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This delicate painting was done by Lan Ying in 1642 during the Ming Dynasty and is called “Autumn Clearing in the Misty Woods.” I love these so simplistic works from Asia. They contain a beauty so different from most Western art.

Unbelievable, but the shopping excursion went without incident yesterday. We registered our new Bronco and got around quickly, sneaking a Burger King for dinner! I’m back on my kitchen cleaning, having done the Microwave cart today and the dog watering area. Mostly that is just getting the stains off the floor from well water deposits. Dogs are sloppy drinkers. One day off here, and I feel like I’ve missed out on so much. My feeds were lit up, so maybe if I rework how often they update I’ll be a bit better in getting them done on their own, instead of having to hand update them, which takes me about 30 minutes every day.

The Contrarian is out doing “man work.” Yes, that is what he calls it. It’s usually about car, truck, tractor or wood things. He and the dogs seem to enjoy it, at least until I hear that famous “MOTHER F**KING…..something or other.” LOL. He takes out his aggressions on inanimate objects only, which is truly a good thing! In that he takes after his father who was also quite famous I’m told for screaming tantrums at “things.” Come to think of it, I tend to do the same thing.

Oh, and a quick apology to all. I’ve been a tad busy and this blog has taken a long time to get up each day, so I’m way behind on my comments on your blogs. I have been reading them each day, but run out of time to go back and bring up the sites to leave comments. I’ll hopefully catch up this weekend! Sorry.

On to the news:

What bothers me about all this hoopla about “immigration” is that I feel its veiled bigotry. None of this was an issue before “security” became such an issue. But if that were truly the motive, then the same hue and cry would be raised about our border with Canada, which is almost entirely open. So I think it’s just a lot of white working class folks who blame their employment misfortunes on Latinos, something they don’t do when times are good. The toll being taken on the 80% of Latinos who are legal is a serious problem. Read more at Alternet.

American Presidents Blog has a nice look at Theodore Roosevelt and his Bull Moose Party run in 1912 that enabled Woodrow Wilson to capture the White House. This campaign split the Republicans. Was it all Roosevelt’s fault? Read more to find out.

Anyone who saw Dubya’s disgusting display before the Knesset yesterday should read this next post. The fact that Republicans would do such a thing is, well what you would expect. But it is considered a no-no to engage in “politics” when one is overseas. The thing that is deplorable is that McCain joined in, married himself once again to Bush, and as usual, is on record singing quite a different tune. Once again the elder is having an Alzheimer’s moment. Such things are going to bury him in the fall, much to everyone’s delight.

Britannica Blog has a sad little story about the disappearance of songbirds across America.Such is not the case here in the meadow, as we are treated to the songs of orioles and indigo buntings, doves, chickadees, finches, and the like. I wake to the sound of red wing blackbirds and a whole host of cardinals greeting the day. Such alas is not the case in many other areas, as birds are systematically losing habitat. Scientists believe it is a combination of climate change, mercury poisoning and habitat removal.

Wow, I saw this appetizer dip at Coconut & Limeand just immediately decided that you would want to see it. It is just yummy looking. Oh I hate using the word yummy, that’s a word fit for something like rice krispie bars or something, not this elegant creation. Be sure to look at it, and get a copy and try it soon. Chipotle Spinach Artichoke Dip.

I love bonsai. I am totally captivated by the exquisite beauty of tiny trees. I have even seen fake bonsai made of paper and other items, and been so distressed that I could find no “instructions” on the internet to learn this very technical craft. The reason i want to learn fake bonsai, is that I have had no luck in keeping any bonsai of my own alive. Perhaps Sally’s Gardening Tips will help me.

Essential Estrogen puts a human face on the Postville roundup. Real people with real stories. I can find no anger in my heart at the lives of these people who come to America out of desperation and hope. I have no desire to see them sent back to their home countries. For most, even a life of relative poverty in the US is far better than what they endured at home. I think we are big enough to open our arms and make room.

Ready for some Louisiana Bayou food? I bet you are. Epicurious brings us a great little recipe for New Orleans Shrimp, Okra, and Tomato Sauce. Sure to please everyone.

