Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Percivals Landing. Olympia ~ Port protests escalate

Alec and I walk at Percivals Landing in downtown Olympia at the botton of Puget Sound. Here are some flowers in a planter there yesterday.

We had heard there had been protesters there the night before, because of the ship there ~ the SS Pomeroy ~ being loaded and heading for Iraq.

The SS Pomery

We saw a couple of protesters and one Sherrifs Deputy vehicle watching them but it was pretty quiet. More protesters were there that night.

OLYMPIA - Twenty-two people were arrested Tuesday in one of the most volatile confrontations yet between anti-war activists and police officers guarding a military cargo ship docked at the Port of Olympia.
Read the whole article: Port protests escalate
22 arrests made in demonstrations against military cargo ship

FRONTPAGE : » News » May 31, 2006

‘Ithaca 50' will be heard in New York's highest court today

Jason Seymour, Steve Schalchlin and Jason Hungerford
in a warm hug on a beautiful day in Washington DC
during the Millennium March for Pride week 2000.

We were & are involved in Youth Guardian Setvices
which was launched by Jason Hungerford in January 1997.


ITHACA — Fifty same-sex Ithaca couples who have lost several rounds in state court seeking permission to marry will be heard by the New York State Court of Appeals today.

The Court of Appeals will hear the case of Jason Seymour et al. v. Julie Holcomb as City Clerk of the City of Ithaca et al., and New York State Department of Health, at 2 p.m. today in Albany, according to Jason Hungerford, one of the plaintiffs. The couples have been seeking the right to marry since about two years ago when they first took legal action against the City of Ithaca — with city officials' backing — after they were refused marriage licenses.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

article by Michelle Goldberg: Tyranny of the Christian Right

The largest and most powerful mass movement in the nation -- evangelical Christianity -- has set out to destroy secular society.

Whenever I talk about the growing power of the evangelical right with friends, they always ask the same question: What can we do? Usually I reply with a joke: Keep a bag packed and your passport current.
I am not suggesting that religious tyranny is imminent in the United States. Our democracy is eroding and some of our rights are disappearing, but for most people, including those most opposed to the Christian nationalist agenda, life will most likely go on pretty much as normal for the foreseeable future. Thus for those who value secular society, apprehending the threat of Christian nationalism is tricky. It's like being a lobster in a pot, with the water heating up so slowly that you don't notice the moment at which it starts to kill you.

Read the article Tyranny of the Christian Right
by Michelle Goldberg ~ AlterNet ~ May 30, 2006

(reprinted from Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism)

Religious scholar Karen Armstrong talks about today's religious conflicts and how the past can help

Of course, compassion is not always a popular virtue. Religious people often prefer to be right rather than compassionate. Often, they don't want to give up their egotism. They want their religion to endorse their ego, their identity. And that becomes dangerous. Then you get a clash of warring egos.
and ...
I think we've got to decode the fundamentalist imagery so that we learn to read these theologies. We need to see the fear and anxiety that lie behind a theology such as the rapture. I mean, if you took the rapture scenario to a psychiatrist and said: "I'm having these dreams of the imminent destruction of the world, with huge battles and genocide at the end of time, vast massacres and the final reign of horror and the tribulation," a psychiatrist would say, "This is something deeply wrong here."

The fact that in the richest nation and the most powerful nation in the world, so many people adhere to this extraordinary fear-filled fantasy shows that there are all kinds of anxieties and this inchoate distress that we can't safely ignore.
Read the whole article:
FINDING MY RELIGION ~ Part 1: World-renowned religious scholar Karen Armstrong talks about today's religious conflicts and how the past can help
by David Ian Miller, The San Francisco Chronicle ~ April 10, 2006

For more information on her, see:
Karen Armstrong on Wikipedia
Karen Armstrong on PBS NOW with Bill Moyers

Monday, May 29, 2006

The TCPronet Annual Picnic

Today Alec and I went to the second annual Memorial Day Networking Picnic of the Thurston County Progressive Network (TC Pro-Net), a local organization dedicated to uniting the efforts of area activists.

