Friday, August 31, 2012

31 August 2012 Starlight star bright

“Hidden behind dust in deep space are brilliant galaxies with black holes that scientists are just beginning to learn about.NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, known as WISE, has found millions of black holes and about 1,000 dust-obscured galaxies with very high temperatures, which NASA is cutely calling "hot DOGs" for short. They are believed to be the brightest known galaxies.
Hot DOGs, which have supermassive black holes at their centers, can emit more than 100 trillion times as much light as the sun, according to researchers. But they do not appear as bright in images because they are covered in dust.
“It changes our concept of how brilliant and powerful galaxies can be,” said Peter Eisenhardt, project scientist for WISE at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “We are finding quite a few objects here that are brighter than what we knew before, and we’ve only combed through about 10% of these hot DOGs.””

Cassi Creek:
          Nature obscures star and galactic formation behind vast clouds of dust and gasses that are remnants of the Big Bang and recycled bits of dead stars.  Human eyes are not equipped to see energy in the X-ray frequencies.   Physicists and astronomers have learned how to shift frequencies to map and display energies beyond those visible to the human eye.
          Meanwhile, closer to home, human senses are not capable of receiving input from frequencies outside the visible light and human auditory ranges.  Thus, it is possible for propagandists working outside human perceptional ranges to purchase and hide tons of political lies and bullshit beneath immense piles of cash left over from tax breaks to the super wealthy. 
          As with light and mass drawn into a black hole, cash flows into the hands of the super rich but nothing flows out to the middle, former middle, and poor classes of voter. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

30 August, 2012 How High’s the water momma?

Louisiana is still in contention for most submerged state in the nation.
Cassi Creek:  Much of the morning was spent waiting out the clock.  I had lab studies drawn this morning preparatory to a VA Primary Care visit slated for next week.    I had sufficient time to discover that my tablet prefers to work while connected to wi-fi, and that the VA facility does not provide wi-fi that reaches the canteen. 
          After a long morning’s fast, I arrived at the canteen in time to find all the breakfast food off the serving lines.  I wound up with a singularly non-palatable cheeseburger delivered on a cold, stale bun.  No flavor, no satisfaction.  I’d still welcome a good burger. 
          The PTSD class on symptom management is turning out to be rather unfulfilling.  If it were as simple, a matter as telling myself that I can resolve the problem by “positive thinking,” There’d be a dozen new self-help books on the television talk circuit every week.  The Psychiatrist running this class has a nervous laugh that I find somewhat annoying.  He seemed surprised today when I questioned him as to whether a physical response he described should not be more accurately described as a physiologic response. 
          That’ all the news that isn’t news, Goodnight!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

29 August 2012 A party to be proud of

In modern GOP, the old South returns
By Harold MeyersonPublished: August 28
“The Republican ticket may hail from Massachusetts and Wisconsin, but Mitt Romneyand Paul Ryan head the most Southernized major U.S. political party since Jefferson Davis’s day. In its hostility toward minorities, exploitation of racism, antipathy toward government and suspicion of science, today’s Republican Party represents the worst traditions of the South’s dankest backwaters.”
Following the incident in which attendees at Tampa’s Republican National Convention threw nuts at an African American camera operator and said, “This is how we feed animals,” the Republican National Committee issued a statement:
“Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.”
CNN also issued a statement:
“CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.”

Cassi Creek:
          In Michigan, a college sophomore attends an off-campus party.  He is accosted and beaten unconscious by two men who claim to be Klan members and who behave as if they are Nazis.  The victim is left with a broken jaw and his lips are stapled to his gums.  No party attendees intercede or even call the police. 
          As if to prove the merit of Meyerson’s article, two conventioneers throw nuts at a CNN cameraperson, calling the African-American an “animal.”  Such are the people who wish to choose the future of our nation.  Such are the people who want to “take America back.” 
          The GOP sprang from the noble position of an anti-slavery platform.  Since the days of Theodore Roosevelt, they’ve really done little to suggest that they recall their heritage.  When they allied with the teavangelists and other religious right demagogues, they lost all moral and ethical continuity with the party of Lincoln. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

