Friday, April 30, 2010

Have You Seen This Man?

blue man on empty bus

...or you can call Men in Black, Ghostbusters or Buckaroo Banzai.

note: Photoshop® was not used on this image.

Spill Baby Spill

©The Oregonian

The Price of Myopia, cont.

The following are excerpted AP articles
Gulf Coast oil spill comes ashore, could top Exxon Valdez numbers
By Cain Burdeau and Holbrook Mohr
The Associated Press

VENICE, La. — Faint fingers of oily sheen from a spill that threatened to eclipse even the Exxon Valdez disaster have reached the mouth of the Mississippi River.

By sunset Thursday, the oil was lapping at the shoreline. Booms in place to protect grasslands and sandy beaches were being overtopped by 5-foot waves of oily water in choppy seas.

In the distance, the lights of the fleet of boats working to keep more of the crude oil away from the coast were outlined in the dying twilight.

The spill was both bigger and closer than imagined — five times larger than first estimated.

"It is of grave concern," David Kennedy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Associated Press.
"I am frightened. This is a very, very big thing. And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling."

The oil slick could become the nation's worst environmental disaster in decades, threatening hundreds of species of fish, birds and other wildlife along the Gulf Coast, one of the world's richest seafood grounds, teeming with shrimp, oysters and other marine life.

"They lied to us. They came out and said it was leaking 1,000 barrels when I think they knew it was more. And they weren't proactive," Cade Thomas, a fishing guide in Venice said. "As soon as it blew up, they should have started wrapping it with booms."

The Coast Guard worked with BP, which operated the oil rig that exploded and sank last week, to deploy floating booms, skimmers and chemical dispersants, and set controlled fires to burn the oil off the water's surface.

The Coast Guard urged the company to formally request more resources from the Defense Department. A BP executive said the company would "take help from anyone."

Government officials said the blown-out well 40 miles offshore is spewing five times as much oil into the water as originally estimated — about 5,000 barrels, or 200,000 gallons, a day.

* * *

How a containable accident suddenly became a crisis

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Suddenly, everything changed.

For days, as an oil spill spread in the Gulf of Mexico, BP assured the government the plume was manageable, not catastrophic. Federal authorities were content to let the company handle the mess while keeping an eye on the operation.

But then government scientists realized the leak was five times larger than they had been led to believe, and days of lulling statistics and reassuring words gave way Thursday to an all-hands-on-deck emergency response. Now questions are sure to be raised about a self-policing system that trusted a commercial operator to take care of its own mishap even as it grew into a menace imperiling Gulf Coast nature and livelihoods from Florida to Texas.

The pivot point had come Wednesday night, at a news conference at an oil research center in the tiny community of Robert, La. That's when the nation learned the earlier estimates were way off, and an additional leak had been found.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama set in motion a larger federal mobilization, pledging to deploy "every single available resource" to the area and ordering his disaster and environmental leaders to get down there in person. Only a few days after the Coast Guard assured the country there was "ample time" to protect the coast if oil came ashore, warnings from the government were newly alarming.

The political subtext of the crisis was clear and increasingly on people's minds, whether from a federal office deploying oil-containment booms or from a Louisiana parish awaiting yet another sucker punch from the sea.

Will this be Obama's Katrina? Should the federal and state governments have done more, and earlier? Did they learn the lessons of the devastating hurricane?(Unless of course, you consider this a natural disaster that the President ignored or wasn't made aware of for almost a week and then did an Air Force 1 flyover, and had to be shown a video prepared by White House aide, David Bartlett)

Political calculations vied with the increasingly scary Gulf reality — hundreds of thousands of oil and its progression to landfall as soon as Thursday night. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who also is in a hot campaign for the Senate, flew over the slick and commended the federal actions to date but wondered if anyone, really, could be doing enough in this situation. "It appeared to me," he said, "that this is probably much bigger than we can fathom."

Two days later, the Deepwater Horizon sank and crews spotted a 1-by-5-mile sheen with a dark center that appeared to be a crude oil mix. Obama got his first briefing on the accident.

