Tuesday, December 30, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR * PEACE ON EARTH and in GAZA

May you have a year filled with LOVE, joy, peace, health, wealth, happiness and success!

'Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.'




There's a lot of news to report. Hope you are tuning in to the Basham and Cornell show. This week we are replaying some of our best broadcasts - with MSNBC's Pat Buchanan, PBS Emmy Award Winner, Christopher Cerf and CNN's Paul Begala.

Obama Should Engage Now for Middle East Peace
Please read this article below by John Nichols at The Nation

An Israeli air assault on Palestinian targets in Gaza has taken an estimated 300 lives over the course of the past several days, and the death toll is mounting rapidly. Dozens of children have been killed, confirming that there is nothing "surgical" about these strikes.

Most U.S. media coverage portrays a simple struggle between Israelis on the one side and Gaza's Hamas militants on the other. This is the line that is being advanced aggressively by the Bush administration and that has effectively been accepted by President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, which is maintaining its "Bush speaks for the U.S. until January 20" line even as the crisis mounts. Following Bush's lead, Obama has refused to call for a more nuanced and effective U.S. response to an escalation of the Middle East conflict that Palestinian parliamentarian Mustafa Barghouti on Sunday described as the worst since the 1967 war in the region.

Obama and his aides should be openly counseling the Bush administration to use every diplomatic avenue to promote a ceasefire and, above all, to urge against an Israeli invasion and occupation of Gaza.
Read more at TheNation.com

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

TOYS FOR TOTS * CANDY CANE LANE

Hi Jolly Roger, MCH, trolls, Volt and JP!!

My husband and I are sitting in Barney's Beanery right now watching the Packers game. Steeler fans are stomping on the floor above me. We have 39 TV screens surrounding us.

Will -- I have not posted an opinion on Rick Warren but my sister (who is gay) filled me in on how truly homophobic he is. I thought he was one of the more enlightened preachers, but I hear he won't allow gays in his church. If this is true and I have yet to investigate this-- then it is HORRIBLE and he is not fit to be Obama's inauguration-giver.

Why didn't Obama pick Jim Wallis? Sojourners???

We had a houseload of kids over every day since Christmas and a party before Christmas. Mom sent us a Costco Card for tons of food and we had 90 people.

I have been baking, scrubbing and cleaning forever!! Then on Christmas eve, stayed up with hubby and wrapped gifts until 3 AM for the kids, stuffed stockings.. and put out cookies for Santa.






Okay I admit it, I'm actually Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I really wanted a lighted sleigh on our roof with some reindeer, but even the kids thought it would be too gawdy for our neighborhood.

Here is a photo of Candy Cane Lane in Woodland Hills. I force the family to drive through it every year so I can ooh! and aah over the holiday lights.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Channukah, Happy Kwanza and Happy New Year! I love Christmas more than any other time of year. I love seeing the kids' faces when they wake up (in 2 hours!)




God Bless you!
Love,
Lydia and Family
We couldn't get Chazzie to sit still for the camera and you can see he threw off his reindeer antlers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CAROLINE KENNEDY vs. HILLARY SUPPORTERS



Please give us your opinion on whether Caroline should be given the New York Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton.

And please give us your opinion on the economic crisis, the "ponzai" scheme in Florida - and how you think people who have lost everything will survive in retirement. Should we set up free senior housing centers and free kitchens for retirees who have lost their life savings? What is the solution to massive unemployment — if millions more jobs are lost? I am interested in hearing inspiring, workable solutions to saving lives and sanity.

And please give us ideas on what you are doing to save money for the holidays. Is everyone cutting back? We are more excited about Christmas than ever because the spirit of giving is in the air.

Friday, December 12, 2008

BUSH'S SHOE HIT * SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE BEST MOVIE

"This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!”

Everyone is talking about Bush being hit with the size ten shoes. But what I want to know is WHERE WAS THE SECRET SERVICE??? Normally, if anyone merely twitches in the audience of a presidential speech, the secret service pounces. But this Iraqi journalist had time to throw not only one shoe, but he had time to throw a second shoe!! And here is what he said: "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!”



Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush ducked two shoes thrown at him by a man during a press conference in the Iraqi prime minister’s office to mark the signing of a security agreement.

Bush wasn’t hit by the shoes, which both sailed over his head after they were thrown one after the other. The president shrugged and said “I’m OK” after the incident in Baghdad today. “All I can report is it is a size 10,” Bush said afterwards.

In Arab culture, throwing shoes is a grave show of disrespect. “This is the farewell kiss, you dog,” the man shouted in Arabic.

After U.S. troops pulled down a statue of former dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraqi bystanders tossed shoes at it, according to news reports at the time. Bush said today’s incident was an example of free speech in a democracy.

The man threw the shoes from about 25 feet away as Bush, standing with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, made formal remarks before the signing of the Iraqi-U.S. agreement. Maliki tried to block the second thrown shoe as it flew toward Bush, according to video of the incident shown on television.

Wrestled to Ground

The shoe-thrower, who was in a group of journalists, was wrestled to the ground and taken away. “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq,” shouted the man, later identified by the Associated Press as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi- owned station based in Cairo, Egypt.

I have seen a couple of great films recently. One of the BEST films I've ever seen is "Slumdog Millionaire" by the great Irish director Danny Boyle, who did "Trainspotting."





The other film I cannot get over is "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" and the ending will absolutely shock you. No one who has seen it will reveal the ending — and I was totally unprepared for it. We took the kids on Thanksgiving evening, and I can't think of a better way to realize how grateful we all should be for our lives.



We also saw "The Day the Earth Stood Still" which we loved. The kids loved it almost as much as I did, but they are bit more mature than I am, so that makes sense.

Tonight we watched the Video Game Awards with Jack Black in his underwear. My 14-year-old raves about Unchartered and can't wait for Unchartered 2. The kids argued over which is better: the PS3 or XBOX 360.

Here are some review excerpts of my current favorite movie:

Slumdog Millionaire" is an emotional roller coaster, a "ticking clock" thriller, a tragic-comic blend of the modern and the ancient. Like opera and soap opera, it tugs at the heart and flings obstacles in the way of our star-crossed kids. Like many an ancient tale from the Far East, it embraces fate. And never has the phrase "It is written" taken us on a more thrilling ride. - Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

For six months, Boyle and about a dozen colleagues traveled to Mumbai, India, to create "Slumdog Millionaire," a sometimes intense but ultimately buoyant account of an orphan's remarkable performance on the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," where the top prize is actually closer to $4 million.

"They are the fourth largest nuclear power in the world and yet they don't have working toilets," Boyle says of the startling disparity between India's haves and have-nots. "It has all of this emerging technology and no clean drinking water."

Those dramatic juxtapositions form the backdrop of Boyle and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy's ("The Full Monty") adaptation of Vikas Swarup's novel "Q and A." Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) may be enjoying an incredible run on the quiz show but the question he most wants answered is: What has become of his one true love, Latika (Freida Pinto)?

Boyle says the movie's message is not unlike the spirit of the people he encountered making it. "They have this amazing belief in faith and the organic nature of life," Boyle says. "That things will happen." -- John Horn, L.A. Times


•SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE is a Fox Searchlight release directed by Danny Boyle with Loveleen Tandan from a script by Simon Beaufoy based on the novel Vikas Swarup. Running time: 118 minutes. Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language.


LOU GOSSETT'S ERACISM FOUNDATION

Our guest Wednesday on the Basham and Cornell show will be Academy Award Winner Louis Gossett, Jr.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

INSPIRATION

Pain is the touchstone of all spiritual progress. - Anonymous

Photo: In memory of my sweet brother Paul at the Grand Canyon, who passed away December 1, 1995. Photo of our boys a couple of years ago.

"We aren't simply an isolated collection of atoms and molecules, but are an inseparable part of the infinite field of intelligence." David Simon, M.D.

"When you know that you are an inseparable part of the field of all possibilities, you can easily fulfill your desires. You no longer worry about money — getting it, losing it, or not having enough — because you know hte supply is inexhaustible. This understanding is the source of all abundance." - Deepak Chopra, M.D.

"Within you rests the universal answer to every question that you could ever ask yourself. It's been said that prayer is talking to God... meditation is listening. Can you hear the universe whispering to you?" - Davidji

"Love is the unified field" - me

"You'll SEE it when you BELIEVE it." - Dr. Wayne Dyer

"All boundaries melt in the warmth of love and we know that we are part of an indivisible whole — an expression of the eternal Divine." - Deepak Chopra, M.D.

"I think there needs to be a change of consciousness with the news ... to try to seek a higher ground. Why can't it be more representative of the way the world really is? I think we don't know what the bombardment of crime and violence does to our minds, I think we're in denial about it." - Oprah Winfrey

Your life is right now. It's not later. It's not in that time of retirement. It's not when the lover gets here. It's not when you've moved into the new house. It's not when you get the better job. Your life is right now. It will always be right now. You might as well decide to start enjoying your life right now, because it's not ever going to get better than right now — until it gets better right now! -
Jerry and Esther, Abraham-Hicks

"All the strife in the world is happening to bring us closer to our spirit, our humanity. For years we've been snowballing toward excess, chaos, materialism, violence and porn. There will never be enough perversions to satisfy us. There is never enough sex, drugs, i-pods, plasma screens or edge-of-death experiences to fill us up. You can't paste fulfillment on like a bandaid from the outside. It's an inside job. Sometimes you have to lose everything to become free. There is only one way to go: toward healing, toward love which is the spiritual kingdom within us. The more we focus on the good in others, even our enemies, the more the good increases. This is a law of the universe, and it's the only real way to pray." - Me

But on that note, it is okay to point out dishonesty when you see it. For example:

Milwaukee's Dan Shelley Exposes How 'Conservative' Talkers Create Their Phony Narrative on the Publicly-Owned Airwaves...

The former news director/program manager at one of Milwaukee's largest and most powerful radio stations offers some remarkable inside skinny on how Rightwing Radio chooses its slanted topics, marches in lockstep with GOP talking points, sets up its "conservative" listeners as victims, and shuts out all but the most artfully selected opposing viewpoints.

I'll take this moment to mention, yet again, that this is all being done on the publicly owned airwaves, which we grant license to out of the kindness of our public hearts, and which the wingnuts enjoy as public welfare queens to bludgeon Americans into voting against their own self-interest...

FULL STORY: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=6708
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Quote of the Day
"We have a great life here in Alaska, and we're never going back to America again!" - Homer Simpson

Bush, the self-proclaimed "War President" says: "I Was Unprepared For War," "I'm Sorry" For The Economic Crisis. ABC News/AP/CNN | December 1, 2008 at 11:32 AM

President Bush let it all out today during an interview with ABC News' Charlie Gibson. Bush delivered a mea culpa on Iraq, the economic crisis and the 2008 election outcome for Republicans.

My take: He passes the buck and doesn't apologize for cooking the books and cherry-picking the intelligence. Bush and Cheney did everything in their power to silence Ambassador Joe Wilson, destroy the cover of CIA agent Valerie Plame and keep the National Intelligence Estimate quiet. By the way, who leaked the NIE report which said Sadaam DID NOT have WMD? I think it was Gates. And it was sinister the way the Bush- Cheney cabal painted everyone as unpatriotic who wore a Peace T-shirt or was against the 'shock and awe' bombing of the ancient Babylonian lands, innocent Iraqi civilians who could not flee Falluja in time -- including children. Bush and Cheney destroyed hospitals, colleges, schools, Mosques and infrastructure. They claimed Sadaam had WMD when clearly he did not. And they knew it. To pretend that now he didn't know the intelligence was cooked, is a crime.

I agree with Chris Matthews, who says that WMD was not the actual reason Bush drove this war fever. He had other imperialistic motives, so the whole thing is an unconscionable lie -- or rewriting of history — even this apology.

More below.... but first, some funny pictures from HUFFPO:

Big Three CEOs Drive Hybrids To Washington



Doctor Zhivago

Monday, December 01, 2008

DEMPUBLICANS: OBAMA'S PURPLE TEAM

Obama's coalition government is not only politically and racially diverse but contains three whole women!! Obama is already proving to have great humility — which is the main ingredient of a great statesman, wise leader and public servant.

As a Progressive blog, for years we've been saying that the biggest sign of strength is humility — the opposite of "manly" pride, personal ego, aggression, combativeness and 'refusing to talk to your enemies. The opposite of all the qualities possessed by those who lied us into war and their enablers —  Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Ann Coulter...etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Anyone with the IQ of a houseplant can be violent and aggressive. It takes great courage to be a good listener — to be caring, gentle and still. It takes great strength to admit you don't know everything and to let new ideas in. Those of the "false macho bravura tribe" think that being in touch with one's feminine side is a sure sign of weakness in a man. It's actually the exact opposite.

On that note, what would possess Sean Hannity to spend his entire show discussing UFOs? He has nothing to fight against now, I guess. Maybe this will be the demise of rihgt-wing hate radio: the fact that Obama is not the most liberal member of Congress, nor is he a socialist, nor is he a scary Arab! Obama has combined the best of the left and the right so he can then go with his conscience, which may truly be even farther to the left. (For me, this is fine because when it comes to war and nuclear weapons, I follow what the Great Peacemaker says: "Love your enemies" and then you will have none!

