Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Grandbaby Blogging

My Gamma needs new pictures of me. This is still from March and my Mommy keeps forgetting to email gamma new pictures. In March I was two, and I'm a big girl now and I go to day care and everything. But Gamma still calls me her grandbaby and that's okay she's my baby too. But so Gamma and Mommy went to Alaska on a cruise and I didn't go with I went to my other Gamma's with Daddy and played with my cousins. Gamma said she and Mommy saw lots and lots of these big birdies:

They are called Bald Eagles, but they aren't bald like men with no hair or anything. Bald Eagles aren't on the endangered species list anymore and that means they aren't estiacnct
extinct anymore. But Bald means it has a white head and tail feathers and a dark body and it's from a Welsh word. Gamma said that some people in Alaska said that there were so many Bald Eagles there they were like pigeons but they are too pretty to be pigeons and that maybe the Endangered Species act was getting weak. Dick Cheney doesn't like salmon and he let farmers kill salmon. I don't like him. Can you please impeach him?

I have to go play now. Bye bye.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wednesday Grandbaby Interruption

I can't write about the Secret Presidency of Dick Cheney today because I cannot be civilized. My fury, my rage at what he's done to our nation is too deep and I cannot be coherent. It is no small thing, and the damage is so far-reaching, that I cannot be coherent, let alone civilized.

So I interrupt my week with a story about Ellie Bean. Beanie doesn't really like to talk on the phone. She pushes it away, she thinks it interrupts play, or reading. Oh, she will pick up the phone and dial random numbers and say "hi" and "bye" when she feels like it, but when her mommy hands her the phone, she pushes it away.

Sunday, my daughter and I were talking. She put me on speaker phone. She kept telling Beanie to say hi to Gramma. Suddenly, Bean picked up the phone, and said, "Hi... GAMMA." She babbled away for a minute. I answered her. Then I told her a baby-joke, ending with the punch-line bffftpfttt - she laughed, and made the same raspberry sound. We did this back and forth for a bit. Finally, she said "Bye. Gamma." Handed the phone to my daughter, and sat down to read a book - Clifford, The Big Red Dog.

It was her first real conversation on the phone.

Now, what does this have to do with my rage at Dick Cheney? Everything. It is for Ellie that I want to restore our Constitution. It is for Ellie that I want to mend our imbalanced health care system. It is for Ellie that I want to clean up the environment, and protect resources. It is for Ellie that I want to see this criminal impeached, tried, and convicted.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I asked for it!

Betmo got my interest piqued with HER responses to the interview questions she was asked. So, idiot that I am, I responded and said SURE. Interview me! So, she did. Questions are Betmo's to me, answers are mine. Betmo, I hope I do you proud:

1) you have traveled all over the world and here in america- alaska to bhutan most recently. where has been your favorite visit so far?

The glib answer is "Where am I going next?", but it's really not so simple. I love travel. I love the act of waking up in a new place, talking with local people, experiencing different culture - so in reality, I've loved every place I've been with almost no exceptions. I did not love Bangkok - the air was so thick with pollution, when I sneezed it was black. I did not like the open peddling of sex, especially pedophilia. But is was so exotic, and layered, and rich, that I didn't hate it either.

But there are a few places that, when I leave them, I weep: my first post - at least my first comment on my first post was about a camping trip I took to the Victoria River region of the Northern Territory of Australia - my soul is in that land. I feel deeply connected there. I wept when I left Tanzania, and South Africa - such a deep, profound connection to the land.

2) in your travels, you have met many folks from different cultures and backgrounds- how do they see us as americans- especially these days?
I think the most profound experience I had was at the airport leaving Capetown Sun City, South Africa: it was before we invaded Iraq, and these people in the waiting area were pleading with my companion and me to make the President change course. My friends in New Zealand think our administration is insane, and dangerous, and feel sorry for me to have to live in a country so lacking in dignity. In Bhutan, my guide's brother started telling me how wonderful he thought Bush was, and so my guide had to ask him to get onto another topic. Apparently, the brother is a bit of an anomaly.

3) given your candor with your recent medical issues- what, if any, changes or overhauls would you like to see in the american healthcare system?

Universal, single-payer insurance; socialized medicine, accessible to all who need it. Right now, healthcare is determined by Insurance Companies, and Pharmaceutical Companies: big business. It is all about profit, rather than patient care. I have six prescriptions costing $50 per month EACH - $300 per month, for necessary medication. That's the Co-Pay. What about people with no coverage?

Hospitals are run as profit-making businesses rather than as a means to help people. Drugs should not be advertised - advertising is designed to create a market, and I am not the person who should be determining what drugs I need to treat what disease I might not have. Take the profit margin out of health care, socialize it, and make it accessible.

