Saturday, April 29, 2006

Nornie-boy



Norman is having his knee surgery this Tuesday.
Please send your good thoughts his way.

PS. Anyone have a Xanax? (just kidding)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I'M THE DECIDER (Koo-Koo-Ka-Choo)

Lennon would be proud...



Hear this at The Huffington Post or Iowa Underground :

I am me and Rummy's he, Iraq is free and we are all together
See the world run when Dick shoots his gun, see how I lie
I'm Lying...

Sitting on my own brain, waiting for the end of days
Corporation profits, Bloody oil money
I'm above the law and I'll decide what's right or wrong

I am the egg head, I'm the Commander, I'm the Decider
Koo-Koo-Kachoo

Baghdad city policeman sitting pretty little targets in a row
See how they die when the shrapnel flies see mothers cry
I'm Lying...I'm Ly-ing...I'm Lying...I'm Ly-ing

Yellow cake uranium, imaginary WMD's
Declassifying facts, exposing secret agents
Tax cuts for the wealthy leaving all the poor behind

CHORUS

Sitting in the White house garden talking to the Lord
My thoughts would be busy busy hatching if I only had a brain

CHORUS


(courtesy of Paul Hipp)


Thanks, Uncle Richard!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Norman's appointment

Norman had his appointment with the orthopedic surgeon today. After an extensive examination and more x-rays, he concluded (with 99% certainty) that Norman has a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament (CCL).

Unfortunately, it gets worse. He also saw a problem with his left knee. In time, the left knee may need surgery, but for now it is in far better shape than the right.

There are 2 different surgeries for this problem. The surgery I will probably end up going with is called a Tibia Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO). This surgeon doesn't perform that surgery on dogs Norman's size, so he referred me to another hospital. His appointment is May 2.

Norman is also seeing an acupuncturist on Monday. I'm hoping it will help with any pain he is having.


Thank you for the well wishes on my previous post.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I belong to the church of dog



My French bulldog, Norman, started limping on & off about a month ago, so I took him to the vet. After x-rays were done, his vet said that it looked like he stretched a ligament in his knee and he might have the beginnings of arthritis. She put him on a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement.

When his limping got worse, I took him back to the vet. She said she didn't like the feel & sound of his knee. She suspects a torn meniscus (knee cartilage.) She put him on Rimadyl and referred me to an orthopedic surgeon.

His consultation is tomorrow at 1PM and I'm very worried. I know they are going to recommend surgery. The thought of my little guy under the knife is very, very scary. It may be sad to some, but my dogs are the main focus of my life and if anything were to happen to him (or Stella)... well, I don't even want to think about it.

I just have to keep telling myself that everything will be ok. He was fine when he was neutered, and he was fine when an English bulldog (lightly) attacked him at the dog park.

I'll let you know how the appointment goes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The more things change...

My friend, Brian, showed me this speech from 1933, and it blew me away. It could have been written today.



Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 20, 1940), A Major General in the US Marine Corps and, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in US history. Butler was awarded the Medal of Honor twice during his career, one of only 19 people to be so decorated. He was noted for his outspoken non-interventionist views and his book War is a Racket, one of the first works describing the military-industrial complex.

Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC:

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Friday, April 14, 2006





Happy Passover & Happy Easter to all my blogger friends.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Basement Reno: Day 1

Today was Day 1 of our basement renovation.

Almost everything in the basement was cleared out and moved upstairs & to other rooms.

Part of my OCD-ness manifests with cleanliness & extreme organization, so needless to say, I'm highly stressed. These next few weeks of chaos will be a test of sanity.

I'll keep you posted.








One of the messes that may put me over the edge

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Barack, in the flesh

Barack Obama is in town to support Amy Klobuchar for US Senate. Amy will be taking the retiring Mark Dayton's (D - MN) seat....as long as that weenie, Mark Kennedy (R - MN), doesn't win.

Barack is speaking tonight at a fundraiser. Luckily, he also showed up at an impromptu rally today at the local junior high school, which just happened to be in my neighborhood. Cool, huh?!

My future in-laws, niece and I went to see him.

The event was packed. You could feel the winds of change in the air. Good times.


The line to get in.



Very packed crowd



I had to sneak into the restricted zone to get this shot
That's Mark Dayton & Amy behind Barack.



My niece, Hallie, and me


Official story from StarTribune.com:

Obama gets DFLers on their feet

His remark that "we do not have adult supervision in Washington" was a hit at a Saturday afternoon rally.
(more...)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Thank you Harry Taylor

This story got hardly any play in the MSM, so I've decided to give it a push here. It's the kind of news item that makes you jump out of your seat and yell: YES, FINALLY!

