Sunday, July 30, 2006
CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S BEEN SO LONG!
Holy sh*t, it's been a busy couple of weeks. Four birthdays, a weekend spent canoeing the Pigeon River. Plus, trying to get ready for the Indiana Paddler's Rendezvous in Lafayette next weekend, and a VERY hot day paddling the Elkhart!
Happy Birthday to my granddaughters Savannah and Sierra, my son's girlfriend Sarah, and ME!
Spent much of my spare time this week and last working on the the Michiana Canoeguyandgals' official new website Paddle Michiana. I did find the time to make some killer spare ribs and watch the Tiger's beat the Twins on my son's Big screen HD tv Friday night!
I have not been completely out of touch, however. Have you noticed that even the Republicans are becoming increasingly frustrated with the Bush administrations foreign policy? Congressman Jim Leach (R-Iowa), considered the House's leading foreign policy expert , was extremely critical of Bush's foreign policy in general and middle east policy in particular.
I am sure you have probably seen this BUSH DRUNK video from The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. But just in case, I offer it here. Besides, it is so funny, you can't see it too many times!
Friday, July 21, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
No matter how hard you spin it, Iraq is now embroiled in a full flegged civil war. 6,000 Iraqis have died at the hands of other Iraqis in the last two months alone.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban are resurgent and increasingly strong. The Brits and Canadians have both sent re-reinforcement in hopes of dealing with them. Their support increases every day in the south, while the government continues to disappoint its constituents.
Iran has brilliantly out maneuvered the US over the Palestinian/Israeli peace process. Using its influence over Hamas and Hezbollah, Iran now has Israel fighting on two fronts, and NATO nations bickering with each other. This still has the potential to draw the entire middle east into war. Gee, I guess forcing democracy down the throat of the not overly interested Palestinians, and pushing Syria out of Lebanon (both moves strongly opposed by our allies in the area) weren't such grand plans after all.
Damn, and those folks the pres called the "axis of evil" all seem to be getting the better of us, diplomatically speaking. So much for "little head" diplomacy!
And don't even get me started on President Dickhead's boorish behavior at the G8! (hint to Dubya: beckoning the Prime Minister of a sovereign nation by yelling "yo, Blair" or sneaking up behind the female president of and allied country to give her a surprise massage may be acceptable behavior in a Harvard frat house, but is considered boorish at a summit of world leaders, just so you know!)
Meanwhile, it was a busy week for me last week!
The Huck Finn float was Saturday, and my pal Ron and I decided to build our own raft. We completed it about midnight Friday night! But it was a big success, save a minor incident or two. Details on my myspace blog. Hopefully, I'll have pics to post shortly.
I hate July, there are no fewer than 5 family birthdays this month. Which means not only a sever strain on my pocketbook, but a logistical nightmare trying to figure out when we can celebrate them. Speaking of which, gotta run. Gotta shop for the granddaughter's birthday gifts.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Warning: I Have Been Sucked In...
Speaking of music, I heard a couple of new things on the radio yesterday that I really liked. Soul Asylum (pictured) has a new album coming out July 11 (I believe it is already available on iTunes). The album is titled THE SILVER LINING, and I really like the featured single, Stand Up And Be Strong. There website features clips of several of the albums songs, and it definitely will be on my purchase list come payday.
A band from Omaha (hard to believe, I know), Tilly And The Wall, has been all over public and college radio the last couple of weeks. They have gotten rave reviews on Fresh Air and ATC, and were featured yesterday on World Cafe. This is what World Cafe's website has to say about them:
The first thing listeners will probably notice about the indie-pop band Tilly and the Wall is its use of tap-dancing in place of drumming. While that helps set it apart from its peers, it's the Omaha natives' infectious blend of girl-group vocal harmonies, brash rock and tightly constructed pop that makes it far more than the sum of its gimmicks.
They played a three song set on yesterdays show, which you can hear HERE
Al Gore is interviewed in ROLLING STONE (yes, I realize I am probably their oldest subscriber) this week. Gore on Bush:
...Bush is insulated - his staff smiles a lot and only gives him news that he wants to hear. Unfortunately, they still have this delusion they are creating their own reality. As George Orwell wrote, we human beings are capable of believing something that's not true long after the accumulated evidence would convince any reasonable person that it is wrong. And when leaders persist in that error, sooner or later they will have a collision with reality, often on a battlefield.
ROLLING STONE on the sad state of the Democratic Party:
... but the dream of a Gore candidacy also underscores the pathetic core of today's Democratic Party. It has become so unusual to hear a mainstream Democratic politician speak with a sense of conviction that when one does, people start practically begging him to run.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
1. THAT GLOBAL WARMING IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH! Remember when some scientists were saying that global warming would be a boon to agriculture, and that we could actually see a greening of the planet? Well, that turns out to be only partially true. It has been a boon to opportunistic plants (i.e. weeds and pests). If your allergies are suddenly worse, could be because of the 62% increase in ragweed spores. Poison Ivy is not only spreading it's range, but becoming increasingly toxic. Global warming also appears to be responsible for increasing West Nile virus and Malaria outbreaks. This according to the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. STORY HERE
2. YOU ARE GETTING POORER! When the Bush administration tells you wages have been rising, it is the classic case of making numbers lie. The truth is, if you take the top 10% of wage earners out of the equation, the rest of us have lost an average of 1% a year to inflation for the last five years. STORY HERE
3. AMERICA'S HEALTH SYSTEM SUCKS! The US has the second highest infant mortality rate in all of the developed world. STORY HERE
4. AMERICANS LIVE IN INCREASING SOCIAL ISOLATION! According to a Duke University study, the average American has fewer close confidants that they did 20 years ago. When surveyed in 1984, the average American had three people with whom they could discuss important personal problems with. Today, the average person has two. Worse, almost 1/4 of Americans say they have no one to discuss these things with. Causes? Chief among them; Families work far more hours a week than they did twenty years ago. People live farther away from their jobs, and the long commutes also cut into time spent socializing. This is a really interesting study. STORY HERE
5. THE NATIONAL LEAGUE SUCKS! In the latest round of interleague play, the American league is just embarrassing the National league. Detroit is now 16-1 in this round of interleague play. The White Sox and Twins are 15-2. The Red Sox 14-3. The American league record is now 140-83 in head to head meetings with NL teams this year. The senior circuit is starting to play like the senior citizens circuit!