March 19, 2011 archive

Stand Still a Moment: Look Up, Breathe

Cross Posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Since the Winter Solstice, it seems like we have been moved from one crisis to the next without no respite, many of these events overlapping the others, each one exponentially worse. Time to stop for a night and look up at the sky and breath. Tomorrow the moon will not only be full, it will be the closest it has been to Earth in 18 years, a Supermoon. Many astrologers believe it can trigger natural disasters but in actuality, it has little to no effect. The moon may effect the ocean’s tides but it is not capable of triggering devastating earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

Native Americans have several names for March’s full moon:

As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night.

This Supermoon is doubly special as it occurs on the last night of this long, cold snowy winter. Sunday is the Spring equinox when the night and day are equal and the earth is in balance. In mythology it is the time, that Persephone, the Greek goddess of spring, starts Her journey back to Earth and Her beloved mother, Demeter.  Each year at the end of the winter season, She returns to the surface of the earth for a joyful reunion with Her mother.  In winter, She returns to live in the Underworld as the Queen of Hades. Persephone is the goddess of death, yet with a promise of life to come. For Pagans, it is one of the eight important festivals in the Wheel of the Year.

We cannot control the Earth or slow the Wheel, we can take time to go out side, stand still a moment to look up at the night sky and breathe.

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Special live blogging of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament

The Stars Hollow Gazette

The New Medievalism


Three US wars-one starting right now, today.

The destruction of the Gulf of Mexico. The eroding of civil liberties, assassination, torture,  drones attacks.

Economic destruction for the poor and middle.  The rise of the banks, and of military interests.  

The war on drugs – which has essentially just created a for profit industry.

Global warming.

Nuclear power. Nuclear weapons.

What do these things have in common?

Governments worldwide have generally become less and less responsive to guidance by their citizens and more and more controlled by an elite over-class.  The revolts in the middle east are certainly symptoms of reaction against that, in nations that have long been dictatorships, but in the larger countries, such as the US, have in fact gotten much worse.  The unified europe has made an attack on Europe’s poor and middle class possible, and even against it’s poorest member states.

Simply put: fewer europeans have more power than ever before-well, since perhaps medieval times. The trend of hundreds of years towards more human rights for more and more Europeans has been checked, stopped, reversed.  

In the US, polls show that the policies of the government are increasingly unpopular, yet they go forward as before.  There is no where to turn, no accountability.  The US has always done some bad things in the world.  But the difference today is that it does the no matter what the public opinion is, with perhaps even less attempts to guide public opinion than ever before-because it doesn’t matter anymore. During even what is now seen as the deeply unpopular Vietnam War – it was in fact popular with many Americans, something the government had to work very hard to cultivate as so many Americans died.

Today though,  despite the unpopularity of US wars (even with few US deaths) , of US nuclear plants, of bank bailouts, the civil liberty erosions, the institutionalization of insurance companies as health care providers, the war on drugs; these will go forward no matter which American party is supposedly in power – because they agree on many things- first and foremost that:

You don’t f’ing count.

UPDATED: U.S. Launches Missiles: AlJazeera: Who Will Lead The Military Intervention In Libya?

AjJazeera Live Feed (h/t Momcat) 4:45PM PST:

Early Saturday Morning:

The UN Security Council gives the go-ahead for outside military intervention in Libya, but who will lead the operation and where will be the centre of command and control? Western diplomats insist that Arab League forces must be part of the offensive. Meanwhile, the Gaddafi regime has declared an immediate ceasefire, but will words become action? Inside Story discusses.

AlJazeeraEnglish – 19 Mar 2011

[UPDATES 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 below the fold]

Rats Approved as Service Animals Amid Protest from Tea Party and Feds.

Danni Moore requested the city council of Hesperia, California to pass an ordinance allowing two rats that sit on her shoulders to help control seizures become service animals.  The city council approved such an ordinance on March 15. Ms. Moore can now bring her rats into public buildings and businesses. Ms Moore’s rats are a breed of domestically trained rats, not the dirty hippie rats found in sewers and allegedly in the homes of liberal activists.  

However, the federal government tightened its definition of what a service animal is according to the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The new classification only sanctions dogs and miniature horses.  It more clearly defined a law from 1990.   Thru the years many other animals were given status.  This new regulation will have an impact on the entire country, save for the town of Hesperia when city council voted 4-1 allowing any species of animal with a doctor’s certificate.

The dissenting voter, a former mayor Bill Holland opposed the measure.  He enlisted the help of The Tea Party to campaign against it. And they have done so – hence the new and stricter rules. The Tea Party that opposes government in Americans lives?  – Why yes, that Tea Party!  

I understand tiny teeny rifles will soon be issued to said rats in the hopes that the National Rifle Association will not weigh in.   These domestic rats are generally regarded as intelligent.  Surely the Tea Party understands that these rats have a right to such arms, in Hesperia at least.  Though pharm labs that continue to torture rats and whatever animals they can get their hands on seem to be nervous about the tiny teeny rifles.  Tiny teeny bullets can certainly cause damage.  But as we all know tiny teeny bullets do not kill people; domesticated rats do.  

