Friday, March 31, 2006

Afghanistan Dental Relief Project

Based in Santa Barbara, California, the Afghanistan Dental Relief Project is an effort put together by dentist James Rolfe DDS. Started in 2003, the Project seeks to provide dental services for orphans and refugees who otherwise would go without dental treatment in a country which has very few doctors or dentists. Dr. Rolfe plans to expand the project and eventually have a permanant office where he, as well as other dentists, can return regularly to donate their skills to the Afghan people.

Of course, they can use support, should you care to give it.

Symptoms of the bird flu

The Center for Disease Control has released a list of
symptoms of bird flu. If you experience any of the
following, please seek medical treatment immediately:

1. High fever
2. Congestion
3. Nausea
4. Fatigue
5. Aching in the joints
6. An irresistible urge to shit on someone's windshield.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Right wing radio show pig speaks out...

Boortz suggested Superdome as place to "store 11 million Hispanics just waiting to ship 'em back to Nicaragua, Columbia, Costa Rica, Mexico"
Summary: Radio host Neal Boortz suggested the U.S. government should "store 11 million Hispanics," who entered the country illegally, in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans before deporting them to their home countries. link

Poor baby, he just can't stand the fact that folks actually marched in the street regarding immigration issues. Lordy, "those people" shouldn't have freedom of speech? Is that what this moron thinks? What can you expect from a right wing racist from Atlanta, and who probably lives in the whitest of white parts of Atlanta.(Oh yes, they still segregate their neighborhoods in Georgia). Check out his hatemail template, which he obviously thinks is really cute.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Third world war?

Eric Haney, a retired command sergeant major of the U.S. Army, was a founding member of Delta Force, the military's elite covert counter-terrorist unit. In an interview he noted the following:

We have fomented civil war in Iraq. We have probably fomented internecine war in the Muslim world between the Shias and the Sunnis, and I think Bush may well have started the third world war, all for their own personal policies.

Oddly, progressivegrandpa and I were just discussing our opinions on the inevitability of a third world war last night. Our considered opinion is that Bush and Co., are posturing not only to invade Iran but also to push Putin into something, something really bad. Guess we will be opening Boris' Borscht Parlor in the interior of Mexico before we know it. Not our "A" plan, but we may have to get the heck out of Dodge sooner than we think. After all, we know folks in the US Air Force that are being trained to become US Army grunts since the US Army is running out of manpower, and these folks have been told they will be stationed on the Afghanistan-Iran border. Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out Bushies next plan does it?

Bible vs. Constitution

Subject: James Raskin, Professor of Law at American University

On Wednesday, March 1st, 2006, in Annapolis at a hearing on the proposed
Constitutional Amendment to prohibit gay marriage, Jamie Raskin, professor of law
at American University, was requested to testify.

At the end of his testimony, Republican Senator Nancy Jacobs said: "Mr.
Raskin, my Bible says marriage is only between a man and a woman.
What do you have to say about that?"

Raskin replied: "Senator, when you took your oath of office, you
placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not
place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

The room erupted into applause.
Progressivegrannie's opinion: Hurrah for common sense and the constitution!

An Iraqi Pharmacist speaks out

The following are the remarks of Dr. Entissar Mohammad Ariabi, a pharmacist from Yarmook Hospital who is part of an Iraqi women's delegation touring the United States. She spoke on March 18 in West Palm Beach, Fla.:

I came on this speaking trip to the U.S. because when I was home in Baghdad, I watched on TV what President Bush was telling the American people about democracy, freedom, security and the help that the U.S. is giving the Iraqi people, and I couldn't believe the lies. So I decided to take the risk to come to the U.S. and share with you what's really going on. I do not represent any political organization or ethnic group. I come only as a mother of five, a pharmacist and a human being.

