Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Slate: What Is Torture? - An interactive primer on American interrogation

What Is Torture?

"An interactive primer on American interrogation.
By Emily Bazelon, Phillip Carter, and Dahlia Lithwick"

Monday, May 30, 2005

Frontline: Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgystan

Front Line reports on the Kidnapping of Brides in Kyrgystan--prominent in the news of late after 500-700 of her citizens were gunned down in cold blood by the authoritarian government.

The unauthorized Biography of Dick Cheney

What a guy: The unauthorized bio of our man who is next in line for the prezidency: Dick Cheney. Dick failed Yale twice, while our prez snuck by with a "C" average. Are these dunces the Best and Brightest our nation has to offer??

French Mountain

My Trip Report on my 77th of the 100 highest peaks in Colorado: French Mountain is now on my North American Outdoors web site.

Harpers Magazine: Soldiers of Christ I

The seminal article from the May issue of Harpers magazine on the rise of the megachurches is now on line, with a focus on the largest megachurch in America: New Life Church in Colorado Springs. This is a "must read" if you want to understand the fundamentalist mindset.

Soldiers of Christ I (Harpers.org):

"They are drawn as if by magnetic forces; they speak of Colorado Springs, home to the greatest concentration of fundamentalist Christian activist groups in American history, both as a last stand and as a kind of utopia in the making."

Thom Hartmann's May 26, 2005 Interview with British MP George Galloway

Thom Hartmann's May 26, 2005 Interview with British MP George Galloway: "[Thom Hartmann] ... with regard to democracy, what do you see the problem with the new laws we're debating, enhancing actually the so-called Patriot Act here in the United States. I know you have these kinds of things going on in the UK, the curtailment of freedoms, the loss of liberties in the wake of 9/11. I'm assuming that you've probably seen the Power of Nightmares, the BBC documentary which nobody in the United States has seen. Do you think that these changes are necessary or useful? What's your, what's your opinion of this?

[George Galloway] Well I'm afraid I'm an advocate of the great Dr. Johnson, the English man of letters who said that patriotism was the last refuge of the scoundrel. He didn't mean, of course, the patriotism which is a noble, genuine love for what's best about your country and its beauty and its achievements and so on, but those who wrap themselves in flags and blow the tinny trumpet of patriotism as a means of fooling the people. As a means of getting them to fall in behind the colours and march off to ignoble wars; wars of conquest, wars of aggression, wars for exploitation.

And that's what I think this Patriot Act is all about. It's about fooling the American people into believing that if you just arm the state with enough fly swats you'll be able to whack away all the beasts that are coming your way. But the truth is, these mosquitoes are coming out of a swamp; a very real swamp of grievance, of bitterness and hatred at our injustice and at the policies that we are following. And unless we drain that swamp by reversing the policies of injustice that have germinated this threat then it doesn't matter how many Patriot Acts you pass, it doesn't matter how many fly swats you hand out, how many mosquito nets you wrap yourself in, you're not going to be able to stop them hurting us again."

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Runners and hikers at Barr Camp, halfway to the summit of Pikes Peak on the 12-mile long Barr Trail. It is a busy place this weekend. Theresa Taylor, caretaker, told me they fed 54 people dinner last night. Posted by Hello

Pikes Peak peaking above the trees on Bob's Road, an alternate route diverting from the Barr Trail that I took to Barr Camp this morning. Posted by Hello

Gog, McGog, and Cameron's Cone from the 12 mile Barr Trail to Pikes Peak's summit. Tomorrow (Memorial Day) Rebekka, Natalie and I are going to climb Cameron's Cone. Posted by Hello

Cameron's Cone, Gog, and McGog along the skyline. Picture taken near the terminus of the Cog Railway to Pikes Peak summit on Ruxton Ave, Manitou Springs, CO in the early stages of our club run to Barr Camp this morning.  Posted by Hello

SB atop the summit of French Mtn, Sawatch Range, CO, 13,940', with the highest mountain in Colorado, Mt Elbert, in the backdrop. This is the 77th of the highest 100 peaks in Colorado that I have successfully summited.  Posted by Hello

SB at Iron Mike Mine ruins, with Casco Peak in backdrop. Posted by Hello

A weary Sam the Wolfdog returns from the mountain. Sam, who has climbed 52 of the 54 14er's in Colorado, is now nearly nine years old. Posted by Hello

Rebekka crosses stream on our way up French Mtn, CO, Sawatch Range, 13,940', on May 28th. Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Jim Lampley has truth

In a follow-up posted yesterday by Jim Lampley at HuffingtonPost.com, Lampley discusses his original blog item which set off a firestorm when he claimed that Election 2004 was "the biggest crime in the history of the nation".

His latest item suggests what we have been saying here for months: "a mountain of evidence suggests the 2004 Presidential election was decisively tampered with and general media are doing nothing about it."

t r u t h o u t - Sidney Blumenthal | Bush the Despot

t r u t h o u t - Sidney Blumenthal | Bush the Despot: "President Bush's drive for absolute power has momentarily stalled. In a single coup, he planned to take over all the institutions of government. By crushing the traditions of the Senate he would pack the courts, especially the Supreme Court, with lock-step ideologues. Sheer force would prevail. But just as his blitzkrieg reached the outskirts of his objective he was struck by a mutiny. Within a span of 24 hours he lost control not only of the Senate but, temporarily, of the House of Representatives, which was supposed to be regimented by unquestioned loyalty. Now he prepares to launch a counterattack -- against the dissident elements of his own party.

Bush's wonder weapon for total victory was a device called the 'nuclear option.' Once triggered, it would obliterate a 200-year-old tradition of the Senate. The threat of a Democratic filibuster in the Senate of Bush's appointments to the federal bench would set the doomsday sequence in motion. The Senate majority leader, Bill Frist of Tennessee, would call for a change in the rule, and a simple majority would vote to abolish the filibuster. Bush's nominees would then sail through.

