Saturday, December 27, 2008

Weekend America interview

"Weekend soundtrack" segment...

Yee HA! It's up. Thanks to Weekend America and Michael Rapheal for giving me the opportunity to tell my story!!

12/29/08: PM...Hey Apple computer users, this podcast won't play on your Mac in Firefox, try Safari. :) I'm posting an excerpt from an email to the show's producer, the awesome music geek Michael Raphael.
Hi Michael,

...Speaking of Facebook I heard Weekend America is getting canceled. Bad
news. Weekend America is entertaining, and more. Your program lets
the voices of people around the country be heard, and gives people a
chance to share their stories with the public radio audience. Another
good thing about your show is that the giant money-making machine that
is commercial media has no hand in this process. Weekend America does
a truly fine job of demonstrating that the mass media is a public
resource. Neither I or any of my friends can even stand to listen to
commercial radio or television.

Let me know what is going on.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

EFF Christmas carol

The only xxxmas carol I feel like singing. Remember, because of Bush and his publically acceptable psychopaths, they are trying to step on every right you have. See this link at the EFF for more information on how the fight to restore the constitution has progressed in 2008, with a strong focus on internet usage.

Remember, it is wrong for our government to spy, snoop, and treat you like you're guilty till proven innocent. What you do is your own business. This country belongs to us, not Bush, not private security companies, not paid mouthpieces, not commercial media, not churches & creepy religious interests.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

chuck7 website down weekend of 12/7/08

For about the 5th time the dickheads at my ISP have made my website disappear. They usually do it on a Friday, and I usually find out when I go to post some cool new photos. Then they make we wait till Monday, "when the admins are here." Then I get to talk to some guy with a radio voice who can't understand that I don't use Windows, then something about how I need "index.htm," then stunned silence when I say I avoid Microsoft products if possible, then they say goodbye, then my site comes back pretty soon.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Arizona losing two important protectors and leaders

I'll quote from today's AZ Daily Star artcle:
Grijalva, an outspoken critic of President Bush on land-use and environmental policy, has introduced several pieces of legislation to protect federal lands, including trying to stop uranium mining on a million acres near the Grand Canyon and to halt future mining claims in the Coronado National Forest.
And just Friday, reported Grijalva was "emerging as a top contender" for the post, "according to sources close to the transition."
Raul Grijalva is the kind of Congressman who has the Bush Administration crooks seething mad. Grijalva has constantly spoken out against BushCo wrongs. And Napolitano has kept the right-wing moron dominated State Legislature from ruining Arizona again and again.

First it's Napolitano, for Homeland Security, and now it's Grijalva for Interior Secratary! We were so overjoyed here in So. AZ when Obama won. Big grins all over Tucson the next day. And it's nice that 2 of our best and brightest will most likely answer the call to serve the wider scene on the national level with the Obama administration. But they'll leave a gap behind, that is for sure.

They are throwing us to the wolves here man! At least Gabby Giffords beat that customer of Karl Rove Tim Bee.

Arizona is truly at risk because of the State Legislature, which is half-full of the kind of folks who'd arm every half-wit drunk in the state, allow guns on college campuses, and who feel we can waste the environment cuz it don't matter cuz Jesus is coming. ...and gonna sweep up all them straight-laced, god-fearing, right wing extremist morons, I guess.

Without Napolitano and champion Bush-fighter Raul Grijalva, the rest of us are even more vulnerable to the machinations of folks who think knowledge is a dangerous thing. These folks would gut our State University system and use our tax money to fatten the pockets of the rich. If they had their way dancing would be illegal, there'd be a law saying you have to go to their same church every Sunday, and the cops could stop you and check your citizenship, not to mention your pockets, all day long.

Augusta Rosemont mine looking really stupid

The Arizona Daily Star published this article about a recent acid spill at a nearby copper mine, and had the audacity to point out that the same kind of thing could happen at the Rosemont mine, if it is dug. Well, The Star, in its long article actually said more like opponents said this could happen. Weenie words. They don't report the fact that things like acid spills and other environmental devastation do happen at mines, they have to say Well critics say this kind of thing could happen. However, Kudos to the Star for at least having the guts to report the two ideas side by side in the same story- the acid spill, and the disgusting, greedy, destructive bad idea that is the Rosemont mine.