This Week In The Dream Antilles

A week of bread and circuses.  Pan y toros.  The shiny object of March Madness on four networks  (CBS, TBS, TNT, TruTV) attempts to eclipse world shaking nuclear disaster in Japan and the initial steps toward US involvement in yet another war, this time in Libya.  Lost in the fray: a judge temporarily enjoined Wisconsin’s union buster law.  And the moon is closest to earth since 1992.  

This week your bloguero was distracted.  And he wasn’t prolific.  Or poetic.  As of Friday night, there wasn’t a single new Haiku on the site.  So your bloguero wrote an apologetic one just for this Digest:

Week without Haiku.

Your bloguero is slothful,

Sometimes disappoints.

At 4 am Saturday that helped your bloguero scrape enough rust off his iron manacles to escape at least temporarily from his ennui.

So the week ended early Saturday with a Haiku.   At 4 am the moon demanded nothing less.

War Du Jour, Part III notes that the US’s involvement in supposedly preventing violence to Libyan rebels with armed force is an engraved invitation to a quagmire in North Africa, and it’s potentially the start of a third, simultaneous US war with no end.  Apparently the PTB think that photos of Obama’s  Brazil visit will convince the world that the US isn’t really pulling the strings in Libya.  Believe that?  There’s a bridge…

A Beautiful Day To Die notes your bloguero’s despair and concern about the enormous nuclear disaster in Japan.  Your bloguero really does not want anyone to be irradiated.  Including particulartly himself.  He would like the planet to thrive.  That doesn’t seem possible in a world with earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear power plants.

The duck, Tricky Duck  (or maybe one of his grandchildren), has returned, El Pato Ha Vuelto.  The annual return of the traveler to the pond, a journey that began decades ago when the original  mallard who would be named Tricky Duck was mailed from an Iowa poultry farm to Blue Seal Seed and Feed in Chatham, NY, and came home with me.  An annual event, marking the start of Spring in earnest.

Your bloguero notes that this Digest is a weekly feature of the Port Writers Alliance and is supposed to be posted early Sunday morning.  Yes, he knows it’s again Saturday.  Your bloguero, it turns out, likes to post on Saturday.  See you next week if the creek don’t rise on Sunday Saturday early.

Have a wonderful weekend.  

March 19, 2003: Iraq “decapitation attack”

U.S. and coalition forces launched missiles and bombs at targets in Iraq including a “decapitation attack” aimed at Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and other top members of the country’s leadership.

There were nearly 300,000 American, British and other troops at the border.

President George W. Bush warned Americans that the conflict “could be longer and more difficult than some predict.” He assured the nation that “this will not be a campaign of half-measures, and we will accept no outcome except victory.”

Read about the cost of this war


This Week in Peace History

Six In The Morning

Emergency power cable reaches Japan nuclear plant

Hopes rise at Fukushima plant of restarting cooling systems for reactors and spent fuel pools

Agencies, Saturday 19 March 2011 03.55 GMT

Engineers rolling out an emergency power cable have reached Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant and are preparing to try and restart water pumps to cool overheated fuel rods that are threatening to melt down.

Eight days after the tsunami, Japan’s police agency has said 7,197 are dead and 10,905 missing. Some of the missing may have been out of the region at the time of the disaster. The waters are likely to have sucked many people out to sea – after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami many such bodies were never found.

There are hopes the external power cable can be attached on Saturday or Sunday, the plant operator has said.


Mass. company making diesel with sun, water, CO2

Late Night Karaoke

Original v. Cover — #70 in a Series

renee fleming-pearls Pictures, Images and Photos

What better way to communicate your commitment to a new love interest than to tattoo their name on a conspicuous part of your body?  Alternatively, you could write a song in honor of the one who excites your passions, hoping for its success.

The latter was most definitely the case for this week’s selection, written by Michael Brown, the 16-year-old keyboardist with what was arguably the quintessential baroque rock group all time.  He included the young lady’s first name in the title. Tony Sansone co-wrote the song with him, which was released in July of 1966.  It peaked at #5, but perhaps more important for the song’s immortality, it was more recently ranked by Rolling Stone magazine at #220 on its list of the 500 Greatest Rock Songs of All Time.

War Du Jour, Part III

War, endless war.  Evidently, Iraq and Afghanistan, even taken together, cannot sate the US’s taste for armed combat and blood. No. Not a chance. Those are insufficient. Today we learned that the US was going to get involved in yet another war, a third one, this time in Libya, again complete with ill defined purpose, the possibility of massive and uncontrolled escalation, and no exit plans.  Yes, I know.  No ground troops are being committed. Yet. Right now. But this intervention is a lot more than just imposing a “no fly zone”.  Let’s call it what it is: it’s an open invitation for the US to get embroiled in yet a third, simultaneous, distant ground war.

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