Monday, October 29, 2007

John Edwards speech passes MY morals test

Consider this a forwarded email.

Click for Full Text: Speech by Senator John Edwards, St. Anselm's College, Manchester, New Hampshire, October 29, 2007

Here are a few snips:
.... I am not holier than thou. I am not perfect by any means. But there are events in life that you learn from, and which remind you what this is really all about. Maybe I have been freed from the system and the fear that holds back politicians because I have learned there are much more important things in life than winning elections at the cost of selling your soul. Especially right now, when our country requires so much more of us, and needs to hear the truth from its leaders. Although I have spent my entire life taking on the big powerful interests and winning -- which is why I have never taken a dime from Washington lobbyists or political action committees -- I too have been guilty of my own silence -- but no more. It's time to tell the truth. And the truth is the system in Washington is corrupt. It is rigged by the powerful special interests to benefit they very few at the expense of the many. And as a result, the American people have lost faith in our broken system in Washington, and believe it no longer works for ordinary Americans. They're right.

As I look across the political landscape of both parties today -- what I see are politicians too afraid to tell the truth -- good people caught in a bad system that overwhelms their good intentions and requires them to chase millions of dollars in campaign contributions in order to perpetuate their careers and continue their climb to higher office. This presidential campaign is a perfect example of how our politics is awash with money. I have raised more money up to this point than any Democratic candidate raised last time in the presidential campaign -- $30 million. And, I did it without taking a dime from any Washington lobbyist or any special interest PAC. I saw the chase for campaign money at any cost by the frontrunner in this race -- and I did not join it -- because the cost to our nation and our children is not worth the hollow victory of any candidate. Being called president while powerful interests really run things is not the same as being free to lead this nation as president of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

In every instance we see an American people who are good, decent, compassionate and undeterred. And, American people who are better than the government that is supposed to serve and represent them. And what has happened to the American "can do" spirit? I will tell you what has happened: all of this is the result of the bitter poisoned fruit of corruption and the bankruptcy of our political leadership.

It is not an accident that the government of the United States cannot function on behalf of its people, because it is no longer our people's government -- and we the people know it. This corruption did not begin yesterday -- and it did not even begin with George Bush -- it has been building for decades -- until it now threatens literally the life of our democracy.

And in Iraq -- while our nation's brave sons and daughters put their lives on the line for our country -- we now have mercenaries under their own law while their bosses sit at home raking in millions. We have squandered millions on building Olympic size swimming pools and buildings that have never been used. We have weapons and ammunition unaccounted for that may now be being used against our own soldiers. We literally have billions wasted or misspent -- while our troops and their families continue to sacrifice. And the politically connected lobby for more. What's their great sacrifice -- higher profits?

This is not the America I believe in. The hubris of greed knows no bounds. Days after the homeland security bill passed, staffers from the homeland security department resigned and became homeland security consultants trying to cash in. And, where was the outrage? There was none, because that's how it works in Washington now. It is not a Republican revolving door or a Democratic revolving door -- it is just the way it's done. Someone called it a government reconnaissance mission to figure out how to get rich when you leave the government.

The long slow slide of our democracy into the corporate abyss continues unabated regardless of party, regardless of the best interests of America. We have a duty -- a duty to end this. I believe you cannot be for change and take money from the lobbyists who prevent change. You cannot take on the entrenched interests in Washington if you choose to defend the broken system. It will not work. And I believe that, if Americans have a choice, and candidate who takes their money -- Democrat or Republican -- will lose this election.

There is a dream that is America. It is what makes us American. And I will not stand by while that dream is at risk. I am not perfect -- far from it -- but I do understand that this is not a political issue -- it is the moral test of our generation. Our nation's founders knew that this moment would come -- that at some point the power of greed and its influence over officials in our government might strain and threaten the very America they hoped would last as an ideal in the minds of all people, and as a beacon of hope for all time. That is why they made the people sovereign. And this is why it is your responsibility to redeem the promise of America for our children and their future. It will not be easy -- sacrifice will be required of us -- but it was never easy for our ancestors, and their sacrifices were far greater than any that will fall on our shoulders. Yet, the responsibility is ours. We, you and I, are the guardians of what America is and what it will be.

