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An etherealgirl's Adventures in Cyberland

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

the downing st memo and why it matters

As was posted here a few days ago, as well as many other blogs in the last several days, some disturbing information has been released that "casts serious doubt on many of the contentions of the Bush Administration in the lead up to the Iraq war," as stated by Rep. John Conyers. The document containing this information, as many people in the blogosphere no doubt already know, is called the Downing Street Memo or the Downing Street Minutes.

For those who may not be familiar yet with this story, here is the scoop (pulled together via the Big Brass Alliance) about this memo and some information about After Downing Street which was created in order to provide a group coordinated effort on behalf of the American people, to get some answers :

1. After Downing Street is a Coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups, which launched on May 26, 2005, a campaign to urge the U.S. Congress to begin a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. The campaign focuses on evidence that recently emerged in a British memo containing minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

2. The name is a reference to the Downing Street Memo, a British memo recently made public in the London Times, which contained the minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

3. After Downing Street reports: In response to the release of the memo, “John Bonifaz, a Boston attorney specializing in constitutional litigation, sent a memo to Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, urging him to introduce a Resolution of Inquiry directing the House Judiciary Committee to launch a formal investigation into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House to impeach President Bush. Bonifaz's memo, made available today at After Downing, begins: ‘The recent release of the Downing Street Memo provides new and compelling evidence that the President of the United States has been actively engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war against Iraq. If true, such conduct constitutes a High Crime under Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution.’"

4. Congressman Conyers is now seeking 100,000 signatures to sign a letter on the Downing Street Inquiry. Information available at Raw Story and dKos.

We, the People, have a right to know whether the assertions made in the Downing Memo about the President are true. Please spread the word and join us in signing the petition requesting that this Administration respond to the information in this memo by clicking here.

Posted by etherealfire :: 9:23 AM :: 3 Comments:  

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Sunday, May 29, 2005

beatles hair day

About halfway down this page is an old Marc Maron appearance (on Conan O'Brien where he is a longstanding frequent visitor) that is priceless. Just click on Beatles Hair Day and enjoy!

I'm still not done changing over to the blogger template I want to use.


And it's a premade one too... but I'm tweaking, tweaking, and it's taking me forever. arghhhh... oh well, back to it....

Posted by etherealfire :: 7:00 AM :: 1 Comments:  

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Saturday, May 28, 2005

imagine: interstate traveler project

What if? What if America would invest in creating "the cleanest and fastest moving economy in the world"? An exciting forward-moving answer: The Interstate Traveler Project!

Link found via this post at

Posted by etherealfire :: 12:16 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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Friday, May 27, 2005

for every US soldier

This Memorial Day, fight to bring honour to all who died defending and protecting our great nation and everything it means to be an American; to bring honour of those serving us right now and every single one who fought for us, throughout our history. Bob Fertik at asks that we Demand a Probe of Bush's Iraq War Lies.

On May 1, the Times of London finally exposed the truth. It came in the form of the minutes of a secret war council led by Tony Blair at the Prime Minister's office on Downing Street on July 23, 2002 - eight full months before Bush invaded Iraq. The head of British intelligence reported on his trip to Washington:

"Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

Read it carefully: Bush was determined to invade Iraq, and he was prepared to tell whatever lies he needed to tell to scare Americans into war.

This "smoking gun" caused a firestorm in the British media. Here in the U.S., the media barely reported it. Why? Because our media enthusiastically helped Bush tell his lies. And they want to make sure Americans never learn the truth.

Today, and a powerful coalition of progressive allies set out to break the media's silence and tell Americans the truth.

For those who have given everything for our country, even their very precious lives, we owe them the truth. And we owe them the commitment and the diligence to make sure that everything they fought for, the very integrity of our nation remains our first and best cause. If we do not do our part, if we cannot pledge to keep our nation a beacon of light and hope, of truth and integrity; if we cannot bear to face our own shortcomings and vow to repair them, then we do the ultimate dishonour to each and every one of them.

Posted by etherealfire :: 9:39 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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america's dominant fiction: the isolationist

Maggie at Myth and Culture has a fascinating, dead~on analysis of the American Psyche as expressed through our Collective Dominant Fiction (which, she explains, is the way a society views its own ideological "reality").

The familiar, underlying theme for America is that of the rugged individualist, often resulting in a me against the world sentiment, because in order to create a mythology of standing apart from others, a little ahead of the pack, a little bit outside the realm of the group consciousness, there must be by necessity an "other" or an "opposition" to mirror this "reality".

This goes a long, long way in explaining our historical, ongoing isolationist tendencies and the problems that inevitably arise from such a stance and an almost visceral need to create separating that results in friction if not outright conflict.

Posted by etherealfire :: 9:16 PM :: 6 Comments:  

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shedding light on the Archimedes Palimpsest

Stanford lab reveals hidden writing on ancient parchment
Scientists analyze Archimedes text at accelerator center
; report from Keay Davidson, Chronicle Science Writer found via SciTech Daily Review.

