Monday, December 29, 2008

Don't call me an Environmentalist.

I do not want to breathe poisonous air.

I do not want to drink foul water.

That does not make me an environmentalist.

That makes me a normal human being.

Don't call me an environmentalist because I want to breathe clean air and drink clean water.

That's like calling a boy who wants to read an "aggressive pro-reading radical."

That's like calling a girl who does not want to be raped a "hardcore anti-rape protester."

That's like calling a family who does not want to become human slaves "unyielding anti-slavery partisans."

That's like calling a starving baby an "anti-hunger activist."

Friday, December 19, 2008

Moderate or be Marginalized.

I think this is the message Obama is sending pastor Rick Warren.

And this is why I think the comparison to "what if Obama had a racist or anti-semite up there on stage" misses the point.

Nelson Mandela was a master of using white supremacists as stage props against white supremacy. His message was moderate or be marginalized. There is no try.

Obama's statement about being President for all Americans, not just those who support him or voted for him, is much like Mandela's for similar reasons. Both are inheriting a massively divided country threatened with economic ruin and split into cultural factions accustomed to hating each other. Oh ... and both are black men taking over countries long exclusively ruled and owned by whites.

Pastor Rick Warren has likened abortion to the Holocaust. Which means, I guess, that women and their doctors are Nazi death camp operators. Offensive? In the extreme. But also the position of the Catholic Church, which places abortion as an even higher sin than war. And won't let women be priests. Warren and the Pope are closer on most issues than they are apart.

But unlike abortion rights, which will remain constitutionally protected thanks to Obama's election, equal rights for gays do not yet exist in the United States. Obama has inherited what LBJ inherited from JFK. It is now on his shoulders to cleanse the legal stain of homophobia forever. LBJ did it by turning arms counterclockwise to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- the same year Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison for the crime of trying to do the same thing.

Someone asked of the inauguration, "why are gays being asked to take a punch in the gut for inclusiveness?" Well, from the view of a lot of folks on the Right, Warren is taking a punch in the gut for inclusiveness by showing up on stage with a bunch of gay-loving baby killers and their Muslim AntiChrist Presleydent.

And remember, it is just a stage. And all on it are merely players. Perhaps Obama will say, be excellent to each other ... or else.

Obama might be doing this just to get Warren to talk to Rev. Lowery. You never know where and when an Epiphany can take place.

Christ, Warren might come out of the closet.

Now wouldn't that be an historic inauguration?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Frank Gaffney = War Pig

CHRIS MATTHEWS: You guys sold the war as a nuclear threat to the United States. A nuclear weapon was going to be delivered by a nuclear delivery device. It was going to take the weapon and drop it here. You sold every trick you could to get us into this war. Now you’re back pedaling. And I do find it astounding. The Vice President of the United States is —

GAFFNEY: How do you feel, Chris?

MATTHEWS: This is how I feel. Four thousand people are dead because of how you feel. And Frank, you’re wrong about this because you don’t even seem to care your facts were wrong.

GAFFNEY: Chris, there were —

MATTHEWS: You admit your facts were wrong and it doesn’t bother you.

GAFFNEY: May I state my position rather than you stating it? May I do that? My position is that it’s regrettable that any Americans died. It is regrettable that they had to die, but I believe they did have to die.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Steve Spelling's Modest Proposal

Steve Spelling sez:

I support saving the Big Three but only this way. The unions should all be outlawed immediately, and the Auto companies be put in Chapter 11 immediately thru emergency legislation by the government and they start on a complete re-organization. Immediately equalize Big three salaries and benefits with Toyota, Honda, et al USA. & end this monkey biz with the unions (this is overly generous but my concession to appease the union blackmail). The government will provide the necessary financing. The Unions have been putting a knife to the throat and a gun to the head of the Big Three for the past 50 years or more to help get to where we are today. The Big Three can never survive with Union's boot on it's throat. I would suggest that the union bosses be summarily sentenced to life in prison (Maximum Security). The damage they've done in helping to kill the Big Three is worse than murder. The other choices are foolish and doomed to failure. resulting in either a slow death or immediate death neither of which I favor or support.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wingnut Logic

The system is fixing itself. What we see as recession now is withdrawal of credit from people / businesses that shouldn’t have had it in the first place. The system is undergoing normalization.

Associated Press tells lies

Associated Press:

White House Readies New Rescue for Auto Industry

With Congress gridlocked and the economy flailing, the Bush administration declared Friday it would step in and prevent the "precipitous collapse" of the U.S. auto industry and the disastrous economic impact of the hundreds of thousands of job losses sure to follow.

This is false.

There is no "gridlock."

Last night, Senate Republicans killed the bill by threatening to filibuster it and Dems. did not have the 60 votes to stop a filibuster.

Senate Republicans killed the bill.

That is not "gridlock." It is Senate Republicans casting votes and killing the bill.

As usual, the Associated Press has one thumb on the scale and the other up its ass.

Reuters admits they suck.

Reuters News Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger is skeptical that financial journalists could have done much more to predict the depth of the crisis.

“Journalists do best when reporting what’s happening and giving the news context and analysis,” he said. “We also do well when we look backwards and discuss past events from the perspective of the present. We do least well when we prognosticate. While our reporting and commentary did discuss potential weak points in the economy, we did not — and nor frankly could we — accurately predict the calamitous events of this year.”

Brendan E. Casey says ...

At the Big Picture, Mr. Brendan Casey writes:

I still want heads, on bloody sticks, Banker heads that is. Yes, the auto industry can not compete with their current business model. Not only do they need to make less gas sucking fuel hounds, they also need to make the majority of them for under 15k and still make a profit. Nonetheless I’m sick of hearing a bunch of whining New Yorkers slam the auto industry when less than a couple months ago they were saying things like unthinkable consequences, can’t let the banks fail, let it trickle down… Bankers do not make anything, they just charge interest, fees and penalties. At least automakers convert raw resources into something with some value. I think the problem here is most everyone still views this as an economic cycle, when in actuality it is an historic cycle. Historic cycles usually begin and end with heads rolling. As soon as the bankers start to realize that I suspect it will be too late.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What if Steve Jobs ran Chrysler?

This question misses the point.

Cars are not computers.

People select computers based on almost purely functional parameters.

Most Americans buy vehicles to get laid.

Just look at any car ad.

Cars and trucks are sold to Americans based on sex, prestige, lack of sex, lack of prestige, power, lack of power and sheer boredom.

Cars and trucks are sold to Americans based on Americans' neuroses over what other people think their car or truck says about them.

Cars and trucks are sold and marketed as personal status symbols first, with function a distant second.

Detroit has spent the last 25 years trying to convince Americans that buying a small car means they hate their children (who will surely die) and that the only safe and sane vehicle is a Sherman Tank.

I think the buy-it-new and trade-it-in every four years mentality has crippled innovation by American car makers. The Big 3 market their cars as ephemeral things. They assume customers will trade them in their new cars after 3-4 years. Detroit's entire business model is based on this assumption. New Car Smell is not a good engineering recipe.

Under this model, it is actually counterproductive to invest resources in making a car that reliably lasts 10-15 years or more. It is much more productive to roll out new models every year with little cosmetic bells and whistles that have no bearing on performance, longevity or economy. Product features like massive horsepower and acceleration (0-60 mph in 7 seconds) are meaningless.

Nobody needs to go from 0-60 mph in 7 seconds unless they are in a James Dean movie or a Jan and Dean song. Despite all the computer crap in cars today, they do not run better than a 1973 Chevy Nova, have little improvement in gas mileage, and are exponentially more expensive to fix.

I look at cars over the last two decades and see engineering and design resources going into the most superficial and meaningless areas and diverted away from deserving areas.

The Big 3 had to be forced to install air bags and had to be exposed by NBC News for knowingly selling a car (the Pinto) that turned into a firebomb when hit from behind.