Here is the big tent. Our friend and ally Rep. Sam Hunt was making a great speech.

and here is Alec tabling for PFLAG.

Friday with Catherine

Friday was a fun day to hang out with Catherine. We went to Centralia ~ a small town (pop. 15,340) south of Olympia. We visited Book Quest which was fun. Then the Visiting Nurses Thrift Shop and the Goodwill store.

Before heading home to Olympia, we went to dinner at La Tarasca, an excellent Mexican restuarant. My chili relleno was great. Catherine shared some of her dinner with me ~ it was a soup/stew (with pork I think) ~ I don't remember what it was called but it was amazing. And the dessert flan was fabulous!

It's liberty, not language, that unites a nation

Language is organic. It evolves and spreads pretty much of its own accord. And you can regulate that process to about the same degree you can regulate the ocean.
Our fear is that language is making us disunited. Indeed, many of the 63 senators who voted for this new measure probably did so with that Spanish-language rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner still ringing in their ears. As Sen. Jeff Sessions, Republican from Alabama, put it, the amendment ``will help unify us as a nation.''

After which, Spider-Man and the Easter Bunny will help us win the war on terrorism.
See It's liberty, not language, that unites a nation by Leonard Pitts ~ May. 22, 2006 ~ for the whole article.

He is a Miami Herald news columnist Monday and Friday Click here for more columns.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

What If They Gave a War...?

Tony Long writes:
It was a lousy year, 1968.

I was in high school then. I quit the baseball team because, frankly, sports seemed frivolous. In 1968, there were more important things to worry about than perfecting a curveball. All very high-minded and, in retrospect, more than a little pompous. But nearly 40 years down the road I don't regret having done it. My political consciousness was awakened and I was actively engaged in the world around me.

But as bad as things were then, they seem infinitely worse now.
. . . he asks:
In short, where the hell is everybody?
and he has some excellent theories.

Read the article What If They Gave a War...? by Tony Long ~ May 26, 2006 ~ Wired News

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Hating the Hate Mail - as a woman opinion journalist

As a female opinion journalist, I've been called everything from bitch to whore to sweetie.
The psychic impact of hate mail is something female writers don't often talk about in fear of appearing vulnerable in the male world of opinion writing. I believe women can take the heat of opinion journalism as well as any man; the problem is that the heat we take and the reasons why are very different.

Maureen Dowd of The New York Times discussed reactions to female opinion in her column last year. "While a man writing a column taking on the powerful may be seen as authoritative, a woman doing the same thing may be seen as castrating." She went on to say she called Alan Dundes, a renowned folklorist, to ask about it. "Women are supposed to take it, not dish it out," Dundes told her.
Hating the Hate Mail by Heidi Schnakenberg, part-time columnist for the Des Moines Register
May 25, 2006

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Recommended reading! Pass the Bread ~ by Bill Moyers

These are just a few quotes from Pass the Bread ~ Bill Moyers powerful, May 20, 2006 Baccalaureate Address at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY (posted on
Thank you for inviting Judith and me to share this occasion with you. Fifty years ago both of us turned the same corner you are turning today and left college for the great beyond. Looking back across half a century I wish our speaker at the time had said something really useful--something that would have better prepared us for what lay ahead. I wish he had said: "Don't Go."

So I have been thinking seriously about what I might say to you in this Baccalaureate service. Frankly, I'm not sure anyone from my generation should be saying anything to your generation except, "We're sorry. We're really sorry for the mess you're inheriting. We are sorry for the war in Iraq. For the huge debts you will have to pay for without getting a new social infrastructure in return. We're sorry for the polarized country. The corporate scandals. The corrupt politics. Our imperiled democracy. We're sorry for the sprawl and our addiction to oil and for all those toxins in the environment. Sorry about all this, class of 2006. Good luck cleaning it up."
and ...
I find I am alternatively afraid, cantankerous, bewildered, often hostile, sometimes gracious, and battered by a hundred new sensations every day. I can be filled with a pessimism as gloomy as the depth of the middle ages, yet deep within me I'm possessed of a hope that simply won't quit.
The hardest struggle of all is to reconcile life's polar realities. I love books, Beethoven, and chocolate brownies. Yet how do I justify my pleasure in these in a world where millions are illiterate, the music never plays, and children go hungry through the night? How do I live sanely in a world so unsafe for so many?
Read the whole speech: Pass the Bread by Bill Moyers

