Sunday, August 31, 2008

Off to the Boulder Creek Fair

Leah wins prizes at the carnival. This was her first prize, Dodger the Dog.

Upside down and whirling around on the bungee trampoline.

I'm peeking out of here says Axel, who climbed in the Little Gym equipment.

Riding the train is fun for Axel.

Yeah! I did it. Axel the Champion!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Going for the Sturgis Vote

Palin has an image as a tough frontier chick who rides a motorcycle and packs a gun.

Motorcycle Mama. Vrooom, Vrooom.

Time for Cake

Mama made a beautiful cake.

Axel blew the candle out with one puff.

Time to dig in.

Yum Yum

Birthday Afternoon

Opening presents.

This box looks just right to put my trains on.


No more presents.

Jon T , Beth and baby Sam were here.

More Birthday Morning

Let's stack blocks
Yeah, it didn't fall over.

Out in the (new sand) box. The sand is new and yes the box has a lid.

Birthday Morning

Presents right away. A Mater truck.

A tiny breakfast cake with decorations.

Yum, homemade carrot cake, my favorite.

Just needs a little milk.

Dancing to the truck music.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Organized Crime

Read all about the McCain family ties to organized crime in this really fair and accurate Wikipedia article.

Reading the Sports Page After Lunch

After a hearty lunch, Axel grabbed the sports page of the Daily Camera and proceeded to scrutinize the baseball scores. He noted that the Cubs scored 2. I didn't know that he was a Cubs fan.

Cyndi is very sore from Boot Camp. She started going with Beth. See Beth's August 26th post.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gustav is Going to Intervene

Hurricane Gustav may hit landfall in Louisiana on Monday the start of the Repubs convention. Is Mother Nature going to take this year's election into her own hands? If they fiddle through another hurricane, what are their chances?
If Gustav does reach landfall at New Orleans, and I sure hope it does not, it'll bring back nasty memories for the Republicans - and likely soak up a lot of the news time that would have otherwise been pushed at the Twin Cities. I don't think the Republicans can weather having a party while a hurricane hits. The current plot shows Gustav's center just off the Louisiana coast at 0800 on Monday - the start of the Republican Convention. I haven't as yet checked out ocean surface temperatures in the Gulf. This time of year though should see them at or near their highest. It takes 85ยบ F. surface temps to sustain a hurricane. In 2005 Katrina picked up strength at a pace seldom seen - greatly due to high water surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico that summer. It caught a lot of folks off guard. Let's hope that these back to back political conventions aren't distracting applicable public servants from keeping an eye on Gustav and preparing accordingly.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

GOP Ministry of Truth in Denver

Republicans have set up a communications war room in a warehouse in Denver where they apparently plan to spew forth lies to counteract the DNC convention coverage. How do we know that they will be telling all lies? Because a Republican operative referred to their operation as the Ministry of Truth. Anyone who has read Orwell knows that the Ministry of Truth only tells lies.

Colorado Dreaming

The sun sets over Boulder and it is time for the boy to go to bed.

Reading one last bedtime story and then night, night.

Four More Years

Monday, August 25, 2008

Off to Colorado

Off with Robbin to visit the Boulder Baker's and celebrate Axel's second birthday. I was not able to get a ticket for the Obama speech at Invesco Field. So we can just watch it with all of you on TV.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

With Friends like these

McCain's fellow GOP party members express some reservations about his ability to be president.

Band Concert

Pictures from the band concert. Forgot the camera so had to get these from The Union and Nevada County Band site. In the small picture you can see, if you know where it is, the redwood Valerie helped to plant when she was about 10.
A picnic in the park is fun. I just have to plan the meal ahead of time and pack it up in the picnic basket. We had some raw vegetables with pesto dip, a greens quiche, red potato salad, rosemary bread, and fruit salad served with a white wine. Yumm.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

John McCain Buys a House

Looks a little dangerous for accident-prone Cindy.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Riffs on Grapes of Wrath

When John McCain claimed that white people would not pick lettuce in Arizona for $50 an hour, it inspired one DailyKos blogger to create a screenplay about the Joads trying to get into AZ to pick lettuce. They are stopped by border guards.
Tom Joad: McCain's workin' away our spirits, tryin' to make us cringe and crawl, ... takin' away our decency, offerin' to pay us fifty dollars an hour to do a job no white man would do. Shouldna' never left my job as a fifteen dollar an hour software programmer back in Oklahoma...
Ma Joad: That job made ya mean, Tom. It made ya real durn hard-mean...

