My son Robby went to the Phish concert last weekend and we last left him on the other side of the Cascades in Cle Ellum getting the water pump fixed on my van. (Cle Ellum is very close to Roslyn, where Northern Exposure was filmed.) I thought he would have it fixed and be home Monday night. Things didn't turn out quite that way. He got back to the van (1976 Chevy) Monday and discovered he had lost the keys. He had the ignition drilled out to discover the battery was dead. His friend found a water pump that they could pick up on Tuesday. Robby made arrangements with a mechanic. Tuesday dawns and it turns out the store that had the water pump didn't. Another day in Cle Ellum waiting for a water pump. The water pump was put in yesterday morning and then the engine was started and it was discovered that the fan had destroyed the radiator. A used radiator later, it became clear the the battery was never going to hold a charge again and in went a new battery. That was around 4 in the afternoon. A little after 7 I get a call from Robby. They are in Marysville (about 30 minutes from the ferry back to the Island) and the radiator was leaking and they had run out of money. I picked them up and brought them home. We got in around 1 this morning. Now it's back to the mainland to try and get the van home. I'll be back later, I hope.
thanks to Iconomy
A series of attacks on US forces in Iraq on Wednesday has left one soldier dead and at least five others wounded.
A missile was also fired at an American transport plane as it landed at Baghdad airport in what a spokesperson said was possibly the first such attack during the conflict.
And in another incident, the pro-American mayor of the western Iraqi town of Haditha and one of his sons are reported to have been shot and killed.
The new spate of attacks comes as correspondents say US forces in Iraq are becoming increasingly nervous and desperate to return home.
'Hinesville is the armpit of the world. Right now, I'll take the armpit'
The doodles on the desk at the guardhouse tell it all. "Stuck here forever," an angry sergeant at the sand-blown US army base outside this desert town has scrawled with a felt-tip pen, alongside some scatological sketches.
As convoys of Humvees with bored and sweaty soldiers manning roof-mounted machine guns trundle remorselessly past them - out for yet another circular patrol, in for another grim night of Fox TV and no alcohol - the sergeants who man the gates mutter over the glum news.
Ten months after they left their home base in Hinesville, Georgia, for what they thought was going to be a six-month peacetime jaunt in Kuwait, they are in Iraq and staying.
This is the headquarters of the 2nd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division. Their combat teams have roughly 4,500 soldiers and all were plunged in gloom yesterday. On Monday their commander, Major-General Buford C Blount, told them their tour of duty was not yet over. Their promised return by the end of July had been postponed again.
NEVER again did families in Baghdad imagine that they need fear the midnight knock at the door.
But in recent weeks there have been increasing reports of Iraqi men, women and even children being dragged from their homes at night by American patrols, or snatched off the streets and taken, hooded and manacled, to prison camps around the capital.
Children as young as 11 are claimed to be among those locked up for 24 hours a day in rooms with no light, or held in overcrowded tents in temperatures approaching 50C (122F).
Remarkably, the Americans have also set up another detention camp in the grounds of the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad. Many thousands of Iraqis were taken there during the Saddam years and never seen again.
Every day, relatives scuff their way along the dirt track to reach the razor wire barricades surrounding Abu Ghraib, where they plead in vain for information about the whereabouts of the missing.
Some, like Ghania Hassan, sink to their knees in despair. She holds a photograph of her eldest son, Mohammed Yasim Mohammed, a 22-year-old student. She said that he was walking through al-Shaab market with friends when passing troops saw him eating biscuits from an American military ration pack and accused him of being a looter. Allegedly he was pushed face down on the street while his friends tried to explain how a soldier a couple of streets away had given them the biscuits.
A month later nothing has been heard of the young man. His mother showed a fistful of letters and petitions that she has collected from US officials, local magistrates and a Muslim cleric, but she and the rest of the complainants were told at gunpoint to move away from the prison gates.
Such behavior merely fuels the growing hostility between local people and the soldiers they had welcomed barely three months ago.
An Iraqi exile who had been in Baghdad for only three days after living in Denmark for the past 27 years found himself caught up in an American swoop after a shooting in a street market. Not realizing that the man could read English, his interrogator made no attempt to cover up his case file, which described him as “suspected assassin”.
The man, who was held for more than 30 days, is afraid to give his name and says that he is now considering leaving Baghdad for good.
Tell me again how things have improved in Iraq?
France's President ruled out Tuesday sending French troops to Iraq, following India and Germany in rejecting U.S. calls for help without approval from the United Nations.
Although a few nations are sending troops, near daily guerrilla attacks — many of them deadly — and growing doubts about the basis for the war are complicating Washington's search for peacekeepers to replace American troops in Iraq.
In Paris, President Jacques Chirac, a leading opponent of the war said that sending French soldiers to Iraq "cannot be imagined in the current context."
thanks to dublog
liars r us
Nothing Left To Lie About
And the lies, the flagrant GOP bitch slappings of the American public, the maniacal jabs straight in eye of truth with the icepick of utter BS, have just reached some sort of critical mass, some sort of saturation point of absurdity and pain and ridiculousness and you just have to stand up and applaud.
Really. It's almost as if you should cheer the invidiousness, it is so spectacular, unprecedented, the tower of lies reaching the point where you, Jaded and Benumbed American Citizen, are forced to either recoil and ignore and deny, succumb and scream and laugh, or, like Bush himself, just sort of stand there, wide eyed, dumfounded, blinking hard, looking more blank and confused than ever, as the unified BushCo front begins to gloriously unravel.
The list goes on. This list is nearly endless. The list is growing and expanding and now threatens to split and explode and spread like some sort of giant viscous blob and invade small towns and kill plants and induce women to slap their hands to their faces and scream while it slowly steamrolls innocent children as they innocently stand there in the street playing innocent Frisbee, innocently.
Beating around the Bush
Pity poor George Tenet. The director of the central intelligence agency, source of much of the scepticism about the administration's overblown case against Saddam Hussein, is the designated fall guy for the whole fiasco.
He must feel like he has been gang-mugged. After weeks of speculation and finger-pointing, the rest of the administration finally agreed a damage-limitation strategy - and the strategy was "blame Tenet".
That document is worth deconstructing. The opening paragraph does exactly what Tenet was asked by the White House. It confirmed that the CIA approved the State of the Union address, and that he, Tenet, was responsible for the process. Most importantly, the 16 words citing a British intelligence report that Saddam was trying to buy uranium in Africa "should never have been included in the text written for the president".
However, Tenet then goes further, much further, explaining "For perspective, a little history is in order". And, he might have added, some settling of accounts.
The next 900 words provide a thinly coded description of how the CIA's arm was twisted into giving the White House what it wanted. Tenet points out that the CIA had strong reservations about intelligence suggesting Iraq was in the market for yellow-cake uranium from Africa in general and from Niger in particular.
In a new dispute over interpreting intelligence data, the CIA and other agencies objected vigorously to a Bush administration assessment of the threat of Syria's weapons of mass destruction that was to be presented Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
After the objections, the planned testimony by Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton, a leading administration hawk, was delayed until September.
U.S. officials told Knight Ridder that Bolton was prepared to tell members of a House of Representatives International Relations subcommittee that Syria's development of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons had progressed to such a point that they posed a threat to stability in the region.
The CIA and other intelligence agencies said that assessment was exaggerated.
thanks to BookNotes
It doesn't appear that the CIA is going to be a fall guy again.
HEMMER: You're soon to be the wife of a member of the U.S. military. It comes with the territory in many ways. What have you thought about how difficult this might be going forward in the future with him, knowing that the U.S. military's engaged in so many different hotspots around the world?
HAMILTON: We have actually, since this deployment began, we have decided that we will no longer be in the army.
HEMMER: Oh, he's getting out after this tour of duty in Iraq? How do feel about that?
HAMILTON: Yes, yes. He can't stand for it.
HEMMER: Why is that?
HAMILTON: I support him 100 percent.
HEMMER: Why do you say he can't stand it?
HAMILTON: It's hard on the families, it's hard on the soldiers, and it's especially hard to know that you put your faith and trust into a president, and they continue to lie to you, they break promises, and it's hard to fight for somebody like that.
"Finlay had discovered science fiction with 'Amazing Stories' in 1927 and horror and fantasy with 'Weird Tales' in 1928. He preferred the later and by 1935 he was confident enough that he could provide better illustrations that he sent six unsolicited drawings to Farnsworth Wright, the editor of 'Weird Tales' pulp. Finlay's stippling ability almost lost him the job as Wright was uncertain that such fine dots would reproduce on the cheap pulp paper. Fortunately a test print proved acceptable. Enough of the detail remained to provide the readers with the rare experience of seeing a new artistic genius explode fully developed onto the scene. He had four illustrations in that issue. It was December of 1935. Finlay was 21.
In recent weeks, two major incidents along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border have laid bare the new complexities in the area. And a large part of the blame for these two incidents lies with the United States's duplicitous role in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The first of the two incidents occurred on July 4, a Friday afternoon at the Jama Masjid-o-Imambargah Kalaan Isna Ashri, a Shi'ite mosque in Quetta in the western Pakistani province of Balochistan bordering Afghanistan. On that holy Muslim day, while the Shi'ite faithful were offering their prayers, three killers, apparently including a suicide bomber, attacked the mosque: 53 were killed and 57 injured. This is not the first time the Shi'ite community has been at the receiving end of such a vicious attack from presumed Sunni killers in Quetta. Less than a month ago, on June 8, 13 trainee police personnel, all belonging to the Shi'ite community, were slaughtered in the same town, which, incidentally, is a major headquarters of the Pakistan army.
The second incident occurred three days later, on July 7, when about 2,000 Afghan demonstrators, protesting the Pakistan army's alleged occupation of Afghan territory in the Nangarhar and Kunar provinces along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, climbed the Pakistan embassy walls in Kabul and broke windows and furniture. Pakistan promptly closed the embassy. In all likelihood, the embassy will be opened shortly, but the bad blood developed between Islamabad and Kabul, both virtual client states of the United States, will continue to bring death and mayhem for some time to come.
thanks to BookNotes
thanks to Geisha asobi blog
Guerrilla war. It's said that's how we won our war of independence, that an outside power can never overcome a determined populace. The Vietnamese would no doubt agree. Indeed, while there are examples of guerilla action during WWII, modern guerrilla warfare would seem to date from Vietnam in the 1950s.
Fifty years of guerrilla wars, and we should ask ourselves how much we have learned-- as individuals, as a nation, as a planet. The answer is, not much.
For those of us who have studied such wars, there are certain truths that are incontrovertible:
1) An ethnic war cannot be "won," except by exterminating one of the groups involved.
2) Guerrilla insurgencies are extremely difficult for governments to win, because the inevitable "cycle of violence" benefits the guerillas.
Last seen: 1914.
Reasons: Over-hunting; loss of habitat as forests were cleared and converted to farmland.
Other: The passenger pigeon was once the most numerous and successful species of bird to ever exist on earth, living in almost inconceivable numbers across all of forested North America. It is estimated that there were 3 billion to 5 billion passenger pigeons at the time Europeans arrived in North America and that they once constituted an amazing 25-40% of the total bird population of the U.S.
thanks to Spitting Image
This is a long piece and it will make your head hurt. A must read!
The Coming Financial Reality
On July 1st, as the state legislatures began their new fiscal year, I spoke with heterodox economist and historian Michael Hudson, one of the few with both real experience inside the financial services sector. He believes that it is not enough to know that corporations will do everything imaginable to extract profit at the expense of the workforce. It is not enough to know that politicians represent their donors, not the electorate. He believes you also need to have some background in the financial system as a whole to understand where the economy is headed and why "free market" propaganda dominates the terms of debate, despite all the evidence of its failings.