Those old writings are being recovered thanks to scientists at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. With excruciating slowness and care, they have begun using a beam of X-ray radiation no thicker than a human hair to scan a goatskin parchment known as the Archimedes Palimpsest. It's of unusual interest because it shows how advanced mathematics -- the so-called Queen of the Sciences -- was in ancient times, at least in the mind of a legendary mathematician.

Posted by etherealfire :: 8:53 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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380 million year old tree fossil unearthed

Branch from the past discovered in Catskills: State Museum employees unearth massive fossil of prehistoric flora

"This is very exciting. It's the only specimen like this that has ever been found," said William Stein, associate professor of biology at the State University at Binghamton and a paleobotanist who specializes in the Devonian period of 380 million years ago.

Posted by etherealfire :: 8:47 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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japanese name creator

Your Japanese Name Is...

Nariko Asukai

Posted by etherealfire :: 2:36 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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audioslave: l.a. near riotous performance

Apparently things a little bit out of hand between crowd and crowd control during a May 20th post-Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance free performance, but the band eventually got everyone to calm down and enjoy the performance to its fullest:

"It was great to shut down Hollywood Blvd. and play a free concert for our hometown fans. By the end of the night even several of the riot police had put down their batons and were rocking out," guitarist Tom Morello said.

Story here.

audioslave image courtesy of concert shots
Audioslave courtesy Concert Shots

Sorry for the relative inactivity on my blog of late; I am slowly trying to get my blog updated and trying to get stuff done at home as well. I hope I'll get it all done today or tomorrow. Thanks for the patience, beautiful people!

Posted by etherealfire :: 2:09 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

another fun quiz found at Joel's place

You scored as Faerie.

Faerie: Aren't you a cute little flying person? Faeries are earth spirits. They live among each element completely hidden. They have cousins called Pixies. Pixies however, are very mischevious. They enjoy tormenting other creatures for fun. Little pranksters.. I hope you never meet one. Pixies have a bad reputation for finding a creature and clinging to them until death. Faeries can be somewhat close to a Pixie, but mostly they are loving, playful, and carry with them a child-like enthusiasm for life. Hide among the petals of a Daisy, you are a Faerie.



What Mythological Creature are you? (Cool Pics!)
created with

Gotta get back to work though.

Posted by etherealfire :: 2:54 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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what is your view on war?

And another very telling one found via my blog bud Joel at Pax Nortona:

You scored as Just War. You favor Just War. You will fight in defense of your homeland or to stop genocide, but you will not tolerate anything that might harm civilians. Other Just War advocates: Pope Pius XII, the Dalai Lama

Just War
War Liberal


Chicken Hawk



What is your view on War
created with

Very cool quiz Joel!

Posted by etherealfire :: 1:59 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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I'm working on trying change my blog over to a new template... and it's hard work ya know, but I found this quiz and had to take a minute to post it!

Star Wars Horoscope for Capricorn

You have a ton of ambition and inexhaustible desire to reach your goals. You are very loyal, going to great lengths to help someone out. You are a very social unit, winning the hearts of many with your cute personality.

Star wars character you are most like: R2D2

What is Your Star Wars Horoscope?

Posted by etherealfire :: 1:31 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

sugar paper

I'm a paper-junque addict. And I love the look and the name of this mouthwatering place!

And I'm also a journal addict and a collector of the loveliest ones I can find so this really caught my eye! And I was feeling a little blue, but the simple elegance of this site made me feel a little bit better and very inspired.

Apparently the source of this loveliness was a collaborative effort between Darling Studios and pixelicity. That is all. Carry on! ;-)

Posted by etherealfire :: 3:44 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

contraception common sense

From Cynthia Tucker's Universal Press Syndicate editorial courtesy of Working For Change, Reasonable Americans can agree: Campaign to encourage contraceptive use is long overdue:

... a comprehensive campaign to encourage sexually active adults -- women and men -- to use contraceptives is long overdue. The United States has a much higher rate of unintended pregnancies than other industrialized nations, which do a better job of promoting family planning. Nearly half of all pregnancies among American women are unintended; and almost half of those are terminated by abortions, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, which advocates family planning. In 2002, 1.29 million abortions took place, the institute said.

This goes to the heart of the biggest hypocrisy of those who, in the name of religious beliefs, deny a female the right to protect herself with proper education regarding birth control, safe and easy access to contraception, and ultimately, contributing to the increased likelihood of contracting STDs and facing the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy.

Abstinence only education has been shown to be failing; common sense and compassion is thrown out the window in the name of a rigid and uncompromising morality.

But more and more, reasonable Americans are finding this bit of common ground:

Many reasonable Americans agree on two things: First, an unintended pregnancy is too complex a matter to be decided by anyone except the mother, her doctor and her loved ones; and, second, there are far too many abortions in this country. Ninety-four percent of Americans believe that contraceptive use is morally acceptable.

The ultimate goal for most people caught in the midst of this debate is agreement that abortion ought to be "safe, legal and rare." However, this most lofty goal can remain nothing more than a pipe dream if an unreasonable stance against contraceptives as a viable option continues to hold sway in this country.

