Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Get up off the couch you lazy sonofa - cure for the soul

I was a bit in a twist this weekend as I cleaned off my windsurfing gear for the season. Usually, I wait until after thanksgiving to do that, which I did. However, my underwear was a bit more in a bundle this time around becuase I hadn't been out on the water since 2 Oct. This is bad for those of you who know me. I don't get happier as I spend less time on the water. That said, I do have other responsiblities - including being a father to two wonderful boys (ages 2.5 and 7 months). They have reset my priorities to be sure.

So, while surfing the web instead of the waves, I found a nifty web location sponsored by American Express (and this is no endorsement for the product as I don't carry their card), with clips of Laird Hamilton ripping up Jaws (the big wave off of Maui's North shore). Check it out. This will have to be my wintertime salve to cure a bruised soul for not having the opportunity to get out on the water until next year. Laird has his own URL for the initiated.

Usually the season kicks in around here in February. As my gear is all clean and stored, I am ready and waiting. I must confess, I am a bit of a wind junkie, and have a lot more web locations for others who may be interested in windsufing and adrenaline junkie type locations. let me know and I'll post some more.

Warm winds to you all friends. And may the winter bring great gobs of snow that are board-able. Remember the famous words from Orwell's Animal Farm, "Two planks Bad, one Plank good"...or was that something else?

Who's your Daddy?

Okay, I saw this article, and lo, though Pedro helped the sox to a world series win, why are these spolied baseball players paid so much money to toss/hit a hardball around a diamond?

When are teachers going to be paid similar sums for their worth has certainly got to be greater than pedro martinez, no?


In making a run at Martínez, the Mets are among the first teams to put their cash on the table for a premium player. The Red Sox have offered Martínez a two-year guaranteed contract worth $25.5 million with an easily attainable third-year option. The Mets countered late Sunday with a three-year guaranteed contract worth approximately $38 million with a vesting option for a fourth year. Neither the Mets nor Martínez's agent Fernando Cuza would confirm or deny the offer.

End slice:

I think that, some day, people will wake up and realize that they get what they pay for and if you want just as good an education as you have professional baseball, or any kind of entertainment for that matter, then we will have to pony up for high quality teaching. I would suggest maybe a minimum of a million dollar yearly renewable contracts for teachers. No Tenure as for that kind of money, they wouldn't need it and the Constitution protects freedom of speach. That should pull in some good talent to the front of the classroom.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Forgedabout the Activist Judges. W should worry himself about the Activist Rappers

Not just leaving it to Marshall Mathers, another rapper jumps in the political discourse, quite sharply. 4o del Tren gets aggressively into the mix. This tune rocks the house!

I suggest you listen to his tune and then read through the lyrics as they provide an unusual litany of links to validate them.

Pulled from his web location - here they are for those with lazy mouse fingers:

4o. del Tren

a new age has dawned rising from the ashes of the innocent
my dead versus your dead let's see who can get more militant
blood for blood, pound for pound, an eye for an eye
my tribal god has told me that i must murder or die

you kill ten of mine, i must kill ten thousand of yours
preemptively decapitating all those who dare to oppose
shoot the motherfuckers now, and ask questions much later
terrorist, freedom fighter, innocent bystander, instigator

it don't matter, your ass is brown, you got a towel on top of your head
you pray to a foreign god, you pray to mine or i'll shoot you dead
patriots, sidewinders, m-1's and f-16's
the most beautiful display of destruction mankind has ever seen

i'm not an invader, i came here to liberate your people
i'm carpet bombing your mosques so i can build my church steeples
yeah, freedom and democracy, baseball and apple pie
buy and consume or go bye bye bye

now who the fuck do you think you are to go against my manifest destiny
i got a mandate from my god to smite all of my enemies
look at me the wrong way and i'll put your ass on my shit list
what? you want some of this, bitch? i'll take you for a ride, with no witness

what would jesus do? fuck that, you know it's just a front
to appease the bible thumpers while i do what the fuck i want
propagatin propaganda, live in fear and i'll protect ya
i'll raise the terror alert and you know that i'm gonna check ya

what books do you read, who do you talk to, where you goin, what's your habit?
gimme all your information right now, what's your number i gotta have it
big brother ain't got shit on me, i got eyes in the back of your brain
my name is supa dubya and i've come to bring you the pain


the usurping bastard child of an archaic plutocratic system
what's my fucking name..?! if it was something else you'd have missed him
playing games with poppy's cash, let's bankrupt the company make bank on the options
fuck the pension plan, fuck aunt millie, neck deep in corruption

power to the people, no the power belongs to the white men in white collars
gathering every single day to worship in the temple of the dollar
mr greenspan, mr greenspan, tell me which way the wind blows
and why are all these people jumping out of their fuckin windows?

why are all these mothers crying for children that won't return
their blood spilling in the desert while the city of baghdad burns
the black blood that feeds the empire must never stop flowing
no price is too high, we must keep shocking and awing

it's the project for the new american century, the new world order
an empire disguised as democracy, prostituted and distorted
you think this shit started the day the towers came falling down?
no, it's an old idea we've been munching on and kicking around

we've been waitin to scratch that itch for a long time in mesopotamia
even though we all know the hijackers were mostly saudi arabian
pay no mind to the lies, the shell games and deception
we're here to fight for your freedom, we're only here for your protection

i don't remember guadalcanal, antietam, normandy or the mekong
i'm sending you and your neighbor's kid to die like i'm on playstation ghost recon
playin like i'm a top gun, mission accomplished on an aircraft carrier
workin hard every day to make the world scarier and scarier

a kinder, gentler version of daddy, check this conservative's compassion
read my lips, motherfuckers, time for lights camera and action
this power trip shit gets me higher than back in the day, doin cocaine
my name is supa dubya and i'm really fucking insane


i'm settin the stage for a show for which you've never seen an equal
you thought 9/11 was tight, hold up, i'm gettin ready for the sequel
whatever the cost, whatever the price to buy me four more years
a few more terror attacks, more lies to keep you living in fear

call rush, call o'reilly, get on the phone with mr. hannity
spin the web of deception so we can continue with this insanity
don't ask too many questions, deploy weapons of mass distraction
prepare the foot soldiers, it's almost time to jump into action

the second coming of the rapture, the last holy crusade
i'm smiting infidels left and right, giving them a taste of my righteous blade
the power to destroy the world right here in the palm of my hand
i'll bring you eternal salvation, by air, sea and by land

with us or against us, only two roads that you can choose
the almighty is on my side, and there's no way that i can lose
it's the coalition of the sellouts, motherfuck the united nations
i'm readin the bible and mein kampf for my divine inspiration

the ultimate corporate state, only dreamed of by mussolini
in the innermost of the inner circles, rubbin elbows and sippin martinis
in bed with ceo’s, saudi princes and israeli ministers
i serve only them and follow their orders, no matter how sinister

i'm the schoolyard bully, gimme your milk money and play my game
the only bastard on the planet gettin by on his fuckin last name
can't even pronounce nuclear missile, but i know how to pull the trigger
kick back and relax while the empire grows bigger and bigger

fuck genghis khan, fuck caesar, fuck alexander the great
i'm bigger than all those niggas, this is the perfect fascist state
don't mess with texas, motherfucker, don't mess with me or i'll blow your brains
i'm super duper dubya, this is my world and my game!!!

Ah the usual opperation of politics in the US...voter fraud?

There has been a proliferation of sites tracking the problems with potential voter fraud on the behalf of our fair president....

Check these links out:

Did your vote count?

Do you think the election went smoothly?

What about the rigging of voting machines?

It will be interesting how this all plays out, but lets just say W's mandate really is spurious at a minimum.

Activist Judges on the Supreme Court?

Hummm...I wonder how the religious right is going to spin these two decisions by the Supreme Court?

Decided not to hear the Mass. Gay Marriage case.


Critics of the November 2003 ruling by the highest court in Massachusetts argue that it violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of a republican form of government in each state. They lost at the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (news - web sites) in Boston.

