Wednesday, January 28, 2004

As it nearly always does, our winter funk has gone crystalline in the morning predawn sky. The mental cold of deep fog has vanished into the now brisk and enervating elegance of the dark sky between the stars. It is a wonder to me that I am happier in 20 degree lower temperatures, but I have decided that it's because I have things to look at, now. The gray sky closes in on you sometimes. It takes longer hikes and more vigorous explorations to keep the mind awake, in those times.

This morning I saw Jupiter hanging in the West above the sandstone cliffs across from our house. It is a rare moment when the eastern sky brightens enough to hide the lesser deities overhead while presenting the "star father" in glory. It is like those old medieval scenes in which no mans head can be higher than the king's. We got one bright and shiny object in the sky and it's a whopper.

I first started seriously looking up after I bought a spotting scope to watch eagles. One evening I turned it up to Orion and got infected with looking up. How can a gas cloud be so beautiful,, and costly? This moment of awe led to all kinds of expenditures on optics and there is a wonderful telescope downstairs that is just too big to haul outside on most occasions. I now have binoculars that serve me well on short notice. My favorite pair is ten power, light weight, and pocket sized. They go with me on most trips. This morning several of us looked through them at the little diamond specks that are the Gallilean moons of Jupiter.

Saturn is by far the most beautiful object in near space. The photographs from Hubble blow me away, but nothing will prepare you for the experience of personally seeing Saturn through an adequate telescope. It is an unworldly experience in the most precise sense of the phrase, and yet it doesn't reach the level of one's first view of Jupiter, which looks like a solar system all its own. Jupiter is obviously alien and obviously "just like us", at the same time. Its moons are little planets when seen through a couple of hundred bucks worth of modern optics.

Gallileo first described the four largest moons of Jupiter. He proposed very imaginative names for these four moons. The names were "One", "Two", Three", and "Four". This actually would have worked very well since we are still, to this day, discovering new moons of Jupiter. The last count I have is 61 of the things. I am sure there are more to be found. Every rock that floats by our solar system falls under the influence of Jovian gravity. A few years back we all got to watch Jupiter eat a comet and not so much as burp, in the planetary sense. Another name for Jupiter is Jove from whence we get joviality. Jupiter is the "Bringer of Jollity" and eats comets. This morning I ate eggs and checked the Jovian moons as they circled. You can watch them orbit Jupiter because, it is so big, the moons have to be really fast to keep from being eaten themselves.

A couple of thousand years ago, some folks told other folks that Jupiter was a God. They said God Jupiter had quite the libido and liked to "mess around". This led to another suggestion for the names of the Gallilean moons. Here is an excerpt from Johannes Kepler:

Jupiter is much blamed by the poets on account of his irregular loves. Three maidens are especially mentioned as having been clandestinely courted by Jupiter with success. Io, daughter of the River, Inachus, Callisto of Lycaon, Europa of Agenor. Then there was Ganymede, the handsome son of King Tros, whom Jupiter, having taken the form of an eagle, transported to heaven on his back, as poets fabulously tell . . . . I think, therefore, that I shall not have done amiss if the First is called by me Io, the Second Europa, the Third, on account of its majesty of light, Ganymede, the Fourth Callisto . . . .

Is there a better phrase for this day than "Irregular Loves"? That is much better than one, two, three, and four!


It is a wicked day here. It is drizzling and the temperature is just above freezing. I skipped my predawn hot tub experience because the wind is just too cold and blustery and, frankly, I'm a wussie! They would never have let me get away with that kind of cowardice when I was in Japan. I miss that culture, at times. They always seemed to work at finding a way to smile and not be unhappy. That may have been the act put on for a guest in their country, but it had the essence of reality and worked well for the gaijin me. Gaijin is the Anglo version of something my computer keyboard won't type. It sort of means "other". In Japan you are either us or other and I was other. This other was very happy when slipping into volcanically warmed water... Geothermal energy at its finest and highest use.

The light in the sky is diverse and changing, with the clouds arguing as to which way they want to go this morning. If you can stay warm and dry it is beautiful. There is an energy exuded by the birds as they hunt for food at dawn. Interestingly, they are making a lot of noise this morning. What are they telling each other in the January dawn?

