Friday, March 31, 2006

War? What war?

OK, there's a war going on. Remember the war? It's in a far away country, and it's because that country has our oil...or has weapons of mass destruction...or did...or...Hell, I don't know why there's a war.

I have decided that the reason for this war is like religion. When my kids pin me down on it, I tell 'em I'm a Damfino... Member in good standing, as a matter of fact.

I think the Damfino's have all the answers. Or maybe Damfinos ARE the answers...Yeah, that sounds like the ticket...Damfino IS the answer...

Why are we fighting a war in Iraq?

"Damfino."...See? Works just fine.

We could try asking the President again but I think he's in Cancun with the President of Mexico looking at ruins. Couldn't they do that in Iraq?

But here's a game we can play. Why don't all try to answer Cindy Sheehan's question? No repeating so I already have Damfino, OK?

Put your answer in the comments.


Jail Birds

Roane County

Friday Bird(s)

More of the pics from Darrell and Betty's yard. They are big supporters of the International Crane Foundation and have hosted any number of bird photographers...Real ones, not hacks like me.

Some of these birds are stars of a number of beautiful coffee table books and National Geographic articles.

With all the crap that goes on in the world, there is peace to be stolen from experiences like this one.


Sandhill chick
They're so danged cute!
The locals call this a moorhen, or sometimes "eagle bait".
assorted on the roost
Hand held from a moving pontoon boat, but I like it.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yard Birds

Sandhill Cranes

Betty and Darrell's house...Lake Mary, Florida...Tuesday evening.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Molly Ivins delivers the Sunday Sermon for me this week. In a piece ranting about what Corporate news is doing to its own industry, she nails the problem with Corporate bean counting that is killing more American businesses than any other cause: The quest for short term profit at the expense of quality.

What cutting costs does, of course, is increase the profits, thus making Wall Street happy. It also kills newspapers.


Friday, March 24, 2006

Ah, Roane County

I moved my family to Roane county in 1988. Yep, folks, I'm a "come-here".

This puts me at a disadvantage when I try to get along with folks because I don't have the Tribal knowlege of who done what to who back in the eigth grade, and who's daddy went to jail for what, and all the other small town historical events that create communities. People hold grudges for a very long time, and the sillier the affront, the deeper and longer clutched the grudge.

My family and I have attempted something completely new to this area. You see, there are five little towns and a part of another in Roane county and we pride ourselves on having connections with every single one of them. This means, in small town Tennessee, that we are outsiders whereever we go. I call myself "multicultural"..."They" call me "Not fromaround here".

When folks ask where we live, I tell them I live in a suburb of Glen-Alice, Tennessee, which is one of those perfect places inthe world. Glen-Alice, is on every Tennessee road map there is. Check for yourself. This is perfect because Glen-Alice, Tennessee isn't doesn't exist. Washed away in the big flood in 1929...Got a monument with 28 names on it, but we ain't got no town. Like I said...


Since we don't have a town, we aren't burdened with the problem of electing a mayor or any of the other official positions. we have to make do with the County wide "positions"

(now that i look at the word "position", isn't that sort of a funny way to describe elected office? works though doesn't it?)

Two big "positions" are up for grabs this time around.

The sheriff is an incumbant but has been wounded by a reasonable amount of bungling and a tell all book that mentions his name a fair number of times. He seems to be honest as any of the other candidates and has the skills of a fair middle manager who has become the victim of the Peter Principle. he completely misread the county jail issue which will hang albatrossian around his neck. he could retain his job as much by electoral calculation than anything else. Most all of the other citizens of our fair county are running for his job and he may win by the simple fact of getting two votes to everyone else's one.

Perhaps it is time for a primary and runoff system to be installed in Roane County. The Sheriff oughta have gotten at least half the votes cast in the election, otherwise most all of the citizens have to be watched and arrested upon the commission of any perceived infraction instead of merely 49%.

The incumbant County Mayor is not running for reelection and this has everyone in an uproar. So far we have three people who have turned in petitions to run and all three have spoken to me for support.


Support usually means money when it comes to elections, but i am trying to be as slippery as I can. All three candidates are good friends of mine. I know them well. Which ever one gets elected, well, I'll do my dangdest to help make them the best County executive possible. but until the election, how do you tell a good friend that you just can't support him? Now do that twice and you see how small town politics gets all messy and screws up some good drinking relationships.

