Friday, December 26, 2008


It has been sooooo cold here. The water in the birdbath froze and I actually had to wrap the outside hose bibs. I'm sure many of you think I'm a lunatic for believing 29 degrees Fahrenheit is really cold, while you're suffering at temperatures below zero. However, you must also remember that we regularly see many summer days with the heat cooking us at temperatures hovering around 115 degrees. The saying, "but it's a dry heat" means nothing after 106 degrees. Hot is hot. After so much heat, this freeze comes as rather a shock. I used to say I loved being able to drive to the snow only 40 minutes away during winter. This year, we got 8 inches of snow and our schools had a snow day. It was beautiful! Unless you needed to get anywhere. My city only has one snow plow! It's usually reserved for the highway along mountain passes; not the valley streets! Yes, there is great beauty in the cold, but I'd still rather live in a warm climate (although maybe not quite so hot as 115 degrees).

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Yes, I am well aware that I should be in the Christmas spirit. This year, however, I can't seem to rustle up the energy to "celebrate." I don't see the point to all the lunacy of rushing around to put up a tree and decorate, only to rush around taking it all down again in a couple of weeks. I also can't afford to travel to spend the holidays with family. Instead, I've decided to save money by not driving all over the place to buy gifts (or order gifts and have someone else drive all over the place to deliver them). I refuse to add to the recession by spending what I don't have, or paying the loansharks at the credit card companies to borrow their money.

I do plan on using this time to get healthy, relax and develop a store of energy to bring back to work. I've made a couple of donations. I also want to do something creative, enjoy the beauty of nature and my backyard, listen to beautiful music, sing loud enough to raise the rafters, and spend some time with friends. An absence of decorations doesn't mean that I cannot celebrate in my heart and mind, where it counts the most. After all, long before the consumer model of Christmas came to the fore, Christmas was all about love. In the original spirit of Christmas, I wholeheartedly send the warmth of the holiday season and my love to all my family and friends. I truly wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Please Help the People of Burma

Many of those who protested and/or who spoke to foreign journalists during the military junta's crackdown on pro-Democracy protests were convicted in kangaroo courts. They are now either serving life sentences in prisons or mental institutions. Avaaz has found a great, indirect way to put pressure on the illegal Myanmar government in Burma to treat these people fairly: put pressure on Lloyds of London to stop insuring the Military Junta, which has been in power since 1962. Check out this link and help the people of Burma:

Are You Supporting the Ivory Militia? or Are You Killing Two "Birds" with One "Stone?"

African elephants are rapidly being driven towards extinction, brought to this precipice by the love of ivory. The predominant buyers in this ivory market are American and Chinese citizens. These ivory buyers not only fuel the destruction of a highly-intelligent species, but they also directly fund the militia that commit major human rights violations in such countries as Chad and Sudan. These militia illegally kill hundreds of elephants to cut off their ivory tusks. Then the militia use the profits from the sale of this ivory to fund their violence against people. If you buy ivory, you are basically a murderer and/or rapist, only your actions are a few steps removed from the actual violent acts perpetrated by the militia you directly support. So, if you think ivory is beautiful, let it remain on its owner. Instead, go to see it on a photo/video safari, or in a museum, which, in the near future, may also be the only place you'll be able to see an African elephant.

If you'd like to know more about what militias are doing in that area of the world, please remember that Chad shares a common border with the Darfur region of Sudan. Please check out the following links:

Governor Blagojevich, AKA "Crash" Corruption

Talk about hitting a wall without any awareness you're there! Maybe the driver's still stumbling around drunk with power. This car must have an Illinois license plate. Governor Blagojevich, whether or not he's charged and found guilty, is either a narcissist or sociopath...or both. This kind of euphoric corruption reminds me of the words from a song in Mamma Mia. "Money, money, money, must be funny, in a rich man's world. Money, money, money, always sunny, in a rich man's world." He's most certainly not alone in the crime spree of corruption and influence peddling occurring in this country, nor is he the only person in office who could be the recipient of a similar diagnosis, right on up to our current Commander-in-Chief. We simply continue to see more and more riders, individuals or corporations, on the roller coaster of widespread greed and corruption.

