Monday, April 30, 2012

Time lapse Oregon & Redwoods

Finding Oregon from Uncage the Soul Productions on Vimeo.



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Clueless in Tennessee

Texanna Edwards, 18, of Trenton, Tenn., said she wasn't allowed inside Gibson County High School's prom on Saturday because officials deemed the knee-length red dress trimmed with the stars and bars of the Confederate flag, was "offensive and inappropriate," she told the Tennessean.

The controversial flag is seen as a symbol of slavery-era racism by many, though others believe it stands for the heritage of the South.
School officials, however, said a teacher warned Edwards two months ago that the dress might be problematic. The teacher, who served as prom sponsor, suggested to Edwards in February that she should clear the idea with the principal, but Edwards did not do so, according to Eddie Pruett, director of schools for the Gibson County School System.

Race-related issues have occurred at Gibson County High School in recent years, Pruett said, and Principal James Hughes thought Edwards’ dress could have caused a problem.

Miss Edwards had been told by teachers that if she went home and changed she would be allowed into the school dance but she decided against it. Can't tell if her earrings are replica musket guns, or not, but Texanna's dress got the boot. 

Besides race related issues in her school, the Trayvon Martin case has ignited the nation, in what seems to be a racist incident that resulted in murder. 

One could see where Texanna could be confused...
the State issues Confederate license plates

But they also sell this CREEPY license plate:

And this one~ So much for Separation of Church & State.

Comments from Tennessee residents about the Confederate Flag License plate:

I don't have any problem with people advertising their racism on their car. I do have a problem with using the official capacity of my state to do it.
The war is over, the confederacy lost. The LOSERS need to let go and move on! The flag does make it easy to recognize when there is an idiot at the wheel!
I grew up in the North, so in my childhood the Confederate flag stood clearly for racism, for slavery.
I'm not so sure its symbolism is so simplistic here.

That flag clearly stood for segregation all across the South...and I love the South but don't love it's burdens.
Texanna's Grandmother put a Fox news-like spin on it: "I can't believe they would not let a girl wear Red White & Blue on her prom".
The party line response is that "It's history, not hate". I would argue it was hateful history, when a war was fought to be able to keep slavery legal. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Going for Baroque

Original composition

A little something from the 17th century

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Newt is good Newt

Newton Leroy Gingrich is bailing out of his book selling tour presidential run. His campaign was essentially over a while ago, but the dynamic duo-- Stepford wife Callista, and her "stand by your man" with the grin & nod whilst traipsing cross country, perhaps carrying all that baggage took it's toll .
Newt was full of himself  and a boatload of woes. Newt is a guy you can easily love to hate.  A classic old boy D.C, insider,
everything about him was  annoying-- from his "American Exceptionalism" platform, to his heartless dumping of wives & multiple affairs, and major ethics breach when he was Speaker of the House.  68 year old Newton & 46 year old Callista Louise can saunter off into the sunset. Calli Lou no longer has to keep all the Tiffany's bling in storage, as she tried to tone down the appearance of being out of touch with too much glitz & glitter of expensive jewelry, during the campaign.
Well now we can like the fact he is no longer running for president.
But before he embarks on his next political conquest- the Moon, lets have a listen & some laughs over some of the crazy ass things he's said over the years....
(Funny now that he is stepping down from the presidential run.)

For all the chatter about fiscal responsibility these jokers threw about, these guys ran their campaigns into the hole financially.
Gingrich leaves the trail with his campaign $4.3 million in debt, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

At the end of March, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday, Santorum's campaign found itself nearly broke, with over $2 million in debts.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oil wells that ended badly

We should not be surprised, turns out BP (Biggest Polluters) lied about the amount of oil that was actually spewing from their Deepwater Horizon disaster.

