Friday, September 29, 2006

America, 1776-2006

This is Friday.

Some folks think ths day marks the end of the American ideal. Both houses of Congress have now passed a bill that lets George Bush declare any human being on this planet a terrorist, imprison and torture any human being on this planet, deny them access to the evidence against them, deny them their day in court, and remove them from within the borders of this country never to be seen again, should he so desire.

Tonight, at football fields all over America people will stand up, take off their hats, face the flag of the United States of America and join their voices in asking this question:

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Why ask? Don't we have our answer? One man is now above the law and you'r constitutional protections exist only until he, George W. Bush, decides to take them away.

Land of the Free? Not anymore!

Home of the Brave? Remains to be seen. Anybody who votes for a Republican ever again (though several democrats joined in this incerdible and disgraceful vote) does not have the courage required of freedom.

Tonight as we sing together...How many of us will understand that the answer to our question, as of today...Is No?


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Clinton Explosion

Most of you saw my high school friend George's comment on the Clinton interview. He sums it up nicely:

Just a little web surfing on the topic of Clinton’s focused, fact-based response to Chris Wallace shows how incredibly hysterical right wing supporters become when a few facts threaten their comfortable, propaganda-based view of the world. It looks as though Clinton is the devil to most of them. And I haven’t seen any respond to such simple, provable facts as that the same people who are now critical of the withdrawal from Somalia were demanding that Clinton leave 6 months before he did, and that they were ridiculing him for “obsessing” over bin Laden. Unlike the picture presented in the ABC movie about 9/11, these things are a matter of public record.

We only have to wonder why the rightwing republicans and their lackeys have to try so hard to obscure the facts in such a transparent and easily disproven manner? I think there are several reasons. Republicans are having trouble maintaining the anti-abortion and anti-gay fervor. This could have something to do with the fact that so many of them are gay, but at any rate they need new focal points for right wing hatred, and there's always Bill Clinton.

How dare he call the Fox News Department liars, regurgitators, bendovers and suckups, for the Republican party!

So here:

Keith Olbermann:

And finally tonight, a Special Comment about President Clinton’s interview. The headlines about them are, of course, entirely wrong. It is not essential that a past President, bullied and sandbagged by a monkey posing as a newscaster, finally lashed back.

Watch and/or read Olbermann's piece.



Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fox News Headline

Chris Wallace hits Bill Clinton Squarely in Fist with Face

The You-Tube video of Chris Wallace's Bill Clinton interview has been removed from that website as a result of a threat of a lawsuit from Fox News. This is so that the interview can be retold from the Right winger's point of view without the rest of us being able to watch it.

"Clinton lost it"
"Clinton Lied"
"Clinton attacked Chris Wallace"
"Clinton did not leave us adequate information"
"Clinton didn't tell us there was a problem"

One thing you can be sure of, if a Republican is speaking...It's a lie!

Clinton ripped Chris Wallace a new asshole in a firm but controlled voice. He didn't "explode" as Wallace said later and you could almost see Wallace shrinking in the face of the man he had just wronged calling him a right wing hit man for Fox news... Which he proved beyond any doubt with this interview.

Condi Rice has been trotted out to spew venom, of course. She got caught lying right of the bat:

2001 memo to Rice contradicts statements about Clinton, Pakistan

Still, if Fox News and Karl Rove have their evil minions rant incessantly that a lie is true, enough republicans will be stupid enough to believe them. Most of them still believe that Saddam was responsible for 9-11.


From our "The World is Safer because of Bush's Iraq war" Department...

Did you know that there is a Terror Knowlege Base website where you can research acts of terror around the world and find out who took credit for them? Here's a little gem of research via Kos. It is a graph of acts of terror since 1999. Oddly, they chose to represent the Bush administration in blue.



Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What Courage means...

"Some country is about to have a Senate debate on a bill to legalize torture. How weird is that?" ...Molly Ivins

Very few people realize the absolutely monumental connection Texas has with Tennessee. Frankly, if we hadn't sent them a fair number of our foam at the mouth, ethically impaired, swaggering zealots, today we call then conservatives) back when Texas was actually Mexico, the best food in town would be called Mex-Tex instead of the other way around.

Sam Houston's swaggering cane is still here in Roane County. Our local politicians have carried on the fine tradition of swaggering, making loud noises like they're saying something, and making sure their friends are well fed. I don't know if Sam learned that here or not, but he did seem to think he was a privileged sort, deserving of admiration and being crowned King of Texas. Here in Roane County, our pathological types aim lower. They just want to be mayor or councilman.

Texas has some heros, though, but they seem to be disappearing. Anne Richards was one. Molly Ivins is another. Here's another snippet from a recent article on the stupidity of the republican torture bill:

The safe position is, "Torture doesn't work."

