November 2, 2007 archive

Day Two–Bumpy Starts, Smooth Sailing, and the Squishy Space in Between

So there I was…staring at the computer and the White Screen of Certain Doom, when I realised that I hadn’t had any coffee yet.

Then I remembered the advice column our dear Adam B pointed to. That sent me wandering over to Jennifer Weiner’s column “So You Want to Be a Novelist.” In itself, it’s very cool to get bits and pieces of wisdom from those who’ve  made it through the vaunted gates of “The Published.”

That being said, I think that her very first words pretty much sum up what I’m feeling about this whole adventure.

Follow me down the winding path…

Friday Philosophy: Love

First rewrite:

Sometimes, in order to stretch the boundaries of who I am, I give myself a mission.  I force myself to write a poem about some subject in order to see what I really think about it.  Or I try to write an essay.

Several weeks back, I assigned myself such a task.  Having written about death and fear, pain and struggle, I needed to write something about love…no matter how much it hurts me to do so.

It is not an easy subject for me.  I have experience to draw upon.  Love hurts.  Or can do so.

Maybe I think I know love when I see it.  Or maybe I’m just full of it.

Each time I seek to grasp for the words I wish to say, memories of times past, fears of rejection and its actuality, push them out of my reach.  Pain is remembered.  Mental scabs are picked at.

Pony Open Thread: what does this mean?

According to the constructivist theory of liberal democratic peace, intersubjective social realities are often more important in the construction of pacific unions of interstate peace. In order to demonstrate the importance of social construction rather than objective matters as a source of peace, previous studies have discussed cases where democracies appear to have fought one another.

Timo Kivimäki, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies

Four at Four

Flood waters overwhelm Tabasco, Mexico

  1. Over 1 million people are affected by the worst flooding in the Mexican state of Tabasco in 50 years. A week of heavy rains has left 70% of the region under flood waters. The Grijalva river has risen over six feet (2 meters) over the ‘critical’ level causing it to burst over the banks and gush into the center of Villahermosa, the state capital. An estimated 700,000 people are flooded and fresh drinking water has run out.

    More from The Guardian, which reports Mexican floods leave 300,000 stranded. “Rescuers were today racing against time to evacuate 300,000 people trapped by the… floods… ahead of further predicted rainfall. Military trucks delivered bottled water, food and clothing as health officials warned of the threat of cholera and other waterborne diseases… Rescue workers in boats and helicopters have been plucking desperate residents from their rooftops and have led thousands to shelters, but many remained trapped… The state of Chiapas, which borders Tabasco to the south, also reported serious flooding, with an estimated 100,000 people affected, according to officials.”

  2. Remember in August when Puerto Rico’s governor, Aníbal Acevedo-Vilá, Urged the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq that earned him a “standing ovation from a conference of more than 4,000 National Guardsmen.” Well, the Bush administration has been retaliating. The New York Times reports Puerto Rico’s Governor is under DoJ inquiry. “The Democratic governor of Puerto Rico says he has been improperly made a target of Justice Department prosecutors who began by looking into campaign contributions and have since broadened their efforts with a grand jury inquiry including subpoenas of his college transcripts and even questioning about whether he has had a hair transplant. The case is one of several under review by the House Judiciary Committee in which Democrats have complained that federal prosecutors singled them out for selective prosecution, conducting lengthy and sometimes frivolous investigations, while ignoring accusations against Republicans.”

More news below the fold. This is an open thread.

Best Blog Posts Of All Time

Matt Yglesias sparks the retrospective.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Digby on Abraham Lincoln.

Kid Oakland on Being a Fighting Democrat.

Me on Richard Hofstadter, Lincoln, FDR and Obama.

List some of your picks and include one of your own so I look less of an egomaniac.

A Nugget of Hope?


First off, lay off the Al Gore bashing, if you would be so kind. Sure, the guy would most likely be the best President of the whole Current crop. But he’s paid his dues. He’s already run the gauntlet many times in his life. Don’t forget he lost to a Clinton once before in a primary. He knows what he’s up against. If he chooses not to run, he’s earned some peace. Let’s not ruin it for the guy.

That said, there’s a very good chance we’ll end up with another President Clinton Elect pretty much exactly one year from — right now. Oh yes, it’s certainly possible she’ll be beat, either in the primary or the general. But today, she’s the odds-on favorite. And (unfortunately) sometimes the favorite actually wins.

Just ask the Boston Red Sox.

Impeaching George Bush Is Closer Than Ever!

