Thursday, June 30, 2005

Gay Marriage

More proof that we are becoming (or have been) one of the most backwards, stunted, unprogressive countries in the world:

Gay Marriage is Now Legally Accepted in Spain

Canadian Parliament passes same-sex marriage bill

As José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister, said, "We are not the first, but I am sure we will not be the last. ... After us will come many countries, driven, ladies and gentlemen, by two unstoppable forces: freedom and equality."

If our current administration is any indication, the USA may be the last.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Credibility Gap

A young congressman once uttered these statements:

"The administration should clarify its intent in _______. People lack confidence in the credibility of our government. Even our allies are beginning to suspect what we say. It’s a difficult thing today to be informed about our government even without all the secrecy. With the secrecy, it’s impossible. The American people will do what’s right when they have the information they need."

"I concur in the conclusion expressed therein that the people of the United States must know not only how their country became involved but where we are heading."

"Accurate judgment is predicated on accurate information. Government has an obligation to present information to the public promptly and accurately so that the public’s evaluation of Government activities is not distorted. Political pundits speak of the ‘credibility gap’ in the present administration. Indeed, this appellation is so widespread that it has become a household word."

These would be the kind of quotes that would be classified as treasonous and unpatriotic if they were uttered by a Democrat in reference to our current administration. But they weren't ... they were uttered by a young conservative congressman named Donald Rumsfeld during the 60's in reference to LBJ's handling of the Vietnam war. Ah, how the worm has turned.

For more info on Rumsfeld's selective memory:

Rumsfeld Credibility Gap

Monday, June 27, 2005


It was a very fun family weekend, with Michelle's cousin Eric visiting on Saturday (he's a civilian contractor working at Luke AFB for a week):

And my folks coming down Sunday to go to a D-backs game with us (my parents' first game in 25 years):

Alex even got to run the bases after the game ... he's the one in the red hat:


In the interest of fairness, I must admit that I'm not the most avid hockey fan. But, I do enjoy the sport. So, is it just me or is Jeremy Roenick a moron? I'm sympathetic to unions, but he's just going a bit too far.

Roenick rips the fans who feed him

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Property Seizure

In a decision that just further illustrates the scary direction we are taking in this country, the Supreme Court ruled that "local governments may seize people's homes and businesses -- even against their will -- for private economic development." We are becoming a place where corporations and well-placed citizens hold all the cards.

"Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism
as it is a merge of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

George Orwell is becoming more prophetic every day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Elmo under fire?

Finally, some people in power are figuring out that Ken Tomlinson is bad news for public broadcasting:

16 senators call for ouster of public broadcasting chief

Monday, June 20, 2005

White Tank Mountains

I've taken to hiking a bit more lately. Pretty stupid when it's 111 degrees ... but I've been going in the early morning and evenings. I bought a year pass for the Maricopa County Parks. The closest park to us is the White Tank Mountains. We've been there quite a few times and enjoy it. It has some nice hiking and mountain bike trails. Alex had a pretty good time. We even saw a few deer.

Here are some pics from today.

Click thumbnails to get a larger image

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Coldplay -- "Twisted Logic"

Political song of the day:

Sunlight, opened up my eyes
To see for the first time
You'll open them up
And tonight, rivers will run dry
And not for the first time
Rivers will run

Hundreds of years in the future
It could be computers
Looking for life on earth

Don't fight for the wrong side
Say what you feel like
Say how you feel

You'll go backwards, but then
You'll go forwards again
You'll go backwards, but then
You'll go

Created, then drilled and invaded
If somebody made it
Someone will mess it up

And you are not wrong to
Ask who does this belong to
It belongs to all of us

You'll go backwards, but then
You'll go forwards again
You'll go backwards, but then
you'll go forwards

You'll go backwards, but then
you'll go forwards again
You'll go forwards again
You'll go forwards

Thomas Paine

"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good." -- The Rights of Man (1792) by Thomas Paine

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Deafening Silence

Where are Frist, Bush and the Republican leadership now that Terry Schiavo's autopsy has revealed exactly what just about everybody else in the country knew all along ... that she was brain-dead?

Schiavo Autopsy Says Brain, Withered, Was Untreatable

Even one of the case's biggest hypocrites, Florida Republican Mel Martinez, now questions the government's involvement:

Schiavo Autopsy Renews Debate on G.O.P. Actions

Don't expect retractions from Fox News, Sean Hannity, etc. either. Like their leader, they'd rather blindly blunder along and have history prove them wrong instead of admitting a mistake.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

"He'll never be my president"

An encounter this past weekend got me to thinking of the nature of patriotism and respect of your president ... or the presidency in general. While at a local mall, we had just parked and were getting out of the car, and a man pulled up next to us and proceeded to tell us how saddened he was by the bumper sticker we had on our car that said, "He'll never be my president." As the man explained, he was a former Canadian who had just become an American citizen and such an illustration of "treason" was scandalous. Besides illustrating his ignorance of the true definition of treason -- betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies -- it was a perfect example of how blind Americans (old and new) have become. Once could go into the illegitimacy of Bush's presidency, but that's not even the point. Many people, including the person that spoke to us, believe that support and respect are unconditional. But, as Nietzsche said,

"Digressions, objections, delight in mockery, carefree mistrust are signs of health; everything unconditional belongs in pathology."