Their attorney, Mathew Staver, said in a Supreme Court filing that the Constitution should "protect the citizens of Massachusetts from their own state supreme court's usurpation of power."

Federal courts, he said, should defend people's right "to live in a republican form of government free from tyranny, whether that comes at the barrel of a gun or by the decree of a court."

Merita Hopkins, a city attorney in Boston, had told justices in court papers that the people who filed the suit have not shown they suffered an injury and could not bring a challenge to the Supreme Court. "Deeply felt interest in the outcome of a case does not constitute an actual injury," she said.

End slice:

Good for them! At least they see that no one really is harmed if two people who love each other decide to get married and then do it.

And they decided to hear the medical Marijuana Case.


Angel Raich tried dozens of prescription medicines to ease the pain of a brain tumor and other illnesses before she took up another drug: pot. The 39-year-old mother of two has the support of her doctor and a California medical marijuana law when she uses a blend of a marijuana variety known as "Haze X" every few hours.

End slice:

If you ask me, I think we aught to legalize it and then tax the hell out of it. It might do the whole country a service to turn the multi-billion dollar Mrijuana illegal industry into a tax earning, share the cost as you go opperation. This would also deflate the expenses needed to conduct the "war on drugs." Well, at least a little bit as we won't have to send in troops to pull shrubs out of our national parks...and no doubt the quality of the product would improve...and legalizing it will spur a whole new cash crop for our farmers...

I really can't think of a downside. If alcohol can be legal, and cigarettes/cigars and the like are legal, why not some good old Mary Jane?

Oh, one after thought - those of you reading this might automatically leap to the assumption that I have smoked some of the stuff myself. Well, to belie that thought, unlike our former President Clinton, I have never inhailed, and never actually took a toke of any kind of substance of the sort. As an avid runner, I don't believe in polluting my lungs for any reason. Never smoked, any kind of drug - legal or not.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Even in Baghdad the Holiday spirit can't be suppressed

The kids and I made a little video clip to email to my brother just in time for Thanksgiving. This just in from my brother in Baghdad.


I thought the video was great. The kids are growing fast. I take it C is talking up a storm now. He sure is a cute kid.

J looks to be all smiles. I'm sure he is like his big brother and charms all the women too.

Everyone in the video sounded great. I hope the turkey meal turned out perfect. We had turkey here too, though it wasn't close to being home cooked.

Things here seem to be cooling down a bit. The weather and the bad guys that is. This whole week we have seen temps in the low 40s during the evening and highs in the 60s during the day.

As to the bad guys, the last couple of days we have also seen a low in enemy attacks. Maybe the Fallujah loss hurt their will to fight. Then again, it could be that the bad guys are just regrouping. Only time will tell.

Speaking of time, it is still flying by on this end. I can't believe December is almost here. Our Operations tent is now decorated with Christmas ornaments. As one of my team members put it... "We are not going to let a little war dampen our Christmas spirit."

Well it sounded like you had a good day planned and again, I hope your dinner went well. Things are going well on this end. So don't worry about me. Take care for now.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Alexander, not so great

Another celluloid piece of trash that the American public will love, no doubt, becuase Angelina Jolie is in it....and Collin Farell - show us some skin and we'll fork over the bucks to see it on the big screen.

"Oliver Stone's epic film is filled with "puerile writing, confused plotting and shockingly off-note performances," says Manolha Dargis.

Sometimes I think this thing is just like my blog...Ha!

What happend to Oliver Stone? I thought he was good a making movies but he hasn't done anything well since, arguably, JFK, or Born on the Fouth of July - I don't know about Natural Born Killers. That was a little over the top for me. Sensless violence, unecessarily grotesque and graphic.

Any Oscar predictions from those of you out there willing to make an early call?

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

U2's album a bit of a misnomer

Okay, I found a copy of the new Album by U2 - how to dismantle an atomic bomb - and bought it. It is good. Although, I am not altogether sure why they labled it as they did. It is not terribly political, nor to they make as strong a statement as they sometimes do (e.g. bullet the blue sky, Sunday Bloody Sunday, etc..).

It is very melodic, and dense with the Edge's guitar riffs and rhythm. The man is very talented and creative. Adam Clayton really does inspire on the bass - often a lament of the group, I think Clayton is really powerful on this album, and really outdoes himself on this one. Larry Mullen Jr. rocks steady as usual. Nice job. Bono, I think could have laced the lyric with a touch more cynicism and political wit that stems from his various foray into the political sphere as if late - but in general, he laid off the establishment and gave us some beautiful music. That said, I was dissapointed that he didn't address world hunger, AIDS/HIV, war, etc...he could have but didn't...or perhaps I am not reading the lyrics close enough....but "cool down mama, cool off," repeat? I mean, it is a nice torn up heart song, but doesn't touch the political. I thought the band would have grown up or matured a bit in terms of lyrical content...Then again, it is music, and that might very well be the point - we dismantle weapons with love and music, no?

In all, the album is good. I don't think it lives up to the spin, and it is not as good as say, WAR or the Unforgetable Fire or Joshua Tree, but it rocks nonetheless.

I am still waiting for the 100% accustic album from the boys, permeated with traditional Irish instruments...that would be spectacular.

Killing the wounded in Iraq

Old men, young men, wounded. None are invulnerable from bullets at the end of an M-16.

This story recieved a lot of play in the media, but Kevin Sites tells us his version as he was in the room. Check out his blog location for the full story:


When we arrive at the front entrance, we see that another squad has already entered before us.
The lieutenant asks them, "Are there people inside?"

One of the Marines raises his hand signaling five.

"Did you shoot them," the lieutenant asks?

"Roger that, sir, " the same Marine responds.

"Were they armed?" The Marine just shrugs and we all move inside.

Immediately after going in, I see the same black plastic body bags spread around the mosque. The dead from the day before. But more surprising, I see the same five men that were wounded from Friday as well. It appears that one of them is now dead and three are bleeding to death from new gunshot wounds. The fifth is partially covered by a blanket and is in the same place and condition he was in on Friday, near a column. He has not been shot again. I look closely at both the dead and the wounded. There don't appear to be any weapons anywhere.

"These were the same wounded from yesterday," I say to the lieutenant. He takes a look around and goes outside the mosque with his radio operator to call in the situation to Battalion Forward HQ.

I see an old man in a red kaffiyeh lying against the back wall. Another is face down next to him, his hand on the old man's lap -- as if he were trying to take cover. I squat beside them, inches away and begin to videotape them. Then I notice that the blood coming from the old man's nose is bubbling. A sign he is still breathing. So is the man next to him.

While I continue to tape, a Marine walks up to the other two bodies about fifteen feet away, but also lying against the same back wall.

Then I hear him say this about one of the men:

"He's fucking faking he's dead -- he's faking he's fucking dead."

End of slice.

I am not finishing this story on my web location as you really should click on over to site's location and read the whole horific scenareo.

Sonofabitch war sucks. No real winners there.

Things for which we should be thankful

We have a lot to be thankful for as we turn to another Thursday in November. Not the least of which, I am thankful that we are not traveling. Also, I am thankful I am not a turkey.

Beyond that, I am thankful for my family. Without them, I don't think it would be possible to know the real meaning and spirit of this holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving all, and to my Brother in Baghdad, I sent a card with my son's hand print on it. I hope it makes it there in time for the Holiday. I am thinking and sending peaceful wishes to the troops on the front. It won't be safe for them. I sure wish I was thanking him in person around the dinner table rather than reaching out from the other side of the globe.

We are all here, wishing our troops safety and a quick trip home.

The purpose of education in the USA

This just in from a friend:
You don't have free speech rights in the workplace, why should you have them in school? school being socialization for the workplace.

