Wednesday, February 28, 2007


From TPM.

The silence is starting to get a tad deafening. Fired US Attorney says two members of Congress contacted and nudge him on getting a Democrat indicted before election day. Everyone seems to be denying it was them. Except for two folks. No one seems to be able to get a call returned from Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) or Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM).

More here.

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Why I Read Blogs # Some # Beyond One


(However, I will call your attention to the singular “pillar” in that last sentence, which is nagging me like a boner in math class.)

MORE Ha Ha from above. I just can't help it.

Some scholars have argued that this commandment covers the making and breaking of bargains with God, rather than asking him to damn to hell that fucking Lego buried within the shag carpet that you stepped on in your sock feet, goddamit. While that’s certainly a topic open to thoughtful debate, there’s no denying that I like to swear.

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Beavers In New York

It seems that these city-slickers don't really know a beaver, even if they claim to have seen one.

The beaver that has made its way to the Bronx appears to be a male, several feet long and 2 or 3 years old, said Patrick Thomas, the mammals curator at the nearby Bronx Zoo.

Beavers aren't "several feet long."

The beaver is the largest member of the rodent family. It is 2 feet long not including its tail.

I hate beavers & Jim Meeker ought to be smarter than to be supportive of these trout habitat destroying rodents. I will make one concession, the first ever, the damned busy bastards wouldn't be so bad if we had high gradient streams, but we live in pretty flat country.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Another Example Of Compassionate Conservatism

This ought to help the recovery effort, or should I say, lack of effort on the part of the Bu$hCo morons. &, really, there is no other word for this distatesful crew. Feeling safer yet?
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service plans to cut 18 workers at its Louisiana refuges over the next five years, which will likely result in a scaling back of educational programs and maintenance.

Why I Read Blogs

Sometimes things get so bad, you know, with all the fornicators & adulterers lurking around a wedding, that I need a good laugh, even if that laugh is bitter with sorrow. So I read the blogs, looking for that laugh, that particular laugh. Today I found is here.
Of course, this is the same Tom Friedman who was telling us at the time that we needed to invade Iraq because we just had to kill some Arabs. We just had to, OK? Something about a bubble or something, too - you had to be there, man, it all made perfect sense. I know it seems weird now, man, but it was this magical time, like the Golden Age of Athens or some shit - The Summer of War! - when we all just knew we were going to change the world. All that stuff our parents told us about Vietnam and all that shit? We were just going to blow that away, man, just tear down their world and build it all up new, like better than ever, like nothing you’d ever seen before! Reynolds was the man, and den Beste was the brains, and everybody was in it together, for freedom and shit. It was great. And the music … well, the music kind of blew, actually. Nickelback was big. And the drugs were pretty crappy. No sex to speak of. But the blogs! Man, you shoulda seen the blogs! Outtasite!

Good stuff, like we had back in the day. I know what he means, that summer of war.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

This Is What The Face Of Fascism Looks Like

The NRA. & it is also how fascism works, you step out of line & the man come & take you away.

The NRA keeps pounding the drums for assault rifles, while wildlife habitat dwindles, while public access dwindles. We really need to take these fools on face to face. They spend millions to destroy good honest people, while they do nothing for the average hunter. They ought to be, but are not, ashamed. They are happy at what they did to Jim Zumbo. I wouldn't want the NRA backing me up, it goes without saying.

Pat Oliphant

Saturday, February 24, 2007

More Sanity

From our friends up north.
Makes Nova Scotia look better all the time.
Canada's Supreme Court unanimously struck down the use of secret testimony to imprison and deport foreigners as possible terrorism suspects, ruling Friday that the procedures violate Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

While it leaves a year of confusion for a few men, it certainly declares that the rule of law cannot be something we only care about some of the time.


Over there.

Friday, February 23, 2007

After Nintendo

The Kid's ability to shoot a shotgun & cast a fly rod at first tries was excellent. Why should it be any different for surgeons?
There was a strong correlation between video game skills and a surgeon’s capabilities performing laparoscopic surgery in the study published in the February issue of Archives of Surgery.

So take that all you video game haters. Time to 'fess up & realize how good these games are.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

I don't trust this surgeon, he doesn't appear to have played many video games.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Australian defense minister sounds like Bu$hCo.
And he savaged Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd as not understanding the gravity of Australia's Iraqi involvement.

"Today we face something which is no less a risk to our culture, our values, our freedoms, our way of life than was presented to us in 1942," Dr Nelson said.

Oh, I need to mention that Australia has 550 troops in Afghanistan & 900 in Iraq. Well, I suppose one could suggest that the present Australian culture, etc., are worth about 1,450 human lives. What bullshit. Here is one Australian paper's take:
Howard also faces widespread hostility at home to Australia’s military involvement in Iraq. To deflect criticism, he has piled new lies on top of the old ones. Prior to invasion, Howard insisted that Australian forces would not be involved in the postwar occupation. During last year’s election campaign, Howard declared that no more Australian troops would be sent to Iraq. Now despite evidence of discussions going back months, Howard insists that the latest decision was only made after approaches from Britain and Japan in the last few days.

(& what are the brave Australian troops going to do in Iraq?)
...providing Australian soldiers to guard Japanese troops,....
Contrary to Howard’s claims, the dispatch of more Australian troops to Iraq has nothing to do with helping the Iraqi people.

Going to Iraq to protect another country's troops, yeah, that's the ticket in defending western Civ. Jeebus. We are ruled by morons.

Sound Familiar

Looks like Canada has been infected with the ReThug disease. Too bad, it's generally a great country.
Harper's response set off a series of Liberal dissections of the prime minister's character.

Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale said Harper has proved time and again that he is "mean and petty," willing to stoop to ``concocted slander."

"For the prime minister, quick, partisan advantage trumps everything else, every time, no matter the cost, no matter the collateral damage, no matter the innocent victims, no matter the truth."

Liberal MP Ken Dryden said Harper plays ruthless, hardball politics on every issue, "no matter what or who gets run over along the way."

He accused the prime minister of having "no internal compass" to tell him when he's gone too far.

For those who are wondering, yes, it is this Ken Dryden. Time for me to get the puck out of here. Who says athletes are all backward thinkers?

Not So Sweet

Y'all ought to think twice about buying any Hershey products for awhile.
“We just don’t accept the fact that the company is going to throw people out in the street without justification,” said , Hemi Mitic assistant to Canadian Auto Workers president Buzz Hargrove.

“It is just free enterprise at its worst,” said Mr. Mitic.

Amen to that, brother. Yes, he is a brother, I looked up Hemi & it is a man's name. Although here in the states, we refer to it as an engine in a Chrysler product. This is a pic of Hemi:

Small Victories

Female tennis stars hailed Thursday's announcement that women would receive the same prize money as men at this year's Wimbledon tennis championships after years of dogged campaigning.

I'm surprised that they didn't term is ""catted" campaigning."

Rhode Island does the least it can do for human rights.
The state of Rhode Island should recognize the gay marriages of state employees performed in Massachusetts and extend the same benefits, Attorney General Patrick Lynch said in a letter to a state department.
”Rhode Island will recognize same sex marriages lawfully performed in Massachusetts as marriages in Rhode Island,” Lynch said in a letter dated Tuesday and released Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It's Not Good To Be A Clown

In Cucuta, Columbia. No sense of humor is a possible motive.

I Love Science

It's the scientists that make me nervous. Like these guys.

But I have to say that sometimes I just have to shake my head. Here are some headlines from the "Mind & Brain News" from ScienceDaily.
* People from alcoholic backgrounds studied (Feb. 20)
* Study: Lack of sleep can affect learning (Feb. 15)
* Ped Med: Autism tied to flawed cell armor (Feb. 7)
* Antipsychotic may control autism disorder (Jan. 31)
* Study: Parents' education affects kids (Jan. 29)

Now, my initial reaction ping-ponged between "Duh" & "Doh". Let us go then, you & I, into each of the mentioned articles & see what lies beneath the headline.
* People from alcoholic backgrounds studied (Feb. 20)

Here's the first graf:
A U.S. study has determined people raised in alcoholic families have personality traits that might eventually lead them to alcohol dependency.

Well, that's sure a revelation. I've never, ever experienced anything like that on my magical mystery tour of working with young people. I mean, come on people, some things are just, well, obvious.
* Study: Lack of sleep can affect learning (Feb. 15)
Here's the first sentence, well almost all of the first sentence.
U.S. scientists have determined sleep deprivation impairs memory for subsequent experiences....

Jeez Louise, DOH!
* Ped Med: Autism tied to flawed cell armor (Feb. 7)
This is interesting.
An early disruption of the process, for instance, may throw for a loop the development of the basic circuits that govern language and social communication, two key impairments in autism, Bartzokis said.

A glitch during the early school years could hamper the ability to process information efficiently and effectively, leading to deficits in attention that characterize ADHD, he said.

Later in life, the result of a malfunction could be Alzheimer's disease, Bartzokis conjectured.

Now this is why I loves me some science & why it is important to fund science as if money were of no object. This kind of research is interesting because it links brain malfunctions to, among other things, toxins. It also shows how brain problems can be manifested in different ways in the lifespan of a human. Good stuff.
* Antipsychotic may control autism disorder (Jan. 31)
Again, interesting.
"(We found) risperidone may be beneficial for various aspects of autism, including irritability, repetition and hyperactivity," said Dr. Ora Jesner of the University of Bristol, the study's leader. However, Jesner noted, the drug's benefits might be offset by its side effects, among which weight gain is most prominent.

Again, a possible way out of a confusing mental status. At least they understand that the side effects may be worse than the condition, although weight gain doesn't seem that awful, of course, an overweight male is saying that.
* Study: Parents' education affects kids (Jan. 29)

(I almost hate to move on to this piece. Are you getting the same feeling?)
A Canadian study finds children of parents who have not completed high school are more likely to struggle with reading and writing.

Yup, both DOH! & Duh. I just wish someone would give me the money for the research & I could say the same thing while I'm catching redfish or speckled trout off the coast of Louisiana, just before going to Tipitina's for several Abita beers. But remember, everything is chemistry.


Government lies about terror cases.
Federal prosecutors and the FBI have significantly overstated the number of terrorism-related investigations and prosecutions they pursue, according to a highly critical report released Tuesday by a Justice Department watchdog.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Laissez les bons temps rouler

So today is Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday. I've been reading some NOLA blogs &, damnit, I wish I was there. It is such a great time - music, food, liquor, & loads & loads of cool people. & you don't have to keep your tongue in your mouth when you are kissing people like I had to do today while celebrating a not quite authentic Mardi Gras in the coffeehouse, sans WiFi, with the demented, but still hot, owner; along with the hot bartistas & one totally hot lawyer who truly does put his pants on one leg at a time. I only went to the Vieux Carre/French Quarter once during Carnival & saw enough projectile vomiting to last me for awhile. We went to see Dr. John at the House of Blues on Decatur St. It was a great show & the Kid got his set list & his trumpet player's signature. I got pleasingly drunk & had a great time. I'm sad that I can not be there today/tonight/yesterday/last week/January for Christ's sake. But, as is becoming usual in the last 28, almost 29 years, The Kid pulls through & cheers me up. First by suggesting that we all set a goal of going to next year's Mardi Gras. & secondly, by posting some total cuteness on the blog Les Twins.

