Friday, July 28, 2006

George Bush Gets a New Neighbor: Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan is back in the news today. After having been arrested numerous times for protesting the war in Iraq, including an arrest in Crawford, Texas for trespassing, Sheehan has found a way to hold a protest Bush can’t arrest her for: she purchased her own protesting grounds.

Sheehan took some of the insurance money she received from the death of her son to purchase a 5-acre ranch in, where else, Crawford Texas! Bush’s new neighbor has already scheduled her first protest for August 16th to September 2nd, prime vacationing time for our president. The protest will start 3 days earlier to coincide with a vacation the Bush’s have scheduled on their ranch for the first two weeks in August.

"We decided to buy property in Crawford to use until George's resignation or impeachment, which we all hope is soon for the sake of the world," Sheehan said in a newsletter set to be sent to supporters Thursday. "I can't think of a better way to use Casey's insurance money than for peace, and I am sure that Casey approves."

Cindy actually used an agent, Gerry Fonseca, to purchase the property, since she found that no one in Crawford would sell property to her. Fonseca is a fellow protester, and his less recognizable profile allowed him to purchase the plot a mere 1 mile from town and 7 miles from the Bush ranch.

My hat is definitely off to Cindy Sheehan! She has a cause she believes in, and is willing to go to any lengths, including great personal sacrifice, to accomplish it. I love it, Cindy. You are my latest, greatest inspiration!

BTW, pardon my first attempt at using Photoshop….I hope to get better as I go along!

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Posted by Scottage at 11:28 AM / | |  

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Friends of Days Gone By: The Real Opportunity Cost

Yesterday, in a conversation, someone was mentioning how fortunate I am. I have experienced so much of what the world has to offer, taken many challenges, met famous people, experienced what few get to experience. The life of a nomad, some might say, and it’s true to an extent. I have had a ton of opportunities, and I have always done my best to make the most of each and every one. I wouldn’t change one minute of it.

The best part, though, of all my adventures is clearly the people I have met along the way.  And the drawback to my journeys is the simple fact that, whenever I’ve moved, I have had to leave most or all of these people behind.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the life I’ve led, and I’m glad for each and every opportunity.  But I continually think of the people I’ve left behind, many of them so special, to me and in general. And I suspect that, for all the wonderful opportunities I’ve been afforded, the loss of these people is the cost of having these opportunities.

Some of these people have been nomads themselves, on their own roads, and our paths have crossed for only a small portion of our individual paths. Occasionally we try to meet up in another city, but the nomad’s life seldom finds a schedule, and rarely will two nomads be able to link up again.  Try as we might, another trade wind always blows one or the other nomad off course, to a new adventure or opportunity.  

Others forget us, time rolls on and the friends in front of them are the truest friends, the nomad is nothing more than what The Eagles call the “Johnny Come Lately”, passing into town, into their consciousness, for a brief moment in time until the next nomad passes through, each augmenting the person’s core group of friends but never becoming the permanent edition.

But most fade out because the nomad, this nomad at least, rarely finds the time to write enough, to call enough, or the voice to tell these people how much they’ve meant in his life.  Slowly but surely, in the minds of the people with stable lives, a spouse, a group of friends, a secure home, the nomad is but a fleeting memory, a smile (hopes the nomad) on the face of the friend when some memory is triggered, but flees just as quickly as it came.

As I look at the logs of viewers of this blog, I see the location of people, and wonder at the memories and who might be behind those views.  San Jose, could that be Elyse, who taught me so much about living life in the moment? Wisconsin, maybe Bryan, who showed no fear spending his days as an Israeli in the West Bank, discovering the real situation there? Israel, it could be Debbie and Martin, a couple who reminded me true love is possible. Brookline, Jaimie, that love long since gone from my life?

Of course I’ll never know the answers, and perhaps that’s how it should be.  You pay the price for the life you lead, you can’t expect a refund. But now, as I begin to dig in roots in a community, and try to change my life, I look back on the faces of my past, and long for them in my life once more. But this is the life I’ve chosen. This is the life I lead. Forward is the only direction for me.


Posted by Scottage at 10:53 AM / | |  

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Israel and Lebanon: Where the Hope Really Lies

I, of course, have been watching intently as events have unfolded in Lebanon that frankly threatens the security of the entire world. But amidst all the turmoil a very interesting and hopeful story has arisen of communication between the Israelis and the Lebanese.  No, these are not backroom discussions between the two governments, but chat room discussions between their citizens.

The majority of the communication has been between the younger crowds, and it’s not just limited to chat rooms. Blogs and message boards have been springing up like crazy since the onset of the war, and pre-existing sites have experienced record traffic.  The communication provides a method to get opinions and news on the war without the burden of a filter from the media and the respective governments.
"It's important to note that this community existed for some time before the war broke out," said Lisa Goldman, who has used her blog,, to publicize Israeli-Lebanese blogging since the current crisis broke out. "We have tons of things in common. We come from two of the most liberal, educated countries in the Middle East. Many of us received a western education. We have talked, wrote, and dreamed about open borders between our countries."

A popular site is, where the politics message boards have been more than active.  It’s true that some of the messages are very hateful, but even more are honest, describing how the real people of Israel and Lebanon are reacting to the never-ending bombs being dropped in their back yards. Included in the messages are often pictures and even videos of the true devastation that gets filtered out either by the media or the respective governments.

Consistent readers of this blog know that I believe that I believe that it is the radical groups and governments in the Middle East that can’t get along, and that result in all the violence that we see today.  I believe sincerely that the difference between most of the people is small, and that most of the people in the Muslim countries want peace. The problem is that the people have never had a voice to speak to each other.

But now, in the midst of all this violence and all this turbulence, that voice is being heard, maybe not by the governments but by the people, by the future of these countries.  It is mainly a voice of the youth of these countries, and sometimes it is a voice of hatred, but it is also a voice of hope for a brighter tomorrow. Let’s hope the people with the power hear the voice, before it’s too late!

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Posted by Scottage at 3:50 PM / | |  

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A New Template and Renter!

A New Template and Renter!

I am proud and psyched to announce that I have a new template, thanks to the hard work and creativity of Luna from Luna Designs.  Perhaps the coolest part, in case you didn’t notice, is the rotating slideshow in the upper left-hand corner, showing many of the images from around the world I’ve had the privilege to see (and some I’m just hoping to see soon)!

Along those lines, I’m offering 25 credits to anyone who has comments on my new template, and 50 credits to anyone who has a suggestion that leads to an improvement in the new template.  I think this template is amazing, but I want to go the extra yard to make it special, so if you have a thought, I really want to know.

Also, I have a new renter, the lovely and lively Laci of the Long, Slow, Beautiful Dance.  You can click on her link on the right side of my blog. Laci is a great writer, consistently funny with a really cool blog.  Tell me what charity Laci is supporting, and I will send you 25 credits as well.

Much thanks to Luna, who I think made an incredible template.  And I’m really anxious to hear your thoughts.  So tell me what you think, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Posted by Scottage at 3:36 PM / | |  

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Haveil Havelim 79 is Up!

Haveil Havelim, a roundup of the best posts from around the Jewish blogosphere, has been posted at Life of Rubin, and it’s really well done. There are a ton of great posts, and with all that’s been going on in Israel and the Jewish world this past week, there’s a lot of fascinating reading to be done.

Plus, Chaim obviously spent a great deal of time putting together a very special posting, bringing all of the links to life. Whether Jewish or not, if you’re interested in the events that are really impacting the world today, check out Haveil Havelim #79! And thanks to Chaim for all the hard work.

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*The Artwork is from a blog called Not Quite Perfect, and is meant to memorialize T'is B'Av, an extremely sad Jewish holiday. It seems very appropriate considering the events in Israel and Lebanon today.


Posted by Scottage at 9:32 AM / | |