Thursday, March 30, 2006

Robo-Moose Blasted

The Missouri Department of Conservation works to conserve and regulate Missouri's fisheries, forests and wildlife populations. They enforce hunting regulations, including making sure hunters have the proper permits and don't exceed the limit on game killed. Conservation officers use robotic decoys to catch those who would hunt from their vehicle on a road (like Dick Cheney). They also produce an excellent television program, Missouri Outdoors, which airs on Ozarks Public Television.

Our Canadian neighbors to the north also use decoys, including to catch those who would kill an endangered species. Tuesday a Nova Scotia man pleaded guilty to attempting to kill "Bullwinkle."

From The London Free Press:

Popping Bullwinkle costs hunter

AMHERST, N.S. -- A Nova Scotia man has been banned from hunting for 20 years after shooting a robotic moose.

Robert Lee McLaren, 49, of Pugwash Junction pleaded guilty yesterday to attempting to kill an endangered species.

He is the first person in Nova Scotia to be found guilty of the crime after shooting Bullwinkle, a full-sized moose decoy used by the Natural Resources Department to help combat the poaching of mainland moose.

The animals became an endangered species in 2003.

McLaren shot the decoy near Thomson Station, N.S., on Nov. 2.

He had been driving with his wife and child when he stopped his car, jumped out, levelled a rifle over the roof, and fired at the fake moose.

Conservation officers were just metres away and arrested him.

In addition to the hunting ban, McLaren must also pay a $4,025 fine, and forfeit his car and rifle.

Similar charges against McLaren's wife, Lorelei Anne, were dropped once her husband pleaded guilty.

Eight Guysborough County residents also charged with shooting the decoy will go to court this spring.

Unfortunately, there's no art work. I'd love to see the robotic moose. Better still, I'd love to see the town of "Pugwash Junction," and learned how it was named.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Good News From Bagdad(?)

Howard Kaloogian is a conservative Republican candidate in San Diego's upcoming congressional special election to replace disgraced GOPer Duke Cunningham. Kaloogian has placed the above photo on his Web site, billing it as a photo Kaloogian took on a recent trip to Iraq. Here's his interesting caption:

We took this photo of dowtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq. Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. But, each day the news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about it - in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism.

Look carefully at the photo. Does it show what Kaloogian says it shows? Click on the photo to see a larger version.

The folks at Democratic Underground have picked apart the photo. It's not Baghdad. It's somewhere in Turkey. By the time you read this, someone may have pinpointed the exact street corner.

Go here for a highlighted version clearly providing all the evidence anyone should need to conclude Kaloogian is a lying liar.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A Missouri Democrat with Backbone?

Congressman William Lacy Clay Jr. represents Missouri's First Congressional District. I'm tempted to move to St. Louis just to be able to vote for him. Monday, Clay called for the removal of our troops from Iraq. But that's not all he said.

Rep. Clay called George W. Bush an "incompetent chickenhawk." Yes he did. And then he did something even better. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"President Bush took this country to war by choice, not because we had to fight but because he wanted a fight," Clay said, according to a text of the speech he gave Monday at St. Louis Community College at Meramec in Kirkwood.

Noting the billions of dollars spent on the war and the 2,000-plus death toll of U.S. soldiers, Clay, D-St. Louis, said the sacrifice of American lives "is not being shared equally" and asked why Bush's twin daughters had not enlisted.

"I have a question for President Bush," said Clay, who voted against the resolution authorizing Bush to go to war in Iraq. "If you really believe that the war that you started in Iraq is a fight to defeat terrorism and to defend our freedoms, why haven't your girls enlisted?"

Clay said that during World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt's sons enlisted and added: "That is a perfect example of the difference between a truly courageous wartime president and an incompetent chickenhawk who prefers to risk the lives of other American's children."

Clay also said he believed the U.S. had done all it could in Iraq, and "it's time to bring home."

Wow! A Missouri Democrat calls out Dubya. Who'd have thunk it?

The American Dream

While growing up in small farming town Iowa, I often heard The American Dream expressed as owning one's home. According to Wikipedia:

The American Dream is the faith held by many in the United States of America that through hard work, courage, and determination one can achieve a better life for oneself, usually through financial prosperity. These were values held by many early European settlers, and have been passed on to subsequent generations. What the American Dream has become is a question under constant discussion, and some believe that it has led to an emphasis on material wealth as a measure of success and/or happiness.
So I guess if owning your own home means you're prosperous, I may be soon seeing prosperity. Well, me and the missus.
I've never really thought about purchasing a house. I never thought I made enough money to afford it, and I tended to move from job to job with enough frequency that it hardly seemed worth the trouble of selling one house while buying another. But we think we're going to stay in Springtown until death or retirement. And I guess the former makes the latter unnecessary.

No, I won't tell you where the house is, or what it looks like, or provide any details. Not until I know we have it. Suffice it to say it's a nice house, darn near perfect for us, in a location we like. Details are falling into place, but I'm not holding my breath. Yet. Bad for my health, don't ya know.

Yeah, I Know

Been really bad about posting lately. What can I say? Last week was supposed to be catch up week, what with everybody on spring break and all. Instead it proved to be quite interesting.

We taped two Street Talk interviews, so we're ahead of the game a bit. That helps with the "special" we're putting together, which you will definitely be hearing about.

Speaking of Street Talk, this week's guest is Randy Turner, a middle school communication arts teacher in Joplin, former newspaper reporter and editor, brilliant blogger, and now book author. The show will air Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., Thursday at 10:30 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on Mediacom Connections Channel 14 throughout southwest Missouri. A podcast will be up on the Street Talk web site sometime Thursday.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tuesday Funny

I hope I don't get shot in the face for this:

The President, First Lady and Dick Cheney were flying on Air Force One. George looked at Laura, chuckled and said, "You know, I could throw a $1,000 bill out of the window right now and make somebody very happy." Laura shrugged her shoulders and replied, "I could throw ten $100 bills out of the window and make ten people very happy." Cheney added, "That being the case, I could throw one hundred $10 bills out of the window and make a hundred people very happy."

Hearing their exchange, the pilot rolled his eyes and said to his co-pilot, "Such big-shots back there. Hell, I could throw all of them out of the window and make 56 million people very happy."

I'd like to point out that contrary to what Dick Cheney says, I would not be "very happy" to find a $10 bill falling from the sky. I wouldn't be upset, mind you. I WOULD be happy if it were a $100 bill. And I'd be VERY HAPPY if it were a $1,000 bill.

Blog MeetUp

The Springfield area bloggers will be holding our monthly meeting at Patton Alley Pub tonight at 7. The Rhetorica guy organizes the thing and records a podcast. Hours are spent discussing the fine points of very deep topics. Occasionally, there's a bit of drinking.

This week the Street Talk crew will be interviewing some attending bloggers. I might even come out from under my Cone of Reasonable PrivacyTM Pat. Pending to share my thoughts.

Tuesday Beagle-Blogging

Baxter had some minor surgery Monday to have some skin growths removed. Dr. Tedd and his staff took excellent care of my little boy, as usual. Don't let this cute photo fool you. A quiet day or two and Baxter will be is usual annoying self.

Great Moments in Journalism

Click the image to enlarge it.
Nearly two years later, and CNN has yet to catch its error. Or should that be "it's"? Tune into this week's Street Talk to understand the inside joke.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Who Does This Look Like?

Details in "Read more."

We came across this stock image in a library of stock images and immediately thought of a Springfield television personality. The guy above is a bit younger looking, but we can imagine the personality we're thinking of standing in front of an old RCA 74b ribbon mic reading his copy. Who do you think it looks like?

Ned Reynolds?

"Press Your Luck" Host Dead

Peter Tomarken -- host of the hit 1980s game show "Press Your Luck" -- and his wife have died in a plane crash. The Lookout News has details:

Game show host Peter Tomarken, 63, and his wife Kathleen Abigail Tomarken, 41, both of Los Angeles, were two of possibly three people killed when a single engine plane he owned plunged into Santa Monica Bay Monday morning, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.


Tomarken was best known for his work on the 1980's game show "Press Your Luck" -- in which contestant's take their chances in an electronic game board for cash and prizes, all the while avoiding "whammies," red cartoon figures which swipe would-be winners totals leaving them with zero.

The contestants would hover intently over a big red button, yelling "no whammies," and "Big Money" to ward off the game's infamous red cartoon characters and beckon a fortune of luxury items, trips and, of coarse, money.

Too many Whammies, and the contestant was booted.

The show is now regarded as a cult classic, and Tomarken, who also hosted other shows such as Hit Man and Wipeout, as a television cult figure.

"Press Your Luck" ran four years on CBS, back when the big three networks all ran game shows as part of their morning programming. We found the contestants kind of silly yelling "No Whammies" over and over. But everyone seemed to have fun.

The saddest part of this story is that Tomarken and his wife were on a volunteer mission to transport a patient for medical care. Sounds like a nice couple.

Sen. Inouye's Wife Dies

The wife of Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) has died of cancer. She was 81. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced her death on the floor of the Senate this afternoon.

Margaret "Maggie" Shinobu Awamura married Daniel Inouye on June 12, 1948. The couple have one child, Daniel Ken Inouye, Jr. Here is an excerpt from the Senator's book, Journey to Washington:

Then one unforgettable autumn day I met Margaret Awamura. Marriage had never occurred to me before that moment, but afterward it never left my mind. I proposed on our second date. It was December 6, 1947. I know, because we have celebrated the occasion together ever since.

Of course-because we were nisei--it wasn't as simple as all that. As soon as I informed my parents, they began to arrange things in the Japanese way Tradition calls for a ceremonial event involving nakoudos--go-between--who represent the families of the prospective bride and groom and settle the terms of the marriage. By prearrangement the Inouye team (my parents, our nakoudos and I) arrived at the Awamuras' one evening bearing gifts of rice, sake and fish and took places on the floor. Our nakoudos faced their nakoudos across a low table. Behind them sat the respective families, the parents first and, farthest away from the action, Maggie and I, as though we were only incidental onlookers. Now and then I caught her eye and we smiled secretly Only the nakoudos spoke.

First, gifts were exchanged. Then one of our representatives began to extol the virtues of Daniel Ken Inouye, a fine upstanding man, a war hero, and so forth.

Next our side listened to a recitation of Maggie's qualities: she had earned a master's degree, she was an accomplished seamstress, and her family's reputation for honor was unimpeachable. (I would have liked to add that she was beautiful, too.)

The nakoudos consulted briefly with their clients and recommended that the marriage be approved. Then at last glasses were filled, and a toast was chunk. Maggie and I were engaged--officially!

KITV-TV has an obit:
HONOLULU -- Margaret Inouye, 81, the wife of senior U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, died in Washington on Monday.

Inouye had been admitted to a hospital in Washington because of blood clots and fluid in her right lung last week. She died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from complications due to colon cancer at about 11 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time, Sen. Inouye's office said.

In 2004, doctors removed a cancerous growth from "Maggie" Inouye's large intestine. She had been getting radiation and chemotherapy since then.

Sen. Inouye married Margaret Shinobu Awamura in 1948. Inouye has been in the U.S. Senate since 1962.

"It was a most special blessing to have had Maggie in my life for 58 years. She was my inspiration, and all that I have accomplished could not have been done without her at my side. We were a team. She always supported me, listened to my ideas, and many times offered invaluable suggestions that always proved she was capable of achieving as much on her own right, given her intelligence and education. Instead, she chose to join me on a special journey that took us to Washington, and gave us the privilege of serving the people of Hawaii," Sen. Inouye said.

"I was deeply saddened to learn of Mrs. Inouye's death. She was the First lady of the Hawaii Congressional Delegation. She was unfailingly kind and always gracious. Above all, she was Senator Inouye's rock foundation of support, encouragement and loyalty. He has our deepest sympathy," U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie said.

Maggie Inouye is survived by her husband; son, Daniel K. Inouye Jr.; and five sisters.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Know Your Wingnut

Roger Hunt is the South Dakota state legislator who sponsored the bill outlawing almost all abortions in that state. An article in the Globe and Mail describes him as "a 68-year-old Baptist lawyer," which may mean he's a lawyer for Baptists, or that he's a lawyer who attends a Baptist church.

Quoting Herr Hunt:

"A lot of this discussion about back-alley abortions are myths that were created." "The fear that we're going to have women dying in coat-hanger abortions are largely figments of the imagination."

But here's the best part:
Mr. Hunt also does not think much of the complaints that the bill is too restrictive -- it would allow abortions only if the life of the mother were at risk. Doctors who perform abortions would be subject to fines of $5,000 and jail terms of up to five years.

In drafting the law, Mr. Hunt said he avoided an exception for threats to the mother's health because pro-choice advocates would seize on it to perform abortions on women with emotional, psychological or even financial problems. "It would be a barn door large enough to drive any abortion through it," he said.

The same goes for exceptions in the case of rape and incest. "Three months later, a woman could go into an abortion clinic and say she was raped," Mr. Hunt said. "Who's going to force her to prove it? It would be a fraud on the system."

Got that? The reason there are no exceptions for rape, incest, or danger to the mother's life is because any abortion performed citing those conditions would be a "fraud on the system." Obviously all women who have abortions and all doctors who perform them are lying bastards who can't be trusted to tell the truth.

Project Vote Smart has additional information about this wingnut. Hunt does NOT support:
• Expanding state funding for pre-natal and infant care programs available in the state, including immunizations.

• Providing child care services to welfare recipients who work or attend school.

• Increasing state funding for programs to prevent teen pregnancy.

• Sex education programs which stress safe sexual practices.

Hunt DOES support:

• Sex education programs which stress abstinence.

• Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff. (They're going to need space for all those lying sluts and bastard doctors.)

• Expand the use of the death penalty for additional circumstances relating to murder. (Evidently it is OK to kill once out of the womb)

• Inform communities when a convicted sex offender moves into the community. (But if that sex offender rapes a woman who then becomes pregnant, she'll have to go through with the pregnancy, but quite probably without much state support. Guess that means the woman should have prevented being raped.)

Roger Hunt: Wingnut.

What Happened to Fiscally Responsible Republicans?

Mimikatz reminds us that Congress must raise the debt ceiling (the statutory limit on the amount of public debt the government may legally accumulate) once again. The fourth time in Dubya's presidency.

The debt ceiling has to be raised again because the public debt has risen by an astounding 40% since George W. Bush took office.

Although resort to the accounting gimmicks used by Secretary Snow has been common, it should be noted that when Clinton’s treasury secretary, Robert Rubin, used such tactics in 1996, when Congress refused to raise the debt ceiling, Republican reaction was somewhat different.
Back then, some lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives called for Rubin's impeachment, saying his action usurped the powers of Congress. But in 2002, when the Bush administration was about to hit the $5.95 trillion debt limit it inherited from President Bill Clinton, then-Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill employed Rubin's tactic to buy time until Congress raised the debt ceiling to $6.4 trillion in June.

Alas, that limit lasted just 11 months. In May 2003, Congress authorized borrowing of $7.4 trillion. In November 2004, lawmakers upped the credit ante to $8.184 trillion. Now, Snow says the limit must be raised yet again to protect "the 'full faith and credit' of the United States."

The need to raise the debt ceiling for the fourth time in George Bush’s presidency is just the latest reminder of the incredible profiligacy of this Administration, something the Democrats hope to highlight when the matter comes up for a vote. By contrast, at the end of Bill Clinton’s last fiscal year (September, 2001) the cumulative U.S. public debt stood at $5.807 trillion. It had grown approximately $1.396 trillion during Clinton’s 8 years in office, less than the amount it grew during the one-term administration of the first George Bush. And lest we forget how this problem startedAh yes, when Ronald Reagan took office the debt ceiling was just $1 trillion.

Enter George W. Bush. In the four and a half years of the Bush Presidency, he and the Republican Congress have added $2.463 trillion to the debt, bringing it to almost $8,270,900,000, 000, an increase of 40% in less than five years. The current debt ceiling is $8.184 trillion. There is talk of raising it to $9.65 trillion, even though President Bush promised to halve the budget deficit (the yearly contribution to the cumulative debt) by one half by the time he leaves office.

Ah yes, the Reagan presidency. When Ronnie quadrupled the national debt in less than 8 years. Dubya still has three years to match that.

Those Republicans just spend, spend, spend. But hey, at least we got the guy responsible for 9-11. Oh, wait. No we didn't.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


If homosexuality is so bad, why isn’t it in the 10 commandments?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Fed Up

It's going on 3 a.m. and I am unable to sleep because of the bastards in the world. I feel like going to the window and shouting at the top of my lungs "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!" (Howard Beale, "Network," 1976)

What does one do with such rage? How does one strike back at the injustices encountered in daily living? How many cretins must one put up with it before it's one too many?

It's not one thing, or even a few things. It's many, many, many things which individually aren't that big of a deal. But when they just keep coming, one on top of the other. . .well, sometimes I think I'll explode.

I want to make the bastards pay. It's not really revenge I seek. It's justice. Bastards who screw you just a little, knowingly, without care or concern, without feeling even a touch bad about it.

Good people are being hurt. Good people are suffering. Good people who don't deserve to be treated in the manner in which the bastards treat them. And yet, the bastards always seem to win.

Does it ever balance out? Do good people ever truly defeat evil?

Excuse me. I'm going to go howl at the moon. If I can find it. Probably too cloudy to see it. Bastards.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Read the following story and then guess how long it will take some Republican legislator (state or federal) to introduce a bill to prohibit such activity in the U.S.

Obsessed tourist 'marries' dolphin

Tel Aviv (dpa) - British tourist Sharon Tendler has finally made her dream match - by "marrying" a dolphin she has been visiting for 15 years in the Israeli resort of Eilat, the mass-circulation Yediot Ahronot daily reported today.

Tendler, 41, has been visiting the city on the Gulf of Aqaba two or three times a year to spend time with her 35-year-old underwater sweetheart.

"The peace and tranquility under water, and his love, would calm me down," the Israeli daily quoted her as saying.

Last week Tendler finally plucked up the courage to ask the dolphin's trainer for the mammal's fin in marriage.

The wedding took place Wednesday, with the bride, wearing a white dress and watched by amazed spectators, walking down the dock to where the groom was waiting in the water.

She kissed him, to the cheers of the spectators and then, after the ceremony was sealed with some mackerels, was tossed into the water so she could swim away with her new husband.

"I'm the happiest girl on earth," the bride was quoted as saying. "I made a dream come true. And I am not a pervert."

I'm not sure it will last. The age difference could be a problem.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Why Does Roy Blunt Hate America?

The House Majority Whip supports a bill that would keep states from adding food warning labels that go beyond federal rules. Blunt's lobbyist wife is being paid to lobby for the bill.

From the Associated Press:

The lawmakers have family, friends and former staff among the lobbyists for the bill.

"This helps explain why the food industry has blocked any efforts to have hearings," said Ben Cohen, attorney for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a watchdog group.

"They think they've got it greased by using well-connected lobbyists to slip this thing through the full House without following the normal procedures," Cohen said.

State warnings alert consumers to mercury in fish, arsenic in bottled water, pesticides in vegetables and many other potential problems. The food industry wants consistent warnings across state lines. The bill would let states petition the federal government if they want to add extra warnings.

According to reports filed with Congress, the bill's lobbyists include Blunt's wife, Abigail, who works for Altria, parent of Kraft Foods. They also include former Boehner staffers Mason Wiggins, lobbyist for the Food Products Association, an industry group, and Brenda Reese, lobbyist for the American Beverage Association.

Also listed is Brad Card, brother of White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card and former top aide to Rep. John Sweeney (news, bio, voting record), R-N.Y. Brad Card has lobbied on food labeling issues for the Food Products Association. The association is headed by a former congressman, Democrat Cal Dooley of California.

"It's a perfect storm of insider access, big money and bad policy," said Andy Igrejas of the Washington-based National Environmental Trust, which did the lobbying research. "They're sweeping away 200 state laws without a hearing, all because very wealthy interests want them to."

The House Energy and Commerce Committee sent the bill to the floor without a hearing. The bill has broad support and is expected to win House approval later in the week. Supporters expect a Senate version of the bill to be introduced soon.

Republicans are trying to paint this story as one benefitting all states.
"The reason the bill has moved swiftly is that a pregnant woman buying peas on a shelf in Michigan has the same right to food safety information as a pregnant woman buying peas in California," [Rep. Mike] Rogers [R-Mich] said.

Riiiiiiiiggghhhttt. Let's eliminate food warning labels to protect pregnant women. Rather than a bill which prevents states from adding warnings that go beyond federal rules, wouldn't a better bill be one that requires those additional warning labels in all states?

Write Your Own Caption-2

Tuesday Beagle-Blogging

Baxter's been absent from this blog for too long. Here he is keeping warm during a recent cold spell. He missed you, too.

Public Service Announcement

Digby (via firedoglake) reminds males:

Last time abortion was illegal they didn't have DNA testing...

One of the unanticipated consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade.

Is Reuters Sending Dick a Message?

Here is the caption from Reuters:

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney speaks during his keynote address to the U.S. Labor Department's 2006 National Summit on Retirement Savings at the Willard Hotel in Washington March 2, 2006. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Street Talk 1-5

Best line from this week's STREET TALK:

". . . whose tooth to toe ratio is about one . . . ."

See for yourselves. STREET TALK will air again Thursday at 10:30 p.m. and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on Mediacom Channel 14. Or, listen to the podcast (which should be up Thursday) at

Be safe.