Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Our impatience

click on the cartoon to make it larger
See more of Jim Morin's work here: CLICK

Seems to me we have spent many years getting into the mess we're in. We were guilty of not putting in office better people who might have avoided the financial crisis, and who might have made a better judgment about Iraq, and who might have been concerned about controlling our very human tendency to want everything, to want it in a hurry, and to want it cheap, on the sly.

We wanted Tax cuts when tax cuts were silly an unneeded. In this state, Michigan, we kept reelecting a governor who cut taxes and returned treasury surpluses to the taxpayers. We wanted cheap credit and were more than willing to go dangerously into credit debt despite all warnings against. We wanted gas guzzlers knowing full well that they were polluters and possible only because gasoline was a bargain. We avoided investing in alternative fuel sources and elected (selected?) a President and Vice President who pledged not to quench our oil thirst.

Now, we have to exhibit a little patience while the painful remedies are applied. Is that such a difficult goddamned concept to understand?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Friends Report on March 30

some warnings:
from ANNE L. - This is a serious warning, or maybe advisory. You should know that when you add your name to petitions and send them on to other people, someone is collecting all those email addresses for some reason. It may contribute to your spam, and may lower security. And if you add your name, phone number, or address, the collectors know that much more about you.

Warning from

be careful from whom you accept Easter eggs this year. There are a lot of fakes running loose. Don't be taken in by an inposter!


CHRIS - Warning. There are perverts lose these days, especially lurking in the produce aisles. Like, for instance, this FLASHER was caught on hidden camera.


Another warning.
This is from BILL J. What if this fashion in winter muffler wear catches on in the U.S. Ye-gads!


and a sports note:
SPARTY - sent this concerning BASKETBALL and SPARTANS:

From Drew Sharp's column in today's Free Press:

It's "styling and profiling" for TV cameras contrasted against understated Midwestern stoicism.

But at its roots, it's a coaching realist against a coaching idealist.

Rick Pitino accepts college basketball for what it's become. He's as slick as the $2,000 custom-made Italian suits draping his frame on game nights. Pitino demands the glitz and glitter because that's how you attract the high-profile athletes weaned on basketball as more spectacle than sport.

Izzo still believes college basketball should always strive for what it should be, an invaluable life lesson where character rises up from hard work, discipline and adversity. There's an allergic reaction to pretentiousness in his program.

Louisville's Edgar Sosa looked for the nearest available camera after making a dazzling play against Arizona on Friday, pretending to prim himself for his close-up. If any of Izzo's players attempted such a self-indulgent stunt, he'd probably take a prompt seat on the bench at his coach's rather vocal urging.

Footnote: The clever use of language and the wonderful literacy of the piece comes to you thanks to a University of Michigan Wolverine, which Mr. Sharp is; and the wonderful ethics by a Northern Michigan graduate, which Mr. Izzo is!

Second Footnote: Modesty has triumphed over Vanity. MSU has won. Congratulations once again!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Love Interest

This is my latest love interest. Her name is Tonia. She and her son have been arrested for identity theft. You have to admire a person who, given the opportunity to provide herself a new identity, in fact stuck with this one. What a chick!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Worse than a Wacko

Dumbass of the week. 
House Minority Leader John Boehner

He is the laughing stock of Washington DC, of the comedy shows, of the news broadcasters, of the simple citizens sitting in coffee shops and bars. Why? He presented what he called "the Republican budget" which contained no numbers. No one is fooled.

Friday, March 27, 2009

suspending professors and hanging bankers?

I see that a London university professor has been suspended from his post for suggesting that bankers may be hanged from posts. ( CLICK ) Sure, that's a nasty concept, but I thought there was a lot of irony in that outcome.

HOWEVER, I thoroughly disagree with the professor's idea of hanging. As you all know, I'm holding out for guillotines.

