Saturday, February 24, 2007

Why I Love Robin

Who else would write like this?

"At one point I had over a dozen wasps crawling on me (probably enjoying
the salty sweetness of my skin, a novel array of smells that they were
interested in exploring) and I felt love and appreciation for them. One of the
group members was highly agitated from the beginning of our time at the tree,
and after a few moments, the wasps began to swarm around him."

p.s. to Robin's Dad, I mean this in a GOOD way.

This key

I need this key on my keyboard.

Coalition of the dwindling

(click to enlarge)

demeur has a blog

Hey, one of my fav commenters now has a blog! Go say "Hi" to demeur.


All the news you need for a Saturday:
"Farmers in Liechtenstein can no longer feed cannabis
to their herds under new rules in the small Alpine state."

Friday, February 23, 2007

River Trip Thread

Ok, now I'm getting comments on river trips. Anyone else?

(pic of trip gear about to be loaded on boats)

Oh, and I've added another poster. Zymurgian should be posting here soon. He's a very creative writer who should add a different flavor to this humble blog.


"Declaring that Iraq had stabilized with an average of only 98 dead civilians
per day, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced his intention to redeploy
all Iraqi troops — completely out of Iraq."

Read the rest here:

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Debating Debates

I see where a lot of the political blogs are upset about the proposed Nevada Democratic debate being hosted by FOX. MoveOn even has a petition up against the debate. Why? Because FOX is hostile toward Democrats.
I have a very different thought. Yes, FOX is hostile to Democrats, and they will be hostile throughout the campaign. So let's have the debate, and see how well each candidate handles the attacks. The attacks will happen, so let's face them head on. Into the lion's den.
In my younger years, I found myself in too many street fights. The first rule of a street fight is go right at the biggest, toughest, meanest bastard first. This campaign IS going to be a dirty, nasty street fight. So let's see who's tough enough to fight back!
Added: There is a risk of a circular firing squad. As the latest media frenzy over the Obama/Clinton/Geffen flap shows, the talking heads love it when Democrats hurt Democrats. Instead of attacking each other, how about everybody attacking the attackers? Fight your enemies first, then you can squabble with your freinds.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


If a war did begin between the U.S. and Iran, which side would Iraq be on?
Feel free to comment.

Zbigniew Brzezinski

His name destroy spellcheck, and his words destroy idiots:
"If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody
involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to
be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large. A
plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to
meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the
failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a
terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran
; culminating in a “defensive”
U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading
and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and

Mike Gravel

He's one of the Democratic candidates that have no chance, but I thought I remembered something positive about Gravel. I had to go read his bio to remember what:
"In 1971, [Gravel] waged a successful one-man filibuster for five months
that forced the Nixon administration to cut a deal, effectively ending the
in the United States. He is most prominently known for his release of
Pentagon Papers, the secret official study that revealed the lies and
manipulations of successive U.S. administrations that misled the country
the Vietnam War."
Okay, it was a long time ago, but maybe he'll bring a little of that fire to the current campaign.
And yes, I'm old.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Religion and Politics

I see where Atrios and Kos and Digby and Booman have all been talking about "faith" and it's place in politics. I'm a proud Athiest who loves to study the history of religion.

I like when I get to make fun of certain Christians by knowing the Bible. I also have read the Koran. In Arabic.

I'm among the few who would vote for an Athiest. But, I'm a LIBERAL!

When the going get's weird

The weird turn pro. Hunter's sendoff

Doc Thompson

Sweaterman motivated me to talk about my Friend Doc Thompson. I got to know Doc back in 1994. It's an accidental connection, based on getting divorced. When I got divorced, I decided to look up a woman who I had been attracted to through multiple Dead tours. She was a bartender at the Woody Creek Tavern. I was newly single, and she was attractive, so I went to Colorado.
So I show up, around 10:00am, and there is Doc. I briefly expressed my admiration for his writing, and proceeded to hit on the bartender. But I ended up talking with Doc. He was reading his mail and drinking bloody mary's. We had a debate about Clinton (Thompson's book Better than Sex: Confessions of a Political Junkie was coming out) and the end of the Reagan/Bush administration. Doc insisted on buying a bloody mary for me. I hate tomato juice, but I drank one anyway. Doc was about as smart and crazy as I thought he would be. We drank and talked for a few hours, and then he invited me back to Owl Farm for "a feeding". This meant food and drinks and some other things.We had passed the legal limits, so I'm going to be discreet about what follows.
Doc showed me his gun collection, and offered to go target shooting. I grew up with guns. but also with gun safety. The thought of shooting with someone who I knew was drunk when I was drunk felt unsafe . But I did it anyway.
We shot a bunch of rifles and pistols into an old 50 gal. drum. And we became Friends.
It was a few years later that I got email. Doc Thompson was a main email contact. He never failed to amaze me with his wisdom, cynicism, and biting wit.
When Doc quit this life, I felt a huge hole. One of the smartest, most unique people I have ever known was gone.
Oh, and the bartender? We spent two weeks finding out that we really weren't meant for a long term relationship.


