October 28, 2007 archive

A Wedding

They came from different places . . . different as much in how they lived their lives as in where they lived them.

Debbie’s cousin, Laurie, cancer survivor, came from Hesperia, CA.  Better here than in fire country.  And Debbie’s twin brother Jim, a lawyer, and his new bride Nooshin came from near the La Brea tar pits.  So there was some tension about back home.

Robyn was supremely thrilled that people came from Oregon.  Her sister Jan, a cardiologist from Corvallis, and Jan’s son Ian, newly graduated from Santa Clara and embarking on an internship in PR with the University of Washington athletic department, and Robyn would see each other for the first time since 1993.  They were all younger back then.  We were pretty much different people on that occasion.

And there were some amazing women and men, who happen to be friends, who had been invited.  There could be . . . and will be . . . a paragraph (and more) written about each and everyone of them of them, but not here, and not now.  These people were Debbie’s and Robyn’s colleagues at Bloomfield College, their family at this time in our lives, their new cousins and brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews.  And there were a couple of students, one of who was taking the ‘official’ photos (which have not been received yet, but which will be shown when they become available), witnesses from another viewpoint…another world.  And they brought with them children from still another. 

Learning was going to take place.

No Centennial for Indian Territory

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“Brand new state, Brand new state, gonna treat you great!

Gonna give you barley, carrots and pertaters,

Pasture fer the cattle, Spinach and Termayters!

Flowers on the prairie where the June bugs zoom,

Plen’y of air and plen’y of room,

Plen’y of room to swing a rope!

Plen’y of heart and plen’y of hope!


“The whole management of Indians has been abnormal . . . Everything is controlled by arbitrary laws and regulations, and not by moral, social, or economic principles.”

Urgent: An Innocent Man is Dying [Updated]

You can help save an innocent man’s life.

His Guantanamo detainee ID number is 654. His first Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) unanimously concluded there was no evidence he was ever an “enemy combatant”, and yet he has languished in isolation and sensory deprivation for 5 years in notorious Camp 6 at Guantanamo Prison in a steel windowless room, with no charges ever brought against him.

Forty-five year old Abdul Hamid al-Ghizzawi was diagnosed with hepatitis B and tuberculosis over a year ago. Amnesty International has issued a worldwide alert, as his condition has deteriorated significantly, and the prison authorities refuse to allow treatment. Please read the following and consider contacting the authorities indicated. A man’s life is at stake… and a country’s soul. [Update at end of essay]

HUGE live blogging DocuDharma News!


Aidan Delgado, author of The Sutras of Abu Ghraib: Notes from a Conscientious Objector in Iraq, will be online  at DocuDharma today, Sunday, October 28th at 9 PM Eastern to talk about the book and his experiences in Iraq.

The son of a diplomat, he spent his childhood and teen years overseas.  He lived in Thailand, Senegal, and Egypt.  He signed a contract to enlist in U.S. Army Reserves on 9\/11.

Enlisted as a mechanic in a military police company, when his unit was assigned to Abu Ghraib his Arabic language skills became especially valuable.  He converted to Buddhism just before his training.  The book (reviewed by On The Bus) is the account of his experiences as a soldier and his struggle to achieve conscientious objector status.

Four at Four

Good afternoon. Today marks the last weekend Four at Four, at least for a while. After today, the series will be Monday through Friday only.

  1. The Independent reports Top Kenyan nature reserve under threat. “Little disturbs the tranquillity of the Tana Delta. As the deep orange sun sets above Kenya’s largest wetlands hippos wallow in the shallows, crocodiles slide off the banks into the brown river, while terns and whistling teals circle above. It is one of Kenya’s most important natural reserves and very soon it could all be gone. ¶ Plans have been drawn up to turn part of the delta into Kenya’s largest sugar plantation – an 80,000 acre area that could produce 100,000 tons of sugar a year and bring 20,000 jobs to a region where most people do not have jobs. Conservationists are alarmed. They warn that the plantation will destroy the wetlands and with it the habitats of dozens of species of bird”.

