Heavenly Light

Heavenly Light
Read to see the light

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Island Shopping Continues: Moçambique

This search continues...new prospect: Mozambique...for various Dar Far reasons...take a look...

And way to go Lonely Planet, basically the fool proof bible travel book to any country, and who all travelers usually start out with, and if one becomes good at navigating the country seemingly begins to forget about all the essential information Lonely Planet provides...and now with new innovations on their website to easily embed such virtual innovations equipped with videos and maps...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Article: The country of the future finally arrives

The country of the future finally arrives

With an export boom and oil finds, Brazil, the sleeping giant of South America is awakening

* Tom Phillips
* The Guardian,
* Saturday May 10 2008
* Article history

A young girl plays in front of a Brazilian flag in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Douglas Engle/AP

Sitting in his air-conditioned office in Guarantã do Norte, a remote agricultural town on the edge of the Amazon rainforest, local mayor José Humberto Macêdo looked a contented man.

Thanks largely to the global boom in commodities, this soya-growing region has been transformed into the vanguard of Brazil's march on to the world stage. "This is going to be the new Brazil," Macêdo beamed, explaining how ballooning commodity prices had made his region, Mato Grosso state, into a powerhouse of the Brazilian economy.

Across the country, similar optimism can now be heard among businessmen and politicians, all convinced that South America's sleeping giant is finally waking up. Brazil has long been known as the país do futuro (country of the future). But a series of economic and political crises and 21 years of military rule somehow meant the future never quite arrived.

Now things seem to be changing. Brazil's currency recently hit a nine-year-high against the dollar, inflation is under control and millions of Brazilians are being propelled towards a new middle class. Last week, meanwhile, Brazil was awarded "investment grade" status by the financial rating agency Standard & Poor's, sending the country's stocks soaring to an all-time high.

Following the announcement, Brazil's president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, said: "If we translate this into a language that the Brazilian people understand, it means that Brazil was declared a serious country, that has serious policies, that takes care of its finances with seriousness and because of this we deserve international confidence."

From oranges and iron ore to biofuels, Brazilian exports are booming, creating a new generation of tycoons. Brazil's millionaire club grew from 130,000 in 2006 to 190,000 last year - one of the fastest rates in the world, according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group.

"We are the biggest exporters of meat, coffee, sugar, fruit juices and the second biggest of grains," Brazil's agriculture minister, Reinhold Stephanes, boasted at a conference in Brasília last month.

Meanwhile, Brazil's stockmarket, known as the Bovespa, was one of the best performing in the world last year.

Despite the world economic crisis, the Brazilian government recently raised the projected growth rate this year to 5% - lower than the other so-called BRIC nations of Russia, India and China but impressive for a developing country.

"The future has already arrived," said David Fleischer, a political scientist at the University of Brasília. "Foreign investments coming into Brazil are very strong; inflation is more or less under control; Brazil now has more international reserves than foreign debt, and the commodities are booming."

Not to mention the oil. A series of huge offshore discoveries by the state-owned energy company Petrobras has led many to dub the president "Sheikh Lula" and claim that Brazil may soon become a major oil producer.

In April, when Haroldo Lima, head of Brazil's national petroleum agency, made headlines after claiming that another huge oilfield had been found off Rio's coast, the news appeared to confirm what many Brazilians have long claimed: God is Brazilian.

Lia Valls, an economist at Rio's Getulio Vargas Foundation, said: "We are now living a singular economic situation we have never experienced before. The international situation is very favourable to Brazil."

In February, when the government announced that it had paid off its foreign debt, Lula boasted that Brazil had "taken an extremely important step towards transforming itself into a country taken seriously in the financial world".

"We will transform this country, definitively, into a great economy and a great nation," the president added.

Keen to transform itself from developing nation to world power, Brazil is also presiding over a 1,200-strong UN stabilisation force in conflict-ridden Haiti. Paulo Cordeiro, the country's former ambassador in Port-au-Prince, said the presence of Brazilian troops was a "demonstration of Brazil ... wanting more responsibility.

"I think Brazil has already reached a certain level of development in which the international community starts calling on it to act more," he said.

"Brazil's international leadership has grown a great deal over the last six or seven years," said the University of Brasília's Fleischer, citing Brazil's involvement in the UN mission and its leadership of the emerging nations in the Doha talks. "The tendency is for this influence to keep growing."

For analysts, much of the euphoria sweeping Brazil is down to the ability to control the inflation that plagued the country in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1993 inflation reached 2,490%. Today the figure stands at about 4.7%.

