Daily Archives: December 31, 2008

>Change Will Come…Some Day Soon

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I am a believer in happiness. I believe that happiness is all we really get in life, and that everything else follows. Things don’t make us happy, at least not for long. And you can’t expect people to make you happy either; you either have it to begin with, and others add to it, or you don’t. If you don’t believe that, just look around at all the sad, angry, lonely faces you pass on the street. Happiness is something you possess, that you give out, and give back.
We’re responsible for our own happiness, each and all of us; responsible to find it, to hold on to it; to nurture it and share it. Without happiness in ourselves, for being ourselves, how can we expect to live fully and completely. We suffer loss every day; I’ve had my share and, sad to say, I know there’s more to come, but I feel happy in the memories I have of those who’ve gone on ahead.
I know it’s hard to be happy when times are hard. It’s near impossible to think that things will get better, but they will; it might not be the better you were thinking it would be, but I have learned that it will get better.
I have learned, from my Father the Teacher, never to stop learning and reading and speaking and, well, ranting; the more you learn, the more you grow, and understand, the more happiness you can accept.
I have learned, from my Mother the Nurturer, to care for things, for people, for animals for life; to make each day better for those around us, and to make it better for ourselves in the end.
I have learned, from my Sister the Temper, to speak up; why sit quietly and let things happen to you? Stand up and demand the things you want, the happiness you want. Don’t settle.
I have learned, from my Brother the Father, to hold close to family; never let them go; whether it’s the family you were born into, or the family you created out of necessity; hold on to them, and protect them, and love them.
I have learned, from my Partner the Optimist, how to actually let go and be in love and damn the torpedoes; how to be open and honest and know that it won’t hurt; how to love yourself, and everyone around you.
So, on this, the last day of the year, I once again realize that I have learned to be happy; I’ve earned happiness. And I am responsible for it.
It is, after all, all you really get in life.

Someday
When we are wiser
When the world’s older
When we have learned
I pray
Someday we may yet live
To live and let live
Someday
Life will be fairer
Need will be rarer
Greed will not pay
God speed
This bright millenium
On its way
Let it come
Someday
Someday
Our fight will be won then
We’ll stand in the sun then
That bright afternoon
Till then
On days when the sun is gone
We’ll hang on
Wish upon the moon
Change will come
There are some days dark and bitter
Seems we haven’t got a prayer
But a prayer for someday better
Is the one thing we all share

Someday
Life will be fairer
Need will be rarer
Greed will not pay
God speed
This bright millenium
Let it come
Wish upon the moon
Change will come
One day
Someday
Soon.

