A troll is just looking for attention–they like to get a response. It’s immature, it’s a reflection of a lack of any sort of normal or meaningful life. They hang around blogs and say things that are provocative in order to get a response.

    So, why on earth give it to them? Seriously? You aren’t going to accomplish anything. The only thing you will do is make someone who has nothing better to do than try to stir things up feel like they succeeded.

    Please don’t think I am confusing a troll like UAW with someone genuinely expressing a differing point of view. The latter is clear in his/her desire to want to understand someone else’s perspective. Trolls have no interest in that.

    This is a great blog with all sorts of interesting observations. Could we possibly reach an agreement to ignore the trolls? If we do, they might actually learn that behaving like a 2 year old who had sugar on her cereal and needs a nap doesn’t get them anything.


  294. Helen, I laughed out loud reading your blog. Thank you for this!

    P.S. I’ve known my best friend for 28 years. I hope we can make it to sixty!


  295. Following your advice, I won’t vote for you.

    I mean it. Really.


  296. Responses to ctoddrobbins

    “It is amazing that when something in our country, or a number of things go wrong…..it’s the fault of the President…and him alone, but when the President is a Liberal, and they are going wrong, it’s congress’ fault, or the judicial branch.”

    No, Clinton put his privates in the wrong place all on his own. He needed no help from Congress or the judiciary. I can think of a notable Republican or 2 who cajoled some Congressional pages into helping him, though.

    “There are many mistakes and many faults to be laid at the doorsteps of many in leadership in regards to the Iraqi War. War is never good, but necessary. Sadam had thumbed his nose at numerous declarations from the UN, and had not let inspectors in. There were many, many people who believed WMD’s were there, and there is still evidence to believe they were moved to Syria.”

    Yes, I too, felt absolutely betrayed when congress chose to give away it’s responsibility to declare war. And why didn’t the Supreme Court act? That was clearly unconstitutional.

    No, the UN was in there in the hundreds, inspecting – and yes, they were blocking the inspectors, but no one was naive enough to think they wouldn’t try to hide something. We and the rest of the world had as much reason to believe there were no WMDs as we had to believe that they didn’t exsist.
    We have NO right to decide we don’t like the way a foreign leader is running their country and go and give them “democracy” than they have the right to impose Islam and sharia on us. God forbid someone decided we needed to be saved from Bush, after all.

    “For example, the current mortgage crisis stems from pressure applied from the Community Revitalization Act Version I and II, and those came from Carter, Clinton and multiple itterations from various groups in Congress.”

    CRA had nothing to do with the mortgage crisis. The people and businesses getting those loans went through the same processes as the other loans thet were foreclosed. In fact, less CRA loans went bad than non CRA loans. So I guess those democrats don’t mind credit for that, even if the people who deserve credit are those low lifes who are still paying their mortgages.

    “There is much blame to lay at the feet of many people, including our own…that most of us do very little to be involved in the political process, beyond voting.”



  297. “So it’s alright to throw shoes at a Republican but not a Democrat. ”

    Are you kidding me? i don’t care about political affiliation – I do care about integrity in our democratic government; I care that our leaders, duly elected, should never forget that they serve at OUR pleasure not theirs; I care that our leaders had better damn well remember what this country stands for and uphold those ideals above all else. I don’t know of any perfect politician – that’s actually an oxymoron; nor do I know of any perfect voter. But this I do know – if you screw up, own up. If you are a leader, then the ultimate responsibility for things that happen on your watch belongs to you. And that is something Georgie Shrub never got, never will, and certainly has done nothing, zip, nada, deserving of the respect typically accorded the POTUS. I can respect the office itself – the holder has to earn the respect.


  298. A comment was started but the right hand hit a wrong key and away it went into outer space.

    A heartfelt Thank y ou to Matthew for making it possible for us to get to know your Grandmather and Margaret. Such wonderful, witty ladies. I can only hope that one of these you will join us for
    pie and tea one of these days. WE have banned the trolls from the living room because they left it such a mess.

    To Greydog, your comments say so elequently what is on my mind. Livi.ng with a diehard REpub for 22 years made me ignore politics ( and the Fauxnetwork) Speaking my mind about Bush wasn’t conducive to a harmonius house hold!

    And to S.. welcome to Helens front porch for tea and pie, annd lots of Fun, great conversations and wonderful companions.

    To Helen and Margaret–keep the rants up for a long time. WE love you and you make our days brighter.
    A VEry Merry Christmas and much hope for a brighter New Year.


  299. Skip Mendler of Honesdale, PA has a great idea. He suggests that
    everyone who is disgusted with the outgoing Bush/Cheney administration
    send a shoe to the White House. Just imagine a pile up of a million
    smelly old running shoes in the White House mailroom! I think he’s got
    something. Spread the word!


    I am sending my old smelly running shoe with a note inside “this is for the widows & orphans BOTH here and there.”
    Thank you Margaret & Helen for letting the rest of the world know all Americans are not as stupid as W. ( I never voted for him and he never was my President) Peace



  300. ctoddrobbins,

    Repeat after me: “I will not listen to Limbaugh / Hannity / Rove / Coulter / O’Reilly anymore.”

    There just might be hope for you yet. You came here and that’s a start. ;)

    ~ Δ ~


  301. “But to lay all the ills of our nation at the feet of one man, is rediculous…..”

    As true as this might be, I think the journalist in Iraq was addressing what this country has done in that country, primarily the “uncounted” (as far as this nation sees it) fatalities of civilians. Not taking ANY side on this for the sake of this particular statement…but I think that he made a strong statement against what can be perceived as the primary individual, or symbol of an invading force is a positive thing. Regardless of your politics, I think it is fair to say that the primary person seen as responsible abroad would have to be Bush.

    The comment could be made that the fact he was not summarily executed could be argued and the very real argument could be made, that in the United States he probably would not even be allowed into the press conference in the first place.


  302. From Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Daily Dish:
    17 Dec 2008 10:42 am
    In Defense Of Torture, Ctd

    A reader writes:

    Gerecht, in his response to you, offers one torture justification that cries for amplification: Sixty-five years ago Americans no doubt were responsible for atrocities that shamed all involved, as he rightly points out. But what he fails to add is that those atrocities were committed under battlefield conditions — not in our prison camps. Such atrocities are to be found in all wars, committed by all involved. The kind of in-prison torture ordered by Bush administration officials, which Gerecht however-indirectly nevertheless defends, was something that even during the darkest days of World War II Americans roundly rejected.

    No one doubts that in combat in war, soldiers sometimes crack under intense pressure and commit atrocities against potentially lethal foes. The difference is committing atrocities against people who are already in your custody and under your direct control. Abhorrence at this practice and a deeper understanding of how a free country was not compatible with a government with the power to torture was one of America’s founding differences. Until Bush and Cheney.



  303. It is amazing that when something in our country, or a number of things go wrong…..it’s the fault of the President…and him alone, but when the President is a Liberal, and they are going wrong, it’s congress’ fault, or the judicial branch.

    There are many mistakes and many faults to be laid at the doorsteps of many in leadership in regards to the Iraqi War. War is never good, but necessary. Sadam had thumbed his nose at numerous declarations from the UN, and had not let inspectors in. There were many, many people who believed WMD’s were there, and there is still evidence to believe they were moved to Syria.

    Yes, George was wrong in the reasons for going, but once we got there, it’s a bell we can’t unring…and we have done good by being there…there are too many of our wonderful soldiers who have given their lives, and even more that come back with too many stories of great things we are doing there.

    Furthermore, I am no fan of Mr. Bush. He has spent more than he should, created more bearaucracy than we have ever needed, not done much to close our borders, and even wanted to offer amnesty….so I am not his fan.

    I did not vote for him the second time, as he betrayed Concervatives like me.

    But to lay all the ills of our nation at the feet of one man, is rediculous…..

    For example, the current mortgage crisis stems from pressure applied from the Community Revitalization Act Version I and II, and those came from Carter, Clinton and multiple itterations from various groups in Congress.

    There is much blame to lay at the feet of many people, including our own…that most of us do very little to be involved in the political process, beyond voting.


  304. Well said, Helen.

    Remember footage of the statue of Saddam being pulled down? Iraqis were immediately all over it slapping it with their shoes, the worst insult they could muster.

    Subsequently it dawned on us all that “Weapons of Mass Destruction” was a lie. It’s a pity the George W is getting away without impeachment for sending us all to war (us Aussies included) based on a big fat LIE.


  305. Greytdog, your uncle sounds like an amazing guy!! It’d be great to see a picture of that sculpture. It sounds beautiful.


  306. this reminds me of the ancient chinese proverb about the foo bird. if one does his ‘business’ on your head you should cover it with your hat or something even more dreadful will happen to you. the proverb, of course, is: “if the foo shits, wear it”.
    i love your blog! any chance you’ll ever put the racy stories back in?


  307. Here’s what I know about rural America – as Bush twinkle toes on his “ranch” playing the role of a brush-clearing westerner, my uncle works day in and day out planting, plowing, harvesting alfalfa, wheat, and soy. . . then feeds his dairy cattle . . .milks the cows. . . trucks the milk off to the dairy. . . repairs his aging equipment. . . struggles to help my cousins with their college tuition (thank god for scholarships). . .works late into the night helping his neighbors ramp up their farms on a computerized network. . . spends time helping other neighbors by repairing their equipment for free or ensuring his elderly neighbors have enough heating oil. . . gives local kids hay rides . . . and twice a year makes a pilgrimage to Arlington to pay his respects to his oldest son who died at Hue. My uncle is a hardworking, loving, charitable man of mid-Ohio values who asked his youngest son, a metal artist, to create a new sculpture to place on the barn. . .the Obama symbol. It’s beautiful. And it’s about the sun rising in hope over this land we all love. . . not bad for a 78 year old man who will most likely die among the fields he has loved all his life.


  308. Dear UAW,

    I think Greytdog makes sense, about New Orleans and all the other stuff he mentioned.

    I also think that he was so infuriated with trying to deal with people like you that he forgot to mention Iowa and Illinois

    And also: It wasn’t ALL Bush’s fault. It was the director of FEMA, who had absolutely NO experience dealing with disasters… just the way Dubya planned it.

    FEMA also recieved little funding. THANKS FOR THOSE TAX CUTS TO THE RICH, DUBYA!!!!!

    Seriously, though. The media has been saying that it’s Bush’s fault because, hey newsflash!!, IT WAS BUSH’S FAULT!!.

    Seems to me like “you can’t handle the truth.”


  309. Where did people come up with the idea that you have to respect someone because they are the POTUS. We can respect the postion and authority it holds and the democracy it is supposed to represent, but respect for the person filling the job must be earned. Bush has done nothing to earn that respect. He has done the complete opposite and created his own arena of terror not only to this country with the “if you are not with me, you are against me”, but also in regards to other countries, especially Iraq. When you come right down to it, Bush invaded another country. Something that our charters have said that we would never do. We would go to war only to protect our home front. War in Iraq is doing no such thing. They were not involved in 911, so I am so tired of hearing people continuing to spout off about war protecting Americans and protecting the US. What it does is protects the pockets of some elite few in the US with oil and reconstruction investments.

    911 had nothing to do with Iraq, there were no WMD. Bush willfully invaded another country on false intelligence without probable cause or reason. What makes the US any better than the Japanese at Pearl Harbor in that case. To support and respect our troops is a given. They are doing a job that they signed up for and are required to do as they are told by their bosses. My husband was a Marine from the first time around and completely disagrees with this whole fiasco. IT IS WRONG. We are the agressors and there are a lot of US citizens that do not agree with being there.

    Hopefully our president elect can take us in new directions and start restoring some of our reputation in the world.

    A shoe is not trying to attack the president; in Iraqi terms it is more an expression of speech and displeasure. A watched a news report the other day of someone (can’t remember the name) who knows the president and says the biggest problem is that Bush doesn’t care. He never did care what people think of him and he doesn’t have the ability to actually personalize what is going on. He can say that 600,000 people have been killed, including civilians, women and children. But the problem is that he does not have the ability to translate that into real feelings and real people. It just stays as numbers and facts like “it is 60 degrees outside today”. He lacks the ability to actually care about anything that doesn’t directly touch him or his. A true narcissist in all senses of the word.

    S from Lebanon, I welcome you and love the opportunity to speak with and hear comments from others in the world. I went to college with a group of students from Lebanon and you are right, they have families and parties and hopes and dreams just like anyone else. Granted life at home is often different than what we can imagine and I have heard stories from them that are not what children in this country have to experience, but we are all looking for the same thing. It is the few extremists that give others a bad name and setup stereotypes. Imagine if the world were to actually think that all Americans were like Bush and Palin, self absored, religious nutjob freaks. Wouldn’t that be a scary thought.


  310. This reminds me of something:

    Nero fiddling while Rome is burning.


  311. Helen, did you see this coming?
    The shoe song LOL.

    It is not funny though (anymore) because for now President Bush represents all of America and that shoe was thrown at us all.


  312. Oh and before you get upset over “my rental”…I was the one who rented, had had my house in Oregon City foreclosed on and was putting the (now) ex through school…so I was renting, now I am renting an apartment.


  313. UAW…
    you sound very angry and bitter and if you are attempting to make rational points you are failing and actually feeding the stereotype of people who live in rural areas which is sad. I have lived in rural areas, like the no-nonsense approach to things, didn’t usually agree on the politics but I knew that my neighbor who came over to mow the field of my rental would hold the check until Friday if I asked.

    But…”OOOOOH” calling out your 2nd Ammendment rights to “protect” yourself from the Civilian Security Force. Give me a F—ing break. He called for civil service, you know, like working in your community…and arm up all you want, guns have never scared me, I think they’re useful and sometimes pretty cool…now some gun owners are dumb as shit but then again, so are some non-gun owners.


  314. Your website is in my favorites and on my email site so I can look at it regularly (which I have been doing since someone sent me the URL before the election). I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your mix of humor and incisive common sense! Thank you both!! Keep typing!


  315. graydog
    glad to find out your not justifying the actual attack. If you go back to my first post I said that I didn’t like Bush’s response either…he should have gone out and kicked the F out of the guy. Not have someone do it for him.
    You made a lot of sense until you threw in New Orleans, what did they do different for the flood victims of Iowa and Illinois.nothing but the people of IO and IL did for themselves and didn’t set on their ass with their hand out waiting so if anyone should be ashamed about New Orleans it’s Mayor Nagle…I forgot”it’s bush’s fault” the media has been saying this for years and if it’s said often enough it must be true. It’s nice to know that Chris Dodd and Barney Frank had nothing to do with the mess were in…didn’t you see SNL


  316. Hi Helen and all,
    first I want to make a pledge here, not a pie, but my grandma’s apple cake (Apfelstreuselkuchen) with butter sugar crumbs: I will translate and post it before the holidays! Get some yummi German culture over to you girlz and guyz!

    And a word about Freedom, even if some will mark me a “dirty commy” for it:
    In 1918 Rosa Luxemburg said, just before they had her killed, that
    “Freedom is ALWAYS the Freedom of those that think different!”
    And this is no excuse to hold back on your definition of freedom, but rather an opportunity to try to respect different thoughts and ways to the live of other people, you do not need to agree with them, you may even be totally opposed to them (Like I am with anything Nazi and Neo-Nazi and Bush-ish, etc.) But before you speak against it, have the courtesy and respect to listen to their arguments and take a moment to think about them, try to look at things from different angles and THEN and only then, react according to what you think is right and what are your belives!

    One person once said: “The head is round so thoughts can change direction!” So, please, keep an open mind and use your brain to think, and if you have to fight, go ahead and do it, but only AFTER you thought long and good if it is worth it.

    And dream, please dream on of better times to come!
    Wer keinen Mut zum traeumen hat, hat keine Kraft zu kaempfen!!” (Who doesn’t dare to dream will have no power to fight)

    So, this was my rant, and promise, I won’t forget my pledge!



  317. UAW, we’re not justifying an attack on the President. Seems to me that lately we’ve HAD NO president, no leadership, and certainly no Captain at the Helm. What we are discussing is the RIGHT of the Iraqi journalist to call out Georgie who devastated that country with a cavalier attitude of “so what”? Furthermore, we are discussing the complete lack of consideration and cluelessness this jerk POTUS shows by not even comprehending the fact he was insulted – in the same manner that Iraqis showed their outrage when the statue of Saddam was toppled. Now you may not find it important nor embarrassing to have the so-called leader of a so-called world power be a total nincompoop when it comes to cultural understanding and international relations. . . but we do. And that, UAW, is what this discussion and the original post is all about – the sheer lack of humanity & empathy this administration has repeatedly displayed – not just to the country we invaded illegally, but to the folks of New Orleans, the folks caught up in the deregulation/subprime mortgage mess, the folks whose last names are not on the alumnus roll of Yale or whose scions are not members of Skull and Bones. If Bush gets hit in the head by a flying shoe, compared to the damage that man has inflicted on the world, too effin’ bad. IMO, a slap upside his head will only echo and echo and echo – because there is nothing up there to absorb the momentum of the blow.


