Saturday, June 30, 2007

As the World Turns II.

An idiot woman registered her dog to vote and even voted on the animal's behalf only to get bit in the ass:

Anyone reading through the King County voting rolls would find under M one Duncan M. MacDonald, an Australian Shepherd-terrier mix with shaggy paws and a glistening black nose.

Duncan's owner, Jane Balogh, 66, a self-described "white-haired granny," is appalled that her dog remains on the rolls months after she informed authorities of her ruse.

Balogh said she wanted to expose the laxity of registration laws and show how easy it is for someone not entitled to vote to get a ballot and potentially skew an election.

Officials at King County, which includes Seattle and this suburb of about 83,000, are so unhappy with Duncan's owner that they're set to charge her with voter fraud, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail.

Presidential Notes.

John Edwards just reached his goal of $9 million for the quarter.

Knowing how careful he was with his campaign money in 2004, I suspect he has a pile left over from last quarter.
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As the World Turns.

An illegal campfire is blamed for the Angora Fire, which burned over 3,000 acres and destroyed over 200 homes near South Lake Tahoe.

Yesterday it was 80 percent contained.
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The jury simply wasn't convinced Chaz Higgs was innocent of killing wife Kathy Augustine.
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So Who

is the more dangerous vice president, Aaron Burr or Dick Cheney?

The author isn't talking about marksmanship skills, either.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Penalty

phase has already begun in the Chaz Higgs case.

More:

A Washoe District Court jury has found Chaz Higgs guilty of killing his wife, Nevada Controller Kathy Augustine.
The eight-woman, four-man jury deliberated for about seven hours before convicting Higgs on the single murder count.
Higgs, a critical-care nurse, was charged last December with injecting Augustine with a lethal dose of succinylcholine, a drug used to paralyze the body when a breathing tube is inserted. She died July 11 after being on life support for three days.


Higgs got life with the possibility of parole after 20 years.

This is Just In.

Chaz Higgs has been found guilty of murder in the death of his wife, State Controller Kathy Augustine.

I'll post details when I get them.

Anybody Who Thinks

Obama has done worth a shit in any debate, including last night's, is simply being dishonest.

Obama will be lucky if he makes it to the primaries, especially given his rather questionable Chicago connections.

Why do people in the media and punditocracy insist on being deceitful?

As the World Turns.

Already the Higgs case is being deliberated by the jury.

This is interesting:

Higgs had said that the night before Augustine stopped breathing, she didn't want to talk with Higgs about him leaving because she wasn't feeling well. He said she went to bed early, at about 8:45 p.m., and received no phone calls.

But Michelle Ene, Augustine's former executive assistant, testified Augustine had called her house three or four times that night, and that she and Augustine finally connected by phone at about 10:15 p.m.

"They had been talking that night," Ene said of Augustine and Higgs, "She was upset. He had opened a bank account and he was going to leave."

When Higgs told Ene days later that he and Augustine has "worked it out" and reached an agreement, she said she was suspicious.

"I didn't believe that for a minute," Ene said. "She would not have let it go."

Long-time Augustine friend Nancy Vinnik testified she opposed the marriage with Higgs from the start, and was shocked and shaken the day before Augustine's funeral, when Higgs was at their Las Vegas house drunk and calling his wife names.

"He was on the phone talking to Kathy's mother and he said 'your daughter is nothing but a (expletive) whore and a (expletive),'" Vinnik said. "It was awful to hear that. I couldn't believe he could call her mother and say something so disgusting and despicable."


Chaz was sure a loving husband.
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The end seems to be near for the Angora Fire.
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Good Analysis

of why it is John Edwards is so hated by the media and corporate powers-that-be.

We know why: It's because he talks about class issues, the only issues that truly matter, and the elite can't have that. Obama and Clinton suck up a lot of money and oxygen, but neither can be elected nationally, so they are no threat.

Not so Edwards. Edwards is running a campaign that is almost identical to the one Robert F. Kennedy ran in 1968 before being assassinated. Kennedy ran on an anti-war platform, and he also addressed class issues. It has been decades since that time, and until Edwards nobody else even TALKED about the class war waged by the very rich against everyone else.

And no, Edwards is not a hypocrite. He's actually walked the walk even more than RFK did.

I liked this part:

It’s not for nothing that Edwards is losing to Hillary-Obama in both the big donor dollar race and in the race for name recognition and favorable attention in dominant media. He’s speaking the languages of labor, the New Deal and the (stillborn) War on Poverty to a noteworthy extent in a time when the labor movement and the notion of positive government action for egalitarian and anti-poverty ends have been officially proclaimed dead and over (drowned in the icy individualist waters of neoliberal calculation) and in a period when the issues of inequality and economic insecurity resonate with a considerable and growing section of the ever more class-fractured citizenry.



The other thing is that Edwards is a threat to win. Though you would hardly know it from dominant media coverage, he currently leads the polls in pivotal Iowa, where grassroots organization, the caucus system, a historically independent electorate and his earlier positive history there – he finished a strong second to Kerry in Iowa in 2004, picking up steam at the end with his powerful “two Americas” theme – are working to his benefit. Even with his comparative media and campaign finance challenges, he’s a real threat to post early victories in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. Triumphs in these states would boost his national profile and raise the possibility that his dangerous (to corporate ideological gate-keepers) “class warfare” (the FOX News take on his “two Americas” theme) theme would catch hold with an in fact remarkably and increasingly class-polarized electorate. At the same time, since he enjoys lower negative poll ratings than the other two top-tier Democrats, Edwards fares better than Hillary Clinton and Obama when matched up against likely 2008 Republican presidential opponents in opinion surveys (Rasmussen Reports 2007).


We can't have a real Democrat win, can we?

In the Past

few days, the USSC has made some rulings which boggle the mind in their rejection of precedent and common sense. Perhaps the worst of these recent rulings is the one which appears to have gutted the historic Brown v. Board of Education.

The WSWS, of course, says it's the Democrats' fault for not filibustering Alito and Roberts, ignoring the reality that for the exception of Abe Fortas, there have NEVER been ANY filibusters of Supreme Court nominees. It just isn't done, except for ethical issues as in the case of Fortas. Should there have been filibusters of Alito and Roberts, replacements would have been the same or worse. Furthermore, if a Democratic president were to nominate a Supreme Court justice, the Senate Republicans would return the favor and filibuster those choices.

The answer, of course, is to voters to refuse to elect right-wing Republican presidents.

The WSWS never misses a chance to bash Democrats, so it's par for the course.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

As the World Turns.

Jesse Ramirez can thank his lucky stars Judge George Greer wasn't presiding over his case.
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While I Was Out on Vacation,

this columnist wrote a piece comparing Fred Thompson and the Audacity of Hype.

Unfortunately, Obama is destined to get shafted even after being promoted by the media all these months. Unlike the opinion of the author, it is Obama who will have the rug pulled out from under him before Thompson.

But the national media know Obama is tainted, rightly or wrongly. My big beef with him was the fact he IS a media darling, that there isn't a whole lot of substance to his campaign, that he seems to be in over his head.

I knew little about possible unsavory connections, but it appears this is going to be his downfall.

It has to be. There is no way the media will EVER pass this up, once they believe they have John Edwards and perhaps some others out of the picture.

Snip:

I don't know what Washington political writers call it. But back home, this is what we call transcending politics the Chicago Way.

This week, the Chicago Sun-Times published a story about Obama writing letters to city and state officials on behalf of Rezko, so Rezko could receive more than $14 million in taxpayer funds to develop senior citizen housing.

This included $885,000 in development fees for Rezko and partner Allison Davis, Obama's former boss. The paper didn't include the fact that Davis is also a buddy of Daley's. The Sun-Times did note that Obama insisted to the Tribune last year that in all the years he has known Rezko, "I've never done any favors for him."

