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31 July 2007

organ mess, see Fox News Channel for details and context

Okay, remember the Big Mess with the Dutch reality TV show where viewers were going to telephone to choose who'd receive the dying lady's organs?

This Mess is Bigger.

The Chronicle is handling this as a somewhat routine criminal indictment story (notice it ran not on Page 1, but on B2 -- 2nd page of the Local section).

This story is being handled in a somewhat different context by a psycha freakazoid blogeusse named Debbie Schlussel , who ... oh, never mind. Click if you have a tough stomach.

Anyway, apparently Fox News Channel likes to use Debbie as an on-air news commentator, to illuminate the Muslim world for Fox's viewers. This woman is fucking nuts. I would have Left A Comment to that effect, but you have to register on her site to Leave A Comment, and I don't want this person to know how many ears I have.

But in the United States of America, anyone has the right to be fucking nuts, and blog it to the world.

It's Fox News Channel, which pays her to be fucking nuts and infect cable surfers with short attention spans, that deserves a little extra scrutiny. Fox News: Scare & Unbalanced.

Rupert Murdoch is at the top of the Fox News Channel food chain, but the Founding Honcho under him is Roger Ailes, who began his adventure in electron journalism as TV adviser to President Richard Nixon. Great job, Rog! A whole new bunch of documents concerning Ailes' valuable assistance and advice for Nixon were just released to the public when the Nixon Library turned control of its documents over to the National Archives.

(Ailes recommended that in public appearances, Nixon stop turning his back on his wife and pretending she wasn't there, Ailes didn't think that was making a great impression on female voters.)

One day about ten years ago, Kaiser Permanente just locked its doors and vanished from Massachusetts, and abandoned the thousands of people who'd been paying $$$ to provide their health care. Since then I like to call it Kaiser Temporaria.


The San Francisco Chronicle (California USA)
Page B1
Tuesday 31 July 2007

Doctor charged with
hastening death of donor

by Erin Allday, Chronicle Staff Writer

A San Francisco transplant surgeon was charged Monday with prescribing overdoses of medication to speed up the death of a man at a San Luis Obispo hospital and harvest his organs.

Dr. Hootan Roozrokh, 33, prescribed excessive amounts of morphine and Ativan and injected the topical antiseptic Betadine into Ruben Navarro's stomach in February 2006, prosecutors in San Luis Obispo County said. Navarro, 26, who was severely disabled mentally and physically, had suffered respiratory and cardiac arrest and had been taken off life support, authorities said.

In order for doctors to harvest organs, a patient must be declared dead within 30 minutes of being taken off life support. Navarro, however, died eight hours after being removed from a respirator and his organs were never recovered.

Roozrokh is believed to be the first doctor in California ever accused of criminal charges in connection with procuring organs. He faces felony counts of dependent adult abuse, administering a harmful substance and unlawful prescription of a controlled substance.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest. If convicted of all three counts, he could be sentenced to eight years in state prison.

Roozrokh, who at the time was a surgeon with Kaiser Permanente's now-closed kidney transplant center in San Francisco, was in San Luis Obispo as part of a team that harvests organs of people who have just died.

State law forbids transplant doctors from treating potential organ donors before they are declared dead.

Kaiser placed Roozrokh on administrative leave Monday, officials at the health care group said. He voluntarily stopped seeing patients last year, after Navarro's family first accused him of trying to speed up the sick man's death.

Roozrokh's attorney, M. Gerald Schwartzbach of Mill Valley, said in a statement that the charges against the surgeon are "unfounded and ill advised" and said his client has been "the subject of an 18-month witch hunt."

"Nothing that Dr. Roozrokh did or said at the hospital that night adversely affected the quality of Mr. Navarro's life or contributed to Mr. Navarro's eventual death," Schwartzbach said. "Dr. Roozrokh did not commit any crime."

Navarro had been living in a nursing home when he suffered a respiratory and cardiac arrest Jan. 29, 2006. He was in a coma when he was taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo. Doctors there said he had suffered irreversible brain damage and he was put on a respirator, but he was not declared brain dead.

His mother gave approval to donate Navarro's organs, and on Feb. 3 the California Transplant Donor Network sent a surgical team, including Roozrokh, to San Luis Obispo to handle the organ recovery.

Earlier this year, the coroner's officer in San Luis Obispo County reported that Navarro had died of natural causes.

Navarro's mother filed a wrongful-death lawsuit last year against Roozrokh and several others, including the hospital, Kaiser and the California Transplant Donor Network, claiming that her son had been removed from life support without her permission and had been given lethal doses of drugs.

Kaiser officials said Monday that Roozrokh had been acting independently of their health care organization when he went to San Luis Obispo. Officials with the California Transplant Donor Network would not comment on the case.

- 30 -

The Associated Press contributed to this report. E-mail Erin Allday at

midvanisle wrote:

This doc could get a job right away in China, where the organs of political dissidents are "harvested" while the victim is still alive. And most of the world looks the other way. BTW, did you know that China is a Communist dictatorship ?

Posted 7/31/2007 6:40:05 AM

ambrose_bierce_ wrote:

this doesnt surprise me at all. healthcare in SF is as lousy and conniving as it gets. from UCSF to Kaiser to California Pacific all they want is your money. Here's the kind of healthcare I get for my $500 a month: sunday night I unwittingliy ate some poisoned chinese ginger (see the news on that). terribly sick. though I was pretty well over it, I called my Dr yesterday, in case he thought I needed attention. He was out playing golf or something but they said he'd call me in the afternoon. He never called. This is totally typical. I should just pretend I am an illegal alien, I'd get the same care but at least I wouldnt have to pay for it

Posted 7/31/2007 6:51:08 AM

juliejf wrote:

Docta, Docta, heal your self. I'll take one Heart, one juicy Liver, two plump Kidneys, both green eyes, and your brain should be studied. For being Broken.

Posted 7/31/2007 7:16:54 AM

mcross wrote:

What happened to innocent until proven guilty? The second paragraph should include the word "allegedly" (at 7:15 am, it does not) or "is accused of." Also, presumably *someone* authorized the patient as a transplant candidate prior to the transplant doctors flying in, as this is standard medical practice. Notably, these injections did *not* hasten death, as the patient lived more than eight hours after being taken off life support (as the name implies, life support is used to keep patients alive--it is thought that they will die very quickly without support). On a different note, it seems that if doctors give morphine for pain, they are accused of pushing drugs; if they do not, they are accused of ignoring the patient's suffering.

Posted 7/31/2007 7:20:35 AM

sageworks wrote:

Can't help but wonder who would want the organs from someone who was severely mentally and physically disabled. Really. And i have a sneaking suspicion, no one would tell anyone that was the case. that is the real ethics violation!!!!! That may be a superstition on my part, but I bet it's one that 95% if not more of the population would share.

Posted 7/31/2007 8:25:21 AM

kimmieSF wrote:

This is EXACTLY what people fear if they are not already adverse to organ donation. If this is true, this guy kicked a lot of people who need organs right in the ass...

Posted 7/31/2007 8:36:22 AM

starislon wrote:

mcross is correct, this alleged perpetrator is innocent until proven guilty, in a court of law. That said, if found guilty, he definitely should do an indefinite sentence in a Chinese prison. Why not? California's prisons are over crowded, according to the NYT, the California authorities are planning on sending 8,000 prisoners out of state, to corporate run prisons for profit, anyway. If they could "harvest" a perpetrators organs, they probably would reduce the charges for care and feeding of the prisoner to the state. Another Win-Win(-Lose)! Such a deal!

Posted 7/31/2007 8:48:50 AM

© 2007 Hearst Communications Inc.

