Monday, October 29, 2007

Let's Try This Again, and Again, and Again..

.. until the Congress finally understands they need to take their jobs Seriously.

This links to a page where you write directly to your Congress Critter, courtesy of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
(I have updated this form letter to personalize it with ALL CAPS)

As your constituent, I want to express my strong support for the Senate version of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction in the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (HR 1585). I am HORRIFIED by the way the president’s cronies are bilking the taxpayers out of our hard-earned money and not delivering on their contractual obligations.

We have seen how CORRUPT This Administration has been at managing the reconstruction in Iraq and how corrupt the contractors have been with their high-dollar, no-bid contracts. It is bad enough that this is happening in Iraq, where the hopes of winning look bleak. But that it is happening in Afghanistan, too, a country where we have a chance to succeed in our efforts to stem the tide of terrorism is just too much for me to accept.

So as the House and Senate meet in conference committee to finalize the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act, it is essential that the Senate version of SIGAR be included. The Senate version will give the Special Inspector General the comprehensive authority needed to ensure that all of our contractors in Afghanistan are held accountable, not just Department of Defense contractors.

We must show the people of Afghanistan and THE WORLD and THE AMERICAN PEOPLE that we are committed to reconstruction. Otherwise, we will continue to give the people of Afghanistan and Muslims around the world reasons to join the fight against us. We cannot win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world. PERIOD NOR SHOULD WE TRY TO DO THAT. We must give them a reason to see us as a beacon of hope, SO THAT THEY MIGHT DECIDE ON THEIR OWN WHICH SYSTEM IS A BETTER ONE.

Please support the Senate version of SIGAR.

If Wishes Were Fishes...

... the aquarium in my head would be less crowded than it was in the past.

Which is to say, there a far fewer things needin' expunging up in there then there have been. Hey, I'm taken progress where I can, eh.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Ownership Society"

Aka: Survival of the Richest

The Center for American Progress provides periodic Economic Snapshots which highlight recent trends in the U.S. economy. The item which stands out most suggestively in conjunction with the above 'toon is #11.
11. This endangers our economic independence. Foreign investors bought 80% of new Treasury debt and the share of U.S. foreign-held debt grew to 46% from 32% from March 2001 to June 2007. The quarterly interest payments from the federal government to foreigners rose to $39 billion in the second quarter 2007 from $21 billion in the first quarter of 2001.
While it's certainly well and desirable to have investors from many nations interested in buying into one's own country, having foreign investors owning nearly HALF of our own debt is a Guarantied road to bankruptcy.

And #10 suggests some rather obvious causality for #11.
10. Tax cuts do not pay for themselves. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the tax enacted since 2001 would cost $300 billion in 2007 alone, such that the federal government would show a surplus had it not been for President Bush’s tax cuts.
Looks as if George $hrubya Bush's career long Mission of dismantling every enterprise he has taken command of may finally be Accomplished.

I wish this state of economic affairs was just a Trick, cuz it sure as Death and Taxes ain't no Treat.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

"...Become a Ripple in the Poisonous Political Pond..."

...and let that Ripple criss-cross with other ripples, each coming from their own centers of daring ... 'Cause Ripples can build a current that can wipe out the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance!"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Too True, eh Mr. Jones?

And since athletics makes so much money for the schools, they won't be needin' all that socialist government interference either.

Gotta Love Them Clams!

Ever since I read a theory that it was seafood, not just an expanded grassy starches diet, which enabled the Homo Sapiens' brain to reach it's present (roughly 3 pound) size, I've been looking for research that supports it.

Well, here ya go.
For early humans, a beach party and clam bake

By Will Dunham Wed Oct 17, 5:23 PM ET

Artifacts found in a cave on coastal cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean showed that these people 164,000 years ago cooked mussels and other shellfish, used red pigment perhaps as body paint and made small stone blades that could be used at the tip of a spear -- all far earlier than previously thought.


The world was in a glacial period from 195,000 to 125,000 years ago, with much of Africa in cold and dry conditions that may have prompted early humans to find new food sources and expand from inland to coastal habitats, the researchers said.

Marean said that the findings support the idea that on the far southern shore of Africa a small population of modern humans endured this glacial period by expanding their diet to include shellfish, harnessing new technologies, and by using symbolism in their social relations.

It may be that this was "the progenitor population" for all modern people, Marean said. Habitation of coastlines is of great interest to scientists wondering about the later spread of modern humans out of Africa.

[Beach Party, Baybee!!!