Mardi Gras Marigny

Throw me something, mister.

Mardi Gras Lucy, drooling edition.

Me too, mister.

For those of my loyal four readers who are interested & you better be interested, here are some Mardi Gras facts via the French, we here at BillyCreek just loves the French.

Celebrate Mardi Gras in French

Mardi gras is an annual celebration called le mardi gras (literally, "fat Tuesday") or le carnaval in French.

Les dates de mardi gras ~ Mardi gras dates

Mardi gras takes place 46 days before Easter (le Pâques) - that is, sometime between 3 February and 9 March. Mardi gras is the day before Lent (le carême), which begins on Ash Wednesday (le mercredi des Cendres). The most famous Mardi gras celebration is held in New Orleans (la Nouvelle-Orléans), but many cities in Europe and South America also put on spectacular events.

Les couleurs de mardi gras ~ Mardi gras colors

Mardi gras has three official colors:

le violet purple (justice)

l'or gold (power)

le vert green (faith)

More: Colors in French

Les traditions de mardi gras ~ Mardi gras traditions

Mardi gras is traditionally celebrated with a parade led by a captain, during which trinkets, or "throws," are tossed to the crowd. The parade is followed by a costume ball presided over by a king and queen.

Le vocabulaire de mardi gras ~ Mardi gras vocabulary

une babiole - trinket

un bal masqué - costume ball

un bijou - jewel

le capitaine - captain

un char - float

un collier - necklace

un costume - costume

le courir Mardi gras - run

une couronne - crown

un défilé - parade

un déguisement - disguise

un doublon - doubloon

une effigie - effigy

un feu de joie - bonfire

un flambeau - torch

la foule - crowd

un krewe - krewe (Mardi gras organizer)

un mardi gras - a person who really gets into celebrating Mardi gras

le masque - mask (make a Mardi gras mask)

une paillette - sequin

une perle - bead

la plume - feather

la reine - queen

le roi - king

Les expressions avec mardi gras ~ Expressions with Mardi gras

There are a couple of related French expressions with the phrase Mardi gras:

Ce n'est pas mardi gras aujourd'hui - Literally, "today isn't mardi gras"; this expression is used to make fun of someone who is wearing something ridiculous.

se croire à mardi gras - "to believe oneself (to be) at Mardi gras"; similar to the above, a way of mocking what someone is wearing: il se croit à mardi gras - he's dressed as if he's at Mardi gras, he's absurdly dressed

Le slogan de mardi gras ~ Mardi gras slogan

Mardi gras' slogan is "Let the Good Times Roll," which is (horribly) translated into French as Laissez les bons temps rouler.

& yes, it is true as The Son-in-Law will attest, I am a bead slut. I love the beads & want more of them.

Good Thing To Do

Australia bans incandescent light bulbs.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Well, Well

It's getting so bad for the war-mongering bastards are finally telling the truth.
Tony Blankley let the cat out of the bag, however, when he said that the US will be in Iraq for 20 years. When challenged about the difference between American combat troops on the ground an an American "presence" he (angrily)said this:

The fact is that when the oil is challenged in the Saudi oil fields and the Straights of Hormuz are closed, we'll be fighting even by your definition.

Jesus Christ

People like the guy pictured below are dying, so the Thailand Legislature enacted Compulsory Licenses for the AIDS drug Kaletra & the heart diseases drug Plavix. Good for them. Washington, no surprise to anyone with a brain or heart, is urging the Thais to rescind them.

Just A Reminder

Over there.
Two car bombs exploded in an outdoor market in Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 56 people and injuring scores....

&, over there.
U.S. troops die in chopper crash

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Another headline. This one not so good.
GOP Senators Again Block Debate On Escalation

As expected, GOP Senators succeeded today in preventing the anti-escalation resolution passed by the House yesterday from going to the floor in the Senate -- the second time in a row the GOP has succeeded in scuttling Senate debate on the "surge." Senate Dems fell four votes short of the magic number of 60 votes they needed for a filibuster-proof victory. The vote was 56-34, with seven GOP Senators defecting to vote with Dems in favor of debating the anti-escalation measure.

The son-of-a-bitches don't even want to talk about their dear leader's actions. Tools of the worst kind.

I Just Love The Headlines

House rebukes Bush on Iraq

Vote Signals Wider Battle


House rejects Bush troop surge

House condemns Iraq troop surge plan

House rebukes Bush on Iraq

House rebukes Bush on troop surge plan

UPDATE: Some front page Texas papers courtesy of this cool site.




& they say that young people have no interests outside of themselves. Once again The Kids Are Alright.
A 16-year-old high school student has discovered what archaeologists say could be the biggest fossil find in Pinellas County in nearly a century.

Sierra Sarti-Sweeney was practicing nature photography in a heavily wooded area of Boca Ciega Millennium Park in Seminole last month when a shiny black rock caught her eye.

She took it home to show it to her 22-year-old brother, Sean, a geology student at the University of South Florida. After some Internet research, the siblings came to two conclusions: The football-sized rock was actually the tooth of a long-extinct mammoth, and they were in over their heads.

Friday, February 16, 2007

It's A Start

The U.S. House of Representatives denounced President George W. Bush's Iraq troop buildup on Friday in a symbolic challenge to his unpopular war strategy that is expected to lead to a mighty struggle over financing the extra troops.