Unlike the House, the Senate was constructed by the constitutional framers as an unrepresentative body, with each state, regardless of population, allotted two senators. (Currently, Republicans have 55 senators who represent only 45 percent of the country.) The Senate creates its own rules, and the filibuster can be stopped only by a super-majority of 60 votes. Historically, it was used by Southern senators to block civil rights legislation. In the first two years of the Clinton presidency, Republicans deployed 48 filibusters, more than in the entire previous history of the Senate, to make the new Democratic chief executive appear feckless. The strategy was instrumental in the Republican capture of Congress in 1994. By depriving Democrats of the filibuster, Bush intended to transform the Senate into his rubber stamp."

What's Wilderness Worth? | Outside Online

What's Wilderness Worth? | Outside Online: "For more than a century, the people who run America's extractive industries—logging, mining, and fossil-fuel drilling—have offered one answer. Conservationists and the environmental movement have offered another. Developers have touted job creation and the connection between industrial exploitation and economic vitality. Environmentalists have grounded their appeals in ecological science and the value of wilderness to the human soul. Always at odds, locked in ideological opposition, the two sides, it seems, have long been speaking different languages.

Currently, with tens of millions of acres on the line and developers enjoying a stiff political tailwind blowing out of Washington, D.C., the mutual incomprehension has become nearly absolute. The environment reflects the red-state/blue-state divide and plays out in vitriolic debate.

Amid all the noise, both sides are failing to hear the whisper of a bold development that could break the deadlock and revolutionize sustainable environmental policy: the arrival of wilderness economics, a dollars-and-cents way to attach a fair and reliable estimate to the seemingly uncountable value of preserving wild spaces and pristine natural resources."

The Raw Story | Coalition of citizen groups seek formal inquiry into whether Bush acted illegally in push for Iraq war

The Raw Story | Coalition of citizen groups seek formal inquiry into whether Bush acted illegally in push for Iraq war: "A coalition of citizen activist groups running the gamut of social and political issues will ask Congress to file a Resolution of Inquiry, the first necessary legal step to determine whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in misleading the country about his decision to go to war in Iraq."

George Voinovich: Hero

As I drove home from work yesterday I listened to Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio) on C-Span give his statement on the Bush Administration's nominee for Ambassador to the UN, George Bolton. I was impressed to hear him speak plainly about the deterioration of our standing in the world as a result of our highhanded diplomacy or lack thereof since the advent of the Bushevics. He pleaded passionately for the president to send forward a nominee who can work to repair the damage not a "kiss up, kick down" bully like Bolton. At least there are some Republicans who get it and are willing to speak the truth.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Harper's Index

Gosh, I love Harper's Index!

Here's an item from the June issue I just received in the mail:

Amount a Chinese online gamer made last year by selling a virtual sword he had borrowed from a friend: $850

Months later that the friend retailiated by stabbing him to death with a real knife: 6

Sunday, May 22, 2005

SB at the high point of our trail run this morning: about 7,800' above sea level. Posted by Hello

View of Rampart Range from the Intemann Trail taken towards the end of my trail run this morning. This run, a staple of the Incline Club is just under 15 miles, with 1500' elevation gain. Posted by Hello

Friday, May 20, 2005

Firefox Live Bookmarks

FIREFOX USERS: If you bookmark my web site you can turn on RSS feeds and make a “live” Bookmark. (Click on the bottom right hand corner of the browser to activate) When you do that your bookmark becomes “live” and changes as the RSS feed changes. Thus when you click on the Talking Sense bookmark your drop down menu actually shows you what is running without you having to go to the blog. Hopefully there are things of interest, but if not then you can avoid an unnecessary visit. This is a very cool feature of the Firefox browser that not enough people use. The Mozilla site explains it further.

Vicious Circle: The Dynamics of Occupation and Resistance in Iraq -- Project on Defense Alternatives

Found this link when I checked Juan Cole's web site this morning. Looks like a detailed analysis of what is driving the resistance in Iraq. Might be a good read for the policy makers. The one's who aren't in a bubble that is.

Vicious Circle: The Dynamics of Occupation and Resistance in Iraq -- Project on Defense Alternatives

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Eightfold Path

1. Right View Wisdom
2. Right Intention
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration

The Eightfold Path: "The Noble Eightfold Path describes the way to the end of suffering, as it was laid out by Siddhartha Gautama. It is a practical guideline to ethical and mental development with the goal of freeing the individual from attachments and delusions; and it finally leads to understanding the truth about all things. Together with the Four Noble Truths it constitutes the gist of Buddhism. Great emphasis is put on the practical aspect, because it is only through practice that one can attain a higher level of existence and finally reach Nirvana. The eight aspects of the path are not to be understood as a sequence of single steps, instead they are highly interdependent principles that have to be seen in relationship with each other."

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

HBO: Real Time with Bill Maher - New Rules

HBO: Real Time with Bill Maher - New Rules: "May 13, 2005

It is time now for our final New Rules! Of this season.

New Rule: The next reality show must be called 'America's Stupidest State.' We'll start at 50, and each week, if your state does something really stupid with, say, evolution or images of the Virgin Mary, you'll move on to the next round. Now, of course, the final five will always end up being Alabama, Utah, Kansas, Texas and Florida. Sorry, Tennessee.

New Rule: Someone must stop the Cirque du Soleil. If we hate the French so much, how come we gave them Las Vegas? There are now six Cirque du Soleil-related shows on The Strip. Six! Who wants to spend two hours watching a bunch of French chicks fold themselves in half? You know what? Scratch that. New Rule: We need more Cirque du Soleil!

