Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Dollar Got The Blues

This is the late great Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown. His home town was destroyed by Katrina as he was passing on from lung cancer. He was one of my favorite musicians of all time.

In person he was as affable as he appears. He enjoyed performing and he enjoyed mixing with the audience. The long running bathroom joke at his appearance started with someone saying, "Gatemouth! I sure wish I could play that thing the way you do!", and Gatemouth would reply, "It ain't nuthin, I just take it out and point it, and it does the rest."

I got to see him at 'Karavan of Dreams' in Fort Worth and again at 'Poor David's Pub' in Dallas. I regret that I didn't get to see more of his performances while he was still with us. An autographed poster of him hangs in a room my house.

Here he is performing, 'Dollar Got The Blues'.

Footage of the Jazz funeral held for him in New Orleans.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Thomas Paine Turns 270 Today.

But I'm only turning 44! Yeehaw!

Its been a slow birthday. The office did cake and ice cream for me last Friday. My wife gave me a beautiful card this morning. It read something about a wonderful and giving man. I had to make sure it was for me.

I spent the morning at a trade show. Got some office stuff out of the way later.

As my self selected presents, I'll be getting a DVD or two from

I rented the Lightnin' Hopkins one from Netflix, and I'm very impressed with it. I intend to put these lessons to good use.

Well, I gotta post some code so no one gets the idea I'm spending my birthday slacking more than usual.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

CNN Video Report of Kidnapping and Murder

Video Here

Exclusive Golf Courses Get a New Lease

Drillers tapping into local golf courses

Map: Fairway explorations
Map: Fairway explorations

It's little surprise that Shady Oaks Country Club -- where Tex Moncrief has been a fixture in the grill room for almost a half-century -- kept the mineral rights under its 135 acres along Roaring Springs Road between Westover Hills and Westworth Village.

Turns out, too, that the neighboring Westworth Redevelopment Authority also has the mineral rights to more than 300 acres, even though it has leased much of the land it got from the former Carswell Air Force Base along White Settlement Road for commercial development.

So the exclusive country club, built by Fort Worth golfing legend Marvin Leonard a half-century ago and the longtime golfing home of the late Ben Hogan, has gone together with its Westworth Village neighbors and some other landowners to put together a 500-acre natural gas lease that Shady Oaks member Jack Fikes describes as "very attractive."

"We have had about six or eight operating companies approach us, and we think we'll sign a lease within two or three months," Fikes said after a neighborhood meeting this week at Burton Hill Elementary School in Westworth Village.

Shady Oaks will join Colonial and Rivercrest country clubs among those negotiating with natural gas operators to lease their land. Rolling Hills Country Club in Arlington, long under pressure to sell for development along Interstate 30, has gotten a new lease on life with a natural gas lease. So has the historic Glen Garden Golf & Country Club on Fort Worth's southeast side, which signed a lease a year ago.

Golf courses are attractive urban drilling sites because, unlike densely populated neighborhoods, drillers can lease hundreds of acres of mineral rights with a single signature.

Fikes told about 250 Westworth residents that the Barnett Shale natural gas drilling "is coming. You better get ready for it."

The city's redevelopment authority got about 400 acres of land from the federal government when Carswell Air Force Base was closed in the early 1990s (the base has stayed open as a naval air station).

The redevelopment authority intended to sell the land for what is becoming a thriving commercial development along the north side of White Settlement Road. It also upgraded the old Carswell Air Force Base golf course, now with a new life under the Hawks Creek name.

"We couldn't sell the land under clear title because there were some environmental issues to be resolved, so we had to keep the title to the land and the mineral rights," says Leland Clemons, director of the Westworth Village Redevelopment Authority. "I wish I could say that I was farsighted enough to have made the decision to keep the minerals, but it just worked out that way."

So Westworth Village is in line to get a handsome lease bonus, likely to be in the four figures per acre, for its share of the land. Combined with the Shady Oaks property just to the south, the lease of almost 600 acres could be one of the more attractive gas-production parcels in the city.

Fikes said Shady Oaks will not be home to a drilling-rig pad site. The adjoining Hawks Creek course, which is open to the public, may become a drilling site, Clemons said.

Hawks Creeks has about 190 acres compared with 135 acres for Shady Oaks.

In addition, the city of Fort Worth continues to cash in on the Barnett Shale. Last year, the city leased the 18,000 acres under Spinks Airport for $4,000 an acre to Four Sevens Oil Co. The lease has been sold to Chesapeake Energy of Oklahoma City.

Now comes word that Meacham Field on Fort Worth's north side has attracted a bid from Fort Worth-based XTO Energy of $17,111 per acre as a signing bonus.

The total bid for the Meacham lease will be more than $14 million, which the city's gas-drilling consultant Paul Midkiff believes will be a record signing bonus.

XTO had been the runner-up on the Spinks lease, with its 25 percent royalty falling short of Four Sevens' 27.5 percent. This time XTO is taking no chances, offering 28 percent for the Meacham lease.

