Democrat and Independent Thinker..."The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." -Nietzsche

Commenting on many things, including..."A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from." - Keith Olbermann

Thursday, November 30, 2006

With kind regards

Dear President Ahmadinejad,

Oh, no, I know you dint!

With kind regards

Dear President Ahmadinejad,

Oh no, you dint!

Just 18 more years

Damn right, O'Reilly. It's our new, secret plan to grow the Dem base. Birth'em, nurture'em, grow'em, and vote'em.

It's what we're doing with all those aborted fetuses. We freeze them, ship them in a test tube to a clinic in an undisclosed location, then our mad scientists thaw them and re-implant them in specially chosen Dem single women.

Oops! Wasn't supposed to let that out. What a way you have in getting secret info, Bill. Just like the secret, private medical files of Kansas women. Oops! The clinics are NOT in Kansas. Just want to make that clear.

Freeway Blogging

This is FABULOUS!!! Check it out and then go find your nearest freeway.

I had an attack from eating shrimpcakes today and am sick, sick, sick again for who knows how long. I'd probably die if I tried getting near a freeway, but this little puppy is going in my windshield!!

If you post a sign to a freeway after learning about it here, please send me a pic. I'd consider it an honor.
Thanks to Colorado Bob!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stop Cannabalism!

I'm very confused about the terms being bandied about in the Party. I don't understand the usage of the words "Centrist", "Liberal", "Progressive", "Left", "Right of Center", and on and on and on. On a number of influential blogs, "Centrism" seems to be attacked on every level and with a vehemism previously reserved for Republicans.

I think it's sad, really. The Democratic Party seems genetically engineered to attack and destroy itself. We should have one opponent, the other Party. I don't expect to agree with every other individual in the Democratic Party and I don't expect them to agree with me. I refuse to attack them for it, though I will state my disagreement when I find it appropriate.

Overall, I believe the Democratic Party's duty is to impose an attentiveness to the good of humanity on capitalism. I don't believe in absolute communism. I believe capitalism is the best route to a just and healthy society but must be tempered, sometimes severely, but by and large benignly, if carefully guided and supported by the will of the people. I believe that some socialist-inspired programs must be provided by the government, for the welfare of the people as a whole. This would include Social Security, public education, and universal health care. Inasmuch as this may curtail capitalism interests, so be it.

I actually took a test at The Political Compass and was surprised to find that I was a Libertarian Leftist, being left on economic issues and libertarian on social issues. I always considered myself to the epitome of the center. I was pleased, however, to be placed in the graph in nearly the exact position as Gandhi, and extremely close to Nelson Mandela, and the Dalai Lama. So, I must be doing something right.

Still, there has to be a middle road with elements of almost every political philosophy incorporated into the path to avoid society swinging too far towards any single one political philosophy. History has proven them all to be unworkable in their extreme manifestation.

To me, that has always meant centrism and pragmatism.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm)
1. Philosophy A movement consisting of varying but associated theories, originally developed by Charles S. Peirce and William James and distinguished by the doctrine that the meaning of an idea or a proposition lies in its observable practical consequences.
2. A practical, matter-of-fact way of approaching or assessing situations or of solving problems.

cen·trist (sntrst)
One who takes a position in the political center; a moderate.
Marked by or adhering to a moderate political view: "The deep pool of centrist opinion in the country, that essential guarantee against violent political upheavals, is being dangerously shaken" New York Times.

cen·trism (sntrzm)
The political philosophy of avoiding the extremes of right and left by taking a moderate position.
hm();Sources=Sources 2;

As someone who had read three dictionaries, one set of encyclopedia's and the complete works of Shakespeare by age 12, (not that you'd ever know it now having had so much sucked out of my brain by this disease) I've tended to stick with the legitimate definitions of words. However, reading in message boards, I've learned that Richard Perle has somehow tinged the word "pragmatism" beyond all acceptance by self-described liberals (not sure how), Centrists are empty headed, and Centrism is vacuous compromise for the sake of compromise.

I don't know. I just don't get it.

I would like for the new Congress to get all the things done that I want them to get done immediately, like (and in no particular order) universal healthcare, overturning the Military Commisions Act, reinstate posse comitatus and habeas corpus, raise the minimum wage substantially, ensure the greatest generation gets every and any damn thing it pleases in reward for saving the world, increase tariffs to impose fair trade, fully fund superior education for every student regardless of age, race, location or any other damn thing, stop the genocide in Darfur and every other damn place immediately, completely revamp election laws and procedures, abolish money donations from lobbyists, secure our ports and our borders, increase immigration quotas, solve the ILLEGAL immigration problem by engaging all possibilities such as citizenship for some with penalties, deportation for some with no questions, and fines for corporate exploiters, free the country from oil dependence, develop smarter methods of providing domestic security, abolish domestic surveillance without warrants, engage in the peace process in the middle east, rebuild the Gulf Coast, and, last but absolutely not least, withdraw from Iraq and establish a reasonable and workable foreign policy.

Oh, and impeach Bush after he blocks all of the above.

That's what I'd like to happen. And probably more. But, you know what? I live in reality and I know that they cannot do it all by January 30th. I know that compromises will have to be reached. I won't get everything I want. Other Democrats won't get everything they want. Some of us won't get anything we want. And some things we might get only if we take the White House and maintain our lead in Congress come the next election. Or the election after that. Or the one after that.

Compromise IS in the Constitution. Compromise IS the Constitution, insofar as the establishment of the three branches of government is in the Constitution.

I understand that some elected Democrats might seem like weasels to me, or backstabbers or traitors, or like downright idiots. Even so, the most disagreeable Democrat is preferable to me to the most agreeable Republican. Because, at core, I know that despite some evidence to the contrary, that Democrat is more likely to believe that corporate interests must be reigned in to some degree, even if a minor degree, for the good of the people. And I know that the Republican believes that all business, any business, is good business and good for America. I want that Democrat to do whatever he has to do in his elected position to please his constituents, the people in his state or district who cast their votes for him. I don't expect the good Democratic congressman from, I dunno, Kalamazoo, Michigan, (if there is one) to please me down here in Greenville, SC. I want him to please the folks in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Even if what he does makes me sputter and flush with frustration and irritation.

Grow up, Democrats. Quit whining. Quit name calling. Quit alienating every other Democrat, elected or not, who disagrees with one or more of your pet concerns or your preferred method of meeting an objective. Unite. Stop navel gazing and simultaneously attempting to find the splinter in the eye of your fellow Democrat while ignoring the log in your own, to paraphrase a well known book. Unite and fight the good fight and know when to compromise to achieve an achievable and reasonable move forward. But, above all, unite. Unite. Unite. Unite.

Or as my Daddy would say in his day, quit flapping your jaws. You're stirring up a hurricane.

Foolin' around

I am finding current events far too depressing these days.

Thanks to Ivan the Terrible, I was playing with the P.G.Wodehouse quote generator and I kept getting quotes about dogs. Don't know if they were Yaller Dogs, but here they are.

He uttered a sound much like a bull dog swallowing a pork chop whose dimensions it has underestimated.

I was sauntering on the river bank with a girl named something that has slipped my mind, when there was a sound of barking and a large hefty dog came galloping up, full of beans and buck and obviously intent on mayhem. And I was just commending my soul to God and feeling that this was where the old flannel trousers got about thirty bobs worth of value bitten out of them, when the girl, waiting till she saw the whites of its eyes, with extraordinary presence of mind opened a coloured Japanese umbrella in the animal's face. Upon which it did three back somersaults and retired into private life.

These were my favorites of a few minutes, though.

South Kensington ... where sin stalks naked through the dark alleys and only might is right.
Service With a Smile, 1962

He had the look of a frustrated tiger whose personal physician had recommended a strict vegetarian diet....

Freddie experienced the sort of abysmal soul-sadness which afflicts one of Tolstoi's Russian peasants when, after putting in a heavy day's work strangling his father, beating his wife, and dropping the baby into the city's reservoir, he turns to the cupboars, only to find the vodka bottle empty.
Jill the Reckless (1921)

Message Delivered

Charlie Stross has some thoughts regarding the Litvenenko poisoning recently, but then, he has astute observations on many things. The man has enviable skills.

The Daily Show referenced a story tonight about a gentleman possibly involved who was a judo expert with a slight limp who spoke English and Portugese fluently. I'm still trying to find the reference.

Somebody tell me it's just a rather engrossing spy novel. John le Carre', where are you when we need you?

Hat tip to Brad DeLong.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Celebration

Finally, YouTube has it's kinks worked out for Blogger Beta. But, it will be down for maintenance soon and who knows after that. Blogger is down for maintenance over and over again, then its hinky as hell afterward, like now. So, if I don't post much, you'll know why. Turn up the volume. Love the tune!



Add your atta-boy!

Patton's Plan (A Parody)

Great vid!!

Some of my best friends are American

Found this very funny vid in the very funny comments of the very funny blog Chase me ladies, I'm in the Calvary.

Here is one of those very funny posts I couldn't resist copying here. Thanks to David C.

I think of all its current expeditionary hijinks, the mission to Mars is the one with which America stands by far the greatest chance of establishing a representative, secular democracy.david c 28.11.06 - 8:26 am

A Civil War

NBC and MSNBC are finally calling the civil war in Iraq a civil war. The Bush administration is having a duckfit about it, claiming that the violence is primarily in Bagdad. As if that makes a difference.

