Thursday, June 29, 2006

Breaking story

According to DEBKAfile:

Unofficial Israel sources confirm that 4 Israeli F16 fighters buzzed the Syrian presidential summer palace in Latakia early Wednesday, June 28, as pressure on Bashar Assad to bring about Hamas’ release of kidnapped Israeli corporal Gilead Shalit.

Further details here:

Israel and Syria

Too good to pass up

I had intended to post another character sketch today, for Faith Temple, Fred's wiry wife.

However, this spot by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann is not only outstanding it is very timely.

After going after homosexuals, Mexicans, and flag-burners, the president is now concerned with traitor newspapers that publish information about his unamerican activities. Keith points out that the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication ("SWIFT") runs a website and is hardly a secret.

Hopping down the money trail

It further turns out that the president himself, and on multiple occasions, betrayed our national security interests by telling them terrorists we're watching their money trails.

The president, in other words, is guilty of grand hypocrisy.

The video is well worth watching.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Curious juxtaposition

Today I was confronted with a rather curious juxtaposition.

Right now the US Congress feels the high priority danger facing our troops are Mexican, homosexual, flag-burners.

Today I noticed on my porch marketing material from a real estate company and lying atop it a cheesy plastic American flag.

What is my responsibility with regards to this disgusting display of flag desecration? Should I take it to the American Legion where they will burn it?

Raising Cain

Some fundamentalist Christians in America are planning for war and are warping their children's minds with sufficient hatred to lust for martyrdom. They are, in effect, establishing Christian madrasahs in the US of A.

These people are to Christ as Hitler was to Zionism.

The attraction to bigotry must be powerful in some if it can lead them to behavior which pursues the destruction of their own children.

American Taliban taking root

If Paris Hilton dressed in a nun's habits that wouldn't be the same as if she adopted the habits of a nun. Likewise, saying you love Christ is not the same thing as being like him.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Jim Crow votes Republican

The RNC has been caught targeting black GIs with scrub-lists to suppress their right to vote in the 2004 election.

Racial profiling and vote suppression

It is tempting to dismiss this story as mere crazy-talk, however it is backed up by documentary evidence, Pulitzer-winning journalists, and the gravitas of the BBC.

It may also be supported by Republican objections to renewing the voting rights act of 1965.

This practice of racially targeting voters is a felony and it is quite clear cut. So, sez I, where are the investigations?


In this clip Jon Stewart takes a look at the Seas of David group that was arrested in Florida.

It is one of his finer bits of analysis and a delight to watch:


I went 10 for 14

This quiz is harder than you might think. There are 14 liberal-hating quotes, some from Adolf Hitler and some from Ann Coulter, and it is your job to properly attribute them.

I got 10 out of 14 (about 71%) correct. Can you beat my score?

In my defense, and perhaps Ann's, I consider at least one of my incorrect answers to have been careless.

Give Up Blog

Monday, June 26, 2006

I recommend it

I've seen a lot of live music in my life, but that only serves to illustrate how lucky I was to see Levon Helms play at his home in a Midnight Ramble session.

Midnight Ramble

Also recommended is this performance by Bruce Springstein called:

Bring 'em Home

Some things in life are good.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Amen brother Marshall!

I really enjoy Talking Points Memo by Josh Marshall. I particularly enjoyed this post:

Leadership when it matters

In it Josh offers democrats an electoral strategy that I have a lot of faith in. Perhaps I like it so much because it reinforces what I believe?

Hard to say, but here is my favorite line:

"Democrats need to hammer this point again and again and not get tripped up in the president's bully-boy rhetoric. The president has no plan. He wants to stay in Iraq forever. He says for at least three more years. All the Republicans agree they want more of the same."

The strategy will be effective if adopted because the American people know that it is True.

I would like to add, Get thee behind Jack Murtha.

Friday, June 23, 2006

A crown of thorns

How do we separate good from bad actions?

Good actions do not harm, that's how.

