Sunday, October 29, 2006


Word's character count apparently doesn't agree with AOL Journals. Ok, fine, whatever. Please read the previous entry first. It contains the first half of Keith Olberman's excellent article.



We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a

man who has said it is unacceptable to compare anything this country has ever done to anything the terrorists have ever done


We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who has insisted gain that “the United States does not torture. It’s against our laws and it’s against our values.” And who has said it with a straight face while the pictures from Abu Ghraib Prison and the stories of Waterboarding figuratively fade in and out, around him.


We have handed a blank check drawn against our freedom to a man who may now, if he so decides, declare not merely any non-America citizens “unlawful enemy combatants” and ship them somewhere-anywhere-but may now, if he so decides, declare you an “unlawful enemy combatant” and ship you somewhere-anywhere.


And if you think thishyperbole, or hysteria, ask the newspaper editors when John Adams was president or the pacifists when Woodrow Wilson was president or the Japanese at Manzanar when Franklin Roosevelt was president.


And if you somehow think habeas corpus has not been suspended for American citizens but only for everybody else, ask yourself this” If you are pulled off the street tomorrow, and they call you an alien or an undocumented immigrant or an “unlawful enemy combatant”-exactly how are you going to convince them to give you a court hearing to prove you are not? Do you think this attorney general is going to help you?


This President now has his blank check.


He lied to get it.


He lied as he received it.


Is there any reason to even hope he has not lied about how he intends to use it nor who he intends to use it against?


“These military commissions will provide a fair trial” you told us yesterday, Mr. Bush “In which the accused are presumed innocent, have access to an attorney and can hear all the evidence against them.”


“Presumed innocent,” Mr. Bush?


The very piece of paper you signed as you said that, allows for the detainees to be abused up to the point just before they sustain “serious mental and physical trauma” in the hope of getting them to incriminate themselves, and may no longer even invoke The Geneva conventions in their own defense.


“Access to an attorney,” Mr. Bush?


Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift said on this program, Sir, and to the Supreme Court that he was only granted access to his detainee defendant on the promise that the detainee would plead guilty.


“Hearing all the evidence, “ Mr. Bush”


The Military Commissions Act specifically permits the introduction of classified evidence not made available to the defense.


Your words are lies, Sir.


They are lies that imperil us all.


“One of the terrorists believed to have planned the 9/11 attacks,” you told us yesterday, “said he hoped the attacks would be the beginning of theend of America.”


That terrorist, sir, could only hope.


Not his actions, or the actions of a ceaseless line of terrorists (real or imagined), could measure up to what you have wrought.


Habeas corpus” Gone


The Geneva Conventions? Optional.


The moral force we shined outwards to the world as an eternal beacon, and inwards at ourselves as an eternal protection? Snuffed out.


These things you have done, Mr. Bush, they would be “the beginning of the end of Amerca.”


And did it even occur to you once sir-somewhere in amidst those eight separate, gruesome, international, terroristic invocations of the horrors of 9/11-that with only a little further shift in this world we now know-just  a touch more repudiation of all that for which our patriots died-did it ever occur to you once that in just 27 months and two days from now when you leave office some irresponsible future president and a “competent tribunal” of lackeys would be entitled by the actions of your own hand to declare the status of “unlawful enemy combatant” for – and convene a Military commission to try – not John Walker Lindh, but George Walker Bush?


For the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.


And doubtless, Sir, all of them-as always-wrong.




I found this article on the web last week, but the journal won't let me cut and paster directly. I like it enough to copy it so I could post it. A smart man Mr. Olberman and very articulate.


Published on Thursday. October 19. 2006 by MSNBC Interactive by Keith Olberman


‘Beginning of the End '


 Olbermann Addresses the Military Commissions Act in a Special Comment


by Keith Olbermann


We have lived as if in a trance.


We have lived as a people on fear.


And now-our rights and our freedoms in peril-we slowly awake to learn that we have been afraid of the wrong thing.


Therefore, tonight have we truly become the inheritors of our American legacy.

For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering:


A government more dangerous to our liberty than the enemy it claims to protect us from.


We have been here before-and we have been here before led here-by men better and wiser and nobler than George W. Bush.


We have been here when President John Adams insisted that the Alien and Sedition Acts were necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use those acts to jail news paper editors.


American newspaper editors, in American jails, for things they wrote about America.


We have been here when President Woodrow Wilson insisted that the Espionage Act was necessary to save American lives, only to watch use that Act to prosecute 2,000Americans, especially those he disparaged as “Hyphenated Americans,” most of whom were guilty only of advocating peace in a time of war.


American public speakers in American jails for things they said about America.


And we have been here when President Franklin D. Roosevelt insisted the Executive Order 9066 was necessary to save American lives, only to watch him use that order to imprison and pauperize 110,000 Americans while his man in charge, General DeWitt, told Congress:” It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen-he is till a Japanese.”


American citizens, in American camps, for something they neither wrote nor said nor did, but for the choices they or their ancestors had made about coming to America.


Each of these actions was undertaken for the most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.


And each was a betrayal of that for which the president who advocated them claimed to be fighting.


Adams and his party were swept from office, and the Alien and Sedition Acts erased.


Many of the very people Wilson silenced survived him, and one of them even ran to succeed him, and got 900,000 votes, though his presidential campaign was conducted entirely from his jail cell.


And Roosevelt’s internment of the Japanese was not merely the worst blight on his record, but it would necessitate a formal apology from the government of the United States to the citizens of the United States whose lives it ruined.


The most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.


In time of fright, we have been only human.


We have let Roosevelt’s’ “fear of fear itself: overtake us.


We have listened to the little voice inside that has said, “the wolf is at the door; this will be temporary; this will be precise; this too shall pass.”


We have accepted that the only way to stop the terrorists is to let the government become just a little bit like the terrorists.


Just the way we once accepted that the only way to stop the Soviets was to let the government become just a little bit like the Soviets.


Or substitute the Japanese.


Or the Germans.


Or the Socialists.


Or the Anarchists.


Or the Immigrants.


Or the British.


Or the Aliens.


The most vital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.


And always, always wrong.


“With the distance of history, the questions will be narrowed and few: Did this generation of Americans take the threat seriously, and did we do what it takes to defeat that threat?”


Wise words.


And ironic ones, Mr. Bush.


Your own, of course, yesterday, in signing the Military Commissions Act.


You spoke so much more than you know, Sir.


Sadly-of course-the distance of history will recognize that the threat this generation of Americans needed to take seriously was you.


We have a long and painful history of ignoring the prophecy attributed to Benjamin Franklin that “those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty or safety.”


But even within this history we have not before codified the poisoning of habeas corpus, that wellspring of protection from which all essential liberties flow.


You, sir, have now befouled that spring.

You sir, have now given us chaos and called it order.


You, sir, have now imposed subjugation and called it freedom.


For the most ital, the most urgent, the most inescapable of reasons.


And-again, Mr. bush-all of them, wrong.



Tuesday, October 24, 2006


The Republicans are big on 'personal responsibility." But, I've noticed that
this tends to come into play mostly when it involves paying pensions, social
security, workman's comp, union representation and welfare. In other words,
the things that, as a society, we do to take care of each other. For example the actions that Jesus said would separate the sheep from the goats. See Matthew 25:31-46. While I’m not really big on the last judgment bit, many faiths stress some aspect of caring for the least among us. The Golden Rule, Karma, the Five Pillars of Faith in Islam includes charity, and on and on. And unfortunately there is also the other side of the coin. Sometimes I’m afraid that coin isn’t worth a plugged nickel.

I don't hear personal responsibility stressed nearly as often when it

Gaming the system a la Enron to jack up prices and rip off the consumers.

Cleaning up the pollution your company leaves behind. Somehow that ends up
getting done on the taxpayer's dime, if it gets done at all.

Valuing the natural world for what we can extract from it and attach a price
tag. In other words a tree is only valuable if it can be cut, milled and
sold. The value that a dead tree has as habitat, fertilizer for the next
generation and as a food source for the organisms that break it down can't
be entered on a balance sheet and therefore doesn't exist.

