Saturday, April 21, 2007

Leaving the World a Better Place

Food for thought ...

A Daily Reminder

Still Life with Dia de los Muertos figures

Quote of the Day

"A conservative is a man who believes that nothing should be done for the first time." - Alfred E. Wiggam

The Biggest News Story to Miss the Front Page

There's a story bubbling under the surface that has the potential to be bigger than the War in Iraq and bigger than Global Warming ... but it's not getting much attention. Bees are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Forget about killer bees, because the phenomenon seems to be going in reverse. According to a recent research study at Landau University, bees appear to have an adverse reaction to cell phones wherein they refuse to return to their hives if there is cell phone radiation nearby. If the colonies don't reconvene after a day out pollinating and ruining backyard barbecues, they start to die off from lack of resources being brought back to the hive. This is referred to as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

Whole economies and the entire food chain is dependent on pollination. If pollination stops, everything stops. Bees are responsible for a significant percentage of all pollination on the planet.

The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.
The consequences are quite huge. I would think there might be a little more noise about this phenomena. It appears we're on the verge of frivolously talking ourselves to death.

Call someone and tell them to get off their damned cell phone!

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Scandal Sheet

Google "Clinton Scandals" = 1,930,00 hits

Google "Bush Scandals" = 7,710,000 hits

OK ... so there's some duplication. Bush can't possibly be responsible for almost 8 million scandals! Can he?

There must be a way of measuring the impact of these scandals. Maybe if one added up the money involved in all of Clinton's scandals and compared it to all the money involved in the Bush scandals?

No. that wouldn't be fair. Bush has Haliburton. That's an unfair advantage. There are no scandals in the list of Clinton's shady financial dealings that could even come close! Bush graduated from Clinton's league when he dumped all that Harkin Oil stock by back dating the transactions.

OK. How about counting the number of people's lives that have been directly effected? POOP! Can't use that, either. With a handicap of 665,000 Iraqi deaths attributable to Bush, UNFAIR advantage! Again! Nothing Clinton did put that much blood on his hands ... even if you blame him for 9/11 and it's 3,000 American deaths. Bush has killed more American's than one could blame on Clinton, too.

Of course, that number for Iraqi deaths has been argued as being "overblown" but I suspect some of the numbers associated with Clinton are a little "overblown" as well.

But the order of MAGNITUDE? Just look at the ORDER of Magnitude! we're talkin' 300 to 1 here in the death columns.

I'm sure glad that the Republicans were able to bring honesty and integrity back to the White House and American politics! I'm sure glad we're all back on track, now.

On Gonzo!
Go DeLay!
Go Cunningham and Hastert!
On Rumsfeld and Brownie,
And Miers, you bastards!

Did I mention I. "Scooter" and Foley?

... and Mr. Cheney? I'm sure glad you were able to round up all those Ken Lay look-alike oil industry experts to help draft our so-called energy policy. You're doin' a great job there, Dickie!

Check the video:
George W. Bush Scandal Collector Plate commercial

Rehersing for the Impeachment Hearings

In a rare nod to reality, Republicans comment on AG Gonzales' testimony.

"Mr. Attorney General, most of this is a stretch," said Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

"Why is your story changing?" demanded Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

"Significantly, if not totally, at variance with the facts," said Arlen Specter (Pa.), the committee's ranking Republican.

"Really deplorable," said John Cornyn (R-Tex.).

They could paint a far broader picture with THAT brush and still be coloring within the lines.

Explaining his role in the botched firing of federal prosecutors, Gonzales uttered the phrase "I don't recall" and its variants ("I have no recollection," "I have no memory") 64 times. Along the way, his answer became so routine that a Marine in the crowd put down his poster protesting the Iraq war and replaced it with a running "I don't recall" tally.

Take Gonzales's tally along with that of his former chief of staff, who uttered the phrase "I don't remember" 122 times before the same committee three weeks ago, and the Justice Department might want to consider handing out Ginkgo biloba in the employee cafeteria.

More here ...

See also:
  • I don't remember seeing that in the Constitution.
  • I don't remember torture being against the law in the United States.
  • I don't remember if the provisions of the Geneva Conventions apply to us.
  • I don't recall there being a panel of judges empowered to grant expedited warrants in national security issues.

