30 July 2006

From Mark Twain's War Prayer - The real message of war:

"You have heard your servant's prayer -- the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it -- that part which you in your hearts -- fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. the *whole* of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory--*must* follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe.

O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells;
Help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead;
Help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain;
Help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire;
Help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief;
Help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it.

For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord:

Blast their hopes,
Blight their lives,
Protract their bitter pilgrimage,
Make heavy their steps,
Water their way with their tears,
Stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!

We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts.


26 July 2006

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

This is the west, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

This is a sentence that Joseph Campbell would have understood very well. Every culture has a way of looking at itself, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance tells the "legend" of America as few other films have ever done.

Anyone who has ever seen this movie cannot possibly forget it. It is filled with iconic characters: The intelligent, naive Easterner played by the ultimate idealist: (James Stewart); the noble but flawed cowboy (John Wayne); the bad guy leader (Lee Marvin) of the gang from south of the picket wire; the pure, brave maiden (Vera Miles); strong, loyal former slave (Woody Strode) ; craven but funny sheriff (Andy Divine), and the heroic, drunken newspaperman (Edmond O'Brien) among many others. Even the minor characters were ones that we have seen in a thousand books and movies.

So what does this movie tell you about current politics. We've all heard the phrase "Cowboy Diplomacy", but is the bullheaded, walk all over others Bush style actually the legend of the Cowboy. Absolutely not. The instant we preemptively hit Iraq, allowed Abu Ghraib, and incarcerated combatants without trial in Gitmo, we violated America's vision of itself as the good guys. We became Liberty Valance not Tom Doniphan.

As Dutton Peabody said and all of the modern press knows: "I'd be a poor newspaperman indeed if I didn't know what everyone else in town knows!" We now all know just how misguided this administration has been. Unfortunately, the neocons and the President in particular would rather attack the media than correct the course that is so destructive to our image in the world.

We all need to go to the polls and do a wholesale house cleaning even if there is one major drawback to this proposal:

Tom Doniphon:

According to your friend, Mr. Stoddard, the bar is closed during voting. Says its one of the "Fundamentals of Democracy". No exceptions.

Dutton Peabody:

No exceptions for the working press? Why, that's carrying democracy much too far!

24 July 2006

Repeating History

Picasso, Crying Woman
When the same bad thing keeps happening over and over to the same person, at some point you have to assume they want it to happen or they wouldn't keep walking down the same destructive path. Any assitance you give them until they figure it out for themselves is just enabling the behavior that is causing the bad things to happen.
Let us Review:

Nov 2, 1917 - British issued the Balfour Declaration, viewed by Jews and Arabs as promising a “National Home” for the Jews in Palestine.

1936-1939 - Arab Revolt led by Haj Amin Al-Husseini. Over 5,000 Arabs were killed according to some sources, mostly by British. Several hundred Jews were killed by Arabs. Husseini fled to Iraq and then to Nazi Germany.

May 15, 1948 - Israel War of Independence (1948 War). Declaration of Israel as the Jewish State; British leave Palestine; Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia declared war on Israel. Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian invasion began.

April 3, 1949 - Armistice - Israel and Arab states agree to armistice. Israel gained about 50% more territory than was originally allotted to it by the UN Partition Plan.

Oct. 29, 1956 - Suez Campaign. In retaliation for a series of escalating border raids as well as the closure of the straits of Tiran and Suez canal to Israeli shipping, and to prevent Egyptian use of newly acquired Soviet arms in a war, Israel invades the Sinai peninsula and occupies it for several months, with French and British collaboration.

May, 1964 - PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) founded with the aim of destroying Israel. The Palestinian National Charter (1968) officially called for liquidation of Israel.

May, 1967 - Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser closes the straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping and dismisses UN peacekeeping force. Negotiations with US to reopen the Straits of Tiran fail.

June 5-10,1967 - 6-day war . Israel destroys the Egyptian air force on the ground, conquers and occupies Sinai and Gaza, then conquers the West Bank from Jordan, and Golan Heights from Syria. UN resolution 242 called for Israeli withdrawal, establishment of peace.