The average college graduate reads one book a year. If education means inquiry then there's something wrong with education. If education means socialization for the workplace, education works okay. What is the purpose of education, learning facts but stifling thinking? Enquiring minds want to know.
I think my dad is onto something here. Long ago, education became a burden for the average student. Stifling creativity and expeditionary spirit that is usually laced into the inquiry of scientific study, exploration, and experimentation. Instead, the purpose of education in the USA has become a grand socialization tool, to remedy the faults of parents, and instill some kind of values...even if those values are really a watered down version of thou shalt nots.

What we get instead of creative and insightful individuals is isomorphism - the grand gravitation to the middle. That is, most students come out of their pre- and secondary educational experiences feeling like they had spent the last 12 years of their lives enveloped in wonder bread under a cold drip from a faucet. Not that wonderbread isn't nutritious, but it is bland. It is the rare and tenacious few that embrace education as it is served up today. And oddly enough, those folks are the ones who excel and pursue higher diplomas beyond undergraduate degrees - which is why we end up with more of the same rather than inventive and exciting new modes of teaching.

Wouldn't it be great if we reinvented education from the Kindergarten up to unleash the child explorer in all of us such that we sought new knowledge with the same kind of spirit that we used to collect iron filings with magnets from sand as children?

There is a solution and I have one, but most folks are not willing to make the sacrifice for good, high quality and adventurous education. It is a lot of work and requires the commitment of the whole of society, not just resting the education of our children on the dedicated few who are steeped in the antiquated practice that is education in America today.

let me know if you want to hear more and I will type more along this line - I have brewing in the back of my head a manifesto for the reshaping of American education as we know it...and it is time for the revolution to begin.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

ABC's mad dash to be a part of the Major Media Propaganda Machine

Looks like the capitalist pigs at ABC are using the swing toward the right and a "values" agenda to play up Mathew Shepard as not necessarily a guiltless victim of a heinous crime.

I can't imagine settling down after gorging yourself with the Thanksgiving feast and wanting to watch this "expose."

But then again....I can see it now...the rednecks sitting around, lamenting almost burning down the house as they deep fry their turkeys, settling in with the 8th budlight and a newly popped open bag of porkrinds, flipping around the channels and hitting on ABC's "documentary/expose" and saying, "heh, heh, heh, I always knew that faggot deserved it."

Holy shit, if that doesn't give you a shiver up and down your spine, I don't know what will. Fuck ABC. I wouldn't watch TV at all if I could pitch the TV. But the spouse wants one. We should all be looking to Guerrilla News Network for real meat to sink our news-starved teeth into.

Enough of the imagined...Perhaps we should remember the speach given by Harvey Fienstein after the whole tragedy took place.


...Because we are represented by politicians who feel free to call our lives a disease, an illness, a maladjustment and even a crime - and they do so with impunity. Because these politicians are not ripped from their elected positions with righteous indignation, but instead their coffers fill with donations and they are re-elected to high office time and again. That's why Matthew Shepard was beaten bloody.

Because we turn for moral leadership to priests and pastors and ministers and rabbis who daily refer to our lives as "abomination". Because these men and women of God are not punished for that assault on our dignity and humanity, but are treated with respect and deference and their defamation's are excused in the name of religious freedom. That's why Matthew Shepard was robbed and crucified on a fence.

Because talk-show hosts get laughs making jokes at our expense. Because comedians build careers aping and demeaning us. Because heterosexual actors win awards portraying us as "almost real people". Because newspapers and magazines lose no readership addressing their audience as if every one of us is straight. That's why Matthew Shepard was set on fire and left to die..."

Is knowledge finite or expanding?

I was at a trail race this past weekend running with some friends and the question came up, "Is knowledge finite?" Don't ask me why such a philosophical a question was raised as we bounded through the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains in about 45 degree weather, but it did.

Anyone in academia should answer this question two ways - 1) well no, it is expanding as we discover new knowledge through emperical examination and science. And 2) Well, now wait a minute, isn't knowledge already there and finite, but that what we are doing is simply gropping around trying to find the real truths?

There in lies the conundrum.

The academics are getting into the discourse justifying web logs. But, the power of this speach is best listened to rather than sniped and pasted elswhere. The information tech/library science folks are actually thinking. David Wienberger gave a talk recently to the Library of Congress folks.

If you walk away, walkaway, I will follow

The boys in U2 are just slightly older than I am and they still rock.

Check out this quicktime vid from the SNL show.

I need to pick up the new album if there are any left this late in the day.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Death's sickle rakes another soul home

Lance Cpl. Phillip West of American Canyon died in a bomb attack while on patrol. The 19-year-old graduated from Vintage High School in Napa last year, and had been in Iraq since June.

West's father says his son loved his country and loved the Marines. Memorial services will be announced later this week.

Does President Bush Care?

Did/will he send his daughters to Iraq?


Another blogger has some good video clips that people might be interested in. Crank up the sound on these.

Check out the November 11th and 18th instalments therein.

Another example of how crazy Ann Coulter really is -- and more on the Mainstream Media Propaganda Machine

My dad also pointed out an interesting link on the Gadflyer blog that has been talking about media maven Ann Coulter spining democrats as racist simply becuase they think she is unqualified. Another example of the hypocrites at work. This leads to another intersting link:

"Right-wing pundit Ann Coulter labeled Democrats as "racist" for questioning the credentials of national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, recently nominated by President George W. Bush to replace Secretary of State Colin Powell, and conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Coulter's remarks came during a November 17 discussion on FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes of some controversial political cartoons depicting Rice as a pawn of President George W. Bush.

The cartoons shown on the program are in poor taste (see here, here, and here), but are in no way a production of the Democratic Party. Regardless, Coulter said "It goes beyond the cartoons," claiming that Democrats who oppose Rice's nomination are doing so because they "have a big problem with black women." Coulter also asserted that former national counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke has "a problem with blacks" because his book Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror (Free Press, March 2004) suggested that Rice had not heard of Al Qaeda when he briefed her on the terrorist group in 2001. Coulter also labeled Democratic strategist Bob Beckel a "racist" to his face.

End clip:

The text of the "discourse" is very revealing. The woman has her head twisted on sideways and can't see through the sand she has so willing burried it in.

Another interesting piece on the Media Matters web loction reitterates what I have been saying all along. The sanitation of the news by the mainstream media essentially keeps the public ill informed on a myriad of subjects. As Al Franken says, the mainstream media is afraid of its own shadow.

I say, the mainstream media is wittingly contributing to the propaganda dished out by the whitehouse and others. Let's call them the Mainstream Media Propaganda Machine (MMPM). And is the public outraged? No. As long as they get their turkey dinners on Thursday, and the presents from Santa, they will be dumb, fat and happy.


BLITZER: But why have -- the Democrats, as you recognized, had a great opportunity this time because of those issues that you're just raising right now. Yet despite that, Bush got 51 percent of the vote.

FRANKEN: Well, I think that a large part of it is that the media hasn't done its job. And a large percentage of Bush supporters believe the following things: that we found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, found them; that --

BLITZER: But what did the Democrats do wrong? Why couldn't the Democrats do a better job getting that message across? Was it the candidate, [Senator] John Kerry?

FRANKEN: I think that it's partly the candidate, probably, sure. But I think also the press bears a responsibility.

Let me -- I was in the greenroom, and I watched an ad run by the coal people. It said "eagle." You've seen it a million times, right? The eagle flies and is coughing and lands on this thing. And then it flies off and then there's blue sky.

Do you know what it says at the end of that commercial? It says that by 2016, or it gives some date in the future, our air quality will be 70 percent better than it was in 1970.

Well, do you know how much better it was in 2000? It was over 50 percent better. And do you know why it will be considered better in 2016?

BLITZER: But it raises --

FRANKEN: Because -- wait a minute --

BLITZER: But it raises the question --

FRANKEN: I'm sorry, Wolf. Let me just finish. It's because they've eliminated CO2 as a pollutant. And the air isn't getting any cleaner. And you guys run this ad without challenging it. And this is my criticism, is that we can't get our message across because the media isn't doing its job.

End of slice.


Why has there not been more outrage about the French killing of Ivory Coast civilians?

