Sunday, August 31, 2008

RNC Protestors Under Search & Seizure Raids

Raids by the County Sheriff have obtained warrents to invade protest hubs for the Repub. Ntl Convention, before the convention has even started.

Check out the site here for the full story

Friday, August 29, 2008

some laughs....

"Tawwwk" amongst yourselves. I have to go to work ~ I work in the cruise industry, so I fully expect to be fielding questions about hurricanes & maybe even call outs about itinerary changes much of the day.
Re the electon: Seriously! No more fools again- PLEASE!

McCain Chooses VP

NBC reports:

"WASHINGTON - Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain has chosen Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, campaign officials told NBC News on Friday.

She would be the first woman to serve on a Republican presidential ticket. The pro-life Palin would also be the first Alaskan ever to appear on a national ticket.

Palin, 44, was elected Alaska's first woman governor in 2006."

"She is three years Obama's junior, as well, and McCain has made much in recent weeks of Obama's relative lack of experience in foreign policy and defense matters.

On Aug. 1, Palin scored a major victory when the Alaska legislature passed a bill that authorizes her administration to award a license to TransCanada Alaska to build a 1,715-mile natural gas pipeline from Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope to a hub in Canada.

The pipeline would be the largest construction project in the history of North America. If completed as hoped within ten years, it would ship 4.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. The United States imported about 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2007.

But Palin’s seemingly bright future was clouded in late July when the state legislature voted to hire an independent investigator to find out whether she tried to have a state official fire her ex-brother-in-law from his job as a state trooper.

They have five children. Their son, Track, enlisted in the U.S. Army on Sept. 11, 2007.

Palin gave birth to their fifth child, Trig, last April. The baby boy has Down syndrome, a genetic abnormality that impedes a child's intellectual and physical development.

Palin made a name for herself in Alaska politics by serving as mayor of Wasilla City for six years.

Wasilla City:
Population 5469
Households 1979
34% Under age 18
Median age 29.7
Average Income $48,226
Average Home price $137,700
Approx 2118 homes

Are you kidding?

In 1984, after winning the Miss Wasilla contest earlier that year, Palin finished second in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant which won her a scholarship to help pay her way through college. In the Wasilla pageant, she played the flute and also won Miss Congeniality.

On September 11, 2007, the Palins' eighteen-year-old son Track, eldest of five, joined the Army. He now serves in an infantry brigade and will be deployed to Iraq in September 2008. She also has three daughters: Bristol, 17; Willow, 13; and Piper, 7. On April 18, 2008, Palin gave birth to her second son, Trig Paxson Van Palin, who has Down syndrome. She returned to the office three days after giving birth.
She hunts, eats moose hamburger, ice fishes, rides snowmobiles, and owns a float plane.
Palin holds a lifetime membership with the National Rifle Association. She admits that she used marijuana when it was legal in Alaska, but says that she did not like it.
Her husband, Todd, is a Native Yup'ik Eskimo. Outside the fishing season, Todd works for BP at an oil field on Alaska's North Slope.

This is the best the Republicans could do?

A Mother of 5, with an infant not yet a year old, who has Down's Syndrome?
6 years experience running a tiny town as Mayor in Alaska?
Under investigation for firing of a State Trooper?

Clearly the republicans have thrown in the towel on this election.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Katrina Anniversary

Three years ago today, Hurricane Katrina, the costliest and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States hit land in Lousiana & Mississippi..The most severe loss of life and property damage occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana, which flooded as the levee system catastrophically failed, in many cases hours after the storm had moved inland. The hurricane caused severe destruction across the entire Mississippi coast and into Alabama, as far as 100 miles from the storm's center. Nearly every levee in metro New Orleans breached as Hurricane Katrina passed east of the city, subsequently flooding 80% of the city and many areas of neighboring parishes for weeks.

The above snapshot is a photo of Bush & John McCain, eating cake on that horrible day. Even if Bush was not appraised of the situation at that particular moment, it was many days before serious help arrived, while Bush flew in for a photo op, and gave praise to the unqualified buddy he appointed to the chief of hurricane relief operations, Brown was later recalled from the position. Three days after the recall, Michael Brown resigned as director of FEMA in spite of having received praise from Bush with the famous remark, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."

In Obama's acceptance speech on Thursday night, he stated the following:

"America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes."

I'm glad he brought this up. It's not over yet. 3 years later.... (2008 photos)

Piled up debris

Note the high water line on this abandoned house

Debris left on the streets of homes that remain empty

Boarded up, out of order.
Breaking News: WaPo reports "Republican officials said yesterday that they are considering delaying the start of the GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul because of Tropical Storm Gustav, which is on track to hit the Gulf Coast, and possibly New Orleans, as a full-force hurricane early next week.

For Bush and Republican presidential candidate John McCain, Gustav threatens to provide an untimely reminder of Hurricane Katrina. A new major storm along the Gulf Coast would renew memories of one of the low points of the Bush administration, while pulling public attention away from McCain's formal coronation as the GOP presidential nominee."

Low point, of horrific abuse and lack of power of this administration, indeed. Perhaps Mother Nature is casting her vote early? We certainly should never forget how incompetent and negligent the Bush Administration was in one of this country's worst natural disasters.

As another hurricane brews in the Gulf Coast, let us realize we as a country are drowning in the floodwaters of a regime that has abandoned us, and abandoned any sense of morality, after 8 long years, we do need to head to higher ground.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Putting the FREEDOM back in free speech

Denver Police & Homeland Security decided they would contain protesters near the DNC convention in a fenced area, dubbed the "Freedom Cage". Here is a picture of that area-- empty.
CommonDreams reports:
"On Monday afternoon, a couple hours after the convention kicked off, the zone was an asphalt desert. A microphone stood on a lonely stand. A Canadian documentary crew waited for protesters, who never came. An official sign-up sheet near a low-rise platform was a study in sarcasm.