Loose Cannons In Iraq

In a strange new twist, things have taken a turn in Iraq. It seems the Marines that reportedly died repelling an attack last week, were actually kidnapped by people who may or may not have been american Mercenaries.

As we've learned, the soldiers were abducted by men dressed as American Mercenaries, wearing American uniforms and driving an SUV used by American mercenaries. They were driven to a spot 25 miles away and executed.

We these men working for Blackwater or Dynacorp? Or were they Iranian or Russian agents?

If they were Iranian, then is this the reason that Bush just gave the order to kill Iranian agents on sight?

So if we make the assumption for a moment, that Iranians are pretending to be American Mercenaries, then they can travel anywhere they want, without US soldiers intervening. If they continue to to kill US soldiers they'll soon have US Marines firing on Halliburton, Blackwater and Dynacorp employees. They could have Americans fighting a civil war against each other in Iraq.

How will it play out if US Soldiers and US Mercenaries start slaughtering each other? How safe will employees of Blackwater be in the US if US servicement returning home, blame the corporation, for slaughtering their fellow soldiers on cold blood?

Now it coul also be that Blackwater or Dynacorp or whoever pays these mercenaries, is sending a message to our soldiers, not to interfere in their operations. Perhaps they are murdering US Soldiers as part of a business deal? Maybe drugs, smuggling, contraband? Maybe they got caught supplying the enemy and had to kill the soldiers that witnessed it?

Multiple Hollywood scripts could be written into this scenario.

Now this isn't an unusual or unexpected problem. Throughout history, mercenaries have been known to turn against the nations financing them. That's why its considered a bad idea to employ mercenaries in the first place. Where soldiers follow the orders of their generals and are expected to be fighting for their country, mercenaries are fighting for money.

And in a war, money can be made in lots of ways. Mercenaries can sell drugs, protect weapons shipments to the enemy or even sell information about the soldiers movements and plans to the enemy.

When mercs fight alongside regular armies, resentment builds, mismatched goals and objectives interfere and eventually, soldiers and mercenaries start killing each other.

Some mercenaries in Iraq are earning up to a thousand dollars a day, on the books. Who knows what many are earning, by feeding the engine of war off the books. These men will continue to make this money so long as the US does not win in Iraq. If the US wins, they will get laid off. And they know it. Their livelihoods depend on keeping the war going. As they have strong financial incentives to keep the US soldiers fighting Iraqis forever, one has to wonder if they can be trusted at all?

Regardless, its begun. Our Marines will now execute any civilians that they think are Iranian spies. Now that they can't be sure if Halliburton, Blackwater or Dynacorp employees are Iranian agents or not, they may start shooting them dead, just to be sure. How long before we have open battles between US soldiers and handomely paid mercenaries?

Next, will Iranians be pretending to be Marines and abducting Halliburton employees?

Or is this even Iranians? Iraqis are killing mercs and stealing their stuff. Who knows who is who now? At least the recent orders make sense now. I can see why the US White House didn't want this story to get out.

Bush gave the order to shoot suspects on sight. Good luck, mercenaries. you'll need it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Times of Sacrifice

Bush asked for still another second chance to let his plan work its magic, a little while longer in Iraq.

When that chance is exhausted, he'll get another second chance.

The military is running low on recruits. The soldiers are tired and suffering attrition. Their gear can't be replaced as fast as its used up. The enemy grows stronger every day.

The plan is to keep doing what we're doing.

Congress apparently still loves the war and growing mountain of human carcasses. Bush feels joyous about the war.

The criteria for handing out second chances really, really sucks.

Bush has had a lifetime of endless second chances. I guess it would be wrong, to stop giving him an infinite number of second chances to waste other people's lives and money, at this late stage.

I believe we've crossed a turning point. Our surge is nothing but a ripple. But the Iraqis have grown stronger. They are surging. And they'll keep increasing in effectiveness and they'll continue to wear us down.

We can't afford to keep fighting using expensive hi-tech gear. The war has changed and we're getting the beat down.

Bush now needs a lot more warm bodies. Men are cheaper than the gear that we've been using up. Boots are cheaper than humvees.

Bush made it clear that we need to dramatically cut domestic spending to free up more money for the war. We need to cut social Security, Education, Medicare, Medicaid. If Bush is going to keep getting second chances, then we need to divert more of our resources to the war and really make the personal sacrifices that matter.

Bush needs more money and more people for this war. If you're between the ages of 18 and 42, you need to go sign up for military service. If for some reason you can't, you need to quit driving so much, to free up fuel for the military. Let the kids walk to school. Ride a bike to the grocery store. Cut back on shopping. Buy local foods. Start a Victory Garden.

If we don't make sacrifices, they will be forced upon us. The times are a changing. If we don't cut back on our debts, prices will rise until we're forced to do without. If we don't volunteer to become cannon fodder, the draft will force us to go.

