Wednesday, April 29, 2009

re: the quiz

awarded to IRISH MIKE
for knowing all the right answers to the last quiz. This was a tough one because it was pictures of some of the most prominent world leaders, and such a thing is obviously a severe challenge to the typical adult American.

Here they are:
1. Dimitry Medvedev, President of Russia
2. Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of Great Britain
3. Hu Jintao, Prime Minister of China
4. Kim Jung Il, President of North Korea
5. (the only hard one, maybe) Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

good question

Irish Mike has his suspicions, and so do I.

Can any of you answer this question?
"When GM eliminates Pontiac, are they eliminating mostly North American UAW jobs? Two weeks ago I purchased a Pontiac G6. I noticed on the sticker that 80% of the car's parts were built in USA/Canada including the engine and crank shaft. I also noted that it was assembled in Lake Orion, Michigan. Being somewhat suspicious I wonder if the brand is not successful or is this just a means of cutting a car that is mostly made and assembled by UAW workers?"

Friends Report On April 27

The quiz which BIRCHES ran recently featured pictures of some of the best known people in the world, but only one of you readers bothered to answer. What the hell has become of the quality of adult knowledge these days? (The answers will run soon on BIRCHES.)
We are so proud. Another contest has been run to find the worst pothole in the state. The one in my neighborhood won first place. After that, the county came by and filled it full of stones. How's that for a fix? With more of our industry closing down, maybe we will be back to traveling on dirt roads in Michigan. By the way, how many plants is G.M. closing in Brazil and China?

Some notes on friends
DOUG - has had an operation, and he looks absolutely none the worse for that. Good luck!

MARSHA has been traveling around, so she claims, to meetings with this little birdie, because it's a fighting Gamecock, and that's the mascot of the Univ. of S. Carolina for which she toils.


SPARTY - he recalled that a century and more ago, a Chicago newspaper humorist named FINLEY PETER DUNNE wrote stories in which he used an Irish brogue. One of the things he talked about was the water torture of Filipinos, who had fallen under American control in the Spanish-American War. Here's an example:

" 'It is not always necessary to kill a Filipino American right away. Me desire is to edjacate thim slowly in th' ways an' customs of th' country. We are givin' hundreds of these pore benighted haythen th' well-known, ol'fashioned American water cure. Iv coorse, ye know how 'tis done. A Filipino, we'll say, niver heard iv th' history of this country. He is met be wan of our sturdy boys who asts him to cheer f'r Abraham Lincoln, He rayfuses. He is thin placed upon th' grass an' given a drink, a baynit bein' fixed in his mouth so he cannot rejict th' hospitality. Under the' inflooence of th' hose that cheers but does not inebriate, he soon warrums or perhaps I might say swells up to a realization of th' granjoor of his adoptive country. One gallon makes him give three groans f'r th' constitchtoochion. At four gallons, he will ask to be wrapped in th' flag. At th' dew point he sings Yankee Doodle. Occasionally we run acrost a stubborn an rebellyous man who wud strain at me idee of human rights and swallow th' Pacific Ocean, but I mus' say mos' of these little fellows is less hollow in their pretintions.' "

MARGARET - congratulations for the Violin episode! Good luck to the angel!

I don't get no respect!

GENDER - wrote to complain about the weather, somehow imagining that I had something to do with it!

BRENDA - sent an email telling me I'm "silly"

ALICE - writes to remind me that Will Rogers once said: "Never miss a good chance to shut up."

BRENDA and STEVEN - held an "earthday party" during which many new trees were planted and maybe - yeah, right MAYBE - a lot of beer got drunk. I was NOT invited. But, the storms which swept through Michigan virtually missed the gathering, or maybe they didn't notice.

A few snapshots. If you have some to contribute, send them on!


MARSHA'S new cats
Babboo and Buddy -


lucky students


What makes some people laugh lately

from JOE;

A teacher is explaining biology to her 4th grade students.
"Human beings are the only animals that stutter," she says.
A little girl raises her hand. "I had a kitty-cat who stuttered," she volunteered.
The teacher, knowing how precious some of these stories could become,
asked the girl to describe the incident.
"Well," she began, "I was in the back yard with my kitty and the
Rottweiler who lives next door got a running start and before we knew it,
he jumped over the fence and into our yard!"
"That must've been scary," said the teacher.
"It sure was," said the little girl.
"My kitty went 'Fffff, Fffff,Fffff'... and before he could say "Fuck," the Rottweiler ate him!"


