Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Approach of Winter

I'm going to change the topic a bit now. Summer is almost gone, and we've had a little frost already. The leaves haven't really started turning yet, but the soybeans have begun to turn brown, and the farmers are getting the corn out of the fields. It's even dropped to 41 degrees at night. Won't be long till winter is upon us again. Time to finish the outside projects (too many) before it gets cold. Wish I had some pictures to share with you, but I don't have a way to download them from my phone yet (no cable). I'll have to get one soon, and post some pics.

It looks like it may rain today, even though the sunrise looked promising. That's ok, I've got enough work in the garage to keep me busy.

One interesting thought concerning winter. I've read that our weather may be affected by El Nino, which is forming in the Pacific. According to those forecasts, we will have a mild winter. However, I was raised in the country, and always heard the old timers talk about predicting the weather by the color of the "wooly worms". If you don't know what a wooly worm is, it is "the larval stage of the Isabella tiger moth, according to a site from the University of Illinois, "The Green Line". According to them, there is no truth to the story that wooly worm colors predict winter. Well, I do have a degree in technology, and have an interest in science. However, I have been around enough to know to listen to the old-timers. They were often right more than wrong.
According to the lore of the old-timers, a wolly worm with light colors means a mild winter. One that has brown on one or both ends and black in the middle means a mild beginning or end, and a rough winter in the middle. All black means a bad winter. You get the picture.

As I said, I have an interest in science, and know about scientific principles. However, I have to believe what the old-timers say, as their knowledge was gained from years of experience, and from what their fathers and grandfathers passed on. In those days, knowing what the weather would be was the difference between surviving the winter, and possibly starving or freezing to death.

I've seen years when the worms were all black, and we had a bad winter (I think the winter of 77-78 was one). I've also seen mild winters preceded by brown worms. I have to think that the old folks knew what they were talking about.

As for this year, my wife and I were on our way home from church a few weeks ago, which is located up in the hills. On the way down the hill, we saw three black wooly worms crossing the road. All black...not a good sign.

I certainly hope that the old-timers weren't right...(sigh). We'll be digging out all winter.

Let's hope not.

Another Repub bites the dust

I see in the news where another Repub is resigning...this time for allegedly sending inappropriate emails to a 16 year old page. You can read the story here. Pretty sick. What is amazing is how these skunks can stand up and preach about morality, and yet do something like this. Nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. Not only that, but the House Page Board knew about this last year, but did nothing. How many more will get caught up in this scandal...chasing after young pages? Absolutely sickening! Imagine the howl if he had been a Democrat!

These people deserve what they get, and come November 7th, the game is up. Time to clean house, and bring back a Democratic majority with a sense of decency.

Vote Democratic on November 7th!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Drop at the Pump

Sorry for the wait between posts. It's been pretty busy around here.

We seem to have had a change in the gasoline prices as of late. As of the last time I looked, gasoline was $2.08 a gallon and falling. This is certainly good news, but it begs for a few questions, such as why did it take so long to fall, and why are the prices falling just before an election?

According to the DOE's site, which can be accessed here, prices in the midwest are the lowest in the nation. The midwest is also the most hotly contested election battleground in the country. Seems funny that suddenly the price drops in our area, just when the Repubs are in danger of being thrown out of office. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

The Repubs are scared, and they should be. People have had it. Now, some will say that the lower price is due to market conditions, which may be. However, the bunch in the White House are good buddy's with the oil companies, as evidenced by the secret meeting between Cheney and the oil men after Bush came to power.

When you talk to people about the lower price, they are relieved, but also very skeptical. Everyone I have talked to seems to think the same way, that the only reason the price is going down is to save the Repubs sorry butt. People are upset about the prices, and still blame the administration. People have been hurt by these prices, and it's going to take more than a temporary drop at the pump for them to recover. Most of us, including me, have been hit hard by this, and have had to scrape to get by, allowing some things to be put off because they can't afford it. This hurts all of us, because when the money isn't being spent in local stores, the local economy hurts.

The Repubs think that the lower price will help their election chances. "Hey, look, the price is down...everything's ok, for me". I was even more convinced than ever of this this afternoon, when a politician was being interviewed on NPR about the election. I can't remember what the show was, but they asked him if he thought that the lower prices would help his chances. He replied that they would, and said that there had been a slight uptick since the price dropped. He was almost gleeful. I guess when you are that far down, any ray of light looks good, right?

It's going to take a lot more than a drop at the pump to bring things back to normal. People are hurting here, and it's going to take a long time for them to recover. Come November 7, we can send them a message, that enough is enough.

Monday, September 11, 2006


What were you doing that day?

I remember being at work, and listening in disbelief about the attacks. I did not view any scenes about the towers, as I figured I needed to stay at work, since we were at war. I thought that was what the terrorists wanted, to stop us cold.

I went to class that night, and learned through the radio that gas prices had shot up, and some stations didn't have gas. I saw the lines, and decided to wait until after class.

The instructor tried to teach class, but gave up after a few minutes. He said, "Ok, what do you want to talk about?" He knew no one's mind was on class that night. We spent the rest of class time talking about it.

After school was over that night, I stopped to get gas. I had to wait with several other people, and I'll never forget the look on their faces. You didn't have to say anything. Everyone knew, and everyone had the same look of anger and determination on their face. Anger from the attacks, and determination to find whoever did this. It was like you could read what they were thinking. We all had the same thoughts that day.

When I got home, I watched the towers fall for the first time that day, and wept.

We were all united then, in the hope that we could bring these killers to justice.

What has happened?

Our nation has become divided over the war, and the debate will continue until it is completed. Bush has managed to split the country over this issue, unlike on 9-11, when we were united. Bush's prosecution of the Iraq war (needed or not) is a key factor in this. His calling anyone that disagrees with him a "terrorist" is pathetic. No wonder we're divided.

Mr. Bush made the right move, initially, in going after the Taliban. Unfortunately, he didn't get the main one. Bin Laden was cornered, and he got away.

Bush then makes a wrong turn, and deceives the public into thinking Saddam was linked to them. Five years later, we now have the proof that he lied.

Now, mind you, Saddam had to go. He had killed millions of his people. Problem is, we went after the wrong target, at the wrong time, in the wrong way.

I still believe that since we are in Iraq, for better or worse, we can't leave a vacuum. Problem is, the way the war has been run has been a shambles. We need a new direction, and a new way to get control before we leave. When we do, we can just leave the tanks and weapons for the Iraqi army to use. Dumb move disbanding their army, which could have been used with our own army to keep the peace.

Now we have Iran, which has always been the bigger threat, pulling the strings in Iraq, and creating a terrorist breeding ground. Bush opened Pandora's box when he went into Iraq, and only brought about 130,000 troops to control a country this size. Pretty easy for terrorists to hide when their is no army about, and the locals protect them.

As for Afghanistan, Bin Laden is still loose, and now the Taliban is back. Once again, a failed series of policies in Washington allows corruption to gain hold in the new Afghan government. People over there are getting disillusioned with the corruption, and turning back to the Taliban in some areas. We don't need these people getting a foothold again.

Bush made a huge mistake in not getting rid of Bin Laden first by using every tool we had at our disposal. Now he looks like a hero to some of them.

All Bush could think about was finishing the job his daddy didn't, and going after oil. Looks like it was much harder than he thought.

Now, here we sit, five years later, wondering if another attack will occur. We should have been done with this by now. We found Yamamoto in about a year and a half, and killed him. Why can we not find this clown?

Maybe Bush doesn't want to find him. That would end his "war on terror". Only problem now is that because we didn't get him at first, he's got an even bigger following now, almost mistique status to some.

This is no way to treat the families of the victims. It is as if a person knows who a murderer is, and keeps getting taunted by them, because they haven't been caught. There is no closure for them, because the murderers have not been brought to justice.

Maybe Bush is just using this as a political tool, and knows where he is, just so he can capture him by election time, and say, "Look what we've done!". Yeah, and it took how long to do it?

Don't buy the hype, folks. The Repubs are going to try every scare tactic in the book to get you to vote for them. If there is no attack, it's "See, we kept you safe". If there was one, it would be "We told you it wasn't safe". Either way, they'll play it to the hilt.

The only way to get the current administration to make the changes in policy that are needed is to vote in a new Democratic congress. Bush's hands would be tied, and he would have to make changes in the "war on terror". The first change should be to find Bin Laden and his deputies, and bring them to public trial in the U.S. The next should be how to get real stability in Iraq, so we can finally bring the boys home.

On a day such as this, let us all pray that we can finally get our country back on the right track, and earn the respect of the world again. Let us pray that with God's help, we will never have to see another 9-11 on our shores.