The Skunk and Tiger

"Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."-Horace Mann

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sam's Day With Thomas

Last Sunday Sam got to see his hero Thomas, he was a little disappointed, I think he expected to see all of those crazy trains. Since coming home it is been all about Thomas, non-stop playing with his new "battery trains" that run by themselves on a track. I don't know why Anne and Sam always look beautiful in photographs and I always look hammered and about to faint. It was hot that day, and there was a thousand little tikes around and you were always within earshot of a child having a fit. Sam only had one breakdown but its to be expected. I would like to check out CrossRoads Village again without all the Thomas stuff and Thomas music is awful and it is still ringing in my ears.
Speaking of ringing I got a new cell phone, and I have to say, I pretty much hate cell phones, they make me feel old, they are too bright, to small, and loaded with crap I will never use, and they take craptastic photos that take way to much time to post. If it was not for my job I would not even use them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dentist and Stuff.

Sam had his first trip to the dentist today. He did great and no cavities. He sat in that chair and was not frightened at all. He is really cool with haircuts too, I think he likes all that attention.
I went on iTunes today and bought some new songs. I know it is destroying the concept of an album, but I think it is more fun to buy $15 dollars on many various artists rather than all on one band or artist. I think I made a pretty good mix and willing to mail anyone a copy if they are interested. Just be patient because I have to send other people promised stuff too. Here are the tunes I purchased today in the order I like to play them. I am a music snob and I rock!

1. Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio/The Ramones
2. Moneymaker/Rilo Kiley
3. Seeds and Stems Again Blues/Comander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
4. Here Comes a City/The Go-Betweens
5. Rollin' Tumblin' (Remix)/R.L. Burnside
6. The Invasion/Burning Spear
7. Hounds of Love(New Mix)/The Futureheads
8. Sweet Troubled Soul/Stellastarr*
9. Under Pressure/David Bowie & Queen
10. Superstition/Stevie Wonder
11. Where Is My Mind?/Pixies
12. The Weeping Song/Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
13. 19th Nervous Breakdown/The Rolling Stones
14. Clambake/Elvis Presley

Also here is a photo I took of a bug's shed exoskeleton, fooling around with photoshop last weekend I made it look like a electron photograph.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

B-25 Mitchell

Yesterday, we attended an Air-Show and got to see a B25, unfortunately we did not get an inside tour, but watching it take off was well worth our Saturday morning, and that was free. I touched up some of these photos to give a gritty look. I always feel like I am cheating when I use photoshop to enhance the image. But everyone does it, right?

Here is info on the plane, taken from the Yankee Air Museum website. The museum is located at the Willow Run Airport in Belleville. It is not open to public due to Airport Authority Restrictions. They are taking donations for building an offsite historical museum.

The North American B-25 “Mitchell” bombers, named after Gen. “Billy” Mitchell, were the most effective medium bombers of World War II, probably best remembered for the carrier-launched Doolittle Raid against Japan in April of 1942. The Yankee Warrior is the only flying B-25D-35 and one of very few aircraft with documented combat history. For a once in a lifetime experience take a flight on this combat veteran.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

AB/CD:For Those About To Rock!

I have many new Sam photos and I will try to post more soon, we did a bunch of family stuff this weekend and last. This pic was taken just before my work picnic.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

In Case you Missed It: Cheney in 1994

Where was this video 5 years ago? This should have been playing non-stop prior to the Iraq invasion. I fear the complacent american people are going to allow these chicken-hawk cowards to lead us into another disastrous war, it is the only way they can fuel our broken economy. We get the government we deserve, when we don't pay attention.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Cloverfeild" or Get Jerry a Slusho!

Everything has been very hush hush about J.J. Abrams untitled move, currently code named 'Cloverfeild'. Check out the trailer and the viral marketing websites, 1-18-08 and Slusho!! I showed Sam the trailer, he keeps asking to "see the monster!" I don't think it scared him. I used to love Godzilla movies when I was about his age. That is what this move is suppose to be a giant monster movie done in the style of Blaire Witch Project. It is going to be epic!


Anne thinks Sunset photos are boring. I almost burned out my retinas taking this picture, but I think it was worth it. This is from the 2005 Mason Ballon festival.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hippo Eye

I have been scanning old photos from the past onto our computer. Here is a Hippo Eye taken at the Concrete Lady in 1998 in Jeffersonville IN. I was heading down to Florida with friends. Have not been back to Florida since, but I imagine we will be taking a trip to Disneyland sometime in the future, once the kids will be old enough to appreciate it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bush's Brain Jumps Ship

Karl Rove is gone. For Now.Also known as Bush's Brain, Rove drove at great lengths to turn the Justice department and other governmental agencies into a partisan political machine for the Right. Here are some Rove quotes and some interesting links.

"As people do better, they start voting like Republicans - unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing."

“Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers, Democrats Demand Rove Apologize for 9/11 Remarks.”

"Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year? Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals."

I dont think Rove is a mastermind, just look at what he has accomplished.

Check Out:

Bush's Brain

Rove Quiz

Leahy's Statements on Rove Investigation

The Corporate Media's Coverage of Rove

Howard Fineman on Olberman's Countdown: “The silence has been deafening from Republicans. From Republican presidential contenders, from members of Congress who by the way, are out of town, another good reason for Rove to leave now. I haven’t heard a word from any Republican leader about Karl Rove because they don’t like Karl Rove. And the reason they don’ t like Karl Rove is that his soul focus has been on George Bush. This notion that Karl Rove’s aim was to build a new Republican majority, ala McKinley, is ridiculous. His only mission was to get George Bush elected. He did it twice, and didn’t really care a whole lot about the Congress, Republicans included.”

“George Bush is counting the minutes till he gets out of town. I always felt about George Bush — that he wanted to win desperately, I’m not sure he really wanted to be president and he’s looking enviously at Karl Rove as he heads back to Texas.”

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I Mess With Texas Churche$

I sent this email to High Point Church, a Texas Mega-Church that recently canceled a memorial service for a Gulf War I vet. I realize that I wrote the email as if the solder had died in this current occupation. And if he had do you think the Church would have acted differently?

Here is the story link: Texas megachurch cancels gay Navy veteran's memorial service

Mega-churches have no problem taking government bribes to spread and support neo-conservatism, they will push for ignorance, hate, and more bloodshed in the name of Jesus and his (n)ever-near return, they neglect real issues like the environment and poverty, they exploit the fears of the elderly and the vulnerability of youth, they and the rest of the "Christian" Right were, and continue to be, a huge cheerleader for a war founded on untruths,...but have a memorial service for a gay man who could have died serving our country in that same war? No, that would be an endorsement of something wrong. We can't have that. Its Wrong!!!
I am a married heterosexual male with children. I refuse to buy into the lie that gays are the biggest (let alone any) threat to my family. That being said does not mean that any Church has to accept any type of family or sexual orientation, but canceling a memorial service for a soldier just because he was gay, that is not Christian but it is being Texan, I suppose.

Here is another unrelated story involving Texas and a Faith Based Program: Pastor accused of dragging girl behind his van

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

14 Points of a Fascist State

I have been wanting to post this for some time, check out the link at the bottom as well. Interesting and frightening at the same time. I love my country but I sometimes think our nation is turning away from what the framers of the constitution intended.


1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism

From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights

The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause

The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.

4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism

Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

5. Rampant sexism

Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.

6. A controlled mass media

Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.

7. Obsession with national security

Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

8. Religion and ruling elite tied together

Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.

9. Power of corporations protected

Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated

Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.

11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts

Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.

12. Obsession with crime and punishment

Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption

Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

14. Fraudulent elections

Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

NOTE: The above 14 Points was written in 2004 by Dr. Laurence Britt, a political scientist. Dr. Britt studied the fascist regimes of: Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile).

Does any of this sound familiar? As America sinks deeper and deeper into corporate greed will this country continue to be a democracy by the people and for the people or will it be ruled by the few? Will the trinity of money, power and greed over come one of the greatest countries in the world? Only we, the people, can keep it free. SPEAK OUT AND LET YOUR THOUGHTS BE KNOWN...ONLY BY SILENCE WILL WE BE DEFEATED!

For a better illustrated version of the 14 Points check out Old American Century

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Ingham County Fair

Today was Sam's first trip to the County Fair. He was too little for the carnival rides but he enjoyed the petting zoo, a pony ride, cotton candy, and just chilling with his parents, who are still cool! Check out more at my Myspace photos. It is crazy how children make this kinda stuff fun again!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Premature Ventricular Contraction

Anne returned from her trip to Maryland with a strange heart palpation, felt like her heart was skipping a beat so we went to urgent care this morning and they sent her to the emergency room at local hospital were they ran some more tests. I am glad to say that the baby is fine and Anne is home and feeling better. Turns out she has PVC it is not uncommon in pregnant women, so we are all breathing a little easier tonight.
Sam was happy to see his home. First thing he asked this morning was "Is Momma in Mar-me?" Mar-me is his word for Maryland. Anne brought be back a coffee mug from Ronald Reagan Airport. It has a painting of the founding fathers on it.
Anyway I hope this is the most excitement we have until our baby girl arrives.