Posted by: Helen Philpot | April 21, 2009

Maybe America Should Take Rick Perry Up On His Offer

Honestly Margaret, I cannot believe that Susan Boyle went undiscovered for 47 years but that crazy Celine Dion has been wailing away for decades making millions.  I just don’t get the appeal.  Where is the justice? Sort of the way it’s just not fair that we lost Ann Richards but George W. Bush is allowed to live.   

And speaking of Texas Governors, that Neanderthal Hairy Perry is just plain out of his mind.  Does he realize that the United States might take him up on his offer to secede?   After all that would finally rid the U.S. Senate of two more idiot politicians from Texas:  John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison.  Talk about Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dipshit.

I find it very interesting, and even a little bit entertaining, that the likes of Perry, Cornyn, Coulter, Hannity and Limbaugh are all calling for a revolution because Obama is ignoring the will of the people.  Who exactly do they think elected Obama?

When Perry recently spoke of secession he offered the following comments:

“My hope is that America and Washington in particular pays attention. We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what may come of that.”

It’s a variation of the same theme being offered by conservative Republicans everywhere.  So here is my question:  Who exactly do they think runs Washington?   Suggesting that the government is not “the people” is akin to suggesting a church is merely the building rather than those who choose to worship within.  

We have always been a government of, by and for the people.  Nothing has changed – except the people.   And the people spoke loud and clear in November.  If you have an issue about what’s coming out of Washington, get up off your lazy ass and get involved.  Granted 56% of the voting age population turned out this past election but if you see the cup as half empty then you have to be shocked that almost half of the nation’s voters took a pass.  And honestly folks, those of us who do vote keep sending the same people right back to Washington. 

The fact that you Republicans gave Joe the Plumber a microphone again just proves that you think your shit doesn’t stink.  Well it does.  Flush the plumber and move on.  We can’t even get together to make sure every child has health insurance but paying taxes is cause for every tractor pull in the country to suddenly become a tea party.   Where’s the humanity?  Where’s the Christian spirit?  Where’s the Pepto Bismol?

I know that I seem all over the map on this one.  I have been sick and have had nothing better to do but watch cable news all day.  All this finger pointing going on right now has me really pissed.  The fingers should be pointed at ourselves.  Your Congressman has an office in your district.  Have you stopped by?   Have you written a letter?  Do you know his or her voting record?  Do you rely on more than one source to get your news?   Honestly, do you even care?

I am so tired of idiots who forward emails to me about “fantastic” letters to the editor or “I agree totally” with what this person has to say…  You know the emails I am talking about.  Those stupid, factually incorrect rants that get passed around like fleas in a dog pound.  My brother is one of those idiots, sending out mass emails as if his life depended on it.  I’ve got some advice for all you rabid emailers out there.   Read the damn thing before you send it on and do enough research to determine if it is even true.  Honestly, you might as well be passing on a stomach virus with as much shit that gets sent to my email box.

Most recently the subject matter of these emails seems to more and more be about immigration and the downfall of the American way of life.

People – when the population of Latin American begins to look like North America and North America begins to look like South America and East finally does meet West, it’s not such a bad thing.  A global society means we finally have to figure out how we are all going to live together peacefully on this planet.

If you want to preserve Christian values you might start with living like a Christian and not some racist asshole who can’t stand how many Muslims have moved into your neck of the woods or what your neighbor is doing in the bedroom.  And if you want to preserve American values then don’t elect a President who condones torture.  But if you want to stop the globalization of nations and the blending of the world’s population then use a condom, support Planned Parenthood and legalize gay marriage.  Because those are the only things I know that actually don’t add to the growing population on this finite planet we call home.  For crying out loud Governor Palin – the kids were in the next room and didn’t use a condom.  For someone going on and on about family values, you seem pretty clueless about what is happening within your own family.

OK.  I think I am done for now.  I guess being laid up meant a bunch of stuff was stuck in my head and it just needed to come out.   If you come back again, I promise that next time I will focus.  Thanks for all the well wishes.  I mean it.  Really.

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Responses

  1. Totally agree with ya.
    עדכוני חדשות

  2. So Ernesto, your point would be?? Oh, wait, I see it, it’s right on the top of your head.
    Why don’t you take your haterism over to FUX, they like that kind of juvenile reasoning, or, rather, lack thereof. And do have a lovely time at church in the morning.
    Are you just now outraged at an April blog post? D’OH!

  3. Helen is hatefully hockeyful…slip her a pound of Ex-Lax to purge her brain. I like Kinky Freeman’s Mex-Gen Ideas but NOBODY has enough good sense to do it! Texas will be 17th state of Mexico or they will occupy entire southwest USA by 2015…Hutcheson for Governor…lousy lib lied on her…she supports the fence! Foul-smelling libs do not!

  4. Hey JuneauJoe

    Not talking to myself, just observations.

    Great things, like bringing down Hannity?

    I’ll give you credit for aiming high! …and then comes the fall. Your boy is hitting the skids.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    Rock on !

  5. [...] http://margaretandhelen.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/my-big-fat-ass/ or this: http://margaretandhelen.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/how-do-you-solve-a-problem-like-dick-cheney/. Or maybe this goodie where she covers a multitude of subjects: http://margaretandhelen.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/maybe-america-should-take-rick-perry-up-on-his-offe… [...]

  6. Hey Carolina,

    Think you only read a few posts to make up your mind. Keep reading – you will find some interesting and diverse people here.

    There are some people here that are doing some great things.

    I have a feeling that you are talking to yourself with your comments actually.

  7. Oh my — I stubbled across this site. Interesting.

    The Twilight Zone is alive albeit not well, group thinking yourselves into a huff and no dog to kick.

    Y’all need to get out more, see the sights, hold a conversation with a stranger, read some real news.

  8. About those emails- Reply All with a fact checked corrected answer that also points out the racism, homophobia, and all the other reich-wing ‘isms floating out there really works to cut down on the number of these emails that land in my inbox. No matter what age, embarrassment still seems to work as a deterrent. The other upside of taking the time to do it is that maybe one person out there will read some facts instead of lies.

  9. As Molly Ivins quoted John Hightower saying about a former governor of Texas (not Bush or Perry) when he heard said governor was learning Spanish, “Oh, good, now he’ll be bi-ignorant.” Texans seem to be either dumber than dirt or brilliant. Ann Richards, John Hightower and Molly Ivins, you’re dearly missed!

  10. Hi Margaret,

    Well i guess one other thing that would be good if Texas left this great “Union” is we would be rid of Bush. Yea!!!

  11. The ‘Purple Party’ calls.

    Δ

  12. I agree and disagree, Sklyer. People are people, and they usually hear what they want to hear. Liberals in my experience don’t want to know the truth any more than conservatives do. Both sides want to hear what their biases tell them is the truth.

    I like some of the things Obama has done, but I agree with you about the money which went to companies like Chrysler and General Motors. They should have been allowed to go bankrupt with the government’s helping them through the process. It would have saved money in the long run.

    I don’t get many conservative or liberal mailings, but I do get both. Whichever, I read and delete them.

    I am pro- choice, but abortion and our troops at war are two different issues. Our niece and her husband are on their second tour in Iraq now. Our daughter’s college room mate, and some of our children’s high school classmates served there during the invasion until now.

    Our troops were not slaughtered. Too many died, but thousands more died in single battles during WW11. I opposed our invasion of Iraq at first, but I may have been wrong. Millions of Iraqis are living better lives because of what our soldiers did. For the first time , Iraqis can vote in relatively fair elections. Women hold elective office.

    We won a major victory against Al Quiada in what they called the major front of their war against the West. It is too early to know how this will play out, but for now, it was not a waste.

    I think Bush cared about our country as much as Obama, Clinton, and the rest. He and the others may be misguided or even make stupid decisions, but I think they all care about our country’s welfare.

    “Don’t say you are Christian because you are conservative.” I like that, because it is so true.
    I don’t know how liberal or conservative Jesus would have been today.

    I like Fox, at least the non- cable version because it presents an alternative opinion. Its ratings are pretty good compared to some of the others, so many viewers must agree with me.

    I don’t remember who checked. During the campaign an organization determined that Fox was fairer to Hillary than the other news organizations.

    I agree with some of the rest you wrote.

    Since this thread began about Governor Perry, does anyone know if he is related to singer Katy Perry? She comes from a religious, conservative family and once declared her chastity until marriage. Later, she renounced it.

    Her two biggest hits are “I kissed a girl” and “In and Out.” I like her singing, but I wonder what the Governor would think if they were cousins.

  13. Hi Maven Δ,

    Here you go:

    Fox News Sponsors

    Good luck ~ Δ ~ PEACE

  14. My sponsor list for O’Reilly/Hannity was longer than what I posted above. I only listed the ones that I actually could make a decision on.

    I’m not in the market for a Lexus or Mitsubishi Motors car anyways, no use letting them know that. Others were corporate image ads (like AmericanChemistry.com) or for movies or events that will will come and go within a few weeks.

    I know my “boycott” ambition is kinda dumb, but it makes ME feel better.

  15. OMG. I just found the best response to conservative Emails. I can’t seem to copy the link, but it’s called:
    Will Blog For Food: Christian Conservatives, an oxymoron.

    Enjoy, and Ive ranted and raved enough. I’ll go away now (temporarily) :)

  16. It seems to me that, unlike conservatives, most liberals are more interested in hearing the TRUTH than just accepting what any liberal commentators happen to be saying at a given time. At least I would not dream of sending out a mass Email running down a conservative unless I had checked the facts first. Come to think of it, I never get Emails put out by Liberals, do you? And as far as the conservative Emails are concerned, they don’t check the facts first as you say. I am a huge Obama fan and always have been, yet I can’t say that I agree with every single thing he has done however, like throwing all that money into companies that made bad decisions for one, but for the most part, I am so happy to have him in office I can’t stand it. Finally just to have someone with a brain in that office makes my day brighter. My conservative Emailers and friends, however, are for EVERYTHING that conservative commentators say and make excuses to somehow work it into their Christianity. They are Christian”, right? And they don’t want abortion. Fine. Yet they also don’t care if our children have health care, they find nothing wrong with torture, they thought it was fine for Bush to give huge tax breaks to the rich, and they were silent while Bush was in office, lying, being stupid, making money off the war through Halliburtin, and certainly not giving a rat’s ass if our country went down the tubes. They are in awe of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, and ignore the sacreligious statements made by those two idiots day in and day out. When I brought up the lies told on Fox news, my friends said, NO THEY DIDN’T LIE. Without checking the facts, didn’t want to hear the facts and that was that. When I asked them how they could be against abortion and for our military men and women being slaughtered for nothing, the response was: Our military is trained for battle, and are not innocent little babies, and also they signed up for it knowing they may have to go to war. I’m sorry people. You insist on having it both ways. Yes, I think some of you are Christian and you are conservative, but don’t say you are Conservative BECAUSE you are Christian. If Jesus walked the earth today, he would be the most liberal person who ever existed, hands down.

    There is some kind of SERIOUS brainwashing going on in some churches these days and that is scarier to me than the end of the world the conservatives are claiming that Obama is bringing on us.

  17. Hi Maven,

    You are making one big sacrifice watching/listening to those shows to get a list of the sponsors. Please continue and post their names here. Word does get around and what hurts the ole’ bottom line should make them sit up and take notice.

    But take care. Look what reading Coulter’s book did to Helen! We need you hale and hearty. That goes for all my friends on this blog too.

    Aloha!

    Jean

  18. honolulu sally, what a loverly post.. ;-) namaste

    lorbe

  19. Better link to article

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/05/billions-texas-federal-disaster-aid-during-perry-tenure

  20. Just an interesting article regarding the amount of federal aid dollars sent to TX since Perry became governor.

    http://tinyurl.com/dggugs

  21. Maven, Proctor&Gamble also advertise on FoxNews and especially O’Reilly’s show. So does AT&T

  22. Glad to see you are back on the blog – been lurking for quite awhile

    Have missed your humor & insight.

    {{{ hugs }}}

  23. Donna:
    The reason I was watching Hannity (and actually part of O’Reilly just before then) is that I am compiling a list of their advertisers.

    At least half this country detests FoxNews. Imagine if those people decide to not buy a product or use the service of an advertiser. Might we be heard?

    So far:
    Sandals Resorts will NOT get my vacation dollars. Bayer (Crop Science div) will not get my business; I am going with Scott’s. Neither will I buy any other Bayer product. Aflac will not get my insurance business.

    That’s all I’ve got so far. Even with a mission, I couldn’t stand to watch the shows between the commercials.

    It’s Friday! Ÿ Cheers!

  24. Okay you know me – where’s our resident eeyore, UAW?

  25. Lucky me! I have never heard Sean Hannity’s show. I have collected a grant check and an award at two meetings since Wednesday.

    Last night at the economic development banquet was longer than expected since my wife and I helped clean up. We didn’t get to bed until after 1AM. The chief called and told me the silent auction brought a third more than expected.

    I am behind schedual and have to leave now. Please don’t give up on me Werner.

    I don’t think the Democratic litmus tests for the Supreme Court will be any less pervasive than the Republicans, only different. Both sides are politicizing the judicial system.

  26. THAT’S IT!!!!

  27. Beth, I had not heard of that! I had to go look it up:

    Ode to Sean Hannity by John Cleese
    Aping urbanity

    Oozing with vanity

    Plump as a manatee

    Faking humanity

    Journalistic calamity

    Intellectual inanity

    Fox Noise insanity

    You’re a profanity

    Hannity

  28. oozing with vanity
    plump as a manatee

    Or however that wonderful John Cleese poem about Hannity went.

  29. Well what do you know! Someone at Fox can read.

    JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: Five Things You Should Know About the ‘Torture’ Memos

    http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/04/21/napolitano_torture_memos/

    Will there be an I’m Sorry Fox now, to go with I’m Sorry Rush?
    Don’t bother with the comments. Not much wheat in that pile of chaff.

  30. Sean Hannity, the voice of insanity!

  31. Just a little interesting trivia that maybe should be considered when TX secedes:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/04/30/perry-fema-assistance/

    “Secession-ready Texas has received most federal disaster assistance of any state.”

    I personally think that all that aid should be repaid immediately upon secession from the union. . . we can use the monies to rework the border fencing

  32. Snow Greyhounds. . . speed & silliness – all JOY

  33. The Daily Dish by Andrew Sullivan has a very interesting look at the new poll conducted by PewForum on (American) Christianity & torture;

    http://tinyurl.com/d4jxt6

    Seems the credo “turn the other cheek’ has morphed into “turn the other cheek, cuz this one is too bloody to be of use to us”

  34. Maven–I started listening to Hannity on occasion because I felt I needed to hear other points of view. It’s stunning what a complete hypocrite he is, and utterly shameless about it. Talk about a train wreck.

    And his show is announced every single night as a “Special Edition”–right, the daily special edition.

    I can’t quite fathom the stupidity of his supporters. The man relies on the cheapest sorts of labelling–if it was Bush’s press secretary, it’s a press secretary; if it’s Obama’s press secretary, it’s his “propagandist.” It’s always “Prince Harry” and “Princess Pelosi” and “Tax Cheat Geithner” and “Rahm-bo ‘Dead Fish’ Emmanuel.” Michelle Obama can’t be mentioned without the distortion of her statement in Iowa about being proud of the country. Franklin Raines is always referred to as one of the President’s “Top Advisors.” He simply repeats the same lies and labels every day and it’s frightening that anyone buys into it, much less pays him.

  35. Talk about politicking.

    Rick Perry has got it down.

    It is just plain idiotic, as this pie lady notes, to suggest something like secession. It is only politicking. It ain’t nuthin butt.

  36. MSNBC reporting that Justice David Souter is retiring from the Supreme Court. Break out those GOP litmus tests – all the loonies on board!

  37. Sean Hannity on his show tonight took issue with Joe Biden for “Scaring America” because of comments he made with regard to swine flu.

    Huh?

    For months I have heard nothing BUT “scaring America” from the comments made by Republican legislators, right-wing journalists and radio show hosts, our former vice president, and especially FoxNews. We’re not safe, we’re going to be attacked, we’re headed toward communism, the government is going to take away people’s guns/rights/freedoms…. WTF?

    Δ

  38. Werner – good, cuz I’m not computer savvy and I tend to fumble and bumble a lot trying to log on to new adventures. . . about the only thing I’ve managed in the last few months is twitter. and I refuse to set that up on my phone. . .just what I need – a zillion txt msgs coming at me and trying to figure out which ones are work related and which ones i can ignore. . . oy! I need a vacation (again)

  39. Raji

    sure, there is a typo in the name (who would have guessed, since I was involved ;-) ?)

    it is TUMBLR with an “L” not an “i”

    like in:

    http://thinkbetter-thinkpositive.tumblr.com/

    this should work.

    There is quiet a collection already.

    I have an idea why the logon doesn’t work and a simple solution to it, but would llike to wait till tomorrow on the support email, but I think a buddy of mine figured it out, will send email to all members tomorrow as soon as I confirm

  40. Raji,

    try this:

    Think positive!

    Δ

  41. Sally, I would like to second Whirled peas, Namaste.
    What a wonderful post. Thank you for expressing what most of us feel.

    Werner, I could not find the blog when I went to your link http://thinkbetter-thinkpositive.tumbir.com/

    Greytdog, I fully agree with your statement:
    “The conspiracy theories are part of the “something shiny” objects that lead us away from serious discourse on the issues gravely affecting our nation”

  42. Please read “our new blog” above

  43. Hi All

    there was a problem with the email for the “Positive Blog”, I fixed that.

    Anyone that wants to contribute and is not a member can send an email to

    positive-thinkers@hotmail.com

    Please keep this email for further use since I will try not to re-post it here, this is Margaret and Helen’s Parlor and not a “Bill-Board” for your new blog.
    (I know they don’t mind a quick note, but I’d like to leave it at that!)

    I will ask if one of our members will link to the new blog through their name since I would like to keep the link to my (sarcastic!) blog through mine.

  44. I think Michael Savage is a perfect mule, LOL!
    As for theses Anti-Obama churches, they should be reminded of separation between church and state and have their tax exempt status taken from them.

  45. James, that song is ALWAYS appropriate. IMO conspiracy theories are used to distract people from actually thinking . . conspiracy theories are part of the “something shiny” objects that lead us away from serious discourse on the issues gravely affecting our nation

  46. I love the interest in ‘Texas’ mosquitos!

    Yes, they can be quite large, especially the further east and south you travel. I lived many years in the DFW area, as well as coastal Louisiana (Morgan City) where we called the biggest one’s ‘mosquito hawks.’ Don’t know if they were one of Mendl’s hybrids or what. But being allergic to mosquito bites, I went in as the sun set.

    At least in southeastern New Mexico it’s much too dry to support those kinds of mosquitos…. not to mention our fire season now includes most months of the year.

    Now, back to digging weeds out of the yard!

    Keith in New Mexico

  47. Micheal Savage has been reading too many conspiracy theories. They are fun until you actually believe them.

    “There’s something happening here
    What it is ain’t exactly clear
    There’s a man with a gun over there
    Telling me I got to beware
    I think its time we stop, children, what’s that sound
    Everybody look what’s going down
    There’s battle lines being drawn
    Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong…
    Paranoia strikes deep
    Into your life it will creep
    It starts when you’re always afraid
    You stop out of line, the man come and take you away
    We better stop, hey what’s that sound
    Everybody look what’s going down…”

    “For What Its Worth” by the Buffalo Springfield. I like that old song, and after Ragi’s last post, it seemed appropriate.

    I remember when Zorinski died. Local stations broke into late night programing to announce he had a heart attack, and continued with an extended bulletion until he died. He seemed like a good man.

  48. And here we go again!!!

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200904270037?f=h_top

    Examples of conservative media figures blaming Mexican immigrants for the spread of swine flu into the United States include:

    * During the April 24 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage stated: “Make no mistake about it: Illegal aliens are the carriers of the new strain of human-swine avian flu from Mexico.” Savage also stated, “If we lived in saner times, the borders would be closed immediately.” Savage went on to theorize that the outbreak might be part of a bioterrorism threat: “[C]ould this be a terrorist attack through Mexico? Could our dear friends in the radical Islamic countries have concocted this virus and planted it in Mexico knowing that you, [Homeland Security Secretary] Janet Napolitano, would do nothing to stop the flow of human traffic from Mexico?” Savage continued: “[T]hey are a perfect mule — perfect mules for bringing this virus into America. But you wouldn’t think that way, would you? Because you are incapable of protecting America’s homeland, Napolitano.” Savage also stated: “How do you protect yourself? What can you do? I’ll tell you what I’m going to do, and I don’t give a damn if you don’t like what I’m going to say. I’m going to have no contact anywhere with an illegal alien, and that starts in the restaurants.” He added, “I will have no any illegal alien workers around me. I will not have them in any of my properties, I will not have them anywhere near me.”

  49. Greytdog sez “I can’t wait to see what the Sikhs, Buddhists, Taoists, atheists, Muslim, and Jews come up with to “match” these vanity plates. ”

    That was my reaction exactly. Wanna bet there’d be MAJOR protests?

  50. [...] a recent post, Helen writes that perhaps we should let Texas leave the union, as Gov. Rick Perry has [...]

  51. “I find it very interesting, and even a little bit entertaining, that the likes of Perry, Cornyn, Coulter, Hannity and Limbaugh are all calling for a revolution because Obama is ignoring the will of the people. Who exactly do they think elected Obama?”

    I think what it comes down to is how “American people” is defined. If it’s defined as “American citizens,” then, obviously, it would be absurd for these people, who supported a guy with a 28% approval rating, calling for a popular revolt against somebody with a 69% approval rating. But, I think their definition is much closer to that of Sarah Palin when she went out speaking to “real Americans”–i.e. ignorant bigoted white people.

  52. Newbie:

    Excellent post. Excellent response.
    Bravo

  53. Sally, thank you for sharing those beautifully lyrical thoughts. Made me smile.

  54. “Read the damn thing before you send it on and do enough research to determine if it is even true. ”

    Yep. A friend of mine has been emailing me links to articles and broadcasts from various “Christian” media about an assortment of issues including, most recently, Bush’s midnight reg that protects doctors from lawsuits for not administering care. Now, my friend was all up in arms about how Obama voiding the reg was going to mean people could sue if a doctor didn’t agree to perform an abortion. I said (a) why would they when they could just get another doctor to do it, and (b) the reg also gave doctors a pass from ANY OTHER MEDICAL PROCEDURE if it went against their beliefs. That covers a whole bunch of stuff including transfusions in a life threatening emergency. The link my friend sent me, from the Christian Broadcasting Network, did not mention that part. From this I take away the knowledge that the CBN most definitely has an agenda, and that agenda is not the overall wellbeing of the average citizen. It also tells me that they don’t practice real journalism. And since they were lying by omission, it also tells me that they pay only lip service to Christian values. I don’t believe Christ would approve of their way of doing business.

    I zinged my friend back with a flurry of links from multiple other news sources, including the reg in its entirety and an article which included a quote from the AMA saying that they were against such a reg. I told my friend that if I had a medical emergency I would certainly hope the doctor would put MY LIFE before his beliefs, seeing as how he did take an oath to do just that.

    Now, my argument against the reg has absolutely nothing to do with abortion about which anyone and everyone is free to have their own opinion. My argument is that (a) her “sources” were essentially lying about the facts, and (b) she blindly believed everything they said without even bothering to check the facts. And in this day and age there is no excuse for not making at least a small effort at research.

    Welcome back Margaret and Helen. M – hope you are feeling much better.

  55. 100 Days of……

    “Fair & Balanced”???

    Δ

  56. Elaine- you can always tell them you’re just waiting for the Four Horsemen to mount up and ride. . . (of course, don’t let them know that the 4 Horsemen bear a remarkable resemblance to the ancient Celtic Wild Hunt . . might make them flip out more)

  57. The EMail flurry the conservatives sent out before the election were bad enough, but the ones I am getting now are even worse. I am mostly concerned because churches are promoting this blitz of untruths and hatred. My very best friend recently stopped attending her Baptist Sunday School of many years duration. When asked why, she told them that she used to go there to hear about God’s love, but now all she hears is hatred for Obama. At my (Lutheran) Church, they recently mentioned the great sin of embryo stem cell research which, of course, I do not feel is taking a human life. Hello?? Embryos can be frozen so how could they be human lives? Last night, my very good (but conservative) friend called and had recently attended a Fight for Freedom conference where they were told all kinds of untruths about how before long, Obama would be banning people from attending church, and how he is banning freedom of speech where it concerns anti-gay movements and pedophilia! Grief! I may take up residence at Snopes or the other political fact finding sites before long because I spend so much time there! How do people respond to these supposedly religious whacko’s??

  58. Everyone’s grading Obama’s 100 days. . . here’s another class of 100 days that needs to be graded also:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/04/29/100-days-of-opposition/

    “VIDEO REPORT: Conservatives’ 100 Days Of Opposition”

  59. Arlen Specter is definitely a Democrat. Know how I can tell?

    He has a sense of humor.

    Δ

  60. Love that Prine song. :)

    Just one more old tune with fresh meaning for today. (Then I’ve *got* to get back to work!)

    Randy Newman
    Great Nations of Europe

  61. Mcb, by his own account, Spector said his re election chances as a Republican are slim, because conservatives in his district want him out. I think a Republican campaigning against him leads in the polls.

    Spector didn’t say it in so many words, but being a Democrat improves his chances of staying in office. I could be wrong, but I think he switched from Democrat to Republican when Reagan became president. Ronald Reagan said “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. It left me.”

    Spector as a moderate may feel the same about Republicans. He also wants to stay in office, and that poll of 21% Republicans supports my theory.

    I agree Republicans are doing to “conservative” what Democrats did to “liberal.” It doesn’t really matter to me. I have a foot in both camps.

    Werner, I will try to enter your site and post something when time permits, probably tomorrow.

  62. Gramiam & Tine:

    (from John Prine)

  63. When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross – Sinclair Lewis

    that is exactly how it came to turtle island.

  64. James, I remember Ed Zorinsky well. In fact, I had a coffee for him when he ran for Mayor of Omaha. He had to drive down a side street next to my house that had been riddled with chuckholes for years. We had tried many times to get the city to fix it with no luck. The first Spring day after he was elected, the street was resurfaced. Loved that man!

