Monthly Archives: August 2009

Iraq and Afghanistan Soldier’s Poetry/ Art Slam – Session 25

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


Good Evening,   A pilot’s Poem,



By John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed
and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of –
Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

FROM  (Poetry from Korean War)


Good night, see you next Saturday,

Please send any thoughts or ideas to and I will post or use comments area, thanks, Iraq Veterans Against The War Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Veterans for Peace


 This Slam will continue until all our soldiers return from Iraq and Afghanistan.

 BJ Halliday Crawley     Editor

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Friday Night/Saturday Morning Gallery Chat – Cecilia Beaux – Modernist

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


There are few female painters that have their work outlast their lives, Cecilia Beaux’s work and her long 40 year career achieved that goal.   When I was at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art (Philadelphia) which is one of the last art institutions in the country to focus on figure painting in the formative years of training a painter, Cecilia Beaux was a prime influence.


Her work set apart from her contemporaries, such as John Singer Sargent, through its clear painterly style which has a real feeling for the medium of oil painting and the portrayal of grace that infused the spirit of her subjects.   The way ahe composed her paintings, to me , seemed to be a hybrid of  photography and painting.

 Look at the image below and the subtle colors, how does it make you feel? 



From Google Images

Cecilia Beaux

Ceclia Beaux ca. 1888
Born May 1, 1855(1855-05-01)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died September 7, 1942 (aged 87)
Green Alley, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Field Portrait painting
Training Francis Adolf Van der Wielen, Académie Julian, Académie Colarossi

note: From Wikipedia

Though Beaux was an individualist, comparisons to Sargent would prove inevitable, and often favorable. Her strong technique, her perceptive reading of her subjects, and her ability to flatter without falsifying, were traits similar to his. “The critics are very enthusiastic. (Bernard) Berenson, Mrs. Coates tells me, stood in front of the portraits – Miss Beaux’s three – and wagged his head. ‘Ah, yes, I see!’ Some Sargents. The ordinary ones are signed John Sargent, the best are signed Cecilia Beaux, which is, of course, nonsense in more ways than one, but it is part of the generous chorus of praise.”[50] Though overshadowed by Mary Cassatt and relatively unknown to museum goers today, Cecilia Beaux’s craftsmanship and extraordinary output were highly regarded in her time. While presenting the Carnegie Institute’s Gold Medal to Beaux in 1899, William Merritt Chase stated “Miss Beaux is not only the greatest living woman painter, but the best that has ever lived. Miss Beaux has done away entirely with sex [gender] in art.”[51]

During her long productive life as an artist, she maintained her personal aesthetic and high standards against all distractions and countervailing forces. She constantly struggled for perfection, “A perfect technique in anything,” she stated in an interview, “means that there has been no break in continuity between the conception and the act of performance.” She summed up her driving work ethic, “I can say this: When I attempt anything, I have a passionate determination to overcome every obstacle…And I do my own work with a refusal to accept defeat that might almost be called painful.”[52]


Have a beautiful weekend!

If you get a chance stop by the Academy, it  is housed in one of the most wonderfully  old buildings in Philly,

It is the oldest Museum and school in the country.

Leave a comment

Filed under Friday Night Gallery Chat

Song Of The Week ” Far Behind” Social Distortion

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


You feel like you wanna change your life, start a new network, this is the song for you!

Great vocals, guitar riffs, spirit and funny too!

” FAR BEHIND ”  Social Distortion  (there is a great youtube on the “Only Lyrics” web page (2007 soundcheck)


With friends like you, who needs enemies?
you ain’t right, you ain’t never gonna be,
you’re out of the car, I’m afraid you’ve been declined.
you shake my hand, while you’re pissing on my leg
I’m cuttin you loose, I don’t need this misery
your soul is toxic, you ain’t no friend of mine.

You talk real trash when i’m not around
to build yourself up, you gotta to tear me down.
you’ll have to excuse me, i’ve got better things to do.
you smile through your teeth, you talk out your neck
every chance you get you’re gonna stab my back.
your time’s run out, i’ve got nothing left for you..

I’m leaving you far behind.
I’m leaving you far behind.
Stop wasting all of my time.
I’m leaving you far behind.

So I’m pulling out the weeds, i’m taking stock
you can talk the talk, but cant walk the walk
Your narcissistic ways have gotten the best of you.
So I’m leaving you to sink, in all your glory
For you and me it’s the end of the story.
Get out of my way, I’ve got better things to do..

[Chorus x3]

With friends like you, who needs enemies?
it means you ain’t right, you ain’t never going
your soul is toxic, you ain’t no friend of mine.




Musical style, influences, and impact (FROM WIKIPEDIA)

Social Distortion’s musical style began as decidedly punk rock or hardcore punk when the band formed in the late 1970s. They are thought to be one of the pioneering bands of the original Southern California punk rock movement out of Orange County, California, and their style closely associated with the The Dickies, The Germs, and other bands from that place and time. In the mid-80’s there was a notable change in their style of music – taking more from their country music and classic rock and roll roots. Mike Ness admits in the DVD commentary from Another State of Mind that he may have even tried too hard on the Prison Bound album. They did eventually find their niche, and the majority of their albums from the mid-80’s on to the early 90’s are considered to be cowpunk or rockabilly – a melodic punk sound that is distinctly – and distinctively – their own.

The music was mostly initially inspired equally by Johnny Cash, Eddie Cochran, and The Rolling Stones, as well as early punk bands like the Sex Pistols The Clash and Ramones, [21] and they have influenced various contemporary artists such as Alkaline Trio, Pearl Jam, Rise Against, Sum 41, The Offspring, Pennywise, Rancid, and Thrice. They began playing with fellow Orange County, California bands such as The Adolescents, China White, and Shattered Faith as part of the nascent hardcore movement. Their music was fast, angry and energetic.

Most of Social Distortion’s songs are written and sung by Mike Ness. There is a common theme in most of his lyrics about “impulsiveness, its consequences and the hard struggle for maturity”

From Google Image

Leave a comment

Filed under Song of the week

” Enhanced Interrogations” Term Coined in 1937 By The Gestapo

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


Excerpt below, from Democratic Underground Website concerning the origins of the oft used term “Enhanced Interrogations”,


 Reminder: “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” was originally a term coined by the Gestapo 

 Edited on Fri May-15-09 10:41 AM by kpete

“Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” was originally a term coined by the (wait for it) Gestapo. Something to consider when you hear someone (typically a Republican politician) using that term as a substitute for torture.

The phrase “Verschärfte Vernehmung” is German for “enhanced interrogation”. Other translations include “intensified interrogation” or “sharpened interrogation”. It’s a phrase that appears to have been concocted in 1937, to describe a form of torture that would leave no marks, and hence save the embarrassment pre-war Nazi officials were experiencing as their wounded torture victims ended up in court.

From Democratic Underground  Website  


I don’t think that anyone should be comfortable with using the term ” Enhanced Interrogations” as it is a term previously used by the Gestapo (under the Nazi Regime) to refer to techniques of interrogation that were a form of torture – BUT,  “that would leave no marks”. 

 It is important to listen to history and learn the lessons.




, Vann Nath, at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum  IMAGE FROM WIKIPEDIA

Leave a comment

Filed under Torture

The Kennedy Brothers Are Gone: But The Dream Lives On

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


John, Robert and Ted Kennedy, c. 1960

What the Kennedy Brothers – Ted, Bobby and John stood  for, in their own words,


Ted Kennedy at 1980 Democratic convention address,

And may it be said of us, both in dark passages and in bright days, in the words of Tennyson that my brothers quoted and loved, and that have special meaning for me now:

“I am a part of all that I have met
To [Tho] much is taken, much abides
That which we are, we are —
One equal temper of heroic hearts
Strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end.

For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.


Bobby Kennedy, remarks on the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.,

But we have to make an effort in the United States. We have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond, or go beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poem, my — my favorite poet was Aeschylus. And he once wrote:

Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart,
until, in our own despair,
against our will,
comes wisdom
through the awful grace of God.

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.


John Kennedy Inaugural address,

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans — born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.







Fragments of speeches taken from American Rhetoric Website ” Top 100 Speeches “

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Torture: President Bush Lied

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


President Clinton lied about an extra- marital affair, President Bush lied about initiating torture as a accepted practice of the United States Government.

President Clinton was put on trial for impeachment.

President Bush has still not admitted that his administration used torture as a interrogation technique.


In the reports released yesterday there was a memo, as reported by National Public Radio, that stated that a prisoner in the custody of the US was waterboarded over 100 times.  The interrogators requested that the procedure be stopped. Someone in  the upper echelons of the US government refused that request and ordered that the waterbarding continue.

Many people on the right say we cannot  punish the ordinary soldier for carrying out orders I agree whole heartedly except for two things ,


1.  With a through a investigation of what the underlings did, the people who operated outside of international laws against war crimes whether a President, Vice President  or other can be held accountable. 


2.   Soldiers and everyone in government need to know, as  Matthew Alexander did, that they are permitted to question orders that include war crimes, indeed it is their responsibility as US citizens.   A through investigation as to who did what and who ordered it ( more importantly) is the only way to make sure that torture is never used by the United States of America again.


The question is Do we want to be a gold plated democracy or not?  Do we want to  follow in the steps of George Washington and treat prisoners fairly?  Or not. 



Note :  A quote from Matthew Alexander,

“My extensive experience demonstrates that we can effectively interrogate without using torture and abuse. We do not have to choose between terror and torture. We are Americans and we are smarter and better than that.”

Matthew Alexander is a pseudonym for a 14 year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. As the leader of an elite interrogations team in Iraq, he conducted more than 300 interrogations and supervised more than 1,000. He served in three wars and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal in 2006.

From an article in the Daily Beast Titled ‘Torture Doesn’t Work”



Leave a comment

Filed under Torture

In Whose Name And For What Purpose? Torture Will Be Revisited By Obama Administration

” A Pale GreenMermaid Blog “


Attorney General Eric Holder has announced the creation of a preliminary investigation into actions taken by the CIA while interrogating prisoners.  John Durham will be appointed special prosecutor.  A series of reports/reviews on the question of torture during the Bush administration held back from public access, some for five years, were released today.

 In those reports were treatments of prisoners described below,

 Using a gun and a drill to threaten prisoners,

Telling a prisoner that his mother would be sexually abused if he did not cooperate,

A prisoner was told that his children would be killed if he did not cooperate.

A panel will bet set up as well to review in depth how much information was produced by these techniques and how valuable that information was.


If you feel as I do, that the main questions of  in whose name and for what purpose– still need to be answered when it comes to the question of  torture during the Bush administration, then email or write Attorney General Eric Holder and let him know you support his actions.


Peace      Department of Justice Website

Note: For more information see Huffington Post Article, ” Holder To Appoint Special Prosecutor To Investigate CIA Interrogators and Contractors”


Leave a comment

Filed under Torture