Is the war in Iraq good?

Photos of Civilian Casualties

The eagle flies on Friday...

I wish the president had enough class to step down. He is such a little man to try and lead America. Hasn't he noticed yet that there is nobody behind him but fools? Hasn't he noticed yet that he follows in the footsteps of fools? Hasn't he noticed yet that he has overstayed his welcome?

An oligarchy is only one step below tyranny and in fact leads naturally to it. That is the course America has steered under the stewardship of president Bush, and if America doesn't change course soon it is likely to go where it is headed.

An oligarchy is government by the richest, as opposed to government by the best. Some argue that the richest are the best. Those people have a terrific counter-point to examine in the person of George W. Bush.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


If windmills did go up on that ridge, then Fred would be giving up something…that much was certain. He had been living near that mountain most of his life and for most of his life it was relatively stable in appearance. It changed with the seasons, of course, but this would be something new altogether. Windmills had never sprouted up anywhere before.

Fred was no Don Quixote, who felt windmills were a grave injustice that needed to be toppled. In fact he liked them and the main reason he liked them, he guessed, was that he understood them. Anyone that played with a pinwheel as a kid could understand the basic principles that allowed a windmill to turn the currents of air into currents of electricity. He was also a thrifty man and he had to admit it did seem wasteful not to harvest the wind.

He didn’t think he’d like those blinking lights they were bound to put on top of the windmills. They only worked when they stuck out against the sky and looking at the country-dark sky was one of Fred’s pleasures in life. As he reflected a slight wind picked up and he felt the spring breeze and inhaled the fresh air. He took another sip of beer. He enjoyed the way the air smelled this time of year and he had to admit it gave him a comfortable feeling about windmills, although he wasn’t sure why.

People that were self-reliant could do what they pleased and Fred expected it worked the same way for nations. He guessed he’d vote for the project when the time came, but he’d do it with small reservations.

He walked to the back porch and finished his beer. He bent down and put the bottle in a cardboard box and then went inside.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Fred didn’t care for new trucks, or SUVs, because he thought a truck ought to be utilitarian in nature and he preferred them when they had dimpled-aluminum floors and bounced like a buck-board. Those trucks were tough and they weren’t so pretty or so expensive that a man felt neglectful if he tossed a heavy object in the back.


That was the sound he wanted to hear when he tossed pieces of wood in the back of his pickup. There was something about a truck that could take abuse without flinching that appealed to Fred. He wasn’t a cruel man, or an angry man, or a careless man, but he was a dependable hard-worker that didn’t like to waste money or time, or spend it babying an inanimate object.

Fred didn’t care much, either, for the new way people had of talking. Nobody seemed to speak simply and mean what they said anymore. Today he wasn’t riding his SUV to the transfer station, he was driving his pickup to the dump. He hauled junk to the dump and he hauled trash to the dump. When he got there he dumped his trash in the dump. He’d throw stuff into the back of his truck and let it clang around in the back on the way. Fred loved the dump. It was a place where you could see Caterpillar bucket loaders pushing piles of wood chips into huge masses, clambering up them at reckless angles. It was an honest place, the dump, and he had a real appreciation for the people that managed all that activity. Chief Seattle said that you do not judge a nation by what it makes you judge it by what it throws away. If that were the case, then America must be terrific because it throws away some great stuff.

To a man like Fred, who could make broken things work, every trip to the dump had potential. The last time he was there he found one of those old refrigerators that you opened by yanking on a vertical handle, which was also a latch, and it made a comfortable sucking sound as it opened. It was also a thing of curves and chrome, unlike those God damned ugly vinyl boxes made today. He brought it home to his shop, where he thought it would make a great addition, and plugged it in. He was somewhat disappointed that it worked…so much for his afternoon spent tinkering. Anyhow, a find like that is like landing a big fish, you don’t quickly forget the thrill and you don’t quickly abandon that spot. It was now satisfying every time he grabbed a homebrew from his powder-blue 1950s refrigerator.