Requesting the 7 a.m. slot was one "G. Washington," who listed his cause as "You can't cage freedom." At 11:30 p.m., "B. Obama." Topic: "Hope for Cages."

"It's so far away (the freedom cage, from the convention venue), it's surrounded by cops, it's just ridiculous."

One of the most active groups is Recreate 68, an alliance of anticorporate and antiwar protesters that has demonstration permits every day of the convention. But rallies and parades have also being staged by groups pitching everything from immigrant rights, women's equality, and Ralph Nader to lower fuel costs, legal marijuana, and a united Jerusalem.

As of Tuesday night, the city had reported 135 convention-related arrests. Most occurred Monday night, when police say a crowd of 300 disrupting traffic near Civic Center Park refused requests to disperse and then rushed a police line.

Suspects were charged with disobeying orders, obstructing a public street, and interference, violations of city ordinances. But most events have been peaceful, officials say."

On Wednesday, a throng of protesters, lead by Veterans for Peace, surged a group of people three blocks long, led by members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War, streamed from the Denver Coliseum on Wednesday in an anti-war protest march to the Pepsi Center, where the Democratic National Convention is being staged. The group is calling for an immediate end to the Iraq war.

By contrast, in China, the Government allowed people to apply for permits to protest in official designated zones-- but then never approved one permit to do so. In fact they slapped a few 70 something year olds, who wanted to protest their displacement, loss of homes due to the Olympic construction, with a sentence of "re-education classes" something usually given to prostitutes and thieves. They were told if they disliked the re-education program, they could be sent to labor camp, an even worse fate. One of them nearly blind, both elderly.

So the US did not require the permit process, they tried to contain protesters in a fenced zone lorded over by law enforcement officials. The police presence has been crushing in Denver already, with caravans of cops flying around the city and eight or 12 guys in full riot gear hanging onto the outside of big SUVs in a show of force. The free speech crowd rejected the secluded area, and one person said no cars could get within a several block radius, making it difficult for the elderly & handicapped access.

No surprise that protesters are thinking outside the box, or in this case, outside the cage.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Conventional Wisdom

The conventions of the 2 party systems in the U.S. are quite the production. It is a show put on to air the platforms & players of the parties. I've always kind of rolled my eyes at the canned speeches and showmanship of it all.
A case in point was Nancy Pelosi's appearance at the convention opening night. When she appeared on stage, a part of the audience chanted Nan-cy, Nan-cy, Nan-cy. You've GOT to be kidding, I thought. This woman is the scurge of the democratic party. She stepped in to the Speaker of the House position, and immediately declared that "Impeachment was off the table". What???
I consider Nancy to have obstructed justice. It's not like we had to search for a single crime-- but a long list of high crimes and misdemeanors in which to choose from that are Impeachable items.
Yet Nancy stood before the crowd & rattled off a list of "accomplishments" the democrats had achieved.
• Katrina Hurricaine recovery (New Orleans & the Gulf Coast, is STILL in a shambles 3 years later).
• Addressing fuel efficiency (writing a bill saying we will deal with it in 13 years is nothing to be proud of).

Nancy's little foray into her version of reality was disturbing at best. It is these kinds of appearances that make me dislike political conventions. For the record- I was done listening to Pelosi when she declared impeachment was banished.
What Pelosi did was not just a political fau paux, Pelosi is, in part responsible for the deaths, suffering & Human Rights violations she allowed the Bush admin to conduct.

On the flip side, "Uncle Ted" Kennedy had a glorious moment at the Convention. Recovering from a brain tumor operation, his Doctor's recommended he not attend the convention, as his immune system is compromised due to treatments. But Kennedy's life work with the party & dedication to democracy itself compelled him to be there & have his moment at the podium. You could tell he was savoring the moment & truly glad to be alive & present.
He reminded us that the vision & work still remain intact, and to press on.

It is these kinds of appearances & speeches that make me tolerate poltical conventions.

Tonight, Hillary takes to the podium. I don't know what to expect from her. Will she mention her web site & throw in a plug to help pay for her debt? Will she use it to launch her next run for president in 2012? I hope not. Even hearing her roclaim her support for Obama, will seem fake & shallow, after all those months of fighting tooth & nail playing every card she had- including race, gender, & assassination.

I hope the media covers the protestors in the streets. I understand they are mocking the "Freedom Cage" the fenced, designated protest area, and staging protests wherever they want.
The people of this country have valid concerns. The Democrats had the majority in Congress since 2006, yet we still have no Impeachment, Torture, Gitmo, the Iraq war for 6 years, a failed economy, and Warrentless Wiretapping.

Oh and may I say the music selections have been funky so far. Ceeeee-le-brate Good Times??? Come on!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Straight Talk Bus Crashes/ House Inventory Update

Let me start by saying I never had this problem~ keeping track of how many houses I own. It's always been "none" or one. I don't even know if a house you are buying, but is actually owned by the bank even counts?
But having multiple dwelling, holdings, rentals, carriage houses, and hired help staffer quarters, has sure turned into an issue for John McSame.

Furthermore, I will attempt to weave 3 stories together, so bear with me.

