Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Psyche and cordellas

Psyche and cordellas by lfdeale.
Paul Alfred de Curzon French artist born 1820 - died 1895 Psyche, Greek Goddess of the Soul

Amy Goodman on ‘Standing Up to the Madness’

Posted on Mar 31, 2009

The “Democracy Now!” host talks about her book, the state of activism and why “the media are the most powerful corporations on Earth—more powerful than any bomb, more powerful than any missile.”

Website offers emotional rescue from economy

Reuters, Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:06am EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Stressed out by the economy? The U.S. government is offering an online emotional rescue kit.

The "Getting Through Tough Economic Times" guide at www.samhsa.gov/economy/ is meant to help people identify any serious health concerns related to financial worries, develop coping skills and find help, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said on Tuesday.

Studies show a serious risk of clinical depression, anxiety and compulsive behaviors such as gambling, overeating and even spending stemming from stress, SAMHSA said.

A trader covers his face as he speaks on the phone during in Moscow, June 18, 2004.(REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin)

"By helping people remain resilient, we can help promote the overall recovery of our nation," SAMHSA Acting Administrator Eric Broderick said in a statement.

Of particular importance is helping people see the warning signs of depression, suicidal thinking and other serious mental illnesses, SAMHSA said.

These include, according to the website:

  • Persistent sadness/crying
  • Excessive anxiety
  • Lack of sleep/constant fatigue
  • Excessive irritability/anger
  • Increased drinking
  • Illicit drug use, including misuse of medications

The site directs people to caregivers and also offers tips on ways to reduce the causes of stress, such as finding a new job and refinancing mortgages.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox; Editing by Eric Walsh)

at 6:22 AM

Heal, Harp, posted by Jordan

From: http://www.saidthegramophone.com/

Alemu Aga - "Abatatchen Hoy"

Hear that buzzing? That's a collection of strings, made variously taut, and then plucked. It sounds like a guitar when I describe it, but not when I play it; when I play it, unlike a guitar, this instrument actually sounds like a collection of strings, buzzing, immanent. Do you feel happy? This buzzing was perhaps the world's first anti-depressant and almost certainly its most effective.

King David is well remembered for his skill for killing with taut string, but less well remembered for his ability to heal using the same. The first King of Israel, David's predecessor Saul, was tormented by an evil spirit, sent by god; the only relief from this torment was provided by David's harp playing -- a tough pill to swallow, so to speak, since Saul rightly viewed David as a formidable rival. Still, what choice did he have but to accept the cure? David would play, buzz, buzz, buzz, and "relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him."

David's harp -- what we now know as the begena -- is not often played anymore outside of Ethiopia, which perhaps explains the world's sadness.

The begena soothes, there's no doubt, but its power is frightening, hence the need for that comforting whisper of a vocal, weaving itself into the begena's buzzing. "It's OK," says the voice (or so goes my translation from the original Amharic, a language I don't speak). Buzz, buzz, buzz. "Shake the spirit loose; feel better."

Willie Eason - "Little Wooden Church on a Hill"

Which is not to say that guitars don't have a power too.

[Buy Alemu, Willie]

posted by Jordan at 3:48 PM on Mar 25, 2009.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Boundless Moment, by Robert Frost

A Boundless Moment
He halted in the wind, and -- what was that Far in the maples, pale, but not a ghost? He stood there bringing March against his thought, And yet too ready to believe the most. "Oh, that's the Paradise-in-bloom," I said; And truly it was fair enough for flowers had we but in us to assume in march Such white luxuriance of May for ours. We stood a moment so in a strange world, Myself as one his own pretense deceives; And then I said the truth (and we moved on). A young beech clinging to its last year's leaves. -Robert Frost

Sunday, March 29, 2009

First Roller Derby Bout - Sacred City vs Central Coast

http://www.sacredcityderbygirls.com/ http://centralcoastrollerderby.com/

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Isidore of Seville - Patron Saint of: computers, computer users, computer programmers, Internet

[Thanks to Crank Bait....] http://www.scborromeo.org/saints/isidores.htm

Isidore of Seville Born: c.560 in Cartagena, Spain Died: April 4, 636 Feast Day: April 4 Patron Saint of: computers, computer users, computer programmers, Internet

[Last paragraph following a long and interesting--really!-- biography]:

...So, how does Saint Isidore of Seville become the patron saint for the Internet? The Observation Service for Internet, who drew it's mission from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, researched the Internet and related technologies to select a patron saint that best reflects the concerns and ideals of computer designers, programmers and users. The saint chosen by the Observation Service for Internet was Saint Isidore. "The saint who wrote the well-known 'Etymologies' (a type of dictionary), gave his work a structure akin to that of the database. He began a system of thought known today as 'flashes;' it is very modern, notwithstanding the fact it was discovered in the sixth century. Saint Isidore accomplished his work with great coherence: it is complete and its features are complementary in themselves.

More Weird But Sorta Cool Stuff About St. Isidore

We are all in the monestary of the Internet, so speak softly:

The Order of Saint Isidore of Seville is an Internet-based organisation. The Order was formed on 1st January 2000 to celebrate the beginning of Christ's Third Millennium, to honour Saint Isidore of Seville and to promote the ideals of Christian chivalry through the medium of the Internet. In short, they pledge to use the Internet only for good and to encourage others to do so. It is perhaps best said in the prayer to Saint Isidore which is on its website. ---- Here is the latter portion of the prayer to Saint Isidore:

...grant we beseech Thee that, through the example of Saint Isidore, bishop and doctor, during our journeys through the Internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee [no S&M!] and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter... [no snarking!] --------------- Excerpts taken from:




because St. Isidore helps those who give attribution to others.

Patron Saint of Direct Dialing

Does that mean when my cable modem goes down Submitted by cent on Thu, 03/26/2009 - 12:18pm. it is an act of god...? ----- It DOES raise questions.

Does the installation of a UPS reveal a lack of faith?

What if the magnet in the base of my plastic St. Isidore icon wipes my hard drive?

I just discovered that St. Gabriel the Archangel is the patron saint of telecommunications, so you need to know something about the problem before you go praying to patron saints willy-nilly.

Friday, March 27, 2009

War on Terror 2.0, by Nicole Colson

Defending government eavesdropping without a warrant. Arguing that prisoners of the U.S. held overseas don’t have the right to challenge their detention in U.S. courts. Claiming that victims of CIA kidnapping shouldn’t have their cases heard because of “national security” interests.

These were supposed to be relics of the Bush administration and its attacks on basic constitutional and human rights. Instead, they are among the many troubling actions taken by the new administration of President Barack Obama.

Rather than repudiating Bush’s shredding of the Constitution, the new White House is embracing some of the worst abuses carried out by the Bush administration in the name of national security and the “war on terror.”

As a candidate for president, Obama promised a new direction. While pledging to maintain national security, Obama said that “we also want to make sure that we’re protecting the Constitution, and that we’re not excessively providing the president with a sort of a ‘blank check’ when it comes to dealing with national security,” he told ABC’s This Week.

