The Watering Hole: 1/12/11 : Haiti – What a difference a year makes.

January 12, 2010, the sun is low on the horizon when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Haiti.

For comparison, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that flattened a section of freeway in the San Francisco Bay area and caused a section of the Bay Bridge to collapse, was 6.9. The Northridge quake of 1994 that flattened freeways and buildings was 6.7. And California leads the nation in building codes for earthquake safety.

But in Haiti, seismic safety was not part of the building codes and plans when many of the homes were built.

There was an immediate outpouring of relief efforts, and much aid was promised. But unfortunately for Haitians, most of the U.S relief funds promised were held up in the Senate by Republican obstructionism. Much of the country remains unrebuilt, and cholera outbreaks are not uncommon.

This is our Open Thread. Feel free to write on this or any other topic that comes to mind.

224 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: 1/12/11 : Haiti – What a difference a year makes.

  1. ‘Morning, Walt. I’m sorry to say that I have not kept myself informed on the lack of progress in Haiti. The article to which you linked is a terribly pathetic reminder that all of the goodwill and generosity in the world cannot rebuild a country whose ‘leaders’ refuse to do what is right, and humane, for their citizens.

    The article reminds me, at least, of why I am so damned proud of ex-Presidents such as Clinton and Jimmy Carter; I will never understand how these two men are so vilified and demonized by so many.

  2. BTW, we’ve got a good foot or so of snow so far. I wasn’t able to sleep last night, and I know that there were spates when the snow had to have been falling at least 2″ per hour.

    I’m enjoying watching the juncos and chickadees flitting around at the (now nearly empty) birdfeeders and in the snow at the foot of the feeders. They’re having fun grabbing a seed or two, then flitting away to light on some of my glow-in-the-dark garden stakes, or in snow-topped pockets within a small evergreen bush outside my door, with its Christmas lights still glowing under the snow.

    For someone who hates GETTING up early, I actually love BEING up early. But I’ll have to get some sleep soon.

  3. Palin releases a video statement.

    Click here

    She’s a victim in this. She quotes Reagan. She talks about “maps used by both sides of the aisle.” She says after spirited debates we “shake hands and get back to work, and find common ground.” (Lie)

    She says journalists have created a “blood libel.” She talks about how our founders were perfect. America is “exceptional.” Calling us intolerant.

    Palin mentioned Giffords reading of the constitution. Funny, Palin didn’t mention that Giffords singled out Palin as putting crosshairs on her district.

    (I’m guessing Glenn Beck wrote her speech.)

    HT: Bill Press Show

  4. Sarah Palin responds to the Tuscon shooting by quoting Ronald Reagan (brilliant like a dim bulb).
    Sarah further proves that she is incapable of original thought and everything that happed is in no way her fault.
    Have a barf bag ready at your side because, you’ll need it

  5. Someone wrote a letter to our local paper concerning the shooter. She cautioned that the right needed to tone down their rhetoric in order to avoid “palingenesis” of the fear and instability that plagued this country after 9/11. I had to look the word up, it means, roughly, rebirth. I thought it the best word choice ever.

  6. The trolls were up really early (or really late) on TP, defending their sweetheart $arah. I’ve had my barf bag out for a few hours already, I don’t think I can stand to hear another word about or from that harridan.

  7. Muse, Clinton and Carter are reviled because they value people over money. Thus they threaten the rich and powerful, who value money over people.

  8. No problem, BnF – I’m drinking decaf right now, still too wide awake.

    At TP, I posted a couple of comments on the Mental Health thread, one in particular about $arah, but I can’t get back into the comments to see what reaction I prodded out of the trolls. One troll even had the utter temerity to make a comment about ‘observing liberals’ relationships with their mothers’, to which I replied without even swearing – I think. If so, my mum would be proud. 😉

  9. Upon listening again, Sarah mentions that journalists and pundits shouldn’t great a “blood libel” that would “incite the very thing they condemn.”

    So is that an admission that words have consequences?

    And is she lumping Rush, Malkin, and those on the right that have been making comments in the wake of this tragedy? And what of Roger Ailes’ memo asking his staff to tone it down? Were they also reprehensible?