I work in one of the largest hospitals in Baghdad. I stood by helplessly during the 13 years of sanctions and watched my people -- especially children -- die from lack of medicines and poor sanitation. UNICEF estimated that over 200 children died every day as a direct result of sanctions.

Many people thought that after the U.S. occupied our country and the sanctions were lifted, the health care of the Iraqi people would improve. But the occupation has made it worse. Many of the Iraqi hospitals in cities like Baghdad, Al-Qaim, and Fallujah were bombed and destroyed. Many ambulances were attacked and health workers killed, despite the fact that it is illegal under international law to attack hospitals, ambulances and health workers.

After our hospitals were bombed and looted, millions of dollars were given to contractors to repair them. We suggested that this money be used to buy things that we urgently need, but the contractors refused and instead bought furniture and flowers and superficial things. Meanwhile, we suffer from a critical shortage of medicines, emergency supplies and anesthesia, and there is no sterilization in the operation rooms. As the director of the pharmacy department in my hospital, I refused to sit on a new chair while there were no sterile operating rooms.

Diseases that were under control under the regime of Saddam Hussein, diseases such as cholera, hepatitis, meningitis, polio, have now returned to haunt the population, especially the children. Death due to cancer has increased because treatment programs stopped and medicines are not available. The health of the Iraqi people is also devastated by environmental contamination due to the destruction of our water and sewage systems.

The health of women, particularly pregnant women, has deteriorated. Many pregnant women suffer from malnutrition. When it comes time to give birth, many women prefer to give birth at home because they fear being shot on their way to the hospital, and they know the bad conditions in the hospitals. As a result, more women are dying in childbirth, and more babies are dying.

Before the occupation, with all the problems we had under sanctions, Iraq ranked number 80 in the worldwide list of deaths of children under 5. Today, we have jumped up to number 36. UNICEF has said that the rate of severe malnutrition among Iraqi children has almost doubled since the occupation.

We have also lost our most important resources -- our doctors. Iraqi doctors are under attack from all sides. Many have been killed or very badly beaten or arrested by the American troops. In Fallujah, the hospital was bombed and doctors were killed inside. In Haditha, the Americans arrested the doctors in the hospital and beat them very badly. I saw Dr. Jamil, the only surgeon in the hospital, 21 days later. His face was still swollen and his nose was black and blue. The director was also beaten and held for a week inside the hospital.

With the chaos that has reigned since the invasion, over 200 Iraqi doctors have been kidnapped for ransom. Sometimes their families pay money and they are released, and then the whole family, terrified, flees the country. Others are killed by their kidnappers.

In all, more than 1,000 doctors have left the country. Many of them are our most experienced, most specialized doctors.

Doctors and health workers who stay are overwhelmed by the sheer number of patients and their inability to help them. Where there is a bombing or shootings, dozens of bleeding, mutilated people are rushed to the hospital; there is panic everywhere, and because we don't have the proper care, many of them die. Sometimes the staff are beaten by the patients' families. The families get desperate after seeing their loved ones die because of inadequate care and take out their frustrations on the hospital staff.

I have seen too many bodies of Iraqis maimed, bleeding, destroyed. They are shot by U.S. troops, blown up by roadside bombs, caught in the crossfire, mutilated by kidnappers. Iraq has become a continuous river of blood. The most beautiful thing God created is the human body. It should not be treated so violently.

I have seen too much suffering, too many orphaned children, too many mothers crying. I cry with them every day. I cry because I can't bear their pain. I cry because I feel so guilty that I can't help the sick and the injured. I cry because I see my people come to the hospital and die.

I remember one day in the hospital we started talking about the Americans and asking if they had brought us anything good. No, we said, with all their wealth and knowledge, they haven't shared their great technology, they haven't given us new equipment, they haven't even given us basic medicines. "Yes, they have given us something," said one doctor. "They brought us cold storage for the corpses."

The U.S. invasion has killed our people, destroyed our lives, ruined our health care system. I want the U.S. troops to get out of my country. I want them to go home now. I think that if the Americans leave, we Iraqis will have more of a chance to come together to heal our wounded nation.

