Thursday, March 31, 2005

Bleeding Out on a Guatemalan Chicken Bus--part I

This post is one that I have tried to write since I came back from Central America a few weeks ago. But, plunked back here in jersey of america, after almost one month of wandering on mountains and beaches, and in jungles and caves, caused my brain more than a bit of disorientation. Focusing was difficult.
First thing back, all that I could see all over the news was this woman terri schiavo--terri who? terri what? Do you mean to tell me that American news has sunk this far down the ethical mountainside? Oh goddess, take me back to that gorgeous lake in Guatemala. Chicken buses and terri schiavo, in 2005, how do we measure the importance of life and of death? Who controls the yardstick?
How many people have died in a war that the righteous religious right supported? When these people were struck with the love of the lord, did it blind their minds also? When they were dunked and baptized, did the preacher clunk their heads on rocks in the river? How could they fight against her death, but not fight against the deaths caused by war? And, on another track, why does our culture think that any manner of life is better than death?

All of this controversy is because a husband wants his wife to die, in peace. She has lived a non-life for over fifteen years. Fifteen years. Fifteen years of fighting to have the person you once loved die in peace. Fifteen years of rolling over and over in your mind, the wedding pictures, the private pictures of memories only you two shared. Fifteen years of looking at atrophied legs. Legs that you once slid up against during the night, legs that you watched dance, watched walk in your kitchen, legs that straddled your lap, and walked on a beach with you. I don't know if I would have had her husband's fortitude during this long legal battle. I would have stupidly just pulled the plug, undone the feeding tube every night when I visited, something.
Dignity is important. Contribution is important.

February 2000 Charlie's heart stopped. Lucky, or, as he felt, unluckily for him, the ER staff jolted his old heart back to life with those paddles. For three weeks he tried to make his stop again, permanently. He kept pushing his 70+ year old arms above his heart. Causes severe stress on the heart when you do that, you know. He knew. Fear drove him. The fear of living the rest of his life as an invalid. He had already spent several years half blind, watching his strength, pride and autonomy seep away. No way he was going down as a vegetable.
Dignity counts. Contribution counts.

When you are born the oldest of six children of immigrants who depend on you for sustenance, when you marry at 19 and then support nine children and lots of grandchildren, you kind of define yourself in terms of need and strength. Others need you for your contributions, they depend on that strength. Take that away from a person and what do you have?
I also think that Charlie had an even deeper fear pushing him than that of spending his last days as a total invalid. He wanted to die first. I think that my father was putting off the grief that he knew would envelope him if his Mary, his 17 year old war bride, and wife of 55+ years, died first.
So, catherized, periodically receiving oxygen, he lay in the hospital bed at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital, lifting those arms above his heart, or as high as he could get them. Soon, though, he was unable to do even that.
The green eyes turned and looked at me. Implored me. "Medbhie, pull the plug," the hoarse voice grunted. "Pull it, please." Only one other of my siblings was in the room, and he was asleep in one of those hard hospital room chairs.
Charlie meant it. He always meant what he said. I could have done it then, it was one of the few times that his hospital room wasn't crowded with a bunch of adult kids.
My mouth dropped, and I know that fear was all over my face. I didn't say, "No." But what registered on my face then made him know that I couldn't. At least not yet. And he wasn't going to be on my time line.
He turned his head away. I whispered,"Later." The nurse came in for something, my brother woke, and said that he would stay the night with him. We argued, I said that I would. The brother won out, since I had stayed the previous nights. I queried my brother. "Has he asked you anything?" "Asked me anything, no, ask me what, why has he asked you for something? "the brother responded.
Good, the little brother was clueless. Although, part of me wished that he wasn't. I sank out of the hospital that night, demons wrestling inside. By the time I made it home, I had made a decision. All of my life, for good or bad, my father embodied strength. And the strength of unending devotion to those that you love. He would have reached into a fire and pulled me out of it. He probably would have reached into a fire and pulled anyone out of it, though

He died a few hours later, after midnight. The little brother called to tell me, crying, "he kept trying to lift his arms above his head, all night, he knew what that would do, why did he have to keep doing it?"
Because dignity counts. Contribution counts. And dying your way is just as important as living your way. And in his final moments, I believe he knew that I might really pull the plug, and he wanted to spare me that. Love rules.
Rest in peace, you are in a better place, Terri Schiavo. Say hello to my Dad, he'll help you out if you need it.


Just Not Right----The overweight pachyderm...or, making Maggie move/thin is in/even for..elephants?