4) you spent time on a kibbutz in israel- in mixing with regular folks there- what are your thoughts on what has to happen for the folks (not politicians) to demand peace?

I lived on Kibbutz Kfar Blum in the Upper Galilee. Nestled 11 Kilometres from the Golan Heights, and 7 Kilometres from Kiryat Shmona, my first week there, on a Tuesday night (movie night) we were outside at our outdoor theater - watching a western, as I recall. During a scene when something was being exploded, bombs started being dropped on Kiryat Shmona, launched from Lebanon. That same week, the kids in my Ulpan (study program) went on a tour of the Golan - it was so beautiful up there. Three kids, two French, one Yank, wandered off the path to smoke a doobie, and stepped on landmines left by Syria. The year was 1969.

What must we here in the USA do to demand peace? I know that we attend rallies; so do Israelis and Palestinians living in Israel. I know that we sign petitions, and email our Representatives; so do Israelis and Palestinians living in Israel. Israeli and Palestinian films have been asking for peace for decades - it isn't the people, it's the leadership that is the problem. I include the Neoconservatives in the USA; the spineless Democrats in the USA; the Likud government in Israel; Hamas and Al Fatah; Hezbollah - anyone who is so invested in being completely right. I include everyone who says Israel must be dissolved. Absolutism is a terrible problem.

Someone has to go first. I don't care who it is - Israel, Palestinians, somebody has to put down their arms, and stop the violence. The Left in the USA says it has to be Israel -- they're the oppressor. The Left in the USA says that Palestinian use of terror is justified. Bolux. It doesn't matter anymore who started it, who is more wrong than whom, it doesn't matter. Someone has to go first.

I cannot describe how beautiful the Middle East can be - Jerusalem is made from local stone and glows golden at sunset. To live there, even for a short while (I was there for a year, as a young 20 year old) - it gets into your skin. I had my first job in tourism on Kibbutz - we had a guest house. I cleaned rooms; and I learned to cook for the guest house restaurant - it was amazing.

Going into the Old City of Jerusalem, and wandering the Arab Quarter - shopping in the Shook in the Arab Quarter - it gets into your skin. We Jews and Muslims are quite similar people - we look alike; our dietary laws are the same; we have the same roots. And yet in Israel, the Governments and Leadership have forgotten. The Israeli military is a testing ground for US Weapons. Fear fuels the process.

Someone has to go first. If I were there, I would tell the Israeli government that THEY should go first. Take a leap of faith; restore services to Gaza and the West Bank; tear down the Wall of shame. But in truth, it doesn't matter. I could also tell the Palestinians to stop wasting their most precious resources - their children - by teaching them despair and hate, and to strap bombs to their waists to blow up other school children. Palestinians, Israelis, the citizens don't want this devastation. Why does the leadership ignore the people?

5) ahhh.... california. you folks are one of the states continually mentioned in the 'war on immigration' going on. what plan, if any, do you favor to alleviate the issue of illegal immigration?

Currently, I feel that the "War on Immigration" is a red-herring, designed to make people afraid of Mexicans and to deflect away from the wrong-doings of the Bush Administration. Yes, we have problems with people crossing the border illegally - however, we encourage it with low-paying gardening jobs; busboy jobs; menial labor; house-keeping jobs; all sorts of work that no White American would stoop to do - after all, we're "special." But tell me: who else would the USA get to pick our crops? Because that pays bupkus, and offers no benefits at all. Cesar Chavez who?

We will never do away with "illegal" immigration as long as we have the imbalanced system we have. However: I believe we should recognize seasonal workers, and pay them fairly, with benefits (back to health-care!) I do not support the Fence. What a boondoggle that is. Tear it down now!

Please to sure to include the below in the post you make, answering these questions.

Do YOU want to be interviewed?

Interview rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Monday, June 25, 2007

London Heathrow, just in time for summer travel

I want to apprise you of new security restrictions at London Heathrow Airport.

When you are transiting, even from the same terminal (ie Terminal 3 to Terminal 3) you have to go through a full security check in again. You will have to allow almost 2 hours to do so. No more running from one place to another. If you are transitting to Terminal 1, 2 or 4, you go to the bus and you have to go through the same routine when you arrive at your designated terminal.

It is mass confusion as they implemented a procedure with no forethought or organization. (what a surprise!)

When you deplane, you are to go to a special line where you wait for more than an hour. No one is there to instruct or advise you. There is no signage, and the wait is interminable. When you finally arrive at the security gate, you are advised that you will only be able to carry on 1 piece of luggage (women, a handbag is your only carry on, and if you have another piece , you must consolidate.) People were panicked, and if you cannot consolidate, you will have to select which to bring on and then check in the additional piece. There are no tables to put your bags upon, no chairs, and no organization.

