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Defenestrate's Journal
Posted by The Blue Flower in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri Oct 22nd 2010, 06:08 PM
A musical spoof for your enjoyment:
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Posted by The Blue Flower in Books: Fiction
Fri Jul 16th 2010, 10:48 AM
It's my first, and I'm very excited about it. Here's a brief description:

The brutal murder of homeless, 67-year-old Arden O’Brien on the shoreline of the Puget Sound is not a random act. Piper Steele, down to her last unemployment check, is determined to find out what’s really behind the senseless killing of her dear friend. In this time of recession, unemployment, and homelessness, Piper finds a way not only to survive, but to uncover a truly despicable plan in which the most vulnerable and desperate are to be converted into hard cash. Along the way, she also finds a new career as a private investigator and, finally, love.

I also set up a blog:
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Posted by The Blue Flower in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Jan 28th 2010, 07:08 PM
My daughter just told me she heard an NPR commentator state this morning that the fact that the Republicans didn't boo during the president's speech and instead just sat quietly was the equivalent of an olive branch. The commentator said it has been common for the opposing party to boo the speech in the past. I don't remember booing in past SOTUs. Does anyone else? I thought it was just a way to spin their rudeness into something positive.
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Posted by The Blue Flower in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Aug 05th 2009, 10:34 AM
This web ad has been posted on Daily Kos: -
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Posted by The Blue Flower in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Apr 23rd 2009, 11:35 AM
Got this in my mailbox this morning:
( )

Dear NRCAT Supporters:

It's time to begin planning for June - Torture Awareness Month. We will be using Torture Awareness Month to emphasize three major goals: a Commission on Inquiry, putting into law key provisions of the Executive Order, and expanding the national consensus that torture is always wrong.

Our new Torture Awareness Month webpage outlines a range of activities congregations can do during June.

Increase the number of people in our nation who believe that torture is always wrong:

Building on the increased national visibility of torture as a result of the ICRC report, the Justice Department memos, and the Senate Armed Services Committee report, we encourage you to consider using the following:
1. Worship Resources -Highlight the issue of torture during a worship service, using or adapting resources NRCAT has developed or collected from other sources, including a new interfaith prayer and sample sermons. If you would like to share or suggest other resources (e.g. a sermon you've given), please send them to John Humphries at .

2. Study Resources - Organize a study session, using NRCAT's new video "Ending U.S.-sponsored Torture Forever: A Study Resource for People of Faith" and discussion guide. You can view the trailer here. We've highlighted a number of other resources here.

3. Community Outreach - Promote the display of banners and bumper stickers. NRCAT has new banners and bumper stickers for 2009 with the message "End Torture - Forever: Investigate. Legislate."

Advocate for a Commission of Inquiry and legislation that will make permanent the elements of President Obama's executive order halting torture:
1. Organize a delegation to meet with your Member of Congress during
the July 4th recess (6/29 - 7/3), seeking support for a Commission of Inquiry and legislation that will make permanent the elements of President Obama's executive order.

2. Organize a public event to mark UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26.

NRCAT will continue updating the Torture Awareness Month page during the coming weeks, providing more detailed information and resources, but please initiate your planning NOW by talking with congregational leaders about how your congregation will participate in this national initiative for education and action.

If you have any questions about these suggested activities or need more information about how your congregation can be engaged, please contact John Humphries at .

Thank you for all your efforts to end U.S.-sponsored torture - permanently.


Linda Gustitus, President
Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director

You have received this message because you endorsed the "Torture is a Moral Issue" statement of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture OR you signed up to receive more information from NRCAT.

Questions? Please email
National Religious Campaign Against Torture:

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Posted by The Blue Flower in Justice
Thu Apr 09th 2009, 10:04 AM
received in my mailbox (don't know if it's been posted already):

Peru court rules Fujimori guilty
April 7, 2009

Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori has been sentenced to 25 years in jail for ordering killings and kidnappings by security forces.

At the end of a 15-month trial, judges found him guilty of two death-squad killings of 25 people during the conflict with guerrillas in the 1990s.

After being sentenced, Mr Fujimori said he would appeal against the verdict.

Human rights group Amnesty International described the verdict as "a milestone in the fight for justice".

"Justice has been done in Peru. This is an historic day," said the group's spokesman, Javier Zuniga.

"It is not every day when a former head of state is convicted for human rights violations such as torture, kidnapping and enforced disappearances.

"We hope that it is just the first of many trials in both Latin America and throughout the world."

