Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Bush Family Coup

Here is a good run down on how we got to where we are WRT CIA/FBI/NSA spying on American citizens in the name of the "War on Terror".

The Bush Family Coup
Son revisits the sins of the father on America

by James Ridgeway:

"Given all that’s happened, the only explanation for the Bush domestic spying is that it’s political. There are no crimes involved here. But there is an overweaning desire by this so-called conservative government to establish and institutionalize a Big Brother regime that tolerates no dissent and wrecks constitutional government."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Earth Ship, Colorado

Posted by Picasa Enjoyed visiting Santi and Laura and the chance to see their nearly completed Earth Ship just south of Canon City, Colorado today. Later in the afternoon we revisited some property I have had my eye on just south of Westcliffe, Colorado. I am jazzed on the possibilities of building an Earth Ship. The idea is a self sustaining off-grid home. To my mind a necessity as we wean ourselves from the petroleum based economy. A weaning that will not be easy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Oil Change |

Good blog on the movie Syriana: Oil Change

David Roberts reviews it on Grist.

Roger Ebert gives it four stars.

If you haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for?

Kurds in Iraqi army proclaim loyalty to militia

Tell me again how great the war is going?

Knight-Ridder reports: Kurds in Iraqi army proclaim loyalty to militia:

"Kurdish leaders have inserted more than 10,000 of their militia members into Iraqi army divisions in northern Iraq to lay the groundwork to swarm south, seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and possibly half of Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city, and secure the borders of an independent Kurdistan.

Five days of interviews with Kurdish leaders and troops in the region suggest that U.S. plans to bring unity to Iraq before withdrawing American troops by training and equipping a national army aren't gaining traction. Instead, some troops that are formally under U.S. and Iraqi national command are preparing to protect territory and ethnic and religious interests in the event of Iraq's fragmentation, which many of them think is inevitable."

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Ultimate Quagmire

Pepe Escobar accurately assesses the prospects for "democracy" in Iraq following the elections.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

The Poor Man » A Very Wanker Christmas

More on the true John Gibson:
The Poor Man » A Very Wanker Christmas

Now Barron's, Excoriates Bush for Committing a Potentially Impeachable Offense

Buzz Flash reprints the article in full.

"If we don't discuss the program and the lack of authority for it, we are meeting the enemy -- in the mirror."

Christmas Eve on Longs Ranch Road

 Click on the picture for a web page with photos from our Christmas Eve run on Longs Ranch Road, on the slopes of Colorado's Pikes Peak.
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The War on Christmas, the Prequel puts things in perspective with past "Wars on Christmas": The War on Christmas, the Prequel - When the holiday was banned
By Andrew Santella

Listen to the podcast .

"Liberal plots notwithstanding, the Americans who succeeded in banning the holiday were the Puritans of 17th-century Massachusetts. Between 1659 and 1681, Christmas celebrations were outlawed in the colony, and the law declared that anyone caught 'observing, by abstinence from labor, feasting or any other way any such days as Christmas day, shall pay for every such offense five shillings.' Finding no biblical authority for celebrating Jesus' birth on Dec. 25, the theocrats who ran Massachusetts regarded the holiday as a mere human invention, a remnant of a heathen past. They also disapproved of the rowdy celebrations that went along with it. 'How few there are comparatively that spend those holidays … after an holy manner,' the Rev. Increase Mather lamented in 1687. 'But they are consumed in Compotations, in Interludes, in playing at Cards, in Revellings, in excess of Wine, in Mad Mirth.'"

Group pays to end killing on central coast

A bit of good news for wildlife and habitat preservation:
Group pays to end killing on central coast: "Late in November, the Raincoast Conservation Foundation paid $1.35 million to acquire the guide-outfitting rights to five contiguous hunting regions along the central B.C. coast. Together the regions, which stretch from the northern tip of Vancouver Island in the south to Princess Royal Island in the north and cover a land mass of more than 20,000 square kilometres, are home to hundreds of species, including such popular commercial game as grizzlies, black bears, the so-called spirit bear (a genetic anomaly of the black bear that manifests itself in a white coat), wolves, cougar, mountain goats, moose and deer."

Friday, December 23, 2005

The BRAD BLOG: Special Coverage - "DOWN FOR THE COUNT: The Story of Diebold, DIEB-THROAT & Deep Trouble for America's #1 Voting Machine Company"

The election process is THE MOST important thing for the health of our nation. Read!! Inform yourself!! "DOWN FOR THE COUNT: The Story of Diebold, DIEB-THROAT & Deep Trouble for America's #1 Voting Machine Company"

onegoodmove: Evolution

Brilliant Charlie Rose interview of two anthologists of Darwin's greatest works: James D. Watson, winner of the Nobel Prize, and two-time Pulitzer prize winner, E. O. Wilson.

Yellow Dog Blog: A Night With Scott Ritter – And Some Other Guy

Scott Ridder shreds neoconservative apologist Christopher Hitchens in a debate.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

BBC - In Our Time - Heaven

I get BBC "In our Time" via podcast. Here is a fascinating look at the origins of the idea of Heaven:

"The great medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas wrote 'that in the end language can only be related to what is experienced here, and given that the hereafter is not here, we can only infer'. Aquinas encapsulated a great human conundrum that has preoccupied writers and thinkers since ancient times: what might heaven be like. And although human language is constrained by experience, this has not stopped an outpouring of artistic, theological and literary representations of heaven."

