Sunday, December 31, 2006


As he pardoned Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford said, ,"Our long national nightmare is over."

Ford pardoned Nixon for exactly the wrong reason and did not want anyone to know about it until after his death. Those were his orders. Ford gave little thought to what would actually be best for America, it turns out. Jerry Ford pardoned Nixon because... "He was my friend."

So Richard Nixon, who felt that the president was above the law, had exactly two friends on earth...One was the criminal, Bebe Rebozo, and the other was Jerry Ford.

But there is a problem with nightmares...America went back to sleep and found that nightmares, like evil regimes, can repeat themselves.

The Viet Nam War killed part of the soul of America in addition to the 60,000 actual dead and 300,000 wounded American troops. Every person in America lost something in that war, whether it was a personal friend or the personal trust in our government. Most of us lost both.

Now, as we toss in our sleep and the year 2006 extinguishes itself, we watch ourselves twisting in the horror of our new "National Nightmare"...Only there is a difference...a tragic difference. In the first one, Richard Nixon was our President. He was very intelligent, thoughtful, and thoroughly disliked and deeply evil.

Today we have a worse war with less purpose and greater and more tragic consequences in the long run for America... and in George W, Bush, we have a President much like Richard Nixon...but with none of Nixon's good qualities.

Peace and Happy New Year!



Saddam is Dead:


New Year's resolutions?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Myths of the Iraq War

President Bush says that "clearing brush and riding his mountain bike" helps him "clear his mind"...The obvious question is...."Of what?"

The most telling indictment of the Bush Administration is the announcement of their "Plan in Iraq"...They were going to announce it three days after the Iraq Study Group report came out, then delayed it a week , then...Well anyway, the Bush "Plan" is now due out sometime next year.

Next year?

After three and one half years of fighting, killing, and dying...we'll have a plan...Next year? I have one now. it is the same one I have had from day one. Apologize, load up, come home. We have screwed the pooch in Iraq. It is over and there is not one damned thing America can do to help one damned thing in Iraq except to come home.

Try this quote from a very smart man:

...if it(winning in Iraq) means the establishment of a stable, pro-American, anti-Iranian government with an effective and even-handed army and police force in the near or even medium term, then the assertion is frankly ridiculous...

Professor Juan Cole

So...We can't win in Iraq. We are the problem and the longer we stay, the harder it is going to be for whoever is going to fix this mess, to fix this mess. And whoever it will be, it will come from within Iraq. We should simply make sure that is where the solution comes from, whatever they choose and however they choose it.

I do not believe it will be a pretty solution.



Sunday, December 24, 2006

Ready, Set, Eat!

The morning of Christmas eve:
Amazingly, both sons are home, sleeping late of course, but home. We spent yesterday inside a gym watching Thomas play in a basketball tournament. The folks who put those local tournaments on are on my list of unsung heroes of community life. They even had Santa hats for the boys to wear as they posed for the trophy pictures. After everyone else had gone, they spent a couple of hours cleaning up after us and hauling off the trash. I wish I had a trophy to give to them for being so good to the kids. They'll make a little money on the tournament and it will all go back into the community league for the kids winter basketball league.
We'll be busy cooking most of the day and at the end we'll spend thirty minutes destroying the food. It will take longer to clean up than to consume and it will be totally worth it. I made the congealed salad last night and will cook duck this afternoon. Later this evening I will be resting in the recliner, uncomfortably full and loving it.
Most of you have similar plans. Your Xmas shopping should be done by now but I know there are slackards amongst you. I would be willing to bet that more of you are more worried about what you are giving than what you are getting. This is a good thing. I expect it of you.
But I hope you get something good!
Merry Christmas,
The story...
A child is given, a son. He grows up to be a teacher, sage, healer and prophet. He gains a large following. To many he is a divine savior; to the rich and powerful he is an enemy.
Read: Bill Moyers (A story for our time)
Also, the end of year notice from Human Resources: Memo to Employees

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I've decided to give up on my personal war on Christmas, mainly 'cause I like getting stuff, and you have never seen how a mobile home can be beautified until you take a night time drive through East Tennessee the weekend before Cristmas. I keep wondering how many of those folks, with the seven gazillion lightbulbs wrapped around everything including the trampoline, are getting heating bills assistance checks?

Actually I've decided to skip right over Christmas and mobilize for the "War on New Year!"