Posted by etherealfire :: 3:20 AM :: 2 Comments:  

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

eric montoya studios update

Imagine my complete and utter delight when I found a new spot on my guest map filled by none other than talented artist, Eric Montoya! Thrilled much? Yes indeed I am. :-)

He's updated his website so please go get a lovely dose of eye candy there!

And if this isn't one of the loveliest images I've seen in a long time, I just don't know what is!!!!

Enjoy, beautiful people!

Posted by etherealfire :: 11:08 PM :: 3 Comments:  

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Saturday, May 21, 2005

2 more political quizzes

found these via Rogue Angel



Based on your answers to the questionnaire, you most closely resemble survey respondents within the Liberal typology group. This does not mean that you necessarily fit every group characteristic or agree with the group on all issues.

Liberals represent 17 percent of the American public, and 19 percent of registered voters.

Basic Description
This group has nearly doubled in proportion since 1999, Liberals now comprise the largest share of Democrats and is the single largest of the nine Typology groups. They are the most opposed to an assertive foreign policy, the most secular, and take the most liberal views on social issues such as homosexuality, abortion, and censorship. They differ from other Democratic groups in that they are strongly pro-environment and pro-immigration, issues which are more controversial among Conservative and Disadvantaged Democrats.

Defining Values
Strongest preference for diplomacy over use of military force. Pro-choice, supportive of gay marriage and strongly favor environmental protection. Low participation in religious activities. Most sympathetic of any group to immigrants as well as labor unions, and most opposed to the anti-terrorism Patriot Act.

Who They Are
Most (62%) identify themselves as liberal. Predominantly white (83%), most highly educated group (49% have a college degree or more), and youngest group after Bystanders. Least religious group in typology: 43% report they seldom or never attend religious services; nearly a quarter (22%) are seculars. More than one-third never married (36%). Largest group residing in urban areas (42%) and in the western half the country (34%). Wealthiest Democratic group (41% earn at least $75,000).

Lifestyle Notes
Largest group to have been born (or whose parents were born) outside of the U.S. or Canada (20%). Least likely to report having a gun at home (23%) or attending bible study or prayer group meetings (13%).

2004 Election
Bush 2%, Kerry 81%

Party ID
59% Democrat; 40% Independent/No Preference, 1% Republican (92% Dem/Lean Dem)

Media Use
Liberals are second only to Enterprisers in following news about government and public affairs most of the time (60%). Liberals’ use of the internet to get news is the highest among all groups (37%).

Note: All descriptions and percentages are based on the national sample of adults surveyed by telephone in December. Based on your answers to the survey questions, you most closely resemble survey respondents within this group, even though you may differ significantly on one or more issues or traits.

2nd quiz

Your Political Profile

Overall: 5% Conservative, 95% Liberal

Social Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

How Liberal / Conservative Are You?

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:13 AM :: 2 Comments:  

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15 feathers

For a period of several months, I regularly received crow feathers; I stumbled across them in various places almost weekly for several months, and though, I've always had crows around me, since I was a teen, and loved watching their bold and audacious antics, I found myself paying particularly close attention to them once they started leaving me feathers. I still get gifted with their feathers on occasion and they are still always around me as they live around my house in the large trees in our neighborhood, that period of regularly scheduled bi-monthly gifts has passed.

But the 15 feathers I received really caused me to focus on the energy of the crows around me and try to figure out what they symbolized in my life. What I discovered really resonated with me; crows are shapeshifters, comedians and tricksters among other things. The more I learned about them, the less absolute I felt about my previously set-in-stone personal dogmas. It was a transformational time for me, internally, at least, and learning everything I could find about the various symbolic meanings of the messages I seemed to be finding everywhere was a big priority.

Places like this one were really helpful in connecting with the meaning of what I now know to be one of my totem animals (and a generous provider of feathers for the magick that only Brother Crow can provide, trickster that he is).

Another interesting place (regarding the numerical symbolism of 5s) is this.

Denise Linn's The Secret Language of Signs was also a great resource for unraveling the symbols all around us, clamoring to get our attention.

Posted by etherealfire :: 8:13 AM :: 2 Comments:  

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perfectly beautiful imperfection

In my search for all things Jimmy today I found this weird but fascinating story and this delightful keeper of a quote:

