The Gypsy's Caravan

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edwards Suspending his Campaign

Shakes' Sis has the transcript of Edwards' farewell speech...

He says Clinton and Obama are falling over themselves to take on his anti-poverty campaign, Methinks they just want his votes.

* Oh Woe * I'll be holding my nose in November I guess.
Maybe I'll just stay home for the first time, rather than voting for more of the same. If the election was today, I would stay home.

We need national primaries, all on the same day, with no reporting of preliminary totals until everyone in the country gets a chance to register their choice. This crap of having 1% of the party - in open caucuses that let independents and republicans in to choose our candidates really sucks big time. I hate it that I haven't even gotten a chance to vote yet, and my candidate is bowing out.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Quote of the day

Pro-Choice people want to control their own bodies, anti-abortionists want to control everyone else's.
~ Mike at Rational Reasons

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Another fine Sunset

Friday, January 25, 2008

Quote of the day

“So having lied us into a war, and then used that war as an excuse to gut our Constitution, does any thinking person doubt anymore who is it that really ‘hates our freedoms’?”

~ Driftglass

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Open Letter to Senator Reid

the bitter winter of our discontent

Via Email:
Dear Senate Majority Leader Reid,

Let me review your words:

"We have to finish FISA this week. Everyone should be aware of that point. We have to finish it this week. I know there are important trips people want to take. We have the very important economic conference in Davos that Democrats and Republicans alike would like to go to."

If you seriously think that conferences, trips and retreats are more important than the Constitution of the United States of America and the rule of law [that you have vowed to protect and enforce], then I respectfully submit that you should RESIGN and go on your trips and retreats.

In my mind, and the minds of a vast percentage of the voting public, the Constitution and the rule of law are very important indeed, and we welcome Senators Dodd, Finegold, and anyone else who is willing to protect the Constitution and enforce the Rule of Law to hold a fillibuster to prevent those who would do damage to the Constitution and subvert the Rule of Law from being successful.

That you speak out against these patriots says volumes about you and your aims in Congress. It tells me that you are there to give our pResident everything he desires.

As Pelosi said, there are consequences to elections, and if the Senate keeps wimping out and bowing on it's knees to the 26% rated White House occupant, then we will find others to fill the Senate that know where to find their spines and do what they've been hired by the people to do: oversight on the other two branches of government. This means that you do not give everything to the criminals who have usurped your power - you fight them with tooth, nail, words, subpoenas, and the rule of law, and you don't stop fighting them until they stop committing crimes and leave office [preferably in chains and under the escort of a sherriff].

If the crimes of the Bush administration are allowed to stand, we will never get our democratic republic back. Are you willing to go down in infamy as the one who tolled the death knell of this American Experiment?

SB Gypsy

Via Snail Mail:

Dear Senator Reid,

You're not giving them Hell, you're giving them a BJ!


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Winter Stream

This stream was dry in September for the first time in my experience.

All the rain and snow in the last two months have refilled it for now.

Melting glaciers dropped huge stones like this one all over New England. I'd say that one is about 20 ft tall.

*click any pic for a larger view

Check out this summer version of this one

On Obama and Regan

"I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt... with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown, but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think... he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was [that] we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing."

Obama was literally correct - Regan(gag) DID effect change, and more so than Nixon with his malevolence, or even Clinton with his incrementalism. Obama did not come out and say that the change that Regan effected was necessarily * GOOD * mind you, he said it was of greater magnitude, and it was a change in direction. Correct, as far as it goes.

Regan's management style seems to be something that Obama admires, and wants to recreate.[hopefully for better and more humanitarian purposes than those of Regan] Obama is young enough[dob: Aug 14, 1961 - graduated univ 1983] that I think his personal experience and vision of American politics is truncated somewhere just before Regan, and that could be a huge problem going forward. He's never experienced the Democratic Party except as minority party has-beens. Plus, he cannot very well praise a Clinton presidency, so he's stuck with Regan as his only example of a vibrant president. Too bad Regan was the first to employ death squads, and torture as a political weapon[remember Iran- Contra?]. Not so good to invoke the disgust of a third of your party when you want their votes.

