HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - city of big bottoms and small minds.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

ATTENTION READERS OVER FIFTY YEARS OF AGE

SENIOR DRESS CODE

Many of us over 50, WAY over 50, or on the way to 50 are quite
confused about how we should present ourselves. We're unsure about the kind of image we are projecting and whether or not we are correct as we try to conform to current fashion.

In spite of what you may have seen on the streets, the following
combinations DO NOT go together and should be avoided:

1. A nose ring and bifocals
2. Spiked hair and bald spots
3. A pierced tongue and dentures
4. Miniskirts and support hose
5. Ankle bracelets and corn pads
6. Speedo's and cellulite
7. A belly button ring and a gall bladder surgery scar
8. Unbuttoned disco shirts and a heart monitor
9. Midriff shirts and a midriff bulge
10. Pierced nipples that hang below the waist
11. Bikinis and liver spots.
12. Short shorts and varicose veins.
13. Inline skates and a walker...
And the ultimate 'Bad Taste' in fashion for the older folks...
14. Thongs and Depends.

Please keep these basic guidelines foremost in your mind when you shop.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

PRESIDENT OBAMA: BLACKWATER MUST BE DISBANDED

How does that old saying go? "The more things change, the more they stay the same?" This certainly is true in the case of the paid mercenaries, Blackwater, that first were commissioned by the Bush administration to make war on Iraqis - it seems, any Iraqi will do.

I have been fortunate to catch Jeremy Scahill's reports of Blackwater on television in recent weeks and it is appalling to know that the newly elected president has allowed them to stay in business.

Scahill says in a recent article:

Two years to the day after the Nisour Square massacre, Blackwater remains in Iraq, armed and dangerous. As The Nation has reported, the Obama administration recently extended the company's contract there indefinitely. Blackwater has big-money contracts in Afghanistan as well, working for the State Department, the Defense Department and the CIA. As in Iraq, Blackwater forces are alleged to have shot and killed innocent civilians there. We now know that Blackwater was hired as part of the secret CIA assassination program that former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered concealed from Congress and that the company continues to work for the CIA as part of its drone bombing campaign in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
A former Blackwater employee, known as John Doe #2, recently alleged in a sworn statement originally obtained by The Nation that Erik Prince, "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince's companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life." Prince, the former employee charged, "intentionally deployed to Iraq certain men who shared his vision of Christian supremacy, knowing and wanting these men to take every available opportunity to murder Iraqis. Many of these men used call signs based on the Knights of the Templar, the warriors who fought the Crusades.... Prince's executives would openly speak about going over to Iraq to 'lay Hajiis out on cardboard.' Going to Iraq to shoot and kill Iraqis was viewed as a sport or game. Mr. Prince's employees openly and consistently used racist and derogatory terms for Iraqis and other Arabs, such as 'ragheads' or 'hajiis.' "
Another former Blackwater employee, an ex-US Marine, charged in a sworn statement that "Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq." He states that he personally witnessed weapons being "pulled out" from dog food bags. Doe #2 alleges that "Prince and his employees arranged for the weapons to be polywrapped and smuggled into Iraq on Mr. Prince's private planes, which operated under the name Presidential Airlines," adding that Prince "generated substantial revenues from participating in the illegal arms trade."
Meanwhile, a new lawsuit has been filed against Prince by four Iraqis who claim they were shot by Blackwater operatives a week before Nisour Square on September 9, 2007. According to Susan Burke, the lawyer for the Iraqis who works with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Prince runs the operations of his "heavily armed private army" in Iraq and elsewhere from a twenty-four-hour command center known as the "war room." Burke also alleges that in Iraq "Prince's private army of men went 'night hunting' on more than one occasion. This 'night hunting' entailed Mr. Prince's men, armed with night goggles and riding in Mr. Prince's wholly-owned helicopters after 10 pm over the streets of Baghdad, killing at random."
On the second anniversary of the single worst massacre of Iraqi civilians committed by a private force since the US invasion, President Obama should be forced to explain to the American people and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan why he continues to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to this company and why he permits them to remain on the ground, representing the United States in these countries. At a recent hearing of the bipartisan Wartime Contracting Commission, commissioner Linda Gustitus asserted that in not canceling Blackwater's contracts after Nasour Square the State Department helped send a message to other contractors that you can do a lot and not have your contract terminated.

Shame on you, President Obama!

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Remembrances of Septembers Past

Hard to believe that today is the anniversary of a couple of "life highlights". First, today is the third anniversary of having my right knee operated on for the second time - this time to have a complete artificial knee replacement.

