Saturday, March 17, 2007

The right thing to do

I'm waiting to leave, and reading the news. This caught my eye:

Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson, poised to sign a bill making New Mexico the 12th state to legalize medical marijuana, said Thursday that he realizes his action could become an issue in the presidential race.

"So what if it's risky? It's the right thing to do," said Richardson, one of the candidates in the crowded 2008 field.

While the issue of recreational marijuana can be debated, the issue of medical marijuana is crystal clear. It works. It alleviates pain and suffering for many people. Denying those people relief is cruel and inhumane. Mr. Richardson, well done.

Day Tripper, yeah...

I'm going on a day trip down the Salt River today. Hope to take new pics.

Friday, March 16, 2007

It's Friday, still not a cat

It's Atrocia:

Isn't she cute?

Valerie Plame Wilson

Wow. Just wow. I've been watching Ms. Wilson's testimony before congress (yes, I do turn my TV on once in a while). Powerful stuff. This should put to end the right wing talking point of "she wasn't really undercover".
Transcript here:

"My name and identity were carelessly and recklessly abused by senior government officials in both the White House and the State Department.

All of them understood that I worked for the CIA and, having signed oaths to protect national security secrets, they should have been diligent in protecting me and every CIA officer."

When I first read Novak's column revealing her identity, I told Sweaterman I thought this was the crime that could nail Shrub. You don't blow the cover of your agents-it can get people killed, and destroy your intelligence capacity. Now it's clear that this is what happened.

"The harm that is done when a CIA cover is blown is grave but I can't provide details beyond that in this public hearing.

But the concept is obvious. Not only have breaches of national security endangered CIA officers, it has jeopardized and even destroyed entire networks of foreign agents who, in turn, risk their own lives and those of their families to provide the United States with needed intelligence.

Lives are literally at stake. Every single one of my former CIA colleagues, from my fellow covert officers to analysts to technical operations officers to even the secretaries, understand the vulnerabilities of our officers and recognize that the travesty of what happened to me could happen to them.

We in the CIA always know that we might be exposed and threatened by foreign enemies.

It was a terrible irony that administration officials were the ones who
destroyed my cover."

added: video here:


While I'm not sure how credible this is, Wayne Madson has been reporting for a long time. There have been a lot of murmurs about Shrub being back on the bottle, and who could blame him. His actions certainly make me want a drink.
March 13, 2007 --Our White House Press Corps sources report further disturbing news about President George W. Bush. Our sources have witnessed a clearly inebriated Bush approaching members of the press corps and making rude comments, including one particularly crude remark about First Lady Laura Bush. In that case, Bush, nodding toward Laura, called her a "c**t." While Bush's drinking is no secret to the White House press contingent, that particular comment was reportedly the worst they have heard uttered by Bush. Our sources also report that Laura Bush's stays at the White House are less frequent and that her overnight trips to the Mayflower Hotel often coincide with the president's drunken binges.

While I realize that this is shameful gossip, after six years of disastrous corruption I'm willing to engage in as much mud slinging as it takes.

Martian Ice


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A spacecraft orbiting Mars has scanned huge deposits of water ice at its south pole so plentiful they would blanket the planet in 36 feet of water if they were liquid, scientists said on Thursday.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

pic time

Zymurgian's sister sent me a bunch of pictures from her all to brief visit here. I'm too lazy to post all of them, but here are a few:

Yeah, there is a reason why I live here.

An honest republican

At last, I think I've found a republican presidential candidate who truly represents the values of the party. I give you: Jonathon the Impaler
As an Ordained Satanic Dark Priest, Jonathon is allowed to perform marriages. He will not only allow Same-Sex Marriages, but will perform them at least once, if not twice a month at The White House.

Jonathon is also appalled by the statements made by Venezuela President Chavez while at the UN. Jonathon feels Chavez insulted Lucifer by saying Bush was the Devil.

While I would never vote for a repub for president, it's nice to see an honest one.