From Think Progress.org:

Bush Event Goes Off Script

Yesterday morning in Charlotte, a Bush PR event on the war on terror went off-script when a man named Harry Taylor took the microphone. Watch the video:

“‘I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration,' Taylor said, standing in a balcony seat and looking down at Bush on stage. ‘And I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and grace to be ashamed of yourself.’”




Read below for the full exchange:

Q You never stop talking about freedom, and I appreciate that. But while I listen to you talk about freedom, I see you assert your right to tap my telephone, to arrest me and hold me without charges, to try to preclude me from breathing clean air and drinking clean water and eating safe food. If I were a woman, you’d like to restrict my opportunity to make a choice and decision about whether I can abort a pregnancy on my own behalf. You are –

THE PRESIDENT: I’m not your favorite guy. Go ahead. (Laughter and applause.) Go on, what’s your question?

Q Okay, I don’t have a question. What I wanted to say to you is that I — in my lifetime, I have never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened by my leadership in Washington, including the presidency, by the Senate, and –

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Booo!

THE PRESIDENT: No, wait a sec — let him speak.

Q And I would hope — I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration, and I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself inside yourself. And I also want to say I really appreciate the courtesy of allowing me to speak what I’m saying to you right now. That is part of what this country is about.

THE PRESIDENT: It is, yes. (Applause.)

Q And I know that this doesn’t come welcome to most of the people in this room, but I do appreciate that.

THE PRESIDENT: Appreciate –

Q I don’t have a question, but I just wanted to make that comment to you.

THE PRESIDENT: I appreciate it, thank you. Let me –

Q Can I ask a question?

THE PRESIDENT: I’m going to start off with what you first said, if you don’t mind, you said that I tap your phones — I think that’s what you said. You tapped your phone — I tapped your phones. Yes. No, that’s right. Yes, no, let me finish.

I’d like to describe that decision I made about protecting this country. You can come to whatever conclusion you want. The conclusion is I’m not going to apologize for what I did on the terrorist surveillance program, and I’ll tell you why. We were accused in Washington, D.C. of not connecting the dots, that we didn’t do everything we could to protect you or others from the attack. And so I called in the people responsible for helping to protect the American people and the homeland. I said, is there anything more we could do.

And there — out of this national — NSA came the recommendation that it would make sense for us to listen to a call outside the country, inside the country from al Qaeda or suspected al Qaeda in order to have real-time information from which to possibly prevent an attack. I thought that made sense, so long as it was constitutional. Now, you may not agree with the constitutional assessment given to me by lawyers — and we’ve got plenty of them in Washington — but they made this assessment that it was constitutional for me to make that decision.

I then, sir, took that decision to members of the United States Congress from both political parties and briefed them on the decision that was made in order to protect the American people. And so members of both parties, both chambers, were fully aware of a program intended to know whether or not al Qaeda was calling in or calling out of the country. It seems like — to make sense, if we’re at war, we ought to be using tools necessary within the Constitution, on a very limited basis, a program that’s reviewed constantly to protect us.

Now, you and I have a different — of agreement on what is needed to be protected. But you said, would I apologize for that? The answer — answer is, absolutely not. (Applause.)

The rest of the event transcript is here.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

41

You say it’s your birthday
Well it’s my birthday too yeah
They say it’s your birthday
We’re gonna have a good time
I’m glad it’s your birthday
Happy birthday to you

Yes we’re going to a party party
Yes we’re going to a party party
Yes we’re going to a party party

I would like you to dance (birthday)
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (birthday)
I would like you to dance (birthday)
Dance

Monday, April 03, 2006

Feingold/Obama '08

Sen. Obama hits administration's energy policies

CHICAGO (AP) -- Sen. Barack Obama accused the Bush administration Monday of a "stubborn refusal" to attack the causes of climate change, and said tougher fuel standards, stricter curbs on oil imports and more investment in cleaner energy are essential to avert global catastrophe.

"Saying that America is addicted to oil without following a real plan for energy independence is like admitting alcoholism and then skipping out on the 12-step program," the Illinois Democrat said. He referred to one of the principal themes of President Bush's State of the Union address January 31.

...

Obama had nothing but criticism for Bush's efforts on the issue.

"When it comes to finding a way to end our dependence on fossil fuels, the greatest vacuum in leadership, the biggest failure in imagination and the most stubborn refusal to admit the need for change is coming from the very people who are running the country," he said.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The pause heard round the world

Bill Maher was in fine form last night. One of his favorite subjects is the notorious "7 minutes." You know the one -- when Bush froze for 7 MINUTES after hearing that America was under attack on 9/11.


Well, anyway, one of his guests was Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R - CA.) Dana was trying his best to defend the indefensible GW Bush. After going back and forth about the 7 minutes, Bill Maher finally said "Dana, I've known you a long time. You cannot tell me that if Bill Clinton had sat there for 7 minutes, you wouldn't have a problem with it."

For a moment, there was silence.

Got him.













(April fools)