Now whenever I go through airport security I light up all the electronic security equipment! Last time I went through I had to show them my official knee replacement card. Then the wand went off when they got up around my neck - and I wasn't wearing a necklace. After they finally gave up and let me pass, I then remembered that after my heart surgery they had left a piece of wire in place to hold the sternum together while the bone healed.

I am a walking talking semi-robotic man!

It is also the anniversary of the last time I worked Chippewa's Oktoberfest. On the friday night gig I had the entire band - Dave Barneson on drums, Tim Keilholtz on bass, Denny Marion on pedal steel, and my son Jonathan flew in from Brooklyn to play lead guitar.

It is memorable especially today because today we are having one of those incredibly uplifting "Indian Summer" days when the smell of fallen leaves and ripened crops is in the air.

That friday was a bit different. It was overcast and in the low 40's, with a biting wind out of the east - the guys in the band were numb by the time we got to the Wood Tick Song!

I guess what I remember most (other than the frozen testicles) was how well Denny and Jonathn hit it off and played so well together - like they had been in a band forever!

Sunday Jon and I returned for the afternoon show and played acoustically. At least the sun came out that day and it got a bit warmer. We played to a goodly sized crowd (considering we were up against a Packer/Giants game) and Jonathan was really hot on acoustic lead. he really had the crowd in his hands that afternoon!

I remember that Bill Febry of the Leinenkugel Brewery staff spoke to me on break and was very complimentary about the size of the crowd. He told us that we had even outdrawn the group from Big Top Chatauqua from the past Oktoberfest. I asked if this meant we could play again next year and was assured that we would.

But that's show biz. Haven't been back since!

But the weather today is way too delightful 0 who's complaining?

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Monday, September 14, 2009

GETTING TIRED OF LIVING IN FEAR

More and more as I observe the goings on connected with the health care uproar, I am convinced of two things. First, that the bunch that call themselves the Tea Party or tea Baggers are not only not exactly the "A" students (witness the ability to spell (you moran!) but that they are not so much concerned with health care as they are with expressing their pure unadultered hatred for a black president.

More and more I am deeply convinced that the real impetus behind this movement is racism. Over and over I hear them screaming about how this health care change is putting us in deep debt.
So I will ask the question again: WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU WHEN YOUR HERO GEORGE BUSH WALKED ALL OVER THE CONSTITUTION AND ALSO RAN UP THE DEBT WE ARE FACING BY FILLING HIS FAT CAT PALS POCKETS WITH WIND FALL PROFITS FROM AN ILLEGAL WAR IN IRAQ??
Some of the posters make absolutely no attempt at covering their racism. Take the poster shown here, picturing President Obama with Bin Laden and other terrorist types and the two jet airliners headed for the twin towers: "I'll take it from here!" it reads. Even worse is the poster which you cannot read but I have seen close up, picturing Obama bowing to the Saudi King. It read: Obama wasn't bowing, he was sucking the Saudi jewels." Nice.
What does any of this have to do with health care for this country? (Including this woman's attack on Alan Turing)

As I have said before in this column, I just don't get it. How can the American people be against making the insurance companies operate on a level playing field?

I guess the answer isn't all that tough, is it? " God bless America. Thank you Fox News for keeping us infromed."

And thank you Representative Joe Wilson for speaking up. What you were really saying was "Hey! Darkie! Get off my lawn!" If you do any serious research on Mr. Wilson you will find that he is a great disciple of that truly patriotic American politician, Strom Thurmond.

I am tried of the hate brought on by ignorance when the president of the United States is banned from speaking to school children because he is black.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

SOUTH CAROLINA NEEDS ROB MILLER!

Yesterday, ignoring the calls from leaders within his own party, Rep. Joe Wilson refused to apologize on the House floor for shouting out "you lie!" during President Obama's big health care speech.

In fact, he recorded a new YouTube video defending his attacks on Obama's health care plan and requesting donations for his re-election campaign!

This is the kind of disrespectful and dishonest behavior we've come to expect from right-wing mobs and talk radio hosts recently—but it's simply unacceptable for a member of the United States Congress.

Fortunately, we've got a great opportunity to replace Joe Wilson in Congress. Rob Miller is a Democrat and an Iraq war veteran, and last year he won 46% of the vote against Wilson despite raising half as much money.
Grassroots progressives are teaming up to help Rob Miller take on Joe Wilson, raising over $750,000 in less than two days. They've set a goal of raising of $1 million—

While Wilson initially apologized to the White House for his outburst, by yesterday he was already backpedaling. He refused calls from leaders of both parties to apologize on the House floor and claimed that he had been "overwhelmed" with supportive phone calls.