Oh well, I was looking for someplace to live when I found Roane County, so I guess I can move if I wind up on the wrong side of everything. But dambit! I like it here. Roane County is absolutely beautiful. And the people here are a hoot! Three times a week the paper comes out and we get to see who shot whom and we know whether they needed shooting or not. (Not that there's anything right with that...) When the authorities arrest somebody impotent, we wave and they nod back as they are handcuffed and taken away. In three or four years, they'll be back, spend a few Sundays crying in church for all they're worth, and a new scandal will rise up and be annointed, as our elected officials vie for the top spot in the "stupidest ever" contest.

But it's Spring in an election year...




(This post also appears at my other blog site at KnowViews. I'm being lazy today.)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Post Chicklet Muse

Remember the Dixie Chicks outroar? Rush Limbaugh blabbers on about how they were crushed by the outrage of America for speaking ill of George Bush. It was a lie then and is a lie now. Truth be that the Chicks record sales jumped quite nicely while Limbaugh and O'Reilly called them traitors, but some right wingers even sent death threats to the Chicks.

What tortured reasoning does it take to threaten to kill someone for their political opinions in the one nation on this planet that was founded on the concept of free speech in the context of political opposition?

What cowardice is bubbling up when a man threatens to kill a woman for talking? Natalie Maines supposed capital offense was to say...

"He's not our President...We didn't vote for him."

I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’
It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

Well the Chicks are doing alright. They all took some time off to make babies (Chicklets?) but they haven't lost their edge.

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should

That is from the Dixie Chicks new CD.

You can check it out and download the song at:


Chicks Music seems to go best with pretzels, by the way.



Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Illustrated Daily Scribble

Opposing the cabal that has seized control of your government is not a very lucrative occupation. It takes a toll in energy not spent on other things, but somehow there is a gratification to the soul that truth is being defended, even if in a small way.

In my mind, the greatest praise that can be bestowed upon someone is that they made the world better than it would have been otherwise. To ease mental suffering with wit, is as much heroic as wielding the righteous sword. Truth is a difficult meal for those who have chosen the drug of ignorance as the haze they live their lives inside. But ignorance is the devil and since truth is the only wooden stake that can pierce its heart, our own labor of Hercules is to bring truth to our compatriots who have succumbed to the siren song. Our greatest failure as humans may be that we have built a civilization, if it can be called that, in which there is money in lying and only satisfaction in honesty.

As I watched President Bush answer Helen Thomas with crap usually reserved for the weaseling of snot faced children caught stealing, I thought of the Truth Tellers that get me by. A great source of artful wit that has given me chuckle in the face of fascism is Charlie Fincher. When I posted his Scribble from the first full day of spring in 2006, I had no way of knowing it was a "Last Of".

All batteries must be recharged, for sure..But I'll miss the Scribble.

Still, we have the archives to replay old outrages and I laugh every single time I notice Charlie's signed drawing of Bill Frist that I have hanging near the mounted deer in my living room, trophies each of a sort. I have eaten of them both for sustenence.

Thanks, Bro!

Enjoy your Spring.



The Scribble

And now, for your daily dose of outrage:

This is not my America. It is an America perverted by Republican stewardship. A nation that under GOP rule has abandoned its founding ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What I'm reading?

The Big O

My son came in and sat down, well flopped, in the leather chair aimed at the tv. I was watching Olbermann. After a minute or two he said, "What channel is this? that guy is pretty down on George Bush."

MSNBC had the Keith Olbermann show going and he wasn't really hammering Bush so much as he was simply telling the day's story. The "Hammerin" takes care of itself in a case of straight reporting. If Olbermann has a problem, it is that he speaks in sentences that are complex, yet abrupt. he works for a "Commercial" network and yet said this:

“We made a mistake in the ’20s. We let broadcasting in this country develop with commercial broadcasting taking the lead and all other kinds of information on radio or television secondary or tertiary.

“But the protection of money at the center of everything, including news to the degree that it is now, is that as long as you make the money, they don’t care what it is you put on the air..."