Fred liked to name things and he decided to call that rescued refrigerator Seattle. As he closed the light to his shop and walked, sipping his beer, towards the house he paused for a moment to gaze at the mountain near his home. Gazing at a mountain stills the mind, and Fred McDauber had done a lot of gazing at this old mountain. Some company was thinking about putting windmills up there and he stared at it now in contemplation and sipped his beer.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A question

I had intended to further develop, to study, the character of Fred McDauber yet I instead feel compelled to comment on a sad situation in Iraq.

The Mujahideen Shura Council kidnapped two American soldiers near Yusufiya in Iraq.

Story here

It seems obvious what will happen if these pawns of imperialism are not rescued immediately.

They will very likely be tortured, killed, and paraded in a video, or else used as bargaining chips to free some GI-killer.

If the former fate awaits them, who among us can claim that the Geneva conventions regarding prisoners of war have been rendered "quaint"?

Can Alberto Gonzales?

I recommend he offer to exchange his person to secure the safety of these soldiers. He should. Any ill treatment they receive can only be opposed hypocritically by policies he helped to enact.

ADDENDUM: Two bodies have been found in Iraq but not yet identified by the Pentagon. Fox News is reporting that there were signs of torture all over the bodies.

Story here

Monday, June 19, 2006

Fred again

If sports are the opiate of the masses, then Fred was a Red Sox junkie. When he listened to his first game on the radio he knew that he'd found a life-long friend. He liked nothing better than to be outside in his garden, listening to the Red Sox struggle valiantly against their fate. It meant nothing to Fred at this point in his life whether the Sox won or lost, as a matter of fact he wasn't quite sure how he'd handle a Red Sox World Series Championship.

Radio, of course, was the only way to follow baseball as far as Fred was concerned. On the radio baseball became half reality and half imagination and imagination could turn a routine pop-up into a ball moving "Waaaay back!" with hope for the bleachers. Baseball was the soundtrack of summer, and it belonged on the porches, living rooms, barber shops and gardens. It was a mistake, he thought, the way modern games were being pushed later and later to entertain the fickle wishes of the baseball consumers. These people went to games to eat and watch a mascots antics. They lacked the attention and the love of the game that was necessary to develop appreciation for what was happening on the field. Once that is lost everything becomes a vehicle for selling. These people are like fire, they consume a thing until nothing is left of the original.

Fred liked to turn a game over in his mind the way an organic farmer uses compost to make his soil richer. He liked to know how many men were on base, how many outs there were, what the count was, how many pitches the pitcher had thrown and how many for strikes. He liked to know if the runners on base were fast or slow, whether the other team had the over-shift on, how fast the pitcher was throwing, what the game meant to each team's record. These things added suspense to the game, and nuance, and strategy. With people talking on their cellphones and ballpark public address systems and television screens and mascots dancing around and people hawking sodas and pretzels and nachos and water and beer and ice cream and commercial time-outs Fred found that he couldn't concentrate.

So, he stayed away from the ballparks and he turned on his radio for day games and he enjoyed his game his way. He knew it was foolish to be sentimental, but baseball was a thing near-holy to him. Like church, a ballpark was a place where crowds of people still got together and sang. Like church it honored tradition and that helped an old man like Fred touch something timeless in his life once in a while.

Warm earth, a seed, and a little bit of water. Imagination, baseball, and tradition.

And an old man planting rows in his garden...

Friday, June 16, 2006

Character Sketch - Fred McDauber

Fred McDauber was not the type of man to go rushing into things. He was contemplative, and his decisions were a serious matter. Now, I don't mean he took a long time to pick out his clothes in the morning (he always wore Dickies and a dark shirt with a collar), but if you needed Fred's opinion in a hurry, well, you weren't going to get it.