SHAMROCK: The Church Committee's Investigation of NSA

Reflections on a previous generation's investigation of our government's spying activities in 1975: SHAMROCK: The Church Committee's Investigation of NSA

Grizzly Peak, 13,988'

This is where I'm headed next week...yet another winter attempt on Grizzly Peak, the highest 13er in Colorado. I tried it unsuccessfully last winter in the same week between Christmas and New Years...
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Who is in charge?

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

They Paid Me To Read This Stuff

They Paid Me To Read This Stuff: "GQ ran a story on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. It included an interview with Kenji Fujimoto, who used to be Kim's personal chef. Fujimoto invited Kim to his wedding and the dictator watched as Fujimoto got so drunk on cognac that he passed out on the dance floor.

'The next day, Kim Jong Il calls me in,' Fujimoto told GQ. 'He praises my drinking ability and asks me, 'By the way, do you have any pubic hair?' I say, 'Of course, I do.' Kim Jong Il says, 'Why don't you go to the toilet and look at your pubic hair?' I went there, and there was none.'

There you have it, folks -- the kind of magic magazine moment you'll want to remember next time you're tempted to drink too much at a North Korean wedding."

The Diane Rehm Show : Monday December 19, 2005

Conservatives on Foreign Policy

A panel joins Diane to discuss President's Bush Oval Office address, U.S policy in Iraq, domestic eavesdropping, and U.S policy on torture.


Bruce Fein, former associate deputy attorney general, Republican counsel during the Iran-contra hearings, and founding partner with the Lichfield Group

David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union

Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

Democracy Now! | The Story of Harold Wilson: Convicted of Triple Murder, Sentenced to Die, Exonerated After 17 Years in Prison

I just listened to the MP3 Podcast. What a story. I'm sending a check to Harold...

Democracy Now! | The Story of Harold Wilson: Convicted of Triple Murder, Sentenced to Die, Exonerated After 17 Years in Prison: "In a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive, we spend the hour with Harold C. Wilson. Convicted of three murders in 1989, Wilson spent more than 17 years in prison, most of that time on death row. In 1999, Wilson's death sentence was overturned due to ineffective counsel. However, his murder convictions were not - and he remained on death row. Finally, on October 31st, 2005, Wilson's final trial began. DNA evidence was presented for the first time. On November 15th, he was acquitted of all charges and set free.

In an extended conversation, Wilson talks about his imprisonment, his trial, his soldier son, who is serving in Iraq, and his daughter, who is a prison guard in Arizona."

The New Yorker: The Talk of the Town

The article that drove Bill O'Reilly to put the venerable New Yorker on his "hit list"...what a crank! :


"Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, with Jack Frost nipping at your nose and folks dressed up like Eskimos—or, to update the line for political correctness, with tots in boots just like Aleuts. It’s that magical season when lights twinkle and good will abounds. It’s time again for the thrill that comes but once a year: the War on Christmas."

Monday, December 19, 2005

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Waldo Canyon Run

Click on the picture for a web site with photos from our Incline Club run this morning in Waldo Canyon, near Manitou Springs, CO. In this picture from front to back are Matt Carpenter, Kevin Ash, and Dave Phillips.

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Report of NSA Spying Prompts Call for Probe

Maybe the Senate is going to do its job and provide oversight on an administration out of control:

Report of NSA Spying Prompts Call for Probe: "Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter put the Bush administration on notice Friday that his panel would hold hearings into a report that the National Security Agency eavesdropped without warrants on people inside the United States.

'There is no doubt that this is inappropriate,' said Specter, R-Pa., calling hearings early next year 'a very, very high priority.' He wasn't alone in reacting harshly to the report. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the story, first reported in Friday's New York Times, was troubling."

Senate Blocks the Renewal of Patriot Act - Los Angeles Times

In the wake of a report that Bush authorized eavesdropping by the NSA on American citizens, the
Senate Blocks the Renewal of Patriot Act:

"'If we needed a wake-up call about the need for adequate civil liberties protections to be written into our laws … this is that wake-up call,' said Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), part of a bipartisan group of senators who ignited the filibuster fight.

'They are saying, 'Trust us, we are following the law.' Give me a break,' said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.). 'Across the country and across the political spectrum, no one is buying it anymore. There is no accountability. There is no oversight…. This is Big Brother run amok."

CBC News Indepth: Being Caribou

I just read Karsten Heuer's "Walking the Big Wild: From Yellowstone to the Yukon on the Grizzly Bears' Trail", his fascinating account of a trek along the Continental Divide through Montana and Canada, where he champions the idea of creating wildlife corridors to join the National Parks and other public land to foster the survival of Grizzlies and Wolves and other large wildlife that need wider ranges. Now he and his wife have produced a documentary and a book on a unique trek along the path of the Caribou to the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.

