And watch Fox News for all your information! More posters here.
Running and thinking in Colorado
Sometimes I find it hard to believe that Colorado Springs is as backward as it is. This town is truly beyond the pale, beyond radical right, and into the tinfoil hat zone. I finally got around to reading this week's Colorado Springs Independent with two items so unbelievably stupid that it's hard to imagine them even being part of the public discourse anywhere else in the world.
The New York Times > Opinion >W.'s Stiletto Democracy:
You know we have serious concerns when the accountant in charge of the federal treasury is sounding the alarms. Those so called tax cuts are really "birth taxes", because they are saddling Americans just being born with an impossible debt.
A Colorado Life
VANITY FAIR : ROUNDTABLE : CONTENT: "Ohio's Odd Numbers
WorkingForChange-Christian right mum on Gannon Affair: "They were livid over SpongeBob Square Pants' participation in a video advocating tolerance, and fuming about Buster the Bunny's visit to a lesbian household. So where's the outrage from the Christian right over the Jeff Gannon Affair? Despite a chunk of time having passed since the Gannon Affair was first uncovered, Christian right organizations are still cloaked in silence. As of February 24, there wasn't any news about the Gannon Affair available on the Web sites of Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, or the Traditional Values Coalition. As best as I could determine, no special alerts about the Gannon Affair have been issued; and no campaigns have been launched to get to the bottom of the matter."
Dollar: l'avertissement: "Une rumeur, d�mentie quelques heures plus tard, aura suffi � relancer la fi�vre sur la plan�te des monnaies. En laissant s'installer l'id�e qu'elle pourrait all�ger ses r�serves en dollars, la banque centrale de Cor�e du Sud vient de provoquer une belle secousse sur le march� des changes. En soi, l'�pisode pourrait tenir de la simple p�rip�tie. Sur le fond, le spectaculaire plongeon du billet vert auquel cette rumeur a donn� lieu r�sonne comme un brutal r�v�lateur.
t r u t h o u t - Juan Cole | The Downside of Democracy: "The Downside of Democracy
The Telegraph Online
Bush in Germany: With a Hush and a Whisper, Bush Drops Town Hall Meeting with Germans - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE: "The much-touted American-style 'town hall' meeting the White House has been planning with 'normal Germans' of everyday walks of life will be missing during his visit to the Rhine River hamlet of Mainz this afternoon. A few weeks ago, the Bush administration had declared that the chat -- which could have brought together tradesmen, butchers, bank employees, students and all other types to discuss trans-Atlantic relations -- would be the cornerstone of President George W. Bush's brief trip to Germany. "
When Democracy Failed - 2005: The Warnings of History: "He was a simpleton, some said, a cartoon character of a man who saw things in black-and-white terms and didn't have the intellect to understand the subtleties of running a nation in a complex and internationalist world.
Daily Kos :: Sith Lords of the Ultra-Right: "Sith Lords of the Ultra-Right" If you read one thing today, be sure you read this. Be very afraid, then be righteous.
t r u t h o u t - EPA Broke Law Making Secret Deals with Industry:
" 'The EPA's secret, backroom deals with pesticide makers are clearly against the law, and they're a threat to our health,' said NRDC attorney Aaron Colangelo. 'EPA is required to make independent decisions on pesticide safety, instead of negotiating deals with the chemical industry.'
According to government records obtained by NRDC through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, EPA officials met secretly more than 40 times with representatives from atrazine's main manufacturer, Syngenta, while the agency was evaluating the weed-killer's toxicity. Ultimately the agency agreed to allow atrazine to stay on the market even though the chemical has contaminated drinking water sources across the country. (See January 2004 NRDC backgrounder for more information.) The EPA also has been involved in private negotiations with the chemical company Amvac over the status of the insecticide DDVP (dichlorvos), which it sells under a number of trade names, including 'No-Pest Strips.' These negotiations violate EPA's regulations and federal law, specifically the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the Freedom of Information Act, according to NRDC's lawsuit.
'These deals are bad for public health, bad for the environment, and bad for democracy,' said Erik D. Olson, an NRDC senior attorney. Olson noted that more than 20 years ago NRDC sued the agency for similar widespread violations committed under EPA Administrator Ann Gorsuch. After Gorsuch and other EPA officials resigned amid allegations of improper industry influence, William Ruckelshaus replaced Gorsuch and settled NRDC's case in 1984, agreeing to strict regulations that forbid secret meetings and private deal-making. 'EPA apparently is back to its old bad habits,' Olson said."