Free Maggie from the treadmill--or, why elephants DO NOT belong in Alaska

This bit o' news is sad. A lone and lonely female elephant caged in an Anchorage, Alaska zoo, has been deemed too voluptuous, even by elephant standards, so, the chicka has to get on the treadmill.
Yup, a kind soul built a special treadmill for Maggie, but even so, her extra bulk is creating controversy. And rightly so. Seems that Maggie doesn't like to move during the cold Alaska winters. And she is all by herself, no other pachyderms to pal around with, no chicka's to nose nudge and gossip with. So, she eats. Jeez, sticking the elephant in the Alaskan zoo has made a lonely American woman out of her!
Ditch the treadmill, and send Mags to a nice warm area with like souls. Elephants don't belong in Alaska.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Laura and Madge spend five hours in Afghanistan......CODEPINK took $600,000 to refugees of the Fallujah onslaught in 12/04, and are spending nine days in Iran, in April. On a PEACE delegation. There are women, and then there are....georgy's girls.....

A NEW ROLE FOR the BUSH BARBIE --------Laura Bush the Peacemaker, w/ the Buster Buster in tow...

Laura Bush went to Afghanistan for a whole five hours. Yep, she flew, using how many taxpayers dollars, so that she could demonstrate "solidarity" with the women of Afghanistan. Uhuh. Solidarity. Laura, that great champion of woman's rights.......Everywhere......, she ate with some of the soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, too. Then she hauled ass out of there and back to her White House bedroom and a nice cuppa..something very strong. Such a patriotic darling, Pickles is.
I think that George held her script until she promised to fly to Afghanistan and show the world that she is, too, an involved First lady. He is down in the polls and needed some good press. He bargained first for a three day trip. She got him down to five hours, after she threatened to show the pics of him and Gannon.You think I am joking? BET.

Yes, there was the promise of a 17 million dollar grant to a US style university and a three million dollar US style elementary school. So, I guess that we should be glad. After all, it's something, crumbs to the starving stuff.

Somehow, though, the time limit of five hours, and the fact that she took the Buster BUSTER, Madge spellings, with her, creates doubts in my mind about strings tied to the grants. Why is the money pledged to US style education? In today's political climate that throws a christian curve to everything. Why wasn't money pledged to any Afghan women's groups ? To Amnesty International's efforts?

And why didn't the American christian, gay bashing women take a stand against, or pledge money to groups fighting against Female Genital Mutilation? FGM is very prevalent in Muslim countries. A recent German poll relayed that 60-70% of women in Iraq are victims of FMG. Why didn't she express concern over the child kidnappings in Afghanistan?

Five hours and here's some moolah to further American interests is just not enough to be "solidaritized", from my pov. But then, I don't expect anything from our current first lady, except that blank stare. And this quote from spellings show just well-informed on women's rights and conditions in third world countires these two dolts are: "Spellings told reporters that Bush has heard "gut-wrenching" stories that Afghan women have shared with Americans who have visited, including Spellings. "They've been abused by the Taliban, by sometimes their families, their husbands," Spellings said."

Amnesty International and the Feminist Majority ave been trying help the women and children of Afghanistan for years. See a few posts below for ways in which you can assist their efforts.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


heard a pretty song the other day. searched around for the artist. his name is Amos Lee. here is a link to his songs. in the arms of woman is sure to be a hit. enjoy.... AMOS LEE

Monday, March 28, 2005

When will the Catholic Church give up the ghost?

When will they dissipate their wealth, and retreat back into the hate filled bog they sprang from? How many sexual abuse suit settlements will it take before the Catholic Empire is drained and goes the way of all empires? I can't wait for them to die off. The catholic church preaches self-hate, hate, ignorance, arrogance and prejudice.
Diocese of San Diego denies Catholic funeral rites to GAY bar owner This one is so ridiculous, and so biased, I can't think of a response, except, well, why does God hate bar owners?

And what of this ignorant response to the Brazilian government's responsible approach to that country's numerous unwanted pregnancies, the poverty that accompanies them, as well as rampant AID's and SID cases? A better approach would be abstinence, I assume? Perhaps the cc would be better off running an abstinence program for their priests.

Brazil has launched a new family planning program that distributes free contraceptives through the country's 6,012 hospitals and 63,662 clinics, angering Brazil's Roman Catholic Church. From the article----"Bishop Rafael Liano Cifuentes denounced the new program, saying that it will promote the sexual perversion of teenagers, which means prostitution. "He said" It’s like telling teenage girls, go out and enjoy an active sex life for the government will guarantee that you won’t get pregnant,” reports the Associated Press.--------

Scuze me? Promote the sexual perversion of teenagers? Like the cc hasn't already done that? Plus, can't you read, Bishop? This program will give free contraceptives to ALL women who request them, not just teenagers. And, why do you have only Nubile teens in mind when writing about contraceptives, Bishop?? Mmm?
Won't free contraceptives also affect the rate of mothers who die in childbirth because of the lack of adequate prenatal care? Won't giving WOMEN the power over their own bodies help enable them to get out of the pregnancy/ child/poverty/child/greater poverty cycle, that grips the entire family? HOW ARROGANT of the cc to condemn Free birth control for impoverished women. Haven't we all suffered under the misogynistic theories of the cc for long enough?

