August 11, 2010 archive

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Humans prepare for the future all their lives,

yet meet the next life totally unprepared.

–Drakpa Gyaltsen

Phenomena XXXV:  posterity

River of Time

Note in a Bottle


strung like beads

into thoughts


into frayed patches

a fragile parchment

from your past

A note

in a bottle

set adrift

in the river

of time

If the words

reach you

can you see to it

that they are read

and then sent

once again

on their way

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–May 16, 2008

Late Night Karaoke

Exit Strategy or Essentially Endless?


Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.  

This world in arms is not spending money alone.  

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.  

This is not a way of life at all in any true sense.  

Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.

~ Dwight D. Eisenhower, speech, American Society of Newspaper Editors, 16 April 1953

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.

~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert.

The United States Military Industrial Complex has might.  General and former President Eisenhower understood this.  He warned Americans.  Abundant might does not make right; it only advances the notion of righteousness.  Patriotism is promoted through militarism.  His words fell on deaf ears.  The sound was hollow in contrast to the drone of drumbeats.  At the time, Americans were as they are today; dedicated to the customs we think characterize democracy.

We see this in many a war and peace policy.  Questions are asked of the government and the people. Testimony is taken.  Think tanks assess Foreign Policy. Conclusions are drawn and decisions made.  Still, in 2010, a few within the electorate wonder as General Eisenhower had.. With Al-Qaida Fading, Why Expand the Afghan War?

Liberal Islam and Joan of Arc in Syria

Although the United States destroyed the most secular government in the Middle East with its genocidal invasion and occupation of Iraq, Syria still remains as a last lonely outpost of religious moderation among so many racist and theocratic rogue-nations like Israel and Iran, and while the recent French initiative to ban the burqa was denounced by liberal pundits from Weston-Under-Lizard to Honolulu, Syria quietly liberated hundreds of thousands of muslim women from the miserable mask-gag-muzzle-suffocation of the niqab.


Banned in Syrian schools and universities!

Syria has banned the niqab, the Islamic head scarf that covers the face and leaves an opening for the eyes, from its private and public universities in an effort to protect the country’s secular identity, a Foreign Ministry official said Monday. The ban does not affect the hijab, the head scarf that does not cover the face, which many Syrian women wear.

“Syria is adamant about its secularism,” says Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “If the next generation is going to be raised to embrace the strict Islamic values for which the niqab is the expression, it will undermine the project Syria is trying to build, of secularism and coexistence of religions. “

And as revolutionary as this ban may appear to repulsive misogynists masquerading as “Islamic scholars,” it nevertheless recalls one of the most glorious episodes of emergent Syrian nationalism in the Twentieth Century.

In 1920, a 21-year old girl from Damascus defied tradition and took off her milaya (traditional, full-length veil) when volunteering to fight in the Syrian army against the invading French army. She paraded through the streets of Damascus unveiled, with a rifle strapped on her shoulder, creating shockwaves throughout conservative circles of the Syrian capital.

Moderates and seculars hailed her as the Syrian Joan of Arc while she defended her action saying that she was off to battle, defending her homeland from occupation – the noblest deed on Earth – and not unveiling to attract or seduce the opposite sex. The wives of the Prophet Mohammed, she reminded her critics, had participated in battle with him unveiled.

This was Naziq al-Abid, and her story didn’t end with a “wardrobe malfunction” in Damascus.

She fought at the infamous battle of Maysaloun on July 24, 1920, where the Syrian Army was crushed, and tried but failed to heal the wounds of General Yusuf al-Azma, the minister of war who was killed in combat. Faysal promoted her to the honorary rank of general in the Syrian Army. She was the first woman to attain such a title.

In 1921, she became President of the Syrian Red Cross and in 1922, founded her own organization, modeled on the international Red Cross, and called it the Red Crescent. In 1925-1927, she took up arms in the Syrian Revolt against the Mandate, living the life of an outlaw in the Ghutta orchards surrounding Damascus. In 1928, Abid was pardoned, returning to Syria to co-founded the Damascene Women Awakening Association.


Suck it, meat-heads!


Tuesday Truffles: WH Press Sec Gibbs Shares The Love

 As the House convenes today, Tuesday, August 10, to vote on some Senate last minute leftovers, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs shows the House members hesitating on voting for more stuff how to communicate effectively with the voters when they resume their 6 week August vacation and fundraising break.…

“I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested,” Gibbs said. “I mean, it’s crazy.”

The press secretary dismissed the “professional left” in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality.”

Of those who complain that Obama caved to centrists on issues such as healthcare reform, Gibbs said: “They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.”

Gibbs said the professional left is not representative of the progressives who organized, campaigned, raised money and ultimately voted for Obama.

Progressives, Gibbs said, are the liberals outside of Washington “in America,” and they are grateful for what Obama has accomplished in a shattered economy with uniform Republican opposition and a short amount of time.

In the spirit of bipartisanshipthingee, I’ll quote Fox News now on what happened next:…

Tues Aug 10

WASHINGTON — In a rare moment of bipartisanship Tuesday, the House approved $600 million to pay for more unmanned surveillance drones and about 1,500 more agents along the troubled Mexican border.

Getting tougher on border security is one of the few issues that both parties agree on in this highly charged election season. But lawmakers remain deeply divided over a more comprehensive approach to the illegal immigration problem, and it’s unclear if Congress will go beyond border-tightening efforts.

The House passed the bill by an unrecorded voice vote after brief debate.

In fact, although Pelosi was supposedly calling the House back into session during break to vote on a “jobs” bill, ( which went flying under the radar as some Senate amendment to a House Amendment to a Senate Amendment,)   the HR 6080 Emergency Supplemental for Border Security for Fiscal Year 2010 was the very first thing they debated and suspended the rules and passed by voice vote today, at 10:54 am EDT.  You can see the Clerk of the House’s record here, look up Aug 10, 2010, because there will be NO ROLL CALL VOTE RECORD of this.…

text of bill from THOMAS here:…

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