From JERRY - a Somalian pirates hat.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

QUIZ:  Some answers already made.  Where are yours?  Many gold stars available for awards! 

a new "f" word

A flu virus. 

I understand that the new "swine flu" threat is brought to us by evolution.  It's apparently an interesting new genetic reconstitution of former flu "strains" that we had all just grown accustomed to. I think I can accept this scientific explanation, since it accords so well with facts. 

Well, it's either that or, perhaps, we have to believe that a mischievous God has decided to wreak a new havoc on the world, for some arcane reason. 

Or, blame it on the queers.  Damn, they have a long list of things -- from hurricanes to AIDS to earthquakes -- to answer for already. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Goodbye Bea Arthur

"I'm not playing a role. I'm being myself, 
whatever the hell that is." 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Is this --

A. An elephant being rescued after being struck by a train?
B. An elephant being buried after dying in a zoo?
C. What's left of the Republican Party which has died of stale ideas?

a musing

It seems to me that Barack Obama is right about the torture question, but not because it's politically expedient. It seems to me that an incoming government should not be casting about in the business of the outgoing government in order to find someone to prosecute. That is a nasty game both sides could, in time, play. Our democracy would be the first casualty.

But, I do think that there should be an investigation with a report. I believe it should be a non-partisan investigation, outside Congress, but under Congress's aegis. If after that, the Justice Department finds it necessary to prosecute someone, then so be it. I suspect the responsibility lies at the door of the Attorney General under Bush.

I welcome your thoughts.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Who are these world leaders? Can you identify 4 out of 5?
Send me an email. will work.






Thursday Smile-Maker

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Friends - Snapshots on Ap. 21

A few snapshots (if you click on a picture, it will usually enlarge it.)
Send me yours. If I can, I'll print it.

STEVE (burning - he believes in burning!)
Thanks to Bruce Cooke for the pic.

FELIX: this is some of his landscaping work.
The spruce is newest)

SPARTY: (here beats a heart of green)


Monday, April 20, 2009

Right Wing Extremists kill socialist horses

Effort to embarrass Obama ---

WELLINGTON, Fla. (AP) - Officials were waiting Monday for test results to find out why 21 polo horses from a Venezuelan team fell fatally ill before a match at a Florida tournament. One veterinarian said it looked like some kind of poison was to blame.

Recommended - about Fast Trains

IRENE has sent this link CLICK which is well worth reading.


Does anyone know what part of the horse Madonna fell off?

Report on 'The Loyal Opposition'

The right wing is busy this morning condemning Obama for his behavior at a international conference in Trinidad. There was a handshake with a wacko, a gift of a book from the same wacko, and a speech by a second gangster --- one that Reagan did not get rid of despite his best efforts 25 years ago.

How is this Conservative outcry different in any way from the approach the right wing has taken to every other thing Obama has said or done? They haven't found anything he does to be acceptable.

The handshake and the book which a tin-hat dictator gave Obama mean nothing important to any American who has confidence in this country or has enough sense of neighborliness to know that good relations with the folks on the other side of the fence are better than pissing contests.

There is a more serious matter, whether the President should have sat quietly and listened to Daniel Ortega lecture the U.S., and make anti-American statements.

I have tried to find the text of Ortega's speech this morning, but so far it hasn't appeared anywhere online that I can find. So, we will just have to listen to the criticisms of people who also haven't read the statement.

As for me and my home, we shall honor the United States and not worry about Nicaragua's mouthpiece or any blather put out by the devils of Caracas, Havana, and Managua.

Meanwhile, here's another American made depiction of the President, offered to you by his thoughtful, intelligent, loyal opponents.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

from Dashmann - a history question

I have been trying ... to dig up party voting records on the Woman's Suffrage movement giving women the right to vote in the early 20th century.I am curious to find out whether the parties split on the issue and which way.

