Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Jerry Orbach Dead at 69

1010 WINS has learned that "Law and Order" star Jerry Orbach has died of prostate cancer at the age of 69. His manager, Robert Malcolm confirmed Orbach's death this morning. Tony Award winner Jerry Orbach (“Promises, Promises”) earned a reputation as the quintessential New Yorker through his work in such films as “Prince of the City” and “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” as well as for his roles in Broadway’s “42nd Street” and on NBC’s “Law & Order.” Orbach has been honored with the Crystal Apple Award from the New York City Mayor’s Office of Film, Television and Broadcasting for his contribution to the arts, and was presented with a lifetime achievement award from the Friar’s Club of New York.



http://1010wins.com/topstories/local_story_364094126.html

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digital satellite photo just before tsunami hits Posted by Hello
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digital satellite photo taken of tsunami wave coming in Posted by Hello
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Digital satellite photo of tsunami wave washing over beach inland Posted by Hello
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tsunami waves come crashing over walls Posted by Hello
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tsunami wave already inland Posted by Hello
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tsunami waves coming inland Posted by Hello
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tsunami wave crashing inland, people running to get out of the path Posted by Hello
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tsunami crashes over wall Posted by Hello
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tsunami wave rolling in Posted by Hello
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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Lance happy, New Home for Nutcrackers and other stuff

So Lance, the cat, is happy here. We have bit of a routine going now. I made a place for him on the porch where his food and litter box are conveniently close by but he doesn't have to stay outside. He is in the house mostly, but I put him out regularly and at night time he can be inside, sleeps on our bed.

He is adjusting to the new routine, I think, as he will now indicate to me when he wants to go outside. Jake, our dog, still isn't happy one little bit about sharing porch space with a cat, but sullen as Jake is, he is also adjusting.

My collection of nutcrackers are Very Happy in their new home, and I love the lighted cabinet that sets them all off. They are close by my computer to keep me company, and as the sun goes down, the lighted cabinet also works as a sweet bit of night light.

Sweetie, with his new computer for Christmas, was off work an extra day. He is obsessive about the puter as I am, so we spent a leisurely day, him on his puter, me on "mine". He sits a room across from me where we can both see each other and talk to each other and it is sooooooooo coool. We really are a couple of geeks.

The tsunami news is continuing today, as the death toll rises, and it is so tragic. I was talking to Sweetie, and telling him if we get an earthquake/tsunami here in tsunami county, I'm not sure we really know what to do. From what I hear, there are sensor warnings set across the Pacific Rim = Alaska, Canada, US west coastline and the down the Pacific islands. Supposedly these will signal a problem and the Sensor Watch Center in Palmer, Alaska would send out warnings. Okay...but to whom, and how? On the radio, tv, internet, ham radio? I mean, if I don't have radio or tv on, then how would we know?

So I guess the rule of thumb is if I feel the earth start shaking, I'm to get in the car and get to one of the tsunami direction signs towards high ground. Hmmm, okay, both routes out of here go directly by the water/bay and river. Wonder if I can even get out of here if there would be a tsunami.

Then, we are likely supposed to have an emergency kit with water, raingear, blankets, food. I guess I better get busy and make us an emergency kit to keep in the car. I really think Sweetie and I ought to take this bit more serious and do some more specific planning for what to do .... in case ....
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Monday, December 27, 2004

Kerry Files Motion to Protect Ohio Vote Evidence

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/122804V.shtml



Kerry Files Motion to Protect Ohio Vote Evidence

By William Rivers Pitt

t r u t h o u t

Report Monday 27 December 2004



This afternoon, an attorney representing the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign filed two important motions to preserve and augment evidence of alleged election fraud in the November election. The motions were filed in the matter titled Yost et al. v. Delaware County Board of Elections and J. Kenneth Blackwell (Civil Action No. C2-04-1139) with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The document is titled "Motion Of Intervenor-Defendant Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc. For A Preservation Order And For A Leave To Take Limited Expedited Discovery."



The purpose of the motions is twofold: A) To preserve all ballots and voting machines pertaining to the Yost matter for investigation and analysis; and B) To make available for sworn deposition testimony a technician for Traid Systems, the company that produced and maintained many of the voting machines used in the Ohio election. The technician has been accused of tampering with the recount process in Hocking County, Ohio, though other counties are believed to have also been involved. Any officers of Triad Systems who have information pertaining to said tampering are likewise subject to subpoena for sworn deposition testimony.



If the judge in this case allows these motions, and these individuals are served with subpoenas for deposition, the information disclosed under oath could have a major effect on the case. Likewise, judicial approval of these motions will open the door to forensic analysis of both the ballots cast and the machines they were counted on. If tampering took place, such an analysis could reveal it.



The document filed in Ohio reads as follows:



Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26, Intervenor-Defendant Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc. hereby moves this Court for an order preserving materials from the 2004 presidential election and for leave to take a limited number of depositions on an expedited schedule. The depositions and preservation order sought by Intervenor- Defendant Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc. are the same as those sought in the motion filed on December 23, 2004 by Defendants NVRI, Cobb and Badnarik. Intervenor-Defendant Kerry-Edwads 2004, Inc. hereby adopts the memorandum and proposed order filed by the Defendants in support of its own motion.



(snip)



The filing by the Kerry/Edwards campaign is significant. The Yost matter deals with a recount of the votes cast in Ohio during the election. In order for a judge to consider such a motion, the plaintiff must be able to prove irreparable harm in the matter at hand, and must also be able to prove a significant chance that the case will succeed on the merits. The stumbling point for the Green Party and Libertarian Party in this matter has been the ability to prove that potential for success, because no recount would deliver an Ohio victory to them. A recount could very well deliver Ohio to Kerry, thus fulfilling the success on the merits requirement.



In the end, this filing amounts to a "Me, too" from the Kerry/Edwards campaign. This case would not exist in any form without the dedicated efforts of Green Party candidate David Cobb and Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik. Though the inclusion of Kerry into this matter strengthens the case significantly, Cobb and Badnarik deserve the lion's share of credit for carrying the matter to this point.



Attorney John Bonifaz serves as general counsel for the National Voting Rights Institute, and is co-counsel for Cobb and Badnarik in this matter. Reached for comment on this Kerry filing, Bonifaz said, "We are pleased that the Kerry Edwards campaign has joined our motion to preserve all of the ballots and election machinery in the presidential election in Ohio and to investigate the potential tampering of voting machines by Triad Governmental Systems, Inc, prior to the start of the recount. We welcome the Bush Cheney campaign joining our motion as well. The integrity of this recount is at stake. All candidates ought to join together in ensuring the proper counting of every citizen's vote."



...see more...http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/122804V.shtml

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Friday, December 24, 2004

Lance is Back! Sitting on my lap as I type.

Well, we "placed" the cat Lance, who was "fostering" with us about 2 months ago with my other daughter's family. The "placement" just didn't work out so she brought him back here to us. I'm not disappointed either, as I got quite fond of Lance, so here he is sitting on my lap again as I type.

The trouble with the placement was that my daughter's family has another cat, Georgette, who is kind of a mean cat, but not to them and she and Lance just never did hit it off. So ol' Lance developed some bad behaviour problems, ie, not using cat box at all and staying in his safe zone which was a very limited space. He got fat cause he wasn't running around, just staying in his safe zone under the kitchen table.

I'm gonna have to break him now of his bad behaviour with not using kitty litter box plus run him around outside to work off some of his body weight. They tried, bless their hearts, they tried everything they could think of to get Lance comfortable, but he just wasn't "taking" to the placement at all.

Since they were coming here for a holiday visit, they brought Lance along on that 7 hour trip. And I knew they were bringing him. But I didn't tell Sweetie, cause I knew Sweetie would not want him back and I was trying to figure out a way to tell him I agreed to take Lance back. I couldn't find a good argument or logic for my case, so when the kids arrived and Lance came bounding in, Sweetie was pleased to see Lance. Cause he thought Lance was just along for the ride and they were going to take him back home with them.