#1 story:

TPM did their homework to try to help John get his home inventory number together.
" The Official TPM Tally: The McCains Own Eight To Eleven Houses
By Eric Kleefeld and Lila Shapiro - August 22, 2008, 10:05AM

And the grand total of houses the McCains own is...
...anywhere from eight to eleven homes, depending on how you count it. (But wait! There's more.....)

The McCain campaign claims the Arizona Senator has four residences: Condos in Arlington, VA., and Coronado, CA., the main McCain residence in Phoenix, AZ., and a ranch in Sedona, AZ. A McCain adviser says the rest of the McCain properties are "some investment properties and things like that."

Not so much.

Here's our official list:

Arlington, VA: The McCains have a three-bedroom condo in Arlington, Virginia, for when McCain is in the DC area. It is valued at nearly $850,000. Total: One.

Arizona: Here's an example of how hard it is to keep track of how many houses McCain owns: The Arizona Republic reported in 2006 that the McCains bought two adjacent condominiums for $4.66 million, so they could combine them into a single mega-condo of over 6,000 square feet, for use as their main residence in Arizona. That's either one or two more. Total: Two to three.

Arizona: Cindy's corporation later bought another condo in the same building as the mega-condo, only on a different floor. Total: Three to four.

Coronado, CA: Then there are the two vacation condos they own in Coronado, California, which total $4.7 million. They initially just bought the first one, but Cindy decided to buy a second when her children began using the first one much more frequently. "So I bought another one," Cindy told Vogue. Total: Five to six.

Sedona, AZ: The McCains own a lot of three houses in their "Hidden Valley Ranch" area of Sedona, totaling over $1,081,000 in value, according to county records. This is the rustic location where McCain often entertains reporters and other guests. You can count this as anywhere from one to three houses -- one of them is a main residence, and the others are for guests and servants. Total: Six to nine.

La Jolla, CA: There's also their property in La Jolla, California, valued at over $1 million, where Cindy's aunt reportedly lives. (Fun fact: This is the same property for which the McCains were delinquent on their property taxes.) Total: Seven to 10.

Phoenix, AZ: Cindy's family trust also owns a $700,000 loft in Phoenix, which was purchased for use by their daughter Meghan after she graduated from college. As GQ put it, "the interior looks like a spaceship furnished by West Elm." Total: Eight to 11.

As it happens, there's still more. Cindy also owns other properties through her family corporations. But many of these are rental properties for homes and businesses. We've decided to take the conservative road, and not count rental properties towards the total, as they aren't really homes -- they're investments or sources of income.

So, depending on how you count it, the grand total of homes owned by the McCains is...

Eight to 11. At a combined value of $12,991,000."

Plus other sundry holdings.

Well thank you TPM for doing this research. The answer remains elusive-- still real life mimicks iteslf:

Story #2

McCain's Bus, the *Straight Talk Express* crashed into a minivan in early August, in Miami.
Ironically, the Straight Talk Express had trouble turning right.
The irony of the two stories is not lost, McCain has so many houses, he can't even answer the question of how many they own (they should count rentals & income property too).... come clean, Mr. Straight Talk Express...
Or change the name of your bus to the *______________________*.?????????

The Miami Herald reports that McCain's bus "was involved in a car accident with a mini-van when both tried turning right" onto the same street. No one was injured.

McCain himself was apparently not onboard the bus at the time. The Herald reports that the bus was delivering Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) to a campaign event. (Lieberman- literally on the republican bus!)

US News made this comment with an advertising tie-in:

"Was your minivan recently crushed by an advocate of offshore drilling? Search for a replacement from the best minivans list at U.S. News. With five new minivans achieving near perfect safety scores, they're practically politician-proof."

Story #3
Check out the bumper sticker on the back of McCains Motor Coach

So maybe I should just lighten up & host the following competition:

Rename John McCain's Motor Coach campaign bus!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mixed Bag

Well, the hype is over. Biden was chosen as the VP candidate. Some are happy, most a relieved, but I'm in limbo.
I have to say my whole take on politics has become skeptical, and I have a sinking feeling about how corruption seeps into the best of candidates, because they have to play the game to be in it.

I kind of started out really hopeful, and inspired by Obama- until he did the turnaround on FISA, and then announced he'd like to send 10,000 troops into Afghanistan.
I felt betrayed & disappointed.
The champion of Civil Rights & teacher of the Constitution was FOR illegal wiretapping, after he said he opposed it???
The announcement of the surge in Afghanistan blew me away. A surge is a surge & war escalation by any other name is still one & the same.

I won't go off the deep end & vote for McInsane..... but I am not blinded by the hoopla of the announcement, the convention, or the democratic party itself.
I just can't buy into the excitement, because a part of me is thinking these Dems, who have been a majority since 2006, failed us. They failed to impeach THE most criminal executive branch in the history of this country.
They failed to use the power of the purse to stop funding the illeal occupation. They failed to refuse to allow the supreme court to tipping to the extreme right. They failed to do anything about torture and abuse. They failed the prisoners in Gitmo. I don't connsider these items to be small, differences of opinion.
I consider them to be gross Human Rights violations. Against Constitutional & International laws.
Serious and deadly violations, and in conflict of the true spirit, and very foundations of this country.
So I am watching.. waiting

I desperately WANT change, but I have serious doubts about if the system is too broken for the kind of change I hope to see.

That being said I made links to other blogs to check stuff out~

Dusty: Has a story about security for both conventions.

Each city has a $50 million dollar Homeland Security budget.

Denver has what has been dubbed a *Freedom Cage*... a fenced area where protestors can freely express themselves- out of site from the convention center.

Dada: He explores the realms of cognitive dissonance (Urban Survival): "That's where you're told one thing ('The sky is green') and your eyes or ears tell you something else.

Spado: He's in the neighborhood of hte repub convention & speaks of 1s2 Amendment rights "What kind of a democracy is this if we let citizens become unnecessarily intimidated about being tazered, pepper-sprayed, infiltrated, spied on or photographed by cameras installed on public streets?"

ChrisPosted a comprehensive list of where Biden stands on the issues. Here's a sampling:

•“Strongly” supports Roe v. Wade, but opposes public funding for abortion. (Hmm maybe not so strong??? )

• Opposes same-sex marriage but supports civil unions. Voted yes on the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied Federal benefits to same-sex couples and allowed states to ignore same-sex marriages sanctioned by another state. (flip or flop.... not sure?)

• Supports direct engagement with Iran “to exploit fissures within the government and between the government and the people." (Noooooooooooooooo!)

Maybe some of this is why I'm not jumping for joy about the Biden decision.

Where do YOU stand on these issues?

Friday, August 22, 2008


Minnesotans are rolling out the welcome wagon for the republican national convention. Graffiti artists are using creative word play with the term GOP. I love art!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Blink of an eye...

Tempus Fugit ~ Time flies

This week we celebrated my son's 20th birthday. He had to work on his birthday & had a sort of confused expression when I brought out a container of Ben & Jerry's * Imagine Whirled Peace* ice cream (yes it has small chocolate peace sign medallions in it!), with two lit birthday cake candles in it.

When he gave me the Huh? look, I explained- one candle for each decade.

Then came the Ahhhh, & the smile.

On Thursday, my Husband (Dubbed Mr. Ramblings), & I celebrate our 21st anniversary. Wow! The time has flown by. Love grows, actually I think it is better described as Love Morphs.

Our relationship has had it's metamorphasis ~ through home birth, crying babies, raising two kids, crazy work schedules, in sickness & in health.

I will never forget that he would bring me a freshly diapered baby to nurse in the middle of the night. As soon as the baby was born, he said hey! you carried that baby for 9 months, it's MY turn. He would pop that baby in a front pack carrier and later a back pack carrier & was thrilled to have that bundle of joy as something he literally carried.
The baby, by the way was hellbent on kicking off ONE of his shoes, thus earning the nickname "one shoe", yes often his Dad would backtrack on the trail or path to find the elusive missing shoe.

We survived the great Chicken pox adventure. First one kid, than the other & then we discovered the Dad had not had the Pox. A baby in diapers w chicken pox is tricky. I was the only one in the house that was not polk-a-dotted with pox. That was a blur, other than I remember going to the pharmacy & asking if they sold Calamine lotion in gallon sized containers as these 4 ounce bottles were not cutting it.

There were years of crazy juggling of school schedules, soccer games, band performances, and graduations.
I don't even like to reminisce over the tough teen years our oldest son went through, but I swear, the roof of this house must have been spinning. Let's just say we are glad we endured, and things have changed dramatically.

In the last few years, I had a run of serious medical issues. A total knee replacement, 2 additional major surgeries, , a few serious kidney stone incidents. My guy was there through it all.
I was there for him when a camping trip hundreds of miles away, resulted in him having a ruptured appendix & many days in a dinky rural hospital, while recovering from the emergency surgery.
Helping each other through the rough times really weaves the fabric of our lives tighter together.

We are on the brink of being empty nesters. the youngest, now in college & working, hardly ever home.
He is a walking think tank with a heart of gold. He is passionate about issues and sensitive. We share sarcasm, deep thoughts, humor & some peace vigils & protests.
He's reachwd that place of wanting to do everything on his own, but could use some guidance. One has to be careful about giving tips & advice.
He got his driver's license in June, and now often rolls away in one of our cars. My baby!
Actually he is a fine young man, who just had a very lucky brush with not being seriously injured in a car/bike accident. He is going for Physical therapy now to get some back care & strengthening.

So our love rides the waves of what life brings. 21 years later, I'm lighting a candle & he is bringing home roses.
A few times, we have unknowingly given each other the same gift, and sometimes we finish each other's sentences- not in an annoying way, just on the same page. We love a good laugh, and try to sharpen our sarcasm skills. We are supporting each other as each of our elderly 80-something parents are going through serious health issues. We carry on together.

We take care to have space & do different activities (he could sit up all night doing star gazing, I'm done in a few hours), I like to do different activities, hand drumming, activist groups that we don't necessarily do together & that's good.

But often we do enjoy doing stuff together. We are lovers, and we are friends.
He has been the love of my life, and I can't picture life without him.

Although it seems like a blink of an eye, 21 years have passed. Our love has grown stronger. I hope we are wiser... we know each other more, and have smoothed out the rough edges. In the end, love is all you need.

Asking why...

From Dada's Dally:

"Why, in a nation that prides itself in the separation of church and state, the presidential candidates would agree to violate that tenet and aggrandize some narcissistic Christian evangelical hack trying to help his flock of sheep and thousands of congregations across the country decide who would make a better Christian president?"

I'm not going to debate who did better in the Religious debate forum, or if John McCain adhered to the "cone of silence". I am asking why this debacle ever occured.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Oh Yah Mon! The Jamaicans are having a real run @ the Olympics ~ Sprinting that is.
Now being called The World's Fastest Nation. These newcomers to the race line are an upstart, upset- because, traditionally runners work for years in a multitude of competitions & training to get to the Olympic elite status.
The free spirited, sweet seemingly loose and cool runners have just showed up for the competitions--
and they are showing up first at the finish line. Their post race dances of joy & happiness are just so much fun to watch.

I love it when there is an unexpected upset ~ an unlikely winner. This Jamaican runner was new on the running scene. He had a nice running style, but was in it with heart. It the end, he was almost skipping to the finish line- stodgy reporters asked Usain if he would have had an even higher new world record, had he stayed in the tight running form all the way to the finish line- he was jumping & dancing, celebrating his victory-- all he could say is *I'M HAPPY! I WON!!!*
He ran to where his family was & they had an exuberant group hug. No matter what questions the reporters asked... he just kept on exclaiming how happy he was. It was great.
Usain Bolt may need to change his first name to Lightnin'- Lightnin' Bolt,

Shelly Ann Fraser, age 21 had her glory moment. She had this look of trying to stay loose before the race, when you could otherwise see the tension & intensity on the faces of other runners.
After the race & a few moments to absorb the fact she'd just won gold, she just laid down on her back on the track.
Still for a moment, then kicked her feet in the air. She was beaming.
You get the feeling these runners did not have the high tech formal training & specialized fine tuning so many top athletes have access to.

There is always some controversy in the Olympics- Sunday night, it was the ladies gymnastics. Guess what media announcers-- there is no shame in taking home a Silver ~ or any colored medal- in fact just for reaching the level it takes to be in the Olympics. Please! This medal color drama/ saga is getting old. You won! Be Happy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Beyond Rhetoric

Skipping past the skewed political commercial ads, the AFL-CIO has put together a fact filled, well researched
website titled: McCain Revealed: The Briefing Book. It's a well done quick fact, flip page format.
I realize most Ramblings readers are firmly NOT in the McCain camp, but it's important to know the differences.

The AFL-CIO did a mass mailing:

"On Social Security's 73rd birthday, the AFL-CIO has announced it's sending a mailing -- at first to 50,000 targeted swing-vote seniors living in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania -- that hits McCain on his wealth and his past support for partially privatizing Social Security. The flier also mentions that McCain, who is 71, has already been receiving Social Security benefits, since age 65."

Click here to see the AFL-CIO two page flyer

The flier begins: "McCain's worth over $100 million... He owns 10 houses... He flies around on a $12.6 million corporate jet... He walks around in $520 loafers. If John McCain lost his Social Security, he'd get by just fine. Would you?"

While John uses his Social Security money for pocket change, (remember his super wealthy wife declined to make her income public). To be fair, maybe she just misplaced the paperwork in one of their 10 houses.

Then there is the temper factor.....

But wait! There's more....

There is a new group, called Republicans for Obama
From the site:

"While we continue to debate and address many issues on which we all have strong opinions—abortion, gay rights, the relationship between church and state, to name a few—we need a leader who can command the support needed to break our government’s paralysis and meet the growing challenges we face as a nation."

It seemed obvious to me the GOP had failed even it's own ranks, on topics ranging from this country taking the high road, honoring our soldiers by adhering to Geneva Conventions. International Law, being fiscally responsible,
and a long list of other items conservatives have found to be nothing more than a long list of failures. I have to commend those who have a moral compass, allow common sense to prevail, and honestly must assess this administration & the direction it's taken, are not the way to go.

Let the Debates Begin!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Gitmo On the Platte

Denver prepares for the Democratic National Convention with a Gitmo Style jail facility.
Wow! They call it the Land of the Free.

They claim the regular Denver jail is full, so they neeed this auxillary jail space. They hear organizers inviting throngs to come to Denver to join a protest-- the 40th anniversary of the Chicago Democratic Convention, where all hell broke loose, because young Democrats were mad & gathered to demonstrate ~ Vietnam war deaths, and the military draft- angst erupted. Then Mayor Daley vowed to keep control of the protests, using any means necessary. 6000 people gathered to protest. Mass riots broke out with tear gas, billy clubs, and violent clashes.

1968 Democratic Convention Timeline Flashback:

August 23, Friday: At the Civic Center plaza (located in the Loop and now known as the Daley Center) the Yippies nominate their presidential contender—Pigasus the pig. Seven Yippies and the pig are arrested.

Almost 6,000 National Guardsman are mobilized and practice riot-control drills. Special police platoons do the same.

In his welcoming address, Daley says: "As long as I am mayor of this city, there's going to be law and order in Chicago."

The arrest count for Convention Week disturbances stands at 668. An undetermined number of demonstrators sustained injuries, with hospitals reporting that they treated 111 demonstrators. The on-the-street medical teams from the Medical Committee for Human Rights estimated that their medics treated over 1,000 demonstrators at the scene. At some point the anti war crowd swells to about 6000 people.

September 9: In a press conference, (post convention) Mayor Daley makes a now-famous slip of the tongue: "The policeman isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder."

For a full timeline of the 1968 convention, click here.

There certainly is a long list of things to protest about regarding the Democrats. They have had a majority since 2006 in both the House & Senate, but continue to be spineless in any significant leadership. The war funding continues to be rubber stamped with approval. They failed to bring forth impeachment hearings on the most criminal presidential administration of this country. The allowed torture, and human rights abuses, and the existance of Gitmo detention prison in foreign soil so as to aviod obeying our own laws, and international law.
The Democrats have the blood of the illegal occupation on their hands, as well as being a party to allowing the reckless failure of the economy. Negligence and abuse of the environment.
A $9.5 Trillion dollar debt. Lack of managing and protecting Social Security. Denail of basic health care for millions. Failure to properly fund education.
I could go on, but the truth of the matter is this party has been a major disappointment, and has failed us on the most serious of human rights and foundational elements. As a majority since 2006, they have no excuse.

