Friday, August 31, 2007
2. Bush manages to get Al Maliki deposed, further destabilizing Iraq while giving more arms to Sunni's.
3. Drumbeat for war against Iran continues despite UN reports of cooperation.
4. Major attack occurs in US. (Who do we really think is behind this.) (Chertoff's gut.)
5. Within days of its occurrence, FBI informs MSM that US attack has been carried out by Iran.
(Most of US believes this.) (At least the most important 26%)
6. We attack Iran. Bush says he was authorized to do this by prior Congressional war authorization.
7. Entire Middle East rises up to kill vulnerable troops in Iraq.
8. Bush decides to go nuclear somewhere. Syria? Iran?
9. Russia retaliates.
10. Religious right gets equivalent of Armageddon, but are surprised to find that it entails only death and destruction and no Rapture.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I worked on packing today and have my suitcases pretty well packed for Texas and then for Europe. I am not taking any of the same clothes as it looks to be pretty warm in Texas even when it is raining and will be pretty cold in Brugge especially when it is raining. I will repack my umbrella.
I wanted to see the movie La Vie En Rose, the story of Edith Piaf, and it is having a 2 week run at the Magic Theater instead of the usual one week run. So Wm says I should go tomorrow night while he is watching some ball game or other.
Also Happy Birthday to Axel and the blue cake. It's the big 1.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Prior to our trip to Europe in '99 a friend at work said that we should look up a waiter who was a friend of a friend of hers. Kathy was an airline hostess who lived in Hawaii at the time she was friends with the waiter Valerio of Vernazza. My introduction to Valerio was to be that I knew Kathy had moved to Chicago. When we found Valerio working at his Uncle's restaurant I told him the news about Kathy. He was surprised that she had moved as he said his family had lived in Vernazza for 500 years and they would never think of moving. Then he served us the best meal I ever had, his choice of what to serve.
Valerio looks no older than he did in '99. I had my picture taken with him when we were there. William refers to him as Valerio the Lothario.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
HUGE put options have been placed on US and European stock markets and will expire prior to 9/21. The last time we had these was prior to 9/11. The Federal Reserve Board which usually meets in DC is moving their Monday meetings to the COG Continuity of Government site in Jackson Hole. And why the troops ordered to DC? Bwa ha Ha.
Wm says mentally ill and homeless don't vote, but yacht owners do.
So I say this is why these people are not truly Christians. Since Jesus said,
just as you did it to the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."
Also under stupid stuff, the couple arrested in New Haven for marking a running trail through a parking lot with flour, arrows and chalk. People just automatically thought that all this white powder must be anthrax. Duh! No one remembers that the original anthrax letters were directed at Democratic members of Congress to get them to go along with the original Patriot Act and that the anthrax came from a government lab. So the crime has of course never been solved.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
We sat with the Gradhandts. They are moving to Boise Wednesday. Too Bad.
We were also reminded of all the money lost and wasted in Louisiana and the little that has been spent on rebuilding. Most of the poor and vulnerable are still in a sad state in New Orleans.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Belgium was mired in a political crisis on Friday after Flemish leader Yves Leterme gave up efforts to form a government with francophone partners who reject his plans for constitutional reform.
Try the web site for lots of expat info about Belgium.
Quebec provincial police admitted Thursday that three of their officers disguised themselves as demonstrators during the protest at the North American leaders summit in Montebello, Que.
I watched the video of the event. A group of older protesters, especially the older man who was their leader, confronted 3 masked men who were holding rocks and attempting to incite violence in the group. But the group turned on them, trying to unmask them and to get them to put down the rocks. They escaped into the police line.
5 things I was doing 10 years ago.
1. Still working
2. Working my part time job into full time with new government regulations
3. Spending a lot of time with 2 small grandchildren
4. Writing a children's book about a walk with Robert and Teddy the dog
5. Buying the illustrations for the book from Robert Crabb (and then not getting it published)
5 snacks I enjoy
2. Other salty things
5 songs I know all the words to
1. Lots of old kids songs like "Little Red Caboose"
5 things I would do if I was a millionaire
1. Change that to billionaire these days then do stuff like more travel and more houses
5 bad habits
2. Sitting around too much
3. hardly getting anything done unless I put it on a list
5 things I like to do
2. Surf Internet
3. Travel to new places and old places
5 things I will never wear again
1. Two piece swimsuits
5 of my favorite toys
If you read this blog, you have been tagged!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Kerry writes that (A prior opinion writer)
mistakenly views the violence after 1973 as a direct result of our withdrawal. In fact, the violence arose from the conditions that led us to withdraw: a Vietnamese civil war we couldn't stop supported by a Cambodian insurgency we couldn't bomb into submission. It's horrifying that so many South Vietnamese suffered. But, even accepting Mr. Taranto's estimate of 165,000 Vietnamese deaths--double that of most academic sources--this is a significant decrease from the preceding eight years when 450,000 civilians and 1.1 million soldiers were killed.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Is the Surge succeeding?
