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

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Country Mill 2007

Today was our third annual trip to the Charlotte Cider Mill. Sam had a lot of fun picking apples and playing with a caterpillar. I took some B&W's of him too but they are not finished yet. Anne looks awesome, and I also included a photo of her with a sweater she recently finished. I Think we have a name for the baby, it looks like we might go with four names instead of the traditional three in order to make it phonetically and rhythmically pretty.

Sunday Reading #1

Don't always agree with Bill Maher, but he always makes me laugh and he is always angry about the right issues.
New Rule:Stop Saying Iraq is Another Vietnam, it's Another Enron by Bill Maher. From The Huffington Post

James Dobson and pals are crying in their cool-aide. The Two Republican front-runners are not making the grade for the evangelical elite. Mitt does not believe in Jesus the right way and while Giuliani is pro Armageddon, a plus for these End Time, the former New York Mayor is not interested in nationalizing a woman's uterus nor has Rudy bashed gays. What kind of assholes are Dobson and his super secret club the Council for National Policy? They can not give support to any of the other hardcore GOP Christian candidates, like Brownback, because none of them even have a chance of winning the primary, so instead they are threatening to support a third party candidate. I wish they would, and I sometimes feel the rest of the Republican party would love to shed themselves of the Religious Right, but they can not afford to loose all those wonderful 'values voters' who are so easily manipulated. You can always count on the Fear and Hate crowd. Read it here.Christian Conservatives Consider Third-Party Effort by David D. Kirkpatrick of The Caucus: Political Blogging from the New York Times

I picked up the latest issue of RoolingStone. You have to search for it at Meijers. I swear they try to hide it. The corporate media always focuses on those Pork Belly projects and Ear Marks. And the conservative talking heads try to whip up their base by telling stories about Welfare Queens and "People Who Cheat the System." Been a Social Worker for almost ten years and have yet to find anyone who is poor or ill "cheating the system". Very little light is shed on the over-fed military industrial complex and the billions of dollars that are wasted or conned on nonfunctional programs and impossible weapon designs.
Read This

The Shield: Inside the Stars Wars Scam Our new missile defense system, brought to you by the same crew who brought you the Iraq War By Jack Hitt of RollingStone

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sick at home.

Well I have got this cold and Sam seems to have it too. Stayed home from work and slept most of the time. Noting in the news other than the fact that Bill O'Riely is an ignorant racist but did anyone not know that? The man just knows his fan base. I have one of those colds were the back of your eyeballs hurt. Beck when I was a smoker this usually turned into a sinus infection. Boring post but oh well.
Hope everyone saw the Family Guy last sunday. Here is my favorite clip.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

New Baby Name Choices

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Painting House Rambling.

Drove to Grand Rapids and helped my friends, Chris and Kasey, paint their house. Brought Sam along so I only scraped and painted about one side of the house. It was a very good color choice. Olive (hey now I like that name) . We got free food and baby clothes out of it, plus I got to see many close friends. I am glad Ryan and Jeremy made it but I wish I could have talked too them more. Saw Chris's parents for the first time in ages. They do not seem to have aged at all. Stopped by my parents and saw my Mom too. Sam played outside some more and then we drove home. Grandville and Grand Rapids look different now. In the seven years since we moved away much has changed both place are almost unrecognizable to me. It seems so crowded now too, how many shopping malls can a community have before it is over saturated? Lexington Kentucky was the same way, it just kept building up and out and with the same franchises as here. Every place you go looks exactly the same in our country these days. Wow I am rambling. And I have probably pointed out all this cupcake land stuff out before. Sorry.
Anyway my arms are sore from the very little work that I did.
Tonight I saw a move with my brother-in-law. Shoot 'Em Up: It was ridiculous, over the top, but fun. Not as fun as a Tarantino action movie. I would not see this move again and I would only recommend it for big screen viewing. The long drawn out gunfights would be loud, dizzy and obnoxious to watch at home.

How George Bush became the new Saddam

I know I must either bore everyone or depress them with my postings and news article references about the Iraq war/occupation. Blogging is a way for me to vent publicly without having to do it directly at or to someone. I try not to berate my friends and family too much with all my thoughts on Bush and Bagdad. However I keep reading about the unconscionable actions of the White House, the industrial/military complex, private contractors, Iraq militias, Al Queda, the list goes on.
A Canadian magazine Macleans has a well written article that spells out exactly what Bush policy is doing to Iraq and its similarities with some of Saddams tactics.

Patrick Graham writes:

When Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the multinational force in Iraq, appeared before Congress with Ambassador Crocker to testify about the results of President Bush’s “surge” strategy, he talked a lot about these tribal militias and the success of Anbar. It is the only progress the U.S. has made in Iraq for years. It’s unclear whether the additional 30,000 troops that make up the surge have had much effect on the Anbar Awakening. But watching Gen. Petraeus, I was struck by how familiar his words sounded. The general talked like every Sunni I’ve ever met in Iraq—hell, he sounded a bit like Saddam. The old tyrant would have had one of his characteristic chest-heaving guffaws watching Petraeus as he intoned the old Baathist mantra about the dangers to Iraq: Iran, Iran, Iran. Bush took up Gen. Petraeus’s views a few days later in a nationally televised speech about Iraq, in which he talked about the threat Tehran posed. It seems that Petraeus and Bush have come to the same conclusion as Saddam: the main enemy is Iran, and you can’t govern Iraq without the Sunni Arab tribes, even as you encourage anti-Iranian nationalism among the Shia. This is what Saddam did during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, and what Washington is trying to do now.

I encourage anyone to read this article. It is a long one but worth every word.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Blackwater Killed as many as 28 Iraqi Civilians over the Weekend

From Media Mouse

Since this past weekend when mercenaries with the private mercenary firm Blackwater USA massacred as many as 28 Iraqi civilians, there has been increased attention placed on the private security company. While the Iraqi government has said that it is considering banning the company from Iraq, the United States government has been resistant to such efforts. Currently, contractors in Iraq have immunity from prosecution as part of a law implemented by the United States under the reign of L. Paul Bremer.

Many people in West Michigan are unaware of the fact that Blackwater USA has a strong West Michigan connection, with the company being formed by Erik Prince, the son of the wealthy and politically influential Prince family of Holland. Moreover, Prince is the brother of well-known Republican Party and conservative activist Betsy DeVos.

As part of the increased attention on Blackwater USA, a number of Media Mouse's pages pertaining to Blackwater and Erik Prince have been receiving significant traffic. In order to make these resources easier to find, here is a list of all of the material that we currently have on Blackwater and Erik Prince: here

I know I have posted about Blackwater before, but I feel it needs more attention.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Comic Book Day

Wednesday is comic-book day. While this Wolverine issue came out last week, I picked it up today with my other X-men and World War Hulk titles. Robert at Just 4 Fun recommended this issue. It is a good read and reprints the famous Capt'n America, Black Widow, and Wolverine team up drawn by Jim Lee written by Chris Claremont. I am getting old, because it is getting harder to read the bubbles and captions.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Battlestar Galatica

This show stared right around when Sam was born. I think they aired it on Friday nights at 11pm and there was now way I could stay that up that late anymore. Babies do that. No longer will you sleep in on Saturday. Even now 7am is sleeping in for us. Millinium cable wich sucks because we don't even get the SciFi channel most of the time. Millinium puts G4 and SciFi with their sports channels. How stupid is that? I will not even play most video games because they are too much like sports, that is how much I could care.
Anyway Anne's coworker lent us the first season of the more recent Battlestar and we are going to watch it tonight. I am so happy. And now we have a television that you can see everything on. When the first season aired I could not tell what was going on half the time because our television screen had lost most of its brightness.
Have I bored the crap out of you with this post? If so may I suggest watching Battlestar Galatica.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I see OJ

Today's news about OJ Simpson's arrest and armed robbery charge brings hope that this criminal may finally see some time behind bars. It almost makes me nostalgic for the mid-nighties, but I am always nostalgic for that era, mostly the music not the crazy sensationalized trial. I wonder if deep down OJ has a guilty conscience, how else can you explain his stupid behavior for the past ten years, after getting away with murder. Howard Stern was having a field day this morning with this exciting news. At least it will distract CNN from the real news, Britney Spears. Oh, and that war thing too.

Iraqi Govt wants U.S. Mercenary firm Blackwater to cease operations in Iraq

Abdul-Karim Khalaf, a spokesman for Iraq’s Ministry of Interior, said the authorities had canceled the company’s license and barred its activity across Iraq. He said the government would prosecute the deaths, though according to the rules that govern private contractors.

read more | digg story

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Euphie our injured Cat

Our cat had a hard week. Last sunday I noticed he was franticly licking his tail. I could see there was a wound were his tail meets his body but he would not let us get very close. I could get close enough to see puss and a very swollen area. Euphie has always been an inside cat until we moved into our first home. Our hose seems to attract many strays and other neighborhood felines. Often the come up to the bedroom window at night and harass poor Euphrates. Anyone who has cats knows that it is impossible to keep them indoors if they want to get out and defend their territory. There has been a particular stray hanging out at our place, a young little cat that plays with Sam, and makes Euphie very irritated and jealous. There are other larger cats that I have seen Euphie fight with. Our cat is six years old, no spring chicken, while he still kills mice, moles, and unfortunately a few birds he does not fair to well in any cat fight.
Took him to the vet on Monday, turns out he has a single very deep bite. It was infected and a large abscess. It required surgery and I have had to give him antibiotics twice a day plus hot compresses. So far it has cost us over $200. Since Euphie does not have a flexible health care account, he was been informed that he is once again an indoor cat. Now that it is getting colder I hope it will not be too challenging. Euphie actually seems to be basking in all the attention.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Brick Testement.

I am reading many books right now and at the same time trying to get through the entire Bible. A chaplain from work lent me the New King James version, the one the Fundies feel is the only worthy version. I am stuck in Numbers right now. A great resource for me is The Brick Testament. It illustrates many chapters and excerpts from old and new testament with miniature built with legos. I enjoy Garden of Eden images like this one. Can you find Jar-Jar Binks? Check it out.

Chili, Beer and Menudo

It was a busy and fun day today. My friend Jenny stopped by with her newborn daughter, I am so excited that our little girl is on her way. He do not have a name picked out yet, currently Rosalind is our favorite name. Still we have many to choose from. Sam did really well with the baby. He played with her and helped out. It is a good sign fr things to come. This evening we attended Anne's Aunt and Uncle's Chili and Beer party. I could not drink (much) because I am on call this weekend, and the tamales were all gone. No home made tomales for me. What a downer. There was plenty of chili and it was good. I also ate menudo. I love menudo. I don't suggest the canned stuff. You need to get the real thing. Don't knock it till you try it!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ron Paul

Many of my friends have been talking about Ron Paul. Early in the republican debates he stood out as the only republican candidate who seems to have his head screwed on half way straight. I am concerned that he wants to amend the constitution to establish religion in our public schools with some type of 'unofficial prayer'. People can pray in school all they want, we don't need to mess with constitution to insure this. I like that Paul is apparently against Nafta
However, any positives are out matched by several negatives.
First he does not support any social issues that I feel are important. Paul is for "small government" except when it comes to reproductive rights. I do not like abortion, but nationalizing the inside of a women's body is disturbing. I don't want to get too far into this subject, other than pointing out that the best way to fight abortion is to fight poverty and improve education and access to health care.
And since Paul is more of a Libertarian or Neo-Con than a traditional conservative, it is expected he would support more privatization of our government programs. Ronald Reagan did a great job convincing people that all government is bad and should be feared. People forget that government is suppose to be us, if we allow the surrendering of government power to private corporations it will continue to erode the power and freedom of all social classes other than the uber wealthy. We need to reinvest in our public schools, take our health care back from the corporations, conserve our natural resources, and rebuild a strong and vital middle class.
I do not like Libertarians, because I do not think it promotes or strengthen our democracy. The Right Wing has unfortunately tricked people into believing unregulated capitalism is the same as democracy.
I know many of my friends will disagree with me, and I hope I did not offend anyone.
Everyone knows I like Barak Obama the best, but I think it might be fun to evaluate every candidate and why I do or don't want them as the next president.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Texas Space Banana

I do not know if this is a joke or not, but if it is real it is the only possible thing that could ever get me to visit Texas. According to this website,Geostationary Banana OverTexas, artists and engineers will place a gigantic, inflatable, stationary Banana 25000 feet over Texas for the whole month of August 2008. I can't imagine this is true, or that Texans would stand for it for a few reasons.
1)It is art.
2)It is too high to shoot at.
3) It is not a giant floating Jesus Christ.
and 4) It is phallic and therefore might appear to be gay or pro-homo.
Anyway checkout the link, and pray that it is true.
See you all in the Big Banana State.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11 and More rants

Well it is 9/11 six years later, and on a tuesday just like it was in 2001. I am so frustrated with the fear mongering, greedy GOP and the Democrats inability to get out from under their chicken-hawk propaganda. I have been paying close attention to these recent hearings with reports from Gen. Petreus and the new Iraq ambassador. Every-time we reassess "success" in Iraq I swear to God they (GOP/Bush) change the mission statement. The occupation and latter the surge was originally sold to us as a way to get the Iraq government together. Today they are selling it as a success in the 'War on Terror.' Hoping we will ignore the fact that there is no unity government and the only reason for the minute decreased in violence is because the civil/sectarian war has segregated entire populations. In our military gets used as a police force and personal guard for US Oil companies. Most Iraqis do not want us there and see us as part of the problem. Many in Iraq feel attacking our troops is justified.
It is time to leave.
People have lived and governed in this region for seven thousand years, they do not need our help or guidance.
I am sorry to be ranting so much lately, but then again who reads this blog anyway. I do want to add that Rep. Duncan Hunter of California and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's of Florida unfair and inaccurate depiction of's ad in NYTimes was just more grandiose show boating. George Bush hides behind these Generals, and we have had lies delivered to us by the military leadership in the very recent past, so it is absolutely fair to question this report and this General. I love how the republicans will not provide our troops with safe and functioning equipment or ensure they get proper training and medical care, but they will stand up when a General's feelings might get hurt.
My representative, Mike Rogers is another fear monger who just can not wait to attack Iran, as proven in his recent op-ed piece. Rogers continues to turn a blind eye to Saudi Arabia's involvement with Al-Queda in Iraq and exaggerates the threat of Iran.
Check out Mr. Roger's Neighborhood

