May 17th, 2008

deep sea turtle

Good Morning!!

The fog is on its way in.   The sky has a misty look to the blue, and the cord on the blind is flapping.   Coolness comes just in time...

My book group met last night at Jean's and she served Lemon Drops.   If you've never had one as I had not until now, they are delicious.  She served them over chipped ice.......     Yum!

Marlene is in my book group.  Her son Ian found out that Katy had leukemia right before they were married.   They were married and dealt with that and it seemed she was fine and they had a baby, Zack, who is now two years, four months.   She will have a blood marrow transplant in June.   She needs so much care that Ian, Katy, and Zack have moved in with Marlene, and her husband Ron.   They will need to be there for a year.   The first 100 days after the transplanting begins which is done like chemo through a shunt, Katy needs 24 hour care, plus there is Zack.  It is quite something to consider..... and as we agreed, we do what is needed and something steps in to help, so a request for prayers for Ron, Marlene, Ian, Katy, and Zack....   They are really going to be dealing with something tough and I know that some of you have a list of people you pray for each day.  If you could add this family to the list, that would be great, or just let a thought flow through for them when it comes..

There is so much tragedy in the world, so many to pray for, so many things, both collectively and personal, and this is the one closest to my heart in this moment as I look out on moving leaves and a blue sky soon to change....

barack obama

Surely now this nation will awake -

Editorial from the NY Times -
The President Goes Negative

Published: May 17, 2008

President Bush’s penchant for slash-and-burn politics, learned at the feet of Karl Rove and the late Lee Atwater, is unseemly when practiced at home. It is shameful for the president and damaging for the country when put on display abroad.

So it was especially distressing to hear Mr. Bush’s barely veiled attack against Senator Barack Obama in front of Israel’s Parliament. In a speech honoring Israel’s 60th anniversary, Mr. Bush likened those who call for talks with “terrorists and radicals” to those who appeased the Nazis.

“We have an obligation to call this what it is,” he declared, “the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.” There are few words more fraught than “appeasement” and no place where they carry more emotional weight than in Israel.

When Mr. Obama and other Democrats objected, the White House press secretary, Dana Perino, insisted the president’s remarks had nothing to do with Mr. Obama and slyly suggested that the Democratic senator was being narcissistic. Mr. Bush’s counselor, Ed Gillespie, then expressed surprise that no one had interpreted the president’s words as a rebuke to former President Jimmy Carter — which he said, sort of, that it wasn’t.

No one bought that — including, we suspect, Mr. Gillespie and Ms. Perino. Senator John McCain certainly had no trouble decoding the remark. He spent much of his week running away from Mr. Bush but endorsed this language enthusiastically. He also said that it was Mr. Obama’s responsibility to explain why he was willing to talk with Iran.

Senator Obama has called for talking with Iran and Syria, as have this editorial page and scores of foreign-policy experts from both political parties. None have suggested surrendering to these countries’ demands, which is, after all, what appeasement is.

Diplomacy is simply good sense. There is no guarantee that it will change anyone’s mind. But Mr. Bush’s refusal to talk has made it far easier for North Korea to churn out plutonium, Iran to meddle in Iraq and indulge its nuclear appetites and Syria and Iran to back Hamas and Hezbollah. The list goes on.

Those failed policies are one reason we yearn for the coming change of administration and for the next president to reject Mr. Bush’s bullheadedness.

We also yearn for a more civilized and respectful political dialogue. That is essential for a healthy democracy. It is also essential for regaining the world’s respect.
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Can the pork be stopped?

I actually agree with Bush on something -  I, too, find it disgusting that we have to pander to a few at the expense of many.  Here is Gail Collins on the subject of the just-passed farm bill, a disgrace.......

Op-Ed Columnist

McCain’s Superfuture

Published: May 17, 2008

John McCain gave a speech this week describing what the world would look like after his first term in office.

It looked great! The terrorists are on the run, Iraq is a “functioning democracy,” and back home the economy is terrific, thanks to a combination of business tax cuts and savings gleaned from eliminating useless government programs. For average citizens, the tax code has been made so simple and undemanding that filling out I.R.S. forms would probably become an enjoyable family activity, like miniature golf.