28 August 2012 Meanwhile, in a FSB just down the road

Cassi Creek:  I recall the moon race, from the first glimpse of Sputnik as it slid rapidly across the night sky; to the final landing and de-activation of the Apollo program. 
          It was an era of science in ascendancy.  The Cold War and space race had gotten warmer for some of us.  For those of us in the shooting side of the festivities, we were mostly concerned with shorter range, explosive ballistics rather than the elegant multi-stage vehicular payloads that were designed and engineered to carry and protect humans.  But our need for accuracy in our calculations and delivery were equally as critical as were the NASA calculations. 
          We used slide rules, maps, and grid coordinates to determine our position and to indicate to the men who crewed the guns where we needed them to put their ordnance.  We adjusted or corrected impact by visually observing  the shot and estimating how much corrective distance was required to keep some other mother’s son from going home again. 
          The 20th of July 1969 was the first moon landing.  It is impossible to describe the excitement.  It was celebrated around the world.  Even the troops in VietNam were treated to views of the televised landing on the AFVN network.  At least the troops in the larger camps had the opportunity to see Armstrong step onto the moon’s surface.  I had just come inside the wire and was cleaning my weapon when I first saw the video feed of the landing.  Down the road, about 2 kilometers, was a fire support base.  It had occupied that location for several days.  As the moon landing was played for the more fortunate troops, the men on the FSB pumped out a string of fire missions, dropping artillery shells onto various targets. 
          To this day, I am unable to separate the sound of outgoing artillery from the moon landing. 
          My descendants and their peers have never known that degree of anticipation and excitement that the Apollo missions generated.  Once upon a time men named Armstrong and Shepard, among others, trod upon the moon.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

27 August 2012 Longer on the way back

Cassi Creek:  The weekend over, Loki and I resumed our morning Hike with Mike.   We’ve settled on a 5 of 7 schedule that may not be optimal for weight loss and maintenance, but that allows me two mornings without an alarm clock waking me up. 
          The route we walk is a two-mile segment (measured from our front door with a Garmin GPS) of Cassi Road.  It has an elevation drop of 200 feet on the outbound leg.  This delivers an elevation gain on the inbound leg. 
          Some mornings we carry on a conversation on both legs.  On other mornings, we’ve little need to converse.  Both of seem to use the hike as a self-diagnostic to sort and examine the morning’s aches and pains.  It’s a handy and cost-effective diagnostic tool. 
          Some mornings the traffic flow is dangerously fast and comes dangerously close to us.  I can’t think of any mechanism to cause local drivers to slow down and to pay attention to the road. 
          The GOP/teavangelist convention will begin its program, political, social, and religious repression in America tomorrow.  I wish there was a way to cause the general populace to recognize the lies and to dump the American Taliban at the voting booth.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

26 August 2012 American women should emulate Togo women

26 August 2012  American women should emulate Togo women
Togo opposition vows sex strike amid anti-government protests
From Erick Kaglan, For CNN
August 26, 2012 -- Updated 0825 GMT (1625 HKT)

“”Lome, Togo (CNN) -- A Togolese opposition leader is calling on women to go on a weeklong sex strike to demand the freedom of protesters detained ahead of elections in the West African nation.
Police arrested about 120 opposition supporters last week during clashes between protesters and security forces, according to Togolese human rights groups.”

Cassi Creek:
          There is a population of American voters who have the power to swing this Presidential election in the direction it should go.  The women of this nation, who comprise a large percentage of the proponents for affordable health care, who are finding it more difficult to feed, house, clothe, and educate their children, can effectively grasp the situation and begin to implement change once more. 
          Too many women are sitting by while nearly every aspect of their personal lives is being decided by white males of one Christian cult or another.  Unless American women act effectively and act now, there is too great a chance that the 2012 election will see women’s rights rolled backward to the social and cultural equivalent of the 1920s. 
          Granted, men who plan to vote for Obama and who support the preservation of our social safety nets, need not be targeted.  Conversely, all members of the GOP and the various teavangelist groups should be made aware that until their political consciousness is raised to the proper point; that they can and will be replaced by any number of small battery-powered devices. 
          If the women who worked in alliance to gain their right to vote in the 1920’s could force change; if women in Togo can change the course of their nation’s history, there exists no reason that today’s American women can’t seize and wield political power in sufficient amount to defeat the imminent risk of losing their personal freedom to control their own bodies. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

25 August 2012 Back to the Dark Ages for fun and prophets

Cassi Creek:  Meeting in Tampa, the people who wish to restore a theocratic oligarchy as the principle form of world government advertise their intentions to their voter base.  While many teavangelists claim that Obama intends to surrender U.S. sovereignty to the United Nations, a Texas county judge – an elected official – has proclaimed that Obama’s re-election is likely to trigger a new American Civil War.  There are such rumors all around the nation, but Texas seems to be leading the charge to disorganized insanity.  The Texas School board’s efforts to remove the study of any historical period that begins after the sacking of the 2nd Temple by Rome, any language with roots newer than that of the King James Bible, and any political philosophy that considers women to be more than handy incubators for new Texas males.

In keeping with the premise that women are less than equal to males and of less importance than a fetus that may or may not survive gestation despite genetic damage, the GOP/Teavangelists have allowed the latest generation Christian fundamentalists to force a platform that demands abortion be made unavailable. 

While degrading the lives of American women to the role of a biological incubator with no say in the use and care of their own bodies, these same Christian reactionaries are all too eager to ship young American men and women to Afghanistan to prevent Islamic extremists treating their females in exactly the same manner. 
          America is already lagging behind nearly all modern nations in the delivery of health care to its citizens.  During the last 40 years, it has also fallen behind those same nations in excluding religion from government.  It is time to slam the door on Christian extremists and remove religion entirely from the public forum.   

Friday, August 24, 2012

24 August 2012 Creating jobs they won’t brag about at home.

Cassi Creek:
          What would be fitting response to the GOP/teavangelists from the “deity that they claim to speak for?  Certainly, an act of nature such as a hurricane disrupting delegate and VIP travel, along with a flooded venue would seem appropriate.   The most prominent and loudest of the various cult leaders could take the opportunity to organize prayers beseeching a non-existent deity to divert TS Isaac.  Asking supernatural intervention to re-direct a storm so that it spares a commercial/political infomercial at the expense of millions of year round Gulf coast, residents’ homes and businesses certainly demonstrates the deeply ingrained lack of concern for anyone but the ultra-rich by the teavangelist demagogues. 

          Hear the sound of hypocrisy as all those GOP/teavangelist pulpit puppets pray for a hurricane to strike the homes of working people instead of the 2nd, 3rd, and other luxury homes that may only house a family for a week each year. 
          If I were a photographer, I’d skip the infomercial and speeches.  I’d park myself outside a strip club with a long lens and a large memory card.  I’d take photos of every male entering the clubs, immediately back them up offsite, and run them through facial recognition software against every member of Congress and every GOP delegate.  Hometown papers might like to see how the local males behave in the big, sinful, city. 
Strippers look to GOP to 'make it rain'
By Ann O'Neill, CNN
updated 10:32 PM EDT, Thu August 23, 2012

The photo opportunities should be tremendous.  The Tampa strip clubs are open around the clock.  Delegates waiting out the hours between major speeches can spend some time, and some cash, creating more local jobs.  However, I suspect that those jobs won’t be mentioned in the following campaign.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

23 August 2012 Continue war to protect Afghan women’s rights

          How long will it take for Americans to understand that there is no difference between teavangelists and Islamic Fundamentalists except the name on a book?  This is highly evident to the rest of the world.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

22 August 2012 What they should have learned in school

22 August 2012  What they should have learned in school
Cassi Creek:

Thanks to Auth for labeling the teavangelist’s home school anatomy, physiology, and church-approved blow-up doll.  Science classes are much more meaningful if the students can be taught the proper names of those body parts with the help of religiously – sanctioned, mostly anatomically pronounceable modern terms instead of the vulgar European-socialist words used by liberal elitists .
          Please note that the home school blow-up doll syllabus adheres to the GOP/teavangelist platform.  It is designed to be taught by persons who intend to leave the student with a knowledge base that agrees with the 2012 GOP platform plank calling for a complete ban upon all abortions, contraception, and sex education in schools

This Ayn Rand history and economics block is designed to comply with the 2011 Texas board of education revision of American history and economic theory.  It champions trickle-down economics, knowing that the poorly educated will vote for that mechanism repeatedly; removing all hope of ever earning a living income.  This education block will leave the student with the understanding that they will become rich only by stealing the incomes of the working class, the working, poor, and the former middle class.  Greed is defined as good for the nation.  The student will be taught that social safety nets should exist only for the WASP families that renounce the philosophies of Jefferson
          Students will be taught that the separation of church and state was not intended to be part of the U.S. The fiction of Rand will be taught as if it was a proven economic theory, and there will be no mention, under penalty of law, that Rand accepted both Medicare and Social Security benefits. 

