Sunday, June 29, 2008

Congratulations, Julian!

Congratulations, Julian!
Originally uploaded by I, Puzzled
Julian Rides at Last!

Today Julian got the hang of gyrodynamics and learned to ride his bike for the first time. He's had it for three years, but it's been frustrating and intimidating for him. Today he finally got it, and it's like he's been riding all along.

Meanwhile, Gabriel is on a faster track to be bike enabled.

Julian got a bicycle almost 3 years ago, and would try every so often, and then get discouraged and embarrassed, and then it would sit in the shed for months at a time. His five-year-old brother, Gabriel (pictured here) is now anxious to learn, and that must have motivated Julian to learn once and for all.

This is Julian starting to learn three years ago:

This week Julian also learned how to blow bubble gum bubbles, but I neglected to get photographic documentation.

(His parents aren't big on the gum chewing thing...)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

ACLU on the appalling FISA vote in the House

The following may be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office:

"It’s Christmas morning at the White House thanks to this vote. The House just wrapped up some expensive gifts for the administration and their buddies at the phone companies. Watching the House fall to scare tactics and political maneuvering is especially infuriating given the way it stood up to pressure from the president on this same issue just months ago. In March we thought the House leadership had finally grown a backbone by rejecting the Senate’s FISA bill. Now we know they will not stand up for the Constitution.

"No matter how often the opposition calls this bill a ‘compromise,’ it is not a meaningful compromise, except of our constitutional rights. The bill allows for mass, untargeted and unwarranted surveillance of all communications coming in to and out of the United States. The courts’ role is superficial at best, as the government can continue spying on our communications even after the FISA court has objected. Democratic leaders turned what should have been an easy FISA fix into the wholesale giveaway of our Fourth Amendment rights.

"More than two years after the president’s domestic spying was revealed in the pages of the New York Times, Congress’ fury and shock has dissipated to an obedient whimper. After scrambling for years to cover their tracks, the phone companies and the administration are almost there. This immunity provision will effectively destroy Americans’ chance to have their deserved day in court and will kill any possibility of learning the extent of the administration’s lawless actions. The House should be ashamed of itself. The fate of the Fourth Amendment is now in the Senate’s hands. We can only hope senators will show more courage than their colleagues in the House."

For more information, go to:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Kucinich on Impeachment

Highlights from the appearance of Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich on Democracy Now! yesterday (June 13, 2008):
JUAN GONZALEZ: Ohio Congress member and former Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich is vowing to continue his impeachment efforts against President Bush despite attempts to bury it in committee. On Wednesday, Congress voted 251-166 to send Kucinich’s bill to the House Judiciary Committee, where it’s unlikely to be considered before Bush leaves office. A similar resolution against Vice President Dick Cheney that was introduced last year was also sent to the House Judiciary Committee, where it still remains. Kucinich spent four hours on the House floor Monday reading out thirty-five articles of impeachment against the President:
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as president and subversive of constitutional government to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: We have 4,000 of our brave men and women who have died in Iraq. Over a million innocent Iraqis have been killed. We’ve had torture policies, rendition, illegal detention, wiretapping, spying, subversion of global climate change science. I mean, I went on and on and on with these articles the other night, but what it adds up to is that there has to be accountability. And for the leadership of the Democratic Party to say that impeachment is off the table is to essentially put on hold the United States code, international law and the Constitution of the United States. There is no rational, logical reason why the Judiciary Committee should not hear—have hearings on these articles.


REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, you know, this isn’t golf. You don’t get a do-over. We can’t let this president wage war and kill more people in violation of international law, in violation of the Geneva Convention. His conduct has been totally in alignment with violating the Nuremberg Principles. We need to hold him to account. And if we do that, there won’t be an attack on Iran. We must not wait for more carnage and for more jeopardy to the peace of the world.

We have enough information right now to offer incontrovertible proof that this president lied to take us into a war, worked with others to manufacture a false case for war, falsely stated to the American people that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and told the Congress that there was an imminent threat, thereby subverting Congress’s power under Article I, Section 8, with respect to a declaration of war. So what are we waiting for?


AMY GOODMAN: Congressman Kucinich, the head of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, said voters did not hand Democrats control of Congress two years ago in order to impeach President Bush.

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Is that what he said? Well, you know what? Howard Dean ought to check with the people where he lives with in Vermont, because the people in Vermont understand this. And people all over this country understand it.

This isn’t a political question, by the way. The appropriate response for Howard Dean would be that this is a matter that’s beyond politics. This is a matter that relates to a democratic system of government and whether or not our Constitution is just a piece of paper. So this has to go beyond politics. It’s not for the Democratic Party to decide to overlook violations of US law and international law. We cannot let our political system trump the requirements of the law.


JUAN GONZALEZ: And, Congressman, you vow to continue reintroducing your proposal now if it’s—every thirty days unless action is taken. Your response to those who say that there’s no—there isn’t enough time in the calendar, given everything else that is going to be occurring, the presidential election, over the next few months, to even be able to deal with this issue?

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: George Bush has enough time to bomb Iran on another pretext. He has enough time to continue policies of torture. He has enough time to continue policies of eavesdropping and wiretapping. He has enough time to continue to ignore critical science with respect to global climate change. He has enough time to help facilitate more violations of election law for the 2008 election.

We don’t have enough time. We can’t spend any more time temporizing, while the Constitution, the United States laws, international laws, are being shredded.

Music to my ears.

Read the 35 Articles of Impeachment against President George W Bush.

    Last ten feature films I watched...

  • Moulin Rouge (2001)
  • Lust, Caution (2007)
  • The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)
  • Horse Feathers (1932)
  • Elizabeth (1998)
  • What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)
  • Some Like It Hot (1959)
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
  • Dark Passage (1947)
  • E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Animal Dance

A catchy number from Julian's 3rd Grade Class's performance piece called "A Dance Through the History of Santa Cruz County" yesterday.

There are more snippets from this performance on my Flickr set:

A Dance Through Santa Cruz County History