And, in fact, it was refreshing to hear Obama’s new Attorney General Eric Holder declaring bluntly during his confirmation hearings that “waterboarding is torture.” It was a forceful repudiation of one aspect of the Bush administration, at least–Vice President Dick Cheney had, after all, openly defended “waterboarding” in October 2006.

This seemed to confirm the expectations expressed by Obama supporters like George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen, who wrote in a March 2008 op-ed article in the New York Times: “As a former grassroots activist, Mr. Obama understands the need to make the case for civil liberties in the political arena. At a time when America’s civil-libertarian tradition has been embattled at home and abroad, his candidacy offers a unique opportunity.”

But just two months into his presidency, the “unique opportunity” that Rosen thought Obama represented seems to be evaporating. The litany of disappointing actions on civil liberties taken by the Obama administration seems to grow longer by the week.

Among other things, since taking office, the Obama administration has: pre-empted a Supreme Court ruling on whether a legal resident on U.S. soil can be imprisoned indefinitely without trial as an “enemy combatant”; attempted to block a judicial ruling on Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program; asserted in court that prisoners currently held overseas by U.S. forces in Bagram, Afghanistan, have no constitutional right to challenge their detentions in U.S. courts; and argued to dismiss cases brought in federal court by alleged victims of CIA kidnappings and torture on the grounds of “national security.”

As ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said after Obama’s Justice Department argued in federal court that a lawsuit filed by five current and former detainees against Jeppesen Dataplan–a company accused of arranging extraordinary rendition flights for the CIA–should be dropped:

Eric Holder’s Justice Department stood up in court today and said that it would continue the Bush policy of invoking state secrets to hide the reprehensible history of torture, rendition and the most grievous human rights violations committed by the American government.

This is not change. This is definitely more of the same. Candidate Obama ran on a platform that would reform the abuse of state secrets, but President Obama’s Justice Department has disappointingly reneged on that important civil liberties issue.

The reveresals from what Obama promised–or was expected–to do on civil liberties questions have shocked many people who looked forward to the end of the Bush regime.

On the question of warrantless wiretapping, for example, the Obama administration’s arguments in one important court case are indistinguishable from its predecessors.

In the case, brought by two American lawyers against the Bush administration, a federal judge ruled in favor of admitting into evidence a classified document showing that the lawyers for a Saudi charity, the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, were electronically eavesdropped on without warrants by the Bush administration.

The Obama administration argued in court that national security would be compromised if the lawsuit was allowed to proceed. As Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald wrote:

Manifestly, the Obama [Justice Department] has one goal and one goal only here: to prevent any judicial ruling as to whether the Bush [National Security Agency] warrantless eavesdropping program was illegal. And they’re engaging in extraordinary efforts to ensure that occurs…

Everyone knows the Bush administration spied on Americans without warrants and in violation of the law. Everyone knows that this document reflects that these plaintiffs were among those who were illegally spied on. Still, there’s the Obama administration — just like the Bush administration–claiming that we’ll all be slaughtered if a court rules on whether the president broke the law.

Another disappointment came in early March, when the Justice Department argued in a California federal court to dismiss a case filed against former Bush administration official John Yoo.

Yoo famously drafted much of the so-called “Bybee torture memo”–a Justice Department document that approved the use of CIA interrogation methods, including rendition, and blessed as legal methods of physical and psychological coercion that inflicted discomfort “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.”

Last year, lawyers for supposed “dirty bomb” plotter Jose Padilla–a U.S. citizen who spent years in a military brig without being charged, and subject to sensory and sleep deprivation and other harsh interrogation measures–filed a suit against Yoo.

If heard, it could challenge the government’s policies on the treatment of detainees. According to one of the lawyers, Jonathan Freiman, the premise of the suit is that “a lawyer who gives the green light to clearly illegal conduct is an accomplice to that conduct.”

But the Obama Justice Department is standing behind Yoo–on the grounds that “the Department of Justice generally defends employees and former employees in lawsuits that are filed in connection to their official duties,” according to department spokesperson Matthew Miller.

“We’re not saying that we condone torture,” Justice Department lawyer Mary Mason said at the hearing on the suit.

But by arguing that the case against Yoo should be dismissed, the Obama administration is protecting the very man who crafted the legal reasoning to justify torture as an acceptable part of the U.S. “war on terror.” How is that not “condoning torture”?

The Obama administration isn’t protecting just Yoo, but other top Bush administration military officials who are the targets of lawsuits brought by prisoners who say they were tortured while being held at Guantánamo Bay.

In another federal court document filed in March, the Justice Department argued that holding military officials liable for their treatment of prisoners could cause them to make future decisions based on fear of litigation rather than appropriate military policy. “The Obama administration appears to be sticking with Bush administration legal definitions in pending litigation,” reported the Associated Press.

The case, involving four British men who say they were beaten, shackled in “stress positions” and forcibly shaved while they were imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay (all four have since been released) named, among others, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and retired Gen. Richard Myers, former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As Eric Lewis, an attorney for the four, put it: “The upshot of the Justice Department’s position is that there is no right of detainees not to be tortured, and that officials who order torture should be protected.”

Even when the Obama administration has seemed to take positive steps to turn back some of the Bush administration’s abuses, the full picture is more complicated.

So, for example, civil liberties advocates applauded Obama’s executive orders to close the U.S. prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, affirm detainees’ right to habeus corpus and instruct that prisoners be treated according to the Geneva Conventions when interrogated by U.S. officials. But it turns out that these orders have wide loopholes.

The order on interrogations, for example, only applies to prisoners “in the custody or under the effective control of an officer, employee or other agent of the United States Government, or detained within a facility owned, operated or controlled by a department or agency of the United States, in any armed conflict.”

That formulation would allow the use of torture by other governments’ security forces operating on orders from the U.S.–under, for example, the “extraordinary rendition” program used by the Bush administration to evade the law by sub-contracting torture to to U.S.-allied regimes.

In addition, the order demands that the CIA close “as expeditiously as possible” any of its detention centers, but says nothing about whether the FBI, Defense Department or any other U.S. body–or private contractors such as Blackwater–may run such facilities. As Professor James Hill noted, “This order contains loopholes big enough to drive a FEMA camp train through them.”

Likewise, in February, it seemed like a positive sign when Attorney General Eric Holder announced a review of every court case in which the Bush administration invoked the “state secrets” privilege to have lawsuits thrown out.

But according to the Associated Press, on the same day that Holder announced his review, Douglas Letter, an attorney for the Justice Department’s civil division, cited the same “state secrets privilege in asking a federal appeals court to uphold dismissal of a lawsuit accusing a Boeing Co. subsidiary of illegally helping the CIA fly suspected terrorists to allied foreign nations where they would be tortured. Three times, Letter assured the judges his position had been approved by Obama administration officials.”

To take another example, earlier this month, the media reported that the Obama administration had dropped the term “enemy combatants” as a justification for detaining terrorism suspects without trial.

But as the New York Times reported, “[I]n a much anticipated court filing, the Justice Department argued that the president has the authority to detain terrorism suspects [at Guantánamo Bay] without criminal charges, much as the Bush administration had asserted. It provided a broad definition of those who can be held, which was not significantly different from the one used by the Bush administration.