LA Times reports:
 The Justice Department on Tuesday unveiled the first criminal charges in its investigation of the 2010 BP oil spill: two counts of obstruction of justice filed against a former BP engineer accused of destroying records describing the rate at which oil was flowing from the broken well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

The engineer, Kurt Mix, was involved in efforts to plug the well as well as internal BP efforts to estimate the amount of oil leaking from it in the first months after the spill. Prosecutors allege that Mix deleted two text message strings even after he was told by BP to preserve them.

In one string, Mix allegedly stated that the flow rate on the evening of May 26, 2010, was "over 15,000" barrels per day. At the time, prosecutors note, BP's public estimate of the rate was 5,000 barrels per day.
Criminal charges in this category could come not only under the Clean Water Act, but the Seaman's Manslaughter Statute, for the deaths of the 11 workers, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, for the death of wildlife, he said.

BP has already reached a proposed settlement with thousands of private plaintiffs for economic damages and medical claims arising from the spill that the company estimates will total $7.8 billion.

Environmental advocates praised the government charges against Mix on Tuesday. They were also quick to point out that the question of how much oil spilled into the gulf is central to the separate civil case the Justice Department has brought against BP.

If that case goes to trial, the total amount of oil spilled — along with the degree to which BP is determined to have acted negligently — will determine the civil penalties the company will have to pay under the Clean Water Act.

The government estimates the total spilled and not recovered to be 4.1 million barrels. In the worst case for BP, that would translate into more than $17 billion in fines."

I'll keep my comments simple:
Nail the bastards.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Planetary stewardship is a hands on endeavor. There is so much we can do, to do our part to help mitigate so much irresponsible abuse of the planet. We can do our part- different light bulbs, recycling, precycling & choosing things that are not using excessive packaging. 

We ditched the gas guzzler & got into a "sipper".
Increased the insulation in our home. 
Added a highly efficient inversion ductless heat pump to  the house (much more energy efficient)
Replaced old windows w triple pane windows. 

I realize in the big picture, the nuclear power plants in Japan- Fukishima Daichi continue to meltdown & spew nuclear waste directly into the ocean- and this disaster exceeds that of Chernobyl. Mega screw ups like the gulf Oil spill, and the highly questionable practice of Fracking to extract natural gas. 
My individual efforts seem so minuscule, compared with all the other issues, but still maybe if enough caring people make efforts, we can help shore up the balance. 

What have you done for your planet today?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hard times much?

My home town is apparently in dire straits....

• Budget cuts give the axe to the medical examiner & morgue. 

Autopsies and signed death certificates also will be casualties, 
Without death certificates, burials and cremations cannot occur, and estates cannot be settled. The investigators’ absence will create an “ongoing local disaster” for area hospitals, nursing homes, paramedics, police, mortuaries and “most significantly, the citizens of Lane County".
Police and medics will face a dilemma when they can no longer call a medical investigator pager 24/7 and summon a death investigator to a crime or accident scene.

“We are prohibited by law from moving a body from a scene until we get authorization from a medical examiner,” the longtime chief said. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

U of Oooooooooooo

The University of Oregon seems to be going to hell in a handbasket.
The official motto:
MottoMens agitat molem
Motto in EnglishMinds Move the Mass
The unofficial mottos:

Fire up another one....  (click for story)

Bust the Unions Click for story

Apparently, at the University of Oregon, democracy is an idea that’s good enough to teach students, but not good enough to live by. Last week, the UO revealed the hiring of two anti-union law firms, including a San Francisco firm that runs seminars promising to help managers keep their workplace “union-free.” While fancy out-of-state lawyers may cook up sophisticated arguments for why faculty, in particular, shouldn’t be allowed a union, the truth is that this firm is devoted to denying union rights for all types of employees; in California, the firm is currently engaged in a fight to deny union rights to dining hall workers at Pomona College.
Whatever subjects students may choose as their majors, this year UO administrators are providing them an education in cynicism. No longer is the university a civic model; instead the administration’s behavior says to all of us: “You know all those things students are taught about philosophy and democracy, Plato and Jefferson? Those are just for inside the classroom! When you step outside into the real world, it’s dog eat dog and might makes right.” Democracy is important only as long as the faculty does not try to vote for something of which the administration does not approve.
Lastly, the U of O can barely give the Grads of 2012 a Commencement ceremony.... because the U.S. Track & Field trials will happen back to back for an 8 day cash grab event, but they will squeeze in that annual grad event, if they have to. 

