Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Once every Blue Moon.....

On New Year's Eve we will have a Blue Moon.
Let's hope this is a good omen for the New Year!

The phrase simply refers to the second full moon in a calendar month, something that NASA says hasn’t happened on a New Year’s Eve for nearly 20 years.

December 1990 ended with a blue moon.

Most months have just one full moon, because the 29.5-day cycle of the moon matches up pretty well with the length of calendar months. Occasionally, there will be two full moons in a month, something that happens about every 2½ years, NASA says.

As for the moon actually looking blue: it’s possible, but that’s sometimes caused by fine dirt circulating in the Earth’s atmosphere or the dark blue tone of the sky.

New Year's Eve blue moons are rarer, occurring every 19 years- the next will be in 2028.

Happy Blue Moon New Year to All!

The Gingerbread White House

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Kucinich on War & Democracy

Congressman Kucinich makes some great points re war, and the U.S. Constitution.
Is war just, or just war?
Sometimes I think he is one of the few not drinking bad water in D.C.

2009 Year in Review

Ladies & Gentleman..... May I direct your attention to the blog called

"Welcome Back to Pottersville"

Here are some excerpts:

Govs Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty

In a show of solidarity with their Republican brothers and sisters (aka the Fools on the Hill), Governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota provided brilliant delineations of the Peter Principle by cutting off their respective states’ funding for ACORN. The only problem is that ACORN is funded by neither state. Still, it’s the thought that counts.

The Democratic Party

Showing the backbone of Gumby’s horse Pokey, the Democrats essentially, especially with the aid of several dozen Blue Dogs, even with a filibuster-proof majority, handed control of the government back to a minority party that’s one more disastrous election away from wearing a paper bag on its pointy head. Led by “Give ‘em Head” Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats gave up tens of billions in necessary spending on the stimulus bill to get three Republican votes. They united with the GOP to cut funding for ACORN and let Obama fill Afghanistan with more warm bodies without him declaring war on it.

They were always willing to cut the throat like a sacrificial lamb of a public option to temper an individual mandate on the immediately compromised health care bill to cadge the vote from the one Republican they could briefly seduce to their side (Olympia Snowe). A single payer plan was never in the running and they stood helplessly by while the likes of Tom Coburn ground things to a smoking halt by making the Senate clerk read Bernie Sanders’ entire 767 page single payer amendment. And all these betrayals were done in the name of that holiest of holies: Barack Obama’s wet dream of bipartisanship with a party that would sooner hang him from the White House Xmas tree than watch him light it.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss

Another old, embittered white racist who would do Jesse Helms and Strom “I Split the Dark Oak” Thurmond proud, Saxby Chambliss is a draft-dodging chickenhawk Republican who had the gall to run for the Senate on a patriotism platform against war hero Max Cleland. It essentially reaffirmed the national suspicion that most southern Republicans view a black man in the White House with as much alacrity as Hal Turner would welcome into his the Rev. Jesse Jackson. No wonder they’re so bitter- all the black porters have gone away and they have no one to lug their racist baggage for them.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Getting in right under the wire was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for this heartwarming holiday news item that came out on Christmas Eve that the lending giants’ two CEOs will still pull down $6 million this year. Not $6 million combined, $6 million each.

Since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were both seized by the federal government last year, that makes Michael Williams and Charles Haldeman Jr. the highest-paid federal employees in the country, making over 15 times more what President Barack Obama makes. And yet the Federal Housing Finance Agency that regulates and oversees their actions still maintains that excessive pay is needed to “attract and retain top talent” like the kind that resulted in a $112 billion bailout at taxpayer expense.

But wait! There's more!

Go there & get a hefty helping of reality & sarcasm in servings rarely seen on other media outlets.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Odd X Mas greeting cards....

Click to embiggen

Lassie Bails

Vexations from the Senate

Palin & her Dino Theories!

Ben Bernanke.... Nice Stocking Stuffer for AIG to fail to repay back the Bonus $$$

Greetings from The Henne's ~ From Jail !

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Recipes (food no, alcohol, yes)

Oh no.... I suck at cooking. I've always considered it a time consuming chore. Plus if I do not use my digital timer, it is very likely I WILL burn something, because, I'd rather be blogging or surfing the 'net or just about anything else.

No ~ I'm talking about alcoholic drink recipes!

Half the fun is creating the name......

CRANBERRY GOOSE ~ Cranberry juice & a shot of Grey Goose Vodka

SCHLAGERNOG ~ Goldschlager Cinnamon Liqueur in Eggnog.
(If you can no longer pronounce Schlagernog, you can't drink them anymore!)

SCHNAPP COCOA ~ A shot of Peppermint Schnapps in Hot Cocoa ~ mmmm Minty!

CRANBERRY FIZZ ~ Cranberry Liqueur w Tonic Water or 7 UP.


all is calm.....

