Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Bush Family Coup

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

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

by James Ridgeway:

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

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Earth Ship, Colorado

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

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Oil Change |

Good blog on the movie Syriana: Oil Change

David Roberts reviews it on Grist.

Roger Ebert gives it four stars.

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

Kurds in Iraqi army proclaim loyalty to militia

Tell me again how great the war is going?

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

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

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

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Ultimate Quagmire

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

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

The Poor Man » A Very Wanker Christmas

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

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

Buzz Flash reprints the article in full.

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

Christmas Eve on Longs Ranch Road

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

Listen to the podcast .

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

Group pays to end killing on central coast

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

Friday, December 23, 2005

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

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

onegoodmove: Evolution

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

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

Scott Ridder shreds neoconservative apologist Christopher Hitchens in a debate.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

BBC - In Our Time - Heaven

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

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

SHAMROCK: The Church Committee's Investigation of NSA

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

Grizzly Peak, 13,988'

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

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

They Paid Me To Read This Stuff

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

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

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

The Diane Rehm Show : Monday December 19, 2005

Conservatives on Foreign Policy

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


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

David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union

Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

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

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

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

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

The New Yorker: The Talk of the Town

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


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

Monday, December 19, 2005

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Waldo Canyon Run

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

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Report of NSA Spying Prompts Call for Probe

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

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

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

Senate Blocks the Renewal of Patriot Act - Los Angeles Times

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

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

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

CBC News Indepth: Being Caribou

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

CBC News Indepth: Being Caribou:

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

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

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

The caribou cannot argue their case.

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

Friday, December 16, 2005

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

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

Think Progress » House conservatives ♥ Jean Schmidt:

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

onegoodmove: Church and State - Dover Edition

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

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

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

Monday, December 12, 2005

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

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

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

Buddy Lee Guidance Counselor

Useful web site for job interview tips:

Buddy Lee Guidance Counselor

Lonely Planet goes to Nigeria

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

AP Scoop: Iraq VP Disputes Bush on Training of Forces

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

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

AlterNet: Neil Bush Meets the Messiah

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

AlterNet: Neil Bush Meets the Messiah:

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

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

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Longs Ranch Road Run, December 4th, 2005

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# He is ignorantly hostile to science and technological progress;

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

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Winter Morning in Colorado

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

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

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

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

Figures published in the report for the first time show:

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

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

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Washington Note

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

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

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

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

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

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

Howard Fineman gets it right on Imus in the Morning:

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