Valuing the necessities for survival; food, clean water and clean air as
commodities. Again with a price tag attached and if you can't pay tough

Valuing health as a commodity. Yes it costs money to treat the sick. But,
again, if you don't have the money, you're out of luck. And since more can
be charged for medications for chronic conditions than for antibiotics and
vaccines, these become the priority for research.

Continuing to advertise and sell products that you know are harmful. Certain
drugs pulled off the market in the last few years spring to mind. Knowing
there's a problem, but hoping to get some of the investment back before
anyone catches on.

Lying to gain and keep political power.


I’d rather see the Ten Commandments engraved on the hearts of those who claim to follow them than hanging on a wall collecting dust.


Sunday, October 22, 2006


I don’t know if I’ve posted this recipe before, so what the heck.


Herbed Focaccia


2 ½ to 3 cups of flour, plus additional for kneading

½ cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp dry yeast

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp salt

1 cup water

1 ½ tbsp olive oil


Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup of the water and set aside. Combine the whole wheat flour and ½ cup of the all purpose flour, the salt, rosemary, water, olive oil and dissolved yeast. Stir to combine thoroughly. Add the flour a couple of handfuls at a time while stirring it in. Continue until you have a soft dough. Knead in the rest of the flour a handful at a time. Continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough may still be a little tacky but that’s ok. Here’s where I depart from the recipe. Wash out the bowl and coat the bottom with a little olive oil. Put the dough back in the bowl, coat with the oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in a quiet place to rise. Let double in size, punch down and put to rise again until doubled. If you follow the recipe you then put the dough in a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Let rise until doubled again and use your fingers to make indentations in the dough. Brush the dough with a tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle a teaspoon of rosemary, black pepper and a little salt over the top. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes until nicely browned. Turn out on a rack to cool slightly and cut into 16 squares. That’s how the recipe says to do it. Here’s how I do it. Oh, and guess what? You can use cold water and set the bowl on the counter in any old place and the dough raises just about at fast as if you use warm water and put the bowl in a warm place.


The original recipe only calls for one raising but french type doughs can raise up to five times and you get a better texture and flavor.

Dad what always bringing home gadgets and unique cooking utensils. One was a cornbread pan.

As you can see, it isn't a non stick pan. Getting corn bread batter in the pan is no problem, but getting it out, well crumbs anyone?  Ok, it's not that bad, but still messy. However, this little beauty makes great bread wedges.

And I'm just obessive enough to weigh out the dough, there's about three ounces of dough per roll and each one makes two servings. They go very well with one of my other projects. Love that crockpot. .

Really love that crockpot.



Like the guy who originated this a couple of journals over, I don't do tags. Actually I'm not sure enough people show up regularly to tag five people, that and one of the gals I'd be tagging is spending most of her time reading order sheets and menus these days and I've never seen a menu with 123 pages. So,

First you grab the nearest book. Well, I have this little "nest" around my chair. And there are at least two dozen books ranging from Celtic spirituality to American history,  but I'll go with the ones I was working with Saturday morning. With the changes to the yard I was paging through several books looking for ideas. One of them was

 a really nice book but I ran into problems with the next instruction which is to go to page 123. Page 123 of this one has a beautiful shot of an elaborate entrance to a very formal garden. I was also working with

. Nice book, but page 123 waxes poetic on the joys of using sweet potato vines in a shade tolerant garden. Rather than fudge and go with the impatiens, I went with this one.

Of course all the best stuff on that page is in the first five sentences. Bummer, because you start with the next four. Which starts prosaically enough with the joys of parsley.

 "You also have plenty of parsley this time of year; it stays green late into fall before dying back. If you mulch it thickly, it may last long enough for you to use it for holiday feasts. Meanwhile, in cold climates, herbaceous perrenials begin to grow more slowly; they start to transport vital nutrients to their underground roots so they can lay low when it gets cold. Woody herbs are hardening their new growth in preparation for weathering winter cold."

On the whole I'd rather have gone with but fair's fair. I haven't touched this one in a month or so. and the last instruction is to:  "Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet. I know that is what you were thinking!" So, go for it folks. And if you do the tagging thing, you tag five people you think will have a blast working with this. I got a kick out of it.

Seriously, We're going to be reading a lot of gardening books this winter to get ready for spring. I got a lot to learn about herbs if I'm going to start doing an herb garden that's not only kitchen centered but with a touch of the Goddess.



Saturday, October 21, 2006


I'm too frazzeled to go looking for a cute banner tonight.

Some changes in the yard in the last week. Pictures as things play out. The butterfly bush, AKA the "shrub that swallowed the yard," is history. We knew they could be enthusiastic growers but didn't realize they were "that" enthusiastic. Twelve feet tall and counting is too much when the main gardner passed her eightieth birthday this year. The replacement is a very nice crepe myrtle known as Petite Pinkie. It's supposed to get about six feet tall and best of all won't do it over night. I'm looking at the elderberry with a jaundiced eye but maybe we'll stick with keeping it pruned for now. So far all it's really producing is branches and foliage. Lots and lots of really long branches. I haven't seen very many berries so far, but maybe it hasn't had time to do much. Right now I wouldn't say no to turfing it and putting in another blueberry bush. Their leaves turn such a nice red this time of year.

The two spanish lavendars are going. Again, the plants just got too big. I didn't think anything could put a damper on cone flowers but these guys did. And the plants are very dense. They are so "there." I find I prefer the longer stemmed, lacier, "smaller" plants. The replacements will be a couple of yellow potentillas. Very, nice low growing shrubs with a small very yellow flower. Love the sun and won't need a lot of water. We'll keep the purple cone flower where it is and supplement with two others. They'll be a nice complement to the daylilies.

We made a nursery run today and came back with some nice grasses, a flax plant and some information. We can special order through them. As we work out what native plants we want to use we can order what they don't ususally carry. We not only get the companies "bucks" on purchases, but loyalty points as well. Didn't know about those. Between the bucks and the points we saved about fifteen dollars today.

Took out the side deck and replaced it with a smaller one. We'll bark the opened area before it turns into a mudflat. It'll keep while we work things out. One corner is getting that flax plant and the grasses. I also see containers filled with herbs. We need to put in a path and I keep seeing those slate flagstones so we'll have to check out some sources and see how much it'll cost to do it.

Spent some time going through a book we have on container gardens and thinking that these are great ideas for spot type gardens. And we already have a good start on plants, it's a matter of getting them where they'll really shine.

Oh, and Oregon got skunked today. I didn't catch the game but I knew the news wasn't good when the guy on the NW Cable News started talking about WSU and "Duck Soup." :-)

Time to get up close and personal with my pillow.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Our "president" claimed in a speech the "terrorists" are attacking us because they hate our freedoms.

Just what freedoms do they hate us for, Mr. President?


The freedom to be lied to by our elected hired help?

The freedom to speak but not be heard?

The freedom to watch the president, vice president, and members of his administration speak to specially invited guests in carefully orchestrated events on private property while the citizens who might disagree with them are herded into "free speech" zones on the other side of the block?

The freedom to hear our president, our president mind you, say that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are "just pieces of paper?


The freedom to watch 800 years of legal tradition flushed down the drain with the assurance that only terrorists and their supporters face the risk of being "disappeared" on the orders of one man?


The freedom to watch religious faith used as just another crowbar to divide us from each other?


The freedom to have our country sold out from under us to corrupt corporations?

The freedom to get sick from food created in chemistry labs, meat from contaminated assembly lines, vegetables tainted with bacteria laden manure run off, and water tainted with sewage and industrial waste while we pay through the nose for drugs that cost half as much in Canada and Europe?

The freedom to work for companies like Wal Mart for rip gut wages?


The freedom to be treated as a disposable component in the economic machine?

The freedom to be lied to by those who are supposed to serve the people, not the other way around?

The list goes on and on. Just what freedom's are we talking about here Mr. President? Some of us would like to know. In fact I'm afraid our lives are depending on it. And somehow I don't think these were the freedoms the founding fathers had in mind when they were working out the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Remember those pesky pieces of paper?