My dad pointed me to this post on little green footballs. It is very graphic and puts the murder of civilians in the Ivory Coast squarly in the French Troops Guilty category.

This video is very graphic. A full length clip is also available at the LGF blog.

Iraq Debt Forigiven - US Taxpayers picking up the tab?

Now, if Iraq, the recent home to many terrorists, leathal individuals, criminals the likes of Saddam, and the incidential kind individual or benign citizen can get their creditors to forgive their debt, why can't I get Visa to relieve my debt burden?


"The world's leading industrial nations agreed Sunday to cancel 80 percent of the nearly $39 billion debt owed them by Iraq, a critical step in rebuilding the country's devastated economy and an important precedent for its other creditors to follow.

The agreement, after a year of intense lobbying by the United States, puts pressure on Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq's other Middle Eastern neighbors to forgive obligations owed them, including billions in reparations Iraq owes from the Persian Gulf war in 1991."

End slice:

So, logic follows that if the US Taxpayer is footing the bill for the current desert conflagration, and the last desert storm, that nagging pain we feel in our wallets is a sucking sound caused whenever politicians support yet another initiative to wage war. And, if the criminals are not held liable, why are we?

Again, as I have said, I think the ROI for the war in Iraq is simply not worth it. Perhaps we should put the bastards at Visa in charge of debt collection on these billions and billions of dollars of debt and we may get our money back. They are vicious indivuals and don't take no for an answer.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Let's hope the new U2 Album lives up to the hype

It is hard to believe that U2 will be able to live up to the hype of the forthcoming "how to dismantle a bomb." Most every review I have read glows, profusely:


"While the Edge's tremolo-picked sustained notes and arpeggios are familiar, the music is by no means a retreat to the chiming marches of early U2; instead, it encompasses grunge pugnacity, glam-rock stomps and the sudden benevolent fanfares of "Abbey Road"-era Beatles. The music scales dynamic peaks and dives into abysses and whirlpools, only to resolve into the next chorus. Every song is memorable."

End of snip:

Personally, I have been listening to U2 since the days of Boy, October, and War and I still think they rock. Long since I thought they were about to sell out, they come up with another winner. I loved Pop, and still crank Joshua Tree as loud as I can get it. Unforgetable Fire....bullet the blue sky, Bad....Many of their anthems stir the soul.

While I anxiously await the new one, I think they really need to go deeper in any following album. That is, I think they need to embrace their Irish roots and bust out a 100% accoustic set backed up with some real, authentic Irish instruments - whistle, pipes, fiddle, bodhran, and button box. That would melt a soul, I would bet.

Perhaps the boys in the band will be blog surfing and find this suggestion. And, if we are lucky, they will come off their forthcoming arena rock bender and really want to sit down with a pint of some kind of stout, in a warm cubby with a turf fire burning nearby, and embrace their roots - produce some music with tight ties to their Irish souls and emeshed with the sounds that made them.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Reich Wing Republicans

There seems to be no end to good humor on the part of our fair administration in the whitehouse and their self-righteous party.

Found some interesting links:

This one at this web locatoin is sung to the tune of the Beverly Hillbilies:
 "The Ballad of George W. Bush"

Come and listen to my story 'bout a boy name Bush,
His IQ was zero and his head was up his tush.
He drank like a fish while he drove all about,
But that didn't matter 'cuz his daddy bailed him out.
DUI, that is. Criminal record. Cover-up.

Well, the first thing you know little Georgie goes to Yale,
He can't spell his name but they never let him fail.
He spends all his time hangin' out with student folk,
And that's when he learns how to snort a line of coke.
Blow, that is. White gold. Nose candy.

The next thing you know there's a war in Vietnam,
Kin folks say, "George, stay at home with Mom."
Let the common people get maimed and scarred,
We'll buy you a spot in the Texas Air Guard.
Cushy, that is. Country clubs. Nose candy.

Twenty years later George gets a little bored,
He trades in the booze, says that Jesus is his Lord.
He said, "Now the White House is the place I wanna be,"
So he called his daddy's friends and they called the GOP.
Gun owners, that is. Falwell. Jesse Helms.

Come November 7, the election ran late,
Kin folks said "Jeb, give the boy your state!"
"Don't let those colored folks get into the polls,"
So they put up barricades so they couldn't punch their holes.
Chads, that is. Duval County. Miami-Dade.

Before the votes were counted five Supremes stepped in,
Told all the voters "Hey, we want George to win."
"Stop counting votes!" was their solemn invocation,
And that's how George finally got his coronation.
Rigged, that is. Illegitimate. No moral authority.

End of slice:

I found five senators that people need to keep their eye on.

This slice is from another email going around:

"The Republican National Committee has announced it's changing
the emblem of the Republican Party - from an elephant to a
condom. The Republican National Chairman explained that the
condom more clearly reflects the Party's current stance
owing to the fact that a condom accepts inflation, halts
production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch
of pricks, and gives you a sense of security while you're
actually being screwed."

End of slice:

And a final email from some friends actually re-addressed a
letter to Dr. Laura and suggest we send it to W.

Dear GWB,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding
God's Law. When someone tries to defend the homosexual
lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus
18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some
of the laws and how to follow them.

a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know
it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The
problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing
to them. Should I smite them?

b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as
sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do
you think would be a fair price for her?

c) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves,
both male and female, provided they are purchased from
neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this
applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you
clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

d) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the
Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 learly states he should be put
to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

e) A friend of mine feels that even though eating
shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser
abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree.
Can you settle this?

f) Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar
of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit
that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be
20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

g) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including
the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly
forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?

h) I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead
pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if
I wear gloves?

i) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting
two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by
wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread
(cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme
a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the
trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?
(Lev.24:10-16). Couldn't we just burn them to death at a
private family affair like we do with people who sleep with
their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am
confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us
that God's word is eternal and unchanging. Your devoted
disciple and adoring fan.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Foray into the shit storm - sub title: The Mainstream Media Propaganda Machine

I just got this note from my dad. It included some wonderful links, but I am not sure what to think of it. I suppose this is a glass half full v. half empty proposition. Which do you think it is:


"The hijab - the headscarf that many Muslim women wear as a signal of modesty. How does the hijab differ from gang signs, large crosses, t-shirts with messages, etc.? They all set their wearers apart. Haven't these people heard the Japanese expression, ''The nail that sticks out is hammered down''?

'No loftier position from which to view the world than a cross.' But it's my religion! It doesn't matter how you set yourself up as different, you're the nail that sticks out and you'll be treated accordingly. Having different expectations of society is indicative of a detachment from reality."

End of slice.

Are bloggers nails sticking out? Or are we talking about anyone not fitting in with their local societal norms?

Anyway, I thought the following web locations would be fun for other folks to check out. I particularly enjoyed this link, and its sentiment: "looks like we're in for four more years of this shit."

Next, I found another person posting actual pics from the front in Iraq. These are shots you won't see published by the mainstream meadia propaganda machine. Very graphic and disturbing to rational humans. The caveat is best stipulated from the author:


"the longer i do this the shorter this introduction gets. look at the pictures and make up your own mind. if our cause is just then we should not fear witnessing its cost.

A lot of people have sent me pictures of september 11th. please stop. i lived in lower manhattan on 9/11. saddam hussein had nothing to do with what happened that day."

End of slice.

Lastly, there is an interesting web location tracking militant muslim orgs. They posted the text of the letter stuck to the body of a hostage (he is dead now, of course) with a knife. This is chilling. Again, the mainstream media sanitizes this information leaving most of the USA in the dark, completely!


"There will come a Day when one soul will not be able to help another soul. A Day of horrible tortures and painful tribulations which will go together with with the terrible cries being pressed out of the lungs of the unjust .Cries. Mrs. Hirshi Ali, which will cause chills to run up someone's spine, and cause the hair on their head to stand straight up. People will appear to be drunk with (with fear) even though they arent drunk. On that Great Day the atmosphere will be filled with FEAR."