“The filing signaled that, as long as Guantánamo remains open, the new administration will aggressively defend its ability to hold some detainees there.”

As Glenn Greenwald put it, “[T]he Obama administration, when called upon to state their position, makes only the most cosmetic and inconsequential changes–designed to generate headlines misleadingly depicting a significant reversal (”Obama drops ‘enemy combatant’ label”)–while, in fact, retaining the crux of Bush’s extremist detention theory.”

There is no “middle ground” on these questions. Those who justified, condoned, participated in and ordered the torture of detainees should be held accountable–starting with George W. Bush. Citizens should have a right not to be spied on by their government. Detainees should have rights under international law, including the right to a trial.

But the Obama administration isn’t taking anything like a principled stand on these questions.

On the contrary, while it wants to change the popular perception of federal policies on civil liberties, the evidence is mounting that the Obama administration is putting a new face on many of the same abuses we’ve been living with for the past eight years.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Michael Leunig: Herbal Remedy

Cat cafe soothes busy feline lovers

[Cool link from the Open Pie Hole]
«»1 of 3Full Size

By Yoko Kubota

TOKYO, Dec 4 (Reuters Life!) - The 14 felines-in-residence at Tokyo's Cat Cafe Calico excel at their job of making customers purr with delight.

"This place isn't on my way from work, but even if I'm pretty tired, I'd still stop by," said 32-year-old system engineer and a Calico regular Kazunori Hamanaka, as he tried to take a photo of a white and brown Bengal cat curling up in a box.

"Stray cats run away when I try to stroke them. Here, it's great that I can do that," said Hamanaka, who is unable to keep pets at home.

He takes about 200 photos on each visit for his blog.

Calico is one of at least three cafes that have opened up in Tokyo this year where visitors can mingle with cats as they enjoy a cup of tea.

Takafumi Fukui, the 34-year-old owner and a long-time cat lover, quit his job at a television game company and started the cafe in March.

"In Tokyo, it's not that easy to have cats," he said, explaining that tight housing regulations often forbid pets.

Visitors to Calico pay 800 yen an hour or 2,000 yen for three hours in a big room where 14 well-brushed and shampooed cats hang out. After a thorough handwash, the visitor can play with the cats, read comics or just relax.

The clean, odourless cafe -- Calico has six air fresheners and the litter trays are out of sight -- gets about 70 visitors a day during the week and 150 a day at weekends.

"I want everyone to forget about their jobs and relax," Fukui said, adding that the majority of visitors to Calico are working women and children, and about 70 percent overall don't own cats due to allergies or housing regulations.

None of Calico's cats are strays, but the cafe puts up posters for abandoned cats seeking homes. Pet dumping is a problem in Japan, where about 240,000 cats and 160,000 dogs without owners are gassed each year, government data showed.

The Calico cats are fortunate to have their admirers.

"It is really soothing," Hamanaka said about his frequent visits. "Even three hours is not enough."

Digital Scriptorium Highlights...

The Digital Scriptorium is an image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts that unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research.

California Republicans Wanted to Let California Go Bankrupt for SELFISH ASSHOLE Reasons

Sen. Abel Maldonado, the Republican legislator who broke party ranks and was the deciding vote to break the state's budget stalemate, said some GOP leaders had urged him to "let California go bankrupt... let it fall of a cliff" in order to score partisan political points against Democrats. It was no secret that many of his fellow Republicans were angry when Maldonado voted for the budget deal - backed by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and majority Democrats in the legislature - that raised some taxes. But for the first time, Maldonado spoke out to CBS 5 on Wednesday about what some Republicans wanted him to do. "Members within my caucus, in essence, were making the point 'Why vote for this? Why not make a point? Why not let the state just off a cliff?' In essence bankruptcy... just to prove a point," said Maldonado, of Santa Maria, in an interview at the statehouse. Maldonado indicated he was in disbelief at the suggestion from his GOP colleagues to put the state into bankruptcy. "I just couldn't believe that was coming out of the voices of some of my Republican caucus members within the party," he explained. Maldonado said his fellow Republicans thought the state going into bankruptcy would embarrass the Democrats, who controlled the majority in the California Legislature. ...

Poet Sylvia Plath's son commits suicide in Fairbanks

By Hillel Italie When Nicholas Hughes was in his early 20s, his father, poet Ted Hughes, advised him on the importance of living bravely. "The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated," Hughes wrote to his son, who committed suicide at 47 last week at his home in Fairbanks, Alaska, 46 years after Nicholas' mother, poet Sylvia Plath, killed herself. "And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all." From the time that Plath died, in 1963, Ted Hughes had tried to protect and strengthen their children, Frieda and Nicholas, from their mother's fate and fame. He burned the last volume of his wife's journals, a decision strongly criticized by scholars and fans, and waited years to tell his children the full details of Plath's suicide. And only near the end of his own life, in his "Birthday Letters" poems, did he share his side of modern poetry's most famous and ill-starred couple. "What I've been hiding all my life, from myself and everybody else, is not terrible at all. Though you didn't want to read it," he wrote to Nicholas in 1998, months before Ted Hughes died of cancer. "And the effect on me, Nicky, the sense of gigantic, upheaval transformation in my mind, is quite bewildering. It's as though I have completely new different brains. I can think thoughts I never could think. I have a freedom of imagination I've not felt since 1962. Just to have got rid of all that." "But I tell you all this," Hughes added, "with a hope that it will let you understand a lot of things. ... Don't laugh it off. In 1963 you were hit even harder than me. But you will have to deal with it, just as I have had to." Nicholas Hughes, who was not married and had no children, hanged himself March 16, Alaska State Troopers said. He was a man of science, not letters, the only member of his immediate family not to become a poet. A fisheries biologist, he spent nearly a decade on the faculty of the University of Alaska Fairbanks as a professor of fisheries and ocean sciences. He left in December 2006, according to the university's Web site. Hughes' older sister, poet Frieda Hughes, issued a statement through the Times of London, expressing her "profound sorrow" and saying that he "had been battling depression for some time." "His lifelong fascination with fish and fishing was a strong and shared bond with our father," Frieda Hughes wrote. "He was a loving brother, a loyal friend to those who knew him and, despite the vagaries that life threw at him, he maintained an almost childlike innocence and enthusiasm for the next project or plan."
* Electra on Azalea Path The day you died I went into the dirt, Into the lightless hibernaculum Where bees, striped black and gold, sleep out the blizzard Like hieratic stones, and the ground is hard. It was good for twenty years, that wintering -- As if you never existed, as if I came God-fathered into the world from my mother's belly: Her wide bed wore the stain of divinity. I had nothing to do with guilt or anything When I wormed back under my mother's heart. Small as a doll in my dress of innocence I lay dreaming your epic, image by image. Nobody died or withered on that stage. Everything took place in a durable whiteness. The day I woke, I woke on Churchyard Hill. I found your name, I found your bones and all Enlisted in a cramped necropolis your speckled stone skewed by an iron fence. In this charity ward, this poorhouse, where the dead Crowd foot to foot, head to head, no flower Breaks the soil. This is Azalea path. A field of burdock opens to the south. Six feet of yellow gravel cover you. The artificial red sage does not stir In the basket of plastic evergreens they put At the headstone next to yours, nor does it rot, Although the rains dissolve a bloody dye: The ersatz petals drip, and they drip red. Another kind of redness bothers me: The day your slack sail drank my sister's breath The flat sea purpled like that evil cloth My mother unrolled at your last homecoming. I borrow the silts of an old tragedy. The truth is, one late October, at my birth-cry A scorpion stung its head, an ill-starred thing; My mother dreamed you face down in the sea. The stony actors poise and pause for breath. I brought my love to bear, and then you died. It was the gangrene ate you to the bone My mother said: you died like any man. How shall I age into that state of mind? I am the ghost of an infamous suicide, My own blue razor rusting at my throat. O pardon the one who knocks for pardon at Your gate, father -- your hound-bitch, daughter, friend. It was my love that did us both to death. -Sylvia Plath

