Saturday, September 30, 2006


Read this article first. Rant doesn't begin to describe how I'm feeling right now. Call it the case of the straw and the camel.

To both parties. I've been watching my DVD's of Victory at Sea this afternoon and remembering certain World at War episodes.

Did the troops, American and Allied, in WWII and Korea go into the meat grinders of North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, the merchant marine Atlantic convoys, Coral Sea, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, the Philippines, Iwo, the air war over Europe, D-Day and a hundred other battlefields so we could come to this?

I'm including the abomination that congress just passed and the misbegotten mental midget in the White House will sign. As far as I'm concerned we've just slapped the faces of every Allied soldier who died on the battlefield and every POW who died in atrocities places like Mathausen and Malmedy.

If we have an earthquake in Kansas or Missouri it'll be Ike and Harry spinning in their graves.


Another experiment that turned out pretty well. Any good cooking or cooking/eating apple will work. This batch used an apple called Empire, nice and tart. Needless to say we did a produce run today. The galas and braeburns aren't on the market yet here.


Dry ingredients


2 Cups all purpose flour

1/2 Cup wheat bran

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 Cup chopped walnuts

1/2 Cup or so raisins soaked in hot water to soften. Say ten minutes or so. Finely chopped prunes would probably work too.


In the food processor


2 small apples cored and chopped (just wash don’t bother to peel) enough to make app. 1 ½ cups of puree. It works better to add the liquid ingrediants to the chopped apple and then finish processing the apples. Makes a nice puree.




1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 Cup melted butter or cooking oil. Butter tastes better.

2 Tbsp honey


If your processor is big enough add to the apple mixture

1/2 Cup milk or buttermilk. If you use buttermilk add 1/2 tsp soda to the dry ingrediants. If it isn't big enough add the milk separately to the dry mix.


Puree and add to dry ingredients. Mix just enough to combine all the dry ingredients. Bake in 350 degree oven. Makes 12 cupcake size muffins. Muffins will be denser than usual and may seem a little dry when day old. They revive beautifully after 15 seconds in the microwave.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I keep running across the idea of “the animal is going to go extinct anyway, let it go.” No matter that we created the conditions pushing the critter over the edge. Think they’d take the same attitude if they or a loved one were diagnosed with a life threatening disease?


No they’d fight, and expect everyone around them to join the fight. Imagine the reaction if they were told “why should we waste resources saving you, you’re probably going to die anyway.” The explosion would be heard from here to the moon.


Maybe if we fought as hard to save the web that supports us, as we’d fight to save ourselves, the future wouldn’t look quite so grim.


Monday, September 25, 2006



From left to right, Lucky, the Bandit (right after we got her and more of kitten than we thought) and the grey lady, Misty the Magnificent.

We're discovering that the Bandit has unexpected talents. It's no secret that cats love things that roll. But this one goes looking for them. And is smart enough to look at something in a bowl or basket and try it out to see if it works. Current favorites? Cherry tomatoes and the unplanted bulbs in a basket that is inside a large empty terra cotta pot in the garage. I haven't
seen any teeth marks on the bulbs or the tomatoes but she must have to get them in her mouth to get them in the house. Especially the bulbs. She has to get them up three steps from the garage to the house. They don't roll all that well so we find them abandoned later. I think the "hunt" is what matters. The getting it out of the pot and into the house.

Lucky "hunts" garden gloves. We find them all over the place. You can usually hear her while she's bringing them in because she meows while she's carrying it. I don't know if she's calling her kittens to dinner or if it's "see what little ol me can haul around." Last winter she even had a spell of hauling my terry cloth bathrobe off the bed. She actually got it into the living room once.

Misty hunts laps, sunny spots, toilet paper rolls (they roll, reeeeal good) and she likes to hold hands


Please read the story at this site and then come back.

