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What to Wear to the Revolution October 6, 2011

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics.
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We (my sister and I) decided it was time to go downtown and see what the Occupy Wall Street Protest was all about.  So, decked out in the usual protest gear (jeans and a black turtleneck), traveling light (just in case we got arrested), smiles on our faces, we hit the streets. My first impression was that tiny Zuccotti Park looked like a street fair that had just broken up.  Cartons everywhere, tables of food in no particular order, and the oh so gentle smell of marijuana in the air. It was generally a sloppy, disorganized mess, and seemed to be filled with rag tag characters out of a 70’s hippie movie.

We wandered around for about an hour, criss crossing the small park.  We read all of the posters, spoke with a few people and generally felt a cheeriness throughout the air despite the gloomy signs and ocassional creepy outfits.  We saw people getting free haircuts.  They asked me, or I thought they asked me, if I wanted a muppet?  A muppet? I said.  They laughed and laughed. No they wanted to know if I would like a mullet!  Then we all laughed heartily.

We spoke at length with a guy who had a scary beef with Johnson & Johnson. Really serious accusations about attempted murder, etc.  Being J&J shareholders, we did not like what we heard. Oy!

The street was theater and felt like performance art.

Then again, was it the beginning of a movement?  We donated some money here and there and hoped against hope that this was, indeed, the start of something big.

The Left needs to lift its voice and get its air time back from the Right.

Did we get arrested? No we did not. In all my years of placard carrying, bra burning, women’s rights, war protesting and then some – I have never even gotten close to being arrested and today was not going to be my first arrest.

When I got home after 8 PM there were a couple of voice messages from my dear friend Carol and her husband Matt, the Police Officer.  Did I get arrested?  Why wasn’t I home?  Worry, worry, worry.  When I phoned them back I realized that I had failed to tell them that after the Protest we went up to the Museum of Modern Art to see the DeKooning show and then went to The Paley Center for Media to hear Susan Orlean speak about her new book on Rin Tin Tin. For some reason, Carol and Matt found this incredibly funny.  What?

Keepin’ the faith….

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Zoos and Bold Faced Names February 15, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Photography, wildlife, Zoos.
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Zoos are a great place for spotting bold faced names.  Having been a volunteer at the Central Park Zoo for over 20 years I can attest to that fact. There is an anonymity about a zoo that works for a celebrity because most of the people are looking at the animals and not at the other zoo visitors.

Anyway, while out walking my dog, Benny around 7PM last night I missed a phone call from my nephew in-law. (Anyone know what you actually call a guy who is married to one’s niece)?  It was Mike, excitedly calling from his car on the way home from the Oakland Zoo, that he just e-mailed me a photo of someone he met at the zoo. I immediately opened my trusty MacBook Pro to find the above photo of Mike smiling along with  Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos.

MIke told me when I phoned that the family, after completing their Zoo visit, was taking advantage of the kiddy rides directly adjacent to the zoo, when he spotted what he thought was someone he knew.  After a closer inspection he realized in was Markos Moulitsas and uncharacteristically approached him.  He acknowledged the fact that it, indeed, was the Daily Kos guy, and Mike’s sister, Jen took this photo.  Mike, his sister Jen and I are big fans of Markos. Very, very cool.

FYI – Markos used to be a Republican but changed his allegiance after a stint in the army.

My own favorite Zoo happenstance was a few years ago when I spotted a scruffy looking Keith Olbermann and his lady friend by the polar bear habitat.  I took a photo through the glass at the other side of the exhibit and then approached them.  We had a long chit chat about our polar bears, Gus and ida, and then I told him I was a BIG fan and thanked him for his work.

Joy on K Street January 22, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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You cannot underestimate the staggering blow to democracy that was accomplished by the conservative side of the Un-Supreme Court yesterday.  Their 5 to 4 decision to grant corporations a new and uber-powerful status will change everything that you know and love/hate about our political process.  The Roberts Court has granted corporations the same status as ‘people’ and therefore has First Amendment privileges. Corporations can now, without limits, abort the democratic process by throwing as much money as they want in support of or against candidates that do not do their bidding.  Watch out for those now joyful lobbyists on K Street who will threaten any politician that does not do their bidding. They can outspend, outwit and outlast any candidate’s pocket.