We have a shrub-like native plant that grows around our house. My neighbor, Rose, calls it Mountain Blueberry. I like it because it has a cultivated looking waxy leaf that hangs on well into the fall with a red wine color. It also has something like a blueberry on it. If the late summer weather suits it, the plant yields lots of berries that I think taste pretty good for a few minutes each year, before they dry up and hang around until about now. At this point the birds decide that they are hungry enough to work on the Dogwood berries and then the Mountain Blueberries. One of the birds that is attracted by all this is the Blue bird. This time of year their color is muted, somewhat, but the sight of forty something of them in the crown of a dogwood tree swarming like bees on clover blossoms is stunning. When they attack the mountain blueberries it can be comical. The berries tip the ends of tiny twigs that simply won't hold up a bird. First one bird lights on a branch and then another and they start working on pulling the berries off, and then, all of a sudden there are too many birds and the shrubbery gives way all at once, sending a flurry of pastel blueness onto nearby perches. Then it starts all over again, much to my great entertainment. In a few days the Mountain Blueberry bushes will look very barren. The birds will move on to other business and the bushes will settle in to a late winter funk.

Friday, January 23, 2004

I get a bit down in the heart sometimes when I think about the country and the planet it looks like I'll leave to my children. Sometimes I just think the human race is just plain suicidal, then I watch a George Bush sound bite and frankly I go from "think" to "know". When this happens, I go outside. I wanted to get a run in, but I had forgotten my ear bands and it was really cold. The wind was blowing off the lake in Kingston but I thought I could tough it out so off I went in my plodding way.

When people see me jogging they understand why my Indian name is not "Born to run", but is actually, "Runs like Camel". Still, like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer, it feels so good when you stop, so I do it. I usually prefer to suffer in private but events took me to town so I was running on the track the city fathers and mothers have installed around the lake in one of our downtown areas.

We have lots of downtowns in Roane County, Tennessee, and each one has a Mayor and City Council and Police Department. I think this is a kind of local jobs program since lots of the mayors and policemen have the same last name, but this is Tennessee, after all, and we really don't have an over abundance of last names to begin with. The towns are all small and this gives folks a focus for their arguments with each other. Every time one person tries to do something for the community, there will be two people who show up to stop them. This causes arguments. Usually the basis for argument has something to do with something someone did to someone else in grade school, but it will eventually manifest itself in a traffic light being installed on someone else's street to slow them down on their way to work. I think we have more traffic lights per capita than any other place on earth. We put traffic lights up for parking lots. We use lots of electrical wires going in all directions for these lights. At some point the electrical wires will blockout the sky. Speaking of jobs programs and arguments, just try saying something about our public electrical utilities around here. It doesn't matter if you say something good or bad, an argument will result.

Highway 70 is a very famous road that goes through several of our towns. A movie was made about it. The movie theme song is called "Thunder Road" and is one of the first ones I learned to play on guitar. The movie is about fast cars hauling moonshine back when Tennessee was supposed to be "dry" and before marijuana made whiskey stills obsolete. Our Thunder Road actually travels across most of the entire United States so people can come to one of our towns and sit in the middle of a road that goes a couple of thousand miles across America only to stop at a traffic light for a street that goes two blocks in the other direction. Highway 70 lies alongside my running track, lurching from traffic light to traffic light as I am running. Jim Mitchum must be turning over in his grave about now.

Sometimes our little town arguments get results that make this a great place to live and I am loping along on one of them. It has an absolutely magnificent view. So I'm "thundering" along thinking about stuff and coming to grips with the fact that I can't feel my ear on the windward side. The wind is whipping right off the lake and right into my left ear. I am used to pain when I exercise because things don't work as well as they used to because I have fallen down a lot over the years. This kind of pain is nature's way of reminding you that you have been really stupid at times in the past. If you have enough times past, you will have been really stupid a lot of times, and you'll hurt like I do. It ain't that bad though and I had put my hand over my ear thinking it would warm it up. Warm up it did and suddenly all the nerves in my ear started working again and let me know that once again I had been stupid. Dang it hurt!