No favors? When you transcend politics and walk on water, I guess it all depends on what your definition of favor is.

Thompson's lobbying and Teamster ties will become national news. But if the Sun-Times story is treated like previous Tribune stories on the questionable Obama-Rezko relationship, it will be downplayed by the national media.


It's being downplayed NOW, but just you wait. Edwards has to be thrown out first.

I Would Be Remiss

if I didn't post this link and this link to a bunch of articles in the Chicago papers chronicling the relationship between indicted swindler Tony Rezko and the Audacity of Hype.

Somehow I wasn't paying attention. I have had a lot of other things going on in my life to worry about.

It's little wonder why the Republicans and their media flaks are pushing Obama so hard. They sense some bad shit is in the offing for the American Idol of American Politics.

More Horseshit

from the right-wing Real Clear Politics, which claims the Edwards campaign is about cooked.

I hate to break it to the author of the post, but Barack Obama will be indicted before Edwards drops out. But he knows that, of course, which is why he is so heavily promoting Obama.

Angora Fire.

More people will be allowed to return home now that the fire is about 55% contained.

Presidential Notes.

Leave it to AP's Nedra Pickler to twist the Edwards/Coulter controversy into a way to trash the Edwards campaign by wanting readers to think it's merely a way for the loser campaign to raise much-needed cash.

Seamusgate.

Many people may think what goes on in marriages is between the parties involved, but when it comes to animals, it is EVERYBODY'S business.

You can probably stick a fork in Mitt, not the mutt.

Gene Lyons

takes on the likes of Carl Bernstein over the state of the Clintons' marriage.

As if anybody in the world really gives a shit about it except for the parties concerned.

Acute Observars

were long aware Dick Cheney was the one, not our dictator, who was running the country, hence my referring to him as the "president." As I saw someplace, Cheney believes the vice president is more or less like a prime minister, while the president has more of a ceremonial role. In any case, that is how it has played out.

Cheney is a political extremist, close to being an outright fascist, so it is not surprising his extremism has profoundly affected and infected political discourse. He is not about to let go of his role, either. It makes one with more paranoid thinking whether elections will be canceled, or, if not, we have yet another Republican puppet with Cheney STILL calling the shots in the background.

The USSC

continues on its rightward journey towards the abyss of fascism.

It Appears

the John Edwards campaign is easily going to reach its goal of $9 million for the quarter, and it will probably reach that goal today.

Currently it is at just over $8 million. The campaign has raised well over a million in a day, thanks in part to Ann Coulter's stupidity.

Speaking of Coulter, I think she believes she is some kind of wit and thinks what she says is funny, but actually it comes across as extremely offensive.

It's a good thing she never performed in vaudeville; she would have been a redhead instead of a blonde from all of the rotten tomatoes thrown at her.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Howard Kurtz

doesn't appear to be buying Paris Hilton's epiphany or whatever the hell you call it.

Not That She

needs any defending, but Salon's Joan Walsh decides to defend Elizabeth Edwards anyway.

John Edwards appeared on Hardball tonight and did well, as expected, but Chris Matthews had to keep beating the Coulter story into the ground by putting on more squawking heads after Edwards finished with his segment. I shut the television off and started working on my scrapbook of my recent vacation to the national parks.

Later I watched Paris Hilton on Larry King Live, which actually was taped. She sounded contrite and even likable, but it was probably all some clever p.r. to make herself look good.

She said she has changed, that jail after all was good for her even if the food was "terrible." Hilton even talked about the Bible and God a little bit.

Well, we will see if she really had a life-altering experience.

As the World Turns II.

Fashion designer Liz Claiborne, 78, died today from complications of a rare cancer.

I refused to buy any of her products after she got on some show one time and justified outsourcing manufacturing to Third World countries. She whined about the cost of making clothes in the U.S., and never mind the goddamned fact her sweatshop products continued to be outrageously priced.

The fact she owned three homes says it all.
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John Edwards spoke last Saturday, June 23, at Damonte Ranch High School here in Reno. This is the speech where he said his voice wasn't about to be silenced just because he happened to end up rich.



Edwards spoke to a crowd of about 1,500 explaining his positions on a variety of issues. (June 23, 2007)



John Edwards listens to an audience member ask a question. (June 23, 2007)



John Edwards took some time after the townhall meeting to sign autographs. I managed to get him to sign my rally sign just as he was ready to leave. (June 23, 2007)

As the World Turns.

A poll finds young voters are leaning left.

Why

should anybody be surprised there are sweatshop conditions in China?

After all, this is what the multinational corporations are looking for when they outsource.

The Angora Fire.

Some 2,000 residents were forced to evacuate when the fire surged yesterday afternoon.

The latest developments can also be found here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Human Stupidity

as at the root of fires like the Angora fire near South Lake Tahoe.

This is what happens when clearcutting of trees from the Gold Rush era to the obscene development of the region in recent decades is allowed. Lake Tahoe should NEVER have been allowed to have been developed. It's like having the assholes take over Yosemite, or take over the Grand Canyon, or take over Crater Lake. It should have been a national park, not a fucking playground for the megarich.

It's a travesty, and I have to laugh at locals who sport "Keep Tahoe Blue" bumperstickers on their cars or SUVs when they have homes up there which helped create the goddamned mess.

Now the Angora fire has spread.

Early this afternoon I went hiking--yes, hiking--up Galena Creek Trail, which is a ways off Highway 431 on the way to Incline Village (the north shore of Lake Tahoe). The air was smoky, but not too bad as I was hiking the trail behind the obscene McMansions of Montreaux (the wealthiest part of Reno). About an hour later, as I was walking back, the sky was more full of smoke, and that must have been around the time the fire jumped over to Highway 89.

By the way, the south part of the lake is hardly working class, despite nonsense from sites like Democratic Underground. The average home in that area is "affordable" if you're upper middle class: In an article in today's Reno Gazette-Journal, it pointed out the average home was over $400,000. This isn't a poverty-stricken area, not even the south shore.

The east shore and north shore are the most obscene of all, with homes averaging over a million dollars. And the worst of the worst is along Lakeshore Drive in Incline Village. You can't see the goddamned lake because of the fucking mansions blocking the view. You are not allowed to enter the beaches because they are "private." It just pisses me off just thinking about it. It sounds cruel, but it's too damned bad the fire didn't start there and rid the world of that extravagant shit. As you recall, I used to post pictures of those eyesores which came on the real estate market in the days when my scanner worked.

Much if not most of the area surrounding the lake is public land (including Sand Harbor and the spectacular Emerald Bay), but the entire region surrounding the lake should have been. Now Lake Tahoe is paying the price with the damage to its environment.

If

I get around to it, I will read these articles about the man who claims he isn't accountable to anybody.

As the World Turns II.

Chaz Higgs professed his innocence so much, he slashed his wrist this morning in a suicide attempt.

The trial is set to resume Thursday, and Higgs' attorney predicts a mistrial.

The attorney appears not to be too smart by allowing Higgs to testify in his defense, considering the fact he would face cross-examination by the prosecution.

And what does Kathy Augustine's family think of this latest stunt?

Houston said he was told by the Higgs family that he wanted to testify yesterday to tell his story, and then was ready to join his wife.
“We don’t know why this happened,” Houston said. “But yesterday he was reliving the events and I’m told that he waited a year to clear his name so he could join his wife. It was his goal to do that for his family.”
But Augustine’s brother, Phil Alfano, said the suicide attempt was a hoax.
“It’s just another act,” Alfano said after the hearing. “He’s a cold, calculating SOB, that’s all this is.”
Augustine’s daughter, Dallas, agreed.
“He does this whenever he gets backed into a corner,” she said, referring to the suicide attempt he made in the days following Augustine’s death. Dallas found him and called 911.