It seems like the United States of America is for sale. It’s not just Senate seats that are pandered, it’s also the undue influence of one individual or group over another. This influence and corruption also benefit corporations and entire industries. Politicians and government employees have consistently given "particular" corporations and businesses breaks on regulations and policies, instead of protecting the American citizen and our environment.

Blagojevich is only the tip of the iceburg. We need wide-ranging reform of elections, political appointments, contracts (including outlawing cost-plus, no-bid contracts), etc. to prevent the type of corruption of which Blagojevich is, allegedly, one prime example. Honestly, I think Lincoln would not be the only one turning over in his grave; so would our Founding Fathers.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Teapot Dome III? Corruption-Free Elections?

Well, back in 2002, an article compared the Enron scandal under Bush to the Teapot Dome scandal under Harding, formerly considered the worst President in US history. I'm wondering if there will be a third (or fourth) Teapot Dome-style scandal that will come to light, perhaps, once again, in relation to oil. If you're interested in learning about the 1920's Teapot Dome scandal, check out this link...

All of these scandals, whether under the aegis of Republican or Democratric rule, could be reduced by prohibiting ANY donations, favors or undue influence to/from politicians, elected officials or candidates. Concurrently, publicly financed elections with reasonable monetary caps would give all comers an even chance, thus including candidates who are as highly qualified, yet less-affluent. Wealth does not necessarily breed superiority, moral or intellectual. It does often, however, tend to breed a sense of entitlement and false sense of superiority that are antithetical to the tenets of equality guaranteed to all citizens by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Some things I'm thankful for...
My home and my wonderful pets
A fairly secure job
My friends and relatives
My beautiful and contemplative backyard garden
My relatively good health
The lower price of gas, reducing financial stress
The growing heightened awareness of people about our environment
Hope for my country after 8 years of darkness and shame
Creativity, including this blog
Garage sales in which you can find beautiful things

Singing and dancing in my kitchen when no one is watching or listening
The light and warmth of the sun and the cooling depths of night
Blooming flowers and the hummingbirds, butterflies and bees that also enjoy them
The way plants sway in the breeze and the sound of the wind as it passes through them
The sound of birdsong
Music and art
Things that live and grow
The giggles and laughter of babies and children
The persistence of diplomacy in its quest for peaceful conflict resolution live and breathe in this world
Travel to explore and exchange ideas and cultures
Writing and photography to express myself
Books that open up new and unexplored worlds of ideas
The Internet that brings the vast world into my home
The infinite timelessness of rocks, the earth, and the universe; all living on such a grand scale I can only imagine

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Our Food Supply Threatened, Again

Our food supply is in jeopardy from a newer group of gmo crops containing pharmaceutical drugs and industrial chemicals. Round-Up ready seeds have already contaminated our food supply due to weak regulations and lack of oversight that protects industry instead of humanity. Now the USDA is trying to push through another batch of weak regulations and oversight on pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals spliced into human food staple crops such as rice and corn, while President Bush is still at the helm to support this. Outdoor production of all pharma and other gmo crops should be banned and companies who allow their products to even accidentally get into the food supply should be shut down. There has never been any definitive independent testing that states these crops are safe. The security of humanity's food supply, along with our water supply and the rest of our environment, should no longer be sacrificed on the altar of corporate greed and political facilitation. Please write to your legislators and to head of the USDA and stop this before pharma crops also contaminate our food supply. Our food supply is our survival.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Could I Please Order a Water and Flame Retardant?

Researchers have found that four-fifths of 139 waterways across the United States that provide drinking water for many of our cities contain traces of medicine, flame-retardant and other toxins. Companies that sell bottled water get their water from some of these waterways, too. So, whether you get drinking water from the tap or bottled water, you're also drinking chemicals such as flame retardant and medicine such as zoloft, xanax and birth control pills (remember, a percentage of what goes in your body, eventually comes out). Some other chemicals found in drinking water are stain protection chemicals for fabrics, oil, transmission fluid, lawn chemicals, pesticides, and other toxins that have washed down from fields, streets, yards and driveways into storm drains, rivers and lakes.

In one of these waterways, the Potomac River, a water source for many in Virginia, greater than 80% of male small-mouthed bass grow eggs. Yes, males growing eggs. Salmon in northwest rivers are dying. Scientists believe it's because chemical toxins in the water reduce their sense of smell. This may impede their recognition of predators, as well as their ability to find food and locate their spawning grounds. Some of us are also drinking and bathing in the same water, including water coming out of our water taps or in bottled water. For humans, up to and around 56% of what you put on your skin (including make-up and lotions) enters your bloodstream and goes straight to your major body organs. So, this is not just all about drinking your water, either.