Monday, May 22, 2006

TrueMajority ~ The Oreo Budget ~ Mr. Ice Cream Sticks It to the Pentagon

Ben Cohen has an ax to grind with the Pentagon. Or an Oreo to grind, as it were. The man who co-founded Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream thinks there's a better way to spend $60 billion of the country's money than on Cold War weapons systems, and he has the numbers to prove it.
Mr. Ice Cream Sticks It to the Pentagon
by Deanna Zandt ~ AlterNet ~ May 22, 2006

and see Serious Fun flash animations on the TrueMajority website.

Alec and I signed to be members of TrueMajority this morning.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Seeing Noel and a great conference in Seattle this week

Alec and I drove up to Seattle on Thursday aftternoon. We were meeting Noel when he got off work at 5:30 but traffic wasn't bad and we got there early. It was a beautiful day so we got some excercise by walking around the Seattle Center and over to the Experience Music Project (EMP).

The Space Needle and a ferris wheel at The Seattle Center:

Outside the Experience Music Project:

The EMP was about to close but we were able to take a quick look in the gift shop and the display of outfits/costumes worn by some of the music stars in the lobby. One had a quote that I remembered on the base. It was Alice Cooper saying, "People think because I cut dolls heads off that must mean I hate babies, but its not true, I just hate dolls."

We met Noel and ate at Sofrito Rico, a Puerto Rican restuarant in Ballard ~ a neighborhood in Seattle. Our waitress said they would be changing the name soon to La Isla Seattle. I had been wanting to try the restuarant ever since hearing about it last year about the time they opened. The food was great. (I lived in Ponce, Puerto Rico when I was in middle school.)

We spent the night at Noel's place with him and his cat Linus, then on Friday I went to the Shoreline Conference Center (north of Seattle) for “Rights and Recovery: Promoting GLBTQ Wellness in a Changing Environment” ~ Addressing Alcohol, Tobacco, Other Drugs, Mental Health and Other Health Issues Facing the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Communities.

The conference was sponsored by:
  • Department of Social and Health Services - Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse
  • Department of Social and Health Services - Mental Health Division - Sexual Minority Subcommittee
  • King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division
  • Public Health– Seattle & King County, Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Program
The keynote speaker was Lorri L. Jean ~ Chief Executive Officer, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

The two excellent workshops I took were:
  • Chemical Dependency/Mental Health Counseling Needs of GLBTQ Community ~ facilitated by Cathy Speelmon, B.A., C.D.P. and Chris Tolfree, M.A., L.M.H.C. of Seattle Counseling Service
Then Alec picked me up and we drove home, getting caught in bad rush hour traffic!

How the Right Stole the '60s (And Why We Should Get Them Back)

Conservatives are winning the battle over how the 1960s are remembered. But their version is far from the truth.
How the Right Stole the '60s (And Why We Should Get Them Back) by Astra Taylor ~ May 19, 2006 ~ AlterNet

Abe Rosenthal's Reign of Homophobia at The New York Times

As Rosenthal ascended to the top of the Times ladder, his prejudices defined the unspoken but nevertheless unmistakable rules for deciding what was fit to print. As journalist and writer Charles Kaiser, who worked at the Times under Rosenthal, put it, “Everyone below Rosenthal spent all of their time trying to figure out what to do to cater to his prejudices. One of these widely perceived prejudices was Abe’s homophobia. So editors throughout the paper would keep stories concerning gays out of the paper.”
Abe Rosenthal's Reign of Homophobia at The New York Times by Larry Gross ~ May 16, 2006 ~ Truthdig

Larry Gross is the director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and is a pioneer in the field of gay and lesbian studies.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Revisiting Allen Ginsberg's 'Howl' at 50

Ginsberg, who had studied at Columbia University, sent a poem called "Dream Record, 1955" to poet and essayist Kenneth Rexroth.