Oct. 6, 1973 - Yom Kippur War (October War). In a surprise attack on the Jewish day of atonement, Egypt retook the Suez canal and a narrow zone on the other side. Syria reconquered the Golan Heights. Following massive US and Soviet resupplying of the sides, Israel succeeded in pushing back the Syrians and threatening Damascus. In Sinai, the IDF crossed the Suez Canal and cut off the Egyptian Third Army.

March 26, 1979 - Peace treaty signed between Egypt and Israel.

June 7, 1981 - Israel destroys Iraqi nuclear reactor in daring raid.

Oct. 6, 1981 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is assassinated while on the reviewing stand of a victory parade.

June 6, 1982 - Massive Israeli invasion of Lebanon to fight PLO.

Sept. 13, 1993 - Oslo Declaration of Principles - Israel and PLO agree to mutual recognition.

Sept 28, 1995 - Oslo Interim Agreement signed. Palestinian Authority to be established.

Nov. 4, 1995 - Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin assassinated by right-wing Israeli fanatic Yigal Amir. Rabin is replaced by Shimon Peres

June, 1996 - Right-Wing Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu elected Prime Minister in Israel, replacing Shimon Peres.

Sept, 1996 - "Al-Aksa tunnel riots - Arab sources spread the false rumor that a gate opened in an underground tunnel tourist attraction by the Israeli government, endangered the foundations of the Al-Aqsa mosque. This caused several days of rioting and numerous casualties.

Jan 18, 1997 - Israel and Palestinians reach agreement on Israeli redeployment in the West-Bank city of Hebron

Oct. 1998 - Wye River Plantation talks result in an agreement for Israeli redeployment and release of political prisoners and renewed Palestinian commitment to correct its violations of the Oslo accords including excess police force, illegal arms and incitement in public media and education.

May 17, 1999 - Israel elects Labor party leader and Former General Ehud Barak as Prime Minister in a landslide. Barak promises rapid progress toward peace.

March, 2000 - Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations fail when Hafez Assad rejects an Israeli offer relayed by US President Clinton in Geneva.

Sept. 28, 2000 - Palestinians initiated riots after Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount, which is also the location of the Haram as Sharif holy to Muslims.

Sept. 11, 2001 - Terror attacks on World Trade Center in NYC and the Pentagon carried out by fanatic Islamic Al-Qaida group headed by Osama Bin Laden initiate US war on terror. Israel and Palestinians agree to a cease fire, but it is not implemented.

Feb 6, 2001 - Right-wing Likud leader Ariel Sharon elected Prime Minister in Israel replacing Ehud Barak and promising "peace and security."

March-April 2002 - Israel conducts operation Defensive Wall in the West Bank, following a large number of Palestinian suicide attacks on civilian targets. Saudi peace initiative adopted at Beirut summit.

Jan 28, 2003 - Elections in Israel give wide margin (40 seats) to right wing Likud party, returning PM Ariel Sharon for another term.

March 19,2003 - US begins invasion of Iraq by a strike against a building where Saddam Hussein and other leaders are meeting. Baghdad falls, April 9.

July 9, 2004 - International court of Justice (ICJ) rules that the Israeli security barrier violates international law and must be torn down.

Nov 11, 2004 - Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat dies.

Jan 9, 2005 - Mahmoud Abbas elected President of the Palestinian National Authority.

Jan 10, 2005 - Ariel Sharon forms unity government with Labor and United Torah Judaism parties in Israel.

April 2005 - Ariel Sharon visits US President George Bush at his Texas ranch. Syrian Army leaves Lebanon, officially ending Syrian occupation.

May 26, 2005 - Mahmud Abbas visits US President George Bush at the White House, an important symbolic gesture signaling US backing for Abbas and Palestinian aspirations. Israel releases 400 Palestinian prisoners including some with blood on their hands. Britain confirms "low level" negotiations with Hamas.

June, 2005 - Violence flares in Gaza. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Palestinian and Israeli leaders to ensure coordination of Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Israeli PM Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meet in Jerusalem June 21. Sharon announces that Palestinians have promised to coordinate regarding Gaza withdrawal. PM Abbas postpones Palestinian legislative elections in order to change the election law, amidst growing concern that Hamas will trounce Abbas's Fatah party in the elections. Lebanese elections give a decisive majority to the opposition to Syria, led by Saad Hariri, son of slain leader Rafiq Hariri.

