Diogenes\’ Heritage

Still searching for honesty & integrity.

You should be reading this.

Glenn Greenwald is awesome and he deserves to be read by more and more people especially those unfamiliar with his blogging both past and present at Salon.

Everyone should be reading his latest book A Tragic Legacy on Bush’s legacy which is surely to go down as not only the worse President ever but also the most destructive.

June 25, 2007 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

These are interesting times.

If this wasn’t so freaking serious it’d be fun.

KargoX’s post shows us where it’s headed and where it’s been planned to go from day 1. What’s different for Republicans is that they thought they’d hold onto their majority in the House and Senate and then they’d continue to stack the USA.

The hiccup of Democrats winning the House and coming no-cigar close in the Senate is what makes this more of an unknown.

I think Democrats realize that they’ll have to impeach Bush. What about Cheney? If they don’t Bush wins on this first issue of the USAs. Now, maybe they’ll build the public case by making Bush defy them on issue after issue so that Americans will be screaming for him to be impeached. If the screams are loud enough at-risk Senators will have to listen and both Bush and Cheney are gone. All hail, President Pelosi.

That’s our dream scenario but what do they get Cheney on? Contempt of Congress for not testifying under oath on Plamegate is all I can think of right now.

Would they go back all the way to 9/11 where Cheney illegally took the reins of the government? Could they?

Lordy, lordy, lordy what some people will do to hold on to power. I’ve seen it for so many years throughout the world and I never believed it could happen here. It’s a Hitler-style takeover without the violence – so far.

And the neocons think this is all just fine and dandy. They think it’s fine to dismantle a form of government that was refined for over 200 years. What kind of country do they have in mind for us?

March 20, 2007 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

This scares me.

What does Glenn know that we don’t? From Orcinus on Eliminationism.

This summer, Beck was arguing over the airwaves that if there were further terrorist attacks by Muslims on American soil, that concentration camps were all but a fait accompli, and that “Muslims will see the West through razor wire if things don’t change”:

All you Muslims who have sat on your frickin’ hands the whole time and have not been marching in the streets and have not been saying, ‘Hey, you know what? There are good Muslims and bad Muslims. We need to be the first ones in the recruitment office lining up to shoot the bad Muslims in the head.’ I’m telling you, with God as my witness… human beings are not strong enough, unfortunately, to restrain themselves from putting up razor wire and putting you on one side of it. When things — when people become hungry, when people see that their way of life is on the edge of being over, they will put razor wire up and just based on the way you look or just based on your religion, they will round you up. Is that wrong? Oh my gosh, it is Nazi, World War II wrong, but society has proved it time and time again: It will happen.

March 19, 2007 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

We are in the midst of a history

that will be remembered as instrumental in defining the American character. Viet Nam was mostly about a war in which Americans were being killed.

Now, Americans are seeing not only an illegal war but a Republican administration and previous Republican legislators who enabled the attempted dismantling of the Constitution. History will judge Republicans harsly and those who are fighting them as true American heroes.

March 17, 2007 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Running for national office

What does it take? I think I’d be willing to make a formal announcement if I knew that my wife was still behind me. She’s afraid of the exposure and afraid of being out front and having to talk in front of people. All valid concerns. Maybe I should have her talk to Steve Young’s wife Solange who does a great job as a candidates wife.

March 17, 2007 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Good points

Been thinking lately, well the past 6 months or so, about front paging at Orange and came to some conclusions. A long time ago I realized I wasn’t the type of writer who would come up with something people would like and then not the type who would be able to create much enthusiasm if the subject was actually interesting.

I sawthis post by Atrios and became interested in the subject of what I really want to accomplish. That’s a good subject in general and still a good one for me.

