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.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Of, By, and For...

The Iraq war was a horrendously bad idea from the very first glance in its direction. Drunk with power and fueled by a greed unparalleled in American history, the Corporate Network behind George Bush salivated at owning their own country and one tenth of the known oil reserves left in the entire world. Yes, the war was hideously wrong, but it the deep and abiding failure of it is simply a product of greed.

Taking over Iraq was easier than cleaning out a Miami bar on Saturday night. The opposition was far less organized and had smaller armaments, as it turns out. Then came a cascade of stupid mistakes...Decisions were made to channel money to Bush supporters and actually to Dick Cheney himself, in the guise of Halliburton stock options and Mutal fund holdings which appear benign until we learn that the majority of the fund's holdings are in Halliburton derivatives, the Republican idea of a blind trust, so beloved by soon to be Ex Senator Frist, among others.

Immediately after waltzing into Bagdhad, a series of disasterous decisions emanated from Bush's Caliphs. Not only was the National Museum left unguarded, but so were hundreds of thousands of Military weapons and munitions in caches spread around the country. A couple of hundred thousand of Saddam's trained military troops were turned out on the streets with knowlege of those weapons.

The business infrastructure of the country was incapacitated and not allowed to participate in the reconstruction of their own country as American operatives came in charging many times more to do the same tasks that the ordinary Iraqi business infrastructure had depended on for its sustenence. An Iraqi coalition of civil engineering and construction firms put forth a proposal to rebuild the main bridge into Iraq at a cost of a few hundred thousand dollars...The contract was awarded to an American firm for tens of millions.

In simple terms, George Bush destroyed Iraq's Middle class.

Now, even as he wallows in denial, Bush has a civil war on his hands, so virulent that today, hundreds of thousands of formerly successful Iraqi busnessmen have walked out of the country with what is left of their families and a fraction of their belongings. They now work as illegal migrant workers in Jordan, Syria, where ever they can get to for comparative safety. The Country of Iraq is run by it's highly factionalized religious militias and government death squads.

No event so documents this tragedy as Bush's own meeting with his puppet Iraqi President. After an American Military presence longer than World War Two, thousands of American dead and wounded, and hundreds of thousands of iraqi dead...the meeting with America's President could not even be held inside Iraq.

Republican ideology allowed this cascade of events. it is all about getting rich and cares nothing for you and I...Or our Children. it is an ideology of Corporatism and an Aristocracy, and the Constitution of the United States is simply an inconvenient document that stands in their way. We see their mouthpieces complain about our human rights and freedoms as standing in the way of dealing with "Terrorism"...What we must remember is that George Bush and his Republican allies created and fueled that Terrorism with their greed.
They hate your freedoms, and They hate the Constitution, and They, the Republican leadership and its Corporate masters, hate the power of America's Middle class, and they have done everything in their power to destroy it.

Blessed with ethical natures that make scorpions look like Saints, Republicans, such as Newt Gingrich, decry the Constitution that protects us from people just like him. Gingrich has just called for the crippling of the First Amendment to protect us from Terrorists...The founders of this Nation knew that America would have enemies form outside its borders, but they knew well the more insidious threat from within. This is why American leaders must swear an oath to "Protect and defend the Constitution...From all enemies, foreign and Domestic."

It is our Constitution that gurantees Government OF, BY, and FOR the People!

Long may it survive. Now is the time to protect it from the enemies from within, who do not care about health care for the people...Who do not care about a living wage for the people...Who do not care about a clean environment for the People...Who do not care about education for the People...and who do not care about a government For The People.

It is up to us.



At a private reception held at the White House with newly elected lawmakers
shortly after the election, (President) Bush asked (Newly elected Virginia
Senator Jim ) Webb how his son, a Marine lance corporal serving in Iraq, was
Webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back
home, said a person who heard about the exchange from Webb.
“I didn’t ask you
that, I asked how he’s doing,” Bush retorted, according to the source.

"Henry Kissinger says the war in Iraq is un-winnable. And if anybody knows how not to win a war its Henry Kissinger." --Jay Leno

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

War and Peace

The Iraq War, disaster though it is, is a temporary problem on a global scale. But let's not forget how we were fooled into this and that hundreds of thousands of people, many of them American Troops, are dead as a result.