Bush is leading us into the greatest conflict since World War II and Congress is playing kissy face. We're going in, you'd better start stocking up on the food items you like.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Same Plan - Keep Dying For Bush

Well, Bush has asked for his 15th or 16th helping of second chances. I'm sure he'll get it, after all there's plenty more where those came from.

I'm sure our soldiers and mercenaries will be proud to die for his ego, and the plan that doesn't seem to actually exist. I'm sure that more mothers and fathers will be more than happy to bury their kids in the name of giving Bush an endless helping of second chances.

How many years of increasing slaughter with no objectives will it take to win the unknown goals? How many more deaths do you need Bush? At what point will you feel that enough have died to feed your vanity? I would guess there is no limit to the number of sacrifices you would like us to make at your feet. I believe your vanity has a hunger that is never filled.

You've told us that the war makes you feel joyful. I believe it. You laugh and joke about the dead and dying, and I believe you are sincere when you do so. And you'll keep laughing enjoying the slaughter.

We know that you'll get many more second chances and many more will die to feed your joy. Congress will slaughter many more Americans by giving you many more chances to feed the fires of war. Just never tell them that its the deaths that turn you on. That the sacrifices are the point. If you ever let that slip, the slaughter will end.

Enjoy the sacrificial pyres Bush. We're burning them in your honor.

Preparing Us For Personal Sacrifices...

It looks like Bush is preparing us for some hard times to come in his upcoming State of the Union Address.

He's calling for us to reduce gasoline consumption by 20% over ten years, while increasing ethanol consumption.

He's also calling for Congress to make budget cuts in domestic programs, in a time when he continues to ask for increasing sums of money to pay for his wars of conquest.

Finally, he wants our oil reserves to be increased in volume.

For the first one, I wonder if he's preparing us for cuts that will be the direct result of foriegn wars that he intends to start. Is he getting us used to the idea of oil disruptions due to a war with Iran? He's running out of time to start such a war. He needs to hurry if he wants it.

Ethanol is in my opinion just a subsidy generator. To my satisfaction, no study has ever demonstrated that ethanol does not take more energy to produce, than it provides.

Or is he getting us ready for Peak Oil? Knowing him as we do now, its not in character for him to do anything that doesn't harm the US. I doubt that Peak Oil is driving this except as a peripheral reason.

Budget cuts in domestic programs? Maybe levee building? The US is becoming a nation who's worth is only measured by our military. We're becoming a mercenary force, at the beck and call of international corporations. Are we ready to live the lifestyle of ancient Sparta and become simply a tool for war? Are we ready to give up our MTV?

More reserves? If Bush is taking us down the road to increasing sacrifce, then this isn't likely for domestic use. After all its a 'Strategic Reserve'. I expect a good portion of it will be needed by the US Military for domestic operations as people begin to resist the call to sacrifice for the Bush Family.

the Secret Government

Hat Tip to This Modern World.

Bill Moyers documentary on creating wars to drive corporate profits into the 1980s.

Spring Is Coming!

Yay! I got my seed order placed yesterday from

Gonna try again to get a good stock of peppers in. Last year, my new puppy destroyed almost all of my potted seedlings. She's a bit calmer now, and she's taught me a few things. I still need to put a short fence around my garden area, to get them trained to stay out. They avoided it mostly when it was still planted, but as bare earth, it is very inviting. Ella and Teaser love to dig.

I'm also going to try an experiment with corn this year. I'm fencing off half my chicken yard and planting it in corn. When the corn is tall enough (can it be?) I'll let the chickens back in there, on a trial basis. I'm trying a Hopi Blue Corn and a tall variety of yellow corn. I expect the birds will tear up some of it, but hopefully not most. And it should provide them some cover from the summer heat. I lost a couple of birds last year before I got a mister set up. 105f is too much for them.

Along with a variety of peppers, I'm doing the usual beans, squash, tomatoes, eggplant and some heat tolerant cabbages. I really don't have much luck with greens as it goes from cold to hot so quickly, they start wilting soon after they come up.

If the weather permits, I may spend this Saturday getting the seedlings started.

Its gonna be fun!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Elizabeth Sladen!

"Yo! Doggy!" - Jed Clampitt

My teenage heart throb. :)

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven

This Still Fits...

Brave New Day
Words by Jack Dingler
Sung to the Tune of ‘Rare Oul’ Times’

We burned down old Fallujah, gave them rubble and decay.
And in the death and glory, gave them a brand new day.
For to give them dreams of freedom, we must take their lives away.
That is how we do things, in this brave new day.

For freedom is only slavery, the truth composed of lies.
And with every person we learn to hate, we learn to die inside.

We argue and we bicker, we shout our words of hate.
And while we kill for Jesus, we’re consumed by our debates.
We started out to save the world, and save them from themselves.
Now we keep on fighting, to glorify ourselves.

We gave them a puppet government, then declared them free.
And every one that disagrees, dies in a shooting spree.
We’re going to give them liberty, and a democracy.
And few people that we know today, can tell us what that means.