That depends on how you define its mission. Is the Surge supposed to create the physical safety needed to support political change and stabilization, so that the U.S. can withdraw and leave a viable Iraq? If so, it's failing. Or is the Surge's purpose to intimidate Democrats, mislead the press, provide talking points for the Right, and confuse everybody else? It's succeeding very well in that mission.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
And so we begin to spiral out of control with increasingly belligerent language from all war mongers such as Joe Lieberman and new action in Iraq aimed at Iranian terrorists. The war will spread to surrounding countries just as our leaders planned. I thought one of the reasons for not withdrawing was that the war would spread throughout the region. But then our dear leaders and their camp followers seldom feel that they have to make sense. If you say something often enough in wide enough venues, it is believed to be true by a majority of the people.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
The Six Steps of Operation Enduring Propaganda:
Step One - Keep reminding them of the threat posed by the Bogey Man;
Step Two - Spin your current disastrous wars into successes;
Step Three - Ignore, attack or ridicule all those who hold up the truth of the matter;
Step Four - Call for more wars;
Step Five - Ask for increases in intelligence and military means to fight the Enemy;
Step Six - Recycle through Steps One to Five.
The basic scam is a simple one: You start with a small mailing list, put together an urgent appeal explaining how your newly-formed PAC with the Respectable Sounding Name is "leading the fight" for/against some crap or other, and solicit donations. The money you rake in goes to pay for the production of the mailing pieces, postage, etc., and what's left over goes toward renting a better list for the next round of mailings. By the second or third pass, you're taking in enough to pay your "consultants" for the great advice he or she gave you on how to raise money with direct mail.
And if those "consultants" just happen to be you, your spouse, and each of your kids, well, so much the better for you! You're the model of entrepreneurialism and efficiency! Congratulations. Why not give yourself a raise?
Rove's lies that he is resigning to spend more time with his family, including a second wife and son in college who won't be around anyway, are laughable, to say the least.
Perhaps Rove wants to spend more time with his gay stepfather, the one who left Rove and his suicidal mother during Christmas time one year, to talk about "family values."
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Response from Logan Murphy on Crooks and Liars:
“A lot of people like to say, uh, scaremonger about China, right? A lot of politicians, and I know you talk about that issue all the time. I think people should be careful what they wish for on China. Ya know, if China were to revalue it’s currency or China is to start making say, toys that don’t have lead in them or food that isn’t poisonous, their costs of production are going to go up and that means prices at Wal-Mart here in the United States are going to go up too. So, I would say China is our greatest friend right now, they’re keeping prices low and they’re keeping the prices for mortgages low, too.”
Burnett makes a valid point, if China were to revalue it’s currency we’d be screwed — so we should just keep our traps shut, let our children gnaw on lead coated toys and eat potentially lethal food so the Walton family doesn’t lose money? I realize it’s a much deeper issue than that, but she probably should have used different analogies to get her point across.
I laughed at this, because if you can't laugh you would have to cry.
1. Medicare Advantage plans are heavily subsidized, have resorted to fraud and denial of care to pad their profits. They are also not available to people in rural areas.
2. Experimental Medicare plans offer bonuses to groups that are able to cut spending (mostly by denying care and cutting off expensive patients).
3. Medicare is cutting payments to MD's by 10% across the board. This will result in fewer doctors taking Medicare patients and more complaints about inability to find a doctor. Also Medicare continues to cut payments to hospitals.
4. Medicare's resources are being drained by the Medicare drug bill which is just a huge source of income for big Pharma.
The more Medicare is destroyed and the more older people complain about Medicare the less likely it is that we will have a single payer health plan for all Americans and the further down the toilet our health system will go. We will have the best health care in the world for the rich and famous.
Moscow has said it would bolster its air defence capability in response to US plans to site early-warning systems in the Czech Republic and missile interceptors in Poland to protect against attack from Iran or North Korea.
The candidate running against Putin in upcoming elections is even more hawkish. Putin is popular in Russia and the bellicosity against the US is viewed as warranted. Read more here.
Great article in the SacBee today points out that prior to the early 1900's there were no immigration laws. People just booked passage and moved here. Only 1% of people who showed up at Ellis Island were ever turned away.
"Give me your tired, your poor,really meant something then. Even after laws were passed to keep out less desirable people from Eastern and Southern Europe, they sneaked in by the thousands. In 1925 published reports stated that 1.4 million people were living here illegally. The government then instituted a process called pre-examination to legalize many of them. In current terms this would be called amnesty. Hypocrisy lives on and on today.
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Rep. Jan Schakowsky returned from Iraq and, among other things, reported that "Petraeus told her 'the U.S. would be in Iraq for 9-10 years if we want to win.'" She also reported that the Surge was failing...
Real Climate scientists explain this here.