Can you pick the lettuce? No you can't.

Violent Protesters at DNC

Denver police are being warned about characteristics of potentially violent protesters. They may have bicycles and bicycle helmets, maps and camping gear. Bicycles may be used to block roadways and helmets are for self protection. From a police bulletin:
"Bicycles are used to blockade sidewalks, streets and can be used to slow down responding emergency vehicles."
The maps are to find their way from site to site and they may be camping out. So watch out for riding a bike in Denver. The riot police may get you.

Get Out of Gaffe Free Card

McCain Campaign used this most recently when he could not remember the number of houses he and his wife own. The best thing about this card is that you never have to turn it in. You just show it and you get a free pass from the Media.


Looks like Larry Ellison just had Oracle add up all the savings from Jon's now nonexistent salary and the salaries of all the other employees let go from the 40 companies Oracle acquired this year and had the company add the amount to his salary as CEO. The old saying "All for one, blah blah blah" still holds true. 38% raise for Oracle CEO

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Only in America

Very nice essay on the Social Origins of the American Corporate Predator State.

Swanky Cat Houses

Sacramento will spend about 300K for high end cat housing to promote adoption. William must have been spending too much time with Frank as his comment was, "Why can't they just put them in a bag and throw them in the river? With a few rocks of course."

Energy Record

Bill Clinton spoke today praising the energy plans of both Obama and McCain. Although maybe it was just splitting hairs since he said that McCain had the best record on global warming and energy of any Republican running for President and as far as I know that is just McCain right now. John McCain's Record on Energy and Global Warming McCain has a pitiful record on energy. He mainly supports big oil and has either voted against or missed votes on almost all bills about clean energy. His commercials that show the wind farm picture make me gag with the hypocrisy.
But Bill is just a loose cannon with less control of his mouth since his bypass surgery. Nurses know what can happen with those showers of micro clots that are way too common a side effect of this type of surgery. The patient survived therefore the operation was a success. Too bad he's just not quite the same.

Lobbying Kills Bill

Heavy lobbying by chemical companies killed 2 bills in California that would have banned the use of Bisphenol A in food containers. A suspiciously large number of lawmakers failed to vote or voted present. What were they doing? Handing out baskets of money? One lawmaker stated that in his district brochures were being passed out advising consumers that most of their favorite foods could no longer be sold in California. My favorite quote comes from Assemblyman Bob Huff, R. Diamond Bar, "Just because you have something that can be toxic, doesn't make it toxic." What? Where do they get these people?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Get Out of my Office


Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the US has been looking to tie the Bear down. But the Bear has revived and is not going to take the threats to its borders lying down. We are going to have to repudiate the expansionist policies of the Bush Administration or we are going to find ourselves toe to toe with a nuclear armed opponent. Anatomy of A(nother) Fiasco deserves a close read.
Also read Pat Buchanan on bearbaiting.

What is a Democracy?

Interesting research from The Economist on the subject. The country rankings may surprise you as we banter about support for our "friends" the "democracy" of Georgia against our "enemies" the "authoritarian" Russians. What is a Democracy?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cats for Obama

Maybe Butters has gone off to work for Obama. We can only hope.

He's Baaack

Phil Gramm is back with the McCain Campaign and is still rumored to be on the short list for Treasury Secretary. I have written about this bad boy before. We just have to remember his greatest quotes
Nation of Whiners
Poor people are fat.
There should be no minimum wage.

We all need to remember that he has been formulating the McCain economic policy while working and lobbying for a foreign bank.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


The GDP has been fussed with over the years to reflect a more positive outlook. If you go back to how it was figured in 1980 you get a very different picture of the Bush years and even of the Clinton years. Those years weren't quite so overheated for most of us. The Bush years look like 8 years of recession.
I had written before about how the figures we were being given did not look right and had posited some of my own. I have now found a site, Shadow Government Statistics, that does this for me. Only some is available without subscription. But enough for me to see the depth of the lies.

Approval Ratings--Public vs McCain

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gotta Love It

From Richie Havens Web site.

Nice Obama Radio Ad

All totally True.


I do not want Evan Bayh to be the next VP. He was too much of a cheerleader for the Iraq war. Also if he is VP, his seat will be filled by a Repub Gov with a right wing Repub. We cannot afford to lose a senator. I still hold out hope for Wes Clark, even though he says he is scheduled to be at a dinner in Milan on the 27th. I have signed up to be notified by email, so I will post when I hear. I signed up for a CA seat for Obama's speech on 28th. But I am not holding my breath. I just thought since I was in Colorado it would be nice. I got to hear JFK at the UC Berkeley stadium ever so many years ago.
I think that the argument against Bayh would also hold against any other senator. You want/need to keep strong figures like Dodd and Biden in the Senate. So a Governor: Some say it would be someone who is already on the convention schedule. Others say that being on the schedule eliminates these potential veeps. So maybe Wm's choice, Bill Richardson, hits the top of the list.

Wag the Dog in Georgia

The Swiftboating of Obama will be built around the Georgia crisis. This is why the attack on South Ossetia by the Georgians and the prompt response by the Russians had to happen in August. Saakashvili may have been assured by Scheunemann that the US would have his back in his surprise attempt to take back his wayward province. But whatever, the whole incident provided some nice propaganda about the fierceness of the Russian Bear toward our allies who were providing troops in Iraq and provided a perfect opportunity for John McCain to continue his saber waving at Russia.
The whole point is to provide an opportunity to go back to cold war posturing against Russia. Russia has good income right now from oil and gas and has had an opportunity to rebuild its infrastructure--read military. The Russian people are behind Medvedev and Putin and are fierce in defense of their homeland.
This strategy has been set up by the McCain organization with the call for Russia to be out of the G8 in order to have a separate organization made up of cooperating democracies to oppose non-democratic regimes.
Bush was not in on the scam which is why his first response was mild. He could always be counted on also to stay on vacation. Bush has since toughened up his response, but has also been clear that there would be no US military response.
Saakashvili has however referred to the humanitarian medical response that the US is sending to Georgia as military help. Stating that the he was pleased that the airport would be secured!
John McCain will be painted as our savior against the Russian Bear which would destroy our allies. Obama will be painted as a weak appeaser who would not protect us. Lots of lies about Russian atrocities will be promoted and the fact of the initial Georgian aggression will be conveniently eliminated.
Robert Scheer in Truthdig gives some background on how this was engineered. Lots of patsies to provide a new larger war posture for McCain.

In 2005, while registered as a paid lobbyist for Georgia, Scheunemann worked with McCain to draft a congressional resolution pushing for Georgia’s membership in NATO. A year later, while still on the Georgian payroll, Scheunemann accompanied McCain on a trip to that country, where they met with Saakashvili and supported his bellicose views toward Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Scheunemann is at the center of the neoconservative cabal that has come to dominate the Republican candidate’s foreign policy stance in a replay of the run-up to the war against Iraq. These folks are always looking for a foreign enemy on which to base a new Cold War, and with the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, it was Putin’s Russia that came increasingly to fit the bill.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Negative Publicity

When he was asked how those who violated civil service laws would be punished, Michael Mukasey stated that the "negative publicity" they have received would be enough and that there would be no other punishment. He explained that just because his predecessors in the Justice Department were breaking the law with their hiring processes doesn’t mean anyone should be held accountable: "not every wrong, or even every violation of the law, is a crime."
Excuse me, isn't a violation of the law a definition of crime. (Unlawful activity--free online dictionary)
This is how the Bush administration views violations of the law that they commit---not really crimes.
If you can get away with it, it is not really a crime.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Human Life Amendment

