Aerial photograph shows location of terrorist training facility

"These terrorists...we have seen their kind before. They're the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way to where it ends in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies."
--- George W. Bush, Sep. 20, 2001

If you were driving on one of those country roads, you could probably see the edges of the camp, but you wouldn't realize this is a special camp.

More here and here.

And a question to President Obama, here, by Diane Lefer.

"Every nation has a choice to make. In this conflict, there is no neutral ground. If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocents, they have become outlaws and murderers themselves."
---George W. Bush, Oct. 7, 2001




America is reeling under the weight of health care as it exists today with millions of people rolling the dice and not carrying insurance due to its high cost and restrictions.

The mostly Republican supported corporate fat cats and the insurance companies are making money hand over fist while sentencing thousands to death because of their poor decisions. These decisions are designed to save them money and deprive Americans of decent health care. Even today, when faced with overwhelming evidence, the vast majority of Republican legislators are opposed to providing health care for all Americans, knowing that any government supported program would cost their wealthy constituents.

To read some of these horror stories check out this link:

Health Care Horror Stories







Summer is here & it's time to make Cake
Jin's glued in the kitchen each day she must Bake
Brides & grooms they litter her door
Making it legal so his betrothed won't be a wh**e

I enjoy immensely that which I do
Yet occasionally I feel just a tad blue
For on a clear warm breezy night I have said
I'd rather be hanging at The Fantastical Wulfshead.



It is 10:00 p.m. Do you know where your congressmen are?

Obama's got a point:
"If private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best-quality health care, if they tell us that they’re offering a good deal, then why is it that the government, which they say can’t run anything, suddenly is going to drive them out of business?"

So then, who is afraid of the public option?

Not the people; not according to this New York Times - CBS News poll:

So who is it exactly that our representatives are representing in Congress?

I am wondering what the Democrats have to say?

Ah! don't look now but here is one, just walking in.

(Hushed voice.) This is Max Sieben Baucus, a Democrat and the senior Senator from Montana.

He is the current chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Finance and a central figure in the current policy debates over health care reform---which includes his opposition to HR 676.

What is he up to?

(Whispering.) Let's not disturb him. Maybe we can find more online about him.

(Excitedly.) Ah, here it is:

Ain't Wikipedia great?
Senate finance committee

Recently Baucus, as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, caused controversy when calling the first Senate meeting of interested parties before the committee to discuss health care reform, which included representatives from pharmaceutical groups, insurance companies, and HMOs and hospital management companies, but did not include representatives from groups calling for single-payer health care which is the reform idea that has the most support amongst medical doctors[18], nurses, and the population at large. Advocate groups attended the hearing to protest their exclusion as well as statements by Baucus that "single payer was not an option on the table." Baucus later had eight protesters (among them physicians and nurses), removed by police who arrested them for disrupting the hearing. Many of the single-payer advocates claimed it was a "pay to play" event. At the next meeting on health care reform of the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus had five more doctors and nurses removed and arrested.

Opposition to single payer health care

Baucus has used the term "uniquely American solution" to describe the end point of current health reform and has said that he believes America is not ready yet for any form of single payer health care. This is the same term the insurance trade association, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), is using. AHIP has launched the Campaign for an American Solution, which argues for the use of private health insurance instead of a government backed program. It has been pointed out that America already has a "uniquely American solution" that is a single payer health care system, it is Medicare.

Conflict of interest perceptions

Some have pointed out that Baucus has been one of the biggest Senate beneficiaries of campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries. From 2003 to 2008, Baucus received about $3 million from the health sector, including $852,813 from pharmaceutical companies, $851,141 from health professionals, $784,185 from the insurance industry and $465,750 from HMOs/health services, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The only senators who received more campaign contributions from the health sector than he did in that period were three major Presidential contenders during the same period, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Baucus tops the list of recipients from business PACs. A 2006 study by Public Citizen found that between 1999 and 2005 Baucus, along with former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, took in the most special-interest money of any senator.

Only three senators have more former staffers working as lobbyists on K Street, at least two dozen in Baucus's case. Several of Baucus' ex-staffers with whom he is still close, among them, former chief of staff David Castagnetti, are now working for the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries. Castagnetti co-founded the lobbying firm of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, which represents "America’s Health Insurance Plans Inc.," the national trade group of health insurance companies, the Medicare Cost Contractors Alliance, as well as Amgen, AstraZeneca PLC and Merck & Co. Another former chief of staff, Jeff Forbes, went on to open his own lobbying shop and to represent the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the Advanced Medical Technology Association, among other groups.

