Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cafferty File, Immunity from war crimes?

I find this shocking, but why should I be surprised? Haven't we witnessed the
despicable actions of this administration over and over again?

After you have viewed this video please write or call your Senators and loudly object. Following is excerpt from and article on the web site. You can also sign a petition for impeachment there.

There is only one way to stop George Bush from pre-emptively pardoning himself, Cheney, and everyone else in his administration: Congress must impeach Bush and Cheney before Bush can issue such pardons.

The Founding Fathers clearly anticipated a corrupt President might pardon his co-conspirators, and specified impeachment as the remedy.

George Mason, the father of the Bill of Rights (1791-2002), argued at the Constitutional Convention that the President might use his pardoning power to "pardon crimes which were advised by himself" or, before indictment or conviction, "to stop inquiry and prevent detection."

James Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution (1788-2007), added that "if the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds to believe he will shelter [pardon] him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty."

As your constituent, I urge you to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney before they pardon themselves. Here is a link to sign a petition for impeachment.

There must be some accountability for the actions of this lawless administration. If there is any justice on this earth Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz must pay for trashing the constitution and for allowing the stain of torture to be associated with our country. Not only have they ruined their reputations, but they have ruined the high moral reputation that we once had as a nation.

It is unconscionable that they are trying to sneak one more despicable deed in under the radar. The law should be allowed to make them pay for what they have done. It is outrageous that the Republicans are, once more, aiding and abetting Bush's lawless actions.

While the world is focusing on the election the thieves are secretly plotting their escape. They must not be allowed to get away with it.

Do you think that slinking out in the night after making sure they suffer no consequences from their actions is all they're up to? Read on. The following article has been edited. If you want to read the whole article go to The Washington Post.


updated 1:17 a.m. MT, Fri., Oct. 31, 2008

The White House is working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January.

The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo. Some would ease or lift constraints on private industry, including power plants, mines and farms.

Those and other regulations would help clear obstacles to some commercial ocean-fishing activities, ease controls on emissions of pollutants that contribute to global warming, relax drinking-water standards and lift a key restriction on mountaintop coal mining.

"They want these rules to continue to have an impact long after they leave office," said Matthew Madia, a regulatory expert at OMB Watch, a nonprofit group critical of what it calls the Bush administration's penchant for deregulating in areas where industry wants more freedom. He called the coming deluge "a last-minute assault on the public . . . happening on multiple fronts."

As many as 90 new regulations are in the works, and at least nine of them are considered "economically significant" because they impose costs or promote societal benefits that exceed $100 million annually. They include new rules governing employees who take family- and medical-related leaves, new standards for preventing or containing oil spills, and a simplified process for settling real estate transactions.

In some cases, Bush's regulations reflect new interpretations of language in federal laws. In other cases, such as several new counterterrorism initiatives, they reflect new executive branch decisions in areas where Congress — now out of session and focused on the elections — left the president considerable discretion.

The burst of activity has made this a busy period for lobbyists who fear that industry views will hold less sway after the elections. The doors at the New Executive Office Building have been whirling with corporate officials and advisers pleading for relief or, in many cases, for hastened decision making.

Bush's aides are acutely aware of the political risks of completing their regulatory work too late. On the afternoon of Bush's inauguration, Jan. 20, 2001, his chief of staff issued a government-wide memo that blocked the completion or implementation of regulations drafted in the waning days of the Clinton administration that had not yet taken legal effect.


Bush is the first president who has deliberately set out to destroy our nation. There are no words low enough to tell of the contempt I have for this president and his enablers.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Too Old To Trick Or Treat


You know you are too old to Trick or Treat when:

10. You get winded from knocking on the door.

9. You have to have another kid chew the candy for you.

8. You ask for high fiber candy only.

7. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your balance and fall over.

6. People say: "Great Boris Karloff Mask," And you're not wearing a mask.

5. When the door opens you yell, "Trick or..." And can't remember the rest.

4. By the end of the night, you have a bag full of restraining orders.

3. You have to carefully choose a costume that won't dislodge your hairpiece.

2. You're the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a walker.

And the number one reason Seniors should not go Trick Or Treating...

1. You keep having to go home to pee.

It's the Economy Stupid

Derivatives, Hedge Funds, Leverage - it's enough to make my head spin. That's not the only thing spinning. The world economy is spinning out of control and no one seems to know what to do. The patchwork band- aid bailout gave the bankers money to pay themselves a lavish bonus and it turns out to be a stop gap measure. Did you see the article showing the report by the Feds on how the money is being spent with the amounts going to the managers and CEO's blacked out? So much for the transparency that Paulson promised.

At first die hard capitalists blamed the whole mess on the stupid people who took out loans that they couldn't repay. It turns out to be much more complicated than that. Unregulated banks with no oversight or controls are a much bigger part of the problem.

Excerpts from an opinion piece by Roger Cohen in the NYT follows.


I was talking to a banker friend, and he told me the “unraveling” could go on for ages. I thought he meant the unwinding of all the leverage that had inflated everything from the price of stocks to the price of homes.But, just to be sure, I asked him: “Unraveling of what?”

He paused, before saying, “Almost our way of life.”It’s now clear that our credit system the world over was rotten all the way through, a giant house of cards maintained by the ingenious connivance of banks, rating agencies and insurance companies in a monumental heist. The only buyers anyone trusts any more are governments.

But as the state intervenes, in what Ed Yardeni, an investment analyst, called “a giant global game of Whac-A-Mole,” the moles keep popping out of new black holes in our financial system.

The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 10 percent. Crime is up across the country. The economy is shrinking. No arm-twisting from the Treasury has managed to restore the broken confidence between borrowers and lenders. Banks, the few still standing, are holding fast to their cash. Property prices are down more than 25 percent from current levels.

