Saturday, July 30, 2005

I'll Be Back

Hope to be blogging again Tuesday AM wee hours.

Have a good week-end. :)

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Sounding Central Truth

This time I won't tease. But if you like this one follow the link to find more.

Sounding Central Truth

What do you mean by denying a
Truth that is right before your eyes?
Just because a neighbor neighs a lie
And it seems easier to agree than to
Say the emperor has no clothes?
It is the naked truth that we must see
And we must say what we have seen.
We must retrieve the words from that
Place where they reside, where they
Are not yet hide-bound, where they
Abound in unsounded musings.
AndTell it from the crazy place where truth is.
Write it from the dark place where light burns
So hot it consumes itself.
Where the weight
Of reality draws real things into the
Hole of no escape--the Event Horizon--
Where abide the convent of Graces
Hidden from those who know their places,
Who scorn play for duty, who know they are
Safe only where none can accuse them
Of abusing their faces by exposure
To pleasure and beauty. Beware of
Safety if you mean to defy the
Word of the herd and speak from the place
Where none worship the face.
Decry theLie that others live by and live to
Conspire with Creation's desire for
Passion and wonder. Embrace the All.
Consummate the meaning.
Sing the secret from your center.

© 1998 & 2004 by Joy Renee Davis

wish I knew how to center a selection while keeping the left justification of all the lines. Anyone know how? I used a nested table to do it at Joywrite. But the code here isn't the one I am used to.

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The Job Title Is Not the Job

Here is a little light-hearted treat. I've been getting way too intense lately. That isn't the only mode I have. Here is an essay I wrote for a freshman compostion class that was a hit with prof and classmates and later with family and friends.

The thesis restated: babysitting isn't about sitting on the baby!!!

Again, this is a teaser. The rest can be found at Joywrite. Follow the link in the title. Enjoy!

To paraphrase Shakespeare: “What’s in a name? A job by any other name is still a job.” That may be so, but there are some jobs which have titles which are veritable misnomers. Take babysitting. For the uninitiated the word conjures up visions of sitting in a rocking chair watching TV while the baby sleeps blissfully in his crib. The most strenuous thing they imagine might be involved is tiptoeing down the hall during commercials to peek at the little angel. These people are the ones who believe that babysitters who charge a dollar per hour are stealing their wages. Ha! I shall quickly disabuse them of this crass misconception. The term babysitting is very misleading. In the first place it is not always a baby and in the second place there is very little sitting involved--unless one were to consider sitting on the baby!

A good example of this would be my first babysitting job. I was just eleven. He was just four. His mother, our neighbor, was just stepping across the street to the store. She’d be right back. His name was Thumper--this was the Bambi generation--and all I had to do was watch him to make sure he didn’t run out into the four-lane street, or into the house except to use the bathroom, or wander onto the high-school parking lot adjacent to the backyard.

I took my duty very seriously that day. I watched Thumper ride his trike up and down the driveway, never more than half a dozen paces behind him. I watched him turn summersaults. After showing him how, I watched him stand on his head. And I watched him draw with a purple crayon all over the side of their white stucco house. I was very gullible in those days. I believed everything everybody ever told me. I believed Thumper when he said his Mommy wouldn’t care. Well his Mommy must have had his number because she told him, “Wait til you father gets home!” But she told me, “Wait til I get my purse.” He got a piece of her mind. I got a quarter and a big piece of watermelon. These were the days sitters got fifty cents an hour and watermelon cost two cents a pound. I guess the important thing was that I hadn’t watched him run into the street. Let me point out for the obtuse: I never once sat down!

I was somewhat older and somewhat wiser when I took on a family of four rambunctious kids between the ages of ten years and ten months.....


continue reading >>>>>

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Friday, July 29, 2005

Emerson Whispering Sweet Somethings In Einstein's Ear

This was the introductory essay I wrote for Joyread Reflections, what was supposed to be an occassional rumminating on the work & the wonder of encountering the world in story & the story of the world via multitudes of voices over millennia. Sadly I haven't written or posted a new one...well for years. I do have two in the works which I intend to post to Joyread in the next couple weeks. Both of them were recent posts on Joystory. Recent as in this summer anyway.

Again this is a teaser:

For as long as I can remember, I have been defending, explaining or justifying my reading habits to someone. And here I go again. When I was little more than a toddler, I would carry stacks of my picture books with me from room to room. My Dad would ask, Why do you need so many? I couldn't articulate an answer then. All I could do was hug the stack to my chest and shrug. I remember times I would make two or three trips from my room to the living room couch. I would climb onto the couch next to the pile of books and I would lose myself in them for hours. I loved to have several opened at once. Even then I knew the power of letting my books talk to one another. I would introduce Little Red Riding Hood to the Three Little Pigs. I would see The Gingerbread Man off on the yellow brick road. And Goldilocks had great fun with Christopher Robin and Pooh.

I reveled in the sensory pleasure of the physical books as well as in the stories. I loved to caress the pages. The different textures thrilled me. As did the variety of sizes from the size of my three-year-old hand to too big for my lap. To hold a closed book and slowly open it was just like opening a present. And every book had its own smell which rivaled all others for my affections. The only smell I liked better than the smell of a brand new book is that of a just bathed baby.

...continue reading >>>

Yes. It's shameless self-promotion.

Oh and there is one difference between now and the time I wrote this...the two libraries I have been a patron of since then did not impose 40 item limits. In fact they did not impose any limit at all. At Sunnyvale, CA between late 99 mid 01 I was pushing 80 items consistently. Here at Phoenix, OR, I thought I was averaging in that same range but the last time the librarian called my attention to it...I had out 120 items, of which 15 were for my husband and 5 were audio/visual media.

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LEAVE ME BEHIND PLEASE!

As an addendum to the previous post I will speak here of the Left Behind series. I will never review them either here or in Joyread for I would rather kiss a venomous serpent than open the covers of one of these books. I have read a few excerpts in reviews on line. And no, I won't provide the links. It was bad enough that I increased their stats by my visit. I won't be responsible for sending even one more their way.

I once listened to my Dad reading a paragraph aloud with a certain glee that sent shivers down my spine. This is the same man who rarely--nearly never--bought books when I was growing up. Yet he bought every one of these. And I confess that if these books had come out when I was a teenager or even in my twenties I would have been as eager for them as any other fundie. I devoured similar fare in the seventies and I once did such a good job of depicting the terrors of the Tribulation Age and Apocalypse in bedtime stories related to my six-year-old sister and her sleepover friend that her friend's mother never let her spend the night again.

Now I shudder at those memories and become nearly apoplectic when contemplating the thesis of these stories. For if the Jesus depicted in these books is the true Jesus he can have his hell and eat it too. There is no way I could trust, praise, worship, or obey such an entity. His hell would be preferable to his presence. If that image of a Jesus triumphant as one who points at evildoers to inflict torturous plagues that melt their flesh off their bones as they scream, points at the ground under their feet so that it opens up and swallows them screaming, into a lake of fire--if that is the ultimate truth about him…well, if that is not evil incarnate nothing is. And if that is the same Jesus who once proclaimed that God is Love, there is no Hope in the Cosmos. And if the slavering throngs who read these stories and fancy themselves to be among the saved whose role is to be the cheering throng accompanying this devil god’s victorious return and exulting in the vicious revenge of a master sadist, then please, please, please leave me behind!

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Darby's Delusion

I find it so frustrating that the discussion about the Israel/Palestine conflict is so fraught with words that explode the dialog on contact. Why is it that for any other ethnic group, the Progressives can call a bully a bully without being accused of anti-(insert ethnic tag here). But when talking about Israel, we have to tip-toe around the truth and still we get accused of anti-Semitism for casting any aspersions on the blatantly abusive behaviors of certain individuals and the blatantly counter-productive policies of the Israeli government?

I know there are a lot of tangled threads in this intricate web, a long history fraught with misunderstandings and outright betrayal on all sides. And I say 'all sides' because it is at least three. The three Peoples of the Book. But the thread I am most concerned with here is the thread that I've had the most personal experience with. I used to be an avid weaver with this thread and now I wish to do what I can to unweave it, tear it out and hopefully wipe the cobwebs from the eyes of some who still hope to weave the tapestry of a future based on the doctrines of the Fundamentalist Dispensational Pre-Millennium Theology. One of the most insidious of their beliefs is that all attempts to broker a peace between Israel and the Palestinians are doomed to failure because the prophecies say so and since this is so, any attempt to try anyway is working in opposition to God's Will.