The choice is ours. Down one path, we trade corporate Democrats for corporate Republicans; our cronies for their cronies; one political dynasty for another dynasty; and all we are left with is a Democratic version of the Republican corruption machine. It is the easier path. It is the path of the status quo. But, it is a path that perpetuates a corrupt system that has not only failed to deliver the change the American people demand, but has divided America into two -- one America for the very greedy, and one America for everybody else.

I carry the promise of America in my heart, where my parents placed it. Like them, like you, I believe in people, hard work, and the sacred obligation of each generation to the next. This is our time now. It falls to us to redeem our democracy, reclaim our government and relight the promise of America for our children. Let us blaze a new path together, grounded in the values from which America was forged, still reaching toward the greatness of our ideals. We can do it. We can cast aside the bankrupt ways of Washington and replace them with the timeless values of the American people. We can liberate our government from the shackles of corporate money that bind it to corporate will, and restore the voices of our people to its halls.

This is the cause of my life. This is the cause of our time. Join me. Together, we cannot fail. We will keep faith with those who have gone before us, strong and proud in the knowledge that we too rose up to guard the promise of America in our day, and that, because we did, America's best days still lie ahead.

.... [snipped from John Edwards 08 "The Moral Test of Our Generation"]

Blackwater Smackwater

**[Click on Blackwater Smackwater title above for scenes of Potrero Stop Blackwater West protest Oct 6&7, 2007, set to a nice Acapella version of familiar protest music ... something's happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear, there's a man with a gun over there, telling me I got to beware, we got to STOP ...] **

OK, since the whole world & even parts of America are familiar with Blackwater USA, I'm not going to go on a tirade about what they are and what they portend or how having a large private mercenary army to do the president's bidding is exactly the kind of repressive tool that causes citizen revolutions in other countries.

I had thought that as the California wildfires began to come under control this weekend, information about the proposed Blackwater West in tiny Potrero California might make some news. Potrero is a small hamlet near the Mexico border that has been heavily courted by Blackwater in their attempt to establish a private training camp on the west coast of America. Well, looking for real news these days is destined for frustation, so I'll save you the trouble of trying to find out the status of Blackwater West by pasting in a PBS news snip. I will leave it up to you to decide whether community service is the primary goal here.

Blackwater Aids Potrero with Relief Supplies During Fires
Oct 29, 2007
by KPBS Reporter Amita Sharma

The tiny town of Potrero, east of San Diego, first made national headlines this year when many of its residents opposed Blackwater USA's plan to build a military training camp on an old cattle ranch. A week ago, Potrero transformed into ground zero for one of the larger wildfires that scorched tens of thousands of acres in the region. And Blackwater, as it turns out, was one of the first groups to transport relief supplies to the blaze-stricken community.

Potrero is small. It has just under 900 residents. It's also poor. Almost half of the people there live in trailers. But neither size, nor economic status, has dampened the town's pride or its independence.

Lytle: We're mountain people. We tend to be pretty well stocked up here.

That's Don Lytle whose home in Potrero survived the flames this week. While his Potrero home survived, the so-called Harris Fire destroyed at least a dozen homes in the town including his best friend's trailer.

Lytle: We really don't rely on too much outside help. But there are everyday necessities we have to have, and they wouldn't let us get them up here.

And residents say those necessities, like water and fuel, were hard to come by during the early days of the fire that destroyed at least a dozen homes in the town. Potrero General Store owner Willina Arnold says authorities closed the two major highways leading up to the town, 45 miles southeast of San Diego.

But Blackwater USA was able to get through the road closures after seeking help from Cal Fire and Assemblyman Joel Anderson. Brian Bonfiglio is vice-president of Blackwater WEST. Bonfiglio has attended numerous public meetings where residents debated the merits of Blackwater's proposal to build a training camp for military and security personnel in Potrero. It's at those meetings, that Bonfiglio says he promised Potrero residents that if the company got approval to build the camp, Blackwater would be a good neighbor.

Bonfiglio: And this was just one of those times where we put our money where our mouth was and did what we said we would always do, and this something we do all over the place where we have our facilities. It's not new. It's continuing, if you will.

Blackwater's plans to build what some call a mercenary training center has split the community. Opponents say the facility would disrupt the quiet of the town and would be bad for the environment. And some see Blackwater's fire assistance as an effort to win over skeptics. Resident Thall Fowler, however, says he's heartened by Blackwater's generosity. But he adds, it doesn't really matter who gives, especially during a crisis.

Bonfiglio says after this is over, he's not looking for a thank you note. And he says he doesn't expect the company's help in the aftermath of the fire to change the minds of people who don't like Blackwater and don't want the company to build the training camp in their backyard. The county board of supervisors isn't expected to vote on the Blackwater project until late next year.

Congressman Bob Filner, who represents the Potrero district, speaks:

But hey, if Blackwater Psychokillers still look good to you, ...[note: there are no active US Military Soldiers or Marines in the embedded Psychokillers video; these are all private citizens; a private army under gov't contract = holy hell for all]... here's a Blackwater BEARS employment application.

The successful applicant will work for this guy.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

ZION Bound

Sometimes ya just gotta heed the call. Halloween week in Zion seems like fun. I've been there many times over many years, but never at Halloween. Will the spirits speak? We shall see. Afterall, we are talking about El Dia De Los Muertos.

Link to: Zion National Park, a wonderfully mystical canyon, where the Great Basin, Mojave Desert and Colorado Plateau converge.

Some of my 2006 Zion photos:
[they look even better when you click to enlarge]

Temple of Sinawava ----->>>

Virgin River in Zion Cyn --->>>

Weeping Rock Grotto

A poet named Debby J. Rosenberg penned these lines dedicated to "Zion" in which I think she accurately reflects the Zion experience:


i think what i’d like to say
is i love you,
because in that way
you understand my compassion,
my heartfelt appreciation
for all that you are.
as i surround myself in this desert today,
towering spires of
red etched rock formations
graced by shimmering aspens,
rumbles of thunder above these cliffs,
flashes of heat lightning sending
bolts across the landscape overcome by fever,
i am delirious and grateful
for the precious moments
that exist in this lifetime.
the beauty that surrounds me
is because you have willed it.
seeing with vision greater than an average man,
you believe in something
greater than yesterday,
a belief in joy and creation.

you never disappoint me ...

See you all in a few days!

*** Special Note: Click on my Zion Bound Headline above for social activist/musician Tom Morello, singing "Road I Must Travel" -- from his album "One Man Revolution" -- you won't be sorry. Morello is formerly of Rage Against the Machine. He's now The Nightwatchman. Here's his new website: [nightwatchmanmusic] -- be sure your speakers are on!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sleep Tonight, San Diego

Sleep Tonight video: sunsets filmed to U2's haunting "MLK"

As firefighters continue to work on gaining the upper hand on the California Wildfires, despite weekend winds which could either hinder or help containment efforts, I want to send my thoughts out to my San Diego friends and my former neighbors near the Wild Animal Park.

The 3500 animals at San Diego's world renowned Wild Animal Park were directly in the wildfire's path. As flames scorched more than 600 of the park's 1800 acres, many park workers stayed behind & mounted a desperate race to save the animals, which includes large herds of endangered species that roam freely through a vast central open savannah-like area. The animals recognize fire threats. Having spent many enjoyable days wandering around the Wild Animal Park, I can well imagine the fear & panic of these beautiful creatures. As the fire raged, the large wildlife, like giraffes, rhinos, wildebeest, antelope, buffalo and elephants, remained inside open field enclosures, which are nutrient-rich & eco-irrigated ... [click on previous three links, enlarge photos to full-size to view a few of the park's animals in their savannah & you will quickly appreciate how a wildfire could race through there & how difficult it would be to round up & protect the animals]. Some smaller animals were moved into an onsite "fire safe" facility. Flames wiped out the condor pen, which had fortunately been evacuated. Sadly, two animals did succumb: a wild horse died from smoke inhalation, as did a rare exotic bird.