At that point I was holding my ear with my hand, still trying to run, and the people driving by were seeing this and wondering what kind of cell phone I was trying to use and why didn't I just stop and talk to whoever it was instead of looking like a complete idiot in front of every one on Thunder Road? I tilted my head back in pain. As I looked up into the sky, a Bald Eagle soared twenty feet above my head. I stopped and stared up at it and the people around who had been looking at me in pity looked up too. Some folks pulled over and watched as the Eagle circled and rose higher. An older couple that had been walking along stopped and pointed at the bird. We all watched it circle higher and then glide away right over the top of our small town. Everybody smiled and went on about their way. My heart was lifted up by that bird. The Bald eagle is a symbol of recovery in America. We did things that almost killed them all and now they are back because we did some other things, liked cleaned up some of our poisons.

Things can get better, you see. We have to make them get better because we have children. What will be the focus that pull us together and make us change? I think the people in power right now want us to be against things, like terrorists and evildoers. I think we have to find something to be for, instead. We have to define our common goals and work hard toward them. I have tried to think about what these goals ought to be and here is something I ran across that lays it out pretty well. I couldn't have said it better I won't. This is from

"What are we for?

The themes were universal. Americans want true security based on working with allies and the rule of law – not an American empire. Americans demand corporate and individual responsibility – greed is not good and we’re all responsible to future generations. Americans want everyone to have a real opportunity to do well in our country and live the middle class dream – we will not be divided into haves and have-nots, or by race or gender or lifestyle. Americans believe that we are the beacon of freedom and democracy – the Bill of Rights is non-negotiable and democracy is not a partisan game. The themes that emerge are: Freedom, Opportunity, Responsibility and Security."

I want you to take a look at this. It is a graph of George Bush's disapproval ratings. It clearly shows that he can be replaced.

How long will we tolerate what Bush and his puppet masters have done to our country when we have such wonderful people to replace him with? We have nine months to get the Democrats to quit eating their own young and attack the true enemy of America.

What are you for?

Peace and courage!


Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Yesterday's message inspired a number of good, literate, and thoughtful responses from you folks. I want to share parts of them with you.
"I am frustrated that I have only questions , and no answers. Well, I now believe we all know the answer . It is a matter of whether or not we have the strength, courage, and convicton to follow through and do what needs to be done. I am tired of feeling helpless, I am tired of complaining . And though I am certainly no leader of people, I am feeling a call to do something ."

And here is my reply:

Ask yourself this: What will be the outcome of events following any action I take?
I have marched and protested and it gave me personal satisfaction but I don't think it changed much. I was very afraid of getting my head busted or gassed or something. I have come around to thinking that change takes a long time. I don't have the answer as to what makes people change their minds, but I'm working on it. I think I have decided to do my part by incremental step.

Point out the truth...Every single time! Never support a significant falsehood through misplaced politeness.

Laugh at the liars.

Personally challenge people to come into the light.

Give no concession to those who support the lies, but do this kindly! Most of these people will be our friends and loved ones. They did not come up with these lies; they have caught the contagion and are acting as agents for their propogation.

Ruthlessly examine your own beliefs for falseness. (Nothing is true just because you want it to be true)
Have the courage to change your mind.
Fortify those who believe as you do.
Learn to convince people who are ready to change.
Challenge and negate those who lead in the wrong direction.

Make your own decisions, Friend. Cover your back, though. Maintain your credibility and accept that you will be attacked on the most visceral of levels. If you can't take that easily, back up and find a level of activism that supports your sensibilities. It is very difficult to change peoples minds by honest methods. The world does not function by critical thought. More people read the National Enquirer than Science News.

Think about it and be sure that what you want to do will get you the result you want. I am absolutely not suggesting you not act, just that you act with wisdom.

Now this:

It seems inappropriate to combine Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, who was a Christian preacher and had accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, with Gandhi, who rejected Christianity and Jesus Christ. Although both are great men, your email implies Dr. King is a follower of Gandhi, which is not true."