It was a little like those old Victorian novels in which the hero visits the future and discovers that by 2000, America has become perfect. Not only have wars and poverty been wiped out, houses have self-washing windows and everyone gets free tickets to great sporting events and concerts, for which good seats are always available at the last minute.

The most intriguing part of the McCain vision is the League of Democracies. This is his plan for a planetary alliance of economically powerful, democratically governed nations whose leaders would work together to protect human rights and combat terrorism. The proper policy response, no doubt, is: what about the United Nations? But all I really want to know is: will there be uniforms?

Jan. 1, 2013: President McCain celebrated the multitudinous achievements of his first four years in office with special friends in the White House. The tiny American contingent of troops still stationed in Iraq joined the festivities by satellite from a golf course in Baghdad, where they have been spending their time since the war was won.

Members of the League of Democracies opened the New Year’s ceremony with their pledge to “fight a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the small-d-democratic way.” Wearing their colorful terrorism-fighting costumes were French President Nicolas Sarkozy, now better known to the planet by his nom de guerre of Pâté Man, and Germany’s green-haired Angela (EcoGirl) Merkel, accompanied as always by her sidekick, Icy the Polar Bear. Silvio Berlusconi of Italy wore a business suit, but still wowed the crowd with his trademark power of shooting molten-gold bullion at his assailants.

On the one hand, it’s always helpful to hear a candidate’s broad vision. On the other, the vision loses some of its import if you can’t get there from here. Pressed for details on his foreign-policy strategies, McCain said the secret was “setting goals and achieving.” You can just hear the Democrats of 2013 kicking themselves: Goals and achievements! Why didn’t we think of that?

While McCain was unveiling his great expectations in Ohio, back in Washington Congress was voting by overwhelming majorities to pass an enormous, wasteful, ridiculous farm bill that provides massive subsidies to wealthy people who grow wheat, corn, soybeans, rice and cotton — along, of course, with Senator Mitch McConnell’s famous tax break for breeders of thoroughbred horses. McCain said he’d veto the bill if he were president, a threat that loses some of its wow quotient when the bill in question just passed both chambers by veto-proof majorities. (Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama dived into the tank and supported the package.)

Among the smaller subsidies was one for goat mohair. This was a target for the Clinton administration’s big efficiency drive, partly because the nation’s well-being does not really require a secure supply of mohair, and partly because it has the disadvantage of sounding silly. Mohair price supports were eliminated with great fanfare and effort. Then Congress promptly reinstated them as an emergency measure. (I have fond memories of Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, yelping: “Mohair is popular! I have a mohair sweater! It’s my favorite one!”) Special breaks for mohair were cemented back into agriculture policy under George Bush, even though Bush really did seem to want to do something about wasteful farm spending.

All of which explains why presidents who run for office promising to cut the fat out of the budget wind up sighing and learning to live with goats on the dole.

The farm bill is one big hairball of accommodations and trade-offs, and cheers to McCain for taking a principled stand against it. But unless he’s been serving on a U.S. Senate in an alternate universe, he knows that getting rid of even a small sliver of the unnecessary programs beloved by somebody’s constituents would be a Herculean challenge. It would be good to have a president willing to try. It would be scary to have one who builds his entire economic plan on the presumption that by 2013 he could wring “great reductions in government spending” that way.

And if his domestic vision is that far removed from reality, what does that say about the goals-and-achievements stepladder to international peace and harmony via military interventions and a League of Democracies?

Although if the costumes were neat enough. ...

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relief -


       - Mary Oliver

Lord Christ, Lord Vishnu, and all the others
    of whatever name,
let everyone in the world who suffers

have a day off, putting their lips
to the holy wine, to the holy waters.

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listen to the birds -

A friend of mine takes care of her young niece once a week.   This week, her niece said, "Let's go outside and listen to the birds sing."

What could be better than that?


cirque du soleil trapeze

Ice Cream -

When I went to the grocery store yesterday what sounded good was ice cream and it was on sale, so I tried two new types which I recommend..

Ben and Jerry's Imagine Whirled Peace is caramel and sweet cream ice creams swirled with fudge peace signs and toffee cookie pieces.

Ben and Jerry's Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream is Vanilla ice cream with fudge covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl.

Decadence Ho!

The ice cream is our reward for making a huge dent in the mess in the garage.   We may be able to fit both cars in the garage once again.