Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I'll preface this post by saying that our thoughts are obviously with all the families that have been displaced and that have lost loved ones as a result of the hurricane. Nothing we say or do can truly replace their losses.

However, by being prepared and by not misusing the resources we do have, these type of tragedies can be better handled. This is where I feel our government has woefully failed.

  • First of all, if our National Guard forces were not so depleted because of being deployed overseas, perhaps, looting could have been prevented. Food and water could have been delivered quicker to those in need. And this is not some wacked-out liberal opionion. From the Army Times: Overseas deployments hinder Guard hurricane presence
  • Secondly, this administration drastically cut funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding. To quote the article from January of this year:

    "The cuts mean major hurricane and flood protection projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now."

    Sounds kinda prophetic. Bush will pinch a few pennies when it comes to saving lives but has no problem spending us into debt for a pointless war.

    Laura (as usual) has a pretty good take on all this on her blog: Where Did Summer Go?
  • Sunday, August 28, 2005

    Kaibab Lake - Williams, AZ

    The camping trip was a blast. Weather, scenery, food and fishing were all great. Here are some nice pics of us (Lance, Michelle, and Alex) and my folks:

    Kaibab Lake

    We were only there a little over a day but did try Isabella's grilled portobello mushrooms. My folks had never had portobello mushrooms and loved them.

    Thursday, August 25, 2005

    Pardon me, your slip is showing

    Is it just me, or is the Right getting just a tad bit nervous? They seem to not be doing as good of job of hiding their true nature. Just a few examples:

    • American Legion Declares War on Protestors -- Media Next?

      Laughably, they argue that we are endangering freedom by exercising it. I've said it many times before, but blind nationalism is not patriotism. I know that the American Legion doesn't necessarily represent all veterans but it's certainly one of the major faces. What I do think is that broad proclamations like theirs will ultimately hurt their cause. There are enough veterans with an actual brain that will see through it.

      And it's so political in nature. They argued the exact opposite of their current position when Clinton was in office and we had troops in Yugoslavia.

    Got Milk?

    There has been yet another suspension in baseball for the ingestion of an apparently banned substance ... milk:

    Suspended batboy mulling two offers

    Who says crime doesn't pay?

    Wednesday, August 24, 2005

    Lucky Sevens

    Per Laura's challenge at Sarchasm:

    7 Things you plan to do before you die

    1. Go to Europe
    2. Write a book
    3. Get my pilot's license
    4. Run for public office
    5. Raft the Grand Canyon
    6. Jump out of an airplane ... again. Have done once before.
    7. Get a philosophy degree. I have a BS in Aerospace Engineering ... how boring.

    7 Things you can do

    1. Begin a million projects (writing, graphics, video) and finish none
    2. Disagree with my family on just about every meaningful political point ... and love them anyway
    3. Be a good dad/husband
    4. Read too many books at once
    5. Get on my soapbox too often
    6. Remember completely useless movie trivia and baseball stats
    7. Fix computers

    7 Things you can't do

    1. Work for anyone besides myself
    2. Dance
    3. Tolerate racism
    4. Tolerate hypocrisy
    5. Suffer fools
    6. Fix my car (except to change the oil)
    7. Be consistent about exercising

    7 Things that attract you to the opposite sex

    1. Kindness
    2. Honesty
    3. Self Confidence
    4. Wit
    5. Patience
    6. Intelligence
    7. Huuuuge .... tracts of land (sorry, couldn't resist)

    7 Things you say most

    1. Alex!! (seems I have to say my son's name at least twice to get his attention)
    2. God damn it (I know, go figure. From a humanist?)
    3. Shit
    4. Puto
    5. Any Sid and Nancy or Monty Python quote
    6. Moron
    7. I love you

    7 Celebrity crushes

    1. Charlize Theron
    2. Gwen Stefani
    3. Kate Winslet
    4. Helena Bonham Carter
    5. Natalie Portman
    6. Franka Potente
    7. Halle Berry