My client told me that there were people crying and asking for help as they missed their connecting flights. This nightmare is just in time for peak summer travel, and if you are going over, you MUST allocate enough time or else flights will be missed.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

More Alaska

You can click on any image to see it full-size, which is necessary for the whale, and the bald eagle.

Orca, from the balcony of my suite on the ship. There were at least three of them.

The old part of Ketchikan. I bought a beautiful totemic print from a Tlingit master carver and painter.

This is only one of the many bald eagle shots I got. They are majestic birds.

Branches of Government finally clarified

(click on the image to see it full-size)

(With a big hat-tip to Suzie-q)

Now that Vice President Richard Cheney is asserting that his office is not actually part of the executive branch, Congressman Rahm Emmanuel (D-IL) plans to introduce an ammendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill to cut funding for Cheney's office.

Dick, aka Blasty McBirdshot, has socked away enough money in tax-exempt funds that he can afford to run his own branch of government, so why should I continue to pay his salary as a taxpayer? If he is a separate branch of government, then he should fund it himself. Besides, he's probably got a few extra millions stashed away from his share in the BAE Systems bribe scandal. Allegedly, BAE Systems made cash transfers to Bandar every three months for 10 years or more, and apparently Cheney promised that the $80B+ fund would forever be secret. Oops.

Okay, so if he can't fund his branch of government out of his own pocket, then he could always have a car wash.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Alaska images

Flying into Dog Camp:

Sled dogs are ready, and they LOVE to run. They get quite excited when they hear the helicopters.

My daughter and I had so much fun - this is after we went sledding, thanking two of our team of dogs. The one I'm with gave me a big sloppy dog kiss.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Grandbaby Blogging

Guess what I know all my letters, I can say the alphabet in order and I can look at letters out of order and I can say what they are. Like in my bath, I have sponge letters all of them except X because Doggie ate that letter but not the other ones. So in my bath my mommy shows me a letter and I tell her what it is, so she can know too. My favorite letter is W which I like to say "duddle-doo" isn't that fun? I like all my letters. I ate all my grilled cheese and an apple and drank all my milk at dinner last night. Baba is going to look at her Alaska photos this weekend and so then she'll put pictures on her blog. I have to go play now. Have fun.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

July 1 - 4, another blogswarm against Theocracy

How many ways can we find to restore our Constitution, and the principles that made the IDEA of our nation possible? One way is to put the brakes on this growing theocracy - and what better way to get that message out than a SECOND blogswarm against Theocracy? Click on the link for details, which will be updated, on how to email your post directly to the blog. And get ready with your own posts.

(cross posted at The Fat Lady Sings and The Katrinacrat)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

the bree walker show blog: What Next? by Bree Walker

the bree walker show blog: What Next? by Bree Walker

Bree Walker has purchased Camp Casey. Now, I found this out because Alicia from Last Left Before Hooterville emailed me about all kinds of stuff yesterday - all good - and so I wanted to help spread the word. Bree is going to need help. Read about it, and let's keep this fire stoked!

Not having a great day

Bad night, didn't sleep well. Makes for a bad attitude, which is made worse by physical pain. Fibromyalgia sucks, and I resent having it. At least my OTHER condition is being treated, but today is a bad Fibro day. So I'm not visiting a lot of other blogs, not commenting, not doing to much. At least I have been busy at work, which is good for my bottom line.

I want to not hurt, though. So I'm really cranky. REALLY cranky. Which means I haven't got a positive thought in my brain. Looking forward to seeing SiCKO so I can be even more pissed off about the state of health care costs.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tuesday Topics

The Fund For Peace has listed the 2007 Failed States Index (FSI), which ranks 177 countries based on their social, economic, and political pressures. The Ploughshares Fund supports the work of the Fund for Peace to produce this comprehensive index. Guess what? Iraq is number two on the list; Afghanistan is number eight. What do they have in common? Both countries were invaded by the United States for the purpose of regime change in our "war on terror."

The reality is that our government's policies have failed, making us less safe. A nation cannot wage war on an idea: to wage war on terror is to wage war on an idea, and doomed to fail. When you cut off the head of a hydra, ten grow back. If you can think of one time when invading a nation has produced stability, please, have at it. Show me. This is a failed policy, and doomed to disaster.

If you haven't joined One Million Blogs for Peace yet, why not?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fox and CBS hate Tom Leher

Both Fox and CBS have rejected a commercial for Trojan condoms because they believe that the cell-phone toting swine and the sexy blondes in the ad are more concerned with preventing pregnancy rather than disease. The two networks believe that the suggestion of pregnancy prevention and wanton sex would offend anyone who believes that sex should only be in the missionary position between married people - and that means a man and his woman, so don't be getting any ideas.

