Saturday, May 31, 2008

No Candidate Who Does Not Promise To Shut Homeland Security Dept

is serious about protecting the civil rights and liberties of American citizens.. That should be totally non-negotiable. (NKV)DHS is a threat to USer's liberties, no protector of them, and MUST GO!

Of course, Bombin' Johnnie has no plans in that direction.

And naturally, neither of the Rockefeller Pukes--Clinton/Obama--masquerading as "Democrats" for purposes of maintaining the farce that there's really a difference between Pukes and Dims has any mention of it in their prospective platforms, either. The differences are only in the spelling of their names; otherwise they're just the same plutocrats and oligarchs making money.

The Department of Homeland Security is a major, unilluminated threat to Americans' liberties. All it lacks to assume the mantle of the Murkin NKVD is an army, and with Blackwater, et al, they're working on that.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

CONTEST: Name Larry Craig's Book

He's writing one, so he says:
"There will be a bit of what's happened in the last year, and the way it evolved,” Craig said. “I think that's important for Idaho and those outside Idaho who are interested to know."
Me? Mebbe "Straddlin' the Lines: Larry Craig and the Politics of the Wide Stance"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Scott McClellan: A Quiz

In which of the accompanying fotos is former Presidential Press Secretary Scott McClellan "gruntled", and in which is he "dis-gruntled?" Or is he 'qually gruntled' in each? Clearly, the degree of gruntledness with which the former Buhevik flack's book can be read will be crucial to the both the Bush legacy and the amount of cash lil Scottie can accumulate before Jan 20, '09....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Well, D--fuukin-UH!!!

Green Stimulus: Let's Try Again
Tuesday 27 May 2008

by: Dean Baker, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Dean Baker suggests we should find forms of stimuli that can get the economy on a more energy-efficient path.
(Photo: Macmath)
The last week provided new evidence the economy remains weak and the recent spate of predictions of a short mild non-recession will be proven wrong. That means it is time to get out in front of the herd of surprised economists and start talking about another stimulus package.

The first stimulus package was focused on tax breaks. Just under $50 billion went to businesses. This was a political payoff to President Bush and his backers to avoid a veto; no one expected these tax breaks to have any immediate effect on the economy. There is a substantial body of economic research that shows such tax breaks have little impact on business investment.

Another $100 billion was paid out to individuals in the form of $600 per person tax rebates. Based on the experience with a similar set of rebates in 2001, there was reason to hope much of this money would be spent, giving an immediate boost to the economy.

However, there is one very important difference between the economy today and the economy in 2001, when the last rebate checks were mailed out. In 2001, house prices were rising rapidly. This meant tens of millions of homeowners were seeing the equity in their home increase, and, therefore, would feel comfortable spending their rebate check.

We are in the opposite situation today. House prices are plummeting at double-digit rates. More than ten million homeowners already have mortgages that exceed the value of their homes, and tens of millions of others are seeing the equity accumulated over a working lifetime vanish in months.

Add soaring gas and food prices to plunging home prices and you do not get a situation in which consumers will be anxious to spend. Most of the rebate checks will be used to pay down debts or replenish savings.

This means we have to look elsewhere for stimulus. Some items are simple. The Senate has already voted to extend unemployment benefits by 13 weeks. Hopefully, this will get into law. Congress could also increase food stamps and home heating oil subsidies, thereby helping low-income families cope with the sharp increase in food and energy prices. Revenue sharing can also help state and local governments meet their budgets without raising taxes or laying off workers in the middle of a recession.

These are good forms of stimuli that can increase demand while addressing immediate needs, but we should also think of the long-term. Specifically, we should find forms of stimuli that can get the economy on a more energy-efficient path.

At the top of this list is expanding a tax credit that already exists in current law. We can give homeowners and businesses a 30 percent or 40 percent tax credit for making energy-conserving improvements to their homes or businesses. The current law provides a 10 percent tax credit for such improvements.

If the credit were made more generous, and the cap was raised to $2,500, hard hit contractors would immediately begin to chase down business, putting construction workers back to work.

But this is just a first step. The government can provide grants to public transit agencies in exchange for reducing fares. This would effectively give people a tax rebate every time they took public transit, putting money in their pocket for not driving.

We should also begin to lay the infrastructure for an energy-efficient economy. This will mean more efficient power plants and transmission lines, increased used of trains and mass transit, and, of course, promoting alternative energy sources. The transformation needed to limit the damage from global warming will take decades and certainly goes well beyond the course of a stimulus package. But a good stimulus package will not only provide a temporary boost to the economy, it can also help set us on this course toward an energy-efficient economy.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Glory, Glory Mall-elulia!

Ah, Memorial Day! The first really big shopping holiday of the Summer.

Oh, yeah, it's supposed to commemorate the sacrifices of our war dead.

Mostly they died in vain, for somebody else's vanity.

We celebrate 'em by buying crap to assuage our own emptiness.

Refrigerators! Wide-screen teevees! I-Pods!

They died so we could shop!

The Battle-Hymn of the Republic(ans)

Our eyes have seen the the passing of the age of easy oil,
We've ruined the environment, there's not much left to spoil.
We're frogs inside a casserole, just waiting for the boil,
Of the economy!

Oh, Glory, Glory Mall-elulia!
Buy a new AC to cool ya,
Or a tank of gas to fuel ya!
God Save the Economy!

(Adit: I'm fond of this, gonna leave it here up top all weekend. I've added new material at The Lamb.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Was Pat Tillman "Fragged" For Being The "Atheist-In-A-Foxhole?"

In view of the documented hostility of military authorities all along the chain of command toward service members who are regarded as irreligious and/or atheists, or even insufficiently religious enough, I think maybe the question of how Pat Tillman was killed, and by whom, should be regarded further.

Reported last year in the blogosphere if little elsewhere, fundamentalist/evangelistic Right-wing religious organizations have more or less totally infiltrated USer military bases, of all services, all over the world, often with the explicit cooperation of military authorities at the base, Command, and Pentagon levels. Last year, Truthout characterized the situation this way:
The Christian right has been successful in spreading its fundamentalist agenda at US military installations around the world for decades. But the movement's meteoric rise in the US military came in large part after 9/11 and immediately after the US invaded Iraq in March of 2003. At a time when the United States is encouraging greater religious freedom in Muslim nations, soldiers on the battlefield have told disturbing stories of being force-fed fundamentalist Christianity by highly controversial, apocalyptic "End Times" evangelists, who have infiltrated US military installations throughout the world with the blessing of high-level officials at the Pentagon. Proselytizing among military personnel has been conducted openly, in violation of the basic tenets of the United States Constitution.
Until it's existence was problematized by ex.Col Mikey Weinstein (USAF), whose son was essentially shunned at the USAF Academy for NOT being sufficiently ecstatic about Jesus (Weinstein? go figger...)--the Military Ministry had offices in the Pentagon and coordinated with the Chaplain Corps.

There's the case of Spec. Jeremy Hall. Hall's troubles all started when he publicly declined to participate in a Thanksgiving prayer:
An Army Specialist, Jeremy Hall, who is on active duty at Combat Operations Base Speicher, Iraq, is in this dire situation solely because of his atheistic beliefs, and the fact that he declined to participate in a Christian prayer ceremony commemorating the Thanksgiving Holiday.

"Immediately after plaintiff made it known he would decline to join hands and pray, he was confronted, in the presence of other military personnel, by the senior ranking staff sergeant who asked plaintiff why he did not want to pray, whereupon plaintiff explained because he is an atheist," says the lawsuit filed by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), an organization with an undisputed moral compass that is always focused on assuring that our Military’s might is matched with America’s Constitutional guarantees. ( "The staff sergeant asked plaintiff what an atheist is and plaintiff responded it meant that he (plaintiff) did not believe in God. This response so infuriated the staff sergeant he told plaintiff that he would have to sit elsewhere for the Thanksgiving dinner. Nonetheless, plaintiff sat at the table in silence and finished his meal." Specialist Hall was then told he would have to face consequences because he, in so many words, refused to be evangelized.
Hall subsequently was denied promotion when his CO learned he was an atheist, on the grounds that he wouldn't have the moral authority to command.

Hall sued, through the MRFF, founded by that same ex.USAF Col Weinstein. When news of his suit became known, he was subjected to threats of fragging--any one of dozens of 'friendly fire accidents' known to beset certain troops. Due to the threats, Spec. Hall has been re-assigned to the US, but of course his ordeal continues. Nobody clings tighter to guns and religion than bitter killers.
The death of Pat Tillman has always stunk to me of fragging. The accounts of the events surrounding his death are murky, contradictory, and compromised. In Nam, usually it was an NCO or an officer who was seen as too gung-ho, and likely to get other people killed who were the objects of those lessons. Pat Tillman could have been one of those guys, a kind of alpha soldier who others admired but feared. He explicitly enlisted to 'defend the country,' forsaking an all-star career in the NFL. He had "Pentagon poster-child" written all over him...And they killed him.

Was it because Tillman, the man, was not the model warrior, was critical, was honest and scrupulous, and--worst of all--at least agnostic about faith, and probably a free-thinker, an atheist? What might have been worse for the "Xian soldiers" than that someone as honest and out-spoken as Tillman should reveal himself to deny their God? What I think is that some "good Xian soldier" saw a chance to eliminate someone he might have regarded as Satan's emissary, perhaps even the Anti-Christ, and squeezed of that short burst: bangbangbang. Hallelulia!

No, I don't think it was an accident. Maybe not a plot, but an assassination, certainly.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bombin' Johnnie's Chaplain Hagee Says Hitler Was Just A Traffic Cop, Pointing Jews Back To Israel

No shit.

So sayeth "Rev." John Hagee, preaching a while back. Unless he's just an unprincipled Babbit, he likely holds the same views today, wouldn't you think? It would be ungenerous to think he'd 'flip-flopped' like that...
Via HuffPost:
John Hagee, the controversial evangelical leader and endorser of Sen. John McCain, argued in a late 1990s sermon that the Nazis had operated on God's behalf to chase the Jews from Europe and shepherd them to Palestine. According to the Reverend, Adolph Hitler was a "hunter," sent by God, who was tasked with expediting God's will of having the Jews re-establish a state of Israel.

Going in and out of biblical verse, Hagee preached: "'And they the hunters should hunt them,' that will be the Jews. 'From every mountain and from every hill and from out of the holes of the rocks.' If that doesn't describe what Hitler did in the holocaust you can't see that."

He goes on: "Theodore Hertzel is the father of Zionism. He was a Jew who at the turn of the 19th century said, this land is our land, God wants us to live there. So he went to the Jews of Europe and said 'I want you to come and join me in the land of Israel.' So few went that Hertzel went into depression. Those who came founded Israel; those who did not went through the hell of the holocaust.

"Then god sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. And the Bible says -- Jeremiah writing -- 'They shall hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and from the holes of the rocks,' meaning there's no place to hide. And that might be offensive to some people but don't let your heart be offended. I didn't write it, Jeremiah wrote it. It was the truth and it is the truth. How did it happen? Because God allowed it to happen. Why did it happen? Because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel."
(Listen to the audio: Scroll down...It'll be interesting to watch Bombin' Johnnie skitter around this like a raindrop on a hot skillet...
Listen, folks, these Hagee people? A lot of 'em, they really believe this shit. Really, really believe IN it. They're really dangerous. Psychotics. Really fucked up.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dept. Of Whoodafuukinguessed: There IS Some Lieber-shit Even JokeLine Won't Eat

"Zell Lieberman"
Can there be any doubt that Joe Lieberman will be the Zell Miller of this year's Republican Convention? Here he is smearing Barack Obama re Hamas. He is entitled to his views about the Middle East, but for the past five years he has taken those Likudnik views a step beyond propriety--saying that those who disagree with him (i.e.--the Democratic Party, which nominated him for the Vice Presidency in 2000) are counseling "defeat" and "surrender." And now this.
Whooda Fuukin Thunk It? If Lieberman's losing the "landsmen," what's his future? The Knesset?

And as for Joke Line, shall we now call him "Olaf, Glad and Big"? (Go on, go read the farking poem! Aloud, to somebody you like!)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dept. Of Whooda-fuukin-thunk?: Pre-Natal Exposure To Common Chems Causes Obesity

in lab animals, now. But think about it. What kind of arrant madness is it to imagine that it could be otherwise. Hasn't human development mainly occurred during periods of relative stability in the underlying chemical substrate of universal existence? There was no 'plastic' anywhere in the known universe before about 1950. And it is now ubiquitous. I doubt the conduct of 'normal, everyday' life in 21st Century Murka, and most of the rest of the developed world, would be even possible without plastic. Yet to consume it with such universality condemns our off-spring to obesity. It's like a prison sentence to a non-functioning physical body that you can tolerate at best, probably never love. It's like a kind of covert, chemical 'puritanism.' Check it out:
GENEVA (Reuters) - Exposure in the womb to common chemicals used to make everything from plastic bottles to pizza box liners may program a person to become obese later in life, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

Their studies of mice showed animals exposed to even tiny amounts of the chemicals during development were fatter when they grew older compared with mice not exposed to the compounds, they told the 2008 European Congress on Obesity.

"We are talking about an exposure at very low levels for a finite time during development," said Jerry Heindel of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

"The fact that it is such a sensitive period, it may be altering the tissue and making people more susceptible to obesity."

The World Health Organization estimates some 400 million people are obese, a problem that raises the risk of conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Previous studies have linked these chemicals -- also found in water pipes -- to cancer and reproductive problems, prompting a number of countries and U.S. states to consider potential bans or limits of the compounds, the researchers said.

One of the chemicals is called Bisphenol A, found in polycarbonate plastics. Past research has suggested it leaches from plastic food and drink containers.

A team at Tufts University in the United States showed that female mice whose mothers were exposed to this chemical early in pregnancy gained more weight in adulthood even though they ate the same amount of food and were as active as other mice.

A similar effect occurred with perfluorooctanoic acid -- a greaseproofing agent used in products such as microwave popcorn bags. These animals were unusually small at birth then became overweight later in life.

"One of the problems we are finding is we don't know where all these chemicals are," said Suzanne Fenton, a research biologist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, whose research focused on perfluorooctanoic acid.

The chemicals appear to disrupt the endocrine system by altering gene and metabolic function involved in weight gain, said Bruce Blumberg, a University of California biologist.

The result is the offspring store fat cells more efficiently, which makes them gain weight, he said. Blumberg studied tributylin, a chemical used in boat paint, plastic food wrap and as a fungicide on crops.

The findings suggest some people may be programmed to obesity before birth and underscore the need to identify biomarkers scientists can use to identify people at risk, the researchers said.

"We are calling this an emerging hypothesis," Heindel said. "Most of the data is in animals and we want to develop some biomarkers that could be used in humans.
Fuukin boggles the mind, nest paw? Orville Redenbacher mayn't make YOU obese, but even minute quantities of the shit they use to coat the bags at a crucial point in the development of a fetus fucks with the biology enough to incline the child FOREVER, towards physical grossness, enormity, ill-proportionality, and self-loathing. For a fucking bag of pop-corn...

Not to say anybody's gotta beat themselves up over stuff they couldnt'a known. That's supposed to be why we have a Govt dept of consumer safety: to vett us on such matters. (Never toothy, under GOPukes they're useless as tits on a boar. These are the folks who thought a LEETLE lead paint prob'ly wasn't such a bad thing, unless kids put toys in their mouths. Nobody could have ever expected that....Oh, yeah, they do, all the time. Never mind....)

But now we know. and Orville Must Go! There's no longer any excuses...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Paint It WHITE! Mike Tidwell's "Cool" Ideas

Okay, the planet's cooking a little. There's evidence anywhere you care to look: Arctic, Andes, Antarctica, Alaska, Australia, Atlanta (is it an incredible coincidence that they all begin with "A"?)... Burning hydrocarbons are the culprits. Everybody knows that. But what to do?
First of all, forget the giant mirrors in space. Too difficult and expensive. And all those lofty notions of machines that suck CO2 out of the atmosphere? At best, they are many years away, with significant cost hurdles and engineering challenges still to be resolved. More likely, we’ll engage in some combination of cruder efforts, including painting every rooftop and roadway and parking lot in the world white to replace some of the Arctic ice’s lost capacity for solar reflectivity.
How's that for a start. I have advocated for government programs to assist in the installation of a solar collector of some kind on the roof of every building under the governance of the United States, many or single. Turning that amount of surface area into glacier-like reflecting nodes is a major step in that direction. If you could do it with a paint-like, reflecting substance which also added a non-trivial insulating factor, it would be even more effective, I imagine.

I have not read the book, but I am ordering it today. It's all about a phenomenon we all recognize on a local scale, the climatological "snap"--cold snap, principally--only writ large all over the world. A global, and irreveersible "climate" snap:
A CLIMATE SNAP? REALLY? It sounds so much like standard fear-mongering and ecohyperbole. But here’s proof: One of the most prestigious scientific bodies in the world, the group that just shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore for its climate work, predicted fourteen months ago that unchecked global warming could erase all of the Arctic Ocean’s summertime ice as early as 2070. Then, just two months later, in April 2007, a separate scientific panel released data indicating that the 2070 mark was way off, suggesting that ice-free conditions could come to the Arctic as early as the summer of 2030. And as if this acceleration weren’t enough, yet another prediction emerged in December 2007. Following the year’s appalling melt season, in which vast stretches of Arctic ice the size of Florida vanished almost weekly at times, a credible new estimate from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, indicated there could be zero—zero—summer ice in the Arctic as early as 2013.

Five precious years. An eye-blink away.

So the Arctic doomsday prediction has gone from 2070 to 2013 in just eleven months of scientific reporting. This means far more than the likely extinction of polar bears from drowning and starvation. A world where the North Pole is just a watery dot in an unbroken expanse of dark ocean implies a planet that, well, is no longer planet Earth. It’s a world that is destined to be governed by radically different weather patterns. And it’s a world that’s arriving, basically, tomorrow, if the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School has it right.

How could this be happening to us? Why is this not dominating every minute of every presidential debate?
How, indeed. Not really a question, but a demand. Five years until Arctic Ice disappears in summer? Ever so much sooner than the oil companies had hoped, at least...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

350: The Most Important Number In History (WASF)

Via Jon Shwarz's brilliant "A Tiny Revolution." TomGram (by Bill McKibben--by the way: We Are SOOOO Fucked):
Even for Americans, constitutionally convinced that there will always be a second act, and a third, and a do-over after that, and, if necessary, a little public repentance and forgiveness and a Brand New Start -- even for us, the world looks a little Terminal right now.

It's not just the economy. We've gone through swoons before. It's that gas at $4 a gallon means we're running out, at least of the cheap stuff that built our sprawling society. It's that when we try to turn corn into gas, it sends the price of a loaf of bread shooting upwards and starts food riots on three continents. It's that everything is so inextricably tied together. It's that, all of a sudden, those grim Club of Rome types who, way back in the 1970s, went on and on about the "limits to growth" suddenly seem… how best to put it, ummmm...right.

All of a sudden it isn't morning in America, it's dusk on planet Earth.

There's a number -- a new number -- that makes this point most powerfully. It may now be the most important number on Earth: 350. As in parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

A few weeks ago, our foremost climatologist, NASA's Jim Hansen, submitted a paper to Science magazine with several co-authors. The abstract attached to it argued -- and I have never read stronger language in a scientific paper -- "if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm." Hansen cites six irreversible tipping points -- massive sea level rise and huge changes in rainfall patterns, among them -- that we'll pass if we don't get back down to 350 soon; and the first of them, judging by last summer's insane melt of Arctic ice, may already be behind us.
Go read the whole thing. Everybody seems to think (hope? pray? fantasize?) there's still enough 'time' to correct the damage. I feel fortunate that I have no more than another (about) 20 years in harness...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Pentagon Embeds Ex-Generals In Media Ops

The NYTimes, on April 20, past, broke a long story which included the revelations that the Pentagon and the Bushevik regime had embedded military propagandists, mainly former Generals, in important consultative and commentariat positions with the major US Corporate Media organizations. The NPR Ombud addressed the issue at some (ultimately unsatisfying) length and delicately danced around the problem. She quoted NPR Defense correspondent Tom Gjelten:
Gjelten: "...A General wants to be a military analyst on NPR or some other news organization in order to curry favor with the Department of Defense which in turn will benefit him in his defense contracting. That's a hypothetical scenario we have to be concerned about."
In reply to which, I sent the following message:

"ONE of the scenarios, Tom. Another could well be that a retired general, still following Pentagon orders ("there are no 'ex-Marines.'"), slithers into the Media (NPR--You can't spell 'RePublicaN' without NPR--ABC, NBC, Faux, CNN, all the rest which, if viewed with any kind of detachment at all, MUST be understood as the semi-private, wholly-owned subsidiary propaganda arms of the Corporate State) at the behest of the "Boys" (you know, a little "Sleepin' W/The Enemy")and is rewarded with DoD largesses for his favorite firm or charity?

"Gen. Scales appeared in NPR reports, by your own accounting, some 100 times, and nobody, apparently, could EVER have anticipated he'd have an agenda? Nobody looked at who ELSE he was working for?

"Now, he says, he complained about the conduct of the operations. Okay. Very courageous, I guess. But that's what I call a 'technical' complaint. He was critical of tactics, and perhaps there were others, too; but I cannot recall ever hearing anyone above the rank of sergeant quoted on NPR with anything critical to say about the invasion, conquest, subsequent occupation--to say nothing of the rape and pillage--of Iraq. And probably no more than one or two of them, at that, and I think they're dead.

"The whole episode, including NPR's response, illustrates my long-held contention that in the corporate state, corporate media are STATE Media, and any and all reporting or 'news' or similar species of information exuding therefrom must be regarded, de facto, as State propaganda.

"This was how the Russians survived Communism. We have come to an entirely predictable, but still terribly sad place, if the People of the USofA have to take lessons from the People of the old USSR in the art of discerning what was really news in the steady diet of propaganda.

"I know that my criticisms, along with the several dozen more which I have read here (and with the substantial majority of which I totally concur) must be difficult for you to see and consider. Perhaps you are tempted to dismiss these criticisms as the rantings of fanatics and partisans. Perhaps you can taste the bile of denial behind your teeth. But often truth does indeed hurt. And that taste? Might it be self-revulsion for playing such a willing part in such shameful events, and even now trying to rationalize, excuse or justify them?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Super-Ticket vs. TheFixIsIn

I have never thought BHO was electable in the GE. The lack of that apostrophe--not "O'Bama"--was the QED. Not this year, at any rate, and withal, now, likely ever. I have stated in many a forum that, from my observations and experiences, "Mid-dull Murka" (as I fondly address that seething mass of thwarted expectation and racial choler) is not ready for ITS Prezanen to be any kind of black guy with Hussein for a middle name. Not in the midst of the furor over the GWOT, high oil (Middle Eastern--damn wogs) prices, home-wrecking gas prices, spiraling food costs and shrinking incomes, all of which can conveniently be blamed on the Iraqis and the rest of Towelheadland...

I am not thrilled with Hillary, either. With her gas-tax fiasco she demonstrated to me she'll toss the whole fuukin planet under the bus if it gains her an inch of political expediency. That is not the way to this old DFH's heart, you know?

Another (unpopular, often derided) opinion I have held for some time now is that: "the fix is in, the deck is stacked, the cards are marked, the dice are shaved, the table's rigged, the drinks are drugged (and short), the beef isn't, the dealers cheat, and the boss trains the dealers: that is, Bombin' Johnnie McShame's gonna be your... #44...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Ohhhh, Deer!!!

My friend LDDVM, the Vet in the Mountains, sent me this very funny story. She asserts it's true: FOAF? I dunno. But it is a hoot!

"I had the idea that I was going to rope a deer, put it in a stall, feed it upon corn for a couple of weeks, then kill it and eat it.

"The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured that,since they congregate at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are "there (a bold one will sometimes come right upand sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not 4feet away), it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.

"I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle, having seen the roping thing before, stayed well back. They were not having any of it. After about 20 minutes, my deer showed up -- 3 of them. I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, and threw my rope. The deer just stood there and stared at me. I wrapped the rope around my waist and twisted the end so I would have a good hold.

"The deer still just stood and stared at me, but you could tell it was mildly concerned about the whole rope situation. I took a step towards took a step away. I put a little tensionon the rope and that's when my 'deer' education began.

"The first thing that I learned is that, while a deer may just stand there look at you funny while you rope it, they are spurred to action when you start pulling on that rope. That deer EXPLODED.

"The second thing I learned is that pound for pound, a deer is a LOT stronger than a cow or a colt. A cow or a colt in that weight range I could fight down with a rope and with some dignity. A deer-- no chance. That thing ran, bucked, twisted, and pulled. There was no controlling it and certainly no getting close to it. As it jerked me off my feet and started dragging me across the ground, it occurred to me that having a deer on a rope was not nearly as good an idea as I had originally imagined.

"The third thing I learned, the only upside, is that they do not have as much stamina as many other animals. A brief 10 minutes later, it was tired and not nearly as quick to jerk me off my feet and drag me when I managed to get up. It took me a few minutes to realize this, since the blood flowing out of the big gash in my head mostly blinded me. At that point, I had lost my taste for corn-fed venison. I just wanted to get that devil creature off the end of that rope. I figured that if I just let it go with the rope hanging around its neck, it would likely die slow and painfully somewhere.

"At the time, there was no love at all between that deer and me. At that moment, I hated the thing, and I would venture a guess that the feeling was mutual. Despite the gash in my head and the several large knots where I had cleverly arrested the deer's momentum by bracing my head against various large rocks as it dragged me across the ground, I could still think clearly enough to recognize that there was a small chance that I shared some tiny amount of responsibility for the situation we were in, so I didn't want the deer to have it suffer a slow death, so I managed to get it lined back up in between my truck and the feeder - a little trap I had set before hand...kind of like a squeeze chute. I got it to back in there and I started moving up so I could get my rope back.

"So here's the fourth thing I learned!!!! Did you know that deer bite? They do! I never in a million years would have thought that a deer would bite somebody, so I was very surprised when I reached up there to grab that rope and the deer grabbed hold of my wrist. Now, when a deer bites you,it is not like being bit by a horse where they just bite you and then let go. A deer bites you and shakes its head --almost like a pit bull. They bite HARD and it hurts.

"The proper thing to do when a deer bites you is probably to freeze and draw back slowly. I tried screaming and shaking instead. My method was ineffective. It seems like the deer was biting and shaking for several minutes, but it was likely only several seconds. I, being smarter than a deer (though you may be questioning that claim by now) tricked it. While I kept it busy tearing the be Jesus out of my right arm, I reached up with my left hand and pulled that rope loose.

"That was when I got my fifth lesson in deer behavior for the day: Deer will strike at you with their front feet. They rear right up on their back legs, strike right about head, and shoulder level, and their hooves are surprisingly sharp. I learned a long time ago that, when an animal -- like a horse --strikes at you with their hooves and you cannot get away easily, the best thing to do is try to make a loud noise and make an aggressive move towards the animal. This will usually cause them to back down a bit so you can escape.

"However, this was not a horse. This was a deer, so obviously, such trickery would not work. In the course of a mili-second, I devised a different strategy. I screamed like a woman and tried to turn and run.

"The reason I had always been told NOT to try to turn and run from a horse that paws at you is that there is a good chance that it will hit you in the back of the head. Deer may not be so different from horse safter all, besides being twice as strong and 3 times as evil, because the second I turned to run, it hit me right in the back of the head and knocked me down.

"Lesson six... Now, when a deer paws at you and knocks you down, it does not immediately leave. I suspect it does not recognize that the danger has passed.What they do instead is paw your back and jump up and down on you while you are laying there crying like a little girl and covering your head. I finally managed to crawl under the truck and the deer went away.

"So now I know why when people go deer hunting they bring a rifle with a scope so that they can be somewhat equal to the Prey.?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Derby Picks...

If I were gonna be at the track today, I'd box Colonel John, Pyro, and 8 Belles in the Exacta.

An interesting note: Every horse in the Derby today is a descendant of Native Dancer. The Grey Ghost, they called him, won 21 of 22 races he entered; his only loss came in the Kentucky Derby, where he finished 2nd in spite of being heavily fouled at LEAST twice.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What Shall We Do With The Busheviks?

I propose a contest.
Devise the solution which best, but also most symbolically, disposes of the members of the out-going regime.

I was stimulated in this by a comment over at Digby's place:
If Bush (and all the Bushes) were to become paupers and spend the rest of their natural lives living with the Mole People in the abandonded subway tunnels deep beneath New York City, that would be "paying a price".
R U Reddy | 05.01.08 - 4:02 am
To which a wag inquired as to what the mole people had done to deserve that...
This was/is my idea:
What if we put 'em all together on an island, like in a reality show. And every week, instead of kicking one of 'em off the island, they had to kill and eat one of their own. Give the survivor immunity and a $20 Million. Film the whole thing, serialize it world-wide, syndicate it in re-runs. We'd balance the budget in a year.
It has since occurred to me that an even more iconic/ironic fillip might be to make them all sit around playing no-limit poker to decide the weekly sacrifice, since that is in fact the contemporary activity in current cultural currency which most closely resembles their conduct during the whole of their dishonorable and disreputable tenure in office. They're a bunch of fucking tin-horns gambling with our lives. I'd like to see'em gambling for their OWN miserable existences, with the same stakes...