Monday, December 31, 2007

Welcome 2008

Green waters and verdant mountains
are the places to walk in meditation;
by the streams or under the trees
are places to clear the mind.
Observe impermanence,
never forget it;
this urges on the will to seek enlightenment.

- Keizan Jokin (1264-1325)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ball of Confusion

As this year winds down, we will be hearing *Year in Review* recaps of the highlights (or is that low lights?) of what transpired in 2007. I'll make mine short by throwing a photo montage done to the song *Ball of Confusion*, by the Temptations. 2007 was a rough year for me, personally, my Mom had a stroke, a close relative passed on, our dog had to be put down, and a few hospital forays for me, one very serious. So in retrospect, I am happy to kiss this year goodbye.... and welcome 2008. Each new year holds new hope, and I hope for you the very best health & to be centered & on a good path, whatever that may be. I plan on working on making things less confused in 2008!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lakota Sioux Secede From US, Declare Independence

In an interesting move, members of Lakota tribes have renounced treaties and are withdrawing from the United States.

“We are now a free country and independent of the United States of America,” “This is all completely legal.”
A Lakota delegation on Monday delivered a statement of “unilateral withdrawal” from the United States to the U.S. State Department in Washington.

The State Department did not respond.

Meanwhile, the delegation has delivered copies of the letter to the embassies of Bolivia, Venezuela, Chile and South Africa. “We’re asking for recognition,” Means said, adding that Ireland and East Timor are “very interested” in the declaration.

Other countries will get copies of the same declaration, which Means said also would be delivered to the United Nations and to state and county governments covered by treaties, including treaties signed in 1851 and 1868. “We’re willing to negotiate with any American political entity,” Means said.

The United States could face international pressure if it doesn’t agree to negotiate. “The United State of America is an outlaw nation, we now know. We’ve understood that as a people for 155 years.”

Means also said his group would file liens on property in parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming that were illegally homesteaded.

Read more details at the “Lakota Freedom,” website:

Means said anyone could live in the Lakota Nation, tax free, as long as they renounced their U.S. citizenship. The nation would issue drivers licenses and passports, but each community would be independent. “It will be the epitome of individual liberty, with community control,” Means said.

To make his case, Means cited several articles of the U.S. Constitution, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and a recent nonbinding U.N. resolution on the rights of indigenous people.

He thinks there will be international pressure. “If the U.S. violates the law, the whole world will know it,” Means said.

Lakota tribes have long claimed that the U.S. government stole land guaranteed by treaties — especially in western South Dakota. “The Missouri River is ours, and so are the Black Hills,” Means said.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1980 awarded the tribes $122 million as compensation, but the court did not award land. The Lakota have refused the settlement. (As interest accrues, the unclaimed award is approaching $1 billion.)

I don't know what response the US Government will have. The Government is loathe to give up power. Oh! If the tables could be turned, I certainly support the tribes desire to break away from the outlaw nation the US has become.

*** Historic reference: Red Cloud was a war leader of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux). One of the most capable Native American opponents the U. S. military ever faced, he led a successful conflict in 1866–1868 known as Red Cloud's War over control of the Powder River Country in northwestern Wyoming and southern Montana.
In June 1865 Red Cloud's Sioux joined a coalition led by Woqini (Roman Nose) of the Cheyenne to attack a military post on the North Platte River. Believing they had taught the bluecoats to respect the treaty, they returned home only to learn in August of further encroachments. The U.S. Army was constructing forts along the Bozeman Trail straight through Lakota territory (modern-day Wyoming), from the South Platte River in Colorado to Montana's gold country. Red Cloud foresaw the eventual expulsion of the Lakota from their land.
In 1866, he began what has come to be known as Red Cloud's War, the most successful war an Indian nation ever waged against the U.S. military. He achieved several victories, resulting in a new Treaty of Fort Laramie by which the U.S. abandoned all forts on the Bozeman Trail and acknowledged Lakota possession of what is now the Western half of South Dakota, including the Black Hills, and much of Montana and Wyoming.

Uneasy relations between the expanding United States and the natives continued. In 1871, Red Cloud visited Washington D.C., and met with Commissioner of Indian Affairs Ely S. Parker and President Ulysses Grant. In 1871, the Red Cloud Agency was established on the Platte River, downstream from Fort Laramie. As outlined in the Treaty of 1868, the agency staff was responsible for issuing rations to the Lakota weekly as well as providing the annual annuity goods. In the fall of 1873, the agency was removed to the upper White River in northwestern Nebraska.

