Sunday, October 30, 2005

Quakers and their practices

Even in early Quaker history, business meeting were
being conducted regularly, probably even more so
than they are now. In the time that this artwork was
done, more time was most likely spent conducting
Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business,
and was a governing pillar that was centralized
to villages and communities. I'm sure that the
meetings were even longer than they are now,
and to say that we think that they are sometimes
really drawn out these days!

Fun Quaker games

Let's play Spanking Yoda!

Notice: Yoda isn't actually involved in the
process of the game.

Well, I can say that Yoda is a pretty wise creature.
Who would actually be cruel enough to spank him?

I think right now he's off fighting Darth Vader, Quaker-style!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bush shit his pants and is now crying

I was excited when I saw on the internet that the
nomination of Harriet Myers as a Supreme Court Justice
has been dropped by the nominee herself.
To think that even her fellow conservatives were trying
to keep her from attaining the rank of a Justice of the
Supreme Court is both hilarious and an obviously oppositional
Here is what some other politcians had to say about her:

"I've also urged the White House, here's a time to unite
not divide." - Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the ranking
member on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"The radical right wing of the Republican Party killed
the Harriet Miers nomination." - Senate Democratic leader
Harry Reid of Nevada.

"I do not believe that this nomination was withdrawn
simply because of the president's refusal to release
White House documents. That is a fig leaf to cover the
real problem which was a badly mismanaged and rush
nomination." - Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

And from another news report on the internet:

A Senate panel may seek testimony from a former Texas
lottery official who claimed Supreme Court nominee
Harriet Miers let a company keep its contract because
one of its lobbyists helped President Bush get into
the National Guard in the 1960s.
Littwin, the lottery's second executive director,
was fired in 1997 after just four months on the job.
He sued GTECH, saying it took "illegal, unethical and
coercive steps" to get him fired because he was asking
too many questions about the company's contract with
the state.
Before Littwin's lawsuit, Barnes, who was lieutenant
governor from 1969 to 1973, said he couldn't recall
helping Bush at the height of the Vietnam War. But he
later testified that he'd recommended Bush for a pilot
position with the Air National Guard at the request of
a Bush family friend.
The issue re-emerged during last year's presidential
race, when Barnes said at an Austin campaign rally for
Democrat John Kerry that he regretted helping Bush and
other wealthy young men avoid service overseas.

"I'm not surprised and it shows the maturity of the
party. They wanted a clear nominee." - Sen. Sam
Brownback, R-Kan., one of the most vocal conservative
critics of Miers in the Senate.

"The trouble is, the more we learned about Harriet
Miers .... the more it was clear that this was not
the right job for her." - Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

"In a month, who will remember the name Harriet Miers?"
- Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss.

"Politics must not undermine the principles and
standards we apply to every judicial nomination."
- Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

"When his party turned on him, he was in trouble
and she was in trouble." - Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

"It's a telling statement about the instability
and ideological confusion facing the White House
and the Republican Party." - Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

"There was also an undercurrent from the liberals in
the Senate which suggested that anyone who attends
church regularly is biased and should be excluded
from public service." - Rev. Louis P. Sheldon,
chairman of the conservative Traditional Values Coalition.

She obviously didn't have even close to enough credentials
or experience for the job position and probably would have
overturned the Roe v. Wade decision of January 22, 1973.

As the hostess of The Weakest Link would say (in her
British accent), "You are the weakest link, goodbye!"
Or as Donald Trump might say from The Apprentice,
"You're Fired!"

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Another Hurricane

After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, I thought that the devastation
might be over for the hurricane season, but apparently I was
extremely wrong. Over the weekend, a hurricane hit the area of my
February 2005 vacation spot, the greater Ft. Lauderdale (and Miami,
though I wasn't ever there) area in Florida. It's sometimes hard to
fathom the destruction and wreckage that could accumulate in an
area that you have actually been to before, staying in hotels in
which you could go swimming in an outdoor pool in the middle of
February when in other parts of the country there are huge snow
storms and below zero temperatures. I was in awe as the plane got
closer to the ground before landing at the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood
airport in Hollywood Florida. Since moving to Maine when I was a
mere three years old, I hadn't seen any palm trees or orange
groves in recent times until then. As the plane got closer to
the ground, I got excited because I could visibly see the palm
trees on the land below me. I estatically told my grandmother
about it (since I had a window seat), and she immediately asked
how I could tell from that far away which were the palm trees.
I knew, without hesitation that these growths below were what
I thought there were. As the plane got closer to the ground,
I could actually see the branches of the trees, which made the
experience even more enjoyable and special. Everywhere there
was a beach, there was pure white sand and crystal clear blue
waters, just like in the National Geographic magazine photos.
To me it was like being welcomed into heaven, or being a
Hollywood star stepping out of a limo and onto the red carpet.

