Sunday, September 28, 2008

Connecting Information

Can you guess which monitor the Milwaukee flight is displayed on?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

For Those Who Think Everything with the First Amendment is Hunky Dory

I present to you the fine people of New Brunswick, North Carolina. Were it just an isolated case, we could all pass it off as simple folly. But then there's Texas, and Louisiana, and Florida, to name three. Just gets me all warm and fuzzy.

Daily Kos: Creationists Lay the Dover Trap On Unwary North Carolinians

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Alien Ship?

Or airport ceiling?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Don't Listen To Me, Do Your Own Research

Over the past couple of weeks, I published some posts that disclosed my position in the presidential contest. Naturally I wouldn't think that anything I say would have an effect on how someone else would think. But I've also been in contact with people who would believe what they see in a political ad, or even what they get in a chain email. So as a service to those who wish to cut through the clutter of misinformation, I offer some resources.

From the Annenberg Public Policy Center, we have, and from the St. Petersburg Times comes Both of these sites take the campaign commercials and stump speeches and analyze them to separate the truth from the spin. Anytime you see a new campaign commercial, go to one of these sites BEFORE you send that email to your friends on the latest candidate gotcha.

Finally, to put to rest those urban legends surrounding the candidates, there's the politics section of the Urban Legends Reference Pages at I hope you find all that useful.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Harvest Time

Near Watertown, Wisconsin.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

So When Did This Become A Political Blog?

This was the question posted by an anonymous commenter. And it signals to me that this person has been a regular visitor. If so, it would be nice to know who you are so that I can thank you for being a loyal reader, and perhaps we can generate some dialog.

That question is actually a pretty complicated one, so much so that I'm dedicating a whole post to it. First, the short answer is that, as the sole contributor and owner of this blog, I feel free to include whatever content as I see fit. And if you go back into my archives, you'll find any number of opinions, from soccer, to aviation and yes, on politics.

I once considered myself a moderate Republican. I think I even registered that way when I became eligible to vote at 18 in the state of New Jersey. Back then the Republican party was closer to the center while the Democrats were much farther to the left. At least that's the way it seemed to me. After the ineffectual Carter presidency, it seemed sensible to vote for Ronald Reagan, and the first vote I cast for President was for him in his reelection year of 1984. I also voted for George H.W. Bush in 1988. But by then the neo-conservative and evangelical christian forces had sunk their hooks deep into the Republican party. Then the party took majority of control of Congress led by Newt Gingrich. Any remnant of bipartisan cooperation was obliterated. When the party took a position on an issue, they claimed sovereignty of the issue. If you didn't agree with their position, then you were cast as a leftist liberal; no middle ground was given. Republicans even declared that they no longer worked for all of their consituents, they only worked for the constituents who voted for them. For myself, it was time to get off the bus.

But that isn't even the reason why I have decided to vote for Senator Obama. For me, this election boils down to an issue that is larger than any other issue being debated in this campaign, by far. It's an issue that affects our way of life and how we are allowed to pursue our freedom as envisioned by our Founding Fathers. I am referring to nothing less than our system of government and the document that created it. It's the document that I gave nine years of my life in service of its armed forces to protect. I am talking about the United States Constitution.

For those unfamiliar with the Constitution (and sadly, far too many Americans are), it lays out a system of government designed such that no one branch of the government can usurp the other branch thereby keeping a system of checks and balances. Now in case you haven't been paying attention for the last seven years, there have been numerous threats to the rule of law in this country. As excerpted from Power Play: The Bush Presidency and the Constitution by James P. Pfiffner, the Bush administration "abrogated the rule of law by taking actions not authorized by law and sometimes directly against the law." To wit:

--He created military commissions entirely within the executive branch and in doing so ignored U.S. laws that provided authority and procedures for establishing military commissions;

--He used the term "enemy combatant" to exempt the government from granting persons so labeled legal and constitutional rights;

--He denied the writ of habeas corpus to U.S. citizens as well as other detainees suspected of terrorism;

--He suspended the Geneva Conventions, which, because they were agreed to in a treaty, are the "supreme Law of the Land," according to Article VI of the Constitution;

--He authorized the interrogation of detainees using techniques that most of the world considers torture, and which violate the Geneva Conventions and U.S. law;

--He ordered the National Security Agency to monitor the communications of Americans without a warrant as required by FISA; and

--He asserted the sweeping right to ignore more than 1,000 provisions of public law because he deemed them to be in conflict with his authority as president.
The branch of our government chartered to uphold the rule of law in this country is, of course, the judiciary. Right now, the Supreme Court has four justices that are considered conservative, four that are liberal, and one who is considered a swing vote. (It is almost ironic that John Paul Stevens, an appointee of President Ford in 1975, is seen as a liberal mainstay.) From my readings and observances, it is generally agreed that a court split down the middle with a swing vote is a desirable situation. This is where things begin to get complicated. One of the neo-con right's tactics in their desire to create a theocracy in this country has been to attack the judicial system as inherently liberal (that's their cover, where else have we seen that before?) and then strive to place judges in the system that will rule to support their narrow views of basic human values. Senator McCain plans to do exactly that.

Before the end of the next president's term, no less than six justices will be over the age of 70. This includes the entire liberal wing, with Justice Stevens crossing north of age 90. What this means is that the next President will have the responsibility of appointing as few as two and as many as four or more justices to the Supreme Court. The next President will be responsible for the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court possibly for the next generation.

Forget the issues the candidates are talking about. Forget the economy. Forget the war. Forget the best shade of pig lipstick. There is no issue more important to me than the preservation of our Constitution and the First Amendment. Rights that guarantee that citizens can worship in whatever manner they choose, or not at all. Rights that keep public education free from undue influence and bias. It protects the reproductive rights of our women. It guarantees that citizens can't be held without charge. To me, the thought of a McCain Court scares the piss out of me. That is why I am voting for Barack Obama.

So there you have it. I hate politics. It's slimy, dirty, messy, practiced for the most part by liars and hypocrites. In some ways, I hope that by laying out my "manifesto", I don't have to talk about it again. So maybe this was cathartic in a way. I'm not going to tell you how to vote, but I urge you to go out with an open mind, do your research, learn the facts, and vote. Thank you.

I'll get pictures up eventually.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

She Said WHAT???

Had enough yet? Need more convincing?

Palin leaves open option of war with Russia - Yahoo! News
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin left open the option Thursday of waging war with Russia if it were to invade neighboring Georgia and the former Soviet republic were a NATO ally. "We will not repeat a Cold War," Palin said in her first television interview since becoming Republican John McCain's vice presidential running mate two weeks ago.


Monday, September 08, 2008

The Only Palin I Will Vote For

Why not? Seems they'll let anybody be on a ticket.

Michael Palin for President

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

President Palin

Say those words to yourself. Then read the linked article. Then read this. Folks, this woman scares the living crap out of me. Seriously, I never had such a visceral reaction in my whole life.

So, after reading up, and as you enter the ballot booth November 4, say to yourself "President Palin" and then cast your vote.

Crosscut Seattle - About Sarah Palin: an e-mail from Wasilla
There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she.

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Monday, September 01, 2008


A building facade in the Lacledes Landing section of St. Louis, Missouri.