Wednesday, March 31, 2004

It's the top of the thirteenth hour; I must get going. First though, I'll leave y'all a reference to a blog I've just "discovered," by the afore-mentioned William Anderson, PhD.

Biographer William Anderson, Athens native and former president of an advertising agency in Atlanta, wrote that Marion Allen was "Roosevelt's man" in Georgia, and soon after the 4th of July 1936 barbeque and picnic at which Talmadge announced that he was running for Senator to "protect Georgia" (against the New Deal and the Roosevelt Democrats) it was Allen who announced that he was running Senator Russell's campaign for re-election.
Gene Talmadge announced in response that not only would he not have a manage, but that he would have no headquarters. He was confident that his populist approach and network of farmers and county organizations would help him carry the day. The Russell organization had another problem in their campaign, in that the other Senator, Walter F. George, at first refused to back Williams in the Senate race.
Although at times the biography seems to bog down in dry prose and overwhelming detail, the dynamic of Georgia state and county politics is well depicted in Anderson's The Wild Man from Sugar Creek. I think the reading will "heat up." By the way, Anderson's The coming Republican rout has been recommended by a University of Georgia, Athens Libertarian Club.

This morning I've been slow! Three minutes to noon, now; I'm just now getting around to entering the first of this day's web log. The sun's rays through our front (and southerly) windows are almost touching the printer. I try to have the Venetian blinds down on the window by the printer before the rays fall on it.

I have to work on a resume' to the governor, an application to the local vo-tech, and another application to a nearby local government agency. Also, make a deposit, buy stamps and mail payments, and deliver a payment to the county. That will keep me busy all day.

Mr. Keillor reports in Writers' Almanac that today's the birthday of Octavio Paz (1914), Judith Rossner (1935), and the anniversary of the official opening of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (1889).

Lunch is ready. Wilma's already started on an aromatic salad. Be back.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Wilma, my beloved but oft-underappreciated wife, has been finding things tonight. Earlier this evening, she found a long missing copy of Carmina Burana (the one composed by Carl Orff (1895-1982), Chorus and Orchestra Mozarteum Salzburg, with Gerda Harman, Soprano, and Richard Brunner, Tenor, Rudolf Knoll, Baritone). As we were listening to it again, in a sort of happy reunion sort of way, I was researching the lyrics. And while I was starting to read the origins of it, my wife shouted and urged me to come. Arising with a sudden mood of irritation, I found her with an awe-struck look, holding open a CD case which had my missing Palm! I had sadly and long ago given it up for lost and stolen.

Hmmmm..... I'm reflecting not only on my memory losses, but on the possibility that I have too many possessions. "Too much stuff."

Have been back for long enough to eat dinner with the family. Back from Dublin, where I got my physical and got registered into the medical computers of the hospital there. Afterwards, with the sun shining during a late afternoon, I stopped by a shop that sells educational materials, bought some posters on features of phonics, vocabulary, geography of Mesopotamia, and anatomy of a spider and different webs.

I had a couple of beers at a quiet bar and grill called the Madison Street, met an Irish American bar tender woman, a salesman from Marseilles who lives and works out of Macon.

Once on the highway, a stretch of the I-16 called the Jim L Gillis Highway, I remembered that I forgot to pick up my travel money. Not much by earlier standards, but every bit helps.

Just saw part of a program hosted by Alan Alda, on the archaeology of slaves in the British colonies in coastal North America, and early United States. Included the recreations of Williamsburg, and Thomas Jefferson's plantation in Virginia.

On the topic of colonial Williamsburg, webmaster Nicole Moore has set up a virtual tour of a class field trip for fifth graders...Excuse me, I must go remove a dead roach my wife just found while cleaning up after the kids...

It's 09:50, cloudy, cool, and quiet outside on the street. I'll need to be hitting the road soon, driving to Dublin to get my first general check-up for being a patient at the Carl Vinson Memorial Hospital in Dublin, Georgia. If anyone knows who was Carl Vinson, please leave the answer in the comments link, or email me.

I've been trying to learn about Nascar. If you've been following this blog, you may remember that once in a while I like to walk to Bubba Jack's, or stop by for a cold one. There are various Nascar memorabilia hanging or setting on shelf space, like the metallic race car which Dale Earnhardt, Sr. drove.

