This article by Amos Bridges in today's SNL talks about the red light cameras.
The cameras cost $4,195.00 per month per APPROACH. They need to generate 1.5 tickets per day to pay for the camera. What the article doesn't make clear is this 1.5 tickets per day per approach or per intersection?
Regardless $16,000 plus dollars a month times how ever many intersections where cameras will be placed...that's a lot of tickets,,,,,we've commented on this subjectd.before.
In other news, the granddaughter came home from Cox South yesterday. She spent some time in infant ICU due to low blood sugar. She sure is a purty little thang. They named her Sophia Grace.
My wife and I are heading south to Rockaway Beach this afternoon. We have cabins down there. Going to take the pontoon over to Bull Shoals for some fishing and relaxing. Then watch the fireworks.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Couple of weeks ago the SNL ran a story by Kathyrn Buckstaff about a developer on Hollister who took some people for their life savings. Buckstaff wrote of one couple who estimates they lost $300,000 by giving the developer money in advance to keep the project going.
Even when the homeowners began to doubt developer's integrity, he always had answers to their questions, the homeowner said. The developer also invoked his belief in God, and talked about building a community of people with a shared faith, he said.
I have written before about interactions I have had with others and about the three time I really got the short end of the stick, it was by good, christian gentlemen. I empathize with these homeowners.
So, when I got an email this morning from Christian Faith Financial, I had not an inkling of what it contained, but I knew it would be something I would be blogging about. I opened the email, and saw this:
OK, nothing too out of the ordinary here, no different than the payday loan guys at the corner of Sunshine and Campbell. But I click on the link that says apply here. This is where it gets sticky: "Christian Faith Financial: Helping Families with Christian Financial Assistance. We help you the Christian Way!"
Not only do they want my personal information, they also want my bank account number and the bank routing information (Link here).
I just realized I been the recipient of a MIRACLE!
And I don't mean the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich or watermelon. I mean, I mean a true blue miracle!
Several weeks ago I received in the mail a copy of the Holy Handkerchief. The MESSAGE from GOD told me to soak the Holy Handkerchief in prayers and send it back to the church and good things will happen to me.
OH NO, at first I wasn't a believer. I soaked the holy handkerchief (not with prayer) and sent it back to those who sent it to me. PRAISE BE! TODAY, CHRISTIAN FAITH FINANCIAL WANTS TO GIVE ME MONEY!
NOW, I'm a Believer!
Money for strawberrys and cheese, money for Cook's beer that I keep in my Baptist Bar!
Money for nothing and chicks for free!
I have been to the MOUNTAIN and it is full of CASH!
Oh my lucky stars! They want to give me my just rewards. I deserve it!
Oh my lucky stars! I think I'll play the lottery today!
Oh my lucky stars! I will join the church! Yes, I have found the church that is relevant today! Please go there. Good things will happen to U 2, I will loan you my handkerchief, for a small fee.
Growing up in St. Louis(we moved here to the burg in the summer of '64), we called them the 'funny pages'. But things were different here in Springfield. And they still are. You don't have to start a sentence with a noun in Springfield. Remembering when I went into Steak and Shake and ordered an "orange soda', ("I believe I will have another big arnge") and the waitress asked if I was sure, of course I said. I got a glass of orange pop with ice cream. Then I learned another difference between the Ozarks and the big city. Up there it is called soda, down here it is called pop.
Three new comics are being test ran in the SNL for inclusion.
and Mother Goose and Grimm. The ladder being a combination of Mother Goose and the Brother's Grimm, I don't find it funny.
Get Fuzzy I like but I find the captions too hard to read.
Pickles has the gentle humor like in For Better or Worse. Also, anyone who drives a Studebaker gets my vote. And it is easy to read.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Impeach Cheney? President Bush regularly is unable to explain or defend the policies of his own administration, and that is because the heavy intellectual labor has been performed in the office of the vice president. Cheney is impeachable for his overweening power and his sneering contempt of the Constitution and the rule of law.
This story is from the Boston Globe:
The white Chevy station wagon with the wood paneling was overstuffed with suitcases, supplies, and sons when Mitt Romney climbed behind the wheel to begin the annual 12-hour family trek from Boston to Ontario.Now, I am not a dog lover or hater. My wife has two dogs. I feed and water them daily, take them to the vet, buy their food and flea medicine and take them to the groomers.
As with most ventures in his life, he had left little to chance, mapping out the route and planning each stop. The destination for this journey in the summer of 1983 was his parents' cottage on the Canadian shores of Lake Huron. Romney would be returning to the place of his most cherished childhood memories.
Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family's hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon's roof rack. He'd built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.
Then Romney put his boys on notice: He would be making predetermined stops for gas, and that was it
The ride was largely what you'd expect with five brothers, ages 13 and under, packed into a wagon they called the ''white whale.''
As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ''Dad!'' he yelled. ''Gross!'' A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who'd been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.
As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.
