Sunday Roast: Road Trip pics

Some sort of duck in a pond

Some sort of duck in a pond

Fields, farm & hills

Fields, farm & hills, Cougar Ridge area, ID

Awesome canoe sculpture, Lewiston, Idaho

Awesome canoe sculpture, Lewiston, Idaho

View of the rolling hills of the Palouse, from Steptoe Butte, WA

View of the rolling hills of the Palouse, from Steptoe Butte, WA

Dried thistles, Steptoe Butte, WA

Dried thistles, Steptoe Butte, WA

Basalt formation, Columbia River Gorge, Biggs, OR

Basalt formation, Columbia River Gorge, Biggs, OR

Photos by Zooey

So it was a good trip, with beautiful sunny days and cold nights, visits with friends and family, and lower gas prices than Oregon.  It’s the little things that count.  🙂

This is our daily open thread — Did you turn your clock back or forward?

The Watering Hole: Monday, December 17, 2012 – Can We PLEASE Talk About Guns In Our Society Now?

On the morning of December 14, 2012, it was Newtown, Connecticut.
Before that it was Clackamas Town Center, Oregon.
Before that it was Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Before that it was Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Before that it was Aurora, Colorado.
Before that it was Seattle, Washington.
Before that it was Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Before that it was Oakland, California.
Before that it was Seal Beach, California.
Before that it was Carson City, Nevada.
Before that it was Tucson, Arizona.
Before that it was Manchester, Connecticut.
Before that it was Fort Hood, Texas.
Before that it was Binghamton, New York.
Before that it was Carthage, North Carolina.
Before that it was Northern Illinois University, Illinois.
Before that it was Kirkwood, Missouri.
Before that it was Omaha, Nebraska.
Before that it was Virginia Tech, Virginia.
Before that it was Salt Lake City, Utah.
Before that it was Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Before that it was Seattle, Washington.
Before that it was Red Lake, Minnesota.
Before that it was Brookfield, Wisconsin.
Before that it was Meridian, Minnesota.
Before that it was Fort Worth, Texas.
Before that it was Atlanta, Georgia.
And before that, on the morning of April 20, 1999, it was Littleton, Colorado.

These are all places where someone, or several someones, took a gun, or several guns, and began shooting people at some location, or several locations. Does this list strike you as being rather long? These are just ones since Columbine. There were others in between and before that. Many people died in those mass shootings. Too many. And too many were children. Far, far too many. And yet, we can’t seem to have that talk about all these mass shootings and the prevalence of guns in our society.

How many people have to die in mass shootings before we are allowed to talk Continue reading

The Watering Hole — April 10, Steptoe Butte

The view from the top of Steptoe Butte, Washington

Photo by Zooey

Good morning, all!  I think I’ll go take some pictures after my exam this morning.  What are you all doing today?

This is your daily open thread, and if you’ve ever been here before, you know what to do.  Just make sure you have fun doing it!

What I did on my summer vacation — so far

Palouse Falls, Washington

Palouse Falls, Washington

From the Wiki:

The canyon at the falls is 115 meters (377 feet) deep, exposing a large cross-section of the Columbia River Basalt Group. These falls and the canyon downstream comprise an important feature of the channeled scablands created by the great Missoula Floods that swept periodically across eastern Washington and across the Columbia River Plateau during the Pleistocene epoch.

The ancestral Palouse river flowed through the currently dry Washtucna Coulee to the Columbia River. The Palouse Falls and surrounding canyons were created when the Missoula Floods overtopped the south valley wall of the ancestral Palouse River, diverting it to the current course to the Snake River by erosion of a new channel.

Down river from the falls...

Down river from the falls...

Much of Washington, Oregon, and parts of Idaho are located on the Columbia River Basalt Group — the largest flood basalt group in this country.  I find basalt formations so very beautiful and interesting.

Twisting and turning basalt columns

Twisting and turning basalt columns

It was 95 degrees at the falls yesterday, but some of the green is still holding on.  Makes for some nice contrast. The heat kept the rattlesnakes in their hidey holes, thank goodness.

All photos by Zooey

Reid Says Stevens Will Not Serve In Senate

Convicted felons are not allowed to serve in the Senate.  Harry Reid is asking Ted Stevens to step down in the middle of his re-election.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was forced into the middle of Sen. Ted Stevens’ (R-Alaska) re-election bid late Saturday night after a senior Senate Democrat endorsed Stevens and called on voters to disregard his seven-count felony conviction.

In a bluntly worded release from his office, Reid warned that Stevens would not only face an ethics investigation but also expulsion proceedings regardless of his efforts to appeal the convictions.

Reid’s decision to jump into the Alaska Senate race with both feet marks the first time a leading national Democrat has explicitly warned that Stevens’ ouster from the Senate would be sought. GOP leaders including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) have already called for him to step down or face expulsion.

Stevens is arguing he can serve Alaskans effectively while the court appeals are being heard.  “I have not been convicted of anything,” he told the cameras.  He made that statement during a live debate on Thursday.

Continue reading

Charges Filed Against 26 Washington Anti-War Protesters

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26 Peace activists of the 42 that demonstrated and were arrested at the Port of Olympia protesting Iraq war shipments – the Thurston County prosecutors have decided to file misdemeanor charges at the last possible moment. We all know how dangerous anti-war protesters are, so the county prosecutors are going to charge them with disorderly conduct. What a sham..

Each of the 26 was charged Friday with one count of attempted disorderly conduct and one count of obstructing a law enforcement officer. Most of those charged were women.

For one week in November, protesters blocked shipments of Stryker vehicles and other military cargo from the Port of Olympia to Fort Lewis. The military equipment was used in the Iraq war.

Continue reading

Opinion: The winds of change – Iowa’s message

This year’s campaign is going to be way different. People who never bothered before, are being interested in politics. The Iowa caucuses brought a record number of caucus-goers, never mind the chilly temperatures and the fould weather and what’s on the sports channel. People want change, that is definitely the message. The Washington elites better don warm clothing, Iowa’s chilly breeze may well blow them out of their offices.

The last mid-term elections were duped as elections for change. But what happened? The very people elected to bring about that change under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi have taken impeachment off the table, have authorized one spending bill after the other for the Iraq war, without any mandatory troop reductions. Have wriggled their way through the dark alleys of Washington politics. Have spent ages in oversight committee meetings in probes on the Administration’s failures and outright misdemeanors, without even intending the investigations to have any consequences.

Washington listen!  Iowa has news for you! Be it Republicans, be it Democrats, your people wants you to change. They want you to stop all the wars. The War on Terror, the war in Iraq and the war on the middle class, waged by corporate interests, without the interference of politicians they have comfortably in their pockets.

Hark Hillary Clinton, hark Rudy Giuliani. Neither your money and backing by influential interest groups, not your fear-mongering will help you anymore. Americans will bring about change this time. And it’s high time, they did!