Kaiser Permanente
(US private health services provider)
page for Dr. Hootan Roozrokh

The Permanente Medical Group
Hootan Roozrokh, MD

San Francisco Medical Center
Surgery Department

2238 Geary Blvd., 2nd Floor East
San Francisco, CA 94115
Map & Directions

Advice: 415-833-3385
Appointments/Cancellations: 415-833-2127
Fax: 415-833-3235

If an interpreter is needed, please tell us when you make an appointment.

Department Hours
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Closed 9:00 am
5:30 pm 9:00 am
5:30 pm 9:00 am
5:30 pm 9:00 am
5:30 pm 9:00 am
5:30 pm Closed

Please note that my office hours may be different from my department’s hours of operation.

My Biography

At Kaiser Permanente, I appreciate the ability to focus on tumors of the liver, bile ducts, pancreas, and esophagus. I am able to provide a high quality surgery for members. Kaiser’s integrated system attracts expert physicians, and affords me opportunities to work with top-notch GI specialists, radiologists, oncologists, and pathologists. We work as a team to deliver efficient, multidisciplinary approaches to cancer treatment. I think our members receive excellent care.

I have a particular interest in pathology of the foregut. I have specialized training in transplantation, which allows me to have a greater comprehension of surgical conditions affecting the foregut. I regularly attend professional conferences of the American College of Surgeons.

When I am away from work, my hobbies include racing cars and playing golf. I THRIVE by endeavoring to practice good karma.

Other Languages: Farsi

Undergraduate Education: B.S. in Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
Professional Affiliations: American College of Surgeons; San Francisco Medical Society; American Society of Laparoscopic Surgeons; American Society of Transplant Surgeons

Year Began Practice: 2005
Joined Kaiser Permanente: 2005

My Credentials

Medical school Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Residency Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Fellowship Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA
Board certification Surgery-General, American Board of Surgery

Medical College of Wisconsin
Alumni Notes

Hootan C. Roozrokh, MD '98, recently completed a fellowship in adult and pediatric multi-organ transplant surgery and hepatobiliary surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. He has joined the University of California-San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente-San Francisco in the Department of General and Multi-organ Transplant Surgery. His primary interests are in liver and pancreas transplant. Dr. Roozrokh and his wife, Sherry, have been married for five years.


30 July 2007

Uncle Bob & Aunt C. burn down the town, stay out late, eat unhealthy food, get bit by mosquitos

Dear W**** & J**,

Hmmm well I just have to tell SOMEBODY about this and I've picked on youse (plural of "you") 'cause you live within striking distance of this and MAYBE sometime before the summer season ends a miracle might occur and you MIGHT get a weekend night off, like with visiting grandparents or something like that.

C. and I'd been mumbling and muttering about wanting to do this but we just kept putting it off and getting distracted, but finally we focused (!) and made it happen Sunday night. Anyway, we drove up to the Northfield Drive-In and caught a double feature of two totally brain-dead movies that we figured would be fun on the Super Big Giant Screen. These are movies that any decent, educated people should be ashamed to tell anybody they know that they went out of their way to see, but we did it anyway.

"Transformers" was the first movie -- the early movie is usually a little more kiddie-oriented and then the kiddies get exhausted and fall asleep in the back seat, and then the adults watch a more adult film. Whether "Live Free Or Die Hard" is certifiably more adult than "Transformers" is a questionable proposition, but that was the second flick. I think Bruce Willis as one cop laid waste to more of Earth than the combined invasion of the alien Transformers.

An amazing technological revolution since the last time I went to the Drive-In!!! Now instead of those metal speakers on poles (but they kept the poles), you get the sound off a channel (81.1) on the car FM radio! So you can actually hear and comprehend the sound track! (Not that these movies required much of that.)

Notice that the * straddles the NH state line. In fact the Snack Bar is actually in New Hampshire and so they have to add the 8 percent NH food tax. Except for popcorn, EVERYTHING on the menu is Hazardous To Your Health (and pretty tasty), and was outlawed in most civilized parts of the world years ago. Fried Dough. Corn Dogs. Giant Hot Pretzels (mustard optional).

Teenagers in nearby cars were necking. I haven't had to wear insect repellent at a movie for decades. (In fact I am one year older than the Northfield Drive-In.) It was SPOOKY how Time Machine this whole experience was. But the whole thing was just Totally Charming, and the crowd (?) were Totally Well-Behaved and Very Mellow.

Today we were chatting with our neighbor Helen, and it turns out that she was worried we were having some kind of family or health crisis, 'cause C.'s car was gone until 3 am. Add 30 minutes 'cause after we left the Drive-In, C. took a wrong turn onto I-91 and we couldn't turn around until we got to Brattleboro. We got gas at a station with four police cars and several seedy-looking Youth being put into the back of the police cars.

Each of these movies had some sort of Plot, but don't worry about it. Anyway, if you want to catch a double-feature there, it will be a different pair of movies. The Drive-In's only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Oh, when it started to get dark, they showed a Mickey Mouse cartoon, Mickey, Donald and Goofy tried to build a boat, but it sank when Minnie smashed it with the champagne bottle.

This coming weekend: "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" and "Knocked Up." Later in August "The Simpsons Movie," "The Bourne Tedium," "Hairspray," "Underdog," "Rush Hour 3."

Like I said, if you get a weekend night off, think about it, we had a really dandy time, it was a really screwy experience, and I have this suspicion that The Northfield Drive-In will not be a thing you can postpone visiting indefinitely, Nostrabobus suspects it is Not Long For This World. Don't forget the insect repellent and make sure the FM radio works or bring a boombox.


29 July 2007

double feature 2nite @ The Northfield Drive-In

We're going here tonight to see "Transformers" and "Live Free or Die Hard"!

Hinsdale Road (Rt. 63),
Northfield MA USA

Snack Bar

BURGERS - (Kulick's Fresh Ground Beef) 3.00
w/Cheese 3.25
GARDEN VEGGIE BURGER - 1/4 Lb Patty 3.75
w/Cheese 4.00
HOT DOG - (All-Meat Natural Casing or Veggie) 2.50
PRETZEL - Soft Jumbo 3.00
CORN DOG - All Meat Dog! 3.00
SPINACH PIE - Homemade 3.00
CHEESE STICKS - Breaded Mozzarella 4.50
CHICKEN TENDERS - Loaded with Flavor 4.75
PIZZA SLICE -Pepperoni 3.25
PIZZA SLICE -Cheese 3.00
ONION RINGS - Old-Fashioned Batter Dipped 4.00
FRENCH FRIES - A Whole LB! 3.25
NACHOS - Loaded with Cheese 3.75
Side of Cheese 1.00 • Salsa 1.00
SPRING ROLL Vegetarian w/Sweet & Sour Sauce- 3.75

Superior Corn with Real Dairy Butter!
SMALL........$3.00 • MEDIUM....$4.25
LARGE.......$5.25 • JUMBO (170 oz.).............$6.25

Kiddie…$1.00 Small…$2.00
Medium …$2.25 Large… $3.00

ICED TEA (Fresh brewed, unsweeted - (20 Oz.) $1.75
COFFEE- (16 Oz.) $1.50
HOT TEA $1.00
WATER $1.50
APPLE JUICE - (16 Oz.) $1.50

ICE CREAM (Many Varieties) $1.00
CANDY $1.00 - $2.00
PICKLES - $1.00
COOKIES - $1.25


Prices Include: NH 8% Rooms & Meal Tax

Dial-A-Show: 603-239-4054

Hamas' new "Gaza Riviera" -- "Safe, clean and green"

McClatchy Newspaper chain wire service
pickup in Seattle Times (Seattle Washington USA)
Sunday 29 July 2007

Hamas markets Gaza as
"safe, clean and green"

by Dion Nissenbaum, McClatchy Newspapers

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- If you think of the Gaza Strip as a volatile, violent battleground run by fanatic Islamist militants bent on destroying Israel, Hamas wants you to think again.

