April 04, 2005

Little Things That Mean So Much

I just got back from meeting my husband for lunch. Usually, we can't do this, but today we could because he's taking the afternoon off to help his parents finish the move into their new house.

We went to Wendy's, and only questioned our wisdom once the food was in front of us. After all, Wendy's recently became a member of the Horror Story Food Club; nevertheless, we agreed that the poor woman who found the appendage is probably set for life.

Which thought begs the question: should I institute a salute of sorts for folks who go out for fast food? Something in the spirit of "break a leg" or "merde"? From now on, I think I'll say, "Hope you find a finger!"

OK, that was in REALLY bad taste.

Abrupt segue:

I spent the weekend thinking about things, noting the passage of Pope John Paul II with sadness. It is true that I am a follower of the Gods of the Grove, but I respected the Pope as a man who had examined his own convictions, and stood by them unwaveringly. I admired him for his great integrity, serenity, and strength.

He was a Lion of the Church. Rest in Peace, Father.

Otherwise, I minded The Bean while my husband helped his parents move into their new house. My Father-in-Law is still aphasic, and his right arm is still very weak. However, he is walking much better on his own. I have no trouble understanding him, and wasted only a few minutes directing anger toward those moral deficients among us who would argue that his life is probably no longer worth living. Deciding that I had better things to do at the moment, I followed my daughter outside to play.

Nothing clears the mind like digging in the dirt, which allows the natural flow of nature to carry your concerns away. I wasn't planting anything at this point so much as joining my daughter while she played in the sandbox with absolute glee. I watched her and watched my Father-in-Law, and thought about things.

I thought of all the things I'd like to accomplish in the short term -- like laundry, and planting a few trees in the back yard, and then I thought of things I'd like to accomplish in the long-term -- like advocating for the rights of the voiceless disabled, to mention only one thing.

My friend, David at Ripples once paid me a high compliment when he noted that I have a passion for justice. He's right. I know what's right and what's wrong, and whereas some would argue that I'm setting myself up for a lifetime of disappointment by fighting for fairness, I still cannot mutely sit by and apathetically allow events to unfold without somehow trying to shape them in favor of freedom and justice.

From experience, I know that activism is hard, unyielding and exhausting work, but the horrific and tragic case of Terri Schiavo cannot be allowed to happen again. In cases where we are not ABSOLUTELY sure of the patient's real wishes, we MUST err on the side of life, and obstructionist concrete types like Judges Greer and Whittemore must learn that even they are accountable.

Social change comes about by the Will of the People, for the People, is passed into legislation by Congress, and is upheld by the Courts.

Legislators and lawgivers will do well to remember that in the days and months ahead.

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posted by Linda at 08:02 PM : Comments (9)

January 21, 2005

I Saw My Hawk.

I'm on my way back to blogging. I've been working through some grief. My FIL is home, now, recovering. The stroke was rather severe. I shall reserve more detail out of respect for family privacy.

To answer my good friend, Briar, I have been taking care of myself. I forgot to mention the quilt I've started (almost four years married, and I'm only just getting to our marriage quilt), re-organized sewing room, and new forays into original fiction when we talked the other night. I also forgot to mentions S.'s new easel, which he built from plans he found on the internet, and I also forgot to mention that he's working in pastels again, and is eyeing his oils. I also spotted him reviewing a synopsis he wrote for an original work of his own. (Honey? I'm still waiting for a first chapter. It's been too long since I got to read anything you write. I know that the muse is touchy, so I don't want to seem too pushy. But I'm ready to read whenever you're ready to write.)

In answer to my other good girlfriend, Ethne, things are getting better. I have been missing blogging. The S. and The Bean send love right back atcha. And hang in there, doll. I know things aren't easy for you right now, with so many people in yor family going through various illnesses. You be sure to take care of you, too, 'kay? You know where I am if you want to vent about anything. Burdens shared are burdens lightened, right?

You should know that I saw my hawk this morning. I haven't seen him for a year, but he was back on that power pole, right where I used to see him, as I drove to work this morning. I choose to look at his appearance as a omen of positive change in my fortunes. Seeing him awarded me both a pang and a sense of relief. It was a very odd sensation, but it still left me smiling. (Wobbly smile? Tears? Those weren't tears. They were... Shaddup, you!)

I can't say when I'll post more than sporadic updates, for (as I mentioned) that fickle bitch of a muse has me by the throat these days. I have to write in accordance with the inspiraton she provides while she's around.

Thanks for your patience. Just so you know, I am (at the very least) muttering calumny at the computer screen when I read about the various temper tantrums and idiocy of the Left at home, and abroad. I actually had an exchange with a rabid Liberal here at work, yesterday. She was moaning and whining about how she was boycotting TV for the next couple of days so that she wouldn't be "tainted" by any Inauguration coverage. I looked at her and said, "So you think that if you don't see it in TV, then it doesn't happen for real? Wow."

She didn't know what to say. I walked away whistling Dixie.

See you soon.


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posted by Linda at 05:10 PM : Comments (1)

November 26, 2004

Rest Ye Sweetly

I got The Call last night, the one I've been expecting for oh, a number of years. My grandfather, aged 96, has shuffled off this mortal coil. I have no doubt that he flew straight to my grandmother's waiting arms.

I cannot cry.

His passage represents such a huge chunk of history. He immigrated to America as a boy, and settled with his parents around what is now Temple, Texas. He joined the Marines and fought in WWII. He fell in love with my grandmother while on leave. Her family's farm wasn't that far from his. She took a train, all alone, to New Jersey to marry him beore he took off on deployment. I still have that lovely navy-blue and white dress she wed him in.

He came home and made a career with the Marines. My father grew up around Quantico. I will never know if my grandfather was disappointed when my father joined the Navy.

After leaving the Marines, he worked for places like GE and Teledyne. I learned a couple of years ago that my grandfather actually etched tiles for the first space shuttle.

He took care of me for nigh two years while my father had to go elsewhere for his job. Grandpa and my grandmother used to argue in Czech so that I wouldn't understand what they were saying. He built me a treehouse in a huge pecan tree in his backyard. The tree, and the house, fell down only five years ago.

I still can't cry.

He was a good man, a stern father, and a doting grandfather. He called me his princess.

We have no money with which to go to his funeral. We're too broke for that. I feel a lot of ways about that, which I won't go into here lest this post dissolve into a whine of some sort.

My father called on his cell phone last night, and spoke for only a couple of minutes with my husband. His regular phone service is knocked out, thanks to storms, until at least tomorrow. He was out of minutes on his pay-as-you-go cell, and has to purchase some more. He just told S. to tell me that my grandfather passed around 7:00 a.m., Thanksgiving Day, and went peacefully in his sleep.

OK, now I'm crying. Goodbye, Grandpa.

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posted by Linda at 02:50 PM : Comments (5)

November 16, 2004

'Tis the season

I have my annual urge to mosey on down to Hobby Lobby and pick up stuff to do a cross stitch.

I don't know why. Every November I get visions of sitting down in the evenings to do needlework.

But first, I'd better finish hemming those dishtowels that Little Miss is giving for Yuletide.

That's all I have for now.

As you were.

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posted by Linda at 04:17 PM : Comments (3)

October 20, 2004

Back. Kind of.

Well, I wound up working through lunch on Monday and Tuesday, which means that I didn't vote until today.

I love living in Northern Colorado. I got there, and although there was a steady stream of voters arriving and leaving, I was in and out within twenty minutes. There wasn't a single protestor in sight. I saw no evidence whatsoever of any sort of voter intimidation. (You hear that, Kerry/Edwards? NOT ONE SOUL blocked my way or made me feel uncomfortable in any way, shape, or form.) The ballot was clear, and easy to understand. Privacy was quite adequate. The volunteers manning the polling place were efficient, courteous, and kind. There was no evidence of any sort of partisanship.

Of course I won't tell you exactly how I voted. I will say that I took Heinlein's advice and voted for the lesser necessary evil when appropriate, and I certainly voted with this country's future in mind. I voted for the long-term. I voted for my daughter's future. I voted for liberty, responsibility, and sovereignty.

In other news, it's nice to be able to breathe freely again. The bronchitis knocked me down pretty hard. Once the doctor got me on an inhaler, I really started to improve. (But I don't have asthma! Go figure.) Today, I feel almost like my usual self. I'm still rather tired. Once the Little Miss goes to bed, I'm pretty much ready to follow her. Just give me time. I'll be back on my feet soon.

Sadly, my husband is still ill. We've tried a lot of things, but nothing seems to be helping that deep, racking cough. It's disturbing his sleep. He's been on antibiotics, cough syrup with codeine, an inhaler, and guaifenesin. The only thing that seems to help, oddly, is DayQuil. It looks like we're just going to have to ride this one out, but I really hope he feels better soon. I'm worried about him. The upside is that we've quit smoking. (Sometimes the Goddess applies Her hints with a baseball bat. We took the "suggestion", as gracefully as we could: wincing and rubbing our heads.) Also, the vector of this illness, The Miss, is improving with antibiotics. Her cough is actually productive, and she woke up laughing this morning.

Enough nasty health news. I just felt that those of you who visit regularly deserve to know just why I crawled into my cave for so long. I'll try to get better about updating this blog, really.