CBC News Indepth: Being Caribou:

"Every April in Canada's Yukon Territory, one of the world's last great animal migrations occurs.

Driven by an instinct tens of thousands of years old, the Porcupine caribou herd turns north and west, and begins a long and dangerous trek to its calving grounds in Alaska.

Far to the south, politicians and oil executives are strategizing how to open those calving grounds to oil and gas development.

The caribou cannot argue their case.

So two Canadians decided they would become the caribou's voice. They decided they would follow the entire migration north and back. For five months, through bitter winter gales and a mosquito-infested summer, they would be caribou…an odyssey no one had ever even attempted. "

Friday, December 16, 2005

Deepak Chopra: What Does Jesus Mean By "Resist Not Evil?"

"People seem to assume that the moment : you brand someone else as vil (terrorists, Nazis, mass murderers, pedophiles, etc.), you have every right to seek revenge against them. The War on Terror is based on this notion. The first person to disagree, however, happens to be Jesus, which our right-wing religious hawks seem to ignore. If you look at the passage in the New Testament where Jesus says to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:38-42), the whole speech illustrates how radical Jesus's morality actually was. "

Think Progress » House conservatives ♥ Jean Schmidt:

She thinks she's a "hottie": House conservatives ♥ Jean Schmidt:

onegoodmove: Church and State - Dover Edition

Samantha Bee visits the god forsaken town of Dover, PA on the Daily Show. Too funny...
onegoodmove: Church and State - Dover Edition

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Bob Cesca: A Conversation With Mark Crispin Miller | The Huffington Post

A Conversation With Mark Crispin Miller, author of "Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & Why They'll Steal the Next One Too."

Monday, December 12, 2005

 SB and sister Anne Bremner Friday night on the town in Seattle.
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Pike Place Market

 Yours Truly with childhood friend, Jon Turnbow and his fantastical blacklight drawings that he markets at a booth in the Pike Place Market.
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Puget Sound

 Just got back from a trip to the Pacific Northwest. This is the view from my parent's place on Puget Sound near Olympia, Washington. Mount Rainier is on the distant horizon.
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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Buddy Lee Guidance Counselor

Useful web site for job interview tips:

Buddy Lee Guidance Counselor

Lonely Planet goes to Nigeria

I'm listening to a fascinating podcast from the web site. Nigeria as a tourist destination? Sounds interesting! - Paul Clammer in Nigeria

AP Scoop: Iraq VP Disputes Bush on Training of Forces

AP Scoop: Iraq VP Disputes Bush on Training of Forces: "The training of Iraqi security forces has suffered a big 'setback' in the last six months, with the army and other forces being increasingly used to settle scores and make other political gains, Iraqi Vice President Ghazi al-Yawer said Monday.

Al-Yawer disputed contentions by U.S. officials, including President Bush, that the training of security forces was gathering speed, resulting in more professional troops.

AlterNet: Neil Bush Meets the Messiah

Why is the President's younger brother, Neil, touring with the leader of the Moonies?

AlterNet: Neil Bush Meets the Messiah:

"'Those who stray from the heavenly way,' the owner of the flagship Republican newspaper the Washington Times admonished an audience in Taipei on Friday, 'will be punished.'

This 'heavenly way,' the Rev. Sun Myung Moon explained, demands a 51-mile underwater highway spanning Alaska and Russia. Sitting in the front row: Neil Bush, the brother of the president of the United States."

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Longs Ranch Road Run, December 4th, 2005

Web page of our Incline Club run this Sunday morning....


IS GEORGE BUSH THE WORST PRESIDENT -- EVER?: "This is what those historians said -- and it should be noted that some of the criticism about deficit spending and misuse of the military came from self-identified conservatives -- about the Bush record:

# He has taken the country into an unwinnable war and alienated friend and foe alike in the process;

# He is bankrupting the country with a combination of aggressive military spending and reduced taxation of the rich;

# He has deliberately and dangerously attacked separation of church and state;

# He has repeatedly 'misled,' to use a kind word, the American people on affairs domestic and foreign;

# He has proved to be incompetent in affairs domestic (New Orleans) and foreign (
Iraq and the battle against al-Qaida);

# He has sacrificed American employment (including the toleration of pension and benefit elimination) to increase overall productivity;

# He is ignorantly hostile to science and technological progress;

# He has tolerated or ignored one of the republic's oldest problems, corporate cheating in supplying the military in wartime."

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Winter Morning in Colorado

Birds out on my deck on a wintery Colorado morning.
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Confirmed: There are Two Memos. - Blairwatch

More on Bush and his alleged intent to bomb Al-Jazeera Headquarters: Confirmed: There are Two Memos

Crude Designs: The Rip-Off of Iraq's Oil

A report by a British Consortium, Crude Designs: The Rip-Off of Iraq's Oil Wealth reveals that current Iraqi oil policy will allocate the development of at least 64% of Iraq’s reserves to foreign oil companies. Iraq has the world’s third largest oil reserves.

Figures published in the report for the first time show:

• the estimated cost to Iraq over the life of the new oil contracts is $74 to $194 billion, compared with leaving oil development in public hands. These sums represent between two and seven times the current Iraqi state budget.