The Dow is still heading south as people get used to the idea of stocks trading at no more than 10 times earnings, rather than the much higher ratios our former leveraged world delivered.

The deficit and national debt stand at unprecedented levels.

The hedge fund industry is decimated — its model of flipping cheap borrowings into leveraged bets around the world has blown up — and one desperate, even contrite, former master of the universe has just sold a Rauschenberg for $9 million less than he paid in 2004.

People still have way too much debt, and the collateral for it keeps evaporating. They are angry. Civil unrest is stirring.

On the bright side, gas prices are plunging. There’s a lot of money sitting on the sidelines in places like Dubai. And, as I mentioned, the dollar is up — more than 20 percent against sterling and the euro in the last three months.

In a way, what’s going on with the dollar is a measure of the extent of global desperation. Here’s a currency backed by debt so massive that it will presumably have to be inflated away some day — and it’s rocketing upward.

To read the latest post on the economy by my favorite economist, Paul Krugman, click on the link.

Op-Ed Columnist - The Widening Gyre -

Are you frightened yet? I had hoped that the 'experts' would know what to do this time and that another great depression could be avoided. That hope is looking dimmer and dimmer. Save your Confederate money, boys. The South's going to rise again.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Great Depression and Politics

The economic meltdown has prompted several people to write stories about the depression. We each have different memories and I will share mine.

I was only 4 years old when the banks failed so I have no memory of the shock this brought about. My earliest memory was of parties given in the lodge building that adjoined our living quarters.

My grandmother was an accomplished musician and had used the money she made leading the orchestra for silent movies and for giving music lessons to purchase a cottage court. The lobby was a large room; so large that the Church used to hold dances there and, ultimately, depression parties.
(See photos. Click on them to enlarge them you will see where I grew up.)

People were getting by on very little and entertainment was not an item in most budgets. Not only was the economy depressed, but so were the people. My grandmother decided to do what she could to help and started holding depression parties every Saturday night in the lobby. These were always potluck dinners with each family bringing what they could and my grandmother furnishing the main dish.

There was usually a theme to the parties. I remember one party was to be a costume ball and people were told to dress as hobos or in raggedy clothes. (Obviously, costumes would have been too expensive). It was called ‘A Tacky Party’. When there was no entertainment planned, my grandmother would play the piano for dancing and she was sometimes joined by a banjo player or another musician. Entire families were invited so I was allowed to attend. I remember looking forward to Saturday night. I am sure I was not alone because it was a time for neighbors to laugh and forget their troubles.

Sad incidents stand out as memories of economic hardships. A little girl in my class named Harriet, wore glasses. Her glasses were broken in a playground mishap; several bullies were harassing her. She was in tears saying the welfare people told her to take care of them because she wouldn’t get another pair. She left school right after that so I don’t know whether she got another pair of glasses or not.

One Halloween a group of us were trick or treating and we stopped at a very small run down house. The man invited us in and offered us each an apple from a barrel containing rotting apples. I didn’t want to take one because there were about six small children there. They were obviously very poor and I think those apples were the most food they had.

Men came to our back door regularly asking if there was any work they could do for food. None left our house hungry. Sometimes my grandmother would give them a small job, but if she didn’t have work she still gave them food. Men came to the front door selling all kinds of gadgets and one of the kitchen drawers overflowed with can openers purchased from them. Other men made rustic furniture out of bent branches and our lodge became furnished with the blasted uncomfortable pieces. (you can see those miserable chairs and couches in the photos. The had nails that snagged your clothes.)

Another memory I have is of the dust storms as piles of silt banked against our house. That fine silt was the top soil blown all the way from Kansas farms to our home in Colorado Springs. The farmer’s themselves soon followed their top soil and stayed at the cottage court en route to California. (John Steinbeck’s classic novel, The Grapes Of Wrath paints an accurate description of this mass migration.) Some of the people didn’t have money to continue on their way. They stayed camped on the area of the cottage court that was set up for tents. Many stayed until they got a small job to earn the money to move on. Some 'tenters' never could pay the rent and my grandmother always sent them on their way telling them to send what they could after they got back on their feet. For years after my grandmother died checks were still coming in from California. I believe every single one repaid their debt.

Because my grandparents were the only ones in our family with an income during those years, she supported my mother and me, my Uncle and his family and half the neighborhood. Because of that I didn’t fare any better than other children and my birthday presents were always new hair ribbons and underwear. When school started I got a new pair of shoes for Sunday and the old ones became my school shoes. I don’t remember feeling deprived, but I'm afraid that's selective memory. (Now when I see the closets of my granddaughters I am amazed at the size of their wardrobes. If things continue to get worse, that may change.)

The impoverished elders suffered the worst. Widows were cruelly evicted from their houses when they were unable to pay the property taxes. Unscrupulous men who had money became wealthy on this despicable practice. If the elders had no place to go they ended up in the Poor Farm. Charles Dickens could have written a scathing novel about the indignities they suffered.

Anyone who would like to abolish Social Security never witnessed the fate of a bankrupt Elder prior to the enactment of that legislation. And those who belittle welfare, as Ronald Reagan did in his infamous lie about the Cadillac driving welfare queen, have never been down on their luck through no fault of their own.

So don't preach to me about 'Socialized' government. Conservatives love to paint the poor as lazy louts lacking in ambition. Ironically, it's okay for the government to pay large agri-businesses to not grow crops, give large corporations hefty tax breaks, and give large tax cuts to the already wealthy. I call that Socialized help for the upper crust.

I hope we never have to go back to those bleak times, but we will all have to tighten our belts. The trickle down voodoo economics is now in tatters. It didn't work and another depression looms large.

