Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Rising Tide

Humans are strange beasts.

On one hand, we have coal companies ripping up entire mountain systems to get at coal, and on the other, we have industrial scientists proposing that we can deal with the increase in carbon dioxide emmisions by sequestering carbon underground.

I want to ask the "scientists" at Bryan College why we're digging up all that carbon that god had sequestered underground? Coal is essentially carbon with a few other goodies mixed in. like sulfur and mercury. Sulfur in coal is the primary culprit in acid rain and mercury in coal is the primary culprit in turning seafood from a healthy food into a poison. We have essentially been killing our babies by burning coal, but that's another story.

Right now this minute, there are tv ads being run to convice you that global warming is an ok thing. Five years ago, industry groups were paying for ads to convince you that it wasn't happening.

"Carbon dioxide...they call it pollution...we call it life!" the commercial says, as a child blows on a dandelion.

Climate change is accepted by nearly 100% of scientists, even those whose paycheck comes from industrial sources. Heck, Ford Motor Company executives are worried about it. In a typical Neo-conservative fashion, industrial propagandaists have gone from the lie that "climate change is not happening" to the lie that "It's not our fault" to the worst lie of all..."It's a good thing!"

In the legitimate science arena, there is not universal agreement. Reputable scientists are arguing left and right. Some reputable scientists think we will see a 2-5 foot rise in sea level over the next 100 years and some think it could be as much as 20 feet. Assuming the most conservative of scenarios, this planet has a big problem...Well, not the planet actually...

Life on this planet!

Here's a USA Today piece that Joe sent.

Climate Change

On to other stuff.

Our favorite Iraqi girl blogger is still telling it like she sees it as she lives through the plague of biblical proportion that America has bestowed upon her country. It seems that the actions of Geroge Bush will have the unintended effect of selivering Iraq into the hands of the Iranian theocracy after all.

Let me send out a warm thankyou to everyone who voted for George. I tried to tell you!


Ralph has some things to say about conservatism. He is far kinder than I....

All conservatives are such from personal defects. They have been effeminated by position or nature, born halt and blind, through luxury of their parents, and can only, like invalids, act on the defensive.

Men are conservatives when they are least vigorous, or when they are most luxurious. They are conservatives after dinner.

Conservatism makes no poetry, breathes no prayer, has no invention; it is all memory.

Ralph Emerson



Monday, May 29, 2006

random quotes on Memorial day

don't know who said the first two:

Happy Memorial Day. It always strikes me as an oxymoron...

I didn't start this war. But I haven't stopped it either and for that I am truely sorry....

I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man ..Steve Mason

And this prescient essay:

The General

Memorial Day

A small Marine convoy was struck by a roadside bomb, killing Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas. The Marines were wounded and outraged..Angry and wanting to strike out at whoever had killed their comrade. They have been placed in an impossible situation.

Our Marines are a conventional strike force, trained and equipped to bring destruction on the conventional forces of a conventional enemy. They now sit in the midst of a civil war between three irrational sects in a country where they don't speak the language, are completely distrusted by all three sides, and stick out like the black guy at the Southern Baptist Church in Crossville.

(Sorry for that one, but you know it's accurate)

"My name is Safa Younis. I'm 12 years old."
An Iraqi journalism student aked the young girl, "What did the American soldiers do when they broke into the house?"

"They knocked at the door," Younis says. "My father went to open it, they shot him dead from behind the door, and then they shot him again after they opened the door."

"Then comes one American soldier and shot [at] us all," she says. "I pretended to be dead … and he did not know about me."

...At first, the Marines acknowledged civilian deaths, but said they were caused by the roadside bomb. Later, they said the civilians were caught in the crossfire of a gunfight with insurgents.

Now, military investigators believe the only gunfire came from the Marines themselves.

24 iraqi civilians died. Murdered, apparently, by enraged American forces seeking revenge.

Have we become animals?




Friday, May 26, 2006

Whoopee, we're all gonna die...

An article in Creative Loafing notes a big split in the Evangelical Rightwing Christian movement:

"...their power relies heavily on claiming the Second Coming is coming soon: Why worry about Mother Earth when you, Tim LaHaye, Ralph Reed and a few others are about to be raptured up to heaven?... "

The spilt is over Environmentalism. An environmental statement has been issued by a large group of Evagelicals, urging that steps be taken to prevent Global Warming. In a greater context what they are asking is this, "Is it a Christian act to destroy the Earth?"