And they have the nerve to tell us that we should pay $50,000 for a 6 ton SUV or we don't care about our kids.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Fear of a Black President, Part IV

George at "Stop the ACLU" puts it all in perspective:

Hopefully someday we will know who killed Kennedy and where Obama was born. This may go down in history as worst crime in USA history if Obama gets away with his lies. This is same as O J Simpson case as he is getting away with a crime and is guilty as hell.


"Resist the One" warns that:

The Smug-Laywer-In-Chief is a marketing program, nothing more. Oprah and Soros found a low-voiced, smooth talking lawyer to appeal to base instincts about race and preach class warfare (hatred of the successful).


The "elector of Saxony" laments:

He is the first celebrity-President, Lindsey Lohan with the nuke codes. As a celeb, Barry is above the law, he is above the Constitution, he is above the People. He has followers and fans. That is why he never served anyone but himself. That is why he will not serve you, America. He will serve his racial and international ideology, his friends, and himself. 4 years from now, you’ll know the truth. Unfortunately, it will be too late [for] it to set you free.


"Anonymous" rues mournfully:

One who hung around with and was mentored by others who hate America, thus being formed with both dual loyalties and appearing to wish to fold America into a "global" union, we have much to fear. This candidate may very easily overrule all that has been sacrificed by our founders and those other freedom fighters and defenders who followed....and to think, he started out as a Brit!


Like others, "Kenai123" is concerned about the celebrity implications and the Liberian media:

We are just beginning to FULLY understand just how bias our current liberial media is today. They might report on M Jackson going to lunch or B Spears denting a car but they refuse to even speak the words "Obama's Birth Certificate". The liberial media will air or print any out-right lie with zero fear but a story about "Obama's Birth Certificate" could get you fired on the spot because it could light a fuse that could lead all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court actually taking a hard look at the issue.


"Fembots for Obama" breathlessly intones:

Anyone interested in how Obama has been able to "con" and mesmerize millions (even opponents) should take a look at Insight Analytical's blog which talks about his use of hypnotic techniques. The only other leader who is known to have done this was Hitler.

Another fascinating element is Obama's use of physical touch when talking with others and why world leaders are so mesmerized by him as well. Only one Brit was less than impressed with Obama, and Obama was not allowed to touch him during their meeting.

My question: who do you believe is behind Obama? Soros? Someone else? Or is this just blind ambition on behalf of Obama who has done anything to get the most powerful seat in the world?


Lastly, "Gaetano" makes sure to keep it classy:

As much as I want the facts and the truth of Obammas birth cirtificate to be brought forth,I believe this this game of cover up is mob controled,along with the government.I also believe that Obamma has used fraudulent papers for everthing he needed to get what he needed from our goernment to get him where he is today.Thats why he will not provide proof.all his background is fraud.Our government has always covered every thing up when it comes to ,money,embarrassment,mob related or plain ole greed.No one will ever convince me that this black bastard,Obamma is a fake,a lier,a fraud,a terrorist,not to mention the greatest con man in the world who has used our democracy to feed on.We have all been taken and I don`t want to hear from any one who voted for this crook.I spit in your face, to those that hide from the truth.The laws of this country have become a joke.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Saving our Nation's Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic salmon fry, Mill Brook, Presumpscot River, Upper Methodist Road, Westbrook, Maine, June 5, 2005. Photo by Douglas Watts, Friends of Sebago Lake.
Maine Governor John Baldacci and the State of Maine oppose saving the last Atlantic salmon left in the United States.

These Maine citizens support saving Atlantic salmon:

Comments of Friends of Sebago Lake.
Comments of Douglas H. Watts.
Comments of Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Comments of Trout Unlimited.
Comments of Natural Resources Council of Maine.
Comments of Ed Baum, former Senior Scientist, Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Carter v. Bush

GDP growth: Carter averaged 3.2%; Bush averaged 2.3%
National Debt: Carter increase of 0.18 Trillion; Bush term 1 increase of 1.15 Trillion
Approval Ratings: Carter’s lowest: 28% - Bush: 19%

Courtesy Dragon-King Wangchuck.

Intelligent White Supremacists

"By national existence we mean what you normally mean when speaking of such matters."

From their Mission Statement.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

There is No Recession

- “We don’t believe we’re going to have a recession.” [Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/30/08]

- “I think the experts will tell you we’re not in a recession.” [President Bush, 2/10/08]

- “The answer is, I don’t think we are in a recession right now.” [Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Edward Lazear, 2/11/08]

– “First of all, we’re not in a recession.” [President Bush, 4/22/08]

– “The data are pretty clear that we are not in a recession.” [Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Edward Lazear, 5/7/08]

- “I don’t think we are” in a recession. [Director of the National Economic Council Keith Hennesy, 6/3/08]

."I think there is a very strong possibility that we will be growing at the end of the year. We will have stronger growth at the end of the year than we have right now." - US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. -07/03/08

– “I think we have avoided a recession.” [White House Budget Director Jim Nussle, 7/31/08]

– “I don’t think anybody could tell you right now if we’re in a recession or not” [Dana Perino, 10/7/08]

-"This is not what a recession looks way!" Mike Green and Jim Benham show 11/16/07 
-Mike Green: "Wall Street thinks things are bad, but in reality things are very good. 12/18/07
-"I have a real problem with people not using facts in basing their opinions." Pat Powell, Powell investments (Reference Peter Schiff's opinion that we are in a recession right now 11/22/07) Q208 revisions prove he is right when Q407 comes in at -.02 
-"all the bad news is priced into financials" Mike Green and Jim Benham show 12/14/07 
-Fred Layne on Bloomerg (layne and Barry) "This is a great time to be a buyer of equities 12/19/07. 
-Donald Luskin calls the bottom for financials on 12/07/07 (VFH financial index at $56.22 at time of call) 
-Economist Monti says there will probably not be a recession in 2008, Bloomberg 12/17/07 
-Mike Green: "This is the cheapest stocks have been in my lifetime" 12/17/07 
-Michael Darda from MKM partners: "There is no evidence for that (recession)" "I think those who think a recession is coming are wrong, dead wrong". 12/20/07 
-Bruce Kassim "We think growth will rebound rather smartly in the second half of 08" 12/20/07 
-Larry Kudlow "It does not look like a recession to me!" 12/20/07 
-Brian Wesbury on Larry Kudlow show, "Brian Wesbury is not seeing recession, so add me to that list" 12/20/07 (Estimated 3.0 real growth next year, while Roubini estimated -1.5% 2008) 
-Buzz Zaino, Royce & Associates: "I think the spring will see a rise in homebuying, why wait until 2009, the early buyers will get the best deal." "I think we've seen the bottom (housing stocks)" 12/26/07 
-Richard DeKaser National City Chief Economist: "I think the first half of 08 will have GDP at less than 1% with a rebound to 3% in the second half of 08". 
-Joe Brusuelus "I see an average growth of 2.1% for 2008. I think we will skirt a recession." 01/02/08 
-Brian Wesbury calls for Dow 15,000 by end of 2008!!!. Reaffirms a no recession call. 01/02/08 
-Paul Kandel "I think we skirt by both a recession and stagflation and just see slow growth for 2008." 01/02/08 
-Mike Green "These tech stocks are the cheapest I've ever seen them" 01/02/08 
-01/06/08 Abby Joseph Coen calls for a 14% return on the S&P for 2008 to 1650 due to avoiding recession. (Cohen loses job calling S&P on 3/17/08, replacement calls for drop to 1160 and rebound to 1300 by year's end) 
-01/06/08 Colin Glingsman of Oppenheimer Capital..."This month (Jan) is the bottom for financials, we will have a slight recession, the stock market will be up on anticipation for 2009, the bottom for housing stocks is upon us"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Aucoot Cove, Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts.

This timeline made by the Mashpee Wampanoag says it.
There is a power to growing up in the land of Massasoit, in southeastern Massachusetts. As William Faulkner wrote, here the past is not the past. The present is some college kid at a clam bake talking away while an old person is patiently trying to tell a story. The present is also the old person telling the story, since they were once that young kid, talking over an old woman or man. Ultimately, the present and past is the story itself, told and retold, each time with some loss and perhaps with a useful embellishment. The story never fully dies, since its source will always be that spot where the water laps against the sand on which the storytellers and listeners stand.

If we are young enough when we first hear this story, if our ears and eyes are not yet closed, we remember this story not as words but as smell and sound and sight at night. The smell is of saltwater and a fire of dried, burning eel grass against a granite fire pit with Sagittarius rising over Bird Island as we kids drift asleep in the sand to the whisper of the waves. The sound is that eerie, faint bong of a bell buoy way out at Centerboard Shoal late at night, or a nylon rope lightly clanging off the aluminum mast of a sailboat moored on the sandbar when the remnant of an ocean swell pushes the boat briefly up and down. The sight, very late at night, is the weird luminescence of heat lightning from a summer thunderstorm way down near Cotuit (they must be getting belted), and the blue-white sparkle of plankton that follow the shape of a wooden oar as it dips into the water just outside the breakwater, when the seawater is warmer than the air. And then there's the feel, of a scratchy wool blanket over your salt-encrusted skin as the June Bugs bounce off the screen door next to the yellow-bulbed light.

Like June Bugs, we of Aucoot Cove are always trying to come home, bouncing off that rusty screen.

If you look at a satellite photo of Buzzards Bay, it's a strange, jagged gash. But to me it's like a picture of my hand. I know every curve and spit and point of it. Not really, since I've never actually been to Scraggy Neck or Squeteague Harbor. I learned about them from a big map.

From when I first could read, a map of Buzzards Bay framed by a 1 inch rope was my map of the world. We were on the west side. The rest of the world was on the east side.

Our world was Aucoot Cove, Strawberry Point, the Holly Woods, Converse Point, Seal Rocks, Hiller Cove, Butler Point, Bird Island, Ram Island, the Bowbells and Centerboard Shoals. It's as far as we could go. But not as far as we could see. So as a kid I sat in the sand and seaweed by day and night and looked across Buzzards Bay to Scraggy Neck and Wings Neck and wondered what it was like 'over there.' And I wondered what they thought when they looked back at us. Did they even look at us? Did they speak the same language and eat the same food?

The other side of the world I could only see by faint, blinking blue lights at night; by day by telescope, the heat making mirages off the water making the beach cottages at Wings Neck and Cataumet look like Arabian Estates glistening in a weird Saharan heat.

Cleveland's Ledge was the border of the unexplored world to the south. Mr. Bob Moore next door said that soldiers would walk back and forth standing guard on the Cleveland's Ledge Light.

Through a telescope, everything always seemed to look better on the other side of Buzzards Bay. Through binoculars, one day, I think I thought I saw the soldiers standing at attention at Cleveland's Ledge, dressed in full Navy blue and white.

Later I learned that Mr. Bob Moore was fibbing, like when my Uncle Ollie pointed to oyster shells glued to the rocks where we swam and said sharks came in at high tide and ate the tops off them.

By age 10 I knew every spot, spit and point on Buzzards Bay. Wampanoag names. Sippewissett. Sippican. Aucoot. Weweantitt. Tihonet. Cohackett. Cataumet. Agawam. Mattapoisset. Mashnee. Pocasset. Nasketucket.

In Buzzards Bay on Route 6, a neon motel sign said, "Vacation." The next neon sign said, "No Vacation." I thought some motels welcomed people on vacation, but others did not.

Later, my father told me those signs said "Vacancy."

One July morning, my father said to my cousin Paul Hurley as we drove over the Sippican River to Wareham to buy some clam necks for scup bait, "Can you drink? No, but Sippican."

One morning, at about 8, my father had gone back to Easton to work trimming doctors' wives shrubs and gardens on the west side of Brockton. It was half tide on a still July morning. Buzzards Bay was calm and the water was 70. You could canoe across to Cuttyhunk. The air was like drinking chamomile tea. I said, "Ma, I'm going swimming" and she said okay. I swam and dove all along the rocks of the breakwater trying to see sea perch and scup and blowfish and maybe an eel or a horseshoe crab.

There was no sound except the tiny lap of the remnants of waves from Nantucket Sound feebly hitting the barnacles of Aucoot Cove, at Eel Rock. Once I was underwater, all sound from above stopped. I liked this. No one could yell at me or tell me to come in. If they tried, I could come up to get a quick breath and go back down underwater and pretend I never heard them.

Being underwater in Aucoot Cove became my sanctuary and my world. I learned how to keep my eyes open in saltwater and how to get used to it and how to hold my breath for as long as possible.

Every minute or so, I came up for breath and went down again into the eel grass and sand beyond the breakwater. I was by myself underwater in Aucoot Cove, looking for moon snails and starfish and bluecrabs and whatever I could find. My mother was in the beach cottage, making toast. The sun was coming up higher.

My father was working on the Promised land, at Bassetts Island, at Dr. and Mrs. Benedict's on Pocasset. It was the promised land for my Dad. He would plant a shrub and then walk down to the rocks and cast out a 1 ounce Atom purple and white popper into the surf beyond the rocks and catch a 20 pound striped bass. And then he would go back to work, filling in the soil around the arbor vitae he was planting. It was a place I would only see once, when I worked for my dad.

Dr. Benedict's house was one of those faint blue lights we only saw at night across Buzzards Bay from Aucoot Cove.

When we drove up Route 6 from Mattapoissett to Buzzards Bay past the neon signs of the gift shops selling Indian baskets and shells and salt water taffy and then down to Mattapoisett past the giant 40 foot metal sea horse, I sat in the back seat of our grey 1971 Impala, at dusk, wishing we could stop at all these places. We did always stop at the A&P in Mattapoisset where they put your grocery bags on a conveyor belt with steel wheels. We always stopped at the bait shop on Rt. 6 in Mattapoisett where my brother wanted to buy hooks the size of horseshoes to catch Jaws in our 8 foot skiff. We also stopped a lot at the little grocery store in Marion, Jimmy's Variety, next to the cemetery, run by the Asian family, which was the first Asian family I had ever met. But we never stopped at the Short Wave Grill.

At the beginning of Aucoot Road everyone was dark complected and named "Alvarez" and "Souza" -- but when you got near the water most people were more white complected and named "Moore" and "Mostrom" -- except for the Italians from Needham, Al and Elva Zaffini, and Fiorina and Henry Baldelli, and their friend Carl "Carly" Cardenali, the serious, laconic, athletic fisherman with a faded blaze orange sweatshirt cut off above the elbows. When I was 8 years old I wanted to be like Carly when I grew up. A Man of the Sea.

Al and Elva Zaffini and Fiorina and Henry Baldelli are an example of brother and sister marrying brother and sister. Al Zaffini married Henry's sister, Elva; Henry married Al's sister, Fiorina. Fiorina's brother-in-law was also her real brother, Al; Elva's brother in-law, Henry, was also her real brother.

The temperament between Al Zaffini and my dad could not be more extreme. My dad was a quiet, soft-spoken Swede and Al was hmm ... a bit louder. Poor Henry could never get a word in edgewise and Carly just never said much. Al was the megaphone of Harbor Beach. If he wanted to ask someone a question, he just stood on the seawall and yelled it across three beaches. Al was also quite competitive when it came to striper and bluefish fishing. He came up with the 'three-cast' rule down in the cove. We'd be down there at the big rock at the back end of Aucoot Cove at sunset casting plugs, which was my dad's favorite fishing spot, and Al would come roaring down in his 9 hp Evinrude, stop a few hundred yards away, unhook his casting rod, make three casts with a popper, and yell over to us, "Hey Allan! if you don't get a hit after three casts, they're not down here!" And then he would start up the motor and go out to Converse Point or Bird Island or back to the beach for supper. Then we'd keep casting 'til dark and usually catch some.

My dad had his own Zaffini-like rule, which was kind of the opposite of Al's, which he invoked when I was getting tired and hungry down in the cove. He'd say, "Okay, five more casts, unless I get a swirl or a strike." A swirl got 3 more casts, a strike got 5 more. But a 'swirl' behind the popper or rebel was kind of hard to define, especially at dark, so sometimes I think my father called 'swirl' just to get 3 more casts even if none of us actually saw a swirl. Sometimes I think he just jerked the rod back to make a swirl even if there wasn't one, then he'd say, "See, I got a swirl: that's three more casts." And Timmy and I would say, "Dad, that wasn't a swirl, you just made it my twitching the lure real hard." And then we'd all argue about the 'swirlness' of the alleged swirl for another half hour and by that time it was pitch dark.

Al Zaffini and Carly had a beautiful navy blue and white boat called "Noni" with a MacKenzie Cuttyhunk inboard, that they would take out to Quicks Hole every Saturday and Sunday morning and come back at 3 or 4 with about 5 barrels of stripers and blues that they would sell at the New Bedford fish market to pay for the diesel fuel it took to get out to Quicks Hole. Until all the fish got caught in the 1980s. Then they only needed one trash barrel, then none, and then they just stopped going out. All the stripers and blues were gone.For about eight years you couldn't even catch a 14 inch striped bass in Buzzards Bay.

My dad died of a massive heart attack in Aucoot Cove, in July 1996, just like his own dad, Edgar Watts, did in July 1974. They were both in a boat, right near the shore, over a sand bar, with eel grass waving up at them. The last thing they saw was the eel grass and maybe a conch and a little eel. Their stories about Aucoot Cove stopped when they went into it and didn't come back up.

On Sundays in the summer our relatives from around Brockton would invade Mattapoisett for a cook-out after church. But my brother Timmy was so intent on fishing every hour he was not asleep that he would sit with binoculars on the rocks and look out across the cove for any sign of breaking fish. And if we saw some, he and I took the wooden skiff and would row out to attack. Sometimes the breaking fish were small bluefish, maybe 3 pounds. These were not tinker or snapper blues, which were only about 10 inches long, but a year or two bigger and, as they say, 'fit for the sporting angler.'

One afternoon, we got out to the little school and chased it and Timmy caught one but the hook was a ways deep off its lip. We needed to unhook it to catch some more, which we threw back anyways. But still. Fish on !!! And the school was moving fast across the cove. I was the oars-man. So Timmy went into our dad's tackle box and found a wooden match, broke it in half and used it to prop up the bluefish's mouth like a tent pole. He almost had the hook out when the wooden match collapsed. Timmy's fingers were in the bluefish's mouth down to his knuckles and the bluefish started going "arghh ... argghh ... snap ... arghh" on Timmy's fingers. Then we sat in the little boat and looked at his fingers and I said, "Wow, you're really bleeding a lot." And then we started rowing to where the school of blues had just moved to.

It wasn't until a few years later that we saw, for the first time, really big bluefish destroying schools of menhaden off Bird Island. They scared the crap out of us and broke all our tackle. We could never get one in the boat. Then one day Timmy caught a truly big bluefish on a live-lined menhaden, fought it for a half hour, got it near the boat, where they always broke off in the past, and our dad grabbed the line and tried to bring the bluefish in the boat and as soon as it came out of the water the bluefish did a head shake and tossed the hook, Timmy screamed like a Red Sox Fan when the groundball went through Bill Buckner's legs in 1986, and then my dad leaned out off the back corner of the boat and went into the water up to his shoulders and cradled and scooped the bluefish out of mid-air just as it was falling backing in the water and somehow got it into the boat with about 5 gallons of water. I still don't know how he did it.

That year (1975) was when we also caught quite a few squeteague near Bird Island. My uncle Jimmy Watts caught a number of them. It was a big fishing year. A clam neck could get you a 14 inch scup at Centerboard Shoal.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bar Harbor fights light pollution

Bar Harbor, Maine votes to fight light pollution.

This is in part an effort to preserve the night skies at Acadia National Park.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Real Eel Life Intrudes

I am joined to the mental hip and cerebellum with American eels. I am no smarter than they. This is especially demonstrated by my continued inability to keep them from being killed and mutilated at hydroelectric dams that rip the skin off these pregnant mothers like a gym sock and then leave them on the river bottom to slowly die. I want to live in a Disney, NBC, NPR, Garrison Keillor fantasy world, but I can't. I am a female, pregnant, 50 year old American eel. I am getting tired of being killed and tortured and mutilated and left to die in the river below the bridge where you drive your car, in pain, and all alone.

Friends of Sebago Lake Catches
Maine DEP Commissioner Illegally Amending
Five Presumpscot River Hydro Dam Licenses.

Contact: Douglas H. Watts (207) 622-1003;
Roger Wheeler (207) 935-2994;

SEBAGO LAKE, MAINE -- On Thursday, Nov. 20, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection ruled that the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection violated Maine law by amending five state hydroelectric dam licenses without telling the public.

"The Department's decision has no legal basis and must be reversed," wrote the Maine BEP in its two page order, which relied on legal counsel from the Maine Department of Attorney General.

The Maine BEP is an independent, citizen board which reviews the legality of decisions made by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. On August 28, 2008 Friends of Sebago Lake appealed the DEP Commissioner’s decision.

Friends of Sebago Lake appealed a July 29, 2008 Order by Maine DEP Commissioner David Littell which amended the licenses for five hydroelectric dams on the Presumpscot River, the outlet of Sebago Lake. The dams are owned by the South African Pulp and Paper Company (SAPPI).

The license amendments removed requirements that SAPPI conduct scientific studies to ensure its hydroelectric dams are not killing and mutilating fish in the turbines of its dams on the Presumpscot River between Sebago Lake and Casco Bay. SAPPI was required to have completed the studies in the fall of 2006, but has refused to do so.

Instead of ordering SAPPI to comply with their license requirements at the five dams, on July 29, 2008 the Maine DEP Commissioner abolished the license requirements that SAPPI has been violating for the past five years.

The 9-member Maine BEP unanimously ruled that the Maine DEP Commissioner broke Maine law because he amended the five licenses even though SAPPI never filed any applications to amend the licenses and never paid its mandatory application fees. The Board wrote: "Because no application for modification had been filed, the Department had no authority to modify the certification."

Under Maine and federal law, owners of hydroelectric dams must file an application to amend their state and federal dam licenses. These applications trigger a mandatory public notice process and opportunity for the public to comment on any proposed change in license. Federal and state licenses for hydro dams have terms of 30 to 50 years.

In this case, the Commissioner Littell abolished critical sections of the state licenses for five of SAPPI's Presumpscot River Dams without any public notice or opportunity for public comment. Friends of Sebago Lake found about these secret changes by accident and only 24 hours before the appeals deadline was set to expire.

"This rebuke makes us wonder if David Littell knew what he was signing," said Roger Wheeler, president of Friends of Sebago Lake. "To amend a DEP license you have to file an application and pay the application fee. Everyone in Maine who owns a shorefront camp knows this. Here, the DEP Commissioner re-wrote five 40-year dam licenses for a multi-billion dollar corporation and did not ask them to fill out an application or pay the $127 permit fee."

At the Nov. 20, 2008 Maine BEP meeting in Augusta, Dana Murch, the Maine DEP staff member who wrote the order, told the Board, "No good deed goes unpunished. If I’m guilty of anything, it is of trying to be efficient.”


All background info and documents at

BEP Order at:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fear of a Black President Part III

"Park Slope Hubby" writes:

From my observation, 90% of the liberals voted for Obama becuase he was black. Protection of the country? Economic issues? Didn't matter to them. All of them have said to me, since the election, "isn't it wonderful that a black man won the presidency?" They feel (education propoganda) that the #1 issue in America is the "sin" of slavery, no matter how long ago it happened; they believe that we are an evil nation becuase we had slavery 144 years ago, and that the most important job they have, as a voter, is to right this wrong by voting for Obama.

You can't argue with this. It's irrational. We are all going to pay a terrible terrible price as this no-nothing leftist takes over.

