Wednesday, November 30, 2005

for all the wrong reasons

almost an entire day in bed.

fever, loss of appetite, sore throat, sniffles, coughing, body aches, fatigue, chills, headache, sore eyes ... . influenza. next year, i break down and get a flu shot.

and just how many days of this? like clock work. i pick up the germs every year!

and who will be next. the one that picks it up, goes into their room and suffers it out in silence, or the one that whines and complains with details and specifics. so when i get little sympathy, i know why, i should eat those words! or maybe i just complain a little louder and a bit more often.!

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saddam/bush better/worse

Saddam 'urged' to contest elections
Aljazeera.net
Wednesday 30 November 2005, 17:07 Makka Time, 14:07 GMT

Saddam Hussein's defence team has been inundated by requests from Iraqis to have the ousted leader run in Iraq's upcoming elections, a member of the team says.

"We received scores of verbal and written requests from Iraqi citizens, the man-in-the-street kind, appealing to have President Saddam run for elections," said lawyer Issam Ghazawi on Wednesday.

Ghazawi was one of three lawyers who attended Saddam's resumed trial in Baghdad on Monday.

He said the Iraqis who approached the defence team also had expressed frustration with the current violence and poor conditions inside the country.

Ghazawi's claims could not be independently verified, but some Iraqis are known to still support Saddam, and Iraqi expatriates in Jordan have voiced similar complaints and feelings.

Ghazawi said the other lawyers who were approached by people in the hotel, airport, restaurant and the street were former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ex-Qatari Justice Minister Najib al-Nueimi. All three serve as advisers to Saddam's lead Iraqi lawyer, Khalil Dulaimi.

Clark told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he had met Saddam in Baghdad on Monday and had found him in "very good spirits".

Saddam lawyers contend that he is still the legal president of Iraq.

Legal validity

Ghazawi said the legal team might at some point examine whether it is legally possible to have Saddam run for elections.

He said the requests from Iraqis that he and the other lawyers received on the issue "may not be valid, considering that under Iraqi law, Mr Saddam is the legitimate and current president of Iraq and it's unlikely that he can be re-elected in the midst of his rule".

"It is possible that we may consider at some point examining the legal aspect of having Mr Saddam run for elections, although there is no previous precedent to have an Iraqi leader get re-elected during his reign," he said.

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appauling

U.S. Military Planting Stories in Iraqi Newspapers:
Report By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
11/30/05

The U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to print stories written by U.S. soldiers in an effort to polish the image of the American mission in Iraq, a U.S. newspaper reported Nov. 30.

U.S. military “information operations” troops have written the articles, which are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers with the help of the Lincoln Group, a Washington-based defense contractor, according to The Los Angeles Times.


Many articles are presented to Iraqi newspapers as unbiased news accounts written and reported by independent journalists, the daily said, citing documents it obtained and unnamed U.S. military officials.

The stories denounce insurgents and tout the work of U.S. and Iraqi troops and the US-led effort to rebuild Iraq.

The United States has paid Iraqi newspapers to publish dozens of articles, the L.A. Times said. ”The operation is designed to mask any connection with the U.S. military,” it said. The Lincoln Group helps translate and place the stories. The contractor’s Iraqi staff, or its subcontractors, sometimes pose as freelance journalists or advertising executives to hand the stories to Iraqi papers.


Some senior U.S. military officers in Iraq and at the Pentagon have criticized the operation, saying it could ruin the U.S. military’s credibility in other countries and with the U.S. public.”
Here we are trying to create the principles of democracy in Iraq.


Every speech we give in that country is about democracy. And we’re breaking all the first principles of democracy when we’re doing it,” a senior Pentagon official who opposes the planting of stories was quoted as saying.


Much of the effort was being directed by the “Information Operations Task Force” in Baghdad, part of the multinational corps headquarters commanded by Army Lieutenant General John Vines, the newspaper said.


The task force has even bought an Iraqi newspaper and taken control of a radio station, a military official said, refusing to name the outlets to protect their staff from insurgent attacks.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

place an X

minority government falls. an election campaign over the holidays. in my humble opinion, what a waste of time. i predict liberals will hold power again; and harper, the wanna be prime minister will fall flat on his face ... and be tossed.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

cook books, i think not

some of our best dinners have come from other sources other than the take out menu. or from the frozen food section, where we toss wrappings to the depths of the garbage container, to give the illusion that it was prepared from scratch. or meals created on the fly, the ones where ingredients are limited and creativity really has to come into play. and a bonus when we can recreate and simulate the meal at another time. where gourmet dinners consist of a little more than pouring a good third or more of a bottle of wine to make a sauce or dripped over to give a delectable aroma.

last night another story. a stuffed chicken that took forever to cook. that chicken came in and out of the oven more times than trying to keep a live chicken in pen with the door open. to the point of having been teased enough by the smells lingering through the house. to slicing this perfectly browned bird, and tossing it back in the oven to finish cooking so we could eat before we went to bed. all said and done, was a really decent meal.

