Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dr Rice - Quack PoliSci

Finally someone has had the nerve to call-out Condi. Now there are things that require either stupidity or lying if you have a PhD in PoliSci. You see, recent history is a part of the curriculum because you cannot understand politics if you do not understand the events of the time. (I typed this last very slowly in case she's reading it) Strangely enough it was Keith Olberman who called BS.

Just to back up in time, shortly after Bhagdad fell and insurgents started killing people and the bodies were piling up pretty fast, the good Doctor likened them to the Wolfenstein in post-war Germany. These dead enders are officially credited with 32 killings, maybe more, maybe less since gangland killings were also going on - black market gangs. At that time there were several hundred dead in Iraq and no sign of a slow down. I don't have a PhD and I knew about it, but she said it. I bring this up because these folk like to bring up Hitler and WWII and say stuff that putting its best face on it is wrong. There's been talk of appeasers, of Churchillian Bush, of just about any appeal to that war imaginable in the face of the Iraq debacle. And they're back at it again in the most ignorant fashion possible.

'If Congress were now to revise the Iraq authorization, she said, out loud, with an adult present, "…It would be like saying that after Adolf Hitler was overthrown, we needed to change then, the resolution that allowed the United States to do that, so that we could deal with creating a stable environment in Europe after he was overthrown." '
'Invoking the German dictator who subjugated Europe; who tried to exterminate the Jews; who sought to overtake the world — is not just in the poorest of taste but in its hyperbole, it insults not merely the victims of the Third Reich, but those in this country who fought it. And defeated it.
Saddam Hussein was not Adolf Hitler.
And George W. Bush is not Franklin D. Roosevelt — nor Dwight D. Eisenhower.
He isn't even George H.W. Bush, who fought in that war.'
' "The resolution that allowed the United States to" overthrow Hitler?
On the 11th of December, 1941, at 8 o'clock in the morning, two of Hitler's diplomats walked up to the State Department — your office, Secretary Rice — and ninety minutes later they were handing a declaration of war to the Chief of the Department's European Division. The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor four days earlier and the Germans simply piled on.'
'If you want to compare what we did to Hitler and in Germany, to what we did to Saddam and in Iraq, I'm afraid you're going to have to buy the whole analogy.
We were an occupying force in Germany, Dr. Rice, and by your logic, we're now an occupying force in Iraq.'
'But then there's this part about changing "the resolution" about Iraq, that it would be as ridiculous in the Secretary's eyes, as saying that after Hitler was defeated, we needed to go back to Congress to "deal with creating a stable environment in Europe after he was overthrown."
Oh, good grief, Secretary Rice, that's exactly what we did do!
We went back to Congress to deal with creating a stable environment in Europe after Hitler was overthrown!
It was called the Marshall Plan.'
'Twelve billion, 400 thousand dollars to stabilize all of Europe economically — to keep the next enemies of freedom, the Russians, out, and democracy, in!
And how do you suppose that happened? The President of the United States went back to Congress, and asked it for a new authorization, and for the money.
And do you have any idea, Madame Secretary, who opposed him when he did that?
The Republicans!'

I've cut Keith's admirable prose to pieces for this little exercise, the logic is still there but the elegance is gone. If you'd like the whole thing go over to MSNBC and get it.

The level of intellectual dishonesty needed to say this crap is astonishing. If it were coming from one of the right wing nutblogs it would just be pathetic, but this is the Secretary of State of the USA and supposedly one with a doctorate in political science. It must have specialized in Orwellian politics. So far in this country, history is not in the hands of the government, knowledge will take them down, knowledge and nerve.

According to KOS, the history they do have in their hands is disappearing, Cheney's interviews from 2004 forward are going away - you know "last throws," that kind of stuff is g o n e... These people have been given so much leash with their framing, spinning, lying, defaming, ... that they have lost all sense of proportion, all recognition that they can be caught and kicked in the teeth for it. They only get away with what we tolerate, don't.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Gun Violence

In a comment in the Zumbo article I stated that I wanted to move a discussion about gun violence to another forum and then emailed my thoughts. It was rightfully pointed out to me that much of these discussions is carried on out of sight. So I've put it up. I thought this format leads to long delays and missed communications, particularly since I'm ordinarily unavailable most of the day. We'll try it.

Regarding gun violence, that’s not what we’re actually talking about, we’re talking about violence committed with a deadly weapon, violence by a human being. You can pass all the laws in the world and not affect a gun; it will just lay there doing nothing. The problem is that people pick things up and do things to other people, guns, knives, bats, chains, hammers, etc and that’s what needs to be addressed. We will lock up dopers for long terms and kick loose people who’ve used weapons, this is ridiculous. I have no sense of humor about people who commit crimes with weapons, remember this, I shoot and I hunt; I do postmortems (field dressing and butchering) on large animals killed with gun shots. I know exactly what exploded lungs, shot off limbs, etc look like; it’s no joke. I’m an advocate of long hard time for crimes of that nature, murder or not. We let it go, and then we blame a thing for what we do. What do we tell the criminal world when it’s worse to get caught dealing than to shoot somebody? The law is an idiot.

There is not a single statistic that makes gun owning more dangerous than owning a swimming pool, doctors will kill more people than guns this year (not just die on them, kill them). (Docs against guns got real quiet after those numbers came out) We talk about a thing, we don’t do education, we don’t do actual have a real job, we don’t do punishment, and we don’t do rehabilitation. We don’t do shit about people. Take away all guns and drive-bys will get pretty rare, but up close and personal stuff, nope. Knives are wickedly fast and lethal, and so are a number of other things. It takes time and premeditation to use a gun in a crime, you have to get one and then you have to use it, it’s not a case of just snapping – that involves a beating almost always.

There’s nothing to say people can’t disagree about things, and treat each other with respect. But it pays to remember that gun owners aren’t trying to do something to other people, gun banners are. I can take the most hardcore staunch 2nd A stance and not be trying to do anything to anyone, the reverse cannot be said about even “reasonable” people. What does this current government think is dangerous? The 1st Amendment is dangerous to your security, that’s exactly the same argument broached regarding the 2nd. The government doesn’t get to piss around with the BOR, it’s not their rights, and we have them despite the government. Any other road is counter to the Declaration of Independence and the foundation of the Constitution and those guys understood exactly what it means. They’d just fought a war, they knew how dangerous to government these ideas are, and that’s what they wanted. They fought a bloody war against their natural government, the government they’d known all their lives and for generations and had every reason to believe was their own and they set our government up to be overthrown. That’s the meaning of the BOR, we get to have our freedom despite our government, we can preach, write, yell, get together, and finally shoot them if they don’t get it. It’s a dangerous set up. It’s supposed to be dangerous, just getting to shoot off your mouth is a dangerous idea, back it up with all the rest and you’ve got a hell of a deal.

Safety is a goddamn illusion, here’s how I’m so sure. I was 16 and to take my DL test on Monday, Sunday I’d asked my Dad to let me drive the family home from our boat, he thought about it, said another time, and we set off on our 2 ½ hr drive. Fifteen minutes from home a Semi crossed the center line and hit us, 60 mph each. I was sitting behind the driver’s seat, asleep, with my head against the headliner. For some reason I woke and saw the truck jump the line, it hit the car behind the front wheel well and started coming in, I’d moved my head about 6 inches and the bumper missed it by about an inch. I ate all kinds of glass and impact and body crush. I was minding my own business, asleep, my Dad was driving perfectly reasonably, so was the trucker, he had a mechanical failure at just the right moment to get us. Everybody did everything right and I got to see death from 1 inch, because I woke up, still asleep – dead. If I’d been driving we wouldn’t have been there. It’s not safe, no matter what, it isn’t. Yes you can invite bad things, but you don’t have to and it’s still risky business. People refuse to admit it.

There are criminals in the world, they will be criminal, they won’t care about laws, they’ll do what they want to and find ways to do it. There are guns all over NYNY in the hands of criminals; hell the city licenses criminals (money and influence talks). The who doesn’t have guns is law abiding citizens. That’s how it works; if you don’t care or have money and power you’ll have a gun. Same thing happens in DC.