This is the headline the Star tacked onto the story:
Morenci acid spill riles Rosemont foes-
But company says proposed mine's plan has safeguards
... Well, it's just those damn foes that are riled, that's all. No sir, the Daily Star is not going to stand in the way of progress. Might rile the Tucson Chamber of Commerce. Wouldn't want to the local Republicans wetting their pants over things like facts being reported now, would we? Nope, legitimate concerns about environmental destruction and public safety don't belong in the paper unless preceded by "Critics say..."

I'm guessing some editor somewhere said "oh, all right you can report the spill and bring up the Rosemont issue, but you have to be sure to point out that it's the oppenents who are saying..."

Yes, the acid spill in Morenci really is the kind of thing we'll be seeing down Sonoita way, off the Eastern flanks of the 9300 ft. Santa Rita range. Things like always happen around mines. The Star could have published statistics, but didn't.


But word is it's a done deal. Rosemont is advertising on public radio station KUAT-FM, leaving a poisonous taste in the mouths of Tucson area classical music fans, Rosemont Copper offered to pipe C.A.P. water for free to retirement city Green Valley- "hey, it's free-" if they support the mine, Rosemont Copper goes on and on about safe they will be, yadda yadda.

The Star reports the words of Lanie Levick, who is a senior research specialist in Watershed Management at the UA, at the end of the article, after veering off into a discussion of the fact that the copper company is planning a mine able withstand a 100-year flood, although we've seen far worse storms and floods frequently in the Tucson area in recent years. They end the story with the mindless words of a slick-ass automaton Rosemont Copper spokesperson.
"They can't be designing to 100-year standards for Rosemont in such a sensitive area," said Lainie Levick, a board member for Friends of the Scenic Santa Ritas, which opposes Rosemont. Levick, who was stranded in her far Northeast Side neighborhood for a day during the 2006 flooding, said she's concerned that a larger-than-100-year flood at Rosemont could cause its tailings dam to fail. Levick is a senior research specialist in watershed management at the University of Arizona.

Augusta's Howard replied: "We're trying to build to as high a standard as is appropriate at this time. We don't want to speculate from a climate change standpoint about what the standard might be. That's something that the federal government is looking at.

"It seems to be a valid goal to build towards the 100-year storm."
What a fucking dumb ass.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

BuschCo on the way out.

They are shooting off fireworks in my neighborhood. Don't let anyone tell you Arizona is a "red" state. Only thing red about this state, at least down here in Tucson, is the sunsets.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

moderation and comments

just in case someone says the rightwing is bitter

sexuality mixed with domination mixed with violence- the unconscious side of the Arizona legislature's gun-mania

I've enabled comments on this blog again- for folks w/ google accounts. I've also enabled moderation. This blog gets only 5-10 hits per day, but my virulent Anti-BushCo posting and my criticism of Arizona State legislature's moronic attempts to arm every half-wit yahoo in the state and allow those arms to be carried w/o permit in schools and college campuses, has caused some real creeps to come outta the woodwork. Like slimy insects eating your food, they post reasonable-sounding but twisted arguments and long, LONG blocks of text full of yet more twisted arguments, designed to give the American rightwing extremist spiel the look of academic legitimacy. For a time I considered a separate, "Moron blog," where I'd offload the crap and comment on what I thought the commenter's perlocutionary intentions were. However it never got that thick.

But I was particularly offended by someone who defended arming school campuses in the wake of a rash of college mass murders, like 5 people are going to pop up and become instant cowboys and prevent the crazy guy w/ 15 guns and an intricate attack plan from carrying out his suicide assault.

My feeling is that regulations and laws are there for a reason. If you can justify getting a carry-permit, fine. However, too many seriously mentally ill folks are ending up w/ arsenals. The latest being the Delos case, which I blogged on below, which could have escalated into something much more serious than a rolling shooting spree across the Northside of Tucson. For crying out loud, it was bad enough- he killed a good police officer, wounded a few others, and shot up his neighbor's front doors! Over barBQ smoke!

The guy's blog or myspace was covered w/ pics of him and his rifles, and he'd scared the shit outta former women friends. And the smug asshole I mentioned above commented w/ the argument that deregulating handguns would prevent such things from happening. The crazy guy had rifles which could kill from a mile off, could hold dozens of bullets. Offended, I was.

Intentions of this guy? A troll. Just doing whatever to uphold the appearance of the rightwing "cause," which includes being stupid as shit, ignorant, and proud of it, and calling on pseudoscience, twisted words, twisted logic, attempts and twisted concepts to win an argument and change minds. That shit's for idiots.

Friday, October 17, 2008


The foundation of EVERYTHING. Live 1979.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Patrick's Tucson singlespeed routes

Yipee! City Rides mapped out in KML by Patrick.

That is actually me in the pic w/ my 1991 Santa Fe Wolf.

City ride: A route around Tucson that is not a mountain bike ride but which may contain dirt sections. Circuitous in nature and usually involves a stop for beer.

My last-Sundy city ride. See Gmaps Pedometer for fun with maps.

Troll problems

I've turned off comments on this blog due to trolls.

Sarah Silverman on making sure Florida goes Obama

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.
The Great Schlep.
On getting your elderly relatives in Florida to vote for Obama. Wish I could think of a way to talk sense to my people in Texas. Sarah is cute.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Republican Convention report in Tucson Weekly

Photo and story by Sam Stoker. In this week's Tucson Weekly and probably a bunch of other Weeklys around the Nation. The story is about how U.S. citizens were treated when trying to protest against the "Republicans" at the recent convention in St. Paul.

put you in jail with a beer
and your fear

an attack and a snack
with conservatives

wave a sign in the zone
where you say what they say

wave your sign in the cage
when they say that you may

Free Speech Zone
Free Speech Zone
Free Speech Zone motherfucker

you're a hippy you're a freak you're a radical
you're powerless and you're weak
and invisible.

you're on a plane full of dope
private security

nobody knows where you're at
you're invisible

wave your sign use your voice
nobody's listening.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The BushCo Legacy

I think we're realizing what it was all about now.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Civil liberties violated in Washington, D.C.

Isn't it a bit creepy to have to answer to the police when you're just driving down the road minding your own business? Wouldn't it be better, if in Washington D.C. they turned the officers loose in the neighborhood to look for criminal activity based on reasonable suspicion, that is, let the police do their jobs, rather than, relying on already weak precedent, add one more crazy step to the blanket destruction of civil liberties? It is very wrong to order police to investigate everyone.

According to this article on the AP wire police in Washington, D.C. have been ordered to stop all vehicle traffic on a specific street, look in vehicles, demand identification, and permit or deny passage. Citing nothing except a crimewave in a torn inner city neighborhood, police decision-makers have crushed your freedom of movement. If you drive down this street, you will have to speak to police, answer questions, show identification. Then they will say whether or not you can drive down the fucking the street.

The final straw is that someone somewhere has decided to play like it's legal for cops to say, "Well, Mr. Jones, we're not going to let you drive down this street, you're going to have to turn around and get out of here."

It's a very old police tactic in poor neighborhoods to find a reason to stop someone and start asking questions about what they are doing there. This is usually because police are suspicious about something criminal.

What's new here is the blanket-approach, first legitimized by sobriety checkpoints, a blanket suspicion where everybody at a certain point gets checked for alcohol consumption. Police devote millions of dollars in overtime wages for this legally shaky activity, while statistics show they find several times more drunks by pulling over people driving like maniacs.

However, with this lazy, scatter-shot approach to law enforcement, in bending civil liberties, whoever it is makes these decisions accomplishes 2 objectives. One, they create what they apparently believe is a deterrent to drinking and driving, although if this kind of thing keeps on going, it will in reality be more like a deterrent to leaving your own house. Two, they believe they score a publicity victory. In their mind, nobody can say they're not tough on alcohol-related crime, by God, just look: they stopped 8,000 drivers in one night and found 15 drunks.

So on one hand you've got ruling by fear, and on the other you've got cop-theatre. So you're not only afraid to leave your own house to pick up that six pack, but you're apprehended on the way to the Quickie Mart, and held up as a shining example of how hard the Police decision-makers are working to prevent drunk driving. Who cares if you've not had a beer since last Thursday? Certainly not the person (more likely a committee, i.e. not just one bonehead but multiple boneheads) who decided to allow this wholesale invasion of privacy and blatant violation of constitutional rights.