          If the GOP/teavangelist 2012 convention is affected by  a hurricane, it will be treated from the podium and by the tame (Fox News) media as merely a natural occurrence.  If the Democratic Party 2012 convention is impacted by adverse weather, all the teavangelist prosperity theologists as a direct warning from the supreme deity.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

21 August 2012 Teavangelism, rape, and the 1st Amendment

21 August 2012  Teavangelism, rape, and the 1st Amendment

Wake up: It's not just Akin
By LZ Granderson, CNN Contributor
updated 9:38 AM EDT, Tue August 21, 2012

LZ Granderson
            “The truth is the "legitimate rape" comment made by U.S. Rep. Todd Akin -- as in pregnancy from "legitimate rape" is rare -- is not a GOP anomaly, but rather another disturbing glimpse into the viewpoint too many social conservatives have about women's health and reproductive rights. And if abortion is not among the "real issues," why is the GOP platform committee considering adding a ban, with no mention of exceptions, to this year's to-do list?
            “Last March, in a discussion in the Kansas House about whether women purchase separate abortion-only policies, Republican state Rep. Pete DeGraaf suggested women should plan ahead for rape the way he keeps a spare tire. A few weeks later, Indiana state Rep. Eric Turner, a Republican, said some women might fake being raped in order to get free abortions.
Former presidential hopeful Rick Santorum suggested doctors who perform an abortion on a woman who becomes pregnant from an attack should be thrown in jail and this year suggested rape victims who become pregnant from an attack should be forced to keep the baby and "make the best out of a bad situation…"
            “…Some social conservatives talk of protecting religious freedom, but what they are really seeking is a theocracy that places limits on freedom based on a version of Judeo-Christianity that fits their liking. That language is also being considered for the GOP's national platform. Some speak of fighting abortion because of their religious convictions and then belittle the trauma caused by rape.

            “They think they can make this controversy all about Akin, as if Ryan's legislative history is just going to disappear. As if DeGraaf never suggested women should plan ahead for rape the way he keeps a spare tire. As if none of us are paying attention.

Cassi Creeek:
          We are treated in every Romney/Ryan speech to the myth that our “freedom and rights” derive from a supernatural deity that deals in these “rights” in exchange for sufficient supplication.  Such supplication must, apparently, be voiced in the appropriate language by persons of the appropriate skin tone, who schedule routine appearances at a building with the appropriate label.  There is, of course, no recognition of the same theocratic manipulation of public practice and opinion going on in every 3rd world nation.  Emerging powers and industrialized/digital states have long ago advanced beyond reliance on religious mythology in financial, educational, social, and other means of maintaining a strong and reality-based government.
          If all the above conditions are met the individuals who supplicate loudly enough and often enough will be rewarded with wealth and power; with which they may then enact laws to suppress similar supplications to other mythical deities, and with which they may engage in efforts to rape and gut the 1st Amendment to our Constitution.
          That’s the one that promises no state religion will be established &/or supported.  That’s the one that guarantees I can put my opinions in print and that someone else can dispute them with neither of us going to jail for blasphemy.  That’s the one that the teavangelists want to overturn so that they can create a theocracy in what was once a reality-based nation that valued math, physics, biology, and other sciences as a means to remain a free and modern nation.  We would have laughed at anyone who proposed a theocratic government based upon early Iron Age mythos and faerie tales. 
          Now, we’ve let a bunch of snake-oil selling charlatans gain control of our culture and our government.   They are all too willing to return our culture to the 16th century or earlier.  Women are losing ground on every front as their access to health care and family planning are being stripped away by theocrats who view them as little more than breeding stock. 
          The Texas GOP/teavangelists, not content with rewriting history for schoolchildren, is attempting to eliminate access to contraception across the entire state.    While the wealthy may be able to afford to travel to civilized states or nations to obtain adequate and science-based modern health care, the vast population of poor and working poor women will be forced back to the era when the only form of family planning was Vatican roulette.  
          Texas women, and all other American women are at high risk of losing their rights to a bunch of white males, desperate to hang onto political power in a nation rapidly becoming non-WASP, who are so lacking in intellect and awareness that they regard rape as something to joke about.  Notice I said nothing about “god-given rights”  I know men and women who fought to retain those rights in WWII.  They didn’t have any supernatural help.  Today, those rights and others are at grave risk.  Waiting for a sky-faerie to swoop down and fix things is not a viable plan of action. 
          American women need to vote in every election in which they can legally vote.  They need to make certain they have the proper documentation so that they can’t be turned away at the polls.  They need to drag their mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends through the same process.  The dark ages are only one election away. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

