Monday, October 31, 2005

Culture war will focus on Alito, may knock him out

WASHINGTON -- GW Bush stooped to serve the radical right by picking a solid 'conservative' catholic white man from Jersey, Samuel A. Alito Jr., to replace outgoing moderate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the US Supreme Court.

After the crash of Harriet Miers, an epic battle is predicted over Alito -- nicknamed 'Scalito' due to his similarity to ultra-conservative Justice A. Scalia. Zany christian televangelist Pat Robertson is praising Alito, hardly a good sign to moderates. We don't need zealots on the Supreme Court.

Alito is smart and tough, but he'll have a challenge in the Senate, especially because some Senators understandibly wanted a moderate woman nominated.

Look for this debate to mirror the divides of today's American society. But in the end it'll come down to rich v. everyone else.

At least Alito seems likely to support citizens' right to bear arms, so if he's confirmed we may still be able put up some kind of fight when corporations try to totally take over. I hope it never comes to that.

If this process drags on, and there's a good chance it will, O'Connor may have to cancel her UA law class she is supposed to teach this winter. That's OK, Sandra, stay on the court as long as you can and we'll wait to hear you lecture. How about withdrawing your retirement announcement until at least 2009?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Strike hard now to weaken Bush/Cheney & GOP

WASHINGTON -- With all the trouble Bush & Cheney are having, now is the time to turn up the heat.

Scooter Libby and perhaps Karl Rove are headed for prosecution for serious crimes. Just as I predicted, Harriet Miers has bit the dust. The unjust Iraq war is failing.

Ethical Americans must go after these two dangerous warmongers now -- in the streets, in the media, in conversations, on talk radio, against Tucson's Rondstadt & Dunbar, and everywhere.

Let's run Bush/Cheney and all the other crazy baldheads out of town, or at least chop them down for 3 years of weak lame duck status.

More people are finally waking up to these deadly dishonest scammers. The US may be headed for the biggest anti-GOP backlash in a long time. I hope so.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Mountain hiatus

Thanks for visiting, but I'll be away from my blog this week.

Please read my past posts and keep up your great comments.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Daniel Preston has died and will be missed

Courtesy of the Tohono O'odham Nation

T.O.N. -- Daniel Preston, 53, former vice chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation's San Xavier District, died Wednesday at age 53 of complications from diabetes.

Preston was a spiritual man, who worked, prayed, and helped everyone he could for a better world. He will be missed.

Suspects Herget & Newman in jail for Rillito attack

enlarge image
Lincoln Lee Herget
enlarge image
Christopher James Newman

TUCSON -- Here are the guys TPD picked up for hacking saguaro cacti to death.

People seem very pissed about this. I was on the John C. Scott radio show this morning and John was ripping them hard.

They'll have a tough time of it with prosecutors due to their past criminal records.

How about lashes with a cholla whip? Then plant 1000 saguaros each to help restore livestock hammered desert public lands.

I hope they will learn some respect for our world.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Two arrests made in saguaro killing case

TUCSON -- Police today arrested two 19 year old males for chopping down three big saguaro cacti and a mesquite tree last week in Rillito River Park.

Looks like the cops may have taken seriously this crime against nature and our quality of life.

If there is a conviction, the judge should impose a strong sentence that helps these criminals learn some respect for our desert -- such as hundreds of hours of community service doing environmental restoration work -- after jail and applicable fines. More news on this as it comes in.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Bush 'pit bull' Miers stumbling right toward a fall

WASHINGTON -- Bush's favorite 'pit bull' pick for the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers, seems to be on her way to being rejected.

Here she is speaking in April to the American Tort Reform Association, a front group for industries who don't want to be held accountable in court for harm they may cause to society. ATRA also is a national partner of the American Justice Partnership, launched in 2005 by the National Association of Manufacturers, which is headed by John Engler, a true right-wing crusader and former GOP governor of Michigan. Miers buddies also are pushing the Lawsuit Abuse Reform Coalition, which boasts a laundry list of corporate members.

I'm sure Miers is a great corporate attorney for Bush and all her past big money clients, but she is not fit for our highest court, or even to be a judge at all. She's kinda like all the Libertarians who want to take over the government they claim to hate.

Miers would almost certainly be an 'activist judge' which is what the Bushies demonize, but she'd be a right-wing activist judge so that's OK in the eyes of GOP hypocrites. It seems clear she would vote to end abortion rights for women, and likely also give more power to the state and corporations over the rights of citizens.

Key Senators sure seem suspicious and upset with her for not being responsive in providing information they need to evaluate her qualifications. Miers is a terrible pick for anyone who cares about fairness on the court for the public-interest. No one seems fooled by her, but it'll come down to who has the most guts and determination in the Senate.

Will the big money win, or the public interest? If dems and ethical GOP Senators do the right thing she'll be gone in a month, forcing Bush to hopefully nominate someone more appropriate.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

AZ Game & Fish shows anti-monument bias

ARIZONA STRIP -- Protected in 2000 as the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, this wild part of NW AZ is special. Almost all national public lands managed by BLM, it has some of the most remote and scenic lands in the state.

Our state wildlife agency, Arizona Game & Fish Dept., should be in strong support of the monument, but they aren't. The agency's TV show, 'Wildlife Views', which ran on KUAT in Tucson on Oct 16, featured an AZGFD warden based near the monument. Instead of embracing conservation and pushing to restore habitat by reforming damaging livestock grazing, he complained 'everything will be harder' when the BLM completes its monument plan. He complained that building artificial waters (guzzlers) and doing burns would be harder, which is unlikely, and the show's host sounded an alarm that some roads may be closed and hunters should 'get involved'.

Most environmental groups in the state think BLM could and should be doing more to protect the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument -- some unneeded and damaging roads should be closed, livestock should be restricted or removed, and guzzlers should not be built everywhere -- but our state game boys under Gov. Napolitano are even further to the right than the Bush BLM on the Strip.

Too often AZGFD is a problem, and an example of another state dept. that hasn' t changed much under this Governor. Janet may not be a Republican, but she's sure let a lot of the right-wing bias hold on within state government. How about some more balance?

As a hunter and conservationist, I'd like to be able to support AZGFD, but to win my support they must start respecting and managing the full native web-of-life, not just big money game animals.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

AZ quarter should show natural & cultural heritage

PHOENIX -- Arizona is soliciting ideas for its state quarter design. I'm still working on my design for our 25 cent coin, which will celebrate our rich natural and cultural heritage.

I envision a beautiful quarter with the Grand Canyon, Colorado River, sunset with raptor, and pine trees at top, Geronimo holding a rifle at lower right near the canyon, and saguaros with a pygmy owl nesting and a gila monster at the bottom.

I've been collecting the state quarters, and many feature natural scenery, including California, Oregon, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Kansas. These are the coolest designs that make you think positively of the state and more likely to visit. The California design is especially well done.

The governor's office and others are seeking quarter image ideas and will finalize a design over the next 2 years. Check out all the state quarters.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Scumbag losers kill big Saguaros in park

TUCSON -- Sometime Wednesday night some stupid low-lifes killed three giant Saguaro cactus and a big mesquite tree at the northside Rillito River Park, with an axe recently bought at a local Wal-Mart.

Police say they likely won't catch anyone, but how hard will they really try to solve this felony crime? Cops should work with Wal-Mart to try to determine who bought the axe. That may lead them to the killer. Will Wal-Mart cooperate?

America's current hostile anti-conservation president and congress may have helped empower the vandals in thinking destruction of nature is OK. It is not, and whoever did it will suffer eventually, either in jail or at the hands of god.

A $3000+ reward is offered to anyone who provides information leading to an arrest and conviction in this horrible crime. Call 88-crime or 623.5252 x306 with any info, and if you ever see anyone hacking a saguaro, kick his ass.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Leal, Trasoff, and Uhlich closer to public view

TUCSON -- Veteran city councilman Steve Leal, my guy from the southside, was wise to not spend public campaign money in his unopposed bid for re-election. He shows more fiscal responsibility than the republicans on the council.

Speaking of the deadwood GOP councilmembers -- who are running corporate sponsored campaigns stuffed with dirty cash from outside city limits -- they both deserve to lose to good candidates Nina Trasoff and Karin Uhlich in the Nov 8 election.