Think: "Safe, clean and green."

One month after seizing the Gaza Strip in a military rout that shattered brittle Palestinian unity, Hamas is embarking on a radical marketing campaign to promote what it calls "the new face of Gaza."

They call it the "Gaza Riviera."

Lime-green Hamas banners flutter over Gaza City with a message in English for aid workers and journalists worried about being kidnapped: "No more threat for our foreign visitors and guests."

Bearded gunmen in blue-gray camouflage uniforms who helped seize control of Gaza now rush to settle routine neighborhood squabbles and family disputes.

Once-deserted Mediterranean beaches now are filled with dozens of families holding picnics to escape the summer heat until long after midnight.

Monday, Hamas is planning to take journalists on a special tour, from the packed beaches to the bullet-scarred security compounds its Islamist fighters overran last month when they ousted Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

While the United States and Israel are working to help Abbas transform the West Bank into a model of pro-Western modernity -- and isolate and marginalize Hamas in the Gaza Strip in the process -- Hamas is working to assure the world that it has no plans to turn the Gaza Strip into a Taliban-style police state.

"This is our new Riviera," boasted Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar. "This is the most secure period in the history of Gaza."

Using a mix of military force and political persuasion, Hamas has succeeded in creating a sense of safety in the Gaza Strip. But many Palestinians don't believe this quiet will last long.

Attacks on Internet cafes have come to a halt. For now, rival Gaza Strip families have stopped taking up arms to resolve disputes. And fears of renewed factional fighting between disciplined Hamas forces and demoralized Fatah fighters are virtually nil.

But Hamas hasn't reined in Islamic Jihad and other militant groups, which regularly fire Qassam rockets at southern Israeli towns and could provoke an Israeli invasion. Israel routinely responds by launching airstrikes on Palestinian militants. On Thursday alone, five Palestinians were killed in several Israeli airstrikes.

The Hamas "safe streets" marketing campaign also obscures intractable problems facing Hamas -- which was the leading perpetrator of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians between 2000 and 2005 -- as it tries to use its impoverished base in Gaza to establish itself as a central political player in the new Middle East.

Hundreds of Gaza Strip police officers, judges and soldiers loyal to Abbas refuse to work for Hamas. Israel allows almost nothing but critical food and medical supplies across its border with Gaza, creating a shortage of everything from cigarettes to concrete mix. Major Gaza Strip factories, unable to get raw material in and finished goods out, have been shuttered.

U.N. officials and humanitarian groups have warned that the battered economy is in danger of collapse. And growing numbers of middle-class families quietly are preparing to escape as soon as the borders open.

Sitting on a southern Gaza Strip beach, Ahmed Yousef, the Hamas leader behind the "safe, clean and green" slogan, said his group has no plans to impose strict Islamic rule on the 1,500,000 residents.

"If we succeed here, the people in the West Bank will keep looking to this model," Yousef said. "We don't want to promote the way of the Taliban."

Although Hamas still refuses to accept Israel as a neighbor, he urged Israel and the world to work with the group.

"You can actually deal with Hamas and work with them to moderate them," he said. "Don't make them your enemy."

- 30 -

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

rocket fuel

Click to test sobriety

Hmmmm what small grasp I have on the Hohmann Transfer Orbit and other physics and astronomical requirements for travelling around the Solar System all suggest to me -- and I admit I could be completely wrong about this -- that drunk astronauts are not the Express Route to human beings landing on Mars and successfully returning back to Earth.

* * *

The Associated Press (USA newswire)
pickup in International Herald Tribune (Paris, France)
Saturday 28 July 2007

Astronaut drinking and
flight surgeons' brushoff
show NASA culture still broken

by Marcia Dunn, Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- At NASA, once again, the problem is its culture -- a habit of dismissing the concerns of knowledgeable underlings.

Four years ago, it involved higher-ups ignoring engineers who feared possible catastrophic damage to the shuttle Columbia. The engineers were right.

This time, it's NASA doctors and even astronauts getting the brushoff when voicing worries that some astronauts have drunk too much alcohol before flying.

"I think things have changed, but some things remain the same," said Douglas Osheroff, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who investigated the Columbia disaster in 2003.

An independent health panel disclosed Friday that, at least twice, astronauts were cleared to fly despite warnings from flight surgeons and other astronauts about their heavy drinking. One intoxicated astronaut flew into orbit on a Russian spacecraft; the other ended up with a shuttle launch delay for mechanical reasons but later tried to take off in a training jet while still under the influence.

In both cases, the doctors and other astronauts were ignored by higher-ranking officials. Flight surgeons feel so disregarded, in general, that they told the panel they are demoralized and less likely to report concerns of impaired performance.

All NASA's leadership wants, several senior flight surgeons told the panel, is to hear that all medical systems are "go" for space flight operations. They do not want to hear doctors' doubts about an astronauts' fitness for duty or behavioral problems, the panel was told.

That was the same perception low-level engineers had during Columbia's final flight: Their bosses only wanted to hear positive news about the fuel-tank insulating foam that broke off and turned into deadly shrapnel that punctured Columbia's wing. Seven astronauts died.

"NASA has had a history of ignoring indications that something is wrong, and even though the odds were with NASA, they have lost," Osheroff said, referring to recurring foam problems before Columbia's doomed mission.

It always seems to come down to schedule pressure, which contributed in large part to Columbia's demise, Osheroff noted.

"I think part of it is still this pressure to launch and launch on time," he said. "I don't know what it costs NASA to delay a launch. But there are two costs. One is a political cost and the other is an economic cost."

Besides tales of drunken astronauts, the health panel heard anecdotes about other risky behavior -- unspecified in the report -- that was well known to their colleagues, who were too afraid to speak up for fear of ostracism.

With no formal code of astronaut conduct in place and no official, written ban on alcohol within 12 hours of a space launch -- two things that are quickly changing -- poor behavior was simply overlooked.

That won't be the case for NASA's next shuttle launch, set for Aug. 7. The commander, Scott Kelly, and the crew's lead flight surgeon have already been notified of the space agency's expectations for their behavior on launch day. They have also been urged to bring up any safety concerns.

To further break down any communication barriers, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration plans an anonymous survey of its astronauts and flight surgeons.

"We want to make sure that there is an open culture here and people are empowered to raise any safety-related concerns," said NASA's deputy administrator, Shana Dale.

As a sign of a successful culture shift, NASA officials point to the flight readiness review conducted before every shuttle launch, where dissent is encouraged and anyone with a safety concern can speak up. That was not the way it always was -- the Columbia accident forced changes.

"It's troubling to realize that there are still folks who feel there is a problem" communicating concerns, said astronaut Ellen Ochoa, director of flight crew operations.

As for overindulging in liquor, Osheroff finds it mind-boggling that NASA could have cleared intoxicated astronauts for flight.

"Launch and re-entry are the two times when the astronauts have to really be sharp because that is when most of the danger is," he said. "So the idea of being drunk when you're going up, you might as well go up in a casket."

NASA is up against almost 50 years of tradition when it comes to astronaut hijinks. Ever since the seven original Mercury astronauts were selected in 1959, the stereotype has been a cocky but competent pilot who works and lives hard -- a flyboy.

The panel assessing astronaut health was appointed earlier this year after the risky actions of another astronaut, Lisa Nowak, who is accused of attacking the girlfriend of a fellow astronaut with pepper spray. Nowak has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted kidnapping, battery and burglary with assault.