Talk to me people ~ surely you have thoughts on the matter.... I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Swiftboats are Coming!

It's time for the Swiftboaters to set sail. This time in the form of a new book titled "Obama Nation ~ Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality"- get the word play of abomination? Amazon Books has it marked down 45% already, if that tells us anything. I caught a news feature on NPR about it, saying it is short on facts, and heavy on innuendo.

In short, 385 pages of pure unadulterated bullshit.
The author, DR. JEROME CORSI received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972 and has written many books and articles, including the No. 1 New York Times best-seller, Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry.
Let's not forget PhD= piled high & deep.

The guy literally wrote the book on swiftboating-- Ugh!

In his book you will find such juicy pseudo facts on all the misinformation previously spewed in Mass Media:

"In this stunning and comprehensive new book, the reader will learn about:
-Obama's extensive connections with Islam and radical politics, from his father and step-father's Islamic backgrounds, to his Communist and socialist mentors in Hawaii and Chicago, to his long-term and close associations with former Weather Underground heroes William Ayers and Bernadette Dohrnassociations much closer than heretofore revealed by the press

>>>>Oooh! Communist, Socialist, & Islam--Oh my!!!!

-Barack and Michelle's 20-year-long religious affiliation with the black-liberation theology of former Trinity United Church of Christ Reverend Jeremiah Wright, whose sermons have always been steeped in a rage first expressed by Franz Fanon , Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm X, a rage that Corsi shows has deep meaning for Obama

>>>>Steeped in rage-- Does that really happen in black & liberal/progressive circles???

-Obama's continuing connections with Kenya, the homeland of his father, through his support for the candidacy of Raila Odinga, the radical socialist presidential contender who came to power amid Islamist violence and church burnings.

>>>> Hammer in those key hot button words *Radical*socialist* Islamist Violence* & throw in a plurality of church burnings. What!!! No Voodoo?

-Obama's involvement in the slum-landlord empire of the Chicago political fixer Tony Rezko, who helped to bankroll Obama's initial campaigns and to purchase of Barack and Michelle's dream-home property.

>>>> Only ONE dream home property? McCain has what 5 or 6???

-The background and techniques of the Obama campaign's cult of personality, including the derivation of the words hope and change

>>>> That's right people, let's put hope and change under the microscope. The words "100 year war" has so much more clarity, and cleary devoid of any hope or change.

-Obama's far-left domestic policy, his controversial votes on abortion, his history of opposition to the Second Amendment, his determination to raise capital-gains taxes, his impractical plan to achieve universal health care, and his radical plan to tax Americans to fund a global-poverty-reduction program

>>>> We as Americans should be comfortable with $9,5 trillion $ debt. Who needs taxes when you can just go deeply in debt? Let the following generations deal with it. We should be leery of impractical health plans, because the "you're on your own" plan we have now is working just fine, for the wealthy. If there is no profit to be made off global poverty, what good is it, after all?

-Obama's naïve, anti-war, anti-nuclear foreign-policy, predicated on the reduction of the military, the eradication of nuclear weapons and an overconfidence in the power of his personality, as if belief in change alone could somehow transform international politics, achieve nuclear-weapons disarmament and withdrawal from Iraq without adverse consequences, for us, for the Iraqis or for Israel."

>>>> Pro war, pro nuke, fat military, stockpiles of nukes & weaponry, and trillions in debt are the American way.
We are very efficient people. We can just nuke ourselves & be our own worst enemy.

Meticulously researched and documented, THE OBAMA NATION is the definitive source for misinformation and spin.

Just for laughs, I glanced over the- people who read this book are also interested in:

• Fleeced: How Barack Obama, Media Mockery of Terrorist Threats, Liberals Who Want to Kill Talk Radio, the Do-Nothing Congress, Companies That Help Iran, and Washington Lobbyists for Foreign Governments Are Scamming Us ... and What to Do About It by Dick Morris

>>>> Hey Dick- You may have given the whole book away with the title.

• Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works by Newt Gingrich

>>>> NEWT! Need I say more?

• Climate Confusion: How Global Warming Hysteria Leads to Bad Science, Pandering Politicians and Misguided Policies that Hurt the Poor by Roy Spencer

>>>> I'm dizzy from all the spin.

Ok~ I did not make any of this up. These are real books/titles, written by real idiots.
You could not pay me to read those books. Grab your lifejackets kids, the Swiftboats are coming!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Forever Young

Joan Baez~ Forever Young

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Insurance Quandry

The Insurance company of the driver that hit my bike riding son, with her car is sending forms. The driver has been cited for being at fault & ticketed.

They want him to sign off on releasing all medical information (ever) & "no longer protected by federal privacy regulations".

The authorization terminates either by revocation, or upon final resolution of all claims.

We have nothing to hide, but I don't feel comfortable giving carte blanche access to everything ever, when all they need is the exam from the ER that is related to this accident.

Any experience with such paperwork?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Reality Check

While all the focus on the Olympics emerges in Beijing China, I thought I'd take a glance at current happenings in Tibet.

New report reveals intensified crackdown in Tibet as Olympics opens
International Campaign for Tibet
August 5th, 2008

"Despite its promotion of a 'peaceful Olympics', China has intensified its crackdown on Tibet this week following the most significant uprising in nearly 50 years. The wave of mainly peaceful protests against the Chinese government that has swept across Tibet since March 10 is a result of more than half a century of Communist Party misrule, revealing the breakdown of Beijing's Tibet policy at a time when China seeks to convey an image of pre-Olympics harmony.