    7 Songs I like right now

    1. B.Y.O.B -- System of a Down
    2. Only -- Nine Inch Nails
    3. Question -- System of a Down
    4. Holiday -- Green Day
    5. Vote With a Bullet -- COC
    6. End of Hearthache -- Killswitch Engage
    7. Evidence -- Faith No More

    7 People you want to take this quiz - Like the woman said, anyone that wants to, feel free and post here or on your blog

    Day After Tomorrow

    Every day, it seems like there is new info out there suggesting global warming:

    Melting Arctic a growing threat

    One would almost not be surprised to see tornadoes in LA and a new ice age tomorrow. Just kidding. The point is ... the things they exaggerated in The Day After Tomorrow to make a point are not that far-fetched any more.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2005

    "House of Ill Repute"

    "...Are you amazed at how little power the minority has, especially in the authoritarian House of Representatives? One shrewd contributor thundered against "the tyranny of the majority." He declared that "millions of Americans" were deprived of "their fair representation in the formulation of public policy" and that "the majority in the House has many ways to pass its pet legislation or stall other bills without due regard for proper debate and deliberation.""

    Sounds like a quote from some disgruntled Democrat describing the current state of affairs in Washington. But if you thought that, you'd be wrong. It's Newt Gingrich in the book of essays, House of Ill Repute, that was published in 1987.

    The great Washington Post writer, E.J. Dionne, has a nice article about it:

    Corruption, arrogance run rampant in House of Representatives

    So, don't get too comfortable. This too shall pass.

    Sierra Club

    While the wife and kid are visiting family in Iowa in October, this is how I'm going to spend my vacation:

    Appleton-Whittell Audubon Research Ranch

    I'm pretty excited about it. Have some fun and enjoy some great scenery while doing something that backs up the words that I spout all the time.

    Sunday, August 21, 2005

    Vehicle Emissions

    Thankfully not taking a cue from from the "see-no-evil" crowd in Washington D.C., the states of Oregon and Washington are adopting Cali's tough emissions standards:

    Northwest states unite on car emissions

    It's something I think you'll see more and more of. People here and abroad are not going to wait for the Bush administration to admit there is a global warming problem.

    Saturday, August 20, 2005

    Garth Brooks

    I know it's a little incongruous, but I've always liked Garth Brooks. I saw him in concert and I have several of his albums. I respected his bucking Nashville. He wasn't afraid to write controversial (for country music) songs. But today I am deeply embarrassed for him:

    Garth Brooks a Wal-Mart Exclusive

    What a fucking sell-out! In the first place, having an exclusivity deal like this with any retailer is bogus. But it just adds insult to injury for it to be Wal-mart. Parading around the shareholders meeting in a Wal-mart blue smock? I think I'm going to be sick.

    Friday, August 19, 2005


    Interesting plan on the introduction of large mammals in parts of North America where there is more space and less population than in Africa:

    Big game 'could roam US plains'

    It sounds like a nutty idea but it would actually help to maintain ecosystems. Something to think about.


    Please make the hurting stop! I said I was not going to write about ID any more ... but I can't resist. Evidently in a move to get himself back in good graces with Dubya after he bucked him on stem cell research:

    Frist backs 'intelligent design' teaching

    It's laughable how many people (including a so-called "man of science" like Frist) continue to equate general theories with scientific theories. They are not the same thing!

    Wednesday, August 17, 2005

    Vigil for Cindy Sheehan

    My son Alex and I were fortunate enough to be able to attend the candlelight vigil for Cindy Sheehan at 24th St. & Camelback in Phoenix tonight. It was heartening to see 500+ people together in a common cause against this unjustified war. The great attitude of the attendees was expected ... it was the reactions by the traffic going by that I didn't expect. It was overwhelmingly positive!!

    In a red state like Arizona, you can usually plan on more than a few expletives shouted out windows or people flipping the bird. But in the hour or so we were there, the worst thing I saw was someone driving by holding a Bush/Cheney sign out their window ... that was it. Everyone else waved, honked their horns, gave thumbs up, etc.