New Rule: I'm not the cashier! By the time I look up from sliding my card, entering my PIN number, pressing 'Enter,' verifying the amount, deciding, no, I don't want cash back, and pressing 'Enter' again, the kid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating my Almond Joy. Paper, plastic?! I don't have time for that. I've just been called to do a cleanup on Aisle Nine!

New Rule: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to 'beef with broccoli.' The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.

And finally, New Rule: The people in America who are most in favor of the Iraq war must now go there and fight it. The Army missed its recruiting goal by 42% last month. More people joined the Michael Jackson Fan Club. 'We've done picked all the low-lying Lynndie England fruit.' And now we need warm bodies. We need warm bodies like Paula Abdul needs...warm bodies!

Now, last week, a Baptist minister in North Carolina told nine members of his congregation that unless they renounce"

Buzzflash Interview with James Carroll of the Boston Globe

Interview James Carroll: "The Crusades are a religiously justified violent campaign against a whole other civilization ... All of this culminates in the horrible religious wars of the 17th Century, which were the crucible out of which democracy was born. The reaction of Enlightenment figures, to the horrors of these religious wars, was to say religion simply can no longer be the defining note of the state. Thank goodness, there’s this ingenious movement to separate the church from the state, so that states guarantee the religious freedom of individual citizens by remaining religiously neutral themselves."

The Top 10 filibuster falsehoods ... [Media Matters for America]

The Top 10 filibuster falsehoods ...: "With Senate debate on two of President Bush's most controversial judicial nominees beginning May 18, the heated rhetoric over the so-called 'nuclear option' to ban Senate filibusters on judicial nominations has reached its boiling point. The rules of the Senate thus far remain intact, but filibuster opponents have pulled all rhetorical stops, advancing numerous falsehoods and distortions, and, as Media Matters for America documents below, the media have too often perpetuated that misinformation by unskeptically, and sometimes even deliberately, repeating it."

Timeline for the Newsweek/Koran Controversy

The Political Teen has a very enlightening timeline video feed on how the Newsweek desecrated Koran controversy developed. There is a lot more to the story than the simplified villification of Newsweek that the administration is attempting to put forth.

Using RSS feeds to search for housing

Check out this innovative combination of technology: Housing Maps. It takes RSS feeds from the Craigslist apartment rentals and overlays it in real-time onto Google Maps using the Google API.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Lou Dobbs is a Dunce

Media Matters exposes CNN's Lou Dobb's for an idiot as he sputters about his "view" that evolution is "in doubt" and equal to the nutcases espousing "creationism" and "Intelligent Design".

Boston Globe: Climate Change

Boston Globe
May 17, 2005

Climate Change

By James Carroll

SCANDAL AT the Air Force Academy used to mean cheating or sexual harassment. Now the uproar is about the academy's religious ''climate," in the word used by an investigative task force. Christian cadets have been pressuring peers who believe differently, or who do not believe. Jewish cadets, in particular, have been targeted, charged with the murder of Christ.

Academy faculty and chaplain's staff are reported to have joined in the pressuring. The Pentagon is investigating. Reports of US guards denigrating the Koran in order to pressure Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay sparked violent protests in Afghanistan. People died. Newsweek now says the report may not be true, but the storm it caused grew out of a general sense in the Islamic world that Muslims as Muslims are mistreated at Guantanamo Bay, and that America's war, despite Washington's denials, is against Islam itself.

Whatever the outcome of investigations into these controversies, they point to a disturbing new ''climate" of intolerance.What happens when religious zeal is joined to absolute certitude? What happens when power is invoked to reinforce preaching? What happens when those who disagree with prevailing answers to life's great questions are, for that reason, defined as lesser beings?

Not so long ago, it seemed that these were settled issues. In America, and increasingly across the globe, the democratic ideal had established a new consensus. Pluralism had come into its own as a value, and diversity became a note of celebration.

Today, ''everyone is the next-door neighbor and spiritual neighbor of everyone else in the world," as the Catholic theologian Karl Rahner put it. Neighborliness means that absolute claims for oneself and one's beliefs are necessarily mitigated by an absolute respect for the right of others to hold very different beliefs.

But what happens when such neighborliness is repudiated? In 1999, an astounding Vatican document declared that ''Pluralism has taken the place of Marxism in cultural dominance." An enlightened philosophical system based on respect for the other was suddenly labeled as a kind of nihilism, but this reactionary view was a throw-back to the defensive Catholicism of another era.

What happens, though, when the Vatican figure most associated with such resurgent theological triumphalism is elected pope? It is a Catholic asking.

Pope Benedict XVI would never countenance the physical denigration of the Koran or the harassment of Jews for being Christ-killers, but his warnings about the ''dictatorship of relativism," and his robust assertions of Vatican-centered Catholicism's exclusive possession of the fullness of truth are signs of changing weather.

The election as pope of such a figure has dark significance for the future of Catholic liberalism, but it may go far beyond the boundaries of the church, pointing to the arrival of a global cold front, the coming of a new climate of radical intolerance.

Is doubt part and parcel of rational inquiry, or not? Is ambiguity essential to human knowing, or not? If the ground on which one stands while thinking, and the time within which one pursues a thought to its conclusion are both in flux, as suggested by the insights of Albert Einstein, why is ''relativity" to be taken as wicked?

If the human species is evolving, how can perceptions of the truth not be evolving as well? Or is evolution to be trashed after all? Is science itself the sacrilege? Is the heart of religion dogma, or is it mystery? Do such subtleties inevitably condemn inquiring minds to skepticism? Or is elusiveness essential to experience? Does the idea of the greatness of God require the humiliation of the person? Is that why God's self-anointed missionaries, however well-intentioned, so often use humiliation as a mode of argument?