    Somehow I suspect her comments are directed at one group. For the other group, it’s okay.

    • From the Wiki:

      Blood libel (also blood accusation[1][2]) refers to a false accusation or claim[3][4][5] that religious minorities, almost always Jews, murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays.[1][2][6] Historically, these claims have–alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration–been a major theme in European persecution of Jews.[4]

      Stupid bitch.

  10. I looked that up too, Zooey, I wondered what the hell Palin was talking about.
    She’s a professional victim.
    To try to link herself in such a way will only alienate her even further.

    • Exactly, Raven.

      She talks tough and allegedly carries a gun and knows how to use it, but when it comes to taking responsibility for herself or her actions, she whines and pouts and cries, and gets her bully boys to stick up for her.

      Spunk only goes so far, and she has done a major face plant here. All she would have had to do was release a statement saying that her bullseye poster and some of her speech had been a bit over the top, and then settle down for a while. She wouldn’t even have to mean it or believe it — people are very forgiving and would give her the benefit of the doubt. But no, she has to go on the offensive.

      Bravo, Quitter. Bravo!

  11. Jane: My last name is Nelson; back in the fifties I found I could win the hearts of girls when I told them my cousin’s name was David Nelson (which it was). The magic held until they met him. My cousin. Then poof.

    I suspect that today, 55 years later, it would still work that same way.

  12. I met the Nelson twins (Ricky Nelson’s kids) back in the late 80’s when they were in Kalamazoo Michigan to do a concert. They stopped into the food coop where I was working for shots of wheat grass juice.

  13. The more I thought about Palin’s video, and listened to the Stephanie Miller show on the way to work; the more angry I’ve become about the video.

    It’s perhaps one of the most classless things imaginable.

    From the use of a Teleprompter (which she mocks in others). Use of language and terms that she can’t possibly understand. And the entire tone that she’s done nothing wrong, and it’s everyone else’s fault. She is truly incapable of honest introspection.

    • I can’t bring myself to watch that video — her voice sets my teeth on edge. I’m sure I’ll segments of it on Keith or Rachel.

      I know one thing for sure: Palin brought about the end of her career with this. Glory Hallelujah.

  14. “I know one thing for sure: Palin brought about the end of her career with this. ”

    Agreed. I can’t watch the video either, did she at least trot out some insincere prayers for the dead and the grieving, her being such a good christian don’t ya know? Or was it all about her?

    • Are Republicans just incapable of self-reflection and apologizing? Like perhaps “even IF something I may have said or done contributed to this heinous act in anyway I sincerely apologize”.. is saying “I’m sorry” not in their vocabulary or realm of understanding? I remember when President Bush was asked if there was anything in his presidency he could point to that was a mistake or something he was sorry for or something he would have done differently (something to that effect), and he could NOT come up with a single thing.. In fact, he looked stunned that someone would even ask him a question like that..
      It was said before, this type of ramped up rhetoric was her fire-brand, and if she doesn’t have that stuff pushing the envelope and shocking people, she’s got nothing.

      • Did anyone else watch Lawrence O’Donnell last night? (Hope I have the right show..) He talked to Senator Barbara Boxer. To make the point, she held up a poster someone had put on the internet of a donkey in front of a giant bullseye target, and the donkey had 5 bullet holes in it. At the bottom it had something about open season, bag as many as you want because there was no limit, etc.. (from my memory of it). That seriously shocked me.
        All of our leaders have to be quaking some in their boots. If this horrible act by a deranged person serves to get people to change the tone and level of civility in our politics, bring discourse back down to a level of sanity, then perhaps something positive can actually come from this (if that is even possible).

  15. That does grow old and tiresome – for we who live in the reality.
    The Repugnant party and their minions prove otherwise – they eat it up and perpetuate the ‘woe is me’.

    Show of hands- who thinks SP wrote this speech?
    I’m curious do you think during the ‘read through’ she actually stopped to ask what ‘blood libel’ was or did she just spout the whole mess of a speech?

