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sparosnare's Journal - Archives
Posted by sparosnare in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Dec 08th 2010, 08:52 PM
Operation Payback is facing a little payback of its own. First Twitter closed the pro-Wikileaks hacker movement's account. And now we hear the Feds are shutting down some online discussion of Operation Payback attacks.

Some sites have received federal court orders to cease any further online documentation of the attacks, which targeted Visa, Mastercard and other financial companies who froze Wikileaks accounts, a source close to the situation tells us. Among the sites where content is coming down is Encyclopedia Dramatica, which we're told received one of the orders. The 4chan-affiliated reference wiki within the past hour had the number three Google hit for a search on "Operation Payback." It has since deleted its article, though the entry remains accessible via Google cache (NSFW).

I wonder if DU will be forced to stop talking too?

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Posted by sparosnare in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Sep 07th 2009, 04:27 PM
On the condition they will watch President Obama's speech. We will then have a family discussion about what he said at dinner.

When I send them to school on Wednesday, their excuses will says this:

Please excuse ___________________ from school on Tuesday, September 8 as she stayed home to watch the President of the United States's live speech. The speech encouraged our children to stay in school and the importance of obtaining an education. This was an historic event and my child deserved the opportunity to watch it as it happened just like millions of other public school children across the country.

Our children are the future of our country and we must do whatever we can to help them grow into successful adults. With all of the difficulties children have as they make their way through their school years, this speech by our President was very important.

The reasons why the NISD decided against airing the President's speech during school are not acceptable to me (the parent) or my child. That is why I chose to keep her home to watch the speech.

If you have any questions or do not think this is a valid reason for an excused absence, please call me at....


If I am told the absence cannot be excused for this reason, then I'll take it further. It's just not fair my daughters can't watch it at school.
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Posted by sparosnare in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Aug 30th 2009, 12:06 PM

"also want you to know that even though I am ill, I am committed to do everything that I can to achieve access to healthcare for everyone in my country. This has been the political cause of my life." (from his letter to the Pope)

and here:

Got it GOPers? Got it Corporate Dems? Got it Corporate Media?

Ted Kennedy wanted every single person in this country to have health care. He believed it to be a right, not a privilege and worked tirelessly for it for 40 years. I don't know how much clearer his words can be.

So STOP using Teddy's name, his cause and talk of compromise to kill a public plan and further your own political agendas.


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Posted by sparosnare in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Aug 15th 2009, 09:10 AM
Many health insurance plans DO NOT cover dental care - I know I have to buy this separately and it's expensive. Not only is coverage expensive but deductible and out-of-pocket costs are also expensive. As a result, there are vast numbers of children and adults who never go to the dentist so when they have a dental crisis, drastic measures are taken, like pulling one's own teeth with a wrench. This sort of thing should not happen in this country.

I feel very strongly all children should have free dental care from the day they're born. Twice a year cleanings should be without charge (for everyone for life); fillings and any type of care to prevent loss of teeth and infection should be affordable. Remember the little boy who died from an abscess because he didn't receive the care he needed?

Healthy teeth are so very important and I don't think enough attention has been paid to this area of the health insurance debate. If anything needs to be socialized, it's dental care.

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Posted by sparosnare in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Apr 20th 2009, 09:23 PM
Democrats were really bad at outsmarting Republicans for a number of years and finally, we have a President who is really, really good at it. Obama is NOT going to show his hand and give Bushco a chance to "circle their wagons". He will keep them guessing until their asses are in a sling.

My prediction is that Congressional Dems will pressure the Obama Administration; Holder will be 'forced' to appoint an independent counsel and prosecutions of the masterminds will move forward. Obama will stay out of it, as it should be.

This is all going to take a bit of time and must be done smartly and carefully. I'm OK with waiting a bit to see how all it plays out.
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Posted by sparosnare in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Feb 16th 2009, 11:58 AM
I must say I'm puzzled by those who are criticizing and using the words "hero worship" to describe the feel good sentiments about President Obama and his family.

I've read a lot of the posts and have been thinking about it - what I actually feel I look at the sappy pics, watch video clips and see OUR president on TV. One word sums it up - Pride.

Let me explain....

