The Watering Hole; Friday October 21 2016; “It is not now as it hath been of yore”

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
the earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.

Those are the opening five lines of the first stanza of William Wordsworth’s classic work of poetic art entitled “ODE ON INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY From Recollections of Early Childhood”  (comp. 1802-1804). What’s long fascinated me is the fact that even though ‘Intimations’ was written more than 200 years ago, its words still describe — with amazing precision — moments of emotional recognition that most any cognitive mind can find itself pondering even today.

In the summer of 2007, for example, we spent pretty much the entire month of July camped in Arizona’s Apache National Forest, on the edge of a forest meadow (Cienega) which was located some 30 miles from the nearest town, some 5-6 miles north of the edge of Arizona’s grand escarpment, the Mogollon Rim (elevation approx. 9000 ft.) and roughly 10-15 miles west of the New Mexico state line. The forest meadow was named Butterfly Cienega, and it lay in a lush and peaceful corner of a forest teaming with life.

The following series of photographs effectively portrays a tiny portion of the experience, and essentially acts as a bridge to another event that was to occur some four years down the road — May, June and July, 2011. The photos are presented in no particular order, but are interspersed with three additional excerpts from Wordsworth’s ‘Intimations’ Ode which together re-tell the story implied in the Ode’s nine-line first stanza, as quoted up top and in the four lines immediately below.  Continue reading

The Watering Hole: Saturday, October 15th, 2016: KITTENS!

I was going to title this “ALL-PUSSY EDITION”, but it might have attracted the wrong crowd. Heh.

Wayne and I have just added two kittens, sisters, to our family. No names yet, but it’s only been about ten days since we got them, and I’m observing their behavior/personality traits for clues as they settle in. They made themselves at home within the first day or two, and while Wayne and I find them highly entertaining and completely adorable, the rest of our kids are not so amused. The older four, Missy, Buster, Fitzgerald and Cecilia, are happy to have the bonus of Kitten Chow (and even though I started out feeding the little ones separately, in the other side of the house, the others quickly sniffed it out anyway), but otherwise avoid them at all costs. Squiggy, on the other hand…

Squiggy's a big (and heavy!) boy now.

Squiggy’s a big (and heavy!) boy now.

Squiggy, about two years old now, is a big boy and loves to play, especially “fetch”. We’ve always had lots of toys around for him, often stockpiled for when he goes after a thrown toy but comes back empty-mouthed, yet still asking for another throw. With the exception of the occasional spontaneous outburst of play on the part of our older ‘girls’, Squiggy has had most of the toys pretty much to himself. He has his “favorite” toys, his “okay-I’ll-play-with this-one-until-you-find-me-one-of-my-favorites” toys, and the “I’m-just-gonna-let-that-one-go-by-while-looking-bored” toys. Whatever he thought of them before, the two invaders now consider all of the toys to be theirs. Not even Squiggy’s favorites have been spared, and, although he seems simply fascinated by their antics at times, and sometimes joins in when the two girls are running full-tilt through the house, he is all-too-often bemused, bothered, befuddled and bewildered. We’re trying to make sure that he and the others get their previously-normal share of attention and loving, but, as I said, the older ones currently prefer to steer clear. We’ll all adjust eventually, they just don’t know that yet.

No more prologue is necessary, so here they are:

It's tempting to name her

It’s tempting to name her “Blaze”.

Her blaze has stripes.

Her blaze has stripes.

I only got one picture of this little girl's face, unfortunately. And obviously, I had to clean up the background to make it presentable in public.

I only got one picture of this little girl’s face, unfortunately. And obviously, I had to clean up the background to make it presentable in public.

Here's a nice back view of the lighter one's markings.

Here’s a nice back view of the lighter one’s markings.

“She likes to wash.”
That’s Wayne’s hand, for the record.

And one last one – Sorry, but I couldn’t help making this shot into a political meme:nastyorangemanwearingroadkillgrabswha3

This is our daily Open Thread – don’t forget to sprinkle some compliments in amongst your comments!

Also, too, any and all suggestions for names will be welcome.

The Watering Hole; Thursday October 13 2016; Politics? No Mas!


Politics. Enough is Enough! as someone once said. I can buy that. Boy, can I buy that.

I confess. I’m sick to death of politics. I wait with baited breath for this election season TO END! and for Donald Trump and all like him to wind up as floaters in the political sewage lagoon where they belong. Manifest Destiny, in a word (well, two words, actually, but what the hay).

So to hell with politics. To hell with Trump and all he “stands” for (i.e. himself, nothing else; it’s so simple, really). Why not a look around at something else, at things and scenes that are well worth a view, a view that has absolutely ZERO to do with today’s political mess that’s come to define this nation’s existence at this unfortunate point in time?

Great idea, seems to me, so following are some ‘snapshots’ of highlights gathered from days past (within the last forty years, give-or-take). Each and all still stand tall as depictions of what once was – ‘Out There’ – in a world devoid of politics and filled instead with LIFE — as each and every moment can easily become.

So relax, lay back, prepare for a non-political — relaxing (and peaceful, mostly) — soliloquy. Enjoy!


▲Bird of Paradise; Kauai, 1978▲

▲Bald Eagle; Lake Beckwith, Colorado; 2009▲


▲Backlit Sonoran Desert Giant Saguaro; ca 1975▲


▲Coral Reef; St. Lucia, Caribbean; 1983▲


▲Seal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; ca 1980▲

▲Chipmunk, San Isabel N.F., Colorado; 2009▲


▲EEK! Gopher Snake, Colorado; 2014▲


▲Indian Paintbrush Wildflower, Arizona, ca 2002▲


▲Water Lillies, Kauai; 1978▲

A world without politics; a world without Trump! Imagine it! The Peace! The Beauty!


▲Pu’uhonua, Hawaii; 1978▲

Seriously, did King Kamehaha have to deal with his own version of Trump? Really? I see the dude does have small hands; and what about the face? The hair? They had to deal with the sum of all of THAT too? In ancient Polynesia? Way back then? I mean, really, that’s just plain bizarre!


Brings to mind this one. It’s not one of mine, but whomever it was that tripped the shutter captured the best summation of the entire of the Trump “movement” I’ve ever seen!


▲Dump Trump!▲

Eww. Guess we’d better leave it there.




The Watering Hole, Monday, October 10th, 2016: Still Carrying Holy Water

In case I haven’t written enough about Evangelical “Christian” website, The Christian Post, here’s another one.

I wanted to see what their reaction was to the Trump “pussy” scandal. Would this be the final straw? Of course not.

Trump 2005 Sex Talk Video Scandal: Evangelical, Republican Leaders Divided on Supporting GOP Presidential Nominee

By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor
October 9, 2016|9:39 am
Varied responses from evangelical and Republican leaders are pouring in after a 2005 video surfaced showing Donald Trump bragging about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women. Some have withdrawn their support, others continue to back the GOP presidential nominee to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming president.

“As a husband and father of three daughters, I find this behavior deeply offensive and degrading,” said Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council Action, referring to the leaked video carrying Trump’s 2005 remarks while talking with Billy Bush, then host of “Access Hollywood.”

In the conversation with Bush, the real estate magnate discusses a failed attempt to seduce a woman. “I did try and [expletive] her. She was married,” Trump says. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” he adds. “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” The video was published by The Washington Post on Friday.

Trump, who will participate in the second presidential debate with his Democratic rival Clinton at Washington University in St. Louis on Sunday, has said, “I was wrong, and I apologize.”

Perkins went on to say his support for Trump “was never based upon shared values rather it was built upon shared concerns,” including the Supreme Court, America’s security, and religious freedom. He said, “… We are left with a choice of voting for the one who will do the least damage to our freedoms.”

It’s not an ideal situation, Perkins added, but “I refuse to find sanctuary on the sidelines and allow the country and culture to deteriorate even further by continuing the policies of the last eight years.”

Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a member of Trump’s religious advisory board, also said he’s still with the Republican nominee.

“As a Christian, I believe that the Bible teaches, to quote a verse from the New Testament, that we’re to treat older women as our mothers and younger women as sisters in all purity,” Reed told NPR in an interview on Saturday, adding that Trump has apologized. “I think given the stakes in this election and those and other critical issues, I just don’t think an audiotape of an 11-year-old private conversation with an entertainment talk show host on a tour bus, for which the candidate has apologized profusely, is likely to rank high on the hierarchy of concerns of those faith-based voters.”

Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer also said he continues to support the Trump-Pence ticket.

“The 10-year old tape of a private conversation in which Donald Trump uses grossly inappropriate language does not change the reality of the choice facing this country,” the chairman of the Campaign for Working Families said in a statement. “Hillary Clinton is committed to enacting policies that will erode religious liberty, promote abortion, make our country less safe, and leave our borders unprotected. She wants higher taxes and bigger government. She will continue the disastrous economic policies that are destroying America’s working class and middle class families. She is mired in corruption and has put U.S. secrets at risk.”

Trump’s running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, responded to the video, saying, “As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump. … I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them. I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people.”

Pence abstained from a campaign event scheduled for Saturday in Wisconsin with House Speaker Paul Ryan, Politico reported.

The Washington Post’s National Political Reporter, Philip Rucker, said Gov. Pence is “inconsolable” since the leaked video surfaced. “A source close to Trump camp told me Pence and his team are ‘absolutely apoplectic,’ ‘melting down’ and ‘inconsolable,'” Rucker tweeted.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus condemned Trump’s remarks. “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever,” he said in a statement.

Former Republican Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina called for Trump to drop out of the presidential race.

“We must have a conservative in the White House to restore accountability, opportunity and security. For the sake of our Constitution and the rule of law, we must defeat Hillary Clinton,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “Today I ask Donald Trump to step aside and for the RNC to replace him with Gov. Mike Pence.”

Trump has categorically said he won’t quit.

Arizona Republican John McCain said he can no longer back Trump. “I thought it important I respect the fact that Donald Trump won a majority of the delegates by the rules our party set. I thought I owed his supporters that deference,” McCain told Politico. “But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.”

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz also announced withdrawal of his endorsement of Trump. “I’m out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president. It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine,” he told Fox 13 News.

Former GOP candidate for president Jeb Bush said no apology will do. “As the grandfather of two precious girls, I find that no apology can excuse away Donald Trump’s reprehensible comments degrading women,” he wrote on Twitter. Similarly, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, also a former Republican presidential candidate, tweeted, “Make no mistake the comments were wrong and offensive. They are indefensible.”

However, while apologizing, Trump said, “This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we are facing today. … I’ve said some foolish things, but there is a big difference between words and actions. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.”

Trump’s wife, Melania, pleaded with voters in a gracious response to her husband’s 2005 remarks, which she acknowledged were “unacceptable and offensive to me.”

“This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader,” she said in a statement. “I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.”

The following piece of crap is the Trump “apology” which apparently cleans and disinfects Trump in those rabidly delusional minds:

“Here is my statement.
I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me, know these words don’t reflect who I am.

I said it, it was wrong, and I apologize.

I’ve travelled the country talking about change for America. But my travels have also changed me. I’ve spent time with grieving mothers who’ve lost their children, laid off workers whose jobs have gone to other countries, and people from all walks of life who just want a better future. I have gotten to know the great people of our country, and I’ve been humbled by the faith they’ve placed in me. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow, and will never, ever let you down.
Let’s be honest. We’re living in the real world. This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we are facing today. We are losing our jobs, we are less safe than we were 8 years ago and Washington is broken.
Hillary Clinton, and her kind, have run our country into the ground.

I’ve said some foolish things, but there is a big difference between words and actions. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days.

See you at the debate on Sunday.”

Okay, this might possibly have squeaked by as a technical “apology” had Trumped ended with “I said it, it was wrong, and I apologize.” Instead, he launched into a string of lies, i.e., “I’ve been humbled…” is a flat-out impossibility; followed by throwing his own feces at the Clintons in a kneejerk projection reaction.

Regardless…these Evangelical “Christians”, some are still fine and dandy with Donald Trump because he would appoint a new Supreme Court Justice who will abolish abortion entirely and make “Christianity” the law of the land. Well, more or less, but definitely the abortion part, because that’s the one and only thing that these ‘men of the cloth’ really, really hate. They’ll tolerate Trump’s lies, Trump’s now-proven lack of charity, Trump’s lack of love for his neighbor – well, not HIS neighbor, but other people’s neighbors – um, where was I? These religious zealots are blind to Trump’s ignorance of his own or any other ‘faith’, Trump’s cheating his employees, Trump’s violent rhetoric, Trump’s failure to “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”, Trump’s attitude towards all women, Trump’s adultery, Trump’s coveting his neighbor’s wife, and Trump’s putting the false god of greed before the Evangelical Whatever-they-are’s “god”? Trump’s own recorded words admit to sexual abuse, along with what some bibles say is one of the big sins, ‘coveting his neighbor’s wife’; but still, these assholier-than-thou [thank you, Z] turn a blind eye to the utter depravity that is Donald Trump. All, ALL, just to stop abortion.

Anyone who calls him- or herself a “Christian”, yet supports Donald Trump, is morally bankrupt, has no soul, and has no claim on “family values” or “freedom” or “patriotism.” From this agnostic, you can all go fuck yourselves.

This is our daily Open Thread. Enjoy yourlves.

Sunday Roast: Trump Trouble & Debate Live-Blogging

The truly funny part about this video is that it was posted in July.  Randy Rainbow just had a feeling, I guess…but I don’t need to know the details.

Soooo, in a continuation of the Great Emasculation, Hillary Clinton and Donald “Tic Tac” Trump will appear at a town hall style forum in St Louis, MO (6 pm, PT), wherein inexplicably undecided voters will ask questions of the candidates.

Hillary will attempt to behave in a statesman-like manner, while barely containing her giggles and snorts in regard to the state of her opponent’s campaign; and Donald will flop and flail around like a potty-mouthed steelhead landed next to the fish ladder — you almost made it, little guy! — and will probably say something that will cause me to choke on my popcorn within the first 15 minutes.

Join us, whether you’re just hanging out in the comments section, or doing hard-hitting live commentary on the 2016 presidential race (somebody should, I guess), or just pointing and laughing your ass off like the rest of us.

EDIT:  Here’s one of the places you can watch the aforementioned clusterfuck:

This is our daily open thread — Drinking game = Death

The Watering Hole; Friday September 30 2016; Uncategorizable Wingnuttistanian Nonsense, and The Remedy

A darting fear — a pomp — a tear —
A waking on a morn
To find that what one waked for,
Inhales the different dawn.
(Emily Dickinson)



This Just In:

David Barton Claims The Founding Fathers Used ‘The Exact Language Of The Bible’ To Write The Constitution

Barton . . . once again insisted that the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution by using the “exact language” of the Bible.

Barton was making the case that the Bible tells voters all they need to know about how to choose their elected leaders, repeating his falseclaim that 34 percent of the political documents from the founding era cited the Bible, which he claimed is why the Constitution is filled with direct quotations from the Bible.

“I can show you clause after clause in the Constitution where they used the exact language of the Bible in the Constitution,” he said. “It’s just that we’re so biblicaly illiterate today that we don’t recognize that in the Constitution.”

I’m no biblical expert, but Barton’s claim sounded interesting so I decided to take a quick look. First, the Preamble:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

No luck there, so I made up a list of words that I figured were genuinely biblical and then word-searched each one in my docx version of the Constitution, as amended. Here are the words I chose:

In the beginning
Thou shalt not kill

Got a hit on only two of them. David Brearley from New Jersey was one of many who signed the original 1787 document. Also, I got a whole pile of hits on the word Virgin, not in biblical style, but since the word “Virginia” appears regularly . . . well, you know [reminded me of that old college joke that went something like, “I dated a girl named Virginia. I called her Virgin for short, but not for long.” (sorry about that)]. None of the other words or phrases showed up anywhere in the Constitution, so I’m guessing maybe it’s fair to doubt either Barton’s premise or my own ability to pluck worthy stuff from the Bible. Time will tell, I guess.

Then there was this one:

Rick Joyner: Climate Change Is A Communist Plot

Joyner said that climate change goes all the way back to a purported 1930s-era Communist Party “plan for subduing America” through “reeducation” and subversion.

Part of the plan, he said, was to “co-opt” young people knowing that “the youth will always respond to environmental issues and we have to keep inventing crises so that we can be the ones who save the world or are the answer to saving the world over and over.”

I dunno, I’m clearly in a tee-tiny minority, but I still think climate change has something to do with CO2 emissions from fossil fuel consumption, but who am I to compete with a brainiac like Rick Joyner.

Then last but by no means least, this gem popped up:

Ken Ham: Christians Who Believe In Evolution Follow A ‘Pagan Religion’ & Invite God’s Judgment

Ken Ham, the head of the Creationist group Answers In Genesis and founder of the Creation Museum, joined conservative radio host Janet Mefferd last week to discuss a new book about evangelicals who have embraced the theory of evolution. These Christians, Ham said, are following a “pagan religion” and are therefore inviting the judgment of God. . . .

“I’m going to say it out very bluntly,” he said. “Look, millions of years in evolution is the pagan religion of this age to explain, to attempt to explain life without God. And when you compromise God’s word with millions of years and evolutionary ideas, you’re no different to the Israelites, who took the pagan religion of the age—or the Canaanites, or whatever—incorporated into their thinking. And look what happened. It destroyed them, and God judged them before it. We are no different, there’s nothing new under the sun.”

I think it was Solomon who said, “there’s nothing new under the sun,” but I looked, and that phrase isn’t in the Constitution either.

Solomon was wrong on that one, though, because each and every day and on every corner of the earth there’s ALWAYS something NEW under the sun! Life’s like that, you know. Unlike preachers, politicians, and radio talk-jocks. Nothing new there, same old same old.


If I had my choice between hanging around with Ken Ham, or Rick Joyner, or David Barton, or a desert sunrise, guess what my choice would be! Time to give equal space to all that “emptiness”🙂 one sees under the rising sun and then decide if it’s possibly more interesting than the three dudes cited above. So here goes, as they say, “nothing.” Dude/Desert comparisons welcome; y’all be the judge!

▼1. September 2003 dawn, seen from the center of metro-Phoenix in the Phoenix Mtn. Preserve.▼


▼2. January 2004, view from White Tank Mountains regional park overlooking the entire of metro-Phoenix (downtown visible in center on the horizon)▼


▼3. March 2007 cloudy dawn from White Tanks Regional Park; first mountain is Camelback in the center of Phoenix, Superstition Mountains in the background.▼


So the landscapes in those split second views are apparently somewhere in the vicinity of fifty million years old, give or take ten or twenty million years. There are no signs anywhere of the passage of Noah’s Ark all those 5000 years ago (no sign of a flood either, at least not that I ever noticed). But it remains a virtual certainty that during all those millions of geologic years there’s been plenty of NEW stuff under that old sun! Regularly, too!

There. That feels a LOT better!






The Watering Hole; Thursday September 29 2016; “Why Within so Thick a Wall . . .”

“Lord, to account who dares thee call,
Or e’er dispute thy pleasure?
Else why, within so thick a wall,
Enclose so poor a treasure?”
Robert Burns (1793)

I confess. I watched, against my better judgment, the debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last Monday evening. Not sure why I did  that, but I did, and I’ve been suffering ever since. Because: Donald J. Trump. What a total disaster he is. What a phony. Loser. Disgusting slob. Narcissist. Megalomaniac. Xenophobe. Misogynist. Plus, he has really bad hair. And small hands. What has happened to the Republican Party? Why Trump? HOW Trump?

Made me reflect back on those better days of yore. Back when the GOP was led by strong-minded and really decent folks. People whose sole interest was the betterment of the entire world; whose efforts were invariably designed solely to elevate people no matter who or where they were, to elevate them to the level of even the ‘average’ American, to that level of educated intellect which we believe should define us all, including even our President!

And therein lies the current rub: Trump clearly does NOT have the decency, the kindness, the understanding, the tolerance, the INTELLECT! to which we as a people aspire and which we hope will —  someday soon — define us ALL!

So I decided to take a look back to a calmer time, to a more intellectual time, a time when the last truly “intellectual” Republican (“President”) was in charge and speaking in favor of an elevated nation, an elevated world. Way back in those glory days I personally collected a large pile of our then-President’s quotes, and I saved them in the hope that one day in the future, I might have the opportunity to use them to make a valid point.

And finally that day has arrived! Now is clearly the time to demonstrate to all functioning minds both at home and around the world that America need NOT sink into the realm of challenged intellect [currently defined by Republican candidate for POTUS, Donald J. Trump], and that it’s never too late to both look back at — AND — to look ahead toward better (post-Trump, obviously) ‘Republican’days! So here they are, a pile of Republican POTUS quotes from back in the days when the GOP was driven by intellect(?) and humanity (? ? really?) rather than by stupidity and greed. The quotes are in no particular order — some are dated, some not — but they do, at least and nevertheless, point to the drastic and dramatic differences twixt then and now.

Enjoy!! Continue reading