I mean, the timing's all wrong anyway. January First doesn't mean a danged thing to anybody except the snake oil merchants selling hangover cures. The new year doesn't and never has started on January 1! Today is the first day of the new year, what ever number it is on your particular calendar, as any self respecting Astronomer, pagan, or druid can tell you if you ask...well, actually, most Druids and Pagans will tell you that whether you ask or not...Astronomers don't talk about astronomer stuff except to other astronomers because, here in East Tennessee, people keep asking them to tell 'em about their horoscope and is this a good time to buy a lottery ticket.

( I say take the money and tell 'em no...It's like doing them a favor)

Anyway, January 1 shouldn't be on January 1. The calendar got screwed up way back when by all kinds of Italian dictators. Ceasar Augustus added his own month, maybe because he was born of a "virgin" well before that got so popular a few hundred years later. Julius added his own month and Constantine, who wasn't an Italian even, monkeyed around with all kinds of stuff they didn't mention in you world history class, unless you had Dr. McCammon who was a rip roaring drunk and passed out in class now and again, but danged if he wasn't fun to listen to. He was particularly shocking when he got on a roll on Napolean or the Russians or anybody with a modifier after their name. like "The Great" or "The Terrible"...

But anyway, just so you'll know...Today is the real first full day of the New Year...YaaaaaaaaaY!!!!

It will be very slightly longer than yesterday as a gift from the laws of Physics.

Tomorrow will be even better!



More fun stuff:

OK, Conservative secrets will be doled out by Tom Delay for $52 a year but only to Conservatives with the proper credentials. That's what dear old disgraced Tom thinks folks will pay for his, uh, "wisdom for combatting the Radical Left!" (Too much pesticide snorting back when he tried to have a job in the real world maybe? )

Chemical Tommy tried to start a blog for Convervatives but not enough of them could read and write. He got tons of comments from those evil Liberals, though, pretty much making fun of everything and he pulled his nice shiny new blog off the internet tubes and decided you'd have to pay if you wanted to read what he wrote.

Wrong on both counts...I can read rather well but would rather not expose my "beautiful mind" to his venom...And he doesn't write that stuff anyway.

(Thanks to my favorite Big Blue Butt for the heads up)

And are folks going to pay for this? Anybody who sends their credit card number to Tom Delay is seven times stupid! (I'm taking Texan lessons...Can you tell?)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

America isn't losing the war

"...A lot of Americans understand the consequences of defeat. Retreat would embolden radicals. It would hurt the credibility of the United States."

So here's my question...Doesn't it hurt the credibility of America even more for us to be stupid?

And anyway, George W. Bush is losing the war in Iraq...Not America!

A Virgin Birth, or "Here, there be Dragons"

Essentially what we have here is an immaculate conception," he said...

"We will be on the look-out for shepherds, wise men, and an unusually bright
star in the sky over Chester Zoo,"

That's because the virgin in question is Flora the Komodo dragon, a giant lizard at Chester Zoo in England that has laid fertile eggs despite never having had a mate.

DNA tests confirmed Flora was the sole parent, says Chester Zoo curator of lower vertebrates Kevin Buley.

Mama? That you?

Quote of the Day:

The political worldview in Washington right now is schizophrenic: cautious at
home and a daredevil abroad. Sending 140,000 predominantly Christian troops into
the heart of Islam and expecting them to be greeted as liberators - that is a
faith-based initiative. But on the domestic front, our government seems to have
given up trying to make a difference. Our health care system is broken, our
transportation system is breaking, our education system is a tale of two cities,
we are more dependent upon oil, and our deficit is about to fall off the cliff.
Washington responds with a tax credit here or an earmark there. Iraq is sucking
all the oxygen out of the real policy debates, which are long overdue.

Ned Lamont, the guy Connecticut did not elect instead of Liebermann.


At 7:22 pm EST this evening the tilted Earth's path around the Sun will produce, for those in the Northern hemisphere, the longest night of the year. The moment of the Winter Solstice has been predicted with calculation and astrolabe by the scientific members of societies for thousands of years. Some of these knowlegable individuals used this information embellished with charlatanry to gain influence and power over their tribal associates, and some did not. In religious societies, the former tended to be revered and the latter...burned at the stake. This societal tendency continues even today, but I digress...

The further from the equator the more valuable the ability to calculate the event of the Winter Solstice. After all, what difference does it make to a culture living in grass huts and able to pick fresh fruit year round? If a tribe faces short days and long 40 below zero nights, the ability to predict the moment of the year in which the light of day begins to increase...well that's an important skill. As societies evolved and populations increased, the burdens that humans placed upon the Earth's ability to support them became increasingly tight, until making it through the Winter was more and more difficult and rationing of provisions collected in warmer months became necessary for survival. It had to be depressing, hanging out in the dark and cold waiting for it to warm up outside. With the occurrence of the Winter Solstice, the days would increase and there was cause for the celebrations of rebirth and renewal.

Winter Solstice celebrations take many forms and have been coopted into religions other than their indiginous ones. Preachers of all sorts and through out history have known a good bandwagon when they saw it, and today we have this hodge podge of rituals known as "The Holidays". Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanuka, Festivus, and on and on and on...Preachers keep inventing them and we keep celebrating them. Some folks pick and choose amongst them, and some old miscreants deny every one of them...I propose to celebrate them all.

In order to make sure I have enough time to properly celebrate all the different holidays, I started a couple of weeks ago and plan to continue until the event of the Vernal Equinox, whereupon I shall immediately start celebrating the various Spring rituals, such as the easter Bunny, which may be the weirdest of all the western concoctions but at least it has the redemptive value of chocolate. This continues through the Summer Solstice and Autumnal Equinox until it is time to start the rotation all over again. A bit of a bump in the year round celebrations should be reserved for Mother's Day, which is supposed to be about ending all wars, and Thanksgiving, which is supposed to be about... well... being thankful. And I am!

So sometime after dark today, the exact moment being irrelevent until the Sun comes up anyway, our days will become longer and longer and brighter and brighter for the next six months. So in keeping with spirit of the spirits, I propose a toast that all of us should be able to share...

"To the coming of the Light...In all it's meanings"



Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The War on Xmas Continues

From the Whitehouse:
Laura and I send our best wishes for a joyous Kwanzaa and a blessed New

...During the seven days of Kwanzaa leading up to the New
Year, friends and family come together in a spirit of love and joy to honor
their rich African heritage, reflect on the Seven Principles and give thanks for
the blessings of freedom and opportunity. Forty years after the first Kwanzaa,
this hopeful occasion remains an opportunity to build the bonds of family,
community and culture and move ever closer to the founding promise of liberty
and justice for all.

Liberty and Justice for All?

George W. Bush wants "Liberty and Justice for All"...Who knew?

Quote of the Day:

"Bush has always worked with the Democrats the way that a shark works with chum.

I wouldnt expect a new approach from him now, even if the blood in the water is
now his own after all, he's never shown any ability to adapt to changed
circumstances... Or even to recognize that they exist."

That quote is from the comments section of an article in which Bush talks about the reasons for the Republican defeat:

"Look, you've got a guy using earmarks to enrich himself; there was sex and all
kinds of issues that sent the signal that perhaps it was time to give another
group a chance to lead."

This is a must read for anyone wondering how America can be so out of touch with what is going on in Iraq:

"Some $400 million in media consulting contracts has been awarded during the past few years by the Pentagon, for the purpose of helping 'to effectively communicate Iraqi government and Coalition goals with strategic audiences,'" Alvin Snyder pointed out. "Thus far both the Pentagon and its contract psy-op journalists have experienced a painful learning curve, but the most recent contract award will show how much each has learned. The outlook is not promising."

So our tax money goes to pay people who make up lies? And then we get told those lies by people we are supposed to be working for us. Isn't there some budgetary process by which this money can be cut off?

You know...The line item about paying people to make shit up...



Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Books? What Books?

There are plans for a George W. Bush Presidential Library costing half a billion dollars to celebrate Bush's magnificent presidency for all of America's subsequent history. We have managed to get hold of the plans so you folks can have a sneak preview. While the architechtural views of the outside cannot compare with the Bill Clinton Library, a magnificent hybridization of a large stainless steel mobile home cantilevered over the Arkansas River in Clenile homage, the inside is a walk through rooms depicting seperate acheivements of the Bush presidency. For instance:

The Victory in Iraq Room — The visitors view a short film about our glorious victory in Iraq. After which, they are beaten for five minutes by actors playing the part of Iraqi citizens.

A fun aspect of the W Library is the "Hunt for Weapons of Mass Destruction Room"...and we're still hunting...for the room.

W Presidential Library

Now for some local stuff!

For those of you who may not already know that the publisher of Knoxville's supposedly alternative weekly newsrag, Brian Conley, is a dirtbag, Here's a nice piece fron the social section of the Knoxville news Sentinel. Too bad he was released on bond.

WhitesCreek's State Senator, Tommy Kilby, has announced that he will not seek reelection on 2008. Word is that both party bosses have decided that any candidates to replace Senator Kilby will be picked from a pool of area residents who can read and write at or above the eighth grade level. This has already caused problems with several potential candidates and has narrowed the field considerably.

