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Showing posts from September, 2007

Great Response to Ken Burns' "The War" [UPDATED}

[Update: In "Comments" at the bottom of this is a dramatic, first-person, poetic account of one man's experience in WWII. It challenges how any war is depicted, no matter how well it is done. It also challenges the "Greatest Generation" idea. Most of all it reflects how devastating war is to individuals. Read it.]

Well Said


There is the war (Iraq, Afghanistan and, God forbid, Iran) and "The War," Ken Burns' powerhouse World War II documentary. Being of an age that made me a kid during the actual WWII years, seeing the newsreels that Burns uses so effectively, knowing the relatives and neighbors with dead and wounded kids, doing the paper drives, living with rationing and the whole nine yards, I have the visceral response to "The War" of memories revived*.

But beyond that I have an even more powerful response. I was pleased to find an articulate, passionate commentary that captured nearly every element of this other response of mine.…

Horny Toad!!

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Back from Extinction, or Just a Curtain Call?

Yesterday, just outside our courtyard gate, sitting on a rock and trying to soak up some fine fall New Mexico sun, a baby horny toad! I was stunned. So I grabbed my trusty Cannon and shot this.


With all the news about them disappearing, I hardly knew what to do next. So I just moved the little darlin' to another rock less in the way of our foot and dog traffic. Should I have put it in a terrarium? Taken it to a toad conservatory? Shipped it to TCU?

Finally I decided because we keep a chemical-free environment here in the mountains (7300 feet) it would be as safe here as anywhere. And clearly its momma and poppa were doing OK somewhere nearby.

So I'm thrilled. Those "horned toads" are really lizards, but to me they are little dinosaurs, and to have some roaming the homestead is an honor.

Dan Rather Sues for Truth

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An honest Rather mistake

Dan Rather's $70 mil lawsuit against CBS might be something of a biggie in terms of defining "the corporate media," it seems. I strongly feel this label needs defining, since the Right blithely labels the very same companies "the liberal media." (Talk jockey Rush Limbaugh calls them the "drive-by media," confusing all but hardcore dittoheads.)

The most exhaustive review of the whole Rather/CBS/Whitehouse/Pentagon substance is in Salon today (Sept 27, '07) as Sidney Blumenthal gets after it in gate. He addresses the point that has seriously bugged me ever since the "W stiffs his National Guard Service" story was smothered under allegations of one piece of evidence being bogus, the memo allegedly from Col. Jerry Killian. That point is that the story about Bush skipping his duty was true and proven by many other pieces of evidence.

In the context of the whole "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" dirty tricks e…

You Are What You Eat

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Granted, not everyone loves brussel sprouts as much as I do. Truth is, this fellow will never become obese.

Credits: Wife Dorothy the master gardener.

Hopeless Fat [Updated]

A young woman in good health caught a cold. She was a jogger, played tennis, biked and hiked with her boyfriend. In other words, she was more active physically than the average. But she caught a cold. Her eating habits were pretty much nominal American, some fast food, but not to excess. She was 5' 5" and weighed 130 pounds.

Five years later she is obese, weighing 187 pounds. When she started gaining weight, she increased her physical activities and cut out most of the fast food. At 153 pounds she started giving up. Jogging became too hard. She looked ridiculous on a bike. Her growing hunger drove her to less healthy foods.

All because she caught a cold. The specific cold virus she was unlucky enough to be infected by was adenovirus-36.

When America started porking up a few decades ago we started blaming our bad habits - with some justification. But TV, fast food, computer games, P.E. program cuts, etal aren't the entire problem, apparently. Check out this Science News artic…

Fiscally Conservative Republicans

Just as W is asking for another $50 billion for the Iraq war (the Iran war buildup?), Gary Trudeau hits the old nail on the head again. Have a giggle - or a gasp - by checking out this Sunday Doonesbury.