Saturday, January 31, 2009

This & that

Quickie samplings of new news

Hills Bills
Hillary Clinton still has $5.9 million in campaign debt remaining.  She excused her own $13.2 million she loaned her own campaign. Campaign finance laws prohibit her from actively soliciting contributions now that she is SOS. Lesson to be learned: When your campaign is out of money, time to stop spending!

Banks Tank
Six banks have gone belly up in 2009. SIX !

Outbreak of Innocent Errors

New Trend?

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur really IS working for the people. Encouraging her constituents to stay put in their foreclosed homes, unless & until they have proper legal representation. They have the integrity to call the financial situation what it is- a depression in Toledo Ohio.
Right on Congresswoman! A hat tip to you.

So there you have it~ a quickie reality check. Thanks for visiting!

The economy ~ It's a gas

In this unprecedented economic downturn, even  the oil tycoons are taking their hits. As the price of a barrel of oil took a roller coaster ride to a high of more than $150 per barrel, then crashed to  $39.19 per barrel, fourth quarter profits are down. Before you run to get your box of kleenex to shed tears for the hardship of the industry- check out the 2008 final profit numbers:

• Exxon Mobile experiences a $45.2 billion dollar profit, exceeding their previous world record profit. 

• Shell $31.4 billion profit

• Chevron $24 billion profit

Let's hope they can recover from the downturn. 


Dear World,

We, the United States of America, your top quality supplier of the
ideals of liberty and democracy, would like to apologize for our 2001-2008 interruption in service.
The technical fault that led to this eight-year service outage has
been located, and the software responsible was replaced November 4.
Early tests of the newly installed program indicate that we are now
operating correctly, and we expect it to be fully functional on
January 20.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage.
We look forward to resuming full service and hope to improve in years
to come.
We thank you for your patience and understanding.


Friday, January 30, 2009

friday tune

Rock Me on the Water~ Jackson Browne & Kathy Mattea

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Signs of the times

That's the way the cookie crumbles:
Is nothing sacred? Yes, the recession is hitting the freaking Girl Scouts as well. Two to four fewer cookies in every box.
Exploiting the girls to sell cookies pulls in an average $700 million a year.

House Blend Please:
Starbucks Coffee is laying off 6700 people, and closing 300 more stores. Hmm jobless people are probably not able to afford $4 bucks for a cup of coffee.

Boeing cuts 10,000 jobs. Both war profits and domestic travel down.

The surge was a success!
No so fast- The U.S. Army will report Thursday the highest level of suicides among its soldiers since it began tracking the rate 28 years ago, The Army is expected to announce a new effort to study soldier suicides and links to post-combat stress.
The Army will report 128 confirmed suicides last year and an additional 15 suspected suicides in cases under investigation among active-duty soldiers and activated National Guard and reserves.
In 2007, the Army reported 115 confirmed suicides, the highest level since 1980, when it began tracking suicides.
PTSD is real, and the government continues to pretend it is not. The latest ploy is to dismiss those diagnosed with it as dishonorable discharges for bad behavior misconduct, denying them access to care, and demanding they pay back signing bonus money.

Wait a day Mr. Postman?
Economic downturn The postal service is saying they may need to change to 5-day-a-week delivery schedules. Federal law has mandated the six-day schedule since 1983. I can't help but think technology is a part of their demise... you can send a fax or e mail across the globe in just seconds. They are facing a $6 billion dollar loss ~ exceeding the Postal Service's credit limit under current law. Our neighbors to the north, Canada does 5 x a week mail delivery.

Beatles~ Mr. Postman

Heck-of-a-recession, George

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

PEACE NOW! or An eye for an eye

January 27, 1973
The United States and North Vietnam signed "An Agreement Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam" through the exit of all American troops within 90 days. The United States, the Republic of [South] Vietnam, Viet Cong, the insurgent resistance in the South, and The Peoples’ Republic of [North] Vietnam formally sign but because South Vietnam was unwilling to recognize the Viet Cong's Provisional Revolutionary Government, all references to it were confined to the document signed by North Vietnam and the United States. The same day, the United States announced an end to the military draft.
The Vietnam War resulted in a million Vietnamese combatant deaths, between three and four million civilian deaths and a countless number of injured. It cost the United States 58,226 lives (Australia lost almost 500, New Zealand 38) and 350,000 wounded. The financial cost to the United States came to something over $660 billion in current dollars.
The treaty stated, “... In pursuance of its traditional policy, the United States will contribute to healing the wounds of war and to postwar reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam and throughout Indochina.”