By the way, there is a new store in Eugene called (I'm not making this up)

Well, NIKE sure runs the U of O. 

"Uncle" Phil Knight & Vin Lananna track coach....

Well I guess you can have the commencement ceremony, but it's really inconvenient.

* Read about Phil Knight's philanthropy to understand why the U of O is top heavy with athletics. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Crown of Creation

Jefferson Airplane

Life is Change
How it differs from the rocks
I've seen their ways too often for my liking
New worlds to gain
My life is to survive
and be alive
for you.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Blessed be! Welcome Baby Brooklyn

Today is the day! Baby Brooklyn made her debut into this world.

Happy Birthday baby girl!

Twinkle Twinkle little star
Do you know how loved you are?

Brooklyn May
Born: April 14  11:28 pm
8 pounds even ~ 20 inches

10 fingers & 10 toes & a head
full of blonde hair

Ann Romney- Stay-at-home-Mom or Horsing around?

What stay-at-home Mom can't relate to Ann Romneys choice to be a homemaker? I mean raising 5 boys AND being involved in World Championship Equestrian dressage competitions, importing horses from Europe winning awards, and having $250,000 worth of horses is a lot of work. Plus her husband was Governor of MA for a while, and now in his second run for president.
Most of us don't know what it's like being a multi millionaire, multi mansion, stay-at-home Mom. Just managing the staff must have been quite the workload!

But Ann Romney literally takes the prize & has won many equestrian awards in her spare time.

She has received recognition in dressage as an adult amateur at the national level, including earning her 2006 Gold Medaland 2005 Silver Medal at the Grand Prix level from the United States Dressage Federation.She also sometimes competes in professional dressage events and has broken the 60% level at Grand Prix. Romney works with California trainer Jan Ebling, who schools her and her horses in dressage and works with her importing new stock from Europe. The pair qualified for the Pan-Am games in 2004. By 2011, the horses she owned in California were valued at more than $250,000.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

This is what justice looks like




I don't know about you, but I am glad Zimmerman is no longer "at large". 
He should have been considered armed & dangerous, a flight risk, and be on suicide watch. 
Most importantly, he should not have access to guns. 

In my opinion, for what it's worth:

George Zimmerman should stay in jail for as long as Trayvon Martin remains deceased. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Like the Titanic, Santorum's presidential bid sinks

Like the Titanic, Rick Santorum's presidential campaign sank. In the same week of the 100 year anniversary of the inaugural, maiden and final voyage of the Titanic, Santorum announced he's out- suspended his campaign.
Old Rick just did not have the numbers to go on either.... 252 to Romney's 645 Delegate count.

Sanctimonious Santorum and his caveman "conservative" ideas campaign,  should have sunk months ago.  He would have women stay home, make babies, and allow him to make reproductive decisions for us.
The man had not a clue about separation of Church & State. After months of rabid vitriol and going for the jugular in the republican dogfight for the top spot, he now bows out & gives a hat tip to Romney.
So Adios Rick-- I'm not going to miss you. Although I don't like any of the republican candidates, I always felt Gingrich & Santorum were the worst of the bunch.

Yet another self declared conservative, Santorum's campaign is in debt, but has not announced how much in debt--
Exactly how much debt the Santorum campaign accrued over the past few months is unknown. According to, a database for tracking campaign spending and contributions, the Santorum campaign had $922,000 in debt at the end of February. That debt almost assuredly increased in March, a month in which Republicans held nominating contests in 19 states.