This entry started life as a posting on the board about the birds. After I started reworking it, it started to grow. Sort of like the batch of bread I did this weekend. Another one I did got called liberal crap. I guess I haven’t been paying attention. I didn’t know that protecting the world that protects us was crap of any kind, liberal or conservative. I thought it was bloody obvious. It’s called operation CYA. Anyway here goes, with additions.


This is probably themost times I've entered a board. And I had to make a last contribution. There have been some posters who claim that God gave us dominion over the world and any creature that doesn't serve us or gets in the way should be "eradicated." (One writer who posted on this thread suggested I might be using words that went over some folk’s heads. Could be.)


I don't think you've thought this all the way through. If you respect and love God and God created the world, you have to respect every creature on it because GOD CREATED IT. Frankly it seems damned arrogant to assume that we know what value the Creator puts, if any, on His/Her creation and that we can simply destroy a part of that creation because it gets in our way.  Creation has a value far beyond the dollar signs we try to attach to it. Somehow I don’t believe the Creator/ress was thinking in dollars/linear foot at the time.


Every creature "serves" us by supporting this wonderful, miraculous little blue world we live on by keeping the web of the Creator strong and whole. There may be other life sustaining worlds, but this is the only one we know of. It deserves our love, support and respect if only to save our own sorry asses. Evan if we found a world that would support our kind of life, and it didn’t appear to be inhabited, we don’t have anything approaching the technology to explore it much less colonize it. And in mom’s opinion we don’t deserve to make a discovery like this until we prove we can take of what we already have. You so ROCK girl.


<P class='MsoNormalstyle="MARGIN:' 0pt? 0in>And I am so tired of this “I can do what I want” attitude. It’s so, I want to say first grade but I’m probablyinsulting countless intelligent first graders. Most of us accept all kinds of limits on what we want to do for all sorts of reasons. Either because it’s dangerous to us or the good to all of us outweighs the inconvenience to ourselves. The arguments supporting public health, flight screening at airports, making sure our food and houses are safe spring to mind and are the tip of the iceberg. And the people, often men, who keep trying to tell women, you got pregnant, you gotta carry it and don’t come looking to us for help are there in the mix too. Hey, guys, can't have it both ways.


In fact I’m beginning to realize just how much so many Americans sound like a bunch of spoiled five year olds. And the rest of us have been too polite to call them on it. After all, how adult is it to answer any criticism or question with an accusation. From “your soft on terrorism” to “you liberals just hate America.” For any crazy ass claim they make, just ask why and keep asking why until you get an answer that makes sense or for the person you are asking to stroke out. It probably won’t be good for their blood pressure. And be prepared for the long haul. It may take awhile.  


Folks who have to spend any time at all taking care of kids or pets or elderly relatives find out real fast that what you want ends up way down the list of what is actually going to get done. No kids, but I kept an eye on my younger sisters and my nephews when they were little. Doing homework while you’re keeping track of a five year old is a lesson in dong it one paragraph at a time. Heck, there was a time where I’d automatically look up every couple of paragraphs to check on things whether there was somebody to check on or not. It was just such a habit.


I have to admit that far more posters fell in the "work around the birds" than the "just shoot 'em camp." And that gives me a glimmer of hope.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I get a kick out of the ads for drugs for insomnia. I would have to be freakin'
desperate to go for these. I have this weird subconscious you see. It tries
to wake me at fairly set times. Around 5 AM for one. Don't ask me why, it
just does it. And Daylight Savings Time doesn't help. Within a couple of
days I'm back to 2 and 5 like clockwork. Oh, and I loath the alarm, so if I'm in
danger of oversleeping? My twisty little subconscious will bring out the
mental equivalent of the big guns on the New Jersey for that too.