The Pentagon announced a “zero draft,” putting the Selective Service System on standby after five years of continuous operation. 1,728,344 men had been drafted in the previous eight years (principally for the war in Vietnam), 25% of all the armed forces.

We can be thankful the military draft, or conscription has not been reinstated since the Vietnam war. On the flip side, troops in Iraq & Afghanistan have experienced a *back door draft*, where they are required to do multiple tours of duty, even beyond when their contract with the military had expired.
The death tolls in the Vietnamese and Iraq and Afghinistan wars are high. The costs are simliar.

But we are not out of the woods yet, and progressives for peace do need to unite.
Michael Moore writes:

"Iraqing Afghanistan; Biden warns "there will be an uptick in U.S. casualties".

Get Afghanistan Right!
Progressives Fight Escalation

4 more soldiers died in Iraq- their helicopter failed, "no enemy fire involved".

The Iraq death toll is at 4236
The Afghanistan death toll just reached 570

I would rather we spend the money we would on war, to bring in peacekeepers, and humanitarian aid.

We need to keep Dr. King's dream alive, and embrace non violence as the way to go.

I would love for President Obama someday, to be the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, for following in the footsteps of MLK jr.
and working diligently for peace.

I want President Obama to honor his own words from his own Inaugural speech:

• "On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

• On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

• The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

• Our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please.

• America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

• To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West -- know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.

• We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

Get used to it....

Click here for a comedic short POST INAUGURATION ROUNDUP

Click here for a cool FULLSCREEN GIGAPAN VIEWER of the Inauguration


Monday, January 26, 2009

Bloody Monday

Click the chart to see the jobs lost in 2009 alone!
Today, 68,000 jobs went away. 


More than 200,000 job cuts have been announced so far this year, according to company reports. Nearly 2.6 million jobs were lost over 2008, the highest yearly job-loss total since 1945.

I had described the problem as a domino effect in the next blog post, but CNN Money calls it "A vicious circle as weakness begets layoffs, which beget more spending weakness."

MICROSOFT is cutting 5000 jobs
SPRINT slashes 8000 jobs
CATERPILLAR eliminating 20,000 jobs
PFIZER is cutting 8,000 jobs, also plans more job cuts after they merge with
WYETH, then cut another 19,000 jobs
GM cuts 2000 jobs
HOME DEPOT cuts 7000 jobs
ING sheds 7000 jobs
Deere & Co (as in John Deere) 700 jobs cut

Last week 40,000 jobs were cut.

The price of oil is going up.

So now I don't feel like the next post/rant was so out of line.

I am afraid 2009 is bringing about the "D" word... as in Depression

No fault of Obama's..... but it is time for the government to scrutinize each & every expenditure.

A matter of perspective

I am very happy we witnessed Barack Obama being sworn in as our new president. He has already put in place some amazing changes that needed to be done, and I expect he will continue to work tirelessly on turning things around & taking back our country, and making it functional again. I'm not saying the honeymoon is over, and fully acknowledge Obama is carrying a heavy load, trying to fix 8 years of inept lack of leadership.

Along the way though we do need to take this new direction with a new perspective.
It is reported the the inauguration cost $170 million dollars. $17 million on security. Which pales in comparison to the $50 million spent on each of the National Conventions of two political parties.
But we have to put it in context. We have been in a recession for over a year, and some argue headed for a full blown financial depression. Much of the money was donated, but even then a closer look shows an eyebrow raising fact:

"The biggest group of donors were none other than the recently bailed-out Wall Street executives and employees, Ritsch said. The finance sector is well represented, despite its recent troubles. Those who worked in finance still managed to pull together nearly $ 7 million for the inauguration." 

"The actual swearing in ceremony will cost $ 1.24 million, ABC News reported, quoting spokeswoman for Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural ceremonies.

It's the security, parties and and countless Porta-a-Potty rentals that really run up the bill, it added.

The federal government estimates that it will spend roughly $ 49 million on the inaugural weekend. Washington, DC And neighbouring states of Virginia and Maryland have requested another $ 75 million from the federal government to help pay for their share of police, fire and medical services. "  ~ Reported by the Economic Times. 

My point is did we really need 10 inaugural balls?
Can we cut back on some of the pomp & circumstance & the over the top way this is done?

Because of budget cuts, the D.C. area had only 15 million for large gathering budgeted for THE ENTIRE YEAR.  They know they will still be overseeing 4th of July events, and traditionally a large anti war gathering in March (good!), and I hope it is not delivered to an empty white house. That Obama would come out & speak to the masses who want an end to war. For 5 years, we have had a president who ignored the 100,000 citizens opposed to war who united in D. C. to deliver their message.  The point is this event would take up their entire annual budget. 

Meanwhile .....

MICROSOFT is cutting 5000 jobs
SPRINT slashes 8000 jobs
CATERPILLAR eliminating 20,000 jobs
PFIZER is cutting 8,000 jobs, also plans more job cuts after they merge with
WYETH, then cut another 19,000 jobs
GM cuts 2000 jobs
HOME DEPOT cuts 7000 jobs
The price of oil is going up

The economy lost an estimated 2.6 million jobs last year, and the national unemployment rate jumped to 7.2%, the highest in 16 years. Most economists expect the unemployment rate to keep climbing.~ L.A. Times

In Oregon, where I live, unemployment is at 9%. The state’s unemployment rate has risen rapidly and substantially over the past six months after remaining stable throughout the first half of 2008 at near 5.5 percent.

In December, seasonally adjusted payroll employment dropped by 9,700 jobs. This was the fifth consecutive monthly loss of more than 4,000 jobs. Job losses have averaged nearly 9,000 per month over this five-month period, a drop of 46,700 jobs or 2.7 percent.

On a personal level, Mr. Ramblings was put on a 1 month layoff mid December. 
That was extended to two months, and now bumped back another 2 weeks. 

So do I care how much the government spends on anything? 
Yes, I absolutely do.  Because as these jobs go away, it will have the domino effect of impacting, and potentially taking down other businesses. 

I'll close this piece with a glimpse into another families reality:

For those who argue we don't need to address the economy, and the US health care "system", check out this family who is at their rope's end, trying to keep it all together, who posted this website "EVERYTHING WE OWN".

The link tells the story, but essentially, this family is selling everything they own, "except the house & kids".

Family with 3 kids. Two of the kids have serious medical conditions. Medical bills, and medical issues have caused them to get behind in their finances. They are auctioning off everything they can live without:

All of the "stuff" that we can live without (worldly possessions) - in order to enable us to "take care" of what we CAN NOT live without (our marriage, our 3 precious children and our home).

This is a heartbreaking tale of a family making a last ditch effort to stay afloat.

This story has Oprah's Angel network written all over it... some people have been just making donations.

But this family is selling their clothes washing machine, kitchen & dining room tables, beds, TV, electronics, even the kids swing set & fort.

For people without jobs, in danger of losing their homes, already homeless, or on the verge of bankruptcy because of medical costs, government expenditures really do matter.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

monday music

Maybe this should be the theme song for the Obama Administration???

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Ty, the company that makes Beanie Babies, took the liberty of making Sweet Sasha & Marvelous Malia dolls.

" Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, are our nation's new first daughters and they are both, well, sweet and marvelous.
"They're such adorable girls. How can we resist?" Ty spokeswoman Tania Lundeen told the Chicago Sun-Times. But Lundeen also insists the $10 dolls are not replicas of the Obama girls. And this fact must make it much worse- We do, too, but we're a little concerned with the company the plush Sasha and Malia are keeping. The TyGirlz Collection also includes Bubbly Britney, Lucky Lindsay and Precious Paris." E! Online reports.