Water doesn't usually stay in one place. As for how quickly these toxins can spread through water, I'm going to give one example. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground, spilling oil. For three days, Exxon did nothing to remediate the spill and the oil remained within Prince William Sound, only through the luck of good weather. Then there was a storm and, in less than a week, the oil spread out of the sound and onto beaches approximately 3200 miles away.

Exxon isn't the only corporation to pollute our planet. Businesses use 90% of our potable water, a large percentage of this in the manufacturing process, as well as in many types of energy production. All of us are partly to blame, however, because we use or consume what they produce. Food, drink, clothing, and many other types of products we use, drive and live in are all produced with water. All contribute to polluting the water you drink, with which you cook, and in which you bathe and play.

So, here are some thoughts. Think about your needs and wants in relation to how they affect our environment. Then make changes in how you live and what you consume. Follow the the three R's: reduce, reuse, recycle. If you ingest it, put it on your skin, or put anything on any surface that might wash away or evaporate, maybe you should think about drinking it, too. After all, you will, eventually. So will your children, relatives, friends, pets, and every other living thing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Disappearance of the Bee and Humanity?

I heard a quote some believe has been erroneously attributed to Einstein that predicted the demise of humanity within 4 years of the disappearance of the bee. ”If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” Honeybees are dying at alarming rates in North America and Europe. There is also documentation that they are disappearing in Taiwan. A large percentage of plants depend upon honeybees for pollination to remain a viable species. Therefore, I can see how the disappearance of all bees could produce a concomitant collapse of some species, and possibly, ecosystems. Although we don't know the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder, I am concerned that we humans are at the root of the collapse. Some scientists believe it is caused by insecticides, herbicides. other toxins, and/or pollutants; others believe the collapse may be caused by genetically modified crops.

I believe our agricultural system is in disarray. Agribusiness has decreased the diversity of plant species through their farming practices. Also due to their farming practices, large tracts of once arable soils are no longer fertile and are so polluted by pesticides, I question if large-scale remediation is possible. We have disregarded the "simplistic and unscientific" wisdom of our ancestors, who through thousands of years of trial and error, determined that crop rotation and letting fields lie fallow to rest, maintains soil viability and fertility. I hope that we can return to a larger percentage of small farms growing diverse, natural, non-gmo crops and using healthier, organic or permaculture-type methods of farming. We are also destroying our marine food supply by overfishing, pollution through oil spills, the dumping of waste, trash and chemicals, and the purposeful killing of whales and sharks, the top marine predators.

Our food supply has been contaminated with the introduction of genetically modified organisms (gmo's), which have also been allowed to cross-contaminate natural plants. Gmo's were not subjected to long-term independent scientific testing to determine their long-term health effects on human health (or that of other species) before they were introduced into our food supply. The use of Monsanto's genetically modified, patented seeds and plants require the use of Monsanto's poisonous pesticide Round-Up. Small-acreage farmers, into whose fields the gmo seeds blow and grow without any intent of those farmers, are being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement. Another problem is that one chemical company owns the patents to a large percentage of natural seeds in the western hemisphere. This company can withhold selling these seeds in favor of its own. He who controls the food supply... Who allowed them to patent life? I hope that I, as an American citizen, didn't fall asleep at the wheel and that I don't share the blame. Can we have these patents found unlawful, unconstitutional and be rescinded?