For freedom is only slavery, the truth composed of lies.
And with every person we learn to hate, we learn to die inside.

And back here in America, the land of the free.
Our livelihoods are being sold, to interests overseas.
With no new trades to take their place, no new things to learn,
The land and people living here, have no other place to turn.

For in a war economy, we must sacrifice.
And give up hopes and freedoms, to support and win the fight.
And as our debts mount higher, while our jobs they disappear.
I can’t help but wonder, what it is we fear.

For freedom is only slavery, the truth composed of lies.
And with every person we learn to hate, we learn to die inside.

And when the war is over, and our boys return to stay.
What will they find they were fighting for, what will we have to say?
With bodies torn and ragged, with their innocence stripped away.
What will they think as they learn to live, in their brave new day?

For freedom is only slavery, the truth composed of lies.
And with every person we learn to hate, we learn to die inside.

Musical Interlude

Emmylou Harris - Hobo's Lullaby

Emmylou Harris & Arlo Guthrie - Deportee

Emmylou Harris - Wayfaring Stranger

Bush Delivers

I'm sure you've seen a lot of news like this, "Market bombs kill 100 in 2 Iraqi cities", lately.

Bush promised us that there would be more sacrifices over the next two years, and he was shooting straight. I believe that he equates death counts with sports scores, and assumes that higher numbers are enough to lead us to victory. Not much else makes sense in the view that he pushes, that more sacrifices will bring us the 'Big Win', whatever that might turn out to be.

So for the next two years, this is the only plan we'll have. More war, more deaths, no change in plans, more of the same...

And at least recruitment is going well. Pundits tells us that recruitment quotas are being exceeded. They tell us that the armed services are lying when they say they've dropped their quotas, so they can exceed them to make good press. As we know though, the military lies about everything, just ask Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly, the guardians of truth.

In fact, recruitment is going so well, the Marines are asking their retired members to come back and play in Iraq. I suppose that over time they may quit asking nicely and just force them to return. Though a number of retired military guys that I know believe that they can't be forced back into the military, we all know that Iraq can just be declared a National Emergency by our elected Napoleon and they'll be shipped overseas, lickety split. Laws don't apply to Emperors, and they can always battle out the decision in court when the war is over. And its not like they can't just change the law regarding this issue.

In other news, there seem to be a lot of presidential hopefuls coming out of the woodwork. I don't know if this turnout is historic or setting records, but its more than I remember in my lifetime.

And what is drawing them out? We've had a crappy economy, and national disasters in the past, that changed the kind and number of candidates that have run. So I assume at this point that the war is attracting them like moths to a flame. they see this as their chance to play a role in history and to have their names appear in history books. With luck, there may be entire chapter devoted to their time in office.

With so many candidates running, the percentages tell me that some of them are running for honorable reasons. But I suspect that personal glory is driving most of them. They want a chance to prove that they can be great War Presidents. And they assume they can manage the job. Why run if you think you'll fail? And I assume they believe that simply have to do better than Emperor George, in order to be placed as a positive footnote in the pages of history.

Well good luck you Napoleon Wannabees! From the safe perspective that I sit from, it looks like you're all running for office in one of the worst times in history. Iraq, Afghanistan and probably Iran and Syria are going to be so screwed that you'll be swimming in a charnel soup by the time Bush retires from office. The best you might hope for is to do what Bush is doing, just simply keeping the slaughter going at a rate that makes him joyous and happy, to paraphrase his own words. At worst, you'll be known as the president that lost the war.

Now of course, some might say there are three paths the next president can take. They can win, lose or draw. Sun Tzu addresses our situation quite well in his famous work, The Art of War. And he tells us that we've taken the path of the losers already. He tells us that a would be conquering army will lose if it doesn't win decisively in short order. He tells us that a long war of occupation will always result in bankrupting the invading nation. Sun Tzu argues that in the case of our two wars, we've already lost, because we didn't win to begin with.

A president then, who maintains the war, is going to be a lame duck, drawing political attacks from all directions. Every decision will be questioned, and a lack of victories will cause his or her own party to lose faith.

And of course, leaving is losing, in the eyes of the empire.

Perhaps a fourth choice may be available. The next president could start more wars. Bush believes that attacking is the same as victory. He is bored by drawn out conflicts (by his own admission), and loves the initial phases of war the best. The dropping bombs, green screen explosions and fawning coverage, must have been quite an ego boost for him. He's got to be itching to start another war. The next president may be anxious to have wars that he or she started, just to show that they love bloodshed as much as Bush.

The next president will only sit for one term. I don't see how it could work out any other way, so long as we continue to have pretend elections.

And the president after that will be drowning in charnel sewage.

What a mess.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Vietnam 2.0

In two articles this morning, White House: Can't rule out an attack on Iran and Bush: Congress can't stop troop increase, the White House is clearly setting us up for a wider confrontation in the Middle East.

Bush says he's not concerned about his legacy, that he's expanding the war to protect America. I guess the more war and terrorism we have the safer we are. Perhaps once we're at war with twenty or thirty nations and bombs are going off in our major cities, we'll be really, really safe. As Bush has been explaining it, peace is dangerous because we forget that people want to kill us, but war is safe because we're killing people. Killing people as fast as possible, makes people safe.

Oh, yeah, and Iran is post peak on oil. We're running out of time taking their oil away from them. In a few short years, Iran will be consuming as much oil as they produce and that will end their exports. As their exports decline America suffers. From the perspective of getting the World's oil at all costs, I can see how Bush sees it as a necessary evil to kill tens of millions of Iranians in order to get Halliburton's oil out of their country.

Of course they won't all die in the bombings. They'll die over the next few decades due to the ravages of war.

I don't see how the US will be able to pull this off without a general draft. An attack on Iran will bring their military into direct confrontation with US forces. So we'll be battling insurgents with modern weaponry. Iranian soldiers with modern weaponry and losing both Iraq and Iran.

The parallel to Vietnam in this view isn't so good. Sure Nixon sent soldiers into Cambodia. But Cambodia was backwoods nation without a modern military. Iran has a strong military and modern weapons. They also have experience in war, and they'll be fighting on their own turf.

Where we will be fighting to secure their oil and we'll worry about cost cutting to get that oil, the Iranians will be fighting for the lives, for their nation, for their families, homes, culture, religion and their way of life. They know that if they lose, they lose everything. It will be a fight to the death for them. For our soldiers it will be more weary troop rotations with gear that is falling apart.

We're coming to a juncture were we will soon have to go on the cheap and sacrifice men instead of gear. Bush is taking us to the next level when the enemy will be surging. We won't be able to get hi-tech equipment out fast enough, so we'll have to draft citizens and send in warm bodies.

Our Neocon War Loving Pundits have been creaming for the day when they too get to cheer for a world war. They told us for years that Iraq is just like World War II. That the US and Britain are the Allies and Saddam was Hitler. I'm afraid that soon they'll get to cheer another big war. It may not be World War III but its gonna be a doozy.

In Bush's latest television appearance, he came off as extremely effusive. The prospect of expanding the war, clearly made him very happy. You'd think he was a kid who just got a new puppy. This upcoming attack on Iran should be a big ego boost for him. And starting wars is really the thing that gives him joy. As we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, it was clear in his television appearances that he was having a really good time. As the wars dragged on, he got bored with them, and they lost his attention. Same for Osama Bin Laden. He was pretty excited about getting the guy, but now he really doesn't think about him anymore.

Having a President that enjoys starting wars, but doesn't have the energy and focus to finish them, puts us in a dangerous position. Once we hit Iran and Syria, we'll have to wait two years for another President, that may or may not be able to resolve these conflicts. A lot can happen in two years.

And Somalia? Is Bush going to commit troops there and expand that conflict? Somalia is an oil producing nation. I guess no sacrifice is too great, when it comes to pillaging oil for Halliburton.

26f In Texas

Its nice and chilly today in North Central Texas. We hit the expected low of 26f.

It rained all weekend and it'll keep raining, so I spread straw all around my chicken pen, so my birds don't have to walk in icy mud.

This might be my last posting for the week. My company has plans to go on a working retreat today, and I'll be spending a week at a client's site.

With roads iced over and freezing rain, I'm not sure this is going to happen today. But we'll see. Perhaps the weather will relent a bit?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Don't Let Bush Fail!

If you're a Bush fan, love the war, and are between the ages of 18 and 42, go sign up today!

Bush is short 10,000 soldiers in order to finally win this war.

If he fails, its your fault for not helping out. If you love Bush, don't let him down!

Go down to your local recruiting stating, sign up and help Bush win the war.

He needs your sacrifice!

Don't be a terrorist! Don't make Bush fail! Sign up!

New With 7.5% More Splurge!

Bush has spoken. He has a new plan. Its same as the old plan. He's simply making a media blitz over adding slightly more troops.

We've done this before, but we didn't see the marketing blitz last time.

Will the insurgents give up now that they know there will be 7.5% more troops? I doubt it. If actually increasing troop levels in the past didn't work. I don't see how bragging will change things this time.

And you may be asking, "But isn't it 15% more troops?" And that's a good question. Bush has been bragging about sacrificing 20,000 more troops, but the armed forces have only found 10,000 more.

Will marketing turn the tide of battle in place of strategy? Will the old failed plans work better if the death rate goes up 7.5%? I doubt it, but maybe Bush knows something we don't?

Now if this were a ball game, we could imagine someone saying, "Oh My God! The home team is getting skunked! If only our team could put in 7.5% more effort, we could win this!"

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wednesday Music Blogging

Its time to cheat again.

Here's a gem from newfiefiddler from New Foundland.

The Bog Set

Splurging For Respect!

I hadn't heard this before, but I'm not surprised, 'NBC News reported that an administration official "admitted to us today that this surge option is more of a political decision than a military one."'

I'll go a step further and argue that if this is even partly true, then its not so much about politics as it is 'pride'.

Bush doesn't want to be labelled by history as a 'loser', so he's 'sacrificing' our military men and women to save his pride and secure his legacy.

But more than that, he can't keep saying we're winning if its clear to everyone that we're losing ground. By increasing the rate of carnage he might well be fine tuning the war to keep us from neither losing nor winning excessively.

I'm reminded of the scene in Terry Gilliam's Baron Von Munchausen where Horatio Jackson (Jonathon Pryce) meets with Sultan (Peter Geoffrey) to discuss terms to continue the war and keep profits up. We learn later that Horatia is being made a fool of, as though he is profiting from maintaining the war, Sultan is cheating and amassing more forces with which to win the war with and take everything.

This is a longstanding problem competitive endeavors. If you fight to stay still your competition will eventually outflank you.

And in Iraq, Bush, Cheney, Rice and friends are all playing the part of Horatio Jackson. they are working to maintain the war in order to extract profits, but the enemy keeps changing tactics on them. When things start going sour, our intrepid leaders must go back to the board room and discuss marketing strategies, and new ways to repackage their product. The product being the war itself.

The difficulty comes into play when two ideologies collide. Our side wishes only to keep the war going as it is, to extract wealth from the American people and move it into private hands in other countries, filling secret numbered caribbean accounts. This side will profit so long as our forces don't win or lose.

Losing is losing and vistory is losing. The only true way that we win, is to never be victorious. That way we can keep winning forever.

The other side wants us out of their country and they don't give a damn about profits. They only want to win. Because they aren't bound by corporate board meetings and accounting practices, they have a lot more tools at their disposal to interrupt war profits and to put our forces on a losing path.

There is another thought process being suggested, and that is that Bush is simply suffering from delusions.

Paul Craig Roberts (Reagan Cabinet Member and Staunch Conservative) reports in the article The Surge, that "Bush is like Hitler. He blames defeats on his military commanders, not on his own insane policy. Like Hitler, he protects himself from reality with delusion. In his last hours, Hitler was ordering non-existent German armies to drive the Russians from Berlin."

But he goes on to argue that the surge is intended to be put forth to battle the Shi'ites. As we know, Saudi Arabia says that we need to stop them from killing Sunnis, whom we are fighting.

So we need to kill Shias, so we can protect Sunnis from being killed by Shia's while we continue to fight the Sunnis and kill them.

This doesn't sound so good to me. This splurge is going to cost us, and cost Bush. Is there a path that they can navigate that will maximize their looting, while making Saudi Arabia happy? Probably not. And keep in mind that the Saudi royalty doesn't care who lives or dies, but they must placate their population who is siding with the Sunnis.

Then there's Israel. They want us to finish already and turn Iran into what Iraq has become.

It must be a tough path to tread. The administration has three priorities to satisfy.

1. Maximize and stablize profits.
2. Do whatever Saudi Arabia says to do.
3. Do whatever Israel says to do.

Bush has it tough. I wonder how much of this he understands?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Another New Oil War

Its a little known fact that Somalia is an oil producing nation. Are we preparing to set up more permanent bases there? Is this the beginning of another 'long war'?

Gunships attack suspected al Qaeda fighters in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- Helicopter gunships attacked suspected al Qaeda fighters in the south Tuesday after U.S. forces staged airstrikes in the first offensive in the African country since 18 American soldiers were killed there in 1993, witnesses said.

Witnesses said 31 civilians, including two newlyweds, died in the assault by two helicopters near Afmadow, a town in an area of forested hills close to the Kenyan border 220 miles southwest of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. The report could not be independently verified.


Red Green Goes Green!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Boy Mauled By Tigger On Family Outing

I'm having trouble buying this story as its sold.

In the morning news, the kid was interviewed and claimed he was taking so many pain killers that he was too numb to feel anything.

I know from experience that if that boy had been clocked hard enough to need pain killers afterwards, he wouldn't have been standing straight and tall right after he was hit.

Disney however, needs to protect its image. Everyone will see soemthing different in this footage. I see grifters taking advantage.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Scientists Are Stupid

I just got to hear Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) on C-Span2.

He just argued that all of our knowledge of Gobal Warming comes from computer models. He chastised scientists and told them they need to start using measurements in their models. He recommended that they spend a year correcting their models using actual measurements taken in the field.

He went on to argue that Polar Bears are not in danger, because polar ice is not melting.

I think the US Navy needs to listen. When their submarines are under the ice, doing sonar readings to determine it's thickness, they should also be doing measurements.

Stupid Navy, Stupid Scientitsts. They need to take lessons in taking measurements from the very smart Senator. Perhaps they should buy new rulers? Maybe one marked in cubits?

