The Gypsy's Caravan

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Murrow on Dissent

Via Keith Olberman, at crooks&liars the words of Edward R. Murrow:

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty, We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear - one, of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of un-reason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men; Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were - for the moment - unpopular."

...and Rummy's calling US facists?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Calderon is named victor by Supremes

In a virtual Re-do of our 2000 election, the Mexican Supremes threw out Oberador's suit.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's top electoral court threw out allegations of massive fraud in last month's presidential election on Monday, handing almost certain victory to conservative candidate Felipe Calderon.

The seven judges voted unanimously to reject almost all the legal complaints by left-wing candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who said he was robbed of victory in the July 2 vote.

The leftist, who has vowed to make Mexico ungovernable if Calderon becomes president, refused to accept the ruling.

The court stopped short of formally naming Calderon the winner, but reported only marginal changes after examining the results of a partial recount and throwing out more than 230,000 ballots because of voting irregularities.

Calderon vowed not to let protests rattle his victory.
~bolds mine

The whole article is here

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sunday Dragon Blogging

Yup, that's a real dragon. A Bearded Dragon, from Australia.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I Never Could Resist a Dare!

*click on the pics for a larger view

The Fat Lady Sings dared anyone to fulfill the Meme ... so, here goes!


Vancouver - never been there, but I hear they have a very *relaxed* and progressive community.


...if he couldn't leave, and he couldn't get revenge, I imagine it would be GW. I'd love to give HIM a piece of my mind.


Dark Red


(Sheepishly)Dixie Chicks: more for their politics, than anything else. I really don't much like country music, but I liked that last one - I call it their "FU GW" song.


Way way too early: 5:30 is just the first time the alarm rings...


I think it was the last Harry Potter movie. We only to out to a movie if it has lots of special effects.


Survivor. I love seeing game theory in action, watching the players and their decisions. I always root for the underdog, which means that my pick generally does not win, but I just get to root for lots of different people.


I used to play scales on the flute, as a form of meditation. I just had it re-padded, but when I tried to play, I couldn't remember all of the fingerings. That's another "one of these days..." dealies.


The jewel shades: Dark purple reds, clear blues and greens and aqua.


If you 'd asked me that 10 years ago, I would have said yes. But well, I'm a Libra, and Libras can't decide unless they have all the evidence, so I hafta say the jury's still out.


I'd have to say sporty - but, really - If they made electric, I'd get one, and if that french company that has a motor that runs on compressed air was into production, I'd get one of those.


The Potter series


Oh, that's gotta be spring! All that burgeoning life, after the long cold winter.


I want a peace wand. Or, if that's not available, could I just plunk Dick and Georgie on the forehead and give them integrity and compassion?


No tatoo, but if I did, it would have to be a dragon.


The Biggus Dickus: Darth Cheney


Honest Politicians who know what integrity means, and value theirs. They are few and far between, but we do have a couple here and there. ....GO LAMONT! Bernie Sanders for President!


Bill D. - did you make it thru, honey?




Nearly every person upon graduating High School decides that they are a night owl, until they have to make it to work or be fired. I have to say I am very grouchy in the morning, so don't talk to me before I have my breakfast! I do tend to nod off around 10pm, though, so I can't brag about late night awareness.. :)


Last week.
I was watching Keith Olberman, and in the background of a vid of angry adult males charging around waving weapons, there was a young man. Just a teenager, sitting in the dirt by the side of the road, somewhere in the middle east, watching the warmongers race by. He was weeping. I have a son, I know how hard it is for a young man to cry, and to see him weeping, like his whole world is crashing in around him, it went beyond hubris. It seemed in that moment to distill the war we started and we pursue.

The sight of it tore a huge hole in my heart.

How dare we charge in and bust up these people's lives!

*How dare we*

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Am I a Bigot?

I was reading about the new Survivors season that will be starting soon. It seems there was a big controversy because they parsed out the four opening teams by race: White, Hispanic, Asian, and Black. My first reaction to the news was: Cool this time there will be more diversity. Usually the field of contestants is predominantly white. This time it would be evenly divided.

Now, I lived in the pacific southwest for a large chunk of my life. I have been honored to know hispanic americans as my friends, coworkers, employees, and from living in an ashram and teaching and taking yoga classes for a while. I have found them to be generally hardworking, bright, smart, bilingual(which I admire very much) people with a great sense of humor. Flashing smile, sparkling dark eyes, bright colors. I think their culture fosters these qualities. Sure, there are great variations in any group, but that's my impression.

