August 14, 2008 archive

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Better than a thousand utterances,

comprising useless words,

is one single beneficial word,

by hearing which one attains peace.

Better than a thousand verses,

comprising useless words,

is one beneficial single line,

by hearing which one is pacified.

Sahassavagga, The Dhammapada, 100-101

Phenomena XXI: hearing

A Thread


Can you hear

the beating of the universe?

Have you experienced

the pulse, pulse, pulse of the world?

When was the last time

you put your ear to the planet?

Listen closely now

The hour is getting late

Can you hear

your thoughts

before they become words?

The bell of Truth rings

too thin a tinkle

to be called a peal

Can you hear

how it extols us

to move forward

not back

Can you hear

the vibrating strands

of the Tapestry?

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–May 23, 2008

Docudharma Times Thursday August 14

John McCain: Experienced And Ready

To Lead

When Dealing With Lobbyists  

Thursday’s Headlines:

Whites will be minority group by 2042, Census predicts

Turkish PM appeases critics by disowning anti-porn bill

‘Hollow Tooth’ peace symbol of Berlin faces deadly decay threat

Mugabe must back down, says rival

Nkomo’s ghost haunts Zimbabwe talks

Warmer Lebanon-Syria ties puts focus on prisoners’ fate

Gaza: Israel clears tank crew over killing of Reuters cameraman

Kashmir violence reignites sectarian tensions

Situation vacant: Girl, 3, wanted for role of living goddess. Must offer blessings

6 officers in Mexico crime unit arrested

Russian forces begin leaving key Georgian city

Troops roll out of strategic Gori; major U.S. aid operation launched

MSNBC News Services

TBILISI, Georgia – Russian troops have begun pulling out of the strategically important city of Gori, where their presence raised fears that Russia would challenge a cease-fire agreement, Georgian officials said on Thursday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said that Russian troops have also left Poti, a Black Sea port city with an oil terminal that is a key part of Georgia’s fragile economic health.

Russian troops entered Gori on Wednesday. The city is about 15 miles south of South Ossetia, the separatist Georgian region where Russian and Georgian forces fought a brutal five-day battle.

Peace Plan Offers Russia a Rationale to Advance


Published: August 13, 2008

TBILISI, Georgia – It was nearly 2 a.m. on Wednesday when President Nicolas Sarkozy of France announced he had accomplished what seemed virtually impossible: Persuading the leaders of Georgia and Russia to agree to a set of principles that would stop the war.

Handshakes and congratulations were offered all around. But by the time the sun was up, Russian tanks were advancing again, this time taking positions around the strategically important city of Gori, in central Georgia.

It soon became clear that the six-point deal not only failed to slow the Russian advance, but it also allowed Russia to claim that it could push deeper into Georgia as part of so-called additional security measures it was granted in the agreement.


Thai slave laborers freed in El Monte become U.S. citizens

The women take part in ceremonies in Montebello. They were among 72 workers whose plight in 1995 captured the nation’s attention.

By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

August 14, 2008  

Maliwan Clinton recalls her first taste of America with a shudder. In this fabled land of the free, she was enslaved behind razor wire and around-the-clock guards in an El Monte sweatshop, where she and more than 70 other Thai laborers were forced to work 18-hour days for what amounted to less than a dollar an hour.

When she was freed, a shocked public learned of slavery in its midst and flooded the Thai laborers with American generosity: Churchgoers offered shelter, community advocates proffered English lessons and job tips, lawyers fought for work permits and legal status for the group.Exactly 13 years to the day the Thai laborers won their freedom, Clinton’s American journey came full circle Wednesday as she acquired U.S. citizenship by taking the oath of allegiance to her new nation.

The Stars Hollow Gazette w/ Update

So I ran across this while surfing Yahoo News-

Hollywood Takes on the Left

Stephen F. Hayes, Weekly Standard

Wed Aug 13, 1:45 PM ET

You’ll note it’s from the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol’s rag.

David Zucker is doing an allegorical remake of A Chrismas Carol called An American Carol, which like Ben Stein’s Expelled is supposed to combat left wing Hollywood bias.

Oh and it’s entertaining and funny and will make money too.  Would I lie to you?

Yes he’s that Zucker from Airplane, one of two and part of a team of 3; but he belongs like some to the Muslim Racist Paranoia Dennis Miller types who were scared so shitless of finding a brown skinned bomber under the bed that they wet themselves every night.

A coward.

Zucker was still nominally a Democrat when George W. Bush was elected in 2000. “Then 9/11 happened, and I couldn’t take it anymore,” he says. “The response to 9/11–the right was saying this is pure evil we’re facing and the left was saying how are we at fault for this? I think I’d just had enough. And I said ‘I quit.'”

He hooked up with an ex-Boxer staffer Sokoloff who- Hallelujah shares the save conversion story.

Although she didn’t vote for George W. Bush in 2000, Sokoloff says she was glad that he won. Less than a year later, she understood why. “When 9/11 happened, I knew Democrats wouldn’t be strong enough to fight this war.”

