Sunday, May 28, 2006


I picked this up as a "book on CD" (unabridged on 15 discs). I'm not very far into it yet, but so far it is striking a mighty chord with me. Author Kevin Phillips, who used to be a Republican in the days of Goldwater and Nixon, is explaining the dangers of "radical religion, oil and borrowed money in the 21st century" in ways that I find insightful and understandable, and he expresses thoughts I haven't been able to find adequate words for for the last ten or fifteen years. He talks of how those three major things (in bold print above) have gradually become part of the GOP (with the help of Bushes in high places during the last 30 years), and how the ascendance of religious fundamentalism, our dependence on (and control of) oil and our horrendous deficit spending and national debt pose the greatest dangers to our nation. Phillips asks us if war and terror should be included there, and he says yes, they are important but they are basically an outgrowth of his three major factors. He also blames the Democratic party and "secular liberals" for angering the fundamentalists by trying to get Christianity "out of the public square" in the 60s and 70s, causing a movement that resulted in a fundamentalist revival of sorts... he thinks the Democrats' aimlessness (and the attitude of a few athiest lefties which has become blown out of proportion to supposedly represent the views of the entire Democratic party) have contributed to the impossible happening: the Republican party has become the nation's first religious political party.

If I find more things in this book which I feel like sharing as I make my way through the CDs, I will blog more about it. So far, it's wonderful listening!

From the New York Times, via Wikipedia, about "American Theocracy":

"He identifies three broad and related trends — none of them new to the Bush years but all of them, he believes, exacerbated by this administration's policies — that together threaten the future of the United States and the world. One is the role of oil in defining and, as Phillips sees it, distorting American foreign and domestic policy. The second is the ominous intrusion of radical Christianity into politics and government. And the third is the astonishing levels of debt — current and prospective — that both the government and the American people have been heedlessly accumulating. If there is a single, if implicit, theme running through the three linked essays that form this book, it is the failure of leaders to look beyond their own and the country's immediate ambitions and desires so as to plan prudently for a darkening future."

(For a dissenting view on Phillips, Slate offers this cranky item from Jacob Weisberg: )

Also, this item re. Kevin Phillips and his current assertions is FUN! It's from :

Cleveland, Ohio - March 20, 2006:

Q: Thank you for coming to Cleveland, Mr. President, and to the City Club. My question is that author and former Nixon administration official Kevin Phillips, in his latest book, American Theocracy, discusses what has been called radical Christianity and its growing involvement into government and politics. He makes the point that members of your administration have reached out to prophetic Christians who see the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism as signs of the apocalypse. Do you believe this, that the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism are signs of the apocalypse? And if not, why not?

THE PRESIDENT: The answer is -- I haven't really thought of it that way. (Laughter.) Here's how I think of it. The first I've heard of that, by the way. I guess I'm more of a practical fellow. I vowed after September the 11th, that I would do everything I could to protect the American people. And my attitude, of course, was affected by the attacks. I knew we were at war. I knew that the enemy, obviously, had to be sophisticated and lethal to fly hijacked airplanes into facilities that would be killing thousands of people, innocent people, doing nothing, just sitting there going to work.

SNAVE'S NOTE: I think the president's response to the question is mostly BULLSHIT in regard to giving an honest answer. "I haven't really thought of it that way"??!?! For heaven's sake, "Left Behind" series author Tim LaHaye is a close friend and spiritual adviser to Bush. Would that influence Bush? Ya think? This is from a fun article from Salon, in 2002, called "Fundamentally Unsound", at

"After all, Tim LaHaye isn't merely a fringe figure like Hal Lindsey, the former king of the genre, whose 1970 Christian end-times book "The Late Great Planet Earth" was the bestseller of that decade. The former co-chairman of Jack Kemp's presidential campaign, LaHaye was a member of the original board of directors of the Moral Majority and an organizer of the Council for National Policy, which has called "the most powerful conservative organization in America you've never heard of" and whose membership has included John Ashcroft, Tommy Thompson and Oliver North. George W. Bush is still refusing to release a tape of a speech he gave to the group in 1999."

I'd like to hear what he had to say to that group, wouldn't you?

And what the heck IS this group? Find out a bit more at .
"It has been described as the "club of the most powerful" and "the genuine leaders of the Republican Party" by the New York Times, and it is widely believed to coordinate and develop strategy for the entire conservative movement." Membership is by invitation only... meetings are secret, held behind closed doors.