Does that make me bigoted?

You cannot say anything bad about a group, does that mean you can't by the same token say anything good?

I dropped a comment on one of those threads that I was betting on the Hispanic Americans, because of their work ethic. Is that divisive? is it insensitive? Does it always have to be a BAD thing? Is our culture so divided, so paranoid, so fearful, that we cannot have friendly rivalry in team play? wouldn't a bit of friendly rivalry despell tensions, or are we fearful that it would it inevitably lead to ugliness?


I was deeply affected by a thread over at BadTux the Snarky Penguin's that caused me some soul searching. I had a resistance to the picture of the mideast as peaceful for 700 years, (which I will be looking up) and I realized that the spectre of Sharia Law overshadows in my mind any good that Islam could bring. Peace, at the cost of the enslavement of half of your population? And in my life I have witnessed the blossoming of liberty in sporadic bursts in the mideast, only to be trodden down by the engulfing Sharia Law. Forgive me, I have been a feminist for most of my life and it deeply offends me that any woman anywhere in the world should be held to that barbaric and degrading writ.

Does that make me a bigot?

The fact that their women have no choice about weather or not they want to live under those conditions, that they can be abused and have no recourse under the law and under the iron rule of society deeply offends my sense of justice.

I understand that there are in the muslim community probably lots of husbands, who like their famous emperor, adore their wives. That adoration does not erase the husband's complete control over her life and death. And as a thinking feeling female, that offends me.

Does that make me a bigot?


Am I "peeling the onion", so to speak, having deep insights into my feelings, or am I really just reforming my thoughts around my subconsious? Could it be that I'm kidding myself, and I'm a flaming bigot with lots of excuses? Is this all simply mental masturbation? Am I channeling Donald Rumsfeld?

AAAAKKKK! Holy Spaghetti, I hate insomnia!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Chris Matthews: Paul Hackett Vs Van Taylor

check it out!

Friday, August 18, 2006

The New Camera

This is a sequel to this post
*Click on the pics for a larger size.

So, my new camera came in to my PO Box at work, and I went right out after feeding it batteries to see how user friendly it is. I snapped a whole bunch of pics before finding the "flower" button. It's right on top next to the clic a pic button - you'd think I'd have looked at the camera before trying to use it - duh. I found it pretty user friendly, I'd give it an 85%.

The instruction booklet is easy to use, and has fairly clear instructions. The menu system takes a little jiggering, but works fine once you get the hang of it. Some functions that are usually on the menu of a camera are button driven.

The really cool thing about this camera is that it has 12x optical zoom, with another 4x digital zoom(which can be turned off). The zoom seems to go on forever.

It also zooms in to a pic that you have taken and are looking at in the viewfinder. That's something the Nikon won't do. So I can check a pic when I take it, and take another if it's not focused.

Another feature of this camera is that it takes any AA battery, and yet is very good about energy usage. This first round of (4)batteries lasted four or five sessions, where the Casio I am replacing went through 4 batteries almost every time I used it. It also takes NiMh recharge-ables, so I won't be tossing out all those batteries all the time.

Another good feature, and unlike my little Casio - the lens cover attaches to the LENS, not the camera body, so it never interferes with the lens motors. If you turn it on to upload your pics, you don't have to worry about the lens popping out unexpectedly.

The prospective pic can be viewed in the little 2"sq viewfinder, or it can with a flip of a switch, be viewed through the lens itself. The viewfinder also has diopter adjustment so people who are blind(like me heh heh) can see through it.

Another useful feature is that it has a button that is not used so often, and can be reassigned by the operator to other functions.

It really is a tiny little thing, it amazes me that it can do sooo much. It's an SLR, and can take 20 frames at a speed of 1.8 frames per second,. at an image size of 2816 x 2112. I haven't figured out how to do that, yet.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Hanging Out on the Weekend

My neice came over to visit last weekend, and we called a Hiatus. Hanging out playing with an eight year old can remind you of what's really important in life.

The water garden that we took apart and mucked out this spring has grown in nicely this year.

