Monthly Archive: October 2004

Sorry it has been a while.  I’ve been (a) sick with the flu, (b) lost in the love of my Kayla, (c) attending the SerpentStone Family Gathering this past weekend (yes, still sick), and (d) fighting with my ancient computer.  Still don’t have the new one working, and can’t even get an response from AMD on getting the processor replaced.

Kayla and I are just wonderful together.  Neither of us could have expected this, but it exceeds my dreams.  We will be getting handfasted on November 6 at SerpentStone Circle, we hope to have a lot of friends there but it will be all right either way.  We are skipping the legal ceremony this year, but will take care of that at the renewal next year.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this woman, she means everything to me.

I’d better quit now before I get too sappy.  If any of y’all can come to the handfasting, please do.


Swami’s Swing State Swing

by Swami Beyondananda

It’s no secret. Bush-bashing has become the rage. And judging by the New Yorkers’ rage at the Republican convention, Americans are becoming less bashful about bashing Bush. But now political scientists are telling us that Bush-bashing — or any other kind of bashing for that matter — can cause a lot of wear and tear on the body politic.

Now here comes political guru and uncommontator Swami Beyondananda determined to “put an end to Bush-bashing once and for all.”

The Swami, who is the author of Swami for Precedent: A 7-Step Plan to Heal the Body Politic and Cure Electile Dysfunction, and founder of the Right-to-Laugh Party, believes the best way to end Bush-bashing is to get right to the source — President Bush himself. “If there is no Bush to bash,” Swami reasons, “there will be no more Bush bashing.”

Consequently, Swami has launched a two-step program to do just that:

  • Step One. De-elect the misleader.

  • Step Two. Become the leaders we’ve been missing.

We caught up with Swami just as he was ready to embark on his “swing state swing” as part of his campaign for a new “precedent.”

Natural Enquirer: So you’re touring the swing states?

Swami: Yes, and I’m going one better. I’m not just touring the swing states. I’m visiting the polka states as well. I mean, why leave out Pennsylvania? Or Ohio?

Natural Enquirer: And you’re campaigning for a new “precedent?”

Swami: Yes, because if we the people choose a new precedent, a new President will surely follow. So here is a precedent we can all vote for: Government of the people, by the people, for the people where the government does our bidding, not the bidding of the highest bidder.

Natural Enquirer: OK, but what does this have to do with putting an end to Bush-bashing?

Swami: Well, let’s face it. George Bush has become an enlightening rod to awaken millions of Americans concerned with holistic issues, who have realized – if can I be blunt here – that it’s hard to live a holistic life in an assaholistic system. President Bush has indeed been the great uniter, with 75% of the world’s population now united against him.

Here in this country many, many people have declared they will no longer stand for George Bush de-constituting the Constitution while his Banana Republicans turn this country into a banana republic. Which explains all the Bush-bashing. But along with taking a stand on what we won’t stand for, we must stand up for what we do stand for. As I’ve said before, we need more forums and fewer againstums. So it’s time to stop beating around the Bush, and ask ourselves that all-important question, what great things would we be doing if there were no Bush to bash?

Natural Enquirer: Are you campaigning for a specific candidate?

Swami: Well, part of choosing a new precedent is electing ourselves. Hey, George Bush did it, so why not us? I don’t know how many physics majors are reading this, but take Isaac Newton’s word for it. In order to change direction, you must first stop the momentum going in the direction you don’t want to go. So we must elect ourselves to stop the current misleadership taking us fool speed ahead the wrong way down the wrong road. And that is why the Right to Laugh Party is throwing its weight behind John Kerry this year. Of course, it’s not much weight. Because we tend to gravitate toward levity, we’re definitely lightweights. But maybe it takes comedy for people to see there’s something funny going on.

Natural Enquirer: But still — do you think the Democrats deserve our support? Shouldn’t progressives — as Ralph Nader suggests — stand together to teach the Democrats a lesson?

Swami: I think we have to get our lesson plans sequenced right. Remember Lincoln’s speech about government of the people, by the people, for the people not perishing from this earth? Well, I’ve got news for you. It’s on life support. So let’s breathe some life into the body politic by teaching the Republicans a lesson first.