Newsflash, Mr. Bush. In our Civil War, the violence was primarily where the Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army happened to be when they were conducting all that violence. First, then twice, it was at Bull Run. Once it was at Sharpsburg. Once it was at Gettysburg. Once it was in Richmond. Wherever it was, it involved a whole lot of people trying their damnedest to kill each other with guns, with knives, with bayonets, with mortars and with bombs.

You know. Just like now in Bagdad.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thomas Schaller

I've been trying to get together a post on Thomas Schaller for some time. Have you ever gotten so pissed off or to the point of so thoroughly despising someone or the viewpoints that person espouses that you just find yourself sputtering in frustration and anger?

That's where I am with Thomas Schaller.

For a tiny bit of what I think, you can go to Word Up and see my comments. Schaller answered some questions for Ed Cone and his faithful. I got in late so no one will probably see what I had to say, but I got a bit off my chest anyway.

If you don't know who Thomas Schaller is, you'll have to find out for yourself. I've declared my own personal civil war on him and I'll be damned if I'll plug his misanthropic tripe in book form.

I wrote Schaller after the election but got no reply. I had planned to publish it when or if I did, but since he can't deign to reply, I'll go ahead and post it here. I was pissed. Still am. Still will be. There is so much wrong with his arguments, I'd have to OD on my Ritalin to pick one to focus on to refute.

Mr. Schaller,

I have been reading some of your articles recently and, with all due respect, I would like to ask you how you explain a few things as soon as you can find time to respond to one of the millions of irrelevant Democrats in the south, "the most belligerent region of the country", for which you hold such contempt, if you can forgive me my momentary belligerence. At least, being a polite southerner, I'm not telling you to "fuck off", despite how many times such a statement has been made to us in effect or in actuality.

I live in Greenville County, South Carolina, "the Palmetto State (which) has been defying, opposing, ignoring or rejecting every beneficent governmental change since before the Republic was founded". Greenville County is undoubtedly one of, if not the most, Republican county in the state, regrettably being home to Bob Jones University. Predictably, Democrats did lose the race for Governor. However, in this county, the Democratic candidate won 37,614 votes. The total number of non-white registered voters in the county is only 33,086. How do you explain this considering your statements to the effect that only black people vote Democratic in the south and all white people invariably vote Republican even though blacks and whites go to the same places, socialize and their children attend the same schools?

Do you suppose that every single non-white voter registered in the county voted, voted Democrat, and so there are only about 4,528 white Democrats here or they were just so stupid they meant to vote Republican and so illustrate our citizen's unworthiness of any encouragement or attention from the Party, in your well-publicized opinion?

There are 194,119 registered white voters in the county. Do you suppose that the remaining 190,591 would have all voted Republican had they all voted? Only 71,531 did. Do you think it possible that with a little encouragement from the Democratic Party, Moore may have obtained the needed votes from the 119,060 remaining uncast ballots? He only needed roughly a third, or 33,918. Do you think that the fact that Democrats in this county are disheartened, disillusioned, feel hopeless and abandoned by the Democratic Party and that their votes are irrelevant and unappreciated had anything at all to do with the turnout?

No? Perhaps you might like trying to explain that to every single solitary white person in my extended family, and to all our friends, who voted Democratic, even those who had never cast a vote for a Democrat in their lives? I'm sure you wouldn't have any trouble explaining to those who had been independents how they only voted Democratic because the candidates were centrists (that's conservative to you). I don't know what you'd say to the rest of us, especially the intellectuals, the gay, and the die-hard liberals who supposedly don't exist and yet thought we had voted for our centrist Democratic candidates anyway. And just what would you say to all those Democrats who just stayed hopeless and at home? That they didn't warant any Democratic Party funds for get out the vote, at minimum?

This state is notable in that the counties on the edges of the state ended up with a majority of Republican votes, while the entire middle of the state is solidly Democratic. You are right that those counties are more heavily populated by what we call the black folks down here when we are being polite, since we are all still "Confederate", former Dixiecrats, even those of us who weren't yet born in 1948, much less 1862 and our mind set has not changed since, at least, circa 1960.

Shhh! Please don't tell any of my elderly relatives who worshipped FDR, Truman, and Kennedy, highly respect Carter, love Clinton, and thought Thurmond was an ignorant bigot and one of the biggest asses of the 20th century, but it's okay that you publicize your views to this effect at Liberal Oasis. They are too old to find out from there and the rest of us are too illiterate to read it even if we knew what the Internets were. I suppose we could ask some of our gay and/or liberal acquaintances up north or out west, since you imply we don't have any down here. But, then, what does it matter? In your viewpoint, all southern Democrats hold exactly the same views of all conservative Republicans and there's not a breath of difference between us, which is why the Party would have to go so far to the right to win us over it would contaminate all of the pure liberals who really were the single reason the Democrats won the majority as you explain in your book and at The American Prospect. I suppose you know all about southerners from Chapel Hill. They are so backwards up there, and yet, still make the rest of us look like such idiotic Confederates.

Still, since Greenville is blighted by BJU, let's talk statewide. Statewide, the Democratic candidate won 44.79% of the vote. 486,398 total votes. Don't you think it's too bad all of the 702,182 registered non-whites didn't all vote and vote Democratic? Had they, they alone would have handily defeated Sanford with his total 598,663 votes. Do you think it may have had anything to do with the hopelessness they felt and the ignorance of the Democratic Party as alluded to above? Do you think that of the total 1,750,536 white registered voters, he would have been defeated if no additional minority voters had turned out and the Democratic Party had stirred up only 486,398 voters of the remaining 1,264,138 available who did not vote? Can you explain how making the attempt would have been ill-advised?

I won't ask you to explain why our Lt. Governor race, and the race for Superintendent of Education are still too close to call between the Democratic and Republican candidates. They only matter to our measly little lives and the lives of our children. Unfortunately, neither I nor anyone I know can explain why Bob Inglis was returned to the House, except that he is Bob Jones incarnate, so they must have bussed people in to vote for him. We're just grateful for Spratt and Clyburn.

I guess we'll never know, will we? I just wanted to see if you would answer any of these questions for me, if you can take time off from continuing to fight the War Between the States. I don't suppose you will, since any explanation would likely contradict your many assertions which I have tried to portray here as crystal clear as they appear to my predjudiced southern eyes, but which you may feel are mischaracterized and want to clarify. I understand you think that the only way to win over the south is to take the majority without it and show us how great the Democratic Party will be to us. When that happens, perhaps you'll publish a picture book to illustrate it to us, since we can neither read nor hope nor look to the future and interpret the past like the rest of the country.

Hopefully, you won't mind if I post this inquiry on my personal blog and the three others to which I contribute when I take a break from waving the battle flag and whipping my slaves. I promise that if you do deign to respond, your every word will be posted so that all of us ignorant, unworthy, Bible-thumping, snake-handling, intolerant, bigoted, ultra-conservative evangelical southerners will be duly enlightened to whatever extent we are capable of being. I'm sure you can educate even those of us who have wrong-headedly thought of ourselves as being progressive, open, unpredjudiced, educated, intelligent, and even gay or loving, supportive family members of those who are, all of whom must immediately move out west or up north, since they have no place down here in the Confederacy. At least, maybe all "the gays" will take the "black folk" with them, just to validate, in my opinion, your hitherto unfounded allegations and bolster the Democrats in the north, mid-west, and west where they really count. After all, the voters in those areas are never fickle and are much more dependable than the inconstant south, as your version of history no doubt illustrates.

Anyway, I really would appreciate a response, which I do promise I will post, or not, depending solely upon your preferences.


I found this article posted at Axis of Logic, but here is the original Vanity Fair article. Vanity Fair is my favorite magazine, hands down, but I have not yet seen the November issue. I'll have to pick it up so I can cry freely without worrying about drowning my keyboard.
I have bolded some sections for emphasis, my own. Please read it, though
it is long.
Please take action!
Write your Senators and Congressional delegates! Tell them to represent YOU, and all Americans, and not corporate ranchers, miners, and other usurpers of the wild mustangs and their ownership by the American people who love and revere them. They are sacred to my American Indian blood ancestors. They are as much a symbol of America as the bald eagle.
Wild horses in the Sandwash Basin of northwestern Colorado gallop during a roundup on September 30, 2005. Photograph by John Kelly.
From Vanity Fair, November Issue
Letter from Montana

Galloping Scared

Before 1971, when Velma "Wild Horse Annie" Johnston won her crusade to save the country's wild horses, they were being trapped in brutal airplane roundups, slaughtered, and sold as steaks overseas. Now Republican Montana senator Conrad Burns, through a bill signed by President Bush, has gutted the 35-year-old law protecting these cherished symbols of the American West.

by Kurt Brungardt November 2006

Exhausted and terrified, a herd of wild mustangs gallop around the side of the mountain, miraculously managing to skirt the treacherous prairie-dog holes and deep crevices as they try to escape the screaming, whirling predator on their tail. Their instincts tell them they can out-run most any animal, but this one is relentless.

You wish a director would yell "Cut," and the horses would be led to a plush Hollywood stable for rest, food, and water. But it's not a movie, and the pilot flying the helicopter is not an actor. He works for a government program to round up wild horses from public lands. The target horses this week are from the Sandwash Basin herd, in northwestern Colorado.

As the horses hit a straightaway at full stride, a camouflaged fence gradually funnels them into a trap. Close to the neck of the trap, the roundup crew releases a "Judas horse," which runs to the front of the pack and leads the mustangs directly into a tiny corral. Once inside, the horses screech to a stop, piling up on top of one another as dust flies, the gate slams, and the helicopter pulls away to go back for more horses. When the crew is finished, a few of the horses will be released back onto the range, some will be put up for adoption, but most will be relocated to government holding facilities, and a large number will be eligible to be sold to slaughterhouses, thanks to Senator Conrad Burns (Republican, Montana). (MY NOTE: Now DEFEATED Senator Burns!)

In 1971, Congress passed a law that banned the inhumane treatment of wild horses and put safeguards into place so they couldn't be sold for slaughter. That law was the result of a two-decades-long crusade by Velma Johnston, better known as "Wild Horse Annie." But in December 2004 that law was gutted. Just days before the Thanksgiving holiday recess, when most of Washington was getting ready to leave for the long weekend, Senator Burns put the final touches on his rider No. 142, which removed all protections for wild horses (and burros) that were over the age of 10 or had been offered unsuccessfully for adoption three times. Such animals could now be sold "without limitation, including through auction to the highest bidder, at local sale yards or other convenient livestock selling facilities." Burns inserted his one-page rider into a 3,300-page budget-appropriations bill on the eve of the bill's congressional deadline, and there would be no opportunity for either public or legislative debate.

The following week rider No. 142 was uncovered, thanks in part to a tip from the Government Printing Office. Animal advocates and politicians from both major parties were outraged. Representative Ed Whitfield, a Republican from western Kentucky, observed, "The thing that is so damaging about this Conrad Burns amendment is that he passed it on an appropriations bill that no one knew about.... It is precisely the way the legislative process should not work. I don't know his motivations, but more than likely he was protecting the ranchers who have leased those lands [for cattle and sheep grazing]."

Despite protests, President Bush, who likes to borrow the imagery and ethos of the American cowboy (and whom Burns once praised as having "earned his spurs"), signed the rider into law, capping a series of policy moves at the Bureau of Land Management (B.L.M.), the government agency in charge of managing the horses, that have sought to diminish the protected status of these "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West," as the 1971 law called them.

The rider caused such anger that in May 2005 the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill to restore the original intent of the 1971 law. A similar amendment in the Senate had to make one stop before its confirmation vote: the appropriations subcommittee for the Department of the Interior, which has jurisdiction over all federal lands and the National Park Service. Burns is chairman of that committee. Proving again that one man can make a difference, he blocked the amendment from going to vote.

The B.L.M., part of the Department of the Interior, is responsible for administering America's 261 million acres of public land. Historically, it has worked closely with ranchers and other commercial interests, such as gas and oil, coal, and timber, in the management and use of these lands. Overseeing the wild horses is one, small part of what the bureau does, but to the general public, which has an emotional attachment to them, it is one of its most important responsibilities. Celebrated in film, literature, and our nation's history, the mustangs helped Lewis and Clark complete their historic expedition, and during the opening of the frontier, they pulled plows, delivered mail, and carried soldiers in battle.

Senator Robert Byrd (Democrat, West Virginia) summed up the feelings of many when, in his speech to overturn the Burns rider, he criticized the B.L.M.'s management of the wild horses. "Surely there are actions that can be taken by the BLM to ensure the proper operation of the wild horse and burro program without resorting to the slaughter of these animals."
Horse Whisperers

When you drive up the dirt road to Karen Sussman's double-wide trailer, in South Dakota, you are greeted by two dogs, 12 cats, and the 300 mustangs that roam her 680 acres. Sussman meets you at the door, and the first thing she asks is "Have you eaten?"

An intern who worked for Sussman once called her "the mother of all living things." But she is no pushover. As president of the 750-member International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, Sussman, 59, is a fiery activist who also works part-time as a nurse, in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, for the Indian Health Service. Small and energetic, with short hair that stays in place when she moves, she looks like a former gymnast and seems always ready to jump to the next task. Her home is packed with the late Wild Horse Annie's personal items, making it a kind of unofficial museum--she even has Annie's saddle resting on a sawhorse.
Sussman, who never knew Annie personally, grew up in rural Pennsylvania. In 1981, she adopted her first horse and began volunteering for Annie's organization. She became president of it in 1989, and both president and executive director in 1993. During these years, she worked closely with Helen Reilly, who was Annie's good friend and personal secretary. (Reilly passed away in 1993.) Sussman knows Annie's story inside out, and so, at one time, did many other people. By the time her 1971 law passed, Annie had been featured in countless newspaper articles, on national television, and in popular magazines as diverse as Reader's Digest and Esquire.
At age 11, while living outside Reno, Annie contracted a severe case of polio and underwent an experimental operation, after which she was hospitalized in a body cast for nearly nine months. A bright spot in her day was looking at a large painting of mustangs entitled Roaming Free, which hung in the hospital hallway. "I studied it with all my senses. I could just feel what it was like out there, winging along with the herd," Annie wrote.
When Annie's cast was removed, it turned out the constricting plaster, which covered much of her neck and head, had not allowed space for her face to develop evenly, and while she would grow to a height of five feet seven inches, she was twisted out of alignment by the polio. Annie's disfigurements proved to be traumatic. Kids taunted her, so she retreated into her studies, wrote poetry, drew, and helped her father take care of the animals on their ranch. Her best friend was a rodeo horse named Hobo, which her father had given her when she got out of the hospital.
"Then there's her most famous story," Sussman says, "the one that changed her life." On a beautiful morning in 1950, Annie was driving to her secretarial job in Reno when she approached a truck pulling a livestock trailer--a common sight. As she pulled closer, she saw blood dripping out of the trailer. Through the wooden slats she saw it was jam-packed--not with cattle, but with horses. Trampled under their feet was a young foal, no more than a few months old.
When the truck turned off the highway onto a dirt road, Annie followed it. Its destination was a slaughterhouse that processed horsemeat for pet food. The truck parked next to a holding pen, and a man unlocked the trailer gate. As the gate swung open, a tight pack of mustangs untangled and scrambled to get out, falling over the trailer's edge, landing on top of one another, fighting to get to their feet, running into the holding pen.
The horses were battered and bloody. Most had wide swaths of flesh torn from their sides, which were oozing blood. Annie would later learn that such wounds were inflicted when the horses were roped, pulled off their feet, then dragged up a ramp into the cattle trailer. Many were spotted red from shotgun blasts fired by wranglers in planes. Still in the trailer was the foal, trampled to death. Annie gasped and leaned forward, sick to her stomach.
She received the nickname "Wild Horse Annie" a few years later, as her reputation as a mustang advocate grew. In Carson City, Nevada, she entered a packed room in the state-senate building to speak before a committee about banning the airplane roundup of wild horses. As she walked down an aisle, a local rancher, in an attempt to ridicule her, said in a loud voice, "Well, if it isn't Wild Horse Annie." The press in the room picked up the nickname, and in a genius public-relations move, Annie adopted it. As a result of her activism, "Annie faced regular death threats," Sussman says, "and answered the door at her ranch outside Reno--the Double Lazy Heart--with a pistol behind her back."
Before she faced the U.S. Senate, in 1971, Annie orchestrated one of the largest letter-writing campaigns in U.S. history, and Congress was flooded with letters, many written by children and teenagers, on behalf of the horses. Widespread, unregulated commercial exploitation had brought the mustang numbers from two million in the early 1900s to fewer than 18,000 in 1971. Arthur Miller and John Huston's 1961 film, The Misfits, depicted the increasing desperation of the down-and-out cowboys who trafficked in the few remaining wild horses.
The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act passed both houses of Congress unanimously. It protected the mustangs "from capture, branding, harassment, or death." The B.L.M. was the main agency assigned to enforce this law.

Annie died of cancer at age 65 on June 27, 1977, but Sussman and others continue her work, which they believe is far from over. "The B.L.M. has consistently exploited the intent of the law," says Sussman. "They have constantly chipped away at key provisions. The horses on my ranch come from two herds--one of which comes from the B.L.M.--that were zeroed out. The total land that was set aside for mustangs in the 1971 law has been reduced by over 10 million acres."
Sussman, like many wild-horse advocates, thinks that the mustangs, under the stewardship of the B.L.M., could one day reach numbers so low that their ability to survive in the wild would be at risk.
Slaughterhouse Blues
By the late 70s the population of wild horses had increased to 44,000, and changes were made to the 1971 law, adding provisions for "excess animals" to be removed from the range--the excess to be determined by the secretary of the interior when he saw a threat to "a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship in that area [i.e., ranching]." A 1976 amendment to the law allowed for mechanized roundups (helicopters and trucks), and roundup numbers began to increase dramatically. More revisions in 1978 allowed for old, sick, and lame animals "to be destroyed in the most humane manner possible," a measure Annie supported, according to Sussman. "Annie wanted to create an airtight bill, and she foresaw population problems in the future," she says. "She wanted to deal with such problems on the range and to avoid the roundups and slaughterhouse horrors." The 1978 revisions also specified how the horse-adoption program should dispose of healthy excess animals: "qualified individuals" were allowed to adopt no more than four horses each (for which the B.L.M. charged a fee of $25 a horse). After proving they had treated the animals humanely for one year, the new owners were given title. The four-horse limit and one-year probationary period were intended to eliminate the economic incentive for ranchers to take large numbers of horses to sell to slaughterhouses.
Thanks to former Nevada Republican senator Paul Laxalt, however, a loophole big enough to drive a truck through--one straight to the slaughterhouse--was also included in the revisions. It stated that wild horses and burros would lose their protected status once the new owner received title. The implications of this became all too clear after Ronald Reagan installed the pro-ranching-and- mining James Watt and later the lesser-known but like-minded William P. Clark and Donald Hodel as secretaries of the interior. In 1984 the B.L.M. instituted a fee-waiver program, whereby most anyone willing to take at least 100 wild horses would get them for free, and from 1985 to 1987, after Congress appropriated $51 million for roundups (thanks mostly to Republican senator James McClure, of Idaho), the B.L.M. began enthusiastically removing wild horses from the range--around 40,000 between 1984 and 1987.

Journalist Tad Bartimus, in an article for the Associated Press, revealed how ranchers and the B.L.M. had gotten around the four-horse adoption limit: dozens of individuals would adopt four horses each, then give the ranchers power of attorney. Bartimus quoted a Montana rancher who had gotten 1,100 horses this way, which he planned to sell to the slaughter house. The rancher said, "We have powers of attorney from people in Arizona, California, Texas and Montana Of course, they went to slaughter. Everybody knows what's happening, but nobody will admit it."
According to a 1990 report by the G.A.O. (the General Accounting Office, now the Government Accountability Office, which does independent, nonpartisan reports at the request of Congress), 20,000 wild horses were placed with "79 individuals and 4 Native American tribes.... We found that hundreds of these horses died of starvation and dehydration during the 1-year probation period and that many adopters, primarily ranchers and farmers ... sold thousands more to slaughter after obtaining title from BLM." The G.A.O. report concluded, "By its very design the fee-waiver program was a prescription for commercial exploitation of wild horses."
The Animal Protection Institute of America and the Fund for Animals took the B.L.M. to court in response to such abuses, and in 1988 a federal judge ruled that the B.L.M. could not issue a title if it knew the adopter intended to sell an animal to slaughter. This terminated the fee-waiver program.
But in the 1990s abuses under the adoption program were still being reported, becoming more of an internal B.L.M. issue. In a series of articles for the A.P., published in the mid-1990s, Martha Mendoza documented how the B.L.M. had falsified records used to identify and track horses, and how bureau officials were selling horses to slaughter after enlisting their friends and relatives to adopt them to circumvent the four-horse-per-person limit.
In 1997, to address these abuses, President Clinton's B.L.M. announced additional regulations to protect the horses, including checking with adopters and spot-checking slaughterhouses. Buyers now had to sign an affidavit ensuring they had no intent to sell the horses for slaughter or processing. Under the Bush administration things would again take a turn for the worse.
An American Classic
The mustang is a relatively small and sturdy horse, measuring close to five feet (15 hands) high and weighing on average 900 pounds. Its chest looks narrow from the front but deep in profile, more substantial than an Arabian's but not as bulky as a quarter horse's. Its legs spread out from its body in a distinctive slight "A" shape. Mustangs come in all colors, from black to brown to dun to cream, some red dish, some bluish, and in many these are mixed with whites and grays to produce roans, speckles, paints, and other patterns.
One of the best places to observe mustangs in their natural habitat is the Pryor Mountains, in Senator Burns's home state of Montana. And one of the best guides to take you through this territory and teach you about mustangs is documentary-film maker Ginger Kathrens. Kathrens is a rock star in the wild-horse world. Driven and tough, she lets out frequent sparks of good humor. You'd never want to get on her bad side, though, or she would stare you down with her intense blue eyes. For her PBS series, which began in 2001 with Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies, Kathrens is filming Cloud, a majestic white mustang stallion. She has followed him for more than 10 years, from his birth. Now he is lead stallion of his own family.
The Pryor Mountains are rugged and beautiful, filled with steep canyons and expansive valleys. The Big Horn Canyon cuts across the plains as far as the eye can see. To film the latest installment in Cloud's life, Kathrens treks on foot to find him. She is loaded down with gear: an Arriflex Super 16-mm. film camera, a large Canon digital video camera, a heavy tripod, a Nikon 35-mm. still camera, and binoculars. Pointing to a tree-filled valley that leads to the main watering hole, she looks through her binoculars, and a smile breaks across her face.
There's Cloud," she says. "He's making his way to the watering hole."
"The lead mare chooses when and where to feed and water," Kathrens explains. Cloud waits on top of a low hill just above the water hole. "Cloud typically takes the rearguard position to make sure it is safe for everyone else before he goes down to water." She checks the view through her telephoto lens as she explains the makeup of a family band: a stallion, a lead mare, plus several other mares, and all of their offspring under three. Usually, when the stallions are two years old, the lead stallion kicks them out and they join a bachelor band.
"Made up of horses ranging in age from two and up, the bachelor bands serve an important role in wild-horse society," says Kathrens. "The bachelors join up with one another for protection and social activities. They don't have family responsibilities, so they can hang out and cause mischief. The younger bachelors spar with the older ones to hone their fighting skills. A bachelor's ultimate goal is to steal a mare and start his own family."
"He's still letting Flint stay around," observes Kathrens. Flint is Cloud's four-year-old stepson. "When they stick around this long, we call them 'lieutenants.' They help protect the band and scare away the bachelors. Cloud has always liked Flint."
Other family bands arrive at the top of the hill above the water hole. They wait until Cloud's family is done. Kathrens's camera rolls as Cloud and his family drink and play, then head off. The next family band comes down.
"The hierarchy among the families is determined by the status of the stallion," Kathrens explains. Each new group drinks for about five minutes and moves on. Then the next family comes down. The process works in a peaceful and orderly way.
As the sun sets, Kathrens packs up and begins to hike back to camp. "This area is primarily the herd's summer area. To protect the health of the range the B.L.M. wants to lower the numbers of the Pryor herd from 153 horses to 95. When the B.L.M. originally determined the size of this range area, they didn't take into account the historic use area of the herd, which is far larger than the designated range. We're trying to get the herd area increased to include the horses' historic range, which they're legally entitled to in the 1971 Wild Horses and Burros Act. Increasing the size to include this land would keep the herds at a healthy number. The numbers are already so low that the health and future of the herd is in danger." (The B.L.M. says it did incorporate the historic use area of the herds.)
Kathrens points to the research of Dr. Gus Cothran, a leader in the field of equine-population genetics at the University of Kentucky. He uses DNA analysis to study wild horses. His research concludes that for long-term health and survival of the herds a minimum size needs to be between 150 and 200 horses. Otherwise, interbreeding will create genetic weaknesses, leading to serious health problems. More than 70 percent of the herds the B.L.M. manages fall below Cothran's minimum number. (The B.L.M. maintains that these numbers are high. They are monitoring genetic diversity in the herds, and they say that "at present, there is no immediate cause for concern about inbreeding.")
Turf Wars
In 2001, President Bush appointed Kathleen Clarke as director of the B.L.M. Before that she had served as executive director of Utah's Department of Natural Resources, where she built a reputation for favoring mining and drilling interests. At the B.L.M. she has been at the center of controversy. According to sworn testimony by the public-lands chairman of the Utah Cattlemen's Association, she encouraged ranchers to sue her own agency, after having failed in an effort to prevent Interior from issuing grazing permits to a conservation group. (At the time, Clarke denied she did anything inappropriate.) The Bush administration has rounded up wild horses at a record-setting pace, including more than 50,000 under Clarke's aegis.

The Department of Interior building, on Washington's C Street, is a stone monument to permanency and power, one of the first buildings constructed by the Public Works Administration during the Depression. As you walk down the wide main corridor, with its high ceiling, you feel safe, but small. In a back office of this landmark building, sitting around a table, Tom Dyer, until recently the B.L.M.'s deputy assistant director of renewable resources and planning, Dean Bolstad, its wild-horse-and-burro-operations lead, and Tom Gorey, a B.L.M. spokesperson, look at the numbers on their chart. They are confused. They have just applied their own formula to calculate the wild-horse population. The calculations don't match their official census sheet. "These numbers have always been a little confusing," Bolstad says. The current census numbers for 2006 seem disproportionately high, estimating 9,000 more horses on the range than their formula could account for.
Gorey says, "We think our count is accurate. It is an estimate; we can't say it is the literally correct number."
When asked its position on the Burns rider, Gorey says, "The B.L.M. has not taken a stand on the Burns rider. We see it as another management tool." Horse advocates say this is merely added proof, as if any were needed, that the B.L.M. is more or less in cahoots with Burns. "They [at the B.L.M.] are not upset that one man, Burns, covertly set the horses up for slaughter," says Chris Heyde, a deputy legislative director for the Society for Animal Protective Legislation, located in Alexandria, Virginia.

A big question is why Senator Burns has inserted himself so prominently into the wild-horse controversy when the issue is not even an important one in his state. The only wild horses in Montana are the 153 mustangs at the Pryor mountain range, and they're a tourist attraction. (Of the approximately 31,000 wild horses counted in the B.L.M.'s 2006 herd-area data were 13,384 in Nevada, 3,166 in California, 4,615 in Wyoming, 2,545 in Utah, and 2,113 in Oregon.) The senator has given several reasons. They include to prevent the horses from starving on the range, to protect the health of the range, to push the B.L.M. to get serious about its adoption program, and to cut the costs of boarding horses in holding facilities. Critics claim that these issues are already addressed by the law.
Burns grew up on a farm in Missouri, and as a young man he moved to Montana, where he sold ads for a livestock magazine and worked as a livestock auctioneer. In this world, horses are bought and sold like cattle. What do you do with old and lame horses? You sell them to a slaughterhouse to recoup a little money. It is just business as usual. Burns once explained to a journalist, "I'm in the livestock business, and I've bought and sold horses my whole life. Basically, the marketplace works."

The ranchers believe they should be the ones to control the use of their leased public lands. In many cases, they have worked these public plots for generations and regard them as their own. They see the wild horses merely as pests, consuming food and water that are meant for their livestock and tearing up fences. Steve Raftopoulos, a rancher in northwestern Colorado, faces the daily challenges of running livestock on public land. He grazes sheep in the Sandwash Basin with the wild horses. His family has been ranching in the area since 1934. "What it comes down to is proper management of the range," he says. "In managing anything you have to have flexibility. We can control how much livestock we are going to put on a range area. We have no control over the wild horses, no matter what the range condition is. Horses can really tear it up. I'm dependent on the B.L.M."

Raftopoulos speaks with clear determination. He is suspicious of reporters and environmentalists, but once he gets talking about public-land issues he doesn't slow down. "Everyone is caught up in the emotion of this, and they can't look at it logically. When the range is in great shape and the rain falls when it's supposed to, the horses and the livestock can coexist. But when there's drought, the range can be permanently damaged. Right now we have drought. And now the government wants to make it illegal to slaughter horses. This leaves no management flexibility, except to just let the horses die in an expensive government holding facility."

In the basement of the Forest Service office in Red Lodge, Montana, range specialist Wayne Burleson pulls down a projection screen and then turns off the lights. Burleson, 64, has studied the eating behavior of cattle and horses for more than 20 years, photographing and documenting their habits. He clicks through his slide show, illustrating how the eating tendencies of each animal impact the range. "The truth is they're both right," he says. "A cow can destroy the range and so can a horse. A horse can pinch out the whole grass plant with its teeth, and the cow can wrap his long tongue around a plant and pull it out. Any animal will overgraze if he doesn't have enough territory to graze or isn't properly managed."
To evaluate the impact of grazing on public land, consideration needs also to be given to big game (elk, deer, antelope). Most calculations estimate that more than four million head of livestock and three million big-game animals graze on public land. This means that wild horses account for less than one-half of 1 percent of the large animals grazing on public land. The most comprehensive independent study of this issue, done in 1990 by the G.A.O., states, "Wild horses are so vastly outnumbered on federal rangelands by domestic livestock Even substantial reduction in wild horse populations will, therefore, not substantially reduce total forage consumption." The G.A.O. report also states, "BLM could not provide [the General Accounting Office] with any information demonstrating that federal rangeland conditions have significantly improved because of wild horse removals." The study concluded, "The primary cause of the degradation in rangeland resources is poorly managed domestic livestock (primarily cattle and sheep) grazing."

(MY NOTE AGAIN: DEFEATED)Senator Burns refused to meet with V.F. to discuss his rider, but Chris Heggem, Burns's point person on this issue, says, "He did it because other people asked him to." Senator Burns has a history of being sensitive to the needs of those who donate large amounts of money to his campaign. Convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who arranged for, by some estimates, close to $150,000 to go to Burns, told V.F.'s David Margolick, "Every appropriation we wanted [from Senator Conrad Burns's committee] we got." From 2001 to 2006, the senator received $380,512 from agribusiness, which includes the livestock industry. He receives more money--$69,800 so far for his 2006 re-election bid--from livestock interests than all but one senator, Texas Republican Henry Bonilla.

In Slate magazine, Deanne Stillman theorized that Montana rancher Merle Edsall may have been instrumental in getting Burns to act, because "the language in the Burns rider was the exact same wording floated by Edsall at a meeting of the BLM's Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board." Edsall denies this connection to Burns. He says he wanted to take 10,000 wild horses in order to create a tourist-attraction sanctuary in Mexico. He claims that the White House and the B.L.M. wanted to privatize the wild-horse program, to which the B.L.M.'s Gorey responds, "We did receive a proposal, and we turned it down." Edsall explains, "I had a three-part plan. Part one was to give the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board authority over the wild-horse program. Part two was the sale authority. You have to have a threat before you solve a problem. The sale authority would allow the horses to go to slaughter. [I thought], People will go through the roof, and they did. But don't make a threat without a solution. Part three was the solution: Mexico and giving the horses to 501(c) nonprofits."

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
Last February the B.L.M. initiated a program similar to the Reagan-era fee waiver. For the mustangs that have lost protections because of the Burns rider, it makes the adoption fee "negotiable," and drops both the one-year probationary period and the limit of four horses going to one person in any one-year period. In a letter of February 21, 2006, Clarke appealed to 15,000 ranchers with B.L.M. grazing permits to take the horses. Thanks to the Burns rider no one will be able to stop the program with a lawsuit this time. Now the B.L.M. will deliver loads of 20 or more horses free of charge to any destination. Although recipients of these horses have to sign an agreement that they do not intend to send the horses to slaughter, wild-horse activists doubt the B.L.M. will do much checking up to see that the ranchers are keeping their word. (Gorey says the B.L.M. has compliance guidelines that range from inspections to phone check-ins.)

The rationale for the fee-reduction program, as it was the last time, is to save money by removing horses from government holding facilities. But Chris Heyde says, "If the B.L.M. and the administration want to talk about money, they should look at their grazing program. According to the government's latest G.A.O. study, in 2004 the grazing program lost almost $115 million a year. The ranchers pay a nominal fee of $1.56 a month for each cow-and-calf pair to graze. The free-market rate for ranchers to lease the same amount of private land to graze their cattle is a little over $13 a month. It's a giveaway.

"This does not include the million spent each year on behalf of ranchers for predator control, to kill coyotes, foxes, and mountain lions to protect cattle and sheep," he adds. "These are the animals that would naturally help control wild-horse population. All of this when less than 3 percent of America's beef is raised on federal rangelands. And economically, livestock grazing on federal land produces only a tiny percentage of income in western states, between 1 and 3 percent. The irony is that most of the land is leased to millionaires."

He is referring to a nine-month investigation in 1999 by the San Jose Mercury News, which revealed that the top 10 percent of those holding grazing permits control 65 percent of all livestock on B.L.M. land. One of the largest livestock lessees of B.L.M. land is a company founded by one of the richest men in America, John Simplot, who is worth an estimated $2.3 billion. He lives in Boise, Idaho, and supplies half of McDonald's French fries. Other major holders of government grazing leases include the Hilton Family Trust.

Heyde and other advocates outline their solutions. Give the wild horses back all their original acreage and herd areas. Keep herd sizes large enough to maintain the future health of the herds. If the range is in crisis, support the horses with water and hay. Manage the herd areas principally for mustangs, not sheep and cattle. Keep roundup and adoptions in sync. "Just enforce and follow through on the legal guidelines of the 1971 law. After all, it is a law," Heyde says.
On September 7, 2006, the House of Representatives voted 263 to 146 in favor of a bill sponsored by John Sweeney, a New York Republican, and Ed Whitfield, a Kentucky Republican, to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption. There are currently three horse slaughterhouses in the U.S., one in Illinois, and two in Texas. They sell horsemeat primarily to Europe and Japan, where it is regarded as a delicacy. Chris Heyde has been inside a slaughterhouse, and he has been to horse auctions. "The majority of horses are not sold to slaughter by their owners," Heyde says, "but instead arrive via livestock auction, where 'killer buyers' purchase them. Owners are often unaware of their ultimate fate. And most of the horses are not old and lame. They are healthy racehorses, riding-school and show horses, stolen horses, and federally protected wild horses." Horse advocates are hopeful the anti-slaughter bill will pass the Senate and become law.

In Washington, D.C., the politicians fight. In South Dakota, Karen Sussman faces the daily challenges of managing her mustang herd. This morning an old mustang with a surgically repaired leg has fallen in her stall. This is a life-threatening situation for a horse. Sussman made a deal with this old mustang. "As long as she has the will to live, I'll stick by her." She is not sure if Janie Grayce, named after the two donors who paid for her surgery, wants to go on or give up.With the help of Denny, a part-time worker from the Lakota tribe, Sussman has rigged a series of ropes to help lift the horse to her feet. She talks to the old mustang. "You tell me what you want to do." Sussman has been dreading this moment. But she is prepared to put the mare down if she won't fight to get up. "It is going to happen one day," she says. Janie Grayce lies motionless on her side with each attempt to raise her.

"Let's give her one last try," Sussman says as they pull the rope taut around the horse's body. The mare's eyes brighten. She begins to struggle, kicking her legs, trying to fight to her feet--suddenly she's up. A little unsteady, but she's up.

"Good girl. Good girl," Sussman says, petting her. Janie Grayce lets out a whinny, as if she's saying thanks. "She's a tough old mustang. She wasn't ready to go," says Sussman.
Kurt Brungardt is a writer and personal trainer in New York
Source: Vanity Fair Magazine

Friday, November 24, 2006

Catfortably Numb

I'm totally numb from Thanksgiving and it's leftovers, so just doing a little Friday night catblogging. Maybe more later, if I become conscious.