"I think now it is difficult to imagine a return to this," said Valls.

Analysts are less certain, however, about the effects that a drop in commodity prices might have. Many believe this could bring a dramatic end to Brazil's boom. Others question whether the infrastructure and education systems are strong enough to maintain the economic momentum.

Valls warned: "All this does not mean you are guaranteed economic growth. Brazil still has serious structural problems; there needs to be lots of investment in infrastructure. There are some serious pitfalls that compromise this growth: education, having a qualified workforce, health."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

MIA Walks Into a Bar (Champions League Repost...)

MIA walks into a hotel lobby and sees a group of travelers hangin out...

"I was bored...I need a new 'Drogba...'' MIA stated.

"Don't go in the bathroom--I just took a Messy Kaká," said the Scottsman.

"Ya, Riquelme with that stench, you got to light a match," said the Brasilian.

"Ballaks!" said the Brit, "Im a get me another Klose of Guiness--any takers?"

"No man, Im gonna play some ping-pong--I be tryin to Mascherano my serve man!" said the Jamaican.

"Lets go" said the Dutchman as he Beckhamed him over to the ping-pong Rooney.

But the Jamaican was already too busy smokin some Drogba.

"Damn, I Totti was gonna come play with me," Complained the Dutchman.

"Dida see dat?! That crazy American just rolled by in his Ford Zidane. What a Buffon!" exlaimed the Jamaican.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Charlie Wilson's War

I recently watched Charlie Wilson's War and while being a student of International Affairs, I had at least some recollection of why the Soviets invaded. However, the movie popularized an actual policy in America at the time, containment, the United States would fight "auxiliary wars" or periferal wars such as those in the Congo, Vietnam, Cambodia and Afghanistan. These so-called military skirmishes served as a mechanism fend off a Soviet expansionist tendencies and therefore stop the spread of communism and stick to our beloved policy of containment. However, s Charlie Wilson's War demonstrates some of those wars were not as glorious and covertly fought as the bleeding hart epic blockbuster movie portrays...ie Vietnam.

However, being a student of International Affairs, where a focus on different facets of the Cold War is about 87% of the curriculum advanced graduate classes to 101 classes, my knowledge level runs deep, however, it exists in academia...People like my parents who grew up during the Cold War, and my grandparents who fought in WWII saw the change in world wide politics, I can only look back through college level courses and political interest books

However, my fleeting desire to pursue such a profound education has led to a personal interest is the Mujahideen and other guerrilla resistances and their successes and/or failures in the aforementioned auxiliary (axillary?) wars. It is true that the CIA led covert operations to secretly fund the Mujahideen and supply them with Russian bazookas to shoot down the helicopters, but what else was on the table. How involved was the CIA, and how effective were they? It just goes to show that a government can really start a war to achieve subsequently entirely different results, that bare no meaning on the country at hand...it its funny to see now that as everyone mentioned that we supplied Osama bin Laden with the power to stop the Russians, and now he cultivates islamic fundamentalism to continue fighting for his original mission...which is not to attack the US, but to overthrow the Saudi regime...however, in order to do so, he must prove himself by taking down the West...

Here is a clip I found on youtube.com that demonstrates a potential vision at the CNN Effect and how they can provoke and persuade the public in order to gain votes and look good politically...




to be continued...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

An Investigation on the 'Bay to Breakers'

So tomorrow seems to be the big day...the Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco. Having moved to the Bay Area a little more than a year ago, I have not experienced the Bay to Breakers or many other dubbed 'San Francisco' events. Anyone who lives in San Francisco knows that people here are a little more crazy than people in practically any other place. Having lived in a formidable amount of crazy places, and Growing up in Boulder, CO with comperably weird collection of people and festivals such as the Bolder Boulder and Kenetics...I can officially vouch that San Francisco is full of people who are literally 'off their rockers.' As I write this, in no way do I mean to deny any ludicrous acts I myself have partaken in here in San Francisco, but it is fun to do a little research into the traditions and lifestyles of people that get to be accentuated on a few certain days of the year with exclamation points...And just for the record, it is quite insightful to learn about all these groups and potentially look into being a member...Just hearing of the idea of the Salmon swimmers, who run the 'Bakers to Bay' race, 'coincidentally on the same day as humans run the Bay to Breakers' It goes with my ideals of going against the norm, keeping people on their toes and as the Cacophony Society deems 'Against the Ordinary. Their mission statement is as follows:

"The Cacophony Society is a randomly gathered network of individuals united in the pursuit of experiences beyond the pale of mainstream society through subversion, pranks, art, fringe explorations and meaningless madness."