Rumor has it that Senator Kilby was driven to consider retirement by the growing sentiment to ban cigar smoking from the Senate Chambers.



Monday, December 18, 2006

The Smell of Energy?

When the chips are down, who ya gonna call?

Cow Pattie!

Well, anyhoo.... go read my friend, Prairie Weather every chance you get.


When I catch the eye of babies, grocery store, line at Wendy's, etc., I look at their eyes and make a joyous face. My joyous face may scare adults but babies seem to like it. My version of the joyous face is eyes and mouth widely open and laughing, with a silent exclaimative intake of breath. like a prelude to a nice cackling or Ho, ho, ho. As I come to more resemble the big fat elf, I suppose I am more acceptable as a stranger.

Even if the child has never seen me before, I usually get a smile in return and sometimes laughter. More than one Momma has turned around to see what her kid has suddenly squealed at. They will invariable have already caught the smile themselves.

Humans have social brains, hard wired for kindness, of all things. I suppose that is why we are so happy when the babies are happy, whether they are related to us or not. We want to be happy and we want the people around us to be happy as well. Entire religions are founded on this fact, Budhism for one, and the nicer Christian denominations as well, though many seem to dwell on the gorier aspects depicted by the Old Testament instead of the incredible and lengthy string of kind acts depicted by the tellers of the Jesus story.

Studies of human reactions prove that we want to be kind first and foremost and that it is an aberration to be cruel. Babies tend to cry when they hear recordings of other babies crying but not when they hear a recording of their own cries. Even the lower (supposedly) primates will starve themselves when they realize that taking food caused a shock to be delivered to their cage mate. We don't like to hurt other people and we do like to make them happy, as a rule though this rule can certainly be broken with selfish or vengeful motivation.

I wonder why it is that humans seem more willing to follow a leader who says, "I will protect you" even when the thing you are being protected from is essentially insignificant, as in the "Terror" boogieman, rather than following one who says, "I will make you happy"?...Or, "I will make your children happy!" and even more significant promise.

Interestingly, we now find that our brains never quit recharging themselves and rewiring themselves due to the discovery of neuroplasticity, and that we ourselves have much to say on whether we will rewire for "sad" or "happy"... Whether we will be cruel or kind?

There are now "Laughter Clubs" around the world that do nothing more than meet outside and start laughing. All accounts seem to say that the laughers are inexplicably happier after laughing, even when it is faked.

Well, we should know that while the first smile may be faked, the mirror smile on the face of someone else is not. So try it today...Make someone smile back at you.

Give the gift of a "Joyous face". Give yourself the gift of happiness by giving others the gift of kindness.

"Tis the Season", after all.



Saturday, December 16, 2006

People Forget...

People forget...

When Donald Rumsfeld took over the United States military services, the world feared our might. The restructuring of the military under Clinton and Gore gave us the ability to put on such incredible demonstrations of precision military destruction that, from invisibly high altitudes, we could destroy a chicken coop and leave the outhouse next to it untouched. The fine surgical instrument that was handed over to Rumsfeld was used with all the finesse of a rock.

Now the whole world knows that the fearsome 'Black Helicopters" can be knocked out of the skies with a small caliber squirrel rifle.

Ahbu Graib, Guantanamo, over 3000 dead, 10,000 greivously wounded, hundreds of thousands of dead civilians, and a royal cluster bleep in Iraq and, by the way, Afghanistan...

"Don Rumsfeld is the finest Secretary of Defense this country has had"...Dick Cheney

A tribute to the man who has a machine sign his "personal" letters to the parents of dead soldiers.

"Oh, come on. People are fungible. You can have them here or there." Don Rumsfeld

And also, as Rummy rides off into the sunset, we hear the haunting echos of his prediction on how long the Iraq War would last,

"It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."

I watched a small bit of Rumsfeld's farewell ceremony...It made me sick.

In reality, I don't think most of America WILL forget...

Bye Rummy! Go live in your walnut paneled cave in your gated community protected by your private armed guards... and think about what you've done.




For Matt:

Friday, December 15, 2006

Zombie Music

It's a little early for the "Year in Review" stuff but TT has started with a good one (scroll down). I would like to see someone collect all the "We're winning" bs remarks from W and pals and try to explain how the "War President" has conducted a war longer than WW II and just found out that things aren't going so well. He was about to announce his new plan for Iraq and apparently had to postpone the announcement because, well,

...There was no plan.

They had a name for it, though..."The New Way Forward!"

Wow, cool, sounds great...Only it falls into the same genre as the Killer AP Software known as "Vaporware"...