Protests like the Teabag Party lead me to believe Republicans generally opposed the movement while Democrats supported it, but I have not been able to find evidence either way.

So far my research on support/opposition to Woman's suffrage has yielded these results.

My objective in raising the subject is to determine if any one political party in constant power would have given women the right to vote, a moral principle we take for granted now in America.

The strongest opponents were from Womens groups themselves and religious groups, especially Roman Catholics.

First states to give women the right to vote were in [states] like Wyoming and Colorado, followed my the mid-west states.

Southern states were mostly opposed as the subject was thought of in much the same way as the anti-slavery issue.

While the amendment finally passed under Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, I have not yet found general support or oppsition from either major party. Wilson started with a Democratic congress and ended with a Republican one.

Senator Thomas Palmer, a Republican from Detroit favored giving women the vote.

I know there are a lot of smarter people than me that read this blog. I would welcome any help, pro or can, opinion or factual, that anyone could contribute to shed more light on this.

fast trains

Spanish Fast Train, the Ave:

There has been quite a bit of talk lately about introducing "fast trains" into American transportation systems. People who look at BIRCHES know that this blog favors this idea. At the same time, there have been two crashes in recent days - one in Germany and one in Mexico - although of trains which are not fast trains.

Obama has talked a lot about beginning a program of fast trains, and of course, one of the favored locales is Chicago. There is talk of fast trains from Chicago to Detroit in one direction, to Minneapolis in another and to St. Louis in a third direction. If these routes are instituted, here are some simple rules that have to be observed:

1. Like expressways for cars, trains should run in only one direction on any track (lane).
2. There can be no open crossings where dump trucks, drunks, or suicides can get themselves T-boned. (You know, like expressways).
4. Passenger trains must have right of way. It would be better if freight trains did not operate on the same rails anyway.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Vicissitudes of Life: "the human condition"

It's stories like this that add so much to my life.

Police: Woman kept robber as sex slave

Friday, April 17, 2009

to the Teabag Partiers.

In general, I wouldn't support many -- if any -- of the causes you gathered to holler about, but your behavior was in the best traditions of democracy! And that is serious!

in the aftermath -- more victims than just those murdered

Thanks to our friend SPARTY for this comment, and for the article he sent.  

SPARTY - " ... the point is so obvious.  One of the great myths in this country is that people who have handguns in their homes are somehow safer than those who don't.  However, I've never seen any statistics that indicate any significant number of crimes are prevented by armed citizens.  Instead, the media are full of stories of deranged people committing mass murder or kids being accidently shot.
However, if we expect a rational discussion of this issue I suspect we're waiting for something we'll never see.  We are a nation of fearful people whose solution to personal security contributes to just the opposite."