(soon to be in Orange)

Exciting News!

It has just occurred to me that we are only a few steps away from being able to impeach George Bush!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Below is all that needs to happen for this glorious passage of Justice to occur.

Nun Tortured and Gang Raped in Guatemala in 1989 (Updated)

Sister Ortiz

“I intend to speak the truth to you tonight. It’s not pleasant, and certainly for me…It’s very painful. However, it is my hope, my prayer, that by being here tonight, I can open the door, provide you with a tiny glimpse of the tortured and of our moral and Christian responsibilities, to not only oppose, but to prevent torture.”

Quiet Reflections: Approach of Winter

I live in the lovely San Francisco Bay Area. There are marvellous things to be said for this heart of liberalism. Having 4 seasons is not one of the things you will find here!

Growing up in the intermountain states of Utah, Colorado and Wyoming mostly, I loved the seasons. There is a crispness in the air for autumn, the leaves are crunchy on the streets, and no matter your age you have fun kicking and crunching autumn leaves.

In Utah Halloween always seemed to get the first snow in the valley. Although a dusting of snow always was there on top of the Wasatch mountains.

Don’t Rec This Diary (Fiction Piece)

I started a novella the summer before I was committed and diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and I never got past the first part of the first chapter.  Sadly, my life was unravelling at the same time, and I had to put it aside with the other half-dozen “begun” novels.

That’s no problem, I usually have a story laid out from beginning to end before I even start it, and it’s a matter of colouring in the rest with “events…”

So, this is a novella about a young man returning home from college to see his dying father, a weekend that spirals into obsession and depression and ends with the young star quarterback…well…I have just the beginning part, and I’m wondering if any Dharmites who are into fiction writing (especially the rural types, this has a farm setting and though I grew up in the country across the road from two farms, I didn’t grow up on them) would give some feedback if they’re so inclined…as in, this sucks, pitch it, or try finishing it…

I write in a vacuum, and never know if what I’ve written is any good…until others see it, which is difficult because I’m obsessively private about my fiction writing…go figure…so, below the fold is the part I have so far…

Do You Ever Wonder ? – The Series

Cross Posted at  KOS and so, my homage to Andy Rooney. A collection of life's cunundrums big and small.  Follow me beneath the fold for the latest edition.

The Real Deal – Army of Dude

It looks like Iraq veteran Alex, who wrote The Real Deal as his response to Rush Limbaugh calling veterans opposed to the war “phony soldiers”, has a pretty good shot at winning the 2007 Weblog Award for Best Military Blog.

The Real Deal:

When I was a kid I watched Rush with my dad every morning when he was still on TV and always found him pretty funny and clever. Over the years I didn’t have a very concrete opinion about him, I just knew him as the kooky conservative radio host who defended Bush at every turn (and hey, so did I). What did Rush and I have to lose when the war in Iraq started in 2003? I didn’t have any family in the military, and all my friends were too young to even enlist. Why not go kick the sh*t out of a country, as long as someone else was doing it?

This was the last time Rush and I would agree on the war, so here’s my opinion of you, Rush: you’re as smart, selfless and courageous as I was as a 17 year old high school senior.

You make a good point that people who joined the military during the war knew they were going and shouldn’t be against it. As I’ve seen since I joined in 2004, everyone in the military is gung ho to a certain extent, at least in the beginning of their career. I was part of a large group of new guys who got to a unit that just got back from a year long deployment. After our hazing sessions became less and less frequent in the following months, we listened to the stories all of them were telling, of vicious firefights and rescue missions. We all wanted to do our part, we all wanted to get some too. We were going to see what it was like to take a life. Too bad Rush missed his chance to do so, or maybe he’d be singing a different tune.

As a phony civilian hoping to be a phony soldier, I tried to enlist in the military after I graduated high school in 2003.

Speaking of phony soldiers, I wanted to show Rush a few that I know: {click link above for all of Alex’s pictures}

This is Chevy in Baghdad. Brian Chevalier was going to reenlist but decided against it before he was killed on March 14 during our first mission in Baqubah. His phony life was celebrated in a phony memorial where everyone who knew him cried phony tears. A phony American flag draped over his phony coffin when his body came home. It was presented to his phony mother and phony daughter.

I would be in awe if I ever met a real life soldier, and not a phony one like Bill, Matt or Brian Chevalier. Thank you, Rush Limbaugh, for telling me the difference. I hope your ass is ok.

You can vote for Alex here. Help him win the award. He deserves it.  His blog is Army of Dude.

Load more