There are those who think his speeches are a breath of fresh air - optimistic and hopeful. I just remember Jimmy Carter. We've had one well meaning, intelligent president with vision and practical knowledge who was unable to implement his ideas as president in the face of rising corporate oligarchy. Even though JC went on to do much good, traveling the world as a diplomat, winning the Nobel Peace Prize, working for Habitats for Humanity, etc etc... The fact remains that he was totally obstructed as president, and lacked the ability to overcome that obstruction. That was with a Democratic majority in congress, too. He just didn't know the levers of power in DC, and refused to sully himself by diluting his desired programs.

See, if the corporations cannot buy the president, all they do is buy enough senators and congressmen to make sure their stranglehold on our society is not threatened. We desperately need someone who sees DC politics with a clear eye, not rose colored glasses. Reaching across the aisle in this political environment only nets a "Go fuck yourself" from Rethugglikkin's these days.

At this point, we do not have the luxury to afford another JC presidency right now. Justice and the Rule of Law demand a fighter in our corner. Both Ms Clinton and John Edwards are more scrappy than Mr Obama.

Neither of them are using Republican talking points either.

Cast your ballot for the person you think is best. Me - I'll be voting for Edwards on Feb 5th.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Ya gotta know where you're goin' and how you're gettin' there!
Obama: all suit, no destination.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wishing For Spring

Monday, January 14, 2008

More Snowy Goodness

Birds watching me watch them

I brave the foot and a half drifts... ;)

The little black spots on the snow are ...
(click the pic to enlarge)

Early catipillars. There are a couple of hundred of them on the snow top on our property. I wonder if they're all dead... or if they'll come back to life with some warmth?

OK, I took these pics at around 11 this morning, and now at 2:15, I go out to get one of the catipillars, to see if it'll thaw out, and there's not a one to be found.

It's still fantastically beautiful out there, though.

Snow Day!

I'm simply refusing to drive in this stuff.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sermon Sunday

Health care is a moral issue and a pragmatic one. Those who support the current system support a profoundly immoral system which is causing people to die and suffer needlessly and costs more than the completely obvious alternative. They almost certainly do it out of some misguided belief that a bad result from the private sector is morally preferable to a good result from the public sector – or perhaps they do it because they’re at the trough and benefiting.

But it is a moral issue and being against single payer healthcare says something about the person with that belief. And it isn’t anything good (and certainly isn’t anything Christian, but I’ll leave that to those Christians who remember that Jesus cared for the poor to remind people of.)

So choose whether you support single payer health care. But remember that in making that choice you are making a profound statement about what you consider important – free market ideology or saving lives and pain – and that single payor healthcare has been proven to actually be cheaper than the current system. Immoral and impractical - all in one.

The whole argument is here, hattip to Ian Welsh, of Firedoglake.

Pic of the Day

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sunset Pics

At work, just as I was leaving..

... halfway home.

It had been raining all day, with thunder and lightning and incredible downpours. The storm was just beginning to clear, and the sunset was fantastic.

Friday, January 11, 2008


I'm just here to say that Lightning in January is WEIRD!

Another Empty Ceremony:

U.S. general: Anbar ready for Iraqi control

Commander of forces in once-violent province says handover set for March

Under a plan accepted by the Iraqi government as well as the top two American authorities in Iraq — Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus — the U.S. military will transfer control of Anbar to provincial authorities in March, followed by a ceremony in April, Gaskin said.

"We all agree that, based on the requirements, Anbar will be ready by that time," Gaskin said, speaking from his Multi-National Force West headquarters in Fallujah, about 25 miles west of Baghdad.

The return of security control to Iraqi authorities in March does not mean U.S. troops will leave Anbar. Two Marine battalions, numbering roughly 1,500 troops, that were sent as part of the 2007 buildup are due to leave Anbar in about May, Gaskin said. But he would not forecast any additional cutbacks.

