Saturday, October 07, 2006

Elephants in free fall


This is from a post about a dream of mine a few months ago. The sky was full of falling elephants:
Things don't look so good for the elephants. Gravity is starting to have its way with them. They're plummeting now. And because all of them are facing to the right, they don't see the donkeys rising over on the left, out of their field of vision. The donkeys are too disorganized to accomplish much, just making frisky little experimental leaps. But you get the feeling they are finally getting it together, and their time is coming.
Seems even more appropriate now. Hastert, Boehner, Reynolds?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Wondering about the Apocalypse and how it's going to play out? There's always the Armageddon Flow Chart.


Are you worried about Apocalypse Now? Is the prospect of the End of Days making you fretful? Do visions of the Four Horsemen gallop through your dreams? You could try to get some answers by watching Jericho, the new CBS drama with the mushroom cloud branding visual. But let's face it -- the show raises more questions than it answers. (Some of them are discussed in the comments at this previous post about the program.)

The Armageddon Flow Chart may not answer all your questions either, but it also doesn't take itself nearly as seriously and serves up some real surprises. For openers, there's the spontaneous combustion of Bruce Willis. (H/T to Teresa at Making Light.)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Now he's hiding behind the First Lady


Mike Groll for The New York Times

Congressman Tom Reynolds (R-NY and chair of the NRCC), at a campaign fund raiser with Laura Bush and Gov. George Pataki in Amherst, NY. Well, at least he's stopped hiding behind kids.

UPDATE: Doesn't seem to be working too well. Swing State Project reports the latest Survey USA poll has Democrat Jack Davis up by 50%-45% over Reynolds. And that, according to MyDD, is after Reynolds led the previous poll by 3 percent. Cool.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

When you see the blinding flash, duck and cover


I grew up as part of the "duck and cover" generation of kids who went through the nuclear civil defense exercises in school. That no doubt influenced my dreams over the years, which often used to be about nuclear war, less so today. -- though with this administration in the White House, that's starting to change again.

Often it would begin like this. The blinding flash. Everything frozen for an instant, like a flash photo, in that split second you would have to take cover and try to protect yourself from flying glass, heat, shock wave -- the whole damn thing. I used to debate whether to stay in the car (what if it became an inferno?) or try to make it to a ditch. Never really worked that out.

Nothing that drastic this time. The fireball is just the same one 93 million miles away that's always been there, just the late afternoon sun flaring in my camera as I stopped for a traffic accident on the highway.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Beyond bizzarre -- now they're hiding behind children?


Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News

A Buffalo News photographer shot this iconic photo that perfectly sums up the whole damn Foleygate scandal, which has rapidly moved beyond the "merely" sleazy, salacious and corrupt. Now it's an utterly surreal, blame-shifting mass abdication of all personal responsibility.

In an affair that's defined by the failure of adults to accept their responsibility to protect the young people in their charge, NY congressman Thomas M. Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, topped everyone by surrounding himself with the children of supporters at a press conference called to defend his role as a House Republican leader. The New York Daily News blog reports:
The Upstate media today is all about Tom Reynolds' bizarre press conference yesterday, at which he surrounded himself by small children. At one point, reporters asked if he could make the children leave so they could ask adult questions, and he refused.
Earth to Republican Party: Get a grip!

UPDATE: At least Reynolds has stopped hiding behind kids. His new human shield seems to be the First Lady.

Monarch butterflies once again making their mysterious migration to Mexico as leaderless orphans


Oblivious to our headlines -- the school shootings, the congressional sex scandal and coverup, the "State of Denial" revelations about the Bush administration and Iraq -- what the NYT calls "leaderless orphans" are making their annual pilgrimage to Mexico.

The migrations of other well-known species are led by veterans. The young learn from their parents. But the monarch butterflies that migrate to Mexico from as far north as Canada are several generations removed from the most recent relatives to make the trip. In fact, they are their great grandchildren.

Without leaders or mentors, they perform incredible feats of navigation to thread the needle, avoid drowning in the Gulf of Mexico and reach their winter quarters in Mexico.
But those lifting off anywhere from Montana to Maine must aim themselves carefully to avoid drowning in the Gulf of Mexico or hitting a dead end in Florida. The majority manage to thread a geographical needle, hitting a 50-mile-wide gap of cool river valleys between Eagle Pass and Del Rio, Tex.
Once in Mexico's mountains, they gain altitude and must make some additional precise turns to reach their winter grounds. How do they do it? That's what researchers are trying to find out, as the NYT reports today.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday Sunrise Blogging: 10/02/06


The sun is rising on a busy Madison Guy. Will probably be posting a little less frequently the next few weeks as I get caught up on some stuff.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sign of the times


Housing Sales Prices Decline. Median existing-home sale prices in south-central Wisconsin were lower last month than year earlier.

A warning about the death of freedom from someone who knows what it means to lose it

"We are now officially living in a dictatorship." That's what Coturnix wrote about the passage of the torture/detention bill at his blog A Blog Around the Clock (formerly Science & Politics).
Many of my friends and neighbors have no clue that today USA ceased to be a democracy. They do not realize that Congress and Courts do not have any power to stop Bush from doing whatever he wants. He never cared what they said before and did it anyway. But starting today, it became legal.
It's easy to dismiss this as just more liberal rhetoric. The U.S. a dictatorship? Get real, this is America, etc. But before you laugh too hard, look at what Coturnix has to say about how his native land, the former Yugoslavia, lost its freedom and fell into the chaos of civil war.

But don't get him wrong. He's not giving up.
This post is not defeatist. If it was not clear from the sentence that mentions Canada etc., I am not going anywhere. I did not go through all the trouble of coming here and becoming a citizen just to leave again. I am staying and fighting to the end.
Check out his post and the many links it provides. It's a moving, eloquent tribute to the real American Dream, which is about freedom, not shopping.