Saturday, April 30, 2005

SB just before taking second place overall through rain, mud, and fording four rivers during this morning's Delaware Trail Marathon. I turned this challenging course, my 67th marathon and 35th marathon state, in 3hrs 44min. Posted by Hello

Juan Cole on Mainstream Media (MSM) vs the Blogger sphere

Read Juan Cole's highly recommended piece on the Blogger revolution:

Here's a money quote:

And this difference, my friends, accounts for why bloggers get vilified. Journalists can be switched to another story, or fired, or their stories can be buried on page 36. We can't be fired. So if Martin Peretz doesn't like what we have to say, he will publish a hatchet job on us in The New Republic, seeking to make us taboo. If you can't shut people up, and you really don't want their voices heard, then all you can do is try to persuade others not to listen to them or give them a platform. The easiest way to do this is to falsely accuse them of racism or Communism some other character flaw unacceptable to polite society. Because of the distributed character of blogging "computing," however, such tactics are probably doomed to fail.

We are not the mainstream media, and we are here. Get used to it.

Rep John Conyers Blog

John Conyers, Democratic Representative from Michigan, who has been at the forefront of investigating the voting fraud in Ohio, now has a blog. Worth checking out. He is very active on many fronts against the Repuglicans and their wingnut agenda.

Another representative, this one from Virginia, has a scathing interview on An excerpt:

"I think the Republicans basically resent the poor and they figure if we can get the poor investing in the stock market, maybe they’ll start thinking like Republicans," Moran said. "God help us."

The Virginian said he believes that the Republican base has used Bush to push Social Security reform, a project that he says is essentially one to axe Social Security.

"I think they realized that they’re never going to find anybody who is as willing to carry out the agenda of these Republican right wing nuts and reverse the course of American progress," he remarked. "This is their chance. This is their chance to cut taxes down to the bone. This is their chance to repeal Social Security and to bankrupt Medicare and Medicaid."

President Bush is holding an event to promote his plan in Moran's district Friday. The events—like most of those the president held during his presidential campaign—are prescreened to include supporters. Moran suggested that such events may have contributed to what he sees as a sense of "self-delusion" Bush has shown in promoting a plan that polls poorly with the American public.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Elevation profile for the Delaware Trail marathon I will be running tomorrow. (two loops) Posted by Hello

Doreen walks her dog near the high point of Delaware, which is right next to her home. Posted by Hello

Doreen--the guardian of Delaware's high point and the keeper of the lore... Posted by Hello

SB at the high point of Delaware. Posted by Hello

Self Portrait at the high point of Delaware--my 44th state high point. Posted by Hello

Talking Sense

Former governor of California and the present mayor of Oakland, CA, Jerry Brown has a blog now. Check it out.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Physicians for Human Rights on Darfur

I urge you to see this Flash movie by Physicians for Human Rights on the situation in Darfur, Sudan.

Hacking in Iraq, Interview with Jake Appelbaum

Found this fascinating interview as I surfed around this morning:

"Hacking in Iraq, Interview with Jake Appelbaum"

I hang out on IRC a lot, Jake Appelbaum (ioerror) popped in the other night and we talking about the satellites he was setting up in Iraq on his vacation along with all sorts of hackery. I was completely fascinated why he was over there and of course curious about what type of 'Makers' there are and what they're building. Hacking the border, internet connections, handing out Knoppix CDs, video blogging, amazing stuff- Jake was kind enough to answer some questions via email. And here they are...

So you're in iraq? What's the all about?

I am in the northern Kurdish controlled area of Iraq in a city called Arbil. It's one of the two capitals of Kurdistan, if that sounds odd, you're not the only one that thinks that way."

Interview -- Robert McChesney is Working to Reclaim our Free Press

Interview -- Robert McChesney: "Our seminal belief is that if all these issues of ownership of public broadcasting, or copyrights, and right of Internet access, are laid out in the open, we’re pretty confident we’ll get good policy. American people will, in a healthy debate, come up with good policies. ... The important point to remember is that the bad guys here are ultimately not Clear Channel Radio, or ViaCom, or Rupert Murdoch. ... The bad guys here are the policy makers who created this system. Radio’s really a very inexpensive medium, and there’s no reason why every radio station in Chicago couldn’t have a different owner. ... But the rules that allow Clear Channel to gobble up all the stations are negotiated behind closed doors. And that’s what our fight is - to make the policy makers accountable to the people of this country, not to Clear Channel, ViaCom or Sinclair Broadcasting."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Head of Colorado Young Republicans connected to forced removal of citizens at Bush Public Event

Jay Bob Klinkerman, head of Colorado Young Republicans, is Uncovered by Denver 3 in Connection to Their Forced Removal at Bush Public Event, But Mystery Man Who Allegedly Criminally Impersonated a Secret Service Agent Still Not Revealed by WH:

Klinkerman Contradicts White House Spokesman Scott McClellan Saying Mystery Man Was Not Local Volunteer, As White House Stalls on Revealing Alleged Criminal’s Identity

For five years, the Bush Whites House has been denying entry to American taxpayer funded presidential events to people they suspect of being Democrats, opposing the Iraq War, or who have been critical of Bush. Sometimes, as in West Virginia, this has led to people being arrested for exercising their First Amendment rights. It is how business is conducted in a dictatorship not a democracy.

BuzzFlash has been covering this Constitutionally prohibited White House activity since Bush was sworn in. Each time, the White House claims it was due to 'overzealous' local volunteers, but in a recent Washington Post, a White House spokesman indicated that the Bush Administration didn't want anyone at the events who 'didn't respect the President,' to paraphrase him."

