Monday, August 27, 2007

Bout Frickin' Time - Wonder if he too wants to 'spend more time with his family'

Farewell: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales gave his resignation on Monday and leaves his position Sept. 17.
``This is a great, great development. ...The next attorney general has to understand that his primary loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law and that sometimes he has to tell the president no.'' -Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias of New Mexico, one of the fired U.S. prosecutors.
``There comes a time when if you don't have the respect of the Congress and the American public and your own people in the department then it's time to step down.'' - Fired Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden.
``He demonstrated that his loyalties lie with the president and his political agenda, not the American people or the evenhanded and impartial enforcement of our laws. ... My hope is that the president will select a new attorney general who will respect the rule of law and abandon partisanship, who will serve the American people and not the president's political ideology, and who will answer to the Constitution and not political operatives.'' - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.
``The president must nominate an attorney general who is a lawyer for the American people, not a political arm of the White House.'' - New Mexico governor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson.
``Alberto Gonzales was never the right man for this job. He lacked independence, he lacked judgment, and he lacked the spine to say no to Karl Rove. This resignation is not the end of the story. Congress must get to the bottom of this mess and follow the facts where they lead, into the White House.'' - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Buying a car.........

I was at a used car clearance sale yesterday and I heard the most incredible excuse ever for a salesman to get a social security number before a person even wanted to buy a car. Our salesperson tried to pressure us into giving up our social numbers to the data base which my wife resisted heroically.

When the people at the next table balked the saleperson stated "I am sorry but homeland security and the Patriot's Act require that we check all social security numbers of people wishing to buy cars to be sure they are not terrorists making car bombs." I almost spit out my teeth!

It may be time to rethink how we govern ourselves.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Moscow Sretensky Monastery Choir

This group sounds incredible, if you could show me how to get some audio up here C i would be able to grace our site with some, but I'm a little inept on that front. They sound incredible on their site and I'm pretty sure that I'll go. They're singing at the Library of Congress on September 12. If any of you are interested, let me know.

Heres a link to some of their audio:
Moscow Sretensky Monastery Choir

May we all feel the presence of Samhain in our lives

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

C'Est Moi

From the latest issue of The American Conservative:

"Four words the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee should never have to say to the nation's chief law-enforcement officer: "I don't trust you."

That was the scene when Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales was questioned about pressuring his hospitalized predecessor to reauthorize the administration's domestic surveillance program. The senators' disdain crossed party lines: "Your credibility has been breached to the point of being actionable." the panel's ranking Republican told him.

But the AG didn't blink. He knows that devotion to his powerful patron -- not his middling legal credentials -- keeps him in a job. In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Gore Vidal commented that Gonzales "thinks he's Attorney-General of Mexico." "No, that is not a racist remark," the novelist averred, anticipating the easy put down. Those familiar with cronyism's corrosive effect on the rule of law will glean his meaning -- and wince.

Loyalty, far more than skill, seems to be the Bushian shibboleth. Called to testify about the U.S. attorney firings, former White House Political Director Sara Taylor told the long-suffering Judiciary Committee, "I took an oath to the president, and I take that oath very seriously." "Did you mean, perhaps, you took an oath to the Constitution?" Chairman Patrick Leahy suggested. "I, uh, yes, yeah, you're correct, I took an oath to the Constitution, uh, but, what..." "I know the President refers to the government being his government," Leahy continued, "It's not." That may have been news to Ms. Taylor.

But Bush is unbowed. The White House has just announced that it will order the Justice Department not to prosecute administration aides for ignoring congressional subpoenas. Expect full compliance from those sworn to uphold the President -- and his monarchial notion of justice."

- The American Conservative, August 20, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fender Park

And so to Fender Park, where tired feet seek the trodden path; where beggars and borrowers can afford relief, where reunions of young and old gather to hear tales of distant relatives on distant shores; where we’re inspired. Where rain can never soak nor wind dishevel; where the stars don’t shine nor the sun rise but is never touched by darkness; where destruction fuels life. Where ancient dances are more than just a memory and where merriment and misery flow from every tongue. Where at once we all long to be close to, and at others far away, but where a part of us will always be, laughing, crying, living and dying. Where? The road to Fender Park is short and easily trod; the road away is long and each step echoed by God and man and fates footfall. So while we may lest rest our weary selves under its saffron skies, for all too soon we must turn from Fender Park, and lament its beautiful guise.
We had been told, on leaving our native soil, that we were going to defend the sacred rights conferred upon us by so many of our citizens settled overseas, so many years of our presence, so many benefits brought by us to populations in need of our assistance and our civilization.

We were able to verify that all this was true, and, because it was true, we did not hesitate to shed our quota of blood, to sacrifice our youth and our hopes. We regretted nothing, but whereas we over here are inspired by this frame of mind, I am told that in Rome factions and conspiracies are rife, that treachery flourishes, and that many people in their uncertainty and confusion lend a ready ear to the dire temptations of relinquishment....Make haste to reassure me, I beg you, and tell me that our fellow-citizens understand us, support us and protect us as we ourselves are protecting the glory of the Empire.

If it should be otherwise, if we should have to leave our bleached bones on these desert sands in vain, then beware of the anger of the Legions.

- Marcus Flavinius, centurion of the Augusta Legion

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sounds Familiar

Unfortunately more people do not speak out about this kind of behavior and many good people in all professions (i know of at least one at Hogwarts) face these kind of unsubstantiated charges.

A Poem

Here is a poem written and read by Father Andrew Costello of St. Mary's Church in Annapolis. Check out Father Andy's Blog at Reflections on the Bay

What's Important
read by Fr. Andy

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Labor's cry for help

Here is the clip from the Democratic debate at the labor rally at Soldier's Field in Chicago. It speaks for itself.

Steelworker's Plea and Edwards reply

A blog to view..........

I watched Meet the Press this morning and was impressed by the discussion between Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga and Harold Ford Jr. I am all for Markos!. I would suggest that you go and visit The DailyKos Maybe PaddyWop will join the coalation!

Friday, August 10, 2007

If Anyone Still Doubts That The Ruling Corporate Oligarchy is Subverting the Republic

Let's test the First Amendment, shall we?
"George Bush, leave this world alone." "George Bush, find yourself another home."
I'm still here and employed, my freedom of speech intact. (As I write this, anyway.)
Wish I could say the same for Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, who sang those same two lines (to the tune of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall") Sunday night in Chicago, where the Seattle-based band was headlining Lollapalooza.
The performance was webcast on AT&T's Blue Room entertainment site.
But the part where Vedder slammed the president? Cut by AT&T's "content monitor."
"This, of course, troubles us as artists, but also as citizens concerned with the issue of censorship and the increasingly consolidated control of the media," Pearl Jam said in a statement Wednesday.
AT&T took until Thursday to admit its monitors had made a mistake; they were only supposed to bleep out excessive profanity or nudity of the Janet Jackson "wardrobe-malfunction" kind. An AT&T spokesman told The Associated Press that it was trying to secure the rights to post the whole song on the Blue Room site.
Are we buying all that?
Do we have any choice? That's really the issue here.
If anything, Pearl Jam's Chicago-style silencing gave mainstream consumers a taste of what's at stake when media giants like AT&T have a firm grip on what we receive through the myriad technologies at our fingertips.
"What happened to us this weekend was a wake-up call," the band said. "And it's about something much bigger than the censorship of a rock band."
Amen to that.
The incident raises the issue of "net neutrality," which seeks to address the freedom and access the Internet is supposed to allow us, and the control being harnessed by those who provide access.
Consider: Corporate providers can give faster download times to some content, and not others.
And if they are the ones holding the content, we have no choice but to watch what they choose to show us.
That, to me, is censorship.
Corporations say we should trust them not to censor.
Mistake or not, AT&T just gave us a reason not to.
I understand it's a delicate dance. Technology is advancing so quickly, it's hard to keep up with who owns what, how it is presented and what safeguards should be in place.
But I think we're clear on the First Amendment, and the right it gives artists like Vedder to say what he feels without fear of being cut.
We depend on artists to make us think and learn and raise our own voices not only in song, but at the polls. Woody Guthrie. Bob Dylan. Joe Strummer of The Clash, who sang, "Know your rights."
(Among them: "The right to free speech — unless you're dumb enough to actually try it." God rest Joe's soul.)
We need to keep a close eye on our rights, but also on those being taken by corporations.
And for those who missed it, Pearl Jam is making the full, uncensored webcast available on its site. (
Good thing; some of us would like to sing along.

By Nicole Brodeur
Seattle Times staff columnist
Viva la Mescaleros!
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Who Will Celebrate With Me?

Ah...What if

If only we elected people who make sense and have experience rather than members of the ruling oligarchy (I include Gore right along with Bush on that one).

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Freedom takes another hit...........

Why is it more important to look like you are tough on terror than it is to allow the Constitution of the United States to be mocked with another wiretapping law? Wiretapping Law.

Maybe it is time to forget about the Constitution and go back to the Declaration of Independence. Remember those words........... "When in the course of human events....." I am afriad human events are not on the course of freedom these days.

Friday, August 03, 2007

So Long Tommy

I grew up listening to this gem of a man as he sang in Boston with the Clancey Brothers. His music and songs and reverence for the nationalist tradition from which they spring will be with me until I die. [Obituary in the Belfast Telegraph ]

De-school Now!

As learning moves into the 21st century , if we wish to create life long learners, we have to create learning structures that speak to learning styles and needs of what Marc Prensky calls the “digital natives” (Prensky, 2006). James Paul Gee speaks of them as the “the gaming generation.” (Gee, 2006). Teaching and Learning need to become one, in an anarchy of creativity. The interesting question is will there still be a formal learning system that sits on top of the informal learning system we all use in our lives? Human beings need to develop the habits of independent thought and life long learning that will help them to become productive questioning citizens of the new flat world that we now inhabit.
Just as the printing press ushered in the new societies of the renaissance so too has the Internet now ushered in a new renaissance of learning and exploration that is changing everything human beings are learning and doing. We are now longer in a world of scarcity of information. We are in a virtual world of overabundance which we need to learn how to navigate.
Our schools are not designed to successfully engage our young people in the world of independent and constant learning and interpretation. It simply does not interest them any longer. Distance education has always tried to emulate classroom education since the early 19th century. As the Internet has developed it has made the whole idea of controlled curricular education, whether distance or face to face, obsolete. Students entering our Universities this fall are learning content that will be obsolete by the start of their junior year. We are in a new world. To explore that new world we must be committed to putting digital tools into our students’ hands and integrating those tools into the evolving world of the Internet.