"It still sounds like you're wearing Columbia University Brooks Brothers ties," Rexroth told Ginsberg. "You know, it's too formal." So, Ginsberg says, "I sat down and just started writing what I thought about."

The resulting rush of violent, desperate words, starting with the well-known opening lines "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness," created major ripples in the literary world.
POETRY: Revisiting Allen Ginsberg's 'Howl' at 50 by

"Live Loudly and Fiercely ... Apathy Is Not a Choice"

Getting an education is about gaining the tools we need to succeed in life. The greatest tool that I've gained from my time here is perspective, the desire to learn from people different from myself and to attempt to see the world through their eyes. The greatest lesson I've learned is that, in this democracy, apathy is not a choice. To choose to remain silent in the face of the atrocities being committed in the name of this country - in all of our names - is to condone those acts. Indifference kills more people than bombs do. If you don't believe me, ask the people of Rwanda.
Live Loudly and Fiercely ... Apathy Is Not a Choice
by University Medalist' Lane Rettig at the Commencement Convocation at the University of California at Berkeley, May 10, 2006

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Homelessness in Thurston County

Alec and I met at Everything for Everybody, an organization that was a shelter for homeless people in New York City as well as a 'soup line' and much more. We then moved to Mississippi and founded a similar organization in our home. Most of the people who needed shelter from us were battered women and their children.

We didn't have a lot of support from the community at large in Mississippi. We even had police sometimes tell husbands where they might find their wives. We were not a secret location for battered women only ~ we were an open shelter and we lived there with our kids too. We did get some harassing phone calls and one man whose wife and baby were staying with us slit our tires a few times.

Eventually we realized we were burned out and closed the shelter. Then we had people like a women's group that came to us and ask us ~ beg us ~ to start again. We told them if they saw it as important then they should do it. We were too tired. Eventually we moved to Olympia.

I was really glad to see this article in The Olympian yesterday. I want to thank Selena Kilmoyer of Bread and Roses, and Rosalinda Noriega and Chandra Lindeman of Partners in Prevention. The work they are doing is so important.

"We need to begin focusing on the issues of violence in our community in order to get to the roots. Racism, oppression, homophobia, transphobia, agism, abelism. These are all core pieces of the fight against violence and homelessness. These are all results of the oppressive system we live in, tools used to reinforce that system. Really beginning to understand these core causes and working to change those." ~ Chandra Lindeman
Click here to read the May 17, 2006 article in The Olympian:
Capitol Chat Transcript: Bread & Roses, Partners in Prevention Education

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Is Bush a Lunatic? by Molly Ivins

Insane immigration policies, a new $70 billion tax cut for the rich, and increasing ineptitude in Iraq all indicate that this administration has lost its marbles.

I hate to raise such an ugly possibility, but have you considered lunacy as an explanation? Craziness would make a certain amount of sense.
Click here to read the whole May 17, 2006 article in AlterNet.

Howard Zinn on Fixing What's Wrong ~ an interview with Shelly R. Fredman

'People think there must be some magical tactic, beyond the traditional ones -- protests, demonstrations, vigils, civil disobedience -- but there is no magical panacea, only persistence.'
Click here to read the whole article in Alternet on May 17, 2006.
First published in the May/June 2006 issue of Tikkun.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Two excellent short videos online

Gay Ad
by OUtsidethenine4eva
Beautiful clip of a gay teen boy doing 'the unthinkable'... ThisNorwegian public service announcement for gay teens, translated says "You don't need to be so tough."
Click here.

Homophobia Is Gay
by FrerardLives
This video is why homophobia should be stopped, before more innocents are hurt.
Click here.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day and I nice phone call from Noel.
Thanks Noel! :-)

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

I can't write any mushy poetry about my mom. I never felt I was able to live up to her expectations ~ from memorizing the multiplication tables (isn't that what calculators are for?) to making a decent living in a ‘real’ profession.

She was surprised and pleased when I went to college in my 40's and she had found out she had cancer when I graduated with my BA from The Evergreen State College in 1989, before she died of cancer.

It after my graduation that I found a note from her in a book she had given me, “Reweaving The Web of Life ~ Feminism and Nonviolence” edited by Pam McAllister.

For Gabi who is weaving the web of her life as I would have hoped. Love Mom

That surprised me. I never really felt that from her when she was alive, even when she sort of said the words.

She joined the army as a nurse during World War II and then they found out she had tuberculosis. So she spent the war in a sanatorium somewhere near Black Mountain College in Asheville, NC. She said she walked there for classes sometimes. The Army gave her a full medical retirement as a lieutenant (I think) with a check every month to match.

She was a feminist from early on in her life. I remember she said to me once that it was easier for her to be a feminist with that income ~ I give her credit for being aware of that. With three marriages that didn’t work and job moves, etc. she could move when she needed to and many people can't.

There are things I am proud of my mother for. We marched together in anti-war marches in San Francisco during the Vietnam War. She supported the Cezar Chavez and the United Farm Workers and was very involved in the Gray Panthers.

Mom was a good role model in many ways ~ but definitely not sappy ones.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

"To describe my mother would be to write about
a hurricane in its perfect power."

~ Maya Angelou

~ *~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis (September 30, 1832 - May 9, 1905) was born in Culpeper, Virginia. Jarvis worked around what is now West Virginia to promote worker health and safety concerns. During the American Civil War she organized women to tend to the needs of the wounded of both sides. After the war she became active in the promotion of Mother's Day, a holiday at that time involved with the causes of pacifism and social activism. She organized meetings of mothers of soldiers of both sides of the late war.

Click here to read more on Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis and her daughter Ann Jarvis in the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

~ *~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

The "Mother's Day Proclamation" by Julia Ward Howe was one of the early calls to celebrate Mother's Day in the United States. Written in 1870, Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation was a pacifist reaction to the carnage of the

American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. The Proclamation was tied to Howe's feminist belief that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.

Click here to read the article & the lyrics to Ward's "Mother's Day Proclamation" in the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

This Mother’s Day I dedicate to Carolyn Wagner. She is an amazing woman and I am honored to be her friend.

Some background about Carolyn and her wonderful family ~

Cick here to read the 1988 Salon article "Letter from Fayetteville" ~ Not hating the haters: The campaign for gay rights comes to Arkansas ~ by Rebecca Bryant.

and click here to read the article "Making Men: The Boy Who Doesn't Fit In" - a 1999 Boston Globe article about the Wagner family from Fayetteville, Arkansas and how they handled it when their son William was assaulted in a hate crime. They filed a complaint with the Office For Civil Rights that the Fayetteville School District was in violation of their son's title lX rights. The Wagners succeeded in convincing the OCR that GLBT students are covered by Title lX and the Supreme Court upheld Title lX rights for students, regardless of gender of victim or harasser and or sexual orientation/gender identity. The Fayetteville School District became the first in our nation to have been found in violation of a gay students Title lX rights.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Bush says "I'm the Decider" in new Fiore animation

Click here to see the new Mark Fiore animation, "Decider"

It's funny ~ and scary truth too.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Mothers' Day Gift of Sleep

This latest review of our sleep-deprivation had little new to offer. Women are stressed, over-worked, simultaneously caring for children and elderly parents, and yes, hormonally challenged.

But the article failed to mention the trio of elephants trumpeting in the living room: George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld.
A Mothers' Day Gift of Sleep
by Susan Lenfestey ~ May 10, 2006 ~
Click here to read the article.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Public Time and Educated Hope: Educational Leadership and the War Against Youth

by Henry A. Giroux; Pennsylvania State University
Instead of providing a decent education to poor young people, American society offers them the growing potential of being incarcerated, buttressed by the fact that the U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that sentences minors to death and spends "three times more on each incarcerated citizen than on each public school pupil." [3] Instead of guaranteeing them food, decent health care, and shelter, we serve them more standardized tests; instead of providing them with vibrant public spheres, we offer them a commercialized culture in which consumerism is the only obligation of citizenship.
[3] Heather Wokusch, "Leaving Our Children Behind," Common Dreams News Center (July 8, 2002), available online at p. 1.
Click here to read the article.

Facilitating Discussion on Henry Giroux ~ Click here.

Mark Morford ~ Tell Americans what to do?

Tell Americans what to do? Dare to suggest that they're doing something wrong, or that their behaviors are dangerous and destructive and irresponsible? Are you insane? This is America! We're flawless!

by Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist ~ Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Bring On The $6 Gallon Of Gas ~ It would revolutionize America. It would make us all better humans. But could you handle it?
Click here to read the whole article.

more songs of protest ~ Jackson Browne, 20 years ago

Thanks to John Amato's Crooks and Liars for reminding me of Jackson Browne's song "Lives in the Balance" first released in 1986. (It was written about Ronald Reagan the USA involvemet in El Salvador. For bacground, see this on the PBS film Enemies of War with the story, a timeline, talkback, resources and more.)
Lives in the Balance

They sell us the president the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us every thing from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars
I want to know who the men in the shadows are
I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they’re never the ones to fight or to die
And there are lives in the balance
There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire
Full lyrics for this song on are here.

Click here to read John Amato's entry on Lives in the Balance.

Also thanks to Chris ~ someone adding a comment to John Amato's blog entry with these lyrics to the song "For America" from the same album:
For America

As if freedom was a question of might
As if loyalty was black and white
You hear people say it all the time-
My country wrong or right
I want to know what that's got to do
With what it takes to find out what's true
With everyone from the president on down
Trying to keep it from you

The thing I wonder about the dads and moms
Who send their sons to the vietnams
Will they really think their way of life
Has been protected as the next war comes?
I have prayed for america
I was made for america
Her shining dream plays in my mind
By the rockets red glare
A generation's blank stare
We better wake her up this time
Click here for the full lyrics.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Let's Deport Immigration Myths ~ by Jesse Jackson

In the red-hot debate over immigration, myth too often takes the place of truth. It is time to step back, take a deep breath and reflect before we react.
Click here to read the article.

Rich, white, Reagan-loving gay conservative politics?

A Log Cabin Divided Cannot Stand
by Chase Foster, Campus Progress. Posted May 8, 2006.
What I learned from my weekend at the nation's largest gathering of gay Republicans.
Click here to read the article.

Betty Bowers ~ america's best christian ~ reviews "The Da Vinci Code"

Mrs. Betty Bowers is the First to Review "The Da Vinci Code"

Quote from the review:
As an unwavering Republican, I have quite naturally burned more books than I have read.[1] As such, I seldom read any fiction not found between the bejeweled covers of the Bowers' family Bible. Nevertheless, believing that anything that infuriates Catholics can't be all bad, I finally closed my autographed Bible long enough to read the The Da Vinci Code. I must say that Dan Brown's book proved a delightful change of pace. After all, the entire volume has far less gratuitous sex and dismemberment by psychotic zealots than even the first chapter of the Bible, the Lord's more effective stab at writing a book that makes Catholics look silly.
Click here to read: Mrs. Betty Bowers is the First to Review "The Da Vinci Code"

Last night at Town Hall Seattle

It was a good night. First we went to Noel's place and met Linus the cat who hid from us in the closet. Catherine got him to purr but he didn't come out to meet Alec and me.

Then out to dinner and to Town Hall Seattle. The Righteous Mothers were excellent ~ they sang "Pesky Angels" and other songs I did and didn't know. Anthony Arnove had some interesting things to say about our situation in Iraq and around the world, and his work with Howard Zinn. Cindy Sheehan spoke about her son Casey's death and the death and injury of so many.

Back to Noel's place for coffee and dessert (bad for me ~ not what I should have had) and this time Linus did come out of the closet :-) and played with a string feather toy and let us scratch him.

Then home to collapse into bed after midnight. That is late for us these days.

The president's favorite sandwich!

Tom Tomorrow: This Modern World ~ click here.