So what does this involve? I've been chased by bees. Lots and lots of bees.
(that little gem was brought on by the buzzing alarm clock) I go on road
trips where the road disappears, gets impossibly narrow, mislays a bridge,
decides to go straight up, or turns into an impossible corkscrew of
switchbacks. I'm in a building where the doors disappear, the hallways lead
to nowhere or the stairs are blocked. The other night was a "triple header." We were visiting somebody, I don't know who, but the one story housemanaged to grow a three story set of steps on a weird ladder to get out. (Ihate heights, I really hate heights) In the middle of the drive home mom wassuddenly driving instead of me, the nice sunny day tuned into night, the road turned into a mountain corkscrewand we went over the side. End of dream, I'm awake at 5 right on time. Oh,and I don't know how far up we were but I saw stars under us as we left theroad. Went back to sleep and ended up in the shopping mall from Wonderland,as in Alice. I think I started out at Gateway Mall, but it got really strange after that. Reeeeeealllllllllly strange. Not scary, but something out of
Dungeons and Dragons or something. It got bigger and bigger and bigger. The straight ways got curvy, it got dim and dark and just basically weird.

Anyway I woke up in time to turn off thealarm before it went off. I think part of it could be blamed on one of myblood pressure meds. I think things have gotten a little more interesting since I started this one. Maybe they use Valeriian in it or something.

Anyway if my subconscious is going take me down the rabbit hole I don't want
to have any trouble waking up. No way, no where, no how. Oh, and mom is
still an excellent driver so I don't think that was the problem. My twisted little brain just wanted to go on a crazy road trip.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Just to keep things in perspective.


I got these figures from Nicholas Kristoff’s column this morning. His research for his column is staking out territory on human rights and world health issues including AIDS. Good thing too, because nobody else seems to be doing it. The man’s been to Darfur more times than I can count. And did his job well enough that he has to slip over the border from Chad these days. Something about how his work has embarrassed the Sudanese government.


Figures he quoted today put the daily death rate at nearly 8,000 and new infections at approximately 14,000. So, more than two a half times casualties of the World Trade Center bombings die every day. Every day. But, most of them die in places like Africa, India, and Russia. Places with names we’ve never heard of and most of us can’t even pronounce. Places where it doesn’t matter if the drugs are available, most of the victims can afford them anyway. Places where men with the disease believe they can be cured by having sex with a virgin. So they do it over and over and girls who should still be dreaming of husbands and children end up infected. Where it's still "boys will be boys" and wives and babies end up with the virus.


In the four days between Saturday when Oregon played Oklahoma and Tuesday when the headlines hit the newsprint, nearly 24,000 people died and more than 50,000 were infected. Now Oklahoma is threatening to back out of the game with one of the Washington teams in 2008 if they can’t bring some of their own officials. Say it’s two years to the day that the game is scheduled. In those two years over 5,800,000 people will die, just from AIDS. Just from AIDS.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

NCAA Football- Oklahoma Gets Apology, Refs Get Suspended - AOL Sports

I've never done an entry like this before. Lets see how it works.

NCAA Football- Oklahoma Gets Apology, Refs Get Suspended - AOL Sports :

Ok, new crisis. Oklahoma has cried foul over the officiating at the end of the game Saturday. The officiating team has been suspended and the guy doing the replay review has received at least one death threat.

One-I am not a die hard football fan. My nephew is on the team. He even gets to play once in awhile.

Two-Repeat after me. This is a game. This is a game. Obviously it isn't but it should be.

Three-Both teams made enough mistakes that frankly I think it was up for grabs and this time Oregon got lucky.

Four-The officiating was actually pretty good, from what I could see. I'm not an expert but it looked pretty clean.

Five-I suspect that every football team in the country has been on the receiving end of as many referee goofs that helped as hurt. Suck it up, it evens out in the end.

Six-The Oklahoma coach seems to be concerned that this loss to Oregon might impact his team's championship hopes. The way this young team was screwing up on Saturday? Don't hold your breath buddy. It's a young team. If it'll make you feel better, blame Oregon when you don't make it. And Oklahoma lost at least one touch down because of errors earlier in the game. So.......maybe your guy shouldn't have been an overeager Sooner and it wouldn't have been a problem.