    Ed was a very good Senator and it broke a lot of hearts when he died suddenly in office.

  65. When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross – Sinclair Lewis

    This says it all, doesn’t it?

  66. Greytdog: You might enjoy this Willy Porter song….

    Jesus on the Grill

  67. I heard on the news last night that the latest polls show that only 21% of Americans now call themselves republicans. No wonder Specter changed parties.

  68. gramma rock
    light that image, like it a lot!

    Try these two books, you might like them too….

    Waiting for the galatctic bus

    and

    The snake oil wars
    both are from Parke Goodwin

    first religous book that made me
    a) smile
    b) say, well if heaven and hell are like this, I think I can live with that

    (And I am still an atheist!)

  69. mcb…………”They rage on, filled with hatred and anger and intolerance and do so in the name of Christ…..”

    and that is why when he came back riding a horse on a great white cloud a few years back, the cherokee elders changed his name to joe whitehorse and he lit off on the powwow trail wearing a yellow grass dance outfit. between powwows, he spends his time counting spotted owls and polar bears.

    : )

  70. LORBE and Raji
    still miss your contact info, pls

  71. Hi all

    the “Positive Blog” is up and running at:

    http://thinkbetter-thinkpositive.tumblr.com/

    For all that want to co-operate with the blog and don’t have blog rights to it, I setup an email.

    Just email anything you think of as positive or think will have a positive impact on our future, just send it with attachmetns (photos, video link etc) to

    positive-thinkers@hotmail.com

    and I will post it IF it applies with the few rules we set:

    No politics or religious stuff please!

    Feel free to promote the blog, contribute or apply for blog rights of your own to this blog.

    Werner

  72. So we’ve all seen those “vanity” plates on various autos tooting around the nation. Florida seems to be the most extreme – our cars are laden with these things (just as guilty here – my plate advocates ASPCA spay/neuter programs and part of the plate fees go to support the programs). Now the state of Florida has introduced two new plates – and I just have to wonder where the fees for these two are going. . . Choice #1: Jesus on the cross. Okay. I think if you purchase this plate, you should also have a plastic Jesus on your dashboard. So since one of big iconoclastic arguments between the Catholic Church and the Reformation churches was the depiction of the crucified Christ vs the risen Christ, does the money for this particular plate go to the state Diocese? Choice #2: Stained glass window with a cross. Much more Protestant in a Wesleyan sort of way. I think folks who purchase this one should have a replica of the offering plate installed on their dashboard. And just where does the money for this plate go? Is it divided among the various protestant denominations or just to the megachurches?
    I can’t wait to see what the Sikhs, Buddhists, Taoists, atheists, Muslim, and Jews come up with to “match” these vanity plates. What’s next? Support your local Bubba trailer park & drag race set?

  73. James, you seem to have the reports about Specter the wrong way around. If he was really worried about people voting more conservatively, he hardly would have gone Democrat but rather would have emphasized any conservative leanings of his own.He is switching parties because the people of PA have moved away from the far right and he doesn’t want to be painted as a conservative Republican when in fact he’s always been fairly moderate.

    Face it, “Conservative” has become a dirty word that people are shying away from, and the Republican party has only themselves to blame.

  74. “If you want to preserve Christian values you might start with living like a Christian ”

    Yay!!! Now if we can only get more people to start saying this! They rage on, filled with hatred and anger and intolerance and do so in the name of Christ. Frankly, I think it’s blaspheme.

  75. Honolulu Sally, this one is for you. Arlen Spector joined the “Dimocrats” (heh heh) because polls show he will lose to a conservative Republican. He wants to stay in office, and becoming a Democrat helps his chances. His being one of the three Republicans to vote for the stimulus bill angered conservatives, and they had a vendeta against him. It happens from time to time.

    Thirty years ago, Ed Zorinski of Nebraska told party brass he wanted to run for Senate. They said the seat was reserved for someone else, so he switched parties, ran and became Senator.

    If you read what some “hate mongering” Democrats say, you won’t see much difference between Republicans and Democrats. It is just politics. They have done it since political parties began. Even so, they still manage to work together most of the time.

    I like your post “from the heart,” and I agree with you. Meeting e pals in person is fun, at least it has been for my wife and me. Wouldn’t it be fun if we could gather some place?

    Ragi, I liked Charlotte’s Web. I took basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio and field training at Wichita Falls. Thank goodness, we must have been too far west for the huge mosquitoes or too early in the season at Lackland. I don’t want to meet a tiger mosquito. We have cousins in Austin. I should ask what they think of them.

    Kieth, I don’t especially like trickle down change. It reminds me of dictatorships. I think we usually “get it” first down here and as you say it trickles up.

    Indians have gambling casinos around here, and I hope they make and keep most of the money. Considering how we stole from them over the years, they deserve to steal some of our gambling money now.

    Brule who’s site you can find via google is a Lakota Sioux music group from the plains. They are popular around here as they combine contemporary American and Indian music. The leader of the band wrote a book called “Hidden Heritage” wherein he described the attempted cultural destruction of their nations through the fifties and sixties. At least some in the government sought to change them into upstanding white middle class citizens.

    Oceangypsy, you might want to google Lizzie Palmer’s “Remember Me.” She, with some help, made a short video supporting our troops when the occupation was going badly, and some on the left fringe were becoming anti- military. She had to close her comments section because of the hate posts. Whoever really made the video, it is darned good.

    I’m glad I live in the cold Heartland where it is too chilly for some of those nasty creatures.

    Yes, GreytdogA the first death of a twenty month old is a heart- rending tragedy, for the family and child. Glenn Beck interviewed an epidemic expert yesterday. He said the death rate in Mexico is very high considering the number of reported cases. He thinks the actual number of sick people is much higher than reported. Thus, instead of an over 10% rate it is actually lower. Not much comfort for the people who die.

    He said the flu virus has elements of pig, bird, and human genes, and it is spreading aggressively as during the 1918 pandemic. It is killing mostly young and middle aged as during 1918. So far, the virus is not fully acclimated to humans. That will make the outbreak less severe than it might be. He thinks the virus will mutate and attack in several waves over then next year or two. We should have a vaccine by then.

    The expert is a liberal Democrat, but he said to give credit where credit is due, Bush and Cheney supported plans to create a defense system when bird flu was the rage. Tommy Thompson and another man also helped build what we have now to fight the flu and other contagious diseases.

    This growing epidemic is just a reminder we all will die of something, maybe even today. I have to drive to our county seat this afternoon to get a grant check in a small ceremony. Maybe a truck will run a stop sign and I will be gone. What matters is now. We are all fine and frisky today. Spring is here with new beginnings of flowers, lawns and gardens.

    We are all richer than we know, we winners of a cosmic lottery, and even with dark clouds and rain, it is a beautiful day. I hope we all enjoy it and its blessings.

  76. Honolulu Sally, Namaste’

    Δ

  77. UgaVic-thanks for drawing attention to these issues that affect ocean health and survival of salmon-the food chain! And the impact right now can be felt in rural Alaska…Issues that are being dealt with there, will have impact on us all…
    I look forward to the Broken RainBOw when I have time later. Thanks for the link.
    Maybe we could call it The Repugnant Party

  78. For those who want to be involved in actively helping affect change for the Alaskan Villagers
    please check out and join in at

    http://www.anonymousbloggers.wordpress.com

    There are several areas of vital interest there – and the folks are working with the village elders and other community leaders to have sustainable economies as well as sustainable village culture & lifestyle.

  79. For those who are concerned as to WHY the Western Alaska villagers where in such dire straights this winter – check out MudFlats!!

    http://www.themudflats.net/2009/04/29/somethings-fishy-on-the-yukon/#comment-49668

    A little info on the major reason things got as bad as they did and what is still happening!!

    Maybe some pressure on the “fish stick” companies and the feds will help solve this!

  80. For someone who thinks she isn’t focused, that made a lot of sense to me! Hope you get well soon!

    I live in Austin and wrote our dear governor and suggested that if he wants to secede, he could step down and let us get a new governor who is proud to be an American.

  81. 7:08AM EST – CDC confirms first swine flu death
    23-month old toddler in TX
    Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30471035/

    Helen – you take care of yourself!!!

  82. Raji – palmetto bugs only stink for a short while – stink bugs, on the other hand, leave their smell behind to contaminate the area for a long while. . .yuck. A stink bug is like having a really obnoxious relative come visit for while and then after they leave, their odorous presence just lingers on. . . and on.

    Last night was nice though – the bats were out in full force going after the buggies – I love to see them against the dusk sky – and then around midnight the barn owls came to call. I knew something was up cuz my retriever really was adamant about heading out to yard. . .and he ran right to his favorite tree, sat down, looked up, and sort of chirped and trebled. . .and the next thing I heard was the owl. Those two must have talked for over an hour. . .it made for a charming night.

  83. Hi Sally,

    Lovely post from the heart. All of us hear you and feel the same way.

    Aloha!

    Jean

  84. You know how Susan Boyle just blew everyone away with her beautiful voice – with eyes wide open it was the most surprising and unexpected performance because of our pre-judgement of her based on her looks.

    Just today I was thinking about what my husband always tells our kids – don’t marry for looks, marry for the heart.

    And here I am again – checking Margaret and Helen’s blogsite for the latest comment or link or news, looking forward to the troll and Repug bashing (sorry James and UAW), the conversations, music, rah rah Obama posts, history and current event sharing – on a daily basis.

    The convergence of the above is that here, in Margaret and Helen’s parlor, we are all pretty much unanimous with our quilt, dog, cat, cartoon, or character avatars and our user names. I don’t know what any of you look like, and you don’t know what I look like. We are like pen pals that don’t exchange pictures. [Matthew, could you put M&H buttons up for sale so we can wear the "mark"?]

    Listening to you all is like hearing Susan Boyle sing, with my eyes closed. You could be tall, short, dark or pale. You could be plain, beautiful, fat or skinny. Helen starts the ball rolling, and then the orchestra kicks in. The regulars drum their beat and the cranky notes (UAW) screech out with brass, and the gentle and genteel whirl and spin, and newcomers are like the zingers of the tambourine. And it is music to my reading eyes and delicious liberal left leaning yummies for my political appetite.

    So the point I am trying to make here is that I “heart” all of you. It feels like home.

    Mahalo nui loa (thank you very much),

    Sally

  85. one more thing – Werner could you repost link to the ‘positive’ blog? thanks!

  86. Werner – sorry! I just got back to the ‘puter after a very long day slogging with the pups! By all means, post the video link and notice about the CD/DVD! In fact, please please do!!

    Be back in a while – gotsta feed my pups and critters!

  87. Whirled peas, the praying manitis was “perfect” LOL!!

    Greytdog, thanks for the heads up on the album, Playing for Change. I’ll look for it the next time I need a Starbucks fix. Doubt I can download it.

    James, you must have been a fan of Charlotte’s Web :-). Florida has mosquitos but Texas has BIG mosquitos. I think they are called tiger mosquitos and the story is they are so big you can shoot them with a shotgun! We spent two miserable years in Texas during the Vietnam War and after dealing with the bugs I was so ready to move to Florida and deal with their critters.

    But Greytdog, when you squash that palmetto bug, it STINKS! I’ve washed a lot of shoes.

    Werner, I’ll try the email you posted.

  88. thymeCher, Stooges aka Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Joe the Plumber.

  89. Just read about Spector changing sides. REminds me of th e old saying “The rats leaving the sinking ship.”

  90. Senator Spector will have a whole lot of crap piled on him from the big crappers.

    I wish he’d make a statement similiar to the saved crewmember from the ship that pirates held for weeks, blasting Rush Limbaugh.

    The current “leaders” of the Conservatives and Republicans are going overboard with their hate talk and fear mongering, and it is time for decent folk to disassociate from them. In fact, the one Republican I do think is on the right track is McCain’s daughter, Meghan.

    Went to the Apple Store for a one-on-one session and saw a “Gateway” laptop being looked over by some of the techs. I said that was like having a solo Republican show up at a Democratic convention. Make mine Mac! (sorry PC people, not to deride PCs. I just don’t understand how to use them).

  91. In a short while all that will be remaining in the Repugvacant party will be Larry, Darryl and his other brother Darryl :)

  92. Hats off to Senator Arlen Spector!

    Change starts at the top, as they say, now it’s beginning to trickle down! Interesting part is that those of us at the ‘bottom’ got it before those at the other end!

    Keith in New Mexico

  93. ooops…I meant
    ‘Broken Rainbow’.

  94. ‘Broken Arrow’
    *1h9m

    1985 documentary film about the government-enforced relocation of thousands of Navajo Native Americans from their ancestral homes in Arizona.

    Δ

  95. Werner, I’m not sure what you are looking for. But, my friend and colleague had this posted on his facebook.

    http://gizmodo.com/5231112/best-video-ive-seen-today-will-make-you-smile

    Cows, I have refrained from addressing you as I knew that I could count of my fellow bloggers. But, you might want to watch the above URL. Saying “Screw the Eskimos” is karmically screwing yourself. Further, a realization of interdependence denotes real maturity. You sound like a spoiled teenager. Take a chance and care about someone other than yourself for a change.

    James, I will MOST definitely keep you abreast of my nephew and his deployment. GOD BLESS you, too!

    Everyone else, thanks for contributing to a blog that I really look forward to reading!!!

  96. Greytdog Δ

    Positive blog is setup, do we have you permission to reblog “playing foe change” and link to DVD buy?

    Would consider it a nice opener.

    Fell free to join us over there, once first blog is up I will post a link here.

    Whirled and anyone else form the “White hat” side of this blog (NOTHING todo woth skin or any other coloring, just as opposed to “Black hats”) feel free to join……

  97. 20+ year old documentary “broken rainbow” is a remedial lesson in federal indian policy.
    explains just what the bureau of indian affairs really is and why it was moved from the war dept. to the dept. of interior.
    highly recommend viewing it.

    existing pipeline is 60 years old and runs crosses under the headwaters of the mississippi river. a major fresh water artery of this continent. corporate approach to dealing with spills is to buy the tainted land and put a fence around it.

  98. Oh my!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/28/arlen-specter-switching-p_n_192298.html

  99. I’ve heard about the pipeline since it will not be far from us.

    According to a documentary about the Tar Sands, people in Ft. McMurray sometimes call it Ft. McMoney.

  100. PUBLIC MEETING

    Palace Casino

    Sunday, May 3, 2009

    1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    A delegation from Northern

    Alberta will presest a powerful

    message from their homelands

    They are asking for support to

    help STOP TAR SANDS EXPANSION.

    The oil that flows through pipelines

    here on Leech Lake comes from the

    Alberta Tar Sands.

    Free Lunch served

    Leech Lake RBC members

    will be present.

    Contact person:

    Marty Cobenais

    PO Box 485

    Bemidji, MN 56619

    218-751-4967

    218-751-0561 (fax)

    http://www.ienearth.org

  101. important commentary on tar sands expansion by enbridge corporation. think about it…. 2 barrels of toxic waste for every barrel of oil extracted. greed is an ugly and evil agenda:

    Keep your children close, your inhalers in hand and don’t forget to stock up on drinking water, as a new pipeline is proposed for northern Minnesota.

    A set of corporations has offered $10 million to the Leech Lake tribe in exchange for a 20-year lease of tribal lands. The proposed Enbridge Alberta Clipper pipeline is one of the most controversial in history, with immense environmental and economic impacts. Leech Lake Band and the rest of northern Minnesota would do well to stop the pipeline, joining with thousands of Canadians, indigenous peoples, and indeed a host of shareholders, who think this project is a sham, as well as an environmental and ethical disaster.

    The Tar Sands are ecologically considered the most destructive project on the Earth. The impact is devastating in northern Alberta, and promises to not only link our region into an unsustainable and immoral set of projects, but threatens our own groundwater in the land of lakes.

    The proposed pipeline starts in the north of Alberta, Canada, where a set of companies is literally squeezing oil out of sand, in an economically and ecologically insane process. Consider this equation — one barrel of tar sands oil requires between 2 and 4.5 barrels of water, the addition of two tons of tar sands (scraped from below the surface of the boreal forest), and creates two barrels of toxic waste and one barrel of oil. We might also add that the processing of this tar sands oil requires immense amounts of natural gas. Daily, tar sands producers burn 600 million cubic feet of natural gas to produce tar sands oil, enough natural gas to heat 3 million homes.

    An area the size of Florida is slated for strip mining and in-situ drilling for tar sands. At present, the province of Alberta has leased over 65,000 square kilometers of land for tar sands development without environmental assessment. (Regulations in Canada are very lax in some provinces, leaving only minimal recourse).

    Tar sands production is licensed to use more water than Alberta’s two major cities — Calgary and Edmonton — combined. That water is turned into poison, laced with chemical sludge. And now the tailings pond for Syncrude (one of the corporations) is the largest dam project on Earth and can be seen from space by a naked eye.

    The project is presently producing the most greenhouse gases in Canada, the equivalent to the emissions of the Czech Republic, while destroying the boreal forest, part of the world’s most important storehouse of climate regulating carbon and oxygen of Canada.

    To secure more markets, Enbridge is seeking expansion of this project by initially transporting 450,000 barrels per day (bpd), with ultimate capacity of up to 800,000 bpd available. The proposed Enbridge pipeline will pass through from Alberta through Saskatchewan and Manitoba into Minnesota while ending in Superior, Wis.

    Recent negotiations taking place with Fond du Lac have finally come to an end. After a long battle, the tribe has finally signed an agreement for Enbridge to pass through their lands for a rumored $17 million. This decision now renders Enbridge’s threats to bypass the reservation through a 21-mile detour as fruitless. However, there is no doubt that Fond du Lac temporarily cut the legs out from the project when the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission refused the bypass.

    Other tribes continue to fight, including the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate and the Yankton Sioux who have filed suit against a similar pipeline to stop construction in South and North Dakota. Tribes argue their treaty is being violated by not requiring proper consultation and review as required by executive order.

    Enbridge also wants to pump the oil over Leech Lake lands and through our area of lakes and woods. The lease they are offering will expose, in particular, Leech Lake tribal citizens to the risk of oil spills during transportation.

    Looking beyond the environmental disaster of Alberta, Leech Lake must specifically be warned of the exposure to potential oil spills. Between 1992 and January 2008, the project has experienced a number of accidents averaging a reported 478,000 gallons of spilled oil. The pipelines are not safe.

    Minnesota has already suffered exposure to these spills. In 2003, the Enbridge pipeline spilled 100,000 gallons of oil into a tributary of Lake Superior. In 2007, a spill of 235 barrels of oil in Clearbrook resulted in a fire and explosion causing the deaths of two repair crewmembers. Also in 2007, a pipeline spilled 500 barrels of oil and another 80,000.

    Less than 100 miles from Leech Lake, the Koch pipeline spilled 134,000-plus gallons of oil into 10 acres of seasonal wetland. Several citizens voluntarily evacuated their homes in fear while the EPA alerted the nearby Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe of the spill. Not to mention the Enbridge spill in 2002 that released 48,000 gallons of crude oil at the Cass Lake pumping station.

    It is clear the restoration costs of any spill could outweigh any offer provided by the oil companies. It is also clear that pipelines are the veins of the project, without them the tar sands could not be a reality.

    Why would the companies continue a multibillion-dollar project if they had no transportation for their oil? They wouldn’t. Please use this opportunity to speak with tribal and state leaders about the safety of and environmental impact of this project. We don’t need it here.

    commentary by:
    Nellis Kennedy of the Navajo Nation is national campaign associate with Honor the Earth. Winona LaDuke, is Honor the Earth executive director, a White Earth enrollee

  102. [...] of limiting government, such “states rights” aficionados who ally themselves with Rick Perry and Sarah Palin would even consider ceding such unfettered authority to the president.  [...]

  103. [...] of limiting government, such “states rights” aficionados who ally themselves with Rick Perry and Sarah Palin would even consider ceding such unfettered authority to the president.  [...]

  104. Sure, Werner. Why not!

  105. Tine Greytdog, can I pull you into the “positive blog” thingy?

    If yes, send an email to the above address…..

  106. Greytdog, ew! I *am* sorry I asked. Gack.

  107. Squashing a palmetto bug:
    STOMP down on the whole bug. Things from inside the bug will squish outside the bug. . . GRIND entire shoe on bug.. . Ignore the bug’s screaming. Keep grinding down until the bug is into bits and pieces that cannot crawl back together and reassemble themselves. Wash off shoe.

  108. Oh, and for Hamlet try this:

    http://werner-oderwer.tumblr.com

    and scroll down to Thursday April 23rd, there is a birthday video for Billy that explains how we got “to be, or not be” out of a 5 hour monologue!

    BTW my Bavarian soul always shuddered at the thought of Shake’s’beer and naturally keeps asking “Two beer, or not two beer”?

    But that’s just my one-track mind…..

  109. I will send stuff as I find them. I am leaving AK in June though. There are a lot of great people in AK, just not the people on the top of the food chain,

  110. Greytdog
    can we use the “playing for change release as an openre on our “positive-blog” site?

    Would be great!

    And JuneauJoe, can you contribute soemthing from AK (positive spin) too? just send any copy we may post, form anonymopuis or mudflats or…..?
    You still have my email address, no?

  111. My last post was for LORBE and Raji

  112. So I try this again, doesn’t let me re-post, says it’s there already but no show…. this i where I usually state the in IT logic is not necessarily involved……

    So send email to me at:

    werner_oderwas@hotmail.com

    Hope this works now

  113. Jean
    you sure you where in Philly?
    …just long enough to stay warm in those wretched winters. Spring and autumn were nice though. (Both days.) ….

    sounds a hell of a lot like Quebec to me….. ;-)

  114. Gramiam, I loved your praying mantis story.

    I’m a MN native, so had never seen a live mantis till I lived in other places. I moved to a small town in IL for my first “real” job. I came home from work to my little rental house one day to find an ENORMOUS mantis on my front stoop. It looked so spooky. It was totally tracking me.

    I couldn’t bring myself to walk past it or brush it away, and there was no other entrance to use. After we eyed each other for awhile, I decided it was the perfect time for a nice walk. I hoped the mantis would be gone when I returned. It was, thank god — or I’d’ve had to check into a motel that night.

    Raji, what happens when you squash a palmetto bug? I’m almost afraid to ask….

  115. GreytdogA, people certainly do dumb things don’t we? We move plants and animals into places where they don’t have natural enemies and we are surprised when they turn into a plague.

    Florida is a nice state, and my relatives there like it, but Iowa looks much better to me. We don’t have pythons or Argentine geckos. A trip to the back yard is not an adventure.

    Our worst beasts are badgers, coyotes, Canadian geese, and occasional mountain lions. All of them are natives here and keep rodents in check. I don’t know if geese will eat mice, but chickens certainly do.

  116. Here’s the link. . . note: some of the UF biologists think the damage was really caused by another gator who happened upon the bloated python. . .

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9600151/

    either way, just the thought that these things are in the ‘glades. . . shudder. . .

  117. Hi James – no, I’m not part of the musicians who put together the CD/DVD – just a member of the organization and doing what I can to promote not only the music, but the idea that people standing together can indeed affect positive change.

    I’m trying to find the picture that was posted a while ago showing a python that literally exploded or was torn up from the inside out when it swallowed a FL alligator. Pretty nasty. I was never an enthusiast about camping down in the Everglades, now I have even MORE reasons to avoid that. The pythons are Burmese pythons that idiots buy for pets, the things get too big, and so are released. Just lovely. Right now we are dealing with a couple of foot long Argentinian geckos that are quite aggressive. Add to that the fact that it is hot outside and molting season, so we are also seeing an uptick in pygmy rattlers. . .the backyard is not quite the sanctuary I’d like right now. Mosquitoes are swarming again but we fog the yard with a neem/citronella spray so it’s not too bad. . .

  118. GreytdogA, the British told us having spiders in the the house was good luck. Our daughter hates spiders. One time she found a big one, so I caught it in a glass and slid a paper under the glass.

    The man with the ants and flea infested dog was beyond anything I would do. We have working cats to eat mice and rats around the grain bins.

    One time as I shingled a roof, I saw a nearby spider. I watched its eyes. It was watching me, and its eyes followed my movements. Finally, it lept over a foot to catch a fly. The spider missed, and resumed watching me. Maybe it was trying to judge whether or not it could eat me.

    Brown recluse spiders are another matter. A neighbor nearly lost his thumb after one bit him.

    We have lots of house plants. Probably they are some sort of vegetative monsters that would take over the yard if they were growing outside.

    I heard pythons are now a danger to alligators and other life in Florida. A motel manager told us to be sure to close our car windows when we were in Florida. I had never seen such big mosquitoes.

    Taxes will be higher, but unnecessary spending not related to reviving our economy will make them higher than they would be. The Chinese have been warning us. Inflation will be an even higher tax especially on fixed incomes.

    Now that the Obama has released the information of what we were doing, we need to know the results and have a national debate. So far, we don’t know what information we got or didn’t get. We don’t know if or how many lives were saved or lost because of our methods.

    I’m not sure the “Dimocrats” want that debate, since some of them were pretty hawkish in the beginning. Some of them knew of the harsh interogation methods because they were on briefed committees. We might also want to discuss the effectiveness of rendition which Clinton and Bush both did.

    I only used “Dimocrats” as a counter balance to Mageen in old Virginny who wrote “Repugs.” In real life, I call them by their proper names.

    All I can say about “Playing for Change” is “wow!!” Our dial up service wouldn’t let me see the link. Our computer did funny things after a half hour. I will look the next time I am in a store. You wrote “we are finally releasing our album.” What do you mean? Do you have hidden talents? Are you really “Blondie?” I know you’re not, but I wish you were. Ha!

    Jean, our college social customs professor told us a story about using ice in Egypt. As I started to read, I thought ” I hope they didn’t put ice in their drinks.”

    A crop insurance adjuster was here to discuss our crop loss claim. She said she and her husband were touring the Middle East when war broke out. They didn’t know until a wave of tanks, trucks and artillery swept toward them from the west. They were placed in protective custody.

    The first day of gay marriage registration went well. Our two friends registered. One of my wife’s student’s mother works in the county court house. The staff went to work early just as they do at Target on Black Friday.

