Friday, April 28, 2006

Mad As Hell: Goat Pictures

Mad As Hell: Goat Pictures

You will remember that about a month and a half ago Pres. Bush was stopped trying to farm out national security to Dubai, an Arab Emirate. Now President Bush has agreed that the same Arab country can purchase our defense armaments factories. I feel so much safer.... He could have at least gotten them to throw in a few million barrels of oil in the deal... BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

2.99 a gallon for gas... You must be kidding

Something's up, Noah never posts twice in a few days. Well, I'm trying to give yall reasons to keep returning to this my cyber soapbox. I drove home yesterday, and noticed that the old Mazda was near empty. So I went into my favorite gas station/florist shop and filled up. For those of you that don't know I'm pretty cheap; and I follow that same philosophy when it comes to my car. So when my favorite gas station (the cheapest in the area) is charging $2.99 and9/10 cents for a gallon of gas, I figure it is time to do a little research. CNN did a story on Brazil and their alternative fuels, just this past weekend. Why is Brazil leading the world and the U.S.A. is not. I am a big fan of Carnaval, but just because they can throw a heck of a party does not mean that we should be held hostage by some politically unstable governments, and the Brazilians get to solve the problem by growing one more stalk of corn. There are numerous alternatives to petroleum. One quick look brings this website. We have been researching automobile fuel since the time of Titusville, Pennsylvania and the Model T. Any rational person would think that while we might not be using the technology that the Jetson's space cars show, we could at least be farther ahead than 1975. Let's examine some options. The most obvious, and easiest, is for the country to stay in the current energy situation. This will undoubtedly lead to higher prices and continued reliance on foreign governments that are unreliable at best. This is not to mention the environmental implications. There are numerous alternatives, and most of them would allow the President to declare our energy independence without killing those cuddly bears in ANWR, or upsetting those maniacal tree huggers to which I sympathize. For the sake of argument I'm going to skip the "dirty" energy sources, those that would continue to damage the environment the same or even more than we are now, and stick with "cleaner" options. First, I would like to say that the President was on the right track when he mentioned ethanol. This seems to be the most obvious; as mentioned above, Brazil is already using it. Let me be the 1st to offer up my bottle of Stoli for the cause. If my giving up booze will get me to work for a week or two, then call me Carrie Nation. Other options are available. Nuclear technology might not be available for individual cars, but for large-scale projects. This type of fuel rightfully, scares Americans. There are memories of Three Mile Island and Saturday Night Live. Considering that today is the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, this topic is quite timely.

Biofuels are gaining popularity by the day. This goes back to the ethanol and Brazil idea. I'm willing to support overproduction of Duff beer if that will lower my gasoline bill. Maybe we can put Mo Sizlack in charge as the alternative fuels czar. These are options that have been floating around for 50 plus years. Even hemp is being pushed as an energy option.

Now don't get me wrong, these were ideas that both Democrats and Republican Administrations ignored. The Dems had the White House for much of the 90s and did nothing. The Republicans had the White House for much of the 80s and did nothing. Well, here is a chance to do something. Here is a chance to strengthen our national security. Declare our energy independence. I'm sick of hearing about that. Speak through actions not words.

The President and his top aides are now starting to worry about his legacy. Well, instead of loosening pollution controls on big oil or adding to Exxon's tax cuts, take that money and put this country on track toward biofuels, or some other option. Helping my wallet in the short term and my planet in the long term would help his legacy quite a bit.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Simpler Times and Squeezable Cheeks