Well, actually, it works to this extent -- anybody can be tortured into telling anything that's true and anything that's not true...

Since only seven of the several hundred prisoners at Gitmo have ever been charged with anything, we face the unhappy prospect that the rest of them are innocent. And will sue. That's going to be quite an expensive settlement. The Canadian upon whom we practiced "rendition," sending him to Syria for 10 months of torture, will doubtlessly be first on the legal docket...

So here is the rest of that piece...

Molly Ivins is a treasure. Not only that, but she is an endangered treasure...

Hang in there, Molly.



Monday, September 25, 2006


Ka - thump, ka-thump,ka-thump,ka-thump,ka-thump,ka-thump....

Low bidder, corrupt friend of corrupt politician, concrete not up to specifications, warps out when overweight trucks drive over it, spend big tax bucks to grind it level but it warps out agains in a few weeks, nobody drives in the right lane because your eyes won't focus after a few minutes of rattling on a cheap roller coaster, but geez is it really another hour and a half to Birmingham, Welcome to Alabama.

It ain't Katrina, this is Tupelo, anybody else in the whole world born here besides Elvis, Soccer game cancelled, lightning sure is cool, branches in nine different directions and fills up the whole sky, found the wine store, fifteen 17 year old incredibly fit boys, all psyched up to fight over a number five ball, stuck in cheeziest motel with the creepiest manager, Norman Bates weekend manager at Microtel, thing for men in uniform(?), calls police, no alcohol in lobby, why didn't you tell us, assistant says wasn't her fault he's crazy, soccer mom asks why we weren't told, Norman says don't get smart with me, lady, she wasn't getting smart with you, Oh yes I was, says soccer mom, he's not telling the truth and all he had to do was let us know, Welcome to Mississippi.

Rat face Norman, creeps by three times, open door, parents watching misnamed football game, son calls, Dad can you come up here, boys playing videogames, police say too loud, people next door "they weren't bothering us," 9:30, sign says quiet starts at ten, Norman Bates says couldn't locate parents, he's lying, we know say police, close door, talk to boys about irrational little piss ant people with no lives who have power to put us out of rooms into the night, all they had to do was tell us, we know, they weren't bothering us, nobody called to complain, what's his problem, he's lying, we know, Welcome to Microtel.

After the storm, beautiful morning, out of continental breakfast coffee, does anybody empty trash here, staff not friendly, still no coffee, check out, blessed relief, blank stare when I say tell Norman bye, get to watch great soccer, boys win, hit the road, two hours to Birmingham, three hours home, Ka-thump, ka-thump, blessed relief, welcome to Georgia.

Chattanooga soon, one hour left, drive past barbecue shack, no public restrooms, don't use grass, sign says that, honest, Welcome to Tennessee.

gas light on, last stop, last mile, Welcome to Glen Alice.

Open car door, dog in lap, glad to see me,

Welcome to Whites Creek,

Welcome to Home.



Friday, September 22, 2006

Yo Momma

I have a picture of now Senatorial candidate, then Governor of Virginia, George Felix Allen standing with my wife and kids. He's beaming at the camera in fine politician form and my sons are looking at him in that childlike expression of "who the hell is this guy?" There is a second picture of them with Willard Scott taken at the same event. My wife's cousin is the NBC producer in charge of Willard, who was the very first Ronald McDonald. George Allen's antics have proven that he is worthy of being in the company of other clowns.

You may remember George Allen as the guy who called a brown skinned cameraman "Macaca" at one of his campaign events in rural Virginia. That word just happens to be a racial slur common in his momma's home country of Tunisia. George is big on having his picture taken with all sorts of people, including a fine group of Virginians called the Council of Concerned Conservatives known as the CCC. Here's part of their manefesto:

"We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called "affirmative action" and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races ..."

Yep...a fine bunch of bigot's, I'd say. This is a problem for conservatives. How do you maintain your bigotry while driving your country into a right wing fundamentalist "Christian" theocracy? Changing the initials of your organization to CCC from KKK won't be enough. This requires monumental hypocrisy!

Hypocrisy on the order of magnitude of, say, painting pictures of Jesus as a white guy!

Hypocrisy on the order of being prejudiced against Jews and then, after claiming to be "just like you" to people who hate Jews, having your own mother, the one you first heard the term "macaca" from, tell you that she is a Jew. She hid that fact from you and her husband's entire family because of their family bigotry. This has to be tough on George Allen...All your life you look down on Jews and brown people and now your 64 year old Momma tells you that you are one. Or one half of one, actually.

The General nails it for George Felix Allen:

The CCC now says they actually didn't endorse him and they don't know who let him in to their meetings anyway.




Thursday, September 21, 2006

Relax, Hugo...

UNITED NATIONS - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took his verbal battle with the United States to the floor of the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday

"The devil came here yesterday," Chavez said. "He came here talking as if he were the owner of the world."