"In Led Zeppelin's concert documentary film "The Song Remains the Same," guitarist Jimmy Page hits a bitterly wrong note during "Dazed and Confused." But then he grapples his Les Paul guitar like it's a berserk dragon, bends the wrong note across the universe to the throne of Zeus and back -- and ends up creating a weird and wonderful musical moment that will never be heard again."

~~~ Rick de Yampert,VOX POP, via Daytona Beach News-Journal Online

That's a keeper... and a great excuse for this bit of blog beautification:

image found at Achilles Last Stand.

Happy Saturday!

Posted by etherealfire :: 7:32 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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virtual travels with my mac

The history of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) has always haunted me. I don't know exactly why I'm drawn to the place, particularly considering the tragic fate that the islanders met, but I've always wanted to see the island.

The Easter Island Virtual Tour is probably just about as close as I'm ever gonna get, especially any time soon, but it's a pretty cool option considering.

And the site led me to another one with some cool photos of another place I've long been fascinated with, Angkor Wat! A temporary fix for my unfulfilled wanderlust this morning.

image of Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia
very cool image of Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia
courtesy of mistapopo at Stock Xchng.

Posted by etherealfire :: 6:51 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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transcendental astrology

I've found a fascinating site that goes into some pretty amazing detail about Astrocartography and the least aspected planet. There's so much great stuff there to read that I've barely scratched the surface. For any budding astrologers out there or for anyone that is really curious to find out what it's all about, go check out Transcendental Astrology. There are tons of charts to peruse along with some really great descriptions about a found correlation between the least aspected planet in some famous people's natal chart and the places they ended up residing ~ and how where they choose to live and work frequently brings out their personal genius! I'm totally hooked on the site now; check it out!

Posted by etherealfire :: 6:35 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

pot, meet kettle

Thank you, Congressman Pete Stark.

And now, how about a little contrast and compare courtesy of the brilliant PERRspectives.

Both links found via comments left at Eschaton on this post by Atrios, The Larry and Larry Show.

Posted by etherealfire :: 11:45 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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blogger issues

While I was at class tonight (dreamweaver I for my web design certificate ironically and embarrassingly enough) I decided to take a peek at my blog, just because I'd never seen what it looked like on a windows run PC viewed in IE (coz you see I have an eMac and use Netscape just to be obstinate ya know)... OH.... HORRORS!!!!

I had no idea, none at all how completely and totally messed up my already amateurish little blog looked till I saw it at school. YIKES! My apologies to... well most of the population I suppose. I take full blame for it, because the Blogger Template itself renders quite nicely... when those who have no clue don't mess around with it ~ ummm, yeah, that would be me and it appears I've got a verrrrry lonnnng way to go before I actually begin to earn that certificate I'm aiming for...

Anyway, I'm totally embarrassed and I tried to figure out what I've done to mess it all up while at school, but after all I was at school, doing something else, and frankly, I've absolutely no idea exactly what the problem was. By the time I left, I still hadn't figured it out, so I've been tweaking at home. The only problem is, since on my computer (on both Netscape and IE actually) there is no problem, I've no idea if I've fixed the problem or not. And the problem that I saw at school was that the sidebar appears underneath the blog body/content.

At first I thought it was because of the banner (and it may well have something to do with it but just reducing the banner image itself did not solve the problem). I tried to compare the source code with an example of the original template and I did find a few discrepencies but I just have no idea if what I did to attempt to fix it worked at all or not. So if anyone could let me know whether it is still skewed in windows/ie or not, and if so if anyone knows what I can do to fix it I will be most grateful.

Posted by etherealfire :: 12:21 AM :: 5 Comments:  

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Monday, May 16, 2005

bring it on home

Two causes for celebration!!!! Yesterday my Robert Plant/Strange Sensation cd, Mighty Rearranger arrived and this afternoon our tickets for his July 21st concert in San Diego ! Major YAYness!!!

Just realizing that I never mentioned my Mother's Day gifts either: besides a gift certificate to Borders and a beautiful brand new journal, I was gifted with Beck's Sea Change (I'd forgotten that we never even got it when it came out though we had good intentions), Patty Griffin's Impossible Dream, and Garbage's Bleed Like Me; I still need Beck's Guero so I'm planning to go get that as soon as I can.

Also Suzanne just bought Aimee Mann's The Forgotten Arm so the family's shared iTunes is full to the brim with new musical magnificance and I'm feeling very spoiled and very happy!

But my current favourite song on my iTunes right now is a lovely gem from the Bring It On Home cd (15 classic tracks chosen by Robert - lotsa good stuff on it too!) that came with my special edition Uncut Mag (May 2005) with a big fat lovely retrospective on Led Zeppelin and a cover devoted to Jimmy (also got a copy of the one with Robert on it as well that came with a Dazed and Confused cd of 13 guitar greats including Jimmy and Jeff Beck with the Yardbirds doing a version of Stroll On) ... oh, yeah, the lovely gem? Roy Harper with Jimmy Page ~ The Same Old Rock. Gorgeous, gorgeous track!

May 2005 Uncut Magazine Special Edition featuring Led Zeppelin
image found courtesy of the always awesome Achilles Last Stand

Posted by etherealfire :: 11:33 PM :: 2 Comments:  

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what is your world view?

'tis true, I do believe. Great quiz! found via It's a Wyrd World.

You scored as Idealist. Idealism centers around the belief that we are moving towards something greater. An odd mix of evolutionist and spiritualist, you see the divine within ourselves, waiting to emerge over time. Many religious traditions express how the divine spirit lost its identity, thus creating our world of turmoil, but in time it will find itself and all things will again become one.