  318. dddd and Whirled Peas: thanks for the Austin Powers comment! Yes!!! Hahaha…”who throws a shoe? Honestly?!” Tee-hee


  319. the republicans stick a knife in the front and the Dems stick the knife in your back.

    Lately, most Republicans have been sticking knives anywhere they can, and try to get this behavior excused by pointing to the few Dems caught (or rumored) doing the same.



  320. “Bunch of blowhards.” says the person brave and smart enough to not even bother coming up with a pseudonym.


  321. Bunch of blowhards.


  322. Nobody here is justifying anything. We’re talking about what the attack means, and what Bush’s reaction says about him.

    Joking about sending shoes to Washington is just that. A joke. Lighten up, please.


  323. “So it’s alright to throw shoes at a Republican but not a Democrat. ”

    Just curious, but how did you come to that conclusion? Please explain yourself, and show your work so we can critique it, because this makes no sense.


  324. You people are still trying to justify an attack on the president. Now I’m really worried. You aren’t applying for Obama’s Civilian Security Force are you? Your making me wonder if I should do like a lot of other people and exercise my 2nd amendment rights.


  325. UAW, you’re not paying attention. Conversation requires talking AND listening.

    Kinda wish I could send my mother-in-law’s shoes (spike heels) to DC along with my MIL herself. She can throw shoes around corners. (Or so says my hubs, the former target of her shoe-throwing.) I doubt the Chimp in Chief could’ve dodged THAT effort.

    Return postage on the MIL though. She bakes pies, and I want her back.


  326. A few years ago a friend was saying she thought Bush was an extremely shallow person. As she put it, there’s no there, there.


  327. UAW, please rest assured that if the Iraqi government doesn’t completely torture, debase, or murder the journalist for your “revenge” for a perceived insult, then Cheney’s buddies, Blackwater, will most likely be given the job. Failing that avenue, the journalist can always be sent to Gitmo where he can be conveniently waterboarded and made to confess that he was the mastermind of some sort of nefarious shoe-plot against the USA. Feel better now? Feel safer? More secure?


  328. Bawlmer Sue: “Greytdog? Just so you know – my reaction to the triple chocolate/raspberry/brownie recipe was *completely inappropriate* to the workplace!”

    huh? why? my co-workers love it. . .


  329. So it’s alright to throw shoes at a Republican but not a Democrat. How about the insult about us rural people? It’s nice to know that us flyover people don’t count.
    Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year


  330. Helen: Thanks as always for a wonderful post. I enjoy your comments and Margaret’s so very much.
    Someone questioned the security at the press conference – my understanding is all the attendees had been patted down and passed over by a security wand before entering. Guess we’re going to have to turn press conferences into airport waiting rooms and make everyone remove (and store?) his shoes as well!
    While I understand – and to an extent applaud – the idea of littering the White House lawn with shoes from now ’til inauguration, don’t you think – given his past performance – Bush will leave the House, ignore the lawn, and leave yet another mess for his successor to clean up?
    Oh, and Greytdog? Just so you know – my reaction to the triple chocolate/raspberry/brownie recipe was *completely inappropriate* to the workplace!
    Happy Holidays to all.


  331. Remember Austin Powers?

    ~ Δ ~


  332. p.s. my mom threw a shoe at me over thanksgiving break and nobody cared!
    I didn’t even care!
    It was funny!

    Anyone remember Austin Powers lol!!!


  333. UAW,

    If Obama made the same choices and took the same actions that Bush has made/taken, then I’d be willing to bet that we (M&H’s visitors) would probably support any like action taken against him.
    However, PEOTUS Obama has already shown that he is a thoughtful, educated, impathetic, sympathetic man, who, IMO, will be a leader who will restore our (American) image and reputation to what it was and should be again.



  334. UAW- The worst thing Obama ever did to Fox news was call them out and refuse to take interviews after that. If thats justification for the shoe to go in that direction then you have a lot of nerve.
    However GW Bush authorized a war that has killed many women, children, and others over the past how many years…

    Which is worse? a little name calling and refusal to take interviews or
    hiring your army to kill a bunch of people?


  335. Sharon:

    “intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants”

    As others have pointed out more eloquently than I can, how is a shoe supposed to cause “serious bodily harm”?

    Also, as Commander in Chief of the army, GW may qualify as a non-combatant (if pointing a gun at someone else through the medium of your soldiers isn’t counted), but I think that removes the “civilian” aspect.

    And throwing a shoe at the leader of a country can hardly be counted as an assassination attempt, if you were planning on trotting out any declarations or executive orders that prohibit political “targeted killing”…

    S. from Lebanon:

    Welcome to Helen and Margaret’s parlor, and thank you for seeing past the bigoted, hate- and fear-mongering Americans that seem to be such a vocal representation of our country, to see those of us appalled at the way America has fallen in the last 8 years.

    However, regarding the question of brain-washed soldiers:

    I believe that, while there were a lot of people who joined the army in response to the fear-mongering administration in the wake of 9/11 (and thus might qualify for the “brain-washed” appellation), by far the majority were already in one of the services (including the National Guard), and joined for a variety of reasons.

    One of the primary reasons is that for many people, getting an education in America is beyond their means. Joining one of the armed services during peace time to get help towards an education seems like the only option for some. To then get embroiled in an illegal war is distressing to at least the three people I know who were caught in this trap. Fortunately, all but one of them is home safely – the other is due to get out soon.

    I hope that we are able to get all of our armed services members home safely soon, and that the Iraqi people can start to recover from this hell that GW and his administration have brought to them; and that we as Americans have learned not to let jingo and emotion-manipulation over-rule our knowledge of what is right and wrong, ever again.



  336. Mandi-
    I believe that the shoe throwing at Bush was a terrible thing to happen. If a FOX reporter did that to Obama would most of the people posting here laugh and say the reporter got what he deserved. I believe they would.
    Would sending used condoms to DC be any different than sending shoes?
    I probably shouldn’t have put in the Barney Frank comment but at the time I thought it sounded good.
    Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to you also.


  337. Preach on. Never apologize for dealing out the truth to what you see or think. That’s why we come here. Personally, I don’t have a grandmother anymore. Never knew either of them very well. I think they would have sounded like you.

    I laughed at the shoe thing, just because it was so surreal. And the look on that smug mug was priceless.

    Don’t get me wrong: I am appalled and angered by what has happened to Iraqis in “my name”. I’m mad as hell, actually. So to blow of a little steam at the expense of the bozo who lied to us, well…it was a good thing, even if just for a moment.

    Keep on lettin’ it rip. Call ‘em like you see ‘em.


  338. Damn! You can rant like no other and I LOVE it. I just wish I had the time needed to read all these comments. There is some serious funny happening on this website! Happy holidays to you and Margaret.


  339. “and if a FOX reporter did that to ‘bama”

    He would have been arrested. Glad to see that didn’t happen in Iraq!
    Oh, wait! It DID!!! And he allegedly got the crap beaten out of him!!!

    Boy, you sure got me there!!!!

    Yeah, I don’t think the FAUX news guy would have been beaten, though. And considering that Bush hasn’t invaded America, bombed, and killed a large number of it’s populace, and destroyed it’s infrastructure (You know, maybe Bush DID do that!!!), you might consider being slightly more forgiving of someone who has had the crap blown out of his country by that smirking ingrate and wasn’t able vote in our election to send him back to Crawford!

    Just sayin’…


  340. UAW, Sir, I am finding if very difficult to respect you. I am trying. Really, I am. But, there is just something about your comments that makes me think that if I ever met you in the real world…I wouldn’t like you much. Happy Holidays anyway!
    It takes a village, I guess…


  341. becca,
    The last thing I intended to do was to offend anyone.

    “Not all American soldiers cimmitted such hateful heinous crimes, but some definitely did.”

    “Just like everywhere else in the world and in every war, not every soldier is a noble soldier who believes in a transcendent and holy cause.”

    I have nothing but repsct for the American culture and people.

    I do not believe that I made all-encomapssing generalizations, and if I came off like that I sure did not mean to. However, when people tell us we are coming to make your country a better place, it sounds completely arrogant to us. Democracy is a Western principle. Despite my being an avid advocate, and despite the fact that Lebanon is democratically goverened,and despite the fact that I am appalled by the current state of affairs in many countries including some Arab countries and MANY developed coutries, I still find it intolerable and culturally insensitive when Americans or the West claim that democracy is the only way to go and that is is the only destination to which our political goals should be directed AT THE PACE THAT THE USA, FRANCE, ENGLAND, OR WHATEVER WESTERN COUNTRY SEES FIT. If democtratization is to happen in the mideast or anywhere else, the only way to epitomize the process is for it to come from indiginous efforts not be imposed or hastened. Any other way would only undermine the result. As you must have noticed, Arabs struggle with a lot of mistryst towards Americans. It is saddening that when Saddam Hussein was killed, most Arabs did not celebrate. WHY? because we couldnt wait to do it ourselves. And for him to be killed on a Muslim holiday exemplifies the kind of messages the occupation was sending to us. IT WAS MORE INCAPACITATING THAN LIBERATING. it is disheartening how arabs continue to be so passive. I cannot but respect your husband’s time in Iraq, but do I still believe he was fooled, tricked, and trapped?yes.


  342. mirrorman
    and if a FOX reporter did that to ‘bama


  343. If the shoes can arrive by January 2nd, that would be fine (see posts above for the WH address). Anyone know the soon to be X-President’s new address??? Perhaps he can have a Shoe-Party with his new neighbors. . .

    Mandi – yes I feel sorry for Laura. But not because she’s married to Shrub. But because her mother in law is Babs Bush.


  344. I think that, on January 2nd, we should all pack up a pair of ratty old shoes and mail them to GWB at the White House !


  345. I can’t believe that BUSH. or any of his “advisors” thought he would be welcomed in Iraq – does anyone have a brain? What was his motive? How can he sleep at night? I hope Laura dumps his sorry ass in the first compactor they fly over as they head back to Texas.
    JANUARY 20th can’t get here soon enough for me!


  346. Thanks Judy!! I can’t tell you how sorry I feel that only the worst of Arabs and the worst of Americans are propagandized:( When tourists come here, they are surprised that we are educated (most Arabs are bilingual!), hospitable, fun-loving, VERY family-oriented and tightly knit, highly motivated, LOUD partygoers, and good dancers (LOL). Like the Americans, the Arab culture comprises many many subcultures including Arab Muslims, Christians, Jews, and many other religious sects indiginous to our region. We are not what you see on TV. We are a proud mix of the very liberal and the very conservative and everyone that comes in between- and I emphasize the majority is in the middle. Since the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, the last Muslim state before the entire Arab world was divided into 22 countries(1918), we have been struggling and resisteing foreign occupation. YES THAT LONG. our leaders are all bought. Our pride is trampled on unfortunately for almost a century now we have been allowing for this to happen. We suffer a great deal of poverty, but we are fighters!!!Now before you start imagining the long-bearded likes of Osmama bin Laden who have run our name to the ground, and every other Non-Arab muslim (the majority of Muslims are not Arab), by fighters Imean this:

    the constant political turmoil our African and Asian Arab nations have been through had to have altered our priorities. With the fragility and exigencies of life ruthlessly exposed, we have come to realize that only the things residing within us might weather the storms of life. Education, although largely under the mercy of our mental faculties, is one of them. That is why our countries suffer from brain drain. we get educated here, apply abroad, get big fat offers there and come back home for vacations.How do we preserve our sanity? being close to God (not me though lol…) and our families. Much to our dismay, Ben ladin tarnished our religion and we definitely bear the responsibility as we bear the freedom to condemn him and his disgusting followers. Even more saddening is becasue of the poverty and our constant pursuit of a better life, the family unit is also being destroyed because of the previously mentioned brain drain!

    Bush does not represent teh Americans
    Bin laden doesnt represent us!
    thank you fro welcoming me…I hope this mini ARABIA 101 course puts things into perspective:)


  347. Hmmm, a symbolic gesture of our disdain, dislike, and distrust of our soon-to-be ex-president, his policies, general trashing of our reputation, environment, economy, civil rights, etc., etc., versus some stupid little homophobic, childish joke about a respected member of Congress?

    You need to leave whatever planet you are living on and join the real world. The oxygen there seems to be a little thin…


  348. UAW – would you rather we FedEx the shoes to DC as a form of peaceful protest to the incompetency of the current administration, or to hurl them at the motorcade as Bush is whisked back to Texas? Frankly, I’d like to see both. But that’s just me.


  349. I feel sorry for Laura Bush. Can you EVEN imagine being her?? Bless her heart…


  350. No apology necessary. It is embarrassing that he doesn’t even know that he has been insulted. And you are right. Fabulous for him…not so much for the rest of us.




  351. Sorry to post the same comment twice. First time I hit “submit” I think there were many others posting at the same time and I didn’t think my comment was added.


  352. Mirrorman-
    Good one
    Isn’t sending shoes to DC juvenile?
    Send more
    can’t pour piss out of a boot…I like that…Can I use it sometime.


  353. S from Lebanon-

    Although I agree with all your posts up until the last one regarding the soldiers, I can’t help but to feel that you’re being unfairly biased against them. I haven’t agreed with this war from the begining, and I’m going to have the largest party on our block on Jan. 20th, to celebrate Obama being where he should be (the white house) But I also have a husband who spent a year over there. I can tell you that he has no ‘blood on his hands’, though if he did, I surely would love him no less.
    He joined to fight the war in AFGHANISTAN, which I think majority of us have overlooked in the recent years, and was instead sent to fight the war in Iraq. He doesn’t agree with being over there, but he did agree to serve his country- even if it was under the (misguided) belief that his country wouldn’t send him unless it was of absolute importance. Should he really be condemend so harshly for that?
    And the fact is, HE was one of the ones helping to rebuild said schools and hospitals and mosques. When insurgents blew up a school outside of his FOB, it was him and his men that ran over to save the children from the burning building and rush them to an Army treatment facility for medical care. When a family was shot (BY INSURGENTS) and they rushed his convoy for help, they did not turn their backs- their medics got out and helped as much as they could before they took them on to the hospital. When he transported the electric generator for an entire villiage from one end of Iraq to the other and encountered IED after IED along the way, and said it was the best feeling, and worth all of that danger, to be thanked by the villiagers once their power was restored…
    I know not all soldiers are over there for the right reasons. I’m not defending each and every one of them. What I am asking you to do is respect that some of us have loved ones who have risked their lives trying to make Iraq BETTER, not worse, and your idea that they’re all horrible and using nothing but the death and destruction as an example, is disheartening to me. These are the same men who’s job it will be for the next however many years, to fix what the Bush administration has so horribly broken. Yes, they signed up. But they’ve been misled just as much as the rest of the population.
    The fact is, when I had to search my soul, I decided before my husband left that if he came back and told me he had to shoot someone to defend himself, I knew I couldn’t look at him any differently or love him any less. Put in that same situation, I know what I’d do, and how could I ever judge him for doing what it took to make it back home to us? Horrible? Perhaps- but he didn’t make the choice to go over THERE, and I will not hold him accountable for the actions of his superiors.
    I understand that it might not make sense to support him so entirely and yet be so much against this war- it’s an interal struggle I’ve had for years and continue to have since this war is now going to be a part of our lives forever with it’s lingering effects.
    All I ask is that you consider it from a different perspective and not be so quick to be all-encompassing with your remarks.

    Helen- another spot-on post. Thank you so much for everything you write. I look forward to your posts and all the amazing responses you receive. :-D
    My personal favorite is Pecan- anyone have some?


  354. I want to add my “welcome” to S from Lebanon. I start my day each morning with a visit to Helen’s parlor. So often I read a post and think of a response, then read a little further and one of the more erudite regulars have already posted my thoughts, only stated much better than I could have. S, you will find that we, here, are a good representation of many Americans! Those who follow Bush and his cronies have been the silent majority for far too long. I apologize most humbly for the atrocious behavior of the current administration. Please know that Bush does not represent the values of all Americans.


  355. “UAW Tradesman” seems like an oxymoron.

    …oxycontin moron?