The diversity of all plant and animal species have been dramatically reduced partly because of the encroachment of humans into their natural habitats. If you look at a population map of the human species, our population growth over thousands of years used to be predominantly linear and sustainable. However, our population growth increased substantially with the Industrial Revolution and the introduction of antibiotics and modern medicine. It has been exponential, in fact, almost vertical since around the 1970's. Potable water is less than 1% of all water on earth. Habitable land is approximately 4% of the earth's surface. There is no longer enough potable water or arable land to sustain our still-growing global population. When we compete with all the other species for what's left of habitable land and potable water, they lose. Yet, so do we, although on the surface, we appear to win.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature, based in Switzerland, recently released the results of a five-year study that concluded almost 1 in 4 mammals on our planet are at risk of extinction. When the top predators are gone, the trophic cascade spills down to the smallest of species, adversely affecting entire ecosystems. In the 1920's we eradicated wolves from the Yellowstone ecosystem, unwittingly setting off the trophic cascade. The recent reintroduction of wolves, the top predator, into Yellowstone has led to a natural balance in that ecosystem and a significant increase in the diversity of plant and animal species found there. We humans often arrogantly disrupt the balance and rhythms of nature, thinking that a)we have the right to do this, b)we "know better," and c) it is in "our", but actually one group's, best interest. Our huge population increase, in and of itself, has put the balance of nature into a downward spiral. Will nature create a way to bring our population into a more natural balance with the rest of the species?

These are dangerous times for all who inhabit Planet Earth, mostly by our own hand. We consistently see reports of how something we've done adversely effects other species and our environment. We also see reports of human illnesses that have been attributed to the increased concentration of pollutants, toxins and heavy metals in our environment. Many different allergies, cancers, asthma, COPD and other pulmonary disorders are being reported at increasingly alarming rates. How can we continue to commit specicide?

I haven't even introduced CO2 emissions, global warming, or climate change into this discussion and we're already in trouble. When these issues are included, our problems escalate exponentially. When global temperature increases and sea levels rise, the percentage of habitable land decreases. Considering the fact that more than 50% of humans live along or close to coastlines, there will be mass migrations. Where do we put all those people? Do we believe these migrations will all occur peacefully? What role in all of this will storms have; storms that are predicted to increase in both strength and frequency? Will there be water wars over what's left of unpolluted potable water? What happens to all the other species affected?

Can we humans, somehow, come together in peace to discuss and formulate global initiatives to control our population growth, as well as the pollution and destruction of our common home? Will corporate executives stop their seemingly unquenchable greed and quest for power? Will they also end their unhealthy and unsustainable policies and actions and, instead, start caring for the beings of this planet? Will governments finally start penalizing these people and their behaviors, as well as their own? Why can't a free economy benefit all sentient beings of this planet? The current huge and still-expanding gap between rich and poor is immoral. Why do we reward uncontrolled greed and power that so clearly benefits the few and harms our planet and all life? Has our quest for more "stuff" been worth it? Are we already too late to even attempt to repair the damage we've caused? Is this last-minute bid for our own survival yet another form of human arrogance? What do you think?

Check out the following:
Human Population Maps
The Future of Food
The IUCN Red List Along Coastlines
The Story of Stuff

In Honor of My Father and Other Veterans on Veteran's Day

I went to visit my father's grave last month, a wee bit early for observing Veterans Day, which falls on a Tuesday this year. The grass has grown in around the grave markers. He rests close to an airport, which he would have loved, as he so enjoyed traveling. He is also buried near the lake he loved and where he used to swim, water ski, camp, hike, cookout, and enjoy the company of dear friends. The cemetery is home to families of Gambrel's quail and other indigenous species. My father is in a truly beautiful place, but I still miss him.

On this special day during which we honor our country's veterans, I would like to salute all men and women in our Armed Forces who have or who currently serve and protect our country. I appreciate your sacrifice and dedication, as well as that of your family. Bless you all!!! I hope all who currently serve will return home safe and sound.

If you are a veteran, there is a fairly new website that was formed to promote communication among all members of the armed forces community, whether active duty, retired, veteran — or family member, friend, or supporter of the military. The number of veterans returning from WWII were approximately 25% of the entire US population. Current returning veterans are now less than 2% of the entire population, so it is much more difficult to find other veterans with whom you can speak. This is why this website was formed by the folks at If you're interested, this is the link: Best wishes to all of you!

Oh, and Dad...
you would have loved the first pork loin roast I ever cooked. You were a truly great cook. Maybe your talent is finally rubbing off on me. When I saw how it turned out and tasted it, it absolutely reminded me of you, and your love of cooking and good food.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Congessman Broun of Georgia Fears an Obama-led Fascist State

Earlier today, Republican Congressman Broun of Georgia said he fears President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force in order to impose a Marxist or fascist dictatorship. Congressman Broun has the same right to freedom of speech as does every other citizen. However, his elevated place of power as an elected official in public office should inform his behavior and any statements he might make. As a public official, he is held to a higher standard and should make more responsible, considered and factual public statements, instead of spouting the usual fear-mongering that has been the trademark of the current administration. Didn't Hitler use fear as one of his methods of gaining power over his people and reducing their rights?