U.S. military prison doctors and staff must testify in court about the treatment of suspected al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla while he was held by presidential order as an "enemy combatant," a judge ruled on Friday.

An Italian judge indicted 26 Americans on Friday, most of them C.I.A. officers, in what will become the first trial of the American program of secretly whisking away terror suspects. Italy’s former top spy was also indicted.


Bye Bye Namakagon River

This is no good.
The spills took place during construction of a 320-mile pipeline by Enbridge Inc. of Calgary, Canada, alongside its existing pipeline from Superior to near Whitewater.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Yellow Dog Plains

This must be stopped. Can't these mining companies just leave us alone? If they would spend just half their money & half their time developing alternatives to the metals they destroy for, we'd all be in better shape.
The battle is over sulfide mining - an inherently destructive technique of extracting (in this case) a deposit of nickel and copper from the ground. Unfortunately, this deposit, sought by Kennecott Corporation, underlies the headwaters of the Salmon Trout River, believed to be among the last spawning streams on the south shore of Lake Superior for the native coaster brook trout. Sulfide mining is a process that releases toxic sulfuric acid into nearby water. It's like putting a chemical factory in one of the wildest places in Michigan - and then counting on good-faith promises not to leave an expensive mess behind for taxpayers to pay for. But acid mine drainage has already polluted more than 12,000 miles of rivers and streams and over 180,000 acres of lakes and impoundments in the U.S.

Dan Froomkin


President Bush did nothing at yesterday's news conference to reassure those who think his administration may once again be using faulty intelligence to build a case for war.
What was most striking about Bush's responses was not that he didn't provide any such assurances -- it was that he apparently still doesn't feel he needs to.

The president repeatedly swatted down skeptical questions with precisely the kinds of assertions that have lost nearly all credibility.
But he proudly wielded a rhetorical question to make it sound like it doesn't matter. Just in case anyone missed it, he said it twice:

"But here's my point: Either they knew or didn't know, and what matters is, is that they're there. What's worse, that the government knew or that the government didn't know?"
Not to mention that for Bush to argue that the leaders of a government are culpable for whatever happens under their watch is quite antithetical to the position he himself has adopted when it comes to taking responsibility for the torture and abuse of prisoners, the murder of civilians, and other blunders and atrocities committed in the war on terror.

We are ruled, not governed, by a complete moron. This is so disheartening, so, so, oh, fuck it.

Good For Iowa

Three down, forty-seven to go.


I agree with Doghouse Riley.

Now, go read the rest of it.

Another Reason Why Sports Are Stupid

Stooopid parents. He watched too much teevee rasslin'.

This Is Why Capitalism Sucks

The reward for being a failure.
Fabian Mansson, who last week quit as chief executive of money-losing clothing retailer Eddie Bauer, will receive a severance package of more than $4.5 million, the company said in a securities filing Thursday.

The Redmond-based company, which lost $275 million over nine months in 2006 and two-thirds of its value under Mansson....

My emphasis.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Good cartoon.

Good For These Great Kids

Bu$hCo, what a moron.

When one child asked President Bush why he was visiting the District's YMCA Anthony Bowen Center, he said,

My Friend Al

Mr. Franken officially enters the senate race to replace that asshat Coleman in MN. & if you don't believe the "my friend" part, go down to the coffee house in northern Wisco that doesn't have WiFi, but does have a demented, but very hot owner, & look at the bulletin/picture board: there is my friend Al standing next to yours truly. I may have to quit my relatively useless job & move down to the cities & live with The Kid, The Son-in-Law & the cute & laughing Twins.

Actually, how can one resist this cuteness?

Drooling Lucy

& what kid wouldn't be drooling as they think about a future with their lovely & talented Mom & Dad?

UPDATE: A smiling my friend Al:


ReThug Family Values

Supreme Court edition. I'd like to hear Tony talk about personal responsibility one more time.
Seems like he has/had a problem with child rearing.
A daughter of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was arrested Monday night in Wheaton, Ill., and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and child endangerment, Wheaton Deputy Police Chief Thomas Meloni said.

Ann S. Banaszewski, 45, was stopped about 7:25 p.m. in a 1996 Ford Econoline van after a citizen reported a possible drunken driver was at the McDonald's restaurant near there, Meloni said.

Three of Banaszewski's "small children" were in the van with her at the time, leading to the child endangerment charge, Meloni said.

Happy Valentine's Day #2

Via The Kid, we get this piece about zoo love, if you know what I mean.
Among the things Chandler, 30, and her date learned on their “Wild at Heart” zoo tour: Male pigs have a unique corkscrew endowment and impressive, um, output; manatees have orgies and don’t really care if their partners are male or female; and a male porcupine has only one four-hour window a year to mate — very carefully, of course.'s%20penis.jpeg


Happy Valentine's Day


I've never been a spaniel man, but the Westminster winner is a pretty sweet dog.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

This Is Not Good

How can this be helpful to the Armed Forces? Bu$hCo's destruction of the services goes way beyond the dead.
It has also increased the number of so-called “moral waivers” to recruits with criminal pasts, even as the total number of recruits dropped slightly. The sharpest increase was in waivers for serious misdemeanors, which make up the bulk of all the Army’s moral waivers. These include aggravated assault, burglary, robbery and vehicular homicide.

The number of waivers for felony convictions also increased, to 11 percent of the 8,129 moral waivers granted in 2006, from 8 percent.

Local Hero

Via M.R., another local do-gooder, this news arrived at the local coffee house, the coffee house without WIFI, but with a demented, but quite hot owner.