  356. MirrorMan: “Bush still can’t pour piss out of a boot with directions on the bottom. ”



  357. I want to add my “welcome” to S from Lebanon. I start my day each morning with a visit to Helen’s parlor. So often I read a post and think of a response, then read a little further and one of the more erudite regulars have already posted my thoughts, only stated much better than I could have. S, you will find that we, here, are a good representation of many Americans! Those who follow Bush and his cronies have been the silent majority for far too long. I apologize most humbly for the atrocious behavior of the current administration. Please know that Bush does not represent the values of all Americans.


  358. Dear Helen and Margaret,

    I swore off commenting until after the holidays – but – here I am again. Sort of like New Year’s Resolutions.

    Helen, I am very glad you got serious with most of this post. This is, indeed, serious business. I happen to be in a rather unique position to know quite a bit about Middle Eastern culture and traditions from personal experience. The U.S. went in there like a bull in a china shop. Little wonder it is such a tragic mess on all sides.

    Perhaps after the holidays, with your permission, I would like to comment on some of the things that Americans SHOULD know about the Middle Eastern people. Then we would NEVER, NEVER allow such blunders to be committed again.

    If you find that you have an adversary, learn all you can about him. Get to know him. You may find that he has some admirable qualities that could be cultivated into a mutually advantageous friendship. If not, and he REMAINS an antagonist, then you know better than to under or over-estimate his capabilities. And… if either you or your enemy throws down the gauntlet, neither should be surprised if and when it is picked up.

    Ben Ladin threw down a gauntlet. Then the Bush Administration, with equal arrogance and ignorance, threw down a different gauntlet. Neither achieved their objectives.

    However, I think we should take care NOT to employ the same tactics as Fox News et al. It was reported that an arsonist visited Sarah Palin’s church in Alaska. NO ONE condones that.

    I have been impressed with Obama ever since he delivered the keynote address at the Democratic Convention a few years ago. He is articulate, cautious and deliberate as well as being intelligent and well educated. Let’s focus on supporting him and his new administration’s efforts to get our country back on track.

    The parallels between our current situation and that of the French Revolution are astounding! A little homework in that regard is in order. Louis XVI was not essentially an evil man, nor was his wife, Marie Antoinette. They were both the result of privileged monarchial dynasties without a single qualification for their positions. They didn’t have a clue.

    When the Revolution came, the pent up rage of many of the people got out of hand followed by the ‘Reign of Terror’. You all remember the famous story of the woman, who sat knitting in the front row, day after day, gleefully cheering on as the guillotine lopped off the heads of the aristocracy and ecclesiastics one by one. Although, who knows what kinds of hideous traumas that woman had been through that caused her to be so vengeful.

    I like to think we have learned a few things since our own American Revolution and the French Revolutions. We have a working Constitution and the Rule of Law. Let’s just leave the Bush Administration and SOME but not ALL Republicans to answer to those and move on.

    I still think it is better to inspire than to incite.




  359. UAW, your comment about Barney Frank is still juvenile, your outrage over the assault on the “Office of The President” still rings hollow and false, and your demands of outrage over Nicolas Berg (whose beheading was a response to the outrages AMERICA was conducting at Abu Ghraib prison) have no bearing on any of these comments, discussions, or the fact that Bush still can’t pour piss out of a boot with directions on the bottom.

    Since intelligent and reasoned discourse seem to be beyond you, my advice would be to take the time you spend typing drivel into your computer and perhaps enroll in some course to enable you to think for yourself and utilize your brain for something other than a beer sponge.

    But that’s just me…


  360. I’m really conflicted on this whole episode.

    On the one hand, I thought it was funny as hell that Dubya got a shoe chucked at his head, and on some level, I still do.

    On the other hand, this isn’t a joke…the act represents one of the higher forms of insult that can be given in the Arab world, and that speaks volumes for how much our reputation has gone down worldwide.

    On the one hand, I feel that Bush got what he deserved…a direct challenge and insult without being assassinated or harmed.

    On the other hand, I don’t advocate for the attempted assault of any world leader, regardless of how much an idiot and jackass he/she is and no matter how non-lethal the instrument of assault.

    On the one hand, this was a “goodbye” insult and not an insult to America in general, so I applaud the journalist for that.

    On the other hand, he is supposed to be a professional, and there are rules of conduct in a press conference and he was out of line in that regard.

    I could go on and on.

    I don’t see this as a terrorist action, but I also hestitate to make this man a hero. I understand his anger and thus would hate to see him continued to be jailed, but there are also rules of order and he knew there would be consequences for his action.

    The farther out we get from the immediacy of the event, the more I don’t know how to really feel about it, no matter how much I dislike Bush and that tiny part of me that wants to cheer.


  361. Abros
    (using my whining tone)Just what the hell does your statement have to do with a physical attack on the president.
    NO I don’t agree with the pay disparity, I don’t agree with bonuses for failure. GM got in trouble when they stopped putting in “car people” as CEO”s and put in financial people. The worst mistake they did was get rid of Ross Perot. who payed for that—the worker did–no profit sharing that year—$750,000,000/325,000 workers= over $2300 a worker.BUT
    the republicans stick a knife in the front and the Dems stick the knife in your back.


  362. No apologies needed to me, ladies — I agree. The asshole needs to go far far away – him and his frightening little smirk.


  363. UAW – Gettlefinger is recalling your union card.
    As for the physical assault on Georgie, ain’t nothing compared to the assault on the reporter himself. Oh wait. That’s right. Folks like you don’t give a rats ass that this country has engaged in extraordinary rendition, false imprisonment of noncombatants, disregarded the Geneva Convention, instituted torture as part of the American military and foreign policy manuals, – after all, my country right or wrong. My country tis of thee, sweet land of hypocrisy.


  364. Dear UAW.

    The Republicans claim (most likely in a whining tone like yours) that “the Unions are getting too much money!”

    What abouth the CEOs earning millions of dollars, and getting huge bonuses to their paychecks, while YOU are risking losing your job altogether?

    Taste like equality and opportunity to you?

    Because it tastes to me like CEO supremacy, and that is a world that I would shudder to think that I even live in.

    Someone take his pie, please!


  365. Well said Greytdog!!!Thank you. Thank you….


  366. Sharon wrote:
    In the future, before you call someone stupid or ignorant, you might what to actually learn what the meaning of terrorist is.

    “Terror” comes from a Latin word meaning “to frighten.”

    Oh then that just proves this point, Sharon dear. The United States of America has had in place a terrorist organization – called the Bush administration. The terror first came to pass in response to 9/11 – and this administration used that heinous crime to commit covert crimes of terror against their own people (aka Patriot Act) and the world. This terrorist organization was given free rein when the terrorists were once again democratically elected into office because they had succeeded in frightening the populace to the point that the people accepted the trade of their civil rights for law, order, and security. The terror campaign was continued for whenever anyone spoke out against the abuses and wanton destruction of the Constitution, this administration claimed all their acts of terror under the guise of national security and patriotism. So Sharon, I guess the real question is – who’s the real terrorist in that room? The shoe-throwing journalist or the man who invaded his country while inflicting untold harm on this one?


  367. Helen and Margaret, you two are the best!!!! You make me LAUGH HARD!!!!


  368. Wow your Mom is going to be so mad when she finds out you are telling people she is 86! Might want to duck I see a shoe coming your way.


  369. Great Post, Helen!!!!


  370. Thanks for voicing what many of us feel. I hope we can all overcome the past eight years. America faces a daunting task in the next four years. It’s not on man’s job to turn this mess around. It’s a nation’s job. I’m sure we are all up to the task… especially alongside our good friends Helen and Margaret.

    As Mike Goad wisely commented here: “Hopefully, under the next administration we can regain some of the respect we’ve lost as a nation.”


  371. TROUTAY-
    where was your outrage when Nickolas Berg was beheaded. download the video. I didn’t post here about white supremists because I hadn’t been to this blog then.
    my mom’s 86-haven’t been grounded in a while
    speaking of crap-I was raised on a farm and I’ve shoveled alot of it and you, Margret, and Helen are sure full of it


  372. Tara,

    Phew I found the quote!!lol:

    Dr. Viktor E. Frankl:
    In the 1960’s, Frankl said, “Freedom is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. The positive aspect of freedom is responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.”


  373. I had the same reaction. He laughed off this man’s expression of anger and rage by saying, “it was a size 10″ and then later flipped the situation (or his handlers did) by saying, “because of us invading Iraq, he has the ability to throw a shoe at the President.” I was floored. Instead of recognizing the anger, pain and frustration of an Iraqi citizen, someone who we are now responsible for because we invaded their country and brought them democracy and therefore they have no stable government, he just laughed it off….I thought it was so boorish and lacking class. Anywho, love you gals, mean it.


  374. Tara,
    please read what I write carefully. American soldiers had their brains washed and souls sold BY THE DEVIL CALLED THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION thinking that Iraq, not Lebanon- an entirely different country- as you think, harbored terrorists from Al Qaeda and manufactured weapons of mass destruction. Now even Bush declared the falsity of these treacherous claims. With this in mind, don’t you think the Bush administration betrayed you and smeared the reputation of your army?

    Please spare me the “protecting your country” drama. This overglorified war has finally shown its teeth, and this war has done nothing to Iraq but run it to teh ground. Now if soldiers were cheated and lied to, no good will come from keeping our eyes shut and ears plugged. Here in the Middle East we repeatedly received news reports of atrocities like Abu Graib. Unfortunately, only the latter was widely publicized. Not all American soldiers cimmitted such hateful heinous crimes, but some definitely did.

    Also, could you please not forget the demolished homes, hospitals, hotels, broadcasting networks, universities and schools by those soldiers. Some might have gone for noble purposes, but sadly enough others did get recruited under conditions such as having their uiversity tuition fully paid when back home in the US, ESPECIALLY when scandalous accounts of the reality of the war in Iraq were given by soldiers who served in Iraq. Just like everywhere else in the world and in every war, not every soldier is a noble soldier who believes in a transcendent and holy cause.

    I have nothing but respect for the American culture and people, but I cannot forgive anyone who has blood on their hands. They might have been misinformed, but that does not abslove them from any reposnsibility. Just put yourself in the Iraqi people’s shoes, not the flying pairs…just ordinary grounded ones, would you forgive an Iraqi soldier who killed your son or brother because she/he thought she/he came to Free the US of nonexistent terrorists? I dont think so


  375. Now, Now….Pie for everyone or no pie at all!!!!
    Tis’ the season and all….Let’s just all take a break and wish MARGARET and HELEN the best of the season….what say you?


  376. hmmm a UAW Tradesman, at home on the computer, drinking beer by noon. No job UAW??

    Reminds me a bit of that guy that named his little boy Adolf Hitler.


  377. UAW I though your Mom grounded you from the computer. I thought she said something about getting out of you PJ’s and going out to play with your friends.

    I’m gonna tell!


  378. Hey Angie-
    I don’t take my meds until noon….”THIS BUD’S FOR YOU”


  379. UAW
    Where was your outrage when white supremists plotted to kill people, including Obama? I did not see any post by you on this blog condeming such action. I think plotting to kill someone is much worse than throwing a shoe at them.

    And! it should tell you what most of the world thinks of G.W. They don’t just “dislike” him, they actually hate him. In view of what they could have done, it was just shoes after all.


  380. Agree with you completely here. Have been embarrassed by this creep, Bush, since we “elected” him. I still cannot figure out how he was “elected” a second time given his complete incompetence, shallowness, callowness and “bring ‘em on” attitude toward any and everything.
    Well spoken; well written. Thanks for saying exactly what’s been on my mind and heart since this moron walked into the Oval Office.


  381. Bush was pretty quick too. But he has had lots of experience ducking issues. The shoes were just a minor duck.


  382. UAW…you might want to go back on those meds again…might level you out a bit. Don’t be hateful.



    Yes, it was. Damn, your quick!
    But somehow I don’t think you would be so defensive it had happened to Clinton or Obama. Oh wait, it wouldn’t becasue they pay attention to what is happening.

    Oh, and your jab at Barney Frank? Very nice…for those of a sandbox age. Why don’t you go play in one. If we are lucky, the cats will know crap when they see it and bury you.


  384. Oh,dear….UAW…you are going to pay for that one…Get the hose, Helen!!!!!!


  385. My doctor has said I have hit the limit on my meds, so I try to work out my stress in productive ways. I find that flexing my mental muscles actuall calms me down and lets me focus better. Blogs are better than Hydroclorothiazide!!!!


  386. Sharon—I’m with ya
    I took a few jabs also, but “IT WAS A PHYSICAL ASSAULT ON THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES” He’s lucky if all he got was a broken arm and busted ribs.
    “of the party trying to get rid of unions” what’s that got to do with this. Republican have always been trying to do that; the republican stick the knife in the front, democrats stick the knife in your back.
    So now were sending things to Washington;may I suggest we send used condoms to Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Chris Dodd for the F’ing they’ve been giving us. I left out Barney Frank because he’d enjoy them.


  387. Rant away darling! It is still a constitutional freedom :)


  388. http://www.sockandawe.com/

    hahaha ull love this :DSock and Awe!
    Source: http://www.sockandawe.com
    Throw the shoe at George Bush – see how many times you can hit him!


  389. Anonymous, in regards to you saying “Let me remind you that American soldiers had their bags packed, their souls sold, their minds brainwashed, and their bodies shipped to a country…”

    Please don’t be so insulting to our troops. I respect your opinion on the war and Bush. But please remember that our soldiers joined the military voluntarily.

    Please know that MANY soldiers are serving you because they want to protect their country. They may not agree with this war either, but most are good people who want to make the best out of the circumstances. Saying they’re brainwashed and have sold their souls is one of the most insulting things I’ve heard.

    I hope for all your sakes that things really do get better after Bush is out of office!


  390. I’m late to the pie party this morning. Hello all, and welcome, S from Lebanon!

    I’ll have some of artpredator’s chocolate-rum-pecan pie, please. (It’s never to early for rum, especially during the holidays.)

    But where’s the dang recipe, dear? I can’t find it.

    Sharon H., may I suggest you duck? One of my hubby’s size-13 stinky sneakers is headed your way.


  391. It sure was Troutay:) Thanks!

    (You throw shoes at Ms.H while I Fedex old shoes to Bush:P!!!)


  392. S from Lebanon I think you will find many people in American are ashamed and outraged by the last 8 years. Some just won’t speak out others are so mad that they can’t have a coherent thought.

    Sending a piece of pie your way!

    Mirrorman I was popping my blood pressure meds like tic tacs through this last election. Lately I have found crying is a good outlet! Drinking is becoming a obsessive thought so I must watch that one!

    Eating pie is the best!


  393. Ah! It was YOU S from Lebanon. Great post!


  394. Walk if off, MirrorMan…then come back and sit a spell….pie will be waiting for you. Some of these comments just aren’t good for one’s blood pressure…


  395. Amen Anon!

    (throws another shoe at Sharon)


  396. sorry for the double post folks! :p
    I was having pie when, in the midst of my geelful enjoyment, I mistakenly pressed the submit button



  397. This incident has made me look, yet again, at how my own negativity is not gracious or honorable. While I understand the sentiment of outrage this journalist was expressing, I do think there are acceptable and unacceptable ways to express views. I don’t know for sure, but, I’ve really been thinking about this lately.

    Assuredly, there may be situations where violence and vulgarity are the only options to express a conflicting view, but, they must be rare and after all other options have been exhausted. This man was probably at that point. And, in the end no harm was done…..except to him. Insulting someone and tossing a shoe should not be punishable by beating. I thought that was the administration’s after-the-fact rationale for invading Iraq: We got rid of a human rights violating, coercive, and corrupt despot, Saddam Hussein. Well I don’t think it’s going to do much good if people are still beaten for yelling and throwing things. In fact I think the whole incident really points out how little good our “war” did in Iraq, and, how MUCH evil. A fitting coda to the Bush war.

    Anyway, I still continue to evaluate how I react to things I don’t like. It impacts me badly when I get all upset, defensive, and then offensive (yes I do mean that in both senses). I guess I’ll just keep mulling this over until I completely stop flipping off other drivers. War is bad, people, out “there”, in “here” and inside myself. So, I keep looking at this issue for me and my feelings and acts.

    Happy Holidays, Thank you to all who post here, and pass the pie.


  398. Sharon, you wrote: ““Terror” comes from a Latin word meaning “to frighten.” In November 2004, a United Nations Security Council report described terrorism as any act “intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.”

    Let’s look at that statement a little closer, shall we?

    “Any act intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants”

    A shoe? A Freaking SHOE!?!? Death or serious bodily harm from a shoe?!?!? I guess Manolo Blahnics are now WMD’s, huh? Look out!!! She’s got Kitten Heels!!! Everybody dive for cover!!!
    Oh, No!!! Stilettos!!!