When I do transport them, it is in the front seat of my pickup. I would NEVER strap a dog to the roof of a station wagon.
This is a tiny preview of a trait Romney is famous for, emotion-free crisis management?
I think it is a tiny preview of a trait of a man who is more concerned about his comfort and well-being than that of others. A preview of a trait of a man who is cold and calculating to the expense of others.
Strapping a dog to the top of a car? Telling his sons that no stopping except at pre-determined stops? I bet those trips were fun!
Paul Charlton was one of the eight (that we know of) US Attorneys who were fired by the DOJ. A chart prepared to show the reasons for his firing stated "repeated instances of insubordination, actions taken contrary to instructions,actions taken that were clearly unauthorized, multiple failures to follow AG instructions on the death penalty."
The above email was a result of Charlton's attempting to speak to the AG about a death penalty case where there was no body, just the testimony of a cooperating witness.
Last year, Charlton's office convicted Jose Rios Rico, a methamphetamine dealer who was charged with slaying his supplier. They decided against seeking the death penalty according to a simple rule: while the evidence had been sufficient to convince a jury that Rico was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, it was not sufficient to be sure beyond all doubt. Rico had been convicted based on the testimony of cooperating witnesses, despite the lack of forensic evidence (there was no body).
Charlton explained: "This paucity of forensic evidence, evidence that doesn't forget and cannot lie, means, in my opinion, that Rios Rico should not be a death penalty case. If a government seeks to take another person's life it should do so on only the best of evidence."
It's not that prosecutors didn't know where Rico's body was -- it's in a landfill. But it would cost $500,0000 to $1 million to retrieve the body. When Charlton requested that money, the Department refused.
The attorney general's Death Penalty Committee makes the final recommendations in such cases, and so Charlton and his assistant U.S. attorneys sought to convince the committee that a life sentence was more appropriate for Rico. The committee decided against them. Instead, Charlton received a letter from the attorney general "authorizing" (read: ordering) him to seek the death penalty. Under John Ashcroft, Charlton says, he would have received notification of the disagreement before receiving such an "authorization."
The pattern was to continue. Charlton sought a reconsideration of the committee's decision. And here things went downhill:
"My most memorable discussion took place with Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty. After speaking with McNulty, I received a call from his chief of staff, Mike Elston. Elston indicated that McNulty had spoken to the Attorney General and that McNulty wanted me to be aware of two things. First, that McNulty had spent a significant amount of time on this issue with the Attorney General, perhaps as much as 5 to 10 minutes. Second, McNulty wanted me to know that in presenting my view, he, McNulty, had remained neutral, neither supporting nor opposing my position. I was struck that on an issue as important as whether to execute someone, so little time would be devoted to the topic and that the Deputy Attorney General would maintain a neutral position. Elston reported that the Attorney General remained in favor of seeking the death penalty."
Charlton asked Elston if he could speak directly with the attorney general, a request memorialized in an email, dated August 15, 2006. It's from Elston to Kyle Sampson, Gonzales' chief of staff and Sampson's reply.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
"I was born under a wondering star."
This is a photograph of my wife's great Aunt Claire and her Uncle Ben. They had a "modern" marriage meaning they lived together for economic reasons (and perhaps a little love) without the benefit of clergy or state approval.
The sanctity of their union lasted longer than most legal marriages last today. Further, they didn't care what others thought of their relationship. Remember this was in the 1930s, and some called their lifestyle scandalous.
See the truck in the picture? It started without a key. When he first got it, Uncle Ben at night would run a log chain through the front axle and padlock it to his ankle while he slept. Uncle Ben drove the truck, Aunt Claire drove the car and pulled the house trailer.
My son and his wife are the proud parents of Sophia Grace, 7lbs, 15 ounces. Born June 26, 2007 at Cox Medical Centers.
On a sadder note, my sister's son was killed in an automobile accident last Sunday on I-10 near Biloxi, Mississippi. Other than my father, this is the first person in our immediate family who has died.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
An interesting take on the Harvard students' hunger strike.
Wasn't one of the fasting students from Springfield?
If I question the way the crime lab is funded, if I question the need for a crime lab in Springfield, does that mean I am in favor of crime and rewarding criminals? A current Springfield City Council member told me that in 2002 when I raised the same questions.
As I recall when the crime lab was put to a vote of the people it failed, miserably. Supporters of the crime lab said it failed only because there were things tacked onto the proposal, like an early childhood education center, that supporters didn't like. If those attachments were not attached, the proposal would have passed, supporters said.
That didn't happen. Instead the state coughs up $400,000 from the state's leasing budget, and the remaining $1.5 million will have to be appropriated by the General Assembly during the next two years. Bob Dixon said the crime lab had lots of support in Jefferson City this year but IT STILL DIDN'T PASS. Republican Governor, Republican Senate, Republican House of Representatives, Republican US congressman and IT STILL DIDN'T PASS? What am I missing?. Do we have any guarantees it will pass in the next two years? I don't usually buy something unless I know I have the means to pay for it, should the city be any different?