Cultural Creative

What is Your World View? (corrected...hopefully)
created with

Posted by etherealfire :: 11:10 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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not my public broadcasting anymore

Mark Fiore explores the new state of broadcasting at NPR and PBS.

Found via the good folks at

Posted by etherealfire :: 5:42 AM :: 2 Comments:  

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the (dreaded) comment box

I've had some inquiries by some really wonderful people as to why I don't have a comment box. So here's the absolutely unvarnished truth and a tentative foray into what feels to me to be frankly utterly frightening territory.

I am a control freak of epic proportions. I am also a Pisces Rising. If you wonder what either of these things have to do with not having a comment box, I'll try to explain. Once upon a time, like most every good little girl of my age group, I was taught and utterly believed in the idea that "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything." Over the years I have outgrown that notion, at least with those who know me best; I still believe in civil discourse and I would never hurt anyone intentionally if there is any way to avoid it. I have found, however, that civil discourse has largely become a thing of the past in our society, particularly where the admittedly hot-buttoned discussions are concerned.

For a very long time, whenever possible, I would try avoiding engaging in those kinds of discussions; but in last several years I have become alarmed enough about where our civilization is headed to believe that to keep silent about the more outrageous things going on in our world and particularly in this country would be be far a much bigger sin than speaking out about them.

As a result, my blog has become a major outlet for airing some of my concerns over many of those often sensitive and very touchy subjects. All this preamble is for the express purpose of explaining that my Pisces Rising's desire to continue looking through the world in lavender coloured shades has been forced to face a more disillusioning and frightening worldview ~ and believe me, as a Pisces Rising, if I could get away with not having to face that worldview I absolutely would try to do so; unfortunately, that is one luxury that none of us can afford to indulge in at this point in time.

Now back to the control-freak thing. This blog is my place to share what is important to me. If I remember this correctly, and I honestly believe that I do, blogs came along well before comments became a regular feature within them. I will admit that this may not be an accurate memory but that is how I remember it. So when I recently read somewhere that a blog without a comment box is merely commentary, (or maybe it was merely an editorial; I can't exactly remember how it was worded but that was the basic idea) and the unspoken therefore is that a blog is not a legitimate blog without participation by others' via a comment box, I was rather surprised.

I do realize, though, that whether comments were an intended original feature for blogging or not is pretty much beside the point, as most everybody with a legitimate blog seems to have one. Those who do not have one are usually considered not to be legitimate in some way and it has been written that the people who most often do not have comments or who mercilessly censor the comments that they do not like, tend to be people on the other side of the political fence from me (i.e. rightwing) and who really don't believe in freedom of speech; and I haven't had much desire to be lumped into that category but the sad fact is that it is probably true that the reason many of that group do not have a comment box is for the primary reason I don't have one.

The truth is that what I write here is not something that I wish to have critiqued, relentlessly debated about and most especially trolled over. When I see that kind of nastiness on other people's blogs, I really get disgusted and angry. When I'm outraged about something, I really want to be able to do say so without having to endure Mr. Neocon's insulting remarks or strawman arguments clogging my comment box. Mr. Neocon has a right to his very misguided opinion to be sure, but I really don't have any desire to have to read it right here on my own blog. The truth doesn't have to be pretty... it just has to be the truth. And the truth is that this place belongs to me and I'm frankly not interested in giving equal time on my personal space to someone who spouts stuff that I detest.

So... I guess that means that what I'm interested in doing here within my blog (among other things, of course ~ not everything here is political discourse, not by any means) is in fact, making my editorial, or commentary here. I don't want to play point/counterpoint. I don't want to have endless loops arguments with people who are never ever going to get it and don't have one snowball's chance in hell of indoctrinating me into their misguided worldview. And I especially do not want to give space to anyone who wants to use it to be abusive and insulting.

The hot-button subjects I write about in here are for the purpose of venting my spleen over them and educating those who might not be aware of them yet but are open-minded enough to look into what is really going on and follow up on learning more. Those who happen to drop in and don't agree about it and/or don't want to know, are going to move along without any glimmer of enlightenment but there is always the possibility that someone may come along who might not have known anything about it and will be interested enough to look into some piece of information or consider an idea in a different way than they originally would have, if they hadn't seen it. I'll be the first to admit that this is probably a fairly unlikely (or in all probability a fairly infrequent) occurance but even if it happens only once in a blue moon that would make the effort so worthwhile to me. That infrequent happening doesn't require a comment box nor does the desire to air my very real concerns over the more controversial things going on around us every single day.

I've also noticed that spamming becomes a major issue in comment boxes and that is another thing I don't really want to have to deal with.

But... having said all that, I have heard from enough really nice people asking why I don't have a place for comments, to make me reconsider it. And so I have taken a deep breath and stilled my shaking hands and done so, but with this caveat: if I find that having the comments box turned on results in the things I don't want to deal with, and especially if I find myself either self-censoring or engaging in long and endlessly drawn-out and utterly pointless arguments with others because of the comments, I'm very probably going to wind up turning them back off again.

And, if there is a way to censor yucky comments I absolutely will do so ruthlessly and without a single moment's regret over it. I've seen many a troll cry "freedom of speech" while they destroy forums, newsgroups and blogs with joyous abandon. Freedom of speech is guaranteed in this country; but this blog is my home on the internet and anyone who posts here is a guest. If someone came into my home and was abusive, they would not be asked to come back. If someone came into my home and only unpleasantness ensued, they would not be asked to come back. If someone comes into my home and doesn't like what he sees or hears, I would assume that he would make it his business not to come back. The same thing applies here.

So with all that out in the open, I have turned the comments on; and that reminds me of the other reason I never had much desire to see a comment box on my blog. Not only the fear of all the things I mentioned above but also that sad little feeling of having no comments left on the blog at all. However, considering this little rant of an explanation I would understand how it might put people off of the idea of bothering to comment at all. My apologies for doing this, but I thought an explanation was in order and, along with that, an honest explanation of my expectations.

So bottom line; the comment box has been turned on and I would love hearing from anybody who wants to share their comments here; I will even welcome differences of opinion if they are respectfully and earnestly submitted. But I'm not going to tolerate unkindness, spamming or trolling. My home, my rules. Thanks for listening, now it's your turn. ;-)

Posted by etherealfire :: 3:24 AM :: 8 Comments:  

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

oceanic "dead zones" on the rise

Report at The Independent Online by Andrew Buncombe and Geoffrey Lean reveals that the world's oceans are exhibiting a rapidly increasing number of dead zones, "where pollution has starved the sea of life-giving oxygen and thus killing fish and underwater vegetation".

This is just one sign of a rapidly growing crisis. The number of similar dead zones in the world's seas has doubled every decade since 1960, as a result of increasing pollution. The United Nations Environment Programme says that there are now 146 of them worldwide, mainly around the coasts of rich countries. Its executive director, Klaus Töpfer, calls their growth "a gigantic, global experiment ... triggering alarming, and sometimes irreversible, effects".

Posted by etherealfire :: 1:38 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

al and katherine in memphis

And now something to make me feel so much better; found via a posted link from the AirAmerica Radio Al Franken Blog:

Katherine and Al's recent visit to Memphis
courtesy recently added AirAmerica Radio station Progressive Talk 680 WWTQ Memphis

There now, I'm starting to feel so much better; I can almost hear Katherine's wonderfully unrestrained belly laugh just by looking at the pic! Two voices of reason in a sea of insanity; what would we do without you?

Posted by etherealfire :: 11:39 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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and since i'm already outraged

let me just take a moment to ask the religious right this musical question: is this some sort of terribly perverted joke or is there some particularly potent psychedelic ingredient being added to the kool-aid these days???? Because if it is, I'd be wary of the flashbacks you are going to be enduring with that acid trip of a pitcher-full that you are swallowing.

Posted by etherealfire :: 11:11 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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shut up and sing?

Forgive me for airing my dirty laundry publically; especially over someone I don't know personally and therefore, have no reason to do so, nor could he possibly care less... but when I found this, I finally snapped. Honestly, as a rabid Zepfan, I lurves ya Percy, honestly I do (like you care, I know) but.... WTF??? I don't know what it is about Mr. Plant, but with every interview the last few years, he manages to increasingly daze and confuse (and all too frequently outrage, if not not utterly annoy) me with what feels to me to be manipulative doublespeak.

But, okay, maybe that's just me. It's just that not only do I feel like he is forever sending mixed messages to JP and JPJ (dangle that carrot, why dontcha) but as a zepfan that never saw the three remaining members perform together live and would naturally just die happily for the chance to do so, I feel as though I'm getting taken around the mulberry bush right along with them.

What exactly does this statement mean anyway?

He says, "I would have put my robes on and my crown, my sceptre... What a way to spend the weekend.

"It'd be nice to get together to see if we have anything to argue about."

heh... ahem... cough, cough (publicity inducing soundbites to confuse the unwashed short attentioned-spanned masses) cough, cough. Wink, nudge, (Got to sell my [admittedly fantastic and oh-so-worthy on it's own merits] album) cough cough (because as dear old Madge proved and Britney confirmed there's no better promotion then outrageous statements and controversy to sell a product these days) cough cough, ahem....

Erm, yeah, that's kinda what I thought. Love you too, Robert. Bought the cd, bought the tickets. Soon I'll finally be able to say been there, done that and I've no doubt I'll be very glad I was able to because I don't think there's any question that you are an incredibly talented performer and I could kick myself repeatedly for missing the few opportunities I've ever had to actually indulge in the privilege. But I've gotta say I find myself cringing, when I read some of the more outrageous (and frankly sometimes very hurtful) things that comes out of your mouth particularly when directed towards your former bandmates.

Foolish rant over and done with. I'm just a fangirl, and I really need to watch those boundaries between reality and imagining that this would even matter to the artist in question.... and YES I take it all waaaay to seriously, I know. heh... but did I mention that it is a really great album? well I've only heard Shine It All Around but the reviews have been fantastic... ummm, okay, I'm done now.

