Wednesday, October 30, 2013


The possible ultimate in “my dumb is better than your smart.” At least that I've run across recently. And believe me I haven’t been looking. I've been strolling through Irving Stone’s bio novel of Charles Darwin, The Origin. Which led me to look up the Origin of Species on Amazon which led me to the one star reviews (I do love those in a strange, twisted, you gotta be kidding way) which led me to this “review” by someone who has apparently
  • Not read the book
  • Has no understanding of how science works, much less evolution
  • Seems to believe that the Bible is a science text book
  • Either lies through his/her teeth or is credulous to the point of illiteracy.

 “Here is an interesting experiment: Empty your garage of every piece of metal, wood, paint, rubber, and plastic. Make sure there is nothing there. Nothing. Then wait for ten years and see if a Mercedes evolves. If it doesn't appear, leave it for 20 years. If that doesn't work, try it for 100 years. Then try leaving it for 10,000 years.Here's what will produce the necessary blind faith to make the evolutionary process believable: leave it for 250 million years.

Self explanatory. Cars are not living things, they can’t self assemble, they don’t adapt and they don’t evolve.  I think the writer might be, might be referring to abiogenesis or spontaneous generation. Which is kind of weird since cars aren’t alive, even if they do manage to self assemble in an empty garage. Shrug.

“The Book of Genesis tells us that everything was created by God--nothing "evolved." Every creature was given the ability to reproduce after its own kind as is stated ten times in Genesis. Dogs do not produce cats. Neither do cats and dogs have a common ancestry. Dogs began as dogs and are still dogs. They vary in species from Chihuahuas to Saint Bernards, but you will not find a "dat" or a "cog" (part cat/dog) throughout God's creation. Frogs don't reproduce oysters, cows don't have lambs, and pregnant pigs don't give birth to rabbits. God made monkeys as monkeys, and man as man.”

I was very surprised to learn that Chihuahuas and Saint Bernards were species. Oy. At least learn the difference between a species and a breed. You can cross a Saint Bernard with a Chihuahua and get fertile offspring. I’m not sure why you’d want to but the results might be interesting in a weird sort of way and I’d want the pups carried by a Saint Bernard. Dogs are considered as subspecies of wolves, the offspring are fertile. And coyotes while classed as a separate species can also be crossed with dogs and the pups are fertile.  The rest of the tirade is barely worth considering. Especially since oysters and frogs are not only different species but belong to totally different families. Say invertebrate/vertebrate three times really, really fast.

”Each creature brings forth after its own kind. That's no theory; that's a fact. Why then should we believe that man comes from another species? If evolution is true, then it is proof that the Bible is false. However, the whole of creation stands in contradiction to the theory of evolution.”

I’m not touching this with a ten foot pole. Upstairs I have a book titled The Third Chimpanzee. That’s us folks in the opinion of the author. To be honest, and as a layperson, I’m not so sure we are. A quick check on the net provides no evidence of anyone trying to cross say chimps and gorillas in the lab. And the ethics of trying this with humans are beyond the pale. For myself I believe there are enough differences to make humans a separate species.

It appears Homo was bipedal from the beginning. That means we can carry more than one item at a time. Invaluable for hunting, gathering, rescuing the kids from the local leopard population and stealing a haunch of antelope from the lions that snagged the meal in the first place.

We have that lovely opposable thumb which no other critter on the planet has. Thank heaven.

Chimps and gorillas can learn and use sign language or abstract symbolic computer languages and they can create new words. They do not have the physical structures that allow human style spoken language.

Tool use has been observed in apes both in the wild and the lab. From a quick read it seems mainly to be modifying a stick or branch for use or using rocks to break open nuts. So far man seems to be the only critter knocked rocks together to create a sharp edge to use to butcher that stolen antelope haunch. And later to create breath taking stone tools and weapons by attaching the points to bases of wood, bone or antler. Jacob Bronofsky used a recreation of stone point/antler scythe to harvest wild grain on the Ascent of Man.

Fire. To my knowledge no other creature on the planet has learned to make and control fire.

”In the Foreword to Origin of Species (100th edition), Sir Arthur Keith admitted, "Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable."”