First things first. Voting for Nader to knock off the Democrats, well it reminds me of the Aggie joke I heard at Baba Q’s ashram in Texas when I was working as a sacred cowpoke. An Aggie returns home unexpectedly and finds his wife in bed with his best friend. The husband pulls out a gun, and puts it to his own head. The wife and friend burst out laughing, and the husband says, “What are you laughing at? You’re next!” For some reason, the Aggie husband reminds me of the Naderites. So, progressives, let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot this election. And for goodness sakes, let’s not shoot ourselves in the head!

Natural Enquirer: One more question, Swami. The campaign has gotten intense recently involving the candidates’ military service during the Vietnam War. What is your take on that?

Swami: Well, if you’re going to fight about anything, what better to fight about than war? And since we do have a war President, now that victory has been declared in Iraq, he’s looking for the next logical target. So the Not-So-Swift-Boat Veterans have launched a pre-emptive strike to torpedo the Kerry campaign. Military observers see this as a diversionary tactic to cover up President Bush’s own tracks – or in his case, lack of tracks. Because one look at his military record and it becomes clear – the record skipped. There is evidence that young George Bush shirked the light duty he was given to avoid the heavy-duty duty, and we can officially classify him as “Missing in Inaction.”

Natural Enquirer: Well, there are those who would say the President is serving America now.

Swami: And he is. He is serving America up on a silver platter to the likes of Halliburton, the energy companies, and the drug companies. On the other hand, he is definitely not serving those who served – and who are currently serving. He’s lowered health benefits for middle-class veterans, and soldiers in Iraq have to have armor sent from home (that’s “armor,” not “Armour” – they seem to have been given an abundance of canned meat).

Natural Enquirer: Do you think, with all these attacks back and forth, has it had any affect on the character issue?

Swami: Here is the character issue in a nutshell. It takes character — and courage — to stand up for your country. It takes even more character and courage to stand up TO your country when your country is wrong. As a young man, John Kerry did both. George Bush did neither. I think that characterizes the character conversation pretty well.

© Copyright 2004 by Steve Bhaerman. All rights reserved

It is wrong to think than love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created in years or even generations.

– Kahlil Gibran

Part of working on ourselves, in order to be ready for a profound relationship, is learning how to support another person in being the best that they can be. Partners are meant to have a priestly role in each other’s lives. They are meant to help each other access the highest parts within themselves.

– Marianne Williamson, A Year of Daily Wisdom

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

– Eleanor Roosevelt

If I can think of myself as loved, I can love and accept others.
If I see myself as forgiven, I can be gracious toward others.
If I see myself as powerful, I can do what I know is right.
If I see myself as full, I can give myself freely to others.

~ Kathy Peel

“The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.”

~Teddy Roosevelt
reported in the Kansas City Star, May 7, 1918

“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country.”

~Hermann Goering

“I will never apologize for the United States of America — I don’t care what the facts are.”

~George Bush, Newsweek, August 15, 1989 (commenting on the shooting down of an Iranian airliner by the US warship Vincennes, killing 290 civilian passengers)

“If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier… just as long as I’m the dictator….”

~George W. Bush Dec 18, 2000

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

~George W. Bush

“There ought to be limits to freedom”

~George W. Bush

“You know I could run for governor but I’m basically a media creation. I’ve never done anything. I’ve worked for my dad. I worked in the oil business. But that’s not the kind of profile you have to have to get elected to public office.”

~George W. Bush, 1989

This is an oldie but a goodie… kinda like ME 😀

One day, three men were hiking and unexpectedly came upon a large raging, violent river. They needed to get to the other side, but had noidea how to do so.

The first man prayed to God, saying, “Please God, give me the strength to cross this river.” Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs, and he was able to swim across the river in about two hours, after almost drowning a couple of times.

Seeing this, the second man prayed to God, saying, “Please God,give me the strength ..and the tools to cross this river.” Poof!God gave him a rowboat and he was able to row across the river in about an hour, after almost capsizing the boat a couple of times.

The third man had seen how this worked out for the other two, so he also prayed to God saying, “Please God, give me the strength and the tools…and the intelligence … to cross this river.” And Poof! God turned him into a woman. She looked at the map, hiked upstream a couple of hundred yards, then walked across the bridge.

I’m soooooo happy!!!!!!  Kayla has agreed to handfast me in a religious (not civil) ceremony on November 6th. SapphireSkye and Lord RavenWind will be performing the ceremony. We will renew our vows in November 2005 and make it a civil (legal) ceremony at that time if things are still the same.



I would like to offer many thanks to those women who have dumped me, especially recently. This woman is everything I want and more.