  119. LORBE andRaji

    didn’t get the comment mail (my comment system seams to have a problem) I tried to post my email here but the post blow up twice?

    Will try again later

  120. OK again (last post evapourated)
    LORBE and Raji

    and all others that would like to join the positive Group-blog, please send me an email direct, my comment system stopped working (for the 2 I answerd all is fine only since 48 hrs I have trouble)

    “werner_oderwas@hotmail.com”

    Some wingnuts already send this email to nigerian spammers (thanks for all that money, assholes) so I may aswell use it in the open, will just change it if my junkbox is full ;-)

    I will repond sfter I setup the blog (most propably this afternoon)

  121. Playing For Change announcement: Today, April 28th, 2009 is a big day and has been a long time coming. After 4 years of filming and recording musicians around the globe, we are finally releasing our album “Playing For Change: Songs around the World,” featuring a 10 song CD and 7 track DVD. This is a collection of songs and videos featuring over 100 musicians from around the world that have never met in person, but have been brought together through the power of music.

    http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2539741

    CLICK HERE http://playingforchange.com/ TO BUY THE CD/DVD NOW or visit your favorite Starbucks location to pick up a copy in person!

  122. This Praying Mantis says…

    “M&H are #1.”

    Δ

  123. Jean, I always enjoy your stories and history lessons. Funny how often we forget about the “ice” while traveling.

    Greytdog, thanks for the name, water hyacinth. When I was still in Florida, there was a big alert for all to watch out for Kudzo so it wouldn’t get started and take over like it did in the Southern states. I guess Florida learned a lesson introducing the water hyacinth.

    Gramiam, praying mantises didn’t bother me since we had those in the tropics but my first introduction to the palmetto bug was similar to yours and I quickly learned not to squash them.

  124. Hi gang,

    While we are awaiting a new post from Helen and Margaret too! here’s a little human-interest story for entertainment.

    Some time ago my husband and his colleagues worked like beavers for nine months on a contract proposal for a satellite communications system with the Egyptian government. When it was time to go over there to negotiate the contract, my husband was in charge of baby-sitting three huge boxes of the contract. They in fact booked three first class seats for the long flights over there and my husband couldn’t let those boxes out of his sight! There was a team of 17 guys who went to Cairo. Technical people, lawyers, etc, etc, etc. It was a big deal.

    OK. When they got there of course none of them spoke Egyptian and their counterparts spoke pretty shaky English. They had interpreters, which turned out to be awkward at best. One day, two of the Egyptians happened to say something ‘sub rosa’ to each other in French. My husband is fluent in French and answered them. Whoa! The Egyptians had been educated at the Sorbonne in Paris so were also fluent in French. The negotiation went along in French much more smoothly from then on with my husband acting as interpreter. He and the Egyptians got to be good buddies.

    They were in Egypt for two months during January and February. Because of the time difference turning day into night, he and I only had a few telephone conversations. He was living it up on the banks of the Nile, nice and WARM, going down to Luxor, Karnak; seeing the pyramids, the Sphinx and going up to Alexandria to see the museum full of mummies. That’s the up side of his adventures.

    I was not a happy camper. At the time we were living in suburban Philadelphia and it was miserably cold and damp. We had our 13-year-old son and had brought my mother to live with us the last year and a half of her life. I had a full schedule of keeping my mother’s medical appointments and getting my son to 6:00AM swim team practice in the dead dark of night. We had a long upward sloping driveway that was icy half the time.

    I would be out there bundled from head to toe in my fur coat. Yes, damn it!!! I had a fur coat!!! I trashed my animal rights convictions just long enough to stay warm in those wretched winters. Spring and autumn were nice though. (Both days.) I would be out there shoveling sand under the rear tires to get some traction for the head start run up the driveway. The sky was blue not from sunshine, but some unladylike expletives. My stock answer to anyone was, “I’ll be there if I can get outta the driveway!”

    Here’s the down side of my husband’s story. I didn’t know any of this until he got back. He didn’t want to worry me. Before they left the whole group was thoroughly briefed for days on end about the Egyptian culture, religion, what to say and do as well as what not to say or do. They were vehemently told NOT to drink the water, to brush their teeth with bottled water, etc. So far so good, but NOBODY told them about ice!

    One night they were celebrating in the hotel’s bar. You guessed it. Ice in the drinks. The whole team came down with the Pharaoh’s Revenge. For the rest of the negotiations, they each had to excuse themselves (make a run for it?) every few minutes to get to the men’s room. Of course they were given medication but apparently it was only palliative. The Revenge was constant and re-occurred for a period of time until it had run it’s course – even after they got back. One day a group of the team was going up in the elevator for another miserable day of negotiations. One of them groaned and said, “I will consider it a crowning accomplishment the day when I can achieve a dry fart.”

    The contract was signed!!! My husband and his counterpart spent a whole day initialing every single page of the contract. To save the three first class seats going home, he supervised the contract proposal boxes being burned.

    You can imagine what a dreadful trip the flights home were for all of them. My husband said when they FINALLY approached New York most of the passengers were all excited, huddling close to the plane’s window to get a sight of the Statue of Liberty. He couldn’t have cared less. (Not very patriotic of him, huh!) All he could think of was the public drinking fountain in the airport – AFTER he visited the men’s room.

    When he deplaned l hardly recognized him! He had lost 17 pounds in two months and was pale as a ghost. We went straight home and he hit the sack with instructions; if anyone called, he wasn’t back yet. No sooner was he in bed than the phone rang asking for him. I said he wasn’t back from Egypt yet. The guy chuckled and said, “It’s OK, this is so-and-so and I came back with him.” I said, “I’m not the best liar in the world but I’m doing the best I can!”

    Would you believe!!! The ink was barely dry on that contract when, after umpty jillion years, Sadat and Begin decided to kiss and make up with a hand shake at the Camp David Accords. The Egyptians didn’t have any money, and still don’t. The Saudis were going to pay for the contract. Camp David pissed the Saudis off to a fare-the-well so they refused the Egyptians the money. Over a year’s work went down the drain. Later, my husband and a smaller group had to go back for three weeks and undo it all.

    One of his still sick and weary colleagues said, “Peace sucks!”

    Aloha!

    Jean

  125. Axis of Evil: Cheney, Addington, Yoo
    Asses of Evil: Rove, Bybee, Bush
    Just Asses: Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Buchanan

  126. Mageen in Old Virginny, amen, who are the “evil doers” now? Our Justice system or the World Court I wonder which will get them first.

  127. Mageen in Old Virginny on April 27, 2009
    at 2:37 PM

    “to thine own self be true…”

    http://absoluteshakespeare.com/guides/hamlet/summary/hamlet_summary.htm

  128. My favorite “bug” story concerns meeting New Jersey’s biological answer to swarms of mosquitos. Seems they imported some giant praying mantises from Japan. The suckers are 6 inches long and have an insatiable appetite for “skeeters.” I met one of these superbugs on my first day in my new apartment in New Jersey in 1968. Scared me spitless!! I had never seen an insect that big except in bad science fiction movies.

  129. My gosh, I just can’t help myself! This blogsite is way too good!

    As for all those Repugs who don’t want all the dirty laundry on torture hung out in public and are trying to get away from the very idea of war crime trials, here is something to consider. Repugs eat their own and in public. Just you wait a bit and you will see how they turn on each other until it looks like the last act in Hamlet. What Holder and Obama could do to them is nothing compared to what they do to themselves and their partners in crime.

  130. Frankly speaking I don’t think we can get away from higher taxes in the future. But that’s simply MHO.

    On being tender-hearted – okay James I think you might be taking this a bit far. . . I once worked for a guy who used to “rescue” ants from a swimming pool. . .and refused to use flea treatment on his dog because it was cruel to the fleas. . .while his dog scratched herself bloody. . .We have these nasty wolf spiders in Florida – big nasty things that JUMP – I have honed my hurling, lacrosse, handball, and jai alai skills by pitching these things against the wall at high velocity. And don’t even get me started on palmetto bugs. . .

    Invasive water plants – here in Florida it’s the water hyacinth. Kudzu is a land-vine that turns a drowsy, humid landscape into a verdant sci-fi scape. . . and actually stinks in the southern summer heat.
    Lots of invasive plant species in FL thanks to its semi-tropical climate. Boston Fern is actually an invasive plant that spreads like the pox. It makes a nice ground cover but sheesh. . .if you don’t control it here the damn thing ends up taking over EVERYTHING.

  131. To: Tillthecowscomehome

    I don’t understand your comments at all. You obviously are capable of reading and writing. If you don’t enjoy this blog, then stop reading it. It’s just that simple. I’m sure Ann Coulter or Sean Hannity has a blog you would enjoy. You are obviously someone who sees the world in black and white, and never question authority. You believe the platform stance and you don’t think for yourself. Too bad. Too bad for you, that is. The world is good and bad, safe and scary, but you’ll never ssee it all because you’re too blinded by right wing pseudo conservatism.

  132. uncommonsence, one of my sisters in law has Turner Syndrome. Doctors told her that she is genetically predisposed to most bad parts of her family’s genetic heritage, and they seem to be right. She suffers from many maladies, but she keeps her good cheer. I agree, gender identity and sexual attraction probably have roots reaching to sources before birth.

    Ragi, you know what I was writing about. I was so tender hearted, I caught the bugs and took them outside. I do it with spiders too. Our cats tried to eat the little beasts. One couldn’t walk by a soy bean field without disturbing clouds of beetles. I hope we never see them as numerous as they were.

    Was Kudzu one of the plant species introduced to stop erosion? Could it be what you were mentioning? If so the vines grow so fast, they can cover a house in a short time. What ever the plant is it can harbor Asian soybean rust. Its like the poem. “I know an old woman who swallowed a fly…”

    I agree UAW Tradesman about future high taxes. The British face possible 50% taxes, now. Andrew Llloyd Webber wrote he is worried that productive Britains who pay for the government services may flee the country or go John Galt.

    John Dingal is right about cap and trade.

    I hope lots of people take Werner up on his plans for optimism. He has a nice site.

  133. Hey UAW, welcome back

    James, do not even mention those horrible Asian beetles that look like ladybugs. That lady with the shovel is nothing compared to what I have dealt with. Yes, they bite, they stink and they leave stains everywhere and swarm so thick outside even the animals run. They may have served their purpose but then multiplied to an unmanageable degree.

    Don’t get me started on the introduction of exotic species to control a current problem. Florida introduced a plant species (the name I can’t recall) which choked all the water canels.

    Werner, I also made a comment on your website.

  134. Hi guys : have never posted on your site before, but hey I just read where Gov. Perry wants FEDERAL aid to deal with the swine flu threat! Now what federal government’s help is he referring to? What do you think? Should we give him a flu shot to go with his tea(bag)? Hmmm?

  135. Swine flu and corporate pig farms! Not your neighborhood pig farmer.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/12840743/porks_dirty_secret_the_nations_top_hog_producer_is_also_one_of_americas_worst_polluters

  136. thought I’d check in…
    had a busy week and then helped a buddy reroof his house…..got rained off …maybe some more today….
    watching the flu news….
    werner…I helped butcher pigs not raise them…I’m retired but some of the people I worked with did eat like pigs….
    and now for the rant….
    to the people that are bitching about the TEA-PARTIES…who cares if your weekly tax goes down 7 or 8 dollars when they start adding all the other taxes….even my own (D)John Dingell says that the cap and trade is a tax AND A BIG ONE…
    werner how much is the tax on gas in Canada in comparison to Michigan…I think it’s $.56@$2.00/gal here…we kept hearing about how much more gas was in Europe but do we have to raise it here…and who’s going to pay it…a lot of people making less than $250,000….
    now as far as taxes go I myself would like to pay more taxes….$5 million hell $10 million a year….let them take half!!!!

  137. my rabid republican sister in law LOVES sending me emails about killing all the wolves in Idaho… the evils of Socialism, and the Banking industry.

    I haven’t blocked her yet, but certainly don’t open a thing she sends me.

    welcome back!

  138. I agree James; gender assignment is not just male and female. I have a friend with Turner Syndrome; this is a female entirely missing one of the two x chromosomes or having a one complete x chromosome matched with an incomplete x chromosome. As we learn more about the human genome, we may even have a genetic explanation for transgender and homosexuality. We still have a lot to learn.

  139. L0RBE

    Hi comment didn’t work (didnt’ redceive any mail), could you be so nice and do it once more??

    Greetings

  140. Yes, GreytdogA, knowledge is power. No we can’t treat humans as we did soy bean fields. Ha!

    We met a lot of Brazilian farmers to learn from them. We were told to scout our fields with magnifying glasses especially if the fungus had been reported within a hundred miles of our fields. Once tiny blotches appeared on a few leaves, we had days to spray an anti- fungicide to stop the spread.

    Another would temporarily halt its spread if none had yet been found. One worry was if all farmers sprayed their beans at the same time, water and other shortages would develop, and custom operators would be swamped so all of the beans would not be sprayed on time. If our magnifying glasses showed a suspicious leaf, we were to send it to our extension office to be routed to an ag university for testing. If too many suspicious cases came in, we were spray anyway.

    One Brazilian farmer advised us if we saw a neighbor’s field with symptoms of the disease, we should spray it immediately with or without permission. I’m not sure he was joking. We told him doing that here would lead to visits from lawyers in black suits, and he laughed.

    As luck would have it, a drought developed to prevent the spread, and that winter, freezing temperatures reached the Gulf Coast.

    Farmers tried biology to fight another scourage. Asian soy bean aphids threatened to suck the life out of soy bean fields because they had no natural enemies. Enter spotted Asian lady beetles. They loved the little beasts, and they were efficient carnivores. The bugs saved many fields, and they multiplied.

    That fall, they fled to warm places, including people’s homes. An Omaha extension agent advised people to vacume the bugs and to release them outside. They were too valuable to kill. They didn’t do any harm, though they sometimes bit. A neighbor used a shovel to get them out of his basement. The bugs and aphids have achieved a better balance since then.

    Bill Clinton was impeached because he lied under oath in a court case involving Paula Jones, I think. He lied again to a special prosecutor, and on television to the American people. No less important personally, he lied to Hillary. Had any of us done what he did, we would have been jailed for perjury. Because of it, Clinton’s law license was revoked….if I remember correctly.

    Because he deserved punishment, I supported his impeachment since the trial was punishment enough, and I supported his aquital. Clinton just needed public and official acknowledgment that he had broken the law, and that black mark was a fitting punishment for a politician, many of who’s policies I supported.

    I doubt this is true, but the next time anyone becomes apaplectic over Ann Coulter, here it is: Intersex conditions are more widespread than we assume. An extreme version is xy genetic males whose bodies produce but do not react to testosterone. They are born looking like girls, and the condition may not be discovered until the teen aged years. Nothing can be done to “cure” the problem since it occurs at a cellular level. They live their lives as attractive women, and they are infertile. Rumor mongers have theorized that Ann Coulter is really a genetic male. I don’t think its true, but it is another conspiracy theory for people who like them.

  141. From the Orlando Sentinel (not a good paper but okay) – some ways to keep panic from setting in over the swine flu

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/orl-swine-flu-spread-track-042609,0,1464769.story

    It’s about knowledge and being proactive rather than being reactive from an hysterical point of view.

  142. Nana Moose I ditto that. We have such wonderful caring people here too, also.

  143. Sorry Sally sneezing into ones blouse is a 4.5.
    I wonder if it goes higher depending on ones bra cup size:)

    Just passing this on. One of the best homeopathic remedies I used for some 20 years is made by Boiron / Oscillococcinum for flu & cold symptoms best used on the onset of feeling icky.
    Can be found in any health food store, GNC or the internet.

  144. Lucifer, don’t forget Helen is in Texas. I’d rather keep her and Texas also. Helen, so glad you are back and putting into words what we are all thinking. Such insanity out there. I think the tea-baggers look so silly (and make one rather sick) because they are just desperate to find something wrong with something so right.

    Let’s celebrate the first 100 days–of honest, transparent government, of end to torture by Americans, of stimulus money for weatherization, for health clinics, for the unemployed, for jobs, for education, of hope, of change, of consideration for consumers and regulation on financial institutions and credit card companies, of the addition of Bo the White House, of extended handshakes, of a new veggie garden at the White House, of a White House open to the people, of administrative appointments of which we can be proud.

    Stay well. Keep on writing. We’re here and loving every word.

  145. thymeCher, that was a funny video. It probably is true that sneezing in one’s sleeve is more sanitary than in one’s hands. I, myself, open up my neckline and sneeze into my blouse. Yes, contaminated boobs. (Down! Werner).

    JBDC, Ann Coulter doesn’t know when to stop being a “comedianne” and when to be an ordinary human being. Little does she know that she has come off portraying her mother as a bitch that knows how to teach bitch. Indeed the silver lining in all of this is that Ann does not have children of her own. Ann is the end of the bitch line.

    Amen to that.

  146. Hannity about a special investigator to go after Bill Clinton after he left office.

    http://mediamatters.org/columns/200904240025?f=h_column

    Hypocrite!!!! That is Hannity! Hannity wants nothing to do with a special investigator to go after Bush and friends.

  147. One thing I think that the Texas Guv really forgot when he talks of leaving the union is all the federal aid that his state will no longer have. They are going to have to have their own Military, their own “federal” gov’t etc. What about any military bases. What about highway dollars. Hmm will NASA remove its faciliities from there.

    What a knob to talk like that.

    Just think if they tally up how much tax they are going to have to levy onto their citizens. If they are stupid enough to do this just think how they will cry about their situation when they realize they need to raise taxes…

    This blog is wonderful and I sent it onto a friend of mine who personally knows Obama campaign folks. I am sure they will enjoy reading posts all the posts by real Americans.

  148. JBDC,
    I read what Ann Coulter wrote about her mother.
    I am sure glad Ann does not have any kids. I am glad her mom was not able to read it as she had wished. It would have given her a heart attack.

    When my mom died, we had a lot of good things to say about her and her life. I hope Coulter likes her money because she certainly is lacking in humanity.

  149. Okay – we haven’t heard from UAW in awhile – and with all the pro-liberal jawing, you’d think he’d popped in by now to refute us. . .UAW, please let us know if all is okay. . .

  150. JBDC, went to the link you provided. And frankly speaking, all I could think of was. . . apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Nasty thought, and my mother would slap me upside my head for having that thought, much less putting out there in the ether. But then again, my mother is a liberal feminist democrat and an ordained minister – all of which were, apparently, anathema to AC’s mother – and she has very high standards for her children (standards which we rarely meet but for which we always strive)

  151. Helen, glad you’re back on track in time for spring. Take care of yourself. Be well!

    I scrolled through comments above figuring SOMEONE had posted about this, but I didn’t see anything.

    Ann Coulter’s mother passed away last week. When I read this news, I had a great deal of compassion for Ms. Coulter because losing a parent is traumatic for everyone, regardless of political affiliation. Then I read the eulogy she composed for her mother:

    http://www.anncoulter.org/cgi-local/printer_friendly.cgi?article=309

    and the compassion was gone. Anyone who would use their own mother’s EULOGY as a platform from which to make political swipes is beyond despicable in my book. Poor Form. Uncouth. Almost unbelievable. And from some other blogs I read that the conservatives are calling liberals hypocrites for criticizing Coulter’s eulogy by comparing it to the political rally that unfolded at the public memorial service for Paul Wellstone. Wellstone’s PUBLIC memorial certainly was an inappropriate and unfortunate occurence, but to compare that to vitriol spat out by an asshat like Ann Coulter in a piece that should have been a PERSONAL heartfelt, loving commemoration of her own mother? Not even close.

  152. Here’s something to give you confidence in the GOP:

    “When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year’s emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans. ”
    Article continues at:

    http://www.thenation.com/blogs/thebeat/430261?rel=hp_picks

    Author: John Nichols on 04/26/2009 @ 12:50pm

  153. The velocity of a sneeze:
    “A typical sneeze has a velocity of about 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers per hour), an impressive hurricane squall, while a regular breath idles along at just 5 mph.”
    Source:ScienceLine.org
    Author: Adam T. Hadhazy, posted January 28th, 2008.
    URL: http://scienceline.org/2008/01/28/ask-hadhazy-sneeze/

    And so you can just extrapolate how quickly an airborne virus spreads. . . and why it’s very important to cover your mouth when you sneeze, and then WASH YOUR HANDS (omigod I’m channeling my mother)

  154. Thanks thymeshare on the cough and sneeze etiquette video. Liked the olympic style judging, good for a laugh. Didn’t someone say laughter is the best medicine? And it’s free

  155. 100 day test = no big deal with Republicans in office.

    I was just thinking how the Republicans made White Water and Monika L a big deal during Bill Clinton’s years as President. (One was a bad investment and the other was a blow job.) Clinton was impeached by the Republicans – 100 Million dollars spent.

    Now, we have a trashing of constitutional rights and torture. But we are not supposed to talk about independent investigations or court action if a person allowed illegal procedures to be used.

    The Republicans want it both ways seems to me.

    I do think Obama needs to address the economy and health care so he should have an independent inquiry set up.

  156. The 100 Day Test

    Could some of you please enlighten me about Obama having to pass “The 100 Day Test”. I somehow do not recall so much scrutiny on any other President in past history.

    Maybe the powers that be are basing this concept on the 100 Day Stallion Test that a horse must pass before he can be approved for stud!

  157. James wrote: “I read this flu virus shares traits in common with the Hong Kong flu which may be why most people getting sick are healthy young adults. Those of us alive in 1968, may have built some immunity.”

    That’s good to know. I got the Hong Kong Flu and was the sickest I have ever been for over two weeks but the good news is I have never had the flu since and do not take flu shots as Honolulu Sally is correct. The flu shot is always a year or two behind

    James also wrote: “The federal, state and local governments devised a strict quarantine system complete with destruction of soy bean fields. I would apply some of the safety measures to human epidemics.”

    Somehow James, I don’t think our government can get away with the destruction of “humans” as easy as soy bean fields . Can we pick and choose :-)

    Greytdog, it’s that poop cleaning that keeps you healthy!

  158. People freak out cuz I let puppies and dogs kiss me. Rather have a sloppy dog kiss me than handle money,shake hands, or deal with snotty-nose kids. Drives me nuts when people start hacking and sneezing without covering their mouths or using a kleenex. I use hand sanitizer all the time at work – and yes, I also use it on my face – because I don’t want to transfer germs to the animals or people. I’m fanatical about cleaning the cat box, picking up the dog poop (I remain appalled at folks who only pick up the poop in their yard once a week) several times a day (and then washing washing washing my hands afterwards). Before hand sanitizers came along, I worked in restaurants. And we always had bleach water for the kitchen staff and wait staff to dip into before food handling and moving trays. Now they use gloves – but even that gives me the willies since many restaurant workers wear the same set of gloves for the entire shift. . . ugh.

  159. The United States soy bean crop had a serious potential threat three or four years ago as Asian Soybean rust arrived from South America. The federal, state and local governments devised a strict quarantine system complete with destruction of soy bean fields. I would apply some of the safety measures to human epidemics.

    I would stop everyone at the border, check their medical conditions, ask questions about contact with sick people, etc, and if there was doubt put them up in a hotel or motel at our expense. When in doubt, we would err on the side of caution in holding people. Governments have supposedly been training for an avian flu pandemic for several years. If there aren’t enough people to do what needs to be done, every person they do isolate means hundreds or thousands who don’t get sick until later if at all.

    All people, including American citizens with a reasonable chance of having been exposed to flu would be would be quarantined. They would stay in their own homes. I wouldn’t let people within a hundred miles of a confirmed case ride an airliner. Since this is not a life and death matter for eight or nine tenths of us, a stern warning or small fine would be the penalty.

    Quarantines were not uncommon through much of the 20th century, and people managed. My mother’s family was quarantined. An aggressive attempt to slow the flu’s spread would be good practice for any future deadly epidemic. These safety measures would be the equivalent of a fire drill in my opinion, and they would save some lives. This would be a practice run, not a fight for our lives.

    Anything to slow the infection gives companies more time to build supplies of tamiflu and create a vaccine. I didn’t know Rumsfeld had anything to do with Tamiflu. He gets around doesn’t he?

    Those three rules, especially hand washing and not touching our faces, are what we need to follow. Some day, we will have stories to tell the next generation if a pandemic starts.

  160. It is amazing how much money is made by drug companies with their flu shots. I do not take them, and have known people that get sick from taking them. Many times the shot is for an older type of flu and does not help protect you from the current type of flu. Yet, people line up to get the shots.

    Best thing to do is to boost your immune system. I use herbal stuff from American Botanical (herbdoc.com) or Congaplex capsules from Standard Process Inc. Anytime anyone around me sneezes, coughs, has a runny nose, etc., I take my immune boosters. Haven’t been sick in years.

    It is also important that people who are sick STAY HOME or do whatever necessary to contain your germs. In Japan, I saw people with masks over their mouths and thought they must be obsessive complusive freaks, but they were actually being polite, and keeping their germs to themselves. I even saw one of them wearing a sanitary pad over their nose and mouth.

    Stay healthy, everyone.

  161. Proper cough and sneeze etiquette for M & Her’s:

  162. Rumsfeld cashes in on bird flu

    Bird flu / Sixth swan tests positive for H5N1 bird flu in UK / One dead, five infected with bird flu in Pakistan

    WASHINGTON – US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has made more than US$5 million ($7.8 million) from selling shares in the biotech firm behind Tamiflu, the drug being bought to treat a possible bird flu pandemic.

    More than 60 countries have so far ordered large stocks of the antiviral drug to try to protect their people against the deadly H5N1 strain of the disease. The United Nations estimates that a pandemic could kill 150 million people worldwide.

    Tamiflu does not cure the disease, but if taken soon after symptoms appear it can reduce its severity.

    The drug was developed by Californian biotech company Gilead Sciences. Rumsfeld was Gilead’s chairman from 1997 to 2001. He sold some of his shares in 2004 for more than US$5 million.

  163. Well seems that DHS is taking precautions at the border. . .

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30398682/

    Folks there are three components at work here:
    1. Don’t panic. The only thing panic does effectively is stampede the livestock and get people killed
    2. Wash your hands. Wash with hot water, suds your hands well, and scrub for at least 30 seconds. Use paper towels to wipe your hands. If you work with the public, use hand sanitizer constantly
    3. If you’re feeling puny. STAY HOME. Call your doctor if you’re running a fever. STAY HOME.