[wild horse with her foal @ W.A.P.] Considering the magnitude of the fire and open nature of this park, the fact that the loss of animal life was so minimal can be directly attributed to park curator Michael Mace and the group of park employees who stayed behind to ensure the safety of the animals. Thanks to their dedicated efforts, the animals are now roaming the savannah parkland and hillsides of their San Diego home again.

If you wish to make an online donation to CRES, which is the endangered species program operated by the San Diego Zoo for the Wild Animal Park, click here.

So far, San Diego County has sustained 350K burnt acres, 1237 residences destroyed, and 14 people killed with 38 others missing. Bodies of two migrant workers have been found in the canyons & ravines (I mention this as a reminder that we may never know the true death count). As of 9 AM today 10/27/07, of the fires still burning in San Diego County, the Harris is 50% contained, the Witch is 60% contained, and the Rice is 80% contained (full containment of those fires is expected by Oct 31st). The Poomacha Fire is 45% contained and remains a major concern as it burns along Mt Palomar, threatening the Palomar Observatory. Control operations for the Poomacha are difficult due to the inaccessible steep terrain. The Rincon, Pauma, La Jolla, San Pascal and Pala Indian Reservations within the Poomacha firerange remain evacuated at this time. In other San Diego areas, some evacuees are returning to homes without water or power, others are under a boil-water restriction.

Smoke from these fires reached Las Vegas yesterday, as reported by my sister there. The smoke reached me here in SW Utah today about 2PM. It's a nasty, harsh, foul lung-burning smoke, and this is after it has been filtered through some 500-miles of atmosphere. **** {6PM update: smoke has disappeared here because our winds have shifted & are blowing toward the south; for now the winds are weak, so hopefully NOT another Santa Ana brewing} ****

Even as the flames recede, though, the sweep of this wildfire is sure to have long consequences. Where do you even start, how do you begin reassembling your life after something like this -------->>>>

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bloggers with Doggers

I love my dogs, both current and past. They embody nobility of spirit, pure motives, and unconditional love. They have taught me the value of a good long walk every day. I can talk to them, and sing and dance with them, for they do not judge my clumsiness, they are not critical of my off-key voice, and they forgive my improvised wording. Their patience while waiting for me to understand something they are trying to tell me is profound.

My pets have always found me, usually by showing up at my home, abandoned or lost. Currently catless, I am seeing two older dogs through their senior years. Maybe it's as George Carlin says, "Life is a Series of Dogs". I do believe there is a dog for everyone.

I thought it might be fun to guess what dogs a few other bloggers who've been kind enough to stop by my fledgling blog might have. Feel free to correct my guesses ... or, tell me why your dog is the best in the world. This is my feeble effort to thank you all for your support:

AZ is a redbone hound dog Goddess

Dada is a Dal-Man

Enigma is the Bassett Queen

Fran, hmm, I'm getting a vibe .. a St Bernard? .. a Spaniel? tell !

Spadoman, I'm guessing a Chowhound, knowing what an excellent chef you are!

Pursey has Flumpet, who is a real sweet potato pie

Cartledge, gotta be a Dingo, mate

Gryphen must have 1 Malamute & 2 Huskies for those 3 Dog Nights?

Newsguy, a Bloodhound to sleuth the truth?

Richard, an English Bulldog? surely not a Corgi.

Nona needs a mild mannered guard dog -- maybe an

Proud Progressive is a Buddhist Catwoman. Is there a
Buddhist Dog?

Anonymous-Paranoid is a confirmed cat person (I need to do a cat post for you later; it will have to be a B-I-G post to encompass all of Ginger's full-figured gorgeousness)

Kvatch, can you go from Blog Bondage to Dog Bondage? Is there a Frog Dog?

And, here's a few friends & family disguised as their dogs. You know who you are. You mean the world to me:

E.K. is the Shepherd King

J.K. is the Beagle Boy,
his tail wags faster than camera speed

Lynda is a hot chi-huahua mama!

Finally, the very selfish D.K. is currently a Black Lab Lass who was happy to see so many Black Labs in the corny embedded dog video above.
Do you have a favorite dog, or a favorite dog story?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cheney's Law (updated)

This is what the DK household will be watching tonight. PBS "Frontline" usually does a good job going behind the scenes providing a thoughtful unsensationalized program.

Will I just be torturing myself by watching this tonight, or is there some validity to witnessing the ongoing compilation of evidence that might some day end up in a criminal court trial (domestic or international, maybe even, dare I hope, both)?

Tonight, Oct 16th

PBS Press Release:

*********** UPDATE: just a few DK thoughts while watching Frontline :

First, if you missed it & are interested, it is worth seeing. Click on the PBS link above & you can see it online. If impeachment thoughts have ever receded, it will bring them rushing back into your forebrain.

The key to understanding Dick Cheney is his core belief in ensuring the President has unlimited powers as Commander in Chief. Thus, the Cheney legal team has gone about creating an unfettered presidency for GWB that allows him to ignore the law. Why does congress keep passing those pesky laws?

All crucial decisions during the GWB presidency take place in Cheney's office. Whatever will the next president do without the benefit of Cheney's "benevolent" guidance?

Cheney has been quoted as saying, immediately after 9/11, that now the country will be Ruled by Men, rather than Laws. By "now", he meant during the War on Terror, which we know will go on forever & therefore we are no longer a nation of laws. This is Cheney's Catch-22.

We've all heard the little coxswain crowing many times, "I'm a wartime president". It is vitally important to Cheney's agenda that this impression be emblazoned into the public's consciousness. Wartime powers, as interpreted by John Yoo & David Addington & other cheneywhores, mean that congress cannot limit the president's powers as commander in chief. In their minds, there is nothing congress can do to stop a wartime president. Many in the opposition party seem to have bought into this BS & that is why we are seeing so little done to stop the madness. Maybe they need to declare themselves a "wartime congress" so that they can exercise unlimited powers against the unlimited executive branch.

The program has a very good section about the Ashcroft hospital bed incident. What struck me was how, when the word got out that Gonzo & Andy Card were on their way to Ashcroft's sickbed, there was a mad rush by other Justice Dept people to intervene. Ashcroft was described as "ashen & near death", but he rallied enough to refuse to endorse expanding NSA surveillance & restated that Comey was Acting AG, not him. Of course, this didn't stop GWB from then authorizing the program on his own signature the very next morning (I wonder who gave him the idea he could do that). 30 Justice Dept people threatened to resign over that, incl Jack Goldsmith, James Comey & even Robert Muller, the FBI director. There was a brief side-shuffle while Cheney & Addington reworked the memo to pacify the Justice Dept. It remains a secret to this day what exactly was changed. Knowing the great leeway they've given themselves in the torture & spying business, don't you wonder what was so awful that they capitulated to Justice & removed it?

My final thought is that when Cheney swings into action, we better all grab onto our asses. The man is lethal. We have him & Addington to thank for the clever wording of all those signing stmnts, the ones that proclaim the Unitary Executive Branch will interpret whatever piece of legislation GWB just scrawled into law -- meaning the law isn't worth the paper it's written on. So, why are we wasting all those trees providing this congress with paper to write laws on?

******* OK, it's late, I'm tired & my back hurts. If you detect any crankiness in my thoughts here, it is no doubt a result of that & not to be interpreted as dissatisfaction with our wonderful leaders. Many others have raged about this in a much more entertaining fashion. ~~ D.K.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I THINK the column by Marty Kaplan in today's HuffPost is witty sarcasm, but I'm not sure, and that is what is scaring me. Maybe it is SCARE-casm? Whatever it is, Lynne Cheney is scary. It must be a sign of the scary state we are in that I find myself wondering if the woman behind the man behind the man is, in fact, the scariest person up there in our late great white house. Will a rubber Lynne Cheney mask be the most popular children's halloween costume this year?

Or, to paraphrase what Kramer once said to Jerry on Seinfeld, "Is this crazy, Jerry? Is it IMpossible ... or is it SO possible, it just blew your mind?"