With all the worries in the world it was nice to go with Elizabeth and Cassie shopping on Saturday. As we got on the elevator we shared with strangers, they mentioned that her cheeks were cute enough to pinch. Cassie's not Elizabeth's. I remember hating it when older people (Great Aunts and Mediocre Uncles) felt the need to pinch my cheeks as a youngster. I would look at these people and think they were so old that they might not make it another 15 minutes. Then, these same people would see my vulnerable, innocent unassuming cheeks and go in for the kill. Every ounce of remaining strength in their spirits would be used for this grip.... As they did this something like; aren't they so cute; would be said. By the time this procedure is finished the child feels as though his cheeks are going to be permanently wider than the rest of his face. Of course, these same people would politely ask how I was doing, and how things were going. How is life for a 6 year old, usually pretty good. I was no different. I loved my Great Aunt Henrietta but she would always ask how many girlfriends I had at the time. Of course, I responded that girls were icky; (I've flip flopped on that belief over the years), but even she felt the need for the Squeeze.
Is it some right of passage? Did someone go around doing this in the "old country", years ago and so the torture needs to be passed down to make certain that the new generation will survive future Darwinian challenges? I don't know but at the age of 34 my cheeks still resonate with pain from this specific ritual. I will be the 1st to tell you that Cassie is as beautiful as any child on this earth, and then some. However, please hold off on the torture tests.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Talk about below the radar-Rigging an election in 2002

I just read a 4 day old article from the Washington Post. It appears that some antics that are basically college level have made the big time. Anyone heard of Ken Mehlman? He was the head of the RNC's New England region during the 2002 mid term elections. They hired a telemarketer to clog the phone lines, on election day, of the local democratic party so as to hinder Get Out The Vote activities. While this was going on they placed 22 calls to the White House political office. Does anyone see a problem with this? Could someone please tell me how this is Clinton's fault?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Eviscerate the Electric Slide

We were lucky enough to go on vacation this past week. It was an amazing trip on the Carnival Imagination. The cruising experience suits me quite well. We went to lunch, enjoyed ourselves, went to dinner, enjoyed some music and drinking, got free room service, and started all over again... If you haven't tried this regimen it is quite relaxing... We went to a spot in Jamaica where we were able to touch and take pictures with a dolphin. Finally, I found a mammal as large as I am. We ate lunch on the beach, (I ate real Jamaican Jerk chicken). And then we went to Dunn's River Falls. Elizabeth talked me out of climbing the falls, because she figured she wanted me around for a while longer. Cassie stayed with my in laws and by all accounts loved her time with Grandma and Grandpa also.

This vacation was wonderful, and much needed. That being said there were various question raised by many things I saw on the ship and on the excursions, I will start with the most impressive to me. With all of this talk of immigration, and the fair treatment of others, I feel the need to impart an experience I had in one of the lounges on the ship. First and foremost, we were constantly bombarded by a song promoting the electric slide. This song is painful and should be erased from the memory of all who've seen or heard it. But while this and many other funny line dances were exhibited in a lounge on the ship, I noted many of the passengers were absolutely enjoying themselves.
There is no news in the fact that people on a Carnival cruise were enjoying themselves. There is also no news to report to you when I state that many of these people were not White Americans. People of all different types were dancing together and spending time together. There were African Americans, European Americans, Europeans and people that appeared to be from Asia, all happily spending a vacation together.
Add to this that on the last night I saw the children enrolled in the kids program learning to dance together, and the diversity in that group was similar to the adult group. The news in this post is there is no news. No matter their backgrounds, or ages, all of these people appear to have enjoyed themselves, as they tried the horrible line dances.
While we get ready for the midterm elections, please remember that this country was built on diversity, and on immigrants. This country benefited from every wave of immigration we ever got. I have hope that no matter how divisive politics gets in this country the racism and bigotry of my generation and generations past will fade and we as a nation and a world will continue to learn to appreciate each other as individuals, even if it is at a slower pace than I would like.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Stupidity... on both sides of the aisle

As I sit here listening to Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Elizabeth had to tell me what we were listening to, on this fine Sunday morning.... We ate our breakfast and I got down to the serious business of blogging. As is normal for me, I try to put the important news first... Cassie has started to put some words in the right place. As I left for work on Tuesday, when Elizabeth told her that I needed to go to work, Cassie said, no,no.
Spring Break is upon us, a much needed break from work (see above). My problem is that while I need the vacation from work, and my students need a vacation from school, politicians from both parties, appear to have taken a vacation from any degree of logic.
Rep. Mckinney (D-Ga) decided to assault a cop because he wanted to see her identification . I appreciate her argument of the unequal treatment of blacks and whites in this country. No one can argue that there is not work left to do to make everyone in this country equal. While that is true, I don't remember thinking that, as a white person, I could hit a capitol policeman and face no repercussions. I don't care if you are black, blue, orange or green, you should not hit a policeman. Unless you are Dick Cheney. Representative Mckinney, insults the Civil Rights movement and those fighting true racism, by complaining that this incident was an example of racism on the part of the security officials. There was no racism here, this was a clear cut case of STUPIDITY.
As we all know Cynthia Mckinney has a history of this stupidity. Unfortunately, from my perspective so does this Executive Administration. {I love the internet} Below you will see a small part of the Presidential Press Conference after the G8 Summit on June 10, 2004...