Clearly, they've never listened to Tom Leher:

Be prepared, and be careful not to do
Your good deeds when there's no one watching you
If you're looking for adventure of a new and different kind
And you come across a Girl Scout who is similarly inclined
Don't be nervous, don't be flustered, don't be scared,
Be prepared!

Now, both Fox and CBS have no problem showing ads for Viagra, or Cialis, which are all about promoting sex between old folks - who knows if they're married, either, I don't recall seeing a wedding band, do you? But an ad for a simple Trojan condom, which can prevent AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases, that's not kosher.

'splain, Lucy, because I don't get it.

(cross posted at The Fat Lady Sings)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Grandbaby Blogging

My Baba and my mommy are back from their Alaska cruise, and when I saw my mommy I screamed and jumped up and down and into her arms and laughed and did it again about ten times and we played a lot. They had a good time on their cruise and Baba took lots of pictures and she will put them on her computer when she stops being a lazy tired person.

I'm going to day care now. Bye-bye.

Monday, June 04, 2007

A meme

Thorne has tagged me with The Little-Known Favorites Meme. Rules: List and describe three of your favorite books that other people might not be familiar with. Then tag five people.

So, okedoke. Right before I go on vacation, eh? Hmmm.

1. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Pi is a young boy who is shipwrecked for 227 days with a Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker. It is an extraordinary story of hope, spirituality, and survival, which I feel we need in the dark years of the Bush administration.

2. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. This epic story of transformation is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever encountered in American Literature.

3. Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver. Actually, anything by Raymond Carver. Carver died the year I got sober; he died from cancer, and with a body of work that is nothing short of exquisite. If you haven't read his work, run, don't walk, to find him.

And now: I have to tag five people.

Lulu Maude for her love of books.

MariaMaria because she has a great view of things.

WeezieLou because she's always interesting.

Proud Progressive because she's got strong opinions, and I like that.

Traveling Man because he's on a spiritual path himself.

And anyone else who might want to play.

Top 25 Censored News Stories

Liberally Mirth, a blogger who I respect tremendously, has a post today listing the top 25 Censored News Stories as researched by Project Censored. "Project Censored is a media research group out of Sonoma State University which tracks the news published in independent journals and newsletters. From these, Project Censored compiles an annual list of 25 news stories of social significance that have been overlooked, under-reported or self-censored by the country's major national news media." Faculty, students and community members research and investigate nearly 1000 stories each year that have been submitted by journalists, scholars, librarians, and concerned citizens around the world.

Here are the current top 25 for 2007:

#1 Future of Internet Debate Ignored by Media

#2 Halliburton Charged with Selling Nuclear Technologies to Iran

#3 Oceans of the World in Extreme Danger

#4 Hunger and Homelessness Increasing in the US

#5 High-Tech Genocide in Congo

#6 Federal Whistleblower Protection in Jeopardy

# 7 US Operatives Torture Detainees to Death in Afghanistan and Iraq

#8 Pentagon Exempt from Freedom of Information Act

#9 The World Bank Funds Israel-Palestine Wall

#10 Expanded Air War in Iraq Kills More Civilians
#11 Dangers of Genetically Modified Food Confirmed

#12 Pentagon Plans to Build New Landmines

#13 New Evidence Establishes Dangers of Roundup (weedkiller)

#14 Homeland Security Contracts KBR to Build Detention Centers in the US

#15 Chemical Industry is EPA’s Primary Research Partner

#16 Ecuador and Mexico Defy US on International Criminal Court

#17 Iraq Invasion Promotes OPEC Agenda

#18 Physicist Challenges Official 9-11 Story

#19 Destruction of Rainforests Worst Ever

#20 Bottled Water: A Global Environmental Problem

#21 Gold Mining Threatens Ancient Andean Glaciers

#22 $Billions in Homeland Security Spending Undisclosed

#23 US Oil Targets Kyoto in Europe

Cheney's Halliburton Stock Rose Over 3000 Percent Last Year

#25 US Military in Paraguay Threatens Region

And with this list, now I am really going to go on vacation. Perhaps I will scout out a remote cabin in the woods.

On Vacation

Will be back on June 14th, so here's an open thread: What would be your first action if you were President?


Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday Grandbaby Blogging

I love my swimming classes and when I take my bath I like to pretend my bath is my swimming pool and I blow bubbles but I can't jump into the bath because it really isn't a pool. My baba likes to give me booper kisses and I laugh. Why did Mr. George Bush pound his chest and say he's the president like he's really a gorilla? I like oreo cookies too.

I have to go play now, bye.