Here is the full column, you tell me ....

The Huffington Post
October 15, 2007
Marty Kaplan

The Pet Constitution
Posted October 14, 2007 12:06 PM (EST)

"I'm writing a children's book about the Constitution."
-- Lynne Cheney to Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, October 10, 2007

As you may know, boys and girls, the beginning of the Constitution is called the Preamble. "Preamble" is a fancy word that means "apology." Our Founders were wise men who understood that government is bad, and since the Constitution establishes a government, they wanted to be sure to begin by saying how sorry they were for doing it.

The text of the Constitution itself is divided into seven Articles. "Article" means just what it does in modern English: it's a story, like you'd find in a newspaper or on television. And just as with any media story, except for Fox News, the key is not to take the Articles on face value, but instead to look for hidden biases and correct for them. It's also important to look in the text for things the Founders meant, but didn't actually come out and say, perhaps because they didn't want to be accused of being politically incorrect. This attitude toward reading the Constitution is called being a "strict constructionist."

Okay, let's take our first look at the Articles, paying special attention to the "tensions" between them.

For example, Article I says that Congress has the power to pass laws. But Article II says that the President can issue "signing statements," which explain what the laws really mean.

Article I says that Congress has the power to declare war. But Article II says that the President doesn't have to actually ask Congress for permission to declare war, because if he did, he wouldn't be called the President, would he?

Article I says that Congress can't suspend "the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus." That means that people can't be kept in jail without being promptly charged and tried. But Article II explains that a privilege is just what it sounds like -- a special treat, like being allowed to stay up late on your birthday -- and that the President can take that treat away from someone if he doesn't deserve it.

Article I says that the Vice President is the President of the Senate, which is part of the legislative branch. But Article II says that the Vice President is part of the executive branch. Since no one can be in two places at the same time, this means that the Vice President doesn't have to obey any of the laws passed by Congress, and that he doesn't have to listen to the President, either.

To sum up what we've learned so far, the relationship between Article I and Article II -- the legislative branch has some powers, but the executive branch has more powers -- has come to be known as our system of "checks and balances."

Now let's move ahead with our overview of our country's wonderful charter.
Article III establishes the Supreme Court. The Court's most important power is overturning laws that the President doesn't agree with. The fancy term for this is "stare decisis," which is Latin for, "Sez who?"

Article III also says that if a President is impeached, you have to wait at least hundred years before doing it again, because it would be way too upsetting to put the country through that again so soon.

Article IV says that everyone in America, no matter what state they live in, has the same privileges. The only exception would be if, say, you lived in a state where there was a hurricane or something, and your governor was a real bitch.

Article V explains the process for amending the Constitution. An amendment is like a PS; it's something that the Founders forgot to say. Examples of things they forgot to say include: gay love is sin, abortion is murder, and flag-burning should be punishable by death.

Article VI says that no religious test should be required as a qualification for public office. Isn't that marvelous? In practice, this means that Christians never have to take a test to prove they believe in Jesus; that Jews get the benefit of the doubt because they're on the road to being perfected as Christians; and that Muslims have to swear on the Koran that they're not terrorists.

Article VII says that nine of the original thirteen colonies needed to ratify (that means "vote for") the Constitution in order for it to take effect. In today's terms, that would mean that if thirteen people voted in an election, nine of their votes would count.

Twenty-seven amendments to the Constitution have been adopted since 1791. The first ten of these are known as the Bill of Rights. The way I remember what they're about is a little lullaby that Dick and I used to sing to our daughters when they were small. It went like this:

Goodnight, freedom of religion,
Goodnight. freedom of speech;
Goodnight, freedom of the press,
Goodnight, fuzzy little peach.

Goodnight guns;
Goodnight torture;
Goodnight privacy,
Goodnight Rapture.

Goodnight, self-incrimination,
Goodnight, cuddly little Haitian.
Goodnight moon, goodnight air,
Goodnight jury trials everywhere.