I reject this proposition because when Jesus said 'blessed are the peacemakers' he did not exclude the land of Israel from the jurisdiction of those peacemakers. He did not give them permission to give up just because multiple attempts fail. He did not say that when efforts at peacemaking fail then it is ok to put our faith in the bullets, bombs and barbed-wire of the bullies instead. Nor would he have upheld peacemaking as a standard to aim for while putting a hold on any peacemaking in the land of Israel because God had marked them for perpetual conflict until some fore-ordained day, millennia in the future. If he had he would not be the Prince of Peace nor would he be my Lord.

If I have not been clear about this before, if I have tended to beat around the bush because I fear giving offence, I must be clear now. I believe that the Dispensational Theology is one of the most evil philosophies ever invented by men. It has NOTHING to do with the Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount or Galatians' Fruits of the Spirit and thus NOTHING to do with God, Jesus or the Gospel. Thus I want nothing further to do with any of it or any of its modern day propagandists. It was the fantasy of a pathologically hate filled and paranoid man named Darby less than two hundred years ago and has been the source of a mental virus spawning hate and fear and apathy ever since. Jesus said, 'by their fruits you shall know them' and thus I know this ideology to be evil.

Jesus is not a respecter of persons. He said it would be better for a man to have a millstone hung on his neck and be dropped into the lake than for him to harm a little child! It would not be ok with him to see one child treated with dignity and respect while another child is treated with contempt and discarded like garbage only because he was born to a different mother with a different ancestor. If I thought this was the Way of Jesus He would not be my Way.
To see that fence going up, cutting across ancient orchards and fields and grazing lands, across highways giving access to markets and thus cutting the people off from their sources of livelihood, the children off from their education--all of the sustenance of the land and the community--creating a de facto ghetto and enforced poverty and idleness; cutting through villages, dividing brother from brother, grandparent from grandchild, cousin from cousin, best friend from best friend...


All of which breeds resentment, anger and despair--the roots of revenge.....

To see all of this and to know as well that it is being made possible by encouragement and funding from our government and even so called 'Christian' organizations is almost too much to bear. Because this makes the only hope of a solution part of the source of the evil itself as two of the three strands in the braid conspire to sabotage any efforts at reconciliation. It gives God, Jesus and the Gospel a bad name among the nations. And if this were God's will and not just a misuse of His name and word--blasphemy in its truest sense--then He would deserve that bad reputation.

When a Christian is encouraged to look at a situation so full of misery, pain, and despair--all deliberately inflicted by one upon another, in the name of their god--and then be comfortable with saying 'Oh well, it is just prophecy being fulfilled.' and further that 'There is nothing we can or should do except maybe give one side the upper hand so as to hasten the Day of the Lord....' If that is not the very definition of evil the concept has no meaning. If such an attitude were condoned by Christ, I would have no confidence in Him. Nor should I.

It took me ten years to extricate my mind from inside that world view and now I am filled with disgust whenever I am brought back in contact with it. For the longest time it spoiled my ability to enjoy reading the scriptures because every verse had been infused with Darby's Delusion. I expect this will shock and disconcert those of you reading this who espouse this view, those who have glommed onto the Tim LaHaye books, those who favor the Schofield Bible. From personal experience I know it is difficult to discard Darby's Loony Lenses when you have been seeing and interpreting all of life through them for decades. But you needn't worry that I don't 'get' the Dispensationalist interpretation. I very much do 'get' it. But I have emphatically rejected it. If I had not it would have destroyed my hope as it destroys the viability of the Gospel, negates the compassion of Jesus and makes a mockery of the Goodness of God. There is no Love in it.

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Homegrown Democrat

The link is to my book review of Garrison Keillor's Homegrown Democrat on my Joyread site.

Here is a teaser:

With his sense of humor intact and burnished with a burning outrage at the desecration of democracy perpetrated by the rabid-rightists--mutant offspring of the miscegenation of religious and wall street absolutism, who are currently dismantling all the institutions sustaining community and thus democracy--Keillor of Lake Woebegone fame, writes an unabashed apologetic for the values and vision of Democrats.

He reminds us that we have democrats to thank for civil rights, clean air, clean water, women’s rights, public education, G.I. Bill, public services like 911, fire, police and EMTs, public parks, public libraries, public transportation, public roads and bridges, the internet, public radio and TV, Social Security for seniors and disabled, American’s with Disabilities Act, public sidewalks, public utilities, public hospitals and much, much more. All of which serves to weave a tight-knit community closely interdependent on one another and thus predisposed to civility and kindness and trust and willingness to serve the community. All this Keillor had firmly believed was rooted in the very same Christian Theology which the Republicans have now co-opted on behalf of their imperative to dismantle each and every one of those civilizing institutions in order to privatize them in the name of power and profit for the few.

Get ready for the new Ownership Society. Only don’t count on being one of the owners. They are a fast shrinking segment of the global population. And once these zealots, through trade agreements, the WTO and the World Bank, have forced America and all other nations to privatize all their public works and abolish their labor movements, the prophets of profit will have yanked on the last thread stabilizing a thriving community....

continue reading

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Brief Hiatus This Weekend

Will be leaving town over the weekend to join my family on vacation near Bend, Oregon. My parents, my sister and her son, my brother and his wife and four kids and myself are getting together for what may be the last time as my Dad may be loosing his battle with cancer. I am the only one who lives too far away for regular visits. So for me, this may be good-bye. I have not seen any of them since I was in Longview, Washington the week of my Dad's surgery in May of last year. My brother and family are driving to Phoenix from Portland Saturday morning to pick me up and then we will be driving the route past Crater Lake up to Three Sisters. The attraction there that would induce my Dad to choose a desert in late July, during a heat wave as the place to stage this, is a horse ranch that my brother's eldest daughter read a book about. She adores horses. This ranch, whose name I will relate here when I get back as they didn't tell me over the phone, take in abused, neglected and abandoned horses and pair them up with abused, neglected and abandoned young people. The bonding between them works healing miracles on both child and equine. Or so I am told. They say they will bring the book for me to read while there. Dad says you have to read it through your tears.

My parents had thought to try to arrange a visit to this ranch for their granddaughter around the time of her birthday in June but they didn't get it done. The recent test results that reveal the rapid advance of the cancer again galvanized them into making the arrangements. We will be celebrating my parent's 50th aniversary as well. In fact, my brother and three of his kids as well as my sister and her son all have birthdays between the first week of June and the last week of August. My parent's anniversary is August 7th. So this visit will be an odd amalgam of celebration and good-bye.

I haven't decided whether I am going to just leave Joystory without posts for the durration or what. I have considered saving several posts as drafts and having my husband post them for me one at a time each morning. I have considered creating a post comprised mainly of links to several of my favorite posts from the last nine months since I had nearly zero audience until this past week when I began to promote. Reading those posts--mostly the ones with predominately autobiographical elements that shed light on my particular reactions to current events--would keep you busy for several days and give you a clearer understanding of just who it is that is talking to you here.

OK. It's been twenty some hours since I wrote this and saved as Draft. I've decided that I'm going to flood Joystory with posts between now and Saturday morning: several new essays I had in the works and got polishe up last night, a book review or two, links to previous posts as I mentioned above and a surprise or two. Should keep you all busy.

love joy peace

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Invisible Library

"The Invisible Library is a collection of books that only appear in other books. Within the library's catalog you will find imaginary books, pseudobiblia, artifictions, fabled tomes, libris phantastica, and all manner of books unwritten, unread, unpublished, and unfound."

What were the names of the books written by the fictional character in Jorge Luis Borges' Examination of the Work of Herbert Quain?

And what about the novel written by Jo March in Lousia May Alcott's Little Women

Or, what was the full title of the book written by Jude Mason in A.S. Byatt's novel The Babel Tower?

What was the alternate title of The Mousetrap, the play Hamlet produced in William Shakespeare's Hamlet?

These and many other such questions can be answered at The Invisible Library

If you know of any fictional titles and their authors that are not in this catalog, the Librarian welcomes submissions. Contact info among other useful and intersting things and links can be found in the Librarian's Office

Meanwhile, just for kicks, visit the Librarian's other website which he created during one of Invisible Libraries enforced downtimes--you know, those pesky technical difficulties. Anyway Fuddlefog is just a collection of fun, mostly visual humor and except for the T-shirt pages (fair warning) family friendly. Check out this page especially: How long did it take you to get it?

But be sure and pop back over to Joystory. If not immedieately, then latter today as I'm planning multiple posts over the next several hours and several more again tomorrow night in anticipation of a brief hiatus over the week-end. Have to give my fledgling audience something to keep coming back for. I've only been promoting for ten days and it has made a difference. Going from an average of zero reader's per day to an average of 5+ may not seem like much to those of you with reader's in the hundreds per day but it is gratifying just to know that I'm no longer writing into the echo chamber of my heart.