Wherein the website given another select your own style mission statement...mine reads as follows...(note you can go to the website and make your own...which depending on m mood is fun to mix and match...)

We are the 'one who rearranges things in your house when you aren't looking.'
the 'fog that moves faster than traffic'
the 'safari guides to a landscape that few people know exist'
and the 'holy spirits of cultural fermentation.'

I think it warrants a nice mission statement for International Vagabond...thanks Cacophony Society for helping to streamline my random, idealistically skewed thoughts that must remain retained like a 13 year old who just got his braces off retainer...And I must thank my childhood orthodontist for giving me the living vibrancy of that analogy with experimental orthodontics...

Ill see you there somewhere smiling at the Bay to Breakers, cheering on the salmon runners, cultivating our World Town, and especially being Dar Far!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I kinda like this one...

Barack Obama Stickers!!!!


Just $5 at http://store.barackobama.com/Stickers_s/500.htm

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dedicated to our Mother!!!

Ode to my Mother...

I was working at my bar last night and had the privilege to serve a few people who brought their mothers in for a night of dinner and drinks. As I was serving them, I was somewhat jealous that they had the opportunity to take their mothers out. Unfortunately my wonderful mother is back at home in Colorado, and I am out in California, and alas we cannot be together for her sons to take her out on mothers day. So thus, I will try to do my best...with a virtual blog of what our loving mother deserves on this glorious Mother's Day.

Mothers Day Menu (For Debby Bell, my mother...to be redeemed in the near future...)

Breakfast in Bed:

I would probably start by putting on Abba or the Beatles White Album, or maybe even Starlight Express (playing) brewing some coffee and boiling water for tea...hopefully my mom would be up but not leaving her bed, maybe some tennis or Meet the Press on the TV. If she were staying at our house in CA I would have got delicious butter and flaky croissants from La Boulange bakery, or if we were in Colorado, probably from Le Francais. I would experiment with a new fusion dish that is oh so delicious...Croissant French Toast...with side of slightly crispy bacon, melon and extra greasy hash browns.

Croissant, Moms favorite food

Shoulder Massage:

I grew up giving my mother back rubs, her shoulders have always been very tense. I often was able to give her 30 minute back rub gift certificates for Christmas or Birthday...but this service comes courtesy after she finally makes it out of bed with a full stomach...


Maybe we do a little spring cleaning, spruce up the back patio and I clean all the had to get places and annoying areas...we feel accomplished and bond of a nice day of fun gardening and spring cleaning...

Lilly of the Valley (Mom's favorite flower)

And maybe even let her take me to the haircutter to do a little spring cleaning of my own, I know she always wants me to cut my hair...


Starlight Express Moms Favorite Musical

I would take her to lunch if she is not too full from breakfast in bed and then afterwards head to a matinee or a movie, then to a delicious outdoor patio for a cosmo...I owe it all to my mom for teaching me how to make the best cosmos from when I used to bartend for her and her 'girls' for her fun little FAC and Tuesday night bridge parties!

Yes this only touches at highlighting how awesome my mother is. From learning how to make cosmos, to running caipirinha bars, to dancing the night away at Insomnia...From slightly crispy bacon to my purple Saturn, from learning how to deliver a perfect breakfast in bed to the perfect back rub, from knowing all the words to thousands of musicals, Abba and the Beatles, and everything in between...I owe everything to my mother...Thank you Mom, I love you!!!

But alas, I have to go to work again today, and my mother is still in Colorado...but I hope that we can make true on her ambition to get each of her son's to visit...and thus we dont need the calendar to tell us when mother's day is, because when the day arrives where we are together...Reinacting the aforementioned Mothers Day Menu

Some photos of you boys...I know all you really wanted were large 8x10 of us...so here are some options...


Thursday, May 08, 2008

We Heart Tim Russert!

Tim Russert calls for the old "Throw in the towel" for Hillary Clinton...

In sight

News broke this morning that Senator Clinton made three separate loans to her campaign in the past 30 days -- including one as recently as Monday.

These loans total more than $6.4 million, which combined with her previous personal loans, add up to at least $11.4 million she's loaned her campaign since February.

A spokesman said she may continue to "loan the campaign additional money out of her jointly-held assets" -- which include more than $100 million in income since her husband left the White House.

Meanwhile, by winning a double-digit victory in North Carolina and closing the gap in Indiana, Barack won another 100 delegates.

