Monday, October 30, 2006

Wildlife Refuge Closures?

Funding of the National Wildlife Refuge system, administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service has apparently hit a critical level, at least for the southeastern region.  The impact would potentially extend to the visiting public and possibly the closure of some sites.

ENS Link

WASHINGTON, DC, October 27, 2006 (ENS) - A federal plan made public Thursday would mothball the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge - established a century ago by President Theodore Roosevelt - and shutter dozens of others across the Southeast, while cutting scores of the refuge personnel.

Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida, the nation's first national wildlife refuge, will lose the staff assigned to working with visitors and eliminate active outreach to the public.

Visitors to these sites number in the millions annually.

The 128 national wildlife refuges in the Southeast Region support more visitors than those in any other region: more than 11 million visitors annually.

The complete 26 page Southeast Workforce Management Plan is located here.  (Beware, pdf file.)

Bill Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society:

"Pelican Island is symbolic of our nation's commitment to protect our most critical bird and wildlife habitat," said Bill Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society.

"Sadly, Pelican Island is now a stark example of how Congress and the administration have failed to provide the funding and attention needed to sustain our wildlife legacy," he said.

Yep, we're fighting them over there, so we can't afford to look after the pelicans here.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Saturday Painting Palooza Vol. 64

Welcome back.

This week we'll be starting an entirely new project, having completed the 1950 Hudson last week.

Remember this?

In this cycle, I will try to use the same techiques as that earlier piece. I've obtained the same 3 colors as well as the same white. I will also limit myself to the same size brush, a larger one. In the end, I hope to achieve the same look. The photo that I will be using, but only for composition purposes, is seen directly below.

I've lost my initial photo of the first brush strokes but a slightly later one is seen directly below. Note that the colors seen are not from the original 3 that I've since reacquired. The colors seen here will be overpainted with the original 3 or derivatives thereof.

I will continue with this for next week. See you then.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

You Don't Know The Power Of The Dark Side

This is priceless.


Cheney: I know people liken me to Darth Vader

October 25, 2006
WASHINGTON -- Vice President Dick Cheney, a villain? He knows some people think of him that way.
''People say, 'Well, that's just Cheney. He's the Darth Vader of the administration, always taking the dark view,''' Cheney said in an interview Tuesday with the ''Hannity & Colmes'' show on Fox News Channel.

What could I add?

Running On Empty

According to the Living Planet Report (WWF Link) 2006, the Earth's resources are now being utilized faster than they can be replaced.  The report was jointly released by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Global Footprint Network.  (Note: the report itself is a pdf file.)

ENS Link

"Living Planet Report 2006," released today by the global conservation group WWF and the Global Footprint Network, says that by 2050 humanity will demand twice as much as the planet can supply.

The report utilizes two different indices, the Living Planet Index and the Ecological Foorprint.  The first reflects the condition of ecosystems, the second indicates the human impact.

As to that footprint, there is this scary revelation:

It calculates that in 2003, humanity's ecological footprint was 25 percent larger than the planet's capacity to produce these resources - meaning that it took about one year and three months for the Earth to regenerate what we used in a single year.  That figure is projected to rise to 30 percent this year and to 100 percent in 2050.

Without a change, precious resources will continue to dwindle.  And those unable to pay the price will do without.

Despite efforts to address it, fossil fuel use still figures largely here.

The fastest growing part of that footprint is fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions, increasing more than nine fold from 1961 to 2003.

Unfortunately there has been a failure to achieve any harmony between supply and demand, what is available and what is used.  It may be our undoing.

James Leape is director general of WWF International with 4,400 staff and offices in more than 100 countries.

"We have been exceeding the Earth's ability to support our lifestyles for the past 20 years, and we need to stop," he said. "We must balance our consumption with the natural world's capacity to regenerate and absorb our wastes. If we do not, we risk irreversible damage."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I felt it tonight when I thought that 18 months of work had disappeared.

Clicking numerous times on my link in favorites for this site all I could get was a dark blue screen. I thought that the worst had happened and that it was all gone. I felt a raw fear and a sense of loss.

You see, even though few come here and chirping crickets can sometimes be heard, I apparently have some emotional connection that is far stronger than I suspected. Why that is I'm not quite sure. A blog is a thing nurtured, a fragile thing, but one that can have a great impact on its readers. And apparently on its writer. Don't get me wrong, I'm painfully aware that this blog isn't one of those widely read posts. The few comments that appear are highly appreciated, when they appear. But my sense of loss was no less.

Finally, after many clicks, the familiar logo appeared. Relief.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Tribal Council

This week Republican congressional candidate Tan Nguyen of Southern California (47th district) is our unanimous candidate for ejection from the virtual island of Left Blogistan. His denial of any knowledge of the 14,000 threatening mailers sent to Hispanic voters pushes credibility to the breaking point. That he is a Vietnamese immigrant is an irony sadly lost upon him. (Irony truly is wasted these days.)

Even fellow Republicans are calling for him to drop out. His refusal to do so is just one more failure to acknowledge Republican dirty tricks. < gasp >

Mr.Nguyen, the Tribe has spoken.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday Painting Palooza Vol. 63

Welcome back.

This week I'll be concluding our painting of the 1950 Hudson Hornet seen in the photo directly below.

When last we were together, the painting appears as it does directly below.

Since that time I have completed the painting. I had thought about adding a foreground comprised of something more than just mottled roadway. After some wavering (and prodding from Miss Devore), I added moreplant growth. The final painting is seen directly below.

Note that I've attempted to have the new foreground material roughly match the earlier objects in the background. The car has now become merely another object in a more complete landscape. I've also added a cloud in the revised sky.

Directly below is the painting as seen in a frame that I had originally used for another piece. It works fairly well with this one.

Next week we will start an entirely new work. See you then.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Supplementing the 700 Mile Fence

Excuse my french.  WTF?!!


ESCONDIDO, Calif. - City leaders have approved an ordinance prohibiting landlords from renting to illegal immigrants, the latest of a handful of communities nationwide to pass laws cracking down on people who hire or rent to undocumented immigrants.

Yep, better to let them just sleep under a bridge or other appropriate place.  Because it would likely lead to the downfall of our nation, or possibly the entirety of western civilization, if illegal immigrants were to have proper housing.

More than 100 police officers and sheriff's deputies dressed in riot gear were on hand for the vote, passed 3-2 Wednesday. After the measure was approved, one person ran outside the council chamber and yelled, "The USA wins!" prompting opponents and supporters gathered on the lawn to shout at each other for 30 minutes.

No, the USA loses.  We are largely a nation of immigrants (or descendants of same).  As of the most recent count  (sorry, no link), something like 60% of Americans are descendants of immigrants that arrived here in the last 100 years.  How quickly we have forgotten our roots.

Landlords will now find themselves playing the role of Department of Immigration agent:

Under the law, landlords will be required to submit documentation of their tenants' immigration status to the city, which will then submit the information to the federal government for verification.

And the requisite penalty provisions have been enacted.

If tenants are found to be illegal immigrants, landlords would be given 10 days to evict them or face suspension of their business license. Repeat offenders could face misdemeanor charges and fines.

What have we become?  

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tribal Council

Senator Joe Lieberman, the Dark Lord is calling. (No, not Dick Cheney, the "real" Darth Vader.) Make the transformation complete, the dark side is calling. Go, "become" a Republican.

And BTW Joe, you're voted off the virtual island.

The Tribe has spoken.

Can You Feel The Love?

It's a good thing that the liberal media are there to provide unconditional support to us liberals.  Because without it, where would we be?  But, apparently,  in the interest of being fair and balanced, today's NYT has a front page story describing the love that some folks have for, ahem, Dick Cheney.  I just want to puke.

Grace Mosier, a 6 year old Kansas resident can feel it.

"I really, really like him," says Grace, who can tell you what state the vice president was born in (Nebraska), where he went to grade school (College View, in Lincoln) and the names of his dogs (Dave and Jackson). She gets her fix of Cheney fun-facts by visiting the White House Web site for children. It says there that his favorite teacher was Miss Duffield and that he used to run a company called Halliburton.

So young and yet she's already swallowed so much kool-aid.  (I try to keep the 7 year old boran2 boy away from websites that might be harmful to children, but apparently my concern is not universally held.)

But of course this is a not condition exhibited only by young children.  Adults suffer too.

"How about a big Kansas welcome for Vice President Dick Cheney?" Representative Jim Ryun, a five-term Republican, says at a lunchtime fund-raiser on Thursday.

And a big Kansas welcome he gets: cheers, sustained applause, even some war whoops -- yes, war whoops. Loving ones.

"Well, that warm welcome is almost enough to make me want to run for office again," the vice president responds. "Almost."

Ugh. < covers mouth, runs to bathroom >  Yep, war whoops for the vice president that had managed to defer himself out of military service.  But, really, why quibble over small details when Dick Cheney comes to town?  The party should go on unimpeded.

But the NYT does devote at least a few grafs to reality.

Mr. Cheney's favorability ratings might be in an underground bunker, somewhere beneath the president's (at 20 percent in the most recent New York Times poll). Critics deride him as a Prince of Darkness whose occasional odd episodes -- swearing at a United States senator, shooting a friend in a hunting accident and then barely acknowledging it publicly -- suggest a striking indifference to how he is perceived.Even admirers who laud his intellect and steadiness rarely mention anything about his electrifying rooms or people.

Yes, interesting things do happen when Dick is around.

And no one dares to let reality intrude upon the party.

None of the Cheneyphiles here are mentioning Mark Foley, the former Republican congressman at the center of the House page scandal, or the precarious hold Republicans might have on Congress or, for the most part, the problems in Iraq. Nor is anyone mentioning Mr. Cheney's unpopularity in the polls, except in terms of all the unfair attacks from Democrats and the "liberal media."

Well, perhaps no one mentions these things for fear becoming the victim of another shooting "accident".  But then again, maybe not.

"They throw so much trash at him, it's just unbelievable," says Morris Thomason, a rancher who lives in Belvidere, Kan., but who grew up in Casper, Wyo., Cheney's boyhood home.

And wholely undeserved trash it is too.

Here's a nice quote from Ann Ryun, the wife of Congressman Jim Ryun:

"There was a peacefulness and a truthfulness to this man that really caught my heart," says the congressman's wife, Anne Ryun, who is clutching a Bush-Cheney placard from the 2000 campaign that the vice president has just autographed.

Yep, peacefulness and truthfulness.

< covers mouth, runs back to bathroom >

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday Painting Palooza Vol. 62

Welcome back.

This week I'll be continuing with our painting of the 1950 Hudson Hornet seen in the photo directly below.

When last we were together, the painting appears as it does directly below.

Since last week I have spent time working on the roadway. As I indicated last week, it would change. It actually went through several phases but I was unable to paint the tree shadows. At least I was unable to paint them in a way that I found to be satisfactory. So I went with something that conveys a mottled road surface. It is seen in the photo directly below, an image that depicts the current state of the painting. The roadway is done in various grays with a few splashes of green.

Next week I will have the exciting conclusion to this cycle. See you then.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


It only took 17 months, but we have just passed the 2000 visit mark. Congratulations to the entire SLB staff and thanks to all who have spent time here reading this modest blog.

Fotofair 2006!

Here's the link to information about the BooMan Tribune 2006 fotofair. Your participation is appreciated!


Even if I was inclined to continue watching ABC/Disney, the show Lost has lost me. I caught enough of it Wednesday night while running around the house to realize that I'm very, very sick of the endless flashbacks, the needless violence and the "others". (Madame boran still watches ABC/Disney, much to my dismay.) Time to send it off to the vast wasteland of TV wreckage that contains the remnants of My Mother the Car, Manimal and Cop Rock. There, it will be in good company. The scribe has spoken.

A Level Playing Field

In an bold attempt to capitalize on the extraordinary success of the earlier Oil for Food program, President Bush has initiated what is being called Oil for Nukes.
Designed to provide nuclear weapons to even the poorest third world nations, the new program will allow all interested countries to "trade up" to the level of nuclear superpower.  

Under the program's parameters, applicant nations will be offered a predetermined number of nuclear weapons for a given number of barrels of oil.  Certain guidelines will apply.

Tony Snow:

The President is justifiably proud of this innovative program and confident that it will put an end to the many security threats that have been arising around the globe.  For many nations it will level the playing field in a way that was never before possible.  Lesser nations will now be able to counter the  threats of aggressor nations.  In a world where all have access to weapons of total devestation, peace will be the inevitable result.

Mr.Snow set forth 5 major points.

Applicant nations must not have prior nuclear weapons.

Applicant nations must demonstrate sufficient infrastructure and security for nuclear weapons.

Applicant nations must not be consistent human rights violators.

All applications must be accompanied by a nonrefundable $15.00 fee.

Olive oil does not qualify.

At the conclusion of Mr.Snow's presentation he began speakingly very quickly and in a fashion unintelligible to many.  Although some words were inevitably lost, the phrase "void where prohibited" was clearly heard.

Link to follow.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tribal Council

Last week, we voted Mr.Foley off the virtual island of Left Blogistan. His unchecked actions toward the congressional pages were sad commentary about him and the leadership.

Although the leadership did earn an dishonorable mention, no one was individually named. This week we will address that lapse.

This week, in early voting, Mr.Denny Hastert earns the "prize" for his role in the Foley matter. His failure to act and apparent coverup are despicable. Putting party above all else, including the welfare of young congressional pages, Mr.Hastert has shown clearly why politicians are reviled by many.

So to you Mr.Hastert, we say farewell. The Tribe has spoken.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Saturday Painting Palooza Vol. 61

Welcome back.

This week I'll be continuing with our painting of the 1950 Hudson Hornet seen in the photo directly below.

When last we were together, the painting appears as it does directly below.

Since last week I have continued to work on the foreground and the background, with mixed results. I'll start in the background.

I've decided to do away with the structure and go green. A large shrub, some may see it as a hill, has replaced the ochre building. Althought I liked the ochre color, I was not happy with the building. I painted a natural setting, but this has created a lighting problem. I've painted background lighting from the left, contrary to the frontal lighting in the original photo. So the car is lit differently from the background.

Now to the foreground. I experimented and I hate it. It will change for next week.

The current state of the painting is seen below.

I will keep working on it. See you next week.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Dick Cheney Sideshow

Earlier this summer, Steve Howards, was walking with his young son in Beaver Creek,
Colorado, when whom should he see but none other than Darth Cheney and his Imperial Guard. Being no fool and recognizing an oportunity when one materialized, he stepped close to the Dark Lord and stated his feelings about Iraq. Needless to say, his feelings were contrary to those of Lord Cheney.

Secret Service Agent Eric Zahren had this to say:


Cheney was walking outside when the agents charged with protecting him noticed the man, identified as Steven Howards, who “wasn’t acting like the other folks in the area,” Zahren said.

“His behavior and demeanor wasn’t quite right,” Zahren said. “The agents tried to question him, and he was argumentative and combative”

Being argumentative is impermissible in Darth Cheney's America.

One can only wonder just what constitutes not "quite right". Or perhaps that simply refers to one's political leanings. In any event, Mr.Howards was arrested and detained.

Now he has filed a lawsuit.


According to the lawsuit filed at U.S. District Court in Denver, Howards and his son walked to about two-to-three feet from where Cheney was standing, and said to the vice president, I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible," or words to that effect, then walked on.

Ten minutes later, according to Howards' lawsuit, he and his son were walking back through the same area, when they were approached by Secret Service agent Virgil D. "Gus" Reichle Jr., who asked Howards if he had "assaulted" the vice president. Howards denied doing so, but was nonetheless placed in handcuffs and taken to the Eagle County Jail.

Yes, of course. Now it's all too clear. Approaching Lord Cheney with a 7 year old is the equivalent of an assault and the true path to instilling fear within him.

Having a 7 year old of my own, the power is palpable.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tribal Council

What can we say? Unanimously, Foley takes it. Could there really be any other outcome? We think not.

Mr.Foley must leave the virtual island of Left Blogistan.

"Honorable" mention to the Rethuglican congressional leaders, enablers that they are.

The tribe has spoken.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hangin' In Flyover Country

Randall Warner,a Lebanon, Kansas farmer, is concerned that this is the last generation of independent farmers, before the corporate farms take over everything. His son is about to enter college for a different career path. But it's Mr.Randall's views of contemporary politics that are most interesting.

Here's how he feels about the two dominant political parties:

No political party seems to care much about the working man’s life, Mr. Warner feels. Stick a Republican and a Democrat in a sack, shake it up, pour it out, and the same rapacious thing crawls out. Creatures from a smoke-filled room.

That is hardly a revelation but stay with me.

Mr.Randall has voted Republican but is apparently less than satisfied.

Mr. Warner, a Pentecostal Christian, believes in miracles. He believes in speaking in tongues. He believes that abortion is taking a life and that gay marriage is an abomination. So he voted Republican.

Sounds like my kind of guy. He's probably a lot of fun at parties. But wait a minute, what's this?

What crumbs do the Democrats offer him? Two men in tuxedos on the steps of City Hall with a marriage license in hand? Handouts for those who won’t work? Mr. Warner says he could be peeled away from the conservatives if the liberals would talk to him about his values: “God. Family. Work,” he counts them on his fingertips and adds them up. “Heritage.”

I'm not aware that Democrats have acted against the pursuit of "heritage". But can our tent be that big? Wouldn't marriage for everyone create more families?

But read on.

Do something to stop the corporate takeover of farm country. Give his son a reason to stay and you could have his vote. “F.D.R. was the greatest president this country ever had,” Mr. Warner says. “He provided security for the farmer.”

So it's okay to provide security for farmers but not for "handouts for those who won’t work"? Hmm.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Happy Birthday!!!

The entire staff wishes our founder and fearless leader, boran2, a very happy birthday! But this is more than just a mere birthday celebration. Were it not for him, many of us would have considerably less rewarding activities to fill our days.

Rex Karz, parking lot attendant and story research: "This place has had a huge impact upon my life."

Phyliss Glass, a staffer and part time bartendress: "I drink in the energy every day."

And so to you, boran2, thank you and a very happy birthday!!!