Thursday, December 18, 2008

gingerbread me (photo)



gingerbread me, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

Meera's talented cookiecraft.
December 2007

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dressed in Fir (photo)


dressed in fir, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

We took our traditional trip to the Christmas tree farm, Crest Ranch in the Santa Cruz Mountains, yesterday. Gabriel was cold and wrapped himself in the boughs of a tall fir tree.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Doodletown no. 4 (photo)


Doodletown no. 4, originally uploaded by Elephi Pelephi.

The Hudson Valley

It's been a while since I posted a single photo. This one just blew me away. A masterpiece, Patty!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sailing on Lake Garda (photo)


Sailing on Lake Garda, originally uploaded by John Cuddihy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Eternal Idol, Dancing Sculpture (video)

Here it is! Exquisite, graceful, and sensuous sculpture and music inform this extraordinary ballet performance from the Michael Smuin Ballet.



I remember seeing this on the ARTS channel (Classic Arts Showcase) years ago...based on Rodin's sculpture, "The Eternal Idol", a ballet sequence set to the larghetto movement of Chopin's 2nd Piano Concerto by Michael Smuin. Beautiful and sensual.

Dancers: Marjorie Grundvig and Lee Bell.

YouTube video by eogmi24.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Dancing Sailors About to Get Bashed

1936 Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film Follow the Fleet

In this scene, Astaire's character is teaching fellow sailors how to dance. Half are selected to lead. Those selected to follow oblige only after mild chagrin. Superior officers arrive to witness what looks like a gay dance party and then proceed to beat up the dancing sailors. Wah-wah-wah.

This movie is just about as old as John McCain.

Another weird part of the movie for me was a song in which the exceptionally dark biblical phrase "Get thee behind me, Satan" precedes a dilemma about giving in to sexual desires for an obvious cad. I've never heard of this song. It's Irving Berlin, so I suspect I'm just out of touch, but it really was weirdly incongruous.

That said, it's a charming movie. The dance numbers in the latter half of the film are particularly good. One of Fred's pulsating syncopated tap routines, on the slatted deck of a ship, is mesmerizing.

Ginger is at once cute and sexy. Her dancing to "Let's Face the Music and Dance", while wearing a translucent 35-pound beaded dress, weighted at the hem for added flair for the spins, is, of course, fabulously versatile, graceful, beautiful.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thomas Jefferson Weighs In From 1802?

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."

Thomas Jefferson, Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802) 3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)


The quote, however, appears to be apocryphal, according to the annotations included in the quote's entry in The Jefferson Encyclopedia.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

McCain Obstructing Justice in Alaska with Rovian Tactics

Camille Conti (CC) host of "The Cutting Edge" KUDO 1080, Alaska Progressive Radio, and State Senator Bill Wielechowski appeared on The Thom Hartmann Show, Thursday September 18, 2008. They tell an astounding story. I haven't been able to find any pertinent links, so here's a transcript of Thom's interview with CC:


Thom Hartmann: The Republicans are sending lawyers to Alaska to shut down the Troopergate investigation. What's the latest on this?

Camille Conti: You know, Thom? I have to tell you, I so appreciate this opportunity, because, really, Alaska needs America right now. What is happening in my city could happen in anybody's city. It is so much bigger than you can ever imagine. The McCain campaign has basically high-jacked our government and they have infiltrated our Department of Law. I have never seen anything like this in my entire life.

This anti-terrorism prosecutor from the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York City Ed O'Callaghan has come into our state. They're calling it the Palin Truth Squad. We're calling it The Palin Smear Squad. They have held press conferences every day absolutely attacking and vilifying anybody who in any way, shape, or form questions or attacks the Governor in any capacity, they are just filleting people, throwing them under the bus. He is now advising and instructing our own Department of Law. Phone calls that are going to state offices are being rerouted to the McCain campaign!

TH: Wait a minute, a political campaign has taken over a law enforcement agency?

CC: This is what we have come to understand as of yesterday. Senator Wielechowski, who called my show, gave us these two earthquake pieces of information. I mean, this story has got to stay out in the mainstream media, because our own media is under McCain suppression.

TH: You know the Hatch Act specifically says that government personnel and government property cannot be used, or government personnel cannot be using government property, or using the tools of government, whether it's, you know, a telephone, or whether it's an office, or whatever it may be, for partisan political purposes. And it sounds to me like this has gone way beyond that.

CC: Well, and the problem is we have no one to help us, because everybody in our own government that would be advocating for the people is now in alignment with the McCain tactics. Our governor is out of state, our lieutenant governor is out of state. I mean, for anybody to think that this is a Democratic smear is completely out of touch with the reality. This legislative council is stacked with 8 Republicans and 4 Democrats, who had a unanimous vote.