  164. James, while in theory I agree with the idea of medical quarantine (after all we do it with livestock and companion animals as well as with plants), I am leery of the idea at this present time and in this country. My fear (based on the last couple of decades) is that the quarantine issue would simply be a “cover” for extreme prejudice against minorities. And given the fact that we simply don’t have the trained personnel for border patrol, who’s gonna man the quarantine quarters? Where are these people to be held? What if someone is merely incubating the virus and isn’t in the contagion stage – how do we choose who is quarantined and who isn’t? Just foreign travelers or all travelers from foreign destinations? What about interstate travel? Should people from kansas be allowed to travel? What about folks in California, or NYC? Who will stop them? And if a person does indeed travel against the quarantine, what is the penalty?

  165. Back with a bang! Helen, so glad you are feeling better! You were missed.

  166. Whirled Peas:

    That is amazing video about Chernobyl.

    I just read where Nuclear Power Plants have no insurance. If a reactor fails, the cost will have to be picked up by the government.

    I was in OR when we had a vote against Nuclear Power about 15 years ago. The Utility company that owned the aging OR Nuclear Reactor put in lots of money to vote the measure down.

    The vote went for the Nuclear Industry. Shortly after that vote, they found cracks in the pipiing and concrete in the buliding of the Nuclear Power Plant. They blew up the buildings and it is now gone..

    The dangers of Nuclear Power are very significant.
    One bad weld can cause a melt down. Concrete which is not good can be an issue and what to do with nuclear waste? Nuclear Waste is a forever problem – where will it go? How will it get there. If it gets into systems which interact with people, people will die.

    Nuclear = BIG PROBLEMS with no solutions.

  167. Werner, I finally was able to see some of the youtube images. I didn’t see signs like that at the Omaha TEA Party we attended. Those signs are outliers like the ant-i war signs I saw on conservative web sites. One picture showed a smiling woman with a sign “God D America.” Another read “Support our troops. Shoot a recruiter.” Those signs were not typical of the anti- war protests nor of the anti- spending demonstrations.

    GraytDogA, we should have closed the borders before now, and we should have instituted quaranteens around reported cases here. Even now, I think the government should quarentine people crossing the border and those who have been exposed to flu victims here. Health officials used quarantines during the WW1 pandemic.

    They wouldn’t have stopped the flu, but they would have purchased a little time to give doctors time to understand what they were dealing with. and to produce a vacine. The biggest potential problem as I previously noted about my experiences in England is if too many people get sick at once and overload the health care system. Basic services would also suffer.

    I read this flu virus shares traits in common with the Hong Kong flu which may be why most people getting sick are healthy young adults. Those of us alive in 1968, may have built some immunity. So far, the death rate in Mexico is about 14%. A blogger calculated that if a world wide epidemic develops, 850,000,000 or more people could die world wide. People die in every flu epidemic, so there is no need to panic, just be careful. Obama might be worried. One of the men he met in Mexico died the next day, possibly of flu.

    Yes, Jean, it is interesting how different religions borrow from each other. In the case of Christians, Jews and Muslims it is normal, because we are different faces of the same religion. We spiritual cousins worship the same god and revere the same holy people. Even the holy books borrow from each other. Christians and Jews don’t mention Mohamed in their holy books because he appeared after Christian and Jewish books were already written and encoded.

  168. 4/26/86…

    Chernobyl
    *1h33m

    Δ

  169. Whirled, thanks for fixing the link!!! Oops, my bad. . . fingers not able to keep up with the brain sometimes – a bit like a snapping turtle racing a tortoise. . .sigh.

    It would be interesting to see how TX handles a pandemic without the federal government aid. . . altho I hope that the stockpile has enough to cover the rest of the non-treasonous states. . .

  170. The C.D.C.….

    that’s a federal agency right?

    Perry takes precautionary measures

    Austin — Gov. Rick Perry today in a precautionary measure requested the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide 37,430 courses of antiviral medications from the Strategic National Stockpile to Texas…

    Good thing those secession papers haven’t been filed yet. ;)

    Δ

  171. Texas Secession Movement Gaining Momentum……

    With the Rest of America!

    Δ

  172. You forgot the ‘ f ‘

    http://www.themudflats.net/

    Δ

  173. Hi Gang and Greytdog,

    I tried to pull up the link to themudlats several times but couldn’t get through. There must be lots of traffic going there. I’ll try again tomorrow. You have piqued my curiosity!

    Aloha

    Jean

  174. Hi Gang and uncommonsense,

    Thank you for filling in some very interesting gaps in my narritive about Islam. Isn’t it also interesting how the different religions borrow so many traditions from each other and then adapt them to their own cultures. There is so much more in common than differences between the religions. Maybe it has something to do with being human.

    I touched briefly here on the Sufi’s before. When we were in Istanbul, the ‘Whirling Dervishes’ gave a performance of their ‘dancing’. It was well choreographed as they ‘whirled’ around in their white costume robes. Fascinating!

    It is not too far removed from the Shoalin Monks who performed on TV in an international dance competition not long ago.

    It all reminds me of the Hawaiian Hula. Originally, it was a religious ritual in which only the men participated. They still do of course, especially with their spectacular fire dances. But naturally, all these dances have been modified from their original intent into entertainment. Not such a bad idea, what do you think?

    Aloha!

    Jean

  175. Greyt-

    Pretty exciting isn’t it?!

    Granma Katie-

    Been really ,really busy but think of so many of you so often.
    Come see all us “starving Eskimos” over at

    http://anonymousbloggers.wordpress.com/

    – we have community gardens getting started, gubernatorial candidates showing off their fish and energy policies, lots o stuff!
    We worked awfully hard on the Chinook bycatch issue … not enough change , but some!

    Have had to stay right on top of home politics with the ghastly gov playing snarky games with our local senate seat but we won in the end.

    Hoping you are doing well- will pop in again soon- Hi to troutay!

    Helen –
    That goofball gov of yours is as bad the ghastly gov of mine. I’m sorry.

  176. Okay so here’s so really wonderful news – The Mudflats blog has a MAJOR news update – for you folks following the situation facing the Alaskan Villages, please go to http://www.themudlats.net to read about this totally awesome news!!! Honestly – you’ll be glad you did!

  177. Helen,
    I’m glad you are back-hope you are feeling better with each passing day. You have been missed!
    Take care of yourself!

  178. I wonder if Governor Perry stopped to think that leaving the union would mean an end to all the lovely federal monies Texas collects?

  179. Somehow I don’t think it matters if borders are open or closed when it comes to viruses. As far as I know, no closed border has ever stopped a virus. But perhaps we should adopt Bachmann’s attitude – this virus is natural in that it occurs naturally in the natural world – therefore it’s a good thing really. . . after all, why would God have created it if it wasn’t good, right?

  180. I agree we won’t over worry until the flu makes us sick. I think the debate will focus more on our open borders. We have let too many illegal aliens into the country, and it is our fault for not checking their health as we do people who move here legally, so they say. As long as not many people die, the acrimony shouldn’t reach a higher level than the current debate about terrorism etc.

    If the death toll is high and people are frightened, the political cost will be high for people on the wrong side.

    CO2 is good I agree, but too much of a good thing, even water will kill you. Did Michelle Bachmann think of that?

    Pat Robertson while he decrys the pandemic will ask for money to provide spiritual help for us sinners facing the end times. There are souls to win and dollars to make.

  181. And then you can bet your last dollar stuffed into the mattress, that Pat Robertson will decry the pandemic as the first plague being visited on this new Promised Land because we have turned to sin sin sin (aka choice, human rights for LGBT, etc) . . and Michelle Bachmann will claim that flu outbreak is simply natural. . . therefore good.
    Did anyone listen to her explanation of CO2 and how because it is natural, it is therefore good? Oy! I’m digging through my naturalist philosophies now because that’s an old argument that never really held up logically. . . but gotta find the notations. . .

  182. This will turn into a pandemic worthy of the American public’s interest when and only when the virus begins to infect Americans on American soil. And then the hew and cry will be raised that this is a biochemical plot being waged by terrorists. . .and if we’d only waterboarded every nonAmerican, we could have stopped this. . .and then Dick Cheney, the Newt, Limberger, et al will be all over the place like pox on chickens declaring that the flu is the result that comes from releasing the memos on ‘legalizing’ torture. . .

  183. I hope I’m wrong. I think the flu will push torture, water boarding, and other stories lower down the list. This could further strain the economy for awhile.

    The 1968 flu outbreak, while mild compared to the 1918 outbreak, virtually shut down the neighborhood where I was stationed in England. Basic services were sporadic at best, and some old people, used to food deliveries went without until neighbors helped them.

    Steven King’s The Stand bears a resemblance to what we saw for two weeks in 1968 without the panic and widespread deaths. Parts of Mexico are virtually shut down. This may turn out to be the emergency Biden predicted Obama would face.

    Keep washing your hands and don’t touch your face. That’s what my parents used to tell us.

  184. Helen, you rock! You speak the truth as always.

    Shirley

  185. See to see you back! :)

  186. Question to Dick Cheney: Would you approve of other nations waterboarding our military men and women 180+ times in 30 days?

    Bush stated that we did not torture but we certainly did waterboard! Did I miss something?

    Even a judge at Guantanamo threw out charges against a known ‘terrorist’ because of the torture which was done to him to extract information.

    The more I know about the whole torture scenerio, the more I think we need an investigation and let Cheney pull out his supportive documents.

    Anyone else but conservative Republicans would be put in jail for similar decisions. I fogot Lindy England is in jail. After the information which came out this week, she should demand a retrial.
    She simply followed orders by Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Gonzales.

    We need an inquiry to get to the bottom of the torture mess.

  187. Will Rush demand an apology? Will the WingNut Party of America call for this man’s head? Liars, Tyrants, and Bigots, oh my!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/24/shane-murphy-freed-pirate_n_191290.html

  188. JaneyDay If ever a castrophe hits your area, I expect you to be one of the first to expect everyone to have compassion and come to your rescue. I invite you and the llladyNY to just go away.
    Jean and Greytdog – thanks for the history lessons.
    Alaski Pii glad to see you back. Missed y our posts.

  189. Good luck SherryA. Yes, you have a daunting task, and it may take time, but people can still fight “city hall.”

    It took us over three years, but a small group of us convinced Iowa’s DOT they were wrong to close a local road and bridge. Omaha and Sioux City television stations were a big help. We also attended every DOT meeting in the area and when politicians came to preside over the opening of new businesses, we were there to plead our case with facts and statistics.

    For a while, someone got the governor’s private campaign phone number and we called it before it was changed. An official told us he had not heard of the DOT bending to public will as it did with us. I know you can do it too. Please keep us posted.

  190. @JaneyDay

    Screw the Eskimos!!! I am so tired of hearing about them starving in the frozen tundra. When does Spring finally come to that part of Alaska for Christ’s sakes?

    I left Emmonak, AK, on May 22, 2008 and THE YUKON RIVER WAS STILL FROZEN OVER! There was water on the edges and only a few people were riding their snowmachines on the ice.

    Fuel and heating oil prices are $8.00 a gallon by the way. Temperatures of 20 degrees positive were common at night. +20 was warm when you consider, it was -20 and -30 degrees during the winter months, which was just a couple of weeks before.

    Do villages continue to need help? YES! Until they get a good fish run and have money for fuel to get the fish run – VILLAGES NEED HELP! Lower Yukon Villages had a colder winter than when I was there, it will be another month, at least, before they can have the means to do meaningful fishing. If you want to see the real Alaska and the people who are the history of Alaska – go to or learn about the villages. HELP A VILLAGE IF YOU CAN!

    http://anonymousbloggers.wordpress.com/how-to-help/

    JaneyDay: Quit your bitching and help if you are in any position to help!

  191. Water boarding comes in different varieties. The Japanese in WW11 poured water down noses and throats, until prisoners became unconscious. Then, they forced the water out, sometimes by standing on prisoners’ chests. After the prisoners regained consciousness the jailers did it again.

    Another form of water boarding our forces used in the Philippines and in a few other places was to pour water down nostrils and throats, usually not to the point of drowing.

    Thousands of our troops have been water boarded as part of their training. Presumably, it is the type we used on some prisoners. I’ll bet Sean will choose the easy version if he does.

    dddd, your characterization of Republicans is as wrong as if I said Democrats are socialistic surrender monkeys. You are right all of those big plans cost money, and we who pay the taxes will buy them whether we can afford them or not.

  192. Werner, James, and Jean –

    Thanks for your replies and your suggestions! The booklet was authorized and distributed by the Superintendent of the District and the President of the Board – both members of the “School District Faith Community.”

    I’m trying to find out if tax dollars funded the project.

    The NYCLU is onboard…I just need to inform & educate the community about what’s going on. A daunting task, but I’m working on it! Keep your fingers crossed that I’ll get some sort of local media to pick up this story.

    Jean, as always, thanks for the great history lessons!

  193. Thanks for the history, Jean. Here is a spooky story I heard on the radio early this morning.

    The Cold war was heating up in the late 1940’s, and Greenland became strategically important. When Thule actually became a major base is a mystery. Airplanes crashed or went missing in the harsh conditions from time to time. Some nuclear warheads from that era remain at the bottom of the ocean, and aged wrecks show up on the glaciers. As during old time ocean voyages, strange air mishaps have become the stuff of legends.

    An Air Force Boeing B-50d Superfortress Bomber left McGuire AFB on December 22, 1948 and disappeared without reaching its destination. Searchers didn’t find the wreckage.

    On December 23, 2001, Air Traffic Control at Thule AFB received calls from an unidentified air plane The weather was bad, and the controllers assumed the plane was in trouble. The plane was flying much lower and slower than was normal for something of its size.

    No military air craft were scheduled to arrive and no civilian planes were known to be in the area. Thus the small radar blip attracted considerable interest. Radio contact was soon established, though transmissions were by voice only. The signals were garbled and mostly not understandable. The voice betrayed no concern about the harsh storm which must have been buffeting the plane as it cruised at 30,000 feet.

    The communication pattern indicated a set schedule of routine positioning reports used before Radar was common or dependable. The last message came at 1:07 GMT when the air craft was a solid radar image over the top of the glacier. The message in clear transmission stated “We show to be ten knots out and should be able to see you, but we can’t see you. Light up the night.” Controllers turned on all of the runway lights, but the plane disappeared from radar.

    Several hours passed before a search party headed out into the darkness and storm. In early daylight, the search party found the plane. It had belly landed with wheels up in sixteen feet of snow on the glacier. Its path was on a line to reach the Thule runway, and the plane went down because it ran out of fuel.

    All on board had died of hypothermia and shock a few hours before. The crew, according to the log book decided to stay with the plane since they were reasonably sure of a quick rescue. It also showed the plane had originated at McGuire Air Force Base on December 22, 1948. The number of hours recorded by the crew was consistent with such a trip. While the bodies were frozen, the time of death was estimated at ten hours, about when the plane disappeared.

    “Officially” the crew and plane were identified as having gone “missing and presumed lost” on a routine deployment mission “some years ago.” Since air crashes there are not unusual, and snow soon buries wreckage, the explanation was plausible. The air craft was the last propeller driven plane in the Air Force, and it retired from service in the late 1950’s.

    The Air Force supposedly notified next of kin that the wreck and bodies were recovered, and a colonel told the writer on this morning’s show they were all ordered not to discuss what had happened.

    What really happened to King Bird 50? Is part of a conspiracy talel people love to believe? Did it even exist? Who knows?

    I was stationed at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota four two years. Air traffic controllers made visual and radar contact with five strange objects, and the base scrambled fighters to investigate. They followed the objects almost to Minot AFB when they dispersed and vanished. Our officers later told us never to discuss the day’s events.

    I don’t know what they saw, but they were real. Two men I knew had seen them. The Black Hills region is prone to mirages. I once looked east and saw the Badlands which shouldn’t have been there. I also saw Bear Butte a sacred Indian site to the northwest. It was floating over the horizon. I suspect the UFOs were mirages, but as I heard this morning’s story, I remembered what a stir they caused. The human mind and imagination are wonders of the universe.

  194. Werner, I’ll try to look at the youtube links later this morning.

    Imagista, I checked the link, and the writer sounded reasonable, but with two anti Bush books to his credit, I wondered if he had it in for the Bushes. When I looked for another writer with the same conclusion made independently. I found contrary views like this one on The Nation.com titled Stolen Votes You be the judge. Writers discussed the 2000 and 2004 elections.

    In the debate, David Corn wrote, “David Michael claims that there is a ‘plethora of credible evidence ‘ of fraud. but he does not cite specifics. I have studied the ‘evidence’ that has zapped around the internet and found some of it curious and some of it open to question or dismissal. The statistical proofs that have been popular among stolen-election proponents may raise eyebrows, but they do not make a sold case.

    After the Florida fiasco of 2000 I examined 3,409 ‘spoiled’ punch-card ballots in Miami-Dade county (which had not been included in the official count) and found that 59 percent had no marks for President and that only 233 –with hanging, dangling and other sorts of chads–could definitely be read as votes. Of this small group, Al Gore gains a measly five-vote advantage. More than 90 percent of the ‘spoiled ‘ Miami ballots were not countable.

    I agree with Paliast that the voting system has many deficiences–which I have noted in my recent articles for this magazine–and that certain problems seem to hit low-income and minority areas disproportionately.

    The Dopp study maintains that the optical scanning machines were rigged in Florida. But then a study written by researchers at the University of California, Berkley and MIT concluded that “there was no evidence based on exit polls that electronic voting machines were used to steal the election’ in Florida. so what we have to date, is a battle of statistics. And no statistics-based claim of fraud as of this writing has been so compelling as to win endorsement from a significant number pf prominent statisticians. anomalies in the Florida vote count.”

    I think David Corn made a good case, especially since the “stolen election” was not proven in a court of law. I will pay attention if that happens.

  195. Just one important thing Jean, Christians and Jews are not considered infidels by Muslims, they are people of the “Book.”

  196. Drat, I just checked the link and it didn’t work, if you are interested you’ll have to do a search, sorry.

  197. Just to add some fun facts to Jean’s. History class: I took a class in Islamic Culture few years ago, right after 9-11, at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. It was particularly interesting because several of the students were international students; I particularly recall a gregarious group of young men from United Arab Emirates, obviously taking the class for an easy A. During a video of how the Ablutions (ritual cleansing of face, inside the nose, inside the mouth, hands, and feet in preparation for prayer) would be preformed for Salat (prayer) in desert conditions without a water source, came a voice from the back of the room, “he’s doing it wrong.” Pious Muslims perform five prayers every day, the first before dawn and the fourth after sunset, so the practitioner has to know when these events occur each and everyday. Difficult enough when they are home, but some Muslims travel of course, so they have to know when sunrise and sunset occur locally. Another issue for the traveler, the Salat is preformed facing Mecca (bet you all knew that), but did you know, the Salat is done facing Mecca from the shortest distance? In Pullman, Washington the shortest distance to Mecca is over the North Pole.

    A similar issue arises during the month of Ramadan, when pious Muslims fast, no food and water between dawn and dusk, since they use a lunar calendar, they go without water for a longer period of time during summer than they do when Ramadan occurs in winter. And they don’t have to get up as early in the winter to have something to eat and drink before they begin the day’s fast. An American convert told me, they have some of their best meals of the year when they break the fast in the evening, often carry-in dinners at the local mosque. The elderly, sick, very young are exempt from the Ramadan fast, and of course there are the slackers, as there are in all religions, which do not follow the rituals faithfully. One particular sect, the Sufi, have an entirely path, they imbibe wine, a no-no for orthodox Sunni and Shia. The Whirling Dervishes are just one example of the Sufi.

    If you would like to receive a free English translation of the Qur’an go to this website: http://www.freequran.com/htmi/order.htm I have meant to order myself one for years, and now I have, while I looked up the website for you. A little light summer reading, maybe not, I might have to reserve it for some serious winter reading. And don’t put the burden on Helen, read it yourself.

  198. Here’s something to start the day.
    Warning: appropriately foul language

  199. President Obama’s
    Weekly Address 4/25/09

    “old habits and stale thinking” will simply not help us solve the new and immense problems our country faces.

    .
    Emphasis mine…hint hint GOP

    Δ

  200. Janey, I’d say spring will arrive in Alaska long before you gain intelligence and empathy.

  201. Some people are like slinkies – not really good for anything but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs!

    Greytdog, Hilarious!

  202. @JaneyDay

    Screw the Eskimos!!! I am so tired of hearing about them starving in the frozen tundra. When does Spring finally come to that part of Alaska for Christ’s sakes?
    ——————————–
    Come on up and attend the international conference and see what those starving Eskimos are up to…

    http://www.adn.com/news/environment/warming/story/766442.html

    or learn to scroll on by…

  203. Hi gang,

    It looks like all hell is breaking loose – again – in Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan. So I thought another of my history lessons was in order. I still say, the best weapons are education, knowledge and thus, understanding. I left off some time ago with my saga of Mohammed’s biography with his death. Here’s what happened after.

    Without a son and heir, this charismatic leader left his new religio-political heritage with no cohesive form of succession. Abu Bekr, Mohammed’s first convert, assumed the role of the first CALIPH of Islam. As happens with most religions, Islam was initially spread by conquest. Worldwide, approximately one out of five people are Moslem today. It is a sobering fact that the U.S. comprises only 6% of the world’s population.

    The more sophisticated and complex religions became in requirements for living and salvation – Zoroastrianism – Judaism – Catholicism – the less the common man could live up to those demands. Thus, a new simpler religion, at least initially.

    Mohammed’s principal legacy was the Koran. The Old and New Testaments, the Torah, the Avesta, and the Koran all are Semitic Books with strong Judaic roots. They are significant, since adherents consider EACH of them to be the absolute Word of God. They are the laws to govern the conduct of mankind. The Koran is the least mystical and ritualistic. It is ingenuous to the point of simplicity. The Arab customs of the time were incorporated into the Moslem teachings. The Koran is often the book used today to teach young Moslem children to read.

    In the century after Mohammed’s death, any number of questions arose requiring clarification not found in the Koran. Devout Moslems who had personally known the Prophet or heard from the Companions (disciples) began schools called ‘Hadith’, orally recounting traditions that had grown up surrounding Mohammed and Islam. Remember, literacy was not common in those days in Arabia OR Europe. In time, these ‘Hadith’ oral accounts were recorded into the “Correct Book”, the’ Sahih’. For some Moslems, the ‘Sahih’ and the Koran go hand in hand, just as the Jewish Talmud and the Torah do.

    Without a living successor to the highest office of Islam comparable to a pope, Islam has had a bewildering array of sects held together by the one unifying persona, Mohammed.
    The caliphate became the closest to fulfilling that leadership function. Islam has no organized system or hierarchy of clergy – no priests, rabbis or ministers, bishops or elders. Neither do the Jewish nor Protestants have an equivalent to the pope. This may or may not have significance for any of the religions depending on the point of view. As in politics, all religions are local.

    The mosque is the equivalent of a temple, church, synagogue or cathedral. The mosque has at least one ‘minaret’, a spire or tower, from which a ‘muezzin’ chants the glory of Allah. The ‘muezzin’ is a crier who calls the faithful to the hour of prayer five times a day. This prayer, ‘adhan’, is called at dawn, just after midday, late afternoon, at sunset and bedtime. Friday is the Holy Day of the Moslem week. The Roman Catholic, Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches have similar rituals known as the daily office, or public prayers; the seven canonical hours: ‘Matins with Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline’. In earlier times, the church bells were rung at those times. A great deal of classical music was composed for those prayers.

    (Our first morning in Istanbul, all jet lagged and befuddled, we were jolted out of bed by the ‘muezzin’ chanting (hollering?) the prayers over the loudspeakers from a dozen or more ‘minarets’.)

    A ‘mullah’ is a learned teacher or interpreter of the law. An ‘ayatollah’ is a Moslem religious leader who has often taken over the political leadership role, as in Iran in recent times. There are a perplexing number of Moslem sects just as there are in any other religion. Some are orthodox or strict literal interpreters of the Koran. Naturally, fanatical groups arise from time to time that become prominent in our headlines such as Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. ‘Mujahedeen’, meaning Islamic fighters, is probably a corruption of ‘Muhajirin’, the group of Moslems that preceded Mohammed from Mecca to Medina.

    Names such as ‘Shi’a’ and ‘Sunni’ are prominent in the current news. ‘Shi’a’ are mostly Iranians. The ‘Sunni’ are considered the most traditional and orthodox. The predominate Moslem sect in Saudi Arabia today is ‘Wahibi’. The Iranian language is Farsi. Others speak Arabic. For the most part, Moslems go about practicing their faith and daily lives much as any other religion does; concerned with family, children and work.

    During a little more than a twelve hundred year period between 500 BC and 700 AD some of the major extant religions of the world were formulated. That is a long time to our way of thinking. Yet in the pages of history it is a relatively short time.

    Confucius founded his philosophy in China. Lao-Tzu of Taoism, Buddhism of Gautama and Jainism of Mahavira also arose in India; Shintoism in Japan. Zoroastrism was founded in Persia at the end of the seventh Century BC.

    Confucius lived c. 551-479 BC. The derivation in the West of his name is interesting. The Chinese have always put the surname first, then the given name and last is the honorific. His surname was ‘Kung’ (Con), ‘Chiu’ was his personal first name. ‘Dz’ or ‘Fu-dz’ is (Honored Sir). Thus ‘ Kung-Fu-dz’ was latinized into Confucius.

    Other major religions were founded in the Middle East; Judaism evolved between the twentieth and fourth centuries BC, Christianity in 33 AD in the Roman state of Palestine and Islam in 632 AD in Arabia. Many other religious leaders with divine claims have come and gone but why is it that these faiths worldwide have endured? What was going on in the world in that thousand plus year time period? Perhaps, more important, what was going on in the hearts and minds of humanity? Could it be the ongoing maturation process of the human psyche?

    There is a basic fact in all of history. Whenever the birth rate outstrips the food supply, the balance has to be restored in one or more of three ways: Starvation, infanticide and/or conquest. The Bedouins of Arabia who became Moslems were used to warlike ways and tired of starvation. It became the most natural thing in the world for them to go marching off to war and dying for Islam with enthusiasm!