Red Cloud settled at the agency with his band by the fall of 1873. He soon became embroiled in a controversy with the new Indian agent, Dr. John J. Saville.
In 1874, General George Armstrong Custer led a reconnaissance mission into Sioux territory that reported gold in the Black Hills, a sacred area to the Indians. Formally, the Army tried to keep miners out but did not succeed; the threat of violence grew. Red Cloud, along with other leaders, rejected a treaty ceding the territory; he was unsuccessful in finding a peaceful solution, and did not take part in the Lakota war of 1876-1877 lead by T‘aĊĦunka Witko (Crazy Horse) and Tatanka Iyotake (Sitting Bull).
In the fall of 1877, the Red Cloud Agency was removed to the Missouri River and the following year, removed to the forks of the White River where it was renamed the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Red Cloud continued fighting for his people, even after being forced onto the reservation. In 1889 he opposed a treaty to sell more of the Sioux land; his steadfastness and that of Sitting Bull required the government agents to obtain the necessary signatures through subterfuges such as obtaining the signatures of children. He negotiated strongly with Indian agents such as Dr. Valentine McGillycuddy, and opposed the Dawes Act.
Red Cloud became an important leader of the Lakota as they transitioned from the freedom of the plains to the confinement of the reservation system. He outlived the other major Sioux leaders of the Indian wars and died in 1909 at the age of 77 on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where he is buried. It is the Lakota of Pine Ridge Reservation, where Red Cloud is buried that are taking this action to Secede, and Declare Independence from the U.S.

Mitaku Oyasin! We are all related!

Anasazi clouds

* Thanks to Common Dreams for running the story

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Grinch Parody

by DOCTOR SEUSS ( AKA Theodor Geisel)
Parody Version by BibleBelted, PraetorOne, Matthew5, and DoctorWho

This parody was just too good & had to be shared.
I love Dr.. Seuss and the stories he told
Listening to them, they will never get old
Dr. Seuss told stories that made us ponder
brought our minds to reason & beyonder.
Dr. Seuss was the one
Who made activism so much fun! ~Fran

I'm posting exerpts (it's really long), but you can read the entire piece Here:
Thank you Sirens Chronicles for posting this post
It's the grinchiest best, cherished by most.

Every Blue
Up in Blue-ville
Loved Christmas a lot
But the Shrub
Who lived South of Blue-ville
The Shrub hated Christmas; and this was a reason
He hated the joy and the whole peaceful season.
It could be perhaps he loved pain and the fright
Or maybe his brain wasn’t working quite right
But I believe that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his conscience was no conscience at all.

But whatever the reason
The soul or his brain
He cursed through December, raising all kinds of Cain
Glaring up from DC with a mean Bushy smirk
He proved to the people that the Shrub was a jerk
Yes he knew every Blue up in Blue-ville above
Was now happily showing the peace and the love

“And they’ve taken my Congress,” he complained in a snit
“They’re praying for peace, they are so full of shit.”
Then he clawed with Bush talons, crazily drumming
“Stop democracy now, keep the freedom from coming.”

And the more the Shrub thought of the things they would tell
The more the Shrub thought “I’ll send Christmas to hell!
“Why for six God damned years we’ve exploited it now!
“I’ll screw Christmas good!
“But how?”

“I know how to do it,” the Shrub growled out loud
And he made a quick plan that would make Beelzebub proud.
And he smirked and he sneered, “what a great dirty trick!
“With some lies and the press I’ll make every Blue sick!

“All I need is a gimmick!”
The Shrub looked around.
“But since truth is rare here it’ll never be found.
Did that bother the Shrub?
“No The Shrub coyly said
“If I can’t tell the truth I’ll tell whoppers instead!”
So he called his pet FOX, then he called on the Reich
And the pundits crawled out, telling “facts” that weren’t right

And the corporate press
Came to spread the attack
Start a Yuletide war
To distract from Iraq.

The Pastors of hate said “Happy Holiday, dead.
“We think with out butts and we don’t use our heads.
“We hate all the Blues, yes our compassion is done
“They’ll pray to our God at the point of a gun!
“Then soon will we wake up, we know what they’ll do!
“They’ll cry and they’ll fuss and we’ll tell them ’screw you!’
“And the Blues up in Blue-ville will act as we tell them to do!”

“Here it comes,” cackled Shrub
“This I simply MUST hear!”
And there was a new sound rising up from the crowd
It started out low and then it got oh so loud!

But the sound wasn’t fear
Why the sound wasn’t sad
Te Shrub was aghast
The sound was upbeat and glad!

He glared up at Blue-ville
His shorts in a bunch
What he saw hit him hard and he brought up his lunch.