    No matter – she is a waste of time and energy.

    • Was the term “blood libel” supposed to be some kind of code trying to paint her as a Christian martyr? I’ve been reading around the web of various reactions to her video, and there are a couple historical uses that really don’t apply here.. One is also falsely accusing the “Jews” of killing Jesus. The other is the Jews killing Christian children to use their blood in their religious rituals.
      Who is Sarah supposed to be in this scenario? Is she the Christian child that the Jewish media and pundits are killing to use for sacrifice in their rituals?
      And does she realize that Rep. Giffords is Jewish? I don’t know how this plays into this equation, but her use of this term is a bizarre and insensitive use of words, and someone needs to remind her that she is not the victim here.

      Andrew Sullivan wrote a really good piece on this. Really good..

  16. He’s dissecting the speech. But he’s already played one clip twice. He’s explaining the ‘blood libel’ term used now. I saw what Spencer’s Mom said earlier and I Googled it.

  17. In other news: By NOAA’s estimate, 2010 ties with 2005 as the warmest year on record. 2010 is overwhelmingly the wettest so far. (Warm air lofts more moisture, so extreme precipitation events is an explicitly predicted consequence of AGW.)

    I’m not sure how much of the Queensland floods count for 2010 vs. 2011; I’ve not tracked back to when they started. But even with 2011 dominated by a La Nina, and the ongoing lowest solar minimum in over a century, this year promises to be even more climatologically unsettled than last.

  18. I did not know Giffords was Jewish.

    Palin just keeps handing nails out to all those people standing around with hammers in their hands.

    • Raven, I just learned that in the last day or so.

      Palin is so self-centered that she can’t do research about anything outside herself — not Giffords, not blood libel, nothing.

  19. Whether Palin is (arguably) capable of doing research, or can’t be bothered with, etc.
    her largest flaw is that she doesn’t do any research. On any thing it seems.

    Her biggest appeal is to all the teapartiers who don’t have a full sixpack either.

    • Her true believers would defend her if she shot a hobo on live teevee, but they are a serious minority in this country. Reasonable people, when they hear about this, will look up from their naval gazing and say “WTF?”

      Palin is toast.

  20. Palin has NO intellectual curiosity – that’s truly sad. She has ‘handlers’ that she relies on to ‘bring her’ talking points.

  21. Just up over at TP, but Jewish groups are calling on Palin to apologize for her use of the term “Blood Libel.”

    Of course, Gabby Giffords is Jewish. I wonder if Palin didn’t know that? (Sorry, rhetorical question, of course Palin didn’t know that.)

  22. Understanding that from Palin’s Christian end of the extremist spectrum, they believe in martyrs just as much as the Islamic suicide bombers.

    Palin and other right wing christianists have found a way through the media circus to crucify themselves and expect people to embrace them for their sacrifice. They provoke violence and invasion, then wonder why the people they attack defend themselves.

    Maybe that’s what Palin wants, and why she keeps passing out the nails…

  23. Jesus, didn’t the f***ing German socialists get the message? Social democracy is a failure!

    Stop being the second largest and most successful exporter in the world, goddamnit. Stop giving away healthcare and subsidising green power and paying social security and all that shit…..

    …. come on fail already ! The right-wing world view is being undermined by your pinko-socialist nanny state!

  24. Sarah Palin is a symptom, kinda like a black mole on the skin of someone who’s spent too much time in the sun is a symptom. The body of this nation has, in fact, quite a number of black moles on its otherwise pale skin.

    In an odd sort of way, State Rep. Don Davis (R-NC) summarized the dilemma when, in the summer of 2001, he emailed the following to every member of the North Carolina House and Senate (reported by the Fayetteville Observer, 08-22-01):

    “Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity. The degree these two have diminished is in direct proportion to the corruption and fall of the nation. Every problem that has arisen (sic) can be directly traced back to our departure from God’s Law and the disenfranchisement of White men.”