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

3 Decade Study: Why more equal societies almost always do better

mp3 The Spirit Level: why more equal societies almost always do better
From The RSA
Richard Wilkinson, Professor of Social Epidemiology, University of Nottingham and Kate Pickett, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology, University of York


Large inequalities of income in a society have often been regarded as divisive and corrosive, and it is common knowledge that in rich societies the poor have shorter lives and suffer more from almost every social problem. But in their new book The Spirit Level, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett draw upon thirty years' research to demonstrate that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within them - the well-off as well as the poor. They show that almost every modern social and environmental problem - ill-health, lack of community life, violence, drugs, obesity, mental illness, long working hours, big prison populations - is more likely to occur in a less equal society. Join Richard Wilkinson, Professor of Social Epidemiology, University of Nottingham and Kate Pickett, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology, University of York, to consider a new approach to tackling the social challenges which, despite material success, continue to beset us. Chair: Matthew Taylor, chief executive, RSA

(Mar 5, 2009 at the RSA)

Flip the Switch for Earth Hour this Saturday

Earth Hour commemorative poster
© Shepard Fairey
On March 28, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time, millions of people across the globe will turn out their lights to raise awareness and take action to fight climate change. Will you vote for the Earth with your light switch? Sign up and let us count your vote! The momentum for Earth Hour is growing in the United States and around the world. Here are some recent exciting developments: A CAPITAL IDEA: Washington, D.C. will join nearly 2,300 cities around the world in going dark for Earth Hour. The word came from District Environment Director George Hawkins, who said Earth Hour was "a symbolic but important step in showing the world we're serious about the climate." At 8:30 p.m., officials will turn off non-essential lighting on buildings and facilities owned by the city. A TOTAL OF 175 U.S. CITIES AND TOWNS have now pledged to "turn out" for the largest climate event in history, with more signing up each day. See the complete list of cities. There's still time to bring Earth Hour to your hometown, school, campus or organization. Get tools, tips and information. EDWARD NORTON VOTES EARTH: The Academy Award-nominated actor and environmental activist has agreed to be the official Earth Hour Ambassador for the U.S. He joins a list of notables that includes Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Janeane Garofalo, Melissa Etheridge, Alanis Morissette, Cate Blanchett, Jo Dee Messina, Vince Gill, Wynonna Judd, Amy Grant, Kathy Mattea and many more. KIDS TURN OUT FOR EARTH HOUR: Get your children involved in saving the planet through EarthHourKids.org. Play the Geo Bee, take our Earth Hour Power Quiz, and practice Earth Hour every day with the Memory Game. WE'RE NOTHING WITHOUT YOU... AND YOUR FRIENDS... AND THEIR FRIENDS: Our planet urgently needs your help. Don't be shy about urging friends and family to support Earth Hour. Share the details for turning out on March 28 at 8:30 p.m. and invite them to become part of this historic call for global action on climate change. When in doubt...VOTE EARTH! Thanks for your support. The Earth Hour US Team

March 28, 2009 8:30 pm www.EarthHourUS.org www.EarthHourKids.org

American Dissenters, Moyers, PBS

Abstract Flag Comment
March 20, 2009

"Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion." --Dwight D. Eisenhower

American dissent is older than the nation itself. Some of the first settlers were of course religious dissenters from England — referred to at the time with a capital "D". However, suppression of dissent has just as long a history — one need look no further than the mandatory church attendance laws put into practice by those very same early settlers. Below explore a few of dissenting voices that have wrought change in American history.

Revolutionary Thought: Tom Paine
"Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one." Tom Paine

Watch Video Harvey J. Kaye, the historian and author of THOMAS PAINE AND THE PROMISE OF AMERICA discusses the role of whom he calls "the greatest radical of a radical age."

"It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake." Frederick Douglass

The image to the left is a abolitionist song "Slavery is a Hard Foe to Battle." It was performed throughout the north by the Hutchinson Family singers in the early 19th century. The Hutchinson family represents a part of the long American tradition of dissent through music.

  • Explore American protest music through STRANGE FRUIT, on INDEPENDENT LENS from PBS
    Twain and the Gilded Age
    "No country can be well governed unless its citizens as a body keep religiously before their minds that they are the guardians of the law and that the law officers are only the machinery for its execution, nothing more." - Mark Twain, THE GILDED AGE

    Long a voice against the tide, Mark Twain defined the late 19th century as an age of greed and inequality. In 2004, Bill Moyers talked with actor Hal Holbrook about his stage portrayal of American writer Mark Twain. Also, check out The Legacy of Mark Twain and the Twain Trivia Quiz Steve Fraser, historian and author of WALL STREET: AMERICA'S DREAM PALACE, discusses the modern parallels and differences to the first Gilded Age, the big disparity between the rich and poor, and the increasing strain on working Americans. Watch Video

    The Populist Streak
    Watch Video "It sounds as if people who are throwing "populism" around are throwing it around as a dirty word. And if it is a dirty word, they don't know what they're talking about. I think they think it's a dirty word, because it pits Americans against each other, as if we would all be hand in hand if it weren't for populist agitators....They're probably talking in very veiled terms about class issues. Class is the dirty little secret in the United States." -Nell Painter

    pop·u·list: 1: a member of a political party claiming to represent the common people 2: a believer in the rights, wisdom, or virtues of the common people Historian Nell Irvin Painter, an expert on Populism in the 19th century, examines what history reveals about the current state of inequality in America.

    Labor and Life: Eugene V. Debs
    "When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong." --Eugene V. Debs

    Labor and political leader Eugene V. Debs' personal turning point came during the famous Pullman Strike. The strike began May 11, 1894, with a walkout by Pullman Palace Car Company factory workers after negotiations over declining wages failed. These workers appealed for support to the American Railway Union (ARU) which called a strike after negotiations failed. The strike crippled train travel across the nation and the federal government intervened, issuing an injunction essentially forbidding all boycott activity, and then dispatched soldiers to strike hubs. The strike brought Eugene V. Debs to public notice and landed him in prison. In later life Debs wrote about the unequal fight:

    "Had the carpenter of Nazareth been in Chicago at the time He would have been on the side of the poor, the heavy-laden and sore at heart, and He would have denounced their oppressors and been sent to prison for contempt of court under President Cleveland's administration." DEBS: HIS LIFE, WRITINGS AND SPEECHES (Chicago: Charles H. Kerr & Co., 1908"

    Perpetual Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs polled 6 percent of the vote in the 1912 election — far better than Ralph Nader's 2.74 percent in 2000.

