Thursday, August 31, 2006

Rally For Mike Malloy UPDATED

Air America Radio has fired Mike Malloy.

I am shocked and appalled not only by Air America's bad business decision, but their inherint dishonesty in not addressing the this dismissal in any regard. Air America has made no formal announcement; the only bulletin is on Mike's site where it says, "...for financial reasons...". Mike had recently announced that he negotiated a new two year contract with AAR so the 'financial' reasoning being used by AAR lacks credibility. No one on the network, including longtime friend and colleague Thom Hartman who 'filled-in' for Mike who was filling in for the vactioning Randi Rhodes, said anything about Mike's absence from the slot much less his firing. Peter Werbe has been filling Mike's nightime slot and according to Mike, was unable to address the firing. Mike has also requested that we treat Peter with respect and civility.

I have cancelled my subscription with AAR and I encourage all other subscribers to do the same.

The "Old Sarge", Herb, is a columnist over at Powers and Morrison has posted on this topic and Please, if you have any sense that another link has been forged on the chain of fascist oppression by the powers that be, please go see Herb, sign the petition linked below, and write or call AAR and let your voice be heard in defense of those who have been silenced.

An important factor in this decision by AAR can almost certainly be tracked back to the recent syndication deal Air America Radio has struck with Clear Channel. Clear Channel is one of the six media mega-conglomerates that run virtually all the major media in this country. If you haven't heard that before, please check for yourself. I've included a link to the Columbia School of Journalism's research on the very topic. Thomas Paine said it best over 200 hundred years ago, "If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately".

What you can do:

Please sign the petition to AAR in a united effort to re-instate Mike Malloy:

EMail AAR:

An alternative to AAR is the Head On Radio Network, tune in and stream live.

More live stream liberal radio:Talk City Live out of My home State, California.

Radio Power has some of the same syndicated shows as HORN.

I can personally recommend The Bob Kincaid Show on the HORN.

Republic Broadcast Live...worth a peek

I will keep adding links here as I find them and listen. I am only adding to this list after listening in to the shows. If you find internet radio you like. please add to comments and I will link here. Thanks. I believe we will hear Mike again soon.

Call AAR (212-871-8290) tell them how you feel about one of the finest FREE talking voices being silenced. The only thing these corporatists understand is money, so withold your contribution to their sickening, spineless contempt for free speech, and the First Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America.


I'm also including here a link to a resource page for Liberal Progressive Talk. Hopefully these sources will help fill the void that many are experiencing as a result of the loss of Mike Malloy's voice. I believe that we can make a difference. The petition to re-instate Mike has over 5500 signatures so far. Keep the faith and watch your back. Peace.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lie By Lie

In case you were unsure about the depth and breadth of Bushco frightful incompetence, greed, mendacity, avarice, etc., Mother Jones has posted the first part of a series called "The War Timeline". Check it out.

Also, got this over at Crooks and Liars It is the absolute best rant on Rumsfeld ever given by ever-eloquent, Keith Olberman. Sheer Brilliance.

By the way, how do you as an American feel about the President of The United States making this statement about Patriotic Americans who oppose the war?

“They’re successors to fascists, to Nazis, to communists and other totalitarians of the 20th century, and history shows what the outcome will be.”"

-NYTimes, Aug.31,2006

Inside and Outside of the ICU

Inside the ICU cath lab at LRMC

I found these two articles while hunting around for links to put on my posts for Landstuhl. Funny thing how differently the 'official spin' looks from the inside of the the ICU. I've linked here a 'media' page from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. The source is the media officer for LMRC and the military newspaper the Stars and Stripes. The two stories (8-17-06, 7-31-06 respectively), one about a visiting trauma doctor and the second about a 'doctor and wife team' at LRMC are the most interesting only because I met all of the people in the stories and it looks much different through an anti-war observers eyes. I had the good fortune to be married to a visiting doctor and being former military myself, I was seen as 'one of them', so to speak. I had access someone would normally not recieve on a tightly secured military facility. And I know what really happens in the LRMC ICU. Read the posts, then come back here and I'll tell you some secrets.


News from the United States Army, Europe & 7th Army

LANDSTUHL, Germany -- If contractors can come to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and work, then why can’t civilian surgeons? Thanks largely in part to trauma guru Dr. Ernest Moore, they now can via the Distinguished Visiting Surgeon Program.

Dubbed by many as the “Godfather of Trauma”, the celebrated surgeon, researcher and teacher arrived recently at LRMC for a two-week volunteer session. On Monday, he lectured to a large group of docs and nurses on multiple organ failure, a leading killer of patients suffering from trauma.

“This man is the godfather of trauma,” said Sgt. Anil Shandil, a nurse in the LRMC Intensive Care Unit. “In the civilian world, you’d pay money to hear him speak. Why do you think I’m here? This was my day off.”
-read full story

Husband and Wife Doctor Team:

Husband, wife doctors at Landstuhl give troops their all
Surgeon, pulmonologist put patients' well-being before personal time together

LANDSTUHL, Germany — Apparently, Air Force Dr. (Lt. Col.) Warren Dorlac needs neither food nor rest to fuel his boundless energy and frenetic pace.

Dorlac glanced up while completing paperwork following an operation to amputate an Army specialist’s left arm.

“We gotta get lunch because I missed breakfast, lunch and dinner yesterday,” said the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center surgeon and chief of trauma services.


The married couple of 17 years spent a rare free moment together at lunch recently, munching down salads. Once or twice a week, they’ll have lunch together. Even then, their time together is usually interrupted by phone calls.

“Sometimes that’s the only times we see each other,” said Gina Dorlac. “This week has been a bad week. The night before last, he didn’t come home at all. Last night, he came home late and went to sleep...

Now on to my observations. The first story about Dr. Moore is fawning and differential and while he seems to be a 'nice guy' it was appparent to me that he loves the sound of his own voice. During rounds in the ICU, he talked and talked and talked. He did no hands-on or procedures. The ICU is really busy and it seems to me that no matter how important you are or how high you've risen in your field, that when it's busy and care is emergent, you pitch-in. Apparently there is a different 'ethic' for Dr. Moore. I have never understood the hierarchical nature of medicine. On another day, on my way up the hill to Landstuhl, about 1:30 in the afternoon, I saw Dr. Moore coming down the hill. We both stopped and chatted briefly. I asked, "Anyone new?". He responded, "Yep, always, 3 new guys". Have a nice day.

Walking up the hill to LRMC

What I don't understand is how he can come to Europe, with his family, on the government's dime and not 'work'. Has he paid his dues, earned a certain level of respect? No doubt he has, but is his mere 'presence'in the hospital enough to justify not getting 'his hands dirty' with the task of healing our devasted soldiers?
Others may disagree with me but I think he should pitch-in. Just my opinion.

Now the Drs. Dorlac, is another story entirely. I spent time with Dr. Gina Dorlac who runs the ICU at Landstuhl. I met her husband only once but his dedication is also apparent. Gina is amazing, smart, hands-on, committed. I liked her very much. I watched her do absolutely dazzling work. During rounds, which is when patients status is described and updated for all the doctors on the unit, she gives lucid, clear, detailing of their condition, leaving nothing to 'interpretation' which greatly diminishes the possibility of medical mistakes. Doctors don't like to appear that they don't know, so the more detailed an intro to a patient is the less likely they are to make assumptions.

I observed Dr. D. do difficult procedures effortlessly. The patient was a 32 year old soldier with extensive burns, a broken foot and internal injuries. He was intubated and in distress, he was shivering from pain and cold alternately. I watched one doctor have a difficult time putting in a subclavian line (a catheter below the clavicle), unable to find the hidden vein several times. The succlavian is a difficult line to put in because the vein is not visible as it lies beneath the bone, not to mention this young man was moving around. Dr. D. came in and spoke soothingly to him, "Sweetie I know this hurts, just give me a second." She was able to get the line instantly. Her experience and compassionate bedside manner were inspiring to watch.

To watch the difference between these two medical professionals, Dr. Moore and Dr. Dorlac was an eye-opening experience. Dr. Moore is older, with more 'time' under his belt and while I do not doubt his expertise and professionalism, I do take him to task for not giving what I percieve to be his all. Dr. Dorlac was always available and was always working. Granted it is her ICU, and he was a visitor, but he was there to work. I think he saw himself as too important to get his hands dirty in the actual duty of caring for patients beyond intellectually.

