My sister Anne
I'm proud of her! "Best of Seattle" , Best defender of the Police for 2004 in the Seattle Weekly.
Running and thinking in Colorado
I'm proud of her! "Best of Seattle" , Best defender of the Police for 2004 in the Seattle Weekly.
"United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting. According to reports from Saigon, 83 percent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong. A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President Johnson's policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam."
I found this Documentary on Fallujah. Pretty interesting.
Kim Jong il's Dissolving Kingdom -- from the Sunday edition of the London Times.
Looks like the elections in Iraq are a unqualified success. Reuters reported earlier that they had 72% turnout. Astonishing. I heard a report an hour ago or so that 36 Iraqis had been killed by suicide bombers. While terrible, that is just an average day for Iraq. Cautious optimism is the call.
Remember that study in the British journal "The Lancet" three months ago that determined that about 100,000 Iraqi civilians had died as a direct result of the Operation Iraqi Freedom? Seems it was buried in the pre-election news. Now the researchers are wondering why their carefully researched study was ignored.
In the transcript to a live interview, Sey Hersh, who first exposed the Abu Ghraib torture scandal in the New Yorker magazine in April 2004 and author of "Chain of Command: The Road From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib", who also broke the My Lai story 35 years ago in Viet Nam, says,
My first and only encounter with Romeo Dallaire was in a Master's program in War Studies with the Royal Military College of Canada. We were in a class together. As a US Air Force exchange officer stationed in Ottawa I was somewhat surprised to find a Major General pursuing a Master's degree in War Studies. This happenstance spoke volumes about the sort of mensch Gen Dallaire is--constantly questioning, continually learning, trying to understand his world and to make it a better one.
Listen to Robert F. Kennedy Jr talk to Glen Scherer about how corporate polluters have recruited Envangelical Christians (like our prez) to their agenda. These crazies who believe "the end is near" feel it's just fine to wipe out our wild heritage.
James Woolsey bought a 58-MPG Toyota Prius. Why? Glad to see that SOME of the hawks recognize that the they are either part of the solution or part of the problem.
Follow this link for a three minute video clip of a Fox anchor boiling over because a guest dared criticize El Inauguracion del Presidente. Funny stuff.
We have at most ten years before there is no turning back.
Tina Brown has First Lady Laura pegged about right.
If you're indignant that your boss just shut the smoking room and outraged that you have to leave the bar to light up, take heart. Life could be worse. You could be
Great Speech on the Environment. The Greatest threat to the environment is GWB. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. tells the truth.
The Guardian reports the drumbeat towards the next war is on.
I ran the Mississippi Marathon yesterday on the Natchez Trace Parkway near Jackson, MS yesterday. I'm still here in MS, writing this from my room in the Ramada Inn. The course is very pleasant--an out and back along the scenic Natchez Parkway. Unsure of my condition, I took a gamble and latched on early to the leader and eventual winner, clicking off 6:10 miles until close to the turn around point, 13.1 miles into the race. Well, I'm not there yet--I crashed, finishing in 3:08. That's the problem with marathon memory, pace, and the limits of the body. You see, my marathon memory tells me that I can do that pace (and faster) for the distance--problem is the body is not ready. Therein lies the dilemma. Only way forward is more miles on the legs. So this is my task before the next marathon in Myrtle Beach, SC in one month. My plan is the tried and true Mon, Tue, Wed, 10-12-10 miles, followed by Thursday morning hill climb with CRUD and Sunday long run with the Incline Club.
Richard Florida, Heinz professor of economic development at Carnegie Mellon University and author of The Rise of the Creative Class posits in January's Washington Monthly that "red state mentality" is driving out our creative class that built our prosperity.
Thom Hartmann writes on Dubya's master manipulation of the media:
In the "I told you so..." Department, an independent think tank reporting to the CIA concluded in a 119-page report that the Iraq war has created more terrorists.
Richard Dawkins weighs in with this piece on the Evolution of the Eye. Turns out that servicable image forming "eyes" have evolved independently 40 to 60 times.
One of my all time favorite editorials:
Our president the "make no mistakes" idiot is oblivious to reality: in a Barbara Walters Interview to be aired on Friday. Can our world get any more BIZARRE??
Waterkeeper: Redefining the Environmental Debate
Despite the rejection of some of Bush's worst environmental initiatives, the White House still hasn't learned that it's sailing against the public tide. Robert F. Kennedy Jr sets the record straight.
STALINIST North Korea has stepped up its campaign against long hair and untidy attire which its media says represents a "corrupt capitalist" lifestyle, reports said.
Conservative pundit, Armstrong Williams, in a rare moment of candor stated "There are others...", implying that the administration is paying conservative talk show hosts and pundits to broadcast their propaganda with OUR TAXPAYER dollars. He quickly went back on message. Williams recently admitted to receiving $240,000 from the Bush Administration to promote the "No Child Left Behind Act" on his conservative radio show. OUR TAXPAYER dollars by the way. How do you feel about that??
The Poor Man has it just about right.
These poor people in the Appalachian mountains in the SW corner of Virginia, next to the Kentucky border probably voted for Bush for "moral values". Little did they realize that this man, while "moral" is unethical, and his policies would turn their world upside down when a 1,000 pound boulder tumbled down the mountain from a strip-mining operation, into their house, and killed their three-year-old child.
Washington Post: Friend of Bush Family Joins Pessimists
My letter to the Colorado Springs Independent and to the Colorado Springs Gazette:
Found this short flash movie on the disenfranchisement of about 55,000 mostly African-American voters in Florida in the 2000 election.