–  Alan Grayson of Florida has already floated five bills to help thwart this insane decision and you can go to his new website, savedemocracy.net and sign the petition to ‘Save Our Democracy.’ I did. Barney Frank intends to also try to put some roadblocks in the way of these corporations.

–  Keith Olbermann goes a bit far with his opinion but it is worth watching.  Be afraid — be very afraid.

–  Here is Keith speaking with Jonathan Turley on the subject.  I did not agree with Turley and his ‘free speech’ advocacy, but thought you should listen:

Eyes on the Prize October 11, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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the prizeWhat is wrong with so many people?  Why can’t we all be proud (even for just a short while) that our young President won the biggest prize of all – the Nobel Peace Prize.  I did not expect the virulent Right to say anything positive about this honor (although I never can figure out what crazy shit will actually come out of their collective mouths).  However, I was a bit taken aback by the Left side of the spectrum.  The man has been in office for only eight months.  Did you think he was going to give you everything you wanted in those first few days?  Weeks?  Months?  Or even years?  Were you listening to his campaign speeches?  Or were you simply so excited that we were finally getting rid of the Bush thugs that your thoughts were clouded.

True, I have been horrified by some of the previous Nobel Peace Prize winners. Often the committee awards the Prize as encouragement for positive steps even if the end goal has yet to be reached. For instance, Yassir Arafat‘s prize made my blood boil and no one was surprised to see that he proceeded to back out of the Middle East Peace ideas, take all the money and run. My ire still enrages at the Peace Prize award that was given to Henry (top of my war criminal list) Kissinger, during the Vietnam War.  President Obama has created a new international climate, the committee declared, and the world cheers that effort.  Insulated Americans, have no idea how horrified most of the rest of the civilized world has been by the thuggish, brutal, go it alone approach of the Bush Administration. Obama’s international efforts to start speaking through diplomatic channels to undo those wrongs cannot be taken lightly.  Or, maybe they awarded the prize to Obama simply because he can pronounce the word ‘nuclear’ correctly.

Here is an alphabetical listing of all previous Nobel Peace Prize winners. Check out who you hate on this list.

Andrew Sullivan chimes in with some interesting thoughts about the prize. “I don’t think Americans fully absorbed the depths to which this country’s reputation had sunk under the Cheney era. That’s understandable. And so they also haven’t fully absorbed the turn-around in the world’s view of America that Obama and the American people have accomplished. Of course, this has yet to bear real fruit. But you can begin to see how it could; and I hope more see both the peaceful intentions and the steely resolve of this man to persevere. This president has done a huge amount to bring race relations in this country to a different place, which is why the far right has become so vicious in attacking him and lying about him. They know he threatens their politics of division and rule. He has also directly addressed the Muslim world, telling some hard truths, and played a small role in evoking a similar movement of hope and change in Iran, and finally told the Israelis to stop cutting their nose off to spite their face.”

I must say when I heard the news early on Friday morning that Obama had won the prize, an audible gasp could be heard throughout Casa Lobo.  Little Benny the dog, came over to see if my gasp involved a treat for him.  Madison, the cat – yawned. I was torn between racing thoughts about the prize and watching NASATV as we were about to bomb the moon in our search for water moon sources.  I thought that the decision by the Olympic Committee to choose Rio over Chicago now probably seemed like a ‘who cares.’  I thought that Bill Clinton is probably blowing a fuse about not being chosen for the Nobel Peace prize.  In fact, Maureen Dowd has one of her funny columns today  about a fictional conversation between ‘W’ and Bubba.  A fun read.

So, I say, bravo to President Obama. Perhaps this Prize will elevate his goals even higher. Nuclear disarmament is a fine goal, as is peace between arch enemies.  Did anyone ever think that Northern Ireland would get over ‘the troubles?’  This President was handed a fine mess on every front.  It couldn’t hurt to try to support his International efforts, could it? How about let us all sit back and congratulate the President on this encouraging award.  We can always go back to criticizing him next week.

prize

–  If you want to follow Keith Olbermann‘s lead and donate to the National Association of Free Clinics here is the website.  I have donated, how about you?

You can make your tax deductible online donation to the National Association of Free Clinics by mailing a check directly to them at:
The National Association of Free Clinics
1800 Diagonal Road Suite 600
Alexandria VA 22314

–  Rachel Maddow Goes After Idiot Republican Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert

–  My new favorite Congressman of the week is Alan ‘I’m not apoligizing’ Grayson:

–  Former vice president and Nobel Laureate Al Gore is calling President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize win extremely well deserved and an honor for the country. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his work on global warming.

– And you must watch this:

Secrets, Lies and No Videotape July 12, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Links, Photography, Politics, wildlife, Zoos.
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kookaThis alarming news story will not have any of the  Sarah ‘I Quit’ Palin 24/7 coverage – but it should. Why won’t it get coverage?  It does not involve sex or Appalachian Trail references and it is somewhat old news.  The public will not read about it and chances are that if it ever gets on TV – people will switch channels.  Unlike the Michael Jackson coverage where if you did not want to watch the same news items or file clips about him you really could not switch channels because every channel covered it.

This story involves Dick Cheney, George W Bush, secrets, the CIA (redundant term – see ‘secrets’), oversight, counter-terrorism programs and lies.

So it turns out that the CIA withheld information about a secret counter-terrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney. This not so shocking headline stems from last week’s admission by CIA chief Leon Panetta that he had ended the program on June 23rd when he first learned of it. So what was this very mysterious program?  That is still a secret and the ubiquitous Mr. Cheney has suddenly fallen silent.  Read the entire article from the front page of the New York Times here.

psstThe much maligned Nancy Pelosi has been crying foul for awhile as the rabid right tries to set her on fire. The law requires the president to make sure the intelligence committees “are kept fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity.” But the language of the statute, the amended National Security Act of 1947, leaves some leeway for judgment, saying such briefings should be done “to the extent consistent with due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters.”

After 9/11, in efforts to cover their asses the Bushies closed ranks and while a cowering, frightened nation looked for leadership, they took advantage and created secret, apparently useless programs and systematically raped our Constitution.

Will anyone be punished with this latest revelation?  I will eat my hat if that happens.  As I watch the Obama Administration morph into a middle of the road, let’s just wait awhile, make no waves bunch of wimps, my hopes for change grow dimmer with each passing day.

–  The above story is bad enough but this week we also had the revelation that President Bush was the one behind the hospital bed fiasco involving John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales and our Constitution.  Watch Keith Olbermann discuss this with Jonathan Turley.  Fascinating stuff.

The Democrats like to disclose crimes but not prosecute them. Shame, shame, shame.
Tongue Lashings for them all.

TONGUELASHINGSblog

Hate is Not New and Other Sunday Items June 14, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Dogs and cats, Links, Photo Archives, Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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upclosetitleThe rage that is headlining across the land is finally getting the media’s attention.  It is hard for the media to ignore the murders of abortion doctors and the latest nightmare at the Holocaust Museum in DC. Raise your hand if you think the loners and groups of gun wielding, right-wing, haters of anything that is not a mirror image of themselves is new?  Frank Rich attacks the issue of the enablers who are stirring the pot and giving these lunatics talking points in today’s column called The Obama Haters’ Silent Enablers.

I have been a long time supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center . From its website ‘ The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded in 1971 as a small civil rights law firm. Today, SPLC is internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups.’ On their website they have a link to a frightening Hate Map. You can select a state and another map will come up showing you exactly where these groups are located and where their hate is directed. If you follow your local politics, you will not be surprised. Bob Herbert discusses The Way We Are (and it is not pretty).

Watch Keith Olbermann talk to Eugene Robinson about the Right, their thought process and the ever growing threats to all of us.

–  Some stories seem to be re-runs don’t they?  Patrick Kennedy is back in rehab.  Sarah Palin is back in the news with a tirade against David Letterman. Riots in Iran, again.  North Korea continues to be rogue with their imprisonment of those two reporters. Poppy Bush jumps from an airplane (again). I was hoping the change we voted for would silence all of these nut jobs. Sigh.

–  Ever wonder who gets those Ambassador appointments?  We usually never hear about them unless they are controversial.  Here is a list of some of the appointments thus far by the Obama Administration.  Interesting stuff here. I would have wanted the post to Belize but sadly it is already filled. Shucks.

–  Al Franken Watch: Norm Coleman must pay $94,783 to future-Senator Al Franken to cover court costs. This decision was handed down last week. Still to be decided: whether Coleman must pay Franken’s attorneys’ fees and the outcome of who gets to be Senator.  I have a feeling that we will find out this Thursday about Al’s future. Stay tuned.

–  John Yoo, the former Bush administration wacko lawyer connected to the torture program put in place by the Bush Administration, has been ordered to testify in court about accusations that his work led to the torture of a detainee.

–  The City was treated to two fabulous openings this week. The Snow Leopard habitat at the Central Park Zoo and the High Line. The High Line  is located in the old meatpacking District on the West side of Manhattan and has opened the first of the proposed three parts to the public.  It is an urban oasis unlike anything else. I went to visit early Saturday morning with my good buddy who is an amazing horticulturist. We were both dazzled by the design and incredible vistas as the High Line as it winds its way through the old streets, combining state of the art architecture, yet keeping the integrity of the old railway line.  He was a little critical of the plantings (I liked everything) but we both loved the visit and will be back for more. You can check out the official website of the High Line for its history, videos and more images. Here are my photos from yesterday.

HIGHLINEblog

What’s the matter with Kansas? June 2, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Politics, Religion, Videos.
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choiceWhat’s the matter with Kansas and the other 24 states that have allowed the conservative religious nuts of this country to hi-jack a woman’s right to choose?  The availability of information, education and access has eroded in the last 20 years to such an extent that in many states a woman’s right to choose barely exits.  This is my hot button issue.  Yes, I rant about loads of stuff but this right was too hard to obtain and it makes me crazy to see it appear and disappear in my own lifetime.  I am old enough to remember the wire hangers, the secret flights to Puerto Rico of friends who had the money and support of parents to get an abortion without fearing for their own lives.  I remember the advent of the birth control pill and the freedom that one fabulous day was available to us young women.  It was a great day, a great time and we thought we had it all.  Fast forward forty years and it is drip, dripping away.  The combination of religious nuts and their soul saving bullshit and the real issue, which is the quest to keep women down, the permanent underclass and as they used to say ‘barefoot and pregnant’ is knocking at our door.  The door is closed on my uterus days but I fear for all of my younger sisters out there whose very lives depend on the ability to Choose. What can you do?  You can put your money where your mouth is and double your support for Planned Parenthood and NARAL.  I know I will.

–  Rachel gives a fine background history of what is going on now in the under-served States that lack Choice on last night’s program. Very informative table pounding stuff.

–  How did this all happen?  Rachel’s guest, former Right-To-Lifer Frank Schaeffer tries to explain.

–  Randall Terry needs a muzzle.  His comments on the murder of Dr. George Tiller make me sick:

–  Keith Olbermann had another idea as to how to quiet the right wing nuts jobs. He suggests that it was Fox News – by emphasizing the phrase “Tiller the Baby Killer,”  for example – that instigated the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller.  With that, he says an advertiser boycott isn’t enough of a solution, but rather to “quarantine” Fox News by encouraging people to tell others not to watch. In that regard, he has even volunteered to retire his Lou Grant-esque caricature of Fox News host Bill O’Reilly.

Dueling Banjos May 22, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics, Videos.
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banjosYesterday was a media frenzy.  The hype about Obama v Cheney was everywhere.  The talking heads were frothing at the mouth. Two visions of our current world.  Of course one of the visions is our Presidents world view and the other vision is the diabolical one that started all of the problems that we are now in and belongs in a straight jacket or locked up in one of those maximum security prisons. I certainly do not agree with everything Obama is doing but I do trust him.  I believe he understands the sanctity of our Constitution (except for that unsettling part about ‘indefinite detention’) and is doing his best to attempt to unravel the mess that he found when he moved into the Oval Office.  The other guy needs to be stifled and perhaps thrown inside his man-sized safe.  The combination to this safe should be lost. The New York Times addresses this issue on its editorial page today. “For seven years, President George W. Bush tried to frighten the American public — and successfully cowed Congress — with bullying and disinformation. On Thursday, President Obama told the truth. It was a moment of political courage that will make this country safer.  Mr. Obama was exactly right when he said Americans do not have to choose between security and their democratic values. By denying those values, the Bush team fed the furies of anti-Americanism, strengthened our enemies and made the nation more vulnerable”.

–  For those of you that like your news in snippets, here are the dueling speeches in 100 seconds:

–  Here is Rachel’s take on the most troubling issue of Obama’s speech (Indefinite detention?) Are the thought police coming to get you too?

–  Here is the entire Obama 50 minute speech. The President speaks at length on how American values and security are intertwined, touching on issues from closing Guantanamo to State Secrets.

– Here is Keith Olbermann’s rapid special commentary about Dick Cheney:

–  And here is that requisite feel good conclusion:

The Honeymoon is Over April 17, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, Links, Photography, Politics, Videos, wildlife.
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thescreamOh dear.  Less than three months into the Obama Administration and the honeymoon ended for me.  Yesterday’s good decision to release those oh so secret Bush/CIA memos on the torture program that operated from 2002 to 2005 was knocked silly by the decision to not prosecute anyone of the CIA operatives involved in this program. There was apparently a bitter debate in Obama world about the release of these memos – but released they were.  It is difficult and shameful reading with little redacted. Here is a New York Times link to  summary of the memos.
Here is a link to the statement that President Obama made when releasing the memos. “This is a time for reflection, not retribution. I respect the strong views and emotions that these issues evoke. We have been through a dark and painful chapter in our history. But at a time of great challenges and disturbing disunity, nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past. Our national greatness is embedded in America’s ability to right its course in concert with our core values, and to move forward with confidence. That is why we must resist the forces that divide us, and instead come together on behalf of our common future.”

So it seems to me that President Obama thinks that acknowledging these shameful acts is enough and we should move forward and simply not do it again.  Bad idea.  No one will be punished and actually some of the major players in this nightmare have been rewarded. Jay S. Bybee is now a Federal Judge.  That is a post for life. He was in the Justice Department and oversaw John Yoo, who wrote most of the memos and authorized their use by the CIA. Bad decision, bad people, bad policy.

–  On last night’s Rachel Maddow‘s Show, Jonathan Turley talks about the release of the CIA memos on how the Bush administration authorized torture, and how Obama is guilty of obstruction if he refuses to appoint a special prosecutor or have the DOJ investigate and prosecute the Bush administration.

–  Keith Olbermann delivers one of his special comments on the decision.

–  In some really needed silly stuff: There is a new website, http://www.capitolwords.org/ where you can look up your Representative or Senator and find the most common words they spoke in Congress, as read into the Congressional Record. From demconwatch.com here are the most
common words, and the number of times used, by some of the lawmakers they like to keep up with (In no particular order):

* Richard Shelby “Believe” 63 times.
* Ted Kaufman “Short” 71 times.
* Arlen Specter “Court” 434 times.
* Ted Kennedy “Workers” 195 times.
* Mitch McConnell “Leader” 298 times.
* James Inhofe “Billions” 374 times.
* Harry Reid “Republicans” 771 times,  and “Republican” 690 times.
* And I am not making this up: Charlie Rangel “Caribbean” 293 times.

–  Here’s what happened yesterday according to the yakkers on TV:

–  In other  news – it is going to be 72 degrees today in New York City.  It is the first time the temperature will soar that high since last October. Wa-hoo. It is a zoo day.

–  This is how I sound today:

Spying, Matzoh and Queen Hatshepsut April 8, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Dogs and cats, Jewish Stuff, Links, Photography, Politics, Religion, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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couaA chip, chipping away of the adoration of our new President can be loudly heard. The revelation that the Obama administration is invoking a continuation of some of the Bush spying policies is causing me much alarm and disappointment. The civil liberties and privacy issue that Obama the candidate promised us during the campaign have rapidly evaporated. No – just because he is on our team does not make this a good move. Constitutional pillaging is unacceptable no matter which leader is doing it. I am going to start writing and calling my outrage – how about you?

–  Here are both Howard Fineman and Jonathan Turley on the Obama Administration’s Invoking State Secrets on Surveillance Program. This 10 minute piece is worth your time.

–  For those of you that missed Keith Olbermann‘s tribute to his  mother who passed away last week, check it out. You can see that the apple did not fall far from this tree:

–  Happy Passover to one and all. Here is something to laugh along with:

–  It was about 1500 B.C. when Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt built the first zoo. Many private zoos were kept by rulers in Africa, India, and China between 1,000 and 400 B.C. – and a “school” zoo was built by the Greeks to study animal and plant life.  Modern zoos were not delevoped until the 1400’s when European explorers came to the New World and took exotic animals back home with them. It was then that public display type zoos were born. Here are some of the reasons I love to go to zoos.
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