Now for the winner of the Sarah Palin's future job contest:


Ugich Konitari who thinks Sarah will star in a film called "I Betcha."


Sylvia who says Sarah will vent her anger on the Moose and Polar Bears in Alaska.
(I think she is already doing that , Sylvia)

Cop Car who has a fantasy of Sarah working for one of the physics high-energy particles labs and explaining to us average folks what it is they're doing. (Huh?)

Kenju and Joy think she will run for the Senator from Alaska.
(Sadly, you're probably closest to being right.)

Thank you ladies for your entries. The contest is over.

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A Horse and A Bailout

For a change of pace to help relieve the stress of the election I am posting a video of a dancing horse named Hors Blu Matine. If you have ever seen the Lippizaner horses perform you will appreciate the skill that goes into training these magnificent animals. Even if horses aren't 'your thing' I think you will find this video entertaining. So pour your favorite beverage, sit back and relax. Time 6.30 minutes.

(Note: I have spent hours trying to embed these videos to no avail. Sorry you have to click on the link to see them.)

YouTube - ANDREAS HELGSTRAND - WEG2006 Freestyle Final

Now that you are relaxed maybe you will be able to take the bad news that the following video imparts. Hard as it is, we need to know as much as we can about the coming days so we can prepare as best we can. Time 6.30 minutes.

YuTube - Why Wont The Bail Out Work? MUST SEE!

Unless they have a crystal ball no one really knows how this economic crisis will end. The experts are all over the map on how deep and for how long the recession will last. I am not an economist and have trouble balancing my checkbook (even though I keep it on the computer) so I won't pretend to make a prognosis. All I can do is hope it isn't as bad as the Great Depression I once lived through.

I am still waiting for more entries in my little contest " What will Sarah Palin end up doing after she has trashed (tarnished) her image and her political career is over. No entry is too outlandish. This is the last call for ideas. I will post the winner on my next post.

Please click on SYLVIA'S VIEW FROM OVER THE HILL and welcome her to her new site.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Follow Up

As a follow up to yesterday's disreputable video by Michelle Buchanan here is Keith Olbermann on the same subject. You won't find this one so offensive.

Lest we forget why we must elect Democrats this time I am enclosing an old video that I think is important. We need to look forward, it's true, but sometimes we need to be reminded of why we are fighting so hard. We must not stop until Obama is our next president.

We must not let our democracy slip into fascism. Under George Bush we came very close to giving up our most vital freedoms.

Bush hasn't stopped yet. He is trying to do another sneak attack by removing the protection of 11,000 acres of beautiful Utah land and opening it up to oil and gas drilling and to ATV's. t r u t h o u t | Proposed Rule Would Ease Restrictions on Mining Pollution

We must remain vigilant and keep writing our representatives to stop his mischief. Lets just hope he doesn't decide to bomb,baby bomb Iran before leaving office.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

ACORN Is Not A Nut

John McCain's "greatest voter fraud in history" is really laughable. When you don't have any answers and your policy is so flawed that your own party denounces it ,you have no arrows left in your quiver. All you can do is change the subject and try to scare voters about your opponent.

Jeremiah Wright didn't work out too well and the Ayers smear is falling on it's face as the truth comes out. What's left? Try to tie Obama to ACORN. It's nutty, alright.

The truth about ACORN follows: excerpt from an editorial by Michael Winship on TRUTHOUT.


ACORN registers minority communities whose voices all too often go unheard.

What happens is that some of those hired to do the registering, who are paid by the name, make people up. As a result, you'll discover that among the registrants are such obvious fakes as Mickey Mouse and the starting line-up of the Dallas Cowboys, among others.

This is where the Republican meme kicks in. As they have in past elections (although now louder and more angrily than ever), the G.O.P. has made ACORN the red flag du jour as the party tries to mobilize its conservative base and, allegedly, attempts to suppress the vote and distract attention from accusations of election tampering made against them, too.

The charge is that these fake registrations will create havoc at the polls. On Tuesday morning, former Republican Sens. John Danforth and Warren Rudman, chairs of Senator McCain's Honest and Open Elections Committee, held a press conference and described the results of the bad seeds in ACORN's registration program as "a potential nightmare." Danforth said he was concerned "that this election night and the days that follow will be a rerun of 2000, and even worse than 2000."

John McCain raised it at Wednesday night's final debate and went further, adding, "We need to know the full extent of Senator Obama's relationship with ACORN, who [sic] is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy "

Obama replied, "ACORN is a community organization. Apparently, what they have done is they were paying people to go out and register folks. And apparently, some of the people who were out there didn't really register people; they just filled out a bunch of names. Had nothing to do with us. We were not involved."

Which is not to say Obama has not been associated with ACORN in the recent past. He has. As he said in the debate, as a lawyer, he joined with the group in partnership with the US Justice Department to implement a motor voter registration law in Illinois - allowing folks to register to vote at their local DMV. His work as a community organizer bought him into contact with ACORN, the organization received money from the Woods Fund while he was a board member there, and his presidential campaign gave ACORN more than $800,000 to help with get-out-the-vote campaigns during the primary season - but not, apparently, for registration drives.

All of this distracts from several important points. ACORN has registered 1.3 million voters and maintains that in virtually every instance it is ACORN that has reported the incidents of fraud.

As the organization asserted in a response to Senator McCain, "ACORN hired 13,000 field workers to register people to vote. In any endeavor of this size, some people will engage in inappropriate conduct. ACORN has a zero tolerance policy and terminated any field workers caught engaging in questionable activity. At the end of the day, as ACORN is paying these people to register voters, it is ACORN that is defrauded."