QUESTION: Given -- given recent developments in the CIA leak case, particularly Vice President Cheney's discussions with the investigators, do you still stand by what you said several months ago, a suggestion that it might be difficult to identify anybody who leaked the agent's name?

THE PRESIDENT: That's up to --

QUESTION: And, and, do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. And that's up to the U.S. Attorney to find the facts.

If you would like to read the whole transcript here it is.
Now it appears that the President is the one who gave the go ahead to declassify this poor woman's name. Or at least Scott McClellan is not denying the newly released court documents in the Libby case. Now you can say that what Clinton did was bad... and he was impeached... but he did not endanger a person's life... Valerie Plame's life was endangered, intelligence assets were compromised, at a time (see 9/11) when we needed all the intelligence gatherers we could get, and the country's standing was weakened through this game of Mr. Wilson I can make you pay for what you did.
This type of behavior is definitely, more detrimental to the Country and it rates as a high crime and misdemeanor. I would call this a case of monumental STUPIDITY, that is detrimental to the nation as a whole. Here we have been shown two versions of stupidity, now let's go to the final version of stupidity that I find reprehensible... That is the actions of the Congress regarding immigration law reform that is all the talk of the Hill this week...

The current leadership of the Senate struck down immigration reform. That is not news, but the fact that Sen. Frist blamed the Democrats for its failure is almost as laughable as Tom Delay going on Fox News to discuss someone else's ethics. First the Republicans hold 55 seats, so if they could keep their own caucus together, then the legislation would pass. The problem was the Republicans couldn't decide what they wanted to do. Here's the eassiest way to look at this legislation:

This country has always worried about immigration. This is not a surprise, but we are almost entirely made up of immigrants as a country. These same immigrants, are the backbone of the country, Immigration has always been a strength, and never a weakness. Let us continue to honor the values of this country, and welcome immigrants. Rather than limiting immigration, secure the borders, and strengthen our ports. In that way future immigrants can continue to improve this nation and be as safe as the rest of the citizenry. If we wall ourselves off then this is a long term mistake; exposing ourselves to future problems because of short sighted STUPIDITY.

More Later...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

That 70s Show for real

Here we go.... John Dean of Watergate fame was on the Hill at the end of the week and the Republicans were shouting him down, as he said that President Bush's actions were more harmful to the nation than anything Nixon did.... And at those same hearings


"We know the president broke the law," Leahy said. "Now we need to know why."

The committee's three-hour hearing focused on a censure resolution introduced by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.). Leahy and Feingold were the only Democrats to speak, whereas five Republicans defended Bush to varying degrees, sometimes so vigorously that witnesses could not finish their sentences.

The Constitution authorizes a president to take necessary steps -- including warrantless wiretaps -- to protect the country from would-be attackers, said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah). "I can only hope that this constitutionally suspect and, I believe, inflammatory attempt to punish the president for leading this war on terror will not weaken his ability to do so," he said."

This seems eerily familar, you tell me what year we are in gas prices are skyrocketing, because of instability in the Middle East... The current administration is being dogged on the Hill because of domestic spying among other things... The Big 3 automakers are in financial difficulties... The US miltiary is possibly in an unwinnable war... and the American public is losing faith in the ability of its government.... There are serious concerns about the environment...Does anyone else think that repeating the 1970s is not such a good idea?

As you can see there are some seriously troubling similarities between then and now... I never thought I would or could say this but, I think Nixon was a better President than the one we have now. That being said, the American people have the ability to right this ship, and it is up to us to do so...We get what we vote for....

Continue to work to make the world better than it was yesterday...

More later