And now we hear that GENERAL BARRY McCAFFREY is a WAR PROFITEER! He was pushing the U.S. to buy Eastern European tanks from Defense Solutions, not disclosing that he was paid millions by the same company.

WOULDN'T IT HAVE BEEN PATRIOTIC TO HAVE INVITED THE BIG THREE U.S. AUTO MAKERS TO BUILD THESE SAME TANKS -- THEREBY SAVING OUR AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY and THOUSANDS OF JOBS? Sure, but McCaffrey was on TV promoting his own interests, under the guise of being a "patriot" with America's best interests at heart!

In McCaffrey's recent MSNBC commentary, he exclaimed enthusiastically, "Thank God for the Abrams tank and . . . the Bradley fighting vehicle," and added for good measure that the "war isn't over until we've got a tank sitting on top of Saddam's bunker." In March alone, IDT [on whose Board of Directors McCaffrey sat] received more than $14 million worth of contracts relating to Abrams and Bradley machinery parts and support hardware. Is it even possible for there to be more incriminating evidence than this? (Source: NYT "One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex" and Glen Greenwald, Salon.com


Here's what our resident blogger Mike has to say, and I think it's brilliant:

Never envisioned myself defending Gates..........but seriously it's the Sec of Defenses job to carry out the will of the president and ensure the mission he is given is successful and Gates resisted the idiocy of the Neo Cons as much as he could, he was a breath of fresh air after Rummy..........With Admiral Fallon run out by Bush's Neo Con warmongers Gates was pretty much ALL that stood between the Neo Cons attacking Iran and starting WW3.............Gates released NIE's and other intelligence reports that seriously undermined the credibility and ability of the Neo Cons to attack Iran...........if Gates had been any more defiant or under cut the NEo Con agenda any more he would have been fired and replaced with a blindly loyal Neo Con lacky and we would have had WW3.

I dont think your seeing WHY Obama would keep Gates...........its like a chess master thinking endgame at the beginning of the game...........Obama is thinking 2012 NOW............IF we keep Bush's Defense Sec and give him a new mission and Iraq gets fixed then its CLEAR to ALL iraq was a failure of Bush/Neo Con leadership and incompetence and the Neo Cons will not be able to claim the Demacrats surrendered in Iraq.........are they going to say Bush's defense surrendered??

He's marginalizing the Neo Con loons and giving Hilllary and Gates a chance to redeem themselves..........and lets not forget its their JOBS to carry out the Will of the President if they dont follow Obama's agenda and lead they can be fired.


I feel very reassured and safe with Obama and his coalition. Bill Richardson will be Commerce Secretary and Tom Daschle will be Health and Human Services Secretary. We had Senator Daschle on our show and he has written an amazing book on Health Care solutions.

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Associated Press - CHICAGO (AP) - Barack Obama announced a national security team Monday headed by Hillary Rodham Clinton who fought him long and bitterly for the presidency -- as Secretary of State and Robert Gates, the man who has been running two wars for George W. Bush striking choices by a president-elect who declared he wanted "strong personalities and strong opinions."

While the team may be a bit more centrist and some war opponents might even say hawkish than many Obama supporters might prefer, he said he still thinks 16 months is "the right time frame" for pulling most U.S. combat troops from Iraq. He added, as he often did in the presidential campaign's closing months, that he would consult with military commanders before setting a firm timetable.

Clinton, as secretary of state, and Gates, remaining as defense secretary, will be the most prominent faces besides Obama's own of the new administration's effort to revamp U.S. policy abroad.

"I assembled this team because I'm a strong believer in strong personalities and strong opinions," he said. "I think that's how the best decisions are made. ... So I'm going to be welcoming a vigorous debate inside the White House."

"But understand I will be setting policy as president," he added. He said he will be responsible for "the vision that this team carries out, and I expect them to implement that vision once decisions are made."

Quoting Harry S. Truman, Obama said: "The buck will stop with me."

Without naming Bush or directly referring to what administration critics see as America's tarnished world image over the past eight years, Obama called for a new strategy for dealing with global issues.

"We're going to have to bring the full force of our power, not only military but also diplomatic, economic, and political, to deal with those threats not only to keep America safe but also to ensure that peace and prosperity will exist around the world," he said.

Referring to his security team, Obama said: "They share my pragmatism about the use of power and my sense of purpose about America's role as a leader in the world."