And the conservative media is defending Wilson. Rush Limbaugh said on his show yesterday that Wison shouldn't have apologized. Sean Hannity, who had Wilson as a guest on Fox News, told him, "You're right and the president is wrong," and urged viewers to donate to Wilson's campaign.

This is mean-spirited right-wing politics at its worst—and we've got to fight back. As President Obama said Wednesday night, "I won't stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are. If you misrepresent what's in this plan, we will call you out."

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SLEEPING WITH DARTH VADER

Many times in the past as my wife and I go through the rituals of preparing to go to bed at the end of the day, I mutter: "Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance!". First there's the lining up of medications that I must take daily, then there's the mixing of the Citracel with water to keep regularity, then there's the flossing and the brushing, tsoe and finger nail trimming - maintenance, maintenance, maintenance!

Now there is additional maintenance as I have been recently diagnosed with sleep apnea. The results of the tests were so severe that the sleep doctor, who can't see me for the follow up until September 22, had her office call me and set up an appointment with the supplier of the CPAP equipment immediately.

So yesterday afternoon we traipsed over to Grace Medical Supply and sat through about an hour of indoctrination on use of the machine. After completing the above mentioned maintenance, we got the machine set up bed side. (The cats were very curious about all the cables and the long hose).

I got the mask comfortably in place and got into sleeping position. Now both cats hovered near the bed room door in obvious terror of the alien emitting Darth Vader noise from the bed.

I am proud to announce that I made it through the night, mask in place, with only two stops. The first was the usual potty run. The second was brought on by severe dry mouth about 4 AM so we filled the humidifier section with distilled water and I finished out the night - although the water addition didn't help the dry mouth all that much.

I had an 8:30 meeting with my agent this morning at Perkins. After I got back home I realized that I was still pretty tired so after taking care of e mail I went back to bed with the machine again.

It is now mid afternoon and I am feeling pretty darn good. I know I am doing better - I have volunteered to make supper. So I go now to pick up groceries!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

THE GREAT UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF OUR CENTURY - THE CHARACTER OF OUR COUNTRY


Watching President Obama eloquently clear up all the lies and half truths that the demagogues and distortionists of the right have done their best through the month of August to disseminate and it does my heart good to see the republicans sit on their dead asses throughout.

It becomes more and more clear that the democrats are going to have to go it alone. Now the question becomes will they grow a pair and get it done.

I particularly appreciated the fact that President Obama is willing to "call you out" if you put politics above the good of this country.

His salute to Ted Kennedy was deeply touching whether you liked the man or not - God knows Ted Kennedy was not a perfect man - a drinker, a philanderer, but a man who dedicated his life to the American people.

"We did not come here to fear the future." It was a broad and forward thinking speech.

Then up steps Representative (LORD) Charles Boustany, to give the republican answer, who cries about the terrible debt this country is in. Who got us into that debt Mr. Boustany? How about the political party that lied to America and got us into war in Iraq.

Then, in an attempt to make the president's speech yet another "town hall", South Carolina's Joe Wilson, (pictured above with the shit eating grin) after Obama emphasized that health coverage would not be extended to foreigners in country, yelled out "That's a lie!"

That's the republicans acting as one would expect. Boorishly!

Hey Joe! As Barney Frank so eloquently put it on Rachel Maddow's show, paraphrasing Jim Croce:

"You don't tug on Superman's cape
you don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with Jim (or Barack)"

I think tomorrow when I can finally get on Wilson's web site (tonight he's down with too much traffic, (all complimentary, I'm certain!) that is what I will start my letter with. And I will end with "Is that all you've got???)

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This morning I found this comment on last night's falderal in the congressional chambers (too good not to share):

After studyin' a closeup, of them papers repubs was wavin' 'round, it was revealed that it was a new list of public restroom 'hotspots'.......
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Saturday, September 5, 2009

HORNUNG SIGNING YIELDS A BONUS!


Friday, September 4 -

As is always the case whenever the next day means any sort of travel event, last night was one of those toss and turn” nights when my brain refuses to go offline long enough to give me a chance to get some decent sleep.

I finally succumbed to Tylenol two or three (whatever the hell the one is that in addition to relieving pain also contains an element that knocks you out.) Even at that I was up at 5:30 AM and into a long steamy whirl pool bath and the final chapters of “Combat Crew”, an autobiography of a B-17 navigator/gunner who successfully flew 25 missions over Nazi occupied Europe during World War Two.

Kim always marvels how quickly I can plan and pack my bag for the road and by 8:30 AM we were saying our good byes as I began my weekend of travel, first down to Mukwonago for an over night visit with younger brother Anson including a stop in Windsor, Wisconsin, to visit a bit with my pal Tom “Blinkey” Johnson.

Of course any trip that begins around breakfast time that takes me near Osseo, Wisconsin, means the obligatory stop at “The Norske Nook”, where in addition to the best hash browns and home made white bread toasted to perfection, you get the added bonus of free entertainment of the local retired men gathered around the biggest round table in the joint, talking crops and politics over tha banging and clatter of the leather clad dice cup. Loser buys.

Fortified with strong Norwegan coffee (an additional fill forf the road) I was back on the road in less than half an hour.

The coffee led to a nature call in Tomah where the young gal attending the cash register was fascinated with my number 5 Packer jersey.

“Who is number 5?” she asked as I paid for fuel.
“A guy who played a hundred years ago - Paul Hornung. I am on my way to Waukesha to get his autograph”, I replied.
“Oh! I went to high school with a kid named Paul Hornung!”

I don’t think this was the same one.

I got a coffee refill to make certain there would be no nodding at the wheel and pulled into the Johnson driveway at 11:30 AM.

It was a really beautiful late summer’s day and Tom and a visiting cousin enticed me into a Heineken poolside out back where we caught up on each other’s lives for a bit.

Realizing that my brother Anson would be home after 2 PM, I took off shortly before two and got into Mukwonago around 4 PM.

I asked Anson if he would mind coming with me to scout out the sports card shop in Waaukesha where I needed to be the following morning at noon to get my two helmet autographs.

We managed to find the place in a small strip mall near down town Waukesha before we went to friday night fish fry at the Blue Heron supper club.

While I was in the sports shop I noticed the clerk was playing a black and white video of the 1961 championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants.

I asked him about it and he told me that he can send me a copy (entire game!) by mail if I contact him outside of work at his home number at a cost of $20.00.

I just may do that as it is a wonderful piece of Packer history.

I arrived at the sports card shop about 11:15 AM. Bob, the clerk that I had spoken with about purchasing a copy of the 1961 Packer/Giant championship game and I were the only guys there for quite a while. I mentioned the 1961 taping to him again and he asked if I had $20 with me - I did - so I got my two DVD's of the game this morning.

I brought in the two helmets for signing and took my place as the first in line. Mr. Hornung arrived about 11:35 and spent the first half hour in the back room signing various items for the card shop to sell in his absence.

Bob had told me that Mr. Hornung can sometimes be unpredictable but arrived in good spirits. Spying the newly issued Brett Favre Viking jerseys he quipped (quite sarcastically: "So, Rob, i bet you're selling a lot of these!"

While he signed my helmets I asked permission to take his picture and he cheerfully agreed, even saying he would be willing to pose with me, but I respectfully declined so as not to keep the others in line waiting.

All in all, it was a very pleasant experience and I was back on Highway 94 by 12:20PM, wending my way home so that I could be ready to join friends for the Blugold home opener tonight at 7 PM.

Which reminds me now that i am checking my watch that I had best hang this up and go get in the hot tub and lossen up my road weary muscles or this could make for a long and painful evening!

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

"THE PUBLIC OPTION - WHEN IT SERVES THE PUBLIC - AND WHEN IT DOESN'T

When "Public Options" Serve the Public - and When They Don't
Thursday 03 September 2009
by: Lawrence S. Wittner, t r u t h o u t | Perspective


Dr. Wittner points out that there is a successful "public option" in place for fire and police protection.

Currently, there is nothing more controversial in President Barack Obama's health care reform proposal than the "public option." Much of the controversy, of course, has been generated by private insurance companies, determined to safeguard their hefty profits, and by Republican politicians, eager to destroy anything that might redound to the benefit of the Democrats. Even so, a little clear thinking on the subject of public programs might illuminate their advantages and disadvantages.

In fact, there are numerous "public options" in American life, with many of them rooted deep in the nation's history. In the area of education, there are public schools; in recreation, public parks; in travel, public roads; in fire-fighting, public fire departments; in law enforcement, public police forces; in culture, public libraries; in transportation, public bus and train lines; in mail delivery, the post office; in sanitation, public water supply plumbing, and sewers; in energy, public power; in old-age security, Social Security; in nutrition, public school lunch programs. Where did the notion ever come from that public programs were somehow "un-American"?

Even in the disputed area of health care, there exist public hospitals, Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration and the National Institutes of Health.

These and other public programs, while not perfect - and often challenged by private competitors - seem to work well enough most of the time. If they did not, Americans would be clamoring to abolish them. But, with the exception of the wealthy and their supporters, who dislike paying for their share of these social benefits through progressive taxation, most Americans seem reasonably contented with them. And when they are not, they use their democratic rights to reform and refine public services until they get them into more acceptable shape.

But public services don't serve the public well when they are administered by dictatorships. The reason is that, under authoritarian governments, the rulers are unaccountable to the ruled. Therefore, public programs - however good they might look on paper - become subject to abuse by power-hungry and corrupt officials. This is the sad story of the Soviet Union, a nation forged in a revolution dedicated to the liberation of humanity, but one that - thanks to its dictatorial nature - gradually adopted some of the most brutal and exploitative practices in the world. Naturally, in these circumstances, public options became disaster zones.

Public options also serve the public poorly when they are subverted, often quite consciously, by their enemies. Unable to win the battle to abolish public services, their critics and competitors have often tried to cripple them by imposing budget cuts, accompanied at times by stiff user fees. Thus, many public colleges and universities, virtually free of cost only a few decades ago, now charge substantial tuition in order to survive. This limits public access and, at the same time, has the happy result, from the standpoint of private educational institutions, of making public colleges and universities less financially competitive with their private counterparts. The same pattern of deliberately starving the public sector can be found in areas like mass transit, health care, parks and recreational facilities, social welfare, legal services, and many others.

A key justification for budget cutbacks is that government "can't afford" to maintain the public sector. But why can't government afford such programs? The reason, aside from the bloated US military budget, is that conservative ideologues have pushed through dramatic tax cuts for the wealthy. This practice has not only helped turn their millionaire patrons into billionaires, but has produced unbalanced budgets that are then used to justify cutting back public services. And this, in turn, helps guarantee that the public sector fails to produce substantial benefits for the public. What such ideologues avoid dealing with is their own culpability in this matter. Nor do they say what would happen if there were no public sector at all, and Americans had to rely entirely on the generosity of private corporations to cope with their health, education and welfare.

Overall, then, public options serve the public well to the degree that the public exercises effective control of the government. Under dictatorial rule, the public almost inevitably gets the short end of the stick. And even in democracies, public programs can sometimes be weakened when private interests use the influence provided by their vast wealth to exercise disproportionate power. But where an active citizenry avails itself of its democratic rights to provide for the general welfare, public options work just fine. Let's use and cherish them.

**********************************************************************

... AND THAT'S WHEN THE FIGHT STARTED

One year, a husband decided to buy his mother-in-law a cemetery plot
As a Christmas gift..
The next year, he didn't buy her a gift.
When she asked him why, he replied, "Well, you still haven't used
the gift I bought you last year!"
And that's when the fight started.....

*********************************************************************
I asked my wife, 'Where do you want to go for our anniversary?'
It warmed my heart to see her face melt in sweet appreciation.
'Somewhere I haven't been in a long time!' she said.
So I suggested, 'How about the kitchen?'
And that's when the fight started....

*********************************************************************
My wife and I were watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we
were in bed. I turned to her and said, 'Do you want to ?'
'No,' she answered.
I then said, 'Is that your final answer?'
She didn't even look at me this time, simply saying 'Yes.'
So I said, 'Then I'd like to phone a friend.'
And that's when the fight started....

*********************************************************************
I tried to talk my wife into buying a case of Miller Light for
$14.95.
Instead, she bought a jar of cold cream for $7.95. I told her the
beer would make her look better at night than the cold cream.
And that's when the fight started......

*********************************************************************
I took my wife to a restaurant. The waiter, for some reason, took my
order first..
'I'll have the strip steak, medium rare, please.'
He said, 'Aren't you worried about the mad cow?'
'Nah, she can order for herself.'
And that's when the fight started.....

*********************************************************************
My wife sat down on the couch next to me as I was flipping
The channels.
She asked, 'What's on TV?'
I said, 'Dust.'
And that's when the fight started...

======================================================================
My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming
anniversary.
She said, 'I want something shiny that goes from 0 to
200 in about 3 seconds.'
I bought her a scale.
And that's when the fight started...