Roscoe and Evelyn Churchill

Roscoe Churchill passed away after 90 years of a full life. He and his wife Evelyn stood strong against the mining companies who intended to mine metallic sulfide ores in Wisconsin (a type of ore that always creates acid mine drainage, which is like adding battery acid to our waters of the state). Over the years they had thousands of people who loved them and followed their lead.

They were like two huge oak trees that sent thousands of acorns scattering to the earth. Those "acorns" have now taken root and the largest, longest lasting, and most sincere "grassroots" environmental movement continues to this day and will long into the future generations. They were truly the "grandparents of the anti-metallic sulfide mining movement in Wisconsin", and now their followers have spread to other states.

Someday, due to their loving diligence mining companies will have to do what they hate to do.....clean up their mess and listen to the local communities.

Over the next week we will be gathering photos and stories of these two wonderful people who worked so hard to protect the earth for the future generations.

In the meantime, here is the obituary for Roscoe Churchill

Roscoe Lee Churchill passed from this life on Friday, February 9, 2007. A loving father, devoted husband and inspired educator, Roscoe retained a clear mind and strong commitment to preserving and protecting the earth until the age of 90.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, February 16, 2007 at the First Church of Christ, located at 701 Menasha Avenue, Ladysmith. Pastor Donn Schroeder and Pastor Ramon Hunt will officiate. Visitation will be at the Nash-Jackan Funeral Home in Ladysmith, Thursday, February 15, 2007 from 4:00 to 7:30 p.m., with a 10:00 a.m. visitation on Friday prior to the funeral service. In addition, a “Fond Farwell” memorial will be held at the Stefan Pavilion at the Grant Town Shops (South of Ladysmith on Hwy. 27), beginning at 2:00 p.m. (following the burial). There will be songs in celebration of Roscoe’s life, sharing of memories, dedications by Native American Tribal Members and a special Eagle Feather Ceremony.

Roscoe is survived by his brother Edwin (Milwaukee), his five children – Arlene Sellereite (Seattle), Edwin (Augusta, Maine), George (Conrath), Susan (Madison), and Hazel Ann Jerry (Ladysmith), ten grand children, seven great-grand children, his virtual son Kwabena Amoh (Minneapolis), and his special friends, Laura and Greg Furtman (Webster). Roscoe was preceded in death by his beloved wife Evelyn and his grandson, Zachary.

Roscoe was born on June 28, 1916 to George and Arminda Churchill, the 10th of 11 children. He grew up on the farm, and learned early to work hard, and to love nature. He thrived on splitting wood, riding and driving horses, and eating berry pies. His proudest moment was when, as a young man, he was able to purchase a Model A Ford for his parents, with money he earned cutting and selling wood. He completed County Normal (teachers’ training) in 1937 at the age of 21. In the same year he got his first teaching position and married Evelyn Dorothy Haase, the love of his life. He and Evelyn were happily married for nearly 59 years. Roscoe was a member and elder of the First Church of Christ in Ladysmith, and also, in later life, a member of the Congregational Church in Conrath. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge.

Roscoe’s most profound moment of fulfillment was when he was able to buy back the family farm south of Ladysmith, which was pioneered by his parents in 1900, and lost during the Depression. With his family, he enjoyed operating the farm while pursuing his career as an educator. He raised beef and dairy cattle, took great pleasure in working with his horses, often driving his favorite mare, April, in local parades. Roscoe enjoyed listening to and singing music from the Big Band era, liked to play the harmonica, and took pleasure in playing the ukulele to waken his kids before chores in the morning.

Other favorite activities included making maple syrup and playing cribbage with his friend Bob Bricco, writing poetry and refining his skill at darning socks.

During his teaching career, which spanned over thirty years, Roscoe continued his education, and was the first in his family to obtain a Masters Degree. He took great pride and pleasure in nurturing an appreciation of nature in his students. Through the “Trees for Tomorrow” program, he introduced many youngsters to the wonder of Wisconsin’s forests and woodlands, and to the importance of caring for our natural world.

In partnership with Evelyn, Roscoe worked tirelessly to protect Wisconsin’s environment. They drafted and promoted important legislation to protect Wisconsin’s waters, including the Flambeau River, from the impacts of mining. Further, Roscoe and Evelyn provided guidance, support and inspiration to countless others across the state and nation who shared their desire to preserve the environment. Roscoe and Evelyn received numerous awards and recognition for their dedicated service and environmental leadership.

Roscoe loved spending time outdoors, planting crops, caring for his animals, and occasionally hunting for deer. At age 86, he bagged a prize buck, which he mounted on his living room wall. Thirty-five years ago Roscoe and his family planted thousands of pine, spruce and balsam trees on the “back forty” of the farm. Today those trees stand tall, providing habitat to deer, bear, owls and other wildlife - a living legacy to a man who lived his life according to his ideals. Roscoe will be long remembered – a leader, visionary and inspiration to us all.

Those who wish to express sympathy may consider a donation to:

* Northwest Wisconsin Homecare (Hospice)
* The Evelyn Churchill Memorial Environmental Scholarship Fund

Good Thing To Do

Go here to become a citizen cosponsor of a bill to reinstate habeas corpus for all people under U.S. control.

