Thursday, March 22, 2007

Springfield, Illinois Saint Patrick's Day Parade III


1949 Police Cruiser - Sangamon County Sheriff's Office
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Now this is a nice looking police cruiser! Check out that chrome! And those white walls! Don't make em like that anymore. One hundred percent made in the USA! Detroit City!
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Saint Patrick's Day 2007 - Springfield, Illinois - 6th and Washington
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This appears to be a World War Two era truck. USA version. Don't know anything more.
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Sangamon County Illinois Rescue Squad Vehicle
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This truck is huge. I'd love to see what is inside. Not as a patient - just to photograph.
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Is This A Model A? Downtown Springfield, Illinois
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There were many vintage automobiles appearing in the 2007 Saint Patrick's Day Parade. This was one of them.
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Another Model A? Not sure - Any Guesses?
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I rather enjoyed the Saint Patrick's Day Parade. Not everyone who attends a parade is hell bent on getting smashed out of their minds, and dying behind the wheel. Some of us just like the chance to touch bases with the rest of the community. I saw a lot of happy people enjoying themselves. Love the parade!
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Global Climate Change Senate Environment Hearing


Al Gore - An Inconvenient Truth
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Senator Al Gore appeared before the Senate Environment Committee Wednesday, March 21st, 2007. I was extremely impressed with his range of knowledge on the subject of global warming, and his ability to communicate complex ideas in terms understandable to most.

Most of the Senators who attended the hearing were open minded, and curious about the subject. Many already seemed to understand the importance of global warming.

There was one exception. A Republican Senator from Oklahoma (Oil) who is still playing the "Global warming, what's global warming?" game.

Pathetic!

Despite this display on the part of the oil industry puppet, most of the other Senators seemed to understand that global warming was not only real, but needs to be addressed - like yesterday!

I voted for Al Gore, and I'm damned proud of it! We wouldn't be wasting our soldier's lives in Iraq right now if Al Gore had been allowed to take the Presidency instead of having Bush appointed by the Supreme Court.

Gore could have moved this country away from dependence upon oil importation from the Middle East. I have always found it odd that so called super conservative patriots want our nation to bend over and (I'll stop here) to nations in the Middle East.

I love the United States, and want to see wind mills, photo voltaic systems, super efficient homes, and electric cars in this nation. I want representatives who care about my nation, and not what's good for the royal family of Saudi Arabia - which the Bush Administration, and his oil industry goons support.

God Bless the USA! And to hell with all false patriots who send our troops to die for Middle East oil! Gore can't say that, but I just did.
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I made some observations

Senator James Inhoffe (R) Oklahoma: Rude, and Irrational. Gee, I wonder why. Oil comes from Oklahoma! Could that be why?

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D) Minnesota: Good mention of her home state energy related programs.

Senator Kit Bond (R) Missouri: Good Questions - Rational, and Sane. Yes, a sane Republican!

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D) New Jersey: Quick questions. Respectful of Gore.

Senator Johnny Isakson (R) Georgia: Pro Nuke Type questions. Good questions. Rational.

Senator Joseph Lieberman (I) Connecticut: Rational. Sensitive. Concerned.

Senator Larry Craig (R) Idaho: Idaho produced 50 nuclear reactors. Said that Clinton Admin killed nuclear industry. Recognizes reality of global warming. Advocate for nuclear industry.

Senator Max Baucus (D) Montana: Practical questions about carbon sequestration. How to finance transition for coal burning plants to carbon neutral plants using sequestration.

Senator Lamar Alexander (R) Tennessee: Nuclear Power Advocate. Rational. Civil.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) New York: Curious. Attentive. Looked tired. Asked practical questions about ways to include efficient appliances into home mortgage financing program.

Senator Craig Thomas (R) Wyoming: Clean Coal Technology. Had questions about global warming predictions. Skeptical, but rational, and respectful.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D) Rhode Island: Informed. Concerned. Future oriented. National Security questions.

Senator Benjamin Cardin (D) Maryland: Said there's a real problem with global warming. Public Transit questions.

Senator Tom Carper (D) Delaware: Technical Questions about Carbon Credit system.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D) California: Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman. Very competent. Very respectful toward Al Gore. Didn't back down from confronting the oil industry controlled Republicans on the committee (not all appear to be controlled by oil and coal).

Name of Committee: Global Climate Change Senate Environment Committee.

House Hearing CSPAN Real Video Link

Senate Hearing CSPAN Real Video Link

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Springfield, Illinois Saint Patrick's Day Parade II


Springfield High School Senators Band
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The Springfield High School Marching Band on Seventh Street Assembled For the 2007 Saint Patrick's Day Parade.
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Springfield Illinois Senators Band
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Springfield, Illinois High School Senator's Marching Band staging for the 2007 Saint Patrick's Day .
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Springfield South East High Band
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Springfield, Illinois South East High School Spartan Marching Band assembles before the 2007 Saint Patrick's Day Parade.
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Springfield South East Spartan Band
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A view of the Springfield, Illinois South East Spartan Marching Band looking north on Seventh Street.
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New Berlin Illinois High School Marching Band
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New Berlin Band having a bit of fun prior to parade.

Saint Patrick's Day Parade Springfield Illinois


Ansar's Allis Chalmer's Mini Tractor
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The Ansars have now included antique farm tractors in their parade groups. I love vintage farm tractors like the orange Allis Chalmer's tractor in the photograph above. I'm not sure if this tractor was made in Springfield, Illinois or not. This photo was taken prior to the Springfield, Illinois 2007 Saint Patrick's Day Parade.
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Ansar Safety Patrol
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What does the Ansar Safety Patrol do? It brings up the rear of the parade - for safety reasons of course! Photo taken on Jefferson Street in downtown Springfield, Illinois.
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Ansar Color Guard
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I always think of the scene in Patton the movie when I see the Ansars in their regal uniforms. I recall the scene in which Patton states that he was very impressed by a cavalry unit on parade while he was in North Africa. I believe he was in Morocco at the time. I like the colors in this photo. You can tell the Ansars have a good time with the parades they participate in, but from the look of their uniforms they also take their duties as color guards quite seriously. There's not a wrinkle, or imperfection on any of those brilliant white uniforms to be found!
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Ansar Clown and Baby
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The little girl had that look of concern which rapidly turned into a smile. Notice the eye contact going on with the clown. Neat capture of a moment prior to the parade.
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Ansar Mounted Cowboys
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That's a man on a horse in front of Horace Mann! I'll have more to say about this horse, and the cowboy riding her, but you may have to check out the Illinois Times. That's a hint.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Politics of Global Climate Change Hearing


Hero & NASA Climatologist Jim Hansen

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is attempting to cast some light upon the dark shadows of the Bush Administration. This hearing (See links below) on Politics of Global Climate Change was held Monday March 19th, 2007. The Committee has been aired on CSPAN, and has dominated my television viewing of late.

This is one of the benefits of ending one party rule. Finally, we see what Bush, and his pals have been doing for the last six years. It's not as if we haven't already heard about most of this before, but now we can see the major players being grilled by Democratic Congressmen.

Are Bush's men arrogant? Yes! Do they realize what they have done was wrong? Many times, yes! Despite any soul searching they still have jobs within the administration, look forward to their lobbying positions after they leave, and have some fight left - which makes it interesting to watch these hearings!

Also, there's the Republicans who show up, and those who are owned by oil, or coal are there to show that the lobbying, and campaign donations have paid off - they're there to let their sponsors know they've done good by them. It's not really an attempt to save Bush - he's a political poison pill not even conservatives want to swallow.

During the hearing the testimony given by quiet spoken apolitical NASA Climatologist Jim Hansen literally kicked the ass of all the Republican congressman who sought to discredit him. He stood up for himself, and wielded truth like a sword. It was interesting watching one Republican lawyer after another fail to make any points.

Bush Administration cronies for years have been placing enormous pressure on climate scientist to keep their mouths shut on global warming, and have even rewritten scientific reports all a bid to confuse the public about the reality of global warming. It never really worked, but it showed the oil, and coal industry that the donations to the Bush Administration were paying off.