  • Learn more about American labor history.
    The Environment: Rachel Carson
    "There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings.... The roadsides, once so attractive, were now lined with browned and withered vegetation as though swept by fire. These, too, were silent, deserted by all living things. Even the streams were now lifeless.... No witchcraft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of new life in this stricken world. The people had done it to themselves." - Rachel Carson

    Rachel Carson's impact goes far beyond government bureaucracy. Carson and her most famous book, SILENT SPRING, are credited with no less than inspiring the modern global environmental movement. In its collection of the 100 most important people of the 20th Century, TIME magazine said: "Before there was an environmental movement, there was one brave woman and her very brave book."

    Watch VideoBill Moyers Journal looks at the life and legacy of Rachel Carson through an extraordinary portrayal of her in a one-woman play performed by veteran stage actress Kaiulani Lee, whose play A Sense of Wonder has been the centerpiece of regional and national conferences on conservation, education, journalism, and the environment for more than ten years. The broadcast combines excerpts from the play, an interview with Lee and documentary reporting on Carson's life and work in a powerful look at this scientist, writer, and seeker of the truth.

    Civil Rights Poet: Nikki Giovanni

    "Sometimes we find we have nothing to give but love which is a poem which I give For the Black Revolution" - Nikki Giovanni, BLACK JUDGEMENT, 1968 Watch Video In 2009, Bill Moyers talked with renowned poet Nikki Giovanni, whose 27 books have spanned the themes of race, politics, sex and violence. In 1968; after graduating from Fisk, she attended the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University. She published her first book of poetry, BLACK FEELING BLACK TALK, in 1968, and within the next year published a second book, thus launching her career as a writer. Early in her career she was dubbed the "Princess of Black Poetry," and over the course of more than three decades of publishing and lecturing she has come to be called both a "National Treasure" and, most recently, one of Oprah Winfrey's twenty-five "Living Legends."

    Lifelong Activist: Grace Lee Boggs
    "What we tried to do is explain that a rebellion is righteous, because it's the protest by a people against injustice, because of unrighteous situation, but it's not enough. You have to go beyond rebellion. And it was amazing, a turning point in my life, because until that time, I had not made a distinction between a rebellion and revolution. And it forced us to begin thinking, what does a revolution mean? How does it relate to evolution?" - Grace Lee Boggs Watch Video Grace Lee Boggs has been a part of almost every major movement in the United States in the last 75 years, including: Labor, Civil Rights, Black Power, Women's Rights and Environmental Justice.
    Voice of Peace: William Sloane Coffin
    "Don't let money tell you who you are. Don't let power tell you who your are. Don't let enemies and — for God's sake — don't let your sins tell you who you are. Don't prove yourself. That's taken care of. All we have to do is express ourselves. It's difficult, but we're a lot more alive in pain than in complacency." - William Sloane Coffin William Sloane Coffin served as chaplain of Yale University from 1958-1976. He was senior minister of Riverside Church for over ten years. Throughout his years as chaplain and minister, Coffin has hosted such world leaders as Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Rose Styren, Olaf Palmer among numerous others. Coffin initially became famous at Yale University in the 60's for his opposition to the Vietnam War. He was jailed (the first of many times) as a civil rights "Freedom Rider," indicted by the government in the Benjamin Spock conspiracy trial, and is president emeritus of SANE/FREEZE: Campaign for Global Security. He fought in World War II, worked for the CIA for three years, and has been immortalized as Reverend Sloan in the Doonesbury comic strip. Watch Video Bill Moyers talked with William Sloane Coffin in 2004.
    Citizen Advocate: Ralph Nader
    "The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door. That's the only difference." - Ralph Nader Before he became a famed third party presidential candidate, Ralph Nader spent decades as the premiere American consumer advocate — responsible not only for seatbelts in cars, but in a large way, for the consumer protection movement itself. Bill Moyers talked with Ralph Nader in 2004.Watch Video
    Radical Histories: Howard Zinn
    "Around 1776, certain important people in the English colonies made a discovery that would prove enormously useful for the next two hundred years. They found that by creating a nation, a symbol, a legal unity called the United States, they could take over land, profits, and political power from favorites of the British Empire. In the process, they could hold back a number of potential rebellions and create a consensus of popular support for the rule of a new, privileged leadership." - Howard Zinn, A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

    Historian Howard Zinn takes a dissenting view of the traditionally taught American past in his classic A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. In 2002, Bill Moyers talked with Howard Zinn on NOW WITH BILL MOYERS. Watch Video

    Published March 20, 2009. Guest photos by Robin Holland

  • Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    Senate Dems Delay Vote to Tax Bank Bonuses

    The Washington Post is reporting the Democratic-led Senate is likely to delay until late next month legislation to punitively tax bonuses at banks and investment firms that receive federal aid. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision comes after the White House and Wall Street expressed concern over plans to heavily tax corporate bonuses. Last week, the House voted to levy a 90 percent tax on bonuses paid since January 1 by companies that owe the government at least $5 billion in bailout loans. On Sunday President Barack Obama said the tax code shouldn’t be used to punish people.


    From: http://lisowski.blogspot.com These songs are very special. They connect the Vedic wisdom with western know-how. That's a principle Srila Prabhupada told us about and which he demonstrated by his own example over and over again. To greet the deities the song Govinda still is played every morning in each ISKCON temple all over the world. Srila Prabhupada wrote about this song in a letter: "The record is so nice that I am playing it at least once in a day and it is giving me transcendental pleasure with tears in my eyes. I am sure this record will be the first-class 'hit' as already opined by the experts." Indeed the songs Govinda and Hare Krsna Mantra reached the top 10 in record charts throughout the world. Singer: Jivananda and Lilavati; Yamuna (Govinda, Bhajahu Re Mana) George Harrison: harmonium and guitar (Hare Krsna Mantra, Govinda) Govinda.mp3 Text/Translation Sri Gurvastakam.mp3 Text/Translation Bhaja Bhakata.mp3 Text/Translation Hare Krsna Mantra.mp3 Sri Isopanisad.mp3 Text/Translation Bhajahu Re Mana.mp3 Text/Translation Govinda Jaya Jaya.mp3 Text/Translation

    Survival Sam episode #10 - The Quest for Food

    [I love Survival Sam!!]
    http://breakroomlive.com Episode 10 of Survival Sam. What do you eat in the wild when you run out of food? Let Sam show you... Break Room Live with Maron and Seder is LIVE weekdays, 3-4pm from the Air America Break Room. Catch comedy sketches, interviews, political and cultural discussions, and interact with hosts and guests live: 3pm, M-F @ BreakRoomLive.com! BreakRoomLive with Marc Maron and Sam Seder is a production of http://airamerica.com

    Monday, March 23, 2009

    Random Seth Quote

    "At certain stages a state of dissociation is achieved with the indulgence of alcohol...In any state of dissociation any individual is more sensitive to inner data." The Early Sessions, Book 3 Session 103, Page 111-112

    5 ways 'common sense' lies to you everyday.