And started making commericials.

As the 2004 presidential election approached, Sokoloff and Zucker looked for a way to influence the debate. Their first effort was an ad mocking John Kerry for his flip-flops that the conservative Club for Growth paid to put on the air. In 2006, Sokoloff and Zucker followed that with a series of uproarious short spots mocking, in turn, the Iraq Study Group, Madeleine Albright and pro-appeasement foreign policy, and pro-tax congressional Democrats.

Spoilers below the fold.

Airline fees and our military

By now I’m sure most everyone has heard how American Airlines is charging our military men and women baggage fees (overweight and extra bag).  The airlines are justifying this practice by claiming that the military reimburses the members.

Let me explain to you why this is wrong…

War is the neocons answer to the Economic and Political Crisis

The Economic Crisis defined by the neocons, isn’t the fact that folks are losing their homes/jobs/retirements, etc.  No, Economic Crisis for the neocons is the fact that folks are finally waking up to the fact that our country has been robbed blind and these sleepy folks may soon be seeking justice and/or blood.

The Political Crisis defined by the neocons isn’t the fact that our politicians and government have been bought by corporations and are corrupt to the core.  No, Political crisis for the neocons is the fact that folks are finally waking up to the fact that our politicians and government agencies have been bought by corporations and are corrupt to the core.

Its a pickle for the neocons… can they continue with business as usual when so many folks are on to them.

Test Your Right-Wing IQ!

The nomination of Senator John (the “Maverick”) McCain has caused a lot of consternation among our nation’s true right-wing heroes who feel he isn’t conservative enough to fill President Bush’s shoes.  How can we separate the men from the boys (and the women, and the Hispanics, etc.) in the right-wing movement?  The following test is a simple way to do just that — calculate your right-wing IQ and use it to exclude the unwashed masses who are stinking up our Big Tent!

Record your answer for each of the following ten questions.  The answers and a grading scale are listed below.  No peeking until you have locked in each of your answers.  The integrity of true conservatives means the “honor system” should work perfectly fine to score your own test.

Ready to begin?    

Pony Party: Pete Seeger (and friends!)

If you haven’t seen it, run (no…really…run) and get Pete Seeger: The Power of Song.  Some people talk of the inspiration of the presumptive Democratic nominee (he sounds like a law professor to me), well, here’s a DVD that should inspire all of us!

Straight Out of Georgia

No, the other one.

For tonight’s entertainment I present two acts from the state of Georgia, the poet Randall Allen Shields and the band R.E.M.

It’s Hard at the Bottom

There is too much that we ignore,

Important things,

Like children,

And the young,

And the old,

And the sick,

And the poor,

And our prisoners,

And each other.

We don’t do enough to protect our children.

We don’t do enough to help each other.

We don’t do enough to save our planet.

We don’t do enough to save ourselves.

We care way too much about all the wrong things.

We despise the peasants, and worship the kings.

We spit on the angels, and lionize demons,

As the righteous among us are dragged away screamin’.

It’s all upside down,

But smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em,

’cause Lord have mercy!

It’s hard at the bottom.

Randall Allen Shields

Iraq Moratorium Friday: It’s got to stop! We’ve got to stop it!

Friday marks the 12th month, the end of a year, for the Iraq Moratorium.

Since last September, it has united people holding more than 1,200 events and actions in 41 states and 240 communities, from one end of the country to the other.

But it hasn’t stopped the war.  Should we give up now?

The Iraq Moratorium folks don’t think so.  In fact, they’ve renewed their commitment to ending the war and occupation, and have made some improvements in the operation. You’ll find a new website, with a new address,, and even a new logo to go with the new look.

It’s a simple concept.  It asks people to interrupt their daily routines on the Third Friday of every month and take some action, individually or with a group, to end the war and occupation.  It encourages  locally organized, grassroots actions to move more of the silent majority who say they oppose the war to do something to end it.

The national Moratorium doesn’t try to tell people what action to take.  It offers a wide variety of options, from wearing a button or armband to taking part in a demonstration, and many things in between.  The important thing is that people do something.

The national website acts as a clearinghouse for information, collecting and posting events planned by local organizers and reports, photos and videos afterward.  It also offers some tips and tools for organizers to use.

It’s almost an exaggeration to call it a shoestring operation.  It operates on virtually no money with a volunteer crew. (Disclosure: I’m part of the volunteer core group that tries to keep it growing.)

Given its almost non-existent resources and media blackout of antiwar actions, it’s first year record is somewhat remarkable.  There have been more than 1,200 actions in 41 states and 240 communities since the Moratorium began in September 2007.  No one really knows how many individuals also observe the Moratorium in some way on the Third Friday of the month,  but it’s a significant number.

As Iraq Moratorium #12 approaches, think about one thing, big or small, that you can do to help.  If nothing else, a donation would be gratefully accepted — and you don’t have to wait until August 15.

Whatever it is, please do something.

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