Arrests have been made, as well they should be.

Add to this the simple fact that registration fraud is not election fraud. Seventy-five made-up people who are registered as, say, "Brad Pitt," are not likely going to show up at some polling place on November 4 to vote in the election. Because they don't exist. (Besides, Angelina would never give them time off from babysitting duties.)

Granted, there are ways to mail in an absentee ballot under a fake name and, too, from time to time some joker is going to come to the polls and try to bluff his or her way in. But despite the charge that thousands and thousands of fakes will flood the machines and throw off the count, it does not happen very often. And according to ACORN, "Even RNC [Republican National Committee] General Counsel Sean Cairncross has recently acknowledged he is not aware of a single improper vote cast as a result of bad cards submitted in the course of an organized voter registration effort."

What's equally if not more scary are continued allegations of Republican attempts at "caging" minority voters - making challenge lists of African- and Hispanic-Americans registered in heavily Democratic districts. Just this week, a federal judge in Michigan ruled that voters could not be purged from the rolls in that state simply because their mailing address was invalid - this followed a failed attempt by a Michigan Republican county chairman to use a list of foreclosed homes as the basis of voter challenges.

This comes on the heels of a recent report from the Brennan Center at New York University documenting how state officials - often with the best of intentions - purge huge numbers of perfectly legal voters from the rolls.

As my colleague Bill Moyers reported, "Hundreds of thousands of legal voters may have been dumped in recent years, many without ever being notified." The report describes a "process that is shrouded in secrecy, prone to error, and vulnerable to mischief.

Hardly reassuring words if you want democracy to work, and sadly,not an urban legend, but the simple truth.


A good friend gave me an idea and I am going to propose a contest. There will be no prize except the knowledge that they are very clever.

So here it is: Tell what Sarah Palin will be doing after she has ruined her political career. Answers will be on a later post.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Laugh Long and Hard

I have a busy day scheduled and will only make one comment on the debate. Others have covered it better than I could.

I thought John McCain looked sick. He seemed to be having great difficulty in making a coherent statement and he appeared to be reciting his attack points (Of which there were many) by rote the way a child says his/her ABC's.

Now that I have that out of my system I am going to post another humorous piece for your laugh today.

In the event that you haven't seen this I think you will find it a real tension reliever. Even if you have seen it before it's worth another laugh.

The Problem of Illegal Immigration

From the MANITOBA HERALD, Canada (a very underground paper):

The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration.

The possibility of a McCain/Palin election is prompting the exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt,pray, and agree with Bill O'Reilly.

Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night.
I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn,' said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. 'He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. When I said I didn't have any, he left. Didn't even get a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?'

In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields. 'Not real effective,' he said. 'The liberals still got through, and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk.'

Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves.

'A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions,' an Ontario border patrolman said. 'I found one carload without a drop of drinking water. 'They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet, though.'

When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about the McCain administration establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to shoot wolves from airplanes, deny evolution, and act out drills preparing them for the Rapture.

In recent days, liberals have turned to sometimes-ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers on Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney hits to prove they were alive in the '50s. 'If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we get suspicious about their age,' an official said.

Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan Sarandon movies.

'I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't support them,' an Ottawa resident said. 'How many art-history and English majors does one country need?'

~Author Unknown

All Grown Up plus A Small Political Rant

The last big event before the election will be tomorrow night's debate. The question now is, will John McCain have the gall to mention Ayers? I hope he does, because it gives Obama the perfect chance to inform everyone that he, along with McCain, was thoroughly investigated and vetted prior to running for public office. Therefore, there could not be any connection with a terrorist organization in his past. This would expose McCain's scurrurlous lies to all but the most dim witted.

It will be a relief to have this election over for several reasons; one of which is that my telephone is ringing off the hook. Because it's difficult for me to hear on the phone when Messenger ID says the call is toll free or from unavailable I just lift the receiver and hang up. At least I am getting my exercise running to do that little chore.

As promised I am enclosing the grown up photos of my family to let you know how those babies turned out.

The top photo is, of course, me flanked by Rachel on the left and Sarah on the right. The next photo is of my two daughters. The oldest, Lynne, is on the left and Gail is next to her. You may have to click on it to enlarge it for a better look.

The next one is of my son, Mark. It is not as recent as the first two, but I couldn't find one that is more recent in Picassa.

The last one (below) is also an old photo and we have all aged since it was taken, but it includes my three older grandchildren, Mike, Pam, (me) and Dave. This was taken at Lynne's outdoor graduation from College and we were in the bleachers. Happy times.

Now you have seen some of my family and I will probably add to this at a later date. But I am sure looking at photos of people you don't know gets boring very fast.

Back to politics: I am sure the debate will give me lost of ammunition for a blog. I am glad that the negative ads and rallys backfired on McCain and they are now pulling their punches. At least I hope so.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Inciting a Riot

"Kill him." "Terrorist" "Treason" "Off with his head"

These, plus racial slurs, are the words heard at a John McCain Rally now. Sarah Palin is whipping up the mob with her lies, distortions and innuendos against Barack Obama. Will someone please explain to me why she isn't being arrested for inciting riot, a Federal Offense? Does an actual riot have to occur before someone takes this threat sriously?

William Ayers was a terrorist, it's true, but that was when Obama was eight years old. Ayers is now a respected Professor at a University. In reality Obama's ties to him are tenuous, at best. There is nothing in the relationship to indicate that Obama had anything but contempt for Ayer's behavior when Obama was a child. To be blunt, Palin is a detestable liar. It's one thing to twist facts the way all politicians do, but quite another to distort them to incur hatred and impugn the other candidates character.

The McCain defenders point out that McCain denounced these false labels by correcting a woman who said Obama was an Arab. We've all seen that video. I am sorry, but that does not give McCain a pass with me. Until he muzzles his surrogates and takes Palin with her smiles and winks off of his ticket, I have to assume he secretly approves of this garbage. If Obama or Biden are killed as a result of inciting this hatred, the guilt will be on McCain's shoulders.

The hypocricy of Palen's false accusations is breathtaking. Her husband, Todd, was, until 2002, a member of AIP. This is an organization founded by Joe Volger who proudly proclaimed that he "had no use for America or her damned institutions." and "the fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government."

Palin attended a AIP convention in 1994 when the AIP called for a draft constitution to secede from the United States. She also attended the 2000 Convention (admitted to by the McCain campaign.) She then agreed to give the keynote speech at the AIP's 2006 convention and she recorded a greeting for this year's convention.

If we want to look at guilt by association, Palin's guilt looms large. She is married to a recent member of a terrorist group. She attended their conventions. She has lied about it. Joe McCarthy must be applauding her form the gave for sheer chutzpah.

I must be a real dolt because I do not understand why the press is minimizing the danger to Obama or why they aren't maximizing the ties Palin has to the AIP.

Fair and balanced reporting? I don't think so.

For another guy who palled around with terrorists click on the link. (Hint: his initials are R. R.)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Babies (Cont.)

This is a continuation of the post shown below. The top photo is of my granddaughter, Rachel. She just celebrated her 15th birthday.

Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of my oldest daughter as an infant because her biological mother kept them. What photos I did have I gave to her daughter and sons. Therefore, this is the oldest photo I have of her and was taken approximately 30 years ago.

Following are photos of her son, Mike and daughter, Pamela as children. I can't find a photo of her oldest son, David, (forgive me, Lynne) and don't know if I gave it to him with the others or not.

I guess this series will have to continue with photos of Dave's. Pamela's and Mike's children. I will post what I have at a later date.

Obviously, I will have to follow up with the most recent photos of my tribe. Perhaps tomorrow I will have the nerve to continue this project.

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My civic duty has been accomplished and my vote for Obama is in the mail.

I am ready to move on to other things today. Politics will have to take a back seat for awhile until I become calm again.

Someone once asked me to post photos of my family. Out of the hundreds that I have I couldn't decide where to start. Instead of the most recent, I decided to start where we all begin - as infants. Here is the beginning of my immediate family.

Top photo is me being held by my paternal grandmother Hill when I was a few months old.

The next photo is my son, Mark, at approximately the same age.

Next is my daughter Gail at six months.

The last photo is of my youngest granddaughter, Sarah. The photo of her older sister, Rachel, is missing.

Sob. This is the third time I have tried posting this blog and Rachel's photo has vanished.

Since I don't seem to make this better I will show Rachel's baby photo on the next post.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Break From Politics

This arrived in my e-mail box and I liked it so much I decided to share it with you.

I think we all need to take a deep breath and get away from the political nastiness for a day. I know I need to or I won't survive the next four weeks.


The computer

swallowed grandpa.

Yes, honestly its true!

He pressed 'control and 'enter'
And disappeared from view.

It devoured him completely,
The thought just makes me squirm.

he must have caught a virus
Or been eaten by a worm.

I've searched through the recycle bin
And files of every kind;
I've even used the Internet,
But nothing did I find.

In desperation, I asked Jeeves
My searches to refine.
The reply from him was negative,
Not a thing was found 'online.'

So, if inside your 'Inbox,'
My Grandpa you should see,
Please 'Copy, Scan' and 'Paste' him
And send him back to me.

This is a tribute to all the Grandmas and Grandpas who have been fearless and . ....

learned to use the Computer.... .

They are the greatest!!!

We do not stop
playing because
we grow old;

We grow old
because we
stop playing .

First To Get Old!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Despicable Hatred

John McCain and his pit bull, Palin, have descended into the mire of such dirty politics that I wonder how they will ever wash it off. If there is any justice left in this world their political careers should be finished by this revolting display of inciting hatred.

Two debates down and one to go. Can we get to the next one without Sarah Barracuda getting Barack killed? She has crossed every line imaginable in attacking Obama and the racists seem to revel in the mud. When one man yelled "Kill him." after she implied that Obama was a terrorist she didn't back down.

I hope that the Secret Service assigned to Obama's safety are very alert because there will always be some "nutcase" who thinks it his mission to eliminate the threat of a black man for president.

While McCain pulled his punches in last night's debate he couldn't resist referring to Obama as "That One." Since I had never heard the meaining of that label I had to wait until this morning to find out how nasty it was. I read that racists call blacks by that name as an insult. (This has been referred to as a Southern thing. Others do not find this offensive. At the least, it is rude.)

Did you see McCain deliberately insult Obama by refusing to accept his hand after the debate? That he seems to actively dislike Obama is obvious by the tone of his voice and body language, but to be so petty on National TV and refuse a common courtesy is beyond the pale. At least Cindy tried to save McShame's face be taking Obama's outstretched hand. (I am adding information that was posted on my blog to the effect that McCain did shake his hand, but the camera didn't catch it. I am unable to verify this. I just know I saw McCain look down as Obama approached.)

I am including some excerpts from this morning's NYT editorial on McCain's campaign. To read the entire editorial go to the New York Times home page.

I have edited it for brevity. (Will someone please tell me how to put a box around quotations).


Politics of Attack

Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have been running one of the most appalling campaigns we can remember.

They have gone far beyond the usual fare of quotes taken out of context and distortions of an opponent’s record — into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia. Senator Barack Obama has taken some cheap shots at Mr. McCain, but there is no comparison.

