Monday, July 30, 2007

58 - 46, 3 back

Newcomer Miguel Batista handcuffs the A's while the bats scrape up two runs. Ibanez robs Guerrero of a couple RBI's with an OhMIGOD he got to it catch. JJ strikes out Bad Vlad with a high fast one, then gets two more flyouts on three pitches... Yep, they're better than last year. Are they good enough????


UPDATE: Jeff Weaver.

Please bring back Cha Seung Baek. And, thankfully, it's only one year at 8M. Just write it off as a bad expense.


UPDATE II: King Felix

Not often you can score three on JJ. It took to the 12th inning to get one back... Good enough? Maybe.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Oh, and while I'm thinking about it...



Talking Points Memo has a summary of reasons why the Republican candidates are bailing on the You-Tube format debate on CNN that did so well for the Democrats:

All of them boil down to the post heading. Even their excuses reek of cowardice. If they can't face their own constituents, how do you expect them to face Al-Qaeda/Iraq/Iran/Pakistan/North Korea or any domestic hard question. Oh, yeah, that's right, you don't face your enemies, you just point the gun and pull the trigger.... Doesn't work so well with Social Security, does it? Might be a clue there.

Maybe we can humiliate them into participation in Democracy? Call them chicken publicly? We know John McCain is no coward. ;o) Romney, Giuliani, Thompson....buck, buck, buck, bucckahhk!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New cat macro for Nerd Without Thumbs

Ya gotta love


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It can't be said better--IV

So what do educated Iraqis think? This one is an MD and if you read the rest of the comments, angry beyond belief with America and Americans--

"The problem in Irak is the presence of the invaders. It is not possible to even begin to reconstruct until that problem is solved. The violence is because the American invader is there. Not despite it. If as you claim, you want to help, then you tackle the root problem. Which is that your troops are in our country. Until then the violence will escalate. The attacks are to make the country ungovernable and they are working."

Nym: Maryam, in conversation at Firedoglake, my bold

Get out now. Bad as it is, there is no other practical policy.


Monday, July 23, 2007

It can't be said better III....

I think I'm gonna have to dig it out and PLAY IT LOUD!!!!


I built a pile o' blocks

Last year I would not have been stupid enough to attempt this, but I feel ten years younger. I forgot that means ten years dumber.... When I was at mom's cabin over 4th of July, I took out the sound but rotting landing in the path to the dock, and built the abortion visible in this photo. The lower stairs leaned against the brick wall. Not too sturdy. Needless to say, something had to be done before the paying customers arrive next week. I broke, I fix it.

The first problem I ran into... when excavating for the right side wall foundation from where I intended to start, I ran into a gigantic, unbreakable and quite unmovable rock. Right where the foundation needed to be. I spent all day Saturday figuring a way to bridge across the rock and still build steps. Saturday was thinking, pouring a segmented foundation, building a bridge of block across the rock and then pouring the front foundation, digging out the left side foundation, and I just had time to set the front riser. Sunday I built the left side wall, built the steps, dug out and poured the foundation for the landing and laid the lower course of the landing retaining wall... This left me Sunday night still without a safe and walkable path to the dock for the paying customers, so I had Jen e-mail Denny that I was stuck and needed to take Monday off.

Monday morning I filled the landing with what I had, built the temporary steps up the path and wented home....

All the steps were supposed to look like the top one, but because I had to bridge across the rock, the bottom two steps had to be modified. Well, it works. Everything is built off concrete foundations about four inches wider than the bottom block, the blocks are mortared in place and the whole thing should be just short of earthquake proof. The foundations aren't really thick enough to claim earthquake proof. But it's solid when you walk on it.
I ran out of fill material and blocks, so there is still a lot to be done, but that's just an excuse for another trip to the cabin and the hard work's all done. Pity, isn't it....


Friday, July 20, 2007

It can't be said better II....

"Rather than offer to brief the congressional oversight committees on this critical issue (Pentagon planning for withdrawal, or if none, why none), Under Secretary Edelman – writing on your behalf – instead claims that congressional oversight emboldens our enemies. Under Secretary Edelman has his priorities backward. Open and honest debate and congressional oversight strengthens our nation and supports our military. His suggestion to the contrary is outrageous and dangerous." (My bold)

Senator Hillary Clinton, 07/20/07
To Secretary of Defense Gates

Note that all Senator Clinton requested was that the appropriate oversight committees in Congress be briefed on what plans the Pentagon had made for any troop withdrawals, and if none had been made, brief them on the reasons for such a policy decision. She's not asking that the plans be implemented, she's not asking for a public discussion, she's not even demanding a commitment to withdrawal.

Instead she gets the Goebbelsian propaganda stance that anybody who questions is a traitor and aiding and abetting the enemy. Anybody still doubt there's a Big Lie here, too? They've been remarkably clumsy though. A healthy majority doesn't believe them anymore.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

It can't be said better--

Bill in Portland Maine, who blogs a daily humor column on Daily Kos:

CHEERS to George McGovern. Disproving the theory that only the good die young, the former Senator and Democratic presidential contender turns 85 today. If he'd been elected in '72 the Vietnam War would've ended sooner, progressive values would've sunk their roots deeper into the American consciousness, and the integrity of the office of the President would've held fast. Instead we reelected a corrupt loon. Thank god we learned from that experience, huh.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Why the French Revolution, you might ask?

I think of it like this. Things in France before the Revolution were a mess. The Bourbon monarchy was basically too ignorant/short-sighted to notice that the people who did all the work were too poor to feed, shelter and clothe themselves. Or if able to do so, barely able while living in and among those who had excess to excess and consumed it conspicuously. Unfortunately, even ignorant and uneducated people can see what is front of their faces. Hence, The Revolution and Liberte, Fraternite, Egalite. When the leaders who came to power abused that power, the people could see who was not helping and eventually turned on the Terror. The goons out of the way, the people could see who was winning battles for La Patrie and who wasn't and hence Napoleon. (Kellerman the elder probably could have done it, too, but I doubt he could have run out the string like Napoleon, which might have been better for France) Overwhelmed by the combined power of Europe and with the Bourbons restored to power, the people could see that Bourbon rule was still not in their best interests, hence the Hundred Days. And even though Napoleon lost at Waterloo, that was still the end of Bourbon rule, because the people can see what's in front of their faces.

What's that got to do with the War in Iraq? Well, in the face of determined propaganda effort, the People have figured out a) THEY have no compelling interest in Iraq, b) we are not fighting terrorists in Iraq and therefor c) a substantial majority (hasn't fallen below 65% since 2006) are of the opinion that we should get out of Iraq. Facing a determined propaganda effort to get us into a fight in Iran, nobody is believing that the Iranians are arming a Sunni Al Qaeda, so if all the violence is from Al Qaeda in Iraq, then Iran is not the problem.... We can see what is in front of our faces, and we are not stupid.

If you want to get us into a war, truth is the only thing that will work, 'cause if you have to lie to get us to go, we are going to quit when we find out and we can see what's in front of our faces.


Fight disinformation (peace, bro)

The latest (or continuing meme) George Bush self-rationalization of "stay the course" is that if we had had opinion polling during WWII, it would have been just as bad. It's the opinion polls that are the problem, not the policy, because Americans are a bunch of ignorant gits who just don't understand Real War. (That last clause is the unspoken assumption, not what he said...)

Of course, there were opinion polls in WWII and though they are pre-DEWEY WINS! and so they might be a little suspect in methodology, they certainly provide broad truths....

WWII Polls of War Sentiment

You may have to crane your neck to make sense of it, but the gist is that the maximum of the Peace sentiment was about 20 percent when the Allies had taken Italy and all that was left was the inevitable crushing of the Wehrmacht by superior numbers with attendant casualties. It correlates pretty exactly with the Americans who believe we are winning approaching 100 percent. And it fell back to 15 percent from there. Mostly it was around 10 percent after Pearl Harbor until the end was clear. This is not even within potential confidence errors and a ball park for poor methodology of a solid 68 percent against continuing the war in Iraq.

Really, we are not stupid. Never were and never will be. We (as in human beings, not necessarily even Americans) can be kept in ignorance by great effort, but the truth will out, so that is never a winning strategy only a holding action. It hasn't been since, ohh, say the French Revolution. (I have real reasons for choosing that point rather than another, but that's another discussion.)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pwning Rome:Total War

Having beaten the long game several times with every Roman faction and all of the civilized factions and even the Gauls, I decided to try to conquer the entire map rather than just the 50 required provinces. This means taking everything and then taking Rome last. After the first 50 provinces, it gets progressively harder, because it's tough to finance the armies and garrisons that are needed, and various points in the hinterlands are always revolting. The Germanic tribes are a particular problem. I finally found Hibernia and the hidden Amazon city about a month ago for the last unconquered territory and it took about ten years of game time to get an army there.

"The tighter you squeeze your hand, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." I've spent the last month crushing rebellions and improving infrastructure (civilizing the tribes) until FINALLLY! I had everybody in control and could take Rome. Of course, if I miss taking Rome, about 4 provinces are going to revolt next turn.

Note the uninterrupted Seleucid grey in the inset overall map. So, over the wall with my best infantry to take the gates, taking horrendous casualties (Roman infantry is the bestest), then through the gates with the Cataphract Elephants and the Cataphract Cavalry. Nothing survives against the Cataphracts.... Nothing. They are ungodly expensive, but oh, can they dish it out.

Teh win!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Detroit 1, Seattle 6 after 6, Update D4, S6 final

Why wasn't Kenji Johjima in the All-Star game???? He puts the eighth pitch of the at bat in the stands for a grand slam against an veteran All-Star pitcher, he's hitting .288 with an OPS (Offensive Production Statistic, hits plus extra bases plus walks per at bat) of .782. He plays every day, if there's a stat for passed balls, he's near the top, he has a good arm and never makes a mistake. Ooops. He just let one by in the seventh. Anyway, who's having a better year? This is why I won't vote in the All Star balloting....


Update: JJ Putz gets a four out save on four batters for his 26th straight save this season. No, Mr. Leyland, you did not shake his confidence when you lifted him with two outs and men on in the All-Star game.... Nice try.

Anger Management.....

Apparently, I have friends who do not subscribe to Greenwood Gab. Who knew?
So Theresa posted this on Greenwood Gab for those who are not members....

Please pass it on....

Mom was a homemaker and Dad worked all his life and
Paid into SS. Dad has passed away and now Mom can
Barely make ends meet. While the possible 'illegal' alien
In front of her at the grocery store buys the name brands,
Mom goes for the generic brands, and day old breads.
She doesn't have out of state calling on her phone,
Because she can't afford it and shops at the thrift shops
And dollar stores. She considers having a pizza delivered
Once a week 'eating out'.

She grew up during the depression, watched her husband
Go overseas to fight in WW II a year after their marriage,
And then they went on to raise, feed and clothe 5 children,
Struggling to pay tuition for parochial schools.

The Senate voted this week to allow 'illegal' aliens
Access to Social Security benefits.

I'm sorry, but how can the Senate justify this slap!
In the face to born and bred, or naturali zed citizens.
It is already impossible to live on Social Security alone.
If they give benefits to 'illegal' aliens who have never
Contributed, where does that leave us that have
Paid into Social Security all our working lives?

Attached is an opportunity to sign a petition that
Requires citizenship for eligibility to receive Social
Services. If you do not wish to sign the petition yourself,<>Please forward on to anyone you think might be interested.

PETITION FOR: President Bush Mr. President: The
Petition below is a protest against the recent vote of
The senate which was to allow
Illegal aliens access to our social security! We
Demand that you and all congressional representatives
Require legal citizenship for anyone to be
Eligible for social services in the United States.

I was grievously offended by the illogic of the argument and wrote this back to the Gab.....

Theresa, I love you and I sympathize with your mother's situation (or any mother in that situation) because I've been there but for crying out loud, ILLEGAL ALIENS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

Hold on to your blood pressure and please read the rest of this. You need to know the truth. If anyone wants to take exception to it, please reply off line, this doesn't belong on Gab. I put it here only in direct response to Theresa's post. Equal time, you know. You can converse directly with me on my blog at I will have a post up to allow comments on this topic tomorrow.
Comments are moderated but I will only moderate for offensive language. Make your argument politely, please. The F word is absolutely forbidden.

Most illegal aliens who work in the United States have Social Security and Federal Withholding held from their paychecks just like you and I do, except they never get an income tax refund 'cause they never file for it and ditto SS benefits. Most employers do their paperwork and turn in the withholding, they just don't check to see if the SS number they are given has anything to do with the individual who gave it. The under the table, cash economy is a small fraction of illegal alien employment. (I used to work with INS, I know whereof I speak.)