They were sorta surprised at how receptive Sweetie was, until he learned Lance was staying, then they were surprised at how Sweetie lost his composure and couldn't find the words. I had to explain to him that I knew but hadn't told him, and they thought I would have told him. Sweetie went off to bed, he just didn't know what to say!

Now it's been 2 days and nites, and we set Lance up on the porch till his cat box behavior can be corrected. Jake, our dog, is very unhappy about it and is pouting big time now. But Lance is so happy to be "home" again and bounding about the house. They told me that he is a completely different cat here than when he was at their house and it is very apparant that he likes it here much better. And I like having him "home".
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Thursday, December 23, 2004

Merry Kerry Christmas, my christmas present has arrived !!

My long awaited Christmas present this year has arrived. I wanted nothing this year..nothing but one thing and one thing only...and it looks like I'm gonna get it, after all. John F. Kerry, President-Elect, and he's back. This election is a long way from over. See the article below, news today, Dec 23, and you likely won't see it on mainstream media till next week....but you heard it here first. Merry Kerry Christmas everyone!



http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/122404Y.shtml



Kerry to Enter Ohio Recount Fray

By William Rivers Pitt

t r u t h o u t Report

Thursday 23 December 2004



Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry will file today, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, papers in support of the Green Party/Libertarian Party recount effort. Specifically, Kerry will be filing a request for expedited discovery regarding Triad Systems voting machines, as well as a motion for a preservation order to protect any and all discovery and preserve any evidence on this matter.



Triad Systems has come under scrutiny recently after Sherole Eaton, deputy director of elections for Hocking County, swore out an affidavit in which she described her witnessing the tampering of electronic voting equipment by a Triad representative. Rep. John Conyers, the ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, has requested an investigation into this matter by the FBI and the Hocking County prosecutor.



Truthout will have more on this specific Triad allegation later in the day.



Previously, the Green Party and Libertarian Party have not fared well in their efforts to get emergency orders regarding this matter in Ohio. In order to pass muster with a judge, the individual or group requesting an emergency order for such a recount must show both irreperable harm as well as a substantial chance for success on the merits. While Green and Libertarian representatives could theoretically be able to show irreparable harm, they could not establish a substantial chance for success on the merits, because no recount would deliver Ohio to either party.



Kerry's entry into this recount effort changes the math on this matter dramatically. He can likewise show irreparable harm, and unlike the Green and Libertarian candidates, he can also prove a substantial chance for success on the merits because he lost the Ohio vote by a statistical whisker.



It should be noted that Kerry's filing of these requests does not indicate his complete entry into the recount process, but does clearly indicate that he is moving decisively in that direction. His previous stance on the matter was based simply on his desire to defend the right to have a recount in the first place. The evidence of election tampering in Ohio, specifically surrounding Triad, has motivated him to actively join the fight. The Democratic Party is also quietly putting financial resources into the Ohio recount effort.



Perhaps the most significant aspect of all this, from the activist point of view, has been the effectiveness of the telephone calls and letters to Kerry. The activist push to get him involved had a very significant effect on his decision to enter this effort. Likewise, calls to other Senators in order to convince them to join House members in challenging the election have likewise had significant effect. If such an effort continues, the activists involved will very likely see the desired result unfold.



William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know' and 'The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.'

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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Holiday Slideshow instead of Holiday Letter or Card

Tx to Bree, I found this great new blog n slideshow space today. So I spent the entire day creating a Holiday slideshow of our life, family and friends out here in the Village on the Bay where we live. It was a pleasure to build it and a very user-friendly site. I know I already sent out emails to share it with family, and just once more here is the url to go visit the slideshow with now 246 pics in it. Just click on the link below.

Village View

Once you see the Holiday Greeting slideshow from the Ruger's, I'm sure you will want one of your own and I'd love to hear about it if you make one. To see Bree's, as she has included some great family pics in hers, click on link below.

Gurlz Wanna Have Fun

Gonna keep this short, have been painting again, and have done 4 in the last week. Feels good to be painting again after this long dry spell where I focused on election and after election heartbreak. I've worked in the blogger communities now for 6 weeks since election trying to help move along the vote fraud information. But you all know that already.

Sweetie has a better computer than I do, with a bigger screen and it downloads the digital pic card, and now he has the vibrating computer chair. Oh sure, he never checked out why the vibrating chair stopped working and then I give it to him and he makes it work again. I want it back! So he's over there now in his corner working on his own computer with all his projects and we don't have the tv turned on, we have the relaxing Souncscapes music playing which is always nice to have as background when working on the puter.

Tomorrow I need to get some stuff done around the house and have a nice welcome for Lisa's family...they are making the long trip to come spend a day or two with us and I want to make them feel welcome
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Sunday, December 19, 2004

Weekend before Christmas

Weekend, and we went up north, to see Karl's gallery art showing. Stayed overnight with Mom n Charlie. Got there in time to watch PBS Now, Bill Moyer's last broadcast. He is retiring and this was his last show. He laid it on the line, and it is worth viewing as he outlines the growing merging of mainstream media under fewer and larger umbrella corporations. He indicates his fear of loss of journalism and lays out the challenge to the future for media and integrity in journalism. I will find and save the transcript to one of my other blogs.

Saturday morning, sister, Nita, came over with gift she had for us and we had a YaYa morning, with coffee and sweets, and had her make her hat, inducted her into the Ya Ya sisterhood. I will post the photos on the family site. The gift she had for me is quite unusual, it is a Native American creche which fits well my spirituality in religiosity. She was tickled with herself in having found it at a collectible shop.

Then we went up north, stopping to pick up Cheri, and we went to Karl's gallery. Well it's not his gallery, but he does have a show there once a year and he invited us to come last year and again this year.

We wanted to stop by a Walmart afterwards as they have very good sale on computer. Now we're boycotting Walmart, so this was crossing the line to go there, but the price on computer was too good to miss out.....yep, we didn't hold to the courage of our convictions. We have needed a second computer for months now, as both Sweetie and I use the puter extensively, and we have to save deliberately and carefully when we want to make such a purchase. This was my Christmas present to Sweetie this year.

I've never been fond of going into Walmart, as my daughter can tell you and I took her and kids to Walmart many, many times this past year as she does like to shop there. I find it just too frenetic and have to adjust myself to the huge parking lot, the tons of people in the store and they are always short-handed with help, but the prices are great and there is plenty of all the items families need and use. I just happen to be among those that object to how they are corporatized, and how the short-hour and short-benefit their employees...deliberately. As well, many of the items they do carry come from the third-world countries where labor is exploited at great human expense.

We got into the store, I had my usual disorientation and Sweetie could see it. Found our way over to electronics, and of course, they were "out" of the model we went for and we went for the slightly more spendy model. The help didn't want to help..what's new about that and especially at holiday season. Sweetie knowing my discomfort was ready to leave, but I encouraged him to finish the purchase.

After all we'd already crawled at a snails pace on the ramp to exit the freeway, navigated the parking lot (no fun) and navigated the busy shoppers so it made no sense not to finish what we came for and he wound up carrying his own big box to the counter to check out. So much for the "help", but shrug, it goes with the territory, I guess. I really did want him to have the puter, and he's so reluctant to spend on himself.

We aren't really having Christmas this year, no decor, gifts or presents going out this year. It's an extension of the keen disappointment with the election outcome and spending money in Bush's America doesn't quite fit for us right now. Usually we get gifts for all the kids and grandchildren, and wind up with not much left over to get for each other, so I am happy to see Sweetie get something he really wants and will use this year. He never complains and always remains upbeat, and I so much wanted to gift him this year. Glad we could do this. Now he can work without interruption on his op-eds, his online activities towards trying to preserve our democracy on his very own computer.

