Wednesday Reads: Spring Break, No Break At All

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.

Qaddafi’s Son Expands on Proposal for Libya Settlement – NYTimes.com

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:

Florida congresswoman to head Democratic Party | Reuters

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.

Budget Talks Head to Brink – WSJ.com

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.

(Political leaders on Tuesday continued to talk past each other on federal spending, offering little evidence they could soon reach an agreement to avert a shutdown of the government this weekend. Damian Paletta has details. Click on Photo.)

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?

More state bills are targeting abortion – USATODAY.com

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.

Whip-poor-will. Catesby.

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.

Chromolithograph of the Battle of Shiloh, American Civil War by Thure de Thulstrup (1848-1930)

“What I Saw of Shiloh”

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?


24 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: Spring Break, No Break At All”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    Here are some more links for you, why is it these PLUBs are so easy to spot? Check out the picture on the link…This latest offering:

    Fringe conservative: Welfare makes African Americans ‘rut like rabbits’ | The Raw Story

    The United States should abandon all welfare programs because they have led to the destruction of marriage and harm black children, according to the Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association (AFA).

    “We have spent over $16 trillion fighting the war on poverty, and it’s time to run up the white flag of surrender,” Bryan Fischer said in blog post on the AFA’s website. “Poverty has won.”

    Fischer added that welfare had destroyed the African-American family by providing incentives for fornication instead of marriage. “It’s no wonder we are now awash in the disastrous social consequences of people who rut like rabbits,” he wrote.

    This is the best part:

    Potential Republican presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Haley Barbour have appeared on his radio show.

    Disgusting…

    • madamab says:

      My only question is, why is this creature being written of as a “fringe conservative?” He sounds like a mainstream conservative to me…especially when you see the list of all the movement darlings who have blessed him woth their presence.

      The media has got to stop making excuses for these lunatics.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Speaking of “movement darlings” Barbour is in the news again:

        Haley Barbour’s Child-Welfare Debacle | Mother Jones

        After a three-year legal battle, the state settled the case (named after one such neglected child), Olivia Y. v. Barbour, agreeing to a sweeping set of reforms to Mississippi’s child-welfare system. Advocates hailed the decision as a major turning point for the state’s abused and neglected children. But here’s the problem: DFCS, an executive agency controlled by the governor, has largely failed to keep its end of the bargain, raising questions about the leadership of Barbour, a jet-setting, high-profile Republican who’s weighing a presidential run in 2012.

        Now, the attorneys who sued Mississippi in 2004 want a federal court to hold Barbour and DFCS in contempt for shirking their responsibility to abide by the settlement. “They’re failing across the board,” says Shirim Nothenberg, a staff attorney at the New York-based advocacy group Children’s Rights who works on the case. “How can you expect him to manage the federal government if he can’t manage a welfare agency for kids?”

      • paper doll says:

        The media has got to stop making excuses for these lunatics.

        Sadly, the media is their press agent. It seems a part of Obie’s reinstall strategy: the crazies let loose and given passes so in contrast Obama appears better …. They NEED something out there to do this and Sarah Palin usefulness is used up….order of the day : send in the clowns

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    TEPCO to inject nitrogen into No. 1 reactor to prevent explosion | Kyodo News

    Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday prepared to inject nitrogen into one of the reactors at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex to reduce the potential risk of a hydrogen explosion, while it succeeded in stopping highly radioactive water leaking into the Pacific Ocean from the plant.

    The nitrogen, an inert gas, is expected to be injected into the No. 1 reactor’s containment vessel, a process that could take several days. Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the government’s nuclear agency, denied during a morning press conference that there is an ”immediate danger” of explosion.

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    Ruth Marcus: Backsliding Under the Ceiling – Truthdig

    At fancy Washington dinner parties decades ago, it was the custom for men and women to part ways after the meal. The men stayed at the table for brandy, cigars and Serious Talk; the women, as Katharine Graham recounted in her autobiography, retreated “to powder their noses and gossip.”