In good news, not only do I have the Toys For Tots drive ready to go, I also got Operation Give added to the list of charities supported by my company. The Corporation will match every $25 contributed by employees, and I've been shameless about plugging the organization to my coworkers. Hopefully, we can get a steady flow of donations coming in to this worthy charity. That way, other children like Tabby can get help in a timely fashion. (More good news! She's on her way, and her father is coming, too! Please help if you can, folks!!)

I'd like to mention some other good news, but I have not been given permission to do so. All I can do at this point is make an oblique reference to it, and grin foolishly. (I'm so happy for you, darlin'! I. Am. So. Happy. For. You.)

With that, I'm off. I have been watching the news lately, and I do have some thoughts about current events. I'm just disinclined to rant and rave at the moment.

But I will provide invective before long. Watch this space.

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posted by Linda at 09:57 PM : Comments (1)

August 27, 2004

Have a good weekend!

And Happy Birthday to me! I'm...officially hitting...um, None of Your Business!

Ignore the silver nesting in my flaming mane! Celebrate my laugh lines, dammit, or I will beat the living...

Erg, sorry.


I won't be pub crawling. I don't like hangovers. But my husband arranged for The Miss to have a slumber party at Gramma's tonight, and has promised me a jaunt to Our Bar, as well as supper somewhere.

So, I'm starting my weekend a little early, with no other posting from me, today. I had lots I wanted to say, especially about Israel's first gold medal! Congratulations!!

(But, I have a leech that I can't get rid of, even though the problem does not reside in the hardware I support. This means that I have to focus on him, instead of something I enjoy. Jerk.)

In the meantime, be safe, take care of each other, and have a great weekend.

Gal Fridman, HaTikvah!

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posted by Linda at 09:35 PM : Comments (5)

August 25, 2004

Childhood gently knocks

It's kind of neat when something from your childhood visits.

I was born in Texas. I have family all over the place. In the summer, we used to go out to visit an aunt with a house on the river in New Braunfels. We'd float down the river in inner tubes.

I just took a call from a customer in New Braunfels.

All of a sudden, I can smell it again, and I wish to gods I was on the river right now, instead of cooped up in the office.

I love Colorado. It'd take a lot of hard talking to get me to move back to Texas after seeing places like this, and Alaska, and Oregon, and Tennessee, and all the other places I've been.

But sometimes I really miss it, you know? I miss the people, and the soft accents, and the unique practicality, and the fact that -- with the exception of my husband -- Texas may be one of the last places in the US where a man will take off his hat when he goes indoors, and blandly hold doors for ladies and feminists alike.

Not to mention that's it's practically illegal to not be armed down there. :)

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posted by Linda at 07:09 PM : Comments (1)

August 19, 2004

My New Song

I've been listening to The Eagles. I got "The Very Best Of..." as an early birthday present.

It's been a long time since I first heard it, but this song brings a smile to my lips.

It's my new anthem.

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posted by Linda at 08:08 PM : Comments (0)

August 16, 2004

Interview: Phase 1

I was invited to interview. Phase 1 is written. I can't talk about the content of the questions, or of the answers that I gave, but I can say that I was honest, and tried to keep an eye on my career needs, as well as the needs of the business.

I hope it isn't detrimental to return the questionnaire on the self-same day I received it. It's just that I've been thinking about a lot of that stuff for some time already.

This was my time to shine. Let's just hope that I do so well at the face-to-face interviews.

[crossed fingers / open network textbook]

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posted by Linda at 10:00 PM : Comments (0)

August 02, 2004

True Friends

I have some really good friends.

Ethne sent us a care package filled with goodies like baklava and caramel brownies. She also included a Yankee jar candle (yummy spicy harvest smell: must...decorate...for...Samhain.), and a cuddly chenille teddy bear for The Miss. (Who loves it -- just loves it. Baby Girl, meet Ted E. Bear.)

We've been binging on sweets all weekend long, singing her praises.

The other friend (we'll call her 'Mistlifter') got me an early Birthday present. It's a tinker toy catapult for my desk.

It works.

My reign of terror has begun.
[cue evil laughter]

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posted by Linda at 04:58 PM : Comments (1)

July 21, 2004


I was on the road this morning when, all unbidden, the memory of my daughter's birth flashed in front of me.

I simultaneously smiled and wept.

I'd looked forward to her birth, as much to met her as to prove my own feminine strength by experiencing labor. I knew I could do it. I knew that I wouldn't need drugs. I was absolutely certain that during labor, I would be able to reach down deep, into the lodge of my soul, to grunt, push, scream, and bring life into this world in turbulent beauty.

Her official due date was December the 10th. We went in for a checkup that day. I'd had some false starts at labor, but I wasn't showing any sign of going soon. The checkup showed that I'd gone from 50% effacement to only about 10%. My midwife couldn't swear that she felt the Little Miss' head in my pelvis.

Long story short, the fabulous Wee Bean was breech. The Ob/Gyn and midwife tried external version, but at 40 weeks gestation, and with a nigh nine pound baby in there...the Miss didn't budge.

She was delivered by Cesarean the next day, and I don't think I've ever cried so hard in my entire life. Don't misunderstand me -- the wait was over, and I finally got to hold her, (AT LAST!) but I was disappointed to be denied the Goddess' challenge. Also, my worst fear was realized -- I was doped up when she was delivered. I'd never wanted that. I wanted to greet her clear-eyed and centered.

What's more, I never labored, so my milk never really got started. Sure, I was on Pitocin after the C-section to shrink my uterus, but something never clicked. At the height of my production, it would take two days to produce four ounces of breast milk. She went on formula almost immediately while I took herbs like brewer's yeast, and faithfully pumped every two hours. Without going into the dreary details, I tried everything. My lactation consultant was at a loss as well. I just wasn't producing milk, which just added insult to the surgical scar.

Really, it wasn't my fault that my baby was breech. That wasn't anything I'd done. However, the inability to feed her with my own body did feel like a betrayal. Then, when she developed reflux-related colic, I blamed myself, thinking that maybe she wouldn't have to go through that if I'd just been able to breastfeed her.

That was grief and joy comingled. My joy was her. My maternal joy is absolutely and forevermore in the delight I take in my daughter, and how she has grown from a fussy, colicy infant to a brilliant, chirpy, vital and interested toddler. My joy is in the way my marriage has grown and changed over the last nineteen months and how, even through some relatively dark days, we've both been too committed to our love for each other to do anything other than work it out and shoulder on, hand in hand.

My joy is in my man, and how he has become such a confident and good-humored father. He loves me. It may be that no man has never loved a woman as much as he loves me. I am not sure he can ever know how much I love, admire, and respect him.

But the inability to breastfeed was a little death for me.

Speaking of death, my grandfather's fading has not been serene. He has lingered for years now, suffering stroke after stroke, so dissolved by multi-infarc dementia that he no longer even remembers my grandmother -- the woman who, in life, was his sole passion.

It's tragic. He swiftly approaches his century. When I stop to consider everything this man has seen, and everything he has encompassed...it boggles the mind. He saw WWI. He fought in WWII. He served stateside, an engineer, and in the Marine Corps, during Korea, and sent his only child to Viet Nam. He immigrated to America in his boyhood. He loved and served this land because he chose to. He never once took Liberty for granted. He knew all to well what the other side was like.

After my father's divorce from my birth mother, I lived with my grandparents for a year or two. My grandfather was wise, witty, funny. He could do anything with his hands. He built me a treehouse that fell down only five years ago. Somewhere in storage, I still have the doll cradle and chest he made for me. I was always his "Princess". He used to draw me into his lap and tell me stories. Honest to Gods, I thought the assassination of Austria-Hungary's Prince Franz Ferdinand was just a sad fairy story until I got to third grade and started studying history for real.

All the moments of his life are washing away, one grain at a time, with his impending passing. Once he is gone, those pearls will only live on because his children remember the lessons he taught. It is a hard going -- he doesn't let go easily. But then, 'tenacity' describes my family's personality well.

But it is through him that I am here, and The Miss.

Some people pithily say that we begin dying the minute we're born. If this is so, then his long, fruitful dying has inexorably led to my daughter's life.

Life/death. It's all a cycle. Like the seasons. And what goes out does return. That which was, shall be again. We just have to gather the pearls of memory together, and keep them in trust for the next generation.

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posted by Linda at 06:06 PM : Comments (2)

July 16, 2004



Tomorrow is my blogoversary.

I started out on blogspot. In October, the Munuvians asked me to come and play, and by Christmas I was setting up shop on MuNu. Before that, I maintained a public journal on Diary-X (it's long gone; all the entries are backed up and saved for my viewing pleasure, alone). All-in-all, I've been a web presence for about four years.

But this is the anniversary of my first year as a "blogger".

I know that written content from me has been sparse and lacking a lot of depth since January. There are lots of reasons for that, the largest of which is that thing we call Life. I'm a mother, you know. I'm also a wife and a domestic (wannabe) goddess. I'm also a full-time employee for one of those technology giants. I have other hobbies.

I also realize that there are lots of other people out there who are tons better at punditry than I. I link to them all the time.

I haven't the time or energy to be big dogs like the bloggers I admire.

Writers are told to write what they know. I know a lot about being a mother and a wife. I'm a Pagan. I'm a writer, a seamstress, a quilter, and a gamer grrl. I know what it means to be an American, and I'm damned proud to call this country my home.