    Within a century the Caliphate of Baghdad c.750 AD extended all the way from the western most part of North Africa to Libya and Egypt. It encompassed all of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, The ‘Holy Land’, Syria, Armenia and Persia. The Moslem Moors of North Africa overran the Iberian Peninsula and held it for over 700 years. The Turks (Turkey) soon came into the Islamic fold and ultimately defeated what was left of the Byzantine Empire. Moslems had absolute control over access to the land trade routes to the Far East and virtual authority over the Mediterranean Sea.

    There are two very famous operas with themes of those times, ‘Die Entfuhrung Aus dem Serail’ (“The Abduction from the Seraglio”), by Mozart.’ Serail’ and ‘Seraglio’ are German and Italian respectively for “Harem”. The opera is set in the eighteenth century. It is about an attack on a Spanish ship in which the passengers and crew were taken as slaves and the women were sold into the Pasha’s harem.

    The other opera is ‘L’Italiana in Algeri’, (“The Italian Girl in Algiers,”) by Gioacchino Rossini. This takes place in the early nineteenth century and again involves pirates and an Italian girl who winds up in the harem of Mustafa, the ‘Bey’ of Algiers, (The Governor of Algiers.) Both operas demonstrate a clash of cultures and are something of a comedy of errors but everybody lives happily ever after.

    In early Moslem days, the caliphate was a religious more than a political office. Not too surprisingly, over time, religion came into concert with politics. An ‘emir’ was a ruler and/or military commander. At the head of the administrative structure was the ‘hajib’ or chamberlain, who controlled access to the caliph. Next in rank was the ‘visier’ who guided the policies of the state. The ‘vizier’ appointed and supervised the officials of the government. Soon, intrigue came to supersede devotion.

    Medieval European aristocrats traditionally scorned merchants as a lower class of society. The aristocracy was more interested in acquiring land. The Moslems joined ranks with the Jews, Persian and many Christians in the pursuits of the world of commerce. Many Arabic words crept into the language without change of meaning. Words such as ‘tariff’, ‘traffic’,’ magazine’, ‘caravan’ and ‘bazaar’ are all Arabic words.’ Sakk’ is the word for promissory note. From ‘sakk’ we derived the word, ‘check’.

    Most of the early Moslems were fairly tolerant of other religions to a certain extent. Philosophers were indulged as long as their writings remained unintelligible. Captives in war could escape slavery by converting to the Islamic faith. King Arthur and Charlemagne did much the same thing with those they did not kill. Further, conquered people found it to their economic advantage to embrace Islam. They were integrated into the general population and exempted from taxes.

    However, in some Eastern Islamic countries, free Christians and Jews were forbidden to be educated in Moslem schools. Further they had to attach a wooden devil to the doors of their homes. ‘Infidels’ were required to wear clothing denoting their religion and their slaves had to put such distinguishing patches on their garb. Shades of the Star of David on their sleeve that Jews were required to wear in Poland by the Nazis!

    It seems that whoever is in charge is determined to impose silly requirements on their minority populations. The more sophisticated a society becomes, the less overt but more subtle the discrimination grows to be. Overall however, the result is the same.

    Aloha!

    Jean

  204. oh, god, please don’t focus. this was terrific. i’d wish for more but if that means you have to be “laid up” for awhile, just forget it. i’ll take you anyway we can get you.

    i’m sitting here watching bill maher’s “religulous” just after watching rachel maddow for the 2nd time tonight and i get an email that you’ve got a new blog post. could life get any better????

    hope you keep feeling better.

    xoxoxo
    howlgirl

  205. Screw the Eskimos!!! I am so tired of hearing about them starving in the frozen tundra. When does Spring finally come to that part of Alaska for Christ’s sakes???????????????????????????????????????????

  206. ha ha ha… been a little under the weather myself or else I would have commented earlier myself… all I gotta say is… This is gold!!!! Kudos Helen, Kudos!

    The only thing that Obama can be accused of at this point, is not pulling off a miracle!

    The republicans want low taxes and to be at war for the next hundred years. Normal people want education, their homes, healthcare and many things that should not have a pricetag. I am sorry but the money for all these necessities has to come from somewhere! The republican’s way didn’t work…. lets try something new! hey better yet! Lets shut our hypocritical asses up and let some real politicians with some brains run things for a while!

  207. The only way for Hannity to undergo waterboarding would be if 1) he was taken off the streets by persons unknown, 2) underwent extraordinary rendition in a “partner” country (I’m proposed Serbia), 3) his family, friends, and colleagues are stonewalled in their attempts to discover his whereabouts because the information is classified for national security purposes, 4) he is provided the full and total experience of waterboarding at the hands of people who have been told that he is a terrorist linked to Al Quaida, and holds information concerning a potential attack on countries unknown who are in the war against terror. . . otherwise, Hannity’s waterboarding will be nothing more than a typical kegger stunt, only with H2O not Bud.

  208. Did you all see that Sean Hannity thinks he can prove waterboarding isn’t torture by agreeing to be waterboarded? Feh. Olberman offered to pay 1000 per second – double if Hannity admits it is torture. (Don’t see that happening…)

  209. Hi gang and Sherri,

    Any of you who read my story about my brother, R.G. killed in WWII know where I stand. I posted it way back when in this blog.

    Sherri, looks like the Religious Right is up to their old tricks again. Could you find out how and by whom the booklet was authorized to be distributed the way it was? Then see if you can get a lead story printed in the local newspaper.
    Your description in your comment here would do just fine!

    Since your governor has come out in favor of gay marriage or at least civil unions, get set for a big fight in your state. I’ll be rooting for ya!

    Aloha!

    Jean

  210. Ah Helen- up and around! You sure think more good sense than I do when I’m down. I don’t see rambling in your post… just a list of things to sort out sensibly . We better get to work on em!
    So glad you are on the mend.

    @gramma rock
    “more grief for alaska’s indigenous people:

    “…Floodwaters rip through the village of Newtok, Alaska, destroying its infrastructure.”

    Check out ADN stories about the indigenous people’s meet in Anchorge re: global warmimg. It will be the indigenous Alaskans who meet this problem head on…
    We’re gonna change the way things are done… Newtok has been in increasing danger the past few years… time to meet the issues for all affected and soon to be affected villages.
    ——————————————-

    @ grandma katie

    “tilthecowscomehome – I am appalled at your insulting invective against Helen. Please take take your wingnut opinions and go away. I have been sputtering so much since I read your post tht I can’t write anything coherent”

    Sounds pretty darned coherent to me.
    Don’t stop by so often lately- been working on Alaska problems. Dadgum Prez’ day-of-service idea has bloomed into 3 months of service…But I am wondering when the rats that used to snarf on pie crumbs here got pushed out by cows…?
    ———————————
    And Greyt-
    And because they are all sacred, I want my country to uphold their honor, to live up to that sacred trust – and for me, part of that is making sure that we do not ever again ask our servicemen and women to abdicate their moral compass for someone else’s political agenda. We are the United States and we will no longer condone torture or stand by silently when torture is done in our name.
    AMEN, AMEN, AMEN

    Helen and Margaret- thanks for having all of us in. Well, cept the cows. (Do you realize what it’s gonna do to the nice rugs here if the cows continue to do cowflops all around the parlor? Yerg.)

  211. Amen, Greytdog. May they rest in peace and yet know that they are loved.

    Namaste.

  212. Generations of thinkers, artists, poets, writers, teachers, ministers, doctors, leaders, have been lost to war. From the sundappled fields of the Somme, the world lost a whole generation:
    “Many were volunteers: The rich cream of English society from Oxford and Cambridge; miner’s sons from Wales and Yorkshire; lads from Belfast’s slums; sturdy Devon farm boys; and the ‘Pals’, groups of friends and sports teams who had enlisted under the promise of being kept together in the army units. And beside them, Imperial troops from across the vast British Empire sharpened their bayonets, khukris, scimitars and kirpans. On the first day of the Somme, the British lost 19,240 dead, 35,494 seriously wounded, and 2,152 missing: 57,470 casualties in total. The Ulster Division, which assailed the heavily fortified German right, alone lost 5,600 men that day, most before noom. . . Refusing to accept defeat, the Imperial Commander, Sir Douglas Haig, continued the slaughter on the Somme for four more months. When he finally gave up, in November, 1916, the Allies had gained a pitiful 125 square miles of bloody mud from the Germans at a cost of 600,000 men: 400,000 British Imperial, and 200,000 French casualties. The Germans suffered 450,000 casualties. At Verdun, 1.2 million men were lost on both sides.” http://www.worldwar1.com/sfsomme.htm

    Two things permeate the air where the ever-white harvest of crosses, stars of david, and now the crescent, gleam across sun-dappled fields – war is hell. . . and we have asked too many to pay too high a price for so few. . .

    The first time I went to the Wall, I went straight away and found the names of school-mates, one a talented actor, another a gifted writer, and another a gentle soul, another who lit the room just with a smile. . . and even though I did not serve in the military, and even though I was a vocal and active member of the antiwar protests, those names on the Wall, those names on the marble monuments at Santo Tomas, those inscribed on row after undulating row at the Somme. . . and those who lay without a marker, whose place of death is noted by a verdant field, the song of a passing bird. . .those lives are as precious to me as those who served and survived. And because they are all sacred, I want my country to uphold their honor, to live up to that sacred trust – and for me, part of that is making sure that we do not ever again ask our servicemen and women to abdicate their moral compass for someone else’s political agenda. We are the United States and we will no longer condone torture or stand by silently when torture is done in our name.

  213. This just in from the DCCC:

    “Congratulations to Congressman-elect Scott Murphy on his remarkable, come-from-behind victory. In this election, voters responded to Scott Murphy’s record as a successful businessman who helped to create more than 1,000 jobs and his strong support for President Obama’s economic recovery package.

    In trying to win the NY-20 special election, the RNC, NRCC, and their Republican allies went all in on the losing gamble that voters would prefer their ‘just say no’ approach to President Obama’s bold plans to get the economy back on track.

    Scott Murphy’s victory in this district where Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than 70,000 represents a rejection of the obstructionist agenda and scare tactics that have become the hallmark of House Republicans.”

  214. tilthecowscomehome – I am appalled at your insulting invective against Helen. Please take take your wingnut opinions and go away. I have been sputtering so much since I read your post tht I can’t write anything coherent.
    -

  215. Pleased to see you are up to blogging, I am sending yellow energy your way.

    I have recently relocated after living in Dallas for 10 years. It comes as no surprise to me that Mr. Goodhair is talking about seceding…… Most of the “Texans” I met while living there considered Texas their own country anyway. Put me in the column of “go for it, 38 less electoral votes for the wingnuts.”

    Your rant about the wingnutters who forward those turd bombs couldn’t have come at a more apropos time.. I had just written my “pet conservative friend” and told him to cut the crap… I had had it with the garbage and it was energy zapping to have to reply and set the record straight every day! LOL (besides I have my hands full with James..;-)) And last night what did he do??? Sent me yet anoooooooother turd bomb about the DOE… Oh welllll….

    Werner count me in for an additional blog start-up… I left a comment on your blog, you should have my e-mail addy now… Send me info ..;-)

    Hurry and get well.. namaste

  216. more grief for alaska’s indigenous people:

    “…Floodwaters rip through the village of Newtok, Alaska, destroying its infrastructure.

    Authorities have ordered about 340 residents of the tiny coastal village of Newtok to move to new homes 9 miles away, up the Ninglick River. The village, home to indigenous Yup’ik Eskimos, is the first of possibly scores of threatened Alaskan communities that could be abandoned….”

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/04/24/climate.change.eskimos/index.html#cnnSTCOther1

  217. I’m not sure why nobody else brought this up, but Gore actually won Florida, thus the election. He also won the popular vote.

    http://www.consortiumnews.com/2001/111201a.html

    This is what, for me, made all the death, lawlessness, torture, etc. that followed the Bush theft of the election so galling and so tragic.

    Greg Palast is the journal someone upthread was trying to recall.

    http://www.gregpalast.com/florida-by-the-numbersal-gore-won-florida-in-2000-by-77000-votes/

  218. [...] post here is really worth a read and you should check it [...]

  219. [...] post here is really worth a read and you should check it [...]

  220. That was a marvelous post!

  221. Can I drag him back up and have a push too, please?

  222. Thought for the day for Tillthecowscomehome:

    Some people are like slinkies – not really good for anything but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs!

    Cows – you’re the slinkie!

  223. Yup but I was also concerned about UWA, he works with pigs and hasn’t been nagging since a few days, hope he and his wife are OK, they got enough on their plate as it is already!

    UWA, give us a rant, pls.

  224. OceanGypsi, our neighbor could well have met him. You never know. He met Loretta Lynn’s future husband, Mooney. I think he married Loretta lynn. At least they had some connection. That is a nice story about PFC Elmer Travis. I’ll bet if you checked with the VA, you could find details of his military career.

    The more you write about your nephew, the more I respect him. I’ll be thinking good thoughts. Though you are rightly nervous, you are deservedly proud. We need more men like your nephew and families like yours who support him. Could you let us know what happens? Our niece got a surprise when Robbin Williams performed at her base and asked her to join him on stage to be part of the act.

    I have enjoyed our communique too. God bless you!

    Werner, I will try to see the videos later, maybe tomorrow. I have some work to do outside this afternoon. Yes, our TEA Party was in Omaha. The most scandalist thing I saw was a sign about Obama’s birth certificate. Someone mentioned closing the borders, and a speaker spoofed Joe the Plumber by calling himself Bob the Landscaper. Pretty tame stuff, but this is Omaha. I’ll bet it was worse in other places.

    We noticed the flu story on Drudge yesterday. It makes me a little nervous because our son and daughter in law live in California. We have heard of Avian flu for several years. Let’s hope it is a false alarm, but it is wise to be careful.

  225. Hi Helen,

    I hope you’re feeling better!

    I’m going to forward that bit about the mass e-mails to my boyfriend’s right-wing father. He sends on quite a bit of that kind of nonsense!
    <3
    5%

  226. James,

    He was PFC Elmer Travis from Arkansas. He was drafted in his early thirties, I think. My grandmother claimed, until the day that she passed, that my mother was born nine months to the day that he returned!!! Gotta love the un-official USO!!!

    My nephew is a fine young man and a wonderful father. He was able to come home on leave at Easter. As he and I talked, he told me that he felt like Pappaw (our pet name for my grandfather) would be with him in Afghanistan. He said that it makes him feel closer to Pappaw and better able to understand him. Pappaw had nightmares of WWI in the years before he passed. He would tell my nephew stories of the war that he would not tell me. All of our soldiers returning from whatever war from whatever era suffer from some sort of PTSD. It is our responsibility, as those who love and care for them, to make sure they KNOW that we appreciate their sacrifices and will be here for them no matter what!!!

    You take care, James. I have enjoyed our communique’!!!

  227. I don’t wanna spread panic but there seams to be a new strain of porc-influenzia on the run in Mexico and the southern US that is transfered from human to human, WHO says 61 dead so far, 7 infections in the US.

    As I said, don’t panic, but take precautions!

    Specially when you work around pigs or get your porc from the supermarket and don’t know where it was produced.

    Otherwise check your news sources, just put it here cause not everyone watches the news all of the time….

  228. One mrore thing
    I would like to start the positive blog (IF we find starters to blog about) next week, but sofar only 2 takers…….

    If there are more people here interessted, please contact me through my blog (which is NOT what I want to do, that one is MY scarcastic playground) comment on anything and I will respond with my email address.

    Just to save you a lot of scrolling, the basic idea is a blog where we can blog as a group about things we find POSITIVE or think that could have a positive impact.

  229. James

    even with dail up try to download the 2 videos above, while they may or may not be representative for the TEA parties they show a lot of the nutcases that collected at them and you might see things you didn’t see in Omaha (?).
    (hope that was where you where, for names I tend to have a memory “from 12.00 to noon”)

  230. Rachel Maddow Celebrates Teabagging Day

    Part I

    Part II

  231. Thanks Oceangypsy. I really appreciate what your wrote. Your words are fine. One of our neighbors also stormed the Omaha Beach. Wouldn’t it be something if he and your grand father had met. Not likely, but you never know.

    Watching your nephew go to Afghanistan is an emotional experience isn’t it? He sounds like a fine young man. Our niece and her husband are in Iraq now. Last time they were in Iraq and later Afghanistan. She said Afganis gathered outside the base with what she described as a “garage sale.” She bought a number of things from them.

    SherriA, I agree with Werner. I also think if you can get some people together, you should contact the media. Get a news story to give you a few minutes of air time.

    Here is some trivia. Rush Limbaugh’s theme song came from the Pretenders. Chrisy Hind was visiting her home state of Ohio and the expanding urban development appauled her. She wrote a song which Limbaugh liked. His organization wanted to buy it. Chrisy asked her parents who liked Limbaugh so she sold it. I like the theme song. Sometimes, I turn on the show just for the theme before I change stations.

    Werner, your description of early Viagra is one of the funniest things I have read this week.

  232. So glad you are back!
    Here is a great YouTube clip re: Texas secession:

  233. So glad you are back and well Helen. A day without Helen is like a day without sunshine for me!

  234. Thanks, Werner! As far as I know, there have been no legal action steps taken, although the district printed in their most recent newsletter that due to “parental concern about prayer teams visiting the schools” the churches have been encouraged to pray for students and staff at their places of worship rather than on the school grounds.

    The NYCLU is “looking into the directory” — no word yet on how they’re proceeding.

    I LOVE the idea of an alternative guide book — will start working on that pronto!

  235. Sherri Δ
    First step, URGENT and fast, contact all NON church/christian help organizations within the school district and get some money together (parents, shops,companies, etc) to print an “alternative” Guide book.
    Promote it on the streets in front of the schools.
    Demand from the schoo;board similar information time for non christian communities as has been granted to the curches, otherwise threat with legal actions (there are lwas, no?)

    Tha’s for starters, see what support you can rise and take it from there, and ALWAYS REMEBER:

    GET UP, STAND UP, STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS!

  236. Donna, ArmyWife and JuneauJoe,

    I love this blog, aside of the most important features, Helen and Margaret, for guys like you, that can take people like Cows apart with arguments and reason….

    I, for my part, would just kick her/his arse from morning tillthecowscomehome….. or some sense gets stuck in it, so it may wander up to the brain……

    (My opinion still is that most people like that aquire the little itellegence they get through their arseholes…)

  237. OFF TOPIC ALERT
    Hi Gang I just have to share this one with y’all….

    While scanning my german news paper I came accross the “Third Reich Tours” they run in Munich today, and with the article went some old photos showing Mr. Schickelgruber (Hitlers real, Austrian, name) and his croonies.

    Now while looking at these guys with their hands up the arse (uups ment to say up in the air) I remembered this, rather funny, story:

    In 2009 we all know Viagra and what it does….

    But few people know that Viagra was actually invented by the Germans in 1932 (By a big Chemical company called “IG Farben”)….

    But the German Bio-Engineers made a mistake and the early batches didn’t work on the right body part……

    That’s why you see on photos taken between 1936 and 1945 all these German males with that stiff right arm……

    (just in case you wondered)

  238. Me again! Can’t help it! Your bloggers just make it so hard to go away quietly!

    Re: torture. The opposition says that when the media uses the word torture it hurts our national security. OK. Change the word torture to perversion, which is exactly what it is. Especially since the Torture Faction knows that all they have to do is use cultural taboos to get somebody to spill whatever beans they supposedly have.

    To go even further is insane, criminally so.

    Worse yet, the mindset at the top that sets the precedence for the use of “torture” under special circumstances leaves a wide open fulminating loophole for anyone else who comes down the pike in the future to stretch “special circumstances” and torture American citizens for whatever.

    Remember, first they came for the (fill in the blank), then the (fill in the blank), and I said nothing. Then they came for me.

    And what the heck is Cheney doing blabbing about torture and its “legitimacy” to his daughter? How far did he go in his revelations? But its OK for him to to “harm national security” in what has to have been the grisliest father-daughter chat in history.

  239. Every time I need a dose of sanity I read your blog. Thanks; I needed that.

  240. James,

    Your words are humbling and inspiring. I was just being born when Viet Nam was going on. But, I had family that fought. My grandfather stormed the beach at Omaha and lived to tell about it. My words will never be adequate for a proper thank you for your service, your sacrifice, and your willingness to defend our freedoms and the freedoms of others. Never will it be enough. But, I do thank you.

    Honolulu Sally,

    Thank you for that beautiful story. We walk around in our lives with our past and our experiences, each thread woven into the tapestry of who we are. And then one day, validation comes out of the blue to strengthen.

    My nephew will deploy to Afghanistan soon. I remember changing his diapers and watching Night Tracks with him during the summer when he had his days and nights mixed up. He is a man now. He is a soldier. He is willing to obey the Commander in Chief. And, I think he is Intergalactically Fabulous!

    I wear red on Fridays in support of my soldiers, our soldiers. My toe nails are painted red, white, and blue. Some of my thongs say, “Proud Army Aunt, Hooah!” But, I haven’t told him about that. LOL!

  241. I live in NY state. A local school district that serves 12,750 students in 18 schools just sent home a 17-page book with all their students titled, “Directory of Youth Services…a listing of resources, community organizations, religious organizations, and support services available to the families and youth in the (name of) community.”

    This booklet contains 10 pages of churches (38 churches) and 2 pages of “other organizations” (7 other organizations.)

    It states that “young persons should spend one or more hours per week in activities in a religious organization” in order to grow up “healthy, caring, and responsible.”

    In May, the district is opening a “Family Support Center” to provide short-term counseling to all students & families within the district. This is sponsored & staffed by the “SCHOOL DISTRICT FAITH COMMUNITY.” The district superintendent and the board president are both members of the School District Faith Community.

    A local church recently printed in their bulletin that soon prayer teams from the 38 churches will start visiting the schools to pray for the students and staff.

    Here are my problems:
    I thought our public schools practiced separation of church and state???

    Not one of the 38 churches listed are non-Christian. In fact, every one of them are Christian or Catholic. (No LDS, no JW, no Buddhist, no Jewish organization, no Islamic organization, etc.)

    Not one of the 38 churches listed are inclusive or welcoming of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) persons, nor are there any resources listed for LGBT youth.

    Am I crazy, or do I smell danger oon the horizon? Any suggestions for action??

    I know what this community of posters did for the indiginous people of AK this winter…you are amazing and caring and proactive! You are activists…please help me with suggestions for what to do here!

  242. Tillthecowscomehome –

    “Other people” don’t hate us [the US]. They hate superior, judgmental, patriarchal, domineering, non-inclusive, holier-than-thou viewpoints such as yours.

  243. GreytdogA, and I thought I got into trouble as kid. Ha! The worst I remember doing was putting rotten eggs and eggs with baby chickens inside with the good eggs. My mother screamed when she broke the eggs.

    Ragi, not only did we survive those years, but we can remember them! That is an accomplishment.

    JuneauJoeA you may be right, but as I wrote before, I will believe it when the trials begin. Bush haters and others wanting honest elections tried but failed to find hard evidence. Hints and allegations are entertaining, but they don’t prove anything.

  244. Dawny, thank you for your kind words too. My previous post gives a hint of how much they mean to me.

    Yes, it seems a little strange that Katherine Harris halted some recounts, just as it seems strange that an election official suddenly found extra ballots in the back seat of her car after the Coleman-Frankin race. Mickey Mouse and an entire foot ball team “voted” for Obama. That doesn’t mean Obama stole the election. I think he won fair and square.

    Things happen. Democrats and some of the media had strong motivation to prove Bush stole the election, but they couldn’t. I entertain the possiblity. However, there were no trials, and no one went to jail. Innocent until proven guilty.

    I’m not telling you how to think, or even change your opinion. This is just what I believe. The election is past history, and I have taught myself not to let the past hurt me or control my emotions today.

    One more thing I am happy about is my return home to the States. I met a flight attendant who’s uncle worked where my wife and I bought our engagement rings. She had only been on the job for six months, and it was all she had wanted to be. The flight attendant wanted to see the world and experience adventures.

    She moved me to first class so we could visit in her off time. I had not slept in over 24 hours, and I was loopy. I was louder than I thought, as I shared some of my service adventures. When it came time to leave the plane, my new friend gave me a Disneyland balloon and wished me luck. I wished her luck too.

    Someone behind me began to applaud. Then, another did. I turned around to see all of the passengers giving me a standing ovation. I didn’t know what to do or feel. I was overwhelmed. In light of later events, my memory clung to that night.

    Years passed, and I thought about the flight attendant. I wanted to thank her for what she had done. It is pretty hard to find a nameless person who worked on an airplane, but I kept trying off and on over time.

    In 2004, I found a woman who had gone to school with the flight attendant. Her description matched what I remembered. I wanted to meet her, but sadly the lady died of cancer in the late seventies. She didn’t really die. In my mind she still sits by me. Her brown eyes sparkle, and her long hair frames her face. We laugh at a dumb joke…

    My wife says the song “You’re a strange man Master Jack” fits me, but I am happy.

  245. Uncommonsense, a poster and and I on the Janeane Garafalo message board were joking about guns and explosives. A leftist who got rid of all moderates and conservatives but me on the forum said he had turned my name into Homeland Security and would file a complaint if I didn’t leave. I called his bluff and tried to contact the office. No one at the FBI or another agency dealing with explosives could give me an accurate phone number. Someone finally did, he said. I called the number. It was the Homeland Security home safe company in California. That is why the Katrina disaster did not surprise me.

    The Department of Homeland Security issued a memo to police departments immediately before the TEA Party protests warning about possible terroristic activity among single issue voters, people who support gun rights, people who oppose unregulated immigration, etc. and returning veterans. It was a political stunt which has earned the woman in charge criticism. She might as well have warned about environmentalists, some of whom have been violent.

    Thank you Honolulu Sally, and for the comments about Ann Margarette. They mean more to me than you know. I felt betrayed when I came back. I earned a cumulative 3.70 in an experimental accelerated program designed to be a fast track toward a PHD. The university later discontinued it because it was too hard. During those four semesters, I earned a MA with thesis which I defended, accreditation to teach in community college and nine hours toward a PHD.

    When a job counselor told a Navy friend and me we needed to hide records of our military service from northern employers, I said I refused to do that. “Then you would be better off selling college text books.” Several other veteran friends, including the Navy veteran, transferred to law school.

    I was already holding my psyche together with bailing wire and tape. The pain and rage were so strong I could nearly taste the emotions. I told my wife I was leaving. She refused to go, so at the end of the semester, I walked away and never returned. I promised myself that insofar as it was possible, I would never again let others determine my destiny. Three months later, my wife came back with me to the farm.

    That created other problems. No one but my father wanted me back. The family wanted my father to retire, for my cousin and a high school classmate who had recently returned from Vietnam. They wanted to rent the land and farm. Suddenly I was there to upset their plans.

    My mother was afraid my return would force my brother off the farm when he returned from Vietnam. He didn’t want to farm. He later earned a MA in chemistry. We had our moments. My mother said I should have fled to Canada. I had turned into “some old NCO” and a murderer. My uncle, the father of the cousin who wanted the land started rumors that I wasn’t up to the job and was parasitizing my dad.

    Eight years later my father nearly died at the age of 78. He lost thirty inches of small intestine in an operation done barely fast enough to save his life. Before his doctor determined what was wrong, we thought he was a goner. He did live to almost 95 and he operated a combine at the age of 92, but we didn’t know it on that day.

    My aunt was at a local service station when my wife put gas in the car. My aunt stormed up to her and screamed that my father was dying because we had returned. “You killed him!! You might as well have shot him!!” Quiet a few locals saw the incident. My wife came home hysterical.

    All I could think of was revenge and containing the danger. I made my wife call the relatives though she was so incoherant they could hardly understand her. I thought the psychological effect of her pain would turn them against my aunt. It worked. They assured her they did not feel as my aunt did. She was just worried about her brother.

    When I was a call in guest on NPR’s Science Friday, one of the panelists called me a “perfect storm.” A Vet Center counselor had told me virtually the same thing in 1980 and that he was worried about me.

    Ironically, people like you, whom I have never met, know more about me than my friends, relatives and neighbors. When something bad happens you either choose to feel sorry for yourself or take advantage of it and turn it into good. I’m happy with my life, but no one will ever accuse me of being normal.

  246. What do I think about your comment, Cows? I think that you are discourteous since you apparently believe you can insult others. I think you are stunted and immature, because you form conclusions about what other supposedly think and believe when you do not know that. I think you are lacking in insight, because you do not get past your own biases. And I think you are without critical thought.

    Anyone who reads this blog with a shred of intelligence can see that, far from being a “mean old woman,” Helen expresses a deep love for this country, the principles on which it was founded, and ordinary decency. It was our last president and many of the people who supported him and, apparently, you who show a genuine lack of patriotism (as well as a serious lack of intelligence). Certainly, there are people who are politically conservative who are bright, good, and informed. There are others who are stupid, venal, and ignorant.

    To the extent that other countries “hate us,” it’s largely because the policies of the past administration have been deserving of that hatred. It takes far more strength and courage to take the path of diplomacy and understanding and respect for others.

    So, why do I personally like this blog? I like it because the authors have original minds and clear thoughts and great wit and humanity and compassion. I like it because the typical posters are interesting and funny. And I like it because I believe it reflects what this country should be–and what it sadly has not been.

    It would not occur to me to go to blogs that I find distasteful. Perhaps you’ll do well to avoid this one. That’s unfortunate because, if you had a marginally open mind, it could do you a world of good.

  247. There now, don’t you feel better getting those ideas out here where we can all see them? You shouldn’t keep that stuff inside, it festers. I’m sorry you had to watch the boob tube for entertainment. We’ve figured out how to get the bits we want to watch from the computer. We’re watching old Northern Exposure shows (from way before SP) Suggest to your grandson that he help set up something better to watch, and stay well! I especially nedded this column this morning to send to a sister who forwards “meaningful messages from the far right”

  248. Till the cows come home

    “She is a mean old woman who hates her country and clearly doesn’t care if her grandchildren don’t get to grow up in the America we all love and respect.”

    I get the feeling you are talking to yourself!

    A fellow who beat up a man of color was asked, Why do you hate people of color? He said, “I don’t hate them, I just love my white race.” So he beat people up to show his love for his race.

    Pretty sad.

  249. ArmyWife: well said. Bravo!!!!!

  250. tillthecowscomehome,
    i respect your right to those opinions even though i do not agree with a single one of them. you say you would love to hear what we think about your comments, so i will oblige by telling you what i think:
    i think that what you wrote is close-minded, hateful, self-righteous bullshit, and i will never understand how you can feel that way. and i think that you will never understand how i and others can feel the opposite and still love our country.
    but the thing is, that we dont have to agree with or understand each other. that’s the wonderful (and annoying) thing about living in america – that we are a nation composed of people from all walks of life, and we all have different ideas of what our Utopia should be. the challenge is to find a way to work together instead of just yelling at each other like children in the backseat – “mom, he’s touching me! She’s on my side of the seat!”
    come on, are we children, or are we adults? i for one am willing to work with you to find solutions to our problems that we can both live with. it’s called compromising. if you can do the same, then we might get somewhere. but if you just want to bitch and moan because 50 percent of the country doesnt share your exact views, and if you want to call me a traitor for disagreeing with you, then you’ve lost my respect.
    that’s what i think. God bless the world.

  251. I would say that you have hidden your head in the sand and refused to see what reality is. I would say that your fear of the unknown has caused you to believe in conspiracy theories, etc. And that no matter what truths you are offered, you will continue to deny “till the cows come home”.

    And if you don’t like the blog, don’t come here.

  252. I just don’t understand what all of you find so enjoyable about this blog. She is a mean old woman who hates her country and clearly doesn’t care if her grandchildren don’t get to grow up in the America we all love and respect. Why do you people want America to become weak and overrun with non-Americans? Why do you want our way of life to become more like the Europeans? We are better than that. Other countries hate us and we have to be strong to defend ourselves from that hatred. The world is not ending. The climate is not changing. Obama is overreacting to the point of ruining this country.

    That is how I feel. I would love to hear what you guys have to say to that.

  253. Yes. Thank you. Thank you to all of our brave soldiers past and present.

  254. James, this one is for you, and all the other Vietnam Vets that haven’t been recognized for their service. (btw, thank you.)

    [from one of my email pals]
    The Truth:
    This story is true.

    We have confirmed it with both a spokesperson for Ann-Margret and a member of her family.
    Her website receives hundreds of emails from veterans asking about the story as well as many
    emails from former soldiers who appreciated Ann-Margret’s trips to Vietnam or Korea to entertain troops.

    Ann Margaret….
    This is a good counter balance story to the Jane
    Fonda Vietnam Woman Of The Year story.

    Viet Nam 1966
    Richard, (my husband), never really talked a lot about his time in Viet Nam other than he had been shot by a sniper. However, he had a rather grainy, 8 x 10 black and white photo he had taken at a USO show of Ann Margaret, with Bob Hope in the background, that was
    one of his treasures.

    A few years ago, Ann Margaret was doing a book signing at a local bookstore. Richard wanted to see if he could get her to sign the treasured photo… so he arrived at the bookstore at 12 o’clock for the 7:30 signing.

    When I got there after work, the line went all the way a
    round the bookstore; circled the parking lot; and disappeared behind a parking garage. Before her appearance, bookstore employees announced that she would sign only her book, and no memorabilia would be permitted.

    Richard was disappointed, but wanted to show her the
    photo and let her know how much those shows meant to lonely GI’s so far from home. Ann Margaret came out looking as beautiful as ever and, as second in line,
    it was soon Richard’s turn.

    He presented the book for her signature and then took out the photo. When he did, there were many shouts from the employees that she would not sign it. Richard said, “I understand. I just wanted her to see it.”

    She took one look at the photo; tears welled up in her eyes and she said, “This is one of my gentlemen from Viet Nam and I most certainly will sign his photo.. I know what these men did for their country and I always have
    time for ‘my gentlemen’.”

    With that, she pulled Richard across the table and planted a big kiss on him. She then made quite a to-do about the bravery of the young men she met over the years; how
    much she admired them; and how much she appreciated them. There weren’t too many dry eyes among those close enough to hear. She then posed for pictures and acted as if he were the only one there.

    Later at dinner, Richard was very quiet. When I asked if he’d like to talk about it, my big strong husband broke
    down in tears. “That’s the first time anyone ever thanked me for my time in the Army,” he said.

    That night was a turning point for him. He walked a
    little straighter and, for the first time in years, was proud to have been a Vet. I’ll never forget Ann Margaret for her graciousness and how much that small act of kindness meant to my husband.

    I now make it a point to say ‘Thank you’ to every person I come across who served in our Armed Forces. Freedom does not come cheap and I am grateful for all those who have served their country.

  255. Miss Helen —- So very glad to see you’re back and feeling much better, I hope. Missed your comments quite a bit while you were off line. Welcome back!!!

  256. Thanks Whirled Peas. A more eloquent point.

  257. FL.SoS Kathrine Harris
    *turn down sound
    *have pause ready

    Δ

  258. Greytdog, seems we are neighbors of sort. East of you a bit, and west of the Indian River. Great view of shuttle launches from my back yard.

    James, Florida does in fact have two time zones, but the majority of FL is on Eastern time. All news channels [ even Fox ] reported that Gore had won the state by 8:00 P.M. ET. Doesn’t it seem just a little circumspect that Katherine Harris was Sec. of State [halted several recounts],and that baby bro Jeb was governor?

    Not a conspiracy theorist, but come on. How many chads can hang at one time? The vote came down to 537 votes! Bush stole the election.
    Simple as that. Past history, moving on. It is what it is. Never again want to witness what it was. [Just became a lil' Scarlett O'Hara there].

    Thank you so much for your service to our country James. Although I don’t agree with the reasons, I still admire the men and women who go forth. My 19 yr. old nephew is a U.S Marine in Iraq, and my youngest has been Navy for the last 7 yrs. I salute you all.

  259. Oh excuse me. . . . . Helen’s example

  260. Nice to see you back.

    I saw this article on CNN.

    http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/2009/04/23/does-anybody-care-what-dick-cheney-thinks/#comments

    It reminded me of you.

    This article scares me. . . . reminds me of a squeaky wheel. It’s like those idiots on the F** network. I wish some rich philanthropist would buy up that network and do the public service of shutting down those freaking idiots. Can we make contributions to THAT cause?

    No seriously – lets not ignore Dick Cheney, we have to know and understand these idiots so that we can combat their ridiculousness.

    Lets follow Margaret’s example and just disagree very loudly!

  261. Who was the fellow that got lists of the disenfranchised voters in Florida and Ohio? Rove and his friends eliminated many thousands of votes in poor areas as well as minority areas. I forget the fellows name with the data though. I believe he was a reporter from England?

    The Repubs sent him the information and then asked for it back. I think the Republicans stole the election with manipulation of votes, chads and restricting who could vote.

    Here is Jon Stewart on Rove and Cheney and their appeal for information. It was not too long ago that they kept information from the public or had it destroyed.

    http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/daily-show-karl-rove-and-dick-cheney-freedom

  262. Yea! You’re back and feeling better I trust. This was a great post and you sure did store up a bunch of stuff.

    Suzanne

  263. Werner wrote:So, while he might have uphold Friederich’s Thesis, he was NOT the originator of the saying

    Thanks for the informations,Werner. Regardless, it was an interesting experience during my so called informative years in college to have to complete a course that started with “God is Dead”, prove or disapprove!

    I also wrote my thesis on communism and presented it at a forum which I arranged to be presented with guest speakers at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. How do you think that went over in the 60’s in the deep South :-). My grandfather was about ready to jerk me out of school!

    Yes, James, those were very heady times.

  264. Thanks Greytdog, for your attempt. Hmm, I think they all have something to hide. So where do they get that shrimp and crap to formulate gloucosamine and chrondrotin sulfate. Another one I investigated had bovine, chicken, shrimp and crab and would not reveal their sources either. By products any one or floor sweepings!

  265. James wrote:Raji, those were heady times weren’t they? We “knew” we would change the world in those days. We may not have changed the world, but we strongly influenced it. Do you remember which magazine had “God is Dead” on its cover? I think it was Time or Newsweek, but it could be another.

    James, it was Time, the red-on-black stunner of April 8,1966 which posed the question, “Is God Dead”. The cover story promoted 3,430 letters to the editor.With the internet today can you just imagine the response?
    Yep, those were the days.

  266. Raji – pharma reps told me that they can’t get any answers either. Per Nutramax Labs, that information is proprietary and not for public disclosure – which I personally translate as meaning they have something to hide. . . but then I’m tres cynical

  267. Here’s a nifty rendition of “Stand by Me”. I think we need an international sing off at these world meetings.

    http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2539741

  268. Up north here in Tennessee, we have a saying:

    Texas is easy to find; go south ’til you smell it, and west ’til you step in it.

  269. Hey James, and Homeland Security took issue with you because …. Just wondering.

  270. James, my brother and I probably are responsible for my mother’s early gray hair. . . she was salt & pepper by her early 40s. . .in addition to bringing home every stray dog and cat, we also were known to bring home stray goats and a couple of horses. . .we exploded firecrackers under the hen house (only once) and then seeking to aim for the stars, we tied bottle rockets to some young coffee bushes at the experimental ag station next door – showering young coffee berries all over the neighborhood. . .we also once tried bathing the dogs (4 GSDs) at once – in the shower. . . which led to mayhem in the middle of a dinner party for some SEATO reps. Luckily, the Aussie rep was a rancher’s son and help not only round up the dogs, but also the goats and sheep that somehow got loose and ran amok through the party with the dogs chasing them, kids chasing the dogs, and guests in tuxes scrambling after all of us. . . The worse though was when I, suffering from what turned out to be chicken pox, projectile vomited all over the US attache from Hong Kong. . .who helped my mom clean me up and then himself came down with CP four days later . . .

  271. I wouldn’t trust the Diebold voter machines either. They should never have been used.

    I heard the same about Barbara Bush. I met her once when she was campaigning in Iowa. She was nice to visit with. I met Obama too, and I have spoken to Hillary. It is one of the advantages of living in Iowa.

  272. Jean, my wife and I raised a boy and a girl, and though our son was more active, our daughter was no picnic either. When they were in their early teens, she nearly pushed her larger brother out a window.

    Like you, my poor wife didn’t like the rough housing while I did. Our daughter, by her own admision is a virtual clone of me, so she was blessed with almost as much energy as our son. When they were teenagers, they launched attacks in an attempt to force me off the couch when we watched television. My poor wife…

  273. Being a Floridian and being a Central Floridian (I-4 corridor), Diebold is not trusted in our neck of the woods. BlackBox Operations found thousands of ballots tossed into the dumpster behind the Volusia county election board – and several of the colleges in our area have taken part in cracking the so-called security firewalls and such that Diebold claims are there to prevent fraud and manipulation. In my neck of the woods, Diebold equates to Halliburton in dishonesty, cronyism, and voter fraud. Suspicion still remains however that baby bro Jeb and his sidekick Harris manipulated the election in favor of big bro george. Rumors swirled for awhile that Jeb did so on the orders from mama bush – poppy bush is a pushover, but babs defines ruthless bitch. She makes coulter, palin, et al look like petty amateurs and just mean girls from HS.

  274. helenand margaretFan: You’re welcome. I don’t remember all of the details, and I don’t have time to look them up, so this is only based on my imperfect memory. I’m sure there was some voter fraud from both sides.

    I remember the butterfly ballot and the people who claimed they mistakenly voted for Buchannan. Patrick is a regular on the Mclaughlin Group, and he joked about not knowing he was so popular among Florida retirees. He agreed many of the votes were mistakes. One of his managers estimated 1,000 of the votes were theoretically for Buchannan. The rest were not.

    However, at least some of the problem districts were run by Democrats. I think a Democratic woman designed the ballots and both parties approved them before the election. Since a Democrat designed the ballot it is unlikely she was trying to steal votes for Bush. I think iincompetence played a role. Voters didn’t read a poorly designed ballot carefully enough.

    Once the lawyers invaded, both parties attempted to have votes favorable to their candidates counted and the rest thrown out. Democrats tried to get rid of thousands of military absentee ballots.

    Republicans protested the inclusion of over 40,000 votes by felons and at least a few thousand were later shown not to be felons. Several black districts over voted, and they were suspect. If stealing happened it was then, and lawyers did it. The will of the lawyers decided the election.

    Florida sits in two time zones, and the networks, not realizing this declared the state for Gore while the Republican panhandle was still voting. Then, they recanted. At least one pollster who later surveyed the voters estimated Bush lost thousands of votes because people didn’t bother to vote after they “knew” the election was over.

    I remember hearing discussion of the Diebold touch screen voting machines on Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation before the election. I thought it was the potential source of many problems with no paper verification. I was so disturbed, I called the program.

    The company’s contributing a lot of money to the Bush campaign does give one pause, but as far as I know, no one proved any wrong doing. In my opinion Diebold is equivalent to the grassy knoll during Kennedy’s assasination.

    Both parties try to steal elections on local levels. The polls stayed open two hours longer than they should have in parts of St. Louis in 2000 or 2004 when such long lines of Democrats formed they couldn’t all vote before closing time. .Mayor Daily may have given the election to JFK. Lyndon Johnson earned the nick name “Landslide Lyndon” when he ran for House of Representatives because of questionable vote collection and counting.

    Both parties stole votes across the country, as they do in every election, so if authorities uncovered cheating in Florida, the state was not unique. The close election and Florida’s pivotal role attracted attention to its shortcomings.

    A wider election margin drew attention from voter irregularities because people considered them irrelevant. We didn’t hear many charges of vote theft in the last election because Obama won by a wide margin. Had Republicans stolen both Bush elections, one would expect them to steal it from Obama too.

    If you recall, Democrats couldn’t believe a man they considered a dunce could beat Gore or Kerry. I used to post on moveon.org. I remember how the posters gloated and planed celebration parties. Then, the tide turned, and their celebratory mood turned to disappointment and anger.

    I think people put the pieces together and came up with a conspiracy to explain something they couldn’t accept had happened. It is a normal human reaction. Some conservatives do the same with Obama. They are sure he was born outside of the United States and he faked his birth certificate. A Pa. Democrat tried to sue.

    I agree, there is reason to wonder, but I don’t think there was a party wide attempt to steal the election.

  275. This will give you all a giggle! Naturally, the other 49 states reserve the right to keep all the lovely Texans like M&H, my grandkids and (oh, what the heck) my ex-hubbie!!

  276. On Texas seceding or attempting mitosis – we (and Gov. Perry) should remember this – if the treaty he cites did indeed allow for unilateral secession from the US, (which it doesn’t), and if indeed this treaty allows for the division of TX into 5 states – nowhere does this treaty require the sovereign nation of the United States of America to automatically accept these 5 states into our union. The process to statehood is not automatic and it is a long hard slog. I for one would be very much against automatic statehood for any satellite nation without due process and without the requirements for statehood being met. Furthermore, inasmuch as these satellite nations came into being with the secession of the state of TX, I would urge Congress to be very wary of readmitting these satellites into our nation as they had already shown their disavowal of and disdain for the Constitution of the United States. I am not as forgiving as Lincoln.

  277. James: Thank you for your response. If I recall correctly (and there’s no guarantee that I do) in the 2000 election florida not only used an illegal “butterfly” ballot but they were the only state in the Union to list Bush first, BUCHANNAN second, and Gore third, knowing full well the layout would be confusing and people would punch the second hole thinking they were voting for Gore. Isn’t it odd that Buchannan got considerably more votes in Florida than in any other state? Do you really think there wasn’t intent to deceive? In that election, Florida was the deciding state. If the election had been honestly run, i have no doubt Gore would have won it since even with the deception, the count was close. Secondly, when the owner of the company who manufactures the Diebold touch-screen voting machines was a major contributor to Bush’s campaign, does that not give one pause? And why was it so that the machines were set up to NOT produce a paper verification of votes? Granted, either way the election was close but from where I sit, the GOP was not going to leave the election solely up to the “will of the people.” As so it was, we got a chucklehead for a president, the Devil for a vice president, both of whom proceeded to piss on the Constitution, will of the people be damned. And NOW they scream foul.

  278. Jean,

    LOVE IT!!!

    Aloha

  279. From Daily Kos (http://www.dailykos.com/)

    Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 4/20-22. Likely voters. MoE 4% (No trend lines)

    Do you think Texas would be better off as an independent nation or as part of the United States of America?

    US: 61
    Independent nation: 35

    Democrats: US 82, Ind 15
    Republicans: US 48, Ind 48
    Independents: US 55, Ind 40

    Do you approve or disapprove of Governor Rick Perry’s suggestion that Texas may need to leave the United States?

    Approve: 37
    Disapprove: 58

    Democrats: Approve 16, Disapprove 80
    Republicans: Approve 51, Disapprove 44
    Independents: Approve 43, Disapprove 50

  280. When I get those ridiculous forwarded emails, I pick them apart and refute them line for line, then I cut and paste every single email address that’s on the forward (because nobody ever deletes the addresses or bcc’s) and reply all! It’s great! When I get complaints from the knuckleheads that enjoyed the false information contained in the original email, I reply with a short note saying “please forward all complaints to our complaint department at (the email address of the person who sent me the email.)

    Glad you’re feeling better Helen!

  281. Oh Helen, I hope you’re feeling better.
    I watched a montage of Fox news reports yesterday, and I thought to myself, if I were forced to watch that show on a daily basis, by head would cleave in two, and my brain would melt. They aren’t even attempting to masquerade as a valid, objective news channel anymore. What’s upsetting is that some people don’t watch anything but Fox, and the panic just keeps getting more oppressive within the wingnutosphere.
    I wondered what you thought about the big Perry seceding ignorance. You know, about a month ago, Glen Beck was sobbing uncontrollably into the camera while Chuck Norris was thinking of running for president of Texas.
    We wouldn’t let that happen to Texans.
    If they want to secede, they don’t get to take Texas with them. Sorry!

  282. Hi Dawny,

    I am happy that you enjoy my history lessons and travel adventures. Thank you.

    I too raised boys. I longed for a girl but it didn’t happen. A number of times when we lived in Southern California, the house shook. (at 6:00 AM???) I yelled, “Knock it off!” I thought the boys were roughousing again. Turned out there were minor earthquakes.

    I was always mystified by the daily amount of physical energy that boys have. It just has to come out, one way or another. Trying to channel that energy into constructive activity is a full time job for a mom, right?

    Yeah, I would like to see us gals give ruling the world a try. We couldn’t screw it up any worse than SOME of the guys have done. Catherine the Great of Russia could be just as ruthless as any man. She was complicit in the murder of her husband, the rightful heir to the throne. But she also turned out to be quite capable.

    I loved what Golda Meier (sp?) of Israel once said, “Moses couldn’t have been such a great man if he led his people for forty years to the “Promised Land”, the only place in the Middle East without oil!”

    Aloha!

    Jean

  283. Speaking of secession, the Texas Governor’s proposal is as crazy as the Department of Homeland Security’s claiming I should be on a watch list. What is his problem? Did he breathe too much smoke from one of your grass fires?

    “I’ve had my say. Carry on.”

  284. HelenandMargaretteFan, since you brought it up, I won’t try to convince you, but I am too tempted to be contrarian. The Republicans did not steal the elections. The New York Times, I believe, and several other news papers recounted the votes and reached the same outcome.

    Even if they did steal the elections, it is still our right and duty to criticize and oppose policies we think are wrong. I complained about Bush and wrote letters the same as I complain about Obama. Dissent is as American as apple pie, and I like pie.

    Raji, those were heady times weren’t they? We “knew” we would change the world in those days. We may not have changed the world, but we strongly influenced it. Do you remember which magazine had “God is Dead” on its cover? I think it was Time or Newsweek, but it could be another.

  285. Thanks for the complement Dawny, and thank you Greytdog A for links to the apocalypse explanation. It is fascinating.

    I returned from a visit to the dentist. I told the hygienist about a hundred fifty year old college autograph book written to my great great grandmother. From the messages, I gathered she was smart, verbal, and outspoken, even when her views were unpopular. Her professors were nervous whenever she opened her mouth because no one knew what she might say.

    The hygienist said, “That’s you! You’re your great grandmother!” I don’t know if she was complementing me or not, but it is nice to know an air of mystery surrounds me at public meetings.

  286. Guess I’ll add my two cents. I’m glad you’re back! We miss you when you don’t feed us a good blog post. If you wrote daily, I’d read you daily.

    Thanks for another spot-on post.

    Best,
    KJ

  287. FL sunshine
    ….I highlighted every email address with a public company domain and mailed it to either their general counsel or office of shareholders relations and asked if they were aware that their corporate website was being used for political purposes in spreading lies…….

    While a lot will agree with the lies in secret, most will uphold the banner of political correctness and you might be breaking some (red)necks with this!

    Good Job!

  288. uncommonsense

    You really must have been sleeping in class!

    The moonmice eat away on the moon cheese all month long, and only when it has been eaten to such a small morsel that they can nearly not stand on it anynmore (and much, much smaller than we can see from here) will they get a new moon (cheese) and start all over again.

    But for any further questions I have to refer you back to your teachers, I can feel a brainlock comming on.

    Now I now how it feels to live with an IQ apporx. like my shoe size……

  289. Fl sunshine, Congress can rescind treaties and they also ignore them as they have in the case of The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1886.

  290. Pat Thomas – that was a great idea. I hope you made the donations in the name of the people who sent you the emails!

  291. Welcome back!
    RE: Texas
    on Friday, 4-17, Chris Matthews interviewed Republican Congressman Culberson from Texas and asked if what Gov. Perry said was really possible. Matthews finally got him to admit the treaty didn’t allow them to secede but the Rep went on to say that the treaty does allow Texas to split into 5 states and that would give the Senate 10 more “rock ribbed conservatives”.
    Honestly – go online to Hardball and read the transcript yourself. I was stunned. Now they want to clone themselves!

    RE: False Emails About Pres. Obama
    At work, an associate showed me one he received with forwards of forwards 10 pages long. I highlighted every email address with a public company domain and mailed it to either their general counsel or office of shareholders relations and asked if they were aware that their corporate website was being used for political purposes in spreading lies.

  292. But Werner, why can’t I see the whole moon all the time?

  293. I was SO happy to go to the site this morning and see a new post from you—it’s wonderful to have you back and (hopefully) feeling better. No need to apologize for any lack of “focus”. You seemed perfectly on target as usual. Stay well!

  294. I am so very glad you are back and in rare form. Why do I think that Texas will find a way to take as much money as they can and then lie about it. I know that South Carolina needs help desperately with their school systems, but they worry about people getting uppity with them. Politicians are generally very pretty and very stupid in South Carolina.

  295. uncommonsense

    why, didn’t you know?
    The moon, as does the sun and the stars, revolve around the disk that is called Earth!

    What you do in creationalist geography? Sleep all day?

    ;-P

  296. Really makes you wonder how they explain the lunar cycles.

  297. Raji:

    sorry to contradict but not Thomas J. J. Altizer said that god was dead this was:

    “Gott ist tot! (God is dead!)” — Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882 in: Fröhliche Wissenschaft

    And God asnwered him:

    “Friedrich is dead!!!” — God, 25 Aug. 1900

    So, while he might have uphold Friederich’s Thesis, he was NOT the originator of the saying.

    Just FYI

  298. Δ Tine, *mwah* back at ya!

    BTW:
    You link was incorrect.
    Fixed it for ya.

    Waco Tribune-Herald

    Δ

  299. more brain

  300. While the moon will ALWAYS reflect the light of the sun, not believing it (And I am rather unsure where “belive” enters in this equation) reflects a hell of a lot about why too much TV is
    a) not good for your children
    b) no substitude for learning to read
    and
    c) not the “perfect babysitter” most people useit for.

    I do honestly believe (uups and that’s me, “believe”?) that only with the help of TV you can so utterly stupify (?) people as to belive that the moon shines by god’s pwoer alone……. (I mean not so wrong if you belive that the sun was created by god…..) but this is really, really hard to stomach if you got more than a fly’s brain…..

    In Germany we usually refer to people like that with the following saying.

    “If this person would swallow a fly, she’d have brain in her stomach than in her head!”

  301. Raji: Looks real to me, according to McLennan Community College website (http://www.mclennan.edu/nye/) and the Waco Tribune-Herald (http://www.wacotrib.com/featr/content/features/stories/2009/04/23/billnye.html).

  302. Peas! *mwah* (That’s a cyberkiss of gratitude.)

    Thanks for that link. I’ll gladly pay $1/day to rid my state of that asshat.

  303. TexAss! Was that for real in this day and time? We are in deep trouble, aren’t we!

  304. Good one Pat Thomas.

    Here’s one for ya:

    A Dollar a Day to
    Make Norm Go Away!

    Δ

  305. Helen – so glad you are back with y our wonderful commentaries!! Tho I think watching CNN must have slowed your recovery down a bit!

    Mavis – loved you comment on PTCD. Put into 4 letters what I have thought. Reqading coulter must have done something to Helen!!
    LiladyNY – That was not nice of you to critisize
    Werners typo. The commenters here are most tolerant of any typos. They nicely have read through mine, and wh en my typing improves tell me good things.

  306. I’m so glad you’re feeling better!

  307. Pat Thomas: That was brilliant! And as a fellow Minnesotan, I thank you. :)

    Peas, re Waco: WHAT? As a born-and-raised Catholic, I’ve heard lots o’ crazy stuff said in the name of religion. But *that* takes the cake.

  308. My husband’s cousin and another dear friend used to forward all that stuff to me. I finally told both of them that I would donate money to Move On and the MN Democratic Party and the Franken Campaign every time they sent me a spurious group email. It only cost me a couple of donations to stop the email. Worth every penny.

  309. Hey helenandmargaretFan,

    For those who don’t
    mind Google Video:

    ‘Hacking Democracy’
    *1h22m

    Δ

  310. I had to come back and respond to this…
    “And honestly folks, those of us who do vote keep sending the same people right back to Washington. ”

    Yes you do. All three of my *representatives* are Democrats. While I agree with them on minor issues, on the majority of issues they voted with the bushies the last 8 years as did most of the Democrats.
    Did I vote to send the two who were up for re-election last year back for another term?
    NO I did not, I voted third party.

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
    Albert Einstein

  311. Does anyone find it ironic that the same party that’s now screaming Obama is ignoring the will of the people is the same party that fixed a United States Presidential election in 2000 and 2004 (and please, don’t try to convince me otherwise. Illegal butterfly ballots in Florida…and rent the movie “Hacking Democracy.”), not only over-riding the “will of the people” and giving us 8 years of Chuckles the Clown administration?

  312. Glad to see you’re back. Keep op the great insight.

  313. Glad to see you feeling better (I hope).
    AND I think you’re very focused.

    “Your Congressman has an office in your district. Have you stopped by? Have you written a letter? Do you know his or her voting record? Do you rely on more than one source to get your news? Honestly, do you even care?”
    Yes. Yes. Yes. OH HELL YES. And YES, very much.

  314. Here is Glenn Beck 18 months ago.

    http://jed-lewison.dailykos.com/

    A huge change in perspective to where he is now.

  315. Yeah! Found it

    Please let me intorduce you to the Asshat Orchestra:

    http://werner-oderwer.tumblr.com

    (in case there are newer post, jsut scroll down, you’ll recognize it!)

  316. TexASS…Land of Science:

    Bill Nye “The Science Guy” was booed in Waco, Texas for suggesting the Moon did not generate its own light, but reflected light from the sun.

    – snip –

    …several people in the audience stormed out, including woman with three small children who shouted, “We believe in God!” and left.

    .
    .
    .
    ‘Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions.’
    (h/t SJ)

    Δ

  317. James, you wrote: “Jean, the Democrats gave religion to the Republicans. If you remember the sixties, Democrats were uncomfortable with religion and the American flag”

    I remember the sixties and this is what I was exposed to. I can just imagine what Greytdog’s fellow student would have done in this class.

    I had an interesting theology class in college taught by Thomas J. J. Altizer who became famous for his statement God is Dead.

    “with one simple proclamation, Altizer set religious scholarship on fire and gave Emory a name as bastion of theological liberalism”

    “It is perhaps the ultimate paradox that Altizer, the former Emory professor whose raical 1960’s “death of God” theology earned him a glaring media spotlight, international infamy, and dozens of personal death threats, is utterly fixated on God.
    In his foreword to Altizer’s memoir released this spring, Living the Death of God, religion scholar Mark C. Taylor calls Altizer “the last theologian” and the most God-obsessed person I have ever known.”

    http://people.bu.edu/wwildman/bce/altizer.htm

  318. Jean et al: For a really nice, intelligent overview discussion of the Book of Revelation, consider this link:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/explanation/brevelation.html

    I especially appreciate the way the interviewers link historical and cultural aspects to the writing. I think we forget that history, culture, politics, and economics all play a role in shaping our religious beliefs – too many times our fundamentalist neighbors believe it’s a one way street. . .but the river of influence flows both ways. . .

  319. Helen, so glad that you are up and about again.
    Hope the parlor wasn’t left messy…[ uh,oh
    Mom's feeling better ] Perhaps Kinky Friedman
    will take another serious stab at becoming the
    next governor of TX. He was too purple for the
    majority of people his last run.

    Jean, I wish that I would have had history teachers of your ilk. Could sit and listen to your stories of travel, and knowledge all day! Would have actually learned something taught with passion as opposed to memorizing by rote.

    James, you are another whom shares wit, and wisdom. Not to mention polite opposing views.
    Always look forward to your posts.

    As a mother of boys I always insisted they play nice. An apology was expected even if it was
    “on accident”. If only Mothers ruled the world.
    sigh…

  320. Since you mentioned ColdPlay, Greytdog A, it is playing here in our kitchen now.

    “I used to rule the world
    Seas would rise when I gave the word
    Now, I sleep alone
    Sweep the streets I used to own

    I used to roll the dice
    Feel the fear in my enemies eyes
    Listen as the crowd would sing
    Now the old king is dead
    long live the king
    One minute I held the key
    Next the walls were closed on me
    And I discovered my castle stand
    Was built on pillars of sand…”

  321. Welcome back Helen! I am glad you are doing better.

  322. I once watched a student literally shred her theology book because the professor was discussing the concept that great works of literature (as with art and music) are works that touch our soul, be they works by Yeats, Coldplay, or Mozart, are inspired by the creative hand of God. . . I thought the poor girl was going to pass out until I realized she was stabbing her txtbook and scribbling madly across her notes “heresy, heresy heresy” – I enjoyed the lecture but totally avoided HER the rest of the term.

  323. Jean, the Democrats gave religion to the Republicans. If you remember the sixties, Democrats were uncomfortable with religion and the American flag. Republicans took and ran with it. Democrats realized their mistake later and hoisted their Bibles and flags.

    I also like Will Durant. I bought my first book of his when I was in high school. The ancient words apply to us now because we have not changed. We are the same people.

    Jesus said render unto Ceaser…He was telling people temporal and spiritual realms occupy different planes and He was concerned with the spirit. Therefore, Jesus would not preach higher or lower taxes. The Old Testament is full of “inspire terror ” and righteous warfare. Jesus himself did not ask the money changers to leave the temple. He angerly drove them out. I don’t remember the verse, but Jesus will rule with a rod of iron when He returns to Earth.

    I agree, after seeing what the appostle John saw many of us would be bitter. I still “hear” the screams of the girl begging for us to shoot her, but I used her death to make my life better. I live what she couldn’t. Bad things happen, and we have to power to alter and defeat them.

    Our son in law’s father is a Lutheran minister, and he said the same about the Rapture. It comes from a miss -read verse. I would like to know more about the Apocalypse. Why is it so dark compared to the others? There is a reason. Maybe John didn’t write it. The committee which decided which books were inspired and which were not had reasons to include the book. I wonder why.

    I respect fundamentalists for their devotion and determination to live to their values, but I cannot agree with them. The Bible is the inspired word of God, but it is just words written by men and women. God inspired them, but they decided what to save and what not to save. I don’t believe God is intervening in our daily lives. I cannot believe a diety who controlled each detail would permit the horrible things which happen.

    People here may think it is a silly poll game, but Obama and the Republicans are watching carefully.

  324. I think Helen suffered from PTCD (Post Traumatic Coulter Disorder) after reading that book!

    Glad to see you back, Helen. My day was better for having read your words.

    Δ

  325. [...] Maybe America Should Take Rick Perry Up On His Offer Honestly Margaret, I cannot believe that Susan Boyle went undiscovered for 47 years but that crazy Celine Dion has been [...] [...]

  326. Glad that you are back.

  327. Let Texas secede. Their 34 electoral votes will go with them, which means that the Republicans won’t win the Presidency again for generations. (The red states with the next-largest numbers of electoral votes are Georgia, with 15, and Tennessee, with 11.)

    On the other hand, 140 years ago, 600,000 Americans died to settle the secession question once and for all. Guess Ricky forgot about that.

  328. I agree that I would like this country to show some Christian values–love, tolerance, and about that “feed my people, take care of those who are ill, and insasmuch as you do unto the least of these….” Do we remember those?

    Nowhere in the Bible that I have read does it say “cut taxes” and “inspire fear and terror in anyone who disagrees with you.” If I’m wrong, I’m sure someone will let me know.

  329. Thanks Whirled peas for the reminder that it is Earth Day.

    Mother Nature is at her best today. The dogwoods have bloomed, the daffodils are still in bloom and the azaleas and lilacs are peaking out soon to be in full bloom. The lettuce and radishes are breaking through the soil soon to be followed by carrots. The aroma in the air is refreshing and uplifting.

    I view today as postive. The negative view would be I need to weed the garden, mow the yard, weed wack, etc.

    Wishing all of you a positive Earth Day.

  330. Diana, in that case an F must be the new A+, I just refuse to play this silly poll game anymore. Obama is the President of the United States of America, end of story.

  331. Hi Helen and gang,

    I enjoyed what you said Helen, about Christian values, but not the variation that the religious right has been spewing for a number of years now. I still haven’t figured out how it managed to take the Christianity ball and run with it all the way to the White House and beyond. It has been relatively quiet since the election but I have no doubt that it is just biding its time, waiting for an opening to get a strangle hold on politics again and jam their views down the throats of everyone.

    For what I am about to say, the Fundamentalists would probably tar and feather me for blasphemy but here goes anyway.

    I’ve been reading my favorite historian, Will Durant again. He was discussing the life and philosophy of the Greek, Epicurus. Generally, many people think of Epicureanism as the ‘eat, drink and be merry crowd’. Not altogether so. Actually, he was something of an ascetic. I cannot improve on Durant’s words so I am quoting him here verbatim. Does any of this have a familiar ring to it that could apply today as easily as it did well over two thousand years ago?

    “Epicurus begins with the arresting proposition that the aim of philosophy is to free men from fear – more than anything else, from the fear of gods. He dislikes religion [Greek mythology] because, he thinks, it thrives on ignorance, promotes it, and darkens life with the terror of celestial spies, relentless furies, and endless punishments. The gods exist, says Epicurus, and enjoy, in some far-off space among the stars, a serene and deathless life; but they are too sensible to bother with the affairs of so infinitesimal a species as mankind. The world is not designed by nor is it guided by them. How could such divine Epicureans have created so middling a universe, so confused a scene of order and disorder, of beauty and suffering. If this disappoints you, Epicurus adds, console yourself with the thought that the gods are too remote to do you any more harm than good. They cannot watch you, they cannot judge you; they cannot plunge you into hell. As for evil gods, or demons, they are the unhappy fantasies of our dreams.

    …..Despite all this we must accept the testimony of our immediate consciousness that the will is free; else we should be meaningless puppets on the stage of life.”

    In September of 2006, we took a cruise of the Greek Isles from Istanbul down to Crete and back up to Athens. Among other delightful places (Kos and Ephesus) we visited Patmos, the tiny, desolate, barren island where the Apostle John was exiled and the cave where he lived while there. You must remember that he witnessed some pretty horrific things in his long life. He saw his best friend crucified and the fierce persecution of other Christians.

    He lived to be 99 years old. While he was on Patmos for about a year he wrote the Book of the Apocalypse or Revelations. It is not clear whether he was able to read and write since he had an amanuesis, his disciple St. Prochorus. The small cave where they lived has been made into a shrine with one of the prominent features being a stone that St. John used as a pillow for his head.

    When the Roman Emperor Domitian was assassinated, St. John was released from exile and returned to Ephesus. He later died there and his tomb is on Ephesus.

    High up on the most prominent hill of the island is the Monastery of St. John the Divine built in 1088 A.D. The entire island is very much devoted to the Greek Orthodox religion.

    Now I don’t know about you, but if any of us had been witness to horrible cruelty, been chased all over the Eastern Mediterranean for being a follower of Jesus and had to live in a dark damp cave, well, I think it would be quite easy to wind up being pretty bitter in old age.

    I don’t pretend to be a biblical scholar. However, from what I do know about his books, the TONE of The Apocalypse is very different from the Book of John and the three ‘Epistles’ he wrote. The first books are full of joy and hope. The Apocalypse is full of dire predictions of the wrath of God.

    The Fundamentalists have latched onto the Apocalypse as the ‘Absolute Word of God’ and what is going to happen to mankind if we don’t adhere to THEIR point of view without question. I wonder what any of them would say if they visited that wretchedly miserable cave. It’s creepy! By the way, did you know that there is not ONE WORD about the ’Rapture’ in the Apocalypse? That is a much more recent interpretation.

    This tale about Patmos breaks me up. At the northern end of Skala harbor on Patmos floats a prominent buoy a few swimming strokes offshore. It is widely believed to mark he petrified remains of Patmos’ very own sorcerer, the evil wizard Yennoupas, also known as Kynops (“dog-face” in Greek). Lying just beneath the surface of the water, this stack of rocks is a potential shipping hazard, which not even drilling or dynamiting has been able to remove.

    Legend has it that while St. John was on Patmos writing up his gospel, this local wizard-cum-sorcerer was busy retrieving effigies of the dead from the seabed as a form of gruesome local entertainment. Kynops then challenged John to a duel of miracles. John’s response was to petrify Kynops underwater while he was still searching for effigies. The rock has since refused to be dislodged and it is believed that fish caught near there taste foul. A volcanic cave on the now inaccessible Cape Yennoupas is believed to have been Kynops/Yennou[as’ lair when he was still fit to practice his own macabre form of Patmaian sorcery.

    So just call me a skeptic.

    Aloha!

    Jean

  332. Hey Linda Reeder,

    I say comment anytime. ;) And I’m sure I’m not alone on that.

    BTW: Happy Earth Day !

    PEACE ~ Δ

  333. I would hope Texas does not secede, I live there!
    Speaking for the Austinites, that would really suck. Although, I imagine Austin would become a deserted city if that actually happened.

  334. Wow! I love all of this. I don’t ususlly comment on your site because you have so many already, but you wow me.
    Rant away, Helen. I’m glad you’re back.

  335. from smilesunlimted

    MSNBC has a poll up about the President’s job so far for the first 100 days. Republicans are flooding it with “F” votes. Pass this address on and go to it to vote:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29493093/

    You are right – F is winning out over all others.

  336. Couldn’t have said it better myself, Helen. I think you are well focused.

    Glad you’re back to your feisty self!

  337. Werner, don’t get carried away. I enjoy trying to decipher what you have typed!!!

    Greytdog, you have just dated yourself. Now I remember the poodle skirts and was too old for go go boots. Wasn’t that the Nancy Sinatra, these boots were made for walking, era?
    If I remember correctly, Mayberry was also Peton Place.

  338. As usual Helen, your posts start stirring the pot.

    Anyone wonder what Karl Rove has been up to? Well, he’s behind the Perry movement because Bush wants to be President again :-)

  339. I miss Molly Ivins, too!

  340. KO: ‘A Mess in Texas’

    All hair……….no hat!!!

    Δ

  341. Yay! Helen is back in the parlour, serving pie and calling bullshit!

    Oh, I hear ya, I had a cousin who I had to ask to stop e-mailing me. Actually, I asked him to stop e-mailing me his right-wing bullshit, which he graciously did. And then I got a series of holier-than-thou-Christian prayers and such, which triggered another request from me. Now I get no e-mails from him at all.

  342. So glad to have you’re feeling better & are back! I’ve missed you.

  343. One of the world’s greatest observers, with matching wit and wisdom, happens to live in Texas …

    Of course, we’d all love for Helen to move next door, but Texas needs her.

    Welcome back, Helen, we missed you.

  344. Great to have you back Helen.

    I’ve got one for ya:

    Nineteen Reasons We Should
    Encourage Texas to Secede

    Δ

  345. Lucifer wrote:

    Wish someone would tell me why the U.S. would suffer if Texas (and Georgian and S. Carolina and any other state that has raised it openly) seceded.

    Where’s the DOWN side to that?

    The DOWN side for me is I live in Texas and I really want to live in the United States. If I wanted to live in a foreign country, I would move to one. If Gov. PrettyBoy (as my Daddy, may he rest in peace, used to call him) gets his way, I’ll have to move.

    Besides the most recent polls showed most Texans are NOT interested in secession. I think it would be political suicide for Gov. PrettyBoy – which would be a good thing as far as I’m concerned. It couldn’t get any worse.

    I really liked the comment from Jon Stewart – don’t confuse tyranny with losing….

  346. Helen! Welcome back! I was getting awful worried about you.

    May you never be too sick to type again! Can’t Matthew get you one of those notebook jobbies so you could post from a comfy bed or chair? Or maybe he could learn to take dictation? Although if you are feeling too poorly to hurl well-deserved invective, well, then perhaps it’s more important for you to just concentrate on feeling better. Your global family here on the Internet needs your wit, wisdom and sanity. Stay well.

  347. you take care of yourself. you mean an awful lot to people who you’ll probably never meet so take care of YOU first. that being said, once again, you’ve made me laugh.

    PS if you don’t take care, i’ll send you a mess of ill-tempered german shepherds. or kids. my choice!

  348. Your wit and wisdom have been greatly missed.
    Welcome back and may you have continued good health.

  349. I was born and raised in Texas, and am still here, despite my efforts to escape. I’m so embarassed. I was raised by good old fashioned southern democrats, and feel exactly the way you do about these idiot Texas elected officials. I can barely have a civil conversation these days with most of my relatives. But I promise, we aren’t all two-headed, cousin marrying morons here in the Lone Star State. Even my little old 88 year old mother voted for Obama. But we are drowning in right wing conservative bullshit. Help.

  350. Helen:
    Like the rest of the crowd on the porch, I’m so glad to see you’re back. I hope you’re completely recovered, but still take things easy.
    Several weeks ago I read about that Chuck Norris moron wanting to be President of Texas after it secedes. Sometimes the asshattery gets to be too much, so I avoid both the computer and the tv and get back to things that are real. If your stomach gets queasy from all that you’ve watched the last week, take a break and have some pie.

  351. Yes, let’s take Rick Perry up on his offer! Where is the downside?
    So glad you’re back – you were sorely missed.

  352. Oh, was this ever worth the wait! Helen, your writing just gets better and better with each post. This made me snort my morning beverage all over my keyboard:
    >We can’t even get together to make sure every child has health insurance but paying taxes is cause for every tractor pull in the country to suddenly become a tea party.<
    Brava! Sing it, sister. And can I get an amen?

    I no longer receive forwarded nonsensical rightwing lies masked as ‘concern’ because once the senders realized I was going to research, provide credible links, then hit *reply all* they soon tired of being made to look like the clueless gullible idiots they are to the other clueless gullible idiots on their email list. I’m sure they now pass their little fantasies amongst themselves only in order to fan the flames of their willful ignorance, no facts allowed, please. Which is fine, I am grateful not to have to waste my time refuting such lunacy.

  353. Let me get this straight: You’re sick and you’re watching cable news? How is this supposed to help you get well? Do yourself and your health a favor: send somebody to the video store for some great movies and watch those instead. Please…

  354. Hurrah!!! You’re back! Let all the halleluyas hang out!

    As you will note I am presently in Virginia but I actually hail from the Great North Country and I do mean very, very north! Sesech talk was pretty virulent many years ago when Quebec wanted to withdraw. That was during the Pierre Trudeau administration. There were mailbox bombings, if you recall. That all came to nothing when the secessionists discovered that Quebec would be a no-man’s land in no time if they went off on their own.

    Hairy Perry is just sad. Know what I mean? Same for all his spiritual kinfolk like Palin, Rush, Beck et al. Look at the way he backtracked!

    You do sound like you recovered! Plenty of my family and friends were also down with something lately and I am now recovering from a bad back which I blame on getting too big a bag of weed and feed!

    As for Susan Boyle, there are more Susan Boyles out in the world than one would ever think! May we all be “discovered”!

    God bless and keep on keeping on!

  355. I see your piss and vinegar is recharged. Good to have you back.

  356. Welcome back, Helen! Have you thought about writing a book? If not, you should. I’d buy a copy … I’d buy several!

  357. Things weren’t all that different in the many Mayberry communities; people had premarital sex and got pregnant. Oh wait a minute it was different, there was no pill, you had to ask a clerk for a condom, STDs could be cured with penicillin, and folks got married before the baby was delivered. Sorry, I just feel silly with happiness now that Helen is back.

  358. Helen!!

    I’ve missed you!!! Welcome back and good post as usual. I think that you’ve covered just about everything that has been happening while you were laid up.

    Take care and stay well.

  359. read that “your honor” please

  360. But to rescue our honor, they are mostly on the same intellegence level…..

  361. JuneauJoe

    stop insulting Canadian birds:
    ..Republican Governors: Texas has a loon, Alaska has a soap opera queen …..

    The looney is only our currency (sometimes called “semi-dollar”) but the loon is a VERY tastfull waterfoul (? ducklike bird?) and not HALF as ugly……

    ;-P

  362. “The days of sock hops and poodle skirts, Gidget and Beaver Cleaver are gone. Get over it!”

    Damn. Missed the boat again. Oh well, no fears. Go-go boots are apparently coming back into style (shudder) – white shiny vinyl ones at that!

  363. Welcome Back, Helen – you’ve been missed. I’m delighted you are back on your feet and apparently back up to speed on calling bullshit on the talking heads.

    Actually if it were their heads talking rather than their lower intestines we would be better off.

    Their rant about “the will of Americans” is straight from their definition of “American” – only those who think exactly like them. The rest of us apparently don’t count. The us against them mentality is what sustains the Hannities and Limbaughs and the Coulters. It what truly made me sick this last election cycle. Hearing about “true Americans” from Palin and the rest. Excuseme, but I am American and I’ve never even been to Kansas.

    Wake up folks!!! We don’t live in Mayberry anymore!!!!! The days of sock hops and poodle skirts, Gidget and Beaver Cleaver are gone. Get over it!

  364. LiladyNY

    mostly I try, but sometimes speed gets the better off me, and my german heritage “shines all the way through”.

    Anyway, It is hard to embarrass me since I don’t give much on conventions and I’m mainly concerned to get the message through, not the typos, and some of those (not here and now) are really funny……

    But thanks for the reminder, for the intellectual health of all concerned, I try to remember

  365. On a separate note, Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean appeared on The Today Show Tuesday morning stating that her belief that “in this country, marriage should be between a man and a woman” may not have been politically correct but was biblically correct. Miss Prejean is sadly uneducated about biblical teachings in their historical context.

    I could give Miss Prejean 10,000 scripture verses that condemn her sexually revealing and suggestive photos that are splashed all over the web, yet not one verse that, in its historical context, condemns same-sex marriage. In fact, the Bible is silent on same-sex marriage.

    As far as what the scriptures TRULY say about being gay, I could post a tome. Instead, I’ll leave readers with this — if you’re truly interested in what the scriptures DO and DO NOT say about homosexuality, go to this site and read one of the best commentaries out there:

    http://www.godmademegay.com/Letter.htm

    Gay rights ARE human rights. C’mon, America… we can do better than this!

  366. Hi Helen and Gang
    some German “wisdom” concerning stupid (and otherwise challenged) relatives, we have this saying in Germany:

    Friends you choose,
    relatives you have…..

  367. Welcome back, Helen! You were sorely missed! Give our regards to Margaret! Looking forward to her next post, as well!

    The right is just mad as hades that Obama has accomplished more in his first one hundred days than Bush did in eight years, and they’re going to verbally vomit about it for the next seven years. Our man is in office, so that’s one of the side effects we’re going to have to live with. I’d rather live w/ their hate-mongering and venom-spewing than live w/ their party in the Oval Office!

  368. SO glad you’re back and in as fine fettle as ever! Missed you terribly.

    Um Werner, I suggest using spellcheck or a dictionary before you post (“sympathy”). It might save you some embarrassment. Just sayin’.

  369. democraddict:
    ……..once told me that, ” when America lowers its standards, the rest of the world doesn’t have a choice but to lower theirs”…

    Lower where to?
    Drill into rockbottom? (Oh, that ‘s what Drill baby drill was all about?)

    Main problem I see here, is that Obama is trying to lift it a 64th of an inch OFF the friggin floor and gets obstacles thrown in the way by the shitload!

    ….or is this just my canadian pesimistic outlook?

  370. Lucifer

    To say it with the “Stone(d)s”:
    Simpathy for the devil!

  371. Welcme Back – I’m glad you are feeling better

  372. Helen, so glad you’re feeling better. Get your grandson to show you how to block people from sending you email. It is great for your peace of mind. And the next time you’re sick, don’t watch cable news it will just make you sicker. Find out who the baby’s daddy is on Maury instead.

    As for the secessionists, let’s start posting pictures of General William Tecumseh Sherman everywhere so they get the point that we made a guy like that before and we can do it again if we have to.

    And the tax fools — tell those bottom feeders to look at their pay stubs. Then they can give that increase they’ve all gotten this month back if it bothers them so much. We need that money to pay down the huge deficit that W left us with.

  373. Thanks! I’m so happy to see you back… Come on by and I’ll be sure there’s fresh coffee. I may be in Michigan, but I love to read a kindred spirit!

  374. Glad you are feeling better … and thank you for putting out there what I have been saying for years … STFU or do something about it if you are upset …

    The original Tea Party was in response to taxation WITHOUT representation.

    You all HAVE representation so STFU or change who’s representing you …

  375. Glad to see you’re back.

  376. I’m so glad you are feeling better.
    I have been laid up this winter a lot with my back.
    I could not stand to watch the right wing religious right rants. I read lots of books this winter!

    You are so right about these so called “christians”.
    I am appalled at their lack of christian charity, the lying and the hate they have for anyone or anything that they don’t approve of.

    Oh yes Sarah Palin is such a model of christian virtue. I wonder if she even realizes she is lying any more.

  377. You’re welcome De-lurker-girl. An e friend who used to post on a Janeane Garafalo site lives in Detroit, and he was so discouraged some days he wrote about moving. Then, he fell in love with a woman and we didn’t hear from him again.

    It sounds like you have much to be grateful for. Our family tried to keep the same attitude as you during the farm recession. John Melancamp’s “Blood on the Plow” describes how it was. A high school friend killed himself after he lost his farm. My cousin snapped and turned a live hog into the bank which foreclosed on him. I repaired my work boots with duct tape to save money.

    I think you will do fine, because you are rich with things that matter. However, if the worst happens, you might want to do some research and consider moving to Iowa, Nebraska, or a neighboring Plains state, if for no reason than to ease your mind about a plan B. The economy here is relatively good, though it is still in a recession. Our county is getting requests for information from both coasts now. The cycle will change eventually, as you know. Just know if even if the worst happens, it is not hopeless. There are ways around it.

  378. Well, I for one am certainly glad you are back. I have missed your wit and wisdom. I frankly have not protested this Texas protest because I would like them to go away.

    They are forever coming to my fair state to vacation and build vacation homes and then think the 2-6 weeks a year they spend here gives them the right to tell us how to run things. Well, they and their ilk had 8 years to run things and look at everything they screwed up that President Obama now has to fix.

    They developed TARP and the free global economy and moved all jobs to Pakistan and China. Not to mention ran up that huge deficit with two wars. I think they should frankly shut the @@#@! up.

  379. I used to get those emails from a friend thousands of miles away. She got them from her father, the Iraqi who escaped his home country, came to America and thinks that the door should have been shut behind him. The guy is a rabid racist, hates EVERYONE including Americans, but lives a nice comfy life here. His emails were ridiculous, filled with lies, and his daughter was disinterested enough to just pass them on to me and a thousand of her closest friends. I would refute them line by line, and send them back to her father and copy her. He would get so mad that “the Jew” would do that to his brilliant rants that she FINALLY gave up and stopped forwarding email to me. You gotta do what you gotta do!

    Glad you’re feeling a bit better and can’t wait till you return full force. I so look forward to your posts!

  380. Glad you are feeling better and are back. You are focused just fine. I love your writing, your wit, and your insight.

  381. I’m so happy you’re back and feeling well enough to write! I missed you! And, as always, you hit the nail on the head with this column. Stay well, Helen.

  382. Glad to see you back in feisty form Helen! Was really worried about you. This post really nailed a LOT of common sense! Keep getting better, we missed ya!

  383. Psychedelikat: Texas can’t secede. But it can break apart into 4 states. We in Austin are all for it. Just like the last time Texas voted to secede. We are ready to Secede from Texas. We don’t want Perry though. He’ll have to go with one of those other new states.

  384. Oh, I hope you are feeling better. That must have really helped. Loved it…as usual.

  385. welcome back – glad you’re feeling better. And as Terri says – definitely in top form.

  386. I am so glad you’re back! And in top form, too. Thank you for the fleeting jab at Palin. She is really losing it and I’m hoping you will continue to shine the light of common sense in our direction up here.

  387. Just a quik question to all M & H ‘ers

    Are the ‘teabaggers’ still riding around with their parking/headlights still on in your area? They are in SoCal.

    OY! E’nuff already? All I can think of is these wingnuts are so desperately looking for some Repug direction / leadership that the poor little lambs that have lost their way and have to have their parking lights on all day.

    Oy…what’s next headbands like the Bloods & the Crips? Give me a break and another glass of cab sav already.

    Take care Helen we sure did miss you.

  388. So happy that you are doing better Helen, my days just haven’t been the same without your wit and wisdom!
    I received this email earlier today and thought the gang here might find it interesting. Not sure if the link will work but here goes……

    “Send this e-mail to all those that you can.
    Our President needs our help. His 100 day mark is approaching fast
    Colleagues and Friends,
    Take a look. Please vote if you are so inclined.

    MSNBC has a poll up about the President’s job so far for the first 100 days. Republicans are flooding it with “F” votes. Pass this address on and go to it to vote:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29493093/

  389. Dear Helen

    We are all so happy you are back. Hope you are feeling better. This has become quite a supportive community thanks to you and Margaret.

    You did have us concerned and it was a relief to see your new post tonight.

  390. First time posting here, but I have been reading your posts for some time now. So glad you are feeling better, Helen. But watching cable news all day can rot your brain. Just look at the wingnuts…

    And Judith, please, NO! We do not want TPaw, Big Tooth Norm, or Batshit Crazy Michelle. We have enough problems with our own loons – Gov. Goodhair, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dipshit. Texas does not need another state’s looney tunes.

    Just a heads up for those that might be interested … According to Gryphen on The Immoral Minority, Levi Johnston is scheduled to be on Larry King tomorrow night. It is a call in show, so we may finally learn the truth about who really is Trig’s mother.

  391. Helen I am glad you seem to be better. You were missed.

  392. I don’t understand why conservatives have to be so rude to people they deem liberals. really, how Christian is that and how does that exemplify their values.

    We all love this country. Small towns are no more “real” America than anywhere else in this country and the right’s rants about immigration is just code for racism.

    Get over it and move on.

  393. And Helen? I am so glad you’re back and blogging! I was getting worried there for a while!

  394. Sophronia, Texas can still secede if it wants to. They simply joined forces with the Confederacy during the civil war and lost. It doesn’t mean they still can’t do it.

    Because Texas was a sovereign nation prior to becoming a state, it still has a right to secede at any time as long as the majority of its population agrees.

    However, I think it would be a tremendously stupid move. Think of all the financial and social ramifications! Corporate HQ’s of several companies call Texas home. Several US defense contractors, etc. What would happen if Texas seceded? Who knows.

    All I know is if it happened, I’d never live there again. (I currently live in Chicago.)

  395. Helen – GREAT! Thanks!

    The forwarded emails I get have diminished greatly because I send them the counter argument or the real facts. They drop me off their list pretty fast. A lot of the ‘facts’ were whoppers, Rush made them up.

    Some of my relatives got upset. But most still came to my daughter’s wedding and we had fun together.

    Republican Governors: Texas has a loon, Alaska has a soap opera queen and the more I hear these people speak, the crazier they sound.

    Glad you are better and back!

  396. The American version of the movie Gandhi, original scene: the partitioning of the Indian peninsula, revised scene: a stooped Tim Pawlenty, bulging bundle of lutefisk on his back, leads a mumbling Norm Coleman to Texas. Cut. That’s a wrap. Yeah I’d pay to see it.

  397. Oh, yeah – we’re keeping Amy Klobuchar, too.

  398. I thought Minnesota had the lock on goofy governors. We’ve sure had our share.

    The current loon looks presentable, but is a real piece of work on any kind of close inspection. True neo-con believer and mean as a snake. Plans to be president and will do whatever it takes to get there. Doesn’t care if the rest of the state turns into scorched earth, as long as we keep all the breaks for the walled community suburbs.

    If you do secede – take him with you? And Bat Shit Bachman? But forget about Keith Ellison – we’re definitely keeping him.

    I’m so glad you’re back! It made my day to find you posting again. Seriously, I”d hate to see Texas secede. Don’t wanna lose you. And my mother was from Amarillo – she would have loved you too.

  399. Helen! I’m so glad you are better!

    One again, you’ve got laser beam sharp instincts on teh whineh bitcheh Rebulican’ts.

    I’m so sick of their whining! They LOST! Why oh why can’t they face it? Now they’re getting a taste of what I’VE been through the last 8 years and they’re pissing and moaning like they’ve got a kidney stone stuck in their… well, you get the idea!

    Anyhow, as far as Perry… he’s fading fast and needed some press. I’d take Kay B.H. over him any day– she’s more moderate and less dramatic. I day Perry is the last vestige of the Bush Plague. Good riddance!!!!

    We Texans need to get our state govt back in shape. We could start with the governor.. oh, yeah, and the damned school board is next!!!!

  400. Welcome back!!! Tweedle dee and tweedle dipshit – you crack me up!!!!!!

  401. Darling Helen:

    You go ahead and vent. We feel the same way and we weren’t sick.

    I hope you are taking care of yourself.

    We love you

  402. Hi Werner,

    I like your idea of a ‘Positive Blog’! There is way too much downer, discouraging news these days in the papers and on TV. It couldn’t hurt to lighten up a little from time to time. I also like the idea of a blog with an international perspective and appeal. You set it up, host it and manage it and I will be happy to contribute. Of course, I am very much interested in politics, but it is not the be-all-end-all of my existence. I have many other interests too.

    When it comes to human-interest stories, I got a million of ‘um! I am just barely computer literate. It is sort of like driving a car. I can put the key in the ignition, release the brake, step on the gas and go wherever I want and back, but that’s about it. What’s under the hood, I couldn’t care less.

    I don’t think I have mentioned it before, but I do love Canada and Canadians. They are so POLITE, kind, helpful and CHEERFUL. We have been to Quebec innumerable times; Montreal, Quebec City and all around the Gaspé Peninsula. And then there are the GORGEOUS Canadian Rockies – Banff and Lake Louise. We have been there twice, stopping in Calgary coming and going. We would go again in a heartbeat!

    Aloha!

    Jean

  403. I strongly support the above comment from Debbie Schubert. I’m a Jew and most assuredly part of our country. Far as I know, gazillions of people of many faiths and atheists have the same core values.

  404. “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dipshit”! How accurate.
    Lord-a-mercy, Helen, you have a way with words. Even though I live in Governor Goodhair’s state, I would like you to know that we are not all knuckle-dragging yahoos down here in the Lone Star State.
    It’s a big state; there’s lots of room for yahoos. The rest of us are trying to hang on and turn Texas blue.
    I’m glad you’re feeling better.

  405. Helen, So glad you’re back!

    And let’s all remember this isn’t a Christian nation – it’s a nation of all faiths as well as atheists. And Christians weren’t the first to have “values,” btw – loving others as we love ourselves, being kind, compassionate, caring, informed, and active are HUMAN values. Inclusion vs exclusion – that’s the American way.

  406. Welcome back! Glad you’re feeling better.

  407. I’m somehow oddly consoled to know that Illinois isn’t the only state in the union that elects a blithering idiot for Governor…

  408. Helen, any time I get depressed over my upcoming 65th Birthday, I just read one of your posts and realize that it is NEVER too late to have a go at changing the world. You have done so much for all of us. God Bless you and Margaret, and take good care of yourself. We need you. hugs!!

  409. Yo – welcome back. Darn I was worried. If I’d known you were stuck watching cable news, my mass Email to all your readers would have been, “Quick, everybody get to Helen’s house. This is an emergency! Watching that S*** will kill her.” Of course, seeing several thousand carloads of fans headed toward your house might not have done you much good either.
    Anyway thank your grandson for cluing us in and welcome back, we love you. I really mean it.

  410. Welcome back…you were missed!

  411. Bill, you better not be my nephew. Auntie C can be ugly.

    Helen, great to have you back; hope you feel better.

  412. Hey Helen,
    Glad to have you back!!….President Obama was just in my country for the Summit of the Americas. He shook President Chavez’s hand and chatted with him.
    My goodness, from the way the Republicans are going bezerk I’d swear Mr. Obama killed someone…geez….thank goodness for you Helen and most of the posters on here, I know all of America is not crazy!!…
    Help Mr. Obama please folks, for the sake of the entire planet..
    Oh one last thing, when is VP Cheney going to sit down and shut up!!!…

  413. I’m so glad you are back, and back in fine form!

  414. Helen, I’m very sorry to hear that you watched cable news all day! Am very glad you’re feeling better.

  415. Thank goodness you’re o.k. we missed you. as someone who forgets to make one side of the bed every once in a while. I didn’t notice any lack of focus :-).take care.

  416. Well I guess we all have one..no not a virus..a stupid relative who forwards emails that are filled with negative thinking and false information that he/she knows will put a burr under my saddle. My cousin and I sent email back and forth during the election like a ping pong game gone wrong. We haven’t spoken since the election. Too many garlic fries and factual information must have clogged his thinking. Thank goodness you are feeling better and we get to benefit from your brilliant writing. Take care of yourself…I really mean it!

  417. Glad you’re feeling better dear woman. You’ve been sorely missed.

  418. along with everyone else, am so glad you’re better and back with us, Helen. Speaking of “news” on TV, do you ever watch the Rachel Maddow show? Along with you two, she is my hero.
    I’d love to know what you (and your cadre) think of her.
    Stay well!
    Carolyn

  419. Welcome back, you silver-tongued woman!!!!

  420. Tell it, Sister Helen!

    Glad you are back and in true Helen form – stay well and healthy and keep on telling the truth!

  421. Oops, I should have added a :) to that last post. I wasn’t trying to sound like an angry teacher, LOL!

  422. Speak for yourself, Janie! I never thought any such thing.

  423. We thought you were dead. Really. I mean it.

  424. It’s so good to have you back and in good form. When all the secession news started last week, somehow I just knew you would have something to say about it. I was a loyal reader of all things Molly Ivins and I remember her comments about Governor Goodhair. Wouldn’t she be having a field day with this one. My feeling is that perhaps he wants to be president of Texas?
    By the way, since I began reading your blog last year, I one day realized that your writings reminded me fondly of Molly Ivins and how much I miss her columns. I can almost imagine you sitting alongside her, Ann Richards and possibly Jim Hightower at the symphony.
    Take care,
    Jackie

  425. Welcome back, Helen! We missed you ; )

  426. Amen Sister!

    Glad you are feeling better and back writing your great and accurate posts. Missed you!

  427. Welcome back Helen! Focused or not you seem to be in fine fettle. A diet of cable news will make you crazy. Turn the thing off for awhile and count your blessings.

    On the Texas secession: I saw headlines online with a question, “Can Texas secede?” as if it is an open question. Obviously much of the U.S. would be happy to see it go away, but that is not the right answer. The answer came with the end of the Civil War. The answer is no.

    If you have ever visited Gettysburg and tried to wrap your brain around the losses sustained by our country over just this issue, you know how shallow and shameful Perry’s loose talk of secession really is. For shame!

  428. Hi Helen,

    Hooray! You are well now and back in rare form. You hit a number of nails right on the head! Things are looking up again on this blog.

    Aloha!

    Jean

  429. So nice to hear from you again! Here’s wishing you continued good health. You’ve been missed!

  430. Helen your commentary was sorely missed by all of us. Wonder if I’ll need a visa to visit my daughter in Texas. LOL

  431. Helen – so glad you are back. You are a very welcome ray of sunshine, and were sorely missed.

    Isn’t it sad that most of the people who hide their hate behind Christianity have forgotten that to be a Christian is to live your life Christ like.

  432. Whew! What a relief to have you back. I hope you’re fit as a fiddle!

  433. Helen, I missed you! So glad you’re feeling better. Yet you’re not ” feeling better”, you just not sick anymore right? I am sick, sick of all of this B.S. You’re absolutely right; why do the GOP try to destroy positive change and hope? I want to gag whenever people snub Obama’s overseas visits. Hello! A little diplomacy goes a LONG way!

    The US sets the stage for the rest of the world. My former scholarship advisor in Australia ( wonderful, gutsy gal) once told me that, ” when America lowers its standards, the rest of the world doesn’t have a choice but to lower theirs”. Well said. And, when the US is unlawfully invading countries ( and its citizens privacy) causing a financial meltdown and torturing individuals, what do we expect of the rest of the world?

    One thing I’ve always said is that if you don’t like something, do something about it. Complaining doesn’t count it only perpetuates negativity.

    So glad you’re back, keep it up!

  434. I am SO glad that you are back, Helen!!! You were missed.

    “We can’t even get together to make sure every child has health insurance but paying taxes is cause for every tractor pull in the country to suddenly become a tea party. Where’s the humanity? Where’s the Christian spirit? Where’s the Pepto Bismol?” ~ too funny!

    “But if you want to stop the globalization of nations and the blending of the world’s population then use a condom, support Planned Parenthood and legalize gay marriage. Because those are the only things I know that actually don’t add to the growing population on this finite planet we call home.” ~ HYSTERICAL!!!!

    Thanks!! Really. I mean it!

  435. so glad you’re back! you were greatly missed.

  436. The finger pointing gets to me too. Obama hadn’t been in office 30 days before they were declaring him a failure – and yet we put up with that near-together-eyed ass Bush for 8 years. I was shocked at all the screaming because Obama shook hands with Chavez. Well, you idiots, that’s what gentlemen do, and for a change we have a gentleman with brains in the white house. We should all be down on our knees thanking God for him. Would there be something wrong with the US getting along with Venezuela? With Cuba? It’s my personal belief that we are put on this earth to love and care for each other, and it’s time we did a little of that.

  437. James, thank you for your thoughtful response to me in the other thread. I usually am not so discouraged. Some days it is harder to focus on the positive. I live in Michigan, where we have not only the choking sound of the auto makers flailing, but the slurping sound of the THOUSANDS of suppliers going under, along with a tremendous number of service sector jobs. Add to that all the jobs getting sent away to ‘developing markets’. Michigan’s unemployment runs neck and neck with Alaska (!) at this point and is positioned to get far worse. Even if our country turns a financial corner, Michigan will be so far behind the curve that like the last recession, we don’t pull out of it before the next one starts. The salt in the wound is the late April snow!

    However, at this point I have a job, a house that is nearly paid for, kids who are doing well in school, a husband who cares for me, and excellent health care. Those are blessings to count at least twice. These are basic needs that must not be taken for granted.

  438. Welcome back, Helen. That is all. :)

  439. Welcome back! I read your blog all the time, but I’m a first time commenter.

    These people were very very angry when they had all the power. Can you imagine how angry they are now? Maybe they’ll just self-combust. Re the Texans who want to secede: Can they be so stupid they don’t see the irony of holding an American flag in one fist and a sign saying they want to leave America in the other? That was a rhetorical question, of course. I think we know the answer to that.

    OMG, Anne! Was that not an absolutely awesome moment on TDS?

  440. Wish someone would tell me why the U.S. would suffer if Texas (and Georgian and S. Carolina and any other state that has raised it openly) seceded.

    Texas ain’t actually moving, you know. You could still visit; the roads will remain open; they’ll still need to trade with the outside world.

    Only then, Texans won’t have seats in Congress and won’t be eligible to run for president or be named to courts. The obsession with bigness for the sake of bigness won’t embarrass Americans anymore. Antics à la Tejas will only be viewable in Austin.

    That means Texas values won’t block the rest of the U.S. from acting according to its values: enacting universal health insurance, shoring up Social Security, seeing that everyone has enough food to survive on, and bringing the U.S. military budget into line (proportionally) with the budgets of the rest of the world’s countries.

    Where’s the DOWN side to that?

  441. During the recent election, my father-in-law constantly forwarded every stupid Obama email he happened to find to everyone on his contact list. I would go to Snopes.com, refute the email, and promptly do a reply to all so everyone could see how stupid it was. Did he stop sending the emails? No, he just did a blind copy so I couldn’t send the facts to anyone else.

    Jon Stewart recently did an interesting response on The Daily Show to Hannity and all those people. He said something along the lines of “I think you confusing tyranny with losing. You don’t like what the president is doing? Well, that’s how we’ve been feeling for the last 8 years. I believe when we complained about it we were called unpatriotic.” It was awesome.

  442. Missed you! Glad you’re better!

  443. SWEET JESUS IN THE MORNING!!!
    YOU ARE ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!
    WE MISSED YOU HELEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Gawd, you are some kind of funny!!! :-)

  444. The voice of reason…back again!!

  445. If you want to relieve yourself of your brother’s forwards, try a mail filter.

    Sender = Brother
    and
    Subject includes “FW”
    then
    send to trash.

    Had to do the same thing to my mother. If you don’t understand, ask Matthew to do it for you.

    Yes, it’s possible that may get rid of some legitimate mail from your brother, but he’ll call if it’s really important.

  446. You really hit on one of my pet peeves when you talk about people circulating emails indiscriminately. Got one today, and just had to blog about it. Happily, one of my readers was able to research the thing and learn the true facts and send them to me. (No, Daschle did not say seniors should just accept conditions instead of treating them.) Why do people feel they must forward everything to everyone? My “Delete” finger will wear out soon.

    Glad you’re back at the computer!

  447. Crap. You’re back. Suck it Grandma.

  448. OOPS, please forgive me for calling you “Grandpa” I meant to write “Grandma” Helen. Fingers got twisted on the keyboard..

  449. Grandpa Helen,

    Hey, you’re back! So good to hear from you again. We all missed you so much. I hope you’re feeling better. You know you have us all spoiled and when we don’t get to read anything from you, its like taking the bottle from the baby. We get cranky as hell.

    Anyhoo, I think you focused just fine; you’re just telling like it is…I just love it!

  450. Glad you’re back and feeling better! The blogiverse just got a little more sane.

  451. So glad you’re back. My day just got a little better. :)

  452. oops, secede, not suceed, fingers functioning before brain throughly engaged.

  453. Welcome back! Always brings a smile to my face to read your blog.

  454. There are so many things wrong with the Right, it’s a wonder you know where to start!
    Glad you’re back:)

  455. “If you want to preserve Christian values you might start with living like a Christian and not some racist asshole who can’t stand how many Muslims have moved into your neck of the woods or what your neighbor is doing in the bedroom.”
    Spot on Helen! Glad you are back in an upright position, feisty as ever. Oh, and if Texas should suceed, I have your room ready in Oklahoma!

  456. Great to hear you are feeling better. On a purely selfish note, I really missed your wonderful posts. You’re awesome!

  457. Welcome back, Helen. I kept “looking” for your next post & felt your absence! And thanks for your lastest on Perry, Palin et al.

  458. BooooYahhh! You so rock, Helen! Thanks for making me stand up and cheer (again).

    Thanks also for the laughter. Please know that you make our day with your wit and wisdom.

    Big Mahalo,

    Sally

  459. Watching cable news all day is sure to make you sick.

    And politifact.com is a great site for checking on the veracity of any chain e-mails.

    The conservatives don’t mean “the people”; they mean “their people.” What got me is how they were insisting on lower taxes and complaining about the deficit at the same time.

  460. I’m happy to hear that you’re feeling better, Helen. We missed you so much! This post was worth waiting for. You’re fabulous.

  461. You are so right, Helen. I, too, am so sick of hearing all these righties spout all their poison and hatred against the most just-in-the-nick-of-time blessing of a President we could EVER have hoped to have. Where were all these morons for the last 8 years? They really found NOTHING to complain about the worst president we’ve ever had? Christian values, my unholy ass. And Palin is one of the biggest hypocrites ever born!

  462. I’LL MISSING YOU SO MUCH EVERYDAY I GO ON AND NO NEW MSG FROM MY BEST 2 FRIEND. I HOPE EVERYTHING IS OKAY NOW AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU IN GOOD HEALTH.
    YOU’RE REALLY MISSED.

  463. Where is Molly Ivins now that we need her most? Helen, without doubt you and Margaret are her literary heirs, long may you wave!

  464. and some of these forwards come to me from folks I had previously considered to be at least half-intelligent!

    Glad you’re feeling better, Helen! You were missed!

  465. Honey, you’re focused just fine.

    And I do hope Governor GoodHair doesn’t press the point. Because Mama’s house in Tyler isn’t sold yet and I really don’t want to have to move her and Papa, headstone and all…

  466. A very good friend who lives 2300 miles away, used to send those obnoxious emails about how things were 100 years ago, etc, etc. Each time she did, I would write back, refuting each statement, point by point, giving sources. She finally wrote to say that our friendship was too dear, so she would no longer discuss religion or politics with me. I guess the facts just got in her way!

  467. I too get bombarded with stupid mass emails that have no merit whatsoever. You would think that people would think–and do some research–before associating their name with some of “information” that they send all over the place.


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