Aug. 15, 2005 - Disengagement - Israeli evacuation of Gaza settlements and four West Bank settlements began on August 15 and was completed August 24.
July 2006 - More of the same ol' same ol'

22 July 2006

Five Questions

Mo over at It's A Blog Eat Blog World has started a project. He asks five interview questions that you answer and then you return the favor by interviewing five other volunteers. If you want to volunteer for me to ask you questions, just mention it in comments. Here are Mo's questions and my answers:

You asked for it, you got it: 5 "interview me" questions
Remember the rules = you post the questions and answers on your site, then ask for "interview me" volunteers. You then send these volunteers 5 questions that you make up, along with the rules...

1. Explain the yak, please. It is a yak, right? In your sidebar? If not, what kind of horned bovine is it, and its significance?

That is not a yak, it is a Highland Cow/Bull (I didn't ask the little guy/girl and both sexes have horns). No significance other than it reminds me of my trip to Scotland and is one of my favorite animals. They are wonderfully gentle beasts and it is there to remind me of the real thing, meet Hamish.

2. If I were president, (Or King Of The World, whichever) I would make you my Cultural Ambassador. What one thing would you change in our public school system's curriculum to make kids today appreciate the finer things more?

Most school work at early ages is a deadly bore. By the time children get around to learning art, music, and history their imaginations have been killed off by Dick and Jane or their modern equivalent. I would expose the class to everything in passing as an integral part of the total K through 6 curriculum from great paintings to classical music to historical events via pictures, music played in the background, stories read to them, or field trips to museums and then ask them to do what they do best: Make up stories, dress in historical costume and do drawings about what they have seen or heard. If the Mona Lisa ends up in clown makeup fine, they will remember and love her again in ten years while humming Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

3. Speaking of presidential stuff, if you had 5 minutes alone with Vice President Cheney, would you try and see if he's actually an android, or would you try and have a civil conversation with him? If you choose talking, what would you talk with him about?

He has always struck me as a very sad, bitter man. I would want to know why he has cut himself off from anyone and everyone who might challenge his opinions about anything and why his private beliefs and his public statements seem so at odds. Anyone so miserable and angry that they must always be right is dangerous.

4. If you were making a calendar, what 12 pictures would you use?

You do know how to make life difficult ... Only 12 favorite images of all the people, places, music, books, nature, animals etc. etc. etc. This was actually the hardest so I considered the imaginary by using photos of places on my eventual around the world trip in a luxury suite on the Queen Mary, but settled for a smidgen of honesty.

January - Hugh Jackman (I'm just aged not dead)

February - Dance Me To the End of Love by Jack Vettriano simply because I love the painting and there has to be a stand in for all the art that means so much to me.

March - There is and always will be only one for March - why? None of your business. lol

April - Barnum with Jim Dale & Glenn Close - Every song means something which is why this poster is in a frame is on my wall plus it represents one of my other obsessions - musical theater.

May - Baryshnikov - I'm still not dead

June - My granddaughter, The Incredible T

July - A Place to Be

August - His Majesty Rorschach I (Rory)

September - four Generations Triptych

October - One Author to Represent sixty years of wonderful, beloved books

November - Westminster Abbey for all the beautiful buildings in the World

December - Wither thou goest, I will go; Wither thou lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God (Ruth 1:16).

5. If you were Noah, which pair of animals would you NOT allow on the ark?

This one is hard. I genuinely like virtually all animals for being beautiful, useful, or strangely wonderful. The unicorn did get left behind ... very sad. I was tempted to say either the mosquito, flea or cockroach and then realized they keep populations in balance through disease and garbage disposal ... Aggravating but very necessary. I don't like chihuahuas because of an unpleasant childhood event, but that would mean all dogs had to go and that would be intolerable. Since you won't let me evict Noah and family as the most dangerous dolt on the dinghy, it will have to be the second worst thing on the boat - The Slug

(Drat! I like looking at Banana Slugs even if they are slimy. Oh Well - They're gone!)

21 July 2006

Sailing Off to Somewhere

There are wonderful cryptic parts of everyone's life. Tell yourself a story. All you have to do is say a word or words and there it is ... full blown alive in your memory: Umbrella, Mars, Socks. Pony, Barnum, Yucca. They are all pieces of a life. All you have to do is share the story and tell someone else. Then you have a short story or with really good ones a novel. There are whole worlds alive in every human being.