A simple collection of quotes from the architechs of the Iraq war serve as a reminder of how badly we were misled. Remembering that there absolutely was no "clear evidence of peril", it was all cooked books...all of it...This particular quote stands above the rest:

“Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”

Think Progress has a "Where are they now?" piece on the largest collection of what can only be thought of as "Traitors to the American cause" outside of Federal prison today.

Rush Limbaugh just wants to "Blow the Place up" since the war he advocated didn't go so well. What a Goon! Why does anyone listen to these evil people? Remember what a cheerleader Limbaugh was for going to war? "We'll lose 150 at most." Now it''s just a toy he's tired of or a puzzle he can't work so he just want's it tossed in the trash...Along with the millions of lives we've destroyed. Thanks, Rush.

And then there's the smiling Conservative wolf....

Something I'm noticing more and more...Lots of people are concerned about the Iraq War but more and more are coming to the realization that the environment should be the number one concern of every human on Earth. The Republican chant of "Environmentalists will hurt the economy" is being replaced by "If we don't do something really really soon...We're all gonna die!"

Turns out that the most anti-environmental Senators and Congressmen lost their jobs because not only are they anti-environment...They're Corrupt!

...Last June, LCV named seven members to its Dirty Dozen roster under the additional moniker of the
Oil Slick Seven. Senators Rick Santorum, Conrad Burns and Jim Talent, plus
Representatives Richard Pombo, Katherine Harris, Heather Wilson and Bob Ney.
Happily all but Congresswoman Wilson lost their seats in the Democratic
landslide three weeks ago, or, as in Ney's case, got caught up in crooked
dealings. Others on the dirty list, which this year totaled 15 instead of 12,
also lost their races or resigned in disgrace. They were Rep. J.D. Hayworth, Rep
Charles Taylor, Sen George Allen and Rep Tom DeLay. Rep. Bob Beauprez left his
House seat to run for governor in Colorado, and lost...




Monday, November 27, 2006

You wanna Drive? You better have a license

I wonder if the Democratic victory signals a step toward sanity in America's social movements?

The stated position of the Bush Administration is for abstinence only education. they have even issued regulations to prevent information from reaching America's children concerning contraception and STD prevention other than abstinence.

In Western Europe, the opposite is true. Contraceptives are advertised, displayed, dispensed and widely used. Information is ubiquitous. In the school my kids attended in Tennessee, an award winning annual was screechingly condemned when the students balanced an abstinence only page, with a picture of an unmade bed and a condom. Don't tell them and they won't have sex?

Yeah, right...Check this little tidbit...South Carolina is right in the belly button of the Southern bible belt. Bob Jones University and Senator Lindsay Graham are both found there...and so are the two Colleges with the highest rate of student STD infection. (Yes, I can name them, but not now. I have friends with kids attending there) The kids aren't catching that stuff praticing choir.

Now check this:

Pregnancies per 1000 Teenagers...

USA 53
Great Brittain 20
Germany 11
Norway 11
Finland 8
Denmark 7
Sweden 7
The Netherlands 5

Even India and Rwanda have lower numbers that the good old USA.

The rate of teenage sexual activity is roughly equal in the developed nations, so why does the teen pregnancy rate vary so drastically? All of those countries, except one, have government supported contraceptive awareness and distribution programs.

And guess which country has the highest abortion rate?

Here's a good article suggesting things we can do about this problem. Oddly enough, it comes from Georgia.

One thing I know for sure, telling humans to not have sex is no more effective than telling fat people to quit eating. I actually think this is connected to the same mental gymnastic that allows people to actually believe that more guns means a safer society, but that's a rant for tomorrow.



Sunday, November 26, 2006

Just so you'll know...

I've seen several erratic meteors the last few nights. Erratic meteors are a gift from erratic sleep habits. We have a nice meteor even scheduled in the next few weeks but I'll say more about that later. Early Winter brings crisp clear nights and the renewal of my fascination with the sky. There's not much that makes me feel more wonderment than the sight of the Pleides through binoculars.