If Only ...

Vermont senate adopts resolution to impeach Bush

Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:02AM EDT

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Vermont state senate passed a symbolic resolution on Friday calling on the U.S. Congress to impeach U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney over their handling of the unpopular Iraq war.

The resolution, passed by a 16 to 9 vote, urges Vermont's representatives in Washington to introduce a resolution in Congress requiring the U.S. House Judiciary Committee to start impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney.

Get educated on this bit of wishful thinking here ...

Now, if Vermont were representative of anything other than Vermont when it comes to national political thought, I'd be a little more blown away. Of course, 16 out of a possible 25 makes for a two thirds majority. Isn't that what it would take? Isn't that about what the approval ratings are for Bush? (Note, his approval ratings are better than Cheney's.)

Thursday, April 19, 2007


In Agua Caliente Park
IR and Normal

Its getting drafty in here ... again

According to the Marine Corps Times:
The Senate Armed Services Committee heard testimony Tuesday that increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps may not resolve severe and growing personnel problems. There was even talk of returning to the draft to fill the ranks.
I've found myself in conversations where the topic has come up on a number of times since Sen. Rangel (D-NY) brought it up awhile ago.

I think I have a useful idea.

In the recent past (WWII, Korea and Viet Nam), the responsibility for shouldering the burden of military service has fallen to those who benefit least from being part of this great nation. Recruiters for the all volunteer military seek out the disadvantaged, the poor, the under-educated in their efforts and now they may also waive criminal records to fill the ranks.

If we are to re-institute a draft to fill our military service's personnel needs again, I would suggest that it be structured in such a way that those who have benefited most, the wealthy and privileged - those who have become multi-millionaires, who have tax breaks that protect their wealth - let them be tapped first. They have the most to loose if our country experiences threats from outside its borders. They have the most to gain by maintaining our military might and dominance throughout the world.

I would imagine they would see it as their patriotic duty to defend their wealth and position by sending their children into harms way. It would have the added benefit that their children would have actually earned their inheritance, too.

I would imagine those on the Right who promote the idea of "personal responsibility" would be in favor of the idea as well. Taking direct and personal responsibility to protect and defend one's wealth and one's country should fit right into that proposition.

Why, from the American Revolution and through the Civil War and as recently as the Spanish American War in 1898, it was not uncommon for individuals of wealth and position to personally raise and equip whole regiments at their own expense - and lead them into battle, too!

Why have we abandoned our history? I think we should resurrect some of the old ways!

It could all be accomplished at the stroke of a pen!

Country Exit

Tucson, straight ahead ... El Paso, to your right

Hitting Some High Points

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Jesue Wept

Get your action figure plastic Jesus here ...

No! No! HONEST! These folks ACTUALLY are holier-than-thou!

It reminds me of an old tune from my youth by George Cromarty and Ed Rush:

Well, I don't care if it rains or freezes
Long as I have my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
I could go a hundred miles an hour
Long as I got the almighty power
Glued up there with my pair of fuzzy dice

{Refrain - repeat between verses}
Plastic Jesus, plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Through all trials and tribulations
We will travel every nation
With my plastic Jesus I'll go far

I don't care if it rains or snowses
Long as I got my plastic Moses
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Through all trials and tribulations
We will travel every nation
Me and plastic Moses will go far

I don't care if it rains or freezes
As long as I've got my plastic Jesus
Glued to the dashboard of my car
You can buy Him phosphorescent
Glows in the dark, He's pink and pleasant
Take Him with you when you're travelling far

I don't care if it's dark or scary
Long as I have magnetic Mary
Ridin' on the dashboard of my car
I feel I'm protected amply
I've got the whole damn holy family
Riding on the dashboard of my car

You can buy a sweet Madonna
Dressed in rhinestones sitting on a
Pedestal of abalone shell
Goin' ninety, I'm not wary
'Cause I've got my virgin Mary
Guaranteeing I won't go to Hell

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Not sure if I should Laugh Out Loud or Cry

Check out this video:

I couldn't stop laughing.

WTF? More Clear Headed Thinking?

