27.1.05

W admits that his inaugural address was "just bullshit"...

Ok, so he didn't use those exact words, but this WaPo article shows how he is now backing away from everything he said about the US advancing democracy. The fact the anyone would believe a word that comes out of this gas bag's mouth boggles the mind. The only policies that he seems to be interested in advancing are those of his wealthy corporate backers (Iraq = handout to the resource extraction folks, Social Security = handout to wall street) Wake up America, it's not raining, you're being pissed on...

26.1.05

Left out in the cold...

Steve Clemmons brings us a Michael Lind article about the decline of American influence in economic and diplomatic spheres. This very well written piece details how, despite our military dominance world wide, we are being left out in the cold when it comes to other aspects of global power. I highly recommend this read, enjoy!

24.1.05

It's SALT time!!!!!!!

That's right kids, I got my permit in today's mail to run the Salt River in Arizona on 8MAR05! Some of my loyal readers may be wondering if I'm biting off more than I can chew, this remains to be seen. This river is about as unpredictable as they come, we may have enough water to float the boats, we may have much more than we want or, we may have nothing; you buys your ticket and takes your chances. Well, as you may imagine, I'm pretty keyed up right now so I'll leave you with this parting thought; at least I'm running this river after they dynamited Quartzite falls, this former class VI keeper is now "merely" a class IV pour off...

20.1.05

The Republican dictionary

I don't agree with all of them but the majority are pretty close to the truth, enjoy...

ACTIVIST JUDGE, n. A judge who attempts to protect the rights of minorities--most especially homosexuals--against the tyranny of the majority.
ALARMIST, n. Any respected scientist who understands the threat of global warming.
ALLIES, n. Foreigners who do what Republicans tell them to do.
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES, n. New locations to drill for oil and gas.
BALANCED, adj. 1. favoring corporations (a more balanced approach to the environment.); 2. favoring conservatives (fair and balanced reporting).
BI-PARTISANSHIP, n. When conservative Republicans work together with moderate Republicans to pass legislation Democrats hate.
CIVIL LIBERTIES, n. Unnecessary privileges that you aren't afraid of losing unless you are a God-hating, baby-killing, elitist liberal who loves Saddam Hussein more than your own safety.
CLARIFY, v. Repeating the same lie over and over again.
CLASS WARFARE, n. Any attempt to raise the minimum wage.
CLEAN, adj. The word used to modify any aspect of the environment Republican legislation allows corporations to pollute, poison, or destroy.
CLIMATE CHANGE, n. Global warming, without that annoying suggestion that something is wrong.
COALITION, n. One or more nations whose leaders have been duped, pressured or bribed into supporting ill-conceived, unnecessary, under-planned and/or illegal US military operations.
CONVICTION, n. Making decisions before getting the facts, and refusing to change your mind afterward.
CULTURE OF LIFE, n. A reduction of reproductive freedoms.
DEATH TAX, n. A term invented by anti-tax zealots and referring to a tax used to prevent the very wealthy from establishing a dominating aristocracy in this country.
DEMOCRACY, n. My way or the highway.
DEMOCRATIC ALLY, n. Any democracy, monarchy, plutocracy, oligarchy or dictatorship--no matter how ruthless--that verbally supports American diplomatic and economic goals.
DEREGULATE, v. To pursue greed and exploitation.
DETAIN, v. Hold in a secret place without recourse to law and treat in any manner one wishes.
ECONOMIC PROGRESS, n. 1. Recession; 2. Rising unemployment; 3. Minimum-wage freeze.
ECONOMIC RECOVERY, n. When three out of five software engineers who lost their jobs to outsourcing are able to find part-time work at Wal-Mart.
ELECTION FRAUD, n. Counting every vote.
FAIRER, adj. Regressive.
FAITH, n. The stubborn belief that God approves of Republican moral values despite the preponderance of textual evidence to the contrary.
FAITH-BASED INITIATIVE, n. Christian Right Payoff.
FAITH COMMUNITY, n. Evangelicals, because they are saved, and hawkish conservative Jews, because they are useful. Israel is the bait-on-the-hook just waiting for God to take that Rapturous bite.
FAMILY VALUES, n. Oppression of women.
FISCAL CONSERVATIVE, n. A Republican who is in the minority.
FOX NEWS, n. White House Press Office.
FREEDOM, n. What Arabs want but can't achieve on their own without Western military intervention. It bears a striking resemblance to chaos.
GIRLY MEN, n. Those who do not grope women.
GROWTH, n. The justification for tax cuts for the rich. What happens to the deficits when Republicans cut taxes on the rich.
HARD WORK, n. What Republicans say when they can't think of anything better.
HEALTHY FORESTS, n. No tree left behind.
HONESTY, n. Lies told in simple declarative sentences: "Freedom is on the march."
HUMBLE FOREIGN POLICY, n. The invasion of any sovereign nation whose leadership Republicans don't like.
HUMBLED, adj. What a Republican says right after a close election and right before he governs in an arrogant manner.
INSURGENT, n. Armed or unarmed, violent or non-violent Iraqi on the receiving end of an American rocket blast or bullet spray, regardless of age, gender or political affiliation.
JOB GROWTH, n. Increased number of jobs an individual has to take after losing earlier high-paying job.
JUNK SCIENCE, n. Sound science.
MORAL VALUES, n. Hatred of homosexuals dressed up in Biblical language.
MANDATE, n. What a Republican claims to possess when only 49 percent of the voting public loathes him instead of 51 percent.
THE MEDIA, n. Immoral elitist liberally-biased traitors who should leave Republicans alone so they can complete God's work on Earth in peace and quiet, behind closed doors.
MODERNIZE, v. To do away with, as in modernizing Social Security, labor laws, etc.
NEOCONSERVATIVES, n. Nerds with Napoleonic complexes.
OBSTRUCTIONIST, n. Any elected representative who dares to question Republican radicals on the issue of the day.
OFFICE OF FAITH-BASED INITIATIVES, n. Christian Right payoff.
OWNERSHIP SOCIETY, n. A society in which Republican donors own the rest of us.
PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION, n. A non-medical term invented by anti-choice zealots that refers to a broad class of abortion procedures; employed as a first step in reversing Roe v. Wade.
PHILOSOPHY, n. Religion.
POLITICAL CAPITAL, n. What a Republican president receives as a result of a razor-thin margin of victory in an election.
PRESS CONFERENCE, n. A rare event designed for the President to brag about his prowess as a leader while simultaneously dodging difficult questions.
PRIVATIZE, v. To steal the resources of the national community and give them to private business.
REFORM, v. To eliminate, as in tort reform (to eliminate all lawsuits against businesses and corporations) or Social Security and Medicare reform (to eliminate these programs altogether).
REFORM, n. Rollback of New Deal reforms, laws, standards and social protections.
RESOLUTE, adj. Pig-headed.
SIMPLIFY, tr. v. To cut the taxes of Republican donors.
SLAVE, n. A person without legal rights, e,g. a fetus.
SMALL BUSINESS OWNER, n. rich person
SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM, n. Leave no Wall Street broker behind.
STAYING THE COURSE, v., The act of being stubborn and unable to admit glaring policy mistakes; being wrong and sticking with the wrong idea regardless of the consequences.
STRICT CONSTRUCTIONIST, n. A judge with extremely conservative beliefs, who interprets laws in a manner that fits his/rarely-her own belief systems, while maintaining that this was the original intent of the law.
SUPPORT THE MILITARY, v. To praise Bush when he sends our young men and women off to die for no reason and without proper body armor.
TAX REFORM, n. The shifting of the tax burden from unearned income to earned income, or rather, from the wealthy elite to the working class.
TAX SIMPLIFICATION, n. A way to make it simpler for large US corporations to export American jobs to avoid paying US taxes.
TORT REFORM, n. Corporate immunity and impunity.
UNITER, n. A Leader who brings together his followers by fomenting hatred for anyone who disagrees with him.
VERY CLEAR, adj. Modifier used immediately before any preposterous explanation or rationale.

18.1.05

The best comedy show EVER!

I just finished watching the Bill Maher's DVD Victory begins at home. I can't remember the last time that I laughed that hard (ok, that's not true, remind me to tell you the "Marty stories" the next time that I see you). This man is spot on. I strongly recommend that all of you watch this routine if you haven't already. Each of you will find parts that you love and, most likely, those that you hate. Maher doesn't conform to a particular ideology ( i.e. Republican or Democrat) which means that he can interpret events without having to apply the "framing" that each of the major parties use to bend the language to their advantage. Watch it and let me know what you think...

It's sales time....

Paul Krugman drops another enlightening op-ed piece on us today where he correctly points out that W's administration is using the same tactics to sell their social security plan that they used to sell the Iraq war. Anyone else have hope that the country and media will wake up to this one, didn't think so...

11.1.05

The F%@#ing fee-demo program has been extended!!!

In another bit of midnight magic, the corrupt assholes who brought you government for and by the corporations have slid a rider into the omnibus spending bill that extends the fee demo program. For those of you who are not familiar with this program, it charges you to use YOUR public lands. This crock of shit is yet another corporate hand out so that the recreation industry can steal your money to build facilities that you don't want where you don't want them. I'm so pissed off at this that I wrote my representatives Marilyn Musgrave and Wayne Allard.

I was very disappointed to learn that the fee-demo program has now been extended an additional 10 years. This was apparently accomplished by adding it as a rider on the latest omnibus spending bill. This tactic alone indicates that this program has little support in the public arena. Fee-demo goes against the spirit of public land ownership, those of us who pay taxes should be able to use our land without an additional tax or the threat of imprisonment. I urge you to sponsor or support legislation which would end this program which is both a tax and a restriction on our personal freedoms.

Regards,

Matthew J Leach


I encourage all of you to follow suit and please use the anti-tax/pro-freedom approach if you want to get anywhere with our current batch of representatives in DC. I don't think I can verbalize how pissed off I am about this!

10.1.05

Reconciling God and the Tsunami

As I was driving to work this morning, I caught a segment on NPR where they interviewed representatives of many different faiths and asked them how they were able to reconcile the Tsunami with their faith. As you may expect, the answers ran the gamut from the Baptist "God is punishing the sinners" to the Islamic "It's all part of God's plan, he just hasn't revealed the plan to us" I was disappointed that they did not interview a Geophysicist so that the real cause of the Tsunami (plate tectonics) could be explained. Rational person to Red state idiots, which is more likely, that pressure on one plate caused it to slip past the other or that some omnipotent being pushed the plates apart for (insert human emotion here) reason. People, face the fact that it is unlikely that some omnipotent being cares about (or wants to destroy) you.

6.1.05

NPS kowtows to commercial interests again...

The NPS has released it's proposal to re-allocate river permits for the Grand Canyon. A little background for those of you who may not know: When the NPS first started to issue permits, in the early seventies I believe, the vast majority of the trips through the canyon were being conducted by commercial boating companies. Given that, it would make sense that they should receive the Lion's share of the permits. Times, as they always seem to do, have been changing. With the increasing popularity of private boating, the waiting list to do the Grand has become exceptionally long, currently around 20 years! Obviously, this situation needs addressing. A reasonable person might expect that the NPS would study the number of overall requests for permits by commercial and private boaters and assign the permits on some sort of proportional basis. Unfortunately, this type of solution leaves out one of humanity's prime motivating factors, greed. It appears that the plan being floated by the NPS would increase the number of permits for private boaters slightly but would not reduce or reallocate the number available for commercial trips. It appears that, for the foreseeable future, companies will continue to have a virtual monopoly on the canyon. Thank God our government is by the people and for the people... (and yes, for those of you wondering, I am a disgruntled private boater who has yet to be able to get permission to run the canyon)

4.1.05

How did I miss this one?

Apparently, Rumsfeld stated in a message to the troops that flight 93 was shot down over Pennsylvania, reversing the oft stated position that it was crashed by the terrorists. The next day the Pentagon indicated that the SECDEF "misspoke" and that indeed the terrorists had crashed the plane into the field. So which is it? This guy either has Alzheimer's or lies so often that he seems to have a hard time keeping his facts straight. Either way, he needs to go!

Look, Elvis!

This article is the first in a series that NY Times economist Paul Krugman will be bringing us on Social Security. As usual, he does a fantastic job of debunking the administration's shell game economics. They'll have us focused on Social Security while the real problem(s) go unnoticed and untended... Who still trusts these guys?

Book Review: Rising from the Plains

Yes, tis' the season for book reviews. In this book, John McPhee takes on the subject of Wyoming geology from an interesting perspective.
typically, one would expect a dry tome told along a geologic time line, not so with this work. McPhee tells the story through one of the pioneering families of central Wyoming whose son later becomes the USGS Geologist responsible for the Wyoming area. I found his blend of history and geology to be rather interesting, it brought the subject matter to life in a very complete way.
This book certainly isn't for everyone, if you haven't been to the areas that he is describing, you may have a difficult time visualizing what he is talking about. I've spent a fair bit of time in Wyoming and I found his descriptions of the terrain and how it came into being to be enlightening. In one of the more interesting passages, he discusses the creation of Jackson Hole. Apparently, Jackson lake (or at least a form of it) has existed there for millions of years. How, you may ask, could a lake exist that long and not silt up completely? Well it seems that the magma pluton that fuels Yellowstone exists under the Jackson hole area. As the magma exits through dikes in Yellowstone, the floor of Jackson hole drops. This has been going on long enough for the floor of the hole to drop 13,000 feet and be replaced by 13,000 feet of limestone from the lake sediment.
If you found this last description interesting, you'll like this book.