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

mittens

about a year ago, Bush thanked Canadians who waved a welcome to him "with all five fingers" on his first official visit to Canada ...

however as reporter Antonia Zerbisias from the Toronto Star commented ....

"Yeah, well, we used all five fingers because that's the way our mitts are made".

priceless!

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

freedom of expression

Revolution

By John S. Hatch11/26/05 "ICH" -- --

President Bush was recently criticized for not being forceful enough in denouncing Chinese human rights abuses during a trip there. Excuse me? This is the torture president. How on earth can the United States preach to anyone in the world about human rights or the rule of law, or morality? In even raising the question, has Mr. Bush abandoned any claim to sanity? If it is wrong for China to abuse human rights (and it’s true that their record is horrible) how is it acceptable for the US in Iraq to sexually torture imprisoned children as a means to coerce their (probably completely innocent) parents to disclose information they most likely don’t have?

There is within the mythology America finds so indispensable something so sick and downright evil, but so pervasive that even after all the revelations of torture and rape and murder sanctioned at the highest levels of government, even now the numbness persists, and writers still insist on thinking that America is somehow a shining example of decency to a world which needs its sanctimonious preaching. Who in their right mind would want to emulate America in this century? Who on earth would want to be an American in this darkest of times? America is like a born-again Christian fundamentalist—mean, ignorant, full of hate and rage and superstition, but utterly convinced of his own righteousness. In short, insane. Dangerously insane.

In Iraq American sanctioned and trained elements of the Iraqi military are back to using electric drills on ‘insurgents’, an old Saddam phenomenon. Drill for oil, drill for blood. They’ll drill your knee, or your arm, or your head. You are innocent. Doesn’t matter. Think George cares? White phosphorous. Depleted uranium. Shock and awe. Cluster bombs. Etcetera. Where are those photographs and videos of children undergoing torture at Abu Grahaib that a judge ordered released months ago? Whatever happened to the rule of law? Where did accountability go? Where the hell is the outrage? Why are Bush and Rumsfeld and Rice and a bunch of others not in jail cells? Where is the outrage?

For those who think that change is coming in ’06 or ’08, think again—these people cannot relinquish power, whatever further lies and outrages they must commit to retain it. There are simply too many crimes against humanity and war crimes for which to avoid accountability at all costs. Lives depend on it. Many more crimes are yet to be reported. Do not for a moment consider that this bunch would not, if they saw it in their interests, engineer another deadly 911 incident (blamed on Muslims, of course) to once again terrorize the populace into meek submission. It may be pathologically manipulative and barbaric, but that’s Straussian politics. To them it’s not only acceptable, it’s business as usual. It’s probably going to happen, as Bush’s numbers continue to decline.

America has seen bad times—slavery, the civil war, McCarthyism and communist hysteria, never-ending racism, Nixon and Kissinger, the unheralded horror of Reagan, but Bush has brought disaster on a completely different level. Bush is a dupe, if an evil one, but there are truly ugly, nasty people pulling his strings. Nothing short of a second American revolution is going to rescue your nation. Even now Bush is making plans to violently stop such a thing from happening. We’re going to see once and for all if Americans stand for the vaunted values to which they give such eloquent and loud lip service. If so, then I fear they will have to pay in blood. It’s come to that. I’m sorry.

John S. Hatch is a Vancouver writer and film-maker.

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who makes the rules

Iran president in war charges call
news.scotsman.com
Sat 26 Nov 2005
Press Association Ltd

Iran president in war charges call Iran's hard-line president has called for the Bush administration to be tried on war crimes charges related to Iraq and denounced the West for its stance on Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

"You, who have used nuclear weapons against innocent people, who have used uranium ordnance in Iraq should be tried as war criminals in courts," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an apparent reference to the US.

Ahmadinejad didn't elaborate, but he was apparently referring to the US military's use of artillery shells packed with depleted uranium, which is far less radioactive than natural uranium and is left over from the process of enriching uranium for use as nuclear fuel.