    Seriously, woman, are you on crack? Do you realize how ridiculous you sound? SHOES?!?!? Get a grip!!

    And let’s not forget the rest of the UN statement: “with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.”

    Now, in all the teeth-gnashing and hand-wringing you are doing over this “assault”, I am going to ask you to remember what that reporter said or did that amounted to “intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act”?
    What were his demands? Kiwi shoe polish for everyone? Free the tube socks? Demand for universal foot care? Wanted to see Dr. Scholl? Go ahead, use the internet, we have plenty of time. How were we intimidated? What was he trying to compel us to do? Leave the country we invaded? Stop killing his people? No, seriously, I want you to REALLY think about it, and leave your “how dare you not treat me with respect” line at the door! Because when you say really, incredibly STUPID things like this, I can’t respect you. You are not talking from a place of thought, of considered opinion!

    The man WAS NOT A TERRORIST!!!!

    He was a reporter who was sick to his soul of war he didn’t start, of death and destruction that wouldn’t stop, and of a smiling, stupid, ignorant lying sack of rotting brain matter who actually had the gall to say “There ought to be limits to freedom”! (Check it out! It was his response to criticism from the http://www.gwbush.com website before he was first elected!) And if you can’t muster up enough compassion or sympathy for this man and his people to step outside your “talking points comfort zone”, then your truly deserve no respect, no attention, and most of all, no PIE!!

    Now sit the F#%K down and shut the HELL up!!! It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt!!

    Now pardon me. I need some tea…


  399. Getting a little too mushy for someone like Bush don’t you think Ms.H?

    Al-Zaidi may have terriFIED anyone else, but he sure couldn’t have terrorized a soul with a shoe- much less find a way to move a neurologically imapired unfeeling brainless infrahuman like Bush. If shoe throwing nowadays qualifies as terrorism, then could you be gracious enough to endow Bush, His administration, and followers like yourself with a name befitting of the NOW DECLARED UNJUSTIFIED missiles, bombs, depleted uranium and the ensuing rise in cancer and congenital anomalies in Iraq, use of other illegal weapons as confirmed by your dearest United Nations, and mass graves?

    you said and I quote:

    “Because when Bush is no longer President, living on his ranch in Dallas, these bozo terrorists will still be killing American soldiers, bolstered by hate and the mindset that they want all of us eradicated from the earth. NOT a laughing matter.”

    Let me remind you that American soldiers had their bags packed, their souls sold, their minds brainwashed, and their bodies shipped to a country TO FIGHT AND ERADICATE GHOSTS ON NO GROUNDS AND TAKING A MILLION SOULS WITH THEM. You cannot send an entire army to a country, make it your enemy for no reason, and expect no resistance. Resistance is an international right also supported by and granted by the UN. Now if you want to call resistance terrorism, then you might as well not respond because obviously- TO YOU- people are supposed to be complaisant little cowards. But with your snarkiness and compassion for antisocial psychos like Bush, I do expect a response. MUCH more importantly, I know for a fact- with the American people priding themsleves for their outspokenness, courage, and democracy-that if an enemy were to ravage your country killing your loved ones for oil you would grab the first rifle and make sure no foreign soldier would be spared to tell the fate of her/his warrior friends left behind. Remember, Ms.H, that thousands of American soldiers were killed because they were on Iraqi oil- oops I mean soil.

    Finally, I do not remember anyone calling you ignorant and stupid. I personally described and restricted my descrpition to your baseless assumption as unfair, uninformed, prejudiced and backward. Perhaps much like bush who ducked looking like he’s had so many things thrown his way before, you responded to depictions of yourself like you have grown accustomed.


  400. Getting a little too mushy for someone like Bush don’t you think Ms.H?

    Al-Zaidi may have terriFIED anyone else, but he sure couldn’t have terrorized a soul with a shoe- much less find a way to move a neurologically imapired unfeeling infrahuman like Bush. If shoe throwing nowadays qualifies for terrorism, then could you be gracious enough to endow Bush, His administration, and followers like yourself with a name befitting of the NOW DECLARED UNJUSTIFIED missiles, bombs, depleted uranium and the ensuing rise in cancer and congenital anomalies in Iraq, use of other illegal weapons as confirmed by your dearest United Nations, and mass graves?

    you said and I quote:

    “Because when Bush is no longer President, living on his ranch in Dallas, these bozo terrorists will still be killing American soldiers, bolstered by hate and the mindset that they want all of us eradicated from the earth. NOT a laughing matter.”

    Let me remind you that American soldiers had their bags packed, their souls sold, their minds brainwashed, and their bodies shipped to a country TO FIGHT AND ERADICATE GHOSTS ON NO GROUNDS AND TAKING A MILLION SOULS WITH THEM. You cannot send an entire army to a country, make it your enemy for no reason, and expect no resistance. Resistance is an international right also supported by and granted by the UN. Now if you want to call resistance terrorism, then you might as well not respond because obviously- TO YOU- people are supposed to be complaisant little cowards. But with your snarkiness and compassion for antisocial psychos like Bush, I do expect a response. MUCH more importantly, I know for a fact- with the American people priding themsleves for their outspokenness, courage, and democracy-that if an enemy were to ravage your country killing your loved ones for oil you would grab the first rifle and make sure no foreign soldier would be spared to tell the fate of her/his warrior friends.

    Finally, I do not remember anyone calling you ignorant and stupid. I personally described and restricted my descrpition SOLELY to your baseless assumption as unfair, uninformed, prejudiced and backward. Perhaps much like bush who ducked looking like he’s had so many things thrown his way before, you again hastily responded to depictions of yourself like you have grown accustomed.


  401. Sharon-
    If you buy the idea that a shoe could inflict serious bodily harm you are reaching for a star in a sky that doesn’t exist. Comparing a shoe with a grenade … phhht.
    The statement of outrage and pain -contained in the INSULT of throwing THIS shoe – is a hymn to truth and getting to a plane where we can be honest about the human toll this last 8 years has exacted on the whole world…


  402. Proud said
    “No one stands up anymore. We are afraid of losing our jobs or becoming an outcast, ridiculed and ostracized and punished for doing what we know is right.”
    And S- ( a new voice here)-said
    “He is a reporter known for his focus on children’s and widows’ suffering, and the plight of families who have lost loved ones in a war-as GW now admits- completely uncalled for as no weapons of mass destruction or Al Qaeda cells or strings found.”
    I have to hurry this AM- the bear-part of me slept in…
    It is a human failing to turn our heads and purposefully not listen to the better parts of our hearts . Americans are not immune from human stupidity.
    That being said – the voices of questioning and outrage were effectively shouted out in our country by a long laid effective campaign by the neo-con idealogues .
    This outgoing President of ours and his handlers and their “truthiness” campaign , again, put me in mind of the terrible disconnect in South Africa shortly before apartheid was abolished… We could watch schoolchildren being gunned down HERE but censorship THERE hid that from South Africans. Those folks in South Africa who did know were easy to discredit…
    The voices of reporters such as Muntathar al Zaidi have not been heard here. Far too many of our neighbors , here at home, have been able to de-humanize Iraqi suffering as some kind of penance someone else had to pay for their own fears.
    To stand up for Mr Bush, as some here, have on the mere reverence for the office of President or thankful sigh that all the bleeding was done elsewhere and therefore out of their sight is the worst of what humans can be.
    As we move to correct the reality of what the Office of President of the USA has been for the last 8 years to the ideal we expect of that office let us do as Elsie suggests and make a list to remind us to “never forget” what a mess we can make!
    ( I am including myself in this we- though it’s gonna take a LOONNNG time to get over the fact that all the letters I wrote to legislators and the outgoing prez were not even acknowledged by the usual cursory pat on the head, “we know more about this than you do , dear” BS thingy- they were NOTacknowleged at all! )


  403. Another thought…

    I’m not so sure that the reaction Bush had was so dreadful, all things considered.

    If he had not been so oblivious to the “real” meaning of the shoes, there might have been a HUGE deal made of it at the time, rather than the apparent “let’s go on” attitude we seemed to see. That’s probably not a bad thing. I mean, who needs more escalation in Iraq, especially now, so close to the change in administration?!

    What it seemed to be (to me) was an incident which (probably) embarrassed the host – and probably the Secret Service – and confused the intended target. By his shrugging it off, they were able to go on without any more fuss.

    Just sayin,’ is all. (When you pounce, please be gentle… my back ain’t what it should be)



  404. Thank you for printing the complete text of those remarks. I had seen nowhere else the part about the widows and orphans of Iraq, a piece of contaxt that turns this from a “ha-ha” moment into something deadly serious.


  405. I was thinking Lemon Meringue, but Raspberry it is!


  406. Hope its not blueberry. I like Raspberry the best.


  407. “That Moron should be tried for War Crimes. Why is it that American leaders never get tried for it, even if they have committed the most heinous deeds wrapped in such words as freedom, peace, democracy? Such hypocrite”

    Because the United States refuses to be involved…



  408. Thank you troutay for saying what I was thinking about Sharon’s post!

    Handing you a piece of pie and a fresh cup of coffee!


  409. Gattina said:
    Nobody outside the USA can understand why this “village idiot” was elected TWICE !

    Shoot hon, there are a lot of people IN the USA who can’t understand it either!

    holding fast to the thought that “this too, shall pass.” I’m really looking forward to Jan 20!



  410. I, too, have been ranting more and more. The end can’t come soon enough. His smirk drives me mad!


  411. Sometimes I feel a rant coming on, too.

    I’ve always hoped to be an old lady such as yourself – full of piss and vinegar and love.

    Thanks for starting my day off with a smile.



  412. Uhhh…why are folks calling this guy a terrorist. He threw SHOES people! No gun, no bomb. SHOES. It was a statement of free speech.

    Forgive my liberalism, but I consider terrorists to be people who intend to kill, mame or destroy. A guy making a point, with something nearly as harmless as words…not a terrorist in my book.

    With gross misconceptions of the the term “terrorism”… no wonder we’re killing innocent people in the name of “Homeland Security”.


  413. CAT FIGHT!!!! Aunt Helen, get the hose!!!!


  414. Nobody outside the USA can understand why this “village idiot” was elected TWICE !


  415. Sharon:

    If I understand what you say, then you are also calling Bush a terrorist. Most of us here feel that way to a certain extent. Bush started the war in Iraq and caused death or serious bodily harm to coms and non coms with the purpose of intimidating a population (remember “Shock and Awe”?), and compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.

    In fact, this also sounds alot like bullying, no?

    Well, I believe Bush is a bully, and his adminstrative crew are just a gang of hoodlums.
    And yes, I believe that Bush has been a terrorist in his methods towards Iraq. He invaded, sent in an army and terrorized the people there.

    And I think all your posts have been insulting. Why do you get to spout off these things but when we spout, we are wrong? Why don’t you be respectful? Practice what you preach!

    (Throws shoe at Sharon)


  416. Great Comment, Sarah…have some pie.


  417. Hey Helen and Margaret, just stumbled on your blog. Great stuff! I was not amused by the shoe throwing incident. I got the insult. As Bush hobbles off into the Texas sunset, the village idiot legacy will remain in our minds. We need to insure that his legacy is what it is. I think blogs like this will make that possible. Keep it up!!!


  418. I love your blog! May a wise publisher somewhere compile your lovely rants into a book, I’d buy it for my non-internet-using spouse in a flash.

    My only concern about Bush leaving office is what they’ll do with all those countdown clocks once they reach 0. He is a true disaster. Happily Obama looks likely to restore America’s place in the world. I, as a Canadian (aka Soviet Canuckistan, according to Buchanen!), couldn’t be happier. Where else in the world could a disadvantage minority member be voted into the highest office? France? I think not.

    Thanks for the great posts!


  419. Thank you for making my day (again!)


  420. I only wish the guy had better aim! I couldn’t stop laughing. Bush is such a moron!


  421. Gee, Sharon, a bit snarky for so early in the morning….Have some more Pie…you might feel better…really…we mean it.


  422. In the future, before you call someone stupid or ignorant, you might what to actually learn what the meaning of terrorist is.

    “Terror” comes from a Latin word meaning “to frighten.” In November 2004, a United Nations Security Council report described terrorism as any act “intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.”

    Whether he threw a shoe or a hand grenade, whether he’s Iraqui or not, his act was one of hatred, meant to inflict bodily harm. That makes him a terrorist, and that’s not just MY opinion, but the opinion of the United Nations Security Council based on their definition.

    You don’t have to agree with me, or the United Nations, but in my opinion it is NOT “ignorant” to call this man a terrorist.

    What I think is ignorant is insulting someone whose opinion you don’t agree with. Think about that before YOU throw stones – or shoes – at someone. Maybe if people could disagree with each other a bit more respectfully, the world wouldn’t be in the shape it’s in today.


  423. I think Bush got his ducking moves from hunting with Cheney


  424. Yet he prances around on his farewell legacy tour at our expense. The ultimate irony.

    Great job Helen.



  425. Helen another concise and to the point blog. I watched the shoe throwing over and over, as it was on every news channel and really it was unavoidable.

    At first I thought good for him! He just did what millions of us had wished we had the courage to do. Then it did sink in how he had just put his life in danger by that one act. Face it in this day and age you can be put in a detention center faster than it takes to snap your fingers and with little provocation. We owe this thanks to the administration that looks at all people as a means of getting what they want. There is no humanity there. We all keep searching for it and they keep giving us the middle finger, when will we learn?

    DCH in Texas I saw the interview last night with Jonathan Turley on KO and by the time it was over I wanted to weep. What these men have done in my name and in the name of all Americans is beyond criminal and definately approaches evil.

    I personally in the last few years have been asking what does it take for people to stand up and say enough! I won’t let this happen this is criminal and should be viewed as a crime. I am not just talking or typing about our current President and his thugs, but about things we see and hear and know about in our jobs and daily life. No one stands up anymore. We are afraid of losing our jobs or becoming an outcast, ridiculed and ostracized and punished for doing what we know is right.

    Prof. Turley really made me think by pointing out that we as a nation have brought many people to be tried as war criminals in World War II and other wars or conflicts and had them convicted just on the water boarding torture technique alone. Now we are in the hot seat we have watched as our President and Vice President but their stamp of approval on these same techniques.

    Why aren’t we as a group voice demanding they be tried for these very crimes. I hear so many say well he is our President and we should respect the office blah blah blah. Why should we when they have shown no respect to the people they represent. All the people they represent! We have let this Marquis De Sade administration loose and now we don’t have the guts to not only reign them in and make them pay for obvious crimes, we seem to be willing to let it slide. Lets just move forward and all is forgotten?

    Sorry it won’t be forgotten by the people and their loved ones who have died in this vanity war. It will not be forgotten by me because I feel the stain on my soul weighing heavily as we try to move forward.

    Then there are the people who say it will cost so much money to try them as criminals. Well in for a penny in for a pound. We have an all time high deficit as it is. To me it seems this is money we should gladly add to the bill to get our honor and reputation for a fair and just democracy back.

    Are politicians above the law? Should we just ignore it and it will go away? Should we endure short term shame and discomfort to see that justice is done? It does seem to me that we have a strange set of values in this country we tried to have the last President impeached because he lied about getting his rocks off in the Oval office and yet we are willing to let Cheney and Bush slide by while thumbing their noses at all of us. Mr. Cheney in an interview yesterday basically came out and said he knew it was torture and approved the practice. This is confessing to a crime in my book.

    If we do nothing we have signed the death warrant for many. Our soldiers will never be safe in any conflict and really we will never be safe as Americans at home or abroad.

    Just my humble opinion.


  426. You are a goddess, where have you been all our lives!


  427. geomarz said:

    You forgot an other state destroyed by an unfair war: Yugoslavia. And its deads and orphans.
    And this is not a joke.
    Thank you.

    Yugoslavia was not a war started by the United States by invasion.

    First, after the fall of the communist government, various sections of it separated and there was fighting between the ones who stayed and the ones who left, with atrocities on both sides. This is 1989.

    Croatia, Bosnia-Herz., and Slovenia voted to leave. Serbia did not agree with that.

    According to the NPR reports I heard, Milosevic started trying to cleanse Kosovo of ethnic Albanians. This was 1999. TEN YEARS after the whole fall of the Communist government in the former Yugoslavia.

    The US did not go in there alone. Unlike in Iraq where a majority of forces are from the US.


  428. That Moron should be tried for War Crimes. Why is it that American leaders never get tried for it, even if they have committed the most heinous deeds wrapped in such words as freedom, peace, democracy? Such hypocrite.