The eagles are getting frisky, too. Three of them were cackling and twirling above the house yesterday as I was tryng to fix the water system. I was well prepared and had all the right parts, except for the one I broke while fixing the ones that were already broken. A fifteen minute job and water outage of one hour turned into a half hour job, an hour trip to the pluming supply, and a total outage of two hours...about normal for one of my projects. I think the cackling overhead was eagle laughter. They kept it up until I went inside to get the family to come out and watch, and then they left immediately.

Cold nights bring sound up close from a fair distance away. The drag racers out on the highway come through loud and clear on a cold Saturday night. Millions were spent on the Whites Creek bridge and I'm glad someone appreciates it. Perfect place to start a street race.

Under the Pleides.




Here's a few things that caught my eye lately....

Donald Rumsfeld personally authorized the suspension of the Geneva conventions in Abhu Ghraib.

Radical Shiites took command of the State run radio in Iraq and called for attacks on Sunni leaders. It's a mess and getting worse. Most observers think this event marks the descent of Iraq into full scale civil war and an end to a unified iraq.

God hates gays and loves liars.

Hugo Chavez, contrary to what the Bush administration says, was democratically elected last time and currently holds a 2-1 margin with Venezuela elections in 7 days. If Bush loves Democracy, he will hail Chavez when he is elected and turn his attention to bringing down the Saudi government, which is a dictatorial monarchy. So, Yeah, Right! It's all about the OIL!

The Congressional race for Katherine Harris' old seat has gross irregularities with an estimate of 60,000 votes not counted and lost. A straight forward case of a stolen election, Essentially ALL of the errors favor the Republican candidate. The only recourse if a new election, but we'll see.

Links to articles like: Boogeymongering....Iraq is Beyond repair...The Quiet Day we Lost the War...Honest News from the AntiWar crowd.

Want to prevent over 800,000 abortions every year?...Easy...

A biography of Mohandas K. Ghandi...If you don't already know why you should go read it...that's why you should go read it.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

OK, I'm Pissed!

We are the owners of these lands –- but their resources are now apparently
for sale, in ways large and small, without the permission or even knowledge of
the rightful owners. That's piracy.

Jailhouse Rock

I love where I live, but I won't pretend that we don't have our challenges.

In my little Tennessee county, the County Fathers (I say that because our only County Mother retired last go round) are considering a new jail. Our schools are overcrowded and falling apart, they gave our biggest park to an RV developer, our water systems are more than questionable, their idea of development is another damned traffic light, but a new jail is foremost in the minds of the mental giants running this place.

If I seem harsh let me point out that individually, our commishioners aren't too bad, but put them in one room and call the session to order and their I Q's collectively plummet.

I have a proposal...Let's put all the County Commisioners in a class at Roane County High School for one month. maybe a Civics class would be good. Of course we would have to start one because I'm told they don't teach Civics at Roane County Schools any more. Anyway, after a month, I'm thinking the priorities would change. Even a few days of those over fifty bladders standing in line in the principal's office waiting on the bathroom key might change some minds about who ought to be taken care of first.

Frankly, most thoughtful people who study the problem might conclude that we don't even need a new jail in the first place. A quick look at the books indicates that it isn't overcrowded, except for a few minutes every Saturday night while they process the same old crowd. There are very few folks in our jail that the public actually needs protection from.

Around the country, after an orgy of jail building, they found that crime went up, not down. but someplaces have made some surprising discoveries.

The WaPo has a relevant piece that I hope folks around here will take a look at:

In the past few years, legislators in such conservative states as Louisiana
and Mississippi have passed sentencing reforms. Kansas and Nebraska are
reconsidering prison expansion in favor of far less expensive drug treatment.
The United States annually spends about $60 billion on prisons.

