Thursday, September 30, 2010

Appreciating the people around you in the midst of Afghan Follies

It is amazing that if you take time to look, love is even in the midst of war.

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The people in between

Kite flying
Whilst we endlessly debate whether Karzai is friend or foe or fit to lead

Every day, a softly spoken young man in our office, whose name I don’t even know, discreetly feeds a scrawny calico cat, which hangs around by the rubbish bins beside our office dining room. He is the only person who does this and for some reason I find this gesture incredibly touching.

Yet for the miles between us and each other’s words that we don’t understand, she hugs me each morning before I leave the house. I love the sensation of wrapping my arms around this small round woman, gently squeezing her soft fat frame, and I feel loved.Read more at

Monday, September 27, 2010

Biking 211 miles - Cleveland to Niagara Falls and Back

Katie rowed from Africa to South America - no problema - Go Katie go!

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Biking to the Border and Beyond

As you might already know, last week I was donated an amazing new bike. And this weekend I just had to test it out on a long ride. 211-mile long ride, to be exact.

It was a great ride passing through vineyard after vineyard in sleepy towns of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.
About to cycle over the Peace Bridge to Canada
Katie runs through the Mojave desert

Each town I rode through seem confused by my lyrcaed-suited presence. I met many new people along the way interested to know my mission.

Conversations went a little like this:

Curious person: “Where are you from?”

Me: “Cleveland area”

Curious person: “Where are you going?”

Me: “Niagara Falls”

Curious person: “How many days will that take?”

Me: Uh, one.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

An Afghan daughter at her mother's grave

Sometimes, sometimes, all you have is a poem, a song, or a brief memory but no tears.

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Today I Want To Cry

I want to laugh

But with whom?

Today I want to give a gift

But to whom?

Today is the day I should celebrate

Where is she?

Today is the day I should put the world at her feet

Drop hundreds of flowers on her path

Today is the day I should put heaven under her feet

Give her all the happiness in the world

This is the day I should put a smile on her face

But how?

Today is the day that I should be with her

I cannot

I am with myself


With just my tears and her dust

Today is the day I sit with her memory

I kiss her hands,

They are full of my tears… as I sit at her grave

Today is Mother’s Day

She can’t hear me say

Happy Mother’s Day

By Shogofa

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Property Rights Taken from People by Hamilton, Ohio

Live in Hamilton, Ohio and have 6 cats and/or dogs in your home? You are now breaking the law and must get zoned as a kennel or give up your pet. In the middle of Congressman Boehner's distric - go figure?!

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Council limits number of pets


With only Mayor Pat Moeller voting no, City Council on Wednesday, Sept. 22, passed an ordinance restricting the number of household pets to no more than five adult cats and/or dogs, unless the area is zoned and licensed as a kennel.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Afghan woman speaks for all women in poetry

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Victim of Male Domination

I am an Afghan woman, a victim of male domination

I am a woman, a survivor in flames of segregation

My voice is choked down in my throat

My thoughts are frozen, disabled to tell the truth

Rejected in my society, forced to stay home;

I cannot draw, sing a song or write a poem

My skills are killed by males’ cruelty

My wings are broken; I can’t fly in this authority

There is no hope; I must bury my dreams in my heart

Walking in the dark with closed eyes is hard

When the evils of time forcefully burn my aspiration

I am an Afghan woman, a victim of male domination

I am a woman, a survivor in flames of segregation


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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An Afghan woman's memory of growing up

War, horror, and hate cannot always take away the good things in you memory.

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My Village

The sound of cocks wakes me up

The sun shines fresh.

Before washing my face

I water the plants


I go say good morning to the cows

And milk them.

I make the tea

I take my dirty clothes

To wash.

After that I relax

On the ground under the pear tree

And nap.

There is nothing new.

Tomorrow it is the same.

By Tabasom


Red Rat Snake in Bronx - OK. In toilet? Not OK - grin.

Psycho shower scene now has a rival for changing your behavior in the bathroom late at night.

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Snake In The Toilet Just As Terrifying As It Sounds

Get ready to have nightmares forever!
A Bronx man entering his bathroom in the middle of the night was shocked to find the toilet was already taken—by a three-foot long Corn Snake.
Red Rat Snake

People still know how to be nice in Ohio

Grin - Ride Katie ride!

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Out of the Ashes

After my recent vehicle and bike robbery, I thought my cycling days were over. But that all changed when I received a message from a member of the Chagrin Valley Rotary Club that there was some big news in store.

I was presented with the new bike last week at the Century Cycles

 It felt like Christmas morning. Nope, better. It’s a day I will never forget.

Girl meets bike
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Vietnam War 1968-75/Afghan War 2010-2012

You cannot read the article in the link and not wonder - have we learned anything about these kinds of wars in 40 years? I'd say - not much! How about you?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hope, dead and maimed soldiers, Afghan corrupters richer

Deja vue 1968 Vietnam - different war, different leaders but same dynamics - American idealism, mixed with self-delusion and cowboy heritage spell disaster.

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Tolerating Afghan Corruption Got Us Where We Are Today

Let us not mince words: For the past 8+ years, the international community has, at a minimum, looked the other way while Karzai’s government stole
If it had worked
We might see the government feared
and effective

In Afghanistan, we see nothing like that.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tell President how important "outdoors" is to you

With threats ranging from pollution to urban sprawl, America's wild spaces are in greater danger than ever before. We don't have much time to make sure the White House knows that we're counting on them to stand up for America's outdoor spaces.

Right now, President Obama is gathering feedback for a new initiative that could shape national conservation efforts for years to come.

I've already sent my letter urging the President to protect our rivers, wild places, parks and farms. Will you join me? Click below to add your voice before September 30th:

This November, the White House will release their report outlining conservation priorities. With so many threats to our great outdoors, it's critical that we speak up now to ensure that the White House prioritizes the most urgent needs.

Will you join me in adding your voice before September 30th?

Just click the link below:

The Obama administration must know that millions of Americans support efforts to protect and preserve our wild places for future generations.

Thanks for your help in keeping America's Great Outdoors great!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Intel's CEO thinks he is futurist - wrongo bongo

Let them eat virtual cake instead of bread says Otellini!

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CEO Now Talks Big and Bad About the President

Intel chief executive officer Paul Otellini
Washington must decide what the industries of the future are. "We still subsidize trains and agriculture — industries of the 19th century. We should decide what's important to us going forward

As for his comment about trains, can you imagine saying anything more stupid than that? Does he know anything about Europe, China, and Japan? Trains are the future of transportation, you bongo-head.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Broken System Breaks Wind - What? Deport Vietnam Vets?!

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Latina Lista

Two Latino brothers, and Vietnam vets, are latest victims of broken immigration system

Though the two men were born in Mexico over 60 years ago, their mother was an American citizen. They served in the United States military -- Manuel in the Marines and Valente is a soldier. Serving in the military, with the medals to prove it, usually is enough proof to show any government where a soldier's heart lies.

Manuel and Valente Valenzuela stand with their lawyer in describing their disbelief that the federal government wants to deport them to Mexico.

Screen shot 2010-09-13 at 5.44.17 PM.png
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Out of 9/11 Loss and Ashes: Love and Hope Between Widows

Wisdom, hope, and vision connects.

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Beyond borders, beyond religion and politics, beyond hatred and ignorance — lies hope, and a common bond Beyond borders, beyond religion and politics, beyond hatred and ignorance — lies hope, and a common bondBeyond borders, beyond religion and politics, beyond hatred and ignorance — lies hope, and a common bond

Beyond the 11th is a non-profit organization that provides support to widows in Afghanistan who have been afflicted by war, terrorism, and oppression.

Founded by two American women whose husbands were killed on September 11th, our mission is to reach beyond differences of culture and geography to embrace the most essential of connections: humanity.


When and How Do We Get Out of the Ditch?

It's clear that the public knows who screwed up - what people want to know now is how long to get out and how are we going to do it. If President can answer those question and other Democratic candidates as well, then they will win support. If it's going to take two, three more years -fine - I can deal with that and make plans - not knowing is what drives folks nutty enough to even think the Tea Party folks might have an answer.

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The public is dissatisfied with the economy and a lot of this translates into dissatisfaction with the Obama administration. But the public has not lost sight of who is mostly to blame for the country’s current economic troubles.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mimi's 9/11 Memories - She gets it - Love one another...

"Today is not a day for hatred. The only hope we have is to continue to speak that maybe one day we can go back to the land of safe Septembers."

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In The Land of Safe Septembers ~ I Remember 9/11

Today is not a day for hatred. The only hope we have is to continue to speak that maybe one day we can go back to the land of safe Septembers.
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Amazing photographers of East African Animals

Great pair of photographers. In French but photos speak loads for themselves. If you need extra inspiration of why to help save the planet from over-industrialization of everything - including agriculture - give a look.

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Guepard mère et jeunes

Guepard mère et jeunes
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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Hate is a venom that alters reality and eats souls!

Beware of those who will "fight" and "hate" to the last drop of your blood but not his.

Martin Peretz: American Muslims Should Not Have 1st Amendment Rights

As Rosh Hashanah begins, and Ramadan ends, the virulent Muslim-baiting continues.

Marty Peretz, owner of the New Republic. Peretz is no right-winger. In fact, he is on the left on most issues and so is his magazine.
But he hates Muslims.
Yesterday, Peretz wrote that American Muslims should not be entitled to the protections of the First Amendment.Read more at

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Girl Scouts Part of Left-Wing Conspiracy? What's in those tea-bags?

This would be funny, if the many lies and just plain fanciful stuff that some on the far right were not serious about it and if they were not getting backing by Target and other companies.

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The Girl Scouts are selling you lesbian, baby-killing feminist militia cookies


When the Girl Scouts aren’t helping young girls become confident and productive members of society, they’re apparently serving as a feminist training ground for godless, man-hating, pro-abortion lesbianism — at least according to Hans Zeiger, Republican candidate for Washington’s House of Representatives.

I knew those Thin Mints tasted ungodly!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Performance-Participatory Art with Tape! Cool and Sometimes Healing

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Erica Duthie Celebrant Tape Art


Tape Art is a original, playful and imaginative new art medium that sprung in to being with the discovery that tape can be sculpted and articulated and used to draw. With tape you can visualise the world as your canvas.
I am particularly excited about the application of Tape Art as a teaching medium, as a vehicle for collaborative community storytelling, and as therapeutic tool in health and healing settings.Read more at

Thursday, September 02, 2010

BP: Beyond the Pale in Arrogance!

Almost speechless at BP's arrogance that it thinks it can blackmail Congress! Utter nonsense. President and Congress should start thinking about freezing all BP assets to cover clean up and send BP packing. Attempted robbery of the highest order. Spitting mad!

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BP Says Limits on Drilling Imperil Oil Spill Payouts

BP is warning Congress that if lawmakers pass legislation that bars the company from getting new offshore drilling permits, it may not have the money to pay for all the damages caused by its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


Pakistan: Tragedy piled upon tragedy

When tears run dry all you can do is try to help as best you can.

The Cacophony of Tragedy

flood disaster of epic proportions
Political violence and targeted killings in Karachi.
A triple bombing that targeted a Shiite procession in Lahore, killing 25 people and wounding 150 others. A firing on another Shiite procession in Karachi, all during the month of Ramadan

Below are some very powerful images that illustrate the situation poignantly:

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Viva la vida surrealismo!

Surrealism has always been in my heart, head and eyes. Get it - I like it!

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If you are in doubt at to what is Surrealism,
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Oops! There goes another Gulf Oil Rig Down!

Hope no one is hurt. The industry says they know what they are doing but... And people need their jobs. But if their job is helping to kill the Gulf and the planet, let's enlist them in a well paying conservation corps and -- well you get the picture - reclaim the Gulf!

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Another rig explodes off La. coast; oil spreading

 <br /><br />An oil and gas platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico south of Louisiana Thursday morning.<br />

Another oil rig exploded and caught fire Thursday off the Louisiana coast, spreading a mile-long oil sheen in the Gulf of Mexico west of the site of BP's massive spill. All 13 crew members were rescued.


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Veal Cruelty Up Close - if you can take it

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The covert footage was recorded at Buckeye Veal Farm in Apple Creek, Ohio, and reveals baby calves chained inside 2-feet wide wooden stalls – so narrow they cannot turn around, walk, run, play, socialize with other animals, or engage in other basic natural behaviors. In such tight confinement, the animals are unable to lie down comfortably, breathe fresh air, see sunlight, clean themselves or bond with their mothers.


Jane Fonda Work Outs Redux for Boomers 2010

What can I say? I like Jane. O don't do this kind of workout but for those who do - hers are well thought out, professional, and fun!

Amplify’d from FIRST LOOK: Jane Fonda’s New Workout DVD Revealed

“I’m very excited to be back in the fitness business,” Fonda told PEOPLE. “I know from experience and from my research how critical it is for boomers and seniors to be physically active. Even if they’ve never exercised in their lives, now’s the time and my programs are a good, safe way to do it.” Read more at

I Am, so treat me as human - small deserved victory!

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A Victory for Domestic Workers

Yesterday, New York Governor David Paterson signed a bill that will guarantee domestic workers such as nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers of the elderly one day of rest per week and after a year of employment, a minimum of three paid days off.  It also includes protection against sexual harassment and other types of discrimination, and is supposed to strengthen current laws for live-in domestic workers.Read more at