Hugo Chavez is the democratically elected President of Venzuela. He got 70% of the vote in what international officals termed a "fair and accurate" election. "Fair and Accurate" are not terms used by International election officials when talking about the elections that put George W. Bush in power. So what does the Bush Administration do when the people of a sovereign nation fairly elect someone who actually cares about his people?

George Bush sponsored a military coup to take him out. I mean Venezuela is an OIL country, Dammit!

So the fairly elected people's choice for President of Venezuela got removed from office by George W. Bush...I'm sensing a pattern here...But Venezuelans have bigger huevos t
han Americans and they promptly got together and all went down to the Presidential Palace, threw the Generals out and put Hugo back where they wanted him. I think their exact words to George W. Bush were, "Screw you!"...In Spanish, of course.

Now Hugo has come to the United Nations as a candidate for the UN Security Council and says he smells sulphur around the podium where George W. Bush had spoken the day before. Well, friends, I know that we've seen right wing Christians praying to a cardboard cut out of George W. Bush, but the AntiChrist? The Devil? Let's not give old George more than he's due.

The Reason Hugo Chavez smelled sulphur after George W. Bush had left the building is well documented...Hugo just doesn't get George's fart jokes.

Neither do we, Hugo...Neither do we.



Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Oooo! Republican going Down!

I know you folks are all excited about Tennessee politics, and have been amused to see our Senator Frist back the President on torture, but we have a real race to replace him and it's getting interesting. And Anyway, everybody knows Frist supports killing kittens and maiming horses so the torture thing is an easy step for him. This story is about the Republican Way. Not that outmoded old Truth, Justice and the American way...Nope. nope,'s "Truthiness, Just-us, and the Republican way.

From the Chattanoogan:

"As the Memphis Commercial Appeal has reported in two page-one stories, the key to the deal was the Corker’s administration approval of construction of an access road over the nature preserve, paving over the very conservation easement Corker was legally obligated to protect.

"Instead, Corker’s Osborne Building Corporation developed the land--while mayor - selling it to a shopping center developer in July 2003 for $4.7 million. Corker has released information showing he made more money while mayor than he did in the previous 24 years of his life -combined. "

That's nothing...Wait and see what'll happen if he gets to be Senator!



Religion Ain't Jesus

I borrowed glory today.

Our President claims to have found Jesus who saved him from a life of depravity, but in following his version of Jesus he's managed to get us into the stupidest war of all time. Even stupider, Bush is going to cover his mess with an even stupider war against Iran. if there is to be a world war three, we will have started it and we will be the loser. World opinion will not tolerate us as a militarisitc nation on a rampage. How in Hell does a man make the claim to be a follower of Jesus while he starts wars?

Frank Ranelli has a rant worth reading. Here is a snippet:

"Jesus taught an inspirational message that was contemptible to the Jewish priests during his time that all people were worthy of hope, prosperity, fairness, kindness and equality. Whether Jesus was a great man or divine being is irrelevant. He spoke the most basic truths about acceptance of one's neighbor and common humility. That if you were graced by good fortune, health and prosperity, to share it with your fellow man.

Jesus was the first real liberal who stood up to the Jewish priests, over 2000 years ago, against their corrupt temples and pilfering of money from Jewish peasants. He exposed their contemptuous hate of the commoner. Christ proved these crooked clerics were stealing from the impoverished to subsidize their own intemperance for greed and power. What Jesus had uncovered was an incredibly deceptive plan and an abhorrently insatiable appetite for money and control under the facade of faith.

Jesus wisely advised, to all who would listen to his simple but matchless wisdom, that everyone has significance and worthiness. That every human being is inevitably unrestricted in access to liberty and happiness, not just those chosen by corrupt, mortal dictators based on the size of your tithing to their coffers. Jesus' ultimate death was, in fact, a direct result of his imminent threat to the rulers of the day and a cautionary tale for the rest of humanity to come."

The entire piece is worth checking out...


Tuesday, September 19, 2006


There's mist on the mountain and a preying mantis on the window glass.

Mornings after the storm are a gift. I've tried to photograph the mist monsters crawling over the treetops on the other side of the gorge but it just doesn't work. It will have to be my private heavenly moment. You folks are certainly welcome here but you'll need to be quiet, thankyou.

Heaven is passing through.

My Brother went through a "spiritual" phase in which he followed a guru who said that heaven is a perceived thing. I think the guru wanted my brother to send him money so he, the guru, could perceive a lot more heaven on a personal level. When you die, you die, the guru proposed. Maybe you come back, maybe you go somewhere, maybe it's over...Who knows and what difference does it make? (I proposed) So you get your heaven in these moments which you're supposed to appreciate and make last as long as you can. People seem to spend way too much time making themselves miserable and not enough working on happy.