Seven-Actually at one point both teams were screwing up about equally. Live with it and work on it. Keep playing like this and neither team will have to worry about playing after the season is over, because you won't get the chance.

Eight-And this should be most important of all. Oklahoma is a nice white bread state and I'm sure the majority of the fans would describe themselves as "Christians." Would Jesus threaten somebody because they made a mistake? Or would he remind them that telling someone you hate them is tantamount to murder. Just a thought.

Nine-Back in the day, before Oregon earned a lot more respect I saw a lot of bad calls aimed at Oregon. As in the same mistake got different results depending on which team made the error. Maybe it's Karma.

Ten-Again. It's a game. It really is a game. Take a deep breath, relax, it will all come out right in the end.

Monday, September 18, 2006


I think this post went the way it did for several reasons. I love books and I have a lot of them. I’ve finally focused my collecting on history and religion. But, my oh my what I used to bring home from the library. Everything from Ben Hur, unabridged in the fifth grade to submarines, rivers and fish almost any year. From Gone With the Wind  to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.  That was the ninth grade. My parents didn’t censor what I read. They may have wondered what the heck I was thinking but they didn’t try to stop me. Thinking back, fourteen may have been a little young to start digging up everything you could find on the Nuremburg Trials but it’s too late now. So, in a lot of ways this entry is from someone drunk on words who hates to see them misused and abused. Just think of me as a terminally curious wordaholic


I believe this mess over Pope Benedicts’ use of a quotation attributed to one of Byzantium’s last rulers illustrates several things.


One, this Pope is no teacher and he doesn’t have the instincts of a teacher. As a cardinal, Benedict was the head of what used to be called the Inquisition. It’s now the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith or some darn thing. A teacher might have gone ahead and used the quote, but put it in context. He would have explained that Manuel II’s views of Islam were influenced by the almost constant warfare with the Ottoman Empire. An honest teacher would probably mention that Manuel’s opinion of the Roman Church may not have been much better. (I’m stopping there with this guy’s name. The names of Byzantine rulers were, well, Byzantine. Very long, hard to spell and almost impossible to pronounce.).


And we’re damned lucky to have a public school system in this country. In far too many countries if you can’t pay the fees, your kids don’t go to school. Contributions from Muslim radicals and oil money from the West funneled through places like Iran fund the religious schools in the slums of too many countries.


Think parochial school with one subject. These kids learn the Koran. Period. And they learn it by rote, in Arabic. And these are the only schools available. The rioters probably aren’t a majority in any of their countries, but too many are illiterate and don’t have anything approaching what we would call an education. I won’t even go into over five decades of policies and decisions by members of both parties that helped put and keep dictators in power who continue to abuse their own people. I can almost feel sorry for the demonstrators. Almost. The men who created them keep them focused on us so they won’t turn on them.  We’re all riding the tiger and we can’t get off.


It’s also a warning. It’s no secret that certain groups in the Christian far right don’t support public schools. A lot of reasons form the smoke screen. But, I believe deep down it’s because they can’t control them. They want the public system gutted and replaced with one they can control. Gee, that sounds familiar.


You think mobs in the streets of Karachi are scary? Try to picture this. It’s forty or fifty years down the road. The middle class has ceased to exist in large sections of the country. Public schools and libraries in these areas have almost vanished. College? Forget it. Besides they’ve been gutted by the proposed student’s bill of rights that makes damn sure students who manage to make that far don’t have to hear anything they don’t want to hear. Parents have to choose between food, clothing and rent or school fees. The only schools available are run by smiling folks who make Pat Robertson look like a liberal. Think it can’t happen here? Now imagine what will happen when some of the “graduates” of these schools get a look at what somebody like me has been buying through places like Amazon and Alibris as I explore other paths of belief. Feel the flames licking at your toes yet? 