"Crime is down and people realize, sure, we can lock up more people,
but that's why your kid's pre-K class has 35 kids -- all the money is going to
prisons," Jacobson says. "There's a sense of urgency that for the first time in
two decades, we can talk about whether it makes sense to lock up even more
William J. Bratton, Giuliani's police commissioner in the
mid-1990s -- now chief of the Los Angeles Police Department -- directed his
officers to make swarms of misdemeanor arrests for fare beating, pot smoking,
gun possession and the like, charges that result in much shorter incarcerations.
Felony arrests, by contrast, dropped sharply, which meant far fewer city
residents were sent to the high-security Upstate prisons.

City and state prisons in New York also turned aggressively to drug
treatment and mental health counseling. They did so as a matter of enlightened
self-interest. The city prison system is the second-largest mental health
provider in the nation; only the Los Angeles County system surpasses it.

Commissioner Horn got his start decades ago as a prison guard. Now he
occupies the executive office at Rikers Island and is a national expert on what
is recognized as an American specialty: mass incarceration.
"I leave it to
the economists and the moralists to decide if we've paid too high a cost to
imprison," Horn said as he walked out of a shadowed prison block. "But New York
proves you can lock up a lot fewer people and get a pretty big impact."


Other Fun Stuff:

The top ten best functioning Democracies in the world, based on 60 factors divided over five general categories; free and fair election process, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture.

1. Sweden 9,88
2. Iceland 9,71
3. Netherlands 9.66
4. Norway 9,55
5. Denmark 9,52
6. Finland 9,25
7. Luxembourg 9,10
8. Australia 9,09
9. Canada 9.02
10. Switzerland 9.02

Why aren't the US and Great Britian on the list? We got failing marks in...

Civil Liberties and Fair elections..

When the new Congress is sworn in they will almost immediately start investigations on danged near everything, since the Bush Administration has been the most closed and secretive in american History. As revelation after revelation hits the fan, whether or not to Impeach will be the question. Are the Neo-Cons worried? Here's the inside joke:

I want them sweating so badly they have to come out with a deoderant called Right-Wing Gaurd: "strong enough for a elephant but made for a pig".

Here's the process for those who were wondering:

The House Judiciary Committee deliberates over whether to initiate an
impeachment inquiry.

The Judiciary Committee adopts a resolution seeking authority from
the entire House of Representatives to conduct an inquiry. Before voting, the
House debates and considers the resolution. Approval requires a majority

The Judiciary Committee conducts an impeachment inquiry, possibly
through public hearings. At the conclusion of the inquiry, articles of
impeachment are prepared. They must be approved by a majority of the

The House of Representatives considers and debates the articles of
impeachment. A majority vote of the entire House is required to pass each
article. Once an article is approved, the President is, technically speaking,
"impeached" -- that is subject to trial in the Senate.

for a good rundown on the prospects try this:

As always, Peace,


Thursday, November 23, 2006

America to the World, "Pardon the Turkey"

President Bush pardoned a turkey yesterday. The crime for which the turkey was pardoned was...Being a turkey. I figure this sets a precedent by which President Bush hopes that he too will be pardoned when the time comes...

So what I don't get in this is that even though it got pardoned, the Turkey will go right on being a Turkey! This heinous bird will immediately commit the same capital crime for which it had been sentenced in the first place...So, Mr. Meleagris Gallopavo, or whatever you call yourself, Why are you special that you deserve a pardon for the same crime for which other, perhaps more worthy, turkeys are making the ultimate sacrifice?

Does this mean that it is OK and legal now to commit Turkey in America? Is this yet another case of the Executive Branch creating legislation? If the Supreme Court is wrong to do this, why is it OK for the President to do it? I think it boils down to a self serving machination for the chief executive of the United States of America and other turkeys to excuse themselves for their very existance, no matter how burdensome...Something I'm not sure America is ready to do.

I say Americans should be tired of unrepentent Turkeys. It is time for everyone to rise up and act...No more sitting on the couch while others do your work for you. Do your part, friends. Rid America of the threat created by the Turkey. Go big, today...As an example, I plan to take out an entire drumstick all by myself.

Are you with me, America? Damn the diets...Devour the Bird!


And Happy Thanksgiving!