Friends - update on March 27

Stories recommended by 'Birch-ies'
(as always, you are welcome to comment on other people's choices)

SPARTY _ refers you to a very well written opinion called "The Daily Me" which discusses the tendency of Americans to seek out only information that confirms our own ideas ... CLICK
EXCERPT "...each of us is our own editor, our own gatekeeper. We select the kind of news and opinions that we care most about. Nicholas Negroponte of M.I.T. has called this emerging news product The Daily Me. And if that’s the trend, God save us from ourselves."

ALICE - refers to this interesting story about a mass grave found in Pennsylvania. The Irish at rest??

GIGI- highly recommends this article from The Nation which suggests that typical Americans live as well as kings in some societies once did, and that we have a responsibliility to share more with the rest of the world. CLICK

BILL from WNNCO - "What One Trillion Dollars Looks Like" - CLICK

Notes about Friends


DASHMANN and SKUZZA - In Florida for the week.

PAT W. - ANNOUNCEMENT: Mar 26. "Hey, Look! The water didn't freeze in the bird bath last night."

LIAM - three months old, he can now reach out and grab with his right hand, and he's aware of the source of sounds, so he turns to look at them.

IRISH MIKE - very eager to get the boats out on the river, the crews assembled, and the oars working.

MARSHA - one of the drawbacks to spring in the south east is this,
pine pollen, which accumulates by the tons, shown here washed into run-off from a rain storm.
It covers everything.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Morning Smile-Maker

Tiger and Charlie

A good teacher

What the government needs now is a good teacher.

I think Obama has an excellent mind and it's filled with complex and potentially effective ideas. Now he needs a good 'teacher to America' who will trot out the visual aids, make a few good hand-out sheets, go to the chalkboard and explain all this economic frippery in fundamentally dumbed down form that the rest of us poor students can understand.

I know that he is making a good effort at being America's teacher, going past the blabbering folks at the networks to get to more "real" Americans out there. But, he could use some help!

Not just any teacher, a great teacher!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Goodbye George Kell

Baseball games are not the same without that voice.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another Birches Wacko

Superintendent of Bridgeport, Conn., schools

chosen for the ill treatment of one of his teachers -- by the Board of Education and by himself.
She did the right thing, and he didn't. No kid is going to be traumatized by this; or if he does get traumatized, it's because the parents traumatized him.

FAIRFIELD, Conn., March 24 (UPI) -- Authorities say a Fairfield, Conn., teacher has been charged with making a 5-year-old eat a banana from a garbage can.

Anne O'Donnell, 67, is charged with risk of injury to a minor, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, The (Bridgeport) Connecticut Post reported Tuesday.

O'Donnell, who appeared in court with her lawyer Monday, allegedly retrieved a unpeeled banana discarded by the boy, peeled it and told him to eat it, which he did, said a police report on the March 12 incident at the Park City Magnet School.

O'Donnell has been placed on medical leave pending the outcome of the case, said her lawyer, Robert Berke, noting his client had been "well respected in the classroom for years and is now being portrayed as a monster."

The boy was so traumatized he now becomes physically ill when it is time to go to school, said his mother, Latoya McLean.

A UPI story is here: CLICK

A more thorough and thoughtful consideratrion is here: CLICK

Report from the health nazi

First it was marijuana, then it was tobacco, then it was trans-fats. Now this. Will there be no simple pleasures left?

Alaska and Florida consider bans on bestiality

Mar 21, 9:38 AM (ET)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - "It's a subject that can cause nervous snickering, a little uneasiness and even a few bad jokes." ETC: CLICK

Sunday, March 22, 2009

CONGRATULATIONS to all the State fans out there, on progressing to the "Sweet Sixteen." Whether or not this team is truly sweet, we'll leave to its adherents to testify. Go State.

about Obama

I don't know whether Obama has the right prescription or not for what ails us; and I don't know if the Obama government is doing a good job so far in these brief months, or if they'll cure the massive problems they were left to tackle.

I did watch Obama on 60 Minutes this evening and was really comforted, and here's why. Because he didn't evade a single question he was asked. Because he gave thoughtful and good-humored answers to tough questions. Because he didn't sound like a ideologue, rather a man looking for the right way forward. Because he treated us like adults.

We haven't seen this in quite a long time.

My favorite line, which may be somewhat reworded: "We will not govern out of anger."

So many young Americans must be amazed to see the figure in the White House appear to be more adult than they are. Having endured most of a decade with a bumbling "Mr. Malaprop" educating them by example on the lowest forms of public governance, they must be adapting to a new image of a graceful, thoughtful, well-spoken, sincere, leader.

If Mr. Obama totally fails in the job of ending the economic crisis or extracting us from Iraq, he will at least have done us the honor of respecting our democracy.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friends notes on March 21

The arrival of Spring has not brightened the state any. Michigan continues to be cold and, today, even snowy. The best sign of spring so far is the crumbling roads, a phenomenon that doesn't happen in warmer places like Florida. Many of our school systems are pink slipping teachers and closing buildings while the Wall Street fat-asses fret about their bonuses.

Some quotations from some friends:
DASHMANN - has sent a very generous commentary:

Congratulations to the Wolverines and Spartans for surviving the opening games in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament !!!

Being an alumnus of neither school ( Western Michigan University – 1966 – Mid-American Conference ) allows me the luxury of pulling for both
Michigan Big 10 ( 11 ? ) Universities during March Madness and the football bowl games except during those rare occasions where they are matched against a MAC school.

Even though my beloved Broncos ( Broncoes ? ) took it on their collective chins from the Champions of West in the CCHA ice hockey tourney last weekend,
it was with great glee I witnessed in big-screen high –definition, brothe Mac school Sienna chase the hated Ohio State Buckeyes from the big basket ball dance in double overtime !!!

Isn’t it great to have both Michigan Big 10 reps playing solid hoops at the same time again ??

On to the sweet 16 !!!!

What a good sport you are, friend. I wish I was a better person, like you.

BILL from WNNCO - "Socially, the U.S. is years ahead of the rest of the world. Just look at the variety of people we're electing to office."

JOE - "Men have two body parts that always give them trouble. If they'd just learn to keep their mouths shut and their zippers closed."

Friday, March 20, 2009

a thought in passing

Our new government has only been in power for 60 days! Seems to me the same people who said the recession in Bush's first term was not his fault, and that the attack on the trade center was not Bush's fault, are quick to blame the liberals for everything that's happening in just 60 days.

Patience, friends, patience! It's going to take awhile to shake off the dust from the Bush gang. Even if McCain had been elected, we'd still be trying to work through these difficulties, and it will require public cooperation and patience.

Some of the commentators have a professional responsibility to throw crap, and in a democracy, we hope they will. As private citizens, we should accept that without having to believe them.

Notes from the Love Nest

1. We had a light tube installed in our bathroom, so now the daylight streams down from the ceiling like a flood lamp on a stage. When I stand in front of the mirror and strip, with the spotlight beaming down, I give myself the impression that I'm a Chippendale and all the women will throw money at me. But, so far, no luck.

2. I've lost 5 pounds in 6 months. Wow! At that rate I won't weigh anything at all by the time I'm 140.

3. Both of our cats died of liver failure in the same period of 6 months. I blame the Chinese. I used to blame Bush and then I thought he never had reason to hate cats, or me. Still I wouldn't put it past the bastard.

We had decided, no more pets! But now, we're thinking about it. Trouble is, our kids have herds of dogs and one of them is a cat killer. We know they didn't kill them, because none of them would be able to administer poison.

Do you think we're just getting weak-willed? Some of our friends are afraid of cats, or say they're allergic. Any advice?

4. If we could afford it, we'd buy a second "home" - in Florida. Then we could escape to sunshine and warmth anytime we like.
Send contributions.

no comment

For all my aging readers,
enjoy this, thanks to JERRY!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday Morning Smile-Maker

Friends - Book Reports

About books
that some people
have been reading
I'll ask more
people again soon. You are welcome to comment on the books other people write about.