Since the day I arrived in the United States, people ask me if I have any hope. Of course. No one can live without hope. My one sliver of hope lies with the American people. No other force in the world can make the American troops leave our country. No other force in the world can make this government hear our cries. Please don't let us down.

This is why we should continue to protest, write letters and do all we can to get our troops out of Iraq!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The War on Women - Ladies start your engines!

It's true, there is a war on women. Right wingers want to deny women contraceptives, morning after pills and abortion. What next, denying us the right to vote? These same whack jobs expect women to bow to their husband's every whim, to home school their children and stay home, obviously barefoot and pregnant....their version of the "good old days." It's just total baloney. Chincoteague, in her post on Kos, put it very eloquently. Check it out on the dailykos.

The War on Women - Ladies, start your engines
by Chincoteague
Sat Mar 25, 2006 at 09:40:22 AM PDT

Over the last several months, I've read innumerable diaries reflecting personal tragedy of the effects of the war on women by religous fundamentalists, and the right in general.

Along with most of you, I've cried, gotten angry and frustrated, and relived my own pains. But now it's time to document how that war has been waged, and hopefully start the fight to regain what we've lost and and stand to lose. Our daughters and granddaughters deserve it. And not coincidentally, also our sons and grandsons.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Selfish Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush, like many of us has given to the Katrina survivors but she specified that the money had to go to her son Neil Bush! What an evil woman! But then, what you want from her? She has previously proven what a selfish b--ch she is. Remember this quote?
But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?
- Barbara Bush on "Good Morning America," March 18, 2003

Beautful mind my Aunt Fanny! She is just a waste of human flesh.

Bring the Sixties Out of the Closet

This article in Alternet, spoke volumes to me. I have been feeling angry, scared for my country, and feel strongly that this is not the country I grew up in, or the country I served in the military. This country is going someplace strange and frightening while most people are sitting my either clueless or feeling helpless. What do we do? How do we get people to wake up? I don't know.

It has been interesting that most of the peace marches, and activist relatesd activities I have attended where peopled by baby boomers of a certain age, those of us who came of age in the late 60's mostly. Why is that? Because we remember the draft, and we know that at some point the draft will come back, although it will have a much more "friendly" name, in order to sell it to Americans. We remember being spied on by the FBI, students shot at Kent State, and more. Our country is going to hell in a handbasket, on its way to intolerance, theocracy and a destroyed constitution while we sit on our dead asses.

So this opinion piece posted on Alternet really spoke to me. "Bring the Sixties Out of the Closet" by Don Hazen:

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the '60s (actually the period from '67 to '73) -- that political era so filled with possibility, so much a part of the blood and souls of millions of aging baby boomers like myself. The period was profoundly effective in the changes it provoked, yet is so persistently pilloried for its exaggerated excesses. One reason I find myself looking back is the pervasive feeling of political impotence so many of us feel at this moment in history, and our seeming inability to act -- to be noticed, to make a difference.

There are some present-day chilling parallels to the repression of the Nixon era -- and of course many differences -- but there is a feeling in the air that smells like the '60s, that sends paranoid vibes through the body politic. The events taking place -- warrantless wiretapping, political corruption, torture, the war in Iraq with its disgusting profiteering while tens of thousands of people die -- demand a response equal to the situation, Yet we sit without a clear path showing us our step.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Time for Heresy

Bill Moyers always has something of great importance to say and this article was no exception. You know, I am very afraid for this country and where it is going. I don't think this will be a very nice place for my 5 grandchildren to grow up. The promise of America is being removed by theocrats and corporatists.