I for one was rather disappointed some years ago when Tom Daschle lost his Senate seat to some nobody who slid in on Bush’s 2004 coattails. But Mr. Daschle has a new book out on Health Care, and is firmly in the Obama camp. It seems a bright light on the horizon for those of us who are passionate about this issue and have been fearful that only Clinton could get it done. Read Ezra Stein‘s good post and interview with Daschle.

On the freebie circuit, Hey it’s Free has  Viva toweling and Teddy Grahams for you. 

Here’s a post that left me scratching my head. I would understand this if it were Guam or Puerto Rico or some other island nation that we are a protectorate over, but there are some in Hawaii who want independence from the US. Now I thought that issue was settled by the Civil War. Apparently it’s not, and History News Network has the story. Most strange, indeed. This simply doesn’t strike me as a case of colonization.

One of the unsavory aspects to American History has to be the trampling of individual rights by colonials in their desire to preserve a pure religion in their realm. In fact, as I’ve noted before, most of the colonies were church/state organizations which allowed no “foreign” interference by other religious groups. Catholics, Jews, Quakers and others were systematically banished, murdered, jailed, and were not allowed to own property, vote, or hold office. History of American Womenhas a fine piece on a Native American charged with witchcraft back in early Massachusetts. Read the story of Tituba and her tragic life.

Representative Steven King (R. IA) continues to be on the wrong side of most issues these days. He was against the new GI bill of course, that is predictable, since Republicans don’t care about veterans once they finish fighting their wars it seems. He was also THE ONLY IOWAN who voted against the bill to direct Bush to stop filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserves and give some relief to consumers. He of course wants more drilling, even though such resources are small, soon depleted and worse a serious ecological threat. Looks like another one ripe for defeat come November to me.

Mad Kane hits the nail again, as she explains how Congressional GOP’ers are running desperately away from Dubyasince everything Republicany is losing these days. Oh as I said, nothing more need by said, just show over and over again, that image of man love of Dubya and Mac embracing so touchingly. That is all the Democrats have to do. Show the picture, again and again and again.

Mamiedale has some tutorials for you. Three, of which a couple looked somewhat interesting. Hand-bound journals are fine gift givers, and the shoulder bag from an old sweater might tempt you to take a look.

As you might expect the right wing wingnuts are in a dither today. That thing in California and gay marriage you know. Nobody gets as dithery about these things than the National Review. Of course civilization as we know it is about to collapse. Go there and laugh at the hand wringing that is going on. Oh, marriage needs our protection, against something or other. The sky is falling, judicial overstepping activism. You can find every code phrase you are looking for. I’m just chuckling. As always when reading anything from the NRO,always check to see where the author is from. LOL Seriously, if you would like an unbiased look at the decision, read Glenn Greenwald’s piece at the Salon. It’s at least objective in its reporting.

Niki’s Ventures has a link to a cute little set of coasters to sew up for the summer months when drinks sweat so much. I thought they were cute as heck and the complete instructions are included at the site.

Unbelievable as it may seem, and its believable given this administration, Blackwater’s contract in Iraq has been renewed. The Bushites continue to rely on mercenaries to do its job for them, and they are not subject to anybody’s jurisdiction. So of course, they can kill with impunity and not be charged with a thing. Oh George, I do hope you live long enough to see the judgment of history on your pathetic administration. Generations to come will wonder why oh why you were not impeached and a dozen or more of you guys jailed.

Oh I am in heaven. I love Roman history as I’ve said before, and a new biography of Julius Caesar is just out. It’s by Philip Freedman and I’ll be attempting to secure a copy for review!

Scandalous Women has the mistress of Napoleon, Marie Walewska,  featured today. As usual, these are such intriguing little pieces that they make you want to learn more. Don’t miss another one, and don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance at a free book.

More news on the evolution topic. For some years now, a lot of work has been done on the mitochondrial “Eve” mother to us all. She was an African of course. About 60,000 years ago, humans started moving out of Africa and around the globe. But before that, they were not it seems a single group, but one highly divided on the continent. It appears now that due to climate issues, the split may have been for literally tens of thousands of years. It’s fascinating and you can read more at Science Digest. Remember to look at the right side, wherein there are links to other similar articles.

It seems we have another “international” recipe. This one from Simply Recipes and it features Moroccan Spiced Grill Chicken Breasts. As the grilling season starts up, this is one to try.

It seems the theme of the McCain campaign is going to be “I’m more American than he is.” That such an argument is illogical and untenable is obvious. That it smacks of a party that has lost all claim to morality is also obvious. That it will not work is also obvious. Read Harold Meyerson’s article in the American Prospect. And if you still have doubts about the disaster that is the Republican Party, read this little ditty from The Nation, “Is the Party Over?” This is one of the must read articles. It’s simply excellent.

Baking Beauties brings us a lovely Italian bread recipe that fits in with any Italian meal and well, most any meal at all. Italian Bread Wedges will certainly fit the bill, and are easy as snap to make as well. I’m making it pronto!

Anti-war veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are finally getting a chance to speak. In unofficial Congressional hearings on the Hill, veterans remark on under reporting and misreporting on civilian casualties, racism by commanders regarding Iraqi citizens, and severe over-reaction in terms of fire power. The Washington Independent has this under-reported story.

Vox Nova steps in with a post about John McCain’s chief political advisor. Remember he just lost another one for being a lobbyist in the pay of the Myanmar Regime. Now it seems that another lobbyist and chief political adviser, Charlie Black, is being seen for the slime he is. He’s a money lobbyist for an array of thugs and other dictators around the world. Is senility in full control of the Mac’s brain? This kinda thing makes your skin crawl.

And to finish off the serious news, take a gander at this site, brought to us by the World History Blog, called Reportret,and true to it’s name it attempts to make an unbiased assessment of what figures from history might have looked like. These are of people for which there are no known portraits or pictures of any kind. They give a long explanation of their technique as well. I think you will enjoy the trip. Jesus, Mohammad, Christopher Columbus are among those featured. Really nice sources at the end of each “portrait.” These are not clay recreations, but an attempt to locate the person in terms of his status, ethnicity, and any other factors that might impact looks.

Now on to the other stuff.Urantian Sojourn has a piece by Terry Hart that is wonderfully funny and witty too boot. It’s just a collection of great tag lines he’s picked up along the way. I have a list too. It reminds me that I should resume my monthly tag for this blog. I’m envious of some he has, especially the one entitled, “Now, go spread some peace, love and understanding. Use force if necessary.” I can still only lead you to the main site. The feed won’t direct link to an individual post, only the main site. It’s the 3rd one down, but heck the other two are well worth reading as well.


“It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.” William G. McAdoo
“Some things have to be believed to be seen.” Ralph Hodgsen
“A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.” Samuel Goldwyn
“The reason there is so little crime in Germany is that it’s against the law.” Alex Levin
More of the type of questions I get in my house from guess who?
Why do we say we’re head over heels when we’re happy? Isn’t that the way we normally are?

Why do sleeping pills have warning labels that state :’Caution: May Cause Drowsiness?

Do nudists have pin-ups of people with clothes on?

When the French swear do they say pardon my English?

How is chess considered a sport?

How’s come people tell you to stay a kid for as long as you can. Yet the moment you do anything childish or immature they tell you to grow up.

If marbles are not made of marble, why are they called marbles

Why are elderly people often called “old people” but children are never called “new people”?

How does Freddy Kruger wipe his butt?


Huge political fireworks today after President Bush went to Israel and he talked about American politicians who might want to talk with Hamas or other leaders. Politicians who would sit down and appease terrorists. He said he would not do it. He would not put up with it. He would never talk to terrorists. And then he flew to Saudi Arabia to spend a couple of days with the Saudi royal family. Jay Leno

Ford is recalling 655,000 trucks to fix a brake hose. Industry analysts estimate the program will take about 2 years to complete. And then they’ll move on to the second vehicle. – Alan Ray, Stockton, Calif.

The Steelworkers union has given its endorsement to Barack Obama for president. This was a blow to John McCain who is the only candidate in the race who actually participated in the Iron Age. Paul Seaburn.

John McCain, of course, no one is really paying attention to him right now, but he’s everywhere trying to get attention. Yesterday on “Live with Regis and Kelly,” John McCain showed one of his baby pictures. That was nice. Yeah, the picture was on loan from the Museum of Natural History. Conan O’Brien