Not sure why the commenter chose this particular English Anthropologist to “quote.” The quote used appears to be apocryphal. There’s no record of Sir Arthur ever saying this. He couldn’t have written the forward to one hundred year anniversary issue because he died before it came out. Apparently he did write a forward to the seventy fifth anniversary edition but that quote wasn’t part of it. To make life even more interesting Keith is tied to the Piltdown Man hoax combining the fragments of a skull of a modern human with the fragments of a jaw of an orangutan and what appear to the filed teeth of a chimp. All treated with solution of iron and chromic acid to make them look older than they were. Well, they couldn’t let the French and Germans have all the fun now could they. And this was well before any kind of dating beyond “this is on top of that so it must be younger than the first one.”

”Dr. Kent Hovind of Florida has a standing offer of $250,000 to "anyone who can give any empirical evidence (scientific proof) for evolution." Evolution-- true science fiction. His website is [...]”

Reputable scientists consider the offer a hoax for more reasons than I want to go into here. If you’re curious here’s a link to the Wickipedia article. That said, he’s a diploma mill “doctor” with wallpaper degrees from unaccredited “Bible” colleges. He’s got conspiracy theories up the pipe and to make life even more interesting he’s currently serving a ten year stint in prison for tax evasion. You might want to find a different "expert" next time. 

Have fun. And know that this is out of my system. At least until something else really outrageous comes along. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


The crazy cat ladies site pushes really hard for adopting, fostering, spaying, neutering and especially caring. This little scrap of fur is so darling. And I'm sure already has the "innocent" look down pat already.

"Who me?" Even as the halo hangs off his/her dear little ear.

Monday, October 28, 2013


Actually while I was working up that last entry I remembered some shots I got off the web quite awhile back. The photographer was on the peak of Everest and took four shots. One in each direction. I actually played around with them and created a panorama shot. Which if I tried to post it here, would look like a piece of skinny ribbon. So here's all four. Not sure which direction is which but the whole group is really pretty bleak looking when you come right down to it. Not a speck of green in sight.

If you look closely the four images fit together, top to bottom. But, Goddess it's a bleak view in every direction. 


Picked this up in Irving Stone's bio novel about Charles Darwin, The Origin. Hutton published his book in 1795. Apparently he wasn't that great a writer so his revolutionary conclusions that the earth was a heck of a lot older that the accepted version didn't get a lot of notice. It was a generation later when Charles Lyell, apparently a better writer, picked up the flag when he published Principles of Geology. And got a taste of what Darwin went through a quarter century later. 

Hutton and Lyell both saw the earth as developing slowing over millions of years as sediments were laid down and mountains rose carrying their ancient passengers with them. To this day you can find the fossils of ammonites on top of the ridges in the Himalayas. It took Lyell some time to digest Darwin's work but he revised the original Principles to reflect the new theories. 

I finally realized what ticks me off about the Creationist/(un) Intelligent Design crew. They drain all the magic and wonder out of Creation. It's almost as if the mystery scares the living daylights out of them. Instead of accepting the immensity and trying to grow to match the beauty, they attempt to shrink it down to a size they can accept. And not only insist that the rest of us go along but can get down right rude and insulting when we don't want to join them in their sand box. No thanks, your playpen is too damn small. 

Creator, singer, harpist, dancer: however the immensity of Creation was accomplished it is a wondrous, fantastic gift that we can barely understand because we can perceive such a tiny piece of it. That's the magic and we have eternity, one way or another to work it out. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013


From the net.

The little double espresso guy on the end reminds me of a few Sundays at the Little Bakery in the Mall. The customer was doing remodel work at one of the stores early before the mall opened and needed a bit of a pick me up. As in an eight shots of espresso. Straight. No hot water for an Americano. No Torani. No chocolate. No steamed milk. No creamer. Just the pure unadorned brew. I like coffee but I got heartburn just contemplating that cup as I handed it over.

We worked out a price and he showed up like clockwork every Sunday morning for six or seven weeks. He must have been used to it because I never saw him orbiting the mall at mid morning. And believe me I looked.

I really like the little Irish Coffee Owl too. He looks so relaxed and happy. I'd be happy too if I'd just knocked back a shot or two of ol' Bailey's in my brew along with a healthy dose of whipped cream. Yum.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


It's really sad when the comedians in this country have more guts and savvy than the politicians.

There is, and has been, a strain of "my stupid is just as good as your smarts" in this country." And to be honest it's killing us. It got a boost with the Palin candidacy back in '08. It really reared its ugly head last year with the candidates who went on and on and on about whether or not a woman could get pregnant if she was "really" raped for example.

We also saw it during the shut down with the congressman from I forget where (and I'm not wasting my time looking him up) who wasn't really sure what it was all about but he knew that he and his fellows wanted to get some respect. For what? Breathing? Existing? Waking up in the morning?

