Spinning wheels



Went for a drive again tonight because I thought the sky looked intriguing and thought for sure that I would eventually find something to put in front of the sky. This was the best I could come up with, about six miles east of here.

Earlier in the day, I tried to saw some firewood. The new Caterpillar with the tracks is in for maintainance, so I used one of the old Mitey Macs, and it was a disaster, as it usually is.

I went plowing into the snow to get at a big log of ash I wanted to saw up. I immediately got stuck. No problem, I'll just push myself out with the bucket--except the bucket didn't snap in place like it should have and it fell off. Now I was helpless. So I lifted the bucket into place and got it back on--about a twenty minute process, once all was said (censored) and done.

Not to be defeated, I made it to another pile of logs and started sawing. Got one bucket of wood sawn when the saw hit something and so dulled the chain that it wouldn't saw any more.

So, I took what I had and dumped it by the stove, only to get stuck right there. I went forward and back, forward and back, and finally worked my way to the edge of the swamp where it was call-on-Dad time.

Dad came out with the International 574 and tried pulling--but with a layer of ice underneath everything, we had no margin for error at all when it came to spinning. Once the tire spun, you were done.

It took a while, and we had to use some ashes from the stove for traction, but we got out and I had to be satisfied with spending almost an hour-and-a-half getting together three days worth of wood.

All that saved me from the trauma of watching Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez talk in circles in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He's the one who came up with the legal theory that in a time of war, it is okay for the president to do whatever he thinks is necessary to protect us, regardless of its legality.

The exchanges went something like this:

Senator: Under this theory, could you look through people's mail without a warrant?

Gonzalez: Oh, we wouldn't do that.

Senator: But could you?

Gonzalez: We wouldn't.

Of course, under the interpretation of the law authored by Gonzalez, the president can do most anything he wants. We're supposed to trust that he would maintain good faith and only do that which is necessary. There is no evidence yet that Bush broke faith and used the wiretapping for political ends. But in a constitutional democracy, those things aren't supposed to be left to chance. There is supposed to be a check in place. That check was provided by the FISA law, which Gonzalez and Bush chose to ignore.