End of slice:

And in the end, terrorism is all about the fear, no? And isn't this current administration highly efffective at peddling fear to garner votes and seats, and push their agenda? Yes, saddly.

Whose water will Las Vegas be stealing next?

This just in from the feds. Our environmentally minded congress is taking another step toward butchering the wilderness and promoting development over sustainable living.


"The legislation grants rent-free rights of way across federal land for a massive proposed pipeline system that would carry groundwater from rural Nevada to the Las Vegas area.

It authorizes the sale of 90,000 acres of public land — the equivalent of three San Franciscos — for private development in Lincoln County, a huge, lonely swath of southeastern Nevada that is almost entirely owned by the federal government. "

End of slice:

And, who is going to foot this bill? The taxpayer! RENT FREE! Yikes. And the big winner is...drum roll please:

Continue slice:

"And it eliminates a federal right of way that interferes with a big Southern Nevada development proposed by a friend of one of the bill's sponsors, Democratic Sen. Harry Reid , the soon-to-be Senate minority leader...."

End slice:

Even the democrats are guilty of cronyism.

More damage to the environment that won't be assessed nor measured just so the Luxor can turn the faucets on in the face of increased oppulant development in the desert that really is Las Vegas.

More slice:

"It is really the epitome of a bad lands bill," said Janine Blaeloch, director of the Western Land Exchange Project, a public lands watchdog group. "It pushed for privatization of federal land where there is no demand…. It does tremendous damage to the entire landscape. We're going to lay pipelines from here to kingdom come on public land for no charge and suck water from rural Nevada down to Las Vegas."

The pipeline rights of way are granted to the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which wants to pump water from a deep regional aquifer to supply booming Las Vegas and Lincoln County, which has a deal with a private water company to develop local groundwater to serve growth.

The pumping proposals have raised concerns that they could jeopardize rural water supplies as well as springs in Death Valley National Park, which sits on the western edge of the aquifer, just over the California border."

end slice:

In my view, places that are originally desert, should not be habited because there is no sustainable water source. If there isn't any water, in enough quantities to use viably and sustainably, isn't that a good indication that there shouldn't be any development?

How about we remove the Superintendent's Office

What was the last good thing the Superintendent did for you?

This just in from the Oakland School District. Perhaps it is time for us to remove the districting system as a cumbersome mechanism for school improvement and move the direction of the dollars expensed in the housing of so many offices that produce nothing but bureaucratic breeze direct to the schools that are foundering.


"Private auditors say they found that district officials concealed a growing deficit and understated expenses by nearly $38 million.

Meantime, state administrator Randolph Ward has recommended closing down five more schools in Oakland. The district closed five other schools just a few months ago. No final decision on the school closures will be made until December 8."

End of slice:

The invention of the school district is rooted in the generation of the public school system about 150 years ago as a means to develop quality curriculum when the only teachers available were single women with no formal credentials. That is, the only person with a Ph.D. and the ability to develop curriculum back in the mid-1800s was the Superintendent. These days, the superintendent is as far removed from development of the curriculum in schools as the local starbucks barrista. Teachers are well qualified and able to generate curriculum. No need for the superintendent.

We are long over due for a complete overhaul of an ancient educational system that is broken in terms of providing an equal opportunity for an equal education. And, it is time to start at the top by changing how the districting system is organized by removing the superintendents office. The cash used to run such offices is better spent closer to the students; directly on improving the schools.

How about Good Jobs for Our people first?

This is an interesting location in cyberspace. It is time to put employees first and focus not just on job creation, but on great job creation. How many people can live on the 7 bucks or so an hour that Wal-Mart gives most of its employees?

People in good to great jobs that pay well, become more productive and contributory to a powerful economy. With the evaporation of US jobs, we are only seeing a larger gap between rich and poor. The four hundred buck windfall provided by GWB really doesn't go far when you can't pay your rent.

Not only that, but the gov't is practically giving away cash for big box retailers to move product in from off shore increasing the trade deficit to never before seen levels.

In this extensively researched study, we show that the giant retailer has received more than $1 billion in economic development subsidies from state and local governments across the country. Taxpayers have helped finance not only Wal-Mart stores, but also the company’s huge network of distribution centers, more than 90% of which have gotten subsidies. The report also includes policy proposals, including a prohibition on subsidies to big-box retailers except in distressed areas that are underserved by retail outlets (and in those cases the recipient of the subsidy should be required to pay a living wage.)

End of slice:

How about an end to corporate welfare before an end to social welfare?

Boycot Wal-Mart

The big box capitalists from Arkansas are really damaging the US economy. Sure, you get cheep/inexpensive toasters made in China, but after you've tossed your third one into the trash heap, don't you think it is time to recommit ourselves to buying products built here in the good old U.S. of A?

Jim Hightower has a point(see the posting from today). Wal-Mart will stop at nothing, using their power and the bully pulpit in Bentonville to sqeeze the creativity right out of American Industry. Even if it means presenting meaningless statistics to argue an illegitimate point.

Not only are products exclusively made in USA from parts grown/built/made in USA on the extinction list, we have the suits from Wal-Mart to thank for exploitation of workers - the devaluation of minimum wage earners, and the exploitation of retirees.

Think about it. Factory workers in the US made upwards of double or triple the salaries that Wal-Mart clerks make. And, these companies paid into benefits packages that included retirement and health care plans. Wal-Mart continues to short change their own employees, toward what end? To put more fat on the cats in charge. These folks are certainly not hurting for their company's success. Many these US factory employees have lost their jobs to the exporting of their jobs to places like Mexico and China and may find themselves with the only job available to them - like a kick in the pants - at Wal-Mart. To which, they will only be able to afford products from Wal-Mart because they don't get paid enough to shop anywhere else.

Wal-Mart is in a veritable joint venture with the country of China to undersell our own fine industrial base by dictating to suppliers and forcing them to move to places where the labor is cheeper - so you can get a cheeper toothbrush. Even so, I wonder what the mark up is on said toothbrush? 40%? 60%? Perhaps 120%? Who really knows for sure, but they don't sure don't share those trade secrets with the public they are trying to "serve."

I, for one, am not going to shop at Wal-Mart. Ever! These people don't need my patronage or support, least of all, my cash for the crap they dish up as they lure you in with low prices in the front and jacked up prices on the remaining merchandise. It is down right mischevious and unethical screwing of the American people.

STOP SHOPPING Wal-Mart. Please.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

"The Stars and Stripes have been Swiped"

Eminem is ramping it up with a new ending to his latest Mosh video. Check it out. Incite-ful lyrics. He has been stepping full throttle into the manure pile that is politics in America. But, I suppose that is what makes discourse on the subject so irrisistible. Sniff it enough and in some spots you can smell fresh air. And, this vid is a breath of it.

March on Marshall, we are with you. "Simplify the rhyme to amplify the noise...Follow me as I lead..."

Here's a couple of links that will keep us abreast of the sitch.

Occupation Watch

Guerrilla News Network

Meanwhile, the number of people killed goes up

Ah, the daily totals. I think that in Vietnam, they were printing the news as ratios, "Gooks" v. GIs killed each day. That's a rather ugly way to debase human beings.


November became one of Iraq's bloodiest months as the U.S. death toll in the war in Iraq reached 1,214, according to figures released by the Defense Department.

On Wednesday, a suicide attacker drove his bomb-laden car into a U.S. convoy during fierce fighting in the town of Beiji, 155 miles north of the Baghdad, killing 10 people and wounding 12, including three American soldiers. Another attack on a convoy of civilian contractors in Beiji caused no casualties.

End of slice.

Cross Dress or Camo - you decide.

How about let the children decide? What this issue points to in Texass is, that, perhaps what is going on is blatent twisted rational of homophobic parents.

Doesn't matter how they dress does it? That doesn't make your kid gay....How about black trench coats instead? With a nice camo-theme, can you bring your gun to school that day, too?

