Friday, March 31, 2006

Gooding DL upcoming schedule

Gooding DL has will have it's 5th meeting tonight and I think we can all state that it has been a successful start up of a new chapter! We've had some interesting reactions from our community but, overall, people have been positive and supportive.

We've contacted many "movers and shakers" as we could to be "special guests" at our gatherings and it has been exciting to hear back from them as they've all agreed to come to our little town to meet with us! WOW! I encourage anyone who wants to join us to please do so, let's remind these folks that liberals DO exist in Idaho, even in the middle of sagebrush! (Feel free to contact us for driving directions and suggestions for lodging if you are coming from far away!)

Tonight's "Special Guest" will be Alex Jones, the Idaho Democratic Party's field organizer for this region. You can read more about him here.

Upcoming guests include:
April 7 Dan Romero (Candidate for Lt. Governor)
April 14 Bert Marley (Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction)
April 21 Representative Nicole LeFavour
April 28 Jana Jones (Candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction)
May 5 Jerry Brady (Candidate for Governor)
May 12 Larry LaRocco (Candidate for Lt. Governor)

Gooding DL meets every Friday, at 7:30 pm at Rowdy's Pub and Grill, 227 Main St (right next to Zeppe's) (map).

We're nice, happy liberals and it's free to join--no guilt, dues, hazing or sketchy rituals! We encourage folks to wear BLUE so newcomers will be able to recognize our group! (Or your favorite progressive liberal/Democrat shirt!)

You can e-mail us at . Please join the Gooding mailing list to receive meeting updates, summaries, and reminders. You can read the Gooding blog or discuss stuff in the Gooding forum.

If you aren't in Gooding, please consider checking out the Drinking Liberally clubs in Moscow and Boise! (Or in your own home state if you aren't in Idaho!) Or share this with other liberals in your community and get together to start your own! It is a very painless procedure to start a club and it is quite rewarding for those of us looking to network in an informal manner.

Knock, Knock, Big Brother is at the door with pizza...

Do you think that our country will ever get to the point where the experience of ordering pizza will sound like this?

Well, I didn't think we'd have a current administration like we have now either. From our libraries to our medical records to our internet to our shopping habits to our phone lines... I think "identity THEFT" is the least of our problems.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

These poor pathetic confused people...

When I first read it, I started laughing.

But after a minute, I pitied the author. She is so ignorant that she just doesn't get it.

BACKGROUND:   During a LTE back and forth about politics where I (a liberal) was being criticized by others (conservatives), another letter basically stating "thumbs up" was sent in by someone I knew personally (NOT A FRIEND) in support of the conservative who vehemently disagreed with me.  The intent of that letter was less supportive of the conservative's position and more to get a dig into me... but oh, how it actually backfired... and they are both too ignorant to see it.

This was my response to the poor pathetic fool who just doesn't know any better...

*****, you just don't understand that the Republicans hate everything your life represents. They object on moral and religious grounds your right to use legal abortion as a method of birth control. They want to eliminate the illegals/immigrants who have fathered two of your children (and the twins you aborted). They wouldn't understand why you do not have custody of your third child. They resent paying to house your oldest two children as guests of the correctional system. They wouldn't approve of your "living in sin" and having children out of wedlock. They want to take away the social services which have supported you as an uneducated single parent. I'm glad you have bettered your life, but did you access financial aid for your education? Republicans are slashing those resources as well.

*****, I won't pretend to know (the conservative) well, but from many of the conversations that she and I have had in the past, I have a pretty good idea that she would consider you something to scrape off the bottom of her shoe. If you continue to support people like (the conservative), you are going to support removing all of the resources that have helped you to be where you are today. Unfortunately, not only do you represent the type of American despised by conservatives but people like you also make it more difficult for liberals to fight for the rights that you've abused. In addition, I truly doubt (the conservative) would appreciate your "thumbs up".

I pity you for your ignorance.

As much as I find your letter amusing, I also find it pathetic. You are a poster child for Republican arguments against social programs and you don't even realize it.

[Edited 12/16/2006 and again 04/3/2016]

Maybe USA could learn something from other countries?

Here's how the British hold back the waters from flooding London:

And the Dutch solution to protecting an entire nation that mostly rests below sea level: The Italians are defending their city on the sea, Venice:

Giant platforms on hinges raise up to break the waves when they get too high.

And the richest, most powerful and technologically advanced nation on earth...USA!!!!!!

Go, Corps of Engineers!!!!

Hey, it takes a lot of money to keep corrupt politicians corrupt!

Declaration of Equality, Rights and Responsibilities

Declaration of Equality, Rights and Responsibilities
(The Declaration of Independence as amended by Bill Chisholm)

We hold these truths, to be self evident, that all men, women and children of all races, of all nations, of all beliefs, of all social and economic circumstances are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator, with certain, sure, and inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Contentment. That inherent in these rights are also undeniable responsibilities, that among these are Good Neighborliness, Respectful Environmental Stewardship, Personal Accountability and Accountability to Future Generations. To insure these Rights and foster these Responsibilities, government was instituted among humankind and derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. That the surest way to insure one’s Rights, is to embrace one’s Responsibilities. When any form of Government becomes destructive of those Ends, it is the right, it is the duty of the People to alter or abolish it, preferably at the ballot box or peacefully in the streets.

It is further acknowledged as a self evident truth that humankind is a part of Nature. That Nature is made up of interconnected and interdependent systems and species, and that all species and ecological systems should be accorded respect, for they too have come from the same Creator. To best insure our inalienable rights, we must embrace our responsibilities toward Nature.
Mr. Chisholm has been an active voice in our region for many years. He has attempted to protect our environment from nuclear waste, toxic dairies, and the coal plant and probably many other things of which I am unaware. One of the many things I admire about him is that he doesn't just talk the talk, he WALKS the WALK. I remember very clearly the one of his actions which is mentioned here:
John Caccia, of Ketchum, Idaho, tells us that longtime environmental activist Bill Chisholm was admitted to the Bannock County jail recently for refusing to pay an additional $1,200 fine for spilling red paint onto a container of spent nuclear fuel. At the time of his offense, the state of Idaho was trying in federal court to halt nuclear waste shipments into the state. "Despite his imprisonment," Caccia continues, "Bill has vowed to continue his mission of bringing about a nationwide debate addressing our country’s nuclear waste policies..."
If we all had 10% of his courage, passion, integrity, and commitment--our world would be a better place.
Learn more about Mr. Chisholm:

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Can't win with these people!

I would like to introduce you to two women in my town of Gooding.

One of them I've already mentioned in my blog, as she is the "compassionate conservative" Christian from my church who sent me that critical e-mail (asking me to pray and to stop hurting everybody with my political propaganda, etc.) after the Candlelight Vigil. I will call her "Bonnie" to protect her identity as she has only attacked me in private.

The other woman is Kathy Rooney. I will tell you HER name because she was willing to have her letter to the editor published in our local weekly. She and I started talking a couple of years ago regarding another local issue and, even though we have different philosophies, we could still have interesting discussions. Until the Candlelight Vigil. After the article came out in the Times-News, she also sent me a very angry e-mail with the usual Republican rant of how I'm unAmerican and dishonoring my brother, etc., and I was never to speak to her again.

