Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ken Kohl "Purposefully" Screwed The Blackwater Case???

Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ken Kohl

So, talk about a "News Dump"!

Blackwater manslaughter case dismissed!

"The case against the five men fell apart because, after the shooting, the State Department ordered the guards to explain what happened. In exchange for those statements, the State Department promised the statements would not be used in a criminal case. Such limited immunity deals are common in police departments so officers involved in shootings cannot hold up internal investigations by refusing to cooperate.

The five guards told investigators they fired their weapons, an admission that was crucial because forensic evidence could not determine who had fired.

Because of the immunity deal, prosecutors had to build their case without those statements, a high legal hurdle that Urbina said the Justice Department failed to clear. Prosecutors read those statements, reviewed them in the investigation and used them to question witnesses and get search warrants, Urbina said. Key witnesses also reviewed the statements and the grand jury heard evidence that had been tainted by those statements, the judge said."

"The Justice Department set up a process to avoid those problems, but Urbina said lead prosecutor Ken Kohl and others "purposefully flouted the advice" of senior Justice Department officials telling them not to use the statements."

So who is this guy Ken Kohl?????

Didn't he blow the Anthrax case too?

What gives here?
Later note: Records at the Baptist Press indicate that Kenneth C. Kohl was advising the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary trustees on March 21, 1990.

Death Undisclosed

Looking at the statistics of my generation, and the statistics of those exposed to war I should have been expecting to find out that people I knew and even were close to or cared about at sometime during the last six and a half decades were dead and I did not know it. It is happening more and more frequently.

It happened again today.

I got this newsletter I get quarterly from an organization for which I once sat on the board and in it was an obit about a person I knew and trusted for the past 24 years. Looking up other obits on line, I couldn't even find out what she died from or what happened to her two cats.

It just feels strange to know that those who have populated your world are leaving it and you don't even know about it.

It just goes to show another truth in that old adage, old age is not for sissies.

RIP ya'll.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Republic of Viet Nam Photos Proliferate

So the Wife (SWMBO) cleaned out a closet and dumped boxes of stuff at my feet. Include were several hundred slides and negatives from my RVN tour of duty. Many are duplicates, or near duplicates of others I have. But there are also many that are shots I had forgotten about or misplaced. So this winter I will add them to the 10,000 or so slides and negatives not yet digitalized and work on them some. I will share with you if I find anything interesting.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Security Solution for Airline Passengers

The recent attempt to blow up a Delta plane while it was landing has generated some of the dumbest regulations yet. Like, they want you not to go to the rest room or get out of your seat the last hour of a flight. In that some days the "last hour" of the flight is often 2 or 3 or 4 hours long, will we have to raise our hand and ask permission to keep from peeing in our pants? What if the flight attendant is feeling mean just then and says no?

And then there is the new rule that you can't have anything in your lap for the last hour of the flight. Say what? I can just see all those 14 year old boys being arrested at the end of the flight for refusing to shut down a video game when they are just about to achieve their highest score ever.
How about those two year olds? Yes, you must take their blankey or boobear away from them for the last hour of the flight! It is regulations you know.

Let us just cut to the chase shall we. The only way we will be able to achieve a high security on airplane trips is to start treating the passengers like packages. So first we have to restrict what can fly. No passengers under 10 years of age. No passengers under 60 lbs or over 300 lbs. No passengers with any assisting device such as a wheel chair, sight dog, air tank, etc. that may be able to harbor an explosive device. No passenger that can not hold their bladder for the duration of the flight for flights under 4 hours (On longer flights passengers will be given supervised potty breaks). No passengers without an official doctor certified medical permit can be permitted to fly.

Next step is to contain and regulate the packages , er, the passengers. There will be no carry on items of any kind. All passengers will exchange all of their clothing for a standardized jump suit and slippers. All passengers will then go through a complete scanning process to determine if they harbor within their bodies any harmful devices. They will then be seated in clear-view-self-contained plastic cubicles stacked three deep and facing towards the isle. For those with mental conditions suppressing drugs will be made available. (Actually the jump suits themselves will be impregnated with a light tranquilizer)

Each plane will be equipped with a passenger suppression systems that can render any or all passengers unconscious in case of mis-behavior by merely pushing the right button at the attendants station.

Even so these new efforts may not be sufficient. For example, we will need to ascertain for each passenger if there has been any unusual genetic flaw in their family background. For example, has any relative been known to spontaneously combust?

And oh yes, you must check in 24 hours before your flight and receive a laxative to purge your digestive system of any possible chemicals that might interact with anyone else's chemicals in the toilet to cause an explosion or deadly gas attack.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas

This my 64th Christmas.
I have celebrated (endured and tolerated) this day in so many places and so many ways.
Let's see, one was in Ethiopia, Actually I got to do it twice in three months there because their calender was wacky because the Emperor left the country during WWII and time stop while he was gone.
One was in Nam.
One in Mananas, Virginia.
In 1957 Christmas brought a Chemistry set and the worst blizzard in Oklahoma history with 12 foot snow drifts and being stranded for 8 days on a farm West of Frederick, Oklahoma.
Ten Xmases were celebrated on one farm and 3 on another farm west of town.
Remember those cellophane wrapped candy-orange-apple-nuts packages the school system gave out.
All sort of Christmases were passed in Fullerton, California with the obligatory trips to Disneyland and the tide pools at Little Corona Beach.
A half dozen Christmases I was by myself, alone no other person around. (Wife gumply disputed this until she counted up the times she took the kids and went to see California mom and pop while I stayed home and worked, it now sums to 7 times)
Several down in Tuttle with Aunt Chris and family.
One down in Mission Texas, and one in Arvada Colorado.
I've had real Christmas trees, aluminum trees, trees made of tumble weeds, one of cardboard, one made from a ladder, and several pseudo trees of polymers of some sort.
I've almost never felt "merry" on Christmas except for that time....forget it.
I've had Christmases when all the toys I bought kids came from a thrift store, and Christmases when I spent way far too much.

The day before Christmas we had a ice/snow blizzard with 60 mph wind and drifts up to six feet.
Now the sun is about and the world is bright cold white.

This Christmas I spent the day sitting in a chair with the winter sun streaming though my living room windows and warming me in its rays as we paralleled played. My wife is here and my youngest son. It is a mixture of calm, rest, and a little sadness that others are not here. Good food, new music, new books to read. It was a good Christmas as Christmases go.

So what did you do today?

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

AVATAR: A Rambling Review

Here is a review of the Movie AVATAR by a 65 year old male fantasy and science fiction fan.

My Rambles:

I give it 7 out of 10 stars. (frame of reference: "Close Encounters" 10 and "Serenity" 9)

Two of the stars are for audacity.

Story: Cowboys and Indians, shades of Sand Creek and Little Big Horn with a touch of a "Man called Horse". Some parts seemed interminable (total length 3 hours). At the same time some scenes move too fast so that you don't see what's going on.

Villains: Think Halliburton and Black Water in Space.

Heroes: Spiritual ecologically savvy electrically connected to mother earth soft hearted savages and a paraplegic ex-marine shunned by the VA and mistreated by corporate world saved by native princess because of lightening bugs.

3D: If you wear glasses take some duck tape to tape the 3D glasses to you own. They fit over your glasses but there is nothing to hold them in place against your lenses. If your vision is not corrected to 20/20 the you will lose some definition of the picture.

The 3D made the movie less than bright. It was indeed much like watching a movie through sunglasses because that is exactly what you are doing. The 3D did enhance the special effects, especially in the long and medium shots. For close ups it was problematic. Film makers are used to sharp focus on the foreground of close ups and out of focus in the background. That's not they way we actually SEE in 3D. Then there are the gratuitous bugs and stuff floating in 3D between you and the scene.

In the balance I would trade the 3D for a sharper and brighter movie. The trade off of 3D for its inconvenience was skewed towards the inconvenience.

As a scifi movie it was pretty good. As a New Age movie it was OK. As a fantasy it was better.