And if you don't mind feeling like you took a dip in the moat during high summer you can find sterling examples in the comments section of just about any story about science (especially if evolution is involved), gay rights or religion.

My best example this week is this story on HP earlier this week. It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic. One commenter claimed that he was studying anthropology (admired Louis Leakey) but ran across information that made him question what he was being taught and he dropped the field. I FINALLY got him to provide some links. What shook his faith in Anthropology? The Piltdown Maa and a story about how early modern humans aren't being called Cro Magnon anymore. I really didn't want to pursue that line any further. Hell I've known Piltdown was hoax for like forever. As for changing the names give me a freakin' break.

Now we come to the really fun exchange. I guess it was fun. Again I don't know whether to laugh or cry. The fundies were out in force and for folks who demand we respect them? Well, you gotta give it to get it and calling people names while you prove you don't understand what in the H E double tooth picks you're talking about is a strange way to go about it.

What follows is a prime example. And if anyone is feeling like taking a trip down wacky lane for a few minutes more "gems" from this particular example of meticulous scholarship can be found here. And yes, I'm being extremely sarcastic. When you find yourself on the north side of sixty you start losing the incentive to play nice in the play ground. Anyway the other guy's comments are bolded. Mine are in italics.

"Our belief is a lot solid compared to the "might have come, possibly, maybe, could haves, probably, possibly gibberish theories you people keep holding on to. At least our faith is unshakable and rooted firmly in God. You people believe and trust uncertainty. Now that's funny. No wonder science always comes up short of answers and falls flat when proving the source of life. To believe in evolution is saying, you're one big accident. A BIG MISTAKE. I regret wasting my time talking to you fools because you're just one big mistake in your own hearts. From now on, live a meaningless life without purpose, without a plan, without desires without creation and without dreams because your source has none of that. Living any other way would be going away and contradicting the source which you came from." Notice that there's a whole paragraph that doesn't say a whole heck of a lot actually. 

Me "Depends on your vision of God/Creator/Singer/harp player - however you see Him/Her. If your vision is closer to that of the old Irish, the German mystics;Hildegard or Eckhart, the early Quakers then the Creator and the universe are one and the same. The question becomes how you treat the universe. If the Creator is continually singing the universe into being then you are walking on sacred ground no matter where you are. Best to step softly and carefully."

"You're either insane, a monkey or out of this world. Are you still evolving into something we don't know about. If being a monkey is not good enough for you, let me know, I'll wait till you become an octopus with legs." Now I ask you, what the heck is going on here? Anyway I thought of and discarded at least a half dozen possible responses and settled for this. 

“Don't spend all those nickels in one place. Curious. How did you get from my comment, which reflects a perfectly good view of the universe, to yours? Check out half the Irish monks that made their way down to the heel of Italy's boot, Saint Francis, Meister Eckhart and Hildegard of Bingen. That'll do for starters.” And that was the end of that thread. 

What's scary is that I believe this is the real deal not just a troll. The threads go on for too long and the entries are too consistent. And a prime example of the folks that don't know how evolution by natural selection works but spend a heck of a lot of time saying it's wrong. Unh guys? Individuals adapt. Species evolve. And even if I could pull it off I have absolutely no desire to become an octopus with legs. Too damn much trouble. 

Friday, October 25, 2013


This was supposedly created by a Facebook site Christians for Michele Bachman.  Unlike the Duffleblog Rush Limbaugh entry that was a scarily almost believable send up of a broadcast by the head Ditto Head it's harder to tell if this is for real or what somebody called a troll site.

If it's for real it's really scary to believe that there's one person out there much less the two thousand or so likes that believe this woman not only has a chance to be elected but could actually do the job. If it isn't, it has attracted some very interesting comments.

When it comes to the Bible some believers can be really, really strange. I've lost count of the number folks I've run across who not only seem to believe that God wrote the Bible in English but that the King James Version is the only true version. When actually, truth to tell, don't much care for it. I think it's the word "authorized" in the title. All it means is that this was the translation authorized to be printed and sold in England; not that God had specifically authorized this translation. A translation that leaned a lot more heavily on the idea of the Divine Right of Kings in opposition to the Geneva translation that accepted the idea that if the ruler turned out to be a real asshole his/her people didn't have to wait around for God to do something about it.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Ran across this on the net. God only knows what would happen if we still had orphanages and kids too small to defend themselves the way this pup was handled. Hell,, I might act out a little too if I'd been dumped, got used to somebody new and then taken to a shelter. By someone who was willing to take me back if nobody adopted me. And it was a wiener dog/chihuahua mix. We aren't talking a rottweiler here. Demons indeed. Apparently the FB entry about putting the dog down because of "demons" has been deleted. I wouldn't trust this bunch to find a home for an orphaned bacterium.