For 8 long years we were abused and suffered at the hands of a dictatorial maniac and his political party. We were accused of being unpatriotic and told to shut up and sit down. We were lied to and dragged into an illegal war. A lot of us worked long and hard to elect Kerry in 2004; we were so sure the man sitting in the WH would not be 're-elected' for another 4 years. We were sorely mistaken.

With 2008 came a new hope - we had a chance to defeat the Republicans and get our man (or woman) elected. Some of us were behind Obama from the beginning, others eventually came around and once the primaries were over, we united behind our candidate and did everything we could to elect him. There were times, dismal times, since 2000 that I thought we'd never be able to defeat the Republican hate machine and they'd continue their assault on this country. But victory was ours - we handily defeated McCain and elected a young, charismatic and gifted man as President. A Democrat.

I can't help but feel proud of Obama and all Democrats; for overcoming the Republican hate machine and the media to succeed in 2008. I can't help but feel proud over the passage of the stimulus bill after only 3 weeks in office.
I can't help but feel proud to watch the Obama family make their way as the First Family. And yes, I really enjoy the photos.

There's nothing wrong with feeling this way. All Democrats deserve to gloat a little and beam with pride; we are responsible for electing a man of integrity and wisdom to lead this country out of the darkness of the past 8 years. Expectations are great and he needs our help if he is to be successful. I will continue to support Obama realizing he is human and may stumble along the way.

So be proud Democrats. It's OK. Really.

P.S. I won't be around to reply until later but I wanted to write this before I got side-tracked.
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Posted by sparosnare in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Fri Feb 29th 2008, 02:56 PM
I just got back from early voting at a library close to where I work. I though I could drive over there at lunchtime, run in, vote and run out. WRONG.

So many people; cars parked everywhere, even on the library lawn. A line so long the wait was 2 hours. I stayed and found myself waiting with an assortment of people - lots of young people. An elderly couple fell in behind me; the man had a walker and even though many of us offered to find him a chair he refused, said he didn't mind standing and waiting.

So as often happens when people are standing in line with nothing to do, we started to talk. It was the elderly gentleman with the walker who broke the ice. He stood there and exclaimed:

"This is a bit of a change for me today. I'm 74 years old and have voted Republican my entire life. I'm voting for a Democrat today - I'm voting for Barack Obama."

He went on to say he likes his demeanor and his willingness to work with others even if they disagree, he also said he's a bright man and if he doesn't know the answer, he'll go to the right people to get it. This was definitely not a man who was only voting for Obama to kick Hillary out. He genuinely supports Obama.

Several of us standing there then started talking all at once; about Obama and the reasons why we are supporting him. We carried on a conversation for most of the time we were in line - with excitement. The elderly couple, myself, a young black man and an elderly woman who was voting for McCain. Even she had nice things to say about Obama, so who knows - maybe she changed her mind when she stepped in the booth.

I have never had a voting experience like this. What I experienced today is not something that can be explained by pundits or pollsters. It can't be explained by any of the conventional means often used to indicate voting trends. I can honestly say I had a great time standing in line and came away feeling optimistic about the future of our country.

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Posted by sparosnare in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue Feb 19th 2008, 07:08 PM
What a day and what a crowd! Even though we got there two hours early, there was already a huge line of people around the building and stretching down the street a couple of blocks. We were told the place held 3K people and after awhile it became apparent not all there would get in. The street was blocked off and speakers set up outside; overflow crowd spilled into the street.

My daughter and I got in and found a seat fairly close to where Obama would speak. This is an outdoor venue and the weather was perfect. I looked around at the crowd and was happy to see such a diverse group of people; many different races and many different ages, all here together to hear Barack Obama.

We were entertained by various local political folks including our own Charlie Gonzalez who told a little story of when he was 12 and went to 'work' with dad Henry B. Gonzalez. At the end of the story, he said he is proud to support Obama and believes he is a product of what his father fought so hard for all of his life. Lots of cheers!

We waited and waited then noticed the crowd out on the street sounded really worked up; we could hear a very familiar voice in between the cheers. Obama had gone out into the street first to greet those who could not get in. We listened and waited some more then after about 20 minutes it was our turn.

Barack Obama gave an abbreviated speech (the one we are familiar with) for about 40 minutes, changing up parts of it to speak directly to San Antonians. When he mentioned George Bush would not be on the ballot this year, we yelled and he said "ya'll need to take him back" and we screamed "NO, WE DON'T WANT HIM" then everyone had a good laugh. There were moments of laughter throughout; Obama has a good sense of humor which sometimes isn't seen on TV.

After his speech, he answered questions from the crowd for over an hour. They were not planted questions, he randomly called on people himself. Each answer he gave was detailed, on various issues like healthcare, public school funding, the war, VA benefits and taxes. For those who say Obama doesn't talk policy and give details, they should have been there. He definitely knows his stuff.

If Obama had called on everyone we'd still be sitting there; I wish he could have. It was off to Houston next where he'll be this evening for returns out of Wisconsin and Hawaii.

My daughter and I are now home, exhausted but happy; it was a great experience for her. Now it's off to work for the next couple of weeks and with Texas's help, Barack Obama will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States of America.

Here's a few pics I took - enjoy!!!

Waiting in line (my daughter & me)

The crowd

Charlie Gonzalez

Barack Obama:

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Posted by sparosnare in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Jan 24th 2007, 01:04 PM
What is victory? Why won't Bush listen to anyone? Why can't he understand adding 20K more troops won't make a difference? Why does he want to send more of our young men and women into a meat grinder?

I hear questions like these from people all the time, they just don't get why Bush is such an idiot. It does seem that Bush is operating with recklessness and stupidity and doesn't have the capacity to understand that Iraq is not winnable and his "go-it-alone" decisions will only dig us in deeper and cause more loss of life.

Trying to answer the questions under the premise that Bush Administration truly wants to help the Iraqis have a working Democracy and live in freedom is folly - one can only conclude Bush and the rest of them ARE a bunch of incompetent idiots. But incompetence is a convenient crutch. They are far from incompetent and we must remember what the real unspoken goals of the Bush Administration were when they invaded Iraq and that those goals haven't changed.

Regardless of all the reasons given, the Bush Administration invaded Iraq to destabilize it and seize its resources, giving us permanence in the middle east. From there, they plan to use Iraq as a base to further spread destabilization into other countries like Iran and Syria. Chaos in the middle east is the MO of the Bush Administration and under the direction of the neocons, the United States is nothing more than invaders and thieves who care little about loss of life, be it Americans, Iraqis or anyone else. PNAC designed the plan years ago and anyone who thinks it's been scrapped is dead wrong. With them, the end always justifies the means, no matter how ugly it gets. This sort of thinking feeds into Bush's ego, which is probably why he continues to listen to them and often talks about his legacy being judged years from now. He believes he will go down in history as a great conquerer.

Makes it a bit easier to answer the questions knowing their plan:

What is victory? Victory is defined as expansion of the war which will ultimately lead to dominance of the middle east. Their version of victory only applies to them - does not apply to our military or any of us.

Why won't Bush listen to anyone? He is listening - to the neocons at the American Enterprise Institute.

Why can't he understand adding 20K more troops won't make a difference? He does understand; in fact, what he's hoping for is an escalation to have an excuse to go into Iran. Withdrawing our troops isn't part of the plan.

Why does he want to send more of our young men and women into a meat grinder? Because the end justifies the means, and the lives of our troops means nothing to him. They are insignificant, as are all of us.

And that's why when Bush talked of reducing our dependence on foreign oil by 20% over the next 10 years, Cheney sat behind him openly smirking. Even he was struck by the absurdity, knowing full well they have no intention of such a thing.

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Posted by sparosnare in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Fri Dec 01st 2006, 11:53 AM
December 1st is always a very poignant day for me. It is a day when I look back at the years I have spent on the battlefront of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and remember all of the men and women fighting this illness who came into my life and changed it for the better.

When I first embarked in this field, we had no arsenal for which to fight HIV infection. Those newly-diagnosed (most often with AIDS) were told to write a living will and given a time line on how much longer they had to live. We dealt with serious life-threatening infections that ravaged the body, and we also dealt with ignorance not only from the community but from medical professionals and family members. I canít tell you the number of times a physician would refuse to treat a person with HIV infection because they had a perceived notion they might somehow be at risk. It was truly heartbreaking when someone would tell us how his family had cast him out not because of his disease, but because of how he had contracted it. The enormity of issues facing those infected with HIV was overwhelming (and still is).

