May 24, 2008 archive

Memorial Day – A history

We celebrate a Monday off of work towards the end of May, well those of us that don’t work in Retail, Food Services or various other industries that are open 366 days a year (at least THIS Leap Year) and the name given to this holiday is Memorial Day.

Many people see the Memorial Day three-day weekend as the true beginning of the Summer season, even though by the calendar, true summer, which is marked by the longest day of the year, is nearly one month away on June 20th.

But what is Memorial Day, and what caused there to be a reason FOR a Memorial Day?  What memorial?  Join me for the history of Memorial Day.

From Wikipedia:

Memorial Day is a United States Federal Holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May (observed in 2008 on May 26). It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it was expanded to include those who died in any war or military action.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Lawmakers loyal to al-Sadr denounce Iraqi gov’t

By HAMID AHMED, Associated Press Writer

32 minutes ago

BAGHDAD – Lawmakers loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr accused the Iraqi government of trying to crush the movement and warned Saturday of “black clouds” on the horizon for truces that have eased fighting between al-Sadr’s militia and security forces.

The Sadrist Movement has heightened its rhetoric against the government in recent days, raising concerns over the cease-fires in the southern city of Basra and Baghdad’s Sadr City district, the stronghold of al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia.

Still, the lawmakers and other al-Sadr officials said they are adhering to the truces. The cease-fires are crucial to Iraqi security forces’ sweeps in Basra and Sadr City, launched by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to show his government can spread its authority in areas long dominated by armed groups like al-Sadr’s.

John McCain’s Secret Medical Records Revealed

After more than a year of stalling, John McCain is finally making his medical records public. However, the process by which he is releasing the data suggests that he hopes it doesn’t become too public. His campaign chose the Friday prior to the three day Memorial Day weekend for the document dump. Even worse, they are restricting access to the records to a three hour period wherein the reporters may take notes, but will not be allowed to take photos or make copies. That’s three hours to read and analyze 400 complex medical documents.

However, News Corpse has acquired some of the classified records that McCain hoped would remain secret. Here is an exclusive document leaked from McCain’s medical team:

Lest We Forget

“Impeachment is off the table,” said Pelosi, D-Calif. “Democrats are not about getting even. Democrats are about helping people get ahead.”

She used the word “bipartisan” at least eight times in her few minutes before the media, and said that she had promised the president that she would cooperate with him as much as possible.

Two days after the 2006 midterms, Bill Myers, National Examiner, November 09, 2006

(Also at Out Of Iraq Bloggers Caucus and in Orange)


Once again the old say “A picture speaks a thousand words” can pop into ones mind.

Thomas, over at G.I. Special – Military Project starts out his latest News Letter with the following recent photo of ‘The War pResident’.

Bushco Bullies Immigrants In Iowa

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

The New York Times reports that 270 undocumented workers who were arrested at a meat plant in Iowa in March, instead of being swiftly deported back to Guatemala, have instead been convicted of federal misdemeanors, sentenced to 5 months incarceration, and then will be immediately deported.  This marks a lamentable, new, harsher policy toward punishing defenseless undocumented workers who are selected for this special treatment.  And, let me say it, it’s a show designed to frighten and threaten and disrupt the other almost 15 million undocumented workers now in the US.

In temporary courtrooms at a fairgrounds here, 270 illegal immigrants were sentenced this week to five months in prison for working at a meatpacking plant with false documents.

The prosecutions, which ended Friday, signal a sharp escalation in the Bush administration’s crackdown on illegal workers, with prosecutors bringing tough federal criminal charges against most of the immigrants arrested in a May 12 raid. Until now, unauthorized workers have generally been detained by immigration officials for civil violations and rapidly deported.

The convicted immigrants were among 389 workers detained at the Agriprocessors Inc. plant in nearby Postville in a raid that federal officials called the largest criminal enforcement operation ever carried out by immigration authorities at a workplace.

Isn’t that efficient and fast.  The poultry workers were arrested on March 12, they pleaded guilty in record time, and they were sentenced in short order.  How, you might inquire, did this happen so swiftly?  Where was their relentless, publicly funded defense?  Where were their trials, their juries, their appeals, the recognition by the defense that these kinds of proceedings need to be fought and fought hard?  Answer: none of that happened because the government used threats to cow the accused into pleading guilty.

Pony Party: Your Morning Art

I slept in! It was a bad week at work.

Here is your dose of art.

And a bit of poetry….

Poetry by Alexei Konstantinovich Tolstoy – I Bless You, Forests

I bless you, forests, valleys, fields, mountains, waters,

I bless freedom and blue skies.

I bless my staff and my humble rags.

And the steppe from beginning to end,

And the sun’s light, and night’s darkness,

And the path I walk, pauper that I am,

And, in the field every blade of grass,

and every star in the sky!

O! if only I could encompass all life,

And join my soul with yours.

O! if only I could embrace you all,

Enemies, friends and brothers, and all nature,

And enfold all nature in my arms

Hope y’all are going to have a lovely holiday weekend. Hang out, chit chat and then go read some of the excellent offerings on our recent and rec’d list.

Docudharma Times Saturday May 24

I Didn’t Mean  To Say That

Until I said It

But It Wasn’t Really Me Who Said It

Saturday’s Headlines:   270 Illegal Immigrants Sent to Prison in Federal Push   Obama would take California in November, Times/KTLA poll finds   Ban praises China quake response   Tibet could be ‘swamped’ by mass Chinese settlement after Olympics, says Dalai Lama  French trawlers blockade straits of Dover in fuel protest   Rubbish threatens Tuvixeddu necropolis   Opposition leader returning to Zimbabwe  ANALYSIS-Poverty a recipe for wider South Africa unrest    Sign of change? Israeli, Palestinian officers meet  Marines Won’t Charge 2 Officers Whose Men Killed Afghans After Car Bombing   Cuban sting shows US diplomat handing over cash to dissidents  

Hillary Clinton forced to apologise for staying in race ‘in case of an assassination’

From The Times

May 24, 2008

Hillary Clinton rushed out an apology last night after citing the 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy as a reason for her to remain in the race against Barack Obama – an extraordinary admission which caught her campaign aides off guard.

Mrs Clinton, dismissing the idea of abandoning her increasingly longshot attempt to win the Democratic presidential nomination, said in South Dakota: “My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know I just, I don’t understand it.”

She added that she did not understand why, given this history, some Democrats were calling for her to quit. The former First Lady had been responding to a question from a newspaper editorial board.

Prison Camps & The Trail Of Tears (Part 2)

Mark Anthony Rolo: Recalling the Trail of Tears

“The Trail of Tears began 170 years ago this week. We should recall it not as an aberration but as a logical outgrowth of an inhumane policy. And we should insist, in its memory, that Indian treaties and Indian sovereignty be honored.

When President Andrew Jackson ordered the Cherokee Nation off its Georgia homelands, the U.S. government signed a treaty with the Cherokees, promising them a $5 million payment upon successful removal west of the Mississippi.

Blame it on NPK

It’s Nightprowlkitty’s fault.  For years I have been repressing my second love.  My first love is books and reading: that, I can do anywhere.  But my second love is my adopted city: New York.  

Sublimated, and how, as I live in this stupid cow town in stupid PA where the (Dem) governor is selling the f*cking turnpike.  Where people are more likely to vote their religion than their conscience (if they even have a conscience–they all claim to be Xtian but seem to have no clue about what Christ–assuming he may have existed–taught in that book they keep lauding); anyway, I had managed to repress my love of NYC until this evening.  When NPK posted a YouTube of “42nd Street” and I watched it.

Consider this my tribute to the second greatest love of my life.

Random Japan

Crash and burn

Giving new meaning to the term “drive-thru,” a van crashed into a McDonald’s fast-food joint in Miyazaki, injuring six kids and three adults inside.

That’s entertainment!

Who were those masked men? Two robbers worked over a 70-year-old employee and stole about ¥150,000 in cash from Puroresu Mania Kan, a pro wrestling merchandise store near Suidobashi Station, before fleeing on foot.


¥4 billion

Amount of money lost each year by 14 major bookstore chains due to shoplifting, according to a survey by the Japan Publishing Organization for Information Infrastructure Development


People who have contracted whooping cough so far this year, the fastest spread of the disease in Japan since the National Institute of Infectious Diseases started keeping stats


Percentage of respondents to a 2007 Asahi Shimbun survey who said that Article 9 of the Constitution, which renounces war and bans Japan from maintaining military forces, should not be revised


Percentage who said so this year


Percentage of American respondents to a Gallup Organization survey who said they view Japan as a “dependable country,” down 7 percentage points from a similar survey last year

The Day After the Day the Dark Age Ends


To a person:  Man, women and child…

If we all followed the better tenants of the Good Books we feel the need to believe in…

If we all stopped the racism…

If we all stopped the killing…

If we all stopped the mad-grab for money, power and control…

If we all stopped the lying…

If we stopped playing god and lording over people…

If we started sharing…

If we started helping…

If we started giving…

If we started loving…

If we started feeling…

If we started to get personal with the lessons and stopped believing that tithing is enough to get us into heaven…

If we stopped the process of believing in vague mythologies out of stark fear for selfish comforts…

If we started to stop the hatred and stop delaying that start at living in true peace…

How could the various gods of all our mythologies be angry with us?

Even if we ended up throwing them away, if we accomplished the god’s goal of Peace on Earth, how could they all not but retreat in joy from our lives, minds and souls, mission accomplished, problem solved?

How could they not do this?

Could we let them?

If we grew to adulthood, would our Gods let us move away from home and start worlds of our own?

What would we do?

Will we ever emerge?

Should we rise up?

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