Fred was born in a small town in Maine and he lived there all his life and all of his life he grew potatoes. Potatoes are a sensible thing to grow because you can eat them with most anything and they keep well (which is an important consideration when you're dealing with a short Maine growing season).

Fred's favorite brand of potato was called "Green Mountain" because they caramelized very well when you fried them in a cast iron skillet with a little butter and onion. Fred couldn't tolerate those greasy, reconstituted abominations known as "home fries" in many fast food restaurants. In fact he hated the very idea of fast food altogether, except for Lisa's pizza and pier fries served at Old Orchard Beach. He simply couldn't understand why so many folks (he called them idiots) would spend hard-earned money for a mess on a tray. Why didn't those folks (idiots) go to a nearby diner where they could at least eat off plates, instead of like some animal out of a feed bag or bucket? At a diner you could get a decent cup of coffee, a friendly smile, and top it off with a piece of pie.

Fred McDauber didn't spend too much of his time worrying about idiots, it's just that he found them curious. One time he happened across this fellow (idiot) at the A&P that was loading his SUV with all manner of provisions. It seems he was going hunting and must have been afraid he'd starve to death if he didn't bring enough food to tip an SUV. Why the whole idea of going hunting was to stock up on food and it made no sense to Fred at all the way some people acted.

Small town life was just what Fred liked. He knew everyone in town and everyone knew him. He didn't like 'em all, necessarily, but they were familiar to him and nothing is as comfortable as familiarity. Fred was as dependable as the seasons and every fall at harvest time he'd pick all of the potatoes in his garden and store them in his cellar in a wooden box filled with sand. He'd take in his firewood next and pile it into neat rows in his garage. Fred liked to burn wood and he loved to split it. He didn't care much for moving it (once to dry it, once to store it inside, and once to the wood-stove), but he dearly loved to yell "timber!" and watch a tree crash to the ground. Sometimes a tree (like a pop'lah) would come down so fast and hard it would shake the ground, and sometimes, too, he'd have to dance aside when a tree kicked or twisted.

Fred liked to smoke a pipe and he enjoyed it more than ever because it was so unfashionable. People would recoil in disgust (like they had stepped in a turd) when they saw him smoking. He loved the smell and taste of his rich, dark, fragrant pipe tobacco. If people wanted to be horrified over a simple thing like pipe smoke then he couldn't be bothered with them (were people like that capable of honest sex, he wondered).

The best part of smoking a pipe is the ceremony involved. First of all you are dealing with the craftsmanship of the pipe itself, gorgeous to the touch and elegantly curved. Next comes the cleaning of the stem, then the packing of the bowl which must be tamped tightly at the start then loosely afterwards to get good airflow and a long enough burn. Finally comes the wooden strike-anywhere matches which flare up and down as the first few puffs are taken.

Fred could form rings of smoke that would hang in the air and then dissipate slowly like a vision. So, smoking a pipe was a delight to Fred and somehow the protestations of a fussy, self-centered, delicate person (idiot) made the whole experience even better.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What is it good for?

President Bush can hold "summits" and pretend to be a deliberator in chief all he wants, but when you are a disciple of violence and a war is going badly only one thing makes sense.

More violence.

So, I sez we should expect more of the same from this student of skulls and bones. If I had to guess, I would say look to Ramadi or Baghdad for queues.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Did you know?

Did you know that 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (aka 2,4-d) is an herbicide commonly used in wheat fields and has been linked to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?

Did you know that farmers who use 2,4-D have higher rates of lymphoma than the general population?

Did you know their risk increases in direct proportion to the number of acres they spray?

Did you know that the death rate from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the US is highest in the wheat-growing region of the Great Plains?

Did you know a comparison of counties in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota showed significantly higher rates of birth defects in those counties that grow more wheat?

Did you know that within those counties, infants conceived in April, May, or June (which coincides with herbicide application) have higher rates of defects than children conceived during other months?

These facts are neither red nor blue, but...

Republicans want to "protect" small farmers by bequeathing Sam Walton's heirs an inheritance-free fortune (by repealing the estate tax).

Democratic candidates want the EPA to use science to set policy.

Your choices matter, aye?

Thinking about Global Warming

Suppose for just a moment that the world's climate scientists are right and that Republican leaders are wrong about global warming.

What is the Republican exit strategy?

Now suppose for a moment that Republican leaders are right, but that we erroneously join Kyoto and reduce CO2 in our atmosphere.

No catastrophe right?

Isn't this a rather elementary risk analysis?

Suppose a fireman told you your house was on fire while you and your family were in it, and also suppose a politician said it wasn't on fire.

Would you sit mired in indecision as they argued their positions?

Would you choose to agree with the nay sayer because you liked his analysis better?

Taking this analogy further, suppose there were signs of smoke all around your home. Suppose the fireman started telling you to do something while you still had time.

What type of person would calmly sip their coffee and tell their wife and children it was a hoax?

Monday, June 12, 2006

From Hell's heart

From Hell's heart the "moral majority" often stabs at humanity, and usually behind a mask of self-congratulatory piety.

For the latest lunatic diatribe read the following story:

Jesus wants you to have cancer

Perhaps the moral rejoinder is, "There are no thorns on a lemon tree."

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Killed

It is a rare occasion that the occupation of Iraq generates anything other than very bad news. Today, however, the terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been killed in a raid northeast of Baghdad.

Why should anyone's murder be good news?

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was the mastermind of the insurgents in Iraq, and they have been killing US marines. He was also directly responsible for many of the kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq. He killed civilians intentionally, simply to foster pandemonium and force our soldiers into hardened bunkers. It must be admitted that he was an extraordinary tactician whose plans were effective.

This news may generate confidence among Iraqis for new prime minister Nuri al-Maliki. He may now be able to convince many Iraqis to abandon the insurgency.

Read all about it

A moment passes very quickly so I hope Nuri seizes this opportunity. This could be a legitimate chance to turn a real corner and those come few and far between.

This moment is also a victory for US soldiers and they could use a boost of morale. They are still in great danger, but at least for a moment they can feel a sense of accomplishment.

An Inconvenient Truth

I think that history will remember Al Gore as a person that identified, then promoted, the era-defining Ideas of our time.

He helped make the internet happen.

Now, he wants to invigorate the people to do something about global warming while there is yet time to do something about it.

In this BBC interview he compares the changes needed to halt global warming to the changes needed to halt ozone-layer depletion. Can anyone honestly say, looking back on it now, that their life was made intolerable by the removal of Cloro-Floro-Carbons (CFCs) from their hairspray?

Let's revive America's can-do spirit

I think that Al Gore rightly points out that we would be so much better off today if president Bush had said, after invading Afghanistan, "Let's kick the oil habit".

It is high time to usher in a new era.

To that end, here is a very painless first-step you can take:

Compact fluorescent Bulbs

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


As I thought about the wall that Republicans wish to build in Texas to keep the Hispanic American-opportunity-seekers out, my mind wandered twice.

One. I hope they mean to build it on Texas' northern border.

Two. Maybe we should close Ellis Island and the statue of liberty.

At the base of the statue are these words:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles.

From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome;
her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
with silent lips.

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883

Perhaps we should have those words scrubbed off if we build that wall, or change them to:

The Post-911 Colossus

Like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is Hope imprisoned, and her name
Mother of Empire.

From her fiery-hand glows world-wide contempt;
her wild eyes survey the ground-zero harbor that twin towers framed,

"Keep, ancient lands, your gloried poor!" cries she
through pursed lips.

"Keep your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

Keep the wretched refuse on your teeming shore,

Keep these, the homeless, tempest-tossed from me.
The way is blocked through the golden door.

Ugly Moe 2006

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Harry Reid on the gay marriage amendment

Harry Reid and I don't see eye-to-eye on marriage. He feels it ought to be between a man and a woman. I feel that our private lives are not the business of government.