    I suspect one could write a book exploring the undercurrents upon which that statement was based. If I wrote it, I’d title it “The Death of a Nation” and point out that the statement is a very able summary not of that which makes a nation great but is, rather, the perfect synopsis of those hatreds and prejudices which, left unattended, ultimately will force a nation to its knees.

    Interesting to see that Sarah Palin has drawn upon a tragic event to, in effect, absolve herself of any blame even as she reasserts, in her own way (I was going to say ”in her own words,” but that would have been an egregious error) exactly that which Davis suggested. Christian white people are the nation’s only hope.

    Interesting that when viewed from a higher plane, ‘they’ more correctly define the inevitable undercurrent of those who are ripping the country apart.

  25. Ding! Ding! Ding! Give that Raven what ever his heart desires!

    You have pegged that whole group exactly! The await ‘end times’ without worrying there maybe consequences in ‘this’ life/world.

    And what better way to ‘recruit’.

    Ding! Ding! Ding! The Raven is wise!

  26. State Rep. Don Davis (R-NC:
    “…and the disenfranchisement of White men.”

    Poor bubbas.
    How terrible to be under the boots instead of wearing them.

  27. That was perhaps a little insensitive, and as well playing a part in the “Passion Play”.
    All we need to do is ignore and forget her.

  28. One thing I noticed is that there appears to have been just the one person shooting in Tucson. The open carry idiots who are presently trying to empty AZ of hand guns for protection seem to have missed the fact that no one else used a gun Saturday.

    Another right wing gun myth shot in the ass, self inflicted.

    • Hooda, there was a kid coming out the nearby Walgreens who had his sidearm with him. He ran toward the action with his hand on the pistol and the safety off, but decided to grab the person with the gun — which turned out to be a bystander.

      Thank goodness he didn’t decide to shoot first and ask questions later.

  29. $arah will never go the whole hung out to dry route. She is essentially a coward who is happy leading others into doing the dirty work.

    Besides, if they nailed her to the cross she would have to use a teleprompter all the time. No place for crib notes anymore.

  30. TtT link, to German economic recovery – good read by the way!

    also on the BBC site:

    An analysis by Paul Adam [on the Palin cabal]:

    “It leaves Ms Palin firmly in her bunker, at a time when her political ambitions might dictate that she start to reach out to America’s middle ground.”

  31. I read that, Zooey. Thank doG he had the sense to holster. But in the present environment of hysteria over guns in AZ it is something of a shitblind miracle that the incident didn’t turn into the OK Corral with lots more people hurt.

  32. Why are guns so sacred to so many? Were it up to me and my magic touch, by morning the world would be long on plowshares. Seriously: what’s the attraction of something that has only one use: an easier way to kill something?

    • Last night on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show, Lawrence said something that sent a chill down my spine. He talked about the “Assault Weapons Ban” being allowed to expire on Sept. 13, 2004, and that part of that ban was the fact that the federal ban had set the limit at 10 rounds in a clip. Imagine peoples’ reaction (and those in Congress) when they stop to consider if that ban had NOT been allowed to lapse, and Loughner had only got off 10 rounds before having to stop to reload.. 10 rounds instead of 33.. Who, of those that were shot, in the order that they were shot, would still be with us..

      It was chilling to consider.

      They have to get legislation through to ban these high powered assault weapons. There is no purpose for them except to kill people.

  33. Too many people staring into the tube have now witnessed endless images of people being shot with guns. It’s become commonplace, so it doesn’t mean anything.
    The teevee images are seeping into real life.

  34. frugal, the oddest part is better than 90% of people would freeze before actually using a gun on another human. Professionals like police and soldiers experience it. The gun is an expensive and dangerous wooby.

    As a nation we spent the better part of a century getting past the old Wild West mentality and making our streets safe from random gun violence. And even all the people panicked by the last few years of fear mongering would rather not go there again, but the fear, the fear.

  35. There’s a direct correlation between the expiration of the assault weapons ban and what has happened now with the rabid gun climate in Arizona and elsewhere.
    Not to forget all the weapons from the US which have ended up over the border in Mexico in the hands of the drug gangs.

    Bush and the gun companies, and the war on terror, forced the assault weapons ban expiration.

