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An unusual bird story

I live on a ridge top in East Tennessee. I have a large deck accessed by four patio doors. The deck overlooks the valley and the forested ridge on the other side. Usually there are 3 to 10 hawks/bussards/falcons cruising over the valley looking for a meal.

Yesterday a dove crashed into the kitchen patio door at top speed and was stunned. It was lying on the deck and my wife went to help. As she reached down to pick it up, a falcon? swooped in and took it away. I said falcon because my wife described it as slightly larger than the dove. I have seen the prey birds catch other birds, snakes and small animals but this incident tops my list of weird. Obviously I need some education about birds of prey in tnis area.

Go vote for cia torture special prosecutor.

The DOJ site has a poll widget to vote on the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate CIA torture. The link

Medicare Part D — The Product of a Broken Process

I am posting this article from the New England Journal of Medicine… in full and admitting to all the laws and rules I have broken, so sue me. The article was written by Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) who was the ranking member of the committee on rules. I am doing this to inform those who need informing, you know who you are – hold up your hands, how K street, lobbyist, and corporate $ have taken our government and are in the process even as we speak of stealing from seniors and the disabled via plan D. I was caught in this and am still hot about it. This article shows the depth of corruption and how legislators operate with impunity, disregard of the law and, without fear of criticism from their ethics committee. We must keep hammering these guys and get more folk involved if we are to counter the big $. Article, written June1, 2006, begins:

“Most Americans agree that affordable drug coverage under Medicare has been needed for some time. But instead of a solution to a growing problem, Congress gave the country a prescription-drug plan that achieves few of its original goals. The current problems with Medicare Part D are largely the direct result of the undemocratic way in which the plan was authored and passed. The final legislation, heavily influenced by drug-company and health insurance lobbyists, focused mainly on the needs of those industries instead of those of the seniors it should serve.  

Is Obama a Criminal?

I am thinking of sending this to the local letters to the editor red newspaper so give me your best shot. Content,style, punctuation hell even spelling. Have at it.

We managed to get through two world wars and some others without having any state secrets or at least if we did then we did not withhold evidence upon that basis until 1953. This is the precedent upon which all future state secrete claims for withholding evidence is based. In this landmark case the judge was not allowed to see the evidence and ruled in the blind. After release of the classified documents, new litigation was attempted, based in part, on a complaint that the classified material contained no secret information. It appears the government lied to the court. Who would have thought it? Disgraceful! The president in 1953 was Eisenstein who won WWII with some help, lied to the court. Presidents relying on this precedent, well draw your own conclusions.

Destruction of evidence of a crime is its self a crime. Now suppose instead of burning or shredding the evidence it were made unavailable, say sealing in a container and dropping in the Marianas trench. How is that different from declaring the evidence a state secret and thus unavailable? What if the hidden evidence contained information of a serious crime, say a war crime. The president claiming the state secrete privilege would for certain be a criminal on the one hand but the criminally would be in theory justified by preventing damage to the nation, said damage theoretical –  unproved and unprovable.  

A judge would have to determine whether the evidence should be put at ocean bottom or made public. In many cases the judge is not given access to the material in question and must rely on affidavits submitted by DOJ attorneys, who as in the 1953 case have been less than truthful. He would have to weigh whether a serious criminal, or band of criminals, should be allowed to go free against the theoretical damage to the nation, said damage theoretical –  unproved and unprovable. The damage could be the destruction of an aircraft carrier or merely nonexistent. What should he do? Being a judge is hard work.

Of course if said president were invoking the state secret for a  reason other than to protect the nation, then assuming the evidence had information about a crime then he would just be in my opinion an uncommon criminal. Even the thought of having a criminal for president, especially since I worked so hard to get him elected is hard to take. But then again after eight years a fellow gets used to it, but it doesn’t make the next four easier.  

This discussion concerns the torture evidence and President Obamas efforts to pretend it never happened. He is disobeying court orders, using state secrets privilege where it cannot be justified, he is trying to get congress to pass a law making the information public illegal and lastly he is fighting a losing battle. The photos and other evidence are coming out either legally or otherwise. The demand for accountability cannot be ignored.  It is scentless to pretend that Al’ Queda, those tortured, those torturing, those watching and taking pictures of torture, those in charge of torture, those who ordered torture, those who tried to legalize torture, peoples around the world and you and I are ignorant or uncaring about torture.

It is hard for me to imagin how in six short months I have gone from reading progressive internet blogs which boil down to Obama = JFK to blogs boiling down to Obama = Bush. How in hell did that happen so quickly? I cannot grasp the idea supporting ” The way to a successful presidency and reelection is to do what Bush did.”.

Effiency expert weighs in on healthcare

The New England Journal of Medicine article at this link… discusses more fully the points listed below.

I believe these stipulations have been generally agreed to by those who post health care essays. I have beat the drums for universal single payer but that conflicts with item 2 which keeps the employer in the system. That seems like a good idea as the employer can declare no smoking zones (give me a break smokers, I been there and done that), provide incentives such as paying for sick days not taken, etc.

Before I get accused of over copying, let me admit it. The way I see it now is not the time for niceties. I don’t think there is a penalty for copying a copy so cut and paste anything you find useful. Comments, corrections and additions welcome.  

Me & Baucus

I got an email from with a click and sign petetion for single payer. I clicked and recommend that we all click. It is probably not going to happen but we may get a stronger public option by pushing.Anyhow, here is an email I sent to Baucus.

Senator Baucus

I want single payer for my grandkids and for generations unborn and for the homeless vets who sleep under the bridge nearby. Don’t worry I take them a load of blankets from BIG LOTS every fall with a $5 bill tucked in each. You could have helped them more but you came up short, not in contributions in performance.

The anger over single payer among us war vets is thick enough to slice. We remember when it was defeated in 60’s and 90’s and now we can add the 00’s. When I saw you say on teevee that maybe you should have left the single payer option in as tho it was merely an oversight I lost it. In addition you magnanimously dropped charges on the thirteen nurses and doctors you had arrested. What a guy!

I paid my American Express Credit Card $51.19 today. It was not due yet but I could not cancel it as long as there was a balance. In making the cancellation I mentioned your oversight on single payer and the $50,000 they gave to your campaign. I am not a constituent but a war buddy is and he is going to supply a vote and I am kicking in $50. Guess who gets them in your next election.

signed dungaree