Even one of our own presidents understood the importance of being able to criticize:

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else." -- Teddy Roosevelt

I'm tired of the jingoism. People blindly wave the flag with no thought to what that flag represents. They accuse people of treason. Real treason is rushing Saudi nationals out of the country immediately following 9/11 even though the majority of the terrorists were from Saudi Arabia.

False indignation about Anti-Bush statements betrays your motivations. If you cared about the country, you would be more indignant over a president who lies to the people of his country in order to wage an unjust war. A war that has taken the lives of 1700+ American lives and at least 10 times as many Iraqi. You'd be more indignant over the taking away of our liberties. You'd be more indignant about a government that coddles corporations and curries favor with it's friends while allowing our society to become a two class system (the haves and the have-nots). You'd be more indignant about a government that creates legislation that favors the insurance industry and pharmaceutical companies while increasing the burden of cost of medical care on those least able to bear it.

How can your respect a president that doesn't respect the responsibility inherent in that office?

So, go back to Canada with your little George Michael 5-o'clock shadow and your BMW. You live in Scottsdale, sir, not America. You're "saddened" by a bumper sticker. I'm saddened by what you think America represents.

Monday, June 13, 2005

30 Days

I highly recommend checking out 30 Days this Wednesday on the FX network. It's the new TV show by the maker of Super Size Me. In the first show, Morgan and his wife try to live on minimum wage in Columbus, Ohio.

Good Times

Fun times over the weekend at a party for Alex's two cousins' birthdays:

And the Burley's who, despite feverishly working on the remodel of their house, have graciously had us over a couple of times in the past few weeks. They are doing an awesome job and Eric is available for any and all of your home needs ... he works cheap. :-)

Stadium Pics

Work on the stadium and surrounding area is progressing ... if just a bit slowly.


Click for larger image

Sunday, June 12, 2005


This is an interesting post about the histtorial characteristics of fascism:

American Fascism

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Patriot Act

President Bush is pushing for an extension of the Patriot Act and "his administration also is seeking greater powers for the FBI to subpoena records in terrorism investigations without the approval of a judge or grand jury."

What we have is a full-blown assault on the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. It is intended to protect against "unreasonable searches and seizures".

As history has proven, these piecemeal grabs of personal liberty will do nothing to make us safer and will only move us closer and closer to fascism:

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." --Abraham Lincoln

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." -- James Madison, June 16, 1788

"If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier -- so long as I'm the dictator." -- George W. Bush, Dec. 19, 2000

"There ought to be limits to freedom." -- George W. Bush, May 21, 1999

Monday, June 06, 2005


This Day in History: 1949 George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-four is published

1984 is proving all too prophetic (but off by 20 years):

"Political designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give the appearance of solidity to pure wind." -- George Orwell

"The point is that we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue. And then when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right." -- George Orwell

"They use Orwellian rhetoric to conceal this extreme agenda from the public. When they want to destroy the forests, they call it the Healthy Forest Act; when they want to destroy the air, they call it the Clear Skies bill. Most insidiously, as part of this stealth attack, they’ve put polluters in charge of the agencies that are supposed to protect Americans from pollution. The head of the Forest Service is Mark Rey, probably the most rapacious timber industry lobbyist in American history. The head of public lands is Steven Griles, a mining industry lobbyist who believes public lands are unconstitutional. The head of the air division of the EPA was Marianne Horinko, whose former job had been advising corporate polluters on how to evade Superfund. The second in command of EPA was a Monsanto lobbyist. If you look at virtually all of the sub-secretariats and agency heads in the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Interior and EPA, the same pattern holds. Polluters have been put in charge of the agencies that are supposed to protect Americans from pollution." -- Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (June 5th was the anniversary of his father's death)

You go girl!!

Give 'em hell Hillary:

Where’s the Backbone?

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Hungry Blogger

In my exploring around I found this great site, The Hungry Blogger. A bunch of great recipes and a good healthy dose of culture. I think you'll especially appreciate this site Eric.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Nietzsche Quote of the Day

"Is man merely a mistake of God's? Or God merely a mistake of man's?" -- Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, Maxims and Arrows

"Why I'm Joining the GOP"

This is very funny:

Leaving the left for fun and profit

Amnesty International

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Deep Throat

An unexpected confluence of a persistent interest of mine and a public event occurred this week. As mentioned previously, I'm currently reading A Good Life, by Ben Bradlee. This is a continuation of my long running interest in politics in general and presidential politics in particular that began in high school with my reading of All the President's Men by Woodward and Bernstein (Bradlee being the Post publisher when Watergate happened). Well, that interest came to a head this week with the revealing of W. Mark Felt as Deep Throat. My interest in Watergate was obsessive for several years after reading Woodward and Bernstein's book and I've since read about 20 books on the subject. It really was the formative subject that revealed to me that politics could be sexy. And that individuals could influence the course of a whole nation.