  36. That is a chilling thought muse. There is no reason for any individual to own those weapons, and no reason that simple home defense would require a larger clip, assuming one is willing to actually learn when and how to shoot their weapon.

  37. Hollow stare, soulless…
    Head shakes back and forth, no, no
    Feigns concern for world

    Dismisses concerns
    Calls them “Imagined insults”
    Scolds her enemies

    Offers no content
    Platitudes and empty words,
    Asks for god’s blessing

    Still can’t recognize
    World holds many religions;
    Clutches her lord’s robes

  38. Raven touches on a great point – the drugs come one way and the guns go another….. what would the American Exceptionalists say if the Mexicans asked to impose stricter gun access laws in an attempt to reduce the flow of weaponry into their country?

  39. Last year there were 21 homicides in a city of one million (1,000,000).
    So far this year – 3, not looking good.

    In the Bay Area gang related deaths are on the rise – and it is most disturbing and heart breaking. The kids know that the gun is mightier than the knife and therefore use it most frequently. The rash ‘thought’ process bang, bang and watch the consequences even if there’s collateral damage.

    Cities/citizens directly have gatherings to address how to curb a/o eliminate. A major problem: guns are so easily and readily available.

    Gangs know the damage and distress that is caused by their actions of using guns to ‘solve a situation’ – even the collateral damage does not faze. That is heart breaking to know youth just ‘don’t care’.

  40. And the Germans prove that since 1945 they’ve had a lot less access to guns and ‘playing soldier’ and they are the second-largest exporter of goods on the planet! Despite being raving pinkos to boot.

    Just think, if Germans had the same gun laws as the United States, we’d see a lot fewer Audis on the streets and Poland, Belgium and Luxembourg would be a lot more nervous.

  41. Gun control is Anti-American.

    My cousin told me that. Then he explained how it’s only armed-to-the-teeth citizens that stand between me and criminals with guns. I asked how to, exactly and on very short notice, figure out which was which, and also, wouldn’t it be a lot easier and a lot safer for all concerned if NO ONE ever owned or had access to a gun?


  42. “Blood Libel”? – Looks like Bible Spice has decided to court the ‘rural Idaho, short hair cut’ vote…..

    … about giving a signal to your homies.

  43. frugal, I’m with you on the ‘guns be gone’…it will be the only way.
    Too many irrational folk are armed to the teeth. Paranoia and guns just don’t mix well.

  44. Diego Crockett and Jaime Bowie, defenders of the Acapulco.
    They had to pry the bong from their cold dead fingers.
    Santa Ana blew them away.

  45. There was an immediate outpouring of relief efforts, and much aid was promised. But unfortunately for Haitians, most of the U.S relief funds promised were held up in the Senate by Republican obstructionism. Much of the country remains unrebuilt, and cholera outbreaks are not uncommon.

    I think I see the problem with the lack of will on the part of Mitch McConnell and the ‘Party of Values’…… the black is already above the ground in Haiti

  46. TtT it is a sad commentary but true what you have just spoken about Mitch, et alia when it comes to humanitarian relief efforts.

    I imagine the Haitian hierarchy also throws some road blocks to improving life for its citizens.

  47. Raven, levity is a must in these times. It is not insensitive as balance is needed: we are very serious and sincere in our voices for the improvement to our the levity isn’t seen as insensitive or insincerity to the happenings!

  48. Fox posts one of their unscientific polls on what we should do about Haiti. The overwhelming leader in the responses was this option:

    73.87% – No — Haiti was an economic and social disaster BEFORE the quake. It’s time to put a “closed” sign on this country.

    I’m not sure which is more disgusting. That someone at Fox thought that up as a choice, or that the viewers picked it. Both, I guess. So much for the “compassion” in conservatism.

    Rest of the poll at my site.

  49. Please don’t jump off of something high – then we wouldn’t be privileged to the great avian captures by your photographer friend.

    Drakes – handsome!

  50. frugal, I suspect one of us retrieved you from the spam bin. Don’t jump, please! What we don’t know is why it went there. WordPress gets emotional sometimes.

