Friday, April 28, 2006

Badge of Honor (Blue Badge of Courage!)

"Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act.

What did conservatives do? They opposed every single one of those things. Every one. So when you try to hurl that label at my feet – "liberal" – as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won't work, Senator. Because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor."
-Matthew Santos [Democrat] to Arnold Vinnick
[Republican], "The West Wing"


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Is it just me or is Senator Craig still missing the point?

Personally, I think he must be drunk... on power? On Bushy love? Who knows, but how can a sober person come up with this garbage?

For example, check out his current newsletter...

Craig starts out with a survey question:
"To help meet increased demand for oil, should the United States expand responsible oil development to areas currently closed (like ANWR, or the coast of Florida)?"

Excuse me??? What "increased demand"? The one in the United States? I thought it was CHINA's increased demand that was causing the problem! Oh, yes, Americans and their gas-guzzling SUVs and Hummers... that doesn't help either. Hey, I have a BRILLIANT IDEA! Let's start CONSERVING our resources!! Can we try THAT, maybe?

Craig's next item states that:
"Did you know that if former President Clinton hadn't vetoed drilling in ANWR 10 years ago, today it would be producing 1 million barrels of oil per day? The United States ought to be seeking ways to boost energy supplies, not ignore them."

Ummmm, again, may I suggest that we seek ways to CONSERVE energy supplies instead of wasting them? May we seek ways of protecting our beautiful country rather than raping and pillaging it?

This is what he thinks is good news:
On April 21, the federal Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics release its state-by-state employment figures for March. As expected, Idaho's economy maintained its red-hot pace, with unemployment falling even lower, to 3.2 percent, third-lowest in the nation. Access Details to find out what's driving this remarkable economic expansion.

Isn't it great that so many people in Idaho have jobs? Minimum wage (which Republicans have kept to $5.15/hour), low skill (thank you, Walmart), no benefits, but hey, we have JOBS! Tell us how many Idahoans have health insurance, Craig. Tell us how many native Idahoans can afford college, Craig. Tell us how many Idahoans went BANKRUPT last year, Craig... Yeah, we're in GREAT shape, Craig.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Keeping it simple for the simpleminded...

To the population that still can't figure out that Iraq does not equal 9/11, global warming IS real, etc., maybe simple pictures and simple concepts will leak through...

Remember THIS in November!!

Does anybody else remember the last recent spike in gas prices was because of "Katrina" and all of the damage to the offshore drills and ports, etc.? Didn't we give these oil companies a chunk of change to help them recover from Katrina and hopefully put brakes on the increasing cost to consumers? And didn't quarterly reports from oil companies show profits in the BILLIONS a few months later?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Desperate times call for desperate measures?

DISCLAIMER: I do not intend to sound as if I am a military expert or if I have military experience. I DO NOT have either. This is just my opinion based upon what peripheral exposure I have had.

I realize that many of our military DO support the war in Iraq and I respect their feelings, truly I do (even if I don't understand them!). I also have heard that many of our military do NOT support this war but are unable to express their opinions nor are they really able to do anything about it. The military system is NOT designed for dissent. Following orders is one of the main rules one must follow when one is in the military. There is no room for questioning, arguing, or "quitting". What options do they really have? (That is a legitimate question, folks, feel free to answer...)

It's been frustrating to hear conservative "talking heads" vent their criticism of the current list of generals who are criticizing Rumsfield.

Why didn't they say something while they were IN the military before they retired? DUH.

Why didn't they just resign if they were so upset about the leadership of Rumsfield? Double DUH.

Being in the military is NOT like working at McDonald's or Micron, ESPECIALLY if you've made it your career. First of all, how many transferable job skills do military generals really have in order to support their families? Secondly, they have not moved their family from state to state, country to country, and committed EVERY ASPECT OF THEIR LIVES to the service just to hand in your "two weeks notice" when they are unhappy with their leadership. Do you think these people liked leaving their families for months... YEARS... at a time? No, but that was their duty. Do you think they LIKE shooting people or exposing themselves to IEDs? No, but that is their duty. I could continue, but hopefully you get the picture.

These were not privates... these were GENERALS who had probably spent their COMPLETE ADULT LIVES in the service, sworn to uphold their promise to serve our country. Resigning is the same as QUITTING and it is NOT an option. Saying otherwise, in MY opinion, shows how completely ignorant one is about the military and what we expect--no, what we DEMAND from them.

So now that we've established that career officers are not going to walk away from their duty... and the majority of the rest of the troops do not have many recourses if they do not support the war in Iraq... what options are left for those who joined the military and find themselves in a position that they don't want to be in? They probably didn't intend for it to be their career--they joined for an education or job skills (go ahead and criticize those motives... but you know damn well recruiters milk it for all it's worth, especially in rural and low-income communities where there aren't many options available), or perhaps they joined in the patriotic fever of catching bin Laden (remember, the ORIGINAL terrorist?) after 9/11... and now they find themselves in a war they don't support, unrelated to 9/11, based upon lies and misrepresentation, lacking resources/manpower/body armour/etc., working in fields completely unrelated to their intended "education" or "career path"... what options do they have?

One of the most distasteful and traitorous and unAmerican and reprehensible option of all: DESERTION.

Re-enlistment and recruitment numbers are down... there are stop loss and call back measures in place (we can't call it the "draft", right?)... but how much have we heard about desertion? Not much.

But it's happening... more than we realize. The Pentagon is now hunting down deserters from Vietnam that they've ignored for almost forty years. Are they trying to send a message to currently enlisted troops?

In the past 18 months, after years in which "cold case" absent-without-leave investigations remained effectively closed, the Marine Corps has caught 34 long-time deserters after reopening dozens of files.

The sudden aggressiveness...comes amid growing concerns in the Pentagon over the number of soldiers who have deserted since the Iraq war began. According to Pentagon records released last week, at least 9,000 members of the all-volunteer US military have deserted in the past three years.

So what kind of numbers are we talking about?