I looked it up, and I found that some of its members in 1998 were Dick Armey, Gary Bauer, Larry Burkett, Rep. Dan Burton, Rep. Tom DeLay, Rich DeVos (AmWay), James Dobson, Rep. John Doolittle, Bob Dornan, Sen. Lauch Faircloth, Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sen. Jesse Helms, Rep. Ernest Istook, Bob Jones III, Jack Kemp, Alan Keyes, Sen. John Kyl, Tim LaHaye, Sen. Trent Lott, Lon Mabon (an Oregon crank who has managed to get some anti-gay measures onto the state ballot in the past), Edwin Meese, Sen. Don Nickles, Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, R.J. Rushdoony (prominent Christian Reconstructivist), Phyllis Schlafly, several folks with the last name Coors, etc. ICK.


SO, is Bush the Antichrist? Probably not... he's probably nothing but a callous dickhead... but this is a fun article for you:


With their last few CDs, Pearl Jam had settled into a comfortable groove, churning out nicely-done controlled-chaos CDs such as "Yield" (1998), "Binaural" (2000) and "Riot Act" (2002). 2004's "Rearviewmirror" was a nice 2-CD collection of highlights from 1991 thhrough 2003.
It was beginning to seem to me that their material from the last 6-8 years, while enjoyable, was beginning to sound a lot alike.

Their debut album "Ten" was a fierce mix of epic classic rock stylings with an aura of freshness about it. "Vs." was a little cloudier, more of a mix of styles, kind of inconsistent. From there they progressed into what seemed to me like an organic, cohesive unit which gradually became limited by its own overreaches, making experiments which failed as often as they worked. When drummer Matt Cameron joined the band, their product became more energized and more consistent, as demonstrated in their works from 1998 until now.

This time out, with their self-titled "Pearl Jam", the lyrics are more coherent and urgent than they have been in a long time. The musical arrangements sound cleaner, and in some cases, less like a thick wall of sound and more like carefully-constructed pieces. If you like high energy, loads of spirit, rough, sinewy guitars and bass, high-powered drumming, and honest vocals... all with more than a tinge of leftist ideals... you will like this CD.

Here are a couple of highlights for me, re. the lyrics:


I felt the earth on Monday
It moved beneath my feet
In the form of a morning paper
Laid out for me to see
Saw his face in a color picture
I recognized the name
Could not stop staring at the
Face I'd never see again

It's a shame to awake in a world of pain
What does it mean whenthe war is taking over?
It's the same every dayI heard my name
Why can't they say that
The world be left to hold her

The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suicide
The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suicide

Medals on a wooden mantle
Next to a handsome face
That the President took for granted
Writing checks that others pay
And in all the madness
Thought becomes numb and naive
So much to talk about
And nothing for us to say
It's the same every day
And the wave won't break
Tell you to pray while the devil's on his shoulder
Laying claims to the tainted soldier said
I'm not a quitting
The truth's already out there

The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suicide
The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suicide

Looking in the eyes of the fallen
You've got to know there's another

It's a shame to awake in a world of pain
What does it mean whenthe war is taking overI
t's the same every day
And the wave won't break
Tell you to pray whilethe devil's on his shoulder

The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suicide
The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suicide
The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suicide
The whole world
World over
It's World Wide Suiciiiiiiiiiide


You're always saying that there's something wrong,
I'm starting to believe it's your plan all along,
Death came around, forced to hear its song,
And know tomorrow can't be depended on.
I seen the home inside your head,
All locked doors and unmade beds.
Open sores unattended
Let me say just once thatI have faced it,
A life wasted,
I'm never going back again.
I escaped it,
A life wasted,
I'm never going back again.
Having tasted,
A life wasted,
I'm never going back again

The world awaits just up the stairs
Leave the pain for someone else.
Nothing back there for you to find,
Or was it you, you left behind?
You're always saying you're too weak to be strong,
You're harder on yourself than just about anyone
Why swim the channel just to get this far?
Halfway there, why would you turn around?
Darkness comes in waves,
tell me, why invite it to stay?
You're warm with negativity,
Yes, comfort is an energy,
But why let the sad song play?