• the contracts would guarantee massive profits to foreign companies, with rates of return of 42% to 162%.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Washington Note

The Washington Note: "Barbara Bush is allegedly TICKED off at Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Andy Card, nearly all of them -- except Karen Hughes -- for how her boy is faring in the hearts and minds of Americans.

The matriarch of the Bush clan is colder than North Pole ice right now to those around her son who she thinks have undermined him. I'll tell who my sources are if Patrick Fitzgerald gives a call and makes me -- but the sources are very close to Poppa Bush (41), who has been traveling a bit with some of his old entourage, including Brent Scowcroft and others of the first Bush regime.

While TWN has been able to confirm that Laura Bush's mother-in-law wants to do more than put coal in the stockings of the Vice President and the other top handlers of her son's White House, we have not been able to confirm a slightly stronger bit of the rumor, which is that Barbara -- not Laura -- was planning to call on Nancy Reagan just to get a refresher lesson on how she took on and kicked out then Chief-of-Staff Donald Regan. (I embellish here; Barbara Bush is not going to take lessons from Nancy, it just sounded good. My source told me that Barbara was about to 'pull a Nancy Reagan' on these attendants.)

Cheney may be tougher to dump than Don Regan, but then again, Barbara Bush is one of those wonders of nature (we hear) who knows no limits and can easily surge beyond category 5 hurricane winds.

Should be interesting to watch the role of the First Mother in the coming couple of months. Watch for a lot to change right after the State of the Union address, I've been told."

Fineman: Bush administration not "fully candid" ... [Media Matters]

Howard Fineman gets it right on Imus in the Morning:

"Fineman: Bush administration not 'fully candid' on war because it 'underestimate[d] the intelligence of the American people'"

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Why Iraq Will End as Vietnam Did by Martin Van Creveld

Martin Van Creveld, the only foreign author who is on the Army Chief of Staff's recommended reading list tells us Why Iraq Will End as Vietnam Did.

Nowhere to Run for GWB

Worst mistake in 2000 years.

NY Daily News - W deaf to bad news on Iraq

Same old, same old... Incompetent and just plain dumb...

W deaf to bad news on Iraq:

"Bush and his inner circle are so determined to follow their own plan that generals fear saying what's wrong in Iraq - and senior advisers are snubbed if they have bad news.

'I tried to tell' the President about problems in Iraq, one former senior official told the magazine. 'And he couldn't hear it.'

The News quoted another Bush confidant yesterday saying that Team Bush has an 'unyielding belief in the wisdom of what they're doing' in Iraq and elsewhere, and that 'they're talking to people who could help them, but they're not listening.'

New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh said that Bush is motivated in part by religious fervor and that he believes the war must be judged on a time line of decades, not years. 'He's a utopian, you could say, in a world where maybe he doesn't have all the facts and all the information he needs and isn't able to change,' Hersh said on CNN yesterday.

'I'll tell you, the people that talk to me now are essentially frightened because they're not sure how you get to this guy.'

Hersh said such tunnel vision helps explain why the Bush administration went ballistic when Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a Vietnam War hero, recently declared the war is tanking and it's time to bring the troops home.

"The generals know him and like him," Hersh said. "His message to the White House was much more worrisome than maybe to the average person in the public. [White House officials] know that generals are privately telling him things that they're not saying to them.""

Think Progress » Exclusive: Classified Pentagon Document Described White Phosphorus As ‘Chemical Weapon’

"To downplay the political impact of revelations that U.S. forces used deadly white phosphorus rounds against Iraqi insurgents in Falluja last year, Pentagon officials have insisted that phosphorus munitions are legal since they aren’t technically “chemical weapons.”"

So why did they call it a chemical weapon in a 1995 document referring to Iraq's use of it against the Kurds? Curioser and curioser...

Monday, November 28, 2005

t r u t h o u t - Seymour M. Hersh: Where Is the Iraq War Headed Next?

Sey Hersh says we're pulling out.

Juan Cole: Informed Comment

Juan Cole talks about Seymour Hersh and his reporting that GWB has decided to draw down ground troops in Iraq. Sounds like Nixon when he famously told Kissinger, We say this for the public consumption, but we actually will do this, namely illegally bomb Cambodia:

"Let me finish with a word to W. As for your legacy two decades from now, George, let me clue you in on something--as a historian. In 20 years no Iraqis will have you on their minds one way or another. Do you think anyone in Egypt or Israel is still grateful to Jimmy Carter for helping bring to an end the cycle of Egyptian-Israeli wars? Jimmy Carter powerfully affected the destinies of all Egyptians and Israelis in that key way. Most people in both countries have probably never heard of him, and certainly no one talks about the first Camp David Accords anymore except as a dry historical subject. The US pro-Israel lobby is so ungrateful that they curse Carter roundly for all the help he gave Israel. Human beings don't have good memories for these things, which is why we have to have professional historians, a handful of people who are obsessed with the subject. And I guarantee you, George, that historians are going to be unkind to you. You went into a major war over a non-existent nuclear weapons program. Presidents' reputations don't survive things like that. Historians are creatures of documents and precision. A wild exaggeration with serious consequences is against everything they stand for as a profession. So forget about history and destiny and the divine will. You are at the helm of the Exxon Valdez and it is headed for the shoals. You can't afford to daydream about future decades."

Moyers has his say

Bill Moyers is interviewed on media bias and his feud with former CPB Chairman Ken Tomlinson:

"Right-wing partisans like Tomlinson have always attacked aggressive reporting as liberal.

We were biased, all right—in favor of uncovering the news that powerful people wanted to keep hidden: conflicts of interest at the Department of Interior, secret meetings between Vice President Cheney and the oil industry, backdoor shenanigans by lobbyists at the FCC, corruption in Congress, neglect of wounded veterans returning from Iraq, Pentagon cost overruns, the manipulation of intelligence leading to the invasion of Iraq.

We were way ahead of the news curve on these stories, and the administration turned its hit men loose on us."

Maureen Farrell: Tired of Being Lied to? Modern History You Can't Afford to Ignore

"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."
~ Albert Einstein

"Be loyal to your country always, and to the government only when it deserves it."
~ Mark Twain

Hiding in my Closet from

Funny video of GWB as played by Frank Caliendo hiding in his closet.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

LA Times: A Journey That Ended in Anguish

In light of the video that surfaced on the internet of contractors shooting randomly at civilians to a track of Elvis Presley's "Night Train", an apparent "trophy video" this should be read in full.

Col. Ted Westhusing, a military ethicist who volunteered to go to Iraq, was upset by what he saw. His apparent suicide raises questions.

'War is the hardest place to make moral judgments.'

Col. Ted Westhusing, Journal of Military Ethics

Return to Manitou Springs on the Ute Trail

The Incline Club run this morning is an out and back to the Waldo Canyon Loop Trail via the Ute Pass Trail, all in all about 18 miles. I took this photo this morning after completing Waldo Canyon and beginning the way back to Manitou Springs on the Ute Trail--certified by Matt Carpenter to be "up hill both ways". 
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On the Waldo Canyon Trail this morning

Chad Halsten runs on the Waldo Canyon Trail. It was a cold, blustery morning that never really got warmer. 
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Looking towards Pikes Peak from Waldo Canyon Trail

From the first run of the season for the Incline Club
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Friday, November 25, 2005

Jesse Helms, Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, and more:

Get your Psychedelic Republican Trading Cards here. : "'If you're very very quiet - quiet like a spruce-wreathed mountain lake slowly soaking in the pre-dawn mist - you can actually hear your Psychedelic Republicans cards whispering softly in your ear - gently urging you to kill, kill, KILL!' - Wilson Kline, Satisfied Customer"

Presidential Prayer Team

"President Bush begins each day at the crack of nine o'clock kneeling on the floor of the Oval Office in his Batman flannel feety-pajamas, holding hands with a group of Christian men. They kneel there for an hour (two hours on the Lord's Day or if there are enough doughnuts) just talking to our nation's Commander-of-the-Commander-in-Chief, the Lord Jesus. This is the Presidential Prayer team. Rev. Pat Robertson, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Rev. Bob Jones Jr., Pastor Deacon Fred, Brother Harry Hardwick, President George W. Bush, and the Lord Jesus Christ (who invisibly attends, legs crossed and dangling over the side of the Resolute desk), They comprise the elite force of spiritual warriors that most Americans consider more important and able to inflict more damage than the entire United States Military."

Doubts Now Surround Account of Snipers Amid New Orleans Chaos - Los Angeles Times

Remember that account of eight snipers on a bridge shooting at contractors that were killed by members of the New Orleans Police Department? At the time I thought it didn't sound right. Now, the rest of the story:

"... nearly three months later — and after repeated revisions of the official account of the incident and a lowering of the death toll to two — authorities said they were still trying to reconstruct what happened Sept. 4 on the Danziger Bridge. And on the city's east side, where the shootings occurred, two families that suffered casualties are preparing to come forward with stories radically different from those told by police."

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel

Cheney: 'This is very good indeed … Encouraging … Not like the crap we are all so used to getting out of CIA.'

Core Evidence That Humans Affect Climate Change

The LA Times mentions that scientists have drilled the largest core of Arctic ice ever sampled and found that two greenhouse gases are currently at their highest levels in 650,000 years. "This is saying, 'Yeah, we had it right.' We can pound on the table harder and say, 'This is real,' " said one geophysicist not affiliated with the research.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Operation Barbarella

London Review of Books as an insightful review of Jane Fonda's War: A Political Biography of an Anti-war Icon by Mary Hershberger:

"You don’t know America if you don’t know the Jane Fonda cult. Or rather, the anti-Fonda cult. At places where soldiers or former soldiers congregate, there’ll be stickers of her likeness on the urinals; one is an invitation to symbolic rape: Fonda in her 1980s ‘work-out’ costume, her legs splayed, pudenda at the bulls-eye. Every night at lights-out midshipmen at the US Naval Academy cry out ‘Goodnight, bitch!’ in her honour. They’ve learned, Carol Burke writes in her study of military folklore, Camp All-American, Hanoi Jane and the High-and-Tight, what you learn at all the service academies: ‘that being a real warrior and hating Jane Fonda are synonymous.’* When Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial was built on the Washington Mall, well-organised veterans who criticised it as the ‘gook monument’ – Lin is Chinese-American – were allowed to open their own kiosks nearby. These became the cult’s temples, the places to buy its sacraments and phylacteries; bumper stickers, for example, saying ‘Jane Fonda: John Kerry with Tits’. Phyllis Schlafly and Tom Wolfe have both described the memorial wall as a ‘monument to Jane Fonda’.