  2. The New York Times reports Indonesia seeks allies for pay-for-forests plan. “Determined to lead the discussion on climate change among developing nations, the Indonesian government spent much of the past week recruiting countries to join it in pressing richer nations to provide incentives to reduce carbon emissions. ¶ President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made a direct plea on Wednesday at the start of a two-day gathering of 40 environment ministers near this capital, a precursor to the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Bali in December. ¶ The environment minister of Indonesia, Rachmat Witoelar, said earlier this month that he wanted rich countries to pay up to $20 a hectare, or 2.47 acres, to preserve its dwindling forests.”

There’s more below the fold, including stories about the United States’ next nuclear warhead program in Texas, a brief Guns of Greed, and ‘bonus’ story about studying factory farm pollution. Plus my essay from yesterday, A Tale of Two Iraqs, may also be of interest.

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

The Women

Joan Baez: Marching up to Freedom Land

Am I a conspiracy theorist?

Well, not really–that’s just what I am called because I actually believe conspiracies are an important part of our socio-political reality–so I will cop to the plea no matter how bad it sounds. Of course, we have all seen conspiracies in our lives and no one doubts it. What we have trouble is understanding that those in power are in power largely because they are part of groups or cliques that work together often in conspiracy to gain and maintain power. We seem to be of the opinion that things just “happen” and that things are unconnected. We are surprised when we find our government lies to us. Why that surprise exists has always astonished me–government always lie, always will lie, and currently lie. If they did not they would lose power. What we have to do is understand how power works.

Chicago Treasures: Peace Rally and March – October 27

Crossposted from Daily Kos

Yesterday turned into a beautiful day in Chicago.  It started out grey and drizzly, but by the time people met in Union Park, the rain had passed – and when people started to march, the sun came out.

Thank you to dmsilev for agreeing to go to the rally and march and I’m sorry we missed you to Got A Grip.  We had the sign out, but we completely missed you.

Please join me over the fold for many photos.

New Hampshire primary ballot to include Kucinich w/poll

With the lastest Rasmussen Poll showing that Dennis has moved to 7%, he has officially entered the New Hampshire primary!

The Eagle and The Condor

The Wiphala are the flags of the Andean First Nation’s people. Each variation represents a different territory, or Suyu.

A Line In The Sand

clammyc asked this morning in his essay Selling out values for political expediency is disastrous:

…we progressives constantly find ourselves banging our heads against the wall or just shaking our heads as we read, see or hear about yet another situation where our core values are being sold out for reasons that I can’t fathom.

Why is this?  Is it out of fear?  Is it out of complacency?  Is it out of not wanting to rock the boat in order to potentially win big next year?  Either way, the answer isn’t a good one.  Right now,  we are at a crossroads as the general public still trusts Democrats more on nearly every issue, yet we have always been good at being ahead of the curve.

What happens if a few things that I mention above backfire?

Magnifico noted yesterday in A Tale of Two Iraqs:

If Americans prove incapable of even admitting we have a problem, let alone working on solutions, in the coming months, then America might be in need of an intervention.

It appears that that intervention is happening, and has been in the works for some time.

The world has had enough of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, and of those who enable them.

Time to pay attention, Nancy. Now you are free to concentrate on avoiding an electoral debacle in 2008, by ending the occupation of Iraq.

Moral Oral in Trouble

Moral Orel is a really snarky cartoon on Adult Swim that chronicles the faith contradictions of Orel Puffington, son of an evangelical Christian family in the town of Moralton in Statesasota.

Orel’s name was probably taken from Oral Roberts, one of the first and most famous of the televangelists.  Roberts, 89, is still alive; but one of his most enduring legacies, Oral Roberts University, is in considerable difficulty.

ORU is an interesting place.  Having been to Tulsa several times for training, I can tell you from first hand experience it dominates an otherwise declining city; the main tourist attraction in a harsh landscape of boarded up storefronts and empty streets.  Like Liberty (Falwell) and Regent (RobertSON) it is a monument to the fundraising power of its founder.

In fact what most people may remember about Oral Roberts the man is his famous fundraising appeal in 1987 where he demanded $8 million from his followers “Or God will call me home.”

“Call me home!” below-

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