The panel -- of eight medical experts with government ties -- acknowledged that many of the cultural issues have been around since the beginning of the astronaut program and will be hard to fix.

"Cultural changes such as these will and must disrupt the status quo," the panel concluded. "While cultural changes are the most difficult to achieve, they are also the most significant and pose the highest risk of human failure if not adequately addressed."

Osheroff notes that in the corporate world, complete culture change often comes only after enough new people are hired and the old guard is gone.

At NASA, that could take a while.

- 30 -

EDITOR'S NOTE: Aerospace Writer Marcia Dunn has covered NASA since 1990.

28 July 2007

I'm fine, I just had a couple of beers

Try clicking, maybe good happens

Bloomberg (financial/news wire USA)
Friday 27 July 2007

NASA Cleared
Drunk Astronauts
to Fly, Report Says


by Demian McLean

July 27 (Bloomberg) -- NASA astronauts showed up drunk before launch and were cleared to fly on two missions, even after crew members alerted superiors, a panel commissioned by the U.S. space agency said.

"We have no way of knowing if these are the only two incidents that have ever occurred in the history of the astronaut corps, or if they are the tip of a very large iceberg," said Richard Bachmann, an Air Force colonel and the panel's chairman.

No dates were given for the incidents. Some fliers have also made "heavy use of alcohol" within a half-day before liftoff, violating NASA's 12-hour "bottle to throttle" buffer, according to the report, released today at NASA headquarters in Washington.

Alcohol was "freely used" in crew quarters, the report said, citing interviews with flight surgeons and astronauts. The accounts cover the shuttle missions and related flight training, Bachmann said. NASA said it's investigating the alleged incidents.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration asked psychiatrists and doctors to study the health of fliers in February, when astronaut Lisa Nowak was arrested on attempted kidnapping charges. Prosecutors say Nowak, wearing a disguise, attacked a rival over a space shuttle pilot's affections.

Disastrous Results

Today's report doesn't name astronauts or flights. Had a shuttle pilot been drunk, the results could have been disastrous in the case of an aborted liftoff, said "Rocket Boys" author and former NASA astronaut trainer Homer Hickam.

"The shuttle has to glide back to the launch site, which would take more skill than any pilot in the history of mankind," Hickam said. "He would need all his faculties about him."

Deputy NASA Administrator Shana Dale said it's "premature" to say what punishment an astronaut would face for showing up drunk.

"What I can tell you is that alcohol use in regards to spacecraft or aircraft is not going to be tolerated by this agency," Dale said at NASA headquarters.

The report spurred criticism from the U.S. House panel overseeing NASA.

"Drinking and driving is never a good idea, least of all when the vehicle involved is a multibillion-dollar space shuttle," Representative Bart Gordon, Colorado Democrat and Science and Technology Committee chairman, said in a statement. "Something clearly seems to be broken in NASA's system of astronaut oversight."

Bachmann's panel urged the agency to regularly submit anonymous surveys to astronauts and the flight surgeons who clear them, a step that might ease fear of reprisals from fellow fliers. Dale concurred with the suggestion.

- 30 -

To contact the reporter on this story: Demian McLean in Washington at . Last Updated: July 27, 2007 16:43 EDT

26 July 2007

things to do in the Local Group when you're 60

TOP: Artist's view of Zodiacal Cloud (NASA/JPL-Caltech, R. Hurt /

BOTTOM: Brian May stood atop Buckingham Palace and opened the public concert for Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee on 3 June 2002.

The High Non-Junk Science Council of Vleeptron, in conjunction with the Hoon-Yobbo-Vleeptron Music & Arts Council, nominate Brian May, the 60-year-old guitarist/vocalist for Queen, as Most Remarkably Astonishing Re-Invented Guy in the Milky Way and the Dwingeloo-2 Galaxies!

Isti Mirant Stella!


Monday 23 July 2007

May looks to sky to complete PhD

Guitarist Brian May is to spend two days studying the night sky in the Canary Islands as he completes the PhD he abandoned in 1971 to join Queen.

May is going to La Palma to observe the formation of "zodiacal dust clouds."

The subject forms the basis of a thesis for London's Imperial College, where he had been studying before deciding to pursue a career with the rock group.

The 60-year-old recently published a book on astronomy with The Sky at Night presenter Sir Patrick Moore.

May is basing himself at the Observatory of the Roque de Los Muchachos on the island of La Palma.

A statement issued on behalf of the facility said he had chosen this location because of the "quality of the sky" and the opportunity to use a 3.6-metre optical telescope, "which allows astronomers to study extremely faint objects."

May is also preparing a concert to mark the inauguration of another telescope at the observatory.

He will present his thesis, which he has been preparing for across much of the past year, to Imperial College "within a fortnight."

A number of academics will question him about his work before any doctorate is awarded, a spokeswoman said.

- 30 -

Story from BBC NEWS:


25 July 2007

football hero

It's Sports Time on Vleeptron!
All the Sports from Vleeptron!
We've got the latest Qx'ii scores!
All the games from the Dwingeloo League!
Dogfighting, fish-shooting,
cockfighting too!
Bare-knuckle boxing from 1902!
A fifth of our Sports
all take place in the Zoo!
Get your Sports on Vleeptron!
Get your Sports on Vleeptron!

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Georgia USA)
Wednesday 25 July 2007

Poll: Ban Vick if he's guilty
Majority of Atlantans tuned into scandal involving QB

by JILL VEJNOSKA, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Nearly two-thirds of metro Atlanta adults polled this week think Falcons quarterback Michael Vick should be banned from playing football if he's found guilty of dogfighting charges.

In all, 97 percent of people questioned said they were aware of the allegations against Vick.

Your Turn
Do you agree that Michael Vick should be banned from the NFL if he's convicted of the crimes he's charged with?


The telephone poll of 622 people was conducted for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution July 23 and 24 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent.

Many respondents think Vick's high public profile is working to his benefit. Thirty percent of those familiar with the allegations think he's being treated better than an average citizen — of those, 89 percent said it was because he is a celebrity or famous athlete. Only 12 percent of those polled think Vick is being treated worse than an average citizen — of those, 56 percent said it had to do with his celebrity status.

Among the poll's questions and results:

Q: Are you aware of the dog-fighting allegations regarding Falcons quarterback Michael Vick?

Yes: 97 percent
No: 3 percent

Q: Do you believe authorities are treating Vick better than an average citizen, worse than an average citizen, or the same as an average citizen?

Better: 30 percent
Worse: 12 percent
Same: 45 percent
Not sure: 13 percent

Q: If Vick is found guilty of dog fighting, do you feel he should or should not be banned from playing in the National Football League?

Should: 65 percent
Should not: 22 percent
Not sure: 13 percent


Monsters and Critics

Falcons QB Michael Vick's
cruel dog kennel

by Stone Martindale

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was indicted today on federal charges related to illegal dogfighting.

Vick and three others are charged with competitive dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting and conducting the enterprise across state lines, reports ABC News.

Buried dog carcasses and other horrific finds were discovered at the "Bad Newz Kennels," the Virginia property owned by Vick. also reports that these dogs were "allegedly killed after testing whether they would be good fighters."

According to the paperwork secured by TMZ, documents say dogs were sometimes "put to death by drowning, strangulation, hanging, gunshot, electrocution or some other method."

The indictment claims footballer Vick and his co-defendants were holding dogfights in early 2001, TMZ reports it was the former Virginia Tech star's rookie year with the Falcons.

Talk back and tell us what you think of dogfighting and ridiculously rich athletes who entertain this for fun and profit.

should get 1 year in jail for each dead dog--yep--a life in jail--scumbag--This type of thing says volunes about what we have become as a society--Fans should refuse to buy tickets on any game he is in

Horrified hater of Vick

just watched CNN's dog fight video coverage, and can honestly say as a white woman - I had no idea this was so common in the south and urban areas as they are reporting. How barbaric, and telling..

Slightly above average player, pathetic human being. Charge him and his buddies, throw them all in jail.
ChristinaJul 18th, 2007 - 18:10:15

I have they throw him in jail and tose away the key! I also hope that the NFL mans up and suspends him from the league!
mutekiJul 18th, 2007 - 18:12:22

He is disgusting, should be put in jail for the max sentence per dog he killed. what kind of person watch dogs (pets, our friends) fighting to death for FUN... I hope funs refuse to do anything to support him in any way. Really upsetting

Michael Vick should not only be banned from the NFL for life, but should spend many years in jail having to fight in an arena much like the dogs he tortured to death. I wish this man nothing but pain, humiliation, constant rape and the disgrace and disgust of all true God caring creatures. There is no forgiveness for this.
JeelapitJul 18th, 2007 - 18:14:12

These are the types of people who will beat their children and any other being they can manipulat and over power. As a society we need to take reponsibility too for the fact that people grow up to lack any character or morals and behave with such stupidity.

He should be put away for the rest of his life. We have no need is society for people such as these.

Oh ,my God, he is Not human

i think he needs to be kicked of the league and sent to jail for at least 5 yrs. what he has done to these animals is horrible.

© 2003 - 2007 by Monsters and, WotR Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


Prosecute All Dogfighters,
Ensure Justice for All Victims,

For Immediate Release: July 25, 2007
Contact: Dan Shannon 757-622-7382

Richmond, Virginia -- Holding posters showing a pit bull named Santana who was used for dogfighting and with the taglines "Dogfighting Victim" and "Prosecute ALL Dogfighters," PETA members will converge on the U.S. District Courthouse in Richmond on Thursday as disgraced Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is arraigned on federal dogfighting charges. PETA is calling for vigorous prosecution of the case and asking that--if convicted--Vick and all other convicted dogfighters be punished to the fullest extent of the law:

Date: Thursday, July 26
Time: 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Place: U.S. Courthouse, 1000 E. Main St.

Vick was indicted by a federal grand jury last week on a conspiracy charge related to his alleged involvement with dogfighting, including the killing of dogs who "did not perform well" by hanging, slamming them to the ground, drowning, and electrocution.

The indictment follows an April 25 raid on Vick's property in Surry County, during which authorities reportedly found nearly 70 dogs--including more than 50 pit bulls, the breed that is most commonly used for fighting--as well as paraphernalia commonly associated with dogfighting. Reportedly, the bodies of some 30 dogs were later found buried in the back yard.

"These dogs didn't stand a chance. Pit bulls were allegedly hanged, slammed to the ground, electrocuted, and shot," says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. "Dogfighting is a coward's blood sport that deserves harsh punishment, no matter how famous the alleged perpetrators are."

PETA has also protested against Vick at the NFL's headquarters and the Falcons' training camp--calling for his suspension--as well as at Niketown in New York demanding that Nike break all sponsorship ties with the disgraced athlete. Protests are planned for Niketown stores in 11 cities on Monday.

For more information, please visit

too late for the kosher pizza, but he's fasting for Tisha b'Av anyway

e-mail from my old Army buddy who lives in the USA state shaped like the palm of the human right hand. He didn't even have to use Hoogle (Hebrew Google? or maybe Choogle, where the Ch is the gutteral sound, like Channukah) or send the image to Shlomo in Haifa. He had an authentic Hebrew/Ivrit Scholar a few meters down the hall.

I gotta run to downtown QualityOfLifeVille in a few minutes, but I will have more to say about Tisha b'Av when I get back. I don't think you're supposed to say "Happy Tish b'Av," that's like saying "Happy Anniversary of the Titanic Sinking." But uhhh Vleeptron wishes everybody Sentiments Appropriate for Tisha b'Av.

DespicableTeacher from Portugal always used to remind me of all the Jewish holidays I perpetually forget, but I think she's mad at me this season. So thanks, Steve, for reminding me of Tisha b'Av!

I think I might also have a few things to say about Evil in general. People think this blog is Silly and Unimportant. Well, it's not. So there. The #(%&#($&#($ BBC World Service telephoned last week FOR THE FOURTH TIME and wanted to know what Bob of Vleeptron had to say about Something Important. The BBC is neither silly nor unimportant, even if they did screw up the thing with the Queen and have to make an on-air official apology to her a few weeks ago. These things happen.

Anyway, stick around, Vleeptron gonna rap about EVIL!!!!!!!!!!!

Which, the Huckleberry Finn of World Jewry is pleased to inform you, is
רשע b'Ivrit. I got it straight from Mike and the guy from the USA state shaped like the palm of the human right hand.

btw, if you want to drive yourself totally meshugineh, try copying and pasting and editing Hebrew text for a few minutes.



OK . . . I'm not fast enough or I don't care enough about the Kosher pizza slice but my in office expert on all thing Jewish got the answer for me.

See the following.



It says, "Dr. Rasha."

Rasha is Hebrew for "Evil."

Hence: Dr. Evil.

The movie would be: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

No pizza for me, today, because it's Tisha B'Av, and I'm fasting.

Steve Klein
it manager

24 July 2007

Oy, Robot

Dear Robot pretending to be Scott Kohlhaas,

This is the second time you e-mailed my blog to ask me to carry a banner for . The first time I was so dumb I wrote back and discussed this issue thinking I was writing to a sentient Human Being.

"Yet answer came there none."

I do not dialogue with Robots.

If I hear from Scott Kohlhaas the actual Human Being, maybe we have something to discuss.

Otherwise, please keep your Robot from bothering my blog again. When I write about conscription, the Iraq War, and the draft on my blog, I consider it a very serious matter, and I deeply resent having my time wasted by Robots, and clowns who run automated boiler rooms full of Robots.


Bob Merkin

News, Weather, Mozart, Sports, Extragalactic Travel, sausages, opera, PIRATES!!! & Really Big Integers friom Planet Vleeptron:

Remarkable Older Stuph:

another dumb naive e-mail to another Democratic Congress member which is better than the e-mail you didn't write

Robert Merkin
55 Milton Street
Northampton, Massachusetts 01062

24 July 2007

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Chairman, House Committee on the Judiciary

Dear Congressman Conyers:

News reports concerning the arrest of Cindy Sheehan and 45 fellow protesters at your Capitol office indicate you told Ms. Sheehan that you cannot proceed with impeachment against President George Bush because you do not have enough votes.

As Chairman, you can call for a Committee vote. This will give every Judiciary Committee member a chance to have his or her vote recorded at this moment regarding his or her approval of or opposition to President Bush's unconstitutional acts.

Sir, only the impending pressure of impeachment from the House Judiciary Committee drove the lawless Richard Nixon from office, and ended the interminable national nightmare of the Vietnam War.

Cindy Sheehan's son, Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, is only one of three thousand six hundred and thirty-six American soldiers and Marines who have died in this liars' and scoundrels' war -- as Congressman Abraham Lincoln described James K. Polk's Mexican War.

How many more Americans in uniform must die before you feel the moment is appropriate to hold President Bush accountable for his high crimes and misdemeanors?

Vietnam cost us 52,000 Americans in uniform, including some of my friends.

Cindy Sheehan and her associates went to the right office to ask the right Committee of the right branch of the government for help. Rather than hold President Bush accountable and stop this war, you had these people arrested. I believe this was a great mistake, and a gesture of disrespect to my vote last November to change control of every House and Senate Committee to the Democratic Party.