Despite the occasional slip (referring to Mr. Obama’s “cronies” and calling him “that one”), Mr. McCain tried to take a higher road in Tuesday night’s presidential debate. But apart from promising to buy up troubled mortgages as president, he offered no real answers for how he plans to solve the country’s deep economic crisis. He is unable or unwilling to admit that the Republican assault on regulation was to blame.

Ms. Palin, in particular, revels in the attack. Her campaign rallies have become spectacles of anger and insult. “This is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America,” Ms. Palin has taken to saying.

That line follows passages in Ms. Palin’s new stump speech in which she twists Mr. Obama’s ill-advised but fleeting and long-past association with William Ayers, founder of the Weather Underground and confessed bomber. By the time she’s done, she implies that Mr. Obama is right now a close friend of Mr. Ayers — and sympathetic to the violent overthrow of the government. The Democrat, she says, “sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

Her demagoguery has elicited some frightening, intolerable responses. At a rally in Florida this week a man yelled “kill him!” as Ms. Palin delivered that line and others shouted epithets at an African-American member of a TV crew.

Mr. McCain’s aides haven’t even tried to hide their cynical tactics, saying they were “going negative” in hopes of shifting attention away from the financial crisis — and by implication Mr. McCain’s stumbling response.

The tactic of guilt by association is perplexing, since Mr. McCain has his own list of political associates he would rather forget. We were disappointed to see the Obama campaign air an ad (held for just this occasion) reminding voters of Mr. McCain’s involvement in the Keating Five savings-and-loan debacle, for which he was reprimanded by the Senate. That episode at least bears on Mr. McCain’s claims to be the morally pure candidate and his argument that he alone is capable of doing away with greed, fraud and abuse.

Mr. McCain has stooped so low, since the debate showed once again that he has little else to talk about. His Reagan-inspired ideology of starving government and shredding regulation lies in tatters on Wall Street.

Mr. McCain and his team can come up with a better answer to that problem than inciting more division, anger and hatred.


John McCain's temper is well known. Please check out the video.
YouTube - John McCain's Rage is a National Security Concern

Monday, October 6, 2008

Health Care Destruction

If the Bush administration hasn't done enough to ruin our country, and by association our citizens, a McCain presidency would surely finish the job.

I have just spent several days in an e-mail discussion with an arch conservative about the economy, starting with the offshore drilling. He thinks it's a necessity and I think it would be a disaster. Neither one of us changed the others mind and he will surely cancel my vote. The consoling reverse is that I will cancel his.

I feel so much frustration in not being able to make my case better. He is adamantly against "social engineering" as he puts it. His premise is that social engineering is the entire cause of the housing crisis. While I have to agree that it certainly played a part in the crisis, I maintain that lack of oversight made it possible. In this case, there is enough blame to go around. Unintended consequences of allowing unqualified buyers to purchase houses started the problem, but it certainly was not the only cause of the unfolding disaster.

But on to the health care crisis. Again, my e-mail debater will not agree with this article as we are poles apart on politics. I do think that most of you will see the wisdom of Paul's analysis. Please make comments pro or anti.

For anyone who still thinks that John McCain's health care plan of giving a $5,000 tax credit to pay for health insurance is a good plan I recommend that they read the following article by Paul Krugman.

"Health Care Destruction

Sarah Palin ended her debate performance last Thursday with a slightly garbled quote from Ronald Reagan about how, if we aren’t vigilant, we’ll end up “telling our children and our children’s children” about the days when America was free. It was a revealing choice.

You see, when Reagan said this he wasn’t warning about Soviet aggression. He was warning against legislation that would guarantee health care for older Americans — the program now known as Medicare.

Conservative Republicans still hate Medicare, and would kill it if they could — in fact, they tried to gut it during the Clinton years (that’s what the 1995 shutdown of the government was all about). But so far they haven’t been able to pull that off.

So John McCain wants to destroy the health insurance of nonelderly Americans instead.

Most Americans under 65 currently get health insurance through their employers. That’s largely because the tax code favors such insurance: your employer’s contribution to insurance premiums isn’t considered taxable income, as long as the employer’s health plan follows certain rules. In particular, the same plan has to be available to all employees, regardless of the size of their paycheck or the state of their health.

This system does a fairly effective job of protecting those it reaches, but it leaves many Americans out in the cold. Workers whose employers don’t offer coverage are forced to seek individual health insurance, often in vain. For one thing, insurance companies offering “nongroup” coverage generally refuse to cover anyone with a pre-existing medical condition. And individual insurance is very expensive, because insurers spend large sums weeding out “high-risk” applicants — that is, anyone who seems likely to actually need the insurance.

So what should be done? Barack Obama offers incremental reform: regulation of insurers to prevent discrimination against the less healthy, subsidies to help lower-income families buy insurance, and public insurance plans that compete with the private sector. His plan falls short of universal coverage, but it would sharply reduce the number of uninsured.

Mr. McCain, on the other hand, wants to blow up the current system, by eliminating the tax break for employer-provided insurance. And he doesn’t offer a workable alternative.

Without the tax break, many employers would drop their current health plans. Several recent nonpartisan studies estimate that under the McCain plan around 20 million Americans currently covered by their employers would lose their health insurance.

As compensation, the McCain plan would give people a tax credit — $2,500 for an individual, $5,000 for a family — that could be used to buy health insurance in the individual market. At the same time, Mr. McCain would deregulate insurance, leaving insurance companies free to deny coverage to those with health problems — and his proposal for a “high-risk pool” for hard cases would provide little help.

So what would happen?

The good news, such as it is, is that more people would buy individual insurance. Indeed, the total number of uninsured Americans might decline marginally under the McCain plan — although many more Americans would be without insurance than under the Obama plan.

But the people gaining insurance would be those who need it least: relatively healthy Americans with high incomes. Why? Because insurance companies want to cover only healthy people, and even among the healthy only those able to pay a lot in addition to their tax credit would be able to afford coverage (remember, it’s a $5,000 credit, but the average family policy actually costs more than $12,000).

Meanwhile, the people losing insurance would be those who need it most: lower-income workers who wouldn’t be able to afford individual insurance even with the tax credit, and Americans with health problems whom insurance companies won’t cover.

And in the process of comforting the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted, the McCain plan would also lead to a huge, expensive increase in bureaucracy: insurers selling individual health plans spend 29 percent of the premiums they receive on administration, largely because they employ so many people to screen applicants. This compares with costs of 12 percent for group plans and just 3 percent for Medicare.

In short, the McCain plan makes no sense at all, unless you have faith that the magic of the marketplace can solve all problems. And Mr. McCain does: a much-quoted article published under his name declares that “Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.”

I agree: the McCain plan would do for health care what deregulation has done for banking. And I’m terrified."

After reading this I believe you will see the connection between the economy and health care as visualized by McCain.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

I have been a fan of Jon Stewart since my daughter introduced his show to me years ago. His satire is hilarious and he was never funnier than on the following clip.

Not only is humor the best medicine, it is the best way to get a point across. You just gotta' love the guy.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Official Website | Current Events & Pop Culture News, Comedy & Fake News | Comedy Central

(Try as I might, I just don't get the hang of embedding the video on my blog.)

I assure you that after you see this recent clip you will want to stay on the site and view more of Jon Stewart's videos.

Since Palin has proven herself to not only be lacking in knowledge, she has compounded her ignorance by making stupid excuses. Poor Sarah - Katy Couric irritated her. Oh really? How lame can you get?

With McCain's famous temper and her lack of sportsmanship (hunting wolves from a helicopter) their administration would be a total disaster.

If there is a God, please let him keep these two idiots from running our country.

One Of the Oldest Old or I Am An Antique

Ronni, of TIME GOES BY, had a writing project open to all of us over 80. Unfortunately it coincided with my preparations for my trip to Colorado. I simply didn’t have the time to give it any thought or to write an essay. Now I have more time to think about the changes in my life between the ages of 60 through 83.

I was widowed exactly 24 years ago this month. My daughter was living with me then but she needed to get on with her life and moved out sometime after that. The stress I was under during those years caused such a blur that I really can’t remember when she left or for how long. She did move back home later when she was suffering with a severe back problem. For several years I had a revolving door.

I was soon living alone for the first time in my life. I had recently lost my job because my hearing level deteriorated and I was quickly under great financial stress. During that time I was unsuccessfully trying to find employment.

I kept busy improving my house. When my husband was alive I would call on him to do the most menial tasks, like changing a light bulb. (Please don’t send me any “How many morons does it take to change a light bulb? I’ve heard them all). Out of necessity I discovered skills I didn’t know I possessed. I painted and wallpapered rooms, repaired drywall holes, replaced every door knob in my house with the European style handle. mowed the lawn, trimmed the hedges, etc. I was surprised and pleasantly gratified to find that I wasn’t as helpless as I thought.

When I was able to go on Social Security at the age of 62 I thanked Franklin Roosevelt for his foresight and crossed my fingers hoping that I would stay healthy until I was eligible for Medicare; Luckily, I didn’t need to see a doctor during that period and was, again, grateful when I could add my name to the roll of the insured.

I remained healthy and wisely invested the small insurance amount from my husband‘s policy. I was fortunate that the interest rate was paying 12% and my investments grew rapidly. I had always wanted to see far away places with strange sounding names so I cashed in some of my Mutual Funds and took to the friendly skies for a trip to the British Isles, France and Italy. I used three different tour groups and planned my itinerary between tours. It fulfilled the dream of a lifetime.

I am very frugal by nature (not cheap, you understand - just thrifty) and I managed to add to my travels by visiting Spain, Morocco, and a cruise of the Greek Isles. At the age of 75, I made my final European tour.

I have friends in Switzerland and, using their home as my base, I visited Austria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. This turned out to be the most exciting trip of all because I was totally on my own. Since I was not with a group I could take as long as I wanted in the museums, leave early if I wished, and I was in full charge of my itinerary. I even managed to see Neuschwanstein castle in Germany and it became the highlight of that trip.

While I saw many wonderful things on that trip it also made me realize that my days of traveling by myself had come to an end. Schlepping my suitcase on and off trains, staying in less than desirable places, sometimes sharing a bath, dealing with the con artists at the stations, etc. were just too much for an old lady. There were days when I simply wished that I was home in my own bed because I didn’t feel well and was too tired to enjoy what I was seeing.

I believe that’s when I began to feel old. My last trip coincided with the sale of my house and buying a town house. Up until my mid seventies I did not feel old and was constantly amazed at the fact that the calendar said I was becoming an ancient. I continued to do all of my work, but physical limitations were beginning to appear. (A caveat: my hearing loss was the first limiting problem and it had occurred many years before so I have to qualify my last statement.)

Rapid changes in attitude accompanied declining energy in my 80’s. I no longer miss going to concerts, plays, and other events that were once desired. Somehow, very little seems worth the effort. I am quite content to stay home with a good book or a DVD. I fall asleep watching TV, or even a good movie. I go to bed when that happens no matter how good the show might be. At first I tried keeping a regular bed time routine then one day I thought, “Why bother?” Who cares if I go to bed at 9 pm and get up at 3 am. I am setting my own schedule and not apologizing for it. My doctor does not approve.