The American Way

New York Times 
April 14, 2009

Late in the afternoon on Good Friday, in a cold, steady rain, a gray-haired 60-year-old woman sat shivering and praying on a stone step outside of 1016 Fairfield St., which is where the terrible shooting had occurred. She read from a prayer book and from time to time would take a drag on a soggy Newport cigarette. A candle flickered beside her as she prayed.
Police officers in a squad car a half-block away were keeping a close eye on the woman and the house with the boarded-up windows behind her.
Reluctant to talk at first, the woman eventually whispered, “I’m the grandmother of the kid that killed those cops.” She said her name was Catherine Scott and that she was praying for her grandson, Richard Poplawski, who is 22 and being held in the Allegheny County Jail, and for the three officers he is accused of gunning down: Stephen Mayhle, who was 29; Paul Sciullo II, 37; and Eric Kelly, 41.
The officers were killed a week and a half ago as they responded to a disturbance at the house. Police said they were met there by Poplawski, who was wearing a bulletproof vest and was armed with a variety of weapons, including an AK-47 assault rifle.
“My grandson did a terrible thing,” said Ms. Scott. “There is no mercy for what he did.”
Mercy or not, there is no end to the trauma and heartbreak caused by these horrifying, blood-drenched eruptions of gun violence, which are as common to the American scene as changes in the weather.
On the same day that the three Pittsburgh cops were murdered, a 34-year-old man in Graham, Wash., James Harrison, shot his five children to death and then killed himself.
The children were identified by police as Maxine, 16, Samantha, 14, Jamie, 11, Heather, 8, and James, 7.
Just a day earlier, a man in Binghamton, N.Y., invaded a civic association and shot 17 people, 13 of them fatally, and then killed himself. On April 7, three days after the shootings in Pittsburgh and Graham, Wash., a man with a handgun in Priceville, Ala., murdered his wife, their 16-year-old daughter, his sister, and his sister’s 11-year-old son, before killing himself.
More? There’s always more. Four police officers in Oakland, Calif. — Dan Sakai, 35, Mark Dunakin, 40, John Hege, 41, and Ervin Romans, 43 — were shot to death last month by a 27-year-old parolee who was then shot to death by the police.
This is the American way. Since Sept. 11, 2001, when the country’s attention understandably turned to terrorism, nearly 120,000 Americans have been killed in nonterror homicides, most of them committed with guns. Think about it — 120,000 dead. That’s nearly 25 times the number of Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For the most part, we pay no attention to this relentless carnage. The idea of doing something meaningful about the insane number of guns in circulation is a nonstarter. So what if eight kids are shot to death every day in America. So what if someone is killed by a gun every 17 minutes.
The goal of the National Rifle Association and a host of so-called conservative lawmakers is to get ever more guns into the hands of ever more people. Texas is one of a number of states considering bills to allow concealed guns on college campuses.
Supporters argue, among other things, that it will enable students and professors to defend themselves against mass murderers, like the deranged gunman who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech two years ago.
They’d like guns to be as ubiquitous as laptops or cellphones. One Texas lawmaker referred to unarmed people on campuses as “sitting ducks.”
The police department in Pittsburgh has been convulsed with grief over the loss of the three officers. Hardened detectives walked around with stunned looks on their faces and tears in their eyes.
“They all had families,” said Detective Antonio Ciummo, a father of four. “It’s hard to describe the kind of pain their families are going through. And the rest of our families.
They’re upset. They’re sad. They’re scared. They know it could happen to anyone.”
The front page of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review carried a large photo of Officer Mayhle’s sad and frightened 6-year-old daughter, Jennifer. She was clutching a rose and a teddy bear in a police officer’s uniform. There was also a photo of Officer Kelly’s widow, Marena, her eyes looking skyward, as if searching.
Murderous gunfire claims many more victims than those who are actually felled by the bullets. But all the expressions of horror at the violence and pity for the dead and those who loved them ring hollow in a society that is neither mature nor civilized enough to do anything about it. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Friends Report on April 15

SOME snapshots





Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Goodbye Mark Fidrych

The following tribute was written by our friend John Dashner:

We lost a really neat human being today.

Mark Fidrych, sometimes known as “The Bird” because of his resemblance to the Sesame Street character was something special. He arrived in the majors with the Tigers in 1976 and immediately took the baseball world by storm by beating the hated Yankees on Monday night in front of a national TV audience.

He became rookie of the year after going 19 – 6 that year. He was enchanting to those of us who followed him, not because of the wins, but because of his spirit.

I personally witnessed his first start at old Tiger Stadium with our Cub Scout troop and marveled as he pitched a 1 hitter against the Cleveland Indians. Only a ground ball that bad hopped reliable Aurelio Rodriguez at third base accounted for the Indians only hit that gray, rainy day.

We watched as Fidrych smoothed the dirt on the mound, pep talked the ball and animatedly encouraged his fielders. After injuries beset him in following seasons and ultimately ended his career after only 58 games, he returned to civilian life in New England, not bitter but always thankful for what he so briefly possessed.

He would return to Detroit until his death, taking part in alumni activities and fantasy camps with the same boundless enthusiasm and spirit. And now he is gone –

We should all embrace every day like he did ----

Monday, April 13, 2009

Goodbye Judith Krug

President, American Library Association

Office of Intellectual Freedom

President, Freedom to Read Foundation

Founder, Banned Books Week

Apology to the President

If I knew the guy, I'd apologize in person.  

Analysis: A new president wins a first national security test by staying quiet and determined


JENNIFER LOVEN | AP White House Correspondent

" ...but President Barack Obama's "no drama" handling of the Indian Ocean hostage crisis proved a big win for his administration in its first critical national security test.

Obama's quiet backstage decision to authorize the Defense Department to take necessary action if Capt. Richard Phillips' life was in imminent danger gave a Navy commander the go-ahead to order snipers to fire on the pirates holding the cargo ship captain at gunpoint.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Pirates and President Chicken

--here they are
in all their terrible

They are holding the U.S. navy at bay. Stop paying your taxes. Of what use is our expensive floating bunch of sailors? Wait till N. Korea has a nuclear tipped missile. What will we be willing to ransom Seattle for?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Unknown Whimsical Deity Tosses Dice (One Dead, One Born Again)

Teen hit by woman's fall at mall 'reborn,' mom says
9:34 PM EDT, April 10, 2009

"God saved my life."

Those were the first words Derrick Munoz said to his mother after she rushed to his hospital bed after a suicidal woman fell on him in a Queens mall, seriously injuring him and killing herself.

"My son was reborn on April 8 again," Rosarito Osario, 41, said Friday at her home in Amityville. "With this situation, he was born again that day. That could have been him that died."

Add to your day: Listen

He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; and He shall gather the lambs 

with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are

with young.

(Isaiah 40:11)

Come unto Him, all ye that labour, come unto Him that are heavy laden, and

He will give you rest.Take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He

is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

(Matthew 11:28-29)
GROSS and LAUGHABLE understatement from "M Notebook" Online:

Michigan fell behind early and could not recover in a 10-2 loss to Central Michigan on Wednesday (April 8) in Ann Arbor.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

friends update

Spring is carefully entering our state. It comes in two steps and then retreats one step. Sometimes it goes back and starts over. Today, the snow is gone again, and the temp will reach maybe 55. This is spring.

How lucky are we! Someone has rated the worst potholes in the state. The 4th worst in right here in our neighborhood, only 3 blocks away. I know you'll think we live out in the country or maybe in the worst rundown area of town, but not so. It's a comfortable middle class neighborhood. Maybe I'll get down there to take a picture.

some notes about friends

MIKE the ADMINISTRATOR - whose former adventures with the Red Cross have taken him to New Orleans, has spent time this winter at Fargo saving the city.  

MARI - is having a church window tattooed on her side.  It was a really nice side, even without the addition. 

LIZZIE- she's new to our lives 

SCOT - "My god, is my son cute!"
Everyone agrees. (The tyke is now just over 3 months old.)

MARSHA - has invited this blogster and wife to the beach in South Carolina in May! Should we go?  Hmm a tough decision. 

FELIX - His fiance is working on a medical mission to Kenya. There she delivered a baby for a Kenyan family who then asked her to name the child. "So, in Nakuru, Kenya, there is now a young lad named Felix Kibet!"Congratulations!

SPARTY and GIGI - Have spent the last week in  North Carolina  visiting their son. This is a mixed blessing, since they were all great Michigan State fans. 

IRISH MIKE and AMY - are at New Smyrna Beach, FLA. for the week.

REDEYE - all who knew him at the Redeye are saddened by the passing of Bob Maul. 

some snapshots

CREWING in Saginaw, taken from IRISH MIKE'S (he is one of these folks, I guess) 'Facebook' pix:



re: Afghanistan

We have had quite a number of comments on the opinions of the Obama policy in Afghanistan. Not many comments are sent in, but there are more made in person. Most people were surprised to find that they aren't the only one resisting. 

friends part 2

Rodney Lekanof is a native American living on remote St. George Island, off the coast of Alaska. In the past, I have referred my readers to his website.

This March, he was there to take pictures as the MAR-GUN, a fishing trawler, ran aground in rough weather at St. George. Here are two pictures. You can see many more on his website, CLICK HERE FOR HIS WEBSITE Be sure to click back to "Older Posts" to see more of the photo-story.

Click to make pictures larger ---

photos by Rodney Lekanof

See news account: CLICK

Thursday Morning Smile-Maker


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

noted without further comment

GREENHILL, Ala., April 7 (UPI) -- An Alabama man fatally shot his wife, daughter, sister and nephew before killing himself, police said Tuesday.


TEMECULA, Calif. (AP) - A gunman opened fire at a remote Korean Christian retreat center Tuesday night, leaving one person dead and at least three people injured, authorities said.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"You're Going to Have to Modernize" 

SOURCE: Ygreck

Goodbye Bob Maul

Now sadly gone --- the greatest imagination the City of Saginaw has had in a generation.

"For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: "It might have been!"

CONGRATULATIONS to Spartan fans who've had the thrill of success.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

opinions of readers on Obama's plans

Many thanks to everyone who sent answers.
Is Obama doing the right thing in Afghanistan? 

opposed on principle:

PAM -I do not support it. The human race cannot continue to survive nor can the earth, if we do not find ways other than war to resolve conflicts. I hope Obama hasn't been sucked into the military/industrial complex evildoers who will drive us all to death. I was reminded the other night that Martin Luther King said the issue isn't violence vs. non-violence. It's non-violence vs. non-existence. Let's follow the example of the Prince of Peace.

PAT - There are several reasons why his decisions concern me
1. I don't remember candidate Obama saying he would do this.
2. The Russians failed in Afghanistan. We failed there. Why will this effort be any different?
3. I am very much against war. I believe it leads to even more world chaos.
4. Isn't our "intelligence" good enough to find OBL without escalating war?

DASHMANN - On one hand, it looks like another Viet Nam or Iraq.
Send troops into another attempt at building a nation in our image.
On the other hand is this necessary to stop Al – Queda ?
They knocked the Trade Center down and have never been avenged.
Maybe Bush (et al) was smart enough to know we might never succeed there.
How far must we go in trying to make The World like us ?????

in favor

FELIX - There seems to be some feeling of 'spinning our wheels'. If something doesn't change, the wheels will keep spinning. I'm for an attempted 'brief' increase with the hope of getting the wheels some traction...and, hopefully bringing the wheels home victorious.

against for very practical reasons:

STEVE - ...I believe that is where we should have been in the first place and that if we want to pursue a "war on terror" Afghanistan is the front line. I feel confident that we will never win militarily in Afghanistan since we have been unable to do so in Iraq which is a relatively hospitable place relative to the Afghan mountains. Therefore we should try to win by providing the people with a comfortable lifestyle that helps them to love us. If we provide clean water and good, safe schools the people might accept us. However if the people providing those services are carrying guns they will get shot and if they are not, they will probably get kidnapped and decapitated.

We need to make sure that we do not appear to be invading Afghanistan and that is a tricky case to make when you show up in tanks and bombers and airplanes armed with warheads. The Afghans don't want democracy and that is a very difficult thing for us to swallow. As Bill Maher says "They would rather live in shambles with the Taliban than to see their sister in a mini-skirt" and it's true. Muslim cultures are different in one important way...their religion and their government are one and the same. They can not make laws politically because they believe the Koran provides all the laws they need and if we truly believe in freedom of religion than we must respect that as long as it is done peacefully.

Generally "NO" I don't support it. I don't want to pay for expansion of another war. I don't want to hear about another war. I worry that increasing efforts in Afghanistan might be just the catalyst that the Muslim world needs to turn this into a widely accepted "holy war" like the one in Gaza. And I don't see the wisdom in trying to keep some Afghans from killing other Afghans by killing some of the later Afghans on purpose and mistakenly killing some of the former Afghans in the process.

Two people have essentially the same opinion on Obama's move, that it's no longer a good idea:

MARSHA - Truthfully, I was 100% in favor of this before the Iraq debacle. Now I am not sure we can accomplish anything in the Mideast beyond further miring ourselves in insolvable situations.

SPARTY - I supported an aggressive military presence in Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11, but the previous occupant of the White House decided to invade Iraq instead. At this point, however, I don't see much to be gained and a lot to lose by sending more troops into the great void that is Afghanistan.

DIG S - expresses the opinion that Pakistan itself should be expected to take care of the Al Qaeda problem.