Abuse of power

Mr Fujimori is already serving a six-year term after being found guilty in 2007 on separate charges of abuse of power.

The trial, which took place at a special-forces police base on the outskirts of the capital, Lima, was the first time a democratically elected Latin American leader had been tried and found guilty in his own country for human rights abuses.

Outside the base, anti-Fujimori activists clashed with his supporters, attacking each other with sticks, fists and stones before being separated by riot police.

In reading the court's ruling, Chief Judge Cesar San Martin said the charges were proven beyond all reasonable doubt.

Correspondents say Mr Fujimori apparently anticipated a guilty verdict. He sat alone taking notes as the verdict was read out.

As the televised "mega trial" neared its end last Friday, the former leader told the court that the charges against him were exaggerated and motivated by revenge.
There was no proof, he said, that he had overseen a death squad as part of a "dirty war" against suspected Maoist Shining Path guerrillas in the early 1990s.

"I completely reject that I gave any orders in an allegedly parallel system to put into practice a dirty war to defeat terrorism," he said.

The trial heard from about 80 witnesses in more than 150 court sessions.

The prosecution argued that Mr Fujimori authorised the counter-insurgency actions of a death squad known as La Colina that killed 25 people in 1991 and 1992.

Mr Fujimori was also found guilty of ordering the brief abduction of a journalist and a businessman.

Mr Fujimori's decade in power came to a dramatic end in November 2000 when he fled to his parents' native Japan in the wake of a bribery scandal involving his intelligence chief.
He spent five years in self-imposed exile in Japan before flying to Chile in 2005 where he was arrested. Two years later he was extradited to Peru to stand trial.

Proceedings over the past 15 months have frequently been held up because of Mr Fujimori's poor health.

However, correspondents say Mr Fujimori is still a political figure.

He is popular among those Peruvians who credit him with saving the country from rebel insurgency and economic collapse. He also has 13 supporters in Peru's 120-member congress, among them his daughter Keiko.
She has not formally announced her candidature for the 2011 elections. But the 33-year-old was the front-runner in a recent Lima-based opinion poll.

She has said she would not hesitate to pardon her father if she became Peru's president.

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Posted by The Blue Flower in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Jan 19th 2009, 02:51 PM
You're only a day away!!!!!!

That is all.
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Posted by The Blue Flower in Veterans
Wed Dec 31st 2008, 02:36 PM
How to Cut Through the Bureaucracy and Get What You Need--And Are Entitled To
Published by Veterans for America (pdf)

599 pages
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Posted by The Blue Flower in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Oct 09th 2008, 10:55 AM

The Bush administration this month is quietly cutting off birth control supplies to some of the world’s poorest women in Africa. Thus the paradox of a “pro-life” administration adopting a policy whose result will be tens of thousands of additional abortions each year — along with more women dying in childbirth.

The latest bout of reproductive-health madness came in the last couple of weeks when the U.S. Agency for International Development ordered six African countries to ensure that no U.S.-financed condoms, birth control pills, I.U.D.’s or other contraceptives are furnished to Marie Stopes International, a British-based aid group that operates clinics in poor countries.

The Bush administration says it took this action because Marie Stopes International works with the U.N. Population Fund in China. President Bush has cut all financing for the population fund on the — false — basis that it supports China’s family-planning program.

It’s true that China’s one-child policy sometimes includes forced abortion, and when traveling in rural China, I still come across peasants whose homes have been knocked down as punishment for an unauthorized child. But the U.N. fund has been the most powerful force in moderating China’s policy, and a State Department team itself found no evidence of any U.N. involvement in the coercion.

Mr. Bush’s defunding of the U.N. Population Fund — backed by Senator McCain — has persisted since 2002. What is new is the extension of that policy to a leading private family-planning organization like Marie Stopes International.

“The irony and hypocrisy of it is that this is a bone to the self-described ‘pro-life’ movement, but it will result in deaths to women who just want to space their births,” said Dana Hovig, the chief executive of Marie Stopes International. The organization estimates that the result will be at least 157,000 additional unwanted pregnancies per year, leading to 62,000 additional abortions and 660 women dying in childbirth.


Thus the paradox of a “pro-life” administration adopting a policy whose result will be tens of thousands of additional abortions each year — along with more women dying in childbirth.

more at link...

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The Palins' un-American activities
Imagine if the Obamas had hooked up with a violently anti-American group in league with the government of Iran.
By David Talbot

Oct. 07, 2008 | "My government is my worst enemy. I'm going to fight them with any means at hand."

This was former revolutionary terrorist Bill Ayers back in his old Weather Underground days, right? Imagine what Sarah Palin is going to do with this incendiary quote as she tears into Barack Obama this week.

Only one problem. The quote is from Joe Vogler, the raging anti-American who founded the Alaska Independence Party. Inconveniently for Palin, that's the very same secessionist party that her husband, Todd, belonged to for seven years and that she sent a shout-out to as Alaska governor earlier this year. ("Keep up the good work," Palin told AIP members. "And God bless you.")

AIP chairwoman Lynette Clark told me recently that Sarah Palin is her kind of gal. "She's Alaskan to the bone ... she sounds just like Joe Vogler."

So who are these America-haters that the Palins are pallin' around with?

Before his strange murder in 1993, party founder Vogler preached armed insurrection against the United States of America. Vogler, who always carried a Magnum with him, was fond of saying, "When the bureaucrats come after me, I suggest they wear red coats. They make better targets. In the federal government are the biggest liars in the United States, and I hate them with a passion. They think they own . There comes a time when people will choose to die with honor rather than live with dishonor. That time may be coming here. Our goal is ultimate independence by peaceful means under a minimal government fully responsive to the people. I hope we don't have to take human life, but if they go on tramping on our property rights, look out, we're ready to die."

This quote is from "Coming Into the Country," by John McPhee, who traipsed around Alaska's remote gold mining country with Vogler for his 1991 book. The violent-tempered secessionist vowed to McPhee that if any federal official tried to stop him from polluting Alaska's rivers with his earth-moving equipment, he would "run over him with a Cat and turn mosquitoes loose on him while he dies."

Vogler wasn't just a blowhard either. He put his secessionist ideas into action, working to build AIP membership to 20,000 -- an impressive figure by Alaska standards -- and to elect party member Walter Hickel as governor in 1990.

Vogler's greatest moment of glory was to be his 1993 appearance before the United Nations to denounce United States "tyranny" before the entire world and to demand Alaska's freedom. The Alaska secessionist had persuaded the government of Iran to sponsor his anti-American harangue.

That's right ... Iran. The Islamic dictatorship. The taker of American hostages. The rogue nation that McCain and Palin have excoriated Obama for suggesting we diplomatically engage. That Iran.

AIP leaders allege that Vogler, who was murdered that year by a fellow secessionist, was taken out by powerful forces in the U.S. before he could reach his U.N. platform. "The United States government would have been deeply embarrassed," by Vogler's U.N. speech, darkly suggests Clark. "And we can't have that, can we?"

The Republican ticket is working hard this week to make Barack Obama's tenuous connection to graying, '60s revolutionary Bill Ayers a major campaign issue. But the Palins' connection to anti-American extremism is much more central to their political biographies.

Imagine the uproar if Michelle Obama was revealed to have joined a black nationalist party whose founder preached armed secession from the United States and who enlisted the government of Iran in his cause? The Obama campaign would probably not have survived such an explosive revelation. Particularly if Barack Obama himself was videotaped giving the anti-American secessionists his wholehearted support just months ago.

Where's the outrage, Sarah Palin has been asking this week, in her attacks on Obama's fuzzy ties to Ayers? The question is more appropriate when applied to her own disturbing associations.

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Extracted from the entire message:

This year's presidential election holds more pressure than previous election years. That is the influence of this energy in October. It is the influence of the expansion cycle you have gone through in the last five months that you are completing now, but are still in. The expansion cycle is based on you being a bigger version of yourself in the world; of you putting an end to hiding, running away, or denying you have done in the past. This is the reason you are feeling like this may be bigger than you may have felt about these kinds of things before. Essentially, the presidential election gives you an opportunity to grapple with duality. The only way to grapple with duality is to recognize it and to resolve it inside yourself. There will be no use in arguing about the political campaign in the U.S. It will not serve you to try to hold one side against another side. When you do that you are celebrating duality and holding it in place -- you are feeding it energy. Instead, the best way to handle this rising sense of passion, investment or connection to the presidential campaign in the U.S., the best way to work with this, is to surround yourself and everyone around you in grace. Surround yourself with a sense that everything will be fine no matter who wins the race. The human race will continue to progress forward toward the light.

Any system that is out of integrity or out of alignment will continue to unravel and fall apart. If there is something that you see in government or politics that concerns you, or that happens to be out of integrity, it will bring up fear for you. If you hold onto that fear and try to fight for something different to happen, you will to lose the sense of your own power. The best way to deal with the changes unraveling before you is to remain true to the sense that you are moving toward the light and you are helping everyone around you toward the light. When you find yourself engaged in a political argument, take a few steps back in your mind and consider that everyone is right from their own perspective. The best thing you can do is to bring humor, grace, compassion and a willingness to listen and try to understand one another. That approach utilized across the U.S. is going to heal you through the process of this election rather than harm you through the process of this election.

The U.S. election campaigns are bringing up a sense of the inner shadow. Whether you are for one side or the other in the battle, what you are dealing with inside of yourselves is the sense of your hopes and your dreams being up against your shadow side. Your fears, worries, anger, repression, and denial are battling within you as individuals. That is really what this is all about. When you feel fear, let that fear move you outward and help you connect with people around you. When you feel fear, do not let it convince you that other people are against you or that other people will not understand you. Instead, let that fear come out and share it with others; bring it to the light, put it on the table, tell your loved ones that you feel afraid when you see something happening in government. As you share that with one another you are able to dissolve that fear and hold one another in love.

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Posted by The Blue Flower in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Sep 30th 2008, 02:56 PM

In one bold stroke, John McCain threw away his "experience" argument in favor of reclaiming the "reform" mantle. To call it a gamble is an understatement; it was a crapshoot, with all the chips on one roll of the dice.

Then they decided to get really careful. And now Sarah Palin has become the first sequestered vice presidential candidate in American history.The original McCain campaign reaction to questions about Palin's qualifications was to complain the "media elite" were treating this nominee badly, with different standards, because a) she's a woman and b) she's an outsider. They then raised the point that she's got more managerial experience than Obama. All were plausible arguments (at least in the heat of a campaign).

But their case for Palin has been evaporating with remarkable speed. The more they hide her, each venture out into the open becomes magnified -- and her last attempts at tête-à-tête interviews have been disasters.

And that's the word Republicans use.

And when she isn't being hidden as she crams for her vice presidential debate, she has been let into public view for selective interviews and photo-ops that have been alternately silly, painful to watch and sometimes even alarming...

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Posted by The Blue Flower in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Sep 30th 2008, 02:53 PM

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The House's failure to pass a $700 billion bailout package Monday not only held back billions for Wall Street, but also was a major blow to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign.

The Republican presidential nominee raised the stakes for himself last week when he suspended his campaign and returned to Washington for negotiations over a solution to the financial crisis.

"Even before the House vote, voters blamed Republicans more than Democrats for the crisis. Then McCain suspended his campaign to come back to Washington to rally support for a rescue plan," said Bill Schneider, a CNN political analyst. "He failed, so he gets blamed by both supporters and opponents of the rescue plan."

During a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday, McCain appeared to distance himself from Monday's House vote, saying the congressional inaction had "every American and the entire economy at the gravest risk."

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Posted by The Blue Flower in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Sep 25th 2008, 10:07 AM
Just got this from my sister:

Hi Pals,

I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a We Deserve It Dividend.

To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.

Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..

So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion that equals $425,000.00.

My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a We Deserve It Dividend.

Of course, it would NOT be tax free.

So let's assume a tax rate of 30%.

Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.

That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.

A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.

Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads

Put away money for college - it'll be there

Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

Buy a new car - create jobs

Invest in the market - capital drives growth

Pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care improves

Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean - or else

Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( 'vote buy' ) economic incentive that is being proposed
by one of our candidates for President.

If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG - liquidate it.

Sell off its parts.

Let American General go back to being American General.

Sell off the real estate.

Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't.

Sure it's a crazy idea that can 'never work.'

But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

How do you spell Economic Boom?

I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion

We Deserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC

And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

Ahhh...I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

Kindest personal regards,


T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic

PS: Feel free to pass this along to your pals as it's either good for a laugh or a tear or a very sobering thought on how to best use $85 Billion!!

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Posted by The Blue Flower in Washington
Tue Sep 16th 2008, 05:05 PM

A subsidiary of the Building Industry Association of Washington violated campaign-finance laws, the state Public Disclosure Commission has ruled.

The five-member commission will pass along its findings to the state Attorney General's Office, which will decide this week whether to prosecute.

The subsidiary in question, BIAW Member Services, committed multiple violations by not registering as a political committee and by failing to report more than $500,000 in contributions, the PDC found.

The decision is a blow to the builders association, which in recent months ran a controversial ad campaign aimed at derailing Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire's bid for re-election.

After a complaint from a citizens group led by two former state Supreme Court justices, the PDC, which oversees campaign-finance regulations, began an investigation into the building association's political activity.

more at link...
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