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on to donate my ol’ rodeo… snif… I am going to sit down and cry when it goes. What an idiot I am, with so many bigger fish to fry! From the Car Talk Donation web form:

“Missing parts, damage, recent repairs, custom accessories, or mechanical problems:

Problems: has been sitting under a carport. not started in a  year or more. was running when we parked it. Needs water pump and radiator– we just could not afford the time energy and money to get this done. Driver’s power window will not shut. very dusty. dirt inside because we used it to pull out and haul azalea bushes when it was on its last legs. Cracked passenger side headlight. 200K miles. Needs general tuneup/cleanup.

General: With occasional repair to electrical system, this has been an absolute beauty of a car for me for 9 years 125K miles (bought in 1999 with 74K miles on it). I am going to shed some tears when it goes.

Was flooded about 4 feet deep in Houston in 2001; after that entire electrical wiring etc. was re-done and I believe this re-do contributed to the car lasting so long.

The two wheel drive Santa Fe I drive now is but a pale imitation.

Custom accessories: v6 4wd. 6 cd disc changer. sunroof. brush guard. trailer hitch. leather interior (kind of cracked and dirty now).

LORD I hate to let this thing go. It is a real work truck– get it dirty. go ahead, hit it, you think I care? you think you’re the first? it will damage your car worse than it will damage mine. trust me. Rearended in 2005 hooked the poor girl’s car and busted her radiator with the trailer hitch. Got hit on the beltway in DC– who cares? Feel lucky?

Goodbye old thing.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Every time I make and offer my child my AWESOME fudgy delixous bananna muffins my little girl says you mean *pumpkin* muffins?

Is she trying to tell me something?

My husband bought me a gigantic can of pumpkin, far exceeding expectations. Alas, I haven’t been able to grow a single pumpkin in my gardens, EVER.

Vegan with a Vengeance has a to die for pumpkin muffin.

Vegan with A Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Vegan with A Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Vegan Cupcakes take Over the World has a pumpkin chocolate chip cupcake recipe I haven’t had a chance to try yet.

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

So baby and I are off to see the pumpkin wizard. If I– okay if we– make ’em she better damn well eat ’em.

Yeah, I was just reading in the Bible where Jesus said he absolutely loved it when he could kiss his wife and kids goodbye not knowing if he as husband and daddy would return, sling his automatic weapon over his shoulder, walk into the jaws of death, and have a GREAT REASON to KILL SOMEBODY, WOOO HOOO!!!

I know I’m supposed to be being kinder, not stronger, not righter. So I’ve suppressed the urge to say this directly to people… I almost forgot I wanted to say it yesterday, but today I hopped on facebook and… I’ll just say it here.

I wholeheartedly agree: Captain Richard Phillips is a national hero. What a horrifying situation. His poor family! What a brave man. He left his ship with the pirates to ransom his passengers, crew and ship. If he’d lost his life it would have been a horrible tragedy– but it would have also been a loving and honorable sacrifice.

I also agree that the sharpshooters who freed him are heroes, truly brave and honorable, who waited to shoot until they felt his life was in danger.

What I do not agree with is all the high-fiving and ‘that’ll teach you to mess with us, sucka’ I am hearing and seeing everywhere regarding the rescue.

Human life was taken.

The sanctity of human life is a favored platform from which to bash political opponents, women forced to ‘choose’ and the unwarshed.

I guess life is sacred unless the sucker deserves it?

When you get down to it, whose life is less precious than another’s? And whose pain or need or sin is greater than another’s? Are we sure we can say?

There is theft of property, which is wrong, and then there is violence against human beings and other living things– double, triple, exponentially more wrong in my book. Most criminals just want property, not to hurt anyone. Many criminals want property in response to, in an attempt to get out of, insane, inhuman conditions– and that’s the kind of conditions they have in Somalia, for darn sure.

Vice Admiral Gortney of the US Navy says this incident could further destabilize this part of the world.

I am very, very proud of how the Americans involved handled this situation. They did what they had to do. Their own lives were at risk. They are heroes. They rescued a hero.

But taking a life is a horrible consequence, and further horrible consequences are possible.

Celebrate Captain Phillips’ well-deserved rescue and the rescuers– God bless them for bravery and honor!

But this is a grave situation.

Those pirates blundered into what has become an international incident and three lost their lives.

Yes, we do reap what we sow, in this world or the next… but do we as fallible human beings get to decide what others reap?

The pirates left the boat peacefully, and kept the captain alive perhaps in hopes of saving their own sorry skins.

I wonder what was going through their heads in those last hours? Were they thinking of wives, children, villages, their once innocent and hopeful childhoods left behind? What they would do if they survived? Or were they just bloodthirsty, greedy animals? Or a bit of each? We’ll never know, I guess.

There are so many people suffering in Somalia– hunger, violence against women, violence in general, corruption, lack of education… how now can we get at the root causes of this piracy, instead of just picking people off one at a time, allowing the cause, and therefore the violence, to continue?

P.S. Speaking of theft and harm to other human beings… is this true? What is the truth?

From Johann Hari, London Independent columnist, April 13, quoted on the Huffington Post (thanks bro)

The words of one pirate from that lost age – a young British man called William Scott – should echo into this new age of piracy. Just before he was hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, he said: “What I did was to keep me from perishing. I was forced to go a-pirating to live.” In 1991, the government of Somalia – in the Horn of Africa – collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and many of the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: “Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it.” Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to “dispose” of cheaply. When I asked Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: “Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention.”

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish-stocks by over-exploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m worth of tuna, shrimp, lobster and other sea-life is being stolen every year by vast trawlers illegally sailing into Somalia’s unprotected seas. The local fishermen have suddenly lost their livelihoods, and they are starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: “If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters.”

This is the context in which the men we are calling “pirates” have emerged. Everyone agrees they were ordinary Somalian fishermen who at first took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least wage a ‘tax’ on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia – and it’s not hard to see why. In a surreal telephone interview, one of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali, said their motive was “to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters… We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas.” William Scott would understand those words.

if true…

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