Landry said the following day that no oil appeared to be leaking from a well head at the ocean floor, nor was any leaking noted at the surface.

At the White House, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said that sometimes accidents happen, and the loss of the Deepwater Horizon was no reason to back off on the president's recent decision to support expanded offshore drilling. (Actually, it is a perfectly good reason to reconsider the idea of offshore drilling. The President's initial "decision" was little more than pandering to the neantherthal right, reaching across the barbed-wire aisle.)

This catastrophic disaster is not about politics, unless you want to talk about the amount of power a corporation (in this case, BP), wields over the government. I want go there. It is too obvious. Right now, I am concerned about the ramifications of this accident on the besieged gulf region, what this will do to New Orleans and what it is doing to the world.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Price of Myopia

In less than 4 days, what seemed under control and of little concern has become one of the worst environmental disasters in history. In effect, more oil has leaked from the exploded underwater rig than is supposedly to be gained by the growing support for offshore drilling in the future. Nearly two years ago, Speaker of the House Pelosi expressed being in favor of offshore drilling. The president has voiced (limited) support. Both should reconsider... NOW. Clearly, there is no safe way to drill for oil. It is always just a matter of time. Another disaster--always man-made--is always right around the corner. And isn't that why we are in Iraq and want to go to war with Iran? To paraphrase George W. Bush, we have not yet learned to control our addiction to oil. And we pay the price everyday. At the pump. In the air, and on and under our seas. Every day we destroy our world a little more.

Oh, and as for the morons who chant "Drill, Baby, Drill?" Stay tuned

4.23.2010 (the day after Earth Day)
Coast Guard: No Oil Leak From Sunken Rig Off Louisiana
Associated Press
No oil appeared to be leaking from a drilling rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard said Friday, though officials were trying to contain what spilled after the blast and prevent any threat to the coast's fragile ecosystem.

Crews Work to Stop Oil Leak in Gulf

Robot Submarines Being Used in Attempt to Shut Valves at Well Head Nearly One Mile Under Water
Associate Press
What appeared to a manageable spill a couple of days ago after an oil rig exploded and sank off the Louisiana coast Tuesday, has now turned into a more serious environmental problem. The new leak was discovered Saturday, and as much as 1,000 barrels - or 42,000 gallons - of oil is leaking each day, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said.

The new leak is troubling for the fragile ecosystem of shrimp, fish, birds and coral. Officials said it's still too soon to say whether the sensitive habitat will be affected.

Oil Leak Continues In Gulf Of Mexico
MarketWatch Pulse

NEW YORK -- The oil well at the site of the sunken Deepwater Horizon oil rig continues to leak 1,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico, according to Mike Abendoff, a spokesman for the joint information center staff handling the accident. BP is attempting to shut off and contain the leak, which began last week after an explosion and fire caused the Transocean rig to sink. BP was leasing the rig from Transocean for oil exploration in the Gulf.

Oil Spill Size of Rhode Island Spreading to Gulf Coasts by the Weekend reports oil is still leaking from the sunken rig in the Gulf of Mexico, extending the spill as upcoming winds threaten to possibly bring oil to the beaches along four states by this weekend.

Burn oil slick? That's latest option
Capping rig leak could take up to three months
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - With officials saying it could be weeks, if not months, before the leak from the sunken oil rig is finally capped, the Coast Guard on Tuesday said it was adding the possibility of a temporary fix: burning the slick that's just 20 or so miles from the coast.

The oil is coming from a pipe rising from the seabed nearly a mile underwater. So far crews using robotic subs have been unable to activate a shutoff device at the head of the well. A kink in the pipe is keeping oil from flowing even more heavily.

If the well cannot be closed, almost 100,000 barrels of oil could spill into the Gulf before the relief well is operating. That's 4.2 million gallons. The worst oil spill in U.S. history was when the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons in Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989.

48 miles by 80 miles
As of Tuesday morning, oil that leaked from the rig site was spread over an area about 48 miles long and 80 miles wide at its widest. The borders of the spill were uneven, making it difficult to calculate how many square miles are covered.