Anyway, heaven is another word for reward, and rewards don't mean all that much if they are easy or happen all the time. My slice of Bob's Mom's coconut pie is my reward for knocking down my veggies all week and skipping a meal or two. If all I had to eat was Bob's Mom's coconut pie, no okra, beans, or pork turnip greens...Well that wouldn't be a reward, it would be hell, in a small way. So life has to suck enough for us to appreciate the times when it doesn't.

The storm knocked out the power for a couple of hours last night, but it came back on right after we got all the candles and lamps going and found the flashlights. We're at the end of the line so we are experienced in the ways of power outages. The candles got just hot enough to smell good and supper was nice, just me and the woman who puts up with me and a nice evening after a good storm. Maybe the guru was onto something.

This morning I studied the mantis on the window, fat from the moths attracted to the house lights, and I thought about life and heaven. I think it is a male Carolina mantis, which means that he's looking for a girl he can seduce, have sex with, and die. Life for him is just like it is for the rest of us...Eat, survive, reproduce...and provide an extra shot of protein for the mother of his children, which is to say he gets laid and she eats him alive...not unlike some human relationships I've noticed, but undesirable from my vantage point. Still, it's his moment of heaven, and he's perfectly willing to die in payment for it.



Sunday, September 17, 2006


Saturday, 9-16-2006 12:15 EDST

The Girl finally held still for me. This is a classic Diana Fritillary female from Whites Creek gorge in Roane County. She's a beauty even if she's already showing the wear and tear of a short adult life.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

River Guide

People are so private about their money...If you think about it, you've let more people see you naked than have seen the inside of your checkbook...Ann Richards

I'm still thinking about this woman and trying to come up with someone to take up her charge. Nobody yet...Here's what Molly Ivins says:

AUSTIN, Texas -- She was so generous with her responses to other people. If you told Ann Richards something really funny, she wouldn't just smile or laugh, she would stop and break up completely. She taught us all so much -- she was a great campfire cook. Her wit was a constant delight. One night on the river on a canoe trip, while we all listened to the next rapid, which sounded like certain death, Ann drawled, "It sounds like every whore in El Paso just flushed her john."

They were camped at Dick's Creek on the Chattooga river and I was one of the river guides. The rapid they would run first thing the next morning is featured prominately in the movie Deliverance. "Isn't this where that Drew guy died?" they kept asking.

In those days I considered myself invincible and near immortal, so I had no fear of the river or it's rapids. I do admit to total intimidation by the wheelbarrow of booze we had to wheel in each night to set up camp. It was over a mile from the closest point we could get a vehicle but it was the one unnegotiable demand. Every morning we wheeled out a much lighter load of completely empty bottles, but other than some grumbling when I tried to herd everyone into the canoes they never showed ill effects that I could tell.

I bore the brunt of masterful one liners every time I gathered them up on a scouting rock and said, "OK, here's how we're gonna run this..." All of it foul mouthed and all of it funny." The second night one of the men had to be hiked out of the gorge to go handle a stiuation back in Texas. "Willie's wife got busted at the airport," they said. I can't remember the guy's name but they called him the "Fixer." Yeah, it was THAT "Willie" but I don't know which of his wives it was.

They were the biggest tippers I had ever run into.

Molly on Ann

Peace, Ann...


Friday, September 15, 2006

On the Record

I'm a known Liberal.

I've tried to avoid the label by calling myself a Progressive but I fit the dictionary definition of a Liberal, and so be it. I try to draw conclusions from facts, think critically, be kind, and care. My problem with the labels is that the words actually don't mean what the labels mean.

Broadly speaking, contemporary liberalism emphasizes individual rights. It seeks a society characterized by freedom of thought for individuals, limitations on power, especially of government and religion, the rule of law, free public education, the free exchange of ideas, a market economy that supports relatively free private enterprise, and a transparent system of government in which the rights of all citizens are protected. [2] In modern society, liberals favor a liberal democracy with open and fair elections, where all citizens have equal rights by law and an equal opportunity to succeed[3]...Wikipedia

It may be that conservatives and liberals are like Mars and Venus, stupid labels in their own right, but the people are just in different orbits. Traditionally, Liberals revere truth, Conservatives...not so much.

Benjamin Disraeli, himself a member of the Conservative Party in England, wrote in 1845, "A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy."...Wikipedia

Disraeli was refering to the self serving nature of selective truth but current conservative nature is to say whatever makes your case and when you get called on it, shout the same lie louder.

This comes up because I was riding with a man who has been very successful and owns several radio stations in East Tennessee. He doesn't run any of them, he just rents them out and tries tofigure out what to do with the money, of which he has lots. More than he or his children could spend, actually, but that doesn't stop him from wanting more. I don't get it but who am I to question success? Anyway, after our business was done he paused and said, "Steve?"