Every Blue up in Blue-ville, the weak and the strong,
Was speaking and telling the Shrub was all wrong.
He hadn’t screwed Holiday freedom at all
It came
The Liberty came and it drove Shrub insane

And the Shrub in his anger, just couldn’t conceive
Why sane people heard lies and refused to believe.
“It came with the Muslims! It came with the Jews!
It came with Agnostics! It came with the Blues!”
And he screamed and he screamed, ’til his throat was too hoarse
Then he shouted for hours but his rage ran no course
So he fell to the floor and he chewed on the rug
His talons dug carpet, oh he DUG DUG DUG DUG!

So what happened then?
Up in Blue-ville they say
The FASCIST right wing really lost it that day!
O’Reilly went home and he started to pout!
Rush Limbaugh killed pain, Oxycontin no doubt
Anne Coulter threw up ’til her implants fell out

And the Shrub
Drank Drank Drank
With a whine and a shout.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Interested in the Gitmo Playbook?

Go here:

Quoting the American Bar Association website:

The manual appears to reveal information that has previously been intentionally withheld. For example, it "indicates some prisoners were designated as off-limits to visitors from the International Committee of the Red Cross, something the military has repeatedly denied," the British news agency writes.

It also addresses the minutia of military prison management. Styrofoam cups, for instance, must be confiscated if prisoners have written on them, apparently because they may then be a vehicle for passing forbidden notes from one prisoner to another. Meanwhile, "(i)f the cup is damaged or destroyed, the detainee will be disciplined for destruction of government property," the manual states.

Just watched a film titled *GITMO*, I can't believe the US has this remote prison. A great quote from the movie:
Why do we need a prison on the other side of the law?

News items I did not know about:

10/5/07 The chief military prosecutor for the Guantanamo Bay war tribunals has resigned, apparently over a lack of prosecutorial discretion.

11/1/07 A private practitioner from Canada who represents a Guantanamo Bay detainee held since the age of 15 has reportedly been banned by his military co-counsel from the client's upcoming arraignment at a military tribunal.

Because of a dispute with co-counsel selected by the Pentagon about how best to handle the defense of Omar Khadr, a Canadian-born Muslim who is now 21, attorney Dennis Edney says he has been told he cannot attend next week's arraignment, according to the Associated Press.

11/8/07 A Marine Corps lawyer has been told by his superiors that he may not testify before Congress about his decision to abandon a Guantanamo prosecution because of his concerns that a high-level detainee was tortured.

Lt. Col. V. Stuart Couch, a former Guantanamo prosecutor who is now a military judge, had decided he could not prosecute a suspected al-Qaida terrorist because believed the detainee's incriminating statements were improperly obtained, the Wall Street Journal reports (sub. req.). The detainee, Mohamedou Ould Slahi, was allegedly subjected to beatings, death threats, and threats against his mother.

Why indeed....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mission Impossible

I was trying to find this theme song & came across this well done peak oil clip. The $2.85 gas rate shown in the clip was from "the good old days". I just paid $3.19 a gallon for regular today & saw diesel for $3.69 a gallon. Mass media says to expect $4 a gallon gas in the next few months. Our Mission, should we choose to accept it is to follow the money.

Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company—$39.5 billion.

Shell's revenues of $318.8 billion in 2006 made it the third-largest corporation in the world by revenues behind only ExxonMobil and Wal-Mart. Its 2006 gross profits of $26 billion made it the world's second most profitable company, after ExxonMobil and before BP. My point is someone is making crazy amounts of money, while others are taking it in the shorts.

Overheard at a rally: Exxon ~ Chevron ~ Mobile ~ Shell ~ Take this war & go to hell!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I pledge a grievance to the flag of the plighted states of America,
& to the Republics upon which it stands:
One nation playing God, blind & visible,
claiming liberty and justice for all.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Monday, August 6, 2007

Historic Barbarians

Today marks the 62nd anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in Japan.

Japan has so far recognised the total number of victims who died of radiation illness and injuries in Hiroshima as 253,008 and in Nagasaki as 143,124.


* At 8:15 am on August 6, 1945, an American B-29 Superfortress bomber Enola Gay dropped a 10,000-pound uranium 235 bomb on Hiroshima, instantly killing about 78,000 people. By the end of 1945, the number of dead had reached about 140,000 out of an estimated population of 350,000.


* Three days later, at 11:02 am on August 9, 1945, the United States dropped a 10,000-pound plutonium-239 bomb, nicknamed "Fat Man", on Nagasaki. The bomb instantly killed about 27,000 of the city's estimated population of around 200,000. By the end of 1945, the number of dead due to acute radiation exposure reached about 70,000.