Now this whole area is destroyed, and a disaster. Key West,
where the key limes to make key lime pie come from, is now
under a few feet of flood water. From Ft. Myers on the west
coast of Florida, to Miami and the Ft. Lauderdale/ Palm Beach
area millions of dollars of damage where done, and as a result
of global warming. Is it worth it to pollute the environment?
At the cost of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, many
billions of dollars of damage, I don't think it is worth on

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Eathquake hits south Asia

More traumatic than having it rain for the whole weekend
here in Maine was finding out that a 7.6 magnitude
earthquake hit on the Kashmir region on the border of
Pakistan and India, causing damage not only in Pakistan
and India, but also damage and tremors in Afghanistan,
Nepal, Bangledesh, and the Himalayas. The death tolls are
extreme. Aid from foreign countries around the world is
being sent to these areas, anything from blankets, food,
and medical supplies to helicopters filled with relief workers.
Here is a timing of the events of the earthquake.


_8:50 a.m.: Earthquake hits the divided Kashmir region on
the border of Pakistan and India.

_9 a.m.: Pakistan Red Crescent ambulances join local relief
efforts in Islamabad.

_7 p.m.: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan announces that the
United Nations has offered help to the governments of
Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.

_10 p.m.: The United States contributes an initial $100,000 in
aid and dispatches 250 rolls of plastic sheeting, 5,000 blankets
and 5,000 water containers. The contribution later swells to $50
million and at least eight helicopters.


_Rescue crews arrive from Russia, Britain, the United Arab
Emirates and China with rescue dogs, earth-moving equipment,
medicine, food and other relief goods.


_6 a.m.: U.S. relief supplies arrive outside Islamabad.

_3 p.m.: First U.S. helicopters to help in relief efforts land
near Pakistani capital.

- Evening: The U.N. airlift of supplies starts arriving.


_11:15 a.m.: Regional capital Muzaffarabad gets first major influx
of aid, when about 10 trucks from Pakistani charities arrive.
Scuffles break out.

_9:30 p.m.: A Boeing 747 chartered by the World Food Program lands
in Islamabad and begins unloading enough high-energy bars to feed
250,000 people for five days

The aspect that I'm really wondering about is why it took only
eleven hours for the U.S. to decide what to offer for aid for
these victims, when it took five days before anything was done
here at home for the victims of Hurricanes' Katrina and Rita.
What's the difference between the two natural disasters?
It amazes me sometimes what the United States will do for
other countries when in need of aid, but when it's here in
our own country, it takes longer than it should. I have asked
those from the World Gathering of Young Friends to hold these
victims in the Light and in prayer. Some of those affected are
our own brothers and sisters from the gathering: those that we
talked to, those that we shared meals with, those that we
learned international dances with and from, those that we had
fun with.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Record rainfall this weekend

This past weekend it seemed as though the
rain would never end. Since last week, the (Penobscot)
river that I live close to has risen significantly,
and has again risen even more since Sunday afternoon,
when I was down by the bank behind the senior citizens
apartments. Sunday I had decided to take some photos
of the water, since I had my camera with me anyways.
The Penobscot since this summer has become my gauge
for roughly determining the weather. For a few
weeks this past summer the water got unbelieveably
low and one could see many of the rocks and trees
that are in the riverbed. The dam later got opened
up so that more water was continueously flowing over
it. After Hurricane Katrina hit, and then later
Hurricane Rita, the river rose once again to a
higher level. Earlier today, after a weekend's
worth of constant rain, I went to check out the
water level. I usually notice the level when I'm
out for a walk, when I have the time to do so,
such as what I did today after getting home
from work. What surprised me today about the
water level in the river was that on Sunday
I saw and took photos of trees that grow up out
of the riverbed. They were sticking up out of
the water at that time, from anywhere between
one and five feet. Today I was astounded to
find all of the trees below the water, not even
the least bit visible. There were only a few
very large rocks visible above the dangerously
high water level, and a big pile of granite
square-cut rocks as part of the dam that could
be seen also, but that was all that was
available for viewing.