These people think so:
"... Those who refused to sign the global warming statement included America's foremost ayatollahs: Jerry Falwell; the Rev. D. James Kennedy of the mammoth Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in South Florida; James Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family; the Rev. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention; Richard Roberts, president of Oral Roberts University; Donald Wildmon, chairman of the American Family Association; and the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition..."

I find the greatest paradox in the warped FundXtian value system to be the anti environmentalist agenda. To deny science is to deny reality. Pollution equates to murder as surely as firing a weapon into a crowd. Not knowing exactly who will be hit, whether by a bullet or by cancer, does not forgive the person who pulls the trigger.

How can a religious person accept Creation as a work of God and allow that very creation to be destroyed in the name of corporate proffit? Isn't every species of life more demonstrably a work of the creator than the collection of old stories edited by a committee 1700 years ago and again more recently? There is more information in the organisms living in a handful of dirt, than in all the books ever written in all of history.

There are other spilts between the Evangelical pulpit and those seated in the pews.

"...62 percent of fundamentalists and almost 80 percent of moderate and liberal Christians favor stem-cell research,"...

"...Similarly, Americans (by an overwhelming 82 percent in one poll) disapprove of the political and religious right's frenzied attempt to capitalize off of Terry Schiavo's death last year in Pinellas Park, Fla. Polls show even a majority of evangelicals opposed the Schiavo antics of George and Jeb Bush, Senate Majority leader Bill Frist and then-leader of the House Republicans, Tom DeLay."

"...Two-thirds of Americans oppose overturning Roe vs. Wade."

America, it seems, realizes that Roe v Wade is about people being protected from their government in the right to make the most personal of medical decisions. America, it seems, realizes that corporations and their religions may not have their best interest at heart when it comes to Global Warming and the ability on planet Earth to support life.

Ultimately, I hope the people win.


Excerpts are from this article: Creative Loafing

Knoxville area folks can check out John Tullock on:

“Volunteer Gardener” Saturday, May 27th at 4:30 on Channel 2 (PBS).

I have his new book, "Growing Hardy Orchids" which is worth the price just for the photographs of the native orchids he tells us how to grow in our own gardens. Go see John at Barnes and Noble in Knoxville, where he is a manager, and maybe he'll sign your copy.

The book

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Happy Birthday, Ralph...

May 25 is Ralph Waldo Emerson's birthday.

I read Emerson on a regular basis like some folks watch old movies, again and again. In this political season I found a fine snippet to share with you folks. It is from an essay titled "The fortune of the Republic" and is well worth the time spent to read the whole thing.

For now, here's some Emerson for you:

"In our popular politics you may note that each aspirant who rises above the crowd, however at first making his obedient apprenticeship in party tactics, if he have sagacity, soon learns that it is by no means by obeying the vulgar weathercock of his party, the resentments, the fears and whims of it, that real power is gained, but that he must often face and resist the party, and abide by his resistance, and put them in fear ; that the only title to their permanent respect, and to a larger following, is to see for himself what is the real public interest, and to stand for that ; - that is a principle, and all the cheering and hissing of the crowd must by and by accommodate itself to it. Our times easily afford you very good examples."

The full Essay.

Has there ever been a more descriptive phrase for the evils of lock step partisanship than "The Vulgar Weathercock of his Party"?

Happy birthday, Ralph. America could use you right now.



Wednesday, May 24, 2006


from Kos: I love Christ...It's his fan club that scares me....

That is a good essay on how Conservatives speak the name of Jesus while espousing the Old Testament meanness that Jesus was all about reforming.

Think about need help, who do you turn to? A conservative? A Liberal?

Interesting to think about.


Monday, May 22, 2006

Chick Talk

“It was awesome to feel those feelings again that I felt in high school: to be angry, to be sure that you're right and that the things you do matter."... Natalie Maines...

“I'd rather have a smaller following of really cool people who get it,”...Martie Maguire

"... this is going to stir something up.'”...Emily Robinson


And from the Republicans...

This may be the most disgusting statement I've ever heard from John McCain:

"I don't think they deserve a fair jury trial, but there should be some sort of adjudication" to decide whether detainees are held for life, executed or released rather than held indefinitely."

He was speaking of the detainees in Guantanamo..."No fair trials"...Are all conservatives this scary? Do any of them get it? Have any of them ever had a civics class? Has anybody told him that most of the detainees in Guantanamo have been quietly released? After being quietly tortured, that is....

Courage, folks. The fight is going to be a long one.



Sunday, May 21, 2006

In the yard

"There are snakes all over the place," Annie said, sitting on the lower deck against a post. There are two black ones right below the deck.

And she was right.

There are some weather and seasonal conditions that make certain animals get out where we can see them. It may have something to do with a combination of daylight, barometric pressure, temperature, or changes in all of the above, but researchers all know that sometimes they're just "out!"

Normally I'm the one who sees all the wildlife but Annie was sitting against a post when she noticed a snake down between the rocks just next to her hip. She had noticed thre others basking in the walkways below the deck but since that was not unusual she hadn't said anything. When she realized that this one could be a copperhead and had an "It could have bitten me on the ass!" moment, she decide I needed to be called in.

I grabbed the camera. Most of the snakes were still basking in the, um, well there wasn't any, so they were just basking, I guess.

bigger A black racer

Garter snake

biggerThe copperhead turned out to be a corn snake still in it's winter skin. You can see the rust looking spots on its belly scales if you look. This is from a fungus that grows on the part of their skin that is in contact with the ground. They usually shed it off in the first shed of the year. They can be absolutely stunning after a fresh shed, having all the colors of indian corn on their sides.

bigger There are other things that are "out" today. After two years of mocking my gardening efforts, the Clematis has decided to bloom.

I walked back up to the lower deck and looked back down. Maggie the cat had followed me on the garden trail until she came face to face with the garter snake. Their saliva has been documented in rare cases in causing an envenomated reaction in sensitive individuals but they have no fangs and are considered harmless. Maggie probably doesn't know this. She was in predator mode with her head about six inches from the snake, one paw raised. I watched for a couple of seconds and looked around. I picked up a tree twig about a foot long and no bigger around than my little finger. I tossed it underhanded at Maggie's backside.

Maggie was totally tensed and I had no idea whether she was going to swat at the snake or not but when the stick hit her in the back she leaped straight up about five feet off the ground twirling over and over flailing at what she must have been sure was a snake sinking its fangs into her butt. Hitting the ground she leaped again into the air landing several feet away and then bolting for safety.

I am a bad person and feel absolutely terrible for scaring Maggie so badly...Ok...Laughed my ass off, I did.

Sorry, Maggie.



This is the Maggie eye view of the viscious beast.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Student Power

Now that's more like it!

I loved my time in college, even though it was a semester longer than I planned. The late 60's were the time for marching in the streets, and rebellion against a stupid war that was killing us. We all bought into the notion that there actually is such a thing as right and wrong, and that human beings are better off treating each other with kindness.

Remember Kindness? That quaint New Testament idea espoused by Jesus? Some folks think he got it from the Budhists, but that doesn't actually matter. It was about taking care of each other and turning the other cheek, and it isn't ok to kill each other. Jesus has changed his mind about that, according to Conservatives. He got in trouble for disagreeing with the Old Testament "Eye for an Eye" thing and now, 2000 years or so later, according to the wingbats who hear voices in their heads, Jesus spoke to them and his new message is to hate and kill.

Sorry...I digress...

Anyway, College kids are beginning to wake up again. John McCain, who hides his true nature with a kindly smile, got what he deserved at a commencement speech this week. Dear old John is a patsy. He's been taken by George Bush and Karl Rove time and time again but he just smiles and says, "Hey, those incredible lies about me having a black baby so George could energize his racist base and win the South Carolina primary were just all in the good spirit of political campaining...What a joker, that Karl."

At the Commencement speech at New University, the undergraduate speaker quit reading her speech ... "This ceremony has become something other than the celebratory gathering it should be," Jean Sara Rohe said. "The Senator does not reflect the ideals on which this school was founded. This was a top-down decision in which the students played no part."

The crowd erupted.

In his speech, McCain stated, "I supported the decision to go to war in Iraq."

"Booooooooo!" said the student body.

"I stand that ground because I believed, rightly or wrongly, that my country's interests and values required it." said John McCain.
"Wrongly!" one student boomed from the back.

"This speech sucks!" they yelled. Some walked out.

That's more like it!



Dear John

Friday, May 19, 2006


The Flycatchers are nesting. When we built the lower deck, we had no intention of making nest boxes for them, but that's what happened and that's just fine with me.

Since I put the screen over the chimney to keep the swifts from winding up looking out at me through the glass doors on the wood stove, we haven't had them around. They have apparently found a good spot to nest because they're back to their old aerobatics at dusk. I can't wait to see the formation flying that they do when the young have fledged.

The Cardinals have a nest in one of those bushes I can't name. it's right by the path down to Lake Steve and the poor momma startled poor me as she scurried off the nest as I walked by... Choosing a different route for a few weeks.

The eagles are flying up the creek several times a day carrying things. I assume there's a nest up there but good luck finding it without a helicopter.