America, America

Let's not forget, as I've said before, that weekends are the creation of unions, of people getting together for their own benefit, & in the long run, the benefit of the society in which they live. Working people have been in rough shape the last 27 years. They have been disrespected by the leaders of both parties, frankly, & actually it's a wonder that anyone is still organized. Here's something to read & to think about. & again, no bullshit about corrupt union leaders, blah, blah, blah. Remember, it's so Jimmy Hoffa.
Recounting his experience during last week’s House subcommittee hearings on the Employee Free Choice Act, Camilo broke down as he described devoting 35 years to his employer, only to have Blue Diamond treat him as if he were a disposable, inanimate machine part.
Among the witnesses at the hearings was Gordon Lafer, a professor at the University of Oregon, who has studied how the NLRB union representation election process really works. Lafer also gave a briefing to Hill staffers in which he said the so-called NLRB election process resembles what happens in rogue regimes abroad rather than anything we call American.

Even though the process ends in a secret ballot, it is not fair, Lafer said. He compared what happens in union representation elections to the standards the United States sets for what is “free and fair” in foreign elections and says “every aspect of the NLRB process violates U.S. standards of free and fair.” In a report for American Rights at Work, Lafer compares U.S. standards for foreign and domestic elections with the union representation election—get the list here.

In fact, employer interference in the management-controlled election process by which workers currently are forced to form unions is off the charts. Every 23 minutes a person is fired or discriminated against for supporting a union.

Call. write, email, fax your Representative & Senators urging them to support the Employee Free Choice Act. It's the least we can do in America, for America.

Holy Moly Is Right

That is the argument that's clearly driving Bush and Cheney today. They have nothing else. Cheney is melting down on national television. Bush in his bubble is as detached and oblivious as ever. I believe that we are at a point where the only things standing between us and the order to attack Iran are the generals. (Forget congress --- they can't even pass a toothless resolution against the "surge" in less than a couple of months. The "surge" will have already failed by the time they even stage a uselss protest.) And that is about the scariest thing, out of many scary things, I've contemplated since the beginning of the Bush administration. We are now in a Strangelovian bizarroworld where we must count on General Buck Turgidson to refuse to follow orders. Holy Moly.

No Shit

RLK directed my to this.


& I'll direct you to this.

Bird With Two Right Wings

And now our government
a bird with two right wings
flies on from zone to zone
while we go on having our little fun & games
at each election
as if it really mattered who the pilot is
of Air Force One
(They're interchangeable, stupid!)
While this bird with two right wings
flies right on with its corporate flight crew
And this year its the Great Movie Cowboy in the cockpit
And next year its the great Bush pilot
And now its the Chameleon Kid
and he keeps changing the logo on his captains cap
and now its a donkey and now an elephant
and now some kind of donkephant
And now we recognize two of the crew
who took out a contract on America
and one is a certain gringo wretch
who's busy monkeywrenching
crucial parts of the engine
and its life-support systems
and they got a big fat hose
to siphon off the fuel to privatized tanks
And all the while we just sit there
in the passenger seats
without parachutes
listening to all the news that's fit to air
over the one-way PA system
about how the contract on America
is really good for us etcetera
As all the while the plane lumbers on
into its postmodern
manifest destiny

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

One More Vindication

When will my boss listen to me, or to my body?
In a study released yesterday, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and in Athens reported that Greeks who took regular 30-minute siestas were 37 percent less likely to die of heart disease over a six-year period than those who never napped. The scientists tracked more than 23,000 adults, finding that the benefits of napping were most pronounced for working men.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Personal Laughs

I just laughed for 5 minutes. The cause was a piece by Matt Taibbi, via AlterNet via Crooks & Liars. Mr. Taibbi is taking on that supreme wanker Joe Klein. Joe Klein is the stealth "I've always been against the war" pundit. He's a true dick. The article by Mr. Taibbi that caused me the great mirth &, BTW, I feel physically better, contained these jewels, first, what made me laugh:
Beyond that, what you say doesn't even make any sense. For most of us, if we thought there was any chance this thing could work, we'd have been for it, or at least not so violently against it. Instead, our opposition to the war was based on our absolute conviction that it would end in disaster -- which it incidentally has. But according to Klein, if we see a guy step off the top of the Empire State Building, we're supposed to root for him to nail the dismount. The whole issue is irrelevant and absurd. This is a catastrophe, not a baseball game. "Rooting" is a kid's word; grow the fuck up.
I think they're all full of shit -- Klein, McCain, Kerry, all of them. But especially Klein. He is the living, breathing incarnation of American "conventional wisdom" -- and what American "conventional wisdom" is is a spineless, slavish, power-worshipping watcher of polls who has no problem whatsoever denying today what he said yesterday, and is mostly interested in making sure he still has invitations to the right Beltway parties.
Let's get this straight: there are no "leftists" in modern-day America. Or, rather, there about ten of them, and you can find absolutely every single one of them at the next antiwar or anti-anything protest in Washington; they all fit in one section of the park behind the White House, where you can find pretty much all of them passing out small stacks of socialist fliers, mainly to each other. These socialists are committed, dedicated, utterly serious political activists, which makes them absolutely atypical Americans, which is why there are so few of them.

The rest of the people that the Kleins of the world are calling "leftists" are mostly cautious consumers who watch a lot of Netflix movies, have maybe read Love in the Time of Cholera once or twice, and whose most aggressive step in the direction of socialism is a vote in favor of increased school spending. They might drive a foreign car, or willingly see a movie with subtitles. If that makes them "leftists," what word are we going to use for real leftists?

Now I think Love in the Time of Cholera is a great novel & anyone who as read it once, much less twice, as potential. But it is also true that they have no understanding of what it means to be "left." What really does pass as socialism is voting for school spending. & that is too bad for America. Matt Taibbi is just a great writer. I think there are more than 10 leftists left in America, but his point is well taken. Go read the whole thing.