I think Obama is heading in the right direction and getting America's eye back on the ball. Pakistan may have denied the terrorist act in Mumbai a few months ago was not originated from Pakistan
despite a ridiculously amount of evidence - and the only terrorist survivor - saying so. After the [violent] acts on the Sri Lanka cricket team, and yesterday's act on their police academy, its time for Pakistan govt. and people to stop being in a state of denial and reflect seriously on their own problems.

Frankenstein is loose in their country, its not just against India that it acts anymore. They have no control over these elements they have trained and fostered for so long. Its time for Pakistan ISI (military intelligence) to hunt down the elements they created and destroy the terrorist apparatus they invented, before it destroys their country's image abroad permanently.

IRISH MIKE - I do not believe we should be the police for Afghanistan or any other third world off-the-map country. Now, that said, I do believe we should go after those who do us harm. What GW should have done was go into Afghanistan, found Ben Laden and his cronies, beat up Al-Qaeda and left. I still believe this should be the goal... If Al-Qaeda grows back, use those $60 million dollar war planes to take them out.

As far as the Taliban goes, they are Islamic Fundamentalist bad guys, but they are home grown with evidently local support. Alone, their treatment of women is offensive to our way of life. As bad as that may be, I don’t think the U.S. is cabable of propping up governments and changing the cultures of people around the world.

Should we send in more troops? Only if it is to meet my stated objective. Find Ben Laden and his cronies, beat up Al-Qaida and then leave.

Bud: I tend to agree most with Mike. The mission in Afghanistan was a proper use of power, but the execution of that purpose by the Bush government was incompetent. At this time, if we have a good handle on where Bib Laden and the Qaeda are located, we should go get them. Otherwise, get out.

an idle question

Is there anyone out there besides me who thinks that these headlines from this weekend indicate a problem greater than mental health problems?

1. Gunman kills 13 in New York immigration center.

2. Gunman kills 3 policeman with AK-47 in Pittsburgh.

3. Father shoots 5 children to death in Washington state.

When will we have had enough?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Jiverly Voong

(He is the guy, the news folks tell us, who shot up the joint in Binghamton.)
Here's some thoughts:

1. The Mayor of Binghamton and the police chief of Binghamton, who were unable to protect the citizens against a madman (or mad man) with guns, have suddenly become practicing psychiatrists who are able to stand in the middle of the street with a microphone and tell the world what mental problems, what stresses, what causes of depression, drove a man barely conversant in English to commit mass murder. I suspect both of these people are as competent at psychiatry as they are at civic government.

2. Everyone is able to talk about this Jiverly, everyone can discuss his unknowable motives, can talk about his wife and child, can discuss his tactical planning, can speculate on his job history.

Why does nobody discuss the guns?
[UPDATE: Talk of a wife and child were even more misguided, since it turns out he has neither.]

3. It seems to me perfectly appropriate that a group of aspiring Americans, like those English students at the immigration center, should have the opportunity to confront a crazy mass murderer armed to the teeth with legal deadly weapons. After all, we Americans live with this reality every day -- as much as we live with football or Hondas or singing birdies in the trees. Welcome to America, dudes!

Friday, April 3, 2009


English villagers send Google snapper packing


in-breeding problems in Michigan

There was a report on local news here that a study of wolves on Isle Royale, a large island well out in Lake Superior, indicates that many have developed bone deformities as a result of in-breeding.

Also in Michigan, there is an island in the Detroit area, where auto executives have been inbreeding for generations. They also have developed deformities, in their comprehension bones. They imagine for example that their high salaries -- which have been determined by other auto executives and industry boards -- are reflective of their usefulness to the corporations and to society. This is a very ugly deformity of judgment.

Some people are bemoaning the loss of Rick Wagoner as CEO of General Motors. Since neither he nor his board of directors had the wits to get him out of there of their own accord, the government forced him out. Now he can go somewhere and get treatment for his inbred deformities of mind and style. I think there is a genetic wrench they can use for that, called a "Good Wrench."

What should be the role of the government in chasing away bad CEOs? Well, I would prefer they behead them, but in the absence of that, having a government with the stones to drive them away -for the protection of the rest of us - seems perfectly acceptable.