Three of you have identified yourselves to me and thanked me in the last month. I thank you for that. Is it OK if this makes me happy?

Hat tip to Suzzane at misccubed for the nod toward The Invisible Library. Yes, Suzzane was one of the three. And the first to blogroll me on her site. I will soon be doing the same for misccubed where she writes with humor and insight on misc things including books and reading, motherhood and music, history, philosophy, peace and religion (of the Unitarian-Pluralism leaning).

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Thursday, July 28, 2005

Draining Democracy's Lifeblood

The more I peruse the chatter on the net about the various issues, events and topics--from the Plame outing to the Gitmo and Abu Ghraib scandals, from the hunt for WMD in Iraq to the hunt for terrorists world-wide, from tort reform to Social Security reform, from bankrupt ethics among holders of power to passage of the bankruptcy bill, from CAFTA to SCOTUS--it is becoming more and more clear to me that the real story is being left untold. Because the real story is about the failure--the abysmal failure of the storytellers themselves. From Dan Rather to O'Rielly, Bob Novak to Judith Miller and even sad to say Bob Woodward himself the one time holy warrior for Truth (or was that a mistaken impression and it was really only ever about having access to power and snagging a headline even then?)--it has become clear that the state of journalism itself is the story. The story that encompasses all the rest. But who will tell the story of the storytellers co-opted by the corrupt, living in the illusion, drafted by the deceivers, and embedded in the heart of darkness?

I must confess here that I have almost completely stopped watching or reading any of the MSM sources. CNN lost me with their coverage of the election and post-election and the final straw was their obsessive to the point of monotonous coverage of the Tsunami for in comparing that to their parsimonious and biased coverage of the quite similar traumas--similar in quantity and quality--of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, I understood that it was more about the entertainment factor than it was about fact. NYT, Washington Post and L. A. Times lost me for good when they turned the story of Valerie Plame's outing into a story about protecting their own turfdom instead of about the abuse of power and the assault on truth which it really is.

So sometime in January or early February I stopped cold turkey with all of them. At least in their original format. I catch the excerpts quoted on the blogs and on some of the alterative media web sites. I read those sites that parse the MSM reporting, line by line and remind us of the context and of the history and of the agenda's of the various players. Sites like
CJR, TPM, FAIR, Media Matters, Project Censored, Take Back the Media, Public Eye, Mother Jonesand The Center for Public Integrity among others--many others so don't assume just because it isn't listed that I don't endorse it. Sorry bloggers for only included two blogs but there are just so many of you that are doing good work in this arena! And I do believe you are the hope of the nation, the battalions on the barricades against totalitarianism. But you too need to learn where the pitfalls are that your elder brothers in arms have fallen into. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Pardon the cliché but it fits like the glass slipper on Cinderella's foot.

I understand the special exigencies of the blogosphere--the off the cuff format favored by bloggers, the beat the clock urgency to get posted, and the often polemical partisan dueling by the various mouthpieces of ideology--all of which infuses the discussions with energy and a kind of car-wreck fascination and is garnering the very thing that is necessary to compete with the establishment media: the riveted attention of great numbers of citizens both here and abroad. But if you don't remember that your role is predicated on revealing truth to the voters, you too will have succumbed to the fate of the MSM. Substantiation of facts can be a difficult task but it is a duty for anyone publishing information in a democracy. For dependable information is a democracy’s lifeblood. Information is what informed voter’s depend on to make their choices. If the information is not dependable the voter’s choices are corrupted.

Today’s media is not fulfilling its duty. It is full of lazy research--‘facts’ supplied by partisan groups or individuals with unstated agendas, printed without vetting and the conclusions and opinions reported without commenting or analyzing the logical fallacies contained in them. Today’s ‘journalist’s’ are too dependent on being spoon fed by their sources. The White House. A lobby. A think tank. A Congress Person. The Pentagon. The State Department. A CEO. Investigative journalism is dying a slow death with its budgets being cut and its stories being pre-empted by salacious gossip, celebrity fawning and sensational coverage of missing blue-eyed blonds. And worst of all, the daily news presentation has lost its context entirely. All events are embedded in a history, whether that history began in the last minute or the last millennium and even reporting of facts can be misleading if they are not put in their proper context. Many of the MSM reporters and anchors think all they have to do is find someone who disagrees with someone else and pit their quotes against each other and that amounts to balanced reporting which has currently replaced unbiased, factual reporting as the epitome of journalistic rigor. Whatever happened to Truth being the gold standard?

There needs to be more open discussion of the role the media plays in the forming of public consensus, of the techniques of propaganda and how to test the sources of information for reliability. An awareness of these issues can serve as an inoculation against the insidious manipulative power of propaganda. It can give the public the wherewithal to hold accountable that institution which is charged with the serious task of keeping a large enough sector of society well and accurately informed about the issues that affect their lives and about the holders of power who regulate the minutia of their lives so that they can then hold the abusers of power accountable via the ballot box and the court of law. But when all the main sources of information become just another tool in the hands of arrogant authority, they have betrayed that sacred trust and endangered the very democracy which created and upheld them as essential to the preservation of our liberty. And in so doing they have forfeited our trust. Who will hold them accountable, if not the consumers of their fare? Thus it is incumbent on all consumers of information to become aware of the ways and means of the manipulation of information and thus less susceptible to the manipulation of their minds. For an awareness of the manipulation makes it less likely to be effective.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Blogging Against Abuse

Just discovered this site so I can't give a well considered review. But if they come anywhere close to fullfilling their stated purpose, they will be a frequent flyback for me:

An archive of information on human rights abuses, prisoner
abuse, and torture committed by the Coalition of the Willing in the Global War
on Terror.


My own interest in this subject is best expressed by this post.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Buzz on Over & Give Kim Kudos

Kim Antieau's blog Furious Spinner contains powerful writing by a seasoned story teller on the themes of myth, fantasy, nature, progressive politics, living with chronic illness, love, vegetarianism, family relationships, poetry, libraries, living on the Columbia Gorge & the exegencies of the writer's life. With some photo blogging thrown in.

She has written 500,000 words on FS in the last two years and none of it is boring. None of it is irrelevant. She is also a published author with five books published and three more in the post-acceptance pipeline, several more in rough-draft stages. She is also very good at the political rant from the Progressive world view. She writes unabashedly from a heart big enough to cradle the world.

But she has just gone on indefinite hiatus, considering giving up blogging altogether in order to invest her efforts where there would be more visible evidence of results. This would be a great loss to the Progressive slice of the blogosphere. We can't afford to loose her. Furious Spinner is a gem among blogs! A rare multi-faceted jewel that is creative, intelligent, eccentric, informative, giving, heartfelt, energetic, timely, timeless & well written all in one glittering package.

So if any of this sounds of interest to you, buzz on over and explore. Don't neglect the archives! And if you find anything meaningful, useful, informative or moving pass it along by any means at your disposal. And by all means drop her a line via comments or email.

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Monday, July 25, 2005

Save Wampi

Visit the Save Wampi blog to follow the story of a Maine coon cat who was thrown off the roof of a 8-floor building in NYC on June 4, 2005. This cronicle of his recovery after the surgery on his shattered hind leg is accompanied by lots of pictures. They are also trying to raise funds to help pay for the surgery. Plese go and help if you can. There are link graphics available on the site for those of you with a website or blog and would like to help spread the word.

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

This is the real issue

If the Federalist Society is now vetting all nominations for the courts, how long before the entire accumulation of progressive gains since the Civil War has been whittled down to slivers and blown away by the first gust of hot air from a bloviating pontificator? Just one point to contemplate: these people do not believe the issue of privacy is addressed by the constitution at all and thus is not a right granted us by the constitution. That one dogma of theirs would impact many progressive agendas.

Learn about their agenda and then start advocating for the debalkinization of the Progressive/Liberal/Left leaning agenda into its myriad of single-issure, obsessive-compulsive, militant, tunnel-visioned, people who cannot see the fact that, divided we are already conquered. We must learn to coordinate and cooperate as well as the Right has been doing for the last thirty years. We must develop the thinkers who are able to see the overall pattern into which their favorite issue fits and are then able to articulate that to others in such a way that they grasp all the implications.

They have weakened or rolled back statutes on civil rights and affirmative
action; voting rights; women¹s rights and abortion rights; workers¹ rights;
prisoners¹ rights; and the rights of consumers, the handicapped, and the
elderly. Add to that the consequences of non-delegation if further extended.
Regulatory oversight by federal agencies would then be kicked back to Congress
and the states--like the power to preserve open pipelines in telecommunications,
to regulate transportation, the drugs we take, the food we eat. Would we really
want elected officials directly responsible for regulating industries that are
also major sources of their campaign funds?