This approach to me is what is mostly wrong with not only medicine but the general public at large. How many of us do 'all that we can' instead of 'what we can get away with'? I experience a high percentage of people in daily life willing to do only the 'bare minimum' at their jobs and even in their lives, to 'get by'. Viewed in the context of our country and its stature in the rest of the world, is it any wonder we are called "Ugly Americans" and are universally despised? People in the rest of the world think we are rude, lazy. greedy and stupid. And considering who runs the country, who can blame them?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I've come down with a nasty virus, The Doctor had to go to a conference in Orlando but I do have 3 posts in the hopper waiting for me to be clearheaded enough to finish them. Meanwhile, someone over at the Lake just passed this on so here it is, my current favorite Bush Ad. Enjoy:

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Message From The Doctor

The following is a 'Guest Post' from "Dr. Turtle", my husband who has just returned from serving at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, in Germany. I thank him for his selfless service and thank you all for what we do on behalf of our injured military. I expect a couple more posts from him after he adjusts to being back home.


At the request of "Mrs. Turtle," I am sending a guestpost to all of her friends at the Lake regarding my experiences at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center(LRMC). Although I am not blessed with Mrs Turtle's gift of writing prose, hopefully I can convey to you what it is like as an anti-war military physician taking care of wounded soldiers.

As I have told Mrs. Turtle, this experience was very hard for me emotionally. Before arriving at Landstuhl, I had naively expected that the majority of the people
working at LRMC would be opposed to the war, given the everyday horror seen in the intensive care unit. This was not so. There were very few people I encountered
who were as vocal as me regarding their disgust of what we are doing in the Middle East. Perhaps, as Mrs.Turtle says, military people are scared of making
statements such as these, afraid that it will affect their military career, or that they will be "watched."

When a soldier arrives at LRMC, naturally the physicians and nurses would like to contact the soldier's family to let them know what happened to the patient, etc. The rule is that a member of the medical team is not allowed to contact the family until a member of the patient's unit has done so. This did not seem like a big deal at first, until I made efforts to contact the military liaison/casualty affairs to find
out if the family had been contacted by their unit so I in turn could do so. These two offices are extremely disorganized and each tries to "pass the buck" to the
other with regards to initiating contact. There was a soldier admitted to LRMC while I was there whose family found out about their son's condition on before the appropriate military offices had called them. This is reprehensible.

There were times when I was fed up and called the patient's family myself, rather than making a dozen phone calls to find out if someone had already done so, and still having no answer. I dreaded those phone calls. I can only imagine the pit in their loved one's stomach when I introduced myself on the phone, and where I was calling from.

One positive thing I can say about LRMC is that everyone there (whether pro- or anti-war) is there for the soldiers. This is a kind of patient care and compassion I have not seen before. Although the hospital in many ways is inefficient, every single
person I encountered in the intensive care unit works hard to make sure the patient/soldier receives excellent and efficient care. I think it may be this way because everyone feels that it is the least they can do.

That's all that I have to say right now. Thanks to all of you at the Lake for being a good friend to Mrs. Turtle. Lastly, thank you for your kind words regarding my service that were relayed to me by Mrs. Turtle. You all make her very happy.

Best regards,

Dr. Turtle

Friday, August 25, 2006

The US Military is Broken

(Note: I transposed this from my handwritten notes on August 21, 2006)

I'm penning this as I sit in the ICU of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC).
My husband has been here over a month, and until I arrived, he hadn't had a good meal nor a good nights sleep. The military has sent him here to LRMC and does not have the decency to provide him with a clean, appropriate place to stay during his deployment.

Germany is an ultra-modern, Western country with all the modern conveniences, yet the military cannot find it fit to supply adequate lodging. He works 12 to 14 hours a day under absolutely tragic circumstances dealing with the never-ending parade of hideously damaged soldiers, and instead of clean, decent housing he has had to sleep in a rat-trap that had no sheets, is filthy, had urine on the floor, bugs, no towels, and broken furniture. There is no maid service. On his fourth day in Germany after returing from a CCAT mission to Iraq, he found a notice on the building that there was to be an 'inspection'. Are you kidding me? 'Food' is provided by the hospital cafeteria, and hospital food needs no explanation, not to mention we are both vegetarians. I could go on but I won't.

The young soldier who I wrote about several days ago that recieved the Purple Heart, I discovered more information about his attack. Two others were killed. They had both recieved Purple Hearts from a previous attack. They recieved their second Purple Hearts posthumously. They were on their 3nd deployment to Iraq. Our military DO NOT HAVE all they require. This is not limited to the soldiers, airmaen, sailors and marines out in the field, but continues to the most basic needs of all the people BushCo has sent to do their bidding in thier greedy quest to secure oil profits.

I attended another Purple Heart ceremony this morning. This soldier is 21 years old. He was hit in the back by an RPG (rocket propelled grenade). He has many pieces of shrapnel the size of a .22 bullet lodged in his spine. When he became conscious in the ICU, his first reaction was quiet tears rolling down his cheek that he was unable to wipe away, as his arms are semi-paralyzed. He is paralyzed from the mid-chest down. He is intubated, sedated and in tremendous pain. The officers moved into his ICU room and stood around his bed. The colonol who presented his medal called the room to attention. A sargent from his unit read the proclaimation from the secretary of the Army. This broken, young man did his best to come to attention and as the colonol thanked him for his service, gave'the speech' and saluted this soldier. This soldier did his best to bring his torture-racked body to attention and lifted his arm several inches off the bed in an attempt to return the salute. Tears began to run down my cheeks as they are now as I write this. I was asked after the ceremony if I was 'with' this soldier and I replied, "We are all with him".

On firedoglake, I've tried to 'check-in' as often as I can. My husband and I recieved have much moral support from the 'Lake'. I was asked by a 'regular' about female patients here at LRMC.
Women injured in combat are more infrequent but not unheard of. During my time here I haven't seen any women patients but I asked the the head of the ICU (Dr. D) about women SHE has seen in her two years at LRMC. She took a moment then told me a story about a female dog handler that lost a leg in an IED attack. This young woman awoke in the ICU without a leg, and her first question was, "How's my dog?" Her dog had died from the explosion of the IED. Dr.D became very somber and and said she wasn't sure if her powerful reaction was because in this young woman she saw herself, or just the mindless tragedy of it all.

I cannot fathom the depth of this topic and my experiences here in Germany adequately. What I know for certain is that too many of the military involved in this occupation and its many branches are either mindlessly compliant, delusionaly supportive, or too fearful and intimidated to speak out. They are reticent to discuss the politics of 'war' or occupation, very hesitant to question their "mission". In some regard who can blame them? They can't 'speak out' and that needs to be understood. They have to show up, if they lose focus they could die. The message I've tried to diseminate can be summed up in a single word, "November".

Post-post note: I have been asked about what we can do to support the soldiers and staff at LRMC. I have linked a website that takes donations of DVD's, CD's, books, clothes, etc. for patients and visiting staff at the hospital. When I arrived in Germany my husband had "There's something About Mary" in his laptop that was a donation to this organization. If you want to help, check them out:

Iraq War

A reader sends me this info as well:
Check them out and see if you would like to email a military member to cheer them.

"(Do you know of)...some good programs to send cards, books, etc to both staff and patients at Lands…(too tired to spell tonight) … are there any programs you find solid these days, or can we do anything to help the docs and nurses?" -from a regular at firedoglake


This is a great new video by The Party Party, the same guy that did "Sunday, Bloody Sunday".

My guy returned from deployment last night. I am still putting my posts from Germany together and will post soon, and the good Doctor has offered to do a guest post. meanwhile I have posted this video and a nice party song to go with it. Click the link and scroll down to "Dick Is A Killer". Great tuneage. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I'm Back

But very tired. I just got home from the airport. I have been traveling for the past 26 hours. Many frustrating delays later I am home. I have much to tell but I must sleep. Be back at it tomorrow. Peace.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Day In The Life

Life at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, that is.
I spent my morning in the ICU at the largest military medical intensive care unit in Europe. This is the first critical stop for U.S. Military personnel (and coalition forces) injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. They come from the Bagdad ER, Ramadi and all the 'hotspots' in the Middle East. They all come here before going off to Brooke Army Medical Center for burns and/or prosthetics, Bethesda Naval Hospital for brain injury and Walter Reed for rehab.