My message is very clear on the fact that Gandhi was a major influence on Martin Luther King. They faced very similar, seemingly overwhelming situations and managed to keep their doctrine of nonviolence. I admire both men tremendously. I did not combine Martin Luther King with Gandhi, Martin Luther King did that himself. I have a picture of King standing at his desk. There behind him on the wall of his office is a picture of Gandhi. If George Bush looked around MLK park in Atlanta he would have seen the statue of Gandhi that resides there. Here is something said by someone who may have personal knowlege of MLK's relationship with Gandhi:
Mrs. Coretta Scott King stated that, "It is gratifying and appropriate that this statue is installed in this historic site because my husband, Martin Luther King, Jr., was deeply and profoundly influenced by the life and teachings of Gandhi. As Martin wrote in his first book, Stride Toward Freedom, "As I delved deeper into the philosophy of Gandhi, my skepticism concerning the power of love gradually diminished, and I came to see for the first time its potency in the arena of social reform...." Her message adds that, "It not only commemorates the life and contributions of one of history's greatest leaders, but also the eternal bond between Gandhi and his foremost American disciple, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the spirit of goodwill between the people of India and the United States."

I see nothing inappropriate here except the attempt to separate men's worthiness by their religions. Silly in another way, since there is quite a body of work touting the amazing similarities between Jesus and Vishnu. It is sad for me to see the Darwiniam increase in tensions between these two religious systems since the core moralities are so similar in the acceptance of the power of love!
So with that: Peace, Love, and courage! I'm having deja vu all over again.


Monday, January 19, 2004

Today we have a political holiday dedicated to Martin Luther King. (I hope you read Brad's account of his excercize of his constitutional right to public assembly on King's actual birthday.) King often stated that there was one main influence on the conduct of his personal life, Mohandas Gandhi. I have sorted through a few quotes from this skinny little man to share with you. I could ramble on a lot here, but it seems inconsequential compared to these thoughts so I'll shut up.


You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees.
An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil.
A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul.

Peace will not come out of a clash of arms but out of justice lived and
done by unarmed nations in the face of odds.

Non-cooperation with evil is a sacred duty.

Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the
other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more
effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.

It is the law of love that rules mankind. Had violence, i.e. hate, ruled us
we should have become extinct long ago. And yet, the tragedy of it is that
the so-called civilized men and nations conduct themselves as if the basis
of society was violence.

The most perlous traits in a society:

Wealth without Work
Pleasure without Conscience
Science without Humanity
Knowledge without Character
Politics without Principle
Commerce without Morality
Worship without Sacrifice

Gandhi was once asked what he thought about western civilization. His
response was: "I think it would be a good idea."

Peace and courage, as always,


Friday, January 16, 2004

I'll hold my thoughts today and pass along a message from a friend. Brad made the decision to protest Bush's visit to Martin Luther Kings Grave in Atlanta. Read on:

Hey Steve ,
I want to tell you about my experience yesterday at MLK Jr. center . This may not seem like a big deal to many, but it was a totally new experience for me .
I've never protested anything in my life, except perhaps my childish protest of going off to daycare as a young child, or other things that amount to not much
more than that, in importance . The experience yesterday has made a lasting impression upon me . I will never again sit on the sidelines and let others
fight my battles, or sit Idly aside and assume that everything will work itself out, and that Washington has our best interest in mind....

When I returned to The King Center yesterday at about 1:30 in the afternoon, there was a small crowd of people waiting in anticipation of Bushes arrival .
At this point there were more Secret Service, and APD Red Dogs, and other unknown military and or law enforcement types clad in fatiques,
accompanied by very long rifles, and big German Shepherds, than there were protesters . I was a bit uncomfortable initially .
As time went on the crowd began to increase dramatically . Much more than I had imagined . There wasn't a Bush Backer to be seen within
ten miles . To my surprise everyone there was protesting( why am I surprised by that ?) . I had heard reports the previous day that Pres. Clinton had been greeted by thousands of cheering supporters, welcoming him to the King Center and Atlanta . So, I didn't no what to expect on this day, with Bush visiting .