Where is Nancy Grace on this one?
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I can't ignore the big story of today.
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Speaking of Grace, now I know why she was coy about marriage and kids when somebody asked her about that when she gave her lecture in Reno in April.

Apparently she's known this guy for decades.

More here.
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Presidential Notes.

Obama's ads receive praise from a Republican stalwart.
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Ann Coulter proved once again she is an idiot who keeps milking her vile comments for more publicity and money.
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It

might be too much wishful thinking to believe NCLB will be shelved.

As the World Turns.

The Angora fire is about 40 percent contained, and some residents will be allowed to return home today, provided they have homes to go to.

Meyers isn't ritzy like Incline Village, and it isn't right on the shore of the lake. However, these residents aren't dirt poor either, unlike many people who lived in New Orleans at the time of Katrina.
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Chaz Higgs insists he didn't kill his wife, but it was all her fault the marriage was shot to shit.

Earlier, the prosecution wound up its case by presenting some proof of Higgs' devotion to his wife, State Controller Kathy Augustine:

Prosecutors finished presenting their case Monday morning with testimony from a woman to whom Higgs proclaimed his love while he was married and his disdain for his wife.
“I made a pact to myself that I would live every day making her life a living hell,” Higgs said of Augustine in a December 2005 e-mail to Linda Ramirez, a co-worker at the Renown South Meadows medical center.
“It is my quest in life to drive this bitch crazy and it is working; she is losing her mind,” Higgs said in the e-mail, read by Deputy District Attorney Christopher Hicks. “I have things in motion. I am already gone. “I will be free and I will be with you.”


Sure he didn't kill her. Sure.
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Monday, June 25, 2007

Why, Oh, Why

didn't I see this website before heading off with the landlord last September to Yosemite National Park?

Snip:

Be aware that Highway 49 from Mariposa to Coulterville is very twisty, with hairpin turns, steep drop-offs, and narrow lanes. It is beautiful, deserted, and is best taken when you have plenty of time to enjoy it. Expect an average speed of 20 mph.


So far in my limited existence, that is the worst goddamned road I have ever been on in my life (way worse than that goddamned piece of shit Nevada 431, the Mount Rose Highway, near the area where murderer Peter Bergna offed his wife by staging an auto crash), and it was worse when I had an 82-year-old driver who couldn't drive worth a shit (and never could) in a truck that didn't run worth a shit (it blew an engine over on Donner Summit during the last leg of the trip). This road goes on for about 40 to 50 miles with hairpin turns, which the landlord just LOVED to step on the gas before entering them, and dropoffs of hundreds if not thousands of feet.

I was lucky to have survived that trip, let me tell you.

Although

I couldn't post my video of the Edwards townhall of Saturday night, his campaign blog did.

Speaking of videos, when I go to Oregon next week, I am going to try and con my brother into burning DVDs of my travels and of the candidate speeches. I am thinking seriously of putting the videos on the internet, perhaps on a separate blog.

Presidential Notes II.

Can people trust Obama and his relationship to Colin Powell?

Can anybody trust Obama at all?

The answer is no, and voters should reject him in the primaries.
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Mitt's early push appears to be paying off.
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Paul Craig Roberts

hits it on the head about our worsening economic situation:

Except for Lou Dobbs on CNN, the US TV and print media have so far ignored the astounding story. Where are the headlines: “US Jobs: No American Need Apply”?

Chances are high that economists will ignore the story also. Economists have made fools of themselves with their hyped claims that jobs offshoring is a great benefit to America and that any attempt to stop it would bring hardship, failed companies, and lost American jobs. When a profession gets egg all over its face, it closes ranks and goes into denial.

Unlike the post-depression generation of US economists, recent generations of economists have been indoctrinated with confidence in business. They believe that business knows best and that the free market will prevent or correct any mistakes. Many economists today are well-paid shills for special interests. Others, simply careless, have assumed that statistical measures of high rates of US productivity and GDP growth were indications of the benefits that offshoring was bringing to Americans.

Only a few economists, such as myself and Charles McMillion, noticed the inconsistency between alleged high rates of productivity and GDP growth on one hand and stagnant real median incomes and rising income inequality on the other. Somehow the US economy was having GDP and productivity growth that was not showing up in growth in the incomes of Americans.

Thanks to economist Susan N. Houseman and the March 22 issue of Business Week, we now know, as I reported in the print edition of CounterPunch (June 1-15, 2007) and online at VDARE.com and Online Journal, that much of the growth in US productivity and GDP was an illusion created by statistics that mistakenly attributed productivity gains achieved abroad to the US economy.

With the ladders of upward mobility for Americans dismantled by offshoring and work visas, with the very real problems in mortgage and housing markets, with the very real stress put on the US dollar’s reserve currency role by Bush’s trillion dollar war that is financed by foreigners, with the downward revisions in US GDP and productivity growth that are now mandatory, and with a variety of other problems that I haven’t the space to deal with, the fabled US economy is a thing of the past.


John Edwards needs to hammer on this theme and hammer it hard. The powers-that-be will try to silence him, but the truth needs to be told.

Tales from the Booming Economy.

Sweatshops are alive and well in this country in the form of the restaurant industry.
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The USSC continues to be in the pocket of big biz.
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Auto unions in this country continue to make concessions.
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Presidential Notes.

Yesterday at San Francisco's Gay Pride celebration, Elizabeth Edwards decided to come out of the closet.

In favor of gay marriage, of course.
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As the World Turns.

The air around the Truckee Meadows will probably continue to be lousy, thanks to a couple of fires, the worst being near the southern part of Lake Tahoe.

As far as I'm concerned, the entire area surrounding the lake should be razed and returned back to the wild, especially Incline Village, the playground of the filthy rich. Lake Tahoe can't support all of the development, and whoever it was in the 1950s who made the decision to develop the area should have been taken out and shot.

Lake Tahoe should have been made into a national park. As it is, Lake Tahoe is a reminder of what the privatizers would have done to the national park system if they had had their way.

It would be Lake Tahoe writ a million times larger.
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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Horse of the Year

Invasor has been retired from racing after injuring himself in a workout.

He won 11 out of 12 starts, including the Triple Crown in Uruguay.

Presidential Notes III.

I hope Michael Bloomberg will keep his word and not run for president.
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More.

Questions from the audience:

Q: Stem-cell research. A: No ideological limitation on funding for stem-cell research. There's extraordinary possibility in it and America should be leading it. More funding for research institutions, NIH.

Q: Illegal immigration. A: There are several components crucial to reform. More secure borders, more technology. We need to be tougher on employers who hire illegals. We need to have a clear path to earned citizenship, no amnesty. People should have a chance to earn it. Illegals should pay a fine. Immigrants should learn to speak English.

Q: NCLB. A: Change it and fund it. (The answer doesn't satisfy me, for it should be ditched.) Mentioned his kids finished first and third grade in North Carolina public schools. Noted his daughter's school did nothing but teach to the test. Tests too intrusive. (Answer not satisfactory because he doesn't understand tests don't mean squat about what the students have learned. But it's par for the course for politicians.)

Q: Lobbyist influence. A: He's proud of the fact he has never taken a dime from a Washington lobbyist. He doesn't have lobbyists funding for him, and he doesn't take money for PACs, either. He thinks it should have been a law on it. As long as there is money in the process, there will be abuses. The only answer is public financing of elections, like Biden has proposed.

Q: Outsourcing. A: Eliminate tax breaks or incentives for companies to take jobs overseas. We need a trade policy that works for this country and other countries. Should adhere to labor standards, no hiring of children. We need to be truthtellers. We need to be the most educated, most innovative, hard to compete with other countries. We want to have those people in service jobs have decent wages, good health care. Talked about public schools and national investment in early childhood education, and "college for everyone." We need to have the vision to do this and make America strong. We should focus on science and technology. We have to be able to compete with workers in other countries with education, education, education.

Q: Patriot Act and signing statements. A: This president believes he's above the law. We need to have a president who is committed to complete transparency. The White House belongs to "you," not to the president. We need to have president open to sunshine, no more meetings with oil lobbyists like Cheney, etc. Transparency combined with real reform is the way to give the government back to the American people.

Q: Foreign policy and trade imbalance with China. Palestinian problem. A: Relationship with China is complex. Chinese take a long view of everything. They are driven by economic growth, and it controls everything. America must engage the Chinese in cleaning up the environment, but we must get our act together first. As for the trade imbalance, Edwards believes there is deliberate manipulation of the currency by the Chinese. It makes it harder to get American goods to be sold there, yet easier to get their goods here. We're a member of the WTO, but Bush and the gang won't do shit to correct the problem. Mentioned the human rights abuses in China. The Chinese are propping up the Sudan, which is engaging in genocide. We have to deal with the Chinese with our eyes wide open. The two great challenges facing America are the rise of violent Islam (Bush has made it worse, not better). The other challenge is the rise of China. We need engagement, being focused on it, experts reporting to the president on it, and our dictator has ignored it in favor of his disastrous Iraq policy. The next president will need to deal with China.

Q: Some writer talked about some proposals for energy policy and our government was covering it up. He wanted Edwards' input, as there was going to be some kind of meeting. Edwards said he would look into the matter. At that point, people were leaving early.

In closing, Edwards, like Obama, talked about pledge cards for donations and such to help his campaign.

After that was done, Edwards stayed around to sign posters and shake hands. I got yet another autograph from him, my third, and the second from him in person. I did take some pictures, and many of them turned out on the digital camera, but I will have to wait until I have the means to upload them.

I think I mentioned there is now a Reno office open for his campaign. I plan to volunteer for it when it gets going and when I get done with my next major vacation trip, which will be in less than two weeks.

More Edwards Remarks from Yesterday.

America is not better when people are working and not being able to make it, to paraphrase Edwards. We can change the war on poverty. People should earn a decent living wage, we ought to reform and strengthen laws to unionize the workplace. If you join the Republican Party by signing a card, you should be able to do the same thing with a union. He has been in the trenches working with unions, calling employers, walking picket lines, and so forth in order to lift families out of poverty. We aren't saving anything in this country. We have a negative savings rate. If people were educated on saving money, if we had a program that would help people save money, and combine that with a national predatory lending law, this would go a long way in helping the poor. Edwards said we need to make it easier, not harder, to go to college. He mentioned his "College for Everyone" program, which he and Elizabeth started in North Carolina and said it was successful, with about 70 percent of students being eligible for college. Health care, access to college, a decent wage, ability to save, affordable housing, all of these are important for a One America.

Why is Edwards running for president? He said he wants other people to have the same chance he had. He had nothing, and now he has everything and wants others to have the same opportunity. Then he hammered critics who say how he can be talking about helping the poor when he is so rich (you know, like the mainstream media are attacking him for in an attempt to get him out of the way to pave the way for yet more Republican rule). "I don't claim to be poor. Does that mean I can't speak out for people who don't have a voice...I am going to tell you, every time you do that you are going to be attacked...it's always true in American history, because people who have wealth and power, they do not want to hear this, they want this message to be squelched, and so they try to kill the messenger, in this case it's me. I will say this directly: They are not going to kill this voice as long as I'm alive and breathing..."

He talked about a couple more issues. On Iraq, "we've got to end this war." He voted for the war and said he was wrong. It's important for the president of the U.S. to admit when he's wrong and be open and honest to the American people. What do we do now? Congress has a mandate to end this war. Talked about the timetable for withdrawal. When our dictator vetoed it, Congress should have submitted another bill and resubmitted it until it passed. If we're going to restore America as a moral leader again, we have to do two things. One we have to reverse all the damage that's been done. Second, we have to do some affirmative things to show America's humanity. With regard to the negative, if the war is still going on, he will end it, if Guantanamo is still open, he will close it. He will make it clear to the U.S. and the world that we will not condone torture. Last but not least we will put an end to the illegal spying on the American people.

Now let's talk about something positive, what America can do good. America cannot stand by and watch genocide in Darfur. We need to be leading on HIV AIDS, teaching people in the Third World on prevention of HIV AIDs. We should make education a reality to millions in Africa and the developing world. He has been involved in some humanitarian efforts around the world, we have a responsibility. The world can look up to us again.

America must lead on the issue of global warming. America must demonstrate leadership on this crisis of climate. Cap carbon emissions, national investment in biofuels, solar, wind, and other alternate forms of energy. No more nuclear power plants, no more Yucca Mountain. We should be building efficient vehicles. Edwards talked about the "domino effect" this would have on the economy, including the creation of a million "green collar jobs." We have to force change and it will have influence on the Europeans, the Chinese, and even the Middle East (which is "hooked on a drug called oil"). Edwards also mentioned about "global poverty" and it's connection to the oil issue.

In closing Edwards admitted he's and optimist and said there is nothing this country can't do. "All we need is a little backbone, a little courage."

More...

Presidential Notes II.

Columnist Mark Shields likes Joe Biden.

A lot of people do.
_____

As the World Turns.

It's time for round two of Wills & Kate.
_____

Presidential Notes.

The Reno Gazette-Journal has its report of the Edwards townhall meeting of last night, which drew 1,500 people.
_____

Another report is here.

I like this bit:

In Las Vegas, Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, told a crowd at the opening of the campaign's southern Nevada office that she and her husband were in the race to win.

She highlighted her husband's support of universal health care, expanding renewable energy programs and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean's strategy of focusing party resources in historically Republican territory.

Asked by a supporter whether her husband should take Dean as his running mate, she replied, "I love Howard but Howard doesn't want to play No. 2."

_____

More criticism of the New York Times hit piece on Edwards.
_____

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Presidential Notes II.

Estimates are that 1,500 attended the Edwards townhall meeting, a good turnout considering the competing events in Reno.

As I said, I will type more about his remarks tomorrow. Naturally I recorded the meeting and took some pictures, this time on my brand new Canon digital camera. Most of the pictures turned out, but I have to get a new computer in order to download them.

If I think about it, I will have my brother download the pictures when I go up to Oregon in a week or so.
_____

The media are working like hell to get Edwards out of the race by claiming he isn't raising enough money to compete.

Of course he is; he is just not raising obscene amounts of money because it isn't really necessary.

He did mention tonight we should have public financing of campaigns, echoing Senator Biden's remarks of the debate of a couple of weeks ago.
_____

I Returned

a little bit ago from the John Edwards townhall meeting held at Damonte Ranch High School in south Reno. Several hundred people were in attendance. No, it wasn't as big as the Hillary event, but it was still a good turnout considering the last night of the Reno Rodeo was going on.

Edwards, who was about 20 minutes late, thanked everybody for showing up, and he said he heard from Elizabeth, who was in Las Vegas to open up a new campaign headquarters there, and he said she was doing well and was going to go to San Francisco tomorrow.