Commentator Ed Schultz stated on his MSNBC TV show that Baucus has received "more money from pharmaceutical companies and insurance industry folks than any other Democrat in the Congress. Baucus got $183,000 from health insurance companies and $229,900 from drug companies", and contrasting the presence of representatives from these groups with the absence of representatives from Single payer advocates he added wryly "May I remind you, they were at the table."

Tax policy

Baucus voted for the Bush tax cuts in 2001. He has usually voted against repealing portions of that bill and against repealing more recent tax cut bills that benefit upper income taxpayers. In 2008, he voted in favor of permanently repealing the estate tax.

Tort reform

He was one of 26 senators to vote against the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005





Golly, it's true! History does repeat itself...

I wonder how it shall all end this time around.

Chief Justice William Rehnquist (2000)----------Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (2009)



The Orthodoxy

It doesn’t look good for the so-called “public option” in Obama’s healthcare program. Too many conservative Democrats are jumping ship for it to pass in the Senate. And Republicans, wedded to their hard right Capitalist orthodoxy, have already branded it “socialist.”

Were it not for the orthodoxy we, as a nation, could perhaps see how truly illogical it is to provide our basic healthcare needs to the insurance industry as a commodity to exploit. I have spoken to people who spend more than a thousand dollars a month on health insurance, are unsatisfied with it, but would never accept a government system because it would raise taxes (not anywhere near a thousand dollars a month) and would advance the slip and slide toward “socialism” and the “loss of individual freedom.” And that in spite of the exploitive nature of many private insurance companies.

These are true believers, indeed. To the point that they are willing to cut off their own noses to spite their faces.

So we, as a nation, will suffer so that these industry CEOs can have their share of the American pie. I got these figures off a post on the web but they appear reasonably accurate.

The right-wing Orthodox Capitalists would call this the American Dream in action. Many among the rest of us cry out in bewildered disgust.

ANNUAL COMPENSATION (2006 and 2007):

Ronald A. Williams, Chair/ CEO, Aetna Inc., $23,045,834

H. Edward Hanway, Chair/ CEO, Cigna Corp, $30.16 million

David B. Snow, Jr, Chair/ CEO, Medco Health, $21.76 million

Michael B. MCallister, CEO, Humana Inc, $20.06 million

Stephen J. Hemsley, CEO, UnitedHealth Group, $13,164,529

Angela F. Braly, President/ CEO, Wellpoint, $9,094,771

Dale B. Wolf, CEO, Coventry Health Care, $20.86 million

Jay M. Gellert, President/ CEO, Health Net, $16.65 million

William C. Van Faasen, Chairman, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3 million plus $16.4 million in retirement benefits

Charlie Baker, President/ CEO, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, $1.5 million

James Roosevelt, Jr., CEO, Tufts Associated Health Plans, $1.3 million

Cleve L. Killingsworth, President/CEO Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3.6 million

Raymond McCaskey, CEO, Health Care Service Corp (Blue Cross Blue Shield), $10.3 million

Daniel P. McCartney, CEO, Healthcare Services Group, Inc, $ 1,061,513

Daniel Loepp, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $1,657,555

Todd S. Farha, CEO, WellCare Health Plans, $5,270,825

Michael F. Neidorff, CEO, Centene Corp, $8,750,751

Daniel Loepp, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $1,657,555

Todd S. Farha, CEO, WellCare Health Plans, $5,270,825

Michael F. Neidorff, CEO, Centene Corp, $8,750,751<—



The Newt American Century


Newt Gingrich is a senior fellow at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI) which emerged as one of the leading architects of the government's public policy during George W. Bush presidency. More than twenty AEI alumni and visiting scholars and fellows served either in a Bush administration policy post or on one of the government's many panels and commissions. AEI rents office space to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), one of the leading voices that pushed the Bush administration's plan for "regime change" through war in Iraq. While the PNAC has gone dormant and is nowadays keeping a low profile, a rebranded version of the project was recently launched by Bill Kristoll under the name of Foreign Policy Initiative.

Did someone say partay?



If only, Newt

"We are living in a period where we are surrounded by paganism."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

I've known one or two Pagans in my time, and lemme tell ya, those guys can party.

A "strange coincidence"... use a phrase,
By which such things are settled nowadays."
— Lord Byron

There is always room for coincidences...
— Alva Noto

"We know that attention acts as a lightning rod. Merely by concentrating on something one causes endless analogies to collect around it, even penetrate the boundaries of the subject itself: an experience that we call coincidence, serendipity – the terminology is extensive. My experience has been that in these circular travels what is really significant surrounds a central absence, an absence that, paradoxically, is the text being written or to be written."
— Julio Cortázar (Around the Day in Eighty Worlds)



Hold on now...