Further evidence of Bizarro World: Bush wants to hear good news only. He only wants to hear progress reports from the war. This man is so shallow and incompetent it's truly scary.
Andrew Sullivan has correspondence from Irshad Manji, authoress of the revealing little book, "The Trouble with Islam". Irshad, a Canadian woman, has taken on Muslim intolerance and misogyny. The book is highly recommended and apparently it is making an impact on the Muslim community.
Using examples from history of failed societies, Jared Diamond, who won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction for "Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies," presents a learned appraisal of our future prospects as a civilization in a New Year's Day editorial: "The Ends of the World as We Know Them". "History warns us that when once-powerful societies collapse, they tend to do so quickly and unexpectedly."
Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network told his audience on Monday that God will move quickly to remove the six "liberals" from the Supreme Court. Fortunately, he has been less than successful in previous predictions: 1) God told him he would be elected President in 1988, 2) God told him Russia would invade Israel in 1982, 3) God told him there would be an international financial meltdown in 1985 4) in 1991 he predicted that Sen Jay Rockefeller would be elected president in 1996.
TNR's Iraq'd quotes Allawi's chief of Iraqi intelligence, Maj Gen Mohammed Abdullah Shahwani, as saying that the Sunni insurgency consists of 200,000 fighters, of which 40,000 are a hard core. "I think the resistance is bigger than the U.S. military in Iraq," Shahwani told AFP today.
A dozen military leaders have come out against the nomination of Alberto Gonzales. Only "one man in a bubble" (GWB) could have conceived such a poor idea as to nominate the architect of Abu Graib as our top law enforcer.
Don't know if they will print my letter, but here is the dialogue so far with the Colorado Springs Gazette and me on their Sunday editorial entitled: "Free Smokey: Reducing Federal Red Tape would reduce forest management costs" (Scroll down and read from bottom to top)
Bluelemur reports... Be sure and scroll down to the long comment-posting #17 replete with extensive details and links on the voting fraud. Also--a right-wing auditor, Chuck Herring has a nice piece on hacking the vote. Here is his helpful explanation for why Bush-supporters are not up-in-arms over evident voting fraud: Empathy Training for Liberals: A Primer on the Conservative Mind, From the Inside of One.
I run a lot. I get outdoors as much as I can. I read and I think. I love intellectual confrontation. I'm a liberal secular humanist atheist who speaks French (and German). I am the opposite of the "Christian Right".
“There is no question about it. In the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has.”
Robert F. Kennedy (stated in 1968, when Robert was Attorney General, and his brother John had been the President)
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” - Philip K. Dick
“The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell.” Bertrand Russell
"Just as nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight... and it is in such a twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air--however slight--lest we become unwilling victims of the darkness."
-- William O. Douglas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1939 to 1975
"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
-- James Madison
"You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays, everybody's crazy."
-- Charles Manson, serial killer and one-time cult leader
"A very popular error-having the courage of one's convictions: Rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack upon one's convictions."
-- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 1844-1900
"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."
-- Thomas Jefferson
"There are no sects in geometry. One does not speak of a Euclidean, an Archimedean. When the truth is evident, it is impossible for parties and factions to arise.... Well, to what dogma do all minds agree? To the worship of a God, and to honesty. All the philosophers of the world who have had a religion have said in all ages: "There is a God, and one must be just." There, then, is the universal religion established in all ages and throughout mankind. The point in which they all agree is therefore true, and the systems through which they differ are therefore false."
"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
-- Albert Einstein
You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud
-- Bob Dylan, 'Masters of War'
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war . . . and in the degeneracy of manners and morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
James Madison, April 20, 1795
"In the end the party would announce that 2 plus 2 made 5, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim, sooner or later, the logic of their position demanded it."
-- George Orwell, in 1984
"God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now, when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you're taking away from God; you don't need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries. So therefore you leave him to create the universe because we haven't figured that out yet; you need him for understanding those things which you don't believe the laws will explain, such as consciousness, or why you only live to a certain length of time -- life and death -- stuff like that. God is always associated with those things that you do not understand. Therefore I don't think that the laws can be considered to be like God because they have been figured out. " --€”Richard Feynman
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
"I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise. They have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving: it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe."
--Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
--John Kenneth Galbraith
"We're all in this alone."
Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right;
But when asked how 'bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:
You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You'll get pie in the sky when you die.
-Joe Hill, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), 1911
â€œThe more compelling our journalism, the angrier became the radical right of the Republican Party. Thatâ€™s because the one thing they loathe more than liberals is the truth. And the quickest way to be damned by them as liberal is to tell the truth.â€�
Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
"Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasure, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing." --Jerome K. Jerome
"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Benjamin Franklin
"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." --Aldo Leopold
"Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do." --Jose Ortega y Gasset
"The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels, and that of the presidents who had thus far been elected [Washington; Adams; Jefferson; Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson] not a one had professed a belief in Christianity...."
"Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism."
-- The Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, in a sermon preached in October, 1831
"Undoubtedly, all men are not equally fit subjects for civilization; and because the majority, like dogs and sheep, are tame by inherited disposition, this is no reason why the others should have their natures broken that they may be reduced to the same level." --Henry David Thoreau
"There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too. Where's evil? It's that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side. It's that part of every man that finds all kinds of ugliness so attractive. It's that part of an imbecile that punishes and vilifies and makes war gladly." --Kurt Vonnegut in his novel Mother Night
"I am Diogenes the Dog. I nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy and bite scoundrels."
--Diogenes of Sinope (c. 408-323 B.C.)
"Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow;
They toil not, neither do they spin;
And yet I say unto you,
that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these."
"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." - Thomas Jefferson