Riverbend has 2 new posts up (first in almost two month's), and her writing is just as heartbreaking as ever. For those unfamiliar, Riverbend is a woman in Baghdad who is well educated who's blog ( tells about life in Iraq. She was somewhat pro-American in the beginning, but time has not been kind to her (or us). Reading this:

"And yet, as the situation continues to deteriorate both for
Iraqis inside and outside of Iraq, and for Americans inside Iraq, Americans in America are still debating on the state of the war and occupation- are they winning or losing? Is it better or worse.

Let me clear it up for any moron with lingering doubts: It’s
worse. It’s over.

You lost. You lost the day your tanks rolled into Baghdad
to the cheers of your imported, American-trained monkeys. You lost every single family whose home your soldiers violated.

You lost every sane, red-blooded Iraqi when the Abu Ghraib pictures came out and verified your atrocities behind prison walls as well as the ones we see in our streets.

You lost when you brought murderers, looters, gangsters and militia heads to power and hailed them as Iraq’s first democratic government.

You lost when a gruesome execution was dubbed your biggest accomplishment.

You lost the respect and reputation you once

You lost more than 3000 troops. That is what you lost America.

I hope the oil, at least, made it worthwhile."

Good job, George.

If you read what Riverbend wrote and your reaction is something like “Merciful
Christ. How will we ever be forgiven for what we have done to that country? How
will we atone? And how can we still be debating this? How can anyone with a
sliver of conscience still be invoking God and Homeland, Freedom and Faith, 9/11
and 'Fight Them Over There' to keep us trapped in this hell we sired?” you’re a

From Driftglass:

Hope You're Still Raising Hell, Hunter

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." - Hunter S. Thompson

Today is the one-year anniversary of the death (by suicide) of the great Hunter S. Thompson. I figure Uncle Scott may chime in here, having met the man, but I think it beehooves everyone to look back on what a gigantic presence he was, both in the literary landscape, and in the the world at large.

Now, I should state that I enthusiastically support the idea of assisted or self-induced death, assuming you want to go that route. Although it is really an utterly final option, it is a measure of one's complete ability to control their life until the bitter end, and, believing, in general, that one should be able to have that capability to control, or one cannot truly call themselves free, means that I have to believe you if you say you want to off yourself and you pull it off. Still, though: be responsible enough towards yourself that you realize what you are doing and how it will affect others. Short version: write a decent suicide note. Apparently even Clippy knows that.

I first read "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "The Great Shark Hunt" back in early high school, back before having any real adult experience in the world. Reading those two books (back-to-back, BTW), was, for me, kind of a religious experience. It was all a part of learning about how the real world works, one of those kind of things that really affects how you view society and your role in it.

I can only wonder at the demons HST must have been wrestling with a year ago, and why he took his own life. But, he certainly left a furious mark in the world, and we are all the better for it, even if he's gone and we miss him. Plus, having Johnny Depp shoot your ashes out of a cannon is just too cool.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Well Done

Go check out Sandy Underpants (great name) at, for some fun. Lines like:
"Bush: Iraq is like a cold beer on a hot day at a nude beach with
supermodels who have the day off because it's Presidents Day!"

Today's comic


Stolen from Kos, but too good to pass :

"you know, George Bush was born about 300 miles north of here in the year 1946. As a young man, he was an average student, became a cheerleader and developed a taste for alcohol. As he grew older, he became convinced that he didn't want to go to Vietnam, avoided serving both there and in the Texas Air National Guard and discovered cocaine. At age 32, he ran for Congress and lost. At age 40, he failed in the oil business. At age 43, he bought a baseball team and traded away Sammy Sosa. At age 48, he became the Governor of Texas. At age, 54 the Supreme Court named him President of the United States. And now 60 years old, having waged two losing war efforts
that has cost America its moral standing in the world, hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars, he is the
obvious and only choice to be the worst President of the United States."