Edwards talked about the Two Americas and how important the concept it is and how we should build One America so people can do better. He talked about a "dysfunctional" health care system in this country. He believes we should have universal health care in this country. He was the first candidate to come out with a universal plan. While his plan is not single-payer, it does give consumers a choice between a government-sponsored health care plan ala Medicare ("Medicare Plus"), and the private system. He thinks if enough people people opt for the government-provided care, then we can convert to a single-payer type system. He wants "Americans to make that choice." He talked about the various ways his plan would save money, including better technology. He also takes on the "big drug companies and the big insurance companies." That will endear him to the special interests in the health care field. Health care is a critical part in bridging the gap between the Two Americas.

When he talks about Two Americas, he's not talking about the rich and the poor, but instead about the "very rich and everybody else." The top 300,000 earners earned more than the bottom 150 million last year. Everything is going up, health care costs are responsible for half of the bankruptcies in this country. His plan mandates every man, woman, and child to be covered, and it will be paid for by repealing our dictator's tax cuts.

JRE brought up poverty and the millions who are in poverty and many more who are on the edge, and many more who are trying to get by. It says a lot about our character about 35 million in poverty. Edwards brought up Katrina and how devastated New Orleans and other areas were. We can do something about this problem. He talked about the successful move to raise the minimum wage in Nevada and his work and the help of other people to raise it in other states. He mentioned his new book on poverty and his work at the poverty center. The issue has been important to him, meeting with families, and such.

Since it is late tonight, I will have the rest of his remarks tomorrow posted for posterity.

As the World Turns.

A nurse describes the wedded bliss of the Higgs-Augustine relationship:

And Tina Carbone, a nurse at the Renown South Meadows medical center when Higgs was hired, said she filed a complaint with the Nevada state Ethics Committee against Augustine because she “felt in jeopardy” by Augustine’s actions.
“She was writing letters to the administration, waiting in the parking lot, making phone calls,” during a time that she and her husband had offered Higgs a room to rent in their house because of his marital problems, Carbone said.
“I wanted her to stop,” Carbone said.
But when asked by Deputy District Attorney Christopher Hicks whether she encouraged Higgs to end the marriage if it was that bad, she said, “yes.”

_____

I Have Long Felt

Dick Cheney was the most extreme rightwinger when he was in Congress, and his latest antics of trying to make himself unaccountable to anybody just solidifies my feelings of his extremism.

He has a lot to cover up. The problem is Democrats don't have the votes to impeach and remove him from office.

Presidential Notes.

The envious WSWS complains about Democratic candidates trying to gain the support of "progressives" at the Take Back America conference held recently.

Gee, I thought the only major thing resulting from that meeting was the "unmasking" of anonymous blogger "Digby" as a woman, but she was still not identified by her real name. I am sure that will be revealed shortly.
_____

Friday, June 22, 2007

It Is No Surprise

that once again vouchers for private schools don't yield much in the way of good results.

It's just the same thing as has been shown for charter schools and private schools with or without vouchers. The plain truth is schools aren't businesses and can't follow business models, contrary to the right-wing ideology, and efforts to make them "competitive" always fall flat.

Presidential Notes.

The Edwards campaign has decided to fight back against that Jeff Gerth-style NYT piece, which reminded me of the bogus Whitewater stories.

Speaking of JRE, he will be in Reno tomorrow at around 5:45 at Damonte Ranch High School for a townhall meeting. I plan to volunteer my time before the event.

Elizabeth Edwards, meanwhile, will be in Las Vegas, and Sunday she will be in the Bay Area to speak to gay voters. This will be during a Gay Pride event.
_____

The Piece of Shit NCLB

is about to expire, and it should be allowed to remain dead, but don't count on Democrats to let it go, especially the likes of George Miller and Ted Kennedy.

They never will get it.

It's Not Surprising

somebody like Dick Cheney is pulling what he is pulling when he thinks he is above the law.

He must have a hell of a lot to hide.

As the World Turns.

A student risks breaking his neck exploring the Oregon Caves in search of fossils.
_____

A Chihuahua named Ducky has made the record books.
_____

The prosecution in the Higgs case is expected to wind up today.
_____

Former Republican representative Guy VanderJagt, 75, has died from pancreatic cancer.
_____

Lies about Jack Kevorkian's victims continue to be promoted by the media.
_____

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Presidential Notes II.

Bloomberg is the Republicans' wet dream since his candidacy would hurt Democrats far more than Republicans.
_____

Once again the media try to paint John Edwards as some kind of sleazebag.
_____

So what is Bloomberg's cause, besides himself?
_____

Rudy values loyalty among his friends even if he isn't loyal to various ex-wives.
_____

Presidential Notes.

This editorial attempts to explain why the debates as constructed are ludicrous.

On the Democratic side, they should simply ditch Gravel, Kucinich, Obama, Richardson, and probably Dodd. Gravel and Kucinich are too far "out there" to even deserve any airing and simply waste time, and it appears Richardson and Dodd won't be in contention much longer. Obama, unless he can get his shit together in terms of debating skills, is completely ludicrous as a candidate. He doesn't know what in the hell he is talking about.

That would leave Clinton, Edwards, and Biden, but if my wish came true, it would be a case of being careful for what I wish for. Clinton can always hold her own in a debate, as can Edwards, but take away Clinton, and leaving only Biden and Edwards, I'd fear the senator from Delaware would beat the shit out of Edwards and would probably get the nomination. Whatever his shortcomings as a senator, Biden does know his shit and can debate any issue. Not that Edwards can't, but he'd have a challenge which wasn't present when he debated John Kerry in 2004.

So maybe we ought to leave things the way they are after all.

Although

I have been in town for the past few days, I haven't had much ambition to blog. The weather has been too nice to sit on my ass in front of the computer. I have been cycling, running, and hiking, the latter up at Lake Tahoe. I returned a couple of hours ago from hiking up four miles round trip on a section of the Tahoe Rim Trail, one of the major network of trails in the West. I got a hell of a workout, and when I returned home, I showered and decided to crash on the bed.

I'll probably end up joining the TRTA. The trail system is very popular with tourists and locals.


I believe this was taken in the "badlands" section of Petrified Forest National Park. Note the petrified wood. June 12, 2007.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

As the World Turns II.

First "they" say HRT is bad, and now "they" are saying it is good. What is a menopausal dame to do?
_____

Belmont winner Rags to Riches is having a blog launched in her name.
_____


This is looking through Natural Bridge at Bryce Canyon National Park. June 13, 2007.

As the World Turns.

A nurse testified that Chaz Higgs was a hateful so-and-so:

"How did he refer to his wife?" Deputy District Attorney Christopher Hicks asked Kim Ramey, a traveling nurse who met Higgs July 7, 2006, the day before paramedics took Augustine to a hospital.

"He said, 'She's a (expletive) stalker, she's a bitch, she's psycho,'" Ramey testified. He said he planned to get a divorce and "said he was getting an apartment because she was a stalker," she added.

When their conversation drifted to a high-profile Reno divorce case involving Darren Mack, charged with killing his wife and shooting their divorce judge, Ramey said Higgs made a comment that gave her "goose bumps."

"He said that guy did it wrong," Ramey testified. "If you want to get rid of someone you just hit them with a little succs because you can't trace it post-mortem."

_____

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Masherama.

Arnold insists the partisanship in Washington needs to stop.

Presidential Notes.

The big story of the day, some $5 billion worth, is the defection of New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg from the GOP, after he defected from the Democratic Party to the GOP in order to run against Mark Green back in 2002.

Gossip is running rampant he will attempt to buy the presidency by running an independent campaign.

Lesse, could we have a New York threesome during the fall campaign of 2008, with Clinton, Giuliani, and Bloomberg holding court?
_____

I

was so wiped out from riding in a van for over 2,000 miles in seven days, I decided not to make the trip back east. I hope I will be able to get a refund.

I'll eventually make it back there, but jamming three major vacations in a month is just a wee bit much.

I do plan to go to Italy next month, however. I should be rested up by then only to be wiped out from traveling through a total of 24 time zones to and from Rome.

The vacation should be great, though.

However, I am unable to so far post pictures of my travels to the blog. Everything comes out upside down or sideways.

Before I head out to Oregon in about two weeks, I plan to do a lot of hiking as well as running and cycling. Yesterday I was up at Spooner Lake trying to forget my troubles. The wildflowers were out, and they were just beautiful.

As the World Turns.

Could corn syrup be the key to the bee die-off?

It sounds as if this kid has been reading too many issues of Prevention magazine, not the most reliable of publications.
_____

Opening arguments are expected today in the trial of accused killer Chaz Higgs, charged in the death of wife and Republican politician Kathy Augustine.
_____

Monday, June 18, 2007

I

was looking around on the internet, and I came across this excellent article about pro skier Spider Sabich, best known as the victim of celebrity killer Claudine Longet.

He was the middle of three children, and the first to die. His sister and younger brother both died of cancer.

It is a lengthy article, but I thought I'd share it with readers.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Presidential Notes II.

Hillary Clinton talks about her campaign, her experience, and the issues facing this country.

Say what you want, but she is always prepared, which was evident in the debates so far in this campaign.

Clinton has always held her own. She doesn't screw up.
_____

Presidential Notes.

As I was out seeing the Grand Canyon and enjoying myself last Sunday, the New York Times Magazine decided to publish Matt Taibbi's piece on John Edwards, which isn't too flattering to him by spending too much time on the stupid "hypocrisy" meme put forth by the media, a media too chickenshit to talk about class issues.
_____

As the World Turns.

Hare today, gone tomorrow.
_____

So is there an "epidemic" of autism? The answer, according to this writer, is no. There is an increase in those being diagnosed with autism spectrum.
_____

Chaz Higgs' attorney is confident he can get him off on murder charges.

The trial starts tomorrow, but I won't be in town to see it.
_____

Saturday, June 16, 2007

This Article

presents the reason the media are trying to push Hillary Clinton on Democrats so that they have her win the primaries.

She has no chance whatsoever of winning the general election.

Get Ready

for atheists becoming more emboldened to demand their rights.

The day an atheist or at least an agnostic can be elected president, then I'll say they have arrived.

There Was No Triple Crown Winner

this year, but there were several jewels in the series.

The Booming Economy Casualty List for 6/8-6/16.

Just because one has a college degree, that doesn't guarantee it will increase one's salary.

The idea all people need is to get more education is a fraud designed to mask the real problems with wage stagnation.

As the World Turns.

Mike Wallace's defense of serial killer Jack Kevorkian is as embarrassing as those interviews theocrat James Dobson did with Ted Bundy before the latter was executed in January of 1989.

Awful.
_____

Naturally abortion used for sex selection has led to a shortage of females.

Hardly a great achievement for women's rights.
_____

A washed-up rocker tries marriage once again.
_____

Thanks to his handling of the Duke Lacrosse fiasco, Mike Nifong's legal career is kaput.
_____

Prince Harry can't seem to stay out of the tabloids.
_____

Friday, June 15, 2007

ANY Observer of

this campaign season knows the media have it in for John Edwards, just as they did in 2004.

He is a real threat to the corporate class with his message of the ongoing class warfare in this country--THE most important issue, in my opinion.

The media and far too many Democrats are focusing on Clinton and Obama, both of whom would be destroyed in the general election by virtually any Republican running.

Presidential Notes.

Senator Clinton is getting criticism from all sides, most recently from a segment of voters who would be her natural supporters.

She fares little better in this piece.

She fares even worse here.
_____

Unfortunately, I will be flying back from New York on the 23rd, so I won't be able to help out:

Saturday 23rd, 4:30pm, Damonte Ranch High School
Hey everyone! Tell ALL your friends and co-workers that John Edwards will be in Damonte Ranch High School at 4:30 on Saturday June 23 for a Town Hall Meeting!

Bring as many people as you can to this exciting event!

As the World Turns.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's hero has died at the age of 88.
_____

Fred Goldman finally prevails, at least for now.
_____

Yes, I watched last Saturday's Belmont Stakes and Rags to Riches' historic win over the colts.

She was the first filly since 1905 to win the race.
_____

I

returned from my six-day visit to the southwestern United States. I had so much fun visiting with the family, picking up souvenirs, and enjoying the scenery. Of course I have piles of video and still pictures recording the trip. I hope the stills turn out.

I wanted to visit more of Great Basin National Park, a park which is more remote than most with around 90,000 visitors a year there (compared to 3.5 million for Yosemite, over 4 million for the Grand Canyon, and damned near 10 million a year for the Great Smoky Mountains). I did manage to go on a guided tour to Lehman Caves. It was interesting to learn about its history and the fact parties used to be held there up through the 1920s, with graffiti and stuff written on the walls. The Park Service gave up trying to remove the graffiti and now it is considered part of the caves' history.

Wheeler Peak, the highest peak entirely within the state of Nevada, is gorgeous, but I really wanted to go on the road to some side trails and perhaps see some Bristlecone pine trees, the oldest living things on earth. I am going to try and make it back to the park before summer is out.

Bryce Canyon doesn't have a lot of hiking trails, and it, like the Petrified Forest park, is basically a drive-through national park. There are plenty of turnouts on the road to view and take video/pictures of the "canyon," technically a giant amphitheater. Inspiration Point, the one with seemingly thousands of hoodoos, is one of the highlights. That site is one of the most famous in all of the world. I was surprised to find, however, that Bryce Canyon has only about 900,000 visitors a year when it is only 60 miles from Zion National Park, which has over 2 million visitors a year. I just don't understand why there would be that big a difference, particularly when Bryce Canyon is easier to get to and through (except perhaps in the winter).

Zion of course is just wonderful, but the park has bus tours through the canyon in order to preserve the environment (not to mention the fact the road is fairly narrow anyway). If I didn't have other people with me, I would have hiked some of the side trails.

The first parks we went to were Grand Canyon National Park and Petrified Forest National Park, both of which we visited twice. I can't add much to everything that has been said about the Grand Canyon park, one of the most famous in the world if not THE most famous, except for the fact people need to exercise some caution when they try to get pictures. Some people, and even young kids, were close to the edge where they were NOT supposed to be. If they fall off, they can just forget it as they'd plunge down 5,000 feet to their deaths. I couldn't stand to watch people going on the edge. That was scarier to me than looking down in the canyon itself. We went to the South Rim and hiked quite a ways down the trail. We went in the evening, when the canyon seemed to have a bit of haze, and then the following morning, when it was clearer.

And from there we went to Meteor Crater, but it was very windy and the weather was threatening, so just one of my sisters and my brother went with me on the guided tour up part of the crater. It didn't actually rain, but the wind made it cold. Earlier near Flagstaff, Arizona, we visited Spirit Mountain Ranch with the ultra-rare white buffalo. The owner said they plan to relocate to near the California redwoods when she sells the property. The animals will go with her, of course. Those animals were beautiful, and the miniature goats were very cute and put on a show for us.

Afterwards it was on to Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. This is one of my favorite places on the trip, with so many logs of petrified wood on one side of the park and part of the Painted Desert on the other side of the park. Pictures don't do the park justice. We went in just before the park closed one evening, and then we returned shortly after the park opened the following day.

Another highlight was visiting the Corak Pink Sand Dunes State Park outside of Kanab, Utah, on the way to Zion National Park. Yes, the dunes ARE salmon pink and gorgeous. I do not understand why the area is even open to offroad vehicles. It shouldn't be. The sand is powdery more than grainy. There were some flowers in bloom, and they contrasted nicely with the sand.