    You really get the feeling that the middle part of the political spectrum is getting sick of the war and high gas prices. And it's not lost on them that a soft-spoken mother of a fallen soldier has scared the leader of the free world into his little hole in Texas.

    Rolling Stones -- "Sweet Neocon"

    Political song of the day:

    You ride around your white castle,
    On your little white horse
    You lie to your people,
    and blame it on your war of course

    You call yourself a Christian,
    I call you a hypocrite
    You call yourself a patriot,
    well I think you're full of shit

    Oh, sweet Neo Con,
    What path have you led them on?
    Oh, sweet Neo Con,
    Is it time for the atom bomb?

    You parade around in costume,
    Expecting to be believed
    But as the body bags stack up,
    We believe we've been deceived

    The horror you've unleased,
    Will backfire with more grief
    When will you ever learn,
    Sweet Neo Con, as the world burns?

    Oh, sweet Neo Con,
    What path have you led them on?
    Oh, sweet Neo Con,
    Is it time for the atom bomb?
    Oh, sweet Neo Con,
    What path have you led them on?
    Oh, sweet Neo Con,
    Is it time to drop the bomb?

    Proud Left-Wing Liberal

    Great description by James Moore on the Huffington Post about what it means to be a liberal:

    Proud Left-Wing Liberal

    Tuesday, August 16, 2005

    Intelligent Falling

    My friend at the Jewish Atheist brought my attention to this great The Onion article:

    Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity with New "Intelligent Falling" Theory

    And, I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but here's one of the most comprehensive and cogent explanations of why Intelligent Design fails. Be warned, the article is fairly long ... but worth it.

    The Faith That Dare Not Speak Its Name

    Sunday, August 14, 2005

    Jewish Atheist

    In navigating among your guys' posts and posts to your blogs, I came upon The Jewish Atheist. This is a great blog that has many well-reasoned posts on the nature of religion and morals. The blogger also had an interesting perspective because of his time as a Modern Orthodox Jew. Check it out if you get the chance.

    Categories listings updated

    It's long overdue, but I updated the archived posts under the Categories listings.


    Interesting article on hybrid mods:

    Experimental hybrid cars get up to 250 mpg


    I watched one messed-up movie last night, called the Machinist. Without giving too much away, it tells the story of an insomniac machinist who has not slept in a year. Due to his lack of sleep, he becomes increasingingly paranoid. The narrative basically follows his attempts at figuring out who is after him (real or imagined).

    It reminded me a lot of Memento because of the main character's disorientation with time and his surroundings. In Memento, the ailment was lack of long-term memory. In the Machinist, it is extreme insomnia.

    The Machinist is also remininiscent of Hitchcock movies, especially Vertigo. Ostensibly it's a mystery, but ultimately the truth that is discovered says more about the main character than anything else.

    The physical transformation of Christian Bale required for this movie makes that of Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones' Diary piddling in comparison. He went down to 120 pounds. In comparison, he weighed 220 when filming Batman Begins. He was so emaciated that he looked like a walking skeleton. He definitely took method acting to the next level ... a la Robert De Niro.

    I recommend it but only if you like depressing character studies. I do.

    Thursday, August 11, 2005

    James Dobson

    Further proof that James Dobson is not only a moron but a dangerous moron:

    Helping Boys Become Men, and Girls Become Women

    It would be funny if he weren't serious. It's time to tell it like it is ... anyone who follows the beliefs and teachings of this man are completely disconnected from reality. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, has commentaries carried on about 3500 radio stations. It's scary to think how many people listen to him. Other organizations like the Family Research Council are just as bad, pushing a radical Christian right-wing agenda.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    Arizona Chain Reaction

    This is a great organization and site for letting you know the independent businesses in your own community(in Arizona) that you can shop at:

    Arizona Chain Reaction

    Retain chain stores takes jobs and tax revenue out of your community. I encourage all of you to find similar organizations in your state and shop locally. Knowing how most of your are, I'm probably preaching to the choir.