Michelle Obama is reported to be none too happy, responding through her spokesperson, that her kids are "private citizens".

If the Obamas were going to agree to licensing & merchandising for their kids images you'd think the kids would at least get colllege fund money out of the deal.
Ty is skirting the line by saying they just randomly picked the names, and they are meant not to represent the first kids.

Oh Please! That is a cheap shot of Ty to do this without permission, and then insult our intelligence by saying the doll name choices are just a coincidence? On the week of the inauguration, no less.

Others critique the dolls have breasts, and are made "less black" in their features.

I would think since both Obama's are lawyers, they might shut this folly down, on image copyright laws.
If that is the case, it would make the dolls even more rare & a collectors item.

Seriously though-- who would want your kids to be in a category that includes Bubbly Britney, Lucky Lindsay and Precious Paris??

Rehab & psychotherapy sold separately?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Saturday music

Both Sides Now

Finally getting around to the meme, Seven random things about me:

Seven random things about me

• I have hiked all the way to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Each colored layer is a different ecosystem. I swam in the Colorado river @ the bottom of the canyon. Climbing out of the canyon the next day was much more difficult! I would love to do an extended float through the canyon (fly in this time!)

• I have watched Buddhist Monks make a huge, intricate colored mandala made with colored sand

• I used to be a Forest Fire Fighter/EMT. Pretty intense having flames burning overhead in the tall trees. Burning poison oak was a special treat- not!

• I play the hand drums, love to drum. Percussion is a universal language- if your heart beats, you have rhythm.

• I met Richie Havens & took in a rainbow together before he performed @ the local folk festival.
(Of Woodstock Fame~ Freedom & Motherless Child)

• I have two sons, now adults, both were home births, with a Midwife. Funny story~ When I was going for prenatal checks, my Midwife was using a doppler to listen to the heartbeat of the baby, she was hearing Reggae music!--she lived near a radio broadcasting tower & picked it up in the airwaves.
That kid turned out to be a musician.

• I am driving a 15 year old vehicle, holding out for a reasonable electric vehicle to become available in the next 2 years. It was the first new car we'd ever bought.

I am of the philosophy~ the meme stops here. If you want to do it, go for it, I am not going to tag anyone else....
but will link others who tagged me.



Not letting this one go......

I just sent Obama an e mail. I do appreciate the pay freeze he enacted at the highest level of his administration- that is a good start.
But I don't want the Congressional pay raise, the automated raise to slip by.

My suggestion to Obama is to publicly announce the automated raise. Publicly call for voluntary refusal of the raise & publish the list of congress members willing to give back the money. 
2010 IS an election year. The list could be very handy for voters. 

The automatic raise just quietly goes through in the beginning of the year, during the holidays. Unless congress itself decides to take an up or down vote on it, it is automatically approved.  I would like that clause to be removed and or amended.
Tie it to minimum wage hikes, and overall financial health of the treasury. 
Bad economy, no raises. 

We are on the verge of a full blown depression, so these raises, over 2 million dollars are really inappropriate. Especially in the case of Pelosi, Cheney, & Justice Roberts, who can't even get a few lines of the swearing in done properly. 

I can't let this go, because Congress already makes huge salaries along with deluxe health care, benefits & retirement programs. 

If we the people don't make a fuss about it, there goes another $2 million down the drain. We really do have to tighten our belts & function differently. 
ALL of us, government included. 

As posted earlier-

Congress members in 2008 will receive salaries of $169,300, an increase of $4,100 over the salary they have had since January 2006.


535 X 4100= $2,193,500.00  OVER 2 MILLION BUCKS. 

That 2.5% increase is similar in other Federal positions as well:

• Associate justices of the Supreme Court, their pay go from $203,000 to $208,100.
• Chief Justice John Roberts, pay will rise to $217,400 from $212,100.
• House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,salary goes from $212,100 last year to $217,400, the same as Chief Justice Roberts.
• The majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate and Senate president pro tempore Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., will get increases from $183,500 to $188,100.
• Dick Cheney, in his last year as vice president, will receive $221,100, up from $215,700.
• The President's salary  $400,000 is unchanged. 