The lab will cost 5.9 million dollars. 1.9 million comes from the state and the remaining 4 million comes from city funds and $2.7 million dollars in city bonds.
DID THE CITY SELL BONDS FOR THE CRIME LAB BEFORE IT WAS APPROVED?
For five years the city and county pay only interest of about $135,000, adjustable-rate (I recall that tv commercial about adjustable rate loans and the monkey on the lady's back--not a very favorable image), and the principal payment is due in five years.
Let's see, by 2012, someone will have to cough up $4,000,000.00 for a crime lab that will probably be out of date by then. Too many ifs involved here.
Why wasn't the money spent on updating or reducing the evidence-analysis workload at the current crime lab in Jefferson City?
Because people are AFRAID. Springfield Chief of Police Lynn Rowe said, "The people who really benefit from all of this are the victims as well as the accused." Guilty people will be convicted more quickly What? What? The Chief Cop in Springfield says "Guilty people will be convicted more quickly." Cops determine guilt? I thought the courts did that, but here in Springfield, we got drugs and thugs. And they are all black. And gang members from Chicago. Scary the heck out of the law abiding citizens of the town.
So, let's spend money we ain't got for a problem that doesn't exist. Yeah, we're tough on crime. No, that's not it. A lot of money is being spent on the area north of the square. Where is this money coming from? That's the question. Who decided to spend all this money down there? Who is footing the bill?
I got more questions than answers. My son and his wife are at Cox Hospital having a baby. Gotta run
Monday, June 25, 2007
Just past the Oval Office, in the private dining room overlooking the South Lawn, Vice President Cheney joined President Bush at a round parquet table they shared once a week. Cheney brought a four-page text, written in strict secrecy by his lawyer. He carried it back out with him after lunch.
In less than an hour, the document traversed a West Wing circuit that gave its words the power of command. It changed hands four times, according to witnesses, with emphatic instructions to bypass staff review. When it returned to the Oval Office, in a blue portfolio embossed with the presidential seal, Bush pulled a felt-tip pen from his pocket and signed without sitting down. Almost no one else had seen the text.
Cheney's proposal had become a military order from the commander in chief. Foreign terrorism suspects held by the United States were stripped of access to any court -- civilian or military, domestic or foreign. They could be confined indefinitely without charges and would be tried, if at all, in closed "military commissions."
"What the hell just happened?" Secretary of State Colin L. Powell demanded, a witness said, when CNN announced the order that evening, Nov. 13, 2001. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, incensed, sent an aide to find out. Even witnesses to the Oval Office signing said they did not know the vice president had played any part.
The above paragraphs are from a series of articles Washington Post Reporters Barton Gellman and Jo Becker have written about VP Dick Cheney. Cheney's Secret Service code name is Angler. They are chilling reading, real life Tom Clancy novels, except worse because it is really happening.
Chapter 1, A Different Understanding with the President, chronicles Cheney's relationship,as VP, with President Bush. It is a long article.
Chapter Two, Pushing the Envelope on Presidental Power is even more revealing.
Here is an excerpt from Chapter Two:
"The vice president's lawyer advocated what was considered the memo's most radical claim: that the president may authorize any interrogation method, even if it crosses the line of torture. U.S. and treaty laws forbidding any person to "commit torture," that passage stated, "do not apply" to the commander in chief, because Congress "may no more regulate the President's ability to detain and interrogate enemy combatants than it may regulate his ability to direct troop movements on the battlefield."
That same day, Aug. 1, 2002, Yoo signed off on a second secret opinion, the contents of which have never been made public. According to a source with direct knowledge, that opinion approved as lawful a long list of specific interrogation techniques proposed by the CIA - including waterboarding, a form of near-drowning that the U.S. government classified as a war crime in 1947. The opinion drew the line against one request: threatening to bury a prisoner alive."
Friday, June 22, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
This is my grandson, Austin. He was waving to cars as they drove past. I was laughing so hard I could barely focus the camera. What fun! Isn't it great to be eight!
This is his older brother Trey, he came over this morning to try on the ostrich costume. Very early this morning. Ain't summer vacation grand?
Ostrich Costume from DAV Store: $1.50
Four batteries from Family Dollar: $4.50
Laughing with your grandsons: PRICELESS!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
According to his rambling discourse in this morning's News-Leader, Steve Helms(R) has been suffering his overwhelming loss to Sara Lampe(D) by visiting his father in Florida.
Some of the many questions/comments I have about his rambling:
Did he drive his Segway down there?
Did he go down to pay his father back the money he owed him?
Did he borrow $1,000 from him for his crazy bet.
Did he know the N-L has a 200 word limit on letters.
Who is the "other side" he keeps mentioning in his letter?
Who are you refering to when you say "Maybe speaking the same language would help understanding, too."
