Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Chavez Makes Offer to Reduce Heating Oil Cost to Poor Communities in US

This article on Venezuela's leader Chavez states that he is offering reduced heating oil costs to help poor communities in the U.S.

Wow. Now, who is more compassionate? Pat Robertson, George W. Bush, or this evil Chavez?

Bush Best With Planned Public Appearances

This usually pro-Republican paper questions Bush's priorities in an editorial today:

As we continue to remember the tragedy of 9/11, this article also brings up 9/11 and how suave Bush was in handling that disaster. They then ask why Bush did not quickly respond to the natural disaster in Mississippi and Louisiana.

The answer: Bush always performs his best with planned public appearances. That is why he took the opportunity to speak at the 60th Anniversary VJ Day Commemoration over a quick response to the natural disaster in the southern gulf states. He was well prepared for the public appearance in San Diego and likely rehearsed and polished that public appearance ahead of time. He likely just didn't have enough time to rehearse his response to the crises (plural of crisis, which the aftermath of Katrina is) in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. I can see it now... George sitting there, thinking.... "now, Miss-iss-iss? No, Miss-ipp, oh, no... ok, so it's not naahwlins?" That is difficult work there.

The question then comes up, then why did Bush perform so well after 9/11? If he is a literally a literary script kitty, then why was Bush so polished in response to the 9/11 attacks? Planning? Hmmmm....

Rare Gauguin Bust Found in Danish Family's Christmas Decor

A rare bust by Paul Gauguin of his son was found in amongst the Christmas decor of a Danish family on the Seeland Island. Gauguin and his Danish wife lived on Seeland Island in Denmark with their children.

What do you have in your heirloom chest that might just be more than a family treasure?

9/11: What's Remodeling Got to Do With It?

So, what’s with all the remodeling? All buildings that were targeted on 9/11 were remodeled in the last 10 years or in the state of being remodeled when they were hit. Even the Capitol building in Washington D. C. had extensive remodeling done before 9/11, and has since had more remodeling done. Were the Buildings in the 9/11 Attacks Prepared?

Ironically, that wing of the Pentagon had just been remodeled, according to television reports, so there were not many people in that wing at the time.

Remodeled recently? Hmmmm…. The WTC towers were both “remodeled” if you will, after the 1993 bombing, and apparently “reinforced” the structure in case such an incident were to happen again.

I remember a Discovery Channel documentary about the WTC before the 2001 attacks, and they mentioned that after the 1993 bombing, both WTC towers were reinforced, apparently to make them sturdier and stronger.

You know, if you think about it, and put yourself in the shoes of those who planned the 9/11 attacks, wouldn’t you plan ahead to make sure your mission was a success?

It is interesting that both WTC, and WTC7 towers imploded so perfectly, don’t you think? It was dramatic, but definitely not the way I would image they would have fallen from two large aircraft crashes. I could see them falling over from the crash site upwards, like a tree falling down. But no, they did not topple down like that at all.

Now, back into the shoes of those 9/11 planners. If you had a means to rig a building to fall down in a sinister fashion, and had a way to do it without anyone thinking twice, would you take advantage of that? Could the 1993 bombing of WTC be a set up, not necessarily as a terrorist attack, but as a way to set up for a later attack? You follow me? Could it be possible to tell the public that the WTC tower was repaired, and both towers were modified and reinforced to withstand another bombing, yet those reinforcement efforts were actually done by professional building imploders covertly working to make sure the WTC towers successfully fell down for the next attack?

Now, going back to the irony at the Pentagon. So, what kind of remodeling was going on there before the 9/11 attacks? Anything to do with pyrotechnics?

Additional thoughts and links to ponder. Things that make you go hmmmm...

Provisions to Exclude Roof Rescues

Evacuation Preparedness

9/11: What Did Witnesses See?

Since I ran out of time yesterday to post 9/11 thoughts, I will post two today for you to ponder.

So, what did witnesses see on that fateful September morning? Anything odd about their views and impressions of what happened on September 11th? It seems the more I read about the eye witness accounts and remember the news reports from CNN, Fox News and MSNBC (I was a news flipper checking out all the 24 hour news sources), the accounts seem to favor the thought that there's more to the story than what the official government story claims.

This link give a good series of eye witness accounts, along with media clips from that day.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Locally Speaking: When Development Goes Too Far

I just have a few more minutes of my lunch break left, but I want to pass along some local thoughts I've been having lately of the largest development to happen in Palo Alto County, Iowa.

An Emmetsburg, Iowa non-profit group this summer was awarded a casino license allowing Gary Kirke and his development group Wild Rose Entertainment to build a casino on a man-made pond east of town. This will be the first casino venture for Gary Kirke's development group, who's foundation is in housing and commercial development.

This small community in northwest Iowa had two applications submitted during this rare window of opportunity given by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commissioners (IRGC) to get a casino license. The other was to build a riverboat-style casino on the waters of Five Island Lake by Grace Entertainment, a company that primarily deals in casino management.

The major differences between the two proposals were in management location (Gary Kirke's Wild Rose would be Iowa-based, while Grace Entertainment is Missouri-based), location of casino, investment possibilities (Grace did not plan to offer a local public investment, while Wild Rose did) and architectural style.

Let me address the last two differences. I wondered about the repercussions of a local public investment offering for the casino. The ability to have a casino development was always played up as a way for communities to better develop other businesses and bring more economic developoment to the area. Much of the other development relies heavily on local investors willing to give seed money to those entrepreneurs who need it to develop a solid business plan. If a casino asks of its local citizens to invest, then there is less of that pot for true local business development, and thus local development suffers and the locals will see outsiders planning and developing their community instead of community citizens.

The IRGC-chosen application based their architectural style on an old hotel, the Waverly, that was demolished in the 1950s. This original hotel was prominately placed north of the courthouse square, and was a noted place to rest during its hayday. Photos of this grand hotel show its majestic Victorian presence and popularity in a time when people traveled less than 100 miles a day on a major trip. Later, the Kermore Hotel was built south of the courthouse square, closer to the stables, with the less than ornamental style of its time. The "New Waverly Hotel" at Wild Rose Resort would resemble the grandeur of Emmetsburg's heritage.

The casino side of the Wild Rose Resort would resemble buildings of Emmetsburg's downtown. One downtown retailer has been contacted by Wild Rose to have a second location at Wild Rose Resort, and they have agreed to do so.

This raises a question for me. If many retailers decide to put a second location of their business at the casino, then what is going to happen to the downtown location? What is going to happen to the downtown if all tourists to Wild Rose Resort stay there to shop instead of checking out the downtown? What will happen if and when the retailers find that their downtown location is now unprofitable and close it, so they can put more into their Wild Rose location?

I feel that the IRGC wanted to bring positive economic development back to our community and Palo Alto County, but at what expense to the downtown and current and future businesses? Has our city planners/administrators thought about how they might need to rethink downtown businesses for our community and especially our downtown, to survive? Have they thought about helping to bring local entrepreneurs and businesses that will complement our economy and future casino, while maintaining our downtown and current businesses?

I fear that given a couple of years, Wild Rose Resort and Casino will be the place to be in Palo Alto County, and all development downtown and around Five Island Lake will be to tear down old buildings. I am sure there will be attempts to revitalize both the downtown and the lake area. I can't see the lake becoming the destination of choice with the casino in competition, and the planned new housing developments around the lake for upper upper middle class will lay mostly vacant after a time, because most of the residents in the area will be employed by the casino with adverage to mediocre incomes.

9/11: First Shock and Awe campaign?

The Fourth Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks is less than two weeks away. Recently, some tapes from first responders have been released to the public from New York City on that fateful day. As any anniversary nears, good or bad, we look back in reflection on the memories. A week or so ago, I happened to come across a website link while reading about Cindy Sheehan's battle at Crawford, Texas. This started my reflection on 9/11.
This link has some of the most extensive links to other info about the 9/11 World Trade Center collapses.

It was because of this link that I personally was stunned the rest of an afternoon after reading the material. I had originally thought that there might be a possibility the Bush Administration just allowed 9/11 to happen. Now, I wonder could the Bush Administration been actively involved in this tragedy? Or who is the planner of the 9/11 attacks? Can we justify blaming al Quaeda solely for these attacks?

If you want to read about other conspiracy theories on What Really Happened, click on this link:

My nature has always been to question things. I just like to know the truth of things sometimes. Many times in my pursuit to find the answers, instead of getting answers, questions just bring up more questions.

Sometimes, the truth can be too difficult to take, or I may not be prepared to handle the truth, yet, until my perspective has aligned itself with other events and truths. I believe that every event happens for a reason, and that each event is bound to affect other events whether that event intended to do so or not.

This reflection of 9/11, then, is not necessarily to find answers and the truth, but to raise serious questions that need to be raised. Look for reflections on 9/11 on Indigo Lake through the next two weeks, and please comment with your thoughts.

Please keep in your prayers all the victims and their families of 9/11 and all those victims caught in the crossfire since and after that tragic day. Let us never forget their sacrifice. And, pray for our country, our world, and our humanity.

Buzzflash Said It Best: Bush is Master of Disaster

I read this link from Buzzflash this morning after reading about category 4 Hurricane Katrina barrels down on New Orleans. The article is from June 6, 2005.

Makes me wonder what all exactly did Bush wager besides selling his soul?