How close is the tipping point? I have this sense of foreboding that it is very near. I hope that is just fatigue.

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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Pity Hearty.

This isn't something I want to make a habit of--iterations of woe magnified by self-pity. But I'm so distracted by these current irritants, I can't think clearly enough to do justice to a more serious topic. Where to begin. Sleep deprivation probably tops the list and probably contributes to all the rest. Trying to juggle my various duties and not skimp on any leads to skimping on sleep. Duties are developing content for and promoting my web sites which entails lots of surfing--without braodband at that! Lost count of the times I've zoned out or flat fell asleep in front of the screen, waiting for pages to load or even while scrolling down them, reading with the mouse on auto-scroll and suddenly realizing I am reading the back of my eyelids which glow like monitors in the dark. Duties also include getting to the library every Friday to return books and pick up the ones I've ordered for myself or my husband; after dinner KP; maintaining the room my husband and I sleep in here at his parent's home; doing our laundry; tending to our two cats. That was typical of the past two years and then last month I added on a new committment to sit with my husband's 91 yr old grandma 7-11pm 3 evenings per week and 2-11 pm on Saturday's. Haven't figuted out how to juggle this new ball without dropping any of the others. So far I havn't dropped the committment to my web work and writing, nor the after dinner KP or tending to our cats. But laundry, room cleaning and sleep have each been repeatedly fumbled.

The sleep deprivation probably contributed to the stumble last Tuesday evening when I kicked into the cast iron duck figurine that serves as a door stop keeping the back door open. I kicked it hard. Thought for a good thirty seconds I had broke my foot. Must have kicked the duck's tail feathers as there is evidence of two points of impact. the whole top of my foot is tender from the base of the toes to the ankle. Bruises are blossoming in shades of pale lavender and majenta. It hurts to wiggle my toes but not excruciatingly so--just irritatingly so, just enough to distract. And I must be careful how I walk. Tho I can put my full considerable weight on the foot, I had best not try to roll forward onto the ball in a healthy walking motion. So I must walk flat footed. And it has swollen at least two shoe sizes. But that is probably at least partly due to the heat wave since the other one has gained at least one shoe size--another element in the iterations of woe. Southern Oregon has had temps in the triple digits for several days in the past week. High nineties on most other days. The heat zaps me. Even tho I sleep thru the worst of it. I wake in a heat stupor in the afternoons that won't alleviate until after the sun goes down. If it stays hot in the house past ten then I'm contending with that as I attempt to tend to web and writing tasks. The heat steals at least twenty IQ points off of me. One for every degree over 85 I estimate.

As if it wasn't bad enough to have one foot screaming for my attention 60/24, I woke up with a welt (probably bug bite) on the top of my right foot the morning after kicking the duck. The itch was so intense it felt like heat on the edge of spontaneous combustion. Not one of the three anti-itch creams touched the level of itch. I could not think of anything but that itch for the first 24 hours after it started. It outpaced the pain in the left foot for number of seconds per minute it had my undivided attention.

Then to add to the torment, I burnt the gums on the right side of my mouth when biting into a freshly nuked burrito. The cheese must have still been bubbly hot. it stuck to my gums like rubber cement. Later the affected gum tissue blistered and peeled. I do all my chewing on the right side as I have four broken teeth on the left side. So this compromised food enjoyment for at least two days.

Anything else? Oh, yes. My cat, Merlin, scratched the top of the same foot I kicked the duck with after I came close to kicking into him where he was sprawled to catch the fan breeze on his belly.

Oh, and did I mention my Dad is dying of cancer?
Got the call from him about the latest evidence of escalation in
metastasizing on Tuesday evening while my foot was still throbbing after kicking the duck.


I think that duck has it in for me.

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Friday, July 22, 2005

The MSM Talking Head & Pundit Glossary

The truth is = I'm blowing smoke up your wazoo.

Quote me on this = if enough of you repeat what I say it will be true by the end of the day.

Let me be perfectly clear = I'm going to stuff your ears with rhetoric until they ring with the clear sound of a church bell and then trust that nobody will want to be the first one to say, Huh?

I'm laying it on the line = I'm betting everything but my paycheck that you don't know I'm not risking anything I haven't already lost (i.e/ integrity, reputation, respect)

Evidence suggests = the fix is in--our think tanks have sponsored the research that has created the evidence we suggested to them we needed.

Everybody knows = anyone within earshot of our orchestra of a thousand and one bull horns in the echo chamber knows what we tell them to know--and if they deny it everybody will then know they are insane--be a ditto head or be a head case.

Anybody got any suggestions for entries in the MSM Glossing Glossary?

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Wisdom of Folly

Just have to share this quote I read in Erasmas' Praise of Folly recently. The entire book is a monolog by the Goddess Folly so Folly is speaking here:

'They all owe a great deal to me, especially any who blot their
pages with unadulterated rubbish. But people who use their
erudition to write for a learned minority and are anxious to have
either Persius or Laelius pass judgment don't seem to me favoured
by fortune but rather to be pitied for their continuous self-torture.
They add, change, remove, lay aside, take up, rephrase, show to
their friends, keep for nine years and are never satisfied. And their
futile reward, a word of praise from a handful of people, they win at
such a cost--so many late nights, such loss of sleep, sweetest of all
things, and so much sweat and anguish. Then their health
deteriorates, their looks are destroyed, they suffer partial or total
blindness, poverty, ill-will, denial of pleasure, premature old age
and early death, and whatever remaining disasters there may be. Yet
the wise* man believes he is compensated for everything if he wins
the approval of one or another purblind scholar.'


Oh dear, I think I am suitably chastised. Tho for me I don't think it is the approval of the modern equivalent of Persius or Laelius that I crave. It is some standard of perfection that I have constructed from a pastiche of sources and an attitude I have acquired by osmosis from encounters with authorities of various stripes and tribes. It is faceless or worse composed of a morphing face that can never be appeased.

This admonition adds weight to an impulse I had recently but so far resisted: To stop holding back my 'better' stuff from my on-line web sites to protect their future money-making potential. Since I have not yet found other ways to insure the survival of my electronic and hardcopy files if something were to happen to both this computer and what is left of my paper portfolio simultaneously--say a fire in this trailer house, posting, if only to password protected files, on Joywrite was beginning to look like the best interim option I have. To make matters worse, I have been unable to print hardcopies for at least eight months as something went wrong with the printer, possibly the paper feed, just after the warranty expired and my husband cannot get his hands on a tech manual for it. But after pondering Folly's scornful portrait of a miserly word-wright, I am reconsidering the option of just putting it all out there and letting the chips fall. The point right now is to cultivate an audience--which is after all the other half of the equation. A creative work is incomplete without an observer. And for the creator and observer to be one and the same--well that is about the most incestuous concept imaginable. Even God could not bear it.


* 'wise' is not a complement on the lips of Folly.

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John Roberts: This clenches it for me!

If our society is prepared to treat city ordinance infractions as felonies if the perp is a minor then I guess we deserve a Judge like Roberts. But America will not long embody the aspirations of its founders if our Constitutional interpreters condone such draconian policies. It's bad enough that the local authorities whether city councils or school boards see nothing wrong with imposing such 'zero tolerence' policies in which the discretion of the individuals on the scene to react to the unique situation and the unique individuals involved is removed in the name of 'fairness' or 'procedure' so that you end up with small children, handcuffed in the back seat of police cars, strip searched and spending hours in close proximity to truely dangerous criminals. But if the highest court in the land becomes unable to see the violation of Constitutional principles in these cases, then the American Dream will cease to be about Liberty and Equality and Fairness and will instead be about Law and Order and Efficiency.

But maybe it is the case that the majority of Americans now have more of an affinity with the latter than the former. If so then they--we--need to name it for what it is and admit that the Great Experiment in Demcracy that began 229 years ago has gasped its last gasp for only a totalitarian government can impose such a regime. Oh, but I do hope it is not the case. Surely more than 20% of Americans would still be as outraged as I am by these scenarios. And at least another 33% should be mildly to moderately dismayed by it.

(Here is another 'zero tolerence' case that embodies gross injustice, this time involving and adult--tho the fallout affects his children as well. That is four that I have encountered in the last six months. I would like to enlist my reader's help in collecting more examples of these kinds of stories. If you know of any you can give me the references or links in the comments or via email--see sidebar)

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Imagine That!

