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writing in the rAw: recommended reads

I’m really happy to be part of this writers’ alliance and the opportunity it affords to reconnect with some of my favorite bloggers. It feels good.

Here are some of the essays on our reading list, including birthday girl Diane G’s Groundhog’s Day post…


cometman describes Mohamed Bouazizi as a World Shaker, a man who had nothing and yet managed to change the course of history…

Mexican Culture Tour Ends In Super Bowl Tailgate for a couple of accidental tourists. Penned by Pinche Tejano

The GrandWazoo writes that this might be a good Time for Strange Bedfellows, politically speaking.

Most nights, Night Owl publishes his Overnight Caption Contest party… and it’s always a hoot!

The Skin Horse speaks

“What is a LEADER?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“A LEADER isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. It’s realizing that every experience develops some latent force within you.1 You begin to understand that vision is the art of seeing the invisible2 so that when you want to build a wagon, you don’t gather the other toys to collect wood or assign them tasks, but rather you teach them to long for ways to traverse the endless immensity of the backyard.3 Then you become a LEADER.”

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about that holy war against health insurers

PhotobucketDoing some reading before bed last night and opened nyceve’s diary over at dKos titled In 2011, these people will launch holy war against the health insurance Industry.

I get here, where she writes:

As insurers continue to raise premiums and cut benefits, Health and Human Services is relegated to pleading, cajoling and threatening, but in the end, can do little to control them. This is an uncontrollable industry.

… and my head explodes: they can’t they be controlled???? Why is that?????? Isn’t that what we should focus on???

nyceve… she’s great, heroic even… out there fighting to make things better. But there’s this one little thing: we are engulfed in lawlessness and lack of accountability. Nobody… nobody… is enforcing the law or holding the powerful accountable.

What does this have to do with health insurance?

Just . . . everything.

cross-posted at writing in the rAw and at dKos

What if Christmas doesn’t come from a store?


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketRummaging through ornaments, I pick up three of my favorites. A trio of polar bears, made from a kind of velvet elvis-like material. They all have this innocent hey lady, where’s the hot chocolate and cookies look when really, they’re eyeing the red-lacquered wagon. And they do it every year … ha! One bear climbs in as the other two take up positions pulling and pushing the wiggly little cart across the window sill. It’s a sweet little vignette until the “it’s my turn to ride in the wagon” starts. But we’ve all been there…

The snowmen, generally a more gentlemanly bunch, find a place around a sparkly tree on a quiet sill away from the bears. Greenery gets hung around the fire place and candles lit in the hearth. The collection of Santas, with big bellies and spindly legs, have gathered around the wood-cut fir to admire the fine glass sleigh parked there and piled high with packages. Christmas music is playing and this year, snow surrounds our little place.


400 cold dogs

There are over 400 dogs in the Prietenii Nostri shelter facing another very cold Romanian winter.


If you have just a few dollars, please consider sending to the shelter. Founder Gratiela Ristea is one of my heros and she gives everything she’s got to these dogs. $10 feeds one dog for a month.

here is the pay pal link

or bank transfer info:

Asociatia Pentru Protectia Animalelor “Prieteni Nostri”

Tudor Vladimirescu Street, Number 169

Slatina City, Romania



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Elizabeth Edwards ends her cancer treatment

Elizabeth Edwards stops cancer treatment

Photobucket“You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined.

The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human.

“But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn’t possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know.”

Democrats exploiting Republicans? You bet.

PhotobucketSo. the frayed ends finally rip and tear. It finally becomes clearer: most Democratic politicians aren’t interested in being courageous. They are, however, interested in cash, campaigns, and power. They love to wordsmith and dazzle progressives with fabulous politicSpeak: yes, they do. More and better words delivered by more, but not necessarily better, Democrats.

Perhaps it is just plain decency that Democrats lack… the decency to stop playing both sides of issues. The decency to stop exploiting Republicans. Yes. You heard me. The Democrats have been the minority, the majority, with and without a sitting president and STILL the fucking Republicans are road blocks? It’s always the Republicans’s fault? No matter how it is sliced and diced, the Dems are always having their hands tied by some outside force.  I’m not buying it.

cross posted at writing in the rAw and Daily Kos

We’re a new blog: writing in the rAw


Starting a new blog is a funny endeavor. Why do it? People ask about mission statements and intentions and they want to know: what will this accomplish?

PhotobucketHonestly, I don’t know. This might be the very first time in my life that I have no expectations. I don’t know what this place will become. I have no set idea on what is success and what is failure.

In fact, this isn’t even my blog. I’ve funded it, but I don’t own it. Ownership seems hard to claim in a venture so open to other people’s ideas and vision shaping and driving it.

Perhaps it is a bit experimental: I’m curious what evolves from chaos: there are few rules, no boss, and an eclectic group of writers, poets, musicians, and thinkers who may find themselves here from time-to-time.

For me, this is about finding a way to influence an entire planet in thousands of small and profound ways. But these are my own intentions and I do not speak on behalf of the others who may join in here. I can only tell you I am looking for ways to break communication barriers, discover common ground, and reclaim options over how this life thing goes forward.

With that said, I’d like to make some very necessary acknowledgments.