Marine deserters still at large
Second World War... 5
Korean War... 8
Vietnam War... 125
1980 to 1985... 51
Number of deserters since 2003
Army 4,387
Navy 3,454
Air force 82
Marines 1,455

I find it difficult to believe that every member of our military is supporting the war in Iraq. Again, I know some are... but I can't help but think that those who aren't in favor of this war are UNABLE to speak out about their opinion. To those who say that criticizing Bush or Rumsfield is demoralizing to our troops, I say "bullsh**". There are Marines and soldiers over in Iraq who are PRAYING for American citizens to help them, to demand accountability, to protect THEM as they have sworn to protect us.

I do not know what the right solution is... but I have a gut feeling that a change in leadership (from the White House, to the Pentagon, to Congress) would be a start in the right direction. Bush doesn't have a clue and he's surrounded by subhumans with personal agendas. I worry that the military experts in the Pentagon are unable to demand what they need in order to win this war. (Hell, I can't even remember why we are there? Terrorists? Freedom? Oil? Who the hell knows anymore...) And Congress is too busy trying to cover their asses, earn political and partisan points, and prepare for the next election to do their damn jobs like American citizens sent them to DC to do.

SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE. And we have eight months to get it done.

For more about the current hunt for deserters, go to Deserters hunted down 30 years after Vietnam.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Lie of the day... he was reading his notes.

For some great comments about this incident, check out Dependable Renegade and Think Progress. They include references to "someone used the microwave in the White House again" and "dead Energizer batteries" and more!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

"President Exxon"

Thanks, d2, for giving me comfort!

Growing by leaps and bounds...!

to the Drinking Liberally family!!
They meet every Thursday (next meeting April 27), 7:00 pm onward. For more information, go to Idaho Falls Drinking Liberally and don't forget to join the Idaho Falls mailing list!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Video of Magic Dam on Saturday


I've not done this before so if it doesn't work for you, let me know.

This is a video shared with me from Doc Davis of Shoshone who received it from his friend Cecil (who I've never met but I can testify he takes the most beautiful pictures of Idaho scenery!!).

Wish me luck!

Click here to view video (MPEG format, 7 meg)

UPDATE: It should be working now...! Thank you, Serephin!

Blog tools...

I really appreciate LeftyBlogs because--to be honest--I would either forget to check various Idaho blogs on a regular basis or I would keep checking and checking and the bloggers wouldn't have added anything since the last time I checked. I'd stop checking after a while and then later, I'd find a bunch of posts that I'd missed!!

If they fit the criteria of LeftyBlogs (over a few months old, subjects are mostly state and local liberal politics) and sign up for it, then I can get an update everytime I bring up my own blog. (You can see it also over on the left column.)

However, it still doesn't meet all of my needs:
  • There are a couple of my favorite blogs who aren't listed on LeftyBlogs...
  • People without blogs still have to remember to check blogs like mine that provide that information.

So, I found Feedblitz and plugged it into my blog. It doesn't solve my challenges with my favorite blogs (Alan, you are one of them!) where I try to remember to check on a regular basis for current updates -- but it does allow others to sign up for my updates, if they want to. Go all the way to the bottom of the page and you can subscribe to my feed there...

Maybe some of my favorites will also sign up for Leftyblogs AND Feedblitz? {They are both free...}

Monday's flood news...

Weather service continues flood warning on Big Wood
Water spilling over channel banks
845 AM MDT MON APR 17 2006






TIMES-NEWS Front Page Story
Big Wood River rising
Neighbors of river work to protect their homes
By Sandy MillerTimes-News writer

GOODING -- John Gies stood on his back porch Sunday afternoon, looking at the pond that used to be his backyard.The Big Wood River was rising, but Gies didn't seem too concerned."It's flooded before," Gies said. "It doesn't come over the banks. It's always a nuisance, but we've been through this before and I suppose we'll get through it again." {Read more...}

Attn: Antiwar and Peace Activists

Here are some positive suggestions on how to encourage more real Americans to agree with you:

1. Please don't think of individual military recruiters as The Enemy. Every enlisted servicemember is a real American trying to do a job. The same goes for junior officers, in some respects all the way up to Lieutenant Colonel (O-5). They don't set policy; they carry it out.

2. If you can, please consider focusing your attention on political leadership. You may wish to consider your Senators' State Offices, Congressional District Office, State Legislators' District Offices, City Hall, etc., because elected officials (in theory) tend to listen to the concerns of their constituents.

3. If you choose to focus your protest against the war on the military recruiting office (which, in your community, may be the only possible location), please go inside to say hello first, just so they know it's nothing personal.

4. Picketing, passing out leaflets, even a bit of (pre-arranged, choreographed) political theater are all great ways of making your point. But attempting to block access just makes you, and your cause, look bad. It doesn't help at all.

5. All of these apply on college campuses, with one bonus: College Republicans and other counter-protesters. If you really want to be patriotic, why not encourage all of those healthy heterosexual men and women who support military recruiters (and the war) to Be A Man! Enlist! themselves? After all, the College Republicans want the military recruiters on campus; why don't they make their visit worthwhile?

Thank you for participating in civil society in our great country.

I found this also at Operation Yellow Elephant and think these are VERY good points...

Attn: ProWar and Bush supporters

Attention Pro-War Americans:

Here are some sincere suggestions to help you convince other real Americans to agree with you; most apply to pro-war rallies or counter-protests at anti-war events:

1. Be prepared when speaking to a reporter. If you are a veteran or reservist, make sure the reporter knows that (and writes it down with your name). The same goes if you are in ROTC/OCS/etc., or if you are a parent of any of these.

2. If you were not accepted for military service, or know you are ineligible so why waste the recruiters' time, first tell the reporter it's off the record (that is, not to be published), and then make sure the reporter knows that you at least stepped forward or considered military service yourself. [You don't have to share medical details with the whole country, which is why you specify it's off the record before speaking to the reporter.] Not all recruiters do paperwork when a potential prospect turns out to be ineligible; if you have proof, show it to the reporter, but if you don't, please say so up front. You need to ensure that the reporter knows that you are serious about the policy you are supporting.

