Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Emerson on theyesayes, sometimes.

An eye can threaten
like a loaded and leveled gun,
or it can insult like hissing
or kicking; or, in its altered mood,
by beams of kindness, it can make
the heart dance for joy.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Ordinary people are now becoming a little worried, she says"

from the BBC

US 'Iran attack plans' revealed

USS John C Stennis is being deployed to the Persian GulfUS contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country's military infrastructure, the BBC has learned.

It is understood that any such attack - if ordered - would target Iranian air bases, naval bases, missile facilities and command-and-control centres.

The US insists it is not planning to attack, and is trying to persuade Tehran to stop uranium enrichment. The UN has urged Iran to stop the programme or face economic sanctions.
But diplomatic sources have told the BBC that as a fallback plan, senior officials at Central Command in Florida have already selected their target sets inside Iran.

That list includes Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Natanz. Facilities at Isfahan, Arak and Bushehr are also on the target list, the sources say.
Two triggers BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says the trigger for such an attack reportedly includes any confirmation that Iran was developing a nuclear weapon - which it denies.

The Natanz plant is buried under concrete, metal and earthAlternatively, our correspondent adds, a high-casualty attack on US forces in neighbouring Iraq could also trigger a bombing campaign if it were traced directly back to Tehran.

Long range B2 stealth bombers would drop so-called "bunker-busting" bombs in an effort to penetrate the Natanz site, which is buried some 25m (27 yards) underground. The BBC's Tehran correspondent Frances Harrison says the news that there are now two possible triggers for an attack is a concern to Iranians. Authorities insist there is no cause for alarm but ordinary people are now becoming a little worried, she says.

Earlier this month US officers in Iraq said they had evidence Iran was providing weapons to Iraqi Shia militias. However the most senior US military officer later cast doubt on this, saying that they only had proof that weapons "made in Iran" were being used in Iraq.

Gen Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said he did not know that the Iranian government "clearly knows or is complicit" in this. At the time, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the accusations were "excuses to prolong the stay" of US forces in Iraq.

Middle East analysts have recently voiced their fears of catastrophic consequences for any such US attack on Iran. Britain's previous ambassador to Tehran, Sir Richard Dalton, told the BBC it would backfire badly by probably encouraging the Iranian government to develop a nuclear weapon in the long term.

Last year Iran resumed uranium enrichment - a process that can make fuel for power stations or, if greatly enriched, material for a nuclear bomb. Tehran insists its programme is for civil use only, but Western countries suspect Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. The UN Security Council has called on Iran to suspend its enrichment of uranium by 21 February.

If it does not, and if the International Atomic Energy Agency confirms this, the resolution says that further economic sanctions will be considered.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New Blogger Link Be-Gones

Well, I have a big problem with this new blogger. I have no scroll bar on the right side of my screen which makes it impossible for me to check in on any of the links near the bottom of my list. And let's face it, unless we have a readership like the DailyKoz most of us are probably the only ones who ever give our own links more than a quick glance or two. Link owners no doubt check out those of us who showcase them but, otherwise, I've never had anyone comment on any of my links. Occasionally, I've had people campaign for one. Once I was dating a man who seemed to think my readers would be interested in the archived Advanced Algebra & Calculus lectures he kept online for his students. Okey-Dokey, as my father used to say.

Anyone else find themselves in this no scroll predicament?

New Blogger does now have a field at the bottom right hand corner of this "new post" block. I have an option entitled "Labels for this post: e.g. scooters, vacation, fall" One has to wonder if an ER nurse is making a little extra dough writing template copy for the Google boys. Well, either that or it's the same writers who come up with those funny ha-ha profile questions.

Can you tell I'm having a wee bit of adjustment anxiety/problems with this new system. I want old style blogger back, pretty please :-)

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Weight

I once fell in love w/ a man mostly because he included this song & the Chicken Chokers on the same mixed tape.
Steve Earle, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings -

Tribute to Gram Parsons

Monday, February 05, 2007

Yet Another Blog and Rediscovered "Fish"

Well, I figured if One Ring Zero cold geek out, as they put it, and do myspace then, why not me? Truth is I've had an account with them since 2005 I've just never done anything with it. I've added a link on here to my space "space". It's kind of fun. Just about everyone is on there and catching up w/ people you haven't seen in a long time is a blast - as is friend-ing with favorite local musicians. For the most part, people on there are very nice.

Speaking of One Ring Zero, I received a nice note from Joshua Camp (one Ring and Hang the Lights)on the topic of the Coelacanth* - the name of that women's publishing collective I belonged to/co-founded in Baltimore years ago and now a reference in a Camp-penned song. The drawing Hang the Lights has on it's myspace song player of the rediscovered fish is, I think, the very one we used as our logo all those years ago. Cool. Gina Guitierrez was the groovy gal behind that find and the writer of the Coelacanth poem that inspired our name.

Well, there you go - another brush with greatness - laughing!

The Coelacanth species is closely related to the lungfish and was believed to have been extinct since the end of the Cretaceous period (this predates the dinosaurs by a little over 300 milliona years if memory serves - and it may not), until a live specimen was found off the east coast of South Africa, off the Chalumna River in 1938. Since then, they have been found in the Comoros, Sulawesi (Indonesia), Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park in South Africa, and more recently, sister-species in Sulawesi, Indonesia, strikingly increasing the geographical distribution ascribed to this species. Coelacanth is often referred to as the "living fossil" fish.

Above photo is Coelcanth re-discoverer Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer w/ the aforementioned Chalumna River catch.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Oh Molly.....

what a day....what a day. Dear Miss Molly have a wonderful journey, leaving shoes and cares behind. Thanks for being a strong, out-spoken, completely unapologetic southern broad.

excerpted from Kelley Shannon, Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN, Texas - Best-selling author and columnist Molly Ivins, the sharp-witted liberal who skewered the political establishment and referred to President Bush as "Shrub," died Wednesday after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 62. Ivins died at her home while in hospice care, said David Pasztor, managing editor of the Texas Observer, where Ivins had once been co-editor.

Ivins made a living poking fun at politicians, whether they were in her home state of Texas or the White House. She revealed in early 2006 that she was being treated for breast cancer for the third time.

More than 400 newspapers subscribed to her nationally syndicated column, which combined strong liberal views and populist humor. Ivins' illness did not appear to hurt her ability to deliver biting one-liners.

"I'm sorry to say (cancer) can kill you, but it doesn't make you a better person," she said in an interview with the San Antonio Express-News in September, the same month cancer claimed her friend former Gov. Ann Richards.

In a column in mid-January, Ivins urged readers to stand up against Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq. "We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war," Ivins wrote in the Jan. 11 column. "We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'Stop it, now!'"

Ivins' best-selling books included those she co-authored with Lou Dubose about Bush. One was titled "Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush" and another was "BUSHWHACKED: Life in George W. Bush's America."

Ivins' jolting satire was directed at people in positions of power.

"The trouble with blaming powerless people is that although it's not nearly as scary as blaming the powerful, it does miss the point," she wrote in a 1997 column. "Poor people do not shut down factories ... Poor people didn't decide to use 'contract employees' because they cost less and don't get any benefits."

In an Austin speech last year, former President Clinton described Ivins as someone who was "good when she praised me and who was painfully good when she criticized me."

Ivins loved to write about politics and called the Texas Legislature the best free entertainment in Austin.

"Naturally, when it comes to voting, we in Texas are accustomed to discerning that fine hair's-breadth worth of difference that makes one hopeless dipstick slightly less awful than the other. But it does raise the question: Why bother?" she wrote in a 2002 column.

Born Mary Tyler Ivins in California, she grew up in Houston. She graduated from Smith College in 1966 and attended Columbia University's journalism school. She also studied for a year at the Institute of Political Sciences in Paris.

Her first newspaper job was in the complaint department [hilarious] of the Houston Chronicle. She worked her way up at the Chronicle, then went on to the Minneapolis Tribune, becoming the first woman police reporter in the city.

Ivins counted as her highest honors the Minneapolis police force's decision to name its mascot pig after her and her getting banned from the campus of Texas A&M University, according to a biography on the Creators Syndicate Web site.

In the late 1960s, according to the syndicate, she was assigned to a beat called "Movements for Social Change" and wrote about "angry blacks, radical students, uppity women and a motley assortment of other misfits and troublemakers."

Ivins later became co-editor of The Texas Observer, a liberal Austin-based biweekly publication of politics and literature. She joined The New York Times in 1976, working first as a political reporter in New York and later as Rocky Mountain bureau chief. But Ivins' use of salty language and her habit of going barefoot in the office were too much for the Times, said longtime friend Ben Sargent, editorial cartoonist with the Austin American-Statesman. "She was just like a force of nature," Sargent said. "She was just always on and sharp and witty and funny and was one of a kind."

Ivins returned to Texas as a columnist for the Dallas Times-Herald in 1982, and after it closed she spent nine years with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In 2001, she went independent and wrote her column for Creators Syndicate.

She was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999, and she had a recurrence in 2003. Her latest diagnosis came around Thanksgiving 2005.