U.S. forces will remain in Anbar, for the time being, as partners with Iraq's army and police.

So, We're handing over authority, but just not moving out. We'll be helping them to maintain the peace... such as it is.

I think it's just another empty ritual of promise without any follow through. Another stall designed to keep the troops there, and the enduring bases open.

For the whole article click here

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Wishing for spring

Bush sees signed Mideast treaty before leaving office

Oh yeah... Bush "sees" a whole lot of things - doesn't mean it has any relation to reality!

Richardson to end presidential run

So, what was all that about the AP story yesterday???
NO Yes NO Yes...

Members of Congress get $4,000 pay raise

...and they deserve it because...??

Rogue Black Holes Might Fill Our Galaxy

Can we stuff all the criminals that run our country into the shuttle and send it into one? Please?

Can Iraq solve its own problems?

WE haven't a good track record in solving their problems, so why not give them a chance... Besides, WE ARE their biggest problem right now, so if we were to bow out, who knows what could happen.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

This morning's sunrise

Monday, January 07, 2008

It's a Class War alright!


David Sirota, in his post Thoughts about Iowa brings up a point I've been thinking about for years but NO one ever mentions:

This, beyond everything else, is the storyline that will never be written by the Beltway media - because class awareness among the masses is something that threatens the powers that be. The system in Washington is set up to crush class awareness and solidarity among the masses - to break us up along racial, ethnic, geographic and religious lines so that we do not unify in support of an economic agenda based on fairness and equality. This Washington system exists, ironically, to preserve a well-coordinated class war being waged by an economic class very aware of itself - a class war by the wealthy against the rest of us. This may sound like hyperbole, but polls show most Americans know this is the undeniable truth. And no matter whether your personal preference wins or loses tonight in Iowa, We The People have already won, because class awareness and class-based politics is on the rise.

It's time to start talking about the screwing we're all taking at the hands of teh rich persons.... you know - that vast rightwing conspiracy to enslave all of us punch the clock type persons, while they all become vastly wealthy on our labor, stealing our savings and our retirements and the money in our treasury for their own.

The bastards. (they're killing Kenny!)


and - Krugman on Obama:

Hmm. Do Obama supporters who celebrate his hoped-for ability to bring us together realize that “us” includes the insurance and drug lobbies?

O.K., more seriously, it’s actually Mr. Obama who’s being unrealistic here, believing that the insurance and drug industries — which are, in large part, the cause of our health care problems — will be willing to play a constructive role in health reform. The fact is that there’s no way to reduce the gross wastefulness of our health system without also reducing the profits of the industries that generate the waste.

As a result, drug and insurance companies — backed by the conservative movement as a whole — will be implacably opposed to any significant reforms. And what would Mr. Obama do then? “I’ll get on television and say Harry and Louise are lying,” he says. I’m sure the lobbyists are terrified.

As health care goes, so goes the rest of the progressive agenda. Anyone who thinks that the next president can achieve real change without bitter confrontation is living in a fantasy world.

Which brings me to a big worry about Mr. Obama: in an important sense, he has in effect become the anti-change candidate.

There’s a strong populist tide running in America right now. For example, a recent Democracy Corps survey of voter discontent found that the most commonly chosen phrase explaining what’s wrong with the country was “Big businesses get whatever they want in Washington.”

And there’s every reason to believe that the Democrats can win big next year if they run with that populist tide. The latest evidence came from focus groups run by both Fox News and CNN during last week’s Democratic debate: both declared Mr. Edwards the clear winner.

But the news media recoil from populist appeals. The Des Moines Register, which endorsed Mr. Edwards in 2004, rejected him this time on the grounds that his “harsh anti-corporate rhetoric would make it difficult to work with the business community to forge change.”

And while The Register endorsed Hillary Clinton, the prime beneficiary of media distaste for populism has clearly been Mr. Obama, with his message of reconciliation. According to a recent survey by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, Mr. Obama’s coverage has been far more favorable than that of any other candidate.

So what happens if Mr. Obama is the nominee?

He will probably win — but not as big as a candidate who ran on a more populist platform. Let’s be blunt: pundits who say that what voters really want is a candidate who makes them feel good, that they want an end to harsh partisanship, are projecting their own desires onto the public.

And nothing Mr. Obama has said suggests that he appreciates the bitterness of the battles he will have to fight if he does become president, and tries to get anything done.

Got that right! The one thing we don't need is a naif who wants to bring the Insurance Corps and the energy Corps to the table when we are trying to reboot the Constitution and the Rule of Law.


Toyota Double Dealing on eco-tech {sigh}

Jim Motavallis, of the Wheels blog:
The domestic auto industry, as far as I can see, is using all its still-considerable political clout to drive right off a cliff. And who's at the wheel? George W. Bush.

After keeping the state in suspense for months, the Bush administration finally did what was expected on Dec. 19 and denied California the right to set its own rules for carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks.

~ snip ~

So carmakers [who filed suit to prevent CA from requiring higher standards] celebrated "victory" with the Bush/EPA ruling, but if it allows them to continue building SUVs (at least for a while) their own bottom line will be the loser. Just last week, Toyota, which says it will offer its entire product line in hybrid form, announced that it plans to sell 9.85 million vehicles worldwide in 2008, probably outdistancing GM. The company also said it will commercialize notoriously difficult but very long-lasting lithium-ion batteries in 2008, paving the way for the first plug-in hybrid vehicles. The Big Three need to watch Toyota closely...

The big three American Automakers just got PWNED by Toyota, who supported and joined in the suit who's outcome is reported above. I checked, because I don't want to buy my next car from any company that was involved in beating back public action against global warming.

So, Toyota supported the lawsuit that made it impossible to require US automakers to give us hybrids now, but they are offering all of their new cars in hybrid form....

Hmmmm, what's wrong with that picture?

The whole column is here

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Quote of the Day

Re: The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act,

or, more popularly, The ThoughtCrime Bill...

"I voted against the bill because I read it, which is why I voted against the PATRIOT Act... you'd be surprised how many bills pass because people don't have time to read it [before voting]. That's what happens when you've got bills flying thorough the air like confetti at a special-interest parade."
~ Dennis Kucinich

From the article:
“Violent radicalization,” one of the threats the bill seeks to curb, is defined there as “the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically-based violence to advance political, religious or social change.”

Acts of violence are already illegal, whether stemming from extreme beliefs or not. But “adopting” or “promoting” beliefs is supposed to be covered by the first amendment, which Kucinich said “protects freedom of speech, which should also include freedom of thought — thought usually precedes speech, unless you’re talking about Washington — this undercuts the first amendment, [because] lines like ‘ideologically based’ … says government should police ideas, not conduct.”

Or maybe he’s just being paranoid, to assume that our government, in the name of fighting terrorism, might step on civil liberties in the process.

Now, why would we be feeling paranoid, I ask you?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Crossing the Line:

Mike Huckabee is a Scab.
Scabs do not belong in the Whitehouse.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Snow on the first day of the year

This morning when I got up, our inside/outside digital thermometer was reading One degree outside. Brrrrr Today temps are not going to reach 20degrees, but by the weekend it should be up in the fourties, with Monday and Tuesday in the 50's. Can't wait!

A New Use For Sperm

A tiny assembly line that powers the whip-like tail of sperm could be harnessed to send future nanobots or other tiny medical devices zooming around the human body, according to a preliminary research report.

~ snip ~

To be biologically compatible, these hypothetical devices would need to be formed not from tiny springs and nuts and bolts but from biomedical components. “At that scale, biology provides the best functional motors,” said Alexander Travis, an assistant professor of reproductive biology at Cornell University’s Baker Institute for Animal Health. “But how do you power these kinds of structures?”

One potential answer has come from the tail, or flagellum, that propels human sperm at a rate of about 7 inches per hour. (In comparison, if a 6-foot man swam the equivalent number of body lengths in an hour, his tally of 3.7 miles would smash the American long-distance swimming record.)

More details here

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