...this dance ain't for everybody, just the sexy people...

Did I mess my hair up?
Fellas, y'all play something
I'ma go over here and talk to this girl...



Ummm, What Time Is It?

Wednesday already? Guess that means it's time for a drink. I think whatever it is that Jin has been at sounds appealing.
(A most amazing time piece, if you have five minutes to feed the Chronophage)

Sub Rosa

Thanks a lot! I have Jin and her spooky tale to blame for another awkward exchange I had with one of the bartenders at The Wulfshead.

Well, it's my own fault really. I mean, by now, I should know better than even broach such a subject---any subject---with any of the staff here. Not that, most of the time, one will fare any better engaging some of the patrons.

What can I say? I just couldn't help it: I asked the bartender what he knew about Spirits. You would have done the same thing. I hinted to him that anything he'd share with me as I was under the influence of wine (sub vino) would also remain sub rosa. And this is how I now know more than anyone here---more than I really cared to---about some rather expensive vodka distillates produced by this Oregon craft micro distillery. The bartender told me that in sampling some of the "elixir" he was serving me, I was sharing in a long and honored tradition in line with the Illuminati, the Priory of Scion, and the Knights Templar. Methinks he was putting me on!

But, speaking of which---i.e., Spirits and bottles (the kind from which genies are freed or imprisoned), and Sub Rosa....[continued]

Prior to visiting The Wulfshead last night, I had just been watching that quaint and rather atypical 1994 TNG episode:

I kid you not---cross my heart and hope to die!

Now, how is that for a coincidence?

Odd isn't it? I thought so too. Imagine my surprise when, visiting The wulfshead shortly afterward, I ran into Jin and her enraptured audience as she was relating her own ghost story, and possibly a Gothic romance of her own.

You would have been amazed at the amount of pastries those people can ingest---Jin's audience that is, not Gothic lovers.

One of the scenes in the TNG's episode is rather hot:
The candle (a family heirloom which is a depository for the ghostlike entity) begins to flicker in Beverly's quarters as she is sleeping soundly. The covers over her begin to slide away, and so is her nightgown, slowly exposing her shoulder, and Beverly reacts as if someone were kissing her on the neck. A disembodied voice calls her name as she stirs and shivers...
And...err...ah...where was I?

Ah, yes, ghosts!

The problem with ghosts is that it is not always clear how they come about or which came first, the ghost or the belief. It's the same thing with myths. Myths and beliefs sometimes take a life of their own. In time, some manifest as true because enough people believe so passionately about them. Some are helpful. And some will lead you astray.

A common question when it comes to "apparitions" is: "Did we see it because it really was there or did we see it because we expected to see it due to the known story of the place?"

This is how the Philip experiment was born.

A a group of Canadian parapsychologists during the 1970s hoped their experiment would help in the study of the phenomena of poltergeists, hauntings, and Spiritualism. Their findings appear in the work Conjuring up Philip (1976) by Iris Owen and Margaret Sparrows.

Philip was a fictitious concoction agreed upon from the start by the members of the group who created him. Like a character in a fictional novel, Philip was given a name and a made up history. The group proceeded from there to gather on a regular basis and sit around a table, like in a Spiritists seance, to conjure the spirit of Philip.

One day Philip responded.

The results of the experiment---which were fully documented on film and audiotape---are quite intriguing:


The Philip Phenomenon

How to create a Ghost

The Skippy Experiment



A spooky tale

He's back again. The man in my office. The one that others have seen, even though he isn't *technically* there. He comes & goes... at times it'll be days between visits whilst occasionally months shall pass before I know he's around again.

What am I on about you ask? I suppose I've had one too many draughts & am apt to babble on more than normal about one of the ghosts that resides in my shoppe. I've no solid proof available for the non-believers, only my word, which some will say is 'good as gold'. So, if you care to have a listen, pull up a bar stool and click on through...

...oh how lovely! More than one of you has stuck around to hear my tale. In appreciation, let me offer you a delicious sweet to jindulge in... now where was I... oh yes...

I suppose I always knew he was there. As a rule I can't really see spirits; I hear (a voice in my head that isn't mine), feel (the definite weight of a hand upon my arm) or smell them (cigar smoke or old-fashioned ladies perfume).

I find it interesting (amusing might be more like it ;-) how different men have dealt with him. Yes, that's right, he seems to appear solely to my current squeeze. Granted, I can only name three, but that simply means this trio told me what they saw... at times I wonder how many didn't say a word. Oh dear, not to imply that I'm a tart! No no no. *blush* Here, have another truffle & forget I said that last bit out loud...

My exhusband was the first to admit to seeing him. It was very near the bitter end of us. One night he went into the dark room to switch on the lamp. Evidently the ghost was standing near the lamp as the light went on & nearly frightened my ex to death. Drat, I'm only human, so I shall grudgingly admit to the fact that I still giggle as I recall the fearful look on his face. *evil grin*

Next up was a gent I kept company with very briefly. I was working alone, late one evening, when he drove up in front of my shoppe. He didn't come in immediately, but once he did I was accused of getting back together with my ex. I asked whatever gave him that idea. His reply, "I know he's upstairs, I saw him looking out your office window as I drove up."

That's actually how I have seen him. Only once, late at night, as I pulled in the driveway, there he was peering out my office window through the sheer curtain: tall, slender, dark hair, smooth shaven. I am quite thankful that I knew it wasn't a burglar as I'd have looked like a kook if I'd have called the police & no one was in the building.

Final known sighting was a few nights ago, by my new beau. We were alone here, mere feet from 'the spot', when he announced, "I just saw someone in your office!"

I laughed, "Well, is he still there?"
He replied, "I don't know. I'm afraid to look. I don't want to know!"

The most interesting part of the tale- it is impossible for one to stand & look out of my window as there is a very large wide desk blocking access to it.


Courageously fighting "needless and dangerous transparency"

Somebody's got to do it:
"Transparency in government is an American value, but it is not without limits,
no more than any of the values embraced in our Constitution, the transparency
in this case is needless and dangerous transparency."
---Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Press Conference: June 9, 2009)



Here is the complete portrait.

Here is the text that will appear at the beginning of your post. Anything below this block of text will only show up when a reader clicks on the link for "MORE>".

—> Here begins the rest of your post. Anything between these two span tags will only show up when a reader clicks on the link for "MORE>". This is a detail of a portrait my father did of Honoria Murphy, the daughter of Sara and Gerald Murphy, in East Hampton, 1938. Just thought I would share it with you. Quinty.<—



I wonder if your feelings on this matter are clear, Lord Vader.

Are you a Jedi or Sith?
Anakin Skywalker - Jedi Guardian/Sith
Anakin Skywalker - Jedi Guardian/Sith
Clouded your futurs is! The outcome of your training is not yet known. For now it looks like your path leads to both the light and darksides of the Force. Masterful with a lightsaber, and well knowlegdable in the force. Hatred runs deep throughout your body. Yet your feelings towards others is very strong, full of love.

Which Star Wars Jedi/Sith are you?


Dynamite in a small package, and long-lasting, like the Energizer bunny. While you are wise and calm, you are able to call on your killer instincts and be kick-ass. Some may call you a ‘sleeper’. With such great power comes some arrogance, but you are quick to return to humility and fix your mistakes. You have certainly left your mark on the world, in good and bad ways, and it was kinda sad to see you go. But no need to worry, you have gained immortality even though you can’t wield your toothpick of a lightsabre anymore.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.



Move over Dick Cheney

A new GOP leader has emerged.

"The King is a visionary leader, and has the opportunity to be the new face of the Republican Party, which we need," say GOP strategists.

The GOP image makeover campaign has begun in earnest.

Don't be left out. The King needs YOU! All suggestions are welcome: Burger King Sign Generator.


anything or anyone

You must learn one thing:
the world was made to be free in.

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

you can hear yourself say things you didn't know that you knew



An eerie tale to go with your Ale

Oh Bartender! Trade me a pint for a true story? Fabulous! I thought you might. ;-)

One of my very first customer duos was a middle aged man who would bring his elderly mother to my shoppe once per month. She seemed to be on the verge of the end but sure did love selecting a variety of pastries jinterspersed with a bit of convo. They both seemed very kind, very... errr... shall we say "normal" (a category I personally try to stay far far away from). The type of folk that would chuckle at the mundane, converse stoically about weather & go on about how the good 'ole days are never to be duplicated again (especially after seeing my prices). I would chuckle along with them & spew forth some nonsensical drivel, even though I generally despise that type of thing, because they were good customers after all.

Years passed & their visits became ritual. I never did secure any hard facts about either of them- but hey, I'm great at supposition, so what did it matter?! All I needed to know was this: if a mid-forties, soft-spoken gentleman who dresses like a priest, was living with his Mother in this day & age... why... it's quite obvious he was channeling Norman Bates.

Yes I am serious! Oh you're laughing at me are you?! You won't think it's funny when I tell you that one fateful day, he arrived at my shoppe ALONE. I knew darn well he had murdered his mother, taxidermified her himself, propped her body up in his basement & proceeded to stop by for pastry. I assume he figured my Angelfood Cake was exculpatory.