And, so what if teenage girls experiment with sex and do not have to risk getting pregnant? Good! Maybe if teenage girls can safely experiment with sex, they will gain a better understanding of their bodies, of their sexuality, and of what they want from a relationship. That should make for a much happier woman, which would bode well for the prospects of a happier future family. Perhaps a happier WORLD. Sturm and drang is on it's way out, buddy. Yep, bishop, maybe you and the cc should be running scared. As you GUYS have already experienced, when women get control over their own bodies, they stop subscribing to your blockheaded theories. GO Goddess!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

It is Easter, so

pl. go to medbhletters and sign the petitions there that move your soul. All of them need your help. Pl. take take a few minutes from your busy day and help someone in need. thank you.

Easter Eostre is over now, but

....wrote this while deep in memories, this past sat night...

So, it is midnight, or around there, and I have finally finished making up Eostre baskets for my two adult daughters. Poor things, they have suffered, having a mom like me. As children and teens, every Eostre, they woke up to find not chocolate bunnies, eggs and sugar filled jelly beans in their baskets, but rather--carob bunnies, yogurt covered raisins, fruit, sesame seed and honey bars, hair ribbons, rolled up dollar bills inside a plastic egg, apple chips, and yogurt and carob nut chunks.
And we did not go to the catholic church on easter sunday. I did not make them hold their speech for the three hours between noon and 3pm, on good friday, nor make them kneel for hours on the preceding Thursday, in a catholic church that hates women, as I kneeled, when a young catholic girl..
I also refused to acclimate them to sugar filled junk that would ruin their teeth, their bodies, and their beautiful minds. I refused to acclimate them to a religion that would poison their beautiful female souls. I explained about the essence of spirit to them. About the importance of being a "good" human. Of helping others, cause, that is the essence of life itself. I told them why I would not go to christmas midnight mass, nor easter sunday mass, nor any service that had anything to do with a religion that made them, as women, less than anyone else in this world. If they wanted to go to any mass, well, their grandmom or aunts would surely take them, the daughters of the heathen mother.
Not being a regular religious soul never prevented me from celebrating the religious holidays, though. I loved having family over on those days. After all, the christian holidays were established on Pagan holidays. So, yeah, let's have fun and be happy!
I loved those daughters so much, and still do. Tomorrow, I will give them their "Eostre" baskets, full of healthy snacks. They will cry "oh no, I can't believe you did this!" They will relate to their boyfriends how they spent every Eostre w/o the usual snacks and chocolate. And of thier lack of doritos, chips, sodas, ice cream, and all of the other useless foods that thier friends had and that they envied.
And I will watch as those young men look adoringly at my beautiful daughters, with their beautiful, clear skin, white teeth, clear sparkling eyes, luxuriant hair and healthy, perfect bodies.
Goddess Bless to all. Thank you Eostre, for your gifts.

Saturday, March 26, 2005


An Afghan refugee woman holds a child in a tent at a refugee camp in Kabul, 11 February 2005. 18 Afghan refugees, most of them children have been reportedly died in the freezing cold over the last weeks as the war-shattered nation observes it coldest winter over the last years after a six year long severe drought. (FARZANA WAHIDY/AFP/Getty Images)
from:www.crisispictures.org

Kofi Annan Calls For Sustained International Support for Afghanistan

According to the UNDP, years of discrimination and poverty have relegated Afghan women to some of the worst social indicators in the world, citing poverty, violence, inadequate health care, exclusion from public life, rape, illiteracy and forced marriage. The Gender Development Index places Afghanistan above only two countries: Niger and Burkina Faso.
The report also found that reconstruction projects sponsored by the US military, known as Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), are inadequate and dangerous, citing that they blur the lines between civilians and soldiers, making aid workers targets for militants, reports the Associated Press. Afghanistan ranked 173 out of 178 countries in the United Nations 2004 Human Development Index. The average life expectancy for Afghans is only 44.5 years, 20 years lower than the life expectancy for people in neighboring countries.
Afghan women and children bear the brunt of much of the chaos present in Afghanistan. If you haven't been to Medbhletters and signed this petition from Amnesty International, pl. take a moment and do so now. In addition to all of the above that Afghan women have to endure, Female Genital Mutilation is still prevalent in Muslim countries. Please sign HERE

And, check out the special on LINK TV about a young Afghani child, "the Boy who Plays on the Buddhas Of Bamiyan."


Eostre-- The ancient Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring. At this time of year, she used to bring the vegetation god back to life, after he was buried in a tomb all winter long. He was dead, and then she resurrected him, so that he could give new life to all that was "dead." Mmmmm.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Eostre--the original Easter--or, make like an Egyptian...