I have just finished reading Nelson DeMille's latest, "The Gatehouse."
It is really like nothing else of his--I'm a great fan--but entertaining
nevertheless. He writes this one totally tongue in cheek, despite a
rather scary scenario. When he describes his relationship to his
in-laws (mutual dislike) the story goes something like this: he and the
wife are getting remarried after ten years apart and he plans to ask the
in-laws to pay for the wedding. At the suggestion, Mother-in-Law will
choke on the olive in her martini and die. Father-in-law will drop dead
immediately of a heart attack. Total win-win.

I just finished One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez.

This is a confusing book because many of the characters share the same name or a similar name. Adding to the confusion is the constant shuffling back and forth between past, present, and future, such that it was hard to put the events in the novel into a clear-cut chronology. This confusion emphasizes that events tend to repeat, that people tend to follow repeating patterns of behavior, and that memories of the past are sometimes hard to separate from events of the present and hopes for the future.

The storyline follows the Buendía family from the time that they settle a new frontier town called Macondo to the destruction of both the family and the town approximately 100 years later. During this 100 years, the family comes to know both war and peace, poverty and prosperity. I have read that the book symbolically follows Latin American and Colombian history. Certainly there are themes in the book, including civil wars between liberals and conservatives, oppressive dictators, labor revolts, etc, that seem to be in line with my limited knowledge of the history of that part of the world. I suppose the case could be made that the story also parallels the history of human civilization, biblical creation mythology, etc.

I read "Daddy's Girl" by Lisa Scottoline. I enjoy whodunits and so I've read a number of her books, but this was not my favorite. I liked earlier books better.

I just finished reading the Harry Potter series. A very fun read. I
recommend anyone that might have been deterred by all the hype (as I
was) to set aside their misgivings and try them. I was pleasantly
surprised how much I enjoyed these books.

I've read the David Baldacci "Camel Club" series that is pretty good...ex-black ops guy turned hermit and his pals...4 books so far. And I've been reading John Sandford's Lucas Davenport series. There are about 14 of those that follow this Minnesota cop and his adventures -they're a pretty good read as well. For Christmas one of my daughters got me a book called "Sanibel Scribbles" that is a semi-biographical novel about a woman and how she deals with death, which I will probably reread because it has some thought provoking ideas in it.

I read a very short novel based on real events, called BEASTS OF NO NATION, by a 20 year old Nigerian writer who has studied at Harvard. It concerns the tribulations of a young kid forced to fight in a Civil War in an unidentified African country. It reflects so much of what we hear about child soldiers and the awfulness of life for fighters who have little to live for and nothing worthwhile to die for. Written in pidgin English, which can be a bit frustrating at times, but I imagine is very realistic, and you can catch on very quickly.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Easy quiz ...

I asked several people to tell me what they could find wrong with this political cartoon:
(If you were not asked and wish to test yourself, study the cartoon before you read the lines under it.)

There were a number of answers offered, which included that the flag seems to be blowing one way and the parachute another way, that the lady's dress should be streaming upwards over her head not downwards, that the parachute is of World War II vintage and certainly not 2009 era, etc.

But two people knew the real boner in this cartoon is that Nancy Pelosi is not a Senator, she's the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Now this is a sad commentary on the level of political commentary these days. All regards to the sharp eyes of SCOT and SPARTY.

Speaking of clever commentary

I have suggested a number of times in the past that the best way to deal with the Wall Street crowd is to set up guillotines on the pavement and run a whole bunch of those sleazy, greedy, oligarchic people through them.

There are several million Americans waiting to stand by, pull the lanyard, and watch the blade fall.

Well, the acceptance of my idea is beginning to spread. I have never had either any great affection for or objection to Senator Charles Grassley, but now I'm developing a fondness for him. He suggests that the culprits from AIG should publicly apologize, resign and then kill themselves. I made a similar suggestion many weeks ago, and thought it had gone unnoticed.

