mousemusings...multimedia, music, progressive politics, video, web design and general rants
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Monday, October 31, 2005

What leads a PhD Chemistry student to become a master yurt maker?

Rob completed his PhD in Chemistry in 1993 and after a stint in Durham Waterstones, he left to begin a career in an IT software company. He went on to become a freelance IT consultant, and eventually established his own small internet company in London. At the same time he began a MA in Psychotherapy, aware that he wanted to move into a different career area.

...) An interest in ecological living and low impact dwellings combined with the intention to run a retreat led Rob to think about the type of accommodation that he would like to offer his visitors. He began to research the yurt, a traditional, mobile dwelling from countries such as Mongolia. He discovered a master yurt maker who made yurts in the UK. He bought the first yurt, and then learned to make them himself from this expert yurt maker, who remains an advisor in yurt matters technical today. Rob started a business making bespoke yurts and selling them through his website, and is now converting his farm so that he can realise his original dream of providing yurt holidays in Spain.

...)The accommodation is simple and peaceful, according to the website: “Getting back to nature, living close to the Earth is a great way to escape and revitalise oneself”. But it is not only the yurts that are low impact; the showers are solar powered, and the toilets provide compost. The family are about to begin taking bookings for the spring. [ more ]
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Bush in Freefall (flash animation)

This is based on the freefall woman animation which was rather eerie, however, this depiction of Bush is quite fitting and absolutely hilarious.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, October 30, 2005

How Kucinich Found Love

Cleveland.Com, The Plain Dealer (yes, registration required) has a wonderfully enchanting article about Dennis Kucinich and Elizabeth Harper, how they met, and what their future plans are. That some of the story takes place under the enchantment of New Mexico skies doesn't surprise me.

While Dennis was sure of his attraction at their initial meeting, he didn't know how Elizabeth felt. Several nights later, in his Washington office, he sat at his desk and thought about her. "Basically, I asked for a sign," he says. Seconds later, ping! went his computer, alerting him to an e-mail.

It was from Elizabeth. The first line read, "This has no connection to work." Dennis was ecstatic.

She was forwarding an e-mail from one of her friends that related to the peace legislation he had proposed as a presidential candidate. He noticed her signature quote at the end: "Knowing love I shall allow all things to come and go, to be as supple as the wind and take everything that comes with great courage. My heart is as open as the sky."

This gave Dennis hope.

The two e-mailed each other regularly. While the e-mails were businesslike, each of them had a deeper agenda: They were attracted to one another. A couple of weeks after their first meeting, while she was in Arizona with her boss for more meetings, she wrote Dennis an e-mail telling him where she was.

"Really? I'm going to be in New Mexico tomorrow," Dennis wrote back.

Elizabeth responded, "So will we!"

Several hours later, Elizabeth went shopping before leaving for New Mexico. She bought an opal ring - her birthstone. For reasons she can't explain, she decided to call it her "Dennis ring."

Elizabeth and her boss met Dennis in Albuquerque, where the congressman invited them to lunch the next day at his friend Shirley MacLaine's house in Santa Fe.

...) "Dennis and I stayed up, sitting by the fire, talking until half past 6 in the morning," Elizabeth recalls. They professed their love for each other; within a few days they decided to marry.

"We realized our life vision was the same, our outlook was the same," Elizabeth says. "It was a leap of faith, but based on a deep knowing." [ more ]
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Consider This

It's just a thought from the Corpus Callosum, but maybe there's something to it;

...tie those three news items together: Alan Specter, speaking for the Senate, tells Miers she does not have to turn over all the documents, but does have to give public testimony about the topics covered in the documents. There is legal precedent saying she does not have to turn them over, unless there is an Independent Counsel investigating possible wrongdoing. But she withdraws anyway. Then we learn that the guy who just got indicted, previously refused to turn over some documents, "overruling advice from some White House political staffers and lawyers."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Stories Etched in Sandstone

A unique view of Chaco Canyon taken by 'kite aerial photography'.
The sandstone buildings of Pueblo Bonito at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico were inhabited by the Anasazi, or Ancient Ones, or Ancient Puebloans from about A.D. 800 to 1300, with the peak of development between A.D. 900 and 1100. The buildings were an early example of what we now call 'passive solar', oriented to the warmth of the southern sun and nestled against a south-facing mesa wall. Traditions of the Sun and survival.
The Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) was flown by NASA over Chaco Canyon for the first time in spring of 1982. TIMS measures temperature differences near the ground, it has five meter resolution. Prehistoric roads from 900 or 1000 AD were detected. The roads could not be discerned by the naked eye from ground level. They also could not be seen in either aerial photography or color infrared photographs. Three more flights over Chaco detected over 200 miles of a prehistoric roadway system, as well as prehistoric walls, buildings, and agricultural fields. It may be that Chaco Canyon was a social and religious center. People were coming exchanging ideas, practicing ritualistic activities, such as breaking pottery, and then returning to whence they came.

Why were the Chaco roads designed with exacting linearity, which surmounted any topographic obstruction, built to a width of 20 feet or more, and constructed by people who did not even employ beast of burden in their lives?

Why did the Anasazi civilization fall?
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Activism Success Story

Activism Success Story

As reported in , the just celebrated the 45th anniversary of the .
E. Royster Harper, University vice president for student affairs, gave a brief history of the University’s role in the organization’s history.

“It is certain that U of M students played a key and viable part in its formation,” Harper said.

Kennedy delivered his historic speech on the Union steps at 2 a.m. without any prepared text, Harper said.