Jump forward seven months.

After the news release came out in the Times-News about the start of Gooding Drinking Liberally, "Bonnie" (the Christian) became quite upset and has told others in my church about how angry she is at me. I truly doubt that she is concerned that I have developed a drinking problem or that she is praying for my soul. I guess she only wants me to stop causing her pain by reminding her that not everybody believes the way she does. Not that I've ever initiated any Democratic, liberal, antiBush, pro-peace discussions with her or even on church property... maybe she feels that she must protect the whole town of Gooding from my pagan influence or something.

As a result of her actions at my church and similar misperceptions, I wrote a letter to the editor to both the Leader and the Times-News in an attempt to clarify the situation. However, in order to satisfy "Bonnie's" needs, I upset Kathy.

Here is HER letter to the editor published in the Gooding County Leader:

An Opinion On Drinking Liberally

After reading the letter to the Editor by Diana Pauls in the March 16 paper, I couldn't help wondering if the prose was supposed to be tongue in cheek or serious. My reaction was total hilarity. It seems as if she were trying to reach three different groups of people about something that very few even care about.

When I first heard of "Drinking Liberally", I thought that the play on words was amusing and was somewhat surprised as I didn't think the far left possessed senses of humor. But then Diana had to make it even more amusing by having to explain the obvious to us. It certainly seemed condescending on her part but, to whom was she addressing? First the implications were that the conservative community would take umbrage at "drinking liberally".

That would imply that all conservatives practice "drinking conservatively" which, in my experience, definitely is not the case. I do admit that the whole idea of the "drinking Liberally" group did get some rather loud guffaws but these people that I encountered were not laughing at the message, but at the messengers.

The real conundrum is why Diana had to reassure everyone that she and her group are "good Christians" (making me think that is a prerequisite for joining the group) and had to divorce herself from the mainstream Democrat party. Possibly the party wanted to divorce the group. I'm sure that everyone wishes "Drinking Liberally" well in their networking as Long as not too many doorbells will be ringing in Gooding.

So, life will go on and nobody will care about the "Drinking Liberally" group and the only difference will be that some conservatives may be "drinking liberally" on Friday nights at another bar.

You might even find some people from the educational community there as they will probably feel safe that some "liberal Drinker" isn't lurking outside taking down their license plate numbers. But, that is another story in a very long saga of overly zealous causes.

Kathy Rooney


"Bonnie", please call Kathy and explain to her why you were upset so because she seems to be very confused about it. Or Kathy, will you call "Bonnie" and explain to her why it isn't any big deal? Maybe she'll find it as hysterical as you do. Just leave ME out of your psychotic, control freak mental issues.

If anybody would like to respond to Kathy's letter, send it to Gooding County Leader.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Joke about pussies

George W. Bush is out jogging one morning, notices a little boy on the corner with a box.

Curious, he runs over to the child and says, "What's in the box, kid?"

The little boy says, "Kittens, they're brand new kittens."

George W. laughs and says, "What kind of kittens are they?"

"Republicans," the child says.

"Oh, that's cute," George W. says and he runs off.

A couple of days later George is running with his buddy Dick Cheney and he spies the same boy with his box just ahead.

George W. says to Dick, "You gotta check this out!" and they both jog over to the boy with the box.

George W. says, "Look in the box, Dick, isn't that cute? Look at those little kittens. Hey, kid, tell my friend Dick what kind of kittens they are."

The boy replies, "They're Democrats."

"Whoa!" George W. says, "I came by here the other day and you said they were Republicans. What's up?"

"Well," the kid says, "Their eyes are open now."

{How many of you thought this was going to be a dirty joke? Gotcha!}

Friday, March 24, 2006

Children, seniors, and sick people...

And since they will want more, let's sell of Idaho's forests and make sure that we keep our most vulnerable citizens POOR.

Signs of Change...

Yes, Idaho has a red, red, red history. Up until recently, we were the #2 reddest state in the nation. In my community, I could count who I knew were my fellow Democrats on both hands.

Over the last few months, things have been changing. Idaho is BLUE-ming, more and more every day.

We need to think about why that is happening...

Yes, Bush and cronies are lying and stealing and cheating and otherwise destroying all we hold near and dear as Americans... but that has been going on for years. What's different?

I don't have "the answer" for this question, but I think I know of one reason why the red tide has been turning...

"Little" people are starting to speak up and out. Grassroots, whatever you want to call it. The housewife, the grandmother, the retired professor, the college students, the school teacher... people like you and me.

For me, it was watching Cindy Sheehan that gave me courage. She was a regular person. A wife. A mother. NOT a politician or a talking head. She was speaking from her heart. Her pain was MY pain. She was saying the things that I didn't have the courage to say.

That's when I coordinated the Candlelight Vigil and discovered what happens when someone speaks up about their feelings. Ouch. I felt slapped and slapped HARD.

So I started my blog. I could express my thoughts and feelings there. I don't know who reads my blog -- hopefully some people do -- and maybe if I could help ONE person find the courage to start speaking out (like Cindy Sheehan helped me)... and that one person helped one MORE person, then slowly we could make a difference. Meanwhile I had someplace to vent my frustrations and ask my questions and process my emotions.

I started e-mailing people who I knew felt the way I did. I started meeting other people (mostly online) who shared my opinions. I began to learn so much from those other people. I followed their links and discovered even more people, websites, and blogs. It was exciting!

I signed up to receive newsletters from Make Them Accountable and now I receive information on a regular basis about what is happening nationally. When the news is too depressing, I at least have some hilarious cartoons to enjoy!

I keep finding wonderful new blue blogs in Idaho . Many of them have only been started in the last few months {Idablue last month, Fear for the Earth this month). Others have been ongoing for over a year. We are working together, sharing our information, supporting each other, and building a network among us. How many others are hiding out there?

Only last month did I discover Drinking Liberally -- which started not much over a year ago (after the 2004 election). They are growing by leaps and bounds with 135 chapters in 40 states. I started one here in Gooding and now have face-to-face contact with warm live bodies!

Recently I found Leftyblogs... which helps me keep up on the postings from other Idaho liberal blogs (if you have a liberal blog over a few months old which discusses mostly local and state issues, PLEASE sign up!). This allows me to see "who" is posting "what" and keep up with what is being discussed in Idaho. More communication, education, and support.

Like I said, part of the change sweeping America is related to Bush's own continued lies and incompetence. But I truly believe that another part of it is because we are becoming informed and speaking up about our concerns. I wrote earlier that, as hard as it is to speak up, it is much harder to have the consequences of our silence forced upon us. I would like to encourage all of you to blog, comment and support other bloggers, write letters to the editor, attend meetings (whether Drinking Liberally or something else), become visible, contact your representatives, and so on.

We need to fight our own war here in America. We don't need guns and bombs, we need voices. For three years, we've been told that Bush is sending our troops to Iraq to fight for America's freedoms. We must ALL find the strength and courage to fight for our country HERE.

The war has started with us already. Instead of blood-red running in our streets like it is in Iraq, we are seeing beautiful blue blooming throughout our nation. We must not turn back. We must continue to defend our freedoms. Honor those who have died in the name of freedom by demanding truth and accountability.

Anything less is a failure to do our duty.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Idaho is bloomin'!