Barack Obama is now just 172 delegates away from winning the Democratic nomination. It's within sight.

This is a decisive moment in this race.

Barack has already won more votes, more delegates, and more than twice as many states as Senator Clinton, whose path to the nomination has grown extremely narrow. But these loans show that her campaign will continue to contest the remaining primaries vigorously.

We need to show that the voices of more than 1.5 million ordinary people donating whatever they can afford are more powerful than one person giving more than $11 million to their own campaign.

You've helped build this historic movement -- please help close out this nomination by making a donation of $25 to match Senator Clinton's loan:


Here's the math of where we stand ...

There are only six contests remaining on the Democratic primary calendar and only 217 pledged delegates left to be awarded. Only 7% of the pledged delegates remain on the table. There are 253 remaining undeclared superdelegates, for a total of 470 delegates left to be awarded.

With North Carolina and Indiana complete, Barack Obama only needs 170 total delegates to capture the Democratic nomination. This is only 36% of the total remaining delegates.

Conversely, Senator Clinton needs 326 delegates to reach the Democratic nomination, which represents a startling 69% of the remaining delegates.

With the Clinton path to the nomination getting even narrower, we expect new and wildly creative scenarios to emerge in the coming days.

While those scenarios may be entertaining, they are not legitimate and will not be considered legitimate by this campaign or its millions of supporters, volunteers, and donors.

You can help make sure Barack Obama is the nominee. Please make a donation of $25 now:


We want to be clear -- we believe that the winner of a majority of pledged delegates will be and should be the nominee of our party.

And we estimate that after the Oregon and Kentucky primaries on May 20th, we will have won a majority of the overall pledged delegates.

Evidently, the Clinton campaign agrees. According to a recent news report, by even their most optimistic estimates the Clinton Campaign expects to trail by more than 100 pledged delegates and will then ask the superdelegates to overturn the will of the voters.

But we have our own case to make: that millions of Americans volunteering their time and donating in small amounts have built a campaign that has won the most delegates, the most states, and the most votes.

And this campaign -- your campaign -- will be the one that wins the presidency in November and delivers a wave of support for Democrats at every level of office.

Please make a donation of $25 now to make it happen:


We'll be in touch as the situation evolves.

Thank you,


David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

An Arm and a Leg

You know, I'm not one to actually be really angry...but with gas prices above $4.19 for the lowest octaine here in California, I think there is room to raise a slightly angry fist at the governments in charge...now I have always been opposed to the 'War in Iraq' at least some of us knew from the start it was a lame ploy for the US government to get their hands on more oil...they billed at as a war against terrorism and rebuilding democracy in a region that is in need of capitalism and open up the glorious doors of liberal democracies in lue of 'evil dictators.' We all knew this was a sham as well as a few days ago I heard on CNN that civilian Iraqi casualties where somewhere between 10,000 in some estimates over 1 million people...now I dont know if you need to break out your calculator for that one, but thats a large margin of error...In any case, all of us educated liberals at least know that now the war was a sham...but with gas prices skyrocketing with no end in sight...dont even republicans raise at least an eyebrow...? As long as gas prices are low, Americans will be happy, but with a very noticeable recession in conjunction with high gas prices, filling up takes its toll, and hopefully will cause people to question a little more about our foreign policy and where all our money is being sent...not at home thats for sure, but quite possibly for infrastructure projects so that in 2 years you can pay $7 a gallon, and the companies behind the oil will be the jolliest mo fos out there...

I revived this from a friend via email...

TIPS ON PUMPING GAS (Good information)

I don't know what you guys are paying for gasoline.... but here
in California we are also paying higher, up to $4.00 per
gallon. But my line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of y our money's worth for every gallon..

Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in San Jose ,
CA we deliver about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline. One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.

Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning
when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all
service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground.
The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets
warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the
evening....your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the
petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role. A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps

When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the
nozzle to a fast mode. If you look you will see that the
trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. In slow
mode you should be pumping on low speed, thereby minimizing the
vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the
pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate,
some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those
vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground
storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas
tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is, the more gas you
have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space.
Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline
storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves
as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it
minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where
I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so
that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into
the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up
--most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is
being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that
normally settles on the bottom.

Hope this will help you get the most value for your money.


Keeping Fingers Crossed...

'Pundits Declare the Race Over'

Published: May 8, 2008

Very early this morning, after many voters had already gone to sleep, the conventional wisdom of the elite political pundit class that resides on television shifted hard, and possibly irretrievably, against Senator Hillary Clinton’s continued viability as a presidential candidate.