Though oil was not expected to reach the coast until late in the week, if at all, concern was growing about what will happen if it does.

Monday, April 26, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Imagine my surprise yesterday morning when I saw one of my favorite singer/songwriters on the cover of PARADE, I nearly shit. What's next? TP on the AARP magazine? How did "I Won't Back Down" become "I Won't Slow Down?" Whatever happened to "Hope I Die Before I Get Old?" I tell you what... they all got old! Now, Roger and Pete are clinging to life like a pair of pathetic old farts. Who ever expected a 60+ year-old would be doing windmills on a crimson Strat? It's crazy... but you know what? I would listen to Dylan, and Tom, and any number of old farts way before I would tune in to Justin Beiber. I like that old time rock 'n roll. You better believe it. Willie is 75 and Buddy Guy is 72, and there is no one-- and I mean no one who can hold a candle to him. He is the last of the best. Clapton and Beck are 65. No one can touch them. No one. I can't wait for Keef's autobiography to come out. But, in the meantime, I rant like some old codger talking about how it was in my day and you kids and so on...

Another country heard from...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

ARIZONA: I Can't Make This Shit Up — the prequel

John Coultas wrote a comment, informing me that I had screwed up. I had neglected to mention Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's brush with destiny in April when she signed into law the bill that made Arizona the third state allowing people to carry a concealed weapon without requiring a permit. Alaska (don't get me started) and Vermont preceded the Grand Canyon State. It was an omission, not a screw-up. I was admittedly caught up in the moment of watching two momentous bills–for racial profiling and the birther bill–get passed and sent on for inclusion on the November ballot.

Mr. Coultas is correct to bring up the concealed carry law. And although it wasn't Governor Brewer's doing and Mr. Coultas didn't mention it, there is the state's reluctance to observe Martin Luther King Day, until it became economically inconvenient. But I am getting ahead of myself... or behind.

Governor Brewer, packing concealed heat.

The AP wire reported at the time of passage that, "Nearly all adults can already carry a weapon openly in Arizona, and supporters of looser laws argue that gun owners shouldn't face additional restrictions just because they want to hide the weapon." And went on to report, "Under the Arizona legislation, people carrying a concealed weapon will be required to tell a police officer that if asked, and the officer can temporarily take the weapon while communicating with the person." That puts a lot of discretionary power in the hands of the police, similar to the racial profiling bill, where police will determine who may or may not be a suspected illegal.

The AP report stated that, "More than 154,000 people have permits to carry a concealed weapon in Arizona.
The bill acted on by Brewer was the first attempt to lift the permit requirement to reach an Arizona governor's desk.

before and after

Brewer's predecessor, Democrat Janet Napolitano, in 2007 vetoed two related bills. One would have reduced penalties for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. The other would have allowed a person without a permit to carry a gun largely concealed as long as any part of it or its holster was visible.

Brewer in 2008 signed into law a bill allowing a person with a permit to take a gun into a restaurant or bar serving alcohol as long as the establishment doesn't prohibit it and the person isn't drinking alcohol. Napolitano vetoed a similar bill in 2005."

As with the previous two posts, I have tried to stick to cutting and pasting or just reprinting entire news stories, without comment. To me, the implications are there for god and man to see. But let me digress a moment-- I am not against guns, but I am against a law like this, where someone can walk into a bar, throw whiskey down their necks, get into a heated discussion with the guy next to him over the Diamondbacks, or worse, and then pulls out his .357 mag and ends the argument. I know. It sounds crazy. So does the bill, which provides absolutely nothing to prevent the hypothetical from happening. I am not qualified to discuss the wild variations in human wiring, but it is indisputable that the wiring gets a bit frayed and hot when alcohol is applied, Put a loaded firearm in the mix and, well... there you have it.

The Martin Luther King Day issue is just so obvious that I will not devote any unnecessary verbiage to circumvent the obvious. Arizona acts and reacts like a scab on the surface of the union. The United States clearly aren't. We are divided... and the issues that divide us are such base emotions: race, hate and ignorance, haves and have-nots, and so on. Arizona was not alone in opposing a holiday to observe Martin Luther King Jr. New Hampshire, wearing its "live free or die" slogan on their license plates like a birthright was against it. And what exactly does live free or die mean? It is obviously conditional, based on skin color and ethnicity.