A different scarlet Tanager hung around for a couple of days. The ugliest one I've ever seen was stunning but this one was head and shoulders above anything I've ever seen. The normal red was so bright that it was more of a flame color. I didn't even think it was a tanager until I got the binoculars.

(I really need a 600 mm lense...I mean Really! It would be soooo useful for those thirteen seconds every year when the tanagers pose for me. Doesn't that seem worth it to you guys?)Here's a poor shot of the earlier tanager:


The indigo buntings are coming to the feeder. That's unusual, but really nice.

It's Spring and the weather is...well, challenging. It takes several layers and a rain coat which you will need ,and then not need, and then need, again to go hiking for any distance. I'm here to tell you It's all worth it.

Go outside!




....I do not think George W. can be put together again... Rove's only option is go negative against the Democrats -- no surprise there. At this point, they could attack Democrats on almost anything, but that would leave the large question,

"Compared to what?"


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

What if...

What if we had an honest electoral system in this country? And an Honest Supreme Court?

In 2000, the Supremes merely said, "Time's up...The information you need to prove that Al Gore won Florida has been successfully hidden for long enough that the final buzzer has sounded and George W. Bush will now be given a Presidency he was not voted into by the American people."

That is essentially what happened, even though the Republicans have been on a massive public relations campaign ever since to hide that fact. Bush was given the election by a few hundred votes because only certain precincts were recounted. Had a recount been done over the entire state, Gore would have won by a few hundred votes....A few hundred votes.

Katherine Harris became a National figure because she used a list to purge nearly 90,000 voters from elegibility by proclaiming them felons. Some 60,000 of them were democrats and had never been convicted of anything. Their name was put on a list by a government contractor at the behest of republican officials. They weren't notified until they tried to vote and were turned away.

...A few hundred votes decided the election...wrongly. It was stolen.

(The proof is down below in Greg Palast's piece.)

But what if Al Gore had been elected? Well he was but he wasn't inaugurated, but what if?

Leave it to the comedians to present the truth.Here's the transcript from his Saturday Night Live appearance last weekend:

"Baseball, our national pastime, still lies under the shadow of steroid accusations, but I have faith in baseball Commissioner George W. Bush when he says, 'We will find the steroid users if we have to tap every phone in America.'

Here's Gore's opening speech last Saturday night:

Saturday Night Live

Al Gore is going to be the next President of the United States. Friend Matt said it first...




How the Grinch stole the election...Really!

Greg Palast:

"I first ran across these guys in 2000 in Florida when our Guardian/BBC team discovered the list of 94,000 "felons" that Katherine Harris had ordered removed from Florida's voter rolls before the election. Virtually every voter purged was innocent of any crime except, in most cases, Voting While Black. Who came up with this electoral hit list that gave Bush the White House? ChoicePoint, Inc."


Monday, May 15, 2006

Worlds in Collision

Lots of things seem likely to happen today:

Karl Rove appears likely to be indicted for obstruction of Justice for lying to Federal investigators in the CIA leak case.

George Bush will speak on tv for the 35th time this year. He will stand tall and announce that he will deploy 10,000 National Guard troops to defend and protect America's borders... At the same time, Bush will not mention that he himself blocked 10,000 additional border guards last year.

Hey that was a mistake, and the Bush administration doesn't make mistakes, or admit them anyway. Besides, this is an election year and Bush needs a new enemy that won't make him look like an idiot this time.

Fox News will then trot out several talking heads to confuse their viewers into thinking this is a bold action on the part of the President.

Missing will be The obvious fact that the swarms of cheap labor illegals from Mexico are coming here because of Bush's corporate masters who fund his administration with a great wash of campaign donations and seats on corporate jets.

Also missing will be any word on the impending collision between Bush's requirement of an enemy for his conservative voter base and the money from his donors who are fueling the illegals penetration of our borders in the first place.

Immanuel Velikovsky...Where are you now that we really need you?

The charade can't last for long, but it appears that Bush is betting that America can be distracted for the six months it will take to get through another election, thereby saving himself from impeachment and Dick Cheney from jail.



Friday, May 12, 2006

News to Me

You know how frustating it is to try to discuss something with someone who simply believes something, and that something simply isn't true?

Like: "Saddam was involved in 9-11"

I personally hold the very strong belief that what separates Americans from the rest of the world, is our belief in fair play. I could be wrong, of course, but I cling to that with all the strength residing in my own personal reservoir of cognitive dissonance.