As the Who would say, "The kids are alright." Perhaps the parents should back off.


The Liberty Legal Institute came to the aid of parent Delana Davies, who was concerned about officially sanctioned cross-dressing. Davies said having boys dress like girls is part of an effort to push a homosexual agenda in public schools.

An attorney for the tiny East Texas school district says there's no hidden agenda. He said the dress-up day was just intended to be fun for the kids.

Still, the tradition is being scrapped and the district will hold "Camo Day" instead -- with black boots and Army camouflage to be worn by everyone who wants to participate.

End of slice:

How about brown shirts with swasticas? Can they wear those too?

What happened to freedom of expresion? I forget, isn't that protected by our constitution?

If the kids were uncomfortable with it, perhaps they wouldn't partake in the dress up day?

I found a comment by the woman who said this wasn't good for her kids on another location:


"Delana Davies, 33, said she complained after reading a school notice about "TWIRP Day." Davies, whose 9-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter attend Spurger Elementary, said she viewed the day not as a silly Homecoming Week activity, but rather something related to homosexuality.

"It's like experimenting with drugs," Davies said. "You just keep playing with it and it becomes customary. ... If it's OK to dress like a girl today, then why is it not OK in the future?"

End of slice:

YIKES, since when does playing dress up on any day relate to experimenting with drugs. Did they ban Halloween in Spurger Texass too?

Is it time to bring back Saddie Hawkins day, to reinforce our heterosexualness and give the homely gals in Spurger a chance?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Another young soul lost in Falluja

Another local boy drops at 21 years old.

The horror, the horror, the horror.


This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes...again
Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need...of some...stranger's hand
In a...desperate land
Lost in a Roman...wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah

A Whistle Blower's Catch - 22

This was a hot story (pun intended) for a bit in the Blogsisphere....However, as usuall, if you dig a bit deeper, you find that there is more to it. The man actually had/has a point.


In the recent interviews, Alanssi expressed anguish over not being able to visit his family in Yemen. He said that he suffers from diabetes and heart problems and that his wife is seriously ill with stomach cancer. Alanssi said he could not travel to his native country because he has no money and because the FBI, which is expecting him to testify at a terrorism trial in New York, was keeping his Yemeni passport.

“I must travel to Yemen to see my sick wife (stomac cancer) and my family before I testify at the court or any other places,” Alanssi wrote FBI agent Robert Fuller in New York, according to the copy he provided The Post yesterday. “Why you don’t care about my life and my family’s life? Once I testify my family will be killed in Yemen, me too I will be dead man.”

End of slice.

This makes it very difficult for individuals who have information that could prevent further acts of terrism to let officials know to intervene.

The whims of Jesus

Humm, why is it that what Jesus would do is dependant upon such varied interpretation?

Perhaps it is becuase the Bible was written by men, fallible men, who decided to write a document that kept them in the positions they were in when they wrote it?

Monday, November 15, 2004

Find your Local Terrorist

Found another fun game for y'all to play.

Check this out and see if you can find the terrorist.

Recovery Rx for Democrats

Here's a fun link to a cute cartoon location.

Amidst the heavy issues, a little levity goes a long way. Enjoy

Ah...the beat of hypocrisy timbres on

Check out this nicely written piece...in the NyTimes today:


Public School 63 in the South Bronx have to take their gym classes in the school's lobby. They don't have a gymnasium. Their teacher, Rose Gelrod, has marked a jogging path on the lobby's floor. These makeshift classes, as reporter Susan Saulny informed us, "are regularly interrupted by foot traffic to bathrooms and deliveries to the cafeteria."

Welcome to the wonderful world of neglect, which is the daily life of New York City schoolchildren.Ah, but on the front page of the Sports section of that same paper comes a different story. It was a profile of the pampered billionaire owner of the New York Jets, Robert Wood Johnson IV, who is known as Woody to his close friends and those many public officials who stumble all over themselves trying to kiss his ring.

The very people who are crying poverty as they deny gyms and playgrounds to the city's schoolchildren - starting with the billionaire mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, and the governor, George Pataki - are pulling out every stop in an effort to round up and hand over hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to their friend Woody so he can have the grandest, most luxurious, most expensive sports stadium the country has ever seen....

End of slice:

Nice to know that the spoiled and higly pampered sports stars will have luxurious faclities (as is the case in a fair number of our cities) while our schools' children suffer through their educations.

Mean Republican and Others clash on SFSU campus

Here's a note from the University President Robert Corrigan that many outside of the SFSU community may not get.

It is a matter of public record given that he sent this Email to the whole campus. I am posting it here in its entirety becuase I doubt it is linked to a campus web location. However, the point is that even in the "liberal" neck of the woods, the divisiness of the election is completely evidenced by this email. Like I had said in the past, it will take a magician to unit this country.

Text below --

Dear Colleague:

As I have said in many settings, and remind us all now, San Francisco State University is committed to providing an environment for open discourse, for the free exchange of ideas, and for practicing the skills of democracy. And democracy, as we know, must be rooted in respect for the humanity of all -- including those whose ideas we find objectionable, even abhorrent.

It is hardly surprising to see the strong feelings that have gripped our nation play out on this politically-engaged campus in the aftermath of the Presidential election. However, last week's noisy and angry campus encounters between students of opposing political views have left me deeply disappointed with the behavior of some on both sides. Even though sensationalized reports of these events are false, some students did dishonor their cause -- and themselves -- by their verbal attacks and intensely hostile demeanor.

This is what actually occurred: On November 1, four members of the campus College Republicans staffing a table were approached by four young female students of Middle East descent (three of whom are U.S. citizens, by the way) who began to voice their intense anger about Bush policy and the war in Iraq. Tempers flared on both sides, but the only physical exchange occurred when a College Republican attempted to slap away the hand of a student leaning over the table and pointing at him. In response, she slapped his shoulder. Campus Public Safety intervened and interviewed the two students on the spot. When asked whether they wanted to press charges against each other, both declined. However, both have now been referred to the campus discipline office for possible violation of the student code of conduct.

Were ugly and unacceptable remarks exchanged? Yes, and campus discipline provides a mechanism for dealing with that behavior. But to label this encounter, largely between eight students, an anti-Semitic "intifada" and the work of a "mob" is seriously to distort reality.

Two days later, on November 3, students who were angered by a sensationalist Internet site's portrayal of the Monday event and others who were disappointed by the outcome of the Presidential election gathered near the Student Center. That day they disrupted scheduled events and some confronted an informational table set up by the College Republicans.This noisy but non-violent confrontation, which in no way was a mob action, grew into an impromptu anti-Bush rally of 150-200 students. Public Safety maintained a clear separation between the College Republican table and the crowd. We have found no evidence that the GUPS (General Union of Palestine Students) initiated either this or the Monday event. Rather, both were outbursts between students of strong and opposing opinions.

Taunts, attempts to incite each other to anger, and remarks drawing on the worst stereotypes and global fears violate the values of this campus. In many cases, they also violate the student code of conduct, as a number of students (from both sides of the argument), who have been referred for possible student discipline, have just learned. Further, exchanging charges of "racism" and anti-Semitism" with others because of their political affiliation rather than dealing with the substance of the political differences is a dishonest dead end. If vigorous discourse moves from heated to heinous, we will use existing campus policies to restore civility. On this campus, free speech does not mean free rein.

It is time to place greater emphasis on another of the key skills of democracy -- effecting change. To take a purely practical view, hurling charges and yelling is not the way to bring about political and social reform. Those who really care about issues need to work the political system, where the battles are fought and won.

I wonder whether those who seek to antagonize, to provoke, to vent their anger rather than wrestle with issues, realize what harm they do to free speech, to a fair and open society, and to the cause of justice for all peoples. Such behavior invites -- has already invited -- the kind of calls for interference in the life of this campus that would ultimately make it an inhospitable environment for all.

I believe strongly that in our terribly troubled world, each of us has an intense, personal responsibility to seek solutions, not exacerbate problems. I hope that at the next emotional gathering on campus -- and there will be more -- all of us will find that balance between passion and decency. Our future depends on it.

