Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Help Identify a Damfino

I came home from a Commission meeting at Montgomery Bell State Park to see a pair of these checking everything out on the deck. The shot was taken through the window and at a distance so sorry, but it's the best I could do, given the short time I had to grab my camera without scaring them off. It was one of those perfect evenings with perfect light, only they wouldn't sit still for me when I went out on the deck for a clearer shot. Ungrateful little beasts, what ever they are...Anybody out there able to identify them? While I was fiddling around trying to get a good shot of this guy, the bald eagles were below the house chirping and flirting with each other somewhere in the trees. I've watched them play and lock feet and twirl in the sky but they've always done the deed where I can't watch. I'll grant them their privacy with no regret.

They've produced twins for each of the last two years, so whatever they're doing seems to get results.

I did get a shot of a bird I had heard but never seen before this evening. I'll save that one for Friday.



Monday, April 28, 2008

The "Big Lie" and Canada

The Clinton campaign is dying the death of a thousand cuts, but it didn't have to be that way.

I'm used to politicians fudging facts and presenting their positions in the best light. That's just marketing and sales, but I have always been disgusted when marketing becomes falsehood, instead of creative truth telling.

"Clean Coal Power" is an example. Coal power degrades the environment from start to finish, no matter how you get it, transport it, and burn it. Then there's the left overs, which can be a fair sized problem as the squadron of bull dozers across from Kingston testifies. They are clearing a spot for a new mountain of coal ash beside Watts Bar Lake. If we made power and coal companies tell the truth, "clean coal" would be called, "Still pretty Dirty, but not as dirty as it could be, coal".

I went from "Leaning Obama but still considering Clinton" to "No way Hillary" as a result of one single event in her campaign. She told a big lie, got caught, and used the tactics that have disgusted me to the point of turning my stomach ever since Karl Rove rose to power...Accuse someone else of your lie.

Hillary Clinton said she was against NAFTA and had been all along. Canada, our biggest trading partner, was concerned. Hillary's campaign contacted the Conservative Prime Minister of Canada and said, "Don't worry, it's all campaign bullshit." Then they messed up and let it leak that the Clinton campaign had said that. What followed was an international incident committed by the Canadian government...They interfered with the American Presidential election by issuing a public statement accusing the Obama campaign of committing Clinton's crime, at the insistence of the Clinton campaign, it now appears.

It is this consistent pattern of dishonesty, getting caught, and blaming others, that is the tell tale sign that Hillary Clinton and her surrogates are not in this for the best interests of Middle Class America. We have Republicans to serve corporations and rich people, we don't need to elect a corporate democrat to replace a corporate republican, and if we just want to continue our abusive relationship with our government, why don't we just elect John McCain and let the creeps who run our country keep on doing it just like they have for the last 8 years and stay in Iraq forever? But, no! What we need is honesty and a leader who can point the direction out of this mess...A mess that Hillary and Bill Clinton enabled and now refuse to accept any blame for.

Here is an excerpt from a much more detailed report that doesn't damn Hillary Clinton with slight evidence, but a smoking gun:

"Regardless, it is striking that the person who tried to cover Clinton's ass on her NAFTA lies was the very one who actually headed the passage of NAFTA for the Canadian government. Now, much speculation has occurred as to what the Canadians' motives were in this attack on our candidate - the most popular being that being conservatives, they wanted to help the GOP by ensuring Hillary was the candidate since the GOP fear Obama more. I find this theory implausible.

I believe the evidence clearly shows that the Harper government believed that one, Hillary would win so they didn't want to make her an enemy, and two, they recognized that Hillary is the establishment candidate who most shares their agenda on free trade. Remember, the Canadians knew all along who was really posturing on NAFTA. And it wasn't Obama.

So, in conclusion, we have a situation where Canada's prime minister, his appointed ambassador to the US, and a top Canadian television network, all conspired to divert a would be scandal for Hillary Clinton onto her Democratic opponent Barack Obama."

The entire piece is emphatically convincing.

None of these people have any business being involved in the next Presidency of the United States...Not Canada...and now, as it has become so painfully obvious...Not Hillary Cinton.



Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fourth Estate?

Barrack Hussein Obama will appear on Fox News (Now, actually), the interview has already been taped. My advice would have been to ignore Fox and its overwhelming tendency to distort facts and present opinion as news. Fox is simply fountain of conservative opinion, rather than a news outlet. In the teaser for the Obama interview they say they are going to question Obama about his double digit loss in PA, just so you'll have an idea how this will go. Obama did not lose PA by double digits...Clinton managed to salvage a 9 point margin, all that was left of her 20 point lead only a few weeks back. Obama says he wants to call Fox out, but we'll see.

Fox has the edit button. Think they are going to let anybody, even Obama, rip them the new one that they deserve? I doubt it.