Thinking of Christianity in particular, one must ask a hard question of those who reassert the triumphalist claims of the past: Do you not know the history of such absolutism? How theological denigration of others so often led to bloodshed? How, in particular, those labeled ''Christ-killers" were themselves killed? How the religion of Muslims was itself understood as a capital crime? How the very idea of democratic liberalism was forged in the crucible of religious wars, Christians slaughtering each other in good conscience for the sake of the ''one way" of Jesus Christ?

In the era of global warming, the link between human assumptions and climate is clear. The threat to the Earth of unintended climate change is a metaphor for the less tangible but equally grave threat arising from reasserted assumptions of religious superiority, polluting the human climate with intolerance, perhaps spawning winds of violence.

James Carroll's column appears regularly in the Globe.

The Guardian | US 'backed illegal Iraqi oil deals'

Bet you can't find this in our MSM:

The Guardian | US 'backed illegal Iraqi oil deals': "A report released last night by Democratic staff on a Senate investigations committee presents documentary evidence that the Bush administration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them.

The scale of the shipments involved dwarfs those previously alleged by the Senate committee against UN staff and European politicians like the British MP, George Galloway, and the former French minister, Charles Pasqua."


""The United States was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions," the report said. "On occasion, the United States actually facilitated the illicit oil sales."

Monday, May 16, 2005

Hardball with Chris Matthews: Barbara Boxer vs George Allen on Bolton nomination

I love this woman! She is MY #1 candidate for president in 2008:

Barbara Boxer rocks!!

Barbara shreds George Allen in this video, particularly when Allen ineptly posits that if Bolton isn't allowed to go forward as the Ambassador to the UN that a "Caspar Milquetoast" might be the nominee, Barbara eats him for lunch--effectively saying that if the Republicans have no other qualified candidates that it doesn't say much for their party.

NYT Book Review: Church Meets State

Sunday's NYT Book Review has this pithy review of the state of church and state separation in our "United States": Church vs State

Sign in Sioux Falls, SD. Posted by Hello

"The Wacky Diplomat" Posted by Hello

I couldn't resist. Posted by Hello

Wally Walrus Posted by Hello

The American Street: Niobrara

The American Street: Niobrara: "What do you think of when someone mentions the word “Kansas”? Maybe what leaps to your mind is that it is a farming state that is flat as a pancake, or if you’ve been following current events, the recent kangaroo court/monkey trial, or perhaps it is the drab counterpart to marvelous Oz. It isn’t exactly first on the list of glamourous places. I admit that I tend to read different books than most people, so I have a somewhat skewed perspective on Kansas: the first thing I think of is a magic word.


Late in the 19th century, there was a stampede to the American West to search for fossils of those spectacular beasts, the dinosaurs. Entrepreneurs everywhere were in on it—P.T. Barnum bought up old bones for his shows—and even scientists got caught up in the bone fever. Edward Drinker Cope of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences and Othniel Charles Marsh of Yale were famous rivals in the bone wars, sending teams of men to Wyoming and Utah and Colorado and other Rocky Mountain states to collect the bones of the extinct terrestrial behemoths of the Mesozoic. Kansas was also a target, most famously by the Sternberg family, but it had a different reputation: Kansas is the place to go to find sea monsters.

There is a geological formation in Kansas called the Niobrara Chalk. Actually, it’s not just in Kansas; it extends all the way up into Canada, but the Niobrara has been exposed by erosion over much of northwestern Kansas, making it easy to dig into. And this is where the Sternbergs and Cope and Marsh went hunting for sea monsters."

Moyers rallies media reformers to support public media, PBS

This site has a link to Bill Moyer's hour-long testimony to the good, heartland soul of America, the opposite of the Busheviks who speak to its worst instincts: a culture of death, torture, lies and greed.

Newshare: A-National Conference for Media Reform: "Author Bill Moyers served notice today that, six months after his retirement from the 'NOW with Bill Moyers' program, conservative attacks on the Public Broadcasting Service 'might compel me back out of the rocking chair and back into the anchor chair.'"

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Walking around Fargo on the morning of May 15th--cold, but sunny. Posted by Hello

SB before running a 3:07 Fargo Marathon--67th marathon; 37th marathon state.Posted by Hello

Before the start of the inaugaral Fargo Marathon--temp 35F, Wind 20-35 MPH from the North Posted by Hello

May 15th--Walking around Fargo Posted by Hello

SB--end of Fargo Marathon, Saturday, May 14th Posted by Hello

How to tell if you are in a Red State or a Blue State

Betty Bowers tells you how.

Friday, May 13, 2005

How Republican are you?

I am:
"You're probably one of those people who still thinks that getting a blowjob is not an impeachable offense."

Are You A Republican?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Family Values in the Bush Administration

The Nation has this feature article: Dr. Hager's Family Values in its May 30th issue. It seems the Bush Administration appointee to the Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) while preaching ethics and morality to others, led an abusive and controlling relationship with his wife of 32 years. From the article:

...Hager cast himself as a victim of religious persecution in his sermon. "You see...there is a war going on in this country," he said gravely. "And I'm not speaking about the war in Iraq. It's a war being waged against Christians, particularly evangelical Christians. It wasn't my scientific record that came under scrutiny [at the FDA]. It was my faith.... By making myself available, God has used me to stand in the breach.... Just as he has used me, he can use you."

Up on the dais, several men seated behind Hager nodded solemnly in agreement. But out in the audience, Linda Carruth Davis--co-author with Hager of Stress and the Woman's Body, and, more saliently, his former wife of thirty-two years--was enraged. "It was the most disgusting thing I've ever heard," she recalled months later, through clenched teeth. According to Davis, Hager's public moralizing on sexual matters clashed with his deplorable treatment of her during their marriage. Davis alleges that between 1995 and their divorce in 2002, Hager repeatedly sodomized her without her consent. Several sources on and off the record confirmed that she had told them it was the sexual and emotional abuse within their marriage that eventually forced her out. "I probably wouldn't have objected so much, or felt it was so abusive if he had just wanted normal [vaginal] sex all the time," she explained to me. "But it was the painful, invasive, totally nonconsensual nature of the [anal] sex that was so horrible."

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

James Bolton: Our man in Orgytown

James Wolcott has the lowdown on the latest revelation about the infamous James Bolton: "Dirk Diggler to the UN?"

I'm telling ya'. It just gets better and better. This is Bernie Kerik all over again. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. You can either be embarrassed to be an American or you can just give it up and laugh with the rest of the world. Sad.

The Counter-Enviro Power List

Know your enemy:

The Counter-Enviro Power List:
With 'the death of environmentalism' being debated across the land—and with the mainstream movement under siege from without and within—it's time to meet the winning side in America's new green wars. Here they come, ready or not: the 20 most powerful voices leading the environmental counterrevolution.

Naomi Klein at the Nation

Long time ago I thought "The Nation" was too far to the left for me. I read it, but just couldn't agree with the articles. About a year ago I took the plunge and came to subscribe to it. I find it refreshing. Naomi Klein is one of their great reporters. Here is her legacy over the last couple of years:

Naomi Klein at the Nation

Opinions You Should Have

Opinions You Should Have:

An excerpt from this important blogsite. If you truly want to get with the mainstream of American society you owe it to yourself to realign your viewpoints...

"Giving Knowledge To Children In Schools Highly Overrated, Say Kansans

Educating Children Possibly Big Mistake, Uneducated Kansans Say

Members of the Kansas State Board of Education started a 'debate' last week exploring whether or not it was proper to pass knowledge on to children in schools. 'Perhaps passing on everything that mankind has learned to our children is overrated,' said Board of Education member Sheila Kitzick to fellow board members last Wednesday."

The true Pat Robertson

Courtesy of the Randi Rhodes Show, found on One Good Move:
Pat Robertson on Larry King Live--after he thought the cameras had stopped rolling.

Investigating a Killer

National Geographic has a fascinating article on Orcas (Killer Whales) on the North American West Coast in the April 2005 issue: Investigating a Killer. Scientists have been able to study Orcas for more than thirty years in outer San Juan Islands and near Vancouver Island. They have learned that the Orcas live in "pods" or extended families and have their own language. They can't communicate from pod to pod and are very tribal with their own peculiar routines and feeding habits unique to each pod. One matriarch is 72 years old! Imagine the changes she has seen! These are magnificent creatures.

New Huffington Blog disappoints

I found this post on the new Huffingtonpost web blog by Jim Lampley on the election fraud via Raw Story. Unfortunately, it is buried in the Huffingtonpost and not a featured post. Indeed there is nary a link to it. Bradblog weighs in with round 2 . After a timid response from Fox News' Brad York, Jim Lampley slams him with a right hook, sends the purveyor of Fake News (Fox News) reeling to the ropes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Clusterfuck Nation by Jim Kunstler

Wow. You know he has a point here.... What the hell are we doing? We are in for mega-changes in the next twenty years, but we're going about building our infrastructure like "Business as Usual". Check out the three part series in The New Yorker on Climate Change. Elizabeth Kolbert discusses her three part series in an online interview. The New Yorker has posted the first two parts: The Climate of Man I, The Climate of Man II. It will wake you up to reality and where we are really headed. Brought to you by the Bushevics, who don't give a damn because as Bush says, "History? It don't matter. We'll all be dead."

Clusterfuck Nation by Jim Kunstler: "When exactly the American public entered the Rapture is a little hard to say -- maybe as long ago as the Reagan years -- but it is not the same Rapture as the Born Agains are gleefully awaiting -- the absurd cosmic vacuuming up to heaven that leaves behind all the rest of us sinners. No, the Rapture I speak of is the stupendous complacency of a people convinced that the future is going to be just like the past.

Everywhere I look I see things that are not going to work in the years ahead, and see people making plans for conditions that will no longer exist. State DOT officials in Texas are planning to build a new statewide super-mega highway network just as the global oil peak forecloses a future of easy motoring. Where I live, at the rural edge of New York's Capital District, suburban housing pods are springing up in every cow pasture in complete faith that supernaturally cheap mortgages and long commutes will continue to be the norm. Municipalities everywhere are investing in multi-million dollar parking structures in the belief that we will be using cars in 2019 exactly the way we do now. Even the enviros are enraptured. I get letters every day from bio-diesel fans who plan to run the interstate highway system and Disney World on oil derived from algae farms."

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots, No. 197 - Democratic Underground

The Top Ten Conservative Idiots, No. 197 - Democratic Underground for the week.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Fascinating Blog

Found this blog while surfing: Angry Black Bitch. The title might offend, but she definitely makes some good points! Interesting reading.


Niagara Falls Reporter Opinion: "When historians write about our times, they'll shake their heads and wonder how so many people could believe so many lies for so long. They might actually write two parallel books -- one describing the cascading lies and deceptions George W. Bush and the Republicans sold and the other telling the truth.

We're told, in effect, that trampling on civil liberties and eroding freedom are a sure way to protect us from terrorists who envy our freedom. That colossal lie will be one of the lasting stains on this era, and I fear the day coming when the Busheviks or their political heirs, gripped in fascist fever, will silence those who expose the fraud.

The latest assault on liberty cloaked as protection is the Republican campaign in Congress for national identity cards. Of course, they don't call them that. Such candor sparks opposition. It's much more benevolent sounding to call the measure the Real ID Act.

The plan is to impose national standards for driver's licenses and require four pieces of identification before states issue them. The House Republicans attached the proposed law to the bill for appropriating funds for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The proposal is really aimed at immigrants and has nothing to do with terrorism. It would create a bureaucratic nightmare, impose an unfunded mandate on state governments and do nothing to protect us from al-Qaeda. What it means is that many laborers in California and Texas will no longer have a driver's license.

While the ignorant are licking up the lie that national ID cards will make us safer, the Bush administration is making it easier for Saudis to get visitor visas. That's right. The same folks who brought us 15 of the 19 hijackers on Sept 11, bin Laden himself, and the hateful Wahhabi sect will now have their tightened visa restrictions lifted.

While the American media devoted enormous resources covering Paula Abdul's fling with an "American Idol" contestant, an announcement last week from the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia was buried. We should be following Abdullah, not Abdul.

On the heels of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's visit to Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, we now know the prince and the president were doing more than holding hands in public. They were privately playing footsie to make it much easier for Saudis to enter the United States.

After Sept. 11, Bush reluctantly allowed the State Department to impose some tightened restrictions on Saudi visitors attempting to enter the United States. Up until then, all a Saudi citizen had to do was fill out a form at a travel agent's office and they were here in a jiffy. That's just what the 15 Saudi hijackers did.

But the tighter restrictions required security reviews and sometimes long waits. Saudi businessmen whined about the inconvenience, and after a few of them were denied visas, they went to the prince. He carried their complaints to the president, who listened.

In a remarkably under-reported story, the Arab News carried an announcement from James C. Oberwetter, the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, declaring that visa restrictions for Saudi visitors would be eased. "

Rolling Stone - Robert Dreyfuss | The Quagmire

The Quagmire: " As the Iraq war drags on, it's beginning to look a lot like Vietnam.

The news from Iraq is bad and getting worse with each passing day. Iraqi insurgents are stepping up the pace of their attacks, unleashing eleven deadly bombings on April 29th alone. Many of the 150,000 Iraqi police and soldiers hastily trained by U.S. troops have deserted or joined the insurgents. The cost of the war now tops $192 billion, rising by $1 billion a week, and the corpses are piling up: Nearly 1,600 American soldiers and up to 100,000 Iraqi civilians are dead, as well as 177 allied troops and 229 private contractors. Other nations are abandoning the international coalition assembled to support the U.S., and the new Iraqi government, which announced its new cabinet to great fanfare on April 27th, remains sharply split along ethnic and religious lines. But to hear President Bush tell it, the war in Iraq is going very, very well. In mid-April, appearing before 25,000 U.S. soldiers at sun-drenched Fort Hood, in Texas, Bush declared that America has succeeded in planting democracy in Iraq, creating a model that will soon spread throughout the Middle East. 'That success is sending a message from Beirut to Tehran,' the president boasted to chants of 'U.S.A.! U.S.A.!' from the troops. 'The establishment of a free Iraq is a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.' Staying on message, aides to Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, later suggested that U.S. forces could be reduced from 142,000 to 105,000 within a year.

In private, however, senior military advisers and intelligence specialists on Iraq offer a starkly different picture. Two years after the U.S. invasion, Iraq is perched on the brink of civil war. Months after the election, the new Iraqi government remains hunkered down inside the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, surviving only because it is defended by thousands of U.S. troops. Iraqi officials"

What happened to the dinosaurs?

I emailed the Creation Museum a few questions. This is a link they sent for my question, "What about the dinosaurs?":

What happened to the dinosaurs?: "According to the Bible: Dinosaurs first existed around 6,000 years ago. God made the dinosaurs, along with the other land animals, on Day Six of the Creation Week (Gen. 1:20–25, 31). Adam and Eve were also made on day six—so dinosaurs lived at the same time as people, not separated by eons of time. Dinosaurs could not have died out before people appeared, because dinosaurs had not previously existed, and death, bloodshed, disease and suffering are a result of Adam’s sin (Rom. 5:12,14, 1 Cor. 15:21–22).

Representatives of all the kinds of air-breathing land animals, including the dinosaur kinds, went on board Noah’s Ark. All those left outside the Ark died in the cataclysmic circumstances of the Flood—many of their remains became fossils.

After the Flood (around 4,500 years ago), the remnant of the land animals, including dinosaurs, came off the Ark and lived in the present world, along with people. Because of sin, the judgments of the Curse and the Flood have greatly changed the earth. Post-Flood climatic change, lack of food, disease, and man’s activities caused many types of animals to become extinct. The dinosaurs, like many other creatures, died out. Why the big mystery about dinosaurs?"

Cornerstone environmental law, NEPA, under fire in energy bill | By Amanda Griscom Little | Grist Magazine | Muckraker | 05 May 2005

More assault on the environment by the Republicans:

Cornerstone environmental law, NEPA, under fire in energy bill | By Amanda Griscom Little | Grist Magazine | Muckraker | 05 May 2005: "When the energy bill sailed through the House of Representatives late last month, the media reported that it was the same old grotesquely corpulent package that the GOP leadership had previously tried -- and failed -- to pass through Congress four times in the last four years. This is true. But what flew under the radar were a few new provisions snuck in at the 11th hour by Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), chair of the House Resources Committee, which have made the bill even more environmentally threatening than previous versions, many Democrats and environmentalists say.

The environmental statute Pombo is targeting this time: the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act, long considered a cornerstone of U.S. environmental law. NEPA requires all major projects on federal land -- from logging to highway construction to energy exploration -- to be reviewed for their potential environmental impact, and mandates a comment period during which the public can voice related concerns.

A Pombo-backed amendment sponsored by Rep. John Peterson (R-Penn.) and added to the bill the day before markup would allow energy companies to skirt NEPA requirements in a number of situations, with the aim of speeding energy development on federal land.

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), the ranking Democrat on the House Resources Committee, told Muckraker it would grant the energy industry 'carte blanche to conduct drilling and exploration activities on public lands without any kind of meaningful environmental review, and remove the legal grounds for scientists, communities, and local governments to intercede. It is an affront to the American people.'

The Huffington Post

Wow, Arianna Huffington has started a blog for "her journalistic friends" to post on: The Huffington Post. Check it out.... It has commentary by Walter Cronkite, Tina Brown and others and a newswire. It looks good so far.

Bursting his Bubble

Bush Gets Tough Queries From Youths in Holland: "MAASTRICHT, Netherlands — At home, President Bush regularly travels the nation for 'conversations' with hand-picked audiences who routinely shower him and his policies with praise. But abroad on Sunday, some youths in Holland had a rare, unscripted opportunity to ask questions that some Americans might want to pose if given the chance.

Based on the questions asked in the first half-hour, before reporters were ushered from the room, this group of students might not have passed muster at a typical White House event. "

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Memorial Park, Manitou Springs, Colorado. Posted by Hello

SB looks from Memorial Park towards the "Incline" (the scar running up the mountain) this morning, following a 2+ hour run on the Section 16 and Intemann Trails. Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Color: A Fish Eye's View

I read an article in this month's National Geographic on the many colors in a coral reef. Found this cool flash movie they put on their web site.

EarthFirst Journal - See You in the Mountains

EarthFirst Journal - Feature Story: "Ninety-three new coal plants are being planned for construction throughout the US right now. Demand for coal will increase as these new facilities are completed. When the oil starts to run out and there are no concrete plans for a transition to wind and solar power, coal companies will be well-positioned to capitalize on their growing market.

The coal industry estimates that we have enough coal to last 230 years—if we don’t mind leveling our mountains and slowly suffocating. The industry is paying careful attention to what happens with Zeb Mountain in northeastern Tennessee. The coal companies want Zeb Mountain to die with no protest, so they can move on to kill other mountains. The time to halt mountaintop removal is now."

Six Historic Americans

Six Historic Americans

Paine, Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, Lincoln, and Grant

The Fathers And Saviors Of Our Republic, Freethinkers

by John E. Remsburg

Imagine that: The Fathers and Saviors of our Republic were freethinkers. I found this book published in 1906 complete on line here.

CSIndy: Public Eye (May 5, 2005)

The Colorado Springs Independent's Cara DeGette sums up another strange week in our little world of bible thumpers and zealots. Pick up a copy of Harper's Magazine to read the articles. You won't find the articles on line for a couple of months or so. Harper's is not good about making their articles available on a timely basis. I read the whole mag on the plane ride back from Delaware last Sunday. Shocking and scary. One of these Sundays I intend to take in a service at the New Life Megachurch. Problem is I would rather do my Sunday morning trail run. It's a dilemma....

CSIndy: Public Eye (May 5, 2005): "It's been a wild week for Colorado Springs.

You've undoubtedly seen all the coverage. First, there was the unfortunate culmination of the very public battle between Focus on the Family and Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, in which the normally sedate Salazar told local TV station KKTV that 'Focus is the Antichrist.' He later apologized, saying he meant the Colorado Springs-based ministry's political actions over federal judicial nominees is un-Christian and self-serving.

Then there was the recent Harper's magazine piece chronicling the rise of Pastor Ted Haggard and his New Life Church, a megachurch in northeast Colorado Springs. The author, Jeff Sharlet, described Colorado Springs as 'unspectacular ... a grid of wide Western avenues lined with squat, gray and beige box buildings.' Sharlet's description of our city, with its sprawl and its crime and pollution and a downtown core that 'withers into irrelevance,' evoked a defensive response in the May 2 Gazette, which devoted considerable space to city boosters rebutting Sharlet's observations, point by point."

David Hackworth Dies; Esteemed Army Colonel Defied Military Brass

One of my heros has died. Army retired Col David Hackworth served honorably in Viet Nam, then spoke out against the war. Disgusted with America he emigrated to Australia where he was a successful businessman. In 1989 he wrote "About Face", a very personal account of his life and times, and why we lost the Viet Nam War. Recently he has worked hard for the troops in Iraq, telling their story, speaking out against the lack of armor and the ill preparation of Pentagon civilian planners. He has a web site for the soldiers: Soldiers for the Truth.
David Hackworth Dies; Esteemed Army Colonel Defied Military Brass: "Retired Army Col. David H. Hackworth, 74, a highly decorated soldier's soldier who as a writer often went to war with 'the perfumed princes' of the Pentagon and with a military establishment he considered obtuse and ineffective, died May 4 in Tijuana, Mexico, where he was receiving treatment for bladder cancer.

Outspoken and opinionated, never one to run from a fight, Col. Hackworth joined the Army as a 15-year-old at the tail end of World War II. He fought alongside postwar occupation forces in Italy. For the rest of his life, he often found himself embattled, not only as a soldier in Korea and Vietnam but also on the home front, where the foes were Pentagon brass and politicians, particularly those he said 'who have never sweated it out on a battlefield.' The disdain was mutual."

Arnold vows to fight Bush's plan to butcher our roadless Western Forests. Posted by Hello

Friday, May 06, 2005

The Creation Museum!

Join the Creationist Museum! Fight the godless evolutionists!!

t r u t h o u t - Bush Bows to Logging, Energy and Mining Interests

t r u t h o u t - Bush Bows to Logging, Energy and Mining Interests: "Environmental groups criticized President George Bush Thursday for reopening 60 million acres of federal forests to logging and road building after the administration formally overturned a Clinton-era rule that protected the land from development.