Spineless, and built to stay that way

Sometimes the Democrats seem to be trying to do their best to lose. With the dismal failure that has been "our Shrub", a Democratic victory should be inevitable. But once again, candidates show the ability to waffle wimpily away from success.
The latest example: Both Hillary and Barack fail to take a stand when asked "Is homosexuality immoral?".
This is an easy question to answer, "yes" or "no", but waffling non-answers only make you look phony. A religious moralist can say "All sex outside of marriage is immoral". A liberal can say "Any sex between consenting adults shouldn't be judged by others". But trying to pander to all by not taking a stand looks really weak. (By the way, I'm a liberal).
The candidates need to face the fact that the right wing WILL attack them no matter what they say, so they might as well say something with substance. It at least proves that you stand for something, and it's easier to defend substance that hot air.
For the record, I wish Hillary and Barack had stood up for gay rights, and challenged the whole question as being discriminatory. We should stand, loud and proud, for "Human Rights". The right has been using homophobia as a weapon for years. It's time to disarm them.
Added: As always, someone else says it better that I do. This time it's RS Janes at Grouchy's place

– Is homosexuality immoral? Hillary Clinton dithered over an answer, finally telling ABC it was for someone else to conclude whether homosexuality is immoral. WTF?! Dems, how about this for an answer: In a free country, it’s not the business of a politician nor the government to make judgments about what consenting adults do in the bedroom — PERIOD. It is also not the business of the military to examine the sex lives of its personnel unless it is affecting their conduct while on duty. If you personally have a problem with someone else’s sexual preference, perhaps you need professional help because it’s your problem, not theirs.
Update: Hillary has "clarified":" I should have echoed my colleague Senator John Warner's statement forcefully stating that homosexuality is not immoral because that is what I believe."
Update 2: Barack now makes this statement: "As the New York Times reported today, I do not agree with General Pace that homosexuality is immoral. Attempts to divide people like this have consumed too much of our politics over the past six years."

Dagnabit, they're trying to make my blog irrelevant. But wait, if I put up a post bitching about something, and the candidates comply within hours...hmmm, I'll have to think about what I bitch about next.

Proof of Global Warming

Been meaning to post this for weeks. Seen somewhere on the intertubes:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

boat pic

I think I'm suffering from outrage fatigue. Hopefully, a boat pic will cheer me up.

From last springs canyon trip. Unfortunately, this springs trip is over a month away. I'm ready to leave yesterday.

Attorney firing has a local angle

I haven't posted much on the US Attorney firing because I didn't have anything to add to the discussion (go to Josh Marshall,, for the full story). But I did notice one little local touch.

At least two of the U.S. attorneys who were later forced to step down, Iglesias in New Mexico and Paul Charlton of Arizona, were on Sampson's "retain" list in February 2005.

But by September of 2006 - after it became clear that Charlton had launched an investigation of Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz, - Sampson included the Arizona prosecutor on another list of U.S. attorneys "we now should consider pushing out."

Yeah, the Attorney investigating our own congressional sleazeball, Rick Renzi, was one of the fired. Just before the last election, Mr. Renzi's land deals with contributors were the focus of a corruption probe (
The probe centers on a complaint that Renzi pressured landowners to buy a
480-acre parcel owned by his former business partner. James Sandlin, the former
partner, ended up making $3 million in the deal.

Authorities want to know whether Sandlin's political contributions were behind Renzi's involvement. The $3 million deal came just days after Renzi introduced legislation that included Sandlin's property.

Now I know why nothing ever came of the investigation. Scumbags.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


So, my old baseball buddy and high school nemesis, Ricky Henderson may retire. Mr. Henderson and I were born on the exact same day, and played baseball against each other in high school. He was somewhat better at it than I.

Henderson told reporters that he intends to officially announce his retirement this summer, unless, of course, a team says, "Hey, let me see, can you go out there and play?," in which case he'll return to action.

Sub prime loans

Lots of rumblings on the housing market and the fall of sub prime lenders over with our pal and early supporter, Monkeyfister. I don't have any real stake in this issue-I rent, and my main investment plans revolve on the question of 6 or 12 pack-but I see a lot of the same economic danger signals.
Remember folks-- As Housing fails, so too do the secondary and tertiary supporting sectors, such as Construction, Durable Goods, Lumber and Manufacturing, and Shipping/Transportation. This implosion is a massive suckhole on or economy. This will not end on a happy note.

Monday, March 12, 2007

that is all for tonight.

Scandal Pool

There are so many scandals going on currently that you have to wonder if the dam will finally burst. Will any of them turn big enough, or will the cumulative effect, be enough to take the administration down?
I'm proposing a little pool where we speculate what scandal will inspire the greatest public outrage, and whether any or all will lead to the administrations removal.
Here's a partial list of recent scandals in no particular order:
1) The treatment of wounded veterans,
2) The justice department political firings,
3) The FBI's illegal use of national security letters,
4) The Libby conviction, and the congressional hearings to come (just read Firedoglake),
5) Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, and maybe Iran (way too many possible links to bother with...just read the daily news)
These are just the first few that pop into my mind. Please feel free to throw in any additional scandals (hell, this whole administration is a scandal) that you think may gain traction.
Will any or all of these be enough?
(cartoon stolen from Blah3,

shut up dude, already!