Favorite Son/flip-flopper

Jesse Helms (no surprise) and Ronald Reagan were against the holiday. So was John McCain, before he was for it. Another surprise. But, it wasn't morality that led the Grand Canyon State to observe MLK day. It was economics. Money talks. Bullshit walks. When the NFL pulled Super Bowl XXVII from Tempe to Pasadena, Arizona realized it ain't know joke. They lots beaucoups bucks. Republican Governor Evan Mecham buttoned his lip and finally, MLK Day was a holiday in Arizona.

This is an opinion: America is polarized and showing it in ways it hasn't in many years. There is fear and hatred flowing on the airwaves and in the hearts and minds of its populace. We have regressed from the Freedom Riders and the struggle for equality in the '60's. Being black today is a dangerous proposition. Instead of helping to unite the country, Barack Obama's presidency has divided us and given license to open anger. Virginia wants to celebrate the confederacy and not mention slavery. Arizona is clearly a land of "the old days," of a wild west and a white west.

I think of Lenny Bruce and Martin, Malcolm and John. Cynicism with a splash of hope... a dash of hope. A prayer. A candle snuffed out... I don't know what happened... where we decided to kick it into reverse and floor it. It's not good. None of it. To be perfectly honest, I'm kind of scared where it is all going to lead.

Now, let's try to move on...

Friday, April 23, 2010

ARIZONA: I can't make this shit up-2

ILLEGAL ALIENS!!! (from the film, District 9)

Arizona governor signs nation's toughest immigration enforcement bill
By The Associated Press
April 23, 2010, 1:49PM

PHOENIX -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law the nation's toughest legislation against illegal immigration Friday, a sweeping measure that supporters said would take handcuffs off police but which President Barack Obama said could violate people's civil rights.

The bill, sent to the Republican governor by the GOP-led Legislature, would make it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally. It would also require local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants.

Brewer, who faces a tough election battle and growing anger in the state over illegal immigrants, said the law "protects every Arizona citizen."

"We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act," Brewer said after signing the law. "But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation."

Obama said in Washington that he's instructed the Justice Department to examine the Arizona bill to see if it's legal, and said the federal government must enact immigration reform at the national level -- or leave the door open to "irresponsibility by others."

"That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," Obama said.

Brewer was under intense pressure from anti-illegal immigration groups and lawmakers in her own party to sign the bill, but has given no indication what she will do.

Hundreds of protesters gathered at the State Capitol complex Friday calling on Brewer to veto the legislation.

Demonstrators have been camped outside the Capitol since the measure passed out of the Legislature on Monday. Their numbers have grown steadily throughout the week, with buses bringing protesters from as far away as Los Angeles.

About a dozen supporters of the measure also gathered.

--The Associated Press

ARIZONA: I can't make this shit up-1

Arizona house passes "birther" bill, candidates must prove citizenship

Associated Press
Posted on April 22, 2010 at 6:06 PM

PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona lawmakers expressing doubt over whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States are pushing a bill through the Legislature that would require the president to show his birth certificate to get on the state's 2012 ballot.

The House passed the measure Wednesday on a 31-29 vote, ignoring protests from opponents who said it's casting Arizona in an ugly light and could give the elected secretary of state broad powers to kick a presidential candidate off the ballot.

"We're becoming a national joke," Rep. Chad Campbell, a Phoenix Democrat who opposes the measure, said Thursday.

The measure's sponsor, Republican Rep. Judy Burges of Skull Valley, said she isn't sure Obama could prove his eligibility for the ballot in Arizona and wants to erase all doubts.

"You have half the population who thinks everything is fine, and you have the other half of the population who has had doubts built up in their mind," Burges said.

So-called "birthers" have contended since the 2008 presidential campaign that Obama is ineligible to be president because, they argue, he was actually born in Kenya, his father's homeland. The Constitution says that a person must be a "natural-born citizen" to be eligible for the presidency.