We've worked out a sharing of the one puter, and I get it day time, he gets it night time and weekends we share. I spend a large amount of time on puter in my own blogging, op-eds, and family stuff but this last 6 weeks, I've had a full-blown intense project following vote fraud. It has become more difficult for each of us to have satisfying and adequate time with sharing one computer. Needless to say, we've assessed the need to get a second computer, and I'm happy we were able to do so as our Christmas gift to ourselves this year.

Today, then, Sweetie, set up his new puter (it's just like yours, Bree, remember last year at Christmas when you got yours ... same for us this year). He is just tickled with it. He helped me make some slight modifications to our front room where I decided to move my painting studio from upstairs cupola to downstairs. My "studio" has been set up in so many different places in this house, and I haven't been able to get quite comfortable so we are trying yet another place to set it up.

The light in the upstairs cupola is fantastic for paining, but there is inadequate and little ventilation, which doesn't work out as well. The painting paraphanalia is messy and doesn't lend itself well to the home decor, and I've been reluctant to incorporate it into the main areas in the house. We'll see how this works out, and Sweetie is so attentive to accomodating my painting (more so than I am myself). He arranged for good lighting for these short days when the daylight evaporates so quickly.

I painted 2 paintings last week, kind of trial and error on a new project and I can see I will need to work more to get the hang of the new project. Today, after we made the change-over, I painted a new painting taking on a different subject as I knew I didn't have time left in the day to concentrate on the learning curve I need for the new project I'm working on teaching myself.

Sweetie keeps me in coffee and makes dinner when I paint, so we had pizza and are wrapping up the evening with him on his New computer and me on "mine" (guess now that he has his own, this one becomes mine, how about that).

And that wraps up the weekend, except for the call I got from my daughter and they had an unkind holiday experience..... the kind you read about in newspaper or hear on the news every holiday.... they got mugged, wallet and paycheck stolen....there won't be Christmas for them this year. Rotten, rotten, rotten.
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Friday, December 17, 2004

Uh oh...Are they moving in?

News going on in our town, the things I don't know unless I get out, geesh. I finally got out of the house yesterday after 3-4 weeks. Went to office holiday party. Well, actually the Union gang holiday party. So I stop for a nice, hot vanilla breve at our favorite espresso stand and she tells me what's been going on in town. Seems there is someone who is walking about distributing flyers for a socialist group with a swatiska emblem on it. She said he freaked her out and had been by 3 different days now. She is there alone and sounds worried.

So are the skinheads scouting out our community as a place to bring in a cell and hide out, I asked her. She says, not sure, the guy didn't look the part, had on heavy old torn coat and cap, looked more like a homeless person. She said she notified the police, though, and they know.

Well I go about my business, driving to the local store to get holiday ornament for gift exchange, then out to the Res. Took ol' Jake with me for his long awaited "go for a drive" and he was in happy dog heaven. He's been kinda wondering if something is wrong with me since we haven't gone for a drive in weeks now.

I get back to town and went to the office holiday party, but I no sooner got there than one of the office staff discovered that those same flyers with the swatiska had been left in the public bathroom. So off she goes to notify the police, who come by and take posession of the flyers. Guess our local police are on the hunt now for this guy. It was in our little local newspaper that these flyers were being distributed around town. So it made the news even, locally.

See what I miss when I don't get out, my goodness, a little tempest in a teapot brewing in our towns out here off the beaten path.

It doesn't sound like the skinheads are coming here, really, but something is up as we've got some guy wandering around town distributing these swatiska flyers. "heads up" eh?
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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Power went out, we were flung into darkness

Ahh, the black of night. We experienced it last night when the power went out and our little village was plunged into total blackness. There was no light from anywhere, not the moon, not the stars, and we literally could not see a thing, anywhere but dark blackness. I inched my way to the kitchen to find a candle and a match thinking it was going to take a good half hour to get there at this slow inching along pace. Sweetie was more adept, found our super duper Y2K flashlight (the one with the alarm, radio, and heavy duty 2 way lighting) and shone the light on my dilema.

I made my way to the kitchen then, started lighting the candles, finding all the candles about the house sprinkled into my decor and pulling out those emergency 2-hour candles that I keep on hand for just so an adventure. We had good, old fashioned candlelight all over the house and it was actually quite cheerful. We said to each other, this is what it was like a hundred years ago, when this house was built and it didn't have electricity.

Of course, all our power-operated entertainments, tv, computer, stove, microwave, dishwasher shut off all at once and we found ourselves sitting down and just looking at each other saying well, what shall we do now, with the rest of the night? Fortunately, I had completed the dinner before the power shut off, so we had a meal by candlelight instead of in front of the tv...what a nice change! Then we sat down together and began sharing some stories, and were content to relax and let the next hours unfold.

It occurred to me that in the old days before we had instant in-home entertainment, that folks talked to each other, shared time together, listened to someone play the piano, read poetry, played parlor and board games, and spent more time in each other's company to wile away the hours. It also occurred to me that folks went to bed earlier as the long, winter dark hours stretched out. And they likely awoke earlier too, and used the daytime hours very efficiently and productively since there was so little daylight.

Just as we were settling in for a nice change of pace without electricity, the power came back on and we were actually disappointed. After being disoriented for a bit, we gradually went back to old habits, turned on the computer and tv again and resumed business as usual. But we made a note that the disruption was a wake up call and made a deal with each other to have one night a week without power....or at least a semblance of what would we do if we didn't have power. And I believe, we will learn even more about each other on those special nights. It's interesting how sometimes one has to be in the "dark" before the light goes on and illumination shines through
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Friday, December 10, 2004

Rain, rain, winds, and more rain here.

What can I say, we live in the Rain Kingdom, and it's arrived in full force here! I don't have much to report to this blog today because I spent every waking hour yesterday on other blogs, the media news breaking stories on the un-met needs of the troops, which seem to be in a sudden abundance after next to nil reporting this past 20 months. Woo Hoo, it's way past time! Well I'm computered out after yesterday, I did literally spend from 8 am to 11pm on this dang puter. Today I think I'll go find something else to do, maybe towards holiday cheer.
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Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Thought the thunder was a tsunami today!

Thank you all for visiting my new blog and leaving a comment, makes me smile Big, cheers me up a lot and I appreciate it very much.

Wow!! It was raining again today, and then flashes of lightening but what followed then blew me away. There was thunder like I've never heard before and it sounded like it was coming from the water on the bay. And it rumbled so loud and so long, I had to hurry over to the windows to make sure a tidal wave wasn't coming at me. Man....that was scarey. Real scarey.

There was no change in the water on the bay though, no tsunami, and I could relax a bit, but the thunder kept rolling Loud and Long and it was unlike any I've heard before. It was awesome and frightening all at once. Jake wasn't too happy about it, so he came inside to hide under the desk where I am busy on computer.

Then it all cleared away and the sun came out for about 20 minutes, just like a summer day. Quickly the sun left though replaced by the gray, but no rain, just those heavy clouds that threaten to drop more rain.

There was windstorm last night, which tv news said was coming, and we know what to expect with windstorms here. But the thunder this afternoon was way beyond normal for around here. I thought the earth was splitting open! Really!

Okay, I declined an invitation from Sweetie today to meet him for lunch cause I knew the Conyers Hearing on Vote Fraud was going to happen today and I wanted to see it. Well geez, I checked into my morning forums, and the DU (Democratic Underground) had fresh post saying that Pacifica Radio (online) was covering it now ... 7 AM. So I quick brought up the audio and listened along, taking notes like crazy.

Then someone posted the C-Span was also covering it, and provided the link to the video/audio so I went and got that and sent out an email 'heads up' to my addy list, + posted to the family sites. And now I have to update all my serious blogs as this is important now as entered into Congressional record, part of American history.

