Archive for October, 2009


October 31, 2009


Has your soul ever been so deeply moved by a piece of music, that you are left speechless for many minutes?

Below are the words to “When Jesus Was A Little Child”. The music is by Peter Tchaikovsky. It was performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on a Christmas album. I heard it years ago on cassette tape, and played it so many times, I wore out the tape.

When Jesus was a little child,
He made a garden in the wild.
There grew a rose bush ‘neath his care,
Yielding a garland for his hair.

It blossomed full upon a day,
When graceless children passed that way.
They tore the rose bush from its bed,
Stripped all its leaves and blossoms red.

“Whence wilt thou mold thy garland fair?”
Their taunting voices smote the air.
“Leave but for me the naked thorns,”
The Christ replied, yet without scorn.

Then of the thorns all sharp and bare,
They bound a garland o’er his hair.
See where as red as roses grow,
Great drops of blood bedew his brow,
bedew his brow.

The imagery in this song is powerful. It is full of symbolism. I use this as an example to make my point. Words can be things which make. Words can make things which last. When we read them, new energy flows into the words as our mind absorbs them, and they become part of us. The words can provide warmth and a quickening of the inner man. Words can also unmake things which are made. Words can destroy.

holly ivy

open thread Thursday

October 29, 2009

Hi there

I am running stopzilla right now

Posting from blackberry

Will fill in later


Twelve Wicker Baskets

October 28, 2009


Jesus multiplied bread and fish to feed the crowd.

Mk 6:41-44

Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to (his) disciples to set before the people; he also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments and what was left of the fish. Those who ate (of the loaves) were five thousand men.


A 1st-century BC-1st century AD palm-leaf basket from Qumran.


江西 客家 中國 農村 china village

wood and steel

The kissers

October 24, 2009


Everyone knows the photo. It has become an iconic image of the 20th century. Taken in New York City’s Times Square on August 14, 1945, it shows an exuberant sailor kissing a nurse. Onlookers grin in the background. The nurse looks surprised as the sailor bends her backwards, her right foot raised off the ground, her left arm behind her. The image manages to capture the sense of relief, exhilaration, and unbridled joy brought by the news that Japan had surrendered and the most terrible war in history was finally over.


1945 On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Johnny Mercer

Song of Ocarina

October 17, 2009

King Arthur

The ocarina is a very old family of instruments, believed to date back some 12,000 years.


ocarina III

Knowing Irfan

October 14, 2009

rent veil

“Beyond the Veil”

Irfan is a Bulgarian world music band that was founded in 2001. The band’s name is taken from the Arabic/Persian word Irfan.

Though similar in style to established bands such as Dead Can Dance, Love Is Colder Than Death, Sarband, and Vas, Irfan is known for its extensive use of a choir of male vocals in addition to the ethereal and mystic female vocals of Denitza Seraphimova in combination with an assortment of traditional medieval percussive, string and wind instruments including the darbouka, daf, bendir, oud, saz, santoor, ghaida, duduk and viola da gamba.

Irfan’s music and reliance on traditional instruments is based on a blend of the musical influences common to Bulgaria, and thus represents a blend of medieval European, Balkan and Middle-Eastern styles.

irfan (2)



October 11, 2009




Stranger in paradise, Wild is the wind and The twelfth of never

The Next Step for Health-Care Reform by Ezra Klein

October 9, 2009

Ezra Klein

ezra klein

This will give you a very good idea of what to expect next.  And I think it echoes what Senator Gregg has stated regarding reconciliation and any public “option.”

Tuesday’s Finance Committee vote is considered such a sure thing that most Hill staffers are already looking past it.

When you hear about compromises like an opt-out public option, you’re not hearing about a potential amendment to the Finance Committee’s bill.

You’re hearing about a potential addition to the “floor bill.”

That’s where the action is now.

The floor bill will not be the Finance Bill, exactly. And it will not be the HELP Committee’s bill.

Instead, it will be a blend of the two.

The merger will be overseen by Harry Reid’s office, and Hill sources expect the room to be fairly small beyond that: Max Baucus, officially representing the Finance Committee, but unofficially representing Senate moderates.

Chris Dodd, representing the HELP Committee, but unofficially representing Senate liberals.

A few White House staffers (Peter Orszag’s name comes up frequently).

Finally, Tom Harkin, the actual chairman of the HELP Committee, will have some involvement but isn’t expected to be a key player.

Other members of the Senate will have less official roles.

The rest of the Senate Democratic Leadership team, for instance, Olympia Snowe.

Key liberals and moderates with whom Dodd and Baucus will be in constant communication. But the room itself is expected to be quite small.

The base bill is going to be the Senate Finance Committee’s bill.

That bill, unlike the HELP Committee’s bill, is complete.

It has revenues and Medicare and Medicaid.

The HELP bill, due to the committee’s constrained jurisdiction, lacks all those items.

Moreover, everyone wants to keep the Finance Committee’s CBO score, or at least something like it.

Calling this a merger, then, isn’t really accurate.

It’s more like a bigger company buying out a small rival. The question is what they keep.

*** The main items under discussion are the public plan (public “option,” coops, trigger, opt-in, opt-out, etc.) and affordability. ***

To secure the support of liberal members, there will need to be some sort of public plan. (Yes, but exactly what form that will take is anyone’s guess right now.)

To retain the support of moderates, the plan will have to continue to bend the spending curve in both the first and second decades.

To secure the support of the Democratic caucus more broadly, there will need to be more subsidies, or some other measure to make insurance a bit more affordable.

That, however, will require more revenues. (Exactly!)

No one quite seems to know where those revenues will come from.

In fact, the main revenue change under discussion is to soften the excise tax, which would mean the bill raises less, rather than more, money.

So that’s going to be tricky. (Understatement!)

What emerges from this process is expected to look a lot like the final compromise.

As a smart Hill source explained to me, the final legislation is hard to change.

It won’t take anything but the agreement of the members in that room to add something to the bill.

But after the bill leaves that room and goes to the floor, it will be very different to make any changes.

Harder even than in the committee process, where a bare majority of committee members could add an amendment.

On the floor, you’ll need 60 votes to add anything. (Notice this is not what Reid said about adding a public “option” amendment “after the fact.”)

You also need 60 votes to remove anything.

If some group of senators dislikes one of the features, they’ll need to beat a filibuster to reform it.

Indeed, that means Republicans might not be the only ones employing the filibuster.

Eleven moderates and all the Republicans could partner to weaken an element of the bill and still be foiled by 40-some liberals. (only 30 senators signed letter backing public option‎)

The flip side of that, of course, is that you need the entire Democratic caucus to break the final filibuster on the bill.

You can’t have anyone angry enough that they’re willing to scuttle the final legislation.

That means the compromise coming out of the merger has to be basically acceptable to all Democrats, and then a core of 41 Democrats needs to be ready to defend every major element from attack (even as some Democrats vote for those attacks).

(“the compromise coming out of the merger has to be basically acceptable to all Democrats” – all Democrats will probably be amenable to Snowe’s trigger, Conrad’s coops or Carper’s compromise – Schumer’s trying to do an opt-out rather than an opt-in)

It’s not going to be easy. But that’s the next step.

(I wish Ms. Maddow would read Ezra Klein and stop it with her nonsense!)

sneaky cat

“Sneaky Cat”

See also:

Verum Serum on Ezra Klein’s conflicting statements about the “sneaky public option strategy.”  From what I’ve read, Mr. Klein would appear to be a realist on any public option.  At least that is my interpretation.

The real problem arises when you compare his statements about the “sneaky strategy” line published today with what he said about the exact same statement back in June.

She’s Not There

October 9, 2009



The Cherry Tree Carol

October 6, 2009

Wild_Cherry_Tree (2)

Joseph was an old man, an old man was he,

When he married Virgin Mary, the Queen of Galilee.

As Mary and Joseph were walking one day

To an orchard of cherry trees they happened to stray.

Then Mary said to Joseph, so meek and so mild,

“Pick me some cherries, Joseph, for I am with child.”

Then Joseph flew angry, so angry flew he,

“Let the father of your baby gather cherries for thee.”

The up spoke Lord Jesus from in his mother’s womb,

“Bow low down, cherry trees, bow down to the ground.”

And the cherry trees bowed down, bowed low to the ground,

And Mary gathered cherries while Joseph stood round.

Then Joseph he kneeled down and a question gave he,

“Come tell me, pretty baby, when your birthday shall be.”

“On the fifth day of January my birthday shall be,

And the stars in the heaven shall all bow down to me.”

Incredible String Band and Shirley Collins

shirley collins davy graham