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Toothsome 30 October 2010

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

Open wide: Hippos at the at the Bioparco zoo in Rome get ready for their Halloween pumpkins

Open wide: Hippos at the Bioparco zoo in Rome get ready for their Halloween pumpkins [EPA]

No bright ideas today……….  😉


Oh My God 28 October 2010

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

'Oh My God' by Lucy Vader

Sculpture by the Sea 2010 in Sydney: outdoor art exhibition on a beach in Australia: ‘Oh My God’ by Lucy Vader    [Picture: GETTY]

 Yeah really… looking ahead, what else can you say.  And I don’t mean the bone dry, desert dry, absolutely wrung dry story of “coming Democratic losses”.


Just a thread… 26 October 2010

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

The microscopic beauty and complexity of life
Every year, scientists enter images in Nikon’s competition for photography on a microscopic scale. Here we show the top 20 winners from 2010    For more information and images, go to www.nikonsmallworld.com

Gerd Guenther, Düsseldorf, NRW, Germany. Soap film, (150x). Incident Brightfield  [Gerd Guenther/Courtesy of Nikon Small World]


En colere 23 October 2010

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, France, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

High school  students block the entrance of the Lycee Turgot  in Paris

High school students block the entrance of the Lycee Turgot in Paris [AFP/GETTY]

On strike!

I noticed in some of the photographs of the protests a popular sign (several caught in shots) is a call out to Carla.  That the French people are like her, both get screwed by the Head of State.


Snagged! 19 October 2010

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, UK.

In London, a park employee collars a swan after it escaped from a park, onto the busy street  [BBC]


Hail Mary… 17 October 2010

Posted by marisacat in Australia, Culture of Death, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Italy, Total fucking lunatics.


A cheer broke out in the crowd when MacKillop’s name was announced by Pope Benedict XVI [AFP]

Hail Mary… and then some.  FIRST the Church tosses a saint at Australia… then gives her a name that sounds like the title of some parochial school based porn and discipline movie:

St Mary MacKillop of the Cross.

Then, it seems, the story is she was first vilified (“briefly” ex-communicated) in her life for exposing an instance of abuse, then lauded. 

Now sainted.

There seems to have been a great mass writhing of the Australian faithful in St Peter’s Square…

One hundred and one years after her death, the Pope completed the recognition of her saintly status by declaring MacKillop and the five other clergy members being canonised should be “definitively declared saints and included in the book of saints (and) devoutly honoured . . . in all the church”.

The most senior cardinal assisting him in the ceremony, the Archbishop of Montreal, Jean-Claude Turcotte, gave a response in which he became the first person to formally use MacKillop’s new title, Saint Mary of the Cross.

Sister Maria Casey, the official advocate of MacKillop’s cause, knelt before the Pope and he held her hands as she thanked him for the elevation of MacKillop.

The gospel reading in the mass was read twice, once in Greek and once in Latin, to signify the Pope’s decision applies to the universal church as it covers both its eastern and western wings.

 Also, according to the Australian (isn’t that a Murdoch paper, iirc it is), Rudd has moved publicly to laud the Church for its stance (would that be “bend over”?) on abuse AND there is a move on to make SMMotC the patron saint of …….. the abused!

KEVIN Rudd launched a vigorous defence of the Catholic Church’s response to child abuse last night.

And Mr Rudd said the canonisation of Mary MacKillop should prompt Australians to a fairer appreciation of the church’s contribution to their nation’s history.

Addressing a press conference after an audience with the Pope, the Foreign Minister said while many people criticised the church it was time to more openly acknowledge its positive contributions.

Asked about the church’s response to clergy abusing children he said it had taken action and “I would like to acknowledge the enormous work which the church has done and other Christian churches in dealing with this blight on all of human kind”.

He is in Rome not only for the announce of her coming canonisation but apparently the Vatican is mounting a big show on Australian indigenous peoples.  A two-fer. 