Professor Hudson is presently writing a book on the bubble, focusing on the increasing dominance of the financial industry over industrial production. I asked him to relate his ideas to the coming state of social security, employment, Bush's war against the poor and the middle-class, and the international ramifications of US economic policy.
Bush's Data Dump
The Bush administration is finally facing tough questions about its selective use of intelligence in selling war with Iraq. But Americans shouldn't just be skeptical of what the president says about WMD. They should be skeptical of what he says about GDP. In economic policy even more than in war policy, the Bushies have successfully suppressed, manipulated, and withheld evidence to serve their policy purposes.
Of course every administration likes to trumpet its good news and hide its bad, but what's remarkable about the Bush team is its willingness to stifle data that had been widely released and to politicize data that used to be nonpartisan.
All the bars showing a reduced deficit going into an increasing surplus were when Clinton was President. All the bars showing an increased deficit are when Bush is President. Who is the conservative? How bad can it get? Wait a little and we'll see.
The Fulifier fulifies a site, which means turning it around three thousand times uglier than it was before, making it look something like all the sites around 1998 made by lame ten year old script kiddie who wanted to prove they knew some HTML, liked colors, and knew how to use gif-animations from some clipart archive.
thanks to Politics in the Zeros
Do you think it's an improvement?
don't forget korea
U.S., N. Korea Drifting Toward War, Perry Warns
Former defense secretary William Perry warned that the United States and North Korea are drifting toward war, perhaps as early as this year, in an increasingly dangerous standoff that also could result in terrorists being able to purchase a North Korean nuclear device and plant it in a U.S. city.
"I think we are losing control" of the situation, said Perry, who believes North Korea soon will have enough nuclear warheads to begin exploding them in tests and exporting them to terrorists and other U.S. adversaries. "The nuclear program now underway in North Korea poses an imminent danger of nuclear weapons being detonated in American cities," he said in an interview.
Only last winter Perry publicly argued that the North Korea problem was controllable. Now, he said, he has grown to doubt that. "It was manageable six months ago if we did the right things," he said. "But we haven't done the right things."
He added: "I have held off public criticism to this point because I had hoped that the administration was going to act on this problem, and that public criticism might be counterproductive. But time is running out, and each month the problem gets more dangerous."
In a two-hour interview in his office at Stanford University, Perry said that after conversations with several senior administration officials from different areas of the government, he is persuaded that the Korea policy is in disarray. Showing some emotion, the usually reserved Perry said at one point, "I'm damned if I can figure out what the policy is."
Nor, having had extensive contacts with Asian leaders, does Perry believe that the multilateral diplomatic approach is working. "I see no evidence of that," he said. "The diplomatic track, as nearly as I can discern, is inconsequential."
From his discussions, Perry has concluded the president simply won't enter into genuine talks with Pyongyang's Stalinist government. "My theory is the reason we don't have a policy on this, and we aren't negotiating, is the president himself," Perry said. "I think he has come to the conclusion that Kim Jong Il is evil and loathsome and it is immoral to negotiate with him."
thanks to daily KOS
thanks to BookLab II
liars and weapons of mass destruction
The lies are starting to surface in the major media. The circling of the wagons has begun as everyone tries to cover their pitifull asses.
Pattern of Corruption
More than half of the U.S. Army's combat strength is now bogged down in Iraq, which didn't have significant weapons of mass destruction and wasn't supporting Al Qaeda. We have lost all credibility with allies who might have provided meaningful support; Tony Blair is still with us, but has lost the trust of his public. All this puts us in a very weak position for dealing with real threats. Did I mention that North Korea has been extracting fissionable material from its fuel rods?
How did we get into this mess? The case of the bogus uranium purchases wasn't an isolated instance. It was part of a broad pattern of politicized, corrupted intelligence.
16 Words, and Counting
After I wrote a month ago about the Niger uranium hoax in the State of the Union address, a senior White House official chided me gently and explained that there was more to the story that I didn't know.
Yup. And now it's coming out.
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
SUBJECT: Intelligence Unglued
The glue that holds the Intelligence Community together is melting under the hot lights of an awakened press. If you do not act quickly, your intelligence capability will fall apart—with grave consequences for the nation.
It's been a long weekend and Monday, and I've felt like crap for most of today. I really wanted to watch WWE Raw, relax and hope to be able to work tomorrow. But when I came across this wee bit o'fiction from James Taranto, I figured I had to come out swinging.
We'll take each paragraph on its own. Since they're each filled with errant asumptions.
To those of us who supported Iraq's liberation without reservation, the 16 words in the president's speech are an irrelevancy. There was an overwhelming legal, strategic and humanitarian case for removing the Baathist regime from Baghdad, whether or not it recently sought to obtain uranium in Africa. And let's be honest: For Howard Dean, the African uranium question is equally irrelevant. His Watergate comparison is telling. Watergate, after all, was a criminal conspiracy; Dean seems to view the liberation of Iraq as a crime (and Saddam Hussein as the victim?).
Well, so do most Iraqis. Those 16 words created a clear and present danger to the US. A nuclear armed Iraq might have been a threat, granted that they lacked any kind of delivery vehicle or even access to a port which could tranship such a weapon, but that's a minor detail.
The Iraqis do not call this a liberation.
ANNA HELD AUDETTE
thanks to wood s lot
"Quit beating around the bush," snaps the Wall Street Journal: "America faces a guerrilla war." And so it does. But an odd paralysis still grips the U.S. military command. While the number of American soldiers killed or wounded in ambushes increases by the day, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and proconsul Paul Bremer continue to speak of "remnants" and "bitter-enders" who can't get with the program, even as word spreads through the ranks that there is a well-organized resistance campaign underway in Iraq.
When Saddam Hussein spoke in March of letting Americans into Iraqi cities, especially Baghdad, and breaking their will, he meant it. After all, his government had been training civilians in combat techniques and distributing firearms, including AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, for a year before the invasion; and U.S. planners knew it. But the Pentagon, trapped in a different scenario – where urban guerrilla warfare was to commence (if at all) immediately after U.S. tanks entered the capital – didn't get the message. When heavy combat operations were followed by a pronounced lull, U.S. commanders seemed to forget Saddam's warning. Now, 1st Sgt. William Taylor, based near Tikrit, cites the lull as the period when the insurgents "got their cells together."
In a major reversal forced by the growing insurgency against U.S. forces in Iraq, the Pentagon announced today that more than 10,000 soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division will not be coming home by the end of September.
After weeks of high-level discussions with the United States, India today rejected an American request to send peacekeeping troops to Iraq, saying it would only consider doing so under an "explicit" U.N. mandate.
The small circle of senior civilians in the Defense Department who dominated planning for postwar Iraq failed to prepare for the setbacks that have erupted over the past two months.
The officials didn't develop any real postwar plans because they believed that Iraqis would welcome U.S. troops with open arms and Washington could install a favored Iraqi exile leader as the country's leader. The Pentagon civilians ignored CIA and State Department experts who disputed them, resisted White House pressure to back off from their favored exile leader and when their scenario collapsed amid increasing violence and disorder, they had no backup plan.
Today, American forces face instability in Iraq, where they are losing soldiers almost daily to escalating guerrilla attacks, the cost of occupation is exploding to almost $4 billion a month and withdrawal appears untold years away.
"There was no real planning for postwar Iraq," said a former senior U.S. official who left government recently.
thanks to CalPundit
On this desolate stretch of desert along the Iraqi frontier, tensions with the American soldiers just across the border are running so high, Syrian soldiers say, that four villagers have been shot by American soldiers in the past month.