Having a hallucination of watching Pink Floyd on PBS. Surely, this cannot be happening. It must be a flashback. Am I so old that Pink Floyd is now acceptable fodder for public television? What's next? Black Sabbath paired with Lawrence Welk?

Thursday, November 23, 2006



Let us be thankful for what we have and let us learn how to live.


Turkeys: Personal, Political & Planetary


It’s hard not to feel like a cash cow for insurers and drug companies. I could decline to be jerked around with their accounting maneuvers and fight back, or spend my days "shopping" for better deals for medical crises I may never have. I could refuse to take their *questionable drugs, and risk dying sooner. Or I could redesign my life to avoid stresses that raise my blood pressure, though I figure that’s not basically different from being dead.

Health Care Challenges in '07 video

Canada's Health Care Lauded by One Who Knows


For most of my adult life, I worked as a journalist in Canada and took full advantage of Canada's health-care system. My wife, daughter and grandchildren were free to choose their own primary doctors and specialists. Service was consistently kindly, prompt and concerned. If something serious was suspected, we were tested, X-rayed and examined in a matter of days. Our physicians were highly trained and the hospital facilities modem and pleasant.

It is important for Americans to know that people in Canada tend to live a couple of years longer than their U.S. counterparts and that Canada's infant mortality rate is lower. This is attributed to the fact that everyone — young, old, working or unemployed — is covered for basic hospital and medical care in Canada without co-insurance or deductibles. This is in contrast to the United States, where there are more uninsured people (over 40 million) than Canadian inhabitants.

American critics of Canada's health care are quick to cite the fact that there are lengthy waiting lists for non-emergency medical procedures. It is also true that there is considerable overcrowding in some hospitals, but this is due to the fact that emergencies are treated immediately even if it means a lineup of gurneys in the hospital corridor — a situation I have found exists in American emergency wards as well.

Domestic Violence: A Special Report


Pace of Global Warming Causes Alarm
'Very different and frightening world' coming faster than expected, scientists warn


At least 70 species of frogs, mostly mountain-dwellers that had nowhere to go to escape the creeping heat, have gone extinct because of climate change, the analysis says. It also reports that between 100 and 200 other cold-dependent animal species, such as penguins and polar bears, are in deep trouble.

"We are finally seeing species going extinct," said University of Texas biologist Camille Parmesan, author of the study. "Now we've got the evidence. It's here. It's real. This is not just biologists' intuition. It's what's happening."

"I feel as though we are staring crisis in the face," Futuyma said. "It's not just down the road somewhere. It is just hurtling toward us. Anyone who is 10 years old right now is going to be facing a very different and frightening world by the time that they are 50 or 60."

US: Climate Change Climate Changing


Come January, those in the world who are concerned about the slow pace of climate action could see the global response get a boost with the United States becoming a significant part of it, according to an environmental group that is part of the global campaign for a swift response to global warming.

"With Democrats in control of both houses of Congress, changes in the federal policy are to be expected," said Gary Cook, director of the Climate Action Network, an umbrella organization representing over 350 environmental organizations worldwide.

Cook and his colleagues hope that with environmentally conscious Democratic lawmakers holding key positions in the Senate, the United States will soon be making real progress in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, as well as moving the global agenda on climate change forward.

Let Them Eat CO2
News: The Bush Administration's global warming spin turns desperate.


Yesterday, in response to U.K Prime Minister Tony Blair's statement that global warming poses a dire threat not only to the global environment, but to the global economy, White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters that President Bush "has, in fact, contrary to stereotype, been actively engaged in trying to fight climate change and will continue to do so."

This is demonstrably false. For starters, in 2001, Bush
reneged on a campaign promise to regulate carbon emissions and withdrew the U.S. from the Kyoto treaty, which seeks to slow global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

A year ago, a Mother Jones
expose showed how ExxonMobil funds global warming deniers (reporting which has led Senators Olympia Snowe and Jay Rockefeller to recently demand that the company "come clean about its past denial activities") and reported on the ties between sisters Paula and Larisa Dobriansky and Exxon Mobil.

WWF Award for Nasa Scientist Who Sounded Climate Alarm


A leading Nasa researcher who pioneered the case for tough action to combat climate change in the US has been awarded the WWF's top conservation award. James Hansen, whose testimony to the US senate on global warming is featured in Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth, received the medal from the Duke of Edinburgh at a ceremony yesterday at St James's Palace in London.

Diet for a Hot Planet


Thirty-five years ago, Frances Moore Lappé's revolutionary cookbook "Diet for a Small Planet" warned of the dire consequences of a growing taste for meat. For example, it takes up to 16 times more farmland to sustain people on a diet of animal protein than on a diet of plant protein. As US, European, and Asian farmers run out of land for crop expansion, her warning rings prophetic. The emerging meat-eaters of the emerging economies -- especially China -- are driving industrial agriculture into the tropical forests of South America, sending greenhouse gases skyward in a dangerous new linkage between the palate and the warming of the planet.

The Last Days of the Ocean

Global Warming: It's Personal
Naysayers who argue that climate change is unsolvable because of 'human nature' ignore how past crises were averted.


Perhaps if we're vigorously informed about how global warming endangers our neighborhoods, we'll individually forgo the McMansions and the Hummers and make sustainable choices. Anything less compromises our children's future.

Until then, our denial facilitates "social loafing" — the tendency of individuals to slack when work is shared and individual performance is not assessed.

12-Step Plan for Climate Action

1. Increase fuel economy for the world’s 2 billion cars from an average of 30 mpg to 60 mpg.

2. Cut back on driving. Decrease car travel for 2 billion 30-mpg cars from 10,000 to 5,000 miles per year, through increased use of mass transit, telecommuting, walking and biking.

3. Increase energy efficiency by one-quarter in existing buildings and appliances. Move to zero-emissions plans for new buildings.

4. Decrease tropical deforestation to zero, and double the rate of new tree plantings.

5. Stop soil erosion. Apply “conservation tillage” techniques to cropland at 10 times the current usage. Encourage local, organic agriculture.

6. Increase wind power. Add 3 million 1-megawatt windmills, 75 times the current capacity.

7. Expand solar power. Add 3,000 gigawatt-peak solar photovoltaic units, 1,000 times current capacity.

8. Increase efficiency of coal plants from an average of 32 percent efficiency to 60 percent, and shut down plants that don’t meet the standard. No net new coal plants, for new plants built, an equal number should close.

9. Replace 1,400 gigawatts of coal with natural gas, a four-fold increase in natural gas usage over current levels—a short-term step until zero-emissions renewable technologies can replace natural gas.

10. Sequester CO2 at existing coal plants. Sequestration involves storing carbon dioxide underground, an unproven technology that may, nonetheless, be better than nothing.

11. Develop zero-emissions vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles powered by renewable energy.

12. Develop biomass as a short-term replacement for fossil fuel until better carbon-free technologies are developed -- but only biofuels made from waste, and made without displacing farmland and rainforests.

This framework can help us think big and fast enough to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. If we are to achieve each wedge by 2054, the next 10 years must see major action. Anything less and we’re kidding ourselves. The good news? We can do this. We have the technologies and the know-how. We can take many of these steps today, on our own. For the rest, we need to persuade our elected officials, contact our power companies and auto manufacturers, and demand action from those with decision-making power. The best news? Beating climate change opens the door to more jobs, energy security, progress against poverty, a cleaner environment, and a safer world -- a better future for all of us.


Now, have a few laughs!

Relax, have fun and check out a few cartoons here, here, and get your fill of Thanksgiving cartoons here .

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge and commemorate in my own small way, the anniversary of the death of the first President I loved, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. I was a child of age...ok, lets say I was a very, very small child, but I remember him. My parents, and my Irish grandmother adored him and that made him very God-like and all powerful to me.

I can very faintly remember the Cuban missile crisis. I didn't know what was going on, of course, but I remember a few very tense days in my little family circle when my parents would sit around the kitchen table in our small post-war house they had built. I heard the stress in their voices as they talked with my other relatives and their friends who visited. And I remember the joy and relief when President Kennedy brought our country through that deadly, perilous time. The bourbon flowed in the South. I remember because it was so rare to see everyone celebrate in such a way.

I remember the shock of the assassination in the reactions of my parents, especially since my oldest sister had just brought home her newborn, my first niece. It should have been a happy time, but it was tinged with sorrow. I didn't realize what had happened exactly until I watched the funeral on the TV. I remember I was wearing a frilly white dress and patent leather maryjanes. I remember John-John saluting the coffin and I cried. We all cried.

I pray that mercy and justice will bring this country another great man, like John F. Kennedy, to lead us in a new direction. We need him.

Cross-posted from America's Least Wanted

Barbara Bush Robbed

The Secret Service failed to protect the daughter of the President from being robbed in Argentina at a crowded restaurant. Barbara was dining with Jenna in Buenos Aires, where they have been for about 3 weeks. Despite being surrounded by Secret Service agents, her purse was stolen.

Yes, I'm telling you that between the CIA, the Secret Service, the FBI and the rest of the intelligence community, we're all screwed. God knows, I'm no fan, but these are the daughter's of the President of our country. You'd think at this time, with all that is happening and nearly on the day of the anniversary of our last assassinated President, the great tradition of the Secret Service would ensure that they would be hyper-vigilent, wouldn't you?