The moment came shortly after midnight Eastern time, captured in a devastatingly declarative statement from Tim Russert of NBC News: “We now know who the Democratic nominee’s going to be, and no one’s going to dispute it,” he said on MSNBC. “Those closest to her will give her a hard-headed analysis, and if they lay it all out, they’ll say: ‘What is the rationale? What do we say to the undeclared super delegates tomorrow? Why do we tell them you’re staying in the race?’ And tonight, there’s no good answer for that.”

It was not exactly Walter Cronkite declaring that the Vietnam War would end in stalemate. But the impact was apparent almost immediately, starting with The Drudge Report, the online news billboard that is the home page to many political reporters in Washington and news producers in New York. It had as its lead story a link to a YouTube clip of Mr. Russert’s comments, accompanied by a photograph of a beaming Mr. Obama with his wife, Michelle, and the headline, “The Nominee.”

The thought echoed throughout the world of instant political analysis, steamrolling the Clinton campaign’s attempts to promote the idea that her victory in Indiana was nonetheless an upset in the face of Mr. Obama’s heavy spending and his campaign’s predictions that he would win there, or that she could still come back if delegates in Florida and Michigan are seated.

“I think there’s an increasing presumption tonight that Obama’s going to be the nominee,” Chris Wallace, the Fox News host, said to Karl Rove, President Bush’s longtime political guru, who is now a Fox News analyst. The statement preceded a discussion about what a general election race would look like between Mr. Obama and the presumptive Republican nominee, Senator John McCain.

A posting on the DailyKos Web site included a mock memo to Mrs. Clinton titled, “To-Do List Before Dropping Out.”

Speaking on CNN, David Gergen, a former adviser to several presidents, including Mrs. Clinton’s husband, said, “I think the Clinton people know the game is almost up.”

Stating it more bluntly, Bob Franken, the political analyst, told the MSNBC host Dan Abrams shortly after 2 a.m. Eastern time, “Let’s put it right on the table: It’s over. It’s over.”

And it picked up again on the major morning news programs in a devastating cascade of sound bites for Mrs. Clinton and her campaign.

Bob Schieffer on the CBS News program “Early Show”: “Basically, Maggie, this race is over.”

George Stephanopoulos on the ABC program “Good Morning America”: “This nomination fight is over.”

Matt Lauer on the NBC News program “Today”: “Good morning, is it over?”

The commentary was punctuated by some brutal morning newspaper headlines: “Toast!” blared The New York Post; “Hil Needs a Miracle” declared The New York Daily News.

Of course, the political news media have not exactly showered themselves in glory this year. They have frequently made predictions that have been upended by actual votes from actual people.

But their opinions matter as much as ever in this late phase of the primary race, when Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama are battling to sway the opinions of the uncommitted superdelegates — the party leaders and elected officials with automatic convention seats, whose support Mrs. Clinton will need if she is to snatch the nomination from Mr. Obama.

The superdelegates are a largely elite group that presumably will track the conventional wisdom of Washington’s class of political insiders as they weigh their decisions. And the big donors and fund-raisers whose help Mrs. Clinton will need to continue her campaign are similarly tapped into the news media echo-sphere.

Mrs. Clinton’s campaign indicated early this morning that it would try to prove the commentariat wrong once again. “Pundits have gleefully counted Senator Clinton out before, and each time they have been wrong, because they don’t decide this race — voters do,” Howard Wolfson, Mrs. Clinton’s communications director, wrote in an e-mail message. “And as the results in Indiana demonstrated, voters are rewarding Senator Clinton with victories, even in states Senator Obama predicted victory in.”

Mr. Wolfson’s statement came in quick response to a request for comment that was sent to him by e-mail after 2 a.m. Eastern time — an indication of the campaign’s eagerness to undo the new conventional wisdom before it hardens.

And the campaign held a conference call with reporters this morning to send the clear signal that nothing had changed overnight.

Pointing to Mrs. Clinton’s victory in Indiana, and her inroads with what he called swing voters, Geoff Garin, her lead strategist, told the gathered reporters, “We think the results last night strengthen the case that she will be the strongest candidate for the Democratic Party in November.”

Asked if the harsh assessments on television and in the blogosphere would not drive superdelegates to Mr. Obama, Mr. Wolfson said, “Thankfully for us the punditocracy does not control this nominating process — voters do and voters gave us an important victory in Indiana.”