Frankly I am sick and tired of the fundagelicals in this country. Too bad we don't have a time machine to send them back to the dark ages where they belong.


A satire blog posted an entry earlier this week which purported to be the text of a Rush Limbaugh broadcast. That it was waaaaaaaaay over the top goes without saying. That it wasn’t really that hard to believe that the head ditto head would actually say these things is really kind of scary.

I mean it’s not like he doesn't have a history of  fouling the airwaves with broadcasts that were and are insulting, misanthropic, misogynistic, just this side of outright lies and generally resembling something you’d scrape off the bottom of your shoe at the earliest possible opportunity.

That he still has enough listeners to be on the air is really scary. I know of at least two people in the office where I used to work who pretty much listened to the Great L and over the top Beck almost exclusively. And their political comments reflected it.

Now if you can stand reading really outrageous posts that are true. Go here. I will admit that their headlines can be over the top but you have to read this stuff to believe it. And even then I pinch myself. Over and over and over… That these “persons” have any kind of audience is freakin’ unbelievable.

And a personal observation.  If you do go to the Right Wing Watch site, why would anyone give a shit what anyone from the Dugger family says about anything? Near as I can tell their ONLY claim to fame is being able to have lots of kids and parley it into a reality TV show. Which as Lisa pointed out the other day doesn’t say much for the intelligence of the average viewer. I have yet to reality and I don’t plan on starting anytime soon. My to be read stack of books is as long as my arm and isn’t getting any smaller. 

I think the last time Pat Buchanan was right about anything was when he was working for Tricky Dick Nixon. I think. Oh, great somebody from Faux News, That's a really big surprise. Unfortunately they are out there and the only defense we have is making sure we know what they're saying. Yuck, I think I need a shower. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Lisa you hit the nail on the head.

 I’m not sure when it happened. That being able to produce a certificate of some kind proved you had a “skill.” Even if it was just a class at the local community college on how to check groceries. That always got to me, especially after everything was computerized. What’s to check? You run the bar codes, check the produce book if there’s a problem and bag the blasted things. Hell, they even put cute little stickers on all the apples, pears and oranges. I’d wonder how much that costs but there’s probably a machine for that too.

That little certificate didn't guarantee that you'd be able to put up with the crap the public loves to dish out. Most of them wouldn't last a week at the jobs. People skills are something that can't be taught, it 's something you learn. Sink or swim. That's what I liked about that little bakery in the mall. The chances were pretty good that even if somebody was mad at us they probably wouldn't try to jump over the dry case. With the push to be able to take a gun anywhere you damn please I'm not so sure about that anymore.

Back in 1968 the black trash haulers in Memphis went on strike. On a really rainy day two black employees weren’t allowed to come into the office out of the rain so they took refuge in the back of one of the trucks. Something went wrong, the truck went into compaction mode and the men were killed.

The strikers and their backers asked Martin Luther King to come to Memphis. Things went half way wrong almost from the first. There was no prep time. They were in the middle of planning for the Poor People’s March. The man was just this side of exhausted. And it was just garbage men for cryin’ out loud. I get the impression that some of the folks in the movement believed that it just wasn’t important enough. Especially when he died on that trip.

To be honest, if that bullet hadn’t found him in Memphis, it would have found him someplace else. If he didn’t have a target on his back before it was there once he came out against the war in Vietnam and made the connection that you can’t get at the roots of poverty for some without digging out those roots everywhere, for every man, woman and child on the planet.

There aren’t a lot of skills to being a garbage hauler. Back before they automated almost everything the main requirements were a strong back, persistence, a willingness to wade in other people’s shit and pride in doing a good job.

Stop to think for a minute. If all the business schools and all the trash haulers disappeared at the same time who do you think we’d miss first and the most? Yeah, the garbage man. Cooks, trash haulers, the folks who deal with the messes the rest of us make. Not much pay, too little respect from too many people. But, I’ll take the honest garbage man or baker over somebody with a finance degree any day. It wasn’t the cooks that tanked the economy a few years ago. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


OK, it looks like we aren’t going to be shoved over the cliff. This time. I have a suggestion for all members of congress. Hey Tea Party People! How does it feel to be the object of a Ted Cruz fundraiser.

