December 17, 2007 archive

FYI – Canadian news – The Virtual 51st State

Not a diary – just news.

Creating a virtual 51st state

U.S. Democrats can click to vote from Canada


From Monday’s Globe and Mail

December 17, 2007 at 5:37 AM EST

American citizens living in Canada will be able to use the Internet to vote in the U.S. presidential primaries for the first time in 2008, but only if they’re Democrats.

Democrats Abroad, an organization representing more than seven million Americans living outside the U.S. , is holding its first “global primary,” allowing American ex-pats in Canada and around the world to vote online as part of a virtual 51st state.

Unlike Republicans Abroad, whose members must still vote by absentee ballot in their home states, Democrats Abroad is recognized as an official branch of the Democratic National Committee, and will send 22 delegates to the party’s convention in August, putting its influence on par with states like Idaho (23) and North Dakota (21).

In previous elections, these delegates were selected in caucuses held around the globe, requiring American citizens to actually show up at polling centres. In 2004, a group of just 80 Americans gathered in Toronto ‘s Metro Hall to showcase their support for John Kerry or Howard Dean.

But in next year’s primary, Democrats across Canada can vote through the mail or on the Internet, and organizers hope to dramatically increase voter involvement.

“We hope in Canada to see a lot more than 80 people participating,” said Toronto ‘s Toby Condliffe, international vice-chair of Democrats Abroad. “There are hundreds of thousands of Americans here, so you might say that anything would be an up-tick.”

Democrats living in Canada can sign up at throughout the month of January, and vote from Feb. 5 through 12. The results will be announced on Feb. 22, and Democrats Abroad from around the globe will gather at a caucus in Vancouver next April to select their delegates.

big snip

Read the rest of the article and find related news here:…

It’s time to stop talking and complaining. It’s time for action.

Cross posted to Dailykos, VetVoice & Turn Maine Blue with link to here to post comments.

I am tired. So tired. I usually use an editor for my diaries because of my head injury and poor organization, grammar, repeating myself and essays that are generally too long.  Those take me 10 hours or more and then an editor.

This one is straight from the heart and hip and will be written in short order and to the point (I hope).

During Viet Nam there were tons of protests and large marches and people in front of the

White house and more.

This war is even worse and the condition of our nation is far worse. We have some small and well meaning attempts at rallies and marches. Nothing near the ones of the Nam era.


Four at Four

Some news and OpEn ThReAd.

  1. The New York Times reports New Jersey abolishes death penalty. “Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed into law a measure repealing New Jersey’s death penalty on Monday, making the state the first in a generation to abolish capital punishment. Mr. Corzine also issued an order commuting the sentences of the eight men on New Jersey’ death row to life in prison with no possibility of parole, ensuring that they will stay behind bars for the rest of their lives. In an extended and often passionate speech from his office at the state capitol, Mr. Corzine declared an end to what he called ‘state-endorsed killing,’ and said that New Jersey could serve as a model for other states.

  2. Ryan Singel of Wired’s “Threat Level” blog writes Senators Debate retroactive Telco immunity. “Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut), who tried to stop the debate by putting a hold on the bill, fierily denounced the amnesty provision:”

    Collusion in warrantless wiretapping is-and the warrant makes all the difference, because it is precisely the court’s blessing that brings presidential power under the rule of law.

    In sum, we know that giving the telecoms their day in court-giving the American people their day in court-would not jeopardize an ounce of our security.

    And it could only expose one secret: the extent of our president’s lawbreaking, and the extent of his corporations’ complicity.

    TPM Election Central reports his campaign stated Dodd vows to filibuster “as long as he can”. “Senators Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden have all pledged to support” the filibuster, but reportedly are not in Washington to do so.

  3. Adam Nagourney of the NY Times writes about Managing a post-Feb. 5 campaign. “As campaigns try to keep up with this fast-paced, multi-layered campaign, there is growing sense among Republicans that for their contest at least – and perhaps for Democrats – Feb. 5 may not be the end of the line. And at the same time, Democrats are looking at a scenario where only two of their candidates emerge out of [Iowa]”… Even if the candidate doesn’t actually accumulate enough delegates to claim the nomination, the pressure from party leaders to coalesce around a nominee, combined with the obstacles facing other candidates who might want to fight on, would carry the day. Except that it is now entirely possible that no Republican will be moving very quickly going into Feb. 5…. An extended contest seems possible on the Democratic side, but less so, because there are fewer strong candidates to divide the Feb. 5 take.”

  4. A couple stories from our changing climate. First, The Oregonian reports Cascade resorts plan for a future with less snow. “Cascade Mountain winters are expected to get warmer. So at Mt. Bachelor — as well as just about every ski resort in the Northwest — resort managers are starting to adjust long-term plans based on the predicted effects of global warming. This fall, Mt. Bachelor’s owners hired a group of scientists to create a long-term climate forecast specific to the 9,065-foot butte west of Bend,” Oregon.

    And the Washington Post reports As temperatures rise, health could decline. “Depending on where you are, this is going to be a hotter, wetter, drier, windier, calmer, dirtier, buggier or hungrier century than [humans have] seen in a while. In some places, it may be deadlier, too. The effects of climate change are diverse and sometimes contradictory. In general, they favor instability and extreme events. On balance, they will tend to harm health rather than promote it.” Dangers include: heat stress, extreme weather, air pollution, waterborne and food-Borne disease, and insect- and animal-borne disease.

Politicide in Gaza

Suppose I were to argue that, given Israel’s numerous and gross war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, the international community should impose sanctions on Israel of such severity that 80% of the Israeli population would be reduced to reliance upon UN food aid for mere survival, and over 65% of Israeli households would be forced to live in ‘deep poverty’ (i.e. on less than $474 per month). The blockade would be so tight that only 41% of Israel’s food import needs would be met, and supplies of 91 out of 416 essential drugs and about a third of essential medical supplies (including most children’s antibiotics) would run out.

It Was An Inside Job, Says Former President of Italy

In the November 30 issue of Corriere della Sera, Italy’s oldest and most widely read newspaper, Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga stated that the 9-11 terrorist attacks were run by the CIA and Mossad, and that this was common knowledge among global intelligence agencies.  

Independent Investigations NOW!

(At Daily Kos in about an hour)

Enough of this crap!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Senator Dodd having to filibuster against his OWN party leader to serve the interests and concerns and RIGHTS of the American People is the last straw.

Reid and Pelosi are actively obstructing every process that could lead to some sort of justice, some sort of accountability, for the many, many abuses of power and outright crimes of the Bush Administration.

Our Democratic leadership has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they do not care about anything but getting re-elected. They don’t care about War Crimes, they do not care about torture, they do not care about Habeas Corpus, they do not care about the demolition of the Fourth Amendment and they don’t care that people are dying in Iraq for NO reason. Yes, I am sure they are concerned about all of these things…but if they truly cared about them, they would be doing something. They are not.

christmas movies

Babes in Toyland 1934 w/Laurel & Hardy

The Bishop’s Wife 1947 with Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven

A Charlie Brown Christmas 1965, animated of course

A Miracle on 34th Street 1947, Natalie Wood, Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, and an amazing performance by Edmund Gwenn

Prancer Sam Elliott, Cloris Leachman, Abe Vigoda, and Rebecca Harrell as Jess, in a performance that, for me, defines and reveals the truth of a true child’s heart

Home Alone 1990, Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara, John Heard, and a small gem of a performance by John Candy.

How to Select a Memorable Gift Book

(Cross posted at Dailykos)

I have been asked to post a list of books for the Holidays….or just general gift-giving… I don’t know if I can do that because the list would really be very long and the number of categories would be really diverse

I am a little out-of-date since I have neglected reading the books my students read (being retired, I have no students but I am active in a couple of organizations that promote literature and literacy). So now, I concentrate on books for ME!!!! Unfortunately, they seem to have taken a current events and political nature and are thoroughly depressing and I can’t recommend them to anyone except people here.

As a Reading Teacher, my philosophy was that there is a book out there for everyone and no one should be afraid to read a book.After all, a book is not god….I know this is debatable, but not here.

So, I decided that, in order to find a book for the reluctant readers of the world, I needed to start reading those books, sometimes to the tune of 100 to 150 per year! (I don’t read anywhere near that now!) It was not as daunting as it sounds….Children’s Lit and Young Adult Lit were usually under 200 pages, often near 100 pages and the reading level was generally around the 5-th Grade level. (Most popular Adult novels – ie. Romance, Mystery, Adventure-Thriller-Spy type novels and Horror novels are written at the 6-th Grade level. That is why it is so easy for a person to read one in a day or two, even if it is 4 or 500 pages thick)

The advent of the huge, wordy, descriptive books has really turned a lot of slower readers off. That is why it has become more urgent for teachers and parents to find the book (or books) that will turn on youngsters to reading. There are several ways to select an appropriate book. The most popular is the “rule of thumb”.  

Pony Party: Best Meals Ever!

Cross-posted at GOS.

Last week, my Pony Party covered the unsavory topic of Worst Meals Ever. Kossacks shared their horror stories which made my experiences pale by comparison: from something that resembled shaved, boiled hamster to turkey testicles and slugs in hot chili garlic sauce, I was repeatedly amazed by how many dreadful food experiences we’ve had.

These memories clearly continue to make us shudder with revulsion. But, I thought, we must also have memories of some stellar meals; I was not alone in this belief. So, join me on the flip side for a synopsis of some of my favorite meals.

Support Dodd’s Filibuster!

Apparently in just a short while Chris Dodd will start what has to be considered a historic filibuster! I have no idea who the last Senator to actually stand up and do a full on filibuster was, anyone know? Of course we know the most famous filibuster! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

From a site set up to support Dodd by The Seminal and Open Left:

On Monday, December 17th, 2008, Chris Dodd will take to the floor the Senate and begin his filibuster of telecom immunity. He will start talking and he won’t stop until he loses a cloture vote or Harry Reid shelves any FISA bill containing retroactive immunity.

To close debate, opponents will have to muster 60 votes. If every Republican (and Joe Lieberman) votes for cloture, this means at least 10 Democrats will have to betray their fellow party member to end Dodd’s filibuster.

Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton have all said they will support Dodd’s filibuster. Senator Feingold is also supporting Dodd.

Please check out the site (nifty West Wing video!) and do what you can (Call Your Senators All Day Long!) to support him.  

Pony Party, NFL Round-up

Docudharma Times Monday Dec.17

This is an Open Thread: No Credit Needed To Enter

Headlines For Monday December 17: A town against the wall: Obama confronts rumor he is a Muslim: Storm buries Northeast, causes 3 deaths: Africa war wounds begin to heal amid progress: Inside the Hajj, with 1m believers


Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said this month that he would take landowners to court to seize property if needed, and also pledged that he would not pay more than market price for land.

A town against the wall

Granjeno on the Rio Grande has outlasted the rule of Spain, Mexico and the Republic of Texas. Now the border fence aims for its heart.

By Miguel Bustillo, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

December 17, 2007

GRANJENO, TEXAS — Gloria Garza doesn’t have a whole lot. But what she has, she clings to with pride.

She lives in a simple stucco house with a rustic wooden veranda and a well fashioned from odd stones her husband found around the state. Kittens stretch lazily in the sun beside her porch. Armadillos dart across her backyard.

Her two-acre lot is her heirloom, her link to a legacy that dates to 1767, when Spain’s King Carlos III gave her pioneer ancestors a porcion of property that started at the Rio Grande and stretched inland for miles.

So she is not going to be quiet while some bureaucrat in Washington tries to take it — to build a border fence. She doesn’t want to become an unintended victim in a war against illegal immigration that she sees as misguided and wrong.

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