Back when the Goddess was prominent among various cultures, one Anglo Saxon Goddess, Eostre, was designated the Goddess of Spring, new life, and fertility. Her companion was usually a hare-- now morphed into the Easter Bunny.
Why a hare? According to those in the know, a hare was the natural consort to a Goddess of spring and all that she represents. Hares are known for quickly and prolifically shooting off lots of little bunny sperm. Lots of New Life. The hare was the companion to the Lunar Goddess way before he became known as the Easter bunny. And, he was her companion in several ancient cultures, not just the Anglo Saxon one. Lambs are born, calves are calved, yes, spring is the time of year when life bursts forth in all of it's glory. Who better to symbolize that time than a fertile woman, a prolific hare, and eggs?
This lovely Goddess of spring was called Eostre. Other word associations pop into mind here--estrus, the period of sexual receptivity in female mammals, estrogen, the female hormone... The annual feast of Eostre, after the introduction of christianity, was claimed by the catholic church and turned into the feast of Easter. Why? In order to bring the peasants around. It was much easier to bring a village over to your beliefs if you used the diplomatic strategy of combining your celebrations with theirs. Bringing the peasants around to your religious beliefs was a great way of getting a hold on them, their children, and of course, their money and loyalty. Power, it is always about the power and the money.

Numerous variations of Eostre's name abound. They include Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Estre, Eostre, Eoster, Eostra, Eastre, Eostur, Eastra, and Eastur.
What I find quite interesting about this feast and this Goddess, is it's association with the vegetation god.
Seems that at this time of year, the Goddess would slay the vegetation god and then bring him back to life. Mmmmm. Another Pagan story about the vegetation god is that he was kept buried in a tomb until it was time to bring him back out and and to life again. At this time of year. Because it is spring, and we need the vegetation god to make all things green again. Mmmmmmm.

Another Mmmm is the association of Easter eggs with --Easter. Another quite old and quite Pagan concept are those Easter eggs. According to a few sources, they are of course, associated with fertility and birth, and new life, but a few thousand years ago, and pre-christ, the Persians used to paint their eggs red, as red was considered to be the color of life. Red, of course, being associated with blood. Eostre is also said to have been derived from the ancient goddesses Astarte and Ishtar, and those goddesses to have been derived from the Egyptian goddess Isis.
More interesting info on the origins of Mel Gibson's favorite holiday can be found
here, here, here, and here. Do you think he makes like an Egyptian this time of year? He should. Or, he should at least take some of that moola he made on the Passion and give it to some Egyptian charities.

In case you are wondering, NO, I am not a Christian, nor do I follow the belief system of any male dominated religion. I do believe that our male dominated religions are all trying to be the one true ALPHA male religion. The violence, prejudice, death and destruction those religions have showered on our world for a few thousand years, in true alpha male pissing style, and in the name of god, is not my idea of spirit. Nor of holy, of sacred, or of the divine.

Mars, Chiron, Aquarius, and Iraq

Mars, Chiron, and Iraq--an Astrological perspective.
The above link is to an interesting article by Eric Frances about the effects of having both Mars --the planet of War, and Chiron--the Wounded healer, in the planet of Aquarius. Mars has two year cycles. Mars traveled into the sign of Aquarius on March 20th. The article touches on the recent shooting of the Italian journalist's car by American soldiers at a checkpoint, and discusses events from previous Mars/Chiron conjunctions. It's a fascinating read.

The beginning of the article is here:
"HARD TO BELIEVE it's now been two years of nonstop, escalating war in Iraq. Two years is one Mars cycle, and about once per cycle, Mars makes a conjunction to slower-moving Chiron. There was a conjunction in 2003 just following the invasion of Iraq, covered in Planet Waves Weekly in the article, 'Taking a Ride on Mars Conjunct Chiron', in which we observed the obvious disaster that was to come. Today, many factors, some astrological and some mundane, suggest that the Iraq policy, as it is euphemistically called, is falling apart......"

