Friday, February 3, 2017

Bike/hike and Tales from the Swamp

Yesterday we parked at the ball fields and rode up to Catalina State Park. It was a tired ride.  I was tired.  We actually stopped at a ramada before the turn off to the park.  It was a well placed ramada, since Jim had a flat that needed changing.

Today we did a short hike out of the Genser Trailhead to try out my new hiking shoes.  They will be going back.  They hurt the surgical site on my left foot, but mainly because they are too hot.  They are amazingly hot.  After about two hours the shoes were soaked with sweat as were my socks.  So, they have to go.  I really had hope for them.  The search continues.
On the way to the trailhead we saw three javalina.  They were strolling across the road into a wash.

The desert is greening up from the rains.

There were a lot of mountain bikes.  About twelve went by us, followed by three slower riders.  This section of the trail does not look like much, but it's a longish consistent rocky uphill.

Some of today's tales from the swamp:

Kellyanne Conway told us a story about the Bowling Green Massacre to explain why the president is so hard over on banning Muslims, to keep America safe and all.  Too bad it never happened.  

Apparently the president does not believe right wing Christian men can be as violent as he believes all Muslims to be.
The Trump administration wants to revamp and rename a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism, five people briefed on the matter told Reuters. The program, “Countering Violent Extremism,” or CVE, would be changed to “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism,” the sources said, and would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out bombings and shootings in the United States. [Emphasis added.]
This is in spite of the fact that since 2002 more Americans have been killed by right wing Christian terrorists than by Muslim extremists. Looks like it will be open season on Americans.  Salon has a statistics laden article on the subject.

Colin Kahl,  who served as a national security official under President Barack Obama,  fired off series of tweets arguing that while the Defense Department had discussed Yemeni raids with Obama in a general fashion, the specific raid attempted by the Trump administration was not brought up. Here are the contents of the tweets.
  • DoD worked up GENERAL proposal for OVERALL set of expanded authorities for these types of raids at end of Obama admin.  
  • The broad package was discussed in the interagency in the closing weeks of the Obama term. This particular raid was NOT discussed.  
  • Moreover no recommendation was made other than a recommendation to provide the next Administration with the necessary information.  
  • Idea was for next team to run a deliberative process to assess risks.  
  • And, critically, Obama made no decisions on this before leaving office, believing it represented escalation of U.S. involvement in Yemen 
  • And therefore should not be something he decided a few days before leaving office. Obama thought the next team should take a careful look
  • And run a careful process. From what I've read and heard, however, team Trump didn't do a careful vetting of the overall proposal or raid.  
  • Instead, Trump apparently had dinner with Mattis/Dunford and greenlit the op. 
  • I've heard there was a Deputies meeting the next day, but...
  • DC was brief and basically irrelevant since the decision had been made the night before.  
  • So, in a nutshell, Trump and his team owns the process and the ultimate decision--and the consequences. 
The administration should quit blaming their failures on Obama.  They need to take ownership, it's all on them now.

I have discovered a new website that is doing a very thorough job of reporting the day's events in the swamps.  I'm sorry if the name offends you, but it's a good read.


  1. Run, hide, the Christians are coming, the Christians are coming.

    Robert Dear. Colorado Springs
    Christopher Mercer. Roseburg, OR
    Dylan Roof Charleston, SC
    Elliot Rodger Isla Vista, CA
    Aaron Alexis Washington, DC
    Adam Lanza Newtown, CT
    The Unabomber
    Timothy Mcveigh Oklahoma City.

    "When injustice becomes law,
    Resistance becomes duty"
    Thomas Jefferson

  2. Thanks for the link to the WTF site. This is a good one, and I for one am not offended by its name. Strong words make sense in this case.