Along the same line of thought, in a New York Times op-ed Elizabeth Edwards nails the Press for doing a lousy job. The NY Times is at least willing to allow criticism within its own pages, unlike Fox.

Fox seems to be the embodiment of Rupert Murdoch's preening ego and will not tolerate dissent.

Fox is "fair and balanced" doncha know?

So it comes down to this, ultimately...Will The Fourth Estate continue to abdicate its role in Democracy? It depends on whether we let Fox News continue to exist in its current form as an advocate for certain interests and not "We, the People."



Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jerimiah Wright Interview...Don't let FOX or CNN distort it...See for yourself

Bill Moyers Interview with Jerimiah Wright:

Video and written transcript

Pictures from the Morning Hike

My yard is a bit unusual, lying in three counties and two time zones, and having over 800 feet of elevation change from bottom to top. This makes it hard to see it all on the morning survey.

Spring rewards the observant, not only with the opportunity to witness the transformation of a drab little olive brown bird into the stunning goldfinch, but with an ever changing array of wildflowers.

This week I have been amazed at how complicated the flowers on buckeyes are.

This plant grows as a shrub and a tree, though finding a buckeye big enough to make bread bowls, like mountain folks used to do, is rare these days. Most of the buckeye bowls I see are antiques.

Another little beauty, whether it is blooming or not, is the round lobed hepatica. I feel like I found an easter egg, everytime I spot a new one growing somewhere.

In looking at the pictures I was surprised to see something like pollen floating in the air above the center of this plant. It took me a while to see the tiny spider that had built the delicate web that anchored on a leaf near the center of this plant.

Every place and thing is a community.



Thursday, April 24, 2008

Campaign of the Living Dead

Let's see...Condi Rice got caught in another big lie, claiming she warned Jimmy Carter not to go talk with Hamas. Carter used very diplomatic language that I will rephrase and condense for you:


It ultimately boils down to a he said, she said, as to who you believe, so Rice lied. As a result of Carter's visit to Palestine, for which he was roundly criticized by yapping conservatives, Hamas said they would agree to a ten year cease fire and consider recognizing Israel's right to exist in return for consideration of a Palestinian homeland, This, of course, is a monumental breakthrough, which you did not hear about on Fox News. The owner of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, is a Clinton supporter. Carter has said that he will not yet announce that he supports Barack Obama.

Let's see...NBC News got caught lying. Andrea Mitchell, who has a penchant for fudging things, said that Hillary Clinton's campaign is energized by her "Double-Digit" win in PA, and experts are wondering why Obama can't close this out? First of all, Clinton won by 9.4% which rounds to 9. How many digits is that, Boys and girls? And, really...The Experts would actually know that Hillary lost her 20 plus point lead in PA, which she held only a few weeks before the primary. Since she needed to win with 65% of the vote in order to close Obama's gap, Hillary, in fact, LOST the PA primary in the only way that really counts...By Double Digits!...The Hillary Clinton is the Presidential Campaign of the Undead.

Let's see...CNN got caught lying. Even on their website they show Clinton winning 55% and Obama 45% of the PA primary vote, only if you use their figures and do your own math, Clinton gets less than 54.5% which for 5th grade arithmetic students means a 9% difference.

So why is Big Media trying so hard to fudge things and keep this going? Ask yourself where all that money we contribute to candidates gets spent? And by the way...That $10 mil that Hillary says she raised after PA...Half of it will go to pay off Mark Penn, her campaign director she supposedly fired...and it may only be $8 million, anyway. Bottom line is that she's $40 million behind Obama and in the red.

The other bottom line is that the Corporate Media stand to make millions more by prolonging this campaign.

So with Obama needing less than 300 delegates to clinch the nomination, only 41% of what's left, gaining a Super delegate a day, and Clinton with a 54% disapproval rating nationally, Obama is clearly the winner and is clearly electable. (Obama only needs 43 super delegates to win, by the way)

For now, Obama has only one thing to deal with...The Zombie problem.



Let's see...Karl Rove got caught lying...No News there.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

No She Can't

Hillary jumped well under the bar.

Clinton won PA by 10%, and now she has to play that up to look like the tide is turning...Only it isn't.

She needed 65% of every primary vote cast and fell well short last night. In fact, Hillary Clinton is further behind today than she was yesterday even though she won. The spin being put on this thing is making me dizzy, with all the vapid yappers in the media. The simple fact is that Hillary Clinton is out of money, in debt, and further behind than ever before, since she went from needing about 2/3 (66%) of all the votes left to needing almost 3/4 (71%).

Pretty simple arithmetic.

Turning to a greater problem for Obama, it is worth noting that republicans have nothing whatsoever to attack Obama on and are now simply making things up, or blasting him for going to church, or lecturing at the same University that employs a man who belonged to a radical group 40 years ago. I've heard "Obama is a Marxist, as racist, an elitist," and the stupidest of all, "Obama is a weatherman."


