26 April 2006

Photos by KTB

Here's a picture of me walking to the house

Here is a picture of everyone sitting down to dinner.

Photos by KTB (who, consequently, isn't in the picture.)

23 April 2006

Conyers on a Change in Control of the House

...I think we knew all along, that with the GOP's agenda in tatters, and the President pulling the GOP down like an anvil, that the chances for not only Democratic pick-ups, but an outright change in control was strong. I sense it in Michigan and when ever I travel outside of the Beltway...it will take a monumental effort to push back against right wing smear and voter suppression tactics.
link: http://www.conyersblog...

19 April 2006

Just Say NO an Iran War

Seymour Hersh revealed in the April 17th New Yorker, "While publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, [the Bush Administration] has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups." Even more alarming, Hersh wrote that "American Naval tactical aircraft, operating from carriers in the Arabian Sea, have been flying simulated nuclear-weapons delivery missions.... since last summer," and the Bush administration is giving serious consideration to the use of nuclear weapons.

The Washington Post independently reported that Pentagon planners are "contemplating tactical nuclear devices" to take out deeply buried underground targets in Iran.

This from: http://www.unitedforpeace.org[...]

11 April 2006

4/11 Paul Ford's Weekly Review

Researchers in Connecticut said that global warming has led to a massive decline in the lobster population of the Long Island Sound; however, if the polar ice caps melt and sea levels rise 30 feet, colder water might bring the lobsters back. Polls found that while only 36 percent of Americans worry a great deal about global warming, 90 percent were prepared to fight its effects by caulking. Many scientists said that it was too late to stop climate change and that the earth was "past the point of no return." "We are looking for the devil," said a geochemist, "and we have found ourselves."
link: http://harpers.org/WeeklyReview2006-04-11.html

09 April 2006

Potential for US Military Strikes on Iran

The prospect of military strikes on the nation of Iran are unwelcome and forebode certain increased societal ills here at home in the USA; as well as abroad, in the international sphere.

It is desirable for the government of the USA to lose (or restrain) its (apparent) appetite for global conquest and the further conglomeration of control over the world's recources. The US as a global hedgemon is an unstable and unfavorable aspect for the world's people, including those of US citizenship. There is a better way. A better world is possible. Violence and a war-like disposition will only serve the purposes of destruction and dehumanization.

Let's learn to share.

U.S. Is Studying Military Strike Options on Iran

Any Mix of Tact, Threats Alarms Critics

Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, April 9, 2006; Page A01

The Bush administration is studying options for military strikes against Iran as part of a broader strategy of coercive diplomacy to pressure Tehran to abandon its alleged nuclear development program, according to U.S. officials and independent analysts.


Preparations for confrontation with Iran underscore how the issue has vaulted to the front of President Bush's agenda even as he struggles with a relentless war in next-door Iraq...


Many military officers and specialists, however, view the saber rattling with alarm. A strike at Iran, they warn, would at best just delay its nuclear program by a few years but could inflame international opinion against the United States, particularly in the Muslim world and especially within Iran, while making U.S. troops in Iraq targets for retaliation.


Iran appears to be taking the threat seriously. The government, which maintains its nuclear activity is only for peaceful, civilian uses, has launched a program to reinforce key sites, such as Natanz and Isfahan, by building concrete ceilings, tunneling into mountains and camouflaging facilities. Iran lately has tested several missiles in a show of strength.


Joseph Cirincione of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said a more likely target might be Isfahan, which he visited last year and which appeared lightly defended and above-ground. But he argued that any attack would only firm up Iranian resolve to develop weapons. "Whatever you do," he said, "is almost certain to accelerate a nuclear bomb program rather than destroy it."
link to entire article: http://www.washingtonpost.com...

08 April 2006

Visit to Martha's Vineyard

Algae being prepared to feed young oysters at the Aquinnah Wampanoag shell fish farm.

Tree bark in Edgartown.

Rough seas and differentiated skies returning from the island.

This is the head on the shank of an old anchor.

An old warehouse near the black dog tavern.

The Alabama schooner moored in Vineyard Harbor.

05 April 2006

Sidney Blumenthal on DeLays Departure

Here is a great opinion piece on Tom DeLay and his sad reign in Washington DC.

I, DeLay

by Sidney Blumenthal

The fall of Tom DeLay, the most powerful Republican leader in the Congress, creates a crisis for his party and the political machine he built.

The resignation of Tom DeLay is the crashing conclusion of his garish career... The former majority leader of the House of Representatives has been the Republican strongman in the Congress, known as "The Hammer." As the party whip, he hung a bullwhip on his wall as a symbol of intimidation... He called the Environmental Protection Agency "the Gestapo," ran a smear operation out of his office that would have won the admiration of Senator Joseph McCarthy, and grabbed whatever he wanted as his right of lordship. When a meek restaurateur in a Capitol Hill steakhouse politely asked DeLay to put out his large cigar because of the city's no smoking law, DeLay bellowed, "I am the government!" And he was not wrong.

DeLay enforced harsh discipline on the Republicans... Rules, including the House's own, meant nothing to him, irritating hindrances to be broken at his will. In order to gain passage of a bill favouring the big drug companies - preventing the Medicare elderly prescription drug program from negotiating lower rates - he extended debate long past the deadline and was accused of offering the bribe of a campaign contribution to a wavering Republican. DeLay stomped on the Ethics committee, stopping it from meeting to investigate this episode until public outcry forced him to back off. He greeted slaps on his wrist as badges of honour.


Over more than a decade, DeLay forged a political machine that he called the "K Street project," after the downtown avenue in Washington DC of steel and glass building housing the large law and lobbying firms. DeLay kept a black book in which he noted who gave money to and hired Republicans. When a trade association tried to employ a Democrat, it was issued a warning that it would be punished. From the "K Street project" to the Republicans flowed tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions. Meanwhile, the contracts from corporations for lobbying and legal work went to these Republican firms. It was a perfectly designed system of legal graft.

When President George W. Bush assumed office, one-party rule commenced. DeLay served as Bush's "Hammer." Back in Texas, between the political operations of both of them, the Democrats had been shattered as a party. Now DeLay and Bush worked together nationally to accomplish the same goal. Karl Rove, Bush's chief political adviser, who had been instrumental in the Texas takeover, was the go-between in the relationship. And the go-between in the Rove-DeLay relationship was a lobbyist named Jack Abramoff.


02 April 2006

Pictures from Cape Cod

After Showers

Nauset Light House

Highland (Truro) Light House

Chatham Light House Beach

Chatham Light House

Front Lawn Croci