"Tomorrow at the White House, President Bush will pardon the turkey ... and
today, Dick Cheney spent all day torturing it"
--David Letterman

Molly's thankfull, too:

Thanks from a grateful nation for an obedient press corps that failed during
Bush’s six-hour, carefully orchestrated visit to Indonesia to register the fact
that there were massive demonstrations against his administration and its
policies toward Muslims. The demonstrators during his short visit forced him to
stay behind the presidential palace wall all day and—due to concerns for his
safety—not spend the night.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thoughts on the Day Before...

Well, here's the deal...The legal case for impeaching George W. Bush and Dick Cheney is pretty much open and shut, as is the case against several more in the Bush Administration. As noted in a nice little book by a former Federal prosecutor:

...Bush, Cheney, et al., "did knowingly and intentionally conspire to defraud
the United States by using deceit, craft, trickery, dishonest means, false and
fraudulent representations, including ones made without a reasonable basis and
with reckless indifference to their truth or falsity, and omitting to state
material facts necessary to make their representations truthful, fair and
accurate, while knowing and intending that their false and fraudulent
representations would influence the public and the deliberations of Congress
with regard to authorization of a preventive war against Iraq, thereby
defeating, obstructing, impairing, and interfering with Congress' lawful
functions of overseeing foreign affairs and making appropriations."

The only question, and it's a big one, is should we or shouldn't we? I can make both cases. let me put it differently. If the standard for impeachment is the Republican led effort against Bill Clinton, in which Joe Lieberman participated btw, then we have to ask ourselves that since we impeached a president for almost screwing an intern and lying about it,

... Should we Impeach a president for screwing our entire country...and Lying about it?



"I plan to celebrate Thanksgiving in the traditional American way...I'm going to
invite a bunch of people to bring food and drink over to my house. We'll have a
big celebration, and then I'll kill them and take their land." ...Jon Stewart

Prairie Weather sent this:

Backstory on Carville v Dean

...One essential difference between Democrats and Republicans, I think, is that we actually conduct elections for Party Chair. How Mehlman morphed to Steel and then on to Martinez, I don't really know, but I do know that kind of "top down" was not how Dean got his job. He got it because he understood that in many places the party was sick -- and he had a plan to bring it back to health.


I was in biology class in Memphis in the 11th grade when I heard the news...Where were you?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


James Carville has suffered a serious smack down for suggesting Howard Dean be fired as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Even the Clintons have publicly winced, even though secretly, they have to know that Dean has solidified the REAL Democratic Party into a reasonable fighting force.

Fun quotes:

"Why should the Democratic Party take advice from a man who can't even
convince his own wife to vote Democratic?"

Howard Dean (Yeah, that's a repeat, but it's soooo delicious)

There seems to be the growing awareness among Progressives that there is a real movement to retake their political party from the Corporatist wing represented by the DLC and the Clintons.
"Although this is obviously lost on most pundits and journalists, it is
interesting how this seemingly odd alliance between state parties and the
progressive movement is based not upon ideology. Rather, it is based upon both a
shared strategic principle, the fifty-state strategy, and a shared chip on the
shoulder: the sensethat both have been long ignored by the party leadership. It is a sort of Alliance of the Ignored."

Chris Bowers (read the whole piece)

"Screw Carville and the Bleep he rode in on"...Commentor on the Bowers

And another repeat:

"YeeeeHaaaaaahhhhh!"...Howard Dean

I am going to make a prognostication that Howard Dean will be the next Vice President of the United States...Who will be the Boss?

The next president

Thank God for Evolution.

Reverend Michael Dowd

And from Jay Leno:

President Bush is getting ready for his big trip to Vietnam. Dick Cheney however got a deferment.

There was an embarrassing moment. President Bush had to ask John Kerry for directions.

And more than ever...



Monday, November 20, 2006

Out, Damned Spot...

It's time to get corruption and money out of politics...Period! Yeah, I know that's got a blue sky lightning chance of hitting the target but you don't gain a thing by not shooting. Democrats need to clean up our government...and if their own house needs a good cleaning?

Other voices...

Did you ever want to just konk somebody upside the head with the heel of your hand and holler, “What the hell is wrong with you?”


And then there's this.

...And what's this? John McCain says that the Bush Administration is breaking laws trying to hide the reality of Global Warming from the American public? Where were you the last 6 years John?


McCain, too little too late.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

From our "George W. Bush is a piece of scum" Department

You are arrested. You tell your captors you are innocent. They tell you they know you are guilty because they have secret evidence that you cannot see. You will have no lawyer, no judge, only the "officers" who will proceed to ask you questions to establish your guilt.

“They tell you “you are from Al Qaed”’ and when you say “no” they give
the (electric) current to your feet.... As you keep saying ‘no’ this goes on for
two or three hours,” he said, adding he had several times lost

He claimed he was once shackled to a ceiling for “four
or five days”.

“They take you down in the mornings when a doctor comes
to see whether you can endure more,” he said. “They let you sit when the
interrogator comes.... They take you down about three times a day so you do not

... “I saw several people die,” he said. “Sometimes I
thought I could no longer stand it and would also die.”

"Murat" is not a comedy movie about politically incorrect characature, it is the name of a man who was falsely accused, tortured, held without reason, tortured some more, and finally, after some of the secret documents that supposedly proved his guilt were "accidentally" made public, Murat Kurnaz was released after four years in extrajudicial detention in guantanamo.

When his case was forced up for review by the German government, German reviewers and reviewers from the US State Department said they found no evidence against him, but three officers from Guantanamo claimed they had secret evidence to prove his guilt. When the secret evidence was discovered, it actually had nothing except evidence proving his innocence, for the most part, and one letter claiming he was Al Qeida...unsigned and undocumented. His "crime" turned out to be that he once slept in a hostel that was claimed to have Al Queida ties...A charge which was determined to be false.

What does George W. Bush say about guantanamo detainees?

No question, Guantanamo sends a signal to some of our friends -- provides an
excuse, for example, to say the United States is not upholding the values that
they're trying to encourage other countries to adhere to. And my answer to them
is, is that we are a nation of laws and rule of law. These people have been
picked up off the battlefield and they're very dangerous

That is a lie...

Murat Kurnaz was picked up in Pakistan at the airport where he was flying home to Germany, imprisoned, denied access to our legal system, tortured on and off because he would never say what his interrogators wanted him to say because it was a lie.

The Presidency of George W. Bush is also a lie.

It is time to save our country from him and his flying monkeys.




So...How does the Fristian idea of doing away with the filibuster look now that Democrats have the power?

I love a good rant. Surprised? Here's one I like:

Conservatism Vs. Democracy

Republicans, given time, will always reveal their true natures. When they
inevitably do, the majority of Americans will send them packing. Finding
themselves outside the gate, republicans will scratch at the door and beg to be
let back in. This happened from 1954 to 1994. Republicans were sent outside
because they're impossible to house-break. It took American voters forty years
to forget that fact and let them back in. Swept into power by the Gingrich
Revolution, they immediately got the biggest shovels they could find and
proceeded to sack the nations treasury. They began dismantling the economic
infrastructure. They shredded the social safety net for the young, the old, the
sick and accelerated the nations withdrawal from its social responsibilities.
Republicans long for the day when the wholesale embracement of corporate power
will eclipse the human spirit.

Quote of the day:

"Heh, heh.... have you ever spent a month clearing brush in the midst of the
biggest threat to the country in our nation's history? Have ya?
Heh, heh, heh..... try dealing with what I had to deal with and then we
can talk. Heh, heh."

...George W. Bush to newly elected Representative Joe Donnely at the official Meet and greet.



Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fox News = FoxyMoron

Fair and Balanced My Ass

Job One...Fair and Open Elections

My Mom was a Deputy Director in the Georgia Secretary of State office. Her last Secretary if State was Max Cleland and before that a string of undistinguished people who served in the shadow of the man who may have been the greatest Secretary of State in American History, Ben Fortson.

Mr. Ben was crippled by a car accident and spent the greater portion of his life in a wheel chair. I never saw the man when he wasn't smiling and he remembered my name after one meeting. I was always, "Betty's boy, Steve" followed by a bigger grin and a handshake. The Georgia Capitol building is covered with a facade of gold leaf, but being gold plated didn't stop the offices from being cold and dank so Mr. Ben always had a light blanket covering his useless legs.

Georgia politics are no more corrupt than most and certainly no less. Early on, folks learned to shake hands with politicians and transfer tens and twenties with grace and a smile. My Dad pointed this out to me when I was a grade schooler. "Watch him put his hand back in his own pocket after he shakes hands with Grampa." I don't remember who the politician was but this very tradition got Senator Herman Talmadge disgraced after he chaired the Watergate hearings that led to the resignation of Richard Nixon.

"Huhman's" dad, Eugene, was serving as Governor and had just been reelected when he just plain up and died. Lot's of people suddenly claimed that they were the rightful successor, the Lt. Governor Elect Melvin Thompson, Eugene's vanquished opponent current Governor Ellis Arnold, and curiously, Herman Talmadge, who claimed the Governorship by divine right since he was Eugene's son and the plan all along was for Herman to take over when Eugene was finished.

Herman Talmadge had the support of the State Patrol and took over the Capitol building by "Military Coup" in essence. He went about the process of crowning himself Governor but needed, if not the actual support of the Secretary of State Ben Fortson, at least the State Seal of Georgia in order to make the decree "legal" according to State law, which though confusing on succession, was very clear on this point. Mr. Ben looked everybody right in the eye and told them he couldn't find the Great Seal and needed them to help him look. For days every inch of the Georgia Capitol was searched by the State Patrol and Herman waited impatiently. In the meantime, the Ga. Supreme Court was reviewing things and a race was on between finalizing Herman's ascension and the Court delivering their ruling. Unable to find the Seal, the Court delivered the ruling against Herman and for the Lt. Governor, whereupon Mr. Ben lifted up the blanket covering his withered legs and displayed the Great Seal of the State of Georgia, hidden in the one place no one either though of or dared to look.

It is too bad that the current Secretary of State has fallen from the lofty esteem of her predecessors. In a duplicitous Sate government, the Secretary of State in Georgia has always held the people's will to be paramount. I am now ashamed of my birth state's Secertary of State.

Georgia's Secretary of State's office has filed an injunction to stop a citizen from reviewing public election records. Before Diebold became involved in Georgia, election records were fully accessible to the public. The argument being put forward by the Secretary of State is that the election information is proprietary to Diebold.

Who owns our Vote?

One item that needs to move to the top of the list for the First 100 Hours is to outlaw proprietary software in electronic voting machines. This is unthinkable in other countries and we should never allow it here. One must emphaticly question the motives of a Secretary of State who prevents her electorate from examining their own vote!



Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Interesting...Very Interesting...

These are "Interesting Times" as the old curse proclaimed.

Will Lieberman really caucus with the Dems or will he jump ship? he's laid the groundwork saying that he will jump to the Republican caucus if he decides he isn't being treated right. What a creep.

Karl Rove has learned a new truth...he can't steal a landslide. Nationally, the popular vote went Democratic in a big way. Last count I saw was 57/43...That's freakin huge.

There are calls for Impeachment but I'll predict it won't happen. What wil happen is, using their new subpoena power, the Democratic majorities will investigate what should be investigated for the next two years and George Bush may resign but he won't be removed by impeachment. It's like if Baptist preachers managed to kill Satan, who the hell would they rail against on Sunday? Of course the Dems owe it to the Republicans to make their corrupt lives miserable. Anyone who remembers that the Republicans spent two whole years investigating the Clinton's Christmas card list. If ever there was a travesty of theater, that was one for sure.

And Speaking of Satan....

Take the "Who said it' test:

A condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor.

Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson

Usama Bin Ladin

Must see Tom Tomorrow



Monday, November 13, 2006

Quote of the Day

Guess who wrote this...No Googling!

"The national government will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality. Today Christians stand at the head of our country. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit. We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre, and in the press-in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during recent years."

I'll tell you tomorrow

Buh Bye, Deadbeat Daddy

The autopsy is being performed on the corpse of the Republican majority even as we examine the people who killed it.