Was reading Mathew Fox's Creativity and want to pass on here an
anecdote he related. Well two actually but it is the juxtaposing of
them that makes his point. Somewhere in New Hampshire in the
1990's a school board commandeered by religious
Fundamentalists banished the word 'imagination' from the entire
curriculum, pronouncing it a tool of the devil. And somewhere on the
west coast at a prominent Liberal Arts school, a Ph. D. thesis
committee overseeing a doctoral candidate's thesis on D. H.
Lawrence
, forbid the use of the word 'imagination' because it was
considered a 'romantic' idea--as in 'of the romantic era of literature'
and thus supposedly not relevant to D. H. Lawrence's era.


Does it matter that one committee considered imagination a poison
corrupting our culture, while the other thought it passé and beneath
a cultured person's contempt? Keeping in mind, Orwell's warning
in his novel, 1984, that the removal of words from our vocabulary is
the first step in removing the concepts from our consciousness, let's
get this straight: A cadre of religious Fundamentalists on the east
coast and a committee of 'liberal' lit-crit profs on the west
coast--supposedly sworn ideological enemies--are in agreement
that the word imagination must be struck from our vocabulary.

Imagine that!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

John Roberts for SCOTUS

Can't say much of substance about this guy as I never heard of him before last night. My first reaction was relief that it wasn't Gonzales. I could have ranted for hours & hours over him.

My first thought when seeing this was that he looked way too young to have acquired the wisdom for such a gravatis position. And then that he looked way too slick and way too silver screen. Like I said, no substance. But if Shakespeare's Sister is correct that he is a party power player a la Rove...we could be in big trouble. As big or bigger than if it had been a Scalia clone.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Phoenix Feather 2

I've been dithering about how to handle my Phoenix Feather link list. Should I add them one at a time? Maybe once a week? Something like Friday Feather blogging? or Should I put up a dozen at a time until I exhaust my very long list of elligible sites? A list so long that it could support its own site. But I don't have the time to create and mangage a fourth site. At least until I get my laptop and 24/7 access to the web--preferably broadband. I still haven't decided. But an urgent situation came up again, similar to the one that prompted me to start the Phoenix Feather list with ONE just before the G8. This time the urgency relates to the erosion of our liberties here in America and the fact that one of the bulwarks against their loss has found itself under seige--under surveillance by the FBI along with a number of other Left and Progressive organizations and groups. Thus I am moved to promote the ACLU and its indefatigable efforts on behalf of civil liberty. I have always appreciated their support for Freedom of speech and assembly, separation of Church and State and ethnic equality before the law. But the last couple years they have been doing some remarkable and courageous work documenting and publicizing the abuse of prisioners at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition and other issues related to taking and holding indiviuals in custody. They have also worked hard to encourage repudiation of the Patriot Act--their documenting of the myriad of abuses in the short time of its existence has gone a long way toward building a bi-partisan backlash against this once popular act.

As a resource for getting informed on the isues relating to civil liberties, the ACLU has few if any peers. But it is also a resource for getting involved. The latest forum is the creation of a blog to keep abreast of developments regarding the current bills before Congress for renewing or revising the Patriot Act which is due to expire at the end of this year. The urgency regarding this cannot be overstated.

Hat tip to Pam's House Blend via Shakespeare's Sister

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Monday, July 18, 2005

When the Parallels Fit

I am not Paranoid! I am not name calling. I am not the only one.

When it walks like a
Talks like a
Rules like a
Reasons like a

Say it with me now

Fascist

And fools refuse to name it
Because they think it's just a dirty word
Good only for namecalling

Then soon reason, withering, will die
Fools will be ruled by fear-spawning lies
Truth-talk in chains will walk the plank

The following is exerpted from an article by Chip Berlet on Public Eye. Follow the link below and read the whole article.

Fascism and Nazism as ideologies involve, to varying degrees, some of the
following hallmarks:

Nationalism and super-patriotism with a sense of historic mission.

Aggressive militarism even to the extent of glorifying war as good for the national or individual spirit.

Use of violence or threats of violence to impose views on others (fascism and Nazism both employed street violence and state violence at different moments in their development).

Authoritarian reliance on a leader or elite not constitutionally responsible
to an electorate.

Cult of personality around a charismatic leader.

Reaction against the values of Modernism, usually with emotional attacks
against both liberalism and communism.

Exhortations for the homogeneous masses of common folk (Volkish in German, Populist in the U.S.) to join voluntarily in a heroic mission--often metaphysical and romanticized in character.

Dehumanization and scapegoating of the enemy--seeing the enemy as
an inferior or subhuman force, perhaps involved in a conspiracy that justifies
eradicating them.

The self image of being a superior form of social organization beyond socialism, capitalism and democracy.

Elements of national socialist ideological roots, for example, ostensible support for the industrial working class or farmers; but ultimately, the forging of an alliance
with an elite sector of society.

Abandonment of any consistent ideology in a drive for state power.

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Peeved With My Pets

Had great plans for this session. Always do and they always get flummoxed in some way. This time it was by my two cats. Gremlin and Merlin. I don't know which one was responsible but I strongly suspect Gremlin because she was so aptly named. Wish I could post pictures but I don't have access to a digital camera or any other way of taking pictures and then getting them scanned into the computer. But oh what a picture I could have taken last night. Or rather this morning. Well, just before one this Sunday morning which was still last night for me--actually it is still tonight for me since I haven't been to bed. Geez it is hard to talk about time when keeping a schedule like the one I keep. My work day starts between 10pm and midnight most days and is wrapping up between dawn and eight most mornigs so talking about events that happened before and during and those I expect to happen after...well I get the tongue of my thoughts all tangled with the syntax and.....anyway I digress as usual. Am too tired to be doing this.

Too tired because I didn't get enough sleep Saturday before I had to be over to my husband's Grandma's to sit with her while the family went to the dirt-track races. Too tired because we are having a heat-wave this week--temps in the high 90s and nudging over 100. Heat zaps me at the best of times and that is not these. Too tired because I spent the day in an environment which I had little control over, especially over noise level. With the cooler on at Grandma's the TV has to be very loud for us to hear it. And then when we try to talk we have to practically yell and there is a lot of 'what?' and cupped ears being exchanged. I often have to get up and cross the room to hear and be heard. Tiring. Not so much the crossing the room but the noise level itself and the constant state of anxiety it puts me in.

As tired as I was all day though, I continued to anticipate the night's work session with enthusiasm. I had finally, over the past week or so gotten my nerve up to get serious about promoting my sites and I had several site promotion plans I hoped to implement this session. Beginning with the acquiring of a site meter so that I could track the results. I was so hoping to get started by midnight. And the expectation wasn't too out there since the races are supposed to be over at eleven so they usually pick me up by eleven-thirty. But this time it was well after midnight before we got home and it typically takes fifteen to twenty minutes for the rest of the family to wind down and head off to bed, leaving the living-room and thus the computer to me. But I was unable to get started even that soon as I was confronted by a disaster in our room when I went in to greet my babies who had been left alone for almost eleven hours. Part of my makeshift book shelf had collapsed, spilling dozens of books onto the floor in the narrow pathway between the cardboard box shelves and the bed. Mixed in with the books were a lot of misc. stuff that had been set in and among the books--from Q-tips to nail clippers; tissues to tweezers, cough drops to calculator; book marks to notebooks; ear plugs to erasers; pencils and pens to coins and chocolate; eyeglasses to magnifying glasses; photos to nail-files....

Some of it had been organized, some of it had not. There had been a catchall tray for those odds and ends which had got dumped and a mini-gift-bag that held about a hundred book marks organized by height that had spilled. A pair of stackable desk trays with magazines, notebooks, papers and clipboards which had perched on top of the box that held the books spewed its contents all over the top of the mess like an avalanche layered over an avalanche.

The room was still a sauna, the light in there is equivalent to sixy watts which is for me like less than forty watts for most people. The cats attempted to help. Gremlin by jumping on my back as I bent over the mess; Merlin by wending a figure eight around my feet, binding my ankles with his leash. I got most of the stuff picked up and piled on the bed while enduring ther 'help' but there was no way I was going to be able to put it all back together with them walking all over the stuff and me. But I had to wait until my husband's folks headed to bed before I could leave the cats in his custody in the livingroom. And this of all nights they hung out for over half an hour. I think my father-in-law had got started in a poker game on TV. Anyway, it was after two before I got sat down at the computer.