Obama is Willard Scott!



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

We'd be in a Mess

The planet we live on is our last refuge.

Earth dies, we die.

Earth, I guess I should point out, has a problem...It's mostly us.

There is only one real environmental problem and that is the number of humans is too large to live and let live, and there is no getting around it. I have never heard a rational argument for more humans, but that is the direction we have been heading in for hundreds of years. I've heard political rationalizations and religious rationalizations and just rationalizations for more of us, but if you stop and do the math, there simply has to be an end.

Religious factions and cults seem to be the biggest culprit, but illogical, though well intentioned, liberal initiatives can be tragic also. Sending all those medical supplies to the third world some decades back made everybody feel good, only we didn't compensate for the birthrate, which exploded as a result of not encouraging birth control, though that is somewhat over simplified. The birthrate was essentially the same, but lots of babies died. Maybe it should be called the childhood survival rate or something but the result was that now that we kept them from dying as babies, they died at incredible rates as young adults...Lots of times at one end or the other of a weapon. The legacy of antibiotics in the Third World seems to be environmental destruction and war.

As that little German guy in the funny hat wanders around letting folks kiss his ring, I wonder how many people think of the world wide damage and misery caused by one single tenet of the religion he espouses...the sin of not making babies.

And I don't want you to think I single out Catholicism for all the blame, though I think it deserves a good bit of it...many other conservative religions, including Islam and whatever form of Mormonism those pregnant 13 year old children are the victim of, also preach that their members are called by god to breed their way to dominance.

My third grade teacher at Wiley Elementary School in Winston Salem, North Carolina had it right on that one. Georgia Walton, Mizz Walton to me, always gave us a stern talking to when we had acted inappropriately..."What if everybody acted like that?" she'd say in that horrid voice that could crush the spirit out of a nine year old boy.

"Then where would we be?...We'd be in a mess," Mizz Walton would say, "And that's all there is to it!"

Well here we are, because way too many people ARE acting that way...And I don't care what any church says, the Earth simply is a certain size and can support a certain number of humans without them eating each other figuratively or literally, and that's all there is to it.

Any commodity loses value when there is too much of it...Human lives included, making war way too easy.

If we humans don't face up to the real crisis on this planet and start passing out condoms with our medical miracles, you know where we'll be?

Right where we are...In a mess.



Planned Parenthood



Monday, April 21, 2008

Fiddle Heads

I am still amazed at Dupont Forest in NC. Here's a fiddlehead fern I found beside one of the waterfalls...

Obama, the Movement

Michael Moore cuts through the crap, sometimes, and points out the hard truth of why a lot of us are disappointed in and were driven away from Hillary Clinton as our candidate. Clinton's attacks on Barack Obama have come down to condemning Jesus Christ because he associated with sinners, only is you look at the associations they are condemning Obama's a tough sell actually...A preacher whose actual words were a message to America to change its ways or expect damnation...And a highly respected professor of education who was a radical 40 years ago, but today serves his University, community, and the City of Chicago as an activist and Civic Board member working for better education of our children.

An excerpt from Moore's endorsement of Barack Obama for President:

"Yes, Senator Clinton, that's how you sounded. Like you were nuts. Like you were
a bigot stoking the fires of stupidity. How sad that I would ever have to write those words about you. You have devoted your life to good causes and good deeds. And now to throw it all away for an office you can't win unless you smear the black man so much that the superdelegates cry "Uncle (Tom)" and give it all to you.

But that can't happen. You cast your die when you voted to start this bloody war. When you did that you were like Moses who lost it for a moment and, because of that, was prohibited from entering the Promised Land. How sad for
a country that wanted to see the first woman elected to the White House. That day will come -- but it won't be you. We'll have to wait for the current Democratic governor of Kansas to run in 2016 (you read it here first!).

There are those who say Obama isn't ready, or he's voted wrong on this or that. But
that's looking at the trees and not the forest. What we are witnessing is not just a candidate but a profound, massive public movement for change. My endorsement is more for Obama The Movement than it is for Obama the candidate."

Michael Moore gets it right...Again.

Tomorrow is the PA primary. Clinton has to win 65% to 35% to have a snowball's chance in hell.

It ain't gonna happen.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend of the White Squirrel

This is a yard beast from the house we stayed at near Brevard, NC. We were 3 miles from the entrance to the Dupont Forest, which has a gazillion trails for hiking, running, and horse riding, much like what we have here in Tennessee at the...Uh, the...(Hey??? I don't think we have anything like that!!! WTH Not?)

I've overdosed on waterfalls and trails on exposed rock marked by kairns and the ibuprophen is feeling really good coursing around my knees, but I'm smiling the smile of a weekend well used. And ok, I am not overdosed on waterfalls...just sated for now.

What a really cool place. I'll post waterfall pix later.
Ok, here's one:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Road Trip

I'm headed out for the mountains so you guys will have to generate your own outrage and rant until I get back.

There's plenty of things to work with, like John McCain's plan to take care of high gas prices by eliminating the 18 cent Federal tax, which would reduce $3.49 a gallon gas to $3.31 a gallon gas...Yep! That ought to take care of it.

Here's a fun thing to do:

Try to get a republican to explain the supply and demand curve and its effect on cost. Listen for that moment of clarity when they try to tell you that reducing the cost at the pump by 18 cents will slow demand and drive down the $116 per barrel cost of crude oil.

When you get tired of laughing at that one, ask about starting a civil war right in the middle of the world's primary oil fields and why that is NOT responsible for driving the cost of crude up by 400% or so?

Then you can ask how it IS relevant that Barack Hussein Obama served on a panel for 16 hours a year and taught at the same university with a man who was involved in a radical 60's group but was never convicted of anything 40 years ago and is now a respected Professor?

And then you can ask why it is NOT relevant that John McCain's was involved with the Keating Savings and Loan scandle that cost taxpayers Billions of dollars in bailout money and got McCain his own personal ethics investigation?

There! That should keep you entertained until I get back.



Thursday, April 17, 2008

That was no Debate!

I was surprised that Obama and Clinton let ABC anchorman Charlie Gibson get away with several out right lies in framing his moronic questions in the debate last night. I even found myself talking to the TV, telling Obama to call Gibson's sorry ass on this big lie,

"Given that every time capital gains taxes are reduced, revenues go up, will you swear, right now, not to raise capital gains taxes?"

That is simply a lie compounding a "gotcha" question. This is so ridiculous that the audience started booing the moderators by the end of the debate, with Stephanopolis saying to Gibson, "It seems they don't like us very much!"

My thought at the time was, "Well, Duh! Assholes." I've tried to think of a better way to phrase it but that seems to work best. Sorry if I offend.

It is time to stop allowing corporate media to destroy the electoral process. The bias drips off them like liquid stink and America is getting trashed in the process. What I would propose is that we go to a real debate format, with the candidates asking each other questions and maybe discussing things. I could see the moderators in a fact checker role and not much else. As it is, the moderators are worse than useless.

Kos points out that Charlie Gibson and George Snuffleuppagus failed to ask a single question regarding some fairly important subjects in last night's Democratic debate on ABC:

The financial crisis, The collapse of housing values in the US and around the
world, Afghanistan, Health care, Torture ,The declining value of the US Dollar,
Education, Trade, Pakistan, Energy, Immigration, The decline of American
manufacturing, The Supreme Court, The burgeoning world food crisis,
Global warming ,China ,The attacks on organized labor and the working class,
Terrorism and al Qaeda, Civil liberties and constraints on government

Oh, Well...Nothing important there.

What George and Charlie wanted to know about was "bitterness" and all it's glorious colors, which no one in PA seems to care about. (Even Clinton's attack ad had to bring in folks from New Jersey to say they were offended)

The bottom line on this is that Obama made no mistakes and Clinton, who told everybody, "Yes, yes, yes, Obama can win in November," will effectively drop out of the race after the Pennsylvania primary.



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Morning in America?

Something interesting is happening in America.

I don't know for sure how infectious the change is but something new is going on in the American psyche...People appear to be thinking and speaking out...And, No, not just parroting the daily talking points.

There is a rejection of those talking points in fact. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft was actually booed by a nonpartisan crowd when he called Barack Obama, "Osama" and had to immediately apologize before he was devoured by an angry crowd.

Hillary Clinton tried to use the "bitter" plot against Obama in front of her own crowd and got...Well, they didn't actually razz her, but they did punctuate the silence with groans.

It appears that people are actually coming around to realizing that they don't have to be sheep led to the slaughter by brainless reactionary slogans and that those people who appear before us on the evening news are either extremely incompetent, intellectually dishonest, paid shills, or all of the above. When James Carville and Paul Begala have the sub label of "Democratic Strategist" on CNN, this is misleading,and in fact they are merely Clinton surrogates. They answer and inflame the false premise, "How elitist IS Obama?", when in fact, America has now listened to Obama's statement and finds that it isn't elitist at all, but merely sound judgement from a thoughtful Presidential candidate who doesn't seem to be willing to misrepresent reality in order to get elected.

And now columnists from small town PA are speaking out.

So, despite carping from Hillary Clinton and annoying yapping from her surrogates (really, it's like turning on the lights at night in a puppy farm), I take no offense.
What's offensive to me is suggesting that small-town, working-class, gun-toting and/or religious Pennsylvanians are somehow injured by a politician's words. ..
They're injured all right, but the injury is long-term and from lots more than "just words."

They've been injured from decades of neglect by political cultures in Washington and Harrisburg driven by special interests.
They're injured by a system of isolated, insulated political leadership that protects itself and the status quo above all else.