Tiny houses, a cool web site selling tiny houses. The fellow who sells them lives in a 100 S.F. house. Less impact on the environment and less impact on your wallet--if you can downsize your life. I'm intrigued... Posted by Hello

The Nation | Justice Sunday Preachers | Max Blumenthal

Remember that "Justice Sunday" event, the one where Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist spoke on videotape, the one that accused Democrats of being against "people of faith"? It was organized by a group called the Family Research Council, headed by a man named Tony Perkins. It's hard to believe that these people have been legitimized and are not relegated to the loony fringe where they belong.

The Nation | Justice Sunday Preachers by Max Blumenthal:

"Senate majority leader Bill Frist appeared through a telecast as a speaker at 'Justice Sunday,' at the invitation of the event's main sponsor, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. 'Justice Sunday' was promoted as a rally to portray Democrats as being 'against people of faith.' Many of the speakers compared the plight of conservative Christians to the civil rights movement. But in sharing the stage with Perkins, who introduced him to the rally, Frist was associating himself with someone who has longstanding ties to racist organizations.

Four years ago, Perkins addressed the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), America's premier white supremacist organization, the successor to the White Citizens Councils, which battled integration in the South. In 1996 Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,000 for his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was the campaign manager for a right-wing Republican candidate for the US Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Yahoo! News - Another Ex-Colleague Criticizes Bolton

Yahoo! News - Another Ex-Colleague Criticizes Bolton: "'Bolton has none of the qualities needed for that job,' Frederick Vreeland, a former U.S. ambassador to Morocco, said in an e-mail to the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. 'On the contrary, he has all the qualities needed to harm the image and objectives in the U.N. and its affiliated international organizations. If it is now U.S. policy not to reform the U.N but to destroy it, Bolton is our man.'

The administration stood firm Monday in support of Bolton."

This is where I work as a communications staff officer: HQ Air Force Space Command. Posted by Hello

Air Force Space Command (Bldg 1) with Cheyenne Mtn in the background. Posted by Hello

My work place. I love this time of year when the crab apple trees are in bloom. It only lasts a short while.... Posted by Hello

Could You Be A Democrat?


Democrats believe in self government -- based in the widest possible participation of all citizens from all walks of life, as opposed to government controlled mostly or exclusively by elite and powerful, but limited, interests.

Democrats believe that government must be useful and responsive. They disdain empty grandiosity and dishonest pomp -- a staged landing on an aircraft carrier or a fake townhall, for instance -- designed to glorify officials and promote awe of government authority rather than respect for democracy and democratic power.

Democrats abhor (and will rebel against) government that is narrow, self-interested and authoritarian (the kind of government today's Republicans, or at least the limited, powerful interests who now control the party, seek).

Democrats believe that democratic government is the best tool ever devised to bring the diverse people, interests and resources of a complex society together to effectively solve common, society-wide problems or to achieve important society-wide goals."

Monday, April 25, 2005

Jeff Gannon

Odd comings and goings at the White House... - Richard Lamm -- We are the Generation of debt

We are the Generation of Debt: Richard Lamm : "There is an issue of great significance emerging in America: intergenerational equity. We are not being fair to our children and our grandchildren, we are not paying debts that should rightly be ours, and we are indulging ourselves at the expense of the future.

Never has a generation, until mine, left its heirs with as much debt. Never has a generation put so much spending on their children's credit cards.

My mother and father fought a war and a depression, built up the world's best highway system and infrastructure and left my generation only a small national debt. My generation fought no world wars, and we have lived in the most prosperous time in human history, yet we are leaving our children with a staggering federal debt. I inherited the world's largest creditor nation; I leave my children the world's largest debtor nation. I inherited an America that produced far more than it consumed, and I am leaving an America that consumes far more that it produces. We have indulged ourselves at the expense of our children.

Most Americans don't fully recognize the extent of the debt we leave. We know of the $7.5 trillion federal debt, but don't know of the 'unfunded liabilities' for benefits we enjoy but whose cost we leave to our children. The Concord Coalition estimates these unfunded liabilities to be a staggering $74 trillion, mostly unrecorded, unfunded debt for benefits our generation has received or will receive but has not paid for.

To pay off a debt that large, all Americans would have to work seven years and give everything we earn to the government."

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass - Herb Alpert: "Consider the three top-selling-album artists of the 1960s: The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.

Each act has been subjected to endless examination and lionization. They're part of our collective consciousness.

But the fourth-largest-selling act from that turbulent decade more often than not seems consigned to America's flea markets, though the music created by this unit is not only unforgettable - in its time it was inescapable."

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The New York Times > Opinion > Maureen Dowd: Uncle Dick and Papa

This morning as we drove to our Incline Club run on the Intemann Trail we listened to NPR's "On the Media" and an interview with Maureen Dowd as she talked about this commentary on Cheney and the Pope. I laughed and laughed. She has them nailed.

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Uncle Dick and Papa: "It was a move so smooth and bold, accomplished with such backstage bureaucratic finesse, that it was worthy of Dick Cheney himself.

The imminence grise who had long whispered in the ear of power and who had helped oversee the selection process ended up selecting himself. In Cheneyesque fashion, he searched far and wide for a pope by looking around the room and swiftly deciding he was the best man for the job.

Just like Mr. Cheney, once the quintessentially deferential staff man with the Secret Service code name 'Back Seat,' the self-effacing Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has clambered over the back seat to seize the wheel (or Commonweal). Mr. Cheney played the tough cop to W.'s boyish, genial pol, just as Cardinal Ratzinger played the tough cop to John Paul's gentle soul."

