Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Massacre and Another Shame

I’m not as shocked as I wish I could be, over the suspected massacre in Haditha. Since the years of the Vietnam war we have all learned that human beings can do some damned awful things. They can do things like put their children in a car and drive it into a lake. They can drown their kids in the bathtub, one at a time. They can blow up large government buildings and kill hundreds. Human being can go nuts and you hear of it often.

Whether the deaths are caused by bombs dropped from overhead or from a gun pointed at one’s head, death is death. When death is delivered to innocent civilians from above it’s referred to by the military as “collateral damage”. When death arrives by way of a gun placed against a human’ s head we call it a massacre. It’s not if they died, but how they died.

What kind of person could shoot a little child? How deranged would one have to be to commit such an act? Most of us can’t fathom doing such a horrendous deed. We can’t imagine ourselves even attempting such a thing. The mental picture just won’t play out in our head.

Apparently from what we hear, someone did do such a thing. Someone or some people in the Marines murdered 24 innocent human beings. Had they dropped bombs on those same houses, I don’t believe anyone would be talking about these people or their deaths today. That’s another shame.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Destruction of Solemn Tranquility

I always watch the ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day. I guess I feel it’s my duty to take time to remember all the dead people who are buried there and why. Yesterday the first shot I saw of the cemetery was just before full sunrise and a soft grey mist hung just over the headstones. It was eerie and yet peaceful. The next showing of the cemetery was later in the day at the tomb of the unknowns. Everything was bathed in warm sunlight and I heard birds singing. Little birds, perhaps sparrows, singing and singing. So beautiful the sound, so sad the place.

Then a voice announced that Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush would be in attendance at this sad, sad event. The sound of their names was like a sharp knife slicing through the tranquil emotional experience. My thoughts asked, how can they have the nerve to soil and disgrace this moment? How can they show their face here today? They know they are personally responsible for the fresh mounds of dirt that mark another life lost because of what they have done?

Then they walked in front of the camera. Rumsfeld actually smiled and waved to someone in the crowd. I’m quietly screaming, this is not a parade you bastard. This is a fucking memorial to dead people who died because you didn’t know how to do your job correctly. This isn’t about you, this is because of you and others like you.

Then george bush walked into the picture. Where did he get the nerve? He went through the ceremonial laying of the wreath with such a serious look on his face. He bowed his head in what he wanted us to believe was prayer. I wonder. Perhaps he was praying, praying that if there is a god he might one day be forgiven for what he has done. I doubt it.

Then there was the playing of taps. One of the most heart-wrenching sounds man has created. Damn straight, I cried.

Following all this, there were speeches by Pace, Rumsfeld and bush. I have no recall of what Pace said. I heard Rumsfeld speak of Flight 93 and some other equally inappropriate babble. Bush spoke of the those who are “sleeping” in the graves. I silently screamed, they aren’t sleeping you asshole, they are dead. He also spoke of the “fallen”. I again mentally screamed, they didn’t fall you asshole, they were killed. Over two hundred of the dead are there because you opted for a war that killed them. You can’t cover up a grave with pretty words.

After these speeches were given I didn’t hear the birds sing again. If they were singing I couldn’t hear them over the den of anger in my head. Damn it! Damn the voices and words that destroyed the song of the little birds. Damn them for the dishonor they cast upon this place of final peace. Damn the men who caused the destruction of that solemn tranquility.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day 2006

Remembering those who fought and died to give us what now is being taken away.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Plastic Contrition in a Come to Jesus Moment

Last night when we should have had the opportunity to watch Keith Olbermann, we were forced to see the infamous war twins talk about their infamous war. They both looked incredibly smaller than they did three years ago when they opted to invade the country of Iraq. Some of the same old tattered language was used but by now it rang hauntingly hallow. They had nothing new to add to their old verbiage. They reminded me of two tired old cheerleaders still cheering after the game had been lost and the fans had gone home.

The only thing of note was their come to Jesus moment when they spoke of their mistakes. The American war twin said he regretted the, "Kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people. "I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner."

He wishes he hadn’t sounded like an imbecilic cowboy-ish jerk. So everything about this war is okay except a couple of unsophisticated phrases?

He went on to say that the events of torture at Abu Ghraib weren’t at all beneficial. He said, "We've been paying for that for a long period of time.” He didn’t mention how long we will pay for what is going on in the rendition prisons around the world. He didn’t mention that he issued a signing statement that will allow him to use torture if he sees fit. His real regret is that there was someone at Abu Ghraib with a damned little camera. That’s the part he really hates.

So he used the moment last night to come to his plastic Jesus and he offered him his plastic contrition. I didn’t buy it and I expect the plastic Jesus didn’t either.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
- Leonardo DaVinci -

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Congressional Ass-Bite

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – “Leaders of both parties on Capitol Hill accused the FBI on Tuesday of overstepping constitutional boundaries designed to protect Congress when it raided a Democratic lawmaker's office over the weekend.”

Yeah, it’s a real bitch isn’t it? We’ve been pissing and moaning about similar things and not so many on Capitol Hill gave a damn until these new and unfettered bushkin laws came up and bit them right on their own Congressional asses. They hugged the Patriot Act. (Acts 1 and 2). They showed so much outrage over the NSA wiretapping deal that they are about to hand the architect of that plan to us as the head of the CIA. When we are being invaded daily through patriotic prying, most of them ignore our hue and cry. Funny now that they are feeling the fear of their own offices being the target of FBI raids, they raise hell. I have an idea. Why don’t they hold an investigative hearing about this and then forget about it? That’s how they’ve handled everything else.

(Update to this post)
“The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, is under investigation by the FBI, which is seeking to determine his role in an ongoing public corruption probe into members of Congress, ABC News has learned from senior U.S. law enforcement officials.
Federal officials say the information implicating Hastert was developed from convicted lobbyists who are now cooperating with the government.”
More at ABC News

Now it all makes a bit more sense, doesn't it?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Defeated by a Loss of Trust and Incompetence

When you see that someone has either lied to you or they are incompetent of doing what they told you they would do, it’s difficult to ever trust that person again. At some point you gave this person your trust and faith, and if they demonstrate that you made a mistake, you have no intention of making that same mistake again.

When george bush was elected, or some would say chosen by the Supreme Court, even those of us who were not in favor of his presidency felt he must not only do the job of being President of the United States, he must also protect and defend the Constitution. Along with these duties he must be up front and honest with the American people.

When the attacks of 9-11 occurred, our Constitution was not attacked but people were. The Constitution remained intact. The government decided to find and apprehend those who planned the attack. So far, so good.

Then we began to hear that Iraq must be invaded. We all know now that the reasons given were either lies or at the very least reports that bore the signs of serious incompetence. Whether you believe it was one or both, that’s where we began to question the ability of the administration to take our country where we needed to go.

If we had been able to continue to trust and rely on the administration’s competence even though we disagreed with their goals we wouldn’t be asking so many questions as we do today. We wouldn’t be so on edge and so fearful of what they are doing.

They have lost our faith, our trust and our confidence that they can and will do what is best for our country. The president appears to not only not defend the constitution, he seems to see it as an impediment to his own personal desires.

While there are a precious few who still refuse to either see or acknowledge the calamity that has occurred in our country over the past five years, most of us surely do. We now see a president who refuses to admit his mistakes and refuses to change course in the face of failure.

The only power he has now is that which he allows himself. With the country and even perhaps the world looking at a fallen man, he struts forward never looking back. He has nothing to demonstrate success, yet in his world he seems to see himself as successful. Without the trust and confidence of the American people he is deflated and empty. No longer does anyone listen to the noises he makes at the podium. No longer does anyone turn to him for guidance. He is looked upon as a buffoon and a joke.

His presidency is over in the sense that the public has lost confidence in his truthfulness and competency. So along with us, he too must endure two and a half more years of this misery he has created for himself and for America. He stated that he was a “war president” but he has now been defeated by his own loss of public trust and his incompetence.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Even TV’s can take only so much BS

Damn it, why do I watch? I almost didn’t watch the Sunday morning news shows yesterday. I debated if I wanted to waste another beautiful morning hearing bullshit being said by the top bullshiters. I wish I had lost that debate with myself because as it turned out, I watched.

I’m not going to bother with transcripts, I’ll just tell you the way it sounded to me.

First there was that pre-game show. George and laura walked out and stood side by side grinning. George said the people in Iraq had turned another corner, thus making the people of Iraq the newest entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. They have turned more corners than have ever been turned before. Woo Woo, for the people of Iraq!

I watched Timmy the Large, allow Condi the Less than Truthful, to rattle on and on about why Iran is the new Iraq. Condi was her usual monologue self. She was asked questions that could be answered “yes” or “no” and she managed to use about a zillion words while avoiding the subject of the question all together. Timmy the Large was a lot tougher on Pelosi when she was on his show. Guess Timmy the Large got up on the Right side of the bed this Sunday morning.

Then there was Chris Matthews of “Hairball” fame. Chris actually talked about Al Gore and could Al beat Hill. Then there was noise about who could beat who for the next presidential race and blah blah blah. Nothing of substance there, as usual.

Next comes the show with George Stephanopoulos. On his show he had one very interesting guest, the Attorney General of the United States, who has decided that “freedom of the press” has become optional and he’s not buying it. That rascal seems to think lots of things are optional. We already know that he believes “the right to privacy” depends on what the meaning of privacy is. I’m sure that any media person who was listening to Alberto the Legal Decider, spit out their breakfast when they heard him so much as say that members of the press are fair game, with no assured protection. Jeez, doesn’t the government have enough to do, hunting the terrorists who are hiding behind every tree, must they also go in pursuit of the media too?

So bottom line, Condi wants to blow the shit out of Iran, Chris Matthews still can’t produce an ounce of news and Alberto is on the hunt for reporters who tell us the truth about what is actually being done in this country and abroad. He calls leaks what we used to call news.

About half way through George’s show, my TV freaked out. First it went nuts and was whipping from one channel to the next and wouldn’t stop no matter what I did. So I unplugged it and plugged it in again. Same thing, switching channels round and round the dial. Maybe just like us, TV’s can only take so much bullshit before they just freakin’ lose it.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Have a Pleasant Weekend

I'll see you Monday and once again we'll try to figure out what's going on in our world.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Thank You

I know that the last couple of days I have posted some rather long items. You have been kind enough to read some or all of those posts and even leave a comment. Today I will make this short and sweet. I want to thank each of you for giving my posts your attention and your time. I read every comment that you leave here and I deeply appreciate your thoughts and opinions. Today I want to thank you for visiting my site.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy
They are the charming gardeners who make our souls bloom”
-Marcel Proust-

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Burying Animals Alive

The Center for North American Herpetology Lawrence, Kansas 12 May 2006

Incidental Gopher Tortoises Not Smothered by Concern by CARL HIAASEN

If your kids asked to bury a small animal alive, you'd be horrified. You'd tell them that's an awful thing and that they ought to be ashamed.

Most children wouldn't dream of doing it, of course, because they know what's wrong and what's right. Unfortunately, they don't make the rules.

Consider Florida's poor, pokey Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus). Since 1991, the state has allowed grown-ups to bury 74,000 of them because their burrows stood in the path of future subdivisions, highways, golf courses and supermarkets.

Officials prefer the word entomb instead of bury, but it's the same dirty deed.
Even on his most fleet-footed day, the average tortoise cannot outrace earth-moving machinery. Some are able to tunnel to freedom, but most suffocate slowly over a period of weeks.

Gopher Tortoises have been around for 60 million years, but the last few decades have been murder. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission classifies these ancient land turtles as a ''species of special concern,'' though obviously not special enough to be left in peace.

A child can't legally keep one as a pet, yet a big company or even a school district can obtain permits to snuff them by the hundreds.

Dwindling in numbers, the animals live in dry hammocks, coastal dunes and pine scrub. There they dig elaborate dens that provide shelter to more than 300 other species, including rabbits, burrowing owls and the endangered Eastern Indigo Snake.

As luck would have it, prime Gopher Tortoise habitat is often prime real estate, which means the tortoises get the boot or, more typically, the bulldozer.
state calls this ''incidental taking,'' which is a bureaucratically sanitized way of saying ``smothering to death.''

The permit process is straightforward. Developers seeking to build on land colonized by Gopher Tortoises typically agree to contribute to a habitat fund, or set aside a relatively small parcel.

It's called mitigation, a lame charade intended to make the state appear vigilant and to make developers appear caring. In the past 10 months Florida has granted
345 permits to bury tortoises. The Sun-Sentinel recently published a


The Tuscano golf course development near Sarasota got permission to kill 260

of the turtles in exchange for preserving 138 acres.

In Duval County, the Young Land Group was told it could destroy 190 Gopher Tortoises if it paid $169,442 for 29 acres of habitat.

The Orange County Public Schools got permission to kill 110 Gopher Tortoises on the future site of a high school, in exchange for preserving 12 acres at a cost of $92,037.

Vikings LLC in Marion County was approved to wipe out 470 Gopher Tortoises for a 542-home golf course development, in exchange for preserving 136 acres.

In Palm Beach County, Wal-Mart got permission to bury five Gopher Tortoises in exchange for a whopping 1.49 acres of habitat.


Mitigation is always meager. A pending project in the Tampa Bay area would obliterate 2,573 acres of Gopher Tortoise habitat, yet under current rules the developer is required to set aside only 168 acres. That's a net loss to the turtles of 93 percent of their home territory.

News accounts about the tortoise-burying permits have angered many Floridians and discomfited wildlife officials, who admit that not enough is being done to save the reptiles. The state now wants to expand tortoise preserves in the Panhandle, which sounds like a plan except that moving the critters hasn't worked. Studies have shown that most of the relocated newcomers have died from respiratory disease or other ailments.

Process as slow as the tortoise

Four years ago, the FWCC staff proposed elevating the status of Gopher Tortoise to a ''threatened species,'' which theoretically would offer more protection from habitat loss. No action was taken, and the sanctioned killings continued.

Several local governments decided there was no time to lose. Lee, Collier, Martin and Hillsborough counties adopted ordinances that made it more difficult to destroy the species, even with a permit.

On June 7, the state wildlife commission convenes in West Palm Beach, a public meeting at which the plight of the Gopher Tortoise finally will be addressed. A key factor will be the ''risk of extinction,'' which grows worse with every mass burial.

If commissioners agree that the species should be reclassified as threatened, biologists and administrators will begin drafting a management plan. It's a process as slow and lumbering as the Gopher Tortoise itself.

In the meantime, officials say they're working with developers and landowners to deal with the ''entombment issue,'' which has turned into a serious public-relations headache.

There's nothing ''incidental'' about burying an animal alive. Just ask your kids.
They'll know better.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Coloring Books and Paper Dolls

When I was a little kid, getting any sort of toys between one Christmas and the next was pretty damned rare. I never begged for a doll or a bike until right before Christmas because I learned quickly that was the only time I had even a minimum shot at getting what I wanted.

There were a few exceptions. Occasionally there were new coloring books and paper dolls.

Let’s take the coloring books first. I remember going in the store and heading for the book racks. There were coloring books displayed there like magazines are today on magazine racks. All kinds of glorious brand new, never been opened, big bright beautiful coloring books. Some with themes and others with random as yet lifeless pictures. Decisions would have to be made and at that time I too was the “decider”. I knew I couldn’t have the most glorious of them all because those were also the most expensive. But still, there were coloring books in my price range. I’m telling you when I chose my new book I became the proudest kid in town. I would take that book home, get my cigar box of broken and sometimes tasted coloring crayons and get to work. I would take these waxy little stubs of color and bring life to the outlined pictures.

Sometimes, and these were even rarer times, I could get a brand new box of crayons. Remember how good a box of new crayons smelled? I never got to get the box with several rows of different colors. I was in the financial group of single row buyers. But still, I had a brand new box of crayons. Each one still had its entire label in tact, and the tip of the crayon was pointy so the artist could make thin lines that were not afforded by the used, round ended old crayons. The best the old ones could do were smudgy kind of lines.

There was another experience that could equal coloring equipment and that was a box or book of paper dolls. I spent many happy moments living the lives of those dolls for them. One such book of paper dolls and fashions was a book about a wedding. There was a bride, groom and a flower girl and a ring bearer paper doll. The pictures on the front of that book were so beautiful to my eyes. The back ground was a pretty and shiny shade of blue. The bride was shown in the most beautiful wedding gown in the whole world. Fairy tale wedding? You bet your little pair of blunt nosed scissors.

I wasn’t real good at cutting out the paper dolls or their clothes. The little white tabs that you were to cut out along with the paper clothes were often accidentally clipped right off by my not so accurate scissor grasping hands. What a let down because if one of the tabs were cut off, the dress or outfit sort of hung from one of the dolls shoulders. But since the imagination can overcome any set back, the play would go on. I would be the lovely bride wearing the amazingly beautiful dress. I really was her and I could live in her world. Her world was nice and pretty and without problems. In her world everyone loved her and she was without a care. I escaped into her world and lots of other paper doll worlds as I grew up. I had total control in their worlds and none in my own.

A coloring book, crayons and paper dolls, these were highlights and delights of my formative years. These were such fun and provided so many happy moments. Today the thoughts of them bring back some very happy memories of a much, much simpler time in a much, much younger life.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Skeptical of the Government?

You have good reason to be skeptical of what the government will do with the information they obtain from your phone calls, look what they did with the classified information they had on CIA agent Valerie Plame.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Birth of a Blossom

In honor of Mother’s Day weekend, I wanted to post this photo of the birth of a Gardenia blossom taken in my backyard on the birth of this day.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Gettin’ Pissy, Gettin’ Even

If Fitzgerald would just please indict Karl Rove today. Please, please, please do it. Sure it may sound mean to want this, but I feel like being mean. With only 29% of Americans approving of bush, an indictment of his “brain” might take those numbers down into the teens. Hell, maybe even into single digits, who knows?

I want revenge for what has happened to my country. I want bush to know that about 75% of our citizens are on to him. I want to see him squirm. I want Babs to be embarrassed by her golden boy. I would love to see her face this morning when she hears these new numbers. I bet she is pissing and moaning to beat the band. I bet that “beautiful mind” isn’t so pretty today.

Too bad, Babs, baby. You spawned this thing and as a result our country has gone to hell in a hand basket at warp speed.
Face it kiddo, your son sucks.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Happy Mother’s Day, Babs.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Oh dear, Ann

“The blond Democrat slayer has not responded to an April letter from the Supervisor of Elections office asking her to explain why she voted in a Town of Palm Beach precinct that wasn't hers earlier this year.
The elections office tried to contact her again last week with another missive. No response. Now, the voting-eligibility watchdogs are losing patience.
“We may start the administrative procedure to remove Ms. Coulter from the voter rolls this week," said Charmaine Kelly, deputy elections chief. "There will be a public hearing to cancel her registration. If that happens, she won't be able to vote until she re-registers. It's a rather rare procedure.
Kelly said that after the hearing, Supervisor Arthur Anderson also will determine whether to refer the case to the state attorney's office for criminal prosecution.”
Palm Beach Post

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Yes, I do

Yes, I do have a lovely bunch of coconuts. This is this tree’s second try to have coconut children. She tried the first time two years ago but only one little nut began to grow to maturity and bless its heart it split in half during its growth. It hung on but it wasn’t pretty. Even in it’s pitiful state, it held on through a direct hit by hurricanes Frances and Jeanne. No, it never had a future but it was strong. When it finally fell from its stem I was going to toss it into the woods, but Mr. Pop said that wouldn’t do at all. He placed the little sad looking coconut at the foot of its mom’s tree and it’s there to this day. We called it Baby Nut.

Are We a Nation of Cowards?

Anyone who is willing to give up their rights as provided by the Constitution of the United States, in the name of fear, is in my own opinion a coward. Being so afraid of another terrorist attack that one is willing to hand over what our forefathers fought and died to give us is unpatriotic and un-American.

Hiding behind a wall of weakness and fear while tossing over the wall the Constitution is not only a disgrace, it’s a failure of character and dedication to what makes our country great.

When did America become so frail and so insecure that it folds in the face of danger? That’s not American, that cowardice.

We boast and brag about being the strongest country on earth and yet when danger comes near we quickly turn over our most precious rights to anyone who says they will keep us from harm. The strongest country on earth becomes a damned bunch of little babies when we feel threatened. We quickly pay the ransom with our Constitutional rights in order to retrieve our sense of safety. No one seems to care what they sacrifice as long as they can feel safe. What a bunch of wimps.

As of March, 52% of Americans said they were comfortable with the warrant-less wiretaps that are occurring at the NSA. That says that 52% of Americans are not willing to fight for what someone else fought and died to give them. Cherished rights become yesterday’s privilege. Here take whatever you want if it keeps me safe. America, the land of the not so brave.

While Americans and others are fighting and dying in Iraq so that country can be free, other Americans here at home are surrendering to the government so they can feel safe from harm. It’s time to not only support our troops in war, it’s time to support their efforts right here at home by fighting to hold on to our rights and theirs. If we hand over their and our Constitutional rights, in the name of safety while they are over there fighting, then we have let them down. We must not allow our soldiers to come home to a nation of cowards.

Monday, May 08, 2006

What are they trying so hard to hide?

So now we hear that Rove is spending all his time firing up the Republican base by telling them that if the mean old Democrats should take the House in November, they will investigate what the Republicans have been doing. Seems to me that if they have done nothing wrong they wouldn’t be so very afraid of investigations.

Karl's other threat to Republicans is that if the Democrats take control of the House they will begin impeachment hearings against the president. If the president has done nothing impeachable, why is Karl worried?

When a party is afraid of what they have been doing being exposed, I would guess they have something very large to hide.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

It's Kentucky Derby Day!

This little jockey probably didn't get the memo about what you wear on Derby Day when you race, but she's ready to ride.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Weekend Cometh

I'm wishing everyone a wonderful, happy and safe weekend.

How would you feel?

How would you feel if you received a recorded phone message from your local sheriff informing you that a convicted sex offender had moved within four blocks of your home? The man is in his 30’s, and was convicted of raping a woman at gun point.
I received that call yesterday.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Good-bye in Progress

I’m about to tell you about a man that I love the way I wanted to love my father. He is a man I’ve never seen nor even heard his voice.

A few years back when I was posting essays on another website, I received an email regarding something I had written. The email was a bit critical of my writing style. My first inclination was to hit the delete button and say to hell with you. But instead I reread the message and felt the writer was giving me good constructive criticism. Instead of delete, I hit reply and thanked the sender for his message. That’s how it began.

This gentleman was 80 years old and lived alone in a town about as far from my own as you can get and stay within the continental United States. His wife had died some years ago and he lived alone. He was a wealth of knowledge and the very symbol of a gentleman.

We emailed one another daily and occasionally hourly. One time we were sending emails back and forth as fast as we could. That was two years ago during the running of the Kentucky Derby. That was so much fun. We had such a good time that day. His favorite horse won and he was all excited.

During the years that followed my wise decision not to hit the delete button, I learned so much from my friend. He referenced books and poems for me to read. Then we would discuss our opinions. He showed me how to read Mark Twain to get the most from his words. We shared our opinions about everything from politics to literature to world events.

Then there was the music. The first Christmas that I was acquainted with him, he burned several CD’s of his favorite music and mailed them to me. They ranged from old jazz to big band and beyond. He made me a guide for each cut. He listed each band, each singer and what to listen for in each song. Oh my, those are my treasures and the only tangible reminder of our friendship.

When I had to leave my house before hurricane Jeanne arrived, I emailed him before I left to let him know I would be away from my computer for at least a few days. He quickly wrote back that he would miss me and that his life wouldn’t be right until I returned. We had that kind of relationship.

Here was a person who was far away, smarter than anyone I have ever met, and he was concerned about me and my well being. My dad never said anything like that to me, and he was supposed to care.

About a year ago my friend’s body became frail and he became ill. He has been in all sorts of hospitals since that time. Last week his daughter, whom I have talked with on the phone since the illness began, emailed me to tell me that my friend is dying. No one knows how long he has left on this earth. He told his daughter and his doctor that he is tired. He’s ready to go.

Our relationship was like a journey to me, a journey that led down a wonderful path surrounded by amazing thoughts and sights and sounds. It was as if he was holding my hand and showing me things I might never have seen. He cared for me. Oh and I cared for him. He was a distant shoulder for me to cry on, and I shared my small shoulders with him. He knew how to make me laugh when laughing seemed impossible. He could rant with the best of them too. He was the essence of a renaissance man.

He encouraged me to continue to write. He gave me confidence to keep plugging away and trying. He said he had faith in me. He pushed me when I needed pushing and he reined me in when I veered too far.

I have missed hearing from him since he became ill. I kept hoping each day that I would receive a surprise email from him and our friendship could continue. Now I have to come to grips with the fact that that’s not going to happen, ever again. I have cried but that did no good. Crying doesn’t make hurting go away. This wonderful person is silently leaving my life one day at a time.

He is leaving me but I will never lose the knowledge he shared with me. I will never lose the memories of his friendship. Although he is going away, I know the effect that he has had on me and my life will be with me for the rest of my life. For that I am deeply and sincerely grateful.

In honor of and in memory of our friendship, I decided to post a poem that he told me about a long time ago. It seems most appropriate.

Meeting and Passing by Robert Frost

As I went down the hill along the wall
There was a gate I had leaned at for the view
And had just turned from when I first saw you
As you came up the hill. We met. But all
We did that day was mingle great and small
Footprints in summer dust as if we drew
The figure of our being less that two
But more than one as yet. Your parasol

Pointed the decimal off with one deep thrust.
And all the time we talked you seemed to see
Something down there to smile at in the dust.
(Oh, it was without prejudice to me!)
Afterward I went past what you had passed
Before we met and you what I had passed.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Could you leave him behind as a hurricane approached?

Neither could I and I never will. The Humane Society of the United States knows that, so they are trying to make some changes.

Ask your legislators to support the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act today. This legislation requires state and local authorities to take into consideration the needs of individuals with pets and service animals in disaster plans. You can make a difference for people and animals. Click here to contact Congress now.

Moments for the Soul

A new day is dawning here in the sunshine state. The sun is peaking over the trees. Murphy and Fred the Cat have settled down for their morning until afternoon naps. All is quiet on the home front.

The birds are making the rounds at the birdfeeders and the birdbath. Several different types of flowers are smiling with blooms in my backyard. Lilies, frangipanis, roses, amaryllis, daisies, hibiscus and more. It’s as though nature's best works of art are displayed for me to enjoy.

These simple pleasures make me smile, I can’t help it. Serenity does that to me. I waited a long time for it and I won’t take a second of it for granted. I’ll enjoy the aroma of the flowers and the songs of the birds. I’ll enjoy the peacefulness of the quiet household and the sight of the sleeping furry occupants.

While the world spins in unexpected and strange ways and while human beings hate, fight and kill one another, I must take a timeout and enjoy what I have right here today. My soul needs these moments.

No one knows what tomorrow might bring. I’m keeping the memories of this day just in case I need them some future tomorrow.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Thank Stephen Colbert for doing what no one else would do

My post below this one deals with Stephen Colbert’s appearance at the dinner on Saturday night. If you agree that Stephen said something to the president that was long overdue, and if you believe he also rightly and boldly exposed the press for not doing their job, then please thank Mr. Colbert here.
I was number 11846.

The Unexpected Guest, the Truth

Saturday night at the white house correspondents’ dinner, Stephen Colbert pointed out that the emperor was naked. It was as if he pulled away the curtain and exposed every inch of bush’s naked body for the entire world to see. Then he pointed out that the press had been holding the curtain over bush’s nakedness for five years. Hardly anyone in the audience could laugh. They shouldn’t have, because the reality of the moment wasn’t funny. To hear an American speak the cold truth in public was stunning and difficult for many to hear. This wasn’t some Democrats’ hearing in the basement of Washington. This was out loud and out front. This was the, up until now, secret reality wide open.

Was it a personal attack on george bush? No! This was an exposure of the failures of the administration of george bush.

According to much of the media today, it didn’t happen. They aren’t even mentioning that Colbert was in attendance, let alone that he spoke. Instead they report on the side by side jokes that bush and an impersonator performed. That skit portrayed bush as someone who admitted his weaknesses and verbal shortcomings. Just a jokey old Texas guy who shows little value in appearing knowledgeable. A guy who makes others who are knowledge impaired feel right at home. A plain old let’s have a beer together kind of guy. The kind of guy who, if you aren’t smart, won’t make you feel stupid.

After that little down home, see, I know I’m an idiot at times show, along comes Colbert. Just when everyone is still petting the president on the head, tweaking his cheek and telling him how cute he is, Colbert stands up and points out that bush, in all his hee haw attitude, is dangerous as hell. He looked at bush and stated his case. He pointed out all of bush’s failures and the resulting disasters he has caused. He showed that the good old Texas boy has been the ruination of our country and that the press has failed to report on that story. Now everyone who was in on the bush head petting and cheek tweaking looked pretty damned stupid. They didn’t laugh at Colbert, because they were embarrassed and shocked. They too had been exposed. They looked foolish because he was doing their long overdue and much neglected job.

Some may say that was the wrong venue for Colbert to state his case. To them I would ask,, when would be the right place and time? When would be the right time to tell the world the truth? Deadly failure never is a pleasant thing to acknowledge, but it must be done. Saturday night, Stephen Colbert exposed reality. He exposed bush for who he really is, and it wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t kind, but it was true. When you look at all the things that bush has done, from committing our country to an unnecessary war to breaking laws, there’s no way to make it funny.

After Colbert’s performance the bushs sprinted for the door. It was apparent that they were displeased with what they had just heard. The last thing anyone expected in the president’s presence was the truth.