Bushism of the Day
from Slate Magazine by Jacob Weisberg

"Suiciders are willing to kill innocent life in order to send the projection that this is an impossible mission."

— G.W. Bush
Washington, D.C., April 3, 2007
(Thanks to Garry Trudeau.)

I honestly don't think "suiciders" is even a friggin' WORD in the English language!

Like that? Try this one on for size:

"And my concern, David, is several."

— G.W. Bush
Speaking to David Gregory,
Washington, D.C., April 3, 2007

If I ran Yale, I'd be looking for a way to get back that degree daddy talked us into. But it goes on.

"That's why we are inconveniencing air traffickers, to make sure nobody is carrying weapons on airplanes."

—G. W. Bush
Discussing the continuing need
for heightened airline security,
Washington D.C., April 3, 2007

From Eric and John

Hi to all friends and family.

Just wanted to get the word out that the Musical Brokers (Eric Brody - John Roginski) have submitted 2 songs for the national songwriting contest being offered by American Idol, the nation's # 1 rated television show. For those of you that are not familiar, It's basically a talent show for up and coming artists.

The show is picking 20 songs, and then the public gets to vote online for their favorites.

If you would like a listen to our 2 songs, please click here: Musical Brokers on MySpace

It's the first 2 songs listed.

Thanks, and we'll keep you posted on our progress.

Eric & John

More About the Friendly Skys and No-Fly Lists

The evidence remains thin that Murphy (Ed.: The Princeton professor mentioned in my earlier post) was actually on a watch list -- he was able to get a boarding pass on his return trip -- but the incident shows how the watch list programs have put their imprint on America's consciousness. It's in the very nature of secret watch lists to induce paranoia, says Lee Tien, an Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyer and longtime critic of government watch lists.

"If (the lists) weren't secret, you would know if you were on one and you would be able to scream about it," Tien says. "Without accountability, they will be stupid or evil; and without transparency, there's no way to tell the difference."

Read the full article here ...

Quote of the day

"In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office."

-Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sibyl Road

I stopped off at the Sibyl Road Exit a little more than a year ago to photograph the ruins of the Stuckey's. The high rise sign that was there at the time is gone but, I'm pleased to say, the ruins are still there. I checked today on the way to the Amerind.

I found this tree in what used to be the parking lot.

Alone in the Desert (Infrared)
Sibyl Road Exit, I-10, Arizona

The ruins haven't aged a day since the last time I saw them

The Ruins
Sibyl Road Exit, I-10, Arizona

OK, Big Brother is NOT watching

Let me speak into your lapel ... BIG BROTHER IS NOT WATCHING

With regard to the No Fly List item I reposted from other sources yesterday, a friend, whom I consider a very reliable source, writes the following:

The last story is absolutely, 100% untrue. Or at least the explanation of being on the no fly list is completely false. Take it from someone with experience with the no fly list. The clerk at American Airlines has nothing to do with the no fly list, placing someone on the no fly list, and obviously has no idea why someone is placed on the list. The airlines have nothing to do with the no fly list. Please don't use my name when you retract the story, but feel free to say it's from a very reliable source.

As requested, I won't use my friend's name. However, I find it an interesting sign of the general paranoia engendered by the current power structure that my friend would decline having his/her name associated with a simple statement of truth. It strikes me as an even better example of the degree to which Big Brother is watching then the story it seeks to dispel.

If anyone I know would be in a position to know whether or not one should be cautions in the face of unseen listeners who wield unsavory, dark and clandestine powers, my friend would certainly know far better than I. If my friend is watching over his/her shoulder when whispering something that is simply true ... not even an opinion, perhaps everyone should kiss their illusions of free speech good-bye.

Its one thing to feel apprehensive about knowingly distributing lies or half truths or politically charged opinions. It is quite another thing to be fearful of being associated with a statement of fact. But, then, in the world of Orwell's "1984" the facts were re-written daily to fit needs of the moment. One would not want to be associated with a fact today that might become something other than a fact tomorrow.

Ruins from a Modern Age

Stuckey's - I-10 East bound at Sibyl Road.
January, 2005

A disappearing landmark. I noticed the other day that the high-rise sign post marking the place was gone. I have to check to see if the building has been demolished.

Quote for the day

"The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on." - Joseph Heller