  429. Maybe, Greytdog, we readers of Helen’s blog need to stand together against revisionist history about Bush’s presidencies, much like the Holocaust community that refuses to allow knowledge of the atrocities against the Jewish people and other victims to be minimized.


  430. Yes, Virginia, there is a Helen…


  431. Ann, as the years move on, our memories of Bush will be veiled in the gauze of yesterday – much like our memories of Nixon. Some clarifying pinpricks will of course always be there – but eventually he will be accorded whatever respect he has earned. And that’s the rub – Americans have short-term memory only – if in some future moment, Bush does something remarkably compassionate or acts with integrity, then we will focus on that. . . wait. Nah, ain’t gonna happen. The man has no moral compass. Sorry – need more coffee. I think I waxed on without waxing off.


  432. Thanks! I couldn’t agree with you more!


  433. Helen – Rant on! It was so disrepectful that he went over there to rub the Iraqi people’s face in it one last time. Then he had the nerve to joke about the shoe missle. He truly does not have a clue, does he?


  434. hahaha! Fii!!!

    Great post Greydog! You said it much better than I did.

    S from Lebanon. Immorality is the perfect word.
    And they practice it behind the mask of their religious beliefs. Religion, in its pure essence, is wonderful.
    Religion used to commit atrocities is wrong.

    hi ho its off to work I go.


  435. Grab a fork, S….sit a spell…enjoy the pie! :-)


  436. Well said, Helen.

    The only thing better than a shoe in the face would have been a boot up the a$$.


  437. Indeed you are. I was so delighted with the majority of the responses that I showed many of them to my family!!!

    It is a great relief that not all Americans make Sharon’s hasty assumptions. It a much greater relief that many Americans are not beguiled by Bush’s lies and are outraged at the immorality of the Bush administration.


  438. S. from Lebanon: Allow me to echo Troutay’s greetings. We are honored by your post. And that is one of the most remarkable outcomes of this blog – the realization that “community” encompasses the entire world. We are not, as some trolls would believe, bound together because we hate Bush or Cheney or our country, but because we love this country and the principles on which it stands. We come together to discuss the issues close to our hearts and minds and lives and find ways to show the world that America has not allowed our democratic values to be gutted and squandered for one administration’s vainglorious moment. Margaret and Helen have graciously opened their front porch to our presence, and given us safe haven and refuge where we can restore our spirits, take a bite of pie, relearn the lessons of democracy, community, and family, and strengthen our values and head back into the fray. And we are listening. We are watching. And we will no longer be silent – while we may never be able to convict GW and Darth Cheney for the war crimes they committed, we can be damn sure to not let that happen again.


  439. S. from Lebanon. thank you for having courage to post here. As you can see, most of us here are as outraged and broken hearted as you are.

    We are listening S. And we are not all Bush.


  440. Bush seems oblivious of the suffering that his illegal war has caused: no wonder this journalist took his opportunity to express his contempt.
    I hope that when Bush leaves the presidency and down through the years that he is shown the contempt he deserves by ordinary peole as he goes about his life.
    It will be disappointing if people toady to him or allow him tore-write history.


  441. How come no one knows the real numbers? in early 2007, the United Nations declared that the death toll in Iraq solely from teh war is OVER 600,000. That’s two years ago. Thsi year’s UN reports- not US or Iraqi- confirm that tehnumber is definitely nearing a million.

    To sharon and her likes:
    it is very unfair, uninformed, prejudiced, and backward of you to automatically assume that any Iraqi is a terrorist. He is a reporter known for his focus on children’s and widows’ suffering, and the plight of families who have lost loved ones in a war-as GW now admits- completely uncalled for as no weapons of mass destruction or Al Qaeda cells or strings found.


  442. Hello Helen, Margaret, and fellow bloggers. LOVED the rant. Love the comments (all Bushies excluded).

    Have to ask, do any of you watch Keith Olbermann’s Countdown on MSNBC? If not, please — catch an episode or two or more (7 p.m. Central). Then catch Rachel Maddow’s show on right after. On tonight’s Countdown (12/16/08), KO spoke with Professor Jonathan Turley (constitutional law professor at George Washington University) about Cheney’s defense of waterboarding and other forms of coercion used on detainees. The Professor more or less urges the citizens of this country to stand up and demand that those of this administration be prosecuted for war crimes. “It is equally immoral to stand silent …” http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#28269477. I am, here and now, asking, begging, pleading, urging those who come to this blog, those who believe, as I do, that war crimes have been committed by this administration — write your senators and representatives, call their respective offices, and demand, yes d-e-m-a-n-d, that a complete and thorough investigation of this current administration be held and that all found to have committed war crimes in any form be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We must not stand silent.


  443. True. It is deeply saddening. However, I find it enraging when people say things like ‘Have some respect’, and ‘Such forms of expression are primitive and savage’. Bush had a shoe thrown at him after dismissively and nonchalantly declaring- not that eveyone did not know- the absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Al Qaeda terrorists. When rockets, bombs, and baseless savagery are met with only shoes, it is no longer a slight indication of how civilized the Iraqi people have managed-with great difficulty- to remain. Mutathar’s statement is sadly an understatement. His soul is broken. His heart is broken. And now, his arm, hand, and ribs are broken too. On the other hand, a bullet would not have done GW or the world any justice. I have always been an atheist and never believed in good or bad. But antisocial GW never failed in making me want to believe in a God that will give him what he deserves. Definitely not a quick death.


  444. Liz in Canada, believe me, half of us, and likely more, did NOT vote for Bush, either time. I am still stunned that he was elected twice.

    January 20, 2009 can not get here fast enough.


  445. To the UAW guy,

    Can’t really understand why you’re defending someone whose party is blaming the current financial crisis on the exorbitant salaries paid to union employees….

    Given half a chance a large number of Republicans would be glad to get rid of unions, minimum wage, social security, and medicare.


  446. I think W. got the meaning of the shoe incident. He’s just hoping no one else did.


  447. mms20,

    “I think that it’s rather sad. I know that Bush wasn’t the greatest president (not even close) but I do feel kind of bad for him.”

    When you’re tempted to get all misty-eyed over Dubya having to leave with little public support, just remember: he is responsible for KILLING over 10,000 CHILDREN.

    Why do we get so self-righteous about making sure we punish someone who kills one person, and let someone the people who killed thousands off the hook?


  448. yeah, so i’m not laughing anymore. in fact, i feel a bit teary. that iraqi man is deep trouble and it’s a shame. i hadn’t heard what he said during and after baring his “sole”. tragic really.

    on a happier note, i hope it’s okay that i responded to an obama inauguration email saying that i would like them to invite you and margaret to the festivities. you could take some pie!



  449. i was just stunned by george’s reaction to the shoe-throwing incident, basically saying that he didn’t care. he obviously had no grasp whatsoever of the meaning behind what was done. and i have to say this: that iraqi guy has a helluva right arm. somebody needs to sign him up.


  450. Helen –
    Appreciated your frankness and humor – a well written point of view.

    Consider the other alternatives the world’s most famous shoe tosser passed on!



  451. Marilyn-
    You are welcome to your own opinion, and you can like him somewhere else-

    I watched Bush’s interview on CNN today with Candy (last name escapes me; she is a long time Bush observer); he called the shoe incident one of the weirdest things that happened during his presidency. That’s it- no insights into hatred in Iraq, nothing. She asked if he had any regrets over anything that happened during his presidency: he responded that he tried hard.

    He is a lightwieght…


  452. thank you helen for your clarity.
    remember when the statue of hussein came down there was news coverage of an iraqi man beating on the statue with a shoe. at that time the significance was explained to viewers. you are right, it is sobering to know that our ‘leadership’ is held in the same contempt.

    unfortunately, most of the mainstream media is cutting the words the journalist said from their coverage. the bush-cheney machine and those who support the war mongers in the current administration need to hear those words again and again until it sinks in.

    i think old smelly sneak(i)ers to the white house is a befitting fairwell tribute to the current administration.


  453. Dumbo you just don’t get it and never will…… he wasn’t trying to insult you, what he was trying to tell you is —you were insulting him.

    My sister wrote me that she finally feels vindicated. For the past 8 years, she felt that she had to turn the tv off every time W came on. I swear she said she wanted to throw a shoe at the tv every time he came on and didn’t want to break her tv so she turned it off.


  454. well written as always…

    and I agree, at first it seems funny but it is really sad that our president has inflicted this muc pain on the world

    even pecan pie with chocolate chips can’t ease the pain–although i put rum in mine! (the recipe is on my blog)

    have you seen the “throw your shoes at the president game”? playing it definately made me feel better! the link is on my blog also (click on my name or image to get there)


  455. The throwing of the shoes said it all, really it did……our president killed hundreds of thousands of people, including our own, for no reason. Dubya’s reaction was just unbelievable and clueless…35 days to go before we can start cleaning up his mess!


  456. “The next time a village loses its idiot, please don’t elect him or her President. ”

    Best quote!

    Agreeing with Rachel….that really IS the best quote!


  457. I have always wondered if Bush would have been so damn cavalier with our troops’ lives if his OWN TWO DAUGHTERS, and maybe a few more Bush family members, were serving in Iraq, driving down roads with all those IEDs waiting to be discovered.

    What would it have taken for him to stop and think and make different, better choices?


  458. “The next time a village loses its idiot, please don’t elect him or her President. ”

    Best quote!


  459. CPT INF:
    Q: How can you tell when V.P. Cheney is talking?
    A: President Bush makes a speech.

    That made me think of something else:

    Q: How can you tell when Bush is lying?
    A: Bush is lying whenever his lips are moving.


  460. I read that the Puppet Master, aka Cheney, does not regret the invasion of Iraq, feels that Gitmo should remain open, and still stands behind waterboarding.
    For someone who received five draft deferments, he should have a few items thrown in his direction as well.


  461. Leslie – GREAT response. my only regret – I didn’t write it. Outstanding! Here. . . .have another piece of pie – you go, girl!!!!


  462. CPT INF:
    Q: How can you tell when V.P. Cheney is talking?

    A: President Bush makes a speech.


    Marilyn dear, please sit down. Put your napkin back in your lap, and just keep your mouth filled with pie. Now then, will we miss GW? No. Do you miss VD? Do you miss crabs? of course no dear. So why would you think we’d miss GW? Did you not take your medicine today? Perhaps you need one of those nice little boxes with the days listed so you’ll remember to take your medication. Because Marilyn, no matter how many drugs you take, there’s not enough LSD in the world to make any of us miss GW – ever.


  463. <>

    He is free to express his frustration and anger over what is going on in his country. I am pretty sure the man was arrested for assalting the President of the United States.


  464. There is no mistake, Marilyn, Bush Jr. is and will always be the worst President of these United States.

    If Barack Obama is the person that I think he is, I’ll pobably think that Bush Jr., the @$$w1pE that he is, is STILL the worst President of the United States.

    That is, until someone else becomes President and ends up screwing this country over worse than Bush Jr.

    I can’t tell anybody about anyone but Clinton and Bush Jr., so don’t ask me about Bush Sr. Besides, I’m too young.


  465. I can only wait with baited breath on your rant over V.P. Cheney saying that he would have taken us to war regardless of the intel about WMD.

    Wait, I thought he did anyway.

    Isn’t it grand, we have a V.P. with delusions of being President.

    Q: How can you tell when V.P. Cheney is talking?

    A: President Bush makes a speech.


  466. Helen thanks for speaking your mind and giving the opinion that most of us are thinking and do not say out loud. George W. is a fool and the USA will be a better place when he leaves office taking Cheney with him. I have heard of US citizens traveling aboard who if possible keep the nationality to themselves unless they have to reveal it as we are so looked down on by the world – who would have every thought we would be ashamed to be americans.


  467. liz,

    watch the video here for a different perspective of the


    Sounds like they didn’t wait long to start the beatings on what amounts to a protester. After all, Shrub is a traveling Free Speech Zone!

    ~ Δ ~


  468. We’re almost at the end! I’m starting to think we actually might make it.


  469. Watch the video here for a different
    perspective of the ‘ShoeToss’

    Sounds like they didn’t wait long to start the beatings on what amounts to a protester. After all, Shrub is a traveling Free Speech Zone!

    ~ Δ ~


  470. Throwing my shoe at Marilyn….do duck, dear.


  471. I wish I knew for sure, which of the codes in photobucket works here, if any.

    I’d definitely put in the one for APPLAUSE!

    Excellent post, as always!


  472. no more pie for Marilyn…somebody take her fork!


  473. Helen, as usual you have an amazing grasp of reality and you express it so well. Bush lost me when he described our Consititution as “as god-&(%$ piece of paper.” He’s a pimple on the world’s ass and he can’t leave fast enough for my taste. And Marilyn, history will not be kind to him no matter how much revisionist history-changing tours he takes. He’s a sorry excuse for humanity.


  474. That Iraqi journalist apparently had some ribs and one of his arms broken while in custody. Why they’re charging him/keeping him in custody is beyond me. They should hold a parade in his honour.

    As for W., well, I still can’t believe our neighbours to the south elected that idiot twice.


  475. Marilyn: Go away. I would leave off the sixty and just leave the issssssshhhhhh.


  476. GO Greytdog Δ !

    The trolls come out at night. . . (they need BRRRRAAAAIIINNNSSS, cuz they don’t have any)

    “A few years from now you will think George wasn’t so bad after all.”

    Huh? Have you been living under a rock for the last 8 years (particularly the past 5)?

    “Think positive cause what is ahead you are going to need it.”

    First, what is ahead? Change? Life is change, chick. And that’s a comforting thought.

    I do think positive; maybe you should try it?

    Hugs and Cheers,

    Δ Skyewriter


  477. I happen to like George, Dixie Chicks not so much. I few years from now you will think George wasn’t so bad after all. Think positive cause what is ahead you are going to need it.

    From one sixtyissshhh person to another.l


  478. Well said Helen, and thank you for saying it.

    I wish a had a dime for every time (usually somewhere in the midst of one of my rants about his idiocy) that I’ve been reminded by both Republicans and Democrats from other parts of the US, that George W. is my former Governor.

    I typically cover it over by stating that as a state, we wholeheartedly supported his Presidency just to get him the hell out of Texas and back East where his family came from anyway.

    Thank God the non-Texans aren’t aware of the equally idiotic ex-cheerleader Governor Good Hair Perry that W left us with (no offense to the lovily, chap wearing UT ladies or BEVO for that matter).


  479. To UAW Tradesman: The Bush administration has been a physical, psychological, and political attack on the United States of America. Don’t believe me? Guess who isn’t getting a bail out? Gee could it be the UAW? Why should AIG get a bailout and not you guys? Could it be because the GOP wants to bust the unions? Could it be because the UAW members support, in part, the Democrats? Physical attack my ass – IMO bush should be pummeled, flogged, and tarred and feathered – and that’s just in this country. He’s disrespected us, he’s disrespected this country, and he’s brought shame and disgrace by eviscerating the Constitution of the United States – because he thinks he’s above the Law of this Land. And he thinks because Mommy told him so, he can go into another country, wantonly destroy it, and as long as he claims God on his side and couches the language with words like patriotism, freedom, liberty, democracy, then we like sheep will allow him. And to hell with what anyone else has to say – why? Because he’s an American. Well guess what? That journalist has seen more death and destruction visited on his people than you ever had – he has earned through blood sweat and loss the right to pitch shoes at Bush. And trying to tie that journalist’s act of outrage to Nick Berg’s murder is simply nothing more than Cheney BS to shroud your prejudice in patriotic colors. You should be ashamed.


  480. I wonder what would have happen to that journalist had he thrown a shoe at Sadaam.

    I dont. Saddam would have had him imprisoned and executed. On the other hand, $1 trillion+, 100,000 killed or seriously injured, 2 million dislocated.. just to get rid of some crackpot dictator seems like a trainwreck fiasco to me – especially after the way the invasion was sold to the world by these chickenhawk “leaders”.


  481. No pie recipe but an easy dessert (or office party treat)

    1 mix of Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownies
    1 cup chocolate chunks
    2-4T 100% seedless raspberry jam, slightly melted in microwave for about 30 seconds give or take a few seconds.

    Dump brownie mix into bowl. Toss chocolate chunks with 1 Tablespoon of mix. Set aside. Make brownie mix according to package directions. Fold in chocolate chunks. Bake according to directions.
    After brownies have baked and are still warm, using a fork, gently poke holes over top of brownies. Spread softened jam over warm brownies. Let cool completely. Garnish with shaved chocolate. Serve with milk.