"Victory Is Not An Option"

From today's Washington Post, William Odom says some right things. I wonder if it will make any difference?
The new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq starkly delineates the gulf that separates President Bush's illusions from the realities of the war. Victory, as the president sees it, requires a stable liberal democracy in Iraq that is pro-American. The NIE describes a war that has no chance of producing that result. In this critical respect, the NIE, the consensus judgment of all the U.S. intelligence agencies, is a declaration of defeat.
For the moment, the collision of the public's clarity of mind, the president's relentless pursuit of defeat and Congress's anxiety has paralyzed us. We may be doomed to two more years of chasing the mirage of democracy in Iraq and possibly widening the war to Iran. But this is not inevitable. A Congress, or a president, prepared to quit the game of "who gets the blame" could begin to alter American strategy in ways that will vastly improve the prospects of a more stable Middle East.
Strangely, American political scientists whose business it is to know these things have been irresponsibly quiet. In the lead-up to the March 2003 invasion, neoconservative agitators shouted insults at anyone who dared to mention the many findings of academic research on how democracies evolve. They also ignored our own struggles over two centuries to create the democracy Americans enjoy today. Somehow Iraqis are now expected to create a constitutional order in a country with no conditions favoring it.
1) We must continue the war to prevent the terrible aftermath that will occur if our forces are withdrawn soon. Reflect on the double-think of this formulation. We are now fighting to prevent what our invasion made inevitable! Undoubtedly we will leave a mess -- the mess we created, which has become worse each year we have remained. Lawmakers gravely proclaim their opposition to the war, but in the next breath express fear that quitting it will leave a blood bath, a civil war, a terrorist haven, a "failed state," or some other horror. But this "aftermath" is already upon us; a prolonged U.S. occupation cannot prevent what already exists.

My emphasis. There is more, go read it all.

This Is What Happens

When ReThuglicans rule. Global warming is exacerbated by policies from a once progressive state. & that asshole J.B. Van Hollen just pulled us out of a suit against the EPA.
Wisconsin generates greenhouse gases linked to global warming at a rate that is about one-third faster than the national average, a Journal Sentinel analysis found.

This trend will only escalate because the state's utilities are on the leading edge of a national building boom of coal-burning power plants, fueled by an ever-increasing appetite for electricity.

Power plants under construction in Oak Creek and Wausau will cost utility customers almost $3 billion, representing the most such construction activity in any state, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Once the plants fire up, Wisconsin's coal plants will pump 10% more carbon dioxide into the air by 2012, state energy planning figures show.

And those emissions will increase. Last week, Alliant Energy Corp. of Madison announced plans to build a 300-megawatt coal plant on the Mississippi River in Grant County at a cost of nearly $800 million.

Support The Troops

Joe, the new guy told me about this a week or so ago. The only good thing to come out of it was that Joe got his tooth fixed ASAP. When will the war criminals in suits be held accountable?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Oh, Really?

Report Says Pentagon Manipulated Intel
A ''very damning'' report by the Defense Department's inspector general depicts a Pentagon that purposely manipulated intelligence in an effort to link Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida in the runup to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, says the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

''That was the argument that was used to make the sale to the American people about the need to go to war,'' said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. He said the Pentagon's work, ''which was wrong, which was distorted, which was inappropriate ... is something which is highly disturbing.''

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Now this would be true lake effect.
While the northern Plains and Northeast shiver in dangerously cold temperatures, the folks in upstate New York are keeping warm shoveling snow - lots of snow.

Since Sunday, the small towns of Parish and Mexico have recorded more than 6 feet of snow, and forecasters with the National Weather Service say it isn't over yet.

Another 2 feet or more of heavy lake effect snow was expected Thursday for the communities along eastern Lake Ontario, and more squalls are likely through the weekend.

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No Justice

No peace.
John McKay, the former U.S. attorney for Western Washington, confirmed Wednesday that he was ordered to resign last month and "given no explanation" for a move that critics immediately denounced as politically motivated.

Health Care

But only if you agree, without even knowing if you agree. What morons.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I'm thinking that I am Brad Pitt. In four weeks I expect to be sleeping with Angelina Jolie at our home in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Well, maybe I should just think that climbing the basement stairs a couple of times a day equals an intensive workout, yeah, that's the ticket.

Union, Yes!

This is a good post from FDL newcomer Tula Connell. It's worth the read.
Some 60 million workers say they would join a union if they could—but our labor laws, dating back to the 1930s, are skewed in favor of corporate giants who spend big bucks to harass and intimidate workers. And it works—after all, how many people want to lose their jobs? (Although, as I noted, it’s illegal to fire workers for forming unions, management does it anyway, counting on the fact that it often takes years for a worker’s appeal to wind its way through the regional and national labor boards and even the courts.)

A few years ago, we in the union movement began pushing for a bill called the Employee Free Choice Act that would level the playing field for workers and help rebuild America’s middle class and restore the freedom of workers to choose a union. (Get the details of the act here.)

Even in the unpleasant 109th Congress, we got 215 co-sponsors in the House and 44 in the Senate. But with a new, worker-friendly Congress, we now have 231 House co-sponsors—and the bill, H.R. 800, was introduced Monday night!

Then over at Digby's Place, we get some quotes from Ben Bernanke, the new Fed chair.
Finally, changes in the institutions that have shaped the labor market over the past few decades may also have been associated with some increase in wage inequality. For example, unions tend to compress the dispersion of pay for jobs in the middle of the skill distribution. Thus, the decline in private-sector union membership over the post-World War II period -- particularly the sharp drop in the 1980s -- has been associated with an increased dispersion of pay among workers with intermediate levels of skill. The sources of the decline in union membership are much debated, and certainly long-run structural changes in the economy, such as the decline in manufacturing employment, have played a role.