 $2,193,500.00 + $82,700= $2,276,200.00 


With the Federal minimum wage increase accomplished last year (first time in 10 YEARS), House Democratic leaders joined with their Republican counterparts to oppose a procedural vote to bring the COLA issue to the floor, leaving the way clear for their automatic raise.

Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, a leading critic of the COLA process, said in an interview that he's not proposing that members of Congress never get a pay raise. But he said that, in a time of budget deficits when many people are undergoing economic hardships, "at least we ought to have an up-and-down vote on it. The whole process appears so secretive."

Tom Schantz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, said Congress should be "mortified" to accept a raise when it allowed the deficit to swell and the economy to swing so badly out of control.

"If congressional leaders believe that the taxpayers should give pay raises to this rogues' gallery of ineptitude and venality, they ought to step away from the spiked eggnog," Schantz said, urging an emergency vote against the raise.

That is exactly what should happen- an emergency vote, stopping the raise. Or a public roll call for giving the raise back. 

We can't proceed with business as usual. The notion of this glut of hefty pay raises is in one word, insane.
Ordinary citizens had to wait 10 YEARS for a small minimum wage hike ~ even then is is miniscule, compared to the actual cost of living. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Off with the cloak!

Revocation. Executive Order 13233 of November 1, 2001, is revoked.

Obama just revoked the Bush cloak of secrecy on government documents dating back to 11*1*2001.

Obama orders the documents to be released. Set the Bush archives free!

Clearly the transition team did their homework, and this revocation of the cloak of secrecy is an excellent first step in government transparency. It is heartening to see ethics and rule of law restored.

Sends a message to the Shrub-- you can run, but you can't hide.

* Photo: Helicopter removing the Shrub from his hellish 8 years of evil reign. Bye George, hope to see you in jail!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

quick recap

Late Night Quick Inauguration recap. It's late I'm tired ~ here is your one liner recap of the big event

Obama~ Awesome! Great Speech, Liking the themes of unclenched fists, and helping hands, being friends with the world community.

Biden~ They delivered his oath as practiced, and it went smoothly. Happy to usher out old Cheney.

Bush~ Got booed & totally deserved it. Good Riddance you war criminal.

Cheney~ Reminded me of Potter in the film It's a wonderful life, in the wheelchair. Did he strain his back trying to remove incriminating documents & karma kicked in? Well, at least they got him out of his undisclosed location.

Rev. Lowrey~ A soulful benediction, beautiful words.

Rev. Warren~ Weird vibe. Talked the talk of unity, does not walk the walk. I'd like to see/hear less of him. I did not like the way he said Obama's kids names. sounded like a mocking tone to me.

Rev. Gene Robinson~ Great invocation, too bad it got censored. Bummer. I'd like to see/hear more from him.

Aretha~ Only she could pull off wearing a hat like that! Still the Queen of soul.

Michelle, kids & grandma~ They really are a sweet , loving family. Hope they can support each other under the first family media scrutiny.

Justice Roberts~ Screwed up the swearing in oath word order. Supreme screw up! They had Obama re- do the oath as it is exactly written in the constitution again on Wednesday, just in case.

The crowd~ So many braved many hours of freezing cold, and all kinds of discomfort, to witness the historic event. Kudos for your fortitude and support.

Itzhak Perlman Yo Yo Ma Performance~ Sweet, and a nice break from the traditional military band style of music. It felt like a cleansing, and brought about a beautiful element to the change.

Itzhak Perlman Yo Yo Ma Inauguration Performance

A musical invocation

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 1

Yahoo News: "One of President Barack Obama's first acts is to order federal agencies to halt all pending regulations until his administration can review them.

The order went out Tuesday afternoon, shortly after Obama was inaugurated president, in a memorandum signed by new White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The notice of the action was contained in the first press release sent out by Obama's White House, and it came from deputy press secretary Bill Burton.

The waning days of former President Bush's administration featured much debate over what rules and regulations he would seek to enact before he left office."