Kennedy arrived on the morning of Oct. 14, 1960, from New York — where he had just completed his third debate with Richard Nixon — to find 10,000 University students who had stayed up waiting for him.

Bolstered by the students’ enthusiasm, he challenged them to contribute to their country by serving overseas, using their professional skills — like medicine and engineering — to help people in countries like Ghana. He emphasized the need for personal contribution and the value of sacrifice. The students responded with a roar of cheers.

By early November, 1,000 students had signed a petition, organized by the University student group Americans Committed to World Responsibility, that demanded the implementation of the Peace Corps.

Kennedy formally announced plans to form the Peace Corps Nov. 2 in San Francisco, but that day on the Union’s steps was his first public mention of the idea.
An older Daily article has a little more background:
"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come and that can engage the passion of students," said Regent Philip Power (D- Ann Arbor), who spoke at the announcement.

Power, a University alumnus, recalled the role University students played in a nationwide movement that eventually established the Peace Corps.

"Many students (across the country) were unfairly found to be unconcerned and passive," Power said. Power was part of a small student group at the time called Americans Committed to World Responsibility, he said. The group wrote a manifesto calling for a national program allowing college students to volunteer abroad and published the manifesto on the editorial page of The Michigan Daily, Power said.

"What was needed was a vehicle for (the students') interest" in service, Power said. He said other newspapers printed the manifesto, and it eventually was sent to Theodore Sorenson, the speech writer for Senator John F. Kennedy, who at that time was a candidate for President.
Unfortunately, there isn't a lot on the Internet about Americans Committed to World Responsibility, perhaps because there aren't many left. Even so, this is a nice little story that shows what a little can do...especially in the presence of a responsive government. Which we do not seem to have, at the moment.

UPDATE: This activism did not turn out as well.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Friday, October 28, 2005

How do we let future leaders know that waging an unnecessary war is an impeachable offense?

In 1970, Gerald Ford defined an impeachable offense in unarguably practical terms, as: “whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Pot not a major cancer risk

...qualities of marijuana seem to keep it from promoting lung cancer. THC turns down the carcinogenic potential. The article does not elaborate on what pot does to give the hair that unseasoned greenish pigment.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


"I believe that any candidate who supports the war should not receive our support," Ms. Sheehan told The Associated Press in an interview. "It doesn't matter if they're Senator Clinton or whoever."

It's too bad the DLC is almost as clueless as the current administration. The stage is set by the people, but the actors who are getting the parts don't know how to interpret the script.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

House of Representatives Inquiry on White House Iraq Group

Bill # H.RES.505

Original Sponsor:
Dennis Kucinich
Ask your Rep to Co-sponsor. For ease, use this tool.

“This group, comprised of the President and Vice President’s top aides, was critical in selling the Administration’s case for war,” stated Kucinich. “We now know that the Administration hyped intelligence and misled the American public and Congress in their effort to ’sell’ the war. After over 1,900 American troops have been killed in Iraq, it is long past time for this Congress to ask serious questions about WHIG and its role in the lead up to the war.”
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday Tidbits

Fitzmas Madness by MadKane

Deeper and Wider from Spontaneous Arising, points in part to Justin Raimondo's thorough journey toward unveiling justice.

A White House 'Hip-Deep' in Plame Scandal and Cover Up from CapitolHillBlue, which, true or not, always have a nice crunch to go with your morning cereal.

The CIA leak inquiry that threatens senior White House aides has now widened to include the forgery of documents on African uranium that started the investigation, according to NAT0 intelligence sources.

Another Congressman calling for an expansion of the Plame Investigation
Congressman Jerrold Nadler called for Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to expand his investigation to include a criminal investigation to examine whether the President, the Vice President, and members of the White House Iraq Group conspired to deliberately deceive Congress into authorizing the war in Iraq.

Taking ginseng can prevent the misery of winter colds and flu but doesn't seem to prevent the misery of sustained suspense.

and a few random goodies...
Brain ‘buffer’ may control premenstrual moods. Not for women only.

When Life Gives You Lemons

Editing Audio in Linux

U-M Solar house team shines in Washington, D.C.

Solar Decathlon Winners

The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It
Bureau of Public Debt: Debt Outstanding by Type of Debt

Universal, not-for-profit, single-payer health care is not only feasible -- it's inevitable.

Viagra 'helps hearts during stress'
maybe Cheney should dig into his stash.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, October 24, 2005

Pancho "Bin Laden" Villa

Flogging the Simian's soj is back, sharp as ever after a hiatus, to draw the startling parallels between Osama Bin Laden and Mexican folk-hero Pancho Villa:
The American government financed, lauded and backed a notoriously vicious and capable guerilla fighter. That fighter later had a political falling out with his former backers and turned his charm and finances into raising an army that later led a terrorist assault on American soil
posted by Andy | link |   | |

Cheney Told Aide of C.I.A. Officer

HT to John Conyers blog which pointed to the NYT article:
...the notes, now in Mr. Fitzgerald’s possession, also indicate that Mr. Libby first heard about Ms. Wilson — who is also known by her maiden name, Valerie Plame — from Mr. Cheney. That apparent discrepancy in his testimony suggests why prosecutors are weighing false statement charges against him in what they interpret as an effort by Mr. Libby to protect Mr. Cheney from scrutiny
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Gentle Giant: Rosa Parks 1913 - 10-24-2005

The mother of the Civil Rights Movement

'Freedom is for all human beings'
"I'd like people to say I'm a person who always wanted to be free and wanted it not only for myself; freedom is for all human beings," she said during an interview from the pastor's study of St. Matthew African Methodist Episcopal Church, a small congregation she joined upon moving to Detroit in 1957.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The era where everybody creates

hey you. come here. get up.
ah, this is the era where everybody creates.