Thanks to the local weekly newspaper, as well as the Savannah Morning News, I can begin my Nascar education.

The race driver I'll feature today is Jimmie Johnson, who held off Bobby LaBonte' a week ago last Sunday, 21 March at the Darlington Raceway, to win the Nextel Cup Carolina Dodge Dealers 400. "The pit stops are what made the difference," said Johnson.
The decisive move for Johnson's No.48 Lowe's team came during a round of yellow flag pit stops after Kyle Petty lost an engine during lap 374 of the 393-lap race. (So how many meters long is a lap? What are yellow flag pit stops? Are there other kinds of pit stops?)

Rather than bore those of you who have no interest whatsoever in Nascar, I'll just post the top 10 point earners:

1. Kenseth 743
2. Earnhardt Jr. 722
3. Stewart 708
4. Busch 687
5. Kahne 679
6. Johnson 685
7. Newman 637
8. Sadler 636
9. Harvick 608
10. Marvin 583

Yes, I really do have this interest, to learn about Nascar, the engines, their dimensions, attributes, statistics. Does this mean that I'm a red-neck? I leave it for you to opine.
On the other hand, my next feature may include search engine grabbers, like "hot, steamy sex" and "naked."

Oh, go ahead, revile me or pray for me ...

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Yes, I'm still "on line." Felt compelled to read a few of my favorite blogs, including Ms. Frizzle's. And now, to finish that letter to the Guv.

I'm trying to write a letter to the Governor of the State of Georgia. While this may seem like an easy task, tonight I'm finding it a bit challenging. First, when I finally got settled to the table, with my writing materials, proper stationery, and the light turned on, it turned out that the ink wouldn't take on the thin rice paper. Then, my daughter importuned me to help her do some crafts. (I can't resist--when does she ever ask me to help her do crafts? And later this year, I'll leave her and the family to go out of country, not to return in G-d knows when).
Finally, I get settled with another kind of stationery. Let's see if this works. I would like the Governor to see that the land swap that Fish and Game is offering to the Georgia Ports Authority gets all the encouragement and authorization that he can give. The goal here is to protect Mulberry Grove from development, since there are a few very important ecosystems, a variety of fauna and flora, and some valuable historical sites, including the estate on which lived Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin.

As she sat on the sofa, reading a book, I turned and asked my daughter," You want to get ready to go to church with me?" She responded," I quit going to church." She has not quite four years of age.

It's too late too arrive timely to Saint Jude's. We'll walk together to First Baptist, which I prefer to call "The Big Brick Church on the Crossroads," where they have several classes, sorted by age groups, of children's' care.

While sipping my wife's bean brew, I visited Amelie's weblog, and --among other things--learned that the Dene' whom much of the world know as the Navajo, make wonderful pottery by a special technique using hairs from horses' tails and manes. The beauty of the pottery reminded me of the baskets. I got to know while living on the tundra near the Kuskokwim River.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Beautiful day today, temperature is perfect--24 degrees Centigrade, about 75 Fahrenheit, sun shining, birds singing. Outside just a half a moment ago, I heard a mockingbird. Annie-Frank is started a melody playing on the music box from The Nutcracker, the sad whimsical melody, I can't remember which piece. A little ballerina in pink twirls in a pirouette.

We've got to clean up this front room. Her godmother will visit us this afternoon, I'm told. I hope. She is a pleasant, smart, lovely lady. We will call her, in this journal, Elaine de Trawyes.

I will wash the truck today. I will wash it and wax it.

Now, I leave you with a poem Garrison Keillor posted on the almanac this morning:
"Song," by John Ciardi, from The War Poets (John Day).


The bells of Sunday rang us down
And flowers were blowing across the town
Through faucets of the sun turned on.

For Mary's giggle and Martha's glance
The bankrolls flashed from pants to pants,
The Captain did a Highland dance.

Oh, there were troops in every door,
And liquor spilled on every floor,
And when the sun became a bore

We turned it off and hung a star,
For we were beautiful and far
And all the papers spoke of war.

And all night long from window sills
The Angels beckoned and the bills
Of visors turned and made their kills.

We burned like kisses on the night,
And talented and drunk and bright
We shed ourselves in colored light.

Because the train was at the gate,
And clocks were closing down the date,
And all seas were running late.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

An amazing chapter of history is presented in the book The Wild Man from Sugar Creek, which tells how Eugene Talmadge opposed Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Deal, how Talmadge and a coalition of Southern and Texan politicians and businessmen attempted to prevent F.D.R. from getting re-elected to President in 1936, and how Talmadge alienated the Democrats in his own state of Georgia, even his own supporters, by his tactless and reactionary speech and behaviour.

At one point, the Treasurer of the State, Hamilton, decided that Gene Talmadge had gone too far in his opposition to Roosevelt's New Deal program for federal roads in Georgia, and decided not to allow Talmadge to spend the funds without the approval of the legislature. Hamilton, through Georgia Senator Walter F. George, got F.D.R. to agree to order the Federal Reserve in Atlanta to reserve space for the collateral bonds which Hamilton held on the state depositories. Figuring that Talmadge was going to fire him, "The treasurer carefully drilled his staff on what to do in the event he was thrown out of office. They were to remove all collateral bonds and cash from the state vaults, set the eighty hour time lock on the empty vault,and run for the federal reserve and the local banks, where they were to deposit both bonds and cash.

"Speed was essential because of the closeness of the treasurer's and the governor's offices... (Not long afterward, the governor told his aide, Henry Spurlin "George (Hamilton) won't open the safe, so go over there and tell him he's fired and to get out!"

Spurlin later said, "I went in and found Hamilton sitting at his desk, and I told him he would have to leave his office at once. He pulled a large pistol and placed it on the desk, and said,'I am constitutionally elected to this office, and I have the means to protect it.' I turned around and went back across the hall to the governor's office and told him that George had a big pistol on his desk and was refusing to leave. Gene blew up, and started yelling at the top of his lungs, 'Lindley, Lindley, Lindley!'

About that time, the Adjutant General came walking through the door, and said,'Keep quiet, Governor, I heard you all the way across the street.'

The Governor has his replacement for Treasurer, Tobe Daniel, and locksmiths trying to open the vaults, which were empty, unbeknownst to him.

The story gets better... Read about it in The Wild Man from Sugar Creek, 1975, William Anderson, published by Louisiana State University Press in Baton Rouge.

I'm beginning to suspect that we've been neglecting the Balkans, having put our focus on "fighting terrorism" elsewhere. Also from the New York Times:

Pedrag Antic and several other villagers said the United Nations police officers and the Moroccan patrol did nothing to stop the mob but drove parallel to it as the young men threw Molotov cocktails, set more buildings on fire and fired guns.

A regional commander of the United Nations police said his unit fired 7 to 10 shots to ward off the group.

The mixed convoy of police and military vehicles drew to a halt several hundred yards into the village, ahead of the mob, forming a roadblock. Villagers said the youths began to pull back.

Meanwhile, as a precaution, soldiers arranged for the village's women and children to be taken to the French base, Camp Belvedere. But then the soldiers told the villagers that they could not defend the village, and that every one would have to leave.

Svinjare had been reinforced by then, according to the United Nations police and the peacekeeping force, with an additional 20 soldiers and 50 Polish antiriot police officers.

"We asked them if they could secure us, but they were trying to convince us they were not able, because they had to go elsewhere," Pedrag Antic said.

The decision to evacuate was taken by the French general responsible for Northern Kosovo, Gen. Xavier Michel, Lieutenant Mabin said, because the French forces were needed elsewhere. He said he did not know where.

Almost twenty to nine EST now. Listening to NPR. Kids in the kitchen watching cartoons. Wife packaging some E-Bay item she's sold.

Weather outside clear, slightly cool, with slight breeze moving the budding oak branches.

Highway traffic already busy. Probably has been, as it's a pretty busy trucking artery, and connects two or more major prisons. Amazing the commerce associated with the business of imprisoning and moving criminals and others who've run afoul of the laws.

Lawrence Sheets reported from Moscow on the controversial remarks of Admiral Korayetov, on the possibility of one of their ships possibly in danger of exploding. Hmmmmm.....

But in other news of Russia, from the New York Times:
ULYANOVSK, Russia, March 21 — Russia's democracy may well be faltering, but its elections still allow the ultimate protest vote: "against all." In most races it attracts a few percent of contrary votes. Here in this faded industrial city on the Volga, it won. Twice.

In the December parliamentary election, voters of District 181 threw out not only the incumbent, a retired general, but the rest of the pack as well. "Against all," the box at the bottom of the ballot, received nearly 20 percent of the votes, more than double what any of the 14 actual candidates won.

On March 14, Ulyanovsk tried again. "Against all," by now a proven winner, increased its vote to 21.5 percent. The best showing among 12 challengers was under 13 percent.

Ah, maybe there's hope for our apathetic, non-voting public yet.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Now, as so very often, I feel there's too much to do, and not enough time in which to do the things I'd really like to do. On my plate:
2 resumes,
letter to one contract which hasn't paid for work I did,
application to college,
and I haven't gone running since last Friday!

One of the Internet super-sites, those which provide free mail service (actually, in exchange for you getting and passing along loads of advertising) sent me, among their "picks" a reference to an MIT site exhibiting little known art showing the visit of Commodore Perry to Japan in 1853-54. "On 18 July 1953, residents of Uraga on the outskirts of Edo, the sprawling capital of feudal Japan, saw 4 foreign warships enter their harbor under a cloud of black smoke."

The exhibit is directed by professors John W. Dowe and Shigeru Miyagawa.

Monday, March 22, 2004

I'm about to read a book and tell a short story to my daughter, A.F. See? She just walked up, and says,"Papa could you tell me a story?" Then, she says, looking at the computer screen,"Could you read that to me?"

I'm the one who is falling asleep! She even took the book away from me , and read it to me. Then she told me the story of the sea turtle who ate lots and lots of little fishies, got a big belly, went up onto the sandy shore, made a hole, laid many eggs in it, and then, tired, dragged its way back to the sea, swimming away to the deep blue.

That's it... I got out when she demanded yet another story. Somehow, she's got my wife away from her detective novel, reading her something now. Good night!

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Don't know if you've been aware of the news from Kosova these past several days. NATO's sent a 1000 US, British, and Italian troops. The French and Germans are sending between 400 and 600.

This wave of violence started, they say, because three Albanian boys in the
of Г‡abГ«r, drowned in the Ibri River as they were running away from Serbs with dogs, in Prishtina. So far, at least 31 have died, say UN officials. Some Albanians have torched churches and monasteries, and in reprisal, Orthodox have burnt mosques.

To my aquaintances and former neighbors who have ancestors from Gracanica Catholic community south of Prishtian--Serb communities have been attacked near there.

According to the New York Times: "But while the fresh troops continued to flow into Kosovo, it was unclear if they would be able to repair the damage. South of Pristina in the ethnically mixed town of Lipjan, Serbian families began to load up tractors with belongings before driving them to the nearby Serb-dominated enclaves of Suvi Do and Gracanica."

The outbreak of violent incidents was not surprising
Prishtina, Kosova. In its previous press releases, the CDHRF has warned of the
threat for the escalation of the situation and has identified the
which could lead to it. The accumulated frustration due to the
economic situation in Kosova, grave security situation and the lack of
political prospects has resulted in the escalation of the situation.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

From the New York Times : WASHINGTON, March 19. President Bush's campaign is following an aggressive and precise 90-day media strategy to define Senator John Kerry as indecisive and lacking conviction, with a coordinated blitz of advertisements, speeches and sound bites, senior campaign advisers said this week.

The goal, several campaign aides said, is to first strip Mr. Kerry of the positive image that he carried away from the Democratic primary contests and then to define him issue by issue in their own terms before the summer vacation season. The central thrusts will be national security and taxes, they said.

The aides said the strategy was planned weeks ago in coordination with Karl Rove, Mr. Bush's chief political aide, while Mr. Kerry was battling for his party's nomination.

I have yet to open an envelope which arrived from the Democratic National Committee...I think it's from them. incidentallyy, I'm still uncommitted). I'll look for it, and for the Sierra Club material on their own election, after reading the NYT.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Ahhhh...what a day! Yes, it was good. In the afternoon, the whole two week's unemployment check being stopped situation was resolved, and after that, the working day was a pleasant slide downslope, into a body of clean water, with no rocks to knock on.

I had revised a cover letter, to be a follow-up letter. No, I don't want to send in my resume' quite yet, I'm keeping my cards close to my chest. Oh --what's that? The dog across the way is barking madly...I'm back. It was just the neighbor's boys, walking around the corner toward the highway. There's an ice cream store, a pizzeria, and a gas and quick-mart that way. The weather is too nice... That's when the freaks like to come out, into a pleasant night.

Wehaahllll, let me leave you with this little nugget I found -- about a crazy ant It seems some etymologists from the University of Florida found five species on the Dry Tortugas Islands, on one of them at least, these species not being previously recorded as far as we Anglo-Americans Know.

So what, you may ask. Glad if you did. This is all part of a government effort to reform the nomenclature of critters and plants--here's the rub--once again, there's a push towards more standardization. Here's how they put it:

"The White House Subcommittee on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics has identified systematics as a research priority that is fundamental to ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation. This primary need identified by the Subcommittee requires improvements in the organization of, and access to, standardized nomenclature.

For each scientific name, ITIS will include the authority (author and date), taxonomic rank, associated synonyms and vernacular names where available, a unique taxonomic serial number, data source information (publications, experts, etc.) and data quality indicators. Expert reviews and changes to taxonomic information in the database will be tracked. Geographic coverage will be worldwide with initial emphasis on North American taxa. "

Good morning! 06:29 In a minute, it will be the usual time that I had been exercising until I left the Army. Well, I'm just going to post this, then hit the streets in some civvy sports garb. The streets of this little not so sleepy Southern town. But first, this...

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Haiti'’s new US.-backed Cabinet took office Wednesday without a single member of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s party or the former opposition, setting the stage for a showdown before the government even gets to work. From MSNBC, more...

Here's the same story from the New York Times...

Now, to go running. See ya!

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Ah, I've come up for review by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. I need to fax them my job search, as well as "pension papers," and copies of the training which I indicated on the automated interview almost a couple of weeks ago.

One thing is, as the lady at the V.A. told me, disability payments are not pension. I hope the IDES sees it that way. Then, I've got to find my work search records. That hasn't been very intense, as I've foundered on the certification issue. But if I throw in my offerings to the Talk of the Nation for article ideas, and include my requests for work to one or a few other small businesses, it'll be good enough, I hope.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Am playing the backgammon on the 'Net, with a free software offered by one of the major software companies. I've got the opponent with two stones waiting in my home board. The opponent is apparently waiting to see if I leave a blot.

Now I've got a beam of stones on the two point. Finally I rolled a double four, which not only allowed me to get my last two stones into the home board, but let me take two off the four-point off the board. And he or she thanked me (unusual for anonymous players) and offered me the requisite three to resign, giving me a backgammon.

If you haven't learned the game, try Prince Obolensky's book introducing it, and offering strategies and tactics.

'Twasn't until almost 10:00 EST (USA) that I realized that this day is the Ides of March, by the old Roman calendar, and on this day in 44 B.C. Julius Caesar was assassinated, stabbed to death, by a cabal of friends and associates in the Roman government, led by Cimber, Casca, Cassius, and Marcus Junius Brutus.

Today is also the anniversary of the birth of Andrew Jackson. Garrison Keillor, in the Writers' Almanac, has posted this: "He began his political career as a Tennessee congressman, but he wasn't nationally known until the War of 1812. After he led the defeat of the pro-British Creek Indians at Horseshoe Bend, he was placed in command of the defense of New Orleans..."

Sunday, March 14, 2004

This just received from Irish Northern Aid, which has provided financial assistance to Irish Political Prisoners and their families, highlights the plight of communities in the six British-occupied provinces and provides assistance to those distressed neighborhoods:

This St. Patrick's Day period, Sir Hugh Orde, the Chief of the PSNI--Policing Services of North Ireland--
Constable, has been ordered to Washington, D.C. and beyond to hype
his force.
Last year in a NYC speech, Orde caused a ruckus when he complained
about those within the PSNI who were “actively working against” the
GFA(Good Friday Agreement) and police reform. This is his penance.
A representative from our Washington DC Irish Northern Aid unit will
participate in Orde’s State Department briefing and report back to INA.

We decided, the wife and I, rather than drive to the fruitcake capital of the USA, and arrive late for the Rattlesnake Round-up, we'd go another direction to the exchange, where we did go and did buy my new running shoes, a "motion" type of shoe, the same model as last year. I celebrated this by running around the excellent bone-friendly track, whose surface is made of recycled tires. You can feel the difference. Every county should have at least one.