& then the obvious:
No mention of Ronald Reagan. No mention of PATCO. No mention of a decades-long effort to throttle unions until they constitute just 7.4 percent of employees of private companies.

Now, you should go & find out if your congressman/woman has signed on as a co-sponsor. Dave Obey, my guy, has. If they haven't, you need to contact them to urge them to do so. If it wasn't for unions, we wouldn't have much of a weekend, now would we? & then decline of the middle class in America can be directly correlated, IMO, to the forced decline in union membership/representation. Please, no "corrupt union leaders, blah, blah, blah...." That's just way too easy &, clearly, just too Jimmy Hoffa.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ashland, Wisconsin Ought To Do Something Great

Like this. & it's a trifecta.

Too Bad

I don't live in the state of Washington, but this is an initiative I could really support.
Proponents of same-sex marriage have introduced an initiative that would put a whole new twist on traditional unions between men and women: It would require heterosexual couples to have children within three years or else have their marriages annulled.
I mean, after all, if they don't have children after three years, they are probably using some of that evil birth control. Or else they are, oh, just forget it.

The Passion of the Chuck

From Jesus' General, whom I love, in a completely, 110% heterosexual way, of course. I even stole the title to this post. So sue, me, or cover me with rose petals.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Peace 3

Hagel & Warner, you know, the grownup, sensible ReThugs, even voted against their own proposal. Brave bunch, these not-so-dirty-hippie-peaceniks.


Via Raw Story.
In a passionate thirty minute call, Feingold stressed, "This is an important moment to see if we're gonna try and end this war. Frankly, I'm disappointed that Democrats are playing it safe on this one."

"We need to play hardball on this. We're gonna have to take the lead on this issue and we're gonna need to tie this place up as long as it takes," he said in describing what he sees as a fear and timidity in his colleagues who now hold a slight majority in the Senate...

"The problem is a whole lot of middle-of-the-road Democrats who refuse to pull the trigger, who refuse to do what needs to be done," Feingold stressed. "Even people who voted against the war" seem afraid, he explained. "It requires courage. It requires brinksmanship."

As we previously reported last Spring, after a bloggers' lunch with Feingold in Los Angeles, the progressive third-term Senator continues to place a great deal of blame for the failure to act among his colleagues on the "Washington insiders, particularly from the previous administration...who say if you're going to take a tough stand, they're going to tear you apart."

He said the advice of the "media consultants" and "power structure in Washington" has led fellow Democrats to believe they'll be criticized if they withhold funding for a war they previously supported. Those same insiders, he explained, previously supported the war and are now scared to death about what would happen if their clients --- many of whom who have now admitted their initial support for the war was a mistake --- now took a tough stand to undue that mistake.

"They want their cake and to eat it too since they voted for the war. They're trying to have it both ways. That has to end because Americans are dying unnecessarily. Too many of my colleagues are trying to massage this and have it both ways. That has to end."

Feingold was also critical of John Edwards who, he says, has been "masquerading" as a critic of the war, but whose proposal so far only calls for refusing to fund the proposed Bush troop escalation in Iraq. Even he, Feingold said, fails in his rhetoric to call for withdraw and a full defunding of the current debacle.

My emphasis.

Peace 2

Newsweek has this sad story. Via Crooks & Liars.
Cpl. Victor Langarica did not share (his fellow troops') optimism about the mission in Iraq. From the moment he received his deployment orders last April, he seemed convinced that he would not leave the war zone alive. Worse, he believed that he was going to die for no good reason. A twice-divorced single father of a young son and daughter, he had joined the Army hoping to gain the skills that would lead to higher pay than he made at Home Depot. His mother and ex-wives looked after the kids while he was overseas. He was proud of the nine months he served in combat in Afghanistan after 9/11, but the experience left the lighthearted 29-year-old sullen and fearful. Once he was surprised by an Afghan soldier who put a gun to his head. Just as the soldier was about to fire, a fellow American shot the Afghan dead. He never found out who had saved his life, but thought of him as an angel.

Unlike most of the others who died in the crash, Langarica was regular Army. But when he got his deployment papers to Iraq, he didn't want to go. The invasion made no sense to him. " 'I don't understand why Bush is doing this to us'," his mother, Pearl Lucas, recalled his saying. " 'If I die, I won't know why I died, if it was for oil or for revenge'."

My emphasis.


Via Altercation, we get this from Ann Jones at
I blame George W. Bush, the 'liberator' who looked the other way. In 2001, the United States military claimed responsibility for these provinces, the heart of Taliban country; but diverted to adventures in the oilfields of Iraq, it failed for five years to provide the security international humanitarians needed to do the promised work of reconstruction... It's winter in Afghanistan now. No time to make war. But come spring, the Taliban promise a new offensive to throw out Karzai and foreign invaders. The British commander of NATO forces has already warned: 'We could actually fail here.' He also advised a British reporter that Westerners shouldn't even mention women's rights when more important things are at stake. As if security is not a woman's right. And peace.

My emphasis.

Eric von Schmidt, R.I.P.

The Dead.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Sunday

I'm sitting here on a below zero cold Super Sunday. I don't want the Bears to win, I'm a Packer fan after all & we are genetically predisposed to hate the Bears, & of course, the Vikings. But after reading about Tony Dungy's unfortunate support for a truly bigoted anti-gay organization, puts a damper on my support of the Colts. This report is via I mean, Johnny Unitas & Earl Morrell for Christ's sake. & the Colts are already down 7-0.