  51. “I’m beginning to think that to some people in AZ, the only thing that’s ILLEGAL is beheading someone in the desert.”

    Mostly depends on whether they’re white; otherwise, it is merely an opportunity for public hand-wringing and demanding more guns.

    • The service is just getting started in Arizona. I just had a thought.. EVERYBODY ‘carries’ in Arizona. How do they keep all the guns out of that auditorium with the President there..? (I shouldn’t even think this, but it just popped into my head).

  52. The more I think about, the more I’m convinced that Palin must follow something like the “Flying Wedge Assault” tactic she is employing after the Tucson shootings. The particular form of that attack need not be so grotesquely stupid as the “blood libel” infantilism (although even that may have been intended to put her on the side of the jews — “See, I’m just like you” — given Giffords background.)

    Here’s the thing: if she or anyone in her organization admits even the barest scintilla of contributory guilt, they will pretty much have sold the pass in the upcoming civil suits. Those suits are going to be making a lot of news in the ’12 campaigns, and there’s nothing like the image of a murdered 9 y.o. to take the lustre off a presidential candidate. (All Teddy had to cope with was Mary Jo Kopekne.)

    The first big question in my mind is how broad a net those suits will be allowed to cast: will they be limited to just and only the PAC that formed the scoped-rifle ads? (Difficult, in my mind, since Palin explicitly tweeted her approval.) Or will they include Palin and possibly other units of her money raising machinery? (The “deep pockets” issue in civil suits means they can often cast a very wide net indeed.)

    • Is it possible that Palin was ignorant of the meaning of “blood libel?”

      It had been used a couple times by rightwingers recently, and maybe she just thought it sounded cool. I’m not excusing her, but it would be just like her to steal material from others, fail to look up the phrase, and fail to even bother to look into Gabby Giffords’ background.

      Or am I being too generous? She does have a Jewish advisor named Goldfarb.

      • Zooey, do you honestly think she wrote that ‘speech’
        herself? Or planned that well staged setup in that professionally
        made video? She was trying to come across as ‘presidential’, like
        she was addressing the nation. She read the lines well, they just rang hollow, no connection to real emotion.

        • See? That’s another problem, muse.

          Someone else probably wrote the speech, so what the hell were they thinking putting “blood libel” in there? Again, maybe it just sounded cool? Or maybe they were just tired of Palin’s fuckwittery, and decided to throw her under a bus, knowing she’s too stupid to read or understand anything outside herself.

          It all boils down to hubris and unforgivable ignorance.

  53. I don’t expect the Quitter had any idea what the phrase meant because she has no understanding of history and no concern about her ignorance. Someone on her staff, however, should have put their foot down and explained it to her.

    Or, of course, no one on her staff cares, because they don’t care what the elite, or a bunch of over-educated k**es think.

    • I saw video somewhere the other day, where Steve King was praising Boner by calling him “mendacious.”

      That was a good one. 😉

      If I don’t know what a word means — I don’t fucking use it without looking it up!

  54. It sure sounds as if he spent time speaking with the families and getting info.
    His presentation is as if he were speaking about close friends!

  55. I saw video somewhere the other day, where Steve King was praising Boner by calling him “mendacious.”

    Well, to be fair, that probably is the highest praise you can offer to Boner without lying …

  56. Many with capped teeth (the President seems to have the fronts capped) sound that way.
    Air does not flow in a ‘natural way’ passing the teeth (the capped have either smaller or no gap between them), thus the es sound takes on that character.

    A local newswoman has that but really annoyingly prolonged and her capped teeth are so close as to look like dentures.

  57. At around the same time, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will be slinging back cocktails with members of the Republican National Committee at a political party he’s hosting at the swanky National Harbor resort in the suburbs of D.C., Roll

    Boehner delivered heartfelt remarks on the shooting on the House floor this morning, tearing up on several occasions,

    A great big WTF? What f’g arrogance at not attending. What the hell world does he live in?