    From: http://dedroidify.blogspot.com/ "Albert Einstein said common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by the age of 18. It is also a result of some pervasive and extremely stupid logical fallacies that have become embedded in the human brain over generations, for one reason or another. These malfunctioning thoughts--several of which you've had already today--are a major cause of everything that's wrong with the world."
    Read on at cracked.com
    Bonus link: The difference glasses make

    Sunday, March 22, 2009

    Jean Cocteau *1959

    The instinct of nearly all societies is to lock up anybody who is truly free. First, society begins by trying to beat you up. If this fails, they try to poison you. If this fails too, they finish by loading honors on your head. -Jean Cocteau, Journey to Freedom (1969)

    Saturday, March 21, 2009

    10 Pop Songs About Female Masturbation

    The video for Pink's newest single, "Sober," was released today with a lot of buzz because it's supposed to depict female masturbation — sort of. The video (which you can see after the jump) actually symbolically shows Pink messing around on a bed with another version of herself. This territory isn't anything new for Pink. "Fingers," off her 2006 album I'm Not Dead, is a more direct approach to the subject. Upon first viewing "Sober," I thought, "Yeah, I liked it better when Björk did this with robots in 'All Is Full of Love.'" Then, I started thinking about all the different songs and videos about female masturbation by women and realized that there's like a butt load of them, and all by mainstream pop stars. Who says that women don't talk about playing with themselves? A roundup, after the jump.

    Pink - "Sober"

    Björk - "All Is Full of Love"

    Tweet - "Oops"

    Britney Spears - "Touch of My Hand"

    I love myself It’s not a sin I can’t control what’s happenin’ ‘Cause I just discovered Imagination’s taking over Another day without a lover The more I come to understand The touch of my hand

    Tori Amos - "Icicle"

    And when my hand touches myself, I can finally rest my head. And when they take from his body, I think I'll take from mine instead, Getting off, getting off while they're all downstairs.

    Divinyls - "I Touch Myself"

    The Pussycat Dolls - "I Don't Need a Man"

    I don’t need a man to make it happen I get off being free I don’t need a man to make me feel good I get off doing my thing I don’t need a ring around my finger To make me feel complete So let me break it down I can get off when you ain’t around

    Madonna simulated masturbation during "Like a Virgin" on her Blonde Ambition tour.

    Janet Jackson has like a million songs about sex, and I'm sure that a bunch of them include themes of masturbation, but the most popular is probably "If."

    How many nights I've laid in bed excited over you I've closed my eyes and thought of us, A hundred different ways I've gotten there so many times

    And then of course there's Cyndi Lauper's "She Bop," but for some reason, it's not embeddable from YouTube. So you can watch it here.