I hear music from the past:

"Her eyes are clear and bright, her voice is soft and cool....But she's not there..."

Then the most awesome keyboard riff of the 60's takes us off into la la land.

Where "The Decider" lives, apparently.



Update: I had the lyrics wrong in my memory (imagine that?)
Here they are:
Well, no one told me about her The way she lied
Well, no one told me about her How many people cried
But it's too late to say you're sorry How would I know, why should I care?
Please don't bother trying to find her She's not there
Well, let me tell you 'bout the way she looked
The way she acts and the color of her hair
Her voice was soft and cool, her eyes were clear and bright
But she's not there
Well, no one told me about her What could I do?
Well, no one told me about herThough they all knew
But it's too late to say you're sorry
How would I know, why should I care?
Please don't bother trying to find her
She's not there
The Zombies

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'll be Damned!

I didn't even know there was such a thing as the Baptist Center for Ethics, much less that it was in Tennessee. I thought Tennessee Baptists did things like sue small universities for trying to bring diversity to their Board of Directors instead of the all Baptist, all the time, mode of their usual endowees.

Baptist ethics? Like segregation? Preaching in schools? (Let's not pretend it's about prayer" eh? It's preaching an we all know it...) America is a christian nation and no other religion counts, even Presbyterianism?

I give the baptists a hard time...They deserve it. Usually, but now here they go and do something that looks...well...Christian!

We believe that Wal-Mart has been given and entrusted with much wealth,
power and influence. We believe that much is required of and demanded from
Wal-Mart in terms of its responsibility to working families. That responsibility
necessitates that Wal-Mart treat well its employees with such things as:

fair-living wages, not poverty-level wages;

generous health care benefits, not eliminating low-deductible health care

decent places to work that treat women with dignity and equality;

respectful schedules for children in school; and good benefits for sound

A company with the wealth of Wal-Mart has the responsibility to advance the
common good for a better society, not seek only personal gain. Wal-Mart's
leaders need to recognize their moral obligations to be good stewards of what
the corporation has been given and entrusted, not simply through acts of charity
but with justice for working-family employees who have built but not necessarily
benefited from Wal-Mart's vast earnings.

So I have to ask: "Who are these guys and are they real Baptists or have progressive aliens taken over their bodies? "

To further confuse things I found this on their web site:

BCE challenges Christians to be

pro-health, not anti-alcohol;
pro-women and pro-people of color, not anti-discrimination;
pro-poor people, not anti-poverty;
pro-family, not anti-abortion and anti-pornography;
pro-sex education, not anti-human sexuality;
pro-character development, not anti-moral failure.

All I can say is,

...I'll be damned!


I'll drink to that.



Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's all clear now...

This is the best analysis I've seen on 9-11. Why didn't I see this before now?


I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus...

Ok, we've tried to get people's attention but nothing worked so far. Perhaps we can make headway if people would come to the realization that very lives of Santa, Rudolph, the elves, and the Retail Capitalist's religious world view is at stake.

I'm, of course, talking about Global Warming:

The North Pole is Melting

Would children make their parents do more to stop human caused climate change if the kids realized that Mom's SUV was killing Santa?

Should I copywrite the T-shirt that would get the FundXtians totally on board? You know...the one that says:

"Oh my God! We Gotta Save Santa!"

And from our WAR ON XMA$$ Department:

How 'Bout those Christmas Trees!

The Rabbi said he wasn't going to sue the Airport and offered an electric minora for display alongside the Christmas trees in the terminal. This item also concurrently submitted by our Department of Irony, given the history of the Xm$$ tree being a Pagan Symbol. The Airport Authority countered by saying they were "Holliday" trees in the first place.


Society bends over backward to be accommodating to religious sensibilities but not to other kinds of sensibilities. If I say something offensive to religious people, I'll be universally censured, including by many atheists. But if I say something insulting about Democrats or Republicans or the Green Party, one is allowed to get away with that. Hiding behind the smoke screen of untouchability is something religions have been allowed to get away with for too long.
Richard Dawkins



Monday, December 11, 2006

Truce...for the sake of the kids

Of course this flies in the face of the concept "Non overlapping Magesteria" , wherein science is science and religion is religion, but these are dire times. If we don't figure things out and act in common...we're toast. Literally!

I personally have acheived a truce with religion, and though I have upheld my side of the signatories, it has not been willing to leave me alone. Still, I haven't once responded to "Merry Christmas" with "May Gaia forgive you" or something like that. The religious get very offended at a reflected hipocrisy, and most of them haven't a clue as to the nature of the jest anyway.