But the American people do care. According to the article, Civil Liberties groups, that is, patriotic and gutsy American citizens, will also speak to the folks who are stopped. They will gather data, and eventually will fight, legally, to restore trendy damage to principles that have made the United States of American a wonderful, and free, nation.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Insanity and guns in Arizona

A guy with a geranium in the cranium pulled a cross-town shooting spree Sunday. He poured dozens of shots into the front doors of his back-fence neighbors, and proceeded to drive across the north side of Tucson, managed to shoot 4 policeman, 2 of them in the head. While driving. Using a military-style rifle. One of the officers, who died, had served 21 years in the military and had decided to work for TPD. The kind of cop who is there to serve, to help.

Our governor here in Arizona has vetoed several of the psychopathic bills presented by right-leaning Arizona congresspeople that would have allowed such things as waving your gun in someone's face whenever you want, carrying concealed guns on school campuses, and concealing guns in your car.

The support for such bills seems to come from a kind improvised-cowboy mentality, as if some schmo driving down the road is going to have a chance against a crazy guy with an assault rifle, the kind of guy who not only managed to shoot 4 policeman in an hour on city streets, but whose acquaintances said was way off the deep end and clearly needed to be in a psychiatric hospital.

The signs were everywhere. The guy's mental health is described in this article in the Arizona Daily Star. (Their links only last a couple weeks) He had threated to kill at least 3 people, including the poor girl who went to a highschool prom with him 7 years ago. She had called police, encountered an administrative wall of do-nothingness, and had ended up telling everyone she knew that if something happened to her, to look for this guy.

All this craziness was clearly illustrated on his MySpace page, the focus of the Star's article in the link above. That this guy should have been in a rubber room with a few straightjackets in the closet was clear.

But what happened instead. Looks like his parents bought him a house, nobody lifted a finger to intervene in spite of the obvious signs of serious mental illness.

It may be true that popular trends in mental health care may result in someone like this going away for a month or two but they have a tendency to come back, get scooped up by the police and end up in the jails instead. In this case the only thing to be thankful for was that his over-the-backfence neighbors weren't home, and he did not end up at the University or some other puplic gathering place, like the other horrors we've all read about recently.

Everybody knows there's a problem with folks like this. The poor guy just has a very serious mental disease, adult-onset schizophrenia, it was obvious to everyone he was off his rocker but for some reason he was out walking around, had a car, a house, no need to work. The article said he came over the neighbor's fence to complain about BarBQ smoke. The MySpace page had a photo the crazy guy had taken of the neighbor, along with the death threat.

There's not much of a point to made here, but an obviously insane person should not have had military rifles. It's mostly just sad, and it seems preventable. Mental health sevices, law enforcement, need to change their ways, to look for the signs of someone who is just gone and can't change. Have you ever had to call the police and had the dispatcher say, "well we can't do anything until they hurt you?"

Proliferation of guns is not the answer, the instant cowboy is not the answer. And you don't need a rifle capapble of destroying the house across the street to defend yourself against the kind of people who kick in you door in the middle of the night.

If anything the key lies with acknowledging this kind of thing happens again and again, defining what you see prior to that, and committing some individuals for at least 10 years, forget about helping healthcare organizations maintain their profit margins by letting these poor crazy souls go. It seems like popular medical theory is under corporate influence here. As if it's a sin against corporate dogma to realize that some folks are obviously dangerous. Protecting the rest of us means a life at shady acres is necessary for some folks.

Here is the interactive map of how the crazy guy drove across our pretty foothills neighborhood and filled the town with lead directed at his imaginary adversaries.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sheldon Brown, 1944-2008

THE bicycle guru Sheldon Brown died in February. He'd been diagnosed w/ MS but apparently it was a heart attack that took his life. If you've never heard of him, he was famous for his encylopedic bicycle website out of Harris Cyclery in West Newton Massachusetts. If you ever need to unstick a stuck seat post, set a proper chainline on a singlespeed, build a wheel, tighten a loose cone, put on new brakes, well you can look it up there and find it explained in clear language with good photos. He was famous in biking circles as a great great mechanic, bicycle advocate, a talented and practical man who shared everything he knew. Before I do anything major to any of my 5 bikes, I always consult his site.

Thank you Sheldon, you continue to be a great influence on all of us riders, and have helped many of us develop decent bike mechanic skills.

Wikepedia has a nice entry on Sheldon, with a good list of relevant links. Here is the gear calculator, a real masterpiece, which you'll certainly appreciate if you're at all geeky about bikes.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Quadruped robot

I think we are finally getting there with the quality of our robot technology. It's like in the 50s they write, "yes we will eventually build robots that move in a fashion eerily similar to animals..."

Boston Dynamics created the robot. But hey, don't kick it, that just seems wrong. Sure it's just a machine that can walk on ice or hustle through the forest, but would you kick your new Prius or your brand new mountain bike?

This thing can carry 340 pounds, climb a 35 degree slope, has a gasoline engine and some nice computers. More about Big Dog here.

Yes I read about it on the wonderful Boing Boing

Saturday, March 08, 2008

BushCo National Security incompetency

Philip Shenon's new book The Commission : The Uncensored History Of The 9/11 Investigation fingers Condoleeza Rice in the Bush administration's national security failure of 7 1/2 years ago. This excerpt from Shenon's book published in The Sydney Morning Herald shows the U.S. intellegence apparatus doing its best to warn the Administration about Bin Laden's crazies and just how dangerous they were. The book paints Rice as almost a highly-paid do-nothing, choosing to ignore intelligence and focus instead on promoting the administration, focus on what appears to be PR, game-playing, a big show. As the book follows the 9/11 commission one Richard Clarke emerges as a true soldier, intent on protecting the country. Clarke was at the time the National Security Council's counter-terrorism director. He'd been demoted by the time of the attacks. From the excerpt:
Other parts of the Government did respond aggressively and appropriately to the threats, including the Pentagon and the State Department. On June 21, the US Central Command, which controls American military forces in the Persian Gulf, went to "delta" alert - its highest level - for American troops in six countries in the region. The American embassy in Yemen was closed for part of the summer; other embassies in the Middle East closed for shorter periods.

But what had Rice done at the NSC? If the NSC files were complete, the commission's historian Warren Bass and the others could see, she had asked Clarke to conduct inter- agency meetings at the White House with domestic agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration and the FBI, to keep them alert to the possibility of a domestic terrorist strike.

Repeatedly in 2001, Clarke had gone to Rice and others in the White House and pressed them to move, urgently, to respond to a flood of warnings about an upcoming and catastrophic terrorist attack by Osama bin Laden. The threat, Clarke was arguing, was as dire as anything that he or the CIA had ever seen.

He pushed for an early meeting in 2001 with Bush to brief him about bin Laden's network and the "nearly existential" threat it represented to the United States. But Rice rebuffed Clarke. She allowed him to give a briefing to Bush on the issue of cyber terrorism, but not on bin Laden; she told Clarke the al-Qaeda briefing could wait until after the White House had put the finishing touches that summer on a broader campaign against bin Laden. She moved Clarke and his issues off centre stage - in part at the urging of Zelikow and the transition team.

Shenon's book seems to offer a thru-the lens glimpse into a shameful and tragic chapter of U.S. history: the bumbling incompetence of an administration created by the most hated and destructive U.S. president of all time.'s reference to Shenon's book is here.

This guy is a hell of a journalist. It should be hilarious to hear what Limbaugh and the other highly-paid fart-generators say about him.

About the author, quoting Amazon:
Philip Shenon is an investigative reporter with The New York Times, based in Washington. He was the lead reporter on the investigation of the September 11 commission and has held several of the most important assignments of the Washington Bureau, including chief Defense Department correspondent, diplomatic correspondent, Congressional correspondent and Justice Department Correspondent. He was one of two Times reporters embedded with American grounds troops during the invasion of Iraq and worked in pre-war Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran for Times foreign staff.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Buddy Miles

Buddy Miles, Hedrix' drummer in the outrageous Band of Gypsies, died Tuesday in Austin Texas, his home. He was 60, died of heart failure. He was also a stroke survivor.

Buddy Miles was one of those singing drummers, playing well and singing well, being the heartbeat of the band and its voice simultaneously. Miles founded the Electric Flag in the 60s and in the 80s was involved in TV advertising-music, singing in the animated claymation ads in the California Raisins.

Band of Gypsies was a milestone in Hendrix' career after the Experience broke up. Three black men playing soul-influenced funk, marked by Hendrix' indelible guitar-power were a bit of a new thing in those days, and reflected the music Hendrix was working on when he died.

"machine gun" pt.1
Black and while uTube videos of the Band of Gypsies are out there, but somehow putting on the original record album, holding the album cover in your hands and looking at its vivid color photographs shows how the music really is, vivid and transfixing and timely.

"them changes" Buddy Miles

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Arizona conservatives try to liberalize gun laws again.

In a further affront to the basic principles of civilization, Arizona Republicans, this time led by Rep. John Kavanagh of Fountain Hills, have come up with a bill that would allow concealed guns in cars- whether a concealed-weapons permit is involved or not. Almost thumbing their noses at another in a series of school campus gun attacks, the great right wing minds of Arizona have now united themselves to not only allow concealed weapons on school campuses, but to allow concealed weapons in cars too. Brilliant. Thanks for endangering more of the public, you fucking morons.

In this article, the AZ Daily Star details the brilliant logical process by which Kavanagh justifies this timely legislative action. It's sad that these great legal minds have a role in protecting the public.
Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said the current law regulating where someone can have a gun is confusing, not only to individuals but even to police.
"You shouldn't have to have a table of yes-no locations taped to your dashboard so you can figure out where you lay the weapon whether it's legal or not," he said.
Kavanagh said the current law can make a criminal out of an otherwise innocent citizen. For example, he said, a person without a permit might put a weapon on a car seat, where it is visible, only to have a jacket fall over it inadvertently. Or a driver could hit the brakes, causing a formerly visible gun to slide under the seat.
For Christssakes, ya dimwit, Arizona law already allows you to put your six-shooter in the glove compartment or trunk.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Karl Rove consulted in Arizona congressional race

I got a creepy feeling when I heard Republican AZ State Senate president Tim Bee was planning to run for the very fine young Gabrielle Giffords' seat in the U.S. Congress. Giffords, a democrat, won Jim Kolbe's seat, and has been busy doing great things for Arizona and the U.S. ever since. Naturally, Arizona Republican morons, like Tim Bee, apparently, are not happy with such positive events. It was with further distress that I read in this article that Karl "Mr. Dethroned Neocon Asshole" Rove was in Tucson the other day. The scourge of scourges, the worst of the worst, except of course Lord Cheney. Two more things added to my unhappy feeling: One, Bee ran straight to Rove for advice in the upcoming campaign. Rove's advice in such matters would no doubt be some kind of dirty trick, smear campaign, or other form of widespread lying. Two, Arizona Democrats did not like the fact that the scumbag Rove was in Arizona at all, and protested about it. The problem was the Star's gutless way of reporting what happened, using standard Rush Limbaugh/Fox News code words:
Democrats, meanwhile, became completely obsessed with Rove's trip to the Old Pueblo, devoting an ample amount of their week to drumming up all their hatred for him and allowing the brief visit to get them all down-in-the-dumps.
Right, it's just hatred, those bad Liberal commies just like to hate. Forget how pissed most people in the country are about the things Rove and his ilk have done to the wonderful place we call home. It's just hate. No reason. Nope.

So, you can bet Rove was up to no good here in Arizona, something much more insidious than the fundraising dinner reported in the Star. So today, this story in the Star reports that Bee, the very man who ran to consult Rove for advice, is proposing something: a change to the State constitution that would divide the people of Arizona, and support discrimination against gay people. A constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage will show up on the November ballot- If Arizona Republicans get their way. Who's hating now? Kolbe was gay, you morons.

Now where do you think that divisive idea came from? People like Rove are adept at polarizing people, causing fights and disagreements, problems, trouble, destruction everywhere they go. And Arizona's right-wing morons in the State government are eager to jump on the bandwagon, in denial about the fact that people like Giffords, who work to undo some of the damage caused by the Bush Administration, are getting elected.

Friday, January 25, 2008

AZ legislators propose allowing guns in schools

In another one of those astounding "welcome to Arizona" events, two AZ State legislators have demonstrated their complete lack of understanding of human civilization and come up with a bill that would allow students and teachers with a concealed weapons permit to carry firearms on Arizona school campuses. How stupid these people are can be seen by the way they talk:
"These gun-free zones are just open areas," [Mesa Rep. Karen Johnson] said. "If a kid gets mad or crazed or some weirdo decides to go into school, he knows there's going to be nobody there to stop them."
[Mesa Rep. Russell] Pearce said schools have become "no-self-defense zones."
Johnson said changing the law might deter someone who means harm from deciding to start shooting.
"This way, nobody knows who has a concealed weapon," she said. "But at least they'll know that somebody could."
"If somebody does start shooting and is crazed, they can be taken down pretty quick," she said.
Pearce, a former Maricopa County sheriff's deputy, said the best ally of law enforcement can be an armed citizen or someone willing to "jump in and help."
Wow. I'll just let that speak for itself. They sound like psychotic 5-year-olds that watch too many violent movies. So, nobody would know who has a gun on a college campus, and the moronic new law would allow "armed citizens" to "jump in and help" if "a kid gets mad," or "some weirdo decides to go into school." Yes, they actually said that, it was in the AZ Daily Star right here. This is the kind of thing that makes many of us who live in Arizona ashamed.

Friday, January 18, 2008

BushCo environmental destruction continues

It seems like anything destructive you hear about, whether it's environmental, social, diplomatic, economic, infrastructure-related, or civil liberties-related, you can just say, "Thanks Bush." Moronic industrialization of old-growth forest and the consequent destruction of salmon habit in the Pacific Northwest is detailed in this story in the AZ Daily Star. Because the Star's links only last a week or two, I'll quote a bit of the story here:
GRANTS PASS, Ore. – The Bush administration's plans to dismantle more than a decade of protections for northern spotted owls and salmon to sharply increase logging in old growth forests is seriously flawed and not adequately supported by science, the federal agency in charge of saving salmon concludes.
In a Jan. 11 letter obtained by The Associated Press, NOAA Fisheries told the U.S. Bureau of Land Management that its Western Oregon Plan Revision — known as The Whopper after its acronym — has no coherent or cohesive conservation strategy for salmon and steelhead, and relies on assumptions and models not supported by published scientific studies.
Once again you can see the typical BushCo hallmarks of doing business. First, an aggressive disregard of scientific evidence. You can see this at work all through the Bush Presidency anywhere you look, whether it's support for fundamentalist bullcrap like Creationism, or policies regarding reproductive and women's health. Second, time after time, the people Bush puts in charge of environmental and Interior Department responsibilities are usually on the payroll of companies that profit from environmental destruction. Look no further for a motive. This is just plain illegal, but of course the law means nothing to BushCo.

For example, in this story, by veteran Star reporter Dan Sorenson, which details the Federal Government's unraveling of policies related to the survival of endangered wildlife, in this case the Jaguar, some hack by the name of Elizabeth Slown glibly defends lack of support for the jaguars that have managed to survive, while the reporter presents some weak evidence that the abandonment of reintroduction plans is actually related to Homeland Security plans for the so-called border wall, which Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano described in her Tucson state of the state speech as "nothing but an ivitation to go get a ladder or dig a tunnel."
"What we said is that … doing a recovery plan for the jaguar doesn't advance conservation for the jaguar," Slown said.
"We'd rather put our efforts into on-the-ground efforts: participating in the Jaguar Conservation Team led by (the state of) Arizona, continuing to fund research we do throughout Central America," she said.
"The jaguar is still under (the protection of) the ESA; it doesn't affect that at all," Slown said, referring to the Endangered Species Act.
"Instead of a 200-some-page recovery plan," Slown said, "let's help the countries where the jaguar can survive and help the Jaguar Conservation Team."
There will be no recovery plan, at least not one with teeth, for the rarest of the wild animals native to Arizona — the largest and rarest cat species of North America — the jaguar.
The Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation group that has pushed for an official plan to set goals and spell out and enforce efforts to save the big cats, portrays the move as a concession to the Bush administration's border-fence project.
A reporter on the job as long as Sorensen no doubt did some background on the spokepeople quoted in the story, and no doubt the Star's editors didn't include that, and you can bet that Slown works for some company somewhere that has a stake in the dismantling of environmental law.

The overall point is here, if we're going to take a giant chainsaw and clear all the forests and deserts so that mining companies, logging companies and private security companies can have an easy go at running up profits, and if we dismantle the law in the process, then we destroy not only our fellow animals that live on our planet, but we also destroy our planet, and destroy the resources we need. BushCo policy, if it continues, will lead to a planet without wood, fish, januars, deserts, mountians or forests, and not only will we suffer in ways we cannot even imagine, but the resulting economic destruction will make things much worse than are now. You can't make a buck off a scorched, denuded, dying Earth, Republicans! You can't feed your children if you destroy this place in the name of short-term profits, and you can't give your children clean air to breathe if you kill all the trees.