A set of urban legends has sprung up around her visit to Hanoi in the summer of 1972: a prisoner of war, ordered by his captors to describe his ‘lenient and humane’ treatment to the visiting actress, spat on her instead and was beaten almost into blindness; prisoners secretly gave her their social security numbers to prove their existence to the outside world – Fonda turned the numbers over to their captors and men were supposed to have died from the beatings that followed. The reliability of such tales is suggested by a piece that appeared in the Washington Times, a right-wing daily, in 1989: a former pow, Air Force Major Fred Cherry, recalled Fonda’s voice ringing out over the prison public address system during an ‘extended torture siege’ in 1967. Fonda didn’t speak out against the war until 1970.

The cult matured in the 1980s when America finally began to accept that it had lost a war which hadn’t been worth fighting in the first place. This was around the time Ronald Reagan observed: ‘Boy, I saw Rambo last night. Now I know what to do next time this happens.’ The moment had come to fix the blame where it properly belonged: not on Lyndon Johnson, not on Richard Nixon, but, as Burke points out, on the oldest story in the world, ‘the seductive woman who turns out to be a snake’." Government by Dirty Tricks

Nice little web site I just discovered has this on our present shell-shocked state of democracy:
Government by Dirty Tricks

GWB's economic professor at Harvard: "He showed pathological lying habits and was in denial when challenged on his prejudices and biases. He would even deny saying something he just said 30 seconds ago. He was famous for that. . . .

Students who challenged and embarrassed Bush in class would then become the subject of a whispering campaign by him, Tsurumi said. “In class, he couldn’t challenge them. But after class, he sometimes came up to me in the hallway and started bad-mouthing those students who had challenged him. He would complain that someone was drinking too much. It was innuendo and lies. So that’s how I knew, behind his smile and his smirk, that he was a very insecure, cunning and vengeful guy."

Democracy Now! | A Conversation with the "Chimpanzee Lady": Jane Goodall on Animals, the Environment and her Life

Illuminating interview with Jane Goodall on the web site.

"On this Thanksgiving Day, as we cook and share meals with friends and families, we bring you an interview with the renowned primatologist, Jane Goodall. Her latest book is Harvest for Hope : A Guide to Mindful Eating. Goodall, who is known for her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees and baboons, turns her attention to the food we eat and how it reaches our tables. In her book, Goodall examines the danger of corporate ownership of water and the patening of seeds, the hazards of genetically modified foods and the existence of inhumane animal factories."

Guardian Unlimited | Anti-Consumers Dig Through Trash for Food

"They call themselves ``freegans,'': a play on the words ``vegan''- vegetarians who avoid all animal products, including dairy - and ``free.'' In an ideological rejection of consumer waste, they only eat food that's been discarded. And in New York City, at least, they never go hungry.

``We find more food than we could ever possibly eat,'' said Adam Weissman. Just 24 hours before the dinner party, he found a hefty stash outside a gourmet supermarket in Manhattan: bags of salad nearing the sell-by date, dozens of sandwiches, boxes of Ritz crackers, some nice looking squash and loaves of still-crisp baguettes."

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Free Film night at Colorado College

Yesterday evening was the last night of free Tuesday night German film night at Colorado College. Rebekka and I enjoyed a very powerful film called "Die Bruecke": The Bridge in English. Very powerful movie.

Here is the blurb on it:

Film: German Series: "The Bridge" - "Die Brucke," ("The Bridge"), 1959, drama. Seven 16-year-old boys are drafted into the army in April 1945, a few weeks before the end of the war. Originally slated to be sent into combat, but having received hardly any training, they are instead given the assignment of defending a bridge that is set to be destroyed by their own troops the next day. Considered by many film critics to be the classic anti-war film of the West German Cinema. Best Film of the Year, 1959, and Golden Globe winner, 1959. Part of the German Film Series "When the War was Over: West German Film from 1948 to 1959," in commemoration of the end of WWII. All films are shown in German without subtitles. An introduction and synopsis in English will be provided. All films are suitable for young people. Final film in the series.

War protesters arrested near Bush ranch

War protesters arrested near Bush ranch : "Ellsberg, the former Defense Department official who leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam war, estimated it was his 70th arrest for various protests since the 1970s.

“Those of us who finally saw through the Vietnam war saw through this war, and all the actions that were necessary to end the Vietnam war will be necessary here,” Ellsberg said Wednesday before his arrest. “I think the American people will get us out of this.”

Ellsberg became famous for his release of the secret documents, which indicated the government had deceived the public about whether the Vietnam war could be won and the extent of casualties."