Someone said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” I don’t think he had schools and libraries in mind at the time. But, that’s where it starts. So, the next time somebody starts talking about how the schools need to be streamlined and focused to fit the needs of the workforce, ask why. When certain activists want to make room in science classes for ideas better taught in a philosophy class ask why.  When art, music and everything that isn’t covered by the almighty test keeps disappearing ask why. And keep at it until you’re blue in the face and they start resembling a well-cooked Maine lobster. Of course you may get what Socrates got when he did the same thing. Keep being an irritant and who knows how big the final pearl will be.


Ignorance is an equal opportunity demon. It comes in many forms and can be found anywhere. And it’s a busy little demon with thousands of brothers and sisters. All of them alive and well and whispering in the ears of the rioters and the chuckleheads making the majority of the posts on the subject over at AOL.


Funny, I intended to start with the Pope and go to Muhammad. How he acted like the typical reformer. What needed to be done was so obvious to him. When other people didn’t automatically see what he saw and fall into line, well a lot of them ended up dead or on the road as refugees.


Sometimes you go where the words take you. And there go both my breaks. Again. LOL


Note: I found what appears to be at least part of the text of the speech posted on the AOL boards on this. Don't bother trying to find it there. Folks are posting so fast it's buried by now. Maybe there's something posted on the net. Maybe I'll look tonight. One or two sentences in a long section discussing verses in the Koran had changed from earlier verses to newer ones etc. One sentence taken out of context being used by ignorant men and women to stoke the fires of hell on both sides. One side screaming "death to infidels" and the other side screaming "bring it on." I'm tired. I need a cat to pet.,8599,1535672,00.html  Try this link for an exceprt of the speech. A learned man speaking to other learned men and probably not realizing who was listening. What I said about the inquisition still goes.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


While I was researching the today's earlier entry I dipped in and out of the game between Oregon and the Oklahoma Sooners. Today was the seventh time we've played Oklahoma and we lost the first six games including last season's Holiday Bowl. If you folks back East heard a whole lot of whoopin', hollerin', whistlin', cheerin' and general good natured mayhem coming over the Rockies about 4:30 Pacific time this afternoon it was approximately 56,000 thousand Duck fans watching Lucky Seven. There were actually more than 60,000 diehard fans in the stadium but I figure some of them had to be rooting for Oklahoma.

And they did it in the last minute to pull ahead by one point and bless me if Oklahoma didn't almost make it back. A strong fifty yard run on the kick got them back in Oregon Territory with 2 seconds on the clock. 2 freakin' seconds. Oregon managed to block a field goal attempt that would have put the Sooners ahead. I think I scared the cats on that last touchdown. I know I scared a life or two out the door on that block. Heck mom was outside trimming black eyed susans and she heard me through a solid oak door. She was headed back in when I poked my head out with "Oregon's ahead with about fifty seconds on the clock."

Just goes to show, it really isn't over until the clock says zero and you'd better check to make sure somebody didn't blow a whistle or something. Oklahoma has a young, good team and I wouldn't want to be whoever they're playing next.


The Pope is under attack for quoting one of last Christian emperors of Byzantium. The man was no fan of Islam or Jihad since he was on the receiving end of nearly constant attacks by the Ottoman Turks for most of his life. Large portions of the Muslim world are unhappy...... again. There are a lot of things for them to be unhappy about, but this isn't one of them. Too bad Benedict gave both sides another excuse to ignore the real problems in favor of useless yelling, name calling and general mayhem. Benedict may have chosen a poor time for his remarks, too bad they're true. However, Muhammad wasn't the first religious leader of the "compel them to come in" school of theology. Saint Augustine had him beat by almost two centuries.


Christianity and Islam are both "crusader" religions. The uproar on both sides only proves how few people read history books. Their own or anyone elses.


Islam conquered a North Africa with a Christian population widely regarded as heretics by the Roman church and already weakened by their attacks on each other. Large sections of North Africa once ruled by Carthage continued their opposition to the central government in Rome by opposing what they saw as an Empire with a Christian rather than a pagan face. Attacks by “barbarian” kingdoms on both Rome and North Africa further weakened the Christian hold.. And many of the so-called barbarians also called themselves Christians. Even if they were considered heretics by the church in Rome. Donatists, Montanists, Arians, Romans, Pelagians, and Byzantines. You couldn’t keep track of the different groups without a score card. And each group was ready to consign all the others to the deepest ring of Hell over differences in doctrine both major and minor.


What started as wars of religion on both sides became wars for territory under the cover of religion. At the high point Muslim kingdoms stretched from Spain to India. The Christian crusade to unite Spain ended in 1492. Followed shortly by the expulsion of both Muslims and Jews from Catholic Spain. Great choice, leave the land your people had lived in for centuries, after selling your land and goods at cutthroat prices or convert and live under constant suspicion of following your old faith secretly. More than a few who tried to leave found themselves sold as slaves or marooned on desolate coasts by the captains who’d taken all they owned in payment for passage. Oh, Edward I of England did the same thing in 1290 with similar results. The English Leopard beat out Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille by two centuries.


The Western Church preached the First Crusade in the late 11th century to reclaim the "Holy Places" in the Middle East. The fall of Jerusalem ended with the far too usual massacre of Jewish and Christian inhabitants as well as Muslims. Yes Virginia, there were Christians living in Jerusalem. Too bad you couldn't tell them from everybody else. So they died with everybody else. This launched three hundred years of back and forth warfare mostly centered on the Kingdom of Jerusalem. One low point was the Sack of Constantinople by the armies of the Fourth Crusade on their way to the Holy Land. AGAIN. Western Christians murdered Eastern Christians on their way to make war on people who also regard Moses and Jesus as great prophets.

The final fall of Constantinople to the Turks cut the Eastern Caravan routes from China, India and the Far East. It's no coincidence that the Voyages of Discovery of the 1400's began soon after. You could still bring goods in by land, if you could afford the tolls. Side note: two of the books in my own library are on the Silk Road, the eastern caravan routes with Baghdad at the western end and a history of the Vikings. A map of the Viking trade routes has Baghdad at the eastern end. At one time you could move goods from China to the Baltic and England via these interconnected land and river routes.


Christians and Jews weren't always forcibly converted to Islam since they were considered People of the Book along with the Muslims. It really denpended on who was in command and how much control they had over their troops. There were massacres. I repeat there were massacres of Jews and Christians as well as Pagans who chose death over conversion. Even if they were spared, Christians and Jews usually had to pay special taxes and were often treated as second class citizens. The Balkans and large sections of India are still trying find ways to live with conversions from Christianity and Hinduism to Islam. Modern converts to Islam are considered to be descendants of traitors or untouchables and are treated as such. What can I say.


On the other side of the fence, the Shia's and the Sunnis have been at each other’s throats for centuries, each claiming that the others aren’t true “Muslims” and they both gang up on more recent groups like the Bahai's and Sikhs. Heresy, heresy.


So, sorry guys, go read your own history. The Pope may have chosen the wrong person to quote but he spoke the truth. And before we hurt our own arms patting ourselves on the back, check out the Inquisition, the Albigensian Crusade, the Thirty Years War, etc. etc. etc........


The tar bucket is big and the brush is broad. And it's enough to send some of us screaming for the hills


(and anything by David Arkenstone is the perfect antidote to some of my depressing reaserch)

Sunday, September 10, 2006


“I would rather give my life, than be afraid to give it.”

President Lyndon Johnson. His reply to the Secret Service request that he take a car to Jack Kennedy’s funeral instead of walking the seven or eight blocks from the Capitol to Saint Matthew’s Cathedral.


Abraham, Martin, and John

Words and Music by Richard Holler

Anybody here seen my old friend Abraham?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed lotta people but it seems the good they die young
You know I just looked around and he's gone


Anybody here seen my old friend John?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed lotta people but it seems the good they die young
I just looked around and he's gone


(brief instrumental interlude-organ)


Anybody here seen my old friend Martin?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed lotta people but it seems the good they die young
I just looked around and he's gone


Didn't you love the things that they stood for?
Didn't they try to find some good for you and me?
And we'll be free
Some day soon, it's gonna be one day


Anybody here seen my old friend Bobby?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
I thought I saw him walkin' up over the hill
With Abraham, Martin, and John


We’ve been watching Peter Jenning’s documentaries about the Twentieth Century. The program on the early sixties coincided with this weekend. I was going to do an entry on how the assassinations of the sixties impacted me a lot more than 9/11. JFK’s death, reading Bill Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, the violence of the rest of the decade, losing Martin Luther King and Bob Kennedy. I’ve been trying to work up an entry on how my universe shirted long before 9/11. Maybe it will come together later. I’ve always loved this song and frankly I keep puddling up as I’m trying to write so I’ll stop with this for now. I can’t get those damn drums out of my mind.


But, I can’t help contrasting Johnson’s attitude and actions with the aftermath of 9/11.

Saturday, September 9, 2006


I'm out on the limb with my trusty hacksaw. The newest media censorship issue is the mini series docudrama on 9/11 that ABC plans to air on Sunday and Monday. I may be offending some of my fellow liberals on this, but I say "show the damn thing." Personally, I don't plan on watching it. That's my choice.

Back in the seventies NBC sponsored a mini series "Jesus of Nazareth" based on Anthony Burgess's novel Man of Nazareth. It's a good book and a fairly good film. Actaully, if you can find it, the book is much better, siimply because so much gets left out when a you try to turn words into film. The thing is the Robertson/Falwell fundamentalist brigade tried to derail the project long before it was filmed. Without knowing anything about the project, they accused it of being sacreligious and blasphemous. I still have the TV Week story somewhere in my small collection of old newspaper articles. NBC bucked the censorship attempts and showed the film. It's a good, thought provoking story giving one view of Jesus ministry and the human beings at the center of it. At least when it's over you have some idea of why the Romans and the temple establishment wanted the Galilean out of the way. Unlike a certain other film that was the center of another censorship hurricane not too long ago.

A few years ago admirers of Ronald Reagan managed to derail a mini series about him. I forget which network was planning to show it. I'm not sure how good it was. If it had been shown I would probably have had my nose stuck in a book listening to the stereo. Again, my choice. But, the precedent is there.

The problem is, if I want my speech to be free I have to let other folks have their say too. Short of yelling "fire" in a crowded room with limited exits pretty much anything goes. Oliver Stone took liberties with JFK. Michael Moore will never be called even handed. Born on the Fourth of July and Coming Home presented one view of the Viet Nam war. It wasn't everybody's view, but nobody rounded them up and bussed them to the theaters and made them watch the films.

Start the current tempest in a teapot with a big, bold public service announcement that "This is a work of fiction based on fact." Remind folks every half hour or so. Run a very slow crawl at the end with type you can actually read (not this tiny little stuff they use in the drug commercials) that acts as a bibliography. A "these are the sources we used type of thing." Show the thrice blaseted thing. If I want the ideas I believe in to be available I have to let everybody else have their say.  Oh, and no Nielson counts on this one. They'd be skewed anyway from all the publicity.

There was an old commercial for some cleaning product or other with the motto "life is messy, clean it up." Freedom is a messy, noisy, elbow jamming, in your face affair. Ya gotta love it. The alternative is too dismal to imagine.

Friday, September 8, 2006


I think I need to design a special banner for some of my entries.





Or something like that.


So, we have definite proof that Bin Laden and Saddam weren’t in bed together. And leave it to some folks to find something sinister in the fact that the story came out on a Friday. In the immortal words of Garfield the cat, “big, fat, hairy deal.” Proving who lied and who didn’t when the decision was made to jump off the cliff is starting to look like trying to prove how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. In other words, you can’t. There are so many little lies, big lies, partial lies and tiny little truths swirling around now that none of the different sides are going to believe anyone else anyway.