Bill Moyers noted:
We are witnessing a marked turn of events for a nation whose DNA contains the inherent promise of an equal opportunity at “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” We were not supposed to be a country where the winners take all. The great progressive struggles in our history were waged to make sure ordinary citizens, and not just the rich, share in the benefits of a free society. Today, however, the majority of Americans may support such broad social goals as affordable medical coverage for all, decent wages for working people, safe working conditions, a good education for every child, and clean air and water, but there’s no government “of, by, and for the people” to deliver on those aspirations. America is no longer working for all Americans.

How did this happen? By design. For a quarter of a century now a ferocious campaign has been conducted to dismantle the political institutions, the legal and statutory canons, and the intellectual, cultural, and religious frameworks that sustained America’s social contract. The corporate, political, and religious right converged in a movement that for a long time only they understood because they are its advocates, its architects, and its beneficiaries.

Their economic strategy was to cut workforces and wages, scour the globe for even cheaper labor, and relieve investors of any responsibility for the cost of society. On the weekend before President Bush’s second inauguration, The New York Times described how his first round of tax cuts had already brought our tax code closer to a system under which income on wealth would not be taxed at all and public expenditures would be raised exclusively from salaries and wages.

Their political strategy was to neutralize the independent media, create their own propaganda machine with a partisan press, and flood their coffers with rivers of money from those who stand to benefit from the transfer of public resources to elite control. Along the way they would burden the nation with structural deficits that will last until our children’s children are ready to retire, systematically stripping government of its capacity, over time, to do little more than wage war and reward privilege.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Planet of Unreality by Eugene Robinson

Excellent article about Darth Vader, the VP:
Here is self-delusion: Dick Cheney went on "Face the Nation" a few hours later and said he disagreed with Allawi -- who, by the way, is a tad closer to the action than the quail-hunting veep. There's no civil war, Cheney insisted. Move along, nothing to see here, pay no attention to those suicide bombings and death-squad murders. As an aside, Cheney insisted that his earlier forays into the Twilight Zone -- U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators, the insurgency is in its "last throes" -- were "basically accurate and reflect reality."

Maybe on his home planet.
full story

Monday, March 20, 2006

Wounded Lives

This article underscores the fact that our Veterans and their families are the only ones sacrificing in Bush's war. Those of us who have no dog in this fight get off scott-free, while our government cuts funding for Veterans healthcare.

Sunday, March 19, 2006 THE OREGONIAN
After three years of war, many who served in Iraq are returning home to face a different kind of battle. And the casualties this time are American families.

The Fourth of July had fizzled into a tense fifth at the tidy two-story Hillsboro home. Outside, water shimmered blue in the backyard pool and bicycles lay on the lawn. Inside, William R. Stout Jr.stepped toward his wife.

"Give me the gun," he demanded.

Thirteen-year-old Samantha Stout pushed between her parents. Sam was petite for her age, but her voice was strong. "Dad," she said, "stop it!"

the entire article here

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Imagine life without contraception

In her new book, How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics, and the War on Sex (Basic Books), Cristina Page boldly declares that the pro-choice movement is "doing a better job at what the public understands to be the pro-life agenda than the pro-lifers are": that is, not only dramatically reducing the number of abortions in the United States, but also putting forth (and achieving) a truly pro-family, pro-child vision of life in America Referring to the book's relatively slim profile (it weighs in at just 236 pages), Page described it as "in many ways a breezy tour through frightening truths," but How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America is tenaciously researched and extensively documented (40 of those pages are endnotes). Digging deep into the evidence, Page unveils the hidden anti-contraception agenda of the pro-life movement and outlines how how close we are to losing not only the constitutional right to abortion provided by Roe but also our rights to safe, accessible contraception.

Rachel Fudge: You describe your book as an attempt to seek out common ground between the pro-choice and the pro-life movements. What did you find?

Cristina Page: What I tried to do in this book is to say, Let's put on the table that [abortion] is something we don't want to have happen at the frequency that it is, or even at all. Those are the terms with which we'll discuss this. And when that happens, you begin to realize that [the pro-life side] is not interested in that. The greatest irony is that reducing abortion has become problematic for them, and it's because their aim is not pure.