Jean Schmidt done to lyrics

Mad Kane onA Rep From Ohio Named Jean

Bush's Lost Year

James Fallows in the Atlantic Monthly, Oct 2004. This kind of thing needs to be repeated again and again as more and more people find the scales falling from their eyes and realize that we have made a grave mistake by going to war in Iraq. We need to keep going back to these articles that were overlooked in the MSM, filtered out by "patriotic" jingoists, ignored and ridiculed by the Brush Lintballs, Bill O'Lielly's....

This piece is a must read today just as it was a year ago:

Bush's Lost Year: "President Bush's first major speech after 9/11, on September 20, 2001, was one of the outstanding addresses given by a modern President. But it introduced a destructive concept that Bush used more and more insistently through 2002. 'Why do they hate us?' he asked about the terrorists. He answered that they hate what is best in us: 'They hate what we see right here in this chamber—a democratically elected government … They hate our freedoms—our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.' As he boiled down this thought in subsequent comments it became 'They hate us for who we are' and 'They hate us because we are free.'

There may be people who have studied, fought against, or tried to infiltrate al-Qaeda and who agree with Bush's statement. But I have never met any. The soldiers, spies, academics, and diplomats I have interviewed are unanimous in saying that 'They hate us for who we are' is dangerous claptrap. Dangerous because it is so lazily self-justifying and self-deluding: the only thing we could possibly be doing wrong is being so excellent. Claptrap because it reflects so little knowledge of how Islamic extremism has evolved." - White House forced hand of Denver trio

White House forced hand of Denver trio
by Jim Spencer

"The lawsuit filing makes you wonder why the Bush administration continues to let three political lightweights feast like gnats on its elephantine behind. A relatively harmless bite has now festered into a boil at a time when the president - already mired in allegations of political dirty tricks in the Valerie Plame case - truly doesn't need it."

Cheat Sheet to reach a human

Frustrated by voice mail hell? Here is a cheat sheet to circumvent the labrynth.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

t r u t h o u t - Blair 'Convinced Bush' Not to Launch Strike at al-Jazeera

This is beyond the pale. Can you imagine? Think of it. The Al Jazeera stations were in Qatar, a strong ally of ours. And Bush thought it would be a good idea to BOMB their studios because he disagreed with their reporting??

Blair 'Convinced Bush' Not to Launch Strike at al-Jazeera: " Tony Blair had to persuade US President George Bush not to launch a military strike on the studios of TV station Al-Jazeera.

New reports claim the two leaders debated an attack on the station which has broadcast video messages from al-Qaida head Osama bin Laden and leaders of the insurgency in Iraq, as well as clips of dead British and US soldiers.

There have been calls for Downing Street to publish the transcript of their conversation.

According to sources it records Mr Bush suggesting that he might order the bombing of Al-Jazeera's studios in Qatar."

Booman Tribune ~ Operation Yellow Feather

Go here to print up your protest forms to mail to Rep. Schmidt:

"Since the run up to the War in Iraq, right-wing conservatives have sought to use a new McCarthyism to silence debate on the most important issues faced by the United States. Leaders who challenge the flawed policies of the administration are labeled as cowards or as unpatriotic sympathizers with terrorists. Operation Yellow Feather is a grass roots effort to tell Republican 'chicken hawks' that we will not tolerate their 'Red Scare' tactics.

Last week, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) stated his public position that the U.S. troops in Iraq should be redeployed outside Iraq in a manner consistent with their own safety. Rep. Murtha is a brave and distinguished man. He left college to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War. He gave lengthy service as a Marine, rising through the ranks to become a Colonel. He again volunteered for service in Vietnam. He was a decorated veteran, receiving the Bronze Star for Combat, two Purple Hearts, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

In a effort to blunt the effect of Murtha's serious call for a withdrawal of the troops, Republicans hurriedly offered a sham Bill on the issue that had almost no support. During debate on the issue, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), a freshman Rep., called Murtha a coward."

BBC ON THIS DAY | 22 | 1963: Kennedy shot dead in Dallas

On this day, November 22nd, 1963 an era came to an end.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Jane Smiley: Superpower? | The Huffington Post

Jane Smiley speaks out in The Huffington Post:

"Back in the year 2000, I believed almost without thinking about it that the US was a 'superpower', the only 'superpower' in the world. Maybe it was true and maybe it wasn't, but there was a lot of money around, Americans were pretty prosperous, and most people around the world had a benign view of the US.
Maybe the clearest sign of our 'superpower' status was that the right wing and the press could beat up on Bill Clinton with absolutely no effect on US power or the perception of US power. Beating up on Bill Clinton was a kind of parlor game that the participants cared about, but was in the end of no international import. The most surprising thing, then, about the last five years is how quickly and absolutely the US has ceased to be a superpower."


"It is obvious that George W. Bush is a small, shallow man, the son of a rather dumb and bumbling father and a blinkered, vindictive mother. That his nature and nurture have been visited upon the country as a whole is an interesting detail of our decline and fall." The Man Who Sold the War

"Meet John Rendon, Bush's general in the propaganda war":

How the Bush administration got spooked

How the Bush administration got spooked: "It's finally Wizard of Oz time in America. You know - that moment when the curtains are pulled back, the fearsome-looking wizard wreathed in all that billowing smoke turns out to be some pitiful little guy, and everybody looks around sheepishly, wondering why they acted as they did for so long."

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Jerusalem Post: Zarqawi dead?


Pelosi on O'Reilly

Pelosi speaks on SF and O'Reilly

CSIndy: Public Eye

What can one say? Can it get any wierder? I'm a 24-year career Airman in this country's Air Force and I am totally in thrall by this!!! How can this be happening in my country; my Air Force??

CSIndy: Public Eye: "'Praise God that we have been allowed access by the Academy into the cadet areas to minister among the cadets,' the Lindbloms wrote. 'We have recently been given an unused classroom to meet with cadets at any time during the day. This was a true answer to prayer.'

The newsletter was dated Oct. 11. That was less than a week after Mikey Weinstein, a 1977 Academy graduate, filed a lawsuit accusing the institution of fostering an environment of religious intolerance -- and just weeks after the Air Force issued new guidelines instructing officials to avoid obvious proselytizing at the tax-funded institution, and to be sensitive to all religions."

No Exit Strategy

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LA Times: How U.S. Fell Under the Spell of 'Curveball'

The incompetence and arrogance of the Bushevics is staggering. Now the Germans are piling on. Remember-- 'Curveball' was their asset. They interviewed him, they managed him. The results were given in good faith to us, WITH GRAVE RESERVATIONS! The reservations were left out and the administration grossly trumped up outlandish fallacies and used them as a pretext for a war that has since turned into a grotesque failure.

How U.S. Fell Under the Spell of 'Curveball': "The Iraqi informant's German handlers say they had told U.S. officials that his information was 'not proven,' and were shocked when President Bush and Colin L. Powell used it in key prewar speeches."


"The senior BND officer who supervised Curveball's case said he was aghast when he watched Powell misstate Curveball's claims as a justification for war.

'We were shocked," the official said. "Mein Gott! We had always told them it was not proven…. It was not hard intelligence."

In a telephone interview, Powell said that George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, and his top deputies personally assured him before his U.N. speech that U.S. intelligence on the mobile labs was "solid." Since then, Powell said, the case "has totally blown up in our faces."'

t r u t h o u t - Frank Rich: One War Lost, Another to Go

Frank Rich, always a must read in the Sunday NYT:

One War Lost, Another to Go

LA Times: Missionary's Dark Legacy

Be sure and look at the sidebar of the photo gallery as well. Very sad. The ongoing denial by the Catholic Church is a great crime.

Missionary's Dark Legacy - : "Two remote Alaska villages are still reeling from a Catholic volunteer's sojourn three decades ago, when he allegedly molested nearly every Eskimo boy in the parishes..

By William Lobdell, Times Staff Writer

ST. MICHAEL, Alaska — Peter 'Packy' Kobuk has to walk past the old Catholic church to get almost anywhere. To fill a drum of heating oil. To take his children to school. To wash his clothes at the only laundromat in this Eskimo village of 370.

'I think about burning it down, but I have to block that out,' says Kobuk, 46. 'It all comes back to me right away each time I have to see it.'"

Saturday, November 19, 2005

NPR : 'Why Iraq Has No Army'

NPR : 'Why Iraq Has No Army': "In a cover article for the December issue of Atlantic Monthly, reporter James Fallows argues there is no easy way out of Iraq for American forces. Pressure is mounting to withdraw U.S. troops, but the move would almost certainly leave Iraq in chaos. It will take years to train an Iraqi security force.

Rebekka and Steve "pre-race"

 I finished 4th overall with a time of 3:09 on this difficult rolling course through the Nevada desert; my 75th marathon and 40th state. Rebekka had a very respectable run on this unrelenting roller coaster of a course.

Valley of Fire Marathon in the Valley of Fire State Park, near Lake Mead, Nevada.

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1940 RV

 Now this is stylin'!
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Rebekka Finishing the Valley of Fire Marathon today in Nevada

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Hopefully Rebekka looks this good tomorrow as she rolls down this final mile in the Valley of Fire Marathon. Posted by Picasa

Elephant Rock, near the east entrance to Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada. Posted by Picasa

Fanastic palm tree growing near Rogers Spring, Nevada: a sulphur hot spring. Posted by Picasa

Rogers Spring, a remarkable oasis in the desert near Lake Mead, Nevada. Posted by Picasa

Finish line for the Valley of Fire Marathon that we are going to be running tomorrow. The course is an out and back through the Valley of Fire State Park near Lake Mead, Nevada. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The pleasant town of Springdale, Utah is the gateway to Zion National Park. From April to Oct most visitors to Zion board the shuttle buses here. I don't know why most people would choose to visit this park in the hottest time of year.... November is wonderful with temperatures in the 70's.  Posted by Picasa

SB holds up the natural arch at the terminus to our hike up and into Hidden Canyon today. Posted by Picasa

SB climbs the stairs to Hidden Canyon, Zion National Park. Posted by Picasa

SB on the Virgin River. Posted by Picasa