Eventually, we had a medication that held much promise in treating HIV infection. It was called AZT, and we participated in some of the very first clinical trials. Unfortunately, at the dose given, the drug was more toxic than helpful and most people in the study were discontinued because it damaged their muscles. But something was better than nothing, or so we thought. At this point we still had no diagnostic tests to tell us whether or not the drug actually halted HIV from growing in the body. All we could do was monitor the personís CD4 count (a white blood cell the virus targets) to see if it increased. During this time we also conducted a vaccine trial that failed miserably.

Over the years, I have seen the advancement of drugs used to fight HIV infection grow from just AZT to a great number of drugs in several different classes. Each class of drugs works to halt replication of the virus at different sites; thatís why it is recommended that someone with HIV infection take a ďcocktailĒ of drugs. These drugs arenít perfect and they donít always work for everyone but theyíre all we have. We also depend on the individual to take them as directed because missed doses will cause resistance. I am still hoping and praying that some day we will find a drug that actually targets and kills the HIV virus. Right now, we are developing integrase inhibitors that will be available soon. The clinical trial data looks very promising.

Because of the medical advancements made and overall awareness about HIV infection, we have seen the disease move from one of a terminal illness to a chronic illness. That said, longevity has given us a host of other issues. The drugs arenít benign and sometimes they quit working as well as they did at first. We still have patients we lose to highly resistant virus. I would like to say weíve seen as big of a change concerning societal issues that weíve seen in the clinical realm, but I canít. We have seen improvement but there is still such a long way to go.

My experience, of course, has been within the United States where overall, medication and medical care are available for those infected with HIV. We need to recognize and understand that people in countries without these means are still suffering and dying without any hope of treatment and care. In Africa, eating is often the number one priority. I am saddened that the rest of the world hasnít done enough to help and still hasnít grasped the need to proactively work to stop the spread of HIV infection.

Today, I am mostly remembering the people who have touched my life - those who Iíve laughed with and shared warm conversations even in the face of grave adversity. They are the bravest and kindest souls I have ever known and Iíd like to thank them for giving me a precious gift Ė enabling me to understanding that all human beings deserve respect and must be treated with dignity. That a smile and a touch can mean more than anything. If nothing else on this day, World AIDS Day, I want everyone to remember that.

John, Enrique, Ronnie, Al Ė you are gone now, but you will always hold a special place in my heart. I love you all.

Uninvited Guest

You are there at my awakening,
Every morning as I arise to meet a new day.

Every smile I make or tear I shed
Is shadowed by your presence,
And though no one can tell you're there,
You are ever so present to me.

Your grip is tight
So I feel you constantly.

You will not leave
So I must live with you,
And pray that you will be
More gentle with me
Than you have been with others.

I do not want you
But appreciate you,
For you have taught me to love
That which I have not loved before.


by Marcus Langston (12-21-59 to 07-24-93)

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Posted by sparosnare in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Sat Jun 10th 2006, 06:29 PM

The Johnstown Flood of 1889. It happened when an old dam above the town was turned into an exclusive lake resort for Carnegie, Mellon and pals - the South Fork Hunting and Fishing Club. They were warned repeatedly the old dam hadn't been repaired properly and too much rain would cause it to break. No one seemed to care - in fact, people in the town joked about it. Finally, with enough rain, all hell broke loose sending 20 million tons of water crashing through the valley at 40 mph, straight into Johnstown with all the debris it collected along the way. Warning telegraphs were sent downstream in time, but most people paid no attention. It was all over in 10 minutes, killing over 2000 who desperately tried to escape but couldn't. The flood changed that valley and the town forever. No lawsuits were ever brought against those who created the faulty lake.

I read the book about the flood when I was about 14 years old. It had meaning to me because I knew the area well, growing up not too far away. If you've ever been there, the Conemaugh Valley and the surrounding mountains are beautiful. It was difficult for me to imagine all that water rushing through there, destroying everything in it's path.

Anyway, part of the book has always stuck in my mind. There's an account of a passenger train that was making its way through the valley, but higher up on the side of the mountain. Those on the train watched in horror as the angry water rushed through the valley below them and then passed them - knowing full well where it was headed, and knowing there wasn't anything they could do to let the people of the town know. They were completely helpless, and completely heartbroken.

I just read the post about Ellsberg's prediction that the day after another 9/11, our rights will be gone. For some reason I thought of the Johnstown Flood, the people who warned the dam would break and were laughed at, and the people on the train that watched it happen and could do nothing.

Right now, I feel a kinship with those wise people who warned of the poor dam reconstruction when I think about the state of affairs in this country. I can't help but feel it's only a matter of time before The United States of America and everything it stands for is completely destroyed. There are brave individuals like Ellsberg and those of us on DU who warn, but the American people are not taking the warnings seriously. They scoff, joke, and say "it can never happen here". They don't see the signs and that all it will take is one heavy rain to start the 'flood'.

Just like the Johnstown Flood, it will be over in the blink of an eye, and once it starts, there will be no stopping the deluge - it will be unstoppable. Then, we will all be like the people on that train, watching it happen, knowing we are helpless to do anything about it. And just like Johnstown, the United States of America and its people will never be the same.

If you're interested in learning more about the Johnstown Flood, here are some links: /
(book - David McCullough)

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Posted by sparosnare in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Mon Jun 05th 2006, 05:06 PM
It was his 5 pm question - "Do you trust the honesty of America's election process?"

I was Michele in San Antonio!

Here's what I said (not exact) -

I voted in my state's primary election this March.

There I stood in front of an electronic voting machine while the poll-worker explained how to use it. When he was done, I asked him "How do I know my vote gets counted as I intend?"

He stood there looking puzzled then said "trust, I guess."

Well, that's not good enough.

(there was more, but he didn't read it all).
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Posted by sparosnare in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Fri May 12th 2006, 01:07 PM
I submitted this to my local newspaper this morning:

Time to Resign

I think you may have forgotten, Mr. Bush, but the United States of America has a Constitution that contains a Bill of Rights. This document makes our country different from others because it protects ďWe the PeopleĒ from intrusion by its government Ė a government that was elected at the will of the people. A government that does not have a right to do as it pleases, even in the name of protection.

I am deeply disturbed that every time you decide to break a law or thumb your nose at our rights, you say itís because of the terrible tragedy of 9/11 and that youíre doing it in the name of national security. That excuse isnít working anymore Mr. Bush.

When you assumed the office of President, you took an oath. In case you donít remember the words, here they are:

ďI do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of

President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve,

protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.Ē

Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States Ė thatís the bottom line. When you decided it was necessary to ignore your oath of office and circumvent the Constitution, regardless of the reason, you violated the trust and rights of the people.

You havenít kept your end of the bargain Mr. Bush, and itís time you resign as President. I think most Americans would agree.

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Posted by sparosnare in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Fri Apr 07th 2006, 12:05 PM
By secretly declassifying intelligence information for the purpose of persuading the American public that Iraq was an imminent threat to our national security.

By intentionally not declassifying other intelligence information that would have refuted the released declassified information.

By committing a war of aggression against Iraq based on intelligence information that was not in fact flawed, but picked and chosen to serve his own political purposes.

This man who calls himself President has willfully betrayed the trust of the people of the United States of America. In doing so, he has not only damaged our national security, but undermined the Constitution and reneged on his Presidential Oath of Office.

There is no alternative but to remove him from office by Constitutional authority.

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Posted by sparosnare in The DU Lounge
Fri Mar 17th 2006, 04:02 PM
My father's family; don't know how many greats grandfather.

Abraham Trostle Farm, south of Gettysburg near the wheat field. The family left abruptly on July 2 as the battle swept toward them, and Gen. Sickles's staff, who had set up his headquarters in the yard, helped themselves to a meal that had been left on the dining room table. Trostle lost almost everything he owned during the battle

1863 - Bigelow's Stand - Battle for the Trostle Farm

"When we reached the angle of the stone wall at Trostle's house, a swell of ground, 50 yards on our right front, covered us from Barksdale's approaching lines and we began to limber up, hoping to (get) out and back to our lines before they closed in on us...but, McGilvery again rode up (and) told me...I must hold my position at all hazards." - Captain John Bigelow, 9th Massachusetts Light Artille

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