This is my absolutely favorite song because it is me. Of course you won't understand, because I haven't told you the story. Tell me yours and I'll tell your mine.

When October Goes
Music by Barry Manilow Lyrics by Johnny Mercer

And when October goes
The snow begins to fly
Above the smokey roofs
I watch the planes go by
The children running home
Beneath a twilight sky
Oh, for the fun of them
When I was one of them
And when October goes
The same old dream appears
And you are in my arms
To share the happy years
I turn my head away
To hide the helpless tears
Oh how I hate to see October go
I should be over it now I know
It doesn't matter much
How old I grow
I hate to see October go

The Apple Is Falling

The old saying is that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Barbara come get your son. If it was just the potty mouth, well kids do learn those words elsewhere. How about attacking professional women in a business situation. Well, maybe the buddies at Yale taught him he could get away with that.

But using a napkin, chewing with your mouth closed, not lounging back in a chair when at the table, those were all your lessons to teach and obviously you didn't.

We know daddy's friends and money paved Georgie's way to the Presidency, so we can blame George 41 for that. But really Babs, not throwing temper tantrums, listening to one's elders, obeying the teacher, you know the stuff that makes it possible to get along in the world. Well you really fell down on the job and the American public is suffering because of it.

So get off your duff, don your pearls and march yourself up to the place where you used to live and give sonny boy a lesson in good manners before he totally embarrasses or destroys the country.

20 July 2006

You've Got To Be Carefully Taught

You've Got to be Carefully Taught
Rodgers & Hammerstein
You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people's whose eyes are oddly made
And people's whose skin is a different shade
You've got to be carefully taught.

You have to be taught to hate and fear
You have to be taught from year to year
It has to be drummed in your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late
Before you are six or seven or eight
To hate all the people your relatives hate
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be carefully taught.

19 July 2006

Wanted One Million Couples

According to the religious right only a man and a woman can be married and two parent families are the only real place to raise a child. Embryos are potential human beings and must be rescued. Therefore one million couples are required.

There are 400,000 embryos seeking wombs to create snow flake babies. The people waiting for the possible cures from stem cells aren't allowed to benefit as the cells not used to create babies are better off being burned.

There are over 500,000 live children awaiting adoption. Most have had hard lives and have a variety of physical and psychological problems. Raised in a loving family they stand a chance of becoming good adults. Otherwise they will be warehoused in some fashion and turned out on to the street at the age of 18. Homosexuals should not adopt children, so they must stop rescuing these children immediately.

Just in case the following has led to some form of sanity: If you have a loving home and want a child in your life Wednesday's Child would like to hear from you, and they don't care if you are single, married or have a significant other. A good home and heart is enough.

17 July 2006

Trekking Around

While most places in the country are sweltering, it seemed appropriate to inject a little "cool" into the blogasphere. These pictures are from Northwest Trek in Washington. Hundreds of acres left to natures devices except for some fencing you can't see to keep the carnivores from dining on the herbivores. Run a tram through it to keep the animals from being bothered by human beings, and you have a truly wonderful place to visit since they won't let you move in and live there.

14 July 2006

Up In Smoke

The Middle East has flirted with disaster for almost 60 years. Maybe the British made mistakes with the mandate. Maybe the U.N. made mistakes in the way Israel was established. Maybe the major Arab powers made mistakes in encouraging Palatinians to flee Israel and then not giving them a permanent home. Maybe both sides made mistakes in the 1948 war, in the 1963 war. Maybe the deluded perpetrated the on going series of kidnappings and suicide bombings while rage simmered in the hearts of the young.

It really no longer matters who did what to whom when. Only those without power are suffering ... a mother with her infant, a child in a playground at school, teenagers going dancing on a Saturday night and riders taking a bus to work. Take any of them out of the area where they are not forced to hate and fear, they become gentle with each other. Whether a woman's head is bare or covered by a hijab, they still tickle a baby's toes. Children playing tag don't ask for a nationality before laughing and calling "You're it". Teenagers will dance with each other or not touching in a folk dance, and all the worker wants is to bring home a paycheck to their family.

Who calls on these people to hate and fear? Who leads them into war and suffering?

The small men with a need for great power.

