The View From Your Window

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The View From My Office Window2.jpg
Quite dramatic scene of desperation and beauty from up north.
Slightly larger version here.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

48 comments on “The View From Your Window

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  14. arthurdecco says:

    “Maybe I’m better off counting how many Flicker’s I can lure to my feeders, and what kinda owl house stands the best chance of attracting a tenant. Maybe thats the true elephant in the room.
    Posted by PissedOffAmerican
    It is, POA. It is…
    But please don’t stop fighting for what you think is right politically, ever. You inspire me.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I second the nomination of the Nuthatch as being the most contemptous of sane feeding postures.
    You know, in light of the anger I feel towards the treasonous lying posturing garbage that are now masquerading as our “Representatives”, and the gnawing feeling that the hammer is about to drop worldwide, it occurs to me that maybe I oughta find me a nice birdwatchin’ internet blog. Something tells me my ticker would be the better for it. And anyway, there ain’t a God damned thing I can do about what these bastards in Washington are going to come up with next as far as screwin’ us over goes. And, screw us over they will, you can count on it.
    Maybe I’m better off counting how many Flicker’s I can lure to my feeders, and what kinda owl house stands the best chance of attracting a tenant. Maybe thats the true elephant in the room.

    Reply

  16. Upside down says:

    They are american goldfinch and as far as upside down eating goes, the nuthatch would be the clear winner in that category. I live in the Berkshires of Western Mass and I know….

    Reply

  17. jhm says:

    I don’t know from lesser or greater, but the goldfinches around Massachusetts, which look just like these, are, to my far from expert knowledge, the only birds which can eat upside down, as at least one of these seem to be doing.

    Reply

  18. Kathleen says:

    whskyjack… I think, I just might have to have a drink on that… it’s not some blackops thing for people to change registration for the primary and then vote Repug, in the general election, is it???
    Make that two drinks…

    Reply

  19. Katleen says:

    POA.. let’s do what we can to get the press to press him on it. We should try to contact McGovern and ask him to put the impeachment question to the candidates. That would seperate the wheat from the chaff in a hurry.

    Reply

  20. whskyjack says:

    Great picture
    Here in Kansas city I’m looking at mud and enjoying it. The front yard has been covered with ice and snow for the last 3 weeks. Unusual for December around here.
    Kathleen,
    I just looked at my official “George W Bush, Out of Office Countdown ” calender I got for Christmas.
    Good news, there are only 380 days left until he’s gone.
    Another day gone!
    Who’s ready to drink to that?
    Hell, my gun toting, Southern Baptist brother-in-law is willing to drink to that one.
    btw, my sister, a life long Republican , told me yesterday she is going to vote democratic in the feb 5 primary so she can vote for Obama. Life just gets stranger and stranger.
    Jack

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    McGovern should get ahold of this media wonderboy, Obama, and slap some sense into him.

    Reply

  22. serge says:

    Whatever type bird…they look beautiful, but very chilly. And happy for the seed. We must take care of the animals, no matter how small. Beautiful picture, Steve (although I’m supremely happy to be living on my island in Charleston’s harbor where we rarely see such cold).

    Reply

  23. Kathleen says:

    Today is Little Xmas, January 6th, the Day the Three Wise Men arrived at the Manger.
    Needless to say, I’m thrilled to read today, George McGovern’s call for impeachment. Now that is a Wise Man.
    Thank you, Santa
    Why I Believe Bush Must Go
    By George McGovern
    The Washington Post
    Sunday 06 January 2008
    Nixon was bad. These guys are worse.
    As we enter the eighth year of the Bush-Cheney administration, I have belatedly and painfully concluded that the only honorable course for me is to urge the impeachment of the president and the vice president.
    After the 1972 presidential election, I stood clear of calls to impeach President Richard M. Nixon for his misconduct during the campaign. I thought that my joining the impeachment effort would be seen as an expression of personal vengeance toward the president who had defeated me.
    Today I have made a different choice.
    Of course, there seems to be little bipartisan support for impeachment. The political scene is marked by narrow and sometimes superficial partisanship, especially among Republicans, and a lack of courage and statesmanship on the part of too many Democratic politicians. So the chances of a bipartisan impeachment and conviction are not promising.
    But what are the facts?
    Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses. They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed national and international law. They have lied to the American people time after time. Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world. These are truly “high crimes and misdemeanors,” to use the constitutional standard.
    From the beginning, the Bush-Cheney team’s assumption of power was the product of questionable elections that probably should have been officially challenged – perhaps even by a congressional investigation.
    In a more fundamental sense, American democracy has been derailed throughout the Bush-Cheney regime. The dominant commitment of the administration has been a murderous, illegal, nonsensical war against Iraq. That irresponsible venture has killed almost 4,000 Americans, left many times that number mentally or physically crippled, claimed the lives of an estimated 600,000 Iraqis (according to a careful October 2006 study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and laid waste their country. The financial cost to the United States is now $250 million a day and is expected to exceed a total of $1 trillion, most of which we have borrowed from the Chinese and others as our national debt has now climbed above $9 trillion – by far the highest in our national history.
    All of this has been done without the declaration of war from Congress that the Constitution clearly requires, in defiance of the U.N. Charter and in violation of international law. This reckless disregard for life and property, as well as constitutional law, has been accompanied by the abuse of prisoners, including systematic torture, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
    I have not been heavily involved in singing the praises of the Nixon administration. But the case for impeaching Bush and Cheney is far stronger than was the case against Nixon and Vice President Spiro T. Agnew after the 1972 election. The nation would be much more secure and productive under a Nixon presidency than with Bush. Indeed, has any administration in our national history been so damaging as the Bush-Cheney era?
    How could a once-admired, great nation fall into such a quagmire of killing, immorality and lawlessness?
    It happened in part because the Bush-Cheney team repeatedly deceived Congress, the press and the public into believing that Saddam Hussein had nuclear arms and other horrifying banned weapons that were an “imminent threat” to the United States. The administration also led the public to believe that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks – another blatant falsehood. Many times in recent years, I have recalled Jefferson’s observation: “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”
    The basic strategy of the administration has been to encourage a climate of fear, letting it exploit the 2001 al-Qaeda attacks not only to justify the invasion of Iraq but also to excuse such dangerous misbehavior as the illegal tapping of our telephones by government agents. The same fear-mongering has led government spokesmen and cooperative members of the press to imply that we are at war with the entire Arab and Muslim world – more than a billion people.
    Another shocking perversion has been the shipping of prisoners scooped off the streets of Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other countries without benefit of our time-tested laws of habeas corpus.
    Although the president was advised by the intelligence agencies last August that Iran had no program to develop nuclear weapons, he continued to lie to the country and the world. This is the same strategy of deception that brought us into war in the Arabian Desert and could lead us into an unjustified invasion of Iran. I can say with some professional knowledge and experience that if Bush invades yet another Muslim oil state, it would mark the end of U.S. influence in the crucial Middle East for decades.
    Ironically, while Bush and Cheney made counterterrorism the battle cry of their administration, their policies – especially the war in Iraq – have increased the terrorist threat and reduced the security of the United States. Consider the difference between the policies of the first President Bush and those of his son. When the Iraqi army marched into Kuwait in August 1990, President George H.W. Bush gathered the support of the entire world, including the United Nations, the European Union and most of the Arab League, to quickly expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait. The Saudis and Japanese paid most of the cost. Instead of getting bogged down in a costly occupation, the administration established a policy of containing the Baathist regime with international arms inspectors, no-fly zones and economic sanctions. Iraq was left as a stable country with little or no capacity to threaten others.
    Today, after five years of clumsy, mistaken policies and U.S. military occupation, Iraq has become a breeding ground of terrorism and bloody civil strife. It is no secret that former president Bush, his secretary of state, James A. Baker III, and his national security adviser, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, all opposed the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq.
    In addition to the shocking breakdown of presidential legal and moral responsibility, there is the scandalous neglect and mishandling of the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. The veteran CNN commentator Jack Cafferty condenses it to a sentence: “I have never ever seen anything as badly bungled and poorly handled as this situation in New Orleans.” Any impeachment proceeding must include a careful and critical look at the collapse of presidential leadership in response to perhaps the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.
    Impeachment is unlikely, of course. But we must still urge Congress to act. Impeachment, quite simply, is the procedure written into the Constitution to deal with presidents who violate the Constitution and the laws of the land. It is also a way to signal to the American people and the world that some of us feel strongly enough about the present drift of our country to support the impeachment of the false prophets who have led us astray. This, I believe, is the rightful course for an American patriot.
    As former representative Elizabeth Holtzman, who played a key role in the Nixon impeachment proceedings, wrote two years ago, “it wasn’t until the most recent revelations that President Bush directed the wiretapping of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Americans, in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) – and argued that, as Commander in Chief, he had the right in the interests of national security to override our country’s laws – that I felt the same sinking feeling in my stomach as I did during Watergate… . A President, any President, who maintains that he is above the law – and repeatedly violates the law – thereby commits high crimes and misdemeanors.”
    I believe we have a chance to heal the wounds the nation has suffered in the opening decade of the 21st century. This recovery may take a generation and will depend on the election of a series of rational presidents and Congresses. At age 85, I won’t be around to witness the completion of the difficult rebuilding of our sorely damaged country, but I’d like to hold on long enough to see the healing begin.
    There has never been a day in my adult life when I would not have sacrificed that life to save the United States from genuine danger, such as the ones we faced when I served as a bomber pilot in World War II. We must be a great nation because from time to time, we make gigantic blunders, but so far, we have survived and recovered.

    Reply

  24. Kathleen says:

    I love snow, but in smaller dustings. The air smells so fresh and crispy clean and the moon light on snow is magical. I can always smell when it’s going to snow, even here in Southern CA. If it’s cold when it rains, the mountain tops get dusted with snow. We are having much prayed for rain and lots of velvety mists. Beautiful, like a Japanese watercolor.

    Reply

  25. george washington hayduke says:

    glad others thought those gold finches a bit hefty. In Michigan ours are much thinner….lol. Nothing like a big fire, football and finches at my thistle feeder, to entertain me through the day. Oh yeah, along with my St Bernard, Little Bear, and my golden retrievers, Hayduke and Oakley…they like the snow a real lot…. happy new year

    Reply

  26. arthurdecco says:

    DON S! Come On DOWN…!!!…
    The picture was taken north of Toronto, in Ontario, Canada.
    The genus is “American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) 5″ (13cm) A small finch with undulating flight.”
    What may have confused some of you is that the picture was taken through a wet window, (it was snowing hard), at birds wearing their winter suits. In the summer they’re bright yellow with black head caps and predominantly-black-but-with-white-streak-wings.

    Reply

  27. Steven Clemons says:

    Don’t let it go to your heads, but you folks have made my day.
    😉
    best from a warming-up DC,
    Steve

    Reply

  28. DonS says:

    Perhaps we need some illumination as to what “up north” means. Then we could throw in american goldfinch, in its winter coloration. If its northEAST, then they’re not lessers.

    Reply

  29. DonS says:

    Now I really am confused. I went to the Sibley guide and looked up Lesser Goldfinch, and that could clearly be the I.D. Very probably is. We don’t have them in this part of the county so naturally nothing registered.
    Thanks for the pic!

    Reply

  30. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The picture on my monitor is not real clear, but the color seems consistent with our local Lesser Goldfinches. However, the scale seems off, unless that feeder is a very small one. They seem large for Lesser Goldfinches.

    Reply

  31. DonS says:

    Ahem, methinks (and my significant other quickly endorses) that we are looking at some lovely evening grosbeaks. Can’t really speculate about the desperation, but can confirm that grosbeaks tend to be a bit piggy.
    We did have an ice storm around here (SW Virginia) about 13 years ago so severe that a flock of pine siskins eagerly ate seed from a bench on our deck while I stood not four or five feet from them, outside.

    Reply

  32. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Amazing. Thousands of miles apart, and we’re watching the exact same species of feathered friends delighting in our charity, (the Goldfinches). Today I have Lesser Goldfinches, House Sparrows, TitMouses, Nuthatches, Flickers, Juncos and Quail. The Lesser Goldfinches are agitated though, because I have ran out of thistle.
    Also sighted, a Red Tail, and a lone coyote that I suspect was trying to lure my Border Collie/Shepard pup and the neighbor’s Lab into the canyon where the rest of the pack were undoubtedly lying in wait.

    Reply

  33. Pernicious Pavlovian says:

    Steve? Got us snow here in the Basin. It blew down from Idaho and not the Sierras. The picture is lovely and the birds are “fluffed up” and not fat. Please, I’m not trying to start ANY fights here. Finches, Chick-a-dees, Juncos, Jays, they all fluff up to keep those little birdy bodies warm. Wait a minute…those aren’t finches. Those are waxwings. Aren’t they waxwings? Okay my bad. My Mary, who IS an ornithologist of some renown, says they ARE goldfinches. Okay I stand corrected. Nice picture says Mary. Won’t it be nice when the sun returns to the northern hemisphere and it warms up? Oh yes, that’ll be quite nice.

    Reply

  34. arthurdecco says:

    Mr. Clemons, Please pay attention to the SIZE of the finches – they’re almost too fat to fly! IMO, that’s not an indication of desperation – that’s an indication of how much it costs to keep them in seed throughout our 13 month long winters.
    (The last phrase was intended as satire for those Americans who think Canadians live in log cabins, ice huts and igloos and commute to our jobs hewing wood, clubbing seals and breaking rocks with sleighs and snowmobiles.)

    Reply

  35. Steven Clemons says:

    POA — I love the snow — but also the sun more. the birds look desperate, but perhaps not now that they’ve found dinner. Thanks AD for the pic — and POA, sorry for the jinx!

    Reply

  36. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I too am looking out the window at some “desperate” Lesser Goldfinches, taking advantage of my substantial weekly investment in wild bird seed. It seems the good Mr. Clemons has jinxed my little bit of paradise, for I awoke to the unmistakable silence of falling snow.

    Reply

  37. arthurdecco says:

    Can you explain your use of the word “desperation”, Mr. Clemons? A winter scene like this should only be desperate to a person like POA, who seems to be inimical to snow. lol
    (& surely you’re not?)

    Reply

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