THANK YOU CARDS

FROM NARAL
Thank Governor Codey for protecting the lives and health of NJ women!
Just a few days ago, Governor Codey signed a bill into law requiring hospitals and satellite emergency departments to provide information on emergency contraception (EC) and the EC regimen to sexual-assault survivors.
EC, also known as the morning-after pill, is a high-dosage of birth control pills that can prevent unintended pregnancy if taken within days of unprotected intercourse or sexual assault. Unlike the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which continues to drag its feet on making EC available over-the-counter, New Jersey has taken a leadership role in widening access to it, becoming the seventh state to enact this kind of law.
Please
thank Governor Codey today for supporting compassionate care for survivors of sexual assault in New Jersey.
FROM PLANNED PARENTHOOD
We won! Thank you for all the calls and letters you sent to your senators on behalf of America's poor. Your efforts paid off. Last Thursday, the senate voted 52 to 48 in favor of the Smith-Bingaman amendment to remove cuts to Medicaid from the Senate's proposed budget. When it counted most, our senators came together to ensure that America's most needy have access to the heath care they deserve. Take a moment to thank your senators for voting with us.
Many of you also went a step further in helping us during the budget battle and showed outstanding support for the Clinton-Reid amendment, which offered a comprehensive solution to preventing unintended pregnancies. Unfortunately senators voted 47-53 to reject the amendment and missed an opportunity to support prevention programs that allow individuals to make responsible health care decisions.
It is vital that we thank those senators who stood up for women during both of these votes. Take a moment to thank your senators today

CLICK HERE TO SEND A THANK YOU!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Give a Click--help someone today

MEDBHLETTERS IS UP AND ACTIVE!

Give a click there and help someone today.
NEW PETITIONS ARE POSTED--FIGHT MERCURY POLLUTION BY THE CHLORINE INDUSTRY---WORK TO FREE HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS--AND MORE

If you ever thought that just signing a petition didn't work--Check this link from Amnesty International. It is one of many that prove the usefulness and necessity of putting your voice OUT there.
thanks!


PIC of the DAY from: http://electroniciraq.net/news

young students in Fallujah attending school in a building bombed by US forces.

BAck From IRAQ--and out on the streets

What are the reasons that drive groups like CODEPINK to hold week long vigils and tirelessly advocate for the end of the OIL war?
"Back from Iraq and out on the streets" is one reason. A reason that is, like the coffins at Dover Air Force Base, not allowed to be seen and not reported. But, bloggers can send this info out into the world. Tired of hearing about the "democracy" that the US delivered to Iraq? Tired of the spin from WMD's to votes and purple fingers? The reality appears much different from the spin.

Back from Iraq - and suddenly out on the streets by Alexandra Marks, The Christian Science Monitor February 8th, 2005
Female GIs report rapes in Iraq war--this article is over a yera old--the rapes have only multiplied since. Where do you go for saftey, to heal, when you are raped in Iraq, by fellow soldiers?

The Ground Truth-The Human Cost of War
Operation truth--reports from the people who served in Iraq

and of course, electronic iraq continues to tell the oil war from the eyes of the Iraqi people.

VIGIL TO SHED LIGHT ON THE WOUNDED SOLDIERS TAKEN TO WALTER REED LATE AT NIGHT

CODEPINK wants to shed light on the plight of severely wounded soldiers. While the GWB administration acts desperately to draw soldiers from wherever they can, including spewing propaganda to the parents of potential soldiers(see previous post)--SACRIFICE YOUR CHILDREN FOR OIL COMPANIES---that same administration hides from parents and their children the true costs of war. That cost is their children's lives, their limbs, their minds. The GWB administration will state that they are trying to protect the soldiers privacy by secreting them to Walter Reed after 10pm.. It is hard to believe that. The GWB's know the power of pictures. They know how those "pictures" affected the Vietnam War. And they DO NOT want those types of pictures published.
Join CODEPINK for a light shining vigil. Expose the true costs of WAR. DO we need three pictures to end this unjust war? Pl. sign the petition in the post below.
In my inbox.....
March 24, 2005
Dear Medbh, Please Distribute Widely:
SHED LIGHT ON US WAR CASUALTIES: FROM THE FRONT LINE TO THE BACK DOOR
Walter Reed Army Medical Center (North Gate)7200 Georgia Ave., at Elder St., NWFri. March 25 – Fri. April 1, 2005, 9–11 p.m.
CODEPINK: Women for Peace announces a one-week night vigil at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, designed to draw attention to the late-night arrival of seriously-wounded soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.

These soldiers are the most seriously-wounded – with shattered limbs, brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorders. They are delivered to Walter Reed (and Bethesda Naval Medical Center) under cover of darkness, at 10 p.m. or later. We believe the night-time arrivals are scheduled purposely to minimize public attention to, and knowledge of, the flow of seriously-wounded soldiers from the war. This is consistent with the Bush Administration policy prohibiting the photographing of coffins arriving at Dover AFB. (For investigative reporting of the Walter Reed arrivals, see Mark Benjamin's articles, "The Invisible Wounded," at www.salon.com on March 8, 2005.

For Benjamin's reporting on the psychiatric ward at Walter Reed, see "Behind the Walls of Ward 54," Feb. 18, 2005.) We vigil to:
Shed light on the flow of seriously-wounded soldiers to Walter Reed

Support soldiers in their efforts to achieve adequate lifetime disability payments

Protest unequal health benefits for injured National Guard soldiers as compared to Active Duty troops
Protest minimizing of numbers of injuries, including mental and PTSD disorders

Protest FY05 budget cuts in soldiers’ health care (including new fees and higher prescription drug payments)

Protest FY05 overall cuts in the Veterans Administration budget, including long-term funding

Protest FY05 budget cuts in education and family-support programs, directly impacting veterans and their families
Wear Pink, Bring candles, signs and banners that respectfully express our support.

JOIN CODEPINK AT WALTER REED FOR A ONE-WEEK VIGIL: SUPPORT OUR TROOPS AND HONOR THEIR SACRIFICE!
For more vigil details and info on other current CODEPINK DC events visit the
CODEPINK DC page.


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Bush-Cheney 2004==Draft 2005

Today-from Yahoo--1--Army Orders Further Involuntary Troop Call-Up:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army is ordering more people to serve in Iraq (news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - web sites) involuntarily from a seldom-used personnel pool as part of a mobilization that began last summer.
They are part of the Army's Individual Ready Reserve, made up of soldiers who have completed their volunteer active-duty service commitment but remain eligible to be called back into uniform for years after returning to civilian life.
The Army, straining to maintain troop levels in Iraq, last June said it would summon more than 5,600 people on the IRR in an effort to have about 4,400 soldiers fit for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan after granting exemption requests for medical reasons and other hardships.

----2------Army Likely Won't Meet Recruiting Goals
WASHINGTON - The Army expects to miss its recruiting goals this month and next and is working on a revised sales pitch appealing to the patriotism of parents, Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey said Wednesday.
Whether that boosts enlistment numbers or not, Harvey said he sees no chance of a military draft.
"The `D' word is the farthest thing from my mind," the former defense company executive told a Pentagon (
news - web sites) news conference, his first since becoming the Army's top civilian official last November.
Because of the military manpower strains caused by simultaneous wars in Iraq (
news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - web sites), some in Congress have raised the possibility of re-instituting the draft, although there is a strong consensus against it among Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the military chiefs.
-----3-----
How Many More?
The BBC shows the picture of American coffins that American News channels won't report
---4-----
Also from the BBC---The Coaliton is slowly collapsing...

Please sign the petition in the post below, in order to make the US formulate an exit strategy for the Iraq quagmire. The initial logic for invading Iraq was their possession of WMD's. They did not exist. The only reason to stay there now is to control their oil reserves. Do you live in one of these Senator's districts? Let them know that you want us out of Iraq.


Call for Withdrawal from Iraq!We need a way out of the quagmire.
Congress has scarcely debated the war in Iraq or its aftermath since Congress voted to authorize the use of force against Iraq in October 2002. Urge your Senators to demand an exit strategy from Iraq. Since that ill-advised Congressional vote, there have been more than 1,500 American soldiers killed, over $200 billion appropriated to pay for the war, Bush Administration lies to justify the invasion have been exposed, and countless disastrous mistakes in managing post-war Iraq have led to a string of prisoner abuse scandals, well-armed insurgents and continued estrangement from allies with whom we need to work to fight terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Yet Congress has remained silent on the war, refusing to debate its conduct or how to exit the country. Republicans choose not to challenge their President; Democrats are nervous about national security issues in the wake of three straight election defeats and are reluctant to speak out. It is time for Congress to begin a national debate over the continued war in Iraq and press for answers about how long the American occupation will continue. On April 6, the Senate Appropriations Committee will begin consideration of the $82 billion Supplemental Appropriations bill to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We expect the same bill to be considered on the Senate floor soon thereafter.

We need a Senator to offer an amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations bill that does the following:

• States a clear American policy that U.S. troops should return home as soon as possible;

• Demands the President provide an exit strategy;

• Pledges that the United States will not maintain permanent military bases in Iraq.

The following Senators, who have been vocal in their criticism of the war, should be encouraged to offer an amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations bill embodying these three principles: Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) Senator Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) Please write these Senators and urge them to offer an amendment covering these principles.

once again, here is the petition site


Please sign this petition to request an exit strategy from IRAQ.
More from the Council for a Liveable World
From the Campaign Iraq:Bring U.S. Troops Home site:
----About our Campaign
Withdrawing our military from Iraq is the just and honorable solution to an unjust war. While helping Iraq rebuild and achieve stability are worthy goals, after two years of war, our continued presence damages both the U.S. and Iraq more than it helps. “Do no more harm,” must be our guiding principle. The United States should continue assisting the Iraqi people to get back on their feet. But in the meantime, it is time to withdraw our troops to avoid causing more American and Iraqi casualties and creating more terrorists.-----

Which three will turn the tide?? Will our present government allow them to be seen?


THE MY LAI MASSACRE.........
"I'll tell you how powerful pictures are in a world of words. Three photographs changed American opinion about the Vietnam war: Eddie Adams's photograph of Lt. Col. Nguyen Ngoc Loan blowing the brains out of a handcuffed prisoner on a Saigon street, Nick Ut's photograph of Kim Phuc Phan Thi running naked down a Vietnamese road after her skin had been burnt off by napalm, and Ronald Haeberle's photographs of the slaughter at My Lai. People in the U.S. saw those images and they said, “What the fuck are we doing there? Who are we when we can be doing things like that?" Those images trumped the politicians' words."
ABOVE words from GUERILLA NEWS pics from pbs.---- at what point in time, and what pictures, will be "enough" for America?

Medbh remembers the pictures from Vietnam. As a child , those images were processed and stayed put in some area of her cerebral cortex. They haven't left.
What images will trump our present day's politicians' words? Why do we have to view such tragedies in order to stop an unjust, unwarranted war?
THERE WERE NO WMD'S THIS IS ALL about THE OIL AND THE $$ THAT THE OIL BRINGS.
www.crisispictures.org
Haven't we all seen enough pictures?
Pl.
sign this petition. Make our government develop and hold to an exit strategy

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

It's all about the OIL. Here's another one to sign--Quick! Before they vote on this BUSH BUDDY!

In my inbox, this petition request follows on the heels of Babs Boxer's petition. Don't let the White House Clampetts gone MAD bunch sneak this one by you.

Dear Medbh,
While you've no doubt heard about the Senate's controversial vote last week to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, I want to tell you about a sneaky assault on the environment being waged largelyoutside of the public eye -- President Bush's aggressive campaign to stack the federal courts with anti-environmentjudges.
Sign the petition: http://www.care2.com/go/z/22403
The U.S. Senate is gearing up for a showdown vote on the nomination of William Myers, a former mining industry lobbyist, to be a senior federal judge. Even though the Senate rejected Myers' nomination last year, Bush has re-nominated him, betting that a bigger Republican majority since last November's election will help Myersgain approval this time around.

Myers' record is one of anti-environmental extremism -- he's called parts of the Clean Water Act unconstitutional, and consistently sided with big corporate polluters when he worked as a Bush-appointed Interior Department official.If confirmed, Myers will likely be undermining environmental laws for decades to come! The full Senate is expected vote on the appointment as early as next week - so your action is urgently needed!
Tell your Senators to reject a lifetime judicial appointment for William Myers!

SO Many Fights--SO little Time

Well, the GWB and his Republican cadre certainly have been going full tilt. Take a little vacation and come back to jersey and whoah--After so many years of protection from the non greedy assholes in our government, The Greedy White Boys club--the GWB club for short--are trying to dig holes in Alaska. All for the oil. The White House Clampetts have run amok again.

But, here comes Babs Boxer, and she is once again valiantly trying to stop the GWB club.
HELP HER OUT! I did. Click on the RED to:
Sign her petition. BOYCOTT companies that are part of the GWB club. I will. Threaten those companies that threaten our PLANET. Celebrate Earth Day by protecting Earth. If you don't, who will?

From the petition site:
Tell the oil companies to stay out of ANWR!
Today, my heart is heavy. By just two votes, we came up short in our effort to prevent oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, home to over 150 wildlife species. In the end, over 90% of Senate Democrats voted to stop this madness -- we just didn't have the votes to overcome the Republican majority in the Senate.
But I want you to know that I won't give up in our fight to stop the drilling. And neither should you. I'm going to use every legislative tool at my disposal to reverse this vote and prevent this terrible policy from going into effect. But we can do more -- today.
I'm planning to organize a consumer boycott of any oil company that decides to drill in this pristine Alaskan wilderness area. If, through our pocketbooks, we can convince these companies to do the right thing, we can still save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from the destruction that would be wrought by the oil drilling rigs.
Send an email to the CEOs of ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch/Shell, and ChevronTexaco now and tell them to stay out of ANWR!
This battle is not over -- not by a long shot.
In Friendship,

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Bring Home Our Troops


Finally, a ribbon I would actually buy. According to their site, these BLUE ribbons help to support non-profit organizations, including the Veterans for Peace organization, and the Iraq Vets Against the War.
From the Blue Ribbon site:
The Blue Ribbon
Like the majority of citizens in this country we feel the most appropriate way to support our troops is to bring them home as soon as possible. Our troops should be out of harms way back in the United States with their families. The death of American forces should and can be avoided.

Our vision is to create awareness that there is a majority of people in this country who support the idea and find it patriotic that our troops come home as soon as possible. We need a clear vision for the future of how and when our troops will come home.

We're trying to get back to the original meaning of the yellow ribbon which originally was an effort to show that we want our loved ones home and that we are waiting for their safe return. The Yellow Ribbon was never intended to advocate, support and promote a war effort.

Who We Support
We support non-profit veterans organizations by donating a portion of our proceeds to them. Organizations we support include Veterans for Peace and IVAW.

Click on BRING HOME OUR TROOPS for more details.

And yes, we need to acknowledge support for the citizens of the countries that we have invaded, also. More on that issue, soon. For right now, I think it is a powerful statement that the masses of yellow ribbons slapped on cars all over America may soon change their color to blue.

BAck, back, Back, Back, am I back in jersey??--and LET HER DIE!

Flew back here from Central America late Mon nite, and had to be back at work Tuesday morning. Hundreds of emails were awaiting my return. Actually, over a thousand. I tried to check my email and also email posts to blogger from my quadband international cell phone, but, hey, it didn't work as soon as I crossed the border--Nokia 3650's and T-Mobile suck!!! This is my fourth, yes, the fourth replacement Nokia 3650 in less than one year. And T-Mobile will not upgrade it, and their customer service staff are incompetent and lie. At least, the ones that I have spoken to. So, all of my plans for keeping up with blogger and emails were shot to crap. Thanks, T-Mobile.

Aside from my stupid problems, I cannot believe that not only has nothing changed on the political front, it seems to have gotten worse. I was traveling in somewhat remote areas, and keeping very long, active days, so when I did get a chance to hit an internet cafe, it was infrequent, and not for very long. Oh, yeah, and everything was in Spanish, which I should have brushed up on before I left... Did you know that on Spanish keyboards, that to get the @ sign, you have to hit and hold, the 6, 4, and ctrl key? Neither did I, and it took a long, long time for me to find that out.

The first time that I managed to check the world news on yahoo, I saw that a suicide bomber had blown up not only himself, but over one hundred other people. I literally got sick, logged off, and walked around in the cool night air of the Guatemalan mountains for awhile.

Nothing had changed.
The next time I was able to hit an Internet cafe, I saw that the Italian journalist had been freed, and that the Italian man with her had been shot dead by Americans at a checkpoint. Since I was traveling with a very small group of people who came from all over the world, including two Italians from Verona, well, that news made me quite uncomfortable for awhile. I was the only American in the group. And it wasn't that anyone in our little group made me uncomfortable, it was just.... why? We shouldn't even be in Iraq, and why are there still checkpoint disasters and the killing of innocent people at them? Nothing had changed.

I didn't log back on until I made it back to jersey.
Nothing has changed. And much has changed. More and more people are becoming active in the anti-war movement. My inbox is deluged with petition requests, not just antiwar and impeach that bastard chimp ones, but petitions to free political prisoners from all over the world.
I apologize for not posting sooner, since my return to the states, but I have been busy putting my name to these petitions, and they will soon be up on medbhletters, for you to add yours.

One news blip that seems to be everywhere is the Schiavo case. Probably I have her name spelled wrong, but I doubt that she will care. LET HER DIE!
WTF!!! GWB/CONGRESS/FUNDAMENTALISTS--they will let thousands upon thousands of people die so that Imperial George can be king of the world and of all oil, everywhere, but this woman they want to save? This woman whose bankrupt husband states that she never wanted to live in a vegetative state...this woman's life should be preserved at all costs? She is all over the American news.
I wonder how the little Iraqi boy with the blown off arms feels about this piece of American news? I wonder how the relatives of all of the people who have died in Imperial George's oil war feel regarding this news onslaught about Ms. Schiavo?
How skewed is this?

Thursday, March 17, 2005


Antigua, Guatemala--A lent procession--All photos are by Yuki Takasaki--a very talented young woman.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


watching the procession


Carrying the statues...


another pic of the procession


One of the statues carried aloft, by the guys draped in purple. I have to find the name of the this festival, and then I will post it, along with a few more fascinating pics, and some info on this festival, and others. The store that sold the purple robes was located directly across from our little hotel. They had to have made a large amount of Quexali's renting and selling the garments!


The female component of the procession


A sea of purple clothed believers--all men. Women do not wear the purple garments.......


Thses men are designing one of the many flowere carpets for the procession to pass through on, while carrying the sacred statues of saints, God, and Mother mary


Yet more--lots and lots of copal incense was sent through the crowd, as you can see.


More of the procession


Whaaah--It is cold in New Jersey! Even in the mountains of Guatemala, it wasn't this cold. I want to go back to warm nights and sandy beaches and stars that light up an indigo sky. Sigh. Anyways, here is a pic of a Lent Festival being held in the mountaintop town of Antigua, Guatemala. Numerous festivals, that include processions, and the carrying of statues dressed in elaborate costumes, over equally elaborate carpets of flowers arranged in intricate designs, are held this time of the year. If I can put these photos into a slide show, I will post them as same. Here are a few more, for your enjoyment. Guatemala, the Yucatan, and Belize were fascinating.