The government and its enablers will prey on fear and insecurity to have their way with you. I don’t care if it is a D or R Admin, the risk remains. Power and influence are what they are and some are susceptible to it, always have been and always will be. Never ever give unmitigated power to another entity.

*Ok, if you've got something to say please do. But don't troll, you'll waste your time because I'll trash it. Please give yourself a name or handle, Anyoldmouse gets tough after a couple.*

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Zumbo, Details Count

I'm going to steal quoted material from Jeff Alworthy in order to disagree with him about a Blue Oregon post . Have no fear, I think Jeff is one of the better writers in blogging and I can usually follow how he got where he went, even when we disagree. This time, nope. If you think I don't respect Jeff, back up, he's one of the people who backed me politically, even with some disagreements. I admire how he got there and appreciate it.

Zumbo wrote in part this regarding "assault weapons":

"Sorry, folks, in my humble opinion, these things have no place in hunting. We don't need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them, which is an obvious concern. I've always been comfortable with the statement that hunters don't use assault rifles. We've always been proud of our "sporting firearms."

This really has me concerned. As hunters, we don't need the image of walking around the woods carrying one of these weapons. To most of the public, an assault rifle is a terrifying thing. Let's divorce ourselves from them. I say game departments should ban them from the prairies and woods."

I'm sorry about you losing your jobs for this, but really, you deserved to. Many jobs have serious to deadly consequences of actions this stupid. I beat nails for a living, if I screwed up this bad a building would fall down. There is so much wrong with this piece of nonsense that it's not just a matter of a slip of the tongue, this is basic.

An assault weapon is a military short rifle capable of large capacity and full automatic fire. These things aren't generally available, not since the 1930s. This is a machine gun.

The things Zumbo is referring to are "assault rifles" in appearance and ammunition capacity. They are NOT assault rifles, they are semi-automatic rifles. Semi-automatic refers to the fact that the weapon auto-loads, each firing loads another round in firing position.

Most states have hunting regulations regarding ammunition capacity, making an "assault rifle" no different than any other semi-automatic except in appearance. Well, too small a round and too little power for some hunting purposes, but that's an individual decision.

The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting other than tangential references to its utility in hunting. It's not about hunting, it's not about bad guys in your living room, it's about your right to be armed for the security of a free state. Your state of freedom, not the US or Oregon, or ... The other stuff follows in those heels.

Now, if you think getting fired is overkill, let's take a real look at this. This writer stuck out in front of people the idea that what a gun looks like has some bearing on its legitimacy. Now that would be laughable except that the Congress of the US banned guns on that basis, California did so and then confiscated them. NYNY and DC have blatantly unfair and unevenly enforced rules regarding firearms. This guy knows all this and still handed to the opponents of the 2nd Amendment a gift. He knows what the game is, he knows who the players are, and he knows what the stakes are; then he chose to write this. Do you want me to build your house like this? Would you care if I put the roof on top like everybody else does? What does the appearance of terrorist weapons have to do with anything at all? Looks is everything? So a shiny paint job on a car makes it faster? Or it means it looks good while it can't get out of the driveway?

Most hunting rifles are deadlier than "assault rifles." Sorry, it's a fact. Very little body armour will stand up to a 30-06 round much less some of the other stuff used for hunting. I have no doubt that Zumbo owns and shoots stuff that would make kindling out of advanced body armour, I certainly do.

Yep, I'm a gun totin' drag racin' Leftie and I think the NRA is stupidly right wing when it should be concentrating on the 2nd, gun safety, and shooting issues, but on this one, there is no middle ground. And yes, I'm a long time NRA member. There is not one piece of the Bill of Rights that the people espousing the middle ground would tolerate getting the abuse the 2nd gets.

The Democrats have gotten back from the woods (a little) which shows that Parties can recover, Rights on the other hand do not. People know this, they will vote against their own economic and social interests for this reason. The Religious Right is a very apt example of people voting against their own economic interests, almost completely against. I'm not willing to watch the Democrats sacrifice the welfare of this nation over something this ridiculous and they'll get put back into the woods if they go there. Pay attention to details.

This Is Impressive...ly Stupid

Evidently one of Al Sharpton's ancestors was owned by an ancestor of Strom Thurman. His great grandfather was owned a woman whose grandfather was Strom's great, great grandfather.

A guy 3 generations removed from somebody whose relationship with that person is 5 generations removed from the other guy and evidently not even in a straight line. That only puts 26 different lines of people between them, holy mackerel at that division a large portion of 300million people could claim relations. So what?

Let's stop and think for a minute, virtually the entire world is related to somebody who was a slave at some time to somebody. Stupid.

And Now, Secondary Virginity

When you're really stuck because your stuff isn't working you set up a do-over. Surely you remember this as a kid, three strikes and I'm not out because I suck - worked well then, didn't it. Grover Norquist (are you surprised) brought this one to the table at the secretive Council for National Policy where the Christian Right was struggling to find a candidate. Their problem is that all the available ones had unsatisfactory stands when they ran previously and needed moderate voters. Apparently nobody has the Right stuff without Grover's "Secondary Virginity," where a high schooler gets to be be a virgin again if they say, "oops." I guess that since I had no desire to retain my virginity in high school I find this idea odd.

Here's the deal in basic terms, the candidate gets to say, "I like to screw," when it's in their benefit, when it's not, "I don't like to screw and you don't get to, either." Now in order to perform these kinds of gymnastics there must be something driving it, Paul Wyerich, Chairman of the Free Congress Foundation put it this way, “There is great anxiety, there is no outstanding conservative, and they are all looking for that.” If the candidates didn't speak for pro-choice or gay tolerance they violated other terms of the deal, like raised taxes, supported BushCo immigration amnesty, opposed the Plutocratic Freetrade, or just don't have any money. These people's problem is that they cannot count. They hang around each other in their tight little club and think they are a voting power bloc. Yes, they can raise money and yes for some reason the media caters to to them, but that's not votes.

I'm a left wing Democrat, I have no hope that the registered Democrats and Independents are going to go for my stuff whole cloth, but I can have hopes of pushing them towards my point of view if I am reasonable and persuasive. I also can look at things from a wider perspective than a narrow one size fits all dicta. The thing that works against these folks is their idea that their correct view must apply to all of us, their "morality" is exactly right in all cases. "Sacred" books have their problems in the real world and these people just cannot see it.

Their greatest fear is that the Republicans are going to go their own way, in fact James Dobson has made a point of mentioning that he voted third party rather than pull a lever for Bob Dole. I wish them much luck with threatening the Republicans, if they succeed they'll get their butts kicked most places and if they fail they will have alienated that Party. The Republicans may be headed for a small minority position until they learn the electoral lessons and if the Christian Right goes down the tubes, I won't much complain.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Readership Trends

Since you're here I thought you might be interested in your fellow readers. I'm not shocked, having tracked this over the last six months, but I thought you might be a little surprised.

Traffic is going up steadily each month, this far into February it has surpassed January, the previous best with 1050, by about 400. Blue Oregon drove an additional 80 visitors with a story link (by daily avg). This traffic is coming in from all around the US and the world. I discount the odd word searches that have nothing to do with this site when I evaluate source countries and states. There are some nations showing up for politics that are not "open" to the kind of stuff that goes on here, and they are direct hits - ie here deliberately. One article was linked by a blog in a country where that behavior would cost you freedom if not your life. I find it encouraging, not that these people are reading criticsm of our government, I don't care about that, but that they're getting a concrete example of what we have, here.

Some of you may wonder about the gun reviews, I like doing them. I like sharing them with the progressives (liberals, lefties) who like guns and the folks who like guns. I also have long believed that many guns are very nearly works of art - too bad I'm not a better photog. Cars are here for the same reasons. Here is something I don't believe I've shared with my readers, of my traffic entering by URL the breakdown goes like this: main blog & political articles 50%, guns 40%, various entries 10% - these tend to include old political, specialized, and oops sort of word searches. About 15% of the gun entries go on to politics and best I can tell have provided about 10% of regular readership of full blog from outside OR.

Some tendencies of mine cut down hits from searches, one is my titles. If I were to use the "principals" names in titles I'd get hit more often. I don't write news stories and I'm not trying for an A-list Blog, I like my titles. People get here how they do and that's cool. One reason the guns drive so many hits is that their specific titles place them up Google's list. That specificity can have odd results, my short review of Jon Swift places above his blog, I hope he appreciates the irony of being referenced by a reference to a fictional character's site.