Since I'm sure everybody is so enamored of my recent propensity to post the writings of the not-so-bad late 19th century writer Ambrose Bierce, I thought i'de kick ya down a few more of his perspicacious definitions. So why shouln't i be " a chronic pain in your ass"? ... This was, after all, a somewhat pygalgic posting endeavor but ole Ambrose and his musings... seems a bloke to share a pint or two with!
"ACCORDIAN:n an instrument in harmony with the sentiments of an assassin.
BASILISK:n the cockatrice. A sort of serpent hatched from the egg of a cock. The basilisk had a bad eye, and its glance was fatal. Many infidels deny this creature's existence, but Semprello Aurator saw and handled one that had been blinded by lightning as a punishment for having fatally gazed on a lady of rank whom Jupiter loved. Juno afterward restored the reptile's sight, and hid it in a cave. Nothing is so well attested by the ancients as the existence of the basilisk, but the cocks have stopped laying.
CERBERUS:n the watch-dog of Hades, whose duty it was to guard the entrance- against whom or what does not clearly appear; everybody, sooner or later, had to go there, and nobody wanted to carry off the entrance. Cerberus is known to have had three heads, and some of the poets have credited him with as many as a hundred. Professor Graybill, whose clerky erudition and profound knowledge of Greek give his opinion great weight, has averaged all the estimates and makes the number twenty-seven- a judgement that would be entirely conclusive had Professor Graybill known (a) something about dogs, and (b) something about arithmetic. "
(now would be a good time for ya'll to grab a beer or take a piss or just let out a very long sigh)
"INFIDEL:n in New York, one who does not believe in the Christian tradition; in Constaninople, one who does. A kind of scoundrel imperfectly reverent of, and niggardly contributary to, divines, ecclesiastics, popes, parsons, canons, monks, mollahs, voodoosm presbyters, hierophats, prelates, obeah-men, abbes, nuns, missionaries, exhorters, deacons, friars, hadjis, high-priests, muezzins, brahmins, medicine-men, confessors, eminences, elders, primates, prependiaries, pilgrims, prophets, imaums, benificiaries, clerks, vicars-choral, archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, preachers, padres, abbotesses, caloyers, palmers, curates, patriarchs, bonezs, santons, beadsmen, canonesses, residentiaries, diocecesians, deans, sub-deans, rural deans, abdals, charm-sellers, archdeacons, heirarchs, class-leaders, incumbents, capitulars, sheiks, talapoins, postulants, scribes, gooroos, precentors, beadles, fakeers, sextons, reverences, revivalists, cenobites, perpetual curates, chaplains, mudjoes, readers, novices, vicars, pastors, rabbis, ulemas, lamas, sacristans, vergers, dervises, lectors, church-wardens, cardinals, prioresses, suffragens, acolytes, rectors, cures, sophis, mutifs and pumpums.
MISERICORDE:n a dagger which in mediaeval warfare was used by the foot soldier to remind an unhorsed knight that he was mortal.
TOPE:v to tipple, swill, booze, guzzle, lush, bib or swig. In the individual, toping is regarded with disesteem, but toping nations are at the forefront of civilization and power. When pitted against the hard-drinking Christians, the abstemious Mohammedans go down like grass before the scythe. In India one hundred thousand beef-eating, brandy-and-soda-guzzling Britons held in subjection two hundred and fifty million vegetarian abstainers of the same aryan race. With what an easy grace the whisky-loving American pushed the temperate Spaniard out of his possessions! From the time that the Berserkers ravaged all the coasts of western Europe, and lay drunk in every conquered port, it has been the same way. Everywhere, the nations that drink too much are observed to fight rather well, and not too righteously. Wherefore the esteemable old ladies who abolished the canteen from the American army may justly boast of having materially augmented the nations' military power.
TSETSE FLY:n An African insect(Glossina morsitans) whose bite is commonly regarded as nature's most efficacious remedy for insomnia, though some patients prefer that of the American novelist(Mendax interminabilis)
WHANGDEPOOTENAWAH:n in Ojibwa tongue, disaster; an unexpected affliction that strikes hard.