They've been harmed by a lack of political guts to fix a health-care system that works against the poor and forces middle-class families to pay more for less, while at the same time giving politicians the best coverage taxpayer money can buy.
They've been taken for granted by political parties and candidates who stay in power by - and this was the apparent gist of Obama's remarks - forcing attention and debate on issues tied to guns, religion and race (precisely because such issues resonate) rather than real problems such as health care and the economy.

They've been consistently made fools of by their
own elected representatives...

Dang! I might have written that myself!


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Stoopid Human Tricks

I often say that among the stupid things that humans do, mining and burning coal might be the stupidest, since coal is sequestered carbon that was taken out of our atmosphere millions of years ago by plants. It was the fact that this carbon was removed from our atmosphere that let Earth's climate become hospitable to living things such as you, me, our ancestors, and our descendants, though the survival of our descendants is certainly in doubt and becoming more unlikely each day.

A close second behind coal burning in the stupid human tricks department is damming rivers.

Tennessee has a prime example of one of these debacles...The dam that created Lake Tellico and destroyed the Little Tennessee River. The Tellico Dam could not be justified in any way shape or fashion, it was simply on a list that had been made in the 1930's, TVA had an entire infrastructure with a mission to build dams, and a very few real estate people stood to make some money by reselling lakefront property created by confiscating farms and homes and destroying the ecosystem that was the Little Tennessee River, former home of the famous snail darter.

The snail darter was about to be protected by the Endangered Species Act, a law that has spawned ubiquitous misinterpretation, even by the people who enacted it into law. Here's the scoop: Endangered species are the canaries in the mine shaft of human existance. They are warning signals that human activity is killing our planet's ability to support life. As the things that humans do kill off other species ability to survive, the dirty little secret of human commerce is that we will eventually kill ourselves as a by product someone's short sighted scheme. It is nothing short of the suicide of the entire human species.

Armageddon brought on by those among us whose highest purpose in to die rich.

We could be so much better than this. We could pay heed to the message of each species that certain activities of mankind are killing off and by this manner, possibly prevent our own demise.

This is a hopeful message for those with courage.



A Tellico Dam Retrospective

Saturday, April 12, 2008

George W. Bush Should Stay Away from the Olympics!

I have decided that President Bush should not go to China for the Olympic Games, and, No, I'm not proposing a boycott...I just don't want George W. Bush representing America any more.

Frankly, I am completely against a boycott of any sort connected with the Olympic games. It is an affront to the very idea of what these games stand for...The noble concept that there can be a starting point for a gathering of nations in peace. To suggest a boycott is to say that we cannot, as nations, set aside our quarrels to honor the achievement of some of the best among us.

I have been around a few of Olympic athletes over the years, and except for a very few in certain glamour sports, they work their asses off every minute of every day during a competitive cycle with both eyes on the stopwatch and the calendar, sacrificing much and receiving little.

Joe Jacobi and Scott Strausbaugh represented the USA In Whitewater C2 (two man decked canoe) in Spain, for instance. The American athletes trained every day for three years living on roughly $12,000 a year. They got some travel support and some equipment support but little else. They survived on dedication and commitment and won a Gold medal, in which all of America shares, and then went back to their lives very little compensation for their efforts except for personal satisfaction, a really cool hunk of metal upon which a beer fits neatly (I can testify to this), and a lifetime of afterglow resulting from that one moment in history in which they were the best in all the world at their athletic discipline with all the world as witness.

I recently heard that Joe Jacobi will be one of the announcers for the Whitewater events in China.

If you ask an Olympian they will tell you that all the training and suffering is worth it, just to get to walk in the opening ceremony. International politics have very little to do with things in the American athlete's mind, and I suspect that this is universally true.

Let the politicians boycott but please don't dishonor the effort and sacrifice of America's, and the World's, Olympians by making the actual athletic events themselves become a political statement.

No one on the outside has any business interfering with the competitions...The International Olympic Committee is quite capable of enough idiocy in and of itself.

And frankly, though I hold Jimmy Carter in great regard otherwise, as far as I'm concerned his Presidential order barring America's athletes from participating in the USSR Olympics is a black mark on President Carter's legacy and his soul.

It was an ignorant thing for an otherwise great man to have done. Let us not repeat it.



Today marks my 1100th post in the WhitesCreek Journal.

Thank you for your indulgences!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mirror Mirror

Politics is a strange business in which the most cynical of operatives ply their trade behind the scenes. I know this in part from observation and reading, but I also know this because some of them are friends of mine. They are funny, beguiling people, with a part of their conscience anesthetized, which enables them to do deeply dark things in the name of winning for their side.

This is a similar manifestation to that found in the the trade of lawyers.

I have asked these folks how they can do these things. How do you permit yourself to look in the mirror at your own face when you have just helped destroy something dear for all time in the name of your client?