3. Assuming none of the above apply to you, be prepared for The Question: You appear eligible for military service and you are here (at this event) to support the war. Have you considered enlisting? It's both legitimate and relevant to the story, so you might as well think about it. When you do, please also seriously consider volunteering for military service yourself. Military recruiters are standing by.

4. If you're not eligible to serve, be prepared for The Other Question: Have you encouraged your eligible relatives and friends, your circles of influence, to consider military service?

6. If, after considering The Question and The Other Question, you have decided that you definitely support the war only if "other people" actually fight it, then please be proud enough to say so, publicly. Some people say that this blog doesn't want people like you to express their opinions. That's not true: We want you to express them to the entire country!

Thank you for participating in our great democracy.

I found this at Operation Yellow Elephant and cannot agree more!

Gooding DL Special Guest: Representative Nicole LaFavour

Promoting Democracy One Glass at a Time

Gooding Drinking Liberally has invited Representative Nicole LaFavour (District #19) as a “special guest” at this week’s gathering on Friday night, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Rowdy’s, 227 Main Street.

Representative LaFavour has been a small business owner and educator, in addition to her works involvements in open space preservation, human rights, education, and health care. She was a recipient of the 2001 United Nations Human Rights Day Award from Idaho Voices of Faith for Human Rights as well as named as a "Woman Making History" by the Boise State University Women's Center that year. The citizens who went to Boise to testify in support of the moratorium regarding coal-plants should remember her as the legislator who requested the individual speaking against the moratorium go on record as being paid by SEMPRA for his testimony.
For more information about Representative LaFavour, go to

Gooding Drinking Liberally is an open club consisting of weekly guests and regulars including local politicians and their staffers, political organizers, activists, would-be volunteers and newly interested chit-chatters— all in a casual, inclusive environment. They welcome anyone who wishes to participate in discussion about progressive, liberal topics and concerns. Agreement isn’t required, only respect.
Gooding Drinking Liberally does not require membership, dues, or even drinking… but they do request that participants leave a “liberal” tip for the hard-working servers who strive to ensure the glasses are full of ice tea, soda, or whatever.

For more information about Gooding Drinking Liberally, visit or contact Diana Rowe Pauls at
NOTE: I sent this out as a News Release (along with a more general release)... if you happen to catch any publicity whether in print or broadcast, would you please let me know? I'm curious to see how many will actually run anything because we have two barriers: being liberal AND being in Gooding. I bet 90% of Idaho is trying to figure out where the h*** is Gooding as they hear about the flooding!!

Beware of Lewd Bumper stickers!

Woman Gets $100 Ticket
for BUSHIT Bumpersticker
By Matthew Rothschild
March 27, 2006

Denise Grier is a nurse at Emory University hospital in Georgia [right next to Atlanta y'all].

On March 10, she was driving home from dinner when a Dekalb County police officer pulled her over.

"At least initially, I was just surprised because I hadn't done anything wrong," she says. "When he approached the car, he had his hand on his weapon, and I was in my nurse's uniform with a stethoscope around my neck. He asked for my license, and then said, 'Any idea why I stopped you.'

I said no. 'You have a lewd decal on your car.' "

Grier says she immediately thought that one of her kids had put something nasty on her bumper as a joke.

"But then he mentioned the Bush sticker," she says.

That one says: "I'm tired of all the BUSHIT." (This story was first reported by Joe Johnson of the Athens Banner-Herald.)

Grier says she told the officer it wasn't lewd, and that it was clearly a political statement. When he insisted it was lewd, she said, "I'm not going to discuss this any further. Just give me the ticket." Which he did.

Under "offense," it says: "Lewd decals."

The ticket is for $100.

Grier has no intention of paying it. "I am so appalled at the officer's attempt to squash my freedom of speech," she told the Banner-Herald.

Elaborating to The Progressive, Grier says people are wrong to view this in a partisan way. "It's not just a Democrat/Republican issue," she says. "Y'all need to get beyond that. It's my right to speak, and yours."

Gerry Weber, the legal director of the ACLU of Georgia, is representing Grier. "The indicators are that the officer didn't like her views of President Bush and that was the motivating factor," he says. Weber says the ticketing was clearly illegal. He says the Georgia Supreme Court struck down the "lewd bumpersticker" statute way back in 1991, in a case involving a defendant who had a "Shit Happens" bumpersticker. This shouldn't keep happening 15 years later, he says. After the criminal case is over, Weber says he and Grier may file a civil rights claim.

The Dekalb County Police Department would not discuss the facts of the case.

"We don't comment on other officers' tickets," says Officer Herschel Grangent, who handles media affairs. "That officer is making his decision on the street. And it's going through legal channels now."

By the way, this is not the first time someone in Grier's family has gotten into trouble over a bumpersticker. Last year, she says her 20-year-old son was pulled over in Athens, Georgia, for having a bumpersticker that said, "Bush Sucks Dick. Cheney Too."

She says the police officer told her son, "If you do not remove the bumpersticker, I'm taking you to jail." So he removed it.

"He thought it was kind of funny," she says, though she told him she would rather go to jail than take her bumpersticker off.

Grier has a court date of April 18.

A scientific explanation for the mess America is in...

A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element has been named "Bushcronium."

Bushcronium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 311.

These 311 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Bushcronium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Bushcronium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would normally take less than a second.

Bushcronium has a normal half-life of multiples of four years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Bushcronium's mass will actually increase over time, since reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that Bushcronium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity of concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "CriticalMorass."

When catalyzed with money, Bushcronium activates Foxnewsium, an element which radiates orders of magnitude, more energy, albeit as incoherent noise, since it has 1/2 as many peons but twice as many morons.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Flooding updates: April 16...

KMVT {Current Story: video may be posted later}
Flood Warning in Effect: Gooding & Lincoln Counties
The Red Cross is mobilizing to respond to what has officially been declared a flood emergency. The American Red Cross Emergency Manager says there is a strong possibility that with in the next three days an emergency shelter will be needed in Shoshone. The Red Cross is also on stand by to set up a shelter in Gooding.

Lincoln County Disaster Service Manager Mike Bright says 5,000 cubic feet of water is coming over the Magic Dam each second. He says the disaster service is in contact with citizens in Gooding and Lincoln counties who live in low lying areas.

KMVT {Current Story: video may be posted later...}
Residents in Gooding County Prepare for Flooding.
Those residents are in for some flooding as the water gushes from Magic Reservoir.As you can imagine the anxiety levels are also running high for these residents.As some of them feel like they live on islands today.

This is what the Geise's backyard in Gooding looked like just yesterday... What a difference a day makes.

Thanks to seasonal run–off from Magic Valley Reservoir...the Big Wood River is bursting its banks...and causing chaos throughout the magic valley.

This was the scene just north of Shoshone at the Keating ranch...The big wood overflowed its banks while we were there...making another river right next to it.And thanks to the run–off...scenes like this one are all too common throughout the magic valley...and it's got some folks pretty nervous.

But Capps says folks that live in Gooding don't need to worry about flooding just yet. But the Geise's live just out of town...and have a whole lot of water on their hands. Geise says all things considered it could be a lot worse. "It's a lot of water it's a whole lot of water and a nuisance but i think we'll get through it unscathed."

KTVB (includes slideshow with some good pictures of Magic):
Gooding residents spend Easter Sunday watching floodwaters rise
GOODING - Floodwater threatened some Magic Valley residents and forced homeowners to spend Easter Sunday monitoring water levels and hoping against flooding.

The rising floodwater became a threat when the Magic Reservoir filled to the brim, and water spilled over into the Big Wood River. The National Weather Service issued a flood warning Saturday for that southeastern Idaho River, after operators of Magic Reservoir said outflow below the dam will surpass 6,000 cubic feet per second. Gooding County Sheriff Shaun Gough said nearly 20 county homes are threatened by the rising water, but have not flooded. The army corps of engineers, bureau of homeland security and Gooding disaster services is on standby.

Experts say the river that runs through town is high, but does not pose a threat to homes and businesses. The community is more concerned with the Big Wood River. If consistent rain and snow continues followed by warm temperatures in the mountains, even more flooding can be expected.

"We are just going to watch the water flow through Camas Creek and the Big Wood and see what the weather does up above, that is controlling us," said Sheriff Gough on Sunday. The water is expected to peak sometime on Monday, but experts said it could be a month before floodwaters are no longer a threat.

KMVT {includes video}
IDT Prepares for Flooding from Magic Dam
Thanks to all the storms southern Idaho saw this winter, employees of the Idaho Transportation Department got plenty of practice in responding to emergencies... so their dump trucks and backhoes are ready to go wherever they're needed to control water coming from Magic Dam.

Devin Rigby is a District Engineer with ITD. He says, “Our main interest is the state highway system and the bridges that go over the Wood River and the Little Wood River, and making sure that our system remains functional."

Rigby says the ITD has its equipment strategically located in Carey, Shoshone, and Bliss so employees can get to any problem areas as quickly as possible.Friday, hundreds of cubic feet per second of water poured over the spillways just west of the top of Magic Dam.

KMVT Weather Director Michael Rogers says, "We're just basically starting the beginning of this water coming down toward our area. So you look at the Camas Prairie runoff from there. In another couple of weeks we're going to start mountain runoff, and then things are going to get pretty bad."

Rogers also says all that water has to go somewhere, and it's definitely headed our way. He says because of water flowing from all the little streams that feed the rivers in northern Magic Valley, we're going to see runoff on a big scale for the first time in a long time.

Times-News: Kempthorne declares flood emergency

KMVT {UPDATE from previous post: video included for previous story}
Magic Reservoir Closer to Flowing Over
...However, as of 6:00 p.m. Wednesday the water level of the reservoir had risen to within only one foot of the spillway...

KMVT {UPDATE from previous post: video included for previous story}
Gooding Citizens of All Ages Prepare for Worst
...More than 100 Gooding students filled 4,500 sandbags...

Idaho Statesman:
Southern Idaho counties brace for more potential flooding
Heavy spring runoff and frequent spring rains continue to both bless and plague communities across Idaho.

On Saturday, the National Weather Service issued flood warnings for Gooding, Blaine and Lincoln counties, as well as less urgent flood watches for Bear Lake, Bonneville, Caribou, Cassia, Franklin, Fremont, Oneida and Teton counties.The governor issued a flood declaration Friday and it was a dramatic change from recent years, when several southern Idaho counties received drought emergency declarations each fall.

The declaration allows state officials to administer disaster emergency account funds up to $50,000 to provide assistance to local agencies. [snip]In Gooding County, the Big Wood River was expected to fill to the bank sometime Saturday, with minor flooding happening by this morning. By this afternoon, the water is expected to reach the level of the highway north of Gooding, the weather service warned.The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has sent an emergency management coordinator to Gooding to help emergency planners in nearby counties prepare for the flood threat, officials said. {read more...}

Friday, April 14, 2006

Local media coverage regarding flooding

Big Wood River Flood {KTVB video -- includes rivers and locals}
Water levels in the Magic Reservoir are on the rise. Lincoln County Commissioner have declared a state of emergency. The area with the highest potential for flooding is where Highway 46 crosses the Big Wood River, north of Gooding. That's where David Gale reports from...
1952 flood photos {Times-News}
Gordon Sorensen's photos of the 1952 flooding and previous flood years of the Big Wood River near his property north of Shoshone.
Magic Reservoir Closer to Flowing Over {KMVT}
As we first told you Tuesday, water managers believe Magic Reservoir could over flow into the Big Wood River. In fact, Big Wood Canal Co. Manager Lynn Harmon said it could happen as early as Wednesday. However, as of 6:00 p.m. Wednesday the water level of the reservoir had risen to within only one foot of the spillway. Harmon said it would be difficult to predict exactly when the overflow could happen and that it all depends on how quickly excess water enters the reservoir.