If you live in Tucson, be sure to vote, starting now with an early ballot.

Let's start taking back our city for the public-interest.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Jon Kyl for retirement, not Senate

PHOENIX -- Jon Kyl, AZ's nutty Senator, announced today he is seeking a third term in the US Senate. He's already had two terms too many, aggressively serving corporate and police state interests above common Arizonans. Kyl is a shameless right-wing zealot and Bush bootlicker in the Senate, an embarrassment to the Grand Canyon state.

I and many others will be working to defeat Kyl in the next election. We don't need any more big government republican thugs mis-representing us in the Senate.

I don't know much yet about his dem challenger, Jim Pederson, but I do know he'd be better than Kyl. Perhaps we'll also see a smart independent step in to the race?

Jon Kyl, not for Senate, for retirement!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Community backs striking mine workers

TUCSON -- Tonight at the 1st Christian Church about 100 people gathered in support of striking ASARCO mine workers. A panel including me, elected officials, and faith leaders listened to tales of ASARCO/Grupo Mexico's disregard for workers, communities, and the environment.

City Councilman Steve Leal had a great idea of using state law to seize ASARCO properties as 'nuisances', and win sanctions against the sale of Grupo Mexico products in the US. Both are ideas with merit that need more looking in to.

We discussed what a scam it is for Grupo Mexico to take all ASARCO's assets, then claim it is broke.

The momentum is growing in favor of the mine workers, who I hope can hang on until justice is won. Call 520.628.1562 to support the strikers.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Pentagon reaching in to Tucson schools

TUCSON -- The local Sunday paper today reported more high school kids than ever are signing up for military programs in their schools. Good reporting by C.A. Alaimo, but the Star's headline may be off.

I'm not so sure these kids 'trust' the military, but they do need jobs and money for college, and the military pumps up these programs and aims them at students. There also is some truth that the current generation of high schoolers leans more conservative, and they are easily influenced and swayed -- especially by guns and trucks.

Many kids see no good economic opportunities around them in Tucson. They know at least the military provides pay and benefits, even if you have to kill or be killed.

The real question may be why is the military allowed in to our schools? If students want to seek them out, they should, but I'm not sure military programs and recruiting should be prominent in our schools.

Friday, October 07, 2005

House passes GAS to build more oil refineries

WA$INGTON -- The oiled-down fat cats got some more welfare from the Republican US House today with passage of the GAS Act. The 212-210 vote was close and contentious, with several Republicans voting against it.

The Dems actually held tough on this one. Good job. Citizens will respect that.

House Republicans are using this unwise bill, unethically attaching it to Hurricane Katrina relief, to shovel more favors to the ultra-rich oil industry. This scam would allow more pollution, while doing nothing to encourage conservation.

This is terrible legislation, an example of the anti-public-interest extremism of Tom DeLay; it should die in the Senate.

Americans want renewable energy now, and more conservation. The people are way ahead of the politicians on this.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Bush sicks his 'pit bull' Miers on the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON -- Bush's pick of Harriet Miers should come as no surprise. Miers is a hardcore corporate lawyer from Dallas, and part of Bush's inner circle of right-wing fanatics and control freaks. The President has called her 'a pit bull in size 6 shoes'.

She's always fought for corporate rights over human rights. Harriet Miers has never been a judge.

John Roberts said little and wasn't really pressed before he sailed through to the dismay of millions of Americans. Now with Miers grinning with Sen. Harry Reid, the dem leader in the Senate, it appears she may as well. I hope other dems in the Senate, and even a few smart Republicans, will show some backbone and consider voting down Miers. Bush doesn't deserve everything he wants.

Bush's nominee
Sen. Reid with Miers LAT

The LA Times today provides one of the best views so far of the mysterious Miers.

Does anyone really doubt that Roberts and Miers are anything but a right turn for an already right wing court? I don't think so, at least not the relatively few Americans who actually pay attention to national affairs.

Dem Senators Pat Leahy (VT) and Chuck Schumer (NY) will be key to asking the tough questions of Miers, and demanding full release of documents from the White House.

If they do their jobs, I predict they will decide to vote against her. People, if you care about your true freedoms in America, don't sit this one out.