Soldiers on the Syrian side of the border said American soldiers shot dead two cousins, one Iraqi and one Syrian, as they crossed into Iraqi territory about three weeks ago. Since then, they said, two other Syrian civilians have been wounded in separate incidents this month. The Syrians said that American helicopters and planes routinely violate Syrian airspace while patrolling.
The events described at this Syrian border post are the latest in a series of incidents along the frontier. They include the American attack, on June 18, on a convoy suspected of ferrying loyalists of Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi leader.
That incident, along a smugglers' route about 30 miles from here, and the others have apparently fueled intense anti-American rage in the villages on the border. Among the signs of that anger is a series of video discs circulating through the villages exhorting viewers to attack the Americans in Iraq.
The incompetence and delusions that make up the running of the war in Iraq would be funny, in a Three Stooges sort of way, if people weren't dying every day. How many more have to die before the American public wakes up? I don't ever expect our fearful leaders to change. The American public is going to have to change and throw the bastards out. They'd better not wait until the Presidential elections because there may not be anything left.
I have slowly been putting up the writings and the art of my grandfather Griff at a web site I call Griff's Story. It covers his experiences as a Navy combat artist during WWII Jeneane Sessum, at Allied, found it and made a connection that I hadn't — Griff was a blogger! Well, maybe a pre-blogger.
Blogging is bottom up. Blogging is the sound of the quieter voices wired with mega amps of power.
[...]An artist and I think a gifted story teller born in 1890, Griff's chronicle of the war in pictures and words are moving, compelling, and something I've just begun to explore. I'm so jazzed by what I hear and see:
October 23rd, 1941
A black night. The dim shapes of the officers with their binoculars peering through the small round ports of the wheel house. Men with head-phones. The dark loom of the watch on the bridge wings. All hands at their stations, competent, alert. "She is up and down, Sir." The slight throb of the powerful engines, and we lean gray wolves steal stealthily out in single file to the secret meeting with the oncoming almost helpless flock. The black loom of the hills of Newfoundland diminish into the obscurity of the night. "Secure anchors for sea." And with the first roll of the northern ocean, we feel that sensitive, live movement known only to men who have been in "Tin Cans", the Navy's nickname for destroyers.
That, my friends, is a voice I'd put on my blogroll any day of the week.
That is a blogger armed with simply a paint brush and a pen. And voice.
The entry Jeneane used was from Griff's book North Atlantic Patrol, which was based on a log he kept during his journey. His second book, Victory at Midway, does not have the log format but still has that voice. It's the last part of the site, where he travels around the world in 1944. that is his unedited reports to the Navy that are in a condensed log format. These entries are amazing. I could go on and on, but I won't. Check it out.
Jeez, it looks as though the GOP is losing the press. Their spin on the upcoming budget deficits isn't getting much respect.
And why do the Republicans need to spin the deficit? Because it'll be in the range of $400-450 billion each of the next two years (probably more) -- far surpassing the previous record of $290 billion notched by papy Bush. And far surpassing the administration's previous bogus estimate of $300 billion.
So what is the aforementioned GOP spin?
Republicans say the more important measure of red ink is how it compares to the size of the U.S. economy, because that illustrates the government's ability to afford carrying the debt.
And the AP reporter's response?
Even gauged that way, a shortfall 4 percent as big as the economy — as this year's and next's will probably be — begins to approach the dimension of the deficits of the 1980s and early 1990s that both parties agreed were untenable.
True, true. And yeah, I'm as shocked as you that the GOP spin wasn't unquestionably accepted. But the GOP has blown away any semblance of rationality.
And the kicker -- those deficit numbers don't include the costs of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. That's $48 billion/year, according to Rumsfeld's numbers, pushing the deficit to a potential mind-boggling $500 billion.
We hope you enjoy our site. Reprodepot Fabrics was started out of a love for vintage fabrics. We hope to provide the best selection of 20th-Century reproduction fabrics on the internet.
thanks to Geisha asobi blog
presidential manipulation of language
George W. Bush is generally regarded as a mangler of the English language.