Our local community held it's annual memorial, to those who lost their lives, and to vow to work so that this never happens again. The truth of the matter is nuclear proliferation is still occurring, with more countries amassing nukes, and previous agreements and treaties have been broken by the U.S. Government, so other countries like Russia, Korea, and perhaps Iran, have a kind of "if you can have them so can we" approach to nuclear weapon build ups. It IS bizarre that the U.S. has embraced the philosophy that because we are "good", we can have whatever weapons we want, but we have the authority to dictate to other countries what weaponry they can or can't have, because they are "evil".
I won't even expound on the good nukes/bad nukes mindset other than to acknowledge it's sheer insanity.

The keynote speaker, Bob Watada, father of Ehren Watada, the soldier at Ft. Lewis WA, who refused to deploy to Iraq, because of his pledge to defend the Constitution, against all enemies foreign & domestic- declared the Iraq war an illegal and immoral act, which he refused to participate in.
Mr. Watada spoke of learning about Barbarians in school. In Northern Europe they became known as the Teutons, Norse, Goths, and Celts. Quickly displacing or assimilating the indigenous people of the regions they entered, they never truly settled anywhere, ever-moving as their needs and resources changed. They wanted the gold and valuable resources of the places they attacked.

The only thing that has changed in the ruthless, rape and pillage the barbarians engaged in, are the "spoils" they seek. Perhaps then, it was land and gold, now it is oil. He came to the conclusion that Barbarian acts have continued into the 21st Century.

So as we commemorated the loss of so many lives in the only nuclear bomb attacks in history in the 20th Century, we also realize it is not just nuclear weapons that are so Barbaric, but the current practices of the occupation of Iraq are equally Barbaric.

As for his son's trial with the Military, he likened it to the Witch Hunts of Salem. Where juries were ordered to go back to the deliberations room until they came back with a "guilty" verdict. The trial of Ehren Watada was under way. A jury selected, testimony given, when the judge declared it a Mistrial- thereby creating double jeopardy, voiding the case. The double jeopardy appeal is pending. Ehren is in good spirits. He knows he is doing the right thing, and that keeps him going.
Ehren Watada is a Soldier of Conscience. The gathering closed with floating luminarias on the waterway. The images have a ghostly ambiance... perhaps a reminder we should be haunted by mistakes of the past & present?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


The trial of Ehren Watada, the first soldier to openly refuse to deploy to combat in Iraq, based on his oath to protect the Constitution & follow International law, has been postponed until October 9th. Watada's trial has been under way- jury selected, testimony given, when suddenly the military declared it a mistrial. The judge said it was because Watada misunderstood a paper he'd signed. The military thought the paper was an admission of guilt (for not deploying?), and Watada signed the statement agreeing he'd "said what he said". Watada had attended a regional Veterans for Peace Conference and (gasp) spoke of the truth. The speech was recorded, and the military lobbed more charges against him after his speech. Watada wisely agreed to sign off/verify that he did indeed. say what he said.
Watada is a squeaky clean, exemplary person, Eagle Scout. The military people who were called to testify, basically gave him glowing reviews- excellent record, one of their finest. So now it stands to be determined if the Watada trial is double jeopardy-- and has to be thrown out all together. Initially they had bargained a 4 year sentence, but the charge is back up to 6 years. Certainly in civil court, this would be thrown out as double jeopardy. You can't just throw out a case because it is not going in your favor. I suspect the military wants to make an example of Watada. And what an example he is..... Duty, Honor, Accountability, actually following the law. My hope is Watada is the man who goes down in history as the person who opened the floodgates for others in the military to *opt out*, Just say NO, actually adhere to the laws, rules, treaties, and militaries' own rules of conduct. If you swear to defend the Constitution (there is the Noble Cause), and you review the laws, then it would be your obligation to refuse to participate in this illegal occupation. The military has problems though....if they don't honor the double jeopardy legal rule, then they have to let the trial proceed. Watada brings the question of the legality of the war & his sworn duty to the forefront. In a perfect world, the big whigs- Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, and Bush would have to testify as to just how they botched the information that happened to mislead us into this 5 year illegal occupation.

In any case, Ehren Watada is a man of honor, and his courage and sane actions have reverberated across the planet. His supporters include Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Despond Tutu, Rose O'Donnell, Amnesty International, Prof. Howard Zinn, Susan Saran don, Martin Sheen, etc.

Here is the link to his web site:


Blog On!

Out of the blue, today I decided it would be fun to start a blog- or as my friend calls them "brain droppings". Writing is a good release, and as the Ancient curse goes, I happen to live in Interesting times. It's gone beyond interesting, here in the US, some kind of rogue lawless dementia, where the government wanders the globe ignoring Interntional law, and it's own Constitution, and somehow the citizens don't respond. Maybe they think they can just channel surf to different, better programming? In any case, this is the beginning of my "Ramblings", and I will blog on.