Funny thing is, I first read about the idea in a Scientific America article about the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids. The authors point was that our ancestors' brain would never have gotten the appropriate nourishment for such growth as what occurred in the transition from Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens if it weren't for an unexplored dietary source and the precise benefits which seem to be best derived from Omega 3s via Fish Oils. Grasses, the #1 source of equally important Omega 9 fatty acids (Omega 6 fatty acids are abundant in meat)* would not, according to the Sci Am article, have been enough on their own to encourage the kind and magnitude of growth which took place in the described time period.

Since that time, late July as I recall, I've started poppin' the ol' Fish Oil pills. Enteric coated, to keep away the Fish Burps, thank ya very much. {-; If you get a chance to find that issue, which I do believe was August '07, I recommend it highly.

This article isn't the first, but it is the most astounding supporting evidence for the Omega 3 theory I've found since I read the SciAm piece.

Now if I'd just get them clams an' fishes back in my diet...

* I'm ultra busy at work so just wanted to let y'all know that I may be mixin' up the O6 with the O9. I'll double check it when I get the time, and correct if necessary.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

That's What I Get


heart attack

But not for a few years yet, eh. {-;

This one was actually pretty fun to take. Have at it!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Oh! Me of Little Faith!

I've mentioned (often?) before how I am simply not a night person. Last night, e'en tho' 'twas the Saturday Night just a day before my 42nd b-day, I still let myself nod off and called it a night once teh Tribe fell down 3 to 1 in the 3rd inning. Little did I know that Cleveland would come Right Fecking Back to take the lead in the 4th.


D'oh! No. No. No. {-; Y'all may not believe it, but I really went to bed feelin' pretty confident that the Tribe would make a game of it, if nothing else. They've done it all season long. But even then I wouldn't say I was all that confidant 'bout their chances last night in Bean Town.

So imagine my pleasure this morning when I opened teh iGoogle and found... Well, this one line says all that's needed.
The seven runs for Cleveland (in the 11th inning!) were the most by a team in one extra inning in postseason history.
The ALCS moves back to C-Town, tied up, 1 an' 1.

What use could ya have for faith when you've got the reality of the down an' dirty grinders that are the 2007 Cleveland Indians suitin' up everyday?

My boy, Jack Westbrook, takes the hill 'gainst Daisuke Matsuzaka on Monday Night. I don't see the Indians changin' their game plan for anybody, so you can be sure I won't either. Though I do hope I can manage to stay up just a little bit later this time...



Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hmmm... Kinda reminds me of Hillary

Which brings me to the bottom-line:
— the presidency.

Let’s review.

This is how Al Gore’s resumé reads as of this morning:

Son of a great senator.

Harvard graduate, with honors.

Vietnam veteran.

Award-winning investigative journalist.



Vice President.

Winner of the popular vote for President of the United States.

Best-selling author.

Environmental activist.

Academy Award winner.

And, now, Nobel Peace Prize winner — he shares the prize with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — for “their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about manmade climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”

As resumés go, that is one for the top of the pile.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"I Hear His Birkenstocks Clacking"

Oh man! Yikes!! LOL!!!

A little o' this chick goes a looong long way. Adorable Girlfriend found a 'Tube o' Sarah Silverman that's just the right length to make me laugh out loud without lasting long enough for me to get too uncomfortable with her crazy-assed and irreverent approach to comedy.

(Warning: F-bombs and Christ Killings Imminent. Enjoy or Skip It!)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

(sorry AG, but...)

--from CBS via my iGoogle's front page--


It was 87 degrees at game time -- the hottest Oct. 8 ever in New York City -- and the Indians applied heat right from the start.

Wang, battered for eight runs in New York's opening 12-3 loss, was chased after just three outs -- the shortest start of the 27-year-old's short career.

Sizemore homered on a 95 mph fastball with little sink for just his second shot since Aug. 28. Jhonny Peralta, who hit .467, made it 2-0 when he lofted a two-out RBI single to center.

Cleveland loaded the bases in the second on two singles and a hit batter -- the Yankees argued that Kelly Shoppach fouled off his bunt attempt, but umpires decided it hit his hand. That was it for Wang, whose stats will be besmirched with a 19.06 ERA in this series.

Mussina came out of the bullpen to save the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS against Boston but couldn't do it this time. Sizemore grounded into a run-scoring double play and Asdrubal Cabrera singled for a 4-0 lead.

Indians manager Eric Wedge was questioned for not using Sabathia on short rest, but Byrd came up big. He allowed runners in every inning but pitched out of jams with his assortment of off-speed stuff.

Time after time, the Yankees failed in the clutch, going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, leaving them at 6-for-28 in the series and making for another winter of discontent in the Bronx.

That really was one helluvagood series. Like a natural hitter's swing, compact and powerful, the Indians got the job done fast. Not for a minute did the Tribe panic or lose their focus; not even when the momentum started to swing the Yanks' way in Game 3.

So far this post-season the Indians have given their fans everything we could possible have asked of them.

Hitting: Even with the Yankees going Long Ball 3 times last night, the Indians still out-homered them in the series, 5 to 4. Not only that, but Cleveland hit .302 for the series, and the Bronx Boiee's couldn't even make it over the mythical Mendoza Line, eeking out a meager .194* and going only 6 for 28 (.214) with 2 outs and Runners In Scoring Position (RISP).

Pitching: Sabbathia and Byrd each allowed more hits in their respective starts than did Game 3 loser Jake Westbrook (my fave tribe pitcher after Fausto, btw,) but just as did CC when he got in his jams, the wiley old veteran, Byrd, managed to find ways to wiggle out of trouble and quiet one of the most expensive starting line-ups in the history of the game.

Defense: Westbrook's Game 3 loss could have really been a doozy. If it weren't for all the Double Plays turned, 4 in the first 5 innings, the Yankees lone win may well have turned into the explosion of runs which just about everyone was predicting that the Bombers would lay on Cleveland at some point in the series. Keeping them under 10 runs may have been just the ticket the Tribe needed to keep the winning momentum on their side.

Economy. Total payroll for the Indians is less than half of what The Boss has once again thrown around. Nobody likes a cheap owner, but the Indians front-office has been a model of fiscal conservatism and player development in this multi-year rebuilding effort.

Hitting. Pitching. Defense. Economy. What more could a baseball fan ask for from their team?

Now it's time for 'em to bounce da Beaners and make their way back to the Big Stage! Despite two World Series appearance in the '90s, the Indians haven't won it all since 1948, and no Cleveland major Sports franchise has brought home a Championship since 1964. That's means, not in my Lifetime. Personally, I am quite ready to see that streak end right now.


* Guess I was up before CBS's statisticians. The Yanks hit a whopping .228 for the entire series. That .194 # was through just the first 3 games.

And I thought that they'd out homered us and was gonna make some other point, now forgotten, about what that was worth compared to having a balanced attacked and pitching Pitching PITCHING!

Alrighty then.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Black And White

I just saw the greatest thing on ESPN's Sports Center!

In a highlight from the USF -v- Florida Atlantic game, a player ran down on punt coverage and, after the whistle blew the play dead, he *POPPED* a return team blocker on his arse! The flag was thrown. 15 yards for Unnecessary Roughness (and/or Unsportsmanlike Conduct. I couldn't tell which.)

Switch to the sideline after the play where the Coach grabs and lifts the coverage guy off the ground by the front of jersey and yells in his face in reprimand, only to immediately follow that with a hug and pats on the helmet, with some obvious words of support.

Kick his ass then help him up. Dust him off. Tell him, "You effed up, Big Time, but I'm still proud of you. You can get it right the next time."

THAT is what I love about college athletics. THAT is a man who knows the fundamental, basic, elemental human fact that life is both Black AND White. NOT either Or.

Okay. Just had to share that, eh.


* Don't recall precisely where I found that pic, but know it's a volcano in the northwest of North America and is from about this time last year. I think it symbolized just how true it is that dangerous and/or destructive elements can have great power towards giving new life an opportunity to thrive. And it's definitely not black or white. It's both and too many shades of gray to count.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

BUGger Them DAMN Yankees!!!

The Erie Midge Horde struck hard and fast last night, causing NY Yankee reliever, Joba Chamberlain, just enough distraction to make him throw two wild pitches, thus allowing Grady Sizemore to come around and score the tying run. After that, Pronk's patience at the plate paid off and my home town Cleveland Indians took two at home!

Indians 2
Skankees 1

in 11 innings!!

It's on to the Bronks where teh Bombers may have owned teh Tribe this year, but where no Indians' fan can forget they've also known post-season sadness in the past. And not just in the post-season, either!


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

On the Ebb

Of a course and so it matters
and now so sorely so
that lost in shreds and ghostly tatters
disjointed ideas
ebb and flow of colors prime

Limping forward, pulling free
towing me along
a question, hard, once heard howling
screaming out
its same unanswered song

A darkness piercing brightly
in fullest emptiness
here, take this
what is left 'me
I did not seek its kiss

Through eyes ripped wide
and wrinkled shut
through purpose lost
a tuneless rut
In timbre, hue and what I feel
though ringing true
yet far from real

As all those
moist and empty dreams
I recognize in everything
the goal of all my schemes

Escape away 'til sunrise sets
reality's great weight
upon my neck
And opens up the gallows' door
falling away
the scrawl of Love's face
fallen away

Not yet
get up
meat needs turning
bread is on the rise
the wine is fit to drink

Another sun and moon
have their stories to tell
their song still left to sing