That's kind of a brief rundown on my trip. I will try and get some pictures processed before I head out again Monday back east for six days.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

As the World Turns.

Ruth Bell Graham, wife of evangelist Billy Graham, has died at the age of 87. She had been in a coma.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hello, All or Few.

Here I am in little Kanab, Utah, staying in a little motel on the fifth day of my first vacation. I have had a wonderful time going to Vegas, then Lake Mead, then the Grand Canyon, which we saw twice, and today at the Petrified Forest near Holbrook, Arizona, which we saw twice also. I have taken numerous pictures, and when I arrive back in Reno, probably around Friday, I will try to have them uploaded, assuming they turn out well.

Anyway, tomorrow we will head up to Zion National Park, and then to Bryce Canyon National Park, both of which are just a short distance away. I hope we will be able to go to Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada, on Thursday before we make the long journey back to Reno.

Anyway, I have been out of the loop on world events such as the Paris Hilton saga, the latest antics by our dictator in his attempts to get his immigration legislation passed, and of course I missed Mouthzilla's unforgettable performance in Reno last night, which attracted almost 600 people.

Anyway, that is all for now. I have got to shower and get the hell to bed.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Hiatus.

Starting tomorrow, I will be heading out the door to go to the Southwest with my two sisters, brother, and niece. We will be driving down to Vegas, spend a couple of days there, then go to the Grand Canyon on Sunday, possibly visit the Petrified Forest National Park, then head up to Utah and take in several national parks there.

If I somehow come into contact with a computer, I will post, but I seriously doubt I will.

I will return around next Friday, the 15th, for a couple of days before I head to the Big Apple during June 18-June 23.

Presidential Notes.

Can this presidential campaign be saved?

Fred Thompson should be seen as a threat not only to Republican candidates, but also to the Democrats.

As the World Turns IV.

Thanks to a huge public outcry, Paris Hilton is being hauled back into court.

The judge ain't happy, to say the least.
_____

Edwin R. Hall ain't going anywhere.
_____

Former Trainer

John Veitch gave an online chat:



Winooski, VT:
What is your fondest memory of Alydar?

Veitch:
My fondest memory at the very end when we sent him back to the farm in Kentucky. In my own mind, I was thinking that Alydar would never remember me but I would remember him the rest of my life. Mrs. Markey was still alive and for a number of years after that I would always go to the farm and look at the yearlings. Any time I would go to the farm I would always visit him. But it wasn’t the same. For those 2 ½ years he was so much a part of my life. Melvin Cinnamon, the farm manager, and Eull Rice, the farm trainer, had seen so many great ones come through over the years and as a weanling they saw something in Alydar that really impressed them. They had so much high expectations, they saw something in Alydar as a weanling and yearling. He came to me with such high expectations and he lived up to them, he was special.


And:



Chantilly, VA:
In hindsight, do you think there was anything you might have done with Alydar that might have helped him beat Affirmed; e.g. change of equipment, jockeys, learn to change leads, run up the rail, etc.?

Veitch:
I really don’t. I have gone over it a thousand times in my head. One thing the public probably doesn’t know is that Alydar almost never changed leads in the afternoon but in the mornings he changed leads perfectly. But there was just something about the intensity of the way he did things that precluded him from changing leads. It would be one thing if he wouldn’t do it in the morning, which would give us something to work on. It did put him a little bit of a disadvantage. I took blinkers off after the Preakness going into the Belmont, and a number of riders rode him, Jorge Velasquez rode him the most and was a perfect fit for him, although Alydar had so much natural ability almost any rider could have ridden him and done well. I would like to have another shot.


And this:



Pompano Beach, FL:
My hearty congratulations on a well deserved induction into the Hall of Fame this August. I recently finished re-reading Ann Hagedorn Auerbach's "Wild Ride.” I was wondering if your opinions have changed over time regarding the fatal events of the Alydar’s death and the reasons behind Calumet's demise?

Veitch:
My feelings have always been that something nefarious happened to the horse. I can’t apply to blame to anybody, but the incident happened under some very suspicious circumstances that were unexplainable to me.


I disagree with Veitch on this. Horses break their legs all the time, even off the track.

I didn't like A Wild Ride for that reason. There was no evidence of anything nefarious.

As the World Turns III.

An osprey gets a second chance at flight.
_____

As the World Turns II.

Edwin R. Hall will be charged today with the murder of Kelsey Smith.

The police certainly acted quickly although not quickly enough to save her life.
_____

As the World Turns.

The rich ARE different.

But we've known celebrities get their own brand of "justice" at least since the infamous Claudine Longet got off with a slap on the wrist after she murdered her boyfriend, pro skier Spider Sabich back in 1976.

Unfortunately, Paris will still be in the headlines. After all, she hasn't killed anybody yet, unlike Claudine, who is basically a pariah and has never again surfaced publicly after the trial. (Fun fact: She married her defense attorney in 1985 after he ditched his own family for her. He is still alive today, and they both continue to live in Aspen, Colorado.)

Edit: Paris Hilton agreed to wear an ankle bracelet at home for the next 40 days, according to a press conference. Some "medical problem" played a role in this change. She wasn't released but "reassigned" to her home.
_____

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

As the World Turns II.

It appears a man has been arrested in connection with the Kelsey Smith murder.

He is 26-year-old Edwin R. Hall of Olathe, Kansas.

Seven Horses

are entered in this Saturday's Belmont Stakes.

I will be in Las Vegas that day, but I will try to catch it either in my hotel room at Circus Circus, or else I will catch it in a casino.

As the World Turns.

This is an earlier report of the search for Kelsey Smith of Overland Park, Kansas.

Cable news channels are reporting a body has been found in a wooded area, but that it hasn't been identified as of yet.

The latest is here.

Officials have just (2:00 Pacific) confirmed the body as Kelsey's.
_____

I have serious doubts about whether test scores have improved since NCLB was enacted.

The Democrats are even more guilty promoting this shit than the Republicans.
_____

When It Comes

to criticizing the New York Times and its reporters, there is no better person for the job than Gene Lyons, who takes a look at the recent books trashing Hillary Clinton:

Anybody who can do a Google search can assess the basic fraudulence of “Her Way.” Let’s pass over the diabolical pact that the Clintons supposedly made to succeed each other in a 16-year presidency. Historian Taylor Branch, who supposedly confided this dark secret, calls it “preposterous” and says the authors never interviewed him.

Gerth can’t even summarize his own Whitewater reporting straightforwardly. Possibly constrained by Van Natta’s ability to write comprehensible sentences, the book correctly observes that the Clintons ’ Whitewater investment was financed by bank loans. In his original 1992 scandal-mongering story, he’d limned it as a sweetheart deal: “The Clintons appear to have invested little money, so stood to lose little if the venture failed, but might have cashed in on their 50 percent interest if it had done well.”

No, Jeff, they had to repay the bank, with interest, losing $ 43, 000. It was of such absurdities—did a New York Times reporter really not grasp that investing borrowed money is riskier than investing cash?—that the Whitewater “scandal” consisted all along.

The Print Media

are as bad if not worse than the broadcast media in continuing to trash Al Gore.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

As the World Turns.

Of course, this presumed abduction has made the cable channels.

As somebody who enjoys watching Forensic Files whenever I remember to watch it, it makes me wonder why in the world anybody would attempt to do any kind of criminal act against somebody else. Target (certainly an ironical name for a place of an abduction) has some great surveillance videos, and it would seem to me the perpetrator would be caught pretty soon.

I don't understand why people commit crimes when it is becoming harder than ever to get away with them.
_____

Pass the Popcorn.

A possible rift in the anti-abortion movement may prove interesting:

As they gathered Tuesday for a national strategy session, anti-abortion activists faced an unexpected revolt in their own ranks.

Some of the biggest groups in the movement, including Focus on the Family and National Right to Life, are under attack from fellow activists who accuse them of turning the cause into a money-grubbing industry.

Those groups have raised tens of millions of dollars and trumpeted victory after incremental victory in the 34 years since Roe v. Wade legalized abortions. But nearly a quarter of all pregnancies in the U.S. still end in abortion. Deeply frustrated, several small anti-abortion groups have launched a campaign to force their movement to an absolutist position: no more compromises, no more half-steps, just an all-out effort for an all-out ban.


Lotsa luck with that. Most people simply don't want to criminalize abortion. It didn't work before, and it wouldn't work now.

Since I Don't Get

HBO, I won't be able to see the documentary on Barbaro which is scheduled to air tomorrow.

I'll have to wait until it comes out on DVD.

I highly recommend the Sean Clancy book on Barbaro. It is excellent, with many pictures of the Derby winner. It reminds me a great deal of the Raymond Woolfe book on Secretariat which was first published in 1974 and available in paperback. Clancy, like Woolfe with Tweedy and company, had seemingly unlimited access to Barbaro's connections.

I

watched the GOP debate; however, I didn't do any live blogging because I didn't get home until about 4 o'clock. Since my car starts erratically, I have had the landlord drop me off in the morning, and then I have been taking the bus in the afternoon.

Anyway, I recorded the debate, just as I have almost all of them. This was a much more boring debate than the first GOP debate. I don't think there were any clear winners, and no clear losers.

It was the same talking points, all predictable, and I left to go to Wendy's when Huckabee explained his view on creationism, where he said he "wasn't around" when the earth was created, so he didn't know when it was created. I walked out the door when he mentioned about people believing or not believing we came from "primates," never mind our dictator.

I thought it was embarrassing.

When I returned, it was back to boredom. The candidates kept mentioning Hillary Clinton as if it was a done deal. Don't they wish?

This

post has the usual right-to-die nonsense, but the comments are very interesting, including those of Stephen Drake of Not Dead Yet.

This

is a good blog post taking released serial killer Jack Kevorkian to task.

Sunday's Democratic Presidential

debate gives the WSWS another reason to trash the party and help to continue Republican rule.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Presidential Notes.

The Union Leader gives its spin on last night's debate.
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Governor Richardson has stumbled out of the gate like a one-legged horse, and questions are being asked as to whether he can stage a comeback.

I think not:

In the first few months of the campaign, he admitted to falsely claiming for decades that he was a 1966 baseball draft pick by the Kansas City A's. He told a reporter that he supported Attorney General Alberto Gonzales during the U.S. attorneys scandal because he was Hispanic, but then called for Gonzales' resignation a few days later. He called the compromise immigration bill in the Senate a "good start" but a few days later announced he opposed it. He said his model Supreme Court justice was Byron White but changed his mind when he found out that White wrote the dissent in Roe v. Wade. To top it all off, there is the mother of a fallen Marine in New Mexico accusing him of slighting her dead son's memory, by repeating on the campaign trail an anecdote she says never happened.

All these missteps came into painful relief a week ago on Sunday, when Richardson was pummeled for an hour by Tim Russert on NBC's "Meet the Press." By the end of the show, the candidate seemed to have sunk in his chair. He was looking at the table, not Russert, when he answered questions. At other times his eyes darted around. "I'm not perfect," he said about backing Gonzales initially because of his ethnicity. "I should not have said that," he admitted, when asked about his 1999 claim that nuclear weapons secrets were safe despite unfolding security scandals at the Department of Energy. "I got in trouble again," he said, when Russert pointed out that he claimed to be -- gulp, gasp -- a fan of both the Red Sox and the Yankees.


Not good.
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As the World Turns.

Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming, 74, has unfortunately died:

The senator's family issued a statement saying he died Monday evening at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He had been receiving chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia.

According to a statement from his office, Thomas' cancer had been resistant to a second round of chemotherapy and he was suffering from an infection in addition to the leukemia.


RIP.
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I Certainly Hope

that the disability rights organizations would be allowed to respond to the media lies regarding the Jack Kevorkian case.

The guy is a bigger murderer than Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgway; the only difference is the victims had chronic illnesses, terminal illnesses, disabilities, and, in at least a handful of cases, no physical illnesses at all.

It's disgusting.

Our Dictator

continues to drag his feet regarding global warming.

The 60 Minutes

interview with glorified serial killer Jack Kevorkian was nothing short of sickening.

Naturally it was totally one-sided.

The More

people know about NCLB, the less they like it.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Why Is It

the media hates John Edwards?

It's obvious, but it's nothing new. The media hated him in 2004 as well.

He is somebody who not only talks about helping the less advantaged, he has actually done it as a top trial attorney.

I Watched the Debate Tonight,

and it is clear to me the candidates who did the best were Edwards, Biden, and Clinton. Those are the three who should be left standing after tonight.

As I said before, Kucinich, Gravel, and probably Dodd should step down. I like Dodd, but he just can't seem to distinguish himself. Kucinich and Gravel come across as crackpots and should get out and quit wasting airtime. I seriously doubt Richardson is going to make it, regardless of his expertise. I think he has similar troubles as Dodd.

Obama, well, forget it. He batted 0-2 tonight. He appeared nervous, ill-prepared, and certainly outclassed by the likes of Edwards. Edwards came out swinging during the first half of the debate, and he held his own the rest of the debate. The second half seemed to lose a bit of steam, in my opinion. The first half reminded me of the Fox Republican debate of a couple of weeks ago. The candidates really went after each other. Edwards was the clear winner in the part of the debate.

Hillary Clinton always does well in these formats, and tonight wasn't an except. She probably belongs in the "top tier." Biden I thought won the second part of the debate. The guy knows his stuff, and if he can get enough money to stay in the game, Clinton and Edwards have their work cut out for them. A generation ago, a man like Biden would have been a shoo-in for the nomination. But in this day and age of American Idol politics, he is considered old hat, even irrelevant. It's disgusting.

I was working on the apartment getting this place ready for the relatives to spend the night on Thursday (before I take off for the next week), so I wasn't going to give the blow-by-blow account of what was said during the debate.

Presidential Notes.

The NYT has a bunch of articles today on the woman who would be president if she could be president, if she really wanted to be president in the first place but was likely to have been pushed into campaigning by her former president husband who would be president if he could be president and would be president if she could be president.
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Jimbo Eruptions.

The governor hits the major leagues with a frontpage article in the NYT.

His impressive approval ratings must be something of a record for a governor.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

As the World Turns.

Winnemucca is host to the annual mule races, which will attracted about 3,000 people.
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Prominent blogger Steve Gilliard, 41, died early this morning.

I never cared much for his blog and his often arrogant attitude, but this is terrible news.

I knew his health was horrible.

More.
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Here

are more job cuts from our booming economy.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Expect

60 Minutes to do a fawning interview with paroled murderer Jack Kevorkian this Sunday.

Apparently "journalist" Mike Wallace greeted his old friend with a hug when he left prison.

Not Dead Yet

isn't very happy with a recent AP poll which was favorable to serial killer Jack Kevorkian.

As the World Turns.

Celebrated TB patient Andrew Speaker says he is sorry for causing an international scare, but he insists he was told nobody would be at risk for catching the disease.

The only problem with that is the fact he traveled on international airlines and then returned to Canada and drove back to the U.S. He didn't need to be in Canada at all.

The fact he is a lawyer says it all.
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Glorified serial killer Jack Kevorkian, supposedly very sick, was released from prison this morning to embark on the very lucrative lecture circuit.
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Presidential Notes.

Here is more about the Obama visit of yesterday.

There is more here.