Saturday, October 28, 2006

Stay the Course

Olbermann: How many times did he say, "Stay the Course" Tony?

It's not like he said it 30 times.

The real problem with "staying the course" is that it exacts a very horrific toll....

Sadly, this number has increased since I posted this freewayblog in Pacifica earlier today, and no end to it in sight. Thanks to for the data.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Weekend Music Video

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls.....Anti-Flag.

Anti-Flag - Death of A Nation

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It Came in the Mail

When I came home from work and saw the small parcel on the table, I knew what it was. It was the shirt I'd ordered online; a t-shirt with the image below imprinted on it...

I stumbled across the site that sells this shirt while looking up information on the DHS (Dep't. of Homeland Security).

I'd been eagerly anticipating its arrival since I had already received a very personalized e-mail from the company that makes the shirt. This was something I hadn't really expected. How often do you get a personal note from a company thanking you for purchasing their product?

In addition to the wonderful t-shirt, they sent me a piece of sage that had been picked from the site of Wounded Knee.

With permission of the author, I've reprinted the e-mail that was sent to me by Colleen-Lloyd, representative of West Wind World...

O-si-yo, we sent an order to you today. Thanks for getting the real Homeland Security shirt, the authentic original native-made I created years ago, handprinted by Dineh Designs, a great Navajo family in Blanding, Utah, and also by other people like Chris (Tsa-la-gi) sometimes here in Tennessee, who work hard to get it out to you . You are helping support many causes and people by buying native, since we are devoted to the "red road" and keeping that life going, and you are part of keeping so many people provided with work and opportunity and hope in this way and we thank you for blessing us with something good to do.

Johnny Depp -- seemes like everyone's fave actor including mine nowadays --(who is Cherokee), produced a movie called The Brave that is native-related which you may want to see. Interesting how that's about the only one he does you can't find, though. Also, War Party, Smoke Signals, Wounded Heart, Incident at Oglala, Trudell and 500 Nations are excellent films you can order or get at powwows or festivals or trading posts which you may like if you haven't seen them. There are some great statements on my Inca friend Wakay's beautiful shirts also, which you can see at We are trying to get all the great stuff up on the site we have been behind on for years now, so thanks for your patience in waiting for your orders…we are on Indian Time. Get out to your local powwows and be part of the family.

The sage in your package I gather at Wounded Knee. It grows in the area of the creek where many ancestors of the local Lakota people I have had the pleasure of knowing ran to get away from the soldiers on that terrible day. That is why people need to think about this message you have bought and will wear -- we need to think about what we are doing and why before we take action in war. We need to remember there is always an agenda by someone behind the scenes and they influence us our whole lives, and we need to learn to think freely of those forces, and get away from the voices that do not come from a place of peace and wisdom for all people, listen to our own child's spirit inside us and do not fear. There is more wisdom in one leaf than all of Congress put together.

One day when I was there gathering a handful of sage, a young man came and asked if I needed some tobacco for my offering. He told me he was a descendant of Red Cloud, as many people here are. He told me the story of his two grandmothers, and how they ran all night long in the freezing December air along the creek bed, to the agency at Pine Ridge, and it is because they did this and escaped that he was born. I hope you will think of them as real people, and not just sad or noble pictures in books, when you hold this sage in your hands. It is because of their sacrifices and desire to survive that their descendants are here today and carrying on in their spirit.

The Pine Ridge reservation is the poorest place in this country, with one of the highest rates of alcoholism, abuse, and death. These are the people Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull and Gall and so many great leaders loved and fought to help. Please visit the Wounded Knee Visitors Center when you go to South Dakota, snd the Wounded Knee Museum, and the reservations there and everywhere, and look for what the reality of these people is, good and bad, and make them your friends.Watch the great artists like Robert Mirabal and actress Irene Bedard when you can, read poet Ron Colombe, writer Vine DeLoria, Jr., a great thinker, who just passed away. Visit and, the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee sites, there is so much happening now. They have a lot to teach us.

We are not in history books, we are here in our time to keep the joy of life and the love of nature strong for everyone.The days when we used to sing around the campfires to John Denver and Peter, Paul, and Mary were the good times, and we need to take the time to just be ourselves that way as much as we can, in these times of computers and cameras everywhere and materialism and changes too fast to understand sometimes.

Many of you have native blood or feel a desire to express the love for the culture, and the more you seek it out, the more you will find that the people are out there full of life, and making a great comeback. It is a great day to be part of it, and to use our education to protect Mother Earth for our children, protect our happy way of life in this land, do the great things we are destined to leave behind for the future I hope you will feel the power and honor that comes with sharing this message, and know you are making a difference that will go on longer than you will, and put it in your prayers and hearts to do whatever you can to sacrifice the good things you have been blessed with to give something back to the native people who are almost invisible as the buffalo but whose energy and strength still makes this nation great.

Protect our sacred sites…the whole earth is a temple.

Free Leonard Peltier


And my response...

I received my Homeland Security shirt in the mail today. I like it so much that I'm wearing it right now as I type this letter. Thank you for such prompt service and for the piece of sage. And the e-mail you sent is a very nice, personal touch. I wish more people did business the way you do.

I'm not Native American myself, but I have a profound respect for your culture and a debt of gratitude. You see, back in the 1840's my ancestors, the people of Ireland, were starving to death due to the potato crop going bad. Potatoes were all they had to eat, and when the crop went rotten, there was nothing for the people to live off of. When relief did arrive, it came in the form of Native American corn. And if that weren't enough, the
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma donated $710 to the starving people of Ireland; a gift that Irish historians describe as "both the most unlikely and the most generous contribution to the effort to relieve Ireland's suffering".

I would like to humbly ask your permission to use the e-mail you sent me for an article in my blog. You can view the blog by clicking on
this link.

Thank you very much.

NOTICE: Due to Presidential Executive Orders, the National Security Agency may have read this email without warning, warrant, or notice. They may do this without any judicial or legislative oversight. You have no recourse nor protection save to call for the impeachment of the current President.

As you can imagine, I'm very proud of my purchase.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Must Read

This should be required reading for all Americans....

A Letter From Kevin Tillman
Pat Tillman (left) and his brother Kevin stand in front of a Chinook helicopter in Saudi Arabia before their tour of duty as Army Rangers in Iraq in 2003.

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we got out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few “bad apples” in the military. Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat’s birthday.

Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,
Kevin Tillman
I wonder what will happen on the day after Pat's birthday. Thanks to The Freewayblogger for posting this. Letter originally posted on Truthdig.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Iraq similar to Vietnam" says Bush


The US president has for the first time acknowledged a possible parallel between the raging violence in Iraq and the Vietnam War.

George Bush on Wednesday was asked in an ABC News interview if he agreed with a New York Times columnist's comparison of the strife in Iraq with the Tet Offensive, which is considered a key turning point in the US war in Vietnam.

"He could be right," he said. "There's certainly a stepped up level of violence."

But this time we're really gonna win! Right, George?

"I'm patient. I'm not patient forever. And I'm not patient with dawdling. But I recognise the degree of difficulty of the task, and therefore, say to the American people, we won't cut and run," he said.
Full story here.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Weekend Music Video

A hard driving bass line and a band name like Rammstein make this video "Testosterrific"®.

Rammstein - Du Hast

Bushism of the Week

"I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me."

--George W. Bush, talking to key Republicans about Iraq, as quoted by Bob Woodward

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

An Explanation

I'd like to apologize to my regular readers who've probably been wondering what I've been up to lately and why I haven't been posting very much.

You see, several months ago, some very good friends of ours opened a dance studio. When the studio opened, they asked if any parents would be interested in drumming for the dancers when they were performing Tahitian dance numbers. In competition, dance schools are expected to provide their own drummers for any of their dancers who make it to the final round of competition. Since both of my daughters take Tahitian dancing, I thought this would be a great opportunity to get involved with my daughters' activities and help out my friends at the same time. My son also decided to try out his hand at drumming so it's really become a big family activity.

I guess I picked up on the drumming fairly quickly as my friends bestowed upon me the honor of being the lead drummer for this group. It's a role that I've taken very seriously and have done all I can to not only improve upon my own drumming but to get our drumming group to play together as a cohesive unit. It's been very challenging but also very rewarding.

We've performed at a few shows and a parade so far and I think we've been steadily improving. But I have to tell you, there is no feeling in the world quite like being up on stage drumming and looking up to see your own daughter dance to the beat of your drum. That alone has made this all worth the effort.

So now you know what's been taking me away from this blog for large periods of time. We've been rehearsing like crazy these past few weeks for our performance at the San Francisco 49ers' halftime show coming up this weekend. We're all pretty excited about that.

And so, as I hastily write this post before I head off to work for the day, I want to thank all of you for your continued support and readership. I'll still be posting on here (though far less frequently) and you'll still be able to catch a glimpse of my freewayblogging. I'm not ready to give that up. The world needs my running commentary posted up on the freeway overpasses.

I've loaded up a sample of Tahitian drumming below. This is not my drumming group and while the video quality isn't very good, it's the best sounding video I could find on Tahitian drumming. Enjoy.

Drumming Merced 05

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Weekend Music Video

Smashing Pumpkins - Zero

Monday, October 02, 2006

Need a Little Help

Please take a moment to go and vote for this video so that it can be broadcast on European TV and they'll then realize that we're not all mindless imbeciles in this country.

You'll have to become a member of the site, "Current TV", but it only takes a few seconds and it's relatively painless. Plus, it's for a good cause. Let's show the Europeans what we Americans really stand for.

To quote The Freewayblogger, "Remember, we're probably going to need their help to rebuild this country once the Republicans are finished with it."