    It's not just about keeping the money in your community. It's about getting a superior experience. Harkins Theaters and Bashas Groceries are two examples of local businesses that are every bit as good(or better) as retail chains in price and selection but offer an enhanced product.

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    "Attractive bodies"

    Bush To Determine Scentific Curriculum Of American Schools Based On His Own Experiments

    I'd never read this guy's blog before. GreatWhiteBear has a link to him. Too funny.

    Monday, August 08, 2005

    Compassionate Conservatism?

    I hate to use blue state/red state descriptions and dislike painting with a broad brush, but as my pappy used to say, "If the foo shits ...":

    On Immigration, The Right Loses All Compassion

    When a right-wing governor like Huckabee even thinks it's too extreme, you know you've went overboard. But that's not the suprise, it's the public's reaction in Arkansas ... callers to the governor's office have been 1000-1 against his position. The fact that Clinton was governor of this state indicates that there is some hope for them, but if these callers are any indication of the rest of the state, "whoa, nelly".

    Friday, August 05, 2005

    Just Add Water

    Voila! Instant backyard ... just add water. They finished the water lines, planted the trees and layed down the grass all today. That's it for now. We'll plant some small plants in spring and will probably bring in some gravel before then.

    Jim Kelly

    Very sad news in the world of sports: Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly's 8 year-old son Hunter died of Krabbe disease, an incurable nervous system disease. The Kelly's have been very active, raising over $6 million for neurological disease research, in trying to find a cure.

    Hunter Kelly, 8, dies of Krabbe Disease

    Whenever I hear of a young child dying for any reason, my heart aches for his/her parents and family. While I can't say I know exactly how they feel, I do know how it feels to worry every day if you child is going to live to the next day. Our son Alex, who is 4 now and the picture of health and energy, was born 10.5 weeks early and spent the first 6 weeks of his life in a hospital intensive care ward. Every day that we visited the NICU, we agonized over the news we hoped we'd never hear. I'm sure the Kelly's have went through that every day for 8 years. We've had several friends and family members that have also had premature babies or babies with physical issues and you can feel their pain.

    Obviously, Hunter Kelly's death is no more important than any other child's death. But because of the prominence of his dad, it just reminds us that every child should not be taken for granted. Cherish every day you have with them because you don't know when they can be taken away. And not all families are as lucky as the Kelly's or ours to have the money and insurance to give the best care possible for their children. No child should go hungry. No child should be uninsured.

    Thursday, August 04, 2005


    Finally, they've started on our backyard landscaping. We've be in the place over a year, so it's about time we got it done. They've put in the water lines and put in the curbing that will surround the grass. The grass and trees will be done in the next few days.


    Latest pic of the work on the new AZ Cardinals stadium:

    Global Warming

    How much more evidence do we need before this administration will admit there is global warming ... and to take the steps necessary to do something about it:

    Antarctic ice shelf collapse linked to global warming

    Environmental damage seen from shuttle

    This rapture mentality that pervades some of the right allows them to discount any global warming talk because it won't really matter when Armageddon comes. There are others who may not believe in the rapture but still think you can do anything to the Earth because it will recover. They are right ... it will recover, long after we have exterminated ourselves.

    As we have seen from previous posts, religion is not a substitute for science. That is not a criticism. It just means that you can have your beliefs but still respect the world you live in and those who live in it. Many churches, thankfully, are coming around to this way of thinking:

    God’s Earth is Sacred

    But unfortunately, some have not.

    Novak goes postal

    Our good friend Bob Novak is starting to show his ass more and more:

    Novak Explodes

    Tuesday, August 02, 2005

    Church and State

    Hello! Is anybody paying attention? This administration is ignoring our Constitution:

    Group assails Bible study course taught at schools. What a shocker this happened in Texas.

    Bush: Intelligent Design Should Be Taught.

    Perhaps they need a reminder:

    "...I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State..." - Thomas Jefferson

    "Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history." - James Madison

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." - 1st Amendment of the Consitution

    **A great extension of this discussion is on Laura's blog: Unintelligent Design**