You call this a society?

I've been thinking (but not very deeply) about what is wrong and right about our society. Here's a bit of my thoughts:
Humans are social. Thus, we need social structures. The idea of government came from a basic tribal principle that by working together, we could do more than any one individual. Education became a way to train people to meet societies needs. We gained all kinds of new technologies. Now, we have forgotten that primary infrastructure. College now is so expensive that only the successful can pay for it.
We need a major paradigm shift.


The lack of adequate medical treatment for veterans returning from Iraq is all over today's new. This Washington Post article, followed by this one will make you scream, cry, and feel ashamed. Can we impeach now?
Added: from The Army Times:
"Soldiers go to VA to try for more benefits, but the department had a
staggering 400,000-case backup on new claims in fiscal 2006, according to
Opposing the war is important. But we must also demand proper treatment for those who have served. How can Bush advocate escalation if we can't even take care of the vets we have now?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sums up some ego problems nicely...

From driftglass, who modified one of Larson's all-time greatest cartoons, to explain Dubya's narcissism to a T.


No more football. Not yet baseball season. Too cold for boating. NBA? Not interested. What to do...oh, yeah. There's always:


I finished the last post, and went to read some other blogs. Wow, Mustang Bobby at has a great post regarding the upcoming attacks on Hillary Clinton, sighting this article in the LA Times:,0,6942519.story?coll=la-home-headlines
Well worth reading, including this notable paragraph:

"Conservative admirers of the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth media blitz that
helped torpedo Democratic Sen. John F. Kerry's presidential candidacy in 2004
are now agitating to "Swift-boat" Clinton."

Looking toward '08

Because it's a frequent topic of recent conversation, I'm throwing my 2 cents out on the main candidates for '08 here. Sweaterman and I are known as political junkies amongst our circle of friends, so we've spent a lot of quality beer time discussing the merits and weaknesses of each candidate. The opinions here are mine, and maybe Sweaterman will weigh in later.
It should be noted that a lot may change as the campaigns proceed, and I will end up supporting whoever is the Democratic nominee. My sanity couldn't survive another Publican president.

(in alphabetical order).

Hillary Clinton:
She's a very tough, savvy politician, and she'll have to be. The right-wing attack machine is already gearing up to throw everything they can at her (anybody remember Vince Foster?) and there is a large group who viscerally hate her. She has the baggage of her Iraq and Iran positions, but she has remained steadfast in the face of criticism. She has a lot of money behind her, so she's likely to last through the early primaries. While I think that Hillary could be a decent president, I fear that she'd likely be rendered ineffective by a barrage of constant media manufactured scandals.

John Edwards:
A very good public speaker, his "two Americas" message has been well received so far. Short on experience. He responded way to weakly to the whole blogger flap, and that bodes ill for when the right-wing starts getting really nasty (and they will). The early primaries favor him, but the schedule could change dramatically. Edwards may be hurt most by Obama, who should be able to trump him on the charisma/charm front. I think Edwards could be a reasonably effective president, but he'll need to assemble a really strong foreign policy team to get elected.

Barack Obama:
Already the media darling, the man has charisma by the bucketload. Gives the kind of inspiring speeches rarely seen in modern politics. Lack of experience will be highlighted repeatedly. Has already shown a lot of savvy in fending off the right-wing attacks (try again, Mr. Howard). Forget the whole "black enough" question, Obama will have to overcome the "what have you actually done" question. I'm unsure how effective Obama would be as president, because of his inexperience. On one hand, his inspirational talent could lead to greatness. Or, he could end up unable to implement any real change.

Bill Richardson:
He's got a resume no other candidate can touch. A very smart intellectual, his speaking style is uninspiring compared to the field. He hasn't been the target of the righties yet, but I'm sure he will be if he has any early success. May benefit by being the western candidate, but will have difficulty with fundraising compared to the rest. While I think Richardson is the most qualified to BE president, I'm not sure he has what it takes to get elected. Let's face it, American voters tend to focus on image over substance.

I don't see any of the other candidates having a realistic shot, but time may prove me wrong. Should Gore enter the race, I don't see anybody beating him. Also, we'll see how much mutual destruction occurs during the primaries.

Your thoughts?
added: I may post something later on the Publican candidates, but I'm oppossed to all of them.