Readers, if you don't want to watch the hearing (it's around three hours long) then just play some of the audio in the background while you do your web surfing, or blogging.

Global warming, and climate change is an important topic, one which the Bush Administration, and the Oil and Coal industry don't want you to learn about. The underhanded, and NAZI like tactics employed by Bush Administration goons is just plain sickening.

Folks we pay our tax dollars to get real science, and real answers to important questions which effect us all, but in the minds of the Bush Administration truth must take a back seat to policy, and policy is sold to the highest bidder - in this case the oil and coal industry.

It's pathetic to see the clown like Republican congressman owned by coal, and oil interest try their hand at defending the indefensible. Maybe they've gotten rusty after so many years of stifling debate, but the smell of their corruption stinks right through the television screen.
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CSPAN Real Media Link To Hearing

House of Representatives Link To Hearing
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Monday, March 19, 2007

Valerie Plame Wilson's Congressional Testimony


(U.S. House) Vice President Dick Cheney Should Be Prosecuted
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The Democratic led Congress is finally opening a series of investigative hearings into a broad range of allegations of illegal activities on the part of various components, and players within the Bush Administration.

This weekend CSPAN aired a repeat of Valerie Plame Wilson's testimony before the House of Representatives (Friday the 16th of March 2007).

One observation which I noted, and wanted to share was the line of petty questioning by the Republican members. The Democrats seemed to take the matter seriously, and were well prepared with excellent questions, but the Republicans tested their Joseph Macarthy skills, but fell flat on their traitorous asses.

Do they actually believe such tactics will somehow distract Americans from the obvious? Didn't the last election show them just how disgraceful the Bush Administration's actions have been even to hard core conservatives?

The few Republican Congressmen that actually stayed in D.C. (Fridays are fund raising days) looked either like traitors, or ignorant fools for supporting the group of goons within the White House who outed a patriotic CIA Agent.

The Republican approach on the committee is absurd now that the Democrats control the legislative branch and the committee, but it's the only thing they have left. Each question I guess is supposed to feed the conspiracy minded wing nuts that listen to, and call into conservative controlled talk radio. You know the one's that feel they're more patriotic than everyone else?

When you're a wing nut it's o.k. to support a President who lies to the people, and starts an unnecessary war. It's o.k. to destroy anyone who gets in your way - even if it risk the lives of CIA agents, and those who help them. It's o.k., even if it is a violation of the law. It's o.k. even if it harms the national security of the United States, and hurts this nation's ability to prevent nuclear proliferation.

That's because lying, and destroying others in defense of a lie is all part of the game plan that conservatives use with God's approval - it's right in their version of the Bible.

By the way, Karl Rove still has security clearance despite President Bush's pledge to terminate anyone who leaked Valerie Plame Wilson's identity.

One very real, and very good result of the last national election is that one party rule is no longer the case. We finally are seeing the beginning of a series of Congressional investigations into a broad variety of possible illegal, and unethical activities on the part of the Bush Administration.

Stay tuned folks.
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Links to Valerie Plame Wilson's Congressional Testimony

CSPAN-RealMedia - Plame Congressional hearing

House of Representatives Video on Plame Hearing
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Three Layers of Chart
Disclosures on Valerie Plame Wilson's Classified CIA Employment

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Sources
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Bureau on Intelligence and Research Report
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Central Intelligence Agency
Bill Harlow (CIA Spokesman)

Robert Grenier (Former CIA Officer)
Unknown (Who told Dick Cheney?)
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Political Conduits

White House
Ari Fleisher (Former White House Press Secretary)
Cathie Martin (Former Spokeswoman for Vice President Cheney)

Lewis "Scooter" Libby (Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff)
Dick Cheney (Vice President)
Karl Rove (President George W. Bush's Political adviser)

State Department
Marc Grossman (Ambassador)
Richard Armitage (Former Deputy State Department Secretary)

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Targets
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Washington Post (Walter Pincus)
NBC News (David Gregory)
Time Magazine (John F. Dickerson)
New York Times (Judith Miller)
Time Magazine (Matthew Cooper)
Chicago Sun Times (Robert Novak)
Bob Woodward
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