I myself plan to move to a red state, out of NYC. Three reasons: 1) I think an attack is likely under an Obama regime, and it is far more likely to be on NYC than a red state 2) I'm tired of being regarded as an idiot by 95% of my neighbors, and/or keeping my mouth shut for fear of ostracism; 3) red states will do far better economically than blue states.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chuck Dukowski

Mr. Chuck Dukowski, co-founder of SST Records, songwriter and bassist for Black Flag and Wurm, and a tireless purveyor and promoter of original American rock music, is also a fascinating photographic subject.

Black Flag was an incredibly violent sounding band, yet in almost every photograph released of them playing, Chuck Dukowski has the most innocent grin on his face.

The more I listen to Black Flag's song, "Jealous Again," which clocks in at 1:52, I can't think of anything you could add to it.

Like a mutation of the Byrds' "Eight Miles High" with the Ramones' "I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You," it is the perfect radio single.

Texas Darlin' Folds Her Tent

I hate when my doctor tells me that due to a "painful blogging-related condition" I must stop blogging.

Coprophagia, perhaps?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

We weren't crazy enough !!!

You knew this was coming:

The GOP failed to do the “right” thing, in more ways than one, and that failure was not just confined to this election or the last two years. The party and our president have been swept up in a dangerous trend, a slippery slope identified by the total abandonment of conservative principles, and that track led right into the closing months of this election.


Instead, the GOP went moderate. It facilitated a mentality that we must expand the pie, build a bigger tent, seduce those in the middle and even those on the left. This new approach doesn’t work. Moving to the center doesn’t work.


Of course.

You wouldn't want to sound like most voters.

That could result in a dreaded "win."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Exhaling ...

The sun is rising in Augusta, Maine along the Kennebec River at Cushnoc. Quite foggy.

I have not let myself think about this day happening, because in 2004 and 2000 that hope was massively crushed and destroyed.

Now I can exhale.

Eight years is one long breath.


For a black man to win to the presidency is uppity in extremis.

To compensate, he must stand down and give the white man equal access to the circle of power the black man has invaded.

Monday, November 03, 2008

We're on the road to the polling place.

So this seemed the right sign to put up on Monday.


This dude parked across the street from our house thinks Jefferson Davis still has a chance to pull out a win.

And we all know that in the Missouri Compromise, Missouri was only allowed to be a free state if Maine was allowed to be part of the Confederacy.

Perhaps the stupidest comment ever written:

"I believe John and I believe Sarah when she guaranteed a victory in Pennsylvania. Their campaign has been all about stealth: PUMA’s lying to pollsters, Operation Chaos, allowing pollsters to oversample Democrats, infiltrating the special needs community and home schooling community, getting the support of the NRA and Focus on the Family, appealing to Reagan Democrats. Just like an iceberg which only shows 10% of itself above the surface, the foundation of McCain campaign is what you don’t see and what I believe make John and Sarah very confident as the nation votes tomorrow."

This is not a joke.
Somebody actually meant it.

Barack Obama = Dead Coon ?


This recent photograph, from western New York State, shows a dead and hung raccoon with a sign that says, "Vote No Black D.C.'s"


Friday, October 31, 2008

Racism in Clifton, Maine

Clifton, Maine is a beautiful and tiny community along the Airline Road about 25 miles east of Brewer and Bangor.

Like so much of central and eastern Maine, Clifton is poor and very isolated. And like most rural and poor parts of Maine you will find people of all political stripes living there. One of the unpleasant truths about places like Clifton, Maine is the very high degree of racial bigotry which still exists. Below is one example:


Student from Maine expelled, charged with hate crimes
By The Associated Press

HAMDEN, Conn. — Quinnipiac University has expelled three white students after police charged them with making harassing phone calls to black players on the school’s men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Hamden police say they charged 18-year-old Charles Merritt of Clifton, Maine, with hate crimes after he made threatening and harassing phone calls that included racist remarks to three players on the men’s team on Monday.

Merritt, a freshman, was a roommate of two of the players and knew the third, police said. He was charged with three counts each of intimidation based on bigotry and bias, harassment and disorderly conduct.

Emily Loschiavo of West Newbury, Vt., and Courtney Stellwag of Newburgh, N.Y., both 19, are accused in a separate incident of making harassing calls to a resident assistant’s room at a Quinnipiac dorm on Tuesday night. They are charged with harassment.

The New Haven Register reported Thursday that the calls to the RA’s room were answered by two black players on the women’s basketball team who are friends with the resident assistant. Police said both players were threatened with bodily harm.

The three students who were arrested did not respond to e-mails seeking comment.

Hamden police Capt. Ronald Smith said the phone calls came several days after slurs were discovered on poster and cork boards outside the dorm rooms of the three players on the men’s team.

Smith said the written slurs included a racial epithet and a drawing of a Nazi swastika.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Nice Maine Assassination Threat, Vol. 1

Here's a nice assassination threat from a guy in Milo, Maine on the Bangor Daily News website:

On 10/27/08 at 06:34 PM, MiloCrabtree wrote:

Palin rocks. She's a babe and she hunts. Too bad she's not hunting Al Gore. The only assault on reason is the global warming hoax. And this business about the middle class paying the taxes that should be paid by the wealthy. They're not - the top 25% pay 85% of the taxes - how much is enough?


Mary from "TexasDarlin" writes:

The riots will occur anywhere there are stores to loot. The riots will end when there’s nothing left to steal.

I also have been wondering what Obama and his charming wife Godzilla Racist, will tell the rioters. I think Buraq 08 has it @50, paragraph 2.

That moron Al Sharpton has been threatening riots since spring any time there was a question that Obama wouldn’t havre his behind polished. My reation: Let them destroy their neighborhoods. This time no white businesses will come back to rebuild the areas. Let them live without supermarkets and pharmacies. Let them pay three times as much for foood in a convenience store or starve. Above all, let them reap the fruits of Obama’s self-fulfilling racist ploy. It is set to backfire in a huge way.


msjkulig430 writes at "AmericasRight" that:

Finally, the truth comes out. And, if you are wondering why Obama has been so successful, read this: Obama uses mass hypnosis techniques. This PDF article, although long, really explains why people are calling Obama "the One," "the messiah" "JFK" and fainting at his speaches. See for yourself. This might be the reason he wants 30 minutes of prime-time right before the election. One last shot to brainwash the masses.


marinamama at "AmericasRight" said:





Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fear of a Black President

What say ye, PUMAs?


Pardon me — I’m just a 50 yr old Vietnam Vets wife scared to death of what is about to take over this country, to the point we’re ready to move back to Texas and seceed from the Union. We lived through the Carter years & fear those will be cherrished as the “good ole days”!


We need to ask President Bush to SUSPEND ELECTIONS for 60 days - start over - this isn’t American Idol - this is our future! Call or write President Bush and ask him to suspend the elections - it will take 60 days to sort out all of the fraudulent votes after Nov 4th anyways!


Big old jet airliner
take obama to his Kenyan home

Big old jet airliner
You know its there that he belongs!


The other night for some reason a box just popped up on my computer about hyponize didn’t think about it then.
But today i felt it working on me. Is this a joke? If not, call the FBI pronto.


Fascists have taken over the DNC, and I want no part of them or their glorified shyster tool, "the One."


I will vote Republican for the first time in my life. Then go home and cling to my gun and read my bible.


HONEST HARD WORKING AMERICANS, We have to fight this EVIL that has cheated, intimidated, threatened us ....this is the worst of America, come up from the Cesspools of Chicago. Barack Hussein Obama.


It is just plain scary to think of Obama as president, It boggles my mind that he has so many followers. I am now a former democrat. A big thank you to all the Puma's and Just Say No Deal's for getting this going. -Amie


I view liberal democrats the same as anarchists. Both serve a purpose to destroy our country in their own "special" ways.


EVERYTHING WE HOLD SACRED ABOUT THIS NATION IS AT RISK ON NOVEMBER 4. May God Bless America and bring us safely through these frightening days!


Obama is a completely made up entity. Nothing about him that we have been told is true or real. He is an advertising cult creation, like a Halloween costume one puts on over something else. The "something else" in Obama's case is such a flawed, narcissistic personality who lacks conscience and feels deep antipathy toward his country and whites and large segments of the population. While all who run for president seem to have large "egos", which they need to have in order to absorb the knocks they get and still function, this guy goes way beyond that, to the Napoleon or Hitler or McCarthy personna.


Mark Levin, National Review Online:

There is a cult-like atmosphere around Barack Obama, which his campaign has carefully and successfully fabricated, which concerns me. The messiah complex. Fainting audience members at rallies. Special Obama flags and an Obama presidential seal. A graphic with the portrayal of the globe and Obama’s name on it, which adorns everything from Obama’s plane to his street literature. Young school children singing songs praising Obama. Teenagers wearing camouflage outfits and marching in military order chanting Obama’s name and the professions he is going to open to them. An Obama world tour, culminating in a speech in Berlin where Obama proclaims we are all citizens of the world. I dare say, this is ominous stuff.




Melanie Phillips, at the Spectator (U.K.):

Whether through wickedness, ideology, stupidity or derangement, they firmly believe that the ultimate source of conflict in the world derives at root from America and Israel, whose societies, culture and values they want to see emasculated or destroyed altogether. They are drooling at the prospect that an Obama presidency will bring that about. The rest of us can’t sleep at night.


Mary from Illinois, USA writes:

Socialists like Obama see the time is ripe for the kill of the greatest country in the history of the world. Make NO mistake the destruction of AMERICA IS HIS AGENDA! He will enslave those he purports to free. Sadly they cannot see through this plot. Obama and those before him have created a divide and set the stage for class warfare. If he is elected President (God help us all) not only will there be an economic depression but a spiritual one as well. Louis Farakhan called him the "messiah". I call him the anti-Christ.


Courtney wrote:

This is a concerned American who is SCARED to death of this man, Obama! There are soooo many of us who don't understand why he has ANY support, when he clearly has the worst intentions for America, thus effecting the rest of the world either directly or indirectly. Please everyone that reads this needs to know that there are Americans who can see strait through this man.


"Obama will not be president" writes:

I also think Osama will tear up the Constitution and declare himself king. You just wait and see what Hussein and those idiots in congress have planned for us. The Great Depression is going to look like the "good ole days" compared to what we're in for if Hussein wins.


At FreeRepublic, "FreeAmerica52" warns:

To everyone: If you have not already, I highly recommend buying guns and ammo, and get cash out of the bank. I’m not being an alarmist, but rather just trying to cope on how to deal with the set of cards that has been dealt to us. We need to realize that we might have to fight to take our country back. I am a 52 year old male that is ready to stand up for everything that the real America represents. If we lose on Nov 4, it is going to be really ugly. You need to be ready.


"Ronnie Raygun" wrote:

We were worried about being overrun by the illegal Mexicans? Kenya and most of Africa will be over here being supported by thier messiah Obama and his reditribution of American taxpayer monies IF he is elected.


"SAJ" alerts us:

Osamabama is half Caucasian/White, something on the order of 43% Arab/Semitic and 7% African/Black/Negroid. In short, another white Marxist from Columbia, who happens to have a black skin.


"Scruffy1970" writes in the Washington Post:

[Northern Virginia] has really become a poophole with tons of illegals and crime in Springfield and Falls Church. It is not safe in lots of N.Va because the liberals have moved in and ruined that part of Va. Richmond is also bad but the rest of Va is a great state. I am scared of the election next week and I will admit it. We could see a Black Marxist elected and all of our rights go out the window. Abe Lincoln was a fool and a violent man. He suspended habeus corpus and it could happen again. The only choice people have is Mccain-Palin.


Anonymous writes at "Americasright":

Everything I see about Obama scares me to death. How in the world do we get people to see, with the little time that is left, that he will detroy our country? How can people not understand that he will take away our freedom of speech? How does the MSM not realize that they are shooting themselves in the foot? How do people not realize what he will do to our military? our schools? I want to leave the "wealth" I acquire to my children. I want to be able to defend myself in my home with a gun if need be. There is so much more. I can't list it all in the space.


"Bob" At AmericasRight assures us that:

Barack Hussein Obaloney doesn't want to Nationalize anything, he wants to appropriate things, and maybe federalize things. But he has no sympathy for American nationals or any European kin.


Anonymous I implores:

IF Obama becomes President, how is he going to handle putting his socialist hand on a Bible and swearing to uphold the U. S. Constitution, "so help you GOD? Obama is frightening! God help us all. PRAY PRAY PRAY


Anonymous II takes the higher (play)ground:

Remember this - when the United States of America has devolved into the Soviet States of America and we're living in a police state, just remember that it was you fools who put him in office. It's all on you. And, finally, all you lefties need to get over your unresolved differences with mommy and daddy and the fact that you were beaten up on the playground as a kid and had your lunch money stolen.


Anonymous III has a Holiday-inspired Fear of a Black President (TM):

I read somewhere that Barack and Michelle do not celebrate christmas in their home with their two young daughters, so I am going to enjoy christmas this year with my kids and grandkids, just in case Obama decides to outlaw it by next year. Well, he probably won't outlaw it, he'll just sick his thugs on anyone who has a tree and lights up, to intimidate them. Happy Holidays.


In-O-Bama-Da-Vida, Baby ...

Oh, and then there is my vinyl record collection, wonder what some rich commie will give me for my Iron Butterfly album? About a year ago, I moved out of the city and into subsidized housing so I won't have to be put on the waitng list for one when the time comes. Silly? The units here are filling up in the last three months. If I do get another stimulus check, I will buy a ham radio, a gun, and some more food to store up. Time to dig out that homeland security checklist from 8 years ago, people, because the next terrorist threat will be your starving neighbors. You see, commies aren't very good at running an economy that supports good grocery stores. Don't know if I will get a digital converter box now, since I won't be interested much in what the Obama channel has to say, I'm sick of him already.


DavidC from "TexasDarlin" sez about a Possible Black President Victory:

We can only hope that the Administration FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, etc. has been dealing with this and the sabotaging of the economiy, quietly all along and have a massive plan to prevent civil unrest withour declaring martial law.

Would that be asking too much?

In all the legalese it’s been said there is an easier path to remove an elected President then prior to their election.


Friday, October 24, 2008

The Day Before the Killing Frost

Augusta, Maine. October 19, 2008.

A Terraced Hillside Vegetable Garden -- How to do it on the Cheap

Our house next to the Kennebec River in Augusta, Maine is on a steep slope. So the house lots are terraced from one lot up to the next. This is an experiment in terracing the terrace, so that we can maximize the vegetable growing potential of our 1/5th acre lot. This stuff has been done by people for 10,000 years. But I have the advantage of sophisticated power tools, sports talk radio, a six pack of Molson Canadian Ale and large nails.

This design uses a 2x12x8 board as the front plate with a stack of three 4x4s for the sides. The 4x4s are 4 feet long and staggered down to 30 inches at the bottom to accommodate the slope. I used pointed 2x4s cut to 18 inches to bind the 4x4s together, joined with 20D 4 inch spikes.

The 2x12 front plates are nailed to the ends of the 4x4 groups with 4 inch 20D spikes (one spike in each 4x4), to which I will add 4 inch L-brackets on the corners for additional strength. The front plates have 24 inch 2x4 spiked studs buried into the ground to prevent the front plates from bending or slumping due to frost heaves and soil creep.

Here are the terraced beds, at left, from the view of the giant silver maple tree in our back yard in May 2009.

Here they are in early April 2010, about 18 months after I built them in October 2008. They are in good condition with no sign of warping or collapse. So far so good.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Your Daily Racist Campaign Moment

New Gloucester, Maine.

Downeast Mainers keepin' it classy.

From the Portland Press-Herald.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

David Sedaris on Undecided Voters:

I look at these people and can't quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. "Can I interest you in the chicken?" she asks. "Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?"

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

Your Daily Racist Campaign Comment

From the New York Observer:

“I don’t believe these polls,” said America Blanca, a 44-year-old small business owner from Miami who wore a red dress and was visibly pumped up by the rally.

Asked if her business made more than $250,000 a year, the cap under which Obama has proposed cutting taxes, she said it did. Told about Obama’s proposal, she answered, “I don’t give a shit. I will never vote for a black man.”


Keepin' it classy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Flyaway Pond, North Easton, Mass.

When Mr. John Grant came up to me in the receiving line at my father's funeral at Copeland's Funeral Home in North Easton in July 1996, the first thing he said was, "We got Flyaway Pond."

By this John Grant meant that he and others in Easton twisted many arms and checkbooks to purchase from the Mailiff heirs for millions of dollars the freshwater meadow that used to be called Flyaway Pond so that it would not be turned into ugly McMansions like what the DeCoutos did next door.

Now my nephew, Danny, can go bow hunting at Flyaway with his Dad and watch great horned owls fly over his head at dusk while sitting on a giant rock.

Here is another view of Flyaway and the tiny brook emanating from Lincoln Spring next to the Easton Lutheran Church and the Town Pool. The song is "Hani" by Ali Farka Toure, which is about a girl who wants an expensive pair of shoes. The person in this is Tim Watts. We made this on Thanksgiving morning, 2003.

Obama sign stolen, replaced with Confederate Flag

Keepin' it classy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Season's Last Green Beans = Casserole !!!!

In a large flat frying pan combine:

1 baseball sized onion, chopped.
3-4 baseball size Maine potatoes, sliced into 1" squares.
3 cups chopped fresh green or yellow beans.
2 cans of chicken broth.

Cover and let boil until potatoes become soft (about 15-20 minutes).

In separate small sauce pan, prepare:

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup concentrate + 1 can of milk.
1/2 teaspoon thyme.
1/2 teaspoon sage.
1/2 teaspoon rosemary.
1/2 teaspoon oregano.
1/2 teaspoon basil.

Heat, mix and stir until just barely boiling.

Pour potatoes, beans and onion mixture into 5 quart cast iron dutch oven.
Pour Cream of Chicken Soup on top, mix lightly with wooden spoon.
Sprinkle one cup Romano cheese on top.
Sprinkle 2 cups toasted bread croutons on top.
Sprinkle bread crumbs onto any left over wet spaces on top.

Place in 350 degree oven with cover on for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, remove cover and cook for 20 minutes or until surface is browned and toasted on top.

Remove from oven and serve.

Yum !!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Winston Munn says ...

There can never be a sustained longterm reversal until as a nation the United States abandons the concept that Military Keynesianism is a valid substitute for real investment and stops pouring its GNP into the black hole that is the Military Industrial Complex.

As a nation, it is imperative we abandon the self-deception that we were granted a divine right to intervene wherever we see fit and create by force Mini Me Americas.

Andrew Bacevich supports this view when he says, "Rather than becoming better at waging imperial wars, we need to move to a non-imperial foreign policy. That argument is not a moral argument—although you could make a moral argument—but a pragmatic one, that the prospect of more such wars is going to bankrupt us."

If anyone wants to find the root cause of the secular bear market, he needs look no further than the rise of The American Empire, disguised by the false morality of belief that exceptionalism granted rights of interventionism.

Empire is not a force for good; it is a force for conquest; and the vanquished must be looted to support the cost of victory.

Posted by: Winston Munn | Oct 15, 2008 8:43:32 PM

Monday, October 06, 2008

David Letterman ...

"Did you hear this? A backwoods hiker has found the wreckage of John McCain's campaign."

"The McCain camp has decided to blow off Michigan. Well, I know how they feel."

"Did you notice that McCain's campaign started to go downhill after he didn't come on this show?"

"Sarah Palin says: The high heels are on and the gloves are off. That's the kind of thing that used to cost Eliot Spitzer a thousand bucks."

Joe Klein says it well ...

"I'm of two minds about how to deal with the McCain campaign's further descent into ugliness. Their strategy is simple: you throw crap against a wall and then giggle as the media try to analyze the putresence in a way that conveys a sense of balance: 'Well, it is bull-pucky, but the splatter pattern is interesting...' which, of course, only serves to get your perverse message out."

Thursday, October 02, 2008

George Smith: Manure Merchant

To the Editor, Kennebec Journal, Oct. 2, 2008:

The amount of manure that George Smith is able to stuff into one column never ceases to amaze me. His diatribe on listing the Atlantic salmon as an endangered species (Sept. 24) is rife with misinformation and employs his usual scare tactics to inflame an uneducated public.

Had Angus King succeeded in preventing the listing of the Atlantic salmon, he would have been the one individual most responsible for their demise in the U.S. Thankfully, the federal government did the right thing by giving the salmon protection and it is now proposing to finish the job by protecting salmon in the Androscoggin, Kennebec and Penobscot rivers.

Claims by Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins that "state restorative efforts" can best increase salmon populations are a joke.

Maine doesn't even have the resources to keep its residents warm in the winter.

It was on the state's watch that salmon were nearly wiped out, thanks to inadequate controls on timber harvesting, agriculture and aquaculture, which all combined to damage and destroy salmon and their habitat.

Atlantic salmon are coming back. In the Sandy River, they're reproducing again for the first time in more than 150 years -- and their offspring are also returning to spawn. The potential for Atlantic salmon restoration and the resulting environmental, economic and social benefits, especially in the Kennebec River drainage, is enormous. Federal protection and funding, however, are needed if this potential is ever to be realized.

John M. Glowa Sr.

South China, Maine


Ron Byers on the Debate

"My impression is that persuading the indies was not part of Palin's agenda. That is why Biden did so well. While we were all a twitter that Palin didn't wet her pants, Biden was very effectively laying into McCain. He had 45 unopposed minutes to rain hell on McCain and he did."

-- Ron Byers, commenter at TPM.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Restoring a natural resource which has been destroyed is a difficult job.

Bill Townsend says:

This column is a response to George Smith's recent column about the proposed Endangered Species Act listing for Atlantic salmon in the Penobscot, Kennebec and Androscoggin rivers (Sept. 24).

Atlantic salmon are a native species, so numerous when the first European settlers arrived in New England four centuries ago as to boggle their minds. Historical records show runs of hundreds of thousands of these fish in Maine's rivers.

Overfishing, pollution and dam construction without fish passage reduced this incredible resource to runs in a few rivers in Washington County by the middle of the 20th century.

The state of Maine recognized in 1947 that it would be unconscionable to allow the last remaining Atlantic salmon in the United States to join the passenger pigeon and the American bison in the ranks of once-great populations of wildlife destroyed by human greed.

In a poignant report, a special gubernatorial commission urged the state to take immediate action to protect Atlantic salmon.

The Legislature created the Atlantic Sea Run Salmon Commission in 1948, merged into the Department of Marine Resources as the Bureau of Sea Run Fisheries and Habitat in 2007. The agency has done yeoman work under the leadership of Horace Bond, Al Meister, Ed Baum and now Pat Keliher to protect Atlantic salmon in Maine.

In 1967, enactment of the federal Anadromous Fisheries Restoration Act led to the federal program to restore Atlantic salmon in much of its former habitat. The Penobscot River was chosen as the flagship for restoration.

That program continues today. The results have often been discouraging. Restoring a natural resource which has been destroyed is a difficult job.

But it is necessary, because how we treat the other species that share the planet with us is a measure of our humanity. Just like eagles and grizzly bears, we are restoring Atlantic salmon for their own sake, not merely to satisfy anglers.

Because they are born in fresh water, migrate to sea and return as adults to reproduce, the complex life cycle of Atlantic salmon makes them difficult to manage. In fresh water, dams, pollution and poaching take their toll. In the ocean, it has taken two decades of international negotiation to control commercial fishing of Atlantic salmon.

Yet bit by painful bit, there is progress. The plan to remove two dams on the Penobscot River is a case in point. No one should expect the legacy of centuries of environmental harm to be reversed overnight. But something worth doing must be done well, and doing it well takes time, energy and commitment.

There is real cause for hope. In 2008, returns of Atlantic salmon to the rivers of Maine, and around the North Atlantic, showed a significant increase over recent years. More than 2,000 fish returned to the Penobscot, more than double the average of the preceding five years. Whether this is the beginning of a trend, only time will tell. But despite the nay-sayers, short-term considerations cannot override the principles evoked in the 1947 report.

The Atlantic salmon is a species in deep trouble. Through the medium of the Endangered Species Act, the United States has established a mechanism for addressing the needs of species in trouble. The Act has been profoundly beneficial in its nearly 40 years of existence. In spite of the dire predictions made when Atlantic salmon were listed as endangered in Washington County, there has been no detriment to the economy of that region arising from the listing.

An Endangered Species Act listing of Atlantic salmon in the Penobscot, Kennebec and Androscoggin rivers will not bring the economic doom that George Smith has predicted. It will enable fishery managers to bring about the changes that are necessary for a healthy eco-system in which Atlantic salmon, other fish, birds, mammals and human beings alike can all thrive.

Clinton B. Townsend is a Skowhegan attorney and president of Maine Rivers. He was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as a U.S. commissioner to the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, where he served from 1990-94. He is vice chairman and secretary of the Atlantic Salmon Federation and a past president of the Maine Council of the Atlantic Salmon Federation.

Are Democrats Genetic Losers?

A progressive solution is out of the question. It is a political impossibility. There is no use talking about it until after January when it can be re-visited.

Democrats are being asked to pick up the pieces with bipartisan support and get it signed by Bush. It sucks, but there it is

How's that half empty glass taste?

Fart in Church

As a politician you are supposed to understand symbolism, as in you don't show up at a rally in Boston wearing a New York Yankees hat. So it is disconcerting to see that Barack Obama does not have the political smarts to know it looks really bad to be rushing to the assistance of Hank Paulson and George Bush, who desperately require all of the minuscule taxable earnings of poor black people in Louisiana for the next 20 years to prop up the wealth and reputation of their billionaire friends.

I just don't know what Barack Obama is thinking and why he thinks this makes him look good.

Mmm ... mmm ... good.

Campbell's Soup no longer refers to "meat" in their soups as "meat."

They now refer to it as "lean meat protein."

Yum. Yum.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Too Much Information ...

Using its emergency loan program and another tool, the Fed is injecting $630 billion into the financial system ...

he said tool

Existential Potato Blues

Dug the last of my potatoes.

Now I have no more to dig.

Should have planted more.

Or dug less.

I guess.

Associated Press: Fair and Balanced.

What is this shit?

Bailout bill defeat could cause painful recession
Tuesday September 30, 12:03 am ET
By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

Deep recession, more job losses could come from defeat of $700 billion bailout package

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The fallout from the vote against a bailout package for the U.S. financial system may well be lasting pain for the economy.
The House's stunning defeat of a $700 billion package urgently championed by President Bush, sent shock waves through Capitol Hill, the trading floors on Wall Street and the Oval Office on Monday.

"An economic 9/11," warned Terry Connelly, dean of Golden Gate University's Ageno School of Business, of the potential fallout. As the package went down, panicked investors caused the Dow Jones industrials to nosedive nearly 780 points in their largest one-day point drop ever. Markets across Asia fell sharply Tuesday in the wake of the Wall Street downdraft.

Associated Press: Fair and Balanced.

What is this shit?

Bailout bill defeat could cause painful recession
Tuesday September 30, 12:03 am ET
By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

Deep recession, more job losses could come from defeat of $700 billion bailout package

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The fallout from the vote against a bailout package for the U.S. financial system may well be lasting pain for the economy.
The House's stunning defeat of a $700 billion package urgently championed by President Bush, sent shock waves through Capitol Hill, the trading floors on Wall Street and the Oval Office on Monday.

"An economic 9/11," warned Terry Connelly, dean of Golden Gate University's Ageno School of Business, of the potential fallout. As the package went down, panicked investors caused the Dow Jones industrials to nosedive nearly 780 points in their largest one-day point drop ever. Markets across Asia fell sharply Tuesday in the wake of the Wall Street downdraft.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shorter Failed Bailout Bill

Bring those people back in here!

Turn those machines back on!

Buy! Buy!

/Vermont Trader at The Big Picture.



"Everyone on CNN is complaining that over $1 trillion in market value was lost today. I didn't realize that it was my job, as a taxpayer, to prop up the stock market."

Lynne at global economic trend analysis


Dean Baker at TPMCafe:

"This isn't about begging for a sliver of equity as a concession for a $700 billion bailout, this is about constructing a bank rescue the way that business people would do it. We have an interest in a well-operating financial system. There is zero public interest in giving away taxpayer dollars to the Wall Street banks and their executives.

"If Secretary Paulson constructed a package that was centered around buying direct equity stakes in the banks, he could quickly garner large majority support in both houses. Better yet, Congress could just construct its own package centered on buying equity stakes and send it to President Bush. If he balks, we can just threaten him with stories about the Great Depression."


My humble observations:

Many Democrats support the bailout simply because prominent Democrats say they should (ie. appeal to authority). Other folks support it because the news media and other "trusted sources" tell them that if the bailout is not passed immediately that, "society will collapse and children will starve" and that no matter how bad this bill is, "the alternative is worse." These folks, IMO, fit the profile of people who are primarily motivated by fear, and when scared enough, instinctively disconnect their own judgmental faculties and blindly follow the lead of a trusted authority figure.

Shorter Bailout Bill

"Let me see if I understand this Bush/Paulson thinking: if we allow the banks to pretend that they are solvent, they can continue to make loans to those who pretend they can pay them back - is that about right?"

-- Winston Munn, at The Big Picture

No Rescue for Hungry Kids

From Joel Berg, in the Washington Post:

Our country has been told that a gargantuan government rescue of the private sector is necessary because the collapse of major financial institutions would lead to unthinkable outcomes for society. Almost as if by magic, our nation's leaders conjure up vast sums to respond to this crisis.

Yet when advocates point out that our nation is facing an altogether different kind of crisis, one of soaring hunger and homelessness, and that a large-scale bailout is needed to prevent social service providers nationwide from buckling under the increasing load, we are told that the money these agencies need just doesn't exist.

In 2006, fully 35.5 million Americans, 4 million more than in 1999, lived in households that couldn't afford enough food, according to the Agriculture Department. Those households included more than 4 million children. ...

[New York state] slashed funding for community-based feeding agencies 16 percent in April and an additional 6 percent in August, after having ruled out a plan to avoid these and other cuts in social services by restoring previous levels of taxation on New Yorkers who earn more than $1 million per year. Other states are making similar budget choices.

We're told to simply accept these cuts because everyone is suffering. But that's just not true. According to Forbes, there are 64 billionaires in New York City with a combined net worth of $344 billion, a staggering 469 percent more than the collective worth of the city's billionaires two years ago.

Just as it is unthinkable for the country to allow financial giants to go belly up, it should be unthinkable to look the other way as tens of millions of low-income Americans (the types of people who clean the offices of AIG and Fannie Mae at night) go without food or shelter. It's time to get our priorities in order.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mavericky !!!

When asked by a reporter how he felt about the Confederate flag during a January 12 campaign event, McCain replied: "Personally, I see the flag as symbol of heritage."

The Arizona senator expressed regret for that stance on Wednesday, telling the audience of Republicans: "I feared that if I answered honestly, I could not win the South Carolina primary. So I chose to compromise my principles."


Lib Bloggers Are Clueless.

Jane Hamsher declares McCain won. Greg Sargent at Talking Points Memo says the same thing. But, snap polls of actual uncommitted voters prove them to be completely wrong: Here. Here.