Monday, December 31, 2007

Converting To A Photo Blog A Good Idea?

Thinking about a transition to a photo blog. How do you like this image. I had one thought, if you were to purchase a full resolution digital file of this picture that I took a few days ago, what would it be worth to you? I've been thinking about posting to some of those photo stock pages that earn you cash as it's downloaded. I thought people might like to get these images direct from the source. What say you?

Happy New Year All.

Blog on friends, Blog on all.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Who Is Smarter Than The President?

I finally got my sea legs back from this calf injury I've been nursing for months - gradually building up to my usual Sunday Long Run ~over 1 hour through the park mainly on trails. I got to thinking. I know, you hate it when I start regurgitating thoughts thunk up on my dawn related run-infused musings. But hey, I do my best cogitation out on the AM jaunt through the woods.

So, I got to thinking. For the first time in history, we finally have a sitting president by comparison whom I actually feel a grade smarter. This is not that I've gotten smarter, but that this President, Bush, actually seems substantially more dim witted than your average president.

Carter, I remember, as he ushered us through the Bicentennial. By comparision, I'm a slacker in the humanitarian smarts.

Reagan - again, smarter than me. He brought us the me generation through the 1980s effectively killing financial aid to college students and squashing my right to drink legally every year one day before I could be grandfathred in. He was a brilliant PR guy, practically perfecting the "plausible deniability" genera of presidential acting.

Bush after him, proved himself extremely smart by not actually going to Baghdad, unlike his son. In a quiet, subdued way, he was able to mastermind a very successful middle-east intervention. Definitely smarter than me.

And Clinton, the master of spin, providing the leadership to pull our country out of massive debts built over time by Republican Leadership. Seriously more smart than me.

Bush, on the other hand, has proven time and again that he is one of the most foolish people to lead our country of all time. He still thinks his cause in Iraq was right, and it's accomplishing the goal of keeping our country "safe." The debt accrued to pay for the "war" alone will sag like a 2 ton albatross hung around lady liberty's neck. He thinks the illusion of security and the charade of protection is a fair trade for the freedoms we have sacrificed for his "noble" cause.

Have a look at recent article about the TSA and the problems with traveling by air today:
How we got to this point is an interesting study in reactionary politics, fear-mongering and a disconcerting willingness of the American public to accept almost anything in the name of “security.” Conned and frightened, our nation demands not actual security, but security spectacle. And although a reasonable http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifpercentage of passengers, along with most security experts, would concur such theater serves no useful purpose, there has been surprisingly little outrage. In that regard, maybe we’ve gotten exactly the system we deserve.
Even so, the President is still working hard to lever the case for his "war" in Iraq off the backs of the GIs he sentenced to die there:
Dan and Maureen Murphy are two of these people. In June 2005, their son—Lt. Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL—was conducting surveillance in Afghanistan when his four-man team came under attack. Lt. Murphy moved into a clearing where he could get a signal to call for help for his men, knowing it would make him a target. As he made the call, he came under heavy fire that cost him his life. In a meeting before I presented Maureen Murphy with her son’s Medal of Honor, she spoke of the boy she’d raised to manhood. I came away from that day hoping that Lt. Murphy’s story would inspire all Americans to live lives worthy of the sacrifices that have been made for our freedom.
Proving once again, that, not only is Bush one of the most foolish presidents of the modern era, but that he will sink to lows without limit to promote his war. Using dead GIs and his parents to support his agenda is perhaps the most reprehensible political parlor tricks and ploys I've experienced from this man. And In my book, makes him not only foolish, but stupid for thinking that we still buy this gambit.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fun Quote For The Day

Scratch-off tickets are to the lottery what crack is to cocaine.
- ELIOT SHAPLEIGH, Texas state senator.
I had a good chuckle on this one. Obviously Mr. Shapleigh doesn't realize that all forms of lottery are really just a voluntary tax on people who are bad at math (statistics, generally, and probability in the specific sense).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Atrocity

I don't usually cut and paste whole emails into blog entry's. I haven't done the veracity check on this yet, but it sounds plausible to me and equally atrocious that this happened in every sense of what is gratuitously wrong with our whole approach to Iraq.
Jamie Leigh Jones was a 20-year-old woman working in Iraq for a subsidiary of Halliburton when she was drugged and brutally gang-raped by several co-workers.

The next day, Halliburton told her that if she left Iraq to get medical treatment, she could lose her job.1

Jamie's story gets even more horrific: For the last two years, she's been asking the US government to hold the perpetrators accountable. But the men who raped her may never be brought to justice because Halliburton and other contractors in Iraq aren't subject to US or Iraqi laws. They can't be tried for a crime in any court.2

This is one of the most disturbing stories we have come across in a while. We're calling on Congress to investigate Jamie's case, hold those involved accountable, and bring US contractors under the jurisdiction of US law so this can't happen again. If hundreds of thousands of us speak out against this outrageous story, we can force Congress to take action.