Working illegals don't take away from the economy. The economy is not a zero sum game. The simple fact is that all labor adds to the output of the economy. Yes, illegals from Mexico send a goodly portion of their income home. But they spend most of it on housing, food, transportation and consumer goods right here and pay taxes right here, just like you and I, generating profits and tax revenue, just like you and I. If you work and get paid, you are going to spend money and pay taxes. Doh!

The real solution is to invite them into the system, give them social security numbers and, oh why not, citizenship and make them part of the great society. That's what made it great in the first place, that's the only thing that will keep it great. Slam the doors and bar the gates and we can no longer recruit the world's best and brightest looking for an opportunity and we drown in our own mediocrity. Eliminate the stupid quotas. They were a bad idea in the first place. Every single justification for them boils down to racism.

"Send us your tired, your poor, your tempest tossed, yearning to be free. I lift my lamp before the open door." Remember that one? It's engraved on the Statue of Liberty for a reason. It wasn't before, it was AFTER. (Well, it was before, too, there have been several great waves of immigration that built this country. But the artist meant it as commemoration and thanks.)

Your mother's social security is based on how much she paid in, with an allowance for survivor's benefits based on how much your father paid in. What somebody else takes out has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!!!! Who gave you this talking point. It's a non sequiter (the conclusion does not follow from the premise) on its face. If you want to start a rational argument about what may or may not be wrong, or about to go wrong with social security, I'd be happy to engage in that discussion, but you need to be willing to delve into math beyond how much money do I have in my hand.

This is one more reason the Republican party is headed down the tubes, they can't add, subtract, multiply or divide unless it's their own money. They don't get the concept that shared is squared. And immigration has nothing to do with your mother's poverty, nor is preventing immigration a solution for it. If you want to solve that problem for every homemaking mother out there (and Jennifer is one and I will likely pre-decease her by a lot) THINK! Don't just accept this foolish twaddle as true because it comes from what you may regard as a reliable source. It only holds up if you don't think about it.

Start from this point. The economy is not a zero sum game. This is obvious. If it were, we would all still live in caves as hunter-gatherers.


So now, others who do not subscribe to Greenwood Gab can get into the discussion....

Have at me. ;0)


Friday, July 13, 2007


This pathetic piece of fear-mongering is so deep in the internet that the politically inattentive are passing it around. The argument they make is so stupid I spent an hour after bedtime to respond to it and then couldn't sleep for another hour 'cause I was so charged up. I promised in the response to put up a post to entertain counter-argument here. Please, read them both, this needs to be discussed, the only answer to disinformation is information. Click on the comments link at the bottom of the post to reply and I promise I will post your comments no matter what you have to say. I reserve the right to remove bad language (the only reason I moderate comments), but will not otherwise edit them.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I was there too....

Hubert Humphrey's dedication of John Day Dam, and the Maryhill Museum.

So, she's not the only one that can encompass these things. I used to have an HHH flasher button put into my hand by himself. I had to reach past those sweaty guys in black suits she talks about to shake his hand.

Why does this belong on this blog? I was 14....


Vacation is over/news is good

After being off line for six days, I came home to find that 1) the Mariners are solidly in second and moving up on the Angels and 2) a majority of American voters favor impeachment (Impeachment numbers) of Dick Cheney and George Bush. A majority of all Americans favor impeaching Darth Cheney.

I spent a good deal of the holiday thinking about how to put a little militance into my anti-war convictions. This included some meditation on the venerable peace symbol. Regardless of what its mystical origins might be, it remains for me and a lot of my generation a simple expression of the notion that violence begets violence and only peaceful solutions last. So I think I might let it sprout all over everything I own again....

After driving past the old guys with flags (VFW?) peace demonstration on Saturday at fair, I started waving the old two-fingered peace sign around. I guess biking to work isn't the only reason I'm feeling 10 years younger.....


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Faire is over/vacation is starting

The rhetorical question which was to caption this photo in the last post was "How many people does it take to make a faire?" The answer is many more than this. Actor's call on Friday, Dean and Marjorie are Stayin' Alive.... (click on photo to zoom in. You'll see.)

I am going to Mom's cabin on Lake Coeur d' Alene for the rest of the week. No internet, so no posting. Jen downloaded the camera to HER computer so I don't have the pictures from faire on my machine. 's all you get here. Try for more.