Thursday, June 29, 2006


I'm in Little Rock staying at the Peabody West Hotel. They got those ducks here too, just like the real Peabodyin Memphis. There are signs all around the hotel saying don't mess with the ducks, but that seems silly since they have soccer players from three states rooming here. I figure they better have spare's only a matter of time and frankly I'm betting it's a soccer parent that causes the problem.

We are exactly in the middle between the State Capitol building and the Clinton Presidential Library. I think I have the republican parents talked into going with me for a visit to the Clinton Library, which looks for all the word like the most magnificent mobile home in America overlooking the Arkansas river. I told them they could have their picture taken with the little blue dress.

Gullible...but the we knew that, didn't we?Since I'm barking about Clinton, here's a piece on Hillary, which I pretty much agree with:

If your priority is to support an inspiring female presidential candidate to break America's ultimate glass ceiling, why not draft U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer? Not electable? Nonsense: The California senator thrashed her conservative GOP opponent in a 2004 re-election campaign that shunned the failed strategy of Democratic hacks and instead emphasized principle over opportunism. She proved her political integrity again this past week by voting alongside Kerry and Feingold to set a date for getting out of Iraq.

Not so Sen. Clinton, who seems determined to revise the Cold War liberalism that gave us the Vietnam War -- which, according to former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, the brilliant Democratic war architect who later conceded he himself didn't believe in that enterprise, took more than 3 million Vietnamese and American lives.


Peace, Yall...


Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Hollywood usually takes a lot of liberties with the facts in creating our entertainment. There's one movie out there that bucks that trend. Here are some comments on the movie's scientific accuracy...

"Excellent," said William Schlesinger, dean of the Nicholas School of Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University. "He got all the important material and got it right."
"I sat there and I'm amazed at how thorough and accurate," Corell said. "After the presentation I said, `Al, I'm absolutely blown away. There's a lot of details you could get wrong.' ... I could find no error."

Robert Corell, chairman of the worldwide Arctic Climate Impact Assessment group of scientists, read the book and saw Gore give the slideshow presentation that is woven throughout the documentary.

What movie are they talking about? Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth!



Monday, June 26, 2006

The "Cut and Run" party?...GOP!

Republicans..."The Cut and Run party"

The Bush administration is a bunch of liars. i realize that isn't exactly news but get this...while they were ranting about Democrats wanting to cut and run in Iraq because they presented several reasonable plans for a draw down of American forces...The names they called John Murtha alone are disgusting...The Republicans were planning to cut and run all along!

Public Statement:

"No matter how you carve it -- you can call it anything you want -- but basically, it is packing it in, going home, persuading and convincing and validating the theory that the Americans don't have the stomach for this fight," Cheney said.

At about the same time, Senate Republicans -- following the administration's wishes -- led an effort to kill a proposal by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jack Reed (D-RI) that would have required a redeployment to begin by the end of the year but not set a timetable for a complete withdrawal. (Note: A second proposal calling for a near-complete withdrawal by next year, from Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) was overwhelmingly defeated.)

"That means the only people who have fought us and fought us against the timetable, the only ones still saying there shouldn't be a timetable really are the Republicans in the United States Senate and in the Congress," Boxer said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "Now it turns out we're in sync with General Casey."

The Administration's hand picked general in charge of Iraq, General Casey, plans to...well...Cut and Run!

And of course the Liberal Media is all over this one right? You did know about this, right?

Wapo has more

Sunday, June 25, 2006


There are things a man has to do.

When there is a dead animal on the porch...The man must deal with it. Duty requires that the carcass be carried honorably past whichever proud yard pet has reverted to instinct and provided the family kill. Long practice at disposal teaches a man to find a spot for deposit far enough away from the house that if unearthed by forest beasties, no psychic trauma will occur. Large rocks well placed aid in psychic trauma prevention, as an incompetent installation of the childhood family cat can testify.

Bat removal...Man work. Did you know that you can catch them with a towel? Garden gloves are a plus. Works on flying squirrels too, though they are much harder to corner. I never would have thought that. Flying squirrels will use a 5'10 man as a launch tower if nothing else is handy.