March 10, 2007 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Blogrolls & Banning

I’ve been reading a lot of posts and a couple of diaries about banning that seemed to have been triggered by Markos trimming his blogroll significantly to include longtime bloggers Booman Tribune and My Left Wing MSOC made a great case for why they should still be left on the blogroll. Her point well taken is that Markos does owe a bit of gratitude to some of the small blogs who were spun off for one reason or another from DKos. MSOC and Booman and a few others did have an early impact on the growth of DKos and think that Markos’ prune was unwarranted to say nothing of entering WTF.

Now that some anger at Markos has caused a wave of other diaries on other sites about being banned there appears to be a move to coalesce around the idea of consolidating a response to DKos. I can imagine if one super blog reachable from a single address was created from the big names that Markos pruned from his blogroll it’d be a force to be reckoned with on the left.

The problem with this idea is that what do you do with the revenues and how do you decide on the platform and format?

What’s been a bit of a surprse to me is the instances where Markos or someone with the power has actually banned a user for “conduct unbecoming a Kossack”. In one case, that I can think of but can’t find a link to right now a diarist was asking other Kossacks to initiate a “click strike” presumably to force Markos to pay attention.

I actually like the idea but to me asking Markos to buy into it by letting it be promoted on his site is a bit much to expect. Better to attempt it from the outside in the form as suggested elsewhere of enlisting top diaries & front pagers who are also prominent on other sites to help.

Ultimately, the whole exercise except for Booman’s and MSOC’s diaries to be an exercise in cutting-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face. I’m not sure why the opportunity to shoot at an elephant with a bb-gun seems like a good trade. I’m sure there’s the stand-on-principle aspect of it but it still seems that the trade off is a net lose.

Why would someone with so much talent to affect the national conversation take themselves out of the conversation on a principle of less importance than influencing that national conversation?

February 9, 2007 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Dr Laura is an idiot and Larry King helps.

I’m watching Larry King Live and he just finished interviewing Dr Laura Schlessinger on two incidents – the young woman who died when she entered a radio contest drinking water and holding it and the girls who beat another girl to put the video on uTube.

Both incidents are indicative of human behavior in American culture but Dr Laura seems to want to blame TV and Barbara Boxer. There was no mention of Right wing radio calling for the assasination of Supreme Court justices because they lean left in decisions. It’s bad enought that Dr Laura can’t accept anything that doesn’t agree with her ideology but it’s even worse that they somehow thinks it’s okay to kill liberals.

The most outrageous statement that Dr Laura made and let slide by Larry King was that what the radio station did was criminal and they should be put away as if she has the right to be judge and jury. There was no possibility in Dr Laura’s feeble mind that the radio hosts where not coldly and callously watching the woman die but were incredibly ignorant that water in excessive amounts could be dangerous.

It doesn’t matter that our society is being conditioned to drink lots and lots of water and rarely do you see warnings against drinking too much. Dr Laura has already determined that it’s Democrat Barbara Boxer’s rage which is responsible for this death. There was no mention of Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly spouting hate day after day as encouraging violence simply because you disagree with someone. If that’s not being incredibly stupid it indicates severe ignorance.

Dr Laura doesn’t mention right wing radion station KSFO in San Francisco successfully encouraging a listener to threaten a Democratic State Senator. There’s a good article over at Daily Kos on this subject that is worth reading.

January 17, 2007 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

Was it all just politics?

From Raw Story John Boehner admits his party is ‘low on new ideas’ This article got me to thinking about our two-party system and the inherent and seemingly bought-into adversarial nature of our political system. This then led me to wonder about understanding when it’s not just politics. Is it enough that the consequences of the failures of these Republicans be simply political when the results of them being in control went far beyond the politics of Democrats losing elections?

I realize our government is an offshoot of the Parlimentarian system and that we’ve combined with the newness of the three-branch form to create what we’ve got. What I’m beginning to think is that some of what the Republicans accomplished leading up to Bush II was worthwhile in that it forced Democrats to think about what it means to be liberal. The ideological line between Democrats and Republican was not nearly as great as between liberal and conservative. We all know and feel that DLC-Democrats became Republican-lite in the ultimate form of flattery. Some of us don’t want to accept that we are a country founded on the principles of being mean first and then looking at individuals truly needing help as an aberration rather than the norm.