We should watch his show more often. here's his blog:




Monday, March 20, 2006

Feed 'em On Peaches

This morning it's raining a cold Spring rain. Mom Nature is toying with us, retribution, no doubt, for the evil things we've done to her planet. No worries on my part because I love the rain...even cold rain. Spring colors are far superior to Fall in that the pastel palette seem sfar more promising and pleasing to my eye. The Sarvice Berry on the far side of the gorge is at its flowery peak and the maples are just starting to show off their red tipped twigs.

One maple just a few yards from my window has outdone itself with spring bloom and is hanging with abundant scarlet. I checked the Redbuds last evening.The buds are beginning to show. I have often thought Tennessee should have a Redbud Festival where everybody drives along I 40 and oohs at the majesty of infinite purple.

As a nice exclamation point to my morning, a Bald Eagle is showing off for his girlfriend, flaring his tail irridescent in the soft light.

Ah, Spring...Just don't come too fast. I'm loving the last of Winter right now.



My peach tree seems happy:

I woke up in the wee hours after having fallen asleep on the couch. Whatever it was that the boys had been watching was over and one of those insomniac come on shows was preaching at me.

The guy was wearing a fairly wild looking combination of rabinical garb and african print accessories. I waited to find out why I was going to hell this time and how much I needed to send in order to save my soul. What I saw was about the worst tv evangelist I've ever encountered. A bad public speaker and an inchoherant message...Possibly a Democrat running for something?

Nope...Try this one for laughs:


The General is all happy that when we Google Jesus, he pops up as number 8 on the list:


Well that's nice but guess what pops up as the second most popular result when you google Jesus? I'll not comment other than to point out that this is Just in time for Easter:


Saturday, March 18, 2006


I'm reading two things at the present.

The first is the wealth of information found at about Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, better know as L. Ron, who appears to have been way ahead of his time with his rapper name before rapper names were cool. L-Ron seems to have been a bigamist and a plain old bigot. He is best know for being either a messiah or a con man depending on who you believe. According to the Church of S, L-Ron didn't die. He purposefully...

"...abandoned his body in order to do research on a higher plane."


Here's the latest in the battle between Justice, Truth, and the American way...And L-Ron's church of Scientology. It doesn't get much funnier or wierder.

Tom Cruise, that great moral and intellectual leader, has declared war on South Park:

From an article I found at Google News:

On Friday, the episode, titled "Trapped in the Closet," was back in the news, when the New York Post and Variety reported that Cruise was behind Comedy Central's decision to yank Wednesday's rerun of the show. The papers reported that Cruise threatened to skip all promotional activities on behalf of his big summer movie, "Mission: Impossible 3" if the episode aired. The connection? Paramount is releasing "Mission: Impossible." Paramount is owned by Viacom. So is Comedy Channel.

(The creators of South Park responded with this rebuttal, worthy of McArthur leaving the Phillipines, or Nixon leaving Viet Nam, or W leaving Iraq...)

"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!"

Intrigued, I found this site referenced:


Well there's no doubt that a lot of baloney is being flung about and here, for your assistance, is Carl Sagan's famous Baloney Detection Kit, just in time to aid your search for that ever elusive dotted line between Meat and Not-meat.

Republiconians beware!


And since you were wondering, Ill tell you about the other thing I'm reading at another time after I've finished it.

Now go outside,


Wednesday, March 15, 2006


South Park is a secret pleasure of mine.

We don't watch it as a family but I know the boys catch it when the mamma isn't around and so do I. Yes, I think it could be less rude and still make fun of danged near every sacred cow tromping around in the garden. I filter 90% of the profanity out and giggle away.

In everyday life, Profanity is usually extraneous and over used...But, I consider it an absolute necessity at the same time. When I explained why "we shall not curse unnecessarily" to my boys they cracked up laughing at me.

"If you f---ng say F--- every other f----ng word, then what the F--- are you gonna say when you f---ng need to f---ng really f---ng say "F***"?!"

Profanity should be shocking. If it doesn't shock us any more, we should quit using it for a while. Folks will get used to not hearing F--- every other word and maybe it will be tanned, rested, and ready to go when we need a good curse word, like say when some cartoon ridicules our personal religion.

