The Gypsy's Caravan

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Dragon Blogging

OMG this dragon is sculpted on an egg. All I can say is "WOW".

The talented sculptor is here

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pic of the Day

Glenn Beck:

These people -- they're amazing. They're incredible. They claim that I'm serious when I'm joking and try to cause trouble, and then they say I'm joking when I'm serious and try to cause trouble. There's no way -- if you disagree with any of these people -- there's no way that you can ever win. And here's the interesting thing: Even if you agree with these people, there's no way you can ever win.*ems mine

Projecting much, Mr Beckie?

Open letter to Harry: What ever happened to "Give 'Em Hell"?

Dear Senate Majority Leader Reid,

Here's a quote from the news:

"We need to get things done on this[FISA] bill," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters Tuesday.

I have this to say: you already made the mistake in July to ram this seriously flawed bill through congress. It was a debacle. We are relying on you and your fellow representatives of We The People to get it right this time, and you are worried about getting it QUICKLY.

I would far rather see the legislation be done RIGHT. If it cannot be done right, it should NOT be done at all. Let the flawed legislation expire of it's own accord.

If you give the telcoms immunity, you deny the rule of law. It's as simple as that.

Will you Betray Us Too???


Quit Whining?

Ted Rall has another fine opinion piece HEY, SOLDIERS: QUIT WHINING!...

It's bad enough that a majority of soldiers voted for Bush in 2004. Over and over since the war began, American troops have been seen on television applauding Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice and others whose cynical recklessness have sent their buddies to their graves. Sailors cheered wildly when Bush staged his notorious "Mission Accomplished" photo op on an aircraft carrier. They swooned when he joined them for Thanksgiving dinner in Baghdad.

I'm sure I read somewhere that in the last election, the military in Iraq voted just about the same as the general population. *?* And who in a uniform can refuse to stand as a backdrop for the president? I'm equally sure they cherry pick those soldiers who get that "honor", the same way they cherrypick the partisans who go to his speeches and pressers.

Four years after the WMDs and liberation flora failed to turn up, people still enlist. After soldiers die, their parents insist that theirs was a noble sacrifice. Tell me again: Why should I care about the war? Why shouldn't I go shopping?

Soldiers who want antiwar Americans to march to demand that they be brought home should take a cue from Vietnam veterans. They marched with peace protesters and threw their medals at the Capitol. Soldiers serving on the front refused orders. Some fragged their officers. Vietnam Veterans Against the War claimed more than 50,000 members by 1971. That year saw numerous dramatic acts of dissent by U.S. troops, including 50 veterans who marched to the Pentagon and demanded that they be arrested as war criminals. Fifteen vets took over and barricaded the Statue of Liberty for two days. These acts swayed opinions and helped convince lawmakers it was time to withdraw.

There are a few Iraqi vets making noise, but most just stuff a sock in it and go on with their lives after leaving the hell we made in Iraq. Maybe they just want to forget. I wouldn't blame them for that, having never served I can't pretend to know how bad it is. The news is horrifying enough. Another part is that they keep getting called back into service with stop loss. Not so for Vietnam - if you survived one year in hell, you went home permanently. I sure wouldn't want to be protesting one day and be on the front lines the next. Could make it exponentially more dangerous. *Fair Game*

Besides, taking to the streets was a '60's thing. The powers that be have found ways to take the sting out of protests. Unless it makes the evening news and the front page, it didn't even happen. With the new megacorp control of the media, you won't find any support for protesters in the press.

So, how do we crack this nut? I'm convinced that the nexus of all the problems we have with the government is campaign finance reform. Corruption is rampant, and conflict of interest reigns supreme. These are not saints, they have the same failings as politicians have always had. So -

Make it illegal to use any money other than a stipend from the govt that is equal to all who can gather a requisite number of signatures.

It would shorten the campaign season[thank goodness] - noone would want to run out of $$. It would even the playing field, and bring new blood into the process.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


...And you can swallow
Or you can spit
You can throw it up
Or choke on it
And you can dream
So dream out loud
You know that your time is coming 'round

So don't let the bastards grind you down...


