Saturday, May 05, 2007

Hot Rod Heaven

For a long time I've patterned my life after that little know and often forgotten Roman emperor, Oblivious. Fortunately, my wife, Candy, covers for me by keeping a weather eye out for interesting things. Yesterday, she spotted a listing for a hot rod event here in Tucson ...

So, this morning (Saturday) I piled Candy and a camera into the car and we doodled on down to 4th Ave, our local asylum for the terminally hip with all its gift shops, tattoo parlors, coffee bars, vintage clothing stores and head shops. We found about 300 or so hot rods lined up on both sides of the street - more than 1/3 of a mile from one end of the double line of cars to the other - with an electric trolley running down the middle about every ten minutes and the motorman ringing his bell frantically.

I've been taking pictures of cars for years ... not because I particularly like cars on the same level these folks do but more because I absolutely LOVE what they do with them.

Classic Hot Rod

One in Front of the Other

Blue Flame Special


The Flame Job

I Remember My Cousin's Convertible

Mr. Nostalgia

Shooting cars at a show like this is fun but the trick is to find an angle where 1.) there aren't too many blinding highlights; 2.) you minimize the number of reflections in the near mirror finishes of yourself and the 30,000 other people crowding around and 3.) you can still recognize the subject of the shot as being at least some part of a car. Otherwise, it's a snap!

Man is the Only Animal That's Got the True Religion ...

Several of 'em! (Thank you, Mark Twain.)

The moment a teenage girl was stoned to death for loving the wrong boy
Last updated at 18:28pm on 3rd May 2007
A 17-year-old girl has been stoned to death in Iraq because she loved a teenage boy of the wrong religion.

As a horrifying video of the stoning went out on the Internet, the British arm of Amnesty International condemned the death of Du’a Khalil Aswad as "an abhorrent murder" and demanded that her killers be brought to justice.

Reports from Iraq said a local security force witnessed the incident, but did nothing to try to stop it. Now her boyfriend is in hiding in fear for his life.
Let's hear it for revealed truth ... down with reason and logic!

I wonder what makes us think our brand of fundamentalism is any better than their brand of fundamentalism.

Is this what we're fighting for in Iraq?

Political Darwin

A Split Emerges as Conservatives Discuss Darwin

By PATRICIA COHEN / New Your Times
Published: May 5, 2007
Evolution has long generated bitter fights between the left and the right about whether God or science better explains the origins of life. But now a dispute has cropped up within conservative circles, not over science, but over political ideology: Does Darwinian theory undermine conservative notions of religion and morality or does it actually support conservative philosophy?
That begs a little explanation ...

What a wonderful thing to watch! On one hand the believe in a capitalism that is pure survival of the fittest ... on the other hand, given the current circumstances, they're praying for divine intervention to save the party from complete and total implosion.

There are reasons to keep religion out of government (and politics). If you want to live in a theocracy, move to Iran or Saudi Arabia or join the Taliban.

Its become the American way ...

Lapses Found in Battlefield Ethics Study

WASHINGTON — In a survey of U.S. troops in combat in Iraq, less than half of Marines and a little more than half of Army soldiers said they would report a member of their unit for killing or wounding an innocent civilian.

More than 40 percent support the idea of torture in some cases, and 10 percent reported personally abusing Iraqi civilians, the Pentagon said Friday in what it called its first ethics study of troops at the war front. Units exposed to the most combat were chosen for the study, officials said.
More ...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Not Fit for American Media

Take a peek ...

When you're done with that, try this.

Having digested all of that, now it's time to ask why Haliburton is planning to move it's headquarters from the USA to ... Dubai. Of course THIS piece was on C-SPAN .. meaning no one saw it.

Food for thought

from Quotes of the Day

"America believes in education: the average professor earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole week." -Evan Esar

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Spinning the "No-Spin Zone"

Content analysis of O'Reilly's rhetoric finds spin to be a 'factor'

Commentator uses name-calling more than once every seven seconds in 'Talking Points Memo"

May 2, 2007

Editors: Additional data, charts and the full text of the study are available online here.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Bill O'Reilly may proclaim at the beginning of his program that viewers are entering the "No Spin Zone," but a new study by Indiana University media researchers found that the Fox News personality consistently paints certain people and groups as villains and others as victims to present the world, as he sees it, through political rhetoric.

The IU researchers found that O'Reilly called a person or a group a derogatory name once every 6.8 seconds, on average, or nearly nine times every minute during the editorials that open his program each night.

Get the rest of it here ...

We are ALL damned ... by some one else's religion


Tolerating Intorlerance

It would be easy to congratulate ourselves on our tolerance of the fanatically intolerant

Do you believe in the rights of women, or do you believe in multiculturalism? A series of verdicts in the German courts in the past month, have shown with hot, hard logic that you can't back both. You have to choose.

More here ...

In Celebration

Gathering of Nations
Albuquerque, NM

In a flurry of motion, with hypnotic drums and chanting ... a celebration of survival.

Against all odds they have held on to their identities, their beliefs and their traditions. Their children have been ripped from their homes and shipped to "assimilation" schools, their lands have been stolen, they have been forbidden to speak their languages, yet they have survived in spite of it all ... in spite of all the broken promises.

In return they gave us corn and art and Code Talkers when we needed them.

All of us are like all others.
Each of us is like some others.
None of us is like any other.

These three things are true and simultaneous, yet they exist without conflict.
Why must we argue about the details?

Want a good book to read? Try this one: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

More from the Road

The Indian School
Fort Apache, AZ

What is a Fascist?

From Chris Hedges' book, "American Fascist" -

The New York Times in 1944 asked Vice President Henry Wallace to answer the questions: What is a fascist? How many fascists have we? How dangerous are they? The vice President's answers were published on April 9, 1944 as the war against the Axis powers and Japan was drawing to a close. He wrote:
The really dangerous American fascist ... is the man who wants to do to the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money and more power.

They claim to be superpatriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise but are the spokesman for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjugation.

Where's the Arrogance?

Richard Dawkins believes science’s ability to admit ignorance is one of its greatest strengths. On the flip side, he proposes that faith remains arrogant and all too certain of its validity without any rational set of proofs.

In some respects, science has far surpassed religion in delivering awe. How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed!”? Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.”
- Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

Monday, April 30, 2007

From the Painted Desert

Painted Desert

On the second day out ...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Five Day "Walkabout"

Candy and I just got back from a five day jaunt that took us from Tucson through Fort Apache, Petrified Forest and Painted Desert in Arizona, over to Gallup, NM and to Albuquerque for the "Gathering Of Nations" ... the largest annual assemblage of native peoples in the United States. On the way back we spent a few hours at White Sands National Monument.

We're back now ... so I'll post pix a little at a time as i get them cleaned up and presentable.

Gathering of Nations
Albuquerque, NM

More than 500 tribes were represented from North, Central and South America.

One side comment. They all brought their children. Their children were:
  1. Respectful of other people.
  2. Quiet - they didn't whine, they didn't beg, they didn't think everything was all about them.
  3. They didn't run in the halls or on the stairs.
  4. Happy ... they smiled a lot and enjoyed themselves.
  5. The older children took care of the younger children without complaint or resentment.
  6. They were civil.
  7. They were dignified.
  8. And they reflected so well on their parents.

We were very proud and gratified to be among such civil and civilized human beings.