Dog puke...Man work.

Butchering the latest kill of the new hunter in the house...Man work. As a side note, practical jokes with grey squirrel heads are not widely appreciated.

But there are satisfying things a man has to do in the country as well. Fire wood is one of those. Can't really say why it's enjoyable and maybe it's more the admiration of a stack of split wood rather than the process.

Right now in late June, it's blackberry season. A man must gather several gallons of blackberries and present them to the wife. This is a satisfying chore if ever there was one.
As a matter of fact, satisfying and filling at the same time. The bucket doesn't seem to get full very fast until the man gets full, then it goes pretty fast.

The Summer rain has come at the perfect time this year and the crop is astonishing. so are the puncture wounds from the astonishing number of thorns one must navigate to get that really fat ripe berry before the june bugs do. did you know that June bugs and red paper wasps sound nearly the same when coming out of a blackberry bush? Green Junebugs are scarab beetles. Edgar Allen Poe wrote a story about one, and the nocturnal variety was considered food and medicine by some American Indian tribes. I would need to be fairly hungry to eat a Junebug...particularly while there are blackberries ripening on the driveway.

Right now, there's some man work to be done out on the grill. But I'm actually not very hungry at the moment.



Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Following proceedure?

The United States Supreme court just decided that your Fourth Amendment right to privacy and security in your own home doesn't count if the police decide to search your house. They don't have to knock, they don't have to tell you who they are, they just break down your door and rush inside wearing black and carrying weapons.

The Supreme Court must be having a lot of fun just thinking about all the fun that's about to happen. well the five right wingers anyway. Think about it...the cops don't have to knock...the Freepers are inside having just cleaned and reloaded their assault weapons...

As the Waco tragedy unfolded, I had a similar thought process. How stupid can a quasi military police force be? There they were, wearing black, climbing in the second floor window where the women and children were...That would be the women and children of crazy men...Damned well armed crazy men! Anyone who gave it a moment's thougt could tell you that a bunch of people wearing black were gonna get shot, and that's what happened. My question is..."Who's fault is that?"

In 1968 in Atlanta, Georgia, An 18 year old student was sitting on the floor with two college mates doing homework and watching tv at their rooming house. The area of town was known as Piedmont and was next to 14th Street, the Hippie, LSD, and pot center of the Southern universe at the time. They were students at Ga Tech and had open containers of Coca Cola right there next to the books. A knock on the door was immediately followed by the door flying open and a swarm of Atlanta policemen crashing in with shotguns.

"Scared shitless" is a term I have come to appreciate. It is very desciptive. The police were not nice to us. Mark, the landlord, was pushed up against the wall face first when he asked to see the search warrant. The police said nasty things. Mark screamed at them over and over until a piece of paper was held up and shoved in his face. Eventually, he was able to position himself where he could read the piece of paper. It was a search warrant, duly signed and executed by an Atlanta judge...for the house next door.

Thirty Six years later I'm still pissed off, but I'm alive.

Picture the same scenario, you know damned well it will happen, only with bigger and better weaponry on both break into a house and the owner starts shooting, to protect his home as he has a right to do... and they start shooting because they're cops with a warrant, and all sorts of scenarios play out...none good. The situation is crazy.

Our Constitution was set up to protect the people from situations like this but it cannot enforce itself. America needs sane people to come to its aide.

"Oops, sorry!" won't get it when people die. The stupidity of the right wing majority on the United States Supreme Court has set us up to live, now, in an insane America.

Courage, folks...Because "We, the People" have much work to do. We've let a great nation get taken over by crazy people. Can we fix it?


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

And they said...

We had some good comments on the "Change" piece. I can see that I didn't clearly state some things which is pretty normal for me. I admire the scientific rigor of technical papers and I admit to lacking that same rigorousness in my paltry musings here.

