Posted by: Helen Philpot | May 6, 2009

Shit Happens

When I listen to the conservative leadership of today – Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Sean Hannity, my moron of a neighbor Jerry… – it seems clear that they no longer stand for anything but rather against everything. Except for torture. They seem to be all for that. But everything else seems to be no, no, no!  One thing is for sure – they hate change. Which is too bad for them because trust me when I say that change – like shit – happens.

Actually,  they are fine with some change.  They really seem to enjoy changing history. Take for example, two other shit for brain conservatives named Dick Cheney and Bill Bennett, who seem to think waterboarding isn’t torture. That’s funny because when my Harold came back from WWII, we were all pretty clear on that form of torture.  If my memory serves me correct – and it does – we convicted some Japanese soldiers for just that very reason.

But Dick and Bill aren’t as old as they look – and they look really old.   WWII was before their time.   But we actually courtmarshalled one of our own for participating in waterboarding during Vietnam. Things might be more clear for Dick and Bill if they actually served in the armed forces – alas they didn’t.  In fact,  Dick applied for and received five draft deferments instead of serving in Vietnam.   See Dick and Bill.  See Dick and Bill run.  Run Dick.  Run Bill.

These morons have nothing left to offer.   There are no solutions for peace. Instead we must always be ready for war. There are no solutions for poverty, instead we must carefully protect the wealth of the wealthy.  There are no solutions for the environment, instead we must simply put our heads in the sand and pretend that life goes on forever – unchanging and without consequence.  No wonder these guys look bloated and constipated. They’re full of shit, and lots of it.

American values (and Christian values) change. We once valued slavery. We once burned people at the stake for witchcraft. We once looked the other way while Priests molested children.  American-made cars used to last forever.  Joan Rivers used to look like Joan Rivers.  Hell, we once actually thought Rush Limbaugh was funny.  But like I said, shit happens.

Every parent who has ever raised a child knows that change is inevitable. They learn from you – how to love as well as how to hate.  They listen to you – the truth as well as the lies. They fall.  They get up.   But eventually they decide for themselves who and how to love or hate as well when and how to lie or speak the truth.   My grandchildren are no more like me than I am like my grandparents.  Goodness sakes,  I certainly don’t make my own butter and, when I shit, it’s in the comfort of an indoor bathroom with all the modern conveniences.

Now that I think about it, there is one thing that never changes and that’s shit.   Shit always happens.  And shit always stinks.  Other than that, change is inevitable.  Children grow up.  Grandparents die.  Life goes on.

I’m 83.  For most of my life, I drove a big car and watered my lawn in the middle of the day.  Now I think twice about how I live because I realize life goes on and my grandchildren will be here long after I am gone.

For most of my life I never gave much thought about gay people.  Now I watch Ellen and really hope she and Portia are happy together.  What do I care if gay people want to get married.

For most of my life I really didn’t care too much who ended up in the White House.  Then one day a lunatic took up residence and started an unnecessary war, condoned torture and made me ashamed of my country.   So now I pay attention… because shit happens.   Really.  I mean it.


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  3. […] On the other end of the age spectrum is one of my favorite bloggers, a senior chic who uses the name Helen Pilpot over at Margaret’s and Helen’s (link on right). She’s wise enough and has been around long enough that she really does legitimately get to just spit it out to the Tea Party people of the world: Grow up – Shit Happens. […]


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  5. Just discovered your wonderful blog.

    Keep going on!

    My only problem is that I’m going to read all the articles today and I fear that my work we be late 🙂

    My own mom is now 78 and kicking, I’ll send her the adress.

    Bravo 🙂


  6. […] comes down to a simple thing – something I mentioned on Saturday, via a link to Margaret and Helen, the blogging grandmothers – change is inevitable, and life goes on. The two are […]


  7. Helen, you are my new hero! I’ve never read or even heard of your blog before, but I’m putting it on my “favorites” list. I’ll be watching for more pearls of wisdom. I agree with several of the responses, as we get older, we’ve seen more and experienced more. Gives us better insight and understanding….. and we can usually spot “shit” long before everyone else. I spotted it eight years ago and wondered where everyone else was looking!! Keep on keepin’ on!!!


  8. […] should you care? Care about anything? Grandma blogger Helen Philpot of the blog Margaret and Helen explains that you should because “…change is inevitable. Children grow up. Grandparents […]


  9. Another great post Helen.

    I was at a Mother’s Day barbecue last weekend and we started talking about world things and such. The topic turned to health care and how expensive it had become. One of the other Mothers, sitting across from me, sat straight up in her chair and announced that ; she was tired of having to pay for the people out there that could not afford health care and that was why health care was so expensive.

    I don’t know how I did not bite my lip off while trying not to lunge across the table at this otherwise nice woman. It was amazing how at that very moment the ignorance just spewed out of her mouth. Or like you would say Helen:



  10. James, we have a subject we agree upon except I would use the word major rather than “minor deities”


  11. Freddy, thank you for supporting my point. Yes, it is too early for the Obama administration and its supporters to declare success in enhancing employment. They are being dishonest. It is also too early to declare his policies failed.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in January, 2001 was 4.2%. It rose to 4.6% in September. Democrats like John Kerry pounded the Bush administration for lost jobs at an early date. I don’t remember when it began, but criticism was in full bloom before the end of Bush’s first year in office.

    My other point is if we judge Obama by the same standard as Bush, it won’t be long before we criticize Obama for the missing jobs.

    Presidents take the blame or credit, but they don’t create any other than government jobs. The economy makes or destroys jobs.


  12. Don is a Peeping Tom, according to de-lurker girl


  13. Raji, your experiences were terrible. They remind me of a statement in basic training. “If the Air Force had wanted you to be married, they would have issued you wives.”

    Many of the doctors and dentists I worked with were fresh out of medical school and fancied themselves to be minor deities. They were on power trips. Those with service in Vietnam seemed more balanced. I had good treatment in six weeks of physical therapy, but when a dentist poked around my jaw for a lost root tip for over four and a half hours, two without anesthetic, my treatment was not so good. I spent two days on the ward, and my jaw still locks up.

    Insensitive medical workers exist in civilian life too. When I visited a dental school dentist during my tenure as a grad student at the University of Iowa, the dentist looked at my x rays showing the half inch root tip and declared “You will be dead in ten years.”

    I still don’t like doctors or dentists. They are glorified car mechanics who save our lives.

    A common human failing is we fight the last war. Vietnam and Korea fit the pattern.

    I have glaucoma in one eye, so pot would be for me, though I have never consumed any except for when it floated through the air at parties many years ago. A side effect of eye drops I take is they may change the color of one’s pupil and enhance the growth of eye lashes.

    I have suffered no side effects so far, and my eye lashes are already so full my mother said she was jealous of them. Now, researchers have altered the formula a bit and sell it to women who want better eye lashes.


  14. Let’s wrap this up, Loser Freaks, and move to the next post.


  15. He started the end of January. It’s May for God’s sake.


  16. Here is some support for my claim it is premature to faun over our President.

    The Associated Press wrote “Capturing the full effect of the stimulus at this early stage is difficult, the the administration has set high bars for success. In championing those successes, however, the White House plays a little loose with the facts.

    The White House said the stimulus has created or saved 150,000 jobs.

    The Facts: Since February, the nation has lost more than 1.3 million jobs, according to the Department of Labor. To make the case a that the country created jobs over that same stretch, the White House has put forward a benchmark of jobs created or “saved.” The argument is that the job numbers would have been even worse had it not been for the stimulus, and the difference between those numbers is a net positive.

    To visualize that disconnect, consider this: The administration has promised to create or save 600,000 more jobs in the next 100 days. Even if the nation loses another 5 million jobs during that span ( a highly unlikely prospect) this White House could still claim success.”

    If we judge this president by the same standard we judged Bush we should be asking “where are the jobs?” as many did during the post 9/11 recession. Success will be a net gain of jobs.

    Celebrity that he is, Obama has only reached the semi- finals of American Idol or Dancing with the Stars. Like Adam, he shows promise, but like Adam’s early days on the show, Obama’s performances are uneven.


  17. UAW, thanks for responding to Don although I imagine even Helen after the year of Monica can’t be too offended by the word. Matthew must have forgotten to put that word on the moderated list.

    Jean, your story of trials and tribulations in military hospitals didn’t change at all for the Vietnam war. I was one of those unlucky pregnant ones in a naval hospital not set up for dependents much less a maternity ward. If you think your husband was embarrassed in his short johnny coat, then just imagine how we women in labor felt having to wear the men’s johnny coats over our bulging bellies laying on a gurney in the hall awaiting delivery as there were no labor rooms. The monthly check ups were just as you described them. You arrived and waited in a room lined with examining tables until your turn came. Any modesty you may have had was well out the window as our hospital lacked female nurses. You learned to wear a skirt and drop your drawers.

    You were only allowed a day or two after delivery before heading home but you were certainly ready. The daily routine was to wake up check the bed for dead roaches you rolled on during the night, head to the showers (male gym style) turn on the lights, wait for the roaches to crawl up the wall, jump in and out. The nursery bedding went through the regular laundry and all the babies had sores on their tender little faces from scooting. The male nurses’ hands were so large they could carry three at a time.

    The majority of doctors were the C and D variety especially the ones in charge. The few A and B were reserve doctors putting in their two years (our category). Our hospital was basically an orthopedic facility for injured helicopter pilots from Vietnam, those young daredevil eighteen year olds. One summer, Hurricane Celia came to visit and devastated the base. The orthopedic ward could not be evacuated so the surgeon passed around the pot and spent the night on the ward with the guys. The next day, the Commander in Chief ( MD) was found hiding under his desk and was taken away in a strait jacket. That was good because the reserve doctors had already formed a group to have him up for court-martial.



  18. Dear Mary Anne
    just extending an invitation……


  19. Get a life, Werner Oderwer…Get a life.


  20. ratatatat (typical rightwing arsehole, not a grain of brain but a BIG gun! Bring it on, wanker)

    I couldn’t care less what mindless blubber comes out your feedhole, but none the less, be invited to kiss my arse, since you like brownnosing it so much…..


  21. Greytdog, thanks for the link to Obama’s ASU commencement address. I think that is the first one I have ever enjoyed reading or listening to. To me the telling point was his statement:

    “Think about it. It’s in chasing titles and status – in worrying about the next election rather than the national interest and the interests of those they represent – that politicians so often lose their way in Washington”

    Whirled peas, regarding torture. If the truth be known and I don’t imagine it ever will be, it is so obvious that the Bush/Cheney administration wanted to torture, someone or anyone as revenge for 9/11. Iraq. Gitmo, et al is all about revenge.

    I have to agree with James regarding the Japanese concept of honor and death by suicide for failure. IMO during WWII and the Cold War, intelligence concentrated on understanding the enemy. This was not the case in Vietnam, the Gulf War or Iraq.
    We tried to deal with the Vietcong as if they were Japanese. Religion was not an issue in Vietnam but was a pertinent fact in the last two which we did not acknowledge or even try to understand.

    Whirled peas, that was an excellent link regarding the medicinal use of pot. I am not an advocate of the use of drugs but do feel that when (not if) pot is legalized, we will be able to control it’s use, free up our prisons and add tax money to the coffers and punch a dent in the drug lords. At least when the plane goes down and the bale of pot floats to the shore it will be first come first served 🙂 Great analogy, Greytdog.
    Seriously, though it’s the medicinal use of pot in it’s botanical state that is the real issue. Did you know it is the drug of choice for glaucoma?


  22. Our border is like a sieve as weapons pass from the United States to Mexico and illegals move or visit here. If we want the transfers to stop, build an “iron curtain.”

    Otherwise, reduce the demand for the products. Private enterprise is based on inborn human traits, and not even the Soviets could quench it. Current policies will not stop the trade. It benefits too many people on both sides of the border.

    I don’t hate Obama, but we already know he gives great speeches. Obama’s words don’t impress me, his actions do. His results have been mixed with good and bad. That is what I care about. “What a man, what a president…” is a little premature. Obama is a celebrity without a doubt. We will know if he is a president with policies which actually help the country in a few years, but not today.

    We were taught in the Air Force not to follow orders we thought were immoral or misguided, but that is easier said than done when insubordination can send one to the brig. Brave people still take the risk. I think at Mi Lie (sp) a few men refused direct orders to shoot.

    ” I was only following orders” usually applies to the losers. The victors become born again moralists because they win and write the history. I agree with the statement, but most of us are too weak and misguided to live it.


  23. Sherri A I did really stir up a hornets nest.What is
    so funny she has my maiden name, so much civil
    unions,marriage does establish kinship.I can not
    thank you enough.

    love the link Whirled Peas 🙂
    you and I are on the same page about alot of things.

    Greydog Thanks for putting up that Obama’s ASU Commencement speech. My husband and I put 3
    girls through and attended 5 Commencements
    and none so eloquent.


  24. We all have the lessons of Nuremburg to rely upon anytime such questions come to mind; “I was just following orders” is never justification for committing crimes against other human beings.
    Source: Foreign Policy
    Article: “A National Guard Officer responds to Krauthammer”
    Posted: 05/12/2009
    Author: Thomas E. Ricks
    Xref URL:
    Source: Detroit News
    Author: Charles Krauthammer
    Article: “Torture? No, except. . .”


  25. Great ASU Commencement Speech – thanks Greytdog!!!

    What a speaker, what a man, what a President!! Character over celebrity. That is one value that those right wing Obama haters need to learn.

    Those ASU graduates have been honored. I wish them all the best that they can achieve.


  26. ASU Commencement Speech (video frm MSNBC)


  27. Obama’s ASU Commencement speech txt


  28. Your claim:

    “Obama says that 90% of the guns come from gun shows in the US.”

    He said:

    “More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops that line our shared border.”

    There are major differences between those two statements. . .in case no one noticed.

    Here they are:
    1)’90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico ” vs ‘90% of the guns’
    2) ‘many from gun shops that line our shared border’ vs ‘come from gun shows in the US.’

    The removal of just some of the original text is enough to create a whole new text. This is called “dishonest journalism” when done by ANY one who claims to be impartial in their reporting. And there isn’t a single news entity that hasn’t had its moments of bias. . .it’s just that some have longer and protracted moments than others.


  29. Good example Greytdog. To heck with the plane anyway.


  30. Difference between recovered vs confiscated as known in the State of Florida:

    Recovered: when you manage to pull your bale of pot from the Gulf of Mexico after your plane goes down

    Confiscated: when the DEA manages to pull your bale of pot from the Gulf of Mexico after your plane goes down


  31. UAW…

    From the article: “In fact, according to ATF’s National Tracing Center, 90 percent of the weapons that could be traced were determined to have originated from various sources within the U.S.”

    Your claim:

    “Obama says that 90% of the guns come from gun shows in the US.”

    He said:

    “More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops that line our shared border.”

    Check this link for more insight:

    The ATF is the one who originated the 90 percent number. Essentially there is a lot of discrepancy regarding the figures and Mexico does not keep an accurate account. They list all “confiscated” or “seized” weapons as a higher number, but that is not the same as “recovered”. Additionally, they do not differentiate between grenade launchers and other types of weapons that cannot be purchased or owned in the US. Would those be guns also?

    I must admit I don’t know a lot about guns or where they are manufactured. I would guess we manufacture more here in the US (or at least the companies are US owned) than any other country in the western hemisphere. But that is just a hunch. Mexico has corruption at all levels of government. I would also venture to guess that many seized weapons are kept by those who confiscate them, so those would not be counted in the “recovered” category.

    I live in Arizona and moved here from Texas, so a lot of this takes place close to home. I do not advocate stricter gun control laws, as I don’t think criminals abide by them. They would only hurt the law abiding citizens. But I can’t see Obama’s statement (or your interpretation) as a lie. It may mislead some who don’t know the definition of recovered vs. confiscated.


  32. Please keep me posted & let me know how your visit goes! She is going to be just as happy and comforted to see you as you will be to see her!


  33. Denise,

    YOU GO, GIRL!!! I’m SO happy for you!!! :o)


  34. Take two:

    KSM…A Success Story?



  35. “Torture didn’t work!”


    KSM…A Success Story?


    How much is ‘enough’?



  36. graydog…
    at last we agree…
    it’s just as bad if a Dem does the same thing Repubs are being blamed for….
    did Obama get treated like Miss California…
    did John Edwards get treated like Bristol Palin…
    the old double standard strikes again…

    Don…get used to the insults but blowjob was kinda strong(they know what you were actually getting at though)…

    and werner…you brought up beating(hitting) things before….maybe a Louisville Slugger upside your head would help…


  37. POOLMAN…
    That comes to a total of 10,347 guns from U.S. sources for those two years, or 36 percent of what Mexican authorities say they recovered.”
    OK…I will agree that 90% of the guns that the Mexican government hand picked and sent to the US came from the US…So what’s 90% of 36%?????not even close to 90% of all


  38. Sherri A I searched and I found my mothers partner she is still alive. Thank you very much:)
    I am going to pay her a visit.


  39. Where did everybody go?


  40. “Even the excuse “everyone does it” will not do any good, as it does no good for a driver caught speeding. The Americans kill more? The French slaughtered more? That may do for the Foreign Ministry’s automatic statements. We deserve more, we deserve the full truth – what exactly our soldiers did in our name, each of our names, on the streets of Gaza, imprisoned and bleeding for the 22 days of a useless war.”
    Source: OpEd News
    Author: Gideon Levy
    Online Newspaper:
    IMO, this can also be applied to the US and its stance on torture and rendition.


  41. ‘But you are correct that I grow bored when all I see is a lot of people giving each other blow jobs. And trust me on this, that’s about all that’s going on here.’

    Don, you’re watching the blow job action. You claim to be bored, but you keep watching. And keep coming back. That says a heck of a lot more about you than us. 😉

    You’d enjoy this place more if you had the ability to present intellect rather than insults. I’m sincerely sorry that you’re not up for that.


  42. James, my opinion, and only my opinion, is that if Pelosi, Rockefeller, et al knew about the program, were fully briefed on techniques etc. . .then they need to go. And speaking as a Democrat, this is exactly what I have wished for – full and complete disclosure –who knew what when, who had a hand in the circumvention of our Constitution, who not only wrote the legal memos justifying these techniques, but who rammed them through, where was the oversight, etc. I have always been disgusted by the idea that as long as we go after the lower level participants, we can protect the chain of command. Well, in this case, the chain of command is akin to a dead fish – stinks from the head down. Time to throw them and their political fearmongering and bullshit on the compost pile and turn baby turn! And if that means Democratic Congressional leaders are shown up to their eyeballs in the muck along with the Repugs etc, so be it. Either we are a country that willfully tortures (in which case, IMO, we are aligned fully with other totalitarian and fascist governments and the USA has ceased to exist) or we deal with this here and now and make a decision. Either way – torture or no torture, I feel the moral foundation of this country is at stake.


  43. William A.Jacobson associate Clinical Professor of law at Cornell Law school, wrote, beginning with the 1974 Hughes-Ryan Amendment that arose from Congressional probing of CIA covert operations in Vietnam, the Congressional committee was to give Congress a chance to weigh in with its funding and other legislative authority to influence covert activities. The Iran-Contra controversy began with an oversight committee look at covert actions in Latin America and when the committee found what it believed might be illegal activities. Their influence brought a special prosecutor.

    The CIA and IC know the value of a cooperation with Congress. ” I think it is fair to say that a strong rebuke and a warning from either Pelosi or Harman would have been enough to cut off the whole enhanced interrogation program. (Lets remember that the White House was not pushing this) , but responding to proposals from CIA. In any case, it would not have been practical for Bush and company to have foisted such a program on a CIA made reluctant by a rebuke from Congress.

    In short, Pelosi, Harman,Rockefeller, et al. could have stopped this program in its tracks. My own feeling is that it didn’t occur to them to object strenuously–or at all–because it was not that big a deal (Harman did write that letter but it bears all the earmarks of a CYA memo to the record.) Like everyone else at the time, they were more concerned about getting intel about al Qaeda.

    Here’s my prediction of what will happen if Democrats push the investigation to the bitter end causing damage to national security, a political death match with the CIA, and Democrat-on Democrat finger pointing:

    Stenny Hoyer, Speaker of the House, Jane Harmon, Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, Chair of the sub-committee on water fisheries, Republicans, unexpected gains in the 2010 elections.

    I’m not sure they could have stopped the program as Jacobson believes, but it is obvious they knew more than they are telling. Nancy Pelosi has had to change her story at least twice.

    Prof Jacobson continued:”The Democrats wished hard for an investigation into water boarding and other interrogation methods. They may have wished too hard, because they are about to get what they wished for, with no way out.”

    I take his predictions with a grain of salt, but Nancy Pelosi and fish made me laugh.


  44. Greytdog,

    I like “Carpe Per Diem”


    ‘Success on a Wink and a Prayer’



  45. Hey Don. Blow me.


  46. Whirled Peas – how about
    “Word Salad, Dressing on the Side”


  47. HonoluluSally. I celebrate our differences too. Having a few differences makes life more interesting, don’t you think? My daughter and I love to argue like this, though our views are similar.

    I’ve read some things about Rupert Murdoch too. An e friend I knew before I left the Janeane Garafalo message board is Australian, who has few good things to say about the man. He may be less conservative and more opportunist who found a conservative niche market the others overlooked.

    Our daughter in law is Korean and she loves Korean soap operas. You have some good viewing choices. I would add Jimmy Kimmel and anything about the weather.

    Jean, thanks for taking the time to continue your Air Force story. I don’t know if it is the same base, but March AFB sounds familiar. Sometime around 1957 or 58 during a flu pandemic, my uncle returned to his office on the base for something. He was dizzy from the flu and broke his hip after falling down a flight of stairs.

    His treatment nearly killed him, and his hip became infected. It created problems for him until he died at around 90 years of age. My aunt called their congressman to get him out of that hospital. My uncle said he would never again let an Air Force doctor treat him.

    He was a colonel. Treatment of lower ranks must have been even worse. His disability rendered him unfit for the service, so they mustered him out and re- hired him as a civilian.

    Everyone on base had to go through our medical facility. On one, the bomb wing rotated to Guam to bomb Vietnam every six months. The young pilots were full of bravado and desire for adventure before they left. Upon their return, they were cynical, angry, and much more subdued than six months earlier. A couple had bandaged faces. One complaint was Washington didn’t let them bomb hospitals and schools from where the North Vietnamese were firing missiles which killed some of their friends.

    The stick shift story is funny. Our daughter never really got the hang of it either. We were going to let her take our Festiva to college, but it wouldn’t have had a transmission for long. She took a Chevy I bought from my brother for a dollar and later the automatic shift Festiva our son had before he moved to California.

    I remember “duck and cover.” at school too. We thought it was a game like having a fire drill. I remember the first time we saw jet contrails. Our teacher took us to the window to look. They told us that since we were fifty miles from Offutt AFB, the headquarters of SAC that we were at great risk.

    It was terrible the way your friend died. His poor wife.

    I’m glad you kept your illusions, Jean. Mine died a long time ago. I try to change things too. Its better than being mean, but I have little faith anything more than an individual or two will change. Runaway Train describes how a lot of returning veterans and other traumatized people felt. I wish you are right, but as for living together in relative peace, I’m inclined to believe Einstien or whomever who said that we will fight WW111 with rocks. Lots of families can’t even get along with each other, let alone people foreign to them. I’m glad you are still trying.

    “So tired that I couldn’t even sleep
    So many secrets I had to keep
    Promised myself I wouldn’t weep
    One more promise I couldn’t keep
    It seems no one can help me now
    I’m in too deep there’s no way out.
    Can you help me remember how to smile
    Make it somehow seem all worth while
    How on earth did I get so jaded
    Life’s mysteries seem so faded
    I can go where no one else can go
    I know what no one else knows
    And every day seems cut and dried
    Day and night earth and sky
    Some how I just don’t believe it.

    Bought a ticket for a runaway train
    Like a mad man laughing at the rain
    A little out of touch a little insane
    Its just easier than dealing with the pain.

    Runaway train, ain’t never going back
    Wrong way on a one way track
    Somehow I should be getting somewhere
    Somehow I’m neither here nor there.”


  48. Name That Book

    😉 ~ Δ


  49. “Loh, who’s worked with U.S. special forces fighting Islamic extremists in the Philippines, wants to introduce basic medical and nutritional development projects to Bermel’s district center, which has open sewers and no electricity or running water.
    “Right now, we can’t help the Afghan government come in here and build a big Afghan clinic,” Loh said. “But we have some options and we are still looking for midwives to help.
    “Our goals are incremental: to improve infant mortality step by step. That will certainly help improve perceptions of the government.”
    Article: U.S. soldiers search for midwife in Afghan war zone Posted: 05/12/2009
    Author: Philip Smucker
    News Organization: McClatchey Newspapers


  50. Hi gang,

    I have started Physical Therapy three times a week and regular epidural steroid shots for my Spinal Stenosis. It’s no big deal but considering travel time, I doubt if I will have as much time to spend on the computer for a while. I’ll check in though from time to time. Carry on!

    I want to finish up or at least continue my Air Force story. I found a job and we settled in at March AFB in Riverside, CA, but not for long. After our stint in Montgomery, ALA here came orders to go back to Houston again for 10 weeks. I quit my job, packed up and off we went. Back in Riverside, I got my job again, and we found another lousy furnished apartment within walking distance of my work and settled in.

    We had a very close circle of friends, mostly within my husband’s squadron. Life was fine. Then here came orders for 10 weeks at Mather AFB in Sacramento. Did that and then back in Riverside. By that time, we had scrapped together enough money to buy the bare bones of furniture – bed, couch and table – and actually found a decent apartment. I got my old job back again.

    We had heard some not so nice tales about the medical facilities at March AFB, mostly from the gals who were pregnant. Dependants were dead last on the list. An appointment was a joke. Mostly you just showed up at the appointed time and waited your turn. You never saw the same doctor twice, just whoever happened to be on duty. He was not necessarily even an obstetrician. The ‘Waiting Room’ was a long corridor with folding chairs. There was a sign on the wall saying, “Make War! Not Love!”

    At one point, my husband had to have a procedure. He was examined and told to wait out in the corridor – in his skimpy little johnny coat. Something else was done – go wait some more – several times. All this time he was paraded up and down the corridor in front of mostly pregnant gals, trying to keep his ass covered with his little johnny coat. It took most of the day. When he got home, he was furious!!!

    Two close friends had disturbing complications with their pregnancies, one of which had life-long consequences for the newborn. I won’t go into details here because it was all told to me in confidence as I went through it with her. Post-natal pediatric care was practically non-existent in both specialists and facilities.

    Suffice it to say, we didn’t have much faith in the caliber of medical care at the base. It figures that the “C” and “D” medical school graduates have to go practice SOMEWHERE, so the military is an easy route for them.

    One morning at 7:00AM, my boss showed up at our door. It seemed that he had a small branch office in Redlands, CA, 14 miles away. He had found out that the sole employee there had been drinking on the job and tapping the till. My boss fired him on the spot. Now he wanted me to go man the office until he could find a permanent replacement. OK. But how would I get there? We only had one car. No problem. My boss said I could use his little Studebaker after his wife came and got him. One problem, it was a stick shift. I had never driven a stick shift. He gave me the short course on stick shift, the keys and directions to the office. Off I went.

    Of course, every time I stopped for a stoplight the engine stalled. I kept forgetting to shift! Horns were honking behind me until I started up the engine and got going again. I never really got the hang of that damn stick shift with much proficiently. I worked in Redlands for three weeks.