In yesterday's Washington Post, they report the CIA and DIA paint less than rosy pictures of the results of invading Iraq and its effect on the "War on Terror".
The Chiefs of Staff of the Army and of the Air Force have respectively begun publishing lists of recommended books for officers and enlisted personnel. Some Army units have carried this further and begun intensive discussion groups centered around reading materials. Col H. R. McMasters, author of "Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that led to Vietnam" leads discussion groups in the unit he trains for insurgency warfare in Iraq.
Just in case you have been living in a cave the last few days or watching Fox News exclusively here is the scandal of the week for this administration. A homo prostitute fake reporter right-wing shill allowed access to the white house press briefings, called on by name by the prez to ask soft-ball questions. Can it get any weirder??
The Nation sets the record straight on the intentions of our founding fathers: Our Godless Constitution by Brooke Allen.
Matt Carpenter, multi-champion of the races up Pikes Peak, and holder of the record for the ascent and the marathon (2:01, 3:17), wears the blue jacket. I propose that the halfway point to Barr Camp, where one first comes on "No Name Creek", commonly id'ed incorrectly as French Creek, be christened "Carpenter's Crossing" in honor of Matt. Matt Carpenter has brought runners together with his "Incline Club", by sponsoring the Barr Trail Race, and by being an all around promoter of community.
My daughter, Marlene sent me this link.
A story in today's NY Times highlights a recently declassified memo from Richard Clarke 9 months before 9/11. Clarke's scathing memoir "Against All Enemies: Inside the War on Terrorism" (which this slimy administration tried to discredit) attacked the administration for ignoring the threat of terrorism inside the US.
George W. is rambling and incoherent: His domestic proposals for Social Security are the ranting of a lunatic out of touch with reality.
I love to read and I've kept a list of "books read" for every year since 1997. I remember a long time ago, when in high school I did the same thing....aiming to read three books a week.... Well, with all my outdoors activities, running, and of course work, I am lucky to achieve two books a month now.
Sane and balanced article that appeared in the Sunday Denver Post, "Energy and the West: Region has many views on the issue"
I just got around to reading my Jan 3rd New Yorker and found a great "Talk of the Town" item on a fellow who has made a project of walking every street in Manhattan. I love lists and long term projects! I have several projects of my own, including all of Colorado's 54 14er's (completed), the high point of every state in the Union (42 so far), a marathon in every state (32).
Tonight, my last night in San Diego, I had Spanish food up in the Hillcrest neighborhood: Salad with cilantro dressing, roasted garlic with mushrooms and toast, and a glass of red Spanish wine. Exquisite.
Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?
In the biggest subsidized logging scheme in history the Bush Forest Service is about to trash pristine lands of the Siskiyou Wild River regions.
Zaab Sethna was in Iraq, working on the election campaign with the United Iraqi Alliance.
One of my all-time favorite adventure writers, David Roberts reviews Michael Crichton's new potboiler: "State of Fear".
The Bureau of Land Management last week made the final decision to open nearly 2 million acres of Chihuahuan desert grassland in southern New Mexico to oil and gas drilling. The Bush administration insists that drilling in the area, known as Otero Mesa, won't be a "free-for-all," as the BLM's plan calls for close management and environmental assessments before drilling begins, and also prohibits activity on some 124,000 acres in order to protect sensitive areas and provide habitat for the endangered Aplomado falcon. Stephen Capra of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance calls the agency's environmental-protection efforts "window dressing." He and other enviros say the plan didn't take into account public opinion -- more than 85 percent of those who commented on the plan favored a prohibition on drilling in the area. Says New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), "The state is going to fight this with everything we've got."
Mr. Sharpton and PETA are demanding that KFC force its chicken suppliers, like Pilgrim's Pride and Perdue, to give chickens more room in factory barns and to make use of a process that puts birds to sleep with nitrogen before they are killed. They are also asking KFC to stop its suppliers from forcing such rapid, hormone-driven growth that the birds crumple under their own weight.
Blogging from San Diego this week. Temps in the 70's and sunshine, a welcome respite from the cold snap in Colorado Springs. Not that I don't love Colorado Springs in winter--just that a change of pace/climate is nice from time to time. I'm taking a class in Satellite Communications this week in the San Diego Convention Center.
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