UPDATE: I've checked the CNN newscast and website and not one word can I find on this. How is it that the BBC has the story and not the U.S. media? What does that tell us about the MSM in the U.S.? Are their heads totally up their asses or are they just owned lock, stock and barrel and willfully and wrongfully attempting to keep information from the American people?

Cross-posted from America's Least Wanted


Truthdig has a great interview with Gore Vidal up, so go check it out. Here is a sample:

'There are a few crazies who want to cheer the flag and this yappy little terrier as though he were a real president. Well, he’s not a real president. He’s a thing, a chimera who was put together by the Supreme Court, first time around, and reelected by, uh, Diebold, Sequoia and some other interested parties. Everybody knows he isn’t there. Or what is there isn’t for us—it’s not our president. We do have a real, uh, a shadow president in Vice President Cheney, whose wife is a famous novelist given to tales of unnatural love… . '

Cross-posted from America's Least Wanted

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I've added my research to Wikipedia. But, I'm not giving up on the original, historical, attributable quote, because I could swear that I've seen it somewhere before. Before blogs clogged up all the search engines. Dad-blamed blogs.

I hope I did okay at Wikipedia. I've never done that before.


William Saffire: wrong again. According to this site, William Saffire attributes the "yellow dog Democrat" to the 1928 Hoover vs. Smith presidential elections in Safire's New Political Dictionary.© 1993 by the Cobbett Corporation.

Obviously, if so, that would be wrong. The use of "yaller dog" in connection with voting Democratic dates to 1900 and the Kentucky gubanatorial race, at least, as you can see in my first YD posting. Even the reference made in the letter of 1923 predates the 1928 election.

Sloppy, sloppy, Mr. Safire.

Yaller Dog Two

This is really funny. The FReepers have a page up extolling the "yaller dog" or Carolina dog. I found the link through a breeder site who used the Bible and the Book of Mormon to begin his tracing of the history of the breed.

One of the commenter's actually referred to "Old Yeller", but none picked up that they were chatting about the "yaller dog" of Democratic fame.

Not too surprising. FReepers are just not that bright.

Although, amazingly, another posted this very interesting article from Science News, if you want to learn even more about "yaller" dogs and primitive dogs in general. Did you know that some geneticists are theorizing that dogs became domesticated 100,000 years ago?

Wanted to Share!

My niece just emailed me about this special study that's been completed and I thought it so enlightening that I would share it on my blog:

"Wanted to share!!

A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle.

For example, if she is ovulating, most women are attracted to a man with rugged & masculine features.

If she is menstruating or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with scissors lodged in his temple and duct tape over his mouth while he is on fire.

No further studies are expected."

Yaller Dog Democrat

I was just updating my profile to "yaller dog" Democrat from "yellow dog" Democrat now that I understand that it is the more proper use, despite appearances, with there actually being a real type of dog called a "yaller dog" in SC, my home state, and now, in some parts of GA. Now, I've seen "yaller" dogs, mostly in rural areas, and especially in predominately black areas and I've heard of "yaller" dogs all my life, and it's always been pronounced that way. That's an ol' timers extreme pronunciation of "yellow", though, and I was surprised to learn that the dogs had come to be known as an actual type or breed of dog, and have always been called by that name with that pronunciation. They are wild dogs actually native to the woods and swamplands of South Carolina. A U.of GA professor has been studying them and found them to be closely related to the Dingo of Australia. It is thought that they may be one of the "original" dogs and may have migrated in prehistoric times. These days, breeders have (somewhat snobbishly in my opinion) begun to call them "Carolina dogs".

I am diligently trying to track down the actual historical origination of the phrase "yaller dog Democrat". I have found in my research many, many so-called quotes of various sentences purporting to be the original quote. They can't all be right. As of this post, I've tracked it back to 1900 in Kentucky, but that can't be the earliest. Yaller dogs are South Carolinians. I would think the phrase originated where Yaller dogs were known.

I've even found at least two instances where old time Republicans would use the phrase, as in "he'd always said he'd vote for a yaller dog if it was a Republican", but these accounts are recorded present day, or at earliest, in the
1960's. Isn't that just like a Republican? They can't think of anything original. Except to cut taxes in a time of war. That was original. Completely original. Never done before in all of human history. I digress.

I discovered another thing in my research that absolutely delights me to no end. Yaller Dog Democrats bug the hell out of the Freepers and the other various factions of the Republicans. They cannot abide the fact that we are devoted Democrats and rank Republicans as lower than dogs. For we do, you know. We are attacked viciously by them, and they dig deep, like a hundred and fifty years or more, to inject their venom. I love it and think it's hilarious. Over the last two centuries, being a Yaller Dog Democrat has meant many different things, and just like the definition of Democrat or Republican, it has flip flopped in many ways. One thing has remained constant about Yaller Dog Democrats over time. A Yaller Dog is preferable to any Republican candidate on the ticket, because whether its Reconstruction and Republicans are trying to tell you what to think and how you may or may not act and what you should believe, or its 2006 and Republicans are trying to tell you what to think and how you may or may not act and what you should believe, a southern Democrat would rather mind their own dog than mind a Republican. Because the dog is more deserving of respect.

(I don't get the Jr. but) From John at, posted back on Nov. 2, 2000:

In response to the post about Gorons, I got a response from self-professed "Yaller Dog Democrat" way down yonder in the Great State of Texas. In all fairness, this august board should be privy to its contents. Here it is.

The world of intelligence studies has, in the past, regarded mentally challenged persons as being in two classes: Idiots, who are adults having mental ages below 3 years and are considered extremely incompetent, and Morons, who are adults having mental ages of about 8 years and are considered both stupid and foolish.

Now they have discovered the Burons. Burons have a mental age of 5.5 and make decisions only when their controllers (Rush, Jerry Falwell, Papa Bush, the NRA, etc.) tell them what to do. They can be recognized by how they willy-nilly forward inane email to advance their political agenda. :-)

Here are some of the brilliant words from the Buron's hero:

The REAL Halloween scare:
"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."...George W. Bush, Jr.

"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a motherand child."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

"Welcome to Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

"Mars is essentially in the same orbit...Mars is somewhat the samedistance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seenpictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there iswater, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we canbreathe."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr., 8/11/94

"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I meanin this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr., 9/15/95

"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom anddemocracy - but that could change."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr., 5/22/98

"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, andthat one word is 'to be prepared'."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr., 12/6/93

"Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr., 11/30/96

"I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgmentsin the future."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

"The future will be better tomorrow."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

"We're going to have the best educated American people in theworld."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr., 9/21/97

"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positionsand have a tremendous impact on history."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

"I stand by all the misstatements that I've made."...Governor George W. Bush, Sam Donaldson, 8/17/93

"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have afirm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

"Public speaking is very easy."...Governor George W. Bush, reporters in 10/9

"I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

"A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls." ...Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

"When I have been asked who caused the riots and the killing in LA,my answer has been direct & simple:Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame. Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame....George W. Bush, Jr.

"Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr., 5/20/96

"We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr., 9/22/97

"For NASA, space is still a high priority."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr., 9/5/93

"Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children." ...Governor George W. Bush, Jr., 9/18/95

"The American people would not want to know of any misquotes thatGeorge Bush may or may not make."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

"We're all capable of mistakes, but I do not care to enlighten you on the mistakes we may or may not have made."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

"[It's] time for the human race to enter the solar system."...Governor George W. Bush, Jr.

Need we say more? Should he?

A freeper over at Free Republic wants to kill me and all my kith and kin and fellow southern "yaller dog" Democrats to keep gays from having any rights, to keep judges from legalizing bestiality (!?), to keep women from having abortions, and keep us from breathing, in general. He seems to think we are in hiding down here and wants to burn us up like Sherman did, hunt us down, kill us and use our hides for leather. And he thinks we are all bigots because he was exposed to one on a job once and apparently suffered in high school for being the "class Republican", yet the only Democrat was supposedly KKK. Wonder what all the rest were? I don't get the Left Wing Poor Person bit. Maybe he's just so stupid he doesn't know his left from his right. Really disgusting:

Why we are going to wind up with homosexual marriage (and everything else) Warning: This is a RANT!Self 6/2/'05 Zionist Conspirator
Posted on 06/02/2005 7:56:03 AM PDT by
Zionist Conspirator
Fellow FReepers:
Being a Left Wing Poor Person, I today stood in line to pick up what are called "commodities." These are government food packets that go back in time at least to the Great Depression and are received by large numbers of people of all kinds. And unlike the ideologically pure fantasy worlds in which some people on both sides of the spectrum have their heads, in the Real World these "left wing" programs are administered by people with crosses on their desk and are dispensed in national guard armories.
At any rate, while standing in line I was subjected to the griping of an older gentleman behind me in the line. And what was this person griping about? Was it abortion? Was it judicial dictatorship? Was it "gay rights?" No. He was griping about foreigners. Foreigners coming over here and taking away our jobs. Foreigners trying to impose their alien laws on us. Foreigners cutting in on our government benefits.
And this is where it got interesting!
Do you know whose fault all this is? It's Bush's fault! He's exporting jobs and importing foreigners and putting them on our insurance roles and increasing the burdens on real Americans. And why is he doing this?
Yes, that's right folks, it's just part of the never-ending war the Republican party has waged against the "poor man" since the day it was founded! They should have known better than to elect George W. Bush! After all, didn't they see what his daddy did? Yes sir, we needed Dukakis and Gore and Kerry, the poor man's gallant defenders against the Mexicans!
This elderly gentleman was joined by a younger lady who was also a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat. I tell you, "gay rights" isn't even on the radar screen, folks! These people remember Herbert Hoover, and for that reason they're going to vote like Pavlovian dogs for whoever has that d@mned "D" by his name to protect their benefits from being given to the Mexicans, and those "defenders of the poor" are then going to appoint radical judges who will wind up legalizing bestiality!
Folks, this is the world of the old-time white Southern "yellow dog Democrat"--a world that is never acknowledged by the major parties or the major ideologies in their public utterances, yet they are the Democrats' secret weapons. They are absolutely maddening! Our world is falling to pieces and all they can think about are their "benefits" and what Herbert Hoover did to them! This is still the 1930's!!!
Right now I'd like to repeat what General Sherman and General Butler did to them--in spades!
But it got even more interesting than this! When another gentleman in line mentioned supporting Bush in Iraq this old geezer said that as for what happened on 9/11, it wasn't foreigners who did that. Anyone could see who benefited from that. But when pressed for further information he said he knew better than to give it.
Ah yes, the wonderful Democratic party and its concern for the safety of Jews amidst all these ravening Republican wolves and their crematoria!
I have absolutely had it with these @$$holes! I've had it with people who are so stuck in the past of seventy years ago that they are blind and deaf to what is going on right before their faces! And I have had it with these people being covered up and hidden by the conventional partisan/ideological debate!
I have a long personal history of having to deal with these types of people. As a senior in high school I was the "clas Republican" and the "class Democrat" was an avowed Ku-Klux Klan member. On an early job I was exposed to an absolutely loathsome person who spent all his time attacking Blacks, Greeks, and Jews and supported the Democrats as the answer to all the evil in the world. Thanks to Robert Byrd these type of people are vulnerable to being caught by the spotlight and I say we should focus it on them in all their putridness!
Put a hunting season on 'em! Kill 'em all! Use their hides for leather!!!
::pant:: ::pant::
Okay. Rant over . . . for now!

What about amebas? bacteria, viruses, and republicans?
Some of those are asexual. The elitists among them are immaculate preconceptions.

Here is a plethora of political slang here and words of election and voting.
A couple of examples:
"Velcroid applies to a person who seeks to advance by associating with a more important person. A clothespin vote is one that is cast unenthusiastically for a choice regarded as least objectionable. "

If you're a historian like me, you'll find an engrossing, fascinating account of a southern family from the time the first ancestor came to Jamestown, VA until the time of the author, on his birthday, May 9, 1923. His great-grandfather had died at the battle of Guilford Courthouse in the Revolutionary War. The author had been a Confederate soldier. It greatly reminds me of conversations I had with my grandmother of those times, my own family originating from the earliest settlers and being involved in the early frontier of the colonies of North and South Carolina, Revolutionary times, and the Confederacy.

I am a Democrat from inheritance, from prejudice and principle, if the principle suits me. But I have passed the yaller dog degree.
Preachers were held in high esteem by their respective followers. I recall only old Methodists and Baptists. It was understood that they were called form on high to this holy work. I now see and believe some of them preached for the good of others, some for notoriety and a good time, and others, as now, for the want of sense. I remember well the first infidel I ever saw or heard of. He was a prominent pioneer, noted for his wealth and outspoken opposition to the orthodox views of his neighborhood. I heard him criticized by men who often met at a gunsmith shop on Father’s land near our home. I was afraid of him. I had been led to believe that an infidel was a strange and dangerous sort of beast. My view changed when, at that shop, he gave me some chestnuts and in so doing, spoke to me most kindly. It was told that he said to the Methodist preacher, when about to start to the annual conference a the end of his year’s work, “I understand that you have not received much pay. I have no faith in what you preach, but I now give you fifty dollars and may pay you more if you are sent here net year. You have kept some of these crooks scared, so they don’t steal my cattle. I want you to come back and preach hell to them."
The Old Baptists were noted for their honesty and tenacity to which they held their views on all lines of good citizenship. As a rule they glorified in their religious teachings and in their quant, peculiar make up. The experience of one of the elect amounted to about this: “I got religion when I did not want or expect it; if I had wanted it, I would not have gotten it. When I got it, I did not know it; if I had known it, I did not have it. When I got it, I could not lose it; if I could lose it, I never had it.” Such teachings now can only be heard in backwoods regions from the ignorant and superstitious. A dissemination of knowledge is fatal to superstition.

Before closing, be impressed with an additional thought that I would have you consider and contemplate in connection with the past and present. Think of the mutations of time, of the immutability of earthly conditions and human affairs. I hope you may take the time and have inclination to deliberate on the trend of the inevitable. The thoughtful see the unrest and changes that are taking place here and elsewhere in the nationalities of the world. The fighting influences of ignorance and superstitions are slowly but surely giving way. Modern discoveries, inventions and improvements are blessing the world in presenting essential factors that promote Christian civilization. Ways and means are being more seriously considered for the elimination of war, with its desolation, ruins, miseries and poverty, than every before. The best in all nations realize that the observance of the God-given Golden Rule and not the blind following of the autocratic, selfish, unscrupulous partisan leaders bears the best fruit. The potency of passion, prejudice and ignorance in political and sectarian organizations is giving place to independent thought and action.Many are beginning to see that the cohesive force in social, political and religious partyism is based on passion, prejudice and ignorance.

The following is an exerpt from Exit Laughing by Irvin S. Cobb, published in 1941, but an accounting of the saga of the Kentucky Governor William Goebel, who killed a man, exploited the split Democratic Party in Kentucky, and was himself assassinated in 1900, barely living long enough to take the oath of office. The man had enemies. So far, its the earliest use of the term "yaller dog" I've found.

It was at the outset of the campaign which immediately preceded the contest, and the killing and the trials and all the rest of it, that I heard what I still think, after four intervening decades, was, everything considered — scene, moment, setting and all — the most devastating retort I ever did hear. It was delivered by Theodore Hallam, a battered-looking, hard-hitting, hard-drinking, little Irish lawyer, and an ex-member of Morgan's Rangers — and that for nearly half a century qualified a man for social and political distinction anywhere in the border South and particularly in Kentucky. Despite a high, strident voice, Hallam was perhaps the greatest natural orator in a state of natural orators and had a tongue pointed with a darting, instantaneous wit.
Hallam lived in Covington, where Goebel likewise lived, and as a comrade in war and an ally in peace of Colonel Sanford, the Conservative whom Goebel pistoled to death, he hated Goebel mightily. Having bolted when Goebel seized the gubernatorial nomination by craft and device — and at the last moment, by open violence — Hallam promptly took the stump against him and went about over the troubled commonwealth joyously sowing dragons' teeth and poison ivy.
The seceding wing of the party picked on Hallam to open its fight, and chose the town of Bowling Green as a fitting place for the firing of the first gun, Bowling Green being a town where the rebellion inside the ranks was widespread and vehement. But Goebel had his adherents there, too.
I could fairly smell trouble cooking on that simmering-hot August afternoon when Hallam rose up in the jammed courthouse to begin his speech. Hardly had he started when a local bravo, himself a most handy person in a rough-and-tumble argument, stood upon the seat of his chair, towering high above the heads of those about him.
"I allow I want to ask you a question!" he demanded in a tone like the roar of one of Bashan's bulls.
One-third of the crowd yelled: "Go ahead, Black jack!" The other two-thirds yelled: "Throw him out!" and a few enthusiastic spirits suggested the advisability of destroying the gentleman utterly, and started reaching for the armpit or the hip pocket, as the case might be. Despite the heat all hands were wearing their alpaca or their seersucker coats which, if you knew our sturdy yeomanry in those parlous days, was a bad sign.
With a wave of his hand Hallam stilled the tumult.
"Let it be understood now and hereafter, that this is to be no joint debate," he said in that high-pitched shrill voice of his. "My friends have arranged for the use of this building and I intend to be the only speaker. But it is a tenet of our faith that in a Democratic gathering no man who calls himself a Democrat shall be denied the right to be heard. If the gentleman will be content to ask his question, whatever it is, and abide by my answer to it, I am willing that he should speak."
"That suits me," clarioned the interrupter. "My question is this: Didn't you say at the Louisville convention not four weeks ago that if the Democrats of Kentucky, in convention assembled, nominated a yaller dog for governor ydu would vote for him?"
"I did," said Hallam calmly.
"Well, then," whooped the heckler, eager now to press his seeming advantage, "in the face of that statement, why do you now repudiate the nominee of that convention, the Honorable William Goebel?"
For his part Hallam waited for perfect quiet and at length got it.
"I admit," he stated blandly, "that I said then what I now repeat, namely, that when the Democratic party of Kentucky, in convention assembled, sees fit in its wisdom to nominate a yaller dog for the governorship of this great state, I will support him — but lower than that ye shall not drag me!"

Slave Narratives: A History of Slavery in the United States by Public Works Administration
"I always thought Master Bob Young buried his money during the War. Children wasn't allowed to watch and ask questions. I was standing inthe chimney corner and seen him bury a box of something in the flowergarden. I was in Miss Nippy's room. I never did know if it was money orwhat. He had a old yaller dog followed him all the time. Truman was aspeckled dog set about on the front porch to bark."

This post is getting hinky because it is so large. So, I'll end it here and continue my research and postings in additional entries.