We know how much they care.  About the little brown people.

One atheist writing in the Sydney Morning Herald notes that she, Saint Mary MacKillop of the Cross, is already the patron saint of quack cancer cures, her mandatory two miracles having to do with curing cancer.

Only second to the general whitewashing the Church receives:

Asked what the federal government planned to do on the issue of clerical child abuse, Mr Rudd said it was important to acknowledge the pain of victims but “the church over some time now has established its own process within Australia for dealing with this”.

“And the church in doing so has dealt with many cases from the past, and where there have been imperfections in the process they have also sought to improve those processes.”

We are so blessed…….

(O Canada! … Don’t feel left out Canada!  I read some monk is about to receive the nod… )


In other fantastical fib-laden slobber news, I see Ob and Snob were together in Ohio.

“I know there are times when probably it’s hard to recapture that sense of possibility,” Obama said, recalling the night of his election victory.

“It’s hard sometimes to say, ‘Yes we can.’

You sit thinking, ‘You know, maybe. I don’t know.’ It’s not as inspiring a slogan.”

Yes we cannot?

They so need to be pelted with foodstuffs made from transfats, pesticide riddled vegetables and tobacco smoke.

Hey… 14 October 2010

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.

President Barack Obama meets with advisors prior to a bilateral meeting with President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón of Colombia at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Image: White House flickr

Don’t look at me… it’s an official WH photo, taken by the Official WH Photog, Pete Souza. And they put it on their Flickr page.

I mean, you have to wonder.

From a gallery at Business Insider:   “Here’s what Obama was really up to the past two weeks”.

Watch the PR Pretzel spin thru the past two weeks.


Boychick in the promised land was at MTV today.  Really, no words… well, then again, I will toss this out:

HOW’S THAT VOTE WORKING FOR YOU?  It worked for Obama.  For you too?

Q: I voted for you in the last election based on your alleged commitment to equality for all Americans, gay and straight, and I wanted to know where you stood on “don’t ask, don’t tell.” I know that you’ve mentioned that you want the Senate to repeal it before you do it yourself. My question is you as the president can sort of have an executive order that ends it once and for all, as Harry — as Truman did for the integration of the military in ‘48. So I wonder why don’t you do that if this is a policy that you’re committed to ending.

THE PRESIDENT: First of all, I haven’t “mentioned” that I’m against “don’t ask, don’t ask” — I have said very clearly, including in a State of the Union address, that I’m against “don’t ask, don’t tell” and that we’re going to end this policy. That’s point No. 1.

Point No. 2, the difference between my position right now and Harry Truman’s was that Congress explicitly passed a law that took away the power of the executive branch to end this policy unilaterally. So this is not a situation in which with a stroke of a pen I can simply end the policy.

Now, having said that, what I have been able to do is for the first time get the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, to say he thinks the policy should end. The secretary of defense has said he recognizes that the policy needs to change. And we, I believe, have enough votes in the Senate to go ahead and remove this constraint on me, as the House has already done, so that I can go ahead and end it.

Now, we recently had a Supreme Court — a district court case that said, “don’t ask, don’t tell” is unconstitutional. I agree with the basic principle that anybody who wants to serve in our armed forces and make sacrifices on our behalf, on behalf of our national security, anybody should be able to serve. And they shouldn’t have to lie about who they are in order to serve.

And so we are moving in the direction of ending this policy. It has to be done in a way that is orderly, because we are involved in a war right now. But this is not a question of whether the policy will end. This policy will end and it will end on my watch. But I do have an obligation to make sure that I am following some of the rules. I can’t simply ignore laws that are out there. I’ve got to work to make sure that they are changed.

Yes, let’s be orderly.  And let’s be obligated.  And let’s follow some of the rules.  (Which ones?)


Bomb bomb bomb 14 October 2010

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, Pakistan, WAR!.