20 August 2012 There is no “legitimate rape”

Cassi Creek:  The concept of “legitimate rape, paired with physiologic/biologic illiteracy could only come from the ranks of teavangelism; that den of ungodliness that is the American Taliban. 
          Akin has voiced his contempt for all women.  Romney and Ryan are frantically trying to scratch dirt over their previous positions on abortion, contraception, and women’s health concerns. 
          Capehart is as adept as any Washington columnist at voicing the should-be response from every candidate running for national office this year.  But right now, the GOP/teavangelists have crawled into a position remarkable for its contempt of women and its intellectual emptiness. 
          “Legitimate rape?”  Little but a night in jail will disabuse  Mr. Akin of his stupidity.  I rarely wish anyone incarceration.  But in this instance, I have to wonder if involuntary rehab may not be justified.  I It might certainly create a new awareness of the definition of “legitimate” in the mind of one who is in drastic need of such awareness.

          I’ll leave the rest of today’s comment to Mr. Capehart.
Posted at 09:25 AM ET, 08/20/2012
‘Legitimate rape’?

The one time I don’t take advantage of in-flight wifiand I land from the Left Coast to find that all hell has broken loose in the Missouri Senate race. During a television interview yesterday, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who is running against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), was asked about his views on abortion. Akin’s remark on rape and women’s bodies was nothing short of stunning — and stupid.
It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.
After I picked my jaw up off the baggage claim floor, my mind started whirring. Akin’s twisted view of rape and the role of abortion in its aftermath sounded familiar. Last year, Akin was one of 227 co-sponsors of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which would bar use of health savings accounts to pay for an abortion and deny use of tax credits and deductions for medical expenses for an abortion. As if that weren’t bad enough, just when federal funding of an abortion would be allowed was chilling.
(1) if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest;
The definition of “forcible rape” was left vague until I and others pressed for a definition. The bill ultimately adopted “the original language from the Hyde Amendment...,” which bans federal money from being used to pay for abortion. Whether “forcible rape” or “legitimate rape,” either concept is unbelievably ignorant, offensive, cold-hearted and wrong.
Akin says he “misspoke” in his “off-the-cuff remarks.” And later he disavowed via Twitter the whole “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down” lunacy. He had no choice after we learned yesterday about a 1996 study that showed that “The national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5.0% per rape among victims of reproductive age (aged 12 to 45); among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year.”
Meanwhile, presumptive Republican presidential and vice presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan issued a statement last night distancing their campaign from Akin. “Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement,” the statement read, “and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.” I can’t wait to hear the reaction of the Republican Party base to the last part of that statement.
There’s a lot of speculation about whether Akin will indeed be the name on the ballot in November. Perhaps the GOP leadership will prevail upon thefive-term congressman to bolt the race to allow another Republican to take on McCaskill, who until last night was seen as the most vulnerable Democratic incumbent. I’d settle for him to change his views on rape. But it’ll probably be easier to get him out of the race — forcibly, of course.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

19 August 2012 Waiting on the ACME anvil to drop

          Cassi Creek:  I managed to sleep in yesterday and today; not crawling out until 0800.   This later turnout was quite welcome.  
          Because I have no desire to be seen releasing trapped raccoons in a local church parking lot while the members are conducting services, we set no traps last night.   This morning I was surprised to see a coyote loping through the yard from the road to the creek in back.  It appeared to be a young adult in good condition.  It vanished into the brush and then came back out to investigate the latest raccoon trap site. 
          I’ve often heard coyotes in the local area.  This is the closest I’ve come to a face-to-face encounter.
          Coyotes are supposed to be anathema to raccoons, coyote urine being sold as a substance useful for raccoon area denial.  I’m reluctant to use concentrated coyote urine.  We don’t really want to attract a pack or to become a territorial conflict area.  On the other hand, I’m tired of hosting the raccoon gaze that currently thinks we intend to feed and house it. 
          The nearest “ACME” pest control service is located in Memphis, TN>

Saturday, August 18, 2012

18 August 2012 What price incubation?

Pregnant teen dies after abortion ban delays her chemo treatment for leukemia
From Rafael Romo, Senior Latin American Affairs Editor
updated 1:20 AM EDT, Sat August 18, 2012

            “CNN) -- The mother of a pregnant leukemia patient who died after her chemotherapy was delayed over anti- abortion laws is accusing doctors of not putting her daughter's health first.
The 16-year-old's plight attracted worldwide attention after she had to wait for chemotherapy because of an abortion ban in the Dominican Republic.
Doctors were hesitant to give her chemotherapy because such treatment could terminate the pregnancy -- a violation of the Dominican Constitution, which bans abortion. Some 20 days after she was admitted to the hospital, she finally started receiving treatment.
She died Friday, a hospital official said….”

Cassi Creek:  This death in the Dominican Republic is the shadow of things to come, if we allow the election of Romney/Ryan to take place.  The social calendar will be rolled back to the days of theocracies and oligarchies.  Medical care, particularly for women, will be controlled by religious dictates. 
          There is no assurance that Rosa Hernandez would have survived leukemia had she been allowed to undergo chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy might have induced a spontaneous abortion, terminating her 13 weeks pregnancy.  However, the dictates of a theocracy condemned her to an ugly, painful, and futile death caused by a treatable disease.  Apparently, the concerns of the young woman and her mother had no weight in the matter.
          To the Dominican Republic, the Roman Catholic Church, and to Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney, Ms. Hernandez had less worth than a fetus.  She was, in their view, little more than a biological incubator. 
          This is the rollback point for women’s health care that Romney, Ryan, and the teavangelists want force upon the women of the United States.  Can we wind up with women reluctant to serve as incubators being forced to carry unwanted fetuses?  Will some be confined to padded cells, chained to their beds from conception to delivery?  It sounds extreme, to be sure.  So does denying chemotherapy to a 16 year old. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

17 August 2012 “I could tell you, but then I’d have to…”

Cassi Creek:  there has been the incipient threat of rain all day.  Most of the heavier weather is already east of us.  Still, there were periods of drizzle during the morning hike with Mike.  The subsequent trip to the Thompson Produce stand required intermittent wipers. 
          The trap held raccoon #5 this morning.  It was sprayed with dark red paint and sent to join a local choir. 
          Any intent to write meaningful material has flown today.  My higher functionality has been waylaid by one raccoon, 0.01 inches of rain, a trap in need of cleaning and disinfecting, 24 ears of corn, 4 Serrano peppers, 2 baby and two oriental eggplant, and the smug satisfaction found in the knowledge that dinner is entirely prepped and needs only to visit a 350 °F oven, 
          If that information and those items do not provide you with at least an hour’s amused guesses at the actual chain of occurrences taking place here this evening, your muse is in need of further supplication. 
Shabbat Shalom!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

6 August 2012 Ryan –national fertilized ova = personhood bill


Banning contraception? OMG!

"And personhood for fertilized eggs, banning contraception, banning all abortion, banning in vitro fertilization ... it may be too radical for Mississippi, it may be too radical for Colorado, but the Republican vice presidential nominee this year is the guy who sponsored personhood for the whole country. Paul Ryan co-sponsored a national ban on contraception, on all abortion and on in vitro fertilization [See Bill Text, 112th Congress (2011-2012), H.R.212.IH]. When Paul Ryan was on Meet the Press back in February, David Gregory asked him whether the Republican Party was maybe focusing too much on contraception; maybe that might hurt them in November. Paul Ryan's answers as to whether he was concerned about that was, No."

Cassi Creek:
          Credit my friend Judy Dilworth with the inspiration for today’s musings.  The GOP/teavangelist politicians are burrowing as far back in time and culture as they can drag their voter base.  We aren’t talking just about the hottest button in the social wars, abortion.  We are watching while  Romney/Ryan/Santorum, and assorted minions try to roll back the calendar to the days when abortion was illegal despite the cause or the risk of life to the mother.  Atop this, they want to outlaw all forms of contraception other than Vatican roulette.  They want to return the citizens of the U.S. to a nation with no legal means of preventing pregnancy.  No pill, no mechanical barriers – diaphragm or condom. 
          Because Ryan and Santorum practice a form of Catholicism that allows old, supposedly celibate men to impose abstinence upon their cult followers, Ryan and Santorum believe that they have the authority – relayed from their invisible sky faerie – to impose such restrictions upon the men and women of the United States.  They seem to believe that the Constitutional prohibition of any state sponsored religion does not include their cult or any of the other evangelical cults. 
          American voters, particularly women, need to be aware of the regressive culture that Romney/Ryan represent.   While they trumpet their reason for continuing the Afghanistan war – repressive laws making women 2nd class citizens, they are absolutely willing to impose the same sort of regressive laws upon American women.    
          Make no mistake.  If the teavangelists/GOP put Romney/Ryan into political power we will rival Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia in our repression of women.   Roman Catholicism and Southern Baptist teavangelism already view women as inferior to men, fit only to become breeding stock for the theocrats who will increase the level of intolerance and bigotry already overtaking the nation. 
          American women keep your right control your own bodies, your own lives, your own education

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

14 August 2012 Where have all the squirrels gone?

          Prior to the raccoon invasion, we were besieged by a scury of squirrels.   No, I didn’t invent the term.  Another resource of such trivia and arcane lists “dray” as the appropriate name for gathered squirrels.  Given the option, I prefer scury. 
          Since the gaze invasion, we have not seen the resident squirrels.  We don’t know if they surrendered the area to the larger animals or if they were pushed into higher branches and picked off by raptors.  The one thing we are certain of is that the local scury is not at risk of starvation.  Gloria’s bird feeders also provided daily sustenance for the squirrels. 
          Raptor predation may be a viable reason.  I heard an Eastern Screech Owl pair last night around 2200.  The local hawk counts remain high enough to validate raptor predation. 
          Prior to the noticed decline in squirrels, Loki would watch the back deck and feeders in a game of her devising.  When a squirrel or two would dare to set foot on the platform feeder, she would demand to be let out to chase them.  She’s never caught one, yet.   But the possibility is high enough that it keeps her happy watching the back yard for squirrels.  It’s quiet here today and even with my diminished hearing, I’ve heard two hawks calling today. 
          Time to reset the raccoon trap.  I caught number four last night.  This morning I painted him green – only his fur, and sent him to find new habitat. 

Cue  Kingston Trio!
“gone to acorns, everyone.”

Monday, August 13, 2012

13 August 2012 Fox news yellow snow good for you
Survey: NPR’s listeners best informed, Fox viewers worst informed
By Andrew BeaujonPublished May 23, 2012 7:49 am Updated May 23, 2012 7:58 am
“Fairleigh Dickinson University
        “People who watch no news at all can answer more questions about international current events than people who watch cable news, a survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind finds.
NPR and Sunday morning political talk shows are the most informative news outlets, while exposure to partisan sources, such as Fox News and MSNBC, has a negative impact on people’s current events knowledge.
        “People who watch MSNBC and CNN exclusively can answer more questions about domestic events than people who watch no news at all. People who only watch Fox did much worse. NPR listeners answered more questions correctly than people in any other category.
        “The survey of 1185 random people conducted by landline and cell phone in early February follows a similar poll FDU conducted last November, which surveyed only New Jersey residents and returned similar results…”