    By poets that can never feel
    Aught but the promptings of the soul,
    Which make or mar them, they obey.
    To wear the mask i~ not the role
    Of poets e'en in this cold day.
    Then let him list to this the tale
    Told by tradition, of the fate
    Of two young lovers, dark the weal
    That marks a woman s jealous hate;
    And while he lists let p'ty*s tears
    Fall gently o'er each hallowed grave,
    Where long hath slept, devoid of fears,
    Sweet Astreanere and Glenwold brave.
    In Cornwall dwelt a feudal knight,
    The proudest lord that graced the reign
    Of England's virgin mistress bright,
    Elizabeth. The Jartest stain
    That sullies her strange, grand career,
    Forgetting fair-haired Essex' fate,
    Is this, the death of Astreanero,
    And Glenwold, her brave-chosen mate.
    Oh she was fair and she was young
    As spirit of a poet's song,
    As blue and melting were her eyes,
    As violets reared in Paradise ;
    And 'neaih the glory of her hair,
    That swept like vail of molten gold
    Over her shoulders white and fair,
    As bust of some great goddess old,
    There smiled a face of beauty bright,
    For which Venus might envy own;
    And on her brow as lilies white,
    Diana's star in splendor shone ;
    While round her lips of coral hue
    There played a thousand witching smiles ;
    And in her voice, sweet as the coo
    Of doves, there lurked enchanting wiles.
    In her fair form, as graceful, light H
    As fabled sylph or young gazelle,
    Were seen such wondrous charms as might
    In houries of the Orient dwell.
    What wonder then that such a maid
    As Montague's flower, should honored be
    By love of knights of every grade,
    Or princes from beyond the sea.
    Sweet Astreanere, the heiress sole
    Of Montague's towers, knew care nor woe,
    Till from the Queen of Britain came
    The summons for Glenwold to go
    Afar upon the stormy main,
    To battle with the foreign foe.
    Against the royal power of Spain
    She sent her knights to level low.
    The pride of him who held aloof
    From her religion and its rites.
    She chose Glenwold with Essex fair,
    And Raleigh, bravest of her knights,
    To fall upon- the Spanish fleet,
    Capture the treasure galleys great,
    That they might at her royal feet,
    With reverence lay the golden freight.
    But was this thirst for power and wealth
    The queen's sole passion on that day,
    When those three fearless knights she sent
    To forage on the briny sea ?
    Ah! no, the queen ot kingdoms three,
    The virgin princess bowed to love,
    On Glenwold she her heart bestowed,
    To keep him from his Cornish dove.
    To separate the plighted pair,
    And hold the heart in stern restraint,
    That proudly spurned her royal care,
    Was what the willful lady meant.
    And when Glenwold the call received,
    That doomed him from his pearl to roam,
    He sought sweet Astreanere one eve
    Ere parting from his Cornish home.
    It was the hour when flaming Sol
    No longer ruled the heavenly sphere j
    And Luna, mistress of the night,
    Shed forth her silv'ry luster clear ;
    As seated on her gleaming car,
    She op'ed her wild, nocturnal race,
    Attended by a million stars,
    That hung like lamps of gold in space,
    That Astreanere, the Cornish rose,
    Pride of her haughty father's heart,
    Sought out the bower that brightly glowed
    With floral jewels. Sad to part
    With yoing GHenwold, the noblest knight
    That ever wore the avenging blade ;
    Wh ch swiftly flashed athwarth the light,
    A foe to vanquish, friend to save.
    With loving heart the maiden sought
    The trysting place to her most dear,
    And as she sat aneath the bower,
    Her eyes of azure shed a tear.
    This meeting was to be their last,
    For months Glenwold would rove the sea
    Alone, within her father's towers
    Sweet Astreanere would mourning be.
    Athwarth the star-bejeweled sky
    The maiden's eyes cerulean roved,
    As if, perchance, she might descry
    There scribed the fate of her beloved.
    The bright lake, like a silver sea,
    Shone 'neath the young moon's crescent bea;
    While near and far on hill and lea
    The ghostly shadows wanly gleamed.
    The night-bird, silent by his mate,
    Forgot to trill his sweet love-song ;
    And from the depths of lonesome glade
    The owl's fell hoot was borne along.
    The perfumed breezes fanned the cheek
    Of Astreanere, as 'neath the bower
    She wailing sat 'mid blossoms sweet,
    Toying with Cupid's chosen flower.
    The moments fled: a quivering sigh
    Went fluttering from the maiden's heart,
    And to her tender love-lit eyes
    The tell-tale tears again would start.
    But bark! what sound the stillness breaks?
    'Tis naught but warrior's fearless tread
    That rings along the stony walk
    That to the bower of trysting led.
    Nearer the step approaches, then
    A voice deep, rich and full of power
    Calls : "Astreanere. light of my soul,
    Art thou within thy rose-clad bovver?"
    With fluttering breath and blushing cheek
    Sweet Astreanere softly replies :
    "Aye, Glenwold, thine own love is here,
    Of Montague's heart the treasured pride.
    " But what hath caused thy coming late,
    What kept thee from thy dove to-night ?
    Surely no duty how'er great
    Could tempt thee from thy trysting plight."
    "Sweet Astrcanere," Glenwold replies,
    " Thy sire's behest must I obey ;
    To-night he sought me out to learn
    The hour that I must needs away.
    "And while in converse I confessed
    To him my love for thee, sweet one,
    Besought him soon to make us blest,
    A cloud of woe he cast upon
    My heart, when in reply he spoke,
    With fiery glance and stormy brow,
    'Boonar than see my daughter wed,
    With thee, sir knight, I'd lay her low.
    " 'With this, her father's aged hand,
    Glenwold of Britain, lowly born,
    I'd stretch her lifeless on the sand,
    Fair as she is in lite's bright morn.
    Cecil, the pride of England's court,
    Prime minister of England's queen,
    Hath asked the hand of Astreanere,
    Most beauteous maid 'er by him seen.
    ' ' Elizabeth smiles on the suit
    Her Majesty to Cejil gave ;
    A dower such as might in sooth
    Tempt Plutus from his treasure cave.
    So, Grlenwold, think no more to wed
    With Montague's peerless daughter now j
    For fre from battle thou'lt return,
    A ducal crown shall gem her brow.'
    ''And with these words thy father left
    Me to my fate. Oh, Astreanere !
    Mu-t we thus part of hope bereft,
    Oppressed by wretched, taunting fear?"
    He paused, in silent woe he gazed
    Upon the mystic vault of night;
    With black despair his brain was crazed,
    Dark loomed the future in his sight.
    Those holy stars by lovers prized,
    Hope, love and faith, by clouds were riven ;
    And in its glory through the skies,
    The blood-red orb of war was driven,
    Astreanere leaned upon his breast,
    Weeping in hopeless, speechless woe ;
    With his strong love she had been blest,
    How could her father bid him go ?
    With faltering voice at length she spoke :
    " Grlenwold, my sire's decree is stern ;
    Yet sooner than his curse invoke,
    To do his will I now must learn.
    My love for thee can never die,
    Not though by Hymen's chains I'm bound ;
    Cecil may wed with Montague's pride,
    With coronet gay I may be crowned,
    " Still, Glenwold, still I am thine own ;
    My heart, my soul's best love is given
    To thee, whatever woe may come
    To crush me, thou'rt my earth's sole heaven."
    She ceased, her woman's heart was full
    With bitter grief to further speak,
    And Grlenwold with perceptions dulled
    Was as a wailing infant weak.
    Neither of those doomed lovers heard
    The loud approach of mail-clad feet,
    Until the voice of Montague's lord
    Destroyed their trance, bitter yet sweet.
    The lord of Montague, stern and old,
    Upon them with grim anger glanced ;
    Erect stood Glenwood, firm and bold,
    As to the rose-bower he advanced.
    " How now, young Grlenwolcf, would'st thou war
    Upon thy master?" asked the lord;
    " That thou hast dared to enter here ;
    If so draw forth thy ready sword,
    And here, with none but Astreanere
    To witness, I'll my vengeance wreak,
    And teach thee, Montague's lord, to fear.
    How say'st thou now? Ah! why not speak?"
    Deep scarlet flushed the knight's fair face ;
    Swift from its steel sheath flashed his blade,
    Advancing to Montague a f ace,
    In clar on tones he proudly said :
    "An hundred henchmen dost thou boast,
    Yet will I war with thee this hour,
    And all thy faithful mail-clad host,
    Come, 'gainst me lead thy vaunted power.
    " To breathe farewell to Astreanere,
    I sought this rose-clad bower of love ;
    If thou would'st fight afar from here
    The mettle of our blades we'll prove.
    But this sweet spot is far too pure
    For men to sully with fell strife j
    But out on yonder level moor
    I'll teach thee that my blood is rife
    " To battle with the knight that dares
    To brand me as one lowly born,
    While life with me its vigor shares
    I'll brook from n-me insult or scorn."
    Thus face to face they scowling stood,
    The lord of Montague an'l the kn ; ght,
    Who ne'er before in angry mood
    Challenged the noble forth to fight.
    With bosom full of bitter ire, he
    Bade Grlenwold say his sad farewell,
    And turned him from the scorching fire
    That from his eyes of midnight fell.
    Against the author of this woe
    Montague's proud soul rebellious rose ;
    Elizabeth must surely know
    That 'gainst her Glenwold's heart was closed.
    Lord Montague loved the noble youth,
    Biorht proud was he when first he learned
    That Astreanere possessed the heart
    For which a queen in silence yearned ;
    And oft he dreamt o Montague's hall,
    With Grlenwold as its noble lord,
    And Astreanere his peerless bride
    Surrounded by their feudal horde.
    But all his hopes were swept away
    When Britain's quejn beheld the knight;
    She love i him in her jealous way,
    And ha ; ed Astreanere the bright.
    Far from the maiden's side to roam
    She doomed Glenwold ; relentless ire
    Consumed her bosom when in gloom
    He sought from service to retire.
    With cruel words the maid she bade
    To wed with Cecil the deformed,
    Or on the block lay low her head,
    All pleadings from Montague were scorned.
    To make Glenwold his bitter foe,
    To break his darling's h art for aye,
    Montague was forced, grim, deathless woe
    Seemed on his wretched soul to Le.
    Sweet Astreanere half fainting clung
    To Grlenwold; bitterest anguish tore
    Her heart; while daggers of deep woe
    Were pierced unto the inmost core ;
    While he, o'erwhelmed in black despair,
    Strove, madly strove, to rend h.m free
    From those fair arms that held him there.
    Both stood in speechless misery.
    At length in tones broken and low,
    He spoke that last, that dread farewell j
    From her fond clasp his iorm he tore,
    Leaving her helpless where she fell.
    Afar he fled ; none but the strange,
    Lone spirits, wandering through the night,
    Knew of the tempest \\ild that raged
    Within his breast during that flight.
    From all that to his soul was dear, .
    While in her bower of beauty bright,
    Astreanere mourned with sigh and tear,
    The absence of her lover-krrght.
    And thus those two fond, loving hearts,
    Ne'er more on earth, in life to meet,
    Parted upon that summer eve,
    Glenwold, and Astreanere the sweet.
    'Twas on the last night of the year,
    That Montague's peerless heiress bright,
    Was doomed to wed the hunchback peer,
    Of England's court the shining light.
    Cecil, the cunning statesman, clad
    In robes bedecked with jewels rare ;
    Exulting in the thought and glad
    That his would be this treasure fair.
    Impatient waited for the hour
    Of midnight, that would fix the fate
    Of Montague's tender drooping flower.
    With joyous heart, and soul elate,
    He restless passed from place to place ;
    Plotting against the favorite three
    That now found favor in the grace
    Of his proud mistress, recklessly.
    Essex, the fair, in secret wooed
    And won a bride ; young Raleigh, wild,
    A maid of honor gently sued ;
    And Glenwold firm, yet nobly mild,
    Remained as true to Astreanere.
    As ever knight to lady kept,
    Despite temptations that bestrewed
    The path o'er which his life was swept.
    Their ruin Cecil fiercely craved,
    Death to the gallant trio then
    Was e'er his watchword ; oft he raved
    In fury for the blood of men,
    Who each believed himself the friend
    Of Cecil. Glenwold, wronged young knight,
    Dreamt not that he could e'n pretend
    Affections false, as mirage bright
    That flashes fore the fevered eyes
    Of traveler on the sun-scorched plain,
    When with fierce thirst he almost dies,
    And cruel heat boils every vein ;
    When naught but burning wastes of sand
    Extend before his aching sight,
    Until the tortured brain expands,
    And reason totters from her height.
    Then far beyond the sandy sea,
    In all its rural beauty rare ;
    Where silver streams are flowing free,
    And wild birds fill the perfumed air
    With melodies rich, wildly sweet,
    An emerald grove his vision greets.
    He struggles bravely on, and soon
    Beaches the spot to find it gone.
    So when with woe deeply oppressed,
    The knight sought out the false one,
    Believing all that he professed,
    Nor deemed him liable to wrong
    A friend, he asktd the peer to yield
    Back Astreanere, the Cornish rose.
    Cecil declared 'twas not his heart,
    But hi.<>ft gloaming,
    And the slumbering blossoms low,
    And she marked them sadly weeping
    When the sunbeams ceased to glow.
    And she saw them gladly smiling
    When the day god 'lume>J earth's track ;
    "As the sun comes to the flowers,
    So my Robert will come back."
    Then anon her heart grew lighter,
    And fair Lelah blithely sung,
    And in her slightest accent
    Something wondrous gladsome rung.
    Thus it happened on an evening
    In the month of rosy May,
    To the beeches softly gloaming,
    O'er the brooklets silver way,
    Gentle Lelah wandered dreaming
    Of her loved one afar;
    Her sweet face of witching beauty
    Glowing brightly as a star.
    From the velvet turf she gathered
    Violets blue as heaven's skies;
    From the cooling limpid waters,
    Gleaming lilies gently rire.
    In her glittering, golden tresses
    Twines she nature's sapphires bright ;
    On her gently heaving bosom
    Placed she lilies snowy white ;
    Saying softly : " Robert loved them ;
    Violets are like angels' eyes,
    And the lilies spirits saintod
    Wear above in Paradise.
    From my breast he took a lily,
    More must blossom sweetly there,
    (When he comes to proudly claim me),
    And amid my golden hair.
    "Nor longer can he linger
    On the far-off prairie track ;
    Yes, I cull them, daily wear there,
    Soon my Robert will come back "
    Rang a step adown the pathway
    Leading to the trysting brook,
    Then a bronzed and stalwart stranger
    Stood within the sh ided nook.
    Strange he may have been to others,
    Not quite strange to Lelah fair ;
    Thrice before this had she met him
    Silent, mingling, quiet, where
    She as chosen belle and beauty
    Of her village queen -like reigned.
    Startled was the maiden truly,
    And her terror was unfeigned.
    "Pardon," said the handsome stranger.
    "Let me speak to you to-night;
    Lelah, sweetest one, I love you,
    Pause, nor start in angry flight ;
    Oh long, long have I worshiped,
    Worshiped vainly from afar,
    You, my rare, my peerless jewel,
    As one loves a radiant star
    XXIV. '
    "Shining far above his station.
    Lelah, maiden Eweet and mild,
    Say you love me, say you love me,
    Or my poor brain will go wild."
    Thrilled his accents strangely through her;
    Trembled she, cot knowing why ;
    To refuse him made her heart bleed,
    And her soul too sadly cry.
    "Sir," said Lelah, very softly,
    With her tearful eyes a-glow ;
    " Smooth and even as yon brooklet's,
    Does my heart's love current flow ;
    Years agone my hand was plighted,
    And my heart I with it gave,
    Then my lover from me wandered,
    (Frown not ; pure as yon bright wave
    Is his love and peerless honor)
    To the prairies' blooming track.
    Smile not pityingly upon n\e ;
    Soon my Robert will come back."
    "LELAH ! " with a cry she started,
    That voice oft she'd heard before ;
    Smiled the hronzed and stalwart stranger.
    Then, shedding her bright ray o'er
    The pair a-neath the beeches,
    Through the heavens Luna sailed,
    And the bearded face to Lelah,
    By her light was now revealed ;
    Oped his arms, swift to his bosom
    Flew the lovely, trembling one ;
    As to the ark of Noah
    Flew his bright dove, absent long.
    As to its mate the night-bird,
    Startled, trembling flies ;
    Fainting half with joy, with terror,
    Lelah in his arms lies ;
    O'er the wastes of barren deserts,
    O'er the prairies' blooming track,
    To reclaim his bride a-waiting,
    Handsome Robert then came back.
    TIE! IE
    all 0f warms
    "ALEXANDER!" Deathless glory
    Marks the mighty conqueror's name ;
    Lauded in wild song and story,
    Is the ruthless monarch's fame.
    Royal born, from kings descended,
    Macedonia's peerless lord ;
    Who on naught but hope depended,
    And his ready, trusty sword.
    Dark his soul as midnight ebon,
    When dense clouds doth vail the sky,
    Hiding Luna's luster given,
    From the weary traveler's eye ;
    For his heart was full of cunning,
    Serpent-like his subtle guile ;
    He could fawn on those he hated,
    Mask his hatred in his smile.
    'Neath that wile his father suffered ;
    Clitus 'neath it low expired,
    $6 THE FALL OF
    Murdered by famed Alexander,
    When with wine his blood was fired;
    For the monarch young and brave,
    Grave to all who dared oppose him,
    Cruel death and gloomsome grave.
    O'er the plains of vast Gedrosia
    Passed the monarch, breathing there,
    During days of toilsome marching,
    Simoon's deadly burning air.
    O'er the Indus crossed Macedon's
    Dauntless leader, crushing all,
    Every nation that defied him
    Fought and bled to helpless fall.
    Afghan's ruler bowed submissive
    To the conqueror's galling yoke ;
    Egypt yielded fore the tyrant,
    Stooped his mercy to invoke ;
    The proud Chaldeans, crushed and humbled,
    Writhing bore Macedon's sway ;
    But his crowning triumph graced him
    On the field of famed Syria.
    'Twas against the haughty Persian,
    Darius, that Macedon moved ;
    To subdue the Orient ruler,
    Macedon's chief it now behooved ;
    But how was the youthful monarch
    To o'ercorne the Persian hosts?

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