Rule #1 All members of each house write down your home state and district number. Senators just the state, please. Put the slips in a hat, a bowl, a left over fast food container, whatever. Everybody draws a slip. Only rule, you can’t go home for this. You gotta go to somebody else’s district. Send out notices for town hall meetings.

Rule #2. When you get there after you present your ideas for dealing with our budget problems. YOU SHUT UP AND LISTEN.

Rule #3. Open mic, you have five minutes. If you can’t do it in five minutes go to the back of the line and wait your turn again. If it means passing the hat for take out, so be it. Oh, and no bad mouthing anybody from the corporations on down. No calling for impeaching the president or his birth certificate. No calling your own rep a blithering idiot. If you can’t bring something constructive to the table. Please stay home and talk to your reflection in the mirror.

Rule #4. To be enforced by whatever means necessary. NO INTERRUPTIONS. I don’t give a flying fig what your politics are.

Rule #5. Everything, and I do mean everything, is on the table. Farm subsidies, oil subsidies, weapons systems, (there’s fighter in the pipeline, the F35, projected costs for the project over the lifespans of the planes is over a trillion dollars.That right, that's a T in front. Not an M or a B. Can we even afford to risk them in combat?)

Let’s discuss how corporations game the safety net. We’ve all heard the horror stories about WalMart paying rip gut wages while they point their employees towards medicade and food stamps. And WalMart isn’t the only corporation that’s guilty. The Golden Arches spring to mind.

Yeah, let’s have a full and frank discussion of American Socialism where profits are privatized and the taxpayers (us) get left holding the bag. Don’t forget yanking the  non profit status for every lobbying group in the country from AARP to whoever starts with X, Y or Z. I’m including the churches. You get deductions for salaries etc. but, if you want to weigh in on how your fellow citizens conduct themselves in private, who they marry, how they keep from getting pregnant you can pay to play.

Any other suggestions?

Sunday, October 13, 2013


If you aren't sure whether to laugh or cry follow the link to a series of posts on Right Wing Watch with an emphasis on Glenn Beck. If anyone believes that just because the mainstream media has been ignoring him these days that he's gone away boy are you in for a surprise. The man appears to have an ego the size of Mouth Rushmore. But we always suspected that.

Friday, October 11, 2013


Sometimes the crazies really come out to play. There was a stretch a few years ago when the American Family Institute hit mom up regularly for donations. That is until  I borrowed a trick from dad and ripped up their paperwork a few times and sent it back to them in their cute little postage paid envelope. After three or four times they quit contacting us. And that was back when the main thing the literature was worried about was how ghastly TV, movies and music was. Hey, nobody is holding a gun to your heads. The set has an off switch and you don't have to buy tickets or CD's. It was the old, I hate it so nobody else should see it either routine.

"Does the AFA spread bigotry? Is the group extreme? We can best answer those questions by examining some things that Bryan Fischer, the AFA’s director of issue analysis for government and public policy, has said within the past few years. Fischer has become a rock star in the world of the Religious Right by making outrageous statements. The AFA has made no effort to reel him in.

Here a just a few of Fischer’s greatest hits:

September 2013: Fischer says that liberals plan to “eliminate” conservative Christians from society and force them into special zones where they’ll be required to wear identifying badges – just like Nazi Germany.
June 2013: In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act, Fischer tweets, “With the DOMA decision, we have ceased to be a constitutional republic. The words “We the people’ are now meaningless” and “The DOMA ruling has now made the normalization of polygamy, pedophilia, incest and bestiality inevitable. Matter of time.”

May 2013: Men, Fischer patiently explains, are “designed to be breadwinners for their families.” Women, on the other hand, are supposed to focus on “making a home for her children and for her husband.” If a woman works outside the home and earns more than her husband, Fischer said, “that’s gonna put some stress on his psyche, gonna put some stress on that marriage.”

March 2011: Fischer writes a blog post in which he opines that non-Christians have no legal rights in the United States. The First Amendment, he said, “was written by the Founders to protect the free exercise of Christianity.” Fischer went on to assert, “From a constitutional point of view, Muslims have no First Amendment right to build mosques in America. They have that privilege at the moment, but it is a privilege that can be revoked if, as is in fact the case, Islam is a totalitarian ideology dedicated to the destruction of the United States.”

February 2011: Native Americans, Fischer writes in a column, deserved to have their land taken from them due to their “superstition, savagery and sexual immorality.” Observed Fischer, “The native American tribes at the time of the European settlement and founding of the United States were, virtually without exception, steeped in the basest forms of superstition, had been guilty of savagery in warfare for hundreds of years, and practiced the most debased forms of sexuality.”

March 2010: Fischer opines that a killer whale at SeaWorld that killed its trainer must be stoned to death because that’s the biblical penalty for animals that cause the death of a human.

September 2009: Addressing the Values Voter Summit, Fischer tells the crowd that Adolf Hitler invented the separation of church and state. “Politics do not belong in the church, the church must be separate from the state – these two mottos, these two slogans…came directly from the mind of Adolf Hitler,” Fischer remarked. “Those two mottos, those two slogans, were official mottos, official slogans, of the Nazi Party.”
That’s just a sample of what the AFA’s star employee has been saying over the past few years. And what about the SPLC? What has it been up to?

Well, it has successfully sued a number of neo-Nazi groups (causing some of them to shut down), closely monitored white supremacist organizations and sounded the alarm about their activities, published data on hate groups and sponsored programs that educate young people about LGBT citizens and their rights – among other things.

I leave it to you to determine which group is extreme."

Talk about your nutsy fagins. Ok we don't have national identity cards that list our race and religion, rumors about FEMA notwithstanding we don't have a secret police or network of concentration camps. But, you would be surprised how many people believe this. Frankly I'm more scared of the American Taliban. Sure don't them getting a gander at my book orders from Amazon.

And then there's the whale. I've never been a big fan of keeping orca's in captivity so they can "entertain" us. It's a wild animal. Granted an intelligent wild animal, but sometime wild animals act, well wild and the people can't always get out of the way. And I've always considered stoning to be a particularly sadistic way to kill anything. How in the hell are you going to do it? Critter weighs six tons for for cryin' out loud. That,and  I suspect that legal code had more to do with keeping the neighbors from feuding with each other when your neighbor's ox went postal. If you want more of Mr Fischer's non greatest hits the links are in the main article.

And then there's a crazy that shall remain nameless here who believes that the president is conspiring American Muslims (who make up less than one percent of American population by the way) to impose an Islamic dictatorship. Somebody close the playground, Rapidly. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Just  a short meditation on the sound bites that have been coming from the sorry excuses for Republican members of the house in this century. Two hundred years ago the house and senate had their share of nincompoops but they also had the likes of Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and John C Calhoun.

Who do we have now? Boehner, Canter and Ryan. I'm not going to bother with links but one rep. seems to think that the US defaulting on the debt would actually stabilize the world's markets. He's a veterinarian by trade. Another one compares his paying some of his bills late on time to the government possibly paying his bills late and seems to believe that everyone will understand. To be honest I didn't look this guy up on Wickipedia to see what he did before he managed to get elected to congress. Oregon's second district rep. Greg Walden pretty much admitted that he left his backbone back home. Seems that he and the other semi moderates are afraid of being "primaried' by the Tea Party. His claim to fame before being elected was running a chain of radio stations.

But, it finally hit home this weekend. Nowhere in all the sound bites is there one mention of the constitution that I'm aware of. That document lays out in detail how laws are passed. My read is that what's happening in Washington right now does not meet those standards/ We either have the rule of law or rule by faction. When we hit that point we might as well just take our copies of that tattered document and use them line the bottom of a bird cage. Because that's about all they'll be worth.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


George W Bush had an MBA and we all know what that got us. Turns out John (puppet) Boehner never got further than a bachelors degree in business. Funny we built this country for over two hundred years and nobody even knew what a business school was.

We’ve got schools of “business” up the wazoo and the country is going down the pipes. Whoopie you got a degree in “administration.” I’ve taken “business” classes at the local community college. Aside from the accounting classes and the one for business law they were a waste of time and money. I wonder if anybody in the banking industry even knows the definition of fiduciary responsibility. If they did we wouldn’t still trying to dig ourselves out of the latest recession.

Boehner now says that unless the president gives in we just might end up in default. Any lawyer worth his salt could tell him just what a boneheaded idea that is. If a small faction of EITHER party can hold the country hostage to its demands you might has well throw in the towel right now. Just think about this. If your critical thinking skills aren’t totally paralyzed.  What happens when the hostage takers support something you don’t believe in? Will you cry out then for reason and real negotiation?

I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth already. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Ugly sucker isn't he? 

"First printed in March 1812, this political cartoon was drawn in reaction to the state senate electoral districts drawn by the Massachusetts legislature to favor the Democratic-Republican Party candidates of Governor Elbridge Gerry over the Federalists. The caricatures satirises the bizarre shape of a district in Essex county Massachusetts as a dragon like “monster.” Federalist newspapers, editors and others at the time likened the district shape to a salamander, and the word gerrymander was of blend of that name the Governor Gerry’s last name." From Wickipedia.

I would be really open to amending the constitution so that congressional districts are drawn based solely on population and geography. 1812 to 2013. A three hundred year dishonorable history. 

Friday, October 4, 2013


I'm going to say off the top that this country has a real spending problem. We need to deal with the whopping deficit we've piled up. We were on track with the last Clinton budget. That got blown out of the water with tax cuts that weren't matched with spending cuts, two wars that weren't in the budget and a Medicare expansion to include drugs that wasn't matched with funds to pay for it. Any protests were met with comments like Dick (head) Cheney's counter that "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." How many of the members of the house that are up in arms about the current deficits were warming their chairs ten years ago? 

So, the sort of government shutdown continues. Also known as “we did WHAT?” Or “how did that happen?”  It would be funny if it wasn't so damn pathetic. And ten years ago the neocons like Bill Kristol were running around telling the world we were going to show them “how it should be done.” Yeah, the world is paying attention right now and hoping Chicken Little won't come to visit. 

Well Bill’s still out there. And it’s no big deal that one of the items on the chopping block right now is food aid to poor pregnant women, mothers and their small children. “Nobody is going to starve in Arkansas.” What a sterling example of a caring human being. Not.

Other services labeled non essential have been curtailed. That includes national parks like Yosemite, museums like the Smithsonian and the WWII Memorial. Where a sterlingrepresentative of the critical thinking skills taught in Texas castigated a member of the parks service for telling him is was closed. She was a lot more polite than I would have been. 

Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) apparently didn't realize that memorials are part of the park service too. Memo to the twit from Texas. Shut downs are supposed to be inconvenient. The more inconvenient the better. That’s to remind us not to do that again.

Members of the house evidently didn’t realize that shuttering federal health services included interrupting some clinical trials for kids with cancer. As they scramble to resume the funding somehow it’s all Harry Reid’s fault. Actually to hear them tell it none of this is their fault anyway. If or when the sky falls on top of them we’ll probably hear “why didn’t you tell us this would happen/” We tried. Believe me we tried.

There’s a congressman who was quoted as saying “we won’t be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. I don’t know what that even is…” Is that pathetic or what? Really. I wish I could find the graphic that was on FB yesterday but it seems to be buried too deep.

Some of the members of congress are forgoing their paychecks. This gal isn’t and neither is at least one other colleague. “I have a house and a kid in college.” Well, isn’t that precious. So do other folks. Maybe they should have just shut everything down. I’m betting the screams from vets who didn’t get their pensions and those who depend on SS would end this farce immediately if not sooner.

I mean check out the photo ops on line. At least some of those clueless TPr’s who were holding up signs along the lines of keep socialized medicine away from my Medicare are depending on social security to pay the bills.

To start with I have two suggestions. Make that three. One. Back in High School English we had these comprehension drills. We had to read a passage of three or four paragraphs and then answer questions that proved we actually UNDERSTOOD what we’d just read. Two. Everybody who runs for office should have to pass a version of the tests they give immigrants applying for citizenship. Three. We need  immediate effort to amend the constitution to require that all congressional districts be redrawn to reflect population numbers and geography. Period. End of story.

End the gerrymandering that creates safe districts where members of the house can spend their time talking to themselves like yesterday. But, the sooner the better. Will it happen? Probably not, but a girl can dream. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013


The sort of government shut down continues into its third day. I'm still trying to figure out why the 'pubs are insisting that the problem is that the president won't negotiate when they've made it very clear that they aren't interesting in anything but unconditional surrender. What part of you had your chance to shape the law when it was being written and you stood aside do you not understand? What part of liberal opposition to the law is because IT DIDN'T GO FAR ENOUGH do you not understand? What part of the senate passed it too do you not understand? What part of the president signed the damn thing into law do you not understand? What part of the SCOTUS found the law to be constitutional do you not understand? If we had gone to single payer I wonder how it would have fared facing Robert's "the business of America is business" court?

Republican representative Greg Walden represents Oregon's second district, basically everything east of the Cascades. Meet one of the gutless Republican wonders in the house of representatives. He admits that like so many others he voted to shut down the government because "they're scared of the tea party."