Can you sign the petition? The text is in the blue box at the right. Clicking below will add your name.

http://pol.moveon.org/contractors_accountable/o.pl?id=11800-4861130-Yyk1Bd&t=3

After you sign, please forward this email to friends, family and colleagues—we all need to speak out together.

When you get an email from us, it doesn't usually include a graphic description of a brutal attack. But when we heard this story, we knew we had to do something about it.

Here's how Jamie described what happened after the attack:

I awoke the next morning in the barracks to find my naked body battered and bruised. I was still groggy from whatever had been put in my drink. I was bleeding... After getting to the clinic and having a rape kit performed...I was locked in a container with no food, no way to call my parents, and was placed under armed guard by Halliburton.3

Jamie's attackers aren't the only ones exploiting a legal loophole to get away with their violent crimes. Another female employee of Halliburton says she was raped by her co-workers in Iraq.4 Employees of Blackwater, another private contracting firm in Iraq, were accused of killing innocent Iraqi civilians, and that incident turned into an international scandal. Worst of all, they may never be punished.5

Private contractors in Iraq are making massive amounts of money, operating above the law and are accountable to no one. This has to stop.

Congress needs to act now to bring these contractors under the rule of law. If they don't, nothing will prevent a case like Jamie's from happening again. No man or woman working in Iraq should have to fear that they can be attacked without consequences.

Please sign on to the petition: "Congress must investigate the rape of Jamie Leigh Jones and others, hold those involved accountable, and bring US contractors under the jurisdiction of US law." Clicking below adds your name:

http://pol.moveon.org/contractors_accountable/o.pl?id=11800-4861130-Yyk1Bd&t=4

Thanks for all you do,

–Nita, Wes, Karin, Marika, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Friday, December 14th, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Meanwhile, The Iraq Sands Turn Another Shade of Red

While the President is busy demonstrating how much he doesn't like children, we find that his "freedom spreading" experiment in Iraq is still stuck in the you've got to bleed for freedom mode.

Three car bombs exploded in quick succession in Amarah on Wednesday, killing at least 41 people and injuring 128 in what has been a relatively calm Shiite Muslim city, police and hospital officials said.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Burning Torture Tapes Is Good For America

Is any one getting tired of the usual line from the Whitehouse as they try to get forgiveness for their transgressions? Before you jump into this blurb from today's Whitehouse Press Briefing given by the vivacious and lovely Dana Perino, be sure to put on your deja vu goggles. If you think you have heard these deflections before, it's because you have.

Let's have a look:
Q Dana, there's an ongoing debate in the country about sort of where the lines are, as regards torture, and -- or enhanced interrogation. And I'm wondering if you feel that this report -- which I don't think anyone's contesting that the destruction of the tapes took place -- does this undermine the administration's position?

MS. PERINO: I think I would say -- I would take this opportunity, though, to take a step back and remind people about this interrogation program, which was put in place to deal with a very limited number of people; the most intransigent of terrorists. This program has saved lives. It is legal, safe, effective; it is limited, it is tough, and it has led to the capture of individuals -- terrorists -- who had information that was able to lead us to others. These are the -- General Hayden has talked about this several times, in terms of how many people -- we had this debate earlier this year, and the program is critical to the safety of the country.

Q And if it's so defensible, then why destroy any part of it?

MS. PERINO: Again, I'm not going to comment on that. The CIA has made its comment. They've said that they -- that the agency made its decision, and it was based -- and it was done in consultation with their legal counsel. And let's let the CIA Director gather those facts, and we'll see what they come up -- what they say after that.

Q Dana, what were the circumstances of General Hayden telling the President about this? Was it a report? Was Bush asking about the report? Was it --

MS. PERINO: All I know, Wendell, is that yesterday in the President's briefing with the intelligence folks, of which General Hayden is the one who comes to brief the President, that's when he was told about it.

Q Dana, when you say the President supports General Hayden, you're specifically singling out the current director, not the previous one who actually made the decision --

MS. PERINO: Well, I didn't ask the President about that. But I don't have any reason for -- I think -- I don't think that we have any reason to doubt what the CIA's legal counsel -- the advice that they gave to the CIA at the time. I said I think that those facts need to be gathered before that can be said.
Wow, if it really was safe, and good for saving lives, where's the proof and why did they need to destroy the tapes? Sounds awful fishy to me. Of course, they are not going to comment any further beyond the comments they are shoveling that try to absolve the president and his administration of any wrongdoing, and try to convince us, once again, that torture is good for America, but not her enemies.

