Saturday, January 31, 2009

saturday night my babies!

go out and party til the cows come home!

me? i'm bathed and jammiefied and sitting here in my bathrobe like a good little stereotypical blogger.

just not in my parent's basement. not even in my own basement.

too cold!
max, who has moved past chubby and sturdy into fat.

love this photo!
O sweet spontaneous

by E. E. Cummings

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
the doting

fingers of
prurient philosophies pinched
and poked

has the naughty thumb
of science prodded

beauty how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy
knees squeezing and

buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive

to the incomparable
couch of death thy

thou answerest

them only with


stop by, say hi and check him out. o.k?

he was very nice to put my steeler kitty picture on his blog! : )
bright sky, coldcoldCOLD!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Having slept, the cat gets up

by Kobayashi Issa

Having slept, the cat gets up,
yawns, goes out
to make love.
the wind has been blowing and with it , little pieces of ice from the tree limbs and twigs have been coming loose and hitting the windows. they sting like hell when i'm out with max! bob and layla don't care. they are snuggled next to the heat registers!
Pittsburgh Friends versus Other Friends


OTHER FRIENDS Never ask for food.

PITTSBURGH FRIENDS Are the reason you have no food.


OTHER FRIENDS Bring a bottle of wine to your party.

PITTSBURGH FRIENDS Bring enough for everybody, help make the food, then stay to clean up and sleep it off afterwards.


OTHER FRIENDS Will come to your house warming party.

PITTSBURGH FRIENDS Will help you move in and move out and party both times.


OTHER FRIENDS Call your parents Mr. and Mrs.

PITTSBURGH FRIENDS Call your parents Mom and Dad.


OTHER FRIENDS Have never seen you cry.

PITTSBURGH FRIENDS Either make you cry or will cry with you.


OTHER FRIENDS Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back.

PITTSBURGH FRIENDS Keep your stuff so long they forget it's yours, but are willing to loan it back to you anytime.


OTHER FRIENDS Know a few things about you.

PITTSBURGH FRIENDS Could write a book with direct quotes from you.


OTHER FRIENDS Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is doing.

PITTSBURGH FRIENDS Will kick the butts of the whole crowd who left you.


OTHER FRIENDS Would knock on your door

PITTSBURGH FRIENDS Walk right in and say, 'I'm home!'


OTHER FRIENDS Will watch sports with you.

PITTSBURGH FRIENDS Will take off of work to drive to a Steeler away game with you. Or fly to the Super Bowl


OTHER FRIENDS Will talk crap with people who talk crap about you.

PITTSBURGH FRIENDS Will knock the crap out of them!


OTHER FRIENDS Are for a while.


yeah, they love ya in iraq mr. bush.
Lisa Kyle for The New York Times

Myron Cope, a longtime Pittsburgh broadcaster, was credited with creating the Terrible Towel in 1975.

Danny Cope, and his sister Elizabeth. Danny is a resident at the Allegheny Valley School, which holds the trademark rights the the Terrible Towel.

Lisa Kyle for The New York Times
The Terrible Towel is so common near Pittsburgh that even a dinosaur outside an Allegheny Valley School building has one.
“It’s actually been really hard for me, with the Steelers going to the Super Bowl,” the 38-year-old Elizabeth Cope said. “Because I have to see the Terrible Towels everywhere. It’s great. But it hurts.”

The towels are a swirling reminder of her father, Myron Cope, a longtime Pittsburgh broadcaster credited with creating the Terrible Towel in 1975. Before he died last February at age 79, Elizabeth Cope watched last year’s Super Bowl with him in his hospital room. She draped his coffin with a quilt that a fan had made out of Terrible Towels.

But the great part comes from what each of those towels does for people like Danny Cope, Myron’s son and Elizabeth’s older brother.

Myron Cope left behind something far more personal than a legacy of terrycloth, a battle flag for a city and its team. In 1996, he handed over the trademark to the Terrible Towel to the Allegheny Valley School. It is a network of campuses and group homes across Pennsylvania for people with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. It receives almost all the profits from sales of the towels.

Danny Cope is one of the roughly 900 people the school serves. He has been a resident since 1982, when he was a teenager. He was diagnosed with severe mental retardation when he was 2. He is now 41.

“He’s never spoken,” Elizabeth Cope said. “Which is kind of funny, because Dad is known for his voice. It’s almost like the Terrible Towel is Danny’s silent voice.”

Hundreds of thousands of the towels — trademarked as “Myron Cope’s the Official Terrible Towel” — are sold every year, for about $7 each. Through the Steelers, who handle the marketing of the towels, the school receives a check every month, usually for tens of thousands of dollars.

