March 3, 2012 archive

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This Week In The Dream Antilles

Your Bloguero missed his self imposed, usual Friday deadline. The dog ate his homework. No, he just got a cold and wouldn’t get out of bed. This is what your Bloguero does on the very rare occasion when he has a cold. When he feels sick. He doesn’t call the doctor, and he doesn’t go to the pharmacy for something to knock out the unseen invader. No. He just gets in bed. Pulls the covers over his head. And he stays there. He explores in depth that fuzzy zone between awake and asleep, being thinking and dreaming. He doesn’t eat. He has soup. And broth. He drinks water. He travels only as far as the bathroom. He does not communicate with the outside world.

Today, after three days, he is much, much better. Thank you. The cough is almost gone, his nose is red but has stopped dripping as much. He is weak and spacey. Very spacey. Very altered.

At some point early this morning, your Bloguero had a dream.

In the dream, your Bloguero was driving his father, who passed away two weeks ago, to catch a train. He was an old man in the dream, just as he was before he passed away, in his 90’s, frail, frequently short of breath, entirely conscious, cogent, alert. First, your Bloguero was driving a VW bus with his dad. They had to abandon that and start driving another car. They failed to put Dad’s suitcase in the new car. They spoke briefly about it and headed for the station anyway without it. They’d come back and get it. Later. When they got to the station, your Bloguero simply could not navigate the parking lot. Every road went the wrong way. All the arrows on the pavement went the wrong way. All the turns were forbidden. Finally, frustrated, your Bloguero parked the car illegally, in a no parking no standing zone, and began to walk slowly with his Dad to the station. Dad has to walk pretty slowly because he gets short of breath from chronic heart failure. But there’s a problem. They didn’t know where the entrance to the station might be.

In the distance, they saw some uniformed men tending a parking lot, and there was a policeman there. They could ask them where to go. The sun was shining, it was bright, and it was hot. Your Bloguero had, as he had for the past few years, his Dad holding on his right arm, walking slowly with him, hanging on. Dad said, “We have 20 minutes.” Then he said, “I can’t go this fast. I have to stop. I have to wait.”  They stopped. And stood still in the hot sun. Who, your Bloguero wondered, was he to hurry his father? Who was he to be concerned about making the train? How dare he? Your Bloguero said, “I’m sorry, dad, I’m really sorry.” Your Bloguero woke up crying.

This Week In The Dream Antilles is usually a weekly digest of essays in The Dream Antilles. Usually it appears on Friday. Sometimes, like now, it’s something else entirely. To see what essays were in The Dream Antilles in the past two week you have visit The Dream Antilles

RIP Commander Jeff Huber.

Jeffry Lyle Huber Obituary – Virginia Beach, Virginia –

Obituary, funeral and service information for Jeffry Lyle Huber from Virginia Beach, Virginia, funeral services by Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home & Crematory – Tidewater Drive Chapel – Jeffry Lyle Huber, 57, died Jan. 24, 2012, in his home. No services are planned at this time.

Jeff and I were very close at one time, he was a regular on WWL radio as well.  Last year, we talked and I know he had had some health problems, but thought he had gotten a clean bill of health.  I guess we both just got busy.

He was an author, wrote at Pen and Sword, and a brilliant voice for Peace and the Left.

He will be greatly missed.  


The Saudis and 9/11

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

What do we really know about the Saudi Arabian government’s involvement with the 9/11 attacks? We know that Osama bin Laden was Saudi, a member of a very wealthy family with close ties to the Bush family. We know his family denounced him and he was banished by the Saudis in 1992. we know that 15 of the 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia. We know that the bin Laden family was allowed to leave the US after airspace had been re-opened but none of the family members were ever questioned by the FBI. That’s not a lot.

There has always been some speculation that the Saudi government, or at least some prominent members of the government, had some involvement with the attacks. It was dismissed out of hand as “conspiracy theory” and even in some parts of the left wing blogosphere, a banned topic. Now, two former US Senators have broken their silence on their high level of suspicion that the Saudi government had some direct involvement with the 9/11 attack:

For more than a decade, questions have lingered about the possible role of the Saudi government in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, even as the royal kingdom has made itself a crucial counterterrorism partner in the eyes of American diplomats.

Now, in sworn statements that seem likely to reignite the debate, two former senators who were privy to top secret information on the Saudis’ activities say they believe that the Saudi government might have played a direct role in the terrorist attacks.

“I am convinced that there was a direct line between at least some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia,” former Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, said in an affidavit filed as part of a lawsuit brought against the Saudi government and dozens of institutions in the country by families of Sept. 11 victims and others. Mr. Graham led a joint 2002 Congressional inquiry into the attacks.