At least I got the site meter posted and working. But I wasn't able to do any of the things to encourage visitors so it won't have much to do yet. Plus I had a completely different post planned for this session and that will have to wait. Gotta sign off now. Just ran out of time.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Pet Peeves

Is there anything more frustrating than to be working merrily away online with multiple windows open on the task bar (AOL with multiple emails to and from plus a browser window or three, 5 plus IE browser windows including blogger create post and blogs and articles I'm intending to link to, several Word documents for reference or cut and paste procedures, two or three MS Works Project files for keeping even more documents lined up for the next intended task or unexpected need, the My Computer window for quick browsing for even more documents, a WYSIWYG with multiple files open and that all important game usually in progress left at the ready for the next five or ten minute breather) when all of the sudden there pops up a dialog box informing you that Automatic Updates has just completed new updates and must restart the computer to activate them. You are given two choices: Restart Now or Restart Later. If you don't choose one, the five-minute countdown progresses and the restart will commence regardless of your preference. Hecate help you if you happened to have stepped away from the computer just before that dang dialog box appears. But your only other option--Restart Later--is little better as this only gives you a five minute breather before the dang box pops back up with its infernal choices which are really no choice at all. You either use that five minutes to save work and close all those windows and prepare for the restart or you use them to continue doing what you were doing and hope you aren't doing anything that takes your attention away from the center of the screen when the box pops up again. I tend to continue doing what I was doing, trying to finish each task represented by each open window, knowing my predilection for distractibility--that when I don't finish a task embarked upon while my fickle attention is focused on it, I may never finish it at all.

So there I am busily working at a number of intricately inter-related tasks with an attention span that is fragile at best and some autocratic computer program decides that its needs take precedence. It makes me feel as though I am still in grade school where the teacher directs you every hour to clear your desk of whatever project or subject and pull out the materials for the next one. I always hated that. This is even worse as it is faceless and implacable--there is no person to appeal to and no appeals process. When did it become OK for computer programmers to create applications that treat their users as grade-school children or worse, like imbeciles who can't be expected to follow a simple instruction--say "We suggest you restart your computer at your earliest convenience."

My agitation about this is partly--and not an insignificant part--related to my need for control and my current circumstances that so circumscribe my control over things most adults are expected to have control over. This leaves me sensitive to any sense of being infantilized. And this definitely qualifies as that. But it is also about the need to make every second I have access to this computer count--and count many-fold. With dozens of projects in various stages of completion, many related to one or more of my three web sites (see sidebar: Joy Renee on the Web), some related to editing I am doing for someone else, and lets not forget emails to read and write--with all of that and more and only 6-8 hours of access to the computer each night, I can't afford to have any of that time commandeered.

My time on the computer has been constrained even more by new circumstances in the past two months. I don't remember if I've ever mentioned in a post here that I was anticipating the coming of spring and the opening of the dirt-track racing season in April, because I could count on twelve extra hours on the computer every Saturday and an occasional Friday or Monday. I stay home alone by choice as there is nothing about the races that appeal to me and much that triggers my anxieties--noise, crowds, heat, dust. My visual impairment makes it impossible for me to follow the action and my hearing impairment makes it impossible for me to follow my husband's attempts to explain what I just missed. I went one time so that I would be able to visualize the track, the cars, the pit, the concession stands, the announcer's booth, the stands etc. while listening to the family discussing the events or my husband's enthusiastic play by play delivery after arriving home near midnight. For the last three seasons I made good use of these days to get my chores done--laundry and cleaning our room--and to work and play on the computer. I would often be on the computer from three Saturday afternoon all the way until eight o'clock the next morning because everybody slept in. Of course, between three and nine, I was intermittently interrupted by chores. And I would have to come off line between ten and midnight just in case there was a need to contact me. There never was but...

Anyway. The point of all this is that I had been anticipating and counting on these race days all winter since it would have been the first race season since I had put up my web sites last November. Then the entire month of April and half of May, the races were preempted by weather. And just when the weather got its seasonal act together something else came up that had to take precedence over my time on the computer and even my chores. When it became obvious that my husband's elderly paternal grandmother--she turned 91 last week--could no longer be left alone for fear she would fall or forget she had turned on the stove, I offered to sit with her whenever no one else could. My husband's sister lives with her and does the cleaning and cooking but she also has a job--and a social life. My husband's father would cover for her, sitting with his mother for hours every day. But his daughter's work schedule was all over the clock and the late nights were stressful for someone used to early to bed and early to rise--especially for a senior citizen with health issues of his own. So I had been offering for weeks to fill in but it wasn't until Ed's sister's schedule changed to make her unavailable on Saturday afternoon and evening that my offer was accepted.


But not just Saturday. As it developed, I began to take on the evenings 7-11:30+ on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday as well. Thus on four out of seven evenings I get a one to two hour later start on my computer sessions. I am happy to do it. I am even grateful for the opportunity to contribute. But this makes my time on the computer even more valuable than before. I was compensating by giving up some, even most, of my game playing. And by stretching my time past six on towards and often past nine in the morning. I would have to come off line by seven to make the phone available but there was still plenty to do. Plus the early morning after everyone was up was the best opportunity for me to get laundry done. I can only get one and at most two loads done before it is necessary to go to bed if I want to have a session the following evening. Which means I need to do that two or three times a week.

But messing with my sleep schedule is never the wisest thing for someone who has intractable insomnia--difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep and getting back to sleep. I was becoming seriously sleep deprived and last week it caught up with me. I started falling asleep in front of the computer, losing twenty minutes here, forty there and then last Saturday grogginess forced me to give up at four, losing a potential four more hours and Sunday night, two involuntary two hour naps stole most of that session away. Monday was a special race day so I had to be awake three hours sooner than usual and lost another hour to the sandman on Monday night's session. I finally gave in to the inevitable and went to bed at four Tuesday morning and slept until three.

So I was finally well rested and anticipating a very productive catch-up session Tuesday night. Had just gotten into the rhythm of it about ninety minutes after logging on line when the dang #$%^&$# dialog box popped up. This was even more demoralizing because I had thought the problem had been fixed by my husband several weeks ago after the Restart Imperative had stolen two sessions in a row from me. It was bad enough sharing the CPU time with the darn update protocol but having the Restart threat foisted every five minutes by the nagging program was just too much. And two nights in a row???!! I was nearly apoplectic. So my husband who is our in-house techie, whose responsibility is to manage just such tasks as updates and their implementation, went into the applications to reset preferences. He thought he'd got them all but apparently not. He says tho that he has gotten all of those which reside on the computer. Which leaves only one possible culprit. Dare I speak the name? No telling when one can get in trouble for criticizing mega companies these days. Suffice it to say their name is mentioned in another, safer context early in this post.

Now that I've let this pet peeve steal yet another session away from me, having spent at least four hours composing and editing this post, I better get this posted while I still have time to get one or two other things done.
.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Calling all Bloggers

Take the MIT Weblog Survey


make your mark while having a lark

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hope for Hope?

This was quoted in a commentary by Russell Sadler on Blue Oregon in which he rumminates on the implications of the this under-reported trend of loyal Republicans abandoning their party. The primary implication for me is a small glimmer of hope. Will the trickle become and avalanche in time for the 06 elections?
The Blue Oregon site itself is also worth checking out. Esspecially if you are an Oregonian or NW Progressive or even in this case, a beleaguered Texan liberal.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Supreme Court - Media Ignore Possible "Fascist" Play

"The new Federalists - Bush's Republicans - clearly fear We The People, and cherish their own power to rule independent of us. And if they can seize control of the Supreme Court before the next elections, their power may become nearly absolute.

Historically, when fascists have come to power they have used either the threat of enemies or social issues to get the people to agree to give them control of all branches of government. When their true agenda - raw power - comes out, it's too late for the people to resist. As Francisco Franco famously said, 'Our regime is [now] based on bayonets and blood, not on hypocritical
elections.'

Thus, the nomination of Gonzales, or another candidate with strong fascistic leanings but no clear abortion record, will probably be trumpeted in the mainstream corporate media as a triumph of 'moderation' on the part of Bush (or a tribute to his 'stubbornness' or his 'loyalty'). In fact, it could mark the end of our 200+ year American experiment in democracy."



Before you shut your ears to warnings about 'fascism', thinking this is just
partisan mud-slinging, be sure you know the true definition of 'fascism' and
how the pattern of behavior of the Bush administration over the last five
years reflects that definition. Both Thom Hartmann and David Neiwert use the term with precision and support their contention with careful analysis.

...the classic definition of the word "fascist" - the definition Mussolini
had in mind when he claimed to have invented the word. (It was actually Italian
philosopher Giovanni Gentile who wrote the entry in the Encyclopedia Italiana
that said: "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it
is a merger of state and corporate power."