What Bush II did was not political and the sooner Americans and Republicans realize that the the sooner we can get back to debating ideas rather than the destruction of America. Many Republicans including Boehner are showing that they can be about ideas and I want to say “It’s about time” but I really don’t want to let them off so easy. What they’ve enabled and wrought is not a simply spilling coffee on your keyboard; they’ve thrown the computer across the room as an attempt to validate that it’s using the computer to communicate. Yeah, they have communicated but the cost is clearly not what we’d like to pay.

Maybe it can be argued as my winger friends have, that “it’s all political” but that ignores the true dollar costs of the war and occupation. No, it’s not just political when Americans are at each others throats and America is at the throats of other countries. It’s not just politics when Americans are killing innocent people in other parts of the world. It’s not just politics when America is driven to dangerous levels of national debt and real families are threatened with a third-world standard of living. It’s not just politics when literally the human species at worst and human civilization at best is threaten by the consequences of global warming.

If nothing else these are very strong reasons for true-accountability consequences rather than the non-event-George-Bush consequences as in “I accept responsibility” with no consequences beyond losing elections. It is important to use politics as a means for growth which means that there must be consequences for the monumental failures of Republicans under Bush. Simply losing an election is a political consequence but we need more and we need the consequences to extend far beyond the removal of Bush and Cheney. We need the removal at some point of those who enabled him to implement his most egregeous failures. Obamarama politics will not lead us there and only reinforces the idea that it was all just politics.

So, to circle back to where I started, I’m thankful that a number of Republicans are coming back from the dark side and it’s not too soon. I’m willing to give some of them the benefit of an innocent mistake borne of ignorance but those who continue to act as if they have a chance to make the wild-ass neocon ideas work deserve taking out to the woodshed and soundly whacked. We need nothing less than a complete epiphany from the top to the bottom of the Republican party in order to say that we’ve turned around the ship of state called America and are now heading back to the principles this country had grown to be associated with.

January 17, 2007 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

My Son Is Alive

My niece, demdiva wrote a couple of diaries letting you all know the nature of my family’s personal events of the past 10 days here and here. I read the first diary but not the second until last night. The best wishes, prayers and emails were greatly apprciated and brought back the emotion of the past couple of weeks. I was mostly too distraught to do anything other than be with family and my son as he struggled to live and we struggled to get through it. I tried very hard to keep the thoughts that we might lose him out of my mind but they managed to sneak in when I least expected it. When they did, the tears would flow.

I visited the DKos community and managed to make a few comments before succumbing to the grief once again. That effort showed me that I would have to retract into another world for a while and devote all my energy and thought to the situation.

My collegues knew that my son’s life was in peril because my daughter called my wife who called my collegues to get in touch when her efforts failed. I talked to some close friends only once to let them know what was going on. Maybe it was selfish to limit the contacts with others but it was not a matter of choice for me. I had no choice any more than I can choose to breathe.

My son is 36 years old and was a stud by any measure. He was as fit as they come and as they used to say in my youth, he was considered as healthy as an ox. He rides bicycles and runs in the mountains and lifts weights. If you saw him just last month you’d be envious or in love.

Today if you saw him you’d know he just went through something so horrendous as to draw the next to the last breathe from his body. He’s so weak that he can’t lift a cup to drink without help. But he is alive and expected to recover completely and I am happy beyond belief.

If you’ve experienced the lose or near lose of a child then you know what I’ve been through. If not then I’m sure you can imagine a child not being with you but the horror of actually having to feel it come so close is unimaginable. I can’t imagine what I would be like had he not made it but I’m sure I wouldn’t be writing this.

While we were taken over by the circumstances all I could do was be by his bed when I wasn’t sleeping. It brings tears to my eyes to write this and relive it again. God, it was so difficult.