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gift Idea!

Oh I realize this is offensive in so many ways......... but it is a commercial parody people..... have a laugh! WTF!

Caledonia Old Mill Light Display

Whew~ We can all sigh a sigh of relief the vote to Vote on health care reform passed.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Very Punjabi Christmas?

Something different....

Hat tip to DK for finding this gem.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The short end of the stick

Mr. President, Sir, Your comments on climate change?
Actual photo of D.C. press conference set up.

If I use the analogy of We the People drawing straws, we keep getting the short end of the stick.

The recent climate change conference, an oxymoronic event where people from all over the world gather, burning vast amounts of carbon to get together to discuss the environment.
they did not have enough limos, so they had to have people bring in more from other countries to meet the demand.
A commenter on PBS used the word "sham"- referring to the non validated, non binding end result agreements.
Shame the 2 worst polluters- the US & China are the least committed to serious change.
A lot of talk & no teeth. Which means we squander more critical time to seriously take action and make significant change.
I heard it explained that some changes Obama could have made through clean water/air & environmental laws already in place- while other specifics require Congressional approval, so he can't make those promises.

Still it feels like that came out as an empty promise. Talk is cheap.... we want change, action. We don't have time to stall & remain stagnant. We've got the whole world in our hands!

Back home re Health Care, we've heard lots of different viewpoints this week, the Senate has butchered the bill so badly, it is questionable whether it is worth salvaging. I have real mixed feelings on it. First I feel Obama is not really "leading" the issue... he needs to be stepping up to the transparency- make the proceedings public, and he needs to put the pressure on- as do we the people.

I think Shields is on a good track...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Status Quo or Got to Go?

I'm not going to comment on Wars, Financial ruin, or what the Government is doing to the Health Care reform bill....
let's just say the next song holds real appeal to me about now....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ugly Xmas light Festival!


Yes, it's that time of year again to roll out the Ugly Xmas Light Festival. A time honored tradition here @ Ramblings. In fact, this is the 3rd annual. I might add that this is a blatant attempt to ignore reality & it's annoyances. That being said.... let's get on with the show!

Oh No! Giant Dreidels-- It was just a matter of time.

This one's pretty funny...

They say Mountain Dew has the most caffeine....

The Blue Man Group Lives here... (not ugly, but apparently really into BLUE!)

Only in America-- War on Christmas

Don't Piss Off Santa!

This one speaks for itself "Ditto".....

Thinking Inside the Box..... or Light Columns! You Gotta get some Light columns...... (SNL fans would understand).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What other Nobel Peace Prize winners have said...

Mother Teresa ~ On War:

I was asking myself, what do they feel when they do this?
I don't understand it.
They are all children of God.
Why do they do it?
I don't understand.

Please choose the way of peace...
In the short term, there may be winners and losers in this war that we all dread.
But that never can, nor never will justify the suffering, pain or loss of life your weapons will cause.

From Mother Teresa's Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, Oslo 1979:

"And I think that we in our family, we don't need bombs and guns, to destroy or to bring peace- just get together, love one another, bring that peace, that joy, that strength of presence of each other in the home. And we will be able to overcome all the evil that is in the world. There is so much suffering, so much hatred, so much misery, and we with our prayer, with our sacrifice, are beginning at home. Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the action that we do."

She refused the conventional ceremonial banquet given to laureates, and asked that the $192,000 funds be given to the poor in India, stating that earthly rewards were important only if they helped her help the world's needy.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Oslo 1964:

"After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time - the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation.

Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."

"I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality."

"Genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold."

President Jimmy Carter Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Oslo 2002:

Imperfect as it may be, there is no doubt that this can best be done through the United Nations, which another American, Ralph Bunch, described here in this same forum as exhibiting a fortunate flexibility, not merely to preserve peace, but also make change, even radical change, without violence.

He went on to say -- and I quote -- "To suggest that war can prevent war is a base play on words and a despicable form of warmongering." He said, "The objective of any who sincerely believe in peace clearly must (be) to exhaust every honorable recourse in the efforts to save the peace. The world has had ample evidence that war begets only conditions that beget further war" -- unquote.

In order for us human beings to commit ourselves personally to the inhumanity of war, we find it necessary first to dehumanize our opponents, which is in itself a violation of the beliefs of all religions. Once we characterize our adversaries as beyond the scope of God's mercy and grace, their lives lose all value. We deny personal responsibility when we plant land mines, and days or years later, a stranger to us, often a child, is crippled or killed.

From a great distance, we launch bombs or missiles with almost total impunity, and never want to know the number or the identity of the victims.

Ladies and gentlemen, war may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children. The bond of our common humanity is stronger than the divisiveness of our fears and prejudices. God gives us a capacity for choice. We can choose to alleviate suffering. We can choose to work together for peace. We can make these changes. And we must.