One, I consider myself a liberal. Two, I lean towards the "we broke it, now we have to fix it" school. I believe we went into the wrong country, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons. BUT WE'RE THERE NOW. Getting out with as little additional damage to the Iraqis as possible and with a few shreds of our honor intact is about all we can hope for.

I don't have any answers. I wish I did. This scares me more than anything ever has. My grand nieces and nephews are going to be stuck sorting out the fallout from this mess. Hell, my great, greats are probably going be stuck cleaningup this mess. But calling each other names isn't going to solve the problem. Pointing fingers isn't going to solve the problem because when you point one finger at somebody else the rest are pointed back at yourself. Yelling certainly doesn’t work. The people you’re trying to convince are all crouching over in the corners with their eyes closed, fingers in their ears and humming really, really loud. As much as I believe George Bush has been, and is, a total disaster, he has accomplished one thing. Warren G Harding is no longer the worst president in American history. Just think what Harding could have accomplished if he'd had two terms to work with. But, I think we should leave the sorting out to the history books. With any luck we’ll all still be here to read them. Right now I don’t think the who is as important as the how, as in how do we clean up this God/dess forsaken mess?


And I’m going to head out on the limb with my trusty, rusty hacksaw on this one. I don’t think the mid term elections are going to make any difference. If the Republicons, uh ‘scuse me, Republicans remain in control of both houses everything will be buried deeper than Jimmy Hoffa. If the Democrats manage to get control of at least one house they’ll probably pull a Ken Starr and spend the next two years tying everything up in investigations that won’t change anything while our troops and the Iraqi civilians try to get out of the damn killing zones.


This reminds me a little of the cartoon picture of a tombstone. The legend on it? “I told you I had the right of way.” Sound familiar?

Monday, September 4, 2006


Mom and the rest of the "K's" had coffee klatch duty at church this weekend. So Saturday morning we turned out zuchinni muffins and apple cake and I made a batch of french bread for us. All the baking was out before 2 and we finished things off by hitting one of the local produce outfits and came home with some goodies and almost fifty pounds of peaches.

I went up to see Lisa Sunday. Me and one of the loaves of bread. I had really good luck with this batch. Just flour, water, yeast, salt some time and patience. And mom did three canners of peaches. Seven quart jars to a batch. Got a chance to see the chrysalis that is Lisa's cafe. There's a beautiful butterfly there but it will take some time to hatch. I'm looking forward to seeing it develop.

We finished off the peaches today. Two more canners. 35 quarts total this year. The canner is older than me by several years. Either the pressure cooker or the sewing machine was the first thing they bought after the folks got married. She can't remember which. It's messy but really worth it. You scald the peaches, slip the skins and get them in the jars. Wide mouth jars make it easier. Just slip them in and off you go. They look a little like sunshine come winter and the quality is much better than the commercially canned product. We don't do pears anymore. Too messy and time consuming for the result. There's only the two of us and the odd care package when the kids come down.

Oregon won their first game this weekend. 48 to 10 against Stanford. Oregon did very well. Everything just came together for them. I've seen a lot of games over the years when Oregon was in Stanford's position and things just weren't going quite right. Here's hoping they keep up the good work. I know they've been working really hard all summer.

Had some memories jogged this morning. One of the editorial writers for the Portland Oregonian graduated a few years ahead of me from the high school in Oakridge. He did a little piece on the English teacher who handled the Juniors. Her name was Fredricka Renner and she was very much Miss Renner. She was legally blind, could read if she was practically kissing the page and we couldn't put anythnig over on her. Maybe she couldn't see us very well but she knew where everybody in the room "should" be and heaven help us if we weren't. And never raised her voice. She knew her craft and was a great teacher. Unfortunately her health went downhill during my junior year. So we started the year with this great teacher who could pass on her love of books and good writing and what did we finish with? Somebody straight out of college and I can't even remember her name. Oh well.