The lines above are from the song, So You Wanna Be (A Rock 'N' Roll Star), by James McGuinn and Christopher Hillman. Ah, this is the era where everybody creates.

Indeed, if you shop carefully, you can get all the stuff you need to make your own movies and distribute them on DVD's, for about a thousand bucks. If you go to a thrift store, you can get an Internet-capable computer for a hundred bucks, and publish your own blog. If you've got a pencil and a piece of paper, you can write your own poetry:


Squeeze my hand, as we lay by the river
Moonlight caresses the canyon
I ask your permission, after I kiss you
Body heat builds between us
We giggle together, then kiss again
Cool rain patters the piñon
Suddenly serious, a moment of stillness
River sounds ramble above us
Inquiring yet knowing, we touch forever


Yet, in the ying/yang sturm/drang twenty-first century, the dawn of the third millennium, we are not seeing an explosion of creative expression. We have a government that wants to discourage community-wide wifi access. We have a government that puts secret codes on output from color printers. We have a home-grown movement that wants to hijack the government, in part to establish dominion over creative expression. We have restrictive policies that have scientists going to other countries, to pursue their research with less moralistic interference.

It is difficult for us normal people to know what to make of this, but there are serious people who are worried about this. From Theocracy Watch:

The theocratic right seeks to establish dominion, or control over society in the name of God. D. James Kennedy, Pastor of Coral Ridge Ministries, calls on his followers to exercise "godly dominion ... over every aspect ... of human society." At a "Reclaiming America for Christ" conference in February, 2005, Kennedy said:

Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.

Twenty-five years ago dominionists targeted the Republican Party as the vehicle through which they could advance their agenda. At the same time, a small group of Republican strategists targeted fundamentalist, Pentecostal and charismatic churches to expand the base of the Republican Party.

Like I said, it is hard to know how serious of a problem this is. For ordinary citizens, it is sort of like the threat of avian influenza: There definitely is a threat out there, but we do not and cannot know when or if it will turn into a pandemic. We do know, however, that we must be on guard.

posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Who's your Daddy? (or Mommy, as the case may be)

Be a part of National Geographic's Genographic Project. For a measley $99, you can find out where some of your oldest same-sex ancestors called home.
posted by Andy | link |   | |

Friday, October 21, 2005

NBA's dress code may be a disguise for another problem

Dress codes, the costume of conformity.
Excerpts of Globe and Mail article (registration required)
And this will inevitably be perceived, through that race/class/culture filter, as an effort to whiten up the NBA, to dilute its hip-hop aspect, to appeal to a white audience that might otherwise be scared off by the image of young, black men in street fashions.

The fact that the league last spring hired Matthew Dowd, a Republican campaign strategist who worked alongside Karl Rove, to collect data on the NBA's image problem in "red states," is pretty compelling evidence on that point.
Not hard to imagine what kind of conclusions he might have drawn.

And maybe Allen Iverson's wardrobe, and his tattoos (no rules against those -- yet), carry with them a kind of thug symbolism that makes some people uncomfortable. But it's no more laden with implicit messages than the good old suit-and-tie, and given that this is a golden age for corporate criminals, who says a half Windsor is any more comforting than a great big fat gold chain?
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


Commission of Inquiry on Crimes of the Bush Admin. - Fri.-Sat., Oct. 21-22
The 2005 Interntl. Commission of Inquiry on War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Admin. and Evidentiary Hearing on the Bush Admin.'s Response to Hurricane Katrina.

Fri, Oct. 21, 6pm & Sat., Oct. 22, 10:00 AM.
At Grand Ballroom
Manhattan Center
311 W. 34th Street (at 8th Ave.), New York City

Featuring Katrina Survivors and Witnesses from the Gulf Coast, Former Detainees and Expert Testimony:
* Denis Halliday, ex-UN Assistant Secretary-General, former head of UN Humanitarian Mission In Iraq;
* Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst;
* Howard Zinn (special videotaped message);
* Michael Ratner, president, Center for Constitutional Rights;
* Jeremy Scahill, correspondent for Democracy Now!;
* Camilo E. Mejia, member of Iraq Veterans Against the War;
* Rev. Luis Barrios, associate professor, John Jay College;
* Barbara Olshansky, Center for Constitutional Rights and co-ordinator of Guantanamo detainee defense;
* John Clark, Professor of Environmental Studies, Loyola University, New Orleans;
* Malik Rahim, Common Ground Collective, New Orleans;
* and more.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Kucinich introduces Resolution of Inquiry

...demands documents from WHIG-Questions Iraq Reconstruction

Did you get that?
Kucinich introduces Resolution of Inquiry
Kucinich Uses Resolution Of Inquiry To Demand Documents From White House Group That Developed Strategy To “Sell” War To The Public And Press

Washington, Oct 20 - Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) today introduced a Resolution of Inquiry to demand the White House turn over all white papers, minutes, notes, emails or other communications kept by the White House Iraq Group (WHIG).

“This group, comprised of the President and Vice President’s top aides, was critical in selling the Administration’s case for war,” stated Kucinich. “We now know that the Administration hyped intelligence and misled the American public and Congress in their effort to ‘sell’ the war. After over 1,900 American troops have been killed in Iraq, it is long past time for this Congress to ask serious questions about WHIG and its role in the lead up to the war.”

A Resolution of Inquiry is a rare House procedure used to obtain documents from the Executive Branch. Under House rules, Kucinich’s resolution is referred to committee, and action must be taken in committee within 14 legislative days.