As for his comments about the President-Elect, I see that he is suffering from the psychological condition of projection, in which a person projects their own problem onto others. We already live in a fascist state, courtesy of President Bush, with security forces formed under the Patriot Act: the Department of Homeland Security. This department regularly hires Blackwater militia to assist them on and off our soil. When they named this department "Homeland," it reminded me of Hitler's "Fatherland." Excessive nationalism is one of the tenets of fascism. I remember when President Bush called those who opposed his invasion and occupation of a foreign country, unpatriotic Americans. Didn't Hitler use ultra-Nationalism while invading and occupying foreign countries?

President Bush has also allowed Blackwater, formed before his Presidency in 1997, to grow into what is now the world's largest private militia on our own soil. This is unconstitutional. Why is a private militia, not bound by Constitutional constraints and Congressional oversight, allowed on our soil doing Bush's bidding? Isn't this just like the Gestapo? He also pays Blackwater forces more money than he does our own armed forces to fight in Iraq. For all of his talk of his support of our military men and women, he ought to put "his money where his mouth is."

Homeland Security and the NSA actively and unconstitutionally monitor the private conversations of US citizens. They have recorded so many conversations that they are building a new storage facility in, go figure, Texas. They are able to type in a person's name and pull up any and all conversations they've recorded under that name. We may have freedom of speech, but absolutely no right to privacy. Think about being outside anywhere on this planet - surveillance is being conducted by satellite and, in many populated areas, by street webcams. How they can see a person's nose or the license plate on a car, yet have been "unable" over almost a decade, to find one, very tall man in Afghanistan, still boggles the mind.

Our right to habeas corpus was unconstitutionally suspended under the current President. The US Constitution clearly states that "The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." There was no rebellion, nor was our country invaded - we were attacked; there is a very real difference between the words invade and attack.

I could go on, but will stop here. The framers of our country expected responsible citizenship from American citizens. I ask that all Americans read or reread the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Here are links: and It is so easy to lose rights and privileges when you aren't aware you have them. Many people in this world still do not have the right to vote, yet approximately 40% of American citizens didn't even bother to exercise this right in the most recent national elections. Our own citizens fought and died so that we could vote and live in a democratic republic. So please get out and vote, in local, state and national elections. Finally, people may attempt to create a climate of fear; it is only when you listen to and believe them that you will be afraid and, in so doing, elevate the power of those fear-mongering people. Please use reason and knowledge, instead of emotion, to inform your beliefs.

My Contribution to Growing Food, Not Lawns

Well, my backyard garden is finally in and growing, using a drip irrigation system. So, no green grass here in the desert. My current list of plants and trees is as follows:

2 dwarf Meyer lemon (A few fruits this year. One small and one huge lemons are growing now.)
1 dwarf Bears lime (No fruit this year.)
1 dwarf Valencia orange (No fruit this year.)
1 dwarf Rio Oro grapefruit (No fruit this year.)
2 pomegranate bushes (No fruit this year.)
1 golden delicious apple (No fruit this year.)
1 red delicious apple (No fruit this year)
1 Santa Rosa plum (One small plum grew this year.)
1 asian pear (I got a huge crop of small pears this summer, some of which went to the local birds.)
2 Bartlett pears (No fruit this year.)
1 peach (Some fruit this year that the local bird population enjoyed enormously.)
1 apricot (Some fruit this year that I shared with the local birds.)
1 pineapple guava (No fruit this year, but the flowers are edible and YUMMY!)
3 bay laurel bushes
8 or more aloe vera plants
4 different grape vines (No fruit this year because they got attacked by the western grape leaf skeletonizer, which hatches from eggs laid by a small, white, day-flying moth. I definitely hope they don't return next year. Here's a link for more information about them:

I may not be living sustainably, but as a desert city-dweller, I'm doing okay; I even grow basil in my kitchen window. I could be doing better. So, I've thought about using hydroponics to grow plants indoors that would never survive the blistering sun, low humidity, and extreme high temperatures of a desert summer. However, these systems are fairly pricey. As an alternative, I'm going to have to contact my city's Master Gardeners to find out which vegetable and herb plants do better here. Then I'll put in organic soil and grow organic plant seeds and/or plants in my small, raised-bed vegetable area. All this will happen when my back "goes back" into place again. I "threw it out" while walking my dogs. In the future, I'd like to start composting. Any ideas on this?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Our New President - Barack Obama

The people have been heard with an overwhelmingly resounding voice! We have elected Barack Obama as our new president! We have also elected 56 Democratic Senators (so far, as there are votes too close to call on some Senatorial elections) to change the balance of power in the halls of our Capitol.

I truly hope that this new president will be able to heal the wounds of the past 8 years, reinstate the freedoms for which our founding fathers fought so hard, and help the US earn the respect of the international community once again. I hope he can lead us up and out of the dark void into which our current President has led us. I pray he will use peace and equity as guiding principles for his leadership.

My hopes also reach towards an equitable, progressive economy that benefits all, not just the rich and powerful; health care for all, so that those 79 million Americans without health insurance will no longer have to trade bankruptcy for their health; a clean energy policy that brings sustainability and protects our national security; environmental protections reinstated and expanded, as well as leadership on international climate change and global warming initiatives; an education policy that actually gets funded and treats educators as professionals, instead of people who don't know what they're doing; a strong implementation of diplomacy and peacemaking, instead of war-mongering; stop the torture of prisoners, close Guantanamo, follow the Geneva Convention, and withdraw most of our troops from Iraq.

I have many more dreams for our country and I pray that our new leaders and all citizens remain safe and secure so that our new president has a real chance to make positive changes happen in our United States of America!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Party at The Beach at Mandalay Bay

What a blast! I got to see my long-time friend Irene, whom I've known since 7th grade. I also had the opportunity to meet some of her wonderful colleagues, eat dinner, dress up in costume, see some wild people, and be entertained by The Village People and Earth, Wind and Fire! Irene's room was upgraded to a penthouse...and now I've had the opportunity to see how the other half lives!

This photo was taken with my camera by a drunken Norwegian. Not bad, eh?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

LOLA Fundraiser

Moe and Gerard - the founders and dreamers who are creating LOLA (Lots of Love for Animals) from the empty desert floor to a completed sanctuary.

Some of LOLA's Board of Directors

The LOLA fundraiser was held at all three Claim Jumper restaurant locations. We had a great time, while helping build a no-kill animal sanctuary! These photos are from one of the Claim Jumper locations. If you're interested in donating to this non-profit organization go to:

This photo was taken with my camera by a LOLA fundraiser.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Autumn is a bountiful time of the year. The colors of the leaves are so rich; the final, beautiful burst of energy before dying. It is a time to be thankful for fall harvests, to celebrate life, and enjoy family and friends. Autumn is a time to contemplate what your life has sown across the fields of the past year. You decide which treasures to keep and carefully tend over the winter. You will then be prepared to shake out and renew these treasures in the spring.

My magical gipsy wish spirited me away to a cooler place of quaking aspen, ponderosa pine, and mountain cabins. I sipped hot coffee on the balcony, while enjoying a cool mountain breeze and warming sun. A little hiking, shooting photographs, and dreaming of winter snows arriving in a month or so. cocoa and warm fireplaces...too bad I have to take my caravan back home.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Gypsy in Me

"There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir: We must rise and follow her, When from every hill of flame She calls, and calls each vagabond by name."
~ William Bliss Carman ~

My gipsy blood is definitely stirring. I'm called to travel to cooler places of flame-colored leaves, crisp apples and maple syrup. The beauty of autumn enraptures those who breathe the wind swirling through the leaves. It's a magical time of year when almost anything can happen.

Niger Refuses Entry to Doctors without Borders and Children Die

Niger has prevented the Nobel prize-winning Medecines sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) from entering the country to provide life-saving medical services for its people, especially its children. This is unconscionable. MSF is not a political organization; it simply provides free medical assistance to people in need. Please put pressure on the government of Niger to let them in so that these thousands of malnourished children's lives can be saved! Please contact their embassy and put on some pressure:

I e-mailed the following letter, addressed to the President, Prime Minister and Ambassador of Niger, to the e-mail address

The Honorable Mamadou TANDJA, President of Niger,
The Honorable Seyni Oumarou, Prime Minister of Niger, and
H.E Mrs. Toure Aminata Djibrilla Maiga, Nigerian Ambassador to the United States:

I respectfully urge your government to allow Medecines sans Frontieres into your country to provide medical assistance to your citizens, especially your beautiful, innocent children. I appreciate your time and energy in this matter. Thank you.

Your signature goes here

Here's their contact information:
Embassy of the Republic of Niger
2204 R Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

Tel: 202.483-4224 to 4227
Fax: 202.483.3169

The Embassy of Niger is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM ET.

The President of Niger is The Honorable Mamadou TANDJA.

The Prime Minister of Niger is The Honorable Seyni Oumarou.

The Ambassador of Niger to the United States is H.E Mrs. Toure Aminata Djibrilla Maiga

Bachmann and the Republican Right - Who's Really un-American?

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann on Obama: "I'm very concerned that he may have anti-American views...I think the people that Barack Obama has been associating with are anti-American, by and large."

In her statements, she has opened up a Pandora's box of intolerance, prejudice and hate-mongering that goes against the very grain of the democratic fabric of our country.

What are views that are un-American? Are they views that go against the views of the majority? Are they views that are completely antithetical to the populace? What qualifies the views of a citizen as being un-American? Does disagreement with the status quo mean you are un-American? Early in President Bush's term of office, I recall him stating that anyone who didn't agree that we should go to war in Iraq is unpatriotic and un-American. As one of those people who thought we should not go to war Iraq, I guess that, according to his terms, I was as un-American as was Obama.

Well, according to our Constitution and Bill of Rights, unless you are committing a crime, your views are as valid as anyone else's. Who is Bachmann to decide what is American and un-American? Does she hold the standard? What is the standard? As far as I understand, the United States of America is an extremely diverse country, full of many ethnicities, cultures, races, traditions, and religions. It's nearly impossible to quantify who represents the face of America, as we have so many faces.

The beauty of our Constitution and Bill of Rights is that they allow for a multiplicity of extremely diverse opinions that provide a platform for discourse and intelligent debate. This is a wonderful method in which one determines one's own views, and from which one can then make educated and thoughtful decisions. When people silence others with whom they disagree, they silence Democracy.

Our freedom to have and publicly communicate our opinions and beliefs is an integral part of being American. This is what sets our country apart from so many others. Bachmann, who shows no tolerance of viewpoints other than her own, may currently be one of the most dangerous people in office in our country. However, she too, has the freedom to state her opinion; just as do I, here, in my blog!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Finally, Gas for under $3/gal.! McCain/Palin "S" Word! NAFTA!

On my way home tonight, I was happy to finally see gas for $2.99/gal. It's about time. Oil and gas companies have been setting these high prices to greedily line their pockets by taking money directly out of ours. If there really was a legitimate shortage, nothing would make these prices drop. Hmmmm...

As for Palin and McCain using the "S" word, I think there should be no problem in Obama using the "F" word in reply. Obama is not a Socialist, but the entire policy of the Bush Administration, which McCain has enthusiastically supported, endorsed and for whom he campaigned twice, has for the past eight years been absolutely Fascist.

As for McCain bringing up Rev. Wright after promising he wouldn't, means he lies! So much for his promises.

NAFTA - multi-national corporations going into less-developed nations in Central and South America, using up the natural resources of these nations with little thought to adverse environmental consequences and unfair labor practices. Now, indigenous peoples of some of these countries are beginning to protest.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Terms Limits and Tyranny

NYC's billionaire Mayor Bloomberg, who has consistantly switched parties, is attempting to change term limits on the office of mayor. He is pressuring City Council members in order to make this possible. This is against the tenets of our Republic and those of democracy. When you have people in office who wish to extend their terms and, in addition, use undue influence to make this happen, you get tyranny. Next thing, we'll be hearing Bush try this, and there goes the USA as we know it. Money + power + abuse of power = Tyranny = UNACCEPTABLE to the people of the United States of America. There is always danger when someone who takes office thinks that they are the only ones who can run the city, country, or whatever. This is money, megalomania and sociopathy combined.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Las Vegas Renaissance Faire

This year's RenFaire had record numbers, despite the cold temperatures. My favorite group, Knights of the Midnight Sun, had a spectacular camp and wonderful performances in Irish and belly dance, including a ribbon and a sword dance.