Their aim is not about reducing abortion - it includes restricting people's access to contraception, it includes transforming our sex lives, it includes transforming our families. That's the goal, and [restricting abortion] is just one vehicle toward that end.

The above is from: Did the Pro-Choice Movement Save America? By Rachel Fudge found on

Progressivegrannie's comments:
Life without access to contraception. What would it be like? Having lots of babies, no career, nothing but diapers, wet baby kisses, and lots of hugs, but without a sense of self. Mommy is a great job, but it is not everything. Often it brings depression, sadness, feeling overwhelmed, and lack of money, power, and a voice in society. It means that men are in charge of EVERYTHING because women are too busy rearing children to do anything else. The old saw, barefoot and pregnant, means just that.

Read "A Handmaids Tale" by Margaret Atwood. Here is the Sparksnotes plot overview:
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian and theocratic state that has replaced the United States of America. Because of dangerously low reproduction rates, Handmaids are assigned to bear children for elite couples that have trouble conceiving. Offred serves the Commander and his wife, Serena Joy, a former gospel singer and advocate for “traditional values.” Offred is not the narrator’s real name—Handmaid names consist of the word “of” followed by the name of the Handmaid’s Commander. Every month, when Offred is at the right point in her menstrual cycle, she must have impersonal, wordless sex with the Commander while Serena sits behind her, holding her hands. Offred’s freedom, like the freedom of all women, is completely restricted. She can leave the house only on shopping trips, the door to her room cannot be completely shut, and the Eyes, Gilead’s secret police force, watch her every public move.

Think is sounds scary? Think about the current political climate and how right wingers want to stop contraception and abortion. Your choices, eliminated. You will be Offred soon enough.

We're baaacck!

We are back from rainy Kaua'i. What a beautiful mostly undeveloped place it is! Rain just enforced a bit of relaxation on our part, something we are unaccustomed to, but needed. We saw beautiful sights, even in the rain. Our thoughts are with the folks in Kaua'i who are enduring the flash flooding and the dam break.

Monday, March 06, 2006

As we get ready for a vacation in Kauai....

I have been thinking about how the Bush administration continually lies and spins the truth about everything. Good is bad, evil is good, fear mongering, and other Orwellian things.
If we can't believe Bush and Co. about most everything, how can we believe them about 9-11?
Just wondering. What if they lied about that too? What it that is a collossal lie as well?
Too mind boggling!
I think I will just go off to Kauai and let my mind rest and relax. Even liberals and progressives need R&R. So dear friends, I will think about you, but not too much, as I lounge on a lanai in Kauai, indulging in indolent tropical breezes, mai tais and gorgeous sunsets.

Friday, March 03, 2006

George's booty call

For commentary, just use your imagination, Dubya is sure using his.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Lou Dobbs, you da man!

Watch Lou Dobbs slaps Tori Clark

Dobbs slaps Tori Clark and more. Enjoy the video. It is just amazing to know that the Prez decided the passage of the Patriot Act was such a done deal.
But of course, more Americans know members of the Simpsons cast than they know about their rights under the constitution.
It reminds of what I heard from a student from Poland, while I was in D.C. last year...she said that of course our government keeps the people stupid so they won't know when their rights are being violated. This from someone from a former communist country. Hmmmmm. Can we learn something from that?

Al-Qaeda Infiltrated UAE Governement

BREAKING: Al-Qaeda Infiltrated UAE Government, According To 2002 Letter
New evidence has emerged that key agencies of the United Arab Emirates may have been infiltrated by al-Qaeda. In May or June of 2002, al Qaeda officials wrote a letter to the UAE government claiming the emirates were “well aware” of the infiltration.

The letter, translated by the United States Government, is publicly available on the website of the West Point Combating Terrorism Center. The intro:

The key sentence: