Thursday, December 06, 2007

Butt Face Towel

check back later... I accidently published before I was ready! I had the title... and was working on the rest...!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

More Republican family values

So what will Luna do? Make excuses or throw him under the bus? I guess the days of "compassionate conservatism" are long over... I must have slept through them or something...

Man Wanted for Sexual Conduct with Child
Story Created: Oct 25, 2007 at 5:09 PM MST
By Kiersten Throndsen

A Nampa man is on the run, charged with inappropriately touching a child and the suspect is related to the state leader for Idaho's education system.

James D. Luna is charged with lewd conduct of a child under 16-years-old. Court documents filed in Canyon County, show the victim told police Luna began touching her in 2000, to quote: "Make her feel better."

The victim says that sexual conduct happened more than 20 times during a five year span from when she was nine, until she was 14-years-old.Police say in those documents Luna admitted the crimes during a taped phone call between him and the victim.

He is the brother of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna.

CBS 2 Eyewitness News talked to one mom who says Superintendent Luna needs to help protect kids but what his brother is accused of shouldn't make a difference on his role as a state educational leader.

"What his brother is involved in I don't think he should be, you know, necessarily held responsible for that, I mean it wasn't something he specifically did," said Susan Faulkner as she waited to pick up her daughter from middle school.

Police say James Luna admitted to touching the girl and allegedly said he had a problem and needs help, but isn't sure there is anyone who can help him. Luna was last seen driving a Beige/white Mazda M3 with Idaho license plate 2CDA064.

They say Luna could be armed. You are urged to call Nampa Police at #465-2257 if you have any information.

CBS 2 Eyewitness News called Superintendent Tom Luna's office but so far no one has called back.

Additional Links
...After a grand jury indictment, 43-year-old Luna was arraigned on charges that he allegedly sexually abused a female family member from the time she was 9 years old until she was 14.

"By having manual to genital contact, and or oral to genital contact with the intent to arouse, appeal to, and or gratify lust, passion, and or desire of the defendant, and or the minor child. Do you understand that charge sir?" asked the judge.

"Yes sir," replied Luna.

Many of the details involved in the indictment come from a recorded conversation between Luna and the victim in which he allegedly admits to the abuse, and even tells the girl that he needs help, but isn't sure anyone can offer him the help he needs...

Bad Larry! No more bones for you!

I don't have much to say regarding the Larry Craig incident... which is a good thing, since so many others have already said as much or more than I could (and so much better as well!)... but my main frustration is that, as a mother, I'm sick to death of the criticism of law enforcement and their "sting operation".

If law enforcement is aware of public sexual behavior in places which my children can access--whether in a men's bathroom or in the bushes at the park, whether homosexual or heterosexual -- then I sure as hell expect them to do whatever they need to do in order to get it stopped. I cannot be everywhere with my kids and I do not appreciate ANYBODY having sexual activities in a public area.

This is not about homosexuality... it's about common decency and appropriate behavior. It is my expectation that law enforcement would act upon citizen complaints about illegal behavior... and I would be furious if my children were exposed to public sex and I learned that the authorities had prior knowledge and hadn't done anything.

Can people please get their priorities straight? How can someone say that homosexuality and gay marriage threatens "family values" but get their panties in a twist because their good ol' boy got busted by our LAW ENFORCEMENT doing their jobs???

To the police officer: THANK YOU.
To Larry: GET A ROOM!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Today is Gold Star Mother's Day

Please take a moment to comfort and honor the families of those who have given their lives in the name of the United States of America...

Proclamation by the President of the United States

Whereas the preamble to Public Resolution 123, 74th Congress, approved June 23, 1936 (40 Stat. 1895), recites:

Whereas the service rendered the United States by the American mother is the greatest source of the Country’s strength and inspiration; and

“Whereas we honor ourselves and the mothers of America when we revere and give emphasis to the home as the fountainhead of the State; and

“Whereas the American mother is doing so much for the home and for the moral and spiritual uplift of the people of the United States and hence so much for good government and humanity; and

“Whereas the American Gold Star Mothers suffered the supreme sacrifice of motherhood in the loss of their sons and daughters in World Wars”and

Whereas the said Public Resolution 12 provides:

“That the President of the United States is hereby authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the Government officials to display the United States flag on all Government buildings, and the people of the United States to display the flag and to hold appropriate meetings in their homes, churches, or other suitable places, on the last Sunday in September, as public expression of the love, sorrow and reverence of the people of the United States for the American Gold Star Mothers."

“Sec. 2. That the last Sunday in September shall hereafter be designated and known as “Gold Star Mother’s Day,” and it shall be the duty of the President to request its observance as provided for in this resolution.”

I have to ask myself... why is America not aware of this day of honor? Why is there no media coverage? Why are those who claim to "support the troops" by supporting this war not also supporting the Gold Star Mothers (and the widows and orphans...) by honoring them today?

Because it's easier for America to look away from our pain and ignore their role in causing it...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

"Refuse to kill. Refuse the order to go to war ...

Catholics initiate call to refuse, to support GI resisters

"Refuse to kill. Refuse the order to go to war ...
We know your resistance to war will be difficult and require great courage."

By Jonah House and Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.
September 28, 2007

Brothers and sisters in the military: "Refuse to fight! Refuse to kill!"

You are being ordered to war in the footsteps of veterans, who, more than 10 years ago, were sent to fight the first Gulf War. Many of those vets returned with severe and unacknowledged illnesses. Many gave birth to severely deformed children. All were abandoned by the Veterans Administration.

You are being ordered to war by the most powerful nation on earth. You are being ordered to war by a nation with the most destructive weapons ever conceived, developed, deployed or used.

You are being ordered to war by a nation whose self-acknowledged posture is that of world domination, mastery, control. This nation can have no moral justification for war.

We, the undersigned, are convinced that war is the greatest evil on earth. We believe that humankind must end war, or war will end humankind, and, in fact, all of creation.

Our convictions have driven us time and again to the Pentagon, White House and Congress in acts of civil resistance to war.

Now, we bring our plea to you, sisters and brothers, in the armed forces.

Refuse to kill.

Refuse the order to go to war.

Leave the military before it is too late.

We know your resistance to war will be difficult and require great courage.
But please reflect:

Is it more difficult than fighting in war?

Is it more difficult than being a pawn of corporate greed?

Is it more difficult than living with a violated conscience?

Is it more difficult than living with the poisons of war in your body and spirit?

Wrong is easy. Right is difficult and long. Do what your heart says is right.

We knowingly and willingly make this plea to you in violation of 18 USC Sec. 1381 and 2387 (see below). We knowingly and willingly embrace some of your risk by urging you to refuse duty in the U.S. military.

We plead with you, as Bishop Oscar Romero pleaded with Salvadoran troops: "When you hear the words of a man telling you to kill, remember instead the words of God: 'Thou shalt not kill!' No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God? In the name of God, in the name of our tormented people who have suffered so much and whose laments cry out to heaven, I beseech you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God, stop the repression!'"

If you choose to leave the military, please know that our hearts and homes are open to you.

Read more, including signatures.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sali apology front page in local paper

The Times-News published an article regarding Bill Sali's apology on the front page... I think that is a good thing...

My test results...

I also took the test. h/t Binkyboy at 43rd State Blues.

Economic Left/Right: -6.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.46

Since I completely admit that I'm not very well-informed about labels and definitions (I'm the "I don't know anything about art, but I know what I like" type of person), I'm open to any comments who can help me understand what this means!!

Friday, August 17, 2007

A lot of talk, a lot of BS

Support the troops, support the troops, support the troops...

It's on bumper stickers and car magnets, t-shirts and hometown banners...

I even see it on corporate advertisements... "We Support The Troops!!!"

When certain individuals want to condemn me for my beliefs and opinions, one of the "bullets" they shoot me with is how THEY support the troops and I don't... (Of course, these are the same people who elect representatives like Larry Craig, Mike Simpson, and Mike Crapo (who SAY they support our veterans but have failed them miserably!) ...

And now this...

Army Suicides Highest in 26 Years

WASHINGTON -- Army soldiers committed suicide last year at the highest rate in 26 years, and more than a quarter did so while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new military report… Last year, "Iraq was the most common deployment location for both (suicides) and attempts," the report said.

Why Isn’t the Press on a Suicide Watch?

You’d never know that at least 3% of all American deaths in Iraq are due to self-inflicted wounds. And that doesn’t include the many vets who have killed themselves after returning home.

{Thank you, Caro from, for sharing this...}

I won't hold my breath waiting for mainstream media to provide coverage... not when "Support the Troops" is such a popular bumper sticker... but doesn't really mean anything real to the average American... who seem to follow the mindset of Barbara Bush:

“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)

UPDATE 8/17/07

The Times-News (local Magic Valley regional daily paper) DID insert an AP article in today's issue. Section C, Page 6.

On one hand, KUDOS for publishing this article and informing Americans about the tragic and painful consequences experienced by our brave men and women for serving our country.

On the other hand, SECTION C?? PAGE 6?? Personally, I consider our military men and women and their issues a HUGE priority for America, considering we are AT WAR and they are risking and sacrificing their lives for our country. Put the four losers who murdered their friend in the back pages -- they are NOT worthy of front page news. Yes, they are also someone's loved ones, but they chose to rob and murder others rather than bravely serve our country. Who do YOU think deserves the front page?

My opinion: If it has to do with our troops, it needs to be on the front page. Every time. No matter what.

We use what we can find... DUH!!!

Bill Sali has apologized for his remarks, as published in the Idaho Statesman. I'm sure that other Idaho bloggers will be able to provide much better insight, evalation, and commentary on it than I can, so I will leave that up to them (and include links to them here, of course!)...

However, I do want to address one quote by Sali's representative, who stated that Sali's comments took on a life of their own with people "trying to twist it and spin it into something that is horrible. What we have now is bloggers quoting bloggers who are quoting other bloggers.''

Well, yeah, DUH. They are the ones who were discussing it. If it was left up to MSM, then there would be very little awareness of Sali's actions.

If the MSM would like to start covering Sali's voting record and how it represents Idaho, then go for it. If not, maybe the bloggers will have to take on THAT responsibility as well.

MSM needs to lead, follow or just get out of the way... the public still needs to be informed.

UPDATE 8/17/07 11:05AM
Other links:
Sali Apologizes
Bill Sali's Half-Apology

"No more colorful congressmen please!"

Times-News Editorial
Friday, August 17, 2007

No more colorful Idaho congressmen, please

Once upon a time, there was an Idaho politician named Glen Taylor who got himself elected to the United States Senate.

In July 1947, Taylor was asked by a United Press reporter what he thought about reports that remnants of a UFO had been found by the Air Force near Roswell, N.M.

Taylor replied that he almost hoped flying saucers would turn out to be spaceships from another planet. "They could end our petty arguments on earth."

The Democratic senator went on to say that no matter what the UFOs turned out to be, they "can't be laughed off."

"Even if it is only a psychological phenomenon, it is a sign of what the world is coming to," Taylor explained. "If we don't ease the tensions, the whole world will be full of psychological cases and eventually turn into a global nuthouse."

Idaho has a long and colorful history of sending embarrassing people to Washington, D.C. The latest, of course, is Idaho's irrepressible 1st District congressman, Bill Sali, who who offended when a Hindu prayer was offered on the floor of the U.S. Senate last month.

"The question is, is multiculturalism good or not?" he said in a subsequent interview with the Idaho Press-Tribune of Nampa. "I don't think the Founding Fathers were multicultural ... Christian principles work, and they show up in a lot of different areas ... Most of the hospitals in this country have Christian names. If you think Hindu prayer is great, where are the Hindu hospitals in this country? Go down the list. Where are the atheist hospitals in this country?"

This is the same Bill Sali who in January introduced the Obesity Reduction and Health Promotion Act that sought to repeal the law of gravity.

Angered by the passage of a bill to increase the federal minimum wage, Sali says he was trying to make a point that measures to dictate wages and reduce gravity both defy "natural laws."

Getting rid of the force that attracts objects to one another would lower obesity rates, the freshman Republican explained.

For that kind of special insight, we're paying him $165,000 a year.

Before Sali, of course, Republican Helen Chenoweth-Hage represented the 1st Congressional District in Washington for six years. She complained about federal government "black helicopters" shadowing Idahoans, and once said, "Don't let anything like trees in the Clearwater National Forest get in the way of providing jobs and fueling the economy, even if that means cutting down every last tree in the state."

And before Chenoweth-Hage there was Republican George Hansen, who represented the 2nd Congressional District for seven terms. Hansen took it upon himself to go to Tehran 1979 in the middle of the Iran hostage crisis to try to negotiate with militants through the fence of the U.S. Embassy, and once called the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1968 assassination "the chickens coming home to roost."

Idaho voters get such interesting representation in Washington because we tend to elect conservatives - and sometimes ideologues. But being an ideologue is one thing; rendering yourself completely ineffective at getting things done for your state is quite another.

Sali, a first-term member of the minority party in the House of Representatives from a small Western state, arguably has become the least-effective congressman in Washington, D.C., today. And he talked himself into it.

That's too bad: We Idahoans have real issues that can't be solved by Capitol Hill sideshows.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Update on Sali chatter...

Think Progress:
Rep. Bill Sali: Religious Diversity In Congress ‘Was Not Envisioned By The Founding Fathers’ (587 comments!)
Rep. Sali refuses to back down over bigoted comments. (210 comments!)

Commentary continuing at Red State Rebels: The fearful gospel of Bill Sali
Bryan Fischer Implies Jews Don't Worship Same God As Christians
Having an Effect

If there are any others, please link in comments...

Sali defends himself

Religious freedom, Christian faith important to future
By U.S. Rep. Bill Sali
Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

I want to thank the Idaho Press-Tribune editorial board for its kind words in Sunday’s editorial. I am reminded of the fact that the Press-Tribune was skeptical (to say the least) about me last year, and to have it refer to me as a “thoughtful, effective statesman” now is quite a turnaround. Thank you for that expression of confidence.

But the Press-Tribune editorial board has reservations about me advocating that Christian principles form the foundation of our great republic, and they made those reservations known Sunday. So let me be clear: I support the freedom of every person to worship according to the dictates of his or her conscience.

The U.S. Constitution requires there “shall be no religious test” for holding public office. Last January I took my oath to uphold the Constitution, and that oath is sacred to me. I meant it then, and I mean it now. Christians and non-Christians are equally worthy to hold elected office. That’s entirely up to voters.

Yet the debate over my comments boils down to this: Should the future of our country rest upon the Judeo-Christian convictions of our Founding Fathers or the religious diversity advocated by the Left? I choose the Founding Fathers.

Our nation was founded on principles that the founders took largely from Scripture. Those principles provide the basis for our form of government and are the source of the rights we enjoy as Americans.

The Founding Fathers did not envision the U.S. as a theocracy. But they did envision our nation as one founded on principles derived from the Bible. As an aged John Adams wrote in a letter to his old friend Thomas Jefferson, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were ... the general principles of Christianity.”

The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal and they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Those rights come from our creator — God — and are unalienable: They are essential to every human being. The Founding Fathers then set about — with great success — to make it government’s job to protect and respect those individual rights.

Our Judeo-Christian heritage is now being eroded by people who believe all claims about truth should be treated as equal. At first blush this philosophy violates the motto from our great seal, E Pluribus Unum, which translates “out of many, one.” That motto drives us to pledge we are “one nation under God.”

If some on the Left have their way, our motto would seem to be E Pluribus Pluribus, or “out of many, many.” The only way to maintain “cultural diversity” and “ethnic difference” is to diminish and ultimately disregard the Judeo-Christian heritage that has long been the safeguard of our personal and national liberty.

For example, to protect the language of every ethnic group, multiculturalists would find it hard to support English as the official language of the U.S. The Judeo-Christian heritage would protect the right of every man to know and speak as many languages as he desires, but the banner of E Pluribus Unum could restrict our official language to one, the product of our country’s origin and for 400 years the common language of the American people: English.

The Judeo-Christian principles on which our republic was founded can be embraced, defended and practiced by people of any faith. Anyone doing so will find an ally in me. But when principles outside of the Judeo-Christian tradition begin to be promoted within Congress, we should all recognize that the government given to us by the Founding Fathers will be at risk. That should give every American serious pause.

Two more Idaho liberal sites/blogs!

Journalism is a joke anymore...

Are there any REAL journalists out there?

I'm not the only one who feels frustrated that there is little to no coverage of the real issues...

I'm sick to death of the Paris/Anna Nicole/Brittany sagas (like that is NEWS??) and the glossing over real issues (like what may have caused the Utah mine to collapse?).

There is no coverage of veteran associations' evaluations of Craig/Simpson/Crapo so Idahoans keep re-electing them (thinking they are supporting the troops by electing these Republicans... HA!).

It's not just a local issue... there have been questions about credible media coverage for years... from Colin Powell's son being appointed as the head of FCC ... Jeff Gannon's fake reporting ... Fox News altering Wikipedia ... Fox News and their misleading headlines ...

So what is going on?

One retired news reporter told me that:

“The media are in their usual hurry to put this GOP embarrassment to rest. This is the result of decades of abuse heaped on the media every time they print or broadcast a story that is not 100% complimentary to Republican candidates and office holders.

From the late 1970s, it was a predictable pattern. Find out something negative about a Republican, go with the story and you could expect a flurry of letters and phone calls accusing you of deep bias and outright incompetence. They often went to your bosses threatening that they could get you fired. You worried about it because you knew your station manager or executive editor belonged to the same golf club or the Arid club or whatever elite organization as the GOP leadership.

After awhile, reporters had to spend so much time justifying their work, they’d just back away from anything negative about the Rs. And, don’t forget: television news is in it for the ratings. If TV reporters believe the Rs are the huge majority, who do you think they’ll play to?

Democrats haven’t figured out how to push back. I’m not suggesting they push for suppression of the truth. But they’re certainly going to lose the perception wars if they don’t push for even-handed coverage. The message has to go to Idaho media that nobody is fooled by their acrobatics to please the Republican extremists.

Sali’s bigoted comments will go deep underground and stay forgotten come Election Day. In the meantime, several newspapers will do puff pieces, or as we used to put it crudely, ‘blow jobs’ on Sali describing a kinder, gentler and more palatable to the mainstream kind of guy. On Election Day, the very people who should be horrified by his comments will blithely cast their votes for him completely unaware of his deep seated bigotry.

And Idaho’s reputation as a backwater full of George-Wallace-style-knuckle-draggers will be intact.”

Are we willing to allow this to go on??

Welcome, Left Side Of The Moon!

When I first started blogging in August 2005, I didn't know about the other Idaho liberal blogs on the "internets". In the past two years, I've been thrilled to read, correspond, and actually MEET my fellow liberal Idahoan bloggers!

I want to send out a "hello" and "welcome" to "Left Side Of The Moon" (I love that title!) and hope you all stop by as well...

I want to encourage everyone to check out the other liberal blogs here in Idaho... I can't speak for everyone, but I know that it means a lot to me when people visit my blog... sometimes it's easy to feel alone as a liberal in Idaho and every little visit helps! (Don't forget to check out LeftyBlogs/Idaho as well... to save time, I have it as one of my home pages...)

Bloggers, if I'm missing your blog or need to correct the link, LET ME KNOW! Also, if you aren't listed at LeftyBlogs, please do so!

Faux Noise at it again...

Fox Caught Changing Competitors’ Wikipedia Entries

It’s been uncovered that Fox News has been making changes to the Wikipedia entries of their competitors and critics. Edits made to author Al Franken’s Wikipedia entry was tracked back to a Fox News IP address. One of the changes to Franken’s Wikipedia entry about the lawsuit against him, brought on by Fox, clearly reflects Fox News’ desire to avoid any bad press or misgivings about itself as a brand.

{Thank you AGAIN, Caro from, for sharing this! I highly encourage everyone to sign up for Make Them Accountable mailings... you will find out about things from Caro that aren't covered in most MSM outlets...}

Underestimating his small brain and big mouth...

Last November, I posted the following...

"If you voted for Larry Grant for Congress, don't worry that Bill Sali was elected instead. He can't do any damage. Residents of Idaho's 1st Congressional District might as well have sent a potted plant to Washington."

-- Tom Henderson/Lewiston Tribune editorial writer.

Mr. Henderson is basically right... poor stupid Billy-Boy is such a flaming idiot, he's not accomplishing anything in DC (see ID-01: Bill Sali, even worse than we expected).

The only thing he is seems to be able to do successfully is make Idaho look as stupid as he is... because Idaho voters elected him into office...

Are we going to sit back and let America believe we approve of his message...? I truly hope not...

"Interview with God"

{Originally posted in 2001 from but worth re-posting as idiots like Bill Sali and Trish and Hallie and all of these other so-called "Christian" extremists still have their heads inserted in their posteriors... }

NEW YORK—Responding to recent events on Earth, God, the omniscient creator-deity worshipped by billions of followers of various faiths for more than 6,000 years, angrily clarified His longtime stance against humans killing each other Monday.

"Look, I don't know, maybe I haven't made myself completely clear, so for the record, here it is again," said the Lord, His divine face betraying visible emotion during a press conference near the site of the fallen Twin Towers.

"Somehow, people keep coming up with the idea that I want them to kill their neighbor. Well, I don't. And to be honest, I'm really getting sick and tired of it. Get it straight. Not only do I not want anybody to kill anyone, but I specifically commanded you not to, in really simple terms that anybody ought to be able to understand."

Worshipped by Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike, God said His name has been invoked countless times over the centuries as a reason to kill in what He called "an unending cycle of violence."

"I don't care how holy somebody claims to be," God said. "If a person tells you it's My will that they kill someone, they're wrong. Got it? I don't care what religion you are, or who you think your enemy is, here it is one more time: No killing, in My name or anyone else's, ever again."

The press conference came as a surprise to humankind, as God rarely intervenes in earthly affairs. As a matter of longstanding policy, He has traditionally left the task of interpreting His message and divine will to clerics, rabbis, priests, imams, and Biblical scholars. Theologians and laymen alike have been given the task of pondering His ineffable mysteries, deciding for themselves what to do as a matter of faith. His decision to manifest on the material plane was motivated by the deep sense of shock, outrage, and sorrow He felt over the Sept. 11 violence carried out in His name, and over its dire potential ramifications around the globe.

"I tried to put it in the simplest possible terms for you people, so you'd get it straight, because I thought it was pretty important," said God, called Yahweh and Allah respectively in the Judaic and Muslim traditions.

"I guess I figured I'd left no real room for confusion after putting it in a four-word sentence with one-syllable words, on the tablets I gave to Moses. How much more clear can I get?"

"But somehow, it all gets twisted around and, next thing you know, somebody's spouting off some nonsense about, 'God says I have to kill this guy, God wants me to kill that guy, it's God's will,'" God continued.

"It's not God's will, all right? News flash: 'God's will' equals 'Don't murder people.'"

Worse yet, many of the worst violators claim that their actions are justified by passages in the Bible, Torah, and Qur'an.

"To be honest, there's some contradictory stuff in there, okay?" God said. "So I can see how it could be pretty misleading. I admit it—My bad. I did My best to inspire them, but a lot of imperfect human agents have misinterpreted My message over the millennia. Frankly, much of the material that got in there is dogmatic, doctrinal bullshit. I turn My head for a second and, suddenly, all this stuff about homosexuality gets into Leviticus, and everybody thinks it's God's will to kill gays. It absolutely drives Me up the wall."

God praised the overwhelming majority of His Muslim followers as "wonderful, pious people," calling the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks rare exceptions.

"This whole medieval concept of the jihad, or holy war, had all but vanished from the Muslim world in, like, the 10th century, and with good reason," God said. "There's no such thing as a holy war, only unholy ones. The vast majority of Muslims in this world reject the murderous actions of these radical extremists, just like the vast majority of Christians in America are pissed off over those two bigots on The 700 Club."

Continued God, "Read the book: 'Allah is kind, Allah is beautiful, Allah is merciful.' It goes on and on that way, page after page. But, no, some assholes have to come along and revive this stupid holy-war crap just to further their own hateful agenda. So now, everybody thinks Muslims are all murderous barbarians. Thanks, Taliban: 1,000 years of pan-Islamic cultural progress down the drain."

God stressed that His remarks were not directed exclusively at Islamic extremists, but rather at anyone whose ideological zealotry overrides his or her ability to comprehend the core message of all world religions.

"I don't care what faith you are, everybody's been making this same mistake since the dawn of time," God said. "The Muslims massacre the Hindus, the Hindus massacre the Muslims. The Buddhists, everybody massacres the Buddhists. The Jews, don't even get me started on the hardline, right-wing, Meir Kahane-loving Israeli nationalists, man. And the Christians? You people believe in a Messiah who says, 'Turn the other cheek,' but you've been killing everybody you can get your hands on since the Crusades."

Growing increasingly wrathful, God continued: "Can't you people see? What are you, morons? There are a ton of different religious traditions out there, and different cultures worship Me in different ways. But the basic message is always the same: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Shintoism... every religious belief system under the sun, they all say you're supposed to love your neighbors, folks! It's not that hard a concept to grasp."

"Why would you think I'd want anything else? Humans don't need religion or God as an excuse to kill each other—you've been doing that without any help from Me since you were freaking apes!" God said. "The whole point of believing in God is to have a higher standard of behavior. How obvious can you get?"

"I'm talking to all of you, here!" continued God, His voice rising to a shout. "Do you hear Me? I don't want you to kill anybody. I'm against it, across the board. How many times do I have to say it? Don't kill each other anymore—ever! I'm f***ing serious!"

Upon completing His outburst, God fell silent, standing quietly at the podium for several moments. Then, witnesses reported, God's shoulders began to shake, and He wept.

In my brother's honor, please consider a donation...

This is not about red or blue,
pro-Bush or anti-Bush,
pro-war or pro-peace or anything political...
This is about honoring a Marine from Idaho
who gave his life in our country's name...

My brother, Major Alan Blake Rowe, was killed in Iraq on Sept. 3, 2004. It was his fourth deployment and he'd been "in country" less than a week. He left behind a wonderful wife and two precious children.

One of my brother's serious interests (along with Broncos!) was Political Science. One of our favorite family stories is about the luncheon Alan attended with my father around age 6, where he sat next to then-Governor of Idaho, Cecil Andrus. From what I've been told, he chatted with Governor Andrus throughout the meal.

In the early 1990s, Alan worked as an intern for Idaho State Senator Laird Noh:

"He was interested in natural resources and natural resources management," Noh said. "He worked under my supervision. He was a marvelous human being and extremely motivated."

"At the time, Idaho was beginning to awaken to the implications of the Endangered Species Act," Noh said. The Legislature and the public didn't have a thorough understanding of the act, he said, so he tasked Rowe with writing a research paper on the potential listing status of various plants and animals in Idaho and what the implications were because of the provisions of the law.

"He just dug into it," Noh said. "He did a very professional job. We circulated it to all the members of the committee and media. I still refer to it periodically."

"He read newspapers and was very interested in the world around him," Noh added. "He was very mature. I was kind of hoping he was looking toward a career in natural resource management. But he was also oriented to a career in the military. He was a class act and a great citizen."

Alan received his Associate Degree at the College of Southern Idaho and his Bachelor Degree at Boise State University, majoring in Political Science.

After his death, one of his professors at CSI started a scholarship fund in Alan's memory and honor: "The Alan Rowe Memorial Political Science Scholarship". The only guideline attached at this point is that it will be used to fund a scholarship for a student studying political science at CSI.

Please consider supporting this opportunity to continue my brother's memory and honor his commitment to education and Political Science. Thank you.

Donations should be made out to:

The College of Southern Idaho Foundation, Inc.
MEMO: Alan Rowe Memorial Scholarship
And mailed to:
CSI Foundation
P.O. Box 1238
Twin Falls, ID 83303-1238

Thank you so very much,
Diana Rowe Pauls
Very Proud Sister of Major Alan Blake Rowe of Gooding, Idaho
KIA 9-3-2004 in Iraq

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Three years ago, our family was shattered

WARNING: For the next month or so, my posts here may be more emotional, personal, and angrier than usual (yes, that is possible...)... I promised my mother that I wouldn't mention my brother's name as "propaganda" and I really try to honor her request... but every once in a while I feel the need to remind people of the personal and very human cost of this war...

September 3rd will be the third anniversary of my brother's death in Iraq. He is now laid to rest in the peaceful valley of Fairfield, Idaho.

I think of him every day... little reminders are everywhere...

...walking through the halls of Gooding High School which we attended as teenagers and my two oldest children attend currently...
...classmates and teachers of ours around town ... Broncos ...
...jackrabbits (there's a story behind that!) ...
...squirt guns (another story there also!) ...
...the book -- and now a movie -- "How To Eat Fried Worms" (and yet another story...!)

Every time someone mentions THEIR brother, I grieve for mine...

When I dropped off my two oldest children at church camp last month (their first time attending camp TOGETHER and they squabble like Alan and I did when we were their age!), I talked with them about treasuring their relationship and not to take each other for granted...

... I could go on...