In order to hide its repression in Tibet, China has virtually sealed off the entire plateau - despite promising increasing openness in the buildup to the Olympics - and imposed a news blackout. A new report published by the International Campaign for Tibet, 'Tibet at a Turning Point: the Spring Uprising and China's New Crackdown' ( provides evidence gathered at great risk of:

The 'disappearance' and detention of hundreds of Tibetans, including monks, nuns and schoolchildren, who are treated with extreme brutality in custody
Unarmed peaceful protestors who have been shot dead, and names of those who have died following torture in prison or as a result of suicide due to despair over the crackdown or being made to denounce the Dalai Lama
More than 125 protests across the Tibetan plateau - the overwhelming majority non-violent. Tibetans have risked their lives to demonstrate that the exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, represents Tibetan interests, and not the Chinese state
Sweeping new measures to purge monasteries of monks and ban worship in the wake of the protests, revealing a systematic new attack on Tibetan Buddhism led by Chinese leader Hu Jintao that is reminiscent of the excesses of the Cultural Revolution
Mary Beth Markey, Vice President for Advocacy for the International Campaign for Tibet, says: "Hu Jintao's leadership appears to have chosen no other means than force and intimidation to restore control in Tibet, and has imposed a brutal crackdown that owes more to the political extremism and paranoia of the Maoist era than to a 21st century would-be superpower. As a matter of urgency, world leaders attending the Olympics must publicly express concern in Beijing about the crackdown in Tibet and the hardline policies that led to the spring uprising."

The International Campaign for Tibet is also pressing leaders to seek from Beijing a full accounting of the more than one thousand Tibetans whose status following the spring demonstrations in Tibet is unknown."

So if things seem strangely calm in China, regarding Tibet, it is oppression & iron fist rule that are making it so.

In other news Prezzzident Bush gave the Chinese a verbal whupping about human rights violations & pollution.
Please? They must have thought they were being Punk'd.

I noticed they gave Bush a crappy seat up in the bleachers, or "nosebleed" section, he does not appear to be in the cushy VIP seating area. Bush was having to use binoculars to see the opening ceremony! Is this the Chinese way of saying "take your opinions & criticism & shove it"?

Kudos to the creative concepts of the opening ceremonies....
It was beautiful & dreamlike with cultural ties, and innovative ideas.
I watch the Olympics with the spirit of the international unity at the heart of the gathering.
The idea that China is hosting the Olympics is questionable as the list of negatives is long- human rights, even air quality issues. I am choosing to cut through all the negative elements, and tune in to the original intent.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Settling down

Things are settling down here. Someone up there was looking out for my son. He is feeling aches & pains from being hit by a car & flying backwards onto the street. He said he does not remember the actual moment of impact. He saw that it was going to happen, somehow remembered hearing that one should try to swerve with the direction of the thing that is going to hit you. He said he tried to not tense up.

I volunteered to go back to the driving to pick him up from after work again.
A 14 mile round trip commute at 10 pm for now. We are still waiting to hear when his workplace closes down if he will still work security there, or what.

Just still so thankful that he walked away from that accident in one piece.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Talk Ain't Cheap

While chatting on her cell phone & driving late last night, Suzy was distracted. She failed to stop at the stop sign.
The next thing she knew, was she hit something & her windshield was shattered.

She did not notice the bike rider in the bike lane with his lights on.
The bicyclist saw it coming as she blazed out in front of him, making a left turn- he knew he was about to get hit by a car.

He was wearing a helmet, & a heavy backpack, full of college books and a laptop computer.

The car struck him & the bike. He flipped backwards off the bike and landed on his back.
The thick backpack prevented his helmet protected head from ever hitting the ground, but his lower spine, tail bone, slammed into the pavement.

Here are photos of the bike:

The handle bars are not turned, thisshould be thestraight front view of the bike.

The bicyclist, is my 19 year old son.

When the Officer finished the accident report, I took him to the Emergency room to be checked out. There the Doctor said *if* his tailbone was broken, there was nothing they could do about it anyway, but to let it heal. His pain level was not indicitave of a break & after examination, the Doctor opted to not do an X ray.

The bike is toast. My son has scrapes and bruises, and white car paint marks on his work pants.

After we returned home, wired, tired at 2 am, It really sank in -- his bike took the hit & not him.
Thank God it is his bike that is all mangled and NOT his body. Bikes can be replaced- and I fully expect her insurance company to replace it- it was a nice mountain bike. They will be given the ER & any Doctor's bills to pay as well.

But by the grace of god, he is OK. I will drive him to his 10 am College class this morning, so he did not have to ride the bus.

But I am realizing how VERY fortunate he is to have walked away from this.

* The name was changed to protect the guilty, who was ticketed for being at fault & failing to yeild.

Talk ain't cheap when you are chatting on your cell phone, driving a vehicle & not paying attention to the road & or bicyclists.

Paris for President?

See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Views from Oregon...

South Sister

Falls Creek

Mysterious Plume off South Sister

The above photos were taken by the husband, he went on a little camping trip recently.

Wolf Song ~ Nature photo montage

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Oils well that ends badly- or- Too Slick for me

Allowing Offshore Exploration to Help Address Rising Fuel Costs

>>>Ok this title should trigger a big red flag. The Bush Administration wants to "help" us?
When they "helped" Iraq, it turned out to be a profit scheme involving oil. Either that or why does this administration not care about other brutal dictators, and human rights violations in Rowanda, or Darfur?
I'm going to say the short answer is, there is no profit to be made.
Allow me to rip into this announcement---

President Bush Lifts An Executive Ban On Oil Exploration In America's Outer Continental Shelf And Calls On Congress To Lift Its Legislative Ban

President Bush lifted an executive ban on producing oil from the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). This means that the only thing standing between the American people and these vast oil resources is action from the Democratically controlled Congress.