Very early AM hits tend to be foreign nations, most of you regulars come at expected hours, 8-10AM, 12-1PM, 6-8 PM, 10 PM, I sincerely hope your bosses don't mind... OR leads the list by far, followed by CA, after that it gets pretty scattered FL, GA, (heavily guns) MA, ME, NY, IL, MI, MO. UK and CA are leading foreign, S Korea, India, Thailand, Germany follow, a couple very repressive countries, then Australia and Austria, New Zealand, Finland. Some more are pretty isolated hits and mostly word search countries. Universities and Educational Organizations are big hitters, the US House is a regular. Military hits are usually guns, a couple have bled over to politics.

My commenters are a really decent bunch, especially in comparison to some other sites. The couple trolls that were around have left. I'm a pretty fortunate blogger, I have a widely varied, intelligent, polite audience. That's saying a lot. Thanks, I hope this was of interest.

I Suppose You Can Say This Stuff

...but it really might help if it had anything to do with anything. VP Dick Cheney was in Australia and apparently the change in magnetic field disrupted something in the part that controls his mouth.

"a remarkable achievement" describes the War in Iraq. I'm pretty sure quite a few Iraqis disagree and some Americans might disagree, in fact Speaker Pelosi's opposition would "validate the al-Qaida strategy."

Just to make sure nobody thought his eyesight was failing (other than shooting Texas lawyer as a quail) he noted, "You get some waves, and then you get some other waves. And that goes with living in a democracy..." I guess that one finger salute can count as a wave.

Ruger No.1 Rifle in 45-70 Government

The Ruger No.1 is a falling block , under-lever, single shot rifle which follows some of the Farquharson design characteristics but contains features never previously found in rifles of this type. The No.1 buttstock is mortised onto the receiver with a bolt passing through the stock into the receiver. The forearm is attached to a heavy steel extension from the receiver. The hammer is concealed and retracted by the first opening motion of the lever and can never strike the firing pin unless the breech block is fully elevated. The swinging transfer block virtually locks the firing pin forward against gas pressure during firing.

At the top rear of the receiver is a sliding ambidextrous safety which can only be moved to safe with the hammer cocked. Loading and unloading can be accomplished in the safe position.

This rifle loads from the breech, or rear of receiver and ejects rearward as well. Fast operation of the lever can throw hot brass onto the shooter, the standard ejector mechanism can be modified easily to only partially eject cartridges. Directions are included in the manual.

This is one of the strongest actions available in a rifle and has been known to handle outrageous
pressures. This is not a recommended policy. Within the safe operating pressures high performance loads can be accomplished, loading data for 400gr bullets show muzzle
velocities of 2100fps and 500 gr bullets at 1900 fps.

The 45-70 Government cartridge is the oldest rifle cartridge chambered in modern firearms. It is a straight taper rimmed cartridge and the bullet, although a 45 is a .458 diameter bullet vs the modern 45 Colt which is .451-.452. Commonly available bullets are 250, 300, 350,
400, and 500 grain. For comparison's sake typical 30-06 rounds are 150, 180, 200, and 220 grain. Loading data for the Ruger No.1 show muzzle velocities of 2100fps with 400 gr and 1900 with
500 gr. A typical 30-06 muzzle velocity is 2600 fps. This is an extremely powerful rifle and is capable of hunting anything that walks the earth. The cartridge and un-cased bullet shown are .458 Speer Jacketed Flat Nose 400 grain which were loaded for Model 1895 Marlin.

With all that power comes significant recoil. This gun will hit the shooter quite hard and with big game loads is not for the faint of heart or small of stature.

Due to the relatively low speed of the rounds serious drop occurs over distance so the shooter must allow for an occurrence that is not common in smaller high velocity rounds. It is of very real importance to remember that rounds suitable for the Ruger No.1 are not suitable for other rifles chambered in 45-70 and serious care must be taken with vintage arms to not use rounds that even a Model 1895 Marlin is capable of using, that rifle is considerably stronger than the old Springfields.

From my first exposure to the 45-70 Govt, which was a Marlin Model 1895, I have wanted a Ruger No. 1 in 45-70. Today it arrived, the rifle you are seeing is unfired and anticipation is killing me - it is also not nice out today, mixed snow, rain and wind.



This thing kicks like a mule, I ran some 400gr 1900 fps loads for my 1895 Marlin (57gr IMR4895) through it and am quite sure this thing is never getting the very nice scope rings, that came with it, attached. I will very soon begin a hunt for a nice peep sight and update when I have located something worthy of this firearm. At full load with 500gr I don't want anything near my face and the factory leaf sights are inadequate. This post is about a tie with the Ruger Vaquero post for top popularity. There's some good lefty politics on here as well, check out the main.

Regarding Ruger No1 peep sights.
Hot Rodded Loads

If You're Not Here, You Need To Know This

This is old news and of little import to most of my readers, but I've developed a following in some odd places which for good reasons I will not name.

In the body of work that composes this Blog you will find some heated complaints, some accusations, and some outright yelling (and some cool pictures). I get to do that. The reasons I get to be the way I am are right Here , the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. There are some concepts involved that are damn near completely missed, even by people in this country. It is of the utmost importance to understand that these documents are based on the Declaration of Independence and the concept that certain rights precede all forms of government, that government has no sway over them.

Many Americans have gotten so used to having these rights that they don't notice when they get messed about. Most Americans would create a real fight if they saw real evidence there was a problem happening with these. There is no really good way to understand Americans' relationship with their government without experiencing quite a bit of it, heck, it's not that easy for those of us really involved with it.

I hope that some day you will be able to exist in the same ways in regard to those freedoms that I do. I hope that on the way you remember that these apply to all, not just those who are "correct."

Good luck & thanks for stopping by,

So You Think Having Walden Is Bad?


I'd said irony and satire are dead, replaced by reality mocking itself, I can only laugh when I'm that right. Minnesota is a nice place, sure they've got B52 mosquitoes and Canadian Blackflies (I'm sure Canada appreciates that one) and other nuisances, but it is pretty and the folks are nice. I'm not too sure how this happened, but it did, and some Democrats have to take the fall. What happened is Michelle Bachman (R) MN. Some folks aren't too happy, Dump Bachman , and I'd tell you about it but I like my credibility.

When that site opens, I want you to put down the soda and swallow, carefully; make sure the floor is clear of sharp objects; and finally, if it's late and large snorting sounds would wake the kiddies, close your door.

Hey, I didn't make this up.

BTW: DFL means Democratic Farm Labor Party = Democratic Party of MN

Friday, February 23, 2007

DPO Chair Election

In other places and here I have set out my rationale for support. I'll do so again with a recommendation.

DPO is the activist arm of the Democratic Party, this is not the electorate except in a very narrow range, amounting to less than 1% of the registered Democrats in most places. This percentage is a reflection of who the membership is, these are the people who care deeply, deeply enough to attend monthly County meetings, work on candidates' behalf, donate money, and study issues. This is way outside the norm and places the membership outside the norm. We are a fractious lot, this is the expected outcome of dedicated, involved, and intelligent people. Agreement is achieved through hard work and an understanding of the players. This is in relation to County Parties, once you reach the level of State Central Committee Delegates you've gotten to the hardcore political junkies.

SCC Delegates must understand their Counties' positions, the functions of DPO Central Committee, and then be willing to make the financial commitment to travel and lodging. Along with this goes Committee memberships, Caucus memberships, informal caucuses, and general informal study groups. While the Executive Director takes care of day to day operations, the direction and functions of DPO are in the hands of the SCC headed by the Chair. The Chair's job is not just to set a tone, make public statements, and run a gavel at meetings, the Chair is the most influential voice inside DPO. It should never be assumed that all that goes on at DPO happens in meetings, there is a very great deal of personal interaction going on.

The Chair is responsible for keeping the Party unified and on a successful track, whatever momentary interests or passions come up. Due to the nature of the people who involve themselves in SCC things can get pretty sticky pretty quickly, or get stuck in a rut and get ignored. The Chair is the person who has to reach out to the right people at the right times in the right ways when these conditions occur. It requires some serious personal knowledge and real political skills to be able to do this. This is a real tough job with very real consequences, I may understand it but I sure wouldn't want it.