“For two-and-a-half years Congress has sat on the sidelines neglecting its oversight responsibility when it has come to Iraq,” continued Kucinich. “We owe it to the American people to hold this Administration accountable and to find out the truth.”
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Headaches on High

I know these headlines aren't news to anyone reading this blog but I decided to gather them here together, like a congregation, in praise of 'what goes around, does sometimes come around'. Praise the FSM!

When Was the President Told?

Niger Uranium Forgery Mystery Solved?

Chickens Come Home to Roost on Cheney

Rove Told Jury Libby May Have Been His Source In Leak Case

Indictment spooks President's invisible man

Arrest warrant issued for DeLay

Miers Is Asked to Redo Reply to Questions

Grounded by hubris, greed

And...after reading the following, wouldn't you say it's about time the American public be granted access to Cheney's secret 'energy policy meetings'?
Cheney 'cabal' hijacked foreign policy
In a scathing attack on the record of President George W. Bush, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Mr Powell until last January, said: “What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made.

“Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences.”

I wonder if there's a better way. Consider Evidence-Based Legislation. I think the FSM would approve.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Tai Shan

Peaceful Mountain

I keep going back to this Panda Cam.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Kucinich Demands Attention, Give it to Him!

Agency charged with spending oversight in Iraq left country in '04 leaving what experts say are gaps in the oversight of how more than $140 billion is being spent.

The issue is likely to be discussed at a hearing Tuesday of the national security subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee.

"Inspectors general play a vital role in ensuring that taxpayers' funds are used properly," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee. "The fact that the DOD has not had an IG on the ground in Iraq for at least six months raises serious questions about the DOD's priorities and their ability to handle the war spending in an honest and transparent way."

This past weekend, Kucinich said something else. At a gathering of several hundred progressive activists in Denver, Kucinich said that if the Democrats nominate a pro-war candidate in 2008, he will not support them.

Thank You!
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, October 17, 2005

"It Was A Mistake, I Was Wrong"

Dick Gephardt on Iraq
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Three Surprises

by Rebecca Solnit
Hope is not history's Barcalounger, as is often thought: it requires you get back out there and protect that habitat or stop that war. It is not the same as optimism, the belief that everything will probably turn out all right despite your inactivity, the same kind of inactivity that despair begets. Hope involves a sense of possibility, but with it comes responsibility.

What an inspirational article by a wonderfully inspirational writer!
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

This Day

one day
like any other
written on my calendar
of heart beats

In a lifetime of firsts
do we mark this day
with a highlighted sparkle
or is a date only a simple number
in the spring of intimacy
we lovingly dip our

One door opened today
but beyond it
the richness of wood
framing deeper thresholds
have lured us
bathing us
in a warmth of starshine
as we twinkle together
a destiny
of lightness streaming
from underneath
each yet unopened door
touching newness together
as each day becomes a first
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Spring into Autumn

One of the unique attractions of soaking in the Land of Enchantment is the predominance of open-air pools and tubs, both man-made and natural. The state offers seven indoor mineral bathhouses, commercial establishments ranging from simple to luxurious. The other seventeen thermal waters—including both developed and backcountry sites—are outside, under the sun and stars.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The 2005 International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration of the United States

When the possibility of far-reaching war crimes and crimes against humanity exists, people of conscience have a solemn responsibility to inquire into the nature and scope of these acts and to determine if they do in fact rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity. That is the mission of the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity. The first session will be held October 21-22 in New York City. This tribunal will, with care and rigor, present evidence and assess whether George W. Bush and his administration have committed crimes against humanity. Well-established international law will be referenced where applicable, but the tribunal will not be limited by the scope of existing international law.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, October 15, 2005

White House Iraq Group

Ok, I've been a little absent from important terminology, namely WHIG or the "White House Iraq Group", The Story Behind the Story, the group in charge of "fixing the facts and the intelligence around the policy". Acronyms often make my eyes glaze over. No longer. I've been in the dark a pretty long time it appears, because WaPo even named them in August 2003. Today my eyes in fact brightened just a tad as I realized the madness behind the acronym is a flurry of excited hopeful madness.
How does WHIG fit with Fitzgerald's investigation?
How does Judith Miller fit into the picture?
Who are "All the President's Men?"
Why are we still asking "What was the nature of the Threat?" and not getting any answers?

The .pdf of "Truth from These Podia: Summary of a Study of Strategic Influence, Perception Management, Strategic Information Warfare and Strategic Psychological Operations in Gulf II," by by Colonel Sam Gardiner is on my to-read list as is a more comprehensive read of all the links in this post. I suppose it might also be titled "How to Fix Facts and Intelligence Around Policy", or "How to Effectively Serve KoolAid Again and Again".

Is Fitzgerald up to the challenge?
Possibilities I want to hold onto.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

George Bush is Not Good for Corporate America!

Who would have thunk it!
Attention Corporations: America's tarnished image may soon hurt your bottom lines.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Synthesize this

Blog Reload has one great roundup of links about our misguided 'drug war' and the manpower, time, and tax money we squander fighting another unwinnable war, not to mention the needless pain some endure and the missed opportunities for research that our drug classification system fails to allow for. For example, "Research done at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon has shown that a synthetic cannabinoid called HU210 makes new brain cells grow in rat brains." I personally have to question the development of synthetics when we could be researching the plant itself, which, of course, just can't be patented.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

How Can This Stuff Continue to Happen??