Gooding Citizens of All Ages Prepare for Worst {KMVT}

With the probability of flooding in Gooding region many area residents of all ages were busy Wednesday.More than 100 Gooding students filled 4,500 sandbags. Most of those students were from Gooding High School but they shared the work with their counterparts from the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind. Eric Rainey, the Principal at Gooding High School says, “We've been out here for two hours today and the students are just so excited to help out. They worked way hard, the county fed them lunch." Rainey says 150 Gooding High School students signed up to help with the sandbagging effort but he could only bring about half of them out along with three teachers.

Kody Cowen is a student at Gooding High School. He says, "Basically it's just important because it comes out, helps the community, and it'll help keep people and their property safe." Cowen says this team effort shows the students work ethic,
and what they can do and that even teenagers can contribute to their community.

Lincoln County braces for flooding {Times-News}
SHOSHONE -- Construction crews will spend today shoring up a section of the Big Wood River channel in hopes of preventing a breach. {read more...}

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Colorado Secretary of State candidate plummets from airplane; survives

I found this as I was surfing through LeftyBlogs ... it is just TOO funny not to share! If I lived in Colorado, I'd vote for him!

Ken Gordon is a funny guy. As the Senate Majority Leader in Colorado, he's become known for his excellent email broadcasts. He doesn't send the usual press-release tripe, boring and ponderous expositions on policy. No, Ken Gordon sends emails with subject lines like "My Son is Not a Pig!" (Read it here)

Well, this week, Ken announced that he's running for Colorado Secretary of State. The email subject line? "No stunt man was used." He doesn't even really bother mentioning in the email that he's running for higher office - just "click here to watch the video"...

It's not the funniest thing I've ever seen. But it is the funniest thing I've ever seen from a grassroots candidate running for a down-ballot statewide office. Visit

Can't even monitor THEMSELVES...

Should the United States be concerned when the Department of Homeland Security cannot even protect American children from their own employees?

Hailey, Idaho (April 12, 2006):
Employee of Transportation Security Administration (part of Homeland Security) was arrested for 2nd degree kidnapping after an incident with a 10 year old boy. He was found with several birthdates and SSNs.

Homeland Security official arrested in pedophile sting The deputy press secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was arrested Tuesday for using the Internet to seduce what he thought was a teenage girl, authorities said. Brian J. Doyle, 55, was arrested at his residence in Maryland on charges of use of a computer to seduce a child and transmission of harmful material to a minor. The charges were issued out of Polk County, Fla." (04/05/06)

How about that federal agent with the Department of Homeland Security who was busted on Dateline: Predator III?

Let me see if I understand... this is the department who we trust to recognize what constitutes a "terrorist", but we don't expect them to do background checks or other security clearance procedures for their own employees?

Yeah, I feel safer now...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

We can take a break from the "rain dance" now!

Well, we are in a really unfamiliar position here in Gooding this week.

Gooding has two rivers: Big Wood River (which flows to the north of town) and the Little Wood River (which flows directly THROUGH town). Many people think of the Little Wood River as just a "canal", which implies that PEOPLE rather than nature can control it. Not true. Many many years ago (60? 70?), the Army Corps of Engineers built a rock wall to contain the river as it flows by back yards, parks, and schools. This wall has deteriorated dramatically over the years. Our small town is unable to afford to repair/replace it and each year we wait for federal funding, the price increases by hundreds of thousands of dollars. I believe the last estimate for the project was over $10 million dollars. (The feds didn't think that repairing our river wall was as important as building a bridge to an island in Alaska, populated with 50 people who didn't WANT the bridge...)

The homeowners who live along the Little Wood River (three to four blocks to the north and south, approximately) are considered to live in a "flood plain". The only time people really know about that is when they are financed for their homes, because the banks require flood insurance. It's kind of been a joke because we live in a high desert and have been in a drought for so many years. Floods are just out of our frame of reality!

This year is different as we are realizing this week. We've had a great snowfall this winter and lots of rain. The Magic Reservoir (which feeds these rivers) is at capacity. In the next 24-48 hours, as it continues to rain and snow continues to melt, Magic will overflow. This excess water will end up in Gooding.

The hardest part is actually accepting the reality of the possibility of an actual flood in Gooding. The next hardest part is trying to figure out who will be affected and how much? A couple of inches in the basements? A couple of feet along the streets? Will the water flow to the south or on both sides? Will the schools be affected? Will our children be "trapped" on the other side of the river (which is between the school and "town")? Will we lose power and water supply? Are some of us over-reacting? Are some people ignoring the possibility of "worst case situation" and will be unprepared? What am I neglecting to do to protect my own family?
It's just a really weird concept right now... how much reaction is too much, too little...

Remember the Katrina victims and how some people judged them about not preparing better for the hurricane? Well, officials (city, county, canal, etc.) are trying to prepare us here in Gooding... but yesterday, I drove around and I didn't see ANYBODY loading belongings into trucks, putting sandbags out in front of their houses, etc. I went to the store and I saw only one other person putting cases of water in their cart. There weren't even that many people in the store. Do people know? Are they already prepared? Or are they just not worried? Or am I over-reacting? I guess we'll know more in a few days...

A flood in Gooding. Who knew?

Imagine hearing this sound throughout the nation...

Click here and close your eyes and listen carefully...

Imagine hearing this sound in Gooding...

Imagine hearing it in Boise...

Imagine hearing it throughout Idaho...

... and across the nation...

Can we do it?

It doesn't have to be just yelling "boo" to Cheney, Bush, and company...

Write letters to the editor.
Call radio talk shows such as Steve Mitton's show.
Contact your politicians (federal AND state).
Put up signs, wear buttons, and so on.

We must make ourselves heard.

We must encourage others to speak up as well.

We must be heard over and above the right-wing, fanatical "Christians", bigots, and warmongers.