  58. Obama suggested that this sudden tear in our communal fabric can be a chance to reconsider our lives and our loves. It was a deeply spiritual speech, and it has transcended politics, which was not as easy as he made it appear.

    Obama seemed fixated on Christina Green. And you sense palpably that Obama’s own love for his own daughters is behind this message.

    So Sarah, that was some speech YOU gave today, eh?

  59. Hi everybody, just managed to catch Obama’s speech, (its been a long day for me – herding mice!).

    My question is: Was John McCain at the ceremony?

    • I didn’t see McCain. Perhaps he was with Boehner.
      The Pastor that Rachel interviewed ended by sang that Gabby opened her eyes. Perhaps we could do the same. That hit me.

      • muse sez:
        The Pastor that Rachel interviewed ended by sang that Gabby opened her eyes. Perhaps we could do the same. That hit me.

        That is an amazing sentiment, muse. I know our eyes will open, but…

  60. I watched the whole thing. Brewer stunk as expected, and Obama’s speech was exceptional. But for me the highlight will likely remain the opening, when a descendant of Mexican immigrants (1800’s) and Yaqui refugees (1800’s), today a University of Arizona Professor, did the opening ceremony, a Yaqui six points ‘invocation’ of sorts.

    That’s the part of Arizona that held me there for so long — what I later came to call the ancient ‘voices in the wind,’ those whispers from the past which, even today, tend to shame the comparative shallowness of belief brought to these shores by Europeans. Some years back I described those ‘voices’, that essence, in a sonnet which I titled ‘Voices in the Wind.’

    Though modern ears seem deaf to primal song,
    Ideas seek – and probe – subconscious minds.
    Where spirits walk, old muted voices long
    To search – as dust now gathered by the winds –
    And speak in silence, whispering to those souls
    Their sacred manifests of unsung dreams.
    Then Suffrage of the land – through Gray Wolf’s howls
    And breath of noiseless Deer – expresses themes
    As surely as the murmur of the trees
    Announces wind and wingéd life, in kind.
    And silently as Eagle rides the breeze,
    These messages – the Sum of Life – remind:
    Man’s aimless, modern Din shall ne’er transcend
    The Wild – and Ancient – Voices – in the Wind.

    Sadly, few hear those voices anymore. But the Yaqui who introduced the memorial service clearly did. What an extraordinary delight — an ancient ‘six directions’ invocation to a modern memorial service. Reminiscent of the Arizona I once knew and lived, now largely vanished under the thumbscrews of wingnutism. Still, there it was, standing tall.

    Maybe not all hope is lost after all.

  61. “My question is: Was John McCain at the ceremony?”

    – – Yeah, and he had a scowl and glare whenever I saw him. While Obama spoke, I could see the McCain dialogue bubble floating above his head….”I’M the one that should be easing their pain, damnit!”

  62. Boehner was offered a seat on Air Force One and still didn’t attend the memorial. Giffords is a house member and he didn’t have to speak again but he should have been there.

  63. I’m trying to wrap my head around the idea of someone turning down an invitation from the President to accompany him on Air Force 1.

  64. Juvenile – simply juvenile actions from that ‘spectrum’ of humankind.

    Introspection teabuggers. Introspection repugnant party.
    Look it up and act accordingly.

  65. Well, I had a previous engagement so I missed the presidents talk. They had the TV on where I was, but we were in the other room. Only got to hear bits and pieces. Liked the little bit I heard.

    From what you all have said, he did a great job. (No surprise really.)

  66. Compared to Obama’s address this evening, Palin comes off as the gift that keeps on giving: Self-righteous, self-involved, and self-pitying.

    I expect the civil suits to start making serious noise in 2012. I wonder how many of them her donors will be able to pay off, and if they’ll be able to do so w/o violating federal election laws.

  67. About McGrumpy…I’ve seen five stills from the auditorium with McCain in them while Obama is shaking hands or comforting someone and in EVERY photo McCain, jaw clenched, is glaring at Obama. John, you lost!

  68. Saw DrxJ posted at TP! The ‘old gang’ is slowly showing up.
    Only wish Toasterhead hadn’t just ‘disappeared’.
    I had his blog marked but there’s been no activity for 14 months. Miss his wit and wisdom – always had great posts and links! A very intelligent man.

