Monday, February 23, 2009

Military Working Dogs Tribute!

After watching a tribute to Military Working Dog Handlers I found this video, which I found interesting, along with the music. I was a Military Working Dog Handler when I was in the U.S. Air Force in the late 70's to early 80's. We didn't have Dobermans though. We had mostly German Shepards and Shepard mixes, along with some Labrador Retrievers, and dogs they called bio-dogs, dogs they bred with special skills and abilities. My dog was a German Shepard/Collie Mix, and his name was Mac, so I use to call him "Mac the Knife". He was a great dog. Being a dog handler probably rated as the best job I ever had. I mean the part when I was working with the dogs, because the humans were the ones that I had some issues.

The above pictures are of Mac. He looks vicious, doesn't he?

This is me and Mac back in 1978.

My training last about 5 months, and was at Medina Annex at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX. I was then stationed at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, near Shreveport/Bossier City. I volunteered to go overseas on a regular basis, but you know the military, they sent people who didn't want to go. Go figure! But I really loved working with the dogs.

At a break during dog school.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Equality State shows it's True Grit!

The Equality State done itself proud, in a rare break from it's normal ultra-conservative reputation. Although it wasn't totally liberating, they didn't take 2 steps backwards.

This year, in Wyoming's 60th Legislative Session, House Joint Resolution 17, also known as the "Defense of Marriage" resolution, failed by a vote of 35-25. If it had passed, it would have put on the ballot for a state constitutional amendment to be put to the voters of the state. That will not happen this year, but I don't see the issue as a dead one. Becky Vandeberghe, who is chairwoman or chairperson to be politically correct, of WyWatch Family Institute, a Wyoming based group that lobbies in support of legislation that promotes the "Sanctity of Marriage" and other narrow-minded "Let's control all the state's social issues by our own warped sense of reality" issues, called Friday's vote a "grave injustice." Oh yes, it was a truly grave injustice, but for whom? Is Becky not comfortable with her own morality and sexuality?

"The elitist legislators decided not to accurately represent the people of Wyoming, and we certainly do hope that their constituents will take a look at their voting record and keep track of it for the election in 2010," said Vandeberghe, who promised to push for similar legislation in the future. Oh no, she made a promise for more misguided political theater.

Becky, that sounded like a threat to me! Oh Becky, what are we going to do with you? Mr. Dobson might be looking for a new protege, hay?

Although it didn't pass the House, it does not mean same-sex marriages can be legally done here, because Wyoming law already stipulates that only marriages between a man and woman are valid, but the law also requires the state to recognize valid unions performed in other states. That was the part that the right wanted to change, the part where "the state recognizes valid unions performed in other states". That was how they were going to defend marriage, by giving a religious, or their religious definition to a legal civil union. How they think it will defend there own narrow-minded concept of marriage is beyond me. How are they really threatened? Is it a physical threat? Verbal? Sexual? Moral? A threat to their self-esteem and self-worth? I don't know? I give up!

The resolution sponsor, Rep. Owen Petersen, R-Mountain View, said, "It's my opinion that voters should be allowed to express their opinion on this social issue, and not leave the matter to the courts or some other source,"
Rep. Petersen stated he was inundated with tons of letters in support of the resolution, (I would truly like to see the tons of letters myself.) and he pointed to a private study (And I'd like to see that private study too.) that he said showed overwhelming support for the amendment among members of the Wyoming public.

Petersen said, "It is a society policy decision that needs to be done." No, it is a decision that wants to impose your moral/religious standards on everyone else. Separation of church and state comes to mind here.

Something that is forgotten by legislators, both on a state and national level, and many citizens, is the question, what is a democracy or a republic?

We have heard for many years that we are a "democracy". This was not the vision of our founding fathers, as they saw democracy as another form of tyranny. The word “democracy” appears no where in our Constitution, or “The Declaration of Independence”. We are a constitutional republic. These words are not interchangeable, but over time, semantic inattentiveness has caused us to use these words way too loosely. Our founding fathers would be deeply saddened by both our laziness, and our lack of comprehension of the differences.

So you are probably thinking now, “What is the difference between a democracy and a republic form of government?” In a republic form of government, there is rule of law, and the law can protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. All of its citizens, including government officials, are accountable to the same laws. The government power is limited and decentralized through a system of checks and balances. The framers' vision of a republic contrast with that of a democracy. In a democracy, the majority rules either directly or through its elected representatives. As in a monarchy, the law is whatever the government determines it to be. Laws do not represent reason. They represent power. The restraint is upon the individual instead of government. Unlike that visualized under a republican form of government, rights are seen as privileges and permissions that are granted by government and can be revoked by the government. In a democracy, the majority rules, meaning that there are no protections for minority rights. Whatever the majority wants rules the day.

Chalk up one for the good guys, at least for now. Until tomorrow, Ciao!

Treason? Maybe!

What has been going on in Congress the last few weeks by the Republican minority is down right treason and perfidy. They do not hold the interests of the American people as a high priority. Their attempts to solidify their new image as the party of small government, less spending and tax cuts has been echoed across the TV box, Internet, and every format possible. And then I thought, wait a second, maybe they have stopped taking their medication for their mental illness, that being Narcissistic Ego-Maniacal Bi-Personality Disorder, or NEMBO. Some of the symptoms are thinking you are Dean Martin, and maintaining a constant tan, drink Martinis (Or whatever the drink du juor is.) and smoking cigarettes with those long filters. One also has a diminished sense of reality, and view everything from their psychotic alternate universe. And what is black is white, and vice-a-versa. They are also compulsive liars, and seek attention while discussing their lies and misinformation, (i.e.-FOX News, MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and on and on.) and the MSM obliges them, and never questions their misinformation. Hallucinations are quite common, as are feelings of grandeur. There are many, many more, and they will be completing a new separate edition of DSM-VIIEX (EX- Extended Addition) to just cover this particular mental illness.

Congressman Boehner has been one of many in the lead, with statements ranging from, when he manipulated it to his advantage, a minor provision that would expand Medicaid family-planning services, and called it a plan to “spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives.” (It is very depressing that Johnny's egg and sperm donors were not afforded the option of using contraceptives prior to them meeting up.) Or when he exclaimed, "Oh my God" in reference to the size of the stimulus plan. The quotes and comments from the right are far to many to list here, but they all had the same goals. They wanted to rile up their base with misinformation, focus on small parts of the plan, making them out to be what the whole plan is about, cry about government spending contrary to what they have done over the last few decades, starting with Reagan, and his massive defense spending. And again, they claimed the panacea of their tax-cut agenda, and how that will be the be all and end all of all our problems, again contrary to the history of this tax-cut philosophy. And they were prepared with a massive PR campaign, filling the air-waves with their ignorance and propaganda. And yet, they acted like they were dumber then a box of rocks when it came to them trying to understand that spending on many of the projects and programs that they cherry-picked and accused as waste, could create jobs. I just scratched my head (It is kind of raw and tender now.) every time I heard them say they couldn't understand how such and such was stimulus. I was and am baffled to no end. I thought, they really can't be that dumb, could they? Then I remembered who they were playing to, their un and under-educated base.

These wingnuts are holding the country hostage, and it needs to end now. All their arguments are of a strawman nature, and their huffing and puffing will only cause oxygen loss to our country, and the well-being of millions and millions of Americans. I understand that the Stimulus Plan is not the end all, and be all for our economy recovering, and that there are many, many factors that need to be addressed. But we have to start somewhere, and do this fast.

Our country is like a heart attack patient, laying on the operating table, who also has suffered a serious, life-threatening wound to his/her femoral artery, and the docs are trying to figure out what to do. There is one group (Group 1) who are trying to not only stop the bleeding, but also jolting the heart back to life. Then there is this other group (Group 2, AKA-McConnell, McCain, McHamburglar, etc, etc.) of docs who figure they can put a band-aid on the leg wound, and have one of there own take the 2 "AA" batteries out of his Walkman, (And he is a little pissed that he has to do that, because he was right in the middle of listening to a song from the Wizard of Oz that talks about, "If I only had a Brain...") and just places them on the operating table. That's it. Not the best plan that I can see. The docs in Group 1 have also hooked up an IV, transfusing blood back into our patient, along with all the monitoring machines. They have all the associated specialist standing by, brain-storming, discussing the next possible steps, like by-pass surgery, rehab, diet changes for the patient, monitoring cholesterol, and all the options for a recovery program. Group 2 keeps telling the first group that their plan will work because one of their members is the sole surviving member of Heaven's Gate, a Church that is an American UFO religion and formerly led by Marshall Applewhite. And this doc still believes, as do his co-horts in the theory of Intelligent Design and travel to other dimensions (i.e.- hallucinations). And that is what they are basing their medical decisions on! Oh boy, are we in trouble.

While this is all happening, the docs in Group 1 are willing to do whatever it takes to get it done, and Group 2 is obstructing them at every turn. I think now is the time to get them out of the operating room, and quickly. But Group 1 decides they can negotiate with these noodle heads, and in the process threatening the life of the patient on the table. But all Group 2 is doing is running around the hospital, and community yelling that Group 1 doesn't want to listen to their hair-brained ideas. Tantrums and fits are the order of the day, and they are scaring the community, and the docs in Group 1, and they are now second guessing their decisions. Oh my, oh my, are we in a conundrum or what? So, what would you do? And we can't forget the Hippocratic Oath, and to do no harm! Oops, group 2 forgot about the damn oath, but then again, I don't think they ever took it.

I am now back to treason. I know that is a harsh work, but just look at the facts. Treason can be defined as adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. Well the enemies are depression, economic collapse, homelessness, personal disaster, both of a financial and personal nature, and are also affecting our country's and our individual mental health. By doing what they are doing, the "New Image" Republican Party are committing treason, along with the betrayal of any trust or confidence, and treachery toward our country. Shame on them.

I believe part of the underlying issues for the Republicans is that the W.A.S.P.'s can not stomach the fact that we have an African-American as President, and they now feel threatened, particularly their "White Manliness" because of that. They are now insignificant men who have ruled their way for centuries, and no black man is going to tell them what to do. A sublime racism, but racism none the less. I know this sounds a bit extreme, but just look at it from their perspective.

Racism is alive and well in America, although some of us are in denial about it. Some thought, from a black and white perspective, that once Obama was elected, that racism will no longer exist. And some have gone so far as to fight to have voting right legislation done away with in the south. We also can't forget McCain's comment (Along with the many other racist comments over the last couple of years.) during the debate when he referred to Obama as, "That One", code for I'm superior to "that one", and his kind should be mopping the floor, or cleaning the toilets, not on stage with me, the Mighty W.A.S.P.! So, nothing changes if nothing changes, and these white men are angry, tantrum throwing, fit tossing, insignificant ingrates. And they will stop at nothing when it comes to them trying to get their way. Now is the time to talk about the "nuclear option"!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Eclectic Electric!

My ultimate vision of sustainable mobility is two-fold.

First on the community side, I am looking for a mass transit system that not only works in urban areas, but also inter-city. Inner-city, urban areas, and suburbs could use various systems, ranging from an electric powered buses/trolleys/subway systems,and various other people pushers that we see today in various airports and urban areas. For inter-city, we have ultra-fast bullet, and mag-lev trains that make it affordable and convenient for all.

Secondly, I would tie in, and on an individual basis, electric personally owned vehicles. This can run the gamut of Segways, electric Smart cars, shuttle cars, bicycles, and also walking. And of course the infrastructure for all these electric vehicles need to be established throughout the country and world, along with the technological aspects of all this to get the best bang for the buck. This is such a massive project, but even the longest gets started by taking the first step. I will not see it in my lifetime, but our future as a planet depends on us doing something, and now is as good a time as any to get the ball rolling.

And I would go with electricity as the fuel for all this, coming from various renewable sources. And there are many options in this area, but it will take a concerted effort from all members of our country, and the world. And it will take a huge investment in capital, and is a long-term project. But I see it as a matter of life or death for our planet.