It’s Thursday in Monsoon Land USA…

Todays number is 31…Look Ma, no voice…He said with a raspy whisper.

If this doesn’t look like the eye of an angry God, I’ll eat my fire and brimstone upbringing.

I have visions of a bird of prey here…


The Helix Nebula

Dust makes this cosmic eye look red. This eerie Spitzer Space Telescope image shows infrared radiation from the well-studied Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), which is a mere 700 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius. The two light-year diameter shroud of dust and gas around a central white dwarf has long been considered an excellent example of a planetary nebula, representing the final stages in the evolution of a sun-like star.

Source: Image credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Kate Su (Steward Obs, U. Arizona) et al.

I have fallen in love with these NASA images I keep popping into thee posts. I always had a hidden desire to be an astronomer. One of the toys I have always wanted to give myself for Christmas is a decent telescope…Nothing fancy, just some thing to explore the neighborhood with. A hidden character trait of mine is the need to know my neighborhood. I wander the roads around me to learn to know where I am and where I can go…I travel all of the roads in the neighborhood by whatever means I have available. Be it foot, bike, car, map, satellite photo’s, or virtual worlds like Google Earth and Live Earth. All means of exploration fill the need to know the neighborhood. The only difference is the size of neighborhood you become comfortable with exploring.

Well it’s symphony time again this morning. The start of what the prognosticators have been promising would be a wet and wild end of the week. From the percussion sounds coming in from outside I would say they are probably right. I haven’t glanced at the radar yet this morning, so I’m not sure what has already built up, but it’s been raining steadily for about an hour. For one the thunder did not precede the rain.

From the Washington Post today…

A huge multiyear farm bill ran into a White House veto threat and a sudden flurry of objections from Republicans yesterday on the eve of a vote on the House floor.

Farm-state Republicans had been lining up with Democrats to defend the bipartisan bill but changed course when notified that a proposed increase in nutrition programs would be funded partly by tightening the rules on U.S.-based foreign companies that avoid U.S. taxes by using offshore havens.

Republicans quickly picked up on a White House statement branding the funding plan as an unacceptable tax increase.
Source: On Eve of Vote, Farm Bill Draws Threat of a Veto By Dan Morgan

Leave it to Bush to threaten to veto two bills in one week…Insurance for Children and Farmers…At least that is what the Farm Bill started out as, not what it has evolved into. Though I’m sure there are some creation theories out there that will contradict the evolutionary basis of my statement.

Then I read this from my hometown paper…

Individually, the creatures on the endangered species list might seem less than crucial to democracy. But when one after another — as many as 200 — loses protection due to political, rather than scientific, assessments, alarms should sound both for the environment and for government.

The Department of the Interior, which oversees endangered fish and wildlife, is the latest in more than 18 agencies or departments whose scientists complain that political appointees have tampered with data.

An investigation by the department’s inspector general reported Fish and Wildlife Services employees’ protests that their boss, Julie MacDonald, “bullied, insulted and harassed the professional staff … to change documents and alter biological reporting.”

MacDonald, a political appointee with no training in the natural sciences, soon resigned. The agency is now re-evaluating eight decisions she made regarding species on the endangered or threatened list. Environmentalists are calling for examination of 200 other agency decisions.

Source: Frog by Frog – Houston Chronicle

Why is it that nothing this administration has done or will do can surprise me anymore? Shame me, insult me, make me mad as hell…But surprise me, doesn’t happen anymore. After the damage done in the eight years they will have run the country, how long will it take to wash the stench of corruption out of our collective conscience?

I really should just post this and get a move on…So, later on…

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