What is overlooked is his mastery of emotional language -- especially negatively charged emotional language -- as a political tool. Take a closer look at his speeches and public utterances and his political success turns out to be no surprise. It is the predictable result of the intentional use of language to dominate others.
Bush, like many dominant personality types, uses dependency-creating language. He employs language of contempt and intimidation to shame others into submission and desperate admiration.
While we tend to think of the dominator as using physical force, in fact most dominators use verbal abuse to control others. Abusive language has been a major theme of psychological researchers on marital problems, such as John Gottman, and of philosophers and theologians, such as Josef Pieper.
But little has been said about the key role it has come to play in political discourse and in such "hot media" as talk radio and television.
thanks to Eschaton
Dressed to the Nines
The first official baseball uniform, adopted in 1849 by the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York City, was a simple outfit consisting of a white flannel shirt, blue wool pants and a straw hat. Fast-forward over 150 years later, and you’ll find the modern-day major leaguer wearing brilliantly colored double-knit uniforms made of synthetic blend fabrics. What happened along the way? What styles came and went (and came again)? Which changes to the uniform were successful and which experiments fell flat? How has the baseball uniform become an integral part of our national pastime?
thanks to Coudal Partners
but wait! there's more!
It's geting too late to put up any more links. I'll be back in the morning.
war against some drugs
The Canadian government is, officially, a drug dealer. Starting this week, it will sell marijuana to more than 550 Canadians who have the legal right to smoke the drug because of medical conditions such as arthritis or Aids.
The move comes six weeks after Canada angered the US by moving ahead with plans to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
However, this time the federal government is makinng its move reluctantly, and only to comply with a court ruling.
Last week, a senior US official visited Ottawa to talk about a planned border crackdown if the legislation is passed.
So the US will be attacking the sovereignty of a foreign nation because they have the temerity to pass a law that is not approved by the US.
tour de france
This is turning into one of the most interesting Tours that I have watched. The Tour just finished the three stages in the Alps. In the past Lance has dominated. He isn't so dominating on this tour. At least not yet. That is not to say he isn't the most dominant rider. It's just that, although he is wearing the Yellow Jersey, there are several others within striking distance.
There is a blog for the Tour: Tour de France 2003
Stage 6 | Petacchi storms through
This was the last flat stage before the Alps. Lance was still second overal to Pena by 1 sec.
Stage 7 | Virenque takes yellow jersey
Virenque was a big surprise. He took the Yellow Jersey while two of Lance's possible threats lost time.
Stage 8 | Armstrong in yellow
The last time the Tour went up to L'Alp d'Huez, Lance blew the race open. Not this time. A young spaniard, Iban Mayo, took the stage. He attacked repeatedly and Lance didn't have the final answer. Lance road a smart race and did what he had to do to get the Yellow Jersey but it was not a dominating performance. Lance is a little off. Of course. most would be very happy were they as strong as Lance on a day off.
Stage 9 | Vinokourov takes dramatic win
Drama on the final descent as Lance Armstrong is forced to take evasive action when Beloki's tyre bursts and he falls heavily
Again, US Postal and Lance were setting the pace and the other elite riders kept attacking. Finally, on the last climb, Vinokourov, a threat, attacks. Lance chases, with Beloki who is another threat. Beloki crashed pushing Lance off the road into a mountain biking trip cross country to the other side of the hairpin turn. He was able to regain the chase group but with no chance to catch Vinokourov, who took the stage.
Tyler Hamilton kept attacking on the last climb and he has been racing with a broken collar bone since the first stage. Jan Ullrich faded on the last climb. This is turning into a most interesting race.
Armstrong under pressure
Lance has been known to get stronger in the later stages. He will have the chance. Tuesday is flat, Wednesday is off, Thursday doesn't have any hills to speak of, and then Lance has to go back to work. Friday is a time trial and Saturday starts 4 four days in the Pyrenees. Three mountain stages, a day off, and then the final mountain stage. There still a lot of fun to be had.
Here is a great source of Tour pictures.
...then leads the chase of Millar, and Jorg Jaksche who was a threat to the Yellow jersey - Beloki, Ullrich and Basso can only follow...
Here are a couple of background pieces.
Armstrong couldn’t do it without help
The best team in sports right now isn’t necessarily in the NBA or the NFL, it may be the underappreciated and largely unrecognized U.S. Postal Service cycling team, a bunch of guys who continually sacrifice their bodies and egos to escort Lance Armstrong to the finish line in Paris, so he can hoist the Tour de France trophy and be an Inspiration to Us All. They don’t get the trophy, or even an ESPY. They’re not even very well known in this country. But they’re one of the most dominant cycling teams that ever rode a road, and an example to franchises everywhere.
thanks to Tour de France 2003
THE LONG RIDE
ok — here are the links!
Robby made it back to the van, in Cle Ellum, from the Phish concerts. He has a water pump and a mechanic lined up for tomorrow. He should make it home tomorrow. Unfortuately my oldest, Jenny, is moving back to the island tomorrow and will have to do so without my assistance. Somedays, as hard as you might run, you keep going backwards. I did get a new client today so there was some forward motion. Now for the links...
still no links
The weekend is finally over and I can finally sit down at the computer but I'm getting even behinder — those pesky customers. And there is the copyright violation I seem to be accused of by using an image to promote a photography site. Details on that when it gets a little more resolved. My son had my van towed to Cle Ellum yesterday and is, hopefully, getting it fixed today. Too much happening! But here are some pictures from yesterday and there will be links as I can get them up.
Zoe and I picked up her mom, Gerry, and her brother Jim and met Katie at Mike's Place in Langley. Thats Gerry and Jim in the picture. And Zoe's arm.
Katie had her little boy, Mike, and Mike's cousin Hannah with her.
After a lovely breakfast we stepped out of the restaurant into the middle of the Langley Arts and Crafts Fair and a marimba band.
Our first order of business, at the fair, was to get my ring size at the Shadowfax Jewelry booth. Regular readers know that Barb made the wedding ring for Zoe. (Here is Zoe's post of my proposal.) Now Zoe needs to get a ring made for me. We got my ring size and discussed the design. We still haven't set a date yet.
Sometimes it's hard to figure out what 3 1/2 year old boys are doing.
After a tour of the booths, and a nap, Zoe and I took Jim out for a boat ride.
It's always beautiful on the water. That's a cruise ship that is probably headed north, through the Inside Passage, to Alaska. After the boat ride it was a trip to the local Chinese restaurant. An exhausting but wonderful day with family.
It's just one of those weekends where the hurrieder you go the behinder you get. Zoe's brother was to have arrived Friday night, from Iowa, but due to overbooking, bumping, and mechanical failure, didn't arrive until last night. My son Robby left Saturday morning for eastern Washington and a Phish concert. I had him take my van since I thought it had a better chance of making it than his car. The water pump blew up outside of Ellensburg. Some friends of one of his passengers saw them and gave them a ride into Vantage where they were all to meet. At eight o'clock I get a call from Robby inside the show. "Hi dad! Listen to this!" I got to hear a minute of Phish on a cell phone. Hopefully they will get the van towed into Ellensburg today and get it fixed. Robby is with a lot of friends that will be helping. My daughter Katie is up this weekend and we will be meeting her shortly, with Zoe's mom and brother, for breakfast in Langley. This is a big weekend in Langley since it is the weekend of the annual arts and crafts fair. We will take a little of that in and then, weather and tides permitting, go out for a boat ride this afternoon.
Links later. And there is no shortage of shit happening. We get to watch Bush arguing about the meaning of "is." Lance takes the yellow jersey in a memorable climb at the Alp d'Huez. Memorable because it was an actual race. Lance was not as dominant as in the past. And Jeneane discovers an early blogger from 60 years ago — my grandfather! This and more later. Gotta go.