Friday, August 26, 2005

U.S. Troops Uses Depleted Uranium in Iraq

So, all that talk about Sadam Hussein using chemical weapons and gassing his own people, well now who's doing the evil chemical warfare?

Not only have we used depleted uranium (DU) in both gulf wars, but this time we are using it in highly populated areas in Iraq. Begs the question, do we really want Iraq to have a bright promising future when everyone is poisoned by DU? Not only that, but do we really support our troops when they come home and have children with birth defects and get cancers caused by DU?

You don't believe it? Then, watch this and flinch in utter disgust.

If you thought Sadam was bad, you think Bush and the Pentagon's ignorance, negligence, and pure disregard for Iraqis, our soldiers lives, and our future is any better?

Oil (Saudi) Dependency Bad on Economy; Local Renewable Energies Good

We need to find and exploit other, local, and renewable sources of energy. And fast. If only for our transportation.

Think about it. With prices for a barrel reaching over $60, and the cost to fill a tank reaching $2.75, this will only cause many of the products we consume daily much more expensive. And not just buying gas for our personal vehicles. All of the products we buy in stores have to get there, and many get there by semi-trucks or other freight transport that uses diesel. With the rise in diesel costs, the cost to transport these products will likely rise, and ultimately it will be us, the consumer, who will have to pay for the rising costs to transport these products.

Finding fast, efficient, reliable, safe and economic ways to get current national resources of renewable energies to the people must be one of the primary issues for our nation and our legislators. (The other being affordable health care coverage.)

Highly fuel efficient cars must be encouraged, along with raising standards for higher efficiency in hybrid vehicles. 45 mpg in hybrid vehicles is not efficient when the old Geo Metros using only gas got much higher mpgs. If the public wants to continue driving SUVs, make sure they are much more fuel efficient, like raising the mpg for SUVs to 25 or 35 mpg (that will get auto manufacturers thinking creatively). Getting 85 ethanol at all gas stations and making sure all new vehicles are ready to take 85 ethanol when they roll off the dealer's lot (not having to adjust the car to accept 85).

Deciding on what will be the renewable fuel for the future of transportation, and then giving incentives to build fueling stations for the future--now. If it is going to be hydrogen fuel, then encourage auto makers to put hydrogen cars in their annual lineup, and get gas stations to convert pumps to hydrogen. Educate the public about this renewable fuel, how to handle it, and how to use it to the greatest advantage.

Educate the public how to use renewable energies in their daily lives, how to benefit from current incentives to convert their homes and businesses to renewable energy sources, like the new solar technologies (there's actually solar panels that look like shingles), biofuels, and wind energies. Encourage local municipalities and utilities to generate their own safe, renewable energy locally with solar, wind and biofuels. (This would have an added benefit of not relying so much on a national grid for energy, allowing the locality to continue their utilities in the event of a national crisis, thus an added benefit for homeland security.)

Renewable energies would help us to help ourselves and disconnect our dependency on depleting fossil fuels and those that exploit oil.

Oil Dependence is Going to Suffocate Low and Middle Income Families

We need to find and exploit other, local, and renewable sources of energy. And fast. If only for our transportation.

Think about it. With prices for a barrel reaching over $60, and the cost to fill a tank reaching $2.75, this will only cause many of the products we consume daily much more expensive. And not just buying gas for our personal vehicles. All of the products we buy in stores have to get there, and many get there by semi-trucks or other freight transport that uses diesel. With the rise in diesel costs, the cost to transport these products will likely rise, and ultimately it will be us, the consumer, who will have to pay for the rising costs to transport these products.

Of course, this will have a spirally effect on everything else in our economy. We will need more money to live our daily lives, or else sacrifice some things, which we as a society are not good at. President Bush will tout giving us more tax relief that will only go to pay for items we already need to live, or to pay for gas to get to work. Or, in our case, it has gone to pay for the exponential rise in natural gas to heat our house in the winter. I don't think that is what Bush was expecting us to spend our tax relief dollars on, but as long as it goes toward some oil-type product, Bush and his family will benefit.

As long as we are dependent on oil to "fuel" our economy, anyone not related to the oil industry will pay. And pay dearly. Some families will find that they would be better off not working. Take for instance a family of four (two working parents and two young children). They would be spending $400 a month in gas to drive to work, $1000 a month for family covered health insurance, $937.50 a month for child care while working ($11,250 a year). That's $2,337.5 a month, or $28,050 a year. If a family makes $50,000 a year gross, then pays 20% for taxes, they will have $40,000 a year for their expenses. Now, about two-thirds of that amount will go to pay for work and family related expenses, leaving $11,950 for the rest of their yearly expenses.

Now, let's tack on other related, survival expenses for this family.
$700 a month for home rental or mortgage
$250 a month to heat their homes (economy pay spread out over the full year)
$100 a month for electricity
That's $1,050 per month, or $12,600 a year. Out of this total, about $8,000 goes directly to pay for gas or fossil fuels (add to that cost mowing the lawn and driving to get groceries or visit loved ones nearby and that total could easily go up to $10,000). That's 20% (or 1/4 when figuring in extra gas expenses) of this family's available income.

With these totals, the family would be running at a $650 deficit if these were the only expenses the family had. However, this does not include groceries, clothes, school supplies, mowing the lawn or snow removal, household upkeep, car payments, or insurance for vehicles, property or life. This family would be better off not working and using welfare programs to provide for their daily survival needs.

Not exactly what welfare reformers want to see, but may very well happen, if it isn't already.

Oil, oil. The energy of our lives.

If there could be a commercial advocating the energy of our lives, like the pro-cotton commercials, I think it would go something like this:

(music up, singing, probably Aaron Neville) Oil, oil... the energy of our lives...

SUVs dancing like synchronized swimmers in a wheat field ready for harvest. The morning sun drifts over the haze of the field.

fade to scene of Hummers in the desert driving up and around dunes in slow motion...

Oil tune pot down.

ANNCR: Oil, the fossil fuel energy of our lives. The energy we depend on to bring our children home from school.

fade to scene of large school bus stopping to drop off kids, in slow-motion.

ANNCR: The energy we depend on to keep our homes warm in the winter.

fade to scene of large mansion with family cozily lounging in large wingback chairs with designer winter wear, sweaters, etc.

ANNCR: The energy we depend on to bring us the goods and products we need to live day by day.

fade to scene of large Wal-Mart semi trailer truck driving in to back of store to drop off shipment.

ANNCR: The energy we depend on to visit loved ones near and far.

fade to scene of plane landing and child looking out window with parents looking fondly at child and out window, too. Then, fade to car driving up to a proverbial grandparents' home with the grandparents waiting by the street for their family. The kids jump out of the car and give grandparents hugs.

ANNCR: Oil, the energy of our lives.

Pot up music-- "Oil, oil... the energy of our lives."

fade out scene.

Another Sign of Things to Come?

This morning, I read with interest the following article about allowing Iran to enrich uranium.

As the United States sits and assumes that Iran is building WMDs with this uranium, Europe is gving them the benefit of the doubt. Which scenerio should we be more afraid of?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Impeaches Are Ripening

I encourage you to read this speech and replace all dated references with the current issues regarding President George W. Bush, the war on terror, and preemptive wars he has waged.

If there was an impeachment tree, I believe its fruit, the impeaches (say, the impeachable offenses of an official like the president), are beginning to ripen. We, the people, the citizens of the United States, are responsible for harvesting these impeaches and giving them to our elected officials in the House of Representatives.

Process of Impeachment (Pie):
The House should then inspect, throw out the bad impeaches (articles of impeachment), and declares the rest official impeaches, and make impeachment pie (yes, the House impeaches officials like a president), ready to be judged by the Senate. The pie then goes to the Senate (like the state fair) who will judge the impeachment pie and hand out the grand champion purple ribbon (official is basically fired) if the pie fits the criteria for such an award.

Note, Bill Clinton did not receive a grand champion purple ribbon for impeachment pie, just as Andrew Johnson did not. Richard Nixon decided to quit before the House got a chance to make impeachment pie. I wonder if George W. Bush has the "impeaches" to make a grand champion impeachment pie? It is up to us, the House and Senate, to see.

Check out my recipe for Bitter Sweet Impeachment Pie in my archives! Yum!

The Best Defense Is Not to Offend

Remember Hulk Hogan in that deodorant commercial? The best defense is not to offend. So, how do we get that through to our elected representatives about the current and future wars that the Bush Administration is trying to pursue?

Starting wars against countries because we assume that they have harbored terrorists, WMDs or evil dictators, that is purely offensive. It offends the innocent citizens of that country that must endure the violence, the upheaval, the loss of loved ones (yes, foreign people have loved ones, too), the death surrounding them, the destruction of homes, property and infrastructure. Continuing our current strategy in Iraq only continues this offensive destruction.

Offensive not only to the citizens of the countries we invade, but to the foundation of the United States of America. We as citizens are to DEFEND the constitution, not OFFEND. However, the more ignorant we are of the basic values of the Constitution, the more we offend the premise of our country.

These offending actions by the current presidential administration just continues to snowball and get bigger than we ever thought. Now, many countries have a difficult time trusting the United States. Many citizens of the United States cannot trust our own government. Many actions and policies surrounding this war on terror go against just about every decent, civil policy that the Constitution outlines and our country has defended for over two centuries.

Many people in the United States fear speaking out to defend the Constitution because authorities may spin it to make them look like traitors or aiding terrorists. And thus, be able to imprison someone for defending the foundation of our country because it goes against the policies and actions of the current president and government.

The government has watchdogs that compile lists of people who bring up Constitutional issues, apparently because defending the Constitution these days is not a good thing. Well, put my name on the list of Constitution Defenders.

If anything, the citizens of the United States need to hold each elected government official accountable to the oath they swore to uphold the Constitution. If they severely offend the Constitution, then we must give a severe consequence, a penalty, punishment. They should not hold a government office and make policies that go against or circumvent the Constitution. Ah, sweet impeachment pie comes to mind. Yuuuummm, yum.

The best defense is not to offend.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

700 Club Founder A Christian?

The latest antics from the Christian extremist and founder of the popular Christian TV news program The 700 Club, Pat Robertson doesn't seem very Christian to me.

It is a bold statement to demand someone be killed in the first place, and an even bolder one when it comes from someone who normally touts Christian virtues like charity and being "pro-life."

Regardless of what Venezuelan President Chavez has done to possibly deserve an assassination outcry from such a Christian leader like Pat Robertson, I don't believe it is in a Christian's place to demand someone be killed. Isn't that breaking one of the ten commandments? (Thou shalt not kill.)

When Jesus walked the earth, it was Caesar who ruled. Caesar was a dictator who caused terrible strife in the nations he occupied, yet Jesus did not devote his energies to have Caesar killed nor was he ever noted with wanting anyone to be killed.

What Did Jesus Do? He told his followers when wronged to "turn the other cheek." He acknowledged our human failings when people asked Jesus if an adulterous woman should be stoned, and he replied that the person without sin can cast the first stone. Even though Jesus was without sin, he did not stone the woman, nor did anyone else in the crowd. Likewise, any Christian who honestly believes and adheres to their faith would not even consider picking up a stone, knowing that we all are sinners.

Now we have Pat Robertson, a self-defined Christian leader, with his arm raised high in the air with a heavy stone. Is that really Christian?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Money: The New Constitution

The Extremists continue to scare us into submission. The recent partial victory was against radio and focused on Garrison Keillor (of Prairie Home Companion and Lake Wobegone fame), and offensive language used in several of his shows.

No, it wasn't a raunchy Cafe Beuf episode from A Prairie Home Companion, nothing impromptu said out of line from Mr. Keillor. The program is called "Writer's Almanac" and the offensive language was the word "breast" from accomplished literary writers Edward Field, Donald Justice, and Amber Coverdale.

Read the article from the SFGate:

The outraged listeners took action and demanded their show be returned to the airwaves, regardless of the profane "breast" word, without one extremist complaint. At least the listeners utimately prevailed, as the way it should be. The radio waves were meant for them.

As someone who must make important editorial decisions on what is aired on our non-commercial radio station, I took great interest in this latest development on what is and is not decent to air on the radio. Has Extreme Right now scared radio station managers to pull anything, including the most benign words, like breast, from the airwaves in fear of FCC fines?

Sadly, it is the FCC that controls who gets to legally have a license to use the public airwaves, and it only takes one complaint to potentially ruin someone's ability to use those airwaves. With a new non-commercial LPFM, it is difficult to discern the FCC's rules because many of them are left to the commissioners to decide on a case-by-case basis.

Even outside of the radio realm, people are becoming more afraid to speak out because of retribution from the far-right. The Constitution seems to have been put in the collective compost pile in exchange for the almight dollar and all those who seek power with it. Unless you have money, there is no way for you to defend yourself and your supposed freedoms as defined by the composted Constitution. Money is now the standard of rights.

That is why these huge conglomerate rich radio stations can get away with the smut and filth emitted by Howard Stern and others, while smaller public radio stations balk at "breast" in fear of large penalties and fines because one listener might complain. It has little to do with freedoms that the Constitution grants, and more to do with money.

You can do anything if you have the money. "Show me the money!" In Money We Trust. Money= Get Out of Jail Free Card. Money: The New Constitution.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Psychological Effects of War

I keep reading more and more reports about how the Iraq War affects people that must deal with its gruesome aspects.

Cindy Sheehan is a brave example of how it hits close to home, as she continues to grieve for her son's death in Iraq, and pleads for the insanity of war to end and save other mothers from the grief she feels. It is a rather steep uphill battle for her to beg to a President who sees a vacation more important than planning a strategic blueprint to get our troops home and let Iraq rule itself (which, in all actuality, I don't think President Bush wants).

Yesterday, I read a syndicated column in the Des Moines Register (yes, I read a real newspaper printed on real paper!) about the psychological impact war has on the soldiers. I can't find the column online, but it spoke about how 98 per cent of the soldiers that go to war will come home with psychological issues, and 2 per cent that won't be phased at all by war. Those 2 per cent of soldiers, the article claimed, were psychotic to begin with, have no feelings about other humans, and view murder as just another human activity.

Another article also details the psychological impact of war on soldiers, however it did not detail the 2 per cent psychotics.

Today, another article talks about the psychological impact of the war on Iraqi citizens. It looks like this war keeps opening up very old social wounds in this country and it doesn't look like it is going to get better as this war continues to drag on.

As we consider how to do the right thing in Iraq, we really need to consider the psychological impact of the current war's status quo on the citizens of Iraq and what steps we need to take to make sure Iraqis are in the right mindset to get their country back on track. Attitude is everything, and if all the Iraqi people are jittery and on edge, this is no way to begin a new democracy.

Come on, let's be real, what would happen if we pulled out our troops? The Iraqis would have one less death-causing issue to deal with, and hopefully, common people can rebuild their lives again which has been put on hold for the last couple of years. The insurgents would have to find a different target to pursue, or else they would just go back to their ordinary lives. Oh, you are worried about the insurgents targeting the USA? I think if the insurgents had the money, they would... wait. Maybe it would be in President Bush's best interests to pull out the troops. Then, his administration could give the insurgents money to attack the US, and then he could link these Iraqi terrorists with Iran, and be able to declare war with Iran. I can hear Dubya's snicker as he contemplates this with his administration.

If we do get in a war with Iran, don't think that we'd only be fighting Iranians. Russia and China are gearing up as we type... Gulp.

Cindy, you may just get your wish to end this war, after all. Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it.

Thoughts and prayers go out to Cindy, and her family, as she has left her post at Camp Casey to be by her mother's side in the hospital. It is a blessing that Cindy continues to put her family first, as a truly loving family is the greatest reward for life.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Conspiracy or Coinky-Dink?

Here’s an interesting website:

You thought conspiracy theories were dead? Think again…

Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” children’s play compared to this website’s plethora of info about 9/11 and other odd coinky-dinks that have occurred.

BTW: coinky-dink=jentalk for coincidence

Cindy, Are You Sure You Want to See President Bush, Again?

The only thing that strikes me odd about Cindy Sheehan is that she has met with President Bush before after her son's death, and according to reports the President did not take the event seriously and did not act appropriately.

First of all, most Americans will never get an audience with the President, regardless who is in the office. Cindy is fortunate in that regard.

Second, if she had such a sour time with the President the first time around, why does she think the second meeting will be any better?

Third, President Bush is lucky to get a whole month of vacation. I only got one week. Man, I wish I were back on vacation.

Where, again, is my margarita?

Is Martial Law in Our Future?

When I saw Fahrenheit 9/11, some of the information exposed in the documentary was too coincidental to be happenstance.

Well, here's a link I read from (The Whispering Campaign) about even more profound information about the events of 9/11 and what may happen if another major terrorist attack occurs on US soil.

If you read the fifth paragraph from the bottom, the Washington Post recently published plans by our government to impose martial law to cities and possibly the entire country if another terrorist attack occurs in the US. You can read that Post article from their link.

It is all fascinating reading. Since many National Guard troops are serving in Iraq, I am sure the military needed some way to address the lack of Guard troops for "homeland security" if such a wide sweeping terrorist disaster would strike here.

I don't understand why they just don't bring ALL National Guard troops back home from Iraq. I had always thought that the National Guard was to protect the US on our own soil, not to be sent off to fight some frivolous foreign battle and leave our home country exposed without protection and assistance that we had with the National Guard troops here in the US.

Concerning the other points this general was fired, well sexual misconduct is an easy way to get rid of anyone, anymore. If the general was distributing top secret information, then he should be discharged for that, and that would be appropriate.

This general must be really close with Michael Moore, since much of this information blends nicely with the information from Fahrenheit. Oddly, just as Fahrenheit 9/11 didn't surprise me much, neither does the info provided by this general surprise me.

Bush had been itching to get back at Iraq for threatening his daddy, 9/11 gave him that opportunity. Cheney's been itching to get Iran, too. I'm sure that another opportunity will come and, likely, before the 2008 election.

I think there is also a secret urge to gain control of that region so that the Asian oil pipeline can be expanded into the Middle East. Iraq and Iran are two vast areas of land that need some type of control to allow such an expansion for the pipeline. And, I'm sure Saudi Arabia would be pleased to see that happen more than just about anyone else.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Property Rights on the Gaza Strip?

After reading about the people being "evicted" (such a polite term) on the Gaza Strip, I started to draw a correlation to the recent US Supreme Court opinion that local governments can "evict" someone from their property if the authorities believe that such property can be used to boost economic development for the "betterment" of the whole community.

Isn't it wonderful how our Constitution's offering of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can be mitigated, minimized, and masticated, all for the supposed good of the community?

So, if the USA can't grant full rights to property owners, then it must be okay for other countries to "evict," too. The power of eviction.

The Value of the Crosses

As I read the article about Camp Casey setup near the president's retreat in Crawford, Texas, this, almost side note, about the guy who on Monday night set up a bar on his pickup and mowed over half of the crosses, caught my attention.

The above report states that there were 500 crosses set up at Camp Casey representing the soldiers who have died while serving in the Iraq war. Another article I read states there were around 800 crosses. Now, you might be wondering why I am so interested in how many crosses there were at Camp Casey. Isn't this a bit trivial?

The guy that was so furious about this "anti-Iraq war protest" and drove over the crosses, Larry Northern, was charged with criminal mischief. In Texas, if the cost to repair or replace the damaged property is over $1,500, then the charge is a fourth-degree felony. The articles I have read did not disclose the severity of the charge, so I wanted to find out for myself how severe could the consequence of this act of frustration be for Mr. Northern.

Thus, if Mr. Northern destroyed half of the crosses, then the cost to repair either 250 or 400 needs to be assessed. A small white wooden cross, not personalized, online costs $9.99, not including tax, shipping and handling. If I just add tax at 7% (.70), then it would cost $10.69. To replace 250 crosses, it would cost $2,672.50; for 400 crosses, $4,276.

Who knows how the authorities handled the value of those crosses that were destroyed. They may have looked at how inconsequential they were and devalued them so that Mr. Northern's punishment would be minimal at best (a mild misdemeanor). Or they could have seen that this act was not only damaging personal property and assessing the full cost to replace the property, but desecrating a memorial for the war dead, and threatening the public good as he could have injured or killed people on the site with his inappropriate vehicular driving.

Now, is the fun part of our wonderful justice system. The consequence for a charge of fourth degree criminal mischief in Texas: 180 days to 2 years in state jail, may also be fined up to $10,000; or court may impose Class A misdemeanor punishment. Yup. He could either get slapped on the wrist with a Class A misdemeanor, or get severely pounded with a $10,000 fine and 2 years in jail. I guess it is up to the judge and their particular mood about the criminal and the crime.

I am not sure the punishment Mr. Northern received for his act of fury, but if he was given a felony sentence, he will be unable to vote until his sentence is over, and even then every single time he has to fill out paperwork for an employer or a government form he has to mark and explain his felony charge. I'm sure that in some circles his act has been heralded as well-deserved retribution for all this anti-war protesting. And, in other circles, his reputation has gone down a bit, putting it nicely.

What are your thoughts about any topic introduced here? Please feel free to post your comments.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Maybe I'm Still On Vacation?

Wow. George W. Bush goes on vacation, and I just get back from vacation, and voila... I am not so upset about current events. I don't know if it is just the vibes from a nice relaxing vacation that give me the aura of everything is right with the world or what, but I might have to rethink my blog this week.

I am just not upset or driven to write about any certain topic. I try. Really, I do. I keep checking Google News to see if there's something that justs gets me, but no. Nothing.

The first female commander-in-chef at the White House is named, and all I think is ahhh, that's nice. Hurray for women's lib. Whatever.

Denmark decides not to create a flag war with Canada over Hans Island, some dinky ice chip off the coast of Greenland. Good. Diplomatic strategies of talking it out usually work for foreign countries, just not with the USA and muslim countries.

Planes keep crashing everywhere. Tremors in Japan. High school football is about to start up again.

Crawford, TX is invaded by... aliens? I wish. No. Fanatic anti-war protesters. What else is new, anymore?

Is the news truly NEWS if it is not new? OK. That thought is a bit too difficult for me to ponder right now.

Where's my margarita?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Vacation's Over

Isn't it amazing how vacations start so slow and end so quickly? I spent last week at beautiful Lake Okoboji in Northwest Iowa. Ah, the quaint, quiet, and peacefulness of the lake. Especially when there are few motor boats out.

Ironic how some people's view of vacationing with powerful and loud motored water vessels can clash with another's view of a quiet vacation on the water?! Sadly, there are ways to make motor boats and land vehicles quieter, it is just that we don't demand it, yet. Likely, the demand isn't there because quiet, peaceful people aren't the type to get loud about it. Funny catch-22 situation.

There is something about the noise of traffic going by my office that I normally tune out, that causes stress to rise a couple of notches, and makes my heart race just a bit faster. And for some reason, makes my ears ring just a bit louder. Why people don't demand quiet, peaceful living regardless of where they live, I just don't understand.

Getting away from the traffic and the constant barage of noises during vacation is a blessing in itself. To hear the the soft creaking of the tire swing as the tall trees flex their muscles to hold the weight of my children delighting in the swing's motions, is a soothing and relaxing sound. And to hear the lapping of the water against the pebbled beach as the sun sets over the waters, ah, that's the life.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Bitter-Sweet Impeachment Pie

Bitter-Sweet Impeachment Pie

Celebrate the impeachment (or near-impeachment) of presidents past or consider the thoughts of impeaching the current president with this delightful dessert. This pie highlights the bitter-sweetness of impeachment proceedings of the highest office in the land.


1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cardamom
4 cups fresh frozen peaches

1 prepared 10 inch single crust pie & pie crust lattice for top
1 egg white
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (mix with 1 teaspoon cinnamon if you think he’s guilty)

Line a 10 inch pie pan with crust. Brush the inside of the crust with some of the egg white. Place peaches in the unbaked pie shell.
Cream together the sugar and butter. Add the egg, flour, and vanilla, then add cardamom last; mix together completely. Spread the mixture over the top of the peaches.
Place pie crust lattice on top, pinching the edges to the lower crust. Brush the lattice top with egg white, then sprinkle with sugar or sugar/cinnamon mix.
Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 1 hour.

As you wait, check out the impeachments and near-impeachments of these US Presidents:
Andrew Johnson—

Richard Nixon—

Bill Clinton (2 interesting sites)—

George W. Bush (2 interesting sites on the current topic)–

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Explosive Yellow Cake

Recipe for Explosive Yellow Cake

Great for all intolerant dictators!

1 1/2 cups sweet white rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons corn-free baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2/3 cup regular mayonnaise (not light)
1 cup rice milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice (vanilla extract will give a rich taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and rice flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.

Mix the flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder and xanthan gum together and set aside.
Mix the eggs, sugar, and mayonnaise until fluffy. Add the flour mixture, milk and lemon (or vanilla) and mix well. Spread batter into the prepared pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 minutes. Cakes are done when they spring back when lightly touched or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Use your favorite tolerant non-dairy whipping cream between the layers. Top with frosting, ice cream, or sprinkle strawberries or drizzle other favorite toppings.

Intolerant=allergic to gluten, lactose, and casein

Note: If you don’t have zanthan gum laying around your kitchen and don’t have the intolerant person living with you, ask if you can borrow a teaspoon from them, instead. Zanthan gum is pricey!

Killing Only Creates More Violence

Three Thoughts to Kaj Wilhelmsen:
  1. Killing Muslim immigrants will not resolve the situation.
  2. Violence only begets violence.
  3. Let's not go where Nazi-Germany went to eradicate the Jews in World War II. That's just not a good thing.
Sure, Europeans can be concerned about Muslim radicals. However, the majority of Muslims are just like you and me, who want to see world peace and live together in harmony without having to overthrow governments.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

We Are Fighting the Wrong War—Part II

We Are Fighting the Wrong War—Part II
(Or, How Much Farther Can I Push the Terrorism Button?)
Originally penned Friday, July 8, 2005

It is strictly in the most Islamic strategic sense that everything is happening during the Bush administration. Many from this Islamic faction have made great efforts to make a positive, trusting relationship with individuals active in the Bush administration. Again, this is no mistake that the Saudi royalty and the Bush family get along so well. Achieving a persuasive public friendship with politically influential families and people in key countries is just a part of their plan. This is about timing, political alignment, and social infiltration.

Their plans would not have been as successful during Clinton’s terms in the White House, nor would they have been in a possible Gore or Kerry Administration. It was in these Islamic world-dominators’ best interests that Bush win the presidential election both in 2000 and again in 2004. And, they will strive to keep the same people in power in the USA during the 2008 elections, too. (Don’t be surprised to see a 2008 Republican presidential ticket with Cheney-Bush on it. It’s very possible and very legal.)

These Islamic globetrotters are tops in spinning things (although not necessarily basketballs, but they will convert as many top basketball stars they can, too). Remember when the Denver Nuggets had a Muslim player who would not stand at attention for the US flag? That was not just an incident with that one player, no it was an act by the Muslim community needed to set a precedence to weaken the symbols of what the US and many Western nations prize, and to make it acceptable in their own culture. They didn’t have to spin the Constitution to achieve this, since the Constitution is all about freedom and the courts saw that, too. The issue with the player refusing to stand at attention for the flag has to do with respect.

It is this dwindling respect for each other in the US that now when we see an act of violence against our fellow man, we tend to walk away instead of helping. We pretend that these acts don’t happen, or shall I say we have grown immune or become blatantly and sometimes subconsciously ignorant. Pope John Paul II during his lifetime started a campaign of “random acts of kindness” because he was well aware of the problem. However, it is now just another catch phrase that gets tossed around when some politician wants to talk about good feelings and self-purification.

The Islamic faith of these globetrotters is all about disproportionate respect, respect that swings to the extreme poles. It’s about creating a caste system again in the civilized world. Pitting the haves against the have-nots. It’s happening right now in the US. The domestic policy that Bush has devised, who claims tax breaks for all, gives the big breaks only to ones that have the highest incomes. Revamping Social Security will only benefit those with enough money to be able to manage and cover the risk of losing everything on the stock market. Bush has spun the “estate tax” into the “death tax” to make everyday Americans think it affects them, but little do they know it is only a tax break for those who stand to inherit well over $6 million. (Bob’s Barbershop or the corner bakery is likely not worth that much, and it would take a huge farm operation to amount to that. If that business is making enough to be worth that much, then the business will be able to cover the tax.)

Walmart is also helping these Islamic globetrotters, too. Walmart is effective in lowering people’s standard of value, and in return devalue not only the merchandise, but exponentially devalue each and every person that is employed by Walmart, each person employed in manufacturing the merchandise, and even devalues each and every person that shops at Walmart. It is almost too dizzying to even totally comprehend the many ways Walmart plays into the hands of these Islamic ideals.

Sure it was our collective tolerance (that these Islamic globetrotters could live among us) all along that lead us, the Western World, into the predicament that we are in now. We tolerated unjust activities against other peoples by our governments. We tolerated the deterioration of our own societal foundations and the breakdown of community relationships.

The only way we will win this war is true civil justice. We need to be aware of what’s going on around us, and tell the proper person(s) if something looks amiss, without undue retribution. We need to be able and willing to speak up for injustice when we see it, and assist those that need our help. We need to uphold the inalienable rights and freedoms of all people, not just in the USA either, least we step, er trample on the rights of others to get our own way. We must hold firm on our country’s foundation and not waiver from that for any reason, lest we weaken the foundation. We must hold firm to God’s foundation of love and charity, from which all our just, moral, and spiritual senses spring.

It is no mistake that Jesus is a major figure in both Islamic and Christian religions. The teachings of Jesus in both camps have just become so twisted and so ignored that we all have fallen away from the charity and love that God (Allah) is all about. That is why we are reeling from the repercussions of our failings.

There are people who seek peace, as Jesus strove for peace and justice.

And, there are others who seek selfish peace (or powermongering), without regard for their fellow man (or woman), that also claim to be Muslim or Christian. You’ll hear them claim peace for their friends over the good of humanity, and kill out of selfishness. They want the world to bow to their whims, not to the will of God (Allah).

Preface to Fighting the Wrong War

The two part posts on We Are Fighting the Wrong War was written about a month ago when strange ideas kept popping into my head and I was trying to make sense of all that has happened regional and globally in the last decade or two. Not all Muslims, I believe, want to take over the world, and hopefully only wish the world would embrace peace, instead.

Islam, in its own meaning, is a peaceful religion. Many of the main ideals in Islam correspond to traditional Christian views. True Islamic devotion to Allah is equal to true Christian (and Jewish) worship of God.

In another sense, Islamic followers have not made their religion as casual as many Christian and Jewish followers, especially in the United States, have done for their religions.

I had the opportunity to work with a devoted Muslim, which gave me insight to his faith of Allah. At first he was very short with his words to me, but once he got to know me, we were able to hold short discussions on many topics. At each break, he would go down to the basement where he would position a bench to the east and say his prayers. I don't recall any time he did not divert from this task during his breaks. When I moved on to take another job, he was one of the last to wish me well. He said I was a good person, I would be missed, and that he would pray for me daily. I don't think I will forget his kindness.

Sometimes we all too easily get caught up with the "Islamic terrorists" as with the "Pedophile Scandal in the Catholic Church" in the media and forget that these religions ultimately are comprised of good individuals who believe in their faith, and worship God (Allah) that will lead them to the ultimate peace.

We Are Fighting the Wrong War

Originally penned Friday, July 8, 2005

Yesterday’s bombings in London just go to show what the Islamic nation has been doing for at least the last decade or more: living amongst us.

Muslims have been moving out of their birth countries to regions of the world where the people and culture are very, very different from Islamic traditions. When I read reports that Islam was becoming a religion to contend with in Denmark, my ancestral home, I couldn’t believe it. However, the immigration and census reports did not lie. Christianity was being threatened by Islam, and even the natives are starting to change their protestant tune to an Arabian chant.

Psst. And they are here in the USA, too. Right after 9/11, the debate was set in Iowa over a government owned camp that was going to be leased to an Islamic group for $1. I believe the Army Corp. of Engineers accepted a modified version of the Muslim group’s proposed “youth camp.” Thus, there is an Islamic “youth” camp in Iowa, although I can’t seem to find any information about this Camp Heritage near North Liberty, Iowa, next to the Coralville Dam.

This is not a mistake. They are mingling in other geographic regions of the world for a reason. These are carefully planned actions by the Muslim community to take over the world. Whhh—whhhhhaaaa—whaaaat? I know what you’re thinking. I am going over the edge. This is way too radical thinking.

Well, say that to those poor few Germans who thought that after Hitler graced his country with prosperity and the good life, he would try to take over the world. He did try to take over the world, and he would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling countries. Ah, I digress.

From what the Bush Administration spins, er talks about, they have no idea the magnitude of what they are dealing with. They think these are relatively small cells of terrorists doing this work centered in other parts of the world, with the help of some rogue countries. These people do not see themselves as terrorists, nor are they as small as we think they are. They are a large group of people that have relocated to places around the world, including the US, to carry out plans of covert actions to weaken public societies and accepted cultures. All in an attempt to change the world to their own brand of religion, public policy and government.

Actually Bush and his gang are playing into the hands of the Islamic nation. Bush’s foreign policy and the war on terror make others hate our form of government and ideologies. Thus, swaying more people to defect toward Muslim ideologies and become more involved with their cause.

We are putty in these Muslim factions that want to take over the world. The events of 9/11, instead of uniting our country, have divided the USA and have stripped everyday citizens of our rights and freedoms that previous soldiers died to defend. We have stripped ourselves of attitudes of peaceful tolerance and appropriately civil justice in exchange for righteous revenge. US Citizens are now becoming more accepting to the notion that we must forfeit our freedoms and rights to fight this battle against “terrorism.” Surrendering our freedoms and rights only weakens our societal foundation.

Issues that were mundane in the past are now the forefront of the media and politics, like homosexual marriage and abortion rights. This helps to create a thought process in a population that repression and intolerance is right, exactly what the radical Muslims want to see. It makes their job of clandestine conversion much easier. Even Christianity is becoming more and more twisted in the USA with fundamentalist Christian leaders working themselves into the political and governmental systems to dictate “their” agenda.

And their traditional agenda is changing, too. The more they spout about their pro-life stance in one arena, the more they are covertly giving their blessings to “pro-death” actions in another arena. They have no idea that these Muslims can use this to further twist Christianity into their version of Islamic faith.

Bush declared “war” on terrorism, but it is not a “war on terror” that these Muslims are waging. They are attempting to infiltrate into our public fabric and change the political, moral and religious fibers to a homogenous Islamic thread. And they are winning.

When all Christian churches in the world are lifted from their original foundations onto stilts, the foundation demolished, new foundations poured, and the original church is repositioned to face east, they will still be called Christian churches. Only the worship will be considerably different.

Ah, The Power of Congressional Recess

President George Bush continues to use his own brand of Strategery and flex his muscle this week as congress begins their recess. After demanding that congress push through some tough legislation before recess, our elected representatives didn't have enough time left to reconcile some confirmation proceedings for Bush's nominees to key positions in national and international circles. That left Bush with the daunting tasks (ok, not really daunting) of having to appoint his nominees all by himself, as the Constitution gives such a right to the president when congress is recessed. These appointments serve until the end of this congress in January 2007.

The big news, of course, is his appointment of John Bolton to represent the US at the United Nations, after the Senate proceedings were blocking Bolton's confirmation. Today's headlines read "Bolton Chitchats with (Kofi) Annan." Annan is the secretary-general of the UN. Wonder what Bolton had to say to his arch-nemesis Annan? Hopefully, Bolton is apologizing for past, current, and future crassness that he is bound to yield with the UN. There's nothing like putting a time bomb in an institution that denied Bush's requests to wage war in Iraq. Now, it's time to watch the fireworks and see if the UN will implode before 2007.

On a lower note, President Bush also appointed Peter Flory as the assistant secretary of defense (international security policy), another one of Bush's nominees that stalled during confirmation proceedings in the Senate. Flory replaces a vacancy left by J.D. Crouch over a year ago. (I'm sure "crouch" is not a position the Bush Administration wants to be known for.)

Ah, the Power of Congressional Recess!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Extremist: The New Terrorist Buzzword

Does anyone else see the coincidence in the tenth anniversary of the X Games (you know the "X" stands for extreme), and the new buzzword for Terrorist is now Extremist?

You know we've been struggling against those terroristic extremist skateboarders for decades, now.

A Mix of Humor and Hard-Hitting Thoughts--Eeck!

As you may have noticed, I should have started my blog about a couple of months ago. Pent-up, er penned up, frustration sometimes comes out all at once when the opportunity presents itself.

If you can't tell, I get some deep, and obscure thoughts about currents events at times. And, at other times, I get really humorous thoughts about current events. I plan to gladly share both at Indigo Lake.

This week, I will continue to post some of my old, er odd thoughts penned, er typed during the past couple of months. Tomorrow and Thursday, I plan to post a two-part thought called "We are Fighting the Wrong War" which is really a very disturbing and maybe distorted view of the condition of the world today. On Friday, if I don't forget, I will start posting some recipes that have some current event significance, or that are just plain good eats.

By the end of the week, I foresee that you will need at least a week to digest all my odd thoughts and querky humor. And I will likely need a mind-numbing vacation from the craziness of the world.

I invite you to come back to Indigo Lake at, sit back and enjoy the reading, share your comments, and we can laugh together around the humor of the day.

The Daily Show: Reporting the Obvious

Originally penned Wednesday, July 13, 2005

What would our country be without the Daily Show's reporting the obvious? I don't know why other news shows don't want to report the obvious... Oh, wait. Look what they did to the Wilson/Plume family after his editorial... Oh, and poor CBS News. God, er George forbid that a "reputable" news source report the obvious.

That is the beauty of the Daily Show. They outwardly claim they are a "fake" news show. IMHO, the only "fake" part of their news show is when they show these "fake" reports from the reputable news shows. What they joke about is the truth, and sometimes just reporting the true, obvious news is sadly funny in and of itself.

Sometimes humor is the best medicine for our ailing country. It definitely helps take some of the pain away to watch DS after FOX or CNN, who if they were truthful, would say THEY are "fake" news. Both are way too subjective and biased to be true news shows.

Repetition Creates Truth

Originally penned Monday, July 25, 2005

CNN is questioning two news releases about two completely different suicide bombings in Iraq because the quote mentioned about the first bombing is virtually identical to the quote for the second bombing. These releases were provided by the U.S. Military, according to CNN. Here are the quotes CNN is referring:

Wednesday, July 13 news release: "'The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the children and all of Iraq,' said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified. 'They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists.'"

Sunday, July 24 news release: "'The terrorists are attacking the infrastructure, the ISF and all of Iraq. They are enemies of humanity without religion or any sort of ethics. They have attacked my community today and I will now take the fight to the terrorists,' said one Iraqi man who preferred not to be identified."

What I don’t understand is why they are questioning the U.S. Military about these news releases, when this has been the Bush Administration strategy from the get-go. This is just another example of the PR Mastermind behind the Bush Push. Note the key talking points: enemies of humanity, take the fight to the terrorists. You will likely hear more of these words spoken by those instructed to use them as a tactic to create the spin necessary to perpetuate the war in Iraq.

The unnamed source for both quotes could possibly be from different individuals, both highly instructed on how to speak on talking points, memorizing key phrases, such as the above quotes, and learning how to modify them slightly to apply to a variety of situations.

Of all the media coverage about the Bush Administration, The Daily Show seems to catch this nuance regarding talking points for the Bush Push, and showcase how White House staff and major Republican players repeat these talking points, sometimes almost verbatim. Why can’t other media sources, like CNN, figure this out, too?

Let the Iraqi People Win! And let the US People Win, too!

Originally penned Monday, June 27, 2005

It seems like many many moons ago when President George W. Bush landed that aircraft on a Navy ship and declared “mission accomplished” for the Iraq war. If mission was truly accomplished, then why didn’t he pull out the majority of the US troops? When someone says “mission accomplished” it usually means that you did all you needed to do and it is time to call it a day. The time to call it a day and let our troops come home was yesterday.

So, what was the mission that Dubya claimed was accomplished? Well, we found no WMD (weapons of mass destruction), we caught the evil dictator Saddam Hussein, left most of Iraq in a ravaged mess, and who knows what’s happened to the vast oil reserves in Iraq. What else do we need to accomplish in Iraq? Is that it? The oil in Iraq? Is Halliburton not succeeded in raping Iraq of all their oil, yet? You know, we’ve got to fund Cheney’s private retirement account somehow. And, I think Dick has found a way to take it all with him when he finally dies.

I am not sure what Dubya’s mission in Iraq is anymore. Does he and the US Right-wingers need a “victory” in Iraq? I think the unspoken word is that if we pull out now, that we, er the US Right-wingers have lost this “war.” This “war” in Iraq is NOT a war for the US of A to win or lose. This is about the citizens of Iraq and how they will live today, tomorrow, and into the future. The longer we stay in Iraq, the more we are suppressing their own freedoms to build their country back up the way they want it from the ravages of war. I say let the Iraqi people win this war.

Give Iraq back to the people, and let them create the country, the government, and the system that will give them the backbone to be their own country. Let them fight for the country that they want. Sure we can help them, but let the fight be theirs, not ours. Then, the freedom they achieve will be their freedom.

And, let the US citizens win this war against foreign oil dependency. Make the USA become truly a free country. Take the money we are spending to make Iraq a more messed up country, and use it to help our own country to rely on more self-sustaining energy sources (not nuclear, we can be way more creative with less risk, like wind-we’ve got plenty of that in our nation’s capital-and bio-based energies). Creating self-sustaining energies in the USA will employ US citizens and give decent wages and benefits. It will bring money back into local, state and federal governments. It will bring value back to the US wage-earner, and back to US natural resources. It will make living in the US healthier and less polluting. And in the end, it will make the USA’s freedom truly our own freedom, not dependent on some middle east government royalty, or the lending of some far eastern country’s money.

London Beat Rocks: Terrorism, Revenge or Finely Orchestrated PR Tactic?

Originally penned Friday, July 1, 2005

PM Tony Blair quickly announced that today’s bombings of public transport in London was terrorism. But was it?

It’s easy to cry “terrorism” these days. It is a household word used daily anymore. The Oklahoma City bombing was that way, too. (Why do I keep referring to that?) Oh, how terrible. It must be terrorism. Foreign terrorism. With Oklahoma City, we quickly put our collective foot in our mouth when we indeed found out that two US citizens inflicted the tragedy.

Sure. In some ways, the London bombings are terrorism, no matter who did it or why. It certainly inflicted terror in many commuters today and caused London to stand still for a while. So, why did this happen? You really think it is some European “al-Queda”? Really? I am going to give you two other scenerios to ponder.

Scenerio One:
The day after London was declared the place for the 2012 Olympics, a major component to the Olympic games—public transportation—was targeted. Is this coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

I know what you’re thinking. Sure, it took a group a while to plan such an attack, but it also took a long time to plan a bid for the 2012 Olympics, too. After 9/11, New York City heavily vyed for a chance to host the Olympics and win back the trust of the world’s tourists to visit their city again. Paris was also in the running for the 2012 Olympic games, only to be outdone by their competitive neighbor to the north.

These attackers knew that the Olympic commission would show favoritism toward London, and knew that their fair city would not be selected. A quick and decisive attack on the newly announced winner of the 2012 Olympics would get the Olympic Committee’s attention to the weaknesses of their selection and may get them to change their minds on the choice.

Scenerio Two:
Two of the world leaders at the G8 summit in Scotland has their #1 mission to be the battle against “terrorism.” How fitting, indeed, to have terrorism hit right after the G8 summit begins. Especially since the G8’s current top two goals are tackling global warming and aid to Africa (hey, wasn’t that Bob Geldoff’s mission in the 1980s??).

The terror attack on London today is fitting to change the G8’s discussions and focus instead on Bush and Blair’s terrorism campaign. Oddly enough, I can see how global warming and African aid are somehow linked to Bush’s war on terror. I hope you can follow me here:
1) Global warming is to reducing emissions in vehicles to reducing oil and fossil fuels consumption to reducing dependence on Middle East Oil to reducing Bush’s finances and reducing Bush’s allies, the Saudis.
2) African aid is to availability of yellow cake is to making WMDs is to claim war in Iraq. (Ok, don’t go there, you say.)

Do you see the tendency and need to orchestrate some type of ploy to change the topic at the G8?

Ok, alright, let’s just say that it truly was from the European al-Queda.

Scenerio Three:
Yup, they sure did it, the European al-Queda. They have been infiltrating European countries and changing the make-up from Christian to Moslem for at least a decade now. It is all a part of their plot to take over the world, first discreetly as they bring their Middle East families and move to northern regions, including Denmark and other Scandinavian countries that offer climes vastly different from their own.

These countries start figuring out that, hey, Muslims are now the second largest religion in the country, they are taking us over, and we need to change our immigration policies so that we don’t lose our traditions and identity. The European al-Queda goes into stage two of their plot to take over Europe and the world.

Stage two begins with the bombing of London, concurrently with the G8 summit and the announcement of the location for the 2012 Olympic Games. (Side note: The European al-Queda plans to take over the world in time to host the 2012 Olympic Games in battle torn Jerusalem where the games will take on a more barbaric twist. More of that to follow.) This stage continues with more bombings in other European hot spots, until the whole of Europe and most of America (no bombing in the USA necessary since we are already stripping ourselves of our own freedoms now) bows to their every whim, which will be a clandestine event where most of the world will not know that the European al-Queda is behind it all.

And then, stage three, covert Russian and Chinese government forces come public with their joint exercises with the European and Middle Eastern al-Queda groups. Come to find out that it was the Russian group, in a wish to continue the new cold war, wanting to get back at the USA and their allies that truly instigated the London bombings. With four para-military groups at the four corners of the world, they are able to corner any freedom-loving population and easily take them over.

Stage four is set with the 2012 Olympics, relocated to Jerusalem, the center of hot-bed activities on Earth, and now the center of the new Muslim nation. This holy city is inundated with the victors of the final world war and a feast of military prowess as they pit their enemies together in battles to the death in very twisted Olympic-style games.

Armagedon. Apocolypse. Muslim freedom. Far-fetched. Whatever you want to call it. This third scenario foreshadowing is mostly in jest, but in some ways, anything could happen. We, as a naeve society, never thought all the events of 9/11 and thereafter were possible on September 10, 2001.

Privacy Is Easy To Breach? Not When It’s Public Record

Originally penned Friday, July 15, 2005

San Francisco columnist David Lazarus wrote an article today (Friday, July 15, 2005) that made me really think about the motives behind media reporters today.

In this article, he claims that through the internet (why do people capitalize the “Internet” when it is just a noun and not a proper name?) people can easily do what they could not otherwise do: breach your privacy. He then illustrated his point by using several website search engines (Google, ZabaSearch, and fee-based LexisNexis) to find information about Valerie Wilson, nee Plame. By using common sleuthing skills, he found the correct Joesph C. Wilson and his address, then found the link to his wife, Valerie E Wilson. He then searched some more to find out Valerie’s former name, Plame. He claims that the internet lead him to the identity of a CIA cover agent.

Unless this reporter left out some very significant steps, this internet searching did not lead him to the identity of a CIA cover agent. All he got was public information about two people who live in the United States. Even without the internet, this type of investigation could render the same results by going to the courthouses where birth and marriage certificates were filed. Private investigators and reporters used to do this sort of thing all the time. Had Mr. Lazarus found that LexisNexis gave information about Ms. Plame’s status as a CIA operative before the leak, then he would have a news story.

Even undercover agents need some sort of public information about them. This public information lends credibility to their assumed identity to those they come in contact with every day. This is logical to find public information about Ms. Valerie Plame, or anyone else. If a foreign person had questions about Ms. Plame and her employer, they also can easily go to the internet and find out that indeed where she lived and who “employed” her. And before the whole leak happened, they should not have also found anywhere on the web linking Ms. Plame to the CIA. And that is the way it should be.

So, to make this “Privacy is easy to breach” story something to really be worth of print, instead of finding public information of record, that this reporter should have dug in and tried to find the private medical records of Ms. Valerie Plame easily on the internet. Those files ought to be private and confidential, and if easily found, would warrant such a headline.

Otherwise, Mr. Lazarus is using public information to scare us into thinking that our privacy is being invaded, when in actuality, it isn’t.

Islamic AQ Groups Target Rich Energy Countries?

Originally penned Friday, July 8, 2005

I wonder if there is a link with migrant Islamic (Al-Qaida like) groups, and the amount of oil and other energy reserves in their country (i.e. Denmark:

It would be interesting to see if someone would map and highlight countries in the world were there was a major influx of Islamic peoples in the last 25 years, and then denote the countries with large oil reserves and high levels of other energy sources, as well.

Also, it seems rather coincidental that Bush, baby in an oil family, would visit Denmark just days before the Danish Energy Agency announces larger oil reserves than previously thought in that country.

War is not Justice.

Originally penned Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The President of the US of A is claiming that terrorists in the same vain as Osama bin Laden are the insurgent terrorists fighting in Iraq. From my perspective, terrorists of Osama bin Laden don’t seem stupid enough to take on a military force like the US. Nor to use such insignificant and simply planned car bomb attacks to make a statement. Nor would they make such a statement in a war-torn country. Osama bin Laden is NOT behind the insurgency in Iraq.

Osama is sitting somewhere rounding up his own troops and they are most likely as I type, strategically planning their next attack against the United States. Osama and his buddies are safe somewhere, as the US is diverted with the war in Iraq. Osama is most likely enjoying his luxury to be able to plan his next hate-filled act, since we have pretty much ended the major attempts to find and persecute the mastermind of 9/11.

The Bush administration is hell-bent on fighting a war, not prosecuting Osama bin Laden. If this were not the case, then we would have been able to focus our intelligence and military forces and already have found Osama. He, and his trenchmen, would be serving their just sentences (life in prison, or execution) for violating criminal laws in the United States. No, justice for 9/11 was not the intention for Bush and Cheney, and their band of cohorts. They wanted war. War is not justice.

The two definitions of the noun war, as defined by

A state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties.
The period of such conflict.
The techniques and procedures of war; military science.

A condition of active antagonism or contention: a war of words; a price war.
A concerted effort or campaign to combat or put an end to something considered injurious: the war against acid rain.
Dubya’s war is marked by the first definition, regardless of the spin he puts on it to make it sound like it is the war to end terrorism. Terrorism will not die. As long as there are vengeful, prideful, spiteful people, there will be terrorism. The terrorists see the US actions as terrorism. Thus, the US is also a terrorist.

The five definitions of the noun justice, as defined by
The quality of being just; fairness.

The principle of moral rightness; equity.
Conformity to moral rightness in action or attitude; righteousness.

The upholding of what is just, especially fair treatment and due reward in accordance with honor, standards, or law.
Law. The administration and procedure of law.
Conformity to truth, fact, or sound reason: The overcharged customer was angry, and with justice.
Abbr. J. Law.
A judge.
A justice of the peace.
After 9/11, I, and many of my fellow Americans, wanted to see justice. Instead, we got revenge with a hate-filled, prideful, spiteful war against a country that had very little to do with 9/11. (Mind you, the majority of the terrorists that struck on 9/11 were Saudi nationals.) Is this just to you? How would we feel if Canadian terrorists attacked Russia, and then Russia decided to counterattack the US and leave Canada unscathed, even though the terrorists were from Canada?

Justice is what I want to see happening. Justice is not going to a country and destroying the lives and well-being of millions of innocent Iraqi citizens. Justice is not being served when we see over 2,000 of US troops, and the lives of soldiers from other countries, killed because of an unspecific war, supposedly on terror (and WMD, and Sadam Hussein), in Iraq.

The insurgency in Iraq is not due to terrorists. The insurgency is due to the fact that we are unjustly meddling in the affairs of another country. The insurgents are justifiably mad-as-hell at the US because we have destroyed a civil society. Unfortunately, their gut reaction to fight is not necessarily the right way to get the effect they want, if it is to get the US out of Iraq.

If the insurgents were as smart as Osama bin Laden and his gang, they would not have started the car bombings and suicide attacks. If the people of Iraq, and especially the insurgents, want the US to get out of their country, they need to start acting civil and form organized groups that can plan their strategy, just like Osama is right now in a more deviant way, so they can get on with their lives. This will, hopefully, give a good reason for the US to get our troops out of Iraq and let the Iraqis fend out their “new country” for themselves and make it what Iraqis want to make it.

Have We Forgotten, Already?

Originally penned Monday, June 27, 2005

The tenth anniversary of one of the most saddening days in our country’s history was celebrated, almost in silence, compared to the issues we face daily with the current tension our country faces.

The day was almost a blur to me as I was preparing for my wedding that weekend, but the reality came to me slowly after the event. On a sunny, spring day in 1995, terrorists bombed the Murray Building in Oklahoma City. That bleak day in April, most everyone thought that it was an attack from foreign terrorists. Only a few years earlier, foreign terrorists attempted to blow up the World Trade Centers in New York City with the same concept: rigging a rental van with explosives. This time it was again a rental van with home-made explosives that saw the fate of several hundred people in that government building in Oklahoma City.

No one ever thought it would be home-grown terrorism.

After all the investigations, the evidence and the trials, two citizens of the United States of America had their due process, were convicted and punished for their crimes—legally.

Another sad day in our country’s history is practically emblazoned into everyone’s memory: 9/11. Before September 11, 2001, if someone mentioned the numbers 9 -1 - 1, someone would have thought you were talking about the nation-wide emergency response phone number. (Was it a coincidence that this national state-of-emergency happened on 9/11?) I think much of the world mourned on September 11, 2001 after seeing the events of terrorism unfold on that fateful day, and realizing that not only US citizens but many foreign nationals died as a result of carefully crafted plans by known international terrorists were executed. People died on that day, and our national “innocence” died on that day, as well.

It wasn’t like these terrorists caught us blind-sided, as was the case with the Oklahoma City bombing. I remember seeing a news clip on The Daily Show when George W. Bush celebrated a birthday in July 2001 by golfing with his dad, the former 41st president, George Bush (remember the baseball caps with “43” and “41” on them??). The scene held the younger Bush fielding questions in his golf cart from reporters (valid reporters, not a Daily Show reporter). One reporter asked Dubya about the rising reports of possible terrorist threats in the US. Dubya casually blew off the reporter’s question as a non-issue, while he diligently picked off sod between the spikes on his golf shoes. Apparently, that sod was a more pressing issue to the President. The elder Bush could be seen next to his son with steam just about to burst from his ears. I can vividly remember saying to my husband, Dubya will live to regret that statement. To this day, not one news department (not even The Daily Show) has rebroadcast that revealing news clip. This is just one of many examples that we as a government, and as a people, knew that terrorist threats were mounting in the United States.

Sure, this happened before, even when Bill Clinton was in the White House. And, most all of those threats ended with terrorist attacks against American interests abroad. The only time terrorists had previously launched a large-scale attack on US soil was the mostly unsuccessful first attempt to annihilate the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993.

However, the terrorist threats in 2000 and 2001 seemed different to me. They seemed to take on a different aura about them. And it seemed the more terrorist threats were reported, the more it seemed the Bush Administration was brushing them off. This seemed so against the nature of the presidency not to at least validate these terrorist threats, and not to make any attempt to protect the citizens of the US.

Then, the morning of September 11, 2001 happened. Oddly enough, the vice president was “running” some air training session with some aerial bombers around the Capitol city. The president was reading children books in an elementary school in Florida. The media estimated that around 11,000 people work in and around the World Trade Center at the time of the attacks, however a little over 2,000 people lost their lives. It didn’t seem that there were 9,000 people that rushed out of those buildings alive on that fateful day. Odd that thousands of people would not be at work on 9/11, isn’t it? There were people that knew something was up that day. And then there are people, even to this day, think that we were caught by complete and utter surprise with these terrorist attacks.

It was quite evident that these were foreign terrorists, a militant Muslim faction, attacking on 9/11. The more investigation into these acts, the more we find out that they were quite frank about their actions. They felt justified and we feel victimized. What is the justification? Who ultimately has victimized us as US citizens?

Now, as we continue in a war waged in other countries against other citizens, many as innocent as those lost in Oklahoma City and the attacks of 9/11, the actions of our government in waging wars continues to give justification to these militant groups, and adds to their numbers those disenfranchised with the way the United States treats their country and their people.

We cannot and should not forget the lives that these senseless acts of terrorism stole from us. Nor should we ever forget the lessons we should have learned from this terrible event.

Why do we find it hard to state the obvious?

Originally penned Thursday, June 30, 2005

Why do we find it so hard to state the obvious? Conservative Republicans are pro-war, pro-death and pro-violence. Regardless of what they tout from their lips, their actions are far from those words of “culture of life” and “pro-life.”

We’ve been through a major terrorist attack before 9/11 on American soil. That was Oklahoma City in April of 1995. We did not declare war like savage beasts in 1995. No, our police forces, FBI, and CIA did the job that they were supposed to do and found the individuals primarily responsible for carrying out this horrendous act, they were tried and found guilty, and paid the consequences for their actions.

Karl Rove touts that the Democrats were insane for thinking that the 9/11 terrorists should be treated the same way the Oklahoma City terrorist bombers were, and that declaring war on several countries is the better option.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Plame Travel Agency—Yeah, That’s the Ticket

Originally penned Thursday, July 14, 2005

I can hear it now, the sound of gears and levers working in the Bush Administration to put a new spin on the CIA agent leak and clear poor Karl Rove.

Bush Administration's new and improved spin: “Rove thought he was disclosing the travel agent who booked the trip for Wilson to check out the allegations Africa was selling yellow cake to Iraq. Yeah. Yeah. That’s the ticket. Rove thought Valerie Plame was a travel agent that dealt with WMD issues, er… ah… you know that’s code talk in the travel agent business… it stands for… ah… Winged Mission Departures. You know what that is? Travel agent code for airline reservations. I didn’t know all that, but I guess Karl Rove, our expert traveler, did. That Karl Rove is so smart. So glad he’s in the White House to help the president with all these travel agent lingos.

“Oh, and all that talk about WMDs in Iraq? Oops, our bad. We thought that they were talking about Weapons of Mass Destruction. Well, good ole Karl Rove put us on the right track now and we all know that they were talking about that travel agent jargon about airline reservations. Boy, don’t we feel stupid.

“Good ole Karl Rove also told us about that yellow cake, too. Glad he straightened us out about that. Apparently, that yellow cake order in 1999 from Niger was really an order for yellow cake, not uranium. Saddam Hussein’s sons were purchasing the beautifully decorated cake to celebrate Saddam’s twenty years as president of Iraq on July 16, 1999. Since we didn’t receive an invite to this party, we had no idea they actually were getting a yellow cake. We really got cake on our faces with this one.”

That would explain a lot. I think I get the picture now.

New White Housies: Diapers with Leak Guard

Originally penned Thursday, July 14, 2005

White Housies Diapers keep your presidential administration happy and safe from leaking. With new Leak Guard protection, White Housies absorb vital intelligence from leaking, especially during inopportune pressing times. White Housies are designed to fit your unique administration for unsurpassed leak protection. The specially designed elastic bands and closures keep White Housies secure and in place for those active administrations, giving them the freedom to twist, wiggle, and crawl around without embarrassing leaks. Whether your administration is just starting to walk or running circles around you, White Housies with Leak Guard are the diapers of choice.

The Great Leaker: Karl Rove

Originally penned Friday, July 15, 2005

Stale Newsflash: Karl Rove was fired in 1992 by George H. W. Bush for, guess what, leaking information! Bush Sr. fired Rove during his presidential campaign for leaking negative information to now infamous columnist Robert Novak about Bush Sr.’s campaign fundraising chief Robert Moshbacher Jr.

Tell Me Again, Why Was Bill Clinton Impeached?

Originally penned Monday, July 25, 2005

The Plame Game makes me wonder again, why was Bill Clinton impeached? And, why is George W. Bush still in the White House?

Oh, wait, when Bill Clinton was president, Ken Starr was sent by the Republicans to sniff out some way to get Pres. Clinton out of the White House. White Water failed, and numerous other “congressional investigations” turned up nothing, UNTIL they decided to cross the line and ask Pres. Clinton a question about a harmless private affair under oath.

Someone mentioned to me the other day that there was some policy that the Republicans pushed through congress during the Clinton administration that allowed unlimited congressional investigations for just about anything that was conveniently allowed to expire right after Dubya became president. Thus, probably the reason why this investigation has to be over by October 1st, instead of having an unlimited amount of time and budget to devote to “congressional investigations” like they had with Clinton.

Unfortunately, it looks like if Bush has this investigation around his little finger (remember how he wiggled out of testifying under oath to investigators on the 9/11 report?), he’ll likely get out of this one, too.

If Democrats want justice, they need to create a policy so that they can have a Democratic version of the Ken Starr vicious attack dog to hunt down Bush and his croonies, just like they did to Bill Clinton. However, this time instead of destroying a benign leader, the truth will be uncovered, the Constitution will re-established as the guiding force for our Country, and justice will truly be served.

Value of Life

Originally penned Friday, June 10, 2005

It seems like the new catch-phrase in political and religious areas seems to be the “culture of life,” especially in the Republican Party and what is termed ‘Christian right’ groups. Current events like the Terry Shiavo case and pro-life stance on abortion rights seem to echo this view of the culture of life. Or maybe they are serving as a camoflauge for the Republican Party’s true ideology behind their front of the culture of life.

Where did the thought of the culture of life originate? Actually, it was Pope John Paul II’s idea. Pope JP II had developed his campaign of the culture of life, reflecting the value of life Jesus gives to all people.

I think the primary push for me to begin blogging is the growing rate of so-called pro-lifers doing anti-life activities. As a Catholic voter, I have a very difficult time voting because neither the Republican nor the Democratic Party truly support all pro-life policies from pre-birth to death. The Republicans seem to support that some lives are way more important than others, especially those with more money or clout. The Democrats, claiming to be pro-choice, has been tagged at anti-life proponents by the opposition because they want to keep abortions legal.

There are a variety of government policies and laws that contradict the culture of life. The main policy currently in place now is the pre-emptive strike against Iraq and the war that has shattered many lives in that country and the soldiers that have lost their lives for a moot cause. This war is not saving any lives and is in fact putting more lives in jeopardy as these people show their animosity toward the US and this unjust war the US declared on their people. These citizens of Iraq did nothing wrong, yet, they are being punished by this war for the apparent actions of their leader Sadam Hussein for hiding WMDs, his mass killings of his own people, and other atrocities. Since the Bush regime did not find these WMDs, they have taken on the theory that this war is a humanitarian war.

What war is ever a humanitarian war? Wars do not usually hurt those in power, it hurts those (many of them innocent of whatever reason the war is being waged) that have to fight it and be in the thick of it. But wars are declared and fought precisely because of the dictates of a leader. In this war, however, the US did something that Geneva Convention does not condone, they took out the leader, too. Sadam Hussein is now out of power and who knows what’s up with that now.

Now, Iraq is in a state of chaos because not only are they rising up against their US-imposed military state, they are battling for their views of what is right for them, with Sunni, Shia, and Kurds each thinking that they ought to lead the country.

In the Bible, Jesus says that what you do to the least of these, you do for me. If the Republican policy to decrease the funding for title 19 and limit Medicaid coverage says anything, it’ll have the least of these (er, Jesus) sick and dying without any way to pay for the expenses of getting them better. That’s ok because the Republicans are also the big anti-drug pushers, so these sick people will have no way to die painlessly. Maybe this is just the way, since Paul was such a big advocate of suffering in the New Testament. Hmmm, if that’s the case, then why aren’t all these Christian-right people wanting to suffer, too?