On August 9, 1983, Don Edwards, Democrat of California, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights:
Do we have any means to stop the President from waging an illegal war? On July 28, the House voted 228 to 195 to stop the invasion of Nicaragua by a mercenary army hired by the Central Intelligence Agency. President Reagan's response was, in effect, ''Try and stop me.'' ...
If we do not try to stop this current president, we will just be stomped further into the ground by future presidents.
Read more from Kagro X.
I think the real reason Nancy Pelosi does not want impeachment to go forward is that she would be acting president as soon as articles of impeachment are filed for both Bush and Cheney.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Quack and I were near the back of the North Columbia Schoolhouse. Not the best place for pictures. The dancers were great and we also got a cd for the price of admission. The dancer with the wings at the back had a live snake curled around her head.
Update: From Quack: "Since you're out there in cyberspace you must mention the colorful female exuberance displayed in dance and the spoken word, enhanced with the rhythms of the drums, didgeridoo, violin, wails, and shouts all to be found on the cd "Lilyonyx in the Isis Rise" , available now! "
1. More than 2 million Iraqi's have left the country and more are internally displaced, making fewer Iraqi's to fight.
2. Most of the insurgents are foreign fighters from Saudi Arabia, so all we need to do to stop this is talk to our friends the Saudi Arabians.
3. Almost everyone is walking out of al-Maliki's government, making fewer people to have to convince to vote on such items as the Oil Law that a vast majority of Iraqi's do not want.
4. Al-Maliki is spending a lot of time talking to his friends the Iranians, so when we go after them it will whip al-Maliki into line.
5. The 190,000 AK47's were manufactured by former coalition of the willing partner, Poland, for the Iraqi Army and lost from there, thereby creating plausible deniability.
6. The ~1,00,000 Iraqi civilians we have killed means fewer Iraqi's to keep in line.
7. Soon we might get the electrical and water systems for the Green Zone Palace (American Embassy) working, proving if you are harsh enough with your slave labor you can get something done.
Yeah, for Progress in Iraq!
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
August 2003, Likely Democratic Voters:
Howard Dean: 12
Wesley Clark: 2
Joe Lieberman: 23
John Kerry: 10
Dick Gephardt: 13
John Edwards: 5
The powers that be were already crowning Lieberman and speculating on who his VP pick would be. So remember it is only August.
With passage of New US visa law that requires travelers to give US authorities at least 48 hours’ notice of their plans to visit the country, EU commission is considering a tit for tat arrangement for visitors from the US. Nice.
Dam poorly built in early 80's certain to fail with huge loss of life and certain (though undeserved in this instance) blame for Iraqi government and US.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Update: Author of this article is probably not a reliable source.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Saturday, August 4, 2007
First They Came for the Jews
First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.
Friday, August 3, 2007
It's not as if we have not been warned about our crumbling infrastructure. The 1.6 trillion needed to fix bridges, roads, steam pipes, electrical grids, etc. years ago, has been spent on tax cuts. Since we do not seem to have the political will to fix our system, it has been proposed that we just sell these expensive roads and bridges to private enterprise. Corporations will fix them up and charge us user fees. Privatizing will also involve liability limits. So you will be able to go from here to there, if you can afford it. Here goes Eisenhower's vision of a great federal interstate system. Sold to the highest bidder to become a road for the wealthy. A ribbon of gold across the nation. another note
Update: Many bits of our infrastructure, toll roads etc., have been purchased---by foreign companies!
Thursday, August 2, 2007
We went kayaking on Lake Valley Reservoir today. There was another couple that took off quite a bit ahead of us, but we are fast paddlers. We passed them and got to our favorite take out ahead of them.
We got a call from Val while we were there. We never used to have cell coverage here, but today we had 3 bars. All are well in Texas. Val says she is going to have to explore some child care for the baby after school starts and Jaz and Robert go back to school. She has some new stuff to sell to her customers and needs to be able to call them. She was thinking nanny, but the baby is almost 2 and a big boy so I suggested that she look at a nice daycare. I think he would enjoy other children to play with.
These are phone pictures. I sent them to Val's cell and finally have the set up to import them to the laptop. The new apple came today. We have some time to learn how to work it and load up all our programs. Time is getting short. Counting down to departure day.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Omertà (or a code of silence) has become the final bond holding the Bush administration together. Honesty is dishonorable; silence is manly; penitence is weakness. Loyalty trumps law. Protecting higher-ups is patriotism. Stonewalling is idealism. Telling the truth is informing. Cooperation with investigators is cowardice; breaking the code is betrayal. Once the code is shattered, however, no one can be trusted and the entire edifice crumbles.
Sidney Blumenthal spells out why Alberto must stay and all Bush staff will use executive privilege.
Pres wants revision to NSA wiretapping and eavesdropping to drop all requirements for FISA court review. He wants it done right now and have AG in permanent charge of the program. Dems say "when pigs fly."