Tuesday, July 31, 2007


The interesting part of the FBI/IRS raid of Ted Stevens home was the fact that DOJ attorneys alerted his attorneys prior to the raid.
An e-mail statement issued by Stevens through his Washington, D.C., spokesman said federal agents had alerted his attorneys that they wanted to search his home.
When was the last time you heard of anyone being alerted about a raid. Isn't the purpose of a raid the surprise factor? This is just the latest example of the politicizing of the DOJ, that a partisan would be warned about a raid.
Stevens threatens to block ethics bill!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Saudi Arms Deal

20 billion dollar arms deal for Saudi Arabia is set to go down. Bear in mind that most of the insurgents in Iraq are Saudi's. Of course 15 of the accused 911 terrorists were Saudi's. Osama Bin Ladin is a Saudi. The Saudi's are letting people out of their jails and letting them go to Iraq to fight as insurgents. But the Saudi's are Bush's long time friends. This is our military selling most of this hardware. Big business for them. read the NYT article here.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Outsourcing Intelligence

Blackwater mercenaries bad but not (maybe) a threat to national security, but outsourcing NSA and intelligence documents? I have a problem with this.

Laughter at Lies

This is a funny cartoon. You have to laugh or you will cry.

More wasted money

The office of Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has been refunded since the Democratic Congress came to power and has found that about 6 billion dollars worth of reconstruction projects are languishing or have been destroyed because the Iraq central government is unwilling or unable to take over the administration of the projects. Nice. Article here.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Product Safety

To come down a notch, just when you thought that product safety would be strengthened in light of many recent problems with imports and recalls, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is on the way to being too small to be effective. Read about it here.

Police State

As I have posted here before and others are saying even more clearly, by the fall of '08 we will be a police state under permanent martial law. The legal roadblocks have all been removed. There will not be an '08 presidential election. The Republicans do not plan to lose power. They plan for permanent power. Just no verifying elections. Also we will be at war with Iran as Dick is back in power again and he wants this war.

Back Talk

This guy is great. Watch Back Talk here.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Do Nothing Congress?

Are you tired of the do nothing congress? Just make sure you know who is to blame. The Republican minority has been on a tear. They are filibustering and obstructing votes at a record rate and most anything that does get past the legislature gets vetoed by Bush. They are running a one two punch on the American people. more

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Detecting death

Oscar the cat knows when a patient is going to die. I know where he is coming from. After I had worked the night shift at Golden Empire a few years, I could walk down the hall and I knew from the hallway who was going to die that night. funny take on this
more fun

Hate speech against Bloggers

For the last few days the right wing nuts have been pulling out all the stops to demonize the progressive blogs. A good article by Joe Conason puts it all in perspective.
In truth, the bloggers share the values of most Americans, who also want to end the war in Iraq, establish universal health insurance, reduce global warming, increase the minimum wage and preserve Social Security. It is the ideologues such as O’Reilly and Kristol whose opposition to those values locates them on the fringe, despite their loud megaphones and corporate backing. And what the Murdoch bullies prove whenever they try to stigmatize the citizen bloggers is just how much they fear a fair (and balanced) fight.

Libby and Mossad?

Libby a long-time Israeli intelligence agent? Interesting.

Criminals All

Rep Conyers has taken the stakes to a new level with criminal proceedings.

Recession will come

With foreclosures continuing at a record rate, lenders are tightening up on loan requirements even slowing up business loans. With housing beyond soft, the economy slow, the budget debt and trade deficits high and the stock market flighty, it won't take much for the country to slip into a rocky recession probably by '09. or worse

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Government will be shut down

With Bush vetoing and planning to veto government spending bills the government is likely to be shut down. Good time to be out of the country. more

Interesting History

Prescott Bush was apparently involved in a planned plot to overthrow the US government in 1933.

House Votes to Ban Permanent Bases in Iraq

This is progress.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Senate shows spine

While exploring alternatives to get to the bottom of administration corruption, Specter said
"We also have the alternative of convening the Senate and having a contempt citation and trying it in the Senate."

Right on!

Gonzales testifies

While attempting to justify his bedside visit to Ashcroft:
There are no rules.

Vini blood doped

Astana is out. This is really bad for cycling. And with the accusations against Rasmussen. What next???

Plan B for Iraq

Sustainable Security through '09. And you thought we might get out. Wrong again.

Post attack plans

If a large attack on the scale of 911 happens in the US, the post attack plans probably call for a declaration of Martial Law. All governmental power will devolve to the Executive with the backing of the military. This period of Martial Law will be extended indefinitely with the final result of our country being turned into a Military/Executive dictatorship. This is why DeFazio was denied access to government post attack plans.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter

My book arrived yesterday at noon. I went to see the Order of the Phoenix yesterday afternoon as I had not been yet then started the book last night and just finished. Really enjoyed it and a good ending to the series.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Back from Faucherie

We arrived home late last night. We had a lovely 4 nights at the lake. There was hardly anyone there and we camped at our usual spot. We used the Inova as a hauling vehicle in addition to loading up the Neckys. Wednesday was cold and a bit damp, so we were sorry that no campfires were allowed. Wm did not bring a jacket, so he just put on all the clothes he brought. Then we had our usual mattress disaster as the blowup just popped on Thursday night. This was the one I just bought when family was here in June. We had the Thermarests with us but one of them does not blow up. Guess which one I got. Since we had lots of space for supplies, we brought lots of fruit and vegetables. I particularly liked our dinners which were a one dish meal consisting of 1/4 lb of meat, 1 cup of vegetables, 1 bulb of garlic, 1 onion, 2 med-small red potatoes and an assortment of spices. Wm got to pick each night which meat, which vegetable and which spice mix. On our way back we stopped and visited with Tom Evans and Patty at Jackson Meadows where they work as Camp Hosts. They really like this. Nothing Dad or I would ever like to do. Then we went out to dinner at our favorite Mexican Restaurant in Truckee prior to heading home.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Off to Lake Faucherie in the the AM. Found this pic of our campsite on the web. We will be back on Friday. All of you who have been here can wish you were here.

Parody worthy of The Onion

White House Staffer Invokes Executive Privilege at Check-Out Counter

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Strange Cruise

A journalist takes a cruise with a group of National Review readers to see what they are really like. Surprise, surprise.
I am getting used to these moments – when gentle holiday geniality bleeds into... what? I lie on the beach with Hillary-Ann, a chatty, scatty 35-year-old Californian designer. As she explains the perils of Republican dating, my mind drifts, watching the gentle tide. When I hear her say, " Of course, we need to execute some of these people," I wake up. Who do we need to execute? She runs her fingers through the sand lazily. "A few of these prominent liberals who are trying to demoralise the country," she says. "Just take a couple of these anti-war people off to the gas chamber for treason to show, if you try to bring down America at a time of war, that's what you'll get." She squints at the sun and smiles. " Then things'll change."


Talaq Inana

Talaq Inana! The 18 month old baby cries as his mother gets too close to the window. Bullets here! He warns her of the sniper near their Bagdad home. His mother looks forward to the day when the US troops leave. "It will be a happy day when it comes," she said. more
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday that the Iraqi army and police are capable of keeping security in the country when American troops leave "any time they want," though he acknowledged the forces need further weapons and training.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Privatization of emergency workers

It’s not cheap to train and staff first responders; helicopters are expensive. There is no money to be made putting out the average four-alarm fire, or whisking a terrified, middle-class family off a rooftop after a flood. If first responders are privatized, we can't count on the local EMT's or the Fire Department to save lives or property. First responders would have to check for authorization for immediate action from a corporate agent who would make decisions based only on what’s good for his company’s bottom line. What if we ran critical emergency services for profit, using the conservative privatization model utilized by for-profit healthcare insurance companies?

Letter link

Here is a link to my latest letter to the editor in the Sacramento Bee.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Your money at work

Guards at a bank in Baghdad made off with $282 million in US dollars.
There were questions about why the bank had so much money on hand and how the thieves made it through the various checkpoints. more
Although this is not as bad as the $4 billion Bremer mislaid in Iraq, William suggested that some of the "stolen" money may have been "mislaid" and then added in to the amount stolen to account for it. Why didn't Bremer think of that? He could have just said the $4 billion was stolen by some guards.

Military Domination

In 2003 Rumsfeld denied that the pentagon was preparing for a long term permanent presence in Iraq. The huge bases have been built and are where our troops will "redeploy." We are at the point where we are being run by the military and the military has a hand in much of the world. Our ~860 military bases across the world cost us more than three-quarters of a trillion dollars per year. We are spending our way to bankruptcy and we will go down with a gun in our cold dead hands. Read more about the pentagon here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Iraqi Freedom Congress (IFC)

IFC is a group promoting a secular peace in Iraq. But they are in trouble with the Bush military because they are anti US occupation and against the "Oil Law." Read more here.

Voting in the Primary

Wm and I were worried that we would not be able to vote in the presidential primary since CA moved from June to Feb. But our local registrar just advised me that the overseas absentee ballots are sent out Dec 7th. So I gave him the address in Brugge. Yeah for voting!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Pool Repair

Developed a leak from the back flush valve, so I knew the O rings on the piston were damaged. I already had purchased new rings, so dad unscrewed the top so I could replace the rings. Works fine now.