  69. Sandra Day-O’Connor was there.

    The photos of the Pres. & First Lady – genuinely caring, loving comes through. No pretense on sorrow.
    The President spoke in very sincere tones – nothing phony.

    (the smirking chimp would have made a very bad, in very poor taste “joke” half way
    through such a gathering).

  70. “what civil suits?” — The ones that are surely coming. Nothing has been filed yet because it is way too soon. But this event will not pass without major litigation. It frankly would not entirely surprise me to learn that the families have already been contacted by law firms offering to take up the case, although I would expect the classier ones to wait at least a little bit.

    The rules in a civil suit are much more lax than in a criminal case. Palin does not dare allow this albatross to be haunting her campaign. And if Palin & Co. say anything which so much as hints of an admission of even possible contributory guilt, that will come out in court and pretty much destroy any hope of a defense they have.

    So my estimate is that their immediate strategy will continue to be one of constant attack, waiting to see what comes up and what they can do to get rid of it.

    • I see what you’re saying, Gary. My mind hadn’t gone that way yet, but I’m sure there will be lawsuits — even though Loughner is most likely judgment proof.

  71. “Sandra Day-O’Connor was there.”

    – – I was a little disappointed in Maddow. She was mentioning the people that Obama was shaking hands with, she mentioned Sandra D.O.C. and then mentioned other dignitaries she didn’t recognize…..and I’m saying out loud, “Uhhhh, that’s Justice Kennedy right next to her.

  72. Ah, gee – the Boner had a prior engagement – heck he’s only the SOtH.
    Third from the top (shudder and shake – and I don’t even drink, that’s true fear)

  73. Can’t believe McCain’s ‘running mate’ didn’t join him at the service. Wouldn’t that have been all buggers to see Failin’ Palin sitting in the crowd – especially after her ‘performance’.

  74. “My mind hadn’t gone that way yet”

    I suspect that what passes for mind at Team Quitter has gone there, and pretty nearly immediately. The speed with which those images were scrubbed from their website speaks to some grasp of immediately self-serving consequences.

  75. If Sarah had half a brain, she would have gone into hiding at about 2PM EST on the 8th. A simple statement like: “With the tragedy that has befallen our nation today, I mourn for the families for the families of the victims. I have nothing else to say at this time.” and disappeared from public view.

    Instead she started to dig a hole and continued even as she was nearing China.

  76. No she forsook (?) Alaska, I thought.

    I found this:

    “Bristol Palin bought a house in a suburb outside of Phoenix. She paid $172,000 in cash for the 3,900 square foot, five-bedroom house built in 2006 and originally sold for $329,560.

    Now, Sarah Palin is reportedly scouting for a house near the vicinity as she wants to be close to her daughter and grand son. “

  77. WtM, Palin has no decency or shame. She’s very much like the trolls at TP: the good lord has blessed them with being able to do or say whatever they want, without consequence.
    As Z would say ‘puke’.

    I do wonder who her handlers are – the ones that mis-guided her today (and every day).

  78. Zooey,
    I would prefer if none is added to mine tomorrow. I left it unadorned on purpose! I even changed the open tag to black.

  79. “I do wonder who her handlers are – the ones that mis-guided her today (and every day).”

    – – Rebecca Mansour is, reportedly, Palin’s primary speechwriter, researcher, online communications coordinator and all-purpose adviser. Read Mansour’s twitter feed ( for an unvarnished look at the epistemic closure machine Palin has built around herself.

    Randy Scheunemann is still on the Paylinroll and the Diva no doubt gets all the neocon input she wants. Problem is, she’s surrounding herself with loyalists rather than veteran political consultants. Then there’s that proudly ignorant dilemma of hers.

  80. badmodeman,

    We usually carry yesterday’s business to the next day’s open thread.

    BTW – I had no idea that visitors had no ability to edit their own posts. I will fix that problem by my 90th birthday. Remind me in 7343 days if I have not come through.

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