My mother faithfully maintains his grave site in Fairfield... She's planted trees and hauls water up there in the back of her car regularly to help them grow... she's hauled rocks and stumps from where my brother and I used to play as children... many of the flowers she places there are from my yard...

My children regularly tell me "I miss Uncle Alan..." (which is especially heart-breaking considering my 7-year old was only four when his uncle died...)...

I listen to his precious voice as he sang for his children... his last words to them from Iraq...

As over-used and cliche as this label seems to be any more, my brother is a true hero. He showed bravery and loyalty to his men and his country. I respect him for his strength and commitment.

And I miss him so very much...

Where was this DICK when my family needed him?

It is painfully clear that this SOB changed his mind when it was beneficial for his own personal agenda.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

War on Religious Extremism

One of the comments by Sisyphus (at The fearful gospel of Bill Sali over at Red State Rebels) has stuck in my mind since I read it the other day...

Let's rename the

"War on Terrorism"

to the

"War on Religious Extremism".

War on Terror” is typical of our society’s trend to call garbage men “sanitation engineers” and other vague euphemisms that conceal accurate functions and characterizations, which sanitize missions and tasks involved, and deflect our attention from the true definition of the subject under discussion.

I’m still processing why this impacted me so much… tell me what you think…

Monday, August 13, 2007

We can't ignore this ignorance...

There's been a lot of discussion on the "internets" about Bill Sali's comments -- including his reactions to criticism, which are even more horrific than his original statements, in my opinion. I hope that all Americans, NOT just Idahoans, pay attention to what is going on and contact their representatives to express their concerns about the mindset of religious extremists like Sali.

Idahoans: It is especially important that we publicly denounce Sali's statements. We want the rest of America to know that just because Sali is from Idaho, does NOT mean that he represents how we feel. One comment on DailyKOS stated that "Politicians are the incarnations.... of their electorates. I don't buy the representative-is-nothing-like-those-who-voted-for-him explanation of it's-not-our-fault." This is a natural reaction and one that we MUST address.

Republicans: I hope that you also make a statement against Sali's comments. This is not a red/blue issue... this flies against American's values and our Constitution. Sali represents the worst stereotype of your party, and it is in your best interest to stand up and speak out against him.

All Americans need to be paying attention to Sali's actions and statements. I received an e-mail from a non-Idahoan that reminded me that "Bill Sali is NOT an embarrassment to Idahoans....he is an embarrassment to our entire Country." Read "The fearful gospel of Bill Sali" at Red State Rebels... it really helped me understand how someone like Sali thinks. I especially liked one of the comments which stated:

"Lets rename the war on terrorism to the war on religious extremism. Then round up all the folks who seek to use government to shove their belief system down everyone else's throat. This would include the Taliban and al Qaeda, basically all those that insist their god is the only and one true god and are willing to kill or die for that notion or any attending notions. "

One DailyKOS reader stated:

"I got so fed up I decided to send every Republican representative a letter to remind them of the seperation of church and state and including these quotes so they won't get confused and think the Founding Fathers had Jesus on their minds when writing the Constitution;

"Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state' absolutely essential in a free society." - Thomas Jefferson

"Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us." - James Madison

"Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?" - James Madison

"The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the State." - James Madison

"Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved, I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker, in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle." - Thomas Jefferson

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." - Thomas Jefferson

Below are some links (thanks to Leftyblogs) for further reading and discussion. Please become informed and inform others. It is OUR country after all, and Congress is supposed to represent ALL of us...

Them what don’t belong
On Monday we noted that most of what had surfaced about freshman Republican Representative Bill Sali’s tenure in Congress has been ordinary - the usual run of national and regional issues, discussed with ordinary conservative slant. Look on his web site and that’s what you’ll see: Nothing out of the usual for a Republican congressman. [...]...Ridenbaugh Press - Thu 3:49 p.m.

Bill Sali Denounces Hindu Prayer
What a huge asset for the public to have actual journalists blogging. Check out what Idaho Congressman Bill Sali said after a Hindu prayer was offered in the U.S. Senate......The MountainGoat Report - Thu 6:15 p.m.

ID-01: The Ugliness that is Bill Sali
Proving that bigotry is alive and well in the U.S. House of Representatives, who would we have but Idaho's own Bill Sali. He's well known as crazy and obnoxious--even the DLC's Bruce Reed has gotten into that act. He's periodically good for a laugh, but there's an ugly and dangerous side to his antics. Here's Sali on freedom of religion, via the American Family News Network, which I hesitate to...DailyKos (Idaho) - Thu 7:23 p.m.

The divisive gospel of Bill Sali
Idaho's 1st CD congressman is making some big waves with his bigotry toward non-Christians, specifically his complaints about his Muslim colleague (Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota) and the Hindu who offered a prayer in the Senate last month. Bill Sali's......Red State Rebels - Fri 5:30 a.m.

Keep Digging, You'll Sort It Out Soon!
You know, just like my previous post about Jim Tibbs being such an entertainment over the last few days, Silly Sali is just a gift that keeps on giving : In an interview posted online this week by the Christian news outlet American Family News Network, Sali said: "We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now, Keith El...43rd State Blues - Fri 4:14 p.m.

IDP: Apologize or Resign
The Idaho Democratic Party has issued a statement in response to comments made by Congressman Bill Sali regarding religious diversity in the U.S. and in Congress. [Read this earlier post......The MountainGoat Report - Fri 9:35 p.m.

Stallings Calls for Sali's Resignation
In a press release from the Idaho Democratic Party today, Chairman Richard Stallings has called for a public apology from or the resignation of Congressman Bill Sali (R-Idaho). From the release: “I call upon Bill Sali to either publicly apologize to the Americans he has insulted with his bigoted remarks, or resign his congressional seat and let someone who understands basic human dignity a...Political Game - Fri 9:35 p.m.

Only Christians in Congress, or America is Doomed
Rep Bill Sali's mouth has gotten him in trouble. Michael Kinsley said a gaffe is when someone blurts out the truth. Well, Sali has blurted out his true feelings. Only Christians should serve in Congress. Not Muslims, not Jews, not Hindus, not Mormons. Stapilus has a Post "Them What Don't Belong" here . Wayne Hoffman Sali communication director responds on this post. Huckleberries Online has a ...IdaBlue - Fri 9:35 p.m.

One Huge Pile
Idaho Congressman Bill Sali doesn't think the pile is high enough. Nope, he's still shoveling. After the outrage sparked by his remarks that a Muslim congressman and a Hindu prayer......The MountainGoat Report - Sat 9:32 a.m.

“They’re not equal”
Bill Sali Last Thursday, when we posted on Idaho Representative Bill Sali’s comments on the delivery - of which he disapproved - of a prayer by a Hindu cleric in the U.S. Senate, the congressman’s spokesman Wayne Hoffman had an admonishing response, applicable not just to our post but to much of what has been written [...]...Ridenbaugh Press - Mon. 4:32 p.m.

Time Will Tell
Today's 6 News Director's Blog has a good discussion on the controversial statements made recently by Idaho Congressman Bill Sali regarding the Hindu prayer offered in the Senate and the......The MountainGoat Report - Mon. 7:06 p.m.

ID-01: Sali's Follies
Last week I noted Rep. Bill Sali's (R-ID) incredibly bigoted remarks about the Hindu prayer offered in the Senate and serving with a Muslim (Keith Ellison, D-MN) in Congress. Long story short, he doesn't like it a bit and says that it "creates problems for the longevity of this country." The statements quickly gained a lot of national and local attention, with a few news outlets in Idaho fol...DailyKos (Idaho) - Mon. 7:06 p.m.

Insufferable, Ignorant and Intolerant
Idaho Congressman Bill Sali (R-Intolerant) strikes again, showing just how ignorant he really is, taking issue with cultures that are not his own. Not that this is the first time or anything.In an interview posted online this week by the......Western Democrat - Mon. 8:32 p.m.

Sali watch, continued
I was going to wait until tomorrow morning to post another Sali roundup, but mcjoan at Daily Kos has written pretty much everything I planned to, so here you go. But here are a few handy links for direct access:......Red State Rebels - Mon. 8:32 p.m.

Still Digging
Idaho Congressman Bill Sali is still digging and apparently still doesn't get it. Not only that, he tells the Spokesman Review that there is a well-organized campaign at the national......The MountainGoat Report - Tues. 7:48 a.m.

Today's bumper sticker...

Right before we left for our trip to Oregon, I added a few more bumper stickers to my van. So far, nobody has tried to run me off the road, my van hasn't been "keyed", and nobody has flipped me off (that I've noticed, anyway).
In fact, the only reaction I've ever received from my bumper stickers happened a year or so ago. I was getting gas at Costco in Twin Falls and the man behind me asked me if I was "Diana Rowe Pauls"... since I had NO idea who HE was, it made me a little nervous... but I 'fessed up. Come to find out, he is one my my e-mail pals and I guess he just took a wild guess (how many loud-mouth liberal soccer moms can there be in Gooding, Idaho?)!!
One of these days I'll post a picture of the back of my van... if you ever see me out and about, please wave! I'm seriously thinking about writing the current casualty count on my windows, big and red...
Today's number is...

August 22... my date of release

That is when my days can be my own again, hopefully! My two little ones start school on that day, and my two older ones start the next day...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining (too much!)... the last three months have been filled wonderfully with swimming lessons, ball games, camping, and some traveling.

In between running around doing "summer stuff", there have been three big projects going on (new windows and doors, new HVAC system, and electrical work) which have tossed my house upside down and inside out... impacting housework, laundry, yard work, and so on.

For fun, my oldest son and I (he provides the manual labor, I "supervise"!) have built a fire pit (completed), a fish pond (in progress--for those who told me that it's "easy to do", may an elephant fly up your nose!!), and other yard stuff.

On top of that, I swear my boys have tape worms... I need to just get out a big trough for them, like we do with cattle and PIGS!

Of course, it doesn't help that my computer is acting stupid... sigh... time to clean up old files, I guess!

So, on August 22, I may actually be able to think in complete sentences, finish a task I started within a reasonable amount of time (okay, I'll be honest, I hope to COMPLETE a task, PERIOD!), and start paying attention to something besides what is left in the house to feed my youngest before he expires from his hunger pangs... he's very dramatic and requires sustenance every 30 minutes!

So thank you for those who leave comments here and have been e-mailing me... it's been great to peek out into the bigger world via the "internets" and hear from you all!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dropping the ball in Idaho...

Letter to the Editor sent to Times-News, March 21, 2007 originally posted March 2007.

Representative Simpson recently stated that “We must continue to support the troops and provide them with the resources they need to do the job so they can return home safely.”

However, this week he joined other Republicans opposing a requirement for our troops to be properly prepared for their mission and protected with armor.

This shouldn’t be surprising considering his record of supporting veteran issues and concerns. In 2006, Simpson received a “C” from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and a 66% rating from Disabled American Veterans. (He improved from 2003-2005--where he was rated ZERO each year.)

Senator Craig recently published a statement distancing himself from the Walter Reed situation. After reading it, one might conclude Craig is committed to veteran’s issues. It might be shocking to learn IAVA gives Craig a D- last year. DAV rated him 20% (2005 = 42%, 2004 = 0%). The Retired Enlisted Association also gave Craig a 0% rating for 2004.

Unfortunately, Senator Crapo repeats the pattern. In 2006, IAVA gave Crapo a D. Crapo followed Craig’s footsteps, earning the exact same scores from DAV during 2004-2006. Another repeat in 2004 with a 0% rating from TREA.

Idahoans need to ask themselves if this is acceptable. As our troops return from the Middle East, they will need our support. We cannot continue to slap happy yellow ribbons on our cars and claim we’ve have done our duty for our military. The Walter Reed situation proves that Americans have dropped the ball. We need to be involved, informed, and vigilant. We need to demand accountability from our representatives. If we fail that, we have failed our country and the men and women who so bravely and faithfully give so much of their lives in our name.

They deserve better from us.

Our local paper DID provide coverage...

Last night's demonstration felt rewarding to those who were there. I don't think I'm the only one who wishes there were more of us participating but the fellowship and support was still energizing even among our small number.

I think that we had about 30 participants, if we include those who were not able to stay the whole hour. It was great to see some familiar faces and really great to see some new ones.

What was even MORE wonderful was the responses from the people who drove by... we received many honks and waves. My favorite was the guys in desert camo (National Guard?) who hollered and gave us a "thumbs up"! THAT IS WHY MANY OF US WERE THERE... to protect those who have sworn to protect US.

Yeah, we had a couple negative reactions. A "couple" means literally that! TWO. (That I saw anyway...) One guy gave us the bird and another guy hollered "California is THAT way!" Ummmm... yeah, really intelligent response, "dude". Whatever.

The saddest part for me was the drivers who avoided eye contact with us. They were deliberately ignoring our presence and our signs and our message. To me, they symbolize the many Americans who have turned their backs on our troops, who have ignored truth and reality, who are unaware of our soldiers' sacrifices and how many of our politicians... our IDAHO politicians ... are betraying our military and our veterans in the name of pride, arrogance, and blind loyalty.

Like I told the Times-News reporter, you don't have to agree with me... just make the effort to be aware and informed. Don't turn away from the issues because you are too lazy, too selfish, too "busy", or too arrogant.

Speaking of the Times-News, I am pleased to say that the reporter spent a lot of time talking to us about our concerns and our reasons for being there. The photographer also visited with us. Both were respectful and considerate. The article seemed accurate in my opinion and they both respected my "off the record" requests.

And if you ever visit Mr. Greenwood, attorney at law, please pass on our appreciation for sharing his parking lot with us. Maybe that will make him a bit happier than he was last night...

In closing, our signs last night reminded the public about the 3616 casualties (which means dead American soldiers and Marines...)

Since then, our numbers have increased to 3,619 confirmed casualties.
There are four waiting to be confirmed "pending notification" (totaling 3623 casualties).

As you read this, there are four families whose lives are being shattered forever. There are four mothers who are screaming. Four fathers who are crying.

How many more days... months... years... will this be acceptable to the American public? Call your senator and representatives NOW... before another mother gets "the visit" that will break her heart and shatter her life.

Right now, please pray for the families of Jeffrey Chaney and Patrick Wade. They were killed today...

Interesting poll at KMVT (local CBS affilliate)

Last night I checked our local media websites to see if there had been any coverage of our demonstration in front of Senator Crapo's office. Even though I had been told that a KMVT representative had briefly stopped by, there wasn't anything on their website.

However, I found the results of their poll VERY interesting--considering the red/conservative/"Bushie" mentality that pervades the Magic Valley...

Do you agree with President Bush in commuting the sentence of Scooter Libby?

Yes 26%
No 74%

Hmmmmmm.... even if people are afraid to publicly stand up and speak out, perhaps they are at least THINKING clearly! Now if we can only get them to speak up... Hey, Crapo/Simpson/Craig... are you listening???
The opinions expressed in this poll do not necessarily represent the collective views of our community, this station or its management.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Anti War Protest in Twin Falls

{For those of you NOT in the Magic Valley,
please pass this on to your friends who are...
\check to see if you have a local event in your area or host your own...
or blog about it!}

Please consider joining us in an anti-war event:
WHEN: Tuesday, July 17 5-6 PM
WHERE: 202 Falls Avenue, Twin Falls (Senator Crapo's office--the nearest cross street is Monroe. There is parking in the CSI parking lot across the street.)
WHY: On Monday or Tuesday, the Levin-Reid amendment to begin troop pull-out from Iraq will be presented in the US Senate. Republican Senators intend to filibuster the bill. We will hold a counter (citizens') filibuster on Falls Ave. We will be reading real letters from US troops for our filibuster. It would be just great to have more than a puny turnout. We need to get word to our senators and to Magic Valley citizens (and other Idahoans) that we give them permission NOT to be the last two supporters of the Bush war.PLEASE try to help, even if protests are not your favorite thing to do.

The war is four and a half years old, no end is in sight, we've lost over 3600 troops, and the cost is more than one billion dollars per week.

Think of the horrible misery in Iraq.

If you think that participating in this event is "inconvenient"... think of the sacrifice being made by our loyal and brave troops and their families as they obey the call to serve our country. I'm sure they all have things they would like to be doing tomorrow night as well, but instead our administration sent them to Iraq...

Bring some friends, bring water, and shade for your head, and a sign if possible. Pass this on via e-mail and pick up the phone and call your friends. If we don't protect our troops, who will?

This is a Move-on event. (Sign up to encourage others!)

Citizen Counter Filibuster
to US Senate Republican sponsored filibuster
of Iraq war pullout bill
Address: 202 Falls Ave. (Map)
Location: Twin Falls, ID 83301
Host: Jeff Ruprecht, 733-9639
It's pretty outrageous: Senate Republicans are planning to block key votes to stop the war this week because they know they'll lose.

You read that right: with the Democratic majority plus three key Republicans ready to vote for an exit strategy for Iraq, the Senate has enough votes to pass legislation that would force President Bush to bring most troops home by April. But the Republicans are trying to stop that vote.

We have a plan to fight back. Tomorrow night, as Republicans try to block the vote, we're holding citizens' counter-filibusters to remind Republicans and the media that this isn't about partisan games—it's about peoples' lives.

At the events, we'll gather in towns and cities across the country with candles and signs to read first-hand accounts from Iraq vets and their families about the true cost of the war. This is a key moment.

The timing couldn't be better. We're at a cross-roads in Congress—the Republican stonewall is starting to cave (see below for some examples).
This fight comes at a critical time.

Republicans are abandoning President Bush on Iraq. For the last two weeks Republican support for the war has crumbled in Congress.1 Prominent Senate Republicans like Senators Lugar (IN), Voinovich (OH) and Domenici (NM) have called for a change in course while others, like Senators Snowe (ME), Hagel (NE) and Smith (OR) have co-sponsored Democratic legislation to bring our troops home.

The White House is panicked. Last week, ABC News ran a report with the headline "'Crack in the Dike': White House in 'Panic Mode' Over GOP Revolt on Iraq."2 The report indicates that the White House is looking for ways to "appease Democrats and keep wobbly Republicans onboard."

Editorial boards across the country are pushing for exit from Iraq. Just last week the New York Times—a bellwether newspaper with an influential editorial board—officially endorsed withdrawal from Iraq. The New York Times now joins papers like the Portland Press Herald—which helped swing key Maine Senator, Olympia Snowe to support exit plans, the Los Angeles Times and others in saying it is now time to leave Iraq.3

The Iraqi Prime Minister says U.S. troops can leave. Polls of Iraqi public opinion have shown that Iraqis want American troops to go home.4 And on Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told the press that his government is capable of taking care of Iraq and American troops can leave "any time they want."5

All these recent developments around the war have contributed to the Republican collapse on Iraq. This filibuster is a desperate attempt to stall progress on ending the war.

On Tuesday night we're going to show the Republicans in the Senate that blocking the will of the people from even being voted on won't work. If they keep siding with the president over the voters, they're going to feel a real backlash at home.

If you aren't near Twin Falls, click below to host your own counter filibuster on Tuesday night.

The ground is shifting in the fight to end the war and we're closer than we've ever been to turning key Republicans in Congress against the war. Tuesday's events could help push them over the top. We need your voice with us to do it.

1. "Reid Reaches Out to GOP Defectors to Vote for Change in Iraq," ABC News, July 11, 2007.

2. 'Crack in the Dike': White House in 'Panic Mode' Over GOP Revolt on Iraq, ABC News, July 9, 2007
3. "The Road Home," The New York Times, July 7, 2007
"Bring Them Home," The Los Angeles Times, May 6, 2007
"Blunders Leave Troops With No Hopes of Success," Portland Press Herald, April 29, 2007
4. "Democracy's support sinks," USA Today, March 19, 2007
5. "Al-Maliki dismisses doubts about Iraq government," Associated Press, July 15, 2007.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"Survivor" Idaho-style

Due to the popularity of the "Survivor" reality television shows, Idaho is planning to do its own, titled "Survivor - Idaho Style."

The contestants will start in Burley, travel over to Twin Falls and on to Mountain Home. Then they will head to Boise, up to Coeur d'Alene and then on to Sandpoint. Then they will backtrack to Coeur d'Alene, cross over to Wallace, and through Saint Maries, and head over to Orofino. Heading south, they will go through McCall. The final leg will be back to Burley.

Each will be driving a pink Humvee with California license plates and a large bumper sticker that reads:

"I'm Gay. I'm a Vegetarian. Beer is harmful to your health. Republicans suck. Hillary in 2008. Deer hunting is murder, and I'm here to confiscate your guns."

The first one that makes it back to Burley alive wins.

Good luck to all contestants!

{You can prepare yourself by watching this preview of upcoming attractions!}

Leave My Child Alone!

From Leave My Child Alone:

Did you know that the notorious No Child Left Behind Act includes a sneaky section that requires high schools to turn over private information on students to military recruiters?

And that the Pentagon has created an illegal database of 30 million 16-25 year-olds, including names, addresses, email addresses, cell phone numbers, ethnicities, social security numbers, extracurricular activities, and areas of study?

Yikes. What do we do? Any way you look at it, this is a family privacy nightmare, another strong-arming of our local schools, and a creepy warm-up to a possible draft. However, it's also a great reason to get together and take action.
For more information, go to Leave My Child Alone...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Letter to Crapo, Craig sent today

March 26, 2007

Dear Senator,

I'm writing to urge you to support the Defense supplemental bill that contains benchmarks and a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. As you might expect from me, I firmly believe that this bill does not do ENOUGH, however it still is critical as a first step toward getting us out of Iraq.

Across the country INCLUDING Idaho, it is obvious that “we the people” are in support of a timely withdrawal from Iraq. It is my understanding that this bill utilizes President Bush's own benchmarks to determine when or if we start redeploying.

I realize that over the years you have been committed to following your party line and have supported President Bush through your past legislative votes—but at some point in time, you need to recognize that your obligation to the citizens of Idaho and America should take precedence over the GOP expectations. Even Sen. Hagel has realized that changes must be made by stating on ABC’s This Week: "I will not continue to support with my vote the status quo.”

You and your fellow Republicans need to see how badly change is needed. You need to support this bill. Do NOT remove the deadlines from the bill. Even though I (and many others) would prefer stronger and earlier deadlines to be established, I am willing to compromise AT THIS TIME. I hope you are willing to compromise as well with this bill so we can begin to move forward.

As you know, I oppose the war in Iraq. I oppose any and all funding to continue the war -- although I support funding to properly arm, protect and train our currently deployed troops. I understand that demanding all or nothing isn't going to end the war, or get any troops home. This bill is a first step in the process to ending the war. There is a long-term strategy at work here and I realize that getting every single thing I want isn't possible. TOGETHER, we must reach a compromise.

This should not be about being a Republican or a Democrat.

This should not be about personal pet projects or campaign fund-raising.

This should not be about re-elections.

This should not be about ego or power or “who supports the troops more” arguments.

This is about acknowledging the reality of the situation.

This is about recognizing what needs to be done and doing it.

This is about listening to the people across America and responding to their cries.

This is about supporting a bill that contains benchmarks and a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq.

"Goodnight... I love you... give Mommy a hug from me..."

A daddy, a husband, a son, a friend, a brother...
So loved... so missed...
"Cap'n Rowe"
Oct. 3, 1968 - Sept. 3, 2004

Thank you, Newsweek, for this week's theme.

Friday, March 23, 2007

XXX Adult Content XXX

Perhaps Tony Snow is using 'adult' in the way 'adult' is used for 'adult' content? It sure seems as if we're getting screwed by this administration. This administration should be rated XXX for graphic Constitutional rape scenes and ongoing war violence.

Don't let the kids watch -- they might figure out that they are the ones who'll be paying the bill down the road!!

[Can we bring back Ashcroft so he can throw a drape over this entire administration?]

Watch Bush screw America here...

* Thanks to comments over at DailyKos for giving me the right words for this post... I merged several of them together because their comments expressed what I was thinking perfectly. --drp

Pssst! Look behind you!!!

Bush is whining about "POLITICAL THEATER"...

"Just over an hour later, Bush appeared at the White House alongside veterans and family members of troops to accuse Democrats of staging nothing more than political theater that delays the delivery of resources to soliders fighting in Iraq. "

I was under the impression that active duty soldiers appearing IN UNIFORM at a political event was a violation of the military's rules of conduct. Maybe I'm wrong... but when one thinks about how important it was to President Eisenhower and President Truman to emphasize the civilian aspect of control of the military, Bush using soldiers as stage props is the the utmost insult to our brave men and women of our military.

Call the White House [202-456-1111]
and tell them what you think
about his version of political theater
and (mis)use of troops.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

SILENT VIGIL for solidarity

[UPDATE to my previous post to include a more complete message and more information...]

Please join us in a press conference & silent vigil to celebrate Cesar Chavez and to demonstrate our solidarity and respect for our country of immigrants. PLEASE WEAR WHITE.

Thursday, March 22, 2007
SILENT VIGIL at 6:15-7:30 pm
Boise State University Student Union Patio

We will surround the Student Union Building (in appropriate areas) with a sea of white.

This is a silent vigil. There will be no yelling or arguing, instead we will send a message to the people attending the College Republican's event that we are peaceful people, and it is inappropriate and hurtful for people's lives to be made into a game. In this case, silence WILL speak louder than words.

Signs are ok but should be positive messages such as WE SUPPORT IMMIGRATION, AMERICA IS A LAND OF IMMIGRANTS, OUR LIVES ARE NOT A GAME, IDAHO IS TOO GREAT FOR HATE, etc. We will not allow signs that participate in name calling or make derogative statements. No signs are allowed inside the Student Union Building.

In respect for FREE SPEECH, if you choose to attend the Robert Vasque speech, there will be absolutely NO disruptions allowed! If you are disruptive, you will have to leave.

We Stand In Solidarity.

At 7:30, come see the film "Wetback" for a realistic, educational look at the true experience of immigrants in the Jordan Ballroom .

This Action is Sponsored by:
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan
Idaho Progressive Student Alliance
Organization for Gender Equality and Education
Campus Democrats
Organizacion de Estudiantes Latino-Americanos/as
Idaho Women's Network
Bisexuals, Gays, Lesbians, and Allies for Diversity
Idaho Hispanic Caucus
Boise State Students for a Democratic Society
The Interfaith Alliance of Idaho
BSU Organization of Student Social Workers
Idaho Catholic Diocese

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Lead, follow, or get the f*** out of the way...

Across America, citizens are discussing the actions of the GOP representatives who must have fallen asleep last November and are still sleepwalking through legislation, blindly following the map of their dark prince and NOT listening to their constituents or making choices in the best interest of our military.

It started this morning over at DailyKos and continued after lunch... citizens who support the troops and have high expectations from our representatives... blogging all over the place!

Here in Idaho, Red State Rebels has linked to Idaho bloggers who are expressing their frustration with Mike Simpson's hypocrisy and poor record of supporting our military and our veterans.

Simpson conveniently issued a press release today, continuing his verbal commitment to fully fund the troops. Similar to his testimony before Congress on February 16, 2007, he reminds us:
"...the one thing we must not do is cut off funding for our troops. Americans will not stand for it as our Armed Servicemen and women deserve better.”

Idahoans, join me in reminding Rep. Simpson that the troops also deserve adequate armor and weaponry, responsible leadership from Congress, a defined mission and an EXIT PLAN, and appropriate resources when they come home!

Join me in reminding Simpson that as an elected Republican representative from the beginning of this war, he's had plenty of time and funding to provide for our troops and our veterans... and he's FAILED.

Join me in informing Simpson we will no longer allow him to continue representing Idaho like he has been. He needs to realize that America gave GOP four years to accomplish their mission in Iraq and they've failed to do so. This administration has failed our country and our military in oh-so-many ways...

Simpson's had his chance to lead... he now has two choices remaining... what's it going to be?

Kiss a public servant goodbye and they turn into a pig at the trough...

UPDATE [3/22/08, 10:58AM]

The article that was previously posted on my blog was written by John Miller of the Associated Press. As I'm still in the lower levels of the learning curve, I was unaware that (1) it was an AP article and (2) the protocol/etiquette involved in publishing things like that on my blog.

Mr. Miller just contacted me and very gently and kindly explained the situation so I am quickly deleting the content of this post.

For more information, a much better post (with legal and appropriate links/references) can be located at The MountainGoat Report.

"BSU group's flier angers some Hispanics"

That was the headline in my local paper on Monday. "Some Hispanics" were angered, according to them.

I would like to invite all intelligent and rational human beings of all colors, creeds, religions, and political parties who would like to be included with the "some Hispanics" expressing their "anger" to join the following event...

There will be a peaceful demonstration Thursday, March 22 against a hateful, stereotypical flier produced by the BSU Republican students aimed at immigrants. The protest is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on the patio in front of the Student Union building at BSU. Participants will stand in solidarity with Democrats, human rights groups, progressive student groups and others to let the campus and the media know that such disgraceful behavior is NOT acceptable. No RSVP is needed -- just come out and join the number of peaceful demonstrators if you are available!

If you are not familiar with the "flier" or the incident of reference, check out the following: