Wednesday, November 30, 2005

(The Pentagon was forced to shut down its "Office of Strategic Influence" in 2002 after reports surfaced that it intended to plant false news stories in the international media.)

U.S. Military Covertly Pays to Run Stories in Iraqi Press

As part of an information offensive in Iraq, the U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by American troops in an effort to burnish the image of the U.S. mission in Iraq.

The articles, written by U.S. military "information operations" troops, are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers with the help of a defense contractor, according to U.S. military officials and documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times


The arrangement with Lincoln Group is evidence of how far the Pentagon has moved to blur the traditional boundaries between military public affairs — the dissemination of factual information to the media — and psychological and information operations, which use propaganda and sometimes misleading information to advance the objectives of a military campaign.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


A year after tangling with the Bush campaign over the use of a pop tune he penned in the 1970's, Democrat John Hall now wants to take on Rep. Sue Kelly.

Hall, a former county legislator who lives in Dover Plains, announced today he is running for Congress in the 19th Congressional District in New York. [WaPo]

Hall co-wrote ``Still the One,'' and ``Dance With Me,'' which were hits in the mid-1970s for the rock band Orleans, of which Hall is a founding member. Hall summarized his campaign platform as redefining national security. That includes not only strong and well-equipped armed forces, but also things like affordable and accessible health care, a world-class education for all children and the development of more alternative energy sources.

Hall also feels that there is considerable evidence that voting fraud occurred in the last two presidential elections. It is not surprising, considering the hardball tactics used for many years in certain cities around the country, but the advent of electonic voting makes it much more worrisome. more

John Hall is THE ONE that our District needs!

White Supremacy Gone Madison Avenue

I'm not sure what coverage this ad is getting and I'd really like to know what areas of the country are being bombarded.

The Coalition for the Future American Worker, who are running the ad, turns out to be a front for several white supremacist groups, named in BDI article.

The ad shows people in manufacturing settings, complaining about foreign workers taking American jobs, peppered with phrases like, "Mr. Bush, I can do that job".

Indeed, the "illegal alien" campaign scare-tactic for 2006 is gearing up and we need to have boots to ground now. If this ad is running in your area, please send a letter to the station running it and leave a comment here.

I intend to follow this up -- with the FCC if need be. I already emailed my concerns to my local station, and am leaving a copy here if you'd like to use the boilerplate.

Dear Sir or Madam:

I have a concern about a commercial you have been running for several days now, by The Coalition for the Future American Worker. I did some checking on who this group might be.

A quick Google brought me to a page half of which was the expected home site and a few sites that linked to . Immediately below is a list of links that explains that The Coalition for the Future American Worker is a front for a white supremacist group known as The Pioneer Fund.

From Building Democracy Initiative

The Coalition for the Future American Worker is one of the many fronts created by national anti-immigrant groups to conceal their agenda. The so-called Coalition is actually the creation of the two largest anti-immigrant organizations, the Washington DC-based anti-immigrant group FAIR and the Virginia-based American Immigration Control (AIC).

Together, AIC and FAIR have received more than $1.4 million dollars from the white supremacist foundation known as the Pioneer Fund.

The Pioneer Fund was founded in 1937 to further the cause of purifying the American gene pool by encouraging the descendants of white colonialists to procreate. Since that time the Pioneer Fund has become a centerpiece in keeping scientific racism alive through allocating grants for pseudo-academic studies. The Pioneer Fund serves as a primary supporter of the eugenics movement and has given it both the space to grow and the chance to politicize its research and theories.

Indeed, does your station have the support of white supremacists? Does your station support white supremacists? Why do you allow such insidious advertising, especially at the dinner hour?

I am a regular viewer and do expect some kind of response. I also wish to see that ad pulled.


Interesting Article in the New Yorker

Current and former military and intelligence officials have told me that the President remains convinced that it is his personal mission to bring democracy to Iraq, and that he is impervious to political pressure, even from fellow Republicans. They also say that he disparages any information that conflicts with his view of how the war is proceeding.

Bush’s closest advisers have long been aware of the religious nature of his policy commitments. In recent interviews, one former senior official, who served in Bush’s first term, spoke extensively about the connection between the President’s religious faith and his view of the war in Iraq. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former official said, he was told that Bush felt that “God put me here” to deal with the war on terror. The President’s belief was fortified by the Republican sweep in the 2002 congressional elections; Bush saw the victory as a purposeful message from God that “he’s the man,” the former official said. Publicly, Bush depicted his reëlection as a referendum on the war; privately, he spoke of it as another manifestation of divine purpose.

The former senior official said that after the election he made a lengthy inspection visit to Iraq and reported his findings to Bush in the White House: “I said to the President, ‘We’re not winning the war.’ And he asked, ‘Are we losing?’ I said, ‘Not yet.’ ” The President, he said, “appeared displeased” with that answer.

“I tried to tell him,” the former senior official said. “And he couldn’t hear it.”

Monday, November 28, 2005

The President said that we have to remain in Iraq because of the 2,100 troops who have already died there.

However, consider a couple of numbers:

The war began on March 18, 2003. The 1,000th American to die in Iraq was on Sept. 8, 2004 (17 and a half months).

From Sept. 8, 2004 until the 2,000th American died on October 26, 2005 was thirteen and a half months.

We are now over 2,100 just a month later.

Seems to me that things are gradually getting worse. And, it would be a lot easier to 'stay the course' if we know what that was.

And another one gone,
Another one bites the dust, yeah:

U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham pleaded guilty on
Monday to felony conspiracy and tax evasion for taking
money from a defense contractor in exchange for help in
securing Defense Department contracts.

After we've had our fun with Bush, let's take a look at a real enemy...

ugly american

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Sunday Discussion Group

By January 2009, when the next president takes the oath of office, George W. Bush will be a relatively-young 62. This week's topic is: what in the world will Bush do once his presidency is officially over?

Among modern presidents, Bush, after his second term, will be young and healthy, and will have any number of options. He seems unlikely to write extensively on public policy (Nixon), or pursue international humanitarian and diplomatic missions (Carter and Clinton). Given Bush's standing and unique "talents," the teaching/speaking/Davos route seems out of the question. And he'll be too young to just golf and encourage well-wishers to watch his drives.

He's likely to enjoy the ranch, but there's only so much brush-clearing a healthy 62-year-old former president can do. So, what will Bush do with his time? What would a man with few curiosities and a tendency to avoid hard work want to do?
SOURCE: The Carpetbagger Report

Good morning, starshine, the earth says "Hello"
You twinkle above us, we twinkle below...


Bemidji Leads

Bemidji, MN, the first city on the Mississippi, is an historically charming, beautiful and progressive city. It has grown by over 30% since 1980. In the past, the city was largely dependent on logging and tourism for employment but over the last 20 years it's become a regional hub in northern Minnesota for education, retail commerce and health care.

For the people of Bemidji this was a mixed blessing. Long time residents are glad that their children don't have to leave their "small town" and settle in the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul in order to make a good living. But they were concerned that Bemidji was losing its small town charm and was being overrun by giant retail chains, parking lots and fast food franchises.

The invisible hand that guides the market was shaping their community in a way that a great many were not entirely comfortable with. A couple of dozen leaders in the community took to heart the message of philospher Joseph Campbell You either claim your destiny, or it will claim you. and decided to do something about it.

The result of that leadership, is Bemidji Leads. They didn't form a committee or create a task force, they invited the entire community to come together and talk about values, dreams and a vision for their lives together.

They convened over 40 town hall meetings and conducted meetups at coffee shops and open houses. Their message was simple - let's claim our future or it will claim us.

The people of Bemidji were reasonable and they demanded the impossible.

  • A healthy community successfully balancing regional center amenities and small town beauty and character;
  • A vibrant economic center recognized for its innovation, creativity and knowledge;
  • A social, cultural, recreational and educational magnet;
  • An embracing, culturally diverse community;
  • A people committed to shared prosperity and long-term community stewardship; and
  • The star of the north, a national model of community success.

They set some wild and crazy goals. One is planting 10,000 trees. A couple of rotary clubs and other groups latched on to that one and planted 30,000 in about a year. They set some seemingly impossible goals but the Bemidji model is spreading. The White Earth Indian Reservation, the city of Park Rapids and Mahnomen County all have taken notice. The Headwaters Regional Development Commission is going to try to make Bemidji a model for the state.

Some people see things as they are and ask why, the people of Bemidji see things as they might be and ask "Why not?"

Think globally, act locally - a wave to Minnesota Public Radio, to the MN Headwaters Regional Development Commission, and to the people of Bemidji.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


My French name is
It means 'beloved'.
You need to love and be loved. You love with all of
your heart, and expect the same in return. What
you want most is to make the ones you love
happy. You are warm and affectionate.

What is your French name?
brought to you by Quizilla

*A wave to Daffodil Lane for finding this*

It is early in the morning. No one is around. I am going to confess...I am for national standardized testing of kids in basic math and reading skills. Maybe this puts me on the side of some aspects of No Child Left Behind, but I was for this before president dog brain came around with his plan with its bizarre accomodations of states rights. Such as the right to bring up dumb kids.
Therefore I find this piece from the Times quite funny. It seems Tennessee, Mississippi, etc. give their own tests to kids statewide and they come out as little Einsteins but when the national test is applied the kids come out alot further down the evolutionary tree. Could it be that in areas where creationism ( intelligent design) is stongly held the kids are reverse evolving; losing their math and reading skills but getting really good at swinging from vines?

from the NY Times:

Students Ace State Tests, but Earn D's From U.S.

By SAM DILLONPublished: November 26, 2005

After Tennessee tested its eighth-grade students in math this year, state officials at a jubilant news conference called the results a "cause for celebration." Eighty-seven percent of students performed at or above the proficiency level.
But when the federal government made public the findings of its own tests last month, the results were startlingly different: only 21 percent of Tennessee's eighth graders were considered proficient in math.
Such discrepancies have intensified the national debate over testing and accountability, with some educators saying that numerous states have created easy exams to avoid the sanctions that President Bush's centerpiece education law, No Child Left Behind, imposes on consistently low-scoring schools.
A comparison of state test results against the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, a federal test mandated by the No Child Left Behind law, shows that wide discrepancies between the state and federal findings were commonplace.
In Mississippi, 89 percent of fourth graders performed at or above proficiency on state reading tests, while only 18 percent of fourth graders demonstrated proficiency on the federal test. Oklahoma, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Alaska, Texas and more than a dozen other states all showed students doing far better on their own reading and math tests than on the federal one.

dumb and dumber

Friday, November 25, 2005


Oil Change

A campaign to reduce our dependence on oil Inspired by the film Syriana Oil addiction. It saps America's economic strength, pollutes our environment, and jeopardizes national security. Breaking that addiction begins with the choices we make as individuals. Instead of oil dependence, let’s choose Oil Change! Learn more...

Beware! He's back!

Joe asks a really important question about Michael "Heckuva Job" Brownie this morning after reading the NY Times article "Ex - FEMA Head Starts Disaster Planning Firm"

''Hurricane Katrina showed how bad disasters can be, and there's an incredible need for individuals and businesses to understand how important preparedness is,'' he said.

Brown said companies already have expressed interested in his consulting business, Michael D. Brown LLC. He plans to run it from the Boulder area, where he lived before joining the Bush administration in 2001.

Lance Mannion surprised the heck out of his family this morning...funny my husband had the same reaction.

Caveat Emptor!!

CO2 'highest for 650,000 years'
By Richard Black
Environment Correspondent, BBC News website

Current levels of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere are higher now than at any time in the last 650,000 years.

That is the conclusion of new European studies looking at ice taken from 3km below the surface of Antarctica.

The scientists say their research shows present day warming to be exceptional.

Other research, also published in the journal Science, suggests that sea levels may be rising twice as fast now as in previous centuries.


I am really angry at those supposed leaders who relentlessly try to convince people that there is nothing to worry about, that climate change fears are the result of junk science and so on. I find the infestation of religion into our government vial and I see it being directly connected to the promotion of the dumbing down of the public. What is being stolen is the most basic drive and that is the drive to protect and nuture our own young. We are encouraged to worry about the religous life of our kids and grandkids which at best is benign and at worst the pathological feeding of superstitions and to ingnore the material evidence for a mounting world of new man made disasters.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Even as much as I sometimes think (especially in light of incidents like the Plame leak) that there is no limit that the Bush administration won't go to in abusing its power to punish those who put forth a competing message that President Bush doesn't like, I was skeptical at first about this story. I thought at first the tabloid story (published in the London Daily Mirror) that a leaked government memo said that the President had considered bombing the Qatar headquarters of the al-Jazeera television network sounded a bit too daft to be true. After all, we know how tabloids are in the United States, right, what with all the pictures of an aged Elvis shaking hands with Eminem, or of Marilyn Monroe waving out from inside a UFO. The memo, purporting to detail a discussion between President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair about bombing a televion network headquarters located in a friendly country, seemed to fit that category.

However, Britain took the unusual step today of warning the media to lay off of the story, saying it would interfere with a court trial of two men accused of leaking the memo:

Downing Street spokesman Ian Gleeson said Tuesday that Blair's office would have no comment, because the memo the Daily Mirror cited was the subject of court action.

Two men face trial under Britain's Official Secrets Act in connection with release of the memo, and the attorney general's office warned news organizations that the case against them should proceed "without prejudice."

OK. Now stop and think about this. IF TWO MEN ARE ON TRIAL FOR LEAKING THE MEMO, THEN THAT IS PROOF THE MEMO EXISTS(!) (whether they were found guilty of leaking it to the media or if it turns out that the media got it from someone else). And if it exists, we can safely assume (given its source) that it accurately reflects the actual conversation between Bush and Blair.

From the CNN story, The Mirror reported that Bush was angered by Al-Jazeera's coverage of the April 2004 uprising in the western Iraqi city of Falluja, where U.S. Marines were dispatched to restore order after four American security guards had been killed and mutilated by insurgents.

Blair talked him out of the idea of bombing the network's headquarters, the newspaper reported.

Now, I don't know if President Bush was having a temper tantrum that day, or what, but the idea that the President of the United States would even consider bombing a television station because he didn't like their news coverage is frightening in and of itself. The man really has lost his marbles and let power go to his head.

And maybe it provides a whole new take on why the MSM tilts to the right. They know we have missiles that are accurate enough that they could target the editor's office, and that 'Bush Cassidy' has his finger on the trigger.

Give me the end of the year an' its fun
When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An' I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers.

From the poem "Thanksgiving"
by Edgar A. Guest

[Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959) began his illustrious
career in 1895 at the age of fourteen when his work
first appeared in the Detroit Free Press. His column was
syndicated in over 300 newspapers, and he became
known as "The Poet of the People."]

Thanksgiving Morning

As I open my eyes in the early morning,
The snow glistens outside my window.
The smell of baking turkey fills the air.

I put on my slippers and crawl out of bed.
After opening my door, I see my mom in the kitchen.
I come out of my room and help to prepare.

Later on we all sit down at the table,
My family, friends, and me.
After saying thanks, we all pile food on our plates.

The last of the dirty dishes will be washed,
And the left-overs will be put in the fridge.
Everyone will be so full; our Thanksgivings are always great!

Chicken Little

The 'Chicken Little' balloon gets filled with air as it sits tethered to weights a day before the Macy's Parade in New York November 23, 2005 due to high winds. The 79th Macy's Parade on Thursday will feature 14 giant balloons, 37 smaller ones and 27 floats.

Thurs. AM - We woke up to a blanket of fresh snow.

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Perhaps this is less disturbing...


We're leaving town early on Thursday and probably will be busy all day today, so catch you all on Friday.

Your friendships are SINCERELY appreciated! I'll drink (at least) a beer for each and every one of you! :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


November 22, 2005 -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says the high court did not inject itself into the 2000 presidential election.

Speaking at the Time Warner Center last night, Scalia said: "The election was dragged into the courts by the Gore people. We did not go looking for trouble."

But he said the court had to take the case.

"The issue was whether Florida's Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court [would decide the election.] What did you expect us to do? Turn the case down because it wasn't important enough?"

As a member of the legal profession (albeit, a staff member only) this really, really bothers me. A Judge never involves him/herself in politics. I read this article early this morning and have had a hard time dealing with it all day. In the legal world, a Judge does not comment on matters such as this, whether he or she be a local, County or State Judge and especially if the matter has come before him/her. Our Judges are supposed to be impartial and above the fray, making their decisions on the cases that come before them on established law. So, why is Scalia commenting on this? If he were anyone other than a US Supreme Court Justice, he would most likely be removed. Since when do Supreme Court Justices believe they are above the law?? Since George Walker Bush and his minions came into power. To me, this is beyond belief and shows a political bias. If this happened anywhere other than in this particular administration and this Court, Scalia would be history. Unfortunately, we are stuck with him. Shame on us. And, this shows how very important every appointment to the Supreme Court is. It is like appointing God to a position that will have an affect on each and every one of us. Men are mortal. Let's pay more attention to Alito.

I have to admit, this surprised me.

Remember these words,

"I'm proud to be an Okie from Muskogee, we don't wear beads and roman sandals, like the hippies out in San Francisco do... we still fly old Glory down at the courthouse, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA"

Or, "If you don't love it, leave it, .... If you're running down my country boy, you're walking on the fighting side of me."

Those two tunes were released by Merle Haggard, a country singer who had been pardoned by then Gov. Ronald Reagan after serving three years in prison for burglary. During the Vietnam war, those two songs and Haggard became a cultural icon for middle America. And earlier this year, Haggard went on tour with Toby Keith (who himself expressed mixed opinions about the Iraq war in an interview last year in the Tennesseean).

Now, a couple of years ago, the same Haggard defended the Dixie Chicks and questioned the war in Iraq saying, saying,

I don't even know the Dixie chicks, but I find it an insult for all the men and women who fought and died in past wars when almost the majority of America jumped down their throats for voicing an opinion. It was like a verbal witch-hunt and lynching. Whether I agree with their comments or not has no bearing.... As a country we need to look inward for the answers to the energy of the future. We need to bring down our demands for oil, rebuild some bridges and highways and allow the farmers to grow something that replenishes the soil. Those who don't know what that is, should do some research. The problem is not in Iraq and the answers are not in Iran. I hope were not buried alive beneath this pending financial collapse if the pipeline doesn't get through. Surely everything doesn't depend on oil!

His song, 'That's the news' had a distinctly anti-Iraq war outlook.

And in an Express interview earlier this year, Haggard said,

What knocked my hat off was the way people attacked (the Dixie Chicks). My response didn't come until some time later. I let it all go down and watched it happen and thought, "Now wait a minute. Is this not America? Are we not at war for freedom?" It disturbs me that this country is so seriously divided over this war. I don't think since the Civil War have we been so divided about something. Since when is it new for grandma to be against war?

So, even a guy who was as pro-war in Vietnam as they came, can see that this war isn't something that he has to defend.

When I was in high school we started an underground newspaper ( which is really what blogs are like to me ) to counter the above ground school paper and because we were budding commie/no good nicks. It was called Consensus. When President Kennedy was assassinated we put out an issue of poetry that some of the staff with bigger foreheads than mine selected. This is one of those poems.


by: William Collins (1721-1759)

HOW sleep the brave, who sink to rest
By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallow'd mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.

By fairy hands their knell is rung;
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim grey,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair
To dwell, a weeping hermit, there!

Now the trumpet summons us again--not as a call to
arms, though arms we need--not as a call to battle,
though embattled we are--but a call to bear the
burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year
out, 'rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation'--a
struggle against the common enemies of man:
tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

~ John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)
Inaugural address, 20 Jan. 1961

Monday, November 21, 2005

I posted this over at the DNC site but I would like to share it here as well(and with caps!).

This article from Reuters is about environmentalists trying to block a train load of nuclear waste that was created in Germany, sent to France to be "stored" and then sent back to Germany by France which has some sort of rule saying that nuclear waste should be dealt with by the country of origin. The protesters were angry about where the Germans were gonna store the stuff and how. One of the small problems with nuclear power is that it creates waste products that we have to leave in dubious storage containers for the folks who inhabit the planet for the next thousand or hundred thousand years to deal with. Think about how every time they open a world's fair time capsule after its been buried for 50 years because everyone is too hyper to actually wait until Planet of the Apes time arrives, it is usually filled with water and frogs...

Anyhow at the end of the piece they point out as a sort of aside that one protester who chained himself to the train tracks or something was killed. This brave nameless warrior should be our hero for the day.

today's hero

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sunday BlogRolling

Please take a moment to stop by and say hi to...

It's Me otherwise knows as Dellberto

This morning I feel like my head is going to explode. I find Bush unbelievably funny. The picture Cyn posted of him looks like he is doing a very good Johnny Carson imitation. His trouble with words reminds me of Chevy Chase at his finest ( which is a shorter story than Chevy at his worst). But then the Tingler creeps up my spine, sinks its claws into me and I remember that this guy is causing the death of children in so many places, the roll back of clean air and water regulations, the rape of pensions plans and on and on and it is hard to laugh and as I said my head feels like it will explode. Bush is like that serial killer of children Gacy who would put on clown shows at birthday parties, he is as funny as the doctor who wears a Groucho Marx nose/eyeglass/eyebrow novelty store item while he tells you you have pancreatic cancer.

Irked by a reporter who told him he seemed to be "off his game" at a Beijing public appearance, President George W. Bush sought to make a hasty exit from a news conference but was thwarted by locked doors.

Thanks to Greg for pointing out this photo on KA!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Has it hit anyone as more than a coincidence that gas prices started dropping just about the time that the Oil Company executives were subpeonaed by Congress to come in and testify? Granted, it wasn't as dramatic as a few years ago when the tobacco CEO's had to come in and take their oath, and granted, the temporary spike caused by the hurricanes came down almost as fast as it went up, but I have trouble believing that the sudden scrutiny didn't have something to do with the turnaround.

Well, you know-- if you turn on the light then the cockroaches all scurry away looking for cover.

Of course, gas prices were around $1.10 per gallon when George W. Bush was inaugurated, so even at the present price, they have gone way up during his term (well, did you really expect that two oil guys were going to want low gasoline prices?)

I don't know who this man or woman is, but HIS/HER RANT, as s/he calls it, is the BEST ONE I can ever recall reading. S/He doesn't pull any punches and s/he takes away all of the excuses and ideas and regular avenues of stance against the bush crime syndicate everyone brings forth. If you click on the link, be prepared for some real "in your face" indignation. PLEASE BE ADVISED: this is NOT for centrist democrats!

Of course we all know this happens all the time, but Faux News got caught with their hand in the cookie Jar by Media Matters.

During an exchange on Iraq yesterday, Fox underscored the screen with 'facts' that were actually quotes by Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney.

Subliminal advertising?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Fitzgerald sees new grand jury proceedings.

The Republican controlled House has decided to take away 125 million dollars promised to NY for 9/11 aid. The money was to be used to treat sick and injured ground zero workers. Those workers rushed in to help right after the attack, without thought for their personal safety. Our government promised to take care of them. Is that promise worthless? Do Republicans ever keep their word? This is an issue which every single RR member who has a Republican Representative needs to write a letter on to your local paper. This is a wedge issue on a golden platter- use it!

'Promise Broken': N.Y. to Lose 9/11 Aid
'Something of a Promise Broken': Lawmakers Say New York to Lose Sept. 11 Aid for Sick Workers
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Congressional budget negotiators have decided to take back $125 million in Sept. 11 aid from New York, which had fought to keep the money to treat sick and injured ground zero workers, lawmakers said Tuesday.
New York officials had sought for months to hold onto the funding, originally meant to cover increased worker compensation costs stemming from the 2001 terror attacks.
But a massive labor and health spending bill moving fitfully through House-Senate negotiations would take back that funding, lawmakers said.
"It seems that despite our efforts the rescission will stand, very sadly, and that is something of a promise broken," said Rep. Vito Fossella, R-N.Y. "We will try hard in the coming weeks, but ultimately Congress will have something of a black eye over this."
A spokeswoman for Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y., said the congressman also had been told New York would lose the funding in whatever compromise version of the spending bill finally reaches the floor.
The tug-of-war over the $125 million began earlier this year when the White House proposed taking the money back because the state had not yet spent it.
New York protested, saying the money was part of the $20 billion pledged by President Bush to help rebuild after the Sept. 11 attacks. Health advocates said the money is needed to treat current and future illnesses among ground zero workers.
The Senate voted last month to let New York keep the $125 million, but the House made no such move. House and Senate budget negotiators then decided to take the money back, lawmakers and aides said.
Top New York fire officials recently lobbied Congress to keep the funding. Fire and police officials say they worry that many people will develop long-term lung and mental health problems from their time working on the burning pile of toxic debris at ground zero and they want to use the money to help them.
Fossella and other New York officials hope they can win the money back in an emergency spending measure, expected later this year, that would pay for Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I Have a Dream

Thanks to my friend Debbie, for sending me this today...she sure knows how to make me smile.

Oh, well, ok then. It's settled.

From Think Progress:
This is not a joke. And, check out the song; it's God Awful! And, check out the Crooks and Liars Olbermann Video. Scroll down the page - it's worth a look.

“Bush Was Right!” — The New Hit Single Ready to Rock a Generation, a conservative online advocacy group, has launched a campaign trying to get a right-wing musical duo, The Right Brothers, onto MTV.

Well grab your iPods and crank up your speakers, because ThinkProgress has a sneak preview of the Brothers’ new single, “Bush Was Right.” If any song was ever a virtual lock to top the TRL charts, it’s got to be this rockin’ tribute to all things Bush.

Some sample lyrics and an audio excerpt below (and no, this is not a parody):

Freedom in Afghanistan, say goodbye Taliban
Free elections in Iraq, Saddam Hussein locked up
Osama’s staying underground, Al Qaida now is finding out
America won’t turn and run once the fighting has begun
Don’t you know that all this means…
Bush was right! Bush was right!
Real Media MP3

[UPDATE: MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann put together a music video for the song. Crooks & Liars has the video.] has big plans for The Right Brothers. Here’s a bit more from a recent email to their supporters (again, this is not a parody, we promise):

This is what the youth in America need. They’re already bombarded with songs on the radio and videos on MTV that trash our President, conservative beliefs, and traditional American values. From “Mosh” by Eminem, to “Idiot Son of an A**hole” by NOFX… all of these songs serve to fill young people’s minds with LIES. […]

WILL YOU HELP US? We’re putting together a “kickin’” music video right now, and we’re preparing a HUGE grassroots campaign to get hundreds of thousands of people to request “Bush Was Right!” on MTV’s “Total Request Live” show… leading to our demands for it to be played in regular rotation!

If they DON’T - then we’ll hit the media in a BIG way, showing how MTV plays left-wing videos while CENSORING conservative videos!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The moral test of government is how it treats those who
are in the dawn of life--the children; those who are in the
twilight of life--the aged; and those who are in the shadows
of life--the sick, the needy and the handicapped.
--Hubert Humphrey (speech, 1977)

Remember how the allowable levels of several pollutants, including Mercury, were raised by the Bush administration under the slick marketing labels of the 'clean water act' and the 'clear skies act?'

Well, it hasn't taken long for the effects of this to show up at your local supermarket.

A group called the Mercury Policy Project published a report detailing the results of a 22 state study of fish purchased in supermarkets. They found that fish, especially swordfish and tuna sold in a number of supermarket chains contain levels of mercury above that which is considered hazardous.

In response, Albertson's and Safeway announced plans to start warning consumers about the potential hazard from Mercury. Some other chains won't do so (except in California, where it is the law that they have to).

Exposure to Mercury, especially over a long period of time, can cause a number of maladies, including brittle bones, blindness and insanity.

And this is just one more legacy that the Bush administration is leaving to America.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Thanks to Agitprop we now have been added to O'Reilly's Enemy List.

O'Reilly was roundly criticized for encouraging terrorists to target San Francisco because he was upset that the city voted to ban military recruiters from high-school and college campuses.

Fred at Making Conservatives Cringed has taken time off from blogging, however he still felt that it was important to be added to the "Enemies List"

Mr. O'Reilly,

I would be honored if you'd add me to your "enemies list." As a veteran of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and a proud American whose patriotism WILL NOT be besmirched by the likes of you, let me say that you should be ashamed of yourself. If there is anyone in the media today that undermines America more than you, encouraging terrorists, smearing good citizens, ect, ect, I don't know who that would be.

El Commandante...has a few fine points about this very fact.

So if anyone objects to being added to the "List" just let me know.

From uggabugga:

Bush is speaking about Iraq to friendly audiences:

Here is a list of major events over the last six months where Bush was in front of a sizeable crowd. Those where the audience was military or security services is highlighted in yellow.

Scroll, baby

Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

In virtually every case where the war (in Iraq or "on terror") was discussed, it was with a military audience (and the October 28th event was with a Republican campaign crowd.)

Sure, some of that is to be expected, but the fact that virtually all "war" speeches are to military audiences, indicates a problem with general public support (and also that he's using the military as props).

In keeping with Barbi's theme: Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Monday, November 14, 2005

[I had to post this one, cuz I can't stop grinning!]

GOP elevator --going DOWN

Fewer than one in 10 adults say they would prefer a
congressional candidate who is a Republican and who
agrees with Bush on most major issues, according to a
USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday.


Columnist James Bruner, citing: "Iraq On The Record: The Bush Administration's Public Statements On Iraq," prepared by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform -- Minority Staff Special Investigations Division, March 16, 2004.

This 36-page report goes into great detail about outright false and deceptive public statements by Bush (55 misleading statements), Vice President Dick Cheney (51), former Secretary of State Colin Powell (50), former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (29) and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (52) on the subject. These 237 misleading statements were made in a variety of forums (53 interviews, 40 speeches, 26 news conferences and briefings, four written statements and articles and two appearances before Congress) beginning at least a year before the war began, and their frequency peaked at key decision-making points.

Buzz Flash highlights a good article by Jimmy Carter:

"This Isn't The Real America"

My Periodic Rant

I agree with and desire to have a balanced budget. I differ with the neocons, though in how to achieve it. It cannot be had across the backs of the most disadvantaged for the benefit of the most wealthy, though.

I believe in investing in American excellence. I grew up during the 60's, when we spent good money on public schools and got a wildly successful ROI. America excelled at everything; maths, sciences, inventiveness and innovation. We can have that again; but it will never happen while the neocons are busily destroying public education to promote pseudo-religious agenda.

I believe in investing in American potential. Too many brilliant minds are passed by or marginalized due to the lack of opportunity to excel -- or even to compete in the game at all. To me, that is an abhorrent waste of human potential and such a waste brings us all down. Look at where we rank in the world now as opposed to a mere 30 years ago. We were indisputably on top -- then we allowed the idealogues to dismantle everything it took to get us there. Where we rank in every major measurable these days is a long way from the top.

That's wasteful to the point of sin.

I believe that open and honest dialog is essential. Secretiveness, disingenuousness, half-truths and directed perceptions practiced by the far-right wing have done much to destroy everything we worked so hard to achieve. The "louder is righter" behavior has rotted our society and created deep divisions -- such divisions being artificial, created from idealogical dogma. I believe that the sooner we stop shouting at one another and start listening, we will find ways to become an nation of excellence once again.

The problems the radical right have created are by no means insurmountable. America rose from the idealogy of the McCarthy Era to put astronauts on the Moon. We strengthend the Constitution by stating that all Americans should have equal rights and opportunities to excel -- not just the rich or the white. Because of that, more fine minds entered America's quest for excellence and all Americans benefitted from it.

There isn't a thing we have today that didn't arise from that era: personal computers; microwave ovens; the foundation technology for cell phones, iPods, and the like; new plastics that have myriads of uses and applications; MRE's; GPS; and probably 10,000 other items we now take for granted.

Sadly, there has been little "new" technology since then. Since America stopped investing in excellence in her own people, we've slid ever lower in potential and actual output. We've simply recycled and marginalized people the way we've simply recycled existing technology.

That's lazy, wasteful and sinfully shameful. "Conservatism" does not entail marginalizing or being wasteful our most precious resources. Neoconservatism does.

There is a wide, wide plain of possibility starting at 1cm to the left of the neowackos. So long as we talk about our mutual strengths and use those to benefit all Americans, this nation will again excel, succeed and lead.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

George W. Bush, such a lightweight president that he doesn't even read, is accusing others of rewriting history.

How would he know?

Bush's handlers, who still include that teetering humpty Karl Rove, propped up the POTUS in front of a huge, Soviet-style "Strategy for Victory" slogan in Pennsylvania and directed him to say the following:

The stakes in the global war on terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges.

And what would those be? I wonder. Bush said:
While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision on the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began.

Pause here for crowd applause. (You don't think Bush gave this speech just anywhere, do you? He was speaking at the Tobyhanna Army Depot.)

He continued:
Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war.

They're right, and Bush is a liar.

Village Voice Article

Shoot me NOW! I'm sorry, but the prospect of another 8 year nightmare is too much to think about right now. Of course they'll have to wait until 2012 allowing for the memory of duh-bya to fade (for the bush lovers) and to let the smoke clear a little from the destruction of brother George The Lesser. It also gives them more time to tweak their vote fraud, voter suppression and intimidation (of which Prince Jeb is a master). After all, technology will be SO MUCH BETTER by then.

And President Carter's new book, which speakes of his disgust for the (MIS)administration gets a bit of deserved advertising.

Jeb Bush leaves open White House bid

Sun Nov 13,10:31 AM ET
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the brother of U.S. President George W. Bush, ruled out running for president in 2008 but left open the possibility of a subsequent bid in an interview with a German magazine published on Sunday.
Jeb Bush, who is scheduled to visit Germany this week, told Focus weekly he had not thought much about running for the office held by his father and older brother except to rule out the next election at the end of George W. Bush's second term.
"You should never say never. But for the 2008 election, my answer is definitely no," he said, in comments translated into German by the magazine.
Asked whether his answer meant a later challenge was possible, he said: "Let's say there's a vague chance."
Bush, 52, said he spoke frequently with his brother and visited the White House whenever he was in Washington but he said the two mainly discussed family matters or sport.

Carter 'Disturbed' by Direction of U.S.

Sat Nov 12, 4:47 PM ET
Former President Jimmy Carter, on a tour to promote his latest book, is sharply questioning the direction the Bush administration has taken the country.
"Everywhere you go, you hear, 'What has happened to the United States of America? We thought you used to be the champion of human rights. We thought you used to protect the environment. We thought you used to believe in the separation of church and state,'" Carter said Friday at Unity Temple.
"I felt so disturbed and angry about this radical change in America," he said.
Carter is promoting his 20th book, "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis," which he describes as his first political book.
He placed responsibility for that moral crisis largely on the Bush administration, citing a pre-emptive war policy, inadequate attention to the environment, and the use of torture against some prisoners.
About 1,200 people waited to have books signed by the 39th president.

I Believe

* I believe in Myself. I believe in the Self, the Higher Self, the Inner Self. I love myself before all else because if I don't love myself (or even my Self) how can I love anybody else? Or make anybody else love me?

* I believe in God, or if not God, I believe in a Higher Power, the Universe, the God Within, the Goddess. If I don't believe in God that's because I believe in Stephen Hawking or Richard Dawkins instead. I also believe in the National Lottery though I pretend I don't.

* I believe in Mysterious Invisible Forces. I believe that everything has a Meaning, that there must be Something.

* I believe that coincidence is no coincidence. I believe in karma, fate, the Tao, chi and prana. I believe in chakras and meridians. I believe that I'm Gemini with Libra rising and you are Aquarius with Scorpio rising and that makes all the difference.

* I believe these Mysterious Invisible Forces influence everything in our lives. I believe we have control over our own destiny and can be anything we truly want to be. I believe that it is possible to hold these two last beliefs in one brain and still claim to be a rational human being. I believe a lot of this is proved by quantum physics. Or do I mean chaos theory?

* I believe in redemption, the Abolition of Sin. Every day in every way I am getting better and better. I believe that if I deal with my emotions, my past, my wounds, my stuff, I can start life afresh and everything will be perfect. I believe that the answer is out there and if therapy isn't working that's because I'm with the wrong therapist.

* I believe in the individual's right to Spiritual Tourism. We all have our own individual journeys but there are guides and package tours if we're short of time. I know this amazing man in Poona but I also believe in The Celestine Prophecy, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Louise Hay, Mother Meera, the Dalai Lama and Deepak Chopra because he proves you can have an evolved soul and still be rich. I believe in shopping around.

* I believe practice makes perfect. I believe in daily prayer, readings, meditation, affirmations, yoga, t'ai chi and inner journeying. I believe if I become enlightened enough I can dematerialize, then I won't even have to stop for lunch.

* I believe in the afterlife. I believe in near-death experiences. I believe in past lives, in-between lives, parallel lives, parallel universes and alternative realities. I believe a lot of this is proved by chaos theory. Or do I mean quantum physics?

* Whatever.

--Author Unknown

[This is one of those things passed to me in
email. If anyone knows who the author is
I would appreciate knowing so they can receive
proper credit for this thought provoking piece.]

Saturday, November 12, 2005

CNN has been playing up pResident Bush's push for people to join the new Medicare scam, um, plan. I had to respond and hope that people in situations similar to mine would please speak up.

The news short on President Bush's touting of the new Social Security plan doesn't tell the real story -- what reality is out here in the world.

Both my mother and my life partner are disabled and depend on Medicare to cover the cost of their medicines.

Under the current plan, each pays a reasonable co-pay that they can manage from their stipends. Under the new plan, my partner's initial deductible is $5100, then he will pay 50% of each medication thereafter, rather than a $3-to-$10 co-pay per prescription.

That $5100 "down payment" translates to 2 months' worth of medication, starting January. His stipend is $750/month. Push a pencil and see what comes out. Keep the carmine red handy for the total.

My mother is in the same situation, although her stipend is somewhat higher. In either case, since I am the only wage-earner between us, it's up to me to make up the difference. Thanks to "outsourcing" and the selling off of American business and technology, my salary has consistently dropped in the last 10 years. My salary may seem like a lot to some people, but it is all I can do to keep myself, my mom and my partner afloat. If they are forced into this new plan, the sudden lack of medication will kill them both.

I must ask President Bush, where is the "benefit" in that? I must ask CNN, where is the other half of the story? I must ask our legislators, how can they live with the destruction they have wrought? Where is the "compassionate" conservatism George Bush lulled us with in 2000?

Thank you for the opportunity to respond.


What I done today...

I love Fall. Even after the Aspens turn (connected, as they are, by their roots) and the leaves drift to the ground, I still find some beauty in the starkness of barren trees. So, I cut a boat load of the f*ckers down today, drug off the branches, and split the logs into firewood sized pieces for next year...Now, my work is done, I'm about to entertain some good friends, eat tamales till I puke, sip tequila and hold court at my table with tales of my day. I will speak about precious heat we get from burning wood, and that the trails are no longer cluttered by dead trees, oh, the children of the village will sing songs about me! What did y'all do?

Friday, November 11, 2005

From Think Progress:
Veterans Day Outrage: Conservatives End 55-Year-Old Practice of Hearings for Vet Groups

On Tuesday — three days before Veterans Day — House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Steve Buyer (R-IN) announced that for the first time in at least 55 years, “veterans service organizations will no longer have the opportunity to present testimony before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees.”

Remember that Buyer was handpicked by criminally-indicted Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) to replace former veterans committee chairman Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who had been extremely vocal about the consistent underfunding of veterans causes.

The Disabled American Veterans, the “official voice of America’s service-connected disabled veterans,” just issued a scathing release calling the move “an insult to all who have fought, sacrificed and died to defend the Constitution.” The timing, they said, “could not have been worse.”

My husband's uncle was a POW from WWII. He was nailed right off the bat on Wake Island - 16 hours after Pearl Harbor was hit. Raymond was on the Island as a civilian construction worker, but took up arms to defend his country. He was the second son of a German farmer that had immigrated to America, so he knew what hard work was about and that is probably the only thing that kept him alive. He was 6' 6" tall and normally weighed about 345 lbs. During his years in captivity, the Japanese fed him rice balls - 3 a day and sometimes they were riddled with glass, so he had to be very careful. When the war ended and he returned to the States, he was malnourished, a rack of bones and had rickets. Uncle Raymond lived to be 84 years old and 45 years after his release, he was recognized by the Navy and received a veterans pension. The stories he told were unbelievable. Here's a toast to Uncle Rummy!

Today, a salute and a sincere thanks to the U.S. veterans of World War 1 who defended the freedom of our country. It's sad to consider that their numbers of living have went from 65,000 in 1990 to an estimated 30-50 remaining today. THANK YOU! YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN! ALL OF YOU WILL ALWAYS LIVE ON IN OUR HISTORY!

Lloyd Brown, a 104-year-old World War I veteran smiles as he recounts why he enlisted in the Navy at the age of 16 at his home in Charlotte Hall, Md., Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005.

Brown remembers Armistice Day in 1918 as few, ever so few, veterans can. 'For the servicemen there were lots of hugs and kisses,' he recalls. Brown, a teenage seaman was aboard the battleship USS New Hampshire when the fighting stopped. 'We were so happy that the war was over.'

Brown adds, 'There's not too many of us around any more.' No one knows exactly how many of America's World War I veterans will celebrate Veterans Day, which marks the armistice of Nov. 11, 1918, that ended what then was considered the Great War. An estimated 2 million Americans served in Europe after the U.S. entered the war in 1917.

Today, just eight veterans as receiving disability benefits or pension compensation from service in World War I.

I honor you today SIR!

My daughter was required to make a collage for English Class about Veterans Day: She used this poem on her collage along pictures of the soldiers from all the branches of military. She wrote the following:

Veterans Day, which used to be known as Armistice Day, is the commemoration of the signing of the Armistice ending World War I. After the end of World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day to honor those who served in all American wars. The date November 11 is observed in the United States in honor of all veterans of the armed services. Six of my relatives are remembered on Veterans Day.

Why the Poppy?

A newer version of In Flanders Field was written by Snelling and published in the UK in 1999.

History of 89th Division of Army and a segment at the bottom about How to Stop the War.

In August or September 1941, Pilot Officer Magee composed High Flight and sent a copy to his parents. Several months later, on December 11, 1941 his Spitfire collided with another plane over England and Magee, only 19 years of age, crashed to his death.

Jenny at Donkey O.D. has another Veterans Day Remembrance Post that is not to be missed. [and much more here]

Thursday, November 10, 2005

DUHbya's Bird Call

Is Hell Exothermic?

The following is supposedly an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term. The answer by one student was so "profound" that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following: First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different Religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

3. So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, "it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you, and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct...leaving only Heaven thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting "Oh my God."


Actually, this story was too sweet to just leave under comments (especially since I got so excited when I posted it as a comment that I forgot to close the link):

Voters in St. Paul, Minnesota, a heavily Democratic town, voted for mayor yesterday. And they got rid of incumbent mayor Randy Kelly in favor of fellow Democrat Chris Coleman. And why did they do that? Well, it seems that the reason why is because Kelly endorsed President Bush last year. Of course Kelly's endorsement did little good for the President last year, as Kerry won fairly comfortably in a state that has not gone Republican since Richard Nixon barely edged out George McGovern in 1972 (had McGovern gotten a few thousand more votes then you would have to go all the way back to Eisenhower in 1956 to find a Republican carrying Minnesota).

But if you read through (the story begins with the Detroit race, so you have to go about half way down to find the St. Paul story:

Incumbent mayors won easily yesterday in Atlanta, Boston and Houston. But in St. Paul, Randy Kelly became the city's first incumbent mayor in more than 30 years to lose a re-election campaign.

Polls suggested that Mr. Kelly’s endorsement of President Bush last fall was a factor in his loss to a fellow Democrat, Chris Coleman, by 70 percent to 30 percent.

“I have never seen anything quite like this,” Lawrence Jacobs, director of the University of Minnesota Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, said about what he called a firestorm over the endorsement.

A poll conducted by Mr. Jacobs found that more than half of likely voters in the city said Mr. Kelly’s endorsement would influence their votes. Most of those respondents said it would lead them to vote for Mr. Coleman, a former City Council member.

Mr. Jacobs said the results were especially surprising, as more than half of the likely voters surveyed said they thought that the city was heading in the right direction.

Mr. Kelly said leading up to the election that he did not regret the endorsement.

“The St. Paul race provides another kind of lens, which is what happens to moderate Democrats that are allies of the president?” Mr. Jacobs said. “The message coming out of St. Paul is it can be really hazardous to your political health.”

Thanks, St. Paul. That is a message I can agree with.

And there you have it. An incumbent Democratic mayor of a Democratic city is voted out by voters irate over his endorsement of George W. Bush.

'tis indeed delicious desserts.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

It was a nice day today. Just not nice enough to lighten up on the World's #1 terrorist.

Don't worry boys. Ah kain't throw any balls if ah ain't got any!

More on my blog.

The Legend Lives On

On June 7, 1958, the Edmund Fitzgerald was launched. At 729 feet long, the Fitzgerald becomes the largest ship to sail the Great Lakes, a title she will hold for over eleven years.

~The ship was the pride of the American side
coming back from some mill in Wisconsin.
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
with a crew and good captain well seasoned~
On November 9, 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald left Superior, Wisconsin after being loaded with taconite (iron ore pellets) at Burlington Northern Railroad Dock No. 1, scheduled to deliver to a steel maker at Zug Island on the Detroit River. She is chartered to Oglebay Norton of Cleveland, and is under the command of Ernest M. McSorley.

About the same time, the Arthur M. Anderson left from Two Harbors, Minnesota, also carrying taconite, downbound for Gary, Indiana under the command of Jesse “Bernie” Cooper.

The normal downbound voyage to the Sault Ste. Marie locks would be a 24 to 28-hour run for a “laker” like the Fitz. But at 7:00 p.m. the National Weather Service reported that a rapidly intensifying storm over the Great Plains had changed course to the north and was bearing down on Lake Superior.

Gale warnings went up along a with a forecast for easterly winds from 25 to 37 knots during the night, then shifting to northwesterly at over 40 knots by the following afternoon. The two captains decide on a northerly run across the lake hoping to gain the lee of the Ontario shore.

Nov. 10, 1975 mid-afternoon. Both ships are now on the eastern half of the lake and heading on a southeasterly run to Whitefish Bay and the Soo Locks at the end of the lake, with the Fitz in the lead. The storm is getting stronger.

3:25 PM. The Edmund Fitzgerald rounds Caribou Island near the Six-Fathom Shoals; Capt. Cooper watches on radar and remarks to his first mate, Morgan E. Clark, “Look at this, Morgan. That’s the Fitzgerald, he’s in close to that six fathom spot.”
~The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
and a wave broke over the railing.
And ev'ry man knew, as the captain did too
'twas the witch of November come stealin'~
3:30 PM. The Fitzgerald reports boarding seas.

“Anderson, this is the Fitzgerald. I have sustained some topside damage. I have fence rail laid down, two vents lost or damaged, and a list. I’m checking down. Will you stay by me ’til I get to Whitefish?”

“Charlie on that, Fitzgerald. Do you have your pumps going?”

“Yes, both of them.”
~The captain wired in he had water comin' in
and the good ship and crew was in peril~
4:10 PM. Heavy seas are breaking over the Fitzgerald‘s deck, the worst storm he had ever seen in his 44 years on the lakes, McSorley reported.

“Anderson, this is the Fitzgerald. I have lost both radars. Can you provide me with radar plots till we reach Whitefish Bay?”

“Charlie on that, Fitzgerald. We’ll keep you advised of your

About 5:20 PM the crest of a wave smashed the Anderson’s starboard life boat rendering it useless. Captain Cooper reported winds at a steady 58 knots with gusts to 70 knots and seas of 18 to 25 feet.

About 6:55 PM the Anderson is struck by two huge waves that put green water on the pilot house, 35 feet above the water line.
[According to Cooper, he and the men in the pilot house felt a bump, felt the ship lurch and turned to see a monstrous wave engulfing the spar deck from astern. The wave worked its way along the deck, crashing on to the back of the pilothouse, driving the bow of the Anderson into the sea. “Then the Anderson just raised up and shook herself off of all that water -barroof - just like a big dog. Another wave just like the first one or bigger hit us again. I watched those two waves head down the lake towards the Fitzgerald. And I think those are the two waves that sent him under,” Cooper recounted later.]

At 7:00 PM Morgan Clark calls to the Fitzgerald, to tell him that he has picked up the highland at Crisp Point and that the Fitzgerald was now 15 miles from Crisp Point, and as soon as Morgan can pick up Whitefish Point on radar he would let the Fitzgerald know.

At 7:10 PM The Anderson is 25 miles from Whitefish Bay and logs the Fitzgerald on radar 10 miles ahead. Morgan Clark radios the Fitzgerald to inform him of an approaching upbound vessel and the Fitzgerald is assured they will pass well clear of it. Before ending the conversation, Morgan Clark asks how the Fitzgerald was doing with his problem.

“We are holding our own.”

“Okay, fine. I’ll be talking to you later.” Morgan Clark is wrong. The Fitzgerald has made its last transmission.

~And later that night when 'is lights went out of sight
came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.~
7:15 PM The Fitzgerald enters a heavy snow squall and is obscured from radar observation by the Anderson.

7:25 PM The squall clears. The crew of the Anderson can see the lights of three upbound vessels. There is no sign of the Fitzgerald, either visually or on radar. No ship has seen or passed the Fitzgerald. No radio contact can be made. The Edmund Fitzgerald has vanished.

On the Anderson they think they have the Fitzgerald pip on radar, but the signal disappears. They see it again, and lose it again. The Fitzgerald has disappeared from the radar of the Anderson.
~And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
with the gales of November remembered.~
The Fitzgerald and its crew of 29 men is just gone.
~The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
of the big lake they call "Gitche Gumee."
"Superior," they said, "never gives up her dead
when the gales of November come early."~
- - -
Nov. 14, 1975. A Navy aircraft equipped with a magnetic anomaly detection unit locates an especially strong contact.

Nov. 14-16, 1975. A search from the cutter Woodrush using side scan sonar locates the wreckage of the Fitzgerald at 46’ 59.8 N, 85’ 06.7 W, 535 feet below the surface.

May 1976. The Fitz wreckage is inspected by the U.S. Navy CURV (Controlled Underwater Recovery Vehicle) III. The wreckage lies in two major pieces. The bow section is 276 feet long and upright. The stern section is 253 feet long and upside down. The sections are 170 feet apart. About 200 feet of the midsection is disintegrated.

In 1976 the Canadians did re-soundings on the shoals area, which resulted in a chart correction. The shoals were a mile further east than shown on the original charts.

September 24, 1980. The wreck was explored by the Calypso.

July 4, 1995. The ship’s bronze bell was recovered by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society in a combined expedition with the Canadian Navy, National Geographic Society, Sony Corporation and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The bell of the Edmund Fitzgerald now rests as a memorial to her lost crew in the Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point.

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Freedom at Sunset

This was the sweetest win of all yesterday. This is cause to lift one's cup in honor of the voters in Dover, and again in appreciation of the scientific method.

But we must always keep up on what is going on and none other than this gal does it so well. Find a defender of the White House on your television these days, and you are likely to hear them blame Bill Clinton for Iraq. [more]

Down the 'Ol Memory Hole... Agitprop has good links to the brewing controversy about what exactly was said at the White House press conference on October 31.

The Heretik writes about the recent revelations of the use of “Willy Pete,” WP, of white phosphorus in Fallujah proves again that occupying powers have the power to terrorize a civilian population. While something native survives, the soul of the occupier who uses such power is lost in the fire.

Just Ain't Right states the biggest under-reported story in the blogosphere now, in my humble opinion, is about the mass civilian killings in Fallujah. Italian TV ran a story yesterday, something that obviously couldn't happen here, what with our MSM busy with their myriad everyday mundane matters. [more]

This Friday is Veterans Day
- a time to honor all who have worn the uniform in the service of the United States - past and present. For history buffs, it was originally known as Armistice Day, marking the end of World War 1 hostilities on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. [more]

And finally, The New Blog has some nice words about giveth and taketh away.

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