    About that time, here came new orders for “Special Weapons” training at Wichita, KS. For seven weeks. After much discussion, we decided that my husband could go alone and I would stay put, hang onto our apartment and my job. He would only be gone for seven weeks. I hoped but wasn’t sure I could get my job back for the third time! In retrospect, that was a big mistake.

    When he returned, he was BADLY SHAKEN. “Special Weapons” training consisted of how to arm a nuclear weapon, push the button and drop it. They were shown lengthy, detailed films taken before, during and after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This Rah-Rah AF hype was no longer nice clean fun and war games from 30,000 feet! This was REAL LIFE, raining death and destruction on thousands of REAL PEOPLE with the push of a button.

    My husband had never planned to career out in the AF anyway, but “Special Weapons” training clinched it. He had less than a year left on his five-year commitment. He was getting out!!!!! In the meantime, we huddled together and prayed that a shooting war wouldn’t break out. We were really scared.

    This was at the height of the Cold War. His B-47 crew and the whole squadron each had a target, a specific city in Russia. They were constantly ‘on alert’ if they were called to take off and go, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Just GO and drop it.

    Some of us here are old enough to remember school children having drills and being taught how to hide under their desks in the event of a nuclear attack. No one told them they would probably be vaporized along with the desk and the school building. Now, I think that is a rotten way for millions, maybe billions of people AROUND THE WORLD to have to live in fear because SOME power mad egomaniacs say it’s so.

    I am certainly aware that this mentality has been around since time immemorial in every culture; that war is inevitable with whatever weapons have been invented. Victory or defeat. And to the victor go the spoils. I am also aware that one war ALWAYS leads to the next one.

    That makes me an idealistic worker for CHANGING that mind-set so we can all live together in relative peace. It is not likely to happen in my lifetime. I am not that naïve! Nor in the next few generations. However, I think that a LITTLE progress is being made despite being transported back to the 9th Century during the 8 years of the Bush Administration.

    Instead of looking back and using history and tradition as an excuse, it is important for humanity to have, not the same ole, same ole, but a GOAL to strive for.

    A footnote: Since there was always a strong element of danger in the AF, we bonded together with long lasting friendships. After all, we were very young and far away from family and other friends even though we were still within the continental US.

    We were very close friends with one couple who had an infant son. On a routine mission, the plane developed mechanical problems and crashed. The crew ejected safely – they thought. However, our good buddy hit the ground still strapped into his seat. A directive had come around that the seat belt was defective and needed to be replaced. The AF never got around to it in his case.




  51. James, I celebrate our differences as well as our distance from each other.

    I just finished watching Whirled Peas’ May 12 10:20 a.m. link to “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism”.

    The biggest problem I have is when the few (phew!) people I know watch Fox News almost exclusively because they actually believe it is fair and balanced. It’s their big motto: Fair and balanced. It is the biggest lie that Fox tells, and so talking to Fox’s constituents is like talking to a closed door.

    The empire of Fox is HUGE. There is so much more to Fox (Murdoch) than Fox News. The most watched shows (American Idol) are Fox channels. Scary.

    Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m sticking to watching re-runs of the Carol Duvall Show and Korean dramas that people here in Hawaii are hooked on. And, of course, reading M&H.


  52. Karl T. Compton wrote for Atlantic Magazine in December, 1946 that a Japanese officer in Yokohana He said “we would have kept on fighting until all Japanese were killed, but we would not have been defeated” by which he meant that they would not have been disgraced by surrender.”

    “I spent the first month after V-J Day in Japan, where I could ascertain at first hand both the physical and psychological state of that country. Some of the Japanese whom I consulted were my scientific and personal friends of long standing

    From this background, I believe with complete conviction, that the use of the atomic bomb saved hundreds of thousands–perhaps several millions–of lives, both American and Japanese, that without its use the war would ave continued for many months, that no one of good conscience kinowing as Secretary Stimson and the Chiefs of Staff did, what was probably ahead and what the atomic bomb might accomplish could have made any different decision. Let some of the facts speak for themselves.

    At Hiroshima the bomb killed about 80,000 people with more dying later of radiation poisoning. Two B-19 incendiary raids over Tokyo killed 125,000 and nearly 100,000 respectively.

    General McArthur’s staff estimated at least 50,000 American casualties and several times that number of Japanese in the initial November 1 operation to establish the initial beachheads on Kyushu. “There was every reason to think that the Japanese would defend their homeland with even greater fanaticism than when the fought to the death on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. No American soldier who survived the bloody struggles on ties islands has much sympathy with the view that their ultimate situation was hopeless. No, there was every reason to expect a terrible struggle long after the point at which some people can now look back and say ‘Japan was already beaten.'”

    It took three weeks after the Japanese surrender until the actual surrender for the government to prepare the people. There was a real possibility that Japanese citizens might overthrow their government and launch a guerilla war.

    Compton wrote that without the bomb, Americans would have gathered most of their forces on Okinawa in preparation for the November invasion. The typhoon which struck Okinawa in that month would have wrecked the invasion plans with a military disaster comparable to Pearl Harbor.

    A thesis titled Racism and the Atomic Bomb written in 1990 also projected many more deaths had the Atomic bomb not been used.

    A post on Back Packer wrote “Operation Downfall” the code name for the invasion of the home islands is in the National Archives. A total of 4.5 million servicemen a 40% of the men still in uniform would have faced over a million defenders. General Charles Willoughby, Mac Arthur’s Chief of Intelligence estimate a million men would die by the fall of 1946. His staff considered it to be a conservative estimate.

    Kamikazi attacks would be part of Japan’s defense secret factories were building many planes in small villages. The Japanese had developed a missile like Germany’s V-1 bomber but with suicide pilots. Kamikazis had killed over 10,000 of our forces in Okinawa alone. The Japanese planed to attack the transport ships instead of carriers and battle ships because they would kill more soldiers by sinking the transports.

    Our troops had outnumbered Japanese troops as much as three to one during their island hoping toward the homeland. We would not have that numerical advantage for the invasion, and our soldiers would have fought well trained and supplied troops, not to mention civilians who would were also prepared to take our troops with them to the next world.

    Alternative views don’t convince me, because I know how the Japanese behaved during all of the war. GreytdogA, you are right, to paraphrase a book “All I need to know I learned in the Service.” I am biased. I weigh most things against what happened in the service.

    Thanks for your part of the discussion HonoluluSally. I know Fox is biased, but so are the other networks. In the early days of the surge, Fox tended to support predictions it would succeed when the other networks failed to report signs of success. I knew the true story from military blogs, people I knew serving in Iraq, and my extrapolation of future developments. People told me I was a fool, but I was right, and Fox was the first to confirm what I knew would happen. The other networks were slow to face reality.

    Since we don’t have cable, the only Fox news I see is the Fox News Sunday talk show. Otherwise, I watch NBC Nightly News, and Nightline though it is inferior to when Ted Koppel hosted it. I also watch Iowa Public television, Meet the Press, and the McLaughin Group. I don’t trust the press to tell a straight story. I judge what they tell me against their past performances, my gut and what I find from other sources.

    Our auto repair man played golf with George Bush three times, and he said he is a nice man. A reporter on Bush’s campaign plane told the press an informal poll of reporters on the plane gave Kerry the lead. Her fellow reporters shunned her because they were afraid of the results. Bush went out of his way to be kind to her so the reporters would back off. I think she is the one who made a documentary of the campaign and Bush helped her as much as he could. He gave her the title, “Travels with George.”

    I think George is a decent man, but I suspect that when his father cried after Jeb left the governorship, it was because Jeb, not George, was supposed to be president. He was part of the family plan as John Kennedy’s older brother was for that family. As my father used to say, “sometimes things don’t work out the way we plan.”


  53. Let’s say you were trying to design the optimal form of torture without regard for conscience, morality, humanity, law, and international obligation. Here are the features you would look for:

    Torture 2.0



  54. “The Japanese waterboarding you talk about is in no way the same as what the US did.”

    Don, Did you take the trip down Whirled Peas link regarding torture, or were you afraid you might learn something that was contrary to your belief system?

    “But then I suspect you can’t learn anything new.”

    I learn something new everyday. Take off the blinders, man! Know when you are being duped. Check all the angles. When you already think you know the outcome, you only pick up on the things that confirm your already-made-up mind.
    A wider vision will lessen the paranoid feelings you have.

    You should explore that link Whirled Peas had on Google about Rupert Murdock. But then again we are talking about learning again….

    …You are not a trollyouarenotatrollyouarenotatroll….

    Grow your mind. If you don’t exercise it and test it, it gets soggy.

    I don’t mind the verbal swordfighting. Keeps the mind sharp. Just leave the sticks and rocks at home please. If you think it has to be either blowjobs or conflict, your dial is messed up. There is a lot of bandwidth between.


  55. On Enlightenment:
    “We can call the eighteenth century the age of the enlightenment bcause it was both a culmination and a new beginning. Fresh currents of thought were wearing down institutionalized traditions. New ideas and new approaches to old institutions were setting the stage for great revolutions to come.The pervasive appeal, as expressed by Voltaire, was to the
    1. autonomy of reason
    2. perfectibility and progress
    3. confidence in the ability to discover causality
    4. principles governing nature, man and society
    5. assault on authority
    6. cosmopolitan solidarity of enlightened intellectuals
    7. disgust with nationalism.
    Article: The Age of Enlightenment
    Author: Professor Gerhard Rempel, Western New England College

    While a cursory overview, the paper does have a rather decent look at the political and theological viewpoints (Deism) that played a role in the creation of this country. . .
    Intellectual Enlightenment has nothing to do with whether or not people agree with your opinion; enlightenment has to do with understanding causality and consequences of human (and by virtue of it being a human institution, government) actions and rationales.


  56. “Indeed, disapproval of torture is now being characterized as a strictly partisan issue, like welfare reform or taxes.”
    Source: The Daily Dish/The Atlantic
    Author: Andrew Sullivan
    Subsection: Hiding Behind Partisanship (4th blog entry for 05/12/2009)
    Xreferenced URL:


  57. As usual if you say something they don’t like right after they label you a crab they label you a troll.

    No I’m not a troll as I don’t enjoy watching people get excited. I do enjoy watching people like Dennis Miller when they learn what enlightened people learn.

    But you are correct that I grow bored when all I see is a lot of people giving each other blow jobs. And trust me on this, that’s about all that’s going on here. I mean seriously, of the 430 comments ahead of me how many are actually offering a contrary opinion?


  58. (of course at 5′, I’d be an ankle biter. . . ) WOOF!


  59. Honolulu Sally, I rather appreciated being called a “guard dog” – didn’t bother me. And that particular post is proof in and of itself that a troll is a troll is a cretin.


  60. In defense of James’ argument of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki being an action that saved lives:

    Maybe so. Japan had always had an invincible mentality, and may have fought to the last man standing. The warrior culture was that death in battle was the ultimate way to go.

    For years, Japan’s history books did not mention WWII or Japan’s defeat, for defeat was shameful.

    It was a horrendous horrible experiment that went right (for the US). It ended Japan’s participation in war. Japan promised to never promote/participate in war again. The lives lost and affected by the atomic bombs were massive, final, and of ordinary citizens.

    I was not born until years after the war ended. My Japanese ancestry with American citizenship (3rd generation) has mixed feelings about the atomic bombs that ended the war.

    If you speak to people from Japan, they harbor little or no resentment towards America for the bombings. To them, it was war, and all is fair in war. Feudal Japan was a country of constant wars between warlords and clans, and wars against other countries in Asia.

    In fact, the USA was the best country in the world to lose to. After WWII, America helped build the defeated Japan, and it needed help. I haven’t heard of anyone taking potshots at the occupying US military, or of any rebel forces trying to regain territory.

    World War II (IMO) brought out the best and worst of America, and made it a nation to be feared and respected.

    Whirled Peas “Why We Fight” link still lingers with me. America has not heeded the wise and sober farewell address of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    What saddens me is how the Republicans have lost their wise leaders such as Eisenhower, and have taken the path of “us right, you wrong”. GW Bush said it the most eloquently (ha ha ha, but it was…) as his definition of being American after deciding to invade Iraq – being either with us (America), or against us. I guess by GW’s definition, I am not an American.

    James, puhlease stop watching Fox, or at least realize how biased they are. If they were so fair and balanced, they would not have the bulk of the Obama haters tuned in and quoting their “truths”. We just don’t have too many media outlets that actually report news without a political agenda.

    Watched “W” last week. Made GW Bush more personal for me, but he was still a loser and not fit to be president. He and Cheney took this country so far down that there wasn’t much more bottom to scrape, yet they still managed to leave the biggest stinking pile of crap that any President and/or VP have left for someone else to clean up.

    At least George has left the room, but why is Cheney still around?


  61. Jean, IMO, James expresses what every service person who has been in combat expresses – it really does boil down to a survival mentality. And frankly speaking, in a combat/war zone, that’s the mentality that seems to keep people alive. Does this mindset justify waterboarding or the use of the H-bomb? Of course not. It rationalizes the use, not justifies it. I think we need to differentiate between the two words. Sometimes an explanation is a justification (again, we need to define the term) but rarely, IMO. I do think that this is not an either/or issue, but one in which circumstances and influences must be considered in the discussion. For instance, in the case of the H-Bomb, some folks rationalize its use with the very argument that james has made – a rationale influenced past events and extrapolated to the worst case scenario. For me, the danger in such a broad rationale comes when you apply that same rationale to the Holocaust, Gallipoli, My Lai, or even the carpet bombing of North Vietnam. This application, I believe, leads to the I/Thou division as set out by Buber. And when we consistently, especially as a nation, view the world through an I/Thou lens, the view is myopic at best, blinded at most. It’s this loss of national/individual vision that is perhaps the most destructive aspect of the rationale. Only by fully examining and understanding our actions (sans the rationale) can we then become “authentic.”

    And to Don – you’re a crab simply because your comment: “You’re certifiable. That means you’re an idiot in case you couldn’t figure it out.” That’s an opinion and my reacting opinion is that you’re a crab. Now you don’t really know if I (or anyone here) is really certifiable (I am certified in canine hydrotherapy thank you very much for noticing), but we really do know you’re a crab. (and not one of those nice yummy Maryland crabs either). So either grow a pair, suck it up, or shut up.


  62. Uh-oh. Ignore the troll alert! We can all instead give the one finger salute to the you know what. Werner and Greytdog, keep on keeping on.


  63. James,

    I would give you an “A” for rationalization in the psychological rather than the philosophical sense.

    Are you PROUD of the number of Japanese killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki? How about the later generations suffering from the effects of radiation poisoning? Even Oppenheimer was appalled at the horror he had helped to develop that was unleashed on the world.

    With your attitude of better them than us, (actually better him than ME), no one could accuse you of being the Humanitarian Albert Schweitzer of Iowa.


    P.S. I can hardly wait to read your defense and justification of the Inquisition, the Holocaust and any other sterling examples you can come up with of Man’s Inhumanity to Man.


  64. Taint EZ, how about this for a reply:

    Dear Fox News Watcher,
    Guess what? YOU scare ME! Get out more.
    Your friend,
    Taint EZ


  65. Vermin and Guarddog like to think they run the place.

    Guarddog: Woof! Woof! Wah! Wah! Shame shame shame! Don’t you EVER post your opinions here again without my permission you crab you! Where’s my drink?

    Vermin: Gibberish! Babble! Lok at me! Lok at me! I zmart I iz and funnnneeee! I don’t take drugggzz LOL I just SO funneez an you a troll! One two free! Lok at me!


  66. @Taint EZ

    I have heard this same paranoia now since the beginning of the campaign. This is not new and much it (if not all) has been disproved. These are not original accusations. Apparently this person has only listened to one-sided news and propaganda and has an ostrich mentality. I don’t need to re-hash all this, ’cause it would not make a difference as this person knows the “truth”.


  67. James, it’s been a while since I read Barbara’s book but she wrote from the same point of view as Jean did earlier.

    I respectfully disagree that bombing Japan “saved lives” considering that the Hiroshima death toll was 140,000 and Nagasaki 80,000. Most were civilians. I believe in our heart of hearts we understand there is no justification for this kind of sucker punch, which is why our nation has not used this ungodly power ever since.


  68. Someone sent me this. Please feel free to rebut.

    Letter to the ‘President’…….
    Dear President Obama,

    You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.
    You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.
    You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.
    You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.
    You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.
    You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don’t understand it at its core.
    You scare me because you lack humility and ‘class’, always blaming others.
    You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.
    You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the ‘blame America ‘ crowd and deliver this message abroad.
    You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.
    You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.
    You scare me because you prefer ‘wind mills’ to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.
    You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.
    You scare me because you have begun to use ‘extortion’ tactics against certain banks and corporations.
    You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.
    You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.
    You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.
    You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.
    You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O’Reillys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.
    You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.
    Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

    Lou Pritchett


  69. Jean,

    Thank you for your eloquent words reagarding Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around the idea of “American Exceptionalism” that many on the far-right embrace. I just don’t see mamy differences in the mindset of “American Exceptionalism” in the 21st century and “Aryan Exceptionalism” in the 20th century. Are not all human lives worth valuing and protecting?

    Probably not worth mentioning, but every person of the LDS (Mormon) persuasion I’ve ever known is a practicing socialist. For many years, the Mormon Church has been the fastest growing church in the world…to a large extent, I’m sure that’s b/c they actively recruit like nobody’s business. But, in a large part, it is due to the fact that they know how to care for their own. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s my understanding that they believe every household should have 3 years worth of foods, toiletries, and money stockpiled for emergencies, and when one of their own is in dire straits — or when they are “luring” in a new member — they have the ability to provide their every need.

    I’ve always thought we could learn from them. I suppose they’ve managed well during this economic crisis.


  70. I listened to the Miss California news conference. Donald Trump and the committee did the right thing. I disagree with Miss California, but she didn’t deserve the abuse heaped upon her. As noted President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton harbor the same views as Miss California.

    A young Army wife expressed support for civil unions and opposed gay marriages on her first day posting at the Kathy Griffin message board. Hetrophobic and leftist tribalists drove her off in an afternoon. Even a moderator said it was disgusting. It is a long story, but partly because of that and other intolerance the forum became relatively dead. At least it was when I last checked last fall. Similarities between the two are striking.

    ImaginistaA, a review of Mormon history does show something close to socialism. Mormons’ hard work and clannishness tended to upset the neighbors who were also jealous of their exclusionist neighbors. They also have some free Masonic traits in my opinion. I have Mormon and breakaway friends, and I am not criticizing them, but they do seem communal as you suggest.

    I respect your opinion about our nuking Japan, but I am still glad we did it. Those bombs saved many lives. What did Barbara Kingsolver write about it?

    Werner, I like your thoughts, but I don’t have time to add much now. A collection of phone numbers held for emergencies or special permission sounds workable.

    I missed the whole Don episode. As long as he is civil, I don’t have any problem with him. He mentioned Janeane Garafalo. I was a fan and her message board is the first one I posted on six years ago. I made friends, some of whom I have personally met. I left after her latest rant.

    Janeane has an emotional problem and she is clinging to her leftist beliefs to the point she and her father are not speaking right now. I think some of her strident speech comes from emotional problems. I feel sorry for her because she is going through a hard time right now. But I am no longer a fan.


  71. Greytdog
    this one is for you:


  72. Whirled

    while your post is funny, I took the pain and read the article to the end, and I for one think UWA should read it too, this mom has a real probloem at her hand, and while pot for a nine year old sounds like a braindead idea at first look, in this special case it seams to produce results where little other stuff could….

    So, if you DO have an open mind, read it, I found it worth it.


  73. Reality Check !!!
    Why I Give My 9-year-old Pot

    “Question: Why are we giving our nine-year-old a marijuana cookie?

    Answer: Because he can’t figure out how to use a bong. 😉



  74. De-lurker girl and Poolman: I’m one of the red-headed stepchildren too. Just so you know. I think there are more of us here in the parlor than is immediately apparent.

    And BTW, Poolman, welcome. We’re glad to have you. 🙂


  75. It’s hard to agree on a definition of torture, but ‘dead’ doesn’t leave much wiggle room, does it? Thanks, Whirled Peas.


  76. Imaginista
    I don’t know, might be a “lost soul” unable to say things the way he wants to, give him a chance, IF he turns out a troll he’ll die of boredome here like the rest…….


  77. IMHO, Don does not qualify as someone who is here for legitimate debate, so why feed the troll? Just let him go back under his bridge and wait for a goat.


  78. UP FOR DISCUSSION with all the gang and the rest:
    Grandma Katie and Denise volonteered to setup a phone line as to make sure people are alright!

    What is following now are only some basic ideas that I would like to put up for discussion, these can be rejected, elaborated on, or otherwise improved or whatever will be the outcome of this discussion.

    The basic Idea is to offer older people, or younger people that live alone, the possibility to leave an email with thier phone number and a follow up phone number or even two (emergency if they are not home, in hospital, whatever) and instructions on when to call earliest (don’t call before a week or even two, etc.) or other instructions to protect their privacy.

    It is just for us to find out if all is OK or someone needs help and we’re to organice something with people we might have close by……… (See, this all needs some more discussion)

    My idea is to setup a special email that I will help the two ladies to maintain (SPAM filter etc.) but where both would have access to.
    Anyone that feels like could send an email with the one or two phone numbers they’d like to have on this list and some basic instructions when NOT to call.

    The two ladies would maintain the list and make sure who is primary caller and who is backup and when to change that (holidays, sickness of primary, etc.)

    For privacy reasons ONLY the two phonelist owners should have access to the list and the right to call, but if one of us or the other worries, maybe an email to the main mail setup for this might be OK, since they have the members email a small mail can be send and if not answered in a day or two, can be followed up by an call.

    I would like some help on setting up a set of rules (after we discussed it here and I setup the mail account on hotmail) that we have to adher too.


    What y’all think about that?

    Who helps with a set of rules?

    Who is interessted in the service?

    (And Margaret and Hellen, even if your famous, you can join too if you feel like it, in the end, you started it all, from mouthing off about bad politics to feeding alaskan villages to careing for your virtual friends…..)



  79. Nope Don

    this was actually NEARLY a statement most of us can accept, if you ask James and UWA in his better moments, while we trash people her for spreading insults and dumb comments NOT based on verifyable facts, we do accept criticism, even if we might argue against it, but your first comment:

    …You’re certifiable. That means you’re an idiot in case you couldn’t figure it out…….

    is clearly insulting, so if you throw with mud, don’t cry if you get hit by shit……..

    Now if you just could come up with some arguments, and please quote what your refering to, so as that we don’t have to scan all the posts to know, THAN we might even get a discussion going, even if we don’t necessarily AGREE with you.

    Hope that was clear enough?

    (and yes, I like to vent some anger too once in a while,. so if you offer yourself as a victim…..)


  80. Wow Whirled Peas! Don should read that report. I guess our “lite” torture was too much for the wimpy prisoners, eh?


  81. Jean, just to let you know, I am WITH YOU on the subject of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Barbara Kingsolver wrote beautifully on this subject in one of her essay compilations, I think it was “Homeland and Other Stories.” It makes me physically ill to think about that chapter in our national history because of the human cost.

    Mormons actually are rather socialist, in my opinion. I live in a region of the country that is crawling with them, and I know many personally. They are tight knit and tend to conduct business only among themselves. Additionally they circle the wagons and provide for members who are having financial difficulties. Sounds pretty socialist to me, or maybe it’s more Communist? As in communal.

    Finally, Whirled Peas – “Calling torture ‘enhanced interrogation’ is like calling rape ‘enhanced seduction’” is a keeper!


  82. One little comment and BAM! I’m a crab(whatever the hell that is).

    Those of you who spew the hate towards anyone who doesn’t agree with you saddens me. I think you’re all wrong but I don’t hate you and I don’t think your automatically stupid, evil, dumb, or any of those other derogatory terms you lefties(ie. Janine Garafalo) love to use. I do think people who make statements without actually researching them aren’t that bright but I don’t hate them.

    Of course this too will get all kinds of comments about how you think I’m just short of scum.


  83. You’re welcome Pat Δ,

    I’m glad I can help inform.

    So, with that in mind:

    Tortured to Death!

    United States interrogators killed nearly four dozen detainees during or after their interrogations, according a report published by a human rights researcher based on a Human Rights First report and followup investigations.



  84. Thanks for clarifying, Poolman. I get a little defensive since left-leaning Christians don’t always fit well with either Republicans or Democrats. We’re like red headed step children, LOL. I saw one of your other posts and think we’re probably on the same page at times.


  85. Whirled Peas,

    Thanks for the link to “Outfoxed”. A great video. I appreciate all your links.


  86. Can you imagine socialist Mormons? It happened near my home. Mormons stopped in the Missouri River valley to gather supplies and to prepare for the long march to Utah. Most stayed at the winter camp, but many moved up and down the valley. Some stayed after the main group moved on.

    A charismatic fellow persuaded a community to share their goods in a common pool. The elders apportioned what was needed, and they used the common larder to help newly arrived unfortunates. Everything was fine for the altruistic village, and it gained new recruits.

    As time passed suspicious residents discovered their leader was in thrall to his “inherent greed nature.” They spread the news to others, and angry people rose up to condemn the poor man. Tar, feathers, and smiting were the conversations of the day. A mob went to his house, but they discovered the man had fled.

    The angry Mormons fanned out across the land so they could punish the man who had stolen from them. The man hid in an attic twenty five miles away for three days until he finally made his escape. I always thought that story was funny.

    Not funny is a bulleton on an Omaha radio station. A gun man is in the Mall of the Bluffs in Council Bluffs and people are evacuating. A flashback to the Omaha Von Maurer shootings to which we had an indirect connection. I hate to hear stuff like that.


  87. @De-lurker girl…

    Yes , I profess to be Christian. My point was not meant toward republicans but rather capitalists, as I awkwardly corrected in the next post.

    I mean all this talk of socialism as if it were a disease spouted primarily by the right like it is anti-christian.

    This has no basis if you have read the book of Acts where the first Christians combined all their assets and that became community property.

    Not that I am touting socialism as the answer, but it does go against our inherent greed nature.


    Rupert Murdoch’s
    War on Journalism

    On Google Video



  89. OceanGypsy,

    I am fine. I hope you are as well. Our niece and her husband are somewhere in Iraq now. I wish the best for your nephew and will keep him in my thoughts.

    Our daughter’s college room mate was Army reserve, and she was yanked to Iraq during the invasion. She drove trucks through Baghdad and gangs shot from dark allies. Our niece and nephew served there around the same time and also in Afghanistan.

    I hope you can write lots of letters. Our niece said the letters were a big help the first time. I know you are as proud as we and probably just as nervous.

    I like that Jesse Ventura quote. He is funnier than Al Franken even when he doesn’t intend to be.


  90. Ex-Navy Seal Jesse Ventura:
    “You Give Me a Water Board, Dick Cheney and One Hour, and I’ll Have Him Confess to the Sharon Tate Murders.”

    From Larry King Live



  91. Poolman, I apologize if I’ve read too much into your post, by the way. If that’s the case, please help me understand.


  92. “All you Christians need to go back and read Acts and see how that plays in the republican mind set.

    By: Poolman on May 11, 2009
    at 11:01 PM”

    Poolman, what is your point? And your point of view? And are you a Christian, or a non-Christian trying to use scripture as a weapon? Are you here to engage or to bait? Your choice of wording leads me to wonder. “All you Christians”? “need to go back”? I am of course familiar with Acts – do any particular chapters or verses come to mind? Who are you talking TO in your post? Please clarify.

    I’d just like to know where you are coming from before I submit to your homework assignment.