For the next while, I will not have time to update every day. But when I do write, my posts will run the gamut of different subjects.

As a result, I'll probably lose a few readers who come here for political commentary. But also hope that I'll gain a few more who like to see a more -- dare I say the word -- diverse blog.

In the meantime, Loren has finally decided to go ahead with his own site, which will be very cool. I'll help him get set up, hopefully with a little direction from my friend, The Bartender, and we'll move all his posts over there with trackback links so folks can find him.

But tomorrow is my blogoversary, which I am celebrating today. Yay me!

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posted by Linda at 08:14 PM : Comments (2)

July 07, 2004


My parents still live in Texas. Yesterday afternoon, their place was broken into. The thieves took the televisions, several of my father's firearms, his Nikon camera with all accessories, and several other miscellaneous things. The neighbors were away for the most part. One gentleman, whose house is to the back and side of my parents', says that he heard hammering, but since Dad does a lot of construction, he didn't think anything of it. To quote my mom, "They're thinking about it now!"

Keep in mind, however, that my father is both a veteran and a gunsmith. He has tools stashed in places that most people would never think to look. So fortunately, he isn't completely defanged. Also being an intelligent human being who believes in planning for the worst so you're delighted when the best occurs, he had a complete list of his firearms' serial numbers. The police are distributing the data to gun stores and pawn shops in the area so if anyone tries to pass them off, they come up flagged.

The sons of bitches who did this need to pay. I'm too far away to do much, but I just did something that might help ensure that their fate wings more quickly to their hearths. Between that and the efforts of the police, joined with the vigilance of shopkeepers in Central Texas, I'm feeling hopeful that my Dad might get a few of the guns back. (If anyone wants to write something discouraging about them getting seized/impounded, or never showing up -- just save it. I don't want to hear it, and I sure as hell am not interested in defeatism. Good things do happen by a mix of focused visualization and focused action.)

The thieves are fucked. Don't mess with my family.

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posted by Linda at 04:14 PM : Comments (2)

June 24, 2004

Away from Blog Greeting: On

I'll be back next Thursday. The babysitter went on holiday, which means that I get one too. I get to be with my Little Miss for a whole week. Oh yeah -- I'm crushed. Can't you tell?

Anyway, in the interim, cruise the sidebar for links to any number of incredible blogs. Each and every one has something to offer. I especially highly recommend my good friend, David, over at Ripples. He's in the midst of a series of posts about microbusinesses that are both instructive and inspirational.

See ya in a week.

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posted by Linda at 10:26 PM : Comments (0)

June 21, 2004

Three Years, Today.

Three years today, my love.

It rained that day, as it rains now. We took our vows on the Mountain, in the sacred circle, with those we loved best nearby. "Flesh of my flesh/Bone of my bone/I here, thou there/And both as One, forever."

I took sprigs of rosemary from my bouquet, and tossed them as offering to the spirits who presided.

Nine months later, I told you that I carried your child under my heart. Nine months after that, you were there when they pulled her from my womb, and you were the one who held her first. Eighteen months later, and the Wheel has turned yet again to this, our anniversary.

You are my rock, my shield, my lover and my priest. You are my best friend, and everything I want, everything I need, is manifest in you.

I love you.

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posted by Linda at 07:32 PM : Comments (2)

June 08, 2004

No post by Linda (except this)

I won't be able to blog for the next few days, folks. If you could see my desk, you would understand why.

Once I get these problems sorted away, I will be back. In the meantime, please enjoy Loren's posts and commentary.

[sinking in the back row]

WAIT! While you're missing me, go see this presentation, delivered in their own words.

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posted by Linda at 05:26 PM : Comments (0)

June 01, 2004

Matrifascism: Subversion by a Sisterhood of Apocalyptic Hatred

by Loren Bliss

PROBABLY THE MOST thought provoking comment I have ever received in response to something I wrote – and this includes all the reports and commentaries I produced during my 30-year journalism career – was posted on this site sometime Sunday by blogger David St Lawrence. It is available in the readers’ remarks following “None Dare Call It Feminism” (below). But for the sake of convenience, suffice it to note that David was responding to my description of the utterly unfounded, viciously ruinous sex-abuse charges that swept across America during the 1980s and 1990s, and more specifically to the fact this devastating plague was vindictively spawned by matrifascist bureaucrats in service to specific matrifascist doctrines. The epicentral passages of David’s letter are quoted here:

These women seem like the spiritual descendants of the Harpies of Greek mythology.

Since every action generates mutual action before it arouses an eventual counter-action, what other monsters of history will arise before we see another generation of heroes and heroines drive them back into the darkness?

Armageddon anyone?

Again for the convenience of readers, here is a slight revision of my reply (itself available in the comments following “None Dare...”) which is repeated here as the beginning of a much-enlarged response:

Very perceptive, David. I knew a few of these hatred-spewing neo-Harpies personally during my New York City years, and there was indeed a seeming aura of psychic darkness around them -- an observation one would hardly dare verbalize in haughtily secular Manhattan, but which in realms more spiritually aware would at the very least be recognized as a valid concern.

To me, however, the most frightening element of all is simultaneously more karmically indicative and more mundane: the utterly black kinship matrifascism shares with genuine N.S.D.A.P. (National Socialist German Workers' Party) Nazism -- a kinship spawned of the fact both ideologies are founded entirely on hatred.

That the Nazis' hate-objects were specifically defined by ethnicity or race, while the matrifascists despise the entire male half of humanity, suggests to me the matrifascist potential for ultimate evil is thus many times greater. The Nazis' hatred begot a World War and the most murderous genocide in human history. What then will matrifascist hatred beget?

The notion of matrifascism as a causative factor in Armageddon is one that had frankly escaped me -- and its ring of truth is utterly chilling.

To my knowledge, no other writer has explored -- even superficially -- the doctrinal similarities between formal Mein Kampf Nazism and the brand of feminism that began to emerge in the United States during the middle 1970s. While Grace Shinell was merely one voice among many – and hardly more readable than the turgid “English-grammar-is-patriarchal-oppression” feminist norm – Shinell’s work came to my attention because it was included in an issue of the Heresies Quarterly (Summer 1978; Google: “Heresies Collective”). This expensively produced hardbound volume was officially dedicated to the topic of “the Great Goddess” and hence was (presumably) valuable source material in my then-ongoing research for the lost book “Glimpses of a Pale Dancer,” the manuscript, photographs and notes for which were all destroyed by fire in 1983. In any case, it was after reading Shinell in June of 1978 that I compounded the noun “femiNazi” – though it was probably one of those constructions that occurred to many writers simultaneously. I then employed the term several times in my journal, and first used it publicly in a newspaper column later in 1978 or perhaps in 1979. A number of years afterward – as femiNazi became de-Nazified by overuse – I substituted “matrifascist,” which I think is far more descriptive (See “None Dare....”) but obviously has yet to catch on.

My copy of Heresies was burned to ashes, but because of the curious randomness of the fire damage, I lost only about two thirds of the year-by-year journal I had begun keeping in 1955, this during a part of my 15th summer spent in the woods of northern Michigan. Many of my post-1970 journals survived the fire entirely, and were later discovered – damp and charred around the edges – beneath the rubble of the collapsed two-story house. Even now, after 21 years, they still reek of the conflagration. The following is an excerpt from my 1978 journal, revised slightly to tighten up the writing, the quotations after the title-citation directly from Shinell’s text:

Shinell begins “Women’s Primacy in the Coming Reformation” by recounting scientific evidence allegedly supporting the notion the male gender is intrinsically inferior, and concludes by urging that science and “magic” be combined to abolish the male gender all together, presumably so that males can fulfill a secret desire of being reincarnated as women. Shinell also contends that “an entirely natural fear of extinction” leads men to commit what she considers the ultimate sacrilege, “destruction of creation,” by which she means war, ecological abuse and all the other ills for which feminism blames the male gender. “Sperm banking and cloning experiments,” Shinell argues, “demonstrate that the reduction and even the extinction of the male sex is practicable – and history makes it warrantable.” In other words, here is the rationale for the feminists’ final solution: employing, once again, precisely the methods pioneered by Heinrich Himmler.

The next paragraph – especially given matrifascism’s present-day glorification of women who kill – was truly prophetic:

Shinell is an extremist among extremists, a true femiNazi, and fortunately her ideological sisters seem predisposed to be more tolerant. But that is no guarantee they will always be so. In just a decade, feminism has moved from the outskirts to the mainstream of Western Civilization, and Shinell’s is merely the logical product of the female rage and scorn that have been released and mobilized in the process. To accommodate the genocidal ethos Shinell has proposed, feminist slogans (“All Men Are Rapists/All Women Are Victims”) need not be revised at all – and the feminist notion that “the personal is political” could easily be used to elevate to the status of holy revolutionary every woman who has ever murdered her father, husband, lover or son. Had Elisabeth Bathory’s uncounted victims been male instead of female, this blood-drinking Hungarian countess would no doubt already rank among the femiNazi saints.

Feminism’s doctrinal turn toward wholesale state-sanctioned slaughter would be alarming enough if feminism were but one in a broad spectrum of leftist ideologies. But the fact of the matter – something else few writers dare acknowledge – is that since the early 1970s, the matrifascist strain of feminism has been steadily ousting Marxism as the dominant ideology of the American Left. By the mid-1980s, matrifascism had triumphed: its demands for political “correctness” and enforcement of various victim-identity shibboleths (including the moronic mandate to “celebrate diversity”) would become oppressive, zero-tolerance norms on campus, in the workplace and even in the military. Indeed, it would not be unfair to describe the college-campus and workforce cults of political “correctness” as the feminist-movement’s men’s auxiliaries – membership in which is an absolute prerequisite to sexual license – as far too many apprentice, college and military-age males clearly understand and are driven by hormonal needs to accept without question. The young male’s fear of involuntary celibacy is a powerful goad to compliance, and leftist exploitation of it is an old story -- note the anti-draft (and thus pro-Viet Cong) poster from the late 1960s: Joan Baez and her two sisters in sluttish pose and slatternly attire beneath the banner headline, “Girls Say Yes to Boys Who Say No.”

Moreover publication of Shinell’s work in the Heresies quarterly gave its murderous viewpoint the very imprimatur a decade-earlier version – by Andy Warhol’s infamous assailant Valerie Solanis – had most assuredly lacked. Solanis, though she has become a present-day matrifascist heroine, was a certified lunatic who in 1968 tried to murder Warhol with a stolen .25 caliber automatic she evidently bought from some junky acquaintance. Before the shooting, Solanis had written a diatribe entitled “SCUM Manifesto” – “SCUM” an acronym for “Society for Cutting Up Men” – from which the ideas in “Women’s Primacy” were obviously derived, and which has since become one of the dark gospels of matrifascism. But Solanis was essentially a street-person, a grubby hanger-on at Warhol’s studio, while Shinell was a creature of the New York literary scene even before she became a feminist ideologue; she was in fact an associate of the prestigious Millay Colony, a retreat for writers and artists founded by the sister of Edna St. Vincent Millay. And Heresies was probably the most ambitious publishing project in the history of the feminist renaissance. It was also by far the most prestigious, in large measure due to its extensive (but mostly unpublicized) endorsement by the federal government in the form of substantial grants from the taxpayer-funded National Endowment. For the feminist movement at large, which by 1978 had become both monolithic and viciously conformist, anything published in Heresies automatically acquired much the same infallible authority traditional Roman Catholics grant to edicts of the pope.

Thus 26 years later it is instructive to contemplate just how far the matrifascist brand of feminism has already thrust the United States in the direction of tyranny. It would take a volume the size of my Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary to document all of the erosions of American liberty that have been inflicted on us by matrifascism, whether directly (as in the ongoing onslaught against the Bill of Rights) or indirectly (as in public education that maliciously subverts American liberty by denouncing American principles as falsehoods and exalting, for instance, Islam as a true “religion of peace.”)

The most glaring example of matrifascism’s tyrannical impulse is of course the campaign against the Second Amendment, complete with froth-at-the-mouth denunciations of all weaponry as the means by which men originally overthrew “the ancient harmonies,” and even more venomous attacks on firearms owners that specifically denounce guns as logical expressions of the American/Occidental “rape culture” – the ultimate refinement of the hated penis. As clinically irrational as these claims may sound, the fact remains that in slightly more than a decade – and in spite of (or perhaps because of) just such assertions as those cited – feminism vectored the so-called gun-control movement from a lunatic-fringe hysteria into a powerful faction within the American political mainstream.

Though it is less commonly recognized, matrifascist assaults of equal intensity are underway against the First, Fourth, Fifth and Tenth amendments as well: examples include “hate-speech” prohibitions, zero-tolerance policies in public schools, suspension of rules of evidence in rape and sexual harassment cases, and the brazenly ex-post-facto Lautenberg Amendment. (Additional reading on these topics will be listed in a partial bibliography at the end of this piece.) The reason these onslaughts so often remain unpublicized is that the institutions which traditionally protected us from such tyrannies – the press and the American Civil Liberties Union -- have both themselves been co-opted by matrifascism. The biased state of the media has long been obvious, though it is frequently – and incorrectly – identified as merely “leftist,” when in fact its oust-Bush, down-with-American-liberty, banish-Western-Civilization reactions are specific expressions of the matrifascist agenda: belittlement of traditional males and the subversion of “patriarchy” by any and all means possible. The ACLU’s downfall was far more clandestine; public notice of its new role as a matrifascist front was withheld until its sponsorship of demonstrations on behalf the murderess Andrea Yates, who methodically drowned each of her children, but in matrifacist eyes was guilty of nothing more serious than post-partum abortion times five.

Which brings us directly to the uncomfortable topic of abortion itself. A major argument of anti-abortion forces is that the deaths of untold millions of unborn infants is in fact a feminist-perpetrated holocaust and thus links feminists and Nazis in an unholy twinship.of mass murder. While this assertion undoubtedly contains elements of truth, use of the term “feminist” in such a context is slanderously imprecise. Not only does it obscure the vital fact that by no means all “feminists” are “matrifascists, ” it also ignores an apparently quite large and growing group of feminists who oppose the hoary matrifascist shibboleth of “free abortion on demand” yet strongly favor keeping abortion legal in limited circumstances. However, thanks to the matrifascist tactic of always portraying the women’s movement as rigidly unified on all matters of doctrine and intent – a ploy further enforced by censorship of both news reporting and academic inquiry -- the number of such feminists remains unknown. (It is an aside, but my own contention is the term “feminist” should be an honorific, limited to women who demand equality before the law but correctly recognize they would not even be able to articulate their objectives were it not for individual liberties established by the American Revolution and protected by the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. )

Caught up in their own anguish, the anti-abortionists allow their chronic outrage to become a red herring, with the result both they and the general public miss a vital point: that the likenesses between matrifascism and classic, Mein Kampf Nazism go far beyond the horrific carnage resulting from the morally imbecillic use of abortion for gender-suppression or casual (as opposed to emergency) birth control. Here are just a few of those similarities:

– The Nazis believed in an original golden age of Aryan hero-ubermenschen overthrown by uppity untermenschen and uncontrolled mongrelization, a fast-and-loose adaptation of symbolism found in pan-Germanic folklore. The matrifascists believe in an original Age of Matriarchy, the time of the “Ancient Harmonies,” a belief borrowed from the metaphors of pre-Christian Greek and Celtic myth but interpreted literally and then given a nasty political twist by addition of the matrifascist doctrine the “harmonies” were overthrown only when women foolishly allowed men to have weapons.

– The Nazis proclaimed themselves the only true fighters for German freedom. The matrifascists proclaim themselves the only true fighters for female equality and female rights in general.

– Josef Goebbels’ unequaled mastery of media manipulation allowed the Nazis to position themselves as the rightful protectors of Germany and to define German identity. Thus they increasingly dominated the German elections and finally came to power. Matrifascist control of information allows matrifascism to position itself as the rightful protector of women’s interests, the final arbiter as to the needs of womanhood and the nature of female identity, and thus to increasingly dominate America in every realm at all levels.

– The Nazis denounced liberty as an expression of decadence cunningly designed to facilitate the economic and political manipulations of an “International Jewish Conspiracy”and thus the reason for Germany’s suffering under the Treaty of Versailles. Matrifascism denounces liberty as the facilitator of “patriarchal oppression” and therefore the root cause of all female suffering.

In this context – because matrifascism underwent a similar experience – it is worth mentioning the failed Munich Beer-Hall Putsch of 1923, after which Hitler was imprisoned and thus given time to refine the theories he set out in Mein Kampf, most of which he wrote in his poshly comfortable “cell” at the fortress of Landsberg. The Nazis’ post-putsch goals remained the same – total domination of Germany -- but their tactics changed radically: now instead of agitating on street corners they would infiltrate the establishment. Matrifascism’s eerily parallel tactical revision followed the devastating failure of feminism’s nationwide 1971 effort to mobilize the National Welfare Rights Organization as an army of “raised-consciousness” militants. Brandishing the slogan “Welfare Is a Feminist Issue,” demanding an immediate moratorium on social services to males and proportional increases in stipends and services to females, slumming feminists agitated in nearly every NWRO chapter in America. But welfare mothers wanted no part of it – especially the feminist intent of abolishing military disability stipends – and the feminists were angrily expelled as “Little-Miss-Fluff-bottom college girls,” “stupid troublemakers,” or simply “Communist rich-bitches.”

With their usual penchant for historical revision, the matrifascists attempted to dispose of the entire embarrassing episode by dropping it down the Orwellian memory-hole. I doubt there is a feminist text today that mentions the NWRO debacle at all. But I remember it very well: I was the press officer for one of the NWRO-affiliates targeted for “mobilization.” I also remember vividly how the feminists responded to their ouster: enraged to tears and spitting venom with every word, they bitterly denounced welfare mothers as “hopelessly reactionary” and retreated to the posh towers of academe – where it was decided that a saner and by far safer tactic would be to simply infiltrate the welfare bureaucracy. It is probably no coincidence that -- during the next 20 years -- the infiltrators and their ideological sisters vengefully feathered their own nests with a 5,390 percent increase in welfare administrative costs while slashing stipends and services to the poor by more than half – at least 59 percent. (These numbers are derived from data in Statistical Abstract of the United States, and they are not typos.)

Indeed the matrifascists have already employed all of the techniques outlined by Hitler in "Mein Kampf." The only way a minority party can achieve power, der Fuehrer said, was by alliance with, and eventual takeover of, one or more of the organs of the state: the Nazis' alliance was thus with the military, with the German education system, with the monopolist pillars of the German economy (Krupp et al) and with the judiciary of the doomed Weimar Republic. In the case of matrifascism, there was not so much alliance as infiltration. The matrifascist takeover of the informational media, the public-school and higher-education systems at all levels, the entire social-service bureaucracy, and a substantial portion of the American judiciary is already complete.

But not all matrifascist infiltration efforts were aimed at the establishment. Another target – this in the mid-1970s – was the rapidly growing neo-Pagan movement, a phenomenon that in its early years tended to be instinctively environmentalist but otherwise mostly apolitical.

From 1967 through about 1973 or 1974, the feminist renaissance was instinctively hostile to religion of any kind – a bias no doubt resulting from the substantial Marxist influence that was part of its ideological foundation. But feminists of all types reserved their greatest antagonism for the Pagan renaissance, a movement that was the new feminism’s exact historical contemporary, but took place in the greater Counterculture rather than in the rarified atmospheres of urban bohemian political ferment and the revolutionary-faddist “affinity groups” that had so developed. Indeed the New Paganism was most likely to be found in partnership with the Back-to-the-Land movement, another Countercultural trend for which its feminist contemporaries had nothing but disdain, and in any case the neo-Paganism of that period was by definition almost exclusively a rural phenomenon. Even if its initial visions arose in urban circumstances, its visionaries were typically compelled by the strengths of their newfound convictions to return to rural living or embrace it for the first time.

The ultimate symbol of this spontaneous renewal of humanity’s most ancient and enduring spirituality was the reborn Great Goddess, in the late 1960s not yet named or even clearly seen, described by the poets of the period as the unnamed Mother of Dylan’s “Hard Rain,” Mother Earth, Mother Nature, rock opera’s “Acid Queen” and the nameless Muse of Tim Buckley’s exquisite poetry, to whom he sang, “if you tell me of all the pain you’ve had/ I’ll never smile again.” The feminists’ initial response was to ignore the semiotic implications of these developments and scornfully dismiss the Mother/Muse as yet another expression of the alleged “eternal male chauvinist conspiracy” to oppress women. But by 1970 the Goddess had been clearly identified by Shawn Phillips, Julie Felix and a few other such rock poets, and on many rural communes was already being invoked by name.

Within five years, sometime after the emergence of matrifascism as the dominant feminist ideology in the United States, most probably between 1974 and 1976, matrifascism made a curiously sudden 180-degree turn and began deliberately attempting to co-opt the Goddess as its own, to reshape Paganism into an exclusively female spirituality, and to radically politicize its adherents.

Even allowing for the early political/metaphysical cross-pollenation facilitated by Mary Daly and others like her, the dire implication of matrifascism’s sudden about-face has been obscured by the fact feminism has long since made peace with most creeds and denominations, to such an extent a great deal of mainstream Christianity and Reformed Judaism now has a definite feminist flavor if not a toxic matrifascist taint. But there is a vast difference between a reformist movement gradually gaining acceptance within the society it is attempting to change, and an avowedly revolutionary movement suddenly making an alliance with a group of people it formerly went out of its way to denounce not only as enemies but as reactionaries and obstructionists. The former process mirrors normal sociopolitical evolution. But a change of position as sudden and unexpected as matrifascism’s reversal of its stance toward Paganism suggests something far more sinister: a movement influenced (if not specifically directed) by some unknown power in service to some clearly subversive purpose -- and what in all human history is more subversive (and ultimately more divisive) than setting one gender against the other?

Yet having said all that, its conspiratorial implication seems almost too absurd a suggestion to allow into print. Almost -- for I also know enough of the history of intelligence operations to remember the post-Soviet disclosure that every organization founded in Europe to overthrow Russia’s Communist government was a creation of the variously-named KGB, a ruse to keep track of genuine enemies of the state. Hence the question is not “if” but “whom”– and there the answer is thoroughly reassuring: while many governments possess the requisite arrogance, and several probably possess the requisite skill, none possess the necessary equal measures of subtlety and patience. But the fact remains that the matrifascist turn-about raises several questions that have never been answered.

As far as I know, most Pagans have resisted the constant matrifascist pressure to shrink Paganism to a one-gender, female-separatist practice, but the vast majority – male and female alike – have abjectly surrendered to matrifascist political indoctrination. For example, Starhawk -- influential author of The Spiral Dance and therefore one who should surely know better – is an enthusiastic supporter of Islamic terrorism, presumably because Islam is a fellow enemy of “the ruling white patriarchy,” which of course includes both Israel and the United States. Yet Starhawk also writes passages like this: “At a time when every major ecosystem on the planet is under assault, calling nature sacred is a radical act because it threatens the overriding value of profit that allows us to despoil the basic life support systems of the earth. And at a time when women still live with the daily threat of violence and the realities of inequality and abuse, it is an equally radical act to envision deity as female and assert the sacred nature of female (and male) sexuality and bodies.” Apparently she is utterly, mindlessly heedless of the fact that under Islam, such words would condemn her to be tortured to death by a mob of chanting savages flinging jagged rocks. Or perhaps – like so many other matrifascists – Starhawk truly believes that the infinite horrors inflicted by a triumphant global caliphate will bring about a world-wide uprising of women, the collapse of patriarchy, and the final triumph of “gynocracy”: the female supremacist version of the Third Reich.

“But O don’t you know all that about exterminating men and imposing gynocracy and all is just...um, rhetoric?”

“Right. That’s exactly what the Germans told themselves whenever der Fuehrer ranted about exterminating the Jews.”

Even given matrifascism’s apocalyptic rationale – which certainly appeals to a vaguely Mansonoid, let’s-get-it-over-with mentality that has plagued America since the time of Mutually Assured Destruction -- I do not understand how people of normal or greater intelligence can be anything but hostile to totalitarian ideology no matter how seductive its promises. The plain truth is that without the protection of this nation’s founding principles, Paganism would not be allowed exist, the resurrection of the Goddess would have been slaughtered at its first moments, and the mothers of the feminist renaissance would have been lined up against some already-blood-splattered stone wall and shot. In this context, matrifascism’s oft-repeated declarations of sisterhood with Paganism and reassurances of a shared common purpose are profoundly suspect. An absolutist movement that once condemned all spirituality and even now would give government unlimited authority over all realms of living (including expressions of spirituality) could easily make another 180-degree ideological turn to once again oppose spirituality – just as deftly as Hitler set aside his non-aggression pact with Stalin and invaded the Soviet Union. Ultimately of course my rejection of matrifascism is fueled by the love and trust I bear for the ideals upon which America was founded – especially the constitution I swore 45 years ago to defend with my life -- but it is ever reinforced by my knowledge of history: especially of its wars, its Burning Times and its persecutions.

Meanwhile the matrifascists are ever more hostile to those same ideals and increasingly indifferent to that self-same history – if they even know it at all. The following speaker is the infamous Canadian matrifascist Sunera Thobani, professor of women’s studies at the University of British Columbia, and she is commenting on the U.S. response to the attacks of 9/11:

“...there will be no emancipation for women anywhere on this planet until the Western domination of this planet is ended.”

“Love thy neighbor. Love thy neighbor, we need to heed those words. Especially as all of us are being herded into the possibility of a massive war at the (behest) of the United States. We need to hear those words even more clearly today. Today in the world the United States is the most dangerous and most powerful global force unleashing prolific levels of violence all over the world.

“From Chile to El Salvador, to Nicaragua to Iraq, the path of U.S. foreign policy is soaked in blood. ... But do we feel any pain for the victims of U.S. aggression? 200,000 people killed only in the initial war on Iraq. That bombing of Iraq for 10 years now. Do we feel the pain of all the children in Iraq who are dying from the sanctions imposed by the United States? Do we feel that pain on an every-day level? Share it with our families and communities and talk about it on every platform that is available to us? Do we feel the pain of Palestinians who now for 50 years have been living in refugee camps? U.S. foreign policy is soaked in blood...and I think it is the responsibility of the women's movement to stop that, to fight against it.”

In other words, it is the responsibility of matrifascists everywhere to subvert the defense of American liberty and Western Civilization against Islam’s 1300-year jihad. Which is clearly happening, whether by the calculated erosion of our freedoms, the psychological and chemical castration of our male children, the methodical thievery of our unprecedented historical legacy from children of both genders, the hostile manipulation of information via media and classroom to discredit the war, hamstring the government, banish the Bush Administration, topple American liberty and destroy Western Civilization – all of this to “overthrow the white patriarchy” and symbolically hack off the despised metaphorical penis of a culture at least 4000 years old.

Never mind that matrifascist success will facilitate the triumph of Islam and thus subject every female on the planet to real genital mutilation. Never mind it will condemn every woman on earth to wear the burka.

As David St Lawrence said: “Armaggedon, anyone?”


Some suggested reading:

Hentoff, Nat, Free Speech for Me – But Not for Thee, Harper-Collins: New York, 1992.

McGowan, William, Coloring the News, Encounter Books: San Francisco, 2001.

Shirer, William L., The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Simon & Schuster: New York, 1959 (rev. edition 1990).

Sommers, Christina Hoff, The War Against Boys, Simon & Schuster: New York, 2000.

Sommers, Christina Hoff, Who Stole Feminism? Simon & Schuster, New York, 1994

Suggested Googles:

Mary Daly
Andrea Dworkin
Guns and Feminism
Lautenberg Amendment
Catharine MacKinnon
Valerie Solanis
Sunera Thobani

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posted by at 02:37 PM : Comments (3)

May 24, 2004

Focal Points

So many important and/or interesting links this morning, I will confine my comments on each one to a paragraph or two.

First – because I believe aesthetics is generally more basic than politics (though often only because politics is one of the many expressions of aesthetics) – here is a link to a sampling of Leonard Nemoy’s Shekhina photographs: his visions of the female manifestations of the Divine, (so phrased because as far as I have been able to find out, Nemoy does not use the term “Goddess” in his description of his work). A couple of folks including Linda justifiably grumbled that my commentary of May 17 linked to a story about Nemoys’s photographs that had no illustrations. This was true, but it was the news item I was interested in, more specifically the semiotic significance of the photographer’s intent, and the lack of illustration was not for want of trying: I merely neglected to mention I had Googled “Leonard Nemoy Shekhina” and come up with bupkes, while “Sheknina” itself -- Hebrew for the female manifestations of Yahveh -- merely linked to a number of sites on Judaism. A subsequent, more thoughtful search, finally under “Leonard Nemoy Photographs,” predictably led to a bunch of Trekkie artifact-sites but also linked to the gallery’s own webpage, here.

I would be dishonest if I did not add that I am vaguely disappointed with Nemoy’s work. His photographs are technically perfect – exquisitely so – but only two of the images shown here (the left-most and right-most frames in the second row from the top) evoke even slightly the physical reactions Robert Graves describes as indicative of both true poetry and the presence of the Goddess: “...the hairs stand on end, the eyes water, the throat is constricted, the skin crawls and a shiver runs down the spine...” Having some knowledge of such matters myself, I regard Graves’ description as unsparingly accurate. Which makes me once again curse the crippling limitations of my own poverty as expressed in the fact I have no scanner nor any other means to transmit visual images and thus have no way to share the few surviving prints from “Glimpses of a Pale Dancer,” work that accompanied me to New York City as part of the book proposal and thus escaped destruction in the 1983 fire. So unless you knew me in Manhattan c. 1969-70, when I first began articulating these images, or unless you lived in Bellingham in 1971, in the Seattle area during the mid-1970s or in Tacoma in 1981, and thus saw examples of my “sandwiches” or photographic collages in various galleries (when the work bore the titles “Premonitions of the Celtic Twilight” or “Divinations in an Equinoctal Fire”), you will have to take my word for it that first-time viewing of this material does indeed often produce the reactions Graves described -- and powerfully so (or so I have many times been told). Though I suspect not even the most profoundly moved viewer experiences anything quite as enrapturing as the phantom electricity that coursed through my body when I stood in the amber gloom of my darkroom and first watched these images emerging on paper coated with alchemical silver – the emulsion emitting a slow, barely audible sibilance of exhalation as the vision became real.

Next on the agenda is a combination of politics and art – a Hindu site that quotes beautifully from the Upanishads, and with an irony that is sometimes as cutting as a tulwar, documents Islam’s 1300-year war on civilization – something with which the Hindu population of the Indian subcontinent has had long, bloody and intimate experience. This is probably another instance of preaching to the choir, but I found the site usefully informative, interestingly composed and compelling enough I bookmarked it. The site is named Satyameva Jayate which I suppose is Dravidian, and which the author says translates as “Truth Alone Triumphs.” The link is here.

On the subject of Islam and its innate and infinitely vicious oppression of women, here are more details on the growing resistance to Canada’s attempt to “celebrate diversity” by imposing a limited form of sharia on Canadian citizens who are of Islamic extraction. Canadian women – including women who have survived the beatings and mutilations characteristic of Moslem upbringing – are rallying to battle this outrage imposed by Canadian political “correctness,” and it appears even the Canadian feminists (who not long ago were condemning Western Civilization as a phallocentric culture of rape, slavery and exploitation) are finally beginning to wake up to the reality of the Islamic threat. The link is to The Toronto Star, which is normally so self-righteously “multicultural,” you get the feeling it would have advised the 1939 Czechs to refrain from expressions of nationality lest they hurt the feelings of the “visiting” Germans. But not now, at least not here.

Lastly, I cannot count the number of times I have called some company to complain, request technical information or perhaps even place an order, and the telebot who flung untold humans out of work and now answers the phone demands I choose a language: “for English, press one.” I find this demand both infuriating and insulting, exactly as if we were the downtrodden subjects of a land conquered by people who speak Some Other Language. It doesn’t help that for many years I have been aware of the undeclared (and genuinely unholy) alliance between Cheap Labor Republicans and Big Bureaucracy Democrats: an alliance that is selfishly destroying the United States with virtually unrestricted immigration -- all in the name of depressing wages, expanding social services and thereby guaranteeing the continued omnipotence of both plutocrats and bureaucrats. Michelle Malkin is furious about it too, and the resulting denunciation – an example of Malkin at her caustic best – is available here.

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posted by at 01:59 PM : Comments (2)

May 17, 2004

few dare acknowledge Islam's ultimate hatred

by Loren Bliss

Four days ago I wrote a half-dozen relatively brief paragraphs to accompany a focal-point link to yet another bright bit of evidence underscoring the reality of the resurrection of the Goddess. The work was written in an interlude of intense creativity, its segues were more poetic than logical, and in general I was pleased with its form and content. But then Fate intervened, and the source of my pleasure was destroyed by some mysterious quirk of electronics just as I was about to save it to this site. What follows is reconstruction and enlargement of what I said in that aborted effort:

Quite frankly I believe the resurrection of the Goddess is the most important news of the past two thousand years at least. It is a story the pressures of which I have lived with knowingly since 1969, and unwittingly for 18 years before that. The details behind those statements – and my own associated personal odyssey of ferreting out hidden truths of folklore and modern semiotics and attempting to assemble them all in a coherent form that would earn proper readership and recognition – was the subject of a nearly finished but now-forever-lost book tentatively entitled “Glimpses of a Pale Dancer.” Its manuscript, the accompanying photographs and all the associated research notes were destroyed in the fire that burned the late Helen Farias’ residence to the ground in 1983. Ironically, the fire occurred just as samples of the text and photographs – particularly the latter – were beginning to seriously interest some heavy-duty publishing industry types in New York City.

A second book, an effort on which Helen and I were informally collaborating, was also lost. This was never titled, but we thought of it as simply “the archaeology project.” It had begun as a spin-off of our extensive but separate research into Goddess-related questions c. 1971-1976. Helen had read an early draft of “Dancer” and ever afterward said that it and the works cited in its bibliography – especially those by Robert Graves – gave her “the vocabulary to describe what (she) always knew was true.” Eventually she would enlarge that vocabulary to become one of the world’s leading scholars on the history of the Goddess and a significant writer on female spirituality in general. But the archaeological matter quickly separated itself from those inquiries and evolved into a quest of its own: a cataloguing of evidence, megalithic and linguistic, that Europeans of the late Bronze Age had gone beyond their extensive Eastern North American settlements, reached what is now Washington State and remained here long enough to erect astronomically aligned standing stones and hew deep, similarly functional trenches from the solid rock of certain remote mountain tops. Using a system based on Helen’s first-ever compilation of aboriginal place-names and my own conjectural “megalithic grid” (derived from the astronomical alignments of one known site and probable alignments between that site and others), we had identified another 30 possible sites. Of these, we had explored a dozen, eliminated six, and in 1977 extensively photographed and mapped six others. The work lagged when Helen went to graduate school in London and I took a part-time college teaching job and started a freelance photography and media- consulting business to supplement my newspaper salary, but it was always our intention to take up the quest for archaeological evidence again as soon as time allowed -- until of course the fire made that forever impossible by destroying all our data: Helen’s painstakingly assembled vocabularies; my maps, map overlays, photographs, site reports, and raw field notes. (Helen's death in 1994 had no connection to the fire.)

I had merely skated over these matters in that lost post of four days ago – writing about the fire and all of its attendant losses is dreadfully painful even now, 21 years after the fact – but perhaps it was my very avoidance that so angered Fate and thus prompted the glitch that obliterated everything I had said. In any case, this writing here tonight is very different: it is structured less poetically and more in keeping with linear logic, and the content is thus much more fully developed.

The lost May 12 post began with a blistering condemnation of that ultimate obscenity called Islam for its mutilation murder of Nicholas Berg, who was not beheaded by a single clean merciful stroke but was tormented by slow throat-hacking butchery until his screams finally gagged to silence and his head came off by its hair and the knife-wielder triumphantly brandished Nick Berg’s head and the chorus of killers grunted their repugnant Allahu Akbar doggerel over the twitching corpse -- Goddess take Nick to her bosom and the vengeance of Cerridwen be on all of Islam, so mote it be.

I deliberately avoided saying that last Goddess part in the lost May 12 post, and perhaps that incipient apostasy – the fact I so rarely proclaim my Paganism in public – is another reason Fate chose to smite me with an inexplicable glitch. Or maybe it was the Christian god smiting me for what I said next:

Listening earlier that day (or maybe the day before) to President George Bush promise that Nick Berg’s killers would be “brought to justice,” I thought about how this same President had so glibly but now obviously so falsely promised that justice would also be done in Fallujah for the murders of four American civilians there, and then I remembered how many other times in this life we have been spoon-fed this exact same smugly patronizing, patently false pablum: by President Carter after the outrages in Tehran, by President Reagan after the outrages in Lebanon, by President Clinton after the outrages in Somalia, and now here was George Bush for whom I had voted in 2000 joining all the others who had lied about “justice” being brought to our enemies, and I realized what he was saying was nothing more than another invitation to “step right up.” Suddenly I knew I had lost all of whatever faith I ever had in George Bush’s leadership because it was now obvious this is a President who is nearly as shackled as any Democrat by the ethos of political “correctness” and the shibboleths of victim-identity cultism and the drooling- idiot mandate to “celebrate diversity.” We do not need “diversity.” What we need is Nolichucky Jack or maybe Heinz Guderian, but what we have instead is a Good Shepherd who turns the other cheek, grants Fallujah an amnesty and calls Islam a “religion of peace.”

Unfortunately come November we will have to choose between President Bush, whose record of bungling both at home and abroad is literally breathtaking and probably without precedent in the history of the Republic, and Candidate Kerry, who has already told us he regards Islam’s 1300-year war against civilization as a mere crime problem, intends to treat it accordingly, and thus makes no secret of his intent to surrender (even more) United States sovereignty to that international criminal cartel known as the United Nations. Apparently we have arrived at a point in history akin to that period in the Dark Ages when kings were immortalized with names like Hugo the Sluggard, Charles the Simpleton and Phillip the Flatulent. That too was a time of Islamic horrors -- horrors widespread and grim -- and it took Charles Martel to halt the Moslems at Tours and the Polish hero John Sobieski to finally rout them at Vienna 951 years later: blessed achievements bought dearly by the blood of Westernesse, reversals for which long-begrudging Islam has ever sought revenge. Which is precisely the dread background of the awful choice we will make in November: a chronic bungler versus a man whose contempt for America is so great, he has wantonly given aid and comfort to our foes and no doubt will do so again, even as he will probably further undermine our liberty, compromise our borders and – based on his colleagues’ well-documented disrespect for the Constitution – almost certainly attempt to silence his critics with unapologetic tyranny, probably with violently disastrous results. Verily, I fear for the Republic.

Paranoia? No indeed. The following, which my colleague Linda fished out of the Kerry for President website and passed onto me, is especially instructive:

President Kerry did the absolutely right thing (Editor’s note: by banishing a blogger named Kos from the Kerry website). Because Kos is a part of the mainstream left and a DNC insider, the average American could get the idea that his comments are a reflection of the Party’s feelings about American and Americans. The sheeple might think that we hate America and all that it stands for. We do of course, but they must not find that out until we have seized the levers of power. Then there’s gonna be some changes baby. (Posted by Bob in MN on April 3, 2004, 10:44 p.m.)

Anyone who doubts the veracity of our reporting can see for themselves: the link to the site is here, after which you simultaneously type [ctrl] [f], wait for the search form to appear, then type “gonna be some changes” into the appropriate blank (without the quotation marks) and hit [enter].

The insufferably self-righteous ideological smugness of today’s Democrats – reminiscent of Nazi Party members or Soviet Communists of yore – is yet another reason I will of course vote for the bungler. Conservative though I may be, ultimately I am also a libertarian, and at the very least, I think George Bush will do less harm than John Kerry to the Republic I love and to the Constitution I swore an oath 45 years ago to defend with my life “against all enemies foreign or domestic.” Moreover some of Bush’s advisors might finally figure out how to take a page from the Russians or the old German Wehrmacht or the Philippine Insurrection or perhaps even the American Indian Wars (which really offer the best historical parallels to the present struggle) and wage a proper, unapologetically brutal war against the infinite brutality of Islam. Though on this point, I deeply disagree with my colleague Linda: to me, the sin of Abu Ghraib is not that the prisoners were abused – they are not U.S. citizens and hence are not protected by our Constitution, and neither are they prisoners of war, so they are not protected by the Geneva Accords and the Rules of Land Warfare. Indeed, as enemy terrorists, they are technically not protected at all – and the great ruinous sins of Abu Ghraib are thus (first) that U.S. security had become so astonishingly lax that word and pictures of the abuse leaked out; that (second) the U.S. media has distorted what is hardly more than frat-house hazing into the morally imbecillic equivalent of slow beheadings and deaths by plastic-shredder; and that (third) the same media is now using its own malevolent distortions as part of an unprecedented jihad against both the President and the nation. Which is not to deny the role the President’s constant bungling has played in fueling the media’s scorn – anyone who appoints a notorious out-sourcer to head a program ostensibly intended to curtail out-sourcing surely deserves whatever jeers he provokes. Alas, we need far better. At this point in history – especially given that 9/11 was more than anything else Islam’s declaration its 1300-year-war against civilization is once again renewed – we need nothing less than an Arthur to lead the battle against the encroaching Islamic darkness. But the bungler is surely better than the would-be tyrant.

I find it no coincidence that Islam, which is founded on the sadistic subjugation of women and the savage torture and killing of all dissidents and non-believers, has launched its newest effort to enslave all humanity in a global caliphate by attacking the U.S. just as what I think of as the Second Wave of the resurrection of the Goddess is beginning to crest. (In this reckoning, which was central to the lost book “Glimpses of a Pale Dancer,” the First Wave was the spiritual quest at the core of the old 1960s Counterculture: the self-proclaimed “Revolution in Consciousness” that -- whether by conspiracy, folly or both – was too soon perverted into a mere travesty of its original self, a maelstrom of drug-abuse, zomboid faddism and the general human tendency toward the lowest common denominator of chaos.) In any case, the Second Wave is the institutionalization of many of the beliefs and visions that, in First Wave times, would have gotten the visionaries themselves institutionalized had they even dared speak of them. Visions of the Goddess have now spread far beyond the existential paganism of the art scene and the purposeful Paganism of resurrected modern practice, so that even in mainstream Jewish and Christian worship there is now recognition of the female aspects of the divine. The most recent example of this – or at least the most recent example to come to my attention – is the collection of photographs made by Leonard Nemoy (yes, that Leonard Nemoy, Spock of Star Trek fame) now showing in a Northhampton, Massachusetts gallery. Which brings us finally to the link I mentioned in the opening paragraph, available here. As Buffy Sainte- Marie sang so very long ago, “Goddess is alive/Magic is afoot” – which I think is precisely the underlying, epicentral (and almost entirely unacknowledged) reason the master-misogynists of Islam have now renewed their war against Westernesse. Islam has chosen the United States as its primary target not only because we are the nation where women are more proudly free than anyplace else on the planet, but because we are also the nation wherein recognition of the Goddess is most widespread and growing the fastest. In this context, the semiotic implications of the Statue of Liberty are profound.

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posted by at 01:39 AM : Comments (2)

May 14, 2004

focal point

I am still trying to find or reconstruct the would-have-been commentary my computer inexplicably ate three nights ago, so far without success. This was first infuriating, then profoundly dismaying, now merely depressing, and for three very separate reasons: it was unusually good writing in that it segued through a half-dozen seeming unrelated subjects and tied them into a single package of relevance (something I often attempt but don’t always achieve); the style of the prose itself represented a major breakthrough in my (often difficult) journey beyond the impersonal, imperial voice of professional journalism – a journey I hope is toward the letter-from-a-knowledgeable-friend tone that seems characteristic of all the more effective blogs; and, lastly, it was the first time I have ever mentioned in print or publicly acknowledged the fact that, 32 years ago, I was one of the two human victims of an infinitely ruinous house-fire.

The other person and I escaped physical injury simply because neither of us was present when the house burned, though the flames killed the owner’s three very beloved domestic cats. The house was a huge old cedar-log pioneer cabin on rural property in Washington state that had remained in the owner’s family since construction of the house, barn and outbuildings in the 1870s, and I had stored my files, books and a number of other possessions in one of the house's vacant rooms when I returned to New York City in 1983. The owner, the late Helen Farias, who was one of my dearest and closest friends, was at work at Western Washington University 20 miles away when the fire broke out, and she learned of what had happened only when she returned at the end of the day. The emotional blow was devastating and the material loss was immeasurable: Helen’s home was burned literally to the ground, her animals and gardens were dead, and all her work and all of mine were ashes. The latter included two books in progress – one a collaboration with Helen – plus all the related photographs, drawings and research material, and nearly everything else of any creative or professional consequence I had done prior to that awful moment. The fire was of course one of those disasters that reshapes a human life from top to bottom – it certainly had that impact on me – but the cannons of journalism (at least journalism as I learned to practice it) demanded I remain silent about the entire matter. The lost blog was thus a kind of Coming-Out, the long-range implications of which I cannot possibly assess, and I am especially vexed Fate chose to obstruct it as it was obstructed – though in this life, Fate has only very seldom been my friend.

That said – and presumably now that you understand the reasons for my sulking absence (though I apologize nevertheless) – we have arrived at today’s focal point, a link to a far brighter and more attractive subject, both literally and figuratively. Our Declaration of Independence tells us that the cornerstones of American freedom are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” and though Islam finds the entire ethos infinitely infuriating, it is Islam’s secretly envious pornographically minded hatred of our potential for earthly happiness – especially the decidedly sensual pursuit of earthly happiness by women – that powers and inflames Islamic blood-lust to global magnitude. Hence – not only because it will surely infuriate Moslems and is thus an appropriate uplifted finger of defiance in the face of the false god Allah and his sodomitic, whore-son bastard of a Prophet, but also because it prompted me to smile myself out of this morning’s lingering dark mood -- here is a delightful example of that light-hearted proud exquisite brazenness so typical of the women of Westernesse, especially women who live on the island of Manhattan (which Mayor John Lindsay used to call “Fun City,” and which during my youth in the late 1960s was most assuredly just that): some Fun City Fun courtesy of The New York Post and one of its staffers (who is herself clearly working hard to overcome the old, stuffy canons of journalism).

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posted by at 12:17 PM : Comments (0)

May 01, 2004

Happy Beltane!

Today is a Holy Day for Pagans. Beltane is the first day of summer, and the time when the Wheel shifts to the Light half of the year.

Now is the time when the Springtime Goddess has wedded the Youthful God, and they keep watch over the greening and fruiting of the fields.


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posted by Linda at 04:50 PM : Comments (3)

April 05, 2004

Picnic Rock Blaze 50% contained

This from the county's website:

06:38 AM - Apr 5: A perimeter map of the fire boundary as of 10:00 am on Sunday, April 4 has been posted to the web site. Updated maps will be posted as they become available.

06:48 PM - Apr 4: Size: 9,158 acres. Containment: 50%. Cost $1.5 million. The public information center will be open on Monday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Grey Rock and Hewlett Gulch trails are closed indefinitely due to safety concerns. There are approximatley 10 miles of line left to be built. A firefighter was air lifted to Poudre Valley Hospital by Greeley Air Life this afternoon. No further information is available at this time. Earlier this afternoon another firefighter med-evac was completed by aircraft assigned to the fire. That firefighter was ambulanced from the ICP helibase on Highway 14 and transported to Poudre Valley Hospital. The firefighter was treated and released.*

There are bound to be injuries when something like this happens. Many of the firefighters have been pulling ungodly hours up there. The facet of this situation that really angers me is the fact that this is all the direct result of human carelessness.

I can't help but think of it as criminal.

*All emphasis is mine -- L.

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posted by Linda at 03:45 PM : Comments (1)

April 02, 2004

Picnic Rock Fire update

I already have an update to the situation. A quick conversation with the Red Cross let me know that they're in fine shape with food and water. They need nothing else at this moment in time, although I shall post again if their needs change.

Also, FEMA is on hand, and their people have taken charge of providing food and water to the firefighters. Additionally, a re-evaluation of the fire takes the toll down to 5,600 acres consumed.

The fire is about 15% contained at the time of this writing, and officials are hoping for 30% containment by this evening. The fire crew has swelled to 300. Their numbers are bolstered by the Rifle Icemen, a Department of Corrections crew made up of minimum security inmates.

There is a pre-alert in effect for the Hewlett Gulch area. Residents are encouraged to begin evacuating animals and packing their vehicles, just in case the evacuation order must be given.

UPDATE: 8,000 acres.

There is good news. The temperature outside has dropped to 59 degrees, and there is a hint of humidity in the air.

The fire teams are still hoping for at least 30% containment by tonight. Also, five minutes ago, while I was outside for a break, I heard the sirens from more fire trucks, headed up the hill.

As an aside for posterity, my husband called me a little while ago. Earlier this afternoon, while he was outside the county offices, he saw a huge plume of smoke rise from the fire that resembled a mushroom-shaped cloud. He saw that from about 30 miles away. No matter who or what you revere, please spare thoughts and/or prayers for the residents of the canyon, and the heroes battling the blaze. We can only watch, wait, and pray for relief from Ma Nature, now.

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posted by Linda at 06:32 PM : Comments (1)

6,000 Acres

By the time I left work last night, the Picnic Rock Fire had swelled to 3,500 acres. By roughly 8:00 a.m., thanks to the wind, it almost doubled in size: 6,000 acres, and growing.

The cold front is expected to roll in later today. Meteorologists are calling for up to a foot of snow in the high country.

As I drove home last night, I could see the smoke from the fire in the northwest. It looked like a bloated, sickly grey-and-orange cumulous cloud. Last night, after the sun set, my husband and I stepped onto the front porch and could see the ugly, distant reddish orange glow. The wind has offered us one boon: the smoke wasn't hanging over the valley so thickly when we left this morning.

S. was raised in these mountains, and knows them intimately. He selected the spot we were married in. (Imagine a half mile hike in a wedding gown and heels -- there are many reasons why I shall never forget that day.)

Disussing the fire last night, we agreed that we hope criminal charges are brought against the man who started the fire (he was burning without a permit). Disgustedly, my husband commented, "I don't care if you've lived here six months or sixty years. It doesn't take long to notice that weather can change in minutes in the hills. Drought means dead, dried-out vegetation. Fire can get away from you fast if you don't know what you're doing." He paused, and I could see the outrage on his face, "The thing that gets me is that his house is probably still standing, while his neighbors had to be evacuated, and lose land and such."

Whereas it's true that only one home and garage are lost so far, 23 homes and 70 other structures are currently endangered. That number may swell -- more property may be lost -- due to carelessness.

Again, anyone in the area who wishes to help out can contact the local Red Cross at (970) 226-5728. They're serving meals and providing shelter at an area church and an elementary school.

Also, the Salvation Army is still accepting donations of eye moisturizer, Gatorade, bottled water, and bandannas for our firefighters. We've got 227 men at the scene, so every little bit will help. Front Range residents can either contact their community Salvation Army, or drop off donations at 3901 S. Mason Street in Fort Collins.

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posted by Linda at 06:06 PM : Comments (1)
» Who Tends the Fires links with: The Electric Koolaid Poison Test...

April 01, 2004

Fire in the Poudre River Canyon.

The Poudre River Canyon has been one of my playgrounds since I came to Colorado. It's a beautiful place, trout-rich, and dotted with little communities all the way up and over Cameron Pass.

On Tuesday, a newcomer to the area decided to burn off some brush around his place. He didn't have a burn permit. Apparently, he didn't stop to think about the fact that we've been in drought for the last seven years, and so from the way things turn out, I intuit that he didn't have a rake, shovel or water close at hand.

At the time of this writing, the Picnic Rock Fire has claimed almost a thousand acres, forced evacuations in some areas, and has other residents poised to go at a moment's notice.

I live miles from there. My house is nestled against the foothills. People familiar with the area can see Horsetooth Rock clearly from my yard. Even with so many miles and the foothills separating me and mine from the fire, the air quality around my house was so poor this morning, that I'm seriously considering sending my daughter to stay with her grandparents for a few days -- at least until the smoke can dissipate somewhat.

With this entry, I thought about railing against the carelessness that has led to such ruin. I thought about ranting to try and drive home a point about drought conditions and fire. But no, I won't.

Instead, I shall try to educate. Taken from the article linked above, here are the county rules for open burning:

Pile debris in open areas away from standing timber and structures.

Piles should be no larger than 8 feet wide and 6 feet high.

There must be a minimum of 3 inches of snow cover around piles.

Winds should be less than 10 mph. Check the weather forecast to avoid burning during high winds or extremely dry conditions.

Always have water, a rake and a shovel available.

Attend all fires until completely out. All burning must be extinguished by nightfall.

Always check your county's rules for open burning, and obtain necessary permits before burning off brush and refuse around your house. This situation is one of the reasons why.

UPDATE: As of roughly 1500 hours, the blaze has consumed 2,000 acres, and forced the evacuation of a second subdivision. If you're in Colorado, and would like to help out, please contact the Red Cross, or Salvaton Army. (The Salvation Army in particular is accepting eye moisturizer, bottled water, Gatorade and bandannas for the firefighters.)

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the cold front expected this evening. I hope the drop in temperature makes the fire lay down. In the meantime, we're praying that we don't get the expected 35-40 MPH wind gusts preceeding the front. The fire would be really hard to fight if it races into the more inaccessible areas of the canyon.

Gods bless our firefighters, and keep them safe.

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posted by Linda at 04:16 PM : Comments (1)

February 17, 2004

On my mettle

With Loren around here, I feel challenged to post articles requiring more thought and research. Hence, I'm working on a little something.

But forget about me. Please enjoy Loren's latest post about his friend Liam, and the difference between blindly sloganeering, and making a considered stand.

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posted by Linda at 09:40 PM : Comments (0)

February 05, 2004

Welcome, Loren!

I'd like everyone who reads this blog to welcome Loren to Civilization Calls.

A veteran of thirty years in professional journalism and editing, Loren brings clear-eyed insight to the table.

I shall not tell you too much about Loren, right now. I am more comfortable allowing him to reveal only what personal information he desires; but I can tell you that through messages exchanged in an online discussion group we belong to, as well as numerous email "conversations" about various and sundry topics, I am excited to see him share his insights here.

Give Loren a warm welcome. He shall post as soon as pleases him.

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posted by Linda at 06:44 PM : Comments (2)