  1. Thank you Bush for fouling up Iraq for the sake of your ego.
  2. Thank you Khamenei for funding those who maim and kill.
  3. Thank you Olmert for being so quick on the trigger.
  4. Thank you Nasrallah, Assad, Al-zaher, and Abbas for the hatred you spew that cripples all those who simply want to live in peace with their fellow man.
  5. Thank you Cheney and Rummy for all the tears that will be shed for the men and women who have died on your orders.

This world is yours in your pact with the devil.

11 July 2006

Breaking News Is Broken

All day yesterday on all of the cable channels, we were subjected to a barrage of "breaking news" and a spate of adjectives that would have scared Dracula.

A bad thing had happened. Either by accident on intent, a building fell down in New York and 15 people were injured in some fashion. Given the current state of terror in the world, this was worthy of an alert when it happened and the cause was still unknown. Even at this point it didn't require wall to wall coverage, as there was no reason for people to change their normal lives.

From that point on, it was repeated interruptions in the regular news cycle, analysis of divorce laws in New York, minute by minute speculation regarding the possibility of a suicide by an obviously sad man following a contentious divorce. None of which was really the public's business.

News has gotten more and more hysterical. A single story will be milked to death while other stories with fewer pictures will be ignored. The "reporters" on TV have become nothing but glorified readers with little or no understanding of the subjects they are supposed to cover. The days of the great anchors who actually wrote their own copy and had an intelligent, historical perspective on the news is over.

The cable channels take us farther and farther down the road of packaged, slanted news viewed by an ever more complacent public with little or no actual relay of information. A public disconnected from information is one ripe for a dictatorship, and there is more abuse of the first amendment by "news" people than by forces seeking to abrogate that right of the people.

07 July 2006

Immigration A History

Anyone seeking to discuss immigration both legal and illegal should be familiar with the various changes in the law since the inception of the United States shown below the main article. At various times there have been provisions of extreme prejudice against certain racial groups that at the current time have been pretty well done away with.

While my mother's family arrived before the revolutionary war. My father didn't arrive until 1926 which meant his parents had to comply with the law as it was written in 1924. Among the things they had to declare upon leaving the ship were: name, age, sex, marital status, education, occupation, address of last place of residence, immediate destination, long term destination and name of contact/sponsor, and amount of money they brought into the country. All members of the family were examined for evidence of disease so that they carried no communicable illnesses. Anyone who wants to know how this turned out can go to Finding Jessie.

When looking at that list of items the United States has a right to know before admitting anyone, it makes me very angry that our President seems to feel that none of this is really necessary or that it isn't a major problem that anywhere from 12 to 20 million people are here without the immigration service knowing so much as their names.

Almost daily Bush tries to terrify us with another "war on terror" horror story, but the one element that would do the most to protect us from terrorists (gaining control of our ports and borders) is something he just ignores and says we "can't do".

This is rediculous. I do not begrudge anyone wanting to work and raise their family, but is it too much to ask that they do it without violating our laws.

Protect our borders first. Fine the bejeesus out of any employer using illegal alien labor at least $10,000 per employee. If they don't get the message try jail time. I realize that the big employers tend to be GOP contributors, and I know George doesn't usually pay attention to what is good for the country when it comes into conflict with a big donor, but do it anyway.

Insist that anyone here currently illegal submit a request for right to abide from outside the country (This could be fast tracked for those with jobs and exceptions could be made for those who have refugee status of some sort.)

Anyone providing humanitarian services will not suffer any penalty, but they should be required to determine and report status.I wouldn't deny an education to a child who was here illegally through no fault of their own, but their parents or guardian must regularize their status.
No student should receive "in state" benefits for college unless their status has been cleared.

Any child born to someone in illegal status will be a U.S. citizen, but the parent will have the choice to return to the country of origin until the child is 18 when they can petition for entry on their own, or the parents can leave the child with a legal guardian until they attain their own legal status from outside the U.S.

These postions will make some of my gentler compatriots angry, but think about it: Someone shows up on your doorstep, walks in without your permission, takes up residence in one of your bedrooms, sends you all the bills for their education and medical care and then tells you it's okay because they will weed your garden and pay taxes on the salary you give them to do so. That is illegal immigration.

Our doors should be wide open to those simply seeking a better way of life and honest work to do, but have the courtesy to knock on the door and introduce yourself before moving in.


Naturalization Act of 1790 Stipulated that "any alien, being a free white person, may be admitted to become a citizen of the United States"

1848 - Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo - Settled questions of citizenship following War with Mexico.

1882 The Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited certain laborers from immigrating to the United States.

1885 and 1887 Alien Contract Labor laws which prohibited certain laborers from immigrating to the United States.

1891 The Federal Government assumed the task of inspecting, admitting, rejecting, and processing all immigrants seeking admission to the U.S.

1892 On January 2, a new Federal US immigration station opened on Ellis Island in New York Harbor. See the history of Ellis Island

1903 This Act restated the 1891 provisions concerning land borders and called for rules covering entry as well as inspection of aliens crossing the Mexican border.

1907 The US immigration Act of 1907 reorganized the states bordering Mexico (Arizona, New Mexico and a large part of Texas) into Mexican Border District to stem the flow of immigrants into the U.S.

1917 - 1924 A series of laws were enacted to further limit the number of new immigrants. These laws established the quota system and imposed passport requirements. They expanded the categories of excludable aliens and banned all Asians except Japanese.

1940 The Alien Registration Act required all aliens (non-U.S. citizens) within the United States to register with the Government and receive an Alien Registration Receipt Card (the predecessor of the "green card").

1950 Passage of the Internal Security Act which rendered the Alien Registration Receipt Card even more valuable. Immigrants with legal status had their cards replaced with what generally became known as the "green card" (Form I-151).

1952 Act Established the modern day US immigration system. It created a quota system which imposes limits on a per-country basis. It also established the preference system that gave priority to family members and people with special skills.

1968 Act Eliminated US immigration discrimination based on race, place of birth, sex and residence. It also officially abolished restrictions on Oriental US immigration.

1986 Act Focused on curtailing illegal US immigration. It legalized hundred of thousands of illegal immigrants. It also introduced the employer sanctions program which fines employers for hiring illegal workers. It also passed tough laws to prevent bogus marriage fraud.

1990 Act Established an annual limit for certain categories of immigrants. It was aimed at helping U.S. businesses attract skilled foreign workers; thus, it expanded the business class categories to favor persons who can make educational, professional or financial contributions. It created the Immigrant Investor Program.

USA Patriot Act 2001 : Uniting and Strengthening America by providing appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorismCreation of the USCIS2003 : As of March 1, 2003, the US immigration and Naturalization Service became part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The department’s new U.S. Citizenship and US immigration Services (USCIS) function is to handle US immigration services and benefits, including citizenship, applications for permanent residence, non-immigrant applications, asylum, and refugee services. US immigration enforcement functions are now under the Department's Border and Transportation Security Directorate, known as the Bureau of US immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE)

04 July 2006

Once Upon A Time

The four greatest presidents of our last, very fateful century were the two cousins, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Harry Truman. In all instances a combination of foreign and domestic events combined to challenge their leadership and they and the country prevailed. During their tenure in the White House the policies they instituted to dealt with those events subtly or materially changed the direction of the country and the outlook of the people in a positive way. We only have to look backward with the accumulated wisdom of hindsight to see how far the current President is from the ideal.

01 July 2006

"The day will be the most memorable in America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival...it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade...bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward, forevermore." -John Adams, in a letter to his wife after the Continental Congress decided to proclaim the American colonies independent from Britain.

From this quote, the wonderful Sherman Edwards fashioned the following song for the musical 1776 about what it took for the founders to create a nation where none had existed before.

Is Anybody There?
By Sherman Edwards
From 1776

John Adams:
Is anybody there?
Does anybody care?
Does anybody see what I see?
They want to me to quit;
they sayJohn, give up the fight
Still to England I say
Good night, forever, good night!

For I have crossed the Rubicon
Let the bridge be burned behind me
Come what may, come what may
The croakers all say we'll rue the day
There'll be hell to pay in fiery purgatory
Through all the gloom, through all the gloom
I see the rays of ravishing light and glory!

Is anybody there?
Does anybody care?
Does anybody see what I see?

I see fireworks!
I see the pagaent andPomp and parade
I hear the bells ringing out
I hear the cannons roar
I see Americans - all Americans
Free forever more

How quiet, how quiet the chamber is
How silent, how silent the chamber is
Is anybody there?
Does anybody care?
Does anybody see what I see?