NPR: This I believe

NPR has an uplifting series of essays by prominent Americans, including Isabelle Allende, John Updike and Colin Powell where they explore the theme: This I believe. Much more edifying and insightful then the current schlock offered up by the James Dobsons, Jerry Falwells, and Bill O'Reilly's of the world. Check it out.

Priscilla Owens: one of the judges with "deeply held faith"

You decide. Take a close look at just one of the ten judges Bush is recycling. This has been going on for nearly three years. You decide if she is a) a devout Christian or b) in the pockets of corporations and against constitutional and statutory rights of the common citizen? While you're at it do a little research on the other ten judges. Then you decide for yourself how sincere these Republicans are.

Editorials and Commentary on Priscilla Owens.

New York Times - Frank Rich | A High-Tech Lynching in Prime Time

A High-Tech Lynching in Prime Time
By Frank Rich
The New York Times

Sunday 24 April 2005

Frank Rich | A High-Tech Lynching in Prime Time: "Whatever your religious denomination, or lack of same, it was hard not to be swept up in last week's televised pageantry from Rome: the grandeur of St. Peter's Square, the panoply of the cardinals, the continuity of history embodied by the joyous emergence of the 265th pope. As a show of faith, it's a tough act to follow. But that has not stopped some ingenious American hucksters from trying.

Tonight is the much-awaited 'Justice Sunday,' the judge-bashing rally being disseminated nationwide by cable, satellite and Internet from a megachurch in Louisville. It may not boast a plume of smoke emerging from above the Sistine Chapel, but it will feature its share of smoke and mirrors as well as traditions that, while not dating back a couple of millenniums, do at least recall the 1920's immortalized in 'Elmer Gantry.' These traditions have less to do with the earnest practice of religion by an actual church, as we witnessed from Rome, than with the exploitation of religion by political operatives and other cynics with worldly ends. While Sinclair Lewis wrote that Gantry, his hypocritical evangelical preacher, 'was born to be a senator,' we now have senators who are born to be Gantrys. One of them, the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, hatched plans to be beamed into tonight's festivities by videotape, a stunt that in itself imbues 'Justice Sunday' with a touch of all-American spectacle worthy of 'The Wizard of Oz.'

Like the wizard himself, 'Justice Sunday' is a humbug, albeit one with real potential consequences. It brings mass-media firepower to a campaign against so-called activist judges whose virulence increasingly echoes the rhetoric of George Wallace and other segregationists in the 1960's. Back then, Wallace called for the impeachment of Frank M. Johnson Jr., the federal judge in Alabama whose activism extended to upholding the Montgomery bus boycott and voting rights march. Despite stepped-up security, a cross was burned on Johnson's lawn and his mother's house was bombed.

The fraudulence of "Justice Sunday" begins but does not end with its sham claims to solidarity with the civil rights movement of that era. "The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias," says the flier for tonight's show, "and now it is being used against people of faith." In truth, Bush judicial nominees have been approved in exactly the same numbers as were Clinton second-term nominees. Of the 13 federal appeals courts, 10 already have a majority of Republican appointees. So does the Supreme Court. It's a lie to argue, as Tom DeLay did last week, that such a judiciary is the "left's last legislative body," and that Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee, is the poster child for "outrageous" judicial overreach. Our courts are as highly populated by Republicans as the other two branches of government.

The "Justice Sunday" mob is also lying when it claims to despise activist judges as a matter of principle. Only weeks ago it was desperately seeking activist judges who might intervene in the Terri Schiavo case as boldly as Scalia & Co. had in Bush v. Gore. The real "Justice Sunday" agenda lies elsewhere. As Bill Maher summed it up for Jay Leno on the "Tonight" show last week: " 'Activist judges' is a code word for gay." The judges being verbally tarred and feathered are those who have decriminalized gay sex (in a Supreme Court decision written by Justice Kennedy) as they once did abortion and who countenance marriage rights for same-sex couples. This is the animus that dares not speak its name tonight. To paraphrase the "Justice Sunday" flier, now it's the anti-filibuster campaign that is being abused to protect bias, this time against gay people.

Anyone who doesn't get with this program, starting with all Democrats, is damned as a bigoted enemy of "people of faith." But "people of faith," as used by the event's organizers, is another duplicitous locution; it's a code word for only one specific and exclusionary brand of Christianity. The trade organization representing tonight's presenters, National Religious Broadcasters, requires its members to "sign a distinctly evangelical statement of faith that would probably exclude most Catholics and certainly all Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist programmers," according to the magazine Broadcasting & Cable. The only major religious leader involved with "Justice Sunday," R. Albert Mohler Jr. of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has not only called the papacy a "false and unbiblical office" but also told Terry Gross on NPR two years ago that "any belief system" leading "away from the cross of Christ and toward another way of ultimate meaning, is, indeed, wicked and evil." "

The Daily Camera: Salazar v. Dobson

More flimflammery from our resident nutcase: Focus on the Family's James Dobson is at it again:

The Daily Camera: Editorials: "Salazar v. Dobson

Senator right to resist theocratic pinings

April 24, 2005

Ken Salazar says Focus on the Family wants to move America closer to being a theocracy. That's tough talk. It is also correct.

Salazar, the Democratic U.S. senator from Colorado, is among senators from 15 states being lambasted by Focus on the Family, a Christian group based in Colorado Springs. Last weekend, a Focus ad urged Salazar to 'stop the nonsense' in the federal judiciary."