Have you ever noticed that when you’re of a certain age, everything seems uphill from where you are? Stairs are steeper. Groceries are heavier. And, everything is farther away.. Yesterday I walked to the corner and I was dumbfounded to discover how long our street had become!

And, you know, people are less considerate now, especially the young ones. They speak in whispers all the time! If you ask them to speak up they just keep repeating themselves, endlessly mouthing the same silent message until they’re red in the face! What do they think I am, a lip reader?

I also think they are much younger than I was at the same age. On the other hand, people my own age are so much older than I am. I ran into an old friend the other day and she has aged so much that she didn’t even recognize me.

I got to thinking about the poor dear while I was combing my hair this morning, and in doing so, I glanced at my own reflection…….Well, REALLY NOW-even mirrors are not made the way they used to be!

Another thing, everyone drives so fast today! You’re risking life and limb if you just happen to pull onto the freeway in front of them.. All I can say is, their brakes must wear out awfully fast, the way I see them screech and swerve in my rear view mirror.

Clothing manufacturers are less civilized these days. Why else would they suddenly start labeling a size 10 or 12 dress as 18 or 20? Do they think no one notices that these things no longer fit around the waist, hips, thighs, and bosom?

The people who make bathroom scales are pulling the same prank, but in reverse. Do they think I actually “believe” the number I see on that dial? HA! I would never let myself weigh that much! Just who do these people think they’re fooling?

I’d like to call up someone in authority to report what’s going on — but the telephone company is in on the conspiracy too: they’ve printed the phone books in such small type that no one could ever find a number in here!

All I can do is pass along this warning: Maturity is under attack! Unless something drastic happens, pretty soon “everyone” will have to suffer these awful indignities.


PS: I am sending this to you in a larger font size, because something has caused fonts to be smaller than they once were too!

Beth AKA “Ralph”
Monroe Bros. Construction. Green Acres is the place to be!

How To Deal With Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Attempt To Play Kingmaker

Please visit to find the links in this story.

The next time our GOP friends charge the media with being liberal, remember this story. Sinclair Broadcast Group, a publicly-traded company with direct control over the programming of 62 TV stations around the country, is ordering its TV outlets to run an anti-Kerry piece of propaganda on the public’s television airwaves in the days leading up to the election.

The conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose television outlets reach nearly a quarter of the nation’s homes with TV, is ordering its stations to preempt regular programming just days before the Nov. 2 election to air a film that attacks Sen. John F. Kerry’s activism against the Vietnam War, network and station executives familiar with the plan said Friday.

Sinclair has told its stations — many of them in political swing states such as Ohio and Florida — to air “Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal,” sources said. The film, funded by Pennsylvania veterans and produced by a veteran and former Washington Times reporter, features former POWs accusing Kerry — a decorated Navy veteran turned war protester — of worsening their ordeal by prolonging the war. Sinclair will preempt regular prime-time programming from the networks to show the film, which may be classified as news programming, according to TV executives familiar with the plan.

Comparisons between this smear and “Fahrenheit 911” are disingenuous at best simply because you could choose to go, pay, and see a movie even if propaganda, whereas this piece of propaganda is being beamed into your home on the public airwaves with the specific intention of swinging the election by using taxpayer-subsidized airwaves.

Second, Sinclair is being as usual grossly hypocritical here. Back in April they ordered their affiliates not to air a Ted Koppel “Nightline” segment in which Koppel was simply reading the names of fallen US service personnel in Iraq because ABC was supposedly “motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq,” and because supposedly “ABC is disguising political statements as news content.” So what exactly is telling your affiliates to preempt regular programming in swing states to run an anti-Kerry piece of propaganda? Is that not a political statement and a political agenda?

Third, what will the networks do if they find out that Sinclair is preempting network programming to carry this piece of propaganda? ABC has already demonstrated the willingness to deal with Sinclair’s political agenda when it went around its own Sinclair affiliates to offer the “Nightline” episode to nonaffiliates in those same Sinclair markets. Will ABC intervene here again with Sinclair, on the premise that such a blatant political agenda by a major affiliate group harms ABC by association as well? And what will ABC do if the Sinclair pre-emptions affect ABC programming? Perhaps letters and emails to each of the network VPs for affiliate relations asking what the network plans to do about this would be warranted.

But what can be done on this in the time between now and the election?