We must make our politicians realize that we are out here also and we are no longer going to sit back passively and allow them to kill, discriminate, and victimize other human beings.

We cannot afford to do any less... financially, ethically, and morally.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

What others are doing...

Check out these signs! Can we visualize them in IDAHO??? Do we have the courage? Can we SPEAK UP and DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY?

One Tin Soldier

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.

Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.

There won't be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day.

On the bloody morning after....

I found this on a post from another liberal in a red state. He calls his blog "Thoughts From A Flyover State Refugee"... which, of course, caught my attention right away! Can't you relate!!?? I love how people come up with catchy names! Obviously I was in a depressed mood when I named MY blog... ...


What would it take to get Idahoans to step out of their comfort zone and start speaking publicly about impeaching Bush? Wouldn't that be a sight to see?


Impeach Bush Tattooes

With an Impeach Bush “Tattoo” you can take the Impeach Bush message into the office, the classroom, the grocery store, the park, the sidewalk, the meeting, the soccer game, the construction site, the dog-walk, the dentist’s office, the boardroom, on the bus/train/subway----wherever YOU go, your SKIN goes!!!


(1) Create tattoo on yourself or a like-minded friend with permanent Sharpie marker.

(2) Please, no obscenity (except the Bush part, of course)

(3) Take digital photo(s) of your tattoo; submit to the “Impeach Bush Tattoo” gallery

(4) Include whatever identifying information you wish to appear with photo.

(5) Renew/update your tattoo(s) daily, as required.

(6) Suggested A's for the Q “Is that real?”:

  • "Just as real as Iraq’s WMDs."
  • "Just as real as the 2004 election results."
  • "Just as real as U.S. Democracy, 2006."

Help EDUCATE Larry Craig!

I wrote a letter to our public servant Larry Craig, asking him to clarify his position on the issue of impeaching Bush and to provide an explanation for his position. His response to me makes it clear that he is:
  • drinking the "Kool-Aid".
  • living in a bubble.
  • as unethical and immoral as the rest of the Bush Administration.
  • or all of the above.

According to his letter, it is "clear" to him that he and I have a "fundamental political difference".

DUH!!! I believe in honesty and accountability in politics. I want my politicians to be ethical and moral. I want my representatives to keep their eye on the ball and not be distracted by partisan politics. I want my politicians to represent all of the American citizens, not just those with deep pockets. Craig may SAY those he represents those values, but it is "clear" to me that what he SAYS and what he DOES are not the same thing.

Craig wrote that I want to have Bush impeached because I "disagree with his politics" and not because I have "clear evidence that he lied or manipulated intelligence... or that the President has commited other crimes."

Yes, I disagree with Bush's politics... just like I disagree with Craig's politics. But I'm not asking for Craig's removal from office, only Bush's.

I don't know where Craig has been for the last year or so, but pretty much the rest of the world disagrees with Craig. Of course, I personally do not have "clear evidence"... and it would help all of us if this administration would stop interfering with investigations and would provide a straight answer now and then... and stop distracting the country with "The sky is falling" threats and attacks on our patriotism when we expect accountability and honesty! Is that too much to ask??

Craig finishes up his letter by clarifying that he does not "work for the President". If he wishes to represent Idaho and it's best interests, like he claims to do, then he needs to evaluate his voting record and decisions.

I would like to encourage you, dear Reader, to help Senator Craig escape his bubble and wake up from his KoolAid-induced coma. (We cannot do anything about his morals and ethics.) Contact Senator Craig and educate him about which crimes Bush has committed.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Keep reminding them about the HUMAN cost of the war

My brother was killed 1 year, 7 months, 1 day ago.

As of today April 4, 2006, US fatalities (that's military-speak for our men and women who were shot, blown up, or otherwise killed) in Iraq now totals 2,343. As I write this, 14 confirmations are "pending". That means that AT THIS MOMENT at least nine families are being notified that their loved one will not be coming home from Iraq. I promise you, that is something that you don't ever want to experience for yourself. Mothers are wailing, fathers are weeping, children are crying, wives are grieving, grandparents are in shock, WHOLE families will NEVER be the same... and our loved one will never be held in our arms again.

The following is being passed around the 'net... I received it from Gold Star Families For Peace. This is from a mom who lost her son in Iraq. Please post it on your blog, pass it on, etc.-- THANK YOU.
Proud sister of Idaho Marine, KIA in Iraq
I hate to keep doing this, but when the numbers go up - I want to make sure that we're not the only ones counting.

Easy way to keep reminding them:

  • Go to
  • Click "Hand Deliver Your Letters".
  • Plug in your zipcode and click "GO"
  • It will pull up your DC reps.
  • Click the "email" button for each.
  • Subject Line - Number of lost
  • Issue Area - Take your pick
  • Text Box - I put something like "How many more will you kill for the lies and greed of this administration?"
  • Enter your name and Contact Info
  • Make sure "Remember me" is checked
  • Mark the "YES" for posting publically on the website.
  • Enter the CAPWIZ-XC AUTHENTICATION numbers
You can also send one to George, Dick and Laura by choosing Pres & Vic Pres on the left column.
Many people believe that this administration actually "feels our pain". This is the President who schmoozes, rides his bike, vacations, wines, dines, and raises millions of dollars while American families bury their dead soldiers killed in his war -- even when the funeral is being held five miles from the White House.

This is the president who does not have ONE family member serving in Iraq...

This is the president whose own MOTHER doesn't want to acknowledge the rising body count of American citizens who have been sent to war by her son:
“Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it’s going to happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Oh, I mean, it’s, not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?”
(ABC/Good Morning America)
We have almost three more years with this man as president... the war is nowhere near being over as long as we allow this to continue. Bush has already stated that the next president will inherit this war...

Monday, April 03, 2006

Idaho legislators endorse teen suicide...

Actually, just the "faggot" and "dyke" teenagers. It's okay if THEY kill themselves because they are going to hell anyway.

