Saturday, August 11, 2007
The Residents Of Idaho's First Congressional District Must Be Mentally Retarded. It's The Only Explanation
Turns out, only xians can be in Congress. It's apparently what the Founders wanted.
Wiki has more on this intellectual degenerate, including this interesting fact: Sali and his wife, Terry, reside in Kuna, Idaho. They have been married since 1976 and have six adult children, presumably as racist as their father.
You can contact this Christianist here.
Update: 6:00 pm
Heh. Didn't take long for them to clean up Wiki. But there's a screencapture here.
Continuing our look at Goddesses associatd with the harvest, today's Goddess is Toci. Wiki describes Toci as:"Our grandmother" in Nahuatl,  a deity figuring prominently in the religion and mythology of the pre-Columbian Aztec civilization of Mesoamerica. In Aztec mythology she is attributed as the "Mother of the Gods" (Teteo Innan or Teteoinnan), and associated as a goddess of the Earth (also called Tlalli Iyollo, "Heart of the Earth").
Although considered to be an aged deity, Toci is not always shown with specific markers of great age. Toci is frequently depicted with black markings around the mouth and nose, wearing a headdress with cotton spools (Miller and Taube 1993, p.170). These are also characteristic motifs for Tlazolteotl, a central Mesoamerican goddess of both purification and filth (tlazolli in Nahuatl), and the two deities are closely identified with one another.
Toci was also associated with healing, and venerated by curers of ailments and midwifes. In the 16th century Florentine Codex compiled by Bernardino de Sahagún Toci is identified with temazcalli or sweatbaths, in which aspect she is sometimes termed Temazcalteci, or "Grandmother of sweatbaths". Tlazolteotl also has an association with temazcalli as the "eater of filth", and such bathhouses are likely to have been dedicated to either Tlazolteotl or Toci/Temazcalteci.
Toci also had an identification with war, and had also the epithet "Woman of Discord".
By one Mexica-Aztec legendary tradition, at some point during their long peregrinations after leaving the mythical homeland Aztlan, the Mexica served as mercenaries to the Culhua at their capital of Culhuacan. The Culhua ruler bestowed his daughter upon the Mexica for an intended marriage with one of the Mexica nobility; however the Mexica's guiding and chief deity Huitzilopochtli intervened and ordered that she be flayed and sacrificed, instead. When this was done she transformed into Toci. The Mexica were expelled from Culhuacan by the Culhua ruler for the act, and the Mexica were pressed on towards Lake Texcoco. It was here that shortly thereafter they founded their capital Tenochtitlan, from which base they would later grow in power to form the Aztec Empire and exert their dominion over the Valley of Mexico (Miller and Taube 1993).
During the veintena of Ochpaniztli in the Aztec calendar, harvest-time festival rites were held to honor Toci, in her aspect as "Heart of the Earth" (Miller and Taube 1993) were held, associated with the time of harvest.
Here's a description of her rites, which may have involved a sacrificial re-enactment of her murder.
Art available on Google.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Yeah, we know. It's just so goddamn unfair that once every, say, 231 years or so, the rich, white, men get asked to give somebody else a chance.
I took some grief a while back for saying that the Edwards campaign uses Elizabeth to deliver swipes at Hillary. I think that I'm right. On her own, Elizabeth Edwards wouldn't make tone-deaf statements such as this one or her "I'm-more-joyous-than-Hil-cuz-I'm-a-stay-at-home-mom" statement.
Elizabeth, just stop it.
From the EEI newsletter:
Some Presidential Campaigns Buying Offsets for Their CO2 Emissions
Several Democratic Party presidential candidates have adopted carbon-neutral policies, the Washington Times reported, citing Federal Election Commission reports. Campaign staff have released details of how many tons of CO2 emissions – primarily from air travel - equaled the amount the campaigns paid for offsets. Former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., leads the pack, and so far this year his campaign has spent almost $22,000 buying carbon offsets. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., spent $2,367 to offset her campaign's emissions in April, [to be fair, this appears to be an apples to organges comparison. What's Clinton spent "so far this year"?] and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., bought $650 worth of offsets from April through June. Although Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has not reported buying offsets, his campaign has paid more than $700,000 to Air Charter Team, which offsets emissions through Carbon Fund, the Times reported. One GOP presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has instructed his campaign to use energy-conserving technology and to turn off air conditioners in offices when no one is present, the Times reported. He has not bought any offsets.
Washington Times , Aug. 7.
One imagines that McCain simply cannot afford air conditioning at this point.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
So often, Pagan Godspell says precisely what's in my own heart (her heart is signigicantly more eloquent than mine):
It didn’t take long for me to figure out however that magic, for me, is simply another word for the rush that consumed me at the truckstop that day in Arizona, or the liquid glory pouring to earth in the spill of moonlight. That magic is natural and that it springs bubbling out of the earth and the trees and the rocks and moves with a sweet, shocking grace through the marrow of all things. And that there are no real boundaries between me, the natural world, magic, relationship, the gods, the planet, or any activism on the planet’s behalf. That indeed, magic is happening with every breath and in every move of my body (and that the web of ultimate connection can be touched, yes, and threads plucked to shift the tides of the world in one’s favor in harmony with the Isness). Magic can be complex or simple - a weaving or a seed, Fibonacci numbers, a handful of roots, an exquisitely complicated series of movements and words, an Emerald Tablet, the making of medicine, the pouring forth of prayer. No matter where I have found it, it always seems that magic has led me back to the Mama - to Her mountains and Her forms and Her Beauty, and to my body as an expression of Her and the medium through which I experience Her far-flung, lavish, decadent, gritty, sharp, gobsmacked, outrageous being.
Eventually, in addition to the flowering of my rapture in the deep, these connections led me to become inspired by the radical application of spirituality to the struggle on behalf of oppressed communities and the Land.
I was so upset today after reading Digby's post on torture. Sun in Pisces, I am, sometimes, far more of an empath than is good for my own well-being. I try to trust that there's some value in this and that it's not merely a cruel jest of the universe.
But, driving home, I was struck by the notion that, this time, the fall back into barbarity won't last as long as it did before because, this time, people have had a really good taste of freedom. They've read what Jefferson and Adams and Paine had to say. Also, it's now easier for us to communicate. Digby can post today about how the Bush junta makes victims stand for eighteen to twenty-four hours [thus] produc[ing] “excruciating pain, as ankles double in size, skin becomes tense and intensely painful, blisters erupt oozing watery serum, heart rates soar, kidneys shut down, and delusions deepen” and I can post it here and you can read it now. So it will be more difficult for them to control us, this time around.
Another cheerful thought that I had was that one of the true values of the internet is that it can bring together people who are v. similar, but who are similar in ways that would have left them feeling lonely and bereft a generation ago. I work w/ a nice woman who loves hockey and skiing. It's easy for her to find other folks who love those things. But, a generation ago, I could have lived my whole life and never known that there were, in fact, others out there for whom a moment of mystical union w/ the desert sunrise meant everything. The real courage to engage in the social action that Pagan Godspell describes comes from the realization that "we are many; they are few."
Oddly, the precise way that I describe magic is to say that it involves threads plucked to shift the tides of the world in one’s favor. The women of my circle will recognize that one.
Reya talks about why it can be difficult to do magic in D.C. And, yet, magic done in D.C. can be amazingly effective. About half of the magic that my circle does is done mere blocks from the Capitol. I feel its presence every single time that we do magic there. I use it to ground and to direct. I love Washington, D.C. I came here 47 years ago, a little girl from the mountains of Colorado, walked outside of Union Station, took one look at the Christopher Columbus fountain, and knew that I was home. I've loved other places in my time. Pasadena and the San Gabriel Mountains. The Caymans. West Virginia. But I will never love anywhere else on Earth the way that I love this swampy, powerful, confusing city full of fountains.
Here's a lovely (and by lovely, I mean fucking awful) follow-up to yesterday's story that the Pentagon is engaged in a "long and deep collusion with a fundamentalist, religious missionary organization." Troutfishing reports in a diary at Daily Kos that:
The "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" video game, is set in a "post apocalyptic" New York that looks almost exactly like New York City after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and lets players simulate commanding a paramilitary Christian army that seeks to convert Jews, mainline Christians, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, and everyone else in New York City to fundamentalist Christianity. All who resist will be killed.
Some who criticized the game have said that it conditions players for religious war.
Now, with the blessing and endorsement of the Pentagon, a Christian ministry with apocalyptic fundamentalist beliefs that is planning a series of tours it calls a 'military crusade' to entertain US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq will also be distributing the "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" 'Convert or Die' religious warfare video game....
To US troops.
Let me repeat:
The United States Pentagon has endorsed sending a Christian supremacist religious warfare video game to United States troops in Iraq, a predominantly Muslim nation.
Osama Bin Laden himself could hardly hardly have hatched a better plot to incite widespread war between Christianity and Islam, and the Pentagon's endorsement of "Operation Straight Up" and that ministry's plan to bring the bigoted, hateful religious ideology inherent to Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins' "Left Behind" book series to American troops in the front lines casts into question the basic competence, not to mention the sanity, of every Pentagon official involved in the decision to endorse such mind boggling idiocy.
Someone tell me one reason to believe that we are NOT living in a theocracy. I'll wait right over here.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
She wrote me a letter after her death,
and I remember a kind of happy light
as I sat by the rose tree
on her old bench by the back door
so surprised to receive it
wondering what she would say
looking up before I could open it
and laughing to myself in silent expectation.
it is time for me to leave you
the words you are used to hearing,
are no longer mine to give.
You can only hear those words of motherly
affection now from your own mouth
and only for those who stand
motherless before you.
As for me I must forsake adulthood
and be bound gladly to a new childhood.
You must understand
this apprenticeship demands
of me an elemental innocence
from everything I have ever held in my hands.
I know your generous soul
is well able to let me go
You will in the end be happy to know
my God was true
and that after so many years
of loving you so long
I find myself in the wide, infinite mercy of being
P.S. All of your intuitions were true.
(David Whyte – Poet from the Pacific Northwest)
I blame Lammas. I blame the lazy, heady days of high Summer. I blame Miss Thing. I really don't know how I forgot to do it, especially since August 1st is when I called to schedule my mammogram and annual appointment with my surgeon, but I forgot to do First of the Month Bazooms Blogging! Here, better late than never, is August Bazooms Blogging.
The first (week) of the month is a good time to do a breast self exam (BSE). BSEs are easy to do: here's how. Doing a regular BSE can save your life because it can help you to detect a cancerous lump early. Catching cancer early is, as I am living proof, the best way to fight it and live. So, women, order pizza and slip a movie in the DVD player so that the kids will leave you alone for 15 minutes. Take some time for yourself and give yourself a BSE. When you're done, have some chocolate. Have a green smoothie. Have a nap. Visit Avalon. Have tea.
Men, are there any women you'd miss if they were not around? Wife, lover, daughter, friend, granddaughter, neice, co-workers, employees, mothers, grandmothers? Why not offer to take the kids to the park, pick up dinner, get the oil changed so that they'll have time to do a BSE?
Geez, you'd think someone would have reminded me!
WaPo reports that an inspector general's report reveals a "long and deep collusion [at the Pentagon] with a fundamentalist, religious missionary organization," Michael Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said in a statement
Further, The Army and Air Force are considering disciplinary action against seven officers _ including four generals _ who violated ethics rules by assisting a Christian group in the production of a fundraising video.
The Pentagon inspector general found the officers were interviewed in uniform and "in official and often identifiable Pentagon locations," according to a 45-page report.
They made comments that "conferred approval of and support" to the evangelical group, Christian Embassy, "and the remarks of some officers implied they spoke for a group of senior military leaders rather than just for themselves," the report stated.
None of the Army and Air Force officers involved asked for or received approval from their superiors to participate in the interview in an official capacity or in uniform, according to the inspector general's report, which was released last week.
The report recommended that senior military leaders consider "appropriate corrective action" against the officers.
Scientists have recovered microorganisms from ancient Antarctic ice and coaxed it back to life in the lab, according to a study published today.
The glacial ice acted as a "gene Popsicle," preserving DNA that hasn't circulated in the gene pool for up to 8 million years.
. . .
Marine microbiologist Kay Bidle, the study's lead author, and his colleagues studied blocks of ice about 8 inches square that were excavated from the Transantarctic Mountains.
The ice from Mullins Valley was about 100,000 years old, and ice from Beacon Valley was about 8 million years old. The samples were taken from 6 inches beneath the surface of a glacier, which was buried under up to 30 inches of debris.
More, including interplanetary speculation, here.
Monday, August 06, 2007
When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend
all day among the high
my ripped arms, thinking
of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body
accepts what it is. In the dark
creeks that run by there is
this thick paw of my life darting among
the black bells, the leaves; there is
this happy tongue.
When my eyes are weeds,
And my lips are petals, spinning
Down the wind that has beginning
Where the crumpled beeches start
In a fringe of salty reeds;
When my arms are elder-bushes,
And the rangy lilac pushes
Upward, upward through my heart;
Summer, do your worst!
Light your tinsel moon, and call on
Your performing stars to fall on
Headlong through your paper sky;
Nevermore shall I be cursed
By a flushed and amorous slattern,
With her dusty laces' pattern
Trailing, as she straggles by.
Oh, I have walked in Kansas
Through many a harvest field,
And piled the sheaves of glory there
And down the wild rows reeled:
Each sheaf a little yellow sun,
A heap of hot-rayed gold;
Each binder like Creation's hand
To mold suns, as of old.
- Vachel Lindsay, Kansas
I was born, and spent my first five years, living just across the lane from a wheatfield at the foot of Pike's Peak. This time of year, as the season turns from Lammas to Mabon, memories of that field come flooding back to me, especially one golden late-afternoon that I (I may have been four years old) spent swinging in a swing, w/ my Grandma standing beside me and chatting with me as the gold faded to deep purple. I had a wonderful Grandma. I hope to be as good a grandma to G/Son as she was to me.
"And down the wild rows reeled." That's an amazing lovely line, and a deeply important intuition concerning the straigh rows of wheat and corn that we grow here in the U.S. of A.
I'm too mad at the Democrats to even blog about them. If they won't stand up to a lame duck with a 28% approval rating, when a basic issue of Constitutional liberty is at stake, I imagine that it's safe to say that they won't ever stand up to anyone. Ever. Gotta keep that dry powder dry and powdery. Because dry powder is just great stuff.
Jim Webb, I'm looking at you, asshole.
Meanwhile, the estimable Dr. Black put up a post that includes this bit of wisdom: “The thing that caused the problem is making it harder to solve the problem.”
I think that when each child is born, she should receive a locket with those words engraved upon it. They're true in almost every situation.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Anne Johnson informs her readers that:
I have to go fill 36 water balloons for a Lughnasadh picnic. Makes me smile just thinking about it.
I have to go fill 36 water balloons for a Lughnasadh picnic. Makes me smile just thinking about it.
But Listen, I Am Warning You
But listen, I am warning you
I'm living for the very last time.
Not as a swallow, nor a maple,
Not as a reed, nor as a star,
Not as spring water,
Nor as the toll of bells...
Will I return to trouble men
Nor will I vex their dreams again
With my insatiable moans.
Here's a nicely-written, matter-of-fact article about a group of Wiccans trying to save a magnolia tree in Asheville, North Carolina. Other than the "only in Asheville" opening line and the confusion about the relationship between Wicca and Paganism (Hint for Reporters: Wicca is to Paganism as Lutheran is to Protestant), the article does a good job on reporting both sides of this issue.
The article also avoids the almost-universal traps of reporting on Wiccca: (1) getting some hateful xian to comment "for balance" and (2) noting, in all seriousness, that Wiccans "say" that they don't worship the devil.
Good luck to Oldenwilde. I hope that they're able to save that tree.
Here's a poem for them:
WOODMAN, spare that tree!
Touch not a single bough!
In youth it sheltered me,
And I'll protect it now.
'Twas my forefather's hand
That placed it near his cot;
There, woodman, let it stand,
Thy axe shall harm it not!
That old familiar tree,
Whose glory and renown
Are spread o'er land and sea,
And wouldst thou hew it down?
Woodman, forbear thy stroke!
Cut not its earth-bound ties;
O, spare that aged oak,
Now towering to the skies!
When but an idle boy
I sought its grateful shade;
In all their gushing joy
Here too my sisters played.
My mother kissed me here;
My father pressed my hand --
Forgive this foolish tear,
But let that old oak stand!
My heart-strings round thee cling,
Close as thy bark, old friend!
Here shall the wild-bird sing,
And still thy branches bend.
Old tree! the storm still brave!
And, woodman, leave the spot;
While I've a hand to save,
Thy axe shall hurt it not.
George Pope Morris