Bulldog’s Christmas Wish Is a Return to Trimble Park

Bulldog’s Christmas Wish Is a Return to Trimble Park

Visiting parks and natural sites, with or without camping, is one way Americans like to spend the holidays. I throw my lot with my fellows who’re into such things.

I’m very much hoping to spend at least a part of the week between Christmas and New Years Day camping in Trimble Park, a fave spot of mine. It’s here in Orange County, but about a half hour away from me.

There are two complicating factors for me at this moment: the first is that I haven’t booked yet and the demand for camping spots around the holidays in very strong. Very, very strong, in fact.

The second potential issue is that I had a minor accident in my PT Cruiser on Monday evening and am not too sure at this point just how long it’ll take me to get my wheels back.

I’m going to do my dead-level best to solve these problems and get back to Trimble Park before the year’s end. For right now, I’ll be content to post a pic I especially like from a previous visit. It features some waterfowl specimen I find fascinating, though I can’t say for sure what it is!

If you can identify my fine feathered friend, a comment with a tip would be most welcome!

I hope the next few days go well for you as we get closer to Christmastime. And remember to get outdoors!

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

 

Is It Mandatory for Democrats with Money to be Selfish Pricks?

Another post about politics! Two things triggered Ol’ Bulldog on this one. The first was the passing of the Repug tax scam, oh I mean tax reform, of course, and the second was a comment on social media about how rich lawmakers who are Democrats don’t care at all about poor people. So here I go:

 

It often amuses me at how conservatives talk out of both sides of their mouths on the issue of wealthy people, lawmakers particularly, who aren’t on-board with the usual drastic Republican economic policies of slashing taxes to the bone, demonizing working and poor people, and generally acting as though accumulating money is the real purpose of life.

If an elected official is progressive, quite possibly a democrat, and he/she is not wealthy, many conservative folk will say that they have no place in the discussion as they haven’t demonstrated that they know how to succeed, don’t know how America works, how free enterprise works, blah, blah, blah

Donald tRump has spouted this crap repeatedly.

If a progressive elected official does have wealth, conservatives will still attack him or her, it’s just a different strategy. Many Democratic or progressive public servants are well-off. So the line of attack in that case is that he/she is a hypocrite, as though people with money somehow have to be selfish assholes and hate working people or anyone who doesn’t have enough dinero to get into the club!

So it’s the usual Rethuglican approach of attack everyone with whom you disagree, but the strategy and the talking points are different depending on who or what they’re attacking.

Meanwhile, there is no inconsistency when people with wealth say our economic policies need to take into account all Americans, not just large corporations and the 1% who have the means to hire lobbyists and buy off elected officials with campaign contributions.

There are plenty of people who have gobs and gobs of wealth but know American economic policy needs to take into account all Americans and the common good: Warren Buffett, Lady Gaga, Bill Gates, and many, many others.

It’s insane to believe that having wealth automatically makes you selfish and fills your head with hatred and contempt for working people, the chronically poor, disabled people, etc. There’s nothing hypocritical in the least about having shitloads of money and believing that that everyone’s situation and everyone’s needs matter.

There’s nothing hypocritical about being wealthy and thinking that really wealthy people, including yourself, need to pay substantial taxes, that revenue can get too low and that something’s very wrong when the secretary pays a higher effective tax rate than the CEO for whom she works. (Something which, by the way, actually happened with Mitt Romney and his secretary when the subject of effective tax rates for different income brackets came up for discussion in the 2012 Presidential debates.)

Conservatives are not going to get progressive people and Democrats to give in to their extreme, Ayn Rand-type of economic selfishness by suggesting that Democratic lawmakers who very often are wealthy are somehow disqualified from caring about ordinary (meaning not wealthy) people or advocating for policies that are designed to benefit the 98% of Americans who work for a living.

 

Working guy “Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

Fish and Wildlife Commission Sets Aside a New Conservation Area

FeaturedFish and Wildlife Commission Sets Aside a New Conservation Area

Our FWC here in Florida is always engaged in doing things to protect wildlife and make it easier for Floridians to learn about and enjoy it.

In fact, to me, our Fish and Wildlife Commission is just about the only arm of state government here that I have complete confidence in. They do a lot of good work.

The commission released a PR bulletin today to let the public know that they’ve created a new Critical Wildlife Area in Volusia County. It’s called the Port Orange Colony and though it’s not of considerable size–being a bit less than two acres–it is, nevertheless, a very important site for many bird species. An incomplete list includes the tricolored heron, great egrets, the American oystercatcher and the brown pelican.

It seems to this nature lover to be a very significant action by the commission and the FWC chairman has said as much. Here’s what chairman Brian Yablonski said in today’s release about the creation of our newest CWA here in the Sunshine State:

“Protecting Florida’s birds is what gave rise to the conservation movement in the United States. This is a legacy moment that we leave for the ages as a Commission.”

