Friday, December 26, 2008

Things that Make Me Smile

h/t to Tree Hugger, who sent me the link to the "Seven Darn Cute Baby Animal Photos."

Consider this an Open Thread.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Courage of Christmas

One of my favorite stories of Christmas is best remembered as the "Truce of Christmas" in the way back machine from WWI, 1915 when the German and Scottish troops ceased fire in order to meet their sworn enemies as men and salute each other as human beings. It is a story of huge courage. Perhaps it also is the best reminder of how when the soldiers of each side face off, it is just them on the field, no one far and away in a command center can ever know the intimacy of the enemy as the men and women who face their enemy.

Today the History Channel was revisiting the story. Knowing this crowd, everyone knows the story well, but a quick check of Wikipedia is a way to get a good overview

My 2nd favorite of the season is watching the DVD of Paul McCartney in Red Square. The story of the Beatles in the '60's and how the Russian real folk were hungry for the music and the freedom and yes the democracy that the Beatles represented. It's remarkable what the Beatles contributed in taking down that wall...and so when Paul brings the band to Red Square and Red Square overflows with happy, in love Russians who have waited generations to hear first hand the songs of freedom, we are all one people. Then as Putin weaves his way into the crowd to watch, it's just a good Christmas moment.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter wonderland

^This is my neighborhood. If I did this right, there's more behind the curtain...

^This is the view from my back deck.

^More of the view. If you squint on clear day, you can see Mt. Rainier. This was a couple days ago. The snow on the railing is now 3 times as high as in the picture.

^Silly puppy thinks it's fun!

Nope, no one's going anywhere. More snow tomorrow, too.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

A Feel Good Story of the Holiday Season

Who here can't resist "throwing a big shoe" at bu$h? I know I can't... what this young man did took some "Grande Huevos" and should be taught in schools as a way of protesting any corrupt regime, government or monarchy. Anything to delay the (illegal) process of an out going pResident from screwing over the populace during their last 60 days in office.

Tim DeChristopher Throws Utah Oil And Gas Drilling Leases Auction Into Chaos

An environmental activist tainted an auction of oil and gas drilling leases Friday by bidding up parcels of land by hundreds of thousands of dollars without any intention of paying for them, a federal official said.

The process was thrown into chaos and the bidding halted for a time before the auction was closed, with 116 parcels totaling 148,598 acres having sold for $7.2 million plus fees.

"He's tainted the entire auction," said Kent Hoffman, deputy state director for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Utah.

Hoffman said buyers will have 10 days to reconsider and withdraw their bids if they think they paid too much.

Tim DeChristopher, a 27-year-old University of Utah economics student, said his plan was to disrupt the auction and he feels he accomplished his goal.

DeChristopher won the bidding on 13 parcels, auction records show, and drove up the price of several other pieces of land.

"I thought I could be effective by making bids, driving up prices for others and winning some bids myself," the Salt Lake City man said.

Some bidders said they were forced to bid thousands of dollars more for their parcels, while others fumed that they lost their bids...
My wish for the Holiday Season is that Tim DeChristopher has a lot of donations to help his legal fund and the federal court drags this into the Obama Administration. Then an immediate pardon from Obama.

We will know right away if Obama will fight for what is environmentally right! This case will also test Ken Salazar upon confirmation: Will he fight big corporations and their explotation of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management? Or will he stand with the environmentalist?

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Solstice, Wonderful Kwanzaa and Happy New Year.

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Holiday Open Thread

OMG, Toyota's posting it's first operating loss since 1950! It's all the Unions fault... damn Unions, causing Toyota to go broke... oh yeah, Toyota doesn't have Union workers.
UPDATE: Just when I get flippant about Toyota and Unions, emptywheel puts out a great article on Toyota being a model for success.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Solstice, Wonderful Kwanzaa and Happy New Year.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Who Needs a Dagger or Gun?

When small planes are so convenient?
Mike Connell set-up the alternate email and communications system for the White House. He was responsible for creating the system that hosted the infamous accounts that Karl Rove and others used. When asked by Congress to provide these emails, the White House said that they were destroyed. But in reality, what Connell is alleged to have done is move these files to other servers after having allegedly scrubbed the files from all "known" Karl Rove accounts.
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The Akron Beacon Journal is reporting that the private plane of the GOP's highly-placed "IT guru" Mike Connell's went down in Lake Township, Ohio on Friday evening. Connell was killed in the crash and is reported to have been the only person on board.

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