We're Losing Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS - A new report by scientists studying Louisiana’s sinking coast says the land here is not just sinking, it’s sliding ever so slowly into the Gulf of Mexico.

Some scientists believe oil and natural gas extraction in the middle and late 20th century caused much of the sinking; others say the land is caving in because the Mississippi River and other waterways were straightjacketed by levees, which stopped floodwaters from replenishing the soil.

Is it possible that this man made disaster is making a contribution?

Warrants No Longer Needed

In a recent signing statement, Bush gave the US Government the authority to open and read your mail without a warrant.

WASHINGTON - President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant, the Daily News has learned.

The President asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open people's mail under emergency conditions.

That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Kissing Hank's Ass

More blogger cheating. Just reposting the hard work of others, and using it to fill space.

This little video is a gem.

Wednesday Dog Blogging

What's more fun than watching George Bush on Television? It's No Holds Barred, 'Dog Fights'! Its the Canine Ultimate Fighting Championship!

Teaser takes down Ella, and pins her in the third round!!!

How will she ever recover from this devastating defeat from a short legged upstart?!!!

Ella is my one year old Catahoula Leopard dog. Teaser is a six month old Border Collie + (German Shepherd + Rottweiller). If I remember correctly, his daddy was the border collie.

National Guard Troops Are Unavailable

The morning news just reported that there are no National Guard Troops available to help out in the blizzard in Montana. Seems they are all off fighting a foreign war of conquest for the Libyan Division of Halliburton.

I wonder, if we did have a major terrorist attack in the US, how long would it take for our National Guardsmen in Iraq to respond?

Still more talk this morning on McCain and his belief that 150,000 troops can conquer the millions of people living in Iraq, when 130,000 can't. Talking heads are saying that this will work because the complaint has always been that we started the war with too few men.

Since the mathematical and temporal aspects of this argument don't add up, let me point out that this increase, plus Star Wars Cloning Technology and the invention of a Flux Capacitor will save the day.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Keith Olberman goes on a tear at Crooks And Liars.

It seems that Bush is becoming a bit more open about how he'll proceed in Iraq. He plans to send more troops, accept their sacrifice and hope that this will make good political hay.

Still Bush has no plan. No objectives. No mission for these 20,000 additional men and women, except to fight against the people of Iraq.

Like pawns in a morbid chess game, these young men and women be sacrificed, except that in chess, we can make the assumption that the players are trying to win.

Of course this is no game. Bush is not trying to win. To win, you set objectives, you make plans and you give your troops a mission that they can accomplish. Bush intends simply to sacrifice their lives in order to stay in Iraq. For him it seems that this war is just a game.

Staying is winning. Leaving is losing. Every year that we stay the situation deteriorates, is a win for the White House. Because of course, we are only there for the oil. And in that quest every American is expendable in the eyes of this administration.

The American People are catching on. But ever so slowly. And I doubt that there will be any serious opposition to the war before 2008. By then, we may well see 10,000 American dead in Iraq, and over a million dead Iraqis. But these are sacrifices that Bush is willing to make, in order to generate more wealth for himself, his family, his business associates and himself.

Every person Bush has slaughtered in sacrifice represents joyous happy profits.

"If you listen carefully for a Democrat plan for success, they don't have one. Iraq is the central front in the war on terror, yet they don't have a plan for victory," - George Bush

"The load of the war is not heavy. Its a joyful, not a painful experience, because I know that millions of people are praying for me." - George Bush

Dick Gaughan - Tom Paine's Bones

Dick Gaughan is songwriter/musician that I have admired for many years. He's worth looking up if this sort of music appeals to you.

Dick Gaughan sings about the revolutionary 18th century thinker and propagandist Thomas Paine. Song written by Graham Moore.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Lynch Mobs, Saddam, And a Turning Point

Glenn Greenwald over at Unclaimed Territory has posted an article detailing more illegal activities committed in order to rush the execution of Saddam Hussein. He references an article in Time Magazine that discusses the 'Legal Work Arounds' that had to be implemented in order to satisfy the US Military that they were not committing a crime when handing Saddam over, to suffer an illegal execution.

Time Magazine shows a few pictures including the Shia Death Squad Members putting the rope around his neck.

It seems that the hanging was quite a celebration.

The cacophony from those gathered before the gallows included a shout of “Go to hell!” as the former ruler stood with the noose around his neck in the final moments, and his riposte, barely audible above the bedlam, which included the words “gallows of shame.” It continued despite appeals from an official-sounding voice, possibly Munir Haddad, the judge who presided at the hanging, saying, “Please no! The man is about to die.”

The Shiites who predominated at the hanging began a refrain at one point of “Moktada! Moktada! Moktada!”— the name of a volatile cleric whose private militia has spawned death squads that have made an indiscriminate industry of killing Sunnis — appending it to a Muslim imprecation for blessings on the Prophet Muhammad. “Moktada,” Mr. Hussein replied, smiling contemptuously. “Is this how real men behave?”