Since the 2003 start of the Iraq war, US forces have reportedly fired at least 120 tons of shells packed with depleted uranium, an extremely dense material used by the US and British militaries for tank armour and armour-piercing weapons. Once fired, the shells melt, vaporise and turn to dust.

"Who in the world are you to accuse Iran of suspicious nuclear armed activity?" asked the Iranian president during a nationally televised ceremony marking the 36th anniversary of the establishment of the volunteer Basij paramilitary force.

Iran has been under intense pressure to curb its nuclear programme, which the US claims is part of an effort to produce nuclear weapons. Iran denies such claims and says its nuclear programme is peaceful and aimed at generating electricity. But it insists that it has the right to develop its nuclear programme, including enrichment of nuclear fuel.

On Thursday, the 35-board members of the International Atomic Energy Agency met on Iran's nuclear file after the US and Europe warned of UN Security Council action, accusing Iran of having documents that show how to produce parts of nuclear warheads.

Iran has temporarily stopped its enrichment programme, but negotiations between it and Britain, France and Germany broke off in August after Tehran unfroze another part of its programme - the conversion of raw uranium into the gas that is used as the feeder stock in enrichment.

Iran has also rejected European calls to halt work at its uranium conversion facility near city of Isfahan in central Iran.

Ahmadinejad rejected Western concerns over his country's nuclear programme.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

for the sake of fashion

snowing again. still.

dressed in layers of clothing. matching snow suit, hat, scarf, mittens and boots. arms sticking out horizontally like a mummy to go to school ... is how a six-year-old described the winter experience.

later refusing to wear much of the winter attire. the mittens did not match the outfit and more so interfered with pressing the play buttons on the diskman. wearing a hat would mess up the hair. and surely wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a scarf. boots were tossed to the back of the closet. runners were well worth the risk of potentially falling down.

the trend has not changed very much. technology has given way to the ipod. apparently, not cold enough to rest the hoodie for a winter jacket. shoes have replaced the runners. gloves come out now and then ... .

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Thursday, November 24, 2005

personal advertisements

a friend placed a personal on one of the boards ... curiosity got the best of me, and ventured over to look. not all, and granted not everyone is a writer, but i would think one would take a bit of time, at least run it through a spell checker, add a bit of creative flair, and get rid of the clich├ęs and maybe delete the double ads.

“interested in trying new things," glad that they clarified, seeing how doing all the old things is a bit uneventful.

“love to people watch," would suggest to me, don’t mind me, i’m looking for something better to come along!

“looking for the right lady or wanted one happy woman ...," just wouldn’t be fair to say i’m looking for someone depressed and the wrong one!

“not into the dating scene ... but wanting a relationship ... ," think one dates first, then a relationship!

“not into head games ... honest ... loyal ...own skin ... faithful ..... ," and the baggage hasn’t left the door yet!

“mother ...," i would think that anyone that mentions their mother in a personal ad, well they are either looking for a mother or be prepared to date both him and his mother.

“divorced for almost ...," here comes the baggage, they have counted the days!

“dream date ...," what he is really saying, is you will never live up to my expectations!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

the hour glass turns

a woman i know, says she stands in the middle. like the shift in time. the sandwich generation they call it. parent on one side, kids on the other. more like a paradox . she sees the marbles roll, and hopes the table shifts back each time; and another has the marbles to play.

the woman asks, no trick question, but who is the daughter and who is the mother - who is the mother and who is the child?

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double standard

US intelligence classified white phosphorus as 'chemical weapon'
WWW.INDEPENDENT.CO.UK
By Peter Popham and Anne Penketh
Published: 23 November 2005


The Italian journalist who launched the controversy over the American use of white phosphorus (WP) as a weapon of war in the Fallujah siege has accused the Americans of hypocrisy. Sigfrido Ranucci, who made the documentary for the RAI television channel aired two weeks ago, said that a US intelligence assessment had characterised WP after the first Gulf War as a "chemical weapon".

The assessment was published in a declassified report on the American Department of Defence website. The file was headed: "Possible use of phosphorous chemical weapons by Iraq in Kurdish areas along the Iraqi-Turkish-Iranian borders."

In late February 1991, an intelligence source reported, during the Iraqi crackdown on the Kurdish uprising that followed the coalition victory against Iraq, "Iraqi forces loyal to President Saddam may have possibly used white phosphorous chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels and the populace in Erbil and Dohuk. The WP chemical was delivered by artillery rounds and helicopter gunships."

According to the intelligence report, the "reports of possible WP chemical weapon attacks spread quickly among the populace in Erbil and Dohuk. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Kurds fled from these two areas" across the border into Turkey.

"When Saddam used WP it was a chemical weapon," said Mr Ranucci, "but when the Americans use it, it's a conventional weapon. The injuries it inflicts, however, are just as terrible however you describe it."

In the television documentary, eyewitnesses inside Fallujah during the bombardment in November last year described the terror and agony suffered by victims of the shells . Two former American soldiers who fought at Fallujah told how they had been ordered to prepare for the use of the weapons. The film and still photographs posted on the website of the channel that made the film - rainews24.it - show the strange corpses found after the city's destruction, many with their skin apparently melted or caramelised so their features were indistinguishable. Mr Ranucci said he had seen photographs of "more than 100" of what he described as "anomalous corpses" in the city.

The US State Department and the Pentagon have shifted their position repeatedly in the aftermath of the film's showing. After initially saying that US forces do not use white phosphorus as a weapon, the Pentagon now says that WP had been used against insurgents in Fallujah. The use of WP against civilians as a weapon is prohibited.

Military analysts said that there remain questions about the official US position regarding its observance of the 1980 conventional weapons treaty which governs the use of WP as an incendiary weapon and sets out clear guidelines about the protection of civilians.

Daryl Kimball, director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, called for an independent investigation of the use of WP during the Fallujah siege. "If it was used as an incendiary weapon, clear restrictions apply," he said.

"Given that the US and UK went into Iraq on the ground that Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons against his own people, we need to make sure that we are not violating the laws that we have subscribed to," he added.

Yesterday Adam Mynott, a BBC correspondent in Nassiriya in April 2003, told Rai News 24 that he had seen WP apparently used as a weapon against insurgents in that city.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

bundles of joy

always somewhat amused, when i see a parent in the grocery check out with their new born baby. i have noticed that women holding their babies rock back and forth - right to left, and seems more often men holding the baby, are almost bouncing up and down or backward and forward. however, what is more amazing, is when the checkout line is going slow, and others behind start to follow suit, and mimic swaying or bouncing, and soon follows all the way down the down the line-up.

i look at those sweet bundles of joy, and a tenderness takes over. i remember someone telling me, one never knows the love for a child until they have one of their own. how true. and now, later in life, i look at those new parents, and try to recall what it was like to hold one of mine. a memory there. so far in the distant past. almost hard to remember that mine were once so very small. the years went by far to fast. on the other hand, i'm glad i'm at the stage where mine are at the ages they are.

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kid test

KID TEST

How to know whether or not you are ready to have kids:

Mess Test
Smear Peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

Toy Test
Obtain a 55 gallon box of Legos (you may substitute roofing tack if you wish). Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a blindfold and take off shoes. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream as this would wake a child a night.

Grocery Store Test
Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with you as you shop. Always keep them in sight and pay for anything they eat or damage.

Dressing Test
Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff into a small net bag making sure that all the arms stay inside.

Feeding Test
Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with a cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal into the mouth of the jug, while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.

Night Test
Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8-12 pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 3:00pm, being to waltz and hum with the bag until 9:00pm. Lay down your bag and set your alarm for 10:00pm. Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more and sing these too until 4:00am. Set alarm for 5:00am. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

Ingenuity Test
Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and pot of paint, turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet paper tube and turn it into an attractive Christmas candle. Use only scotch tape and a piece of foil. Last, take a milk carton, a ping-pong ball, and an empty box of Cocoa Puffs. Make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower.

Automobile Test
Forget the BMW, and buy a station wagon or mini van. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a dime. Stick it into the CD player. Take a family-size package of chocolate chip cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Run a rake along both side of the car. There, perfect!!!

Physical Test (Women)
Obtain a large bean bag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Then remove the beans. And try not to notice your closet full of clothes. You won't be wearing them for awhile.

Physical Test (Men)
Go to the nearest drug store. Set your wallet on the counter. Ask the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest food store. Go the head office and arrange for your paycheck to be directly deposited to the store. Purchase a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.

Final Assignment
Find a couple who already has a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training and child's table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve. Emphasize to them that they should never allow their children to run wild. Enjoy this experience. It will be the LAST time you will have all the answers.


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surprise me not

Blair reportedly persuaded Bush not to bomb Al-Jazeera
Tuesday, November 22, 2005 Posted at 10:33 AM EST Associated Press

London — A British civil servant has been charged under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly leaking a government memo that, according to a newspaper report Tuesday, suggests that Prime Minister Tony Blair persuaded President George W. Bush not to bomb the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera.

According to the Daily Mirror, Mr. Bush spoke of targeting Al-Jazeera's headquarters in Doha when he met Mr. Blair at the White House on April 16 last year. The U.S. government has regularly accused Al-Jazeera of being a mouthpiece for anti-U.S. sentiments.

Mr. Blair's Downing Street office would not comment on the report.

In Qatar, Al-Jazeera said it was aware of the report but did not wish to comment immediately.

Cabinet Office civil servant David Keogh is accused of passing the memo to Leo O'Connor, who formerly worked for former British MP Tony Clarke. Both Mr. Keogh and Mr. O'Connor are scheduled to appear at London's Bow Street Magistrates Court next week.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, Mr. Keogh was charged with an offence under Section 3 of the Official Secrets Act relating to “a damaging disclosure” by a servant of the Crown of information relating to international relations or information obtained from a state other than the United Kingdom.

Mr. O'Connor was charged under section 5, which relates to receiving and disclosing illegally disclosed information.

According to the newspaper, Mr. Clarke returned the memo to Mr. Blair's office. Mr. Clarke could not immediately be contacted for comment on Tuesday.

Critics jumped on the report, saying it raised questions about U.S. military attacks on Al-Jazeera offices in Afghanistan and Iraq that Washington said were accidental, as well as on other reportedly accidental U.S. attacks on journalists in Iraq.

In April 2003, an Al-Jazeera journalist died when its Baghdad office was struck during a U.S. bombing campaign. Nabil Khoury, a U.S. State Department spokesman in Doha, said the strike was a mistake.

In November 2002, Al-Jazeera's office in Kabul, Afghanistan, was destroyed by a U.S. missile. None of the staff was at the office at the time. U.S. officials said they believed the target was a terrorist site and did not know it was Al-Jazeera's office.

Peter Kilfoyle, a former defence minister in Mr. Blair's government, called for the document to be made public.

“I think they ought to clarify what exactly happened on this occasion,” he said. “If it was the case that President Bush wanted to bomb Al-Jazeera in what is after all a friendly country, it speaks volumes, and it raises questions about subsequent attacks that took place on the press that wasn't embedded with coalition forces.”

Sir Menzies Campbell, foreign affairs spokesman for the opposition Liberal Democrats, said that, if true, the memo was worrying.

“If true, then this underlines the desperation of the Bush administration as events in Iraq began to spiral out of control,” he said. “On this occasion, the Prime Minister may have been successful in averting political disaster, but it shows how dangerous his relationship with President Bush has been.”

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all for the oil

Report: Iraqis losing out on oil fortune
Aljazeera.net
Tuesday 22 November 2005, 15:39 Makka Time, 12:39 GMT

An NGO report says oil majors are exploiting Iraq's instability

Up to $113 billion in Iraqi oil revenues are going to multinational oil companies under long-term contracts, and not to the Iraqi people, says a social and environmental group.

In a report, the group known as Platform said that oil multinationals would be paid between 74 billion pounds ($43 billion) and 194 billion pounds, with rates of return of between 42% and 162% under proposed production-sharing agreements, or PSAs.

"The form of contracts being promoted is the most expensive and undemocratic option available," said Platform researcher Greg Muttitt on Tuesday.

"Iraq's oil should be for the benefit of the Iraqi people, not foreign oil companies."

New and weak

Muttitt added: "Iraq's institutions are new and weak. Experience in other countries shows that oil companies generally get the upper hand in PSA negotiations with governments.

"The companies will inevitably use Iraq's current instability to push for highly advantageous terms and lock Iraq to those terms for decades."


The report, titled Crude Designs: The Rip-Off of Iraq's Oil Wealth, said the majority of Iraqis were against the large-scale involvement of foreign companies in the post-Saddam era.

"Iraqi public opinion is strongly opposed to handing control over oil development to foreign companies," it said.

"But with the active involvement of the US and British governments, a group of powerful Iraqi politicians and technocrats is pushing for a system of long-term contracts with foreign oil companies which will be beyond the reach of Iraqi courts, public scrutiny or democratic control."

Profits and plunder

Under PSAs, foreign companies provide capital investment, including drilling and the construction of infrastructure, and a proportion of oil extracted is allocated to the companies.

"Iraqi public opinion is strongly opposed to handing control over oil development to foreign companies"

But Platform's report alleged that financing oil development could be done instead through government budgetary expenditure, using future oil flows as collateral to borrow money, or using international oil companies through shorter-term and less lucrative contracts.

Louise Richards, chief executive of aid charity War on Want, said: "People have increasingly come to realise that the Iraq war was about oil, profits and plunder."

"Iraq's oil profits, far from being used to alleviate some of the suffering the Iraqi people now face, are well within the sights of the oil multinationals."

AFP

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Monday, November 21, 2005

mouth of babes

a mothers recollections of her children,

he told me all the things i could do, not the things i couldn’t.

or

you taught us to play nice and be fair,
big mistake,
the world isn’t like that.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

freedom

i shake my head, civic elections held yesterday, and only 39.1% turn out in our community. to over hearing a woman, her child, from baby steps to voting. elated that the child could put an x on paper, something that counts, that does not purely represent the x for kisses! did it all on her own the child said, voted without the training wheels! we should all exercise the democratic right and simultaneously the privilege to vote.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

credence




Broken promises
blowing like dead leaves
before a chilled fall breeze.
Promises freely given,
just as freely accepted,
meaningless,
of no value.
But a single word
given under creed,
kept through toils are worth more
than a thousand promises made easy!

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Friday, November 18, 2005

just about sums things up

Arab News: (16, Shawwal, 1426)
The Middle East's Leading English Language Daily

Editorial: A War Built on Lies
18 November 2005

The US military began the week with vigorous denials of claims made by Italian TV that phosphorus shells had been used as weapons in the battle for Fallujah. They had only, announced the Pentagon, been used to illuminate the battlefield and create smoke. The week ended, however, with the admission this had been a lie. Proof positive that phosphorous shells had been fired at targets in the battle was found in a report on their effectiveness written by a serving officer and published in a US artillery journal.

It has been the same story with napalm, which the Americans denied using during the Iraq invasion. When confronted with reports from embedded journalists, quoting US officers, that napalm indeed had been used in a bombing raid on a Tigris bridge, the military denied it had actually been napalm. Napalm, said the spokesman, was petroleum-based. The cloud of fire caused in the Tigris raid had been caused by a kerosene-based weapon. Given these revelations, it is barely credible that Washington continues to protest that it is not using “chemical” weapons, as if phosphorous or napalm or , if they insist, kerosene were not chemicals but soft drinks. Yet it was the alleged existence of chemical as well as nuclear weapons that was the original excuse for the start of George W. Bush’s Iraq debacle. In the end, Saddam was found to have absolutely none. Unfortunately the United States has all too many.

More important, however, than what US troops are actually doing on the battlefield is what Washington is saying. The Bush White House went to war on a lie, is still fighting that war with lies and if it stays true to form will end its involvement on a lie. The final falsehood will perhaps be that Americans can hold their heads up high because their sons and daughters have fought and prevailed in a noble cause. They are marching proudly home from Iraq, leaving the country on the threshold of freedom and prosperity, with its destiny now entirely in its own hands.

It has happened before. After eight years of fighting, at one time involving half a million US troops, America pulled out of Vietnam in 1973. Saigon and the South Vietnamese government it had left behind, fell to North Vietnamese forces. America lost that war because it failed to win hearts and minds. This failure stemmed directly from appalling incidents like the My Lai massacre, coupled with the constant lies the world was told about why the US was fighting the war and how it was winning it.

Thirty years on and America seems to have learned nothing. They have brought to Iraq the same profound cultural ignorance, the same imperial arrogance and the same hopeless total reliance on main force. And all the time, they busily forfeit what little trust exists among Iraqis by piling one untruth upon another.

Iraq was invaded because of the WMD lie. US troops poured into Vietnam because of the Gulf of Tonkin incident in which North Vietnamese torpedo boats allegedly attacked US destroyers. That was a lie too.

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

a little humour

A woman was waiting in the checkout line at a store. Her arms were filled with a mop, a broom, and other cleaning supplies. By her actions and deep sighs, it was obvious she was in an extreme hurry and was not happy about the slowness of the line. When the cashier called for a price check on a box of soap, the woman remarked indignantly, "Well, I'll be lucky to get out of here and home before Christmas!"

"Don't worry, ma'am," replied the clerk. "With that wind kicking up out there and that brand new broom you have there, you'll be home in no time".

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

routines

conversed with a friend. in touch. out of touch. yet each conversation infusions inserted here, there and between different dialogues, and one is quickly caught up to speed, without noticing any time had passed. conversations transform from out right comical, to then mocking of our own lives, and then back to serious. conversations that one can just blurt out anything, without hesitation, without repercussions of a judgmental response in return. or if the occasion rose to having each other just to listen, without advice or intrusion or to critiques; so reciprocal. treasure her always.

thought of doing the laundry. and dismissed as quickly as i peered into ones room. thought if the heap got just a bit higher, picking up would be easier and if that does not come to pass, then i am sure when one is completely out of clothes, they will realize the notion of putting the clothes in a bucket.

thought, perhaps vacuum. then if one vacuums, one has to dust. if one goes through that much trouble, one might as well clean the bathroom. and then the floors. seemed a little too demanding ... quickly rid myself of that notion. can sit on the seat, can walk without tripping or sticking to the floors, so tomorrow perhaps.

however, knowing that i actually prepared dinner early, so we could eat early was an accomplishment in its self. wasn’t dinner out of a box, out of the freezer or from a take out menu. actually fairly creative, was more than eatable, and a nutritious, absolutely amazing.domestic skills are just not one my better attributes.

though, in years gone by i did the routines regularly as expected. maybe one needs a maid or one good old fashioned wife. so the balance of the day was spent, reading and then doing a bit of meditating. much more satisfying.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

reality

Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.

-- Lily Tomlin

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Monday, November 14, 2005

till the end of time


Accompany me through unknown journeys,
Sight hands to follow life desires,
Acquisition the heart's excursion,
Partake and illuminate each others world.

Your ambitions may not be mine,
My aspirations will not always be yours,
Permit the experiences of our growth,
Season the changes that come with time.

Flourish together, change the obstructions,
Celebrate the accomplishments,
Elevate the other through the deficiencies,
Collectively as two people should.

Not to condone each others growth or thoughts,
Let us not be frightened to reveal the darkest phobias,
Tolerate each other to confide our wildest dreams,
Preserve each other to travel bountiful days.

Listening to the words conveyed,
Not the echo's one hears,
Never to humiliate by thought,
Or paralyze the emotions.

Stand side by side,
Share the journey with me,
Love, and let me love,
Through the clouds and the sun.

No need for circles to pronounce the oath,
Only prerequisites of the bonding of two,
Precious boundaries within the soul,
Till death do we part.

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

surrender











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Saturday, November 12, 2005

some just can't help it

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Remembrance Day











IN FLANDERS FIELDS

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD(1872-1918)
Canadian Army

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

temptation

Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands
- and then eat just one of the pieces.

Judith Viorst

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Wednesday, November 9, 2005

tear drops

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Tuesday, November 8, 2005

the act recalled


keystrokes swam,
strangers exchanged,
to you and before me.

minds disclosed,
screens teased and seduced,
perceived and fabricated.

cultivated back and forth,
synchronized schedules,
morals and obligations up heaved.

abstract conceptions dampened,
emotions escaped by wisdom,
sibilations tainted with silence.

suppressed solidity within,
divergence of the minds,
the benevolence forged.

intervals repented,
endeavour vitality affirmed,
rehearsed the fantasy.

etched in time,
mysteries undisclosed,
glasses tipped and spilled,
curtains call the final act.

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Monday, November 7, 2005

love letters

one of my favorite reads ...
ya gadda just love the art of writing love letters ... !


Elizabeth Barrett to Robert Browning…
January 10, 1846

Do you know, when you have told me to think of you, I have been feeling ashamed of thinking of you so much, of thinking of only you--which is too much, perhaps. Shall I tell you? It seems to me, to myself, that no man was ever before to any woman what you are to me--the fulness must be in proportion, you know, to the vacancy...and only I know what was behind--the long wilderness without the blossoming rose...and the capacity for happiness, like a black gaping hole, before this silver flooding. Is it wonderful that I should stand as in a dream, and disbelieve--not you--but my own fate?

Was ever any one taken suddenly from a lampless dungeon and placed upon the pinnacle of a mountain, without the head turning round and the heart turning faint, as mine do? And you love me more, you say?--Shall I thank you or God? Both,--indeed--and there is no possible return from me to either of you! I thank you as the unworthy may..and as we all thank God. How shall I ever prove what my heart is to you? How will you ever see it as I feel it? I ask myself in vain.

Have so much faith in me, my only beloved, as to use me simply for your own advantage and happiness, and to your own ends without a thought of any others--that is all I could ask you without any disquiet as to the granting of it--May God bless you!—Your B.A
.