    Mrs. Graham, mercifully, put a stop to that fusty custom. Last weekend, though, I was at a Washington dinner—the old-friends kind, not the fancy variety—and the genders split on their own accord.

    The men, bless their sports-addled brains, watched basketball. The women talked politics—specifically, gender politics. Our group included veterans of Geraldine Ferraro’s vice presidential campaign, so the question naturally arose: Have things turned out better or worse for women in politics than we expected back then?

    Way worse, was the unanimous conclusion of our group—a hospital administrator, a civil rights lawyer, a business school professor and a recovering Senate staffer. Who would have thought, in the heady days when “It’s a Girl” cigars were being passed out on the convention floor, that 27 years later there would not have been a woman president or vice president?

  4. Minkoff Minx says:

    One more, watch this from the Daily Show:

    Jon Stewart | Tea Party Extreme | Democrats Big Budget Plan | Mediaite

    It is so damn funny!

    • Silent Kate says:

      I really don’t know which is the best part, John at the end, or Rep. Wiener telling it like it is! It makes you want to cry but you’re too busy laughing.

      • dakinikat says:

        Wiener’s my hero these days. I can’t imagine what dealing with the troglodytes that Republicans are sending to congress these days. It’s amazing they people don’t trip on all those knuckles dragging across the chamber floor.

      • foxyladi14 says:

        he da man :mrgreen:

      • madamab says:

        Did Jon Stewart actually say that Weiner was being a dick?

        😉

        Sorry – couldn’t resist.

  5. paper doll says:

    Thanks for the round up Mink! Hope you feel totally well soon!

    US budget talks drag on as Democrats offer even larger cuts

    http://tinyurl.com/43bfl2a

    The federal government has been financed through six successive short-term budget extensions, called continuing resolutions, since the 2011 fiscal year began last October 1. The last such extension expires Friday, and the House Republicans suggested Monday that a seventh might be required to give additional time for negotiating a final budget.

    This rang a bell with me. My husband is a civil servant in a major US city. He’s been without a contract for almost two years. No talks are on the horizon…and why would there be? All pay raises have been frozen by this non action.

    And so to no actual Federal budget is approved, but endless extensions,giving both parties many opportunities to slash and grab the social spending ….but my point is that the very concept of contract is under attack….So not only are we seeing ever more dissolution of the rule of law,but attacks on the very idea behind it.

  6. foxyladi14 says:

    cutting expenditures should start at the top.not the bottom.

  7. Minkoff Minx says:

    Body Found at Camp Where Sen. Scott Brown Alleged He was Molested – ABC News

    Breaking News…

    A body was found at the summer camp where U.S. Sen. Scott Brown said he was sexually abused as a child, and police are treating it as a potential suicide.
    More Video
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    The body was discovered shortly after a second man came forward to say he had been molested at the camp when he was a 10-year-old boy back in 1985.

    A heavy police presence was seen at Camp Good News in the town of Sandwich on Cape Cod at about 10:34 a.m., according to ABCNews’ Boston affiliate WCVB-TV. Massachusetts State Police released few details about the death.

    • dakinikat says:

      Wow, so much for Camp “Good News”

    • dakinikat says:

      That reminds me of the South Park episode when they sent Butters to that Christian Camp when they thought he was gay to un gay him and all the kids kept committing suicide. It’s sad that something that’s supposed to be outrageously satirical might be closer to truth than we know..

  8. Peg says:

    Wisconsin vote for State Supreme Court Justice: She won

    http://news.firedoglake.com/2011/04/06/kloppenburg-takes-razor-thin-lead-of-224-votes-with-one-precinct-left/

    FROM COMMENTS:
    Here’s some wise advice from Kloppenburg’s Facebook page: “Get out there and claim victory now! Define terms of recount debate first. These are the lessons from Bush v. Gore, Coleman v. Franken”

    Don’t hedge in your communication. Be declarative about this. She won, she won, she won…

  9. dakinikat says:

    I have to say, celebrations may in order for this too:

    Glenn Beck to End Daily Fox News Program

    A least the voice of one village idiot will be off the boob tube.