Saturday, August 31, 2013

Saner minds and a simple song

Anti-war rally in downtown Bellingham

Clearly, I’ve had better weeks.

Oh, this one started out OK. A meeting with my Democratic Congressional representative, arranged with no expectations whatsoever that he would be actively listening much less agree to get back to me, ended on that positive note. Over the weekend he must have pondered my position opposing military intervention in Syria, because his community liaison Thomas phoned on Monday. The Congressman wanted to know if I had changed my position, in light of John Kerry’s stern remarks at the State Department, citing Assad’s “undeniable” use of a chemical weapon on the civilians of Ghouta.

Since the Tomahawks were on lock ‘n load, my email reply (below) had to be crystal clear. The survival of the species was at stake.


Just to recap, during our meeting last week I urged Rick to “actively oppose any military intervention in Syria…while supporting diplomatic approaches to conflict resolution. This preferable peaceful alternative should also include an endorsement for constitutionally approved elections scheduled for next year in Syria as a non-violent opportunity to permit political change without violence or the threat of violence. Until all key actors are seated at the negotiating table, including Iran, the political tensions at play will only escalate.” While this diplomatic alternative to “letting slip the dogs of war” may seem simplistic, it could work. A ceasefire could be obtained if the Obama Administration pressured Saudi Arabia, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, as well as Turkey to halt the flow of weapons to the Syrian opposition, while negotiating in good faith with Russia and the now moderate Iranian leadership to do the same. Appeasing Israeli right wingers and DC warmongers by wreaking additional havoc on a war-torn country that poses absolutely no threat to the US doesn’t even have an end game. Remember the end state that Bush redefined for five years? Or is the next so-called “coalition of the willing” actually gearing up for an attack on Iran?... In short, VFP (Veterans For Peace) seeks to abolish war as an instrument of national policy, so there would be no change to my position since we last spoke. As a leader in the organization and a combat veteran who knows first-hand war’s enormous costs, I would urge Rick to not line up in support of more destruction and protecting Obama’s right flank – like John Kerry. I listened to Kerry’s remarks today and he was a disgrace – he “Colin Powell-ed” us, without even the courtesy of a faked proof of a chemical attack. And this from a fellow vet that once said of the Vietnam disaster “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" Well, how about the next! Or the next kid, or the next thousand kids.

Thanks for calling, Thomas. I’m hoping Rick does the right thing.
Today it looks like similar pressure from all over the country has paid off, at least for now. Obama was forced to call for a debate and vote in Congress, for an authorization to attack Syria. Imagine that...let's hope it fails miserably. A reprieve of sorts, but there's still a hard road ahead.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dusky standout

It's easy to underestimate existing ambient light late in the day, what with fringes of daylight slipping into various recesses of our backyard just after legal sunset. But today our blue hydrangea, one of the last blossom holdouts of summer, seemed to be basking in the gloaming. And we actually noticed.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

At least I'm not sucking my thumb

One of the kid’s little idiosyncrasies, among several that might even seem normal for Border collies, is toting his Frisbee around the house; at least until his ma Victoria puts the kibosh on it.  You’d think by now that he would keep it, along with its fresh coat of slobber, on the down-low.

It might be the closest thing to a Linus security blanket for Casey, sometimes ending up in his kennel at night, but it’s still one warm canine fuzzy that will never become an indoor fixture anytime soon.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

An LOL "must-share"

You’ve got to at least give this distant cousin of Casey’s some credit…he’s persistent.

Leading the way

Away…come bye, left…right, Casey is usually on the same wavelength as me before I need to vocalize the next turn. Not always, but most of the time. And it’s not like I’m biased or anything, but I never take this pseudo sixth sense for granted anymore. Today’s outing was a good example, with no rationale for my favoring one turn over the other, and the kid didn’t disappoint.

Now he’s just getting impatient with me, and deservedly so, simply for hanging a right.      

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Singing from the same sheet of music

During a long weekend in Madison, Wisconsin - actually Wednesday through Sunday - Victoria and I attended the National Veterans For Peace Conference, and a highlight for many of us was participating in a noon Capitol Rotunda sing-a-long each day. It was exhilarating standing up for the First and Fourth Amendments, risking arrest while defending free speech along with other folks from all over the country. In case you’re wondering, during our session several people were arrested and fined over $200 bail each. Victoria and I lucked out. A side note – Veterans For Peace representatives organized a human mic on the Capitol grounds and raised more than enough bail money to cover everyone hauled in for peace and justice.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Did you hear that?

A half hour after official sunset, while Casey and I were finishing up our walk on the interurban trail, we both became aware that we were being watched. A dead giveaway was the tell-tale screech of an Great Horned Owl, common in the Whatcom Falls Park area, as it tailed us along the creek path. Casey was more than happy to get off the trail and head for home. He’d probably been hearing this watchful predator soundtrack long before his ol’ man. 

This final screechy, even eerie send off was occurring from a branch about 15 feet above the path. Wish I had more than my phone to capture a little visual, but you get the point.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Don't tell Casey

From today’s vet STREET – Your Pet, Your Vet: 

Often referred to as a canine Eistein, the Border collie has a desire to work that borders on the obsessive…if he is underemployed at home, he is likely to develop compulsive behaviors such as chasing light and shadows, twirling in circles, and bouncing up and down…be prepared to keep him busy with dog sports, activities around the house, etc. etc.
Right. Like tonight.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Stutter step

The things Casey’s gotta do, especially on the days when the grandkids are over. Today, a simple walk around the neighborhood was more invigorating than it had to be, with Kaya and Silas on point. And in spite of frequent leg-leash disentanglements, and a sporadic pace that would wear out even the most patient grandparents, our guy was perfectly accommodating as he let them “lead” him home. 
That's a good boy.