Anonymous seems to think I said human activity is the sole reason for global warming, but actually I don't think I've ever said any such thing. That is a straw man argument commonly used in attempts to discredit scientists. Climate change is too complicated for that and has changed many times hotter and cooler before humans arrived to mess with things. However, it does appear that the current trend is exacerbated and greatly accelerated by human generated greenhouse gas. There is no scientific argument against the conclusion that human activity is changing the composition of our atmosphere. The only questions are how much and how fast for the resulting changes.

The current rate of change is astonishing and unprecedented in the fossil record.

The parallel with the "evolution" of evolutionary theory may not be suitable enough to make an adequate comparison to global warming. Are you just comparing the scientific community's consensus between the two topics?

No, not at all...And on that I was very clear. I suggest you read it again. I'm comparing the resistance of the power bases to accepting the information. While it only took the church a few centuries to come to grips with the error in their astronomy, they still haven't accepted, as a whole, the actual manner in which species arise or the fact that large expanses of time, unguessed at and unrecorded by biblical writers, involved in speciation or geology.

Random factoid: The oldest mammal fossil to date is 220 million years old. This means mammals were around with the earliest dinosaurs, and lived alongside them until their extinction.

A. Dinosaur extinction was apparently due to drastic climate change.

And B...

I never said they didn't, but I could have been clearer...Let's don't argueanother nonexistant straw man. I said essentially no mammals but I should have added the word "significant". Dinosaur era mammals were rat like with few exceptions, but at least one fossil has been found of a mammal with a dinosaur juvenile in its belly, however, so exceptions did exist.

So here's the bottom line in all this...

The Earth's climate is changing, that we know, and it's getting hotter. Humans are doing things that in all likelyhood are contributing. At the very least, we ought to do as much as we can to make sure we don't screw up the planet. It would be like saying "Since nobody really knows for sure if Nuclear war will destroy the human race for sure so, since the nuclear weapons makers will make tons of money of of it, we should go ahead and have one."

And we should just "learn to live with it."

Armageddon, that is.



Monday, June 19, 2006

"Follow the Money"

The big time financial magazine. Kiplinger's figures that Dick Cheney has managed to earn about $65 million dollars on the side while he's been serving his country as Vice President. He came into office with a mere $30 Mil and now seems to have around $95 million in investments. Where did it come from?


Specificly, a war for oil.

And guess what? Cheney's financial people are betting against the American Dollar and the American economy and they aren't planning to pay their fair share of taxes.

"Sure I started this war," Cheney seems to be thinking..."So you pay for, not me...Suckers!"

Cheney's Money

My numbers on the percentage of peer reviewed articles that did not accept global warming as fact were wrong. I thought there had been two reputable scientists who had published papers disputing it. There have been none, zero, zip, nada...I plan to see the film this week.

In the mean time, there will be no shortage of hit pieces that attack Al Gore and not one will present any evidence that he is wrong...not one. Check this out:

Al Gore and global warming: Both are an "Inconvenient Truth" only if you're a Repuglican
by The Ostroy Report

While the film is being harshly criticized by Repugs, it has the unwavering support of scientists. "Perhaps the most amazing statistic in "An Inconvenient Truth," writes Edelstein, "is that of 900-plus peer-reviewed studies in recognized journals, not one has challenged the idea of global warming, whereas more than 53 percent of articles in the mainstream media have presented it as a theory or been careful to include the demurrals of a tiny handful of bought-and-paid-for scientists or politicians. In the course of Gore's lecture tour comes the unsurprising news that Bush aide Philip Cooney routinely red-penciled the conclusions of impartial government scientists; when exposed, he resigned and took a job with ExxonMobil."


Hmmm...A Bush official censuring scientists in order to change what official reports say...Who would have ever believed that?



Saturday, June 17, 2006

Turn, and Face the Change...

Evolutionary Evolution...

Before Darwin, geologists and others felt rather positive that the record of life held by the layers of successively deposited rock went from simple to complicated. In the deepest and therefore oldest layers were the simple things, shellfish and corals, and only the simple forms of life. In higher sedimentary layers they found the terrible lizards...dinosaurs, and essentially no mammals. the larger and more complicated mammals appeared in the more recently deposited layers and were even found in layers that had not completely hardened into rock. The question for these scientists was not whether evolution ocurred, for that was fairly obvious, but how the heck it happened.

Darwin and others did not believe there was any question whatsoever about evolution. Essentially all scientists of any standing whatsoever accepted evoution, but they had not come to any agreement as to the driving force or forces behind it. How did life change from a few more simple species to many, far more complicated forms of life? Charles Darwin's great achievement was not the discovery of evolution, as many believe. Evolution is a fact and was accepted as such even then. Evolution, simply stated, is the fact that the fossil record goes from simple life to complicated life over time. Darwin's great scientific and literary work is titled, "On the Origin of Species."

He figured out the basics of how evolution takes place and laid out an essentially unassailable argument with evidence and documentation that still stand today no matter what you hear or read. In the time since Darwin's epic work, thousands of scientists have added pieces of the puzzle to form a more complete picture of this process but no one has presented a single peer reviewed bit of work contradicting Darwin's explanation of speciation.

But there have been interesting additions to Darwin's theory of slow change over generations with each succeeding generation's offspring who are slightly different from their parents undergoing a filtering process sometimes called the "survival of the fittest."

Here is some history and a new idea or two explaining some of the gaps that Darwin left for us to figure out.

Weekend reading

There are parallels in darwin's quest for his ideas acceptance and the global warming debate going on today. While Darwin's concepts faced opposition from the most brain dead of all power based constituencies, the global warming concept faces opposition from a wealthy conglomerate of energy mega corporations who are concurrently squelching scientific debate and funding opposition research. Here's a bit of info for you...A study of peer reviewed scientific papers published on climate change found that 99% of the conclusions agreed that global warming was occurring and that human activity was contributing. Only 1% found otherwise.

So that's 99 to 1 in scientific journals accepting human caused global warming. For Darwinian evolution there's a 400 to 1 ratio among scientists agreeing with his theory of speciation with the ratio becoming essentially unanimous when the scientists are limited to biologists and paleontologists and geologists.

But you'd never know it from reading the newspaper, eh?



Friday, June 16, 2006

They grow so fast...



The Message is clear

An interesting phenomena is happening in the democratic Party...The rank and file are getting active in demanding that the national party grows some testicles or ovaries or whatever it is they've been missing for the last five years. There is a serious challenge to George bush's favorite democrat, Joe Lieberman in the dem primary in Connecticut. A strongly progressive candidate, Ned Lamont, has almost caught Loserman, with the result that Lieberman now refuses to state that he will support the winner of that primary...This is a stunning display of petulance and self interest and Lieberman even goes so far as to state that he will run as an independant if he is defeated as a Democrat.

Democrats are creating a strong message and it is not coming from the old line political hacks that support is coming from the same grass roots core that brought Howard Dean and his anti Iraq war progressive movement to the front. The Nation says it best:

"Democratic voters want to fight the 2006 Congressional elections as a progressive party that promises the country a course correction...Out of the quagmire that is Iraq, Out of the swamp of corruption and incompetence that is Republican Washington and...toward a renewed and real politics of the common good."

Well said!



Thursday, June 15, 2006


Got called the "L" word this week. No, not lesbian...I was called a Liberal like it was something bad like calling someone a "conservative" is. Try this quote from a historical giant:

"A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy." Benjamin Disraeli

Sound like the government of any western super power you know?

Here's a little light reading for anyone interested in understanding the Liberal conservative division in its historical roots. First we study Conservatism:


Not without controversy, you'll note, though the arguments don't seem to consist of well grounded critical reasoning so much as name calling. That's today's conservatives for you. Their justification is pretty much, Liberal=Bad...

Jesus is a well known Liberal. Got put to death for going up against a totalitarian Conservative government based on an early version of the Old Testament. Jesus said things like, "Hey, people...Ya know that "eye for an eye" consept? Well it actually doesn't work very well and we ought to try a little kindness, eh? whaddaya say?"

This of course, is my personal translation and is certainly as valid as Judge Roy Moore's.