These so-called Christians aren't going to come right out and say that... oh NO! They will NOT admit that they are homophobic! These redneck hypocrites would rather thump their Bibles (which come in handy at moments like these, but not when it's time to actually act like REAL Christians, you know, love one another, judge not lest ye be judged and all that touchy-feely crap) and talk about how God condemns homosexuality and how any type of support or compassion is only enticing these children into this deviant behavior (is there a class on "How To Be A Fag"?) when if this problem was ignored, these kids would go right on impregnating each other (cuz the Bible tells us to procreate) like the good ol' rednecks are supposed to, by God!

PLEASE go to ACTION NEEDED: for Idaho's children and IMMEDIATLY respond to the request as described under "Strategy 3"... because Strategy 1 and 2 did not work!

Liberals Like Christians has a lot of information about the this issue, if you wish to explore a Christian perspective regarding the religious right's attack against homosexuality.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Message from God

Protect ALL of Idaho's children

Rep. Bob Nonini from Coeur d'Alene has proposed a bill to require parental consent BEFORE any student can join ANY school club. It was not given a hearing but was sent directly to the floor of the house and will be up for a vote on Tuesday April 4, 2006.

What is the purpose of this bill? Are too many parents complaining about the subersive recruitment of their children into Chess Clubs? Or Honor Society? Does Nonini want to make sure parents give permission for their children to join the dangerous Ski Clubs? What is the purpose of this bill?

And why didn't it receive any hearings? Is this an issue that is so critical in order to maintain parental control that it needs to be rushed through the process? Is he worried about the health and safety of Idaho children who are joining the Reading Club this month? Is he frightened of the impact upon Idaho children if they join the Dodge Ball Club?

Is it possible that perhaps Nonini has his own agenda?

I think that Nonini is attempting to force his homophobic beliefs upon Idaho citizens. Because, really, what is the big deal about parental consent before your child joins a club at school? Why is he trying to sneak this in?

He is trying to seek this into law in order to prevent gay and lesbian students from having support clubs. I guess by eliminating the clubs, he believes these students will no longer be gay or something. When the truth is that these students will only be prevented from receiving support and acceptance.

We need to acknowledge that gay and lesbian children are STILL Idaho's children, even if conservative bigots wish to demote them to second class citizens.

We need to be aware that without some support outside the family, many teens turn to suicide.

FORCING our children to seek parental consent in order to seek support will put many teens at risk of parental violence or homelessness.

We also need to be aware that schools in other states have lost multi-million dollar law suits for failing to ensure kids have a safe environment in which to learn.

How many of us remember the trauma experienced by our classmates who didn't fit in when we were in school? How many of us remember how the bullies physically and emotionally assaulted the kids who were different? Did that change them? Or did it scar them? How can we, in good conscience, create a barrier for Idaho's children as they try to seek acceptance and support?

It is my understanding that the highest cause of death among gay and lesbian teenagers is suicide. In my opinion, this is NOT acceptable.

For more information as to what steps are being taken in order to protect these children, please go to 43rd State Blues.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A great reminder to not get sucked in AGAIN...

The Republican Ploy We All Fell For
by Lynne at 10:40 am.

There are moments in your political life when you hit yourself in the forehead and say, “d’oh! We’ve all been punked.” It took my husband to point it out to me, which is why I married him - he’s an incredibly smart man and independent thinker.

Last night I drove in to take the T to Boston to meet Chris after work. We had a lovely date night. On the red line home, the conversation (as it nearly always does) turns political. The topic? What everyone is talking about, of course. The current immigration debate.

The car was relatively full and even though we were talking privately, a man across the aisle overheard us and butted in. His rant was as loud and clear as only a hot-button issue could provoke. Something about how white people can’t immigrate into Mexico and get a job so why should they come here or some junk. I really tuned him out quick - not because he disagreed with me, but because he sort of scared me with his belligerence.

For a few days now, Chris has been increasingly annoyed with the immigration debate. He calls it the latest Republican ploy we Democrats have all fallen for, even on liberal talk radio and the blogs (including mine). He listens to Ed Schultz and thinks, stop doing their dirty work. Because he came to realize what we all should have seen immediately: with their hopes of retaining Congressional power falling with Bush’s sagging poll numbers, the Republicans have come up with their cult-base-rallying-cry for 2006: ‘dem damn immigrants. Immigrants are the new gay marriage.

The man on the red line demonstrated perfectly how well this works as a divisive issue for the Republicans.

Chris asks, what, did we suddenly wake up this week and realize there was an immigration crisis? That suddenly there’s 11 million illegals and now they are the main number one problem in America? That conservatives in states across the nation including New England (the furthest away from the Mexico border) suddenly discovered that illegal immigrants were taking food from their family’s mouths? No. The Republicans, having played out many of their other bogymen, now need someone else to point the finger at so their hardline base can keep blaming people other than their own leadership for their stagnant wages, “moral decay,” and bad governance. Defense of Marriage Acts have already been passed in many states, and so therefore how are they going to get their raving voters to the polls?

For a while, I thought it was Hollywood and the culture wars that they wanted to use, with all the hubbub about fines and new regulations on TV and radio. But it’s a bad play, because just as many, or more, “values voters” enjoy Desperate Housewives. In the end, entertainment trumps moralistic preachiness after all.

So immigrants it is, then. Dominate the news with that “sudden crisis”; never mind that another DeLay aid copped a plea of guilty in the Abramoff scandal. Ignore that Abramoff himself got 6 years for his plea and it’s said he’s singing like a bird. Forget that the infamous Debt Clock in Times Square is going to be in need of another digit, it’s going up faster than anyone expected. Or that former FISA judges indicated that Bush’s wiretapping program is unconstitutional. Lots of big things happened this week, but all the talking heads talk about is immigration. Lou Dobbs must be in heaven.

The Republicans play their base like a master concert pianist. They lead the debate, and us, by the nose, and panting, we follow. We are led right into the trap they’ve set for us.

I’ve begun reading Mark Crispin Miller’s Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & Why They’ll Steal the Next One Too (Unless We Stop Them). Yes, the title seems alarmist and reactionary, but the evidence cited in just the first chapter is chilling. Maybe there isn’t some grand conspiracy of the Right to steal elections; but the use of a riled-up fanatical base is key to the many election irregularities that went on in Ohio and many other states. (The other key was lots of money.)

When people say “this is like red meat to their base,” it’s taken as a mild form of pandering by politicians to make their voters happy. When I picture this phrase now, I see drooling, growling hounds fighting and tearing into the meat like feral wolves. Then showing up at the polls with blood dripping from their mouths.

Please, please, let’s stop doing the Republicans job for them. On liberal talk radio, in Congress, on blogs. Let’s talk about the issues voters really should be angry and emotional about - not the concocted specter the Republicans are using as their most vicious tool.

Stop Kempthorne's nomination

As I've mentioned at previous posts (Whispers of Kempthorne, Why Not Shouting? and What Is A Westerner"?), I question whether Kempthorne is the right person for the job as Interior Secretary. Is he truly the right person for the job, or was he selected for his schmoozing talents?

Others seem to have concerns also. If you wish to contact your senator and express your concerns, visit Wilderness Home.

I have absolutely no hope that Idaho's senators would pay any attention, but if you are an Idahoan, at least go through the motions. Otherwise, just pass this on to your friends in other states... maybe THEIR senators would listen to them!

I would also like to remind folks to:
"Go to
and order their recent book, "BOISE'S WATERGATE: University Place and All the Governor's Men". It details (in lurid detail) the true high crimes & misdeameanors of the Kempthorne Administration."

Gooding DL mentioned at Ridenbaugh Press

In the remotest redlands
by Randy Stapilus

Gooding, Idaho’s namesake was Frank Gooding, a governor of Idaho around the turn of the century and one of the state’s most ferocious Republicans ever. And one of the founders, as a practical matter, of what is now the Idaho Republican Party. You’d expect that the place named after him - both county and its seat - would be Republican. It most certainly is. The only tinge of Democrats you’ll find here is the county’s link, as part of a legislative district, to Blaine County, which outvotes it and sends those Democratic legislative delegations to Boise.

Gooding is a farm town and food processing place, a whole lot like many of the small towns in southern Idaho. It is conservative Republican.

So how is it that an apparently lively chapter of Drinking Liberally is running there?

It meets on Fridays at Rowdy’s Pub and Grill. And it is lively enough to have scheduled a list of guests running forward to May 12, including a batch of statewide candidates include Jerry Brady (for governor) and Larry La Rocco (for lieutenant governor).

Boise and Moscow chapters are easier to fathom. Gooding takes us into a whole new plane . . .

Another April Fools?

Click to see the new media message to convince the American people that Bush should not be censured or impeached for breaking the law because he is working hard ("It's hard work!") at protecting us! Not only are they attacking Democrats in our efforts to hold Bush accountable for breaking the law and undermining the Constitution, they are now trying to scare Americans into thinking that if Bush is punished, America will not be safe!

This is paid for by the RNC/GOP! UNBELIEVABLE!

By bringing up 9/11, don't you think that we'd be asking the President why he's been distracted by Iraq if he's still trying to protect us from Al Queda/bin Laden? You know, in his promise "to keep America safe"? Don't they realize that most Americans know that Iraq and 9/11 were NOT connected?

Osama bin Laden + terrorists + + 9/11 + ignored advance reports warning of danger of attack on American soil by Al Queda using airplanes = AFGHANISTAN who? SAUDI ARABIA who?

Saddam + no WMDs + no link to Al Queda + no link to 9/11 = WAR IN IRAQ?

Who was the idiot who dreamed up this message?

Thanks for helping us out here, GOP. You've helped us prove our point!

April Fools (on America)

Gooding DL stimulates new activities?

At last night's meeting, several ideas came up for consideration:

One of the main issues we recognized and solved was the need for the Gooding County Democrats to hold regular meetings in addition to Gooding DL. The Gooding Drinking Liberally is NOT the same organization as the Gooding County Democrats. Gooding DL does not endorse any party, candidate, or issue--we only educate, inform, and socialize. However, many of the people who have been attending Gooding DL are ALSO members of the Gooding County Democrats and sometimes we slip in to discussion related to the other organization. So, we addressed THAT conflict by scheduling official Gooding County Democrat Party meetings PRIOR to the Gooding DL meetings. The Gooding Democrats will meet at 7PM and discuss canvassing, precinct captains, voter registrations, etc. at that time. At 7:30PM, we will take off our "Democrat" hats and just be liberals with those who join us then. Both meetings are open to anybody who wants to learn more about the local Democratic party or about liberal issues.

Other topics:
There was again discussion about the concern of the "drinking" part of "Drinking Liberally" and how some people may not be participating because of feeling uncomfortable in that setting. We do realize that any liberal group will be criticized by some, no matter WHAT we call it. (For crying out loud, think of the people who freaked out over a PEACE vigil!) But we still worry (is that a liberal thing?!) about folks who want the fellowship but are concerned about the misperceptions related to "drinking". One solution to that is to have another group (in addition to Gooding DL) called "Drinking Liberally in the AM", hold it at a coffee shop (or someone's house) in the mornings. Surely people won't think that we're getting drunk at Coyote Joe's?? HA!

Another project which several people were excited about is "Screening Liberally" where we gather to watch shows such as Fahrenheit 9/11, Bush's Brain, Bowling for Columbine, Thank You For Not Smoking, etc. We thought about doing that once a month or so. We would need a meeting location that is conducive to a group of people watching a movie in order to do that. Ideas? Suggestions?

We will also be incorporating "Reading Liberally" at future DL meetings as well. That can be a stand-alone club, if there is enough interest/involvement. We had a great start the other night as a couple of participants began sharing books which they have read. It was fascinating! Future "Reading Liberally" meetings can also incorporate "book exchanges" so we can share our resources with each other.

If anybody is interested in "Screening Liberally", "Reading Liberally", or "Drinking Liberally in the AM", let me know.