And I said, "John?"

And he said, "Steve...Why do you think ABC, the most Liberal network, would broadcast a show attacking the Clintons that way?"

And I said, "Well, Johnny, I don't know that there are any liberal networks any more, but I just put it down to the fact that ABC is owned by Disney...You know, the right wing fantasy people."

"Yeah," he said, "I tell people it's Disney."

Then we went through the obligatory banter of, "I guess you don't think Hillary is a liberal either, huh?", and so on...

Nothing points out the failure of Conservatism as an ideology so much as the stale material... but I missed a chance to needle Johnny. I let it go, actually, because I was trying to sell him something, at the time, and thought it would be better if I let him have a stalemate. What I wanted to say was that he and most everybody else was missing the real point of the ABC's 9-11 Fake-u-drama that falsely made everything out to be Clinton's fault.

The real point is that George Bush and the Republican party have been so incompetent and such failures at conducting our Nation's business that their supporters have to spend $40,000,000.00 on a negative ad with no basis in fact. They're trying to save their collective asses, and this is all they've got! They lose...a ton of them are going to jail.

Why is it that Republican operatives plan to spend 90% of their campaign money on negative ads this election season? When Republicans have been in complete charge of the Senate, the House, the Supreme Court, and the (Vice) Presidency, you would think that all they have to do is run on their record.

Let's see...Botched a war, attacked wrong country, got 25,000 American troops killed or injured, nothing to show for it, had to borrow more money from China and Saudi Arabia than all the other 42 Presidents in history, torture, summer vacation compound in Texas (how stupid is that?), botched Katrina, paying rent on 20,000 trailers sitting in Arkansas for nothing, screwed medicare, still wants to destroy social Security, Veep shot a guy in the face, illegal phone tapping of everyone in America (quite a feat, actually), record gas prices(conveniently dropping for election), record oil company profits, environment, what environment, humans on endangered species list, everybody in the whole damned world now hates us, except we owe them all money so screw 'em!

Ok, forget running on the Republican record, cue the negative ads, and Lie all you want to...

It's the Conservative way.

Me? I'm a Liberal.



Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bye, Ann

I had the incredible experience of leading a three day canoe trip on the Chattooga River that included Ann Richards when she was an Austin councilwoman. There were 23 other people on that trip but I don't remember much about the rest of them. She had black hair and drank like a fish, but she was the most charismatic human I've ever been in the presence of...

"Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, "only backwards and in high heels."...Anne Richards

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Voices on the Bumper

Not that Dems get a free pass, but with things like the survival of Social Security at stake, it doesn't make any sense to vote for a Republican if you are ,or ever will be, old...Or have children...or ever want to travel outside the United States...or...Well, here's what one gentleman has to say about it:

Today, the standard-bearer of “conservatism” in the United States is George W. Bush, a man who has taken the positions of an unshakable ideologue: on supply-side economics, on privatization, on Social Security, on the Terri Schiavo case, and, most disastrously, on Iraq. Never before has a United States president consistently adhered to beliefs so disconnected from actuality.

....As Bush’s ideology leads from one disaster to another, one might ask: How far can it go? It has already brought us to Baghdad, an adventure so hopeless that [William F.] Buckley recently mused, “If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we’ve experienced, it would be expected that he would retire or resign.” The more we learn about what happened behind the scenes in the months leading up to the war in Iraq, the more apparent it becomes that evidence was twisted to fit preconceived notions. Those who produced evidence undermining the case for war were ignored or even punished. It was zealotry at its most calamitous.

Jeffrey Hart, via Washington Monthly

And that is what a card carrying conservative thinks. Or at least he used to be a Conservative...It appears that Conservatism is to be recognized as a failure as far as ideology goes. The only question is how much damage will it do in its death throes as it thrashes around dying?

What to do? Our orders come from bumperstickers:

It's Broke...Fix It!


Anyone who votes for a Republican in a federal election is suicidal.



Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Day After

I lost no one close to me in the 9-11 hijackings and attacks. But I remember the irrational fear when I realized there were other planes still in the air that had been hijacked and that were now transformed into weapons. The crazy person with the high powered rifle wasn't just up in a tower somewhere far away...he was in the air above us all. I felt irrational fear the same as every aware person in America.

Then there were the Towers. We heard 50,000 people then 25,000 then fewer as some escaped. Then in the days and weeks afterward it became less than 1500...almost forth of the dead would be rescuers. I read emails from a dear cousin in New York talking about the smoke cloud spreading over the city...about moving from friend's apartments to the next one to escape the cloud. It was evil somehow.

My small company had sponsored an international explorer who kayaked the upper Amazon river. Now he was in Washington working in air quality monitoring. When he heard Christine Todd Whitman, head of the EPA, say the air was safe, Pyotr took his equipment to New York. "Your country is lying to you," he told us. "This is very poisonous air."