Any one out there holding their breath for a full explanation of the leak about Valarie Plame case should know full well that there will be no forthcoming explanation about this matter either. You see, the President has a whole series of promises broken to prove me right. Near as I can tell Scooter's case is closed, but has the President explained what really happened in the Whitehouse around the Plame controversy? Nope.

Well, then. No comment during an on going investigation really means "fuck you America, we don't have to explain nothing to you..." or am I getting my translation mixed up.

Here's An Interesting Man

Have a gander:



Here's his location where you can follow the progress.

Blog on friends, blog on all.

If The President Was Regularly Putting Your Family Members In The Grave For No Reason, You Would Start To Sour On His Agenda Sooner Than Later, No?

The military families I know have had a strong distaste for Bush and his cronies for a great long while. It's not enough that he's "all hat and no cattle," but he's putting people into harms way for no real legitimate reason and continues to toss good money after bad to the tune of billions of dollars owed to the Chinese that our following generations will be working on paying down until their grandchildren have grandchildren.

I'm not certain why this is now news (well, it's because some person decided to run a poll to sell newspapers), but for those of us with friends and family that have served our country know the support for Bush was extinguished quite some time ago.

Families with ties to the military, long a reliable source of support for wartime presidents, disapprove of President Bush and his handling of the war in Iraq, with a majority concluding the invasion was not worth it, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found...

...Nearly six out of every 10 military families disapprove of Bush's job performance and the way he has run the war, rating him only slightly better than the general population does.

And among those families with soldiers, sailors and Marines who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, 60% say that the war in Iraq was not worth the cost, the same result as all adults surveyed.

"I don't see gains for the people of Iraq . . . and, oh, my God, so many wonderful young people, and these are the ones who felt they were really doing something, that's why they signed up," said poll respondent Sue Datta, 61, whose youngest son, an Army staff sergeant, was seriously wounded in Iraq last year and is scheduled to redeploy in 2009. "I pray to God that they did not die in vain, but I don't think our president is even sensitive at all to what it's like to have a child serving over there."

Patience with the war, which has now lasted longer than the U.S. involvement in World War II, is wearing thin -- particularly among families who have sent a service member to the conflict. One-quarter say American troops should stay "as long as it takes to win." Nearly seven in 10 favor a withdrawal within the coming year or "right away."
Military families tend to be relatively quite of their disdain for this man because they are used to doing their duty, as promised. Even so, it's dramatic when a sitting president fails the military he was "elected" to lead.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The President Has A Sick Sense Of Humor

The man makes me ill. Sometimes his ten-gallon-all-hat-and-no-cattle mentality leaves me feeling like he is vapid and arrogant all at the same time. His humor reveals how callous and shallow he really is. Remember, "what is said in jest is oft meant in leisure."

Here's his response to the only question asked of him today while he was on another Presidential Propaganda Catapulting Mission in Omaha Nebraska (leaving an hour before a local terrorist took his own brand of sick and twisted logic to a mall):
Q Iran’s President said the NIE is a victory for Iran. They want an apology from the United States, and compensation, sir. Will you do that? Is the NIE a victory for Iran?

THE PRESIDENT: (Laughter.) You can mark down I chuckled.
Nice, sensitive man, the President. Granted the question was rather stupid, but the answer was equally such. Makes me want to wretch.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Simple Simon Was The...President?

If you ask me, we shouldn't speculate and guess about certain intelligence facts and use that as a basis to take our country to war with Iran. That's a fool's bet, much like Iraq was and is.

Just ask yourself how many billions of dollars are being borrowed as a future tax on your grandchildren's grandchildren for the president's Iraq "Freedom Spreading Experiment." Can you fathom how much it would cost to open up a can o' whoop ass on Iran? Can we afford it?

I don't think we aught to double down, particularly because we are already owning the loan sharks from China a sizable chunk of our per capita income for generations to come. It would suck if China calls in the marker because they would most certainly have to break our knee caps just for Iraq alone. Lastly, I wouldn't want to send our GIs into harms way when OBL isn't any where close to Iran, or is he? Hell, why haven't we brought him in for justice? Could it be we are too distracted by Iraq?

Well, if we take the simpleton logic that our president uses to make decisions, we are going in some time before the end of his term is up.
Look, Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.
What a fool. Any one with internet access can acquire the knowledge to make nuclear weapons. By his measure, the bombing should "start in five minutes."

Are you ready to double down on the Middle East with our blood, sweat, tears, and payola (read hard earned and easily forfited taxpayer dollars) based on the word of a president who's logic is as sophomoric as Simple Simon? Remember who the poster children were for WMD in Iraq?

Not in my name!

Monday, December 03, 2007