December 31, 2006





Absence of War

My wish for all

Massive Stars in Open Cluster Pismis 24

Credit: NASA, ESA and J. M. Apellániz (IAA, Spain).

December 30, 2006

They are not Osama!

Some thought the sentence of Zacarias Moussaoui would assuage some of the fear from September 11, 2001. Now, many are cheering Saddam Hussein execution. Do those events really change the feelings we have from September 11? Do we feel that the right people have paid for the murder of those thousands of lives? Is there relief in our breath in the silence of remembrance?

It is too soon to tell if these two events will have any effect on Islamic terrorism. Zacarias Moussaoui probably is already forgotten and Saddam Hussein will be soon. We will be continuing to try to justify the war in Iraq and find the best path for success.What we will not have done is gotten justice for the victims of September 11, 2001. Capturing Osama bin Laden should still be our primary goal. If this were our major pursuit, the terrorist would know that we have as much resolve as they.

Our government does not understand the minds of the terrorist, the nature of Islam, or that revenge can trump religion and religion can trump freedom. There have been too many conversations about the clash of civilizations, spreading liberty and democracy and stabilizing the Middle East. Those goals are admirable, but not what the times require. Five years has been too long! The times require Justice!

December 27, 2006

But I keep wanting to say, your premise(s) is wrong!

There can be a logical argument, it may prove your point; what it doesn’t do, is prove it true. I suppose there is the probability that if you use wrong information, you will find truth. It is like ten thousand monkeys typing … It is the logical fallacy on the net. That’s redundant, isn’t it?

December 25, 2006

James Brown: Master of Precision

James Brown died earlier to day. Long live James Brown! His life is not only a significant loss to those close to him, but to all who appreciated his genius. Rest in Peace.

I played in my high school marching band in the late fifties. The thing you have to know is to play in tune and play in time. During practice sessions, the drum line ( click on video) played their complicated cadences. Playing those intricate patterns was not a problem, the problem was keeping the drums in time; otherwise you would have chaos. The drummers aspired to play as tight as James Brown’s band. All band members who had seen his shows were in awe. Brown had raised the bar. His band had two drummers on either side of the stage in older venues. Not only did the drummers have to be in time, the rest of his band had to hit those notes precisely. This along with Brown’s silences (I think that what those in hip hop call breaks) and use of rhythm; is what made him a great musician.

If the YouTube video is not visible here is the link for Sex Machine.

Five Things You Don’t Know About Me

As a Christmas present I have been tagged by Richard G. Combs to list those five things. This is new to me and I learned that I’m required to regift. I don’t think I’ve said any of this before.

  1. I have been married twice. I have an adult son from the second marriage.
  2. I was in the Army 66-68. I didn’t join because I was patriotic. I joined because I could not find any work, and I didn’t want to do “days work” or work plucking chicken feathers. For folks who are not old enough to know, “days work” meant house cleaning for 50 cent and hour and bus fare. $1.15/hr was minimum wage. Did I learn a skill? Well the Army needed teletype operators and that’s what I did.
  3. A few months before my fourth birthday, my father came to take me to live with him and his mother. I don’t remember getting on the train, but remember changing trains in Virginia (it probably was D.C.) and the humongous steam engine on the other train.
  4. I deal cards as if I’m left handed. This spooked one poker player. I never knew that I was dealing differently.
  5. I played piano, saxophone and oboe. Not brilliantly, but well enough to play in my high school band. I took a piano class in college, thinking it would be pretty easy to get an “A.” Was I wrong! I had to audition for the class and the final consisted of playing in front of a three person panel. I did get a “C.”
This was hard, trying to find something that is, at least, interesting. Now I have to regift and send to five other bloggers. Brad, Jeffery, Justrose, Ian and Status are it. Let me thank Richard for this wonderful gift, before I go. Merry Christmas everybody!

December 17, 2006

tools n things

work 12-02-2005

I just dropped my purse on top of tools. I thought an interesting contrast. I took photo with camera at work.

December 16, 2006

Spacy eyed

You’ll notice today’s NASA picture is the plume of the Space Shuttle Discovery from its night launch several days ago. I saw the headline about another space walk. This space walk will be done to finish rewiring to the International Space Station. You see, I said to myself, I could do that. I looked at USAJOBS to see if NASA were hiring. They are and I am going to apply. I don’t have a snowballs chance in hell of having my application considered, but this is something I would like to do. I haven’t had any other success in finding a job. This will be one of many I haven’t been considered for. The site usually has about 3200 applicants for 20 positions.

I have always wanted to go into space and like many other kids, had my hopes dashed when I got my first pair of glasses. The path to becoming an astronaut was through the wings of a pilot. Unfair, I feel and why does there have to be a PhD and/or a military officer doing the wiring? When is space travel going to be in the real world? In the real world that skill would be a technicians or electricians job. So why not hire a technician, electrician, welder or computer specialist when they need one? Why can’t those people be astronauts? How much more design is done for the space station so that just anyone with minimal skills can put it together? My theory, having a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering does not mean you know how to use tools.

If humans ever plan to expand in the universe, space travel has to depend on the ordinary. You get a ship and hire a crew, hopefully with all the skills you need. They probably will not look like the stars in a movie, but you would not be interested in PR, but only to successfully complete the trip. NASA is still into PR and the private companies are catering to the rich and famous. I don’t think either approach will help humans explore space.

I wonder how many other people like me will apply. We do have “the right stuff,” it’s just in the wrong package.

December 11, 2006

This is where I can start

Recently, I have become aware of the violence spreading from the Sudan to Chad and even having an affect on the Central African Republic. I am not even sure the government of Uganda has resoled the fighting of the Lord Resistance Army. There has been fighting in Somalia, tense elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There is so much more Aids, starvation, and civilian violence. I haven’t spoken about any of this, because I have felt nothing I could say would change things. Where would I start, it is so overwhelming?

I found an article at This is Zimbabwe about Zimbabwe police and Central Intelligence Organization seizing sanitary napkins.

The pads were allegedly seized by police and later the dreaded Central Intelligence Organization was drawn into the matter. The ZCTU had given the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ) its allocation of the pads sourced with the help of international partners.

On seizure, the farmworkers were told that the pads had been poisoned by former white commercial farmers, which is a blatant lie as the ZCTU, with the help of international partners and friends sourced for the sanitary ware.

I found out there is a shortage of sanitary products and it greatly affecting the women’s ability to work or to go to school. Sokwanele provides the background and a way to support the “Dignity. Period!” campaign.

This isn’t simply a story about shortages of yet another type of product. Shortages of sanitary ware go to the heart of women’s rights: it’s an issue which raises questions of whether a woman is forced to stay away from work or school; whether she is putting her health at risk by picking up infections or, if she is HIV positive, whether those infections will literally shorten her life span. In short, a lack of affordable hygienic sanitary products translates directly into issues of women’s rights as well as women’s dignity. This isn’t simply a story about shortages of yet another type of product. Shortages of sanitary ware go to the heart of women’s rights: it’s an issue which raises questions of whether a woman is forced to stay away from work or school; whether she is putting her health at risk by picking up infections or, if she is HIV positive, whether those infections will literally shorten her life span. In short, a lack of affordable hygienic sanitary products translates directly into issues of women’s rights as well as women’s dignity.

Read the rest

You may think that an idea to provide sanitary products wouldn’t upset the government, but Ms. Thabitha Khumalo has been assaulted and raped for efforts. The post cited The Sunday Times for the full story.

SHE has been arrested 22 times, tortured so badly that her front teeth were knocked into her nose and had an AK-47 thrust up her vagina until she bled. SHE has been arrested 22 times, tortured so badly that her front teeth were knocked into her nose and had an AK-47 thrust up her vagina until she bled.

This is how the government has dealt with the issue. You would think it was bunch of middle school boys. Even with the reactions, Ms. Khumalo has persevered

When an MP raised the issue in parliament, government ministers fell about laughing and dismissed the matter. Khumalo has tried to highlight it through public meetings and distributing scarves printed with demands for affordable sanitary wear. As a result she has been repeatedly arrested and beaten, but refuses to be deterred.

This is a place where I can start. It is not an overwhelming task. Perhaps I can extend awareness. I have placed a button in the sidebar. It links to a This is Zimbabwe post with the information you need; if you want to donate, if you feel you need another way to help or if you want to link to the organization coordinating the “Dignity. Period!” campaign.

H/T Noli Irritare Leones

December 06, 2006

Foxes Guarding the Hen House

I am not sure this is an appropriate saying to apply to the recommendation that Syria and Iran become involved and help the Iraqi government; but it was the first thing I thought while reading this article.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Syria and Iran are willing to help stabilize Iraq, as the Iraq Study Group recommended Wednesday, but both countries will want something in return and neither has a magic solution to the chaos, Mideast officials and analysts said.

They really want this in return and more.

Syria's ambassador to Washington, Imad Moustapha, said his country is willing to encourage Iraq's Sunni Arabs to support the political process. But Damascus wants assurances that the United States will prevent Iraq from breaking apart.

Iran, meanwhile, has demanded that American forces leave Iraq, a step that could push the Shiite-led government even closer to Tehran.

Our government has said the sectarian violence has not become a civil war. I guess maybe civil war is defined as brother against brother; not citizen against citizen.

Iran and Syria have influence with both of the major groups involved in Iraq's sectarian violence. Tehran is close to Shiite parties that dominate the government, while Damascus has ties to Sunni Arabs, their main rivals for power.

Iran is also believed to sponsor Shiite militias blamed for widespread killings of Sunnis. The U.S., meanwhile, accuses Syria of providing refuge for Sunni Arab fighters, including former Iraqi Baath Party leaders thought to have a role in directing the insurgency.

Now if we have the Iranians backing the Shia and the Syrians supporting the Sunnis, just what will evolve? They are all going to get along in Iraq.

Ev'rybody get together
Try and love one another right now

The Youngbloods, Lets Get Together

It’s interesting that now we can’t really figure out how to win; we want the Syrians involved, at the same time we want them out of Lebanon.

Syria and Iran are likely to want something for themselves as well. Damascus may ask the United States to accept Syria's influence in Lebanon, where Washington supports the anti-Syrian government.

Read in its entirety

Our government has multiple personalities.

December 05, 2006


I am certain that the principle of uncertainty is true.
Since reading this article about agnosticism, now I know it’s true.

December 03, 2006


A life and things are wanted.
Intangibles like love, patience and constancy are wanted.
In the end, is death the last desire?


Emotional pain is the price you pay for being conscious.
Most suffering is caused by man, because he is capable of remembering pain.

December 02, 2006


It feels like a child who needs to be swaddled.
I need to be held and pulled tight into his chest.


it's a sex object if you're pretty
and no love
or love and no sex if you're fat

"Woman Poem" by Nikki Giovanni, from the album Truth Is on Its Way

If you are fat? If you are old. If you are independent. If you are…
You are invisible!

be a mother
grandmother strong thing but not woman
gameswoman romantic woman love needer
man seeker dick eater sweat getter
fuck needing love seeking woman

Continue reading  

This poem is more than about invisibility, but these quotes have haunted my soul since I first heard the album. It seemed like a premonition, now it has become embodied.

If this be the angry woman, I am her. What do I paint myself with, to make me visible?

Webcast concert commemorating 35th anniversary of Truth is on its Way.