We make judgement calls based on the knowlege we have. Given the knowlege, I believe we tend to do the right thing as a Nation. That, of course, is the problem. As right wing talking heads rail about the "Liberal Media", every single peer reviewed academic study ever done comes to the conclusion that there is no Liberal bias. In fact...the truth is just the opposite. Sunday morning talk shows are overwhelmingly populated with Republicans and Conservative think tank denizens. Liberals and moderates combined make up less than one third of the people who give their opinions, and that is only on the broadcast networks. Fox network is simply a propaganda organ for the various factions of the right wing. And "Propoganda" has been raised from art to science by Republicans...So much so, that even THEY can't always tell when they themselves are lying.

As an aside...Ever wonder why the Religious right never spends much time on the "Thy Shalt Not Lie" commandment? It really screws up their version of things when you have to tell the truth all the time.

Anyway...There have been several studies that show Fox news as a vehicle for false information. Here is an interesting survey on the 2004 election, and before you read it, you should know that at least three republican operatives have already been convicted of fixing that election, (the Republican party spent over $3,000,000.00 on a Republican state chairman's defense who was convicted anyway) :


Of course, you Fox News watchers didn't know that did you? Did you know that viewers who watch The Daily Show and the Colbert Report are way more informed than viewers of Fox News? Those aren't even real news shows

...But then neither are the ones on Fox.

Democracy demands an informed voting electorate. Unless we reinstate the Fairness Doctrine in media, Democracy is an illusion.



The whole article is here

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sign Wars

(Thursday, 7:27 am...mature bald eagle flying in the wrong direction, upstream, carrying something. I wonder where the nest is? It will be very hard to find without a helicopter, because of the lush forest in the gorge. I guess that's why they put the nest up here.)

Sign wars have started! Our county has a several hotly contested races this cycle, and there's a longstanding Southern tradition that the person with the most political signs in the most places is the best candidate. This situation won't be helped by the republican Senate primary, which will pour millions into roadside trash.

Signs will go up in a Darwinian battle for the optimum spots. In the night, some will be uprooted and take a pickup truck ride to oblivion. Most of the time, they show up after election day in a back road ditch. Every so often someone will get busted with a load of stolen signs, criminals to the opposition candidates, fallen heroes to their own.

It was classic entertainment to watch certain prime areas cover up with signs, re-cover and cover again. With the sleaze factor pervasive in local politics, the workers for some of the candidates are always willing to throw out sportsmanship and fairplay, nailing their man's signs up over that "other" guy's. That "Other" guy comes along and one-ups the foul and starts the play over...And so it goes until the limits of the ground's ability to support metal fence posts is reached, or election day...whichever comes first.

It is different for me this time, since I am now a campaign worker in one of the candidates in the County Mayor Race. I have a pickup truck. There's a temptation that brews itself up, when I drive by the park entrance, a prime sign breeding ground, and see one of the other candidate's signs placed strategically blocking mu guy's. "No fair!" I think, but then I laugh.

These things are so divisive in local communities. I won't be sucked into that. Both of these candidates are my friends and I know them well. I am treating this like I'm hiring someone for a job after years spent interviewing prospective employees. It's not a tough choice for someone like me who knows all three candidates and has the ability to separate myself from personal loyalties and look at what would be best in the long run. I suspect this is not a talent you are born with but one that you have to develop by making mistakes. I made several mistakes of that type as I helped build a tiny company into a big one. People decisions are the hardest and most crucial and I have some spectacularly bad choices on the books.

Look at the resume and not at the friendship... easier to type than to do.

Well, there's not much time until August 2, 2006. I need to go pound in some signs.



Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The race is on...

The great Race is on!

There is a growing public awareness, not only of the abject incompetency of the Bush Administration, but of the maggoted corruption infecting the crucial institutions that hold this country together. Bush plays the Judas goat, bleating, "Terrorists!" while his minions infect and destroy the very core governmental systems that absolutely must remain functional in order for us to protect ourselves.

While making public speeches saying they are only involved in wiretaps which target "foreigners" calls, Bush knew full well that General Michael Hayden was using the National Security Agency to carry out illegal domestic spying. Not only that, but the actual technological sying was being handed over to private corporations.

Think about it...the powers of the Central Intelligence Agency are being handed over to your telephone company by President George Bush.

The illusionists now controlling the Fifth Estate, the people who hold the sacred duty to expose corrupton and tell America the truth, have become fat addicted prostitutes, complicit in the sleight of hand required to pull off the county's enslavement to corporatists.

When our media should be agast at Orrin hatch using the NSA to spy on his political enemies, they have instead gone apoplectic at another drunken Kennedy wrecking his car.