Saturday, October 14, 2006


This is Bandit last December. Maybe ten months old. Notice how her stripes look sort of smoked.

This shot is from last week. Notice how much darker this Siamese mix is now. She likes to perch on the scales in the bathroom and tops out at about fifteen pounds. She still has the calico markings of course but the orange didn't darken along with the black stripes so it doesn't show up as much.


Friday, October 13, 2006


Never thought I’d see the day (and I don’t know how often it will happen) but somebody brought brownies to work today and I haven’t had any, yet. Me pass up chocolate. Who’d a thunk it?


On the other hand, the topaz birthstone ring my folks got me for my 18th birthday just fits (finally) and is proudly perched on my left hand. I haven’t been able to wear it for more years than I care to think about. Actually I just discovered that my senior class ring also just fits too. I polished it up last weekend and I’ve been wearing it too. A fair trade for a little missed chocolate. This from a gal who never met a chocolate she didn’t like. Heck I still like it, I guess I just don’t have to eat it every time I see some. And I think I’ll wear those rings more often, just because they’re pretty and I haven’t worn them for a very long time.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


This may definitely be one of those "caution rough road ahead" entries.

Realized when I made the comment in my last entry about Jesus and the woman
taken in adultery just how much NOTHING has changed. The men who brought
this terrified woman before the rabbi with the accent from Hicksville
Galilee didn't give a damn about her "sin" or lack of it. Any more than most
of the folks snapping at the heels of the representatives on both sides of the aisle
really care about Foley or the page. If agendas can be advanced they will be
advanced no matter who gets hurt or what gets left boiling dry on the
backburner while the hounds go baying off on another false trail.

I commented to mom the other night that I'd always been curious about that story.
At least as long as I'd know that you didn't commit adultery by yourself.
"Where was the guy? Why hadn't the mob grabbed him, too?" Mom's reply? "He
was probably the one ready to throw the first stone." A wise lady my mother.

And this is one of the reasons I believe that some branches pf organized
Christianity are fatally flawed. A lot of good has been done and is done in
the name of the prophet from Nazareth. And I'm not really sure if Jesus was physically the Son of God or if it's in the sense that we'e all the sons and daughters of the Creator when we align our actions with that of Creation. I also believe that the Creator will go on very nicely whether I believe or not. I am trying to undestand but there are times when I really think I'm getting further away not closer.  But, I sincerely believe tthat there's a cancer eating away at too  many hearts.

It's probably been there since the first church council in Nicea was called
not by a bishop but by the emperor Constantine. Yeah, imagine my surprise when it finally sank in that the state not the church “fathers” called the first council on what the basic beliefs of Christianity should be. And neither side has drawn a free breath since. The emperor wanted an end to the factional squabbles. I doubt if he really gave a darn which side finally won approval. He was more concerned about peace and order in the fading Roman Empire. Each faction wanted their version of the faith given the approval and support of the state.Some of them didn't even bother to show up. It may have been a marriage, but itwas made a little south of heaven

Monday, October 9, 2006


I think we’ve all beaten the subject to death, but I just had a few things to get off my chest


Monica was a power groupie and Bill Clinton was a midlife crisis waiting to happen. Tacky, ill-timed, sleazy, you name it,  but both were consenting adults. She got her fifteen minutes of fame and he probably spent more than one night on the couch if not worse. Sometimes Hillary has that “frying pan” look in her eye.  It wasn't illegal and God knows the Republicans tied up enough of the publics business while they looked in or under every carpet, closet, nook and cranny in DC and Arkansas for years trying to find SOMETHING.


Yes, he lied about it, what man or woman caught in an affair hasn’t? Especially when he or she hasn’t come clean to their partner first. Should he have kept his eyes front and his zipper at full mast? Yes. Do the Republicans need to quit beating on this poor dead mule? Definitely. Is an extra marital affair that ill-mannered relative that long overstayed the original welcome and simply won’t leave? Oh, yes.


The big differences in the Foley case are the age of the page (I know, ill timed rhyme), the sex of those involved and the difference in their ages. No matter what some folks have said about the age of consent. 16 isn't a kid, but it's not an adult either. I have a 16 year old nephew and anybody who tries this with him better have his life insurance paid up because they'd have mom, dad, his brother, three cousins, one uncle, two aunts, and two grandmothers on the trail. One might be using her walker, but I doubt if it would slow her down much and she’s getting her knee fixed soon so she’ll be up to speed. As for my mom, a tigress guarding her cub doesn’t begin to describe her.


Certain folks have latched onto the gay angle like a leech over a good blood supply. Gays are no more likely be pedophiles than straights. Should Mr. Foley have kept his e-mails to himself. God, yes. Should he stay away from booze? Definitely. Should he have resigned? Given that he appears to have a history that goes back several years, yes. Should those in either party who knew about this have acted much sooner? Again, definitely and with a lot less whoo hah. I’m not sure what is more obscene a fifty plus drunk hitting on a teenager of either sex, or the unholy glee on both sides while everything else gets dropped while they drool over the details.


I seem to remember that Jesus was a lot more forgiving of folks who screwed up (remember the woman taken in adultery)* and said they were sorry than he was of those who tried to use the situation for their own gain. I seem to recall some speeches featuring scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites, gnats, camels, whited sepulchers and the conditions therein. Man, nothing ever changes, does it?


Good grief it’s not like former representative Foley lied about WMD’s, kept beating the 9/11 drum long after it was broken, left one war half done before he started another, went into the second one without enough troops, told the rest of the world we didn’t need them before 9/11 and squandered the good will of the rest of the world afterwards and redefined torture so that nobody who gets caught doing it is really guilty of anything.  (I think we all know who I’m talking about. Do I need to keep adding to the list?)


That said, this has been blown way out of proportion. But, heck I can’t really blame the Dems for trying to make as much political hay as the Republicans did in the 90’s. But, IMHO too much energy is being spent trying to prove which party is sleazier (dead heat in my book) while crowding Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, immigration reform, and so on out of the picture. Probably to the relief of many politicians on both sides who don't want to go on the record on any of these issues now, or if at all possible, ever.


*And on the woman taken in adultery. Taken implies she was caught in the act, and you can’t commit adultery by yourself. At least I don't think you can.  So WHERE THE HELL WAS THE OTHER PERSON?  Just curious.


Sunday, October 8, 2006


Just a little half sized rant.

There's something seamy about the way everybody's jumped on this Mark Foley business and I don't just mean IM"s to underaged pages. That's bad enough.

But everybody has jumped on this situation like white on rice. Or stink on you know what. It's as if it's "yippee, now we have another excuse not to deal with Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and the rest of the whole sorry mess." Frankly, suspiscious little paraoid that I am, part of me wouldn't put the original leak past Karl Rove. After all, this is guy who was accused of bugging his own office during Bush's run for governor, "discovering: the bugs, calling the cops and blaming it on the Democrats. If he did, it certainly pushed the war and everythng off the front page, but backfired big time. Now we're stuck in a twisted dance as each side tries to out do the other in dredging up old scandals.

The posts are interesting if only for the work put into compiling lists of politicians from both sides who've stepped over the moral line over the past thirty or forty years. Time better spent on a lot of other things, frankly. Of course that's just my own opinion.

And to borrow the ending from Garrison Keillors column today. It's a take off on a poem of Robert Frost.. Keillor's version "The woods are lovely, dark and thick. But I have lots of butts to kick and some to poke and just one stick."

Tuesday, October 3, 2006


The subject of Paul Krugman’s column this morning was on the unraveling of the seemingly unstoppable Republican coalition. Different groups with absolutely nothing in common except the willingness to use each other to get what they want, ended up being used by a ruthless and unscrupulous clique of politicians and neocon activists to seize power and hang on to it as long as possible.


In some areas, including Kansas, Republicans have jumped the party and are running as Democrats. Included in the roll call are the former head of the GOP in Kansas, Mark Parkinson who got tired of the debate over Darwin, and former NBA star Charles Barkley who was touted as a rising possibility for the Republican Party. The column doesn’t say what Barkley's affiliation is now, but he quit being a Republican “when they went nuts.” Which describes the situation pretty well.


Reminds me of Bill Shirer’s description of the rise of the Nazi party in Germany during the early '30s. Different groups, the military, the church (Protestant and Catholic) and social conservatives, believing that could control Hitler and his brown shirts only to find themselves checkmated before they moved their second piece.


I suspect that in the old days when the parties actually had some control over who stood for election from the county level on, former representative Foley would never have been elected dog catcher much less to the national congress. Somebody, somewhere would have heard about his interest in kids too young to shave and he would have been diverted to the rubber chicken circuit. Useful for stump speeches in support of party candidates but never allowed any real power. If his side interests weren’t discovered until later, he would have been called into a nice private meeting and offered the choice of resigning as gracefully as possible or else. Sort of the political equivalet of the disgraced officer being left in the study with a brandy and a gun with one bullet init. After the party made sure there was a squeaky clean candidate to run in his place of course.


I think that’s what really appalls me about this bunch. They don't believe in anything or anyone except power. In the end they are so inept it’s appalling. What’s really galling is that the Democrats aren’t much better. The saying “scum rises to the top” has never been truer. It’s tainting the entire process and I’m terrified they’re going to take the rest of us with them. 


Monday, October 2, 2006


Too bad there isn’t a space on the ballot for “I don’t like the incumbent, but the challenger is so much worse I’m voting for the incumbent anyway.” A sort of vote of no confidence vote. With luck the barely passable incumbent would get enough votes over the impossible challenger to stay in office but still get a message that says “I was not only holding my nose when I voted for you, I was looking for my gas mask."


This was prompted by a recent news story that basically said this session of Congress was the least productive of recent history, coupled with what seems to be record number of congressmen leaving under big thunderclouds. I'm sure I'm not the only one looking for the tar and feathers.


I'm not sure what we'd do with the information. Tell 'em they've got one term to either turn it around for the incumbants or get it together for the new guy. If they win with the conditional votes again, they're out and a new election would be held.

Sunday, October 1, 2006


I know, it's a fall picture and the background is green. But one, I had trouble matching the other colors, this one looked the best. Two, I finally realized that the trees turn color in pretty much the order they leafed out. The dogwood in the front yard is almost completly red while most of maples and oaks are still nice and green. Three I like green. :-)

It's the first of October and like clock work, it's foggy in Springfield this morning. The land has stored up alll that heat from the sunny days in July and August and when the cool, damp ocean air moves in we get fog. Especially near the rivers and open farm land. I've left the fog behind as I hit the freeway on the way to work and driven back into it on 99 as I pass the airport. Ironically the airport sits on one of the foggiest places in town. Ot maybe air ports attract fog like trailers seem to attract tornadoes, I don't know. It's one of those mysteries. 

Stumbled onto a valley nursury that specializes in plants native to the Northwest. If you're curious, go here. I printed off the shrub catalog and mom's really excited. I'll do the perennials this morning and give her a chance to look at those. I recognized some of the plants from what we've seen in the plantings at the park where we go to walk. Especially a little shrub with light yellow flowers. It's a potentilla. And the Nootka Roses.

Many of the plants do well in poor soils, tolerate dry conditions and generally don't have to have their branches held. Although I;m sure they'll take all the TLC they can get. Some of our original plantings haven't turned out as well as we'd like or did too well. The butterfly bush is a good example. Very pretty, but a pain in the ass. And if we want to lure some of the ground feeders down the hill we have to put in shrubs like the Nootka Rose that they can shelter in. So, it's time to scale back on some and bring in some new things. We've learned a lot in the last three years.

One neat thing about the plant listings. The icons tell you if it's edible, if butterflies like it, that kind of thing, and if Lewis and Clark cataloged it. Kind of a mini history lesson. Fun to check out, even if we don't buy the plant.

And for those of us who love almost all things Celtic, a little something to go on the wall next the garden. Replicas of Irish High Crosses. Click on the picture to get some info about the cross itself. I'm also partial to St Francis and the Laughing Buddha. LOL At least I won't get a hernia or need a fork lift to get these into the garden.