President Barack Obama Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech Oslo 2009:

"At times this is joined by a reflexive suspicion of America, the world's sole military superpower. Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms."

Although he was never awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, Mahatma Gandhi was the shining star in the promotion of non-violence, and did so with great personal sacrifice.

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.
Mahatma Gandhi

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always.

I think it would be a good idea.
Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization
Indian political and spiritual leader (1869 - 1948)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bloody Speech

President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize speech
may be the worst acceptance speech ever.

"Still, we are at war, and I am responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill. Some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the cost of armed conflict -- filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other."

I'll let the pundits slog through all the painful intricacies of the speech.

The speech contained the word "WAR" 43 times.
The speech contained the word "PEACE" 23 times.
The speech contained the word "VIOLENCE" 7 times.

The speech contained the words "Kill", "Carnage", "Violence", and "Murder", and lots of phrases like "justified, just use of force, and (war) being morally justified".

Lines like this:

"That is why all responsible nations must embrace the role that militaries with a clear mandate can play to keep the peace."

War games?

"At times, it even feels like we are moving backwards."

Yes, President Obama, it sure does feel like we are moving backwards.

Thanks for reminding us you have ordered Gitmo prison to be shut down, and your promise to wind down the Iraq war right after being elected.
It's been about year now.

"At times, this is joined by a reflexive suspicion of America, the world's sole military superpower." " Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms."

Obama's Peace Prize speech could easily be summed up as "Blood & War".

Awful • Bloodthirsty • Repugnant.

An International embarrassment.

Tell me what you think.....

Dear Mr. President

I got another one of those presidential e mails from Obama.

The gist is this:
(Apparently we are on a first name basis!)

Fran --

After years of waiting and months of debate, it's easy to forget how painfully urgent the fight for health reform truly is. Since the full Senate began debating its bill just two weeks ago, approximately 200,000 Americans have lost their health insurance.

They all have stories to tell -- the heartbreak of loss, the frightening reality of being denied life-saving care, friends and neighbors at risk simply because they cannot afford insurance.

These stories are a necessary reminder to some in Washington: This debate is about something far more important than protecting profits or scoring political points through delay.

It's about who we are and what we value as a people. It's about whether Americans are ready to come together once again to build a stronger nation.

Comprehensive health reform legislation has passed the House and the debate has moved to the Senate. Never before have we made it this far. Now we have a chance to make history together.

We're in the final stretch of this fight. Please donate $5 or more today to support Organizing for America's 50-state campaign for reform.

Dear Mr. President:

I'd like you to know I donated $1800 dollars, and an additional $2400 to health care, plus hundreds more in co pays. Not to your campaign, but what I paid in co pays & payments to have insurance, for me, my husband who was unemployed half the year, and my (starving) college student.

So please don't ask me to spend money to contribute to the campaign when you just announced you'll be spending $30 billion taxpayer money for more war.

Because even if your heath care plan goes through, I will still be paying through the nose to for profit insurance company bastards. You took the public option off the table, and put war on the table.
There is no confusion to me that the two are directly related.... when congress whines about having no money to pay for healthcare.... just look at the billions spent on wars. We have money, the government just continues to mismanage it.

Furthermore, things are looking up!
Next year I have a $500 deductible, and $50 prescription co pays, plus I get to pay 20% of the overall bill.
Did I mention I was on a pay freeze?
Let's just say I already gave at the office.

Call me an unhappy constituent.

P.S. My college student needs root canal dental work done for over $1000. Can you donate to him?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rolling out the Unwelcome Wagon

College students rolled out the unwelcome wagon for one Karl Rove... who got a $25,000 speaking fee.
Karl helped create jobs, too bad it was for things like enhanced interrogation (torture), and war, oh yes and specializing in media spin & stolen elections.
So glad to see him caching hell outside the inner sanctum of the DC beltway criminals.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lennon's Death 12/8/1980

What a tragedy John Lennon's assassination was. John was brilliant & used his fame to convey messages of world peace & justice. John left us with his music, which left an indelible mark on this world.
Rest in Peace, brother John.

Dec 9 1980

Guns & lobbyists were the problem back in 1980. Check Check.... reality check.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sunday tune

Rays of hope emerge~ the Black Caucus has publicly stated strong opposition to the Afghanistan
military surge, and it;s funding.

From Common Dreams:

At a Senate Foreign Relations hearing Thursday, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said "the situation got worse" after she voted to fund Obama's request to send 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan earlier this year.

"How can we now leap to the conclusion that more troops will mean less violence when the opposite seems to have occurred?" Boxer said.

Coalition abandoned

Obama is abandoning the coalition of liberals who helped elect him, analyst Phyllis Bennis of the liberal Institute for Policy Studies said, by relying on support from "the Pentagon, the Republicans and the right wing of the Democratic Party, who together will claim their due as an empowered pro-war coalition."

That realignment, she said, could imperil Obama's domestic agenda - including proposals to reform health care, establish climate change policy and fix the economy - by alienating liberals in his party and adding to the burgeoning federal debt.

"It ruins the potential for his domestic agenda," Bennis said. "How is he supposed to do health care if he spends another $30 billion on Afghanistan? And if he doesn't do health care or climate change or his jobs program, then he's got a big problem politically."

Grassroots dismay

Obama's grassroots supporters are dismayed by his plan for a troop surge, even though he consistently called Afghanistan the "central front" in the battle against terrorism during his presidential campaign and has called for sending at least two more brigades, roughly 10,000 soldiers, there since 2007.

* My comment: He sent 2 more brigades + in April of 2009, 21.000 troops.

The liberal organizing hub wants supporters to lobby Congress to set a firm troop pullout date. And on the Web site of Organizing for America, an extension of Obama's campaign effort, a poster identified as Jono Shaffer wrote: "This decision on Afghanistan is a slap in the face to those of us who supported you as a peace candidate."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Absolutely Nothing!

War, huh, yeah - What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
War, huh, yeah - What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again, y'all

War, huh, good God
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

Ohhh, war, I despise
Because it means destruction
Of innocent lives

War means tears
To thousands of mothers eyes
When their sons go to fight
And lose their lives

I said, war, huh
Good God, y'all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again

War, whoa, Lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

War, it ain't nothing
But a heartbreaker
War, friend only to the undertaker
Ooooh, war
It's an enemy to all mankind
The point of war blows my mind
War has caused unrest
Within the younger generation
Induction then destruction
Who wants to die
Aaaaah, war-huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it, say it, say it
War, huh
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again y'all
War, huh, good God
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

War, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
War, it's got one friend
That's the undertaker
Ooooh, war, has shattered
Many a young mans dreams
Made him disabled, bitter and mean
Life is much to short and precious
To spend fighting wars these days
War can't give life
It can only take it away

Ooooh, war, huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again

War, whoa, Lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

War, it ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
War, friend only to the undertaker
Peace, love and understanding
Tell me, is there no place for them today
They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But Lord knows there's got to be a better way

Ooooooh, war, huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
You tell me
Say it, say it, say it, say it

War, huh
Good God y'all
What is it good for
Stand up and shout it

For a good read:
Cindy Sheehan's Editorial

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What would be enough?

65,000 troops ~ not enough
April 2009 surge, additional 21,000 troops ~ not enough
8 years in Afghanistan ~ not enough
A Trillion dollars spent on wars since 2001 ~ not enough
928 U.S Soldiers killed in Afghanistan ~ not enough
"Other" Military deaths in Afghanistan 602 ~ not enough

Too much~
18 Veteran Suicides per day
4367 U.S. Soldiers killed in Iraq
Soldiers killed in Iraq since Obama Inaugural~ 139

The endless wars. Iraq was a war waged by lying. A war of choice. We were told they were in the last throes- years ago. Victory would be ours.
Those damned wars still drag on.

With Afghanistan's 60% unemployment, and chronic poverty
situations, the locals are crushed between aggressive Taliban forces threatening death, and US troops- not fluent in the language, dropping bombs & engaged in an intense ground fight. The average lifespan in Afghanistan is 44. The people in Afghanistan need humanitarian aid & assistance for their own stability.

I sit here listening to President Obama talk about avenging 911.
Is there no statute of limitations?
More of our own troops have died in these wars, than the number of people who were killed in the 911 attack.

2976 people died in the 911 attacks
5296 U.S. Soldiers have died in Iraq & Afghanistan wars combined, and counting.
Hundreds of thousands have died (civilians, women & children included), in these wars.

Have we not yet spilled enough blood?

How much more destruction & bloodshed will equal revenge?

Obama already sent in a surge of 21,000 troops to Afghanistan in April 2009.

From CNN:

The White House estimates that it costs about $1 million per year to send just one soldier or Marine to Afghanistan.

If Obama authorizes 30,000 more troops, that would add another $30 billion to the cost of the war.

The cost will also be offset by the anticipated reduction of troops in Iraq, which is expected to be cut from more than 100,000 troops to 50,000 by the end of next year.

This makes no sense.
The promise to remove the Afghanistan troops by 2011?

Guess what? The promise to remove the troops from Iraq in the first year in office has already been broken.

I accept no more promises, until the initial promises are kept.
Out of Iraq
Shut Down Gitmo

One war leads to another....
Obama is now talking about Pakistan, and the need to protect and perhaps war there as well. We are already dropping bombs from drone planes in Pakistan.

Our cause is not just.
Barack Obama just took full ownership of these wars ~ and lost my support.

Consider this: