September 30th, 2007

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Good Morning!

It is another joy-filled day.  I walk from the front of the house to the back trying to decide which plants to enjoy and where to sit.

There are three columns in the NY Times today that are worth checking out.  Actually there are probably more but these are the three that spoke to me, the ones by Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd, and Thomas L. Friedman.   Check them out.   The NY Times no longer charges to view their articles.  They learned it was more cost-effective to have you view their ads, so squint your eyes in such a way that you only take in the "good stuff."

I am reading a book of selected stories and writings by Jorge Luis Borges.  I wanted to read a writer from Argentina.  I am currently in his short stories from the book called Labyrinth.  It feels right for me to be there as I am feeling more and more the labyrinth in layers in which we may choose to notice we live.

I was reading last night about Buddhist publishing in the United States.  There was a debate about what levels the work should be published as there is quite a range of translations and interpretations of Buddhist thought.  How much should it be dumbed down for "us."  One thing that struck me is that books used to have 90 days to "make it" in a book store before they were sent back.  Now, they have 30 days.  There are also fewer publishers and everything is squeezed.

It is not a day to worry about that.  It is summer and warm with fall.  I remember my childhood now and walking in the fall leaves and raking them and jumping in them and then the fire.  We don't have that pleasure here but we certainly have sweet nectar in our air.


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I said no more politics, but ....

To be campaigning and not vote is not an excuse.  I am unimpressed with those who do not want to be held accountable as to a vote.

I don't think those campaigning should be paid for the time they are not in the House or Senate to vote on important issues.

  Congress Quietly Approves Billions More for Iraq War
    By John Nichols
    The Nation

    Friday 28 September 2007

    The Senate agreed on Thursday to increase the federal debt limit by $850 billion - from $8.965 trillion to $9.815 trillion - and then proceeded to approve a stop-gap spending bill that gives the Bush White House at least $9 billion in new funding for its war in Iraq.

    Additionally, the administration has been given emergency authority to tap further into a $70 billion "bridge fund" to provide new infusions of money for the occupation while the Congress works on appropriations bills for the Department of Defense and other agencies.

    Translation: Under the guise of a stop-gap spending bill that is simply supposed to keep the government running until a long-delayed appropriations process is completed - probably in November - the Congress has just approved a massive increase in war funding.

    The move was backed by every senator who cast a vote, save one.

    Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, the maverick Democrat who has led the fight to end the war and bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, was on the losing end of the 94-1 vote. (The five senators who did not vote, all presidential candidates who are more involved in campaigning than governing, were Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden and Republicans John McCain and Sam Brownback.)

    Said Feingold, "I am disappointed that we are about to begin the 2008 fiscal year without having enacted any of the appropriations bills for that year. I am even more disappointed that we voted on a continuing resolution that provides tens of billions of dollars to continue the misguided war in Iraq but does not include any language to bring that war to a close. We need to keep the federal government operating and make sure our brave troops get all the equipment and supplies they need, but we should not be giving the President a blank check to continue a war that is hurting our national security."

    In the House, the continuing resolution passed by a vote of 404 to 14, with 14 other members not voting.

    The "no" votes in the House, all cast by anti-war members, came from one Republican, Ron Paul of Texas, and 13 Democrats: Oregon's Earl Blumenauer, Missouri's William Clay, Minnesota's Keith Ellison, California's Bob Filner, Massachusetts' Barney Frank, New York's Maurice Hinchey, Ohio's Dennis Kucinich, Washington's Jim McDermott, New Jersey's Donald Payne, California's Barbara Lee, Maxine Waters, Diane Watson and Lynn Woolsey.

    That means that, of the 2008 presidential candidates, only Republican Paul and Democrat Kucinich voted against giving the Bush administration a dramatic - if not particularly well publicized - infusion of new money for the war.

    "Each year this war is getting more and more costly - both in the amount of money spent and in the number of lives lost. Now this Congress is providing more funds so the administration can continue down a path of destruction and chaos," said Kucinich, who noted the essential role of House and Senate Democratic leaders, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in passing the continuing resolution. "The Democratic leadership in Congress needs to take a stand against this President and say they will not give him any more money. That is the only way to end this war and bring our troops home."

Lynn Woolsey is my representative so I am thrilled with her.  Kudos to the others who voted with their conscience.  I am becoming less and less impressed with Nancy Pelosi. I have held back on comment wanting to give her a chance to settle in, but she continues to uphold what, to me, makes no sense.

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thoughts -

I just learned of someone who committed suicide.  I did not know him, but it is like a knife wound through my heart and gut that someone was so unable to cope and so filled with despair. 

Prayers tonight for him and for all those who knew him and for all of us.  It is a loss to us all.

It is a huge loss.   We all want to help and sometimes we cannot.