Wednesday Reads: Spring Break, No Break At AllPosted: April 6, 2011
Morning all, I spent most of the day yesterday sitting and waiting for the electricity to come back on…thinking about all the things we take for granted. At any rate, it was nice to be able to zone out for a while…without the internet and cable news breaking the silence of frustration and the moaning of bored children. (It is our school district’s “Spring Break” which means a full week of craziness…)
I have also been fighting a migraine for a couple days, so the commentary on these news items will be on the light side. Here are a few links I have found for you. I promise to make this pathetic morning reads up to ya…so let’s get on with it.
Here are some images for those who think we should not have given the people of Libya our support.
In the second-floor office of a burned-out police station here, the photographs strewn across the floor spun out the stories of the unlucky prisoners who fell into the custody of the brutal government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.Some depicted corpses bearing the marks of torture. One showed scars down the back of a man dressed only in his underwear, another a naked man face down under a sheet with his hands bound. The faces of the dead bore expressions of horror. Other pictures showed puddles of blood, a table of jars, bottles and powders and, in one, a long saw.
In a labyrinthine basement, workers were clearing out burned books and files. One room contained a two-liter bottle of gin. Gesturing into another room that was kept dark, a worker mimicked a gun with his hands and murmured “Qaddafi,” suggesting it was an execution chamber.
New DNC chairwoman picked by Obama:
President Barack Obama on Tuesday selected Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to serve as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee for the 2012 election cycle, Democratic officials said.
Wasserman Schultz will lead the party as it prepares for Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. A popular draw on the fund-raising circuit, Wasserman Schultz is also a frequent television commentator for Democrats.
More threats of Government Shutdown, I can’t tell you how nice it was to not have to hear about this or read about the back and forth going on. What a bunch of standing up…only to later cave in, of course I am just predicting what the Democrats will do in the next few days.
Republicans and Democrats stumbled one day closer to a government shutdown on Friday, as the two parties escalated what has become a broader battle over Washington’s role in the U.S. economy.
The two fights—one over funding the government for the next six months, the other over a sweeping plan to reshape the government for decades to come—showed how far apart the two parties are on basic fiscal issues ahead of the 2012 elections.
And I am sure that Planned Parenthood will be on the chopping block, even if Reid says he will not pass a budget that will cut funding to Planned Parenthood…again, “What do you see oracle?” I see women forced to drive for miles and miles, just to get birth control…or a pap smear. The battle against Women continues…will any of these Democrats stand up for us?
Legislatures in more than 30 states are weighing — and in some cases passing — many fast-moving bills to restrict abortion rights in a blitz that could prompt the Supreme Court to revisit the issue.
During this time of year, a sound melancholy and sweet comes through our open windows when the night is just dark, and in the morning before the sun is fully up. It is the sound of the whippoorwill and the haunting quick repetitive tune lulls me to sleep, only to enter my waking thoughts as I lie in bed, watching the light begin to creep in through the window…making my eyes burn and blink with the strangeness of warm sun peeking between the blinds.
It always makes me think of what it must have been like during the Civil War, when soldiers would hear the familiar calls, sometimes drowned out by the low moaning of the wounded men left out on the battlefields, crying for someone to finish them off. So with this thought I wanted to bring you a link to Ambrose Bierce’s story, “What I Saw of Shiloh,” his personal memory of the Battle of Shiloh, which occurred today April 6th, one-hundred and forty-nine years ago.
And this was, O so long ago! How they come back to me—dimly and brokenly, but with what a magic spell—those years of youth when I was soldiering! Again I hear the far warble of blown bugles. Again I see the tall, blue smoke of camp-fires ascending from the dim valleys of Wonderland. There steals upon my sense the ghost of an odor from pines that canopy the ambuscade. I feel upon my cheek the morning mist that shrouds the hostile camp unaware of its doom, and my blood stirs at the ringing rifle-shot of the solitary sentinel. Unfamiliar landscapes, glittering with sunshine or sullen with rain, come to me demanding recognition, pass, vanish and give place to others. Here in the night stretches a wide and blasted field studded with half-extinct fires burning redly with I know not what presage of evil. Again I shudder as I note its desolation and its awful silence. Where was it? To what monstrous inharmony of death was it the visible prelude?
O days when all the world was beautiful and strange; when unfamiliar constellations burned in the Southern midnights, and the mocking-bird poured out his heart in the moon-gilded magnolia; when there was something new under a new sun; will your fine, far memories ever cease to lay contrasting pictures athwart the harsher features of this later world, accentuating the ugliness of the longer and tamer life? Is it not strange that the phantoms of a blood-stained period have so airy a grace and look with so tender eyes?—that I recall with difficulty the danger and death and horrors of the time, and without effort all that was gracious and picturesque? Ah, Youth, there is no such wizard as thou! Give me but one touch of thine artist hand upon the dull canvas of the Present; gild for but one moment the drear and somber scenes of to-day, and I will willingly surrender an other life than the one that I should have thrown away at Shiloh.
My family had not yet come to America when this battle was fought. They were still in Sicily and Spain and Cuba. My husband’s family however had many who fought and died for the North in the war. Including one who was captured at Cold Harbor, and later died a prisoner of war in Andersonville. This year is the 150 year anniversary of the start of the Civil War. If you can get to any of the reenactments or visit any of the battlefields, please pause a moment and think about the soldiers…listening in the quiet to the sounds of the whippoorwill, and wondering if tomorrow will bring for him the quiet sounds of death among the booming of the cannon.
So what are you reading today?