-- Robert A. Corrigan, president

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Is there such a thing as a Moderate Independent?

I found this web location and thought people might be interested in the link.

They do chime in on the whole election fraud thing quoting MSNBC on their front page:


More from the MSNB story: "The majority of the media has yet to touch the other stories of Ohio (the amazing BushTimes Ten voting machine in Gahanna) or the sagas of Ohio South: huge margins for Bush in Florida counties in which registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans 2-1, places where the optical scanning of precinct totals seems to have turned results from perfect matches for the pro-Kerry exit poll data, to Bush sweeps. We will be
endeavoring to pull those stories, along with the Warren County farce, into the mainstream Monday and/or Tuesday nights on Countdown."

Folks, this one may just be heating up. Stay tuned...

Death is a certainty. Thus, it is how one lives that is the measure of the true worth of a person

More sad news for the running community.

Just read through Joe Henderson's journal today for the weekly bit. Found out, Paul Reese passed away. He's a Marine, served in three wars. Above all, he was an avid runner until his final year.


"He wrote again to us friends in late October, with a good-bye of sorts. "One thing you learn as you sift through life is that the most precious gift of all is love, and I'm blessed to have a generous share of that. Of course, it could be argued that I am such a splendid person, what other choice is there but to love me!"

Another icon passes on...Dr. Paul Spangler, Johnny Kelly...Of course death is really not an option. It is how ones life is lived that is the measure of the true worth of a person. I hope only that I can live up to the measure of such icons....and can run until my last day.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Rats jumping Ship?

I don't recall this many Cabinet Resignations pending during the start of Clinton's second term. What is going on in the Whitehouse to cause all these rats to jump? Is the ship sinking?


"Paige would become the third Cabinet secretary to resign since Bush's reelection last week. On Tuesday, the White House announced the resignations of Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans."

End slice:

Is this good for eductation? I don't know, but we will watch and see if these folks can really rally around their call for leaving "no child behind." From what it looks like in my city, there are a whole host of children getting stuck in schools with facilities that we wouldn't want IBM to put their people. Why can't we have schools that reflect the wealth of the buisness sector?

Unfortunately, you get what you pay for, and the public seems to not want to support high quality facilities for students today. And in many states, it seems as though Prisons hold a higher priority. It is time for a change and social reform in our wonderful country, a term I coined "Capitalism with a Conscience!" More on that later. But the short of its this, if companies indeed do want high quality employees to hire (or at least, that is if they do keep jobs in this country), then it is time for those some companies that milk profits off the people to give some of that windfall back to the people in a more grand scale than simply just paying your taxes (or if they even do that: some companies are experts in putting their profits straight through the loopholes provided by our government and escape with big dollars to fund their third and fourth homes in luxuriously gated communties - e.g. Ken Lay).

Incientially, on another topic. What does it say when an entire society looks to the criminal justice system for entertainment? Just look at the number of folks dancing in the streets at the Peterson trial verdict. Yikes, as if there was anything to celebrate there? A woman and unborn child were murdered, and another man will pay the price for doing it. Why is that cause for celebration? Morbid curiousity drives a person to slow down at the scene of a trafic accident, looking for blood in all the wrong places. This whole trafic accident call the Scott Peterson Trial is a sad scenareo for all parties involved, and it is even more sickening that the press and world media needs these warts to sell advertising. Where is the conscience here? gone! I say time for a new world order, "Capitalism with a Conscience" More on that later.

Ah, the lovely Streets of Falluja

I found an awesome blog surfing around some meta-blog crawlers.

Kevin Sites is an embedded reporter working for NBC, but also hosts his own personal Blog. Here, you get the full scoop, and often times quicker than waiting for the evening news.

Check it out. This shot is his taken on Friday. Ah, the lovely streets of Falluja! Glad we don't live there, eh?

Friday, November 12, 2004

The Iraq War, as do all wars, still leads to carnage and the individual psychological terrorism resultant from physical and emotional wounds

As a sad update to the posting I made a while back, the two boys (Marines) local to the SF Bay Area were tragically burried side-by-side on Veterans day. I wonder if our dear president noticed. These two boys were about the same age or younger than the Bush Sisters.

Even today, the Iraq war is highly effective at producing more smoke and bodies. Of course, this is not unlike WWI, but does this mean that we should be happy about it?

I simply don't like it. This war, fostered under spurious reasons, feels a bit like the signing of the armistice and letting 10,000 more soldiers die even after the outcome of the conflagration was decided.

Stop, hey, what's that sound, everybody look what's goin' down.
For what it's worth, this slice is from a blogger on the spot in Falluja: Kevin Sites -

"Even before first light -- U.S. Marines, soldiers and Iraqi National Guard troops swarmed into Falluja. Tanks and heavily armored Bradley Fighting used their main guns to blow up cars and buses parked down side streets -- just in case they might be booby-trapped -- packed with explosives.

"This is a frigging ghost town," says Corporal Steven Wolf, a squad leader for the vehicle the CAAT (Combined Anti Armor Team) Platoon. The streets are deserted. But there are some exceptions. The dead.

The Marines are operating with liberal rules of engagement.

"Everything to the west is weapons free," radios Staff Sgt. Sam Mortimer of Seattle, Washington. Weapons Free means the marines can shoot whatever they see -- it's all considered hostile.

Our humvees pass by a body of a man in the center of the street. There is hole through his left eyes socket where a Marine sniper round passed cleanly through.

Down another side street is the body of a second man. This one dressed in clean white sneakers and athletic pants. He is on his back -- his arms behind his head, his face seems nearly peaceful, content. Not far from him--a Russian-made Dragonov sniper rifle. From the black ammo vest strapped to his chest loose 7.62 rounds have spilled to the ground.

The Marines I'm embedded with are nearly ebullient. This looks to be a cakewalk.

One jokes they'll be sipping 'Pina Coladas by the Euphrates River by fifteen-hundred.'

Is it Voter Fraud if the Company Behind the Machines Perpetrated the Action?

I don't think so. Just listen to this. I got it off of Michael Moore.com. It sounds more like a corporate boondogle to get Bush back into a place where he could do the most good for his chronies in Diebold.

Either way, the voter gets cheated. I suppose we are going to let these folks get away with this as well.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Spry at 106 years old and remembering the First Big War

I think, if my memory serves me, that the folks of the day called WWI the "War to end all wars." Unfortunately, they were not so accurate about that.

A lot of people have viewed this article on Veterans Day, but I thought a few of these comments from someone who was there and still recalls it to this day can still have meaning for us today.


MONTARGIS, France, (AFP) - The handshake is firm, the gaze is clear and the expression still alert. At 106, Ferdinand Gilson can never get out of his mind the six months he spent in the trenches of the Western Front.

AFP Photo

"I remember all that period -- well, nearly everything," said Gilson, who is one of only 15 surviving World War I veterans in France, "I have a few memory lapses."

Most of what he remembers, he'd rather forget -- the mud, choking gas, death, nauseous odors and hunger, but above all, the death of doomed companions as young as he was at 19.

"In the trenches, we ate at night so as not to see the worms on the meat," he said in an interview. "The stench was intolerable. But happily, there was wine -- seven to nine liters a day for the strongest...

...The nights were terrible because of the bombardments. At dawn we had to collect the dead and the wounded. Sometimes, when they were seriously injured, that became unbearable," Gilson said. "I had good hearing, and I could hear the shells coming. I yelled, 'they are after our arse,' and everyone threw themselves onto the ground."

...The madness was over," he said. "We were immensely happy. It is then that I learned to dance the polka -- with an artilleryman."

End of slice:

No doubt, life on the front has not improved much.

Armistice Day

It is rather fitting that, with the world press' prediliction for the pressing demise of Arafat, that his death is announced on Armistice Day.