I did not vote to empower the Democratic Party. I voted to stop the Iraq War and I voted to call upon Congress to do its Constitutional duty to reign in a lawless president.

Sir, stop this lawless president, and stop this war. As happened in the Judiciary Committee once before, when hearings start, evidence and testimony will generate the votes, from both parties, required for impeachment, and save American lives now in peril.


Robert Merkin

SP5, US Army 1969-1971
Army Commendation Medal


Los Angeles Times (California USA)
Tuesday 24 July 2007


Sheehan, 45 other
protesters arrested

From Times Wire Reports

Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan and 45 fellow protesters were arrested at the Capitol for disorderly conduct in demanding the impeachment of President Bush.

Sheehan was taken into custody in Rep. John Conyers Jr.'s office, where she had spent an hour imploring him to launch impeachment proceedings against Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Conyers (D-Mich.) is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, where any impeachment effort would have to begin. Sheehan said Conyers told her there weren't enough votes for impeachment to move forward.

- 30 -

23 July 2007

kosher PizzaQ -- who the hell is this?

Okay, I don't know how hard or how easy this one will be, so I'm starting the bidding by offering 1 slice Kosher pizza.

This is the Hebrew (Ivrit) translation of a Famous Movie Character's name, for the version distributed in Israel. The Famous Movie Character is from a Famous English-Language Movie. There are a few million people who would instantly recognize this name. I want to know the original English-lingo Name of the Character, and the original English-lingo Name of the Movie.

You want hints? Beg. Whine. Say Please. Oh, okay, if it's any help and you don't already know, Hebrew is written from right to left.

If you click on Properties to read the filename mee_zeh.jpg , mee zeh means Who Is This in Hebrew. Haha.

For this PizzaQ only we suspend the Vleeptron PizzaQ Honor System. Send the image in an e-mail to Shlomo in Haifa for all I care.

the mournful lullabye: "If my darling is safe, walk my love"

From the dawn of photography,
starving Irish family
from Carraroe, County Galway,
during the Famine (1845-1849).

(National Library of Ireland)

Mike has been kind enough to respond to my plaintive cry for help with the Irish Gaelic "shule aroon," "shule agra" and "thu Mavourneen slaun," and I'll post it here, so anyone interested enough in this song and this subject can understand this lullabye. Mike, was this song sung to you as a childhood lullabye?

Well, I am Irish, but I don't speak it, but I'll give you a brief run through anyway. Basically, it means "If my darling is safe, walk my love", and "come love". Basically, the singer (who's traditionally been female, though not always) is saying something along the lines of, "If you're not dead already, then let's get the hell outta here." She's asking him to elope pretty much.

The Irish don't have the world historic monopoly on trouble and hard times, but they're certainly among the top long-running contenders. One aspect of Ireland's centuries of hard economic times has been their over-representation as common soldiers in the British empire's overseas wars; faced with economic hopelessness on their island, young Irishmen took the King's shilling as a way out. By American Colonial times -- long before the catastrophe of the potato famine -- most of the common soldiers in the anti-French commando force of Rogers' Rangers were Irish.

The Irish Potato Famine launched a mass diaspora from the island from 1845 to 1849; the seminal history is Cecil Woodham-Smith's "The Great Hunger," a chronicle not for the squeamish. Woodham-Smith (a woman and CBE) concludes, unenthusiastically, that the British government was not specifically guilty of intentional genocide, though the results of a genocide could hardly have been worse. In Gaelic the Famine is called An Gorta Mór or An Drochshaol. Ireland had had an earlier crop failure and famine, of comparable severity, in 1741-1742.

After the famine, Irish immigrants to the US were so over-represented in the Union draft/conscription of the Civil War (a wealthy man could hire a poor man to serve in his place) that largely Irish anti-draft riots broke out in New York City. "Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier" was popular once again during the Civil War/War Between the States, with both armies.

John Ford's cavalry Western movies, set in the decades after the Civil War, use the Irish flavor, speech and music of America's frontier military for color and humor, but it's historically accurate: The US Cavalry's wars against the Plains Indians were a heavily Irish-American endeavor, though the era also produced the famous freed slaves who served as the Cavalry's "buffalo soldiers" (the Indians' name for them).

Custer chose Garryowen (also Garyowen, Garry Owen and Gary Owens), an Irish tune for a quickstep dance, as the martial theme for his Seventh Cavalry. It was probably the last music his soldiers heard in this life.

Though the ethnicities have changed, the pattern today in the "all-volunteer military" is the same: Economic desperation fills the military's ranks, particularly the combat arms, which require low levels of education. And, to be fair to the military, it's a good life that offers job security -- if a soldier's lucky. (The first page of any probability text says very clearly that there's no such thing as luck; luck is a psychological illusion.)

War is important and in wartime, citizens are strongly encouraged to devote their patriotic attention to it. Love is unimportant, love is for selfish sissies, love never accomplished Great Things. Heartbreak and loss, widows, and children who never knew their fathers -- these are just inconvenient distractions from the Great National Crusade. Only mournful old lullabyes linger from love during wartime.

22 July 2007

old song for Long War: Here I sit on Buttermilk Hill / Who could blame me cry my fill / Every tear would turn a mill / Johnny has gone for a soldier

oil with knives
Joyce Werwie Perry

War drowns and batters us with so many ghastly horrors and tragedies that we are forced to prioritize them, and rarely or never have a moment to notice Horror Number 31 or Tragedy Number 53, we are much too busy with the top of the list, all decent people must marshal our finite and limited energies and resources to respond to the most notorious and most murderous and most unjust and most disgusting tragedies and atrocities and horrors.

This is all part of War's Numbing, war's effect on us like the headlights that stun a deer just ahead in the highway. War's Numbing is like Phobos (Fear) and Deimos (Panic), War's Attendant Godlings, the little orbiting moons of Mars, the God of War.

Tragedy Number 53: War tears lovers apart. When they should be kissing and fucking and embracing all through the Summer, one of them is suddenly sent 10000 miles away, constantly under threat of Death and never returning.

This song is centuries old, so it seems a quaint old museum piece, of no possible interest to us Modern People who are stunned in the headlights of the Iraq War. This song has nothing to do with Iraq, it has nothing to do with us.

For Irish people, it stirs deep echoes; mothers have sung this lullabye to their children in the nursery for centuries. Then, during the American Revolution, so many of the common soldiers were Irish immigrants, an updated version became one of the Revolution's most popular and famous airs.

But for Americans of just a generation ago, it stirs its own echo. A version which got a lot of radio airplay was by the popular folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, and the airplay was during the Vietnam War, so a lot of Americans of my vintage associate this mournful tune with our young friends who were on fire with young love, and then were torn apart by that senseless, ghastly, foot-shooting, interminable liars' and scoundrels' war. For reasons of national security and global politics, their government tore them apart, sent half of them into Harm's Way, and left the other half home alone to worry and weep, burning joy turned suddenly to bitter cold. Some with a baby growing inside her.

You can read about Vietnam for a month and watch documentaries about Vietnam for a year, but never read or see mention of the hundreds of thousands of lovers ripped from one another's arms, so many (52,000) never again to touch or embrace or see their lover again. (Many lovers come home again, but not Whole.) The ripping was distributed fairly and equally to lovers straight and to lovers gay.

Here we perceive War stripped of its Politics and Foreign Policies and Grand Designs, War without Napoleon or Bush or Rumsfeld or Kissinger or Johnson or McNamara or Nixon, and listen to War from the lips of one lonely, heartbroken girl who just months ago was ablaze in the warm, strong arms of her lover.

She's just a young farm girl, he was just a young farm boy, they shouldn't have been kissing and fucking in the barn to begin with, they certainly should have used a condom, and this all happened so long ago. If the boy had lived through the war, they'd both be dead of old age a long time ago anyway, and the baby, too.

It's not really important. Just ignore it and pay attention to the Important Things about the new war, the things psychopaths and life-despising perverts tell us nightly on Fox News are important about the Iraq War. Why we must Stay The Course, Choose Victory, and Give War A Chance, give the Troop Surge just a little more time -- not September, that's not enough time to determine it's working, November is more realistic. This is a Long War. General David Petraeus, speaking to a BBC reporter in full battle kit, just compared the Iraq War to Britain's Long War against an insurgency in Northern Ireland -- expect a decade of violence and war, a decade of our soldiers coming home in flag-draped coffins, a decade of our neighbors' children maimed for life, before we get our Victory.

You can hear the beautiful, mournful tune as you read the lyrics by right-clicking to open in a new tab. (MIDI sequenced by Dayle K.) It would please me greatly if someone versed in Irish Gaelic would Leave A Comment about the meaning of thu Mavourneen slaun, shule agra, and shule aroon.

* * *

Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier

Here I sit on Buttermilk Hill
Who could blame me cry my fill
Every tear would turn a mill
Johnny's gone for a soldier

Oh my baby, oh my love
Gone the rainbow, gone the dove
Your father was my only love
Johnny has gone for a soldier

Me, oh my, I loved him so
It broke my heart to see him go
And only time will heal my woe
Johnny has gone for a soldier

I sold my flax, I sold my wheel
To buy my love a sword of steel
So it in battle, he may wield
Johnny has gone for a soldier

~ ~ ~

Shule Aroon / Buttermilk Hill / Shule Agra

His hair was black, his eye was blue
His arm was stout, his word was true
I wish in my heart, I was with you
Go thee, thu Mavourneen slaun

Shule, shule, shule agra
Only death can cease my woe
Since the lad of my heart from me did go
Go thee thu Mavourneeen slaun!

I sold my rock, I sold my wheel
When my flax was spun, I sold my wheel
To buy my love a sword of steel
Go thee, thu Mavourneen slaun

I'll dye my petticoat, I'll dye it red
And round the world I'll beg my bread
Till I find my love alive or dead
Go thee, thu Mavourneen slaun

King James was routed in the fray
The Wild Geese went with him away
My boy went too, that dreary day
Go thee, thu Mavourneen slaun


Lesley Nelson-Burns

This is probably an American adaptation of the Irish tune Shule Aroon which dates back to the 17th Century. It is also known as Buttermilk Hill and Shule Agra (the version at this site being a variant). Johnny's Gone For a Soldier was popular during the American Revolutionary War.

I learned this version in the early 70s. It is similar to a version that was done by Peter Paul and Mary. There are variations at:

* Johnny's Gone for a Soldier (1)
* Johnny's Gone for A Soldier (3)
* Sweet William

According to one theory, the tune Shule Agra arose out of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The Irish supported James II, and were defeated at the [Battle of the] Boyne. William III, who defeated James, offered forgiveness to the rebels who would swear loyalty to him, but many preferred exile. The only evidence for this theory, is that some English versions have the line

But now my love has gone to France
To try his fortune to advance ...

Related Links

* The Contemplator's Short History of Women in the Revolutionary Era
* Women's History in America
* 13 Originals
* Colonial America

* Irish and Jacobite Links
* The Wild Geese
* Wild Geese Heritage Museum and Library
* The Contemplator's Short History of the Jacobite Uprisings

With a short summary of the Uprisings, links to other sites and links to Jacobite Music at this site

* The Battle of the Boyne

Folk Music Pages | Songs by Country
Child Ballads | Songs of the Sea | Turlough O'Carolan

Shule Agra
Download Midi File
Lesley Nelson-Burns

Sule Agra is a 17th century Irish song. The words are similar to those of Shule Aroon. The tunes Johnny's Gone for A Soldier and Sweet William are probably variants of this or Shule Aroon.

The Wild Geese refers to an Irish Brigade (1691-1740) that fought for the Jacobite cause in Ireland and followed James to France to support him there.

21 July 2007

the Refrigeratorkunst Manifesto: Which is more real, Toy KinderWedding {V.2} oder AdultWedding?

certainly click hier

... I think that writing words about visual art, and writing words to describe music, should be strictly against the law, punishable by prison. But here are some words about my Wedding composition. Call a cop if you know one.
First, apologies for the Mechanicals, it will cause a headache to print if the Zivilcourage exhibit will want it thumbtacked to a wall. (My fondness for using a canvas and palette made of electrons and magnetic zeros and ones always got me in trouble on the AML list.)
This is what mathematicians might call a Mapping -- one world, the Adult Experience of living in Wedding, is "mapped," object by object, memory by memory, feeling by feeling, into another world. Here the other world is a child's re-invention of his Nachbarschaft, using the toys in the big toychest on the bedroom floor. Someone has left the child alone in his/her bedroom for an hour, and he wants to create his/her Wedding with the toys he has collected in his toychest.
I like the constraints of this Mapping. To get from Real Wedding to Toyland Wedding, the child is forced to use only the toys he/she can find in the chest. (For me, I was constrained to use only the images of toys I could find.)
Where Adult and Child are Equal is in the pleasure and fun and admiration they both feel for Wedding. But the Adults will have a very hard time seeing or understanding the Child's Wedding, and the Child has difficulty seeing and understanding the Wedding his/her parents love and appreciate. Well -- the World has more dimensions and layers to it than we ordinarily perceive. One "invisible" dimension is the Child World that is always parallel to the Adult World, and is represented in Toys and Play.
Also I am constrained because I could not draw or paint to save my life, so I must filch images of toys from the web. But I still enjoy the constraints and the strange Refrigerator Art it forces me to make.
So ... which is Real, which is Realer, which is Realest? The Child's Toy Wedding, or the Adult's Everyday Wedding?


The Wedding neighborhood of Berlin is one of my Wanderlust treasures, because usually I am imprisoned in the Tourist Zones of the cities I visit, but I had a Mission when I first went to Berlin: To surprise the Scheisse out of my Cyberfreunde Uwe (rhymes with 'oover, like an English vacuum cleaner), chef and Kunstler extraordinaire, whose images often grace Vleeptron. He lives in Wedding and when I visited, he operated the Kantine, a delicious, bountiful, full-service restaurant in the Ratskeller of the Rathaus -- in the basement of Wedding City Hall.

Wedding is an ancient part of an old city, and Wedding and its inhabitants have always had to drag themselves forward over the hot asphalt and broken glass of history with burdens and handicaps -- mostly Poverty, Discrimination, and a very famous tradition of Unusually Progressive, Enlightened Ideas and Politics. An old nickname for the neighborhood was "Red Wedding."

The next time you visit Berlin -- and you should visit soon, schnellst -- break out of the Imprisoned Tourist Zone and take the U-bahn to Wedding. Bring just a little cash, and a big appetite, you will not be disappointed.


Uwe Bressem

Berlin July 2007

Dear Bob,

this is a request for your support. An invitation for participation.

Once a year in the district of Wedding, in Berlin, Germany, artists organize and hold a mailart exhibition.

The Wedding district is one of the poorest in Berlin. High unemployment and poor average family incomes often make life difficult for our neighbours in Wedding.

However, Wedding's citizens have begun grassroots initiatives to build a safer, more caring community.

But all of them need more courage. Courage to fight discrimination, violence and even corruption.
They need the courage to speak up. That is the reason we have organized this year's mailart exhibition.