Evidently, there is a video circulating on the net showing the execution. Like Red State Son, I won't be posting it here. It shouldn't be too hard to find though. Dennis writes about the ghoulish glee that people are expressing after watching the video.

I can't say I'm surprised. Our thin veneer of civilized behaviour is fading fast, as predicted by those that have chronicled the decline of empires. We no longer have great accomplishments to celebrate. So instead we celebrate grisly but meaningless conquests.

I realize that my thinking here is somewhat defeatist. Atrios makes such an argument, then laughs it off as comedy. But at this time we have so much going against us, and we've been losing the battle for so long on so many fronts there's got to be a point, where anyone with a bit of rationality left is forced to admit that what we are doing is not working, and we don't seem to have any other options.

Saddam's Festive Execution by a Lynch Mob, is merely a symptom of a larger decay process in which our civilization is unraveling on multiple fronts. We're losing our energy supply, water, climate, and with these the ability to grow enough food to keep our population static, much less booming. We are engaging in massive fiscal waste, and suffering under the most corrupt government we've ever had.

But these are patterns we've seen in other long dead civilisations. Even the fight to restore our political process and turn things around is echoed in the accounts of long dead activists. And the pattern keeps turning out the same way over and over.

Sadly, we're fighting the war against statistical certainties. Essentially the more of something you have, the more predictable and deterministic the aggregate behaviour becomes. A single organism, is unpredictable. A group of organisms, becomes somewhat predictable, but still can surprise the observer. A count of billions of organisms becomes very predictable. We can observe this fundamental principle from the microscope to the petri-dish, to the herds on the plains, and finally, to humanity itself. Folks often use the argument, that we aren't yeast. And that's true, but there are a lot of similarities. We, like yeast see population explosions when there are ample nutrients to feed our growth. And as we grow, we poison the very environment that sustains us.

And if I haven't lost you there, consider that its a $Big $Business to model the herd behaviour and control it. Nielsen for instance is one of front runners in measuring and controlling human herd behaviour. They do great business in predicting our behaviour and helping marketers capitalize on their expertise. Nielsen statisticians understand that we are like yeast. They turn this understanding into dollars.

Marketing firms are heavily invested in politics. They use their knowledge of the human herd to analyze trends, predict behaviour and control it.

I'm not as certain as some that our government saw a meaningful upset in its composition in this last election. Sure, the colors changed some and some real progressives made inroads, but I don't see but a few notable figures there, that have the gumption to fight for ethical principles. I hope that I am wrong, but I believe its too early to tell if the game is still rigged or not. I think the onus is on the new congress to prove it isn't.

The kind of optimism that Atrios and many of his friends enjoy, has been unfounded in my view. Its the optimism of a compulsive gambler that has faith that one day the big payoff will come. The faith that one the occasions that the house loses, that gambler will be the winner. But in the long run, the house always wins. The house knows it. The gambler knows it. But the gambler has hope and optimism. The gambler doesn't want to hear that his or her plan for becoming fabulously wealthy will likely never pan out. Nor does the gambler want to recognize that when the big win is finally achieved, its often a squandered gain.

The fight does need to be fought, if only for gaining small moral victories in which to feed our souls and improve our karma. But recognizing that the game is lost is often seen as position of weakness. Those with the faith, tell us to have hope and they revel in it. But hope is what everyone carries with them as evil is perpetrated against them. Those that lose their hope fight back, and don't accept the insults to their lives and liberty. We're seeing this in Iraq, where the people have lost hope, and they are fighting for the right to control their own future. They are done with hoping things will get better. Now they fight for it.

Here in the US, we are all hoping things will get better. Until we lose that hope, as a collective we'll remain divided between those that have faith that things will turn out better, and those that see the system as purposely rigged against its citizens.

The Bush administration is doing a fine job of imploding the dreams of the status-quo, but we're still early in the decline. I expect 2007 to see us further plunge into lawlessness and continue to lose those things that were once precious to the People of the United States of America.

Keep on trucking, Red and Blue believers. Some people need faith. Some need strategies. At some point, the tide will turn and you'll find yourselves needing action more than hope. But I expect that will not come before the next presidency, and likely sometime after that. If you want me to believe and have faith, and to quit arguing that your efforts don't mean much, then do something different. Recognize that the strategies your employing today aren't doing the job. Congress and the media still think that the Law, the US Constitution and those that believe in it are on the margins. Show them they are wrong. Take it to eleven. Ghandi showed the way.

But you know what? Ghandi's people knew that hope wouldn't unshackle the British chains. They knew that only by demonstrating self sacrifice, would the British be shown for the tyrants they were.

But you and I know, that the people aren't ready. So it ain't gonna happen. Not until the government beats us down to the point where there is no hope left. So in the mean time, keep on trucking. I'll continue to write, garden and live my life. You can continue to get angry with me for pointing out that we aren't at the right point of the decline, to collectively work together to fix the system.

Oh yeah, Happy New Year!