With that question unanswered, I send you to your reading assignment for today, which illustrates this type of operative in action. I figure that Dick Morris has no problem looking himself in the mirror because at this late stage in his career as a Right Wing political operative, he no longer has a reflection.

From Digby



And here's some other stuff I found amusing...Heck, It's Friday, right?

All you Random women better watch out!


And from our International Relations Department here in Roane County:

Who won the coin flip?

Yi So-yeon gets to ride on a rocket to the International Space Station while Yoon-Jin Kang gets to see Fort Southwest Point in Kingston.

Hooo-eeee! Wonder why Yoon-Jin Kang is waving that axe? Did they tell her about the big Indian treaty swindle that put Kingston on the map?


"In case you forgot, taxes are due next week. You know, we all hate paying taxes, but the truth of the matter is without our tax money, many politicians would not be able to afford prostitutes." --Jimmy Kimmel

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Do You Believe In Magic?

It is no surprise that Ben Stein, a former speech writer for Richard Nixon, is willing to make patently false statements in order to attempt to win an argument. Stein was able to state, with a straight face, that the famous "Deep Throat" who gave inside information that led to the revelations of the gross misconduct of the Nixon Administration, was in fact a "fabrication of Bob Woodward". Of course Ben Stein has only one expression, so his ability to lie easily should come as no surprise. The Nixon insider whose conscience led him to choose his country over his political loyalties was later revealed to be a very real person, much to Stein's embarrassment.

Ben Stein continued, unabashed, following the motto of Lucy Van Pelt whom he resembles in more than one way..."If you can't be right...Be Wrong at the top of your Voice!"

With that in mind, Stein has decided to shill for Creationism and the Intelligent Design advocates, and he has done very well financially as a result. Does he believe that stuff? I doubt it very much...It's just another good gig for Stein in his role as a lobbyist for the Right Wing Christian movement, an oddity in and of itself since Ben Stein is a Jew.

Stein is an accomplished writer of propaganda and is very good at making things seem like something other than they are by presenting opinion and hyperbole as fact. After seeing the financial success of Michael Moore's movies, he came up with the idea of making a "documentary" attacking Darwinism, which he calls a brilliant theory with huge flaws. Just so you know, Darwinism is not a theory, it is a label given to people who understand the scientific framework of Darwin's theory, "On the Origin of Species" by those who do not understand a damned thing.

Stein equates Darwinism with eugenics and Nazism in a tortured ruse of blather: "Darwinism was very popular with Hitler's Nazi party, who explicitly said life is about the survival of the fittest. [That] led to horrible consequences." (Newsweek interview April 14, 2008)

Hitler also claimed to be a devout Christian and follower of Jesus Christ. Stein censored that information from his movie, which although he claims it is a "documentary" is nothing of the sort. It is simply another propaganda piece that censors factual information and presents wishful thinking and exaggerated claims in its place. By Stein's reasoning, Christianity would be evil.

Ben Stein's movie, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" will be released on April 18, 2008. Several of the people interviewed have already come forward and claimed to have been misquoted, after seeing screenings of the movie. Several scientists who are attacked in Stein's movie have been forcibly ejected from screenings even though they had tickets.

The premise of the movie is that the Scientific and academic communities refuse to allow creationists and ID'ers to be heard because they want to suppress a valid scientific theory. This has been debunked by every single court case and every single peer review panel that has ever considered either one. Academians who present any of the forms of creationism as science are not dismissed because of their religious beliefs...They are dismissed because they are simply lousy scientists and cannot reason fact from fiction nor evidence from belief.

The absurdity that Ben Stein is trying to make a case for is no more valid than trying to make people believe that Presbyterianism, for instance, is a science just like Mathematics. Science and Belief are simply two different things. "Science" is how we know that magic is an obvious conclusion unreachable through any system of "Belief".

All Magicians know that there is no such thing as "Magic"...Stein wants to present magic as a valid science and is willing to lie in order to create this illusion. Just remember...Magicians don't really saw people in half. If you fall for the illusion and the "Belief" that it can be done, somebody will get hurt.



Tuesday, April 08, 2008

McCain Stories

John McCain has a legendary temper, which is one way of saying he loses control and goes ballistic over basically nothing.

It's a pattern. Much like his womanizing is a pattern. I don't quite see the same pattern in his dehumanizing put downs of Cindy, his wife. After I read some of the excerpts from a new book about McCain, I have decided to forgive his wife Cindy for stealing prescription drugs from her charity. Being married to John McCain is excuse enough for anyone to want to escape reality.

I'm not posting any of the book quotes. Go read the review for yourself.

I do have to strongly question how out of control McCain gets over small slights. He seems to have little dog syndrome and is lucky he hasn't been squashed like a bug.


Monday, April 07, 2008

Goodbye Taylor

Ben Hur and Michaelangelo died just now, as did Moses and that crazy gun guy who waved his flintlock rifle around scaring everybody. I find it ironic that my favorite movie starring Charleton Heston is Planet of the Apes, which metaphorically shows that the Human race destroyed itself with the pursuit of conservatism and the business of war.

Humans were replaced at the top of the food chain by gorillas who, once they achieved power and wealth, barreled headlong down the same path to conservatism, decadence, and societal ruin, while simultaneously oppressing the noble chimpanzees who struggled nobly, suffering in the tradition of the early very liberal Christian movement.

Charleton Heston strongly supported Liberal causes for most of his life but turned to Conservatism later as his mental capabilities were stolen by Alzheimer's. This is similar to the evolution of Ronald Reagan, leading to some interesting questions as to which is the cause and which is the symptom with regard to conservatism and Alzheimer's disease.

Heston is probably most remembered for playing Moses, a violent and erratically murderous biblical character with awesome leadership skills, who put in place much of the conservative dogma that Jesus's Liberal reform movement sought to ameliorate.

I think Jesus's exact words to Pontius Pilate were to tell Herrod "Let my people go" but in translating, there may have been mistakes made.

At any rate, I enjoyed some of Heston's work and didn't care much for a large portion of it, mostly the Old Testament stuff. I did like the Agony and the Ecstasy in which he played a really talented and tormented gay guy with a paintbrush and a chisel.

But that was before the Alzheimer's and the Conservatism set in.



Saturday, April 05, 2008

Web Journalism at UT

The Seminar at UT?...I can sum it up really easily...

Mixed messages, mixed media, mixed results...Awesome graphics!

It's like opening up an artist's box of the most amazing colors ever, being handed every type of paint brush known to humankind with more on the way, an unlimited canvas, and not knowing what to create nor how to pay for your next meal.

They fed us.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the free meal by one of the allstar panelists, Blogfather Randy Neal, of KnoxViews and several other places. We were treated to an amazing amount of flash and left with the gnawing question of future relevance.

The real question of the internet is the same as it was for the printing press, the radio, the television...How can we use it to tell the truth to people in such a way as to let them enjoy it?

Television had this promise. It could have been used to bring Science and Literature and philosophy to every human on earth. Instead, we have advertisements instead of information.

The web takes all mediums to another extreme in that it is capable of overwhelming reality altogether...perhaps with finality. The most successful genre on the internet, porn, substitutes itself for human relationship.

For now, bloggers can offer observation and opinion, but transcendance takes money. The question is, "Who will pay for truth?" Lies, it seems obvious, will make you rich. The real money in this new medium is in creating untruth. As long as we use the web to replace reality with false experience, humankind has a short future, geologically speaking. Incapable of governing ourselves, we will ultimately suffer the population crash inevitable with all blooms, crushing our planet's ability to keep us alive.

The answer is elusive but in my current thinking seems to lie in creating a multi-dimensional boundary within which lies a juried content, judged by critical reasoning and the scientific method. Science is nothing more than the process of not fooling ourselves, after all.

The promise and the problem with the web is that it is such a powerful paintbrush capable of painting with astounding colors both fact and fiction with such perfection that they may become indistinguishable.

The Web currently promises salvation and apocolypse with awesome graphics.

Until we can create a canvas upon which truth is profitable...The more likely outcome is obvious.




Katie's thoughts (Thank you dear, for the very kind words)

Randy's collection of who and what...Go there

Friday, April 04, 2008

Consider this...

My family had just moved from Memphis and I was at Ga. Tech when King Died. My paper route in Memphis had been about a mile from the motel where he was killed.

Kennedy, King, and another Kennedy...What a time to be a teenager.

And then there was the war... Viet Nam...We all had friends that were dead, by then. Every time we learned of another name that would eventually be chiseled on that monument, we felt more guilty for still being alive, dancing, loving, and having our hearts broken in several different ways.

Memphis was such a strange place then. A crazy mayor and incredible music. I remember going to an Otis Redding concert at the Memphis Colosseum with 5000 National Guard troops outside, several of whom warned me not to go in because there could be trouble. There wasn't... It was a great show...I danced in the aisles with everybody else. People who looked like me were in the minority.

It was a terrible time...It was wonderful.

I still have friends from that time, including some that don't look like me... It matters less and less, every hour that passes, and there are some thing that I have learned.

Racism and bigotry are not about hatred. They are manifestations of fear. And...Until we drive out fear, these diseases of a fearful society will not be vanquished. Until we drive out those who would use fear for their own evil purposes...War will not be vanquished...Nor Racism, Nor Bigotry, Nor any of a host of evils manifest in a society of cowards.

I fear no human, and, though some ideas scare the crap out of me, the truth does not.

I do my best to teach that it is fear that is to be feared, and that this is not a new idea. To the thoughtful, this has always been so and is nothing original.

Fear is a cancer that can be cut out by consideration.