Artists from around the world will create and send their works. All entries will be published in a magazine specially designed for this event. All entries will also be on public display on several occassions.

Please send any file or written documents (max. 2500 signs, if possible) with your entry by e-mail to

Deadline for entries is August 25 th 2007.

A printed Documentation (in black and white) of all entries will be sent to every participant.

I thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Uwe Bressem

Mailart Wedding is a nonprofit concept and supported by :
„GOOGLE“ – Keywords : Mailart Wedding Bressem





aus Wikipedia, der freien Enzyklopädie

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Ortsteil von Berlin

Lage von Wedding im Bezirk Mitte
Koordinaten Koordinaten: 52° 33' 0" N, 13° 22' 0" E 52° 33' 0" n. Br., 13° 22' 0" ö. L.
Höhe 52 m ü. NN
Einwohner 73.453
Eingemeindung 1861
Postleitzahlen 13347, 13349, 13351, 13353, 13355, 13357, 13359
Ortsteilnummer 0105
Verwaltungsbezirk Mitte
Quelle: Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg

Der Wedding ist ein Ortsteil im Bezirk Mitte von Berlin. Der heutige Ortsteil entstand 2001 durch Teilung des ehemaligen Bezirks Wedding.

Bis zur Verwaltungsreform am 1. Januar 2001 gab es den eigenständigen Bezirk Wedding, der die heutigen Ortsteile Wedding und Gesundbrunnen, auch von den Berlinern „die Plumpe“ genannt, umfasste. Der ehemalige Bezirk Wedding wurde mit den ehemaligen Bezirken Mitte und Tiergarten zum neuen Bezirk Mitte fusioniert. Viele Berliner und Nichtberliner beziehen sich mit dem Begriff „Wedding“ noch auf das Gebiet des ehemaligen Bezirks Wedding, obwohl dies genau genommen nicht richtig ist. Sogar die Berliner Tagespresse bezeichnet Straßen im Ortsteil Gesundbrunnen oft fälschlicherweise als zu „Wedding“ gehörig.

Der Wedding gehörte lange zu den wenigen Ortsnamen, die im Deutschen mit Artikel benutzt werden; der Wedding erinnert an den Ursprung als Gutshof und Vorwerk und folglich sagte man er wohnt auf dem Wedding (im Stadtdialekt er wohnt uff´m Wedding) bzw. „am Wedding“. Heute wird jedoch „im Wedding“ bevorzugt oder zunehmend von den Zugezogenen die Formulierung „in Wedding“ gebraucht.



Geografie [Bearbeiten]

Wichtige Plätze im Wedding:

Grünanlagen im Wedding:

Geschichte [Bearbeiten]

Historische Alte Nazarethkirche auf dem Leopoldplatz
Historische Alte Nazarethkirche auf dem Leopoldplatz

Der Wedding wird bereits in zwei Urkunden aus dem 13. Jahrhundert erwähnt: 1251 handelte es sich um „eine Mühle im Gebiet des Dorfes, welches Weddinge hieß, am Flusse Namens Pankow erbaut“ und im Jahr 1289 um „das wirkliche Lehensgut und den mit dem Gehöfte Wedding verbundenen Titel eines Lehensgutes“ [1].

Im 13. Jahrhundert wurde das Dorf Wedding als Wüstung, also als verlassene Siedlung, erwähnt. Die Mühle des Ortes wurde an das Benediktinerinnenkloster in Spandau verkauft, das auf der Gemarkung des Dorfes liegende Lehngut wurde Besitz der Stadt Berlin. Im 14. Jahrhundert wurden die Flächen von Berliner Bürgern noch zum Ackerbau genutzt, danach überwuchs es vollständig mit Kiefern und Eichen und wurde als Berliner Stadtheide bezeichnet. Im 17. Jahrhundert wurde auf dem Gebiet des heutigen Nettelbeckplatzes ein Gutshof angelegt, der bereits 1603 an den brandenburgischen Kurfürsten übergeben wurde. Dieser ließ daraus ein Vorwerk errichten. Damit war der Gutshof kurfürstliche Domäne und rechtlich nicht mehr zur Stadt Berlin gehörig.

Panorama des Weddings, vom Bunkerberg im Volkspark Humboldthain gesehen
Panorama des Weddings, vom Bunkerberg im Volkspark Humboldthain gesehen
In der Mitte am unteren Bildrand die Brunnenstraße über der S-Bahn, dahinter das Gesundbrunnen-Center
In der Mitte am unteren Bildrand die Brunnenstraße über der S-Bahn, dahinter das Gesundbrunnen-Center

Im Zusammenhang mit dem Ausbau Berlins und dem dafür benötigten Holz wurde die Stadtheide fast vollständig wieder gerodet, so dass das Land um den Wedding verödete. Im 18. Jahrhundert begann die umfangreiche Besiedlung des Gebiets nördlich Berlins, damit auch des Weddings. 1778 wurden die ersten Kolonistenhäuser im Bereich des heutigen Weddingplatzes errichtet. 1782 ließ Friedrich II. eine Kolonie gründen, die auf Grund ihrer Nähe zum Gutshof den Namen Wedding oder Neu-Wedding erhielt.

Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts, während der zum Wedding gehörende Gesundbrunnen zu einem Bade- und Kurort ausgebaut wurde, hielt das Glücksspiel und die Prostitution im Wedding Einzug. Er wandelte sich damit zu einem Vergnügungsviertel.

Zum Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts entwickelte sich der Wedding durch die anhaltende Landflucht in einen Arbeiterbezirk. Dicht gedrängt lebten die Arbeiter in so genannten Mietskasernen. Die schlimmsten Auswucherungen dieses städtischen Molochs entstanden in Meyers Hof. Diese Mietskaserne gilt immer noch als einzigartiges Beispiel für extrem komprimierte Bebauung.

Zur Zeit der Weimarer Republik war der Wedding auch eine Hochburg der Arbeiterparteien und als Roter Wedding bekannt. Am 1. Mai 1929 kam es zu einem blutigen Zusammenstoß zwischen Polizei und Demonstranten, der als Blutmai bekannt wurde.

Mit dem Bezirk Reinickendorf gehörte der Bezirk Wedding in den Jahren von 1945 bis 1990 zum französischen Sektor von Berlin.

Straßenbahnhaltestelle mit Kiosk in der Seestraße
Straßenbahnhaltestelle mit Kiosk in der Seestraße

Bevölkerung [Bearbeiten]


Heute wird der Bezirk Mitte, zu dem der Ortsteil Wedding gehört, von vielen Migranten, sozial Schwächeren und Personen mit geringem Einkommen bewohnt. Der Ausländeranteil liegt im Bezirk Mitte 2004 bei 27,7 % (Statistisches Landesamt Berlin). Der Ausländeranteil an den allgemein bildenden Schulen lag im Schuljahr 2006/07 bei 40 % (Senatsverwaltung für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung). (Vergleich: Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg 31,7 %, Pankow 4,5 %, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf 20,1 %, Spandau 11,3 %, Steglitz-Zehlendorf 10,0 %, Tempelhof-Schöneberg 17,8 %, Neukölln 31,1 %, Treptow-Köpenick 3,3 %, Marzahn-Hellersdorf 3,5 %, Lichtenberg 10,5 %, Reinickendorf 11,4 %). Wegen der günstigen Mieten und dem urbanen Ambiente wird der Wedding zunehmend von Studenten und jungen Kreativen als Wohngegend entdeckt, wodurch sich die Gegend mehr und mehr zu einem Künstler- und Szenebezirk entwickelt.

Söhne und Töchter vom Wedding [Bearbeiten]