Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Gurgling drainspouts and chirping birds" (we can hope)

Via Mpls. Star Tribune

Over at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Paul Douglas, Minnesota's celebrity weather forecaster, reports snow and temp statistics that would surprise no one in the area who has ventured forth lately: 50 inches of snow thus far this winter and 6.5 degrees colder than average.

Having been sidelined by recovering from surgery this winter, I've pretty much missed out on our extreme weather. Now that I'm up and about again, I only venture forth on rare sunny days with dry roads.

Here's the good news. Our weather prophet, Mr. Douglas, is predicting 40 degrees by late this week and even temps in the 50s in the first week of April. " roughly 1 week we'll be greeted by gurgling drain spouts and chirping birds..."

Read more:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Stop the war on wolves!

A letter from Jamie Rappaport Clark, President, Defenders of Wildlife:
Dear Virginia,

Across the Northern Rockies and beyond, anti-wolf extremists are mounting a well-funded and unrelenting attack.
More than 1,100 wolves have been killed as a result of hunting and trapping in the Northern Rockies since Congress stripped them of Endangered Species Act protection in 2011. 
  • The governor of Montana recently signed a bill into law that prohibits state wildlife officials from establishing protective buffer zones along national park borders, a measure that would have helped protect Yellowstone wolves.
  • In Utah, a shameful and fiscally-irresponsible proposal by anti-wolf extremists just passed out of committee. If finalized, this measure will allocate $300,000 of taxpayer money to anti-wolf lobbying efforts in Washington D.C. – aiming to strip the last shreds of federal protection for nearly all gray wolves across the Lower 48.
  • In Idaho, state officials approved a proposal to pay Wildlife Services $50,000 to kill more wolves.
We’re witnessing firsthand what happens when the fate of wolves is turned over to states with extreme anti-wolf management plans in place.
It's hard to fathom that earlier in the month, Wyoming opened even more of their state to the unlimited killing of wolves!
Defenders of Wildlife is America’s premier wildlife advocacy organization working to protect endangered wildlife. Our science and legal teams are renowned in the field. We are leading efforts and speaking out across the country on behalf of wolves to help ensure that our nation’s imperiled wildlife receive the crucial protection they deserve and need in order to recover.   
We will not let politics get in the way of our work for wolves. Your urgent donation will make a big difference.
Thanks for all that you do for wolves – and all of America’s endangered wildlife.


Jamie Rappaport Clark
Defenders of Wildlife

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Harvard Crimson disses Obama's drone policy

Rand Paul: official portrait.
One of President Obama's bragging points during his 08 campaign was having once served as editor of the Harvard Law Review. Today, Obama's alma mater is not 100 percent in support of his administration's policies. The elitist institution's newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, is "standing with Rand Paul" for filibustering Obama's odious drone policy:

Late last week, as a rare March blizzard began to take our nation’s capital by storm, an ophthalmologist from Kentucky directed all eyes to C-Span, where he was busy making history. The ophthalmologist, Senator Rand Paul, managed to remain standing for nearly 13 hours in protest over President Obama’s choice to head the CIA in his second administration. While Paul admitted the inevitable futility of the filibuster, he remained firm in his positing of a single, previously unanswered question: “Does the President have the authority to use a drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?” We commend the senator for raising the alarm on this important aspect of civil liberty, and we fault the administration for its intransigence in clarifying its own policies.

While John O. Brennan faced little trouble in his confirmation as Director of the CIA the day after Paul’s showmanship, Senator Paul did ultimately score a victory for his cause. Throughout his marathon of a speech, Paul read passages from previous letters sent to him by the attorney general addressing his primary query. The cavalier and wholly unsatisfying answer was, namely, that the question is laughable in and of itself—the president has never had to ponder targeting an American on U.S. soil. Laudably, Paul was unhappy with this response and stood his ground until he could get an unambiguous “yes” or “no” from the Justice Department. While he ultimately capitulated before such a memorandum arrived, the next day Attorney General Eric Holder backtracked from his previous position that American citizens at home could be targeted in “extraordinary circumstances.” His new, clarified stance is that “the answer to [Senator Paul’s] question is no.”

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Rand Paul and our Constitutional Law expert president

Courtesy of
Libertarian Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's filibuster forced Atty. Gen. Eric Holder's hand the other day while helping to open the eyes of Americans to President Obama's creeping expanse of power in the use of drones, not only in other nations, but here at home as well; never mind that the former Constitutional law instructor has been giving the U.S. Constitution short shrift.

The Chicago Trib's John Kass succintly describes how establishment politicians dissed Paul:
Republican Sen. John McCain is pushing 80 now, but he still has those jaws and the Teddy Roosevelt teeth that look as if they could chomp through a baseball bat.

Yet no matter how vital his bite, the Arizona Republican is getting up in years. So he can't help but add to the litany of stupid things he's said.

We all say stupid things, but what came out of McCain's mouth the other day about fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul's heroic filibuster on the Senate floor wasn't merely foolish.

It was Homeric in its stupidity.

Paul, a young libertarian whippersnapper from Kentucky, took to the floor for some 13 hours, arguing that the Constitution was sacred, and that President Barack Obama can't use drones to execute Americans without trial.
Paul's courage became a sensation. Tea party folks on the right and even some on the left were thrilled that someone would stand for civil liberties.

But McCain, crotchety establishmentarian that he is, wasn't impressed.

"If Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously, he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids," McCain said. "I don't think what happened yesterday is helpful to the American people."
Impressionable libertarian kids?

Finally, the old establishment Republican bulls express their true feelings about young Americans who dare think the Constitution is worth keeping.

Read more:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Modern women reject the segregation and misogyny found in every religious denomination

I've long contended there will never be true social justice for all until the world's dominant religions clean up their acts, and I therefore appreciate this quote from a recent column by Taylor Marsh:

... many modern women no longer find organized religion relevant, because of the segregation and misogyny embedded in its foundation, whatever denomination you name. 

Read more:


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It’s official: 15 more days until spring!

St. Paul Conservatory, courtesy of

Here it is March 5, and the Twin Cities got four inches of snow last night. The roof of the apartment building across the way is heavy laden with white stuff, and it’s still coming down. Well, it had to happen. Wouldn’t have been March- without a couple of big snowstorms.

Locals knew what was coming even though last Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny with blue skies. Many of us headed to the St. Paul Conservatory to catch a preview of summer. Strolling around the various rooms and breathing in the warm, moist air while examining a variety of trees and other plants, and celebrating the gorgeous colors of the flowers on display brought smiles to the faces of adults and children.

My smile may have been more radiant than others and with good reason. Due to a fluke in my knee replacement surgery on Nov. 6 that necessitated a second surgery on Dec. 15, I’ve been confined to an ugly leg brace and a wheelchair for the winter. I haven’t gotten out much for the past several months except for occasional medical appointments. My son and his wife took me to the Conservatory the other day and wheeled me around the displays.

My next doctor’s appointment is scheduled for Monday, March 9 when I hope  to lose the brace and the wheel chair. My physical therapist is poised to help me with strengthening exercises, etc.

And yes, I’m looking forward to the start of spring on Wednesday, March 20. Hey, that’s only 15 days from now!