More Harmless Fun

Civics Quiz: I didn’t do so hot:

You answered 50 out of 60 correctly — 83.33 %
Average score for this quiz during September: 73.9%
Average score since September 18, 2007: 73.9%

5 of my misses were history knowledge misses, and 5 were political science misses.

Yeah, I didn’t bomb the quiz, but a liberal ought to do better than that! 🙂

Take the quiz here (yes, this is the one that Cal Thomas was talking about; yes, the same clown who laments students not doing well on this exam but still holds to the universe being made 6000 years ago)

Barack Obama: before he was a presidential candidate, he showed up to help State Senator David Koehler.

Grandma’s Attic has some photos here.

I’ve borrowed one of them; she has many more.

She also has some small-town Illinois shots (Lacon) too.


I love this avatar.

September 30, 2007 Posted by | obama, Peoria/local, politics/social | 2 Comments

Longish walk; football thoughts

Workout notes I slept in and intended to drive out to East Peoria. But I found myself automatically driving to McNaughton Park! I turned away when I found that they were having some sort of an event there and didn’t get to the East Peoria bikepath until 8:30.

My first out and back wasn’t that bad (11 miles 1:21, 1:22) But my second one was done in the “just get it over with” mode: 10 miles 1:17, 1:19 (5:20 for 21)

I keep being reminded of why I like to start earlier; this time it got to 85 (low humidity though) but I needed some heat conditioning. There aren’t many people out there and they are mostly friendly; too friendly. At about mile 12-13 I start getting grumpy and am in no mood to smile and say “hi” to those I don’t know; internally I say “Hey, I am suffering, so shut up and leave me alone” inside my head, though I usually manage a grin, small wave and a grunt. But it is an internal thing; I soften up when I see someone who is training (e. g., putting forth some effort)

Anyway, this workout wasn’t exactly redemption for last week, and yesterday’s 13 miles took something out of me. But it was a nice “stiff” workmanlike effort in moderate heat.

And, it was my first 60 mile week in a while; I have to really work up to it slowly.

Football Last night saw some interesting action. Ohio State took out Minnesota 30-7; Minnesota’s uniforms reminded one announcer of “mustard jars”.

USC held off an tough Washington squad 27-24; this makes Ohio State’s big win there (33-14) look much, much better. But what a 4 weeks Washington has had: Boise State (win), Ohio State, UCLA and now USC. I wonder if anyone else has had such a hard month.

Washington wore retro uniforms and looked a bit like Notre Dame.

My guess is that if they don’t all get injured, the Huskies will make it to a nice bowl game.

Of course, Auburn “upset” Florida (one good team beating another); K-State’s loss at Auburn doesn’t look that bad now.

In two other excellent games: Wisconsin edged Michigan State by a field goal, and Cal held off Oregon when the Ducks fumbled while going into the endzone with the touchdown that would have sent the game into overtime.

College photos hotlinked to the Yahoo Photo Gallery.

In the NFL: the Bears got beat by Detroit (I picked the Lions) and the Cowboys routed the hapless Rams.

September 30, 2007 Posted by | football, walking | 5 Comments

Oh, those upsets!

More action from this Saturday: (photos from Yahoo College Football Gallery)

Colorado takes down Oklahoma 27-24

Texas gets hammered by Kansas State 41-21

Texas was done in by poor special teams play and turnovers. K-State returned a punt for a touchdown, a kickoff for a touchdown, ran back an interception for a touchdown and intercepted 4 Texas passes.

Rutgers goes down to Maryland 34-24

Yes, Illinois beat Penn State 27-20

And South Florida beat West Virginia 21-13

But these latter two results weren’t really upsets; just one good team beating another good team.

September 30, 2007 Posted by | football | 2 Comments

September Saturday: Non Football Edition

Politics The candidates sure know how to put the personal touches in their campaign e-mails.

Here is Barack Obama telling me how I “fire him up”; my wife tried to make me jealous by telling me that she got this e-mail, but I deflated her by telling her that I got it too. 🙂

I’m just now leaving New York, and you’ve got me fired up. Nearly 25,000 people came together last night for the rally.

Here’s the video:

And there is the series of Hillary Clinton e-mail messages:

Dear ollie,

I hear you might be watching a debate with Bill — can I ask you a favor?

Bill mentioned “a big bowl of chips” in the email he sent you Tuesday. If you are one of the three people who get the chance to join him, can you make sure he eats carrots, not chips?

I know I can rely on you for this — because you’ve been there for me this entire campaign. I’ve relied on you and more than a million of your fellow supporters, and you’ve never let me down.

Today, I need your help at a critical moment in the campaign. We’re just a few days away from the end-of-quarter deadline, when we have to report the fundraising numbers that will set the tone for the final crucial months. The media and our opponents will use the numbers we report to determine the strength of our grassroots support — help our campaign today and we can beat our goal.

And if you enter now, you could be one of three supporters invited to watch an upcoming debate with Bill.

Help me win today. Make a contribution:

Of course Barbara Boxer is a friend of mine,

Dear Ollie,

We only have three days left before the fundraising deadline – make a contribution today!

Nothing gets me more focused than a deadline — and we have a big one headed our way soon. Sunday, September 30th marks the end of our next fundraising quarter, and I need your help to finish the quarter strong.

The media is already hyping a certain Governor’s possible bid for my Senate seat in 2010 — but no matter who my opponent is, we have to be prepared for a tough campaign. I am running for re-election with more confidence and strength than ever, but I need your help to keep that momentum going.

Can I count on you to help me show the pundits that we’re ready for whatever Republican challenger steps up in 2010?

Please contribute today — and help us finish the fundraising quarter strong before the September 30th reporting deadline!

Click here to contribute to Barbara Boxer.

And so is Dick Durbin.

Dear Ollie,

For those of us in political life, September 30 is a big deal. With our deadline just hours away, I need your help to hit our goal of $25,000.
Please contribute today!

The petitions are on the street in Illinois.

All across our state my friends and volunteers are asking their neighbors to support my campaign. It is so gratifying to see those sheets of names come in from every corner of Illinois.

I know a lot of people cannot believe the 2008 election is underway. It is so early.

But our new early primary means that we have to be organized and strong in 2007 to win in 2008.

Please contribute today. My campaign clock is ticking. With the September 30 deadline hours away we need to hit our number.

Click here to contribute to Senator Durbin.

I feel so loved! 🙂


Flying Spaghetti Monster sightings: a restaurant and the side of a wall.

Ok: why do “we” do things like make up the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Why do creationists get under our skin? Shalini has an interesting answer

It vexes me when they would constrain science by the authority of the Scriptures, and yet do not consider themselves bound to answer reason and experiment. [Galileo Galilei]

Ok, what about not being “bound to answer reason and experiment”? Sam Harris comments on this:

Reason is a compulsion, not a choice. Just as one cannot intentionally startle oneself, one cannot knowingly believe a proposition on bad evidence. If you doubt this, imagine hearing the following account of a failed New Year’s resolution:

“This year, I vowed to be more rational, but by the end of January, I found that I had fallen back into my old ways, believing things for bad reasons. Currently, I believe that smoking is harmless, that my dead brother will return to life in the near future, and that I am destined to marry Angelina Jolie, just because these beliefs make me feel good and give my life meaning.”

This is not how our minds work. To believe a proposition, we must also believe that we believe it because it is true. While lapses in rationality can often be detected in retrospect, they always occur in the dark, outside of consciousness. In every present moment, a belief entails the concurrent conviction that we are not just fooling ourselves.

This constraint upon our thinking has always been a problem for religion. Being stocked stem to stern with incredible ideas, the world’s religions have had to find some way to circumvent reason, without repudiating it. The recommended maneuver is generally called “faith,” and it actually appears to work. Faith enables a person to fool himself into thinking that he is maintaining his standards of reasonableness, while forsaking them. There is a powerful incentive to not notice that one is engaged in this subterfuge, of course, because to notice it is to fail at it. As is well known, such cognitive gymnastics can be greatly facilitated by the presence of others, similarly engaged. Sometimes, it takes a village to lie to oneself.

In support of this noble enterprise, every religion has created a black market for irrationality, where people of like minds can trade transparently bad reasons in support of their religious beliefs, without the threat of criticism. You, too, can enter this economy of false knowledge and self-deception. […]

So what is with this self deception? After all I am not a theist, and yet I deceive myself all of the time (example, I often seek out marathon and ultramarathon performances that I have shown no capacity for).

The reason is that reality is often unpleasant, at least compared to our internal fantasy world!

September 29, 2007 Posted by | creationism, hillary clinton, obama, politics/social, religion, science, ultra | Leave a comment

Last September 2007 Saturday

Workout notes 10 mile walk (steady); I went via Broadway, McClure, part of Boredom along Forrest Hill to Springdale Cemetery (where I heard a loud great bared owl), back past Wordruff High School to the trail (7 miles at the Riverplex) and then the gooseloop course. After 30 minutes of yoga (no class), 3 more miles back home, past a farmer’s market and an art show.

Photos hotlinked from the Yahoo NCAA Football gallery

I saw some of the first half of the South Florida-West Virginia game.
South Florida won, and I had picked them with the 7 points.

Currently Purdue is beating Notre Dame 20-0 and Notre Dame just fumbled the ball away; this one could get very ugly. I had thought that the Irish might have a chance to pull the upset, given that Purdue has Ohio State, Michigan and Iowa coming up and might be looking past Notre Dame, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. PUrdue cashed in with a field goal to go up 23-0, and there is still time left in the half!

We are on the last drive of the half and Notre Dame is showing signs of life; they have the ball inside the 20. Their quarterback is looking better, though he is taking his lumps.

Ooops, Purdue blocked Notre Dame’s field goal attempt and still have 55 seconds left in the half. Nevertheless, the defense held and made a big interception.

One team that is overlooking its opposition is LSU, who trails Tulane 9-7. LSU will eventually win (even with retro uniforms, white pants and white helmets)

(this photo from the LSU website)

And, the Illinois-Penn State game is a slugfest, with Illinois currently up 21-17.

Update: ND scores a touchdown! Of course, they missed the extra point; but a long drive sure helps things.

Unfortunately, ND cannot run the ball on 4’th and short, but holds Purdue to another field goal. Penalties help the Boilermaker drive.

Michigan is struggling too, currently down against Northwestern:

Update: 26-6 Purdue; Navy takes a 14-10 lead over Air Force!

Update Notre Dame is looking better but missed ANOTHER extra point (this time, a bad snap/holder connection). Still 26-12 is a two score game; Sharpley ( the backup quaterback) looks sharp (no pun intended).

Update ND finally made a couple of 4’th down conversions and is driving with 11 minutes left. ND has actually showed some fight. If ND finishes this drive (on the Purdue 30) this might be an interesting finish.

OMG!!!!!!! Long TD pass while going down, ND has closed it to a one score game!!! What about that extra point? A penalty on ND, now one on Purdue, now it is good and it is now 26-19.

Update Purdue woke up; they started with a good kickoff return and then drove it 59 yards to make is 33-19.

But ND is responding and has gotten it to the Purdue 35; make that the 20 due to a personal foul on Purdue. Oh well, interception in the end zone; ND got lucky on too many risks and got caught throwing into double coverage.

Update: the final remains 33-19; Navy wins over Air Force 31-20 (14 unanswered 4’th quarter points), Michigan holds on 28-16 over Northwestern, and Illinois holds on to beat Penn State 27-20.

The following photo has nothing to do with any of the games I was following, but is good nevertheless:

Of course, I should have been following this game; I just saw the game winning field goal for Colorado, who won 27-24.

September 29, 2007 Posted by | football, walking | Leave a comment

Yoga: Rotten Attitude Part II

My yoga attitude picked up a bit when, surprise, surprise, I practiced some at home! 😉

But as far as why I don’t enjoy teaching, well check this out from one of the yoga boards (name omitted to protect the guilty):

I am getting older and so I’ve been taking beginner classes in order to do milder asanas. I just wanted to share my experience. I’ve been regularly taking beginner classes (even though I’m not really a beginner) and the teacher is very young and athletic. There is nothing wrong with that I guess, but her class is too challenging for most beginners. She has us do very intense asanas like plank and downward dog and my arms feel like they are about to give out. I have to spend so much wasted time in child’s pose just so that I don’t sweat buckets and/or injure myself. I would prefer an older instructor who knows that beginners shouldn’t be doing plank for so long, but we don’t get much of a choice in instructors around here unfortunately.

So this morning during class I walked in and I told her that I hoped her class would be better so that I wouldn’t have to be in child’s pose for half the class. She pretty much just ignored me and then proceded to teach another intermediate level class. She had us do triangle and some other pose with a mudra and I don’t even know what she was doing with her fingers, but everyone in the class was confused. She tells us that we can take less intense versions of poses or rest in child’s pose, but I shouldn’t have to do that. The class should be for beginners and we shouldn’t have to modify everything. One woman in the class just had foot surgery and the instructor has us all come into a lunge…What could she possibly be thinking? I’m considering sending an e-mail to her boss with a complaint. There are too many unqualified instructors out there and being a part-time instructor myself I know how to judge.

See that? This person is upset that they might have to modify a pose or two, or that the instructor doesn’t modify the entire class because on person has a limitation.

There is nothing wrong with someone having to take a pose off from a routine, or having to do an easier version of a given pose; the idea is that one starts from where they are and gradually improve so they can handle more.

But I suppose that this is something a good teacher can work around; perhaps saying something like “ok, this is what we are going to do (say, plank from the knees); those who are a bit more advanced or who want an extra challenge can go into a modified version (say, plank from the toes, which is really the “correct version”) and that might not bruise tender egos?

Who knows. But this is why teaching yoga is not in my future. 🙂

September 29, 2007 Posted by | yoga | 2 Comments

More Fred Thompson cluelessness!

This is simply too good to pass up, from Kagro X at the Daily Kos:

Somebody wake Grandpa Fred up and tell him it’s time to go home:

Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson said Thursday he was unaware that a federal judge had ruled last week that lethal injection procedures in his home state were unconstitutional.

Thompson also told reporters he was unaware that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed this week to consider a Kentucky case about whether lethal injection violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Thompson’s support for the death penalty was a major part of his campaign platform when he first ran for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee in 1994. Asked for his response to the recent Tennessee and Kentucky cases, Thompson responded, “I hadn’t heard that. I didn’t know.”


It’s not the first time Thompson has been caught off-guard by questions on hot-button topics. In Florida earlier this month, Thompson seemed surprised when asked about oil drilling in the Everglades, a major issue in the state.

Thompson also gave no opinion when asked about efforts by President Bush and Congress to keep brain-damaged Terri Schiavo alive two years ago, saying he did not remember details of the case that stirred national debate.

Please. What a loser. The rap on Fred has always been that he’s just too damned lazy for this gig. He was too lazy to be a Senator, and you barely have to have a pulse for that job. Now he wants to be president, but it’s constantly being revealed that he doesn’t know jack about the top issues of the day. Too lazy to even read about them, I suppose.

Unfortunately, this sort of thing won’t bother a large section of the voting public. They’ll just see this big guy with that booming voice and confident demeanor; never mind that what he says makes no sense at all.

September 28, 2007 Posted by | politics/social | 1 Comment

Yoga: I’ve got a rotten attitude.

I admit that I’ve had a rather bad attitude about yoga; it has happened every since I attended a Yoga-Fit Level-I training program back in March, 2007. I’ve gotten into a discussion about it on the boards.

Part of the reason is almost certainly that I’ve restarted my ultrawalking program, and that has used up time, effort and energy. Part of the reason is that my swimming took a hit (swimming seems to enhance my yoga, so long as I don’t go at it too hard), and part of the reason is that my reaction to that training was “yuck, just anyone can be called a teacher by these people.”

So, aside from going to classes 2-3 times a week, and aside from doing a few sun salutes from time to time before and after a walking workout, I just quit doing it. The desire just isn’t there.

Yes, I have taught, well, let’s be honest, LEAD a class or two as a substitute, (I am NOT qualified to teach yoga, not by light-years!) but haven’t really enjoyed it.

And I’ve gotten far more critical of my own teacher. I just pick up on every mistake she makes in her asanas and internally go “tut tut…she isn’t that good, is she”. My attitude is just plain rotten!!! 😉

Because my teacher and I have been friends in the past (going to eat after class, going for walks, bike rides, etc.) I wonder if I should say something to her about her errors.

I’ve concluded that I probably shouldn’t; were I to say something what would be the best possible outcome? I really don’t think that the quality of her own practice is that meaningful to her; she is a fitness teacher first and foremost.

You can’t get people to be what they aren’t.

For example, the best walking coach in the world can’t turn me into a sub 5 hour 50K walker! (though I still have dreams of a sub 6) 🙂

Now to go practice some yoga.

September 28, 2007 Posted by | yoga | 3 Comments

Democratic Presidential Nomination

I’ve made it clear all along that I back Barack Obama 100%. That is, I’d like to see him get the nomination, and I think that he would run a good national campaign and would be a great president.

But, just how do I see the race shaping up?

I think that the following articles describe the situation fairly well.

First, The Nation talks about Hillary Clinton’s campaign:

Hillary Clinton has now been formally confirmed as the front runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. The New York Times says so. The Sunday morning television talk show bookers who, by virtue of the invitations they issue, assemble the fawning salons of electoral politics in what remains an electronic age say so. The talking head pundits says so. And, while they will not say so, her opponents know they are falling behind is a race that it entering its final stage. For this reason, tonight’s Democratic discourse in New Hampshire, the first in which the question of Clinton’s anointed status has been a formally settled matter, was livelier than the tepid spring and summer joint press conferences that passed for debates.

But the competition still feels like it is being choreographed by Clinton, as opposed to being thrown into a healthy chaos by her challengers. That is rapidly turning the perception of her as the front-runner into reality. It is this reality that threatens to become increasingly definitional as the fall sprint to the end of a race that could well finish in early winter, has now begun. With her foes tripping over themselves at the starting line, Clinton continued racing down the track. […]

The simple truth is that Obama and Edwards, the two contenders with the stature and the campaign apparatus to contend with Clinton in a serious way, have yet to fully recognize the crisis of their circumstance. If they are both running, and both running well, they are likely to divide the majority of votes in many of the early caucus and primary states — with additional percentages streaming off to the campaigns of Richardson, who continues to poll on the edge of the upper tier of this contest, and Kucinich, whose purist candidacy maintains a determined base of backers. But Clinton is likely to win solid pluralities in many, if not all, of those states.

During recent visits to Iowa and Florida, what I heard again and again from grassroots Democrats was a combination of grudging respect for Clinton’s close-to-flawless campaign and deep frustration with the emptiness of its promise. What Clinton offers is a big name, a smart and steady style on the stump, a skilled and flexible campaign machine and very little else. Only the most delusional Democrats expect her to end the war in Iraq, fight for fair trade and a new economic realism, or succeed in enacting a functional national health care plan. The appeal of Clinton is that she is a Democrat who appears to be competent enough and, yes, tough enough to take on the Republicans and win. […]

Casual observers may still be able to convince themselves that Bush prefers Clinton because she would be the easiest Democrat to beat. But that’s a comic assessment. The Bush camp may not know how to run a war in the Middle East, or an industrial policy in the Middle West, but they know politics. And they surely know that, after taking hits from the right for the better part of two decades, Hillary Clinton is not going to be tripped up by some revelation or miscalculation that reveals to the electorate a campaign-killing fatal flaw. Americans know this woman. They may like her. They may hate her. But Clinton is familiar, and after her cut-throat campaign team gets done defning a Republican nominee, the former First Lady’s familiar face will prove far more attractive to independent voters and moderate Republicans than the “Hillary-can’t win” crowd can begin to imagine. Indeed, if Clinton continues to put in debate performances like she did tonight, she will be hard — though not impossible — to beat in November, 2008.

So it is farce in the extreme to imagine that Bush is betting on Clinton because she’s a loser. If the president prefers her, it is because, if a Democrat is to win the White House, Clinton offers the best prospect for continuity. No, Clinton will not maintain every specific of the Bush program or whatever fantastical definition of conservatism that Republicans are currently embracing; she’s reliably liberal on a number of issues and reliably moderate on many more. But with her record of supporting military intervention, surrendering civil liberties, backing free trade pacts and seeking truces on the culture-war battlefield, Clinton is the “least-worst” Democrat in the view of Republican insiders and their corporate cronies. She offers the unspoken promise of maintenance of a status quo that George Bush and those around him value far more than most political observers care to recognize. […]

Ok, so just which Democrats are backing which candidate? A prominent Republican weighs in:

the netroots candidates are losing. In the various polls on the Daily Kos Web site, John Edwards, Barack Obama and even Al Gore crush Hillary Clinton, who limps in with 2 percent to 10 percent of the vote.

Moguls like David Geffen have fled for Obama. But the party as a whole is going the other way. Hillary Clinton has established a commanding lead.

Second, Clinton is drawing her support from the other demographic end of the party. As the journalist Ron Brownstein and others have noted, Democratic primary contests follow a general pattern. There are a few candidates who represent the affluent, educated intelligentsia (Eugene McCarthy, Bill Bradley) and they usually end up getting beaten by the candidate of the less educated, lower middle class.

That’s what’s happening again. Obama and Edwards get most of their support from the educated, affluent liberals. According to Gallup polls, Obama garners 33 percent support from Democratic college graduates, 28 percent from those with some college and only 19 percent with a high school degree or less. Hillary Clinton’s core support, on the other hand, comes from those with less education and less income — more Harry Truman than Howard Dean.

Obama is also targeting the young voters:

According to a variety of indicators, Obama does carry the youth vote. Non-traditional internet polls and debates with larger rates of youth participation tend to favor Obama, and he edges out Hillary Clinton in youth-only polls. The Facebook group “One Million Strong for Barack Obama” was recently passed in membership only by “Stop Hillary Clinton (One Million Strong AGAINST Hillary)”–certainly an indicative, if not an overly scientific, measure of general sentiment.

The campaign, Plouffe’s memo suggests, wants to focus this general support to take what it claims are close primary competitions. In Iowa, Plouffe sees a “close three-way race,” which “will likely explode with many new attendees.” He claims that: “in more than one survey, Barack’s support among Iowa young voters exceeded the support of all other candidates combined.” Similarly, in South Carolina, Obama is looking to shore up African-American student and youth votes, in a race where the support of the black community is key. The campaign has targeted HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in South Carolina with appearances and “Camp Obama” training seminars, though in an interview with Black College Wire, Obama’s communications advisor Candice Tolliver emphasized that “the campaign’s dedication to engaging historically black institutions isn’t limited to the early states but also reaches to all HBCUs.”

Banking on the youth vote may well be a risky endeavor. But targeting it in specific primary contests does make sense. While overall youth turnout for the Democrats in 2006 was disappointing, they are credited with helping hand over tight races like Jim Webb in Virginia and Jon Tester in Montana. David Broder wrote a column in Sunday’s Washington Post about youth participation in government, emphasizing, as is typical, distrust and apathy. His final statement, however, hinted at what I think might make the difference for the Obama campaign: “young people respond when they are treated seriously.” Most young people say they don’t vote because they don’t feel politicians care what they have to say anyway. Obama is taking the gamble of taking them seriously, letting them know how vital they are to his campaign. […]

Another thing to remember: the young voters probably don’t remember Bill Clinton the way that the older ones do. And don’t think that Bill is having a huge influence; for example he recently sent out a “give money and maybe you’ll win a chance to eat chips and watch the debate with me“. Hillary Clinton sent out a counter-letter that said that carrot sticks would also be available. I’m telling you, this couple knows how to campaign.

My personal opinion: she is an excellent campaigner and is getting excellent advice. Nevertheless, I cling to the quaint hopes that someone of ultra-high principle might win; that is someone who hasn’t taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the pharmaceutical companies and yet claims to have a real plan to reform health care.

Nevertheless, if she wins the nomination (and as of now, she is the favorite), she is much smarter and more capable than what we have now, or what the other side has to offer.

Side note The Republican windbags are completely shameless. Rush Limbaugh said:

During the September 26 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh called service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq “phony soldiers.” He made the comment while discussing with a caller a conversation he had with a previous caller, “Mike from Chicago,” who said he “used to be military,” and “believe[s] that we should pull out of Iraq.” Limbaugh told the second caller, whom he identified as “Mike, this one from Olympia, Washington,” that “[t]here’s a lot” that people who favor U.S. withdrawal “don’t understand” and that when asked why the United States should pull out, their only answer is, ” ‘Well, we just gotta bring the troops home.’ … ‘Save the — keeps the troops safe’ or whatever,” adding, “[I]t’s not possible, intellectually, to follow these people.” “Mike” from Olympia replied, “No, it’s not, and what’s really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.” Limbaugh interjected, “The phony soldiers.” The caller, who had earlier said, “I am a serving American military, in the Army,” agreed, replying, “The phony soldiers.”

Of course, some real soldiers took exception to what this chickenhawk tub-of-lard said:

First, in what universe is a guy who never served even close to being qualified to judge those who have worn the uniform? Rush Limbaugh has never worn a uniform in his life – not even one at Mickey D’s – and somehow he’s got the moral standing to pass judgment on the men and women who risked their lives for this nation, and his right to blather smears on the airwaves?

Second, maybe Rush doesn’t much care, but the majority of troops on the ground in Iraq, and those who have returned, do not back the President’s failed policy. If you go to our “Did You Get the Memo” page at, there’s a good collection of stories, polls, and surveys, which all show American’s troops believe we are on the wrong track, not the right one, in Iraq.

Does Rush believe, then, that the majority of the US Armed Forces are “phony?”

Third, the polls and stories don’t even take into account the former brass who commanded in Iraq, who are incredibly critical of the Bush Administration, and it’s steadfast refusal to listen to those commanders on the ground who have sent up warning after warning. Major Generals John Batiste and Paul Eaton left the military and joined for that very reason.

Does Rush believe that highly decorated Major Generals are “phony soldiers?”

Finally, as Media Matters notes, just recently, members of the 82nd Airborne in Iraq wrote a New York Times op-ed, very critical of the course in Iraq, and suggesting it was time to figure out the exit strategy. Two of them just died. Will Rush call up their grieving parents and tell them that they should stop crying, because they were just “phony soldiers?”

Get the point here, Rush?

You weren’t just flat out wrong, you offended a majority of those of us who actually had the courage to go to Iraq and serve, while you sat back in your nice studio, coming up with crap like this. […]

If you’d like, you can go to Wes Clark’s website and tell Limbaugh what you think.

September 28, 2007 Posted by | hillary clinton, obama, politics/social | 4 Comments

Quad Cities Photos

Quad Cities Marathon
Bikepath in Davenport (about mile 5?)

Now, at about mile 20-21 (a mile or two before the crash)

Of course, my form leaves something to be desired, but I don’t look like someone who is about to crash.

My guess is that the cold water (from the bottle) taken too quickly is what did me in.

I guess it is better to learn this lesson now than at mile 98 of a 100.

Ok, since I subjected you to some rather unpleasant photos, here is a pleasant one. (hint: shapey female triathlete in a tight spandex tri-kini) 🙂

September 27, 2007 Posted by | marathons, walking | Leave a comment