Kudos to Florida’s FWC for this and all the fine work they do. To read the complete press release all about the Port Orange Colony, our newest conservation area, follow this link.

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

 

 

 

Turkey Lake Park is a Peaceful Place

Turkey Lake Park is a Peaceful Place

I did enjoy my second outing to Turkey Lake Park. I returned from that relaxing two day visit last Tuesday.

By the way, there is no “Turkey Lake Park”, strictly speaking. The official name is Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake, but since I find that a bit cumbersome, the more concise descriptor works for me!

I’m preparing a thorough write-up of my visit, but posting that will have to wait for another day. For now, I’m content just to post a pic and go on the record as saying that I truly love this tranquil setting.

This photo is taken from close to where campers must park and points in the direction of the camping area; as you can see, it’s quite a hike to the actual site where one pitches his or her tent! A very nice spot, nevertheless!

The upside of this arrangement is that it does make your camp site a bit more peaceful and natural-looking; the downside is that it’s a looooooong way to haul your gear!

Another detail that may be of interest: that gentle slope from right to left in the photo leads right to the shore of said Turkey Lake, though that’s just out of the picture.

I will be following up with a more thorough account of this recent trip with more pix before long. In the meantime, let me implore you to put aside some of that stuff on your to-do list for a while and get outdoors!

 

Bulldog Ben Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

The Logan Act and tRump Transition Team Treachery

In the aftermath of the Michael Flynn plea deal, there’s a lot of confusion out there about whether Flynn and other members of the tRump transition team violated any laws, the Logan Act specifically, if all their misdeeds with the Russians happened after the election.

I’ve contended that it was criminal whether done before or after the election and Seth Abramson’s excellent explanation of the Logan Act I’m including at the end of this post really speaks to that issue. tRumpists and Rethuglicans in general are misrepresenting what the Logan Act actually says in order to make all that tRump treachery seem harmless.

Abramson’s thorough treatment of the Logan Act shows that tRump apologists are dead wrong when they say none of the tRump team’s actions actually violated any laws; it was clearly criminal and treasonous whether done before or after the election!

By the way, I came across this very informative thread because I follow Abramson on twitter. I recommend it highly for anyone wanting to get a better grip on the matter of tRump transition team members doing treasonous stuff with Russians to undercut the Obama sanctions.

The sanctions imposed by the United States after the Russian assault on our election and our democracy.

Click here to read Seth Abramson’s excellent thread on The Logan Act and the criminal acts of the tRump transition team, Mike Flynn, especially.

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Former National Security Adviser, Gen. Mike Flynn, Goes Down for His Treachery and Deceit

Note to my readers: Although my main focus is outdoor activities and related things, I do get into politics now and then. A post about this week’s camping trip is coming very soon. Now to something really important for all Americans:

 

If you haven’t been following the saga of Mike Flynn’s treachery and deceit and you’re surprised that he’s pleading guilty today, this article will help you get up to speed.

Flynn stabbed America in the back when he assured Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that when tRump was sworn in, he’d make sure to reverse the sanctions imposed by President Obama for their interference in our election.

Yeah, that’s a crime. Which is, of course, why he tried to cover up his treachery.

Flynn’s opening strategy was to deny everything. Denied at first that there was even a conversation. Then admitted they spoke but denied that sanctions were discussed.

Oops! His conversation with the ambassador was recorded because our intelligence services, including the FBI, record every call by every Russian spy every time.

Checkmate, Michael. You’re going down.

 

 

Bulldog Ben Basile

 

Ben Sneaks Off to the Beach on Thanksgiving Eve!

Ben Sneaks Off to the Beach on Thanksgiving Eve!

I had a ball at the beach today! Didn’t decide to go until about 1:45 this afternoon, so it wasn’t the longest beach outing I’ve had lately, but it was time very well spent.

My schedule and my budget have conspired to keep me away from the shore for the last couple of months and so getting the hell outta Dodge was a priority. Very glad today was the day. Traffic and crowds were not an issue at all. Yay!

I am working more hours these days and so I’m not sure when I’ll be beach-bound again. But I’m determined to get back before Christmas Day.

I took just over 300 photos this time. So far I’ve only worked a grand total of six that I think are blog-worthy! Yeah, not the best outing from the photography standpoint. But the featured photo you see above is a keeper. My new gull friend was riding the wind about 40 feet above Cocoa Beach. Without a care in the world. Just doing what gulls do.

I admire him. Heading back for another few stolen moments of freedom as soon as i can make it happen.

 

Back in landlocked O’do, I am,

“Beachdog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile