Saturday, September 15, 2007

Pictures From The March

Chants From Today's War

Hey, Bush, what do you say?
How many kids did you kill today?

We don't want your fucking war.

Stop the funding
End the war
What the hell is Congress for?

This war for oil
Makes me sick
Impeach Bush and
Impeach Dick

Tell me what democracy looks like
This is what democracy looks like

What do we want?
When do we want it?

Whose streets?
Our streets.

Pictures and more later.

Friday, September 14, 2007


If you're coming to DC for the peace march tomorrow (and if you can come, you must come), hang around and listen to my brilliant friend, Amy who'll be singing on Saturday at 9:00 at The Red and the Black, 1212 H Street, NE. You'll be glad that you did.

SAT SEPT 15 - Washington, DC
9PM DOORS, 9:30 SHOW, $8
H Street Corridor NE, Washington, DC
free shuttle to/from Union Station until 2AM
after the A.N.S.W.E.R. march on Washington, DC
w/D.C. ACOUSTIC UNDERGROUND & Special Guest DJ Michael Blair (Turtle DC)

Friday Cat Blogging

More Miss Thing, with a Baba Yaga reference, here.

And, NTodd takes some gorgeous pictures of Miss Thing.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Best Candidate To End The War

Polls show that Dems favor Hillary to end the war.

Within the liberal blogosphere, Hil takes quite a bashing for what's perceived to be her less-than-adequate disavowal of her vote (along with many other Dems, including Edwards) to authorize Bush to go to Iraq. Josh Marshall reports, however, that among Democrats in general, Hillary is: actually viewed as the best Democrat to end the war.

Hillary wins easy victories among Democrats in Iowa, New Hampshire[,] and South Carolina on this question: "Regardless of your choice for president, who do you think would be best at ending the war in Iraq?" Hillary scores in the mid-30's in all three states, outpacing Barack Obama by over 15 points in all three states, with John Edwards in third.

And among voters who said the Iraq War is the most important issue to them, Hillary still leads the pack: 30% in Iowa, 32% in New Hampshire, and an astonishing 63% in South Carolina.

A possible explanation could be that despite her 2002 vote for the war, Hillary Clinton is consistently viewed in polls as the best experienced top-tier Democratic candidate.

I suspect that Josh's explanation may be correct.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Arc Of The Moral Universe Is Long, But It Bends Towards Justice

Come to DC this weekend. Let's help the arc to bend.

We Shall Overcome, Someday

N., one of the most naturally-gifted witches that I know, and, lucky me, a founding mother of my circle of magical women, led us last night, on the September 11th dark moon, in a magical working mere blocks from the Capitol. All over the city, as if just to piss me off, flags were flying at half mast. Everywhere, that is, except for the school across the street from our magical working, where Betsy Ross' flag and the flag of the District of Columbia flew high, and strong, and proud.

N. used this song, one which I'd have thought was too over-used to affect me. But by the time that Bruce got to the verse that says: "We are not afraid, we are not afraid . . . ." I was sobbing like a baby and shedding magic into the Earth like a big-old-magic-shedding thing.

Come to DC this weekend. The witches have been making it ready to hear that the people want an end to this war.

A Marching We Will Go

Those of us of "a certain age" keep looking at each other and saying, "I can't believe that we're still having to protest this shit." We've been to more marches than we can count (shit, at my age, I probably can't remember them all, even if I could count them). Marches to end the Viet Nam war, the March for Women's Lives, the Million Mom March, marches to protest our entry into the Iraq war, marches to end the Iraq war, etc., etc. Here's some marching advice from a seasoned marcher to those patriots coming to Washington, D.C. this Saturday, September 15th, for the march to end the Iraq war. If we're lucky, if enough of us show up, maybe we won't have to keep protesting the same damn thing over and over.

I admit to a lot of pride of place in Washington, DC. It's my home and the "city of my heart." It's a beautiful city, especially in the Autumn, with monuments that take away your breath everywhere that you look. It's easy to come directly into DC by train. Union Station is just a few steps from the Capitol, where Saturday's march will end up. DC also has a very good metro system that allows you to get almost anywhere in the city (Georgetown is one exception) without a car. If you're taking metro, buy an all-day pass so that you won't have to stand in line and buy a farecard each time that you want to get on the subway. The trains can get kind of crowded during major marches.

There's tons of logistics information available by clicking the "End the War" button at the top of my blog: transportation, housing, maps, etc.

Right now, the weather services are calling for near-perfect marching weather -- clouds in the morning and high temperatures in the mid 70s. DC can be muggy this time of year, making it feel hotter than the thermometer says, but Saturday should be great.

Wear comfortable shoes and socks and loose, comfortable clothing, preferably with pockets. Sunscreen and a cap or hat to keep off the afternoon sun is a good idea. You'll want to carry a cell phone, chapstick, bottled water, a snack such as an energy bar, cheese stick, apple, sandwich, etc., some cash, and maybe a credit card. Lots of people make signs and bring them to the march, but the groups sponsoring the march will have printed up signs that you can pick up at the site and carry. Metro can be a bit weird about signs on sticks sometimes, although sometimes they go through with no problem.

I've been to lots of marches and have never been arrested. All of the peace marches that I've been to have been, well, peaceful. There's no reason to believe that this one won't be, as well. DC police are used to demonstrations and are generally better than some other police departments at not provoking protestors. I try to remember that it's just their job, they're not "the bad guys," and they're humans, with feelings, as well. You've got no argument with them and thus no reason to provoke them. All of that said, it's a good idea to wear a bandana or a scarf. If the police do use tear gas, you can douse the bandana with water from your water bottle and pull it up over your mouth and nose. If the police use tear gas, they'll release it so that the wind will disperse it over the crowd. While it's counterintuitive, that means that, if you can, you're often better off running towards the tear gas, so that you can get out from under it, rather than away from it. DC has lots of museums, monuments, etc. that will be open on Saturday, and there will be normal tourists touring those sites. Thus, if trouble does start, it's fairly simple to ditch your sign and head into a museum or other building until things calm down. You likely won't need this advice at all, but it doesn't hurt to have a plan.

If this march is anything like other anti-Iraq war marches, you'll never even see a counter-protestor. The few dozen (at most) chickenhawks who do show up usually stay together in one spot and content themselves with yelling insults at the marchers who outnumber them by several-hundred-to-one. I recommend ignoring them. The press will be there and they love to cover a "conflict" between the marchers and the counter-protestors, rather than focus on the fact that tens of thousands came to ask for an end to the war. Yeah, the chickenhawks are assholes. It's a free country and they've got a right to express their asshole opinions. Ignore them.

NTodd, Sinfonian, and possibly others are planning to liveblog the march. DC does have lots of places (Starbucks, etc.) with wifi, although you need your own laptop, which I wouldn't want to cart around on a march. If you can access the web with your cellphone, so much the better.

Come see my beautiful city this weekend. Come exercise the right that lots of people have died to ensure for you: "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." It's what patriots do. We've got a hell of a grievance that needs redressing.

Please add any other suggestions or sites that will be liveblogging in comments.

Dirty Little War

We got to talking last night about the chants we used during the protests to the Viet Nam war: "Hey, hey, LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?" "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Tricky Dick has got to go!" "Out, now!" My wonderful friend B. brought up a John Prine song that I'd somehow missed. Here, for the march this Saturday, is an updated version.

YELLOW RIBBON With Apologies to John Prine

Well while digesting Reader's Digest
In the back of a dirty book store,
A magnetic yellow ribbon
Fell out on the floor.
So I picked it up and I ran outside
And I slapped it on my SUV,
And if I could see old Betsy Ross now
I'd tell her how good I feel.

Oh but your magnetic yellow ribbon won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
They're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your magnetic yellow ribbon won't get you
Into Heaven any more.

(Well) I went into the bank this morning
and the teller she said to me,
"If you join our Christmas club
we'll give you ten of those magnetic yellow ribbons for free."
So I didn't mess around a bit
and I took her up on what she said.
And I stuck those magnetic yellow ribbons all over my SUV
And one on my wife's forehead.

Oh but your magnetic yellow ribbon won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
They're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your magnetic yellow ribbon won't get you
Into Heaven any more.

(Well) I got my SUV so stickered up
That I couldn't see.
Then I ran it right upside a curb
And then right into a tree.
By the time they called a doctor down
I was already dead.
And I'll never understand why the man
Standing at the Pearly Gates said...

Oh but your magnetic yellow ribbon won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
They're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your magnetic yellow ribbon won't get you
Into Heaven any more.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Wicca is, or is "supposed to be" an ecstatic religion. Faith plays no part in Wicca; Wiccans either have direct experience of the divine, of the ineffable, of the Gods and Goddesses, or they are just play acting. Play acting is ok; I'm a huge believer in the magic of "acting as if." But Wicca must be a religion of ecstasy; at some point, you either know the Goddesses and Gods or you don't. I was talking about this notion last week with my brilliant friend E, when we were watching The Unmentionables at Wooly Mammouth Theatre. How do you work towards ecstasy in a society that fails to recognize the need for a balance between ecstasy and "normalcy"? E reminded me that Pagans are not the only group to grapple with this issue.

You know, they're not easy on the body, esctatic religions. Nor, upon career goals, nor family life, nor upon effective everyday living. And it's clearly difficult for many, many Pagans to thread a path between spending time lost in reverie at the mystery of the universe and, you know, getting dressed, paying bills, providing themselves with clean, effective living spaces, taking care of their own health, remaining gainfully employed, getting good haircuts, thinking through and conducting effective ritual, etc., etc.

However, there are exceptions. My favorite recent experience occurred at Pagan Pride Day here in DC. A gifted young man took it upon himself to herd the disorganized Pagan horde into a circle. Using a voice actually loud enough to be heard outside and pronouncing words clearly enough for them to be understood by everyone, he said: "OK, introducing a new concept to the Pagan community. It's called a circle. You get into it by looking to see if there's someone directly to your right. Good. Now, look directly to your left. Is there someone there, as well? If so, you're in a circle. If not . . . ."

I love that guy.

I Think That There May Be A Few People Who Read This Blog But Don't Read Atrios. This Is For You.

I heart Glenn Greenwald

It's One Damn Thing After Another With These AssClowns

Goddess, they're just such freaking fascists, even when there's really no need for them to be. And, incompetent.

I'd love to know what Pagan books made the "cut" and what Pagan scholars were consulted (not).

The First Amendment mandates that: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

You can't deny people access to their religious books without prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

Update: I'll just add that I've never practiced First Amendment Law, but I have a vague memory from ConLaw that restrictions on the First Amendment need to be designed so as to be no more restrictive than necessary to promote some important government interest. I'm willing to bet that the government could ban a book from a prison library if it could show that that particular book advocated violence, for example. (Course, I remember a whole lotta smiting going on in the xian holy book, and I don't imagine they're going to ban that one any time soon. Sad; it "disparages" my religion if you believe the correct translation is "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.") But that's exactly the opposite of a movement to only allow "approved" books. The Liberty University-stocked DoJ has chosen the Most restrictive approach to this issue rather than the Least restrictive.

And, again, I'd like to know what Pagan books are allowed. And which esteemed Pagan scholar got to do the choosing?