"Your country is lying to you."

Five years later we know that Pyotr was correct on all accounts. The air was poisonous and now the brave men who sacrificed and volunteered are dying from the air. Our country has also mostly abandoned them, much like it has the people in New Orleans. They cannot work and they cannot pay for their medicine and the medicine won't make them whole again anyway. And our country lied to us.

...And kept lying and is still lying and will keep on lying until we, the people, stop them and demand the truth from now on.

In the days after 9-11 I thought of several things. I thought that the event was blown all out of proportion to its magnitude. But the twin towers got great press, even though for a city its size the loss was essentially rather small. In my own little town of 5000. we actually suffered a greater loss proportionately when a 17 year old boy was killed from drinking and driving his car into the ditch along a back road. We knew his parents and grieved for them. Everybody in our town knew them. Not everybody in new York actually knew someone in the towers but it seems like it now. In fact...the Towers were the lesser tragedy.

I also thought about how clear the sky was in the days after 9-11. Airplanes cloud the blue of our skies as well as offer tempting targets for terrorists and those whom the terrorists serve. In the clarity of these skies,however, I realized that the terrorists were also serving the evil bastards who had taken control of my country. They wanted a war. This would let them have it.

The war would also be a greater tragedy than its catylizing events. It is always so. Our warriors fight and sometimes die in a foreign land that had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11. Fighting in that far away place they do us no good in their sacrifice. We honor them with plaques and parades and cheers at the halftime of highschool football games, but the actual war is not in a foreign land or far away, and the greatest tragedy of all may be that we lose America to the control of people who just don't care for most Americans.

It does not have to be thus...But we must clarify our own air and have courage... Ignore the vapor trails of misinformation and realize the truth. 9-11 meant very little as an act but was monumental as a precursor to the actions of evil men.



Better said than I can so here...


Monday, September 11, 2006

Another Milk Bone Event

I think I've figured out the George W. Bush foreign policy...He's not pretending to be a president...He's pretending to be


See. he sits on top of his doghouse wearing the helmet, goggles, and scarf looking just like the fighters do in movies. Then he pretends to fly around after the Red Baron but the Red Baron always blasts holes in his dig house and gets away, and then our Snoopy President strikes a dashing pose, shakes his fist, makes a mean face, and shouts, "Curse you, Red Baron!"

But the truth is, Snoopy needs the Red Baron to get away.

This comic device was played out repeatedly in the funny pages for years, much to the delight of those with simple tastes in humor. The sight of Snoopy pretending to search for the Red Baron never wore thin, unlike the sight of George Bush pretending to search for Osama.

Like the Red Baron, Osama has to always get away, otherwise Snoopy, I mean George, will have to stop pretending he's a warrior protecting us from the terrorists. But it has become so predictable that even TV networks are having to help Republicans make stuff up in order to carry on the ruse. Isn't it odd how Osama releases a video tape at the perfect moments to scare everybody so George can strike a pose?

The only comic device that is more predictable is Dick Cheney showing up on Meet the Press the next Sunday. See, after George puts on his helmet and scarf and pretends to fight the Red Osama, we see the next comic frame in which...

The bald headed guy brings Snoopy his supper.

Good doggie, George...Good doggie.



"These days most agonizing about the state of America’s foreign policy is focused, understandably, on the new enemies we’ve made in Iraq. But let’s not forget that the perpetrators of 9/11 are still at large, five years later, and that they have re-established a large safe haven."

Paul Krugman

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The old Misdirection play

If you happen to have a moment of instability this evening and decide to watch ABC at all, much less the miniseries that falsely depicts Clinton Administration Officials letting Osama Bin Laden escape...Remember this:

It was the President of the United States that let Bin Laden escape. But not before 9-11...After. That would be George Bush, the president who called off the hunt for Bin Laden in Afghanistan. They had him...And let him go!

The CIA reports that they have a video tape of Bin Laden walking on a trail heading towards Afghanistan. They have Special Ops troops and CIA counterparts in a paramilitary division hunting for Bin Laden and are hot on his trail. Flynt L. Leverett, Middle East expert at the National Security Council expressed outrage that Bush pulled them out of the country, saying...

"I was appalled...It's very likely that Bin Laden would be dead or in American custody if we hadn't done that."

So what do republican apologists do when presented with the truth? They spend $40 million creating a work of fiction to mislead America.

Shortly after Bin Laden was spotted walking toward Afghanistan, Bush pulled our people off the hunt, claiming that they were going to be needed in Iraq. He said that the CIA had proof that Al Qaeda was in Iraq working with Saddam. Last Friday, The Senate Report was issued that said a false link to Al Qaeda was "inserted" in a CIA report inorder to justify the Iraq war.