"At 5 A.M. on Monday, November 11, 1918 the Germans signed the Armistice, an order was issued for all firing to cease; so the hostilities of the First World War ended. This day began with the laying down of arms, blowing of whistles, impromptu parades, closing of places of business. All over the globe there were many demonstrations; no doubt the world has never before witnessed such rejoicing."

To the vets, today is a day to remember your service, and thank you for preserving our freedom. All gave some, and some gave all. Semper Fi. - If you do click on this link, be warned,

"This Site is Not Endorsed By, Nor Does it Attempt to Reflect The Official Opinions or Positions of Headquarters Marine Corps, The Department of Defense, or The President of The United States." However, it is sponsored by a whole bunch of nutrition agencies. Scroll all the way to the bottom and take a look at who actually does support these folk.

And it finally looks like our troops are doing something good in Iraq, but they are getting hit hard. Even so, does anyone remember what it was like in Falluja before we invaded their country?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Did you know Barbara Streisand blogs?

I just found out the power of lots of comments on blog entries. I was checking out Barlow's latest entry, and found that there were about 44 comments left underneath a particularly poignant Jeffersonian quote. Low and behold, there were some insightful statments made and equally fun links to different places in cyberland.

I found out that Barbara Streisand blogs (or at least her publicist presents her "statements" online) and tends to quote the same people as Barlow. Also, there was one particularly humerous rant about the South. Personally, I think it was a bit harsh, but then again, if you are not laughing then you don't get it, I suppose. Lastly, I found the wixpedia location, to which I have never clicked upon, that addresses our founding fathers. As a history buff, I did enjoy clicking on some of the lesser known aformentioned forefathers, and seeing their pics and bios where available. I wonder what they would have thought of all the hoopla surrounding the latest election. Tough to guess, but we know that they were not abject to letting a little blood spill in the name of liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. But we also know that they were very astute in asserting that there be separation of church and state (unlike the Bushies who tend to want to inextricably bind the two by appointing conservative extremist activist judges to various benches).

Oh, and did you know that the Bible Belt States lead the nation in divorce rates?

Go figure, these are the folks that are against same sex marriage? Perhaps they should be just against marriage in general.

Christian Radio? Were you contacted by Plains Christian Church?

I had a very strange experience yesterday. I am wondering if any of you all got contacted by the same group of people. This is what happened. I got a call last night from some fine folks claiming to be a part of some Christian Radio Station. Don't know why they were calling me. Here's how the conversation went.

Me: Hello?

Them: Hello, we're from ....Christian Radio Station. We would like to ask you five questions about christianity.

Me: And you are?

T: We are (and another person chimes in obviously on another phone) with a christian radio show and we are recording this. Will you answer our questions?

M: Uh...How did you get me number?

T: We got it off the internet. What is your name?

M: What is your name?

T: Well, we are doing this Christian Radio Show on...if you are west of the Mississippi, you can get it on ....AM. Will you answer our questions?

M: How much are you going to pay me to answer them?

T: Nothing.

M: How much are you getting paid to ask me these question?

T: We don't get paid anything.

M: Well, if you are not going to pay me for my time, I am not going to answer your qestions.

I hung up.

If you would like to talk to them, give them a call - 620-563-6165 - on caller ID they show up as Plains Christ C. Doing a quick Google search on the number, here is their real Identification - Plains Christian Church - (620) 563-6165 - 408 W C, Plains, KS 67869. They never identified themselves, nor were they clear about whether or not they would even use the short snip of a conversation. Moreover, they never said that they turned off the recording device. That is perhaps the one thing that really disturbed me about the whole interchange. They waited until the second sentance or so before telling me they were recording my telephone call. That, I think, is a definate breach of ethics and not very moral behavior for a Christian group.

The second thing that really bothered me was that they never said why they were calling me in particular or why they were conducting this five question survey.

Third, they were not following any sort of protocol that is a legitimate research design methodology.

Has anyone esle been contacted by these fine Jayhawks and I am curious if you were, did you participate by answering the questions and what were the questions.


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Our "Healthy Forests" & "Clear Skies" President

Our "healthy forests" & "Clear skies" President, wields a saw quite nicely. Wahoo, let's cut some trees down to save our forests!

Got this pic and a wonderful article sponsored by the Earth Island Institute. Check out their article on the "environemental conservation" work our President has done.


In early 2001, Bush claimed the country was facing an energy supply crisis and established a White House task force under Vice President Dick Cheney to formulate an oil production plan. The task force was filled with “Bush Pioneers,” industry folks like Enron CEO (and Bush family friend) Ken Lay, who’d raised over $100,000 in individual contributions for Bush’s election campaign. FirstEnergy CEO Anthony Alexander was another “Pioneer” who met with Cheney to discuss energy policy. In 2004 the Bush reelection campaign supplemented the Pioneers with “Rangers” obliged to raise at least $250,000 each for a $200 million war chest.

Although the vice president’s office denied the General Accounting Office access to task force records, or even a list of participants, one corporate figure known to be behind the energy plan was Cheney himself. In 1999, as CEO of Halliburton, he’d been a member of the Petroleum Council, an advisory group to the Department of Energy. That year they issued a report calling for the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – among other wilderness areas of the West – to fossil fuel development, proposals incorporated into the White House plan.

The twenty-five-point Wise Use Agenda also calls for opening up the refuge to oil drilling, and for logging the Tongass National Forest of Alaska (which Bush allowed on December 23, 2003), and all other old-growth trees on public land. The Agenda also calls for gutting the Endangered Species Act, opening 70 million acres of wilderness to commercial development and motorized recreation, and handing management of national parks over to private firms...."

End slice:

I better be getting to Alaska soon before they clearcut our old growth like they support in Oregon.

Maybe it is time to spend an equivalent amount of capital on alternative fuel systems as we do on protecting our Saudi/Middle Eastern Oil interests.

The Hypocrisy Index

I was out on my run this AM, headed over a hill and watched another person in some nondescript, brownish, four door sedan (not unlike the nifty GM K Car) speed past a red light and almost clip me in the cross walk. And I was pissed. Flipped off the person and continued on up the hill. The person in the vehicle - svelt brunette in a business suit - took the time to roll down her window and toss the bird back at me. As I burned off some anger sprinting up the remainder of the hill, I hit on an idea.

And this is it...drum roll please....THE HYPOCRICY INDEX. Here in, all comments linked to this particular post are dedicated to the identification of hypocricy. That is, if you come across a nice example of one or more hypocrites executing some kind of behavior or writing words that convince/prove his/her/their hypocricy, please post it to this thread.

Here are the guidelines - note, I say guidelines becuase bloggers are notorious for following their own rules:

1) Here is the definition of hypocricy that I am using when I type the word -
  1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
  2. An act or instance of such falseness.

  1. an expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction [syn: lip service]
  2. insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not really have

2) You should clearly describe the behavior that obviates the hypocricy. Present links to said evidence when you can. This guideline is here to stop people from simply calling people names for the fun of it, which in turn could debase the whole discourse (something we don't want to do).

3) Anyone posting to the Hypocricy Index will be held to the highest degree of Integrity. I define it myself becuase I have yet to find a truly encompasing definition. I have posted this long ago on this Blog, but it bears repeating here.


The wisdom to know what is right to do

combined with the courage to act and the will to do so

and the valor to admit when wrong

- windspike Oct. 99.

I am curious to see what the world comes up with. I'll get us started with the first couple.

Hypocricy 1 - People who profess a love for the outdoors and then toss their still burning cigarette butts out the window as they speed down the road. Evidence - I am sure you all have seen this happen while driving behind one or more vehicles

Hypocricy 2 - people who claim to be "uniters" who then, in turn, take divisive actions that aim directly at dividing.

Now, I don't actually have evidence for the latter, beyond the latest vote in the latest election. People on the right are quick to point out that just over half the country selected this country, but fail to notice that almost half the country did not. Not only is this a record turn out in voters and a president winning a popular vote, but likewise, this is a record number of votes against! Hence, a country divided.

Carry on my wayward bloggers.