Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What a fun weekend

Okay so there are no new pics this time, but Ewan and I had so much fun this weekend. On Saturday we left home about nap time and then drove over the the East Bay. He slept. I stopped by the office to grab something I had forgotten there then we drove to Tilden Park. He was still out cold so I parked in the shade and had a nap myself. When I woke up I looked at him and he was looking back. I got him out of his seat and he just wanted to lie on my chest, so we napped some more. Eventually I woke him and we went to ride the steam trains.

(warning! iffin yer in the office this website makes a awful racket!!)

It was bloody cold but we rode three times anyway. I bought him a pamphelt, "A Brief History & Technical Specifications of the Tilden Park Steam Trains." He pours over it studying each page, sometimes commenting on it. He'll say "choo choooo" "enyen" (engine) "boose" (caboose) or "night night" that's what he calls the roundhouse which is where the trains sleep.

We ate at Nations on the way home. It was nearly bedtime when we finally got home.

He's turned into my little high energy boy. He wants to chase around the house. If I pick him up and toss him he says, "more." So I do it again, and again, and again, and... He's at that stage where he wants to keep doing it until I'M worn out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"America's Constitution is in Grave Danger" - Al Gore

An excellent speech on the subject of the malaise that has gripped us.


Al gore speaks about more than just the spying abuses. He addresses the pattern of abuse of executive power in a comprehensive way. If he had spoken with this kind of passion and honesty when he was running for President Bush couldn't have stolen the election because it would have been a landslide. Instead they debated a prescription drug benefit... but I digress. Read the speech, yeh it's long, but it is important.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

No Doubt, NSA Domestic Spying is a Crime

A group of constitutional scholars have written a letter to Congress utterly discrediting the White House's weak arguments that the domestic NSA spying is legal. Please read the article. This isn't a partisan issue. The Executive Branch is flagrantly committing crimes. They have admitted to the facts. The law is clear. If this is allowed to go unanswered then memory is all that is left of our liberty. Please write to your congressional representative and demand impeachment.

Huffington Post

NSA Spies on Millions of Americans

Russel Tice, 20 year NSA veteran and whistleblower, was on Democracy Now! saying that the NSA had spied illegally on millions of Americans.
Democracy Now!

About a week later ABC took the story into the "mainstream media"
ABC News

Additionally we've learned that the Feds are spying on People for the Ethical Treament of Animals (PETA), the Quakers, anti-war organizations, and they are opening mail from the US that goes overseas.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Drive to Modesto and Back

Ewan's Mom's car broke down so I drove from the East Bay to Modesto and back to Marin to pick him up tonight. He was staying with his Mom's parents. It's real decent of them to be nice to me despite the ongoing divorce.

It was his first time away from both his Mom and me overnight. I think he had fun. I'm sure he had too much "pop" to drink. He was taking swigs straight from the can when I got there. He never gets that stuff from me.

Their neighbors were tearing up trees with a tractor. He was so excited to tell me about it. When they were done with the tractor it was taken away on a truck. "Tractor. Tree. Truck, bye bye."

Sunday, January 08, 2006


After debuting this blog, I learned that I had it set to require registration to leave a comment. I have changed that.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Sonoma Train Town

I guess I should have named the blog something train realted! The weather was finally cooperative and Ewan and I went to Train Town in Sonoma today. It was lots of fun. Choo choooo!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Yeah so he signed the toture ban...

Over the holidays Bush caved and signed the appropriations bill that had the McCain anti-torture amendment. Good news right? We won't be the bad guys any more, right? Wrongo! Bush issued a signing statement on the whitehouse website that read like this:

"The executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks."

We already know what Bush thinks about the limitations of his office. He believes they are irrelevant. The administration has said so many times. He said so about the domestic spying. He said so when they declared the Geneva Conventions to be obsolete. Here he signs a bill then says. I'll follow this law when it's convienent. When are we gonna see these thugs behind bars?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Flooding in my hometown!

Well if you watched TV over the long weekend you know that several parts of Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties got flooded. I have a TV but we only use it for watching VHS tapes. So I was a bit suprised when Ewan and I went into town to get a gelatto and we found this instead.

It was about 4:30pm and the police were telling everyone they had to leave by 5pm. Most stores were still squeegying (is that a word?) mud out the front door so I know it all stayed wet overnight. I can only guess at the mold problems there will be.

These pictures were in the window of the local bookstore. They would have been taken after people were allowed back into the area, which was after the water had mostly receded!

Where's the impeachment!?!

George Bush has now adamantly publicly and repeatedly admitted to breaking the law. He has stated very clearly that he intends to continue breaking the law. His justifications for this completely unacceptable behavior are pathetic and bogus. Bush has ordered the NSA to conduct illegal domestic spying. There is a very easy to use mechanism for legal domestic spying. Why aren't they using it?

In 1978 congress passed and President Carter signed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA.) It set up a secret court who's only purpose is to issue warrants for domestic intelligence gathering. Once a year the Attorney General has to report to Congress how many requests they made, how many were granted, how many were modified, and how many were rejected. Usually the report letter is 1 page long. These letters are publicly available here:


By my figgerin there have been over 18,000 requests, a small handful of modifications some years and ZERO, zip, zilch, none, nada denials until 2004 during which there were 4 out of over 1,700 denied. That's about a 99.98% rate of approval. I don't think it's a big stretch to call the FISA court a rubber stamp. So why would the administration choose to circumvent this process which would make their actions perfectly legal? The main justification is that they needed to act quickly and didn't have time to get a warrant. Bullsh!#. Under FISA a search or wire tap can begin immediately and a request for a warrant can be submitted up to 72 hours later.

There are a very limited number of possible explanations for why they would break the law like this. Maybe they are pathological and can't help breaking the law... The most rational reason is that they wanted to conduct spying on people that they knew the FISA court would deny. Since the FISA court approves about 99.98% of all requests, that's a pretty scary thought. Who might they be spying on? Probably anti-war activists. Probably political opponents. I wouldn't be surprised to eventually find out that they were spying on the Kerry campaign. The pundits and mouthpieces of this administration have repeated called all of their political opponents traitors and "with the terrorists." It's not a big leap to think that they believe their rhetoric and acted on it.

So WHY THE HELL haven't articles of impeachment been introduced?

Monday, January 02, 2006

It's been a train season

My boy has become totally train obsessed. It's actually a lot of fun. I've been reconfiguring the track every few days. Just a few years ago you could go broke supplying a toddler with Brio(TM) stuff but now there are a variety of outfits making compatible tracks and trains. A little competition and even ordinary folks like us can afford fancy toys like these.

Well I hope y'all had happy holidays, we did.