And his grand qualifications to help govern the country? He used to run a chain of radio stations. I am so (not) impressed

And then there's Peter King from New York who admits that the core of the shut 'er down group is about thirty to forty birthers. They're hell bent on tanking the country because we had the audacity to elect Obama. These are the same guys who treat Ted Cruz as if he were Moses down from Sinai even though he was born in Canada. Yeah the guy who goes by Ted even though he was baptized Rafael Edward, or maybe Eduardo. I'd love to get a gander at HIS birth certificate. LOL And I wonder how many of them think his last name is spelled Cruise. Like the actor.

And the whole group sits there like a bunch of idiots who can't seem to find the back of their laps with a map, flashlight, GPS and a big flashing light overhead. It's almost as if the tiny group forced the shut down doesn't really know what it wants, except that it hates the president's guts and can't figure out how to get out of the mess they created. Remember Obamacare is basically Romneycare from Massachusetts and that was modeled on Heritage Foundation recommendations. Yeah, the Heritage Foundation was semi sane. Once. Briefly. Won't let that happen again. No Sirree. Might get to be a habit.

And the world looks on. Remember back when we invaded Iraq with the idea that we could export our form of government and that was a good thing. As if we could buy a pound of democracy off the shelf and just install it where we wanted it. Iraq is sliding into civil war if it isn't there already. And the tail of the elephant is bouncing the poor critter up and down. Yep, this a great advertisement for the benefits of so called democratic government. The Chinese are; well wondering what the hell is going on. After all China is a one party state and pretty much always has been. Politicians who cause embarrassment probably end up counting sheep on the border with Mongolia.

And the former KGB honcho in Russia probably wasn't laughing at Obama over Syria but I bet Putin is laughing his ass off right now. The country that presumed to tell the rest of the world how it's done can't seem to tie its own shoelaces today.

How in the hell did we end up like this? I've always voted. Thank heaven I've usually had reasonably sane choices to pick from. There was that time George McGovern ran and Nixon tried to steal an election he had in the bag anyway. And then there was the time Pat Robertson told us it was God's will that Jimmy Carter be president. I admit it. I was channel surfing and stumbled across the 700 Club just in time to get the latest from Mt. Sinai according to Robertson.

Memo to Walden, King and all the rest. Please find out where you left your backbones and reinstall them. Rapidly. Or that elephant is going to get buried so far away it'll find Pluto before it finds its way back here.

Too bad I already practiced my key flute already (another name for the melodica). I could use a fix right about now.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Midge and her "sister" Bandit. Or maybe it's her "mom." Bandit is such a laid back kitty that, if she was long enough, you could tie her in a knot and she'd just go "oh, ok; whatever turns you on." She's let Midge climb all over her almost from the start. Sleeping together is a fairly new activity. Bandit is probably a good twenty pounds. Midge is more like seven.


These were both on my FB wall a couple of days ago. The first one was "liked" by my Umatilla living sister. Who always assumed had more sense. Oh well,

I'll skip the litany of folks who are able, want a job, look for jobs and there are four or five people looking for jobs for every job there is out there.

Then we come to the Walton heirs. Sam Walton built his chain stocking American made products. I'm not sure what kind of wages he paid or what the original benefits were for the employees. Well, we know all too well what it's like now.

How about it's wrong to tax workers trying to basically subsidize a hugely successful company that pays rip gut wages to part time workers while giving them tips on how to apply for food stamps and Medicade because they can't afford to feed their families or afford health care.

How about it's wrong to give tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas gutting what were successful industries such as textiles in the south east and basic manufacturing in or near the big cities.

This is a story from Fast Food Nation. I forget the name of the meat packers but they opened a new plant in Minnesota, bused up their workers and let them out in front of the local homeless shelter. The city officials were NOT amused. The company was basically told they could clean up their act or take their business elsewhere. I'm sure they found a city somewhere that didn't mind.

How much do you need in this life. How many things do you need to own to fill that bottomless pit where your soul ought to be? It varies, but there's finally a consensus that WalMart destroys more jobs than it creates. Another example of American 'socialism." Profits are privatized. The costs? The American taxpayers get the bill from WalMart food stamps to ruined watersheds, exploding oil platforms, coal dust from train cars it's apparently too expensive and time consuming to tarp, and  leaky tar sands oil wells. Well, the Canadians are stuck with that last one. But the picture is pretty damn clear and it isn't pretty.