I have faced it, A life wasted, I'm never going back again.
Oh I escaped it, A life wasted, I'm never going back again.
Having tasted, A life wasted, I'm never going back again.
Oh I erased it, A life wasted, I'm never going back again.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Verizon was able to fix our problem over the phone line. It wasn't the modems not working, it wasnn't something wrong with our computer, it wasn't our surge protector... so after checking out all those things, I called Verizon again and this time they got it fixed. Whew...

So, it's back to posting annoying stuff! Heh!

Monday, May 22, 2006


We had a huge storm here last Friday, and since then we haven't had any internet connection. We have Verizon DSL, and we have two modems... neither modem is getting any connection. Verizon says it's our modem that doesn't work, I'm suspicious that it might be something else. I will call them today and see about getting another modem, and it that doesn't work, they will probably have to come to our house and check things out.

So, I'll probably be gone from my own computer for at least a few days. I may be able to post from other computers, if I have time.

My dad is in a kind of holding pattern with his congestive heart failure. The doctor told him his system was starting to shut down, and then asked him if he preferred to go to the hospital or stay at home. I have to take that to mean the doctor believes there isn't much time left for Dad. Dad and Mom both said they would like for him to be at home, so we will see what happens. He will continue to take his medications, use his oxygen, and use his walker. The way I look at it, his situation is really like that of all of us: who knows how much time is left? It could happen today, tomorrow, next week, next month, maybe even next year...

I like the new CDs by Neil Young and Pearl Jam. They are helping me get through some less-than-fun times!

Finally, I installed my site counter just about a year ago, so it looks like my site has been getting about 54 or 55 hits per day on average. Two or three of those per day are from me, the rest are from all of you! Thanks to all of you for coming by during the last year!

Friday, May 19, 2006


Have any of you seen “The Da Vinci Code” movie yet? I haven't, but I am excited about it because I enjoyed the book by Dan Brown. Apparently there are all kinds of distresses being caused to religious groups by the release of the film, and some non-religious types are getting stressed as well.

I read Brown's book, and I also read Michael Baigent, Henry Lincoln, and Richard Leigh’s “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”(its authors are the ones who were suing Brown for taking their ideas). I found "The DaVinci Code" to be a thrilling page-turner. I thought the other work, which attempted to be more scholarly, was fairly dry... but when I read it in small doses of 10-20 pages at a time, I found it quite fascinating. I have also read the Bible all the way through more than once, and I have read the New Testament five or six times, with most of my attention devoted to the Gospel. I believe in science and hard evidence more than I believe in things I can’t see or which can’t be proven by scientific methods, so while I have a lot of doubts about whether or not Jesus was divine or performed miracles, I also have to say that in amongst all the questionable things there are many good words of wisdom in the “good book”. So, I guess you could say I’m more or less an agnostic. Not a lot of magical thinking here when it comes to matters spiritual.

I think it will be fun to see what happens with the release of “The Da Vinci Code”. If the “reviews” of it at are any indication, there will be a number of Christian fundamentalists who dismiss it out of hand or become upset by its mere existence without having bothered to see the film (kind of like with “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “Life Of Brian”). There will also be a lot of open-minded Christians who will say “What’s the big deal?” or “What’s wrong with questioning Christianity?” I was always told in church that the best way to grow in your faith was to question it and find the answers you seek. A lot of the rest of us will say things like “B.F.D. Let ‘em whine!” I think the fundamentalists should ignore “Da Vinci Code” the way many of the rest of us didn’t pay much heed to “The Passion of the Christ”. I would say that just about all of those “reviews” at, written about the film before it has actually been viewed, appear to be merely the writings of insecure individuals staking out their opinions in regard to their religious or non-religious beliefs.

Why should there be such a furor among members of the religious community over the release of this movie? If they know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and as the Son of God, then why are they concerned about a movie which depicts things that might have happened due to Jesus having a human side? Certainly he did many things humans did at the time. I would imagine he ate, slept, urinated, defecated, and possibly even (gasp!) had sex!! Maybe he married, maybe not… but as marriage is not a sin, I see no reason why he might not have behaved according to the customs of his time, i.e. married a woman, and had kids with her. Why should that threaten his status in believers’ minds as the Son of God? Whether or not he was married should not have anything to do with what he said when he gave the Sermon on the Mount, should it? Whether or not he was married should not have anything to do with an ability to perform miracles, should it? Would God have kept Jesus from being resurrected simply because he had been married and had children? I guess I just don’t get it. Why such a fuss?

By the same token, I don’t believe that atheists, skeptics and agnostics need to go around rejoicing because of the release of “The Da Vinci Code” in movie form. Dan Brown’s book is a work of fiction, after all. His story proves nothing, and it doesn’t disprove Christianity. It offers a possibility, nothing more, nothing less. As one of my mottos is the one of the militant agnostic, “I don’t know and you don’t either!” I think the whole idea behind “The Da Vinci Code”, in whatever form, is simply to stimulate thought, and to play “what if”. Is there really any way to tell what happened two thousand years ago? How many of us were there to see what was happening? I believe Jesus was there, but I’m not sure how much of the Bible I believe. I think it’s that kind of “what if” approach to life that ultimately makes it more interesting than it would be if everyone thought, believed and acted the same as everybody else.

Here’s to lots and lots of us asking questions, seeking knowledge, learning new things, examining various points of view, and to all of us combining these things to create an atmosphere for personal growth for everybody.

Let’s go to the movies! Because I liked the book so much, I hope "The Da Vinci Code" is a good film. I don't want to have to write a blog entry telling everyone to save their money and wait for the movie to come out on DVD!

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Where is the body of Jimmy Hoffa?

Whenever that question is asked, I don’t know why I inevitably giggle, chuckle or guffaw, but I DO. Maybe it’s because I like to think of various weird places he might have been hidden away. So where IS his body? Here are some ideas, beginning with some of the more popular theories and gradually degenerating into the world of Snave:

1. Buried in the end zone at Giants Stadium

2. Buried beneath a barn on a farm

3. His corpse is not waterproof and it wears cement overshoes

4. His body was burned beyond recognition at a mob barbeque

5. He was boiled, and the oil skimmed off the water has been blended into perfumes, colognes and personal lubricants

6. His ashes were blended with the concrete used to build Republican Party Headquarters

7. He was deep-fried, small piece by small piece, at a KFC in Chicago

8. He was secretly taken into space and jettisoned into Earth’s orbit

9. Oscar Meyer has a way with B-O-L-O-G-N-A (or with head cheese too, for that matter)

10. The atmosphere was seeded with his ashes, so he is now EVERYWHERE

11. He is still alive, sipping pina coladas in an undisclosed tropical locale with Elvis

12. Who cares?

What do you think? I kind of have to go with #12, because I’m not sure why anybody would really care.

All I really care about here is that whoever killed Hoffa and hid the body did it CREATIVELY. A plain old cement-overshoes thing? Or a simple shooting and burial? Those just don't cut it. I like to think nobody will ever figure out this mystery because the deeds were done in a creative manner. That makes speculation about it a FUN thing for me, rather than considering his probable murder and disappearance something abhorrent.

So, let's have some fun here! I want to hear about where YOU think he is.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


"Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises."
-Pedro Calderon de la Barca

I just secured a hybrid Camry in Tri-Cities by making a deposit over the phone. We already have a Prius on order from the Toyota dealer in Hermiston.

I guess we are officially "going green", at least re. our driving habits.

We will fill out auto loan forms at our credit union this week, so the finances will all be in order. Our monthly car payments will be about the same as they have been, possibly a bit less.

Our van gets 22-23 mpg on the highway and 17-18 in town. It will be replaced by the light metallic blue Prius, which should get around 55 mpg in town and high-40's-low 50's on the highway. We had to order the Prius, and it probably won't be here for another month or six weeks.

Our turbo-engine Subaru gets 21 on the highway and 16 in town. We'll replace it with the jasper green metallic Camry, which will probably get in the high 30's for both in-town and highway driving. We will be able to pick up the Camry this coming Friday afternoon or on Saturday.

I will post pictures of the cars when we actually have them!


I know I posted this picture some time ago, but it is still very appropriate.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


These pictures were taken a little over nine years ago, when Mac was about two years old. He was much thinner then. He likes to roll in the dirt, and he has so much white fur that he looks filthy at times, earning him the nickname "Mr. Gray" (notice the color of the bathwater). Of the two pictures we took, I like this next one best:

There was enough blood on my arms afterward that we haven't bathed Mackie since then. Maybe we could try it again some time, but I think I would have to wear chain mail.