No excuses, but low expectations

Posted in Travel at 13:44 by RjZ

I could have written that I won’t be posting anything for the next couple of weeks. I am out to far away lands gathering stories to keep this space interesting. Thing is, it’s possible to blog on the road. Internet cafés abound, even in the most remote land and so there’s no excuse!

Still, no promises. Years of traveling have taught me to lower expectations for postcards and gifts. While it might be selfish, I am not yet independently wealthy enough to travel for extended periods of times and finding one of these slow access internet cafés, or worse an actual post office (and stamps–not always sold at the same place) can be very time consuming.

So, here too, no promises, but I hope to have something interesting to tell you about and at least a few pictures on the linked flickr site in just over two weeks!

Let’s just hope this isn’t the last entry that someone else writes for me!

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1000 Miles or Bust!

Posted in at 12:41 by RjZ

It’s going to be tiring just reading about it. Tim Rohrer has set off to hike 1000 miles this year. Tim’s not an Appalachian Trail through-hiker, he’s a smart guy from Boulder who likes to hike. He’s set a goal that he’ll walk his dog, snow-shoe, back-pack and generally walk around for 1000 miles this year. I, for one, don’t think this is an easy goal. 1000 miles is almost three miles a day. Every day. Rain, snow or shine. Tired, sick, happy or bored, he’s got to get out there. If he misses a day, that’s a six mile hike; waits for the weekend and he’s got to do an 18 miler (and another three the next day!)
So far, I’ve hiked about 15 miles this year (some of them with Tim!) I’d be happy to do 500 and maybe a 1000 on that new bike from last year. Not an easy goal for a weekend warrior, but even when it’s as cold as it is in Boulder right now (1°F, –17°C) it sure is beautiful out!

I am sincerely excited to see how it goes and look forward to joining him on a few miles myself. Keep track of Tim’s progress and cheer him on!

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2008 Presidential Convention to Be Held in Denver

Posted in at 14:48 by RjZ

The New York Times reported that 2008 Presidential Convention to Be Held in Denver.

This does not mean that the democrats actually like unions after all. Indeed, they haven’t even solved those problems. New York apparently couldn’t get over its obstacles either, so Mr. Dean (wisely) went for Denver! It is great news for Denver and Colorado. A huge range of business should enjoy a boost from the huge attention and visitation that Denver and Colorado will receive from the democratic convention. It should contribute strongly to the debate in Colorado and elsewhere, because most, even those in Colorado, would probably describe the state as red, or republican voting. That’s clearly not our recent track record, but the presidential race (for which Colorado did go republican) is higher profile.

I don’t think this hurts the libertarians either, who can try to court all those blue-dog democrats (all 13 of them.) Heck, these things have become pure media events with little or no substance, but it’s still one of the most energetic political activities in our calender and probably a good opportunity to learn more about the process for those living in Colorado.

Or, well, you might get lucky with a drunk intern…really it’s a no-lose situation.

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Economist: “Bush alone”

Posted in at 17:03 by RjZ

This pretty much covers it:

In deciding to redouble the war effort, Mr Bush now finds himself almost alone. General John Abizaid, the head of Central Command that oversees American strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan, all but rejected the idea of a “surge” of forces two months ago. He told a Senate hearing that raising troop levels by 20,000 would have only a “temporary effect” on security. But it would delay the day Iraqi forces could take control and, if prolonged, would place an unbearable strain on American ground forces that are already overstretched.

Meanwhile I am bothered by the term “surge” when, of course, what we mean is an escalation. What die-hard Bush fans are saying? The New Republic calls his speech and example of how “Bush’s certitude–which the press hailed as resolve after September 11 but which it now labels obstinacy–remains his signature….”

Rush Limbaugh rambles on, saying almost nothing, but eventually implying that “the liberals” wouldn’t allow us to “destroy these societies” so Bush’s hands are tied. Rush doesn’t seem very impressed with Bush saying he made mistakes though.

Other bloggers are simply focusing on democratic congress disagreeing with President Bush. There seems little debate on the merits of his new plan, or even a discussion of what that plan is at all. Instead the evil liberals disagree and that, apparently, is sufficient to make them wrong.

I guess there’s no news here at all. No plan either. Bush would like to spend more money and lives and maybe someday we’ll be better off in Iraq and the middle east. Say what you wish about the quickly forgotten Iraq Study Group’s recommendations, but at least there was a plan there!

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Warning: psychotic with own television program

Posted in Society at 15:01 by RjZ

According to Wikipedia:

Schizophrenia (from the Greek word σχιζοφρένεια, “split mind”) is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a mental disorder characterized by impairments in the perception or expression of reality and by significant social or occupational dysfunction. A person experiencing schizophrenia is typically characterized as demonstrating disorganized thinking, and as experiencing delusions or auditory hallucinations….
, auditory hallucinations and thought disorder and are typically regarded as manifestations of psychosis.

If you’re regularly hearing voices in your head (auditory hallicinations) the medical community would likely consider you a candidate for electro shock therapy in countries where it is legal. Alternatively, you might be the host of the Christian Broadcasting Networks 700 Club’s. The show which has been airing since 1966 is hosted by once presidential hopeful Pat Robertson.

Indeed, according to CNN, Pat’s got some news for us. He tells us “a terrorist attack on the United States would cause a ‘mass killing’ late in 2007. ‘I’m not necessarily saying it’s going to be nuclear,’ he said. CNN continues “Robertson said God told him about the impending tragedy during a recent prayer retreat.”

If one of your close friends started predicting national tragedies after describing voices in his head, you’d have to wonder about his sanity, or at least start asking who his source for mind-altering drugs is…just in case. Meanwhile, Pat Robertson has been announcing to his viewers that he hears voices in his head year after year. He predicts with the unfailing accuracy of a coin toss what will happen in the United States each year based on the voice of God in his ear. Robertson also announced that gays, feminists, the ACLU and others share the blame the 9-11 attacks.

So when Pat says there’s going to be mass disaster, I can’t say I am too concerned. It’s no more news than when a suffering homeless man announces the same from the street corner of a big city street. I’m not a psychologist, but Pat Robertson may fit the clinical definition of psychotic. What does that say about his audience of millions?

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Do politicians even hear the questions?

Posted in at 19:27 by RjZ

On NPR’s All Things Considered this evening Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was asked what he thinks the Senate’s response to likely House of Representatives proposals will be. Specifically, Robert Siegel asked him how he would respond to the House Democrats removing subsidies on “Big Oil”. Naturally, good Republican that he is, Mr. McConnell said that he would oppose raising taxes.

He’d oppose raising taxes? How is eliminating a subsidy equivalent to raising a tax? I am pretty sure it’s you, me and even Mr. McConnell who pay for subsidies–through taxes. If we eliminate them, that would reduce taxes (or at least reduce spending.) How can he, in good conscience, use this defense?

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