Park Service managers now must be screened for Bush loyalty
Managers must be screened by Park Service headquarters and by the Assistant Secretary for Fish, and Wildlife, and Parks. They must be willing to lead their employees in Bush's Management Agenda, which includes outsourcing to replace civil servants, the use of faith-based initiatives, and rollbacks of civil service rights.

How Can Bush Even Say this?? The Constitution says there shall be no religious test for public office.
President Bush himself defended his advisers’ use of her faith to build support for her candidacy among his restive right-wing supporters. “People are interested to know why I picked Harriet Miers. They want to know Harriet Miers' background. They want to know as much as they possibly can before they form opinions. Part of Harriet Miers' life is her religion."

Oh yes, lest we forget... Another Crony. Stewert Simonson.
Why not just appoint Jenna?
Oh well, I suppose either one of them could be instruments in calling for martial law. Forget the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. It seems as simple to do as nominating a Supreme Court justice based on religious values while trashing the Constitution. Why not? Who's going to stop it all? Don't ask these idiots to do it.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Only 28 percent believe U.S. headed in right direction
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


from ny inbox:

In a startling new development Amtrak’s Board, all Bush appointees, has voted to begin the process of breaking up the national passenger railroad. The decision, held in closed quarters and kept secret until now, was made on September 22nd. A report of the vote became public when a Florida group released the information in its newsletter. How it got this secret information is highly suspect.

The plan by Amtrak’s board would create a totally new subsidiary which would both own and operate the entire northeast corridor, thus separating that segment of the rail network from the rest of the national system.

According to a report in today’s New York Times, “the plan, which would require action by Congress, is to transfer the corridor to a consortium including the federal government and the governments of the states in the region that would share the costs to maintain it.”

Be aware that this is part of the broader effort by the Bush administration to dissolve Amtrak and dismantle the national passenger rail system, the first step down the road to privatization and the elimination of long distance routes. In addition, by separating the Northeast Corridor from the rest of the system, this would effectively divide the national pro-rail coalition, thus weakening Amtrak’s support in Congress.

I call upon all Friends of Amtrak supporters to categorically reject this move. This is serious, folks! Let your representatives in the House and Senate know that this plan by Amtrak’s board must be rejected.

CALL CONGRESS - TELL THEM TO REJECT THE AMTRAK BOARD’S PLAN TO DIVIDE AMTRAK. To reach the Congressional switchboard call 1-202-224-3121.

For more contact information go to:

Craig O'Connell
Friends of Amtrak
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

If You Haven't Already Read This...

by all means do.
Arianna questions the running of Hillary or Gore in 2008.
The time is now to nix Hillary. The comments in the post make it quite clear why. Yes, I know Gore says he isn't considering another run, but DLC darling Hillary, is quite simply, death, to what remains of the Democratic party. The sooner the DLC gets a clue, the better.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The world according to Kurt

"I have a huge disappointment about what this country might have been instead of what it's become," he says. "You forget there was something great about the Great Depression. The president was Franklin Roosevelt, who cared generally about all of us. And things were getting better -- talk about audacity, giving women the power to vote, in 1919. It took a while for even women to adjust to it. Only now are they really getting the feeling of it. And then after the war when the civil-rights movement came in, that was exciting! So there were these huge improvements, where we were becoming what we always imagined ourselves to be. No shit, becoming that!"

... "I'm just the asshole who broke the bank at Monte Carlo," he replies, leaning back on his stock phrase.

And he'd just as soon have it all end. "I felt as I did when the Second World War ended: 'Please, I've done everything I'm supposed to do, can't I go home now?' " he says.

A truck out on the street honks its horn and Vonnegut looks toward the restaurant's entrance. His eyes seem to water a little and his voice lowers almost to a whisper. "Where is home? I've wondered where home is, and I realized, it's not Mars or someplace like that, it's Indianapolis when I was nine years old. I had a brother and a sister, a cat and a dog, and a mother and a father and uncles and aunts. And there's no way I can get there again."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Rebuilding New Orleans As Model “Green” City

This article is full of suggestions and resources. There is no reason it can't be done. No reason at all.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Passion for Impeachment is Major Unreported Story

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Reinstate the Roadless Area Conservation Rule.

From the Wilderness Society:
Take Action
Citizen's Petition to Protect Our Roadless Areas

By overturning the Roadless Rule, the Bush Administration is ignoring the will of the American people, who overwhelmingly support full protection for the remaining roadless areas. Our National Forests belong to all Americans, and their fate should not be decided by state officials and political appointees in Washington.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

A Slight Oversight

In the WaPo article titled "A Capitol Hill Presence in the Blogosphere", it states, Only one lawmaker, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), allows readers to post comments on his site.
In fact, it doesn't even mention that John Conyers has a blog, a very active blog, that includes an RSS feed AND comments. I wonder why that is?
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Delphi Doldrums

I haven't taken the time to collect my thoughts or any links about the Delphi disaster and the despicable draconian treatment of their employees, but Bob has.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Bluewater

What a delightful departure!

A train ride across Michigan written by Michiganliberal

When I read this, it crossed my mind that interactions so critical between people, quite hopeful ones at that, are far more likely to happen when we utilize public transportation than when we glare from the armor of our automobiles at the dude who just cut us off on the interstate. Did the decline in our sense of community begin with our auto in the driveway?

Late or not, a departure on Amtrak feels to me as if we are beginning to arrive.
Time for me to buy a ticket.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Do Dice Have Curves?

I am a d12

You are the rare, the overlooked, yet incredibly useful dodecahedron: the d12. You are a creative, romantic soul. You often act without thinking, but make up for your lack of plans with plenty of heart. You easily solve problems that stump others, but your answers tend to put you into even deeper trouble. You write long, detailed backgrounds for all your characters, and are most likely to dress up as one or get involved in cos-play. You can be silly at times and are easily distracted by your own day dreams, but are at the end of the day you're someone who can be depended on.
Take the quiz at

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Soulless Son of Privilege

...privilege doesn’t guarantee intelligence, empathy, wisdom, diligence, or humanity. Privilege allows people without those qualities to skate through life, protected from the consequences of being dull-witted, lazy, arrogant, and inhumane. The system of privilege allows failed people to pretend to be something more.

And, unfortunately, that system often puts those failed people in positions of power and forces everyone else to endure their shortcomings.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

MSNBC poll

Can Bush Recover from his all-time low approval rating?
82% said no at the time I linked to this.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Lava Falls

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, October 07, 2005

Corruption and Inhumanity (just sayin')

The way things are done:
The ranking Democrats on three House committees called Thursday for an outside investigator to determine why a prosecutor in Guam was demoted in 2002 after opening a criminal investigation of Jack Abramoff.
The Democrats said in a letter to the Justice Department that an outside investigator was needed to determine if the prosecutor, Frederick A. Black, the acting United States attorney on Guam, was demoted as a result of "political manipulation of Justice Department officials" by Mr. Abramoff, a major Republican fund-raiser.

Names we should know:
The nine that voted to support torture:
Wayne Allard - Colorado
Kit Bond - Missouri
Tom Coburn - Oklahoma
Thad Cochran - Mississippi
John Cornyn - Texas
James Inhofe - Oklahoma
Pat Roberts - Kansas
Jeff Sessions - Alabama
Ted Stevens - Alaska
Thanks to Corpus Callosum for finding the names of these 'people'.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Bill Moyers: Caring for Creation (must read)

Teasers from an incredibly important message from Bill Moyers. We must speak to the millions of evangelicals who share a deep concern about the sustainability of creation.
. Our government and corporate elites have turned against America’s environmental visionaries—from Teddy Roosevelt to John Muir, from Rachel Carson to David Brower, from Gaylord Nelson to Laurence Rockefeller. They have set out to eviscerate just about every significant gain of the past generation, and while they are at it they have managed to blame the environmental movement itself for the failure of the Green Revolution. If environmentalism isn’t dead, they say, it should be. And they will gladly lead the cortege to the grave.

...) If the Green Revolution is a bloody pulp today, it is not just because the environmental movement mugged itself. It is because the corporate, political and religious right ganged up on it in the back alleys of power. Big companies fund a relentless assault on green values and policies. Political ideologues launch countless campaigns to strip from government all its functions except those that reward their rich benefactors. And homegrown ayatollahs are more set on savaging gay people than saving the green earth.

...) President Bush has turned the agencies charged with environmental protection over to people who don’t believe in it. To run the Interior Department he chose a long-time defender of polluters who has opposed laws to safeguard wildlife, habitat, and public lands. To run the Forest Service he chose a timber industry lobbyist. To oversee our public lands he named a mining industry lobbyist who believes public lands are unconstitutional. To run the Superfund he chose a woman who made a living advising corporate polluters how to evade the Superfund. And in the White House office of environmental policy, the president placed a lobbyist from the American Petroleum Institute whose mission was to make sure the government’s scientific reports on global warming didn’t contradict the party line and the interest of oil companies. Everywhere you look, the foxes own the chicken coop.

...) They say denial is not a river in Egypt. It is, however, the governing philosophy in Washington. The president’s contempt for science—for evidence that mounts every day—is mind-boggling. Here is a man who was quick to launch a "preventative war" against Iraq on faulty intelligence and premature judgment but who refuses to take preventive action against a truly global menace about which the scientific evidence is overwhelming.

...) Here’s an important statistic to ponder: 45 percent of Americans hold a creational view of the world, discounting Darwin’s theory of evolution. I don’t think it is a coincidence then that in a nation where nearly half our people believe in creationism, much of the populace also doubts the certainty of climate change science. Contrast that to other industrial nations where climate change science is overwhelmingly accepted as truth;

..) So if I were a freelance journalist looking to offer a major piece on global warming to these people, how would I go about it? ... how to reach fundamentalist Christians who doubt evolution? How would I get them to hear me? [ read it all ]
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

In a nod against nuclear proliferation, IAEA and ElBaradei share 2005 Nobel Peace Prize

Voices and demonstrations of sanity do still exist in the world. The US leadership would do well to follow instead of perpetuating more hatred and fear. I often feel as if I'm living on an island ruled by crazed lunatics dressed in nuclear suicide bombs while the rest of the world waits for the island to implode so they can sweep up what remains of the garbage and resume a reasonable existence.
"At a time when the threat of nuclear arms is again increasing, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to underline that this threat must be met through the broadest possible international cooperation. This principle finds its clearest expression today in the work of the IAEA and its director general."

...) "At a time when disarmament efforts appear deadlocked, when there is a danger that nuclear arms will spread both to states and to terrorist groups, and when nuclear power again appears to be playing an increasingly significant role, IAEA's work is of incalculable importance," the committee said.

...) "Mohammad El Baradei is an outstanding leader with great integrity. He has always sought to achieve results by negotiations. We saw this clearly during the period before the Iraq war, when he, all the way to the end, requested that the international weapons inspectors continue their work."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, October 06, 2005

a little inspiration

Excerpts from a March 1992 Psychology Today article titled:
The Art of Creativity

...the degree of creativity is influenced by our feelings: our belief that we can speak without fear of retribution, our feeling of being trusted by others, a confidence in our own intuition. All affect how we respond to the information before us.

There are many ways in which the creative spirit can find expression in the workplace: innovations in management, improvements in distribution methods, or new ideas for financing a business. Creative ideas can also be used to strengthen the organization itself by increasing the initiative of workers. One such innovation is the elimination of restrictive job descriptions that put workers in "boxes" and limit their performance. Another idea is to share all financial information with all of the employees.

...)The capacity for making intuitive decisions is a basic ingredient of creativity. Intuition is trusting the vision of the unconscious, letting go of the self-conscious control of the thinking mind. It is so often opposed in the workplace because it can't be measured or quantified or rationally justified. But it has the ring of truth because it is grounded in the ability of the unconscious to organize information into unanticipated new ideas.


So often we go through our days on automatic pilot, but lacking the Zen inner awareness. To a certain degree, we like people and situations to be predictable; we enjoy the habitual and tend to avoid surprises. But there is a downside to routine: We can easily become fixed in our ways of seeing. Our expectation of how things are supposed to be replaces our capacity to perceive.

Thomas Edison had an unusual way of tapping into theta brain waves: He would doze off in a chair with his arms and hands draped over the armrests. In each hand he held a ball bearing. Below each hand on the floor were two pie plates. When he drifted into the state between waking and steeping, his hands would naturally relax and the ball bearings would drop on the plate. Awakened by the noise, Edison would immediately make notes on any ideas that had come to him.

"Creativity is a quick, clear message that translates into understated art that presumes and assumes nothing of another person's learning or intellect."
~Steve Dunleavy
reporter, A Current Affair

"Creative people are committed to risk. The creative person always walks two steps into the darkness. Everybody can see what's in the light .. the real heroes delve in the dark."
~Benny Golson, musician

"Creativity comes by breaking the rules, by saying that you're in love with the anarchist."
~Anita Roddick
founder of The Body Shop

"There are lots of things to do, but it's not for me to tell you what they are. You have hobbies, think of something..."
~Jane Curtain
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Good Grief.... Indeed We Are

If only he could see his reflection in the mirror. Bush in a nutshell. Are we still eating it?
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Lawsuit Filed to Reinstate Roadless Area Protections

Readers of my blog know that this is one of my hot buttons. It's an issue that should have never been up for discussion and is not in any way partisan, yet somehow, amidst other more partisian debates, the Roadless Rule was formally repealed by the Bush administration in May of 2005.

Our National Forests belong to all Americans
The 2001 Roadless Rule was a widely supported regulation that protected over 58 million acres of public land on National Forests from road construction, commercial logging, and development. The Bush administration’s repeal of the Roadless Rule swept away those protections without consideration for science, economics, biology, cost to communities, or common sense. Hunters, fishermen, hikers, and millions of regular Americans considered it one of the greatest forest conservation measures in U.S. history.

The Attorneys General of California and New Mexico and the Governor of Oregon; some of most densely forested states by the way; who have been competent enough in monitoring their own land use without federal government regulation, thank you; filed a lawsuit challenging the Roadless Repeal on August 30, 2005. Now they have been joined with a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice on behalf of 20 conservation groups.

At this point we have to sit back and keep informed. The fight that never should have been, continues...
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Local Officials Weren't Told for Days About Bacterium Detection at DC Sept 24 Rally

Area health officials were not notified for five days that sensors on the Mall had detected a potentially dangerous bacterium there last month because subsequent tests were not conclusively positive, a federal official said yesterday.

The Department of Homeland Security delayed in alerting the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the same reason, said Richard Besser, who directs the CDC's coordinating office for terrorism preparedness and emergency response. More than half a dozen sensors showed the presence of tularemia bacteria the morning after thousands of people gathered on the Mall for a book festival and antiwar rally, yet the CDC was not contacted for at least 72 hours.

Also see: Did Bush Administration Attack Peace Movement With Military Grade Biological Bacteria?

Biohazard sensors detected tularemia bacteria at the mall on Saturday, September 24.
Tularemia emerged as a “plague-like disease” during a 1911 outbreak of “rabbit fever” in Tulare Lake in California. The disease progresses rapidly in humans with patients suffering from headache, fatigue, dizziness, muscle pains, loss of appetite and nausea. The disease progresses to inflamed and reddened face and eyes. The disease next attacks lymph nodes and glands, often with life-threatening complications.
Fortunately, tularemia is relatively rare in nature. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health there are generally five or fewer cases that occur each year naturally. The Kansas City Missouri Health Department tells us that most cases that occur naturally are found in “south, central and western states,” not Washington D.C.

Unfortunately, tularemia has been long used as a military biological weapon. We should consider the presence of tularemia a shot across the bow to the peace movement from an administration willing to cheat, steal, torture, lie and kill to further its political agenda. Karl Rove, the president’s brain, brags of his worship of Machiavelli and will do anything to keep his Texas prince in power.

Metafilter discussion here.
And yes, I feel fine thank you.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Alternative Buildings for Changing Times

The Freedom of a Yurt

The Yurts of Bill Coperthwaite

Yurts - Round and Unbound

There's No Place Like Yurt

Excerpts of an interview with Bill Coperthwaite:
If you want to start a community it is easy – just put out a call and say there is free land. You will have all the people you want. More than you want. And it won’t work. I wasn’t interested in starting a community that was going to fail. Most successful communities are based on a charismatic leader, which doesn’t interest me, or an authoritarian system, or a religious creed, which also doesn’t interest me. I thought that maybe you could have a community that had a common thread, a common purpose revolving around the search for better ways to live. As a community we would search the libraries, search the world for information and then experiment with it and publish it. But it didn’t happen. I didn’t find the right people. And so I keep gathering my collection of information and publishing it.

... If we are going to live within our income on this planet, we have to live more simply. Learning to live simply and go lightly is such a beautiful thing. It has an aesthetic aspect to it. It is a delight. It is fun. For example, I have no desire anymore to make chairs that I can make and you can’t. That is not going to solve our problems. This chair I am sitting on here has three pieces to it — a democratic chair. I can teach you how to make this chair in a few hours. That is simplicity. That Windsor chair is no longer exciting to me at all. At one time it was. At one time I loved making those. I am glad I learned the skill, because I can use the skill in other ways. But instead of designing a chair that puts you down because you can’t make it, I can look at this chair and say ‘I can design this’ and maybe you can’t. But you can make it. And I will help you make it. That, to me, is exciting.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

In These Times It Appears the Government is Above the Law

How can we sit back and let it continue?
Stop Taxpayer-funded Propaganda
When the government breaks a law using taxpayer dollars is it somehow magically unaccountable? Are we accountable as taxpayers? Do we like being fed covert propaganda?
Buying of News by Bush Aids was illegal. Simple. What are we going to do about it?
Geez... next thing you know Unauthorized Reproduction will be a crime. How many times in the past few years have you thought, 'That could never happen?' How many times were you wrong?
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, October 03, 2005

Ike Was Right About War Machine

by Andy Rooney (no video link that I can find yet)
I'm not really clear how much a billion dollars is but the United States — our United States — is spending $5.6 billion a month fighting this war in Iraq that we never should have gotten into.

We still have 139,000 soldiers in Iraq today.

Almost 2,000 Americans have died there. For what?

Now we have the hurricanes to pay for. One way our government pays for a lot of things is by borrowing from countries like China.

Another way the government is planning to pay for the war and the hurricane damage is by cutting spending for things like Medicare prescriptions, highway construction, farm payments, AMTRAK, National Public Radio and loans to graduate students. Do these sound like the things you'd like to cut back on to pay for Iraq?

I'll tell you where we ought to start saving: on our bloated military establishment.

We're paying for weapons we'll never use.

No other Country spends the kind of money we spend on our military. Last year Japan spent $42 billion. Italy spent $28 billion, Russia spent only $19 billion. The United States spent $455 billion.

We have 8,000 tanks for example. One Abrams tank costs 150 times as much as a Ford station wagon.

We have more than 10,000 nuclear weapons — enough to destroy all of mankind.

We're spending $200 million a year on bullets alone. That's a lot of target practice. We have 1,155,000 enlisted men and women and 225,000 officers. One officer to tell every five enlisted soldier what to do. We have 40,000 colonels alone and 870 generals.

We had a great commander in WWII, Dwight Eisenhower. He became President and on leaving the White House in 1961, he said this: “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. …"

Well, Ike was right. That's just what’s happened.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

William Rivers Pitt writes:

I Remember Democrats
Memo to the Democratic leadership, in the words of departed comic Bill Hicks: "Step on the gas, man."

" The leadership caste of the Democratic party - those worthies and also-rans in the Senate and the DNC - should take a walk down to the Rayburn House office building and find Representatives Conyers, Lee, Woolsey, Abercrombie, Sanders, McDermott, Waters and Waxman. This crew has been keeping good company, has been burning the midnight oil, and has been speaking the truth of this administration all day and every day. The leadership caste of the Democratic party would do well to drink deep a draught of the courage and integrity that can be found there." [read more]

Even among conservatives I know, I get the sense, and sometimes hear the pleas for leadership, for a true opposition party, for courage, not the unbridled power waged with lawlessness this administration uses. They want this administration 'out now!' just as much as I do, but they fail to see any strength within the Democratic party. I have to fault the DNC/DLC entirely for the failure to realize and promote the leaders mentioned above. I too, remember Democrats, but I have to wonder what of Democrats it is that my kids will remember.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


According to George Stephanopoulous Bush and Cheney were both directly involved in discussions related to the Valerie Plame outing. Watch the video
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Thinking about....

Gregory Bateson, from Steps to an Ecology of Mind

The individual mind is immanent but not only in the body. It is immanent also in the pathways and messages outside the body; and there is a larger Mind of which the individual mind is only a sub-system. This larger Mind is comparable to God and is perhaps what some people mean by 'God', but it is still immanent in the total interconnected social system and planetary ecology...

If you put God outside and set him vis--vis his creation and if you have the idea that you are created in his image, you will logically and naturally see yourself as outside and against the things around you. And as you arrogate all mind to yourself, you will see the world around you as mindless and therefore not entitled to moral or ethical consideration. The environment will seem to be yours to exploit. Your survival unit will be you and your folks or conspecifics against the environment of other social units, other races and the brutes and the vegetables.

If this is your estimate of your relation to nature and you have an advanced technology, your chances of survival will be that of a snowball in hell. You will die either of the toxic by-products of your own hate, or simply, of over population and overgrazing. The raw materials of the world are finite.

If I am right, the whole of our thinking about what we are and what other people are has got to be restructured. This is not funny, and I do not know how long we have to do it in. If we continue to operate on the premises that were fashionable during the Pre-Cybernetic era, and which were especially underlined during the Industrial Revolution, which seemed to validate the Darwinian unit of survival, we may have twenty or thirty years before the logical reductio ad absurdum of our old positions destroys us. Nobody knows how long we have, under the present system, before some disaster strikes us, more serious than the destruction of any group of nations. The most important task today is, perhaps, to learn to think in the new way.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


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