March 22, 2008 archive

Pony Party: Afternoon Contemplation

This little being sat on the window ledge for quite some time and at first I thought he might be stunned or injured.

But he noticed me, and he noticed the cats.  He seemed unafraid or unconcerned. Was he as curious about us as we were about him? The black cat who is the most prolific hunter didn’t even charge the window. Finally, the calico bonked herself against the window and the little visitor flew off. Was it a dare in the bird world? Was he challenged by the other birds to go visit the beasts in the large birdhouse?





Despite trying times and big events, it is always the small everyday mysteries that capture me the most.

Please don’t rec pony party, hang out chit chat, and then go read some of the excellent offerings on our recent and rec’d list.

Along The Racial Divide

I am an old fart so I remember the racial divide of the 50 & 60’s, not a good time to be an American.  I also remember how close the races were becoming in the 70’s, which was the closest the two had become in many years.  Then as quickly as it had began it started deteriorating in th Me generation of the 80’s.

Once again I see the races are close to a unity that has been missing and at the same time they are being pushed to segregate themselves along color lines.  The media is doing all possible to widen the expanse—politics of the Dems are also helping—and then there is the American people, they are also helping separate the electorate along racial and gender lines.  

it is just flipping SAD!  There is a chance for the American people to face the question head on and find common ground but they will not at this point.  White blue collars workers in the northeast are holding blacks responsible for their lack of work, when it is a non-caring government and administration that should be the bad guy.  

The Dems, some of them, want this new race battle with the attempt to marginalize a message of hope.  And thanks to their efforts the Dems are losing ground to the Repubs.  And there is a possiblity that this divide will help defeat the Dems in November–yet again.

The outcome is becoming predictable–They will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory–yet again.  Well done.  at least they are consistent.  

M.utants O.pposing D.ystopia

I am hereby forming a new organization: MOD.


Because I can.


By saying so.


If not now, when?


If not here, where?


What what??



Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 US deaths in Iraq approach 4,000

By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer

1 hour, 38 minutes ago

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb killed three American soldiers north of Baghdad on Saturday, pushing the U.S. death toll in the five-year conflict to nearly 4,000.

Also Saturday, Iraqi authorities reported that a U.S. airstrike north of the capital killed six members of a U.S.-backed Sunni group – straining relations with America’s new allies in the fight against al-Qaida.

Two Iraqi civilians also died in the roadside bombing, which occurred as the Americans were patrolling an area northwest of the capital, the U.S. military said in a statement.

Tibet, And China’s “Coalition of the Willing”

I love propaganda. I really do. Even in the darkest moments of human history propaganda can tend so far toward the ridiculous that it makes the cynic in me chortle with macabre laughter.

So, imagine my reaction running across this article on (yes, at least my government doesn’t ban my access to their website. Yet.)

Follow me below the fold…

Meet some of Wisconsin’s civilian ‘winter soldiers’

This is the story of the vigil that refused to die — or at least refused to be snowed under. Friday was a horrendous day in Milwaukee as Spring arrived with a huge snowfall that may end up being more than a foot (it’s still falling as I write this.)  This was the noon report:

Nearly five inches of snow has fallen this morning at General Mitchell International as a winter storm warning remains in effect, keeping police and firefighters busy with multiple accidents reported on local streets and highways.

“Boy it’s bad outside,” said Milwaukee Battalion 1 Fire Chief Steven Gleisner, who was making rounds to the firehouses in his battalion this morning. “I almost spun out in a 4-wheel drive vehicle, a 6,000 pound Chevy Suburban, and I’m having a tough time getting around. I’ve never done that in a four-wheel drive vehicle. I’m like, ‘No. I’m heading home. Plus, the visibility is lousy.”

He suggested others do the same.”If folks don’t have to go out today, I wouldn’t go out,” he said.

It just got worse as the day went on. Side streets were nearly impassible, buses were running late if at all, the airport eventually closed.  Many churches even canceled Good Friday services. So organizers of a 5 p.m. Iraq Moratorium vigil, a monthly action held on downtown’s busiest corner, conferred during the afternoon.  Should the show go on? Your humble scribe, having ventured out once in his lightweight car, really didn’t want to do it again.  However, having written a rather macho online essay earlier in the day, about how weather doesn’t stop Wisconsinites from stopping the war, staying home didn’t seem like an option.

In mid-afternoon, Peace Action’s George Martin said he planned to show up with signs, flags and paraphernalia, since some people were bound to show up no matter what.  But he called about 4 p.m. to say the event was off.  Let’s be honest; I breathed a sigh of relief. I could stay home with a clear conscience, although I might have to eat a little crow about that blog.

But, I looked out at 4:30 p.m. and, although the snow was still falling heavily, our street had miraculously been plowed.  So, staying only on a few main arterial streets, I managed to make it to the site of the alleged vigil. There, at Water Street and Wisconsin Avenue, four young people huddled on the corner.  One had a rolled-up sign, so it seemed plausible they were there to protest the war, not catch a bus. That turned out to be the case. I told them the vigil was canceled, and asked if they’d at least stay long enough for me to haul a brand new Iraq Moratorium banner out of my car and take a photo.  Once there was a banner and a few more people showed up with their own signs, everyone decided to stay for the scheduled hour-long vigil. We ended up with 10 people.

So Milwaukee’s record is intact. Seven vigils in the seven months since the Iraq Moratorium began in September.  Although this was the smallest turnout ever, it may have been the most satisfying one to be a part of. The people in these photos are winter soldiers, indeed.

Reports from other actions are beginning to trickle in from around the country.  Read them, or post your own accounts of what you did, at

Before and after an hour in the snow in 30-degree temperatures:


Via Think Progress

81% of Americans say government should pay attention to polls.

In contrast to Vice President Dick Cheney’s dismissive attitude toward Americans’ dissatisfaction with the Iraq war, a recent World Public Opinion poll found that 81 percent of Americans believe that “when making ‘an important decision,’ government leaders ‘should pay attention to public opinion polls because this will help them get a sense of the public’s views.'” Moreover, in a sharp rebuke to White House press secretary Dana Perino’s recent claim that Americans only “have input every four years” regarding policy matters, the poll also found that “94 percent say that government leaders should pay attention to the views of the public between elections.”

Uppity, just plain uppity.

Except for the 19% who prefer to just keep grazing….


I posted this essay here on Docudharma about six months ago when the site was new and I was new to the site. I thought I’d re-post it now because, at this point in the Presidential election, we are at the point where we’re going to have to do some coalition work if we’re going to stop “Mr. 100-Year War” from winning.

Some time ago I found a speech given by Bernice Johnson Reagon titled Coalitions Politics: Turning the Century (scroll down past the intro) at the West Coast Women’s Music Festival in 1981. It is some of the most profound thinking I have ever read about our struggles to work together as progressives. I can’t tell you how many times the content of this speech has crept into my thinking in all kinds of discussions. I’d love it if everyone would just go read the whole thing and then come back and talk about it in the comments. But knowing that’s not likely, I’ll excerpt some quotes and try to summarize.  

Oct 26, 2014 — Economic Woes Continue Under President McCain

Wednesday, October 26, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC:  President John McCain held yet another news conference on Tuesday trying to reassure a weary public about their economic fears.  “My friends,” said the President, “as I have said many, many, many, many times before, we have the most resilient economy in the world.  Everything will take care of itself somehow.”  Vice-President Joe Lieberman then whispered something in the President’s ear, and McCain then corrected himself:  “Actually we have the fourth-most resilient economy behind China, India, and Canada.  That’s still pretty (expletive deleted) good.”  But the McCain administration has continually struggled with economic issues since taking office in 2009.    

Pony Party: Morning

There never was a good war or a bad peace

Benjamin Franklin

I hate war for its consequences, for the lies it lives on and propagates, for the undying hatreds it arouses, for the dictatorships it puts in the place of democracies, and for the starvation that stalks after it. I hate war, and never again will I sanction or support another

Harry Emerson Fosdick

During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable, even though it has to masquerade often under the guise of patriotism

Howard Thurman

The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Add your own quotes and music appreciation.

Please don’t rec pony party, hang out, chit chat and then go read some of the excellent offerings on our recent and rec’d list.

Body Of War

Last night, 3-21-08, on the PBS Bill Moyers Journal, Bill talked

with Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro on the true cost of war and their documentary, BODY OF WAR

Photobucket The filmmakers talk about Iraq war veteran Tomas Young who was shot and paralyzed less than a week into his tour of duty. Three years in the making, BODY OF WAR tells the poignant tale of the young man’s journey from joining the service after 9/11 to fight in Afghanistan, to living with devastating wounds after being deployed to Iraq instead.

FISA: Democrat’s New Spy Bill – Lulling Americans Into False Sense of Security w/poll

By William Lewis via

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has been one of the hot button issues for the current Congress controlled by the Democrats. One would think that the Democrats would be intrerested in defending our rights. We would be wrong in thinking so (IMHO):

Load more