There is a new thought, however, that says for Science and Religion to join against a common enemy, a comcept well known for all time as the very best creator of deep and abiding friendships.

To address the fate of the Earth, "it will be necessary," Wilson writes, "to find common ground on which the powerful forces of religion and science can be joined." In an interview with The Inquirer (Page C2), he says that "no well-known scientist" he knew of "had ever held out the hand of friendship to the evangelicals." Yet "if we could combine the moral passion and commitment of those with religious faith, which is sincere and deep and powerful, with the similar passion of secularist scientists" in saving the creation, "that would be a perfect combination."

Read it all

This is an interesting proposal and at this point in the downward spiral of our planet's ecosystem, I am willing to try anything.



And the Word is..."Subpoena"

Let's see...

Abramoff, Delay, Savafian, Ken Lay, Katrina, New Orleans, Iraq, Trillion dollar deficits, Dubai ports deal, K-Street project, Contractor corruption ruining the Coast Guard, and on and on and on....

I guess the Bush Administration has more in common with a Mafia organization than a Presidency except for one thing...The Mafia wouldn't tolerate the Bush disorganization and incompetence! Sure they would over charge you but the damned ships would at least float!

There is nothing touched by George W. Bush that has gone well, unless you count the incredible amounts of money his associates have banked in offshore accounts. Can we stand two more years of Republicans in charge?

Here is a fine editorial opinion that expresses my personal belief in a straight forward no nonsense manner:

"Has the President so failed in his duties to the nation that he should leave office? The answer to that question is yes, and the time for the President to leave is not after months of continued national embarrassment but now....

Unfortunately, that opinion is a bit dated:

---USA Today editorial, Sept. 15, 1998

I don't suppose you guys remember that during the Clinton years, the Republican controlled Congress spent two years investigating the Clinton's Christmas card list. Then there was the Clinton's travel budget, and so on. After 50 million dollars worth of investigations by a republican special prosecutor, they brought an impeachment charge in the Senate against Bill Clinton for lying about a blow job.

This brings me to the question...

Where are the newspapers, the so called Liberal media, Now, when we really need them? Where are the calls for Justice for America? Are they all under the thumb of the Right Wing?

We'll see.




I don't have the time to describe the travesty that the Bush Administration has committed against the Coast Guard. No one is braver than your average Coastie, and the list of those who have served in the USCG is long and distinguished. But that's not the only outsourcing travesty purpetrated upon america...

And today's quote:

"A Conservative is someone with two good legs who will not move forward." President Franklin Roosevelt

Friday, December 08, 2006


I love Winter in the South, even though technically it is still Fall. It's 13 degrees on the back porch and the bald eagles are flying low in the gorge this morning as they head out to find dead things washed up along the lake. When cold weather sweeps the Eastern USA, the big bird population of Whites Creek gorge swells up to four or five times the Summer census as Northern birds head for Southern beaches and ice free hunting for fish, fowl, and the lakeside version of road kill.

...Nothing nobler than to witness our Nation's majestic symbol feasting on four day old fish.

I jest...As many times as I've held my morning coffee aside to watch one glide by, I love seeing the eagles. We can watch them grow up and get their adult color over the course of three years ans we've even seen one of our "yard birds" get overly friendly with a yankee visitor and leave us come spring, after twirling and play fighting and locking feet in mid air in grand entertainment for the earthbound who look up.

Winter eagles are all over East Tennessee and I see them even in downtown Knoxville. I've watched them glide over Interstate 40 and 75 while sitting in afternoon traffic, but i wonder how many people actually notice them. The $99 Nikons I keep in the console of my car have given me great pleasure while waiting in the parking lot for a shopping event to be over. I watched a broadwing hawk drop out of a tree straight down onto a snake just last week, while I was talking on the phone in a office building parking area. When I mentioned the hawk to an associate, he said something like, "I never see things like that. You are sure lucky."

I don't think luck has anything to do with it. I think I pay attention to things I care about.

If your day is all about making a deal, then you may only see things that let you gain the upper hand on your competition. If your day is all about seeing and experiencing as much of this universe as you can in the tiny amount of time you have on earth, you may see wonderous things that others miss simply by looking around, no matter where you are.

These moments are life's prizes.

They are free and good for everyone.




We should also ask why anyone who didn't raise questions about the war — or, at
any rate, anyone who acted as a cheerleader for this march of folly — should be
taken seriously when he or she talks about matters of national security?

...Paul Krugman

I am STILL not the father of Mary Cheney's baby...And neither is Ranger Poe.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Lose...or Lose worse?

The Iraq Study Group laid some heavy words on President Bush, but frankly it was more about his incompetence and concealment of how things have been going than a real assessment of where we should take this mess from here. Why is that? Senator Russ Feingold has this to say about it:

"The fact is this commission was composed apparently entirely of people who did not have the judgment to oppose this Iraq war in the first place, and did not have the judgment to realize it was not a wise move in the fight against terrorism. So that's who is doing this report. Then I looked at the list of who testified before them. There is virtually no one who opposed the war in the first place. Virtually no one who has been really calling for a different strategy that goes for a global approach to the war on terrorism. So this is really a Washington inside job and it shows not in the description of what's happened - that's fairly accurate - but it shows in the recommendations."

Exactly! Not one person with the fortitude to say Iraq is a mistake had their opinion taken into account by the ISG. This eliminates a wide range of possible action from consideration, and certainly eliminates those with better judgement and courage.

Our troops will simply keep dying. even Lee Hamilton says there is on a 50-50 chance of success from best.

Bring them home now!



Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Major Smackdown

Major Smackdown of big time local blogger

Let's get this Straight...

Denial !

Be sure and read the Comments

And for a rather compleat take on "How Screwed is Mary Cheney's Child" because they live in virginia and Virginia just passed an anti gay marriage law so Mary Cheny's girlfriend/wife/significant other will have no/zip/zero parental rights.

Whoa! A Virgin Birth just in time for Xmas?

The best stuff on the Internet tubes is in the comments!

Peace, little child...I wish for you the best in this life. Try not to act like the Bush Twins, eh?



Monday, December 04, 2006



Hugo Chavez got re-elected. It was a landslide. This is not good news for the Bush administration because Chavez is not a member of the aristocracy and actually tries to help poor people. He was born and raised in a hut. He lost a large part of his eyesight when he was imprisoned for leading a Coup against a corrupt government of his country. The people demanded his release and pardon, and so did the guerilla groups that held a fair portion of the rural countryside. After they let him out of jail and he received medical treatment, Chavez organized a Socialist political party and got elected President of Venezuela.

Chavez was removed from office by a coup that was backed, so says everyone except the Bush administration, by the Bush administration, but they had to put him back in because the people shut down the country. "Shutting down the Country" actually means shutting down the oil fields. Venezuela has oil...lots of it. Why else would George Bush give a rat's ass about Venezuela?

Chavez ain't perfect by a long shot. His goverment is certainly less corrupt than the one he replaced but corruption runs deep and is difficult to eradicate, just ask Nancy Pelosi. He has run afoul of the powerful people in the world by actually trying to help his countrymen. He has taken back land that was taken from the indigenous people of rural Venezuela and given it to the indigenous people of rural Venezuela. Returning stolen property is a bad thing. if you don't believe that, just ask the Pope about his German art collection. Pat Robertson called Hugo a dictator and asked for him to be assassinated. This is interesting because Pat is a good friend of several Dictators, such as Charles Taylor who takes care of Pat's diamond mines so he's one of Pat's God's "chosen". God loves Dictators who help Pat Robertson get lots more money. "Dictating for Jesus" is good. "Taking care of your people for Jesus"...apparently not.

George Bush and his Peeps don't like Hugo. The most aggregious charge they level against President Chavez is that he has tried to consolidate into the presidency, the power of the Judiciary and the legislative branches. This is known as the "unitary" presidency and is Bad when Hugo does it but wonderful when George Bush does it. George could help his case tremendously if he would simply stand up in front of a camera and say,

"Ya know, America, all those signing statements where I say I don't have to obey the law? I think I'm going tochange all that and start obeying the law. I'm going to start by sending Karl straight over to room with Jack Abramoff. "

Yeah, right!

I think George is just jealous because Hugo's approval rating is twice as high as his. Hugo is curtailing Venezuela oil sales to the U.S. and China is very happy about this, and has tons of American dollars piled up with which to buy Venzuelan Oil. Hugo has offered free tuition for 100,000 medical students as a result.

George doesn't like Hugo, who was elected by his countrymen, but he loves King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. This is interesting because George Bush calls Hugo Chavez a 'dictator" even though he was faily elected in elections that Jimmy Carter called fairer than Florida. Bush calls King Abdullah a friend, even though he is the King of an Islamic country governed according to Islamic law, or Shari'ah, which forbids Kings. Go figure!

If you want to read something really strange about George's friends, the Saudi Royal family, check out: Human rights in Saudi Arabia.

Drinking is considered "sexual deviancy" in good old Saudi Arabia. What a fun country.

So anyway, let's all help our comrades in Venezuela celebrate a fair and honest election in their country by going out and buying a few gallons of gas from CITGO Oil today. CITGO is owned by the country of Venezuela, and it may be our last chance to buy oil from the Americas before it all goes to China.

And maybe one day, elections in the United States of America can be as honest as the ones in South America.



Saturday, December 02, 2006

Conservative Fair Play

Grinning, He looked at me and said, "You know why Chelsey Clinton is so ugly?...Janet Reno's the Father."

And he laughed and laughed.

"She's not that bad and she's a good kid," I replied.

"You just don't have a sense of humor," he said back at me.

"I like funny," I said, "I don't like mean." And with that he walked away.

That conversation happened several years back during the Clinton Administration. Remember way back then? The stock market was ripping, we had small skirmishes but no war, the environment was much better, we were startign to have realistic discussions on global warming, and we had the first budget surplus in eons. And, oh yeah...We could count the votes accurately if the Supreme Court would let us.

Bad times, according to conservatives.

Ask one how things are going today...A conservative, that is. Back then, they spent two years investigating the Clinton's Christmas card list. Today, they are screaming about investigations into domestic spying and war profiteering. Of course it is conservatives and their buddies who are being investigated this time. Several of them are already in jail.

I mention this because I got a nasty comment about my intolerance regarding the Bush Twins in yesterday's missive. All I did was point out, if you will remember, that George Bush's kids are not exactly setting an example for today's youth. I didn't say it was bad or good. Go check.

And I pointed out that George had also sent a few thousand Americans to face death in Iraq and that some of their parents, one being a Senator-elect from Virginia, were not happy with it.

So Conservatives either forget that they were hideously unfair and down right mean spirited to The Clinton's child, who is a fine person by all accounts, or they just don't care.

"We get to be horrid to you and yours" Conservatives are saying,..."And we get to whine, puff, and crap on things when you point out the obvious about us and ours." That is the conservative way. Selfish and mean to the core.

So, my Conservative friend, you were hideously unChristian with your joke about Chelsea. Was that what you were thiking when you sat with us at lunch and stopped conversation while you prayed in public with several of us around you before eating your sandwich?

I accept your hypocrisy, though I still marvel at your willingness to call me to task for something that is actually your crime not mine. But remember: George Bush and his parasitic children are fair game within context...You started it. I'll stop when you apologize...

... to Chelsea and her Momma.



Friday, December 01, 2006

I didn't hear the phone...

Got that call every parent dreads... the son was fine, even though the car will be incarcerated at the auto repair for a while. The old deer versus Subaru bumper, hood, and radiator event happened about a half mile from the house just as I was deeply entered into REM sleep.

My first reaction was, "Huh?" as my wife was trying to hand me the phone. Then I was standing up groggy and concerned, with that knot in my stomach.

I did not want to deal with this but he said the poor beast was still suffering, so I crawled out of the sleep hole I was in, gathered up the appropriate implements to put a deer out of its misery and headed down the road.

"Got an A on the calculus test" he said as we looked at the crumpled up metal on the car. "I thought it was a buck when I first hit it...It's a really big doe."

"You Ok?" said the Dad.

"Oh yeah," said the invincible teenager. The realization of mortality is a couple of decades off for him...but not for me, and I am relieved. We did what had to be done and headed home. Sleep was still going to be a couple of hours away. It's the willing price of parenthood.



In keeping with our parental theme:

"The president's twin daughters are celebrating their 25th birthday with a trip
to Argentina. Apparently their trip has caused what's known as chaos, to the
point where, according to, the American embassy and many Argentinian
officials have strongly suggested the twins return to America. Just to repeat,
Argentina, former safe-haven for Nazi war criminals, is drawing the line at the
Bush twins." --Jon Stewart

The right wing blathersphere is all apoplectic about Senator elect Jim Webb being angry at President Bush's asking how his son was doing, calling Webb "crashing boor" among other nasty things. Let's see...Senator Webb's son is serving his country in a tank in Iraq, just had the tank next to him blown up with three of his countymen inside, fighting in a war that George Bush lied to get us into and there's no rational way out...

Let's see... Webb's son is risking his life for his country in Iraq and Bush's daughters are running naked through hotels in Argentina. The Bush twins even have look alike doubles to sit in front of them at Argentine soccer games so someone else would get shot at...I guess that's Bush family values in action...Getting someone else shot at instead of you...while your ass off.