I also feel that a marriage license is like a fishing license, and ought not be denied to anybody. All that ought to be required is consent of all parties and perhaps close-kin restrictions and age restrictions (to prevent child molestation).

I also believe that churches ought to be able to control the types of marriage ceremonies that take place with their blessing.

Both Harry Reid and I agree, however, that the current push by president Bush to ban gay marriages with a constitutional amendment is a tremendous waste of everybody's time. Mr. Reid's statement on that matter is here repeated in full because I believe it is very well put. All highlighting was added by me.

In Nevada today, gas prices are over $3.00 a gallon. Fill-ups at the tank cause emptiness at the bank. This Administration, the most friendly-to-oil Presidency in our history, refuses to buck Big Oil or the auto manufacturers. Our citizens are literally choking on the lack of alternative fuel. Few incentives for energy created by the sun, the wind, or the Earth’s geothermal reserves has this Administration endorsed.

Raging in Iraq is an intractable war. Our soldiers are fighting valiantly, but we have Abu Ghraib and Haditha—where 24 or more civilians were allegedly killed by our own—and no policy for winning the peace. However, Secretary Rumsfeld continues in his job with the full backing of the President. Not a reprimand, not a suggestion that his Defense Secretary is at fault.

We have a national debt that President Bush won’t acknowledge, but our children, their children, and their children’s children will have to acknowledge the generations of debt created by President Bush’s economic policies. Federal red ink as far as one can see. America is becoming continually more dependent on loans from China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and England.

Our world is changing as we speak as a result of global warming—a condition our President does not acknowledge, let alone attempt to reverse.

Today nearly 46 million Americans have absolutely no health insurance. Millions more of our countrymen have inadequate health insurance. This Administration has come forward with nothing of substance to address this national emergency.

Seniors in Nevada and each of the 50 states are struggling to survive
. Some physicians refuse to take Medicare patients. The President’s Medicare prescription drug plan has been a gift to HMO’s, insurance companies, and drug companies and a nightmare for seniors.

Education for many of our graduating high school seniors has become a goal too far. Student loans and Pell grants are not a priority of the Bush Administration. The ability to obtain a college education is becoming more and more based on how much money your parents have instead of how much academic potential our youth have.

Crime remains a national worry, but money from the federal government to our states for crime fighting and crime prevention is being drastically cut. Successful anti-crime programs such as the COPS program are being eliminated by President Bush, much to the consternation of police officers across America.

A trade policy that is continually eroding America’s favorable balance of payments seems to be the watchword of the Bush Administration. This trade policy causes America to be less and less globally competitive.

The scientific community cries for help. They believe dread diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes could be moderated and prevented, but President Bush emphatically says NO to allowing scientists to study and research the healing powers of stem cells. He refuses to keep hope alive for the suffering people of our great country.

In spite of the many serious problems we have just discussed, what is the United States Senate going to debate this week?

A new energy policy? NO.

Will we debate the raging war in Iraq? NO.

Will we address our staggering national debt? NO.

Will we address the seriousness of global warming – NO

Will we address the aging of America? NO.

Will we address America’s education dilemma? NO.

Will we address rising crime statistics? NO.

Will we debate our county’s trade imbalance? NO.

Will we debate Stem Cell Research? NO.

But what we will spend most of the week on is a constitutional amendment that will fail by a large margin, a constitutional amendment on Same Sex Marriage—an effort that failed to pick up a simple majority, when we recently voted on it. Remember, an Amendment to our Constitution requires 67 votes.

I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman. I believe in our federal system of government, described to me in college as a central whole divided among self governing parts. Those self governing parts—the 50 states—have already decided this on their own in state after state.
[UM: This is where Harry and I part company. This attitude would have left the Mason-Dixon line intact and left black Americans to follow the drinking gourd.]
For example, in Nevada the constitution was amended to prevent same sex marriage. Congress and President Clinton passed a law that gave the states the guarantee that their individual laws regarding marriage would be respected.
[UM: I part company with Clinton too and for the same reasons.]

The Defense of Marriage Act creates an exception to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution so that no state can force its laws of marriage on another.

So why are we being directed by the President and this Republican majority to debate an Amendment to the Constitution, a document inspired more than two centuries ago? Why would we be asked to change this American masterpiece?

Will it next be to constitutionally dictate the cause of divorce, or military service, or even what America’s religion must be?

So for me it is clear the reason for this debate is to divide our society, to pit one against another. This is another one of the President’s efforts to frighten, to distort, to distract, and to confuse America. It is this Administration’s way of avoiding the tough, real problems that American citizens are confronted with each and every day:

High Gas Prices.

The War in Iraq.

The National Debt.

Health Care.

Senior Citizens.



Trade Policy.

Stem Cell Research.

Each issue begging the President’s attention, each issue being ignored—valuable time in the Senate spent on an issue that today is without hope of passing.

These issues are not Democratic issues. These issues are not Republican issues. There must be bipartisan efforts to address America’s ills.

I will vote no on the Motion to Proceed, as it is not a measure meant to bring America together. Rather, it is an effort to cover and conceal the issues necessary to make America more competitive, caring, considerate and stronger.

Together, America Can Do Better.

Monday, June 05, 2006

On Greatness

America cannot be both great and unjust. America can be strong and unjust, but that's a common bully, and unworthy of admiration.

For America to be great Americans must be great, and as long as Americans cheerlead the suffering of others then America is very far from greatness.


The man I hold most responsible for the American decline of greatness is president Bush, who strikes me as being in his last throes but who will no doubt spend every remaining day of his tenure hostile to human decency.

I find him tiresome as he uses his time blaming homosexuals for the high divorce rates of Bible-belt Christians. He looks small, petulant, unimaginative, and the opposite of a great leader to me.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Ohio math

RFK JR. Dares to utter aloud what many voters in Ohio have been whispering to each other.

"THE 2004 ELECTION WAS STOLEN!", he sez.

I wonder if John Kerry will feel that 350,000 Ohio votes is worth looking into?

Go tell it on the mountain

Maybe you can't fool most of the people most of the time after all?

ADDENDUM: Greg Palast has reached the same conclusion as RFK Jr.

Read all about it

Thursday, June 01, 2006

'Granny D' on youth

This speech by Doris "Granny D" Haddock discusses a dark and a bright future for the looming environmental crisis.

Voices of experience?

Both scenarios start with Mother Nature (or Lover Nature as I prefer to call her) doling out an age of consequences and the difference between the two futures will rely on our responses.

Will the entrenched politicians react badly and enslave the masses in gigantic police states, building their thrones upon sinking ships rather than seeking the dry land of a harmonious life?

Hopefully not.

Dorris feels the way to make a bright future possible is to empower the young.

Since about 1945 human beings have been born into a world that could be destroyed at any moment in a number of different calamities. I sometimes wonder if the reason we have Reason is because of this moment.

I don't think the eon-taking process of evolution is adequate to save humanity. If we continue to ignore Reason (the scientific community) we will perish as fools. That process has already begun. The glaciers are melting, the oceans are rising, the weather is starting to change, the sky isn't quite as blue as it used to be, the vistas not quite as clear.

When I am confronted with a global-warming denier I like to point out something irrefutable. Mercury is closer to the Sun than Venus, yet Venus is hotter (hot enough to melt lead on its' surface). The reason for this is Venus has an atmosphere with a lot of Carbon in it.

I sometimes wonder what they think when they look up in the night sky and see sparkling Venus. Couldn't it be that the God they admire so much put Venus there specifically to draw attention to the dangers of global warming?

People are attracted to beautiful things aren't they?

Venus rhymes with Penis
and hangs low in the sky.
It does not need Viagra to
attract my naked eye.

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin