Friday, July 29, 2005

To the Jersey Shore I go - Leaving Sweet Melissa in Charge (Be back on 8/4)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Most Likely The Ugliest Convention Center in the Country

The Young'uns - Oh, How Times Have Changed

Bob, whose blog, A Ridiculous Raw Youth, is consistently articulate, clever, sometimes quite naughty, but always interesting and surprisingly insightful for such a young man, provided a comment to one of my prior posts which asked the following:

I am wondering where the young'uns are with regard to Dubya's war "...that never ends..." in Iraq. I listen daily to John Fogerty's (on my iPod shuffle as I run my two miles) "Deja Vu (All Over Again)," every morning:

Day after day another Momma's crying
She's lost her precious child
To a war that has no end

and, I guess I'm wondering where the spirit, the energy, the altruism, the idealism of the young'uns is. Where are they? Why are they not in the streets questioning a war predicated on lies and deceit? Was my generation so different from today's generation of young people that we simply should not expect today's youth to question authority; to be able see the "...writing on the wall..." that seemed to be so clear, so undeniably clear to my generation?
Bob's comment:

Well, I can't speak for all the young'uns, but I can try to explain, for me, at least.

There was an article in the Onion when Bush got first elected, it had something to do with outrage fatigue. You had all of these people with deep concerns and cares, with the drive to go out and change the world, but after the first month, it just got to be too overwhelming. There's just too much to protest. The war isn't the only huge catastrophe of our generation.

Plus, nothing seems to count. I mean, I can sign all of the online petitions, I can picket, I can make signs and shop selectively. But Bush doesn't seem to listen to the people, he 'listens to God' or, more likely, Karl Rove. The 49% that didn't vote for him don't count.

My generation doesn't trust politicians. We grew up with the Republican outrage. Most of our memories of the govt consist of the impeachment trials and the various '-gates' of the Clinton era. Everytime someone tries to speak to our generation, they get destroyed. Republicans have killed off the Democratic heroes.

Bob's comments brought back some memories that, I hope, are relevant if, for no other reason, than to point out (I am understanding this "truth" as I write it) that time marches on; that it is probably quite ridiculous to hold each new generation of Americans (the young'uns) to the standard that was established by prior generations. Let me set the scene.

The word "ominous" was on a lot of people's minds in 1963 (I was in middle school at the time). And, by the end of the decade, people would look back and use phrases like "social catharsis" to describe that ten year period from 1963 to 1973.

Indeed, the social eruptions in '63 came in Chicago, Philadelphia, Birmingham, Savannah. These great American cities saw cops using dogs, fire hoses and cattle prods against black citizens. And, all of it in living color on the nightly news.

In 1964 a bomb threat emptied an all-black high school in Jacksonville, Florida. When the cops arrived the students let loose with a barrage of Molotov cocktails and rocks. In New York City, a crowd of angry black kids smashed windows of businesses after a cop killed a kid who had attacked him with a knife. Days after the shooting, police were still battling black mobs in Brooklyn and Harlem where Molotov cocktails had started uncounted fires all over the area. When the mobs started throwing bricks and bottles at police and firemen, the cops responded with gunfire. The National Guard was called to Rochester, New York after two days of street violence. Two nights of mob violence in Philadelphia followed the attempt by a police officer to move a stalled car from an intersection of a black area of the city.

In the summer of '65 the National Guard was called into Watts, California where, following the arrest of an intoxicated driver, the city erupted like a powder keg laid too close to the fire. In all, 4,000 people were arrested, thirty-four people were killed and property damage was estimated to be about $35 million.

In 1966, Chicago police officers turned a water hydrant off where black children had been playing. A mob formed and started throwing rocks and bottles ... windows were smashed out and fires were started. On the next day, police who responded to emergency calls from that same black neighborhood were met by gunfire. The firebombings and looting continued and, finally, forty-two hundred National Guardsmen were called in. That same year in Cleveland, rioting continued for four nights and resulted in the deaths of four blacks.

The National Guard was called to Jackson, Mississippi in 1967 to disperse black crowds which had gathered after the arrest of a speeder on the campus of Jackson State College. In Houston, Texas, police were met by rocks and bottles thrown by students at the campus of Texas southern University. Gunfire from the men's dormitory brought police reinforcements who returned the fire.

The summer of 1967 provided the same pattern of violence in Newark where twenty-five people died. Forty-three were killed in Detroit. Tampa, Cincinnati, Atlanta ... these great American cities were seeing what had, by then, become a familiar pattern: a relatively minor incident involving blacks and the police in each city would initiate violence out of all proportion to the incident.

With this backdrop--throughout this "cathartic" decade from roughly 1963 to 1973-- to include the intense frustration and rage with the "...war that has no end..." in Viet Nam, the young'uns of my generation took to the streets with an intense distrust of politics and politicians and with a demand that the promise of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution necessarily be fulfilled.

In May, 1970, the Ohio National Guard killed four and wounded seventeen students on the Kent State campus where anti-war demonstrations had persisted for several days.

Night, after night, after night, the American people were assaulted with the most vivid (living color) blood, gore and guts that was the essence of Viet Nam; the t.v. journalists did not sanitize the horror in those good ol' days. It was right there in front of us every single night, year after year after year. The racial/cop violence in America's cities--the burning, the looting, the killings, the confrontations--were, too, vividly reported on the nightly news.

That decade--from 1963 to 1973--could not help but give rise to the supposition that the whole world was standing precariously close to the abyss, the final abyss and quite ready and insanely willing to take the leap into oblivion.

The Internet was not then at our fingertips. No blogs. No Google. No chat rooms. No Internet petitions. What we had then was, simply, ourselves and our solidarity; our bodies and voices and, certainly, our persistence.

I understand Bob's argument, above. I also understand that while I may have wondered if the whole fucking world had gone insane way back in that infamous cathartic decade, '63 to '73, I also understand that Bob's generation may face an even more insidious threat to humanity. Islamic and Christian fundamentalistically justified violence in the name of Allah or the Lawd is probably more dangerous than anything I or anyone experienced during the sixties and seventies.

Bob, thanks for taking the time to comment. I don't get many comments and I do appreciate the thoughtful articulation of your views.

Denver's Pepsi Center (Putting Stan Kroenke's Palace in Perspective)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Stan Kroenke's Palace Atop Denver's Pepsi Center

Denver's Skyline This Past Sunday Morning

A Tuesday Laugh - Click Here

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Relevance of Libraries - The Young'uns - Other Stuff

I've been thinking about the relevance of libraries. Indeed, when was the last time you took the time to travel to the library for information, data, background that can be easily gleaned from search engines on the internet?

Every morning Sweet Melissa and I visit a park in which sits a branch of the Denver Public Library. And, each morning, we see folks slipping DVDs into the steel slot next the the library's door. Has the library become primarily a place where DVDs can be checked out; where movies that otherwise could be rented from Blockbuster are checked out for free on someone's library card?

I do understand the relevance of libraries with regard to historically relevant materials that are not in books but in collections that must be safeguarded and handled with care.

But, really, are libraries, "probably the only secular gathering place in the community," as the linked article claims?

I suppose I'm a little confused about the use of the word "secular" by this guy, Michael Gorman, who is the president of the American Library Association. This particular choice of words tends to imply that the only other "...gathering places..." for Americans are religious edifices.

But, then, such is the polemic today. Religious fundamentalism has permeated not only American politics but the skewed insights of the American Library Association, as well.
I am wondering where the young'uns are with regard to Dubya's war "...that never ends..." in Iraq. I listen daily to John Fogerty's (on my iPod shuffle as I run my two miles) "Deja Vu (All Over Again)," every morning: Day after day another Momma's crying
She's lost her precious child
To a war that has no end
and, I guess I'm wondering where the spirit, the energy, the altruism, the idealism of the young'uns is. Where are they? Why are they not in the streets questioning a war predicated on lies and deceit? Was my generation so different from today's generation of young people that we simply should not expect today's youth to question authority; to be able see the "...writing on the wall..." that seemed to be so clear, so undeniably clear to my generation?
The other stuff I'm thinking about today has more to do with Denver's Mayor John Hickenlooper and his ten-year plan to end homelessness in Denver. It would only cost $1.3 Million a year and I guess that us property owners might be taking on that burden through a mill levy increase.
I read somewhere that pretty much every Democratic mayor in the country is touting this "house the homeless" plan on a ten-year basis as suggested by Dubya's Czar of the homeless. However, I've also read that it takes about $125,000 a year a house one homeless person. Make sense? Hmmm... I'm thinking there's are little bit more to the story than meets the eye. Sure, noble ideals from ol' Hick, but, Jesus, $125,000 a year? And, ultimately, at my expense. Ummm... Let's think about this one a little bit more. Shall we!

Denver's Skateboard Park - In South Platte Valley Parkway Near Coor's Field

And, green undies to boot!

Stepping over the Derelicts Across the Street from the Colorado Convention Center

This is what the conventioneers saw as they made their way to an early Sunday morning session at the Colorado Convention Center. Looks a little, oh, New Yorkish!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

"I See What You Mean" - Colorado Convention Center (See post below)

"I See What You Mean" - Colorado Convention Center

David's and my hike this morning (eight miles round trip) took us back to downtown Denver specifically to see the big blue bear at the Colorado Convention Center. This link provides detail on Denver artist Lawrence Argent's, "I See What You Mean," skulpture. It's great. That's David at the bear's foot. I'll post another angle above.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Sweet Melissa

Sweet Melissa, originally uploaded by George In Denver.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Happy Dogs - Sweet Melissa and Nikolai Blue Buck

Nikolai - Our Second Siberian - A Noble Boy

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Bomb Mecca

I really doubt that you haven't heard about Colorado's Sixth District Congressman, Tom Tancredo, who suggested a possible scenario whereby America would advise the world that Islamic holy sites would be bombed if Islamic fundamentalist terrorists "nuke" American cities or historically significant sites.

The site, Crooks and Liars, provides the following (listen carefully to the audio):

Tom Tancredo-"Bomb Mecca"
"Well, what if you said something like -- if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites," Tancredo answered. "You're talking about bombing Mecca," Campbell said.
"Yeah," Tancredo responded.

Now, whether or not you think Tancredo is an idiot, or a nut; or you think he's absolutely prophetic and one of the very few politicians with a backbone who doesn't test which way the wind is blowing before he opens his mouth; whether you like him or despise him, here are the questions:

What do you think this country would do if Islamic fundamentalists detonated a nuclear device on, oh, let's say the Empire State Building? What would America do if Islamic fundamentalists detonated a nuclear device within the Lincoln Memorial? What do you think this country would do if Islamic fundamentalists detonated a nuclear device in downtown Atlanta or Denver or Houston or Portland? What would America do if Lady Liberty is nuked by Islamic fundamentalists?

What would America's response be?

After 9/11 -- c'mon your memory can't be that short -- there were a whole bunch of otherwise reasonable Americans who suggested (I'm remembering General Curtis LeMay's quote from the Viet Nam era) that we bomb the nation of Islam (approximately 1.4 billion human souls ) back to the stoneage. Right?

What would America's response be?

I can't answer that question. I'm working on it, though. All I can provide is what I said in a prior post:

The terrorism of religious fundamentalists is, however, a whole new ballgame. And, I do believe the old, sacred notions that drafts or the requirement that all persons--once they reach eighteen years of age--be conscripted into the armed forces, with few exemptions, are probably necessarily going to have to be tossed like last year's cell phone. There's something new on the death, hate and destruction market and Uncle Sam better be prepared. Dubya's little wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are remnants of an age-old war mentality that argues to the victor goes the spoils. That just doesn't work anymore, buckoes.

Bring our soldiers home. Protect our homeplace. Retool the armed forces for the conflict that is, sadly, based upon religious zealotry where one's death in the good fight against the infidels necessarily opens that golden stairway to heaven; necessarily promises nirvana.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sharp Curve

Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver has one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the country. I don't believe it's still operable.

Holy Place?

No, this is a shot of the entrance to the Lakeside Amusement Park in Northwest Denver from Inspiration Point. (See below.)


Visitors to Denver often see this structure and immediately think it is a place of worship for Muslims. It's actually the entrance to the Lakeside Amusement Park in Northwest Denver.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Operation Save America Can Bite Me

Oh my!

David and I walked our usual two miles when he got home from work and decided to go to one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants for dinner. And, oh my God, they were in there! They were in one of our favorite restaurants eating food! A whole bunch of them! Ick! Ugh!

And, if that was not bad enough, we found out they were having a big pow-wow not two blocks from our house. More ick! More ugh! And, after David and I finished our dinner, we walked home and, oh my God, they were coming and going right there in front of us; they were crossing the street to enter the Redeemer Community Church where they were gonna whoop it up for the Lawd!

Actually, this is a little tee-hee post. These folks (some of whom wore t-shirts condemning homosexuality) can simply bite me. They're no better than ol' Fred Phelps and his lovely crew at the Westboro Baptist zoo.

(I really don't like them hangin' out in my neighborhood, though. But, okay... Just for the time being. They need to go home though as soon as possible. Gotta keep my property values up!)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Pretty Kitty

David and I walked about 6 1/2 miles (round trip) yesterday from our home to what is called "Inspiration Point," a park at the far Northwest corner of Denver. I, of course, took the camera and got a few good shots (hazy day in Denver, ugh!) Anyway, the first one is "Pretty --can't wait for Christmas -- Kitty," above.

Denver's skyline looked pretty dismal through the haze. I'll post a few more photos later.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Army - Viet Nam - Iraq - Dubya

I've posted three pictures within the last couple of weeks from a thousand years ago (actually 31-32 years past) when I did my time in the U.S. Army. This was during the time when the "All Volunteer" concept was being implemented after the Dark Prince of the GOP, Richard Milhouse Nixon, realized enough was enough with the tragedy, the quagmire (good word) that Viet Nam had become for the United States. Yes, it was Tricky Dicky who finally pulled the U.S. out of Viet Nam in 1972-1973, after another GOP president, Dwight Eisenhower first sent military "advisors" there in the late fifties ('58 or '59). Of course, Nixon was savoring his second term triumph, while dealing with the imbroglio of Watergate and Deep Throat and Dirty Tricks and all that shit which would eventually lead to his resignation from the presidency in 1974.

I keep reading and hearing both Republicans and Democrats insist--under the cover of promulgating and supporting the glorious western-style democracy that they claim the Iraqi people have embraced unconditionally (bullshit) --that the United States can't just pull out of Iraq; that we have obligations and a moral imperative to stay the course. (I'm remembering some of this same horseshit that was so jingoistically bantered about during the Viet Nam conflict.)

To tell you the honest to God truth, I'm getting so sick and tired of writing about Dubya's war that I'm having a little trouble just being coherent. I mean, I and so many others declared Dubya's war a disastrous move even before he got that little hard-on and gave the okeydoke to start bombing that godforsaken shithole and maiming and killing hundreds of thousands of the indigenous population, as well as over 1700 of American soldiers. I am so weary of this bullshit.

Anyway, the pictures I've posted from my Army experience provide a view of a "peacetime" Army--if there is such a thing in this crazy world--where duty assignments were generally not life-threatening; where, if needed, each and every one of us who had passed through the love/hate experience of Basic Combat Training could defend our country against legitimate threats.

The terrorism of religious fundamentalists is, however, a whole new ballgame. And, I do believe the old, sacred notions that drafts or the requirement that all persons--once they reach eighteen years of age--be conscripted into the armed forces, with few exemptions, are probably necessarily going to have to be tossed like last year's cell phone. There's something new on the death, hate and destruction market and Uncle Sam better be prepared. Dubya's little wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are remnants of an age-old war mentality that argues to the victor goes the spoils. That just doesn't work anymore, buckoes.

Bring our soldiers home. Protect our homeplace. Retool the armed forces for the conflict that is, sadly, based upon religious zealotry where one's death in the good fight against the infidels necessarily opens that golden stairway to heaven; necessarily promises nirvana.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Onerous Army - Circa 1973

Army Life - Chesapeake Beach, Circa 1973

Couple Things- Home Grown Terrorists; Military Recruiting

Is it just me or do you find the consistent neocon argument/justification for destroying Iraq and it's people absurd. That argument (for those of you who have been living under a rock) is that we're -- apparently meaning the United States and Great Britain -- fighting the good fight in Afghanistan and Iraq so we don't have to fight a decidedly more dangerous fight in, oh, let's say the streets of Topeka, Kansas or DeMoines, Iowa. The presumptive reasoning for this absurd justification is that surely Islamic fundamentalists bent upon destroying the infidel (us) cannot and do not thrive within the glorious clutch of western democracies which, of course, we're creating in Iraq (:-])

Now, according to all the reports I've read, the -- what appears to have been -- suicide bombers who fomented the recent violence in London were, yes, children of western democracies. Sure, they were born in Pakistan (and a very late report that one was born in Jamaica??), but they were raised, lived, worked within that sacred -- or so say the neocons -- mystically cleansing western-style democracy of London and its quaint suburbs.

So, of course, the question occurs: Why are American young men and women dying in the hell that is Afghanistan and Iraq; why are (probably) hundreds of thousands of Iraqis being killed and their cities destroyed by the Christian, democratic infidels (I have read that Islamic fundamentalists look upon democracy as a religion) when, in reality, the ultimately more important battle is within those western democracies themselves? Sleeper cells? Yes, we're being told that the CIA has identified thousands of Islamic fundamentalist sleeper cells just waiting, waiting, waiting within our own glorious republic to be awoken and, Allah be praised!, bring the jihad home to where it belongs, yes, in the streets of Topeka and DeMoines, Paonia and Pueblo.

Yet, Dubya and the boys and girls just don't get it. Gotta have a war to sustain the neocon GOP at least through the 2006 elections. Right? God, I hope the American people are ON to this disastrous, costly strategy; this strategy that leaves mother's without sons; wives without husbands; children without fathers and, yes, lovers without their partners.

This from AlterNet this morning, "An Army of (No) One," that reads, in part:
It's been a tough year for the U.S. military. But you wouldn't know it from the Internet, now increasingly packed with slick, non-military looking websites of every sort that are lying in wait for curious teens (or their exasperated parents) who might be surfing by. On the ground, the military may be bogged down in a seemingly interminable mission that was supposedly "accomplished" back on May 1, 2003, but on the Web it's still a be-all-that-you-can-be world of advanced career choices, peaceful pursuits, and risk-free excitement.
What I find really interesting, though is this:
What we do know, however, is that JAMRS is currently focusing on the following areas of interest in an attempt to bolster the all-volunteer military:

Hispanic Barriers to Enlistment: a project to "identify the factors contributing to under-representation of Hispanic youth among military accessions" and "inform future strategies for increasing Hispanic representation among the branches of the Military."

College Drop Outs/Stop Outs Study: a project "aimed to gain a better understanding of what drives college students to... 'drop out' and determine how the Services can capitalize on this group of individuals (ages 18-24)."
Mothers' Attitude Study: "This study gauges the target audience's (270 mothers of 10th- and 11th-grade youth) attitudes toward the Military and enlistment."

During the Vietnam War, Hispanics took disproportionate numbers of casualties and similar disparities have been reported in Iraq. JAMRS, apparently, is looking to make certain that this military tradition is maintained. Additionally, eyebrows ought to be raised over a Pentagon that is looking at ways to influence the mothers of teens to send their sons and daughters off to war and at a military eager to study what it takes to get kids to "drop out" of school and how the military might then scoop them up. Perhaps the most intriguing line of research, however, is the "Moral Waiver Study" whose seemingly benign goal is "to better define relationships between pre-Service behaviors and subsequent Service success." What the JAMRS informational page doesn't make clear, but what might be better explained in the password-protected section of the site, is that a "moral character waiver" is the means by which potential recruits with criminal records are allowed to enlist in the U.S. military.
Okay. I posted a picture of my Basic Combat Training outfit, Delta 1-1 from way back in 1972. There was an "all volunteer Army" happenin' at that time, too (although there were still a few draftees in the mix). But, something has gone terribly wrong here. Take a look at the picture (blow it up by clicking on it and click the + sign and then the "Original" option in Flickr). Tell me how many white, black and Hispanic faces you see in that picture? (Lawdy, lookit all them white boys!) Can you pick out those with criminal records? What I think is that way back when I volunteered for service to my country there was still a little integrity left in the system; there was still a little reason to stand-up and be willing to give two or three or four years or a lifetime to your country as a soldier, whether you were white, or black or brown or polkadot. Not so today.
I'm thinkin' the Department of Defense is gettting a little desperate. Yup, I'm thinkin' that ol' Rummie and his crew are shitting bricks wondering where in hell they're going to get those young men and women to fight their fucking nasty little wars that serve only to prop-up a president who can't even find the Oval Office shithouse without Karl Rove holding his hand. And, what about this nation's National Guard and Reserves? What about Homeland Security? What about the Mexican and Canadian borders where anyone, literally anyone can enter the United States with impunity?
Jesus... And the Democrats? Well, I'm thinkin' there's a lost cause there as well.
I guess it's time for the people to take back their government.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Outing Karl Rove for Treason (And, Maybe Robert Novak, too??)

This from AlterNet is an interview with Joe Wilson titled, "Bush's Culture of Unaccountability." Wilson, you will recall, is a former ambassador under George the First, whose wife, an undercover CIA agent, was outed by columnist Robert Novak from information most likely received either directly or circuitously from Karl (Fuck anybody and everybody who dares get in Dubya's way) Rove.

Joe Wilson is also the authoritative source who traveled to Niger to disprove that nuclear "yellowcake" was being sold to Iraq, thus embarrassing Dubya who made the claim of WMDs in his State of the Union address.

The interview reads, in part:

I have always said that I believed the outing of Valerie was a signal to others that, should they step forward, the White House would do to their families what they did to mine. I have also had a number of journalists share with me their own experiences of being intimidated by senior officials in the White House. We should not be surprised that a climate of fear prevails in Washington.

The sentencing of Judith Miller to jail for refusing to disclose her sources is the direct result of the culture of unaccountability that infects the Bush White House from top to bottom. President Bush's refusal to enforce his own call for full cooperation with the Special Counsel has brought us to this point. Clearly, the conspiracy to cover up the web of lies that underpinned the invasion of Iraq is more important to the White House than coming clean on a serious breach of national security. Thus has Ms Miller joined my wife, Valerie, and her twenty years of service to this nation as collateral damage in the smear campaign launched when I had the temerity to challenge the President on his assertion that Iraq had attempted to purchase uranium yellowcake from Africa.

The real victims of this cover-up, which may have turned criminal, are the Congress, the Constitution and, most tragically, the Americans and Iraqis who have paid the ultimate price for Bush's folly.

Tom Cruise is Nuts

This site, TomCruiseisNuts, via my newest link, Drunken Lagomorph, (Yeah, I know, I had to look it up, too. A lagomorph is a rabbit, hare or pika -- as opposed to a "Poohka" which was the species of the invisible six-foot tall rabbit in the movie Harvey).

Take a look at the site that suggests Cruise is headed for an inevitable implosion. One of the quotes from Cruise which they cite is: "I can be a quite excitable person."

No shit!

Incidentally, Mary Chase wrote the play, "Harvey," while living in a small west Denver bungalow which one of my friends owns. I've even slept there and, yes, there were bumps in the night and the rooms in the old house embraced me within a warm and very, very cuddly clutch.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sloan's Lake - Pelican (Wow! What a Wingspan)

Sloan's Lake - Chinese Geese with Baby

Sloan's Lake - Downtown Denver Reflected

Sloan's Lake - Black-Crowned Night-Heron

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Handsome Boy - Golden Wade

Pretty Girl on Golden Pond

Friday, July 08, 2005

Westboro Baptist Church - The Epitome of Slime

Thought I'd check in with the epitome of slime, the Westboro Baptist Church, and here's what I found:

Kewl, huh. If these folks weren't so pitifully stupid, they'd probably be dangerous.


This is "Gossip," a bronze sculpture by Martha Pettigrew. The piece sits in Writer's Square in Lodo (Lower Downtown Denver). David and I discovered the great piece during our city hike last weekend.

Martha Pettigrew

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Is a Military Draft in the Cards for you Young'uns?

I came across this site and even though it appears to be a rather morbid tongue-in-cheek attempt to raise the specter of a new military draft, it does provide some credible information.

Although I was "Regular Army" (I volunteered) many of the boys/men with whom I served were draftees.

Just to give you young'uns a little taste of what might be in store for you, I'm posting my Delta 1-1 group photo from what was probably the last week of our Basic Combat Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana. I'll probably have some further narrative to add to this picture. For me, the Army was the loss of innocence store, which I may expound upon further.

Can you find George? If you can, I'll send you a free copy of my novel (once it's finally published).

Incidentally, blogspot's picture utility doesn't seem to be working. So, I'll post the picture via flickr, below? above?

1972 - Fort Polk, LA Basic Combat Training

"Mission Accomplished!" Yeah, Right!

This from AlterNet on the London bombings this morning.

Now, Dubya's logic has been that we're fighting the terrorists in Iraq because we don't want to fight them here at home. I guess Londoners might be questioning that logic this morning.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Art? Um, You're Kidding, Right??

Karl Rove's Treason

Jim Moore writes in the Huffington Post about Karl Rove's duplicity in the the exposure of Valerie Plame, the CIA undercover operative who happened to be the wife of former American diplomat and charge d'affaires in Iraq during the first Iraq "war," Joe Wilson. Joe Wilson, you may recall, is the authoritative source who visited Niger, Africa to investigate Dubya's State of the Union claims that Iraq was buying uranium "yellowcake" from Niger in order to create WMDs. Wilson found no such evidence and exposed Dubya's lie for what it was (not that it ever seemed to matter to neocons and a whole lot of the folks back here in America who, like Dubya/Rove needed, no wanted a war. We had to kick ass after 9/11 and, by God, Dubya/Rove delivered. Moore notes that:

Positioning is Rove's favorite political sport and that's the purpose of this admission. It's a metaphorical "so what" shrug of the shoulders. But the sub text of Rove's words shows another strategy. The presidential advisor undoubtedly knows he is guilty of a federal crime but, for obvious political reasons, he needs it to be something less than treason. Perjury will be his default position. The political harm to be done to his president and his party for a conviction of treason is incalculable.

The legal points of the case against Rove and the other White House Plame leakers almost seem irrelevant. Justice is a kind of bonus if it ever comes to this case. There has never been any real denial by the Bush administration that people working closely with the president made a concerted effort to contact reporters and promote the idea of writing stories about an undercover CIA agent. And yet nobody on the right seems to have any outrage. The confessed unethical behavior, regardless of whether it is legally treason or not, ought to be enough to prompt the "accountability" president to send Rove and his consorts home.

In Texas, progressives are hoping Rove's trail of tears has led him to his own inevitable sadness. And there is the slight chance that the awful weight of all of his wrongs has finally begun to crush Karl Rove. There is a moment of hubris in most great achievements. But I am skeptical that this is Karl's moment. His justice may be long overdue. Unfortunately, however, in Rove's case, the law has been about as reliable as karma.


Woman, originally uploaded by George In Denver.

During our downtown hike, David and I walked through the galleria of the Denver Performing Arts Center where Fernando Botero's companion pieces, "Man" and "Woman," are displayed. Unfortunately, the lighting on "Man" was bad. However, "Woman" came out just fine. Good piece!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Colorado's Senator Ken Salazar - Just Stupid, or What?

Seems that the compromise to avoid the "nuclear option," -- the neocon plan to destroy the filibuster in the U.S. Senate -- which seven Republicans and seven Democrats (Yes, Colorado's junior Democratic Senator was one of what has become known at the "Gang of 14") will have some very distinct consequences when Dubya presents his choice for a replacement for the Supreme Court seat Sandra Day O'Connor will be vacating.

This from the Washington Post which reads, in part:

Democrats' hopes of blocking a staunchly conservative Supreme Court nominee on ideological grounds could be seriously undermined by the six-week-old bipartisan deal on judicial nominees, key senators said yesterday.

With President Bush expected to name a successor to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor next week, liberals are laying the groundwork to challenge the nominee if he or she leans solidly to the right on affirmative action, abortion and other contentious issues. But even if they can show that the nominee has sharply held views on matters that divide many Americans, some of the 14 senators who crafted the May 23 compromise appear poised to prevent that strategy from blocking confirmation to the high court, according to numerous interviews.

The pact, signed by seven Democrats and seven Republicans, says a judicial nominee will be filibustered only under "extraordinary circumstances." Key members of the group said yesterday that a nominee's philosophical views cannot amount to "extraordinary circumstances" and that therefore a filibuster can be justified only on questions of personal ethics or character.

Like I said before, Salazar was elected from a decidedly red state. His election was backed by a whole lot of big money folks (Democrats, liberals) and an enormous coalition of blue collar working folks, Latinos, African Americans, gays and lesbians, unions; the traditional--but fading-- power base of the Democratic party. But, what you do and what you say to get yourself elected to the Senate and then what you do or say once you get there are, of course, really, really distinctly different things.

Ol' Ken will probably pull what his predecessor, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, did and switch parties toward the end of his forst term.

And, now that I think about it, it's not just Ken Salazar who appears to have become quite stupid upon his ascension to the Senate. There are a whole lot of other nominal Democrats who have become stupid, lazy, braindead and appear to have been (willingly) castrated in the face of the Dubya/Rove two-headed monster who'll disassemble each one you dipshits if you don't toe the line.

What's scary is Dubya could nominate the reincarnation of Attila the Hun for the Supreme Court and the nomination would succeed much to the credit of limpdick liberals and deadass Democrats.

Regardless of whatever fire Howard Dean's got in his belly, somthin' just ain't right with the party of FDR and Kennedy. Yup, the only thing we have to fear are lily-livered (isn't that a cute word) liberals and spineless Democrats who have lost sight of their base; who fear the two-headed monster.

Oh well... So, what else is new.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Borofsky's "Dancers" at Denver's Performing Arts Complex (That's David at the ankle!)

A Downtown Hike

David and I walked to downtown Denver from our Northwest Denver home this Sunday. The route we took was about six miles roundtrip and, of course, I had to take photographs.

This is the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River where Denver City was first platted in 1858. There is a park here called, what esle, Confluence Park. Cherry Creek is to the left and the South Platte is to the right.

The tower you see in the background is Six Flags Elitches Amusement Park.

I'll post more of the sights (photos) from our "Downtown hike."

Have a Happy Fourth! Thankyaverymuch!!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Our Hike

Ever since our epic ascent of Mount Bierstadt--one of Colorado's fourteeners (elevation over 14,000 ft.)--David and I have been anxious to continue our discovery of the magnificent sights, terrain, environment of the Colorado Rockies. Our hike on Sunday, June 26th, 2005, was not epic and certainly didn't demand the effort and determination of climbing another of Colorado's fourteeners. But, it was a good day; it was an sweetly serene and intimate experience between the two of us and the raw stuff of nature that is so gloriously prevalent in the Colorado Rockies.

We headed for the Golden Gate Canyon State Park which is about thirty miles from the city of Denver and sits within the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies. No, the "Golden Gate" designation has nothing to do with San Francisco. Golden is the city at the base of the Colorado Rockies where, among other things, Coors beer is brewed and the Colorado School of the Mines is located.

Within the Golden Gate Canyon State Park are a number of trails and camping sites that are, apparently, utilized by a great number of folks given their convenient distance from Denver. However, our early arrival--about 7a.m.--assured us a rather quiet solitude amongst the miracles of nature within the park.

David and I chose the Burro trail which leads up to what is called, "Windy Peak." The trail is about 4.5 miles long (nine miles round trip) and David and I handled the round trip hike in about three hours. And, no, it wasn't windy at the peak. Shucks!

It was a good day until we sat down at the end of the hike to eat our turkey sandwiches and six mountain bikers whizzed past us on their way up the trail. Not that I have anything against mountain biking. It's just that, well... If I were a dad with three kids and a wife doodling along the skinny trail up to Windy Peak and, all of a sudden, here comes six hefty guys on mountain bikes demanding the same space my family was, at the time, occupying... Well, it'd probably piss me off. You can see how narrow the trail was.

Then again, I am were one of the mountain bikers...

Like I said, it was a good day. I wish I could have taken you all along with us.

p.s. I just added the above picture within the post with the new utility provided by blogspot. Looks pretty good.