Cassi Creek:  “President Obama should go on TV and ask people not to eat yellow snow, if only for the joy of hearing Fox News explain how good yellow snow really is.
      The quality of a television news broadcast is of more importance than the quantity of time and words spewed by a newsreader.   The nightly news update, prevalent in the period when news was considered a public service, had a limited period that required concise, accurate, and verifiable reports that were meant to inform without editorial commentary.  The communications technology of the time supported news programming at 12 -24 hour intervals.
      With the advent of the 24-hour news cycle, news became subject to the ratings as with any other sort of programming.  Accuracy became less important, for some “news” divisions than was obtaining a high rating in a particular time slot.  
      The three major broadcast networks have tried to maintain their news divisions as true journalism services.  CNN has joined that grouping although they still push for quantity of the day filled with faces and words.
      The whore in modern American cable news is Fox News.  Claiming to be “fair and balanced,” Fox News is quite plainly the public house organ for the GOP/teavangelists.  They have more in common with Pravda than with any American news programming.
      If President Obama makes any political statement, before he is off the air, the Fox News will have at least one of their anti-Obama trained attack rats waiting for the cue to begin reading their propaganda so that the teavangelists will immediately have their package of “talking points” to parrot loudly at every opportunity.  Fox News viewers are intended to parrot, not to think for their selves.  Fox News, along with teavangelism and the demise of reading books as a source of information, has quite effectively lowered the intellectual capacity of the American citizen.  It is safe to state that a greater percentage of the populations of Mexico and Iraq turn out to vote in national elections than do Americans.  Sadly, not only do these nations have a higher voter turnout, they are better informed than their American counterparts are.  What does that have to say about us?  Nothing good, nothing that can be squeezed into a talking point and parroted by a Fox News   tele-Barby to a teavangelistic  Fox News Pseudo-patriot listening to “the news” between blondes reading ball scores.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

12 August 2012 Stop Romney/Ryan; Reject Norquist

12 August 2012  Stop Romney/Ryan; Reject Norquist
With Ryan pick, Romney doubles down on economic radicalism

… “In picking Ryan, Romney is confirming his commitment to full-flown economic radicalism — something that he had kept well disguised until the Tax Policy Center study unmasked it. The central idea driving the GOP ticket is not just that tax hikes on the rich must be avoided at all costs. It’s that dramatically reducing the tax burden on the wealthy — coupled with deep cuts to social programs and a quasi-voucherizing of Medicare — is the route back to prosperity.
            “Call it the “Ryan/Romney vision.” Not the “Romney/Ryan vision.” The “Ryan/Romney vision.” The Ryan pick was urged upon Romney by conservatives who wanted him to “go bold,” i.e., to confirm beyond doubt that he will govern from the Ryan blueprint. “We want the Ryan budget,” Grover Norquist said recently, adding that the paramount requirement in the next president is that he have “enough working digits to handle a pen” to sign it.
            “ The Ryan pick is a triumph for this wing of the party….”
Cassi Creek:        
          This is the opportunity necessary to send a loud and clear signal to Congress that it needs to remember who put them in office.  It is an opportunity to tell Grover Norquist that he was not elected by the populace and to tell our elected officials that Grover Norquist should not be allowed to enter their offices. 
          There are enough voters who recognize the danger presented by Norquist and the people whom he has intimidated with his no taxes pledge to vote people out of office for signing it. 
          This government, as do all governments, requires money obtained by taxation in our instance in order to carry out its basic, discretionary, and emergency functions.  Despite the delusional thoughts of Norquist, Ryan, and the GOP/teavangelists, our national economy cannot and will not be repaired by spending cuts and further tax cuts for the super rich.  Taxation of the super rich must be increased in concert with spending cuts and tax decreases for the middle and working class citizens. 
          The super rich do not and will not create the necessary jobs that this nation needs to combat unemployment among the middle and working class.  The super rich will not put and money from tax cuts into our local economies.  They will spend it overseas or put it into long-term investments.  They will pay for re-election campaign ads; nothing will trickle downward to create new jobs. 
          The working and middle class citizens who receive tax cuts will rapidly put those dollars into local economies.  They’ll buy food, medicines, pay utility bills, and perhaps pay tuitions.  Very little, if any, of tax cuts for your friends and neighbors, will wind up lining an elected official’s pocket.  Very little will be banked offshore; although they may buy some new clothing being imported by the super rich corporation owners from their new sweats shops being built in third world nations, providing “new jobs” for the citizens of other nations. 
          Ryan and Norquist believe the delusions that they share.  Romney is weak enough that they will both manipulate him.  There in is the greatest danger.  The GOP/teavangelists must not be allowed to win Congressional and Senate seats in November.  Each candidate for Congress and Senate must be bombarded with demands from his/her constituents to repudiate Norquist’s no tax pledge.  He needs to be eliminated from his current position as a lobbyist and put back into his locker.  Unlike a Jinni, he can be re-corked.  Moreover, unless one is an elected official taking campaign funding from right wing corporations and lobbyists, he can safely be ignored.