Watch out for the Human Life Amendment on the ballot in many states this November. It defines constitutional humanity as beginning at the moment of conception and would effectively outlaw many kinds of birth control such as the pill and IUD's. This would render moot the current administrative push to give all health care workers the right to refuse to administer or dispense any medication that runs counter to their religious belief, thereby throwing road blocks in the ability of women to gain access to morning after pills and by extension most forms of contraception. Anti-abortion forces are anti-contraception, because of the thought that some forms of contraception might prevent the attachment of a fertilized egg.
This is why John McCain hemmed and hawed at the question of whether he would support health insurance coverage of contraception, since all cover Viagra, but not all cover contraception. He did not answer the question. He said he would have to see where he stood on that.
Remember the orphanages of Romania. They were the consequences of a regime that outlawed abortion and contraception.


New hard-hitting TV ad. Try it on for size.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

All You Need to Know to Run a Political Campaign

Why Voters Say they Don't Really Know Barack Obama (and Why They Don't Really Know Much about John McCain, Either)

Solving the Afghan Problem

According to the military a "surge" of just more troops in Afghanistan is not going to help. One big problem is the porous Pakistan border.
But a different type of surge is needed in Afghanistan, said Gen. David McKiernan, the top NATO commander there.

"There is no magic number of soldiers that are needed on the ground to win this campaign," McKiernan said. "What we need is security of the people. We need governance. We need reconstruction and development."

"Reconstruction and development" when have we heard this before. After the Russians pulled out, defeated by the US backed insurgents, the US just left Afghanistan to rot and gave no help to rebuild the country, leaving it ripe for the Taliban. Reconstruction and help with development would have helped Afghanistan develop into a decent country rather than degenerate into a fundamentalist Muslim state.
Another challenge is Afghanistan's unchecked drug trade, which reportedly is financing the violence.

"Ninety percent of the world's opium comes from Afghanistan, and much of that money ends up in the hands of warlords and other militants," Curtis said.

McKiernan said, "There is a clear linkage between 'narco' trafficking and financing of the insurgency."

Farmers had quit growing poppies when the Taliban made them quit. But with no Taliban they reverted to poppies as the best cash crop they had. One way to influence the financing of the militants is to subsidize the farmers to grow other crops. Even if it cost a few million, it would be cheaper than military action.

Source article here on CNN.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Thanks for the Jam

A jar of jam of unknown origin was found in the frig this evening as Wm was fixing his own dessert of peanut butter and jam on the remains of the Truckee Sourdough. (The dinner of eggplant casserole and assorted greens in southern style pot likker with bread for dipping not having been quite enough.) I finally deduced that some visitors from Colorado must have left it in the frig after their visit in June. So, thanks for the jam.

Friday, August 8, 2008

American Marten

Probably the animal I saw in the woods yesterday was an American Marten--another member of the weasel family. Cute--although I just saw it stretched out running.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Gold Lake

We took the PW up to Gold Lake for a few days. It was cool and breezy and nice to just sit next to the water. The last day I saw a couple of deer on the hillside, a doe and a 3 point buck with soft velvet antlers. Just as we were getting ready to leave I saw a reddish brown weasel looking animal about twice the size of a cat running fast across the road from the lake side to the hillside. The only animal that fits the description is a Pacific Fisher, very shy and seldom seen.

Is that William or some ghostly apparition?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Failed State?

The German newspaper Die Tageszeitung a few days ago called Belgium the "most successful 'failed state' of all time."

With Flemish nationalism on the rise, Belgium teeters on the edge


Just saw this and couldn't resist for independents who loved Reagan.

Not an official campaign ad, just something made up on You Tube.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Jellyfish for Dinner

There is a plague of jellyfish, for lots of reasons, most having to do with man. So we need to learn to eat jellyfish. The Chinese do.


Wm has been eating granola for breakfast a lot, so I thought I would break out the old recipe for

Homemade Granola
1 lg box oats
2 cups unsweetened coconut
1 jar wheat germ
2 cups soy flour
2 cups milk powder
2 cups ground/chopped nuts
2 cups sesame seeds
2 cups sunflower seeds
4 cups honey mixed with 1 cup of oil
Mix all together and toast in large pan in 350 degree oven about 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir to prevent scorching. Store in airtight containers.