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Sunday, November 6, 2005

beginnings


everyone has to start somewhere, that first real entry job into the labour force ... summer employment!

to protect the innocent, i removed the former employee from the picture, ‘cause the individual wasn’t six they were in their teens!

now when you are consumed with eassys, term papers and exams in uni .... look back and reflect ... and know you will reach your goal. see, you could be asking 'do you want fries with that', being a mascot - as one of the perks to the job, or thinking that you would enjoy the fetish of wearing the uniform instead of the actual job, or any number of alternative career choices!

remember when i told you, you always need a back-up plan ... well if all else fails ... use your previous experience and open up your own lemonade stand!

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Saturday, November 5, 2005

wrappep up


do we get too wrapped up in looking forward to the future; that we go through the motions of today but really do not live this moment in time? perhaps being so absorbed in the past that today is lost?

like looking for that perfect love. you’ll never find it. you’ll spend your energy looking for an illusion. that perfect soul that you could not find in yourself, looking to find it in another?

looking for something better than what you could not correct with another in days gone by. was it the other that caused you discontentment and grief? when you were so discontented with yourself, could have that bred to the other?

when the other did not live up to your expectations, was it really your own expectations that were not met? you looked outward and funnelled your own disappointments and despair to the other.if you cannot live with yourself first, then how can another live with you?

if you cannot love yourself first, then how can you possibly love another? if you cannot see yourself who you are, then how can you clearly see others who are around you? if you cannot find peace within yourself, then how can others find peace around you?

if you try to find happiness through another, you will never find happiness yourself. when you can live alone, and truly enjoy your own company, only then can you live with another. when you find the calmness within, will that not radiant to others around you?

and that is where the joy, passions and the love will exploit themselves and spill on to the lives of others around you.just as when you have become so busy with looking for something better to come along. always off in some distant future. have you ever thought, just maybe what you are looking for is standing right there in front of you.

blinded by today. do you see what you have missed or are missing? you have missed a part of you, you yourself. you are missing today, this moment in time.

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Friday, November 4, 2005

cartoon

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do you remember when

do you remember when you learnt how to drive, and i explained some important rules of using the car? and not that my thoughts came from experience, but mere sensibilities. that particularly in the winter, think twice about just wearing sandals and throwing a jacket over your jammies to run a quick errand. ‘cause if the car ever failed, and you had to get out of the car and flagging for help ... strangers tend to look at you funny and friends seem to have a good laugh.

so what does this have to do with anything? well this morning i went for a quick errand, and stopped at the convenience store. there was this woman there, who picked up a stratch lottery ticket. she won $50.00. happy was she. almost just as happy when this noticeably good looking man congratulated her, and then suggested that she buy him breakfast. she was very much tempted. and almost even more so, when he said, because she hesitated, maybe it was more appropriate for him to buy her breakfast. she turned him down. odd i thought. but as it turns out, under her jacket she was still in her jammies, and didn't think it would make a very good first impression. how sad is that.

moral of the story, say yes to breakfast and tell him you will meet him there in half an hour. should give you enough time to run home and change.


i’m going to add to this ... another thing to remember later in life ... is check your shoes before you go out.


i remember, this woman telling me about her two darling children. ... she was in a rush to take them to an out of town bowling tournament. in the panic to get ready, she asked the children to find her shoes. how nice, they found her shoes, she put them on and ran out the door.

day went on. she was so proud of those two, on how well they played. then, in-between games, she went outside for a breath of fresh air. she was chatting with other mom’s and couldn’t figure out why there was the odd suppressed giggle or look. and dunno what made her look down at her feet. runners all right. two different colours. about all she could do is point down to her feet and explain that she had an mirrored pair at home.

oh ya, those two darling children thought it was funny.

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Thursday, November 3, 2005

i thought of you

i thought of you.
way back when.
rendezvous.
walks in the park.
drinks in the darken lounge.
middle of the night escapes.
java on the bench.
notes left.

and this poem ...


Love Sonnet XVIIby Pablo Neruda

I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving but this,
in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005

i've blogged today ...

someone in this house keeps on asking if i’ve blogged today. i keep telling them i have nothing constructive to say today. they keep telling to blog anyway; to write about anything, nor does it have to have any academic thought.

now i ponder the art of magic.
is it better to have things disappear or appear?
is the illusion misleading or a perception?
the illusion,
is it there in the first place,
to be able to disappear or wanting it to appear?

‘nough, now i can tell them, yes i’ve blogged today! just like, yes virginia there is a santa claus.

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