Saturday, March 31, 2007



Yes, I realize I have been missing in action. I have just been swamped. Doing some revamping on the canoe blog. Putting together the 2007 paddling schedule. Helping prepare for the annual river clean up. And actually taking advantage of some unseasonably warm weather to get some paddling in.

So check out the canoe blog and view the years initial trip report, and our paddlng schedule. Hopefully, I'll be back and blogging soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007



clockwise from left: Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales, Whitehouse Counsel and former Supreme Court nominee Harriet Meirs, Director of Assistant Attys. Gen. Michael Battle, terrorism suspect Jose Padilla

It has been a tough few weeks for American Justice. First, there was the continuing fiasco that is the Jose Padilla trial. Seems the prosecution and Justice Dept. have "lost" the tape of Padilla's final interrogation, the one that Padilla's lawyers have contended all along contain images that would explain Padilla's current mental state. Now who really believes that they lost this tape? Only someone who hasn't been around the barnyard a time or two!

And then, of course, is the continuing saga of the political firings of eight asst. US Attys. Gen. Just a couple of days ago, Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales was swearing that these firings were performance related, not political, and that the White House had no involvement.

Of course, It turns out that not only was the White House involved, but according to two years worth of memos from White House Counsel Harriet Meirs to US Atty Executive Office Director Michael Battle, the White House wanted to fire all fifty assistant US Attys., and replace them, without Senate approval, via a little known clause in the US Patriot act that allows the Atty Gen. to fill vacancies without said approval. Micheal Battle has become the fall guy for the Administration, having been fired today. But virtually everyone in the country should be thanking him for talking the Administration down from 50 firings to eight.

It dismays me, this administrations total lack of regard for the rule of law, and the American public's apparent willingness to accept it.

Then their was the totally Orwellian Sunday NY Times op-ed piece about the use of brain scans as evidence in trials. Currently, they are mostly only used in the sentencing phase of death penalty cases, to argue that the defendant couldn't help himself, the make up of his brain caused him to do it.

The whole process begs the question as to whether or not we will soon be locking up people not because they have committed a crime, but to prevent them from doing so. Will the government, in the name of public safety, be allowed access to our most secret thoughts and desires? Holy 1984!!!!!

You can hear a totally disconcerting and rather creepy interview with the author HERE

And finally, there was this recent depressing article in the local paper:

Homeless man spent 17 months in jail for stealing a soda
CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) -- Officials are at a loss to explain how they allowed a homeless, mentally ill man accused of stealing a soda to languish in jail for 17 months.

Edward Perez's attorney, his court-appointed psychiatrist, the judge in his case and Lake County jail officials all apparently believed he had been released a year ago.

The mistake wasn't discovered until this month, after a new warden ordered a review of all inmates' files, Sheriff Roy Dominguez told the Post-Tribune of Merrillville for a story Friday.

''This is very unfortunate,'' Judge Sheila Moss said. ''This is a guy who apparently needed services, and he should have been somewhere where he could get that, rather than sitting in our county jail, which is already overcrowded.''

The jail released Perez, 22, and transferred him to a mental health clinic Feb. 7, Dominguez said.

Perez had stayed in the jail's medical wing since July 2, 2005, after allegedly stealing a bottle of Pepsi from a Wal-Mart in Schererville, Dominguez said.

A police report that referred to the man as ''Edward Hammer-Perez'' said that before stealing the soda, he said he had just gotten out of jail and wanted to go back. He listed the state psychiatric hospital in Logansport as his address.

In February 2006, the psychiatrist went to the jail to evaluate Perez only to be told he already had been released, Moss said. The judge said that after the psychiatrist informed her, she deferred to defense attorney Fred Flores, who agreed that his client was not behind bars.

Prosecutors said they would dismiss the charges, Moss said, adding, ''I could see no need to send a court order to that effect over to the jail, since the defendant was, by all accounts, already free.''

However, since the jail never received a release order, it kept Perez in custody, said Mike Higgins, a spokesman for Dominguez.

Moss, noting that Perez appeared in some records as ''Edward Hammer-Perez,'' speculated he might have been jailed under a different name than appeared on his court file.

A telephone message left by The Associated Press seeking comment from Flores was not immediately returned Friday. An employee at the clinic where Perez was taken said officials authorized to comment were unavailable until Monday.

Thursday, March 08, 2007



I think the government should mandate the following warning sign be placed on the homes of all evil bitch dragon ladies:


This is actually not that funny. The amount of alcohol I consume has about quadrupled the last month. The 30 count case of OM that used to last me a couple of weeks is lucky to last me 4 days lately. Last night I went to dinner with a friend at the Oaken Bucket, and in an amazingly short amount of time, I had consumed five 20oz draughts of Smithwicks Irish Ale. Which I followed up with two pints of Boddington's Pub Ale when I got home. Yeah, you know it is getting bad when I am breaking into the weekend beer on Wednesday night!

At least I think our problems with South Bend Animal Control may be over. We got a notice demanding to see his crate because "someone" had reported that he was being kept in a crate that was too small for him. Fortunately, my extremely buxom daughter had the good sense to put on the "boob shirt." The same one she wears when she wants to get seated and served at the local bars. The poor young animal control officer stammered that he could see Kipper was well taken care of and we'd have no more visits unless he bites somebody. You know you've accomplished your goal when speech impediment sets in!
FILE UNDER THE "WHAT THE FUCK?" category. Please explain to me what these tax guys are thinking, and why Rod Blagoyavich hasn't kicked their butts back into the stone ages?
Alternative Fuel Creates Tax Woes for Couple
The continuing story of the fired US Attorneys could get VERY ugly very soon. Daniel Shorr is comparing it to Nixon's firing of Archibald Cox, which led to article 2 of Nixon's impeachment: Abuse of Presidential power. Listen to Shorr's excellent commentary on the
The Independence of U.S. Federal Attorneys HERE
In a related story: After all but admitting to attempting to influence the direction of a Federal corruption probe, shouldn't Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM) resign immediately? Is there any greater threat to justice than political interference in judicial cases? Hopefully, at the very least, there will be a severe censure from the Senate and House. Actually, their respective chambers could have them removed from office. More likely to happen to Wilson than Domenici, but who knows?

And the Republican culture of corruption continues to rear it's ugly head!
If you are a music lover, and get tired of the repetitive shit you hear on what passes for radio these days, NPR is a great resource. I am constantly finding new stuff on their site I didn't know existed. The latest discovery is the SHADOW CLASSICS column by Tom Moon. Lot's of great stories and music. Especially check out Michael Nesmith: Overcoming the Monkees, Last Coherent Statement of a Genius (about Sly Stone), and A Long Career on the Verge of Fame (about Katell Keineg). Each of these articles includes several songs by the articles subject. Great reading and listening. SHADOW CLASSICS
UPDATE! ATTENTION DR (almost). GYMPUMPKIN! After a 35 year hiatus THE STOOGES have released a new album! And they are going to tour! Yep, original memebers Iggy Pop, Ron and Scott Asheton (Bassist Dave Alexander died in 1975), plus two new guys.

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Friday, March 02, 2007



That is the headline I am considering for a singles ad to be placed in the local personals website. I need a hit woman because I live next door to the Evil Bitch Dragon Lady. I would burn her out, but then she would just go terrorize someone else. Better to have her offed. However, my hit woman has to be principled, I don 't want just any Sue, Jane, or Mary off the street. If she happens to be a sex goddess too, that would be a great bonus. And if she turns out not to be such a great hit woman, well, I guess I could live with the sex goddess part.

Have any of you been following the Walter Reid Army Hospital scandal? The Washington Post ran a series of articles on the appalling conditions outpatient vets were being subjected to. The top brass expressed out rage, claimed no knowledge, and promised there would be immediate changes. Yesterday, they relieved the two star general in charge of his command.

Now, for some reason, this story sounded vaguely familier to me. It turns out there was good reason for that. I am a subscriber. It turns out Salon published a series of articles in 2004 describing the exact same conditions. And here is the kicker. The general fired yesterday for incompetance is being replaced by the general in charge in 2004.

And we may never find out if the lives of these brave men who have sacrificed so much will ever improve or not. The Army has placed a gag order on all military patients. They now are required to have permission to talk to reporters.

The truth appears to be that the Pentagon would rather sacrifice the well being of GI's than to invest money in a facility scheduled to be closed in ten years.
ALSO... I have added a couple of new recipes at THE CHURCH POTLUCK, Old Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie, Simmered Chicken, and Blackjack Chicken.
Some pics of Kipper, the world's largest, cutest, oldest puppy. 85 lbs of sheer exuberance.

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