>>>That statement alone has me worried!

To reduce pressure on prices, President Bush recognizes the need to increase the supply of oil – especially here at home. For years, his Administration has called on Congress to expand domestic oil production. Unfortunately, Democrats on Capitol Hill have rejected virtually every proposal – and now Americans are paying the price.

>>> Whoah Whoah Whoah- that segment has so much spin, I'm feeling dizzy.

Prez Bush recognized the profit margin of oil supply. For years they have been wringing their hands trying to get to the "precioussssss" oil- not to save America & support the fossil fuel addiction, let's just state up front, someone in the oil tycoon business believes there is profit to be made. If you don;t believe me, ask Exxon Mobile & Shell about the 11.6 billion quarterly profit they just posted.

Experts believe that OCS areas under leasing prohibitions could produce about 18 billion barrels of oil. We will not know for certain until exploration is allowed. The problem is that Congress has restricted access to much of the OCS since the early 1980s. Since then, advances in technology have made it possible to conduct oil exploration in the OCS that is out of sight, protects coral reefs and habitats, and protects against oil spills.

>>> My rheoric-o-meter is in the red zone.

Last month, President Bush asked the Democratic Congress to lift this legislative ban and allow the exploration and development of offshore oil resources. He committed to lift an executive restriction on this exploration if Congress did so, tailoring his executive action to match what Congress passed. However, it has been almost a month since he urged Congress to act – and the Democratic leadership has done nothing. They have not moved any legislation, and as Congress has sat idle, gas prices have continued to increase.

>>>Speaking of sitting idle-- the US has done little or nothing towards requiring better mileage efficiency, or moving towards alternative fuel sources. Let's point the finger in the right direction. ( I think you know which finger I mean!).

This failure to act is unacceptable to American citizens – and it is unacceptable to President Bush. So Bush has issued a memorandum to lift the executive prohibition on oil exploration in the OCS. With this action, executive branch restrictions on this exploration have been cleared away, except for areas within existing marine sanctuaries. Areas near Florida are also off limits until 2022 under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act.

This is a difficult period for millions of American families. They are rightly angered by Congress' failure to enact common-sense solutions. Today, President Bush has taken every step within his power to allow offshore exploration of the OCS. All that remains is for Democratic leaders in Congress to allow a vote.

This legislation must allow States to have a say in what happens off their shores, provide a way for the Federal Government and States to share new leasing revenues, and ensure the environment is protected.

>>> Funny they should mention that. Because here is what three West Coast States have to say:

:Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, joined with Democratic Govs. Ted Kulongoski of Oregon and Chris Gregoire of Washington to reaffirm their opposition to opening undersea oil fields to new drilling, as part of an elaborate action plan for preserving coastal waters.

The 116-page document outlines ambitious goals for cleaning up coastal waters and beaches, restoring fisheries, preparing for rising sea levels and developing projects that harness energy from waves and tides, among other topics.

"We are united ecologically, and now we are also united politically with Democrats and Republicans here working together and with one powerful voice," said Schwarzenegger, flanked by images of the two other governors beamed in via satellite." (Quoted from the L.A. Times)

>>>Furthermore, I would like to add that on the West Coast, Oregon specifically, there have been "Dead Zones" found in the Ocean-- vast expanses of areas in the Ocean, where suddenly, entire ecosystems, of fish & plants, can't survive. We've already fouled up the waters with human activity, in ways we don't even understand.
How much abuse can our planet endure?

Republicans in Congress have proposed several promising bills that would lift the legislative ban on oil exploration in the OCS. President Bush calls on the House and Senate to pass such good legislation as soon as possible.

This legislation should also take essential steps to expand domestic production from oil shale and in Alaska and to increase refining capacity. Congress should clear the way for our Nation to tap into the extraordinary potential of oil shale – which could provide Americans with domestic oil supplies that are equal to more than a century's worth of current oil imports. Congress should permit exploration in currently restricted areas of northern Alaska – which COULD produce roughly the equivalent of two decades of imported oil from Saudi Arabia. Finally, Congress should enable the expansion of our domestic refining capacity – so that America will no longer have to import millions of barrels of fully refined gasoline from abroad.

>>> I emphasized the word "could". I tried to find the statistic, but it seems the US burns through 20 million barrels of oil PER DAY. The drilling restrictions were put there for sound reasons. They throw in this "we will be careful" clause so gingerly. But seriously-- when oil drilling goes bad, there is no reversing it, and if it is not the drilling, it is oil tanker mishaps.

Go to this link for a sampling of things gone wrong Oil rig disasters

The Oil rig disasters link has them categorized- Deadliest, Most Expensive, Offshore Blowouts, Structural collapse, Sunk Rigs & Hurricane Damage. Let's just say the number & degree of peril in the drilling business is extensive.

These Proposals Will Take Years To Have Their Full Impact, So We Should Move Quickly

For the long run, we are dealing with the demand for oil by promoting alternative energy technologies. President Bush's Administration has worked with Congress to invest in gas-saving technologies like advanced batteries and hybrid vehicles, mandated a large expansion in the use of alternative fuels, and raised fuel efficiency standards to ambitious new levels. With all these steps, we are bringing America closer to the day when we can significantly reduce our reliance on oil.

>>> Doublespeak! If we want to "significantly reduce our reliance on oil" then what w should move quickly on is getting off the oil entirely.