The first words out of right wing spin meisters greasy little mouths were that America elected
conservative Democrats. On further review, that is absolutely wrong. Of the 29 new Congressmen only two are anti-choice...All the others fully support a woman's right to make her own health decisions. The most conservative Democrat in the Senatorial race, Harold Ford Jr., lost and a case can be made that the 50,000 votes he needed could have come by more effectively energizing progressives in this state as opposed to a move further to the right.

The other claim is that the Iraq war was the big issue, and it certainly was large, but Republican Corruption and their inability to create jobs for the average American worker was just as big an issue according to exit polls. One of my own personal concerns is where today's kids are going to find work in the next ten years. An economy that isn't based on making things has to function parisitically on economies that do manufacture. This is a long term worry for every level in America.

So we trade George W. Bush for Nancy Pelosi:

This will be known as the year macho politics failed — mainly because it was macho politics by marshmallow men. Voters were sick of phony swaggering, blustering and bellicosity, absent competency and accountability. They were ready to trade in the deadbeat Daddy party for the sheltering Mommy party.

All the conservative sneering about a fem-lib from San Francisco who was measuring the drapes for the speaker’s office didn’t work. Americans wanted new drapes, and an Armani granny with a whip in charge.

Maureen Dowd

That sums it up nicely.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ford's Left Flank

I have kicked this exact premise around with several friends and, so far, nobody has been able to convince me it is incorrect.

Does the 21 votes per precinct make sense?


The Eleventh Hour, of the Eleventh Day, of the Eleventh Month

At this point in the history of the Iraq War, we have roughly 30,000 American Veterans who will come home with life changing wounds or will come home in a box. We owe them and their families something that has eluded us since the early days in the run up to the war before a single military act was committed. It is time to answer the question,

..."Why did we go into Iraq?"

Saddam was not and could not become a threat to us. He was evil incarnate but imasculated as a player on the world stage except for his county's oil reserves.

Iraq was not harboring terrorists that were interested in the U.S. In fact, Saddam hated Al Zarqawi and would have eliminated him except for the fact that the United States itself was protecting him in the no fly zone.

If "Bringing Democracy" were such a big deal, there are several hundred countries that would pop up on the radar screen ahead of Iraq and the International community barely stood for our invasion of a beligerant dictator's country as it was.

And so on and so on...

Now we need to answer the question decisively and for all to see, because war is a horrible thing that scars even the victor. In an honorable society War cannot be a President's toy for his own personal ambitions or to fill deep psychological abysses, in the "Saddam tried to kill my Daddy" mode. War cannot be a tool of Corporate greed such as the slavering Haliburton or Bechtel have amply demonstrated by their gluttonous clutching of so much American tax money that they themselves cannot find it all, and billions remain lost in their corrupt machinations. All of this must be exposed as a lesson to the American People,

...And to honor our Veterans!

WE let them be sent to war for false reasons. WE must expose everyone involved in this deception and let the chips fall where they may. And most of all we must learn the methods of those who would deceive us for their own dark purposes.

In the Election's aftermath we are hearing that Rumsfeld was a victim of politics and that is he had been replaced sooner, Republicans would still be in control of the Senate. Rumsfeld was not a victim of politics. He was a victim of greed, of corruption, and of failure..not that of others but of his own. Rumsfeld lied so easily and so often that we have no idea at this point where fact and fiction divide. It is time for us to know.

We do not honor war by the celebration of Veteran's Day...We honor our Veteran's sacrifice on our behalf in the cause of Peace and Freedom. We honor them and must not sully that honor by hiding from the truth or failing to expose the corruption and failure of the leaders who made them Veterans of Foreign Wars in a false cause.

America must not fear the truth. Let it be heard for the sake of our future and for the Honor of our Veterans.




A warrior of a different sort is Molly Ivins.

Ivins has published six books, four of them best-sellers, including "Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?" The author is working with Lou Dubose on her next book, whose subject -- what happened to the Bill of Rights? — is undeniably a timely one, she feels. "The publisher doesn't know this yet," she avows, "but we're thinking of calling it 'Chickensnake in the Hen House.' It's a story about getting so scared that you hurt yourself."