I also find that I do not suffer fools gladly now. I am ashamed to say that I am not as tolerant of people who believe things just because Oprah, Rush or some politician say it's so. I admire people who think for themselves. It should be the other way around, I know. I should be like the Beatitude for elders that says, “Blessed are they who never say, you’ve told that story twice today.” I am doubly ashamed because I know I am guilty of the very thing that irritates me.

I no longer care if my house is spotless. It used to be a matter of pride that my furniture was polished, the floors clean, the windows washed and all was in order. While I was never a Mrs. Felix Unger I did try to retain my image. No more. I think that might be a matter of self preservation because I am aware that I am unable to do the hard work necessary. I shove it onto my list of things that I won’t worry about. Now I am more like Phyllis Diller who joked, "I clean my house twice a year whether it needs it or not."

My mental closet is full of things that I will think about tomorrow. I have become a regular Scarlett O’Hara.

Like Mort said in his post on this subject, decisions are much harder now. I just don’t want to have to make any. I want my life to run smoothly without complications and a mix up on a bill can drive me to distraction. I hate having to deal with computer problems, being overcharged, etc. Truth to tell, I don’t handle stress well at all. There are also days when I think I need a keeper.

I have fears, but they are no longer about things that go bump in the night. I fear a stroke or a disability that will rob me of my independence. I do not fear death; I fear what may come first. Everyone wishes that they could just go to sleep and not wake up. Very few are so blessed and even though I hope I am one of those, I fear I may not be. My worst nightmare is that I might become a burden.

There is much to be said for being 83. I am contentedly happy and I am more aware of small pleasures. I appreciate each extra day that I have been given. I love being responsible for no one except me, and I enjoy the freedom that I now have. Old age brings many problems, but it is
also a time of great joy.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Biden vs Palen

The long awaited Veep debate is now a thing of the past and I can breathe again. Here is "Fact Check" points on the errors.

Both candidates had some stumbles on foreign policy. Palin, in criticizing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's Iraq policy, said that President Bush's Iraq troop ``surge'' plan had worked and that U.S. troop levels in Iraq are now back at pre-surge levels.

In fact, there are 152,000 troops in Iraq. There were 137,000 troops there before the surge.

Palin also said that Obama has refused to acknowledge that the surge worked, but in a Fox News interview last month, he said, ``The surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated . . . I've always said it's succeeded beyond our wildest dream.''

In Iraq, Palin said, ``we're getting closer and closer to victory,'' and ``victory is within sight'' because of the surge.

That's far more optimistic than U.S. military commanders and analysts are. While the level of violence in Iraq is much improved, military commanders and a report this week from the Pentagon caution that the gains are fragile and threatened by a number of worrisome developments.

Most analysts also say that, while adding the extra troops in Iraq last year helped, other changes may have had more impact. These included the decision by radical Shiite leader Muqtada al Sadr to agree to a cease-fire and a U.S. program that paid Sunni tribesman to fight Islamic extremists in their midst.

While talking about Iraq and Afghanistan, Palin incorrectly called the U.S. commanding general in Afghanistan ``McClellan.'' The top military commander in Afghanistan is Army Gen. David McKiernan.

Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, misspoke when he said ``we kicked _ along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon.''

Hezbollah, a radical Shiite Muslim group, is very much alive in Lebanon, part of the government there, and in fact more powerful than it's ever been.

Biden may have meant to say Syria, which under intense international pressure withdrew its forces from Lebanon in 2005 after a two- decade-long presence.

On domestic issues, Palin attacked Obama, accusing him of voting 94 times to either raise or fight against tax cuts., a non-partisan watchdog Web site, called the claim ``misleading.''

According to FactCheck, Obama voted against proposed tax cuts 23 times. He also voted 11 times for increasing taxes on families earning more than $1 million a year to help pay for Head Start school nutrition programs.

Moreover, 53 of his votes were on non-binding resolutions on allowing scheduled tax cuts to expire.

Palin repeated a McCain campaign claim that Obama voted to raise taxes on Americans making as little as $42,000 a year, but that claim, too, is considered misleading. Obama voted for a non-binding resolution on budget guidelines assuming that the Bush tax cuts would expire on schedule in 2011. The resolution was not a vote to raise taxes.

Palin overstated Alaska's contribution to America's oil and natural gas needs. She said her state has ``billions of barrels of oil and hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of clean, green natural gas.'' Natural gas is cleaner than oil or coal, but it still emits hydrocarbons when it's burned.

Alaska produces 3.5 percent of all U.S. energy, 13.7 percent of U.S. oil and 2.3 percent of U.S. natural gas, according to the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration

Palin added that Alaska is building a ``nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline which is North America's largest and most expensive infrastructure project ever to flow those sources of energy into hungry markets.''

In fact, no building has begun, no federal pipeline approval has been issued and actual construction is years away _ if it ever happens.

This summer the Alaska Legislature, at Palin's request, passed a law under which the state will issue a ``license'' to a Canadian energy company, TransCanada Corp., and pay it up to $500 million as an incentive to attempt this enormous project, which Alaska politicians have long sought with little success. The license is not a construction contract.

Palin also put the price tag for the project at nearly $40 billion, an

exaggeration. This is roughly $10 billion more than most cost estimates industry players and consultants have made to date.

She also appeared to misspeak when she said that when she and others in the state legislature found out that Alaska had some millions of dollars investment in Sudan, they called for divestment ``to make sure we weren't doing anything that would be seen as condoning the activities there in Darfur.''

There's no evidence, however, that Palin had any part in the divestiture legislation, and one legislator who was involved said there's been no sign of her.

I apologize for the ads that appear in this blog. They do not show up in my Preview. I can't delete them because when I go to my template to try and fix something, another thing gets screwed up. Arrrrgh!