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2 Comments

Filed under Bob, Carlos, David, Family, Jeri, Mom

>What A Legacy

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I am so tired of all his cronies endlessly spouting off as to how, years from now, we’ll all see what a great president this buffoon was; even his wife awoke from her stupor to suggest that his legacy will be one of greatness.
Wrong on all counts W. You took over leadership of this country when things were good for us, for the US. And even after 9/11 I thought you were on the right track, going after bin Laden. But then suddenly we’re in Iraq and Hussein is the big threat and bin Laden is no longer mentioned.
You lied to us, W, over and over again. And hundreds of thousands of Americans and Iraqis were injured or killed because of your lies.
And here you are, as your presidency of deceit winds down, pulling the same old tricks, lying the same old lies.
Shame on you.
I had wanted to go out of 2008 looking forward to a positive 2009. You’ve trampled on that.
Shame on you.
Clown.
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The Bush administration is ringing in 2009 with a fresh constitutional mess.
The Bush administration’s infatuation with presidential power has finally pushed the country over a constitutional precipice. As of New Year’s Day, ongoing combat in Iraq is illegal under US law.
In authorizing an invasion in 2002, Congress did not give President Bush a blank check. It explicitly limited the use of force to two purposes: to “defend the national security of the US from the threat posed by Iraq” and “enforce all relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”
At precisely one second after midnight, Congress’ authorization of the war expired… The question is how President Obama should respond to the legal catastrophe that Bush has left as his Iraqi legacy.
Five years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, the government of Iraq no longer poses a threat. Our continuing intervention has been based on the second clause of Congress’ grant of war-making power. Coalition troops have been acting under a series of Security Council resolutions authorizing the continuing occupation of Iraq. But this year, Bush allowed the UN mandate to expire on December 31 without requesting a renewal. At precisely one second after midnight, Congress’ authorization of the war expired along with this mandate.
Bush is trying to fill the legal vacuum with the new Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) he signed with the Iraqis. But the president’s agreement is unconstitutional, since it lacks the approval of Congress. Bush even refused to allow Congress access to the terms of the deal. By contrast, Prime Minister al-Maliki followed his constitution and submitted the agreement for parliamentary approval. While the Iraqi parliament debated its terms, leading members of Congress were obliged to obtain unofficial English translations of texts published by the Arab press.
Bush defends his extraordinary conduct by claiming that it is traditional for commanders in chief to negotiate status of forces agreements without congressional consent. But the Iraqi agreement goes far beyond anything in the traditional SOFAs concluded with close to 100 countries since World War II.
Indeed, it goes far beyond any sensible interpretation of the president’s power as commander in chief. For example, the SOFA creates a joint US-Iraq committee and gives it, not the president, broad control over the use of American combat troops. It thereby asserts the authority to restrict President Obama’s powers as commander in chief throughout most of his first term in office. But under the Constitution, no president can unilaterally limit his successor’s authority over the military.
This defective agreement cannot serve as a valid substitute for the congressional authorization that Bush so casually allowed to expire on December 31. It is up to Congress to authorize continuing military action. Gaining the consent of a foreign power simply isn’t enough.
The question is how Obama should respond to the legal catastrophe that Bush has left as his Iraqi legacy. It’s easy to eliminate one option. Whatever the original infirmities of Bush’s agreement, Obama should not repudiate it. Now that Maliki has won approval from his parliament, the agreement has become the basis for the next phase of Iraqi politics. It also contains withdrawal timetables that are compatible with Obama’s goals: all combat troops out of Iraq’s cities by July; all troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011. As a consequence, Obama may be tempted to accept the agreement that Bush has left behind, and proceed without correcting its obvious constitutional deficiencies.
But this would be a tragic mistake. We are living in an age of small wars—some are blunders, but some will be necessary. The challenge is to sustain their democratic legitimacy by keeping them under congressional control. If Obama goes along with the Bush agreement, he will make this impossible. Future presidents will cite the Iraqi accord as a precedent whenever they choose to convert Congress’ authorization of a limited war into an open-ended conflict.
There is a better way ahead. President Obama should submit the Bush-Maliki agreement to Congress on January 20 and urge its speedy approval. This request is likely to win broad bipartisan support. Rapid congressional ratification will not only fill the legal vacuum threatening the constitutional integrity of our military operations in Iraq. Together with the closing of Guantanamo, it will show that Obama is serious about reining in the worst presidentialist abuses of the Bush years.
Members of the incoming administration have already taken steps in the right direction. Both Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden took the lead as senators in protesting Bush’s unilateralism in the conduct of the Iraqi negotiations. And Obama has made clear that he appreciates the role of checks and balances in our constitutional scheme. Now is the time to reverse the precipitous slide toward the imperial presidency.
Bruce Ackerman and Oona Hathaway are professors of law at Yale and the University of California Berkeley, respectively.

3 Comments

Filed under George W Bush, Hillary Clinton, President Obama

>The Comedy Stylings Of Griffin and Cooper

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This cracks me up.

Kathy Griffin makes me laugh.

Anderson Cooper makes me tingly.

3 Comments

Filed under Funny, Kathy Griffin

>In Sickness and In Health

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We’ve been sick.
First, Carlos has a cold the week of Christmas. I don’t know if it was Holiday Stress-related, or the fact that one day we’re in the 70s in Smallville, and the next day it barely makes it out of the 40s. Either way he was sniffling and congested, and a complete pain in the ass. And by ‘pain in the ass’ I mean PAIN IN THE ASS, but I say it with love.
You see, Carlos and I have different ways to take care of ourselves when we’re sick, and neither one of us likes the other’s routine. His method for taking care of himself is to wear shorts….in December….when it’s 50 and windy; he likes to stay up late, playing Spiders on the computer. He thinks four or five hours of sleep is what’s needed when you’re sick. He thinks Hot Tea is a cure-all, although not decaf, never decaf. He says decaf tastes like cat piss; when he’s tasted cat piss, I don’t wanna know, but he says that, so…..I let it go. He doesn’t like any kind of NyQuil or Tylenol, although he is a fan of the Bick Boppa Rue, which is Carlos-speak for Vick’s Vapor Rub.
Lucy! You have some ‘splaining to do!
He won’t get any rest; he won’t go to sleep early; he won’t. So it took him about five days to get over a ‘twenty-four hour thing.’ Five days of coughing, sniffling, sneezing, congestion. I came close to putting him out of my misery.
Now, on the other hand, I am a fantastic patient. My method of taking care of myself is to sleep as much as I can. As many hours as I can. Days at a time is best. February works for me. I go to bed early; and I mean a hair after nine and I’m staggering to the bedroom; and I sleep late. He gets up, has breakfast and goes to work; I’m in a NyQuil-induced coma until about 10:30 AM.
Don’t get me started on NyQuil, which, for me, is a legal hallucinogenic. I have the most Dali-esque dreams on NyQuil. And literally I sleep like there’s no tomorrow, which, on NyQuil, could be a possibility. Usually, when I wake up after a NyQuil night, it takes a minute to register where I am, what time it is, what day…..what century. It’s a process.
So, the other night, after Carlos has finished his week-long cold and given it to me–Merry Christmas Baby–he goes to sleep. I soon follow. I head into the bathroom and pour myself a snifter of NyQuil, that green nectar of the gods, and I down it in a shot because it tastes horrible. Then I crawl into bed, under a sheet, an electric blanket that i like to think of as a toaster, a down comforter, and an afghan my Mom crocheted for me. I snuggle into the pillows and the cats gather round. They sleep on my side of the bed because of the aforementioned toaster and afghan. I’m warm and snuggly and so close to dozing when it happens.
Carlos begins to snore.
And this is not some little jigsaw snore. He does Variations on a Theme of Snoring. It’s like falling asleep inside a fully functioning factory; there are pistons and air hoses exploding; then conveyor belts of sound; followed by jackhammers, wheels and cogs spinning loudly. Lunch whistles; time clocks. I nudge him, gently at first…..at…..first…..Charlie, you’re snoring. I call him Charlie because it bugs him a little, and payback is a bitch. He harrumphs in his snore voice and says No. No? I nudge him a little less gently and say, sweetly, Seriously. You. Are. Snoring. Again, buzz-saw, No.
So, rather than look for a lamp to casually toss on his head, or a pillow I can lay over his face and weigh down with a couple of books, I grab my pillows, and my afghan and tumble down the hall, stopping at the linen closet for another blanket, to sleep on the couch. I could sleep in the guest bedroom, but it’s filled with dining room chairs and Christmas paper, and boxes…don’t ask.
I snuggle into the couch, afghan, blanket, pillows….MaxGoldberg sleeps on my feet, Tallulah nestles in behind my knees and Tuxedo sleep on my side. It’s like sleeping in a coffin; movement is not allowed.
So there I sleep, slipping into a coma, sniffling and coughing, juggling cats, until about 2 AM, when a dream about being a springboard diver diving in to a wooded canyon wakes me. I tumble back to my room.
The factory is closed.
The coma continues.
In the end, my ‘twenty-four hour’ thing lasts, well, twenty-four hours.

4 Comments

Filed under Bick Boppa Rue, Bob, Carlos, Funny, NyQuil, Sick, Snore