I believe we have a wonderful group of people interested in being Chair, the vision and personal quality of each is impeccable. There is that one thing that is of such importance that is held by one candidate, that is Meredith Wood-Smith's experience and DPO track record. Meredith knows the people, has worked to know the Counties, and has demonstrated her dedication and abilities within DPO. I have watched and listened closely at DPO and I know that Meredith listens - actually listens - and keeps an open mind, whether she is in agreement or not. Meredith has the capacity to bring together the elements that are in disagreement and achieve a consensus. She has visited the distant counties, talked to them, and listened to them. She has been to Baker County several times, and she is a welcome and popular visitor here.

The approaches Meredith has outlined on Blue Oregon are the things she's shown she cares about through the years. These are not new to this election, this is an ongoing commitment. There are people in this election who are my friends and I respect all of them so it is with more a little reticence that I endorse one over the others. I only make this endorsement because I believe that Meredith is clearly the best choice for Chair and that it matters that I do endorse. There is no wrong candidate for Chair, these are all able, intelligent, dedicated people; I just believe that Meredith Wood-Smith is an outstanding candidate and our best choice.

We Still Have A White House

You may have noticed that I've tried pretty hard to come up with some kind of uplifting post. It's been difficult, but a little practice at getting my rose colored glasses on correctly is helping. So in that spirit, Libby Jury Still Out. And why is that good? The story is not yet dead and the BushCo pardon must wait.

But see the especially good part is that there is still a White House Administration. You might remember that our Defender of Democracy had Scott McClelland promise that anybody involved in the "outing" of Valeri Plame would be fired. So far that's about 10 top people, including the Dick, um, VP Cheney. Now since the VP is supposed to have a boss (a direct superior) that person would also be involved as well as all the little busy bees who wrote memos and placed calls and ... that would mean that there'd be no BushCo left. How're we supposed to run a country with no White House? Good news that jury has not yet come in with a guilty verdict, because if all those reporters didn't just make up the story about Valeri and an innocent verdict could be rendered; we need some time to get things organized for all the firings.

I've been worried for two days now that we'd be suddenly bereft, rudderless in a sea of terrissss. We still have a White House.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Middle East Brinkmanship

You'd have to live in a deep hole high in the mountains to have missed the pushing and shoving between the US and Iran. The rhetoric is hot and heavy, leading many to believe that an armed conflict is just around to corner. It is the usual suspects with the usual lines of attack. What has everybody squirrelly is of course the idea that one war isn't enough for BushCo and that the Iranians are loons. Well, actually that everybody involved is a loon.

The loon part of it is most easily dismissed, the strategic and tactical realities of a war between the US & Iran are very obvious to all the players. The US is currently short of ground troops which Iran has lots of, the US would own the skies. Iran has some fairly modern weaponry and the US has piles and piles of state-of-the-art equipment and a real and large Navy. Finally when it comes to actual punching power the US is not developing nukes, it has lots of them - not just lots - but also a demonstrated track record with them. We've used them, two times, on lots of civilians.

The US cannot take and hold ground in Iran, we can blow things up and then rearrange the debris in case we weren't noticed. Iran cannot do more than tweak the US in Iraq, the Arabs are not going to be dominated by the Persians, Shia or no. Iran is somewhere around five years out developing nukes, a game that is costing them badly - now. The US has its hands full with Iraq and Afghanistan (and an exorbinent debt) and Iran's economy isn't just swimming along.

So why all the over-heated rhetoric from both sides?

Has anybody noticed the fear level rising, here and there? Who has anything to benefit from increased tensions? Weak political leaders certainly have something to gain. There is no question BushCo is suffering from bad ratings and opposition in government, and apparently so is the Iranian President Ahmadinejad. There is a sort of cement in fear, something to glue together a show that's falling apart. Iran has for years stoked the internal fears of the US, but in a virtually ritualistic manner, this is something newer. BushCo can harken back to the Axis of Evil fear mongering - equally ritualistic. The idea then was, "look, there are bad guys out there," now it's "these people are going to kill you." They both have problems selling the new story, the Iranians in general have no real problem with the US, not that they really like the US government, but it's a sort of disdain; Americans still bear a grudge for the Hostage takings but it has been an equally lower level sort of disdain. Yes, there is an American affection for Israel, but other than in narrow centers it is a mild affair and stoking up warlike enthusiasms over Israel is a tough sale. 9/11 isn't last month, or last year, the smoke has cleared and most of the bodies have been buried, it's a tougher reach now to crank up the fear and anger quotient.

We've watched the fear game for over five years, it's hard to keep emotions strung up that high, and doubts and rejections have multiplied here. In Iran watching the Americans struggle in Iraq is considerably more appealing than having their bombs on your head. These guys aren't going to be able to sell war, now what we can hope is that neither miscalculates in their propaganda games.

Kicking the Democratic Middle?

Rep Ellen Tauscher (D) CA is having some problems with the "left blogosphere" over some votes. What they don't like in a nutshell is:

supporting legislation to scale back the estate tax
tighten bankruptcy rules
promote free-trade agreements
served as vice chair of the pro-business Democratic Leadership Council
voted for Authorization (with caveats & complained about execution of war)

She's since removed from her website pictures of her with Bush and with Lieberman.

Children's Defense Fund and League of Conservation Voters giver her high marks
NRA straight Fs

She's brought jobs to her district, including the C17.

I just don't know. The WaPo article seems balanced and while there are dangers in trying to push out an incumbent Democratic Representative, I also have to wonder exactly what that (D) behind her name means. That first list contains some stuff I have a real hard time seeing as anything other than hardcore plutocratic corporatism and I don't like it. Solid Fs from the NRA isn't endearing to me either, somehow it looks like the worst of the elitists stands. Let's just say for a second that Pelosi actually steps off the Right Middle, is there a Tauscher vote there? Or might it just as well be an (R)?

As a DPO it's not my job to work against a sitting Democrat. I don't have a problem with supporting some other Democrat for the job in a Primary election and I don't have a problem with calling BS on anybody. I will have you note that I have not and will not work against Hillary as a NY Senator, but, oh boy, that ain't the Dem nomination for President.

The Democrats ain't gonna vote or stand with me on a whole lot of things, I understand being a minority in a Party, as well as nationally, but there are limits to my patience, also. I'll just be darned if I'm going to turn into a Republican to satisfy a (D).

Colt Commander .45 ACP Light Weight

Based on the venerable 1911A1 the Commander is one of the smallest of that family with a 4.5 inch barrel. As with the entire family it is a recoil operated auto-loader and is single action. This is the Light Weight Model, little known and somewhat dismissed as weak in the frame due to its alloy composition. This prejudice prevented the pistol from gaining wide acceptance and over time has proved fallacious. Continuous firing of hot heavy loads will cause frame wear eventually, but failures due to such loads have had no press. This pistol has fired thousands of rounds of target loads, 230gr hardballs with 4.5 gr Bullseye and several hundred heavy load 200gr JHP (jacketed hollow point) with 7.2 gr Unique. A 30 yd shot just behind the heart killed a 150 lb field dressed mule deer. While it did not pass through it broke a large rib and shredded the lungs. I no longer hunt with this pistol because the lack of through and through made tracking very difficult.

The magazine shown is an eight shot magazine, in carry configuration - one in the chamber, full mag, cocked and locked you have 9 rounds, the 200gr JHP are very serious self-defense rounds. While the alloy frame cuts weight that many rounds are not light. This pistol can be easily aimed by a smaller woman but the recoil with those rounds is significant and compounded by the inertia of the slide.

The bluing on this pistol is quite worn from holster carry and use and while not nearly as pretty as new, its functions are unimpaired. It is accurate, quick to point, and with proper rounds never mis-feeds. I have never been able to use wad cutters with any reliability, but it happily feeds hardballs and hollow points.

Other than plinking or competitions involving this weapon type; this gun's duty is self-defense. This pistol meets and exceeds the demands of self-defense, especially in safety mechanisms. For those unfamiliar with this family of pistols these are the safeties: grip safety below hammer must be depressed by the hand, safety lock at left rear of slide-locks trigger, half cock hammer position, slide in any back position trigger lock. This pistol does not have a transfer bar and it is therefor unsafe with hammer down on a loaded chamber. The pistol's ease of use and intimidation factor are huge pluses, it looks exactly like what it is and each trigger pull fires a shot without the trigger drag of double action revolvers and there are nine of them. The rounds it fires are of some consideration, the heavy bullets will penetrate thick clothing and break large bones, but the lack of velocity reduces the chances of over penetration - shooting through a body and then through other things not desired or with a miss of shooting through several walls and so on. These are very realistic considerations for a self-defense weapon and of real importance in the horrid conditions involved in an actual use.

The disassembled picture is field stripped condition, all that is required for a complete cleaning and a basic inspection. Field stripping is easily accomplished in one minute with a little practice. The eight round magazine is Colt manufactured after market.

I've had a love affair with Colt autos for most of my life, for some reason, and this was the first pistol I purchased. I've put a lot of miles on this gun, but I still enjoy the heck out of shooting it. I have more powerful revolvers that are more accurate that are very nice shooters but this remains my favorite.

Right click pictures for full size.

Positive News Post

These days it's been difficult to bring forward a post with a positive message. Hillary's got lots of money, other than Obama most Democratic candidates are nearing invisibility, there's still Iraq, civil liberties questions, half the economic scale losing ground, Cheney is still talking, Vets are getting screwed - still, and ... well, you get the idea. Some pop celebrities (alive and dead) are still providing news - mostly silly and sad.

Hey, good news. The jury is still out on Scooter.

Darn, I missed a piece of particularly good news, Dick is glad the British can leave Iraq. huh?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chaparral "Winchester Model 1873 in .45 Colt-Cowboy Action

This is a 22 inch octagonal barrel rifle in .45 Colt, Charter Arms and Chaparral Arms joined together in this production. It is an historically accurate reproduction of the Model 1873 Winchester lever action saddle gun with case hardened receiver and butt plate, brass case lifter and brass front blade sight.
The rifle being an accurate reproduction does not utilize modern "safes." The hammer down rests on the firing pin and half-cock can be overridden with a blow, therefor it should not be carried with an unspent round in the chamber. The rifle was designed for the black powder .45 Colt cartridge and is unsuited to higher power smokeless cartridges.

The lever incorporates a trigger locking pin which disables the trigger unless the lever is closed to the stock, requiring pressure. When the hammer is in half cock the trigger is also disabled. These safeties are of modest utility in preventing accidental discharge. The receiver has a dust cover which can be manually closed to keep dust and debris from the receiver, it is opened by either drawing it back with fingers or opening the lever. At the rear of the lever is a toggle for locking the lever against the stock.

It is available in the following calibers: WCF 38-40, WCF 44-40, .45 Colt, .357, and .44 Special. Because this is a tubular magazine rifle only flat nose or soft lead round nose ammunition should be used.

The rifle is considered unserviceable by the consumer and there is no exploded drawing with the manual. It is warranted for one year.

The rifle is quite pretty, fit and finish is outstanding and it fairly comfortable to shoulder. You can expect to pay close to $900 for this gun. The 1873 Winchester is a popular Cowboy Action Shooting rifle, which is my intended use for it.

Right click picture for full size

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Surrender Monkeys

You've got to love it, there is Red State online for your amusement. Lately they've entered the self-immolation mode. With little further ado, how to make friends and influence people Republican style.

" those 24 Republicans in the House and Senate who sided with the Democrats on the policy of defeat and surrender."

"I would very much like it if every single one of you would call each of these dirty two dozen and ask if they might now be interested in starting a Congressional Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey Caucus in light of their vote to slowly bleed our troops to death and surrender our country into the hands of those who'd kill us all."

If you want to write or call those "monkeys" and give them a thanks, go over there and get the list. Heck, if you want to make their day, tell'em you're a Dem.

Just so you have an a feel for their idea of capitalism,

"One of their arguments is that some state run airlines would come in and compete. Well, you know, if I could get Singapore Air's service between Atlanta and Washington, I'd be all for it! Especially if Singapore's taxpayers are subsidizing my flight!" Now that's what I'd call a free trader... I get so confused anymore, wasn't it the conservative wing who yelled, "Buy American," awhile ago? I've looked and looked but I can no longer find irony in my dictionary, or in the Republican Party...

Too Long A List

There is such a long list of the BushCo depredations of our system of government, the checks and balances and basic rights that sometimes stuff just slips our memory. There is so much wreckage to be cleaned up I doubt a dedicated Congress and willing Administration could manage it in a year doing nothing else.

The NYT Editorial Board would like to remind us of one that was slipped through in October '06, and slipped through is exactly the words. The defense budget bill contained a little provision that might be really scary to anybody paying attention. Posse Commitatus bars the military and National Guard from acting in a law enforcement capacity and the Insurrection Act of 1807 which allows and exemption in cases of lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion, where a state is violating federal law or depriving people of constitutional rights. The nasty little provision allows the President to "use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any “other condition.” The NYT thinks this needs a "public airing," I don't think any amount of airing is going to clear this smell.

I know that BushCo has killed irony and made satire pointless, but why exactly is he fighting a war in Iraq to spread democracy and fighting a war against it at home?

George Washington Commits Post-mortum Hari-Kari

In Japan at one time, a person who found themselves responsible for a catastrophic outcome through personal involvement removed the stain from the State and Religion by excising their gut. I prefer my apologies a little less dramatic, but this is the decade of HIGH DRAMA and screeching patriotism so I'm afraid George W had little choice. You see 230 or so years ago he set in motion the Iraq war and a very second GeorgeII. Yes an invoked spirit has little choice but to deal with the consequences. He has been invoked.

GeorgeII: "Today, we're fighting a new war to defend our liberty and our people and our way of life. And as we work to advance the cause of freedom around the world, we remember that the father of our country believed that the freedoms we secured in our revolution were not meant for Americans alone."

"I feel right at home here. After all, this is the home of the first George W. I thank President Washington for welcoming us today."

Now here's the really scary bit: "In the end, General Washington understood that the Revolutionary War was a test of wills, and his will was unbreakable. After winning the war, Washington did what victorious leaders rarely did at the time. He voluntarily gave up power."

Does he think we'll wait that long for him to leave? He actually invoked the Commander of the Revolutionary War, opened with the Declaration of Independence - the foundational document of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as his predecessor in his war of profit and war on civil liberties - HIS AG stated that the Right of Habeas Corpus was not in the Constitution - he invoked a man who'd have had him shot as a traitor??? Now George W (I) has had to do the honorable thing.

My god it's true, the man has killed irony, satire is dead - you cannot make more fun of this than it makes of itself. Maybe I'll have to kill this Blog, what more can I say about anything?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Never MInd What I Said, Then

In February of 2007 I have no idea who I'd vote for in November 2008 for President of the United States, but I may have some strong ideas about who I'd never vote for - maybe not even for dog catcher. I can understand how somebody would vote for a bill that addresses a problem differently than a bill they voted against, what I cannot understand is how a previously taken position no longer counts, particularly if it's not at least apologized for.

Seven years ago John McCain was getting some traction with some Democrats, "I know he's a conservative, but he's a pretty reasonable one and he talks straight," was more or less the line. I didn't think he was all that reasonable, and I didn't know if he was straight talking or not, the media would have had us believe he was. Lately if there's straight talk it seems to be about approving of an escalation in Iraq, with quibbling on numbers. Donald Rumsfeld, on the other hand, has gone from November 2006, "While Secretary Rumsfeld and I have had our differences, he deserves Americans' respect and gratitude for his many years of public service," to February 2007, "I think that Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history," which sounds like neither respect nor gratitude. Apparently things like Rummy, torture, Roe v. Wade, gays seem to be a matter of political expediency v. straight talk.

I certainly would be remiss regarding other Republicans if I didn't note that Mitt Romney's and Sam Brownback's positions on abortion and gays were not unchanged. Apparently a principle is subject to the political considerations of winning in a state versus winning in Presidential Primaries. I haven't noticed Rudy backpedalling, yet. Maybe they can play this game with the Religious Right, they seem able to ignore their God's stances on poverty, killing, and assorted other Christ - ian admonitions, so maybe what's said doesn't count?

Democrats have a couple of their own to ask, "what counts now," of. Clinton and Edwards both voted for the Authorization of Force bill, Edwards says it was a mistake, Clinton essentially has said, "Stick it." I'm afraid even an apology leaves me dubious much less Hillary's "look what I'll do now," stance. I'm afraid I see one of two things or a combination of two things going on, a gullibility and incuriosity or a poll driven political exigency. None of that adds up to Presidential. Is it really a big thing? Yes, absolutely, a huge thing, too many people figured out the BushCo game at that time for it to be falling victim to a carefully orchestrated flawless deception. It reeked of and virtually glowed with untruth. I've heard the "fooled even Colin," line; that might be impressive if you could demonstrate one time he hadn't toed the boss' line. It just flat out didn't matter how many of the citizens were on the war bandwagon, either the evidence was there or it was not. It was not.

Some of the Democrats have tried to make it sound as though labor was important to them, the answer to that particular canard lies in their stance regarding illegal hiring/illegal immigration and amnesty. I'm sorry, if you support making a living with your hands you do not support flooding the labor market and encouraging further flooding. That is a plutocratic stance, it is not sympathy for the downtrodden - it simply adds to their numbers. (I know, Chuck's a nice guy except when he's being a butthead about immigration) A controlled immigration is great for this country, it provides needed labor and a wider cultural pool, what we've got is chaos and injustice. There are fairer ways to deal with the current illegal population than jailing them or just letting them stay. I proposed some when I was running in the Primary, none includes - you just get to stay.

We're going to find out what these candidates have to say, there are some really qualified people out there, but where they've already stood speaks volumes as well. Pay close attention, we don't need another "compassionate conservative" GeorgeII.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Jon Swift

There was a guy around 1600 AD who liked to poke important and influential people, he used essays and novels to make himself dangerous to authority. His literary efforts were of superior quality and have influenced writings to this day, Jonathan Swift was a prelate, writer, and an advocate for the plight of the Irish people, also sufficiently obnoxious to be in danger of having his ears slit for insulting the monarchy - slander. Imagine my surprise to find him reincarnated and serving the Internet. He's shortened his name, Jon Swift , but his wit is as dangerous as it ever was.

If you get along with satire, you'll like him. He also is a proponent of "liberal blog rolling," in that if you let him know and link him, he will link you. For those of you unfamiliar with the world of blog publishing, your links are your rating in pecking order. I'm seriously unconcerned about that part of it, but I provided a link because I believe my readers will enjoy him. Be careful there, here's his profile:

"I am a reasonable conservative who likes to write about politics and culture. Since the media is biased I get all my news from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Jay Leno monologues."

Playing the God Card Risks

There's been a lot of God politics over the last 6 years and some pretty fair amount the preceding 6 years. The Republicans have used and abused the Religious Right extensively and Democrats are starting to hope aboard the Faith bandwagon. There really isn't a problem with people and politicians having Faith, the problem starts when the pandering starts. The real lightning rod issues seem to be abortion and gays; the prevailing Religion Test seems to be the removal of freedom for segments of our society on the basis of religious tenets.

Now catering to that particular brand of political thought carries with it certain political and religious realities. First you better not look like a flip-flopper on the issues, a great problem for candidates who've faced races in states with more moderate outlooks. (That leaves the matter of principles entirely out of the picture) The really big part of this is that the majority of General Election voters don't hold those views, so if you run to the religious right to win the Primary, you'll have to run away from them for the General and if you've already got problems in that area you'll have flip-flopped-flipped and that looks bad.

The second problem is the suit of the God card you've played. If you're appealing to folks on the basis of their religious beliefs and intolerance it would be a good idea not to offend their variety of church. For a long time there was bad blood between the more Fundamentalist Protestants and Catholics and despite a lot common ground Mormonism doesn't play well with that crowd. It's not that Mormons aren't big on anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-feminism, and aren't at least fundamentally racist, it's that cult aspect, well, and polygamy. You can count on polygamy making it back into the news again, there's some serious trouble brewing down in that country. Intolerance and varieties of God don't mix well, trying to get a broad point of view from a selected narrow view group is asking a lot.

When Democrats try to deal themselves into this game they face a real perception problem, the Republicans have painted them as the anti-god party and an effort to overcome that view with people that have actually taken it seriously opens candidates to pandering charges. Bear in mind, the Democrats have taken no anti-religion stances, ever, so anyone that has actually bought that charge is someone who doesn't pay attention to facts anyhow. The question occurs, who is it you're trying to impress?

If the electorate is sick and tired of BushCo politics and the results of them, it might be reasonable to remember just how often that particular Texas oaf has invoked God, depended on God, and listened to God. Maybe the electorate would like to hear about Universal Health Care, not being in a civil war, lifting the bottom half of the economic scale, a respect for Rights, c'mon, the whole litany of items that BushCo has screwed for 6 years. But hey, stopping gay marriages is a big deal.

Bush Lite

I don't like Hillary Clinton, not since she became a Senator. I've watched her poll driven politics and her triangulation until I'm ready to puke. Her stance on Iraq has tracked the polls steadily excepting one feature, she has no intention of admitting a mistake on the 2002 Authorization Bill. “If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from,” Mrs. Clinton said in Dover, New Hampshire. Now she'd have you believe everybody bought the BushCo line, oddly some other Democratic Senators didn't and voted 'no.' Some, like Russ Feingold have demonstrated repeatedly that principles count for more than political points scored (and now they're scoring points-odd how that works). What she wants you to hear, now, is that she intends to concentrate on ending the war.

There is another aspect to all this, power. The NYT notes: "Her approach to leadership and national security was forged during her eight years in the White House: She believes in executive authority and Congressional deference, her advisers say, and is careful about suggesting that Congress can overrule a commander in chief. " So she wants a deferential Congress, isn't that what got us into this Iraq mess?

So, here's how the Corporate Darling Media Queen wants this to go, pay no attention to what I've done, just what I'll do for you as the next Imperial Presidency. We've had 6 years and counting of the GeorgeII Imperium, we're supposed to be happy with Clinton2 imperium? No, I don't like Hillary, Democrats can do much better than that old tired stuff and I definitely see no sense in Bushlite.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Well, Kiss My *** and Call Me Blue

Some of you may know that I tend to peruse my hit meter. I like to know something about where readers come from and what piques their interest. Word searches offer up amusement, I used "Did You Pass Fourth Grade" as a title to signify the simplicity of my analysis, having no idea that large numbers of people are worried about passing 4th grade - they are surely disappointed. Sometimes the IP is what's interesting, like one today - 207.197.157, Washington DC.

May 28, 2006 I wrote an article, "Are You A Democrat?" with the premise that you should be able to say so and why in a few sentences. Blue Oregon picked it up and linked to it and quite a few people had something to say, not all positive, either. My hitmeter listed the referring URL for DC as Blue Oregon - Why Are You A Democrat? linked to my article. None of this would be all that interesting other than the owner of 207.197.157 which is Republican National Senatorial Committee. My guess is that they weren't particularly interested in signing up. I don't know how they got to Blue Oregon, but that article makes it real clear that I'm a Democrat and that I'm an Oregonian who ran for OR 02 CD.

Maybe these people really have no idea what makes Oregon or other Democrats tick or how to reach us. They certainly know how to oppose us and what snarky little tricks they can bring to bear. I find it laughable that the RNSC is visiting my little blog, this isn't good information for them, the Blogosphere left is notoriously left left, rowdy, and unobtainable to Repubs. There is virtually no mainstream Democratic thought going on out here, this is the rabble-rousing BushCo kicking Democratic left. Well, much luck to them with what they've learned, they can take it and kiss my blue something...

Senator Floppy Smith - did you catch that?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Catch 22 All Over Again

Yossarian might have not believed this one and I really do not kid you, a Republican Representative said this (paraphrased-memory),

'If you do not support the mission you do not support the troops' or it may have been, 'You do not support the troops if you do not support the mission.'

That is truly 'out there' as a statement. No matter what is going on, if there are troops there you are not allowed to criticize why they are there. Ummm, Bosnia, Somalia???

If you're reading this and are under the illusion that I support GW Bush & Co. you've wandered in from someplace odd and will leave pretty quickly, BUT, dammit I play fair. I do not make stuff up, I do not pose impossibilities for the opposition. I can't remember the last time I gave them credit for something, but I also can't remember the last time they deserved credit. I use their words in context, I use multiple source news reports, and I use logic and the English language as it is constructed.

On the odd occasion that I've "booted it" I've apologized and corrected. These people don't ever correct their mistakes, they just change the game. They make up words, they pose impossible conditions, they flat out mangle clear meanings in order to justify their actions or wishes. Then they turn around and insult the opposition for not being on their page as they state they'll just ignore them anyhow. People ask where civility in politics has gone, I'm not sure it was ever all that civil, but how are you supposed to deal with people like this?

The President of the US held a news conference today, he said he doesn't care whether the Iranian government knows about weapons going to Iraq, 'what's worse, them knowing or them not knowing?' (paraphrased) Well then George, who knew about tens of millions of illegal hires in the US? What's worse, knowing or not knowing? Who knew about WMDs in Iraq, which is worse? Who benefits? You want to ask us rhetorical questions while you're telling us to sit down and shut the f*** up? You don't answer questions that have a lot more to do with the security of the US.

You and your ilk want to play Catch 22 with us?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Stray Cat Terrorists ?

Rep John Boehner said that the war in Iraq is "the most visible part of a global war on terrorists," today in the House debate on the Resolution opposing BushCo's escalation. Hmmm, I had an idea it was about WMDs, then I had an idea it was about a rat bastard Saddam, then I heard Democracy was it, I've heard and heard stuff. Here's the real scoop, though, there are stray cat terrorists in Iraq,

"If we leave, they will follow us home. It's that simple."

So evidently we're encouraging them to stay home by being there, odd since the al Qaeda seem to be mostly from elsewhere. I'm real unsure why we'd be worried about Shiite militias since their quarrel seems to be with Sunnis. It seems to me that making our troops target practice for people who've already left home doesn't say much for Republican "support our troops." We don't seem to be killing them as fast as we're making them.

McCain's Tet

You've got to admire their capacity for double talk and butt covering. The neocons and wannabes like John McCain have gone to great lengths to persuade the American people that talking bad about Iraq is the same as helping those 'terriss.' If you say the Admin lied us into a war, that the war sucks, that those running the war suck at it, the we shouldn't put more people in it, that we should leave, that we should leave right now, or any other thing that isn't on the BushCo agenda, you might as well be a 'terriss' yourself. You certainly don't don't talk about anything having the potential to go south.

Unless, of course, you happen to be John McCain and running for the Republican Primary, then you can be as stupid as you like. It appears that what John is afraid of isn't the screwed up war, it's that the Iraqi bad guys might remember Tet. The Tet Offensive was a tactical disaster for the North Vietnamese, they engaged in force against emplaced troops and were finally slaughtered. They also proved that they were not anything like too beaten launch a major offensive that scared the snot out of the military and worse the home-folks.

"By the way, a lot of us are also very concerned about the possibility of a, quote, 'Tet Offensive.' You know, some large-scale tact that could then switch American public opinion the way that the Tet Offensive did," McCain said to influence his 'terriss' buddies to do just that. You certainly can't talk about timetables or anything like that because, "I think that it should be publicly open-ended because I think that if you set a date, that there's every possibility that the insurgents would just lay back and wait until we leave." So...

I know, we should elect this idiot President - of something obscure and far away.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Marriage and All That

Blue Oregon has spun my hit meter real good, and a little article has gotten a lot of play, so I thought I ought to explain some of my reasoning in case anybody stops back.

Marriage is an institution of civic order, I know churches get very involved and god and all kinds of things get rung in but marriage doesn't mean commitment, that's a thing in itself separate but involved. If you love someone enough to stay with them through all life's variables, that's commitment, getting married in these days of common law property and etc doesn't necessarily increase the financial risk but does increase some legal standing. Government needs orderly transfer of property, assets, and child responsibilities, these ordinarily involve the civil contract called marriage. Because governments and religions were so entwined in the past the god business got charge of the civil contract and enforced it with religious oaths and consequences - good for government, by taking enforcement out of their hands. In secular government churches still perform the ceremonies alongside government entities like Justices of the Peace, tradition is preserved for those who wish it and another avenue for those who do not. All good. With an exception; marriage has become, in the popular consciousness, a religious institution usurping the governmental civil role it plays. With that comes religious interference in the civil law regarding spousal relationships.

It is in the interest of civic order for property and other responsibilities and benefits to be transferred in an orderly fashion. If spouses (life partners if you prefer) do not have a civil law relationship things get messy. Inheritance gets complicated, particularly in absence of a will - or even in the face of a will - and property winds up in the hands of lawyers, the tax man, or people the deceased never intended. Child custody no longer is the prerogative of "parents." Hospital visitation, life support options, and a myriad of benefits and responsibilities married couples take for granted become nonexistent or legally complicated. Common law relationships are not recognized if the spousal relationship is not recognized. When the State of Oregon refuses to recognize the life commitment of some of its own citizens it creates a second-class status, both in benefits and in responsibilities and it does so in regard to religious interests.

I neither commend nor condemn religious outlooks on gay life, gay marriage, or any other aspect of gayness, it is entirely the business of religion to relate to it as it sees fit. Belonging to a religion is entirely a voluntary affair, not so with existing as a gay in the State of Oregon in relation to its laws. There now exists a theological bar within civil law. Philosophically I do not like the religious co-option of the civil contract of marriage, it is wrong, it is un-Constitutional, and it is blatantly unfair. Then there is the "BUT."

If this situation is to be addressed within a realistic time frame and without tremendous political difficulties a work around becomes necessary. The creation of a "civil contract" is probably the only remedy. The difficulty presented is that it is a de-facto recognition of the religious interference in civil law. While it may satisfy the legal needs of gay couples it does not address the second-class issue. The all or nothing conundrum presents itself, I have no answer to that.

Gayness is not an issue for me, one way or the other, what is an issue is equal treatment of our citizens, in rights and responsibilities. I have no tolerance for special treatment of members of our citizenry, in either their interest or their detriment. I volunteered to be a "Voice" for Basic Rights Oregon not out of sympathy for the gay lifestyle, but out of the interest of our citizenry, all of them. Institutionalized discrimination is bad for all of us. Last I knew, BRO was still looking for "Voices," if it's something you could help with, maybe you should.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Mort Sez We Can't Leave Iraq

US News and World Reports editor in chief Mort Zuckerman lays out his case for why we can't leave Iraq in the 2/12/07 issue. He starts off by noting that the President is losing support everywhere and that the not enough followed by more not enough and capped by a perceived not enough "surge" is bad for morale. The President, he says has bet his future and the future of the Republican Party on it, and if they lose, they'll lose their standing on national security for a generation. So far he's making some sense.

Then he starts running into deeper water, the place will get worse, much, much worse. If we're not there putting on the brakes, they'll go nuts. He offers no particulars, it will just get worse.

A Sunni al-Qaeda victory looms with those nutcases having a safe haven to launch attacks on us.
These are, of course, the same Sunnis who are the minority and regularly get their heads handed to them by the Shiites. Somehow they're going to snatch victory out of extermination. Then, there's Iran being dominant in the area. Not that they're detested by all the Sunni governments except possibly Syria and considering the fundamentalism of al-Qaeda and Iran they're about as likely to co-exist as wolves and rabbits. Ok, here's how this breaks down, al-Qaeda is going to win and Iran is going to win and they're all going to engage in a bloodbath of horror movie proportions and come to America and kill us.

After this exercise he tells us about the stupidly run war, the unlikeliness of democracy without security and operating institutions, the fundamentalism poisoning everything, and finally Malaki's incompetence. This caps off why we have to stay.

Excuse the hell out of me. Saudi Arabia and others are not going to stand by and watch Iraq on their border turn into an Iranian fiefdom, the al-Qaeda are going to get slaughtered, the Iraqis and Iranians are both racist by nature and of opposing races, the Kurds have a pretty good thing going and Iran and other Arabs are not their friends. Mort, you mentioned Oz in relation to the President, you need to come back from there yourself. Yep, they'll probably kill a few more of each other if we're not there distracting them, but the end result will not be affected by our presence, except in the number of our own body bags and cripples. Oh, your worst reason stands first - anybody who trusts the Republicans with our national security is a fool.

How Could I Agree With National Review Online ??

You don't suppose aliens abducted me and replaced me with another bearded one? I tell you, I am chagrined. But then, here's a Rove quote (attributed to an un-named Republican Congressman's wife) that you've got mull over:

Regarding BushCo amnesty/worker nonsense, "I don't want my 17-year-old son to have to pick tomatoes or make beds in Las Vegas."

Mark Krikorian poses this conclusion "This is why the president's "willing worker/willing employer" immigration extravaganza is morally wrong — it's not just that it will cost taxpayers untold billions, or that it will beggar our own blue-collar workers, or that it will compromise security, or that it will further dissolve our sovereignty. It would do all that, of course, but most importantly it would change the very nature of our society for the worse, creating whole occupations deemed to be unfit for respectable Americans, for which little brown people have to be imported from abroad."

Am I going to find fault with this? Maybe the security thing is a bit overblown, I don't have a real serious opinion on that, we've had a real hit from people who used visas to get in... How the left cannot get this through their heads is beyond me. There is nothing progressive in crushing blue collar wages. The "progressives" will talk about wealth disparity, they'll note that this "wonderful" economy isn't for the bottom end, and then they'll advocate cutting the throats of the workers because illegals are....special? they're picked on? they're what? They'll parrot the Free Marketers "it's not a zero sum game," when it is just exactly that, in fact it's a negative sum game. The damn jobs are being exported and insourced and there are a decreasing number of them and increasing competition for them.

Sure, right this minute the jobs with health hazards that include eye strain, carpal tunnel, and paper cuts are fairly safe. But if you think your wages aren't going into the toilet when the bottom falls out, you don't realize what your wage/salary is based on. A growing blue collar wage pushes up salaries and drags up low wage earnings. The numbers are all there, what you haven't seen in recent history is the bottom falling out, until the last dozen years, and now lower middle income is starting to slide. The plutocrats are doing well, this is all in their benefit. If BushCo is in favor of an economic model and you're not a plutocrat you'd better object. They're cutting your throats and getting you to smile about it.

What is particularly infuriating is for my stance to be lumped into racism, the major losers in this scenario are minorities! My industry, construction, was the gateway into decent paying work for minorities for decades. Now it's to be avoided unless all else fails. The largest concentration of illegal hirings is in construction. I don't give a damn if they pay taxes or not, the labor glut is killing this work. That's right, Americans won't come out, it's hard dangerous work and it doesn't PAY anything anymore. If you want to do a wage search by job descriptions you will find the same is true of just about anything that is comparably hard dangerous work.

I'm real sorry, there is no feel good solution. It's way past that time. Maybe after Ronnie Reagan's amnesty slamming the jobs shut would've mitigated itself, but that's not what was done, the flood gates were opened and now somebody is going to take a real beating. I feel rotten about this, I understand the plight of people fleeing crap countries, I admire a work ethic, and I don't care the least about ethnicity, but I do care about American workers more.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Basic Rights Oregon Called

Basic Rights Oregon called on the phone today, a person I know from political activity told them I might be a contact person. Andrew Hogan, of Communications Dept, wanted to know if I could think of anyone who might be willing to be a "Voice" in Eastern Oregon. As he explained to me what they were looking for I ran through the list of people in my head that might do. This person would be a heterosexual with some community reputation and recognition who could speak on their behalf in Op Ed or related instances. I won't say I was coming up dry, but as I ran through the names I realized that I was ignoring something.

That something was kind of like a dinosaur in the living room.

The people I know who would do this are Democrats, I'm County Vice-Chair, SCC Delegate, and a former candidate for higher office, and an opinionated Blogger - opinions that have a lot to do with fair play, economic and social justice - and I'm standing next to my work truck trying to think who'd be good? I'm thinking (sorta) this isn't my fight, (maybe a little) this has potential to cause me embarrassment. That's about the time I probably persuaded Andrew that I'm crack brained because I started laughing, and told him (paraphrased), 'well, why not me.'

Yes, some of my friends and associates are going to poke at me over this, well, geeze, I live in Baker County and ran as a Democrat against (other Democrats) Greg Walden. What do I have to lose, everybody that knows me knows I'm a gun totin', drag racing left wing nail banger with a wild beard and a huge white dog. Is there anybody that doesn't think I'm goofy? My wife tells everybody I'm goofy. Damn, I'll lose my reputation?

Yes, absolutely. If I don't do this I lose my reputation. I lose it where it counts, with me. I've never cared about odds, I care about doing right, I care that I see me doing what I believe. I'll tell you straight up, I'm heterosexual, I have no understanding of a homosexual relationship and I find the idea of me engaging in such an act utterly unappealing. SO WHAT? I don't care what color or gender or religion people are, I care about who they are. Any fellow citizen of Oregon who is law abiding should have exactly the same rights AND responsibilities as any other law abiding citizen. I care about people. I don't get to rant about money grubbing sonsabitches with their foot on the workers' necks and shrug off somebody else's neck under a foot.

So I'm going to be a Voice for Basic Rights Oregon, it's a thing worth doing. I sincerely hope it does some good. They're looking for people, maybe you can help out.

The Media Lies ?

Regarding "Scooter's" trial and testimony Mary Matalin on Don Imus:

Chris (Mathews) who purported to be on a nightly basis an objective analyst who would get on there and say things which we knew not to be true, as in Cheney saw this report. The Cheney we knew -Cheney didn't know Wilson, Cheney never sent Wilson, Cheney never saw the report, and the report that did exist corroborated the agency's belief that there was some effort by Saddam to procure yellowcake.

Once you start lying it gets really difficult to cover them all. She no longer "likes" Chris because the Admin pap isn't going over quite as well. You might remember that Matalin is also one of those who spread the "inaccuracy" that everyone knew Wilson's wife was CIA because he blabbed it. (oh hell, LIE) In fact is was quite a big deal. Lets stop and actually think about her job in relation to today's world conditions.

Plame was a specialist in WMDs. Her operation was counter WMDs, and it was secret and the cover company was covert and anybody associated with that company is now blown. WMDs, um, war in Iraq, N Korea, Iran, and various other not as newsworthy. The Dick and the Scooter obsessed over Wilson, they talked and schemed and finally had their retribution at the sake of the security of the United States of America, that's exactly correct, the Vice-President spent an ungodly amount of time working on payback involving screwing security when he was supposed to and claimed to be working hard on our security. Make no mistake, he was busy scaring people half to death while he was busy making them less safe and both were about political advantage, not the good of America.

At about this time the media was starting to shake off its BushCo doggy leash and ask and look, in that sheepish caught being a bad dog half-hearted manner, so they became the enemy. Now the people who'd said, no really, what WMDs and Iraq is secular, those traitors, started to have press for company. Now it's 2007, Scooter's on trial, they look just exactly like what they were, and the same noise machine has started over Iran. (just as much evidence, as well)

I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but if you aren't scared and mad as hell, you aren't paying attention. And when the Democrats that want your vote pussy foot around and qualify qualifiers over this mess, you should be demanding something clear, unequivocal, and active.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lying Is An Exercise in Alterative Thinking

If you pay any attention you will find that BushCo has odd adjectives to use in place of existing and common ones. A surge versus escalation, and now a new one, alternative thinking. To get to the root of such an adjective you have to go back aways, well, quite a ways. Pre-Iraq war the CIA wasn't producing the kind of evidence that pleased the powers that be, the CIA kept coming up short on saying Al Qaida was linked to Saddam. The Pentagon wanted that. Douglas Feith of the Office of Special Plans provided just that and Congress seems to feel it was mislead. In that vein Congress heard from the Pentagon's acting Inspector General Thomas Gimble who called Feith's report "inappropriate" though not criminal nor unauthorized.

Feith found the whole thing bizarre - not that he did it - but that he was unpopular for doing it.

His successor Eric Edelman said this was "an exercise in alternative thinking" conducted at Wolfowitz's direction. Lemme see now, a liar commissions lies and it's alternative thinking, not even inappropriate. Thank you, BushCo, language is elevated.