His former Senate colleague, Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a Democrat who served on the separate 9/11 Commission, said in a sworn affidavit of his own in the case that “significant questions remain unanswered” about the role of Saudi institutions. “Evidence relating to the plausible involvement of possible Saudi government agents in the September 11th attacks has never been fully pursued,” Mr. Kerrey said.

The sworn affidavits are part of a lawsuit against the Saudi Arabian government by some of the 9/11 families. Lawyers representing the Saudis, who have so far unsuccessfully tried to have the litigation dismissed, are trying to have the two statements suppressed. Neither the Saudi’s lawyers or the US State Department have commented on this revelation. Both Mr. Kerrey and Mr. Graham do not think that the 9/11 Commission’s conclusion that there was no evidence of Saudi support for Al Qaeda simply because evidence that they had was never fully investigated. What many have been saying all along, now has credibility.

Glenn Greenwald at Salon (h/t for the Scwartz tweet) observed:

Meanwhile, the U.S. in just the last three years alone – in the name of 9/11 and Terrorism – has dropped bombs on at least six Muslim countries whose governments had no connection whatsoever to 9/11 (often aimed at groups that did not even exist at the time of that attack). And now Washington is abuzz with exciting debates about the mechanics of how yet another country that had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11 – Iran – should be aggressively attacked. As Jonathan Schwarz put it when the U.S. and the Saudis collaborated to depict the “Quds Forces plot” on U.S. soil as the latest proof of Persian aggression: “The funny thing is I’d bet the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. has closer ‘ties’ to Al Qaeda than 90% of the people we’ve killed with drones.” In sum, 9/11 has absolutely nothing to do with virtually all of the policies the U.S. has since undertaken in the name of Terrorism: except that it is exploited to justify them all.

I am not advocating that the United States bomb Saudi Arabia, that would exacerbate the current hatred of America beyond all imagination. What need to be done is a full investigation of the Saudi involvement and I’m sure that the Obama administration will intervene to block the 9/11 families’ lawsuit. That said, American’s still deserve to know the truth.

Good job, Barack

The Passing of Youth

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

I felt a special twinge the other day when I heard that Davy Jones had died of a heart attack at age 66. I thought, “Wow, he was 66? Where has time gone?” I wasn’t alone. The baby boomer generation is aging more rapidly than we care to admit and Davy’s death was a cruel reminder of the passage or our youthful idols.

Davy Jones was the British member a contrived American Rock and Roll group for a 1966 television series that was not so much a parody of the more famous Beatles but a mimic of the group that appealed to a slightly younger fan base. Not quites as popular as the British counterparts but The Monkees had their appeal and their hit songs, “Last Train to Clarksville”, “Daydream Believer” and “I’m a Believer” which became a hit once again when it was redone by Smashing Pumpkins for the movie “Shrek”. Off and on over the years thanks to MTV and the cable network, “Nickelodeon“, “Monkee Mania” was reignited and there were several reunions and tours.

The Monkees were the “cool” group that used to hang around with Frank Zappa, a very young Jack Nicholson, boxer Sonny Liston, famous stripper Carol Doda, Glenn Campbell and members of The Byrds. Many of their songs were written by . Neil Diamond, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Harry Nilsson, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and many other highly regarded writers. The musicians that accompanies the group were just as well known and accomplished, drummer “Fast” Eddie Hoh, Lowell George, Stephen Stills, Buddy Miles and Neil Young. The Monkees, too, were accomplished musicians and played their own instruments. From a contrived TV group, they proved to the world that they were a bona fide group.

In February 2011, Davy announced another reunion, An Evening with The Monkees: The 45th Anniversary Tour, which would be his last. Davy sadly passed away on February 29 and with him died part of the youth of many of his fans.

The Wheel Turns. Blessed Be


This week’s episodes originally aired April 22, 2005.

The Best of Captains, the Worst of Captains, Episode 8, Season 3

On This Day In History March 3

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

March 3 is the 62nd day of the year (63rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 303 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1887, Anne Sullivan begins teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing after a severe illness at the age of 19 months. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, including her pioneering “touch teaching” techniques, the previously uncontrollable Keller flourished, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. Sullivan, later dubbed “the miracle worker,” remained Keller’s interpreter and constant companion until the older woman’s death in 1936.

Sullivan, age 20, arrived at Ivy Green, the Keller family estate, in 1887 and began working to socialize her wild, stubborn student and teach her by spelling out words in Keller’s hand. Initially, the finger spelling meant nothing to Keller. However, a breakthrough occurred one day when Sullivan held one of Keller’s hands under water from a pump and spelled out “w-a-t-e-r” in Keller’s palm. Keller went on to learn how to read, write and speak. With Sullivan’s assistance, Keller attended Radcliffe College and graduated with honors in 1904.

Helen Keller became a public speaker and author; her first book, “The Story of My Life” was published in 1902. She was also a fundraiser for the American Foundation for the Blind and an advocate for racial and sexual equality, as well as socialism. From 1920 to 1924, Sullivan and Keller even formed a vaudeville act to educate the public and earn money. Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968, at her home in Westport, Connecticut, at age 87, leaving her mark on the world by helping to alter perceptions about the disabled.

Random Japan



    The Tokyo Board of Education says elementary school students walk 30 percent less than kids did in 1979. The Board even went so far as to count the number of steps: 11,382 vs. 17,120.

   The education ministry says that the costs for parents to send children to high schools-both public and private-have never been lower.

   USA Today named the Texas Rangers’ new $60 million man, Yu Darvish, as the top young baseball player in America. Which is impressive, considering the 25-year-old has yet to throw a pitch in the majors.

   Tokyo officially registered its bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. The other hopefuls are Doha, Madrid, Istanbul and Baku, Azerbaijan.

A quicky re: Rush Limbaugh

So I wrote an email to (&&***&^&, C21, Auto Zone and a few other of Rush’s sponsors.  I know Auto Zone has said they are gonna drop him Day late and a dollar short but it helps. One though did respond.  I didn’t send an email with a title but in the subject I wrote this.

Dump Rush or do you agree with him?

They replied:

Response Via Email (Company Guy. – &*&^^&**, ME) 03/02/2012 07:25 PM

> Hello and thank you for contacting ***^&^&&* Customer Support in &&&**(,ME.

> My name is Company Guy.


> I apologize for any misunderstanding, but we do not endorse political views or opinions of the companies, magazines, newspapers, TV stations or radio stations that we advertise on. We simply choose a range of programs designed to reach a broad range of people so that might hear about %%$%^^&*&.


> Again I apologize, and have a great night!


> Please let us know if you need additional assistance.


> Sincerely,

> Company Guy.

To which I then replied

Company Guy;

   Thanks for the reply, I wonder what the viewing public of Salon, Daily Kos, Docudharma, The Stars Hollow Gazette and whomever else I can show you reply to will think of your rather Um Hm weak, equivocating, smarmy, Um well you know what I mean.  Sorry, you can’t advertise with someone with out at least tacitly supporting there views.  I mean really, without you money Mr Limbaugh wouldn’t have a bully pulpit to spew his rabid venom from.



Anyway, I thought everyone should get to see this and either laugh at me, scold me though for what I don’t know or maybe boycott all those companies who give money to folk like Rush.



My brother probably noticed that I flicked him a look,

when he said my joints were “spalling;”  sounds like

a disease of old age, but the topmost

layer of little sand grains was not

adhering after I topped off the mortar,  

brick by brick, joint by joint, by eighths,

sixteenths. Days and nights passed.      

Adhesion was what concerned me most when

I cleaned each brick  with a spray bottle and brush

So as not to disturb the joints.  Spalling, eh?  

I can’t know every word in the Mother Tongue,

but if it happens, there is probably word for it.  

What puzzles me is that he knew that word,

because certainly I’ve laid more bricks.

Popular Culture 20120302: Your Contraception

I must first offer my apologies to Peter Townshend.  Pete, sorry, but I think that you would probably approve of this.  Please know that I mean no disrespect to the original song.  This is just political satire using one of your standards.

Normally I do not write highly political pieces, that function being done far better by others here, but tonight is an exception.  I hope that this gets my feelings about how the Republicans have taken what should be a foregone conclusion and twisted it to try to make their point, whatever that point is.  I have tried to be witty and not mean with it, but when talking ’bout Republicans sometimes it is difficult to keep from getting mean.

If not now, when?

Both the House and Senate passed marriage equality in Maryland and the governor signed it into law.  So what’s next?

For some people, what’s next is getting ready to fight a possible referendum in the fall.  But wait!  What about that other very important piece of legislation.  We hope it is not going to be forgotten in all the hubbub.  And we certainly hope that GLBT activists are not going to let Maryland legislators feel that they have done enough for our community at this time.

Senate Bill 212 stands at the forefront.  It would forbid discrimination against people on the basis of gender identity in the areas of public accommodations, housing and employment, just like it is illegal to discriminate on the bases of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability.

Back in May of 2011, shortly after Chrissy Lee Polis was assaulted as she attempted to use a restroom in a Rosedale McDonald’s, Gov. O’Malley issued a statement:

Even with Maryland’s ‘hate crimes’ law, it is clear that more must be done to protect the rights and dignity of transgendered people.

At the time he committed to working on the issue.  But then, when this year’s session started, the issue was not found on his agenda.