Saturday, January 28, 2012

Change of View

Last week's snow and ice storm wrecked havoc on Olympia's trees. No more so than Legion Way where the green canopy is a prominent landmark in a region where green is simply a matter of fact.

Here's what it looked like last weekend.

Neighbors with chainsaws cleared some brush in the immediate aftermath. On Sunday contractors cleared more but our block remained closed. By mid-week some 10 to 15 of the trees were clearly marked with orange X's.

On Thursday a city crew began removing the oak tree on the left immediately behind the large pile of fallen branches in the photo above.

By Friday morning they were done.

Scavengers picked the remains pretty clean.

A wood carver wants the large trunk but it may end up going off in rounds if he's not quick about it. Trucks cruise by slowly this morning one or two stop to look but no one is yet prepared to tackle the task. Chainsaws have been the soundtrack in the 'hood lately. I'm sure this Saturday will be no different.

I hope the wood carver gets the big piece. A stately tree becoming some form of art or even timbers seems a more appropriate transformation than someone's firewood.

Whatever its fate, that tree has been my view for over four years. I will miss it.

Note the X on the tree in the upper left of the last photo. My view will be radically changed this time next week.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Better After the Fact

HorsesAss has a great live blog of last night's GOP talkathon. Darryl watched it so I didn't have to.
6:18: CNN continues the fluff, “Coming up…why would your wife make the best first lady.” I want to hear Newt: “Which one?” Ron Paul: “I think Rick Santorum’s wife would be the best first lady.” Santorum: “My wife did not live in sin with an abortion doctor!!!!” Mitt: “Mine is certainly the richest…can’t beat that.”

6:24: Newt: “All three of the wives of these gentleman would make terrific first ladies” or future wives for me!


6:29: It’s the Reagan cuddle session part of the debate. Newt: I am vastly more cuddly with Reagan then my opponents.

6:31: Santorum on Cuba: “despots and their reign of terror in Cuba…like a cancer that keeps growing. Reward those who bring in Jihadists, and setting up terror camps…” What the fuck has he been snorting tonight?


6:48: Santorum has some pretty fucked up ideas about where rights come from–from God Apparently, Americans are the ONLY people whose rights are endowed by God. He is one fucked up puppy!


In the Eye of the Beholder

Senate Bill 6467 introduced in the Washington State Senate would allow Japanese-Americans interned during World War II to display prisoner of war license plates.

No doubt heads will explode at Legion halls and VFW posts throughout the Evergreen State.

Update: Wandering not too much deeper into the related documents I discovered that yesterday was special license plate day at the Senate Transportation Committee. Japanese-Americans were not the only ones up for special plate legislation. Bills would also create new license plates for National Rifle Association members, 4-H members and the state flower (coast rhododendron).


Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Southern Tale

Newt Gingrich's victory in the South Carolina Republican primary is in the finest tactical tradition of General Robert E. Lee. Lee earned his reputation for brilliance largely because he was often forced into dire circumstances where his only hope was to try something unconventional. It worked for a while. Until the he met Grant. And then he lost.

Newt went into South Carolina in dire circumstances, out of contention if he didn't pull off a good showing. So he cut loose with the Full Newt. Like Lee, Newt had little to lose. And it worked. He strutted through the debates in full bombast, giving South Carolina Republicans what they wanted. They could appreciate a fighting gamecock. Meanwhile, Romney who, like those Union generals, had much to lose, played it cautious.

So Gingrich is Lee early on in the war. We know how that one turned out.

Unlike Lee, Gingrich has a $5 million super PAC. Romney is no Grant but he has a shitload of money, including his own super PAC, and the party establishment is terrified at the prospect of Newt Gingrich as nominee.

The campaign will become more evil now.

Also evil is the prospect that one of these two men will be the party candidate in the general election. But that's another story.

Update: Juan Cole has an even better framework for his analysis of the SC results.

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