So if you want to follow my activity on vote fraud, see one of my other blogs (links to the left; Blue Tones, On the Horizon, Bludayz...and if you want to follow the war in Iraq, troops, see my blog Dying to Preserve the Lies). I don't want to clutter up this blog with too much of the serious stuff, but it was an important day today with the Conyers Hearing and one I (along with thousands of other online bloggers in the blogosphere working our brains and fingers on vote fraud 2004) have been waiting for now for about 4 + weeks. Since we know mainstream media isn't covering it, we have become the Media. Gram's a journalist now, a reporter..how about that..lol.

Well that's it for today. Thanks everyone for visiting my newest blog here, Gram's Gems. And there are links to the left to other family blogs, Bree, Randa. How come the rest of ya aren't blogging...lol ?
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Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Holiday Season, got to get some stuff done...

So, here it is the holiday season and I don't have a thing done yet. It's been heavy, pouring rain for several days now, no snow here. And Ash has snow, and Rans has snow. Chris does not have holiday plans, so he may come to my house, but if I don't decorate, it won't be very festive. So maybe we will meet up with him midway and have a different kind of celebration this year.

Not sure if Lica's family will be making the drive over the mountains this year, so we could wind up with just the two of us for Christmas this year. Neither of us have had the happy holiday spirit yet, we are both still working hard in blogosphere land on internet trying to help with the vote fraud of this election.

Guess we will take a break though, and try to get more into the family and the season. I better haul myself away from the computer then and get some stuff done.

I have lots of blogs, but they are all serious ones, and so I made this one to just post about my days and that way Ash and Rans can read it if they want and see what Grams is up to or not up to...lol. I hope Ash will make a blog too so I can visit her blog. I visit Randa's blog and Bree's blog and I want to visit Ashley's blog too.

Gonna go make some chicken dinner now, it's time for Sweetie to come home and I haven't started cooking yet. Jake is depressed these days, rainy and I haven't taken him for a Ride for couple weeks now, and he's not happy about it.

Okey dokey then, I'll try to make an entry in this blog often to say what's going on in my daily life.....which is not too much these days. I miss my grandchildren, every one of them and new baby Aislee will be not such a newborn next time I see her.
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Friday, December 3, 2004


Penelope Gavriel (Seated 4thR) receives the U.S. flag that draped the casket of her son, Lance Cpl. Dimitrios Gavriel, from Marine Staff Sgt. Charles Dorsey, as U.S. Senators Ted Kennedy (D-MA- standing C) and John Kerry (news - web sites ) (D-MA- R) stand alongside other family members his military funeral at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington DC, December 2, 2004. Gavriel, from Haverhill, Massachusetts, died November 19 while fighting in Al Anbar Province in Iraq (news - web sites ), and his funeral is the 99th 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. REUTERS/Jason Reed REUTERS
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Former U.S. presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry (news - web sites ) (2nd L), D-MA, and fellow Senator Ted Kennedy (L), D-MA, carry flowers as they walk to the military funeral of U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Dimitrios Gavriel at Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington DC, December 2, 2004. Gavriel, from Haverhill, Massachusetts, died November 19 while fighting in Al Anbar Province in Iraq (news - web sites ), and his funeral is the 99th 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. REUTERS/Jason Reed
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Thursday, December 2, 2004


Penelope Gavriel (bottom L) kisses the U.S. flag that draped the casket of her son, Lance Cpl. Dimitrios Gavriel, as U.S. Senators' Ted Kennedy (2nd-L), D-MA, and John Kerry (news - web sites) ®, D-MA, stand alongside other family members during his honor guard funeral at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington DC, December 2, 2004. Gavriel, from Haverhill, Massachusetts, died November 19 while fighting in Al Anbar Province in Iraq (news - web sites). REUTERS/Jason Reed REUTERS
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Former U.S. presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry (news - web sites) (D-MA), lays flowers on the casket of U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Dimitrios Gavriel during his military funeral at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington DC, December 2, 2004. Gavriel, from Haverhill, Massachusetts, died November 19 while fighting in Al Anbar Province in Iraq (news - web sites) and his funeral is the 99th 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. REUTERS/Jason Reed
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Bree, you might want to download this emblem.  Posted by Hello
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Welcome, another co-author, Bree

Welcome Bree, our blog here at Wonderwander, hasn't seen much action of late. As a co-author, you can post photos here using the Hello gadget, it works really well for me. And you can put original posts here, too, telling us about life in Germany.

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Bush policy in Iraq...never ending war, recycling the same troops over and over and over again. Wondering when those who voted Bush this time will be signing up or sending their kids to do their patriotic part in Iraq. Not really, I want no more carnage of humans in Iraq....but will never, ever understand how people could Vote For War, Killing, Maiming and Death for our young
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Friday, November 5, 2004

I feel like voters just signed the death warrant for our kids

It is over, the elections, and apparantly the Voice of America has spoken. We are stunned, in shock and awe, in a most literal sense. We cannot believe what we have just seen happen in our country.We will likely never forget the image map of red states to blue in this election.



Well, I guess we belong in the blue state where we reside and guess there are very few blue states left in this great country. Blue lined up along the west coast and the northern states of the east coast and a few of the Great Lake states. We comprise the perimeter of the country, I guess, and no place else to go but the oceans.



It is now post-election and the ground truth is that there will be 4 more years of Bush and his administration ... unleashed, unchained. We look for and anticipate the literal blood bath that will ensue and while I have had 2 1/2 years now to protest the war while supporting the needs of the troops, there was a degree of comfort that much of our country felt the same. There was a degree of comfort that Bush was thrust upon us in a bad election debacle in 2000, and that could be "righted" with this election.



The Voice of America has said otherwise. I do not know how to "be" just now as an American citizen out of harmony with my own country. I do not know how to explain to our young when they ask me literally, as they have after this election, "what happened to America". I do not know how to respond to our young soldier who says to me after the election "Mom, you know what this means don't you...there will be a blood bath"... to which I can only say "yes, I know....."



I don't know how to reconcile the definitions now that define christian as it seems to have taken on a morality tone of anti-abortion and anti-gay as if that was the entire message of the christian faith. How did the voters who voted morality and faith overlook the first commandment, Thou shalt not kill....? How did the voters reconcile the aborted life of the young troops who have not yet tasted adult life How did christians not separate morality from ethics? Anyway, a discussion for another day...I have no heart for it now.



I'll get my strength back, I'm sure, but I don't know how to depersonalize this election among my country. I feel like voters just signed the death warrant for our kids and I have to find a way within myself to reconcile my feelings with regard to knowing about half of the country voted for Bush. I don't know how to interpret that as other than our country agreeing to the consignment of our children to war, and why? How utterly selfish to put their "fears" above the well-being of the young generation for which us elders have stewardship. But I know I must find a way to reconcile it within myself. It was never just politics for us...we really did feel we were fighting for our country, for our kids.



So, with the ground truth now being that Bush remains the CIC, I will continue in my work as part of the organization Military Families Speak Out (MFSO..http://www.mfso.org/) which has now a membership of close to 2000 military families. It is a non-partisan, non-political organization with one message..Support our Troops. The difference is that it is not a Hooah message as heard from many military families, but one that supports the dignity, honor, ideals, courage and valor of the troops on the ground.



A message that the American people need to do more for our troops and demand more for our troops than to just tell them thank you ... that is not enough. The troops need more, they need all of us now more than ever and they need us to work on the homefront on their behalf, wisely, thoughtfully, intelligently and demand of the administration (no matter who occupies the office) the needs of our troops cannot be explained away as oversights and mismanagement. The needs of our troops are real and deadly and being so poorly managed leaving the troops exposed to danger above and beyond their call to duty. Our CIC owes the troops more..we will demand it.