We were having a tree removed from the front of the house, because it was hanging over the roof, and it makes a tree unstable to cut off all the limbs on just one side. While the tree guys were here, we decided that the pond needs more light, so we had one removed back here too.

The water hyacinths growing in the streamlet don't really get enough light to bloom, but they filter the water, and grow fantastically large and perfect in their green form.

One of Hubby's friends(retired) heats his home with a wood stove, and he was glad to get the wood. He's been coming over during the day to chop and split the logs, and haul them back to his place.

The patterns of our lives are intertwined and unique, yet they take on the same rythms as they always have: family, friends, work and worry, and an occasional par-tay!

So, my friends, party hearty and enjoy it all while you can.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday Dragon Blogging

SEA Dragon!

I found this painting at Dragon Dreams There's an interesting story there about the genesis of the painting, and there's other artwork there. I loved the site.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Lopez Obrador supporters blockade federal offices

Thursday, Aug 10, 2006

Supporters of leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador targeted federal offices in escalating protests over allegations of electoral fraud, as officials started a partial recount of votes from last month's disputed presidential election.

On Tuesday, hundreds of activists blockaded the entrance to the Agriculture Department and forced open highway toll booths for cars to stream through free-of-charge during rush hour -- the latest in a wave of protests to demand a total recount of the presidential election.

Lopez Obrador was the runner-up in an official count that gave ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon an advantage of 0.6 percent, or about 240,000 votes.

The protests will continue all week, Lopez Obrador said, culminating in what he called an "extraordinary rally" in Mexico City on Sunday, the day officials are expected to finish recounting votes in about 9 percent of the nation's polling places.

"We are going to carry on our struggle ... We are sure we will triumph," the silvery haired leftist told tens of thousands of supporters in the capital's central plaza on Tuesday night.

Lopez Obrador, the former mayor of Mexico City, is demanding that officials count all 41 million ballots, but a tribunal said that they will only review votes in places where there is evidence the ballots could have been miscounted. The partial recount started yesterday.

While Lopez Obrador has urged his followers to remain peaceful, tensions are growing and some fear that he may not be able to prevent the demonstrations from erupting in violence.

The seizure of the toll booths, which gave more than 7,000 motorists a free passage to the capital, prompted President Vicente Fox's spokesman, Ruben Aguilar, to threaten for the first time the use of force. But demonstrators backed off before that could happen, abandoning the booths shortly after the end of morning rush hour.

Fox criticized the protests saying, "Democracy cannot advance without respect for others and above all without respect for institutions."

Late on Tuesday, the federal attorney general's office opened up a criminal investigation into the seizures, according to Mexican media. Officials at the agency could not immediately be reached.

The progressives in Mexico are fighting tooth and nail for Justice and Liberty. What will we do in November if we again face election fraud?

Read the whole story here

Friday, August 11, 2006

Bushco's new War

President George W. Bush announced an escalation of his government's fight against "kleptocracy" -- high level corruption by senior officials which he said is robbing the people of many poor nations of their future.

"For too long, the culture of corruption has undercut development and good governance and bred criminality and mistrust around the world," Bush said in a statement launching a "national strategy" for fighting corruption.

"High-level corruption by senior government officials, or kleptocracy, is a grave and corrosive abuse of power and represents the most invidious type of public corruption," he said.

The new initiative centers on the creation of an inter-agency team involving the State Department,
Department of Justice and the US Treasury to track and prosecute high level corruption and recover ill-gotten gains, said Josette Sheeran Shiner, an under-secretary of state for economic and business affairs.

Shiner said the aim was to pool together all the resources in the US government "to make sure we're applying a full tool box in the fight against high level corruption."

I would submit that Bushco should try his new initiative out on his own administration first. From the hemmorrage of the treasury that is the Iraq war, on to waste and ridiculous inefficiencies that are the Katrina cleanup, to the billions of real bundled dollars "lost" while being transported across a war zone in Iraq, his administration has acted like he has a money tree growing in the WH rose garden.

In fact, lets forget this concept of "a new war on *_____". Every time the american Government declares a war on anything, it's a good bet that in a couple of years whatever it is that has had war declared upon it will be rampantly flourishing beyond all expectations. Here's a partial list of our recent "war on's":

War on Poverty

War on Crime

War on Drugs

all ineffectual, all exacerbating the problems, while spending huge amounts of money that we need for infrastructure, for development, for cleaning up our environment.

And, of course, there's the ultimate "war on" which is the governments and infrastructure in the middle east.

We all know how that's going...

Read the article here

Thursday, August 10, 2006

James Madison Speaks


"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war. . . and in the degeneracy of manners and morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." : - James Madison, April 20, 1795

*hattip to Blondesense Liz from her post "Same Stuff, Different Day" Wed, 8/9/6

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Flowers and pics...

My garden at work is still popping out blossoms. My camera is acting out, has been since last winter, which is why Hubby got me the spiffy Nikon for X-mas. (yay)

My zinnias love the sun, but the camera doesn't. A couple of minutes out there in the heat, and it will only give me one like ...

this one..

...and this one.

So, I looked on Ebay, and found this one, for about half price. -Hey, I can't be without a knockaround camera, can I? (and I'm certainly not bringing the Nikon to work...) So, I'm on pins and needles waiting for this new camera to arrive.

Wooo Hoooo! Yeah, GO LAMONT!!!!

OK, now that I've got that outa my system, down to the nuts and bolts:

Open letter to the Senate Minority Leader

sent with subject = website problems

Dear Senator Reid,

Now that the State of Connecticut has chosen it's candidate, and it isn't Joe Lieberman, Mr Lieberman has quit the Democratic Party. He cannot have it both ways. He's either a member of the Democratic Party and he supports the choice of the electorate, or he's not. He's decided that he's not.

As an independent, he effectively has sloughed off all of his seniority, and MUST be expelled from all of his Democratic Party committee memberships. We need every democrat membership to go to a REAL democrat, one who is attentive to the needs of his constituents and his party. Joe, by his actions, has proven that above all, he's there only for Joe.

Lieberman may have "website problems", but they are caused by his own cheap-osity in thinking he could get by with paying fifteen bucks for his webhost, and then running the most divisive and publicised campaign in the US. "Error 503" means HE didn't pay for enough BANDWIDTH. He's also having problems because he just moved his site, because he lost the primary and must move to his Independent candidate site. (and everyone knows what problems that will cause) Please ask him to stop his phony slander and accusations against the Connecticut Democratic Candidate for the Senate, Ned Lamont.

I would also, as your supporter in your "Give 'em Hell, Harry" campaign, request that you issue a statement as soon as possible endorsing and supporting Connecticut's new Democratic Party Candidate for the Senate, Ned Lamont.

Thank You for all your hard work


Harry Reid can be emailed here

*hattip to FiredogLake


I went to the polling place and voted on the way home. I was in grim humor, because my son told me my brother - you know, the one who's a rabid republican, listens to Lush Rimbaugh every day, and keeps saying about the Mideast: "We can drill thru glass!") - anyway, he re-registered as a democrat in order to vote for LIEberman yesterday. IN MY PRIMARY, DAMMIT!

I was then thinking about all the hundreds and thousands of people who changed their registration, and about Newt's assertion that we have "Insurgents" here in CT that need to be dealt with.

The only insurgents are the rot brained cheaters who tried and failed to jimmy our election! The best revenge is winning, I think. November, here we come!

So, we were occupied all evening (a wake, then dinner) and by the time we got home, I was jonesin' for some vote numbers... but the electricity was out. DANG

Hubby installed a battery fed light system last year, so we had lights at least. We got out the emergency radio, wound it up(literally) and I spent the next hour listening to radio coverage while Hubby drifted off to sleep next to me. It was kinda like olden times... Heh.

So, just about 10:30 the lights came back on, and I followed the rest of it, right to the bitter end. LIEberman's speech was just about what I expected, and I just wanted to blow my cookies right then, also thinking of all the republicans who will support him in Nov.

Lamont's speech was pretty much his standard, but the very fact that he was making it (and on national TV) was so inspiring, tears came to my eyes. Gosh, we so need more principled people like Ned to run for office!

Hey, WE WON!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Revolution Is Not Being Televised

By Stirling Newberry
~via t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Lamont has learned the lessons of the first wave of Internet candidates. He does not muse in public about what he will do, he does not become absorbed into the swirl around him, he does not let an utterance escape that can be misconstrued, edited for television and used to create a false impression. He has also selected individuals to associate himself with, such as his campaign manager Tom Swan, who are realistic, even pragmatic, in their ways of doing business.