If Santorum could get over a million in debt, Newt Gingrich will not be outdone! His campaign overspent by $4.5 million. Will Callista have to pawn some of her Tiffany's bling to help out the old man?

Of course Newt still vows to stay in it till the end. His book selling tour campaign, which is now $4.5 million in debt, actually bounced a check for $500 in Utah for the required filing fee. If his campaign does not pay it by April 20, he will not be on the ballot in Utah.
Hey Newt! You're in Mormon country now!

In a sorry last gasp attempt-- to collect money, he's hawking Santorum  supporters to pick him.
Because there is nothing like running your campaign $4.5 million in the hole to show what a great leader you are?
Ron Paul's campaign manager said that the Texas congressman would "plan to continue running hard" through the August convention in Tampa.
Running hard, or hardly running-- he's got 45 delegate votes. 
The whole process has been exhausting. 

In the end, Romney is limping his way to being the front runner. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

i Mock

The latest i Pad is really hot. No.... really, it overheats.
Must be nice to have so many beta testers willing to pay top dollar for the test product!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


PILLSBURY DOUGH BOYPlease join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community. The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from being repeatedly poked in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, th
e Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.
Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Born and bread in Minnesota, Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, he lived to be a crusty old man and was considered a positive roll model for millions.
Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, three children: John Dough, Jane Dough and Dosey Dough, plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart and his French cousin the Michelin Man.
The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.
P.S.: If this made you smile for even a brief second, please rise to the occasion and share that smile with someone else that may be having a crumby day and kneads a lift.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Picture this

I love these photos. In the heat of an armed confrontation this 180ยบ turn around. Humanity in the midst of the shield and cold metal of guns- flowers & a hug. 
Do you struggle to turn around all the negative and inhumane acts swirling about worldwide, to try to infuse sanity & decency to the mix?

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Tribute to Trayvon Martin

Illustrations depicting the slain teenager 
are appearing on abandoned buildings in Baltimore

Editorial Rant: I feature an editorial from the local paper & respond.

It was Martin who stood his ground

Some say George Zimmerman will get off for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Don’t believe it.

Florida’s “Justifiable Use of Force” statute states: “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” That was what Martin was doing. Zimmerman was following him, paused to call the police, then, despite the police admonition not to continue his pursuit, looked for him again. Words were exchanged.

Martin felt threatened and beat Zimmerman down. Zimmerman pulled his handgun and shot Martin dead. Zimmerman appears to have been stalking Martin, a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida law.

So Zimmerman had no right to use defensive force to aid his misdemeanor. He should’ve said “You’re right, I’m sorry, you have a right to be here.” Instead, he pulled his gun on a man who was defending his right to be in a public place and killed him.

Zimmerman was the initiator of contact, the antagonist, and without his misdemeanor action, none of it would have taken place. Nothing about the “Justifiable Use of Force” statute supports Zimmerman. It supports Martin’s actions.


A MINOR correction

Phil Alderman's 4/4 editorial about Trayvon Martin having the right to Stand his ground was
excellent -with one correction:
"So Zimmerman had no right to use defensive force to aid his misdemeanor. He should’ve said “You’re right, I’m sorry, you have a right to be here.” Instead, he pulled his gun on a man who was defending his right to be in a public place and killed him."
The correction: Trayvon Martin was a 17 year old minor child. If only Zimmerman were not armed with a lethal weapon, or if he had listened to the
9-1-1 operator who told Zimmerman to not follow/chase him, Trayvon, would still be alive today. 
9-1-1 Dispacher: How old would you say he looks?
Zimmerman: late teens
Dispatcher; Are you following him?
Zimmerman: Yeah
Dispacher: Ok, we don’t need you to do that. 
Zimmerman: Ok