Then along came Charles Krauthammer who specifically mentioned guillotines. I DO object to this guy, because not only is he physically ogreish he's ideologically weird. (Unlike me).

So, I'm not sure if my ideas are gaining popularity in general, are being seized by the Republicans, or are appealing primarily to people named Charles. However, I accept the support.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The War for Iraq is Won!

In America's attempts to "Westernize" Iraq, at least one idea from our Constitution is catching on: The Right to Bear Arms

Iraqi fan shoots, kills soccer player attempting tying goal in close game south of Baghdad
By Associated Press
8:28 AM EDT, March 16, 2009

BAGHDAD (AP) — Police say an Iraqi soccer player has been shot dead just as he was about to kick what could have been the tying goal in a weekend game south of Baghdad.

Police Maj. Muthanna Khalid says a striker from the Buhairat amateur team was facing only the goalie during a Sunday match in Hillah when a supporter of the rival Sinjar club shot him in the head in the final minute of play.

Sinjar was leading 1-0 when the shooting occurred. Khalid said a spectator was arrested.

More Iraqis are turning out for sports events now that security is improving. Major matches in Baghdad are heavily guarded but security in amateur games in smaller cities is often lax.

Friends Report on March 16

What some folks are smiling at:

Mrs. Donovan was walking down O'Connell Street in Dublin when she met up with Father Flaherty. The Father said, 'Top o' the mornin' to ye! Aren't ye Mrs. Donovan and didn't I marry ye and yer hoosband 2 years ago?' She replied, 'Aye, that ye did, Father.'

The Father asked, 'And be there any wee little ones yet?' She replied, 'No, not yet, Father.'

The Father said, 'Well now, I'm going to Rome next week and I'll light a candle for ye and yer hoosband.' She replied, 'Oh, thank ye, Father.' They then parted ways.

Some years later they met again. The Father asked, 'Well now, Mrs. Donovan , how are ye these days?' She replied, 'Oh, very well, Father!' The Father asked, 'And tell me, have ye any wee ones yet' She replied, 'Oh yes, Father! Three sets of twins and 4 singles, 10 in all!' The Father said, 'That's wonderful! How is yer loving hoosband doing?'

She replied, 'E's gone to Rome to blow out yer fookin' candle.

this is one of the "bumper snickers he sent, but it's doubtful all of it really fit on a little ol' bumper.
Heaven is Where:
The Police are British,
The Chefs are Italian,
The Mechanics are German,
The Lovers are French
It's all organized by the Swiss.

Hell is Where:

The Police are German,
The Chefs are British,
The Mechanics are French,
The Lovers are Swiss
It's all organized by the Italians.

DASHMANN - read an article about the arrests that took place for a fight at a concert held for "non-violence." CLICK


Random notes:
-at The Villages
last month
Some of you will
recognize the
guy. Or the

IRENE - has wrtitten this additional information about the Australian oil spill:
Well we have not really been affected, though Tony’s parents are heading to the Sunshine Coast this week - but they plan to have all of the beaches there cleaned up today. The problem is Moreton Island - I think most of the oil has washed up there. It's just off the coast of Brisbane and there are no bridges, only ferries, to all of the islands in the bay. So getting people and machinery there is a problem – most of the roads on the island are 4WD only and most of the roads are actually the beaches at low tide. It’s a shame, the bay is very clean and parts of the island were pristine. There are a lot of turtles, pelicans, dolphins, and dugongs (manatees) in the bay. Yesterday they thought most of the oil spilled had washed up on the beaches – in some ways that’s good because they can clean it up before too many animals are affected. But today they say a second wave of oil is coming. Not sure, the local paper here tends to sensationalise everything (it’s a Murdoch paper, need I say more).