This morning I saw two Purple Heart ceremonies and thirteen wounded come in. I talked to several brave, young soldiers, unbearably stoic and upbeat for the conditions in which they find themselves. One of the Purple Heart recipients, a 22 year-old soldier who was thrown from a humvee after an IED went off under his vehicle, especially touched me today. He was reintubated this morning after not being able to breathe deeply enough to maintain adequate oxygen content. He suffered blunt force trauma over much of his body, severely bruised his liver, and lost his spleen. He looks beat-up but is remarkably alert and 'talkative', he wrote comments and answered questions on several sheets of paper. He wrote to me in a steady but pained hand, that in the explosion, his driver-buddy had died. He told me that when they came to pick him up off the street where the attack happened that guys from his own unit didn't recognize him. These young guys are so amazing in their display of bravado . I told him that there are many, many Americans hard at work on trying to get all of our people home and that we thank him for his service, bravery and love of Country.

The intensive care wounded ranged from gunshots with shrapnel that had invaded lungs and wreaked carnage over multiple organs to wounds from IEDs that broke so many bones that the count was uncertain. Permanent injuries to the genitalia, limb loss, burns so severe that before being sent to the burn unit, these guys mut be intensively stabilized in order to survive the journey to Texas. It is unending horror and they just keep coming. And I was only in the hospital until noon.

The hospital staff is incredible. Starting outside with the Soldiers and Airmen, Pilots and Doctors, Nurses and support staff that fly these guys in, transport them by bus-ambulance to the hospital and unload them with the gentleness one might expect for an infant. Next in exquisite synchronicity, the begin the process of unloading their precious cargo, beginning a cadenced hand-off, "Got him, got him, got him, got him. Ready? Ready. Lower. And down." Each patient is handed to a ready team, complete with chart, notations and any special instruction specific to his care. Once in the ICU a symphony of care commences. Every new arrival gets complete review of every event from the first contact after attack to every nuance of care received up to that point. From their arrival until they are shipped out or released, a concerted effort to heal exists at the Landstuhl RMC. This facility is the first in a long line of transfers where each patient get the intensivist medical evaluation and treatment needed for the best recovery possible.

I met and spoke with an ICU Nurse today. She is a Reservist with one year left in her Military commitment. She tells me when she entered service she was a "conservative Republican". Now she says she no longer relates as such. She's compassionate, smart and angry. She's worried about "stop-loss", the policy that may not allow her to leave once her commitment is completed. She's concerned about the state of the world and what information she may not be getting in order to make good decisions for her future, but she seems most troubled by her feeling that her vote won't make a difference.

The belief that what we do doesn't matter is the most prevalent attitude I've encountered since being here in Germany. It is the same sense I get from most US citizens I talk to in the States as well. The overwhelming sense of powerlessness that is registering in the American psyche must be stemmed. The mainstream media must be awakened from their stupor and exercise in stenography of 'Rovian talking points'. I can feel change coming. It happens one person at a time, it begins with me and is fueled by you. It is the time to take Our Democracy back. Show up and do your job.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Greetings From Germany

This is the view outside our window at the Hotel Moorbach in Landstuhl

I have so much to tell of my adventure so far but I also have a lot of email and reading to catch up on as I have been incommunicado for several days. I left for Germany on Saturday August 12th. I met my husband in Germany very early Sunday morning. We had a meal and I slept and slept and slept. We next went to Paris for two days and are now back in Germany.
The Eiffel Tower from below
It is 10 AM on Thursday as I write this. I have so much to do before he gets back from his first day back to work at Landstuhl Medical Center. Sorry for the rambling quality of this post, but I did want to "check in", so to speak. After I catch up a little today, I will go to the hospital and talk to some soldiers who were injured in Iraq. I plan on posting photos and hopefully some interesting stories. I hope everyone is well and continuing to do what you can to restore our Democracy.

Here's a little something to chew on just in case you forgot about the president's deficits:

Friday, August 11, 2006

Somebody Tell Joe...

Just a blurb, this is Joe Lieberman on Joe Lieberman

Joe Lieberman: Foe of Third-Party Politics

“I ask those who are thinking about voting for Ralph Nader to decide how they feel — how George Bush feels — about protecting the environment, protecting consumers, protecting a woman’s right to choose, because all of those may well be in jeopardy if George Bush is elected president.” — Joe Lieberman, October 2000

“For Republicans to be putting Ralph Nader on television in a paid ad, certainly might lead your average observer to be cynical.” –Joe Lieberman rejecting GOP support for spoiler candidates, October 2000

“A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush,” — Joe Lieberman, September 2000

-Rolling Stone Magazine

Well doesn't that mean a vote for "Joe Lieberman, Party of One", is a vote for Republicans? Yes, yes it does. I like your logic Joe. I say you listen to yourself. It could be the first thing you've been right about in quite awhile. Time to ride off into the sunset little buddy.


Now that's a term you hear bantered around a lot these days. Islamofascists, the Fascist Regime of BushCo, etc. I personally subscribe to the latter rather than the former. Below are links to two different documents. The first is a textbook definiton of Fascism. The second link is a point-by-point comparison of BushCo policies and actions over the last few years with a template of Fascism's 14 points. Decide for yourself.

The 14 Points of Fascism

Bush's 14 Points of Fascism

Thursday, August 10, 2006

FDL:Why It Matters

Last night was extra ordinary.

I tuned in to what is generally a late night 'chat' at firedoglake. Several of us 'regulars' talk about what a great post TRex has written and have a general shooting of the shit. Not last night.

His post is touching, poignant,compassionate. I got to the lake rather late. I read the post and was floored. This is a must read. Read the whole post and then skip (if you must) down to comment #103. Then #108. Then #116. I think you'll be hooked. It was my first experience with a weird kind of syncronicity I have not experienced on the web. Certainly I've found people in chat rooms that where friends of friends; the 'six-degrees' principle, but this was just plain serendipity.

By-the-way I post at firedoglake as "HopeSpringsATurtle", its my other 'dress'.

If you don't feel after you read this, that this occupation in Iraq should end now, you're not paying attention.

Latest polls today state that 62% of the American People are against this war/occupation. We are not the "Fringe Element". They are.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bellwether Weather or it's mighty hot in here...

Just a quickie to note that with 19% of Connecticut precints reporting, Ned Lamont is handily beating entrenched incumbent Senator Joe Leiberman 52% Lamont to 44% Leiberman.

This is a bellwether primary. It sends a strong message to 'the spineless, do-nothing, get-along democrats and the rubber-stamp Rethuglicans that it is no longer "business as usual" in the Nation's Capitol. I shall post results as they come in. -Swim 8:30pm CST

52% Lamont 48% Leiberman 55% of precints reporting -Swim 8:58pmCST

53% Lamont 47% Leiberman 86% of precints reporting -Swim 9:42pmCST

Lamont wins Primary!!! the vote is in and Ned Lamont goes on to November. I call for all Democrats of Connecticut to rally behind the majority winner and let's take the House back!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Letter To America

This is an incredible animation done by Ava Lowery, a fifteen year-old artist from Alabama. She runs a website called Peace Takes Courage. Please watch and let yourself feel what truth can do to your psyche.

Letter To America <--Click the link

A quick side note: Tomorrow is the Primary in Connecticut. If you are a connecticut voter, don't forget to vote! Go Ned Lamont!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sunday Bloody Sunday

This has been around the net for while, but in light of the violence in Lebanon and Chimpy's insistance on not intervening, despite our historical record as brokers of diplomacy with Israel, I give you, "Sunday Bloody Sunday".

Continuing on the Sunday theme, we have Steven Colbert interviewing Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R GA) about why he supports the 10 Commandant in public buildings.

And Last but not least, a funny, a movie trailer parodying "The Ten Commandments"

Who Are You People?

The title of this post is 'borrowed' from a new book by Sheri Caudron. She examines the passion of people who have developed 'special' communities from Barbie collecting to storm-chasing. Her premise is to try and understand, "What drives these kooks". The Author ends up being tranformed herself by the stories she encounters in her three year exploration of these groups of people. What touched off her change was the personal story of a Barbie collector who after several years of collecting had her son viciously murdered. The people who stepped up and supported her and cared for her through this trying time were her Barbie friends. Her 'real' friends began to drop away after only a few months.

I was touched by this story because it mirrored the new shift in my life and some of what has come before. In 1998 I had a terrible year. I had so many traumas happen almost simultaneously that to recount them all here, you would think I was lying. Although Hurricane Katrina sure opened some eyes as to the on-going devastation a person can go through. Suffice to say, my spirit was in shambles and I nearly crumbled under the burden. After a few months my good friends started to drift away. Supports I had depended on turned out to rather shaky. I stumbled through the next few years barely keeping it together. What ultimately got me re-engaged with the world turned out to be the Internet.

In the last three months the Internet has percolated another epiphany for me, The Blogosphere. I addressed this a bit several posts back (June Archives) but it has taken a turn since then. I've mentioned here that I comment regularly over at firedoglake, an excellent site devoted to politics mostly, but with the most human of interactions anywhere. This group of people are passionate about politics yes, but they care about eachothers well-being and the well-being of the world. FDler's come from all walks of life and are drawn together at FDL by their interest in Progressive Politics. Since my husband has been away, I have had more support and caring from the people at fdl and other bloggers whom I've gotten to know a bit, than all the people I know here in San Antonio.

I guess the common denominator is interests. But more than that, the thing we explore in blogs besides interests is passion. Passion for something that on a personal level enriches your life. If you go to a cocktail party, presumably you will meet new people who share your interests, because you have things in common; your host, a job, something. But how many times have you been to a party and come away with the feeling that you met a room full of people you agree with and would want to be friends with? Not often, at least in my experience, and I have been to alot of cocktail parties.

FireDogLake has been a revolutionary kind of experience for me. I have 'met' people who are kind, supportive, smart, caring, funny, politically savvy, charming, engaged, angry at what's happening to Our Country and many more qualities that I demand in my friendships and more importantly my life partner.

I cannot compare this Blogosphere experience to any other in my life, except possibly taking ecstasy in my early twenties. The bonding and 'huggy feelings' you get from that drug are incredible, but of course, drug-induced and short-lived, not to mention illegal. Though I will point out that when I took that particular drug it had not yet been classified as a 'Class One" substance. Anyway. FDL "does it for me".

I suppose the Blogosphere is a giant cocktail party, something like the Mall of America . So many stores, so little time. The difference with the Blogosphere of course, is it's people we find, not material objects, but flesh and well, silicon I guess, people. People who are passionate about whatever it is you're passionate about. People that share their ideas and listen to yours. All the while backing up not only their opinions but supporting yours not in the way some friends would, but the way real friends do--they tell you the truth. The truth from their perspective and experience. Dialog is open and real work for change happens. Change from within as well as from without. It is a community I want very much to be part of, and for this I am grateful.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

When The President Talks To God

A stunning quickie, this song by Bright Eyes with floor you. I wish he'd open for the Dixie Chicks on tour. Now that would be a great show.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Good Reason To Travel Now...

I am on my way in several days, to Germany. I am so glad to be going back to not only the beautiful country where I spent my young adulthood, but the place where my deployed husband currently resides. I've been over to Nate's Get In Their Face and late to arrive to the party as usual, I found this over at his site. A good Bon Voyage.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Back in Business

This has been a terrible time. Not only is my loved one away and in harms way, but a few days ago, my computer crashed. Hard crash. This is the first access I have had to this blog.

I have recently been invited to become a columnist at another site called Powers & Morrison. I have accepted their offer and now my post will appear here as always, and at Powers & Morrison. I posted over at P&M when this crash happened and will try to get that posted over here as well. As I said, this is my first access to this blog since the crash. Many passwords had been changed once I got back online and a number of other 'anomalies' have occured in past days. So to let you know, I am still working on my piece about the authoritarian bastards that run the country but have been understandably distracted and somewhat sidelined until now. Thanks to everyone over at firedoglake who sent emails and lent moral support. Also my thanks goes out to Nathan over at P&M for providing me not only a place to speak out but enormous help in the technical arena. I shall post tomorrow and update on all the goings-on here at the Poodle Palace.