Bolton's British Problem - Newsweek

John Bolton has three strikes against him:

1) Serial abuser of subordinates; classic "kiss up, kick down" sort of guy

2) Exaggerated intelligence; intimidates those who don't support his (wrong) views

3) Lied under oath

Between now and May 12th expect a continuous rain of skeletons to come clattering out his closets. I expect him to be another Bernard Kerik. Remember him?

What is the Bush team thinking?? By nominating a schmuck like Bolton to be our Ambassador to the United Nations we send the signal that we are opting out of the community of nations. We can't do it alone. This is crazy irrational behaviour. Our Arrogance is going to bring us down. Crazy, crazy, crazy.

Bolton's British Problem - Newsweek : "May 2 issue - Colin Powell plainly didn't like what he was hearing. At a meeting in London in November 2003, his counterpart, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, was complaining to Powell about John Bolton, according to a former Bush administration official who was there. Straw told the then Secretary of State that Bolton, Powell's under secretary for arms control, was making it impossible to reach allied agreement on Iran's nuclear program. Powell turned to an aide and said, 'Get a different view on [the Iranian problem]. Bolton is being too tough.'

Unbeknownst to Bolton, the aide then interviewed experts in Bolton's own Nonproliferation Bureau. The issue was resolved, the former official told NEWSWEEK, only after Powell adopted softer language recommended by these experts on how and when Iran might be referred to the U.N. Security Council. But the terrified State experts were 'adamant that we not let Bolton know we had talked to them,' the official said."

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Nation | Article | Bush's War on the Press | Eric Alterman

The Nation | Article | Bush's War on the Press | Eric Alterman:

"Journalists, George Bernard Shaw once said, 'are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization.' How odd, given the profession's un-equaled reputation for narcissism, that Shaw's observation holds true even when the collapsing 'civilization' is their own.

Make no mistake: The Bush Administration and its ideological allies are employing every means available to undermine journalists' ability to exercise their First Amendment function to hold power accountable. In fact, the Administration recognizes no such constitutional role for the press. White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card has insisted that the media 'don't represent the public any more than other people do.... I don't believe you have a check-and-balance function.'"

Colorado College May Calendar

I'm starting to realize that we have a great resource here in Colorado Springs. There are a plethora of free lectures, live music, and film events taking place every day at this fine institution. Colorado College May Calendar

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Independent: Aid Worker uncovered America's secret tally of Iraqi civilian deaths

America's secret tally of Iraqi civilian deaths : "A week before she was killed by a suicide bomber, humanitarian worker Marla Ruzicka forced military commanders to admit they did keep records of Iraqi civilians killed by US forces.

Tommy Franks, the former head of US Central Command, famously said the US army 'don't do body counts', despite a requirement to do so by the Geneva Conventions.

But in an essay Ms Ruzicka wrote a week before her death on Saturday and published yesterday, the 28-year-old revealed that a Brigadier General told her it was 'standard operating procedure' for US troops to file a report when they shoot a non-combatant.

She obtained figures for the number of civilians killed in Baghdad between 28 February and 5 April, and discovered that 29 had been killed in firefights involving US forces and insurgents. This was four times the number of Iraqi police killed.

'These statistics demonstrate that the US military can and does track civilian casualties,' she wrote. 'Troops on the ground keep these records because they recognise they have a responsibility to review each action taken and that it is in their interest to minimise mistakes, especially since winning the hearts and minds of Iraqis is a key component of their strategy.'"

Tom Tomorrow. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Why Numbers Matter

AlterNet: War on Iraq: Why Numbers Matter: "Just before her death, Marla Ruzicka wrote about the importance of recording and publicly releasing Iraqi civilian casualty numbers.

BAGHDAD --The writer, a 28-year-old humanitarian aid worker from California, was killed Saturday in Baghdad when a suicide bomber aiming for a convoy of contractors pulled alongside her vehicle and detonated his explosives. Her longtime driver and translator, Faiz Ali Salim, also died. She filed this piece from Baghdad a week before her death.

In my two years in Iraq, the one question I am asked the most is: 'How many Iraqi civilians have been killed by American forces?' The American public has a right to know how many Iraqis have lost their lives since the start of the war and as hostilities continue.

In a news conference at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in March 2002, Gen. Tommy Franks said, 'We don't do body counts.' His words outraged the Arab world and damaged the U.S. claim that its forces go to great lengths to minimize civilian casualties.

During the Iraq war, as U.S. troops pushed toward Baghdad, counting civilian casualties was not a priority for the military. However, since May 1, 2003, when President Bush declared major combat operations over and the U.S. military moved into a phase referred to as 'stability operations,' most units began to keep track of Iraqi civilians killed at checkpoints or during foot patrols by U.S. soldiers."

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

John Bolton and the Battle for Reality

As I drove home from work today I listened to the Senate committee hearings on John Bolton on CSPAN via my Sirius Satellite Radio. The John Bolton nomination is an embarrassment to our country. I'm happy to say that two Republicans on the committee have expressed their doubts about this serial abuser and hothead--enough to effect a delay on his nomination until more facts come to light. John Bolton and the Battle for Reality:

"The John Bolton nomination battle is one of those rare moments when a window has opened onto how the U.S. public was rushed into war with Iraq and, in a larger sense, how conservatives seized control over the flow of information that shapes policy.

Bolton may be – as former State Department intelligence chief Carl Ford Jr. said – “a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down kind of guy” who bullies those below him who come up with inconvenient facts. But Bolton’s abusive tendencies are not just a personality flaw; they are part of a broader political strategy.

Since his early days as a prot�g�of Sen. Jesse Helms, Bolton was part of a new aggressive breed of conservatives, who came of age during the Vietnam War and who thus understand the importance of keeping a lid on public dissent.

