Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Great Fishing in Mosquito Lagoon

This is an underwater redfish shot taken by my neighbor, Larry Kinder, the Tropical editor for Florida Sportsman magazine. Larry is quite a knowledgeable fish finder, for he has made an intelligent study of all the waters in our area, but especially Mosquito Lagoon. Larry leads us to quiet "pole and troll" shallows of the Lagoon, where we catch very nice speckled trout and redfish.Here's one of Larry's taken of me with a nice trout:

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Surprise Visit

This one is too funny not to spread around a little more. Here we have Tony Snow and Dan Bartlett showing us how safe it is to enter the Green Zone of Baghdad. I guess they're safe enough in helmets and flak jackets (I assume those are Army approved).Also , I had no idea Al-Maliki looked so much like Jimmy Finlayson, the master of the double take.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Urgent Cause

This is so important. Don't let our legislators (the ones we elected, remember?) treat us like cattle that they can sell off to Big Telco. The Internets will never be the same. Do you want A.T.&T., Verizon, or Comcast deciding which sites you will be able access ? Of course not.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Quote of the Day

"My holy of holies is the human body, health, intelligence, talent, inspiration, love, and absolute freedom - freedom from violence and falsehood, no matter how the last two manifest themselves." -Anton Chekhov

Death to Zarqawi

Now that Zarqawi has been cancelled out by our superior technology and some good intelligence I assume that means that our soldiers,men and women,all 132,000 of them, can come home now.

Republican Priorities

From Jesus'General

Paul Krugman has a piece out today (pay the Times) that makes a lot of sense about this nonsense Republicans like Bill Frist call their "agenda." Krugman first notes how our Republican congress has nixed 648 million dollars from a bill to secure our ports against terrorists because it's too expensive. Here the Republicans mention our huge deficit, but neglect to indicate that the costs of the War and previous tax cuts are what made it so large. We are currently only checking five percent of what comes in to our ports. Now this week Frist and Co. want the U.S. to forego all of the estate tax, an estimated amount of 355 billion over the next ten years. This is a tax on those that America has done extremely well by, the top one-half of one percent of estates of the vastly wealthy. Let's see...355 billion divided by ten years, that makes 35.5 billion a year that we could use to save our lives, or give it to the wealthy, to make them even more wealthy...On the one hand we have 35.5 billion every year for ten years, on the other a one-time 628 million (with an M)... Doesn't seem like a sensible choice. The Republicans won't even accept a raise in the minimum level from two million dollars to three and a half million. Does that sound like a minimum to you ?

Don't these guys know or care that an endless war against terror is going on ?

A Club to Avoid

I received a horrific offer in my mail yesterday to get five books for $1 by joining a book club, American Compass,Inc. My main problem was that I had such trouble picking my five books from this "Conservative Alternative." I don't think I would spend twenty cents for any of these books; in fact I wouldn't read them if they paid me.

This club is not exactly a Literary Guild, Book of the Month, or even like the Science Fiction club. Their brochure trumpets Ann Coulter's and Michael Savage's latest works. Apparently, those are the really hot items that will catch your eye and induce you to join up. Those didn't hook me - I would be ashamed to be seen recycling these.

Since most of their writer's work is fiction,I found the actual fiction offerings fascinating. Their brochure leads off of course with the latest from Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, The Rapture. Their tagline : "The countdown has almost reached zero !" Of course, they don't want to end it all quite so soon ("at zero"), because that would surely reduce sales. It's unlikely LaHaye could concoct a post-Rapture novel in which the (Christian)holy would be wandering around Heaven - sounds maybe a little dull, huh ? Also in fiction,I could have chosen the new novel by Oliver North, The Assassins. Mr. North, such a busy man, apparently had some help from co-author Joe Musser. You would think with two of them working on it, they could have found a new title, instead of using the one Elia Kazan used several years ago. For real teamwork though, Chuck Norris can't be beat. For his novel on the Justice Riders, he had a veritable committee of three helping him. So many choices.

I would only have to buy two more books this year for my commitment. If I don't, I would bet they have some great lawyers to come after me. When I checked a collateral offer on the web from this club, it said I had to buy four books to attain my commitment. Which is right? Informatively, it pointed out that although my five books cost a dollar, shipping and handling costs $12.95. Still, I could also get the free duffel bag or the free fleece...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Demise of Checks and Balances

As I see it, probably the most serious problem in American Politics today is the way in which our legislators are elected or re-elected and all the the things they will do (or not do) in order to maintain their positions.Our "leaders" will do most anything to respond to what they understand of their latest polls. They don't hear a broad sample of their constituents, but appear to respond to the moneyed. Most seriously, they will abdicate such responsibilities as declaring war, in order to avoid actually speaking up and standing for something, like a sensible, productive foreign policy.

Think back to the lead up to Dubya's Iraq War. Hans Blix and his team had examined 750 suspected WMD sites in Iraq with no weapons found, though remember that Don Rumsfeld said,"We know where they are." Cheney and Bush told the most brazen lies connecting Saddam to 9-11. Yet this wasn't moving along quickly enough. We know that the Pentagon already had our invading force waiting off shore as these inspections were going on.

Our Congress may have had some doubters about the efficacy of such an attack, but they would have had to have pulled a "Profiles in Courage" move to vote against giving the President the go ahead. Certainly a mostly unrepentant MSM was cheerleading the war. Here is a major part of the problem, Congress men and women, in keeping an eye on their next election campaign,have just about totally given up their control of war making. They don't want to be accountable. Our Founding Fathers surely didn't want another King who would personally decide who and when we would attack. Going all the way back to the Korean police action, this is what America and its soldiers have gotten.And this lack of accountability I insist is a function of keeping yourself in office. This is probably the most deadly result of the Demise of Checks and Balances.