==========================================================
My wife and I were sitting at a table at her high school
reunion, and she kept staring at a drunken man swigging his drink as
he sat alone at a nearby table.
I asked her , 'Do you know him?'
'Yes,' she sighed, ' He's my old boyfriend...
I understand he took to drinking right after we split up those many
years ago, and I hear he hasn't been sober since.'
'My God!' I said, 'who would think a
person could go on celebrating that long?'
And that's when the fight started....
===========================================================
I rear-ended a car this morning... So, there we were
alongside the road and slowly the other driver got out of his car.
You know how sometimes you just get soooo stressed and little things just
seem funny?
Yeah, well I couldn't believe it... He was a DWARF!!!
He stormed over to my car, looked up at me, and shouted,
'I AM NOT HAPPY!'
So, I looked down at him and said, 'Well, then which one are you?'
And that's when the fight started...

=====================================================================


THE BROKEN LAWN MOWER
When our lawn mower broke and wouldn't run, my wife
kept hinting to me that I should get it fixed.
But, somehow I always had something else to take care of.
First, the truck, the car, playing golf '
Always something more important to me.
Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point. When
I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the tall grass,
busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing scissors.
I watched silently for a short time and then went into the
house. I was gone only a minute, and when I came out again I handed
her a toothbrush. I said, 'When you finish cutting the grass,
you might as well sweep the driveway.'
The doctors said I might walk again, but I will always have a limp

=============

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

OUR HAMMY FINDS A FAVORITE NAPPING SPOT

We enjoy both our furry family members immensely as they are a continual source of amusement and amazement. Witness Mr. Hammy's favorite spot when Kim and I are watching Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow - atop the General Instruments Satellite Receiver.

It's his version of an electric blanket as there are heat vents there that he really loves to bask on.. I am hoping that he won't cause the receiver to overheat and blow up.

I suppose I really should force him to find somewhere else to bask - but cats are for spoiling, are they not?

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FEINGOLD GETS AFGHANISTAN RIGHT

posted by KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL on 08/31/2009 @ 4:35pm


Senator Russ Feingold was way ahead of the Senate curve in insisting on a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, and last week he got it right again in calling for a flexible timetable to bring US troops out of Afghanistan.
In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Feingold writes that "we must recognize that our troop presence contributes to resentment in some quarters and hinders our ability to achieve our broader national security goals." He voices particular concern about the war destabilizing Pakistan--"a witch's brew of threats to our national security that we cannot afford to further destabilize." He also points out that this "nation-building experiment...may distract us from combating al Qaeda and its affiliates, not just in Pakistan, but in Yemen, the Horn of Africa and other terrorist sanctuaries."
Feingold lays out a compelling case for an alternative course--"a civilian-led strategy discouraging any support for the Taliban by Pakistani security forces, and offer[ing] assistance to improve Afghanistan's economy while fighting corruption in its government. This should be coupled with targeted military operations and a diplomatic strategy that incorporates all the countries in the region."
Senator Feingold is expressing what many progressives now believe. Overall, 51 percent of Americans say the war is not worth fighting, including 7 in 10 Democrats. Yet too many top Democrats have become part of a poorly reasoned bipartisan consensus that threatens to entrap the US in another costly occupation. In contrast, progressives who want to see President Obama succeed see Afghanistan as a threat to his presidency-- especially to his domestic agenda, as resources, lives and political capital are lost in the "graveyard of Empires". (Much like LBJ's presidency was tarnished and defined by the Vietnam War.)
This is perhaps a watershed moment for progressives. Nearly 100 Representatives in the House are calling for an exit strategy, and now we have an ally in the Senate to rally around in demanding a sane timetable--one that is a much needed contrast to Af-Pak Special Representative Richard Holbrooke's inane description of success in Afghanistan as, "We'll know it when we see it."

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BEER THEORIES

Sometimes when I reflect on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. I think, "It is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."

Babe Ruth
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
Lyndon B. Johnson


"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."

Paul Hornung

"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."

H. L. Mencken


"When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. So, let's all get drunk and go to heaven!"

George Bernard Shaw

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

Benjamin Franklin

"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."
Dave Barry

BEER: HELPING UGLY PEOPLE HAVE SEX SINCE 3000 B.C.!

W. C. Fields


Remember "I" before "E," except in Budweiser.

Professor Irwin Corey


To some it's a six-pack, to me it's a Support Group Salvation in a can!

Leo Durocher



One night at Cheers, Cliff Clavin explained the" Buffalo Theory" to his buddy Norm:

"Well, ya see, Norm, it's like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members! In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine! That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers.

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