Isaac Hayes used to be a musician but he morphed into a cartoon character on South Park. he went from Shaft to Chef, as it were. When he was about to say "Mean Mother F----r" in the his song, Shaft, the backup singers overdubbed him with a "Shut yo mouth". That was good because we got shocked by profanity we didn't get to hear.

Isaac has been a character on South Park since its inception, but now he wants out of his contract because:

"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins," Hayes wrote in the statement.

What Hayes actually means is that its fine to ridicule everybody else's religion but not mine.

Matt Stone said. "In 10 years and over 150 episodes of 'South Park,' Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslims, Mormons and Jews. He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion featured on the show."

What is it with cartoons all of a sudden? They are suddenly perceived as the greatest global threat to religion and worthy of rioting, burning emmbassies, and killing people, not because they ridicule religion, but because they ridicule "MY" religion.

Isaac Hayes is a classic example, being totally complicit in helping make fun of all the other goofy religions in the world until they got around to HIS goofy religion, which seems to have been made up by writer L. Ron Hubbard, who wrote a science fiction book about a guy who got rich by making up his own religion and getting everybody else to convert and give him money...and..uh????....Hmmmm....And then he decided to do just that by founding Scientology.

L. Ron was a Science "fiction" writer before he glommed on to the fact that the head of a religion can live way better than a two bit paperback writer. And you can get women too, I mean check out that Smith guy and his 200 wives...The Pope got his own thing going (not that there's anything wrong with that) but you gotta think 200 wives is one man's definition of heaven on earth...and another man's definition of Hell.

Anyway, I digress from the point of all this which is that religion just can't take a joke.

I say if it can't take a joke and a little ridicule, then it ain't much of a religion in the first place. There's at least 3000 different religions and maybe more if you consider the 50 something different Baptist denominations right here in Roane County, Tennessee separate religions.

All of them seemingly looking down on everybody else while getting their funeral parlor fans all frazzled when they catch someone looking down on them...Back.

And you know what? Danged near every single one of those 3000 religions and 50 Baptist denominations is making fantastical promises about what's gonna happen when we're dead and no way to check them out to see who's lying, and Brothers and Sisters, someone's gotta be lying. They can't all be right.

But All religions seem to get mad when they are challenged, And I think it is because they are scared. One thing they almost all do, is tell you that you won't get your reward after you're dead if you don't "BELIEVE" what they say. So they're scared to ask questions about fairly obvious stuff that questions ought to be asked about. They are all afraid of what will happen when they're dead, and most of them have differing ideas about it.

I wish I could help.

I figure life and death are like Texas Hold 'em...Nobody knows what cards we are playing with in the hole. Nobody gets to look. (and anybody says they already know is bluffing)

If we were to work together on the deal, what's underneath doesn't matter. It's only if we work against each other that the hole cards (that would be the unknown) becomes our enemy.

Just relax, play the hand you see, and anything on the flop is a bonus. And... Have a sense of humor about it, will ya?

For god's sake?



Monday, March 13, 2006


Can you imagine this happening?

1st Lieutenant Smith stands in the Whitehouse hallway surrounded by other uniformed men. The officer in charge hurries up with a concerned look and is handed a piece of paper. After reading it he looks at Lt. Smith, and reads the paper again.

Lt. Smith has a loaded service revolver on his hip, neatly holstered.

The Whitehouse Duty Officer, once more, reads the piece of paper he was handed and looks around at his men.

"Stand back" he says to them.

The Officer and Lt. Smith salute and as everyone watches and, as the officer hands the piece of paper back to him, Lt. Smith turns and walks purposefully away, down the hall of the Whitehouse toward the West wing.

Here is what was on that peice of paper:

I, John Patriot Smith), having been appointed a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army under the conditions indicated in this document, do accept such appointment and do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God.

Every officer in the Military of the United States of America takes this oath.

Think it is impossible?

Remember that the fall of the Dictator Marcos in the Phillipines was due to the refusal of the military to follow his illegal orders...And, regardless of what Reaganites claim, that the fall of the Soviet government was because the Russian Military refused to shoot Boris Yeltsin, among other things.

I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic

Military men are already refusing to support illegal activity by the United States Administration...