See also: When Democracy Failed - The Lessons of History... (Thom's article about the parallels between Bush's administration and Hitler's rise in Germany.) Hartmann's book, Unequal Protection, is a definitive history of corporate imposition of its agenda on American law and policy.

and Neiwert's more extensive definition here: The Architecture of Fascism which is part 2 of a 7 part essay The Rise of Pseudo Fascism which you can download in PDF format off the sidebar of Neiwert's blog, Orcinus, which is itself a compiler of evidence of the rise of intolerence and totalitarian tendencies which are halmarks of fascism. Also available on his sidebar are links to his 4 part essay, "Bush, the Nazis and America". and his 15 part essay, Rush, Newspeak and Fascism: An Exegesis, available in three different formats.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Introducing Phoenix Feathers

Featured in my sidebar is (or will be if I don't run out of time by the time I post this) a link list titled Phoenix Feathers. These are links to organizations who are promoting by word and deed one or more of. those values recognized by all Progressives. Among those values (but not exhausting the list) are freedom, opportunity, prosperity, equity, fairness, community building, honesty, mutual responsibility, cooperation, protection of the vulnerable, stewardship of the environment, hope, peace, tolerance, healthy minds and bodies, ethical business, education, open dialog & recognizing the dignity of each individual.

Why Phoenix Feathers? Because the fact of these organizations existence, the large numbers of them, the tenacity of the values they espouse under seige in these dark times, gives me hope that the Phoenix of Progressivism is rising from the ashes adorned in the resplendant feathers of every individual, community and organization that promotes and lives its values.

I've collected dozens of these URLs in my browser favorites. I will indroduce them one by one in posts like this one. I chose to begin with ONE because it is relevant to the G8 conference in Edinburgh this week and ONE is conducting an urgent signiture drive to present to the policy makers attending. Learn about the ONE campaign's vision for making extreme poverty history and if it fits with your own values, if you feel you can support their vision with mind and heart, then

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Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Independence Day!

Progressives: on this day claim your rightful title as Patriot and proclaim your love for your country with head held high, letting no one, including yourself, deny your right to this just because you do not follow the party line--any pary line.

Any party line that would deny you this has lost the core values nurturing democracy and underpinning the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights--freedom, equality, justice and community. With the loss of any one of these, the grand experiment of government of, by and for the people begun in 1776 will wither on the vine.

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My sidebar links are up and running.

Finally figured it out. Myself. Tho with my husband the code geek sitting two feet away as a ready FAQ whenever I needed to bolster my confidence in my comprehension of the instructions in the Blogger Help article How do I edit my links list?. I probably could have done it while sitting alone in the room afterall, if not for a neurotic need to have confirmation from some kind of authortiy before I committ to an action. Just a common personality quirk? Or more fallout from my Fundamentalist upbringing? Probably some warping combination. Anyway I have a links list now. Tho I don't call it that. So far I have two sections. The first is titled: Joy Renee on the web, and has three (so far) items. The first is my email. The second is to Joywrite, showcasing my stories, poems, essays, Reflections on writing and the writing life, and resources for writers. The third is to Joyread, featuring my reviews of books I've read, Reflections on reading and research, and resources for readers and researchers. Both sites are in their infancy. Especially the resources pages. I've got reams of URLs collected but I've just not got around to creating the HTML pages. Not my favorite part of the process. Witness the fact it took me over four hours to get this task accomplished and the links test drove. One didn't work and I had to go back into the HTML and figure out why. With my living, breathing FAQ long gone to bed.

The second section of my links list is titled Blogs I Haunt. There are only a handful there for now. Will be adding more. Am also planning to add at least two more sections. One for sites I trust for news and analysis of current events. Hint: no MSM. The other a list of organizations with progressive values who are sources of good information and/or outlets for acting on the progressive values in the world. The talk without the walk is naught but chalk dust on the welkin.

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Sunday, July 03, 2005

Write Me


Above is the image of my email. I'm tired of being swamped by spam and got wise to the fact that bots are swarming the web harvesting active email links. The following are links to my web sites:

Joywrite featuring my stories, essays and poems and reflections on writing and creativity

Joyread featuring book reviews and reflections on reading, research and literature.

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Pass Along as a Favor for Doc Mishler

Several months ago I blogged an article about Doc Mishler, the Pilgrim, crossing America on horseback to initiate a dialog among Christians and non-Christians alike about the words of Jesus in the Gospels and their significance for us today. I had left a comment, a very rare thing for me to do, and in that way my @ must have been passed on to doc. For I recieved a plea from him to day, just one of thousands he sent out I'm sure, to pass on a message for him by republishing the copy of the message he delivered to Congress, since no one in the MSM has picked up on it yet.

So I am passing it on as is. It is fairly long but worth it. Especially for anyone having an affinity for the prophetic works in word and deed of Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Biship Tutu, The Dalai Lama or Thich Nhat Hanh as Doc Mishler's courage, conviction and compassion is in a class with theirs.

Doc's plea to me:

Hello Joy,

I am sending you the following message that i delivered to congress through Bread for the World; there are children in the world that are so hungry that God can not appear to them except in the form of bread----What we need is a chain reaction of awareness from person to person to person---can you help?


No one has had the "balls" to publish this; perhaps you, or you may know someone???

Peace, doc

Doc's message to Congress and the world::