Men drive their overloaded donkey cart along a road in Islamabad, Pakistan

Men drive their overloaded donkey cart along a road in Islamabad, Pakistan    Picture: AP


And how is this better, cleaner, more ethical, less bloody than McCain’s exclamation of Bomb bomb bomb Iran?

So fucking tired of it…… and the parties.  And the pols.  And the mil. The sickening support for the military and the wars… And Ob, Snob, Knob.  And Hillary.

It’s never going to end…


Just a thread…. 12 October 2010

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, WAR!.

To raise awareness of the plight of the endangered Egyptian vulture, WWF-Spain has launched a project called El Viaje del Alimoche (The Journey of the Egyptian Vulture), which allows users to track the migratory journey of four of the rare birds through a real-time online platform    [Chris Hellier/Corbis]


Well.  A little more than ‘just a thread’ as it happens, I just saw this over at Angry Arab…. sums it up simply and succinctly:

War on terrorism?

“Governments and law-enforcement agencies around the world are using the war against terrorism as a pretext to clamp down on legitimate protest and free themselves from constraints on their activities, an international conference on human rights heard this weekend in Montreal.  

Didier Bigo, professor of international relations at Sciences Po University in Paris, said those claiming to know who terrorists are and what their next move will be are often given additional “freedom to manoeuvre” within the system, with little clear justification.  “Anti-terrorist legislation is used to block normal problems,” he said at the conference hosted by McGill University.”     (thanks Olivia)

Posted by As’ad at 9:57 AM

Blessed by Gawd, we are. Over and over.

Requiem 11 October 2010

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements.

‘One of God’s pranks was to make Joan an overgrown schoolgirl and then give her a divine voice.” The grand lady who made that remark was Dame Edith Evans, and anyone who ever saw her on the stage will almost taste the Lady Bracknell tone of her voice. It was more than a witticism; it summed up to perfection the paradox of Joan Sutherland, who has died aged 83.

From the momentous evening of 17 February 1959, when the Covent Garden audience went almost as mad as Lucia di Lammermoor herself, Sutherland was to rank as one of the first ladies of international opera, yet she never behaved like a prima donna. As she would explain herself: “You couldn’t possibly be a prima donna in my family, because if you showed even a hint of temperament you’d have been packed off to bed without any supper.” And so throughout her career she would be found joking and laughing uproariously in her dressing-room only minutes after giving an overwhelming performance of some tragic operatic heroine. …

The sad thing is, I thought she was dead.  Possibly, when Pavarotti died a few years ago (2?, 3?) I somehow simply put them, both at once, in the sarcophagus.

Sutherland and her husband had been greatly impressed by the young Luciano Pavarotti and the two singers often performed together, on the stage and in the recording studio. For Sutherland’s last performance at Covent Garden, a guest appearance in Die Fledermaus in 1990, she was joined on stage by Pavarotti and Horne.

In almost all her recordings she was partnered, as conductor, by Bonynge, who prepared meticulously authentic editions of the works in hand. He often restored the original, higher pitch in these pieces, which bothered his wife not a bit; indeed she revelled in pyrotechnics while never making them an end in themselves.

All the snips are from the Guardian, just the first obit I stumbled upon…

Her tastes were wide-ranging, and she played an important part in a revival of interest in French opera, notably in neglected Massenet works such as Esclarmonde and Le Roi de Lahore. She delighted, too, in letting her mane of chestnut hair down to romp through The Merry Widow. If there was a disappointment in her life it was that Covent Garden did not share her enthusiasm for many of these exuberantly tuneful operas and operettas, so that she became an infrequent visitor to London in her later years.

I heard her many times here in San Francisco…. most particularly one night, in Esclarmonde.  The next day, the papers said she had gone past the key of F.   Left High C far behind, in her dust….  

I could not measure it, sitting there listening to her… but I knew we had flown out past Pluto.

Free range voice….  and what a voice.  It seemed to float forever…