Saturday, October 22, 2005

The turning of the velvet ash

A few weeks ago I arrived in Albququerque, New Mexico, to work for my main man, Smokey Bear, once again. I am now on assignment with the Albuquerque Service Center of the Forest Service. Within the first week here I noticed ash trees, which probably identifies me with a small minority of the population. Botanists, arborists, landscape gardeners, lumberjacks, wood crafters, and tree lovers in general are probably the only folks who would recognize an ash tree but I grew up in Fresno, California, a city named in Spanish for the ash tree. In Fresno it is the Modesto ash; here in NM it is the velvet ash.

The trees were green when I arrived. A month has passed and they are bright yellow. The picture above is a close-up taken a couple of days ago. Along with the ubiquitous cottonwoods, the golden aspens in the Jemez Mountains, and scrub brush in general, the ash gives me a sense of place. Of course, the most prominent landmark here is the Sandia Mountains to the east of the city.

Let's out the WHIG

The White House Iraq Group is responsible for diverting this nation's energy and resources into an illegal and immoral invasion of another country, plunging it into chaos and setting it up for civil war. Isn't it time their deliberations were made public?

Check it out:
Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) today introduced a Resolution of Inquiry to demand the White House turn over all white papers, minutes, notes, emails or other communications kept by the White House Iraq Group (WHIG).

"This group, comprised of the President and Vice President's top aides, was critical in selling the Administration's case for war," stated Kucinich. "We now know that the Administration hyped intelligence and misled the American public and Congress in their effort to 'sell' the war. After over 1,900 American troops have been killed in Iraq, it is long past time for this Congress to ask serious questions about WHIG and its role in the lead up to the war."

A Resolution of Inquiry is a rare House procedure used to obtain documents from the Executive Branch. Under House rules, Kucinich's resolution is referred to committee, and action must be taken in committee within 14 legislative days.

"For two-and-a-half years Congress has sat on the sidelines neglecting its oversight responsibility when it has come to Iraq," continued Kucinich. "We owe it to the American people to hold this Administration accountable and to find out the truth."


You may take action to urge your Representative to co-sponsor or support this resolution here.

The BB