From: " LIVING IN THE SADDLE AND SLEEPING AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS"
-----On: WHAT CAN THE GOVERNMENT DO NOW----
Nearly 40 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it best:
"I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin to shift from a "thing-orientated society to a "person-orientated" society. When machines and computers, profit motives, and property rights are considered more important than people, the great triplets of racism, materalism and militarism are incapable of being conquered. This call for a world wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the alter of retaliation. We have committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I am going to continue to say it. And we will not stop it because of our pride and arrogance as a nation. A nation that year after year continues to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Never before has it been possible to feed all the hungry children of the world. Yet, because there is national insecurity, our government is engaged in a mad arms race, spending billions of dollars wastefully on weapons of mass destruction (WMD), while millions of children are starving. And yet, just a fraction of what is expanded on the military budget would enable all of God's children to fill their stomachs. Our president has sprouted a weird concept of security and a warped sense of morality. WMD are sheltered like treasures while children are exposed to starvation. The nature of the evil lies in our cooperation! Money spent on WMD belong to the hungry children.
This is the Christian Horseman from Montana who rode on horseback through your town. Chief Spirit, Faith, Charity, Gooddog and I are wintering in Virginia waiting till spring to ride into DC to talk with our President. Mr. President, what did Jesus say? (For those who are interested and into computers type in doc mishler on any search engine for some of the stories about the journey.)
I wish to personally thank all the wonderful compassionate God loving people that welcomed us with God's love on our journey from Montana through Idaho, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Lousiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennesse, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsyvania, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia. We could not have made it without God and God works through people. All people.
Unfortunately, an air of religious intolerance permeates North America. Many Americans and I am told Canadians equate "Christians" with being kind, decent or good. This implies that non-Christians lack these qualities. Some who call themselves Christians reflect this prejudice. Yet, on this journey I found Christ is love, and in all His created! Praise the Lord. "God is love" (1 John 4:16). This does not contradict His holyness; instead, it compliments and magnifies it and gives it its deepest meaning. The person who does not love does not know God; even love for one's enemies! (Matt. 5:44). True Christians are not judgemental and unloving. They keep in mind that Scripture doesn't command them to go out and rail against false teachings; rather, it encourages them to offer biblical reasons with gentleness and respect (1 Pet. 3:15).
I am especially grateful for the hospitality extended to us in your hometown. I would like to take this opportunity to invite ALL people to e-mail me at doc_mish@hotmail.com and discuss our journey. We can also talk about graduating our government from the Old Testament to the New Testament: What did Jesus say?
The original teachings of Jesus transcend the social conception of life which may be limited by exclusive love of one's family, church family, tribe, nation, race, or even humanity. These socialistic brotherhoods are based on love of personality, but Christian love expands because it is based on the love of God. I find five ideals and commandments of Jesus expressed in the book of Matthew outlined here as a precursor to future elaboration:
1) have no ill-will against anyone, but love all; don't even offend with a word;
2) feed the hungry;
3) live only in the present and don't worry about the future; don't swear and don't promise;
4) never use violence nor repay evil with evil, but suffer insult and give up possessions; and
5) love our enemies and those who hate us by treating them as ourselves...
Using God's love for our foundation premise we conclude with what our government can do now:
From the ancient sages and mystics to modern political activists, the essential reality of peace has not changed. Love for our fellow human beings is superior to hatred and fear. Active nonviolence has been the method of our greatest peacemakers. Philosophers of vision have seen the need for unity of human beings so that differences can be settled by intelligent means. Human civilization is evolving steadily toward a reliance on the Wisdom of God.
What did Jesus say?
The sophistication of scientific technology applied as military force has created an inescapable crises for the human species which must be resolved. To survive, human beings must learn self restraint and less destructive means of resolving conflict.
Not resisting evil with evil is the only way to eliminate evil altogether. It alone makes it possible to tear the evil out by the root, both out of one's own heart and out of the neighbor's heart. This doctrine forbids doing that by which evil is perpetuated and multiplied.
He/She who attacks another and insults them, engenders in another the sentiment of hatred, the root of all evil. To offend another, because they offended us, for the spacious reason of removing an evil, means to repeat an evil deed, both against others and against ourselves.
Therefore it is up to the people to recognize the danger to their lives and demand life-affirming policies from their leaders.
Sanctification of all life: Creation endows all humans with dignity. Moses said that killing humans was wrong because "in the image of God has God made human kind" (Gen. 9:6). God created all human kind (Rev. 4:11). It is by the Grace of and for the Glory of God that we ride...
This is where every person has the opportunity and responsibility to influence the course of our civilization for the good of all.
It does not take a great philosopher to realize that peace in the world would be for the good of all, while war benefits a few at the expense of many.
Some individual government leaders are becoming aware of the true means of peace through active nonviolence. Yet many are still hypnotized by political leaders who use national pride and fear of terrorists to manipulate people for selfish interests.
Over fifty years ago a government leader in Germany said, "Terrorism is the best political weapon, for nothing drives people harder than the fear of sudden death." (As of today over 21,000 wounded U.S. soldiers have been treated at Landstuhl Medical Centre in Germany.) Fear and greed keep the children hungry. Fear weakens the nerves and distorts the judgment.
It is not by fear that humankind must exorcise the demon of destruction and cruelty, but by motives more reasonable, more humane, and more heroic.
Never before has it been possible to feed all the hungry children of the world. Feed the hungry children!
Now that North Korea has admitted that they have been "secretly" experimenting with nuclear weapons (If they had oil we would be poised on the brink of nuclear holocaust), we would be very naive to think that the others in the "axes of evil" don't have or will soon have nuclear weapons.
The threat of nuclear war is to be taken seriously, but it will allow a breathing spell from answering evil with evil against the axes of evil so that better methods can be developed. War can break out suddenly, but peacemaking takes time, patience, education, and communication.
And there is no communication, patience, and education when your children are dying of hunger. There are children in the world that are so hungry that God can't appear to them, except in the form of bread.
The time has come for good people and the goodness in ALL people to rise up and demand that their government feed all the starving children of the world.
Less than two percent of the national budget about 1.25% (10 billion dollars) would feed them all.
Do the math: Eight million people die of hunger or hunger related causes every year, three-fourths of these are children under the age of five. They could all live on less than 2 dollars per day. Two times 365 days equals $730 per year.
Give them each $1000 spread over the year and let them "live it up." One thousand times eight million equals eight billion. The extra two billion would be enough to get the food to them if we didn't buy six hundred dollar toilet seats or five hundred dollar hammers.
These hunger statistics were provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Currently one third of one percent of the national yearly budget goes to foreign aid (about 2 billion dollars), and much of that is for guns. Forty seven percent (now over 400 billion dollars) of the budget is spent on the military, and much of that is spent on weapons of mass destruction. No new money is needed to feed the children: your tax money is being used for WMD! Moneys spent on WMD belongs to the hungry children...
Riding on horseback, I rode by 54 nuclear reactors about 10 miles north east of Arco, ID. These nuclear reactors are not being used to make electricity, in fact many are activly making nuclear isotopes.
The people I talked with are not proud of what they are doing. They fear that if they don't cooperate they will loose their job and woun't be able to feed their children.
The ground at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico is contaminated from testing. We were forced to follow the road and couldn't cut across the land as the crow flies like we often did in other areas on the journey.
We stopped at a guard station to water the horses, and the guard showed us, on monitor, the largest laser in the world. I asked him, "what could the government use that for?"
He said, " sure could kill a lota people with the beam of that big baby." Our government was prepared to retaliate with nuclear weapons and WMD if Iraq had used the WMD that they did not have.
Fear is not a basis for peace. What we ought to fear, especially we Americans, is not that terrorists may drop WMD on us but we may allow our government leaders, acting as our representives, may use such weapons in our name.
It is common knowledge that our government is shifting from disassembly to new assembly of nuclear weapons and biological weapons development all across the country.
The nature of the evil lies in our cooperation with it.
Before political leaders will give up their use of military methods to try to solve problems, enough people must be educated to understand better methods. We will never have peace on earth as long as we keep killing each other's children, but we will when we feed them!
In our hearts, this fundamental truth of love for all is felt even though none of our biological children will die of hunger.
You, who are reading this, are probably more enlightened on these points than most. Those who truly realize that love and understanding are more effective than hatred and force are the people who will be changing the world for the better by communicating and educating others.
As Einstein clearly saw, what is needed is a chain reaction of awareness from person to person to person. You too have a dream: that age-old dream of saints and sages--the great commonwealth of the World as the visible embodiment of the brotherhood of human kind.
Even the smallest person can change the course of the future! All things start small...
If a present day prophet were to lead the masses to peace by way of God's love, they would speak as one human being to another. With the power of the law of love and the gentleness of the Gospel, they would speak thus: Patriotism is nobel, insofar as it approaches that which is humane, but the very reverse the further it is removed therefrom.
"We don't do body counts," as General Tommy Franks, a good man trained to lead men to kill or be killed performing his duty, put it. 100,000 Iraqi deaths in this war (although, this is on the scale of the death toll after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima), at the hands of US and coalition forces, are hardly news. (Our government rejects this research. Sure we can trust our government, just ask any Native American Indian).
The Bible commands obedience to the government (Rom. 13:1; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13), but civil disobedience is just when the government attempts to compel unrighteousness (Exodus 5; Dan. 3,6; Rev. 13). Creation endows humans with dignity. Worship and serve ONLY the Creator. Yet it is the created that manifests God's glory.
No interests, however great, are higher than those common to all mankind. Among them, the foremost is the old commandment, as old as the oldest documents of any nation: Thou shalt not kill! You are all of one blood. Love one another. People can. Nations can. All this is eminently possible because God's love transcends the limitations of human kind.
The first essential component of social justice is adequate food for all humans. Food is the moral right of all who are born into this world. You can't love God and not feed the hungry children. Money spent on WMD belongs to the hungry children!
What did Jesus say?
A man (he professed to be a Muslim American) in California said, "You got it right Doc our government needs to do unto others as they would have them do unto us. AND DO IT FIRST!"
A woman in Arizona said, "In Christ we have the ultimate example of evil being overcome by good." Resist not evil. Do good to those who hate you.
In Ohio a teenaged girl said, "Ask the president what part of love he doesn't understand?" Love your enemies.
A lady in Maryland told me to tell George, "You can't love God and not feed the hungry children!" Feed the hungry children.
A man in Virginia said tell our president, " We will never have peace as long as we keep killing and torturing each others children, but we will when we feed the children." What so ever you do unto others you do unto me also. God speaks through the people...
"You have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say to you. That ye resist not evil. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your shirt, give him your overcoat as well. If someone forces you to go a mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one that ask you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it has been said, love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you love your enemies, bless them that curse you. Do good to them that hate you, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matt. 5:38-48). "Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you,... I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Matt. 25: 37-40).
A true Christian can see the face of Jesus in the eyes of that little child in Iraq that just died of hunger. Did you hear the child? Just before the light in Her eyes went out; She said, "Forgive them Father for they know not what they have done." Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Her a question, testing Her, and saying. "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all yor mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love others as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the Prophets." (Matt. 22:35-40) All humans are brothers. There is no attack in love!
Let us face squarely the historistic paradox that the nation which goes to war is a nation, usually, genuinely desiring peace. War is the outcome, not mainly of evil intentions, but on the whole, of good intentions which go astray or are frustrated. It is made, not usually by evil men knowing themselves to be wrong, but is the outcome of policies pursued by good men ususally passionately convinced that they are right with God.
The nature of the evil lies in our cooperation with it.
Mr. President, Jesus loves you. And so do WE...
God's love,
Doc Mishler (email: doc_mish@hotmail.com)

I appologize for not reestablishing the paragraph breaks after they were morphed by the cut and paste process. I have run out of time and wore out my eyes to get this far.

Please, anybody who finds this message compelling, pass it along in any way you have available. You can cut and paste into and email, or into your own blog. Or you can send those you think might be interested the perma link to this post so they can read and pass it along.

Thank-you all.
Love Joy Peace

P.S. see my riff on Matt. 25: 37-40 while you are at it and pass it along too if you find it worthy.

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