And that is the reason that Lamont has become the latest messenger in a revolution that is shaking not only official Washington, but press outlets on both sides of the Atlantic. What Lamont represents is not merely a partisan interest group, or a change of faces in Washington, but a different way of doing business, a different way of running politics, and a different relationship with the voters. When Lamont became a serious challenger, the first message that Lieberman's proxies put forward was that primaries could be "highjacked" by extremists, and their first strategic decision was mount an insurgency against the Democratic nominee if Lieberman lost the primary. In the view of Joe Lieberman, and the establishment, primaries are mere formalities, and "the party" means the donors and the D-blah-blah-blah committees. Washington manufactures politics, and the public consumes it.

In this new world, politics is made everywhere, and it is the job of the people in the center to make politics work. It is all the difference in the world, and it is also an idea that does not reduce to a flag flying photo-op. But it is an idea that passes from hand to hand, from email to email, from local meeting to local meeting, from blog post to blog post, from personal contact to personal contact. It is a politics where people make their decisions as their private selves, and then act on those decisions, rather than trying to pilot the ship of state with one eye on the polls and another eye on the campaign bank account.

Very interesting, and hopeful article - go read!

Dare We Hope

Dare we hope there's a light in the wilderness?

For when hope nourishes us, our possibilities bloom into realities

and we sow the seeds of liberty, justice and prosperity

Friday, August 04, 2006

Lamont leads Lieberman by 13 Points in New Poll

...a Quinnipiac University poll released here Thursday.

The poll showed Lamont ahead of Lieberman by 54 percent to 41 percent, underscoring the challenger's clear advantage.

Facing a likely defeat, Lieberman has scrapped plans for a massive and costly get-out-the-vote operation on primary day, according to several Democratic sources. Instead, he will shift some of his resources into more television commercials designed to highlight his accomplishments for the state, in hopes of boosting his battered image.

The three-term incumbent and 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee announced earlier that he will run as an independent in November if he loses on Tuesday to Lamont, a millionaire Greenwich businessman with limited political experience. But a landslide loss to Lamont could complicate Lieberman's hopes of winning a fourth term in a three-way general election contest.

Many Democratic leaders have endorsed Lieberman in the primary, but most of them have said they will back whoever wins the nomination.


Lieberman, who used Clinton in television ads after the visit, said this week that he considered the rally a turning point that rejuvenated his candidacy. Instead, the poll shows Lieberman continuing to lose ground to Lamont. In June, Lieberman led Lamont by 55 percent to 40 percent. A second poll released just before Clinton's visit found Lamont edging into the lead, 51 percent to 47 percent.

Looks like Lieberman's giving up on the primary, perhaps because he cannot find his supporters.

He's joined Codpiece in his bubble.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Best Freeway Blogging EVER

Ah ha ha ha ha

*via The Green Knight

U.S. prepares for showdown in Cuba

At the State Department, spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States had no independent information about Castro's health. "This is a pretty closed decision-making circle and it's very opaque as to what is actually going on," he said.

For now, Bush administration officials and members of Congress were focused on offering dissidents cash for fighting for democratic change.

Legislation sponsored by Nelson, fellow Floridian Mel Martinez, Majority Leader Bill Frist and others would authorize as much as $80 million over two years — and pay half of that almost immediately — to dissidents and nongovernmental organizations on the island.

With a snap of the fingers, our brave leaders have raised 80 million dollars with the express purpose of meddling in the affairs of a neighboring soverign state.

The last thing this world needs right now is another batch of killings. Would it help the masses of Cubans to unleash war upon their island, in a deluded attempt at coup d'etat? (revolutions come from the grassroots, by definition) Haven't we just seen in Iraq what happens when you try to impose a revolution by cutting off the head of the government. Do we really want chaos and violence that close to our border?

They can find 80 million for foreign interference, yet our schools remain unfunded, and our streets are full of potholes. Scientific research that could create new products, open new markets, and create good solid jobs is at the mercy of a haphazard network of state, local and private largess.

What in the world do they think they're doing, moving little toy soldiers around a map?

*click the title to go to the article

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Check this one out:

The Last Plantation

Have you ever wondered about the Cynthia McKinney fiasco? Wondered what Hillary was talking about when she kept throwing around the word "plantation"?

*hattip: Shakespere's Sister

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