On Monday Nov 27th my son was put in the Critical Care Unit of Provena Hospital in Champaign, Illinois with streptococcus pneumonia. On the 29th he was put on a ventilator and given a paralyzing drug to save as much energy as possible as the strep completely engulfed his left lung and most of his right lung. The doctors were not encouraging but were honest in talking to us and letting us know what was happening beyond what we could see.

For the next 9 days we watched him first come perilously close to suffocating as his lungs had precious few cells to soak up the 100% oxygen at dangerously high pressures that could tear his lungs apart. Watching the oxygen saturation fall and fall as they increased pressure and concentration was as scared as I’ve ever been.

As he came through the crisis we then had to worry about secondary problems with his liver, an inflamed gall bladder and pancreas and fluid retention that caused him to gain nearly 50 pounds at one point. Our worry was getting rid of the strep and improving his lungs faster than the other systems would begin to fail.

He made it in some respects using the fight and determination he used to become the 4th fastest quarter-miler in Illinois as a senior in high school when he came from 12th place in a burst of speed in the last 200 yards.

But in this case he made it on the shoulders of the staff of nurses, respiratory therapists and doctors who looked after him and brought him back from the brink of death.

This is not the story of a failed health care system but of the care and caring provided by the men and woman at this hospital. Being in the room with my son and being an intimate part of the whole process I and my extended family lived through this together. My admiration and gratitude from the people who cared for him knows no bounds.

I now know them enough to know that they don’t do what they do for gratitude so that emotion seems out of place because it’s so obvious. The admiration comes from watching them do what they do in the life and death situations they have to live every day. It was easy to see their concern and efforts came not from the job but from the heart.

One nurse told my son that he was lucky to have a family like us because there was someone with him every minute of the entire ordeal. I told her he was lucky that she and the others were as good and caring as they were.

Even those who were not directly involved would call to ask about him on their days off. They are true heroes and they don’t get enough credit for what they do and how much of themselves they give to saving the lives of others. I love them all and will never forget them.

At around 3pm yesterday he was moved to a regular hospital room where he will stay until he has enough strength to leave and process enough oxygen without help. I expect that to be in a few days.

Last night I slept through the night after I wrote this diary. I slept without waking to every beep and double-beep from the machines to monitor his pulse, blood pressure, respiration rate and the IVs with drug doses as they drip and run through the tubes and make their way into his veins.

My son is alive and I’m as happy as I’ve ever been.

Update: Sunday 10th 1:57pm
I just returned from a visit and they’ve just removed the oxygen support and all other monitoring. He still has the IV ports connected but they’ll be removing those soon also. He says he wants to leave the hospital today. When I suggested he stay one more day he was adamant about leaving. We’ll see.

Update: Sunday 10th 3:45pm
Just got back from another visit. My son wanted to go back down to the CCU to thank those on this shift who took care of him and those who wished him well. When they saw him suffle in with his walker they broke into big smiles and applause and hugs. A couple of nurses who cared for him early on and who he surely didn’t remember came up to talk. We remembered them and told him that these were some of the heroes who helped him to recover.

A woman who’s husband is in with the the early stages of the same thing told me that my son’s progress is an inspiration for her.

Though I certainly don’t like getting my strength through something like this we are all are stronger for having experienced it. Thanks Shaking The Tree for that same sentiment.

Update: Monday 11th 10:04pm
He’s out of the hospital, staying with his mother and step-dad. The doctor told him that he can’t fly for another week so he’ll still make it home for Christmas.

The house is a two-story and the shower is on the second floor. Taking a shower with the help of his sister to get into and out of the shower is difficult but not near as difficult as making his way up the stairs. That is a trek requiring much will-power and determination.

He ate a full dinner tonight of chicken, veggies and potatoes. The first complete meal he’s eaten in over two weeks.

I’m back home now and finally getting back into my life which will never be the same again.

December 12, 2006 Posted by | General | Leave a comment

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