Let's check the instant replay on that one...A false link to Al Qaeda was "inserted" in a CIA report in order to justify the Iraq war. A 2005 CIA report explicitly states that Saddam's government "did not have a relationship, harbor, or turn a blind eye toward" al-Qaida operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or his associates. So ...States an AP report by Jim Abrams.

The Iraq war simply never was about Terrorism...9-11...or anything else except Oil and lying and treason.



Kos has the overview

Friday, September 08, 2006

This one's not in my book..

Anybody know what this is? I took the shot thinking it was a Diana Fritillary but I'm not sure. These things just won't pose for me so I can get everything just right and I'm not much of a photog anyway. Diana's are recorded in Tennessee only in the Smoky's but WhitesCreek Gorge would seem like nearly identical habitat except for the elevation. They are specific to violets and we sure have plenty of those.

I have other shots that show the wings to be the classic rounded fritillary shape, such as this one of the underwings. I'm having to shoot into the sun at long distance, so please forgive the quality.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Safe from...?

From RNC Chair Ken Mehlman's email yesterday...

...Americans now have the facts about these vital efforts to prevent future attacks. The terrorists in American custody are not just innocent bystanders. They are dangerous murderers who would kill again if set free. Take a stand and ensure our military and intelligence agencies continue to have every tool they need to fight this threat.

...Watch key excerpts of the President's address and write a letter to the editor on these important efforts to keep Americans safe...

George Bush's illegal secret Military Tribunals and illegal prisons were found to be...well...illegal!

The Bush Administration just got handed it's ears by the United States Supreme Court. Even after packing the Court with Scalia's and Thomas's they can't win a paltry little skirmish against the evils emobodied by the American Constitution. How dare those activist judges claim that The President can't make up his own laws, arrest people with his own police force, jail them in his own secret prisons in foreign countries (which until yesterday, as a matter of interest, he claimed didn't exist), try them with his own secret courts, and send them to Cuba?

How the hell do you make the case that the Constitution of the United States of America is...


Bush made a speech claiming that they had prevented "Major attacks" by detaining and "interrogating" these people. No specific "Major attack" details were given meaning there was nothing of the sort, but by golly they prevented these nonexistant major attacks by "interrogating" admissions and confessions out of those poor bastards.

I seem to recall about two thirds of the "murderers and evil doers" at Guantanamo have been released after it was determined that they weren't actually "murderers or evil doers" after all. At least three of them had confessed to crimes while being "interrogated" which is the Bush word for "tortured". These three turned out to be British Citizens who could not possibly have committed the crimes they confessed to while being "interrogated".

Torture is against international law and the law of the United States. The information obtained through torture cannot be trusted. Ask yourself if even you wouldn't confess to mutilating kittens if you had endured for hours "pain, equivalent to the failure of a major organ", "but not torture", as Rumsfeld's defense department puts it?

Torture is wrong for several reasons. We have signed International treaties saying we won't do it in order to prevent it from being done to our own citizens, but Bush has taken that protection away from us by his actions.

So now, we can't prevent it being done to our own soldiers, It doesn't give us useful information, so why does the Bush Administration want it done?


I think they are just plain mean!



Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Gop Fantasy World

From our "Way To Go, George," Dept. we get the news that Pakistan officials say that Osama Bin Laden will be allowed to live there peacefully as long as he behaves. This comes at the same time that the Pakistani government signs a peace accord with pro Taliban forces.

This would be the same Pakistan that has provided nuclear weapon research to several countries including Iran. The same Pakistan George Bush calls, "a good friend of America."

And a good friend of a few other folks too, eh?

ABC television has produced a "docudrama" that has a scene where Donnie Wahlberg plays the intrepid CIA agent who supposedly has Osama in his sights well before 9-11 and is asking for permission to kill him. The Clinton Administration in the film goes silent and does not give permission. Republicans, who live in a fantasy world, will think it is true. The scene is a total fabrication. Members of the 9-11 Commission say so, but that doesn't stop conservative bloggers from picking up the lie and running with it.

"...the show is being hailed as a breakthrough in the conservative blogosphere. One blogger marveled in an interview with scriptwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh that “one unbelievable sequence shows how . . . Sandy Berger . . . actually hung up the phone on the CIA agent on the ground.”

Disney/ABC's spokesman now admits that at least one key scene from its 9/11 "documentary" was simply made up.

But that's not the only lie that conservatives eat for breakfast. Check out this poll :

Do you agree or disagree that the War in Iraq has been worth the loss of American lives?


Agree 36% 20% 58% 28%

Disagree 58% 78% 32% 66%


So Republicans think it is just fine for other people's kids to die for Bush's war.

Good news is that they are the only ones who do!

Hey, Conservatives...You guys need to listen to somebody besides Fox News and Rush Limbaugh every once in a while.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Median Man, the Loser

We keep hearing how the economy is great and that the average income in the US is up. This is the old statistical truth that misleads.

You could call it a lie.

An easy way to think about it is with the example of the King and the Kingdom. Let's say the King has made a lot of money this year. So much money that he has made more than everybody else in the Kingdom combined. But let's also say that his subjects have lost money this year. Not in pennies but in buying power. Say the cost of gas has gone from $1.75 to $2.75 and the cost of a house has gone from $115,000 to $175,000 but the nice young lady answering the King's phone still makes $8 an hour. So when the King goes on tv and says the "average" income is up and pats himself on the back, it is technically true but not really. Let's use another word instead of average, because average let's the King's money make things look good, when it ain't. For you anyway.

Let's use the word, median. That stands for the people in the middle...that would be. you, more likely than not. In Tennessee, your actual income has dropped 8.7% since the Republicans took over the Senate, The House of Representatives, and the Presidency. The average pay of Senators, Congresmen, and the President have gone up during that time...way up. Vice President Cheney came into office five years ago with a net worth of about 30 million dollars. He's now worth about 90. He makes speaches saying the "Average income of all Amricans is higher" thanks to him. That is true, strictly speaking. If you take the 60 million bucks he's made and add it to the $45,000 the median man has made and divide by two, the "Average" is $30 million 22,500...But you didn't get any of it. And neither did your Papaw working at Wal-Mart to pay for his prescriptions.

The Median income dropped 8.7% for Tennessee. Vice President Cheney's taxes have dropped too...By over $3.5 million dollars a year. Don't you feel good for him? Between you and Mr. Cheney, your taxes have dropped an "Average" of $1,750,000.00...Bless you, Mr. Cheney...You have done so much for the "Average" person...Bless you, Republicans, for helping Mr, Cheney get filthier rich doing absolutely nothing in the form of actual work.

I just feel warm and fuzzy all over knowing all this.

Tennesseans can compare their own misery to the rest of the country by going here.




My friend, Ken Campbell in Oconee County, S.C., sent a few video clips...

1. I need someone to "protect" my marriage... I think I found some people who can help:


2. Republicans support impeachment... or so they say...


3. Republican leaders aren't "using" Christians as a voting block... just ask the sponsor of a bill to put the ten commandments in courthouses... put your coffee down for this one...

Oh my gosh...Three

Monday, September 04, 2006

Corrupt Bastards Club

I've been chastized for not being outraged enough to post to the blog last week. I've been busy with teenaged son duties, what with college and high school starting up, but I promise I've been outraged.

A welcome respite from that was a visit with my sister and her 2 1/2 year old daughter who turns out to be an excellent little human being in progress. I taught her how to make the "2" sign with her fingers. I showed her how, told her how, and explained the finer details of holding down the correct finger with the thumb so the others could stand up and be counted. Watching the face of a child as she figures something out is fascinating, as the abscence of guile clears the expressions and enlightens on the workings of her mind. She studied my hand, watched how the thumb was used, and after a half dozen attempts, held up a fine "2" sign. In minutes she was holding up both hands in Nixonian victory.

Just in case you think this is easy, try closing your eyes and describing the exact hand position for a "2" ...Now think about being a child and having all the ways of the entire world facing you as a learning task. Beautiful, isn't it? Like remembering one's own joy at learning to skip!


It appears that others have picked up on my indictment of the all people who wear the mantle of once proud Republicans as inherently corrupt in this election cycle. In another odd statement, a republican pollster says they should be indicted one at the time. Ok...I can live with that. It'll just take longer...

"Democrats are trying to indict an entire class of people, who happen to be called Republican candidates for Congress," said Glen Bolger, a Republican pollster handling dozens of House races. "We have to bring individual indictments with different cases and different pieces of evidence."

Indict 'em all!

The Republicans have even accepted their own corruption and wear it like a badge of honor. United States Senator Ted Stevens is the king of pork barrel earmarks in the Senate. His son has received millions from people his dad has done legislative favors for. The lessor Stevens had his offices raided by Federal agents looking for the hats with the team logo...

Among the items federal agents were searching for in Alaska legislative offices this week are hats or garments labeled “Corrupt Bastards Club” or “Corrupt Bastards Caucus,” according to the search warrant.


Being a Republican has become, in modern American life, essentially the same thing as being in organized crime. Tom Delay runs offshore child slavery, Ralph Reed coordinates gambling operations, Dick Cheney runs war profiteering, Donald Rumsfeld keeps the wars stirred up, and George Bush looks into the camera with a smirking countenence and says "We will not leave Iraq as long as I'm president"...and then gets on his bicycle and rides away to his vacation ranch while Americans and Iraqis die in ever increasing numbers.

There is an election coming. Will there be justice?