In practical terms, that means influencing or controlling what the public perceives as reality, often exaggerating threats to stampede the people in a desired direction. That need to manage information, in turn, requires discrediting individuals who can effectively challenge the factual constraints."

The New York Times > An American Aid Worker Is Killed in Her Line of Duty

The New York Times > International > Middle East > An American Aid Worker Is Killed in Her Line of Duty:

"For more than two years, Marla Ruzicka worked to get help for innocent civilians caught in cross-fires here. A 28-year-old Californian with blond hair and an electric smile, she ran a one-woman aid group.

On Saturday afternoon, Ms. Ruzicka became a casualty herself. A suicide bomber attacked a convoy of security contractors that was passing near her car on the airport road in Baghdad, killing her and her Iraqi driver, United States Embassy officials in Baghdad said.

Ms. Ruzicka had worked in Afghanistan as well as Iraq. She took great risks, often traveling to talk to Iraqis without the guards and armored cars that reporters here tend to rely on. She also had an extraordinary gift for promoting her cause, whether in Iraq or Washington.

She worked with Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, to get $2.5 million for civilian victims in Afghanistan, and later, $10 million for victims in Iraq. Last week another $10 million was authorized for the Iraq program.

'She was the one that persuaded us,' Mr. Leahy said Sunday afternoon in a telephone interview. 'Here's someone who at 28 years old did more than most people do in a lifetime.'

Ms. Ruzicka was deceptively girlish in person. She often arranged parties for the foreign correspondents here and in Afghanistan. She was in her element, with her distinctive giggle always audible over the music. But she used the occasions to lobby reporters to write about the things that mattered to her.

The evening before she died, she visited this reporter in Baghdad to talk about civilian casualties. She spoke with affection about a 2-year-old girl she was helping, whose parents and other relatives were killed by a missile in 2003.

'She calls me bride Marla because of my hair,' she said happily of the girl, Harah.

Ms. Ruzicka had also obtained new numbers on civilian casualties fr"

James Wolcott: On Some Sad Laps, No Heads Bob

James Wolcott: On Some Sad Laps, No Heads Bob: "This morning on Air America, Jerry Springer ran the tape of Rush Limbaugh's bizarre outburst against Al Gore's upcoming cable news venture for 'yoof' (as they say in British papers), mocking its mission to represent the viewpoints of young people by claiming that the only thing kids cared about today was blowjobs, which were rampant in the nation's high schools today thanks to Al's good friend Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Maybe it should be called 'The BJ Network,' Rush railed, since blowjobs were now the only thing occupying the empty minds of MTV audiences--all those teenage Monicas out there hooking up with teenage Bubbas.

Limbaugh seemed to be implying at the top of his voice that blowjobs are an integral part of the liberal agenda, an argument which he may want to rethink. The popularity of blowjobs is difficult to metric but undeniable; they cause little harm and zero unwanted pregnancies. If the plentitude of blowjobs is part of the Clinton legacy, millions owe the former president a debt of gratitude and an annual pilgrimage to the Clinton Memorial Library in Arkansas."

Monday, April 18, 2005

t r u t h o u t - Energy Dept. Contradicts Bush on Climate Costs

t r u t h o u t - Energy Dept. Contradicts Bush on Climate Costs: "$78 Annual Household Cost

EIA estimated that the cost to each U.S. household of using a market-based approach to limit greenhouse gases would be $78 per year, from 2006 to 2025. That would reduce the gross domestic product in 2025 by about one-tenth of 1 percent, it said.

The commission also had recommended a 36 percent increase in the average fuel economy for cars and light-duty trucks between 2010 and 2015 and doubling to $3 billion a year the budget for federal energy research and development. In addition, it called for new tax incentives for gasifying coal and building nuclear plants." - Rove: White House 'strongly' behind DeLay

This is great!! Leave him in and let him twist in the wind!! - Rove: White House�'strongly' behind DeLay - Apr 18, 2005: "Rove, the strategist who ran President Bush's two presidential campaigns, said DeLay, a Texas Republican, has been the target of partisan attacks by 'desperate' Democrats.

'Tom DeLay is going to continue to be a strong and effective majority leader for the Republicans in the House,' he said on CNN's 'Inside Politics.'"

Do you know your European capitals?

Test yourself here.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

More thoughts on Barry Lopez

A great thing about going to watch a lecture by an intelligent, thoughtful person is that it continues to resonate in one's thoughts for days afterward. Today as I ran up the Barr Trail I found myself returning to the themes from Barry Lopez's talk on Thursday night and rolled them around in my mind. He began his talk with three questions: Who are we? Why are we here? Where do we want to go? Indeed these are the questions that people in strange, exotic lands have for the tourist or visitor to their domain. They are also questions we need to constantly ask as we each make our brief sojourns on this planet.

He talked about biology and how everything goes back to the simple fact that we are biological creatures, as is all of life. What does that imply? As we move recklessly forward, continuing to ignore the warning signs of the limits to the capacity of the earth to sustain all the wounds we inflict upon it, we will reach the limits of our biology. Potable water for example, will increasingly be difficult to secure. Lopez suggests that the conflict in Sudan is ultimately not about religion or race, but rather is about water.