Sunday, March 12, 2006

Voyeuristic Tendencies

Our bedroom has a door that opens out onto a deck that hangs over the edge of our hillside. The night was so warm and the air smelled so nice after the evening showers that I had to leave it open. Before first light, I was questioning that decision. A couple of dozen turkeys apparently found roost in the woods and started chatting each other up.

Living in the treetops is nice until you want to sleep a bit late but all the birds decide it's time to stake out their territories in predawn song...particularly if the birds weigh 15 to twenty pounds each. Turkey gobblers don't actually gobble, in my opinion. Their call sounds more like a melodious warbling high volume belch.

Giving up on sleep, I wandered out onto the deck with a cup of killer coffee and my 20 power binoculars to survey the world. When I checked out Lake Steve to see what was causing all the ripples, I peered into a cluster of dozen or so toads playing twister in the mud. I can now say that I know things I never even suspected about toad love.

I often joke about my drugs of choice being coffee and aspirin, and I was looking through the binocs and drinking coffee when, being the curious type, I wondered where the stuff came from, originally. Who was it, exactly, that gave this gift/curse to humanity? Following up on the impulse led me to this article sorta related to the evil bean.

Where coffee came from...maybe



Saturday, March 11, 2006


The Bush administration holds to power by virtue of its grassroots support, but when you ask a grassrooter why, the answer is typically rooted in misinformation of the "We have to fight them over there (Duh...wrong country) so we don't have to fight them over here (BS in the first place).

By allowing themselves to be so mislead, local Republicans seem unable to purge their party of the gravest threat to our country since the succession of the Confederate States. As a result, I am on a campaign against Republicans at every level of American government, down to animal control officer.

But there are cracks in the wall, as the facade that has covered the sheer incompetence and corruption of the Republican party corrodes in the fresh air of factual evidence. How incompetent can a President be? Answer that for yourself after you think about the fact that President Bush found out about the Untied Arab Emirates taking over our seaports from TV.

In so far as its actual execution, Conservative philosophy has proved to be an abject failure, in that it requires suppression of information to exist, even, it turns out, from its own President.

I will not vote for anyone who even remotely supports Republicans until the Republican party casts out its demons and returns to being the party of American Industrialists instead of open servitude to the oil producing governments of the MIddle East

Another reason I will not vote for a Republican for anything whatsoever is illustrated by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. In a speech this week, she used actions by a Republican Senator and a Republican Congressman to illustrate her fear that America, under George W. Bush, is slipping into dictatorship.

Here's some of what Justice O'Connor said:

Pointing to the experiences of developing countries and formerly Communist countries, where interference with an independent judiciary has allowed dictatorship to flourish, O’Connor said...

"We must be ever vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary into adopting their preferred policies. It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings."

Sandra's Speech



Friday, March 10, 2006

Clinton's Lily

People have complained about Clinton's Lily almost from the start...

It's a wildflower named after a politicain...But not the one you think. Henry David Thoreau didn't like who the plant was named for, DeWitt Clinton, Governor of New York, who was also a naturalist.

This is not to be confused with a denizen of the Cumberland Plateau, the Naturist. These are clothing optional types and there are several resorts catering to bare adventurers in East Tennessee.

Imagine that...Or don't. Word is that the people you will see at the resorts don't much resemble the pictures you see in the web ads. (Google it yourself, I'm not helping with this one)

Anyway...ahem...There are lots of things that pop out this time of year and only this time of year. Spring wildflowers. They tend to be small, beautiful, and fragile. I found a round lobed hepatica nearly in downtown Kingston, only to find that it got buried by earth moving equipment before I could relocate it. While tragic in and of itself, this event shows us that we can find interesting native plants that can be taken from the wild in good conscience and relocated to our own yards if we are thoughtful.


Here is a photo gallery I found. It is from an East Tennessee garden of transplanted wildflowers. I am soooo far behind these folks.

At any rate, now is the time to get off our hineys and wander about the Tennessee coves. Be alert, observant, and watch where you step. Humans have big feet.



Tennessee Garden

Thursday, March 09, 2006


AS the Republican leadership decides there is no reason to investigate the Bush Administration's violation of the Constitution in the NSA warrentless wiretap scandal, I have made a decision.