Sighting of compassionate conservatism

"Breaking news. There's been a sighting of the Compassionate Conservative. You remember that guy, George W. Bush, by name. Years before he pronounced himself ''the decider,'' he was the ''uniter not a divider'' (say that three times fast!), who promised to govern with benevolent concern for society's less fortunate. A compassionate conservative, he said, acknowledging by implication that conservatives had not previously distinguished themselves by their bigheartedness."
Bush dusts off the compassion on immigration
by Leonard Pitts Jr. ~ Miami Herald columnist ~ 4/28/2006
Click here to read the whole article ~ opens in new window.

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Tommorrow is the eleventh anniversary of the day our son Bill died.

Alec, Catherine and I are going to Seattle first for dinner with Noel and then to Town Hall Seattle. The evening there will be opened by The Righteous Mothers. Then Cindy Sheehan and Anthony Arnove will speak.

The Righteous Mothers are four female progressive feminist folk musicians based in the Olympia area. They have fantastic songs including: "Pesky Angels" one of my favorites.

Cindy Sheehan became a prominent American anti-Iraq War activist after the death of her son, Casey Sheehan, who was serving in Iraq. I so admire her. It will be an honor to be in the same room. She is the author of Not One More Mother’s Child and contributor to 10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military.

Anthony Arnove is the co-editor with Howard Zinn of Voices of a People’s History of the United States (Seven Stories), the long-awaited primary-source companion to A People’s History of the United States - ( "People’s History" is a great book I read many years ago!)

I wish Bill could be there with us.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Hunger in America

Thirty years ago Alec and I met and we help run a soup line at the Everything for Everybody organization in New York City. Then we moved to Mississippi where we founded Persons and fed free meals in our home. The problem of hunger in America is still here.

Right now 38 million Americans don't know where they will get their next meal.

Saturday, May 13th, The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will have its 14th Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. To contribute to the food drive leave non-perishable food donations near your mailbox before your letter carrier arrives. They will pick up the food as they make their deliveries and transport it to local food banks. (To be see your community's carriers are participating, see the 2006 List of Coordinators.)

Tuesday, June 6th, is National Hunger Awareness Day, a grassroots movement to raise awareness about the problem of hunger in America. They dare to ask "How can there be hunger in one of the world's wealthiest nations?" ~ and what can we do about it. There are plans for national and local events; resources, and more.

Also see America's Second Harvest ~ the nation's food bank network, with more than 200 member food banks and food-rescue organizations. The network secures and distributes nearly 2 billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually. They support approximately 50,000 local charitable agencies operating more than 94,000 programs including food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after-school programs, Kids Cafes and BackPack Programs. Last year, this network provided food assistance to more than 25 million low-income hungry people in the United States, including more than 9 million children and nearly 3 million seniors.

Friday, May 5, 2006

The Cover the Uninsured Breakfast

On 4/30 I wrote that Alec and I were going to the May 5th "2006 Gala Celebration Breakfast." And so today we did.

The breakfast was good ~ I broke my diet for diabetes. Oh well. Newly diagnosed and mostly I am being really cazeful.

One of the speakers (who was younger than me I think) said this needs to be worked on now, but that we probably won't have everyone covered by health insurance her lifetime. Yes that is probably true. It is depressing ~ we (the USA government) have money for war! Apparently it may have to happen (or begin) state-by-state. Mention was made of new Massachusetts legislation to offer health insurance for all thier state residents.

Something that I felt was missing at the event was a sense that there were people there who don't have insurance coverage. The people who spoke are professionals in health care services and politicians. All with hearts and minds in the right place. But in the speeches, people without insurance were referred to as 'them.' Some of the speakers talked about people they worked with - but nobody was there to tell their own stories firsthand, and I wish it had been so. I know how powerful that can be from my work with other issues and organizations. If there had been an opportunity at the end I would have spoken.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Colbert Gets Serious at Dinner for Bush and White House Correspondents

Saturday night comic and journalist Stephen Colbert the lampooned President Bush when he performed at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner. Click here to read Stephen Colbert's Take at the White House Correspondents Dinner ~ by Daily Kos, on the Common Dreams website.

Editor & Publisher published: Colbert Lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner -- President Not Amused? Click here to read it.

Progressive U had this article about how the story is being ignored by mainstream media: Stephen Colbert's Skewering of Bush Ignored in MSM Click here to read it.