A new US Forest Service final regulation will exempt states from federal restrictions on road construction in environmentally sensitive forest areas unless a governor asks for specific land to be protected.

The regulation is supported by logging, energy and mining companies, which need to build roads to operate in federal forests.

Green groups and Democratic lawmakers said the proposal was a complete reversal of a 2001 rule developed by former President Bill Clinton that would have kept these forests under federal control.

'The minute this rule is put into effect, the 2001 rule as we all know it is wiped off the books. Federal protections are gone,' said Robert Vandermark, director for the Heritage Forests Campaign. 'These lands are now at immediate risk to any kind of development from the logging, mining and drilling industries.'

Signed just days before leaving office, the Clinton rule virtually halted development on 58.5 million acres of federal forest deemed worthy of special protections to save endangered species or local habitats from irreversible damage.

Under the new rule, governors have 18 months to submit a request to the federal government for any forest land they want protected. A national advisory committee composed of groups 'interested in conservation' will review each petition."

Stop Global Warming

Join me in the march to Stop Global Warming

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Grist: Cornerstone environmental law, NEPA, under fire in energy billl

Cornerstone environmental law, NEPA, under fire in energy bill | By Amanda Griscom Little | Grist Magazine | Muckraker | 05 May 2005: "When the energy bill sailed through the House of Representatives late last month, the media reported that it was the same old grotesquely corpulent package that the GOP leadership had previously tried -- and failed -- to pass through Congress four times in the last four years. This is true. But what flew under the radar were a few new provisions snuck in at the 11th hour by Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), chair of the House Resources Committee, which have made the bill even more environmentally threatening than previous versions, many Democrats and environmentalists say.

Energistx Shelters: Hard-Sided Yurts, Portable housing, tipis, domes, cabins, metal paneltized and modular housing alternatives, greenhouses

Energistx Shelters: Hard-Sided Yurts, Portable housing, tipis, domes, cabins, metal paneltized and modular housing alternatives, greenhouses: "These hard-sided yurts are a wonderful innovation that merge the aesthetics and fung shui of a circular structure, the durability of high quality modular housing, and the portability of traditional yurts. Create your living space to be as large as you like by conjoining 18ft or 36ft yurt or cabin modules with matching insulated indoor walkways without the need for building permits. Each cabin and yurt arrives with it's own adjustable steel frame flooring structure so yurts can be place on hillsides with ease. Comes fully insullated with mahogany walls and oak veneer floors. Competively priced with canvas yurts because there is no need to build a floor and replace canvas! Read on and we think you'll agree that it's the only modular building that offers both a beautiful unique look, extreme durability, security, and incredible ease of installation at an affordable price."

The secret Downing Street memo - Sunday Times - Times Online

This is what has Britain in an uproar. Why is it not being covered here in the states? This is the "smoking gun" that shows Bush fixed the facts to justify the war in Iraq. Where is the outrage?
The secret Downing Street memo - Sunday Times - Times Online: "The secret Downing Street memo

Slate: Interest-Group Conservatism
George Bush's philosophy of government.
By Jacob Weisberg
Posted by Hello

Media Matters at one year: A letter from David Brock

Former right-wing shill, David Brock has created an indispensable resource for exposing the right-wing media's untruths. I check this site often.

Media Matters at one year: A letter from David Brock: "One year ago today, Media Matters for America, a not-for-profit research and information center, launched its website, www.mediamatters.org, dedicated to monitoring, analyzing and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media --"

Monday, May 02, 2005

Delaware state highpoint and marathon page

I made a web page of my trip this last weekend to Delaware bagging the state highpoint and yet another marathon: Delaware: my 43rd state highpoint and 35th state marathon.

You Sir, are an Ignorant Bigot

The Atheist

(Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins explains why God is a delusion, religion is a virus, and America has slipped back into the Dark Ages.)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Piling it on Bolton

Lots more at the Agonist

Remember Bernard Kerik? This guy is as bad or worse. The skeletons are clattering in the closet and busting out all over.

Boomers: The Greediest Generation

Irving Kristol: The Greediest Generation


As a baby boomer myself, I can be blunt: We boomers won't be remembered as the "Greatest Generation." Rather, we'll be scorned as the "Greediest Generation."

Our influence has been huge. When boomer blood raged with hormones, we staged the sexual revolution and popularized the Pill. Now, with those hormones fading, we've popularized Viagra.

As we've aged, age discrimination has become a basis for lawsuits, and the most litigated right has become the right to die. The hot issue of the moment is Social Security, and the newest entitlement program is a prescription drug benefit for the elderly.

Our slogan has gone from "free love" to "free blood pressure medicine."


We boomers are also preying on children in a more insidious way: We're running up their debts, both by creating new entitlement programs and by running budget deficits today. Laurence Kotlikoff, an economist and fiscal expert who with Scott Burns wrote the excellent and scary book "The Coming Generational Storm," calls this "fiscal child abuse."

The sad truth: Until we evict the "moneychangers from the temple" this is the legacy we leave for our children.

The New York Times > Republican Chairman Exerts Pressure on PBS, Alleging Biases

Dark times are on us--the Bushevics are targeting the last bastion of sanity in our great nation. To say that NPR is "liberal" is a travesty. NPR is truly "fair and balanced" and the voice of reason. Unlike the shouters and screamers of Fox (Fake) News and increasingly the rest of Mainstream Media (MSM). There will be a backlash and it is coming very soon. This backlash will devastate the wing nuts. Trust me.

The New York Times > Republican Chairman Exerts Pressure on PBS, Alleging Biases: "The Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is aggressively pressing public television to correct what he and other conservatives consider liberal bias, prompting some public broadcasting leaders - including the chief executive of PBS - to object that his actions pose a threat to editorial independence."