  93. Here is my theory about Fox’s good ratings. Others have considered it too. NBC, ABC, MSNBC and the others compete for ratings with the 50% of the country which leans liberal. Fox News has the conservative 50% of the country virtually all to themselves.

    It is not so much that Fox News is ultra-conservative, since they usually cover both the liberal and conservative sides. Unlike most other networks, they have some anchors and correspondents who are openly conservative. This attracts the conservatives and also liberals who want to know what the other side is thinking. Liberal correspondents on competing networks provide fewer surprises than Fox.


  94. James,

    How are you?

    My nephew deploys to Iraq on June 22nd. They won’t tell him (or maybe he can’t tell us) exactly where he is going. How is telling us Baghdad, Tikrit, or where ever a breach of national security? Please keep him in your thoughts and well-wishes. Although he has not yet deployed, I await his safe return.

    Thank you and have a good day!


  95. Ted Kopple BBC World News:

    Calling torture ‘enhanced interrogation’ is like calling rape ‘enhanced seduction’.



  96. Yes, GreytdogA, tribalism is a better term. I like how your mind works.

    Even Britney Spears needs a tribe doesn’t she? I liked Britney before her nose dive and now that she is recovering, I wish her well. Now if a “tribe” could stage an intervention for Paris Hilton…


  97. Why do we call people “crabby”? That is a good question. I don’t like to eat crabs, though living crabs seem fine to me.

    Don is right that Japanese water boarding was not like our version. Anyone who suffered through 183 or what ever the reported number was would have died or suffered broken ribs during the Japanese era. The Japanese drowned their victims and sometimes forced water from prisoners lungs by standing on their chests, so they could revive them.


  98. James, just a wee thought. . .and not well thought out at that. . .but wouldn’t tribalism be a more appropriate term than “groupism”? I just tend to see groupism as stuff like. . . DeadHeads or the BSA. . .tribalism is about survival, groupism seems soooooo….hmmm…britney spearsish?


  99. The number of guns entering from Mexico directly from the United States remains murky. Because a weapon was manufactured in the United States doesn’t mean a drug gang member actually bought it here.

    I have always opposed legalizing drugs. I still do, but I may be wrong. Prohibition helped create The Mob and provided lucrative incomes to bootleggers, owners of speakeasies, and others.
    As during Prohibition, our demand for drugs provides the financial incentive for drug lords to build their businesses.

    If it is true people are smuggling so many weapons from the United States to Mexico we have yet another reason to further regulate our borders. However, as long as our people buy the product violent businessmen will supply the demand.

    I’m not yet convinced, but I wonder what would happen if we legalized, regulated, and taxed drug production. How many more or fewer lives would end or face ruination than now if drugs were legal? Our current modus operandi is less than successful, but what of the alternative?

    Even here in rural Iowa an underclass sells drugs as old time bootleggers did. Some of my wife’s high school students use drugs. My wife and I ran afoul of a small time gang when we helped a divorcing woman. Three suspicious “suicides” occurred, and strange cars followed my wife part of the way home. Sherrif’s deputies patrolled the roads to be sure she and our friend were safe.

    Some people vandalized our property and tied a dead raccoon to our mail box. Black unlit pick ups parked on our road late at night. We kept a loaded shot gun by the front door, and a fire extinguisher by the bed, just in case.

    Maybe legalized drugs would make it worse, but I wonder.


  100. A pondering while watching the squirrels revel in their new feeder, the cardinals are busy with the new tube feeders, and the mourning doves have actually taken a “swim” in the new birdbath. . .

    But why is it we refer to folks like Don as “crabs” when crabs are a good thing. . .to eat? I personally LOVE maryland crab cakes and crab chowder. . . of course, there are the other kind of crabs that no one likes. . .so maybe Don is THAT kind of crab. . .


  101. Greytdog, Grandma Katie an all
    …so it is crab season. all I knew was that Don probably crawled out of a particularly slimy spot……

    For Don I recommend the Vogon treatment (D. Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Part I) they smash there native crabs with a jeweled club to pulp in an annual ceremony, screw the jewels, screw the ceremony, just let’s give him a good “pulping”!

    Only a suggestion……


  102. Raji, yes one of the primary companies is Monsanto.

    Thanks Honolulu Sally. Since we don’t have cable we miss a lot of television shows. However, unlike Sarah Palin, I can tell you what I read. We subscribe to Time, US News and World Report, Atlantic, Discover, Weatherwise, The Omaha World Herald, Wallace’s Farmer, Successful Farming, Farm Journal, Tri State Neighbor, some womens’ magazines which I usually don’t read, and links to the Drudge Report.

    Denise, ratings suggest many people watch Fox for news, and I have a theory why.

    Jean, that the atomic bomb saved lives is indisputable. The Japanese leadership was prepared to fight to the last citizen. Captured Japanese attempted to kill themselves rather than submit to the dishonor of surrender. On some islands where wives and other females accompanied the soldiers, they jumped from cliffs to avoid capture.

    A grad school assignment was to advise the president on whether or not to use the Atomic bomb to end the war. We wrote memos similar to what aids still write. I and my classmates briefly described the problem, the options and possible outcomes for each.

    My suggestion was a demonstration explosion in the harbor to show the Japanese their cause was hopeless. I got an A. In real life, advisers had suggested that option, but Truman decided the United States had too few bombs to risk in that way. Maybe he was right. The Japanese did not definitively decide to surrender until after the second bomb, in part because they didn’t know how many more bombs we had.

    Some of our neighbors had returned from Europe and elsewhere, and they were ready to be shipped to Japan. Famous men like William Buckley were also in that position. They likely would have died. Buckley said he owed his life to the Atom bomb.

    We probably would have firebombed all of Japan as we did Dresden and other European cities to destroy their ability to fight. Japan surrendered before that wholesale slaughter and most of the country remained intact.

    Groupism comes into play here. My life and my countryman’s lives are more important than our enemies’. Obviously, they feel the same, but if someone has to die, let them. Their blood is just as red, but it is not my blood. Our enemies would agree.

    Groupism played a role during Roman times too. Carthage was a major threat to the empire. Cato the elder, I think repeated before the Senate “Carthage must die.” after every speech. Carthage had been defeated, but it rose again like Phoenix. Destroying Carthage as Rome did was in their viewpoint extirpating an infection which was draining their resources. Being the greatest empire in the world was a big deal to Rome. Countries played rough in those days.

    Conservative Republicans and subsidies are irrelevant to this discussion. We may all be enjoying living our lives as we do today because nuclear powers were afraid to use their bombs.

    The Cuban missile crisis would have created a hot WW111 were it not for nukes. The Soviets and United States became so frightened, they installed a hot line to improve communications in the event of an emergency. Proxy wars in Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America and other locations allowed the two empires to engage indirectly.

    Even so, we had close calls. Computer glitches were a problem. A Russian general probably saved the world when he refused to launch missiles to countermand a swarm which appeared to be headed his way.

    Nuclear weapons come as close to doomsday arms as humans have invented. Rational countries will evade using them at high cost. The fear kept millions, perhaps billions of people alive during the Cold War


  103. Jean,
    The painting you did is pretty good it seems that your talent stretchs far beyond your clever posts.
    The recipe thing was a disater for me. Things did
    not translate well.
    Does anybody really watch Fox news?I mean for


  104. Welcome to the other side, Poolman!

    UAW has got grits and he likes to toss them around. Reminds me of one of our local songs,

    “Princess Pupule, has plenty papayas…
    She loves to give them away,
    I mean papayas….”

    Pu-pu-lay (pronounciation) means nuts or crazy. Our UAW’s got choice papayas sometimes.

    James, I wish you had more stations to watch other than Fox. I sure am glad you are willing to hang out here though.

    Aloha to all!



  105. Sorry, once it is in there in print, I gotta go backwards and correct it. UAW comment was from May, (my brain is still in March) Helen said change happens, capitalist is the mindset. Sorry.
    3rd time’s the charm…


  106. All you Christians need to go back and read Acts and see how that plays in the republican mind set.


  107. @UAW March 6

    “you keep talking about Bush’s lies but what about Obama’s lies…there’s a drug war on our southern border and Obama says that 90% of the guns come from gun shows in the US.”

    For the record, I went to the link you provided and it disproves the point you are trying to make. Here’s quote from the speech:

    More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops that line our shared border.
    In your link:
    “In a joint statement presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crimes and Drugs, ATF Assistant Director for Field Operations William Hoover and Anthony Placido, assistant administrator of intelligence with the Drug Enforcement Administration, clarified that the 90 percent figure is true of guns that were submitted and could be traced:
    Hoover and Placido, March 17, 2009: Firearms are routinely being transported from the U.S. into Mexico in violation of both U.S. and Mexican law. In fact, according to ATF’s National Tracing Center, 90 percent of the weapons that could be traced were determined to have originated from various sources within the U.S.
    According to a Fox News report, titled “The Myth of 90 Percent,” only “17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.” But the 17 percent figure is a myth, too. The reporters made some mistaken assumptions about how many guns had actually been traced to U.S. sources.
    Fox News reporters William La Jeunesse and Maxim Lott note, quite correctly, that Mexico doesn’t submit all the guns it recovers to the U.S. for tracing. Furthermore, Fox News reported, this is “because it is obvious from their markings that they do not come from the U.S.” And it quoted a law enforcement official as to why:
    Fox News, April 2: “Not every weapon seized in Mexico has a serial number on it that would make it traceable, and the U.S. effort to trace weapons really only extends to weapons that have been in the U.S. market,” Matt Allen, special agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told FOX News.
    Even that number is too low. At our request, an ATF spokesman gave us more detailed figures for how many guns had been submitted and traced during those two years. Of the guns seized in Mexico and given to ATF for tracing, the agency actually found 95 percent came from U.S. sources in fiscal 2007 and 93 percent in fiscal 2008. That comes to a total of 10,347 guns from U.S. sources for those two years, or 36 percent of what Mexican authorities say they recovered.”

    Sounds like a pretty accurate statement to me. Next…

    Sorry, had to do that. Seems this commentary tends to continue and grow until the next post. I get it. Sometimes I’m slow at learning. I too, am sorry to say I pretty much voted a straight republican ticket until 2004. Kind of a running with the pack, swimming with the flow, mentality.

    But like Margaret says, change happens.

    God bless you all.


  108. Hi gang and James,

    My dander is up now!!! Ever since the end of WWII, I have been hearing this sorry line of bull about how many American and Japanese lives were SAVED by dropping the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. And then proxy wars. “Let’s you and him fight on THEIR soil with THEIR blood.” Rumsfeld and Cheney just updated it and put the words into Bush’s mouth, ‘”Fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here”- – (with non-existent WMD’s.)

    Just whose life is of more value to his/her loved ones than any others’? Just whose blood is less red when it is spilled? Whose soil and homes mean more to its inhabitants than any others’?

    This is reminiscent of Rome’s utter and total destruction of Corinth and Carthage. With Corinth, the men were slaughtered, the women and children sold into slavery. After the Roman soldiers pillaged and plundered everything they could cart off, they burned the city to the ground. And Carthage. Same thing. The soil was plowed and sown with salt. For seventeen days the city burned. Carthage was never rebuilt. We have personally seen its ruins.

    Of course, Hamilcar and his son Hannibal of Carthage were not exactly saints. But was that any reason to kill the PEOPLE and completely destroy their beautiful and prosperous city? No, Rome was determined to be the ‘Greatest Empire the World has Ever Seen’ or translated, the ’Chief Macho Honcho.’ Big deal.

    One of the offshoots of all this war stuff of Rome was that the small farms were decimated of manpower as the men went off to war. Most of the plunder they brought back went into the Roman treasury or the pockets of the aristocracy through unprecedented corruption. The land was bought up by the aristocracy to establish large estates known as ‘latifundia’ (plantations?) manned by war captured slaves. You can’t get cheaper labor than slaves! So in time the small farms very nearly disappeared with the farmers migrating to urban areas. This system grew and survived for centuries all over Europe and into North and South America.

    The Conservative Republicans cling to their ideology of small or limited government not messing in the lives of the people. Fine. But they are very quiet about and have no problem with government subsidies for agriculture with the inherent rules and regulations of government programs to feed billions and stave off starvation. That, of course, is touting altruistic motives. (This concept goes back to George Washington, doesn’t it?)

    However, when it comes to health care, which is every bit as vital as feeding billions, the Conservative Republicans scream, “Socialism”. What kind of convoluted logic is that?????




  109. I am coming to your blog after sometime. The last time I was here you had much to say about Sarah Palin. Though I will admit that a lot of what you said was more rational than a lot of what is spewed on television.

    I am from India and in the last 8 years I have seen enough of US to know that its bearing the brunt of skewed thought and foreign policy that it has followed over the years. What surprises me even more is the war rhetoric that has hit US. Unfortunately we fail to realize that the present generation is paying for decisions of the past and its the American taxpayer who is being made to pay for it. Its like being made guardian to a child when one is most ill equipped to handle it.


  110. greytdog
    so it is crab season. all I knew was that Don probably crawled out of a particularly slimy spotp into the light of day.He’ll most likely feelllbetter when he goes back into the dark


  111. Greytdog, LOL


  112. James, I am assuming you are referring to Monsanto as the “seed company”.


  113. Oh look everyone! Crab season is here – and look! There’s the first one! It’s Don!


  114. You’re certifiable. That means you’re an idiot in case you couldn’t figure it out.

    The Japanese waterboarding you talk about is in no way the same as what the US did. But then I suspect you can’t learn anything new.


  115. I think Helen should apply for this:

    We need progressive womens voices – and we need Helen to be there!


  116. ‘Taking a cue from the Republican Party, Randy decides to make himself more marketable.’

    Comic by Ted Rall



  117. I usually agree with everything you say, but alas, this time I can’t. I’ve NEVER thought Rush Limbaugh was funny.


  118. Jean, et al: your stories of the AF base life made me laugh. We weren’t armed forces but might as well have been – we were always around Clark AFB, or Subic in the Philippines. During Vietnam, we should have installed a revolving door we had so many GIs coming through for “homestyle” R & R before they headed off to Thailand, Hong Kong, or Hawaii. And yes, the wives could drink – but could rarely hold their own against the embassy and attache wives! That’s the real country club group – made the officers’ wives look like amateurs. I still have all my mom’s CC cookbooks – and fascinating to see the various names and countries. . . Mrs. so and so, Wife to Ambassador of Whatit Country. . .etc. Then in the mountains of the Philippines, you also had the “old guard” – the families that had settled in the islands during colonial times – plantation and mining families. Very revered by the locals (Mainly cuz most of these families had gone through WWII in either POW camps or as part of the guerrillas forces) but often disdained by the Armed Forces/embassy folks for too much mingling with the natives. My math tutor came from one of the plantation families – she was in her 70s at the time. She’d met her husband at college (he was at Harvard, she was at Radcliffe), they moved back to the Philippines where he helped run her family plantation and raised two boys. Then the war broke out. Her husband fought with the guerrillas and was eventually executed by the Japanese. She and her boys ended up at Brent School, an Episcopalian school that the Japanese turned into a POW Camp. Her youngest son died in the camp and is buried in the school cemetery. Her oldest son was taken from her after the Japanese discovered he was passing info to the guerrillas. At 12 he was sent alone to Santo Tomas internment prison where he died a year later. She herself almost died from disease, but the Japanese never suspected this little Jewish woman as a fierce fighter – who also passed along information to the guerrillas. She rarely spoke of her life – I know she returned to the plantation and eventually sold to Dole. Then she came back to the mountains and lived less than a block away from Brent. And she was a math wizard. By the time I was in 5th grade she had me doing calculus and loving it. And when my family left the Philippines, she gave me her son’s prayerbook – the one his father had bought especially for a bar mitzvah that never took place. It remains a cherished possession.


  119. My grandmother raised five children, one of whom was my father. When she was in the hospital after her 94th birthday, she told my aunt. “I never liked children. I didn’t like raising them. But now, I’m glad we had children. Someone will be with me when I die.”

    We did invent the atomic bomb, but the Germans and Japanese were working on nuclear weapons too. The atomic bomb killed many, but it saved even more American and Japanese lives. An invasion of the home islands would have been a blood bath, even by WW11 standards.

    The bomb also prevented a hot war between the Soviet Union and the west. Both sides were rational enough to fear the end of the world. They tended to fight proxy wars and avoided direct confrontation as during WW1 or WW11.

    Now the bomb which helped save lives threatens to kill us all if it falls into the hands of nihilistic Muslims. I don’t know if it is karma or human nature with unintended consequences. Whatever. The wheel keeps turning.


  120. Wish I had time to look in here everyday, bit it’s not to be. Just read Helen’s post and all the comments. I’d like to thank Helen for her ‘on spot’ words and many of you others for your thoughtful comments. In summation…
    Werner, we share a similar sense of humor (found several chuckles on your blog) but perhaps not a similar political leaning.
    Greytdog, I appreciate your wisdom.

    Karma has been mentioned, as well as drugs and war and torture. Oh, the irony. Re: drugs and karma, I’m often reminded that opium was just another trade commodity for the British when they introduced it to the Chinese. Then it came home to roost. Re: war and karma, We are the ones who invented the Atomic bomb and dropped in on a bunch of people. We’re still hoping that it never comes home to roost. Re: torture and karma, I hope someone who can do something about it remembers the karma part and that “what goes around comes around.”


  121. [singsong]

    ‘Everything Old Is New Again’



  122. Grandma Katie
    next time they confront YOU with a pair of white gloves you won’t see them!

    Promise to all of us you will take a lot of time before that !!!!


  123. Mrs. Cravitz
    please switch on brain BEFORE fingergrabbling with the knoepkes (buttons)!

    It so much improves the sense you COULD make…….


  124. Oh Yeah, and happy belated mothers day to all mom’s, on this blog and anywhere else……


  125. psychedelikat

    Q to your hubby:
    What is worse than your pregnant wife?
    A: your pregnant wife in the last 6 weeks!

    From a father of 4, just hang in there, can’t get worse so it only CAN get better!
    NEVER ever discuss her cravings, just cater them (strawberrys with vanilla whipped creme, just after she had pickles, was the worst I got so far!)

    And just before you’re ready to crawl up the wall, take a DEEP breath, take a small drink, sit back 5 sec and try to remeber why you love her so much…… if she gives you 10 sec, you might even remember, but I tell you when I look at my kids today, I think it was REALLY worth it!



  126. James and all of you farmers. My brother farms in SEKansas. After listening to him one day I tolllld him they have four seasons–toohot, tooooooo cold, too wet or too dry. Now you kow why I don’t live anymore in SE Kansas!!
    Jean loved your stories. AS far as I am concerned the whie gloves, nylons, hats etc can go in the closet and stay there!!
    I haven’t seen a pair of white gloves in years, thank goodness.


  127. Spread the word not your legs!!!


  128. Avotresante, I have been known to make my own sauces, but yesterday I didn’t feel like cooking so we went to McD’s because I was CRAVING their honey mustard. LOL! I’ve started my own potted garden so I can have my own tomatoes and bell peppers, basil, strawberries, onions and chives. I’m just waiting for them to start producing fruit! Until then, it’s the local produce market for me!

    Jean, thanks for the kudos. I’m really lucky to have such a great husband!


  129. Helen,

    Thanks for giving a shit!!! I really mean it!


  130. Happy Mom’s Day, you guys. Thanks for all the fabulous posts that have really resonated with me. Can you live forever and keep us all grounded?

    Thanks. 🙂


  131. Witches were (mostly) hanged. Burning was reserved for heretics. And it’s court martial, not courtmarshall.


  132. Witches were (mostly) hanged. Burning was reserved for heretics.


  133. Thanks for more of the Air Force memories. My aunt was a colonel’s wife, and she had similar stories.

    Some wives carried their husbands’ ranks and tried to make trouble for medics and others they dealt with. Given the pressures they were under, I can see why they might have done so.

    Sometimes, Air Force doctors were living torture devices. Others were dedicated and good.

    Drinking was a notorious pass time. So was poker. A friend said after an all night poker game” I lost $14.00, and I was one of the winners.”

    Airmen in pharmacy made a new drug which they used and sold to the locals. A friend claimed they could watch the grass grow. It was cheap and non- habit forming, but the drug did nasty things to livers. Our friend turned yellow, and needed other drugs to counter balance what he had been taking.

    One night, he woke after his eyes had rolled to the top of the sockets. He screamed “I’ve gone blind!! Help!!” His hut mate nearly spilled his drink when he saw only the whites of the man’s eyes. The man’s eyes rolled back in place, but he was convinced he would die if he fell asleep again. He spent the rest of the night chinning himself over a toilet in the latrine. The nineteen year old drugee later became a hospital administrator, and his hut mate became a minister.

    In Vietnam, so many soldiers on a small base were injured in fast draw contests, the OIC ordered most of the weapons locked up. One evening when the man with the key was drinking in town, the Viet Cong attacked and the soldiers had to break the door down fast.

    My brothers’ unit was stationed next to the canine corps. They got their water from the site because the dogs had better water than humans.

    An American construction company was making a road. Both sides wanted it, so no one bothered the construction workers. The Americans used the road by day and the Viet Cong at night.

    Some Koreans stopped on my brother’s base and made the equivalent of a high school year book for their unit.


  134. I’m back. We had a good time with our daughter and son in law and watched our nephew graduate from the University of Nebraska. He missed graduating with honors by about .03 point. He considered taking a couple of easy courses to bring up his average but decided it wasn’t worth it.

    Our nephew has been working for Target since high school and worked 40 hours a week there during his four years in university. Local television stations have been discussing the problems graduating college seniors have finding jobs. Our nephew already has a job. Now that he has graduated, he becomes assistant manager of a Target store. If he succeeds, he will get his own store.

    Werner, some of the farm article makes sense to me too. Grain agriculture is already partly socialized. The government keeps track of what farmers raise down to tenths of an acre. They get various subsidies when prices are too low for a profit. Grain farmers cannot charge a price. They take what the market dictates. If they want to enhance their prices they play the commodities market or forward contract which can be risky.

    Climate, soil conditions, what companies buy and similar factors limit what farmers can raise. We had to quit raising wheat when our local co ops quit buying it.

    Local farms used to be diversified with everything from pigs to chickens. Economics have made them more specialized. Many farmers no longer raise livestock because it is a money loser.

    Farmers have little control over input costs. Machinery is also expensive. A new combine, for example can cost over $300,000.00. One of our tractors is 42 years old. It cost $15,000. when we bought it in 1977. We could probably sell it for $9,000.00 even now.

    The government helps farmers put all of their land in grass or trees if it is a serious erosion threat, and programs exist to help maintain wet lands. Until the nineties, when grain surpluses were large, the government assigned each farmer a percentage of the land to be left idle. For us, it was mostly ten or twenty acres. One planed a cover crop like wheat or oats and kept the field mowed during the summer.

    After the crops are planted, farmers certify their acres and the government checks. Fines result if the acres are incorrect. Roundup ready soy bean and other genetically altered seeds don’t belong to the farmers as do normal seeds. The seed company holds a copy write. Thus, farmers are liable to lawsuits if they hold seed to plant from one year to the next. Normal seeds are still available, but they do not produce as well as the enhanced seeds.

    Genetically altered crops have been a godsend to farmers. They increase yields, and in combination with herbicides like Round Up they cut erosion because plowing and other tillage to fight weeds is less necessary. They allow farmers to use no and minimum till. No till sequesters carbon in the soil and the government may pay farmers to keep their disks in the shed. Sequestered Carbon will reduce the amount of green house gas which stays in the atmosphere.

    Genetically altered crops and the herbicides do create problems, but food production for billions of people is a trade off to prevent even more starvation than we have now. Livestock, vegetable and fruit production has more features of the free market than grain farming.

    My point about Rush is that he doesn’t lead the Republican party. In fact, he criticizes the party at times. Democrats created Air America as a counter force to conservative talk shows and to defeat Bush.

    Liberal and conservative talk shows occupy the same positions relative to the parties. As far as I know, none makes party policy. They let people blow off steam and they occasionally incite their listeners to action as in Operation Chaos or support for Cindy Sheehan. Their only difference is that Rush and other right wingers have better ratings. Leftist sites like Daily Kos or are equivalent to talk show hosts, and they exert more influence than liberal talk shows.

    These people influence political parties, but they do not lead them.

    Relative to my fall, my wife said “don’t do something stupid while I’m gone.”


  135. UWA
    depending on the soil sample you might need twice as much Dem BS as Rep BS……

    Since Dem BS is rather scares and comes at a premium price (resign post?) it CAN be simlpy replaced by readily available Rep BS.

    Since it is proofen that BS is BS nevermind which mouth or ass(hat) it comes out of, I think Keith can fertilize with whatever BS he has handy, never mind the party-line……just not overfertilioze it otherwise his tobacci tastes like “shit”!…….

    A helathy 😛 from Canada (and yes, we do have our own BS here too)


  136. Jean, your post was hilarious. It brought back so many memories that I had forgotten.

    I was an Air Force brat and when we moved back to the Deep South I was in shock. I didn’t know your best friend couldn’t be “colored”.

    Yes, I remember the days of hose, heels, hats and gloves and the GIRDLE you couldn’t leave home with out wearing. My mother tried so hard to make a lady out of me including sending me to a girl’s school with the mandatory chapel, etc. Guess she didn’t suceed since I ended up living on a farm.

    And here I thought only the Navy required those courses for wives. Apparently all the bases were the same as I decided the military wives invented the three martini lunch and then continued on to the the free “happy hour” which extended on into the night.

    Strip poker is right up there with smudge pots. There was an individual not well liked in the dorm so a bunch of us decided to dress up her window to look like a “red light” district for the passing boys to notice. Only problem was we used smudge pots to make the red lights. We did a lot of cleaning!

    Can’t wait for your comments on medical facilities. We were stationed at the naval hospital in Corpus Christi during Vietnam.

    Memories are made of this.


  137. One year in 40 seconds from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.


  138. Hi gang and poolman,

    You are a welcome addition here. come on in, sit down and have some pie and tea.

    I hope all you mothers and those who have mothers had a lovely relaxing day. I did. Since our kids and grandkids are on the mainland, we gabbed on the phone for hours. I have a cauliflower ear! With a 3-6 hour time difference, they are all tucked in their beds sound asleep about now, so I think I will amuse my other family with more of our Air Force story.

    When I was telling our saga in the AF in the early 50’s, I forgot to mention that between each of our TDY (Temporary Duty) tours of 10 weeks in Montgomery, AL; Houston, and Sacramento we had to go back to March AFB in Riverside, CA and wait for new orders to be cut, sometimes for weeks or months. That’s what all the criss-crossing of the country was about. No matter where we were stationed, we never lived on base, partly because housing was very limited.

    When we got to the Montgomery AL, we found a miserable little one-room apartment in an old house converted (?) into tiny apartments. It had a couch that made into a bed with a mattress about 2½ inches thick and lumpy. The apartment was only a few blocks from downtown Montgomery.

    As it had been in Houston, I was continually running afoul the Jim Crow Laws. If you were not raised in the Deep South and accustomed to them, well, you could cause trouble with BOTH races. The Laws were strictly enforced! DON’T ROCK THE BOAT AND MAKE WAVES!!! A big to-do was made about the Daughters of the Confederacy getting together every Wednesday so they could cry. I wonder if they still do. The ole’ “Save Your Confederate Money, Cause the South’s Gonna Rise Again!” was very much in evidence everywhere. (I am eligible for both the DAR and the DAC on my mother’s side. But they would probably have thrown me out when they found my fraternal great-grandmother was a full blood Native American Sioux.)

    A few years later when the Civil Rights Movement began there, I was dumbfounded to hear that much of it began at the Woolworth’s lunch counter. I had shopped at Woolworths, but never eaten at the counter. I could never understand why it was fine for black people to prepare the food and serve it but not be allowed to sit down and eat it.

    The Air War College at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery had a course for wives on how to be a proper AF wife. Attendance mandatory. Roll was taken and if any of us didn’t show up, our husbands would hear about it! I felt like I was back in the Girls College I had attended.

    I had been to a small private so-called Finishing School for Girls in college in the late 40’s – early 50’s. I went there principally for the fine music program they had as well as a high academic standing. I had no idea what I was in for.

    We were not to be seen off campus without hose, heels, HATS and GLOVES! Pants or jeans were strictly forbidden – anywhere on the planet. We had to sign out and in at the dorm counselor’s office whenever we left the campus grounds. We had a formal dinner once a month and a formal tea every Sunday afternoon complete with receiving line. Attendance mandatory. Doors locked and lights out at 10:00PM. The counselor did ‘bed check’ with a flash light twice during the night. Three infractions (demerits) of the rules got us sent home, no questions asked. They were DETERMINED to turn out ‘ladies’. We did learn from the upper class girls to wait until after the last ‘bed check’, go sit cross-legged on the closet floor with a flashlight to study and cram for exams. The classes were quite small, so we couldn’t get away without intense study.

    Our dorms were rather innovative for the times. We had suites, a large living room with six single and two double rooms around it, and a small kitchenette to make cookies and stuff. My suite happened to be on the third floor. Did they really think any of us were going to tie sheets together and shimmy out the window? They might just have well have required us to wear chastity belts. Sheesh!

    From time to time sponsors and contributors to the college came to visit and inspect where their money was going. We called them the Old Buffalos. The bells were rung to alert us that the Old Buffalos were coming so we would be on our best behavior. One Sunday afternoon, some of us in our suite had a strip poker game going in the middle of the living room floor. None of us had any money. The bells rang for the arrival of the Old Buffalos but rarely did they bother to huff and puff climbing up to the third floor. Oops! They did, in the company of the college president. Not a pretty sight. Still, we didn’t get demerits because after all, there was no rule on the books against ‘Strip Poker in the Suite on a Sunday Afternoon’.

    Once a week we had ‘Assembly’ where a guest speaker addressed us, and ‘Chapel’ where a local clergyman presided. These events were held in the “Old Main” auditorium, a rickety old building. Every college campus has one. Attendance mandatory but we were allowed one cut each semester.

    OK. One of my suitemates and I decided to use our ‘Chapel’ cut and do our laundry in the basement of “Old Main”. When ‘Chapel’ was over, the president of the college came storming in like a baby elephant. She was a large woman. She was livid!!!!! We had no idea why she was having such a fit. Turns out every word we spoke, every naughty song we sang, every dirty joke we told could be heard clearly above and echoed in the auditorium above.

    We had the distinction of being thoroughly chewed out by a very distinguished lady who had testified in Congress about education. She had a string of credentials behind her name that went on and on. But the good news! We didn’t get any demerits! There were no rules on the books about what we did in the laundry room during ‘chapel’. I think we were put on the ‘Watch List’ though. We didn’t break any rules, just inadvertently created situations for new ones to be instituted! Thereafter there was a discreet little sign on the door of the laundry room, “This Room is not to be Used During Chapel or Assembly.”

    The final exam in Music Theory and Harmony was to write an original composition. I went to the library and found a poem I liked. After the last ‘bed check’ I went into the closet with my flashlight and wrote my composition for a soprano with a piano accompaniment on music score paper. The next day I carefully and neatly copied it down and turned it in just under the wire. Later, the professor asked for a copy of it for the College’s Archives. I guess I was redeemed, academically at least, and my soul was saved from my blasphemous behavior.

    Oh, dear, I digressed from my AF story. Well, that damn Air War College Wives’ Course was Girl’s School all over again. Been there, done that.

    After another round-about trip across the country, we arrived back at March AFB. I was invited to a luncheon at the Officer’s Club for the base wives at 11:30AM. Fine. By the time lunch was served at 1:00PM, many of the women were three sheets to the wind, and had otherwise spent most of their time kissing up to the base commander’s wife trying to make points for their husband’s promotions. RANK was everything.

    There was ALWAYS a lot of heavy drinking in Air Force. Much of it was officially sanctioned. Once a week there was a ‘Happy Hour’, literally, where the drinks were free at the Officer’s Club for an hour. Plenty of people stood in line for the full hour taking two drinks at a time back to their tables – over and over again. When the hour was up, they settled down to some serious drinking. Now, I have always enjoyed my glass or two of wine but not like what went on in the AF.

    I decided none of that was my cup of tea but all the same old bullshit, a bunch of superficial window dressing with no substance. So I went out and got myself a job. We needed the money.

    Next time, Medical Facilities and Care at the most permanent ‘Country Club Base’ in the Air Force.




  139. Thanks M and H for this wonderful blog, and Happy Mother’s Day! I was turned on to it a month ago from some of my FB friends and have come back often to check for new stuff. I also had to go backwards and read all the earlier posts. BRAVO! I added this site to my favorites.

    I have now gone through all the comments and I have enjoyed the level of intelligence here that is not present on many others I have suffered through. I actually have learned stuff, and that’s always good. Except for the occasional wingnut…but it is a free outlet, so that is to be expected.

    I had several points where I felt I had to barge in and have my say, but I held back until now and much of that urge has subsided. And other than increase someone’s blood pressure, I’m not sure what good I could have done.

    The one thing I would like to say, and by way of an apology, is this. I am a Christian and have been for 30 years now. I am sorry for those who have described themselves as such, and prove differently by their words or thoughts or actions. We Christians are to be known by our fruits. We are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Do unto others as we would have them do unto us, is supposed to be our motto. We are supposed to bring glory to God in all we do. We are to point the way, not force the point.

    I believe in moderation. I believe extremism and radicalism are found in all forms of religion and politics. I believe these are the most harmful to society as a whole. I think they are borne of paranoia and ignorance. We need more tolerance.

    Nuff said. May God bless all of you.


  140. Hi psychadelikat,

    Any mother or almost-mother like you should be able to have whatever her little heart desires on Mother’s Day. If you wanted honeymustard at McDonalds, you should have had it without a hassle, damn it! Good for your husband for taking a stand for you. He will make a great father.

    When I was pregnant the first time, my only craving was for lemons. We and our friends would be sitting around playing Bid Whist. They would be drinking beer and I would be peeling lemons like they were oranges and eating them. They had ‘pucker-faces’, but my husband always keep me in lemons.




  141. Mother’s Day is almost over. Didn’t call wundermom because she’s always felt that she should call us on this day – a bit convoluted, but her logic is. . .logical. So she called, we chatted, then we argued over an autobiographical essay she wrote for publication. She didn’t like the way I edited. I didn’t like her circular argument. It was a good conversation. On one hand, mother and child. On another, professional equals hashing out the crap. Then we laughed and toasted one another. Shalom, maman.


  142. Again, Clinton’s not my favorite person.

    I don’t know in what order he used student deferments, etc. His maneuverings seem no more than the things a lot of people I knew at the time did. Hell, my father admitted that if we’d been boys, the family would have been Canadian before we hit high school. The lotteries were scary events. My husband made sure he went into the big one and got lucky, and you can bet he didn’t volunteer afterwards.

    Still – in the end, Clinton did what you say he should have done. Any number of people in the right wing never did at all, and you have no problem with them. The objection still seems to be “OMG, he thought about it first!” Well, yes, ok….. but what’s your point? He still did it.

    I think the real objection is “But he’s Clinton!”. Whether he did the right thing, wrong thing or no thing at all, the right wing would have a fit. Kerry served with distinction and outright heroism, and was swift boated for his trouble. Max Cleland – well, that’s been real attractive, the way he’s been treated. Come on, any or all of them could throw themselves off a cliff and you’d try to charge them with littering.

    (And who labeled Clinton a felon? Huh? I missed that. He’s a horndog who just hasn’t got any “No, thank you, ma’am” in him, but if that was a felony – well, let’s just say we’d need a whole lot more prisons).

    Happy Mother’s Day.


  143. And UAW – give your wife a huge hug and kiss and tell her Happy Mother’s Day. And tell her your friends from M&H send their best wishes for today and everyday. 🙂 take care


  144. UAW, you miss the point. You, in fact, have belabored the point about Clinton until we have to constantly remind you that 1) it’s been 8 years since Clinton held public office, and 2) it’s been almost three effing decades since Vietnam – and service in the Armed Forces is now voluntary, as in enter at your own risk, not because you’re forced to enlist.
    As far as anyone believing that rendition under Bill Clinton (or any previous Prez) was all room service and flowers, then you apparently haven’t figured out the folks on this blog. The point isn’t whether or not rendition under Clinton was goodness and light, but that the Bush Administration actively circumvented Geneva Convention and our Constitution, actions which not only placed the USA as the leader of the pack for countries that torture, but made a mockery of the very moral values that this country supposedly advocated since WWII. In other words, UAW, if Bush,Cheney, & Co. had been in office during WWII, they would have excused Dachua and Auschwitz because the Nazis made the case that the prisoners there were “enemy combatants” and were a threat to Homeland (Fatherland) security.


  145. graydog…
    yes… a lot of people used connections or deferments to avoid the draft….why condemn one and not the other…..the double standard thing again….when Clinton sent people to jail in (rendition) other countries do you really think that they got treated better than when Bush sent them…where’s the anger for that…I’m forming the opinion that it’s OK with the libs on this site if a Dem does it


  146. psychedelikat, I took the bait and went to your website.
    There’s a big clue there in your experience. Don’t you see what you’ve been shown? Don’t spend your hard-earned money at that place that serves shit they represent as food, and won’t give you something that’s usually free. Eat something real, with sauce you’ve made yourself, and you’ll enjoy it so much more. No hassles, all joy. I wish I could have made you a mother’s day meal. I hate to think anyone here eats at that roach motel.
    Happy mothers day to you and everyone. My son just called to tell me he got married a few months ago. Hmmmm. I’ve seen him probably 20 times since “a few months” ago. Part of a mother’s heart; unconditional love when all you can think of is wtF?!
    Blessings to all.


  147. Happy Mother’s Day, ya’ll!!!!

    On this beautiful day, I have my own Mother’s Day Mustardgate at McDonald’s experience to share with you…You can read all about it at my website.

    I promise you it’s a LOT more entertaining than the Hannity-burger thing that’s been going around!


  148. UAW: “That Bill Clinton went to great lengths to avoid the Vietnam-era draft, that he used political connections to obtain special favors, and that he made promises and commitments which he later failed to honor, are all beyond dispute”

    Gee, sounds like Cheney and Bush, too – give it up UAW. LOTS of people used their political connections, school deferments, medical deferments, etc. to avoid the draft. It was a FACT of life for our generation. Get over it.


  149. judith…
    That Bill Clinton went to great lengths to avoid the Vietnam-era draft, that he used political connections to obtain special favors, and that he made promises and commitments which he later failed to honor, are all beyond dispute. However, the timeline quoted above jumps the tracks when it labels Clinton a “felon,” because none of his actions, no matter how unethical or morally reprehensible, were illegal.
    kind of like today…just as long as it’s not illegal.


  150. heather…
    Bill Clinton did use rendition in Bosnia….and he also skipped out on the draft….and he allowed Iran to arm the Muslims in Bosnia(or kosovo or serbia—-one of them),and they came onder snipper fire


  151. “Since 1994, DADT has resulted in the discharge of more than 13,000 military personnel across the services, including approximately 800 with skills deemed “mission critical,” such as pilots, combat engineers, and linguists. According to a 2005 report from the Government Accountability Office, “the cost of discharging and replacing service members fired because of their sexual orientation during the policy’s first 10 years totaled at least $190.5 million — roughly $20,000 per discharged service member.”
    Section: Global & Domestic Security
    Author: Satyam Khanna
    Article: McCain – ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Has ‘Been Working And I Think It’s Been Working Well’


  152. Happy Mother’s Day Margaret and Helen and all the mothers on this blog as well!


  153. Werner, I like your idea about phone calls or emails wh ichever is best. I have so m uch time on my hands. My youngest son has kept me supplied with my cell phpone since I had the stroke. Finally in desperation, he appplied for T-Mobiles long distance plan anywhere, anytieme as long as you want for a flat rat e, and just recently we becamme elllllegible for new cheaper rate. So I am volunteeering to take on the job,
    I have still been reading to catch up on what I misssed.


  154. Outstanding. Happy Mother’s Day to both of you, from one of the kids who loves to read you.


  155. On religion and “liberal political p.o.v.”:

    “So, while I might not share your beliefs, I will defend your right to hold those beliefs, and to practice them so long as they do not interfere with the rights of others.” For the rest of the article
    Source: OpEd News
    Article: “I’m Not Against Religion, I’m Against Religious Hypocrisy (05/09/2009)
    Author: Mary Shaw


  156. Happy Mother’s Day ALL.

    President Obama’s appearance at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

    Part 1


    Part 2

    PEACE ~ Δ


  157. Denise — Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story. You’re right. You should have been protected. Your mom should have been protected. Your mom’s loving partner should have been protected. I’m sorry for the loss of your mom and subsequently the loss of your step-mom. In honor of your mom and her 15-year relationship, I will continue to work for marriage equality and civil rights for all loving, committed, same-sex couples until it is passed in all 50 states and federally.

    Jean — I, too, get weary of history repeating itself endlessly and wonder when we will learn to practice inclusion and equality despite our differences. Truly, we ALL have more in common than we have differences. When will we value humanity for the sake of valuing humanity? Many posters here give me strength to keep working on the many social justice ills that need to be remedied in our world today. I certainly wish we would learn faster and remember longer.

    Walt Whitman was once asked what he thought the ugliest word in the English language was. He only paused a moment before answering, “exclusion.” My wish for our world is that we would all — myself inclluded — be more empathetic and inclusive toward everyone in our circle of life.

    Happy Mother’s Day to All! Margaret and Helen, I hope you enjoy an extra piece of pie this Mother’s Day! Δ


  158. I have been reading for so long,I have learned so much from all of you and your struggles. sherri a I know more about same sex marriage and the rights of others than I ever did before and my mother was a lesbian.She had a partner for 15 years when she died suddenly,her partner was just gone and I was crushed. IF they had been married then maybe I would still have a relationship with her now.Those were strange times at the hospital after her accident the doctors asked my older sisters who had not been living at home for years what they should do when decisions had to be made.
    In my teenage brain that had never known any different than her partner I ran to her for comfort
    begged her to make this better because they had always done that so I just assumed.I was wrong.
    In a month my older sister was living in my mothers house.My other family members were
    just plain wierd.She should have been protected.
    I should have been protected….

    Happy Mothers day

    Margaret and helen I appreciate all the thoughtful commentary.

    to the regular posters I worry about you when you don’t post is that silly?

    To the trolls exactly where do you come from and
    how did you get here?


  159. Hi gang,

    Seems to me, forget this long, drawn out state-by-state with it’s petty little jurisdictional nit-picking legislation. Let’s get Gay and Lesbian MARRIAGE passed at the Federal level. ‘States’ Rights’ sort of went the way of the Civil War and and passage of Civil Rights. (Incidentally, the UN came out for Human Rights long before the US did. That includes torture!!!)

    Of course, Texas and other dissenting states can always try to secede – again.

    WHY, OH WHY does history have to keep repeating itself over and over and over and over and over again! Could somebody please explain that to me? Maybe I am just a tad dense.




  160. Thanks Sherri for your explanation. So the end all answer that I wasn’t aware of is Federal recognition. Hopefully as each state passes it’s own laws the Federal government will have to follow suit. I truly believe in the next 3-4 years, the issue of gay marriage will be Moot! We can all hope can’t we?


  161. Dear, dear ladies,

    Whenever I have reason to think that America is morally beneath contempt, I know I can come here to be reassured that humanity, morality and decency in perspectives on life and living are still very much alive (and definitely kicking).

    Thank you for confirming to America’s would-be foreign friends that you did not somehow elect a Presidency composed of Limbaugh, Hannity etc (as it sometimes seems), and that away from the bullshit a change of heart has really happened. And that one day soon the US will be able to hold its head high again and deserve respect.


  162. UAW – “don’t forget Bill Clinton and his military service”.

    I’m sooo tired of that story. Let’s have a fact check.

    Clinton knew his birthdate was up for submission in the draft lottery.

    (We do remember how that worked, right? Birthdates were drawn as lottery numbers and, starting with the first drawn, consecutive groups were sent until the military’s needs for that year were filled. Your birthdate was only submitted once. If you got a high number, you lucked out. Low number = screwed.

    Your best shot was going into that first lottery, because it had the biggest pool of people, thus increasing your odds. And, of course, there were all kinds of ways for ‘fortunate sons’ to opt out altogether; at least for a while. Eventually, public outrage put an end to a lot of that.)

    Clinton had major qualms about the morality of the war. He wrote a letter questioning whether he should submit himself to that year’s drawing – it might have been the big one, but I’m not 100% sure about that. The letter, of course, has been made public and has caused a lot of tsk-tsking, outrage and general consternation.

    However – Big However….He decided to submit his name, drew a high number and was never sent. Neither was anybody else with his birthdate.

    What about this do you have a problem with? That, having been passed over by the draft, he didn’t volunteer? He submitted his name to the draft. End of story. If the problem is that he pondered his options first…..well, so should we all. Ever hear of an examined life?

    I’m not fond of the guy, mind you. He had a great potential and squandered it all away. In the end, he was pretty much Republican Lite.

    Everybody has a right to their own opinions. But you don’t get to mess with the facts.


  163. Happy Mum’s day
    you gals rock


  164. Equal rights….it is plain an simple. I am so very proud of Maine!!!


  165. Raji asked for an explanation of the differences between marriage and civil unions. Harpist for Peace, thank you for responding w/ great clarifications and informatio! I would just add:

    1 – If you have a religious marriage in a church, you must still have the civil marriage by the state in order for your marriage to be legally recognized. (That’s an important point, b/c it is NOT that way in Europe, where you can have one or the other.) It’s more accurate to say in the US that people have a civil marriage, then a religious ceremony or wedding to recognize their civil marriage.

    2 – All of Harpist’s points re: civil unions are correct. I would just add that civil unions do NOT establish kinship — marriage does. Civil unions are considered a legal contract between two unrelated persons. A sticky point in states that do not recognize the civil unions performed in another state, as they do not have to extend medical decision-making, burial rights, etc. to a non-related person.

    For those who are interested, five US states have now legalized marriage for gay couples: MA, CT, IA, VT, and ME. (NH and Washington DC are on the verge and we’ll probably be hearing they’ve finalized their decisions within weeks.)

    The only states that currently offer Civil Unions to gay couples are NJ and NH…again, same-sex couples there get SOME of the state benefits, but NO federal benefits.

    NY ruled last year that the state must recognize the marriages of gay couples who get married in a jurisdiction where marriage is legal for them, but the state does not offer either marriage or civil unions. My partner and I paid $40 for a certificate of domestic partnership from the county clerk but it has absolutely no benefits attached to it whatsoever….$40 is the same price charged for marriage certificates, btw. But to get a certificate of domestic partnership, we also had to get a 4-page document notarized (add’l $15 expense) stating, among other things, that we are both physically, emotionally, and mentally stable enough to enter into a domestic partnership.

    Some of you may be interested in learning that when couples get legally married either in Canada or in one of the five states where same-sex marriage is now legal, they still have to file singly on their income taxes b/c their marriage is not federally recognized. You cannot file jointly on state taxes and singly on federal taxes – that would be tax fraud. Therefore, they are forced to commit tax fraud by the federal govt. by being forced to file singly on state taxes even though their state legally recognizes their marriage. That is also going to produce a large number of court cases, and in the long run — as more and more states legally recognize “gay marriages” — will probably be what brings about federal recognition.


  166. Hiya Helen,


    your loyal subject,



  167. It is so much fun to go ack and read all t he posts that I missed and am flattered how many of you were concerned about my disappearance!!
    Happy Mothers Day to you all and especially Helen!!


  168. President Obama’s
    Weekly Address 5/9/09



  169. Whirled peas, Awwwwww 🙂

    Happy Mother’s Day to all and even if you re not a Mother take the day and have a dandelion break.


  170. UAW tradesman ~ Bill Clinton didn’t open Guantanamo Bay, imprison people without charging them, or condone torture.


  171. I have enjoyed your posts soooo muuuch. Keep it coming!
    Having moved to Europe recently, I am amazed at how excited the world for the US to have a competent, intelligent man in the White House. It has been a joy to see them melt when Obama is mentioned, and I am once again proud of my country. It sends a shiver down my spine if I were here in Vienna having to discuss vice-president Palin. OMG, how could they ever understand. Excuse me, I just threw up a little in my mouth thinking about it.
    There is hope out there, not just in America, but the whole world is sharing it with us. What a gift, what an amazing time to be living.
    Happy mother’s day Margaret and Helen! I hope your special day is spent surrounded by your children and grandchildren with lots of laughs and fun.


  172. granpa rock is coming along, mii gwetch for asking (thank you in ojibwe) he was discharged from the v.a. to home care, but has gone back to 24 hour care as there was a family meltdown when members who promised to help flaked out on us. but 24 hour facility is closer than twin cities and v.a. will be transporting him to dialysis in cass lake. scheduled to be there for 20 days while i line up more dependable helping hands.


  173. Hi Gang,

    All this rhubarb talk is making my mouth water! I grew up with tons of it growing in the yard. I haven’t seen any in years. I suppose it doesn’t do well in the tropics.

    While I’m here, a Happy Mother’s Day to all of you? How can you tell a mother from the rest of the women? The others have perfectly coifed hair, manicures, perfume and wears the latest fashions. The mothers are the frazzled ones.




  174. p.s. Rush Limbaugh was the key note speaker at CPAC for crying out loud. Again, if you seriously think people like Janeane Garafalo, or even Keith Olberman or Rachel Maddow have as much influence over the Dems as Rush has over the Repubs, then you really have not been paying attention. It’s ludicrous to compare the two.


  175. “If Rush leads the Republicans, then Janeane Garafalo, Air America, and Randi Rhodes lead the Democrats. ”

    Nope, you’ve got that wrong, James. No one in the Democratic party has had to kneel in front of Janeane Garafalo or Air America and beg forgiveness and recant a statement or viewpoint because Janeane or Air didn’t like it, the way we’ve recently seen Michael Steele gravel for Rush’s good graces, and the way we saw Eric Kantor quickly retract his “listening tour” statement as soon as Rush said he should. The republicans are so afraid of losing their ultra right wing base that if Rush says sneeze, all the republicans say “how loud, sir????!!” If you think Rush isn’t calling at least a portion of the shots, then you haven’t been paying attention.


  176. susan…
    don’t forget Bill Clinton and his military service


  177. John — Cheney avoided the draft which many other young Americans weren’t able to do. If I’m not mistaken, Obama’s too young to have been subject to the draft.

    There were other people who avoided the draft during the Viet Nam war, and possibly for different reasons (not because they had Cheney’s “other priorities,” but because they felt the war was wrong, and so they had to leave their country or be imprisoned as Conscientious Objectors). Yet Cheney felt fine about sending young men and women off to fight for oil. And Mitt Romney’s cute reason why none of his five sons were in the service fighting this war? They were helping their country by trying to get him elected.


  178. And I just want to add my voice to the chorus of “welcome back” to Grandma Katie. I was getting very worried – glad to know it’s just a technological snafu. . .
    Okay Gramma Rock, time to check in and let us know how Grampa Rock is doing. . .
    And UAW, how’s your wife?
    James, you’re as young as you think you are until your body says whattheeff? (mine’s been screaming that for the last year)
    And to my friends – thank you for the very good advice concerning chilling out. . . some vino, some romp time with the doggies, some zen time with the cats (as they psychoanalyzed me) and some date time with SO – all is okay. Still sweltering (low tonight is 72! excuse me?) but it could be worse – the muckfires could be closer. So to everyone here – take care & have a refreshing weekend!


  179. Just a wee FYI (because I can be soooo anal retentive about dogs) but Andrew Sullivan has Dominic titled as a Greyhound. Well, he’s not – he’s an Italian Greyhound (not the same, not a mini-me). And so ends this CPSA (Canine Public Service Announcement) brought to you by Beau the Greyhound who loves his Iggy cuz.


  180. Dandelion Break

    Meet Dominic, the two-legged dog with the heart of a champion.

    The Daily Dish



  181. Thanks Harpist for Peace. Good explanation. As I understand you, why would anyone want a civil union!!!

    Granma Katie, Thanks for checking in, we were all getting worried. Should have known it was a computer problem.

    James, at 65 I was clicking my heels in the air. At 67 I am walking with a hiking stick. Better than a cane. Overnight, the body we were given (and abused) will come back to haunt us. Four years ago I took on what was to be my last project. I love buying farm property and renovating. Well I think this renovation did me in but I refuse to knuckle. Listen to your wife a little and then find a good physical therapist 🙂

    Keith, be careful some shit is harmful to the garden and I would fear for the desert.
    UAW, I think BS from either party would pollute the ground. IMO the shit we deal with in Helen’s parlor grows good tomatoes. You do know the secret of planting tomato plants. Dig a deep hole, add one big cow pile, insert tomato plant and cover. Viola!!!

    Werner, Are you aware of what Heifer International does? Sustainable farming and giving back the “gift”.

    Greytdog, After spending 28 years in Florida, I assure you it’s the heat and humidity that is aggravating your dismay and disgruntle. As Tine said, it’s Friday so not only partake of a cold glass of wine, get a frozen bottle of water and press it on your back while you sip that wine.

    Having spent the day finally mowing the grass that has been growing, growing and growing this past week, I am off to find my own glass of wine. So sorry for the drought in FL wish I could send some of this rain that direction.


  182. uncommonsence…
    the real crime is putting him in jail here and not sending him back to liberia


  183. Wow, I just found this blog and I see you have quite a following—-for good reason! I was gonna say, you’ve got a way with words! You pack a punch. You let it rip. You let em have it. You say it like it is. You set em straight. You’re not having any nonsense. Love it!


  184. All I know UAW is that the United States prosecuted Charles Taylor Jr., the son of the Liberia’s former dictator, for torture, which took place in Liberia. And on 9 January 2009 in Florida he was sentenced to a prison term of 97 years. Torture unlike hate speech is an international crime.


  185. Werner…..apology accepted. It is different in the US than elsewhere, unfortunately.

    Raji…..I will explain the differences. No time tonight, though — I’ll post later this weekend on that.

    Grandma Katie…..welcome back. You were missed!

    I posted the rhubarb raisin pie recipe here a few months ago that avotresante Δ reposted…thanks for reposting it! I was going to type it out again, so that saves me time! It’s excellent, and my rhubarb is ripe, so I’ll probably make one this weekend.

    Anyone who makes homemade apple sauce can make homemade rhubarb sauce the same way — just add a bit more sweetener. Yum!


  186. uncommonsence…
    it’s against the law in Germany…..what does American law have to do with it…
    if free speech is international then why did Britain put Michal Savage on a do-not-enter list…
    as far as free speech tell that to Theo van Gogh


  187. I would assume UAW that free speech, even hate speech, is not against international law, it is protected speech here in America for instance as I am sure you recall. I belief only in cases where the crime in question “shock the conscience of the global community” does another country have jurisdiction, and then only if the United States does not investigate and bring to trial.


  188. uncommonsence…
    if that is true why doesn’t Germany extradite Aneedahandjob for his remarks on the holocaust….


  189. Under what is known as “universal jurisdiction” another country, and Spain is already investigating six high-level Bush administration people, can prosecute Americans for war crimes. Those who ordered the torture, those who participated in the torture, and even those who were complicit in the commission in these crimes can be arrested overseas or extradited to stand trial if our government doesn’t take responsibility by investigating and bringing them to trial. This is our shame, all our shame, and it shames future generations of Americans.


  190. A friend sent this to me – (and yes, I am sitting here sipping some vino, taking deep breaths, and enjoying the company of my dogs. . . )


  191. Greydog, I love reading your posts, I find myself nodding in agreement with virtually every post. IMO, you are wise beyond measure, have fantastic writing skills and a wicked sense of humor (some of the best smackdowns ever). Take Tine’s advice, pour a glass and kick back.

    Actually, there are so many people here that I enjoy reading; those I agree with that express their views so eloquently, those with opposing opinions who make me consider another point of view, even the certifiable nutcases who make me laugh outloud and/or scream at my computer.
    Have a great weekend everyone!


  192. keith…
    depending on the soil sample you might need twice as much Dem BS as Rep BS


  193. keith…
    farmers(and gardeners) know that a well balanced fertilizer is needed depending on soil samples….
    some of the Dem BS needs to be mixed in


  194. Greytdog: It’s 5PM in Florida, right? Here, have a glass of sauvignon blanc. (I’ll join you, even though it’s earlier here.) A little chilled vino will take the edge off that dismay and the FL heat. At least temporarily. And it’s Friday. We can celebrate that, at least!

    Have a good weekend, all. 🙂


  195. Maybe it’s because the temps here are soaring into the mid-90s, we’re in a massive drought, the humidity levels are sky high, but:
    1. I think this country will never fully investigate the issue of government sanctioned torture because no one really gives a damn – as long as we don’t get caught, as long as we don’t know the details – we’re okay with it all. So what if a few low level miscreants get tried, convicted, and tossed into the brig? That just shows how “dedicated” we are to our moral foundation.
    2. This nation will never fully seek a viable energy plan. Oh we like to talk about “green energy” and “getting off the grid” but that’s all it is – talk talk talk. And as long as we’re talking about it, we really don’t have to DO anything. And as long as we recycle, reuse, and so on, then we can go on being happy little polluters because look, at least we’re talking about it, right?
    3. Science is held in such disdain that most Americans can’t grasp the concepts of condensation much less global warming. And in our complacency we will read of the demise of the Arctic habitat of the polar bear and the delisting from protection of the polar bear and say oh wow, that’s too bad. And never blink an eye but will turn our heads from the television as the camera pans across a drowning bear who has been weakened through loss of food and environment. . .
    4. And we will pat ourselves on the back for having elected a biracial President but fail to demand that our government recognize and value the EQUAL rights of all individuals – and then try to hold onto that banner as a beacon of Human Rights. . . just because we’re America and a democracy.

    Like I said, it could be the weather that’s making me feel dismayed and disgruntled. But I think it’s more the fact that deep down inside, I cynically believe that the fascist mindset that has been displayed over the last few decades (can’t blame this all on Bush) is really the underbelly of this beast we call a country.


  196. Food for thought, a hypothesis…

    Michael Pollan on “Deep Agriculture”

    Pollan outlined what this recovery for American farmers and food producers should be. First a post-modern food system should be “resolarized.” Right now it takes 10 calories of fossil fuel to manufacture 1 calorie of food on average, and 55 calories to produce 1 calorie of beef. If any industry should be solar-based it should be food, which was the “original solar economy.” Instead, right now “we are eating oil.” Cheap oil and farm policies subsidize the 5 main crops (and only those crops), upon which the rest of our cheap food system is based. These main crops are planted as monocultures, which require cheap pesticides and fertilizers and produce wastes that are all problems in themselves. Pollan’s solution is not to dismantle the food system but to redirect it. Because of the long-term planning and learning that stewarding land requires, he believes subsidies of some type are essential for agriculture. Agriculture, he stated, should not be a freemarket. By picking the proper incentives we can re-localize, re-solarize, and revive the healing power of balanced farms and wholesome gardens.
    Governments should reward farmers for diversifying away from monocultures. Pollan gave a few examples of where this has worked at scale. They should be rewarded for growing cover crops with the benefit of reducing erosion. Rewarded for returning animals to the mix. Rewarded for the amount of carbon they sequester in soil. Rewarded for halting urban sprawl by keeping farmland intact. In fact farmland should find a similar status as wetlands; developers and communities get “credit” for retaining farmland. Farmers should be rewarded for localize food provision. If only 2% of government contracts for food (as in school lunch programs, or government-run hospitals) required that the food be produced within 100 miles, it would transform the food system.

    seams to make sense to me…..


  197. Hi Grandma Katie,

    Whew! So glad you are back and chipper as ever. We were beginning to worry.




  198. I would love to adopt you two as my grandmothers!!


  199. You know, if we spread some of this stuff left over from the last eight years out in the desert, no telling what might grow! Imagine, Republican bull-shit could end world hunger!

    Keith in New Mexico


  200. James
    ….I am clueless half of the time. Ask my wife….

    IF I ask the wife, I am clueless ALL the time, this is part of female narture, so I stopped asking and belive more in myself, doesn’t make me more “cluefull”, but I sure feel better!



  201. Suffering is not the key at all. It’s who did the suffering and why and how it came to be. You don’t have to believe what I do, but the logic that it’s only about the suffering is flawed. Everyone suffers, but even Colorfull is not a messiah.

    Apple pie needs apples. Blueberry pie doesn’t need apples. You can say that makes the apples irrelevant and it’s only about the pie, but not if your slice is apple. LOL! Hey, my analogies are poor but you have to admit that good pie is fun. 😀


  202. The point of comparing Jesus’ suffering to the atrocities that happen now is to debunk this whole “suffered for our sins” trope. If suffering is the key, then plenty of people have suffered MORE than Jesus and are therefore saved all by themselves. No Jesus necessary. Sorry if I offended the more liberal Christians here, the statement was meant for dogmatic fundies like colorful who spread hate (like calling African peoples heathens for example– just disgusting!).


  203. Hi Jean and everyone,

    Firefox crashed this morning and took everything not saved in the computer. It included my post to you. My professors mostly taught history, government, economics psychology and the like.

    My research papers tended to be on the fringe. For example, I “proved” climate change contributed to the Norse invasions, American slaves, prisoners in Jewish death camps, and soldiers in basic training expressed the Stockholm Syndrome, Columbus knew where he was going on his first voyage because he had help from explorers who had gone before, The Black Death contributed to Europe’s Renaissance, and towns, not farms were the primary boosters of irrigation on the Great Plains during the 1890’s drought.

    Professors looked askance when I sometimes used sources like Popular Mechanics, but all of the research papers I listed earned A’s.

    Yes, the “Uncertainty Principle” is such a guiding philosophy “Evolution” remains a theory. That is well and good, but the time comes in real life when we must weigh the statistical probabilities and make a stand. If we are 80% convinced and face 20% contrary information, we run with what we think is right while we remain prepared to change our minds if the 20% outlier proves more likely.

    You can assert the sun will rise in the morning with virtual certainty if observers tell you the sun is still shining on other parts of the world, and they can measure the rate of the shadow’s edge is approaching you. These are all quantifiable observations taken in real time. The uncertainty comes from the eight minutes sun light takes to travel to earth. Eight minutes ago, the sun may have exploded, but we are without a clue until that time has elapsed. In any event, the sun would still rise. However, it would be very very bright.

    We live with uncertainty and we assume truths from a preponderance of available evidence. I test theories against my life experience, and that is why I am pretty sure groupism is inborn for good or ill. We all tend to accept information which fits our biases and discard the rest. On this, I am sure my conclusion comes as close as possible to fact we can get. The signs are of inborn groupism are all around us.

    Farming is a dangerous, uncertain occupation. One must often make decisions from poorly defined information. I am insufferable, because most of my conclusions have been right. I do change my mind. Until two years ago, I didn’t support gay marriage, though I supported civil unions. I once supported the death penalty too. I also know enough to know not to argue a point when I am clueless. I am clueless half of the time. Ask my wife.

    I am so sure of the scientists’ conclusions, I would treat you to a dinner in a restaurant of your choice if I could. I am also sure I would also be a winner with such a fine dinner companion as you would be.

    GRandma Katie, thanks for posting. We were worried and we “like you, we really like you.”

    Thanks Raji. I like your posts too. My wife told me the same thing. I’m in pretty good shape, but s my wife reminded me, I am 66. I was feeling grateful. My wife was scared and read me the riot act. My arm has feeling again, and I feel a little achy but not so bad I didn’t work in the garden this morning.

    Later today, after I plant our sweet corn field, we will be visiting our daughter and son in law.

    I like the Werner show.

    Obama’s choice of mustard began when a blogger noted that MSNBC (I think they were the ones there) cut Obama’s mustard order from the sound feed because they thought it made him not to look like a regular guy. Kelly O’Donald gushed about what a regular guy Obama was.

    We all know it was a staged event, but the blogger’s point was that some of Obama’s supporters with aid from the press are maintaining a cult of personality around the president. They are creating the image they think Obama should have. Most celebreties and politicians do it to one degree or another.

    Hostile bloggers blew it out of proportion as Perez Hilton and others did with Miss California. Otherwise, no one would have noticed. The blogger defended himself, and received death threats. Other bloggers picked it up, and a Canadian woman wrote an article about the contratemps.

    The original issue was not the mustard. It was about image enhancement. Now, you say Fox News is reporting it. People can get pretty silly, can’t they? If the hostile bloggers had not been so sensitive the mustard would have sunken into obscurity.

    Imaginista, I agree, Jesus must cringe when He hears who uses His name in vain. I see two possibilities for Jesus. He is either sitting at the Right Hand of God preparing for his return when he will rule God’s world before the end days, or he is as dead as a doorknob.


  204. The fact is that if you ask most Americans if they are in favor of torture you’ll get about 90% saying “No”. But, if you tell them that a terrorist cell has been broken and that we know there’s a second cell and that we have reason to suspect an imminent attack on a major US city those same Americans will support extracting the info at almost all costs. We’ll be against torture until some Islamic extremist sets off a dirty nuke in downtown Minneapolis or Chicago or New York or all three, and then everyone will ask why we didn’t use more aggressive interrogation techniques. And believe it, all day every day there are people out there trying to figure out how to nuke a US city.

    I love the slam at Cheney and Bennet for not serving in the armed forces. If you want to use THAT as your measure of the men then you better toss Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in the same kettle…

    Stick to the issues and try not to be such a hypocrite…


  205. Harpist for Peace
    thanks for clearing thingd up for all none Americans on this blog.


  206. Raj –

    In the US, there are several things going on …

    Civil marriage – the union of 2 people in kinship, making a family. With all the rights and responsibilities pertaining thereto. Inheritance, child custody, tax status, etc. This does not have to be celebrated in a church.

    Civil marriage is goverened by state (not federal) laws, which is why you will find different definitions (age, whether cousins can marry, etc.) However, it is generally held all states have to honor the marriages of other states.

    Religious marriage – a ceremony of marriage celebrated in a church.

    Civil union – is a feeble means to get around the homophobia and those who scream that marriage is sacred and should be between one man and one woman. “Civil unions” do not confer all of the benefits, rights, and responsibilities of marriage (inheritance, tax status, recognition as kin in hospitals, etc.), and have no claim to recognition by other states.

    As more states are extending civil marriage to same-sex couples, we will have to confront the issue of whether these marriages will be recognized by other states, because (despite the common rule stated above) several states (and the federal government) have passed laws denying recognition to same-sex marriages. Look to this in the courts.

    I’ve left out alot here, but for a moment, at least, I hope it helps.


  207. Best. Helen. Post. Evah.

    I didn’t read all the comments, but the few religiously insane ones I caught made feel sorry for poor Jesus. What a bummer for him to have complete idiots using his name to pummel people they don’t agree with.


  208. Hi to all of you who wondered where I was. Thanks for asking!! Internet access was interupted for a week. Wireless access w as messed up. Have been reading all the posts I have missed. Then On Tuesday I spent an afternoon answering phones in a Hospice office. WEdnesday had a funeral to attend which took most of the day traveling too and fro.
    This was a lovely 18 year old who was in a terrible accident with terrible brain injury.
    The parents donated her organs.Heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas and 50 ppeople got tissue samples. One lung went for research and the other had a little pneumonia.
    Now i’m back and almost caught up with reading posts. Love you alll and especially Helen and her pposts.


  209. You said it all – wisdom baby, wisdom. Rockin’ that life experience! Thanks.


  210. Sorry psychedelikat
    typing this (Colorfull) and “How smart I am” + “thinking” seams more like an ox-y-moron to me…..

    But I might be wrong, stranger things have passed as thinking nowadays….


  211. Werner and everyone…I finally read up to Colorful’s post. It looks like some teenage troll having a bit of fun at our expense. S/he probably laughed the whole time s/he was typing it, thinking “How clever I am!”


  212. I haven’t read all the above comments so forgive me if this is a repeat. But I just had to say this: Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for Mustard-gate. The president puts Grey Poupon on his cheeseburgers, which seems to be an act of treason, according to Faux News, et al.


  213. Colorfull
    a question that was lurking in the back of my mind since quiet a while:

    Do you jerk off with the last letter you type?

    Or can’t you make it even THAT far?

    Just asking……..


  214. To those who were asking (Werner, I think?)…

    I’m pretty sure I saw Gramma Rock peek in yesterday. Or maybe it was the day before. It was recently, anyway.

    Not Grandma Katie, though.

    Show of hands, friends! Your compadres want to know you’re OK.


  215. “Never in my life have I seen such sin happening in one place.”

    Colorful doesn’t get out much! LMAO! I wonder if it’s by choice, or court order?


  216. Mary Anne
    OK this where quiet a few post one after the other, but I only answerd to comments of people I like to comunicate with, so where is your problem?


  217. Werner wrote:I think I owe you an appologie on this one, but neither in Germany nore in Quebec is there a difference like this. Civil union and marriages are considered LEGALLY equal.

    Sherri, I thought like Werner the two were equal. Can you explain the difference in the USA? For the states that do not acknowledge gay marriages, do they acknowledge civil unions?

    Jean, I have never found a good recipe for Chutney either so I just depend on Major Grey’s. My Indian friends used to make it but I never got a recipe. My loss!

    James, the older we get the more careful we must be on the farm 🙂 Luckily your arm didn’t encounter a hay baler. Hope you are healing as we wouldn’t want you to quit posting as I also think your posts are eloquent and informative with food for thought.


  218. I can’t fathom Pat Robertson’s statement that gay marriage is the beginning in a long downward slide to legalized child molestation. Who is he going to persuade with an inflammatory statement like that? Sadly, I heard the very same statement from someone I know the other day. I was shocked. I had no idea that notion was out there.

    My belief is that God’s intent was for marriage to be a holy covenant between one man and one woman, based on what is in the scripture. It wasn’t God who decided that marriage should be the basis for obtaining 1,183 legal rights! It’s not loving same gender relationships that threaten the sanctity of marriage. That’s been destroyed in small and large ways by man for generations! What does God’s intent have to do with health insurance or anything else we pile on marriage? Man chose separation of church and state. God was shown the door, and it’s wrong to impose God’s definition of marriage only when it’s convenient to do so. It’s wrong to take scripture out of context and use it as a weapon.

    People shouldn’t have to be married to have human rights. They should just have to be human.

    I hope I said that carefully enough! These are tricky waters!


  219. Here we go again….”Welcome to the Werner Oderwer Show”….He’s here all week, folks…don’t forget to tip your waiter! 🙂


  220. Nancy Pelosi has tortured the truth. She said on April 23 that no one told her water boarding and other techniques were being used, only that they might be used in the future.

    Washington Post reports that on September 4, 2002, Nancy Pelosi and Porter Goss were the first two legislators briefed on use of the methods. The released memo states Pelosi knew what we did to Abu Zubaydah to make him talk. Zubaydah was one of the first captured men with valuable information, and he was the first water boarded. Other legislators received detailed information over the years.

    Much of their current posturing is less concern for our treatment of information rich prisoners and more for political advantage. It is “low politics masquarding as high principle.” Like Lady MacBeth, Pelosi must repeatedly wash her hands as she mutters “out out damned spot.”


  221. Greytdog
    while colorfull bashing is still fun, I think your description of religous wingnuts as
    …someone whose head is so far up their ass that they believe that echo they hear is God’s Voice…
    is the best I ever heard!



  222. Greytdog
    your comment on the torture and the peoples re-action reminds me a lot of the average Germans in 1936 to 1945.
    There wher tons if hints what was happening to the Jews, but all prefered not to see…..
    After the war a LOT of people said: NEVER AGAIN, but that seams long forgotten…..


  223. Jean

    Chutney (Urdu: چٹنی, Hindi: चटनी caṭnī, Bengali: চাটনী, Telugu: పచ్చడి pachadi), is a term for a variety of sweet and spicy condiments, usually involving a fresh, chopped primary vegetable or fruit with added seasonings. Chutney, as a genre, is often similar to the Indian pickle and the salsa of Latin American cuisine, or European relish.

    You should normally find it in any Indian (not Native) Grocery, mostly Mango chutney, but other variations are out there too, just ask the owner, if he ain’t got it he sure knows who in the neighbourhood will have it.
    Indians can’t live without it (at least not very well)!

    Sure you have an indian store on your island or the next one too.


  224. Colorful (or better full of s**t?)

    I’d like to tie you behind a speedboad and stand on your back for some “waterboarding” and than, once in a while, step on your head, to give you the “real” feeling……

    Now is this already torture, or still good old plain fun?


  225. Yeah Sherri!!!!!!!
    You are the Best and I am with you 100%!!!

    Helen…you rock!!!!!!!! 🙂


  226. Sherri
    ….I don’t give a damn what word is used…I do give a hell of a damn that we get ALL the legal protection that heterosexual couples receive for thier relationships. And the only thing that gives us ALL the legal protection at this point is MARRIAGE, period. Which means I don’t give a damn who gets their feathers ruffled, we will work for MARRIAGE……

    I think I owe you an appologie on this one, but neither in Germany nore in Quebec is there a difference like this. Civil union and marriages are considered LEGALLY equal.

    So, seams it was me barking up the wrong tree this time…….


  227. Greytdog Δ
    ….there’s a nice little icon of the UK flag. . .and voila! The whole website comes up in English! Simply Ace!…….

    Yeah, yeah, blame the blind guy (28% vision)!

    Didn’t see that flag, but you see, sometimes lives has some nice surprises, send me a piece of cake anyway?



  228. Hi gang and all others
    BEWARE of Google translations!

    While they can be at times hilarious (if you do speak the language it translates from) I would NEVER trust my food source to a machinal translation, exp. baking where PRECISION is of the essence!

    At least let me crosscheck for life threatening errors! (well maybe only stomch threatening, but I still remember when my wife’s cousin mistook baking powder for sugar, uuurks!)

    Bon Appetit and especially: Good Luck!


  229. GreytdogA, I agree with you. We have preached our morality to the world while conducting unseemly acts. We use our moral superiority to justify our military and political actions. Other countries do the same. The Germans expressed outrage when they discovered 40,000 dead and burned Polish soldiers the Soviets had left behind during their retreat from the German invasion.

    I don’t think our enemies base their treatment of prisoners on how we treat ours. John McCain in Vietnam is a famous example. The Viet Cong and North Vietnamese gave their prisoners little mercy even when they knew we would not torture ours with the same ferocity. The North Vietnamese feared capture by only one group, the South Koreans.

    Secrecy cloaks the issue, and while we have hints of what our interrogators have done, we done know their success rate. So far, Obama has not released that information. I wonder why.

    “If we had the power to bring our neighbors home from war,They would have never missed a christmas, no more letters on the door. When you trust your television, what you get is what you got. Cause when they own the information they can bend all they want. We keep on waiting for the world to change…” It will be a long wait.


  230. This recipe came right from this website! Sorry, I forgot who donated it.

    Rhubarb Raisin Pie
    3/4 – 1 cup sugar
    1/3 c. flour
    4 cups 1/2-inch-thick sliced rhubarb
    1/2 – 1 cup raisins
    Your favorite double-crust pie pastry
    Combine sugar and flour; add rhubarb & raisins and toss to coat.
    Transfer filling to a pastry-lined 9-inch pie plate. Cut slits in top crust. Adjust top crust. Seal and flute edge. Sprinkle w/ sugar. Cover edge with foil.
    Bake in a 425F oven 35 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes more or till top is golden.
    This is my mother-in-law’s recipe — she used the lesser amounts of raisins & sugar; I have a bit more of a sweettooth, so I use the greater amounts. Also, neither of us have ever measured the rhubarb. When the rhubarb is fresh, cut it into chunks & fill a pie plate. Fill it quite full & rounded — about 2″ over the top — then use fresh or put rhubarb into freezer bag & freeze. I freeze several bags in the summer & enjoy fresh rhubarb pie all winter long!


  231. Why is anyone responding to Colorful? I mean really isn’t it a waste of bandwidth? If Colorful is real – that is, a person with strongly held religious convictions – nothing any of us write will sway this person from their stance that they are the 2nd most favored child of God. . .
    Responding to Colorful is bit like visiting this website – – fun, interesting, but nothing of value is gained.
    Colorful is trivia – really. And speaking for myself, I’d rather watch the clock tick than spend any more time arguing with someone whose head is so far up their ass that they believe that echo they hear is God’s Voice.


  232. Then, Colorful, why do you come here? You’re like a sanctimonious preacher who slinks over and over into a porn shop. You disagree? Stay away.

    Speaking for myself, you give Christianity a bad name. GET IT? You drive people AWAY from Christ. Now, if you have a shred–even an iota–of genuine religious faith, rethink what you’re doing. But I am morally certain that you won’t….just want to sneak another look, you dirty thing. While being a hypocrite about it.


  233. In re to the torture investigation – we already know that waterboarding was used – so that question of “what” so-called enhanced interrogations techniques were used is moot. For me, the questions and any investigation must look at the conception and implementation of said plan – who, what, where, and any memos, emails, etc of those involved. And for me, that includes Pelosi. Jonathan Turley had a very good discussion last night on Rachel Maddow – and frankly speaking, ain’t no one’s hands clean in this mess. Including us. Even when the press finally started reporting about renditions and citizens – both American and international – being taken off the streets and placed in NSA custody without due process – we all turned the other way. We instituted our ostrich stance and would not be moved. If we happened to peek, then we just chanted the national mantra Better There than here, better there than here. . . I think we had been poised on the precipice of the abyss for some time, but we chose to pretend the slippery slope on which we rode was just another water park slide rather than the edification of the banality of evil.


  234. Joe, would you put Nancy Pelosi on that list?


  235. We need to have an independent investigation where Cheney, Rove, Gonzales and friends can implicate all.

    Let it come out in the open.

    Waterboarding – The US using it means that other nations can justify its use. We prosecuted Japanese Soldiers for using waterboarding.


  236. If waterboarding was so obviously wrong, it makes you wonder why Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D) didn’t say anything about it after she was briefed on it back in 2002.


  237. Hi Greytdog,

    Here are Rhubarb Pie Recipes out of my 56 year-old Cooking Encyclopedia. The recipes are ‘from scratch’ of course and pretty reliable as far as foolproof goes. The only thing I have never been able to find in it is Chutney. I’m giving these to you on condition you send us one each UPS overnight packed in dry ice – – – oh, never mind.


    1 ½ lb. rhubarb (from 3 ½ to 4 cups, cut)
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 cup sugar

    Pastry for 8-inch Double Crust
    2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca 1 tablespoon butter

    Wash rhubarb thoroughly, trim off leaf and stem ends and discard. Cut stems into ¾ inch lengths. Combine sugar, tapioca and salt, add to rhubarb and mix thoroughly.

    Fit pastry into pie pan. Turn rhubarb mixture into pastry-lined pan. Roll out pastry for upper crust and cut a design for steam vents. Brush edge of lower crust with cold water just before laying on top crust. Lay upper crust over pie and press edges together to seal; trim off excess dough. Let rest for 10 minutes and flute rim as desired. Bake in a hot oven (450 degrees F.) for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to (325 degrees F.) moderately slow and bake 30 minutes longer, or until rhubarb is done. Serve warm or cold.

    Variation: Reduce rhubarb to 1 lb. and add 1 cup seedless raisins and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon to filling.

    Tapioca??? Haven’t seen that for years. A couple of teaspoons cornstarch ought to do it for thickening. Also, a lattice top crust would also work.


    2 cups milk 1 cup stewed Rhubarb
    ½ cup sugar 1/3 cup sugar
    1/3 cup flour Baked 8-inch Pie Shell

    Scald 1 ½ cups of the milk in top of double boiler. Mix together sugar, flour and salt; stir in remaining cold milk to make a smooth paste. Add slowly to scalded milk and cook over boiling water with frequent stirring until smooth and thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly stir part of the hot mixture into well-beaten egg yolks. Return to double boiler and cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Pour into cooled baked pie shell. Cool. Spread 1 cup of cooled, thick rhubarb sauce (1 lb. rhubarb, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon water) over custard. Beat the egg whites until stiff, and gradually beat in the 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until thick and smooth. Pile lightly and quickly over pie, being sure to touch edge of crust all around. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) 12 to 15 minutes or until nicely browned. Cool on cake rack before cutting.

    I think either pie could use a little lemon juice.

    My husband doesn’t care for cream pies so I’ve never made the Rhubarb Cream Pie. Sounds like a bit of a production. Take your choice.

    Pig out and enjoy!




  238. And thank you, Helen, for the good sh…, I mean nuggets of wisdom.


  239. Thank god for sh…, I mean moose nuggets.


  240. Colorful:

    What I find sad is that you probably truly believe that which you write!

    Jesus told me to tell you that.

    fslflkslkfweoirjwnfknfehrenkj [dflsdfnfenkafneaonkfkadsdfa,fnen


  241. Colorful:

    You are saying that it is OK to waterboard American Soldiers! It is OK to torture. Join the military or try a little enhanced interrogation. You, Cheney, Beck, Coulter and Rush could get waterboarded together and laugh about how it is nothing really.

    jgoreoroenskfneirioekldn That was Jesus telling me to tell you that you are getting loonier every day.

    ldhfiweorhwjknkrer – Jesus says quit telling people that he has anything to do with your lunacy.


  242. Cartoon depicting the application of the “water cure” by United States Army soldiers on a Filipino. In the background soldiers representing various European nations look on smiling. The Europeans say, “Those pious Yankees can’t throw stones at us any more”, meaning that the USA no longer has the moral stance to criticize European colonial practices.

    Cover of Life, May 22, 1902



  243. Never in my life have I seen such sin happening in one place. Jesus was horribly tortured and someone here suggests that heathens in Africa have been tortured worse? Sin. Sin. Sin. Jesus took the weight of the world with him on that cross. Can you imagine how painful it must have been to be nailed to the cross with that much weight on you? Sinners! Sinners! This site is from Satan. Helen will burn in Hell for what she has done here. And so will many of you. Sinners. Sinners. Sinners.



  244. Yea, just what we need……

    a national discussion about:

    ‘What we talk about when
    we talk about torture.’

    😉 ~ Δ


  245. Yes, it is justifiable for someone to die so another can live, at least to me. I did what I could to kill the man who attacked me, and I stopped him. The fact that I quit too soon and disabled instead of killing him doesn’t change the truth. I was a murderer in my heart, and I thought I had strangled the man long enough to kill him. I felt a primeval joy, because I knew I would live to see another day.