  482. Wouldn’t it be nice if folks simply sent in their shoes, box after box after box, and keep the Bushies so busy they wouldn’t have time to burrow in, shred, or even Meet The Press with their Pal Gregory? Of course under the Patriot Act, such peaceful protests are only allowed in certain areas – like the first off ramp outside the Beltway – and thus the cocoon spins tighter and tighter around the worm in the White House.


  483. Dara posits: Seriously though–what happens if something similar were to happen to our next president?

    Well, given PEOTUS Obama’s intelligence and understanding of the world beyond the borders of this nation, I seriously doubt he would conduct himself in such a brazenly stupid manner. And if such an incident did happen, you can bet that Mr. Obama would be leading the charge to insure that the journalist would not be tortured, abused, imprisoned, or subject to extraordinary rendition for simply speaking up. Furthermore, Mr. Obama would further understand that the man’s actions were indeed an insult, and take his concerns seriously and act reasonably. Bush, on the other hand, remains the clueless frat boy who is nothing more than an embarrassment on the international stage – a man who plays at leadership because he has lemmings as followers. . .


  484. Al-Zaidi is my hero. It makes me sick that he’s now being beaten and tortured for doing what our own damn journalist should have been doing for the past 8 years.

    I think anyone going past the White House from now to January 20th should throw a pair of shoes on the lawn in a sign of solidarity. It’ll be a Shoe-In! (If yoiu don’t get the reference, you’re too young.)


  485. Shoes may be sent in honor of Muntathar al Zaidi to:

    The White House
    Attn: George W. Bush, President of the United States
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20500


  486. the reporter insulted the President–and rightly so. He has earned that lack of respect.

    I was horrified when Bush first ran–kept thinking about the video of him making fun of Karla Faye Tucker, who was on death row. Mugging, rolling his eyes, whining “please don’t kill me.” Yes, Ms. Tucker committed a horrible crime. Yes, I oppose the death penalty but I can see how others might disagree with me. But the juvenile treatment of it as a joke said volumes about Bush’s lack of empathy or appropriateness.

    And he turned out to be precisely that sort of President. An embarassment. An incompetent. Someone who laughs at serious issues. And he is directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of people and the economic havoc that exists in this country.

    With all due respect, I do not believe that one can equate an insult with a beheading. Nor do I believe that a non-violent act of protest (Ms. Perino’s black eye notwithstanding) is an act of terrorism.


  487. Is there someplace where we can donate shoes for future expressions of free speech?

    While it’s true that al Zaidi’s gesture was intended to insult the entire benighted country as well as its moronic leader, I as a citizen who has opposed the Shrub to the point of nausea do not feel insulted but vindicated. Good riddance! And let’s hope to heaven it’s good riddance to that whole troupe, once and for all.


  488. I wonder what would have happen to that journalist had he thrown a shoe at Sadaam. I bet he wouldn’t have thrown the second one.


  489. ”Seriously though–what happens if something similar were to happen to our next president? You better believe there would be a huge uproar.”

    Aimed right at Dubya. What a mess he’s made.


  490. mms20, his whole administration is an insult added to injury


  491. I think that it’s rather sad. I know that Bush wasn’t the greatest president (not even close) but I do feel kind of bad for him. It much sting just a little bit to know how many people can’t wait to see you thrown out of office. And then with the shoe incident…it just kind of adds insult to injury. Idk, it just makes me feel kind of bad for the poor guy…


  492. Here’s a pie recipe that can be used for GW:

    One pie plate, recyclable preferred
    One cow, preferably a Texas Longhorn but any heifer in the storm. . .

    Have cow fill pie plate :)

    Hold filled pie in hand. Hold very steady.
    Hit target.


  493. GW and Co. are war criminals who should be tried or, at the very least, strung up by their balls for what has been done to the innocent men, women and children of Iraq due to this illegal war he started by lies to the American public.

    I think you were quite restrained in your rant and thank you for your insights. I, too, was dismayed at the incident only in that the Iraqi journalist missed his target.


  494. I had translated this blog into Arabic, for its importance if this dosen’t bother you.



  495. This was an Iraq journalist.
    Why is he a terrorist?
    We are supposedly fighting over there so Iraq citizens can have the same freedoms as we have Not because of the oil they produce.

    To call him a terrorist without knowing anything about him is to denigrate all we have supposedly done in Iraq.

    Or are Iraq citizens suppose to be seen but NOT heard?


  496. Lady you are a genius. What you said reminded me of a song that Pink wrote called Dear Mr. President. I think that you may like it.


  497. […] يمكنكم قراءة النص الأصلي للتدوينة باللغة الانكليزية من مدونتهن هنا […]


  498. I loved the rant! Say it like it is Grams! I would sit and have you teach me quilting any day of the week just so I could hear your stories. I just found your blog and am LOVING IT!!!


  499. The whole thing is ridiculous.

    Seriously though–what happens if something similar were to happen to our next president? You better believe there would be a huge uproar.


  500. Helen, you rock!! Whirled Peas, that’s a great name and you’re right up there with Helen. Bush and Cheney should be shoed (or was that shooed)away asap.

    UAW, I believe the Shrub would call your UAW, what did you say?, “you people(assholes).”

    Sharon H, you remind me of another, named Palin, who when she opens her mouth, a whole lot of ignorance poops out.

    Happy Holidays to all


  501. Pat:

    I sent an email to them. I said most Americans were upset by the shoe incident. However, they were upset because the Iraqi journalist missed!


  502. I liked your rant! And I couldn’t agree more.

    I just sent off a pissy letter to Inside Edition, of all things (I had it on in the background while cooking) – they said that many people in the Arab world were hailing the shoe-thrower as a hero TO THE DISMAY OF MOST AMERICANS (my emphasis).

    Dismay, my ass. Everyone whose opinion I care about thinks it was the least that should be thrown at him. An impeachment would have been better.

    Keep it up, darlin’!


  503. Helen, i love you; you always say the best things!


  504. Helen, I just got this from Robert Greenwald at Brave New Films. It’s about George’s last days in the White House. It’s a MUST SEE!
    (Trust me, you’ll love it!!!!)


  505. Since having shoes thrown at you is no big deal, I have a suggestion for how Shrub could stimulate our economy. Shrub, Cheney a.k.a. The Prince of Darkness and Condi could take turns in one of those dunk tanks, 3 balls for a dollar. Man, think of the billions that could be made. I’m in for a couple hundred that’s for sure.


  506. Don’t know if you caught it, but Shrub’s Press Secretary Dana Perino got a black eye from a swinging microphone in the ensuing scuffle. I don’t have your skill with humor, but you mightenjoy this. Thanks! Great as always!


  507. Amen! What brave eloquence on the part of Mr.Zaidi.

    What about a charge of treason? This administration has done everything to bring down the Constitution that they swore to uphold and defend. Let the trials for that and for war crimes begin and let the Halliburton, Cheney, Bush, and Republican money pay for it all – not the taxpayers!


  508. Most of us can’t even bear to think about it. I just keep thinking instead about November 4, and smiling…


  509. How others see us – please catch the video:



  510. I drop by often and I think the rant was fine. At least LBJ felt bad about the young men he sent to Vietnam. And even Richard Nixon knew he was going to require a pardon for his exploits in office. But GW hasn’t a clue everything he has done wrong from cheating his way into office to invading a foreign country and sovereign nation to totally wreaking the economy and spirit of this country.

    Someone should have thrown more than a shoe at him a long time ago: How about an impeachment, trial in the world court, and a hanging.


  511. As usual, Helen, you go to the heart of the matter. If only GW had a heart, even if he has no brain, maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today – the hell that the colorful Christians keep promising. How can they not see it is already here?



  512. I suppose it’s a good thing that none of us who also have wanted to throw that shoe over the past 8 years actually had the chance to fling it. Look what has happened to the guy who did!

    Maybe Obama will make a call after he takes office and request some sort of leniency for the guy.

    Uh.. also I thought Iraq was secure, where was security by the way.


  513. My first reaction when I saw those shoes flying was “He’s so lucky that’s not a bomb.” I suppose that the journalists were strip searched before being in that room…or just about, but still….he’s lucky.

    Our brave service men and women don’t deserve this cocky, brazen, ill mannered, dullard as their commander in chief. If I was required to salute that man I’d go nuts. Just another reason why our military doesn’t get paid enough…in either money or respect.


  514. Well said, Helen. Remember, too, this is the President who, after his first term said that the highlight for him was catching a fish!

    Barney Frank echoed my sentiments when he took B. Obama to task for not asserting himself more after the election. He suggested that Obama was wrong for saying we can’t have two Presidents because it’s obvious that, right now, we don’t even have one.


  515. You forgot an other state destroyed by an unfair war: Yugoslavia. And its deads and orphans.
    And this is not a joke.
    Thank you.


  516. Musical Interlude:
    Dixie Chicks ~ “Not Ready To Make Nice”

    Forgive, sounds good
    Forget, I’m not sure I could
    They say time heals everything
    But I’m still waiting

    I’m through with doubt
    There’s nothing left for me to figure out
    I’ve paid a price
    And I’ll keep paying

    I’m not ready to make nice
    I’m not ready to back down
    I’m still mad as hell and
    I don’t have time to go round and round and round
    It’s too late to make it right
    I probably wouldn’t if I could
    ‘Cause I’m mad as hell
    Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

    I know you said
    Can’t you just get over it
    It turned my whole world around
    And I kind of like it

    I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
    With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’
    It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
    Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger
    And how in the world can the words that I said
    Send somebody so over the edge
    That they’d write me a letter
    Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing
    Or my life will be over

    I’m not ready to make nice
    I’m not ready to back down
    I’m still mad as hell and
    I don’t have time to go round and round and round
    It’s too late to make it right
    I probably wouldn’t if I could
    ‘Cause I’m mad as hell
    Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

    ~ Δ ~


  517. “But even more sobering is what Zaidi said as he threw the shoes: “This is a farewell kiss, you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.” And after he was knocked to the ground he continued saying, “Killer of Iraqis, killer of children.”

    OK. I am not thinking it is all that funny anymore. How about you?”

    I was one of those amused by the incident. I didn’t look into it very thoroughly. Helen, you got how we should feel about this incident exactly right. Bush’s reaction was, as usual, to trivialize what he does not “get.” My own reaction was not much better.

    Thanks for going deeper with this.

    Season’s Greetings!


  518. Well summed up, Helen. You are always thinking along the same paths i tend to think!


  519. First my reacton was laughter as I saw the video of the shoe throw. But like you too after some thought I found it very sad. Here is a man who is suppose to be the most powerful in the world and he just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand the damage and carnage he’s unleashed on so many. As a country we should be so ashamed.


  520. When George leaves the White House for TX, those of us living in Fl. hope he takes his brother, Jeb, with him…birds of a feather!


  521. Clearly the journalist is not a Democrat. If he were a Democrat, it would not have been a shoe… it would have been a flip-flop. Or perhaps a waffle.

    Although I understand why the man’s nationality is an important qualification, I wish the reports would not focus on him being an Iraqi journalist. I wish instead they would have just said a “journalist in attendance” or some such. His action speaks for many more people throughout the world than Iraqis. And immediately labeling him an Iraqi journalist imposes a bias that somehow an Iraqi journalist is different from a “real” journalist who may, for example, reside in “real America.”

    I hope the reports of him being beaten in custody are false. The man needs to serve his time for assaulting the President, that is certain. At no time can we accept someone throwing anything at the President. It is a slippery slope to argue that it was justified, or that it was just a shoe, or anything else. The man assaulted the President, and there should be a penalty for that. But it should not, ever, include beating.


  522. I feel sorry for the shoe throwing guy. He’s been harrassed by Iraqi and Americans alike, and now he’s in jail. He should have stepped in some camel shit before throwing them. Maybe we should start a petition to demand his release from jail, and replace him with Bush and Cheney.


  523. Helen,

    Will you be my new BFF? Keep those rants and raves coming. I hear you loud and clear. When I saw that incident, I felt sad for GWB who was too dim to acknowledge what it all means in Iraqi culture to have a shoe thrown at him. It’s like being spat on which is the absolute worst insult, if you ask me. Also, I felt sadness for the American people he is suppose to represent. Actually, to be honest, I felt shame that this man represents me all over the world. Geez, January 20, 2009 can’t get her fast enough.


  524. George W. Bush is not only a tyrant. He is quite simply a war criminal. Our Congress should have impeached him, Cheney and the whole misbegotten bunch of yahoos that they inflicted on this nation after their two stolen elections.
    It did not and I am not alone in my disappointment and my shame for this criminal omission.
    For eight years, I have cringed every time that “pResident” idiot opened his mouth, especially on he global stage, because our whole nation lost stature accordingly. The shoe-throwing incident is but one expression of the total powerlessness felt by the world since the “selection” in 2000 and believe me, there are few who do not identify with the reporter who threw it. I would mself have directed the shoe somewhere other than at *’s head, somewhere deep, dark and painful. Fortunately or unfortunately, I manage my own anger a bit better, primarily out of cowardice.
    I understand that the reporter has not only been imprisoned since the incident, but also tortured. So much for the myth of the *free* society that Criminal Condi praises and that she helped to create. No, I don’t think that the reporter should go unpunished, but torture! Is that really what we stand for, what we are all about? This only proves his point. After the experience of the past eight years, there is little room for denial.
    We are better than that. Thank you, Helen, and all here who share her feelings, for reminding me that we are better than that. It is long past time to bring back the adults, rather than the schemers who see only their personal interest and that of their “friends.”


  525. Thank you for the wonderful Christmas gifts of humor, common sense, and challenging us all to think- and to dig deeply when we think. Your comments- and those of the “regulars” who show up for their slice of pie (or bring pie and recipes along) are an important part of my day. I usually manage to read all of the comments- and I check out as many of the recommended links as possible- even those suggested by those who exhibit rage and intolerance. As a Christian, I am embarrassed by some of the so-called Christians who post their venom on here. As an American, I do not take it as either a personal or national insult that shoes were thrown at a so-called president who deserves much more to be thrown at him. Like the Dixie Chicks, who were roundly punished by fans and the country music industry for expressing their embarrassment that Bush was a fellow Texan, I am embarrassed that this man has been the “leader” of this still great nation. If any of you readers haven’t heard it, check out the lyrics to their song “Not Ready to Make Nice”- their own version of shoe-throwing.
    Two of my children are Christians. The third, and his girlfriend, do not believe in any kind of God. However, the latter often behave in a very Christlike manner in their respect for people, animals and nature. Here is a condensed version of my prayer at our Thanksgiving meal : “I am so thankful that we live in a country where we have both freedom of religion and freedom from religion. I hope that we have a wonderful time of sharing and can show respect and love for each other. Amen” I take every opportunity to educate my Christian children on the dangers of any form of theocracy.
    And now, blessings and love to all.


  526. I love the idea of sending an old shoe to the White House as a symbolic kick in the butt as Bush heads out the door. Maybe the White House can save these to send to poor Iraqis!! Imagine what kind of a message that would send to both Bush and to the Iraqi people! Mountains of shoes would be such a great symbol!!!


  527. George W. Bush was and will always be an incurious fool who looks at the world through the spoiled eyes of a child who has always been indulged. He has handled his two terms as President the same way he has handled his own life. He acts first then possibly, and I emphasis possibly, stops to think that there may be some adverse consequences to pay.

    We have been duped by this man for “8” years and the only positive thing to come out of this shoe throwing incident is that this will be what ends up as the closing chapter in his legacy, while he tried to sneak into Iraq like the slug that he is in order to rewrite history.

    We as Americans should turn our backs to him and show him how much we disdain him.


  528. I still think Bush and that VP should be impeached. Do NOT tell me impeachment is “off the table”!


  529. You can rant all day long about Pres. Shrub and his buddies. You’re only speaking the truth!


  530. No pie for UAW.


  531. Helen, I agree with every word, but especially the part where you say, “[W]hen you are President during war time, you probably shouldn’t act like you are enjoying it quite so much.”

    And by “it,” I would mean both enjoying the war and enjoying being president during war time. The stress of war no doubt shortened Franklin Roosevelt’s life. Eisenhower ended his presidency warning of the military-industrial complex. Johnson turned his back on a second term over the agony of Vietnam. Carter won a Nobel Peace Prize after his presidency and, during it, agonized over a handful of hostages in Iran and the loss of the military unit that tried to free them. Nixon was the worst president in history until Bush–but however much his private demons and ambitions fed his determination to stay in Vietnam, at least he didn’t start the war or make public jokes about what got us into it. And if Reagan, Bush, and Clinton used the military to further the American empire or maintain American advantage, they didn’t stand in front of the American people and the world smirking and twitching and saying “So what?”

