Sunday, November 21, 2004

Lucky for you folks, I am going to abandon the connected world for a couple of days. Going paddling! It's Fall, getting chilly and supposed to rain...Perfect! A canoe camping trip with a few of the men, meaning boys with less hair, comes a good time for a break from the real world. I may get back to it by Wednesday.

Hiking is at it's best right now except that it's hunting season. Have to wear a little orange when you walk around the yard these days. Crazy but true. The leaves are about gone and the views have opened up to let us see the changes since last winter. A couple of houses have appeared on the distant ridges but I can't se them from my house which is good. I don't think I can move any deeper into the woods than I live now.

An interesting bit of computer nerd calculation tells us that the most remote place in all of Tennessee is only four miles from a road. I found that hard to believe at first, since we have the Great Smoky Mopuntain National Park here in Tennessee. I had thought it was really remote in places but looking at maps, I guess I have to agree with the computer. Seems sad to me that four miles is as far away as you can get. So pick a direction and start walking and the deepest you can go in the woods is less than two hours after that you're coming out. This is not exactly true but close enough. It is more accurate to say that you cannot define a circle greater than a four mile radius which would not touch at least two roads in the state of Tennessee, but that's too complicated and it's easier to say, "It's too danged built up around here, anymore, and it's going to get a lot worse before it's over, and this time, when we say it's over, it really will be OVER!"

Wild places are disappearing. The assault on Cumberland Island is just one piece of the Bush Administration war on the environment. I don't understand this. The qhole earth is a big organism, in a sense, and if you cut up enough of it's parts, it will die. We don't exactly know which toe or finger or vital organ will be the last staw, but we do know this about last straws...there is one, and we are well on our way to finding it. But all the Republicans will die rich, I suppose.

Republicans aren't very good at money, by the way. You really need to think about it if one of them wants to be YOUR club treasurer. They seem to have no comprehension of what "balanced" means when it applies to a budget. The label "Conservative" is just a propaganda word and means the exact opposite of its dictionary definition. The only balanced budget America has had recently came from the Liberals. Yep, that's true!

Remember "Reinventing Government"?

That was a Clintonian term. It was a budgetary initiative that was voted into being without one single Republican vote in Congress. Tom Delay voted against it. By the end of the Clinton Administration we had a budgetary surplus. WE were paying our bills and taking in a little more money than we were spending. This was a problem for all the Conservatives because it meant that America would have spare change that could be spent on "Liberal" programs. Liberal programs are things like, extra policemen on our streets, Parks for all the people not just the ones living in gated communities, health care, education supplements, community grants for greenways and walking trails, environmental causes like enforcing the laws against polluters, and other things that Conservatives hate.

So the Conservatives decided to destroy America's fiscal sanity so there would be no money to spend on nice things like enough flu vaccinations to go around. Well there are side effects to the combination of greed and stupidity. It is a dangerous game. Now virtually every economist is currently sounding the alarm that America's finances could collapse. The dollar is headed down, having lost thirty percent of it's value since Bush took office. The American economy has not been able to sustain its recovery for several reasons but one big one is that the tax cut money that was supposed to reinvigorate our economy has not been invested in America. Money is pouring into International mutual funds in unprecedented amounts. Got that? Rich people are betting on foreign economies beating America's.

Good work, conservatives! I see that you guys are still hard at it. Since our National dept is at an all time record high, You guys have to borrow some more money from Saudi Arabians and the Chinese, roughly 2 billion dollars per business day, so you have to authorize this with a spending bill in Congress. This is where we can really see what nice guys, conservatives are, and how they have everyones interest at heart not just themselves and their wealthy campaign contributers. Ok, they don't.... the creeps!

There are some doozy little trinkets in the "spending" bill in Congress right now. Under the guise of calling it a budget bill, all sorts of things are being stuffed in. We are trying to hunt down the name of the Congressional staffer that put in a provision that woud allow certain heads of committees (read Tom Delay) to have access to anyone's IRS information. So let's say you are the House Majority Leader and you are about to come under indictment for financial crimes and you want to attack the District Attorney who will most likely put you in jail if this ever gets to trial, do you thin it would be handy to be able to have IRS audits performed on the DA and all his friends and family at a most inopertune time? Hey! Nothing dirty about that, just good clean Corrupt Texas Politics by Mr. Delay. This one looks to have outraged even some Republicans, which takes some doing in the political party that has "Hipocrisy" written into its mission statement.

Of Course there are some other interesting line items. There are cuts to Education spending, cuts to environmental spending, an anti abortion rovision, and then there's this item.

This one hits close to home since the boat in question happened to belong to one of our little group's family for a while:

While the spending bill was one of the most austere in years, it had something for everybody...[including] a potential boon for Bush himself, $2 million for the government to try buying back the presidential yacht Sequoia. The boat was sold three decades ago, though its current owners say the yacht is not for sale.

Frankly, I don't think 2 million will touch it, but it's a start. At a time when we have mothers saving money to buy their son's bayonets and body armour so they'll have it while they are fighting in Iraq, I think it is good that Republicans are willing to spend a little money to get Bush a fancier boat.

Well, as Lyle Lovett said Tonto said to the Lone Ranger, "Kiss my ass, I'm going out to sea!"

So there...I'm gonna take my boat and go paddle for a couple of days with some friends. America will have borrowed another 6 billion dollars from some really unwholesome people by the time I get back.

Peace,

Steve

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