Trayvon is "everyone's chid", and this rogue killing, then playing the victim card as Zimmerman is trying to do, is both unacceptable and unconscionable. 
As lawyer Lauren Regan stated at the 4/2 Eugene rally, "these “stand your ground’ laws allow anyone with a gun be a judge, jury, and executioner".
Trayvon Martin committed no crime and had every right to walk in the "land of the free". A crime of murder was committed, and justice needs to be served. 
We can not allow innocent, unarmed children to be gunned down in the streets- not because of racial profiling, fear & prejudice.  In fact I can't think of any good reason. If the Stand your ground/Castle Doctrine laws allow for this kind of senseless slaughter, then those laws have got to go. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Judge, Jury & Executioner

Statue of Sen. Wayne Morse
Free Speech Plaza
Monday April 2, 2012  ~ Hoodie Rally

Went to a Trayvon Martin "Hoodie Rally" on Monday 150 people showed up, & they had some excellent speakers. A rep from the ACLU, & another Civil Rights lawyer, Lauren Regan spoke- at length re the Castle Doctrine- she put it best:

 "These Stand your ground laws, instantly make anyone with a gun "Judge, Jury & Executioner", and provide immunity from ever being brought to trial."

Obviously, Zimmerman, the shooter, felt emboldened to carry a gun, and ignore the 9-1-1 directions to essentially stand down & not get out of his vehicle & follow/chase/attack & kill Trayvon Martin. 
There was also talk that racial profiling & prejudice is a nationwide problem, by no means limited to Sanford FL. 

Trayvon Martin is "every one's child", because this could happen in any of the 23 states that have this type of "Stand your Ground", or better described as "Shoot First" laws.
This case both angers me to the core-, and brings me to tears.  An innocent kid was gunned down for no reason. Neighborhood watch just became lethal & fatal. 
Our society of gun madness, indeed I left the rally, heartened by those who care, and took a stand about this injustice, only to learn someone opened fire at a California University & 7 had been killed. 
The United States has become killing fields. 
At what point do we admit there is a problem?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Stinky Cheese Recalled in Wisconsin

America's Dairyland (as the Wisconsin license plate proclaims) is about to do a recall on stinky cheese.
That is THE BIG CHEESE,  Governor Scott Walker.
Much to their credit, the people of Wisconsin decided the tea party Governor Walker should be given his walking papers, after he pulled a Union Busting coup in 2010. I sure do hope the Gov. won the battle & loses the war, as they say.

Reuters reports:

Wisconsin's controversial Republican Governor Scott Walker will face a recall election on June 5 over a new law he championed that strips public sector unions of most power, becoming the first U.S. governor to face a no-confidence vote in nearly a decade.
The five-member Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, which manages elections, voted unanimously on Friday to formally certify more than 900,000 signatures calling for Walker's ouster, setting the recall election in motion.
Just hours after the recall vote was set, a federal judge in the Wisconsin capital of Madison struck down two key parts of Walker's signature law curbing union power that labor unions had challenged in court.
Walker set off a firestorm shortly after he was elected in 2010, when he pushed a law stripping public sector unions of most of their powers through the Republican-led legislature.
The law forced local and state workers such as teachers to pay part of the cost of health insurance and pensions, and took away union power to negotiate wage increases beyond the level of inflation.
What most infuriated unions were provisions that required a vote of membership every year to keep union representation at a workplace, and which made paying union dues voluntary, not mandatory. Both of those controversial parts of the law were struck down on Friday by Federal Judge William Conley.
Out to prove he really is out of touch:
"Appearing unfazed by the recall announcement, Walker launched into campaign mode on Friday, visiting a non-union metal fabrication company in South Milwaukee, where he chatted with workers and reporters.
"Who the other side puts on the ballot (in the recall election) is really secondary to the tens of millions of dollars we expect out-of-state, big government unions will be putting into this race," Walker said. "So that's really who my opponent is, it's the out-of-state government money that is coming in."

Wow! Governor Walker forgot about all those people who gathered in the State Capitol for all those days, and the Union Police Officers who refused to arrest them?

The election board also unanimously approved recall elections for Republican Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican state senators who backed the union curbs.