In the fall, we love to watch the leaves changing their glorious colors.

In the spring, we love to watch the new growth color our world.

Check out this US map to see the most beautiful blooming of all!

No time for being subtle... Git 'r done!

Check out "ITMFA".
{Impeach The Mother F***** Already!)
It's about time we start calling it like it is.

What is a "Westerner"?

There has been a lot of discussion regarding Kempthorne’s qualifications (or lack of) for the job of Interior Secretary under Bush. Those who support this nomination claim that Kempthorne’s classification as a “Westerner” meets the criteria for the job.

This shows me that Kempthorne’s supporters are able to read a compass but have no other understanding of being a “Westerner”. When one thinks of a “Westerner”, the image is more complex than just living on the west side of the continent.

A true “Westerner” should be able to relate to the needs of our rural region. “Westerners” rely on our natural resources (air, water, land) for our quality of life. “Westerners” understand the specific needs of rural communities and the challenges unique to those communities. The recreational activities experienced by true “Westerners” are quite different from urban residents. (Going for a ride a mountain bike through Tamarack and watching satellite TV in your RV isn’t a true “Westerner’s” typical recreational experience.) Rural agribusiness, economy, and survival depends on sensible urban development, responsible resource management, and awareness of the impact of large corporations on small businesses (Walmart vs. mom and pop shops, corporate agribusiness vs. family farms, megadairies/CAFOs impact on our air and water, etc.), and a balance between the needs of a growing population and its effect on our rural citizens.

Do the residents of San Diego (Kempthorne’s place of birth) understand the needs of residents in Brentwood, California? Can the people living in Spokane (where Kempthorne grew up) relate to the economic challenges faced by the citizens of Palouse, Washington? Can residents of Boise with their own urban needs and challenges truly comprehend the struggles faced by their fellow Idahoans in Magic Valley?

Perhaps supporters of this nomination consider Kempthorne’s work experience as proper training for the Interior Secretary. Kempthorne has spent twenty years in politics, three years as “executive vice-president” for Idaho Home Builders Association, and three more years as “state public affairs manager” for FMC Corp. (which is rarely identified in Kempthorne’s bios as a chemical manufacturing company headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Kempthorne worked as the “executive assistant to the director” for the Idaho Department of Lands for only TWO years.

Does it not raise questions that Kempthorne has spent most of his life in politics, property development, or chemical manufacturing? Does anybody wonder what his qualifications were for executive vice-president/assistant to the director or public affairs manager except for more political maneuvering and promotion rather than actual knowledge of the industry? What do we know about his education other than he graduated from the University of Idaho in 1976? Even his activities as a politician promote serious examination as to Kempthorne’s understanding to our rural way of life and commitment to natural resources.

Before accepting the description of “Westerner” as a qualification for the job of Secretary of Interior, Americans need to identify the difference between a true “Westerner” and an “urban cowboy”.

Just as going to church doesn’t make one a Christian anymore than going to a garage makes one an automobile, living on the west side of the Mississippi does not make one a “Westerner”.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Christianity in politics

Separation of church and state.

That is one of the principles our forefathers considered important. However, our politicians today keep blurring the line. Abortion, homosexuality, prayer in schools, evolution vs. creationism, and so on.

I won’t pretend to be an expert on religion OR government, but I’ve noticed that many of my beliefs tend to be in direct conflict of those proclaimed by the Republican party and conservative “Christians”. Many conservatives declare that their positions are reinforced by God, documented in the Bible, and the “true Christian way”. As a result, those of us who believe differently are considered ungodly, unChristian, pagan, etc.

For example, as previously mentioned, some members of my church condemned me after I coordinated a Peace Vigil in Gooding. I was not a good Christian because I was involved in a PEACE vigil. PEACE?! These church leaders consider themselves “good Christians” and I was no longer acceptable to them because I dared to have an opinion that differed than their personal brand of religion. (I want to clarify that their reaction was their own and I have not been condemned by the pastor nor by the higher level of church officials in Boise, and I was not in conflict with our church doctrine. It was only the leadership in our local congregation.) I’m sure that if I publicly expressed my views about homosexuality, abortion, prayer in schools, evolution, etc., their heads would spin.

Many so-called Christians claim that our country is in trouble because we’ve forgotten the word of God. I agree. But I don’t think that it is because of homosexuals and the lack of prayer in schools (despite all of the petitions I receive via e-mail!). I think our government and many of our citizens have neglected God’s other instructions. We’ve allowed greed to rule. We’ve allowed power to corrupt. We’ve neglected the weakest of our citizens. And so on.

My point is this:

There will be many discussions regarding political/religious issues as the 2006 election comes closer. How can a sincerely spiritual voter choose a candidate who follows Christ’s teachings while representing all of our state’s (and country’s) citizens?

That will be our topic for Gooding Drinking Liberally on Friday, March 24. We will discuss “Christian Principles In An Election Year”, a nonpartisan guide developed by constituent leadership and staff of the National Council of Churches USA’s Justice and Advocacy Commission and approved by the NCC’s Executive Committee.

Exploring these principles may be of interest to:

  • ANY sincerely spiritual voter who is open to evaluating leaders based upon the NCC’s guidelines rather than a particular political party’s instructions.
  • Spiritual liberals who wish to explore their own spirituality and how it relates to leadership qualities.
  • Liberals who are agnostic, atheist, or secular and who wish to participate in order to support other liberals whose spirituality is being criticized and minimized because of their political beliefs.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Collateral damage...

The other night, I had the most horrific dream, the kind of dream that feels so realistic that you wake up suddenly with your heart pounding and an overwhelming sensation of fear or grief. After a few seconds go by, you realize that it was "only a dream". You take a deep breath, thank God that it was just a dream, and go on with your day.

When I woke up the other morning, I felt my heart pounding and felt shaken and so very sad. I had been dreaming that my brother had been sent to Iraq and had been killed.

I realized quickly that I was only dreaming -- but just as I realized that it was "just a dream"... I also realized that it wasn't "just a dream". My brother HAD been killed in Iraq and I will never be able to wake up from that "dream".

Every day I think of my brother. I alternate between feeling sadness and anger. One way of dealing with my anger is becoming active in addressing my concerns about the current administration. Many of us didn't support the war in Iraq three years ago, many of us questioned the motives of this war, but not enough of us spoke out against it. Not enough of us asked questions. Many tried before the 2004 election but we still didn't accomplish our mission.

It wasn't until I learned about Cindy Sheehan that I started to speak up myself. I hadn't heard anybody like her before... a Gold Star mother... asking the questions I was asking ... expressing her anger and disgust... DEMANDING a response... WOW. What courage she had!

My first attempt at speaking out was when I decided to coordinate a candlelight vigil for peace in Gooding, Idaho--along with thousands of others across the nation. I only had about 36 hours to get the word out and I was thrilled to see about a dozen people there. A newspaper reporter was there as well. I tried to explain that the vigil was not about my brother, it was not about me, but it was our way of supporting Cindy Sheehan/Camp Crawford by stating that WE had questions also and wanted Bush to respond to her and to be accountable for his actions. However, my picture ended up on the front page of the paper as well as a quote that did NOT come out of my mouth correctly (I had to ask a friend if I really said that, because I couldn't even imagine thinking it, much less saying it to a reporter).