Open Letter

Dear Senator Obama,

Here's a quote from the news:

Mr. Obama said that “while other Democrats”[Clinton] supported the amendment, “Barack Obama opposed another Bush foreign policy fiasco.” [the amendment calling on the administration to designate the Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran a foreign terrorist organization]

I'm sorry, but to "oppose" something, you actually have to be present and vote against it. By not voting at all, you let it happen. To "oppose" it, you would have had to organize enough of your colleagues to vote it down. That's called "Leading".

Sorry - the US is in dire need of a LEADER right now, not an absentee "I'm against it because I didn't show up and vote for it" person.

Senator Dodd is showing his leadership on the FISA bill, I suggest you join him in the fillibuster.

Thank You

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

One from the Archives

Quote of the Day

"We need an attorney general who does not believe the president has unlimited power, we need an attorney general who understands that torture is not what this country is about, and we need an attorney general who clearly understands the separation of powers inherent in our Constitution.

Unfortunately, it is clear that Mr. Mukasey is not that person."

~~~ Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt

The oldest trick in the book...

Rep. Henry Waxman, who chairs the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, released a March letter from the Internal Revenue Service that states the company's classification of a security guard as an independent contractor, instead of company personnel, was "without merit."

Under U.S. law, companies must pay Social Security and other federal taxes on their employees. But unlike other security companies operating in Iraq, Blackwater says the guards it trains, equips and deploys to Iraq and elsewhere are independent contractors hired directly by the federal government.

"By classifying its armed guards and other personnel as independent contractors instead of employees, Blackwater has apparently evaded withholding and paying these taxes," Waxman, D-Calif., wrote in a letter to Blackwater chief Erik Prince.

The oldest trick - force your employees to go without the basic tax protections our society mandates. When I worked as a toner phoner(telemarketing - euwwwww!), that was a standard go around. We ended up having to track our own earnings, and file a 1099 without the benefit of having taxes witheld from our pay(and no benefits at all). So, no matching taxes paid from the company, and all the paperwork is done by the employee.

The full article is here

Monday, October 22, 2007

Time to get your War on...

Could we stop hiding in teh closet and shaking long enough to get a grip? Think about it really - over 100,000 people die each year in car accidents, and we're not spending another 46 billion to fight a "war on car accidents".

559,650 people die each year of cancer, and we're still debating INSURANCE(and whether or not to care for some people), not investing in research in an all out "War on Cancer".

Between 9200 and 24000 deaths per year are attributed to Multiple Sclerosis, and we're not getting our War On and pouring money into MS research and discovery.

We need to get some perspective. Terrorism is superfluous if we terrorize ourselves to benefit Halliburton and OBL. Our federal government needs to find it's courage, and it's spine. Terrorism is a crime, not a declaration of war. It needs to be treated like a crime, investigated, and the perps brought to justice. That is just not being done, and every second our people are occupying Iraq is draining our treasury, sullying our honor, and killing and maiming and causing great mental harm to a large population - both in Iraq and here at home.

WTP is going on???

Quote of the Day

"It's like having six Saturdays, and then a Sunday... and then six Saturdays, and then another Sunday."

...Friend at the mall - when asked "how's retirement treating you?"

Saturday, October 20, 2007

It's the Pics

Fantastic day!

The temps are perfect..

Breezy but not windy..

Fantastic fall.


For fellow science nerds, here's a very cool link to the speed of the Gulf Stream, on a seven day interval.

* bandwith alert: very large file...
* hattip to Blondesense

Reid to give telcoms Reach Around - Ignores Dodd's Hold on FISA legislation

From Time's Karen Tumulty:
Senator Dodd's campaign communications director Hari Sevugan tells me that $150,000 in small contributions have poured into Dodd's campaign in the past 24 hours . . . . Dodd has raised more small-dollar contributions in the last 24 hours than he did in the previous month. Sevugan also says the number of visits to his website is up tenfold, as is the number of people registering their e-mail addresses there.

All that, from a single announcement to place a "hold" on this bill. Consider the passion that could be generated, the energy that could be harnessed, from sustained and principled leadership.

Hattip to Glenn Greenwald and his worthy post:
Harry Reid works to ensure telecom amnesty, warrantless surveillance
...good read.

And, If you are moved to join the support of Chris Dodd on this issue... here's the linkee!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dear Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Reid,

I am STUNNED that you are including retroactive immunity to lawbreakers that damage citizens and violate their privacy in the new FISA bill. Such betrayal is becoming a daily poison pill. Now all the pending suits will be nollied, and you still do not know the extent of their lawlessness.

This congress is earning their 11% ratings, and should all be ashamed of themselves for failing abysmally to protect and defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That doesn't even mention stopping the imoral and illegal war that is ravaging Iraq. I'm beginning to believe that you are all corrupt - bought agents of the corporatocracy.

So, how does it feel to sell your soul, and sell out America?

Sincerely, SB Gypsy

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Power of Green

Video: Tom Friedman on The Power Of Green a six minute vid

The price of oil and the pace of freedom operate in an inverse correlation. "Hey pal, If I don't have to tax you, because I can just get all the money out of the ground[or from big bidness], I don't have to represent you either."

This is the same reason the Congress of the United States of America thinks we are the unwashed masses who should STFU and go along with whatever they think will be advantageous for them. You see, they have to get the bucks for the next election, and if they listen to what we all want, they will not get the $$$$ they want from teh corporations.
The Green New Deal: This could be the biggest transformative concept that has come along in a long, long time. *~* It has a huge potential not only to reconnect with the world, to reconnect us at home, but to really propel us forward - economically, scientifically into the next century.

Worth six minutes fer sure.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pic of the Day

Flip Flopping on the Right

The latest family to provide a face to the Schip legislation is already being attacked:

On the conference call, Dara admitted to me that she and Brian had been talking about having children since before they were married.
Oh horrors! planning their life!
She further admitted that after they were married she voluntarily left a job at a country club that had good health insurance, because the situation was “unmanageable.” From there she took a job at a restaurant with no health insurance, and the couple went on to have a baby anyway, ...
how irresponsible! Celibacy until married AND insured!
...presuming that others would pay for it and certainly long before they knew their daughter would have heart defect that probably cost the gross national product of Burkina Faso to fix. But not knowing about future health problems is the reason we have insurance in the first place. [ems mine]
That is, if you are offered it, can afford it, and have no prexisting conditions...

OK, so let me get this straight:

No sex before marraige.
No birth control after marraige.
No women can work while married.
BUT she can't quit her job that provides health insurance for any reason.
And finally - No Babies Unless You Have Medical Insurance, or You're On Your Own!

Jump through THAT set of hoops!

The power of corruption

Last week Paul Rieckhoff, an Iraq war combat veteran who directs Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, sketched for me the apocalypse to come. Should Baghdad implode, our contractors, not having to answer to the military chain of command, can simply “drop their guns and go home.” Vulnerable American troops could be deserted by those “who deliver their bullets and beans.

*from NY Times' Op-Ed Columnist Frank Rich's article
The ‘Good Germans’ Among Us

A worthy read. But, I fear that those who are parsing plans for leaving (or for forcing us to stay in) Iraq have left out this scenario:

Should Baghdad implode, the political leaders in Washington decide that CIVILIANS must be evacuated first, leaving 130,000 soldiers to guard the backs of 180,000 contractors - and that's just US's contractors. Other countries also have "contractors" - cooks, laundries, truck drivers, tastifreeze servers - as well as mercenaries who are committing atrocities just as often as Blackwater.

Isn't it amazing how thoroughly money corrupts politics? Time for mandatory federal funding of elections - if it's not already too late to save America.

Friday, October 12, 2007

NICE Paint Job!

*recieved in an email. Click to embiggen

Thursday, October 11, 2007

One Pic Says It ALL

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha !

Quote of the Day

If all you're relying on is the internet, then you're not a journalist. You're just somebody with a computer.
~ Chet Scoville, Vanity Press

Thursday's Pic

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Quote of the Day

“No longer is it acceptable to hide poor performance,”

~ George W. Bush, Appointed president of the United States by the Supreme Court.

What about HIS piss poor performance, Huh?? Time to come clean, Codpiece!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Another Fine Pic

Tiny wild snapdragon - still hanging on

Monday, October 08, 2007

On Rats and Ships of State

WaPo has a story about all of Bushco's presidential aids jumping off before the administration's ship sinks.

Wehner, who recalled losing sleep in 2006 when the war seemed to be further slipping away, blames former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. "It was mishandled in a lot of ways," he said. "The administration went in with a plausible approach and a plausible strategy, but it was wrong. The secretary of defense didn't make the adjustments that he ought to have and there's a cost to that and that's something you live with."

