Archive - Nov 1, 2008

Obama’s War Criminal Cousin

(Originally posted at DailyKos)

The latest breaking news in the U.S. Presidential campaign is that Sen. Barack Obama has an aunt living in the United States that may be here illegally. Zeituni Onyango, the half-sister of Obama's late father is reported to have been ordered to leave the country after her request for asylum had been denied.

Yet what is more significant is that Sen. Obama has a cousin on his mother’s side of the family that is an alleged war criminal. According to MSNBC, both Barack Obama and the alleged war criminal are related through Mareen Duvall who moved to Maryland from France without ever becoming a U.S. Citizen. According to a British Newspaper the shocking allegations that Sen. Obama’s cousin may be a war criminal came from none other than “Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to secretary of state Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005”.

When Sen. Obama was asked about his relationship to the alleged war criminal, MSNBC quoted him as saying, “Every family has a black sheep”.

Further research reveals that a major religious leader, whose words Sen. Obama relies on for guidance has suggested, “Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone”. However, that religious leader is criticized by conservative pundits for suggesting that rich people should share the wealth.


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Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit. For all the saints, who from their labors rest. Four more days and the election will be over. It will also be the anniversary of when Kim and I were married and the anniversary of Fiona being baptized. I will be in Washington to cover the election returns. NaNoWriMo, and of course, the top EntreCard droppers of the month. November will be a busy month.

As a kid, we were told to shout Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit out when we first got out of bed at the beginning of each month. Now, as an older blogger, I like to start the first blog post of each month that way. It ties blogging back to the stories of childhood, and that is important, I think.

Today is also All Saints day. It is a holiday in the Christian tradition that I greatly honor. It is a reminder of all the saints that have gone before. For All The Saints (Sine Nomine), is one of my favorite hymns typically sung on All Saints Day or the Sunday immediately following. I flip to an online hymnal to find the words and search for a quote to add, yet the hymn is full of so many wonderful verses. So, I’ve chosen two which capture for me some of the spirit of the hymn and of All Saints Day.

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Yes, the strife is fierce, especially as we lead up to election day, and the election warfare has seemed very long indeed. Over the next few days, we will be doing our final push of what we can to get out the vote. There are difficult questions. Where do we spend our time? Do we drive up to New Hampshire as a key battle ground state? Do we call from our homes or at gatherings? Do we focus on races that are more local, like a very important congressional race in the neighboring district, a key state senate race a district or two away, or a state house race in our own back yard?

For me, I plan on voting first thing on Tuesday. I would think about voting earlier, but Connecticut is part of the minority of states that do not have early voting. After voting, I plan on poll standing and talking to voters who have not thought enough yet about the state legislative races or the questions on the ballot. Then, I will hop on a train down to Washington where I will blog the election returns from NPR studios.

There is a group of bloggers that will be there and I’m honored to be part of the group. Some of the bloggers are writers I have read for a long time and have great respect for, such as Liza Sabater of Culture Kitchen, Faye Anderson of Anderson at Large, Jill Zimon of Writes Like She Talks, Laurie White of BlogHer and Jill Foster doing Mobile podcasts from Utterli. There are several other bloggers that I look forward reading more of and then getting to meet in Washington.

It has seemed strange to go down to Washington to blog. After all, I can probably blog better from my office at home. I have many more resources at hand. Yet there is something special about gathering with other writers. This leads me to two other topics for the month.

National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo starts today. I’ve been to one NaNoWriMo kick off dinner, and I expect that over the coming month I’ll find a few chances to gather with other people trying to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. I wrote a novel last year for NaNoWriMo. I’ve done a bit of editing of the novel and it sits quietly on my hard disk waiting for more editing or for me to decide what to do with it next. It will have to wait. Soon after I finish this morning’s blog post, I will start writing my 2008 NaNoWriMo novel. This year’s novel has the working title ‘Starting Over’, which will be a fictionalized semi-autobiographical recounting of my divorce, career change, foreclosure on my house and bankruptcy.

As to the top EntreCard droppers on me during the month of November, several of the blogs are ones that I regularly read, and I suspect are found on many similar lists, like Worldwide Travel Blog, Shepard Family Values, verITableLIFE, and Turnip of Power, which is running a Social Networking Contest. I’m normally not a big fan of all the contests designed to get links back to a website, but Turnip of Power is a very good blog which I enjoy reading.

Some of the other top droppers for October include rambling stuff with a beautiful picture of a hammer dulcimer at the top of the page, Weather for Headphones, which is a great title for a blog, and Kitchen Retro. Kitchen Retro has lots of great memories from yesteryear. The author of Kitchen Retro is also participating in NaNoWriMo this year, so we’ll see if they remain a top dropper during November.

Other blogs include Technically Easy and Random Ramblings.

So, with all my shout-outs for the beginning of November completed, it is time to begin “Starting Over”. Wish me luck. If you want to read parts of the novel as I write it and offer constructive comments, please let me know.

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Recent ma.noglia bookmarks

Here are pages I've recently bookmarked with ma.gnolia:

HUMOR: Black Sarah Palin | NewsOne

HUMOR: Black Sarah Palin | NewsOne

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