Hawaii officials have repeatedly confirmed Obama's citizenship, and his Hawaiian birth certificate has been made public, along with birth notices from two Honolulu newspapers published within days of his birth in August 1961.

Courts have rebuffed lawsuits challenging Obama's eligibility, but the issue hasn't gone away. Lawmakers have introduced similar bills in a handful of other states. They include Oklahoma, where a measure passed the House but failed in the Senate, and Missouri, where a bill was withdrawn before any action was taken.

Eleven U.S. House Republicans have signed on to a federal bill, but it hasn't received a hearing in the Democrat-controlled House.

Arizona's measure would require U.S. presidential candidates to submit documents to the secretary of state proving they meet the constitutional requirements to be president. The secretary of state could then decide to keep a candidate off the Arizona ballot if he or she had reasonable cause to believe the candidate was ineligible.

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett opposes the bill, arguing it gives his office too much power, according to his spokesman Matthew Benson. Benson said Bennett, a Republican, has no doubts about Obama's citizenship.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where supporters are trying to pull together enough votes to pass the measure. If they do, it's unclear if Republican Gov. Jan Brewer will give it her support. Her spokesman, Paul Senseman, said the governor won't comment on pending legislation, but he added she doesn't have doubts about Obama's citizenship.

The measure comes amid a string of controversial proposals in Arizona that have garnered national attention, including a sweeping illegal immigration crackdown awaiting action by the governor and a measure allowing people to carry concealed weapons without permits. The governor signed the gun bill last week.

Rep. Tom Chabin, D-Flagstaff, pleaded with his colleagues to oppose the birth certificate measure Wednesday.

"When you undermine the sitting president of the United States, you undermine our nation, and it makes us look very ugly," Chabin said Thursday.

But some supporters insist the bill isn't aimed at Obama, it's just common sense.

"It's our ballot," said state Sen. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, who believes Obama has proven his citizenship. "The parties need to prove that their nominee is eligible to hold the office of president to be on our ballot."

© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

When in doubt, blame the Jews...

Ex-bishop blames Jews for Church woes
April 12, 2010
WASHINGTON (JTA) – A Jewish group urged the Italian Bishops' Conference to condemn anti-Semitic comments made by a retired Catholic bishop.

Giacomo Babini
Would you buy a used lampshade from this man?

Giacomo Babini, bishop emeritus of Grosseto, allegedly told the Catholic Web site Pontifex that Jews are behind the latest round of criticism of the Church's handling of clerical sex abuse. Babini, 81, allegedly called the criticism a “Zionist attack," saying, "They do not want the church, they are its natural enemies. Deep down, historically speaking, the Jews are God killers."

Rabbi David Rosen, the American Jewish Committee's international director for interreligious affairs, said in a statement, "The high level of mutual trust and solidarity that binds our two communities today demands that there be zero tolerance for such defamatory statements by religious representatives.”

Italian Jewish groups also issued sharp protests.

Babini on Sunday issued a statement through the Italian Bishops Conference denying he had ever made such remarks. "Statements about our Jewish brothers that I have never pronounced have been attributed to me," he wrote. "In no way have I expressed any similar evaluations and judgments, from which I flatly distance myself."

The editor of Pontifex, Bruno Volpe, stood by the story and threatened to publish a recording of the interview. "It's enough for the Jews in America to sneeze and voila -- there's a retraction," he said on the publication's Web site.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A passing at Wonky Farm

I was never much of an animal person until I met my wife. Now, I am surrounded by them. There are some I could take or leave. The chickens are the toughest. We have two dozen or so. I don't know which name goes with who, especially the Rhode Island Reds and the white roosters. But White Chick was different. We adopted her and her sister to try to correct the disparity between roosters and hens. They never had names. Always, the White Chicks. They were cuter than hell. Always palling around together, kind of distancing themselves from the herd... or flock, as it were. They laid the biggest, whitest eggs. And yeah, even chickens have personalities. The late and not particularly lamented Teddy killed off one of the white chicks. He may not have been fleet of foot, but he could get motivated sometimes. We knew that about him even before we brought him home. That's how Bea is. The remaining white chick seemed lost for a while. Off by herself. She stopped laying and went into mourning. A rooster would come on to her, literally and she tolerated it.