As a result of that article, my pastor was told that I shouldn't be a member of my church. I received attacking e-mails from other people in Gooding. My cousins also sent me a scathing e-mail stating they were horrified that I would use my brother's name to "promote political propaganda". Some people have refused to speak to me since then. Letters to the editor were written from my parents and sister-in-law stating that I didn't represent the family and my brother would be greatly offended at my actions. Further articles discussing the family division. And so on.

My mother was the only one who finally took the time to call me and ask me about what happened. We agreed to disagree and she respected my right to have my own opinion. Her only request was that I do not mention my brother's name when I am discussing my political beliefs publicly.

I do my very best to honor her request. She lost her son. She has her own hell to live through. She respected me enough to (finally) ask me about the candlelight vigil and the article, she listened to my side of it, and understood that I did not in any way intend to "use" my brother's death in a political manner. And amazingly enough, I have plenty of issues to discuss without mentioning my brother's name! (Bush and friends make it so EASY!)

The last few weeks have been especially intense. I've felt the freedom to speak up more, thanks to other Idaho liberal bloggers I've found who are more informed and experienced than I am... I appreciate them for clearing a path for people like myself. I appreciate Drinking Liberally for providing a template to start a social group so I can get together with other people who feel like I do here in my hometown of Gooding. I think this intensified exposure to information and awareness was probably the stimulus for my "nightmare", but it is also provides much comfort as well. I don't think that I've felt this optimistic and energized since my brother's death.

My point is this:

For those of you who ARE standing up and speaking out... THANK YOU. You help educate the rest of us who are willing to listen and learn. You provide role models for those of us who are just starting to get their "sea legs". Cindy Sheehan opened the door for me... you are showing me also how to walk through it.

For those of you who are still not quite ready, please know that as hard as it is to speak up, it is much harder to have the consequences of our silence forced upon us. My family lost a very special son/brother/husband/father. Almost 2300 other Americans have lost their loved ones as well. People are suffering financially. Women and homosexuals may lose their rights. Children and teachers are suffering with the expectations of No Child Left Behind. When will enough be enough? When will our cries be heard?

We need to join together and cry out together... and demand truth and accountability. We must demand that our administration recognize the needs of the citizens... our children, our elderly, our women, our families, our working poor, our military... our INDIVIDUAL citizens. We can no longer assume that corporate employers and industries will take responsibility for the damage they do to our communities, our small businesses, our environment, and our economy.

We need change... and it starts with us.

At peace in Fairfield, Idaho

My brother gave his life... please give this site five minutes.

Whispers of Kempthorne... why not shouting?

Face it, nobody really pays attention to Idaho. Heck, many Americans aren't even sure where the state is located! When they think of Idaho, they think of potatoes and Aryan nations. The GOP takes us for granted, and the Democrats tend to not waste time or money on us.

So it is quite feasible to think that Kempthorne will slide into his DC position, like a knife through butter. How much damage can Kempthorne do in three years? Do we really want to find out? Remember the concern when it was a possibility that Kempthorne was considered to be the head of the EPA? Remember, "after Kempthorne became governor of Idaho, the state increased toxic emissions by 2 percent—this during a period when the national average declined by 9 percent".

There are some soft concerned whispers out in blogland, but there should be SHOUTS, as there were about Harriet Meyers. But again, does anybody know who Kempthorne is and what he stands for?

Check out these blogs/articles and help get the word out across America and warn them about what the consequences could be if Kempthorne is confirmed.

Left In The West: "Kempthorne's Song and Dance"

This nomination follows in a long Bush tradition of spearheading government agencies with their sharpest critics and encouraging the haters to do their worst.
NY Times

"He represents a continuation of five years of an administration policy of exploiting public lands for oil and gas development and other resource extraction," said Philip E. Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust.
Boise Weekly: "Down in the Dirk"

Ridenbaugh Press: "Kempthorne's New Gig"
If you don’t like the Bush Administration’s approach generally on environmental matters, you won’t like Kempthorne’s.
Sierra Club: Kempthorne Nomination Raises Serious Concerns
Given the administration's and Kempthorne's own track record on the environment, unfortunately we have little hope that as Interior Secretary he would provide the leadership necessary to protect our national parks, wildlife and other special places.
New West
Just this week Andrus told reporters he hoped Kempthorne would take a position against the proposed sale of public lands, a proposition that is immensely unpopular in Idaho. Until then he should not expect support from Andrus.
New West: "Please, not Kempthorne"

"...our new Interior Secretary really needs to reflect the prevailing sentiment of the people he or she serves, not special interests viewing our public lands as reserves of unmined natural resources."
Kempthorne has also been a longtime proponent of exploiting natural resources on federal lands -- drilling in the Arctic Refuge and on the outer continental shelf, and logging in roadless areas of national forests.
The Missoulisan

Spokesman Review

"He's been a faithful mouthpiece of the polluting industries of Idaho ever since he worked for FMC."
The Idaho Statesman: Kempthorne a shoo-in
Environmentalists point to Kempthorne's aggressive jousting with the Environmental Protection Agency over cleaning up the Silver Valley in North Idaho after a century of heavy metal mining contamination as a sign of his values. In his 2002 State of the State address, Kempthorne said about the EPA: "I am so frustrated with them that I am on the verge of inviting them to leave the state."
National Environmental Trust
"As a senator and a governor, Dirk Kempthorne has been an unabashed champion of the resource extraction and development interests that profit most from public lands. He has led the fight to open the last untouched 30% of the national forests to logging, mining and oil and gas drilling. He granted the only permit to mine Idaho's state forests. He led the fight to weaken the Endangered Species Act, long opposed by real estate interests. Last but not least, he fought efforts to regulate arsenic in drinking water from both the Senate and the Idaho State House.
FACT SHEET: Idaho's Environment Under Kempthorne
  • Budget: Kempthorne cut Idaho's environmental services budget three times in two years.
  • Toxics: Though 35 states and the nation as a whole reduced the amount of toxins released into the environment from 1998 to 2000, Idaho increased emissions by 2 percent. National emissions decreased by 9 percent in the same period. Idaho emitted 59 pounds of toxins per resident on average in 2000, versus the national average of 25 pounds per perso. In 2000, Idaho — population 1.3 million — had more total toxic emissions than California, population 33.9 million.
  • Polluter Enforcement: Idaho polluters avoided inspections at a rate significantly higher than the rest of the country. 63 percent of "significant violators" haven't been inspected in the year analyzed, versus a national average of 48 percent. From 1999 to 2001, inspections for air pollution violators dropped 38 percent and "warning letters" to air polluters decreased 68 percent." (Source: "Bush's choice for EPA job oversaw worsening pollution in Idaho," Knight-Ridder, June 23, 2003)
The League of Conservation Voters issued this brief press release:

"During his career in Congress, Governor Kempthorne earned a paltry 1% lifetime LCV score. Enough said."
(Ouch! Craig, Simpson, Crapo, and Otter aren't much better. I can only imagine what Otter would do to Idaho if he's elected Governor.)

On a side note, it seems that Kempthorne will be running around unsupervised while in DC...

Proof of the evolution theory

All foam, no beer.