Oh! what would Mr. Bierce have to say of our current world?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Dylan hears a who

This is too cool. No wonder everybody's linking to it. OK, Sweaterman (who does a great Dylan), I expect you to have these songs down in time for the next river trip.
Dr. Suess ala Dylan (with free download):


Ambrose Bierce, a great writer of the late 19th century, was fond of defining obscure terms with a slant quite cynical, saturnine, and hilarious. Here is one he penned I'de like to share-
"FRANKALMOIGNE :n The tenure by which a religious corporation holds lands on condition of praying for the soul of the donor. In mediaeval times, many of the wealthiest fraternities obtained their estates in this simple and cheap manner, and once, when HenryVIII of England sent an officer to confiscate various vast possessions which a fraternity of monks held by frankalmoigne, "What!" said the Prior, "Would your master stay our benefactor's soul in Purgatory?" "Ay" said the officer, coldly, "an ye will not pray him thence for naught he must e'en roast." "But look you my son," persisted the good man, "This act hath rank as robbery of God!" "Nay, nay, good father, my master the King doth but deliver him from the manifold temptations of too great wealth.""

Blogroll notes

I've been slowly expanding the blogroll, and it's been kind of haphazard. I link to blogs that I like, and that deserve more attention. If readers (both of you) have other blogs that you'd like to see added, please leave a link in the comments. Hell, just leave a comment in the comments.

Bluefooted Boobie added in a shameless attempt to get more traffic.

Your lying eyes

This story boggles the mind. I think the message is that we shouldn't believe in reality.
Censor the video, because it could give the wrong impression.
"When untrained people take photographs or video, there is a very real risk that the images or videography will capture visual details that are not as they originally were," he said. "If such visual media are subsequently used as part of the public record to document an event like this, then public conclusions about such a serious event can be falsely made."

These people think 1984 was a manual.

Pre-war predictions

There's a blog meme going around asking whether pre-war predictions were right or wrong on Iraq. While this blog didn't exist in 2003 (or even two months ago), Sweaterman and I (and Captain Dave, another of our friends) repeatedly predicted just about every thing that would go wrong. I was so deeply distressed at the impending war that I hid out on the San Juan river when it became clear that shrub was about to invade, because I couldn't bear to watch the news. I thought it was obvious that defeating Saddam would be easy, and the aftermath would be terrible. I knew that the whole WMD thing was a sham, based on the inspection results. I have enough knowledge of the middle east to know that sectarian violence would follow, and that occupation would never be greeted with flowers. The whole disaster has been making me crazy ever since. I've had to hear and read way too many rightwing pundits continue to be mind numbingly wrong, and yet their idiocy is still respected.
One of the best posts I've read on this meme is by Badtux, one of my fav bloggers:
I especially like his end statement:
So, given that I was right and every single right-wing pundit, politician, blogger and commentator was wrong, why should I listen to them? More importantly, why should *anybody* listen to them? How can anybody listen to someone who has been proven wrong so many times? This penguin has no idea, other than that monkeys are stupid. But that's hardly a satisfying answer, given that monkeys rule the world...

More on the Baghdad conference

There's not a lot of media attention on the Baghdad conference, but I'm seeing some interesting developments. Unfortunately, the US has focused on confrontation rather that compromise. For example, US envoy David Satterfield pointed to a briefcase that he said "contained documents proving the Iranians are arming insurgents" (though he refused to show anyone these 'documents', only the briefcase). Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi strongly denied the accusation:
"Your accusations are merely a cover for your failures in
Iraq," Araghchi said

The conference included representatives of 13 countries, but the US focused on accusing Iran, rather than a positive multilateral exchange.
Another interesting exchange came with the Syrian envoy Buthayna Sha'ban ( a woman, just to break some American stereotypes of Arabic culture). Via Juan Cole:
Sha'ban begins by saying: "In fact, from the very beginning of the war on Iraq, Syria has been working with Iraq's neighbors in order tofind solutions for this occupation and for the hefty price that the Iraqi people are paying as a result of this illegitimate US occupation. However, the problem lies in the fact that the United States rejected to hold any talks with neighboring countries and wanted to be solely responsible for any solutions."

We really should try to engage in diplomacy, listening rather than accusing. Maybe asking for help and offering something in return. But shrub only knows how to rattle sabers. I wonder if they even want a more stable Iraq?
p.s. Ever notice how spellcheckers react to Arabic names?