Found this in an article on Salon "Inside the mind of killer doctors"
"Terrorists imagine the world in black and white, as full of demons and angels, and place themselves on the side of the angels. Sociologist Mark Juergensmeyer has called this way of thinking "cosmic war." Small terrorist cells arise in part because their members develop a specific way of looking at the world, which they reinforce for one another in everyday interactions. As the group becomes more and more distinct in its views from the society around it -- and more isolated -- its members can cross boundaries of reason and human sentiment, becoming monstrous."

To me this could have been written about the Bush White House. Black and White. Demons and Angels. On the side of the Angels. Small insulated group reinforcing its own isolated world view. Members can become monstrous.


Went to see "Sicko". This is a great movie. Funny at times, but mostly made me tear up with the horror stories about our health care system.

Stir the pot

All the blocking maneuvers that Fred Fielding will do to keep emails and documents from being released to Congress and to keep Harriet and Sara from testifying are just delaying tactics to keep from having to confront any of the illegalities until after the '08 election.

Mike Reagan Deception

In Mike Reagan's current column, a whine about how others have pardoned criminals, he especially vilifies the Clintons, what a surprise. His final comments are especially full of deception as he names James Comey, a Bush appointee, as the US Attorney who cleared Clinton of wrongdoing in "Pardongate" and as the person who appointed Patrick Fitzgerald , another Bush appointee, as special prosecutor. Also funny how judges who confirmed the sentence of Libby were "law and order" judges appointed by Bush. Law and order and long sentences for all but our friends who might spill the beans on our operations. Rule of Law for all but us.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Iraq Oil

One of the benchmarks to be met by the Iraq government by December is the passage of the "Oil Law." News coverage of the contents of this law lead you to believe that it mainly contains provisions for the fair division of oil proceeds among the various regions of Iraq. But what it actually contains are many provisions for the benefit of private foreign (US) oil companies.
  • Allow two-thirds of Iraq’s oil fields to be developed by private oil corporations. In contrast, the oil industry has been nationalized in every other major Middle Eastern producer for over 30 years.
  • Place governing decisions over oil in a new body known as the Iraqi Federal Oil and Gas Council, which may include foreign oil companies;
  • Open the door for foreign oil companies to lock up decades-long deals now, when the Iraqi government is at its weakest.

Overall, the law would secure the agenda of ExxonMobil, Chevon, and the other majors, robbing the Iraqi people of their most basic source of wealth. Much is at stake. With 115 billion barrels of proven reserves ($7 trillion worth at $64 per barrel) and another 215 billion possible or likely ($14 trillion), there’s nearly a million dollars of oil for every Iraqi citizen. It’s a vast and precious national resource—but only if Iraqis are allowed to control it themselves.

Blood for Oil!

Update 7/9/07: Iraqi oil workers lobby against "Oil Law."

Friday, July 6, 2007

Bike Crash as Comedy

I was watching quite a few comedies with Jasmine and one common feature was a bike race coming down the road only to have something fall or roll in front of the racers. They all fall down and everyone laughs. Is this the new banana peel joke? It never looked like anyone really got hurt. The falls were all slightly controlled looking. Is this an indication of the new popularity of bike racing? Maybe a bike racer has an opinion?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Back from Sac

Got Jasmine on the plane to Dallas. It has been a nice visit. I will be visiting the Texas Turpen's in September just prior to going off to Belgium.

Influence Block

Great analysis in terms of football of the current Republican call for contempt citation for White House re the ignoring of Congressional subpoenas. Read it all here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Declaration of Independence

It is time to reread the Declaration of Independence, especially these two passages defining royal tyranny and justifying revolution:
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers. ... For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments.

Happy Fourth.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Sharon and Sam's Wedding

A grand time was had by all in Napa.

Sam and Sharon

Baker's, Jasmine and Davis's

The wedding party

Bush gives up

Bush commuted Libby's sentence out of fear that he would cooperate with the prosecution to give up the involvement of Bush and Cheney in the outing of Plame and retaliation against Wilson.
A report written and released by the Judiciary Committee in 1974 in the aftermath of the Watergate crisis contained the following statements:

In the [Constitutional] convention George Mason argued that the President might use his pardoning power to "pardon crimes which were advised by himself" or, before indictment or conviction, "to stop inquiry and prevent detection." James Madison responded:

[I]f the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds [to] believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty...

Madison went on to [say] contrary to his position in the Philadelphia convention, that the President could be suspended when suspected, and his powers would devolve on the Vice President, who could likewise be suspended until impeached and convicted, if he were also suspected.

full context here