    Bush’s demeanor reveals him to be petty, narcissistic and blithely unaware of the suffering of others. Shame on anyone who voted for him the second time around. And shame on the news media who didn’t rip him a new one every day from the moment he and his handler Cheney started to market their nasty, selfish war.

    You tell them, Helen.


  532. Muntadhar al-Zaiydi is a hero. He alone was brave enough to throw the shoes that millions of others have been wanting to throw for years.

    To call him a terrorist is just plain ignorant. Muslims are not terrorists any more than Christians, Hindis, and Buddhists.

    Great post Helen.


  533. I immediately called my mom after I heard about Dubya and the shoe! In some ways I guess it was wrong…… But as they say around here…. some wrongs just feel so damn right!

    UAW- its obvious that you are still a Bush supporter despite everything that has happened to the country. May I ask why?

    Calling us assholes because we laugh about a shoe thrown is not justified. Calling the politicians that have been elected to office in the past two years crazies is not justified. The whole checks and balances system worked the past two years better than it did the first 6 of the Bush years. Bush used his veto power (not sure of the exact number off hand but I know I am close) at least 6 times as much the past two years than he did the first 6 years of his presidency. Thats why nothing got done these past two years…. Bush vetoed anything resembling change!


  534. Looked like GW had a lot of practice on ducking. It just looked hilarious… but then again, when you remember that he’s the president of the United States, it makes you want to bang your head against the wall for electing him twice! I’m not going to vote according to my party EVER again, thanks GW!


  535. Face it people, Bush is a dry drunk, with all the capacity for inner reflection that comes with that state of being. He just can’t take any kind of responsibility for anything he has done because if he starts, he’ll be overwhelmed by the damage he’s caused.


  536. Bless your heart, Helen…you are the best!!!


  537. I was even more angry by Bush’s reaction later in the day. He said he wasn’t sure what the guy’s problem was but that if his goal was to get on TV, he got his wish.

    How could he possibly say that he didn’t know what the man was upset about??

    His ignorance is apalling.


  538. how funny!


  539. There’s a Million Shoe March planned. Send a pair of your too-old-to-be-donated shoes to:

    President George W. Bush
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
    Washington, DC 20500

    Or, send Dubya the right shoe and the left shoe to Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid.

    I wouldn’t even put the shoes in a box. Just write the address with a marker and make sure to affix postage directly on the shoe and the USPS will deliver.


  540. Helen, couldn’t agree with your rant more. This man is and has been a continuing embarrassment.

    This Bush-Cheney administration can be summed up in three words: Cheney’s “So?” response when told that two-thirds of Americans didn’t think the Iraq was worth fighting; and Bush’s “So what?” comment when Martha Raddatz pointed out that alQaeda wasn’t in Iraq until after the U. S. invasion. The two of them delivered to the American public the verbal equivalent of the middle-finger salute.

    I take solace in the fact that we are down to thirty-five days, when we reach the end of this kakistocracy (‘government by the worst’.) Can’t come a minute too soo…



  541. Your rant is more than justified. He dragged the whole world into the gutter. And now we all suffer.


  542. I really wish that my mom were still alive. She felt exactly like Helen. I’d be printing out the posts and sending them to her.

    All I can say is that January 20 cannot come soon enough.


  543. Helen, Once again, way to go. You say it better than anyone, which is why you have the readership you do. My best friends are still Bush/Cheney/McCain/Palin lovers, which totally blows my mind. No matter how I try, I can’t fathom what they could possibly see in these idiots.

    Georgie-boy’s reaction to this deep insult simply underlines his lack of understanding, compassion, common sense, and leadership.

    Is it January 20th yet?


  544. I think Sharon needs a bigger slice of Pie…sit a spell…see what happens.


  545. As always…right on!!!
    Love and light ladies!!


  546. Sharon,
    An Iraqi journalist is not a terrorist. The word “Iraqi” does not mean terrorist. Neither does the word “Muslim”.
    Bush suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder, (in my opinion), and sees people as objects – pawns if you will- that are used in his big game of RISK.
    He cannot have sympathy or empathy for that matter, for “objects”. Our soldiers are objects, our citizens are objects and the Iraqi people are objects – all for his entertainment.
    He will never take responsibility for his actions, it is always someone else’s fault.
    It is such a shame that this man became our president and spent 8 years playing army in his little sandbox.
    Our nation has almost been torn apart and we all mourn for that. Iraq has been torn apart. We mourn for ALL of the innocent people who have died – it has left quite a scar on our hearts.
    I pray that Obama can bring us back from the brink of despair and ruin and help us to become a good and noble nation once again.


  547. Here is what Bush *really* said about that incident:



  548. troutay, Good response to Sharon.

    You know W is a lot like sister Sarah. They just really don’t have the mental capacity to understand things. They really are so very similar in nature. Thankfully neither will be near OUR White House for the next couple of years at any rate.

    I am ashamed sometimes to be American. That sounds awful to some people, but I am. I am so glad that Obama will at least have a chance to restore our honor with the rest of the world. That is if it will be possible after so much damage.

    I have two sons (20 & 22) & I can’t tell you how afraid I have been. My relatives came here from other countries for freedom & fought for the US in almost every war we have had. IF this country was fighting for something I believed in then I wouldn’t be so afraid of a draft, etc. How could I send my sons to Iraq when I am so against this war? I just don’t know.

    How my heart breaks for the innocent people in Iraq and our soldiers & their families. I can’t even imagine what they are going through.

    Keep up the good work ladies. We have to find some humor in this mess even if it is to the expense of our president because if we couldn’t laugh once-in-a-while we would all need a good dose of prozac with our big piece of pie.


  549. Helen, You are the greatest! This weird event needed to happen to Mr. Happy. I am so glad that he is almost out of the White House.


  550. Quoted from Sharon H at 1:06 PM

    “Focus people, and don’t make terrorists heros because you don’t like the President.

    A little quick with that ‘terrist’ crack. Or could it be you believe that all brown Irakies are ‘terrists’?

    “The point everyone seems to be missing isn’t that this is a slap in the face to George W., but that it’s a slap in the face to the United States and every American citizen.”

    Reeeeeeeally? I don’t feel insulted. I think the thrower was doing what at least 72% of the American public would do if they could, without being renditioned off to Gitmo (you know, Free Speech Zones and all that)

    “Because when Bush is no longer President, living on his ranch (whites-only mansion) in Dallas, these bozo terrorists will still be killing American soldiers,”

    Even more reason to get the hell out of there ASAP.

    “bolstered by hate and the mindset that they want all of us eradicated from the earth.”

    Naaa, maybe eradicated from their country, but that’s understandable.

    “NOT a laughing matter.”

    Dick and Bush are definitely not a laughing matter…even if the drunken fratboy is a colossal joke, as a president and a human.

    ~ Δ ~


  551. In a world where politican assasination is not uncommon, after I stopped laughing at the shoe throwing incident, and agreed with how horrible, if not criminal, Bush’s actions have been, all I could think of was, what if the shoe had been a hand grenade? Besides, if it had been a hand grenade, we’d now have a lame duck President Chaney. That’s even more frightening.


  552. UAW and Sharon. The reporter in question VERY clearly stated that he was upset with BUSH – not necessarily any other Americans. Seeing that a majority of Americans feel the same, I’m glad to see non Americans aiming their hate where it belongs. But we let Bush et al get away with what they’ve been doing for the last 8 years. We have some reparations to make and a reputation to rebuild. Time to get to work, fellow Americans. Helen and Margaret are making a good start by speaking up.


  553. I’m surprised he could duck so quick – you’d think he has had plenty of practice.

    We should not be surprised about what other countries think of Bush, remember when the leaders of all those countries got together for a group photo and none of them would shake his hand? He has done his best to tarnish our reputation and I will be glad when he is gone.


  554. As a Canadian, I agree with your statement that Bush is a “stain on the reputation of the United States of America.” I am sure the sigh of relief could be heard around the world when Obama won the Presidency. There is a real chance America can regain the respect of the world. And one other thing, thankfully you only allow two terms in office in the USA. What would happen if he was granted a third term? Let’s not even think about it.


  555. Sharon:

    I do not think it was a slap in the face of all America.
    I think it was direct towards Bush.
    And while I am broken hearted about the deaths of young Americans, I also feel pain because of the deaths of “thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens”!!!!!
    If another country invaded my country and I fought back, would I then be labeled a “bozo terrorist”?
    Yes, I understand there are islamic wack jobs out there, but, I am sorry to tell you that there are also many many christian wack jobs out there too.

    To say this was a slap in the face of America, and not call it what it is, a slap at the idiot who runs this country, is wrong. I know many Iraqis that do not hate all of us, they just don’t like the current administration.


  556. Helen, you rock!!!!


  557. This man doesn’t get it and he never will. Looking forward to the inauguration.

    Enjoyed reading your post.


  558. Focus people, and don’t make terrorists heros because you don’t like the President. I don’t like him either. I don’t care that somebody threw their shoes at George W., and I don’t care what happens to the thrower. The point everyone seems to be missing isn’t that this is a slap in the face to George W., but that it’s a slap in the face to the United States and every American citizen. Because when Bush is no longer President, living on his ranch in Dallas, these bozo terrorists will still be killing American soldiers, bolstered by hate and the mindset that they want all of us eradicated from the earth. NOT a laughing matter.


  559. The past comment from Bush that A) cheesed me off and B) didn’t surprise me a bit was “I sleep a lot better than you’d think”.

    He has to see some legal consequences. I’m old enough to have been through Watergate. That pardon was a mistake, because the lesson this crowd took from it was that you can break the law and, worst case scenario, live out your life in luxury and come back as a senior statesman. I’m not going to be up to going through this again (for a third time) in 30 years. This time, we make sure nobody thinks “this is a good risk to take because if you get caught, it won’t even matter”.

    And, for a non-official consequence, I’d like to see Bush unable to stick his nose outside his compound for fear of flying shoes. It won’t happen, but I can dream……

    When I get home, I’ve got a pie recipe I can post. Hazelnut Pie flavored with Irish Whisky, yum!

    Happy Merry, Merry Happy!


  560. Helen, dear: you must learn stop suppressing your feelings and just come out and say what you really mean. Holding your emotions inside like that isn’t good for you. It may shorten your life, and you wouldn’t want that, would you.

    Love the blog, but you really have to stop beating around the bush so much (though it’s fine to keep beating up *on* the Bush as much as you want.)


  561. Here is a link to Martha Raddatz’ interview with Bush on 12/14 – unbelievable how this “man” is trying to rewrite the history of his 8 year disaster…


    And on 3/19/08, Martha interviewed Dick Cheney…



  562. What about when Bush was interviewed after the shoe throwing incident—he had the nerve to say’ ” I dont know what that guys beef was” OH really? I can tell ya George!!!!!!


  563. My embarassment at our President is one of the reasons I was so emotionally invested in this election. The idea of having McCain, with his pandering and his willingness to trot out “Joe the Plumber” and his nastiness…and his imbecile of a running mate–it was horrid. We can now be proud of our First Family which, of course, is a reflection on our country.


  564. There is a petition on behalf of Muntathar al Zaidi, who is still imprisoned.



  565. Thanks again, Helen, great writing.

    Since W and Dick have shown nothing but contempt for our Constitution, the rule of law, the vast majority of Americans (our freedom, finances and other resources) and the rest of the World, there is no respect owed to them.

    That W acted as though the shoe attack was a joke, smirking his way through it, his “so what?” (and Cheney’s too) about the war, and his writing into the TARP bill one sentence that negates the will of the people and Congress (to prohibit bailout monies going to rich CEOs) is both infuriating and sad. Sad that these guys won’t be going to prison, sad that most of their associates won’t either.

    Joe Smith can go to jail for stealing a six pack, but elected officials into whom trust is placed (and who swore to uphold and defend the Constitiution) get to live off their spoils, scott free.

    It’s insane.


  566. I can’t believe you people(assholes). That was a physical attack on the President.I didn’t like his response though, he should have rushed out and kicked the F out of that asshole. Calling that journalist a gentleman is really stupid…Are you going to call the assholes that beheaded Nickolas Berg gentleman also.
    As far as crazies running the asylum you started electing them 2 years ago and finished this year.


  567. AMEN! Bush and Cheney ought to be ASHAMED for how badly they’ve tarnished the reputation of our great country, and for all the un-necessary deaths caused by their arrogance and drive to clean up Daddy Bush’s unfinished business in Iraq.

    Even more sad is that the person who threw the shoes, al Zaidi, has reportedly been severely beaten in prison since this incident. This guy is my hero! Heck, let’s invite him as a guest of honor to the Obama inauguration!!!


  568. Thank you for pointing out more of the context for this event. I don’t watch a lot of news because I can only handle so much bad news and nonsense. If it weren’t for your blog I would never have got further than “I’m sorry that man was so angry” and “what a wierd thing to do”. But now I understand more and I have read more. I think the reporter should be punished within the laws of his land, not just because the process of law is important, but because I think what he did was an act of civil (well, uncivil) disobedience. No, the book shouldn’t be thrown at him, but I think he was considered in his actions and knew they would have consequences. I personnally like the idea of contributing to his defense fund and seeing his family doesn’t suffer for his actions. Give the man the dignity of following through on something he obviously felt strongly about. After all, it sounds like I am one of many who strongly agree with his publicly stated opinions.
    I think we Americans owe the Iraqi people an apology for electing an idiot who felt it necessary to start a war in their country. We don’t owe them more war, but rather an opportunity to make their own peace. The US can’t win anything in Iraq. Only the Iraqis can.

    OK, now MY rant is over. Thanks for reading.


  569. What she said!


  570. To Rhonda at 12:34 PM
    “Yeah, that’s right. So What?”

    If Dick said it too, I’ll find that link.

    ~ Δ ~


  571. Chocalate Pecan Pie

    2/3 cup sugar
    1/3 cup melted butter
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup dark corn syrup
    1/2 cup light corn syrup
    3 eggs

    Whisk the above ingredients altogether. Add in 1 cup halved pecans and 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips. Bake for 50 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

    Use whatever pie crust you want. In my house it is a gluten free recipe. You will want to bake on a cookie sheet so you don’t get boil over and you will want to use a pie ring to protect your crust edges because of the long baking time. I like to bake my pie crust for 10 minutes at 350 before I fill so that the goo doesn’t soak into the crust too much.

    Hope everyone enjoys.

    This pie would hurt if you threw it at someone. But sure does taste good.


  572. Just a slight correction… I believe the “So What” is from a Cheney statement not Bush. But the attitude is typical of both.

    Also, where was the Secret Service???? Shouldn’t they have blocked at least the second shoe??? My God, I hope Obama has a better crew than this!

    I also noticed how the Iraqi President didn’t even flinch, as if shoes fly every day.


  573. Thank you so much for addressing the whole of this story. Yes, I had a pretty good laugh at George ducking those shoes… but the what the journalist said struck pretty deep. Bush did what he always does, he blew it off. How embarassing that he isn’t even smart enough to know that he has been insulted.

    Eight years. Eight Long Years of this… I am ready for him to go away, far away.
    Thanks Helen.


  574. Didn’t you just feel this sigh of relief when you saw that video. The whole world has been itching to throw a shoe at that idiot for years now.


  575. LOL – Good by Georgie Boy and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

    Someone on another blog suggested we all meet in DC the day before the inaugeration with our old smelly sneakers and lob them onto the front lawn of the Whitehouse.

    Sounds like a good idea to me.


  576. You’re right, it stopped being funny as soon as you could clearly understand what he was saying. I don’t blame him (or any Iraqi) for being enraged about what W has done to their country. I’m just sorry he missed.


  577. I think GW wears the mantle of responsibility entirely too lightly. It’s like nothing ever quite sinks in with him. I think he really needs some mental help.

    I wish Helen Thomas would have pitched her shoes at him years ago.


  578. We will indeed stop by again – and again – and again!

    The gentleman who threw his shoes has become a folk hero, and deservedly so. I hope he does not suffer any repercussions too severe. I think in his circumstances I would have been right there throwing shoes with him.

    I simply cannot tolerate George’s smug smirk any more. I wish he could be locked in the White House basement until Jan.20th.


  579. Thank you for your post, Helen. You summed it up nicely. But I think it deserves a longer rant…

    When I saw the footage on Sunday night, at first I chuckled and then commended Bush on his ducking skills. But when I read the translation of what the Iraqi journalist shouted out… I realized the depth of it. It hit me hard. I sympathized with the journalist. How many lives were lost in this horrible war? Our own troops and innocent Iraqi civilians. The only difference is that our troops volunteered to defend our country. The Iraqi civialians didn’t ask for this… (neither did a lot of Americans). And then I read our idiot-in-chief’s reaction. How ignorant/arrogant can this man be? Did he even try to understand the situation? I guess it’s too much to ask from someone who so easily destroyed the reputation of this nation.