Previously posted at We Have Failed Our Duty As Citizens but important enough to me to bring it up again. As Democrats are considering censure, impeachment, or somehow putting a halt to the disastrous downward spiral of government integrity and ethics, as well as the increasing number of assaults upon America's freedoms and our unbelievable/unacceptable debt, AND the continous refusal to acknowledge the insanity of continuing the war in Iraq... (gee, where do I stop? ), we must acknowledge that the leader of our country may be unstable. We owe it to our country, our military men and women, and our children to open our eyes to see and open our mouths to speak up. "The Emperor has no clothes...!"
In several posts at We Have Failed Our Duty As Citizens, I've made references to the fact that I personally think that Bush is unbalanced--quite frankly he scares me. I've included a reading list in this blog which recommends White House Diary of a Sociopath and Of Course He Is a Psychopath ... .

I just found yet more references... which really reflect my own (untrained) impressions (that gut feeling). "Bush's Obscene Tirades Rattle White House Aides" contains items which are so outrageous that I truly pray that it isn't accurate. In another column, "Is Bush Out of Control?" contains a statement included which I consider especially accurate (IMHO):
...Dr. Frank diagnosed the President as a “paranoid meglomaniac” and “untreated alcoholic” ...

It's nice to find some confirmations to what my gut has been telling me for over five years!

[P.S. I strongly recommend reading other essays by Doug Thompson... he calls it like it is...]

UPDATE: Bush's mental state and alcoholicism is now even being discussed by Chris Matthews...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Kissin' a** achieves more than a brown nose...

This is not just an Idaho issue... Americans who are concerned about how this administration nominates "qualified" (?) individuals to cabinet/Supreme Court/etc. posts and comes up with questionable programs for solving our health care, economy, education, environment, and homeland security issues should pay CLOSE attention to the current nomination of Idaho's own "Governor Rogaine" (loved that name!) to the position of Interior Secretary.

Keep in mind that this is the same administration who accomplished the following (thank you to Make Them Accountable):
Inexperienced 28-Year-Old Bush Staffer Appointed to Critical Homeland Security Post
The Bush administration has appointed 28-year-old former White House staffer Doug Hoelscher as the executive director of the Homeland Security Advisory Committees.
In his new position, Hoelscher will gather expert advice “on behalf of the president and the Homeland Security secretary” from 20 other advisory boards covering “key areas of homeland security, including threats to infrastructure and preventing terrorist attacks that use weapons of mass destruction.” His experience?

Hoelscher has no management experience, a review of his professional credentials shows. He came to government in 2001 as a low-level White House staffer, arranging presidential travel, according to news reports. He earned $30,000 a year, salary documents show…
But back to Kempthorne...

Idaho bloggers and others are expressing their concerns and opinions... I won't pretend to know enough about the issues to write more here--that would be redundant and foolish! However, I do encourage all Americans to pay attention to this nomination... become informed and share your opinions with others--including YOUR representatives and senators! I would like to also pass on this reading recommendation:
"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 & misdameanors of the Kempthorne Administration."

More discussion is happening at:
Red State Rebels
43rd State Blues
DailyKos #1
DailyKos #2
Political Game

Not that this has anything to do with protecting our interior, but I did find it quite interesting that a Republican (you know, the political party with the direct line to God, unlike us pagan liberals) would be rumored to have a mistress who has borne a child by him! I'm SO disappointed! (And surprised also! Gosh! So much for Idaho and "family values"!)

Monday, March 13, 2006

I'm going on a No CARB diet!

UPDATE November 8, 2006: We've lost RUMSFELD!

Simpson: Support Bush investigation or explain why not...

I went to Progressive Democrats of America to send a letter to my House Represenative in Idaho (Simpson).
"Please co-sponsor and support H.Res.635, which will create a select committee to investigate the Administration's intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, and retaliating against critics, and to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment.

If you are unable or unwilling to co-sponsor and support this resolution, I would appreciate a response explaining your reasoning."

I will post his response... if I get one.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

More crawly things under rocks...

Thanks, Alan, for posting this at MREater...

Sunday, March 12, 2006
Craig linked to Duke Cunningham

The Idaho Statesman reported on Friday, and again in more detail on Sunday, how Larry Craig received $43,500 from Brent Wilkes, who bribed Duke Cunningham.

Craig at first insisted that he had done nothing wrong, but Dan Popkey continued to dig and found that two days after Wilkes's staffers visited Craig, Craig introduced an amendment that would have directed a $3 million contract to Wilkes's company. Craig later decided to give the campaign contributions to charity. So, if he did nothing wrong, why did he give up the donation?

On Sunday, the Statesman also reported about flights on corporate jets taken by Sen Crapo, and by two SUVs leases by Rep Simpson at taxpayer expense.

The Statesman didn't dig up any dirt on Rep Otter. I tried to link to the article, but couldn't find it online.

Read the complete article at the Idaho Statesman--talk about flip-flop and coincidence!

I found a website that is doing a "Senator-Watch"... so far, none of Idaho's esteemed gentlemen are listed but it wouldn't hurt to keep an eye out!

The "man" behind the curtain

Those of us blues in red country struggle with the fact that, despite looking like intelligent people (mostly), so many of our neighbors and co-workers in Idaho are still blindly supporting the administration. (As of 2/13/06, 55% of Idahoans still approve the job Bush is doing as President.)

Why can't they see what we see? We joke about the "Kool Aid" but what is it really that prevents them from waking up out of their coma? This administration has led us into disaster after disaster, fumbled the ball time over time, lied to us repeatedly... and some people still unblinkly repeat the mantra of "God bless Bush! Hallelujah! He will save us!"

Well, thanks to 43rd State Blues and ianstenseng for directing me to an article from Mother Jones (originally published in the Seattle Times).

"Why Media Ownership Matters" points out that "56 percent of Americans still think Iraq had weapons of mass destruction before the start of the war" and "six in 10 said they believe Iraq provided direct support to the al-Qaida terrorist network". Haven't we all realized that these excuses for war have "been thoroughly debunked by everyone from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee to both of Bush's handpicked weapons inspectors"?

The article continues by stating that:
"Americans believe these lies not because they are stupid, but because they are good media consumers. Our media have become an echo chamber for those in power. Rather than challenge the fraudulent claims of the Bush administration, we've had a media acting as a conveyor belt for the government's lies."

So how did that happen in America, where we believe in freedom of the press and freedom of speech? (At least, last time I checked!)

Read "Why Media Ownership Matters" to find out:
  • which nuclear weapons manufacturers own which major networks...
  • the relationship between the chair of FCC and the top general in the war on Iraq (hint: their last name starts with "P", ends with "l", and contains the vowels "o" and "e")
  • and more about the incestuous relationship between the leaders in our government, the multi-billion dollar corporations, and the media conglomerate.
It makes it a little bit easier to understand why it feels as if I'm living in the world of moonies. Not any more acceptable, but a little more understandable.

I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that out of SEVEN attempts to have media coverage for "Gooding Drinking Liberally", only ONE had a result (and even that was altered with negative results):
  • PSA regarding "new club" sent to the Gooding County Leader two weeks in a row... zero publication.
  • PSA regarding "new club" sent to the Times-News twice... printed after second request, the week after first meeting. Altered with focus on "drinking" rather than on organization.
  • PSA regarding congressional candidates as "special guests" sent to both papers... zero publication.
  • Request for coverage from KMVT for the meeting with the "special guests"... no official response, no coverage.
Again, perhaps I'm just being paranoid. They have to have room for all of the human interest stories from across the USA, so maybe there wasn't room for us...??