I started making this back when we lived in Groveland at White's Gulch before we moved to Cherry Lake. I remember I had made Valerie a bowl of hot cereal out of it, to make it softer, and as she was eating it she commented, "coconut." I was rather startled that she, at about 18 months, could recognize the taste of coconut in her cereal. I remember I just told her, "yes, Valerie the cereal has coconut in it."

As the youngest grand baby approaches two I find myself thinking back to Valerie and Jon at two or so. Fond reminiscences.

Bogus Anthrax Investigation

There are so many things that smell about this investigation, it is hard to know where to begin.
1. Cheney and others were taking Cipro prior to the attacks and others were told to take Cipro prior to any mailings.
2. Anthrax was subsequently mailed mostly to "liberal" news sources and Democratic members of Congress who were blocking/slowing progress of the US Patriot Act.
3. Immediate leakage of the idea (McCain on Letterman) that the source of the anthrax was probably Iraq.
4. Subsequent leaking of information to ABC that the anthrax had bentonite in it making it surely from Iraq by four lying sources. The anthrax had no bentonite and no tests ever indicated that it did.
5. After the anthrax was determined to have come from a US source, our weapons lab, years were spent on potential suspect Hatfill who was recently given >$5 million for the harassment.
6. An employee of the weapons lab commits suicide.
7. A therapist/counselor comes forward loudly and vocally with wild accusations against the deceased, that he had been horribly mentally unstable with the intent to murder others since 2000.
8. The friends and co-workers of the deceased claim they had no problems with him at work, that he was a devout church goer and volunteer for the Red Cross who had become depressed with what he felt was harassment by the FBI.
9. Other scientists have said that as a specialist in vaccines the deceased did not have the skills to make weaponized aerosol anthrax.
10. The head of the lab says that this cannot be the end of the investigation, that there are too many more questions.
11. Why was an unstable person allowed to keep a high security clearance?
12. Who leaked untrue information to ABC?
13. Where did John McCain get his information?
14. Why was Cheney taking Cipro?
15. The FBI plans to close its investigation within days.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Gas Prices

What are your feelings on gas prices? I am somewhat irritated and am not driving as much. I try to consolidate my trips and walk to the store more. I am irritated that I cannot fill my tank using the debit card anymore as the $50 limit only fills it 3/4 full.
I am more irritated at the odd circumstances I read, about why the price of oil has climbed so much and why oil company profits are up so much.
I read about peak oil and supply and demand and think OK, but why did the price increase so fast?
I read speculation about speculators and also that an amendment to restrict oil speculation is filibustered down in the Senate by guess who and I think "hmm."
I read that the price of oil will go down immediately if only oil companies are allowed to drill in sensitive places such as offshore and ANWR. Is it just like sticking a straw in and sucking oil out?
I read that the professional filibusters in the Senate are now filibustering ALL bills until they are allowed to have a bill for more offshore drilling.
I read that oil companies donated >$1 million to McCain after he came out in favor of offshore drilling.
I read that offshore drilling is perfectly safe now and that no oil was spilled with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Then I read just the opposite--with numbers and pictures.
I read that offshore drilling would have no effect for 10 years and then would effect the price of gas by only pennies.
I read that the special ships that do offshore drilling are booked up for five years.
I read that US oil companies have lots of rights to drill in many offshore locations that they are not utilizing right now.
I also read that US oil companies have not built any new refineries in about 30 years and that the current refineries are running at about 85% of capacity, down from last year.
I also read that we export about 10% of our domestic production of oil and oil products. What?
I also read that the right to offshore drilling and the leasing of these areas would just be added to oil companies books as production reserve to increase the value of their stock!

I think I am beginning to understand the reasons for the price and profit increase. Just count us all as contributors to the largess of modern day oil barons.

Update: House Republicans are now staging a sit-in on the House floor to be allowed to have a bill for offshore oil drilling.