    We would never consider doing such awful deeds here in America, unless we were police officers. In that other world, such things are acceptable; even commendable.

    I agree, GreytdogA we treat the seamy side of conflict with hyprocacy. I don’t like it any more than you do. I still struggle with what we ought to do and what we must do.

    At the beginning of WW1 a diplomat said “gentlemen don’t read each others’ mail” when he argued against spying on the Germans. We have come a long way haven’t we?

    I agree Werner. Keeping a list of e mails or phone numbers sounds like a good idea. Things happen. A little while ago, I slipped off the top of a tractor and fell seven feet as I landed on my back. I have a black eye and a scraped arm where I hit the sharp edge of a step. Luckily, I fell where I did. Four to six more inches, would have given me a very sore back and I might not have felt like posting here for a while. I’m pretty sore, but not so much as if my back had hit the sharp point of the step. My wife is still hovering over me after patching up my arm. It is just the nature of living on a farm.

    If you google “how to make a rhubarb pie” or something like that, you will find many recipes. I found a recipe for raspberry pie last summer via google.

    Tomorrow evening after I finish planting our field of sweet corn, we are leaving to spend the weekend with our daughter and son in law and to watch our nephew graduate from college. My wife dreads what our daughter will say when she sees my black eye. I threatened to tell her her mother gave it to me.

    My wife and I have a living will. Sometimes, you never know what will happen on the edge of death. My aunt knew a young woman who had pneumonia. She lapsed into a coma, and the doctor said his patient might not last the night. The family discussed funeral arrangements in her hospital room. Toward morning, the woman began to rally, and she surprised everyone when she woke up. Later, the woman said she had heard the conversation about her impending funeral, and it made her so mad she would show them by recovering.


  246. Pat Robertson: Gay marriage is ‘the beginning in a long downward slide’ to legalized child molestation.

    Just say ‘NO’ to stupid.



  247. Werner,

    You just don’t get it. It’s not about the word, it’s aabout the 1,183 legal benefits, rights, protections, and responsibilities that come with the word.

    I’m not willing to accept anything less than marriage because MARRIAGE is what gives us the 1,183 legal benefits, rights, protections and responsibilities. Domestic Partnership doesn’t give that to us. Civil Unions don’t give that to us. MARRIAGE gives that to us, and if we accept anything less, we forgo the full civil rights that are granted to heterosexual couples when they obtain civil marriage.

    I don’t give a damn what word is used…I do give a hell of a damn that we get ALL the legal protection that heterosexual couples receive for thier relationships. And the only thing that gives us ALL the legal protection at this point is MARRIAGE, period. Which means I don’t give a damn who gets their feathers ruffled, we will work for MARRIAGE.


  248. Thanks for the pie, greytdog! And I loved the piece from the WaPo. A friend’s dog recently had surgery because he ate . . . a rock. Oh, well. Cheers!



  249. Whirled Peas, in the upper right hand corner of the recipe site with all the recipes in German, anyway – there’s a nice little icon of the UK flag. . .and voila! The whole website comes up in English! Simply Ace!


  250. Danke, Whirled Peas for the link 😉 That’s the extent of my German (other than some dog-obedience commands)

    I’ll give it a try. Okay Werner you’re off the hook for the recipes. . .


  251. Wonderful! Mind if I link this on my wordpress blog???


  252. Quoting Greytdog Δ 7:21p

    …recipes in German? Oy vey!!!

    Google Translate is your friend.

    I took the first one off that German site.



  253. Hi Gang and James,

    Several days back you made this sweeping statement to support your THEORIES.

    Your quote, James: “Jean, the only difference for who is right or wrong is scientific accuracy. Our professors drummed it into our heads. Assumptions without credible supporting evidence make bad history and bad science. Sometimes, they make bad policy.”

    Whoa! What professors did you have? I know you have dug in your heels on your beliefs in inborn stuff and groupism, so I’ll not try to disuade you. But other people here might find this interesting.

    From Physics to Paleontology, all the sciences adhere to the very first Principal of Science, the “Uncertainty Principal” It is defined in numerous textbooks as, “Principle holding that measurements can never be absolutely accurate because an object or process may be altered by the very process of being measured.” One of the other of many scientific principles is “Define Your Terms!”

    I can assert that the sun will come up in the morning based on long time observation, but I cannot PROVE it anymore than I can DISPROVE it. I can recite chapter and verse of the Bible with ACCURACY, but that doesn’t confer PROOF. When it comes to ‘scientific accuracy’ the best we can hope for is Statistical Probability that takes into account the myriad Variables and Validity of the methods employed.

    Any experiment or study worth its salt has to begin with a statement of Hypothesis followed by detailed descriptions on how it is to be carried out. This is where ACCURACY comes in – collecting the data and analysing it. If the Conclusion supports the Hypothesis, then you can reasonably assume it is supported but never PROVEN. Other scientists must be able to replicate it which they do. Often they come up with conflicting results and challenge the original Hypothesis. (Lots of cheating going on to skew the results, expecially when it come to funding for the research; i.e. Pharmaceutical Companies, etc.) The challenges and defenses can sometimes get pretty heated but that’s how scientific progress is made. It is always is and always will be open-ended.

    If we pay close attention, we notice that the reports of experiments or studies are coached in weasel words like ‘indicate’, ‘may’, ‘could’, ‘likely’, etc., never absolutes such as “It is”……., ‘They are…’, “Or definitely will be…..”

    As Helen said, “Things change and shit happens!”



    P.S. I’ve really got to get back to my painting! Please, don’t post anything interesting that I feel compelled to respond to for a day or two, OK?


  254. One more thought for the gang
    Maybe one of the regulrs (a lady, preferably, they are abit more senstive in these things) wnats to become elected phone co-ordinator?

    Job would be to keep a list of phone numbers and names that people send to here and she’d have the right to call and findout if all’s well?

    Strictly on a voluntarily basis?

    Just a thought…


  255. Greytdog
    last two days every time I wanted to setup the email list and start copying the helpfiles together I got busy (heheh, I do have to work from time to time) But tomorrow, promise a detailed instruction mail will go out to all, anything you or one of the others wants to put up, just mail it to me meanwhile.

    AND more important
    …And one more thing – I’m starting to worry about Grandma Katie and Gramma(and Grampa) Rock – they are touchstones like Margaret and Helen. . .

    Anybody that has contact here or knows something, can you give us a shout, please?


  256. Frank
    one more thing, could you please explain me what “Luck” has to do with blogging?
    like in ….Best of Luck with that!…..???

    I blog cause I have something to say, I don’t give a rats arse about fame and if 5 or 5000 read it doesn’t matter when I blog it, I am EXPERSSING something, not begging for attention.

    Sorry, had to make that point…


  257. Frank
    …just wondering why you were spending so much time and space on Margaret & Helen’s page….

    ..cause I enjoy it here, like to play with my friends (well, speak palyfully with people I find rather sympathic) and bash some bone-heads once in a while, and I occupy the space since Helen freely provides it for us to discuss things spread out thoughts….

    And sometimes I need the space to explain myself to people like you, that keep asking……

    But of one thing I can assure you, provide me with a stupid question and I’ll provide you with a stupid answer….. you can count on that, or just fly by on the scroll wheel…..


  258. Jean, thanks for the congrats. My “favorite” son and 3 daughters are our blessings, worries, and uniquely ours. Happy Mothers Day to us all!!! It’s a bit early but I will be in a weekend workshop and not able to post then. Now that all our kids are out of the house either away at school or beyond, I can finally do the pursuit of my interests in investing, website development, fiber arts, and meeting friends on this blogsite.

    Margaret and Helen, thank you and Happy Mothers Day! Here in Hawaii, the younger people call anyone who is older than them “Aunty”, as a way of showing them endearment and respect. You are our “Aunties”. We are all ohana (family).

    A friend sent me a youtube video of a funeral. Funny and touching at the same time. It’s a fart and snore kind of touchy-feely. Reminds me of a few of our favorite male characters here (UAW? Werner?). It also made me appreciate my husband’s ukulele playing which used to be like nails on a blackboard to me. It is now music to my ears.




  259. Werner you’re a treasure – but recipes in German? Oy vey!!!
    Oh and I really love visiting the thinkbetter-thinkpositive blog. It makes my day so much better.
    So could you please email me the directions for posting. . .accoding to tumblr I have to set up a blog before I can post to that one. . .sigh –

    And one more thing – I’m starting to worry about Grandma Katie and Gramma(and Grampa) Rock – they are touchstones like Margaret and Helen. . .


  260. Hi gang, Greytdog et al,

    I want to second your comment about living wills. Of course, I second many of your comments, far too many to respond to each one.

    Since none of us were around to eyewitness Jesus’ death, everything about it is speculation. (I’m an old broad, but not that old!) The general consensus of medical opinion is that death by crucifixion is ultimately caused by slow suffocation. When the body is suspend by the arms with little or no support from the lower extremities, the muscles of the rib cage have to work harder and harder to expand for air to reach the lungs. Thus a lengthy and brutal death.

    Elizabeth Küebler-Ross, a Swiss-born psychiatrist, did ground-breaking work on the stages of dying and death. Her work has been carried on especially by the brave people in Hospice Care. (I know I couldn’t handle seeing that kind of suffering on a day-to-day basis.)

    It is all rather complex, but the upshot is that death is a natural process just as birth is and goes through various stages. One of the startling findings is, when death is imminent, the body prefers to deprive itself of nourishment and even water. In that stage, the body produces endorphins (natural opiate-like chemicals) that create a feeling of euphoria similar to the ‘natural high’ experienced by marathon runners.

    So continuing to administer food and even water as well as other ‘heroic measures’ such as ventilators, etc., only serve to prolong the agony when, all things being equal, barring Divine Intervention, death is inevitable.

    One of the kindest and very best legacies we can leave to our loved ones is the Living Will. It is much more important than a will distributing our money and worldly goods. It should be spelled out in minute detail.

    Any of us over a certain age have had to deal with the death of a loved one. At best it is a traumatic experience. My husband and I both were charged with making final decisions of life and death for our parents. That is something we for sure don’t want to foist onto our loved ones. That’s one life experience they can do without.

    Case in point. My mother had made her wishes known to me orally. Unfortunately, there was nothing formal or legal in writing. When the time came and the doctor asked me how much I wanted them to do, I had to stand there in the hospital corridor with tears flowing down my face and say, “Nothing. Let Nature take its course.”

    As it turned out, it was a moot point. She had been experiencing mini-strokes for a short time when the big one struck. Within an hour, she died.

    So people, please, please get your act together, have a Living Will made out and everyone will rest much easier.




  261. Greytdog Δ

    150 Rhubarb cake recipes, and all in German:

    pic one or two that look interessting to you and I translate tomorrow?

    My Grandma made the best, but her recipes got all lost through a stupid aunt of mine..


  262. ssb752….
    “It should be important to note that the main difference between a “terrorist” and a “patroit” is who won. As Ben Franklin said, “We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang seperately.” ”
    I think it was Patton that said”the idea is to make the other guy die for his country”


  263. Jean
    funny thing about German:
    The wife (Prof. for french literature in a CEGEP here in Montreal) states that in heaven they only speak 2 languages, German and French. Why? Cause it takes an “eternity” to learn them……


  264. No Thanks, Werner…just wondering why you were spending so much time and space on Margaret & Helen’s page….glad to know you do have your own. Best of Luck with that!


  265. Frank
    thanks for asking, just click on my screen name and you can find out by yourself…..:-P


  266. Jean…
    I said at the time they(internment and water boarding) seemed like good ideas…seven and a half years ago a lot of people wanted answers…..and they got them…..
    James brought up Oklahoma….my sister was a half a mile from the blast that day…..I don’t think that the parents of the people killed would have complained about a little water if McVey had been stopped…but that’s my opinion…..didn’t say water boarding is right but shit happens…..
    learning a little more about civil unions….but I did say >>IF<< they were the same as marriage just not called marriage….I thought…there I go thinking again….that the issues reported had to do with health care and end of life issues….
    I threw the “mandate” thing in there to piss some people off because right after the election all I heard on the news and in the blogs was “WE HAVE A MANDATE”….how can a vote that leans left be a mandate and one that leans right not be????
    now I’m getting into my double standards thing again……


  267. James wrote: “But there is a dark world beyond the borders of our perception. It is a place where men and women commit brutal acts so we can sleep peacefully in our beds at night. Survival, not concern for an enemy’s well fare, is its guiding morality.”

    BUT when we, as a nation, say “Thou shall not torture” and under due process, try, convict, and execute those we have found to have engaged in torture, and THEN, turn around and engage in that same behavior we have ourselves condemned, the question no longer is about the act itself, but the moral intent and foundation of the nation. And speaking for myself, and only myself, I am still a bit ticked off that our DoD, State, and CIA intervened when Mossad was ready and in place to take out Saddam Hussein and his sons. . . it’s the inconsistency of morals/ethics that drives me batty (okay, battier). Yes there are brutal acts committed on our national behalf while we sleep – but the hypocrisy occurs when we wake up, look at another nation that engages in the SAME behavior and suddenly we are God’s Chosen People brandishing those insidious Thou Shall Not(s). And frankly, if survival is the guiding morality, we have just excused every hate crime, in fact every act of savagery with that credo – in other words, in order for ME to survive, someone else must and will die, and that’s justifiable?


  268. ssb752, Sexual abuse and serial murders are not “normal” crimes as you write, but they do not threaten our national security. As one who has been mildly tortured, I don’t believe it should be used unless many lives are at stake.

    We don’t know enough about successes or failures of extreme interrogation to make a definitive decision on whether or not to ban torture. We as a country can’t even agree on a definition. Whatever we do, someone will be unfairly tortured or murdered.

    Yes, “terrorists” believe they are as “right” as we do. They have families who love them, and they want a better world for their children . But it doesn’t matter to me. All I care about is that we win any life and death struggle we face. If it means murdering an enemy intent on killing us, better them than us.

    Winners also write the history. Had we lost WW11, our leaders, not Hitler or Tojo would have been war criminals. The 9/11 bombers and other terrorists are heroes to their countrymen. If they ultimately win this conflict, historians will sing the praises of the brave men who gave their lives in a just cause.

    I don’t support the death penalty. While I believe abortion is murder, I am pro- choice. Our society permits murder under prescribed circumstances, and sometimes the cost of letting an unborn baby live outweighs the benefits.

    “Civilization ain’t it grand?” So true.

    Our government sent Japanese to internment camps out of panic and racism. It is true Japanese fifth columnists were operating in California, but we interned an entire people. Our baser instincts took over as they did during WW1 when we virtually destroyed our domestic German culture.

    Jean, in the relatively peaceful world we occupy, I agree we cannot condone physical or psychological torture of any kind. But there is a dark world beyond the borders of our perception. It is a place where men and women commit brutal acts so we can sleep peacefully in our beds at night. Survival, not concern for an enemy’s well fare, is its guiding morality.


  269. High fives and hip bumps to you, HoneyJo!

    Sorry for the superfluous post. I wanted to claim my pie. 🙂


  270. Coming in late on this but had to say:
    Colorful – if torture is justified, then the way you go about it is to suggest repealing our signature on the Geneva Conventions and bring it up for a vote, not to break international law and then lie about it. I don’t remember reading in the new testement that the ends justifty whatever cruel, torturous, un-Christian means.

    Second, it’s a grossly erroneous assumption that Democrats and liberals are not Christian. I am very much a Christian and accept Christ as my savior. I just don’t use doing so as an excuse or a license to hate my fellow man.

    And finally, filling up an entire post with one word is the behavior of an unstable child about to throw a tantrum. Did you forget to take your meds?


  271. Ann Coulter will be on Hannity tonight to respond to Colin Powell’s ‘attacks’.

    Should be a lot of whining and foaming!

    Ann who? Sean who? Whatever!


  272. “Today, the administration malfeasance consists of illegal torture, a crime I’d argue is no less serious than lying under oath about fellatio. Yet Republicans now believe that the Rule of Law is not only consistent with letting administration crimes go unpunished but actually requires it. To prosecute the departed administration would make us (to use their new catchphrase) a “banana republic”–the premise being that banana republics are defined not by their use of torture but by their overly zealous enforcement of anti-torture laws.”
    For more go here:


  273. James, the problem is using torture on the wrong person, similar to excuting an innocent person. And what constitutes a “normal” crime? Sexual abuse of children and serial murder are, in my opinion, not a “normal” crime. At least a “terrorist” has an agenda that goes beyond self. It should be important to note that the main difference between a “terrorist” and a “patroit” is who won. As Ben Franklin said, “We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang seperately.”

    BTW, I find anyone in favor of capital punishment and anti abortion morally conflicted. Not to mention the discussion of whether both of these are state issues in the first place. Civilization! Ain’t it grand?


  274. Everyone here: Take a piece of pie
    Just copy & paste by your name next time you post

    ~~~ Δ ~~~

    And for you folks who cook: is rhubarb hard to cook? I’ve been given some (okay a LOT) and while I have fond memories of rhubarb pudding and pie, Honestly, I’ve never cooked it myself. . . .any ideas? Recipes? please?


  275. Hi gang and UAW,

    I got a little behind in my comments here the past few days.

    I do want to tell UAW that it’s OK with me for you to sound off all you want to. We can take it. I’m sure you are under plenty of stress having to get up every morning, care for your wife, deal with her suffering and long-term illness. Life can be cruel. My heart goes out to you. Blowing off steam here helps, I’m sure.

    I do take exception, however, to the idea that the internment of Japanese-American citizens after Pearl Harbor was as justified as torture after 9/11. We have many ugly chapters in our history from slavery to treatment of Native Americans, etc., etc. The laundry list goes on and on.

    Any kind of oppression, torture, discrimination or demeaning of other human beings that cause suffering does not well serve the cause of the ever slowly progression from barbarism to civilization. We still have a long ways to go!!!

    In the here and now, we cannot condone either physical or psychological torture of any kind for any reason and call ourselves civilized. Period.




  276. GreytdogA. I just read what you wrote about my posts. Thank you, thank you.


  277. Last post for the evening (I promise)

    From Gene Weingarten @ WaPo: Murphy’s Law Sleep. Excrete. Eat.


  278. ssb752, in my opinion, torture should not be used unless our country or many lives are in danger. If someone had been able to extract information from a person who knew Timothy McVeigh or the 9/11 bombers which would thwart their plans, I think saved lives would trump moral strictures against torture. In such a case, I would even sanction threatening to torture family members if it would persuade someone to talk.

    That is just my opinion. The voters may have another. We need a national rational debate on what torture is and when it should or shouldn’t be used. We need to know whether or not it is more likely to work under some conditions than others. Would the psychological make up of the prisoner make it more or less likely extreme questioning would work? So far, we don’t know enough to make educated decisions. Within the limits of national security, I think we should know more than we do. We as voters should at least vote on some of the rules. If torture has been proven not to work, ban it.

    I think our use of torture would be the equivalent to a person shooting a mugger ready to pull the trigger. That rules out normal crimes.

    Possibly seven or more of our prisoners died of torture in Afghanistan. Were their deaths worth the effort? I don’t know if the alleged torture was a waste of time and lives or not. The Clinton administration named the practice of sending our prisoners to other countries rendition. Why do we let other countries do our dirty work? It makes us less moral to pretend we are better than that. Because another country does the deed, we still have blood on our hands.


  279. Hi Sally,

    You have every right to be exceedingly proud of your favorite (and only) son at Dartmouth. It is one of the finest Universities anywhere! I’m sure he had plenty of natural ability to begin with, but your efforts to improve the public school system out here paid off handsomely, didn’t it. He had the chance to realize his potential. I congratulate all of your family.

    Now, looks like you will have to get busy learning German! I think it is much tougher than French. Good luck!




  280. If this is face of American Christianity, then. . . oops!

    “Pat Robertson: Gay marriage is ‘the beginning in a long downward slide’ to legalized child molestation.”


  281. De-Lurker, nope we know you’re not the thought police – just a very thought-full commenter. And that’s the joy of Margaret and Helen’s blog, as Jean so aptly has pointed out. Yes we can sling mud and whine with the best of them 🙂 but I believe that when push comes to shove (or writing in response to UAW) we really do try to maintain some semblance of decency. Although sometimes I admit I want to just slap UAW upside his head – I believe I’ve threatened to do that a few times, eh? – but you know what, I totally appreciate his willingness to keep things kicking, presenting another point of view, and his big shoulders to take the pounding we deal. And of course James whose erudite prose just literally sings for me. I may not agree 100% with all that everyone writes here, but I really do enjoy the way everyone’s point of view makes me THINK. Sometimes the cobwebs get all tangled in my head and it’s nice to have this blog here where I can dustbust those cobwebs away.


  282. Someone’s taking their marbles home. . . bwahahahaha


  283. Hi Helen,

    Your latest post is an excellent summary and reminder of why we should never again fall into political complacency. I am always appalled at voter apathy and the low percentage of turnout at election time. We most certainly need to stay informed and your blog does a wonderful job of just that.

    I have been meaning to tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to express our thoughts and opinions here. I think I speak for all of your fans. We come from all over the country, even the world, all walks of life and age groups.

    I continue to learn about issues I would never have even known existed without our friends here. For example, most recently regarding Gay Marriage. I had no idea that there was such a difference between the states’ legislation and thus legality between ‘Marriage’ and ‘Civil Unions’. I am grateful to have learned the distinction. Since when are ‘Half Civil Rights’ any Civil Rights at all? It’s all or nothing in my opinion.

    You energize and inspire us with each new post. Please keep it up!




  284. I’d like to thank the regulars here for not accusing me of being the thought police and trying to govern M&H’s lively blog, by the way. That wouldda hurt, because I do enjoy you. 😉 That wasn’t the spirit I intended my comments, and it seems like you understood that. Thanks.

    Carry on!


  285. Great, now I’m hungry for cheezburgerz!

    I like that we use better vocabulary than the trolls. Intellect is sexy, LOL. Greytdog – sophistry!


  286. Jimmy Mac: “Your appetite for illegal drugs spills blood. Deal.”

    That’s an interesting point. Let’s see. My “appetite” for gasoline to run my car also spills blood (Iraqi war – if you really think it was about Hussein and WMDs, your brain is filled with sand); my ‘appetite’ for electricity spills blood and pollutes the environment (No such thing as clean coal, and with deregulation, no real safeguards for miners, no penalties for fouling up the environment, and certainly no reason to clean up the coal sludge that poisons the aquifer); my “appetite” for inexpensive household goods and clothing fuels the sweatshops and child slavery factories in China, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, etc. So Jimmy Mac, tell me. What part of your life doesn’t also spill blood? For every action there is a reaction. Sometimes it’s a reaction that we may not know or care about and so can easily happily deny responsibility. And so it’s sooo much nicer and easier to blame others like Werner who, however clumsily done, make the connections between our actions here and the reactions elsewhere. And yes, Werner’s keyboarding doesn’t always keep up with his mind – but that doesn’t invalidate the point. Deal.


  287. Judith wrote: “And the ‘who got tortured worse, Jesus or somebody else’ debate is just ugly-nasty.’

    It’s also unChristian. 🙂 What is interesting in this debate (spitting match) is that the principle caveat, credo, foundation of Christianity has been cast aside: “Do unto others as you would have done to you”. . . .And even Pagans understand that credo when written “That which you do comes thricefold back to you”. It’s not even a valid argument to discuss the torture and degradation of Jesus prior to Crucifixion vs the torture methods used against the so-called enemy combatants – that is not the argument at all. That is simply sophistry to even bring that up.


  288. Werner, I thought you were starting your OWN blog??? How’s that working out for you?


  289. De-Lurker, Ray’s Hell Burgers is part of a family owned steak house chain – family owned and local to the DCmetro area. Very very popular – the hamburgers are sirloin – from Ray’s SteakHouse. . . it’s nice Ray’s got international attention, but honestly, it doesn’t need it – good food & good people have been bringing in the hordes for years – now it’s no longer an “insiders” secret. . .damn.


  290. De-lurker girl
    thats the spirit…

    Jimmy Mac
    … As usual, I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. You’re not all there, are you Werner?
    Anyway it’s clear to me that you would never understand such a remark or why it would be something to consider. Your appetite for illegal drugs spills blood. Deal…..

    Your lack of understanding comes from a lack of brain substance, or how can you NOT make the connection from guns to blood?
    What do you draw blood with?
    Knife and Fork?

    It’s those shit for brains like you that keep my adrenaline high, no need for drugs at all, legal or illegal, thanks for saving me a bundle….. LOL


  291. I’m not screaming, Werner. I’ll speak for myself and say I think Ray’s Hell Burger is a brilliant name and I’m glad Obama got his burger, that he paid cash for it, and that a small local business is probably getting a huge boost from their new fame! I hope the owner frames the cash and hangs it on his wall with pride.


  292. I, too, don’t want to tar all Christians with the same brush & accuse them of extremism. Just because the trolls posting here are extremists, doesn’t mean that’s all there is – it just means that’s mostly what we’re hearing from.

    But Christianity, especially in its extreme forms, does pose a problem. We want to give everyone, including Christians, freedom of religion. Also, freedom from religion, if that’s what people choose. (Sorry, Ronnie, the Supreme Court said that was included in ‘freedom of’, long before you got into office. It is constitutionally valid. Look it up.)

    The problem lies in the tenet, as interpreted by some, that to be a Christian requires that you convert everybody else to Christianity – thus interfering with their freedom of religion. Ok, you’re free to believe that all you want, but you aren’t constitutionally free to try it. It’s a Catch-22.

    It’s this tenet that allows Colorful to feel that the very existence of Muslims is ‘stealing Christianity from us’. They literally are not to be allowed to exist, if she is to have full freedom of religion. (I assume it’s a ‘she’ – I don’t know why).

    Disclaimer – I’m not a Christian. I got exposed to most of the vanilla Protestant churches as a child. My dad hated hellfire & damnation screamers with a passion, so we switched around a lot. Grape juice & Kumbaya stuff; nice enough, but I classified it with Santa and the Easter Bunny
    very early on and cut out as soon as I could. It just never sang to me.

    I still think ‘Do good and avoid evil’ is the essence of all of it. Everything else is a detail. But some people get so hung up in the details that the basic concept becomes, well, unimportant. Trivial. Voluntary.

    I think that when Jesus asked his followers to ‘testify’, etc., he meant that they should lead such good happy lives that others would want to do the same. He never said “Thou shalt make pains in the ass of thyselves’. I can’t find that anywhere in the New Testament. Not in any of the three different Bibles in my house (not counting the Gnostic Gospels). Now, it might be in the Old Testament, but we’re talking Jesus here, folks.

    And the ‘who got tortured worse, Jesus or somebody else’ debate is just ugly-nasty.


  293. […] fact her musings, to be found on her blog, show a wonderful openness to a broad range of thinking. Her highest energy level of disdain is […]


  294. Who is this Jesus you speak?

    The ‘sun’ of God?

    The Greatest Story Ever Told



  295. As usual, I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. You’re not all there, are you Werner?

    Anyway it’s clear to me that you would never understand such a remark or why it would be something to consider. Your appetite for illegal drugs spills blood. Deal.


  296. Angels


  297. ……Speaking of hypocrites, anyone who does illegal drugs has blood on their hands

    sure, and only Angles carry guns in the US……


  298. This is how Germans see Obama, real close to the people, at Ray’s Hell Burger (oops, the christians will scream again now 😉 ) in Arlington

    I really like that, even if it’s PR and not big politics……


  299. Speaking of hypocrites, anyone who does illegal drugs has blood on their hands.


  300. ssb752

    so right you are:

    Viva la inquisition!


  301. Put down your coffe and look at international (well, nearly international, in the end it’s only canadian) relations:

    Have any idea that the capitol building of Canada is a big ass Igloo? Arkansas Governor Michael Huckabee did!


  302. My favorite hymn:

    “Oh Blinding Light, Oh Light That Blinds, Look Out For Me, I Can Not See.”

    James wrote: I cannot imagine a Christian’s sanctioning torture for anything other than to gain information to save lives.”

    Would this include the questioning of a white Christian serial murder suspect? Or Catholic Priest suspected of child abuse? Who gets to determine what constitutes a “suspect,” as in “suspected terrorists.” I know the Spanish Monarchy had no problem determining who was a suspect and who was not in 1480.


  303. Hi Helen!

    I have come to believe that people are so scared of gay marriage because they think that if it becomes an institution, it will take over the world. Do they honestly think heterosexual people will stop having sex with the opposite sex? Good grief. I cannot for the life of me understand the argument that it is harmful to marriage between women and men. If my gay friends get married, how does that harm my own happy marriage? Not in the least is how…

    Helen H.

    P.S. Careful about that Miss Arkansas comment…I am from Arkansas and support it completely! Just kidding…really…I mean it…


  304. Drugs in Portugal: Did Decriminalization Work?

    according to this articel it seams the answer is: Yes!,8599,1893946,00.html

    The paper, published by Cato in April, found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled.

    Maybe somo of the people responsible should look into this?


  305. Yeah that Jesus getting slapped around a little posts wasn’t too offensive.


  306. Someone cited Jesus as someone who barely suffered compared to modern torture victims. I agreed about modern life but stated Jesus suffered plenty.

    Jesus divinity may be in question, but he was an historic, not fictional person. His suffering illustrates state punishment common at the time. The cross was meant to be a deterrent because anyone could see the executed people dying publically by inches. I think that was the point an earlier poster was making.

    People still commit torture for various reasons. Our Jihadist enemies are masters of torture, not just to get information, but to deter their enemies. Torture for a Christian is relevant because one can interpret the Bible to show it is as wrong as committing murder.

    I cannot imagine a Christian’s sanctioning torture for anything other than to gain information to save lives. For a Christian nation it is a torturous conflict of values unknown by folks who saw off prisoners’ heads and feel their acts are moral. Torture, whether or when to use it is relevant to a country with our values. Jesus is a symbol of the moral people we could be but are not–at least not yet.


  307. In other words, they deserve it. BS. Excuses are like assholes – everybody got one.

    I’m not certain that Janis and Colorful’s posts are even legit. But if they are, why would you think that person could be reasoned with?

    Helen usually brings it up, clever little wanks posts that you’re all going to hell, people start to say offensive shit right and left, and everybody thinks they’re doing something.


  308. The following link is for Colorful (Pray);

    For UAW-In VT when our legislature over rode Gov. Wimpy’s veto of same sex marriage, the bill called for equality in Civil Marriage. They recognized that many churches remain homophobic and don’t want to perform same sex marriages in their church. This way gay couple can go before a justice of the peace to be married. Oh, and my marriage of 42 years is not being hurt in the least by this action. The State of Maine just voted in same sex marriage too.


  309. Delurker girl, and anyone else who finds comments here disrespectful or hostile toward Christianity:

    Unfortunately, Christianity comes up here in negative ways, so many of us respond in fashion. More often than not, Christianity is mentioned by some yahoo telling us we are headed to hell for reading this blog or something else equally stupid and frankly, un-Christ-like. I don’t expect anyone to treat you with disrespect for your beliefs, because you have a good attitude and you respect people who disagree with your beliefs, unlike Janis and Colorful. Actually, I don’t see us as being hostile to them, I see us as responding to them as they treat us. I respect peple who disagree with me, but I don’t respect people who try to tell others how to live, especially if they are hypocritical besides.


  310. Thanks for a fabulous post Helen.

    But I have to say about these comments, I don’t understand the point of this comparison of Jesus’ suffering to modern-day torture. Those of us who don’t believe in Jesus don’t care about the fictional suffering of a fictional person, and if you are Christian, what is the relevance to what contitutes torture or whether or not the US should torture anyone?

    Government-sanctioned torture has been around as long as humans have had governments. However, little by little, humanity is evolving to be better, our country was founded upon the ideals of freedom and equality (which we still have not met, but we have made more progress than many others) and precedent is a lousy excuse for cruel behavior. Part of our freedom and equality is that religion is separate from state decisions. So what does Jesus have to do with anything?


  311. De-lurker girl 11:06a,

    I am what I call ‘a recovering Catholic’. I firmly believe in God.

    I just don’t worship a book!



  312. I agree with de-lurker girl. Of course some posters are using Christianity as a club. Some of them seem to possess no self-awareness. But to consign all Christian believers to crackpot status is probably not intellectually honest.

    What I really think most of us object to, it the hypocrisy of some of the posters. It is so flagrant that I wonder if some are not putting us on.

    Janet–please just go to church and leave us alone. Colorful–pray for whomever you wish but post in a forum which would appreciate you. You are both making tiresome fools of yourselves.


  313. BS.

    He/She/They deserve it is usually the excuse for treating people badly.


  314. @De-lurker girl: Maybe the attitude comes from the way Christianity presents its case, doing and saying things that are very opposite of what they espouse. Love and tolerance? Do unto others as … Blah, Blah, Blah. Rare!

    Karma’s a bitch.


  315. I have heard the same stories Werner. Jesus didn’t last on the cross as long as victims usually did. Yes, starvation and dehydration killed them and lack of blood to the head added to their discomfort. Have you been without water so long your tongue swells and your skin cracks?

    Still, having nails punched through their bodies was an unremitting pain. Accidently stepping on nails is not unknown on the farm, and it hurts. Imagine having spikes driven though you.

    Jesus came of age during a messianic period. Jews “knew” the time for a savior had arrived. Jesus was not the only man who claimed to be the Sun of God.

    Yes, Jesus died because he became a threat to the Jewish heirarchy, and Pilot, the Roman Governor tried to stand aloof from what for him was a local dispute. Christianity began as one of many offshoot Jewish sects which the Romans for political reasons later chose to support. I believe Jesus rose from the dead, but I understand arguments to the contrary.

    The Obama administration is stepping back from torture for reasons known only to itself. I suspect now that they are responsible for our defense against enemies who want to harm us their attitudes are changing.


  316. Great post, Helen!

    I love it here, but I have to confess that I am really disappointed at the frequent examples of disrespect and even hostility shown to Christianity here in the comments. We’re supposed to be the sane, respectful crowd here! Is it because people don’t understand it, that they think all Christians are the far right extreme? How is that different than assuming that Muslims are all extremists, too? You don’t have to be unChristian to be a thinker. You can be Christian and lean left! Jesus did, in my opinion!

    I do hope that some of the hostility shown to Christianity can be replaced with respectful debate or peaceful coexistence. The majority of us are wonderful people, even if our faith isn’t your thing.

    That said; think what you want about Colorful, who I suspect is not a Christian at all but an accomplished pot stirrer.


  317. I haven’t been here in a few months but I am GLAD to see that the liveliness of the responses haven’t died down…as well as the fact theat Helen hasn’t calmed down.

    Now, why the f@@k isn’t this administration stepping up to the whole previous torture situation, last I read, they were stepping away from it.

    Anyone hiring??? 🙂


  318. James and all

    on Jesus suffering

    It is a proofen historical fact that people that where “nailed to the cross” where actually not dying of the, rather painfull, wounds, but of exposure (lack of water and food). It was a roman way of dying in prolonged pain.
    This could, even in the harsh and hot middle easter climate, take several days.

    So, sorry, NO attack on your believes, but some historians support the theoriy that Jesus was actually taken OFF the cross BEFORE he died!

    So this makes the whole resurrection thing much more plausible and the “ascencion” a politcal murder, and that the political/religous Essener group was lead by his brother James after his death is getting more and more plausible too.

    Now, Jesus did suffer for his POLITICAL belives, that then afterwards where formed by Paul into a religion…. but that is only a remark on the side.


  319. Completly out of context:

    Wild boars not welcome in the City of Augsburg, Germany (except as roast!),1518,623379,00.html

    article in english


  320. Best post yet, I love it!


  321. I’m with Werner on this one. As we discussed before, marriage is both religious sanctification of the union of two souls, and a state sanctioned economic contract. Let churches who fail to recognize gay marriage have their way, because it expresses their religious beliefs. Let the state sanction the important rights and responsibilities of marriage. It is still a marriage and the couples have a right to call it such.

    Some churches will accept it as a marriage, and some won’t. A local church won’t let our newly married friends in the door, so they found another church. Ingrained attitudes and values change about as fast as turning an ocean liner. People will not change until they want to. Time and quiet persuasion change minds faster than condemnation. Many churches will hold on their doctrines, but in time, theirs will be only one of many voices.

    skywriter, Bill Bennett was not writing about torture, because it doesn’t usually appear in our daily lives. I can find reasons to criticize him, but a non- existent chapter on torture is a stretch.

    The beginning of this thread Refers to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity as leaders of the Republican party. Newt Gringrich, maybe. The others are noisy talk show hosts who make their livings stirring up liberals and conservatives. They do have opinions of what should be done, and they are vocal about them.

    If Rush leads the Republicans, then Janeane Garafalo, Air America, and Randi Rhodes lead the Democrats.

    There are several versions of water boarding. We executed Japanese interogators after WW11 for using an extreme version. The type used on our troops as training and on a few prisoners to extract information occupies a twilight zone, more psychological than physical. Obama released records of water boarding. Let him release memos showing the results. Then, we will better know whether it doesn’t or does work.

    Jesus’ suffering was extreme. Imagine how it was to have nails pounded into your body to hold you onto a cross. Then, to feel the nails digging through as they supported your weight on a raised cross. The blood tended to settle in the extremities. Even with drugs the slow death was agonizing.

    Yes, we have invented much nastier methods of torture. Hussein’s wood chipper comes to mind.


  322. GOP strategies for success:

    ‘Just say NO!’

    It never worked on anything before…
    (drugs, premarital sex)
    …so run with it again and again…



  323. And ditto for me.


  324. Helen,


    Thanks, as usual, for the very thoughtful and humorous post.


  325. Scott
    help me out here:

    When did I last force you to read any of my comments?

    And in case you don’t know how to scroll…..tuff luck!


  326. Werner I hope you have some vacation time coming. We could use it.


  327. Fantastic post!


  328. Psychedelikat: Have you discovered Mothering yet? I have a feeling you’d love it.

    See you there. 🙂


  329. Colorful

    one more “pray” and I will remotly disable you “Ctrl” and “V” keys!

    You know, we left wing cyber terrorists can do this!!! 😛


  330. I think you are chasing your tail, Werner…..
    You never fail to impress. As always, I look forward to your next one…and hope Margaret pops in for a visit soon!


  331. Apologies if someone else has already mentioned this (I have to post and run), but didn’t Bill Bennett write a book Titled: _The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories_?

    Wonder which chapter torture would go in…


  332. Frank
    first comment and second are about :
    From Sherri
    ….Werner, you responded to UAW’s comment by saying, “As much as we (you and me) are opposing ends of the same stick, from time to time you amaze me with your common sense…..even if at other times you manage to hide your intelligence rather well…;-)
    So, a (ever so slight) bow from me to you on this comment!”

    Excuse me, but your discrimination is showing….

    First I told here that the stick was apolitical one, second I protested that she called me discriminating since I found it a good idea to get LEGAL civil unions through forgoing the word marriage that seams to enrage all the right wingnuts…

    hope this clears thing?


  333. sorry when I get upset I tend to have even more typos
    please read the last word:



  334. UWA
    ….in the State of Michigan for $100 I can get a permit…

    This is your live, and I don’t persume to interfere with the way you run it, all I know if it by my wife in the deep and brone of it I’d say
    legal? Illegal? schaissegal!

    (look that on up in a german dictonary:


  335. Werner…I think you need some more coffee…please tell us which comment of “Sherri” you are referring to….I think you might have misunderstood her comment…the ones I have read have not be against your beliefs…??????


  336. Sherri

    I lived for over 20 years of my live in Hamburg, Germany and for more than 10 years of that the gay/ lesbian/ tansvestite bar “Toom Peerstall” was like a second living room for me (me and my wife (who i briought there on the first night outm just to seeif she would run away 😉 ) where 2 persons of a about 10 -15 % hetero clientel in this bar, and the reason I kept going back is that I had there much less boring bar conversations than in most “:straight” bars.

    And out of these years of experience I can tell you that most gay people I came in contact with don’t give a rats arse what you call the thing as long as they get the rights and protection that goes along with it.

    They’d HAPPILY forgo the OFFICIAL name “marrigae” for the right to know how their partner is doing in a hospital, have protection after they died or the right to do something when they get really ill!

    So the only one discriminating here is the “holier than thu” attitide by you!

    Just that you’re gay doesn’t make you less an asshole when it comes to withholding rights to people that need them on the pure reason if simantics!

    Do you think any gay couple would say “come to our civil union” instead of “come to our marriage”?

    If they could have a LEGAL civil union just cause it is NOT called OFFICIAL a marriage?

    I think I have to correct myself, you’re not on a high horse, you’re on a damn UNICORN, so far in the clouds you seam to live!




  337. I think pot is also a major crop in northern California too.

    Yes, the Republicans have changed since Eisenhower. So have the Democrats. JFK would have more in common with Republicans than he with many Democrats. He was a cold warrior who cut taxes. His administration also tried to asassinate Castro.


  338. UWA
    …..sounds like you have a problem with the government you helped elect…help your president…say NO to drugs….

    You got it ALL wrong again!

    It is:
    Buy American!
    support your local dealer!



  339. Janis Lupinski

    please use “ctrl+F” and in the find field put the word “religion”, then search through ALL the comments, just so you know what we think of people like you.

    And don’t get me wrong, I do not scald you for what you belive in or that your religious, just for switching of any brains you may have left while doing so!

    nuff said


  340. chloe

    As far as I know there was a study in BC a couple years back that turned out that BC pot is the second biggest cash crop by now (after wheat)

    And I heard roumors that Quebec pot is selling for 4 times the pricE in NYC and 5 times the price in Cali-f***fornia, so it can’t be all bad. (or we would have an exllent price here 😉 )

    But, how would I know……….. 😛


  341. Hmmmmm . . . let’s see . . . old white men . . . old, ingrained, barnacled and usually scared . . . that thing thye have about change is bad is really related to the fact that they know they have at least one foot on a banana peel and the other other one hovering over a grave. If change did not exist they would live forever. As for “mean”, yes, just look at their cumulative backgrounds. Example: Cheny was his hometown’s bad boy and despite how well he looked when cleaned up and stuck in a suit, that bad boy never really went away.

    The Republican party of Dwight Eisenhower would never recognize the party that came out of the Nixon-Reagan-Bush-Bush era. Remember Ike’s famous discourse about the military industrial complex? That’s what I am refering to. Ike did not see any good in any part of this country such as industry or an organization hitching its wagon body and soul to a party. See Right Wing agenda and its grasp on only about 2% of the party but exercising about 80% clout when it comes to elections such as the presidency or supreme court judicial nominations. Ike was right!

    Keep on keeping on!


  342. Helen, glad to hear your voice. It’s so refreshing, unlike the stink from wingnuts.

    @CaroleD, “Maybe they will just hold their breath until they turn blue and then they’ll all be Democrats.” That’s brilliant.

    @the wingnutery in these comments, “It’s better to be quiet and let people think you’re stupid. No need to open your mouth to confirm it.” Nah, go ahead tell the world.

    Thanks, Helen.


  343. I generally agree with UAW and wish him and his wife well. Marsha Prescod is right about our changes.

    One gift the Democrats have given to us is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In addition to being the single most expensive bill ever proposed, it was so long and complex, few if any leaders had time to read it.

    Though it was advertised as an economic stimulus, the Congressional Budget office estimates it will weaken our country’s long term economic growth. Several Democrats and the Republicans offered alternative bills, but Democratic leadership ignored them.

    Both houses of Congress suspended their budget rules to speed passage. They and the administration promised the bill would be posted on the internet for several days before viewing so Americans could comment, and it wasn’t done. At least I couldn’t find it.

    The Obama administration promised to publicize and account for every penny of stimulus spending, but his administration has now delayed opening the doors until next October at the earliest.

    Now, Democrats from energy producing states are rebelling against Obama’s energy tax bill, because they know it will destroy jobs. He called nearly thirty of them to the White House in a failed attempt to make them see things his way.

    We, the tax payers now own auto manufactoring companies and banks.

    Eric Holder’s Justice Department says it is using the same “no intent, no torture” argument accepted by a federal court Pierre v.Attorney General and employed in the infamous OLC ‘torture memos.’ In other words, if we don’t intend to inflict pain on a prisoner but he/she feels pain, no torture was done. Accidents happen don’t they?

    Holder suggests that lawyers for the Bush administration who approved of the same thing be reprimanded or disbarred. This implies the administration’s out rage over Bush era interrogations is politically based.

    A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released yesterday shows roughly one in five people believe water boarding etc is torture, but they approve the use of it. 57% don’t want Congress to investigate Bush era interrogators. Since Obama and the rest are politicians, polls like this will make the issue fade away.

    I like some of what Obama is doing. He has adopted many of Bush’s policies in the war against jihadists. I think calling a meeting with Afgani and Pakistani leaders was helpful. He continued the Bush attempt to save the economy with lots of money when credit threatened to dry up. He has coped with the Swine flu epidemic competantly.

    He is not the second coming, and time will tell if Obama is a net credit or debit to the United States. When Bush was in power, the left groused about not being represented, as the right said the will of the people was finally being expressed. Now, the situation is reversed. In time, conservatives will run the country again, and the other side will complain until the pendulum swings yet another time.


  344. sorryn ot fell, but feel


  345. Sherri
    You DO have a habit of barking up the wrong tree.

    I am, and as so is, as far as I know, UWA what some people call a “boring Hetero” and my comments wher purly political since UWA leans rather far to the right and me rather far to the left.
    (opposing ends of the same POLITICAL stick, OK?)

    You shouldn’t take everything sexual (There are things beside that in live, you know? Even if it IS a lot of fun, never mind the genders involved 😉 )
    and take a minute or two per day and step of your high and mighty horse to mingle among us “foot-soldiers” a bit, just for a “different point of view” LOL

    Anyway, don’t fret, but please don’t fell always attacket when all we are is prinicpally on your side….. 😛

    ….and please, try to takes these comments with the smile they’re ment!


  346. Brosemer’s First Law of Economic Reality clearly states: “Things are the way they so that those that have can get more.” Second Law: Politics = Power. Power = Money. Ergo Politics is Money. It all boils down to these two stubborn principles, if you can call them that.


  347. Oh Lord Almighty – Colorful returned from his/her days wandering in that vast intellectual desert aka his/her mind. . . well nothing like a one-note wonder to kick off the day. Colorful really is a good advertisement for “This is your brain. This is your brain on religion.” (altho I suspect Colorful really doesn’t have any religion except Salvation for Colorful, which makes Colorful a Pharisee)


  348. You are wise, eloquent, thoughtful.
    I’m in my 50s now, living in Britain, and have seen a lot of changes.

    When I was a child, growing up black in Britain, the idea of a black man being the President of the US wasn’t even something that could be dreamed about by my parents. I remember when I was little watching news on tv showing black people being hosed with water canons and attacked by dogs for marching for civil rights in the US and being frightened.
    Now I have family living happily in California.
    There are black CEOs, politicians, and a President
    And I myself grew up to become a lawyer.

    When I was a teenager, the talk was about India being a poor country that couldnt feed itself.
    Now the talk is of India as a growing world power building on increasing economic strength.

    When I was a young adult, the USSR had a vast empire in the east of Europe.
    Now the USSR has gone and Russia struggles to establish a place in the world after economic woes, sectarian strife, and a shrinking population.

    Now I’m middle aged, and we are all looking to China, formerly the place of Mao Tse Tung, and the Little Red Book, to be the engine that drives the world economy out of recession…

    Talk about changes! 🙂


  349. Thanks Easier. Such ignorance is a sin, I’m not a person who will speak ill against any religion, but if you want to see real suffering just come down to the third world. I am on the other side of the world, working in a fairly plush office. But I walk my way here through a shanty town where naked, hungry kids play with dogs. They have no scope of going to school, they never will learn english, they will not use the internet. The girls will get married before they know what’s happening, way before they are 18 (the legal age), and die in a dowry related death. They will get brutally raped, consent is not something most Indian men are aware of and most Indian women will fight for. I hate the holier than thou attitude of these prudes – if christianity is the answer to all these problems, I don’t see it. I am sorry.

    Ya, the government and the rich (I will shamefully include me in this list) will talk about Bangalore, Taj Mahal and Incredible India. We are blind, much like the conservatives.


  350. Sooo good to see you back and in top form, Helen!

    I’ve had a slew of visitors for the past several weeks. It was great to have them here, but it did cut into my blogging time, so I’ve missed quite a lot.

    I don’t understand why any sentient human being can justify torture under any circumstances, if only because it is short-sighted. The prime reason (other than that it is simply and absolutely wrong) that there are international conventions against torture is to guarantee that if our own military personnel are taken prisoner, they will not be subject to torture. As you note, we tracked down and fully prosecuted those who were guilty of torture in WWII and later. We may not have gotten them all, but we managed to set an enduring example.

    So long as we do not prosecute to the fullest extent of the law the Cheneys, Rumsfelds and all their merry men/women who authorized and implemented this abomination, we no longer have the moral high ground. We must regain that which we have lost.

    IMO, any so-called Christian who justifies torture against any other human being has not understood the teachings of Christ. There are all too many who interpret the message of love as a message of hate instead.

    Thanks for being here, Helen. You are such a breath of fresh air and common sense!


  351. Gili, don’t pay attention to colorful. That is what he/she comes here for. I mean how much sense does this person make? Why keep coming to this site, of all sites? To satisfy a guilty pleasure I think. Colorful comes here to indulge in the guilty pleasure of reading Helen’s blog, which is full of common sense (which colorful sorely lacks) and then tries to pontificate. Same as all the TV preachers, priest etc., who preach against whatever and then exactly do that exact same whatever in the cover of darkness.


  352. Ladies, I am so glad someone recommended your blog to me.

    What sanity, what common sense, what straight talk!

    I love it. Love you both. Please keep it up.


  353. BTW, colorful, keep praying… go ahead…

    Really. I mean, don’t bother to educate yourself on the issues or anything. Just pray, pray, pray…



  354. To colorful– you seriously don’t know what you’re talking about. Read a history book. The so-called suffering of Jaysus is nothing compared to the actual cruelties of this world.


  355. “Jesus was tortured and murdered so that we could find heaven through Christianity. ”

    Ummmm. No. Jesus got a little slapped around for a week and then was killed (and had medicine administered to him from the hyssop plant– See NT for reference).

    Yet, little girls in Africa are gang raped for years on end only to die from AIDS. So yeah, compared to that, well Jesus really suffered (*sarcasm*). I mean those Romans were real experts at torture considering the fact that according to the Bible, Jesus didn’t even suffer one broken bone. Nope, he just got a belt whippin across his back.

    He didn’t get teeth pulled out. He didn’t get his fingernails pulled out. He didn’t get butt raped. He didn’t get his nads crushed. He didn’t have to watch as loved ones in his family were murdered and burnt (either alive or dead). He didn’t have to witness his wife being raped. He didn’t have to live through the rape and murder of his child.

    So how exactly did Jesus with his little stripes atone for the sins that we have already paid for by suffering them ourselves?


  356. Sorry helen, forgot to say the obvious… great post once again! I am proud of you….


  357. Is it justified for a non practising hindu with loads of atheist, muslim, hindu and christian friends to think of poking a coffee stirrer in Colorful’s eye and not make him/her see any color? For the first time in life, I am seriously for torture. Grow up person. Christ is on my side on this one.


  358. What a gem of a post Helen! Loved it.


  359. Stephen C. has been reading Helen.—captain-kangaroo-court


  360. Ms Helen:

    Best post ever.


    P.S. There is a poem by Maxine Kumin about exactly that: shit and life, going on, long after us.


  361. Helen, I just wanted to tell you that I love you.

    I love your thought processes and the way you speak: you are my hero.



  362. That is so spot on. I never understood why we were going to start that war. It never made sense to me.


  363. Colorful: Torturing people is justified! YOU ARE ONE SICK PERSON!
    I liked you better when you spoke in tongues: ojfoanfkewnkwefjk God told me to tell you that you are a flake!


  364. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray.


  365. Jesus was tortured and murdered so that we could find heaven through Christianity. Torturing Muslims who are trying to steal our Christianity from us is justified. Pray that God will shine his graces down on you. Pray that Helen will find a way to use her popularity to bring people to Jesus and not away. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray.


  366. Brav F’n O ! Best post ever!

    UAW doesn’t deserve any ones cynicism or insults
    for his views and opinions. Debate him like so many here do. Makes for a great read.

    I’m worried about Grandma Katie. Anyone heard from her?


  367. bullseye!!

    now this cherokee gramma would like to know what you think about our tax dollars are being used by the dept. of the interior to haze and potentially stampede buffalo from yellowstone park during the birthing season…… guaranteeing that many baby nursing bison/buffalo will be trampled >>>

    “…….Right now, newborn wild bison — better known as buffalo — are grazing under their mothers’ watchful eyes on the lush Horse Butte peninsula near Yellowstone National Park in Montana.

    But on May 15, this pastoral scene could turn ugly if the government begins hazing the buffalo back into the park with helicopters, horses and ATVs, as they did last year at this time.

    This wildlife tragedy replays almost every year on Horse Butte — a birthing ground for the buffalo.

    First, a helicopter invades the stillness, circling low to scare wild buffalo out of the woods, so that government agents on ATVs and horses can chase them back to Yellowstone.

    With no time to rest or nurse during this relentless chase, some calves collapse and even die of exhaustion before ever reaching their grazing grounds deep within the park. ……

    The saddest part? This senseless tragedy is unnecessary. The justification for hazing and killing buffalo is that they could spread the disease brucellosis to domestic cattle. That is why buffalo are generally not welcome outside Yellowstone Park in Montana — and why thousands have been slaughtered or hazed back into the park in recent years………”

    from national resources defense council


  368. You make me smile! and I cheer–go Helen go Helen go Helen!


  369. Peeking in after finishing rounds. Too tired to bisect UAW’s posts – but the theme(s) stay the same. Read of UAW’s posts and they are all the same old same old neocon crapola. UAW, get outside. Sit in the sunshine, regenerate your Vitamin D, soak up some warmth, and scare the birds. Then come back and grump. Nite all!


  370. sandy,

    Apparently it’s about something earth shattering…guns. see UAW’s post from May 6, 2009 at 11:14 AM


  371. Rahm Emannuel was just saying the other day that the Republicans are The Party of NO, The Party of NEVER, The Party of NO NEW IDEAS:


  372. Will someone clue me in on what Obama has lied about?


  373. UAW,

    You are the one who keeps referencing guns, I’ve been talking about marijuana. Okay, you want me to say Ooh that Obama is such a liar? At least his “lies” have not taken us to war under false pretenses. Happy now?

    on another note, I hope your wife’s health is improving. Here’s to better days ahead!


  374. I posted this blog on my babycenter group, Mamas for Obama! So far, the ladies are lovin’ it!


  375. WOW!~ You all have been busy chattering and such today! UAW, glad to know you’re still around and kicking at everything that moves. 🙂 I’m not gonna respond to your posts because I’m worn out, still have miles to go before I sleep, then gotta get up early to raise the sun above the horizon. But listen sweetcheeks – it’s only been in the last couple of decades that American History books even included a footnote, much less a paragraph, about the internment camps – and there’s was hardly any mention at all about Wounded Knee and the other countless massacres that paved the way west. Needless to say, there’s a lot of shit in our country’s history, but just because that’s a fact, doesn’t mean we, today, should excuse or ignore the shit that’s happening right now. Either you do something to fix the bullshit or you sit down and let the grownups take care of it. Okay folks – have a good evening. UAW, don’t forget to save some of your energy for your own health – and just have a date night with your spouse. Just the two of you – being together. That’s good medicine.


  376. Helen, you are so right. I just wish more people had as much sense as you do!


  377. UAW, I do want to say my thoughts and well-wishes are with both you and your wife. Our stimulating conversations here never negate that, no matter how much we may disagree.


  378. UAW –

    The fact remains that the same rights are NOT granted, so I guess it’s a moot point.

    Yes, people have a right to their religious beliefs
    …but they do NOT have a right to use their religious beliefs to deny civil rights and equality to others. (We learned that with emancipation, yes?)

    I don’t work for or with the ACLU so I cannot surmise their intentions. I can only say that if/when gay and lesbians couples are legally allowed to marry, it is a civil marriage, and no church, denomination, or clergy would be forced to provide a religious ceremony for them; therefore, they cannot be sued for refusing to do so. Why do people think we would WANT to go to a church that does not support us? I don’t know a single person who purposefully seeks out opportunities to be victimized, dehumanized, or devalued……especially when there are plenty of churches, denominations, and clergy who value and support us and would love to provide us with loving, lovely religios ceremonies.


  379. sherri…
    I did say if the same rights are granted by the state…I think your nitpicking what I said….I would have no problem if everyone went to the courthouse and got their civil union license and if you wanted to go to a church and get married then fine…..not all churches won’t do the ceremony……it’s up to the preacher….people talk about their rights but what about the other persons rights….I still think the ACLU can’t wait to sue a church…doesn’t a person have a right to there religious beliefs(I went for Xmas and Easter)


  380. Francine,



    My thoughts are with you and your wife.


  381. UAW,.we tried marinol but she still got nausous….guess what people…life sucks

    Yes it does and we are all here for you. So so sorry for your wife’s pain and yours. Thanks for the update.


  382. Whirled peas,
    There have been some hilarious pictures I have seen depicting “shit happens”. Can you find one and post it? Just for humor.


  383. Helen, my tolerance for ignorance is probably similar to your own, but you, my dear, have the gift of humor. Thank you so much for sharing the latest absurdities with us. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.


  384. Obviously the politicians were riding the fence on this one weren’t they?


  385. Helen, this is your best. “Shit Happens” has been my mantra for years. The only “Cuss” word allowed in our house was shit because shit does happen 🙂

    Whirled peas
    The Kiss of Boss Limpbaugh = Hopefully the Kiss of Death?? I like GOPosaur.

    UAW, why aren’t people doing more to stop the drug gangs by doing less drugs….come on liberals…support your president…just say NO.

    UAW, I wish it was that simple. I have never used drugs (including the ones the doctors want to give you) but I do feel if we legalize pot, we will take people out of our jails, get tax benefits like we do with tobacco and alcohol and slow down the drug lords. Get real, people are not going to say NO so just tax them.

    Francine, I don’t usually respond to such comments, but really, that was so uncalled for and usually comes out of the mouth of teenage bullies. Are you a bully? Go back to the previous Helen post where Bullies are discussed.

    Haven’t heard from Granma Katie recently. Hope all is well.


  386. Debbie: sad to say I saw a new sticker this week:


    Dems didn’t start putting “1-20-09” on their cars until a few years into the failure that was Bush’s administration; now the Repubs are using their own version after less than 4 months.


  387. uncommonsense….
    thanks for asking… the State of Michigan for $100 I can get a permit(she can) that would let her have marijuana…I could also grow 5 plants if they were in a caged area that no one could break into?????she could have it but it would be against the law for me to buy it…they don’t supply seeds or cuttings either…if I was growing some and got robbed could I be arrested for distributing?????I don’t know….
    right now she’s pretty much living on TPN…
    but she’s actually put on 8 lbs…..we tried marinol but she still got nausous….guess what people…life sucks


  388. shit not only happens, it has a tendency to splatter all over anyone within 5 feet..unlike that buttroy president bush ..when he shat he shat on all of us….


  389. This is from the tail end of the previous thread, but I thought it was important enough to respond here so that you would read my response.

    UAW, you said, “personally as far as gay marriages go,why can’t they be called civil unions….if the same rights are granted by the state and the religious objection to the word “marriage” being used is removed where’s the problem then…doesn’t the GLTV bare part of the blame for demanding”marriages”

    [Since when do minorities bear part of the blame for discrimination for demanding full equality? UAW, that’s the fullest-of-shit-argument I’ve ever heard!]

    Werner, you responded to UAW’s comment by saying, “As much as we (you and me) are opposing ends of the same stick, from time to time you amaze me with your common sense…..even if at other times you manage to hide your intelligence rather well…;-)
    So, a (ever so slight) bow from me to you on this comment!”

    Excuse me, but your discrimination is showing.

    Separate is not equal. Do not call yours a marriage and ask me to settle for a union. If ALL relationships are legally recognized and protected through civil unions, fine, I’d accept a union. But the legal term used in this country is “civil marriage” so anything less than civil marriage is inequality, and inequality is discrimination.

    But since you asked, I’ll tell you why we do not accept civil unions. When states grant civil unions (such as Vermont) the gay couples who unionize do NOT receive the federal protections and benefits that couples who marry do receive. Civil unions provide a few of the state benefits, but NO federal benefits.

    In addition, while all states are legally obligated to recognize MARRIAGES that take place inother states, no states are obligated to recognize UNIONS that take place in other states. Many Vermont couples who have unions, for example, will not even travel outside of their state because if one partner took ill or had an accident, the other partner would not be able to make medical decisions for their spouse…excuse me, for their union partner.

    Also, if married spoouses choose to divorce, they have many legal protections when it comes to dividing property and coparenting. Unionized couples have no protections for dissolving their unions.

    Civil unions do not establish kinship, which is exactly why they do not, in fact, offer the same protections and benefits as mariage. Marriage establishes kinship.


  390. Jenny…
    what is “absoldutelyno”…they didn’t teach me that in school……is that like new math where 2+2 equals something other than 4
    sometimes I don’t explain myself correctly…some people are good at this and other are good mechanics or cooks or whatever…..
    this is a left bash right site and I get upset when the left bashes a righty(Bush lied)…but condones a lefty(Obama lied)…a lie is a lie….
    Bush condoned torture after 9/11 and FDR condoned internment after Pearl harbor…both were wrong but at the time seemed right….remember the pendulum…
    it swings way to the right and then way to the left….is it only correct when way left or would stopping in the middle be better


  391. Hi UAW. How is your wife? A lot of us on here have been real concerned about her. Were you able to find a suitable source for medical marijuana for her?


  392. UAW – you must be so proud.


  393. I agree with the bloggers who say this is your best post ever! Great read!!!!!



  394. Francine …
    I’ve been called a millionaire(I wish), an alcoholic, a racist, a homophobe, and even a jerk but……if Johnny Holmes and I laid them down side by side….I’d loose


  395. I love this post so much.


  396. UAW please tell me you were home schooled. I would hate to think you were a product of an organized institution of learning. Your posts make absoldutelyno sense. What point are you trying to make?


  397. Helen, another great post. Thank you.

    Chloe, I agree with you on the legalization of marijuana, and no, I don’t use it either. But you can’t really debate UAW. He doesn’t make much sense. Apparently he only watches Faux News.


  398. chloe…
    nice post…what about Obama lying about the guns from the US…you left that out….one report was 17% not 90%,another was around half
    it’s still terrible that criminals are getting guns but to try to blame honest citizens(or politicize it) is a worse crime ….


  399. Republicans: The Lost Party

    *See GOPosaur above



  400. This is the party who thought they were being persecuted when they had all the power. Now that they have so little, we can expect no less than the constant negativity and whining. Maybe they will just hold their breath until they turn blue and then they’ll all be Democrats.

    I must admit that I am impressed by the Republicans’ ability to brainwash that diehard 29% into believing the poor downtrodden wealthy need them to champion them as if they are a persecuted minority with little means and even less power. As for the rest of it, it’s all about fear – fear of the unknown, fear of terrorists, fear of anything or anyone different from themselves.

    As for this “new” bunch, I’m a Floridian, and I’m telling you that when Jeb Bush starts looking like he might run for office again, head for the hills. All I can say is that he’s just like his mother. All smart mouth and condescension, with a bit of wheeler dealer thrown in so he can get sweet deals for his good buddies when he privatizes everything.


  401. from one 83 year old to another, ‘You Rock’. We’re not all old fossils and most of us have lived long enough to acquire some common sense.

    This is my favorite blog and I am a faithful reader, even though I rarely comment. I just pop in now and then to let you know I’m still alive.


  402. Janis,
    No thanks. My Bible tells me that I can pray for myself. Have you ever read Corinthians I & II? If you have, it doesn’t seem to have stuck because Christians are not supposed to judge unless they want to be judged. I think this message is pretty clear: mind your own business and stay out of other people’s. It also means draw no conclusions or make no statements about others, unless you want them to be made about you.

    I would like for you to think about this: if Jesus returned today, would he know YOU?


  403. I’m just trying to understand him…you have to admit…it WOULD explain the bitterness, don’t you think??


  404. francine, honey, don’t personally insult uaw, debate him instead.


  405. Janis, ummm, since you’ve been leaving comments on this evil web blog, add your name to the list for prayers.


  406. UAW…I bet you have a tiny penis.


  407. fyreflynight…
    your right …Iraq didn’t do 9/11…fanatical islamists did…just like the USS Cole,the Beirut barracks bombing, the US embassy in Beirut, the US embassy in Yemen,the US embassy in Nairobi, the suicide bombers in Britian, the bombers in Spain,the ones who cut off Nickolas Bergs head……need more…..the Iraqi bombers that killed Iranians in Iraq(and now its the US’s fault)(april 25 2009)
    the same islamists that I include Saddam Husein with…..the one that Bill Clinton said had WMD’s….yea…that war

    “We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”
    Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.


  408. All of you leaving comments on this evil web blog will be prayed for. Accept the light of our Lord and be saved. It is the only way.


  409. uaw,
    I love my new President and I’ve been saying No to drugs for years dear. I haven’t smoked pot in 23 years and that is the only “drug” that I have ever experienced. I take no medications, never had a surgery, broken any bones or experienced childbirth, so even my experiences with “legally prescribed” drugs is minimal. I don’t take anything stronger than Advil. I don’t drink either.
    I’m certain that guns do flow to Mexico as you stated above. I simply feel that a lot of the drug and gun issues with Mexico could be alleviated by legalizing marijuana in this country.

    “insatiable demand for illegal drugs“ – exactly, “illegal”, if pot was no longer illegal and was available from people growing right here already instead of the supply coming from Mexico wouldn’t that help to alleviate the cartel problems as well as keep that 19-39 billion US dollars here? Also, it is my understanding according to people half my age, that some of the best pot around is grown in Canada – hey Werner, any truth to that?


  410. Helen. This is the first time I have read one of your blogs that there were fewer than 365 million comments. I figure no one reads them past 200, so I never responded. But, I get to tell you this time how much I love you. You say everything I would love to say, only so much better than I could.

    I just really do not understand people who do not realize that you have to talk to other people to solve problems. What is with that? You cannot solve an issue with another country by building a wall: literally and figuratively.

    Thanks for your all of your words of wisdom. Except the part about Limbaugh having been funny once. I don’t think he’s ever been funny.


  411. UAW – you don’t even make sense.


  412. It was worth skimming the comments for that last one. I’m going to start using “Cheney!” instead of my usual curse words!
    Brava, Helen. As always.


  413. These days, when I feel the need to use profanity, I bypass the usual curses and just utter “Dick Cheney.”

    When I’m really exercised, I preface it with “shit for brains.”

    Hope you’re feeling better, Helen. Judging by your post, I’d say you are.


  414. chloe…
    “Calderón has asked the United States to take concrete action against weapons traffickers as well as combat Americans’ “insatiable demand for illegal drugs,” as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put it when she visited Mexico last month”
    “As for the U.S. role, Obama said, “We are going to be dealing not only with drug interdiction coming north, but also working on helping to curb the flow of cash and guns going south.” ”
    “The government did not identify assets held by the three cartels, but authorities have estimated that $19 billion to $39 billion in drug proceeds flows south each year from the United States.”

    sounds like you have a problem with the government you helped elect…help your president…say NO to drugs


  415. That’s just so beautifully said!


  416. yeah… i definitely want to be YOU when i grow up! fortunately, i believe i’m well on my way. my mom’s the same age as you are, missy, and she, too, has seen the light. and i have to say it’s lovely to see her bathed in this kind of clear thinking.

    thank you for sharing your astute and/or brilliant observations. from your fingertips to the moron’s eyes. ; )


  417. Janis- People who have “Jesus” in their lives have been responsible for an awful lot of hate throughout history, and walking around adding the names of people you disagree with to your prayer circle is actually pretty rude.

    UAW- Seriously? You’re going to compare going to war with the Japanese after Pearl Harbor to going to war in Iraq after 9/11? Iraq isn’t where Al Quaeda was based. We went into Iraq under false pretenses, remember?

    And Someone…you aren’t brave enough to leave a name? If you can’t stand up for what YOU believe, why should anyone listen? Your writing is incomprehensible anyway. I want those 10 seconds of my life back.

    Lastly, to Helen: You speak to my soul. THANK YOU!

    Oh, and as Chickenpig said…GO MAINE!!!


  418. Amen! Thank you.

    Happy Mothers Day to both you and Margaret.


  419. Amen! You know the party of tired old white men is in trouble when they roll Newt Gingrich out to comment on Obama’s first 100 days. Newt Gingrich. Is that all you’ve got?

    Thanks, as always, for a great post.


  420. Helen I have listed your name on my prayer circle email for I know that if you had Jesus in your life you wouldn’t be so hateful. I pray for you to see the light of his ways. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.


  421. The Kiss of Boss Limpbaugh





  423. Helen, thank you for being a beacon of Truth. You are appreciated and cherished.
    Regarding The Dick (Cheney): IMHO, he’s a coward of the highest degree. And a bully, but then bullies are cowards.
    I believe in karma, or what goes around comes around, or we create our own destiny, or however you want to say it. Just daydreaming here, but wouldn’t it be great if we could know ahead of time when it comes to The Dick’s turn, and sell tickets to that event? My, what a show that would be. I think there would be enough people buying tickets to end poverty on the entire planet.
    Keep shining Helen!


  424. someone – apparently you are lost, here’s a link to get you back where you belong


  425. You hit the nail on the head, lady!


  426. Despite all the good comments all the liberals left you. No wonder the country is going downhill.. and adding it with all the “good and smart thinkers” in Congress and the White House.
    I have one thing to say: You are just full of shit !!! Too bad for all those years of yours, you have not gotten any wisdom and common sense. It is just sad. Hope your grandkids don’t pick up your way of “thinking”.


  427. Another wonderful post. It sums up just about everything in a nutshell.

    It seems so incredibly simple, doesn’t it? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I don’t want any US service men or women to be water boarded, for any reason. It just stands to reason that therefore we shouldn’t do it to anyone else. When did what we want or need to know from someone take precedence over how they deserve to be treated? I don’t CARE that if you torture someone long enough that eventually they will tell you what you want to hear. I really would like to know if OJ Simpson killed his wife, or whether or not Cheney is in fact the Anti Christ, but that doesn’t give me the right to haul off and waterboard them.

    I guess I am naive because I don’t see how any information is worth treating people inhumanely, especially since information gained under those conditions is inherently untrustworthy.

    And….Go Maine!


  428. uaw

    people have been smoking pot for ions and I don’t see that changing. check out these talking points from NORML –
    It is long past due for the US to consider marijuana decriminalization, why this issue is too hot to seriously consider puzzles me. Oh, I remember, it’s a slippery slope, a gateway to other illicit substances…rubbish. Yet, alcohol is perfectly legal, go figure. And before you label me a ganja smoking liberal, I confess, I more than sampled it in my youth (when I was a registered Republican no less), it was a casual thing, never an addiction nor did it lead to anything harsher. The demand will always be there just as it has been for decades, so wouldn’t legalization curb the demand from Mexico? And wouldn’t our prisons have more room to house the really bad people, like rapists, murderers, child molesters, bad politicians? Your opinion please.


  429. Bravo Helen!
    I just read an article about how conservatives are cheering the many ” liberal” newspapers that are tanking. They claim that they’re going out of business b/c they’re too liberal. Too bad it’s all newspapers, b/c newspapers are going the way of the dogs.
    Now, if only Fox News would implode! That would be something to cheer about!


  430. “Then one day a lunatic took up residence and started an unnecessary war, condoned torture and made me ashamed of my country.”

    On the torture issue check out this link:

    Bybee, Bradbury and Yoo may be facing consequences of their actions. “According to one Justice source who has read the report, its conclusions are “devastating” and raise grave doubts about the memo writers’ claims to have given the issues presented their best legal analysis.”

    So the authors of the torture policy memos which gave the green light to interrogators to use torture may yet be served justice. Or, on the other hand, they may simply be fall guys who were told what they had to justify. Interesting article, though.


  431. UWA
    what else is new?

    Luckly here on this post no one is into the “holier than thu” crap (uups sorry, meant: shit)

    War was always the best excuse to screw the people, just look at your “War on Terrorism”, the Homeland Security and what happend to US civil rights….

    nuff said


  432. Great post, Helen.
    I would like to congratulate the great state of Maine for becoming the 5th State to legalize gay marriage.


  433. great post!!


  434. Well said Helen!


  435. *thumbs up* Too bad the Republican’s “Listening Tour” doesn’t come through your blog!


  436. I need my coffee…”toar” was suppose to be “Torah” and “plut” was supose to be “polute” – sorry about that.

    Not believing in God allows us to appreciate the here and now. Also a very important part of the mix – if you ask me (which you didn’t, but that is OK).



  437. Helen…your shit doesn’t smell any better than mine…
    in politics the pendulum swings one way and then the other….it’s terrible that (R)Bush felt that he had to allow torture but you didn’t mention the interment camps by(D)FDR…are you going to say that 9/11 was not as terrible as Pearl Harbor…both got us into a war….and Werner….google Japanese interment camps in Canada…it’s not always right but in war shit does happen…
    you keep talking about Bush’s lies but what about Obama’s lies…there’s a drug war on our southern border and Obama says that 90% of the guns come from gun shows in the US.

    why aren’t people doing more to stop the drug gangs by doing less drugs….come on liberals…support your president…just say NO…
    yes shit happens and yes it stinks


  438. I live with a very conservative family – but they are family, so I am sort of stuck with them – and the one “view” that they all hold is that the “change” is the sin that gets us in trouble.

    According to them: if we never left the garden of Eden…we would not want to sin.
    If we would just all believe in the Toar…we would not mess with pigs and have the swine flu.
    If we would would all just do waht jesus would do…we could plute the other side of the planet, because they are all Muslim, Hindu, Witches.

    I love the diversity of this planet. And it is actually my belief that the differences are the blessing from God. It is also my belief that those differences, when brough together, are what is eventually going to save the planet. No one people have all the answers, but when you combine the best from many different ways of life you get a balanced life (zen), full of compassion (Jesus), beauty (arts), appreciation (indian), and science (captolism).

    Here’s to an evening spent watching a sunset, with your lover, on a blanket, appreciating what God left us, and listening to Motzart on your iPod.

    Here’s to change!

    D in Dallas


  439. Helen,
    You are the voice of truth. In case I get too busy to come back before Sunday,
    You are really special.


  440. Miss Helen you make me laugh hard to myself. Many peoples here at my work looking at me for laughing at what you write. You funny lady!


  441. Very very fine post! Thanks .


  442. I love you, Helen.

    You have a way of addressing issues that so many of us are concerned about, or think about, but may not have the words to express those concerns.

    Thank you for giving us all a voice.


  443. Wonderful.

    How is it you always voice my feelings spot on?

    Thanks as always.


  444. “For most of my life I really didn’t care too much who ended up in the White House. Then one day a lunatic took up residence and started an unnecessary war, condoned torture and made me ashamed of my country. So now I pay attention… because shit happens”.

    Wow, it’s like you read my mind.

    Helen & Margaret, Happy Mother’s Day! I hope your day includes lots of love, laughter and homemade pie!


  445. This is some funny shit!!!!!!! 🙂


  446. Yes, s*** really happens. Thank you for putting it in its place. Wish a few other folks were as capable of doing the same.


  447. I’m new to this blog. How do we get this article to the people that matter. Congressmen and woman, Senators, the President. THIS is the way life should be. Helen, you are a national treasure!


  448. This is such a great post. thank you for saying it like it is.


  449. Helen, as John Kenneth Galbraith so sagely wrote, “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

    ’nuff said.


  450. One of your best posts EVER, Helen–and that’s saying a lot, because you’ve written some great ones!


  451. Oh, how I wish the people in Washington had the common sense, intelligence and understanding that you have displayed in your writing. Thanks for making my day!


  452. Like you I woke up … sad isnt it that some never will …


  453. I check your blog every day and you never fail me: a mixture of insight and humor, all in the name of worthy ’causes’. Today’s blog seems to fit nicely with an editorial column I also read today by Leonard Pitts…. kind of in the vein of ‘we’ve met the enemy and the enemy is US’. The shitheads didn’t get into power without about half of us putting them there, TWICE for God’s sake. And too many of us concurred by our silence, speaking up much too late, I think. Silence is NOT golden, when it occurs in the face of blatant evil… silence is then default approval. We need to kick some Bushie asses to jail, and though I’m not sure how we do it, we need to kick our own asses really hard.

    Go read Leonard Pitts column….


  454. In my faith (wicca), we say thoughts are prayers. So every Helen & Margaret article generates lots of (progressive) prayers floating through the universe – thanks Helen! thanks Margaret! and merry mom’s day!


  455. bravo cara… you are inspired and an inspiration!


  456. aww Helen! Great post as usual.
    My hatred of Cheney is a powerful thing. My mom always told me it isnt right to hate. I know in my heart I shouldn’t…. and yet, I do.
    I loved your post, just like I love them all, but this one really speaks to me. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. You’re a doll.


  457. Thank you Helen for saying what I’ve been thinking.

    Keep up the good work. Really. I mean it.


  458. I’m not prone to adulation, but this says it all, Helen. And I adore you for it.

    *mwah* (kiss of thanks)


  459. Thank you. Just. Thank you.


  460. What a wonderful post! As I’ve said before, I sometimes force myself to listen to Hannity, Limbaugh et al. I firmly believe that they are getting more strident and shrill as the sand shifts from under them.


  461. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You are a jewel. The truth and nothing but the truth


  462. Thanks, Helen!


  463. God bless you Helen, you are the best. I check your blog everyday and it’s like Christmas morning whenever there is a new one. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and humor with all of us!


  464. Well hello Helen! This has got to be one of your best posts. Thank you!

    You’ve nailed the Repubs’ problem–no new ideas. Just the same ol’, same ol’.

    I do think the knee jerk reflexes are working with their defense of torture. The way I read it is they are not happy with the torure memos becoming public. This exposes the “brains” of the previous administration to ridicule and possible lawsuits.

    Don’t underestimate them. They will coalesce when the Dem admin. makes an unpopular or controversial move. That will become their issue.

    They’ve tried this so far and largely failed. But eventually something will stick. Maybe not this year, but eventually it will. They are not dead.

    In the meantime Dems need to hold Congress’ feet to the fire on some issues, such as their refusal to pass our President’s proposal to increase taxes on the weatlhiest citizens to earlier levels.


  465. I was stopped at a red light a couple of days ago, and a guy drove up next to me, rolled down his window, and yelled, “Obama!” He then gave me the thumbs up. He obviously saw the bumper sticker I still proudly “wear” on my car.

    This is the kind of enthusiasm we Americans are feeling about this presidency. I still feel like I have to pinch myself to realize we’re done with W and torture and ignorance and hatred. WE’RE DONE WITH IT! We’re taking America back and I couldn’t be happier about it. Your post is right on, and do you know why Helen? Because the GOP is the party of SHIT: Stupid Hypocritical Idiotic Twits!!


  466. Helen, everytime I read your writing, I love you more.

    I am the mom of a young man in the USAF, and my husband is retired military.

    Dick and Bill did not serve, nor does anyone in their family. Dick started early in his life with his machinations to avoid serving in Vietnam. (see: To quote Dick: “I had other priorities in the ’60s than military service.” How nice for him, that he felt he could choose whether to serve his country, even if he was classified 1A. I don’t remember knowing anyone else so special back in the 60s.


  467. Okay Gang…Let’s send this post VIRAL!!!!!!
    Way to go HELEN!!!!!


  468. Well said, Helen.


  469. I was an atheist- now I’m worshipping Helen!


  470. I couldn’t applaud you more. What a wonderful post. I love your blog and I hope you keep writing.


  471. Keep an eye out for the…


    The Party of NO’s last mascot.



  472. Please just don’t stop writing. Whatever you do, don’t stop writing. Really. I MEAN IT!


  473. Thank you, ma’am and God Bless. You are a refreshing dose of common sense that I enjoy more than, well, just about anything else on the Net.


  474. Hi Helen,
    don’t forget the face of the republican party: Joe the Plumber!


  475. thanks Helen, I needed that. You always make me feel like I am not alone (sitting here in my rep dominated office in Idaho).

    Really, I mean it.



  476. AMEN!


  477. The Bush administration was our own version of Chernobyl and it will likely take more than a decade to clean up the mess. The damage is on a cellular level and we will never truly recover from it.

    Helen, keep calling it like you see it – you speak for more of us than you realize.


  478. I so enjoy this blog. I may not always agree with everything, but isn’t that ability to think for ourselves and agree to disagree agreeably what makes this country great? However, I am getting SOOO TIRED of the Party of Nope. Thank you Helen for your clear concise insight. And thank you for reminding us all that we are all capable human beings, and we are capable of being better human beings.


  479. […] Shit Happens […]


  480. Helen………you are truly a jewel and your words are so right on.

    The party of NO and hate continues on its’ merry way. Everything they wholeheartedly approved off the last 8 years(except torture—-they LOVE torture. Even McCain), they now say NO to. but it looks like there is in-fighting: Rush, Rove and Palin vs Romney and the “new” bbq eatin’ good OLD guys……….they are all a joke. They want to see America fail.

    The American public is still speaking and they want and approve of change. I would like to see just one of those damn Republican senators say YES because they know it is the right thing to do for America. We all know that their own party leadership threatens them if they dare support the President. But, selfishness and hate run deep………..people hate what they don’t understand and they refuse to understand what they have learned to hate.

    Shit happened 8 years ago and we will be cleaning it up for the next decade !!


  481. Helen has nailed it to the wall!!! Bravo!!!!!! Would love to see Helen go toe to toe with Eric Cantor (snorting coffee thru nose)


  482. Thank you for another marvelous post!


  483. Helen, I am lighting a candle and worshipping you for now on…..You are the Goddess of all that is good. Spread your word, Helen…and WAKE UP, WORLD!!!!!


  484. HELEN YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!


  485. Helen you are always spot on. Happy Spring and keep the blogs a coming!!


  486. Great!


  487. Bravo!



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