Saturday, May 17, 2008

Conquest Is A Lie

Act of Union


To-night, a first movement, a pulse,
As if the rain in bogland gathered head
To slip and flood: a bog-burst,
A gash breaking open the ferny bed.
Your back is a firm line of eastern coast
And arms and legs are thrown
Beyond your gradual hills. I caress
The heaving province where our past has grown.
I am the tall kingdom over your shoulder
That you would neither cajole nor ignore.
Conquest is a lie. I grow older
Conceding your half-independant shore
Within whose borders now my legacy
Culminates inexorably.


And I am still imperially
Male, leaving you with pain,
The rending process in the colony,
The battering ram, the boom burst from within.
The act sprouted an obsinate fifth column
Whose stance is growing unilateral.
His heart beneath your heart is a wardrum
Mustering force. His parasitical
And ignmorant little fists already
Beat at your borders and I know they're cocked
At me across the water. No treaty
I foresee will salve completely your tracked
And stretchmarked body, the big pain
That leaves you raw, like opened ground, again

Seamus Heaney

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

Miss Thing

Good Decision

The local Fox station is reporting that:

Rutherford County Commissioners Say No To Bible Theme Park

Early Friday morning, Rutherford County Commissioners said no to a proposed bible theme park. That means nearly 300 acres of farmland will not be rezoned, at least not any time soon. The county commission meeting began Thursday evening and wrapped up around 1 a.m. Friday. Hundreds of people came out to have their voices heard. Residents waited more than a year to get a vote on the project that would have transformed 282-acres in the Blackman community into a bible theme park.

Supporters were looking forward to the number of jobs and revenue the park promised.
But opponents were dreading what it would cost them. After the vote, both sides were still divided. County Commissioner Trey Gooch, a theme park opponent says, "I've been dealing with this for a year and it's come to fruition now and we're ready to move forward. We're certainly happy that the development failed in Blackman."

County Commissioner Anthony Johnson, a theme park supporter says, "People's feelings, just being scared, get in the way of real true thinking sometimes." The rezoning issue was voted down by a vote of 12 to nine.

After the meeting, Bible Park USA developer, SafeHarbor Holding LLC, issued a statement saying other proposed development of the land, such as warehouses, would not be as "friendly" to the Blackman community. SafeHarbor could still reapply for rezoning to the county.

Of course, what SafeHarbor Holding LLC didn't mention is that warehouses, even if built with tax dollars as the bible theme park was going to be, aren't likely to drag the county into an expensive First Amendment battle. It's nice to see the Christianists lose this one.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oh, Yeah, The County Commission Should Definitely Spend Tax Dollars For This. No. They Should Not.

Rutherford County, Tennessee, County Commissioners are set to vote tonight on a proposed bible theme park:

The plans for the park call for multiple sections — each with an anchor attraction. Among them: The Bible Land Fly-Through, an IMAX-type experience which would take visitors on tours of the Holy Land; Bible Dark Ride, an indoor ride aimed at teenage visitors and based on Revelation; the Exodus Experience, an indoor experience featuring the parting of the Red Sea with high-tech standing 25-foot waves and image projection; and Stories from the Bible Theater, a Broadway-caliber theater with Bible stories.

The park would be built with tax dollars. Nope, no First Amendment issues, there. Nope.

(Love the "Broadway-caliber theater".)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

You Ass

How many days has this traitor spent on vacation? Now, watch this drive.

More here.

Update: Of course, the Freeway Blogger says it best.

UpdateII: Adventus, via Olberman, says it most succinctly: Shut the Hell up.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

And If That Which You Seek, You Find Not Within Yourself

Final Curve

When you turn the comer
And you run into yourself
Then you know that you have turned
All the corners that are left.

~Langston Hughes


The truth is that it's difficult for me to have them digging in my yard, even when I know that the result will be a lovely herb bed, with Arts & Crafts masonry, that will spread blessings and health all over my small yard. But every shovelful of dirt tugs at me and I can feel the ditch dug for the foundation of the raised bed in my own depths. I think that this is part of what the Earth demands. You can dig me, but you must dig and be dug in return.

/Bonus points for the reference.

My New Name For A Blog

What ellroon Said.

Native Plants

Many, many heartfelt thanks to all who responded in comments to my question about Wiccan landscaping. I've really enjoyed following links to altars and articles, and I've jotted down a lot of good ideas and book titles.

One point that several commenters raise, and that I've spent a significant amount of time thinking about, is the notion of using only native species plants. The idea has an almost obvious appeal and it certainly makes sense not to try and grow plants that require unnatural (for the area) amounts of water or that will need pesticides in order to thrive. Similarly, one doesn't want to grow plants that can become dangerously invasive (around here, bamboo can quickly go wild and become impossible to eradicate completely; we will not speak of the weed that must not be named (k-u-d-z-u)).

But, I am going to grow a number of non-native plants. Angelica, for example, a native of continental Europe. Dill, which, although it has now naturalized in, inter alia, North America, originated in the Middle East. Wormwood, a native of Asia and Europe. Artemisia, both vulgaris and dracunculus (mugwort and tarragon), a native of southern Europe. (Plant origins found in New Book of Herbs by Jekka McVicar, a practical guide that my DiL gave to me and that I highly recommend). I could go on and on listing the herbs that I want to grow, none of which originated in North America. Many of the arisaemas that I love were originally collected in Japan. How long does a plant need to grow in an area before it's native? Did it have to be here in North America before the Europeans came, both bringing new plants here and exporting North American plants back to Europe? What about plants that are spread by birds or animals; are they ok because their method of migration was more natural than that of my arisimeas? Is it "ok" to grow a plant once it has naturalized, as dill has done?

I've done two things to help me decide which non-native plants are ok to grow here. First, I try v. hard to listen to the land, both by observing what works here and by trancing and talking to the spirit of the land. Second, I'm consulting with my landscape designer, who grew up and went to school in this part of Virginia and who understands my concerns about working with the land, its genius locii, its spirit. He's been a good source for information about what will grow well here, what trees this land appears to willingly receive, and what to avoid.

Lately, too, I've been wondering what the carbon footprint is for a project like landscaping my little yard. I'll be adding a number of trees to the ones already here and I'm looking speculatively at the roof of my garden shed and thinking about green roofs.


Monday, May 12, 2008

My New Name For A Blog

What Digby Said.

It's nice to hear a little bit of sanity, perspective, and maturity introduced into the macho nonsense that passes for liberal discussion on this topic.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Old Man Is Snoring

It's pouring.

I mean that water is literally pouring down from the sky and has been, more or less, for days. The result is plantlife so green that it pulses, shines, shimmers. Water that rushes in rippling mini-streams down my street to the storm sewers marked "Chesapeake Bay Drainage." A Potomac River turned deep brown and choppy from the erosion running into it and the wind whipping its surface into waves. Grateful centuries-old oak trees in my yard, drinking their first real full since last summer's long drought. Earthworms flooded out of their homes to make easy pickings for the mourning doves and cardinals and robins and sparrows who will be fine if they don't lose too much more oil off their wings due to the water.

Oddly, for a woman who's been a witch for nigh on twenty years, I can count on one hand the times that the Goddess has shown up in my dreams. As I've recounted before, Brigit is not a Goddess with whom I feel a special affinity -- not like I do for Hecate or Baba Yaga or Hestia -- but she placed herself front and center in one of the central dreams of my life. And in that dream, she stood with me inside a safe, warm, snug cottage in Ireland and put her right arm around my shoulders and made me feel completely at peace looking out a window at a rain exactly like this rain. What she made me feel was the innate goodness of rains like this, the wonderful store that they lay up for us to draw from in July and August, the sweet, sweet safety of tight roofs and thick walls.

May you dance naked and wet in the lovely rain and may you come inside to dry towels and warm fires and hot tea.

Such An Obviously Bad Idea

According to the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal, local residents continue to oppose a proposed "bible theme park" to be built with tax dollars and "incentives." However, this comingThursday, the Rutherford County, Tennessee County Commissioners will likely approve the park, despite the fact that:

[m]embers of the grass-roots opposition to the proposed Bible Park USA have compiled a critique of the claims made by the developers of the $175 million to $200 million theme park in the Blackman community.

The 26-page document titled "Questioning the promises: A Bible Park USA analysis" was released Thursday to rebut the claims of developer Armon Bar-Tur and his team.

It has been distributed to all 21 Rutherford County Commissioners — who will have the ultimate say on the park's zoning and financial plan — as well as County Mayor Ernest Burgess, County Attorney Jim Cope and County Finance Director Lisa Nolen.

The document was written by members of the Bible park opposition and edited by Blackman resident Steve Yaeger.

It questions the credibility and transparency of the developer and his team; the attendance projections used for economic analysis; the jobs and wages used for the economic impact analysis; the economic analysis itself, which they say uses inflated numbers; the use of tax-increment financing (a method of using increased tax revenue to pay for the development); and the impact on the quality of life for Blackman residents.

"When forced to reveal details by an increasingly skeptical public, Mr. Bar-Tur used a PR (public relations) firm and surrogates to carefully control public dialog on the matter," the documents states.

The document goes on to say "essential financial details have been highly suspicious or lacking altogether, presented by people who are being paid by Mr. Bar-Tur or directly connected financially to the theme park."

The chance of this thing tuning into a huge clusterfuck for Rutherford County are increasingly high. Just how stupid are the County Commissioners? Have they set aside money to defend the coming First Amendment challenges to this use of tax dollars? Really, are the schools in Rutherford County so well-funded, the roads so well-maintained, the police and firefighters so well-paid that the county has tax money to throw away on a project that clearly violates the First Amendment?

The report says that:

"When you consider the park's narrow appeal (religious vs. recreational) and its location, well off the beaten path of tourism, it's clear that the proposed Bible theme park will not meet the projected attendance totals," the document said.

No kidding. It's unlikely to ever even get built. But that doesn't mean that it won't suck tax dollars away from needed projects.