When our News programs should be headlining the bribing of high CIA officials with hookers and wondering if they are being blackmailed at the same time, we read instead about hispanic terrorists marching in our streets in the guise of immigrants searching for a job.

When our once trusted and respected newspapers should be exposing the wanton disregard of the Bush Administration for the highest law of America, the Constitution of the United States of America, they are instead announcing the capture of the number two man in Al Queda...for the third time...which will turn out to be false news and Osama seems to be doing just fine, thank you.

When they should be laying out the incredible web of scandal after scandal by the GOP, they prostitute themselves into merely printing GOP press releases claiming Democrats are mired in the Abromoff scandals too, which is a singular and transparent lie.

So the Great Race is on!

The race against time for the Republicans...The race to see which happens first...

The time when enough people in America figuring out exactly how corrupt the Republican party has become...

Or the time in which the offices of American government have become so corrupted, sold out to corporate entities, that justice will become a myth....Replaced instead by the voracious hunger of entities that will never stop eating until there is no more food.

Food? That would be You, America!

Good Bye,



And the media should be reporting:

.....In 2001 Verizon, along with CACI (a defense contractor shepherded by Abramoff that heavily contributed to the GOP), was awarded part of a multi-billion dollar NSA contract to privatize the NSA's information technology systems, capabilities that were then used by the Bush Administration to carry out illegal domestic spying. This massive privatization of NSA was managed by its Director at the time, Gen. Michael Hayden. As part of that ten-year program, code-named Project Groundbreaker, NSA surveillance systems continue to be developed, operated and maintained by private sector IT companies...

.....The surveillance mechanism of privatized intel agencies, along with allied foreign intelligence operations inside the U.S., have been used for domestic partisan advantage and private gain. In return, GOP-allied contractors have been massively enriched by inflated defense and counter-terrorism spending. This is a criminal conspiracy that the FBI is only now beginning to break up after years of obstruction by the GOP. It's a criminal subversion of the political process that threatens the constitutional basis of the American republic.

Kos has the Juice

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Washington Ho..

When I was 17 or 18, I hit a big time college with student protests and hippies and draft dodgers. It's amazing how much a teenager will think about things if they think they might be drafted and die. Up until then, I had seen the letters of the CIA and the FBI in a high school textbook but that was about it...Now they would become matters of life and death. Suddenly, I had friends who were dead. Killed in war...A war which no one could explain.

The Viet Nam war had no real purpose except to make defense contractors very rich. Tens of thousands of American kids got killed for some obscure reason that no one could really figure out called the "Domino Theory". Even after we elected Richard Nixon because he said he had a secret plant to end the war, even more American chldren were sent to their deaths. The needs of the defense contractors were just too great to be opposed.

"We can't just cut and run," they said..."We are not cowards." "Americans don't surender."

So an additional 30,000 or so Americans died while the Nixon Administration imploded in its own political juices and came up with some obviously transparent lie about "Withdrawal with Honor", which I have likened to some Pope approved birth control method. Neither one works, by the way.

America tucked its tail and ran. We all saw it on tv. Mothers and fathers orphaned their babies by throwing them into the open door of a helicopter as it lifted off from the roof of the American Embassy. A combat boot kicked out at the screaming locals who were trying to climb onto the chopper as it left them behind to serve their death sentence as American sympathizers. It was the end of the world...Everyone had said so. If we don't stay the course, Vietnam and America would be lost, somehow.

They weren't.

But hundreds of thousands of returning American troops were wounded in their hearts and minds, far beyond what anyone could have predicted. Part of their goodness was gone.

The CIA had wanted this war and the FBI took down anyone who opposed it. Today this has all changed. The CIA never wanted the Iraq war. The CIA warned the President that Osama was determined to attack inside the United States. The CIA eventually got eviscerated.

Porter Goss was installed as CIA head in order to turn the CIA into a political tool. Good old Porter brought in a few underlings with no experience in covert activity, but lots of political connections. They also didn't have the discipline required of intelligence operatives and they apparently lacked something else an intelligence operative requires...Intelligence!

So there's this floating card game with lobbyists and hookers at the Watergate Hotel in Washington and these idiots can't stay away from it. One Congressman has already gone to jail for it and several more (all Republicans, btw) are now being fitted for an orange jumpsuit. But does this hit the news bigtime? Hell no...But just let a Kennedy crash a car, by golly. National security is getting totally compromised and nary a peep out of any of the big news orgs, except for the Baltimore Sun.

Ok, so Goss has resigned and his hooker whipped flunkie named Foggo have resigned. Bush names the one guy absolutely guaranteed to make everyone realize that the Constitution is an outdated document.

Here's Molly:

"So now they’re turning the CIA over to a general who not only ran the warrantless wiretap program but still can’t figure out that it’s unconstitutional. Why do I get the feeling this is W. and Karl again flipping the finger at some grown-up they don’t like? "

From here on, Molly Ivins says it far better than I...

Washington Ho

I leave you hoping that you folks can draw your own parallels with today's situation before all of our children also have friends who are dead in war.



Monday, May 08, 2006

"Just because those obvious Liberals at Harvard have conducted a good scientific study with excellent methodology and solid data doesn't mean they are right," said an official from the flat earth society.

"Science just doesn't get it," she said. "This is because Science is bogged down with facts and mathematics, and is simply unable to get past logic and reason in order to make valid determinations based on superstition and ignorance. No study can be considered valid if it simply determines the truth, without taking wishful thinking into consideration ."

What has these people in such a tizzie? Here are some real quotes from the so called "Concerned Women for America" group...They say they are a "Think Tank", but I don't know so much about the THINK part. Here are a few statements issued from their global headquarters located in the State of Denial:

"Those who make virginity pledges have shown greater resolve to save sex for marriage."

"The Harvard report is wrong," said Janice Crouse, a fellow at a Concerned Women for America think tank.

"This study is in direct contradiction with trends we have been seeing in recent years," Crouse said.

These fine people base their position on the fact, and folks it is definitely a fact, that when they sit their daughters down at the family table and ask them point blank in front of god and everybody, "Have you been having sex?" ...The overwhelming majority of these fine christian girls say, "No, Daddy, I swear!"

"So there!" said sister Janice Crouse. "That proves it."

The Harvard Study found this:

...Virginity pledges, in which young people vow to abstain from sex until marriage, have little staying power among those who take them...

More than half of the adolescents who make the signed public promises give up on their pledges within a year...

Well me and sister Janice just simply don't believe it and we are going to carry right along demanding that our virginal children remain that way, And since they are going to stay virgins, they don't need to know a darn thing about birth control, safe sex, STD's, or personal health care, either.

So there,


that stupid study

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Porter Goss Medal of Freedom

Neither I, nor the General have any idea why he resigned...But the General thinks he deserves a medal for leading the CIA during several months of troubled times. A special medal...One with special significance for the Head of the CIA...Former head...Well... Head... anyway!

Make it bigger so I can see the girl better...please?

The General his self

And if Jesus winks at you?...So be it!


I was sitting at a Conservation Commission meeting when the guy from National Coal said something to the effect that outlawing any coal mining activity that would damage stream quality would be a "Taking of the first order"...

I thought about that... Who owns the natural state of the world?

You know...the "healthy" one?

Bill, the Coal Lobbyist, seems to think that his company "Owns" the right to destroy water quality and preventing them from doing that would be one of those "Takings" often spoken of by the folks who think the right to make money trumps the right to a healthy world.

He claims righteousness for his Corporation because they aren't going to dump nearly as much acid mining run-off into the New River in Tennessee as those other guys. I guess he doesn't want the fact that the water quality result he advocates would pretty much mess up the river once again. I say "again" because the New River is a success story in recovery. Most of the time, if you just quit doing the things that are ruining the planet, the Planet, that would be Earth in this case, will quit being ruined.

This is the case with the New, even though the black sand on it's shores is coal dust, still leached into the watershed by coal mining. Looking at the info I was given, it looks like the coal industry is steadily eliminating its labor force with new processes. 100,000 jobs lost in the last few decades. Strip mining uses big machines and fewer workers. It is also freaking devastating to the environment...takes about 50 years for a reasonable recovery to the point that water running off the mined land is no longer detrimental to stream quality.

But somebody can make a lot of money if they can mine coal without having to worry about polluting everything downstream of their mines. It's about the money. It is so much easier to make money if you can forget about the obligation of maintaining a healthy planet. Of course, without a healthy planet, some living things get sick and some of them die. Human beings would fit into the "some living things" category.

Wealthy and Dead is not a desirable state, in my personal opinion. Too bad corporate lackeys seem to think it's an ok thing. It actually isn't "righteousness" they are interested in, by the way...the correct term would be...


And I suppose they have it.

It will take a bit of courage to take back this Mighteousness for the real people who should have it.

That would be us!



Friday, May 05, 2006


How about this statement:

"Believing that God created the universe in six days is a form of superstitious paganism"

Or this one:

"....creationism, whose supporters want it taught in schools alongside evolution, as a "kind of paganism" because it harked back to the days of "nature gods" who were responsible for natural events."

Now before you think I've gone off on another anti religion rant, I had better tell you that these statements came from a spokesman for the Holy Catholic Church, who also said this about the Pope himself:

"It's not like he has a magic power, that God whispers the truth in his ear," he said.

Well, sure...That would be George W. Bush, anyway, to hear him tell it. But get this...the person who actually said this was the Pope's official astronomer.

Vatican Astronomer

Ole, Monsieur...

I'm sure you already know this, but the cross cultural drinking game we call "Cinco de Mayo" is a regional holiday in Mexico that celebrates the defeat of the French by the Mexicans at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

This severely pissed off the French, since that Bonaparte guy wanted his cousin Max to have his own country, so about a year later the French showed up with five times as many troops and kicked some Mexican butt. Archduke Maximilian was then installed as the ruler of all Mexico...lasted about three years. Realizing that old Max would probably shift the alchohol producing regions from cacti to grapes, thereby screwing up the supply of Mezcal and Tequila into the United States, the Americans decided that god wanted Max dead. They sent money and mercenaries and so Napolean's Cousin Max's shirt wound up in a Mexican museum, so everyone can go look at all the bullet holes in it.

Bummer for cousin Max, but hey, he's famous, right?

See...The US government had recently taken over by early republicans during the rein of Lincoln, and they wisely forsaw the need for cheap labor coming up 150 years later as well as the need to consolidate the takeover of Texas and California. (A bunch of Tennessee natives led by Sam Houston were involved in some of this and some even wound up with their names on the Alamo wall as dead people.)

See...If some Austrian French guy managed to organize the Mexicans, he might realize that California and Texas were gonna have a bunch of oil wells in a hundred years and want them back. Nothing scares any world leader more than the thought of a bunch of French Oil barons controlling the world, so they decided to save it for the Saudis.

So "Cinco de Mayo" is like the Mexican version of celebrating something like the time cousin Bevis poked the bull with the pitchfork and laughed about it as he ran off but the bull caught up with him later on and stomped him into a cow pie.

So today we party!...And Just so's you and your friends can join in the celebration and get stomped yourselves, here is a fun thing to do:

Get some limes. The big fresh ones are best.

Squeeze a bunch of them into juice but keep a lime wedge to wipe around the glass to make the salt stick.

Wipe a lime wedge around the edge of a glass to make the salt stick.

Put salt in a saucer and smush the rim of the glass into it.

Pour equal parts, Tequila, lime juice, and Triple Sec into the glass.

Add ice and test...

Adjust recipe and test again...Note: It rarely needs more Triple sec...(whatever that is...)


Hide your car keys so that you will not find them for 24 hours and continue research and development and you'll soon find yourself stomped in the fine tradition of the Mexican French.



Just in case you still want to know more about General Zaragoza:


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Reading Assignment

A Reagan era General points out that there are no possible desirable outcomes of the Iraq war, due to massive bungling onthe part of the Bush Administration. When you find yourself deep in a hole you've dug for yourself...the first thing you ought to do is stop digging.

Cut and Run? You bet...

general principles

Jon Meacham, an editor of Newsweek, has a sensible take on Christianity and its place in American Democracy. Here is his look at the birth story of Jesus. This is very timely since the season of Jesus' birth would be about now...


Gotta run...traveling today.



Monday, May 01, 2006

Ah, Tragedy...

No good art comes of happiness and tranquility. Sorry about that. Now that things are really screwed up, we're finaly getting some good art.

AS we endure the worst Presidency in history by almost any objective standard, the one thing we are seeing is a rennaisance of the protest song. Neil Young, the Dixie Chicks, Green Day, and others are putting them out and feeling so strongly about the seriousness of the problem that they are making them available for FREE on the Internets.

Here's a new one by the Blakes, Norman and Nancy. I first saw them at the Moonshadow Lounge near Atlanta...It was exactly one gazzillion years ago today, so this is a good way to offer tribute.

Don't be Afraid of the Neo-cons
Norman and Nancy Blake

And away down yonder in the Florida sand
Old Jeb Bush is a mighty man
He told little brother, don't be blue
For I'ma gonna hand this thing to you

The churches all got on board
In the Holy name of our Lord
They took him for their favorite son
And they sent him away to Washington

Now Georgie Bush, he is the man
He landed in Afghanistan
We'll get Osama, was his crack
And now we're stranded in Iraq

(A bunch of verses later it ends)

Hear it all

Listening to the Blakes is like sitting on the back porch with a glass of iced tea, watching the kids play in the yard.

Norman and Nancy