The link you sent didn’t mention the 31 containers of ammonium nitrate that fell overboard as well – they are bobbing/sinking somewhere in the bay. Each container weighed 20,000 kg. They are worried other ships might hit one and spill oil as well. They are afraid that all of that fertiliser leaking out will cause algal blooms. The shipping company is in big trouble – they sailed straight into a hurricane for some stupid reason – and lied about how much oil was spilled. Another ship from that company sailed into an Australian port last week and immediately declared unseaworthy.

Here’s a link to some photos. CLICK


MARSHA - says everyone should cheer for the U. of M. to defeat Clemson at the basketball tournaments, but SPARTY refuses to cheer for University of Michigan under any circumstances that do not favor his own team, even though Marsha says he must. Friendship does not wander much past the gummy banks of the Red Cedar 'River'.

SCOT and TRASE -Looking for a baby sitter so that they might go celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

LINDA: former "artiste de dressage" and friend of a world famous ichthyologist. made a splash at her coffee klatch, first with coffee and then with a revelation of under garments.

MIKE C (almost from C-ton): Still in Florida.

SANDY - says the baby is a boy, and has a sonogram to prove it. The kid does not suffer from ED.

MARI - a lady of many adventures. You have to ask about the strange offer she got from a bar patron not too long ago. Yikes!

Click on Cartoon to enlarge it.
Cartoon by Bob Englehart
See more of his work here CLICK

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friends confront oil disaster

Readers of the BIRCHES know that we have a loyal friend in Brisbane, in Australia. The news this morning is carrying reports of a great oil spill off the coast of Brisbane that is fouling hundreds of miles of beach and many river inlets.

We're hoping that Irene will clue us in about the extent of the disaster and how it may be affecting her family and friends.

You will remember that Irene's family are the same friends who were at ground zero of the Costa Rican earthquake in January, and happily came through without a scratch.

Read a recent update on the dsisater here: CLICK

More Alabama news, with photos

Some really funny things I heard on TV about the Alabama sportsman who shot all those people:

1. "The Police quickly set up a temporary headquarters in the WalMart parking lot."

2. "He cleaned out his family."

3. "He seems to have been very disturbed about something."

4. "I'm convinced he went over there to kill more people." (Sheriff Dave Sutton.)

Interpretation: Evidently the cops expected the shooter to come to WalMart to rearm. As you know they have the lowest prices on ammunition there at WalMart, and it's always a good place to pick up a cheap six pack. Meanwhile, McLendon had developed some sort of mental distress, so he probably forgot where he was supposed to go to get caught. He took the opportunity to do a bit of house cleaning.

Meanwhile, such a percipient police officer is certainly deserving of re-election.


LATE BREAKING PHOTOS: Mikey and Mommy before the breakup

Reminds one of the famous Foghorn Leghorn line: "Fortunately I keep my feathers numbered for just such an occasion." This is notable since Foghorn's voice was sometimes thought to be an Alabama accent modeled after Senator John Bankhead.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

shoe heaver gets slammer

Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi entrepreneur who offered his wares to that guy who claimed to be President of the U.S., the best traditions of Iraqi bazaar salesmanship, has received a punishment of three years in prison.

Here's how it was broken down:
1. One year for throwing dangerous objects in a crowded space.
2. One year for being annoying.
3. One year for missing.

He is appealing the year for being annoying, pointing out that simply being anywhere near Iraq is annoying, and being in the presence of the Monkey-in-Chief was doubly annoying. Thus, whatever he added to the general annoyance of the moment was insignificant.

Thursday Smile-Maker

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Michael McLendon's mass murders could have been headed off

Michael McLendon could have been stopped.

His mother had not armed herself with an automatic weapon. Let this be a lesson to all of you. If you cannot take the initiative to protect yourself and your home, don't be surprised if you get your head blown off by your children, and don't come complaining to me, head in hands.

Any parent who has not bought at least a handgun and who does not carry it around all the time, like a cell phone, is not worthy of the name 'parent'. In fact, if you can afford it, an AK-47 is a much better guarantor of your rights to self defense.