Chris Bowers over at Jerome Armstrong’s MyDD wrote about this on Saturday, and ChicagoProgressive over at Daily Kos is all over it as well, with a thread that shows how quickly the blogosphere can react in this case. There is information in both threads on how to contact the FCC, and local organizing efforts to contact stations and arrange pickets. I think that in the short time we have left to deal with this before the election, informational picket lines at each Sinclair affiliate pointing out to the local competing media that each of these stations that carry the film upon Sinclair’s orders are nothing more than taxpayer subsidized extensions of the Bush/Cheney 2004 election campaign is about all that can be done. Writing your member of Congress and Senators, including John McCain, would also be a way to get some national notice similar to what McCain and others saw happen when the FCC considered relaxing its media ownership rules earlier. But what else can be done here to make Sinclair pay for this?

The usual way to lean on broadcasters is to arrange boycotts of them or pressure their advertisers, as Chris indicated in his piece on MyDD, and this is already being worked on. There are groups out there with experience in holding the media accountable, such as the Center for Digital Democracy, and the Alliance for Better Campaigns. They could be brought in to coordinate a national letter writing campaign to the FCC that may make a dent before the election, as would any protests and boycotts locally at each station to get media coverage in the week before the election to show that the station is nothing more than a partisan front for the Bush campaign.

But what isn’t done a lot which requires the broadcaster to rack up expensive legal fees, is to challenge every one of their affiliates’ FCC license renewals as they come up this year and next.

The FCC rules state that anyone who has an interest, presumably a local interest, in the renewal of a TV license may file either an informal objection or a more formal petition that must meet specific requirements. Note that Petitions to Deny are required to be filed with the FCC one month in advance of the station’s license expiration date. According to the FCC’s schedule of station expiration dates by state, any move to file Petitions to Deny or objections in advance of the station’s license expiration date are already too late to be accepted for Sinclair stations in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, or the District of Columbia, as the expiration date has passed and the file has closed. However, note that there still is time to organize and file Petitions or objections by November 1, 2004 for Sinclair stations in North Carolina and South Carolina, and for Florida by January 1, 2005.

Bloggers could link up with local media law attorneys of like mind in each of these Sinclair affiliate towns to gather informal objections and formal petitions challenging the renewal of these Sinclair licenses, which would then be forwarded to the FCC for inclusion in the station’s renewal file at least one month prior to the license expiration date for consideration at the time of the upcoming license renewals this year and in 2005-2007. For example, here are the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida stations with upcoming license expirations, for which objections and petitions must be filed by November 1, 2004 for the Carolina stations, and by January 1, 2005 for the Florida stations.

North Carolina:

South Carolina:


I have no illusions that the FCC and Michael Powell may actually reject some Sinclair licenses over this, but the commission would have a hard time ignoring a station’s application for renewal if each file had hundreds or thousands of letters of complaint or petitions on file. Plus, Sinclair would have to defend each one and incur the legal costs of doing so.

Sinclair assumes that this would not happen because a national campaign opposing a major media conglomerate would cost their opponents way too much. Yet they are not counting on how cheaply the weblog community, working with outfits like the Alliance for Better Campaigns, the Center for Digital Democracy, Take Back the Media, and others that would join in, could organize the opposition by working with local media law attorneys who could work pro bono on organizing the license renewal opposition campaign, while of course getting some local and national media coverage themselves.

I think if the major weblogs starting talking about this, it could happen. As for what to do about Sinclair’s last-minute attempt to swing this campaign for Bush, as I said earlier the only thing I see that local Democratic activists can do on short notice is to organize pickets and get media attention by calling these affiliates out as fronts for the Bush/Cheney reelection campaign through their ownership and affiliation with Sinclair. That will be enough to get the media attention and to plant the image in local voters’ minds that Sinclair and its affiliates are really nothing more than biased abusers of the public’s airwaves. But I don’t really expect Sinclair to back down on this because this was sprung on us (by design I expect) too late for us to organize sufficiently to do them damage on this, as is the case in Maryland and the Virginias.

But on the longer term, I think the license challenge campaign can really send a message and point media coverage to this issue and to Sinclair’s detriment. And more importantly, it would demonstrate that the Internet can be used to take on a major right wing media conglomerate and hold them accountable for the corporate welfare they receive in the form of these public airwave licenses, and their abuse of those public airwaves for partisan politics obviously aimed at influencing elections to their benefit through an organized smear campaign with connections to the White House.

Steve Soto

Yayyyyyyy Kayla managed to catch an earlier bus… the next time I post something here, I’ll be in her arms!