The rest of the Amendments are -- well, that'll just have to be a story for another day.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Valley of Fire

I note with some sadness that here in the SW, the furnace days of summer are officially over. To an old desert rat, this usually means that it is time for the annual DK family pilgrimage to [Valley of Fire in Southern Nevada]. I grew up near enough to this red sandstone rock wonderland to fondly recall many family picnics, hikes, and even once as a teenager being coerced into biclycing through it (note: it is simply not possible to bring too much water). Sadly, due to the park's 2007 schedule of campground reconstruction, it looks like we will be foregoing this year's trek ... so I am contenting myself with last year's memories. I thought some of you who are not familiar with this rugged area might enjoy a few brief recollections along with me.

In all my trips to Valley of Fire, I have yet to make it up to the top of Atlatl Rock. The furthest I can go is about half-way up the [stairs]. Anyone who suffers vertigo will understand. A demented engineer designed the stairway as a viciously open affair, no doubt to generate maximum dizziness while gazing through the non-existent stair risers at scenery so strange as to allow no sense of structure, nothing to help anchor your reeling seasickness. The total height you must climb is equivalent to a 4 or 5-story building. Each step up beyond the first platform takes will power that I don't possess. Yet I've seen small children literally run up & down with gleeful abandon (their parents usually standing with me on the first platform)!

An [ Atlatl ] was truly an advanced paleolithic hunting weapon. It worked so well that many societies which perfected its use had no need to take the next step toward modern weaponry -- gunpowder. I'm sure mankind was no less warlike in those hunting societies, but without guns or even swords, their wars were more, shall we say, "manageable".

So at the half-way point, if I make it that far, I sit down, take out my binoculars & try to get a sense of the amazing [petroglyphs] perched on vertical walls far above me. Climbing up there through the rock declivities, as the aluminium ladderless native americans must have done, is not allowed. I do wonder if I will ever be able to get this close up ....

The object just below the bighorn sheep at the top is an atlatl, the object just below that is the dart, with fletching near the right end of the dart. This rock art site at Valley of Fire may be greater than 1500 yrs in age & is one of the best, most realistic prehistoric renderings of an atlatl in North America. Many other objects depicted & their meanings remain unidentifiable.

I've done The Mouse's Tank hike many times. What is The Tank, why was it more like Mouse's Trap, and who is this Mouse character? See the "tank" & read the story [here].

OK, here is the payoff, if you've made it this far:

DK Valley of Fire photo from 2006

I must have "Rocks in My Head !!"

I am resting because this was an
"Easy Up, Hard Down" hike.
Without a trusty walking stick,
if it had been any steeper,
I would've had to slide back down
on my butt.

And here's how the Deputy Dawg Editor occupied himself while I was up on the rocks.

Note from Deputy Dawg himself : why do my humans think this is fun? my astroturf bed and rock pillow sucked!

I hope this was bearable. Thanks for hanging with me during with my learning curve. Things look very different in Draft than when I Post. Any ideas why?

** Click on the post title for Cat Stevens' "Hard Headed Woman" **

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oct 12: Viva Gore!



Bush won't call to congratulate the first american to win the Nobel Peace Prize since 2002? If he won't call Gore, maybe he'll call Elvis ...

**Click on post title to see/hear Mark Knopfler "Calling Elvis"! DK Dogs Editors Note re Knopfler video: that was NOT us chasing the dancing girl even though it looks like fun; now if she had started the electric can opener, we'd be all over her**

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Welcome A New Bloggeress...

This is a Warm Welcome for a Wonderful New Blogger named Redheaded Wisdom, also known as DK Raed, created and fueled and inspired by her friends....we will help her get her feet wet in Blogatopia...We will help her post her thoughts, and her creativity. We are grateful that she came to our blogs for the last 2 years, and this is our gift to her....Enjoy!
Happy Blogday DK...Welcome Aboard...

*[ Click the Title: U2 "The Real Thing"]*
Posted by Enigma of Watergate Summer

My First Post 10.7.07

So I am just starting, like many women, and I need a little help and patience while I set this up. Hopefully everyone will pitch in as I bumble a bit ... these are my able editorial staff resting after a hard day of work. You will hear more from them later, I'm sure.