I'll try to calm down now.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Enough of this "have you forgotten" Bullshit!

I have not forgotten that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. This 'War on Terror' can not be won and neither can an illegal and unwanted occupation. I have not forgotten that 15 of the 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia. I have not forgotten the ones who are responsible. I have not forgotten the victims of 9/11 who continue to be exploited the images of their murder continue to be used to fan the fires of hate, fear, and misguided anger of an undereducated and uninformed public. I have not forgotten how my country was easily lead into Iraq because many were so easily whipped up in a racist and bloodthirsty fervor that they could not question such a 'Godly President' or see the real rational of this corrupt administration . If we do not start investing in our own country rather than in bombs and other nation's oil, our children will be the next ones to die for a lie. It is going to take more than just Stickers and Slogans. Do not mistake Nationalism for Patriotism

General Petraeus or Gen. (Betray Us?)

Liberals and Conservatives differ neurologically?

Hey check this out, further evidence that you should not talk politics, at least not in a way where you try to convert someone. This new study shows there is a fundamental difference in the way Conservatives and Liberals think, and not just about political issues. It is short and a good read.

"Liberals are more able to deal with conflicts than Conservatives," says this article

read more | digg story

Sunday, September 09, 2007

D. James Kennedy

A pioneer in Christian Nationalism and Revisionist History died last Wednesday. D. James Kennedy used the pulpit to debase public education and educators, spread homophobia, and wear down the separations of church and state. I used to listen to his radio program "Truths that Transform" where he would broadcast lies and assumptions about liberals, scientists, women activists, and of course gays. A former dance instructor turned pastor often described homosexuality as an 'alternative death-style' with an arrogant little smirk (I saw his television show also) and lied about our founding fathers and the history of our country. Obviously a fan of RJ Rushdoony he saw demons and secular humanists everywhere and pined for a future theocratic state. A modern day christian mullah, gone but his message of intolerance will continue to echo at his Coral Ridge Church. I can only hope and pray that someday a voice reason will be heard over the type of paranoid and loathing banter D. James was skilled at and famous for.

For more information on D. James Kennedy check out two excellent posts at Talk To Action and Media Mouse

September Baby Update.

Well its September now, and the trees around here are already turing color. It was a dry summer for the most part. There was a tornado in Potterville a couple weeks back. Sam is still obsessed with his trains and much more moody than usual, I think he is having a growth spurt. I have noticed he tends to have mood swings just before a change in physical ability or language. Wondering if this is typical of other peoples kids. We had a OB visit last week and the Baby's heart sounds good.

Larry Craig and The Rebublican Party.

There is so much going on in the news. First off is this Larry Craig. I have no objection to any Republican resigning, I think most of them should for the sole reason that they are dismantling our government and constitutional rights. What was Sen. Craig's crime? Giving hand signals? Thinking gay thoughts? Don't get me wrong, I think Larry Craig is a creepy hypocrite. He was obsessed with Bill Clinton's sex scandal, in 1999 calling Clinton a "naughty, nasty boy." Perhaps he was jealous of Monica. Still, he shouldn't have resigned or plead guilty over this. Why are tax dollars being used for police to go on gay patrol? Something is wrong when we are diverting police to look for "gay hookups" in airports instead of, I don't know, maybe bombs? Look how these Republicans throw one of their own under the bus. Mitch McConnell, Republican Sen from Kentucky, called Craig's behavior "unforgivable." I lived in Kentucky for four years so I know what a Douche Bag MaConnell is, but give me a break. There is plenty or unforgivable conduct happening in Washington, this Craig crap does not even scratch the surface. If Craig had cheated on his wife with a hooker, like Republican Sen. Vidder, he would have been embraced and forgiven. In the minds of Right Wing, cheating is forgivable unless it involves a homosexual or a Democrat.
The true reason for Craig's resignation is that the "conservative" and "values" voters are only interested in the most contrite, simplistic, and self serving questions when entering the voting booth. How does this candidate pray? How does he screw? and how will he cut my taxes?"

"The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it." - P. J. O'Rourke.