A Super Bowl changes everything. The company that produces the towels, McArthur Towel & Sports of Baraboo, Wis., produced 450,000 of them last week, after the Steelers won the A.F.C. championship. The company expects to duplicate that this week before Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, its president, Gregg McArthur, said.

A Steelers victory would most likely lead to orders of at least 500,000 more for a pair of Super Bowl versions of the Terrible Towel, one with the score against the Cardinals, the other declaring the Steelers as six-time Super Bowl champions.

Before this season, Allegheny Valley School had received more than $2.5 million from the towels since 1996, said its chief executive officer, Regis Champ. Roughly $1 million of that came during and immediately after the 2005 season, when the Steelers won Super Bowl XL. This season is likely to top that.

“It’s an incredible help for us,” Champ said. “We’re a nonprofit organization, and our primary funding is through Medicaid. While Medicaid is very good to people with disabilities, it is limited in what it will cover.”

Champ said that Myron Cope wanted the money to go not for construction projects, but for individual assistance for residents. Recent purchases include high-end specialized wheelchairs and sensory programs that allow severely disabled residents, including quadriplegics, to perform tasks such as turning on lights or music with a movement of their eyes.

The money has also been spent on adaptive communication devices, computers that give voice to those who cannot speak. Danny Cope has one.

The checks are usually spent as they are received.

“Our needs are daily,” Champ said.

Elizabeth Cope receives none of the proceeds from the Terrible Towel. Her father (whose wife, Mildred, died in 1994) transferred the trademark out of gratitude to the school.

“He came into my office, and he had a pile of papers,” Champ said. “He threw them down on my desk and said, ‘Regis, I’m giving you the Terrible Towel.’ I said, ‘Myron, I have about 10 of them. I’ll take another one, but ...

“He said, ‘No, I’m giving you the rights, and you’ll be able to get all the proceeds from the Terrible Towels.’ I was speechless. I knew that this would be the legacy that outlived Myron.”

The idea for the towels came out of a 1975 meeting Cope had at WTAE, the Steelers’ flagship radio station where he was the voice of the Steelers. Executives wanted a promotional gimmick, something to raise the excitement level during the playoffs.

Pittsburgh’s blue-collar fans were not the pompom types. But towels were far more utilitarian, useful for wiping the seats or protecting against the chill. Cope dubbed them Terrible Towels. On air, he encouraged fans to bring gold or black towels to the first playoff game against the Colts. It seemed too gimmicky, until about half the crowd began waving them at the start of the game. The Steelers won their second consecutive Super Bowl, surrounded by a sea of swirling towels.

Soon they were trademarked and mass-produced. They have been imitated by other franchises, but usually they are handed out for free, and they feel both unoriginal and uninspired by comparison. Even the N.F.L. could not contain itself; it is selling a white “Trophy Towel” to fans of both the Steelers and the Cardinals.

“When I see other towels in other stadiums, I know they probably have no personal story behind them,” Elizabeth Cope said. She said she has “millions” of them at home, and recently donated some framed originals to a Pittsburgh museum. There is one displayed at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Myron Cope was treasured in Pittsburgh for his enthusiasm, nasally voice and quirky exclamations such as “Yoi!” and “Double yoi!” But he knew he would be most remembered for the towel. And he made sure that it would always be more than just something to cheer the Steelers to victory.

When Danny Cope arrived at Allegheny Valley School, Myron Cope told Champ that doctors said he needed 24-hour supervision and would never be able to work.

Danny Cope, who is also autistic, now lives in a supervised group home with four others in a Pittsburgh suburb. He shops and goes to sports events. He has a paying job, packaging pretzels and snacks on an assembly line.

“Myron said that he was thankful for the life his son had,” Champ said.

The connective threads are strong. Many of the Terrible Towels go through a workshop in Chippewa Falls, Wis., similar to the one where Danny Cope works. About 80 employees with severe disabilities help fold, tag and box the shipments, McArthur said.

Come Sunday, when the Terrible Towels are swirling around Raymond James Stadium, they may also be swirling around Danny Cope. His friends like to watch the games, and Cope understands the Terrible Towels mean something exciting is happening.

“But as far as the legacy his father left?” Champ said. “No, I’m afraid Danny doesn’t understand that.”

More Articles in Sports » A version of this article appeared in print on January 30, 2009, on page B11 of the New York edition.
50 years

friday morning, joke day:

What is the best way for an Artist to paint?


Thursday, January 29, 2009

sweet dreams
gary & sara

from the nyt.

(thanks to bush and the , trust big business we don't need no stink'n government oversight republicans- me )

Salmonella Was Found at Peanut Plant Before


Published: January 28, 2009

The Georgia food plant that federal investigators say knowingly shipped contaminated peanut butter also had mold growing on its ceiling and walls, and it has foot-long gaps in its roof, according to results of a federal inspection.

More than 500 people in 43 states have been sickened, and eight have died, after eating crackers and other products made with peanut butter from the plant, which is owned by the Peanut Corporation of America. More than 100 children under the age of 5 are among those who have been sickened.

The plant sells its peanut paste to some of the nation’s largest food manufacturers, including Kellogg and McKee Foods. As a result of the contamination, more than 100 products have been recalled, mostly cookies and crackers.

Officials from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced the outbreak to the Peanut Corporation of America plant in Blakely, Ga. On Jan. 9, investigators descended on the plant for a thorough inspection, which was completed Tuesday.

The report from the inspection, first posted on the Internet by Bill Marler, a lawyer, cites 12 instances in 2007 and 2008 in which the company’s own tests of its product found contamination by salmonella.

In each case, the report states, “after the firm retested the product and received a negative status, the product was shipped in interstate commerce.”

It is illegal for a company to continue testing a product until it gets a clean test, said Michael Taylor, a food safety expert at George Washington University.

In a press conference Tuesday, Michael Rogers, director of the division of field investigations at the F.D.A., said that the company’s tests showing salmonella contamination should have led the company to take actions to eliminate the contamination. “It’s significant, because at the point at which salmonella was identified, it shouldn’t be there, based on the manufacturing process that’s designed to mitigate salmonella, actually eliminate it,” Mr. Rogers said.

The firm took no steps to clean its plant after the test results alerted the company to the contamination, he said, and the inspection team found problems with the plant’s routine cleaning procedures as well.

The plant also stored pallets of peanut butter next to supplies of peanuts, the inspectional report says. Finished products should be stored far from raw materials to reduce the chances of re-contamination of the finished goods, according to federal rules.

The report describes a plant that was not constructed to produce safe food. “There were open gaps observed” near air-conditioner intakes that were as large as a half-inch by two and one-half feet long, the report stated. Previous inspections of the plant by the Georgia State Agriculture Department found dirty surfaces, grease residue and dirt buildup throughout the plant. They also found rust residue that could flake into food, gaps in warehouse doors large enough for rodents to enter, and numerous other problems.

A spokesman for the Peanut Corporation did not immediately return a phone message.

Anahad O’Connor and Roni Caryn Rabin contributed reporting.
looks like my little dogwood tree might be spared when we tap into the sewerage line.

they came today to see where the line was and the man said he thought the tree could be saved. that's the good news. the bad news?

we may be tapped in by JULY!!!!!

what a (and i have to say this)PRICK!

i saw this last night and was speechless!

then again, given his track record, i shouldn't have been surprised!
it is truly beautiful out there this morning. looks like a winter xmas card!

too bad the roads are terrible and there is ice under all of that loveliness.

the guys are out and working on the sewer line today. they couldn't yesterday.

i feel bad for them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

sleep tight babies

things like this


Roy Brown, 54, is a homeless man who said that he was hungry and needed a place to live when he walked the Capitol One bank in Shreveport, Louisiana in December 2007 and stole a single $100 bill. The next day, he turned himself into police, apologized, and said that he was not raised to do such things. After he pleaded guilty, the Shreveport judge then sentenced him to 15 years in prison. In the meantime, former AIG executive Christian Milton defrauded customers of more tha $500 million and was just sentenced to 4 years.

an oldie!

and here it is! at least something is o.k. today.


i decided to make the topping with course sea salt, cracked black pepper, dried basil and rosemary, crushed by me, olive oil and grated romano cheese!

it's snowing something fierce out there now. damn it's done everything in the last 15 hours except rain frogs!

take care out there.
‘Twas the Night Before the Super Bowl

‘Twas the night before the Super Bowl, when along the gulf shore,
Steelers fans were praying for “just one more;”

The players were nestled all snug in the sack,
With visions of the first NFL Six-Pack;

Coach Tomlin was young, but wise for his years,
So I drifted off to sleep without any fears;

When at the stadium there arose some strange chatter,
The Cardinals feared, what was the matter;

We heard “Okel Dokel”, we heard “Double Yoi,”
We jumped from our beds, our hearts jumped for joy;

He stood at the fifty with a grin ear to ear,
Steelers fans everywhere started to cheer;

Then in an instant to our surprise,
This little old man had tears in his eyes;

He went to the booth and there took his chair,
While Terrible Towels waved in the air;

Then over the airwaves came his shrill voice,
The Steelers Nation began to rejoice;

He said, “I am back, but you know I can’t stay,
I just had to see my Steelers play;

From my home up above, I have a great view,
But I wanted to celebrate here with you;

So bring on the Birds, we’ll send them a flyin’,
On the way back to Phoenix , they will be cryin’;

Ben, Hines, Troy , Jeff and all of the rest,
No matter the outcome, to me you’re the best;”

The airwaves went silent, the stadium still,
Was this just a dream, it seemed so real;

In our team we have faith, in our team we have hope,
But the game’s not the same without Myron Cope;

Written by:
A.K. Young


that is deer netting on the bushes below.

the deer really dislike eating those bushes or the rhodies but they will towards the end of the winter. the ice makes the netting visible.

mixed up the focaccia dough using the starter i made yesterday.
it's sitting in it's bowl and it better be rising!!

wet, cold slushy ice, crap. i'm not going anywhere except to take max out. the birds have been fed but the squirrels are the only creatures venturing out.
GEEEZZZZ, got a layer of old ice, then snow, then ice and now water on top of that!!!

needless to say, max is confused and unhappy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Beauty XXV

by Khalil Gibran

And a poet said, "Speak to us of Beauty."

Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?

And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?

The aggrieved and the injured say, "Beauty is kind and gentle.

Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us."

And the passionate say, "Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.

Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us."

The tired and the weary say, "beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.

Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow."

But the restless say, "We have heard her shouting among the mountains,

And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions."

At night the watchmen of the city say, "Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east."

And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say, "we have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset."

In winter say the snow-bound, "She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills."

And in the summer heat the reapers say, "We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair."

All these things have you said of beauty.

Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,

And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.

It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,

But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.

It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,

But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.

It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,

But rather a garden forever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.

People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.

But you are life and you are the veil.

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.

But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

bubble bath tubby time!!!

different musical styling all for the steeler fans!

sewer pipe at dusk

sort of takes your breath away with it's magnificence, doesn't it??!!

(it's getting closer!)

bet you didn't know about this.
got this e-mail from my sister. pretty much right on for her cept she drinks coors light and i don't drink beer. she also understands the game better than i do and i do say "yinz" when i feel like it(which is most of the time unless i am somewhere "aht, aht!")

A Pittsburgh girl knows just as much
> about football as her guy friend
> in some cases, even more.
> She drinks beer because it tastes good
> but knows when to be classy and drink
> something more sophisticated.
> She owns a Steeler jersey not just
> because it's cute but because she
> supports her team and understands the game.
> She loves Kennywood and isn't afraid to
> order cheese fries from the Potato Patch
> because, let's face it.........
> Pittsburgh girls wear winter coats and
> scarves a lot more than bikinis and flip flops.
>> Pittsburgh girls don't have a funny
> accent. They just speak a different language.
> The word yinz is dear to her heart, even if
> she would never say it herself.
> A Pittsburgh girl bleeds black and gold and
> knows how to have a great time.
> She's stylish and sweet. She has a great
> education and loves her friends and family.
> A Pittsburgh girl goes to church on Sunday
> hung over, only to be let out by the priest early
> because the Steelers kick off at one.
> A Pittsburgh girl might not live by
> the beach, but the Three Rivers are just as good!
> She has seen all four seasons and has
> a reason to love and hate each of them.
> She's the type of girl you can call late at
> night and spill your heart out to.
> She's the type you can take home to Mom and
> Dad without worrying they won't like her.
> Because everyone loves a Pittsburgh girl.
> If you need a girl to take to the game, she'll be there.
> If you need a friend to help you out, she's there.
> If you need a drinking buddy, she'll be there with her
> IC Light in hand.
> So let your Pittsburgh girl know you love her!
> You can take the girl out of Pittsburgh,
> but you can never take the Pittsburgh out of the girl!!!!!

> The Fun Prayer
> Our Father,
> Who Art in Pittsburgh ,
> Football Be Thy Game.
> The Kingdom Come,
> 5 Super Bowls Won,
> On Earth as it is in Heinz Field.
> Give us this Day a playoff Victory,
> And forgive us our penalties,
> As we defeat those who play against us.
> But lead us into a victory,
> And deliver us to Tampa !
> A-Ben


o.k. babies, TAH DAH...


Joseph-Beth in South Side (near Cheesecake Factory) next Thursday (Feb. 5) at 7 pm. This is the big one: a Carbolic reading and discussion. Please spread the word! And check out page 30 of February's Pittsburgh Magazine -- Carbolic is featured!!!!

if you get a chance, go see these guys and tell them that sherry said hi.
To You.

by Walt Whitman

STRANGER! if you, passing, meet me, and desire to speak to me, why should you
not speak to me?
And why should I not speak to you?

go, go quickly to 2 political junkies and sign the petition!

comcast is trying to take away our ZOMBIES!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

thanks, qd
there are guys here carrying blue sewer pipes over the hill. yeah!!!!

a little bit closer.

my little sweetie in the igloo she built with her daddy!
On Dragon Hill

by Li Po

Drunk on Dragon Hill tonight,
the banished immortal, Great White,

turns among yellow flowers,
his smile wide,

as his hat sails away on the wind
and he dances away in the moonlight.

busy busy

put ribs in the crockpot early early this morning,read me some blogs, read me some pk mail, did a load of laundry, cleaned the litter box(you would think they'd thank me! )

fed all of the feathered and the furry here, blanched some french green beans for later answered some mail, spoke with my mom on the phone and sent an e-mail to my uncle for her, 10:15 a.m. moving right along!
i put a handy little language translator down at the bottom!

hi there!

winter has returned full blast. going to snow and then, perhaps a little freezing rain mixed in mid -week. spring, please spring!!!

nothing much right now, just morning stuff.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

just hanging around doing nothing today.
one of those days.

the wind is clanging my wind chimes like crazy!

my flag with the children on it is tattered.

looks like i'll have to buy a different one come the nice weather.
wow, almost landed on my head this morning!
there are ice patches on the lawn that are a good 2 inches thick in spots.

of COURSE, that's were max headed!

but, all is well.

went out last night, had some dinner. stopped at the club for a little bit then home and vegged right out. spring can't come soon enough for me, and for most round here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

In January

by Ted Kooser

Only one cell in the frozen hive of night
is lit, or so it seems to us:
this Vietnamese café, with its oily light,
its odors whose colorful shapes are like flowers.
Laughter and talking, the tick of chopsticks.
Beyond the glass, the wintry city
creaks like an ancient wooden bridge.
A great wind rushes under all of us.
The bigger the window, the more it trembles.
i wish i had thought to get my camera this morning.

3 of my biggest crows were walking single file up my walk towards my front door.
they looked like a committee come to air grievances.

i guess i wasn't fast enough with their food this morning.
Statement of President Obama on the 36th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade(thanks 2pj)

On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded that this decision not only protects women's health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose.

While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make. To accomplish these goals, we must work to find common ground to expand access to affordable contraception, accurate health information, and preventative services.

On this anniversary, we must also recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons: the chance to attain a world-class education; to have fulfilling careers in any industry; to be treated fairly and paid equally for their work; and to have no limits on their dreams. That is what I want for women everywhere.

(pretty clear to me. i like it)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

friday-joke day, well it's almost friday!

(hi boag)


Celibacy can be a choice in life, or a condition
imposed by circumstances.

While attending a Marriage Weekend,
Walter and his wife Ann, listened to the instructor declare,
"It is essential that husbands and wives know the things
that are important to each other."

He addressed the men, "Can you name and describe your wife's
favorite flower?"

Walter leaned over, touched Ann's
arm gently and whispered, "Gold Medal-All-Purpose,
isn't it?"

And thus began Walter's life of

got this at cake wrecks.

it's cool.

and it made me hungry!

yes, today is pro-choice day!

(i enjoy this blog)

You simply can’t make this stuff up. Former French President Jacques Chirac was rushed to a hospital after being bitten by his white Maltese poodle, Sumo. Sumo has been under care for clinical depression, including treatment with anti-depressants.

Bernadette had no idea why the poodle attacked: “If you only knew! I had a dramatic day yesterday. Sumo bit my husband!”

Chirac is 76-year-old and was president of France for 12 years until 2007.

It does raise an interesting torts question. If a poodle is clinically depressed and unstable, does that qualify as know vicious propensities? Putting aside that the Chiracs are unlikely to sue themselves, the increasingly common diagnosis of animals with psychological problems raises a new dimension to the determination of when strict liability applies to a domesticated animal

if you have any questions on the white house agenda for various departments or interests, this is the place to go.

i've already signed up for regular updates.

just because we have a new administration it is no reason not to stay involved and aware.

tomorrow is NATIONAL PIE DAY!!!

Howard Stern Hires New “Stuttering John”

Posted using ShareThis

don't forget, the book is in bookstores or from their website!

thanks 2pj. i did watch this last night. i think we ALL need to take this in!

they spied on reporters.

Transcript (via mediabistro):
OLBERMANN: It has taken less than 24 hours after the Bush presidency ended for a former analyst at the National Security Agency to come forward to reveal new allegations about how this nation was spied on by its own government, exclusively here on COUNTDOWN.
Our third story tonight, Russell Tice has already stood up for truth before this evening as one source for the revelation in 2005 by the "New York Times" that President Bush was eavesdropping on American citizens without warrants. Tonight, the next chapter for Mr. Tice, a chapter he feared to reveal while George Bush occupied the Oval Office, that under the collar of fighting terrorism, the Bush administration was also targeting specific groups of Americans for surveillance, non-terrorist Americans if you will.

Mr. Tice prepared to name one of those groups tonight. The NSA was already estimated to have collected millions of transmissions, e-mails and phone calls of average Americans simply by patching into the networks of cooperative telecommunications companies. You will recall the infamous room 641A at the AT&T Folsom Street facility in San Francisco, in which the whole of AT&T's portion of the Internet was duplicated inside a room accessible only to the NSA.

Mr. Tice, however, was also involved in another program and told us that he was first directed to focus on these specific groups in order to weed them out from legitimate surveillance targets, but ultimately concluded that the weeding out was actually an internal NSA cover story for a real goal, which was simply spying on those Americans.

Initially, Mr. Bush told the nation all his surveillance was legal.


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Anytime you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires a -- a wiretap requires a court order.


OLBERMANN: After the "New York Times" revealed that to be a lie, Mr. Bush claimed his surveillance circumvented the constitutionally required process of obtaining a court-ordered warrant only in cases of clear links to terrorism.


BUSH: In the weeks following the terrorist attacks on our nation, I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations.

Before we intercept these communications, the government must have information that establishes a clear link to these terrorist networks.


OLBERMANN: Joining me now in his first public revelation of these charges is Russell Tice, former analyst with the National Security Agency. Thank you for your time, sir.

RUSSELL TICE, FORMER ANALYST, NSA: Thanks for having me.

OLBERMANN: Let's start with the review. We heard the remarks from Mr. Bush in 2005, that only Americans who would have been eavesdropped on without a warrant were those who were talking to terrorists overseas. Based on what you know, what you have seen firsthand and what you have encountered in your experience, how much of that statement was true?

TICE: Well, I don't know what our former president knew or didn't know. I'm sort of down in the weeds. But the National Security Agency had access to all Americans' communications, faxes, phone calls, and their computer communications. And that doesn't -- it didn't matter whether you were in Kansas, you know, in the middle of the country, and you never made a communication -- foreign communications at all. They monitored all communications.

OLBERMANN: To what degree is that likely to mean actual eavesdropping and actual inspection? In other words, if not actually read or monitored by the NSA, everything was collected by the NSA, recorded, archived? Do you have any idea to what degree the information was ever looked at, per se?

TICE: Well, it's actually, even for the NSA, it's impossible to literally collect all communications. Americans tend to be a chatty group. We have the best computers at the agency, but certainly not that good.

But what was done was a sort of an ability to look at the meta data, the signaling data for communications, and ferret that information to determine what communications would ultimately be collected. Basically, filtering out sort of like sweeping everything with that meta data, and then cutting down ultimately what you are going to look at and what is going to be collected, and in the long run have an analyst look at, you know, needles in a haystack for what might be of interest.

OLBERMANN: I mention that you say specific groups were targeted.
What group or groups can you tell us about?

TICE: Well, there's sort of two avenues to look at this. What I just mentioned was sort of the low-tech dragnet look at this. The things that I specifically were involved with were more on the high-tech side. And try to envision, you know, the dragnets are out there, collecting all the fish and then ferreting out what they may. And my technical angle was to try to harpoon fish from an airplane kind of thing. So it's two separate worlds.

But in the world that I was in, as to not harpoon the wrong people in some -- in one of the operations that I was in, we looked at organizations just supposedly so that we would not target them. So that we knew where they were, so as not to have a problem with them.

Now, what I was finding out, though, is that the collection on those organizations was 24/7, and you know, 365 days a year, and it made no sense. And that's -- I started to investigate that. That's about the time when they came after me, to fire me. But an organization that was collected on were U.S. news organizations and reporters and journalists.

OLBERMANN: To what purpose? I mean, is there a file somewhere full of every e-mail sent by all the reporters at the "New York Times?" Is there a recording somewhere of every conversation I had with my little nephew in upstate New York? Is it like that?

TICE: If it was involved in this specific avenue of collection, it would be everything. Yes. It would be everything.

OLBERMANN: Do you have a sense of why, as you discovered this? I mean, do you have a sense of what this was, if it was used, to what end?

TICE: I do not know. I do not know what was done with the collection. I'm sure the information -- the collection was digitized and put on databases somewhere. I don't know what was done with it from that point.

OLBERMANN: And this bait-and-switch sort of idea, that this -- this is the discard pile, we are not going to look at the media, and then it becomes apparent to you that the discard pile is in fact the save pile.
How did that become apparent to you?

TICE: Well, as I was going for support for this particular organization, it sort of was dropped to me that, you know, this is 24/7. Because I was saying, you know, I need collection at this time, at this point for, you know, for a window of time. And I would say, will we have the capability at this particular point? And positioning assets, and I was ultimately told we don't have to worry about that, because we've got it covered all the time. And that's when it clicked in my head, this is not something that's being done on a onesy basis, onesy-twosie. This is something that's happening all the time.

OLBERMANN: In a broad sense, and I imagine this question could be asked a hundred times with much more specificity, but what other kinds of information are you aware of that was collected by the NSA on ordinary Americans?

TICE: On ordinary Americans? I don't know. The parameters that were set for how to filter that -- now we are back to the low-tech side
-- were things like looking for parameters like if a terrorist normally would only make a phone call for one or two minutes, then you look for communications that are only one or two minutes long. Now, that also could be someone ordering a pizza and asking their significant other what sort of toppings that they wanted on their pizza. That is about a one- to two-minute phone call.

OLBERMANN: We mentioned this idea of bait-and-switch, of this is the discard, no, it's not; this is actually the target. Can you explain the maneuver, another sort of bait-and-switch that was worked with the congressional committees that would have had to be asking questions about stuff exactly like this?

TICE: Well, the agency would tailor some of their briefings to try to be deceptive for -- whether it be, you know, a congressional committee or someone they really didn't want to know exactly what was going on. So there would be a lot of bells and whistles in a briefing, and quite often, you know, the meat of the briefing was deceptive.

One of the things that could be done was you could take something that was part of the Department of Defense, make it part of the intelligence community, and put a caveat to that, and make that whatever the intelligence community is doing for support will ultimately be given a different caveat. So when the defense committees on the Hill come calling, you say, you can't look at that because that's an intelligence program.


TICE: But when the intelligence program comes calling, you say you can't look at that because it is a Department of Defense program.


TICE: So you basically have a little shell game that you are playing back and forth.

OLBERMANN: It's brilliant in its simplicity. It's wonderful in its simplicity in a different context.

Last question here, what happens now? Can the Obama administration stop this? That is the first part. And, secondly, has anybody from the Obama administration been in touch with you about this?

TICE: No. Well, I've been in touch with -- basically, I volunteered for the Obama administration to act as a, you know, if they needed a consultant for intelligence. And this was last February. And they said they knew who I was, you know, my background with the agency, but they never really utilized me. I helped out as a volunteer yesterday in the inauguration, but certainly not in that capacity.


TICE: So, you know, I even said I would go on camera for them if they wanted a commercial, but they really didn't utilize that.

But I did send a letter to -- I think it's Mr. Brennan -- a handwritten letter, because I knew all my communications were tapped -- my phones, my computer, and I have had the FBI on me sort of like flies on you know what. And so I made sure it was handwritten. And I'm assuming that he gave the note to our current president, that I intended to say a little bit more than I had in the past.

OLBERMANN: And you have done that. I think, if it's all right with you, I think we are going to have to do another interview tomorrow.

TICE: Certainly.

OLBERMANN: There is much -- there are only about twice as many questions left.

Russell Tice, former NSA intelligence analyst. It sounds corny, thank you for doing this for the country.

TICE: Well, you know, I raised my hand, just like the president, and my oath was to support and defend the Constitution, not a director of an agency, not a classification on a piece of paper, but ultimately the Constitution. And these things were against the law that were happening. So I was just doing my job, really.

OLBERMANN: Well, yes, but doing your job sometimes earns you the lapel pin, the flag pin. Thank you, sir.

TICE: Thank you.
Labels: NSA Domestic Surveillance
whoo hooo. going to be average temps today!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rush Limbaugh is not mincing words and showing the real face of Conservative ideals as he announces that he wants Barack Obama to fail. He is the worldwide voice of Conservatism, so the Republican party has just gotten its marching orders. I dare any Republican to defy him.

What this means, of course, is that he hopes the economy crashes into a full-blown depression. His multimillion-dollar salary is safe, obviously, so to hell with the nation and its economy if the cost of saving the country is being guided by a Democratic President.

Limbaugh: I'm happy to be the last man standing. I'm honored to be the last man standing. Yeah, I'm the true maverick. I can do more than four words. I could say I hope he fails and I could do a brief explanation of why. You know, I want to win. If my party doesn't, I do. If my party has sacrificed the whole concept of victory, sorry, I'm now the Republican in name only, and they are the sellouts.

I'm serious about this. Why in the world, it's what Ann Coulter was talking about, the tyranny of the majority, all these victims here, we gotta make sure the victims are finally assuaged. Well, the dirty little secret is this isn't going to assuage anybody's victim status, and the race industry isn't going to go away, and the fact that America's original sin of slavery is going to be absolved, it's not going to happen. Just isn't, folks. It's too big a business for the left to keep all those things alive that divide the people of this country into groups that are against each other. Yes, I'm fired up about this...

from c&l(video there)

NOW,can some people just admit that the radical neocon right does NOT care about anyone or anything but themselves and their egos and agendas!!!!

passing this on for anyone from that area:

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic disorder that causes tumors that grow on nerve tissue producing skin and bone abnormalities. It also causes learning disabilities, headaches, seizures, high blood pressure, scoliosis, hearing loss and cancer.

5-year-old Gracie Hanlon has NF as do over 100,000 Americans.

Come join us for the 2nd Annual Fundraiser for NF

Place: Yesterday's

Address: 70 Main Ave, Clifton, NJ 07014

Date: February 21, 2009

Time: 1:00-5:00 pm

The donation is $25.00 per person. Please make checks payable to NF Inc. Include in the memo-Run4NF.

The donation includes food, soda, domestic tap beer, DJ, 50/50, raffles and a silent auction.

Mail checks to:

Jackie Hanlon 21 Forest Ave., Nutley, NJ 07110

Please indicate the number that will attend.

If you cannot attend, we would appreciate it if you could donate to the cause.

If you ever have the opportunity to meet “Princess” Gracie, she will melt your heart. I know she has melted ours.

Thank you and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Jackie & Mark Hanlon

21 Forest Ave.

Nutley, NJ 07110


Please return with donation no later than 2/14/09.


Name: -----------------------------------------

Address: -----------------------------------------

Tel #: -----------------------------------------

E-Mail: -----------------------------------------

# attending: -----------------------------------------

and i'm proof!


(i found this poem for today and dedicate it to blue gal)


I didn’t get much sleep last night
thinking about underwear
Have you ever stopped to consider
underwear in the abstract
When you really dig into it
some shocking problems are raised
Underwear is something we all have to deal with
Everyone wears
some kind of underwear
Even Indians wear underwear
Even Cubans
wear underwear
The Pope wears underwear I hope
The Governor of Louisiana wears underwear
I saw him on TV
He must have had tight underwear
He squirmed a lot
Underwear can really get you in a bind
You have seen the underwear ads for men and women
so alike but so different
Women’s underwear holds things up
Men’s underwear holds things down
Underwear is one thing
men and women do have in common
Underwear is all we have between us
You have seen the three-color pictures
with crotches encircled
to show the areas of extra strength
with three-way stretch
promising full freedom of action
Don’t be deceived
It’s all based on the two-party system
which doesn’t allow much freedom of choice
the way things are set up
America in its Underwear
struggles thru the night
Underwear controls everything in the end
Take foundation garments for instance
They are really fascist forms
of underground government
making people believe
something but the truth
telling you what you can of can’t do
Did you ever try to get around a girdle
Perhaps Non-Violent Action
is the only answer
Did Gandhi wear a girdle?
Did Lady Macbeth wear a girdle?
Was that why Macbeth murdered sleep?

And the spot she was always rubbing -
Was it really her underwear?
Modern anglosaxon ladies
must have huge guilt complexes
always washing and washing and washing
Out damned spot
Underwear with spots very suspicious
Underwear with bulges very shocking
Underwear on clothesline a great flag of freedom
Someone has escaped his Underwear
May be naked somewhere
But don’t worry
Everybody’s still hung up in it
There won’t be no real revolution
And poetry still the underwear of the soul
And underwear still covering
a multitude of faults

in the geological sense -
strange sedimentary stones, inscrutable cracks!
If I were you I’d keep aside
an oversize pair of winter underwear
Do not go naked into that good night
And in the meantime
keep calm and warm and dry
No use stirring ourselves up prematurely
‘over Nothing’
Move forward with dignity
hand in vest
Don’t get emotional
And death shall have no dominion
There’s plenty of time my darling
Are we not still young and easy?
Don’t shout.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

my daughter's old college sweatshirt!

hey, 82 different countries so far since i started keeping track!


Newest Flag

Russian Federation
Visited January 20, 2009
making myself some chicken soup for lunch. it is one of those rare blue sky days.
it looks much warmer than it is.
I, Too, Sing America

by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

i've posted this more than once because i love the poem and i am a fan of hughes.

he was a gifted poet. i recommend reading his works.

from quaker dave!

a man hole sitting in my backyard. tracks of deer and squirrels and bunnies and 1 of my chubby squirrels in an oak waiting for more food!

it's a new day!!!!!


heading in for a shower soon.