American Soldier...be well, keep you courage and wits about you in the days ahead.



A proud military family of Iraq veterans,

An old military brat,

A Vietnam era military wife,



Don't even think about challenging my patriotism, it is deeper than platitudes as is my love for the troops and what they represent, what they stand for, what they commit themselves to....as is my love for their families that stand in courage behind the troops.



signing myself; Duty Calls..on the homefront.



Courage doesn't always shout. Sometimes courage is the quiet voiceat the end of the day that says, "I will try again tomorrow."

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It is over, the elections, and apparantly the Voice of America has spoken. We are stunned, in shock and awe, in a most literal sense. We cannot believe what we have just seen happen in our country.We will likely never forget the image map of red states to blue in this election.



Well, I guess we belong in the blue state where we reside and guess there are very few blue states left in this great country. Blue lined up along the west coast and the northern states of the east coast and a few of the Great Lake states. We comprise the perimeter of the country, I guess, and no place else to go but the oceans.



It is now post-election and the ground truth is that there will be 4 more years of Bush and his administration ... unleashed, unchained. We look for and anticipate the literal blood bath that will ensue and while I have had 2 1/2 years now to protest the war while supporting the needs of the troops, there was a degree of comfort that much of our country felt the same. There was a degree of comfort that Bush was thrust upon us in a bad election debacle in 2000, and that could be "righted" with this election.



The Voice of America has said otherwise. I do not know how to "be" just now as an American citizen out of harmony with my own country. I do not know how to explain to our young when they ask me literally, as they have after this election, "what happened to America". I do not know how to respond to our young soldier who says to me after the election "Mom, you know what this means don't you...there will be a blood bath"... to which I can only say "yes, I know....."



I don't know how to reconcile the definitions now that define christian as it seems to have taken on a morality tone of anti-abortion and anti-gay as if that was the entire message of the christian faith. How did the voters who voted morality and faith overlook the first commandment, Thou shalt not kill....? How did the voters reconcile the aborted life of the young troops who have not yet tasted adult life How did christians not separate morality from ethics? Anyway, a discussion for another day...I have no heart for it now.



I'll get my strength back, I'm sure, but I don't know how to depersonalize this election among my country. I feel like voters just signed the death warrant for our kids and I have to find a way within myself to reconcile my feelings with regard to knowing about half of the country voted for Bush. I don't know how to interpret that as other than our country agreeing to the consignment of our children to war, and why? How utterly selfish to put their "fears" above the well-being of the young generation for which us elders have stewardship. But I know I must find a way to reconcile it within myself. It was never just politics for us...we really did feel we were fighting for our country, for our kids.



So, with the ground truth now being that Bush remains the CIC, I will continue in my work as part of the organization Military Families Speak Out (MFSO..http://www.mfso.org/) which has now a membership of close to 2000 military families. It is a non-partisan, non-political organization with one message..Support our Troops. The difference is that it is not a Hooah message as heard from many military families, but one that supports the dignity, honor, ideals, courage and valor of the troops on the ground.



A message that the American people need to do more for our troops and demand more for our troops than to just tell them thank you ... that is not enough. The troops need more, they need all of us now more than ever and they need us to work on the homefront on their behalf, wisely, thoughtfully, intelligently and demand of the administration (no matter who occupies the office) the needs of our troops cannot be explained away as oversights and mismanagement. The needs of our troops are real and deadly and being so poorly managed leaving the troops exposed to danger above and beyond their call to duty. Our CIC owes the troops more..we will demand it.



American Soldier...be well, keep you courage and wits about you in the days ahead.



A proud military family of Iraq veterans,

An old military brat,

A Vietnam era military wife,



Don't even think about challenging my patriotism, it is deeper than platitudes as is my love for the troops and what they represent, what they stand for, what they commit themselves to....as is my love for their families that stand in courage behind the troops. signing myself; Duty Calls..on the homefront.



Courage doesn't always shout. Sometimes courage is the quiet voiceat the end of the day that says, "I will try again tomorrow."

Read more

Sunday, October 3, 2004

An appeal for America to be American

http://nationalcatholicreporter.org/fwis/fw093004.htm



An appeal for America to be American



by Joan Chittister, OSB



I have discovered that there is a lot you never find out, even about your own country, unless you go somewhere else.



For instance, Aug. 31 during the Republican National Convention, 203 Asian scholars from 13 countries published a public declaration, endorsed by 42 Asian organizations, appealing to U.S. voters "not to vote for a president who will turn Asia and the global society into America's enemy."

The statement, they tell us, was released simultaneously in both New York and Japan, a nation that understands first-hand what war can do to a people for generations.



"Another America is possible," the declaration insists.



Maybe you heard about it but I didn't. Instead, they handed the document to me in Tokyo, amazed that I knew nothing about it at all.



Which, it seems to me, too, is strange, given the fact that the declaration purports to be the work of groups such as the International Movement for a Just World, the Women's International League of Peace and Freedom, the Friends Service Council, Sociologists Without Borders, the Center for Research on the Environment, the Japan Lawyers International Solidarity group and the Korean Professors Union.



It is embarrassing to have to explain how it is that a "free press" is simply free to disregard so important a story. After all, John Kerry had said early in the campaign that world leaders preferred his presidency to four more years of another Bush regime.



The Bush camp challenged Kerry to prove the assertion, of course. They had no reason to believe that other world leaders weren't fully committed to the policies of George Bush, they insisted, and, in fact, knew that it was just the opposite. It took months before the press even attempted to test the truth of the statement but when they did, lo and behold, they finally announced that "30 out of 35 major countries were solidly pro-Kerry, and only Poland of all the countries of Europe, was pro-Bush."



This statement of Asian concerns they never published at all.



In the light of these recent findings of world-wide defection from present U.S. policies, I read it carefully. After all, even if the American response to such an appeal is "Who cares?" -- which in John Wayne's America, it may well be -- someone ought to at least acknowledge the concerns.



Most surprising of all, perhaps, is the fact that it is neither rant nor screed. It simply appeals to Americans to preserve the moral leadership that Americans have been seen before now to exert. The declaration makes four major points:



1. With the war in Iraq, America's leadership and its influence have crumbled worldwide. The Iraqi war, they say, is "immoral, unlawful and unjustifiable."



The real news about such a position as this is not that others are saying what the circumstances clearly demonstrate but that Americans, who claim to be the ultimate defenders of the rule of law, don't seem to mind the fact that they are in violation of international law. Nor does it bother them that the war was launched on insufficient and old -- very, very old --data. Nor does this church-going nation seem to think that the moral dictums they teach their children -- as in "thou shalt not lie," for instance, -- has anything whatsoever to do with politics and the standards we set for our politicians even when thousands and thousands of innocent people die because of it.



2. The unilateralism and militarism of the United States in this mis-directed war has evoked "broad and seething rejections from all corners of the globe." It is, they argue, only the first attempt of this new kind of United States to achieve US domination of the world.



Most ironic of all, they maintain, is the fact that because of US militarism, the world is much less safe than it ever was before the US launched its new doctrine of preemption. There is "unprecedented political unrest to the Middle East," they argue. And, most ironic of all, this campaign to "make the world safe for democracy" is now being used as an excuse for whatever political goals other authoritarian governments may have-as in the amendment of the Peace Constitution and the military rearmament of Japan.



They maintain that in its anger over 9/11, the United States has simply unleashed another arms race all around a world that is now using the fear of "terrorism" to justify it.



3. In a globalized and interdependent world, they insist, they have a right to make this appeal because this election is no longer a local affair.



What we do politically, as they see it, effects their countries as much -- sometimes more -- than it effects us. If the United States maintains its present policies, they mourn, "peace and democracy in Asia will be only a dream long gone" as other governments use the same tactics to eliminate human rights and suppress their own peoples.



"By the rest of the world, your country is looked at as an Empire," the document goes on, "looming large over the globe with pre-emptive strike doctrines and blind anti-terrorism policies depending heavily on macho military measures and ignorance of human rights ..."



It is easy to see how this letter could have been written to Julius Caesar, or Nikita Kruschev. But to George Bush II? To us? Have we really fallen this low? "The United States of American is looked at," the document says, "as the most dangerous and destructive nation in the world by civilized global societies."



4. Another America is possible, they remind us. The one that struggled against Hitler and Stalin, against Nazism and Communism, for the rights of all people everywhere.



It is an appeal for America to be American.



From where I stand, this is one of the saddest letters I have ever read in my lifetime. What else besides arrogance or ignorance can possibly account for the fact that as a nation these things don't seem to bother us at all? Most of all, how is that such positions never see the light of day in the very democratic country that stands to lose the most by being unaware of such anger, such pain, such global despair?



You may want to read these documents: The Declaration of Asian Intellectuals, a press release explaining the declaration and an open letter to Americans.

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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Link Webcam Mt St Helens, gonna erupt.

Here is link to the webcam at Mt St Helens.



Webcam Mt St Helens



Likely you've seen in the news that the mountain is quaking with unusual activities and is expected to blow anytime, with alert level raised. It is expected not to look like the eruption of the 1980's, however. Me, I live in Washington, and well know ol' Mt St Helens power. I tip my hat in learned respect to what she can do when she blows her top.



also can see webcam at



http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volcanocams/msh/

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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Where is the Shepherd?

Speaking for the Lost, Shepherding the Lost



This sermon was prepared with anniversary of 9/11 in mind. Also this sermon was filmed by Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Seattle correspondent, Lee Hochberg.



Liturgical Verses for Sept 12, 2004



Exodus 32: 1, 7-14

1 Timothy 1: 12-17

Luke 15: 1-10



May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart be always acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer.



We always begin our sermons with prayer; May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable and today I need to repeat this for my own sake, one more time. I look to the Lord to give inspiration and strength to my words today.



Welcome. This is a somewhat unusual Sunday for us at St John's. We have a few more guests and visitors than usual. It is typical for us at St John's to welcome newcomers and I want to do that before I plunge into the sermon. A welcome to Lee Hochberg and the Newshour crew from Seattle. We thank you for being here today. (Intro to the other guests attending by name)



As a kind of explanation, our worship service is liturgical and we follow a liturgical calendar in the selection of the verses that are used each Sunday. There are 3 verses, called the Lesson, the Epistle, and the Gospel, as well as a reading of the Psalms. The sermon then attempts to pull meaning out of the assigned versus and hopefully tie them together to see how they connect.



Sometimes that is not an easy tasking. It always gives me an opportunity to reflect, ponder and deepen my own understanding, deepen my own personal relationship in a spiritual context. Having said all that, let me get started and a tiny warning; my sermons are just about the right length, today's will be a tad bit longer, so patience please...



Today is Sept 12, which means yesterday was Sept 11, the 3rd anniversary of 9/11. This week the fallen soldiers in Iraq exceeded the 1,000 mark and stands at 1,007, the wounded number 7,000 and the civilians - fathers, mothers, and children that are not being numbered - ranges between 10,000 and 30,000. Let's take a moment in silence in honor and rememberance for all who have made sacrifices with their very lives and bodies.



Silence. Amen



Let's look now at today's verses, and we have in Exodus Moses engaging God himself in direct dialogue advocating for the people and asking God to set aside his wrath, his anger, and his plan to destroy the people. We have in the parable as told by Jesus, a shepherd actively seeking out a lamb lost from the herd, finding the lost lamb and restoring it to the whole. There is also rejoicing at the restoration in this parable. We have a second parable that mimics the first with a woman who has a lost coin and actively seeks to find it, rejoicing also upon finding it at the restoration.



We have 3 instances of different people taking Responsibility, Accountability, and Actively taking action steps to advocate, recover, restore and rejoice that their actions brought about a change. I would say the 3 verses have in common these aspects:



-- an awareness of something lost or about to be lost.



-- and upon that awareness or awakened awareness, taking deliberate and immediate actions to intercede.



The shepherd acted to immediately go and seek out the lost lamb. The woman acted immediately to search for the lost coin. Moses acted immediately to attempt to sway God away from a decision of destruction on the people. Moses continued to lay out his arguments until God changed his mind.



The interesting aspect of the story with Moses, is that he had NO need to intercede on behalf of the people, as God had already said to Moses that he was found favorable in God's sight. It seems God was prepared then to make a new nation our of Moses. Yet Moses did take decisive action to Intercede and pleaded for restoration of the whole.



In the Shepherd parable, there are already a number of popular interpretations as to the meanings: the idea of the sacrificial lamb; the idea of compassion in seeking out the lost lamb; the concept of reconciliation and restoration which is a popular theme in our church; or as some see it one must leave the herd to find their own way -- to be found.



A little word play here; the shepherd must leave the herd to find The One. If that were the end of the story, that might be okay, but the story goes on to show the shepherd finding the one lost sheep and returning to restore it to the whole, then rejoicing in the restoration.



I had to think some on what sheep and herding and the role of the shepherd might have mant to this people of ancient times, the ancient tribes. So I asked my husband, Arthur, who spent some time sheep-herding with his grandfather when Arthur was a young boy. I asked him - what does this look like? - you are herding 100 sheep, take a head-count and find you're down one - what do you do?



He explains - you go out immediately and find out what happened to it, see if it is injured, hurt, damaged or caught up in a ravine or brambles and can't navigate. So I asked him - well why would a sheep stray anyway, what would it be looking for? He said - sheep graze and look for food and a sheep might be following a food trail, and not notice the herd has moved on. The sheep might get caught up, injured or have become prey for a predator.



I asked him - well, it's hard to see it in our modern times, you've got 99 left, why not cut your losses, consider it the cost of doing business, or collateral damage. Why did you leave the rest behind to go look for it? He told me - because his grandfather expected it of him and that he would be accountable to his grandfather, not only for it's where-abouts, but also for the amount of energy and the degree of earnestness young Arthur put into searching for the lost lamb.



If his grandfather ascertained that young Arthur had done all within his power to locate and restore the lost lamb, then grandfather would be satisfied it was a job well done. If young Arthur did a lazy or careless job, then grandfather would ascertain that as well.



So I next asked him - well then back there in ancient times, why was sheep-herding and the role of the shepherd important? So much so as to be used in a parable from Jesus. Arthur explains - it is commerce, the livlihood and well-being of the tribe depends on their wealth and prosperity.



I then conclude that a shepherd who does a poor or lazy job then is not likely very respected by the tribe. There is a relationship here in the tribe to the shepherd, the shepherd to the tribe, and the well-being of all depends on the dynamics of this relationship. An inadequate shepherd is quite likely not given charge of too many herds, likely released from his duties as incapable or unable, and quite likely receives some amount of ostracism from the tribe.



He has not failed just for himself, he has let down the tribe and fallen short of expectations. He has damaged the relationship and dynamics that are inter-dependent on each other.



I'm looking now at the parable and seeing that Sacrifice of the One is not the point, rather responsibility and restoration to the whole is the point. I would suggest to you that a good shepherd, let me say that differently, a person good at the job of shepherding does not sacrifice one lamb, does not accept easily the idea of collateral damage, and acts immediately with earnestness and conscientiously to find that which is lost and restore it to the whole.



Bring this forward now to our own century. Look at the different roles our verses show us today; Shepherd, lost ones, Intercessor, Manager of resources. Look at each story and be reminded that in each story the people took immediate action. They did not wait in prayer or meditation and hope God or someone else would take care of it. They acted and acted in accordance with their sense of accountability to the recovery, and restoration of the whole.



As you well know, in my family, we have 2 young men with families of their own deployed to Iraq, where they spent 15 months. You know this because my sermons make reference to it often and frequently. It is my daily experience, it is never out of my thoughts. They are, as of August 2004, now back to their bases in Germany. Two weeks ago we were finally able to deliver my daughter and her 3 children to the airport to, at last, after 18 long months, fly to Germany to be re-united as a family. You know because we have included these ones in our weekly prayers. But let me tell you now, a different side to that story.



Where was their shepherd in all this? Who shepherded the soldiers while they were in danger? And who shepherded their anquished families at home?



Where was their Moses? Moses willing to advocate and argue with God on their behalf ... even though Moses already had a secured position with God.



My daughter lived 18 months alone with 3 children, in a small-town, civilian community just 30 some miles down the road aways from us. She put up her yellow ribbons and the flags in her yard, on her house and it was pretty clear to see this was a family with a loved one deployed. In 18 months not one person in that town reached out to her. In 18 months not one church - and there are a a good number of churches in that community - not one church or church member reached out to her. Where were the shepherds?



In her own family, some of us did shepherd her, reach out to her and too large a number of her family did nothing; did not phone her, did not check in with her to offer up moral support; did not send cards of encouragement... Aunts, uncles, cousins and even some more direct family abandoned her during an incredibly difficult 18 months. Where were the shepherds?



I don't share this to point fingers of blame, or imply a sense of guilting. I am a military family. I speak out in support of the troops by bringing them home and ending this war that we know is a product of lies. I am a mother now who goes to bed each night with a prayer that our loved ones will live though the night and be alive in the morning. My reality is completely altered by the fact of this war, the fact of loved ones deployed, the fact of young mothers (fathers) with children left alone to fend as best they can while each moment they pray their husbands (partners) will live another day. My reality cannot return to a time before deployment, it is irrevocably altered.



I'm not unfamiliar with military life, military code that is to be followed. I am a military brat, raised in military life. I was young wife to Vietnam veteran who did not choose military enlistment but was drafted into it and sent promptly to war. We raised our 3 children in the shadow of Vietnam.



I know from years of exposure that military families are expected to suck it up and respect that soldiers will follow the orders of the Commander-in-Chief and in public speak respectfully of their duty and their commanders. I know this and I choose to break with that code, question and challenge the value or need of this war, advocate for soldiers and their families who have little room for their own authentic voices.



I break with the long-held military tradtions to instead take action in calling out for recovery of the lost sheep, whom Jesus does not instruct us to sacrifice; in restoration of the lost to the whole. I take pride for just a moment today that not unlike Moses, I follow an example that teaches us to speak out, to advocate with God himself if need be, for the restoration of the whole.



We must act as the shepherd did, we must act as Moses did as we are shown in these verses that we are indeed charged with a responsibility to act once we become aware that something of value is lost, be that life, commerce and prosperity, cultural values, or whole communities of people about to suffer the destruction of wrath, anger .. unchecked.



God is not an angry, vengeful God, and as we interpret biblical scripture, we cheat ourselves if we view it in literal or even linear terms. We choose then the lazy way, we become a lazy shepherd. The bible taken as God's absolute word leads us to a lazy interpretation that quickly begins to sound like rhetoric; easily borrowed to further a personal agenda or even a popular campaign.



One can look at the example in Exodus today of Moses arguing with God. Was that Moses being persuasive, was that God willing to relent or is there a more subtle teaching to be taken? Did God then perhaps test Moses as a shepherd to his chosen people and discerned from Moses outspoken-ness in advocating for the people that, indeed, Moses was competent in his duties as a shepherd?



Remember God had thrown in there that no harm and, in fact, prosperity would come to Moses. Is this God being so disgruntled, so hot with rage as to reach out and destroy his people or is something else with more nuance going on in this story?



We cannot say on one hand, I am a Christian following a Christian path and say on the other hand war is justified. Jesus did not teach war. Rather much the opposite as when his followers and disciples who were seemingly eager and ready to take up arms, Jesus told them No - his and his Father's ways were not the ways of mankind. It begs us to think and consider our own actions with regard to this war.



A silent voice is implied consent.



St John's has reached out to Cambodian and Laotian refugees who came to our community. St John's has reached out to Hispanics who came to our community. As our President has said these are historic times, and perhaps it's time for St John's and all other churches to act historically and reach out to a new set of refugees - our own war-torn military families.



Families who live with the reality of deployment, the returning soldiers who survive the ordeal but will have ongoing new personal battles for themselves and their families. Perhaps it is a historical time to act not unlike Moses did and advocate for all God's people, and plead not for destruction, but for recovery, restoration of the whole.



Perhaps we can act competently as a good shepherd and seek out the lost ones. Perhaps if we do not see ourselves in the role of the shepherd, we can ask, as Moses did , that the shepherd then who Is tending the flock, act in accord as a good shepherd. Competently, and with regard for all the flock he is charged to attend and perhaps we too can ask that wrath, anger and destruction be laid aside that God's people might live and we are all God's people...



Amen





sermon prepared by Lietta Ruger

Sept 12, 2004

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Monday, September 27, 2004

Our interviews by Newshour piece, Military Families speaking out, to air this week.



As you know, we were filmed and interviewed by Lee Hochberg, Seattle correspondent for Newshour with Jim Lehrer. This morning (Monday, Sept 27) Lee phoned me to give update on when this piece will be aired. He said he hopes to see it aired Thursday or Friday evening..this week. Again, as he explains, their morning meetings and news pertinent to the moment decides the basis for what gets aired that evening. Lee says he is aiming for Thursday, and with Presidential debates, he thinks it is more likely it will air Friday.



Newshour with Jim Lehrer is shown on PBS stations, please check the listings in your area. Here also is url for Newshour features http://www.pbs.org/newshour/home.html



The piece Lee has been working on is military families speaking out, as this is a first in history and a new phenomenom, that military families would come together in commonality to speak in support of the troops by speaking out against the war. citing a misguided administration and Commander-in-Chief. Military families have traditionally been taught to "suck it up", support the troops with public statements of committment for whatever combat theatres where their loved ones as soldiers are deployed, and hold their criticisms of administrative policy as private thoughts not shared in public venue.



Newshour decided to learn more about what compels military families with loved ones deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan to break with the traditions of military families and speak out against the war. Lee Hochberg is compiling the piece and I have no way of knowing what the completed piece will look like until we see it aired. Lee included various events and interviews of Military Families Speak Out.



Lee also included filming me at my church giving a sermon that addresses the wrongness of the war and the President's decision to take us into Iraq. He also filmed an interview with both Arthur and me at our home, my views as a military brat, young wife to Vietnam veteran, and mother and aunt to 2 new Iraq veterans; Arthur's views as a Vietnam era veteran speaking out.



We invite you to watch this piece. We hoped to be able to videotape it at home, but aren't set up to do so. If anyone else is able to do so and can videotape it, perhaps provide a copy for us, we would be appreciative. Thank you. I believe, also we can purchase a videotape of the show from Newshour.



Lietta (and Arthur) Ruger



***********************************************************



http://www.pbs.org/newshour/ww/jim_lehrer.html



JIM LEHRER

Executive Editor and Anchor



Jim Lehrer was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1934. He is a graduate of Victoria College in Texas and the University of Missouri. After three years as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, he worked for ten years in Dallas as a newspaperman and then as the host of a local experimental news program on public television.



He came to Washington with PBS in 1972, teaming with Robert MacNeil in 1973 to cover the Senate Watergate hearings. They began in 1975 what became The MacNeil/Lehrer Report, and, in 1983, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, the first 60-minute evening news program on television. When MacNeil retired in 1995, the program was renamed The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.



Lehrer has been honored with numerous awards for journalism, including a presidential National Humanities Medal in 1999. In the last four presidential elections, he moderated nine of the nationally televised candidate debates. For the 2004 election, Lehrer will moderate the first presidential debate on Sept. 30 in Miami.



"No Certain Rest" is Lehrer's 13th novel; his 14th, "Flying Crows," was published in May 2004. He also has written two memoirs and three plays. He and his novelist wife Kate have three daughters and six grandchildren.



*************************************************

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/ww/hochberg.html



LEE HOCHBERG

Correspondent



Based in Seattle and Portland, Lee Hochberg has been a NewsHour correspondent since 1986, covering events in his region. He provided the NewsHour's ongoing coverage of controversies over the northern spotted owl, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. His numerous awards including a Peabody Award for a NewsHour report on dangerous trucking practices. Lee is married, has three children, and lives on Mercer Island in Washington State.



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Monday, September 20, 2004


Arlington West Memorial at Santa Monica Beach,
Santa Monica, California

Each and every Sunday since February 15th 2004, this memorial is set up on the sand just north of the pier at Santa Monica Beach.
http://www.addictedtowar.com/mfso.htm
 Posted by Hello
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Monday, September 13, 2004



-- Eyes Wide Open, now 1007 pairs of boots. Eyes Wide Open is a traveling exhibit, learn more at http://eyes.afsc.org

Posted by Hello

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Wednesday, September 8, 2004


The harvest in August. Now it's September and the chill is in the morning air. Not sure how much more of my garden is going to grow to maturation...but, hey, the pumpkins are growing, and the cucumbers are producing, and some late squash are growing.  Posted by Hello
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Ahhh, more produce from the garden. Look at that, I've got corn, eh! Not so easy to get a full season to grow corn where I live.  Posted by Hello
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See my cool birthday present from Cinda..it's so Pink! My new pink mix-master to go with my pink formica table, pink cake-taker and pink breadbox...so 1950's eh? Posted by Hello
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Tuesday, September 7, 2004


Going now into the elections in November, please think on this when you are voting.....How Do you ask a soldier to be the last person to die for a lie? Posted by Hello
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Death Toll American Soldiers over 1,000 today

So today, September 7, 2004 marks another milestone in the war in Iraq. We have as of today, now lost more than 1,000 American soldiers. Young people, who won't be returning home to this free democracy we call the United States of America.

I'm not going to make an editorial here, more post to mark the treachery of an unelected President who has set us on an unwarranted war with unjust cause in the name of his unjust god...it's certainly not a God I recognize.

Can we Bring Them Home Now?

Or is the new acceptable loss number moved up to 2,000. When will our own public outcry be cohesive enough, loud enough to be heard and these unreasonable and unrealistic losses of our young be called to an end?

Do you want to ask a soldier to be the last to die for a lie?

by Lietta Ruger
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Sunday, August 29, 2004


Look at them two..They both have "the hat" and is that Arthur giving Karl tips on how to use the whip or vice versa. Our neighbors across the street..great folks..and Karl and Arthur really get the party going sometimes, quick wits and repartee.  Posted by Hello
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Indiana Jones lives in Bay Center?


Indiana Jones lives in Bay Center? Pic of Arthur with his hat and whip Posted by Hello
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Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

We watched The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central on Tuesday night, specifically to see guest, Senator John Kerry. The Daily Show is an amazingly delightful and refreshing change of pace from watching the other long list of news shows we watch practically daily.



Jon Stewart helps us laugh at what is sometimes too deadly serious on other news shows. We have added The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to our "must see" daily news. Tx Jon and tx to Cheri and Sam for pointing us in this direction.



Here is an article on the John Kerry appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.



Jokesters now the go-to guys for U.S. candidates

By JOHN DOYLE Thursday, August 26, 2004



John Kerry can't do comedy. The world kind of knew that already, but Kerry can do bemused politician. This talent might help him in his television appearances. It is unlikely to help him change the minds of rabid Republicans who hate his stinking guts.



The Kerry-hatred went up a few notches recently and that's why Kerry made a surprise appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Tuesday night. The Daily Show (seen in Canada on CTV, weeknights at 12:05 a.m.) is an American cable show, airing on Comedy Central, which spoofs the news.



It looks like a news program, with its grand opening music signalling puffed-up commentary about important issues. But what follows in the show is drenched in irony. It simultaneously sends up TV news programs and current events. A good deal of its comedy is very childish. Bizarrely, it has become one of the most important programs on American television.



A lot of the American coverage of Kerry's appearance on The Daily Show compared it with Bill Clinton's appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show 12 years ago. In that appearance, Clinton played the saxophone and introduced the Elvis side of his personality. It worked wonders for his appeal. Since then, according to cliché, every American politician needs to appear on late-night TV in order to show his or her loose and funny side.



But Kerry's appearance was not about illuminating his goofy side. It was about establishing his integrity. The TV gig, which was only announced on Tuesday morning, was an important strategic move. He needed an opportunity to counter those people who claim that he exaggerated and lied about his service in Vietnam.



"I watch a lot of the cable news shows," Jon Stewart began, "so I understand that you were never in Vietnam."



"That's what I understand too, but I'm trying to find out what happened," Kerry deadpanned in response.



In the few minutes that Kerry was on The Daily Show, other subjects came up, but that exchange was the most important. And it goes it the heart of the craziness of the American political culture today. The presidential election is now less about the candidates than it is about the media who cover them. Fox News, the most popular cable news channel, has savaged Kerry. In order to challenge the perception that he lied and exaggerated, Kerry chose to appear on a comedy program that spoofs the news. It was actually designed to give him some integrity.



In the rest of the pseudo-interview, Jon Stewart stuck to his mockery of the American media, both print and television, that supports George W. Bush and relentlessly attacks Kerry.



"Are you the number one most liberal senator in the Senate?" he barked at Kerry. The candidate's answer was a bemused, "No."



As Stewart continued in his ironic tone, Kerry tried to deliver some simple statements about his platform and his criticisms of Bush. Twice, he succeeded. "Most Americans would like to have an intelligent conversation about the issues," he said to cheers from the studio audience. Later, speaking to the touchiest issue in the campaign, Kerry managed to get off a round of indignation about the war with Iraq. "You don't go to war because you want to," he said. "You go to war because you have to." The cheering that greeted that statement was cut off as the show went to a commercial.



After that, the chat, as wacky as it had been, went further into ridiculousness. There was an incomprehensible exchange about oil. Kerry then closed with a cutesy comment about the rigours of political campaigning. "You'd be amazed at the number of people who want to introduce themselves to you in the men's room. It's the most bizarre part of this entire thing." Then Kerry left the show with the trademark military salute.



Kerry is wrong about that. The "most bizarre part of this entire thing" is his need to appear on a spoof of the news to answer serious charges against him and get his message out. That tells you something about the insanity that has gripped the American media. Imagine if the leader of a Canadian political party decided, in the middle of an election campaign, to ignore Peter Mansbridge, Lloyd Robertson and Kevin Newman, and only do an appearance on This Hour Has 22 Minutes.



Kerry needed to appear on The Daily Show because the American media itself has become ridiculous and he needs the endorsement of the jokers, not political pundits. The cable news shows that Jon Stewart mocks have become absurdly partisan. The print press is going through a period of self-flagellation as newspaper after newspaper apologizes and backtracks on its initial coverage of the need to go to war with Iraq.



There is no longer a mainstream media in the United States. Every outlet postures and preens. Comedy is now as important as political commentary. Only the jokers have integrity.



The last thing Kerry said, as he left The Daily Show, was a remark to Stewart. He said, "You do a great job." In that, Kerry was correct. It's sad, but true.



Dates and times may vary across the country. Please check listings or visit http://www.globeandmail.com/tv

jdoyle@globeandmail.ca



http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20040826/DOYLE26/TPEntertainment/TopStories

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