Here are a few concepts brought to you by Liberalism:

"individual liberties, personal dignity, free expression, religious tolerance, private property, universal human rights, transparency of government, limitations on government power, popular sovereignty, national self-determination, privacy, enlightened and rational policy, the rule of law, fundamental equality, a free market economy, and free trade."

A rather fine document was penned that held these tenets to be good things. The document installed as the highest law of a new country, called the United States of America. Most Liberals refer to the document as The Constitution. The current president refers to it as "outdated"...

Here's a little historical fact for you...The vast majority of conservative governments end in revolution. There's a party for a while, although only a privileged few get to attend, but then the rest of the people eventually get tired of being screwed and they invent things like Msr. Guillotine's device to fix their problem. It's ugly.

This time, it may not happen. We may kill our planet's ability to support human life first. Oddly, the one thing that true Conservatism and true Liberalism agree upon is Nature and it's value standing untouched. Unfortunately, no viable political philosophy has yet evolved that can stand against shortsighted human greed.




Friday, June 09, 2006

Crane Babies

Thought you folks might like to see how the Sand Hill Crane babies are doing. They look like typical middleschoolers to me:


Thursday, June 08, 2006

When Phil Come to town...

Phil Bredesen talked to a packed Kingston Community Center at his Roane County kickoff. He took his time and spoke with everyone who lined up, which was a lot of people. He did the little things that have marked his term of service, like walking back into the kitchen before he left, thanking the crew that served the barbecue (which wasn't bad, as good old Southern political campaign food goes)


Local County Mayor candidate Tyler Overstreet got the "Phil" schmooze treatment. You can diss the Governor for this or that political position, but he's got star power one on one.

Phil gives Josh Davis a keepsake

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Weird stuff...

Uh...I really don't know what to say about the latest internet rumors. Laura Bush spent the night at the Mayflower Hotel because of George's affair with Condi Rice? DC insiders say this is rubbish...Because...They claim Condi doesn't like men. But they also claim some really weird stuff that is so strange I can't even pass it on to you. If you must know what I mean, try googling "george bush+victor ashe" and you'll see exactly what weird means.

(CG, you got any input on this?)

From our "Conservatives are even more Fubed up than we thought" Department:

If I belonged to a group that had members who threatened the security of this country, I would willingly go to an "assembly center." It seems like a logical sacrifice. It wouldn't be enjoyable, but if it meant saving my country from destruction, I would rather spend some time in a camp than have my family beheaded for practicing a Christian religion. But then I'm conservative, and I put my country ahead of myself.

OK...Let's name a few conservative group members:

Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, James Dobson, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Duke Cunningham, Ken Lay, Scooter Libby, Bob Taft, David Safavian, Claude Allen, Jack Abramoff, Michael Scanlon...All Conservatives...All either being investigated, indicted, or serving time already. So I guess that prominant conservative is calling for interment camps for, well..Conservatives. It's ok, though, apparently they'll be happy to serve their country by doing time.

The General

Peace, in a weird sorta way,


Monday, June 05, 2006


Ah, tis the season for dull boring commencement speeches. Important and semi important people stand up in front of the graduates of this or that college or University and make high minded speeches that are mostly drivel. The students will mostly sit quietly with their own thoughts about college life. About two thirds of them will be thinking about getting drunk and getting laid as soon as they can after that moron up there shuts up. The other third will not place that much importance on getting drunk.

John McCain gave a commencement speech at a Liberal arts college and got ripped a new one by one of the student speakers. First of all for the conservative idiocy of the content, but also for the fact that McCain was giving the same speech he gave at another school. Liberal arts are about thinking about things and the kids really didn't need a conservative talking point memo instead of a commencement speech. They will come up with their own things that they think, thank you.

Stephen Colbert gave a commencement speech at a small liberal school called Knox College. It's in Illinois, not Tennessee, and it was quite original. Colbert introduced himself as Stephen Colbert who plays a person on TV with the same name, who says things he doesn't believe with a straight face, thereby setting himself apart from all the other news people on the air...Ok...Thats not true, is it?

Nope...not even close.

Well anyway, he was funny. I can't find a complete transcript but here's a goodly supply of excerpts:


Friday, June 02, 2006

Happiness is a warm Rock

Annie noticed this one on the bank at Lake Steve. Just a few days old, it seems to like the warmth of the rock after last night's storms. Deer Mom seems to think it is safer staying in our yard than it would be in the woods with the coyotes.


Junior on the Rocks

I was taking pictures of a local candidate as he talked with people and put up his signs when we were surrounded by a pair of Kildeer...Killdeers? We were obviously very close to their nest. They usually just nest right on the ground out in the open and regularly pick out gravel parking lots as they have in this case. I told Tyler to be very careful and search the ground before he put is foot down as we searched for the nest, which turned out to be two feet from where he was pounding his sign post into the ground.

We put three rocks spaced out around the nest to mark it and when we left, mom was setting proudly. We'll check on progress and keep you posted. Here's a picture of Junior:

Bigger Junior

Bigger Junior's Mom

I'll try to check on things from time to time.

Good luck, Junior. It's tough out here.



Thursday, June 01, 2006

Climate of Confusion

We've all got a good one going with the climate change debate. As always there are interesting thoughts no matter which side you're on. Let me try to draw things together a bit.

Global climate is warming...Fact.

Faster than we can ever find in the geological record...fact.

The increase corresponds with the increase in CO2 released into the atmosphere by humans...fact.

Whatever the reason for climate change, we aren't helping...fact.

It has taken us about 150 years to get in this fix and we aren't gonna turn this train around in our lifetimes...fact.

If we do everything we can right now, at best we can only lessen a bad situation...fact.

We've screwed our kids and grandkids...some debate but not a whole lot.

We should at the very least quit digging the hole...You decide.

I think our choices are between bad and worse.

I advocate a full tilt boogie program to bring about "bad". It would solve our problems in the Middle East as a side bet, by taking us off the oil economy. If we had spent half the money we borrowed to fight the Iraq war, we would be much of the way toward our goal already. Until we drive down the profit in oil and coal we're stuck with inevitable wars and environmental destruction. So Charlie's right in saying we have to learn to live with it...but that is a default position of our actions. While we are doing that, we have to continue research and and education and take what steps we know are prudent.

If nothing else in this whole debate is true, think about this. What if the CEO of Exxon Mobile and the President of the United States stood together at a podium and said to the people of the United States,

"We have decided to irrevocably alter the atmosphere of planet Earth. We don't have an idea of what will happen and lots of scientists think this is a bad idea, but hey, Some of us will make a lot of money. It'll be like a great big science experiment and it'll probably mess things up for the future of all mankind, but it'll be fun while it lasts. And one more thing...we don't care what you think, so there."

Like that? It's what we're doing.





Another good blog. I hear Gore's movie broke some records for attendance this past weekend, even though it only opened in four very "blue" states! There is still some hope, just.

I want to see it, but have no idea when I might. My Internet connection is too slow, and I don't expect it in theaters here. Anyway, I'm in the choir.

Your quote of R. Waldo E was great too. I thought of ******, after dinner, bloated, waxing expansive. ...

And I get more and more frightened as we heat up. I won't flood, but I may melt. Frightened and mad. And the poor kids! Shit, what have I done? I knew better, but lust in my heart (and other places) got the better of me.

We are such a bunch of ninnies.

And I watched a documentary on APT on Memorial Day. About three days in October 1967. The first big on campus demonstration, at Madison, Wisconsin, and an ugly battle just northeast of Saigon. It was the first time the US Army got badly beaten, with most of two Divisions killed off. Totally our mistake, so we covered it up. Spun it good. And remained blind enough to continue messing up for seven more years. And at Madison we found out about at least two widely separated views of what was "right" "ethical" and who had the power to push which view. I was in tears by the time it was over. I seem to tear up more and more these days. Feeling impotent I guess.

...I'm as big a ninny as anyone.

Peace my ass, let's blow something up.


A fellow blogger sent this to me regarding the Exxon Mobile pro global warming ad that I referred to. Interesting approach.

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