The Clinton campaign initially had some reason for optimism earlier today.

Many of the gloomier assessments of her chances came late Tuesday night and early this morning, when it appeared that she would not win Indiana as easily as exit polls and early vote tallies indicated earlier in the night. By then, early newspaper deadlines had passed and many voters were probably either asleep or off watching Jay Leno or David Letterman.

If East Coast viewers of “NCIS” saw no news the rest of the night, they certainly went to bed believing that Mrs. Clinton’s campaign was still there to fight another day. CBS, which broadcasts the show, declared that she had won the Indiana primary at 8:09 p.m. Eastern time, and Jeff Greenfield, the CBS analyst, reported, “We go on to June 3, Hillary Clinton got the win she needs to press her case.”

Even as Mrs. Clinton’s real-vote lead over Mr. Obama in the state dwindled to just 16,000 as later returns came in, the CBS News Web site held on to its headline, “Clinton Wins Ind., Obama Takes N.C.”

The headline was vindicated when several other news organizations declared that Mrs. Clinton had indeed won in Indiana, five hours after CBS made its projection. And it is that view of Tuesday’s results that most voters awoke to on Wednesday: A split decision for Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama, no matter how narrow.

The question is, will the analysts be talking that way throughout the day — and if not, where does it leave Mrs. Clinton?

As of this afternoon, the climb for her seemed steeper. Mr. Obama’s campaign responded to the Clinton conference call with one of its own that included some big-name party leaders and superdelegates, among them the last Democratic nominee, Senator John Kerry, who declared, “Barack Obama took a giant and possibly decisive step toward the nomination.” Minutes earlier, CNN had broken in with news from The Associated Press: Another former nominee was breaking for Mr. Obama, former Senator George McGovern, of South Dakota, which will vote along with Montana on June 3, the last primaries of the contest.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Indian Paintbrush

Wyoming State Flower

The Indian paintbrush adopted by the Wyoming Legislature met with some staunch opposition but in the end, prevailed to become the official flower.

In polls of Wyoming schoolchildren, the fringed gentian proved to be a favorite and it served as an unofficial state flower in the early years of the 20th century.

But, Wyoming had no official state flower and it was felt by many, among them the Daughters of the American Revolution in Wyoming, that it was important to choose one. After all, over half of the states had already designated a state flower by 1916.

The Wyoming Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution put their support behind the Indian paintbrush. The University of Wyoming's Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard drafted the legislation and found a sponsor for the bill.

One of the country's leading botanists, Dr. Aven Nelson, also of the University of Wyoming, objected to the adoption of the Indian paintbrush however. He made his objections known in the Wyoming School Journal of 1917.

* Indian paintbrushes were not common throughout the state.
* There were too many varieties and only an expert could tell them apart.
* They were parasitic, feeding on the roots of other plants.
* There was no widespread support for the plant.
* Unofficial, the fringed gentian chosen by Wyoming schoolchildren was a sentimental favorite.

Greater Fringed Gentia (Gentianopsis crinita (Froel.) Ma
Greater Fringed Gentia (Gentianopsis crinita (Froel.) Ma
Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
USDA SCS. 1989. Midwest wetland flora: Field office
illustrated guide to plant species. Midwest National
Technical Center, Lincoln, NE.

Dr. Nelson favored adoption of a flower that was common throughout the state and one that could be grown in gardens and suggested the columbine or the schoolchildren's favorite, the fringed gentian as options.

Dr. Hebard, lobbying for the Indian paintbrush, was a powerful opponent however. Political science professor, civil engineer, historian, author, Wyoming's first woman attorney, University Librarian, Head of the Department of Political Economy, suffragette, Grace Hebard was a force to be reckoned with. She lobbied hard for the Indian paintbrush, even commissioning a New York artist to paint a picture of the flower for the legislators.

The State of Wyoming, by an act of the Fourteenth State Legislature convened in Cheyenne and approved on January 31, 1917, made the Indian paintbrush (Castilleja linariaefolia) the official state flower of Wyoming.

After the Indian paintbrush was adopted, Dr. Hebard presented her commissioned painting to the state.

Wyoming's Indian paint brush (Castillija linariaefolia) is also referred to as the desert paintbrush, the Wyoming desert paintbrush, Wyoming paintbrush, the Linaria-leaved Indian Paintbrush, and, as indicated in the Wyoming statute, the Indian paint brush.
The Wyoming Statutes

The following information is excerpted from the Wyoming Statutes, Title 8, Chapter 3, Section 8-3-104.