One day, a couple three weeks ago, I saw her walking around aimlessly. She was badly bruised, looking a little like Jake LaMotta after a particularly bad beating. It looked like one of her eyes had been plucked out. Probably from the spoils of love. We brought her up into the house and gave her some much needed R&R in a dog crate. She healed up a bit. Her eye hadn't been poked out, after all. But she was blind in it. We brought her back down to join the lower flock. She was kind of comical, the way she twisted her head to get maximum visibility out of her good eye. But, you know, it wasn't all that funny. The animal world is different. Sometimes, it can be brutal as hell. She adjusted to living with one good eye, stuck in the midst of the flock to avoid being done by a rooster and generally seemed alright.

This morning, on my way out to a doctor's appointment, Bea told me to make sure the area we keep the hay and supplies and stuff was secured from the goats. I found White Chick on the hay bale, some straws of hay over her. She was still alive when I found her. I ran up the hill, closed the gate, and bounded in the house.

"Bea!" I yelled. "You have to come down... now!"

She hung up the phone and came down. I had to go. I called her from the parking lot, before going i to the hospital for x-rays (another story) and she told me White Chick had passed away.

I came home after my appointment and took some post-mortem pics of White Chick. Bea had put her in a cat carrier and rigor mortis had set in. She was hard to get out of the carrier. I took the pictures and brought her down the hill, awaiting burial. She'll be with her sister soon.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Congressional Caliber

The following is not made up.

From " 'Tea Partiers' turn out in D.C."-- by Kathy Kiely, USA Today (4.16.2010)

"We're on to this gangster government," Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said at the rally where the Tea Party Express wrapped a 47-city tour. "We need to take out some of these guys."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Someone posted this on Facebook. It's been on YouTube for a year and a half. Things get around... sooner or later. I watched it and nearly shit my pants. If you haven't seen it, you may do the same.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Planet Stupid, redux

In today's Statesman Journal, a letter from someone calling himself "Alphatrion" regarding President Obama's edict on climate change was printed. I submit it here below, in its entirety. It is on their website (in case you think I made it up)--

Climate change is a feeling or a belief, not based on science (or at least not based on factual undoctored science) or facts. What obama wants to do the Congress wont approve and he should not go over their heads to push his unfounded belief onto the rest of us.

G.W. Bush opened up more areas for the exploration for drilling which was a good thing, economically and for our national defense, obama undid that. What obama is going to try to push through before November, I believe is a party agenda item that has nothing to do with helping the American people at all but rather with making the far left of his political party happy. He'll push for this and what he does not get via the Congress he'll have the EPA regulate to death.

Lastly, our air and water is cleaner today than it was prior to Bush becoming president and it's sure as heck cleaner than it was 50 or 100 years ago, no further regulation is needed nor wanted by most Americans, just by the few far left of the Democratic Party.

* * *

My posted response (updated, following watching 60 Minutes):

One would hope that we, as human beings, strive to move forward, to--among other things--become more enlightened, open-minded and... smarter. It is over four hundred years since "the Age of Reason" and now, we find unreasonableness, inflexibility and ignorance the prevalent mode of thought. We are living in the Age of Stupid.

How, in this day and age can someone actually believe that climate change is "a feeling" is simply unbelievable. An emotion is a feeling. It was reported last week that a number of glaciers have disappeared from Glacier National Park due to climate change. That is a fact. The emotion I feel when someone chooses not to accept the facts is frustration. Clearly, schools and the media are not doing their jobs for people to actually think this way. Climate change is not something to believe or not believe in. Quantifiable data on the changes that have taken place on the planet is not the same thing as Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. You don't have to believe in Santa if you choose not to, but, facts is facts.

Despite what the writer says, climate change is not a political issue, nor is it simply an issue of regulation. It is a fact.

85 years ago, evolution was put on trial. And yet, we are still arguing the case and having to deal with people who insist "creationism" is a science. Believing what is in the Bible is called faith. Calling it science is called dumb.

Tonight’s 60 minutes featured a segment on a skull and bones found in South Africa, reportedly 1.9 million years old. Oh, yeah, the fix is in. It’s all been rigged by them damned liberal scientists. Anyone knows man walked out of the sea and lived while dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Some of us have evolved. The rest watch Fox.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


It's the American Way.

This one is provoked by a friend and by the half-term Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin and the testicles she's been awarded by Todd and the Tea Party folks.

An article in today's Salem Statesman-Journal was picked up from the AP. Headline: "Obama, Palin spar over nuclear policy."


One of them is the President of the United States and the other is a fear-mongering, writing-notes-on-her-hand, Fox commentator and political office quitter. Where is her credibility? Why is she afforded anything beyond a charge account at K-Mart and the local gunshop? She is either (a) A moron or (b) A great actress who plays a moron in the public eye.

I vote for (a).

And I also will issue a blanket slam at those, including the Associated Press, who afford her air time, print and more than a passing thought.

The article said that "some in the (Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans) responded (to her speech) with a 'Run, Sarah, Run' chant." Those outside the convention center who chanted "Walk, Idiot Walk" were not quoted and mistaken for singing along with a Swedish radio station broadcasting the Hives breakaway hit.

The Hives.
Sweden's greatest import since the Volvo P1800

Can I be serious for a minute? Mrs. Palin was quoted as saying that "no administration in America's history would (agree to the START treaty) I think, ever have considered such a step that we just found out President Obama is supporting today."

Correct. Unless, of course you take into consideration Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush. Reagan's Secretary of State, George Schultz was quoted as endorsing the treaty.

I don't know if she read her masterful bit of misinformation off her palm or a teleprompter. She neither scares nor amuses me. She is part of a dreadfully sad statement on the current state of the union. Sarah Palin might well represent the worst of America. The embodiment of dumbing down and ratcheting up the fear, of toxic airwaves and unbridled racism.

It is an absolutely perfectly paradigm of hypocrisy that Mrs. Palin is now employed by the same company that pays Glen Beck some $38 million a year. He was quoted this week that his is not a news show and that he is an entertainer.

Right on.

* * *

On a related note, the conference featured a speech by Texas governor Rick Perry, who is notorious for publicly saying he would refuse any stimulus money and then taking it... after calling for Texas to secede from the union. There was a race I had wished Kinky Friedman had won. I don't live in Texas and have spent mercifully little time there, but I did contribute to the Kinkster's campaign.

Slated to also speak at the event is former Pennsylvania senator, Rick Santorum. Now, there's a voice of the people. Between him and half-term Governor Palin, you've got a winning ticket.


I am sincerely hoping that she runs for President. The Tea Partyers will be credited with aiding and abetting Obama's second term with a landslide unseen since Nixon won by a break-in and dirty tricks in '72. Let them shit their pants and buy into the fear and smear tactics. Rail with the hate mongers like Michael Savage and Rush, Glen Beck and Sean Hannity. I am pulling out my copy of Candide and, like Voltaire, wishing for the best of all possible worlds. Call me an idealist, but I do think truth will prevail and good will win out over evil... and stupid.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Opening Night

Baseball was the most important thing that didn't matter that he'd ever known.

Jesse Stone, "Night and Day" (Robert B. Parker)

I don't want to think of it as anything more than one game, but it was one hell of a game. The first season opening night game in Fenway was the best of baseball. It was not quite the pitcher's duel between CC Sabathia and Josh Beckett. But it was pretty much the best a Red Sox could have hoped for-- a come-from-behind win over the Evil Empire. Down 5-1 in the 5th, the Red Sox won 9-7, aided in no small part by a home-run from Dustin Pedroia and a clutch triple from Yuke. It was just a game, not necessarily a harbinger of the unfolding season, but, man, if they all play out like last night, the Yankees can hope for wild card spot and a chance at the Red Sox. It may be a cliché, but "it don't get any better than this."