Recommendation: Go see it. Take duck tape. Arrive in a slightly altered state. Piss before you go in. Imax version, expect vertigo and/or disorientation.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Madewood Plantation and Mr. Pugh's Cemetery Cat

Madewood House

Mr. Pugh's Cat

Mr. Pugh's Home

The Pugh Family Cemetery

Cat of the Cemetery

No you can not go home with me.


The Mother-in-law house.

My Place

Crawdad for dinner?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hiatus for the Holidays

Holidays are such a busy time are they not? To much to do, so little time. So maybe one thing that can be taken off the list for a while is this blog.

Pronunciation: \hī-ˈā-təs\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin, from hiare to yawn — more at yawn
Date: 1563

1 a : a break in or as if in a material object : gap b : a gap or passage in an anatomical part or organ
2 a : an interruption in time or continuity : break; especially : a period when something (as a program or activity) is suspended or interrupted .

So a hiatus for the holidays: yawn.

(Junior the Bear says he may blog some this month, but I wouldn't bet on it. Word is he's been down in Louisiana and Fatman says he is stuffed with crawdads and may go into hibernation if the weather gets too cold.)

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Tov Hanukkah, Kwazy Kwanzaa, Salaam!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Obama and Afghanistan (for those who have ears to hear: LISTEN)

Did you see all those cadets at West Point LISTENING to Obama? Did you see how the Senior Class (those were the ones seated on the front rows) came down to shake his hand and say something to him?

It has been so long since a Commander in Chief knew what he was doing that the Pundits did not hear what he said. But those cadets did. The Generals did.

What he gave was a straight un-impassioned War College Plan of Attack, Destroy, and Hold.

Read the damn thing.

He said the thing he is really worried about is the Pakistani Nukes.
He said, we are going to sanitize the provinces all along the Pakistani/Afghan border.
We are going to cut off the Taliban flow across the border and isolate the Pakistani Taliban.
We are going to make deals and bargains with the interior Afghan Taliban leaders to not harbor Alkida and not attack the central government.
Then we will, in concert with Pakistan squeeze the Pakistani Taliban between us until they are crushed along with the Alkida harbored by them.

Then we will pull out most of the troops and leave NATO/U.S. Urban garrisons at the two major cities and protect the road between them. This will assure Pakistan that India will not fill a vacuum with the Taliban.

He said to Afghanistan, Pakistan, NATO, and the Pentagon, "I'll give you 18 months then we are coming home." "Get it done, period !"

That's what I heard.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Bears are Gone, Gone and Going: A JTB Post

As I reported a few weeks ago, the bears in the house have been round up and sorted. The PURGE is well under way. Boxes, and boxes, and sacks of bears have already been disposed of.
Yes, She claims, all in the name of good to those who received them, but they are still GONE!

I helped Raul and others hide themselves in nooks and niches upstairs but I'm afraid She will seek them out. She is ruthless in her disposal. Hugs, and Hugs, and Hugs of bears have been carried out of the house.

She even has the gaul to BLOG about it.

---Junior The Bear

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dubya, Dubia, and the SMU Institute of Giving America Away

Dubai government will not guarantee Dubai World's debts, says top finance official!
Remember when George W. Bush wanted to award all of our seaport's management contracts to Dubai Ports?
I'm just saying, you know Dubai Ports a sub subsidiary of Dubai World which is...
"DP World is a company owned by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, via a holding company. This holding company is under the direct control of the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the prime minister of the UAE."
This is the same guy that says no the UAE will not back DW's losses because that means he would have to back the losses. I'm just saying ain't we lucky that the the Democratic Congress had balls at least to spare the United States this embarrassment.
Say, I wonder if Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum will cover the losses of his good friends the Bush family who hold a whole bunch of DW's paper. Does SMU hold DPW or DW paper?
If I were an SMU alumni I would be shitting all over the current board and administration for embracing this fool and his corruption, "birds of a feather" you know! I can just invision George W. and Karl Rove getting a coke at the student union at SMU. What a picture that makes.

Friday, November 27, 2009

For These I give Thanks:

For these I give thanks:

...that my father stopped the old Case tractor before it's front wheels got to my head while it was running over me when I was two years old.

...that I had a little brother to play with and torture as I grew up.

... that my Dad got me the best dog in the whole world when I was six, His name was Rocky.

... that both milk cows died before I was old enough to milk them.

... that I was raised on a farm in Southwestern Oklahoma where I could see the horizons and the stars every day and walk as far in any direction as I wanted to.

... that I went to a small school where the first grade teacher knew I was bright and taught me to read even though it was hard for me and on her, because even though she had never heard of someone being dyslexic, she knew I could do it.

...that none of my car wrecks ever killed me.

... that I never actually made it to the mission field for the Southern Baptist Convention.

... that the first woman I asked to marry me married my college room mate instead.

... that the Air Force "annulled" my commission when they discovered that they had made a mistake on how bad my eyesight was.

... That even after being drafted I had the good sense of becoming Regular Army and joining the Army Security Agency.

... that I met the cutest little girl while I was waiting to go into the Army; 42 years and counting with her.

... that I was ignorant of the future and decided to have kids, which is the best thing I ever did.

... that I came home from Vietnam, alive.

... that the PTSD is manageable most of the time.

... that I haven't killed anyone in over 40 years.

... that nine months before my second son was born that my wife told me, but I don't have my diaphragm in, and I said, what the hell...

... that true madness is always temporary.

...that I had meaningful work careers for most of my life, but that work was always just a means to an end.

...that all of my children have turned out to be honest, true, and good people.

...that somewhere I learn the joy of learning, and that I live in the age of the Internet and Google.

...that my last employers were greedy when they constructed their golden parachutes so that when they told me to jump they at least gave me a bronze one.

...that I'm retired.

...that my wife's retired.

...that I have some disposable income left over at the end of each month (so far).

...that my Internist Doctor seems to give a shit about my staying alive.

...that my one and only wife is still my best friend even knowing what we know about each other.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Sisters Of Mercy, They Are Not departed Or Gone

Miaziar Bahari changed a song for me. I've been a Leonard Cohen fan since 1967 when I bought a book of his poetry and discovered he wrote " Susanne". His song "Sisters of Mercy" I've listened to for years. Starting today, I will never be able to hear it with out thinking of Bahari's story or this image of him and his daughter.

Photo by Tom Stoddart?Getty Images

118 Days, 12 Hours, 54 Minutes
"On June 21, reporter Maziar Bahari was rousted out of bed and taken to Tehran's notorious Evin prison—accused of being a spy for the CIA, MI6, Mossad…and NEWSWEEK. This is the story of his captivity—and of an Iran whose rampant paranoia underpins an ever more fractured regime." ----Newsweek Magazine

"The interrogator sat me in a wooden chair. It had a writing arm, like the chair I'd had in primary school. He ordered me to look down, even though I was already blindfolded: "Never look up, Mr. Bahari. While you are here—and we don't know how long you're going to be here—never look up." All I could see from under the blindfold was the interrogator's black leather slippers. They worried me. He had settled in for a long session. "----Maziar Bahari

Beatings, solitary confinement, threats, isolation, were Maziar's life in prison....

"My true refuge, though, was music. Once, after a particularly brutal beating, I swallowed three migraine pills and passed out. Two women came to me in a dream. They had kind faces; in fact, they reminded me of my sister Maryam, who had died of leukemia in February.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"Sisters of mercy," they answered."

Oh the sisters of mercy, they are not departed or gone.

They were waiting for me when I thought that I just can't go on.

And they brought me their comfort and later they brought me this song.

Oh I hope you run into them, you who've been travelling so long.

Yes you who must leave everything that you cannot control.

It begins with your family, but soon it comes around to your soul.

Well I've been where you're hanging, I think I can see how you're pinned:

When you're not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you've sinned.

Well they lay down beside me, I made my confession to them.

They touched both my eyes and I touched the dew on their hem.

If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn

They will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem.

When I left they were sleeping, I hope you run into them soon.

Don't turn on the lights, you can read their address by the moon.

And you won't make me jealous if I hear that they sweetened your night:

We weren't lovers like that and besides it would still be all right,

We weren't lovers like that and besides it would still be all right.

---Leonard Cohen

No, I won't hear it the same as I did before.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Vanishing Wilderness

MSNBC showed a documentary named "100 Heartbeats" as part of the series Future Earth.

"Welcome to MSNBC's 'Future Earth'
In "100 Heartbeats," the second premiere in MSNBC's landmark Future Earth series, famed naturalist Jeff Corwin tells the story of the "Sixth Extinction" — caused by people and which can only be stopped by people. Keep checking for information about the next premiere, "Future Earth: 2025," which will air on Dec. 20. You can catch "100 Heartbeats" on MSNBC again on Thanksgiving at 11 a.m. ET"

As a Geographer ecological disaster has been part of my focus for half a century. Over time I have found that many concerns are over stated and hyped.

For example in 1970 I was enthralled by a PBS series called "The Vanishing Wilderness".

40 years ago, a small crew of filmmakers set out to document some of the more pressing issues involving wildlife in America. They made eight half-hour films around the country–it ended up being the first environmental tv series in the US. Shot in 1969, the issues weren’t new, but hadn’t been handled much yet on television–the medium had yet to embrace the environmental movement. "

"‘Our Vanishing Wilderness’ started as a book. Created by husband and wife team Shelly Grossman, nature photographer, and Mary Louise Grossman, nature writer, it was a kind of hybrid: part environmental report, part natural history, and part nature photography coffee table book. "

Expose', is the word used by Time magazine to describe the series when it aired.
The current MSNBC documentary certainly deserves that label as well.

Normally it is not quite as bad as these things make it out to be.
For example they just found and extra 150,000 or so gorillas in the Congo, adding a bunch of animals to a supposed population of about 50,000 gorillas. That's a 300% increase in the last year.

Another example: "FEDERAL SCIENTISTS reported last fall that the northwest Montana population of grizzlies was more than twice as large as experts had previously thought..."

"Several years ago, Kate Kendall oversaw the fermenting of 2,200 gallons of rotting fish and cow blood for bear lure. “You can imagine the fun we had opening up those barrels a year later,” says the U.S. Geological Survey biologist. That would have been the summer of 2004, when Kendall deployed 230 field workers to construct more than 2,500 bear hair traps across 7.8 million acres of rugged wilderness in northwest Montana. The odor emanating from the lure poured in the center of each trap compelled hundreds of grizzlies, federally listed as threatened, to cross under or over a surrounding strand of barbed wire, usually leaving behind enough hair for DNA fingerprinting. The feat earned Kendall the stump-speech ridicule of presidential candidate John McCain, who cited her DNA study as an example of pork-barrel spending—his laugh line being, “I don’t know if that was a criminal issue or a paternal issue, but it was $3 million of our taxpayers’ money.”

So much for McCain's 25 watt intelligence and insight.

So when you hear the expose' claims that everything is falling apart it is hard sometimes to believe it.

That's part of the problem with Climate Change, it has become a liberal versus conservative football. Trouble is the conservatives are just pissing in their own beer on this question. The liberals however just see it as cause that will help them "green up" the planet.

Neither are even close to correct.

Climate Change?
Think asteroid headed towards the earth!
Think nuclear winter!
Think California falling into the ocean!
Think movie "The Day After"!

Over the top you say?
Here's the deal, the effects of climate change will be as problematic as those doomsday scenarios.
Jeez, Drlobo you done fallen off the wagon again?

No, we have passed a tipping point several years ago.
The only reasonable public policy decisions to be made right now are those to decide what to do as it happens to protect our population, agriculture, and economy.

None of the models are bad enough to predict what will really occur (Academics are always 10 years behind the curve).
None of the scientists involved are willing to stick out their necks and say what they are really thinking (they need to keep their salaries so as to save enough to move to the Rockies).
If you live in an area less than 50 feet above current 2009 sea level, move to higher ground.
If you want a great investment, invest in land around Churchill, Manitoba (fiftey feet above sea level that is).
If you want to see Polar bears in the wild do it next year.
If you like to eat, keep at least a year's worth of food in your pantry.
Want to see Venice without having to use SCUBA gear, go now.
If you are a Climate Change Denier change you name and move inland.

Everybody is telling you that the changes will be slow. Bullshit! Think years instead of decades, think months instead of years, think days instead of months, think, hey what's that outside my window...

Oklahoma Hurricane Erin August 19, 2008 (No Shit!)

The good thing is that we will survive the climate change and will handle most of it pretty well, but for a few.....

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Media Whore of Babble-On

This blog will be just an Amen among thousands, but I feel compelled to put it on the WWW anyway.

First the title: The privilege of authorship goes to Justlen

Second: Although I seldom link to another blog in this case that's the most interesting source for this story. Thank you rumproast!

Check out the facebook page of Ms. Palin.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Where In The World Is This?

I took these last year. Where were they taken do you think?




Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Biblical Death Threats to Obama Masquerading As Prayer

For Sale:

Psalms 109: 8

8 May his days be few;
may another take his place of leadership.

But it goes on....

9 May his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow.

10 May his children be wandering beggars;
may they be driven from their ruined homes.

11 May a creditor seize all he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

12 May no one extend kindness to him
or take pity on his fatherless children.

13 May his descendants be cut off,
their names blotted out from the next generation.

How is this not a death threat to the President and his family?

I have not yet seen one of the stickers on a car. I hope I don't. I am not sure what I would do about it. I really don't want to find out.

A JTB Post: There's Something Happening Here!

The bears are being sorted and boxed. For what?
Maybe we should look into this!

Editors note: The following song sung by Junior is to the Buffalo Springfield tune, "There's Something Happening Here".

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear

There's a woman with a box over there
And she is filling it with all teddy bears

I think it's time we stop, bears, look around
Everybody look what's going down

There's bears being sorted all along
What she’s doing has got to be wrong

She’s stuffing bears into boxes and keeping time
As though enjoying the chaos she’s leaving behind

I think it's time we stop, hey, what's coming round
Everybody look what's going down

What a way for a Teddy’s last defeat
A thousand bears boxed up so neat

The boxes are piled up all out side
No one’s intervening to turn the tide

It's time we stop, hey, look what we’ve found
Boxes of Teddys are being tossed around

Into your life Goodwill trucks do creep
You lose when they come up your street

Look bears you better have your say
Stuffed bears hold on tight or the man comes and takes you away

We better stop, hey, look what I’ve found
Everybody look what's going down

Stop, hey, look what I’ve found
Everybody look what's going down

Stop, now, what's going round
Everybody look what's going down Stop, children,

Teddy’s being hauled off to town

Thank God for Mississippi (Again)

Check out the study that ranks Oklahoma 49th in healthy states. Yes, Mississippi saves us from being at the bottom. Take note , Oklahoma Congressional delegation, keep up your rhetoric and votes and soon we will be able to displace Mississippi at the bottom.

Check it out HERE

The Non-Bilateral Abraham Lincoln

Following my principle that hardly anything is none of my business....

It was the mannequin of the young Abraham Lincoln at the State Museum in Springfield, Illinois that got me started on this. Looking at his face you could see a close bilateral similarity to the right and left sides.

Where as just a few feet away the most often seen portrait of Abraham Lincoln portrayed a face that was much different. The left side was higher and larger than the right, and the eyes and ears did not line up with each other at all.

Indeed it seems Lincoln understood he had this "imbalance and normally turned his right side to the camera in his photographs. Maybe that is why i like this drawing of him above because it shows his left side more.

So when I came home I experimented with the Brady photograph of Lincoln looking straight at the camera. The above photo shows Lincoln's face composed of only his left side reversed and substituted for his right side as well. As it is known our left side is our "sinister" side and this certainly holds true in this version on Lincoln.

Doing the same for the right side of his face gives a completely different person.

So I went googling to see why the difference was so pronounced in Lincoln and came up with this site:

Note that the sight used the same picture the way I did.

Did Lincoln really have a rare genetic disease?

Would he have lived much longer or died of cancer?

Monday, November 16, 2009