Uh no, sweetie - that's something that more than 3000 soldiers have DIED for.

The subsequent troop buildup, Wehner added, has given him hope again. "I think we have a decent shot at a decent outcome," he said. "But mistakes were made and there's a cost to it."

One cost has been friendship. Some people who were once close no longer talk with him, Wehner said. "The view is 'Pete was a nice guy, but he was taken over by the dark side, joined Rove world.' "

Boo eff-ing hoo, you stand or fall by your actions, buddy!

The newest rat to abandon the sinking ship that is "W"'s administration is Meghan O'Sullivan.

She served as an adviser to initial U.S. occupation Administrator L. Paul Bremer in Baghdad before Bush brought her to the White House, where she became deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan.

"There is a certain heaviness that one carries with you when you have been in any realm of responsibility over something as serious as this and when there have been so many sacrifices," she said. "That does stay with you and you're conscious of it every day."

She went on: "I never tried to shake that. That's part of reality and it should help shape your thinking. No one who works on a war should be free from thinking of the sacrifices that come with it. You're always thinking: Is this worth it? Is this going to be worth it? What justifies the level of sacrifices on both the U.S. and Iraqi side? I believe as long as the possibility of being successful's there, you can justify continuing the effort."

As long as the illusion remains that we could somehow pull our cojones out of the fire, and cover the asses of all these poor, poor youngsters who are loosing their careers.... we keep the killing fields open for bidness.

Me? I cannot justify even one more casualty for this illegal, imoral, travesty. All of this administration's quitters(along with O'rally and Rushbo and Billy Crystal) should be sent to Iraq and given a gun, so that some soldiers who have been there way too long can go home and see THEIR children.

In our world, Meghan, like many of the rats that have jumped before her, has been given a cushy fellowship at Harvard for her prize.

"The first thing I'm going to do is recapture my life," she said. "I'm taking a poetry class here. I'm going to do a triathlon. And I'm going to break all kinds of records on sleep. And then I'm going to devote the time to thinking about what happened, to thinking about the lessons learned."

Oh, how nice.

My niece turned 9 years old on Sunday.

We had a horse-y b-day party.

With lessons from her cousin,

Round and round she goes

A fantastic birthday.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunday's pics

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Topps Beef is Followed in Recall by Cargill

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Sam's Club is pulling frozen hamburgers made by agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. from its stores shelves across the United States as Minnesota health officials investigate four cases of E. coli associated with the burgers.

In a statement dated Friday, Sam's Club owner Wal-Mart Stores Inc said the warehouse club is removing the American Chef's Selection Angus Beef patties from U.S. locations and giving refunds to customers who already purchased the burgers.

All four cases of E. coli being investigated occurred in children, the Minnesota Department of Health said in a statement. The cases are associated with eating ground beef patties purchased from Sam's Club stores in late August and September.
Another in a swelling number of recalls, Sam's Club customers (owned by Walmart Corporation) should destroy all American Chef's Selection Angus Beef purchased since August 26.

Topps beef will be going out of business, but I'm willing to bet that Walmart Corp And Cargill Corp will shrug this off like a bear flicks a flea.

To paraphrase Kanye West: The corporations don't care about the vast unwashed masses that are their customers. The only thing they are allowed to care about - By Law - is their stockholders' wallets.

Original article here

Happy Fall

Friday, October 05, 2007

Quote of the Day

“We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet.” ~Ronald Reagan 1964

Hattip to Paul Krugman in his worthy article "Conservatives are Such Jokers" And a hearty welcome to him for coming out from behind that [times select] wall..

This one just burst into bloom.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Do you want to know why I don't eat Beef?

Check this story out.. warning, it may make you sick!

There's been a recall of 27,700,000(27.7 million) pounds of Topps Beef - a whole YEAR's production - for bacterial contamination.

Whew! Who woulda seen THAT coming...?

Monday, October 01, 2007

More Back-Talk

Let's Get This Straight:

"Freedom's Watch" = An arrogant Washington elite that formed in order to kick off a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign in support of the Iraq war.

"" = A grassroots organization who uses small donations to work for peace and prosperity for all.

Monday's pic

The last of the garden. I'm just waiting for first frost to turn the leaves.

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