The media made reports of hundreds of protesters, I heard 300, 400, 500, and 800 . My estimation would be closer to 1000-1500, when you take into
account the protesters that were cordoned off around the corner, out of site of the cameras .
Some people were protesting the war, others were protesting Bush enviromental policy(or lack there of ), others were protesting the loss of 3 mill.
jobs . Most were protesting all of the above, and the very presence of Bush at the King tomb on this day .
The original plan of the APD was to move the crowd away from the area in which we had gathered directly across the Street from the tomb, on Auburn ave.
Albeit the crowd was peaceful, we were not going to let them push us out of site . And in an effort to avoid a very negative news story the APD didn't push it.
As I mentioned earlier there were protest signs, essentially everyone had one, they read- "This is not a photo op", "Bush - Zionist Puppet and War profiteer",
"Bush No More In 2004" ( my sign : ) , and another one I remember, and liked, was " You should read some of MLK's books, you have much to learn", it seemed
very appropriate . There were unified chants; "show us what democracy looks like, Bush is what hypocrasy looks like " and many others, we went back in forth
between various chants, sometimes breaking into song . It was elating . There was a reverential looking older black man with a bull horn, accompanied by several
other men with brass instruments who began an old spiritual, but were quickly quashed and ushered away by very big men in military fatiques . Tempers flaired mildly.
then the aforementioned men reappeared, singing and playing there instruments, only this time from much further away . Away from the front line . I still don't know what that was about . Yes I do.

The crowd chanted on, waving banners and signs of protest overhead . Word circulated through the crowd that Bush would not show up if protesters were present .
I began to wonder if that was a victory or a loss . I didn't want him there, but I wanted him to see us, and hear us . I thought that was important .
In spite of the rumors the crowd did not disperse . We as a united group of black, white, asian, and latin people, rich and poor, old and young decided we would stay until the last SS, and last police officer left, to be certain he would not show up with out us being there .

Suddenly a half dozen marta busses turned the corner, pulled up directly in front of us . Parked bumper to bumper, so that no one could squeeze through .
APD Red Dogs were dispatched atop of the buses, with guns, to prevent us from going over around or through . There were dozens of police on either side
of the buses standing in single file formation, facing the protesters . The prodigious Presidential Motorcade turned the corner followed by dozens of press corp.
vans. Not 1 photograph was taken of us by the press corp . It was obvious they wanted to . They were captivated by the crowd, they were staring at us, with
cameras half raised as if they were tempted to take a shot but didn't dare . They followed blindly or rather stumbled behind the Surrounded, out of site Bush .
There were there for a different reason . They had an agenda, even though perhaps not set by them .
This gesture of parking the buses between us and the President was a huge insult . It smacked of- I don' t see you, I don't hear you, I dont acknowledge you .
You don't have a voice . Frustrating, frightening . How far will this go ? Were will it end ?
Dozens of people crossed the line yesterday, they were quickly arrested . And though I am certain, or at least hopeful they were as quickly released, I can't help but wonder if the day will come when people who cross the line will be ushered off to Quantanomo . It is our responsibility to prevent this from happening .
If this should happen it will not be the Government that has failed; we will have failed ourselves . For the government is in midst of failing now .

As one of the chants went yesterday -" The people have the power if the poeple are united " . I am hopeful this is still true, but I can't help but wonder if it is .
Is it just lip service on our part ? Or can we unite as a people, and regain the power ? How far will we let things go, how many wars will we allow to be waged, and
innocent lives lost ? How many species must go extinct ? How ill must we get from the air we breath , the water we drink, and the food we eat ? What will it take for us to unite,and together crawl under, over , and around those buses that are parked between us and them . How must we be heard . How will we do it ? When will we do it ?
How far will we let them go before we cross the line ? Much is at stake now, much more than people know or realize . I fear the people that support Bush are unaware,
of all that is at stake, or perhaps somehow they believe they will end up on the same side of the buses as Bush .

I am frustrated that I have only questions, and no answers .


May we all have the courage those people demonstrated!



Thursday, January 15, 2004

I don't know how it works out there in the woods, but sometimes the animals call a meeting. Maybe they always have meetings and we only notice when they get too close to the road. Picture a moon past fullness but still very bright on a 20 degree night with a little snow still lying in the shady spots. We were driving home from an evening soccer game on our gravel road and encountered the first of several groups of deer. Not unusual but we had to slow down for not one but four groups in a hundred yard stretch of road. The woods are thick up to the edge of the road and the white ice of refrozen snow covered the curve just before we got to our driveway. The deer tolerate us and so, moved out of the way as a last resort on this night. Several of them have scars from wrestling matches with vehicles. Why do they think they can win such a contest? I suppose that, since there are more of them now than ever before, they actually are winning after a fashion, and the Subaru has scars, too. Now, after repair and recovery, the Subaru and the deer have only small scars, but the marks are there, nonetheless.

We think the beast that flew across the road just before we turned up the driveway was a fox. It would have to have been a grey fox but it was definitely in more of a hurry than the deer and did not present itself for indentification. Its tail orbited furiously as it changed direction at high speed to lose itself into the smallest opening under a downed pine tree. Sometimes you have a flash encounter with something that you can only identify by the way it moves. The bobcats trot faster than most things can gallop and their rear end seems like it is going to outrun the front. Coyotes are just shadows that appear and disappear except for every once in a while when one of them will parade around in full scruffy glory. Shunks, possums, and racoons all have signature shuffles. Skunks have another kind of signature and, judging form the number of autographs we pass on our hikes, the skunks are doing pretty well out there. They were all at the meeting.

We can take our hikes and see a few animals most times, but things are usually sparse. It is clear to me that they don't trust us all that much. I like to find a good spot and sit quietly for twenty minutes or so. After much thought, I have come to think that one designated animal gives a signal and all of them start some kind of dance about the country side at the same time. Sometimes the woods will be empty and noiseless. Then, like someone flipped a switch, it gets crowded and clattering with activity. I guess we drove through one of these moments the other night.

In my fractured memory of childhood, there are some other moments of white light clarity, like the first time my father showed me a canebrake rattlesnake that had come into our yard behind the chicken coop... Like the time I saw a gopher tortise walking, in all its waddle necked glory, from under the mill house we lived in down to the woods at the edge of our yard. I was three and four years old for these events but they are burned in and easily retrievable from my mind's good places. I can't clearly recall what I did after breakfast yesterday but I have countless snapshots that define those intense minutes of joyous life that constitute heaven.

I wonder if my children will remember the animal meeting we attended?

Peace and courage,


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I am not having enough time to fit things in right now. Saturn is huge and my telescopes are so dirty I haven't gotten a clear view so far. I also have a new hiking trail that I am laying out. We have a series of cliffs behind the house that block the way to the top of the ridge. After living here ten years I had a "duh" moment and realized that the deer and coyotes probably want to get around that big rock face as much as or more than I do. After a rain I started following the trails and marking the gaps in the cliff that they were using. I have found three new routes so far, but I have not connected them to make the big loop I desire. Deer season will be over after this weekend and I will no longer have to fear "humans in the woods with weapons" and I can try to complete the task before me. When I finish I hope to have a loop that will present a view of Chilhowee Mountain to the Southeast and Black Mountain to the Northwest and several high lookouts over White's Creek as it cuts its way out of the Cumberland Plateau. For those poor deprived folk who have never spent time in East Tennessee, Chilhowee separates the Hiwassee and Ocoee rivers as they flow into the Tennessee Valley. Black Mountain is a geological wonder with huge caves and a sandstone playground on top where the Cumberland trail crosses it. Black Mountain also has an FAA radar dome on top and is the source of the only light that can be seen from my house. It is about 18 miles west of here.

On to other thoughts.

Something is going on in America that seems to be promising. Take this example:

Here is a bit of obvious liberal rant taken from the pages of an obvious liberally biased media outlet:

Four years ago, at the start of the last Presidential campaign, the US economy was enjoying record job growth, rising incomes, and large budget surpluses. Today, after three years of the Bush Presidency, the economy has lost close to 3 million private sector jobs, the typical family's yearly income has fallen by nearly $1,500, and there has been an unprecedented reversal in outlook -- from a projected 10-year surplus of more than $5 trillion to a projected 10-year deficit of up to $5 trillion.

Got that? The average blue collar worker, the one most likely to vote for Bush, was given a $300 check in the mail while five times that much was taken from him in his paycheck. I have only one word to say:


In another article this liberal mouthpiece has the audacity to give a positive review to a new book that lays out how utterly corrupt the US tax system has become. Here is the first bit of the review:

The Great Tax Rip-Off

The Covert Campaign
To Rig Our Tax System
To Benefit the Super Rich
-- And Cheat Everybody Else
By David Cay Johnston; Portfolio; 338 pp; $25.95

Once upon a time, Washington collected the taxes it needed to pay for the services it provided. Not anymore. Today, the feds gather $400 billion a year less than they spend. And pols have turned revenue bills into endless opportunities for the well-connected to dodge their obligation....

What do you think? An obvious liberal rant, eh? The source of these obviously biased words is the January 19 issue of Business Week. The very last paragraph in this issue states the huge concern that Rupert Murdoch, a rabidly conservative Australian, now owns way too much of the American media and will use it to bias the information we receive to advance his own political views.

This was from Business Week. Are people waking up? Yes, they are! Do they have the courage to do what has to be done? We'll see.

I recommend you read an interview by another hard hitting journalistic rag, Rolling Stone. here is a teaser:

"I think the Republicans are much meaner than the Democrats are. I don't want to absolve the Democrats, but Republicans are just brutal. They do not care what happens to the country as long as they stay in power, and they're willing to do anything they can to stay in power. It's the most unforgivable thing about this administration and the congressional leadership....

I admire George Bush's father. There were some things I strongly disagreed with him on -- but he tried to be a good president. This president is not interested in being a good president. He's interested in some complicated psychological situation that he has with his father. He is obsessed with being re-elected, and his obsession with re-election is hurting the country.

The speaker in this case wants George Bush's job. I personally want him to have it. please read it!

Those with delicate sensibilities should stop here and go have a nice day. What follows is catty, profane, and small minded at times. Also hilarious!

Since I am stuck on interviews today, I offer this one for your pleasure: Betty Bowers' totally fictional and offensive interview with Laura Bush. We can sometimes read truth into satire when it can't said any other way, but please give those mentioned the benefit of the doubt. (Was it Karl Rove who said wives are fair game?) I wonder if Valerie Plume has an opinion on that?

Baptists! Gotta Love 'em!

Peace and Courage, Brethren and Cistern!

Love ya,


Tuesday, January 13, 2004

"A King who is unfaithful to his duty forfeits his claim to obedience. It is not rebellion to depose him, for he is himself a rebel whom the nation has a right to put down."

Oddly enough, this is from the foundation of conservatism, and essay by Thomas Aquinas. I hereby embrace it with all my heart. There is a groundswell from within the Republican party that will ultimately join with the rest of us a create regime change right here in America. It will not come from the entrenched, chickenhearted Democrats embodied by the likes of Richard Gephardt. The mainstream Democratic Party has failed America in a huge way. It is up to party insurgents and ethical Republicans to save the American ship of state! It is happening. Here is a State GOP party chairman stating exactly that:

According to former state of New Hampshire GOP Chairman David Gosselin, "We need a challenger to draw [Bush] out on the issues and answer the questions we have about the war, the economy, and questionable dealings the President has had with major corporations to which he or his staff have connections.''
"George Bush is a maverick who does not follow the traditional Republican party line regarding overspending," stated one local voter. "If I were to go out and spend double and triple my annual income the way that Mr. Bush does, I would very soon be bankrupt -- or in jail. His open-handed spending policies are scaring me."
I think as the election grows nearer Bush will die the death of a thousand cuts. So does John Dean, former Whitehouse counsel under Richard Nixon. Here's what he has to say about the treasonous exposure of Valerie Plume as a CIA agent. (Rove is going down!)

If this case does not make headlines in 90 to 120 days, it will be quite surprising. There has been too much high level action and Comey, a presidential appointee, knows that politically it would be better for Bush & Company to have the matter flushed out within the next few months, than to have it arise just before the November election. Needless to say, this could be an interesting year for the White House, with more than reelection to worry about.

The GOP hit the ceiling in pompous outrage at a piece on the internet comparing the Speeches of George Bush to Adolph Hitler. Of course they both said those things but what has truth got to do with it? Turns out this particular train of thought is a big discussion topic in Europe. After all, they have pretty close experience with Hitler and are seing way too much of Bush:

And who are these bloody Europeans who keep comparing Bush to Hitler?

I am a great fan of Johnathan Swift. He made his "Modest Proposal" many years ago to a reception of laughter and outrage in early 18th century Europe. David Podvin makes a modern proposal that I find very appealing. Though I thought Swift's original had merit, too, so what do I know?

Peace and Courage,