What does the American Idol have to do with your letter?
The Missouri Constitution says that after paying debts and obligations, the funding of public education is the second most important priority of the General Assembly.
Get the picture Steve, the governor can appropriate more money for education than he did the year before, but as revenue increases, so should, according to the constitution, the amount of money appropriated to education.
If revenue increases 8% and education appropriations increase 4%, the governor HAS appropriated less for education.
Gee Steve, maybe that fall off your Segway hurt your head.
After reading your crazy "challenge" to Representative Lampe....if you spent your creditor's money as frivolously as you appear to spend yours, I can understand why you had to file for bankruptcy.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Sara Overstreet has a column in today's paper about pornography with an obscure reference to Nosferatu or something like that. I looked it up and I know it is a vampire and a lot of people follow it and there is a bunch of stuff on ebay. I am not sure what it means.
I linked somehow to a blog where this guy was talking about finding kiddie porn in the trash can at the incredible pizza place on South Campbell.
I remember the first time I saw pornography.
We used to live at 662 South Florence, across the street lived the pastor of Cherry Street Baptist Church and his family,next door lived a Colonel and his family. The colonel was the head of SMS ROTC. This was back in 1964. SMS was not as big then, it was surrounded by neighborhoods. A bunch of us guys from the neighborhood were cutting through campus to head over to Kings and Madison to go to a friend's house.
One of the guys saw a magazine thrown in the bushes that was fluttering in the wind. He picked it up, and started whopping and hollering. All of us clamored to see what he had found.
I had never seen anything like this before. Believe me, it was pretty amazing for 1964. I had never seen that much of a woman before.
One of us, I can't remember who it was, I know it wasn't me, threw it back in the bushes because, "That's nasty!"
Some of us wanted to keep it because, well why do teenaged boys look at Playboys? For the articles of course.
On the way back, we noticed the magazine was gone from where we threw it.
Which makes me wonder, has anyone else found pornography?
Re-reading, what was considered pornography in 1964 in Springfield MO, is tame as heck now.
Our house eventually became the Ecumenical Center and my brother's and my huge bedroom on the second floor was turned into the chapel. That was interesting
Paris Hilton went to jail because she listened to her publicist who said she didn't have to do anything about her suspended license or something like that. The judge ordered her to jail, she fired her publicist.
Evidently, she's got a new one and he's pretty good.
After the brief fiasco of in jail out of jail, her press has been pretty good, she's found religion and wants to do good things with her life.
I thinks it is all a fraud. Look at this a picture from May 22, 2007.
Say,,,,,isn't that a bible? Isn't that a simple dress that covers her body, she's trying to change her image. All right, maybe we got a little of the Farah Faucett thing going in the upper regions, but that's ok, at least she is marginally dressed. I tried to find a picture of her not so marginally dressed, there are tons of them out there, but this is purported to be a family blog.
She's trying to change her image. Do Jail house conversions work?
Why am I posting so much about Paris Hilton?
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
The backlash is coming. Russell Strunk, the deceased head of the IBEW here in Springfield, used to tell me to "vote your pocketbook."
He was talking about blue collar workers who voted for Republicans, not for money values, but for value values (abortion, gun control, gay marriage). Russell's assertion was that these issues had nothing to do with governance but played on people's fears and religious beliefs, often courting their religious leaders (ie Jerry Falwell, James Dobson)while secretly mocking them.
We now know that the Rove and his cohorts used these relationships to further their own causes. Remember David Kuo's book?
A recent poll commissioned by The Center for Rural Strategies shows the Republicans are losing ground in rural America.
This poll is interesting to us here in rural Missouri and the 2008 governor's race.
Senator Claire McCaskill focused on rural Missouri in her campaign against Former Senator Jim Talent. There is clout here in the Ozark hills.
Back when Mark McQuire (speelign his name correctly?) was chasing the home run record, I commented to a co-worker that something was funny about him,,,,McQuire, not the co-worker, I thought he looked like he was on steroids. My co-worker took almost violent exception to my observations. Now we know he used something in his quest.
The same with Barry Bonds, should he be in the record books? Especially if he used performance enhancing drugs? And, is his HR ball worth a million bucks? Not to me it isn't. One auction house is gambling that it will be worth that much.
Speaking of gambling, I always thought "Mr. Hustle" should be in the hall of fame too.
Monday, June 11, 2007
"I haven't looked in the mirror since I got here."
ABC News has the story, BW will talk about it on The View this morning.
I wonder if this is Paris talking or her publicist? Either way, it makes for good copy, but how long do jailhouse conversions last?
Anybody else notice the Hilton hotel commercials on being nice to other people?
Are there two tiers of justice in this country?
Sunday, June 10, 2007
I just do what the voices in my head tell me to do.
They said go to this website. NOW!
gee, what if the voice in my head is ..... God?