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Which Democrats are blocking impeachment?

From an update that I received from…

Which Democrats Are Blocking Us

Thanks to your grassroots lobbying efforts (and the leadership of Rep. John Conyers) there are now 29 co-sponsors for Conyers' Select Committee on Impeachment, H. Res. 635.

That's a good start - but ALL 202 Democrats should be co-sponsors. After all,
Bush deserves impeachment far more than any president in American history, and a solid majority of Americans want Congress to impeach him NOW.

What's holding back the Democrats? According to reporter Dave Lindorff, "members of Congress - even firebrands like Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) - have been strong-armed behind the scenes by the Democratic National Committee not to introduce an impeachment bill in the House." The DNC chairman is Howard Dean. Ask him why he is blocking impeachment

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also opposes impeachment, urging Democratic activists to focus instead on winning the House in November. We reject that because every single DAY that Bush remains in office is another day in which American soldiers are killed or maimed in Iraq, Iraqi civilians are killed or maimed or poisoned, prisoners in America's Gulag are tortured, America's ports are left vulnerable, our phones and computers are wiretapped, and our planet races towards climate catastrophe.

Also, since a solid majority (52%-53%) of Americans support Bush's impeachment, it's both good policy and good politics. Ask Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic leadership why they are blocking impeachment

Another terrific way to promote impeachment is by getting cities, counties, towns, villages, and Democratic committees to adopt impeachment resolutions. Last week, citizens of five Vermont towns overwhelmingly passed resolutions urging their Congressman, Bernie Sanders, to introduce Articles of Impeachment. His first reply was to call impeachment "
impractical," but he then responded to his constituents by co-sponsoring H. Res. 635. The growing list of local resolutions favoring the impeachment of Bush and Cheney is here.

Activists who are particularly savvy have embraced the "Rutland Resolution" to urge their state legislatures to submit impeachable charges directly to the U.S. House of Representatives under Section 603 of the Manual of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. This strategy is best suited to states that have strong Democratic majorities in both houses of the legislature: CA, MA, HI, RI, and VT. Learn more

If you would like to help organize impeachment efforts in your state, county or town, join the
Impeachment Working Group of Progressive Democrats of America.

And be sure to urge your Representative to co-sponsor
H.Res. 635.

Let's make impeachment our highest priority this spring - victory is possible!!

I know it's a waste of time, but I'm going to contact Simpson anyway and tell him that I want him to co-sponsor H.Res. 635... I wonder what his response (i.e. excuse) will be?

Gooding DL: Second Meeting ROCKED!

I am pleased to report another wonderful turnout for our meeting on Friday, March 10. There were fourteen in attendance, which I think is pretty fantastic for our area and the fact that it was only our second meeting (on top of the fact that we've had some difficulties with publicity). Alan from Idablue stopped by on his way through the area and another person came from Buhl. In addition, Donna Pence (Representative, District #25) was able to join us after a long week in Boise. Adding these people (who made such an effort to be there) along with the others (who have shared their passion, their curiousity, and their committment to democracy) is an awesome start to building a foundation for some liberal democratic progressive grassroots networking in Gooding!

Craig Cooper and Jim Hansen were our "special visitors" for the evening. They both had some intense schedules for the prior two days, so I really appreciate that they were able to join us. And both stayed as long as the rest of us did, neither leaving until about 9:30pm... I'm sure they were exhausted.

My own impression from the evening is how fortunate we are to have two intelligent, rational, and committed candidates to choose from in the Primary. I hope that everyone becomes familiar with their positions on the issues so we can share what we know with others and make an informed decision at the polls. Both of them are wanting their campaigns to be "of the people, by the people", so if you wish to donate to their campaigns (even if it's $5... they'd rather have $5 from 1000 Idahoans than $5000 from one lobbyist), check their websites for donation information. Keep in mind that the other candidate is the Republican incumbent who could probably pick up the phone and receive millions in campaign donations--so ask yourself... can you afford to send a donation or can you afford a continuation in the same type of representation you've been receiving so far?

In addition, they would appreciate assistance with canvassing (going door to door and helping inform our neighbors about the candidates) and houseparties (open house with your friends and families to introduce them to the candidates). Again, check out their website for more information and to let them know of your interest in helping them out.

To summarize, I appreciated all of those in attendance for doing their part in creating an environment where we can share our concerns and opinions, learn about current issues and the "system", and laugh with each other. I had fun and hope they all did also.

MUCH APPRECIATION to the other liberal, democratic, progressive bloggers in Idaho for your support and promotion!
Let's toast small-town democracy
Tag-team Dems at Gooding DL
Democratic hot bed: Gooding?
{If I missed one, let me know!}

[DISCLAIMER: I have many skills, but "note taking" isn't one of them! To those who attended the meeting, PLEASE feel free to add your thoughts, observations, clarifications, and corrections!]

Sign up at Gooding DL mailing list to receive updates, reminders, and reports.

Tune in and SPEAK UP!

It is my own personal opinion that one of the best things we can do is to help our country and fellow Americans is to stay informed and to communicate what we learn to others.

I would like to share some of the tools I have found useful:

To receive information:
Make Them Accountable
I receive regular summaries via e-mail of what is going on around the world and nation. This summary provides links to further sources, that I can choose to follow up if the topic is one that I'm following or if I have time. (It also includes some great cartoons and graphics!)

Lefty Blogs
I am able to see what other liberal bloggers in my state are posting (available for all 50 states). In addition, I was able to link a feed here on my own blog so you can see what is being discussed on other Idaho liberal blogs. I believe that the feed can also be received by e-mail as well, if you don't have your own blog. If you HAVE a blog that focuses on mostly STATE and LOCAL issues, then don't forget to add your blog to the list to help reinforce the networking among the liberals in your state.

To distribute information:
We must continually contact our representatives and this is an easy way to do it. Whether you wish to contact Bush or your state reps, you can do it at this site.

American Friends Service Committee
Write letters to the editor to educate and inform your neighbors about what you LEARN. At this site, you can just put in your zipcode wherever you are in America and it will forward your letter to the newspapers of your choice in your region. I would encourage people to avoid the emotional slamming of politicians or issues (that seems to turn people off especially when they are not open to our opinions in the first place) but if we continued to provide the facts to them in a rational and educated forum, then we can hope that one day, they will realize the truth.

"To state that we must not criticize the president is unpatriotic, servile, and morally treasonable to the American public."

--President Theodore Roosevelt

Stand up, speak up, SHOW UP!

I really think we CAN make a difference in whichever state we live in. We just need to stand up, speak up, and SHOW up.
Published in the March 2006 issue of The Progressive
Enough of the D.C. Dems
by Molly Ivins
Mah fellow progressives, now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the party. I don’t know about you, but I have had it with the D.C. Democrats, had it with the DLC Democrats, had it with every calculating, equivocating, triangulating, straddling, hair-splitting son of a bitch up there, and that includes Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I will not be supporting Senator Clinton because: a) she has no clear stand on the war and b) Terri Schiavo and flag-burning are not issues where you reach out to the other side and try to split the difference. You want to talk about lowering abortion rates through cooperation on sex education and contraception, fine, but don’t jack with stuff that is pure rightwing firewater.

I can’t see a damn soul in D.C. except Russ Feingold who is even worth considering for President. The rest of them seem to me so poisonously in hock to this system of legalized bribery they can’t even see straight.

Look at their reaction to this Abramoff scandal. They’re talking about “a lobby reform package.” We don’t need a lobby reform package, you dimwits, we need full public financing of campaigns, and every single one of you who spends half your time whoring after special interest contributions knows it. The Abramoff scandal is a once in a lifetime gift—a perfect lesson on what’s wrong with the system being laid out for people to see. Run with it, don’t mess around with little patches, and fix the system.

As usual, the Democrats have forty good issues on their side and want to run on thirty-nine of them. Here are three they should stick to:

1) Iraq is making terrorism worse; it’s a breeding ground. We need to extricate ourselves as soon as possible. We are not helping the Iraqis by staying.

2) Full public financing of campaigns so as to drive the moneylenders from the halls of Washington.

3) Single-payer health insurance.

Every Democrat I talk to is appalled at the sheer gutlessness and spinelessness of the Democratic performance. The party is still cringing at the thought of being called, ooh-ooh, “unpatriotic” by a bunch of rightwingers.

Take “unpatriotic” and shove it. How dare they do this to our country? Unpatriotic”? These people have ruined the American military! Not to mention the economy, the middle class, and our reputation in the world.

Everything they touch turns to dirt, including Medicare prescription drugs and hurricane relief.

This is not a time for a candidate who will offend no one; it is time for a candidate who takes clear stands and kicks ass.

Who are these idiots talking about Warner of Virginia? Being anodyne is not sufficient qualification for being President. And if there’s nobody in Washington and we can’t find a Democratic governor, let’s run Bill Moyers, or Oprah, or some university president with ethics and charisma.

What happens now is not up to the has-beens in Washington who run this party. It is up to us. So let’s get off our butts and start building a progressive movement that can block the nomination of Hillary Clinton or any other candidate who supposedly has “all the money sewed up.”

I am tired of having the party nomination decided before the first primary vote is cast, tired of having the party beholden to the same old Establishment money.

We can raise our own money on the Internet, and we know it. Howard Dean raised $42 million, largely on the web, with a late start when he was running for President, and that ain’t chicken feed. If we double it, it gives us the lock on the nomination. So let’s go find a good candidate early and organize the shit out of our side.
Thank you, Julie and Serephin, for bringing this to my attention. I want to also include Serephin's comment:

And a lot of what she's talking about can also be applied to our own Gem State.

Think Democratic politics in Idaho can be done better? Then get your ass hither to a Democratic Central Committee meeting in your neck of the woods and get the hell involved. And don't take apathy, ignorance or the word "no" for an answer.

If you don't get the response you want from folks in the party, get in their face until you do. Politics is a contact sport, and it ain't for pansies. Don't be a pansy.

The best things in life are worth fighting for. Taking Idaho back from the wingnut Rethugs and making it a land worth living in again is right at the top of my list.

Is Chavez the evil one? You decide...

I won't pretend to be an expert on why America (Bush) and Venezuala (Chavez) do not get along. I guess Chavez criticized us (was he wrong?) or Bush (do we disagree?) and some Americans were very critical of Cindy Sheehan's visit to Chavez because he is "antiAmerican" etc.

That is about the extent of my knowledge... I've had so much other stuff to pull my hair out about, just didn't have room for that topic in my brain!

However, I did just find this and wanted to share it... I don't know how biased or unbiased, factual or "spinned", any of the article is. But it does make one wonder...

This is from Gary Olson at, courtesy of Latin America News Review-

For the first time, universal health care is official state policy and peasants are living longer due to accessible health care.

Elementary schools are providing three free meals a day to all students, drawing some million new students to school.

Misiones (missions and government projects) are extending vital social services like literacy training, food subsidies and rudimentary health care to the poor.

Indigenous Venezuelans, homosexuals and women are now protected in the constitution.

Land reform is redistributing idle land to landless peasants.

Operation milagro (miracle), a joint venture with Cuban doctors, has restored eyesight to thousands of blind people in the region.

Venezuelan elites, who despise Chavez and call him a monkey, have tried mightily to sabotage the economy for eight years, but it grew at a respectable 9 percent in 2005, the highest in the hemisphere.

Venezuelan oil has made this possible, but only Chavez acted on the clearly subversive and radical notion that the country's resources should be used to benefit the country's people and even those beyond its orders. Oil was nationalized in 1976, but the oil bureaucracy operated as a state within a state."

The system remains imperfect, but Chavez finally took control in 2001 and the petrodollars are now staying home in the form of social spending, faithfully reflecting social ownership of this natural resource.

Something must be working, because his approval rating stands at 77 percent, the highest in the Americas, according to Datanalisis, the country's major polling firm.And, of course, this begins to explain why Chavez is viewed as a threat. An alternative development model where the citizens, not private U.S. foreign investors, are the primary beneficiaries of government policy is feared by U.S. elites.

As Latin American expert Prof. Rosa Maria Pegueros observes, from Washington's perspective the real threat is that if Chavez succeeds, he may "create an eqalitarian society that has the power to resist United States hegemony."

Who knows where this virus may appear next. To help it spread, I'm filling my tank at the Citgo station from now on.

Click for full article

Friday, March 10, 2006

Heterosexuals ONLY

An UPDATE regarding what we can do to protect Idaho from reducing a segment of our population to second class citizens has been posted at 43rd State Blues.

A Blast inspired by the past
That Sticker on Your Bench
By Shea Andersen, 3-08-06

Coffee-sippers and Downtown walkers took notice quickly: As of Monday this week, Boise had a smattering of new signage. But the new labels that have popped up around the city are a lot more pointed and politically-charged than any others.

The neatly-printed signs, in fact, look familiar to anyone with a sense of civil-rights history: in clear print on white backing, they read: "heterosexuals only," and they've been slapped onto park benches and chairs, and also, notably, in several spots in the Idaho State Capitol.

The reference is clear: the signs harken back to the days when "colored people" had their own drinking fountains and bathrooms. The new context is the
recent vote by the Idaho Legislature to bring to voters a proposed constitutional amendment on gay marriage.

The Idaho Statesman caught the stickers, and ran
their story on it.

You can read
a longer interview with the anonymous sticker-makers at the Boise Weekly.

Last I heard, some of the stickers were getting peeled off by business owners. But don't be surprised if more crop up.

Previous posts at "We Have Failed Our Duties..." :
Politicians: PLEASE prioritize!
Family Values or Homophobic?
Bigots and Hypocrites Don't Represent ME!
Idaho Laws That We Ignore (Part 2)
The Colbert Report: Idaho Known For...
Brokeback Utah
The Perfect Wife

In addition, I also am questioning the ethics and sincerity of our legislators as now they conveniently claim to have a desire to honor the wishes of Idaho citizens.

Where were they four years ago?

Oh, yes... they were OVERRIDING the decisions of Idaho citizens!*

If Idaho citizens vote against the ban, will they over-ride it again?

*I included a list of legislators who repealed the term-limits initiative in 2002 who are STILL in office in 2006.

Dumb**** Mountain

{I normally try to avoid swear words on my blog... but this was too appropriate...}

Don't abandon Idaho, please!

I read in a recent newsletter from that:

"Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) challenged the former Vermont governor during a session in Pelosi's office, according to Democratic sources. The leaders complained about Dean's priorities -- funding organizers for state parties in strongly Republican states such as Mississippi -- rather than targeting states with crucial races this fall."

I went to, looked up the contact forms for Reid and Pelosi, and wrote them the following note:

Please, oh PLEASE, support providing assistance to "strongly Republican states"! I am in Idaho and you KNOW how much trouble we are in! Not only does the Republican party take us for granted, but the Democratic Party doesn't even acknowledge our existence. I realize there aren't many of us officially-identified "Democrats", but we are here! And we feel SO alone! We need your attention, your support, your visibility.

Please don't abandon us. I beg of you, don't turn your back on us. We need you.
Maybe it was a bit too emotional, but the national party must not forget that we are still here. I truly appreciate Howard Dean's message and focus and I know that it will make a difference.

Brokeback Utah

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Conversation on Main Street in rural Idaho

(I was reading a post at Idablue today about Right Leaning Media and decided to share my "Moment of Zen" in our little town...)

A funny (?) thing happened to me today...

I was out and about in town and a business owner (who I don't really know well but he may know me by name as I have been doing business there lately) brought up "news programs" to me.

He was trying to insist that Fox news was the most balanced of all of the news channels. He made that statement several times and then would look at me as if waiting for my response. He didn't seem angry or threatening, it was actually a pretty casual conversation. Just "chit chat".

I said something like "if you say so"... not in a challenging tone, but just like a dumb-blonde type of response. I didn't want to get into an argument with him and didn't quite know how to respond otherwise.

Anyway, I couldn't help but wonder... did he know who I was? There was a recent article in the paper about the Gooding DL that we are starting up and my name was listed as a co-host... did he recognize my name and was wondering how I would respond to him? Was he TRYING to start an argument? With a CUSTOMER?

I don't know... but it was a weird moment... I wonder what will happen next time I go to his business...

Maybe I'm just paranoid... I must be just imagining things... like those men hiding in the trees with binoculars, the cars with tinted windows parked down the block, and that strange clicking noise on my phone.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

If we are attacked by terrorists, prayer is the answer...

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 7, 2006

Executive Order: Responsibilities of the Department of Homeland Security with Respect to Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to help the Federal Government coordinate a national effort to expand opportunities for faith-based and other community organizations and to strengthen their capacity to better meet America's social and community needs, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Establishment of a Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the Department of Homeland Security

Can someone please remind America why we fought the Revolution?

The Perfect Wife

From MREater dated January 30, 2005:

I was reading the Idaho Statesman, where columnist Dan Popkey was writing about an effort in Idaho to enact an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment. Popkey wrote that Jeff Esters, Pastor at Fellowship Babtist Church, said that failure to approve the amendment could lead to men marrying dogs, or television sets. Now there's a leader who thinks outside the box.

The idea of marrying a dog is pretty far-fetched. After all, a dog is already man's best friend, so what would be the point. Plus, the thought of a dog wearing lipstick gives me the willies.

Now, marrying a TV is a different thing altogether. Imagine. The TV is never too tired to turn on. The TV never asks you to carry out the garbage, or nags you to fix the dripping faucet. If the channel you're watching is boring or depressing you can change it. You are in control of it's moods, not hormones. And, of course, the best part; the mute button on the remote control.

Jeez, what a slippery slope. We fail to pass an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment, and soon guys are marrying TVs. What's next, guys marrying 12-packs of beer? You know what would happen then. The guy would get down to his last beer and say "Honey, I'm leaving you. I've found another 12-pack, one with a full set of cans."

Still, Pastor Esters might be on to something. What I'm confused about is, if he thinks that defeating the amendment will lead to men marrying TV's, why is he against it? He must not have a TV.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Idaho vet/blue blogger

I have been trying to regularly check the other liberal/democrat/blue blogs from fellow Idahoans and I found Alan's the other day. He has two blogs which I thoroughly recommend that others check out.

His first blog MREater is his military blog and reflects upon his deployment experiences. I cannot give it justice with my own words-- please read it for yourself. He shares his views not only as a soldier but also as a human being. He's compassionate, funny, honest, and very perceptive of what others (soldiers, Iraqi's, etc.) are going through. So far, my favorite funny line is:
"After the sheik’s wife took over and cooked up lunch, which took about two hours from baa to being served."
For those of us who are NOT in the military, please don't pass up this opportunity to learn about their experiences through the eyes of someone who has been there. I know that we are all busy with our own blogs and lives, etc., but if our Idaho Guard can sacrifice 18 months of their lives for our country, then we can take the time to read this one blog to see what they had to go through. It is fascinating reading.

His second blog is Idablue with posts consisting of astute observations of current issues and concerns which, in my opinion, stimulate thought and discussion. I look forward to reading more of his posts.

"I am told that only one person has escaped from our D Cell; the midget, and during his escape he ended up naked. You'd think a naked Iraqi midget would easy to spot, but I was told that he was never captured."

Idaho Legislature has some explaining to do!

From Brady for Idaho


The Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee finally began hearing property tax reform bills today, nearly two months into the 2006 legislative session. But Jerry Brady, Democratic candidate for Idaho Governor, said the legislature is still failing to fully address homeowners’ calls for property tax fairness.

“Where is consideration of a $100,000 homeowner’s exemption?” Brady asked.

“Today, $l00,000 is equal to the $50,000 approved by voters in l982, adjusted for inflation. Let’s simply update what the people approved more than 20 years ago.

“Lawmakers respond to special interests, which fund their campaigns and think they will pay more if the property tax system is made fair again. Who is looking out for homeowners? Their property taxes are rising nine times faster than all other forms of property tax.

“When elected, I will enact real reform. The average homeowner will finally have an advocate in the governor’s office,” Brady said. He first advocated doubling the homeowner’s exemption last October.

If the $100,000 exemption were enacted, homeowners would save twice the amount they would under the $75,000 exemption now being considered by the legislature. Owners of a home valued at $200,000 would save $700 in Coeur d’Alene, $870 in Boise, $968 in Twin Falls, $1,000 in Nampa, and $1,150 in Pocatello.

Brady also warned against a bill now under consideration in the Senate, which would cut half the property tax portion that funds schools and replace it with a sales tax. That would actually increase net taxes paid by most Idaho homeowners. It would not make funding for schools more secure.

“The legislature would simply be playing bait-and-switch with taxes,” Brady said.

In addition, Brady is urging the legislature to repeal immediately the “developer’s discount” that allows landowners like Gov. Dirk Kempthorne to pay pennies per acre on prime real estate, while average homeowners continue to see their tax bills soar. Brady recently sent Valley County a check to pay Kempthorne’s overdue $9.73 property tax bill for 14 acres the governor owns near Tamarack Resort.

“Kempthorne owed less than $10 because he took advantage of the developer’s discount,” Brady said. “He vetoed a bill to eliminate the discount last year; then he talked about phasing it out over five years. I say we need to get rid of it now. Developers need to pay their fair share.”