I finally figured the way to edit my links list, so I've added a few, and will keep it current, I promise! Since I'm making headway with my job-search and bread-earning, I've earned a little time to play with the HTML and other languages, codes, and ways to improve my web-building.

While at the exchange, we saw on the televisions, the a FOX TV News report on the results of the election in Spain. Seems that ETA was not, after all, responsible for the bombs at Atocha and other nearby lines. Also, it seems very likely that Aznar's government was trying to manipulate the public against the ETA and also against the PSE, the Socialists. And the Spanish electorate was not fooled; they didn't like the propaganda, nor do they like the involvement of their government and military in Iraq, in cooperation with the USA and UK.
What will the new government do with the troops they have stationed in the SW Asia now?

Saturday, March 13, 2004

I'm reading a biography which I found in the stacks and checked out from the local library, The Wild Man from Sugar Creek. It's the life and political career of Eugene Talmadge, once Commissioner of Agriculture, later Governor, of Georgia. A tale of cotton farmer and lawyer turned stump speaker, who turned his knowledge and experience of the poor white farmer's struggle into Populist success. Unfortunately, he will probably be known more for his racism than for his intelligence and ability. Am still reading the book, but so far I gather that he missed a chance in history to usher in the era of Civil Rights.

But then again, he wouldn't have become the success he was, if he had been inclined to show kindness and justice to the Black folk. What White politicians in Georgia have made a name for themselves by being the first to admit the end of an era? I'd appreciate any suggestions for reading material

One more thought--reading Talmadge's bio, written by William Anderson, reminds me of Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men. However the writing falls short. It is, nonetheless, instructive, and fills in a gap for me in American and Southern history.
Speaking of this classic by R.P.W., you may wish to refer to this review of a new edition which includes AtKM and the play on which it was based, Proud Flesh, which went unpublished in Robert Penn Warren's lifetime.

Hopefully, I get to be at the Saint Paddie's Day Parade, see some of the goings-on, and get paid for providing security at the same time! I'm not going to say it's more fun to watch drunks than to be drunk, but it's interesting, and my awareness doesn't take a dive as the process develops. Going in a few minutes.

Listening to Lawrence Sheets report on a scene at a Moscow University, as folk get ready for the elections in Russia.

Listening with one ear to my wife tell me that her mother's collecting little cars that come with some sort of merchandise. Like Matchbox cars, she says.

My son's better, I hope, from his cold. I've been worrying. I woke up early, just lay there watching him sleep. I said every prayer I'd ever been taught, and made up my own, wished for healing to happen faster.

Friday, March 12, 2004

I feel as if I missed the right start to the day. How do you recoup that? On one hand, I like to get up at 04:30, have my wheat cereal with milk, coffee, check my mail, the news on the Web while listening to the news on NPR and sometimes
But I worked late last night. Actually, I worked all day, from 08:00 to just a little after 16:00, and again from 18:00 to 20:00. That's O.K. But I try to get as close to the eight hours I feel that I need to let my body heal itself, let my mind do whatever it does to learn and retain knowledge better. So, I didn't get out of bed till about 06:45.

Well, here I am, considering whether to write creatively first, or get set to launch right into letters and resume's for looking for work, whether it be teaching work, security, consulting, translating, or whatever. Annie-Franck came just now, as I was starting this paragraph, to ask me to let her write.
So, I set her up with Notepad, on which she types some letters and words.
And one hour later, I'm resuming this post. Altgeld has diarrhea--his mother has changed his diaper twice, and I once. He has had a cough for a few days, a deep phlegmy cough. We give him baby cough syrup last night. The wife keeps breast-feeding him.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Craig Smith reported from Vienna, for The New York Times, on recent findings by European and American diplomats during a visit to Iran, that traces of very high grade uranium had been found. "Among traces that inspectors detected last year are some refined to 90 percent of the rare 235 isotope, the diplomats said. While the International Atomic Energy Agency has previously reported finding "weapons grade" traces, it has not revealed that some reached such a high degree of enrichment."

The Herald, Zimbabwe's state-owned newspaper, reported that 20 of the men were South Africans. There were also 23 Angolans, 18 Namibians and 2 Congolese, the newspaper reported, and 1 Zimbabwean with a South African passport.

The president of Equatorial Guinea, a county whose recent oil discoveries have made it one of the continent's biggest oil producers, said the group was part of a quest by "enemy powers" to overthrow his government. The president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, said...

You might get another point of view from this source.

From the New York Times: Powerful explosions rocked three Madrid train stations Thursday just days before Spain's general elections, killing at least 62 rush-hour commuters and wounding hundreds...Two were on a train pulling into Atocha underground train station, and two others were at stations on a line connecting to the Atocha. Spanish officials blamed ETA, even though ETA has not claimed responsibility. Couldn't it be Islamic terrorists, now that Spain is involved in Iraq? After all, terrorists have killed numerous Spanish nationals in Iraq, even ambushing them specifically.

I'm listening to Katya Adler, reporting for BBC from Madrid. She doesn't seem to be disputing the Madrid government's claims either. As they say, "Time will tell." Or will the truth ever be known?

An hour after the opening of NPR's news this Thursday, Jerome Sokolofsky is now reporting. The media is still not disputing Madrid's claim that ETA is to blame. However, Bob Edwards suggests, and Sokolofsky admits, that others might be responsible.

Coming back to edit this paragraph, ten till eleven on a Tuesday, 30 March 2004:
Finally, the Spanish admit they have no evidence that ETA was to blame.

My house is cold! Oh well, at least I have a house. Or do I? Never do I want to take anything for granted. As I write, a vibraphone plays jazz through the radio, the "Jazz through the Night," with Bob Parlocha. I probably chopped up his name, but I'll fix it, asap. Let's hear what-- John Coltrane's Aida something or other. I'll learn. I feel like such a rube. But hey--I live in rural Southern Georgia!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Jumpstart Our Business Strength (JOBS) Act - S.1637
Following action on the gun bill, the Senate is scheduled to take up this bill that would repeal the Extraterritorial Income Exclusion Act, which has prompted the European Union to enact trade sanctions against U.S. goods.

She didn't mention the planeload of well-equipped men in Harare, suspected to be mercenaries. Plane registered in the USA. Identity of men not revealed, nor did the reporter, an African gentleman, specify whether the authorities had any clue as to who these men, mostly Caucasian, were.

My wife told me this evening, after I’d come back from some teacher training at the Adult Basic Education Centre in Weirgraville, that “they” found the body of Spaulding Gray.

Monday, March 08, 2004

I was a homeless college graduate

Last week I changed the settings so that the true time reflected on postings was Eastern Standard Time. There may be some confusion when viewing earlier postings, which showed Pacific Time, even though while I've posted this blog I've always lived in the Eastern Time Zone.

A while ago this evening, I was falling asleep as I read to my daughter Annie-Franck. However, I snapped out of it in time to get on here.

Excerpt from my part of an e-mail dialogue:

In the wake of the Peace Corps determining that I
couldn't join because of a supposed inguinal hernia, and my
failing the oral exam for the State Department's Foreign
Service, I was trying to get a political science degree
while supporting myself in sales and tutoring Spanish for
Inlingua on State Street.
I made the move to an insurance company as a salesman on
commission. The training was good, or so I thought.
However the promised base salary never came through for the
first three months. The rent was overdue by two months.
The patience of the fraternity wore thin, and one day I
arrived at the end of a work day to find Zoran, the right
hand man of the fraternity president, throwing my property
out of the house. That night I stayed in my little
copper-colored Ford Maverick, with my possessions packed so
that I could lie on my ironing board, down the middle of the
vehicle, and get a little sleep. I found a place to park by
the curb at a park in Jarvis.
I found temporary lodgings with a friend who worked at a
service station next to Loyola's Sheridan campus. Soon I
found other sales work, and saved enough to get a flat in
Edgewater. However, the time, energy, and stress of
adjusting was too much for me to manage both work and
studies, and the latter fell by the wayside.
[I'm glad that this woman Jennie who writes that she lives in Greater Chicago area, is realizing this and also that one more soul is moving consciously in this way.

Does she know about Slim Coleman and the movement to empower the homeless in the Wilson Avenue area of New Town?

How are the various institutions and organizations which purport to care for the homeless? I wonder as I think about Jennie.

I was homeless and unemployed in Chicago, and more often underemployed, and often still homeless. I am grateful there were compassionate people in the Windy City, the “City that Works.”

I love Chicago. But I was a flea on the Broad Shoulders, and was brushed off without an afterthought.]

I had wanted to help the poor, the homeless, and the
oppressed; at this time I was faced with the choice of
returning to Galesburg to live with my parents, while I
tried to get back into school, or struggling on my own. I
chose the homeless shelters, realizing that there was no
better way for me to understand what the indigent and
working poor had to experience than to live that way myself.
To make a long story short, I lived in shelters, homes
of friends, or camped out in the woods or swamps, for about
eleven years, from 1985 to 1996, while I worked several
restaurant and retail sales jobs, or odd jobs and day labor.
I kept a series of notebooks which finally I am working
into an account of these experiences and reflections on
various topics ranging from the problems of the homeless to
union organizing, to essays on literature, art, and
What comes from all this remains to be seen.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

> I got back to the house after a drive to the south edge of town, on the road to Darien. It was already very dark, with some stars showing, and if you drove with the windows open, past certain piney woods or bogs, you could hear the peepers singing their happy spring love-song. I drove to Bubba Jack's, a little bar inside a room snug up against a towing/wrecker business. Bubba Jack sells only Bugwiser and Bugwiser Light--in bottles or cans. And there are some Co-Colas and other carbonated drinks.
I had left the aluminum sided cinder block building in which we teach ESL, Civics, G.E.D. and Adult Basic Literacy. The few teachers who do this do it part-time, I believe, because as the director on state level says, if the feds ever took a notion to cut off the funds, there would be "liability issues."

While talking with Bubba Jack over the bar(there was no one else there, his wife leaving just as I got there with the mint tin full of little aluminum clips which they save to donate to a local charity for sick children) he told me that they'd heard over the scanner, which they always have on behind the bar, up front by the little square window which looks onto the Highway, that there had been another break-in in the neighborhood my family lives in, which is sometimes called "Northside."
We've been trying to re-organize a Neighborhood Watch, some neighbors and I. Just spoke to the Mayor, a tough lady, and smart, yesterday about what the city was doing to slow down these break-ins and other drug related activity. Crack cocaine, chrystal meth, and what not. We've a new police chief, who has let go of some police, and hired others from out of town. We'll see.

Li'l Annie Franck wanted me to tell her stories about horses. I'd already told her about Misty from Chincoteague, and I couldn't remember enough to tell her about Black Stallion. I haven't watched all of Sea Biscuit. So I went to the bookshelf, found my coffee table edition of the bio of Miguel de Cervantes, and pointed out to her some of the wood cuts, pencil drawings, and even a photograph of an oil painting by Titian, an equestrian portrait of Charles V. Beautiful black stallion. But what's its name?

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

10:05 EST Annie-Franck and I are dressed for going to the library. The weather's just perfect for walking. We're going to story-time and crafts for kids. I'll take my book by Jimmy Carter, An Hour Before Daylight, his memories of a Rural Childhood. Outside now, I hear the southern crows sqawking.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

My little daughter of three years and ten months is having a nightmare. I don't know what to do. She won't take any comfort. She screams and yells, tells me to go away. Maybe she only wants her mother. She says she wants Momma, but my wife is nursing her little brother. I offer to take her to her mother, but she says, "No, go away! I don't want you! Go outside! Go exercise!"

Well, I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. Maybe my long absences abroad in the Balkans and in Southwestern Asia have affected her thus. I wish that I had been here for her.

> Time now,, 22:14 Pleasant slightly chilly night. The peepers have been singing for over two weeks now, in the pines, the swamps, the bogs...Folk are restless. Young Black men walk alone, in twos, but separated by a block's distance, or in twos and threes, or drive by in fancy or just old cars, often the classic Olds and Caddies, back and within fifteen minutes, forth, toward the Highway and a commercial strip whichincludes a pizza place and a dollar store. Neighbors who have been around for a while say there's drugs being dealt, but apparently it's at least two locations, probably more.
> Evidence of crystal meth ingredients are tossed on the streets, maybe to keep the residue away from the source of the dealing.
> I'm just tired of hearing of neighbors losing their property, including bikes, wallets, purses, cash, cell phones, coin collections...Someone's going to get hurt. I don't like the idea of anyone getting hurt or killed. Or wasting away due to addictions.