David Brown clarifies the matter:
The distinction between people who hear auditory hallucinations and who hear God's voice or the devils voice or a spirit guide is a little hazy i think both happened to these people and the confusion is trying to sort it all out but with those who are better at channeling it doesn't seem to affect as much i know i can control my thought voices if i really try but even then if God wants to tell me something it always gets through but it gets distorted by my doubt and my mind wavers.
The thing about people who hear God's voice are highly propthetic i know i have the gift of prophecy and alot of people who are labeled mentaly ill have a prophetic gift but it's just a matter of listening to the guidance of the holy spirit sometimes the devil can really mess with your head because he counterfiets the holy spirits convictions with guilt and condemnation which often explains the demonic activity that people experience when people have voices that are demeaning or belittleing.
I can mostly relate to John Frusciante because i am a musician but i am also a poet and a bit of an artist and my voices started around the same age it almost destroyed me the voices were both good and bad but two extremes i even resorted to suicide attempts because i was having alot of torment but with prayer, scripture and supplication the Lord has helped me sort this out and to relax.
I was diagnosed last year with schizoaffective dissorder and i haven't had much fun with medication and i recently became aware that the word pharmacy is deriven from the greek word pharmakia which means sorcery to administer drugs and that has totaly turned me off i would much rather take natural herbs and supplements but that's just me everyone has to find out for themselves hopefully sooner than later.
thanks Godbless you all
"Something's happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear."
Tax credits, politics, subsidized housing, Springfield. I've been reading bits and pieces about this for almost a year now. I first started having conversations about this back in 2002. I think the Springfield school board was even involved in this, and City Council, remember the housing moratorium? I suspect there is some sort of insider information going on, has been for a while. It is all the same people over and over again.
This article, published by the Columbia Tribune back in June, 2007, gives some background on what is going on.
Read more here about the developer and loyalty.
All these big players give money to both Democrats and Republicans. I seem to recall that Hamra got a big award at one of the past Jackson Days. Talk about butter both sides of your toast!
All I ever got was a free frosty.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Friday, June 08, 2007
From The Atlantic Monthly | November 1960
First Wave at Omaha Beach
When he was promoted to officer rank at eighteen, S. L. A. MARSHALL was the youngest shavetail in the United States Army during World War I. He rejoined the Army in 1942, became a combat historian with the rank of colonel; and the notes he made at the time of the Normandy landing are the source of this heroic reminder. Readers will remember his frank and ennobling book about Korea, THE RIVER AND THE GAUNTLET, which was the result of still a third tour of duty.
by S. L. A. Marshall
UNLIKE what happens to other great battles, the passing of the years and the retelling of the story have softened the horror of Omaha Beach on D Day.
This fluke of history is doubly ironic since no other decisive battle has ever been so thoroughly reported for the official record. While the troops were still fighting in Normandy, what had happened to each unit in the landing had become known through the eyewitness testimony of all survivors. It was this research by the field historians which first determined where each company had hit the beach and by what route it had moved inland. Owing to the fact that every unit save one had been mislanded, it took this work to show the troops where they had fought.
Read the whole article here.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
This is just a place holder until I get more time.
The floors are done, the vinyl flooring is in, my friend, Rick the Plumber came over this morning and plumbed the trailer. The walls are going in, slowly it is getting finished.
The underbelly is fastened up, I'd say another week and we'll be ready to take a trip!
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
This article, from Christianpost.com, cites a commissioned poll of 1,000 respondents, in which 50 percent of Christian men and 20 percent of Christian women were found to be addicted to pornography.
The Christianpost.com appears to be an on-line Christian newspaper. The link to the ChristiaNet.com is a page with, among other things, links to Russian women and Russian wives. Further down in the article, by Audrey Barrick, she lists the website as ChistiaNet.com.
I know it is easy to misspell while blogging, but with a subject as sensational as this, I would have thought the article would have been letter perfect. Mistakes call the whole poll results into question.
Monday, June 04, 2007
This blog bothers me and I am not sure why.
Maybe it is because he takes her to goofy golf and a cave tour on a date, buys himself a crotch rocket and doesn't like all the wedding pictures on the wall in the apartment.
Something in his eyes.....she loves him more than he loves her? Gosh A Rooty, that's scarey!
Sunday, June 03, 2007
C. Everett Koop, before he became a fixture on late night television selling, "HELP, I've fallen and can't get up" buttons, he was the Surgeon General of the United States.
C. Everett Koop, what a handle! And bushy eyebrows, all fancied up in his blue military uniform, after all, he was a GENERAL! Remember, he was the anti cigarette guy.
Then came the Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. She's a hero, and not just because she’s the patron saint of masturbation. (Which, frankly, is reason enough.) The first African-American and the second woman to serve as Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. Elders was censured for her outspoken views throughout her abbreviated tenure (September 1993-December 1994). However, it wasn't her commitment to providing sex and contraceptive information to the nation's youth, her advocacy of legalizing RU-486, her being labeled the "condom queen" or even her willingness to consider legalizing drugs that got her fired. No, Dr. Elders lost her job when she acknowledged that "masturbation is part of human sexuality and it's a part of something that perhaps should be taught" as part of sex education in the schools. Responding to questions at the 1994 World AIDS Days conference, Dr. Elders noted "We've not even taught our children the very basics. And I feel that we have tried ignorance for a very long time and it's time we try education."