    Muntathar al Zaidi was practicing one of his new freedoms – one of the BS reasons this administration came up with to validate their crimes. I hope they release Zaidi safe and sound.
    Is Obama in office yet? January 20th couldn’t come soon enough.


  580. Right on! I have been so embarrassed to acknowledge that this jerk is my president. And I am a military brat, trained to respect the office if not the person in it. But what does one do if the inhabitant of the office has no respect for it or for the people he/she is serving?


  581. No apologies necessary. You are right on the money, as usual. Thank you for your thoughtful take. I hadn’t read anywhere else about the rest of what the shoe-thrower said. You are right. It is completely shameful how he laughed it off. But, no less than what I expected.


  582. Thanks, Helen. You said just what I was thinking. I had the same reactions of thinking it was funny, and then realizing that it was horribly not funny at all. But, as you said, the worst of it is that Bush just doesn’t get it. He refuses to see anything from anyone else’s point of view.

    I remember when our troops first went in to Iraq and the news showed the crowds of people smiling and waving their shoes at them. At first we all thought it was a sign of welcome – until someone explained that showing a person the sole of your shoe was the worst of insults. Actually throwing a shoe is a more dramatic statement.

    So we all understand the implications, but our president, who is supposed to lead us and represent us around the world, doesn’t bother to learn about the customs of the places he chooses to visit. (I bet he’s wishing he hadn’t planned that surprise visit as a way to end his presidential dutiies.)

    And might I also add, that is very sad news if it’s true the reporter was beaten while in custody. Not that I think he was right – yelling would have been a better choice. Even though we’d all like to throw our shoes at Bush, doing so would get any of us arrested, even in the USA. But hopefully, we wouldn’t be beaten for it.


    The whole thing is just very sad, and yet again, one more reminder that January 20 can’t come too soon.


  583. You didn’t go far enough in your rant.


  584. Wonderful! I will echo Elsie by saying “all this, and pie recipes to boot?” Huzzah!!! Helen and Margaret, yours is the BEST. BLOG. EVER!

    I sweartagod though, if anyone ever throws a shoe at my awesome president Barack, I’ma go all CRAY-zee on their asses!!!!

    Happy holidays ladies! And by happy holidays, what I really mean is….have a dandy Hanuchristmakwanzakuh, y’all!

    Love from Martha in Northern California, the home of tight pants and loose morals!


  585. His response (and his later “So what?” on the subject of Al Qaeda in Iraq) demonstrate perfectly why this country must not let him off the hook. He and Dick Cheney and Karl Rove and Don Rumsfeld and I forget who-all-else should be in jail.


  586. I wish more people (I’m thinking of some of the commenters on your posts, especially) would wait until their initial reactions wore off before tapping the keyboard.

    It saddens me to see what some people think of as humor, when they never look again after the initial reaction and realize the truth of the situation. Thank you for taking that second look before you wrote.


  587. History will be W’s judge, and the verdict will not be a nice one. He’s frozen many of his documents (including those from his Texas governorship) for the next 50 years. That’s little consolation to those who are suffering now. Perhaps he’ll get his in whatever afterlife might exist; Hell or reincarnation as a cockroach would be nice.


  588. Helen, who woulda thought that we can get great, funny rants, AND pie recipes, right here?! Your essays are unique and wonderful, and I bet your blog is unique with pie recipes thrown in by your readers! What a buy one/get one free deal!


  589. Helen, Your rants and opinions ARE what we come for. Don’t change a thing.

    Happy Holidays.


  590. You rock girl! here’s one for you to try!

    Old Fashioned Apple Pie Recipe

    Crust Ingredients
    2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
    1/2 cup finely ground blanched almonds or almond flour (can substitute 1/2 cup flour if you don’t have almonds)
    16 Tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, chilled in freezer for at least 15 minutes
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 heaping teaspoon brown sugar
    3 to 6 Tbsp water, very cold

    Filling Ingredients
    2/3 cup sugar
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    3 pounds of 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices of peeled and cored good cooking apples such as Granny Smith, Pippin, Golden Delicious (see cooking apple varieties)
    1 1/2 tablespoons brandy
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Egg Wash
    1 large egg yolk
    1 Tbsp cream

    1 In a food processor, combine flour, almonds, salt and brown sugar, pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add water 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready, if not, add a little more water and pulse again.

    Remove dough from machine and place on a clean surface. Carefully shape into 2 discs. Do not over-knead the dough! You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These bits of butter are what will allow the result crust to be flaky. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

    2 Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F.

    3 Combine sugar, flour and spices in large bowl. Use your hands and mix in the apples so they are well coated, then add brandy and vanilla extract.

    4 Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, use a metal spatula to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Gently fold in half. Place on to a 9-inch pie plate, lining up the fold with the center of the pan. Gently unfold and press down to line the pie dish with the dough.

    5 Spoon in apple filling, mounding slightly in center.

    6 Roll out second disk of dough, as before. Gently turn over onto the top of the apples in the pie. Pinch top and bottom of dough rounds firmly together. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang. Fold dough under itself so that the edge of the fold is flush with the edge of the pan. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork.

    7 Stir yolk and cream in small bowl to blend. Brush over top of pie. Cut slits in top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake pie until crust begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F. Tent the rims with aluminum foil or a pie protector if the edges are browning too quickly. Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, anywhere from an additional 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of apples you are using. Transfer to rack; let stand 1 hour. Serve pie warm or at room temperature.

    Serves 8.


  591. I am also disturbed (but not surprised) that Dubya is so uninterested and uninformed about another culture that he does not even perceive that throwing a shoe and being called a dog is an insult in the context in which it was done. He still thinks it’s no big deal. I want a president who will understand when he is being insulted in another culture and why.

    As for the pie – I have to agree – on this blog, pie is sacred so it would be a waste to throw one at Dubya.


  592. You go, girlfriend!!!!!!! Well said!!!!!!


  593. Hi Helen,
    it is sobering. It is estimated that we have killed over 100,000 Iraqi civilians. Their surviving families are hurt and angry, and I can’t blame them.


  594. Yo, fets…
    Let’s not waste a good pie on Dubya! Here at Helen’s place, pie is a sacred thing, Dude!


  595. I can only echo what everyone else have written. All I know is I want this jackass son-of-a-bitch out of the White House. Sorry to hear that Dallas is going to inherit him, I was born there and have a son who lives there now. Over the past eight years I’ve made it a point to forget at least one of those facts.


  596. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7785338.stm

    “The brother of the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush has said that the reporter has been beaten in custody.

    Muntadar al-Zaidi has allegedly suffered a broken arm, broken ribs and internal bleeding, his older brother, Dargham, told the BBC.

    Mr Zaidi threw his shoes at Mr Bush at a news conference, calling him “a dog”.

    A spokesperson for the Iraqi military says the journalist is in good health and said the allegations were untrue.

    It is unclear whether the reporter may have been injured when he was wrestled to the floor at the news conference, or at a later point….

    …The shoes themselves are said to have attracted bids from around the Arab world.

    According to unconfirmed newspaper reports, the former coach of the Iraqi national football team, Adnan Hamad, has offered $100,000 (£65,000) for the shoes, while a Saudi citizen has apparently offered $10m (£6.5m). ”

    I think they ought to release the guy for time served in hell with Bush in the White House.


  597. Only thing better would have been a pie in the face. Just seeing him makes me want to throw one. This nit wit has shown nothing but disrespect to the United States, our people, our finances, our environment and our opinions. He deserves a heap of disrespect from us. Pass me the shovel and I will help you heap it on. Love your comments and if I knew you personally, I bet I’d love you too.


  598. I was wishing the journalist threw one of Bush’s own jack boots at him.


  599. Great rant – love it. Now, I am reading that the journalist who threw the shoe has been badly beaten. I don’t know who did the beating, but this is compounding the ugliness of Bush and his crew of thugs.


  600. Pie is over on “Reason for the Season” board. Complete with a recipe for Chocolate Pecan Pie.



  601. Helen, I laughed so hard that I couldn’t breathe. Violence is certainly not the answer.
    Americans are outraged that anyone could take such an aggressive stand against the President of the United States. ” Have some respect”, they say.

    Although I respect the office of the president. I have zero respect for George Bush or his administration. They have brought this country to near ruin, and in turn, have ruined another country in Iraq. Yes, Iraq was not a destination spot before. In fact, it was a wasteland at the hands of an evil dictator. However, there are dictators like that all over the world. It’s not our job to rescue every country.

    I can’t condone the action. However I also can’t condone our president’s decision to lie to us and wage war against a country, for reasons, that are still unsure.
    George Bush has the blood of almost one millions Iraqi civilians as well as thousands of American men and women who served there.
    It’s disgusting, he’s disgusting. He and Palin tie for how many “mental” shoes I’ve thrown their way. At this point, I’ve “thrown” more than Imelda Marcos had in her entire collection.


  602. Well ranted, and I agree with everything you said. One of the supreme signs of his arrogance is how he brushed it off and said it didn’t bother him, ignoring the grave insult that the soles of shoes mean in Arabic culture. He is such a moron; he’s managed to go through 8 years and hasn’t learned anything about anything.


  603. Never apologize for the truth!


  604. I couldn’t believe how slowly Bush reacted; and how much slower still the Secret Service were to get him out of the room.

    Red Cross estimates the Iraqi death toll to be in the TENS of thousands (civilians, mostly) and the wounded in the hundreds of thousands. Imagine if that had happened here? I’ll bet the occupying leader would get some steaming piles of whoop ass thrown at him/her. I know a shoe is the ultimate insult in their culture, but to me it was just sad; seemed like a symbol of a broken people, ravaged and exhausted by the killing, and hunger, and unemployment, and general hopelessness.

    I agree with you about Bush 43s attitude of nonchalance and, dare I say it, cockiness, that has been a hallmark of his presidency. Just proves he has the depth of a puddle, the intellectual curiosity of a weevil, and the emotional range of wet spaghetti noodle.

    You can bet your sweet behinds that if any of his loved ones were over there (or had the remotest chance of being in harms way) we never would have gone in in the first place or stayed as long as we have.

    We should all remember the human toll this war has cost (and in Afghanistan, too). A debt that can never be repaid, lives that can never be replaced. All we can do is make their sacrifices worth something by working for peace and trying to heal our world.

    Hugs to all


  605. No need to apologize, sweetie… Your words ring true!


  606. Mike, I’d like to think that we have already turned things around with the next administration…by virtue of the fact that we elected Obama. The progressive parts of the world have let out a collective breath of relief. I believe that the crazies are no longer going to be running the asylum come January 20.


  607. Helen, you are my hero.


  608. Helen and Margaret
    I love you both! Keep up the great work – I’ll keep coming back to read. Have a nice day now!


  609. Unfortunately, the shoe-throwing was not only an insult to George W., but also to the country that he represents — and given the last several years, it’s understandable.

    Hopefully, under the next administration we can regain some of the respect we’ve lost as a nation.


  610. MichelleSG:

    I have a different view. President Bush Sr. did not even come close to tarnishing the presidency as the Shrub has.

    I like to use the phrase “the apple doesn’t fall from the tree” myself, but I disagree in this case. The current President Bush has been a disaster in every way. His father was not.

    (In the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t vote for Bush Sr.’s second term; I went with Clinton).


  611. Go to it Helen. My husband I want to see Bush/Cheney charged with murder and theft.

    They’ve killed thousands of their own and others, between the war and the economic crisis (is anyone else starting to think that was engineered as well?) have re-distributed the people’s treasure to a select few, stripped the country of it’s morality through rendition and Guantanamo.

    Ack pthpt this will be a hard taste to get rid of. Where’s the pie?


  612. I thought it was interesting also that Condi Rice commented on how this was a freedom Iraiqis never had, the freedom of expression.

    Now the shoe thrower is in jail and his fate is uncertain.

    So either he was free to express his frustration and anger over what Bush did to his country or he wasn’t. Which is it?


  613. I’m having some difficulty looking at the video of that shoe-throwing event. I keep seeing Frank Caliendo doing Dubya, with the same ducking movements, the same arrogance, the same dismissiveness… I don’t see a presidential-acting man; I see a frat boy making a joke about it all. What a loser.


  614. My reaction was that I think this Egyptian journalist shoe-thrower has given us the most fair and balanced reporting we’ve seen for a long time!


  615. Beautiful blog. My first visit and I will be back again and again. It’s the right stuff.


  616. Kind of makes you wish that Iraqi wore HORSE shoes!! Bush is already starting a “revisionist” tale about his term (not to mention dickhead Cheney). If you think about the “shoe throwing” incident…Bush’s security must be fed up with him also, they took their good old time coming out of the back room!! Lovin’ it!

    Happy Holidays ladies!!


  617. OMG… another direct hit from my favorite ladies! The “Twit-in Chief” can’t go away too soon. His posse and cronies can go, too, please.
    Thank you for your blogs. They make cold days in Michigan a little warmer.


  618. After watching the video of the shoe-throwing (several times, with some enjoyment), I marveled at W’s reflexes. You’d think he had practice. A lame duck he may be, but the man does duck well. Still, I expect that those hurled shoes, and all they mean, will stick in our collective mind. Shoes may soon become his identifying, signifying feature. Just like Moses was depicted with horns (for horns of light), the world will remember and recognize GW by the shoes on his head.


  619. I read where a group was trying to get folks to leave their shoes in front of the White House as a form of protest. Personally, when it comes to this nit-wit president, I don’t think the pile could be big enough!


  620. Helen,

    You could also have added his response when reminded that Al-Quaida did not show up in Iraq until after the US invasion (one of the rationale for invading in the first place, or was it made up later?): “So what?”
    He deserved the shoe, but maybe aimed at his rear end.


  621. When I saw that, I thought it was a digitally created incident. Now that I know it was real, I am saddened by that idiot’s response.

    The definition of a sociopath is one that cannot feel empathy for others. I think Bush and Chaney qualify, don’t you?


  622. Do you remember when Bush Sr. was leaving office and was being interviewed by, I think, Barbara Walters? I vaugely remember it but what sticks in my my was that she was calling him Mr. Bush and not Mr. President. Bush Sr though it was disrespectful of the title of presidency, everyone else thought that was how low he brought the title of presidency. You’d think that after we booted that moron the American people wouldn’t be stupid enough to elect his progeny. Obviously the American people were stupid enough to elect his progeny. Twice. The apple does not fall far from the tree…


  623. Oh my word, I miss my Gramma! Only grammas can put such things in perspective. If she were alive, I bet my wonderful Gramma would go on such a rant. Rave on!


  624. I used to write for a newspaper.

    My husband saw the clip before I did and sent me an email with a link to the footage, and this message:

    “I bet you wish that were you!” (tossing the shoes)

    He was indeed correct. :)


  625. plus….

    the shoe throw is an understatement on the part of the Arab.


  626. I think the shoe throwing speaks more than just anger from an Arab. It speaks for all the pain the world had to bear in the past years…


  627. I smell a Pulitzer Prize for Helen!!!!


  628. I think you deserved a rant, especially for putting the shoe-throwing in its true, somber light. I think too many of us are thinking of the humor in the situation, and it was a good reminder to read your post. Rant away!


  629. Way to go Helen! Yes, it deserves a rant.

    I’m reading Madeleine Albright’s “Memo to the President Elect: How We Can Restore America’s Reputation and Leadership” …you’d like it. A scathing look at the mess the US is in on the international stage, and advice for cleaning it up.

    I’m constantly saddened by the arrogance and lack of respect for the world community that Bush’ administration has shown. Go ahead – try and say it wasn’t Bush, but think back to when Colin Powell resigned as Secretary of State. The poor guy fought for military restraint, diplomacy, and adherence to the Geneva Convention – and was overruled by Bush and Cheney. Sad that the one sane advisor Bush had was basically run out of town because he advocated for America to be the “bigger person”, as it were, and have some respect. Sad indeed…

    Thanks for the commentary as always Helen & Margaret! You are the bright spot in lots of people’s days!


  630. When history gets around to having a good look–nevermind the accountants and other investigators–I think that Bush, Cheyney & Co. will go down as the most corrupt (morally and financially) Administration in American history. Harding/Teapot Dome were a mere pee in the ocean in comparison.


  631. Everything Margaret and Helen said, and then some.


  632. Well, the topic deserved a rant, didn’t it?!
    The end of his term can’t come soon enough.
    Thanks for ranting…




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