40 years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. was 39.

He was murdered by fear...Not hatred.



Thursday, April 03, 2008

Nothing Big

I have two very different stories this morning. The first is from my old Georgia Governor and former President of the USA, James Earl Carter..."Jimmy" as everybody knows him. The Presidency of Jimmy Carter was one of the most successful on record if you look at the stat sheet. Folks are quick to point out the high inflation rates then, but those are as much a function of the method of calculation as anything, when compared to what is happening right now. Gas was 35 cents.

Carter was replaced by Ronald Reagan, champion of the conservative right. Reagan has the distinction of presiding over the most indicted presidency in history...Over 200 convictions of Reagan era officials...And you thought it was Nixon, didn't you?

So somehow Reagan is a mythological hero and Carter is simply a saint, and an honest one to boot. Reagan was praised by his staff members who said that his best trait as president was his ability to believe his own lies. I mean, even George W. Bush knows when he's lying...All the time!

Let's fast forward to now. Carter is a superdelegate in the most amazing presidential primary in American history. A primary that will result in either a Woman or a man born of a Black father and a white woman. I still have problems calling such a child black, but that is how Obama has chosen to identify himself, primarily because that is how society classified him during his youth. Societal prejudice also classifies Rocker, Lenny Kravitz as a black guy instead of a Jew, and Bob Marley as a black guy, instead of simply the greatest reggae artist of all time. Tiger Woods is more Malaysian than anything else, but...

So anyway...Barack Hussein Obama wound up being a black man, somehow, and guess what? Obama is winning primaries in the most racist states in my country. Hillary and Bill Clinton keep making backroom phone calls to superdelegates saying Obama can't win because he's black...This from the man who used bask in the glow of being called the first black president? And, No...It had very little to do with the saxophone.

In the midst of all this, Obama is getting endorsed by an amazing array of white men..Lee Hamilton! Chris Dodd! and now we have this tantalizing comment from Saint James...

(President) Carter, who was accompanied by his wife Rosalynn, did not profess a direct support for Obama but rather choose to make a veiled statement.“We are very interested in the primaries. Don’t forget that Obama won in my state of Georgia. My town which is home to 625 people is for Obama, my children and their spouses are pro- Obama.
My grandchildren are also pro- Obama. As a Super Delegate, I would not disclose who I am rooting for but I leave you to make that guess," he said.

So the other bit of news that I have is nothing earth shaking...merely the Attorney General of the United States admitting that the Bush Administration is guilty of criminal malfeasance in the run up to 9-11...

Of all the 9-11 conspiracy theories running around I don't believe a single one except for this...the Neo-Conservatives who had ascended to power with the appointment of George W. Bush to the Presidency wanted something like "Pearl Harbor" to happen and they opened the door, sat back, and waited.

Mukasey's quote that they had known that a call coming from a safe house in Afghanistan to the United States made the hair on my neck stand on end, because if Mukasey wasn't lying or tripping over his own words - and according to Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann - he just admitted criminal malfeasance on the part of the administration for what happened on 9/11!

Like I said...Nothing big.



Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Quote of the Day!

John McCain gets his ass handed to a...Well, read on. You'll see.

Is there a Pulitzer Prize for Ballsy statements by a high school girl? If so, Katelyn Halldorson gets it!

"I think judging by the amount of press representatives here and also by the integration of your previous political endorsements in your earlier personal narrative, we can see that this isn't completely absent – er political motivation isn't completely absent," she said. "Yet we were told that this isn't a political event. So what exactly is your purpose in being here – not that I don't appreciate the opportunity, but I'd just like some clarification."

"I knew I should have cut this thing off. This meeting is over," ...John McCain


We are in for rough weather today, so watch out, not just for hail and thunderstorms this afternoon but also a new weather phenomenon that is creating disasters in basements across Tennessee:
A hazardous weather outlook for East Tennessee is calling for scattered showers and thunderstorms with the possibility of severe storms packing damaging winds, large hail and heavy rain.The National Weather Service says a cold front moving into the area this afternoon is bringing the chance of bad weather with it.:

New Weather Phenomenon causes devastation in Tennessee, Links to Global Warming roundly denied by Exxon-Mobile funded Scientists

Using Doppler radar, interior satellites, and computer models, researchers have determined that basement tornadoes form when warm dank air collides with a cool dry draft, creating a significant drop in pressure, and causing wind velocity to increase and whirl in a vortex of dust, debris, and cobwebs. Predicting where and when a basement tornado will strike is challenging, however, because they seem to jump from cellar to cellar by traveling through sump pumps.

"All we can say for certain is that unfinished basements are twice as likely to develop tornadoes," said Allan Boyer, a controlled meteorogist at the National Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK. "Also, when residents leave their washing machines and dryers running it creates the ideal environment for tornadoes, because of the extra spinningness it causes in the air."

More, from America's Finest news Source