This from the WSJ:
"Only 2 percent of the world's water is fresh, and with the World Commission on Water for the 21st Century projecting a 50 percent increase in demand in the next 30 years, food and drinking-water shortages, droughts, devastated agriculture, disease, and even armed conflict over water may be on the horizon. We smell profits! And indeed, over the last five years, stocks in the water sector have leapt 113 percent (while the S&P 500 lost 17 percent), with a 24 percent jump just last year. Companies involved in the $400 billion-a-year global water biz -- delivery and storage of water, construction and maintenance of infrastructure like wastewater-treatment facilities and desalination plants -- have seen their portfolios boom in recent years. Huge corporations like General Electric are investing billions each year in their water holdings. "Water will emerge as the next growth commodity," says hedge-fund manager John Romero."

Viruses and contagions loom and threaten to break out and cause mass casualties.

This Thursday evening we will go to another lecture. This one is entitled "365 days in Tibet" and will be given by Jake Norton. I look forward for more thoughts and ideas to churn through on next weekend's runs.

Matt Carpenter sows seeds at 8,000 feet next to the Barr Trail midway to Barr Camp on the Pikes Peak summit trail. Posted by Hello

Matt and Paul run through the "Arch" on the Barr Trail on the way to Barr Camp. Barr Camp is six miles up the trail to the summit of Pikes Peak. Posted by Hello

Paul and Bryan at Barr Camp, the turnaround point of our run this morning. Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Rebekka won her age group 40-49 in the 12.5K race. Greenland once was a front range town on the railroad, that became just a ranch in the 30's, and now through the foresight of Coloradans is preserved from development. Posted by Hello

I am finishing the 25K Greenland Open Space trail run, where I won the 50-59 age group. (I am behind the guy in blue running the opposite direction) They had four races today: 50K, 37.5K, 25K and 12.5K--each lap was 12.5K. Two laps was plenty! I took 7th overall. Posted by Hello

Yesterday I spent half a day helping build houses for Habitat for Humanity.  Posted by Hello

Barry Lopez at Colorado College

Thursday night Rebekka, Natalie and I went to see Barry Lopez speak before a capacity crowd in the Gates Common Room at Colorado College. Barry Lopez has written a number of books on the natural world as well as many short stories and collections of stories. Among his works that particularly resonate with me are "Of Wolves and Men" and "Arctic Dreams". Barry Lopez is in my top ten favorite writers.

Mr. Lopez spoke intelligently, gracefully, eloquently on the theme of destruction...destruction of the world as it was in a generation or two, through heedless inattention to what the impacts are of extraction industries and our profligate dependence on oil. Global warming is real and well underway. We have probably turned the corner past our ability to prevent or avoid catastrophic climactic change.

He spoke of reverence--reverence as a core concept common to the religions of the world, and the only true means of communing with the "other" or the "mystery" of what we don't know or understand. He spoke of "elders" in cultures who transmit the knowledge of reverence to their communities. These elders are not elders because they have advanced to some chronological age, but rather they have listened to their elders who in turn have listened to their elders, going back hundreds of years. This knowledge gleaned from the earth is ignored and trampelled by the proselitizers and missionaries that our western culture has sent forth like a plague of locusts around the world. In a postulate that I had not heard before, he suggested that Merriweather Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition launched by our third president, Thomas Jefferson committed suicide when he realized that the world he had seen on his journey to the west would be transformed and destroyed by the likes of the rough-hewn men he met in St Louis. After the expedition Lewis drank himself to death over a period of three years.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 :: A wake-up call for the Sane Majority :: Northwest Arkansas' News Source

Gene Lyons
Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Vieira attacked the theological right’s latest whipping boy, Ronald Reagan-appointed Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. True, Kennedy supplied the swing vote in Bush vs. Gore, the 5-4 decision that gave the 2000 election to George W. Bush. But he also wrote recent majority opinions invalidating Texas’s anti-sodomy law and forbidding the execution of juveniles.

In so doing, Vieira insisted, Kennedy upheld "Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law."

And the solution? If not impeachment, Vieira said that his "bottom-line" solution for renegade judges was Stalin’s: "He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: ‘ No man, no problem. ’"

The audience reportedly didn’t gasp. They laughed. "‘ No man, no problem, ’" he repeated for emphasis. "This is not a structural problem we have. This is a problem of personnel."

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank supplied the full Stalin quote, which is quite famous: "Death solves all problems: No man, no problem." He speculated that Vieira couldn’t possibly be urging the killing of Supreme Court justices. But he put the remark in the context of recent threats by DeLay, who said that "the time will come for the men responsible for [Terri Schiavo’s death] to answer for their behavior," and Texas Sen. John Cornyn, RTexas, who mused that unpopular judicial decisions could lead people to "engage in violence."

Closing a Credibility Gap in Congress (

My congressman, Joel Hefley, R-Col Spgs is a Republican AND he has integrity, honesty, and ethics. I don't agree with him on the environment, but I'm with him on his relentless pursuit of what is right concerning the AF Academy and now unethical behaviour of the radical right.

Closing a Credibility Gap in Congress (

By Joel Hefley and Alan B. Mollohan
Wednesday, April 13, 2005; Page A17

"In the last Congress, we were honored to serve as chairman and ranking Democrat, respectively, of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, and we were proud of its work. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of our fellow members, the committee functioned as intended, taking up difficult issues in a calm, deliberative manner and making decisions that in nearly every instance had the support of all committee members, Republicans and Democrats alike.

But in the present Congress, a number of changes have been made to the committee's rules, and we are deeply concerned that they may spell the end of a credible, effective ethics process in the House. A crucial step in putting the process back on track is to repeal these changes, and we are co-sponsoring a resolution to do so."

The Dems are beating the drum today in congress on this very issue.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Sick preacher in Colorado Springs

Focus on the Family is an embarrasment to our city. Media Matters nails them:


"I heard a minister the other day talking about the great injustice and evil of the men in white robes, the Ku Klux Klan, that roamed the country in the South, and they did great wrong to civil rights and to morality. And now we have black-robed men, and that's what you're talking about."

Atlantic Peak Trip Report

Atlantic Peak climb

My daughter's take on the "State of the Rockies Conference" (a two-day conference at Colorado College in Colorado Springs) and Terry Tempest Williams

“If we listen to the land, we will know what to do.” These are the words that stay with me throughout the day after hearing Terry Tempest Williams speak on “The Open Space of Democracy.” Her gentle, reassuring voice and poetic beauty remind me of the importance of remaining positive despite the ominous circumstances in which we live. But in remaining hopeful we must not become complacent; for without our outrage and without our voices we are only contributing to the perpetuation of the status-quo. In explaining why she writes, Williams asserted that words always fail, yet words are all that we have. Language—that amazing ability to compose our experiences and realities into symbolic arrangements of sounds, and thereby understand one another and express our inner worlds—is only a feeble attempt at comprehending this enigmatic existence that we all share. But words, despite their inadequacies, are our most useful asset in changing the world around us. As Williams stated, she writes to imagine things differently, and perhaps in doing so, things will change. I am reminded of a book I read a few years ago by John Perkins, entitled "The World is as You Dream It: Shamanistic Teachings from the Amazon and Andes", in which he is taught by a Shuar shaman that by changing our dream of the world, we can change the past, present and future. Our thoughts, our voices, and our actions on an individual level do affect the whole, for nothing occurs in isolation.

A major theme running through Williams’ speech was the idea of “ground truthing,” or seeing the ground or landscape for oneself in order to verify the accuracy of statements made about that land. Her own experience in ground truthing took her to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is on the verge of being opened to the oil industry for drilling, and which has been described by Interior Secretary Gale Norton as “flat, white nothingness” (Peskus). Ostensibly, it is easy for someone in Washington to imagine a desolate, dreary, snow-covered landscape with little life and little value—except for the subsurface extractable resources, like oil and gas. But Williams paints a picture of the refuge that is anything but worthless. In her book, The Open Space of Democracy, she states that “in the open space of democracy, beauty is not optional, but essential to the survival of our species” (41). Wildness, open spaces, untouched landscapes—as much as these are intrinsically valuable, they have value for us as well—unspoiled and pristine, they offer us beauty and solitude, necessities of the soul.

How long will we continue to compromise the open spaces that are left? When will enough be enough? How poisoned will our land become before we make a change? How many people and animals have to suffer before we open our eyes? “Where is our outrage? Where is our love?,” asked Terry of the students. I am left with more questions than answers after hearing Terry Tempest Williams speak, but also I am left with an overriding sense of the increasing need for understanding, openness, hope, and love in addressing the shortcomings of our species, and the healing of Mother Earth.

Marlene Bremner

Full Faith and credit:

In a Toledo Blade Editorial:

"NOW that President Bush has declared that the Social Security Trust Fund amounts to a stack of 'worthless IOUs' in a government filing cabinet in West Virginia, what will he do next?

How about a press conference in front of the Treasury Building next to the White House, where Mr. Bush could dramatize the fact that the folding money Americans spend every day is just a collection of 'worthless pieces of paper.'

The lengths this President will go to confuse and mislead the public never cease to amaze. That was proven once again by his dog-and-pony exposition on Social Security reform the other day in Parkersburg, W.Va."

The blizzard continues on the Front Range of Colorado. The view from my bedroom window this morning. All schools are closed. The city is at a stand still. Yesterday I drove a mere five miles through the driving snow--abandoned cars littered the roadways. Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Coalition for Darfur: Darfur vs. Martha Stewart

Coalition for Darfur: Darfur vs. Martha Stewart: "Eleven years ago today, the president of Rwanda was killed when his plane was shot down over Kigali. His death served as a catalyst to a genocide that quickly engulfed the country - within one month, an estimated 500,000 people had been killed and by the time the genocide ended 100 days later, nearly one million Rwandans had lost their lives.

The authors of the essay 'Rwanda: US Policy and Television Coverage' calculated that during the three months of genocide, Rwanda received a total of 278 minutes of news coverage from the likes of ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN, meaning that each of these news organization spent less than 1 minute per day reporting on a genocide that was taking lives at the rate of 1 every 11 seconds.

Today, another genocide is unfolding in African and, as this recent article in the American Journalism Review makes clear, very little has changed

Serious reporting on [Darfur] largely has been absent on the networks and on cable. Last year the three network nightly newscasts aired a meager total of 26 minutes on the bloodshed, according to the Tyndall Report, which monitors network news. ABC devoted just 18 minutes to Darfur, NBC five and CBS three. By contrast, Martha Stewart's woes received 130 minutes, five times as much."

Rebekka striding up the Pacific Creek bed on the way up Atlantic Peak. Posted by Hello

Rebekka and I on Friday night just before we left for a Dining Out on Peterson AFB. (Immediately following the Dining Out, we drove for 2 hours to Dillon, got a room in a Super 8, then arose early on Saturday to climb Atlantic Peak. Posted by Hello

Rebekka climbing the west ridge of Atlantic Peak, 13,841', on April 9th. (Atlantic Peak is just south of Breckenridge in the Mosquito Range) Posted by Hello

The Blizzard of April 2005, Colorado Springs. (The view from my bedroom window, April 10th) Posted by Hello

April 9th, Rebekka and I stood on the summit of Atlantic Peak, 13,841' Posted by Hello

Friday, April 08, 2005

GOP Heading Over Political Cliff

GOP Heading Over Political Cliff: "The country first recognized the excesses of the Reagan Administration when his budget director proposed classifying ketchup as a vegetable to help justify budget cuts for school lunch programs. The Gingrich Revolution began to unwind in 1995, when Newt complained that part of his intransigence on the budget was the result of being forced to exit the rear of Air Force One upon returning from Yitzhak Rabin's funeral.

When the history is written concerning fall from political grace of the Bush presidency, I believe we will point to the emergency passage of the Schiavo legislation as constituting the turning point. Clearly there is short term political fall-out from the unprecedented legislative intervention into a private family matter. The most recent CBS poll shows the president's popularity is at an all time low - 43%, while the Congressional approval rating is down to 34%."

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Terry Tempest Williams

Tonight I had the extraordinary opportunity to see Terry Tempest Williams speak at Colorado College. I took my 16-year-old daughter Natalie along. We were surprised to see my 21-year-old daughter, Marlene after the lecture, who had also attended, along with her boyfriend, Dennis.

This evening was very powerful from the introduction by a young English professor from the college--which TTW said was the best intro she had ever experienced--to the "ground-truthing" theme she kept coming back to as a reference point for her perspective on building a compassionate response to 9/11 instead of a reactionary response with war as a first resort.

I first came upon her new book, "The Open Space of Democracy" while in Maine mere weeks before the fraudulent election of 2004. I spent a week in the mainly blue state of Maine, just travelling around and enjoying the Indian summer of mid-October, my purpose to 1) climb the high point of Maine, Mt Katahdin, and 2) to run the Mt Desert Island MArathon, which began in downtown Bar Harbor. In between these two endeavors I enjoyed some days of leisurely driving along the coast. One brilliant sun-shiny day I stopped in the small town of Blue Hill, ME, and found an independent book store. This independent book store had as its best selling book "The Open Space of Democracy". I bought it and read the 100-page book that afternoon as I meandered along the coast, stopping at picnic tables and blank spots. The book transformed me. Later, after my return to Colorado I bought 15 copies of the book and mailed them to family and friends. I hoped they could be transformed as I had been. My sense is that some have been affected--maybe 10%. If so, my effort was worthwhile.

We have to keep the conversation going.....

Obsessive Consumption

What did you buy? What do you owe? What did you buy? What do you owe?

village voice > news > Liberty Beat by Nat Hentoff: Whitewashing Rumsfeld and his Commander in Chief

village voice > news > Liberty Beat by Nat Hentoff:

"I'm perfectly comfortable in telling you [that] our country is one that safeguards human rights and human dignity." -- George W. Bush to a Russian reporter in Slovakia, February 24

"Then [the guard] brought a box of food and he made me stand on it, and he started punishing me. Then a tall black soldier came and put electrical wires on my fingers and toes and on my penis, and I had a bag over my head. Then he was saying, 'which switch is on for electricity?' 'United States of America: Human Dignity Denied: Torture and Accountability in the 'War on Terror,' ' Amnesty International, 200-page report"

ABC News: "Physician of the Year" stunt to raise money for GOP

ABC News: Are Honors for Physicians the New Political Diploma Mill?

April 5, 2005 — The good news reached the Jamestown, N.Y., office of Dr. Rudolph Mueller in a fax from a congressman in Washington. Mueller had been named 2004 Physician of the Year.

"My secretary came running in and said, 'Dr. Rudy, look at what you've won, you're Physician of the Year,' " said Mueller, an internist.

But to receive the award in person at a special two-day workshop in Washington last month, Mueller found out that he would have to make a $1,250 contribution to the National Republican Congressional Committee. It was a disturbing discovery, he said.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Rumsfeld's War

Watch Frontline's "Rumsfeld's War" on line at The inside story of the war within the Pentagon: Donald Rumsfeld's battle to assert civilian control and remake the way America fights. A joint report by FRONTLINE and The Washington Post.

The full progam is available on line.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to me. I am 50 years old today.

ANWR: Don't believe the lies

This map shows the true extent of the rape of the North Slope that will ensue if ANWR is drilled.

GOP Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) says violence against judges is understandable

AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth: "At 5PM today on the Senate floor, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) gave an astounding account of the recent spate of violence against judges, suggesting that the crimes could be attributed to the fact that judges are 'unaccountable' to the public. Sources on the Hill went and pulled the transcript of what Cornyn said, and it read:

SENATOR JOHN CORNYN: 'I don't know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that's been on the news and I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence.' [Senate Floor, 4/4/05]

We now have Republican Senators making excuses for terrorists. Explaining why terrorism is understandable. Why terrorists have legitimate concerns. Justifying why the victims of terrorism are really to blame for these heinous crimes. Wonder what Senator Cornyn thinks of rape victims?"

New Holocaust Book, New Theory: How Germans Fell for the 'Feel-Good' Fuehrer - SPIEGEL ONLINE

New Holocaust Book, New Theory: How Germans Fell for the 'Feel-Good' Fuehrer - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE:

"A well-respected German historian has a radical new theory to explain a nagging question: Why did average Germans so heartily support the Nazis and Third Reich? Hitler, says Goetz Aly, was a 'feel good dictator,' a leader who not only made Germans feel important, but also made sure they were well cared-for by the state.

Top Ten Reasons to not confirm John Bolton as Ambassador to the UN

Democracy Arsenal provides us with the Top Ten Reasons why John Bolton should not be confirmed.

Bolton Top Ten

Sunday, April 03, 2005

I think this one was the real summit. Maybe not... The trail seems to go on forever.... Posted by Hello

Dan Vega approaching one of several false summits on Long Ranch Road Posted by Hello