Now, W is got a new guy for the General's job: James Holsinger. Dubya has this to say about the guy. Read it.
But what W doesn't say about someone is sometimes much more important then what he does say. Seems like it is always that way, isn't it. W doesn't tell us that this nominee for Surgeon General thinks it is ok to discrimate against other Americans who are different from him, or who don't think the same thoughts he thinks.
I find it easy to get sidetracked when blogging. Flight of fancy, flight of ideas, my mind sometimes runs away with an idea.
My wife and I like to fish. We got a big pontoon boat and a cabin in Rockaway Beach, one of the original cabins, the Babbling Brook cabins. It is all done in knotty pine and about four years ago we built a huge deck around three sides of the cabin.
A guy who owned a bar on Commercial street owned the cabin before us, before him it was owned by the people who owned Campbell Ford in Ozark, MO. When we got it, it was trashed. The underneath was full of trash. I used to own army trucks, it took 15 loads of an Army Truck full of trash to get all the trash out from underneath the cabin.
We gutted the insides, saved all the knotty pine and rebuilt it. The cabin orginally had two baths and three small bedrooms and a small living room and a kitchen. We turned the two baths into a large bath and two bedrooms and small living room into a large living room. The kitchen we kept the same.
My wife and I bought everything in the cabin at garage sales or flea markets. What fun we had.
My neighbor has the cabin below us, my Mom has the cabin next to us and a good friend has the cabin on the other side of ours. It is a good compound. At one time my wife and I owned a houseboat. It was 42 foot long and had twin Chevrolet motors. We had a lot of fun on the houseboat, fishing, barbequing, partying, til it got too expensive. Dock fees, gas costs, there was always something going wrong with a big boat.
Some of my wife's happiest memories are on the houseboat, mine too, once we got to a cove, getting to the cove was always stressful. boats sink.
Oh yeah, this was a post about Sturgeon: I tried to find a picture of my wife catching a fish on Tablerock or Bull Shoals, but I couldn't find one. so there.
A guy I used to work with grew up in South Dakota. His parents, when they were alive, still lived there. He married a girl from Falcon, who was a school teacher. He was a school teacher too until he became a drug rep and worked for Miles. He used to go to the big Harley shindig at Sturgis as often as he could.
To my knowledge, this guy had never owned a Harley, indeed had never been on a motorcycle.
He is the kind of guy who dips skoal when his wife is not around and spits it in a styrofoam cup. In my opinion, the only good thing to put in a styrofoam cup is beer. This guy is corporate America 360 days of the year, then for five days he gets to play Harley outlaw. When we worked together, at first, we got along great. Then I noticed he was spending more and more time with the big boss and dropping, in our phone conversations, references to conversations with the big boss, such as,
"when the big boss and I were playing golf on Tuesday..." Shucks, I was working on Tuesday doing my job, I didn't have time to be running to the head office playing golf, I was doing my job.
Then I noticed that when a tough situation came up, he would pass it off to the legal department right off the bat, instead of trying to solve it himself, as we were supposed to do.
His favorite word to describe a female co-worker was a word that I never used. This guy was the master of the art of office politics. And I never got the hint. He has turned into a petty tyrant over the people in his section. He forgot where he came from, or maybe he didn't.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
I blogged a bit last night about "that guy with tb". It still baffles me.
Here is this guy who is an attorney and seemingly the perfect picture of health, why was he tested for tb in the first place? He had to show symptoms or something. Then, there is the father-in-law, works for CDC, then in the SNL I read that there is some question if the marriage even occurred in Greece.
The New York Times has an interesting read this morning on "that guy with TB".
Friday, June 01, 2007
By Alan Cooperman
Posted June 1 2007, 10:44 AM EDT
WASHINGTON _ Florida evangelist Bill Keller says he was making a spiritual -- not political -- statement when he warned the 2.4 million subscribers to his Internet prayer ministry that ``if you vote for Mitt Romney, you are voting for Satan!''
But the Washington-based advocacy group Americans United for Separation of Church and State says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) should revoke the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status of Bill Keller Ministries, nonetheless.
Keller, 49, who has a call-in show on a Tampa television station and a Web site called Liveprayer.com, on May 11 sent out a ``daily devotional'' that called Romney ``an unabashed and proud member of the Mormon cult founded by a murdering polygamist pedophile named Joseph Smith nearly 200 years ago.
'' If the former Massachusetts governor wins the GOP nomination and the presidency, Keller's message added, it will ``ultimately lead millions of souls to the eternal flames of hell.''
In a letter to the IRS on Thursday, Americans United called Keller's message a violation of the ban on partisan politicking by tax-exempt religious groups.
Keller, in a telephone interview, laughed off the controversy. ``Let them come after me for making a spiritual statement about Mitt Romney. I would love that,'' he said. ``Bring it on.''
The Republican Plan For 2008 Begins Today
by Thom Hartmann
It’s difficult to watch Democrats play checkers while Republicans play chess with Iraq. It’s particularly difficult on Memorial Day as more Americans and Iraqis die. But the Republican Party has been playing politics with Iraq since the day after the Supreme Court installed George W. Bush in office in 2001, and they have no intention of stopping now. They may have borrowed some techniques from Richard Nixon, but they have no intention of repeating his mistakes.
The political calculus being pursued by Karl Rove and the Republican Party with regard to Iraq and the 2008 elections is a simple four-step process:
1. Shift “ownership” of the downside of the “war” and occupation of Iraq to the Democrats.
2. Begin to wind down American involvement in the occupation of Iraq no later than mid-2008.
3. “Claim victory and get out” of direct combat in Iraq by the early fall of 2008.
4. Win big in the 2008 elections by having “won” a “war.”
Step one was accomplished last week, when Republicans - particularly those most visible in our corporate “mainstream” media - played up hugely how “Democrats” in the House and Senate had “caved in” to George W. Bush’s demand for a “free hand” in Iraq. Bush, of course, is not up for re-election, so it’s no problem for him to take the short-term heat for the ongoing death and destruction in Iraq. With $500 million budgeted to re-write history after he leaves office (the so-called “Bush Library” and “think tank” associated with it), Bush has plenty of time to rehabilitate his legacy, much as Reagan’s handlers have so deftly done.
With the Democrats “giving the President what he wanted” on Iraq, the average person in our nation now thinks Democrats and Bush are jointly responsible for the current “mess” in Iraq.
Step two was initiated a few weeks ago with diplomatic initiatives by Condoleezza Rice to Iran and Syria. At Bush’s news conference about the passage of the Iraq funding bill, he all but laid out this strategy, in citing the Baker/Hamilton Commission, which recommended pulling Iran and Syria (and other nations in the region) into the process of stabilizing Iraq, and redeploying American forces to “safe” places like the Green Zone, the huge military cities (”bases”) we’re building there, and to nearby countries like Kuwait. A day later, the Bush Administration quietly announced that they were dropping funding for covert destabilization programs against Iran and Syria, and initiating talks with Iran “about Iraq.”
Bush will now follow nearly exactly the script the Democrats wrote in the bill Bush vetoed, reducing and redeploying out troops over the next 15 months, all in anticipation of the 2008 elections. Except that the Democrats, having failed to override his veto and having “caved in” to him, can no longer claim any ownership whatever to the successes that will come from it - Republicans in Congress and Bush will claim all of that.
This is the end-game of a political equation that was begun the day after Bush was sworn into office.
We know that Bush wanted to massively cut taxes on his corporate sponsors and people, like himself, with substantial inherited fortunes. He wanted to weaken government protections of the environment, children, the poor, the elderly, the ozone layer, and our nation’s forests. He wanted his oil-rig and mining-interest friends to have more access to public lands.
We know he wanted to undo Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal by stripping the American workplace (particularly government and schools) of unions, rolling back “socialist” unemployment and Social Security programs, and eliminating SEC and tort restraints on predatory corporate behavior. He’d even campaigned on this platform - particularly Social Security privatization - back in 1978 when he unsuccessfully ran for Congress from Texas.
We know he wanted to increase the police power of the federal government, gut the First and Fourth Amendments, and thus create a “safe and orderly nation” of people under constant surveillance, who never question those in power.
We know he wanted to give billions of our tax dollars to churches he approved of, and bring their leaders into the halls of government. He wanted to pass laws incorporating religious dogma about when human life begins, what is appropriate sexuality, and free churches to use tax-exempt dollars to influence politics.
It was an ambitious agenda. In order to bring about this neoconservative paradise, Bush knew he’d need considerable political capital. And that kind of capital didn’t come from his being selected as President by the Supreme Court.
Such political capital - such raw political power - would only come, he believed, by his becoming a “war president.”
Bush wasn’t the first to realize how war strengthened a president in power, although the Founders saw it as a danger rather than an opportunity.
On April 20, 1795, James Madison wrote, “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.”
Reflecting on war’s impact on the Executive Branch of government, Madison continued his letter about the dangerous and intoxicating power of war for a president.
“In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive [President] is extended,” he wrote. “Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war…and in the degeneracy of manners and morals, engendered by both.
“No nation,” he concluded, “could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
But freedom wasn’t the goal of George W. Bush or his neoconservative Republican colleagues. It was political power. And they were willing to lie us into a war to achieve it.