TH: Now, hang on, just a second─for our listeners who don't have any idea what you're talking about─the Legislative Council is kind of like a subcommittee of the legislature of Alaska that is investigating Troopergate, that is investigating the possibility that Sarah Palin abused her power as governor.

CC: Correct. 8 Repulicans, 4 Democrats.

TH: So, now what's happened is the McCain group has sent lawyers in, and this one guy in particular, to shut down this investigation.

CC: Correct. But here's the thing, the Legislative Council is still committed. I mean, I spoke with Senator Lyda Green, who is from Wasilla, Governor Palin's hometown, okay? She's a Republican. They are committed to moving this forward. They're having a meeting tomorrow, but the Department of Law─this is where it gets intensely interesting, because, this gentleman, Barnhill, he was the attorney for the Department of Law, he was representing this group of individuals in the Palin Administration, okay? He came forward the other day and said, look, we need to agree on this one stipulation in order to move forward. The Legislative Council said, okay, we agree on your interpretation of this one thing, let's go forward. So, they started to schedule the depositions. That was Monday. The next thing we know, this guy Barnhill gets pulled off the case, and this guy Ed O'Callaghan arrives on the scene.

TH: So, a Republican who wants to look into corruption gets moved out of the way, and an out-of-state political operative, who's actually a federal employee, comes in?

CC: This guy Mike Barnhill, he's an attorney. He was pulled in by the Department of Law to be the attorney for this group of individuals working for the Governor that have been subpoenaed to testify. And so he created this kumbaya moment, so to speak, that allowed everything to move forward as of Monday. That was the day this guy O'Callaghan was brought in on the scene. They removed Barnhill from the Department of Law. They put O'Callaghan in its place, and then, the Attorney General reneged the deal that was on paper and signed by Barnhill and the Department of Law with this Legislative Council. I mean, this thing is unbelievable.

TH: This sounds like something out of a, you know, Sinclair Lewis novel about a small town in the South in the thirties.

CC: It is just the most...it is the scariest most breath-taking thing I have ever seen. It's one thing to spend the last eight years reading about these kind of Rove tactics in the paper. It's another thing to have it come into your town and go after people that you know. I mean, you know, this guy Stephen Branchflower, he's a 25-year veteran in the world of prosecution. Not too long ago he actually wrote a scathing report as it relates to his work with Walt Monegan. He's completely independent. Anybody who thinks this is a Democratic smear, they need to understand that this is a Republican stacked legislature.

TH: Right, it's Republicans investigating corruption, and Republicans who actually want to investigate, Alaskan Republicans who want to investigate Alaskan corruption.
I mean, apparently the Republican Party in Alaska's had enough of the corruption already, and part of the corruption that they want to investigate is the corruption of the Palin administration, and her husband's involvement with it as well. And so, now Republicans from out of state are coming in, we rather like the corrupt Republicans in Alaska, and the Republicans who want to stop the corruption, we're going to stop them. Is that, uh...?

CC: Yeah, and now what's happening, is now there's a split within the government party, and a group of five Republicans filed their own suit against Branchflower and the Legislative Council where their own colleagues reside, they, these five Republicans, filed suit to get this thing stopped.

TH: So you've got now the pro-corruption Republicans are starting to come out of the woodwork to try the anti-corruption Republicans, and the Democrats are just standing back going, hey, you know, out of the twelve people on the committee, we're only four of them. We've got nothing going here, we're just watching the show.

CC: Exactly.

TH: CC, what can our listeners all across the United States do? I mean, you said, you know, this is great that you're on a national show talking about this. What can our listeners do to help?

CC: Well, I want to be honest and tell them that one thing they can do is they stream our radio station, because we are the only ones in the media here in our state that's really getting this other side out, and it's just been unbelievably sad
to see our local media actually oppressed and suppressed by the McCain campaign. The other thing they can do is they can read some of these blogs that are coming out of the state as well.

TH: Right, and people can do that at KUDO1080.com. And, CC, Eastern Time, translate this into Eastern Time, because everyone can kind of translate against that. What time is your show on, Easter Time?

My show's on at 3:00 o'clock. We are four hours behind the East Coast, so it would be 7:00 o'clock on the East Coast.

TH: 7:00 PM on the East Coast, and every place in between, you can just go to KUDO1080.com and listen in, if you want to hear some real interesting...the real inside skinny on what's going on in Alaskan politics.

CC: And, you know, Thom, if people are asking themselves, well, how does this all relate? I want to just quickly show how this all relates. This ticket, this McCain-Palin ticket, is riding on Sarah Palin. We all know that they have done everything in their power to control and manipulate this woman's image to the country. If this thing gets out, their ticket is going to sink.

TH: Yeah, well, I think it already is sinking. I think the bloom is off the rose, as they say. The novelty factor has worn off.