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:06 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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jimmy gives a whole lotta love to wall street

and I wasn't there... :-P but thanks to internets I get a little report and a little visual commemoration of the event, so I'm not complaining... too much. :-)
Page brought the exchange to a standstill when he strummed "Whole Lotta Love" to mark his label's initial public offer from the balcony overlooking the trading floor.

The guitarist had to escape through a side-door to escape a crush of traders bearing Led Zeppelin albums for his autograph. Warner Music's IPO, however, failed to garner anywhere near as much interest.

But the not so happy news was that Warner Music's market debut had a rather tentative first day of trading, despite JP's valiant efforts at bringing an auspicious start to the day.

Led Zeppellin guitarist Jimmy Page, right, plays for one minute prior to the ringing of the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, May 11, 2005 in New York. Page was among the group on the bell podium celebrating the initial public offering of the Warner Music Group. Warner Music Group Corp.'s initial public offering didn't hit the high note its owners were hoping for Tuesday, pricing its initial public offering at $17 a share, below its expected range of $22 to $24. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)

Posted by etherealfire :: 9:37 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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another bit of trivial fun

I don't think I've seen this one before but I love this self-indulgent fun stuff! Just another lovely blog vanity plate to post. And yes, it really does sound just about right on the money. Found via Karmically Challenged Life.

Your Birthdate: January 3

Being born on the 3rd day of the month is likely to add a good bit of vitality to your life.

The energy of 3 allows you bounce back rapidly from setbacks, physical or mental.

There is a restlessness in your nature, but you seem to be able to portray an easygoing, "couldn't care less" attitude.

You have a natural ability to express yourself in public, and you always make a very good impression.

Good with words, you excel in writing, speaking, and possibly singing.

You are energetic and always a good conversationalist.

You have a keen imagination, but you tend to scatter your energies and become involved with too may superficial matters.

You are affectionate and loving, but sometimes too sensitive.

You are subject to rapid ups and downs.

What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

Posted by etherealfire :: 1:36 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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britain facing the big chill

The Sunday Times Britain report here; found via Minding the Planet.

CLIMATE change researchers have detected the first signs of a slowdown in the Gulf Stream — the mighty ocean current that keeps Britain and Europe from freezing.

They have found that one of the “engines” driving the Gulf Stream — the sinking of supercooled water in the Greenland Sea — has weakened to less than a quarter of its former strength.

Posted by etherealfire :: 12:56 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

is this what is meant by animal husbandry???

When I heard the clip of this on Randi Rhodes I couldn't believe it was real... but alas, this freak on a leash (or at least a freak that should be leashed) is one of the exalted anti-choice movement's finest minds. Is it my imagination or are a great many of the righteous right having a collective meltdown right before our eyes?

Zero credibility, people. ZERO CREDIBILITY... and clowns like this one have the nerve to imply that they are the moral authority of this nation? I dunno, maybe this is the end times but if that's the case, I've got a gut feeling and some bad news for some of these people; Jesus doesn't know you... and he wants his name back.

If you haven't heard the clip, check it out here, listed under the scintillating title, A Roll in the Hay.

Posted by etherealfire :: 11:32 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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Monday, May 09, 2005

renee and kenny tie the knot

And why do I care you may wonder? Well, mainly because I love Renee Zellweger and I'm a sucker for romance. I had no idea she was even dating Chesney, but it sounds like he was smitten over her for a long time, even before they ever met. I dunno, I just love fairy tale stuff like that. Report here.

Updated 05-11-2005: Found an image of the newly married couple via Yahoo News Photos

The pair at their May 9th beachfront wedding

Posted by etherealfire :: 9:13 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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the skinny on social security

Moveon's got the winning entry for the flash animation contest that explains the social security issue; watch it here ~ then pass it on!

Posted by etherealfire :: 3:01 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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The Bushes and the Death of Reason

Robert Parry's fascinating analysis via can be found here.

If you want to understand why George W. Bush and his political allies were so confident they could get away with manipulating information to dupe the American people into war in Iraq, a good place to start might be to look at this photo of 16 men posing for a group shot in front of the Parsonage cottage at the Bohemian Grove on the last weekend of July 1980.

Posted by etherealfire :: 2:52 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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pheremone study points to biological component in gender preference

Report on the study can be found here.

Posted by etherealfire :: 2:36 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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Thursday, May 05, 2005

a perspective on christian persecution

Slacktavist pegs it right here.

found link via Atrios' Eschaton.

Posted by etherealfire :: 3:52 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

my sentiments exactly

Genia lays it on the line... and I couldn't agree more. I think we can all see the writing on the wall... and I think the time is coming for those who have been talking that talk to put up and start walking the walk.

As for general support of the war, CNN has the latest poll results here.

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:35 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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4 dead in ohio ~ May 4, 1970

4 Kent State Students Killed by Troops.

One of the lowest points in that turbulent, heartbreaking time. The only thing more tragic than that period of loss and division in our great nation, would be if we learned absolutely nothing from it...

link found via Reading in the Dark.

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:06 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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the temporary nature of the material world

a lovely link to a lovely bit of contemplation on the impermanence of this illusory 3d world we live in found via the lovely i flip flop ;-)

Posted by etherealfire :: 9:31 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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Jolly good, wot! Anyone for tennis? That'll be ten ponies, guv. You're the epitome of everything that is english. Yey :) Hoist that Union Jack!

How British are you?

this quiz was made by alanna

found this one via Feministe.

Posted by etherealfire :: 9:19 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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I think NOT!!!

I am:

"You're a complete liberal, utterly without a trace of Republicanism. Your strength is as the strength of ten because your heart is pure.
(You hope.)"

Are You A Republican?

Or, rather I think therefore I'm a Democrat... harharhar...

Quiz found via a favourite journal read, Marching to a Different Bagpiper.

Posted by etherealfire :: 8:57 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

al franken on rush and air america's future

Working For Change's Geov Parrish has an interview with Al Franken, The bureau of Rush's butt. Air America Radio has just picked up station 54 and looking forward to returning to Chicago's Airwaves in the next week or so.

Here's the reference to the bureau of rush's butt:

GP: What do you think the differences are between you and Limbaugh?

AF: I'm glad you asked me that. I use this example a lot. A few months ago, Rush was talking about the minimum wage. Conservatives like to portray it that no one has to raise a family on the minimum wage, the only people who get the minimum wage are teenagers who want to buy an i-Pod. So Rush says, "75 percent of all Americans on the minimum wage, my friends, are teenagers on their first job." And one of the researchers brings this to me, with a smile, and I say, "Well, can you look it up?" And they look it up, the researcher goes to something called the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 60.1 percent of Americans on minimum wage are twenty and above. 39.9 percent, then, are either teenagers or below twelve (laughs). I had several jobs as a teenager, so you figure, what, 13 percent might be teenagers in their first job. Not 75 percent. So where did Rush get his statistic? Well, he got it directly from his butt. It went out his butt, into his mouth, out the microphone, into the air, into the brains of dittoheads. And they believe this stuff.

So we get our labor statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He gets his from the Bureau of Rush's Butt. And that's the difference. We don't do that. That's one of the main differences.

Posted by etherealfire :: 3:59 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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the iraq/vietnam comparison

Greg Mitchell's recent commentary, At 30: Iraq and the Vietnam Syndrome responds to Jonah Goldberg's blithely clueless Sometimes, it simply isn't Vietnam.

link found via DC Media Girl.

Posted by etherealfire :: 1:00 PM :: 0 Comments:  

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cream reunites for london shows

Supergroup Cream rises again and I wish I could have been there!

Thirty-seven years ago after the group performed its final concert at Royal Albert Hall, the trio returned to the same venue on Monday, much changed but still very much revered.

"Thanks for waiting all these years," Clapton admonished the crowd during the first of four sold-out concerts in London. "We're going to play every song we know."

Well, not quite. In just over two hours, Cream ripped through 18 songs -- beginning with "I'm So Glad" and then on to "Spoonful," "Badge," "Born Under a Bad Sign," Sitting On Top of the World" and "White Room."

AP Photo of Cream at Reunion Concert, May 2, 2005
via Yahoo Entertainment News Slideshow ~ go see all the photos!

Posted by etherealfire :: 11:58 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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Monday, May 02, 2005

last friday's new rules

One Good Move has last Friday's New Rules from Bill Maher's Real Time... which was really funny...but the one I've been looking for is the one a couple of weeks ago about pharmacists not filling bc scripts... but this set of new rules is really funny though...

Bill Maher is definitely his own person and I know he frequently earns the wrath of both libs and conservatives alike at times, but at least he's true to himself and I think he's brilliantly funny, even when he makes me mad.

But it's Monday morning and I really needed a rerun of Friday night laughter. Enjoy!

Posted by etherealfire :: 5:35 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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be yourself

Audioslave's latest CD will be out May 24th! One of about a handful of my favourite current bands, I'm anxious to hear the whole thing, but you can hear Be Yourself (sounds great!) when you click on their official site link and you can also access the video there as well. AND if you've got a PC and Windows Media Player (which I DON'T...bleah!) you can download Your Time Has Come by going here. Lucky, lucky you! As for me, I guess I'll be cooling my heels till May 24th. oh well...

The tour kicks off tomorrow in Atlanta and they will be at the HOB in San Diego on May 17th and now that I've (ostensibly) got the power I wonder if I dare press my luck (and my considerable greediness) and get tickets.... but that's on a Wednesday anyway, so I'm guessing that's a sign from the gods that I'd better not. Hmmmm, but they are gonna be at the Wiltern in LA on the 20th which is a Saturday...

No, probably not in the cards for me this time. awwwww.... Anyway, you can check out their tour dates for yourself at

Posted by etherealfire :: 5:08 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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Sunday, May 01, 2005

egyptian whale

Just stumbled across this bit of news via National Geographic News.

And a little bit more about the 40 million year old whale fossil discovery can be found at MSNBC.

photo by Philip Gingerich | Univ. of Michigan

Posted by etherealfire :: 7:14 AM :: 0 Comments:  

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