Writer Russ Baker noted in October, 2004, that Mickey Herskowitz, the man Bush had originally hired to write his autobiography (”A Charge To Keep: My Journey To The White House“), told Baker that George Bush was planning his Iraq invasion - to seize and hold political power for himself and the Republican Party - during his first presidential election campaign.
“He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” Herskowitz told Baker. “It was on his mind. He [Bush] said to me: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.’ And he said, ‘My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it.’ He said, ‘If I have a chance to invade, if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.”
The Senate Intelligence committee released, just in time for the Memorial Day Weekend, the “Part Two” of their report that Republican Senator Pat Roberts had kept from release until after the elections, showing clearly that Bush lied about the intelligence he had in 2002, both to Congress, to the American people, and to the world. Bush lied and people died - and continue to die. But politically - at least so far - it has worked out well for Bush.
It was a lie of political expediency, with the war resolution carefully timed just before the 2002 elections to help the Republicans take back the Senate.
It was echoed and amplified and repeated over and over again to help him and other Republicans get elected in 2004.
It wasn’t just a war for oil - cheap oil was just a useful secondary benefit.
It wasn’t just a war against terrorism - that was just a convenient excuse.
It wasn’t just a war to enrich Bush’s and Cheney’s cronies - those were just pleasant by-products.
It wasn’t just a war to show Poppy Bush that Junior was more of a man than him - that was just a personal bonus for Dubya.
It was, pure and simple, well planned years in advance, a war to solidify Bush and the Republican Party’s political capital.
It was a war for political power. That had to be first. Everything else - oil, profits, ongoing PATRIOT Act powers, easy manipulation of the media - all could only come if political power was seized and held through at least two decisive election cycles.
The Bush administration lied us into an invasion to get and keep political power. It’s that simple. It’s the same reason Richard Nixon authorized Watergate and then lied about the cover-up. The same reason Nixon lied about his “secret plan” to get out of Vietnam.
And now Democrats think they’ll be able to claim the high ground, but they just lost it all. Even as Harry Reid declared on the day Bush accepted his new Iraq funding that, “Democrats will continue to insist that this administration accept responsibility for its failed conduct of this war…” the Republican media machine was shoving that responsibility down the throats of the Democrats.
Meanwhile, the Bush plan is imminently clear to the Republicans in Congress. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, about the same time Reid was speaking, was telling reporters that “the handwriting is on the wall that we are going in a different direction in the fall, and I expect the president to lead it.” Republican Senator Jeff Sessions openly said that same day that the “war” in Iraq is no longer a “war,” but an occupation, setting the stage for a withdrawal that won’t be perceived as a defeat.
The plan is simple. By November of 2008, the “victories” of the Democrats’ first hundred days in office will be long forgotten, the “war” will be remembered as “difficult, but at least we won it,” and those “anti-war” Democrats will be portrayed as wimps or cravenly anti-American.
The only question now is how placidly the Democrats will continue to play their assigned role in this little drama. And how many more people will die between now and the time Republicans cynically (and finally) execute their strategy in time for the 2008 elections.
Thom Hartmann (thom at thomhartmann.com) is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight,” “Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights,” “We The People: A Call To Take Back America,” “What Would Jefferson Do?,” “Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class and What We Can Do About It,” and “Cracking The Code: The Art and Science of Political Persuasion.”
Aren't we all special interests?
For instance, Haliburton has a no bid contract with the US and make billions of dollars in profits. Big oil raises the price of gasoline and makes billions of dollars in profits.
Who do these dollars go to? The stockholders.
Who are the stockholders? My pension fund.
Who gets money from my pension fund? I do.
I do? I'm the SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP?
What the hay!
When I was a young boy growing up in St. Louis, each year the school I attended gave each student in the fourth grade a tuberculosis patch test. The year I was in fourth grade I tested positive.
I didn't know what to make of it, all of sudden a lot of people were interested in me. My parents, grandparents, doctors: I was the center of attention and I really wasn't sure why. My memory may be wrong, but I do remember that whatever it was, it was serious.
A medical student who babysat us had contracted tuberculosis and somehow I got tested positive. For several years I would go to this hospital in St. Louis every four months and get a chest x-ray.
I can remember my Mom driving me out there in the family car. Other times I remember her and I taking the bus. I recollect the hospital to be out be the St. Louis airport.
This was probably happening in 1957 or 1958.
So, when this
guy's mug got plastered all over the internet, I paid attention. If TB was serious back in 1958, it appears to be more serious in 2007, especially drug resistant TB.
He appeared to me to have the height of arrogance: his wishes were more important than the safety and well being of thousands. I don't know, the news reports sometimes portray him as a victim, sometimes as a villian.
Tonight, on Countdown, I learned this guy's father-in-law worked for the CDC.
I said he probably didn't want his daughter to marry this guy and infected him.
My wife, a nurse, said nobody is that mean. He probably picked up the infection in his lab became a carrier, and unwittingly passed it to his future son-in-law.
I don't know.