In the past, I have been rather proud of my independent voting record. I have voted for at least one Republican during each election cycle, though I admit to heavily favoring Democrats, in view of there not actually being a "Progressive" Party. This is officially over. Until Republicans grow something resembling a conscience...I will not vote for anyone associated with that party for any elected position higher than dogcatcher, and then only if the job will go unfilled.

I am tired of hearing Republican Senators speak pompously on TV about their Constitutional concerns with the actions of the President and then quietly blessing the most aggregious crimes against Democracy in America. Rather than hold some kind of hearing to determine if the Constitution is being violated the Republicans in the House and Senate pass more laws that clear violate the Constitution. It's like the only way to make up for stealing...Is to steal more.

Well I'm over it. I plan to actively campaign for anybody who is not a Republican, starting at the County level. You may be my friend, but that doesn't matter.

If you remain a part of the Republican party, You support Fascists and that's that!

John P. via Prairie Weather:




Monday, March 06, 2006

Dil-Don't in Tennessee

Now it's gonna be against the law in Tennessee for you to show me yours:

"...Senate Bill 3794 (House Bill 3798), legislation that would make it illegal to sell, advertise, publish or exhibit to another person “any three-dimensional device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs….”

Tenn. Guerilla Women

The General thinks this is a fine idea but that it doesn't go far enough:

The General

Actually, you and I are the morons for letting these jerks be elected. Tennessee is 49th in education and these bleeps are worried about you showing me your three dimensional device?

Actually, I think letting this one pass might be the most fun we've had in a long time. I propose that we have the Sherrif search the house and vehicle of any legislator who votes for these bills. After all, it seems to be Republican women who need them.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Yap, Yap......yurgle

Thursday, 5 a.m.

The BEW Line is sounding the alarm like we're being attacked by ground based flying monkeys armed with sausages.

I figure it had to be sausages or else the dogs would never have woken up at that time of morning. They usually go off and wake the dead around 2 a.m. and have been back asleep well before 5. As it is, the Beastie Early Warning system wants everybody in the gorge to know that they, intrepid watch dogs that they are, have something cornered and will gladly bark at it until some one else gets there to deal with it.

I crawled up the sleep well to semi-consciousness and stepped out onto the loft bedroom deck and tried to make sense of the racket. I could hear the dogs clearly had something interesting in the water of Lake Steve...Lake Steve being maybe 20 feet across and three feet deep. As I listened, the rasping growl of a rather irritated racoon answered the dogs.

I tried to call them but they were having way too much fun to pay any attention to me, and after a groggy minute or two, I gave up and stumbled my shivering self back into the house and dove under the comforters before anything froze and fell off. The dogs kept the serenade at full volume.

Suddenly things changed. The barking rose an octave or two as did the decibel level and then there was a lot of splashing and yapping and then it stopped.

I sat up, listening...then heard a dog squeal and then nothing. I wonder if I had better get down there to see if the coon is drowning my dogs, but just as I'm about to leap, I hear them splash around and then take off through the woods, but I only hear one of them, so I lie there and worry a few seconds until I hear the other one, the little one, yap once and quit.

Then it's all quiet.

I can hear the dogs come slowly throught the woods back up the hill to the house and so I drift off to sleep.

In the morning, when I step outside for the first time, no dog bounces up to greet me. I call and call again. Then finally, the little white dog slowly walks up to me. He's covered with wet mud and bleeding from his head and ears. I don't think he feels like the victor. The other dog finally shows up and is about as ragged looking. They look at me, decide I don't have any treats and flop down right where they stood, a couple of whipped dogs who don't seem to have figured out how a raccoon that usually runs away in terror on dry land, managed to deliver a near death experience to them in 30 inches of water.

Lake Steve was green yesterday, as the first toads and salamanders entertained their girlfriends and carried on in the amphibian's equivalent of a singles bar. Today, it's a well whipped muddy mess.

But all was quiet the last few nights and the overconsumption of cat food seems to have ceased...For a little while, at least. On my hike this afternoon, I notice that the coyotes have marked their territory just a few yards away from the driveway. My firece protectors seem to be taking a break from guarding the estate.

Ah, Spring.



Saturday, March 04, 2006

Crooked little man in a Crooked little House

"I have ripped my life to shreds" was the quote from Randy Cunningham, as he receives the longest sentence in history for a crooked Congressman.

I would consider executing him. He's bummed because he won't be able to fool around on the 150 foot yacht he bought with bribe money, while War contractors pocket billions of your tax dollars.

First of all, a politician who violates the public trust has committed the most foul of crimes against our society, by accepting money for his vote. Congressman Cunningham took money for his vote. He took money and voted for war. he took money from CIA contractors to make sure they were awarded lucrative contracts.

Yeah, the Bush CIA is crooked. How 'bout that? Who'd a thunk?

"The CIA Inspector General has opened an investigation into the spy agency's executive director, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, and his connections to two defense contractors accused of bribing a member of Congress and Pentagon officials."

Via Kos

All that is bad, of course, but it shows us one thing above all else. Republicans do not believe in the most basic of American concepts..."The Public Good."

Cunningham is worried about having "ripped my life to shreds" but we hear nothing, not one word, about the devastating effects his actions had on others.

Ok, here's the deal: Lots of our Congressmen are crooked. They take money for their vote. I say that act should receive the most agregious punishment America can impose on the perpetrator. Eight years in prison is not enough.

But the real problem is that Congressman Cunningham cast votes that were illegal. Are they allowed to stand?

Tom DeLay illegally had Texas redistricted so that 5 new congressmen would be Republicans not Democrats. I consider that to mean that there have been those five illegal votes cast in Congress for every Bush administration program that has come to the floor of the House of Representatives.

Are these illegal votes going to be allowed to stand?

Can anybody tell me why, in the name of all that is good, the crooks get to win?

I haven't heard anything about the crooked lobbyists and what will happen to them.

Hmm.."Crooked Lobbyist"...Is that an Oxymoron?



Friday, March 03, 2006

Palms at Sunrise

Yeah, I know, but I liked it there...Going back when I can.

Capers Island


Overland High School teacher Jay Bennish, whose lecture in a world geography class last month also included words about capitalism, U.S. foreign policy and the invasion of Iraq, has been sanctioned for not providing students with a School Board rule requiring teachers to present the "other side".

In his lecture he stated:

" Bush's State of the Union speech, the president was, in effect, "threatening the whole planet."
"Sounds a lot like the things that Adolf Hitler used to say — we're the only ones who are right, everyone else is backwards," Bennish said.

He told students he was "not saying that Bush and Hitler are exactly the same."

"But," he said, "there's some eerie similarities to the tones that they use."

He talked extensively about U.S. foreign policy and capitalism. At one point, he questioned Bush's stated belief that democracy is the solution to bloodshed in the Middle East.

"Who is probably the single most violent nation on planet Earth?" Bennish asked. "The United States of America, and we're a democracy — quote, unquote."

On capitalism, he questioned whether it did anything to provide "everybody in the world with the basic needs that they need."

"Do you see how this economic system is at odds with humanity, at odds with caring and compassion?" he asked.

At the end of his talk, Bennish told students he was "not in any way implying that you should agree with me. I don't even know if I'm necessarily taking a position. But what I'm trying to do is get you to think about these issues more in-depth."

The School board has suspended him.



And now for somthing completely different...But totally related...

May I present to you, Ladies and Gentlemen, the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America!

A big hand, if you will:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

There you go Folks, The First Amendment! Give it up. Thanks for coming, First, we don't see you much anymore. It's great to see that you are still kicking, even if it's not all that high.


OK, Because enquiring minds want to know:

Pamela P. Willeford , the third shooter in Vice President Cheney 's recent hunting excursion, apparently has yet to publicly remark on the incident or why she was in Texas at all that day, since she is posted as our ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

...embassy public affairs officer Daniel Wendell said in an e-mail. "In the 2 1/2 years she has been ambassador," he said,... "Ambassador Willeford has been away from post for family and personal travel for a total of 21 weeks."

So every three weeks, Pamela earns a week of vacation. Good gig, that!

Word on the street is that Lynn Cheney doesn't like Pamela.

Personally, I get an "ewwwwww" feeling just thinking about this.

Enjoy your weekend,