So when Michael showed up to murder mama, since she was the first victim, she could have shot it out with him as any peace-loving parent would do, and even if she hadn't survived, she might have taken him out with her. This would have saved the lives of many other people. As you can see, there is a great amount of conservation in the spirit of gun ownership!


Your Best Protection Against Willful and Dangerous Children

bad language

It has been wonderful listening to the variety of American conversation lately. I am referring to the inarticulate language used by the Sheriff in Alabama who can't say the words "vehicle" or "window" or "deputy" or any of a bunch of other words in form that reflects kindly on the good folks of his part of the world.

And then there was the discussion I seen bein' had 'tween a sports raporder and Kalin Lucas who is evidently a very talented guy. He's the MOST Valuable Player. Although I understood the questions posed, I understood none of the answers. Soon to be an honored graduate of a major American university, he may also become functional in English.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Birches Pantheon of Wackos

Adding to the Pantheon of Wackos, Birches recognizes these people (who are reputedly women, but how would you know?)

Somehow they failed to capture the spirit of the occasion. According to the Associated Press, they are celebrating International Women's Day in Afghanistan.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Friends - a brief report on March 9

MARSHA - couldn't be happier -- back in the stands at South Carolina baseball games, sunny warm weather. Ahh, bliss! Carolina is ranked 18th by one source.

JERRY - says that even the snowmen can no longer stand this Michigan winter:

GIGI - recommends this video of whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg talking about Nixon's plan to use nuclear weapons in Vietnam, from which he extrapolates a lesson on Presidential power. CLICK

DASHMANN - recommends this short news account of how a good purpose can be foiled by the lowbrows who follow it. CLICK , ands it's pretty amusing.

PAM and BINA - have returned from a trip to Florida.

FELIX - has bought a new teacup. He's demanding equal time on BIRCHES ... if we can show PAT W's new dishes, we should show his.

SPARTY - is recommending that we all stop reading newspapers and watching CNN news. And never, never, think of watching Fox "Fixed" News!

ALICE - a new week, a new rescue mission. Great Christian!

Add to your day

Go here to add a lump of musical humility to your day. It's actually charming. CLICK

Opinion: One course of action

My Opinion, for whatever it may be worth.

I don't know what should be done about the economic crisis. I wish I had enough economic knowledge to propose a set of solutions, because I know the world is waiting for my judgment in order to drag itself out of this morass.

Although I lack any solutions to our problems, I have watched the economic experts on TV quite a bit. You know the type, wallets with a mouth attached to suck up wealth wherever they can find it. I have a strong notion that now they have sucked up everything they can find in the stock market and the Wall Street financial institutions, they're turning to other forms of endeavor. One of them is prattling on on the public airways.

The one clear thought I have this morning on the whole business affair is that there are wa-y-y too many people who claim they know what's happening and what we need to do to solve this. We need to chop off a lot of heads. If we can't recover our former economic splendor, we can at least have fewer of these "experts" yammering at us. I know that now they've destroyed our system of capitalism, they have earned a good beheading, and the public at large would appreciate the show.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Gold Stars awarded to

Thanks to the people who entered answers to the Dogs Quiz. Those who scored well are:


**Ideas for a new quiz? Send them on to Bud or to Birchleaf@charter.net

Irish Mike's Tuesday Quiz.

Thanks to loyal reader IRISH MIKE, here are 11 pictures of famous dogs
Here are the answers, and the pictures are printed again below:

1. Santa's Little Helper from
The Simpsons
2. Eddie - owned by Martin Crane on
3. Bullet - from
The Roy Rogers
4. Brian Griffin - from
The Family Guy
5. Tramp - from
My Three Sons
6. Petey - from
Our Gang or The Little Rascals
7. Lassie - owned by Timmy on
8. Buck - from
Married With Children
9. Rin Tin Tin - owned by Rusty on
Rin Tin Tin
10. Yukon King -
Sergent Preston of the Yukon
11. Duke - owned by Jed Clampett
The Beverly Hillbillies