No reason to trust the Shrub administration~ Wise move!

Rev Lowery's Benediction got to me.... here is the transcript.

Rev. Lowery Inauguration benediction. Transcript.
By Lynn Sweet on January 20, 2009
Transcript courtesy Federal News Service

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand -- true to thee, O God, and true to our native land.

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we've shared this day. We pray now, O Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant, Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national and, indeed, the global fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hand, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink, though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

For we know that, Lord, you're able and you're willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor or the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that, yes, we can work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seeds of greed -- the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little, angelic Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won't get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love.

Help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around -- (laughter) -- when yellow will be mellow -- (laughter) -- when the red man can get ahead, man -- (laughter) -- and when white will embrace what is right.

Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.


REV. LOWERY: Say amen --


REV. LOWERY: -- and amen.

AUDIENCE: Amen! (Cheers, applause.)


OH HAPPY DAY!!!!!!!!

Aretha~ Oh Happy Day


Freedom~ Richie Havens ~ Woodstock

Oh Happy Day!

I am doing a happy dance that the old Regime is no longer, and hope is restored.
Lots of work ahead, and it won't be easy-- but for today, let's bask in this historic moment, be Joyful and HAPPY!
I wish the Obama family the very best in this journey, and that they be protected and guided by wisdom and peace.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tribute to MLK jr. ~ Amazing Grace

I was thinking about MLK jr. and his incredible endurance. Who among us would continue with a movement after having attack dogs, fire hoses, nightsticks, tear gas, bricks through the window, and dynamite tossed at our homes? Doing jail time became a home away from home. I can't help but connect this song with that Man ~ Amazing Grace.

Mahalia Jackson (Ignore the big hair~ This woman can sing!!!)

My admiration and heartfelt appreciation for MLK & his family's sacrifices to carry on the Civil Rights movement are deep. Really, that admiration spills over to all the unsung heros who participated in the Civil Rights movement. The courage and stamina it took to continue through such unimaginable obstacles
MLK is one of those rare visionaries, who would not give up, or give in to anything less than equal rights, while insisting upon non violence as absolutely being the way. Enough of my words~ speaking and inspiring was his gift- here are some MLK jr. quotes:

The tough mind is sharp and penetrating, breaking through the crust of legends and myths and sifting the true from the false. The tough-minded individual is astute and discerning. He has a strong austere quality that makes for firmness of purpose and solidness of commitment.
Who doubts that this toughness is one of man's greatest needs? Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.

Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. So when Jesus says "Love your enemies," he is setting forth a profound and ultimately inescapable admonition. ... The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a promise that all men, yes black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance speech:

"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time — the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts… 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. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

I accept this award in the spirit of a curator of some precious heirloom which he holds in trust for its true owners — all those to whom beauty is truth and truth beauty — and in whose eyes the beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold."

Martin Luther King jr. would be pleased with the knowledge that a black family would soon be living in the White House. That our nation has come far enough to recognize the content of Obama's character, rather than the color of his skin. That a majority of US Citizens would see fit to elect a black man to be our President. It is my hope that Barack Obama would embrace the MLK jr doctrine of nonviolence. MLK's conviction that war is not a solution, nor will it resolve anything. I hope that light and wisdom are what guide his leadership. It seems obvious to me that we must learn from history. That the time for peace is now, and continue Martin Luther King jr.'s life work, with a new vision and determination.

Turn Turn Turn ~ The Byrds


The prayer HBO censored

The Rev. Gene Robinson delivered an inaugural invocation at the Washington Mall on Sunday, but HBO did not broadcast his prayer. I could not find a recording of it, but did find a text version.

A Prayer for the Nation and Our Next President, Barack Obama

By The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

Opening Inaugural Event
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
January 18, 2009

Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God’s blessing upon our nation and our next president.

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed” anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for ALL the people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Let us pray

We are all children of the same universe

They say if you don't learn from history you are bound to repeat it. It is time now for us to unify. We've seen what divisive, negative actions lead to, it is time for us to break away from that. 
In this spirit, here are some interesting facts about the Obama inauguration.
Some full spectrum prayer going on~

Clergy include:

V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, to lead prayersat Sunday's kickoff for the inauguration at the Lincoln Memorial.
• Rev. Rick Warren, a Southern Baptist, who opposes gay marriage, and women's rights, to deliver the invocation. 

• Rev. Sharon Watkins, the first woman president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a Protestant group, will deliver the sermon.

• Ingrid Mattson, the first woman president of the Islamic Society of North America. The Islamic Society, is the nation's largest Muslim group.

• Three Rabbis, representing the three major branches of American Judaism, will also say a prayer at the service.
• Reform Rabbi David Saperstein
• Conservative Rabbi Jerome Epstein
• Orthodox Rabbi 

• The Most Rev. Donald Wueri, a Roman Catholic archbishop of Washington, will also lead a prayer. 

Obama will attend a service at St. John's Church, the "Church of the Presidents, as many previous presidents have. 

• The Rev. Joseph Lowery, a Methodist, considered the "dean of the civil rights movement", will give the inaugural benediction.

I have to say, I do like the many faiths approach to the inauguration. 

Since it' Sunday, I'm going to go "gospel" on you. Not in the preaching kind of way, but gospel music. As we are on the cusp of a week that celebrates both the remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King jr., and the historic presidential inauguration of our country's first black president, it is a time to reflect ~ looking back and forward. 

The journeys that took us to the place we are now, have required some Amazing Grace.

Amazing Grace ~ History

Soweto Gospel Choir~ Amazing Grace

Speaking of Ringing in Change~

Trinity Church in lower Manhattan will be tolling their 12 church bells in what is called a "full peal" which lasts 3 1/2 hours. Wow! I wish I could be there to hear that. 

12 skilled ringers will pull on sturdy ropes in the bell tower to mark the historic occasion right after the inauguration ceremony is complete. 3 1/2 hours of bell ringing!

Change ringing is a way to express joy in the community. "The centuries old method produces a rich and complex combination of sounds with endless tonal patterns that have no recognizable melody."

Let's open our hearts to the change, and call upon a higher power to help us start anew in this country and as a part of the global community. We are going to need all the help we can get. 

Let Freedom Ring!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Getting Graphic

Out with the old.....
As the Decider moves on from his eight long, grueling, hellish, painful years as president, hopefully to face his Karma & get up close and personal with the justice he's been talking about of late. It is time for me to clean my photo box of all things Bush.
From Bush & Cheney in straightjackets, to a card "W" wishes really existed (get out of hell free), some artistic renderings of the crap we've endured.....

New & Improved.....

Read on to the next post for today's blog post.....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Make it stop!

Led Zeppelin~ When the Levee Breaks

I tried listening to the shrub farewell, but only made it halfway through. "When people live in freedom, they do not willingly choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror"

Yea George that is why elections have to be stolen & rigged.

"Liberty & Justice light the path to peace". Weighty words. do torture, waterboarding, and mass murder under the guise of liberation pave the path to hell? I sure hope so.

The Bush legacy is a kind of overall Katrina effect.

No George-- you should not get away with murder. It was right when he spoke of "moral clarity" I shut it off.
Bush has neither- morals or clarity. Over & out.

I hope justice arrives at your doorstep someday soon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

End of an Error

Bush Misremembers ~ Olbermann Frames the Shrub's final presser nicely.

Things I never want to see or hear again:

• Bush babbling his drivel @ the podium.
• Stupid backdrops with the same word repeated as a wallpaper graphic design
• A State of the Union Address that is 80% the State of Iraq Address
• Buzzword phrases repeated ad nauseum~ "Stay the Course" "Axis of Evil"
• The president mangling the English language
• Smirking Cheney, Grinchlike in his throne position
• The notion we must have enemies
• Gitmo

What items would you add to this list?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reality Check

Perhaps one of the reasons I get along with the husband so well is his great sense of sarcastic humor.
This morning he said "It's like rearranging deck chairs on the titanic".

Today's paper reported the NYSE warned his workplace they may be removed from the Stock Exchange because it's share price & capitalization are too low. Fancy finance talk that they are not making enough money to be a player in the Stock Market.
The NYSE listing standard requires that a listed stock maintain an average closing price of more than $1 per share for more than 30 consecutive trading days. The share price closed at .63 cents on Monday. The exchange requires a minimum listing criteria of $25 million. On Monday, the market cap was $19.2 million, which would normally result in immediate suspension.

Last month Fleetwood Industries was delisted because it didn't meet the requirements. Last year the NYSE delisted 129 companies for dipping below it's standards, the highest # since 2003.

They hired an investment banker to explore strategic alternatives. (Register Guard)

Right now that "strategy" has him, and the majority of the employees in the unemployment line.

That would explain the .03 cent dividend check we recieved a while back.

We have no other updates other than things like this we hear in the news.

If Fleetwood is having trouble, it is a sign the whole industry is struggling.

Now, how to arrange those deck chairs.......

Tuesday tune

Here is another tune that befits the Bush Legacy:

Everything is Broken~ Bob Dylan

Another good rendition of the same tune...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Let's Dish!

Seriously~ We are talking about the subject of the White House fine china, and the "spins" they have taken. Enigma @ Watergate Summer posted about Laura Bush- how she had been working on ordering new china dishes for the White House. 

She is seen with this deer-in-the-headlights look displaying the gaudy pattern she had chosen.  Yes Laura, the country really cares about your fine china choices, it's been on all our minds of late.

The $493,000 set was paid for by a privately funded trust of the White House Historical Association, which also purchased a second, less formal set.

Laura "hopes that the next family, and I know they will be happy to have these two sets, as well, to be able to entertain their heads of state that come in, as well as for their closest family and friends," she said in the White House Family Dining Room.

Laura Bush said she commissioned the dinnerware because of breakage and a need for more settings for larger events, and added a second Magnolia-patterned set for $74,000 for use at private family dinners and smaller events. Here is the "lovely" (ewwww) magnolia inspired $74,000 china.

"She said she was aware of criticism her predecessors received for buying expensive china, but said it was paid for with private money and that when the process started, "the economy was a lot better than it is today."

Laura saw to it the spendy set was made by U.S. companies Lenox Inc., and Pickard China to produce the plates, although some design work was done in Hungary for artist Anna Weatherley, who created the magnolia set inspired by the trees on the White House lawn.

I'm sorry but the golden eagle motif, I've dubbed the pattern name "Oblivious", is really not befitting the Bush family persona.
The following styles are suggestions I've complied- I only wish Laura would have consulted me first, I could have saved a bundle and more closely captured the Bush ambiance.

#1- Nascar

#2- Crow

#3- Lemons

#4- Fuzzy Math theme

While we are dishing about the White House, Bush denied the Obama's access to the Blair house.. the White House guest house that has 118 rooms, and is fully secure, while there is one guest staying there, showing just how shallow their Welcome to the Obama's really was, The Obama's have two kids who needed to start school on the 5th. So the Obama's are staying in a hotel, now costing taxpayers a fortune for security, because the Bush family did not offer the grace, offered to them in their transition.

So wlll the Obama's be dining off the new Bush plates for the premier inaugural luncheon?
Nope. Just as Obama chose to use the Lincoln bible for swearing in, they will be using the Lincoln china.

Click here, If you want to take a glimpse of other presidential china. A hat tip to DK at Redheaded Wisdom, she ran with this dish chat concept, but is immersed in taxes, so I hope I did justice to this topic.

There you have it folks. The country is in ruins, we are immersed in a $700 billion dollar bailout, banks are failing, the housing market is in dire straits, 2.6 million total jobs lost in 2008 -- as unemployment jumped to 7.2%. George buys a $2.1 million dollar mansion, and Laura spends $567,000 on fine china. Could these people be more out of touch?

Send Bush to jail for war crimes, make him sell all his properties for restitution, and put the gaudy dishes for sale on e bay.
Or- better yet- set up a booth like this. People would pay good money for this kind of stress relief. Next best thing to shoes??